Skywatch #1

Somebody said that if the sky is somewhat like this in Russia, it will be icy cold there. I wonder if it's true.

It's summer in Down Under and the sun sets more or less around 7PM. This is just past 6pm on the way home from dining out. It was a lovely day for us after feeding the ducks at the park.

Check out the other skywatchers here.

Skywatch # 1

My first skywatch is much the same with the featured lesson but with a moon instead. I didn't quite capture the halo but there was indeed a halo on the moon that night.

More skywatchers here.


Vertical Market

What is that? I heard that several times, I don’t understand what it is but I have an assumption. Assumption which is very far from what it is really meant.

Helpful wiki said:

A vertical market is a group of similar businesses and customers which engage in trade based on specific and specialized needs. Often, participants in a vertical market are very limited to a subset of a larger industry (a niche market). An example of this sort of market is the market for point-of-sale terminals, which are often designed specifically for similar customers and are not available for purchase to the general public.

The activities of participants within any given vertical market are typically similar in that they aim at solving the same or similar problems. These markets are typically competitive, due to the overlapping focuses of the products and services that are provided to the customers.

The single defining characteristic of the participants in a vertical market is competition within a well-defined segment.

A vertical market is a market which meets the needs of a particular industry: for example, a piece of equipment used only by semiconductor manufacturers. It is also known as a niche market. [1]

A horizontal market is a market which meets a given need of a wide variety of industries, rather than a specific one: for example, word processing software.

I worked for a company that is in vertical marketing - meat industry, carpet, retail (hardware), etc.

My Machine

As a consultant, I was issued a laptop machine. That’s given – I will visit the client’s site, so I need my machine with me. It will also allow me to work from home sometimes – which I did when the air conditioning here in the office was not working and it was summer.

The downside though is, it is stone heavy. I have fair meters to walk up to the station and the road is very steep (I’ll take a photo sometime). Its slope is almost 90 degrees. I slipped twice on my way down – first on New Year’s eve, I hurt my knee and torn my pants, second was yesterday - I only fell on my hands, I use them for support. I had a bit of pain on my wrist though.

I’m planning of wearing rubber or running shoes on my way to and fro the office and just put on my work shoes here. Or I really have to look for shoes that will support me or I just need to be more careful. It’s either one or the other. Lolz.

Still, my machine is heavy and it’s giving me pains – on the back.

Understanding Jargons

Seriously, I have very vague information technology know-how. I know how to navigate in the client setup of the system and thankfully, the database structure is very easy to access and manage so I always play around with it. My officemate said, I’m breaking in the data because I get errors that they don’t which sometimes, I myself doesn’t even know the reason why. I just love playing around with it.

Anyway, I heard of the terms server – linux, microsoft, etc. Then, there’s the term bugs. Oh, I’m pretty limited with them. Thanks to the net, if there’s something that I want to check, it’s always very reliable. I get more than what I am looking for although at times, it doesn’t really answer my question. If more, it just confuses me all the more.

Here’s one that’s funny. I don’t know what white paper means. Our sales person send an email regarding the microsoft new solutions which we already have and it was in white paper. What the ball, is white paper? Coupon bond? Lolz.

So, here’s wiki’s answer to my question:

A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that often addresses problems and how to solve them. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions. They are used in politics and business. They can also be a government report outlining policy.

This term maybe common to everybody but not to me. I am not that exposed so, sorry folks, it’s my first time.

The History

I was really not workaholic but living in a place far from my parents or any family, I was forced to. I need to while my time away rather than spend them aimlessly at the shop where I could put a hole in my hip pocket.

For almost seven years, I spent two thirds of my time in the office but not necessarily viewed as I was working. I was so fortunate to work in a very generous, dynamic and liberal organisation that allows employee to overstay in the office, using the company’s resources chatting, surfing the net, or just doing anything. The pattern of my week-days schedule became so routinely that it bordered boredom. For some maybe, but not for me. I love exploring things virtually and doing some reading and research.

I was a mere staff in the Treasury Department – senior staff maybe as when the supervisor is away, I did her duties, but I love what I was doing. Our team played a very important role in the company – managing its resources especially cash. We were using an operational financial system then.

The plan of the company to upgrade the financial system was brewing and there was so much politics and drama that I didn’t take part of it. But the team which eventually became the Enterprise Resource Planning team, needs a member from Treasury Department. I was the most senior; I know the ins and outs. The team leader needs to recommend one from their team but my boss didn’t want to push me up. The ERP team was viewed to be very important then that everyone wants to be a part of it. There was so much speculation running in the office who will be recommended, etc. One of the team leaders of the ERP team is my friend and she wanted me to be our representative. As I’ve said, my boss was pulling my leg. His reason was, I was not focused, I am careless and I get distracted easily. Of course, he didn’t say that in my face but in the conference of the finance bosses and one of them was and is still my best friend. Of course, she told me about it. I wasn’t hurt because deep down I know the real reason. They don’t want to lose me. I was too valuable for them. But even then with his reason, my ERP Team leader friend fought for me. Thanks to her.

To cut the long story short, I was with the ERP team for more than two years. Then along the way, I met my man, got married and moved to Australia. A year later, I gave birth to a beautiful boy. Everything was in good timing. I can’t look for work so what better way was it to spend my time than to rear a child. Two months before my li’l man’s 1st birthday, I got my permanent residence visa.

I’ve flung my resume’s over the net for some time. I’ve been, err we’ve been (with my hubs and little boy in tow) to at least 5 interviews and although they were hopefuls there was no offer. I was looking for work that was in-line with my previous life career or something that I can use my knowledge of the system. Then, one day I was called for an interview with the employer. You see, using an employment agency here is necessary to get a job. God works in mysterious ways indeed. The job ad that I wasn’t hoping to be qualified was the one that land me this job.

I was interviewed twice, they took a reference from my ex-boss in the Philippines and I started working a month after that.

I am really thankful that they gave me the opportunity despite my lack of local experience which was always the factor/questions that I dreaded to answer during job interviews.

I learned the system which was a far cry from what I used to in more or less two months. Yes, within two months in the company, I gave the accountant of one of our customers an informal training and it was sort of successful. I got bored at some point because there was really no substantial assignment thrown my way – it was the quiet time of the year, by the way. Mcj was so supportive. I always put my hands up for any small task.

I got permanent on the first week of December 2008. A perfect Christmas presents.

And now, I am honing myself for a big break – leading the new project which was down in Melbourne. That, while brewing this new blog. LOLs.

The Conception

This blog was conceived in the toilet. Weird or ironic? I think, it’s both.

I wasn’t busy yet, though there is a big project brewing and I wanted to blog about it. I have several blogs running but I reckon, the subject doesn’t really fit in any of them. I’m always on blog mode and it may sound really weird but going to the loo is my favourite time because I can brood, mull anything over and just be myself.

Then, I thought of putting up this blog. I have so much to share and to wonder and questions on my shift of career that I thought it deserve a whole new page and better yet, a new blog.

So, blogworld.... (drum roll please)... here is The Other Side of Me.


Laudry Must Have's

...according to homehints.com.au.

Fully biodegradable washing detergent
Napisan or similar nappy soakers for whitening
Chamois or stain removal blocks
Bicarbonate of soda
Commercial stain removal spray
Sard wondersoap or equivalent
Lavendar or citrus oil for scenting sheets
Colour run remover
Dry cleaning fluid
Pure soap flakes for washing woolens

I must admit, I don't have all these. I only use soap flakes for washing the lil man's clothes, napisan, liquid washing detergent and a bleach. The latter is the most effective way to get rid of stains and making white stays white.

Cleaning the Wahing Machine

I only do our washing once a week - on weekends and mostly Saturday unless it rains. I'm not really fussy but I just want to make sure that all the dirt are removed from our clothes, there's no stain left on the lil man's shirts, the white stays white and no lint on blacks. But try as I might, I always fail. I just brush it off and forget about it. What frustrates me most is the lint that I get on dark coloured clothes. Grrrr. I know that it's because of a dirty washing machine. I don't really have a code on how I clean it. I just wash the lint filter after a load of washing. Is it enough?

Anyway, here are some tips on how to clean your washer from homehints.com:

First check the filter for coins or rubbish, then check the hose for any blockages.

Remove the soap drawer and give it a good scrub in warm water; sticky residue indicates you could be overfilling it.

A routine maintenance wash will keep things in good order.

Do a full wash (empty) at the hottest temperature, then wipe down the drum and door with warm, soapy water and dry. Leave the door ajar to prevent damp, but keep pets and children clear.

I'll give the last one a try sometime. It's just a waste of water though. Lols.

Book-shelving Ideas

Running out of space for your books? Here are some ideas on how to create and save spaces from bhg.com.

One of my wish list when we build our own house is to have a library. I don't have much books yet but I'm planning to grow my collection. But if the lot area does not permit a library, I can draw my shelving ideas from these.

This one above is my favourite.
To the Ceiling

Here's a terrific way to create storage and a focal point using less than 12 inches of floor space. A wall of bookshelves stretches up to the ceiling and brackets a pair of French doors.

I thought at first, the french doors are bay windows.


I'm not really sure I am like this. :)

What Your Handbag Says About You

You are concerned with how you appear. Projecting your high status is important to you.

You tend to be relaxed throughout the day. You are naturally at peace.

You tend to be on high alert. You are very aware of your surroundings.

You are a high maintenance person. You feel lost outside of your normal environment.

You are open and comfortable with who you are. You don't hide anything.

You are practical and down to earth. You tend to be a rather reserved and quiet person.


Prettify a Boring Wall

This wall is realy boring and unsightly, could be worse if not painted. This year I decided to hang some pictures on it.

I think, the frame has added some life to the monotone paint.

Have a boring wall at home? You can try to put some pretty frames or drawings of your little one.


Book Organiser

The little boy has lots of books. He loves reading and sometimes playing with them. I just place them in a place within his reach but at times, he just leaves them anywhere he read them. So I thought, I'm going to buy a book organiser. This encourages him to replace the book after reading. Not only a handy space-saver but also teaching him a good habit.

Sewing Kit

I haven't got a designated sewing room. My sewing machine is currently mingling with our washer and water heating unit in the laundry room. My sewing materials are stashed away somewhere.

When we went to Bunnings to buy big container boxes for our linens, I saw this small organiser cabinet. It is quite handy for the little materials in my sewing kit like, needles, buttons, cotton, ribbons, etc. I have yet to label each drawer.

I have so many projects in mind. One is looking for ways where to put my sewing machine.

Fruit Basket

We have our lucky charm with us when we went to the New Year's Square Dance party. We won a hamper. They were just mostly grocery items - didn't thrill me that much. The winner for me is the basket that held the hamper. It is just made of wicker or bamboo or something - not really sure, but I love it. I turned it into my fruit basket. Before, I was just using a hand-painted bowl. I reckon, I can also use it as a picnic basket. Very versatile and I got it for free.

Bookcase Shades

This is featured in bhg.com as a weekend project.

Looks very easy to do but here's how it is to do:

Decide where you want the canvas cover on the shelves.

For each shade, cut the canvas to the length and width of the space you wish to cover, leaving room for hems along three sides and a 1-inch rod pocket at the top.

Hem three sides.

Sew a rod pocket into the top large enough to fit the tension rod.

Place the tension rod through the rod pocket.

Install the tension rod into the desired space.

What you need
Modular shelf unit
Cotton canvas or twill
Sewing machine or needle
Tension rods

It looks stylish isn't it? If you haven't got a modular shelf unit, you don't have to buy a new one. Check out your local second hand shop.

Transparent Shoe Box

I first saw it in telly. One of the entrepreneur Mums was selling it online. I wanted to get some. They're quite handy if you have several pairs of shoes and at times might find it hard to look for them in the boxes. It always happened to me because my shoes that came with me from the Philippines have no boxes. I found several big shoe boxes (from Mcj's shoes) and they can fit at least 3 pairs of my shoes. Truth be known, I sometime have to open several boxes before I'll be able to get what I want. That's where this transparent shoe boxes come in handy. Problem was, the seller only accept credit card payment. Darn, I don't use credit card when shopping online.

Then, MIL one day gave me one of those transparent boxes. I didn't know what was it. I was thinking, gee, she's giving me some of her unwanted gifts again. But it was a collapsible transparent box. She got them from ALDI for $8 a dozen or a half (not sure). She's offering me more but I might just be needing a couple.

They're not dear and certainly, they are very handy in organising your shoe collections.


Use Pillow Cases

You're out of washing bag for your delicates, little items like socks, underwear or just like me there are clothes that you don't want to be stretch or could just be for handwashing but too lazy to hand-wash them? Throw them in your pillow cases. It is better if they are those odd pairs that you have in your linen cupboard. It is also handy if they have zips so you won't have a problem tying the open end and find out at the end of the wash that the tie had come lose and all your delicates were actually thrown out of the safety net and been whirled around. It happened to me several times.

Also, you can throw in those little stuffed toys that are grubby from being toyed while the little ones are eating or just being towed anywhere around the house. They'll be safe in the washing.

So don't throw those odds pillow cases. You wouldn't know when you will need them.

Easy Storage Ideas

It’s a problem for us at home. Storage space. And everyday, I am trying to conceive ideas on how to solve it. It is fun as it is frustrating. My constant search for solution to this problem has led me to several tips online including these, from bhg.com:

Toss It in a Case

Make cleanup a breeze by converting ready-made pillow cases into storage bags.

How to Make It

-- Stitch a casing a couple inches from the case's top edge.

-- Thread cording through the casing.

-- Clinch bags and hang.

Perfect Shower Storage
Tuck kids' bath toys and gear into a liner that hangs out of sight behind the shower curtain. Made from athletic mesh, this bag drip-dies fast.

How to Make It

-- Size the liner to one width of mesh.
-- Sew a strip of fabric along the top edge for a stable surface. Add slots for shower curtain pins.
-- Customize the lines by making a series of mesh pockets to hold gear.
-- Cut mesh to size for pockets, then stitch a length of contrasting fabric, at the top, to create a casing.
-- Thread elastic through the casing and pull to gather.

Toss It Over the Couch
Create a place for everything with this fun throw. It tucks under the sofa cushions and lifts off at a moment's notice.

How to Make It

-- Sew large pockets to a sturdy throw.
-- Add 3-inch panels to the sides and bottom.
-- Add embellishments such as ribbons, buttons, and zippers to complete the look.

Hanging Storage
Oilcloth bags hanging on the back of the door corral blocks, Barbies, and other small toys. Zippers on the sides of each bag let a child open it for use as a play surface.

How to Make It

-- Cut two rectangles (one for facing, one for lining) with a 1/2-inch seam allowance on all sides.
-- Sew zippers into the sides of the bag.
-- To make the tabs, cut a fabric strip 5-1/2 inches wide.
-- Fold the long edges in so they slightly overlap and machine stitch.
-- Cut tabs to fit over rod.
-- Top off with a snap to hold the ends together.

These sure are quite handy. I'll try them if I got the time to use my sewing machine. One for the TODO basket.
More here.

Hello World!

This is blog is concieved in a spur of the moment while I was surfing for organisation tips. You see, we are running out of room in the house and I must start thinking of efficient storing system lest we'll all be buried with stuff that we don't necessarily need.

Living in a seasonal country makes storing of seasonal stuff necessary especially if you are like us - having small safe and clean storage space. We are living in a big property but I don't really like keeping important stuff in the shed that dust are creeping in or there's a possibility of mites to gnaw on them.

This blog will include tips from myself and from others that I may deem helpful. So, please check out often.
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