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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

One of My Email addresses was hacked

Someone hacked one of my email addresses during the last two weeks and has been sending out spam for a porn site.  Found that out this morning when about 100 emails bounced back because of some kind of error in the mail formatting.  When I investigated further, it looks like someone started doing this about two weeks ago from phony locations all over the world.  So if you received a spam email from me during the last two weeks, I am sorry if it offended you.  Its looks like they used my userid to send their spam to their own mailing list for the most part so hopefully most of you who are on my contacts list didn't get anything.

The passwords have been changed and I also put in some additional security measures so hopefully that will keep them out.  There is a recent activity option in Yahoo mail that shows who, what, and where the last log ins were.  That's were I found out the current hacker was using my ID from Russia. Once I found out, I quickly changed all my Userids and hopefully it was soon enough to prevent further loss of data.

Had a quiet weekend.  My OnePlus 5 didn't come in on Friday but its due to be delivered today. Once I have it I can begin to migrate my apps and data over to the new phone.  It will likely be the phone that I will bring and use when I get back to the land of smiles.

On the home front, B tells me that they have finally opened a movie house in town.  Previously, we had to drive almost an hour and a half to Korat if we wanted to see a current movie.  Now we have a place in town!  The big kids went to see the new Transformers 5 movie and it cost them only 50 baht !  Don't know the quality of the movie screen or sound system, but 50 baht sure sounds like a bargain.  The also have a new Moo Ka Tat buffet place near the theater as well.  Its all you can eat for 199 baht.  Bangkok used to have many of these restaurants, but word got around about them and too many big eaters put almost all of them out of business.  From the pictures, they have a pretty good selection of seafood and other items.  Will definitely sample the place when I get back and do a complete review...555

Lastly, this Thursday will be the six week mark of my recovery.  Based on the info they gave me, the first phase of recovery is over and my weight and many other restrictions are lifted.  However, the warning of caution is given that don't do any sudden or violent movements (i.e. sports) for another month or so, depending on how the sternum feels.  Have a lab test today and about 2 more weeks before my final exam with my cardiologist and then its back to the Mango!

Feel so good that I might go the the county fair this week.  I believe that Thursday is a free day for seniors....can't think of a better way to spend time outdoors than at the county fair.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Marina's Birthday...

My name is Marina, not Moana...555
Four years ago, I was on a plane between Kalifornia and Bangkok when she was born.  She was early, about one month early because I intended to get back to the Land of Smiles in plenty of time to see her being born.  But her water bag broke and she was born while I was still in the air.  Funny thing is that I talked to B at the airport and all was well, only to find out she had the baby while I was in Taipei.  After I landed, I rushed to the hospital to see her and B, both were doing well except that Marina eventually had to go under the Bilirubin lights because her liver was still catching up with her early delivery. 

Its been four short years.  Lots of diapers, night time wake ups, and crying but we would not have it any other way.  You are special and bring joy to all those you meet.  

Seems like just yesterday...Marina at hospital, one day old

Now she is four today, attending Pre-School and is a feisty little bundle of joy.  Happy Birthday my dear daughter...Thanks for bringing so much joy to our lives.  Please don't grow up too fast.

Wish I was there...but was there only via videocam...

Friday, June 23, 2017

They don't call this place Fog City for nothing

View from my window this morning.  Can usually see Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridges
Its not quite 7AM here and last night the famous San Francisco Fog rolled in big time and its still here this morning.  As I am getting ready for my walk, I'm deciding how much clothes to put on because its cold out there!  Went from weather in the 30C range to 14C this morning.  That's how quickly the weather changes here.  The fog will be a welcome relief for those just inland of us as it will moderate their near record breaking temps.

Still recovering by walking every day.  Gained back about 3 pounds but want to keep it no more than that and currently feeling very little chest pain except when I cough or sneeze real hard.  The chest is still sensitive to the touch and I won't be pounding it hard any time soon.  

Lastly, my Oneplus 5 should arrive today.  Hopefully it won't be too hard to migrate all the apps and contacts over as I want to use it when I get back to the land of smiles.  Quiet weekend planned...maybe the idea time to play with my new electronic toys...555

Thursday, June 22, 2017

No heat wave here.....

There is a lot of news regarding the record heat that we are seeing in different parts of the country and around the world.  In the UK, they are experiencing record temperatures in the mid to high 30C range while here in the Southwest, temperatures like 47C to 48C are likely.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, we have a very unique condition.  We have micro climates that can vary the weather by 20C in just a 40 KM distance.  We can have temperatures near 40C inland, and if one drives towards the coast, it will soon be in the 20C range.  Its not at all unusual during our summer months for this to happen because of our unique geography.  In fact, one used to easily spot the tourists to the big city because they were the ones freezing in shorts and wearing San Francisco sweatshirts they bought in desperation.

For example it will be 42C inland (about 25 KM) and only 26C for highs today along the bay. Having grown up along the coast during my childhood, I liked the cooler weather, but since living in the land of smiles the last few years, I miss having some heat once in a while.  I enjoy being in shorts and going out without a jacket which is a treat for us coastal dwellers.  And the San Francisco Fog, while beautiful in post cards and Tony Bennett's Song, can be a real drag if you live here.  So...I'm counting the days.

Tomorrow will be five weeks to the day since the operation.  Walking 2 1/2 - 3 miles a day in the morning and then having a pretty normal day.  Still sensitive near my sternum, and that won't get better for another couple of months according to sources.  Will wait until after week six and then will gradually increase my heart rate during the exercises.  All in all, my recovery is coming along exceptionally well and should be near normal when I get back in mid July.  I actually feel like I'm in better cardio shape than before the surgery in many ways.  Weight training will have to wait a bit more.

On the home front, I get pictures and talk with the girls a couple of times a day.  Definitely homesick but not much I can do until I get all the medication sorted out and a final exam from the doctor the first week of July.  Marina will be four in a couple of days and I'm sad that I can only participate at her birthday party by video conferencing but I promised her another 'special' party when daddy gets home.  I hope she will understand and remember how much I wanted to be there when she grows up.

They are both growing like weeds and I regret the time I spent away from them, but it was a blessing in disguise because I could have had major heart problems later if the issue was not taken care of early.  I believe what I went through added many many more years to be with them.

Time for some breakfast and to get ready for that morning walk.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The OnePlus 5 just launched

Yep, it officially launched 1 hour ago.  For those that are interested, the phone is priced at $479 for the basic model and $539 for the 8GB Ram, 128 GB storage version in black.  Specs to match all the latest high end models from Samsung, Apple, etc. A true flagship killer at 1/2 the price.  I've been waiting for this model, having skipped the Oneplus 3 and 3T models the last couple of years.  Just ordered one with their early drop special and should be here on Friday!

Drop me a comment and I will give you the special code to get an early release if you are interested. The official sales launch for the USA is not until June 27th.  In case you missed it, here is the official launch live streamed on YouTube.  Its starts at approximately 24 minutes into the video for those that want to skip to the heart of the presentation.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Found Marina's box of toys....

We finally located Marina's box of toys.  It was sent last month before my heart surgery for her birthday next week and never arrived.  The tracking shows that it cleared customs and left Bangkok's main post office and was on its way to delivery in the country.  The tracking was wrong and it never arrived.

So I started a inquiry and claim process for the package here in California and lo and behold, they 'found' the package. Its currently stuck in airport customs in Bangkok, so someone lied about it leaving the facility.  They never sent out notification regarding how to claim the package to us at the resort and if it weren't for my followup and claim for insurance, it would have stayed there until Thai customs declares it abandoned.  They must really like the toys.

Anyway, B is in the big mango with her mom visiting her aunt and went out to claim the package. She had to go to the police first to get a report that the notification form was 'lost' (even though the customs people could never produce a copy of the notification).  Then when she got there another problem surfaced.  Since the package was addressed to Marina instead of her, she needed Marina's birth certificate to prove that she had the legal right to get the package.  Well, the birth certificate is back at the resort - its not something that one carries around everyday.  Plus it has to be the original and not a copy.  Anyway, B is going to take the bus tonight and do a flip flop to get the document and be back in the mango tomorrow.  We are determined that Marina is going to get her birthday gift.

I've heard many horror stories about Thai customs but this is my first experience where things are so mucked up.  All the other times, the stuff goes right through and nothing is ever missing.  I guess someone really liked Marina's toys and wanted them for their kids or maybe its just a change of policy that requires someone to come all the way to Bangkok to claim a package.

The toys are special however.  They are hard to get and come all the way from England, plus they are on the expensive side. Never heard about the characters until Marina got hooked on watching them on YouTube.  She previously was a Peppa Pig fan, and got lots of toys from me for that series.  Four year olds get bored fast and well now, she likes "Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom".  Anyway, here is a sample of the series - warning, don't let your kids get hooked on it or you will be buying some expensive toys....5555  The series was originally released back in 2009 in the UK by the same company that produced the Peppa Pig series.  Many of the character voices are the same people as well.

One of the many sets I sent her...would you believe its $37 USD?
On the recovery front, I am doing well.  Still walking every morning about 2 miles and then another 1 1/2 miles for the rest of the day.  I seldom go under 8,500 steps and can do most things like  before my surgery.  My chest is still tender and I won't be lifting anything heavy for a while, but other than that, its great to be back.  

The chest incision is still very visible, but my left leg has gotten a lot better.  The bruising is almost all gone as well as the discoloration.  It looks like I will be able to wear shorts again when I get back to the Land of Smiles!  Will still have a couple of scars on the leg, but can't complain about that considering where the veins went.

Less than a month left before the jump over to the mango.  Can't wait as I miss home so very much.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Father's Day....

On this father's day, I wanted to acknowledge the guy who made my life possible.  My father.  

He was a special guy and like many of his generation, came to the USA with nothing in his pockets but just hopes for a better future.  He was one of ten brothers and only 17 years old when he made his first trip over.  To make ends meet, he worked three jobs.  He was a houseboy to a rich and famous California golden age family, he washed dishes at a restaurant part-time, and at night he washed bottles for a local bottling company.  His hands were often cut from damaged bottles and he told of having to wake up with little or no sleep to serve his host family breakfast and tea. During the depression, they lived on discarded fish heads from the local markets. Somehow, he went to enough school to learn rudimentary English.

During the war, he was a cook on a warship even though he wasn't a citizen yet and somewhere along the line, he returned to China enough times to eventually conceive my brother and myself, and to eventually bring us all to the USA before the Communists took over the country in the late 40s.  He made his money through hard work and aggressive saving.  We ran a grocery store which was open 12 hours a day and open every day of the year for decades.  He had some luck in stocks and eventually a few of his real estate investment yielded success.  For a self taught man, he did pretty well, but always wanted his kids to do better and "to get an education".  He realized that things would always be stacked against us and so he encouraged us to always do well in school.  A good education was the equalizer and I was lucky.  With both his encouragement and my mother's constant reminders, I was the first in the family to graduate from college.  

Standing on his shoulders gave me an advantage financially, and I tell my kids that they will have the advantage of standing on both his shoulders and hopefully mine to reach their goals.  They also will have the responsibility of being caretaker and building upon their grandfather's legacy for their own kids and to educate them as to where they came from and their subsequent responsibility.  

So today I say "Thanks Dad" for everything.  I wish you could see me now and I want so much to talk to you again and to tell you all that has happened.  But I think you know already, and have been watching over me all these years.  Happy Father's day dad....

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mobility again.....

Feels really good to be able to drive again.  Made a trip for lunch and even visited Costco yesterday for some supplies.  Living in the Bay Area without a car is very difficult but its doable.  But having a car and driving makes life so much better - especially the next few days because we are finally getting some summer weather.

Still walking everyday.  In fact, had one of my highest step counts yesterday - 10,359.  Even on the first day of driving, I had over 8,000 steps so the driving is not compromising my exercise schedule.  

On the recovery front, I have been totally off any kind of pain medicine for over a week, but my sternum is sensitive to the touch and certain movements quickly remind me that I had surgery in that area.  I can feel the fabric on my chest now and plan to wear a chest protector when I drive.  Likely need to do this for a few more weeks just to be safe.  Found an inexpensive sternum protector for those who are riding offroad bikes and it works great.  As mentioned previously, I think the nerve endings are rebuilding and I should be expecting feelings like tingling, itching, etc as they grow back.  

On the home front, Marina is sick and missed school yesterday.  She has a cold or the flu as she is running a temperature and had a runny nose.  Its inevitable that kids get sick when they start school and not only that, they bring it back and get everyone else in the family sick also.  I have to be careful when I get back to stay healthy as the last thing I need is to get the flu during the last stages of my recovery.  

Lastly, I've been ordering some linen clothing to bring back with me to the land of smiles.  I can't play golf for the next few months and so my usual outfit of a polo shirt and shorts is going to be replaced with some linen tops - beachwear.  Linen is a very unique product and is used often in tropical and hot climates like we have in the land of smiles.  Made from flax instead of cotton, its supposed to keep the skin 3-5 C degrees cooler than other fabrics. The only issue is that they wrinkle badly, but I don't mind because I'm not working anymore, not out to impress anybody, and everyday is a vacation day.  For a more formal setting, I can always wear something else.

There are lots of father's day sales underway and I was able to pick up shirts from Cubavera.com with multiple discounts as they are offering a 40% off sale on their entire site in addition to their sale prices.  This is great for me as I will not be able to get this kind of clothes in the land of smiles due to size and style limitations.  Here is the link to their site:  Cubavera.com   Don't worry about ordering as they are a division of Perry Ellis International.  Tommy Bahama and Orvis also has many shirt styles made from linen and they can be pretty cheap on eBay. Will test a couple of  them the next few days in the warm weather we are getting.

The Tommy Bahama Beachy Breezer

That's it for now from DubNation  Have a wonderful weekend.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Four Weeks

Today is a big milestone for me.  Its been four weeks since my surgery and I am planning to drive again after undergoing a rapid recovery.  Normally, the conservative driving interval is 6 weeks, but I've seen ranges from 3 weeks to as much as 8 weeks.  Naturally, a lot depends on the individual as everyone heals at a different rate.  A lot also depends on the condition of the individual prior to surgery as well as the healthier the person is prior to surgery usually results in a more rapid recovery.  I was fortunate that I did not have any symptoms prior to the surgery and was able to exercise and get into good shape just prior to me leaving for Cleveland.  Its also around four weeks before I head back home as I wrap things up here for this trip.

Still continuing my morning walks and have been averaging 7,500 -8,800 steps per day with my pace steadily picking up.  Hope to do the long route starting next week and by week six, I want to be back at my previous cardio levels.

Even though I can drive today, I am staying far away from the Warriors victory parade in Oakland.  They are expecting more than 1 million people in downtown Oakland, same as it was three years ago.  Just saw on TV that people are already on the parade route - some got there as early as 7 AM.  I like the Warriors, but not enough to brave 1 million fans in downtown Oakland after just four weeks of recovery from open heart surgery...

Plans are for a pleasant father's day weekend and then I will slowly prep and shop for goodies to bring back to the land of smiles.  Request for buddies in the LOS:  Don't ask for me to bring stuff this time around as I will be limiting the weight of my single bag to just essentials.  I will gladly bring stuff on my next trip back for you!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Between weeks three and four

Thursday will be four weeks since the actual surgery and supposedly 2/3 of the way to full recovery for whatever that means.  On Thursday, I plan to start driving again on a limited basis. I've been starting the truck every week in the parking lot and moving to different spaces without any pain or apparent restrictions so hopefully going to the local market and or Target Store won't be a big deal. Primarily trying to avoid any issues regarding insurance coverage should I get into an accident - namely why did I go back to driving so soon.

Have been continuing to walk everyday and easily top 8,000 steps.  I am almost walking at the same speed as before surgery and walking the same route and distance as before.  Not quite back to normal as I can feel a tenderness in the chest and a low level pain if I try to do too much with the upper body. No other issues as even my cough has almost completely gone away.

I credit a lot of my fast healing to  fresh Pineapples.  Believe it or not, I think that eating the fresh pineapples each day has helped both the incision to heal faster as well as cure my sinus problems thus curing my cough. The Bromelain in the pineapple acts to reduce inflammation and promote healing.  In fact, many people are taking Bromelain supplements in place of pain drugs like Tylenol, etc. It also helps reduce joint pain from Osteoarthritis.  I was a skeptic, but the results speak for themselves as I am positive it has made my recovery easier and faster.  By the way, the canning process destroys all the Bromelain enzymes so eating canned pineapples or drinking canned juice does not have the same benefits.  It must be fresh, fresh, and fresh. Also the core (the section most people toss), has the greatest concentration of Bromelain.

The local team did it!  The GS Warriors are the NBA Champions again.  Celebrated last night by ordering a couple of team jerseys.  Got one of the Curry and another of the Durant jerseys and will wear them when I do my daily walks in the land of smiles.  Won't wear them here in this area as I might end up dead somewhere with no top on....5555

Precious Ella is now 10 months old..
Just household chores today and maybe a visit to the local market.  Counting the days for that ride on the big silver bird back to the land of smiles.  Will get at least, to be at Ella's first birthday party!!!! Boy has she grown up to be a pretty baby.  Going to need a shotgun around to keep the young boys away...555.  Life at home is great, but its just that I'm not there.

I am missing all the fun.......555