i introduced user-defined function with def.  i discussed return values, default parameters, functions as arguments, and recursion.  i left out variable scoping and; pass by value vs. pass by reference as i wasn’t sure what to include. my treatment  was, partly, influenced from what i remember being taught about computing from long ago days of uni (i.e undergrad and postgrad) in the Philippines.

here’s the updated GitHub repository:



(the) for(ever) (king)

October 9, 2019

here’s an introduction to the for loop. in C and C++, i used to prefer the for because of its “power” and “flexibility” but now use the while by default in Python because of the “control”.  Moreover, i also discuss the effect of continue and break in loops.

The updated GitHub repository is as follows:


whistle while you work

October 6, 2019

here’s an introduction to the while loop in Python. “while” doing this, the pass and range statements are also introduced.  so far, this has been the “most challenging” discussion – so if anybody has any suggestions on how to make it “better”, i’m more than open.

here’s the updated GitHub repository:


barely breathimg

October 5, 2019

i’m currently taking natural supplements daily to help combat my hay-fever (rhinitis to be technical),  It helps a little but I can feel when the pollen count is high (even when the entire house is closed) or even when it’s only moderate if a window’s left open.  It can manifest itself through itchy eyes, constant sneezing, blocked nostrils, or in really sever cases, an inability to breathe.

i noticed today that i exhibited the first two symptoms – which i noticeably have less of.  However, my wife propped a window open as she was cooking – even once i closed it i knew i was too late and the pollen had already gotten in the house because i couldn’t stop rubbing my eyes.  Later, i had a string of sneezes – which i now rarely do.

it was only once we lived in Adelaide that it became obvious – i lived in Melbourne for a year and was unaware of it then – some say it’s because the wind here blows through deserts.  even when i was in the Philippines and Victoria i sneezed consecutively ( my record is 27. if i recall correctly) so i must have had some form of allergy.

you need to understand that for someone with claustrophobia the prospect of not being able to breathe is a really terrifying proposition.  Moreover, sneezing “wildly” for anyone using a rollator, forget steering but trying to maintain upright balance.

it’s  more prominent now since it’s Spring.  It’s “harder” to do my daily speech exercises now as my nose is blocked. it can be quite challenging to produce the correct sounds while also multiplexing breathing with the mouth – co-ordination is not a strength these days!

learning to un-learn

September 30, 2019

my accent (along with my disability) makes it difficult for me to be understood.  My English was influenced by American (as they “imposed” their educational system on us, unlike the Spanish who “chose” us to be “ignorant”) but someone born Sate-side could easily tell i didn’t grow up in America.

we spoke English at home as my parents spoke different dialects – sadly it was their only common language.  i learned Tagolog (comprising most of Filipino) from the “streets” (as this was only a subject in school during my time – the medium of instruction is in English).  Suffice it to say, my vocabulary in Filipino isn’t “great” or “refined”.

Although i was taught the letter “j” in our alphabet, it is pronounced as “h” in our native tongue – so producing a “hard j” is more difficult for me (and is further compounded by my current speech quality).  During my education, “z’ was not part of our alphabet (i think it’s now included) so this is also not an “easy”  sound for me.  Essentially, my condition impairs my ability to produce “active” (that is, with the voice turned on) sounds.  While previously i made “fast progress” through daily practice and sheer will, i need to be more conscious now as i have a tendency to revert to old habits as my speech patterns are already well established {this is not helped by my age).  Case in point, (unlike consonants) there’s an “acceptable” range for vowels which children “easily” mimic and older people struggle with (that’s why it’s easier for you to learn another language ehen your “younger”).

i’ve got such a “bastardised” accent (as my pronunciation of syllables doesn’t “neatly” fall under one language) that i can pose a challenge to my speech pathologist.  =)

40 days (and nights)

September 22, 2019

we had the 40th day death anniversary of my mother-in-law today. when i researched why the number 40 was such a big thing Biblically (e.g. Jesus in the desert, Noah and the flood), it had something to do with purification in the Torah.  The real question is where did that practice originate from?

maybe it was serendipity that today was also the last mass of a Filipino priest in our parish. a new chapter?  who know?  all that i’m certain about is the mind is skilled in finding patterns…

“walang masamang tinapay”

September 21, 2019

this is a Filipino expression that roughly translates to:  “no such thing as bad bread”.  It is used to describe individuals that always sees the good in others.  Being pedantic, it applies more towards their attitude.  For me at least, that is an important distinction.  They are not ignoring other’s faults but choose instead to focus on the “good” qualities of the individual.

in my experience, these people are also “nice”.  i’m generally mistrustful but there are just a handful of people you just instantly like (in the absence of rationale or actual dealings with them).  there are just a few “good eggs”. you just automatically know whom (did i use it correctly?) these people are.

while i dislike a few, they are at least true to themselves and are honest.  what i abhor are those that project a “nice” image but when you get to know them more that their motivation(s) for doing “good” deeds are rooted on what others might say, social expectation, or self interest.  they assume, quite wrongly IMHO, that the world revolves around their wants and needs.