THE other stuff first and on Saturday fellow scribbler Jun Ledesma was so right - give ambulant vendors an inch and they take a mile. Can you imagine the faces of foreign visitors as they dodge their way across the city's filthy and reeking pedestrian overpasses? Or their reaction to the weekend chaos on San Pedro around the SP building?

There was a lady on the TV news the other day who'd set up a carinderia in one of the airport's pedestrian underpasses. She was moved on (Security ma'am, love your noodles) but elsewhere sidewalk and pushcart vendors are spreading like some awful citywide blight and nobody is lifting a finger.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Tuesday's trivia was about geological faults - did you see it? More to the point, did anybody understand it? I'm sure that professionals invent terms to make their trade seem the more mysterious and wow, look at the stuff these guys know.

My dealings with faults were underground, long ago, and in simpler times. One moment the seam of mineral was there, the next it had vanished. Up, down or sideways. Call the geologist.

Sometimes the throw of the fault - the vertical displacement of rock - was only a foot or two, a step up or down; sometimes it was tens or hundreds of feet involving long sloping tunnels and curses from the management.

I thought faults underground were wonderful things. For a start they were right in front of you, just as the text book illustrated, not hidden beneath soil or vegetation. Faults on the surface are almost impossible to make out.

There were regular faults, reverse faults, step faults (Like a flight of stairs) and miniature Rift Valleys where a chunk of ground had subsided between two parallel faults. The fault plane was often the site of mineral crystals and still on my shelves is an ink bottle of petroleum; oil forced up the fault plane from strata hundreds of feet below us and of a different geological age. With pressure released by the excavation of the tunnel it dripped down for me to collect, thick as mud and pungent with sulfur.

I was young(ish) and wide-eyed in those days. I remember standing there for ages, bottle held to the roof, patiently waiting for the slow drip, drip, drip, and all the while wondering about the oil. That it had started out as organic matter gradually decomposing at the bottom of some vast and deep prehistoric lake.

Simpler days. Happy days.