Update on This Blogs Return to Life

securing wordpress

I was mildly inspired to begin tinkering again with the inner workings of the blog, including attempting to change the default image in the header. I, however, had to revert back to the default as the replacement image didn’t seem to match the size required. Too bad, I really liked that image which I downloaded from some site offering royalty free images for use commercially or whatever.

Getting old takes a toll on one’s patience, I realized. A decade ago, I would have dived into research mode right away and would have come up with significant changes to the site within a couple of hours.

Now, I do not seem to have the patience to shift through the information which is actually readily available in the net. I know I would not really need a new theme to get the look I desire for this blog. All I need is some elbow grease and the motivation to just do it.

Or, is it really patience I lost? Could just be plain old laziness.

Well, at least I get to do some updates, albeit direction-less, once a week or something. That should count as movement to an otherwise stagnant blog.

Alert!!! What follows is a quick insert of an ad for an amazon product which I wish I could somehow earn a commission from, no matter how little. Should have been some product that is relevant to the post, but heck, I’m reliving my blog and am taking baby steps again.

Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer And Volumizer Hot Air Brush, Black

Same Product

Ok, that was the ad. Moving on…

Just to add a little something to this content, I am embedding below a self-help youtube clip about the cure to laziness. Something I should watch seriously.

2020 Post

It’s been a year, probably even more, from my last lone post last year. It’s time to break off the ice and the lethargic energy around this blog and get it going once again.

A few plugins had to go as it has caused a few headaches during the transitions from one version to another (of wp or some other technology).

I’m going to be adding more content soon.

I’m not sure about new regulations about embedding videos on blog pages. I have yet to do research on that. But that won’t stop me from embedding another youtube video I enjoyed. Just want to share it with you. I did not upload this video on youtube.

This is the version of Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors that I really liked.

2019 Post

So, this is just a little post I coughed up after updating my wordpress to the latest version. Nothing special.

Just a few surprises here. I found that wordpress has come a long way since my last sortie in it. New features. Faster? Ummm… I can’t decide yet. Gotta do some exploring first.

Right now, I’m trying to update to PHP 7. First attempts at cpanel seem to break my site. So, I tried to make a backup so I could test it on XAMPP. UpdraftPlus plugin didn’t work as I expected, so I had to uninstall it.

Think, I’ll go back to cpanel and do the backup there.

Meanwhile, enjoy some Ed Sheeran!

Smule Sing! System Gaming Rant

It only takes a wee bit of listening to at least three random collaborations that made it to the killer karaoke section before you realize that these were actually not judged by some skilled expert or at least by a qualified singer. The judge actually is an algorithm set in by Smule coders which most probably relies heavily on the collaboration’s number of ‘loves’.

And precisely because of this, a lot of very industrious smulers have found ways to game the system. Thus, you’ll find crap mixed in with a few excellent collaborations comprising the killer karaoke section.

There could be more shady methods out there, but one of these is done through organizing groups. These groups have no other purpose but to provide ‘love’ to all collaborations of its members. You don’t even need to listen to the song. As soon as the love button shows up, you hit it, then move on to the next song.

Smule codes, you’ll find, have flaws in it. Because, I’ve seen, on several occasions where the number of ‘loves’ outnumber the number of ‘plays’! How the heck it can happen I have no freaking idea.
smule sing system gaming
If you’re a Smuler, you’ll know exactly exactly what I’m ranting about.

Update:

For a few weeks, smule seems to act on this quirk by putting a cap on the number of loves a smuler can give per day. And I saw the gamers’ crappy songs, which normally rake in 3 digit ‘loves’, take a dive with 2 digit ‘loves’.

But the KK section’s algo judges did not change. Now, since all the gamers can only reach a particular number of loves, say, 75, well, that’s the number that gets to hit kk. Now, the gamers can relax. They only need this much loves to get there.

The Agony of Waiting for Board Exam Results

Just this month, I re-experienced the agony of waiting for the results of the board exam I took a few days ago. In total, I had taken three (3) national board exams that really tortured my mind, and maybe my soul too, as I waited for its results.

exam-resultsFirst was the Civil Engineering licensure exam several decades ago. Then there was the Real Estate Appraiser Exam 10 years ago. And, because of some unforgivable lapses ( I was inactive then as an appraiser ), I forgot to renew my REA license for 2 consecutive years! To top it all, it was the exact period when the government changed a few rules and transferred the governing body from the Department of Trade & Industry to the Professional Regulations Commission

Long story short, I had to take the licensure exam again. This means I had to shell out almost $500 for a 120-hour refresher course and force myself to bury my head on REA books and materials for the next 3 months. Can you imagine foregoing youtube and facebook and all other online addictive activities?

So, we were told after the exams that the results will come in 3 days, although the PRC site says 10 days. Thus, the agony begins.

What made things worse this time is that just before submitting my papers I had ticked off and counted my answers that I was sure were correct in the exam. Something I have never done in previous exams. And my count tells me I will not make it. It says I will have to get at least 7 more correct answers from out of the rest of the answers that I was unsure of to make it.

The same inner conflict as I had felt previously re-occurred. Though I was able to sleep most nights, I almost always have to go through a few hours of restless tossing and turning in bed. And my pessimist nature shows its worst during these times.

In the office, I dread mornings because some office mates would be there, earlier than me, reading the newspaper. As I enter, I would try to decipher the faces. Have the results come out? Have they read it? Are they trying to avoid eye-to-eye contact with me because my name wasn’t in there? Paranoia.

The REA exam results can be accessed online the very hour it comes out. So, I had to wait for it, check my iphone every hour. I stayed away from facebook because I would hate to see others begin congratulating each other there.

I even entertained the idea of practicing how I would act calmly and smile non-chalantly in the event I failed. And studying to prepare for a re-exam next year.

I woke up one day and as I reached for my phone a message was already there saying ‘Congratulations, you made it!’ The sender’s number is unregistered in my phone so it showed only a number. Is this a joke? I scrambled to get online to check the results. Whew! I did make it.

Should I go through another experience like this in the future, I probably would go through the same routine again. But after having gone through this enough number of times, I realized that my pessimism is really a little too unrealistic. And that fretting and worrying really doesn’t make things any better.

Update: I did go through another experience and in the same field. This time it’s the Real Estate Brokerage exams which was held last February 28, 2016. As expected, and in spite of the supposed alleviation of my pessimism, I still felt the same way from preparation (study phase), to the exam proper, and the waiting for results phase.

Again, I passed the exam, with just 0.75 points short of being included in the top ten.

I Woke Up From a Nap 40 Years in the Future!

I woke up a little groggily. I have awakened from a nap several times this way in the past but I noticed that it requires a little more will and effort to really get up from my bed this time.
writing prompts
I remembered having worked a sweat a couple of hours ago when I weeded out the thickening grasses in the vacant neighbor’s front yard. That probably accounted for the muscle and back aches I’m feeling.

After pushing the water closet’s flush button I proceeded to turn on the lavatory faucet to wash my hands and that’s when I almost jumped with a start. Any remaining drowsiness I previously felt went poof in an instant.

I felt like being in one of those horror movies as I stared at the strange much much older face in the mirror who stared back at me with the same surprised and horrified look.

Am I presently in a nightmare? Have I taken a nap too soon after the workout I did earlier that my body is reacting rather strangely by giving me this weird dreams?

Convinced that it’s just a dream, I felt some sort of eerie elation as I thought about finally being able to experience lucid dreaming.

I hurried outside and immediately decided to enjoy the much hyped joys of conscious dreaming. Like flying a la superman. I willed myself to be attired in Superman clothing – the kind of material and design used in the latest Man of Steel movie. And of course I have to blow up my pecs a bit to make my look more credible.

Oops, what’s wrong? Why is it not working? Why am I still looking down at very elderly wrinkled hands and loose clothing usually worn by old folks? And the painful joints and pains in almost every part of my body — what is happening?

I tried to think of other ways of checking whether I’m dreaming or not? Pinching! So, I pinched the fleshy part between my wrist and elbow.

Ouch! That hurts! And it wasn’t even a really strong pinch.

I’m not dreaming then? I hurriedly ambled back to the bathroom mirror to check again. Nothing’s changed. There’s still that old guy. On closer inspection, I recognized that he’s actually me. But why is he so old? I know I’m presently forty-something. What’s with the 80-something guy in the mirror?

I thought of the other people in the house. Oh, just my luck! I remembered they had gone to the mall to buy some school supplies.

Confusion and the scary feeling of being hopelessly lost threatened to overwhelm me. This just can’t be. If this isn’t a dream, I can think of only two other possible explanation for this. Either I’m a victim of some evil spell, or I have lost my mind. Whatever the case, I can only see myself facing hopelessness and an inability to find a way out of this quandary. If I haven’t lost my mind yet, I’m sure I will within the next few minutes if this goes on any further.

Oh my God, even thinking about it and writing it down makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

I had to blink twice and get myself out of the trance to stop the thread in my head. Whew! I think this ‘writing prompts’ technique may work according to the intentions of their originators.

I just happened to stumble today upon this writing prompt generator page and got this first prompt:

[note]”You awake from a nap only to discover you are 80 years old. Describe what happens next.”[/note]

I had earlier plotted to stretch this into a dream within a dream instance. But I soon realized that singers and storytellers probably share a common trait. That they both emote and thus feel the emotions of the characters in the song/story.

I almost got to the point of being overwhelmed and thus had to cut the story short. And I’m not even that good a writer.

Writing prompts, they say, are great tools to overcome what they call writers’ block. I also think it’s one cool tool to practice one’s writing skills and thus improve in this area. Aside from the site I mentioned earlier, there are other sites that offer this tool for writers and would-be writers.

Click here for Writing Prompts Resources.

I also searched for an iPhone app for this and found 17, of which only 3 are free. Of the 3 free apps, 2 are probably cool enough for this exercise.

Flash Fiction Prompter – is a free iPhone app that can provide random plots for a short story. It even suggests the characters as well as the setting for the story. Perfect especially if you want to improve your imagination and story writing skills.

The other app is called WordDot, a random name and phrase generator. The phrase actually consists of two random words which are most often unrelated.

What do you think of writing prompts?

Body Language Confidence: Fake It Till You Become It

From ‘Fake it till you make it’ to ‘Fake It Till You Become It’

Do you know that you can begin changing your future in as little as 2 minutes each day or 2 minutes each time you feel the need for a positive change?

It’s all about posture. But before you shrug off and call this as another one of those self-help suggestions that never work, listen up and know that this is not another sensible-looking theory that has yet to be proven. The author, Prof. Amy Cuddy, is a living testament and evidence of its efficacy.

Amy Cuddy, as a young woman, suffered a severe head injury due to a car accident which left her with a much lowered IQ and lesser body flexibility. As expected, the people around her immediately concluded that she’d never amount to anything after that.

[tip]If I remember right, someone called Albert Einstein was also ‘sentenced’ the same way during his childhood. And like Einstein, Amy Cuddy proved them all wrong. [/tip]

She’s now a professor and research scientist at the Harvard Business School. She dissects people’s non-verbal behavior and snap judgments from the classroom to the boardroom. Original post: http://moralde.com/fake-it-till-you-become-it/

Body Language Power

fake it become it power poseIn terms of confidence, body language is one dependable gauge to measure it on a person. A person who is in total control and is sure of himself transmits body language confidence with ease and without even knowing it. Of this, I’m sure we all agree. I’ve seen far too many real life instances where people, specially leaders, are ablaze with this body language of power as to have doubts about this concept.

Thing is, we forget that body language is not only something we see in other people. It is also seen by our own selves with regard to our own body language. Our ‘inner’ selves also judge us based on how we ourselves express body language.

Cuddy speaks about how she felt like she doesn’t belong anywhere. At school and at her workplace early on, she felt so small and so out of place. It was one of her teachers who convinced her that she does belong. That, feeling so low and out as she was, she should go out there and face everything with a confident face and body. That being not confident, there’s no other way but to fake it like hell.

Long story short, she finally got to where she is now having made ‘fake it till you make it’ as one of her initial stepping stones. She also helped a lot of others make it by paying it forward.

She then looked back and dedicated her life to studying in depth what makes ‘fake it till you make it’ tick. She started asking questions like:

Do our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves?
Do our bodies change our minds?

She of course eventually proved that while it’s true that our minds dictate what our bodies do, it is likewise true that our bodies can shape the mind.

Scientific proof of her work is not limited to observations of human behaviour but, most importantly, quantified by measurable levels of testosterone and cortisol. Testosterone is related to power, and cortisol to stress.

She reports that ‘power posing’ does raise testosterone levels and lowers cortisol levels.

And the great thing about it is that she found that 2 minutes is enough to raise testosterone and lower cortisol levels to a usable and affective level. Thus, prior to an interview, you can get inside a comfort room cubicle and do some power poses for at least 2 minutes.

[note] “Tiny tweaks to your body configuration can lead to big changes” [/note]

Cuddy adds that usually, it’s how the message is expressed or delivered that makes it happen rather than the message itself.

So what are some of these Power Poses?

[note]The spread out arms: Studies revealed that even born-blind folks who have never seen how people react when they feel powerful (e.g. winning at games, elections, being promoted) automatically spread their arms the same way our champions spread theirs in the finish line.[/note]

fake it become it power pose-2

fake-it-become-it-power-pose-1

fake-it-become-it-power-pose-3

Note: All images above were taken from Amy Cuddy’s talk-video on ted.com featured below.

On the other side of the fence are the powerless poses. Just about any pose where you contract your body as if you want to take as little space as you can.

Research Data

fake it till you make it research

Note: The above data were based on observations of 2-minute sessions of power posing and powerless/withdrawn/dejected posing. If 2 minutes can affect one’s behaviour and esteem that much, imagine the outcome if we stretch it out to say, 5 minutes, or more. And on a regular basis e.g. everyday. I’m sure that high levels of testosterone and minimized cortisol is not limited to effectively making you look good during job interviews only. Where else can we use more testosterone and less stress? I’m sure you have ideas.

[warning] Don’t just fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.[/warning]

Here’s one additional interesting video about body language, this time, particularly focusing on the ones used by the opposite sexes in a bar or a party.

My Latest Favorite Blogs for 2013

The year 2013 brought me some fresh motivation to revive my blogging activities. Maybe I just am at a point where my blogging enthusiasm is beginning to slope up again as it rises up in its sine wave digi-rhythm. If you have an idea about bio-rhythm, you’d know what I mean. Or, it probably just meant I have recovered from the disappointment brought by the Farmer, Panda and Penguin algorithm changes that meshed up the whole web this past couple of years. Now, I am on a quest to start anew, to learn the ropes as if I’ve never held it in the palm of my hands before and to either learn to befriend Google by playing by their rules, or to completely do away with them and just blog for the fun and heck of it.

This past few weeks brought me some fresh sources of inspiration and awe. Although these sites are not necessarily new, I just stumbled upon them lately and they stuck with me, and I’m finding it hard to call a day complete without dropping by these sites. I’m enumerating them hereunder in no particular order.

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Blogging With Amy is giving me the heads up on better self organization and time management, sticking with new year’s resolutions and recognizing some guidelines to living life better. I like her videos of herself expressing her ideas in a natural, honest and down-to-earth manner. She’s a writer and her ebooks are available in Amazon although she sometimes offers her work ebooks for free at certain times.

One of the tips that I physically took action with is printing out a phrase that says: “Is what I’m doing right now getting me closer to my goal?
” and pasting it on my desk so that it is always in view all the time.

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growmap.com is a website that delves on every online technique to help your business prosper. One of its recent posts featured how to maximize the use of facebook timeline to promote your business. Though I don’t necessarily have some big business to promote, I did get some nuggets from that post one; of which is a clever manipulation of the facebook cover image in relation to the smaller profile image. I’ve got to try that one very soon.

I’m particularly anticipating the next posts in growmap about best blogging and social media practices.

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basicblogtips.com. This is Ileane’s blog where she shares all she knows about blogging and social media optimization. Here, I get to re-educate myself, after getting very disappointed with the fall of SEO as I knew it. It’s the blog that I get back to when I feel that what I’m doing is not exactly working right.

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The four hour work week blog of Tim Ferris, the cool fourhourworkweek.com/blog. Who doesn’t know Tim Ferris. Ever since I’ve read some of his work about the four hour workweek, I was hooked. And who doesn’t want to live the kind of life he’s living. Who doesn’t want to become of the ‘new rich’?

The above mentioned websites are, to me, some of the best sites I’ve just discovered at the dawn of 2013. Made me wonder really how on earth did I miss these blogs before.

Of course, I still love to come back to and converse with some blogs that I’ve grown attached to since the beginning of my blogging days, one of them being Peter’s wassupblog. Wassupblog has gotten better and better with time. I especially like the sense of humor that he injects into all of his posts, be he sharing a funny joke or seriously promoting a plugin that actually beats [wpPopWizard item_id=kswppw_in1ine clickthru=http://wassupblog.com/the-latest-technique-to-beat-add-blindness/ newwindow=yes inltext=”<p>A Way to Beat Ad Blindness</p>” ]ad blindness[/wpPopWizard].

As I continue to awaken myself from my blogging siesta, and while I’m exploring new sources of information and connections, I also am looking back and rediscovering the blogs that served to help me during the beginning of my blogging venture.

Thus, I’ll be updating this post every now and then as I plod ahead towards a better 2013.

Screen fades, and credits begin rolling…

Chords and Lyrics: Look How High We Can Fly

Intro:
      D A Bm
            Bm7 Bm7 Dsus2 Bm Dsus2 Bm

look how high we can fly lyrics chords

           G A
And now I’m rising up
      F#m G
No coming down
Em       F#m G
So hang on for the ride

                D
Look how high we can fly
                A
Look how high we can fly
           Bm
We can see everything
           G
From up here in the sky
           F#m
We’ve got the perfect view
           G
Together me and you
      D
Look how high we can fly

D Bm
Words come so easily
D Bm
Hard to believe it’s me
D Bm             D Bm
With every breath the feeling grows
D Bm
Take time to make time stop
D Bm
Unplug, turn off the clock
D Bm             D Bm
The less you try the more it flows

           G A
I keep on rising up
      F#m G
No coming down
      Em F#m G
So hang on for the ride

                D
Look how high we can fly
                A
Look how high we can fly
           Bm
We can see everything
                G
From up here in the sky
                F#m
We’ve got the perfect view
           G
Together me and you
           D
Look how high we can fly

Oh yeah
A             Bm G D
I don’t need to live in a fancy castle (oh no)

            A
That isn’t where I should be
A             Bm G
Open up my heart and where it leads I’ll follow
Em             A
Up high where I can be free

                                D
Look how high we can fly
                                A
Look how high we can fly
                                Bm
We can see everything
                                G
From up here in the sky

                                D
Look how high we can fly
                                A
Look how high we can fly
                                Bm
We can surf on the wind
                                G
So completely alive
                                F#m
There’s nothing we can’t do
                                G
Together me and you
                                F#m
Look how high we can fly

                                G
Look how high we can fly
                                F#m
Look how high we can fly
                                G
Look how high we can fly
                                D
Look how high we can fly

My 7-year old princess has been asking for quite some time to find the chords to her favorite song ‘Look how high we can fly‘ so I can play along with her as she sings it.

So I searched for it online and found that no one has yet published the chords to this song. So, as I don’t want to disappoint my daughter, I got my guitar and some chord charts and began finding the chords based on the youtube video above. Of course, the exact key is probably different as youtube wouldn’t allow anyone posting a video of anybody’s song in the same exact key.

Thus, the chords may not be exactly right. In fact, I used a capo on the first fret to make the chords simple.

And I had to post it here so that I don’t have to keep carrying a hard copy with me all the time. Who knows, we might find ourselves in her school playing this song. All I need to do then is to open it using my cellphone or some iPad as I am not very good (actually, very lazy) at memorizing song chords.

Fun Viewing Things in Reverse


With nothing to do, I got myself lost in youtube fully expecting to again lose all sense of time and and get some backache due to poor posture.

This time however, my fingers didn’t automatically type ‘funny videos’ or ‘just for laughs’. For whatever reason, I typed ‘reverse’ and got to pick some of these interesting videos of things and people being shown in reverse. Interesting way to look at things, actually.

Bubbles in reverse.

Below is another video shown in reverse. However, these collection of videos were seemingly made with the purpose of reverse presentation as their goal. Still, very interesting viewing.

And here’s one more.

There are more videos done in this manner in youtube and other video sites. Of course, like all other things, you only get to watch so many before you finally get bored.

Good day folks!