I just received news that the site I developed (www.ricardoguzman.com) was nominated at the Webby Awards for the Best Personal Site Category. WOW! To think that the Webby Awards is considered as the most prestigious award honoring excellence in Web design, creativity, usability and functionality, being nominated as one of the best among 4000+ entries is unbelievable.The site was developed for Ricardo Guzman (Mexican – American) as his personal online presence as well as to be part of his application to a Film school in the U.S. I started working on the project late August 2004. He was already trying to complete the designs for each page and section for months but wasn’t too sure of what he wanted to actually show. At first, it was supposed to be a plain HTML site as he was consulting another designer to do it for him since I was to busy with personal stuff. But looking at the designs, I was insistent on developing the site in Flash as I thought that it would really showcase the designs that he did and would attract more visitors to his site rather than a plain static site. So we met one afternoon to discuss the merits of the site and how he envisioned it to be. Eventually, he agreed to do the site in Flash as I explained that we’d be doing one project that is a website and could also be distributed as a stand- alone multimedia presentation as well. I grabbed the sitemap and started planning how to do everything in Flash; loading of movies, dynamic updates, navigation scripts, etc. The basic script was done in about 3-4 days. The next week, I was pushing Rico to finalize the designs as the structure was ready. We spent about 2-3 months doing the whole thing after work. I wonder if Ricardo is going to keep his promise of sending me to New york if he ever wins? Well, we have to see first if the site really wins! So cast your vote at http://pv.webbyawards.com and vote for the site Pirates, Poets and Passion (www.ricardoguzman.com) under the Personal Category so we could at least win the People’s Voice Award.
We woke up at 5:45 a.m. yesterday to get ready for our cross country trip to the land of Oil, Saudi Arabia. I was supposed to get government papers from the Directorate of Traffic so I could export my car to Bahrain. For the nth time, we were not able to complete it because the plate wasn’t available in Khobar. I have to go back again next Saturday and go with the Company’s Liason Officer to Dammam where they’re supposed to have it. I hope. And why didn’t we do it yesterday? Well, that’s how the Saudi system works. They spend half of the morning working, close before lunch, and start working again by 4 p.m., only to finish by 7p.m. Or even worse, they set things to process in the morning and in the evening i.e. you can have them process your Visas in the morning but not in the afternoon. Argghhhhh! But knowing how things work, Mavis and I already had plan B. Plan B is basically do the car papers in the morning and if it can’t be completed, we’ll just spend the day with our friends in Dammam and go home in the evening. So that is what we did. Xianelle was able to play with Enzo, I got some ZZZZ’s, and Mavis spent the day chatting. We left Dammam at about 6:30 p.m. and had to run to Panda Stores in Dhahran to buy rock salt. We had been trying to buy rock salt but all the groceries and shops we’ve been to were only selling refined/iodized salt. If we were only in the Philippines…Anyway, we knew Panda Stores were selling Rock Salt by the bag. A 2 kilo bag costs 1.5 Rials (about 20-25 PHP). Why Rock Salt? We’re planning to make Salted Eggs! We saw these ducks’ eggs in the Market which were gigantic! Really! They’re about thrice the size of your ordinary ducks’ egg. We got home to Bahrain at about 10:45 p.m. just in time to catch the WTA Nasdaq 100 finals match of Russian Sharapova and Belgian Clijsters. We were rooting for Sharapova but she eventually lost to Clijsters. Who could beat someone who has legs as big as those? Andre Agassi also lost his match against Roger Federer yesterday. We’re for Agassi but Federer is quite unstoppable. He’s just to quick and runs the court like mad. I would have wanted a Safin-Federer finals as I’m sure Nadal won’t have a chance against Federer. But let’s see, we might see another upset. I doubt. Tired and all, we got to sleeping at 1:00. Mavis and Xiane slept a bit earlier. But all in all, it was a fun and fruitful Saturday.
It is the start of a brand new day. I have been fascinated with blogging ever since but never really found time to do it (or was I too lazy?). So here I am, trying to psyche myself into blogging, finding time and putting effort to it. I’ve always liked writing so hopefully I’ll find my way back to my roots (hey, I spent 2 years in college with Journalism as my Major). This also reminds me of our 3rd year highschool "diary" but way back then, you only had to use a pen and paper to start. Now everything is being touted as "digital" and "online". Anyway, I’m a Senior Web Designer for a company in Bahrain. My family and I moved here just 2 months ago after 5 years of work in Saudi Arabia. Resigning from my previous company was tough decision to make as it provided stable work and a very good income but sometimes, money doesn’t weigh as much when it comes to family concerns. Although a single bridge separates Saudi and Bahrain, we knew life here would be different. Not to say that living in Saudi is bad (you eventually get used to it) but Bahrain is an "open" country: women can drive, cinemas abound, nightlife is blooming, and people are happier. Thus, the decision to move here was basically about living a more normal life. Although it didn’t hurt that I also liked the idea of joining a Media company and knowing that my career with this company would eventually lead to my other goals. After spending 2 months here, I could say that every risk we took paid off. We are alive and well in the land of Bahrain!