Top WP.com themes?

WordPress.com already has two types of ‘top’ lists — Top Blogs, and Top Posts. If you count ‘Fastest Growing WordPress.com Blogs’, then that makes three lists already. I wonder if it would be a good idea to have a ‘Top WordPress.com Themes’ list? I mean, technically, it should be simple enough to keep track of the number of blogs using each theme, right?

Personally, I like Regulus. Tried Contempt for a while, and a couple of others, but I keep coming back to Regulus. Sometimes I wonder what themes other people use, but I inevitably move on to wondering how many people use this or that theme. Now instead of going around asking people, I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be neat if the WP.com guys added a ‘Top Themes’ list?

But then again, this list wouldn’t necessarily drive traffic to individual blogs, like the other existing ‘Top’ lists do. Instead, it might just make some popular themes more popular and some unpopular themes more unpopular. This list might be more useful as feedback to theme designers and to the guys at Automattic.

Still… it would be cool to have, from a user point of view…. 🙂

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My Rules for Blogrolling

Alright. Here goes.

I’ve seen more than one occassion where blogrolling has become such a big deal that people have actually gotten into bitter arguments and fights over it. People getting rolled without permission, people getting taken off someone’s roll without a heads-up, whatever. The thing is, each time, I found the whole thing really childish. People get so worked up over nothing, really.

Lorelle has written an excellent article on the subject of blogrolling here, but I’ll just simply list down my own personal rules for blogrolling. Think of this list as a dislaimer of sorts. Anyway, here they are:

  1. I reserve the right to add, with or without permission, to my blogroll any blog that is available to the public.
  2. I reserve the right to remove anyone from my blogroll without any prior notice to the blog owner.
  3. Adding someone to my blogroll, does not necessarily mean that I want to be added to his or her own blogroll in turn. He or she may add me, but it will not be out of me urging anyone to do so.
  4. I treat my blogroll as bookmarks, for my own convenience. Anyone may formulate other profound philosophical meaning to my bookmarks, but that would be your own opinion, not mine.
  5. If you wish to be taken out of my roll, then by all means say so. I’ll gladly accommodate you!

Hmmm. I guess that’s it for now. I’ll probably add my rules as text on my sidebar later. Anyway, I’ll be adding more bookmarks soon.

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Blog and tag hopping for the Philippines

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier, but on a whim I started browsing for ‘filipino‘ and ‘Philippines‘ tags in wordpress.com. And what do I find? I find entries by a guy named Mike Cohen, that’s what. Tons and tons of it.

The name sounded familiar somehow, and the About page, while it did say he was a broadcast journalist, it didn’t really say much in the way of where he’d worked, etc. So I Googled him and — whoa! He’s that white guy that I’d seen surreally reporting on ABS-CBN. I say surreally, because his caucasian features were really incongruous to the station he was working in, i.e., a local news channel, which you’d expect only had Filipino-looking reporters. Anyway, after that initial shock had worn off, it was funny watching him exchange pleasantries with the other news anchors in the channel.

I don’t really follow local news much. I got sick a long time ago, of all the political this and political that going on every day. I’d only seen the guy on TV a couple of times.

But.

I find his blog interesting. I’m not really much into journalism; if I write, I’m more interested in writing fiction. Still, I’d like to read this guy’s perspective on local news and the Philippines in general. He doesn’t strike me as one of those activist types who are blindly anti-government and pro-poor (or even blindly pro-government, for that matter). Anyway, whatever — I’m adding his blog to my blogroll, if only to bookmark it for easy reach.

Which reminds me — I’ve come across other blogs that I find interesting and would like to add to my roll. Will do those later… but only after I put some kind of disclaimer to my own personal blogroll rules.

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Resignation still stands

Yup, I got to talk to this managing consultant yesterday. He described some of the projects their teams are working on. They all sound good. I’m not really picky with whatever projects I’m given to work on.

But.

I’m still standing with my resignation.

Why? It’s a job. Java, J2EE (or Java EE nowadays), technology in general, is only a job. I get paid to code, and I code. While I may draw the line at touching VB, and doing  the clerical work of manual data updates for 300+ records, coding is just a job for me. It’s something I do to make an honest living. There really is no compelling reason for me to stay on now, even if they offer me a project that’ll get me to the US or whatever. I could just as well code in the new job waiting for me, as code in my current company.

So why leave in the first place? Long story. Basically I got stuck with no-brainer production support stuff, like bug fixes I can do in one day. And the bug fixes don’t come often either. That and I’m also left to do clerical work, like cleaning up the aforementioned 300+ records.

Besides, all other things being equal, money still talks — and I’m already looking forward to that new and greener pasture I’m set to go to in a few weeks!

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Resignation blues: offer and counter-offer

I filed my resignation last Friday. I stated that I was given a chance to work with really technical and challenging projects, and that I’d accepted this offer. My boss was caught off-guard. He asked me to see him anytime at his office, and I did so late afternoon yesterday.

He was really grasping for the right words to say to me. In the end, he offered to give me a chance to work with another team, a team that handles US-based projects, and that would give me travel opportunities to the US. He set me up with a meeting this coming Monday with the manager for that team. My boss asked me to give me a chance to “fight for me”, so I agreed to the meeting.

I hate it when some manager dangles that “US travel opportunity” in front of me, thinking that I’d bite. I don’t know about other Filipino geeks, but money and travel (even if it’s to the US) have never been very high on my priorities. Modesty aside, I’m already earning what would be management-level pay in other companies, and just saying that I’ll “have a chance to work in the US” just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

To a geek, what matters is the technology. Now unless the offer is to work on some military project that requires top-secret clearance, I doubt if any US company uses that much different tech from whatever companies are using here in the Philippines. I mean, Java is Java wherever you work, whether it’s in the US or in the Philippines or in Singapore or whatever. Solaris is Solaris, wherever it’s being used. Oracle is Oracle, whether it’s installed on US servers or RP servers. Besides, with US companies outsourcing to the Philippines, there’s practically no difference whatsoever with the technology, whether you work in the US or just here, locally.

So. I’ll ride along with the meeting on Monday, just to give my boss a “chance to fight for me”. But I doubt I’ll be convinced.

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30-minute muscle workouts

No, it isn’t some [insert favorite expletive here] aerobic or pilates or whatever kind of thing. I’m talking about weight training, to build muscle and strength.
I’d been thinking of a way I could work out during the week, even while having to go to work everyday. Just to give a brief background of my situation, I work in Makati, and I live in Project 8, Quezon City. It takes me 1 and 1/2 hours to drive to the office, making a total of three whole hours on the road each day, just going to and from work. So I spend 9 hours at the office, and three hours travelling every day. It doesn’t really leave much room for working out.

Actually you could probably squeeze in an hour of gym time either before going to work or after office hours. I know some guys who do that. However, I’m one of those people who probably think too much and find a hard time sleeping early, so finding time to rest and start heading off to sleep is at a premium for me. Also, I’m familiar enough with my mind and body to know that if I work out at night, I’d probably be too hyper to get a good night’s sleep then.

So until now, I’ve only had time to work out on weekends. I haven’t been able to figure out how to squeeze in a good workout during weekdays — until I came upon the October issue of Muscle and Fitness! They had a really great article about 30-minute workouts, and I chose to adapt my own workout to one of their training programs.

What I got now is a whole body barbell workout that incorporates really heavy weights, five exercises (six if you count the abs exercise), two sets per exercise — with the first set consisting only of six reps, while the second set has 8 reps — and 30-second rest intervals between sets and only the time it takes to set up the next exercise after each body part exercise. I tried it over the last weekend, and I’ve been able to clock in exactly 30 minutes, and that includes warm-ups at the start and cooling down at the end.

The really heavy weights involved, makes the whole workout really intense, even if it only lasts 30 minutes. Enough to make your whole body sore a few days afterwards. Using this particular training program, I can now see myself working out during the week, in addtion to working out on weekends. I’ll start trying out weekday workouts after I’ve settled in, in my new geek job.

Like I always say, there’s nothing wrong with being a smart tech geek and still being a strong and fit musclehead.

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Disturbance in the (work) force

Well now, I haven’t been able to blog as much as I want to lately. The reason being, I’m about to change jobs and I needed to tie up some loose ends before moving on.

It’s still a Java dev job, but the projects sound lots more interesting than what I’m working on now (or not working on, depending on how you look at things), and the pay is definitely way better.

The project I’m set to work on when I start with the new company is really cool, tech-wise. I’d blog about it, but it’s one of those ‘if I told you, I’d have to kill you’ kind of deals. No, seriously!

Yes. Seriously.

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