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Monday, February 26, 2024

Got Some Wall and Post Lamps

The lamp on our front window hasn't been working for awhile now. I also noticed it deteriorated a lot over the past year. We had an electrician check it and he said it was substandard. No wonder it looks like it's ready to fall off. I'm also not fond of the lighting fixture on the gate posts. I think the bulb will go out soon so I told Sweetie we should look for nicer fixtures. 

We were planning to go to a home depot. It's been so hot lately and it won't be a good idea for me to go to one. I don't want to have a heat stroke like that time we went during summer. Uh-uh. We went out for errands the other day and ended up at Alabang Town Center. We were trying to avoid crowded areas and ended up passing by a section of lighting fixture stores. 




I saw Robles Heritage had a good selection of wall and post lamps. Marvin, the store manager, helped me look through their items. He also explained the material and some history of Robles Heritage. I'm familiar with the store and know it's been around for a long time. I used to visit it way back when I would imagine having my own house. 




We found something we liked, but told Marvin we'll check first with the architect if it's fit for our wall and post. We just came back for it after having lunch. The good news is Marvin gave us a nice discount. He also gave his number in case the electrician would have questions. We decided to get lighting fixtures from a reputable company since sometimes when you just buy stuff online you don't really know about the quality of the item. 




We're happy with our purchase. The aluminum material of the lamp is quite thick and I expect it would last a long time. We're making it a point to be more proactive with choosing materials for the house now to make sure we get good quality materials that will last long. We just need to have it installed. Hopefully soon!

#BeKind #StaySafe

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Daddy Daughter Dates

We've been watching Young Sheldon for awhile now. I'm really glad it's on Netflix already. I had previously watched parts of it whenever I traveled (SQ ftw!). We re-started watching from season 1 and one of the really cute episodes was when George brough Missy for a daddy daughter date. She even dressed as a princess. 


Pasacao, 70s.


The episode reminded me of my daddy-daughter dates with my Dad. We would usually head to Quad and eat at his favorite restaurant, Ling Nam. He would usually get beef noodles and siopao. At that time I was still very picky with what I eat, so I would eat the siopao skin. Daddy didn't like it and I'd eat it. We did that until I eventually appreciated eating the whole siopao. 

Those dates extended to indulgences. It was Dad who bought me my very first cassette tape, Michael Jackson's Thriller album! Eventually I discovered McDonald's. Mom never allowed me to buy happy meals, but Dad would always indulge me. On Sundays, Dad would always buy me a Twin Popsies after hearing mass.

Fond core memories I treasure. Sweetie gives me the skin of his siopao whenever we eat. I still eat Twin Popsies whenever it's available (I think they call it Twin Pops now). I just got an orange one the other day from Makati Supermart. It used to be one of our go-to places when it was still in Makati. Dad and I would usually exit the supermart whenever Mom took so long and we'd eat spaghetti there. 

Miss you Dad <3

Happy EDSA Anniversary! 

#BeKind #StaySafe

Saturday, February 24, 2024

My Cacti Bit Me

It was my Mama Lola who liked collecting cacti and succulents. I remember she had her collection in a corner of my Mom's garden. Since then I had been curious about having my own.

I started buying but for many years I always failed. I eventually stopped since it seemed like a waste of money because I couldn't care for them properly. A friend though gave me some. I still killed about half of what she gave but in time I improved. I researched and asked the nursery about the right soil to use.





Now I get to enjoy re-potting my cacti and succulents every few months when they outgrow their pot. What's great about taking care of cacti and succulents is they're pretty low maintenance as long as your soul mixture is good. 





I spent about 3 and a half hours re-potting the other day. I use gloves, of course, but one cacti bit me through my glove. Ouchie! I continued working on them though since the prick is no different from my sewing pin bites. Haha.

Now I just need to remember what day I should water my cacti and succulents. Summer usually changes the schedule because it's too hot!

#BeKind #StaySafe 


Friday, February 23, 2024

"Old Town" in Bacoor

One of my favorite cafes (restoes) in KL is Old Town White Coffee. I like their white milk tea and visited it whenever I got the chance (usually at KLIA on the way home). They eventually opened a branch in Singapore and frequented it after mass on Sundays. Even managed to bring Mom there (she loves milk tea too!). 


Old Town White Coffee in Kuala Lumpur


We went on a road trip the other day and passed by a place called, "Old Town". The signage looked a lot like "Old Town Coffee"! When we got closer I laughed out loud when I saw the whole signage, "Old Town Lechon". It was a take-away place for roasted chicken and pork belly. They definitely don't serve coffee or milk tea since next door was "Kaffee Kafe". 


It's funny but, oh boy, I hope they don't get in trouble like what happened to MangDonald's.


I know there's a branch of Old Town White Coffee here in Manila. We've been planning to visit it, just haven't had the time. I hope it will taste the same since the Toastbox* that opened years ago was incomparable. Anyway, we'll come visit soon!

Oh, and just wanted to greet my Kuya a very happy birthday! 




*It's now called Nanyang and is much better.

#BeKind #StaySafe

Thursday, February 22, 2024

My Yoda Collection (a Part of It)

It's been a while since I've tended my Yoda collection. I had a spur of the moment inspiration to organize my shelf last Friday. I thought it would be nice to fix it since it's just behind my sewing table. My collection started because of Hadi. We had a Halloween contest at work. The team with the best area decoration would win.

Hadi was so competitive and even if there were just three of us he said we should join. I had a trip scheduled so I told him to go ahead and plan it. When I came back our area was decked with Star Wars items and print outs. My desk represented Yoda complete with green fabric, Yoda toys and print outs. We did not win and I got to keep the toys. 




I placed the toys on top of my monitor and word got out I was collecting, haha. I started receiving Yoda themed items from my family, friends from all over the world and one of our tech persons even 3D printed me one! To be honest, I only started buying a few years later because I always received them as gifts. The best ones I bought were from Hobby Off and some shops in Japan. 

Parts of my collection were in Singapore and some in Manila. I finally put them together when we moved to our current home. I was so surprised to see I have so many small Yoda figures I own, so that's what I put together first. My plan is to eventually take individual photos and do some research about them since I bought most of it pre-loved. I usually unbox the newer ones because I want to enjoy seeing them (I have some duplicates that are untouched). 


Can you identify which one was 3D printed?


I was organizing my Funko Pop Yoda collection when I discovered the leak, so that stopped me on my tracks. I'll probably organize the rest on another shelf or when I have an idea when the leak will be fixed (it's right behind Yoda!). Yoda probably used his Jedi powers on me! I wouldn't have discovered the leak if I hadn't re-organized my collection. Whew!




In time, I'll get everything fixed!

#KindBe #SafeStay


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Finding Balance

I was able to write a couple of posts last weekend which allowed me to take a break from writing. I didn't force myself yesterday to write a blog post for today since I still needed time to find my balance. Such is the life of someone with PTSD. When it's triggered it takes me awhile to go back to my regular, happy, chill state.




My PTSD was triggered by several factors. I've been able to rebuild my coping mechanisms, but one thing piled after another so I had to work hard to get back to normal. The following activities helped:

  • Prayer
  • Communicating my frustration
  • Re-potted my cacti and succulent collection (it has grown since Ate Rose gave them to me). 
  • Wrote a business analysis. This helped allow me to look at things from another perspective. 
  • Ate food I like and had a frosty. (I'm so ready to go back to my set meals haha). 
  • Worked on organizing my craft room. Also did some sewing.
  • Spent time with the cats.
  • Did pulmo rehab (mega deep breathing exercises ftw).
  • Short roadtrip with the boys. Getting a good dose of sunshine probably helped.
  • A little retail therapy. (Got a new Uratex stool for my gardening activities).
  • Stopped and smelled the flowers. 
  • Talked to a friend who reminded me I'm an ideal client
  • Stayed offline for awhile. 




Spending time outside probably gave me a good dose of vitamin sun. I feel a little sunburnt after our short roadtrip today. It was good to be out and about. I even spent more time watering the plants. This allowed me to be calmer and distract me from the issues at hand. The problem with PTSD is when it's triggered everything goes out of proportion and I start feeling unwell. 

I feel a bit better now and will hopefully get better sleep tonight after being out most of the day. I know I'm still fragile, so hopefully the universe will cooperate and be safer for me. I wasn't like this before. I used to face tough times by looking at it straight in the eye. I didn't even blink when I had heart surgery. It was the clots that wore me down. 

The activities I listed above are some of my coping mechanisms. Being busy with offline activities really helps a lot and whenever negative thoughts intrude I combat it with a prayer. Of course, hugs from my boys added to my happiness well. 

#BeKind #StaySafe


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Problem Solving: How My Suppliers Can Care for Me Better

It's 3 in the morning and my mind is still racing from the issues that has been frustrating me the past few weeks. I thought it would be better for me to put on my thinking hat and look at the issue from a coaching/MBA grad perspective. (Dean Pax Lapis did tell me once I'd make a great mentor/consultant, hehe).



Short summary of the issues:

- Contractor taking months to get back to us on a punch list sent months ago.
- Pest control firm not able to clarify accounting questions. Firm owner obviously not able to manage her staff properly because they've been just ignoring her directives.

There are other issues but I thought I'd process supplier related ones first. 

Back in graduate school I thoroughly enjoyed going through case studies. Figuring out the problem and thinking of a solution excited my mind. The skill came in handy at work and I was always given hard to crack problems. 

I was playing a game on my tablet when I realized the business issues my suppliers were facing. It's the reason why they've been handling me badly as a client. Both companies are led by entrepreneurs, an architect and a pest control expert.

These are what I think they're struggling with:

- capacity
- controls
- moving up to the next tier of business ownership

Capacity

We've been experiencing dismal service from our architect the past few months. They did really well in our first few projects, but left a number of things unfinished. They haven't met any of the deadlines they set and only respond after several follow-ups. Well, we heard they got a lot of projects and it seems they can't keep up. Good problem to have but they should take a step back and assess what they need capacity wise. We also heard that they're not able to keep skilled worky, so maybe that's one issue they should work on.

The pest control company also probably has a capacity issue since their billing system has been very erratic and messy. I wonder if they only have one accountant?

Controls

Managing multiple projects and clients can be made easier if you have proper controls in place. In a previous company I worked with sales was decreasing fast. I was given the chance to be the president's PA for awhile when my boss went on leave. So I was told to figure out what was wrong. I immediately asked about sales reports and was flabbergasted to find out they were being submitted on handwritten forms. This was submitted weekly and listed the prospects visited by sales.

It was a very interesting problem to solve. I went through the sales reports and had it digitized. The issue? Sales personnel were only visiting an average of ONE client per day. They had a target number to visit or call per day and it was definitely more than one (I don't exactly remember how many since this was circa 2003-05). This translated to lower sales . The solution? I challenge the VP IT to create a sales system. Of course, the whole sales department and VP IT hated me after that because I got them to work. 

So, I wonder if my suppliers have a proper control system in place to respond to client needs. I guess not because scheduling is all over the place and I've been trying to clarify my bills since October.

Moving to the Next Tier of Business Ownership

I remember succinctly my professor in marketing, Mr. Garcia, during one of his lectures. He said the biggest hurdle entrepreneurs have to go over is when the time comes their business grows and you have to put properly skilled managers in place. It is always hard for the entrepreneur business owner to relinquish control over certain aspects that can be reassigned.

I saw this happen to a  company I worked with in the past. Instead of hiring properly skilled people to manage departments, they promoted from the ranks. Mind you, that is not a bad thing but you need to ensure that ther person has the skills to manage teams. It is good to hire managers from outside also to add to your company's talent pool. Properly skilled and talented people help grow your company. So if you're a business owner, think about what aspects of your job can be delegated or outsourced so you can focus on growth and ensure that your clients are happy and will stay with you.

***********

I'm quilting a huge piece right now, so I thought maybe I use Tuesdays to sure things I've learned in the last 25+ years before I retired. If you have a business related question, feel free to ask. I have an MBA, completed coaching training at G (I was the only one who graduated from my batch), etc.* aside from just being a hobbyist trying to survive chronic illnesses :)

*My resume is probably on LinkedIn, but I'm not looking for work since I'll die from stress, but do ask questions. It will help keep my brain working.

#BeKind #StaySafe