skating

One Friday afternoon in 2013, with zero knowledge and background on skating, I excitedly joined the VendAsta troupe on the public ice skating rink downtown in Toon City.

skating allan - delta bessborough
nice background Allan… ok.. and also the pose. 🙂

skating - thecuriousme
scared mouse!

skating - scott showing off
Scott showing off!

skating---
glide… glide… glide…

I grabbed a chair in order for me to get movin’ which also helped me balance and not stumble while skating. The most challenging part for me was climbing a REALLY tiny hill to get up to the rink… I got stuck on that spot.

skating alan tp susan
Alan also doesn’t know how to skate!

skating -thecuriousme-no chair
my ice walker… :p

Nathan P had to help me tighten my skates so I could skate “better” and gave me a push to get me over the hill.

skating nathan and thecuriousme
with Nathan P
skating -thecuriousme-trying hard

After my first lap, I decided I’d had enough skating for that day and opted to hang out and chat with my colleagues.

skating - no chair
standing without ice walker 😀

skating cody thecuriousme andreas
with Cody and Andreas

In any case. watching Michael Christian Martinez* and Kim Yuna** effortlessly glide, spin, jump and do other complicated techniques on the ice skating rink makes me wonder… how in the world did they do that?

MichaelChristianMartinez KimYuna

P. S.
* Michael Christian Martinez is the only figure skating athlete from South East Asia in the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 and the Philippines first Winter Olympics representative ever. Coming from a country without winter, he’s absolutely amazing! More support from the Philippine government please… Michael deserves it!

** Kim Yuna is the figure skating representative of South Korea. She took home the figure skating gold and silver medal in the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 and the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 respectively. I had goosebumps while watching her perform. Such passion and grace!

color me rad

Running in a marathon has always been on my bucket list but my eagerness to join was overshadowed by my unmotivated aspiration to train.  I usually end up doing the preparation in my sleep. I know, running in my dreams is not really an ideal way to get ready for a marathon. :p

prepping…

Anyway, when I heard about Color Me Rad  I got pumped up because that’s close to running in a marathon (but not as intense!) while getting “dirty”! Yes, dirty! :p You get hit by a color bomb while running! 🙂 The most important part for me is that a portion of the proceeds go to the Children’s Charity… Truth be told, I have soft spot for children.

Audrey, TheCuriousMe, & Jen

Well, I didn’t really prepare much since it’s not as intense as a marathon. I figured, I’ll just walk ..run… walk… run… until I reach the finish line. I was lucky because I was with the VendAsta troupe and I got to walk and run with Jenna, Audrey and Jen. In the end, Jen and I were left behind because Jenna and Audrey have longer legs than us. :p

breathless...
breathless…

cheers!
cheers!

Joining the Color Me Rad (5K) was extremely fun, I will definitely join again next year!

VendAsta troupe

my 5K badge :)
my 5K badge 🙂

camping

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Click the links below to read the related articles:
luau?                               tent                        beach(?)

Also, click here to check out the “Behind the Scenes at VendAsta” video 🙂
It’s definitely a must see video! I guarantee, you will have a good laugh! 😀
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I’ve never experienced camping in this side of the world, hence, I was really looking forward to the first ever company camping at the Palliser Park Marina. Impediments such as upset tummy, last-minute change of transportation arrangements, lack of camping gears, and among other things did not stop TheCuriousMe from joining the said activity.

Group Campsite

Initially, I requested to car pool with YW but something unexpected happened so I had to ask P and N for a ride. Thanks for making me feel welcome P and N!

TheCuriousMe

The “shortcut” to our destination was to cross the Lake Diefenbaker via ferry. The ferry ride was awesome! I admit, it’s also my first time to board a ferry while inside the car. :p

waiting for the ferry

The social committee agreed to designate the meal preparation to each team. For the booze and pop, everyone were encouraged to bring their favorites.

TP,TheCuriousMe,&Bryce

breakfast

lunch

most anticipated supper

Overall, we had a great time! A good bonfire, colorful fireworks, interesting (!) chitchat, relaxing music, endless supply of food and booze, crazy antics, and hilarious moments. 😀

“lil execs” meeting

badminton

TheCuriousMe with Julia Roberts younger version

“i have big head and little arms”

German S’mores

American turned Canadian S’mores
bonfire

The camping activity indeed helped us bond, get to know each other on a more personal level and bring to light everyone’s quirks. It was an absolutely amazing discovery! I’m glad I joined.

Famous word of the entire weekend: Positivity!

P.S.
S’mores are so tasty! Right Alan? 🙂 

s’mores

beach(?)

With the excitement building up at the campsite, the group also can’t wait to head out to the beach to hang out during the day and watch the fireworks at night.

chillaxin

fireworks

At first, I was baffled because I can’t find the usual white sand and big waves that I was accustomed to. I guess, I have somewhat a different definition of the word “beach”. Don’t shoot me please? I grew up in a tropical country wherein it’s summer all year round and beaches with white sand and big waves are all over the place. Oh. Did I just define “paradise”?

baffled

“paradise”

As a typical Asian, I have this love and hate relationship with the sun. Yeah, I always find myself hiding from the harmful sun rays since time immemorial. At the beach, Nathan R’s shirt served as my improvised umbrella. TP thought I looked funny. I must say, so long as I have a “shade”, it doesn’t matter if I looked weird.

Nathan R

find me!

Anyway, TP lent me her fancy “semi-tent” (i think, it’s called a montage) when we went to the beach the second time around. It certainly made a world difference from the “umbrella-shirt”. Totally cool! Ha!

“the montage”

disassembling “the montage” with Baby JC

Below are the beach “kodak” moments:

Moose Jaw sandcastle

basking under the sun

“sun scowl”

German Engineering with Canadian Little Workers

sunny sunshine!

Until next outing! 🙂

luau?

Before we went to Palliser Park Marina (the camping site), there’s been a big mystery on what supper will the Executives’ (a.k.a. Execs) prepare on the Saturday night of the company outing.

what could it be?

Two execs kept the whole employees guessing… The anticipation heightened when one of them mentioned that it can either be the perfect supper ever or a complete disaster. Ha!

Questions kept popping up especially when people saw one of the Execs digging a pit within the campsite. Eventually, someone let the cat out of the bag before the first camping night was over. So much for the secrecy. 😉

“hidden” pit

Apparently, the “special” supper is part of a tradition done in Hawaii and it is called luau. Therefore, the Execs decided to have the VendAsta version of luau  for the first company camping.

Here’s the summary on how it was done… the VendAsta way:

pig (& chicken) :p

sprinkle with magic spices

wrap

“ritual”

throw in the hot pit

cover

take it out after 10-12 hours

wait…

ready?

ready… for real?

Result: Epic fail.

uncooked pig

But wait…

Being real troopers, that did not dampen the Execs’ spirit. Plan B was thought of in a flash. And the VendAstians helped out to make it happen.

Output: Tasty deep fried whole chicken and grilled pork

chicken

pork

(Err… I don’t eat pork so I just had my share of the delicious deep fried chicken which reminded me of the Philippines’ Langhap Sarap Jollibee endorsed by Sarah Geronimo and Gerald Anderson (a.k.a. AshRald) 🙂 )

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On a side note, the Philippines has it’s own tradition of roasting pig. The roasted pig is famously called “lechon baboy” and it’s present in almost all occasions like family reunion. Click here to read family reunion article.

lechon baboy

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P.S. What went wrong on the “luau” thingy, will forever(?) remain an enigma. :p

MoSo

The MoSo conference (Canada’s mobile & social media conference) definitely increased my level of awareness on the dominance of mobile and social media as a ”neutral” marketing arena for start-ups, small and medium businesses, as well as the gigantic companies.

So, what is MoSo Conference?
“A gathering of super sweet peeps for great talks, music, eats and tweets. It’s all about everything mobile and social. It’s a community. It’s a festival. It’s, well, you’ll have to find out for yourself.”mosoconf.com

Check out below for some of the wonderful insights from the conference:

@DanMartell –  Five Unconventional ways to entrepreneurship

@DanMartell
Failure is part of the process.
Hustle to help with no expectations.
Motivation is everything.
Pick 5 people with the same goals and drive to help you move forward.
Set a goal and tell the world so that you are committed.
Make no small plans.

Karyn Zuidinga (@Analytic_Design) – From insight to innovation: The Search for Unconventional Wisdom

Karyn Zuidinga
“Within organizations, the pressure to ‘innovate’ is very high and very real, yet most have no clear idea what it means.”“The trick to bringing real innovation is to understand that it isn’t some moment of divine inspiration or paradigm shifting invention. True innovation is part of a process, and can be found through understanding: The search for who your users are, what they need, and what they want.”

@BrendanKing –  They can’t say that… can they? Managing your reputation online

@BrendanKing
“Online Reputation Management” is no longer a buzzword, it is now something that every successful business devotes effort to.”Reputation today is airborne and contagious!

What is Reputation Management for SMB’s
Local Presence Management / Visibility
Monitoring structured data reviews
Monitoring User Generated content (UGC) – including employees
Comparing yourself to your competition
Engaging customers and tracking ROI

@DaleZak – Harnessing the Power of Mobile

@DaleZak
“Mobile devices are revolutionizing our world allowing us to connect, communicate, and collaborate in ways not previously possible. But to understand the true power of mobile, one must appreciate the full spectrum of device capabilities.”

The Perfect Storm
Connectivity        Availability        Speed          Power          Features          Price

@SaulColt – Is influence a good thing?

@SaulColt
“Marketing is about influence
Influence comes from making a connection
Connections come from experience
Experience must include emotions
Emotions come from entertainment
Entertainment comes from magic
Magic = Marketing”

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Click this link for Annelise Larson’s (@veriatweet) comprehensive summary of the MoSo conference.
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Fun times at the MoSo after party (Venue: Lydia’s)

MoSo Speakers

Tiffany & Alan biting the @VendAsta bear!!!

It’s raining beer! Too bad I can’t stand the taste of beer. :p

(TheCuriousMe Note: I admit I had second thoughts in attending the MoSo conference because I wanted to finish my month end checklist. I’m glad I decided to show up! I had a grand time! 😀 )

Until next conference. 😉

trick or treat!

The tiny me decided to embark in another adventure  as a “Devil’s Angel” by joining my three (3) nephews for a trick or treat!  I know, I know! I was probably the oldest person who went all out guising with the kids.  Hmmm… can you tell though?  🙂

Like the other kids, my nephews and I went from house to house asking for treats. Ha! I certainly felt I was one of the kids. Uttering “trick or treat!” with gusto and then give out automatic wide grin when receiving treats .

goodies

I confess, this was my first trick or treat ever!   See you next Halloween (that is, if you can recognize me!  )!

P.S.  Bonus! Check out some snapshots taken at VendAsta: 😀

with Mariatta

with Tiffany

barcamp

topics

I know this is an awfully late post but…  it’s better to be late than later!  I  want to commemorate the day when I tweeted like crazy and “freeze” the divine moment when I’ve mingled with such exceptional and groovy geeks!

It’s definitely a learning experience for me… It is quite similar to the Youth I.T. Congress in the Philippines but the barcamp is more intimate due to the limited number of participants. Thus, there’s a greater interaction between the participants and the speakers. And most of all, the registration was free  as well as the food and drinks plus a souvenir shirt! Love it!:D

briefing with Ginger

registration

The topic that caught my attention the most was Chris Morix and Ryan Smith’s, How to Create an Award Winning Blog in 6-months. Yeah, I’m a blog fanatic.  Moreover, Chris and Ryan were really hilarious speakers and their chemistry was absolutely terrific!

award winning blog presentation

Ryan & Chrix

Anyhow, my twitter handle is @krungkrung4u (it means crazy for you).
If you are bold enough, follow me. Ha!

This was my most precious tweet:
@krungkrung4u I can’t believe it! This is the first time i’ve tweeted so much in my whole twitterlife! LOL I can’t stop blabbering about #barcampyxe @VendAsta.

And more snapshots:

with Phoenix & Mariatta

Andreas, Guy & Nathan R

Allan

with Jeff R

with Nathan R

with Nathan P

with Andreas

with Blair

topic board

I can’t wait for the next Barcamp! Woot!

go kart!

We, the VendAstians went for a Go Kart race yesterday; I was included in the heat 27 and 31. As a newbie driver and first time Go Kart racer, I was incredibly nervous. Even so, I did my best to play it cool and enjoy the race.

my “gears”

When it was heat 27’s turn, I chose the number 10 kart. And my “agony” began due to the following impediments:

  • I cannot properly reach the break and gas pedal
  • The seat can no longer be adjusted
  •  Solution: Step on the side (edge) part of the break and gas pedal
getting ready… (photo courtesy of Allan Wolinski)

My left leg seem to be shorter at that time because I could hardly press the break pedal. As a result, it was a total nightmare for me during the heat 27.

  • It was a big challenge for me to work on a smooth turn especially the “S” section

  • I got pushed to the side while making a turn (I was stucked for few minutes)

  • Instead of going to the “finish area”, my kart “was out of control” and would like to continue the race.

As soon as the race started, I was already wondering when will it end. I was earnestly waiting for the checkered flag (signal for the last lap) to be waved.

Moving forward, in heat 31, I chose kart number 8 instead of kart number 10. I was amazed when I was able to sleekly reach the gas pedal and the break; well, it’s not the way it should be, but it was enough for me to control both pedals. This time, I was able to truly enjoy the race and  was even contemplating that the time should be extended!

go kart (photo courtesy of Allan Wolinski)

One more thing, I was able to park the go kart into the proper location when the race was finished. Yipey! All I can say is, mission accomplished! 😉

summer party!

The VendAsta summer party was held in our CEO’s place yesterday (Friday, July 15th 2011). It was warm and majority of my colleagues were soaking under the sun. At first, I also did some sunbathing but after few minutes, I could no longer stand it. Tiffany, one of my colleagues, was smiling when she saw me covering my arms with my jacket.

I’m one of those typical Asians who don’t like to get so dark. I’m already contented with my natural “morena” (a.k.a. “tan”) skin. I understand most “white” people want to be “brown” and most “brown” people want to be “white”. It’s one of life’s enigma.

Some were not present because of their scheduled holiday. It would have been more fun if the attendance were complete. Anyway, I was planning to have a photo with all of my colleagues but I just managed to do it with a few of them. Either I was too shy to approach the bigwigs or I was just too occupied hiding from the sun and at the same time, making sure I don’t miss the fun stuff.

Most of my colleagues brought with them their partners and children. Since I did not bring anyone with me, I just hopped from one area to the other. I even played with Jack (see related article about Jack) and Elaine, the two cute kids.

Elaine & Jack (my playmates)

The highlight of the party was the pool race. All participants were excellent swimmers! Ches was the champion last year but it was capsized by Dale this year. I was planning to join the trampoline competition but the event did not pushed through.

trampoline

Few drinks made me tipsy and sleepy. I drank one lemon beer (yes, lemon beer!), and two glasses of mixed drinks concocted by Blair. He experimented it so I named it, Blair Shoe Box drinks. Ha!

The Blair Shoe Box drinks turned my lips into orange in which I only learned about it when Nathan pointed it out to me. The drinks tasted like an iced tea and I was still “sober” when I was at the party but when I got home, I felt the effect of the drinks. Boy, I was really dizzy but I did not puke. And no hangover! I love it! 😀

In total, the party was a success!  I’m looking forward to more fun moments and hopefully, by Christmas, I will be able to bring someone with me. Hmmm…

P.S. I can’t believe I finished this entry in less than 20 minutes. I’ve been writing half-hearted articles for the past few days (sorry!). I’m glad the momentum is back!

Elaine & TheCuriousMe

Jeff R, Nathan P, Mike L, TheCuriousMe

Tiffany & TheCuriousMe

pool race

from left: Ches, Dale & Dan

from left: Shaun, Brendan, Nathan R, Mike B

bystanders

TheCuriousMe, Janak Andreas