Canned food, anyone?

With a few exceptions, I buy very little canned food since my parents taught me growing up that anything out of a can would most probably have a high sodium content and nothing could really compare with a good, home-cooked meal. Hubby, on the other hand, has no such qualms about getting canned goods. In fact, he’d get canned food that he’d like to “try” when we are out grocery shopping.

Unfortunately for him, he’s usually disappointed with the quality and taste. His recent purchase from the local Filipino shop is no exception. Purefoods’ Chorizo Bilbao style sausage was packed in lard and it immediately turned hubby off that he wanted to throw it out right after he lifted the lid off the can.

Not one to want to waste food, I encouraged him to at least try it but he simply refused. I microwaved one sausage in the hopes that he’d change his mind. This was how it looked like after it got nuked. It looked quite normal after I heated it but hubby won’t have none of it. Curious, I took one bite, chewed a couple of times and got the whole thing out of my mouth. It was very salty (like the whole thing was made of solidified salt) and tasted nothing like a sausage. Fail.

Published in: on June 7, 2008 at 5:19 pm  Comments (5)  

Palabok public again

After a little bit of cleanup, I’ve now made the website public again. I wonder if any of the old readers who can’t log on still drop by.

I might also change the look-and-feel of the website in the near future. Raquel has gotten tired of its current look. I’ve already selected a WordPress theme to customise. It will take time though.

Published in: on June 1, 2008 at 12:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Cleaning up

I haven’t been posting for a while now. Blogging isn’t as fun if what I write will only be readable to a select few. I’m just cleaning up the website then I’ll be making it a public blog again. Maybe then, I’ll start to post more frequently again. In fact, I have a couple of anecdotes I wanted to share but I’ll wait till after Palabok is public once more.

Published in: on May 30, 2008 at 10:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Me, myself and I

I got inspired by a multiple self-portrait I saw in a magazine recently and I’ve always wanted to do one so here it is. Had a bit of trouble blending some parts but had a little help from hubby who’s better at Photoshop than I am. Overall, I had quite a bit of fun making this and I know it’s not entirely accurate but I still like the stylized look.

Published in: on April 25, 2008 at 12:11 pm  Comments (2)  

The games we play

In case you’ve been wondering why there hasn’t been a post here for nearly two weeks now, it’s just that we’ve both been busy. Hubby has been busy with his newly acquired Guild Wars game while I’m busily solving the puzzles being thrown my way by Professor Layton!

I’ve first heard of the Professor Layton game from one of hubby’s downloaded podcasts and we’ve been anticipating its release here in Australia since then. It was released last Thursday and we promptly bought it from JB Hi-fi. I originally intended to get my copy from Target when I saw that they had the best price in their catalogue but it seems like when Target said it would be released on 11/04/08, they actually meant 12/04/08. When we asked for the game in the shop’s CBD branch, they told us to come back the next day!

Fortunately, it was in stock in the neighbouring JB Hi-fi where the price has been reduced from its pre-release price of $69.95 to $59.00, almost a full dollar less than we would have paid for in Target. Ha! Bonus.

Anyway, the graphics of the game is simply amazing and I do love the art style. The puzzles are of varying levels of difficulty, although some people might find the placement of the puzzles a bit contrived. I mean, how odd is it that everyone you meet in the town of St. Mystere wants Professor Layton and his apprentice to solve a puzzle? I don’t mind though as I knew that going in and I like that it has an underlying story while getting the player to solve interesting little puzzles on the side.

If you own a Nintendo DS (Lite) and love some puzzle solving, I couldn’t recommend this game enough. Meanwhile, I better finish up with this post so I could get back to my game!

Published in: on April 17, 2008 at 7:21 am  Comments (3)  

Photoshop newbie

I used to think that Photoshop is a dirty word mainly because I believed that photographs should be representative of reality as much as possible with little alternation. I’m also wary of photographers who seem to be cavalier about their shooting technique only because they could fudge it in Photoshop later. Besides, what photographer would rather sit in front of a computer editing a photo when that time could be used shooting more photographs.

I’ve changed my stance however when I realised that a good photo could be improved greatly by a little editing in Photoshop. Besides, sometimes weather conditions just does not cooperate or there are times when a good photo could be ruined by wrong settings.

So after much to and fro-ing, I finally picked up some books on Photoshop and tried my hand on some photo editing. The first photo is the original picture while the one in the middle is the edited one. My favourite though is the last one, which reminds me of the A-ha’s Take on Me video way back when.

Published in: on March 26, 2008 at 10:03 pm  Comments (2)  

Metropolis Magazine

Sometime last December, hubby received an email from someone who saw my Melbourne Alley photos in my old photo blog asking how she could contact me. I got in touch with the sender and she said that she is the photo editor of an architecture and urban design magazine in the US called Metropolis Magazine. She requested I submit bigger sizes of the photos she saw on my blog and said that they would be interested in using some of my images.

I was a bit skeptical at first but everything seems to check out so I sent her the images plus some new ones that I’ve reshot because I couldn’t find the originals of the other photos in the blog (D’oh, I should really think about archiving my photos!) I didn’t hear from her again until mid-January when I received an agreement document she wanted me to sign, giving them permission to use the images. I filled out the form and sent it back. A month and a half after and hadn’t heard a peep from her. Hmm… I guess they were just pulling my leg when they said I would get paid for the images. Regular visits to their website also didn’t yield much since they were still featuring the January issue up until early March. My images were supposed to be used in an article in the February issue.

During a lull at work, I checked their website last week and the featured magazine has changed to the February one. I quickly scanned the articles shown in the website and found the one I’ve been looking for. It was an article about alleyways around the world coming to life and becoming part of the urban landscape. The photo was attributed to me but had my internet handle as my surname. I quickly fired off an email to the photo editor asking for a correction and also enquiring on the whereabouts of the commission.

Surprisingly, I got an email back. The photo editor said that as the printed version has already ran, they could no longer correct it. She did change my surname on the website though. She also said that she never got the release form back and that they’d need it to forward my details to accounting. I thought that odd but resent the document anyway. She acknowledged receipt of the document this time but as of today, there’s no further word on the matter. I expect it’ll be a long time before I hear anything, if ever.

Oh well, at least I got to see my photos used somewhere and I’ve at least been credited. It’s not a spectacular result but it’s a start.

Published in: on March 6, 2008 at 1:15 pm  Comments (1)  

Train Chaos

Woke up to a pleasant cool morning today when we got a text message from Connex stating that “due to vandalism, trains between Laverton and Newport may be delayed up to 15 minutes. Buses are running between Laverton-Westona-Altona-Newport.” What sort of vandalism would affect so many stations? Nothing came to mind and we had hoped for the problem to be fixed by the time we get to the station.

We got ready as usual and went on our merry way to the station. As we walked to the station we got a glimpse of the first sign of trouble. There was a massive crowd of people in our platform – an indicator that the previous service either didn’t run at all or was by then terribly late. Then as we were entering the station, we saw a number of people milling about, asking Connex staff about where the trains are and there was a horde of people hurrying out of the station with frustrated looks on their faces. In short, chaos all around.

Hubby and I looked at each other then decided that we’d just drive to work today. Connex isn’t really known for providing great service at the best of times, let alone at a time when they’d have to organise buses for transfers.

So what really happened? As it turned out, thieves got to the electrical cabling yet again. I’ve written about a similar incident over a year ago and it seems like it’s still going on. Connex really need to re-think their security measures.

Published in: on February 18, 2008 at 8:31 am  Leave a Comment  


The government finally said sorry to the stolen generations of aborigines today. About time too, as it was long overdue.

Published in: on February 13, 2008 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fun with my camera

I’ve been reading some photography books borrowed from the library and as always, most advocate practice and learning more about the camera. Sad to say though that I’m still not out of the Auto mode but I’m trying my hand on composition and some portraits. Here are my favourite shots from last week.

Gabriel in front of the glass water wall in front of the National Gallery of Victoria in St. Kilda. We originally wanted to see the Modern Britain exhibition for which we have free tickets for but was told that the gallery would be closing in 45 minutes and that there won’t be enough time to view the entire exhibit.
I’ve been lurking around and was intrigued by some self-portraits featured there. Here’s my first try on the old photographing the mirror trick. I almost deleted this photo because it wasn’t sharp enough but it quickly become my favourite among the lot later.
Gabriel posing in front of the tallest building in Melbourne – Eureka Tower. We were initially attracted by the giant golden bugs decorating the building but what I like most about this photo is that gorgeous blue sky.

Published in: on February 9, 2008 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment