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Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 NBA Finals: Take your Pick

We have an interesting match-up in this year's NBA finals. It will be Kobe Bryant's Lakers against the Big Three's Celtics. Two of the winningest franchises in NBA history. Champions of the last two NBA seasons. Who is really the better team this year?

The Lakers of course have Kobe Bryant. At this point even with the emergence of Lebron James, Kobe is still the true king who with his determination can will his tearm to the Finals as shown in this playoffs, injuries and all.

This year also, the Lakers have "hardened" Pau Gasol criticized in their past finals encounter against the Celtics as being soft. He was consistent in these playoffs often scoring at will while dominating the stat sheet.

Then there's the underappreciated Lamar Odom who is unstoppable if he wants to and Ron Artest who replaced Trevor Ariza from last year's lineup who was one of the heroes in the Suns matchup.

And who will forget Derek Fischer who tormented several teams in the past with his timely treys in the last second or even a fraction of a second in many important games.

They are last year's champs out for revenge against their tormenters before last year's finals. But somehow (sorry Chi-chi, sorry to many of my friends out there) I feel that the Celtics will go home with the championship trophy perhaps for the last time for the Big Three. Why?

  1. They have the big men to matchup with Gasol, Bynum and Odom. Garnett, Perkins, Wallace, Davis...most of them may be old but they can play rough and tough D. Look at what happened to the Cavs and Magic.
  2. They play defense well and they make good plays. Watching their plays making screens for their shooters are nice to watch.
  3. The Celtics have a deeper bench. Daniels, Nate Robinson, Wallace, Davis, Tony Allen can sustain the efforts of the first five both offensively and defensively.
  4. The Celtics are still hungry and perhaps they want it more. The Big Three want to prove critics wrong that despite their age, they can still win one more championship and cement their legacy. Sheed has the same feeling.
  5. Rajon Rondo is the man. He may not score in bunches but he makes good plays and breaks down defenses well to free up his shooters. Remember the dive for the ball against Jason Williams in the Magic series? Remember the last time the two teams met in the Finals where Rondo was a revelation. Rondo will still torment the Lakers and the Lakers guards cannot keep up with him.
How about you, what are your thoughts? Who do you think will win the finals this year?

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Earning Money while Logged In the Web

PKD is a very expensive disease to have. I have a pair of antihypertensive meds, alkalinizing meds, antibiotic taken indefinitely, vitamin B complex, to name some. So that additional sources of income are always a welcomed opportunity. Well non-PKD patients may also want to hear appears there is indeed a gold mine online waiting to be taken!

Since I always go online for research, social networking, emails, chatting, etc., why not do something on the side which may potentially earn me real money than playing Facebook games which earn me virtual money?

I went through several sites and researched a lot, careful that I will not fall prey to online scams in the future. Advantage goes to those living in the US and Canada for it appears there are more opportunities for surveys to come as well as other offers. But if one thinks these sites are not the source of main income, even Asians can join and benefit some of the said sites.

Below are some sites that I joined (free without charges), confident from reading many websites that they will someday deliver additional money slowly but surely through Paypal or check.

ONLINE PAID SURVEYS - Register, complete the profiles so they could match you for a certain survey. Once you qualify, answer truthfully then you are paid with cash, price, raffle ticket or gift certificates. Below are the legit sites according to expert reviews meaning they pay when they say they will pay.
1. SurveySavvy
2. American Consumer Opinion
3. Brand Institute

I also joined an online paid review site known as Review Stream where you could write reviews and get paid and I am hoping some of the products I have made (and will make) will be accepted. I am thinking of joining other paid to blog or paid to review sites like PayPerPost.

I have not received money yet for there is a minimum amount for you to be able to cashout like for example $10. The surveys have not come yet after a week of joining perhaps because there's none yet that would qualify for my profile. But the reviews that I have read seem really convincing for me to believe I will also eventually (hopefully with fingers crossed) reap the fruits so to speak.

I set up a separate email account for this online money-making purpose so that emails from these sites will not be mixed with my personal or job-related emails. I also checked my bulk email in case some of them ended up there.

Good news, too. I have not received trojans or viruses from visiting these sites.

After a year perhaps, let us evaluate and see our progress. Hopefully I have some dollars sent my way by that time.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What is It Like to Live in a Mini Farm: A Simple Life

I just got home from my annual summer vacation in my wife's hometown in Leyte province and I really enjoyed the experience. I got to live the life of a rural citizen.

Want to know what a typical day at a farm is? Then read on and enjoy the pictures below as well.

The day starts by waking up early preparing the food for the pigs and the guard dogs in the farm. Since the farm is just nearby, me and my wife decided to take a hike to savor the fresh air and the nice view of the mountains until we reach the sugarcane fields surrounding the entrance to the farm.

Then we went straight to the nipa hut or "bahay kubo" and watered the plants around it. The rest of our companions arrived and we proceeded to feed the dogs and the cute little noisy piglets that were so excited to see us. Continue reading to see the pictures of the cute piglets...(I hope you can distinguish which one is the real piglet.)

Then came the time to feed the chickens...

Then my father-in-law proceeded to the nearby river to take a bath the way folks usually do in the past. The continuously flowing water was crystal clear supplied by a natural spring from the mountains. Never mind that Leyte Province is known to be endemic for various parasites including Schistosomes, I dipped my feet in the water somehow confident that no such parasites exist in those waters. It was a good sign that I haven't seen human "land mines" floating in the water supporting my assumption that the water was indeed clean.

We further explored the place amazed at the fact that nature was well-preserved in this part of the map. The acacia trees are big and the greens were all over the place.

I just love the fresh air and the sound of birds and insects, a welcome feeling far from the pollution and irritating noise of the city.

The farm animals had their fill gastronomically-speaking. It was time to leave the farm for the meantime. The next trip to the farm was again at 4 PM and I did return to the farm that same afternoon.

At least even for just a day, I got to experience the life of a farm boy. It was simple, yes. No busy streets, no skyscrapers, no problems from work. Just me, my wife, our companions and Mother Nature....all natural...except...... for my laptop.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

PKD Patients, Beware of Caffeine

Caffeine or 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine found in coffee is said to be the reason why coffee drinkers could not live without having coffee for the day. It is said to have an addictive and stimulating effect.

I remember way back in high school and college when I was unaware I had PKD. I was really a consumer of both coffee and soda drinks most especially. Looking back, I think drinking caffeinated drinks sped up the growth of PKD cysts for me. Almost everyday in school, I drank soda beverage or softdrinks during break times. And breaking from the habit of gulping softdrinks is not easy as I often have cravings then.

But caffeine is a NO NO to PKD patients. It is because caffeine is believed to affect kidney and liver cysts' growth by stimulating cyclic AMP. Growth of cysts is believed to be also associated with increased kidney pain. And I am not taking about the excess calories even.

Caffeine indeed is not for all. Problem is, one my not be aware that what he or she is drinking has caffeine.

Below are some products and their corresponding caffeine content:

1. Softdrinks (12 ounce or 355 ml)
  • 7 Up or Sprite, regular or diet - 0
  • Coke Zero and Coke Classic - 35 mg
  • Pepsi, regular or diet - 36-38 mg
  • Mello Yello - 53 mg
  • Mountain Dew, regular or diet - 54 mg
  • Mug Root beer - 0
  • Fanta - 0
  • Mirinda - 0
2. Iced tea
  • Nestea iced tea, 12 oz. - 26 mg
  • Lipton Brisk Lemon iced tea , 12 oz. - 7 mg
  • Black tea , 8 oz. - 40-120 mg
  • Black tea decaffeinated, 8 oz. - 2-10 mg
3. Coffee
  • Generic instant, 8oz. - 27-173 mg
  • Generic instant or brewed decaffeinated, 8 oz. - 2-12 mg
  • Generic brewed, 8 oz. - 95-200 mg
  • Starbucks Vanilla Latte, 16 oz. - 150 mg
  • Dunkin Donuts brewed, 16 oz. - 143-206 mg
4. Red Bull energy drink 250 ml - 76 mg
5. Hershey's Milk chocolate, 43 g - 9 mg
6. Hershey's Special dark Chocolate - 31 mg

I did not know before that decaffeinated drinks still have caffeine. It is not only coffee that has caffeine. Even if the other softdrinks have no caffeine, it does not mean that we should liberally take in these drinks.

So PKD patients most especially, aside from avoiding these "yummy" drinks and food, please don't offer them to your children. Keeping them away from your children may mean a longer "life" for their kidneys avoiding the speedy growth of the cysts and thus avoiding the speedy deterioration of the kidneys.


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Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Nice to Have a Pet Dog

I know, I know. There is probably not any site regarding PKD which mentions this, but I think having a pet dog did wonders for me.

PKD, I can tell from personal experience and from visiting pkd websites is one disease where you will experience pain often. And as pain-reliever, you cannot just take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) especially when your kidneys are already impaired. And so it helps that during pain episodes, your mind does not dwell only on the experience of pain.

This is where pets (in my case, a dog) come in.

My dog seems to have magic. He always manages to bring a smile to my face even in times of pain.

He makes this Scooby Doo-like sound which is funny and "entertains" me and my wife with the way he "sits" on the sofa or the way he positions himself to sleep. Believe it or not, he barks while asleep (like a man talking in his sleep.)

He loves to have a massage but he hates taking a bath. He loves it when somebody touches his belly.

One time I had hematuria and abdominal pain, he seems to be also sick. Like he's also going through my suffering. I have always heard that talk from barrio folks before that pets especially dogs "absorb" their masters illness and I did not believe it but strangely that time, my dog was weak, unable to go up and down the bed, had difficulty standing and was dragging his body to crawl toward us. It was a poor sight to behold.

Luckily, he's now back to normal as I was also pain-free with no visible hematuria. He continues to be the clown in the house bringing us much joy making me forget I have PKD.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recent NBA Playoffs (Suns vs. Spurs) and Philippine Election Winners

I am happy for the Phoenix Suns especially Steve Nash who finally won over the San Antonio Spurs yesterday in their match-up after many years of futility. Nash was again bloodied like a boxer reminiscent of his bloodied nose in one of their playoff match-ups in the past with the Spurs when the latter won.

Not this time. Nash with one eye shut after getting 6 stitches willed the Suns to sweet victory teaming up with Stoudemire to finish off the Spurs.

Things were really different this time as they switch places. The Spurs who were very tough and "dirty" with Bowen, Horry and Oberto before were relatively "softer" this time around with Richard Jefferson not performing well as expected. The Suns on the other hand who were thought of as soft during D' Antoni's time were now tough and gritty. They were a hustling team with a never-say-die attitude thanks to their bench of Dudley, Frye, Amundson and Dragic plus the good defense of the "reinvented" Grant Hill.

Who would have thought the Suns would reach this position? Well, they have a big task at hand in their match-up. The Mighty Lakers. Win or lose though, the Suns have already overachieve. I am just happy for them.

On the other hand, I am not so happy with the results of yesterday's elections. Below are some interesting results:

  1. In the Senatorial race, as of this time, Lito Lapid is in at number 11 beating out Risa Hontiveros and Ruffy Biazon so far.
  2. Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada are top 1 and 2 senators respectively, ahead of veteran lawmakers Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Frank Drilon and JP Enrile.
  3. Lilia Pineda leads over Ed Panlilio
  4. Dy leads over Grace Padaca
  5. Manny Pacquiao appears to win as Congressman. Will that have an effect in his boxing career?
  6. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will most likely become a Congresswoman
For regional elections tally by GMA network click on this link.National tally here.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Election 2010: A Historic Moment for Our Country

It's a little more than an hour since voting was closed.

In one polling precinct with almost 1000 registered voters, some were not able to vote for they were not able to wait for their priority number to be called. This prompted one friend to say that in last year's elections, the voting was fast but the counting was very slow. Today the voting was slow and the counting expected to be fast.

Actually, voting itself was fast. It's just that the board of election inspectors are dealing with more voters due to the creation of clustered precincts equivalent to 4-5 precincts in the previous elections. Maybe in the next elections, the clustered precincts should be composed of lesser number of precincts or less than 1000 voters.

This election indeed serves as the "pretesting" phase for the subsequent automated elections.

Watching from the televised news programs, the reporting of results from the precincts appear to be fast though. Local election winners may be known within 24 hours or within this evening.

But I am not so far satisfied of the partial election results especially in the senatorial race. Popularity still seems to be the prevailing basis for selecting candidates. Example: One under-performing but very popular candidate is in the top 12 even if in the past this candidate admitted he performs betters as a local chief executive than as a lawmaker in Congress (where he admits he is out of place).

Want to know results for Cebu precincts?  Here is the link for Cebu.
For results for polling precincts all over the country, click here.

It's 830 AM. Just finished voting. I was voter number 45 in my precinct. The turnout rate so far is 40 per hour which is slow. Around 90 should vote per hour to finish 1000 in a precinct on time.

There was confusion in the giving of priority numbers and there was lack of a system in allowing voters entry into the holding area.

Some tips?
  1. Vote early. Locate your precinct and take note of your voter number.
  2. In shading, make a continuous circular motion so the ink will not blot through the paper affecting the other side of your ballot.
  3.  Be aware where your forearm is because your sweaty forearm or elbow may come in contact with the ballot paper.
  4. Do not fold the ballot paper.
  5. Remind the assigned teacher (BEI I think) to affix his or her signature on your ballot prior to loading the ballot in the PCOS.
  6. Wait for the "congratulations" in the PCOS before leaving the PCOS machine.
  7.  Bring a lot of patience.
  8. Continue to pray for the success of the election.

It's around 5 AM. Woke up early. I don't know but I am having the same feeling as when I am about to take a certifying board exam.. Never felt this way prior to voting...

I am thinking about the PCOS machines, the markers, the ballot...hope everything will be okey...I want to prepare myself early.

Candidates list...check. Handkerchief to wipe off sweat in the hands...check. Breakfast...check. Precinct number...check.

I am registered in a polling precinct quite far from my present address so I have to travel early.

Let's pray for an honest, orderly and peaceful elections. Vote wisely my countrymen! Updates later...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why Pacquiao will win over Mayweather

After the recent Mosley-Mayweather match, the debate over who really is the best pound-per-pound fighter intensified. Some would say Mayweather is it because not only has he shown his defensive prowess in the fight with Mosley but he also showed good offense. Nah!

I still say Pacquiao will win a fight against Mayweather if they get to face each other in the ring and here's why:
1. Mayweather has not faced a fighter in the same league as the Pacman.
  • Mayweather faced an old Mosley and despite that "Money" nearly got KOed by Sugar Shane in the 2nd round. Mayweather held Mosley all he could to avoid falling down. And we are talking of an old, easily tired Mosley here.
  • If Pacquiao was in Mosley's place, he could have followed up with a flurry of quick yet powerful punches.
  • Mayweather always fights the big names who are on their downhill. Mayweather was almost defeated by a de la Hoya past his prime. Mayweather fought a smaller Marquez at a weight past the agreed weight.
  • Pacquiao can take strong punches like that of Cotto so Pacquiao is not afraid to get hit in order to penetrate the opponent's defense.
2. Mayweather's punch lacks power. Pacquiao's punch is fast and at the same time power-packed.
  • Mayweather was not able to knock Mosley out. Look at Mosley's face. Yes Mosley was often hit but his face was still clean, No obvious swelling and bleeding. I bet Cotto's punch is harder than Mayweather's. Come to think of it, Mayweather hasn't even fought Cotto and apparently avoided Cotto in the past.
  • Manny Pacquiao's punch on the other hand packs power even if he is coming from a lighter weight division. When Pacquiao gradually went up claiming titles...surprise! His knockouts became more and more spectacular! Remember Hatton's knockout where poor Ricky fell down straight to the canvas?
3. Manny knows how to win a fight against a defensive boxer like Clottey. So Mayweather's defense will not matter.
4. Manny has the prayer and support of a million people behind him, Filipinos and non Filipinos alike. That's a psychic energy enough to topple Mayweather even without a punch.

So c'mon you two...Let's get it on! Let's get ready to rumble. Make the fight happen. People cannot wait to see Mayweather finally meeting his match. Get him Manny!

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Who Will You Vote for Philippine President? A Survey Among Friends/Readers

In a few days, it will be National Elections Day, a very crucial and pivotal time for our country.

There are different groups here and there supporting different Presidential candidates.

You have the Doctors for Gibo group, Volunteers for Noynoy among many others. It seems Cebu is divided with some also supporting Manny Villar.

There are also others who are undecided.

Surveys that have been publicized in the national papers have a different top 3 compared to surveys done by CBCP, Seven Eleven and other groups.I will not comment here who is reliable or not.

Just for fun (because I know this will not be really scientific), I decided to have my own poll here and I invite you to participate in this poll. I just hope more than 10 will participate so that hopefully I could post the results prior to the elections. Let me make a clarification though that I am not endorsing any candidate here, OK?

(NOTE: After the voting closed, here are the results: Aquino-4, Gordon-3, Teodoro-3, the rest 0. Thanks for voting.


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