Thursday, January 29, 2009

The waiting game was over

And yes it's already over after 9 long months of waiting. We already met our little bundle of joy last December 20, 2008 at 613pm. The night before that I attended our christmas party at club Ultima, during that night I already felt cramps but I didn't pay much attention to it as I thought it was nothing, just a normal contraction. At 340 a.m., I woke up coz I wanted to pee and after peeing -- i saw blood. And so I told my mom about it and right after it, i felt the contraction on a 2minute interval and the blood wont stop flowing. I woke up my hubby, and he was so tense when i told him about it and wanted us to rushed in the hospital but i told him -- maybe a lil bit later, Til i fell asleep. It was already 700am when I decided to go to the hospital as i felt increasing pain of the contraction. To cut it short i was in the labor room from 730am-555pm, quite long labor huh! -- My OB decided to put me into CS at exactly 557pm coz my cervix wont open and I'm already to weak that time -- "haha kinsa ba gud tawn d maluya ana".

Anyways, here are some pix to share

the pain reliever

pichur2x while ga.labor ko and the gurls sa akong luyo --hhahaha

my baby YaeL Mari -- W:3.1kg H:37cm

5day old pix during christmas day

Seeing the road ahead: How to steer clear of poor visibility

Poor driving visibility is another problem which is taken lightly by most motorists. The problem is aggravated by a lot of environmental factors that increase poor visibility even for drivers who may have excellent eyesight. Here are some of the most common factors and some tips on how to neutralize them.

5 factors that increase the instance of poor visibility

1. Very few governments the world over are strict when it comes to testing the eyesight of those applying for a driver’s license. Even the UK which has one of the most stringent eye exams for new license applicants don’t require a re-test until the driver reaches the age of 70;

2. Many motorists today are unaware that they have vision problems and more than half of those who wear corrective glasses and contact lenses admit that they take them off while driving;

3. Very few drivers regularly check if their windshield wipers and washers are fully functional before driving the vehicle;

4. When driving during twilight, there is a short period of time when our vision is very poor while we try to get accustomed to the darkening environment;

5. Natural conditions such as the sun’s glare, dust, rain, snow, etc.

10 tips on how to improve visibility for these situations

1. Take the time to have your eyesight checked regularly, even when the law does not require it;

2. To relieve or prevent the strain of eye fatigue, move your eyes from time to time and refrain from staring too long at a fixed point. Some contact lenses can actually increase the chance of eye fatigue. It is better to wear glasses instead of contacts while driving;

3. It is a good practice to keep a spare pair of spectacles in your car;

4. To reduce glare from the lights of incoming traffic and even from the sun, light tint and anti-reflection coating can be applied to your spectacles or even your windshield;

5. Of course, never wear tinted glasses or visors after dark or during conditions of poor visibility such as heavy rain, fog or snowfall;

6. When taking medication, ask the doctor whether such medicine may impair your vision or slow down your reflexes;

7. Keep your windows clean. Make sure that your defogger and windshield wipers work and that windshield washers are filled correctly;

8. Be wary when driving during twilight and turn on your running lights for other people on the road to see you better;

9. When driving at night, adjust your rearview mirror to avoid the beam of the headlights from the vehicles behind you from hitting your eyes directly;

10. And last but certainly not least, if you have someone sitting in the passenger seat, let that person help you watch out for road signs and incoming hazards.

When it comes to the problem of road visibility, you can’t be too complacent. Regularly test your eyesight, slow down when necessary, always take care and don’t be embarrassed to ask help. Just remember, as Dave Barry says:

The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above-average drivers.

by: Edon Canada

The A-Z of Driving Overseas

Germany's Autobahn (motorway)- is one of the best places to be for fast and furious drivers. You can legally drive as fast as you wish. There is no general speed limit but only a recommended speed limit of 130 kph (81 mph). The same rule applies on French motorways but in Norway you’d have to slow down, where it’s just 90 kph (55 mph).

Make sure to bring breakdown cover before going on a cross country road trip. It could cost over £2000 for a stranded car and four passengers to be brought home from Southern Europe.

Company cars
Make sure to get permission, if you plan to drive the company car overseas. Bring the official letter from your employer authorizing you to take it with you abroad. If it’s a lease car, you’ll also need to secure a vehicle-on-hire certificate from the leasing company.

Driving license
It’s a legal requirement to carry your license when driving, unlike in the UK. You might need to get an International Driving Permit for other countries.

EU enlargement
Ten new states joined the European Union and make a perfect holiday driving destination. Be on the lookout for unfamiliar road rules. Speed limits vary on certain roads during certain seasons and winter tires must be fitted in snowing states.

Fuel can
In several European countries it’s illegal to be carrying a can of spare fuel in the boot. They’re also banned on car ferries or Le Shuttle, whether full or empty.

GB sticker
You don’t need a separate GB sticker when visiting other EU countries if your vehicle is fitted with the new-style euro plate. However, if the vehicle has the old number plate, the law requires a GB sticker close to your rear number plate. Towing trailers or caravans need another sticker as well.

Be careful not to honk your horn anywhere. Most places are annoyed with incessant honking and are introducing laws to stop unnecessary horn use, especially in town.

Italy is home to fast and furious drivers with major motorways of speed limits increased to (93 mph). It’s important to keep your headlamps on when driving in Italy.

When driving in France, a give-way-to-the-right rule applies. Motorists must give way to vehicles joining their road from the right even if their on the main road, unless signs indicate they have priority.

The outback could be very hazardous at night so avoid it. Collisions with kangaroos are common in Australia.

In Scandinavia, it’s a legal requirement to keep your head lamps on. This is the same reason why Volvos have their headlights on all the time.

Mobile phones
Many countries have laws that ban the use of mobile phones while driving. Mobile phones are a well-known necessity but also a fatal driving hazard.

Night driving
Make sure you’re not drowsy while driving at night. Research has shown that the greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel is between midnight-6am and 2-4pm.

On the spot fines
French police are known to collect up to 375 Euros on fines. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the different road rules before setting off. This will save you the trip to the cash machine.

In France parking is allowed in one side of the road and is switched to the other side. This can be tricky, so better make sure you get the rules before trying anything. In Austria, motorists must leave sidelights on where street lights aren't lit - but must watch out for those streetlights that turn off at midnight.

Sometimes traffic lanes merge into one and in Germany the Reissverschluss or zipper law applies. This means that motorists on each lane must give way one at a time.

Rental cars
Before driving off with your rental, do a damage check. You could end up paying for that damage after using it. In the US, civil litigation is common and motorists need about $1m of Supplementary Liability Insurance cover.

When driving in Spain, make sure to keep a spare pair of spectacles in the car if you wear them. It not only makes you look smart, but it is required by law and applies to Switzerland as well.

Traffic lights
Red means stop and green means go. In America, however, motorists can make a right turn, after stopping to check if the road is clear.

Lane swapping is allowed on American freeways, so be very careful. Drivers are allowed to overtake on the inside - a big “no-no” in most European countries.

In Austria or Switzerland, a vignette or motorway tax disc is required. Don’t go without displaying it on your windscreen.

Warning triangle
In some countries you need one and some countries two (Spain and Turkey). In most countries like France, carry a set of spare light bulbs too.

In America, where two or more cars stop at a cross-roads, the car that arrived first has right of way. If they both got there at the same time, the give-way-to-the-right rule applies

Young drivers
You can apply for a license in the UK at 17, but you can't in France and New Zealand till you're 18. However, for the first two years after passing your test, you’re not allowed to exceed 110 kph on the motorway.

Zebra Crossings
Drivers don't always stop for pedestrians at a zebra crossing in most countries. Better be careful when you do, to avoid getting rear-ended by a local driver.

by: Amalia Aviles

Defensive and efficient driving: a roadtripper’s key to road Zen

Defensive and fuel efficient driving are the ultimate keys to road safety and the optimum operation of your car’s system for a long time. By being a defensive and fuel efficient driver, you’ll also add up more on savings from frequent gas ups.

Follow these simple and easy steps to become a defensive and fuel efficient driver.

Become a defensive driver

1. Before starting your car, be sure that you have buckled up everyone, including children and pets (if any)

2. Stay in the speed limit. In some areas, (especially highly urbanized zones) driving too fast or too slow will increase your chance of a collision.

3. Be cautious of changing situations on the road and be prepared to responds quickly. If you notice a car that’s straddling, weaving, making wide turns, stopping suddenly or not responding to traffic signals, then know that the driver may be impaired or distracted. Probable causes could be alcohol, distraction or on the phone.

4. Stay away from impaired drivers. Slow down a bit to increase following distance. If the driver is behind you, turn at the nearest corner. Always remember to never let or encourage an impaired driver pass you. If a vehicle crosses over into your lane, pull over the roadside. Sound your horn or flash lights to attract attention.

5. Maintain presence of mind to quickly respond to any situation. Never drink and drive. Never use your mobile phone while on the road.

6. Always follow traffic rules and regulations. Never contest right of way or engage racing on busy roads.

7. Always observe courtesy and respect for other drivers.

Drive efficiently

1. Regularly tune-up your gasoline / diesel engine to keep it in top fuel efficiency condition.

2. Start and keep your engine running at the normal idling speed. Running more than the recommended “warm up” will affect your fuel burn.

3. When driving, always keep within the speed of 70 to 90 kph. Driving below or higher than this bracket will result in less kph traveled for the same amount of fuel.

4. Plan your trips ahead in order to maximize the load factor of your car.

5. Always be aware of alternate routes in your trip to avoid traffic hassles.

6. Always keep in mind when to shift to a higher gear. This will avoid stress on your engine.

7. Fill your tank early in the morning will result in your being able to load 3-6% more fuel than filling it at noon when the temperature is much higher.

8. Never overfill your tank. Always see to it to keep your fuel cap tight to prevent spillage or evaporation.

9. If you tune up the operation of your car at close to sea level, it will be less fuel efficient when you’ll get to a higher elevation and vice versa due to the difference in density altitude.

10. Always maintain gradual acceleration. This will save you as much as 1 kilometer to the liter compared with rapid acceleration.

11. Minimize your load. Unnecessary weight in your car will add up to as much as 10% in your car’s fuel consumption.

Practice these basics and you’re off to a safe and smooth ride.

Buckle Up.
by: Jovir Amatong