Zomboss’ First & Final Tale: Scrutinizing BlackBerry

Call me Zomboss. I am neither human nor animal. But I used to accompany a human everywhere even in the mountains and even in bed. Neither am I a fictional character nor a historical figure. But I have been a great part in technology’s history—for I am one of man’s best products of ingenuity.

The good ol' days: When I was in tip top shape. Photo by Patrick Oliveros

Once upon a time, I was the smartest. Once upon a time, I had the most stars in reviews. Once upon a time, I was the most desired gadget of this blog’s owner.

And oh yes, I met her expectations. Before the netbook era and before tablets became man’s favorite object to swish-woosh-touch, I was one of the few you could “touch.” Before accelerometers and gyroscopes made it to simple devices for daily use, I stood out in the crowd.

But apparently, the trends have changed. Moore’s Law has pushed technological advancements. And I was pushed back and left behind until I had to retire:

So the quest for another smart phone for this blogger began. I saw her candidates: the iPhone, Samsung, BlackBerry and even my descendant whom I am very proud of: the Xperia.

But only one stood out. I knew how much she fancied my Qwerty keyboard, my Wi-Fi capability, my simple block form, and my ability to let her read her ebooks even when the lights are off.

Hence, she picked the BlackBerry.

Black-colored and simple, it looked like a typical handset with a Qwerty keyboard. Black and bland, but it outsmarted me.

I loathe every semiconductor that make up its genetic code. The BlackBerry made me look like a chimpanzee, while the black and bland thing looked like a Homo sapiens sapiens.

The Multi-tasker

Unlike me, this smart phone, which she dubbed StrawBerry, is really capable of doing what a “smart” gadget can really do: Perform multitasking well.

She can check her personal e-mail while Jon Schmidt plays in the background. She sends and receives Gtalk messages to family and friends while her phone alerts her of incoming SMS, too. She can connect to WLAN while she jots down quick notes.

She dragged and dropped Harry Potter movies and astonishing Jon Schmidt videos to the gadget when it was connected to her netbook, as if the phone was just a flash disk. But there’s more to the BlackBerry than its memory: It played her videos, too!

The Jack of All Apps

In addition to providing messaging and office applications, the smart phone blended well with her lifestyle. She got the chance to lay her hands on a GPS-enabled BlackBerry Bold, which allowed her to track her run training through a free application called Endomondo.

With a smorgasbord of applications, the BlackBerry offered her countless possibilities at her fingertips: a dictionary, PDF reader, a translator, a BlackBerry Protect app, expense tracker, and even a calorie counter. But its camera doesn’t provide digicam-quality images like yours truly.

BlackBerry means connectivity.

Wi-Fi-ready and Bluetooth-enabled, this handset seriously meant connectivity. However, the phone lacked an FM radio.

And that is just odd. A few years ago, a chipset that bundled FM radio and Bluetooth had been released. My feeble processor is wondering why RIM didn’t consider that. Perhaps it was meant for low-end phones or smaller-footprint devices.

Nonetheless, you won’t miss out on the latest news and music if you stay tuned in via Twitter, which can also be available to BlackBerry users through different Twitter apps.

Hence, to stay connected while allowing diversity of applications on-the-go, I must admit, cross me out of your list and consider BlackBerry. My maker doesn’t even have software upgrades of me anymore!

But if you want quality images, don’t rely on us, smart phones. Consider a DSLR. 😛

‘Tis the Season…

To be jolly?

Yes.

But not only because it’s Yuletide season.

‘Tis the season for my slacker side to be happy, too, because I swore I wouldn’t be racing for the rest of the year.

A few weeks ago, fellow Team Endure gals Ellen and Carly, and I joined the Tri United White Rock Triathlon (WRT) as a relay team. This was the conclusion of my 2010 race season. But oops, technically, it’s the second to the last. It was that particular weekend that concluded it: a back-to-back race weekend of WRT and Milo Olongapo Eliminations. Continue reading “‘Tis the Season…”

For you.

I stand before you with very little courage left. You stare back. I’m afraid of you. Given the circumstances, I’m vulnerable.

You appear placid and harmless, but I know you are dangerous. You have hidden fangs capable of ripping skin the moment I fall, which is likely because I might forget I’m on cleats.

Hence, I postpone our tryst.

We shall meet again.

– Tracy’s message to the road. She’s just too chicken to try riding with cleats yet.

Falcon’s first century

We made it safely!
We made it safely!

I could allude long rides to real life—an adventure with uphill battles and downhill excitement, appreciation of the journey, presence of mind at critical points, sharing it with people who matter to you, and trusting a greater Force for a safe and meaningful journey.

Falcon in Tagaytay
Falcon in Tagaytay

Read more about the adventure here.

Relay Fun at the Lactacyd Team Woman Run

Ok. I haven’t been in a sponge-like existence, i.e. I lacked neurons, and information stopped flowing in my nervous system, thus disabling me to write about this running event. It’s not about being a parazoan at all.

It’s about utter girls’ day out fun!

So much fun that I didn’t want to write about it because my words might not be enough to recap the fun we had. Haha. Then I realized I should tell some tale (even just from my own perspective) because I think anything fun deserves some Web space.

It’s a running event teeming with girl power, excitement of a first relay and post-race bonding session.

Initially, I was hesitant to write about it publicly. You know that feeling when you own something special that you want to keep it a secret? That its exclusivity is part of it that makes it special? Well, that’s how I thought about blogging about it.

And then I realized, publicly writing about it won’t diminish its value to us. In fact, we just might do it again next year! 🙂

So here is my account of the Lactacyd Team Woman Run, where Ellen, Joyce, Ross and I formed a relay team to conquer a Pikermi distance.

In the nick of time
I had no plans of joining this race. I keep frugality in mind when racing—Won’t register and race if it’s not for PR, and will only join if an upcoming important race calls for a long run training. But with Ellen, Joyce and Ross up for the relay, I thought I couldn’t be a err, party, relay pooper!

Ross picked up our race kits Friday afternoon before the race. We discussed our team uniform through e-mail and SMS exchanges. We didn’t discuss strategy at all. We dubbed it as a “chillax run” and decided to have some girl bonding after.

Competitiveness
Though all we wanted was some quality time together during and after the race, we all found ourselves giving our best in our respective legs of the relay. Our post-race discussion revealed that all of us tried to outpace other teams and made sure we kept the lead against other teams.

In the end, we bagged the 16th place out of the 84 teams who ran. Some kind of an easy run, eh, girls? 🙂

Epilogue
It was like that fun Halloween run, when you weren’t really sure on which aspect of the event you’re more excited about—running or hanging out with friends? And you realize it’s because you’re having the best of both worlds: hanging out with friends while running!

Sponsors were generous as they awarded whopping cash prizes to the fastest and best in costume. Our team now has a year to think of a costume worthy of the prize. Haha. 🙂

We also got the chance to hang out with other running friends, enjoyed the bottomless coffee at McDonald’s (Ronald’s treat) and a free ride from Rico, who endured our girl talks. Haha. 😀

*I hope to update this post with photos soon. I’ll just have to ask permission from the photographers.
Big thanks to Que for our free kits! 🙂

Feedback Files: Multisport blogs

Since I started running in 2008, I’ve never sought help from a coach. I know I’m no expert. But I believe I’m no pro runner, either, for me to really need one. Despite not having one, I’ve seen running friends run PRs after PRs; they had coaches. Hence, I do believe they’re a big help, should you want to improve your running performance and avoid unwanted injuries. However, I’m one stubborn kid who might not show up at scheduled trainings. Harhar. 😛

Hence, instead of seeing a coach, I consult thy runner’s bible: Runner’s World. I subscribe to Runner’s World online and active.com, and take time to browse through articles, even the old ones that I found relevant for every distance I train for. I also consult the invisible college: I ask around for tips from other runners on training, nutrition, hydration, race strategies and even mental preparation.

And now that media is evolving, there are other sources of info. If you tweet, simply follow Runner’s World or Cool Running and you’ll get instant blurbs of their new content for the day. Blogs are also becoming valuable sources of information, as runners share their personal struggles with training, injury and PRs.

If you are a budding marathoner or multisport athlete or a multisport pro who’d simply like to read on, this page provides a wealth of URLs, as it categorizes 50 multisport blogs. I learned about this list some eons ago (haha; I know it’s been a while), when I received a message via this blog’s feedback form that this page might be of use to me, a budding and trying hard duathlete.

I hope you’ll find the page useful, as I have, since some of the blogs share inspiring IM stories (Hmmm, is it time for me to learn how to swim?).

And oh, this blog was listed #9 in the General Triathlon Blogs category. 🙂

Feedback Files: Full Marathon for Charity by Kassy

It took me ages to unearth this message (via the blog’s feedback form) from fellow runner-blogger Kassy, someone I haven’t met personally, but have been keeping in touch with through our blogs.
She’ll be running the full marathon at the SCSM to raise funds for the Maple Tree Foundation, which aims to “help deprived and underserved mountain communities live healthy, productive, and peaceful lives with sustainable resource development programs.”
You may find her message below.
Kindly help disseminate the message to more altruistic friends. Thanks!
Your help will be much appreciated and you may reach her via her blog: runaholic.wordpress.com

On 4 December 2010, I will be running a FULL MARATHON in the Standard Chartered Marathon – Singapore in order to raise money for the Maple Tree Foundation. Although it will be a challenge for me to complete my first destination marathon race, I will be especially motivated by the excitement of knowing that it will benefit such a worthy cause.

I am asking friends and family to consider sponsoring me for this event. I have two ambitious goals – first to complete the marathon without sustaining any bodily harm and second to meet my personal goal of raising Php 60,000 – Php 100,000 to cover my travel-running expenses (40%) and for the Maple Tree Foundation (60%). I would greatly appreciate your kind consideration by making a donation towards this goal. All other form of donations is, of course, well appreciated.

Being a runner, I wanted to take the opportunity to help my fellow citizens as this is one of my life goals–to help those who are in need. I believe in Maple Tree Foundation vision, which is to help deprived and underserved mountain communities live healthy, productive, and peaceful lives with sustainable resource development programs that provide basic services, livelihood development and education. For this, they need not to stay as less privileged citizens around Manila, believing it will make their lives easier, well in fact, they can live comfortably and be educated in their home town.

You can make a difference . . . please join me in supporting a very important cause. Thank you for your support!

Duathlon Diaries: Will revenge be mine?

Two days to go before my supposed revenge in Filinvest at the Powerade Duathlon’s second leg, I find myself out of shape. And that goes beyond feeling the extra weight: I got a sore throat and I’ve been sneezing myself in and out of the office.

I didn’t clock in a sub-2 at the first duathlon; I was hoping to have a faster bike leg and a stronger last run leg this time around. Will revenge be mine?

I used an MTB at my first Powerade Duathlon (Speaking of which, I haven’t concluded my blog series on it yet). At this leg, I’ll be using my new roadie I dubbed Falcon.

Falcon
When Falcon found a new home. 🙂

Turning a month old on July 18, Falcon hasn’t been spending much time on the road. The last time I bricked around my playground, the white-framed bike gave me a lower back pain that I ran the last leg looking like I had braces. On other times, though, we seemed to be ok.

This morning–yes, just this Friday morning–I tried it on after I adjusted the seat post and stem. And Falcon’s creaking from these adjustments. It went well, but I’m kinda imagining pain in my lower back. Is that due to the 30-minute ride? Or as suspected, am I just imagining it?

*Gulps*

With my last brick session done weeks ago and tempo run done ages ago, I am reprimanding myself for giving up training in the name of the social life I missed. I’ve been clocking in more hours of zzz’s than saddle time. I’ve been logging in more office hours than gym time.

Will revenge be mine?

Powerade Philippine Duathlon Open Leg 2: Registration open til July 11 :)

This is it. Just a few more nights and it’s back to Filinvest for another huff and puff duathlon. Haay. I need to train. 😐

BTW, registration’s still open til July 11. 🙂

More details below (from the organizer’s e-mail):

Date, Day & Time of Event: July 18, 2010, Sunday, 6am

Event Venue: Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang Muntinlupa City

Race Distances: 6 km Run, 30km Bike, 3km Run

Race Categories:

Top3 over-all (Male & Female)

Top 3 of each Age group:

Male: 16~19 yrs, 20~24, 25~29, 30~34, 35~39, 40~44, 45~49, 50 & above

Female: 16~19 yrs, 20~29, 30~39, 40 & above

Awards and Prizes:

  • Medals and Cash prizes will be awarded to Overall Top Three in Male and Female Categories.
  • Medals will be awarded to TOP THREE in each age group.
  • All participants will get t-shirts and post-race refreshments.

Registration: Submit filled-up entry form with your fee at Registration Center mentioned below.

Participants may also pay through:

BPI (Anna Marissa Remigio, S/A No. 6716-0698-24), or

PNB (Anna Marissa Nagtalon, S/A No. 1002-8030-0012).

Then, fax entry form and deposit slip (clear &/or enlarged copy) with name to Fax #: 932-9071 or 6311-356.

Keep receipt/bank deposit slip & submit during Registration.

Registration Fees:

  • P750 (until June 20)
  • P1000 (June 21-July11)

Deadline of Registration: July 11, 2010

Registration Centers:

  • TRAP Head Office

Room 101, Building B, Philsports Complex (ULTRA), Pasig City

Tel. #: +632-710-8259; Mobile phone: +63-915-643-0822 (Fabie),

Fax: +632-809-2713 or +632-850-5254

E-mail: info@triathlon.org.ph website: www.triathlon.org.ph

  • Bike King at Bonifacio High Street (c/o Raul Cuevas and Che) Tel. #: +632 -856-3362
  • Speedo Concept Stores at Ayala Alabang Town Center , SM Megamall, Podium, Glorietta 4 Makati , Bonifacio High Street and Mall of Asia
  • Club 650 Sports Center at 150 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave. (Libis), Quezon City

Tel.: 02- 6370-650

Fax: 2-6311-356