Sunday, October 04, 2015

There's that videoke machine again! and how our soul responds to them...

I woke up with a little hang over. Not from drinking alcohol but from the my neighbor's incessant singing  plus the microphones high pitched feed backs. It's not really pain but more of a dazed and confused sensation, exhausted.

And I'm still drinking my coffee when the damned videoke machine started playing again. Heavens and the Hallways of Valhalla, when will they stop the torture. Congress ought to pass a bill restricting videoke machine operation to 100 kilometers radius away from populated areas. 


The ears is the most sensitive sense organ of the body. I am not a doctor or a scientist but speaking for my own, I say it is. 

The ears do not sleep that's why the noise that we hear during sleep affect our health. It short circuits our neurons and by creating ultrasonic vibrations that hamper the electrical impulses which transmit signals through out our body-like a short circuit, I guess. Whatever... 

When we sleep, these neural activity slows down. The voltage,or the ampere, or the ohms or whatever electrical unit it is they use to measure impulses, tones down. 

They are in a state of dormancy like a TV with the power shut down but the red light is still on, press the remote and the TV pops back to life.

With a videoke machine pumping out those midi-format-drone-like accompaniment plus the out of tune, out of pitch, out of timing and out of space singing, the vibrations excite the neuron transmitters in our head. 

Our body is asleep but our brain is working overtime deciphering what's going on around it, what it is hearing. 

The neurons can't make up its mind if it should wake up the resting the body because it is threatened by a lethtal weapon, a sonic disruptor of some sort,  or to let it sleep and rest, which the neurons also need. 

This constant data analysis spends energy, instead of our body re-charging our body is discharging energy. Which explains why I or we feel exhausted the morning after our neighbors singing binge.

I read an essay about the soul written by a guy who I completely forgot. He theorized that inside  our physical body there is someone o something or an entity that does not sleep. He calls this the soul. Proof of this is that we dream. 

Okay, I'm buying that. 

That explains many things like how I always dream of being having superpowers like flying and superhuman strength yet at the face of the enemy my superpowers falters.

I had this very realistic dream of me at the top of our coconut trees floating in the air a la Superman. I was disoriented first but then realized I could control flight by mere thinking about it. 

I  am afraid of heights, so, I had to slowly rise, rooftop level, then a hundred feet, then I enjoyed it and I flew to the clouds but then got afraid and came back down to our house because I may get lost and land in some foreign country. It was fun. I landed in our street happy , my neighbors in awe. 

Then shit happened,  zombies started coming out to attack the neighborhood, I started to run and took off, but instead of rocketing like a bullet, I ended up flying two feet above the ground, my chest almost touching the concrete pavement. Now, why does that almost always happens in my dream?

Back to the soul thing. According to this guy, it is the soul that wakes us up. It is the soul that travels out of our body to roam around at night. 

And my time is up and I'm going to church. Another aural torture session...

My Freaking Neighbors Singing Hesus on The Videoke Machine!

As of this moment, as of this freaking moment, my neighbors are singing on their hired videoke machine. They are still in tune which could mean these things:

1. They are not yet drunk, obviously.

2. And because they are not yet drunk, I and my family would be tortured until the wee hours in the morning by their deteriorating singing which in a few hours would be nothing more than slurred shouting and moaning. 

Never a weekend without videoke.  I couldn't blame my neighbor because it's a stress reliver that anyone could afford. Most of my neighbors are construction workers, drivers, factory workers and bums, so, I guess I have to give them a little lee way.  They are, by the way, my former drinking buddies, so for old time sake, I do my best to commiserate with them. 

Anyway, even passively listening there are times that I, without really being aware of it, would sing along with them. I think its because they sing every weekend; the lyrics of what they're singing get into my head, even when I'm asleep

At the moment, I could hear one drunk guy singing Hesus.

This song is a Christian Song. I am familiar with this because it is sung in our church. It first crossed over into the pop/rock scene when Alamid turned it into a rock ballad but it did not gain that much attention until almost two decades later when the Aegis Band fronted by two women with built in amplifiers in their diaphragm did their own powerful interpretation of the song.                                                                                                                        
I'm not really an Aegis fan but they are very talented musicians. Forgive me for saying this, one thing i have against about them is that the vocals of their songs are overpowering. Watching them singing on TV, their voices up there hitting the fifth or eight octaves, I can't help but imagine blood and intestines spurting out of their mouth. 

But everybody loves them. They are very popular that PETA created a play out of their music, Rak of Aegis.

Hesus has become a standard. I could hear my neighbors singing about the Lord Jesus Christ while intoxicated it's...hmmmm...not gonna say bad, or blasphemous....ahhhh weird is the word. I guess its irresistible., Aegis' vocals and searing guitar solo has reinvented the boring song into an operatic rock  song ala Freddie Mercury minus the AIDS.

Anyway, I hope that while they're singing the song, the lyrics would somehow get through to them and make them think about what they're singing. Make them realize that they are sinners. That they live a lonely life, a life devoid of meaning and purpose and that only having a relation with Jesus could save them from their predicament. 

I hope that one day I'll see them carrying Bibles, instead clasping shot glasses, saying hallelujah and amens instead of curses and dirty jokes and in the process give the whole neighborhood peaceful weekend nights. 

And now they're singing "Ako'y sayo at Ika'y akin lamang..."

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Baconized Briefs and bonsai

Before I begin, you must be wondering what is baconized briefs? Baconized briefs are men's underwear that have lost their waistbands' elasticity. If you are from an impoverished neighborhood like ours, baconized underwear are common sight. They can be seen hanging from the neighborhood clothesline, or window grills, or even on electrical wires.                                                                                                                                                                                     Baconization is not limited to men's underwear. Women's underwear also goes through the same process. The main culprit is the washing machine. But in many cases it because of overuse, they are worn until they disintegrate. 
                                                                         I remember when we were teenager, since an underwear was not at the top of our parents shopping list, a new under wear was like a Christmas thing, special, it was like having a new hhmmmm...underwear which happens rarely, for economic reason. Or maybe it was because our parents think that we are too young to have proper underwear.

So, we thought of ways to maximize the use of our limited briefs. The most popular method, which I think is still used, was the Side A and Side B method.  It's re-using the briefs by wearing it inside out. We were too young then to think about the hygienic issues of this practice.  

I remember a neighbor wearing a loose shorts and on his shorts' waistband was a protruding safety pin. The safety pin secured his brief to his short. We all laughed at this and made fun of him., We all laughed and had fun not because we were being mean; we laughed because it was funny.

Humorous but it's also sad, come to think of it. 

When I got my first job, one of  the first things I bought was briefs. I remember listening to Vice Mayor Isko Morenos life story. According to him, the first thing he bought when he got decent money was briefs. And when he get out of the country, he buy branded briefs.  

Anyway, I have few baconized briefs. I don't throw away underwear until they have become too worn out to use, until they fall off inside my pants. 

I am using my baconized briefs to promote the growth of roots of one of my root-on-rock bonsai material. The principle is simple, the briefs absorbs the mositure and at the same protects the new roots from direct sunlight.  I have used this underwear for almost a year and the nutrients and other minerals that have accumulated would, I think,  speed up the growth of my material, or it could end up  killing it. 

Maybe after two to three years, well see how well my baconized briefs did.
Anyway...ang cubao nasa highway...

Friday, October 02, 2015

Ako Poe..

Well, I'll leave Al Dub alone. I'm afraid I'll get mobbed or assassinated once I step outside the house.

The election is around the corner and next month the Commission on Elections will be accepting and processing the filing of candidacy for both the national and local elections. It's the same old, same old circus of same old, same old trapos except in this election there's a new player that somehow tilted the same old, same old thing cycle. Grace Poe is running for president. Poe, unlike the trapos, has no political history. She did not come from a political family nor was she experienced in any government positions except for being the chairman of an obscure office that monitors TV shows and her first term in the senate.

Why is she topping the surveys?

She's a Poe. That is why she's running for president, she's taking (or she was advised to take advantage) of the FPJ phenomenon, which I believe is already evaporating and will almost completely dissipate in five to ten years,.the day the coming batch of voters who do not know FPJ except as a trivia will be voting. The baby boomers is a dying generation and the generation X does not care about FPJ.

She's a novelty. She's new. She's a curiosity. I remember when the first toasted siopao store opened in Taytay, Rizal. People are forming lines to buy toasted siopao. I am not saying Poe is a siopao but like the toasted siopao,when the Taytayenos got enough of it, as quickly as the lines formed, it disappeared . After a while, the toasted siopao became just another bread, an ordinary bread. Poe's hot but how long this hotness will last, who knows. I'm afraid she'll just be another trapo because the process of traposization has already began. Notice how well she played her card vs. the other candidates, the wooing, the feeling around; how well she diverted a valid legal issue about her citizenship to an emotional search for her "identity". She's not naive, she knew how to play her cards, which is not really bad, come to think of it.

The other day, I was watching CNN Philippines and I saw Donald Trump speaking and I was surprised to see him bashing the other presidential candidates especially Bush which would make our trapos blush. But the US presidential election known for its chivalry and political correctness, at least on the surface, was turned upside down by his antics. If these things were said by US trapos like presidential candidates Bush and McCain (hmmm...I only knew two) it would damage their image and their ratings. But coming from Trump, his ratings increased. Trump was accused of mixing entertainment with politics and some nasty stuffs was said against him too; he threatened the established politicians in the US. I'm not a US citizen and I do not know their politics, but he was great speaker, he connects even with me not because he was making sense but because he was talking like ordinary folks. The ratings is on Trump's side.

Anyway, I see the parallelism here with Grace.  The opposite. Our politicians lash out at each other like mad dogs, throwing everything from the kitchen sink to the whole bathroom. Suddenly a soft spoken little lady who does not attack, at least overtly, her fellow candidates appeared and we're all thrown off balance.   

Anyway...once president. I can't see Grace outmaneuvering the parasites in government. She might end up like GMA, a good president surrounded by parasites. GMA fed the parasites thinking it would allow her to govern the country. She was too naive, even her family fed on her.

Benefit of the doubt... spent.

Bonsai Material Story (well, not that kind of story, more of a process thing)

Caveat: I am not an expert bonsai-ist nor I pretend to know much about the art. What I am sharing here is limited to my experience with my materials. I'm almost three years into the hobby and I still feel like a newbie. For more stuffs and conversations about bonsai, I suggest you join Bonsai Hobbyist of the Philippines on Facebook.

Bonsai materials that I bought from a hunter in Koronadal City, Mindanao. The package arrived two weeks ago. The materials are not that expensive, it's the shipping fee that doubles the cost. 

Notice how carefully the materials are packaged. The seller has to make sure that the materials are kept fresh and moist during the its travel from Koronadal City, Mindanao to Taytay, Rizal,Luzon.

Unpacked.The first thing I did was to check if the materials were fresh. To do this, I nipped the bark and if it's still green, it's fresh and alive. Though some materials maybe moist, it does not necessarily mean the material is fresh. I have not experienced receiving any damaged or dead materials from the sellers I had dealt with. They were reliable.

I cleaned the materials. Brushed to remove lichens, fungi, insects etc. I couldn't find my fungicides but with my other materials I sprayed fungicides to prevent fungal development during the rooting period.
After cleaning up, I prepared the rooting hormone solution. Before, I did not use rooting hormones but after reading that it helps better the chances of stimulating the materials, I started using it.

Common rooting hormone brands: Hormex and Anaa. Available in garden shops and ACE hardware.

Soak the materials in rooting solution for a few hours. Others prefer soaking overnight but since I had work the next day, an hour or two would do fine.

Next step was preparing the medium: river sand. I used a strainer to separate different grades of river sand

The pebbles are put at the bottom layer in the trainer dish for good drain.

 The smaller pebbles is put  at middle layer and the fine grain of sand at the topmost layer .

Secure the material into the dish with wire to prevent movement and make sure that there's no vacuum or all the base of the material is completely covered by the medium. Here I put "bamboo antennas" around the materials to prevent the materials from touching the plastic cover that I would  put on them, sprouts turn brown and die when they touch plastic.

Covered in plastic. This acts as a greenhouse to keep the humidity high and stimulate the materials. This speeds up the rooting or stimulating process. 

Once the materials have grown leaves and branches that looks healthy enough, the plastic should be removed gradually to give the materials time to adjust with the changes in humidity. First, open the bottom of the plastic cover an inch or two every three to four days and check if the already developed leaves are not withering. once you noticed that the leaves are turning brown, return the plastic cover and wait longer until the materials become established.

 There are those who prefer to not use plastic cover and instead keep the material in shaded area until it sprouted, a little slow but it works too and the materials are already adjusted to the environment when buds appear.

The plastic cover traps water inside so its not necessary to water the materials everyday for two weeks or so.  Check the medium (soil) and check if its already drying up, then if it is,  water carefully. Accidentally bumping or jerking the materials will break the developing roots and could kill them.

I had many materials die because cats, dogs and even rats tumble them. 

I put them in a dog's cage to prevent animals from accidentally bumping the materials.

Two weeks after, there;'s already little leaves sprouting. Of course this does not mean that the material will live. A lot could go wrong, like root rot etc. but this is a good sign. Still a few more months before these materials can be put under full sunlight and many months more before they could be trained.

Some hobbyists compare this to gambling because there's a 50-50 chance that the materials will live or will die. 

Well, the uncertainty makes it more interesting and challenging. Just seeing a material live and become established is already an achievement for me..

Patience is virtue.  

Al usual, blah, blah...

I was watering our plants when a neighbor's head popped up at the gate and said something about the news that day. I opened the gate and let him in. We talked. My neighbor knew a lot of Marxist-Engels-socialist-communist etc.philosophy, not surprising since he was a former labor union president and was well indoctrinated with leftist philosophy and dogmas. 

A conversation like this usually lasts hours and meanders into almost every conceivable topic under the sun from socialism, which from our many conversations he is in favor of, to conspiracy theories. We were talking about the INC incident, the coming presidential election and the presidential candidates, Marcos, Education and of course Marxist philosophy when the mention of "opiates of the people" popped up, I suddenly blurted out, "Al Dub".

"Look at what's on TV today," I have often lamented the fact that TV was not what it used to be. "I cannot make sense of AL Dub. Why are people hooked into it? Why they are mesmerized by a story that is made up along the way as if it was a well written story like in TV drama or soap or something."

I came to the conclusion that Al Dub is for idiots.

Until well written essays about Al Dub started coming out of Facebook. Some learned people are talking and thinking about it, at least the phenomenon. Why even the  Roman Catholic Church Bishops endorsed it as good for the moral health of the televiewers. the CBCP expressed their support to AlDub for its “noble cause of spreading virtue, values, and morality that our nation deserves” Who can argue with theologians? 

But it cannot be denied that it has numbed the mind of the people to an extent.

Attorney Capunan lamented the fact that the Filipinos are all tuned in to Al Dub on the news while the mention of the Chinese president going to the United States wooing the economically bankrupt superpower with promises of international cooperation maybe even loans etc. in return for the South China Sea. Do we even care about this issue? No reaction on this issue.

I did not an impromptu survey in my class. I asked my pupils to choose between Al Dub and Kathniel love team. Ninety percent voted for Al Dub despite the fact that they are in school most of the weekend and have no time to watch the kalye serye.  

I attended the DepEd Rizal's teacher's day celebration yesterday and while an actor was performing, I could hear my colleagues shouting "Aldub na yan!." It's a little embarrassing because the guy was not part of the Al Dub love team.

I have not seen Al Dub because of I am at work during weekdays and in the weekend I usually do gardening and bass guitar practice but my wife and my daughter love it so whether I like it or not, I catch portions of the show. 

 I find it funny but...

As to my neighbor, he left just before noon and I think he watched AlDub after our talk.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Brigada Eskwela and Asthma

PNP personnels fixing broken desks
When I was in my grade school I used to skip the firs week of school because I  knew (and my parents knew too) that the first days of classes would be spent cleaning the school grounds and the classrooms. The pupils were asked to bring cleaning implements: brooms, dustpan, coconut husk and sandpapers. I most especially dreaded the sand papers.

We sand paper books to erase names written on their sides and desks to remove names and other graffiti. There was so much dust that I usually ended up with asthma attacks. 

BFP firemen flushing a pathway.
Pre-classes preparations were the task of the teachers and the pupils then but now thanks to DepEd's Brigada Eskwela , the preparations now involve stakeholders from the parents, Private Organizations and Companies, NGO's, alumnis, LGUs and government agencies like the PNP, BFP, etc.

Parents doing their share.
Brigada Eskwela is an offshoot Republic Act 8525 or the Adapt-A-School Program. An act that gives opprtunity for privatte sector companies to contribute in improving the public education systm in the country. 

In an effort to bring the Adopt-A-School Program to the community level, DepEd launhed the National Schools Maintenance Week in May 2003 which is now known as the Brigada Eskwela. (Brigada Manual)

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

What do non-bonsai people think about bonsai hobbyists?

 One of the members of the FB group Bonsai Hobbyist of the Philippines (BHP) asked this question and I ,again, collated the members' answers and added some comments of my own. 

1. They are crazy

This is the most common thinking of non-bonsai people because most bonsai hobbyist/artists/owner have this special relationship with their trees that to common folks seems to defy sanity. The bonsaists spend a lot of time looking at it from many angles, clipping branches and removing leaves here and there, and sometimes even talking with the trees.

But I think the craziest thing is that many if not most bonsai hobbyist go out at night, with their flash lights, to check on their materials/trees. 

Imagine yourself looking out your window, there's your neighbor in the middle of the night with a flashlight beaming on his/her bonsai, eyes and nose almost touching the trunks and branches, checking under and over, as if looking for something valuable, a jewelry or an evidence of a murder, etc. I mean...

2. They are in love with their trees

The husband must keep in mind the first commandment: "Thous shall not have no other wife than the wife." 

Anything that takes away a husband's attention from his wife is an object of jealousy. I mean anything. This is understandable and normal to a married person. Jealousy is a basic instinct both for the male and female of the specie. This instinct or emotion is a product of evolutionary processes that aims to preserve the unity of a family and the continuity of the species. Ok, ok, enough of the Darwinian blah,blah, blah

Many members of the BHP, at least in the beginning of their bonsai life, had to deal with a jealous wife. The wife could not understand how her husband could focus his energy on watering trees 2-3 times everyday. I mean before they even greet their wives or enter the door of the house, they first get their water hose or lagaderas to water their trees. Then they spend a lot of hours grooming the trees, clipping branches and leaves  which the husbands do not do to their wives. 

I do not clip my wife's nails or groom her hair and I doubt it if any husband does that, but it is understandable for the wife to feel resentment at seeing her husband clipping a damned tree and not her nails and grooming the tree and not her hair. Of course most wives prefer have manicurists and pedicurists but still the mis-focused attention is what makes them jealous. They do the housework, cook food, do laundry, they deserve better...better than the bonsai's.

Of course after a period of time, the wife realizes the benefits of bonsai to her husband. 

1. The husband started losing interest with vices and going out with boys.
2. Great stress management.
3. Once the bonsai revealed its beauty, the wife starts to appreciate them too.
4. Some husbands have additional source of income.
5. The wife then becomes a bonsai hobbyists. too. I hope.

3. They are gay

I have no problem with this but to some BHP member, they think this is defamatory or something. If your sure of your sexuality no problemo. 

4. They are torturing the trees!

This is also how my friends describe what I'm doing with my bonsai, cutting them here and there, wiring and then bending the branches, defoliating the leaves, sometimes removing bark, etc. By the way this called training.

Since trees are living organisms its is only reasonable to think that they feel or at least they react to these training methods in a way that many people could empathize with. There are times that I feel that way too. But one must look at this philosophically. 

Training is a difficult and even a torturous process. It is the process of removing, redirecting, learning, retaining and maintaining. It is refining, managing the crude, the base and the wild nature and then turning them into something beautiful and usable. It is a process of change.

Training a tree is similar to educating a human being.  It's unthinkable to cut fingers here and there or amputate a deformed arm or a leg  because we don't grow them back. Though physical beautification or enhancement is being done through cosmetic surgery it does not capture the real essence of bonsai training.

So, like bonsai training our crude or wild natures/behaviors are pruned and defoliated through the painful process of behavioral modification called education and religion. 

Bonsai is metaphorical, if you really think about it.

5. They have nothing better to do

I guess that's why its called a hobby. Anyway, seriously, I had a visitor who told me that he'd rather plant vegetables than bonsais. I understand the bit of sarcasm in his voice because I can't eat my bonsai. But I love gardening and I did try planting vegetables in our lot but the soil--mostly compacted fillings-- is not fit for that kind of gardening. 

I guess no one can understand a bonsai hobbyist unless he or she becomes one.

Monday, May 04, 2015

People who contributed to Manny Pacquiao's lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr.

I am a Manny Pacquiao fan and like many people around the world and would have loved to see Pacquiao knock down Mayweather on the mat but the fight didn't turn out that way. Instead, using unorthodox tactics Mayweather out danced and outrun Manny Pacquiao winning the bout the other way around, by not boxing. 

I am not an anal expert (or an analyst) but I do have something to say about the fight.

Boxing fans were disappointed because they were expecting explosive pound for pound, fist to fist, gladiator like contest instead what they saw was a hugging contest. Knowing Mayweather and based on most of his fights, he would use his head instead of his fists to win. He feared Pacquiao's speed and punching power so he would not go into a fist fight instead he would his defensive and evasive skills to keep Pacquiao off and using his longer reach would try to land punches and score, nitpicking. This is what Mayweather employed vs. Pacquiao and it worked superbly.  

Manny fought the way he knew, by throwing punches and combinations. He tried his best to corner Mayweather but Floyd was slippery as an eel. 

Though the fight left a bad taste in the mouth, it could not be denied that Mayweather showed outstanding defensive skills that neutralized Manny's fighting style but bored the audience to death.

Anyway, for fun,  I'm enumerating 10 people who contributed to Manny's lost.

10. Mommy Dinosia's prayers failed

Mommy D's prayer is powerful and combined with middle finger pointed at Pacquiao's opponent, the cosmic energy emitted is enough to create a psychic imbalance to create confusion and headache to an opposing boxer.

It seemed Mommy D's cosmic battery was not charged to the fullest. The reason...number 9.

9. Mommy Dionisia's cosmic energy was sucked off by her boyfriend.

Now, I love Mommy D. She's been a good mother to Manny. She went through a lot to raise Pacquiao and his siblings. She has a wonderful sense of humor, self deprecating at times but honest and spontaneous. But this boyfriend thing is bad. Manny loved her mother so much that he tolerated this relationship but it sucked off Mommy D's cosmic energy and she lost focus on praying and directing cosmic energies against Mayweather.

8. Chavit

What do you think? Me, I'm not talking...

 7. Lito Camo's songs

I first heard Lito Camo on radio during the 90's. His earlier songs were Eraserheads rip offs that then later degenerated to novelty songs with double entendre and nonsensical lyrics. He wrote Manny's song but I like the "Eye of the Tiger" better, feral and fierce: mabangis. His new theme song sounded like a marxists, anti fascists a la EDSA Revolution theme...

5. Wrong Jesus

Let's see...

Is it okay to box and then preach?

No, the Bible mentioned running a marathon as a metaphor for our spiritual journey but not boxing. 

Basketball, volleyball, football etc. are all contact sports and their aim is to out wit, out play the opponent by putting a ball in a goal etc.

But boxing is a different contact sports in that its aim is specifically to physically abuse the opponent. It feeds on a person's  animal instinct and this is evident in fights were boxers instintively bite their opponents.

The scripture does not justify this sport though the scripture does mention stoning adulteress to death.

4. The Reverends

Mind you, I am happy that Manny became a born again Christian and a powerful endorser of the movement but then again these reverends should have made Manny realized that boxing and the Bible don't mix. They should have convinced him to stop fighting the day he received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior and Lord of his life. 

“Manny Pacquiao is THE purpose-driven boxer! His huge heart for God energizes his heart for everything else - his family, his country, his sport, the street kids, and all his fans,” said Pastor Rick Warren.

My ass...   

3. Kim Henares
Need I explain?

2. Floyd Mayweather Senior

This guy sure knew what he was doing. He didn't care what other people say about his tactics yet it won fights consistently: box by not boxing. Philosophical indeed, he has deconstructed boxing!

1. President PNOY

Oil price hike, OFW on death row, Mamasapo Incident, Joblessness, Inflation, Deflation, no love-life, pollution, etc. These are all the president's doing and Manny's lost to Mayweather is also PNoy's fault. 


Because he didn't do anything! That's why.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Five years ago.
The guys (barkadas) and the families are going on a two-day summer outing in Batangas tomorrow. It's been five years since we had a get together and this is long overdue. Though we are neighbors, we don't get the chance to get together because of work, busyness, schedules, blah, blah.

This will be fun and there'll be a lot of reminiscing and maybe even a few (with the help of beer or rum) tears shed.