Treat Time

Just another busy day in the largest mall in the country

Just another busy day in the largest mall in the country

Yesterday got me and the family at SM North the whole day. It was when I woke up that my wife told me of the plan to spend the day there. We geared up and after spending nearly 2 hours in the busy traffic along the way, we got there.

And it was really busy there yesterday.

I was supposed to find a mouse to replace the one I’m using for nearly a couple of years now. And maybe a little something for myself as I bid the twenty-something years good riddance.

Instead I didn’t get anything for myself. They did however.

For Her – I

For my wife it was a new Samsung S3500. It was no beast like the U900 it was often compared to (and to which it shared a lot of comparisons) but compared to my recently fixed U600, there are some things review material really.

The Samsung S3500

The Samsung S3500

Here are some impressions so far without turning this into a full blown review.

The S3500 scores against the U600 with long battery life. My phone lasts barely for 2 days when I use its music player on my way to work. All the music tests we did on hers just manage to dent about a third of the phone’s entire battery life.

Camera features favor the U600 mostly with its 3.1MP with flash. The S3500 however has a 2.0MP without the flash to show. To the latter’s credit however, it takes pictures faster with the former having the annoying 5-second wait time before the picture is actually taken.

The S3500 is also more customizable with the presence of more themes and profiles. I would also give it a slight edge on the quality of sound over the U600. However I’d give the U600 an advantage on the fluidity and quality of display. The S3500 doesn’t have the document viewer for pdf, doc and xls files the U600 affords me though.

Both have a lot of similar functions. Both are expandable and have essentially similar phone book, bluetooth, organizer, alarms, calculator, file viewer and other functionalities.

The cost is where the S3500 pleads its case convincingly. Its cost is less than twice the amount of the U600 I got nearly two years ago. This gives an idea of the rate at which rabid competition in mobile technology lowers down technology costs in favor of the consumer.

For Her – II

The Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS

Her long overdue Nintendo DS… something we’ve been longing to give her but somehow didn’t manage to find the time to do so. Not even after her birthday on the 3rd of this month due to a lot of typhoon-related concerns still around then.

It was nice to see her appreciate her new article. She’s been going at it while having dinner last night.

She’s still going as I write this beside her. I guess it’s going to be a while before the next lengthy father-and-daughter conversation takes place.

For Me

Just a splendid time, a much welcome reprieve from what has happened since Typhoon Ondoy struck really.

I got nothing for myself. I guess it’s really part of getting old (and wiser) to appreciate those times becoming rarer and rarer over those stuff you get for your day which often end up room clutter after a while.

Time to Unlearn

I don’t recall now but I remember someone pointing out that a lot of the things learned in life later are just really about unlearning things taught to one earlier. While the vein of truth was evident there, it was just earlier when my wife and I were taking a look at the contents of my daughter’s Math book for the incoming school year did the impact of the truism there strike me.

When I was in college I remember a written communications mention how she found it hard to interact with high school teachers given their fondness of what she referred to as common errors. From time to time she made it a point to correct every error we had both written and spoken. Maybe it was her way of promulgating correctness the way she deemed apt.

Back then I didn’t care really because I was there only for the credits. With the following though, I think I now got to understand more what she had already realized then.

Preposition or Conjunction?

If you add 1 to 19, the result is an even number. (Yes/No)

I might be the only one to notice but adding 1 to 19 is not the same as adding 1 and 19. It might be plausible that the latter is school kid material but I’d have a hard time believing n(n+1)/2 has just been rendered grade 1 stuff already in my lifetime that fast.

Theories

If you put together two even numbers, the answer is also an even number. (Yes/No)

Unless they actually expect grade 1 pupils to prove that assertion from a given definition, (which should require at least basic knowledge in algebra,) I see no point in asking this theoretical question here. Sure the kid could get away with thinking of two even numbers, say 0 and 2, and adding them to check whether the statement holds.  In the example given it expectedly turns out true. It in fact comes out true for any two even numbers for the particular question.

I find an issue however with how this inculcates and effectively encourages a common mistake among students: proof by example. I have seen for a fact how even a lot of graduates resort to such kind of reasoning. It doesn’t mean it’s right however.

First there’s no actually such thing, (maybe they had proof by counterexample in mind, I don’t know.) Second and more to the point as my Math professor in college told someone when asked why the student’s proof for a proving question in an exam was wrong. Upon knowing that an example was presented he quickly pointed out and emphasized in class that:

An example is not a proof. What may be true for some members of a given domain may not be true for its other members.

Well at least that’s how I remember how he worded the point. At least for me, it would be best not to let kids start off with something they will have to eventually unlearn in the future. After all it shouldn’t be long before they would eventually encounter ambiguity in pushing for such mindset when they resolve a claim that all prime numbers are odd.

What if someone gets to think of 2?

Basketball and a Busy Day

By now any NBA fan should have known the outcome of the classic game between the Spurs and the Suns. Sure the Spurs won but only after a 2 OT’s featuring a game-tying 3 by Finley to force the first extension and another 3 in the first OT by Duncan. (Yup, no typo’s there alright.) The second OT had Nash and Ginobili taking over for both teams and when the smoke cleared, the Spurs came out with the W.

Now I won’t go out here to try and analyze anything about the game. When the match was forged on the last day of the regular season, basketball fans knew the match-up would be something to watch out for. Judging from how the first game was hard-fought, you get that feeling that the next games were only going to get better. And hard-fought there could easily qualify as an understatement when you see how much emotions and pride were on the line with the way neither choosing to roll over and wait for the next game for a win.

Far more importantly, at least from a fan of the sport who have had to spend more time at work these days, the playoffs comes as a very important source of relief from the stress and craziness my line of work throws at me. Anything for a quality game and a lot of things for a classic game.

It also takes away the attention from the boring MVP debates. Frankly, I don’t even care who wins it because as far as I’m concerned the only thing that matters is which team wins the championship. (I believe that’s more so for the players.) Excellent individual pieces might be there but without the ring, individual awards would seem like consolation prices. Blame it on media hype and the explosion of the internet to bring the cacophony of the sport around the world in real time.

If even the most trivial things get to be published in websites in record time compared to how it reached fans before, then expect sports writers pitch in views regarding the MVP award. It would seem a good topic for a good season that featured several candidates who excel in the sport given their respective situations. It gets boring however when it seemed like it was the only topic worth talking about for what felt like months.

Imagine my surprise then, when Neal Pollack decided to put everything I exactly feel about how sick I was with all the hype that was the MVP race. If you’re anything like me in this respect though, the 2-page read is a lot more than your while.

To cap off this entry anyway, here’s an interestingly sensible and worthwhile entry from basketball great, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as he talks about the subtle messages cartoons these days convey to children. As a father of a little girl myself, I have a pretty good understanding of where he’s coming at.

Growing Up Anyone?

Just a second serving of “You Know Your Kid’s a Lot Like You When…” really or what parenting had in store for me two years after that post. 😀

Fatherhood’s not only about providing necessities and goodies to children. An even more important responsibility not of fathers alone but of parents in general is to prepare the little ones for the future’s uncertainty, life’s hardships and the world that’s becoming more and more complex with time. So in lieu of my daughter’s coming birthday in a week, I stopped and took a look at some recent incidents with her.

Who knows? Maybe a few decades from now she would be reading this without the “I’ve-heard-that-for-the-nth-time” irks typical of a younger generation shunning off the voice of the older generation. Apart from imparting nostalgia and a few smiles and reliefs, maybe she would find some things here worth keeping in mind when the time comes for her to start with her own version of parenting.

Beinte!

Sometime last month, my daughter started asking me for twenty pesos eveytime I came home from work. She reasoned out that since her birthday was coming in roughly a couple of months, she needed to save for her birthday cake.

While I can pay for the cake on the spot come that day, I saw that request as an opportunity to get her started on something important: financial know-how. It was perfect because apart from ascribing to that “important-things-should-begin-at-home” philosophy and imparting the value of saving, I get to be the first one to guide her in her first course on finance.

So up until now, one thing I look forward to after work is to get home from work and have the little girl come up to me and say “beinte” (“twenty” in Spanish and Filipino.)

Hoy Bangon!

When the exam results from the first grading period came, all of us grown-ups were surprised that one of her mistakes was on the subject of addressing older ones politely in her Filipino subject. In particular, that portion of the test asked the student to choose which of two statement best fits a picture.

In the test item, there’s a picture of a grown-up trying to wake up a child. The choices: “hoy bangon!” and “magandang umaga po,” (“hey, wake up!” and “good morning.”) It did seem like a no-brainer but when asked why she chose the first one over the second, she quickly quipped “Eh hindi naman nangu-ngopo ang matanda sa bata e,” (“grown-ups don’t use ‘po’ and ‘opo’ when addressing kids.”)

It struck me right there and then-she is correct after all!

Teethbrush

The subtitle’s pretty much a give-away really. One thing you have to love and amusingly hate about a rational kid is that she strikes you when you least expect it.

One night as I was about to brush my teeth, she asked me if she can brush her teeth with me. I nodded so she asked for her “teethbrush.” I was supposed to correct her as she knew one was coming her way but I found myself (again) unable to.

So there I was explaining to her that conventions set are not always logical. That while it is good that she’s obviously capable of using that thing between her ears, she’s better off following the convention to save herself from the trouble of having trivial arguments against those who can’t.

Now it would be an entirely different story if she doesn’t mind being considered a little bit OC-ish by her circle of friends like her father.

On Fatherhood

One of the things I got to realize as a provider was that it was a different experience altogether. I guess by now we’ve all countlessly heard how hard, stern and daunting the whole idea is. It might be overly-dramatic to say it was life-changing but for the lack of a better term, you’d have to lump me along with that lot.

Anyway, my wife and daughter just came home a while ago with a father’s day gift I really appreciate: a new and decent leather belt. Now I have something that’s not overly-tight nor overly-loose to use.

While that appreciation qualifies me as a cheap old dude, I can only plead guilty. You see, one thing that fatherhood instilled in me is that my family should come first in everything, (a cliché again but what can I do?) It was only then when I opened the box that I realized that I evolved into someone so different from Patrick circa 2001.

Five years after graduation, I already find solace in the company of a loving wife and a smiling daughter. It would have been unthinkable for me then however here I am writing this post now. The mere presence of playfully wreckless kids around would have been enough for me to blow my top then yet here I am looking forward to the presence of one later beside me when I sleep. The mere idea of foregoing my physical comfort wouldn’t have been a consideration back then yet it is much of an imperative now. Her education and my family’s basic needs come before my luxury this time.

I guess the list could go on but one nice thing about fatherhood is that despite the uncertainties I will have to face in the future, I will be doing it without remorse knowing that I have something which will keep me going and going and going and going….

Anyway, Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Cecilio and to all other dads out there as well. 🙂