Planning to Visit the Philippines Soon?

There are hundreds of tourists attractions in the Philippines. But as a lover of the Island of Marinduque (Home of the Morions and Heart of the Philippines), I am indeed partial to its beauty, charm and its friendly and hospitable residents. Therefore, help me achieve my dream of seeing this island becomes a world tourist destination, by telling all your friends and relatives about this site. Welcome, to you all, new readers and faithful followers of this site! The photo above is Poctoy White Beach in Torrijos, Marinduque with beautiful and majestic Mt Malindig in the background. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Please do not forget to read the latest National and International news in the right side bar of this blog!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of My Career in Chemistry

My picture used by Stauffer Chemicals in their Advertisement Brochures, 1981

Every workplace is strictly defined by two distinct areas, rank and file on one end and management on the other end. It is a field that can be described in many contrasting ways imaginable. It can be defined as workers versus leaders, hard workers versus hardly working, minimum wage earners versus big earners, powerless versus all power, subordinate versus supervisor, or in a deceitful work condition, slave versus slave driver.

The type of work we choose defines who we are. The more we love what we do, the better we become productive and develop our skills on our chosen field. I have loved science and Math since I was young. I decided to major in Chemistry in college, and with persistence and hard work; I also completed my Masters and Doctorate in the same field.

It was not a surprise that I spent the next four decades working in the field of Chemistry. They were mostly exciting career moves, except for the three layoff experiences. A huge part of my work involved working with various types of people. The success of my former employers was due to the diligence and cooperation among its employees to improve workplace harmony and productivity.

In my more than 40 years of professional career, I have experienced both working rank and file, as well as supervising the work of subordinates. I have worked in four private firms and the Federal Government, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where I retired. I enjoyed the challenges and difficulties of both types of job situations. This is the highlights of my work experience story.

My first job after completing my doctorate degree was a Chemist for Chemagro Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri. It was a subsidiary of Bayer Corporation, a German conglomerate. I worked for the analytical chemistry department comprised of about fifty people; half that number was either chemists or biologists. My specific task was to develop analytical methods for the detection of pesticide residues in plant and animal tissues. I worked on my own, similar to six other bench chemists, and we all reported to the same supervisor.

The firm sponsored my visa conversion from a student to a permanent resident, and I was able to legally work and reside in the United States with my family. The company generously took care of its employees. At the end of each successful year, everyone received a 13th month salary bonus. The employees and their families celebrated wonderful annual Christmas parties in a downtown Kansas City hotel, with dancing and free drinks for the whole night.

Inasmuch as I enjoyed and loved working for Chemagro for five years, I found a new job which offered a substantially higher pay. Due to my exemplary work performance, my supervisor preferred and lobbied for me to stay with the company. I had to turn him down because they could not match the package presented by my new employer. It was also a chance for me and my family to move and live in the US west coast, where the mild winter climate is bearable compared to the Midwest.

My next job was at the agricultural research division of Shell Development Company in Modesto, California. I was a Research Chemist, and again I worked individually, same as five other chemists who all reported to a supervisor. My specific duty was similar to my previous job. I worked for them for five years, until the company decided to get out of the pesticide business. They closed their research facility affecting the jobs of more than 200 employees.

My third industrial job was with the agricultural research division of Stauffer chemical company, located in Richmond, California. I was a Senior Research Chemist doing the same project as my two previous jobs. I worked for twelve continuous years for the company, with outstanding annual job performance. I became a Principal Research Chemist, the highest attainable non-supervisory position.

One day in 1986, my supervisor informed me that my job had been eliminated, and I had one day to vacate the facility. It was the most dreadful lay off experience in my life. I felt anger, sadness and humiliation to be dismissed from work with one day notice, after all the years of hard work invested for the company. This was an unforgettable incident and was the gloomiest point in my professional career.
The company terminated sixty research employees, who were upset of the bad news.

One of the chemists was distressed and expressed his outrageous anger by threatening the company and its workers. He told his supervisor of his intention to bomb and burn down the laboratory. He was immediately escorted by the security staff out of the building and into his car. He was informed to leave behind his personal belongings; they will be mailed to his residence. He was warned never to show up again near the company premises or risk getting arrested.

My supervisor was kind and allowed me to take my time to pack up my belongings. It took me two days to clear up my workplace, after toiling for a long period in the same jobsite. We were provided clerical help and office space, in preparation to look for another job, such as updating our resumes, and using the computer and copy machine. We were given six weeks of separation pay plus benefits.

Fortunately, with the help of a friend who is a Church parishioner, I found another job thirty days after leaving Stauffer chemical company. He hired me as a senior research chemist and as a group leader with two technicians to supervise. It was in the same field as my expertise in my previous three jobs spanning the last twenty one years. My new employer was Chevron Chemical Company, and which was located in the same area as my former employer.

This job gave me the introduction and basic knowledge of managing the work of subordinates. I worked for Chevron Company for four and a half years. The company decided to consolidate their research facilities in Texas, and lay off all its research employees. This time I had enough distress and agony from working, and eventually getting laid off from several private companies. To avoid going through any more miserable layoffs, I made a vow that I would never again work for a private company.

In my work experiences, there were noticeable and unavoidable jobsite occurrences. One can never miss the office romantic relationships between co-workers, both illicit and permitted. Though it was frowned upon, there was a boss and staff relationship, which was used as a ploy to get ahead in the company. Some relationships had chemistry, no pun intended, but some never worked out. Oftentimes, there was a sense of distrust among bench chemists for some workers who unjustly obtained preferred work assignments.

Some employees resorted to bribing superiors to get special privileges, such as being able to attend choice conferences and meetings in exciting venues or locations. Likewise, politics was always present at the worksites. It was during an era when various forms of harassment, equal opportunity and discrimination laws were not yet enforced in the workplace. Occasionally, an unexpected chemical explosion happens in a laboratory setting, where luckily no one got seriously hurt.

In the three private companies I worked for, I was able to publish scientific journals for some of the research studies and analytical methods which I developed for the respective companies of Chemagro, Shell Development and Stauffer.

After deciding and making a vow to avoid working in the private sector, I made my new goal which was either to work for the state of California, or the Federal government in Washington, D.C. Four months after I lost my job in Chevron, I was lucky and joyful to be hired by the Food and Drug Administration as a review chemist in the fall of 1990.

In 1994 I was promoted as an Expert Research Chemist with a GS-14 rating. My expertise was on Anti-malarial and Anti-parasitic drug products. In 1997, I was again deservingly promoted to Chemistry team leader, supervising the work of six Chemistry reviewers including five with doctorate degrees.

As team leader, I was responsible for prioritizing, assigning, and assuring the technical accuracy of all chemistry, manufacturing and control issues for all new drug applications submitted to the Division of Anti-Infective Drug Products, Center of New Drugs.

It was part of my responsibility to give advice, instruct and promote high morale and teamwork in my group. My work in the FDA is confidential, until the drug patent on the products I worked on has expired. There are manufacturing supplements that I have approved that are now open for the public in the Internet.

In 1998, I won the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award. The citation reads, “For outstanding accomplishments in fostering the objectives of the EEO Program by hiring minorities and encouraging their professional growth while providing excellent leadership.” I have received numerous certificates of appreciation, awards in leadership and communications, commendation for teamwork and excellence in the accomplishment of the FDA mission. I have also received several letters of appreciation from private industry for my review work.

There are many good things working as rank and file while enjoying doing one’s job individually. It is a humbling, satisfying and productive experience, if one can work in harmony with one’s immediate supervisor. Working individually develops one’s skills in goal setting and scheduling. But in general, the financial rewards are less than a person who has supervisory responsibilities.

Managing the work of others has its challenges. Moreover, it develops one’s skill in handling and developing people, and the compensation rewards and benefits are better. Due to additional duties, responsibilities and leadership, supervisory work can be more stressful than working as a subordinate. However, supervisory jobs give one more personal growth and satisfaction, based on my personal experience. My work in FDA as a team leader managing the work of six scientists had been the happiest and rewarding work experience in my career in Chemistry.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Prejudice and Discrimination Against Filipinos



The prejudice against Filipino immigrants in the US and specially in California in the 1920s to 1940s is well documented(1,2). One of the well known books, America is in the Heart, documenting the life of the Filipino immigrants at that time period was written by Carlos Bulosan. Mr Bulosan is my number one literary heroes of that time.

Like many Filipinos during that time, Bulosan left for America on July, 1930 at age 17, in the hope of finding salvation from the economic depression of his home. He never again saw his Philippine homeland. No sooner had he arrived in Seattle, was he immediately met with the hostility of racism, forcing him to work in low paying jobs.

He worked as a farm worker, harvesting grapes, asparagus and other kinds of hard labor work in the fields of California. He also worked as a dishwasher with his brother, Lorenzo in the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. He was active in labor politics along the Pacific coast of the United States and edited the 1952 Yearbook for ILWU Local 37, a predominantly Filipino American cannery union based in Seattle.

Mr Bulosan died in 1956. To honor his memory, a Bulusan Memorial Exhibit located in Seattle's International District and in the Eastern Hotel features his literary works and manuscripts. One of his famous books, America is in the Heart based on his autobiography is now made into a Philippine movie.

One of the famous quote from that book is timeless, as follows: "We in America understand the many imperfections of democracy and the malignant disease corroding its very heart. We must be united in the effort to make an America in which our people can find happiness. It is a great wrong that anyone in America, whether he be brown or white, should be illiterate or hungry or miserable."

Discrimination against the Filipinos was very blatant during the time of the Manongs and Carlos Bulosan. It appeared that by the 1960's, racial discrimination has disappeared from the minds of the American people. But in 1965, my wife and three children experienced their first discrimination experience in Gladstone, Missouri.
Gladstone is a northern suburb of Kansas City, Missouri with about 99.5% Caucasian population at that time.

The discrimination was not blatant but very subtle. After relocating in Missouri for my first job after my Ph.D graduation from the University of Illinois, my family and I joined a Country Swim Club just a couple of blocks and a walking distance from our rented residence.

Macrine and the kids would swim at the country club twice or three times a week. The first day, they were there, she overheard the conversation from two middle-aged ladies. She heard a comment of the first lady to her friend, "look we are getting invaded by blacks already". Macrine look around, but there were no black families around; she and the kids were the only colored ( brown) relaxing and swimming in the pool area. Macrine was not bothered and did not get upset. She continued watching the kids swimming in the pool. Suffice to say, I had never experienced personally, an incident of prejudice or a discriminatory remark in my more than 51 years residing and working here in the US(California, Illinois, Missouri and Maryland).

After our second year in the neighborhood, we became more active socially and became well-known to the Gladstone community. I was elected by the members of the club as treasurer for two years. I was handling the payroll of three employees and collecting the membership fees of the 300 members. I was delighted that the club members and Board of Directors trusted me with their finances. I therefore conclude that the cure for discrimination is education and ignorance is the mother of prejudice.

If you are a Filipino-American or a member of a minority and is reading this article, have you ever experienced prejudice or discrimination in your life here in the US? Discrimination may be racial, religious, sexual, financial or your educational status.

Here's a trailer of an award winning documentary on the Filipino farm workers of Delano, California.



(1) Carlos Bulosan, America Is in the Heart, 1946
(2) The Delano Manongs:Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers-a Video by mediafactory.tv/2008/01

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cloyne Court- Excerpts 34 and 35

Photo from ahoy.tk.jk.net
Cloyne Court, Episode 34
By Dodie Katague
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Rated "R" by the Author.
The author lived at Cloyne Court from 1977-79, while attending the University of California, Berkeley.

The waiting line at the financial aid office snaked down the corridor and into the main lobby of Sproul Hall and moved at the celerity of a banana slug on Thorazine. Most students sat on the cold floor against a marbled wall, shifting one body place every five minutes. At that rate, it would be close to an hour before I'd get to the service window.

While waiting to pick up my scholarship check and work-study grant, I did what every conscientious college student does. I did my homework. I pulled out my copy of Virginia Woolf and tried to read while surreptitiously watching the cute women walking by.

After forty minutes, I was optimistic. I had moved close enough to the front of the line to hear the applicants and financial-aid clerk's conversations.

No matter what the applicant's problem was, the answer was still the same. "Fill out this form," the clerk said. "Sign the three places marked with an X and go to Window C with your driver's license and student ID."

"But this stipend check was sent to me in error," said the student. "It's made payable to someone else. I want to return it and get the check that was supposed to be mine."

"No problem," said the clerk. "That happens all the time. Your check was probably sent to this person's address. I hope that she'll catch the error and turn in the check. In the meantime, you'll need to fill out this form, sign an affidavit swearing you didn't get your check, and go to windows C to look up your records, then window D to return the erroneously issued check and window E, with proof from window C and D, to get your check reissued. Once you submit all that, you have to wait two weeks until we send you a letter that your check is ready to pick up at window B. Understand?" The student took the paperwork and left. Everyone in line moved up one-body space.

I heard shouting and chanting coming from outside the building. "HEY, HEY, HO, HO. UC HAS GOT TO GO. OUT OF SOUTH AFRICA NOW."

The chanting became louder before I noticed that the antiapartheid protesters had rushed into the building and filled the entire first-floor hallway. Then, as if on cue, they sat and blocked the entrances and the main hallway. Many protesters were students, but most looked like street vagabonds with their unwashed scraggly hair, filthy T-shirts, torn blue jeans with kneeholes and dirty bare feet.

"THERE CAN BE NO BUSINESS AS USUAL UNTIL UC DIVESTS ITSELF FROM CORPORATIONS THAT DO BUSINESS IN SOUTH AFRICA." A speaker, dressed in the black and red colors of the Revolutionary Student Brigade, shouted through a bullhorn. "WORKERS AND STUDENTS UNITE. JOIN US IN OUR SIT-IN OF SPROUL HALL."

I looked at the other students in line with me. I didn't know any of them, but we had spent the last forty minutes together. I had more of a relationship with them than the protesters, who had mobbed Sproul Hall.

What were the people before me going to do? Were they going to abandon their position and leave? If I left now and the financial-aid office stayed open for business, I would have wasted the morning for nothing and have to wait again later. If any students in front of me left and I stayed, I’d be closer to the front.

The financial aid office remained open. Even with the protesters seated in the main hallway, making it difficult to go anywhere, the university was still in business.

"The only people these protesters are hurting is me," said the guy before me. "They should be protesting outside Standard Oil or the Bank of America, not the financial aid office."

Cloyne Court, Episode 35
By Dodie Katague
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Rated "R" by the Author.

The author lived at Cloyne Court from 1977-79, while attending the University of California, Berkeley.

I nodded. Protest tactics like sit-ins and blocking traffic only inconvenienced the average citizen.

For another twenty minutes, the protesters sat and chanted antiapartheid slogans. I reached the financial aid window and set my book bag down to retrieve my financial aid documents when the clerk said, "We just received word to evacuate. The riot police are coming. You better leave too." She shut the window.

I hit the glass with my fist. Fuck humanitarian principles! These damn protesters didn’t have international solutions to a better world. They only created microproblems, none of which would end apartheid or free Nelson Mandela.

Jail was the last thing I needed. I had to get out of there. I didn't want my head bashed by a police baton. It was this defining moment in my emerging political awareness when I concluded a person's right to protest peacefully ended when it started impinging on my right to collect a financial-aid check.

A new metallic voice bellowed from a bullhorn. "THIS IS THE POLICE. YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO LEAVE THE BUILDING, OR YOU WILL BE ARRESTED FOR TRESPASSING."

The mention of arrest unsettled the students whose resolve for social justice was less than their desire for something exciting to do. Several tried to head for the exit, but protesters, determined to be arrested, blocked the doors. Nobody could leave.

Another student, dressed in black and red, spoke to the seated crowd. "Don’t abandon the cause now. When they arrest you, go limp. Make them carry you out."

A student with a bullhorn wearing a shirt with "Legal Observer" printed on it told the crowd what would happen. "The police will inform you that you are under arrest."

The crowd groaned.

The legal observer said, "They will ask you to stand and walk out with them. If you do, you will be issued a citation and let go."

The crowd cheered.

"If you go passive and limp, several cops will lift you and carry you out."

The crowd booed.

"If you are too heavy to be lifted," the legal observer pointed at some fat people, "the police will roll your limp body onto a net, wrap the net around you and drag you out."

The crowd laughed at the thought of the fat people being dragged out.

"If you choose passive resistance, you will be arrested, booked at the jail and released on your own recognizance. If you actively or violently resist, you will be pepper sprayed and charged with felony resisting." The crowd booed again.

"Resist!" A protester yelled. "Become martyrs for the cause!"

The legal observer said, "A felony arrest means you will have to post a high bail, and if you can't afford to pay, you will remain in jail until your court arraignment in forty-eight hours."

The crowd buzzed at the financial implications. Free speech wasn't exactly free if you had to pay a bail bondsman to stay free. The protesters talked among themselves, each trying to determine the best action to take.

A protest organizer in his black and red uniform encouraged the crowd. "We need consensus, people. Only through strength in numbers can we win this battle." However, consensus went only so far.

I saw the back of a woman in black and red carrying a protest sign. She was talking to each seated student and taking a tally of what his or her arrest action would be. She wrote this information on the back of her protest sign. She turned to me. "Derek? What a surprise! I didn't see you as a protester type of guy."

It was Diane, Ms. Revolutionary Student Brigade. The young woman I had met at Sather Gate handing out flyers.

"I'm not," I said. "I was here to pick up my financial aid check."

"Derek, when are you going to stop being a money grubbing whore for the establishment?" she said.

I was still incensed at my predicament. I was trapped because of her. "Don’t point fingers until you stop taking money from your rich daddy!"

She was taken aback, "Gee, I didn't know you'd be so sensitive about taking the Man's blood money."

I looked at her eyes when she apologized. She seemed sincere. She was cute, but this was no time for flirting.

"What's it going to be?" she asked. "Stand and walk, go limp or actively resist?

"Why are you taking a tally?" I asked, thinking, shouldn't one's defiance to authority be a private personal decision?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Best Smell I have Experienced in my Life


Photo of the Ylang-Ylang flower in my backyard, Chateau Du Mer, Marinduque, Philippines

This article was inspired by ViewsHound Question on its Wall in Facebook-regarding the best smell one has experienced. Mine is the smell of the blooming Ylang-Ylang trees in my garden at Chateau Du Mer, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines. I have two big mature trees in the backyard of Chateau Du Mer that are about 15 years old.

When the trees are in bloom, you can smell the fragrance of it flowers to as far as 50 meters and even farther if the wind direction is favorable. It is one fragrance, that I will never forget at Chateau Du Mer in Marinduque. Its reminds me of the perfume, Channel No.5.

The fragrance of ylang-ylang is rich and deep with notes of rubber and custard, and bright with hints of jasmine and neroli. The essential oil of the flower is obtained through steam distillation of the flowers and separated into different grades (extra; 1; 2; 3) according to when the distillates are obtained. The main aromatic components of ylang-ylang oil are benzyl acetate, linalool, p-cresyl methyl ether, and methyl benzoate, responsible for its characteristic odor.

On the subject of Ylang Ylang Oil,I am proud to inform readers of this blog that my Master’s degree thesis was the Analysis of the Volatile Constituents of Ylang Ylang Oil by Gas Chromatography. This was published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Vol.52, No.3 252-258 dated March, 1963.

I believe not too many non-Filipinos have heard of this tree and it fragrant flowers. Here’s a short information from Wikipedia for your reading pleasure.

Cananga odorata, commonly called Ylang-ylang (pronounced /ˈiːlæŋ ˈiːlæŋ/, EE-lang-EE-lang), cananga tree, ilang-ilang, kenanga (Indonesian), fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree), is a tree valued for its perfume. The essential oil derived from the flowers is used in aromatherapy and in the manufacture of perfumes.

Cananga odorata is a fast-growing tree of the custard-apple family, Annonaceae, that exceeds 5 m (15 ft) per year and attains an average height of 12 m (40 ft). It grows in full or partial sun, and prefers the acidic soils of its native rain forest habitat. The evergreen leaves are smooth and glossy, oval, pointed, with wavy margins, and 13–20 cm (5–8 in) long. The flower is drooping, long-stalked, with six narrow greenish yellow (rarely pink) petals, rather like a sea star in appearance, and yields a highly fragrant essential oil.

The Chemical Composition Typical chemical compositions of the various grades of Ylang ylang are reported as follows:

Constituents Linalool, geranyl acetate, caryophyllene, p-cresyl, methyl ether, methyl benzoate, other, sesquiterpenes.

Etymology

The name ylang-ylang is derived from Tagalog, either from the word ilang, meaning “wilderness”, alluding to its natural habitat, or the word ilang-ilan, meaning “rare”, suggestive of its exceptionally delicate scent. A more widely accepted translation is “flower of flowers”. The plant is native to the Philippines and Indonesia and is commonly grown in Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia.

The essential oil of ylang-ylang is used in aromatherapy. It is believed to relieve high blood pressure, normalize sebum secretion for skin problems, and is considered to be an aphrodisiac. According to Margaret Mead, it was used as such by South Pacific natives such as the Solomons where she did much of her research. The oil from ylang-ylang is widely used in perfumery for oriental or floral themed perfumes (like Chanel No. 5). Ylang-ylang blends well with most floral, fruit and wood smells.

In Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed of newlywed couples. In the Philippines, its flowers, together with the flowers of the sampaguita, are strung into a necklace (lei) and worn by women and used to adorn religious images.

Medicinal uses

Ylang Ylang is a common ingredient in the herbal motion sickness remedy, MotionEaze.

Circulatory System: Ylang ylang is recommended for treating palpitations and reducing high blood pressure

Nervous System : Ylang ylang is known for its ability to slow down over-rapid breathing and over-rapid heart beat. These symptoms are usually associated with shock, anxiety and anger.

Reproductive System: Ylang ylang has proven beneficial for treating PMS, especially associated with extreme mood swings that occurs just before the onset of menstruation. For this purpose, Fischer-Rizzi recommends blending Ylang ylang with clary sage and neroli. This blend should be used in a bath, massage oil or in a vaporizer.

Skin care: Added to the skin care preparation, Ylang ylang oil is beneficial in softening and balancing the moisture of the skin. It is recommended in hair care to treat split ends. It can be used in a shampoo base of massaged into the tips of the hair after shampooing with a base oil such as apricot kernel or jojoba oil. Ylang ylang is recommended for dry and oily skin and is reputed to have a balancing action on sebum production.

I hope you find this article informative. It is the best smell, I have ever experience in my life.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Party, 2011





My four beautiful granddaughters, Carenna, Marina, Elaine and Alix
Dave and Macrine with the six grandchildren
This year, 2011 Macrine and I delayed our snowbirding trip to Marinduque for next month, so we could spend the Christmas Holidays with the Kids and grand children. We celebrated Christmas with a late lunch on December 24th to give the children also time to spend the holidays with their in-laws and other relatives.

Dodie and his family went to San Diego, CA the next day to spend the Christmas with Ruth's family. Ditas, Nick and Carenna went to Lincoln, CA in the evening of the 24th to share Christmas with Nick's family. Dinah with Ian and Elaine went to Mountain View after the party in our house to spend Christmas with Macrine's sisters ( Pepot and Jean) and her nieces, Elaine Lazarte Chalfin and Ella Lazarte.

As per request by the kids, Macrine prepared her favorite dishes-chicken-macaroni salad, beef broccoli in oysters sauce with mushrooms, pancit, puto and dinugu-an. In addition we have honey-baked ham that I ordered last week, cake and coffee for dessert. I have to wait in line to pick up my pre-ordered honey baked ham for about one hour in the cold, but the ham was worth the wait. Above are some of the photos taken during our Christmas reunion. All the David Balleza Katague clan were present.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cloyne Court Excerpt 33


Photo credits: from lifein24.com

Cloyne Court, Episode 33
By Dodie Katague
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Rated "R" by the Author.
A creative memoir about Cloyne Court in Berkeley, California in the late 1970s

Lisa, Sandy's Bunkie, quickly seconded the motion. The women of the house voiced approval unanimously. The men collectively exhaled a sigh of relief.

"Just make sure it's extra large!" Mike said, causing the men to laugh and Carrie and her lover, Sonya, to glare at Mike.

"That's not funny," Sonya hissed.

I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. I didn’t know what size I was. I’d never used one.

"Next item of business," said Sandy, "is whether to build a sauna in the backyard. As you are aware, Jeff's master-thesis art project has transformed our lawn into a Calder-esque landscape. Jeff is going to remove the leg poles because he needs them for a new art work, but the mound and hole are still there.

“Gordon, the special projects manager thinks by enlarging the hole, we can build some wooden benches and have room in the middle for a water pail. We'll have to install a covering over the opening and build a fire pit outside to heat the rocks.”

Other house members voiced a general approval for the plan and some talked about a future redwood hot tub. No one voiced any opposition until Kyd Byzzarre stood to speak.

"I like the idea, but I'm against it as long as whatever we build out there is called a sauna. It's too Eurocentric and we shouldn’t be supporting this type of elitism."

It was amazing how his anti-Eurocentrism manifested itself after last week's visit from a cute Finnish exchange student. She had rejected his amorous advances and his offers to teach her Swedish massage.

Betty Sue, who had remained quiet, said, "If I propose a motion to approve the building of a Native American sweat lodge, instead of a sauna, would you support it?"

Kyd thought for a moment. "Sounds OK to me," he said.

The motion to build the sweat lodge was approved.

"Final New Business," said Sandy. The hour was late and people wanted to leave. "I nominate Derek Marston to fill the vacant position of photography manager. His job will be to take photographs of everyone in the house and maintain the Rogue's Gallery. He will also take the pictures for the house newsletter, the Cloyne Crier."

"Who?" several asked.

"Derek, stand and introduce yourself."

I stood. "Hi, I'm Derek. Photography is my hobby, and I have good dark-room skills."

"I bet you do," said Keisha, who had spoken up in my defense at the Sunday night women's meeting.

By consensus and because I owned the only 35 millimeter camera in the house, I became the official house photographer for the quarter and for the next three years. I would document on celluloid the Berkeley equivalent of the Lost Tasaday Tribe and their myopic and innocent view of the world.

As part of my duties, I also maintained and ran the basement darkroom. I spent many hours there developing the negatives and printing pictures.

For most people, standing in the dark breathing foul smelling chemicals would be considered a terrible job. However, once my eyes adjusted, the isolation brought my inner vision into focus, shed light on my relationships and enlarged my view of the world.

In that tiny room, I controlled how the prints turned out. Always perfect. Either black or white with defined graduations of gray.

Upstairs, I would never be in control and never perfect. My relationships would never be right or wrong, but fuzzy shades of gray in a world that values color.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to all my Readers all over the World

Photo from ecards.ph

Christmas is celebrated the world over and people exchange gifts and wishes too. This is a list of how to wish your friends, neighbors, colleagues and loved ones, 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy New Year' or both in more than 100 languages!

Afrikaans: Gesëende Kersfees
Afrikander: Een Plesierige Kerfees
African/ Eritrean/: Tigrinja Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
Albanian: Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal
Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha
Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian: Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Catalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Chile: Feliz Navidad
Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Chinese: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Corsian: Pace e salute
Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo
Cree: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Croatian: Sretan Bozic
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul
Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
English: Merry Christmas
Eskimo: (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian: Ruumsaid juulup|hi
Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French: Joyeux Noel
Frisian: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Galician: Bo Nada
Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
German: Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi: Shub Naya Baras
Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaian: Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Icelandic: Gledileg Jol
Indonesian: Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Iroquois: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay.
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Jiberish: Mithag Crithagsigathmithags
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Latvian: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
Lausitzian: Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
Lettish: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu
Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar
Macedonian: Sreken Bozhik
Maltese: IL-Milied It-tajjeb
Manx: Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori: Meri Kirihimete
Marathi: Shub Naya Varsh
Navajo: Merry Keshmish
Norwegian: God Jul or Gledelig Jul
Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado
Papiamento: Bon Pasco
Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
Philipines: Maligayan Pasko!
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Portuguese: Feliz Natal
Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha
Rapa-Nui (Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rhetian: Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Romanche (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Sami: Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Serbian: Hristos se rodi
Slovakian: Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Sami: Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Scots Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serb-Croatian: Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
Serbian: Hristos se rodi.
Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene: Vesele Bozicne. Screcno Novo Leto
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Tagalog: Maligayang Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Tami: Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Trukeese: (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian: Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Vietnamese: Chung Mung Giang Sinh
Welsh: Nadolig Llawen
Yugoslavian: Cestitamo Bozic
Yoruba: E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!

Source: www.worldofchritmas.net

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Purchasing T-shirts for MI, Inc Medical Mission of Love III

Macrine and the 2011 Souvenir T-shirt at Chateau Du Mer

This a reprint from the article of Lito Quiazon from MI, Inc newsletter regarding the preparation for MI, Inc Medical Mission of Love III in 2004. It is an interesting vignet on the pains and joys of Medical mission work and preparation. Thanks Lito for the article.

Divisoria, as many of you remember, is the shopping center for folks hunting for good value at a reasonable price. Going to Divisoria, however, is fraught with risk -it's in a heavily congested area of Manila. Shoppers are advised to be very careful with their wallets and purses - the market is the permanent address of professional thieves, or mandurukots.

One day, inspired by the spirit of Marinduque International, the brave Jambalos sisters (Macrine Jambalos Katague and Fe Jambalos) decided that MI could save expenses for the T-shirts if they buy the merchandise in Divisoria. And off they drove in Fe's Toyota Revo to the shopping center for bargain hunters.

The parking lot was quite a distance from the marketplace. They walked to the market. They went from stall to stall hunting for the best bargain - after all this was MI, Inc's. hard-earned money that was being spent. Soon they found the merchant. They selected three models: Round neck, V-neck and Collared T-shirts. Price was about eighty-five pesos (P85) on average - a bargain indeed. They bought two-hundred shirts -enough for the two T-shirts allocated to each missioner. "Tawad naman ng isa,( Bargaining for noe more) Macrine requested the vendor. The vendor having made a good sale obliged. And so they ended up with 201 T-shirts.

The fun was just beginning. Not anticipating that the parking lot was quite a distance away, carrying the bulky merchandise to the van was out of the question - si Arnold Schwarzenegger ang kailangan nila,( A.S is the one they need) but he was last sighted in Sacramento, California. So they hired a local "padyak" tricycle (not motorized) operator to help them move the merchandise. To say that the ride from the market to the parking lot was an adventure, is quite an understatement. The sisters were astonished that the "payat" (lean) padyak operator was able to move the tricycle with the sisters and heavy merchandise on board.

A traffic island obstructed their crossing - the sisters got off the bike, the driver unloaded the merchandise, and the operator carried the tricyle over the island. You can imagine what happened at the other end of the traffic island.

They repeated the process at the next traffic island. Finally, they reached a point where there was no other choice but to unload everything, but this was still quite a distance from where the van was parked. So, Macrine stayed with the merchandise while Fe walked to get the van. The padyak operator is now quite exhausted, but anticipates a handsome tip for a job well done.

As luck (or misfortune) would have it, Macrine only had small change and large bills; three pesos in small change to be exact. By this time, Fe had arrived and saw the disgusted look of the driver who she overheard saying "tatlong piso?#%"( just three pesos?). Naawa naman(Fe was sorry) si Fe, but all she could find was five pesos change inside the van. Still not enough for the driver's labor (pasensya na lang) - you see, even padyak drivers have to make sacrifices for the mission.

(The T-shirts were distributed at the welcome breakfast on February 7th. We thank the missioners who willingly donated for the T-shirts. By the way, the T-shirts were in high demand that two more orders were made.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Taking a Break fom My Writing Activities soon!

Rest and Recreation in this Beach House, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines
Can writing become an obsession? The following activities can be habit forming: watching television, whether soap opera or ball games, drinking alcohol, illicit drug use, viewing pornography, smoking, gambling or sex. When people lose control of these activities and they become controlled by the activities, they can be addicted. For some people, writing can also be a habit-forming activity, and it may similarly affect their lives.

I have been following several outstanding ViewsHound writers and contributors. I have read many of their wonderful articles which reflect their approach to their craft. Based on the number, frequency and content of their articles and responses to comments, plus their profiles and other activities, I can infer that several of them have a compulsive writing disorder, if not, are in a specific writing obsessive stage.

I can also deduce that their writing dedication is not primarily geared to win the awards and recognition; it is a secondary objective which adds luster to their undertakings. Their main goal is the achievement to create their work and have it published, and the accompanying pride, sense of accomplishment and joy to share their wealth of ideas.

For several ViewsHound contributors who are unemployed, underemployed, retired or simply bored, writing is an exciting outlet and can be very therapeutic. It is an excellent way to use their free time and contribute to society. Many of the brilliant ones are able to write naturally and easily, and encounter few problems to build their thoughts into words. But for many average writers including me, it is arduous work, but a very rewarding and enjoyable activity.

I am retired and have plenty free time on my hands. I have portrayed my unassuming writer status when I wrote my article on having an inferiority complex when writing for ViewsHound. I did not expect to receive numerous insightful responses and comments. They were generally positive and encouraging that they heightened my ego. It has inspired me to continue to be a part of the regular contributors to the ViewsHound community.

I know why writing can be very life consuming. I am a devoted writer and I cannot seem to fulfill my unquenchable writing desires. I have been diligently writing for my blog sites for three years, and today my articles are also featured on other sites. There was a time when I was continuously blogging for the first two years, and then I started to struggle to create new articles.

I ran out of ideas to write, and was considering ending my writing career. However, the strong urge to create was still in me. My writing compulsion could not stop and make me quit what I have started. It also helped that my readers provided their feedbacks and suggestions. They encouraged and gave me ideas to continue my favorite pastime.

I was wrong to think of stopping, and I realized there are more than enough topics in the world to write about, in fact there is an infinite choice of topics. One merely needs to have an idea and build around a captivating subject to produce a creative work. Moreover, I had a constant need to feed the habit of creating my own composition, and have it published. With the addition of other sites where I share my work, I am now more emboldened to be ambitious with my writing efforts.

I admit I have a writing compulsion and I have to deal with it. If I leave it unchecked, I might end up spending all my time in front of my computer, and neglect my other activities. Recently, I used up so much of my free time thinking of ideas for what to write. There have been periods when my mind wandered, thinking about writing, instead of focusing on my driving, the church services, or the television. I come up with subjects on which I have never written or published. Before I forget them, I write down notes, and update the list as more ideas come to mind.

Most of my articles are from my life experiences, travels, relationship, or social interactions. Oftentimes I wake up in bed at night, and have a writing pad handy. Sometimes during long drives, ideas regarding my life experiences would just flash back on my mind. There have been instances when I read an article on ViewsHound or the Internet, and a subject relating to the article comes to mind. An example is the recent ViewsHound article about what the author learned after 15 years of marriage. I could relate to the writer because I have been married for 54 years, and this created an idea for a topic.

I've been choosing creative writing as a core of my ideas, and lately I've had several posts published on the same topic. This time I wanted to discuss the issue of writing compulsion. To ease my writing compulsion, I take several steps during every day that I write. I take short hourly breaks from my PC to rest my mind, eyes and body.

These small activities relieve me from the stress and strain of writing. Some might be small chores we'd rather avoid, but for the home-based writer, I've found them necessary. It clears up my mind and allows me to come up with new ideas to add, delete or fix on my work. If necessary, the break allows me to ponder whether to do more research. Doing short physical exercises help keep a sound mind and a sound body.

Am I in an advanced stage of my writing addiction? Not yet, although at this latter time of the year, I have tallied and counted my articles. As of early December 2011, I have produced hundreds of entries on my blogs, ViewsHound, and other new sites where I've been featured. I know I have done a lot of writing for a retiree, but it's my favorite pastime. I feel I am near the burn-out stage, and it would be suitable to take a different form of break.

The big break is coming soon; we've been in northern California since late spring of this year. After spending the holidays here with our children and their families, in January my wife and I will start our annual snow birding in our beach resort in Marinduque, Philippines. We prefer to avoid the winter chill here, which is uncomfortable for my aching muscles and aging years.

The tropical climate of the Philippines and the sea breezes of the Chateau Du Mer beach resort will be a welcome change from the rainy, foggy and cold days of northern California. Moreover, the pace of life is slower, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy including spending time in the yard and the garden. I will be able to personally tend to my resort and guests, meet up with friends and relatives, and spend endless hours walking by the seaside.

It will not be a total break from my writing activities, but a break from the cold and gloomy winter weather. By January and February, the weather is perfect in the Philippines, where the evenings are cool; days are warm, and not very hot, humid and sticky. All of the plants and trees are thriving in stark contrast to the leafless trees in California. Many of my tropical plants should be blooming. My readers should see new pictures of my tropical paradise in my future postings. See video below.



I will be writing, though in a different setting. I have my own personal computer in Marinduque, although the unpredictably slow internet connection may impede my posting productivity. I ask for my readers' patience, you will continue to see and read my work. With the fresh start in the tropics, I should be able to produce numerous articles, and internet permitting, publish as much work as possible.

I am also glad to announce that with my writing activity, I have encouraged and made positive influences on two of my Facebook friends, Vic Vizarra and Frank Cabunoc. They have decided to showcase their hidden talents for writing and poetry for the enjoyment of the ViewsHound readers. I am definitely proud of their accomplishments. I hope they will share my compulsive writing enthusiasm and be able to send more of their works.

Can your writing activities lead to writing obsession? In my opinion, it is possible, especially if you are someone with a creative personality. Watch out for the signs of excessive writing compulsion. If the signs are there, take a break. Having too much of anything can be bad, harmful and can ruin your life.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cloyne Court- Excerpts 31 and 32


Image from fungaineni.wordpress.com

Cloyne Court, Episode 31
By Dodie Katague
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Rated "R" by the Author.

A creative memoir about Cloyne Court in Berkeley, California in the late 1970s

"This house council meeting will come to order,” said Sandy, in his most official voice. As house manager, he was standing in front of a table at one end of the sunroom addressing the thirty or forty people who were sitting on the couches, lying on pillows on the floor or leaning against window ledges.

Behind him, seated at the table, was Betty Sue, the assistant house manager and Carlos Cruz, the secretary, both looking as if the fate of mankind were on the agenda for tonight's meeting.

"First item of business will be approval of the minutes for last week's meeting. Carlos."

Carlos was a sophomore with a savant memory. He could recall movie dialogue scenes and deliver them verbatim. My favorite was when he would reenact the entire movie, including body movements and songs of The Rocky Horror Picture Show showing every Saturday midnight at the UC Theater on University Avenue.

After a late night of studying, I would find him by the front-hall couch entertaining students who had eaten Cloyne’s special brownies. And yes, Carlos was much funnier after we ate the brownies.

Because of his special abilities, Carlos could read any class textbook once and recite every fact and salient point. He was a straight A student. It was obvious why he had been accepted to Berkeley.

After his second year at Cal, Carlos went on a bad acid trip. During his hallucinations, he wrote on the wall of the newspaper room, Experience through drug-induced clarity, and that became his truth. He discovered getting stoned and staying stoned was better than going through withdrawal and dealing with school. Unfortunately, the drugs and alcohol ate his brain cells, so by his senior year, he couldn't remember his name. Tonight he was in rare form.

"My typewriter broke," he said, "so I didn't have a chance to type any written minutes. It's all here in my head. I move we approve the minutes.”

"How can we approve minutes we can't read?" said Wayne Helms, our self-appointed parliamentarian, who was a stickler for Robert's Rules of Order and something as nit-picky as actual written minutes.

Carlos stood. He said in a rapid fire, clipped, nonstop sentence, "The minutes of last week's house meeting are as follows, 'meeting called to order at 7:01 p.m, old business, approval of minutes from the last meeting, all in favor, forty-seven votes aye, no votes no, next item, new business to spend forty dollars on year subscription to Revolutionary Worker, motion to study item further, second, vote, thirty-five ayes, thirty-three no, motion to table passed.'" He paused to take a breath before continuing.

"Motion to approve the minutes," Sandy said quickly.
"Second," said Betty Sue.

"All in favor say aye," Sandy said. "All opposed. Motion approved. Next item of business is the house manager's report. For health and safety concerns and after complaints from several house members, I have decided to enforce a no nudity in the kitchen and food eating or serving areas policy."

Everyone glared at Ben and Sue. They sat there smiling and said nothing.

Sandy said, "I would also strongly suggest clothes be worn during meal times."

"OK, back to the old business of purchasing a forty-dollar yearly subscription to Revolutionary Worker for the newspaper room. We tabled the motion last time."

A longhaired, scraggly dressed resident who I didn’t know, but assumed was a member of the Spartacus Youth League, jumped to his feet yelling. "That rag? We don’t need a newspaper to tell us what injustice is going on in the world. Just talk to me. I'll deliver the facts for free." He was visibly angry at his archenemies, the Revolutionary Student Brigade for intruding on his ideological turf.
"Besides, we can get the same propaganda from the New York Times, which we already subscribe to," said Kyd Byzzarre, who was lying on the floor staring at the ceiling.

________________________________

Cloyne Court, Episode 32
By Dodie Katague
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Rated "R" by the Author.

A creative memoir about Cloyne Court in Berkeley, California in the late 1970s

The SYL member screamed leftist diatribes at Kyd. Kyd remained on the floor unmoved by the animus. I assumed he knew his statement would provoke a response. Not to be outdone, a member of the RSB began his verbal attack against Kyd, the SYL, the New York Times and house members in general.

This caused several of the nonaligned members to become offended. Soon, everyone was yelling at the RSB member. Upon seeing a fellow radical verbally attacked by the mainstream political viewpoint, the SYL comrade banded with his Leninist pretender, and they began arguing with everyone else, their minor ideological differences forgotten. Some fists were raised by the time Sandy brought the meeting back to order.

Wayne, the parliamentarian, spoke in a knowledgeable voice. "We cannot decide on the issue until there’s a vote to first reconsider the motion to table. If that motion passes, we need to discuss whether to reconsider the tabled motion. If that vote passes, the motion is off the table and now open for discussion. Then there has to be a motion to reopen the discussion on whether to spend the forty dollars. If that votes passes, we open the floor to discussion on the merits of the issue. If that votes passes…"

Fifteen minutes later, nothing substantive had happened. I was getting bored.

"Next, old business," said Sandy. "Cindy has a report from the ad hoc committee to decide what brand of condoms the house should sell in the vending machines. Cindy."

Cindy moved to the table at the front center of the room, pulled six boxes of different brands of condoms from a paper bag, and placed them on the table. "First, I'd like to thank Ren for buying these items from the Euclid Drug store down the street." She pointed to Ren, who was seated on a couch beside his bunkie, Kimberly.

"You don’t know how embarrassing that was!" said Ren. "I had to ask the pharmacist for these items, because he kept them behind the counter. He gave me the strangest look. He says to me, ‘Will there be anything else?’ and I say, 'Yeah, I want a pack of cigarettes.' Then he says, 'I'll need to see some ID.' And I say, 'What do I need an ID for?' And he says, 'I need ID for the condoms, not the cigarettes.' And I say 'You mean to tell me I don’t need your permission to kill myself and others from smoke inhalation, but I need your permission to use birth control and disease prevention?' And he says 'Yup, that's the law.' And I said, 'Man, that's fucked up!'"

"Speaking of fucking," said Sandy, "let's get to the committee's recommendation."

Cindy said, "I gave samples to several volunteers and asked them to use them and rate them and report tonight. Any recommendations?"

Nobody raised his or her hands. I saw some men shift uncomfortably in their seats.

"Do you mean to tell me nobody used the samples I handed out last week?"

None of the male volunteers could look Cindy in the eye, but the women had their excuses.

"Sorry, I'm on the pill," said one.

"I use a diaphragm," said another.

"I use a sponge." Another volunteered.

"It was my period.…"

"Wait, stop! Too much information!" Sandy yelled. "I didn't need to hear that. Save it for the Sunday night women's group." More men shifted uncomfortably in their seats.

“C’mon people! We need to select one.” Wendy was pleading. “These yellow ones are rather cute.”

The house members whispered between themselves as Wendy led a serious discussion on which of the six prophylactics would be featured prominently in the vending machine. After a half-hour, the group had not reached a consensus and the meeting was becoming wearisome.

The glass paneled door to the sunroom opened and in walked Dick Fine. A hush came over the crowd. "Sorry I'm late," he said.

Dick walked to the table and opened each of the six individual samples. He pulled at them and stretched them. He blew them up like a balloon, filling each with air past its natural and intended shape grotesquely over sizing them. He held them to the light like a wine connoisseur and licked them for taste. That sent a titter of laughter through the audience. He took out a ballpoint pen and poked at each inflated condom. One popped. I noted which brand that was and mentally crossed it off my list. Dick stared at the finalists, picked one and proclaimed, "This one. The Trojan Ribbed Lambskin, Natural Color."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advantages of Dual Philippines-US Citizenship

Image from elyong.blogspot.com
Yesterday, was my 77th birthday and also the day I reacquired my Filipino citizenship. I became a dual citizen of the US and of the Philippines. After a slow two hours and foggy drive from Sacramento to San Francisco, Macrine and I with son David arrived at the Philippine Consulate at Sutter Street at 9:30AM. After one hour I was ready to be sworn in and took the Oath of Allegiance in the presence Of Alfonso A. Ver, Deputy Consul General, Philippine Cosulate, San Francisco, California.

It was a very smooth process although six other Filipino-Americans were also applying along with me that morning. We were out of the consulate by 11 AM, plenty of time to celebrate my birthday lunch at Fisherman's Wharf wtih dungrness crabs now in season. I applaud the Consulate for the smooth process. The application fee was $50. So why did I apply for dual citizenship. The advantages and priveleges are as follows:

The Advantages

1. One who re-acquires Filipino citizenship can vote in elections in the Philippines according to Art V, Sec.1 of the Philippine Constitution.
2. One can own real property with no size limitation.
3. One can practice his/her profession provided he/she is licensed or permitted by the Philippine authority to engage in such practice ( RA 9225).
4. One can own and operate a business not generally open to foreigners among others, explorations, public utilities, mass media, cooperatives, and advertising.
5. The citizen's spouse can get an immigrant visa that entitles him/her to permanently reside in the Philippines - come and go, avoid exit clearances, entry fees, etc.
6. Can run or get an appointment to a public office provided that the person renounce his allegiance to the other country.
7. Can apply for Philippine passport and can stay in the Philippines for an unlimitted period.

Ownership of real property is a significant advantage, as existing law in the Philippines restricts ownership of real property to its own citizens. Although a foreigner is permitted to take title to a condominium, he/she cannot take title to real property (land and a house). A foreigner can lease land from a Filipino and then take ownership of a house on the land, but this type of transaction is extremely rare in the Philippines. Thus, through re-acquisition of his/her Philippine citizenship, the Filipino is once again able to purchase real property, with no restrictions.

For those wanting to retire to the Philippines, the ability to run a small business or practice one's profession is a strong benefit. Through dual citizenship, retirement in the Philippines can be the start of a new chapter in one's life, as a business person or a professional. Ownership of business as a sole proprietor or as a wholly owned corporation is severely restricted, unless a foreigner makes a significant investment ($200,000 as a minimum).

Without citizenship, a foreigner wishing to operate a business in the Philippines is limited to forming a corporation, of which he/she can only own a 40% interest. As a dual citizen, the Filipino re-acquires the right to wholly own his/her business. Thus, a foreigner married to a Filipino with dual citizenship can take 40% ownership of a business and keep it in the family by his/her dual citizenship spouse taking the remaining 60% ownership.

Other than being in an immigrant status, there is only one way a person carrying a foreign passport can reside in the Philippines for any significant amount of time, and even then it requires the foreigner to be married to a "Balikbayan" (a returning Filipino who was born in the Philippines). A Balikbayan and his/her spouse can visit and reside in the Philippines for up to one year, after which they must exit the country, and then re-enter should they wish to stay another year. This must be repeated on an annual basis

Balikbayan status is not an immigrant status, but rather a special non-immigrant visa status. Yes, one can enter without a visa and stay for a maximum of 21 days, and then get a renewal for another 38 days, followed by two month extensions for about USD $100 per extension, up to a maximum of one year. There is also a special retiree visa program permitting unlimited stay status, but it does not permit real property or business ownership.

There are only two ways for a foreigner to be registered as a non-quota immigrant and those are (i) be the spouse of a Filipino citizen who was never became a citizen of a foreign country, or (ii) be the spouse of a former Filipino citizen who has re-acquired his/her citizenship by obtaining a dual citizenship status. If desired, the door is open after 5 years residency for the foreigner to also obtain dual citizenship.

With a dual citizenship status, the Filipino has the best of both worlds - citizenship in the Philippines and all the rights that attach to that plus citizenship in his/her other country (e.g., Canada or USA) and all the rights that attach to that status.

But there are duties and obligations one must follow: Excercise the right to vote, pay taxes on income earned in the Philippines. Last but not least, support and defend the Constitution of the Philippines and obey its laws. To apply for dual citizenship call the Philippine Consulate nearest to your residence.

Source: Will Irwin (http://www.retirementlivinginthephilippines.com)
and brochure from the Philippine consulate, San Francisco, California, USA

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I am a Man but gave birth to two Sons

Photo from sodahead.com

I am a proud father of two sons for the ViewsHound community(VH). My first son was born two months ago. He turned out to be a poet. His name is Vic Vizarra. He is an engineer by profession and a poet by avocation. He was introduced to me via Facebook by a fellow Marinduqueno. She happened to be his childhood sweetheart.

Vic's first poem, A September Song was published in VH on October 10, 2011. His latest poem, Crazy Love had been in the "Most Like" column in ViewsHound for weeks. The following is Vic response to my article, Why I Have Inferiority Complex writing for ViewsHound.

“Two months ago, you told me sir Dave that the "fire is within me" when you commented on my first ever written poem, "My Forever Love" in my Facebook Notes. Since then, I already have 3 published poems in Viewshound within a month's time. Thank you very much for your encouragement and your confidence in me.”

Here's an excerpt from Vic's Vizarra VH profile.

He appreciates the encouragement from his new found friends, Dr. David Katague and Ms. Sofia Velasco-Belbis and the inspiration from his first and true love, whom he called his “Forever Love”. He is not a poet by any means, but his poems emanate from the bottom of his heart, making them especial. With the popularity of his poem, “Crazy Love” he could proudly say that a new poet from Marinduque is born.

My second son was just born a few weeks ago. His first article received several positive comments including a note from our editor, the very helpful, Ian Howlett.

His name is Frank Cabunoc. I meet Frank, last year on-line via my blogs. Frank wrote me he enjoyed reading my autobiography. We corresponded every now and then. I noticed from his comments that he is a good writer. I asked Frank to guest write for me in my blogs. As of today, he had a couple of guest articles published in my blogs. When I discovered VH last August, I encouraged Frank to write also for VH.
My encouragement resulted in his first article, mentioning me. Here's an excerpt from his well received first article.,

“On the other hand, my friend has been a prolific writer on his blog sites and an exceptional workhorse for ViewsHound. He is unstoppable by continuously entertaining us with his creative writing abilities and photograph submissions. I salute him for his literary productivity, the distinguished David Katague.

His previous article entitled “Why am I writing for ViewsHound?” inspired me and gave me an idea to create something entitled “Why I don’t write for ViewsHound”. His opinion of not comparing himself to other writers gave me a slight relief. I should also shun the idea of comparing myself to more experienced writers.”

I am very proud of the writing accomplishments of my two ViewsHound sons. I am looking forward for more articles and poems from them.

Note: I think I am pregnant with a baby girl. Two months ago, a FaceBook lady friend wanted my comments and opinion on an article she is writing. I told her to submit it to ViewsHound. I beleieve she need more encouragement before she can overcome that fear of rejection for first time writers.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cloyne Court- Excerpt 30

Image from marxists.org
Cloyne Court, Episode 30
By Dodie Katague
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Rated "R" by the Author.

A creative memoir about Cloyne Court in Berkeley, California in the late 1970s

When the men walked off, she chided me. “Just because our house does things different, does not mean you have to disclose it or use it as a selling point. I would appreciate it if you would not use sex as a selling point.”

“I never mentioned the word sex,” I replied.

“You implied it by talking about the naked showers and nude sunbathing. Derek, you’re a nice guy, but you need to learn the business world will not accept sexual innuendo as a business tactic. I think an ethical America is above all that, don’t you?”

“Fine, I’ll do it however you want. I have thirty flyers left to hand out.”

I looked at the folding table set up directly across from us on the other side of the pathway with a large-red banner with the words ‘Workers Unite’ in black lettering taped to the side. It was the table for the Revolutionary Student Brigade.

The Revolutionary Student Brigade was a leftover faction of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Founded by Bob Avakian[1] shortly after the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots in Chicago, the group espoused Marxist-Leninist-Maoist doctrine.

Sitting at the table was a young woman with long coffee-colored hair dressed in a black T-shirt with red stars on the front and a black beret. She was petite, barely five feet tall and didn’t look to be older than seventeen. She stood to take her turn in the center of Sather Gate near me.

“Rage against the US imperialist war machine! Support the class struggle against the petty bourgeois! Subscribe to The Revolutionary Worker!” She was loud.

The first page of the newspaper had a yellow circle with a red star and a silhouette of a figure holding a gun in the air.

“Live for the People. Die for the People.” She chanted at the passing people, who ignored her.

After ten minutes of slogans, I asked, “Have you sold any of the most ‘red’ newspaper on campus?” I hoped she’d see the humor in my double entendre.

“No, not yet. But that’s not the point,” she said.

“What is the point?”

“We are defending the interest of the masses. We’re trying to organize the oppressed from their oppressors. We believe the workers and the students will unite and continue the fight against the capitalistic power structure and embrace a Marxist-Leninist analysis for a people’s revolution!” She was yelling, as if the conversation was meant for the larger audience behind me.

“Don’t you think your group’s tactics of defending your views by any means necessary repels the majority of upper, middle-class white students who go here?”

“I’m a white, upper, middle-class high school student,” she said. “You don’t see me in bed with the lackeys of US imperialism.”

I didn’t see her in bed with anyone with that attitude. “You’re a high school student,” I said. “How old are you and what are you doing here?”

“I’m seventeen. I’m graduating early from Westgate High School. I’ll be at Berkeley next quarter. I have enough AP credit to graduate, so I don’t need more high school classes. I thought I’d get an early start on changing the world.”

“Your parents let you do this?”

“My parents are puppets of the imperialist war effort. My father knows I’m here over his objections. But he’s stuck in his corporate office in a tall skyscraper in San Francisco supporting the oppression of the working class. There’s nothing he can do to stop me.”

“You went to Westgate?” I asked. Westgate was the rival high school in a city near Briones Valley. The school had an outstanding debate team. I went to debate camp one summer and roomed with a geek from Westgate named Matt Brooks. His debate skills were legendary throughout the National Forensic League.

“Did you know Matt Brooks?” I asked. I couldn’t help myself. Don’t you hate it when you tell people you’re from California and they ask, ‘Do you know such and such?’ As if I would know all twenty-two million people in California, but here I was asking her.

“Matt Brooks,” she said. “He was my boyfriend last year, before he graduated.”

I was dumbfounded. Matt Brooks was not the type to have a girlfriend. He wore the thickest, black-plastic glasses in the geekdom universe. He dressed like a geek in short sleeve dress shirts buttoned to the neck, corduroy pants and Hush Puppy Penny Loafers. He was ambivalent about dating and the opposite sex. He never mentioned a girlfriend when he was my roommate during summer debate camp.

“Matt graduated last year and went off to Harvard. We might have stayed together if he hadn’t decided the Spartacus Youth League Trotskyite viewpoint was better attuned to his political beliefs. What a bourgeois decadent fascist,” she said.

The SYL was not as leftist as the Revolutionary Student Brigade. The RSB viewed anything to the political right of them as brown-shirt material. I didn’t need to ask where she thought the corporate blue suits with their yellow-power ties stood in the political dress-code spectrum.

I handed her a flyer for the Co-op. “When you’re ready to move out from your parents, consider Cloyne Court,” I said. “We have a bunch of Trotskyites living there now. They have regular meetings.” I was putting my self-interest lesson into practice. Only it was my self-interest this time, not hers. I liked her. I wanted to see more of her.

“My name is Derek. I’m glad to meet a friend of Matt Brooks.”

“And my name is Diane,” she said. She raised her hand in a black power salute.

“Want to help prevent the destruction of the International Hotel in San Francisco on Saturday?” she asked. “We’re taking a radical step to respond to a social injustice. We’re going to chain ourselves to the building, so they can’t bulldoze it. How about it?”

“No thanks, I’m not ready for radical change yet.”

“If not now, when?” she asked. That is a question I have often asked myself for the last twenty-five years.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] He’s now hiding in France from the FBI.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Memorable New Year's Eve Escapade

California Central Valley Tule Fog

New Years Eve in California's Central Valley with our new-found friends

New Year's Eve of 1970 was one of the most unforgettable event in my life here in the US. In mid September of 1969, I found myself relocating my family (wife and four young children of grade school ages) from Kansas City, Missouri to Modesto, California. The move was not that traumatic, since relocation expenses, including packing and repacking expenses/activities were paid by my new employer, Shell Development Company.

Modesto, California is the county seat of Stanislaus County, right in the heart of the central valley of California- Land of Fruits and Nuts. The area is famous for its tule* fog during winter. The locals called it the “soup”.

As a newcomer, I had no idea how it feels driving in the soup. I have a feeling though that it could be dangerous, but had no idea how nerve-racking an experience it could be. Driving in the “soup” with zero visibility that new Year's eve night of 1969 is not an experience, I want repeated in my life. I remember, how I felt. I thought, I will run out of breathe and feel like suffocating. I felt trapped and claustrophobic inside the car. The fog was so thick, my car fog lights was of no help. The drive from Modesto to Stockton normally takes less than 30 minutes during the day. But that night it took me an hour because of the dense fog.

Why was I driving on New Years Night in Highway 99 in the middle of the worst valley fog in Central California?. Read on.

My move from Kansas City, Missouri to Modesto, California was a stage in my professional career, I called my “pre-midlife crisis career move”. I loved and enjoyed my job at Chemagro Corporation in Kansas City, Missouri. However, when I received a job offer from a job hunter with a 20% raised in salary, I accepted it without fear and hesitation. In addition, I have always preferred living in the West Coast of the US than in the Midwest, where the winters are milder. Little did I know that the winter fog was horrible in our new home. I would compare driving in the fog with zero visibility here in Central California in the same category of danger as driving in a blinding rain storm or snow storm of the East Coast( Maryland and Virginia) and of the Midwest ( Illinois and Missouri).

During the last four months of 1969, my wife and four children were busy adjusting to their new surroundings and in their elementary schooling. We did not have time to join any local organizations and have zero friends except our next door neighbor. With my new job, I had no time making new friends except with my co-employees. So when New year Eve came, Macrine and I were desperate for some social interaction. We decided to go out for a late dinner on New Years Eve in one of Stockton's 4-star restaurants. Stockton is about 25 miles north of Modesto along Highway 99. The teenager daughter of our neighbor baby sat for the kids.

We arrived at the restaurant at about 9:30PM. The restaurant was filled to capacity. We waited in the bar for available seats. In the bar was another couple also waiting to be seated. They were a little bit older than us. The lady was of Asian ancestry and the man was Caucasian. Macrine and I were desperate for company, and the couple appeared very friendly, so I initiated the conversation. I do not remember what exactly happened, but we decided to get a table for four instead of two tables for two.

Our dinner of steak and lobster was excellent. Conversation flowed freely oiled by two bottles of wine. From our rapport and conversation, it appeared the four of us were long time friends. We learned that the lady had Filipino ancestry. We also learned that they are also Roman Catholics and have resided in the Stockton area for the last 10 years. They have no children and have plans of adopting an orphan from the Philippines.

Their house was in the housing development very near to the restaurant and only about a 3 minutes drive. We finished dinner and dessert at about 11:30PM. Our new found friends decided to invite us to their home for an after dinner drink, so we will not be driving in the highway at midnight. With our adventurous spirit, Macrine and I accepted their invitation without any fear or hesitation.

When we got out of the restaurant, the fog was already thick with only a few feet of visibility. The couple's residence was in the area of middle and upper-middle class homes. The house was tastefully furnished and decorated with several Philippine antiques that the lady had inherited from her Filipino grandparents. We stayed at their home until 1:00AM. We had a bottle of champagne at midnight. I just took a sip, because I know I will be driving through a thick fog on our way home.

Our baby sitter was glad to see us at 2AM after an hour of slow driving because of the fog. The drive was so nerve-racking, I vowed I will never drive in a fog if at all possible or unless there is a medical emergency involving a life or death situation.

Reflecting back to this experience, I can not believe, that Macrine and I allowed ourselves be picked up by complete strangers who later became our close friends. We continued our friendship with the Stockton couple, until 1974 when we moved to the San Francisco bay area after I lost my job from Shell Development Company(SDC). SDC closed their agricultural research facility in Modesto because they wanted to get out of the pesticide business.

Indeed, this is one New Year Night's escapade that Macrine and I will always remember as long as we live.

*Tule fog ( /ˈtuːliː/) is a thick ground fog that settles in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley areas of California's Great Central Valley. This phenomenon is named after the tule grass wetlands (tulares) of the Central Valley. Accidents caused by the tule fog are the leading cause of weather-related casualties in Central California.(From Wikipedia)

Reference: My Autobiography, Chapter 9: http://theintellectualmigrant.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Marinduque in my Heart Video

Me and Congressman Velasco, MI Inc Medical Mission of Love, February, 2011

It is time to view a video on the beauty and tourist attractions of Marinduque. Chateau Du Mer is featured in the first 1.1 minute of the video for a few seconds.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cloyne Court- Excerpt 29

Handing Flyers at Sather Gate
Cloyne Court, Episode 29
By Dodie Katague
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Rated "R" by the Author.

A creative memoir about Cloyne Court in Berkeley, California in the late 1970s
______________________________

“Well, Derek, it’s about time somebody showed up. I told Casey not to wait until the last minute, but he always does. I can’t wait until the next house election.”

I imagined the Machiavellian plots churning in her head. “Ok, what do I have to do?” I asked.

“Help me hand out these flyers advertising the co-op system to people passing by. Oh, Casey may have told you the work shift is two hours of credit, but you can’t leave until all the flyers have been handed out.”

I looked at the stacks of flyers and counted four quires of paper, two hundred sheets, to hand out. I would have to hand out one hundred sheets an hour to finish in two hours, a daunting task. From experience of walking here at lunchtime, I calculated if I handed out 1.6 flyers every second, it could be done.

I grabbed a handful, stood in the middle of the bridge and held out flyers to students walking in both directions. People refused to take them. Most avoided eye contact and pushed through the crowd ignoring me. Those who did take a flyer, scowled. No one actually wanted a flyer. Why should they? Dozens of groups were handing out scores of flyers.

After fifteen minutes of limited success, I realized that I had become the same hawker who had annoyed me daily when I was commuting to Berkeley. I didn’t want to be there irritating people. A group of fraternity boys walked toward me. I held a flyer in front of them.

“Shove it up your ass,” said one.

“Live at Cloyne Court?” said the other. “Who would want to live in an anarchist hellhole like that?”

I watched other students walk past. Some were walking in pairs, talking and smiling. Most were walking alone heaving heavy book packs and displaying determined looks on their faces as they hurried to their next destination. I saw a young man sauntering slowly along the path.

I held out a flyer. “Hey, looking for a place to live on campus? Want to meet other students?”

He took the flyer and looked at it suspiciously. “You know, you’re the first person who’s spoken to me in a week.”

“You’re commuting to school, right?” I asked. “San Francisco. Taking BART daily?”

“Yeah, how’d you know?”

Because I had seen the look on his face before, on mine. He was lonely.

“Check it out, OK?” I said. He walked off still reading the flyer. For a moment, I felt a moral quiver. I had done a random act of kindness by talking to him. I’d like to think because of that one moment, the guy moved into the co-ops, graduated with honors and is now a millionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur[1] with a company employing thousands of people.

Then, like receiving the key to a Cryptex, I discovered I had learned an important lesson. I didn’t learn it in the classroom from some bigheaded, highly credentialed egomaniacal, Nobel Prize winning professor, but standing under Sather Gate in the hot sun.

To persuade people to do something, even as simple as take a flyer from your hands, you have to look at them, size them up and determine what their self-interest is. Their motivation can be fear, hunger, money or status. Whatever it is, people will do what you want if they believe it is in their self-interest. For that one student, it was conversation. He wanted someone to talk too.

I sized up the students walking in my direction and talked to them based on my assumptions. My presumptions may have been wrong, but the method was working.

If they were laughing and talking and seemed social, I said, “Want to live in a fun place?” Of course they did. They took a flyer.

If they looked poor and shabbily dressed, even by college student standards, I held out a flyer and asked, “Need a cheap place to live?” They took a flyer.

A group of engineering students walked toward me. They were dressed like the stereotype, short-sleeved shirts with pocket protectors, thick eyeglasses, poor grooming and a disheveled appearance. “Want student housing a block from Cory Hall (the engineering building)?” They took a flyer.

After less than an hour, I had handed out two-thirds of the stack.

Another group of men wearing fraternity T-shirts walked toward the gate. My first encounter with the frat rats had been a failure. Here was my second chance to prove the validity of my newly learned lesson. I thought intensely about what to say as they approached.

“Want to live in a house where men and women shower together and sunbathe nude in the backyard?” I said. The men looked at me as if I was crazy, but everyone took a flyer. “Single rooms and only one roommate?” They stopped in their tracks and waited to hear more. I had discovered their sore spot. These new pledges probably lived in a room with four or five other guys. Space and privacy was at a minimum.

“The food’s not bad either,” I said.

The men asked some questions, and I answered as honestly as I could. I looked over at Betty Sue. She had a dour look on her face. I guessed she was not pleased with my tactics.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Like Gordon Moore, founder of Intel, who lived at Cloyne Court in the 1960s. He gave money to the USCA for Cloyne’s restoration work in the mid-1980s.

______________________________

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Guest Article from Deb Hamilton-What to do with your Weiner at the Gym


Today's guest article is from Deb Hamilton. It is a piece of writing I enjoyed very much. I hope it makes you smile and enjoy the humorous side of Deb. Deb is a middle-aged woman married to a trophy husband, a guy she just calls “Scotch.” Deb has three young adult children, three dogs, one cat, 137 pet peeves, and a fish named Goldengate. Deb loves to travel to funky places that require a passport and plenty of antidiarrheals. A “woman of a certain age,” she’ll readily tell you what she thinks or what you should think. Or maybe just tell you off. You’ll get used to it.

FAQ: What To Do With Your Weiner At The House Gym

Semi-nude photos of Representative Anthony Weiner taken at the House Gym on Capitol Hill have been recently, um, uncovered. This has caused the staff here at the gym to reconsider some of our guidelines. Many people don't know what to do with their Weiner while they're working out. These FAQs should help clear up any confusion and help you appropriately handle your Weiner:

1. Can I just leave my Weiner at home? No. Some Weiners get lonely if you don't take them out enough. They might chew the sofa or get on Twitter without you. Always take your Weiner wherever you go.

2. Does my Weiner have to pay a separate entrance fee? Please see the wall chart posted by the main desk. Only Weiners that are shorter than the height of Nancy Pelosi's outstretched arm can get in for free.

3. Who is obligated to watch my Weiner while I work out? Anyone may watch your Weiner at any time but the staff here at the House Gym cannot be held liable for any physical, emotional, or psychological damage caused by your errant Weiner. It is best to keep your Weiner close at hand. Unruly Weiners cannot be allowed on the premises.

4. My Weiner has needs; who is responsible to meet these needs during my workout routine? Please ensure that your Weiner is content prior to arriving at the gym. Exceptions cannot be made for sick Weiners, for Weiners following Kosher dietary laws, or for Weiners allergic to nuts.

5. Does my Weiner need to have a separate towel? Staff members are not permitted to make this determination. If you feel comfortable sharing a towel with your Weiner, this is allowable. Please be advised, however, that some Weiners require the use of two towels.

6. What should I do if my Weiner gets tired before I do? This is a sensitive issue for some of our clients. You may want to discuss this with your family doctor, after sending her photos of your Weiner.

7. Could my Weiner feel shy in the shower area? Yes. Just assure your Weiner that it is normal to have these feelings.

8. What if my Weiner doesn't feel shy enough in the shower area? Some Weiner behaviors just have to be ignored. Try not to make any sudden moves or draw undue attention to your Weiner.

9. How much time should I give it if my Weiner is having a hard time following the House Gym rules? Members who have Weiners continually breaking the rules should resign themselves to the fact that this might not be the place for their Weiner. Accordingly, they should secure alternate arrangements as soon as it is feasible.

Please visit Deb Hamilton blog at http://debutopia.blogspot.com

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