Pandemic Episodes: Bored Waiting

While waiting for our colleagues to come back from wherever they may have gone to, another officemate and got bored and decided to amuse ourselves. The result? 

Welcome to the CDC! LOL!! 

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Google Rush

Google has one again shown its playful side. This time with another Easter Egg – the Google Rush!

It’s Friday, so why not waste a few minutes this morning with Google’s latest playable Easter Egg?

Typing “zerg rush” in Google.com seemingly returns the regular Google search results for this unusual term, but soon, little O’s (from the Google logo) start dropping from the top of the page.

Use your mouse to click and destroy the O’s – or zerglings – before they eat your search results and gather into two, large G’s on the page. At the end of the game, you can share your scores via Google+, telling followers how many zerglings you took down.

As described by knowyourmeme.com, the term Zerg Rush originates from the real-time strategy (RTS) game Starcraft. “The ‘Zerg’ race is notoriously known for its ability to mass-produce offensive units within a short time frame, thus allowing the player to overpower the opponent by sheer number,” the website said.

News of the game quickly made the rounds this morning, with “Zerg Rush” topping the trending topics on Google+ and Twitter as users urged friends to try it out.

Read more at PC Mag.

My last score was 83. Wonder how others are fairing. I’m sure the there are way, way, waaaay high scores out there.

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Snipping Tool

Did you ever need to get a very quick screenshot of that “Eureka!” text during your research or those error messages that keep popping up on your screen? I’m sure you did. Here’s a little tidbit that a colleague of mine shared with me.

Apparently, Windows 7 has this humble little software already installed and can be found in the accessories. Or if you search for it using the Windows Start Menu search bar. What this tool does is allow you to quickly create a snapshot (or part of it) of your active screen.

There are four ways to “snip” your screenshot (shown above). It’s usually defaulted to the second one. But I imagine that the free-form snip could be handy when trying to snap only a particular screen. There are also some general options.

This is a very useful little tool for when you need to quickly capture a screenshot of an error messages (to send to technical support), specific texts or paragraphs from a PDF document, or important messages, such as booking confirmation, ticket purchases, online shopping, etc.

Once you have your snapshot, you can save it, copy the image, e-mail it (directly or as an attachment), write/draw something on it with different pen colors, highlight parts of the image, or erase your edits.

Defeating the Monday Blues

I need me some pick-me-ups on this cold Monday morning. What better way than to listen to some battle songs? No not the real ones – the fictional ones; ones you find in video and PC games.

Nothing like some adrenaline-filled tune to lift you up and help you fight that post-weekend melancholy, set you to tackle that monstrous paperwork, and take on anyone who’d make your Monday a living hell on Earth.

For those of you who don’t like to listen to OSTs from games, then how about a good ole reliable upbeat song?

How about another?

Hope that fixes your Monday Blues…

 

Music To Focus

Music plays a big part of anyone’s life. I can surely attest to that. I use music to help me achieve a variety of things. Whether it’s to help me sleep, fight off drowsiness, enjoy a movie, or relax, music does its job for me effectively and efficiently. I’m not a great singer, but I surely am a great listener! =)

One of the reasons I listen to music while I’m at work is to block out distractions and focus my mind. Most of the time I just use the songs in my playlists. But sometimes, I turn to YouTube and use it as a makeshift radio/playlist. I usually do this because I’ve discovered a new song or a new band, and I haven’t downloaded the song/s yet. Yesterday, I was looking at some videos during my break (okay so maybe it wasn’t really my break and I was stealing some work time to watch videos… hehehe) and one of them used a pretty catchy wordless song. I quickly scrolled down to the comments to find out about it and, thankfully, a few people seemed to know the title and artist. After I listed to the full version of the song, I decided to use it along with a bunch of others from the same artist as my music flavor of the day. The songs rather helped me pass the time doing year-end performance evaluations, which are always a pain to do.

This is the first song I listened to:

Nara

by E.S. Posthumus

The artist was an independent music group composed of brothers Helmut and Franz Vonlichten. They were active from 2000 until 2010. Unfortunately, Franz passed away in June 2010 and the group became inactive. Helmut said there were still one or two unreleased songs. All of their songs are either electronic or orchestral, or a combination of both. And because of that, their music has been used in many movie trailers and television shows. Their first album was called Unearthed.

“Many tracks from Unearthed have been featured in various movie trailers and television shows. They have been used in the trailers for movies due to their escalating structure, which makes them well-suited for the dramatic montages building towards the credits in the aforementioned trailers.”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.S._Posthumus)

Kudos to the brothers for creating these soundtracks. I now have a bunch of their songs listed should I ever have the need to focus on my work (and not get distracted by videos anymore!).

The Five S Program: Seiton / Straightening or setting in order

Almost two years ago, I started discussing the concept of the 5S program and Kaizen – two Japanese concepts that are employed by business in order to drive efficiency in the workplace. I started out with Seiri but then either forgot about it or didn’t have the time to follow it up. Tsk tsk.

Seiton is about order, neatness, and “everything in the right place.” Seiri and Seiton almost always go hand in hand, the first principle allows you to keep you what you need most and the second one ensures they are placed where you can easily reach them.

There should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. The place for each item should be clearly labeled or demarcated. Items should be arranged in a manner that promotes efficient work flow, with equipment used most often being the most easily accessible. Workers should not have to bend repetitively to access materials. Each tool, part, supply, or piece of equipment should be kept close to where it will be used – in other words, straightening the flow path. Seiton is one of the features that distinguishes 5S from “standardized cleanup”. This phase can also be referred to as Simplifying.

It is time to arrange your workstation so that all essential items are within easy reach.

For me, I make sure that everything that I need daily is within easy reach – phone, of course, pen, notebook, calculator, printed copies of our methodologies, and my trusty mug of coffee – so that I can easily concentrate on my work. My copies of our methodologies are also in a file folder and placed on the uppermost tier of my multi-tiered document tray. Other methodologies are on the same tier, while additional readings are on the second or middle tier. The bottom tier is for miscellaneous documents.

This practice also extends to my virtual desktop. I’ve already shown an example in my previous post about this in this article.

Sources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5S_%28methodology%29
http://www.siliconfareast.com/5S.htm
http://syque.com/quality_tools/tools/Tools45.htm

Fun Day

We’re in the homestretch for our 2011 update season. It’s been a very tiring five months. Hopefully, with the end of our update period, we can finally get some breather… Or a lot of it.

As for me, doing QA will last until September so naturally, I welcome all types of rest and distraction from work, which includes our annual fun day event. It has been the tradition of our team to go somewhere far, fun, and exciting. However, this year, we just plan to go to Batangas for a much needed R&R. A weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of the metro. And I am looking forward to it.

We’re going to Palm Beach in Laiya, Batangas. I hear it’s a beatiful place. Even though the travel time takesmabout three to four hours, I’m pretty sure, it’s all worth it. Even now, I’m feeling lazy and just forcing myself to work and not fall asleep, or even skip reviewing u team’s work for YouTube videos or iPad games.

So in order for me to enjoy our Fun Day, starting tomorrow, I need to work hard today so I won’t feel guilty about having not worked the previous day. Speaking of whih, why the hell am I still blogging then? Hehehe.

Oh well. Time to get back to work.

Cheers!

Bored

I’m bored and got nothing really good and interesting to blog about today. So I thought, why not recount a typical day in the office? And then while I was thinking about what my typical day is, I got to thinking why not also post another blog about my typical weekend? Hahaha! Yey for boredom!

So here goes nothing…

My day usually starts with me arriving at around 10:30 in the morning (yeah I know that’s kinda late). If it’s a Monday, after starting my PC, I usually go to the pantry to get hot chocolate (it’s been a month since I drank coffee – hooray!) or wash my mug first before getting the hot choco. By the time I’m back, the PC’s usually ready for me to log in. As I wait for the PC to load up my account settings, I use the time to think of the previous day (or week) and try to remember if there are any action items that I need to finish today (or this week).

Once the machine’s ready to go, I open Microsoft Outlook and start reading e-mails. On a typical day, I usually get an average of 15 e-mails. Some are directly work-related, while some are office-related, and the rest are a mixture of miscellaneous e-mails and personal ones. I spend about 15 minutes each day reading through all of these. The ones that need my reply or requires any action, I mark as unread and leave them on the Inbox. The rest, I put them in their individual folders – since I’m so stuck up in organization, even my Outlook has folders for colleagues and officemates. LOL!

Depending on those action items, I could just be letting those e-mails hang out in my Inbox while I go about normal work. However, since it’s not update season anymore, I usually go ahead and identify which of those e-mails and action items warrant my priority. And so the day goes on.

I guess one that I should mention is that before starting work, I usually check my Facebook for any updates with my friends. Yeah, I know. Checking Facebook in the office. It’s so common here. =p

Since I arrive late, I also have a late lunch – usually at around 1:00 in the afternoon. After lunch, I have my usually oxygen break at the building lobby and go back to work. When I get tired, I usually view some YouTube videos. I watch Starcraft 2 replays a lot.

My day usually ends at around 8:00 in the evening. Sometimes, it can go as late as 10:00 even.

Top Bandwith User

It’s my second time in about a month that I got to be in the top bandwith users of our global network. But you know what? The only reason I got to be one of the top users is because nobody else stays late on Saturday night these day. LOL!

Oh well, I guess I’ll have to cut down on YouTube videos whenever I’m working overtime on the weekends. So sad…