Thursday, September 13, 2012

How To Polish Silver Jewelry

I've purchased some dangly earrings while I was in Toledo, Spain. They have since developed tarnish. Tarnish is a chemical reaction of certain metals with oxygen in the air. You can't stop this from happening but you can clean it.

Things You Need

  1. The tarnished silver.
  2. Some clean cloth.
  3. Dip style tarnish remover.


Wash your silver jewelry and remove oils then pat dry.

Originally bought as a gift, it ended back in my hands for cleaning. Yay!

Dip the silver for 3-5 seconds.

Yes, I know. It's blurry. Go away.

Wipe dry.

Polished on the left. Tarnished on the right.


Don't ever get this in your eyes. I don't know what happens but I don't want to find out.

If you are in the area and need some silver polished, I still have that entire bottle. You can borrow it. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Phuket Trip Travel Gear

Travel Gear

Old Gear

I've decided to change the way we travel. Specifically the way we do luggage. Our previous setup was usually a duffel bag and 2 backpacks. We also usually end up carrying a single messenger bag to carry stuff and new trinkets while exploring. This was extremely cumbersome and not to mention, inefficient. I've decided to ditch the entire setup. Despite the duffel bag being extremely voluminous, it usually ends up hurting my shoulders or my back. It was just hard to carry. 

New Bag

The new gear is focused on weight and carrying capacity. First on the list is replacing the bags. The first gear is Deuter Spectro AC 36. Originally meant for hiking, I've decided to adopt this as a main travel gear since it's very lightweight at just over a kilo when empty and very airy at the back. I've got a bad back and I've always thought that I'll never be able to carry a hiker's pack. I was wrong. With clever use of physics, the weight doesn't all end up on your shoulders but get efficiently distributed to both shoulders and hips. It's like magic. Hiker packs have probably always been like this and I just didn't know. Also, it's just under the limit for cabin size which means no more check-in luggage. This saves a lot of time.

It opens from both the top and the bottom. That means you can lie the thing on it's back and open it like a normal luggage. No need to dig from the top to get stuff in the bottom. Nice.

This is the first backpack I've had that didn't leave sweat stains at the back. The only thing in contact with your back is a mesh. The entire bag is lifted away from your back using 2 tensioned aluminum wires.

New Camera

In addition to the bag, I've decided to upgrade my camera. I decided that this new camera has to survive everything. Image quality needed to take a back seat to durability and survivability. After days of research, the purchase went to my first Olympus camera, the Olympus TG-1.

For the most part, it functioned perfectly. Autofocus was quick and low-light shooting was great. Beach sand wasn't a problem with this camera. Being fast and durable fits the bill. Unfortunately, mid-way through the Phuket trip, it hung while trying to focus. It's like the shutter button was stuck being half-pressed even if it wasn't. It was very annoying. It started functioning properly again a whole day later. I spent an afternoon trying to fix the thing. No firmware update was available and there was no way to reset even after removing the battery. I've since sent the thing to the service center. They've replaced the lens (thinking it has something to do with the focus problems) but claims to not be able to reproduce the problem. At least the service was commendable.

Things I took to the beach

Extra Surprises At Changi Airport

Despite having been to Changi Airport multiple times, we still managed to see some stuff that piqued my interest.
Each cell is for a different brand. You lock the charging phone inside the cell. Just remember to come back for it later.

A sunflower garden at the top of the airport.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Phuket Trip 2012

Destination: Phuket

We decided that this time around, we'll spend this vacation focusing on relaxation rather than spending most of the time moving from one place to another seeking to cover as much tourist places as possible.

The ultimate destination.

First Stop: Phuket Fantasea

Our first stop Phuket Fantasea (WARNING: Link has loud blaring music. Disable music through link at upper right). This place is something that a tourist should visit AT MOST once. The theatre show was most enjoyable but since photography was not allowed, I won't be able to show you some pictures. There were plenty of idiots taking pictures which ruined some moments though. The show itself featured a lot of animals, mostly elephants. The elephants looked like they were in good health and didn't show scarring from mahout's hooks. This matters to me. 

The fish were killing each other for food.

This is the theatre entrance.

This looked like the villain from Saw.

The main buffet hall.

One of the toilets was interesting. Those bulls will watch you while you pee.

This is the sink and yes, the water comes out of the buffalo's nose.

The rest of the theme park was mostly focused on selling you stuff. So it's not too important to me. The show and buffet does make up for the price so it was well worth it.

Second Stop: Patong Beach

There were plenty of shops and bars lining Patong Beach that would probably strike your fancy, whether you be a guy, a gal or somewhere in between. However, this day was scheduled as a "do whatever day" and we figured that the best way to spend a "whatever day" was to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It was awesome.

A lot of dogs doing what humans would do. Frolicking on the beach or just lounging around.

"I demand that you lessen these waves, ocean!"

Slept a whole lot on this cot.

It's a beach. So dinner was seafood of course. I'm slightly allergic to crustaceans but since I was in a good mood, I thought "what the hell" and ate half a lobster. I ate fish for the rest of the meal... because. 


Third Stop: Island Hopping and Snorkeling

This was one of those trips that were memorable but not quite enjoyable. Halfway during the boat ride, my girlfriend started feeling dizzy and wanted a bit of water. It wasn't your normal mineral water in a bottle. It came in a cup (pay attention, this is important). 

She started throwing up at one of the islands and a lot more WHILE snorkeling. The fish found this very amusing and entertaining and they crowded all around her. The other people swimming with us weren't entertained as much. Certainly, my girlfriend seemed to agree that it wasn't entertaining. I wasn't too sure. 

Leaving one of the islands.

Before throwing up.

After throwing up. (Fish were still following her).

At dinner, I decided to drink the same water she was drinking (a different cup but still the same brand). This was a costly mistake. 

I hardly knew ye.


Fantasea show is recommended if you are here for the first time. This was an enjoyable trip overall and if I ever did visit Phuket again, I'd most likely skip Fantasea and go right to relaxing on a beach, preferably Khai beach. It was undoubtedly the prettiest little island I've been to so far (not saying much since I haven't been to a lot of places). Nonetheless, I wouldn't disagree to just lounging around on Patong beach. This might not be the prettiest out there but it's certainly convenient and quite relaxing. 

Also, stay away from this.