Avoid this auto repair shop in Araneta Ave.

I will never bring my vehicles again to be serviced by Goodrich Autoquick Services Corp. at 2/F CK Bldg., 118 G. Araneta Ave., Sta. Mesa, QC.

Last Oct 2014, I brought my 2010 Montero there because of a strange rattling noise in the right front side (it  later turned out to be a faulty upper ball joint).

Not only did GDRich fail to diagnose the problem, they kept on misdiagnosing it.  In all, they made me pay for unnecessary parts and labor worth almost P20,000 without ever fixing the problem.

They never knew (or pretended not to know?) what the problem was — but the shop supervisor — a certain Maniquis — acted like he knew it all and kept on making wrong suggestions. He clearly was clueless as to what was wrong with my vehicle.

In the end, it was Diamond Motors in Greenhills  that fixed the problem.


Find an honest computer box technician?


A year ago, Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) hit my family and caused considerable flood damage to our house and to the 2004 Honda City A/T that my daughter drives. I was particularly worried about the Honda’s all-important computer box, which had been submerged.

I went all over Metro Manila looking for a repair shop that could fix the computer box.  The Honda dealer in Marikina where we bought the car was no help and wanted to charge us so much money!

Finally, after weeks of frustration, I found someone.  The only electronics technician who fixed the computer box owns a small repair shop in Makati City. This is his name and contact information:

RAMSA Electronics
Mr. Ramon Samonte, owner
1879 Evangelista St., cor Pasay Road, Pio del Pilar, Makati City
884-2787, fax 751-0247

I found him on the web, and got in touch with him because of positive comments on his honesty and good work.

Since he knew I came all the way from Antipolo, he readily offered to work on my computer box while I waited. He inspected the computer box with some probe instruments, cleaned it, soldered a broken contact point, and told me there appeared to be nothing wrong with the ICs, the connections, resistors, etc.

I asked him how much I should pay. After a few seconds of silence, he said I didn’t owe him anything. He felt he didn’t really do much to deserve being paid. I was stunned and speechless. I was embarrassed and again offered to pay him something but he said it was ok.

He normally charges P4,500 for repairing computer boxes — with a money-back guarantee if the repair doesn’t work, or if the client is unhappy with the repair for any reason.

My daughter’s repaired computer box has been working like a charm for a year now!

And so I would like to promote this Good Samaritan. At that time, there were so many snakes conning hapless car owners. I should know. I talked to a few who wanted to charge me as much as P50,000 for labor alone!

Brew really good coffee at home?

For my money, the only way to brew really good coffee is to use a coffee press (see photo), sometimes called a French press. It’s simplicity in itself.  Be sure to use regular grind — not drip grind.  I normally put two-three scoops for every cup of coffee.  Heat clean water and once it boils, pour smoothly into the coffee press.  Stir with about 30 strokes (I use a whisk).  Then, insert the press but do not press immediately.  Let the coffee steep for about half a minute before pressing and then pouring.  My wife and I normally take coffee with muscovado, which is raw brown sugar.

Keep kitchen knives always sharp?

By honing them with a butcher’s steel (also called honing steel, sharpening steel, sharpening stick, sharpening rod, or chef’s steel) before and after using them. Before using a knife, spend a few seconds honing it with about 30 strokes. Then when you’re through using the knife and before putting it away, hone it again also with about 30 strokes.  Do this to all the knives you frequently use.  You’ll be using a sharp knife every time!Honing knife with a butcher's steel.

Create filler or placeholder text when designing a newsletter or brochure?

Use “lorem ipsum”, which is substitute, nonsense text used by page designers. You can copy and paste the text below.

In Microsoft 2007 and 2010 beta, you can generate “lorem ipsum” by typing “=lorem(i)” or “=lorem(i, j)”  where i and j are natural numbers. The i denotes the number of paragraphs and j (default 3) denotes the number of sentences per paragraph. You can create up to 6,665 paragraphs.

Curious about the origin of “lorem ipsum”? It’s from a Latin text by Cicero with words altered, added and removed to make it nonsensical in meaning.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation. ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius. Claritas est etiam processus dynamicus, qui sequitur mutationem consuetudium lectorum. Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum.

Tie a Necktie?


(Here’s my favorite, the Half-Windsor.)halfwindsor


Find cheap but good notebook risers?


My MacBook’s battery produces a lot of heat. I needed something to raise the bottom of the notebook to spare the surface of our dining table, where I work most of the time.

I can buy notebook stands and risers in any computer shop but why not make my own? And that’s what I did. I simply got two discarded wine corks, cut them at an angle — and, voila! — notebook risers probably as good as any you can find in a shop. Cost? Zero.Synthetic wine corks cut at an angle

I suggest using synthetic wine cork instead of real cork (synthetic corks are called “closures” to distinguish them from the organic material; they’re made from some kind of thermoplastic). Synthetic cork holds its shape even when cut, whereas real cork tends to crumble.The cork used as a MacBook riser.

I know, I know, wine corks aren’t all that easy to find. Truth is, my wife and I like to drink wine and I have this thing about keeping the corks of every bottle we’ve opened at home.