about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Allergies and red seats

Now I know the name of the condition that's afflicted me with sinusitis, altered vision, unworkable headaches and vertigo whenever I get a bad cold: allergic rhinitis. As it turns out, this doesn't have a cure and all I can do is manage it and try to avoid the allergic triggers. This month's bout of it has chopped away four days off my working month.

As my birthday gift to myself, I finally took the splurge on semi-bucket seats. I'm afraid the "Digo fund" never went toward the purchase of a Bride Digo seat, however. Instead, I got a pair of red Recaro SR3s from the original DC2 Honda Integra Type R and/or the EK9 Honda Civic Type R. For the price and the condition of the seats, I got them quite cheap.

Right now they're sitting on the floor of my room though, as I soldier on with Aibo's stock perches. Why? The SR3s didn't come with seat rails compatible with my GD1 Jazz. To make them link up with Aibo's bones, I ordered a set of Bride RO-type seat rails, which will interface flawlessly with the seats and Aibo's chassis. The only fly in the ointment is, they'll take a month at most before they make it here because the Japanese supplier doesn't have any of them in stock.

I can already hear my knees thanking me, though.

Jared is itching to help me with the DIY install of these babies. I can't wait either.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Two car clubs mourn the death of one great man.

It started out just like any other day. I went to work, fired up the computer and went to the JaCU forum for any updates.

The update that greeted me left me astounded and in disbelief. Francis Javier, the beloved "Frankster" of Honda Club Philippines and Philippine Jazz and City United, had passed away due to cardiac arrest on February 19, 2009. He was thirty years old.

He was one of the kindest and most responsible souls I'd ever met. Francis tirelessly attended the EBs and GTs (get-togethers) even if he himself wasn't feeling so good. He was also a genuine car nut just like me, his affection extending to even the most obscure automotive curiosities. His GD6 Honda City is testament to his passion for turning even arguably the "ugly duckling" of the recent Honda car lineup into something even the American members of FitFreak.net lust for.

A few days before he passed away, he was ecstatic at having driven a friend's yellow Honda NSX at the recent JaCU February EB. He seemed hale and hearty the whole day. Little did we all know that his collapse and admittance into the hospital just the previous month was the forebear of his impending passing. He was born with a congenital heart defect that left his heart enlarged, he told me, and with it came all sorts of cardiac maladies, palpitation to name just one.

Steve of JaCU remarked on the Honda Club Philippines forum that Francis was supposed to be next in line as JaCU's president. I have no doubt he would have been as fine a president as Juno Ongteco was/is for HCP.

Francis' act will be a tough one to follow. He will be missed and I am sure he is now in a better place, certainly one where he no longer has to worry about the condition of his fragile heart.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Twenty-six revolutions around the sun, and counting

Waking up to The Twilight Zone featuring the comedian stuck in hell.
Stool samples in a glass jar of dulong.
A lucky break thanks to the parking security guard at Cybergate 1.
Annual physical examination.
Peeing into a cup and a bottle without any privacy.
The crawling southbound traffic of C5 at 10:45 am.
Emission testing at Makati.
Counting just how many colleagues bothered to greet me.
Counting the cold shoulders.
Wondering if I should toot my own horn.
Doing zilch at work.
Fatigue setting in.
Leaving work early.
Dinner with Mav at the Stock Market in Bonifacio High Street.
Cornbread pudding with whisky caramel sauce.
Hilarious online birthday greeting cards from Auntie Carole and Uncle Butch.

Overall, not a bad way to turn another leaf in that calendar of my life. But damn, that cornbread pudding just has to take the cake.

Right Mav?Happy birthday to me.

Monday, February 09, 2009

My baby Maby is well again!

After spending a few days in the renovated Makati Medical Center, Mav is back on her feet and cured of her gastritis. Yay!

There are a few caveats though, the most notable being the short list of foods that she is permitted to eat for the next couple of weeks. Apparently everything else will just screw with her gastrointestinal tract and give her hyperacidity as well.

It's a small price to pay, I guess. At least she's graduated from that liquid diet the doctors first gave her...I know first-hand how fed up she was with plain old rice porridge.

Her illness did make for an interesting "date." I spent my Saturday in her hospital room, tending to her while I relieved her parents as they took the time to go home.

Thanks for your prayers guys! Mav sends her thanks.

Friday, February 06, 2009

An idiot of sadness no more.

My love and I, we work well together
But often we're apart
Absence makes the heart lose weight, yeah
Till love breaks down, love breaks down

Ooh my oh my, have you seen the weather?
The sweet September rain
Rain on me, like no other
Until I drown, until I drown

When love breaks down, the things you do
To stop the truth from hurting you
When love breaks down, the lies we tell
They only serve to fool ourselves
When love breaks down, when love breaks down

My love and I, we are boxing clever
He'll never crowd me out
Both be free as old confetti
And paint the town, paint the town

When love breaks down, the things you do
To stop the truth from hurting you
When love breaks down, the lies we tell
They only serve to fool ourselves
When love breaks down, we join the wrecks
Who leave their hearts for easy sex
When love breaks down, when love breaks down

My love and I, we were high and climbing
Into the sky of blue
Loud with colors, of a rainbow
A changing view, a changing view

When love breaks down, the things you do
To stop the truth from hurting you
When love breaks down, the lies we tell
They only serve to fool ourselves
When love breaks down, we join the wrecks
Who leave their hearts for easy sex
When love breaks down, when love breaks down

- Lisa Stansfield, "When Love Breaks Down"

Not too long ago, I did some pretty stupid things because I couldn't accept failing with you despite all the effort.

I am not walking down that road again. I am at least a little wiser now. More importantly, my heart now has what I need to see me through this.

All I have to do is toughen my mind.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bum gut gone too far...

My girlfriend Mav is quite seriously sick.

She's had a case of bum gut that has lasted much, much longer than it should. The doctors have diagnosed it as gastritis, and they've treated her for it, but for some reason her tummy's still busy doing painful cartwheels and making her puke. She's now been confined in Makati Medical Center for observation, at a most inopportune time---the hospital is in the middle of renovation and it's taking an eternity for her to get her own room.

Please pray for her, guys. I want nothing more than to have her healthy again.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Soft spending vs. hard spending?

Two weeks went by so fast.

In that span of time, my beloved Auntie Carole and Uncle Butch visited from LA, stayed with us, walked around the malls, shopped for clothes, ate out, ate in, played golf, danced, drank coffee, drank booze...and generally just had a really great time. Just the other day they flew back.

I miss them already. I miss driving them around. I miss Uncle Butch's jokes and Auntie Carole's jolly demeanor. Even though I don't watch local TV, I miss how they'd all go ga-ga over Wowowee.

As it turns out I might see them again within the year. If all goes well, I might be able to join them in Waikiki Beach in Hawaii for Uncle Butch's nephew Marco's wedding some time in August. I've already done my sums for the round-trip ticket prices, and as far as I know my US visa's still good for a few more years.

Uncle Butch told me he loves the place even though he's been there four times already. He would gladly forego buying a brand-new TV if it meant going to Waikiki again. He told me the material things will get old and worn-out, but trips and experiences like these with my loved ones are what I'd remember when I'm old and gray.

I'm already set on saving up for Aibo's mods...but the man has a point. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm planning to take Mav to Clark for the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Festival, and to the Avilon Zoo in Rizal. Those should make for a couple of interesting dates.