Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hamilo Coast Beach Club

Dad brought us to the soft opening of Hamilo Coast's Beach Club today. We took the Previa there for a 3-hour ride. We left Valle Verde around 9am and got to Hamilo Coast by noon. The last time we came here, the beach club was not yet finished. Now, its fully operational with a restaurant, a pool, and huge changing rooms.

We had lunch at the club house restaurant. They served buffet. The food was not fantastic considering the price. But since there was something like a 50% off introductory discount, it did not come out too bad. The buffet also extended from lunch up to the afternoon snack.

It was a really hot day today. But the kids and I went swimming in the pool. The pool, in my humble opinion, was not that fantastic either. Rockwell Club's pool is much better. We initially started at the wading pool, then Caitlin wanted to swim at the bigger pool.

Much to our amazement, Ethan wanted to jump in also into the big pool. While Ethan loves to play in the pool, this is the first time that he actually wanted to swim in deeper waters. In Rockwell, he only likes to stay in the wading area and would cry if you try to bring him to any spot where he cannot step on the floor anymore. So this was a major improvement for him.

After the pool, Caitlin and I did a quick run to their beach area. The sand was no contest to Boracay. It was brown, and I suspect its not natural also, but was probably transported here from another area. We had some snacks afterwards and headed home since there was nothing else to do. We stopped by Tagaytay to buy some fruits, and got back home by dinner time.

From Hamilo Coast Soft Launch

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Lower Gas Prices @ Shell C5

Gas prices for unleaded and E-10 (ethanol blend) are starting to creep up again. Cols was telling me that she saw E-10 being sold at the Petron along P. Guevarra at only about PP30/liter (that's about PHP3.00 less than all the usual Shell stations that I frequent). I told her that she must have been mistaken and that maybe she saw the price for diesel.

In any case, I passed by the Shell along C5 (the one beside SM Hypermarket) this morning and I noticed that their published prices are also about PHP3.00/liter cheaper than the usual ones. Then a little bit further down the road, the Caltex right by the Green Valley Country Club exit of Valle Verde 1, also sells gasoline at that lowered price.

It seems that these gas stations are not directly owned by the gasoline companies. Rather, they are franchised stations. This leads one to wonder -- how can franchisees afford to sell gasoline at PHP3.00/liter cheaper than their supplier when their cost is higher. Presumably, they have to pay for royalties, etc. Those multinational oil firms must really be raking it in. The government should do more to pressure them to stop increases prices again.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Free Undelete Tool for Windows

I downloaded a wrestling special over Bittorrent yesterday. It was split up into multiple RAR files. I did not notice that it was actually split first into 3 x large AVI files (each 700mb+), before each AVI was further sliced into multiple, smaller RAR's. After I spliced back the first AVI file, I immediately deleted all the RAR files thinking that was it.

I transferred the AVI onto my 2GB Kingston USB and played it on our Philips DVP-5166. The 5166 can play videos natively from a USB unlike our older Philips DVDR3455H, which can only display still JPEG images from USB. One major drawback of the DVP-5166, as I found out, is it does not have a fast-forward play option! So you really have to go through all scenes. Pressing "next" takes you to the next chapter or the next video file. Bummer!

Incidentally, I found out that our new Samsung Series 5 LCD TV can play JPEG images directly from a USB also. In fact, the quality is way so much better as compared to playing the JPEG images via the DVP-5166, which further converts it into analog component video before feeding it to the TV. By connecting the USB direct to the Samsung TV, it displays it natively in digital format using its much higher resolution.

Anyway, going back to my original story -- after watching the AVI file, I realized that its only the 1st part of the whole video. So I quickly went back to the PC to try and recover the deleted files. Alas! Its no longer to be found anymore from the "Recycle Bin". I would need to download the entire 2GB+ files again from torrent. Arggghh!

Then I remember an undelete tool that my brother-in-law gave me last month when he came to visit. I was then trying to recover some videos from the store because of a theft incident. The software is FreeUndelete 2.1 by Its free software and it works great! I was able to recover all the deleted files and saved myself having to wait another day for the download to complete via our Bayantel DSL.

Yet Another PictureShop Client Sighting

I had my third PictureBook customer sighting today! After church, we had lunch at a restaurant that we frequent along Wilson St. in Greenhills -- Hai Kang (formerly Hong Kong Harbour Restaurant). Mom saw a little girl and as commenting about her hair accessories. When I looked at the girl, she was being carried by her dad who looked very familiar to me. Took just about a second for me to recognize that I've seen him several times from the photo books and photo puzzles that his wife has order from us. And sure enough, I recognized the woman beside him immediately also!

I dragged Cols to go over their table and introduce ourselves. This customer has been one of our very first customer and she has been a loyal "suki" of ours already. Even more coincidentally, her daughter has the same name as ours.

I also blogged about my previous two sightings: