Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Anthony Bourdain Moment

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations is among my favorite television shows: travel done right, exotic foods and superior commentary.. I eat it up. Over the holidays, my parents served a filipino dish and described to us why we eat it, in a similar way that host Anthony Bourdain does on his show. Among his primary philosophies are that poor people make the best food because they have to.. and my mother's story reflected that.

My parents served a dish called Hamonado, which was prepared over the course of two days. My mother explained that this dish was more popular during the holidays in the Philippines because it was a cheaper alternative to christmas ham, and perhaps the name originated from it.. My mother said the dish was made from a cheaper cut of pork with some sort of sauce and the picture below does show a resemblance to christmas ham.

In my opinion, filipinos need not to emulate ham, for this dish is far better than its cured counterpart. Perhaps that is my pinoy taste, but hamonado is far more flavorful than ham and seemingly melts in your mouth. I can only speculate that christmas ham is sought after during the holiday season due to the novelty factor. Also, poorer folks may not have access to reliable refrigeration systems and the longer shelf life of ham would make it more appealing.

That is my first Bourdain moment since I've started to watch this show religiously in October, analyzing the politics and economics behind food. However, to have a real Bourdain moment, I needed to be abroad at a small food shack drinking copious amounts of alcohol. Maybe one day!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Android to iPhone

Smartphones are great, once considered convenient, most users would consider them vital now. The smartphone market is dominated by two operating systems: Google's Android and Apple's iOS5 with RIM's Blackberry and Windows coming in at a distant third and fourth. You honestly cannot make a mistake in choosing either platform, it is just a matter of preference, and I don't think a person's handset is a window into their soul. I have recently switched from the Motorola Droid, the first android smartphone available on Verizon's networks to the iPhone 4s. I thoroughly enjoy my sleek new iPhone and its new features, but I'll certainly miss some Android functions.

So after 48 hours with my new 4S, here are some of the features that have really stood out to me:

  • SIRI- although I have yet to scratch the surface of her capabilities, she's proven very handy by setting my alarms for the morning and adding important dates on my calendar: mostly bills. In short, SIRI will be the only feminine entity that I will be speaking to late at nights in the foreseeable future.
  • iCloud- Just like with SIRI, I have yet to harness the true power of this feature but now I have now most of my media files in this "cloud". Wait, is that a good thing?
  • Battery Life- My Droid was seriously lucky to get 6 hours of battery life towards the end, and longtime iPhone users are complaining!? I'm amazed by the battery life of the 4S, but they claim that the 4 had much more? I can't even fathom.
  • iTunes- I am OCD about my iTunes. Judge me.
  • Screenshots- I am the guy that would take screenshots of funny text conversations, and now it can be done simply: no rooting plus apps needed.

My first screenie: "Winning", no really. Look at the score

What I'll miss about Android:

  • Contact syncing- When you have social networking apps, an Android contact will sync their facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, gmail address and google talk profiles, enough said
  • Google Navigation- This is a big one! I've a horrible sense of direction and Google brings it's (sometimes) intuitive turn-by-turn navigation and street view to your handset.. for FREE!
  • Music Junk and other apps- Stuck in a car for hours and dying to hear a song? Search and download it with these apps, once again, FOR FREE! Well, that's what I heard, I am a law abiding citizen and I respect the RIAA.
Well those are the functions that I like thus far from iOS and what I will miss from Android. I will follow up on this post in a few months, and things may change.. hopefully the part where I don't have female companionship, ha!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Heartbreak In Hoover

The North Carolina Tarheels defeated the Charlotte 49ers 1-0 for the National Championship earlier today in a   match that was far more competitive than the Heels could have ever expected. Despite the perceived gap in talent between the two programs, the 49ers had several great chances of equalizing late in the game. The close misses had fellow alumni at the house howling.. But in the end, a sublime shot by UNC-CH's Ben Speas was the difference. However, the UNC Charlotte community have many things to look forward to..

The spirit displayed by our fanbase should be admired: you can clearly hear the "FORTY!" "NINERS!" chants throughout the telecasts. Not to mention the support the team received from the administration, kudos to Chancellor DuBois for providing buses for students who wanted to make the trip down to Alabama. The lack of school spirit and identity was an issue during my years as both student and staff at UNC Charlotte, where a significant amount of the student body wear other school gear (notably UNC, Duke and NC State) to campus. The presence of the 49er faithful has made me believe that the school spirit at the alma mater is indeed improving. Thanks team, hold your heads high, Go 49ers!