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mag-DAMO tayo!

Posted by Au Lim On Sunday, January 25, 2009 1 comments
tara mga friends! let's do grass! no i'm not smoking it. i'm drinking it in shot glasses. it's wheatgrass!


by now, some of you may have heard about this quickly becoming popular healthfood. my own quest for it started around 2001. i had a client who made me do some graphic design work as marketing material for a BARLEY grass product. i always do research for design work so this made me read more on the product and inevitably, it lead me to wheatgrass also.

i quickly learned i needed a specialized juicer for it and the seeds. unfortunately, around that time, it was not that easy (at least for me) to acquire stuff like this from abroad. my interest in it waned for a while but was rekindled when i started researching about the raw foods and sprouts. still, due to lack of resources and general laziness, my interest waned again. so imagine my delight when i just recently heard my sister-in-law was growing some wheatgrass practically at the place where we hold office. i immediately gave her a call and ordered some of my own from her sources. i started growing my first batch of wheatgrass last month, early December 2008, but i hesitated to post about it until i have had some first hand stories to tell.

this is because in as much as there are many proponents of wheatgrass, there are also some detractors. however, i noticed that most of the detractors have not yet tried wheatgrass themselves. their animosity mostly lies in the reasoning that there is not enough research on it and that the wheatgrass proponents claim too much.

in all fairness, i am more of a believer here than a skeptic. this is mostly because i have also noticed that inasmuch as there are few precise scientific studies on wheatgrass, there is an abundance of anecdotal reports that attest to its efficacy. proponents also point out quite reasonably that funding for more research on wheatgrass are not as forthcoming because there is no money in it for big pharmaceutical companies. growing wheatgrass is free AND it cannot be patented.


it is really quite easy to grow and is a potentially fun project to do especially if you have even the slightest penchant for gardening or for science projects. and even if you don't have an inclination at all for any of these, it is still very easy. all you need is motivation. a great motivator for me is the fact that it is potentially a "fountain of youth" because promotes good health and therefore youthful vitality. hey, if it will make my teeth and bones stronger, my skin better, my cholesterol count lower, my blood oxygen content higher, and remove heavy metals in body that may i have ingested through the years, and provide me with valuable antioxidants to counter the toxins from the unhealthy air and food i take in everyday making it an anticarcinogen... why should i not at least give it a chance. i am always hell bent on trying out anything at least once in my lifetime anyway. why not something potentially healthy this time.

information abound on the internet about the health benefits of wheatgrass. after all it's been there for quite some time. here are some links just to get you started. a google on it produces more:

http://www.sprout.net.au/wht_benefits.html
http://www.ayurvediccure.com/wheat_grass.htm
http://www.juiceitup.com/wheatgrass.html

http://www.drwheatgrass.com/research/ref.htm

oh yeah... i regret that i have not at least started out with an executive checkup to find out my health status before i started on the wheatgrass regime. i wish i had so i can compare the difference more concretely but i can say this after just roughly over a month of doing wheatgrass: my Nanay's blood pressure went down from 140-150 systolic to 120. my use of inhalers for my asthma has decreased. even my 5 year old Reine who just had the sniffles and a cough, was out of it after just 3 days. just for all that, i think i'm pursuing the growing and the juicing of this green goodness.

i'll make me a photo record of how i grew it--step-by-step--on my next post!... :-D

kwentong piercing

Posted by Au Lim On Monday, January 19, 2009 5 comments
hayyyy... so many things happening this January. i keep putting off blogging about it, lalo lang natatambak so simulan ko na kaya. di ko nga lang malaman how to start... hmmm... let's see... how about from the beginning 'no?

nothing better than shocking my reader straight up para magising so eto...

(click to enlarge...heehee...)

ok, you can un-cringe now... haha... daughter Gabey has been wanting a tongue ring on and off since she was in highschool but of course it wasn't possible then because the school doesn't allow it. so even if it was ok with me, we still have to follow school rules. but she kept her belly ring a secret (from the school, not from me) so we got away with that.

some people have quit asking me by now why i allow it but in case you're curious and don't know it yet, it's because i have one (or two) too. getting any part of the body pierced is really no different than getting an ear piercing. for as long as it is done aseptically and by the right person, there's really no harm in it. but if not done right and if not taken care of the proper way, just like any wound, it could get you in trouble, of course. i really do not see what's the big deal about it for some people--it's simply a matter of preference and style perhaps. besides, piercings are even easier to deal with than tattoos. if you don't like it anymore, the jewelry can be taken out in a sec and most of the time, the hole even closes up depending on how long it's been there.

i often get asked if getting the piercing hurts, and the answer is: but of course it does!!! but the part i hate most is NOT the moment of the piercing itself (because that takes all of 2 seconds actually) but the healing time. it takes about 2 weeks before it is completely comfortable to eat again. it's not totally a bad thing though if you're on a diet...haha!...

unfortunately, i did lose my tongue piercing about a year ago. i had a mouth sore in the roof of my palate so i removed the bar for about 5 days. despite the fact that i had that ring for over a year, the hole still closed up on me. i couldn't put the darned tongue ring back!

Gabey didn't want to do it alone and kept bugging me to get pierced with her. i kinda missed my tongue ring anyway so, in short, i had an excuse to do it again. and so last Jan 3, we did...



o sya, more "normal people" kwento next time... :-D

ADDENDUM:
i just realized some younger people might be reading this post so let me dish out some advise on the right way to do this:

1. if you live with your parents, ask for their permission
i know...chances are, they won't agree but there's really nothing you can do about that till you can live on your own. the best way to deal with this is to "educate" them first on what it's is all about. so maybe you should educate yourself first on what it IS all about. so go ahead and google it.

2. go to a reputable piercer (this is important!)
there may be a lot of piercers in Manila but not all of them are safe. go to a reputable one. i can recommend Skinworkz because they have a proper autoclave for sterilization of their tools and jewelry. and the owner is current president of PhilTag (Philippine Tattoo Artists Guild - which has DOH accreditation)

3. take antibiotics just to be safe
no, the piercer is not a doctor so you should probably get your doctor to give you a prescription. do not self medicate! that could get you in trouble if you have an allergy to meds.

4. it would be nice to take some vitamins as well for immune system support so healing would be faster.

5. last but not the least: Advil (Ibuprofen) is your friend (unless you have and allergy to it, ok!) other bets are paracetamol (Biogesic) or mefenamic acid (Ponstan). Goodluck!

lucky charm si Nanay

Posted by Au Lim On Sunday, January 04, 2009 0 comments
my first time to win a photo contest! sabi ni Nanay, sya daw ang buenas...hehehe... this was my entry to Bookoto.com's Tis the Season Challenge and it won me a year's worth of issues of Life Images magazines which i have been wanting to get myself but a short budget gets in the way. can't wait to get my grubby hands on those issues! :-D thanks Sheryl, Julie and Ms Staci Dumoski of Life Images for the pick! below is the winning photo and the required journaling and camera settings that went with it.


Journaling :
This is one of my favorite shots among those I have captured this season. It may not be the most technically perfect photo but most genuinely meaningful, fleeting moments are hard to capture as such. This is a photo of my Nanay (mother) in a moment of loneliness even midst a happy gathering. We had just finished watching her apos' (grandchildren) Xmas presentation at the PETA Theater and were simply awaiting for the crowd to thin out before we went down to the lobby.

Children eagerly anticipate the merriment of the Christmas season but perhaps it does not always hold the same ebullient happiness for the elderly. I am not sure what Nanay might be thinking at this moment. I can only guess. It could be worry for what the future holds, longing for the physical freedom she used to have before her hip surgery, or simply that she
misses a brother she had lost to cancer a just few weeks earlier.

Whatever is on her mind, I and the rest of her family can only try to pacify her by staying close to give her the emotional support she craves. However, I often wonder if it is ever going to be enough. Hopefully, the gleeful gatherings of the season gives her enough respite from the ravages of loneliness that often plague most of the elderly.

Camera Used: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikkor 18-200 f3.5-5.6
Settings: ISO 640 and aperture at 6.3 (where I had left it at a prior shot), shutter speed at 1/4 sec which was about the only setting I had time to adjust because I was afraid Nanay would move already. It was as slow as I could go--considering I was handholding the camera and not using flash-- to get a decent exposure of both foreground and the bright background.

Post processing : Adobe Photoshop CS3 for contrast, brightness and sharpness adjustments

my precious(es)

Posted by Au Lim On Saturday, January 03, 2009 1 comments

just for fun (and for my project 365's day 2 photo), i made my small collection of photo equipment 'pose' for me. since it's the start of the year, i thought i would be nice to capture a record of this now and compare how they would grow--hopefully, not shrink!--by the same time next year.

some of the stuff here has been with me since maybe the late-90's particularly the Nikon F4 film body, the 28-70 f3.5 lens i bought with it, the MF-23 digital back, and the SB26 flash unit. my photography hobby didn't go too far back then because i found it too expensive to get film developed plus the support groups on the internet just weren't there yet. so for the record, let me just say it again: i loooove digital and hurray for the world wide web!

so here's my modest photo gear inventory, thus far:
camera bodies:
1. Nikon D300
2. Nikon D40
3. Nikon F4

lenses:
1. Nikkor 18-200 f3.5-5.6 VR
2. Nikkor 50mm f1.8D
3. Nikkor 18-55 f3.5 to 5.6 G ED
4. Micro Nikkor 55mm f3.5 AIS
5. Lensbaby 2.0
6. Nikkor 28-70 f3.5-4.5D

flash units:
1. Nikon SB-800
2. Nikon SB-26

accessories:
1. macro extension tube
2. Sunpak 72mm circular polarizer (CPL)
3. Hoya R72 IR filter 52mm
4. Lenbabies close-up macro filter attachment
5. Lenspen
6. X-Wrap
7. Lowepro Voyager camera strap
8. canvas backdrop 3mx6m(gray) -- (up for sale! unused! P1750.00)

other accessories not in the photo:
1. Giottos VT-801 tripod
2. Falcon Eyes 42" 5-in-1 reflector
3. 36" bounce umbrella
4. 42" shoot-thru/bounce umbrella
5. medium lightstand
6. small lightstand
7. Falcon Eyes reflector holder
8. Lowepro Slingshot 100 backpack
9. Lowepro Bottle bag

here's to more gear-growing and camera-clicking in 2009! cheers!

Photo Essay