Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Tidbits...

- I had a chance to finish reading the "Transmetropolitan" Series. It's a pretty good series, perhaps one that might be of interest to Joey.

- I'm pretty excited that Animax is going to show the second season of Ghost in the Shell known as G.I.T.S.: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig on Sept. 22 at 11:30 pm.

- It seems that SkyCable is going to have a test broadcast of their new anime channel, Hero TV, this coming October. Apparently, the channel's going to be the first All-Tagalog Dubbed Anime Channel. *shrug* This probably means nothing, but the last time they pulled a similar stunt, they announced a month later that they were going to lose several high profile channels.

- For the The Sims 2 addicts out there, Sims 2: Nightlife is now available at Datablitz for P995.

- I have just started reading Dale Brown's "Act of War". It's a pretty light read, no need to read between the lines - just like a big-budget summer action flick. If I wanted to grease the wheels in my head, I'd read this - which, curiously, is sitting on my night table.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Tightening of Belts - Part 1

My folks have started to implement energy saving measures to help reduce our electric bills. The house and the offices have to comply with the new rules as much as possible.

Common sense concepts, really. Turning off lights in rooms not being used at the moment, or turning off the A/C during lunch time and breaks in the offices and using an electric fan during the day after turning off the A/C in our bedrooms. And now, we're in the process of replacing all the incandescent bulbs with energy efficient alternatives. So far so good, we're all coping quite well with the new rules.

Gas Guzzlers
The nation as a whole, I believe, will have a harder time adjusting. For one, I doubt that the more affluent people among us would be willing to use smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles instead of their behemoths. I'm not talking about the diesel-powered ones, I'm referring to the big, burly V6 and V8 powered beasts that drink gasoline like there's no tomorrow. Perhaps, with the inevitable rise in fuel costs, car manufacturers would start offering their monsters powered by the relatively more efficient diesel engines.

On the other hand, it is quite pleasing to know that Honda Cars Philippines is planning on bringing their hybrid car here in the country. If it sells well, more car manufacturers would be tempted to bring in their own hybrids, maybe. (*cough*Toyota*cough*)

Buses
One columnist pointed out, and I tend to agree, that we have too many buses going around. So many, in fact, that many of them are only half-full even during rush hour. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate the performance of these bus operators and cancel the franchise of those deemed inefficient. An alternative to this is to give full support to the plan set in motion by the MMDA, the dispatching system.

It has all been said before: Too many buses -> Traffic and Too Few Passengers -> Waste of Money -> Operators Want to Send in More Buses -> Start again.

Someone has to break the chain, and I believe that the plan by the MMDA is the key. Also, removing a number of buses from the circuit altogether isn't such a bad idea.

Ideally, only one operator should handle the bus routes in the Metro. The drivers and conductors get paid like regular employees, but they have to follow strict time tables. Then again, that’s just my opinion.

Tricycles
Simply put, there are too many tricycles going around. The most common engine powering these death traps are of the two-stroke variety. The jury is still out on whether the four-stroke versions are more fuel efficient, but it is a fact that the two-strokers burn engine oil almost as fast as they do gasoline. Perhaps the best solution is to reduce their numbers and switch to four-stroke engines, as well as change their configurations to allow for more passengers.

The current versions are rated for only two adult passengers, although it is not uncommon to see a family of eight packed in one of these things. Now, that's an accident waiting to happen. Three tricycles occupy roughly the same area as a jeepney but with a far less passenger-carrying capacity. Fourteen (at least) versus six.

The thing to keep in mind is: The distances the tricycles' routes cover are the same as that covered by a brisk 10-minute walk. My advice: Walk... it's good for you.

To be continued…