Saturday, May 26, 2007

Learn New Tricks, Old Dogs...

Two axiomatic observations about the conduct of the Philippine elections from the master Niccolo Machiavelli:

"Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times."

"The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not."

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Operational Troubleshooting and Exploration Person

Get Your Cyborg Name

Well, it's nice to have an alternative origin for my name - because there's so much history that has come and gone with my name.

That's one part of the tinkering --- the other is pretend I am some psychedelic message contained in a Beatles song. Works for me, too.

I Am The Walrus
(Lennon-McCartney / The Beatles)

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly
I'm crying

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come
Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob

Mister City Policeman sitting pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like Lucy in the sky, see how they run
I'm crying, I'm crying
I'm crying, I'm crying

Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun
If the sun don't come, you get a tan
From standing in the English rain
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob, g'goo goo g'joob

Expert textpert choking smokers,
Don't you think the joker laughs at you?
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
See how they snied.
I'm crying.

Semolina pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower
Elementary penguin singing Hari Krishna
Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob, g'goo goo g'joob.
Goo goo g'joob, g'goo goo g'joob, g'goo.

The Magic Feather

The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.
-- Alfred Lord Tennyson

Our Division contest came and went just about last month. This isn't much, but I'm rather proud of how this speech went. There are some inaccuracies that some people might spot, but it's a rather good speech, I think. I'll come back next year with a better performance.

The Magic Feather

I hold in my hands a magic feather. Do you see it wave like this? I can even throw it in the air, I will spin, and then catch it. See?

Mr. Contest Chair, fellow Toastmasters, distinguished panel of judges and guests, good morning.

I picked up my magic feather habit from one of my favorite animated movies of all time, Walt Disney's Dumbo. (Well, I confess, I still love watching cartoons to this day.)

Now, Dumbo was an elephant, who happened not only to be undersized, but he also had a huge pair of ears. He was ridiculed by all his fellow circus elephants except his mother.

Little did they know that Dumbo could fly. However, he had a teensy-weensy problem: he didn't believe he can. He lacked the faith that he could do something which no other elephant could. To help Dumbo out his little friend Timothy Mouse gave him a feather, which had nothing special about it except this: it gave Dumbo the belief to fly.

All throughout the next few weeks, Dumbo trained with the feather. He started with small heights and later worked on going higher and higher.

Then came the big day when Dumbo was featured as the main attraction in the main ring of the circus. He was raised on the platform more than thirty feet from the ground. On his way up, he was brimming with confidence. Then something disastrous happened - he lost his feather! What was he to do?

He stared down, looking at the ground, looking at the audience, his knees shaking like a tree dropping leaves. His friend Tim spoke to him and told him he didn't need the magic feather. Along the way, something wonderful and magical happened. Dumbo started to believe. He started flapping one ear, and then the other. He took one step, and then another, and finally he fell off the platform!

At twenty feet from the ground he was flapping, and he was falling! Ten feet, he was flapping, and he was falling! At five feet his ears picked up the pace and he zoomed upward, to the delight of the crowd!

There's a little Dumbo in every one of us. We have the little fear inside us that only needs a little push, perhaps a magic feather to start us on the road to greatness.

What do you fear? --- What do you fear? ---- What do you fear? Our fears may be of failure, of ridicule, of loss, of death.

You and I all share one thing: that we fear the uncertainty of the future.

My magic feather moment came when I was selected to run for grade school president. I dreaded the experience because it exposed my one great fear: facing people in public. I stuttered and couldn't complete two straight sentences. I ate my words. We went class-to-class talking to the students, and I found it hateful. The last day of campaigning - the miting de avance - came, and all three of the parties had to speak before the entire school. My leading opponent was a natural-born speaker, while I quailed at the thought of doing my speech.

In those moments, what I remembered were my parents' encouragement and their assurance that they loved me. So I took a few steps forward, slowly ascended the podium, and delivered my speech.

It was horrible, and I lost by a huge margin, but the experience stayed with me that I worked harder on my public speaking skills. I became a trainer and a teacher.

All of us fear. Nelson Mandela once quoted poet Marianne Williamson, “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. So we might ask ourselves, who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? My question is, who are you not to be?”

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a light that shines within us that is yearning to break out. When we share this light with others, we give them permission to overcome their fear. We give them magic feathers of confidence to acknowledge the beauty in their lives.

When we liberate ourselves from our fear, we automatically liberate others.

I present you your own magic feather!

If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
-- Donald H. Rumsfeld