Monday, March 12, 2018

Binging On Another Award Winning TV Series-Homeland

I just finished 8 seasons of an award winning TV series-Shameless. I searched for another award winning series in Showtime. I found the Series Homeland and now starting Season 1. Incase you have not heard of this TV series, here's a summary from Wikipedia.

Homeland is an American spy thriller television series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War (Original title Hebrew: חטופים‎, translit. Hatufim, literally "Abductees"), which was created by Gideon Raff.

The series stars Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, a Central Intelligence Agency officer with bipolar disorder, and Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody, a U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper. Mathison had come to believe that Brody, who was held captive by al-Qaeda as a prisoner of war, was "turned" by the enemy and poses a threat to the United States. The series focuses on a storyline that evolves from this premise, together with Mathison's ongoing covert work.

The series is broadcast in the U.S. on the cable channel Showtime, and is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios (formerly Fox 21). It premiered on October 2, 2011. The first episode was made available online, more than two weeks before the television broadcast, with viewers having to complete game tasks to gain access.

The series has been renewed for a seventh and eighth season; the eighth is planned to be the series' final season by the creators. The seventh season premiered on February 11, 2018.

The series has received generally positive reviews, with its first two seasons gaining universal critical acclaim. It has won several awards, including the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama and the 2012 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series for its first season, the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama for its second season, as well as the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, respectively.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Macrine's Tribulations Post Hip Surgery Last Week

Macrine's fell last Feb 28 when she got out of her walker. She did not scream ( last year she did). We were able to help her stand up and she walk with a slight limp. David and I examined her head, legs and arms and there were no bruises. She said she was ok except for a muscle pain on her thigh. We called Dr Kramer's office ( he was out of town) for a muscle relaxant. WE gave her aspirin and she was able to sleep. The next day her pain on the right thigh continues and Dr Kramer's office suggested we go to Urgent Care for an X'ray. After waiting at Urgent care for 2 hours Macrine got her X'ray. The result was not conclusive. Urgent Care suggested we sent her to the Emergency for Confirmation. We got a medical transport to the San Juan Mercy Hospital( Carmichael) nearby It took only 30 minutes for confirmation, that she had a fracture on her right hip and needed surgery immediately. Numerous tests, blood, and pre-operation procedures were done for her surgery in the morning. From the emergency room, Macrine was transferred to a Regular Hospital Room at the 6th Floor ( the Tower) of the newly built addition Hospital wing. The next morning she went to surgery as scheduled( March 1). Everything went smoothly. Dr Fujii, the orthopedic surgeon performed a closed reduction and percutaneous screw fixation on Macrine's right hip. After surgery Macrine was wheeled back to her Room on the Tower.

The room was spacious, clean and an extra couch bed where I slept overnight and for the next four nights after the operation. The nurses, assistants and medical services ( food and other amenities) were excellent except for one incident as Follows:

Since Macrine is diabetic her blood sugar was monitored closely. Her regular medication at home is 500mg of Metformin( Oral). However, the hospital do not used metformin as it can interfere with other tests according to the nurses. Instead they use long acting Insulin Injection. Day 2 Macrine was ready to set down and perky and got out of her bed. Her blood sugar ranges from 100 to 180. The Hospital doctor predicted she should be out in 2 more days if there are no infections ( no fever) and if her blood test ( every morning the Vampire attacks Macrine early at 5AM) are normal. In the night of Day 3, Macrine blood sugar was 100. I told the nurse not to give her the insulin. She did not listened to me so in the morning Macrine blood sugar went down to 65. Macrine was lethargic and slept all day. They give her Glucose in her IV. Her blood sugar went up to 270 and finally stabilized the next day at 140. She developed a fever, so they gave her Vancomycin and another antibiotic via IV. Macrine finally woke up from her lethargy ( 36 Hours). An EEG, MRI and CTS were done. All were normal and Macrine was discharged on March 5. We were immediately transferred to a Rehabilitation facility that same day.

We wanted to use Manor Care as the Rehab since last year we were able to get a private room for only $100 daily as my personal expense ( not covered by Insurance) and its five minutes from home. We were told they are not accepting patients because of FLU epidemic in the facility.

Today, David informed me there is article in the Wall Street Journal that Manor Care has filed for bankruptcy.

The Discharge Planner of Mercy was busy looking for alternatives. Our wish was a Private Room and within 30 minutes drive from our residence. She gave us a list of six facilities. One facility has a private room but will charge $265 additional fee and located in North Sacramento. The rest of the facilities had no private rooms opening. The Nearest Facility that is rated above average and near us was Whitney Oaks in Carmichael- only a 20 to 30 minute drive depending on traffic. I decided we give it a try.

We made a good decision to send Macrine at Whitney Oaks. The past 2 days, services had been excellent. It has a rating of 4.5 out of five. A few of their employees are Filipino-Americans. Their PT, Activity and Nursing Staff are headed by Fil-Americans who welcome us with service in their Hearts. So far so good. Another positive note, Macrine's room mate adore her and very protective of her if I am not around. There is no slept over as it is not a private room. Today, Macrine and I went to Catholic Mass on their Activity Room offered every Wednesday from 10:00 to 10:30AM. They have also Bingo once a week.

I have no idea how long Macrine will be on rehab, but I know Whitney Oaks was an excellent choice.

For more Information On Whitney Oaks Care read:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Sister Guia Nieva Jambalos will turn 80 Next Week

Sister Guia during her Annual Family Visit here in the US enjoying the Sights and Sounds of the San Francisco Bay Area, 2016

My sister-in-law, Guia Nieva Jambalos, rc., younger sister of my wife Macrine, will celebrate her 80th Birthday this coming March 4 in the Philippines. More than 150 guests have been invited. Unfortunately, because of Macrine's health we will not be able to attend. However, joining the celebration will be Jean Jambalos Maeda, also younger sister of Macrine, a resident of Alameda, CA. Speaking of Jean: She is the most thoughtful and loving sister of Macrine. She visits or calls Macrine regularly. She is a Registered Licensed Nurse and have two adult daughters. The other day she visited us with a few Pinoy dishes from the Hercules Filipino Store. Thank you Jean for your visit, kindness and thoughtfulness. Have a safe trip to the Philippines.

From L to R: Sr Emma Garcia, Macrine, Sr Guia ( postulant), Mama Ellen Nieva Jambalos, Sr Tessie Soriano(RIP) and Dr Rudy Jao.

Sister Guia joined the Order of the Cenacle Sisters in the early 1960's in Warrenville, Illinois. As a Cenacle Sister, she is called to surrender her whole life to God, through a threefold mission: prayer, community and spiritual ministry.

She desires to be filled with the love of Jesus that the fire of her Spirit may, through her ministry, enkindle and deepen faith. This ministry may take the form of retreats, spiritual direction, adult faith formation and other spiritual ministries.

She just recently retired, plan on spending her retirement years in the Cenacle Retirement House in Quezon City as well as spending her summer days in the beach house in Amoingon, Boac, Marindque, Philippines.

Visit with Sister Guia in Warrenville, Illinois. 1963

Visit the following site for more information on the Order of the Cenacle in Asia:

Here's one of the many retreat seminar topics that Sister Guia had been giving to the community in Davao and Quezon City, Philippines.

Befriending the Community Within Us - "Psychosynthesis I" by Sr. Guia Jambalos rc
Date: August 22-24 (Fri.7.30 pm to Sun. 4 pm)
Venue: 47, Jurong West St 42

Description: This seminar focuses on the integration of the personal and transpersonal self through valuing time of darkness and of joy and enlightenment, using obstacles as steps for spiritual growth.

Psychosynthesis is a process for psychological and spiritual growth. It aims to evoke wholeness and the dawn of a new and wider frame of reference in the human psyche. Nothing is meaningful as long as we perceive only separate fragments of our reality. As soon as the fragments come together into a synthesis, a new entity emerges, whose nature we could not have foreseen by considering the fragments alone. So, the aims at an integration of all the potentials we have been gifted with by God. These gifts buried in our unconscious needs to be surfaced, for us to appreciate and led to gratitude for all that we have and still need to been given 100% potentials for greatness.
Contribution: $150

Sister Guia celebrated her Golden Jubilee with the Cenacle in March 2013. Read the homily at:

Here's an article on Sr Guia involvement with the free elections( Corazon Aquino vs Ferdinand Marcos, 1986) in the Philippines:

Happy, Happy Birthday, Sister Guia. May the Lord Guide You, Always, Kuya Dave and Manang!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Welcome Visit from the Alex Chalfin Family and their Tesla Model S Electric Car

The Tesla Model S in our neighborhood.

Yesterday, we had a nice but a short visit from Alex and Elaine Chalfin and their two kids, Wesley and Samantha. Elaine (Lanie) is Macrine 's niece, the oldest daughter of Pepot (Fe) Jambalos. They were on their way to visit a friend in Folsom. Since Folsom is only 5 minutes away, they decided to visit us. They brought with them my favorite dish ( cooked by Merlet)-Chicken Adobo Sa Gata( Coconut milk). Again thanks a million, Merlet, Chalfin Family for the dish.
While Lanie was visiting Macrine, I ask Alex about Lanie's electric car-Tesla Model S, 2013. ( see photo above). He asked me If I have ever ridden or drove an electric car. I said no, so Alex drove me around the neighborhood for 5 minutes. It was the smoothest and quietest ride I have experience in my life. The car made me feel like a millioneer. I did some Internet search on this car and here a summary for your information.
2013 Tesla Model S Overview: The Model S is powered by an electric motor, and test drivers are amazed by its responsive nature and ample power. A single-speed transmission is standard. The EPA reports that the 2013 Tesla Model S can go 208 miles on a charge with a 60 kWh battery pack, which is exceptional for an electric vehicle. Still, the Model S’ 94/97 mpg equivalent isn’t quite as good as the fuel economy equivalent ratings of less expensive electric vehicles, like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Ford Focus Electric. Test drivers write that the Model S’ precise steering and athletic handling add to the exciting driving experience, and while some cars sacrifice ride quality for agility, the available air suspension keeps the Model S comfortable and composed over imperfect roads.

Many auto writers note that the 2013 Tesla Model S’ cabin is just as innovative as its powertrain. While one reviewer complains about wind noise in his test car, others gush about the 2013 Model S’ attractive, modern design and quality construction. Most auto writers say that the Model S’ standard five-seat cabin offers plenty of space in both rows. A pair of optional jump seats in the cargo area can increase seating capacity to seven, though test drivers write that these seats are only intended for small children. The automotive press agrees that the crown jewel of the interior is the vivid 17-inch touch-screen display, which they say is highly-customizable and easy to use.

The 2013 Tesla Model S comes with a backup camera, dual-zone automatic climate control and a seven-speaker stereo with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and two USB ports. Optional features include a panoramic moonroof, an upgraded stereo and a tech package that includes a power liftgate, automatic keyless entry, navigation and a high-definition backup camera.

2013 Model S Price Increase
George Blankenship, Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Ownership Experience November 29, 2012


We originally unveiled the Model S in March 2009 with a base price of $57,400 ($49,900 after federal tax credits). Today, Model S is the most award-winning car of the year and the base price remains at $57,400, the same price set over three and a half years ago. During this same period of time most automotive companies have had at least three price increases and general inflation (CPI) has gone up 8.75 percent. A straight 8.75 percent CPI increase would now yield a base price for Model S of $62,400, an increase of $5,000. We are increasing prices only half that amount, giving Model S a new base price of $59,900 before federal tax credits.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Time for Some Violin and Piano Music-Sibelius Violin Concerto

The news of the passing of Macrine's first cousin ( Rene Elizalde Nieva) a couple of days ago caused a lot of turmoil in our household. For the last three days, Macrine kept on asking me when and what time is the wake. She wants to attend the funeral services. I told her its impossible since we are in the US and the service is in the Philippines. Today she finally calm down and realize our situation. With this in mind its about time to have some Piano and Violin Music! We dedicate this piece to Rene Elizalde Nieva! May you rest in Peace, Amen!

2015 Heifetz Institute Artist-In-Residence Ji-Won Song performs a stunning rendition of the Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 by Jean Sibelius, in a piano reduction featuring Heifetz faculty collaborative pianist Carlos Avila. Performed at a "Heifetz Sunday Matinee" concert at the 2015 Heifetz International Music Institute, located on the campus of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA.

More Details:

Two Comments of this Performance:

1.labémolmineur : I don't think the point was to laugh at the end of her introduction. She was being serious, and Sibelius's tragedy should not be laughable. What a moving performance, from both violinist and pianist. I love that Ji-Won Song is sensitive (and humble) enough to allow the pianist to be a whole orchestra and that this is played intact, no cuts- an intense, continuous story, delivered by two equal artists.

2. elgatosucio : I dare to say this young girl is one the great one of this opening century. Perfect technique and pure passion. She makes the violin talk, scream and cry. Just sparks coming out of that instrument. Congratulations on the pianist too. They are both incredible musicians.

Notes about Sibelius from Wikipedia: Jean Sibelius was born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius on December 8 1865 and died on September 20, 1957 in Finland. He was a composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.

The core of his oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies which, like his other major works, continue to be performed and recorded in his home country and internationally. His other best-known compositions are Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto, the choral symphony Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela (from the Lemminkäinen Suite).

Other works include pieces inspired by nature, Nordic mythology, and the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, over a hundred songs for voice and piano, incidental music for numerous plays, the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), chamber music, piano music, Masonic ritual music, and 21 publications of choral music

Personal Note: Carlos( pianist)is Macrine's nephew-only son of Charro Jambalos-Macrine's youngest sister.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

A Tribute to Rene Nieva-Macrine's First Cousin

Rene Nieva, Macrine's first cousin on her mother side of the Family (Nieva Clan of Marinduque) passed away yesterday after three weeks at the ICU in the Philippines. He was just like a younger brother to us. His life is filled with accomplishments as a writer, PR man, a loving husband, Father and Grand father. Attached are some of his personal and professional accomplishments and a couple of photographs of our family personal relationship with Rene and his family. We will missed you Rene, But I know You are in Peace Now! Macrine and I love you very much!!!
I can not stopped crying!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Surprise Visit from Dinah, Ian and Sara DiCampli

Today we have a surprise visit from my oldest daughter Dinah- a resident of Oregon ( Portland area). She and a friend from Walnut Creek ( Tom) along with Ian(-Dinah's only son) and his girlfriend Sara from Roseville spent 2 hours with us enjoying Chinese lunch- courtesy of Dinah.

Ian and Sara DiCampli

Both Macrine and I are ecstatic of their visit specially Macrine who is suffering from Cabin fever. We had not been to our neighborhood Casino for the last three weeks-because we are scared of the Flu epidemic in our neighborhood.

The last couple of days Macrine had been suffering mild confusion a side effect of one of her medications for her Parkinson. She wants me to drive her to our beach house in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque. Philippines.

However, after Dinah's visit Macrine's mood improved. She is now binging on the Sees Chocolate candies that Dinah gave her for her advance Valentine gift. Dinah and Ian: Thanks a million again for your visit, the Chinese lunch and the See's Candies.

Hope to see you soon!

Monday, January 29, 2018

Latest Developments on the Treatment of Parkinson Disease

Dinah's Visit last Year- Macrine's enjoyed very much visit from relatives. A phone call from relatives and friends are most welcome!

In the next couple of weeks will be the 5th year after Macrine was officially diagnosed with Parkinson Disease. Today I believe she is on Stage 2, thus the medications, diet and exercise did retard the progression of her debilitating nervous system disorder. There are days when she feels she can do anything even cook or travel, but there are days when she is down and could barely walk. Most of the time she sleeps about 10 to 12 hours per day as side effect of her medication. Sometimes she is confused and thinks she is in the Philippines. She sometimes forget where she places things. You have to remind her of taking her medications etc...

I am lucky and grateful that our youngest son (David III) helps me taking care of His Mom on his day off from work. Otherwise my duty as the primary care taker would be unbearable. We are in the process of hiring part-time help ( not covered by my insurance) to help me with daily care and demands of Macrine, my spouse for over 60 years now. One of the positives, I learned for being a primary care giver was to be more patient and understanding.

Again, thank you David III for your help! Thanks to all relatives and friends who had visited Macrine both here in the US and in the Philippines. Special thanks to those relatives who call Macrine regularly just to say Hello. I would not mentioned names but you know you are and indeed we highly appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness. Keep the call coming, rain or sunshine!

The Nieva Brothers and their wives visit in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines 2016 ( From L to R: Yong, Rene, Genny, Wendy, Oski, Macrine and Me)

Below is the latest development on treatments of Parkinson Disease for your information. Read on..

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Did Your Parents Give You a Lucky Name?

Image from

My late Mother-in-law had given my wife a formula based on numbers for predicting whether a marriage, a birth of a child or any addition to your household will bring good or bad luck or even death to your family or household. My wife had followed this formula when we assigned names to our four children. I am not superstitious, but I follow it also, because I have witnessed several cases of relatives in the Philippines, that had suffered early death, divorce or sickness because the combination of the baptismal names of the couples falls into the category of CONDENADO ( meaning condemned or death). This an update.

There are five categories, BUENAS( good luck), DUDUSO ( doubtful), PELIGRO ( danger), MALAS( bad luck) and CONDENADO. I have the number values for the 26 alphabets and the numbers that are suppose to be lucky, doubtful, danger, bad luck or condemned. But my wife refused to give her permission that I divulge this in my blog. But here is the essence of this pseudo science of numerology.

The 26 alphabets are assigned numerical values from zero to 26. Some of the alphabets have the same values. Eight alphabets are valued 12, four alphabets are valued 9, three alphabets are valued 18, and the rest from of the alphabets are valued from zero to 26.

The letters in your Baptismal name is added. This sum tells the numerologist if your number is either of the above five categories. Then the baptismal name of your wife is also added. The sum of your name and your spouse is added. If it exceeds 30, you start counting to 1. If you have a baby, the baptismal name of the baby is added to both husband and wife's total. Any addition to the household, even household help must be considered especially if the maid, cook or gardener lives in your house.

So how will you know if the sum of all the names in your household will bring you good or bad luck?

There is a list of lucky numbers, unlucky numbers, doubtful numbers, danger numbers and condemned numbers. There are 7 lucky numbers among them are 7, 9 and 11. There are eight unlucky numbers among them are 4, 8, and 29. There are 20 doubtful numbers among them are 5, 6 and 27. There are 8 danger numbers among them 12, 15 and 23. There are 8 condemned numbers among them are 3, 13 and 30.

Let me cite a specific example. My name "David" has a numerical value of 30 or zero. From the chart of 5 categories it is a bad number. So my parents did not give me a lucky name. But if you combined it with my wife's name value 21 our total is 21. The number 21 is doubtful. When our oldest son was born we made it sure that the combination of our 3 names is among the lucky numbers of 1,3,7, 9, and 11.

This numerology system is similar but not identical to the Chinese numerology. For example number 4 is a pretty bad number in Cantonese, for it sounds death, but in this system 4 is a good number. Eight is a good number in Chinese, but a danger number in this system. Both 1 and 9 are good numbers in Chinese and in my mother-in-law numerology chart.

Curious? I am sorry I can not elaborate more on this. My wife says, it will be bad luck to give details of this Numerology Activity that my Mother-in-law had been practicing for years when she was still alive. Evidently, this has been passed from generation to generation and believe to have originated from Spain. Have you heard a similar activity in your local province in the Philippines, UK or in Spain?.

Read the following related article:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Binging on the Widely Acclaimed TV Series-Damages

Last week, I started watching an old TV series that I have heard but have never watched. The series is titled Damages which premiered in 2007. It has 5 seasons and I just finished Season 1 and 2. I enjoyed these two seasons very much so I did some web search on this series and here's a brief summary from Wikipedia.

Damages is an American legal thriller television series created by the writing and production trio Daniel Zelman and brothers Glenn and Todd A. Kessler. It premiered on July 24, 2007, on FX, and aired for three seasons before moving to the DirecTV channel Audience Network in 2010, airing for two further seasons and concluding in 2012.

The plot revolves around the brilliant, ruthless lawyer Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) and her newest protégée, recent law school graduate Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). Each season features a major case that Hewes and her firm take on while also examining a chapter of the complex relationship between Ellen and Patty. The first two seasons center on the law firm Hewes & Associates (located in New York City). Later seasons center more on Patty and Ellen's relationship as Ellen attempts to distance herself from Hewes & Associates professionally and personally.

Known for its depiction of season-long cases from the point of view of both a law firm and an opponent, the series is also noted for the technical merit of its writing, including its effective use of plot twists and nonlinear narrative. The series has received critical acclaim and various award nominations, with Close and Željko Ivanek winning Primetime Emmy Awards for their performances.

Other established actors in the cast include Ted Danson, William Hurt, Marcia Gay Harden, Timothy Olyphant, Martin Short, Lily Tomlin, John Goodman, Ryan Phillippe, Dylan Baker, Janet McTeer and John Hannah.

Season 1 focuses on a class action lawsuit against the fraudulent multi-billionaire CEO of a defunct company; the plot was inspired by various corporate scandals and characters involved in them, most notably the 2001 Enron scandal. Season 2 deals with the energy industry and related environmental issues; the story is influenced by recent and ongoing environmental cases in the United States in the mining industry and by the events of the 2001 California energy crisis. The writers were guided by environmental lawyer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who shared his experience in the field with various corporations and CEOs. Season 3 is largely based on the 2009 Bernie Madoff scandal. Season 4 describes events based on the Blackwater Security Consulting scandal. Season 5 storyline was inspired by the vicissitudes of the whistleblower website WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

Looking forward to viewing Season 3,4 and 5 in the next three weeks. If you like legal drama, mystery and thrillers, this is a must viewed TV series.


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