Thursday, February 26, 2009

Soft but sturdy

I touch-type, thanks to my highschool teacher Ms Martinez who patiently taught her students how to use the typewriter blindfolded (computers in schools—at least in the Philippines—weren’t “in” yet at that time of the Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman, Bionic Woman, and Six Million Dollar Man on TV). Many years later, that skill came in very handy to me because of my work. And when I’m so inspired in what I’m writing or editing, or just plain in a rush, my fingers run through the computer keyboard in a flash. I don’t exactly know my words per minute, but touch-typing is really a joy because I can concentrate on the words that appear on my monitor rather than worrying where on my keyboard are A, D, Z and so on, and the punctuations. But therein lies the problem. It’s quite difficult to find a keyboard that has soft keys and friendly to my fingers yet sturdy. Keys that are hard to punch are bad news for my touch-typing fingers that have to glide across the keys, as any other touch-typist will be doing. Lately (maybe due to my oncoming old age hehehe), I wake up with sore fingers from the previous day’s inputting. I’ve had to make do with a keyboard that has rather stiff keys (the keyboard came in free with my new computer about a year ago) because my previous keyboard’s soft but not sturdy keys gave in to my use. The other day, I went keyboard-hunting in a nearby mall (though I managed to enter two computer stores only among a row because I was in a hurry to go back home). I got myself a Genius brand black keyboard that has softer keys than what I’m using now (a white Samsung). Actually, another brand at the store was even cheaper than Genius but the keys were a bit harder. On my way home, I was happy with my purchase because the keys seemed nice to touch, although I was a bit apprehensive about the “cheap” price because the quality might have compromised by the manufacturer for a lower retail price. Well, I was right. The day after I used it for a few hours at night when I got home, the “down arrow” was sinking whenever I pressed it. I had to turn off the “NUM LOCK” so that I could use the arrow function in the numeric pad. And that down arrow and the other arrows are important to me while am writing. I’m more used to pressing those instead of the “page up” and “page down” keys. And who can tell if what other keys on this keyboard will give up on me soon. There’s a seven-day return/replace warranty on the new keyboard so I’ve got to go back to the store this weekend. Hopefully, I can find a better keyboard, even if a bit pricier. Better, sturdier, but hopefully, still with soft keys for touch-typing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

God's angel

Once upon a time, there lived a little girl in the Philippines named Charice. She joined a nationwide TV singing contest but didn't win the first prize because the judges said that she didn't have "star quality." (She also joined one or two other contests not in the Philippines where she fared better, but stardom was still way out of her reach then.) An anonymous fan posted on YouTube a video of her singing her heart out (she was about 12 or 13 years old then). Some TV people in the USA noticed her through that video. These TV people who turned out to be big-time guys in the USA invited this "girl from the Philippines" to sing in their shows. One thing led to another, and now she's connecting with THE David Foster, Ophrah Winfrey, Celine Dion, etc., for her concerts and other appearances (like singing in one of the Obama pre-inaugural balls), song arrangements, and record deals. Below are her two latest appearances in the USA from last year. In the second video, she's singing a Pilipino song for a Philippine Independence Day celebration in an American community.

God sent his angel to help open doors for Charice. Charice, with her voice that only heaven could have mixed out right, sounds like an angel herself to those who get inspired by listening to her powerful voice, even as she remains humble despite her accomplishments done in so quick a time, if one will read or see her latest media interviews. Call me star-struck. Well, maybe I am!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A must-see video to better understand the situation that many women still face because of age-old traditions in some societies. Traditions that unfortunately some people fail to see as being discriminatory to women.