Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Be the Date Like No Other

This post is labeled under Personal Development

Are you one of those who feel unease when setting up a date, gathering, or simply throwing a treat. As experts say, man is a “social animal”.  The need to interact with other human beings (other than family) is a part of life you can’t avoid.

The whole point of making a plan is for others to enjoy the camaraderie once you are given the chance to host an event.  Not necessarily a-different-kind-of-experience type, bringing pleasure to a group (or a date) is enough to prove yourself worthy on the opportunity given to you.

First rule:  Plan

I ate once at a not-so-popular diner one evening.  The place is simple, the food was presentably organized, and reasonably priced.  An idea came to me to invite my friends and try the place out.  During those time, I was still attending a week-long seminar and was required to put up a treat the next day for our group lunch.  I thought my problem was solved…

I asked the cashier if they have branch near to where our seminar is being held.  She can’t give me a straight answer then for the information I have asked.  I looked it up in the internet for the branches they have nearby.

Because I was not sure of the place and the time of its opening, considering the distance and the one-hour lunch break given to us, it would be irrational to push with my plans.  (Hmm, first attempt failed?)

Surprise treat of one of the few students on my 42nd Birthday.

Second rule:  Have Plan B

The first plan was not possible. I looked for an alternative.  The diner must be near to the seminar venue so we won’t be stressed once we go back.

Next Dilemna:  Fast-food is a no-no.  It should not be expensive;  it should be different than the usual food we eat; and everyone should have fun! 

Given all the choices available, boom!  Italian restaurant?  Hey, is this place pricey?  Let me check first their menu.  What are these foods?  You can’t even pronounce it and seems expensive.  Oh, well!  Why not?  I’ll just use charm when all else fail.

Ultimate rule:  Have fun

Lunch time.  I asked the group on where they like to eat.  We’re four of us.  I said the place.  Someone objects that one from our group does not eat pasta.  At the end, there was a consensus:  everyone agreed to my suggestion.  (Of course they would!  Did they forget I was the one throwing the treat?)

I asked everyone if they had already checked out the place.  Someone mentioned one or two of the few times.  But to the other two, not yet (me included)!
At the place, I waiter gave us the menu:

ME:  (addressing the waiter)  Hey, how are you doing?  Here’s a thing.  I’m on a limited budget right now but I want my friends to enjoy our time here.  Can you suggest a setup for us to have a nice time?  It should be the best as if you were the one who invited your friends over.  We should have your famous dessert.  That should be included in the setup.

WAITER:  Sir, you can try __________.  I will serve your dessert after you finish the main course.

ME:  (addressing the group) Any thoughts on what he said?  (Someone added a few changes on the recommended menu).  Ok, good to go!

It took a while before the food was served.  While waiting, the group happily talked about the bloopers observed during the seminar.  On how the lecturer handled the situation to cover up the errors in a discrete way.

The food was served and the conversation continued.  One of us suggested of what we could implement the inputs of the seminar once we go back to the workplace.  The dessert was served.  I silently observed the reactions of each one if they enjoyed our experience in the place.  Everyone seemed happy.

We paid the bill.  The waiter gave us a 500-peso bill insisting that we paid more.  We returned the 500-peso and informed the waiter that we are sure we paid close to the exact amount and the money was not ours.   We left the place 20 minutes after 1PM. 

“Oh, are we late for the seminar?”, I asked everyone.

Funny thing was almost all of the seminar attendees left the food places within the area at the same time.  We were laughing with our lungs out going back to the venue.


It is sometimes stressful to get things done just to impress a date.  Thoughts of what they will after if you failed to make a mark because you are ill-prepared.  Here are some tips:

  1. Try new experience.  The element of surprise losses it essence if you stick with the tried-tested formula.  Because you don’t want to commit a mistake, you are hesitant to leave your comfort zone. You can turn the tables if you want.  Instead of you being stressed out from the preparation,  let your date have all the anxiety of guessing of what would be the next to expect.  Let the fun begin; go with the flow.
  2. Ask.  Because you are the host of the event, you are expected of what food you suppose to order.  Initiate the idea of what should you order.  Have you noticed I checked diners’ websites first before the event?  Do not forget that the experts on the place are the people who are operating it (waiters, food handlers, manager).  Ask them what is the “specialty of the house” to have a pleasurable dining experience.  Don’t be bothered of what your date will think or the waiter you are asking for suggestions.  You’ll get their admiration for being candid and honest; of course,  be confident while asking.  Just tell them of what you want and people are happy to help and create also an impression about what they can do. Have faith on people.
  3.  Listen attentively.  Most of the people are eager to tell their side of story.  A few of them forget that productive conversation takes place if there are two roles played:  one who talks and the other listens.  Let others shine especially people who seldom talk.  Do follow-up questions.  Assume the role of a listener.  People will not forget those who listens and how good they feel relating the story.
  4. Resist temptations.  One positive experience may be ruined by a negative factor during the event.  Avoid topics that may degrade others.  Interrupt with wit if someone tries to insert a topic that may malign other people.  Look for a more productive topic.

Did I mention that my money was not enough before the treat?  I already borrowed few bucks to a colleague before reaching the place.  To think of situation we went through, I may not even have to owe anyone should I accepted the 500-pesos returned to us.  Again, this is a temptation that may ruin the experience and you should pass on this with flying colors.

The secret in having a wonderful and positive experience is to be honest on whatever you do.  You may be short on words but people will still ask of you because of the integrity and respect you possess.


Friday, May 3, 2013

The Concept of Nothing

When I was kid I know I will have a hard time counting.  Even now if someone suprises me and ask on how to compute simple numbers, I go blank.  Knowing my weakness in math, I had to memorize so I will survive in the coming years of my life.  Mom said:  “You can not avoid math…”

I have no trouble dealing with addition and subtraction.  Difficulty starts when it comes to multiplication or division.  Even I hate memorizing, I was forced to know my multiplication table when it comes to number combination that starts with 1 up to 10.  Everyone says that division is just the reverse of multiplication (vice-versa).

I started to count when I was little.  The correct way (according to them) is to start with 1 up.  Reaching high school, I learned to include zero in counting.  I learned from my algebra the concept of negative numbers and its rulings.  The idea behind a unit circle is to know the magnitude (either positive or negative) when it comes to changing of directions.  Because I knew my weakness, I always do book exercises though my teachers do not require us.  I consider myself blessed whenever I pass my math subjects.

I reached college and took up computer engineering.  My concepts about mathematics widen.  Like old times, I need to know first the rulings and then proceed doing the exercises in different books though sometimes I do not grasp the concepts fully.  I knew then that even though I can not underestand everything,  as long as I can follow instructions and do the exercises,  I will pass.


0 divided by  1 is 0.

This is correct because any number multiplied with zero is zero.  Can you say that you can divide nothing with 1?  Of course, can you divide nothing with 1 or any number?  Simple isn’t it?  You can not divide nothing so the answer is nothing also.  Even you reverse the operation with multiplication, any number you multiply with zero will turnout zero.

Let us reverse the order:

1 divided 0 is undefined.

Lots of mathematicians may explain why is it so.  Even I do not understand though their explainations are plenty.

What is the real answer?  I say, maybe it depends on what result do you want to achive.  You can say one, two, 999,999 or nothing (zero)!  What I know there is something to be left out: a remainder.  And that is one!

Let us try a different concept.  See the image below:

Many will react.  Isn’t it math is an exact science?  Therefore, you may say that the image is not a mathematical operation because it is always arbitrary when it comes to an answer.  But if you reverse it, it does not hold true anymore?

One may add:  “If we accept your answer that any number will do, any number multiplied with zero will also achieve any number?!”
If you view things in physical as explained by science,  you will say conventional approach is correct.  But in all laws there is an exception.  As with mathematics, nothing or zero is an exception and basic rules do not apply because it will lead to a more confusions and conflicts.
As we hear from an old sayings: 

“Don't you worry about a thing. You still get something out of nothing…"

"Be warned you don't fall on gluttony and greed.  You may get everything but it will end up nothing..."

The purpose of this article is not to add confusion of what you have learned in mathematics  nor to challenge anyone for a rebuttal.  There are things science cannot explain in simple terms.
If you want a child to start learning correctly, tell that counting starts with nothing and then up.  With this way,  a kid will know, the concept of nothingness or things that can’t be seen, because everything starts with nothing. 


Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Mentor You Need to Succeed

This post is labeled under Personal Development

As one enters the workplace, new things are needed to learn quickly to adapt on the demands of the organization’s goals. It now depends on you on how you cope with the change around without your usual teachers who helped you during college.

You now acquired the needed skills. Things started to smoothen out and you can do your job fast with ease. Boredom sets in and you aspire to do more than the present demands your position is asking for. You’re determined to spice up your skills and be creative at the same time to gain your boss’ attention in order to get ahead. But who’s going to teach you on how to be competitive?

The author together with his mentors

Ask someone to be your mentor

When I was new working and still learning the grasp of our business, I was usually sent to other department to ask the things to be done to fulfill the needs of our group. Normally, you are referred to somebody in-charge of your needs. This is the time you build relationship with colleagues to get things done easily.

Ask the person responsible on how the system works (paper to fill-in, signatories for approval, etc) so you may do the required tasks on hand. Don’t forget to thank that person for helping out in fulfilling your needs. Tell him/her that you may need to back in the future in case you need to clarify things you don’t understand yet.

On some cases, you see things differently and suggest change. You are not sure on how you will go about it but have a feeling that it will work out. That’s time you seek a mentor who understands fully the effects on system change.

Don’t waste your mentor’s time

Be prepared to study things on your own first. Explain to your mentor on how you understand it and validate through him/her if your understanding is correct. Show interest by asking the right questions connected to your quest. Be an “eager beaver” to show your enthusiasm to produce results.

You will be amazed how helpful your mentor can be when he/she senses your interest to learn. Mentors like to share their expertise on person who does extra mile of learning new things. Be attentive to listen as your mentor discusses details.

When mentoring opens door to new opportunities

As I have worked as technical engineer to a telecomm project, I asked our manager on how to implement the project that seems to be complicated. Fresh from college and just seeing how fiber optic technology works on a telecomm project, my manager sensed my interest and recommended to see the project at the provincial site in Albay, Philippines.

I was sent to that place just to observe, study and be able to recommend what are the things I could suggest to implement the project fast. A week stay there was like a paid vacation and an opportunity to learn at the same time. Not to mention the chance of seeing beautiful places the province offers.

“There’s no one who seems like to help! “

I heard a friend from a distance who complained how her career became stagnant and she does not see any progress of learning new things in almost four years. According to her, the setup of the organization is not geared towards advancement of one’s career. She plans to quit and move somewhere else.

I’ve also reached the point that my mentor (boss) at that time could no longer suffice my appetite to learn new things; the time that I seek out on how I could improve myself under the tutelage of the experts on other fields. I’ve started to read books.

Overtime, my writings improve. I could read faster and the presentation I deliver becomes better. Other bosses in the management started to notice my skills.

Quit complaining. Stop making excuses. Thrive on the situation you are in right now and seek the very first important mentor that will teach valuable lessons on improvement: YOU.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Functional Dependency in Relational Database

This post is labeled under Software Development

Effective design of relational database follow the principles of relation. Introduced by Dr. F. Codd of IBM during the 70's, relational database became the de facto standard in DBMS.

The following video explains the theory of relation, its properties and dependencies of its attributes. Primary key, foreign key,composite key, and anomalies are also discussed as partial and transitive dependencies are applied.

You may secure the copy of the powerpoint presentation on the link below:

DBMS Relations


Saturday, April 24, 2010

MySQL Stored Procedure

This post is labeled under Software Development

This is the continuation of Laboratory Activity 4. I suggest that you do the said lab activity first (if you haven't done so) before proceeding on this activity. You may visit it here.

You can compile multiple SQL statements into one function or program. With stored procedure, you are no longer restricted to run one single SQL statements but allows you work on as many of statements you need to execute for your requirements.

Stored procedure can be created using MySQL Query Browser. Once created, you may detect its existence on the object browser area along with other tables. You may also edit it later on if changes are required as you pull data from your database.

Activity 5 below shows us a guide on how to work on simple stored procedures.

MySQL Stored Procedure Activity 5