Monday, December 8, 2008

I've Been Plagiarized!

Yes, I've been plagiarized!

I went and googled my article one day (yeah, yeah, for narcissistic reasons) and used a sentence in my article as keywords. The google search displayed an article, my article: the Kotong article. The strange thing about it was that the article wasn't under my blog’s name. It was under somebody else's blog. Somebody with just the right level of IQ to be able to create a blog but not enough to write his or her own entry copied my ‘kotong’ article.

I don't know how to feel.

I'm no Norman Mailer, I know, and my articles aren't really Pulitzer Prize contenders, but it's not right that somebody with an IQ of a malnourished toad copy an article of mine and pass it off as his or her own. There wasn't any acknowledgment of some sorts. Not a drop of acknowledgment whatsoever. Not even "I plagiarized this from 'OurLeftFoot' and I have the IQ of a malnourished toad" or "I stole this article, somebody set me on fire."

If plagiarism is the highest form of flattery, then stabbing should be the highest display of gratitude.

Okay. Now, I feel flattered. Who should I thank?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lies We Like Part One

If you're running for anything and you say you're pro-poor,
chances are you're full of horse manure.

The term "pro-poor" has been bandied around so much for the past few decades that it has completely lost its meaning. Its definition fell off simply because of excessive overuse. Does that refer to families earning P300 or less per month? P3,000? P30,000? The word has become a pendant: something you wear on your neck to add to your character. A bling-bling for political hip-hoppers.

What it has retained is its drama, that's all. But in a nation filled with rabid soap opera-loving voters, people still believe that pro-poor is a proper word. Those who use it don't even take it seriously.

So, the question is: When somebody uses the term pro-poor, is he referring to you or to nobody in particular?

Monday, December 1, 2008

My House is Now Wi-Fi Enabled

Yes, folks, I just bought a router. Not just any router, mind you, a Wireless Router. (Insert thunderbolt and lightning here) Now, that doesn’t seem to be something to be crazy about, you would say. That's because you don't know me and my computer skills. Although I’m not much of a computer or an internet expert, I do know a few elementary things about this technology. I take time to read what pops up on my screen, which is a good habit, and I understand simple instructions when repeated several times. Me no Einstein, Tarzan, BUT I single-handedly installed my Wireless Router! (Thunderbolt and lightning)

I connected everything to the router. I looked at the manual and the diagram on the manual several times, and a few times more. Thank God for diagrams. After hooking everything up, I checked to see if my desktop has internet connection. Yes, it does. Now, that wasn’t so hard, you say. That doesn’t really merit the thunderbolt and lightning bit earlier. But I’m not done yet. My wife uses the laptop with Wi-Fi capability. Her laptop has Vista. I went over to her laptop and checked. Of course, it does not have internet connection. Why should everything be easy? Where is the fun in that?

I am able to surf the net, so that means the router is working. My desktop is hardwired to the router and it is working fine. So, I went back to the manual, stared at it some more, stared at the diagrams and drawings again and again. And a few more times again. It said I had to go to the Graphic User Interface or GUI of the router. I bet I’m starting to impress you, huh? I used my internet browser to reach the GUI and I set up the wireless configuration of the router. It turned out that while the router is already working, it was not broadcasting wireless internet signal yet. After doing all those techie and intelligent stuff on the wireless router’s GUI, grunting every now and then to add to the seriousness of my task, I went over to my wife’s Vista laptop again. (Okay, I can’t remember what I did so I can’t write them down here) No internet connection on my wife’s laptop still. And then I remembered somebody giving me a very high-tech advice: Restarting Vista usually fixes internet connection issues. I did that. And then (yes, thunderbolt and lightning), nothing. A very large nothing. Same thing. No internet connection. I fiddled with the network and connection settings of the laptop...again. (I must have blacked out while doing it, so I’m not able to tell you the steps I did) Fiddled, fiddled, fiddled and fiddled some more. Drank coffee to look really, really busy and then fiddled some more. Then I decided to snoop around the laptop. Snoop, snoop, snoop. And there it was, the actual switch for the Wi-Fi capability of the laptop. I flicked the switch, and then (I inserted this useless sentence to really create suspense, blah, blah, blah) the laptop recognized the wireless signal coming from the router. (Yes, yes, thunderbolt and what-not right here) My desktop and my wife’s laptop can now surf the net at the same time. We no longer have to whine on the side to be able to go online. Friendster, here we come! Are people still using Friendster?

Well, thanks to my computer skills and finely honed tsamba, my house is now Wi-Fi enabled.

Starbucks, eat your heart out.

Oh, my Wi-Fi broadcast is password-encrypted, so if you wanna go online for free, go find a Starbucks or a Burger King.

Monday, November 24, 2008

What’s Wrong with Kotong?

Yes, indeed, what’s wrong with kotong?

I hear it every now and again: people dislike kotong or mulcting. They don’t like it when policemen or the blue and pink boys of MMDA take their hard-earned money in exchange for leniency. A wrong turn on a one-way street here, a swerving violation over there, driving a vehicle that’s supposed to be resting in the garage (if you have a garage) because it’s Wednesday and your car plate ends in 6. Everybody hates kotong, but when a policeman or an MMDA person stops you on the street, your first impulse would be to reach for your wallet (or purse if you’re a girl) and take out that hard-earned 200 pesos (depending on the particular policeman or MMDA brat).

But then again, what’s wrong with kotong?

People want a better EDSA, we want better roads and road officers. But when one gets stopped by road officers, they expect these officers to take their bribes. They don’t want to meet an honest road officer when caught. In other words, we need honest road officers when we’re not on the road. I’ve heard tsupers complain about kotong cops and MMDA officers and then lament about a cop that took away his license because that particular cop was an honest one. We need to understand what we’re wishing for. Wishing for honest road officers means that when you get caught, you will be given the just penalty according to the gravity of your offense. Let’s expect honest road officers. Moreover, do not give these road officers the chance to go corrupt on you. Stay away from traffic violations and kotong moments will be a thing of the past.

There are a million and one things wrong with kotong, with kotong cops and kotong MMDA officers, but there is something very wrong also with corrupt motorists.

Now, there are road officers who will gladly pull out phony, hairy violations from their hats, but that’s another story.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Our Foot

Our left foot is as important as our right foot.