First Day High (from information overload)

After eight long hours of gaping at training materials, wanting to absorb everything but finding the incapacity to do so, I think my head is on the verge of combustion. Okay, exaggerated, but close enough. Believe it or not, I actually learned so much today, stuff that I should have known months ago, considering that I am a blogger. But because I am a bright young woman, I have set these information apart and labeled them as "useless". I saw no need to learn them before.

Who would have known I'll find out what CPC, CPT and CTR means (and actually understand what are they for) today? Last time I checked, CTR stands for Crash Team Racing, a super fun game I played years ago when I was in high school on our trusty Playstation 1. So now I feel stupid (come to think of it, I always feel stupid), and the amount of information that was jammed in my brain the last eight hours is making my head hurt. I just know I am on the brink of information overload. Next my daughter will be singing (to the tune of Eminem's rap), "I think my mom's gone craa-zeee!" Anyway, before I go completely mad, I would just like to post here the fruits of my weekend labor:

Sara Pehpot Dominique

There were, naturally, revisions that had to be done. It is now official that I should be getting glasses. I can't distinguish what is readable and what is not. For me, all of them are not-so-readable anymore. Hee hee. Anyway, my sister also requested that I do her buttons, and a signature, too. She's too demanding. :-P


The image is not as polished as I would like it to be, however, that's a rushed job, so. So whaddaya think? Good? Bad? Could be better? That's it for now. I'm gonna go get some sleep.

I Got Me a 40-Hour A Week Job

You must all think I am crazy now. What with all that I have been going through these past few days, I had the gall to get myself an 8 hour a day job?!? Please. Hear me out. I am sure my reasons will make sense after my explanation. Firstly, when Paulie first learned that I was sick, he got worried and asked me if I was gonna be okay continuing without him to help around. Of course I knew I can't continue with our present setup any longer, so we agreed that he would be going home next week or the week after that. So there's one good news for me.

About the job, I thought that instead of me having no boundaries as to what time I'll finish with my freelancing work and exhausting myself in the process, why don't I get a job which tells me to stop? I know being a workaholic is the main reason why I am in my state of health right now, and freelancing just worsened it. So this opportunity came up (thanks to my sister), it's web content writing stuff, so I'll still be writing and my Canadian boss tells me that 40 hours a week is all he's asking for. So my plan right now is to drop all my other internet activities which eat up all the time that I should have spent sleeping or resting, and focus on working JUST eight hours a day, five days a week.

I actually computed and was shocked to find out that I work in front of the computer 12 hours a day, sleep six hours and spend the other six cleaning the house and taking care of Svet. With the new schedule, it leaves me 3 hours to rest, rest which I direly need. So it's a good plan, yeah? Told you you'd see the wisdom of my decision. :-p

I'm Sorry...

If I haven't visited your blogs in a while. I'm sorry if I haven't been able to update this blog for how many days now. I'm sorry if I promised to do your buttons by Sunday and I don't know if I can finish it by then. I am in the middle of a very scary episode in my life, something that hit me seven years ago and I am afraid it has come back. What am I talking about?

It was my first year at the University of the East when TB ailment hit me. That was the year when I first started traveling on a long distance just to go to school so I was constantly tired then, which is why the TB infection easily got into my system. Those were the longest six months of my life. It was the first time that I had a serious health problem, and I felt so much love from my family while I was going through that phase. Luckily, I was treated before the disease got worse. It did not enter my mind until now that I have dormant TB infection that is just waiting for my immune system to weaken before it attacks again.

I think most of you know that Paul has not been here for almost three months now, and in the span of time that he wasn't here, I am everyday struggling with the responsibilities of taking care of Svet while working while housekeeping at the same time. Since we have no house help, this constant whirlwind of activity has taken its toll and for the last three days, I have been having fevers during the afternoon and I have lost weight already. I am still monitoring if this will continue for the next two days, and off to the doctor I'll go so he could check if my hunch is true.

Although it is not confirmed yet, I am now fearing for my child's safety. I pray so hard every night, I hope I am wrong. I don't want her to be suffering the same disease in such a young age. My heart is in constant anxiousness of what tomorrow or the day after that will bring. Please, this is the first time that I am going to ask this from you. Please pray for me.


Y! Mail or Gmail? That Is The Question.

With today's main vehicle of sending letters being electronic mail (e-mail), dozens of web-based e-mail programs have been sprouting left and right to vie for Internet users' attention. Each boasts of features which are not present in the others, and frankly, choosing among all of them has been difficult in the earlier years. As time passed and improvements were introduced, most of us became more comfortable in either one or two of these e-mail programs. Two of the web-based e-mail services which surfaced as being most utilized by individuals are Google's Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, both of which are free services (although Yahoo! Mail also offers a paid version in the form of Yahoo! Mail Plus).

There are good and bad points about Gmail and Yahoo! Mail, and this article's content stems from experience of shuttling back and forth the two applications depending on my need at the time I am sending an e-mail. The points of comparison that I would use would be general speed, storage space, attachment size and speed, spam management, user interface, mail forwarding feature and signature management, all of which are the most important facets of an e-mail service in my opinion.

First we start with general speed. I am on broadband connection which gives off a measly 512KB connection, so speed of loading is very important to me. Gmail, with its simpler interface, loads faster in my years of experience in using it. It used to be at par with Yahoo! Mail's speed when the latter was still in classic, but when they switched to the all new interface, it loaded a tad slower (and I blame the tons of page advertisements for that). Next is the storage space. Yahoo! Mail wins in this round, with unlimited storage allotted for each service user, as compared to Gmail, which offers only around 7287 MB at the time of writing (but the Gmail page says that it's increasing free storage by the minute).

Then there's attachment size and speed. Maximum size for Gmail attachment is 20MB for a single e-mail, while Yahoo! Mail offers only half of that. You can have 20MB with Yahoo! Mail, too, but you have to pay the fee of $19.99 (payment for Yahoo! Mail plus upgrade) in order to avail of that. Speed of attachment favors Gmail, as well, as it takes me twice the time to attach a file of the same size in Yahoo! Mail. Spam management has always been a weak side of Yahoo! Mail, as users have been known to complain of the tons of spam that manages to make their way through the Yahoo! Mail inbox even though the spam guard is on.

As for the user interface, I highly appreciate Yahoo! Mail's ability to drag and drop e-mails, work with multiple files, work in multiple tabs and other neat capabilities, features I seriously wish Gmail would have. Physical appearance-wise, Google added themes to their e-mail service a while back, and it did add color to the otherwise boring old interface, and is unique in terms of design, as compared to the colors only options available at Yahoo! Mail. However, Yahoo! Mail offers users several eye candy alternatives in place of the default white stationery that most web-based e-mail services like Gmail. So it spices up and adds a personal touch to users' sent e-mails. Mail forwarding is a feature only available for upgraded Yahoo! Mail users, but Gmail offers it for free, so that's a plus. This option is important for me because I need not open all my Gmail accounts to check incoming mails because I can simply set it to be sent to a single Gmail account with a few settings adjustments. I can even choose for my Gmail messages to arrive at one of my Yahoo! Mail accounts.

Now I know most users make use of a signature which can be found at the end of an e-mail. Yahoo has an easily editable option for affixing one's signature to every outgoing e-mail, although I must point out that the classic version of Yahoo! Mail is way easier to use than the new one. In fact, when I want to modify my signature, I switch back to the old version to fix it and then just go back to the new Yahoo! Mail when I'm done. Gmail, in this aspect, has no option for editing signatures. It is just recently that I found this nifty Firefox extension here (Blank Canvas Gmail Signature) which allowed me to do that.

So which is better? Yahoo! Mail or Google's Gmail? As already mentioned, there are pros and cons to each service, and since both are offered free, why not make use of the two so you can get the most out of each program? Use one or the other depending on your need at the moment. It will be a sweet day when either Yahoo! Mail or Gmail is finally able to incorporate all the features that users are looking for in their respective services. But I am not holding my breath for that day to come. Right now, let's just enjoy what each service has to offer for free.

Admit it. This is a useful post. *grins* And in case you're wondering why I'm acting all weird and what the hell was that post for, well, let me tell you. I wrote that for Helium. For which, they promptly decided to just shut all Filipinos off their site because of some optimal experience shit. Hell, I don't want no optimal experience. I just want my articles to have goddamn earnings every time it is viewed. Okay, I may not be the best writer in the site, but good enough not to get laughed at. I had a Creative Writing Bronze from you guys. *sniff* Could have gone gold if only you let me stay. But you didn't. So. Moving on.

My Affair with PS and Button Giveaway Update

Pleased. That's exactly how I felt when I saw the result of almost two hours work. Yeah. Slow. I was lost three fourths of that time on where to find what in order to come up with what I had in mind. Here's my siggy for WAHMaholic that I have been tinkering with today.

Is that cute or what? *beams* I am loving my affair with Photoshop. BTW, I babbled on this post that I was going to give away three 125x125 buttons. Many times, I was on the verge of picking the first four (yes, four) who commented on said post and make them their free buttons already , but I thought I'd give it some more time. It's Monday today, right? Here's what I'll do. I am going to choose the winners on Sunday and post the same day who was picked. The Sunday after that, I hope to post the finished work here and at my other site. Hey, what do you think? Should the prizes have free signatures together with the 125x125 buttons? Lemme know.

Two Awards! Yipee Yay!

Everyday is a pleasant experience here in the blogosphere. You find new friends, meet interesting personalities, see a lot of good blog designs, find inspiration in meaningful posts, waste your time on junk blogs, waste even more time on the really good ones, forget to do your dishes, or your laundry, or the fact that you have something cooking in the kitchen that needs a little human intervention. Yep. Fun as fun can get.

On with the two awards. One is from pehpot, who seems to be in a manic posting phase right now. It's called the Uber Amazing Blog Award. I love that word. Uber. I can say it all day. I'm even repeating it right now,as I type this post. Uber. Uber. Uber. Doubly love it now because I am labeled as an Uber Blog. It's like I'm Blog Superwoman or something. Just a little backgrounder:

Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:

~ inspire you

~ make you smile and laugh

~ or maybe give amazing information

~ a great read

~ has an amazing design

~ and any other reason you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

As with all awards, we have this little thing called rules, which we have to follow, albeit not always thoroughly in my case. It's fun to be somewhat of a deviant sometimes, being a friend of pehpot taught me that. Haha. The rules of this award are:

* Copy the badge and put the logo on your blog sidebar or post.

* Nominate at least 5 blogs (can be more) that for you are Uber Amazing!

* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.

* Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

* Come back and comment here so that your link could be added to the master list of awardees.

That's a first. A club for this blog award's recipients. Kewl. I have never been a member of a club outside school, as since graduation, I became a hermit who lives in the mountains and shudders at the sight of real LIVE people. I love this award. Thank you, my spiritual sister, for thinking that my blog is a great read. And I give amazing information, you say? Now THAT. That tells me you love me. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to say that. My blog is so full of junk it looks like the view outside the window (scene from Idiocracy, the movie) when Luke Wilson stared out of it from the "doctor's" office! Hee hee.

Of course I could not keep it for myself alone. The essence of all these awards is to pass it on to fellow bloggers who you think deserve them. I now pass this award on to these following people:

Blogs that inspire me:
Lannel of LittleLizWorld
Ayien of My Sweet Life, Naya
Polly of Angels in my Garden
Gin of E-Pamilya
Melanie of Life in Bellevue

Blogs that make me laugh:
Clarisse of Coffee, Anyone?
Bhoyet of Super Gulaman
Aria of Aria'z Ink
Flor of Filipina Writes
Sterndal of I Love Sterndal
Enday of Kwento ni Enday

Blogs that give amazing info and a great read:
Dominique of From Dominique's Des
Boris of Oh Wheezers
Cookie of Cookie's Corner
Manu of Your Almost Typical Pinoy Yuppie
Katrina of Ketchup Please?
Pin of Pin's Thoughts
Gelene of Honie's Confession

Blogs that have amazing designs:
Rose of PrettyMomDesigns
Juliana of Pinay WAHM
Procne of License to Trespass
Badet of Everything Nice!

The second award (the Friendship Award) came from expectant mommy Sara of the Breathing Post, the same author of The Mommy Experience. You guys should drop by sometimes. Can I use the word "exudes" here? Her blog exudes of heartwarming anecdotes of her journey to being a fulfilled mom, and that's not just lip service, dear Sara. Anyways, here's the mandatory thingamajig that explains what characteristics a blog must have to deserve this award:

These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to those bloggers who must choose at least 5 more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

Uh-hoh. I think I just included every active people on my list with the last award. So I think I'm just gonna give it again to you all on the previous list. There. Two awards for you to post, as well. You honestly think I would have let you people go with a single award? LOL. Anyways, have fun with these awards. I'll be busy staring at my monitor after this, figuring what the hell do I do next.

Svet Took Four Steps Today :)

Yep. A Svetlana milestone. We were eating breakfast today when I got up to get her glass of water and she suddenly got up too (yes, we were eating on the floor). I thought she was just gonna do the usual. Stand up and wait for me to get back to her. But she had other plans today. When I turned around to face her, she took a step. Her VERY first step. She was wobbly, and in fact almost landed flat on her face after that first step, but seeing her took her first step ON HER OWN was enough to make my day.

Encouraged, I let her try again after eating. This time she took two steps, and was able to keep her stance. However, upon seeing that I was near, she immediately did one of her free falling antics. She knew I was there to catch her, so she let herself fall forward. It was hard to make her walk after that, but later in the afternoon, she did it again. This time she took four steps. Then again she saw me, this time behind her, and did a Nestea dive (ya know, the free falling backward dive on the Nestea commercial). Any other day I would playfully scold her for doing that, but I was too happy about her new milestone that I hugged her instead.

I know it's crazy. Being proud and all when every other baby in the world comes to that point in time also. It's not as if she is the only one who has managed to do that. But it's a mom's pride. And you can't argue with a mom being proud about her kid. Last time somebody pointed that out to me as if it was a bad thing, got booted out of LinkReferral. So don't you dare cross me when I am having this "mommy moment". Hee hee. Kidding. Anyway, here's a couple of pictures of her taken lately (wish granted, Pehpot. Hehe). No, not of her walking today. I was too excited to grab the camera when that monumental event in our life was happening.

Sticker on her forehead came from my crazy sister's newly bought slippers.

More stickers where it's not supposed to be.


Looking (more) boyish with the shades. People-watching at Burnham Park.

Wachu lookin' at?

Meet My New Baby

I have been busy with my new baby for the last few days and so far, the only thing I managed to add was a new header which, as far as my biased and sleepy eyes could see, looks good. Tee hee. Of course it's my baby. I should be proud of it. Although the number of views I've gotten from that site was a grand total of tadaaa...! four, I am quite optimistic that in time, you will have no choice but to visit it. I see the headline thingy in this blog didn't do any good. Hee hee. Anyways, please DO check out my new site out if you don't want anything bad happening to you. Psyche. I'm just kidding. I promise to update you more on how I am faring with that, but for now, I have to get me some precious sleep.

Pro Bono Button-O

Want a FREE 125x125 button for your website/blog? I noticed many blogs still do not have buttons, and I am planning to make this a sideline in the near future (once I have practiced enough. tee hee). So in light of that, and in the pursuit of happiness (which to me is seeing many more readers come to my blog), I am giving away THREE personalized website/blog buttons that are 125x125 in size (the standard button size) plus the code so you can easily use it anywhere you like. I wanted to give away five, but I'm afraid I still have tons to do to. So if you like to be my guinea pig for this experiment (hehe), please do:

1. Subscribe to my feed and/or follow me (not around,mind you. Just click the Follow button somewhere in the sidebar).

2. Blog about my site (a minimum of 50 words would do).

3. Leave a comment to this post to let me know you are interested, have fulfilled the two requirements, what button design you have in mind, and your IM so we can talk while I am doing your buttons.

Simple, eh? I looked around and I saw that a button normally costs $5 without the code, $8 with it. Of course, since this is just a try out, maybe it wouldn't sell as much if I were to sell it. Hehe. But anyways, I can always redo those freebies if by any chance you grossly dislike it. There is, after all, a great risk that I may not be as gifted in button making as several friends think I am. Harr. BUT, it's FOR FREE so no risk on your part. Hell, I am thinking the worst case scenarios here. Haha!

Come on, I seriously need willing people. This is like my ultimate test. If the three lucky people I pick will like my work, then chances are I will pursue that as a sideline. The three winners will be posted in a separate entry, and the buttons will also be posted once they are all finished. Will be good for my portfolio, if EVER I get to make it to the real thing. Don't worry. All graphics to be used are either copyright free or purchased. So there. Oh god. Please tell me you're interested. I am THAT desperate.

I Hate My Handwriting Right Now

It went from teacher-like to doctor-like in a span of five years. When I was in school, I was uber industrious when jotting down notes for class and was even the source of notes for most of my classmates who were either always absent or too lazy to take down anything. It came to a point when I had to buy just the notebook refills instead of the whole binder so I can accommodate this demand. Now my hands only know my keyboard. I rarely write anything manually. And if I did, I do it with all the enthusiasm I reserve only for pap smear and rectal examination. Anyways, while I was away from Earth, Tetcha, in her usual sweet self, gave me a Penmanship Tag, whose rules are to:

1. Write down who tagged you.
2. Answer these:
-your name / username / pseudo
-right-handed or left-handed?
-your favorite letters to write?
-your least favorite letters to write?
- Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
3. Tag five persons.

As mentioned, I am tagging pehpot, melanie, bhoyet, aria and ness. I just have to point out that it took a lot of effort just for me to post this tag. I reformatted the hard drive a couple of days ago and I have not yet installed the printer/scanner driver so I had to look for the driver CD which was apparently missing, SO I had to download the driver online, which took me 20 minutes because of the goddamn connection. So you see, it's not just an entry for me. It's two hours worth of waiting and work. LOL. Oh what lengths I go to just to make it up to you people. And seeing that this blog's visits went down while I was gone, I obviously need to go the extra mile. Hee hee.

Speaking of which, I will announce tomorrow (announce. like it was the royal decree of some sort. tee hee.) something that I feel would make this blog buzzing and alive again. I wish. Be back tomorrow :)

Google PageRank, among other things.

A lot of changes happened while I was floating in outer space, one of them being that my Google PageRank (PR) flunked from three to ZERO. Yep. Now my page is unranked. It should be irritating me, I know, with all the effort I've invested in whoring for exchange links and signing up with all the online directories I was able to find that time when I was desperate for even a PR1 and didn't know any better. As it happens, I don't have much energy these days to even bother. Anyway, I was already kind of expecting it to drop ever since I signed up with Text Link Ads (TLA), which I have read a little while back has issues with Google.

Also, and I think this is a big factor in my i-don't-give-a-shit attitude is that TLA was able to bring in more than five times the amount of money that Google Adsense was able to give me in the same period of time. Plus it does not require me to constantly change how my ad units look every damn time I change layouts just so my readers will notice it. You may be thinking, she is crazy, PR is important! Maybe. Especially if you are being paid to blog about products/services. But gone are the days when PR matters highly to advertisers, like PR is the only thing that can save them. It is now a well-known fact that it those days are past. Or maybe I am just sourgraping. You decide.

Here's a surefire sign that Adsense is not working for me. You, ALL of you, didn't even notice that I don't have Adsense units here anymore. I am right. You know I am. I removed it and nobody even noticed. So I know I made the right decision in dumping my loyalty on TLA's lap. TLA, by the way, does not even ask that their ads be clicked. And that's the beauty of the system. You earn money (although not much, but money is MONEY nowadays) without doing anything (except of course sign up and put a teeny weeny code in your site to allow TLA to place ads in there). Go ahead and sign up with TLA. Unless you love your PR so much, which I don't.

Next stop, Helium. I have written fifteen or so articles for them already. I dropped out for a month, I go back, eager to write some more when bam! I tried to log in and was surprised when they did not allow me inside the site anymore. I thought it was a site bug, because I definitely did not do anything that's not in accordance with their freaking site rules, so I emailed Helium support. Here's what they have to say:

Thanks for your ongoing interest in the Helium site. Unfortunately, is not set up to provide an optimal experience for writers from every country. At present, our audience is predominantly US-focused. To prevent frustrations from all writers and to limit staff time spent trying to accommodate, we are not accepting submissions from some locations at this time. Readers from around the world are welcome to enjoy Helium’s articles. In the future, we are hoping to offer different versions of Helium that will attract and best suit all writers. We are currently evaluating the impact this has on a few existing members, and we will settle with them on an individual basis in the coming weeks. Regarding any upcoming sites I have no specific information on that at this time.
Nice. Very... diplomatic. And full of shit. I almost thought we had something good going on, Helium. I honest-to-goodness did. I even have plans laid out, you know. *sighs* Like my PR, once they take it away, you can never get it back. I wonder if those were punishments for the MIA stunt I pulled off. Hmmmm...Nah. I am not that special. It's the same for everyone everywhere, at least in the case of PR. I have not checked if I was the only one booted out of Helium. Share your experience. Please do.

Lastly, this Mturk thing that's been paying almost all the bills lately was also messed up. They used to have a satisfactory reward system. Last time I checked, I am convinced that the Askville administration folks are seriously deranged because they implemented a new reward system like that. I won't go into details. It has been discussed (and I have read it) in the Turker Nation forum a lot of times already that I even dream about it some nights.

Oh boy, oh boy. I'll need new sources of income. And an Advil.


Again, my irritating habit of dropping out without a warning has caused so much confusion in the blogosphere (niahehe) that I think I need to (yet again), explain my sudden drop out in this world for more than a month. Some were worried enough to send me text messages, so they knew that Svet had a fever convulsion late in January and I was so worried sick that I decided to stop working altogether for all the weeks that I have been gone. I wanted to look after her 24/7 and made sure that she was perfectly okay before I begin working again, Paul not being here and all.

Anyways, it seems that she is okay now. She's grown four teeth in the span of time that I was lost in the blog circulation, I wish I could put up a picture here, but alas, she refuses to show her teeth for the camera. I could not really stay long to update more. You can only imagine the tons of stuff that I have to do right now so I can get money rolling inside my bank account again. Unless you'd donate money through Paypal, I really could not stay any longer. Tee hee. Anyways, this is just to let people know that yeah, I AM STILL ALIVE so quit rejoicing and yes, Pehpot, I am still here on earth. *grins*