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13 July 2008

iPhone calls

FINALLY, THE most manic-driven phone of the year is out. Apple's iPhone3G debuted last Friday in Apple and AT&T stores around the world (except India and the Philippines), where overnight queues have been reported. Chances are, the shiny black gizmo is sold out.

Don't expect me to queue up when iPhone3G lands in India later this year, although I may get a launch preview from being a customer of Bharti Airtel (one of iPhone's two service providers in India). As a long-time Ericssonite—my first cell phone was the chunky NH237 back in 1996—I'm not sure I can shift my loyalties easily. Moreover, despite Apple's claim that iPhone works better with work programs, I'm perfectly happy with BlackBerry's Microsoft Exchange integration through my P1i, Sony Ericsson's most powerful smartphone yet. In fact, I plan to upgrade the phone to Xperia X1, when Sony Ericsson launches it in India around the time that iPhone rings in.

Xperia will run on 3.5G cellular network, bringing the Internet faster than iPhone3G can. In fact, speed can be an iPhone downside: the 3G speed happens only if you're in one of AT&T’s 3G network areas—and there's a few of them around the world.

Let's see how iPhone3G roars in India, a steadily advancing market for mobile phone technology.

11 July 2008

Turning 43

If 45 is the middle age, then 43 is the dark age  TURNING A year older and being quiet about it is impossible within our high school batch, thanks to the very modern, very interactive, and very proactive Yahoo!Group Web site linking most of us around the globe. Expect a bang of birthday announcements immediately after someone posts a thoughtful "Happy Birthday Joey" message. Last month was monumental: the enterprising Leah Morris-dela Rosa collated the names of all June celebrants (“celebrators” in our batch lingo), and Richelle Joson-Ligot, the resident muse of poetry, song, and dance, decoded each one's name into witty birthday greetings (“Sana o-Kaye na o-Kaye Inductivo ang bertdey mo!&rdquo). Noise ensued.

In Yahoo!Groups, it doesn't really matter if the whole world makes noise about our age. Hey, we survived the age-defying adolescent years together, so what's the big bazooka about aging publicly? We all know how old we are. Besides, greeting each other is a big-heart gesture. Arim Fermin wrote, “the fact that people actually greet each other during birthdays over the e-group(s) . . . proves that the batch is a solid, friendly, and caring organization, with lots of good organisms.”

Personally, I don't mind noisy birthday celebrations. Dinner parties, SMS greetings, and singing Tagalog birthday songs in Ybanag delight me. And I don’t care if Anchie Casareo calls me “kuya” for being born a few months ahead of him. He looks younger, anyway. (He must still be using Eskinol Master for Men. I want to maim him right now.)

What gets my goat this year is that I'm much closer to being middle-aged than I've ever been before. According to Richie Rosales-Parr, middle age begins at 45—and that's two years away. I'm not sure if I'm ready to be called middle-aged, especially after living all these years of riotous singlehood. I wrote Chiqui Tolentino-Desphy this week:

Oh my, are we now middle-aged? Pero sige na nga, I'll accept the fact that I'm about to gray, my knees will shake and my lungs will scream when I climb the fourth floor of my flat building, my teeth will fall, and my buttocks will sag.

I'm not being vain. I'm moaning about health issues that come with aging, and I'm not sure I'm ready to cope with losing the agility of mind and body. I happened to be in bed surrounded by bosomy women the day I hit 43. A hospital bed, that is, trying to battle gastroenteritis with a squad of big (bosomy) Bengali nurses injecting my about-to-sag buttocks with antibiotics. Antibiotics on my birthday. What irony.

And take this: last Monday, the New York Times reported that a new research conducted by French scientists revealed that men in their forties may face serious fertility problems. It suggested that couples trying to conceive a baby when a man is over 40 years old have more difficulties than those families in which a man is younger. So much for the joys of bachelorhood. Down, boy.

Uh-uh, Four-Three, that witless figure, a number with no claim to fame beyond its resemblance to the Philippine president's height. It's a nuisance, an annoying figure that sounds like the equally annoying Punjabi money-lending scheme in the Philippines called Five-Six. And if 45 is the middle age, then 43 is the dark age.

Hmm. Say that again: I'm in the Dark Ages! ¡Qué horror! ¡Madre mia curdapia! ¡Dónde está cleofe cabel!

On that note, I look forward to the Middle Ages.

Related Stories: Turning 41 | Turning 42

09 July 2008

Pluto turns 2

Pluto at 2

Lounging around

PLUTO IS now two years old. In human years, my Persian cat is 24, making him a full-fledged adult. I took the picture above while he was indulging this morning in his two all-time favorite hobbies: lounging around and essentially doing nothing else. From a cat's point of view, once a child, always a child. Make that, once a kitten, always a kitten.

Speaking of adult cats, did you know that the jaguar is said to be the longest-lived cat on earth? And did you know that the Jaguar is now owned by India's Tata Motors?

Catty trivia for you on Pluto's birthday.

Related Sites: Pluto Comes Home, Pluto Turns 1