When a blogger strips

I’ve been tagged by Sol. The meme involves sharing eight facts that your readers don’t know about you. Here are mine:

1. The other woman

Rhythmbox says I have 243 Nina Simone songs in 20 albums. That’s 15 hours of the High Priestess of Soul’s music. As of last night, my Last.FM profile page said I’ve played Nina Simone’s songs 531 times in my Linux laptop (the only unit I use with my Last.FM account.)

In my Sony Ericsson K750i, I have at least 50 Nina Simone songs. I have several Nina Simone CD compilations I repeatedly play at home. When our youngest son can’t sleep, I play her music.

My wife, just last night, asked me “how many times have you been playing these songs?”

I first heard Nina Simone sing in, of all programs, BBC’s HardTalk. During the interview, she told Tim Sebastian, the program’s host then, “I need a cigarette. You’re making me hot.” The diva that she is, she smoked during the interview.

If you ask me my favorite Nina Simone songs, it would be “The Other Woman,” “My Baby Just Cares For Me,” “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” “Wild is the Wind,” “Sinnerman,” “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl,” “Mr. Bojangles.”

Here’s Nina Simone playing “The House Of The Rising Sun” and “Go To Hell” at the Bitter End Cafe in the 60s:

Here’s Nina, decades later, singing “My Baby Just Cares for Me.” I’ve watched this video probably a dozen times.

2. Stalker
It’s amazing to view the type of photos people upload into directories and services they think aren’t open to the public.

I belong to several forums and discussion boards. At times, people in these boards share photos hosted either in their own websites or in Photobucket. For me, it’s an invitation to view their entire collection, including those they likely only want to share with very close friends or lovers.

Some people who share photos hosted in their personal sites forget to turn off directory browsing and anyone can view all the photos in their servers.

It’s the same case in PhotoBucket. The default option for albums in PhotoBucket is “public,” this means anyone can view through your entire collection, not just the photos you embed in your website, e-mail signatures or in forums. To protect your other photos, you have to change the viewing option to “private.”

You want to try it out?

a. The next time someone posts a photo in a forum, right click on it (if you use Firefox) and choose “View image.”

b. You will get a URL like this: http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l124/leonkilat/before-I-was-drunk.jpg.

c. The phrase: before-I-was-drunk.jpg is the filename of the image, delete it and hit enter to go to the folder that stores all the photos. So in this case, the folder is at: http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l124/leonkilat/.

d. You can then view the person’s entire collection, including photos he or she may have meant to share only with lovers.

What makes the stalking even easier is that PhotoBucket provides RSS feeds for albums so you can just view newly uploaded photos in your reader and not have to check the sites manually each day.

Here’s a sample photo hosted in a PhotoBucket account I opened for this post. Try browsing the other photos in my collection using the photo below as clue. Let’s pretend the other photos I stored in the account are scandalous, shall we?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

3. 10 years

That’s how long my earliest online post has been up. It’s a comment I left on the guestbook of The Slot, a website run by Washington Post copy editor Bill Walsh. The comment is so old I signed it with Max Sherwin Limpag.

4. CMS freak

Most of you who’ve read several posts in this blog may already know this but not how I came to be such a CMS freak.

In the early days of the Sun.Star Cebu website, web pages were updated manually. To say that it was tedious would be to understate the acid reflux-inducing stress I had to deal with when technical assistants went absent and I had to update the site myself. In one such instance, I found myself alone in the dark IT department office at midnight, trying to rush the updating of both the Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Superbalita websites.

I told myself then, there has got to be a better way to update content.

That was when I started researching on content management systems (CMS). Even then, I thought of running my own website, of being my own publisher. I knew that doing so by hand-coding content was not tenable.

That’s how I got started on my open source CMS binge. I installed a local Apache, PHP, MySQL server and tried various CMS scripts. The first one I tried was PHPNuke. I then went on to try its forks, PostNuke and Xaraya. I then tried Pivot, Blog:CMS, Nucleus, and Serendipity before settling with WordPress. I think WordPress is the best CMS for blogs and publications run by small teams.

I also tried Typo3, eZ Publish, Mambo, and Props. Right now, I think Drupal is the best CMS for community and larger websites, including news websites. Of course Drupal, being such an extensible framework, can also be used for personal sites.

5. Sept. 23, 2004

That’s the earliest version I could find of my several blogs. I had at least five versions of the Cybercafe Experiments before settling here in this domain. The version here runs on a free 100webspace.com account using a free .tk domain.

I once had a blog hosted with Sun.Star but this was later stopped. I then moved to a Blogger account before deciding to buy my own domain and install WordPress in my own server.

6. Rocketmail

RocketmailMy first e-mail account was with Rocketmail oh so many years ago. When I opened it, I had no one to send an e-mail to.

Rocketmail was probably the second or third site I opened after opening a site named after a certain Persian feline, only old-school perverts can recall this site.

Rocketmail was bought by Yahoo! and discontinued. I now mainly use GMail for my e-mails. I even use it to check my office e-mail account. I can’t imagine how we survived e-mail all those years when GMail wasn’t there.

7. Paper and pen

I use TiddlyWiki extensively to manage notes. I previously used offline TiddlyWikis before trying out various hosted versions, including one I installed in my own server, and ending up with a TiddlySpot account.

I also use a Scrybe account to manage my personal schedule and online research. My wife and I have a Basecamp account for projects. We also have an ActiveCollab installation in our own server for projects that deal with other people.

I’ve tried various online desktops, calendaring tools and online storage services. You’d think I’m a purely digital guy, someone with various gadgets and gizmos for taking down notes and ideas.


I love paper notebooks. I need paper notebooks. I can’t stand without one. I always carry a paper notebook with me (or at least a Pocketmod) for note-taking when ideas hit me. At times, a note I write in a notebook becomes a blog post or a project several months later.

My Moleskine reporter MY PENSIEVE. I can’t live without paper and pen to jot down notes and ideas. Click on photo to enlarge.

Several times, an idea hits me just as I go to sleep. Paper notebooks save me from the insanity of booting up the PC again to write in a TiddlyWiki.

I love Moleskine journals. It’s too bad no one sells Moleskine products in Cebu. Sol, who tagged me for this meme, bought me a Moleskine Reporter from a book shop in Manila and most of the time, it isn’t more than an arm’s length away from me.

Paper notebooks are my pensieve. They are magical.

You want to make me happy? Send me a good notebook or a Moleskine and I’m yours. Now that would be a good blog button: “Will customize or design WordPress themes for a Moleskine.”

8. Azkal

I love football. I harbored dreams of playing for the national team. I play sweeper or libero. In high school, our team was the first in our district to progress in the Coke Go-For-Goal tournament.

I used to be good in defense. I could take away the ball from anyone with a sliding tackle. When the game got dirty, I stepped up too. I once squeezed the balls of a particularly dirty North Cotabato player during one corner kick in a Coke Go-For-Goal match. Believe me, the referee won’t be able to see that. The player lay howling in pain after the ball had been cleared.

I used to be good at diving. I idolized Jürgen Klinsmann and I copied his tendency to dive to get referees to call fouls.

In college, I got through two semesters in ROTC by playing football for the UP Diliman officers’ fraternity.

It was then that I suffered a particularly nasty gash on my eyebrow that required six stitches to close. I tried to head a ball to clear it from my defensive line when a rushing forward, my close friend Allan Tongson, tried to head it towards goal. My eyebrow hit the top of his head and I blacked out, waking up to a bleeding face.

The next week, I was playing football again, much to the consternation of our Kalayaan dorm residents’ assistant.

It has been years since I played my last football game-a friendly match with employees of the Cebu Daily News. I still hope to be able to play someday, in some league where beer bellies are as common as knee socks.

Right now, I’m contented to be just another Azkal, one of those who still think that the Philippine football team can be among the best in Asia.

Now it’s time to tag other bloggers. The rules are simple:

  • In the 8 facts about you, you share 8 things that your readers don’t know about you. At the end, you tag 8 other bloggers to keep the fun going. Each blogger must post these rules.
  • Each blogger starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • At the end of the post, a blogger needs to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  • Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I’m tagging, and hoping that they answer 🙂
John Pages
Insoy Ninal
Manolo Quezon
Ching Wong
Abe Olandres
Portnoy Zheng

Support this blog and independent reporting on Cebu

7 responses

  1. Salamat, Max! So you blacked out in a football match? Yowza. What is it about men and football, no? Someone we both know (hi, pre, if you’re reading!) dislocated his shoulder thrice (or was it four times? I’ve lost track) for the love of football. Ambot lang gyud ngano.

  2. Uy, I spot a GTEC pen in your notebook picture. I love those pens, except the tip gets easily destroyed when dropped.

    I don’t use a notebook but use my cellphone as an ad hoc notetaking tool. Cumbersome, but I can’t imagine myself bringing a pen and notebook everytime. At least I can jot down notes single-handedly. 🙂

  3. Nice blog site. I’m also a technology blogger from Bohol. I hope I’ll get tagged next time me hehe.

  4. hi, sir max! thank you tons for the tag. wow. it was fun reading your 8 things. i also read ms. sol’s and sir myke’s. hehe. nina simone!

  5. and you’re right about the photobucket thing! and i even set my account to private! omg omg omg…

  6. Hi Sol,
    Whoever said what your mind can conceive, your body can achieve should be made to play football in his 30s and after years of working in a newsroom copy desk. Really!

    Yeah, GTEC pens are great for writing and you’re right, the tips are rather fragile. Unlike you, however, I can never use a cellphone as a note-taking tool. My wife wife does use it at times for that, though.

    Hi Jun,
    We met in the Bohol Internet Summit, right?

    Hi aCey,
    Don’t use Photobucket. Use Zooomr instead, they offer unlimited uploading, or Flickr.

  7. Hi, Max

    I enjoyed reading your 8 though I have to reread it to understand everything. Don’t know how many times I should have to reread to truly get it 🙂 I’m editing the CJJ for the 3rd edition and wanted to find out what was the award that you recently got. Well, got caught reading your blog and did not finish much of the editing backlog, salamat kaayo still for that diversion 🙂 I have a Nina Simone cassette tape 🙂 but find Billy Holiday more haunting. I discovered both by reading the sports columns of Al Mendoza and Recah Trinidad. Ayu-ayo!

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