Monthly Archives: February 2015

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.


"Logic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end." -- Spock (Star Trek VI)

“Logic is the beginning of wisdom; not the end.” — Spock (Star Trek VI)

Leonard Nimoy dies at age 83

The title was his last tweet.

Mr. Spock was one of my childhood inspirations. If anything I looked up to the ability he had to analyze logically, act reasonably, yet be tempered by intangible things such as duty, friendship, and wisdom. Inspired by the way his character seemed to know so much, I happily embarked into reading everything I could and studied hard as I could.

I’m too sad to say more.

Reading before sleeping

I like short stories, since I can read one story right before going to sleep. So I was looking forward to seeing the next Book Bomb at Monster Hunter Nation. Book Bombs are basically Larry saying “I read this author’s book, think it’s totally awesome, it hasn’t got enough attention and I think you, my readers, would enjoy it.” Since the books usually recommended by Larry are highly entertaining reads, his readers buy copies, which boost the book up the Amazon rankings in the hopes that people not participating in the Book Bomb see it and give the book / author a chance. Talk about giving talented new authors a boost!

Anyway, the previous Book Bomb and this current one are different, since they involve shorter works – novella, novellette and short stories – of authors they think are worthy of being nominated for a Hugo. The latter two types are especially problematic to get a hold of because they tend to be published in anthologies or magazines, so Larry and Brad Torgersen contacted the authors for something that could be plugged in lieu of the stories in question. In this case though, one of the authors responded that the story that was nominated is up for free online.

Tuesdays with Molakesh the Destroyer is a well written short by Megan Grey, which is one of the stories on the Sad Puppies slate. (EDITED TO ADD: Turns out it’s not eligible, I think, until next year. I hope it gets nominated then!) I actually think it could be made into a movie. It manages to have the reader relate easily to the narrating character, establishes right off the bat that this is urban fantasy, and had me wondering ‘why is Molakesh there?’ I giggled reading about the homeowners’ association; I hear such horror stories about them so I kinda get the reference; our own experiences of such are different (at least, back in my parents’ house in the Philippines in the place where we lived. There’s no way that area would get the uniform neat appearance of mowed lawns and limitations on what you could plant and such. Ahem. Digressed.) The characters are people one can easily relate with, especially if one is one of those social outcasts during high school for whatever reason, and was bullied during that time. The main character is clearly a teen; and I liked how she is handled. Sarah Jean’s responses and her interaction with her mother is one I’m fairly sure most of us can relate to: “But Mom~!” … then having to grumblingly do as told. I do wish the concept of ‘service’ as is used in the story were a bit more elaborated on; but perhaps if it were made into a movie it could be better shown. (I can dream right?)

Molakesh, despite being a demon, is also a character that is familiar to us – the crochety, lonely old man in the neighborhood, and yet the story makes no bones about him being a demon. Yet in that description is the key to the rest of the story, which I won’t spoil. Go read it, it’s one that I found easy to immerse myself in.

The portrayal of Molakesh had me remembering the episodic Game-of-Thrones-esque epic saga my youngest brother was writing around the age of 6-10. It involved demons, detailed power struggles, complete with multipage, extremely detailed character profiles and demon type profiles. (Why demons? My brother said ‘because angels would be boring to write about.’ He was a six year old in a family of Odds.) I wonder what happened to the story – he spent hours illustrating it (with very childish drawings in pencil and crayon and colored pencils. C’mon. Six years old.)

This story sent me back to those days, where he’d tell us the story’s latest installments as we sat around the dinner table.

He’s an auditor now, and he still has that exacting attention to detail.

I think I’ll email him about it before I sleep. And email him the link to the story. I think he’d enjoy it too. He would have done, at six.

edited to add: I’ve bought Totaled by Kary English, and A Time Foreclosed by Edward M. Lerner. The anthologies are added to my wishlist for now, because that was all my digital loose change. ;_;

I am more than that

I’m going to have to start this with something unfortunately unrelated.

Hi, if you’re here because of a quote taken out of context, you are likely being used by Yama the Space Fish, also known as Yamamanama, aka Andrew P. Marston. Please refer to the Yama Stalker PSA and the list of various pseudonyms. This is a man living in the US who has been stalking me since 2009 and has been attempting to get people to attack me online as well as trying to defame me as ‘anti-woman with internalized misogyny’ or ‘homophobic’ or paint me as a bigot of some stripe or type by taking my words out of context in often what are several threads deep discussions, quoting them in other websites with parts removed (like my mentions of Yama being a stalker of women). His deep hatred and misogyny has been long documented, and he has a years-long vendetta against me that includes his threatening my children for my disagreeing with him in a discussion, a threat he has repeated again and again over the years. Lately he has been trying to drag other people into his vendetta, or trick them into doing the kind of behavior they condemn.


Larry Correia fisks and dissects very neatly how racist and exclusionary the call by someone I shall refer to as Princess Teacup Tempest to ‘read only (insert racial/skin color/sexual/sexuality-based minority / non-hetero / male) writers is. It’s worth a read, especially if you are sick and tired about radfems/tumblr feminists. For the record, I’m an equalist and value meritocracy. And before someone decides to dismiss me as white and male, with all due (dis)respect, I’m not either of those.

The funny thing is, the comments themselves observe that the list of such writers would include Larry himself, as well as Sarah A. Hoyt, along with a number of authors mentioned in the comments to be female, or black, or well, not Caucasian, or not Christian, or not heterosexual (C.J. Cherryh is a lesbian? News to me… and I honestly don’t care because booooooks) – heck, I myself, if I wanted to, could tick the non-white box (I’m Filipina), the non-male box (I’m female – in fact I gave birth only last month) and quietly am not Christian (I consider my religious beliefs and practices personal and have nothing to do with my writing). By those criteria, we’d all be on the list of ‘approved authors worthy of approbation’ and Princess Tempest in a Teacup would be recommending our works to everyone!

But I don’t want to tick those boxes. I’m more than ‘just’ female, Asian, non-Christian, heterosexual. Those are only facets of what make me as a whole, and not the entirety of who I am. I am a fan of fun, inspiring, exciting stories, who wants to write stories in the hope that other people enjoy their visits to my imaginary worlds, that my readers want to know ‘what happens next?’, who dreams that young readers pick up my stories and enjoy reading, maybe outgrow me and move on to other stories by other authors, their love of reading growing with them. If anyone could accuse me of a dastardly plot, “I want people to have fun reading” is the extent of it.

When I’m writing fiction, the fact that I’m female has nothing to do with the story – after all, it’s not my vagina typing out the tale, is it? Continue reading

Returning to a list of laughter

I had a small chunk of time where the baby boy decided to let Mummy have breakfast coffee and chug through the budgeting this morning.

Nap time. Brandon is also outgrowing his box.

Nap time. Brandon is also outgrowing his box.

I’d just finished and the wonderful Kate Paulk messaged me with a familiar list.

This is the RPG gamer version of the Skippy List, and the last time I’d read it I vaguely remember there being something like 1200 odd items on the list. There’s over 2000 now. I’ll have something very light and fun to read while nursing Brandon that I can set aside easily whenever he needs more care.

On that front, the littlest one grew a lot in the last six days. Nearly 300 grams! The nurse and I guess that Brandon’s been on a growth spurt. Rhys had been suspecting that for a while now because the baby’s been feeding more, and has had a few crying jags where nothing consoles him but being in my arms, often feeding heavily in his sleep, where he will wake within minutes of being laid back to his bed. This has resulted in some sleepless nights but he was getting noticeably bigger and longer. Now that I know he has a growth spurt I’ll massage his back and limbs with the aim of soothing the aches, not just to provide touch and soothing.

On that note he just woke and needs a nappy change.

Having too much pun.

My mom decided to indulge in inflicting me with one of the favorite Filipino past-times of punnishing me with double-entendres and tongue-in-cheek puns. Now, since I’ve moved to Australia, I get these on a regular basis, especially as Rhys is someone who’s weaponized the use of punning (his unit occasionally forget to watch what they say around him, and the results are fun) and Aff and he sometimes toss them around to try one-up each other.

Some of these are easy to understand if you’ve been exposed to the accent of English-speaking Filipinos, while some will need translating, so bear with me when I have to explain the jokes.

We're going with the intentionally funny use of language, not the 'lost in translation and cultural myopia' type. 'Negros' is the name of a region in the Philippines, and has nothing to do with American history, or racism.

We’re going with the intentionally funny use of language, not the ‘lost in translation and cultural myopia’ type. ‘Negros’ is the name of a region in the Philippines, and has nothing to do with American history, or racism.

Ang Kat Tea – Ang kati – ‘how itchy’. A good ginger, lemon and honey tea does a good job of soothing an itchy throat, I have found.

Bun of Brothers -a burger place. Do they break bread with strangers too, I wonder?

Brew HA – bruha – ‘witch.’  Great fun to be had with spelling (spilling, muahahahaha) the (magic) beans at that coffee shop, I see.

Eat My GF- their best seller item is garlic fries
Ken Afford – Located along Katipunan Avenue, where there are at least three large universities and a plethora of schools, their menu is something students can afford… especially if you’re able to afford the tuitions in the schools in this area.

Meats and Match -one has choices of meat dishes; and veggie side dishes.

Johnny’s Fried Chicken-The Fried of Marikina – They’re quite right to be pride-ful of their chicken. It was quite yummy when I tasted it.

Nacho Fast  – a snack stall shop pulling fast ones! How cheesy, natcherally.

OBEERTIME  – what you need, clearly, after too much overtime.

PorkBarrel Grill and Restaurant  – do we have senators and governors visiting here frequently?

TRI MO SHAWARMA CO   – “Try mo shawarma ko’ = mo is ‘you’ and ‘ko’ is ‘my’, so this translates to “You try my shawarma.”

Aha, found the same list, but with pictures (and the comments have some additional ones but are a bit harder to translate.)

Pizza ng Ina Mo – Ina mo, Ina Ko, Ina nating lahat – “(word) ng ina mo” … in use is similar to ‘(word) your momma’s face’, but a far ruder version exists – ‘puta ng ina mo’ – your mom is a whore. Translated literally though, the sign says “Your Mother’s Pizza – Your Mom, My Mom, Everyone’s Mom.” I guess this is a variation of a ‘yo momma is’ joke?

Jusko Thai – A play of words on a phrase often used in exasperation, ‘dios ko, dai/day!’ = Dios ko ‘ my God’ and ‘dai/day’ is a slang term of familiarity used by women and local gays, that’s kinda like the Aussie use of ‘mate’.

You Food – (burp)cast yourself  – … From the Net and back again…

Tang Inasal – (pu)tang ina – ‘Sonuvabi–‘; plus inasal – which is a very flavorful preparation of grilled chicken. Politically correct, we are not. Easily amused? Very.

SleepNot Cafe – Either this is a net cafe, or a coffee shop, or both. The latter is entirely possible.

Adobo Putoshop  – groooooooooooooooan Adobo, which is a Filipino stew, and puto – steamed rice cakes

Beer Hunter

Hijo de Pita – makes sense if you know a little Spanish.

Bagneto – bagnet is a pork dish. The logo has a pig’s face instead of the usual actor’s.

Aristoback. And as their name suggests, located at the back of The Aristocrat. Location: Malate, Manila.

SkewU Grill!

Harry Pata – Crispy pata is deep fried or crispy grilled pork knuckle / belly

Goto Heaven – Goto – savory rice congee.

Seditious Filipino Cuisine

KKK – A Pinoy Food Revolution – Patriotic Punny Pinoyisms with some history thrown in. KKK in the Philippines stands for Samahang Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng̃ mg̃a Anak ng̃ Bayan – English: Supreme and Most Honorable Society of the Children of the Nation, a secret society pushing for independence which was responsible for the Philippine Revolution.


Not restaurants:

Your Wash Is My Command

Talk Dirty To Me

Philippine Hairlines



Ah, I do love the entertaining use of language, don’t you? ^_^


More from a quick Google search:

Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus

Grillenium Falcon – Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Bread Zeppelin

Pita Pan

Thai Tanic – Adventures of Thai Cuisine

Custard’s Last Stand

Lord of the Wings

Lord of the Fries

Wok This Way

Hu’s On First Asian Bistro

The Codfather

Frying Nemo

Pho Shizzle

Just Falafs Good Mood Food

Udder Delights Cheese Cellar

Lebaneser Scrooge

Blackboard sign outside a pub: Breakfast is Coming – Game of Scones  *Javabean’s Allegiance Lies WIth House Ma(unreadable letter)rina on this one.

Restaurant sign: Ain’t Nobody Got Thai For That

A Salt and Battery Fish and Chips

Planet of the Grapes – Wine shop

What the Pho Vietnamese Noodle Shop

Coming home

Brandon: I’ve had enough of the hospital. I want outta here.

So my little warrior proceeded to Shoryuken the requirements the doctors said he needed to go home.

The very next day the feeding tube was removed, and he proceeded to gain the weight he needed to GTFO.

The very next day the feeding tube was removed, and he proceeded to gain the weight he needed to GTFO.

So, Brandon celebrates his pwning of the system in the manner worthy of men.

Father-son fist bump of triumph!!

Father-son fist bump of triumph!!

Brandon: I’m ready to go home Daddy!

Daddy: Yay! That’s my boy ^_^


Actually, Brandon was cleared to go home on Monday; I’m posting about it only on Thursday evening. We’ve been flat out scrambling since and still aren’t caught up.

His crib is kinda ready though.


I’m supposed to keep him in his crib if he’s not nursing. Not a very realistic proposal since I have to try maximize the time he’s asleep to either catch up on rest myself (that’s when he goes back into his crib) or eat, or bathe, or sort out baby stuff, or other household things. Happily the crib and the baby change table were mostly sorted out by Rhys before I got home.

There are times I’ve had to put him down somewhere though, when he’s happy to be laid down and just look around while Mummy bustles about.


Special delivery

I improvised at one point with this portable … uh, bassinet made from a Hobby Search delivery box and one of the thicker folded up baby blankets he can’t use because it’s too hot right now.

This is more my speed.

This is more my speed.

For some reason Brandon sleeps better in his improvised crib. Seriously, he’s in the box right next to me, and will sleep better in it even if the flat surface of his bed, or ours, is available.

I do hope to buy him a little portable cloth crib though.

He is enjoying the perks of home, like a bath ‘tub’ that fits him.

He is not crying. I will take that as he likes the bath but is unsure of the bubbles.

He is not crying. I will take that as he likes the bath but is unsure of the bubbles.

And he fascinates his uncle Aff, who can’t get over how tiny he is.

Aff: My hand is bigger than he is!

Aff: My hand is bigger than he is!

Unfortunately for the older siblings they can’t come close for a while because they were sick while I was gone. They are enjoying being able to see him from a bit of distance though.

Nap time.

Nap time.

All in all, content to be home.




Augmented reality


I’ll admit I’m really looking forward to seeing the way that Windows 10 and Microsoft’s Hololens will change how we do a lot of things. While it may be that interactive true holograms like what we see in Iron Man are still off, these are exciting new developments in technology that I’m hoping to see go truly mobile. As it is, we have potential to head in that direction thanks to the Hololens being able to interface with Windows 10 compatible smart phones and tablets.


Yes, I'd like to see things like these.

Yes, I’d like to see things like these.

If you’re worried about security Aff has been quite impressed with the direction on file security that they are taking with Windows 10 – apparently, they’ve made it so that even Microsoft can’t access your account data. I’m a little hazy on this and how it works but it seems that only the end user will have access. Data recovery, from the initial info I’m hearing from Aff, may be impossible. No more sticking a Windows file-system HDD into a ‘nix box and recovering files? Yikes. But your data is gonna be secure!

At present we are still limited to having large interfacing machines – though, granted we are experiencing leaps and bounds in the advancement of that. Most of the stuff I hear about the Hololens is from Aff keeping up to date with it, and they’re working on making it lighter and lighter.

This will become more user-friendly as technology and capability shrinks.

connexus02 connexus01

Maybe Connexus-like devices aren’t far off? The concept in this case isn’t too different from Bluetooth but has a holographic display that the end user can interact with. I’m imagining that it might be possible that we end up with more interesting looking displays and graphical user interfaces.

I heard (meaning, I’m told this and I haven’t got a way to confirm because I tried searching and turned up dry) that the head of MS wants the Hololens so light that it won’t be noticeable – and supposedly quipped that he wants it unnoticeable because he wants to be able to slip it onto the heads of employees who have fallen asleep on the job, and have monsters jump them when they wake up. That sure brings a whole new level to the batsu-gamu, punishment game.



Speaking of games, I’m quite delighted that they’re working on having games on Steam compatible with the Hololens. While the videos talk about Minecraft, I’m thinking they’ll inevitably move in more games. Aff, Rhys and I were talking about the potential near VR if not VR levels of play for games like Dead Light. For the record I’m the kind of person who tends to get so immersed that getting surprised by a Creeper in Minecraft from behind in what I thought was a safe zone resulted in a near heart attack and me letting loose a bloodcurdling scream that had Aff running in from the other room, expecting me to be… I dunno, covered in redback spiders maybe. So I’m not really up to jumping straight into VR zombie hunting gaming. According to Aff, Gabe Newell (spelling unsure) tried to game with the Hololens and tried it with Dead Light; and there have been testers who ended up breaking their Hololens when they tried dodging monsters or projectiles.

I'm not 'upgrading' to scenes like this.

I’m not ‘upgrading’ to scenes like this.

So while it may change the way that we see and play games its likely to be something I ease into slowly.

Gaming aside, I’m very curious to see how this technology will affect things like education (very greatly I imagine!), 3D and digital art, and film-making. To some extent we already see holograms, such as they are now, being used in entertainment – Hatsune Miku’s concerts spring to mind, and here are some non-Miku examples. The concept of virtual digital assistants with a visible presence isn’t far off in this idea either, and as it is, MS is bundling Cortana as the virtual assistant for Windows from now on.

While there is no guarantee she will look like this, the character from HALO might be the default assistant image/avatar?

While there is no guarantee she will look like this, the character from HALO might be the default assistant image/avatar?

Personally, I’m hoping we can create customize ones. I’d like mine to be a little shoulder-dragon voiced by Hugh Laurie. ^_^

Certainly the expansion of social media capabilities and access are possible and extensive, well beyond my ability to  imagine at present.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that the reason why I’m having problems being imaginative at the moment is hinted by my nearly falling asleep at my keyboard for the last half hour now. My brain is threatening sleep mode so this is getting posted now.