Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sing it like you mean it!

I have a confession to make. I’m a videoke maniac. I, like millions of Filipinos now scattered all over the world, cannot fathom a month, a week, or even a day of not grabbing a microphone and belt a tune at the top of my lungs.

And why not? We are, after all the true inventor of the Karaoke, calling it the “sing-along machine” way before the Japs stole the idea and branded it with a nifty, catchy name.

And so, it is no secret that this midnight creature has been fantasizing about owning a Magic Mic for the longest time. For those of you who can’t relate, the Magic Mic is one of the Philippines’ most significant contributions to this planet of ours. An ingenious invention composed only of a microphone, a number of buttons on the interface, a microchip and an RCA cable. Plug it into the boob tube, turn it on, and voila! An instant portable sing alone machine you can bring anywhere there’s television. And electricity, of course.

Rock on with Bon Jovi’s Bed of Roses to your hearts content while a skimpily clad Rebecca Romijn emotes to the rhythm on the screen. Release all your inhibitions and do it “your way”. Just a warning though, the song “My Way” has claimed 12 lives so far since the Videoke machine (a vendo-like contraption where you drop 5 peso coins in exchange for a song of your choice - see photo below) was invented some years ago. According to the Philippine National Police, seven people had perished in the year 2003 alone from videoke related incidents. Most of them sang Frank Sinatra's famous ballad "My Way" before they got killed. Another proof that patience is a virtue, but hearing a drunk singing off key is always an exception.

After the song, check out how you fared with the chanting of the score. Dyan-dya-ra-ran-dyan-dyan-dyan….Dya-ra-raaaaannn!!! (Message on monitor:) Your score: 68. You are a lousy singer. And you deserve death by a strong whack in the head with a beer bottle.

You see, the Philippines is a music-loving nation. And here, more than any other place on earth, the way you carry a tune is a matter of life and death.

And so, the advent of Magic Mic is a welcome innovation to most. No longer do you have to go to hole-in-the-wall pubs and endure the stinking breath of philandering drunks that has seemed to stick to the microphone. No longer do you have to carry bulky coins in your pocket. The Magic Mic is plug and play, and you can sing, sing, sing at the comfort of your own abode without fear that the next person on the table is giving you an evil eye because you were hogging the mic for too long.

But there is one catch, though. Magic Mic can drain your pockets. To some, it even costs a fortune. The microphone alone costs 10-12 grand (that’s more than 200 dollars to my dear readers in the US), and the song chip is about 3 grand each or 60 dollars for 3,000 plus songs. Unfortunately, unless you’re a radio station DJ or some sort of a musical genius, you can only sing (as you are only familiar with) about 300 of them. Some songs in the chip are also in foreign languages. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, etc., songs that only C-3P0 would appreciate. Moreover, if you want a decent sounding videoke, you’d have to invest on an amplifier and speakers, or at the very least, a nice home theater system. Otherwise, you’d have to be content of the music (and your voice) coming out of the TV speakers.

Needless to say, the Magic Mic has its flaws, price and practicality being the foremost reasons why this blogger cum rockstar has dilly-dallied on his purchase. But alas! There is an answer! It seems that Ursulla, Goddess of voice have heard our prayers!

Trumphet sound… Drum roll... Say hello to the DVD Videoke player. For just 5,000 bucks, (a gift from our Fairy Godmother) you get a DVD/MP3/CDR/DVDR/MIDI/VCD player, two free microphones, a songbook and a Midi disk with 9,500 pre-loaded songs. That’s right, 9,500 frigging songs! And the list is up to date, too. Only a handful of Chinese and Korean tracks here and there. I’m actually in the process of highlighting the songs that I am familiar with and I was giddy to have marked almost 80% of the song list per page! The player I bought, Karavision, gives Magic Mic and all its competitors a run for their moolah. There are also other brands like Daewoo and Platinum but are more expensive and appropriate for commercial use. Commercial meaning restaurants who have transformed their venues into Videoke joints.

Right now, I am still astonished over this wonderful thingamabob. And believe me when I tell you there is not a day that passed that I never got a hold of that mic. Or at least the songbook as I still have to battle with the first song choice over the household.

Eat your heart out, Magic Mic. I’m singing my way to stardom with my new videoke system. And to my fellow future belters out there, let me know if you’re interested. I can give you a tip where to buy your own DVD videoke system that’s way cheaper than sold in malls and advertised in Ebay.

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings, folks. This rockstar is unstoppable. Today, the Philippines, tomorrow, the world!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Not bad for a writer

I've officially changed the look of my blog.

It's amazing, this blogging thing. One minute I'm a techno-dummy and next thing I know, I'm a frigging web wizard. Oh... ok, I almost wiped out all the data on my template as I went berserk trying to put back my web counter. Can you blame me though? I've had like, 480 plus hits already, man. Now I'd have to start all over again! Or, I won't. Hmmm...

So how'd you like my new blog's look? It's no webby awardee (I still can't figure out how to mess with the damn background, I mean, heck, it still is a template) but like I said, it ain't bad for a copywriter's blog.

Ain't it?

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Brainless. Dim-wits. Dumb ass. Imbeciles. Whatever you call them, there sure are plenty of them roamin’.

The following is a list of the stupidest crimes ever committed. Enjoy.

Power failure.

Karen Lee Joachimmi, 20, was arrested in Lake City, Florida for robbery of a Howard Johnson's motel. She was armed with only an electric chain saw, which was not plugged in.

Kentucky: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper.

Have a gas.

A gentleman awoke one cold morning and found that his car would not start; the problem was a frozen fuel line. No problem for Mr. Brilliant -- one need only warm up the gas, right? So he siphoned off the fuel, put it into a pot, took it into the kitchen and heated it up on the stove....

Lack of (sane) judgment.

Three guys decided, late one night, to rob a petrol station. Taking in baseball bats and knives they entered and demanded money from the station clerk. But they weren't aware of a couple of rather important things:

  1. The clerk was an ex-Israeli.
  2. The clerk was an ex-Isreali Army officer.
  3. The clerk was an ex-Isreali unarmed-combat instructor.

Needless to say they ended up in hospital. For a long time. (No charges were pressed by the petrol station owner, and the police decided that there wasn't much point following through.)

45 year-old Amy Brasher was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, after a mechanic reported to police that 18 packages of marijuana were packed in the engine compartment of the car which she had brought to the mechanic for an oil change. According to police, Brasher later said that she didn't
realize that the mechanic would have to raise the hood to change the oil.

Wrong order.

The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 7:50am, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.

Arizona: A company called "Guns For Hire" stages gunfights for Western movies, etc. One day, they received a call from a 47-year- old woman, who wanted to have her husband killed. She got 4-1/2 years in jail.

(A man walked into a Circle-K (a convenience store similar to a 7-11), put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled -- leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen dollars.

A robber in Panorama City, Cal., gave a teller a note saying, "I have a gun. Give me all your twenties in this envelope." The teller said, "All I've got is two twenties." The robber took them and left.

Not guilty.

The Belgium news agency Belga reported in November that a man suspected of robbing a jewelry store in Liege said he couldn't have done it because he was busy breaking into a school at the same time. Police then arrested him for breaking into the school.

Drug-possession defendant Christopher Johns, on trial in March in Pontiac, Michigan, said he had been searched without a warrant. The prosecutor said the officer didn't need a warrant because a "bulge" in Christopher's jacket could have been a gun. Nonsense, said Christopher, who happened to be wearing the same jacket that day in court. He handed it over so the judge could see it. The judge discovered a packet of cocaine in the pocket and laughed so hard he required a five-minute recess to compose himself.

Shit happens.

When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home trying to steal gasoline and plugged his hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

A woman was reporting her car as stolen, and mentioned that there was a car phone in it. The policeman taking the report called the phone and told the guy that answered that he had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet, and the thief was arrested.

Not to be outdone, the Philippines has its share of dim-witted criminals. MANILA, May 25 — In a heist that sounded like the case of the fugitive hijacker D.B. Cooper, a crying man tried to commandeer a Philippine Airlines jet carrying 291 people then robbed everyone and jumped out of the plane wearing a homemade parachute. No one knows what happened to Cooper, who escaped by jumping out of a plane 29 years ago. But this man's fate is known: His body was found later in the day.

And finally in Portsmouth, R.I. Police charged Gregory Rosa, 25, with a string of vending machine robberies in January when he (1) fled from police inexplicably when they spotted him loitering around a vending machine and (2) later tried to post his $400 bail in coins.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Some people just don’t get Woody. He’s the love him or hate him type. And while I don’t absolutely adore the bespectacled, stuttering filmmaker, I respect him for all his accomplishments and admire his body of work. The guy has won 3 Academy Awards after all.

And I must say, I am not alone.

The Comedian’s Comedian, a 3-hour program broadcast on UK named the top 50 comics of all time as voted by their peers and listed Woody Allen on the 3rd spot. Not bad for a Hollywood filmmaker, considering that the list contained 33 Brits including 3 members of Monty Python. Besting Woody on the list was the legendary Peter Cook and Monty Python’s main man John Cleese.

Other famous comedians on the list are Groucho Marx (the man responsible for the fake huge nose and moustache) at no. 4, Laurel & Hardy at no. 7 (funny, I thought Hardy was funnier), Peter Sellers and Steve Martin (claiming 14th and 15th spot, respectively, the often imitated yet inimitable Charlie Chaplin at no. 18, Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean!) at no. 24, Robin Williams (no. 45), and Bill Cosby and Mike Myers at nos. 47 and 48. My only objection in this list is having Mel Brooks at no. 50 (the last spot) while Eddie Murphy sits comfortably at no. 32. What’s up with that, blokes?

Love him or hate him, the fact is, Woody Allen is a top-notch filmmaker. I just saw 3 of his films in a span of one week, the two for obvious reasons (that it has Scarlett Johansson in it) and the other one was because I read the back cover of the DVD and found the plot interesting. The movies were Match Point, Scoop, and Hollywood Ending. And no, I’m not doing reviews, but I have to say that Match Point is a worthy watch and Scoop is hilarious. So go grab a copy.

That is, if you like cerebral humor. Or extremely long dialogues. Or, at the very least, Scarlett Johansson.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What gives?

Well i'll be damned.

Been posting for almost a month now and i just realized that my page doesn't display correctly on Internet Explorer (about me, links, previous posts and archives are flushed all the way down the bottom of the page, when it should be flushed right, aligned with the posts.) I haven't noticed since I've been using Mozilla Firefox as a default browser for the longest time, wherein my blog displays perfectly. Paranoid, I ran to check how it displays on Macs using the Safari browser. No problem.

So how now, brown cow will I fix this problem? Any suggestions? Would appreciate your comment if you know how I can fix this damn problem.


Monday, November 06, 2006

43 Useless Facts

don't say I didn't warn you...

1. Moths are unable to fly during an earthquake (told you this is useless)

2. Human saliva has a boiling point three times than that of regular water (see?)
3. Every Labrador retriever dreams about bananas
4. Contrary to popular belief, the white is not the healthiest part of an egg. It's actually the shell. (“Now go eat your egg shell, Timmy!” Scary.)
5. British pop singer Baby Spice is the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandniece of Archduke William Pinkley-Hogue of Standishfordshire, making her 103rd in line for the throne of England. (Now that’s scarier.)
6. Speaking of “Babies”, The top three names for female babies born in China last year were Huan Yue, Jia Li and -- unlikely as it seems -- Buffy.
7. Smearing a small amount of dog feces on an insect bite will relieve the itching and swelling (hindi ka nga nangangati, amoy jebs ka naman)
8. Catfish are the only animals that naturally have an ODD number of whiskers (totoo, sa susunod na kumain kayo sa Gerry’s Grill, bilangin niyo)
9. A cat's purr has the same romance-enhancing frequency as the voice of singer Barry White. (Meow!)
10. Speaking of cats, "Hello Kitty" began as part of a covert propaganda campaign originally proposed by Prime Minister Tojo during World War II.
11. In the weightlessness of space a frozen pea will explode if it comes in contact with Pepsi (need I remind you how useless these facts are?)
12. The rhesus monkey is the only animal that can be taught to hum a tune
13. Male rhesus monkeys often hang from tree branches by their amazing prehensile penises (now you know why they’re humming!)
14. If an average human scrotum were stretched until all its wrinkles were smoothed out, it could hold a basketball (Ouch)
15. Ancient Egyptians used molted cobra skins as condoms (again, ouch)
16. Winston Churchill was born with a third nipple, which he removed himself with nail-clippers at the age of 14 (Mega Ouuucccchhh!!!)
17. Ingesting small doses of ink over an extended period of time will change your eye color slightly. (Amazing, now you can save money on colored contacts!)
18. Fewer divorces occur in families in which the children wake their parents before 6 a.m. on Saturdays. (Un-fucking-believable)
19. A futuristic automobile designed by Ford for the movie Blade Runner was produced and sold in limited quantities as the "Ford Harrison." (umamin na kayo, kaninong copywriter sideline ito?)
20. John F. Kennedy was an accomplished ventriloquist
21. A prominent organization of anthropologists has predicted that by the year 5000, humans will have two rectums, but only one nostril (lemme guess, they’re gays)
22. Glamorous movie star Brad Pitt once had a summer job posting warning signs at coal mine entrances
23. Nearly three percent of the ice in Antarctic glaciers is penguin urine.
24. Contrary to their popular image as spinsters, the average librarian has 5.9 random sex partners per year (ikaw ba naman ang magbasa ng Kama Sutra araw-araw, ewan ko na lang)
25. The trucking company Elvis Presley worked at as a young man was owned by Frank Sinatra
26. The only golf course on the island of Tonga has 15 holes, and there's no penalty if a monkey steals your golf ball (I bet it’s those darn rhesus!)
27. Replying more than 100 times to the same piece of spam e-mail will overwhelm the sender's system and interfere with their ability to send any more spam (bilib ako sa pasensiya niyo pag nagawa niyo ito)
28. The skin needed for elbow transplants must be taken from the scrotum of a cadaver (ok, enough of the scrotum facts!)
29. You can actually sharpen the blades on a pencil sharpener by wrapping your pencils in aluminum foil before inserting them.
30. Due to the angle at which the optic nerve enters the brain, staring at a blue surface during sex greatly increases the intensity of orgasms (uhm, honey, I’ve been thinking, I think our wall looks better in blue…)
31. Never hold your nose and cover your mouth when sneezing, as it can blow out your eyeballs.
32. If you part your hair on the right side, you were born to be carnivorous. If you part it on the left, your physical and psychological make-up is that of a vegetarian.
33. Although difficult, it's possible to start a fire by rapidly rubbing together two Cool Ranch Doritos (If only Tom Hanks had Dorritos in Cast Away…)
34. Due to the natural "momentum" of the ocean, saltwater fish cannot swim backwards.
35. In ancient Greece, children of wealthy families were dipped in olive oil at birth to keep them hairless throughout their lives.
36. The Venezuelan brown bat can detect and dodge individual raindrops in mid-flight, arriving safely back at his cave completely dry (uy, Matrix!)
37. Because of their unusual shape, Hershey's Kisses contain more calories per ounce than the same amount of chocolate in other forms.
38. If the air in your car's tires is not completely replaced every two years, it can turn to liquid and cause severe damage.
39. Blue water in a toilet bowl causes males to urinate 7 percent more
40. It is physically impossible to urinate and give blood at the same time
41. If you place a fresh Viagra tablet in a houseplant's soil every six months, the plant will not wilt (lupet)
42. Children conceived on airplanes never suffer from motion sickness.
43. The steady, rhythmic sound produced by dripping water increases the capacity for sleeping males to experience lucid sexual dreams (Oh, and hon, can we also buy those miniature fountains ...?)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Move over, David Blaine

Here comes Dan Michael

...makes David Blaine look like an amateur