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srijeda, 19.10.2011.

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HDR-Mabini Bridge (top view)




HDR-Mabini Bridge (top view)





Big Commotion on the Mabini Bridge!!

First it was a man riding his bicycle, then a woman walking with her two teenage boys. Next, a man with his three-wheeled motorcycle/taxi (locally called a tricycle) pulled over to take a look. He left his passengers waiting while he went to investigate. Women who were doing their laundry by the river’s edge stopped doing their chores and walked a little closer to have a better view. Their children swimming nearby stopped their games and followed their mothers. Finally, the driver of the big truck carrying tons of rice parked so close to the edge of the bridge that I though he was going to drop his cargo down in the water.

Pretty soon there is a crowd of about 20 people looking down the edge of the Mabini Bridge towards the Balincaguin River to see the reason of this commotion. (“Balincaguin” means “house of bats” in the Zambal language). Speaking to Charley Nelson in broken English, and looking very concerned, one man asks “dynamite, dynamite?“ Local fishermen often use dynamite (illegally) to kill fish for easy catching. “No”, Charley answered, trying to calm him down, “there is no dynamite“.

So, what was the reason for all this commotion on the Mabini bridge? These people happened to witness Charley dropping over the edge of the bridge with a big, black caver bag with a climbing rope inside and attached to the massive supports of the bridge. What happened was that Charley, Daniel and I were preparing to rappel down the bridge to the river level. I guess this is not done very often.

When we put our harnesses on with all the noisy hardware, they were doubtful. But when Charley moved over the edge and called “On rappel !!” they could not believe their eyes. The people were very curious on how he was going to come up. Some of them tried to guess if he was going to detach himself from the rope and swim to the little beach or climb the rope hand-over-hand. To their surprise, Charley started doing his change-over and very gracefully frogged all the way to the top.

Next was Daniel Veelik. He went down very carefully and somehow managed to stop about 4 feet above the water level. A miscalculation on his part would put him in the river with questionable water quality. Very cautiously he did his change-over, and with his, by now well-known, record-breaking speed, quickly reached the top.

Then it was my turn to rappel down the Mabini bridge. For some reason, it did not feel good, but heck, what could go wrong? I started going down. Somehow I miscalculated the distance to the water, and suddenly the river was just inches away and too close for my comfort. Very quickly I did a soft lock on my stop, but that was not enough. I was still sliding !! Daniel was yelling at me from above “stop, stop”. I answered back “I’m trying!!“ With the toes of my boots touching the water, I was able to put a hard lock. I never thought I could bend my knees so high as this time. My problems were not over yet. By being so close to the water, I was able to see all the ripples and small waves. Trying to do my change-over I was causing the rope to go around and around. That was a little too much. I was having vertigo!!

With a queasy stomach, I was soon successful with my change-over and finally on my way to the top. It was very strange to see all those many faces from the local people looking at me. I was happy to reach the safety of the road. The woman and her two teenage boys were friendlier than in the beginning. At first I didn‘t know why. Happens that while I was down below, this lady starts talking with Daniel. She tells him that she has never seen anybody doing this kind of activity in real life. The only place she has seen anything similar has been on DISCOVERY CHANNEL. Daniel, with a very straight face and in all seriousness, told the woman “WE ARE THOSE PEOPLE FROM DISCOVERY CHANNEL!! “ We’re still laughing about that one.

The air temperature was getting very hot and humid. Charley and Daniel each rappelled again, but I remained atop the bridge trying to keep cool. Feeling hot, hungry, and thirsty, the decision was made to pick up the gear and visit “cave central“, or the LOMI HOUSE. This is a little, local restaurant in Mabini, where Charley and some of his trainees meet after caving for a bowl of delicious local specialty soup call LOMI and a well-deserved cold RED HORSE beer.

What could be better ?, Great company, great adventures, and great beer.

Note: Mabini bridge is located just outside Mabini Town, near Alaminos City, Pangasinan Province, Luzon Island, Philippines.











Day 79 - Dance Dance Revolution "DDR" (series)




Day 79 - Dance Dance Revolution





Firstly. IT'S "DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION!".
The dumb Euro translation to "Dancing Stage" is such an inferior name in my opinion.

DDR is one of the hottest attractions to ever hit the Arcades. It was rare you'd see crowds generating at specific machines in your average arcade unless someone was REALLY REALLY good at a specific game, or perhaps if 2 competitive players were going at it at a fighting game (which is a rarer sight in the UK).

DDR could constantly pull a crowd though, first of all it was usually high volume thus in your face with fast paced music (and being loud is one way to score easy attention).

Then you had the fact that people were using there whole body to play a game, which was a stand out thing in a place were everything pretty much required hands on a controller (whether that be arcade buttons, a gun, a steering wheel, etc...), but most of all, people could clearly see if someone was impressive at the game without needing to look over someone's shoulder. You could see clearly if someone was in rhythm and styling on the dance mat with skills, and it was impressive to watch...thus the crowds.

I personally have a lot of respect for the DDR series personally. Around the year of 2003/ 2004 I was out of shape, and just felt like I was stuck in a routine that would continue for life pretty much.

Then when I finally got myself a dance game at home I really got to up my skills at the game, and the process of getting better was a lot of fun. This fun came with a bonus though, that bonus being cardio!

See DDR/ Dancing Stage is actually a really fun form of Cardio excercise. Without really thinking about it I was jumping around on a dance mat for at least 30mins most days of the week.

Over 1 summer I must've dropped a couple of stone at least, and from there I had stronger leg muscles, and more energy for every day life. It was a transformation from 'average' to 'athletic' and DDR was my key.

I've got a love for the DDR series as a whole, so I'm not nominating a specific version into this nostalgic parade I'm on. There are always good songs on each version (generally the original ones, although a few licensed tracks have had some sweet mixes done for them), so it's not like I need to really read a review when buying a DDR game, as long as it's one by Konami, then I've got faith in it :)

Although....being a huge fan of the Mario series and universe, I have a lot of love for "DDR/ Dancing Stage: Mario Mix". "Mario Mix" had a cool Mario inspired story mode including many Mario universe cameo's to go through, and best of all it had some fantastic remix's of classic Mario songs, ranging from "Donkey Kong" and the "Super Mario Bros. series" all the way up to the Nintendo Gamecube's "Mario Kart Double Dash" and "Wario World" (which were kind of new games around the time of the release of "Mario Mix".

Much <3 to the DDR announcer voice too, that voice is embedded in my head for life.









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19.10.2011. u 13:31 • 0 KomentaraPrint#

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