Hiding Machiavelli

A blog about everything – well, almost everything

Picking the perfect 1st Anniversary gift for your Loved One

Posted by Eric the Fruit Bat on June 10, 2011

Guest Post by: Patricia Melizza Evan E. Navales

“Love is patient and kind. It is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” -1Corinthians 13:4-7

These are the words that usually come up in weddings where two individuals bind their love and devote themselves to each other until death separates them.

A lot of individuals celebrate their marriage anniversaries to remember their love for each other and honor the years that they have been together through life’s ups and downs.

An anniversary is a special event in a couple’s life that is why anniversary gifts are considered an important part of this celebration.

Finding the perfect anniversary gift for a couple or for your partner won’t be easy. It requires a lot of thought and a wide knowledge of the person’s or the couple’s preferences.

This means you have to know the person’s likes or dislikes and even the person’s hobbies if that would really help you out in picking the perfect gift.

Anniversary traditions have materials that correspond to how many years the couple has been together. Paper is the traditional gift for first year marriage anniversaries.

If you want to give your spouse a really personalized paper gift for your anniversary, a love letter would be a great idea.

Yes, it is old-fashioned but it is so romantic. The effort you gave in writing it would definitely melt the heart of your beloved. If you’re on the artistic side, you can create assorted paper flowers to compliment your love letter.

Other options may include making a scrapbook with photographs from the whole year you’ve been together, a painting of you two together, tickets of your partner’s favorite movie or sports event.

Another option is giving a picture frame or a book that may spark your spouse’s interest. Money can also be a wonderful, not to mention, a very practical anniversary gift.

Aside from which, to spice up the occasion, YOU can be the gift if you like. That would surely be a memory that both of you would talk about together with your kids and grandchildren.

On the other hand, if you want to be on the contemporary side, clocks are wonderful alternatives. For instance, gift a watch or even a calendar with photos of you and your spouse.

If you are planning to buy a couple a present for their anniversary, a calendar with the couple’s photographs will do.

Another good thing about giving a couple or your spouse a calendar is that you can mark days that have special meaning to you and your Loved One.

You can plan a weekend escapade and write it down on the calendar so it won’t be forgotten.

Truly, there are a lot of things you can give your Loved One. However, the most essential part in picking the perfect first anniversary gift is how well you know the other person and how much you love and cherish the memories you spent with each other.

Indeed, you can create or buy many things for your spouse but what really counts is not the gift itself but the thought it brings.


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Online Arcades versus the Real Thing

Posted by Eric the Fruit Bat on June 9, 2011

Guest Post by: Patricia Melizza Evan E. Navales

Arcade games have been around ever since the mid 1960’s up to the present time and this became one of the fastest growing markets nowadays. An individual coming from various age groups enjoys playing arcades.

Not only is it fun but it also gives the brain a little exercise and stimulates it to think.

Way back 1960’s; arcade games are simple and uncomplicated. The settings and backgrounds are not yet made from Macromedia Flash Software or any advance type of technology like Java Sun plugging.

Originally, classic arcade games are machines that sometimes use a joystick and are mainly coin operated. These machines are usually found in restaurants, shopping malls and even the pubs and casinos.

During the 80’s, arcades are enjoyed by a lot of people and most of the games during this time are still popular today. Some of the famous games in the 80’s include Pac-man (BallyMidway), Battle zone, Star Wars, and Donkey Kong.

There were a lot of versions design from these classic games and people are still fascinated by it.The disadvantage of traditional arcade is that you end up spending a lot of money.

You won’t even notice that the 10 dollars you have in your pocket while walking over to the mall has already vanished and you still haven’t killed the monster for you to be able to proceed to the next level.

Then you realize that you needed another 10 dollars for you to finish the freaking game.

Taking the trip to the mall just to play your favorite arcade can be a real great fun but waiting in line for your turn to play or waiting in line for your money to be change into coins can also be a real bugger.

Now, you can play it right in your own backyard.

There are lots of various games you can download into your personal computer from a variety of internet websites. Some of these websites charge you for the download but luckily, some offer it for free.

Arcade games online can also be an entertainment to you as well as your family and friends. Playing this game online is not so difficult to do.

All you need to do is choose a search engine and search for free arcade games, select a website and register online if required.Then you can check for available games and choose which game you prefer to download.

Read directions before playing and of course, do not forget your user name and password. After downloading, you can now, compete with your friends or your relatives.

There are many games that you can find in various arcade stations such as puzzles, racing games and even card games.

Sports related games such as billiards Classic, Air hockey extreme, Boardwalk Bowling, Pool Jam, Banana Barrage, and Bloody Penguin Ball are some of the most popular games on this group.

Truly, online arcade games are a great deal of fun for many individuals, young or old. It really doesn’t matter what type of arcade game you use as long as you’re having loads of fun! Right?

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ONLINE GAMES: Recreation or Addiction?

Posted by Eric the Fruit Bat on June 9, 2011

Guest Post by: Patricia Melizza Evan E. Navales

Technological advancement brought about new changes in society. One of these changes is the use of internet. Internet is an interconnection of global networks that consists of a variety of information sources.

It made research and communication easier especially to people coming from both ends of the world. It opens new and more possibilities. However, with the birth of this technology, online gaming was also introduced.

The uses of online games were very rampant with the younger generation. Studies show that 8.5% of the “youth gamers” are hooked or addicted to computer games.

Some players play just for fun. Individuals who play online games for entertainment and relaxation are good and healthy.

Most adults do online games for this particular purpose. After a day’s work, the body is already very tired and stressed out, computer games can be an excellent diversion.

Richard Ryan, a motivational Psychologist at Rochester, believe that many computer games satisfies the psychological needs of players and some play because of the reward and freedom they get from playing.

Other researchers say that addiction to computer games are caused by antisocial personality disorders, phobias or other psychological problems that the players may have.

It may also be caused by other things such as pleasure in escaping reality and being a different person while playing the game. The individual becomes someone else.

He becomes someone he longs to become in real life. He becomes powerful and likes it because of that he doesn’t want to stop it.

While playing, he also meets other individuals just like him and who understands what he is going through. Thus, he meets new friends. So, what happens is that the individual prefers to stay in his fantasy world and withdraws from reality.

There are many symptoms of computer game addiction. Preoccupation is one thing. The individual has tenacious thoughts of the activity. He is unable to stop from performing the activity and needs more time to play to achieve satisfaction.

Another symptom is that the individual becomes restless when he cannot perform the activity and tends to lie to family and friends regarding the activity.

Other symptoms of addiction are relying on others for financial support, doing illegal acts, withdrawal from his social system and refuse to interact with others.

Different measures were done to limit or reduce the number of youngsters getting hooked with computer games. Some nations altered the system to limit underage gamers.

Excessive online game playing is treated just like any type of addiction.

Self-help organizations like the On-line gamers anonymous are providing various ways of helping the individual to heal with the support of his family and friends just like the treatment for drug addicts.

Introducing the individual to others forms of entertainment and allowing the individual mingled with other teenagers just like him wherein he can share out his feelings and be a better person.

Just as the song from the Spice girls goes,” Too much of something is bad enough.” Yes. Online games are good but it should be done in moderation.

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MY GADGETS: SD880 IS and SD780 IS – More Images

Posted by Eric the Fruit Bat on April 17, 2009

Here are more images of the Lumberjack (SD880 IS/ IXUS 870 IS) and Biggles (SD 780 IS/IXUS 100 IS)

None of these pictures belong to me, they belong to websites all over the internet. I discussed these cameras in my previous post





SD 780 IS/ IXUS 100 IS 

I tried (tried being the operative word here – LOL) to keep from posting a red camera coz I wanted to show the other colors of Biggles (SD780 IS/IXUS 100 IS). If you want to see more of the red camera, click here. 

So, there. I hope you enjoyed looking at the photos. 😀 

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MY GADGETS: Powershot SD780 IS vs. Powershot SD880 IS

Posted by Eric the Fruit Bat on April 17, 2009

…Or the IXUS 100 IS (SD780 IS) vs the IXUS 870 IS (SD880 IS)

There’s only one phrase to describe these two cameras: I AM TORN BETWEEN THEM!!

Now that I am done paying for Cecilia, its time I look for Eric-the-Camera – hehe. I have spent weeks and weeks looking for the perfect camera that’ll fit my needs. My initial goal was to get a DSLR, but I figured I should get a compact camera first.

So there, I am now looking for a great ultracompact camera. I have narrowed it down to two cameras: the SD780 IS (IXUS 100IS) and the SD880 IS (IXUS 870IS). The cameras are maketed under the SD line in North America and IXUS in Asia.

The names are a bit confusing right? Hehe – why can’t canon name their cameras the same way that Christian Louboutin names his shoes? To avoid confusion (mostly my own) let’s call the SD 780 IS ‘Biggles’ and the SD 880 IS ‘Lumberjack’.

Why Biggles and Lumberjack?

Well, BIGGLES because the Red SD780 reminds of the color of Terry Jone’s clothes when he played Cardinal Biggles :D.

LUMBERJACK because the chunkier build and the dark shade of the SD 880 reminds me of the Python’s Lumberjack.

Biggles (SD780 IS) and his Friends: 

I prefer the red one because I love red. Red is my life. My life is Red. Other colors include Gold, Silver and Black. The gold is apparently gorgeous and I have a friend who has already decided that she’s going to buy the gold one come the June IT Fair in Singapore.

The Lumberjack (SD880 IS): 

The one on the right is colored gold, although it’s hard to appreciate it here. If I’m going to purchase this camera, I am going for the silver one – I’ll tell you why later.

The difference between them, you ask? Not much, they are both great canon cams and are in the same price range. The two cameras are from the same SD (IXUS) line from Canon. Biggles (780IS) was released in March 2009 and the Lumberjack was released around the same time in 2008.

Camera Specs

I’m not going into nitty-gritty comparison of both cameras. I’m afraid I wont be able to do it justice.

So for the specs junkies out there, here – http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/compare.php – is a comparison table courtesy of www.dcresource.com 

Megapixel Count Isn’t Everything

Biggles (SD780 IS) trumps Lumberjack (SD880 IS), with more than 2 Megapixels. However, as I have learned (the hard way), pixel count isn’t everything. I used to have a 3.2 Megapixel Camera that performed better than a 7.2 Megapixel one – also from Canon.

Here are some image samples from both cameras courtesy of http://www.imaging-resource.com

Click on the images to see a bigger picture

Picture taken with Lumberjack (SD 880 IS):



Picture Taken With Biggles (SD880 IS): 

Do you notice the blooming on the picture taken from Biggles (SD 780)? Blooming is when the image softens, especially around white objects. Notice the white thread and the disk on the end as well as the white patches on the blue cloth.

The white is much sharper when taken by the Lumberjack (SD 880 IS).

It’s hardly noticeable, but its there. It’s apparently, more noticeable in some modes.The images taken by the Lumberjack (SD880 IS) are sharper and have more detail compared to the one taken by Biggles (SD780 IS).

The thing is, it shouldn’t be, because with the higher pixel count of Biggles (SD780 IS), one would expect that its images would fare better.

That’s the main issue I have with Biggles (SD780 IS) and the main win point for the Lumberjack (SD880 IS).

So, at this point, it should be safe to say that I should just go with the better performer, but I like to complicate things. 😀

Beauty is Skin Deep

The other reason why I’m so torn is appearances. Both have their own aesthetic appeal, but in my opinion, the Lumberjack is left wanting. Biggles (SD780 IS) is much sleeker and plus its RED. Did I mention that Red is my life and my life is red – haha.

Here are some photos of both cameras.

The Lumberjack (SD880 IS):



I was attracted to the Gold camera until I saw the backside. It’s a bronzy type of color and I’m just not that into it – that’s why if I ever choose The Lumberjack, I’d go for the silver one coz the back is black.

Biggles (SD780IS)


I apologize for bombarding you with images of Red Biggles (SD780 IS). It’s just that I like red or have I said mentioned that already. LOL.

FOR MORE PICTURES OF BOTH CAMERAS Visti my other post  or click here

Great Camera Reviews:

Most gadget websites only give you a sugar-coated review. They give you the high points and mention the low points in passing, I don’t like that. I want it given to me straight. I found two websites that answer to those qualifications.

Those websites are www.cameralabs.com and www.imaging-resource.com

Here are their reviews for both Biggles (780IS) and the Lumberjack (880IS)

Biggles (780 IS):


The Lumberjack (880 IS):


Both websites list the Lumberjack (880 IS) on their Editor’s Picks list and both are cautious to recommend Biggles (780 IS).

So, there you have it. If it were you? Would you go for form over function? Biggles over the Lumberjack? I personally would love to have Biggles’ looks over the Lumberjack’s Capabilities, but no. That camera may be available some day, but not right now.

I’m buying a camera by the end of the month, before my goddaughter’s first birthday (May 8), hopefully.

I’ll update you guys on who ultimately becomes Eric-the-Camera.

If you guys are looking to buy the camera yourself, you can try Amazon.com or visit http://www.Cameralabs.com or http://www.Imaging-resources.com for info on where to purchase. If you are from the Philippines, contact me and I’ll give you websites of online retailers that offer good prices for both cameras.

Oh, BTW I love how the drag and drop feature of Google Chrome works with Microsoft Word. 😀 Makes blogging easier. 😀

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When Can You Call Yourself a Grownup?

Posted by Eric the Fruit Bat on April 10, 2009

I don’t feel like a grownup. It’s been 3 years since I finished college and I have been working for over a year, but I don’t feel like a grownup yet and I think that I should be grown up by now, shouldn’t I?

When do you get to call yourself a grownup?

Is it the moment you become old enough to drink legally? If so, then I grew up a 100 tequila shots ago.

Is it the time you graduate from college? I guess. The problem with that is, I was still living off my parents charity until about a year after college – so, that’s not the moment I grew up.

Is it the time you get your first job and start earning money? I have been earning money for almost 2 years now, but I still don’t feel grown up.

Some people say that they grew up early most probably because they had responsibilities at a very young age. I

 was never had to worry about responsibilities save for my grades. Sure, I worry about bills and deadlines today, but somehow I still feel like its all play – just play.

Is it when you have a family of your own? – if that’s the case, then I don’t think I’ll feel grown up anytime soon. I don’t have any plans of starting a family in the near future. Plus, I really don’t think having a family alone constitutes being grown up. I have two friends, they each have kids and yet, they’re still as immature as I am – if not more.

So, when can you tell you have finally grown up? More importantly, do we every really grow up or do we just pretend to be grownups?

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MY GADGETS: Neo Empriva 572SBx

Posted by Eric the Fruit Bat on April 9, 2009

Neo Empriva

Say Hello to Cecilia (the laptop)!

It’s a budget laptop from NEO, the Empriva 572SBX. I got it in November 2007 for around US $700 or around PHP 35,000 depending on the exchange rate. I’ve read somewhere that it shares similarities with the ‘Sager NP7250′ laptop that’s sold in the US.

The Empriva 572SBx is a very compact laptop. I got the white one. Looking back now, I think I should have gone for the fuchsia or for the ‘yellow cab’ yellow – but, then again no. If there was a red though, maybe I would have gone for that. Hehe.

An Affordable Investment

Anyway, this laptop has been one of the very best investments I have ever made – even though I just recently finished paying for it. I went for a financing plan, which I think may have been a mistake, but I didn’t have the money to pay it in full back then.

The best part about it is that the laptop has practically paid for itself. With it, I have established an ‘okay’ freelance web content writing career and I have never missed a payment. If it wasn’t for this laptop I would probably still be penniless or maybe working in a hospital. Since until recently, I’ve had an aversion to being a nurse, I would probably be the former – broke, completely broke.

Laptop Specs

I’m not really sure what the right specs for my laptop are, but you can find a good review here. The images are from that website too. I would have taken the pictures myself – if only I wasn’t too lazy. Hehe.

So, if you guys are looking for an affordable laptop consider something like my NEO. Although, I’m pretty sure there are a lot more cheaper versions out there.


NEO Problems

I think that as a NEO owner, I need to divulge the fact that it wasn’t smooth sailing with my laptop from the get go. No, I had a lot of trouble at the start. I kept getting the Blue Screen of Death, which wasn’t a good thing. I took several trips to the shop before we figured out that the RAM was the problem. I got a new one and its been okay since then. I’m actually planning to upgrade the RAM in a few weeks or so.

Also, the laptop has a very low battery life – ONE ‘not-nearly-enough’ HOUR, but overall, it’s good and its the first gadget I ever bought with my own money – even if it was via a financing plan.

BTW, I checked NEO‘s website and they have models for under 16K PHP. I cant find my Empriva there anymore though – it must have been discontinued.

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The ‘Erics’ Have It!

Posted by Eric the Fruit Bat on April 9, 2009

I have been asked several times why my WordPress nickname states ‘Eric the Fruitbat’. When I ask people back if they knew who ‘Eric’ was or have heard of his fellow pets ‘Eric the Halibut’, ‘Eric the Dog’, ‘Eric the Cat’, and ‘Eric the Half a Bee’ – No one seems  to know. Sigh.

Anyway, I guess I can’t blame them. After all, those Erics were conceptualized nearly a decade before I was born and halfway around the world no less. It is, however, something I want to share with other people and something that I hope would help them discover Monty Python.

To start off, here’s a video of the ‘Fish License’ from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Eric the Fruitbat is mentioned here, but the focus is mainly on Eric the Halibut.

‘I am not a LOONEY!’

BTW, the man asking for the Fish License is ‘Eric Praline’ played by John Cleese. The clerk is ‘Eric Last’ and he is played by Michael Palin. Oh and the tall Mayor at the end is played by the incomparable Graham Chapman, at least I think so. The narration is by John Cleese too.

In the album, The Final Rip-Off, Eric Praline sings about his pet Eric the Half a Bee.

I find that Eric’s obsession and adoration for his pets all named ‘Eric’ is adorable in a crazy kind of way.

Oh and if the Norwegian Blue parrot had lived, it would have been the only one of Eric’s pet not named ‘Eric’. He called the Norwegian Blue ‘Polly Parrot’

So, there it is – Eric the Fruit Bat is Eric Praline’s pet. 😀 

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