Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jack's Adventure

Another excerpt from Funny Stories from My Travels:
In 1987, the company I worked for had a project in a factory in Cabuyao, Laguna. It’s a two-hour bus ride to get to the factory plus a ten to fifteen minute ride in a jeepney. I'm not going to say what we did there but we had an experience that I'd like to share.
On our first day at the factory, we had an afternoon snack break at their canteen. One in our group, whom I shall hide under the name, Jack, discovered a table with jars of coffee, creamer, sugar, powdered milk and powdered chocolate. You can make coffee, milk or chocolate, all for free.
While my companions and I opted for softdrinks, Jack proceeded to mix coffee, sugar, milk and chocolate in a glass until the powders reached to about half the glass' height. Then he put in hot water and stirred. His drink had the consistency of condensed milk, thick and gooey. He drank a mouthful from the brew and gave a satisfied "aaah" as he lowered the glass. It's amazing what effect the word "free" has on some people.
After knock off time, we took the two-hour bus ride back to the office. We had not gone very far when Jack started to complain. "I'm not feeling so good." Jack had paled considerably and looked quite sick. The concoction he’d created had upset his stomach. The bus had already entered the South Super Highway and was making good time. Jack, however, was having great difficulty.
"I need to get off now! I can't hold it!"
We protested. There were no stops along the highway in those days and it would be dangerous to sit by the roadside with all sorts of vehicles speeding past. Besides, even if the driver let us off, we'd have a hard time getting a ride on another bus since the entire length of the highway was a no-stop zone. There was no choice. Jack would have to hold it until we reached the office.
Poor Jack twisted and turned in his seat. He transferred to the back of the bus while everyone else moved off toward the front. If the unthinkable happened, the wind would keep the gases in the back and blow them out the windows. At least that's how we hoped it would be.
For the next two hours, Jack fought his silent battle. Occasionally, his face would grimace as he struggled to keep his purity. Once we reached the outskirts of Manila, however, the traffic slowed our progress considerably. Things were looking really bad for Jack.

 20,000mAH Powerbank from Lazada
20,000mAH Powerbank from Lazada
Jack’s tenacity, however, proved to be his saving grace. The bus stopped at the corner near our office and Jack bounded the length of the bus and out the door. He was gone by the time we got off. The office was two blocks from the bus stop and on the sixth floor. Sometimes, the elevator didn't work.
When we arrived at the office, Mike, our gofer (go fer this, go fer that), asked us what happened to Jack. He had jumped through the door, grabbed the ladle, and bolted out without saying a word. The story came out and we were having a hearty laugh when Jack came in, wide grin on his face, walking as if nothing had happened.
"What an adventure!"

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Alone with My Thoughts

I'm alone in the house. The wife went off to fetch our youngest from school because she's not comfortable with the little one going home after 5pm.

Things have not been good lately. Projects for my consultancy have dried up and money is in short supply (as in very short). We have to find a new source of income that can tide us over for the meantime.

I've got four sources of income at the moment: 1.) consultancy, 2.) writing books, 3.) conducting training seminars on public speaking, and 4.) working on a networking business. At this time none of those four are making any money.

The consultancy only runs when there are projects. Last year, I was occupied for almost the whole year. It was great. I was doing what I loved to do, the money wasn't bad, and I had something to occupy myself. Unfortunately, my partner used the money that was supposed to paid to me for the second project. He said, it was inadvertent because his daughter, who is the operations manager (sort of) of his company thought that the money that came into the bank was theirs, not mine. So, she used it. My partner apologized and said he was going to pay it in installments.

That's what he did but he only paid when I asked. Then, I learned that the last two projects that I did had not been billed. It takes the client three months to release the payment, which means I get nothing for the next month or two.

I still have a few things to be thankful for though.

We transferred our youngest daughter back to her old school and the president was so please with her entrance exam scores that he gave us a 25% discount. We saved around P10,000 in tuition.

The next blessing came from my son's school, which was a semi-government university. The government had decreed that tuition at all government schools would be free. So, instead of the P15,000 we usually pay for a semester, we only pay P800 a month, which comes out to around P4,000 per semester.

God is still looking after us.

I've been applying for online writing jobs, hoping someone would take me. I used to do this for a short time but had to stop because it was taking too much of my time. That was back when I was still working. Today, I'm not doing anything (work-wise that is) so I have lots of time in my hands. I'm not sure how I'll fare since I'm not very familiar with the jobs I applied for but I'll learn.

I've also been trying to sell ebooks as an affiliate for Smashwords.

I'm praying that God will turn things around for us. I believe He will. 😊

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Formatting Services for Smashwords and Amazon

Do you have a book you're writing or planning to write? Do you want to publish it online as an ebook?

I have successfully uploaded six books to and gotten distributed to several online bookstores like Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, Scribd, Baker & Taylor, and more. I've also successfully uploaded three of my books to Amazon.

It's easy to upload a book to Smashwords and Amazon but it's not easy to format the book so it will be acceptable to them. This is where I come in.

I am offering formatting services for writers who want to get into Smashwords and/or Amazon. Prices start from $10 for a 10,000 word book to $50 for a 150,000 word book. The price will differ if you want me to proofread your book.

Send me a PM on my facebook page at

Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Smashwords, the largest distributor of indie, or self-published, books is having their annual summer/winter sale this July 2017. Many books are on sale at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% off!

This sale is only until July 31, 2017 and only comes once a year. Scan through their catalog for your choice.

 Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale

Latest Book - Understandable and Memorable Presentations

My most recent book is out.
 Understandable and Memorable Presentations

Ever since I started working for my last company (before retirement), I had been exposed to presentations. For the most part, I watched others make presentations but as time went on, I found myself making more and more of them. Being part of the audience and being in front of the audience taught me a lot about how effective (and ineffective) presentations are made.

I've attended a few seminars on making presentations but many of the lessons are outdated today. Furthermore, many of the tips are not necessarily best practices but common practices, and do not really do anything to improve understandability and memory retention.

One of the worst practice that I've seen (and still being done today) is creating slides with too much information in them. The most common is the bullet point slide.

If you think the example above is bad, I've seen worst, slides with as much as 20 bullet points on them. When you put that slide up on the screen, this is what happens:
  1. The audience will start reading the list and not listen to your talking about the first bullet point. They're already reading the fifth bullet point or maybe even further down the list while you're still on the first.
  2. They will begin discussing the other bullet points, usually the one you're not discussing yet.
  3. They will continue to discuss the bullet point you already finished discussing while you're already on another one.
The point (pun not intended) is that when you give the audience more than one idea, message, or piece of information, they will choose which one they will give their attention to.

The solution is to give them only one idea/message/piece of information at a time. That way, they won't be distracted and will listen to you talk about the idea/message/piece of information you put up on the screen.

This is just one of the tips I included in the book, and there are more of them. From slide design, to delivery, to tips on how to improve yourself as a presenter. Try it out. Download it at: