A hot and deadly summer

February 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm | Posted in All, Australia, Weather | Leave a comment
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While the bushfires in the northeast of Victoria have subsided, they are in no way yet contained. Firefighters are still working round-the clock to put out existing blazes and flare-ups. And now another fire has broke out in the Dandenong Ranges. The weather forecast for the week ahead doesn’t look promising at all. There is no rain in the horizon.

This summer started a bit late but when it did, boy was it hot. Melbourne experienced its hottest day ever on 7th February at a scorching 46.4 degrees Celsius breaking the 45.6 deg C 1939 record. This was the day the killer fires started.

Our place does not have airconditioning. Every summer we contemplate on getting air-con but then somehow we keep on putting it off and this year is no exception. We reasoned that if we ‘survived’ the previous hot summer days, we would with this one too. But of course we didn’t expect the mercury to rise that high.

On that fateful Feb 7 day, we monitored the temperature at Foxtel’s weather channel. In this side of the world, weather is an interesting subject. In the Philippines, weather forecast is almost always like the one below (taken from PAGASA website).

Ang Kalakhang Maynila ay makakaranas ng madalas na maulap na kalangitan na may pag-ulan. Mahina hanggang sa katamtamang hangin mula sa Silangan at Hilagang-silangan ang iiral at ang Look ng Maynila ay banayad hanggang sa katamtaman ang pag-alon. Ang tinatayang agwat ng temperatura ay mula 24 hanggang 32 antas ng Celsius (75°F hanggang 90°F).

Ang Luzon ay makakaranas ng madalas na maulap na kalangitan na may kalat-kalat na pag-ulan na magiging maulap na may kalat-kalat hanggang sa malawakan ang mga pag-ulan at pulu-pulong pagkulog-pagkidlat sa Kabikulan na maaring magdulot ng pagbaha at pagguho ng lupa. Ang natitirang bahagi ng bansa ay magiging bahagya hanggang sa kung minsan ay maulap ang papawirin na may pulu-pulong pag-ulan o pagkulog-pagkidlat.

Mahina hanggang sa katamtamang hangin mula sa Hilagang-silangan ang iiral sa Hilaga at Gitnang Luzon at mula naman sa Timog-silangan at Hilagang-silangan ang iiral sa natitirang bahagi ng bansa. Ang mga baybaying dagat sa buong kapuluan ay banayad hanggang sa katamtaman ang magiging pag-alon.

It is consistent. And boring. It doesn’t make a good icebreaker. 🙂

It probably didn’t help (psychologically) that we were able to see the temperature increase slowly but steadily. At noontime, I couldn’t bear the heat any longer so I took off to The Good Guys shop in DFO to get a portable evaporative cooler. To my disappointment, the unit we were looking at a brochure from the junkmail was sold out earlier in the morning. The other units left was selling for a price I wasn’t willing to pay. Tight-277 me.

We did ‘survive’ the sweltering heat as the cool change came early in the night. It felt like God turned on the skies’ air-conditioning systems.

I’ve just had enough of summer heat. We had our day in the beach and we regretted it. It was not so smart to spend hours sunbathing when it was 43 degrees. While hubby tried to protect himself with sunscreen, I didn’t. I get tan lines after 15 minutes of exposure to the sun but I don’t care. I hate the sticky after feel of the sunscreen lotions. Still, we missed some spots on hubby’s body and completely forgotten about his feet. His sides turned lobster red and so was his feet which got only worse when we came back home. In a few hours, his feet swell he couldn’t walk properly. That was dumb of us. What were we thinking? For days, we felt the stinging in our bodies and until now we are still peeling all over.

Ahhh, the price you pay for getting some Melbourne sun.

Back to the bushfires, the death toll now stands at 181 but more is expected as the ruins are being thoroughly checked.

A  P  P  E  A  L

Should you wish to donate to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, please follow this link to the Australian Red Cross.

Jelena Dokic – she’s baaaaaack!

January 23, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Posted in All, Australia, Melbourne, Sports/Outdoor Activities, tennis | 1 Comment

Australian Tennis Open at Melbourne Park is currently on its 3rd round. I’ve just watched (on tv) the match between Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki, the 11th seed and Australia’s  Jelena Dokic where  Dokic  won  3-6, 6-1, 6-2.

Yes! Australia’s prodigal daughter is back. After a falling out with tennis Australia and leaving the country in 2001, Dokic is back and the whole nation is embracing her. She may have been branded a persona non-grata back then but all is forgiven now. The crowd at Rod Laver Arena in her last two matches were very supportive of her.

Full match report can be read here.

Hopefully she will go on to win more matches and improve her world ranking. Good luck to her.

Five-month summary

March 19, 2008 at 11:43 am | Posted in All, Australia, Sports/Outdoor Activities | Leave a comment

How quick time flies. It has been five months since my last post. I’ve made a few drafts but never got to publish them. Have actually deleted them now as they seem outdated already. Blogging has somewhat taken a back seat for me.

Anyhow, this past five months, I have been pre-occupied with something else. I bought a Nintendo DS Lite on November last year. A friend gave me a 4 Gb total size of DS games so I have been trying them one by one. There so much choices but I don’t really like the arcade type ones so I gave them a miss.

I had a two-week break on Christmas and we took this opportunity to travel. Shane organised a golfing trip along Murray River townships in country Victoria and the Sapphire Coast of New South Wales with his brother and best friend. Of course, I was included in the trip. Or there will be no trip. In the searing heat of summer, we played golf and did some sight-seeing on the side. Well, I actually played just a couple of times. Not that I can play well anyway. I didn’t have my own set of clubs and my swing needs a lot of work. The heat was just too much. After just 4 holes, I was absolutely knackered.

January was nothing special but February was, with birthdays and our wedding anniversary. We revisited the restaurant where we had our reception. As always, the food was nothing short of spectacular. Shane gobbled up his Australian angus beef steak in under two minutes!Srixon tour Special DC-2 Ladies Graphite Set

These past few weeks, golf has kept me busy. I have finally bought my own set of clubs, a Srixon Tour Special. It is a complete set with bag and buggy. I have been going to a driving range to hit balls. Slowly but surely, my swing is becoming more consistent and my range is improving. We also bought a golf net which we set up in the backyard so I can practice driving anytime. I have created a putting space in our lounge room so I’m practicing my putting while watching TV. Hehehe… that’s how motivated I am. I’m just starting to learn the sport so I still have a long way to go. I have set a goal for myself and I am determined to reach that goal.

We drove all the way to Sorrento a fortnight ago for a round. The undulating fairway of the course was in itself already a challenge, let alone the game. I was keeping up with the guys (in terms of walking, not shots) in the front nine but was struggling when we got to the back nine. My interest in the game is high enough that it helped me make it through up to the last hole.

So for now, golf is on top of my list of priorities outside work and home. I won’t completely abandon blogging and will still write something if I find time.

Ciao.

PS. In between all of these, I underwent a hysteroscopy + polypectomy to correct my abnormal menstruation. All is good now. Hopefully.

Identity Stolen

October 15, 2007 at 11:37 am | Posted in All, Australia, Internet scams, Pensiveness/Rants, Phishing | 8 Comments

UPDATE: I have regained my account after a few email exchanges with yahoo. Thanks to Raquel of Palabok for posting how she regained hers. I saved time researching. 🙂

I got phished and my yahoo ID was stolen last Thursday (11-Oct) afternoon though I didn’t realise this until the next morning when I got to work and logged on to yahoo messenger.

This is what transpired.

WTG, a friend here in Melbourne said hi on YM and asked for the time. I told her the time straight away but then asked why was she asking. I asked if she was out of the country but she replied she was in the house but the time in her pc does not seem right. She even said “Gets?”. I thought it was strange for her to say that but I didn’t really think about it much. I know her to be a nice person. She then gave me a link to Yahoo Photos/Flickr saying she wanted to share some new photos with me. Without suspecting a thing, I clicked on to it and have been taken to Flickr site. I logged on but nothing happened. Just then she said, wait -brb and then logged off. I was then logged off too. But since our network is having problems recently, I would be logged on and off intermittently. I didn’t bother to log on again as it was almost home time.

So while I was on my way home, the phisher was already getting hold of my contacts without me knowing it and without them realising it was not me they were talking to. I don’t usually log on to YM when I’m home. Posing as me, the phisher contacted my niece and asked for Globe prepaid cards and send the codes to me. My niece was a bit reluctant at first but apparently I was very insistent and that I would share with her whatever profit I would make on the cards. When asked for her bank account number, she even gave it right away. She didn’t have any suspicions at all. She went on to buy the prepaid cards and later sent all the codes via YM. Lucky that she only had Php7k in her bank or she would have spent more.

I felt so bad about this because I could have stopped it if I only read my text messages on time. I’m still not perfectly well (read my previous post) that I get tired quickly and have to go to bed early. I left my phone in my bag lying around the lounge room. Shane who was watching tv in the lounge room, heard my message tone but didn’t want to wake me up. Half an hour later, another message came in and this time Shane took the phone to me thinking it might be important. I was still half-asleep when I read the message. It was from my niece saying “nasend ko na, 70 ka tag Php100”. I thought she sent the message to me by mistake as it didn’t make sense. I didn’t know there was a previous message so I went back to sleep.

Friday came and I couldn’t log on to YM. I get an invalid password message. I asked Shane (he is in another location) if he has problems with his YM but he didn’t. I was starting to get suspicious. I proceeded to reset my password but my infos wouldn’t match. Couldn’t do anything about it now. I instead use my other yahoo id. Then I logged on to Friendster. There I saw WTG’s bulletin informing everyone not to reply to messages from her yahoo id as it was hacked. Upon reading this, my body froze and I had goosebumps all over me. I remembered my niece’s text message and called her right away. She was surprised when I asked her about it. I denied ever asking prepaid cards from her and her voice went weak as we both realised that she had been scammed.

I logged on to YM with my other id to inform Shane of what happened. A few moments later Shane was contacted (via YM) by a friend from Manila asking for me and wanting to talk to me urgently. She told Shane she bought prepaid cards worth Php5k for me and have sent the codes and will be getting more later in the day. Holy cow, she had fallen for it too. I called her to confirm everything and to advise to call her bank right away if she too has given away her bank account. And she did too. Trusting it was me.

I then frantically text messaged everyone in my phone list to warn them but unfortunately I didn’t have RF’s number so she too was victimised using my yahoo id.

Php12k has been wasted to the scammer. I know I am not legally in debt with my niece and my friend. It was not my fault that they fell for the scam. I have no problem with my niece but my friend was asking me how can she recover her money. She said it happened in her effort to help me. Out of sympathy, I said I’ll give her her money back. But Shane wouldn’t let me.

Now I have a moral dilemma. Should I feel guilty and give the money back? Is it my moral obligation? What if not giving back the money would cost our friendship?

I would appreciate your thoughts.

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