Irrelevant Ads On Blog

In my other blog Pinoy Media Insider I talk about anything and everything that has to do with the production side of broadcast media. Being the case, I would expect my Google ads to be somewhat related to matters concerning TV production, filmmaking and the like. Strangely though, what I’ve been getting most of the time are ads on stress management and anxiety disorders.

I’ve reviewed all my posts and I couldn’t find anything at all that could possibly lead Google to send me those ads. Ironically, I have been under a lot of stress and my anxiety level has been hitting the roof lately. It’s mostly because of some personal concerns. Ok, I’ll admit it. It’s mostly because of the fact that after almost three months of blogging my Adsense revenue is still a measly 58 cents.

Could this be a case of computer software gone telepathic? Earlier today I saw another irrelevant ad on my media-centric blog. This time it was for a slightly adult-themed site. I was astounded. Apparently, Adsense is even tuning in on the impure thoughts and feelings of one of my three avid readers. (cue “Twilight Zone” theme)

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Sun Cellular Call & Text International Sim Wows Loquacious Aunt

Here’s my first attempt at an online product review. For the sake of full disclosure, I will inform you that this review is being done for no financial consideration whatsoever. Peksman.

The focus of this review is Sun Cellular’s new product, the new Call & Text International SIM. Before anything else here are the important details you should know.

Cost: P49

Special rates:

  • P1/iSMS or International Text to 20 destinations:USA, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Macau, Japan, Qatar, Brunei, Guam, Hawaii, Oman, Cayman Island, Cyprus, Turkey, Northern Marianas Island, Jamaica, Bahamas & Puerto Rico.
  • US$0.10/IDD Call to 10 destinations:US (Mainland), China, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Guam, and Macau
  • US$0.20/IDD Call to 20 destinations:Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Italy, Indonesia, Hawaii, Kuwait, Bahrain, Germany, Spain, Israel, France, Greece, Jordan, Northern Marianas Islands & Cyprus.

Now for the review. First off, the Sun Call & Text International Sim delivers as advertised. I let my auntie place a call to my cousins in Los Angeles, California. My aunt, being the chatterbox that she is, took all of 28 minutes just talking to one of my cousins. I know because I timed it. After their conversation I checked how much was left of the P150 special load that I had pre-loaded. There was P10 left. I did the math. At P140 divided by 28 mins, the call to LA cost P5 per minute. At an exchange rate of P50 to the dollar that’s US$0.10 per minute. Not bad at all.

But affordability isn’t everything where overseas calls are concerned. In fact it doesn’t mean squat if the call quality or reception isn’t optimal. I was observing my aunt while she was on the phone and not once did I see her strain to hear my cousin’s voice nor did I hear her raise her voice. That tells me that the reception was just fine. Well, I also asked my aunt how it was and she confirmed that the call quality was ok.

It’s been a few days now since that successful call to my cousins. I haven’t reloaded yet so my loquacious aunt is now making do with just sending text messages. Again, as advertised, the Sun Call & Text International Sim connected my aunt to our relatives overseas at only P1 per iSMS.

This SIM card can also be loaded with Sun’s regular load. Doing so would allow you to avail of the unlimited Sun to Sun local call and text services.

All in all, I can say Sun has a very solid offering. If you need to make IDD calls every now and then especially to the specific territories where this service applies you would definitely benefit from using the Sun Call & Text International Sim.

By the way, as a first time Sun user I was pleasantly surprised that I haven’t had any problems making or receiving calls or SMS through the other networks. I guess Sun Cellular has started making good on its commitment to beef up its network.

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Strange But True (Improved Version)

(Spot The Difference)

Man A: (to self) Blue is a nice color and it's perfect for my car.

Man B: (butts in) I will have to disagree. Blue is not nice at all and it would look bad on your car.

Man A: I'll stick with blue. It would look nice on my car.

Man B: Why don't you try red. Red is better.

Man A: Red could be good too but I'll just go with blue.

Man B: I would go for red anytime -- maybe even yellow.

Man A: Yellow? Red I can handle. But yellow?

Man B: Why? What's wrong with yellow?

Man A: I just don't like it.

Man B: Well, I would definitely use yellow when appropriate.

Man A: Why not green?

Man B: I don't like green. Do you like green?

Man A: Yes, but not on my car.

Man B: I still think blue is not a good color choice for your car.

Man A: Ok, but I'll stick with blue.

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Strange But True

Man A: (to self) Blue is a nice color and it's perfect for my car.

Man B: (butts in) Red is not an ugly color.

Man A: Ok.

Man B: Are you saying red is an ugly color?

Man A: All I said was blue is a nice color and that it's perfect for my car. I wasn't even talking to you.

Man B: Red is not an ugly color and it is more popular than blue. So are you saying my car won't look good in red? Besides yellow is even better.

Man A: Where did those other colors come from? All I said was blue is a nice color.

Man B: Red is better than blue. You're stupid and dumb.

Man A: I wasn't even comparing colors but we can talk about them if you like.

Man B: Whatever. I like red and yellow. Don't try to tell me you have better taste in color than me.

Man A: Huh?

Man B: You're color blind. Sure you have a blue car but don't tell me I can't have mine in red -- or yellow.

Man A: All i said was that blue is a nice color and it's perfect for my car.

Man B: My color choice is so much better than yours. You're just trying to assume superiority over me. And, you're a dumbass.

Man A: Blue... nice... color... perfect... for... car... wasn't... even... talking... to... you...

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A few weeks ago I ran into a former neighbor of mine. This happened while I was visiting relatives at the old neighborhood where I grew up. I was just whiling away the time in front of my auntie's house when this person came up to me. It was a pleasant encounter considering that it's been more than a decade since we last saw each other. However, all the time we were talking I was struggling to remember his name but I just couldn't.

Most people in my old neighborhood belong to the low income bracket. Most of them are in fact informal settlers or squatters. This particular person is one of them. I know for a fact that he used to live in one of the shanty colonies in our community.

I first encountered this person when I was still a college student. We would often run into each other on our street. I must admit I used to look at this person with contempt and distrust. It's not because I was prejudiced against the low income members of our community. It wasn't anything like that. I was just annoyed by his habit of looking at me as if he were sizing me up. The idea of confronting and challenging him to a fight crossed my mind many times back then. Fortunately, it didn't get to that.

A few years later, I got my first job as a production assistant at a film production company. One time our production manager asked me if I knew someone who would be interested in working as a utility man. It was a small job with equally small pay but it was still work. For some altruistic reason, I thought I'd offer the job to this person.

One night I decided to do just that. I knew he had to pass by our house to get to wherever it was that he lived. It didn't take long for him to show up as I had anticipated. When he got in front of our house I approached him and introduced myself. I remember he was a little confused at first that I was talking to him. I guess he thought I was going to confront him for those times when he gave me the evil eye. Anyway, I told him that I was just going to offer him a job. I informed him that the pay wasn't much for a utility man and that he would basically be at the beck and call of everyone else like a house helper. He accepted the offer. I guess he really needed the money.

During the time that he worked with me in that film production company I got to know him a bit. He turned out to be a decent person who just didn't have the same opportunities others like me enjoyed and perhaps took for granted.

My neighbor got to work in that company for just a month. When production of the movie we were filming ended the company let go of its contractual workers. As for me, I got transferred to another production unit. From then on I would just occasionally run into this person. Sometimes I would invite him over for a drink together with my cousins and other neighborhood buddies. All these until about ten years ago when our family relocated.

During my recent encounter with this person, I got the impression that he had become more destitute. He had that homeless look -- soiled, tattered clothes, grimy skin, the works. Yet despite his seemingly unfortunate circumstance he seemed happy and completely without any bitterness.

He engaged me in some small talk. He asked me how I was -- just the usual. It was all too trivial that I can't even remember much about our conversation. However, before he went on his way he did something quite meaningful. In a rather embarrased way he offered to share the small bottle of gin he had just bought. Here was a man who probably haven't had a decent meal for some time offering to share with me the only thing he had.

I politely declined the drink and he went on his way.

Maybe I'm just reading more into it but I really got the feeling that what he did was more than just offer me a drink. The way he said it he seemed as if he was trying to say thanks to me for the little help that I gave him more than a decade ago. I really can't say for sure. In any case I'm thankful that chance encounter happened because it reopened my eyes to the cosmic truth that doing good always has its rewards. It may not always be much or even of equal weight to the original act of kindness but, if you care to look closer, you would see that the reward is almost always something truly meaningful.

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