Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Wai!

One of the cool things about working in Pasadena, basically right below Mt. Wilson, is that, when it's cold, and after a rainstorm, I get to see a fresh blanket of snow up atop the San Gabriels. I caught a distant glance at it from East Hollywood right before I descended into the subway, and as the sun rose and my Gold Line train arrived at Sierra Madre Villa, there it was, some 5,000 feet above me.

It may not look much, and I'm sure some east-coast type people will crack up laughing, but up atop the mountain is one of the closes places us SoCal folks "go to the snow." Which reminds me, the last time I actually got up there to play in the snow was some 21 years ago.

Actually, once you're up there, it's a veritable winter wonderland, and thanks to the magic of the Mount Wilson Webcam you can see it in all its powdery glory.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I Made The Front Page!

Twenty years ago, as the editor-in-chief of my high school paper, and geared up to study journalism in college, if you asked me if my name make the front page of the Los Angeles Times, then I would have said, "Oh definitely." Of course, my name would have the word "By" before it, and I would be the one writing the article. Two decades later, my name's on the front page, but this time, I'm the one being quoted.

On Sunday, both my name, and one of my little creations - the BARACKCYCLE! bike ride - made the front page!

Link to the online article here:

A few weeks ago - on my birthday, in fact, someone with a 415 area code phone number called my cellphone, and it was an LA Times reporter who had heard of the BARACKCYCLE V!: The Victory Ride on the Obama website was interested in covering the event for an inauguration-related article. I told him, "Sure!" and rounded up the troops. But alas, the November 29 ride was on Thanksgiving weekend, so the chances of a good turnout were slim. Most of the BARACKCYCLE! veterans were out of town or occupied that day, but we managed to get a good turnout of 15 folks, and the presence of Times reporter Peter King and photographer Kirk McKoy made the ride all the more interesting.

Man, it still hasn't sunken in...I made the front page of the L.A. Times!

A Dime vs. A Nickel

Like every other Filipino out there, I spent Saturday night watching the big Pacquiao vs. De La Hoya fight, which resulted in an 8-round TKO by the Pac-Man.

Call it ethnic pride, but I knew the Pacquiao would win...but not in this way. I figured it would go a full 12 rounds, a drawn-out bout of size vs. speed with the judges giving Pacquiao the decision, not the Pinoy pummeling of a 147-lb punching bag.

Once the starting bell sounded, I had to admit I had a few reservations with the taller De LA Hoya sparring against the more diminutive Pacquiao, sending there might be a little unfair mismatch action going on here.

But eight rounds later, I was instantly reminded of a quote by Carlos P. Romulo, a 20th century Philippine hero and once the president of the United Nations General Assembly. Romulo, an intelligent, industrious man, stood all but 5' 4" inches among his fellow global dignitaries, and his stature made for many comments and prejudgments by others. But he one said that he felt like "a dime among nickels" -- referring, of course to the fact that a dime is smaller in size, but larger in value to a nickel.

So on Saturday, December 6, 2008, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the world witnessed a nickel being defeated by a dime.

And here's a picture of myself with a fellow 5'6" left-handed Filipino Sagittarian (Taken June 14, 2008 at Lake Street Park in Historic Filipinotown):