Travel Preparations Go High Tech

Tomorrow I leave for the province with the 2 girls. Hubby and boys follow the next day.

I am looking forward to these next 2 weeks in so many ways. First, it’s my in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary. Big celebration. Lots of guests, Family coming home from abroad. Reunions galore. Food everywhere. Yup, I think I am gonna love this vacation. And maybe, just maybe, I will finally gain some decent weight…..

Of course, the flip side is all the work I need to bring with me since I am in the middle of a systems implementation project which requires decisions, consultations, teleconferences, and so on.

My kumpare Lito (who works for this company I consult for) gave me the 4-1-1 on how I can be up and running and in touch with the project team through my 3G handset (which I got because it looked nice but never went as far as using it to surf the internet).

This is what I went through:

1. Bought a Smart prepaid SIM (Smart only charges P10 for half an hour — like an internet cafe — while Globe charges by kilobyte downloaded, which will quickly empty your load).  Loaded P300 on it.

2. Configured my phone’s settings and installed Nokia PC Suite on hubby’s laptop

3. Set up via PC Suite the internet connection so the laptop could recognize my Smart wireless connecton

4. Tested everything by logging onto Smart via laptop and voila! I WAS CONNECTED!

Now, it means I can check email and chat with my project team members either via my 3G mobile or on the laptop, using the mobile as a modem.

Hey! I learned something new!

Also found out that my in-laws’ place is a wi-fi spot. Woohoo!

So maybe I need not say good-bye to all of you because it looks like I could actually get some blogging squeezed in during this vacation. Unless…..I get bogged down practicing (I heard we need to prepare for a program during the dinner celebration!!!).

Oh…and yeah! Guess what else I am lugging along….

MY YOGA MAT!

Hahaha. Hope to do my teacher Pio proud!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, everyone!

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Theory: Does a Balanced, Married Life = Longer, Healthy Life?

This article was my next post but somehow, it got stuck in my inbox for weeks due to work at the office. Today, I finally resolved to get it out and into print.

I found an interesting article in the Inquirer by Cory Quirino. Below is an excerpt from that article:

Age is a result of who you are
By Cory Quirino
Inquirer
09/03/2007

People who survive longest are those who have found balance in several aspects of their lives.
Psychiatrist George Vaillant (Harvard) says the best adapted to their psychological life live longer. This situation is characterized by:

1. Stability in family life
2. Satisfying marriage
3. Hardly living alone
4. Continued growth in career
5. Absence of disabling mental illness
6. Not an alcoholic
7. Few chronic illnesses

Hmmmm…interesting! And I always thought that married people lived shorter lives due to the very hectic schedules of work, children, in-laws, etc.

But doing a little googling, I came across another article that reinforces this one. Carla Garnett wrote a piece on Dr. Linda Waite, professor of sociology and director of the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago, who claims that people who marry live longer and healthier than people who don’t.

Dr. Linda Waite

Dr. Linda Waite (photo courtesy of The National Institutes of Health)

“Marriage affects health,” she asserted. “Being married, staying married, being part of a married couple changes people’s choices. It changes their behaviors and that changes people’s outcomes — particularly their health outcomes.”

Garnett, in her article, continues,

To link marriage to health, Waite used a large national data set to follow the probability of survival for more than 6,000 adults ages 43 to 65 throughout an 18-year period. The results indicated that many more married women and married men were still alive at age 65; far fewer people who never married, people who divorced, and widowers survived to that age. Widows seemed to retain some of the marriage benefit, with survival rates only slightly lower than those of still-married women. The data indicated that any category of unmarried — never married, separate/divorced or widowed — is unhealthy for men.

She goes on to say (words in parentheses are mine):

Next, she (Waite) explored the family unit and its importance to health. “Family members,” she explained, “bring resources with them into the home” via various support mechanisms: social — “a shoulder to lean on”; instrumental — someone to take out the trash or wash the dishes; and financial — additional household income.

By the same token, family members bring demands: the need for physical care, emotional and financial support, and the inevitable conflict/criticism.

“These family constellations differ in the level of demands relative to the level of resources,” Waite explained. “Too many demands and not enough resources leads to stress. In fact that is the definition of stress. Stress diminishes health directly and it may diminish health by affecting healthy behaviors. Generally, more adults in the household mean more resources; more children mean more demands.”

In study results that will surely boot more live-in in-laws from the family home to less intimate environs, Waite found that even the composition of the household makes a difference to health….

The verdict? Married people who live only with their spouse or with their own children reported the best physical health, while other family configurations — singles living with others, married couples living with parents, or single parents — all reported significantly lower health.

Dr. Waite’s study showed that it is the disruptions that cause further stress and are damaging to one’s health. So between a continuously married person and one who was divorced and remarried, the former seemed to have a better chance at a longer life.

It also showed that continuously married people and never-married individuals had the health advantage. However, Dr. Waite also said that married couples differ from single people in several key measures, including exposure to stress, severity of stress and access to restorative behaviors after stress.

Garnett’s article points out (emphasis is mine):

One conclusion that could be drawn, Waite said, is that it is the permanence and stability provided only by marriage that provides the health dividend. Perhaps people bound by public vows and legal contract are less apt to take risks with their health, less prone to unhealthy behaviors, she surmised. Perhaps husbands and wives fret less about life’s burdens, since they know such cares will be borne and shared by two.

“Married people can specialize,” she concluded. “Two working together can produce more and then trade with each other. They get the advantage of economies of scale. Two can live as cheaply as 1.65, according to recent estimates. Married people also share risks. They form a little insurance pool. And, finally, marriage provides people with social connections, which we know are health-protecting.”

These 2 articles give me a new and fresh perspective on marriage and health. Are they conclusive? Well…if I am to go by the fact that my parents-in-law will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this December, there must be some truth to all these.

What do you think?

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A Lunch Reunion That Took 20 Years

Yesterday, I took off from my usual lunch-at-the-office routine to walk over to Grappas, an Italian resto in Greenbelt 3. The occasion? A 20-year-some reunion with Nookie Ira, a dear friend from school days in the States.

It’s funny how you suddenly realize how many years have gone by and yet when you meet up again, the camaraderie of old comes rushing back and those years seem to just fold up into nothingness and you are joking and talking like old times.

When I took my grad studies in Philadelphia (Philly, for short), there were about a dozen Filipinos in our batch. The batch a year ahead of us also had about the same number of Pinoys. We had cookouts, dinner parties, outings to other states, and we formed friendships that held even as we graduated, got married, had families and went off on different career paths in different countries. A handful of those Pinoys in both batches eventually joined government under different administrations and ended up with Cabinet positions. Imagine that!

Continue reading

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…In Sickness and In Health…

As I write this post, I still do not know what will become of Raul, our dear friend in the States, who has been in a coma, brain dead, and fighting for dear life. A month after their family arrived in the States, happy to have Cynthia (Raul’s wife) start her new work assignment there, Raul had a major stroke (his second one — the first being here in the Philippines years ago).

Cynthia has managed to work, take care of their 2 sons, and still have to deal with day-to-day decisions and the up-and-down stressful events with Raul’s situation improving one day and deteriorating the next. But a few days ago, in an online chat, Cynthia told me that Raul’s recovery was nil and that their family had surrendered him to the Lord and had decided not to use artificial means to prolong his life. Continue reading

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How to Fold A Shirt (video)

Following on the heels of my previous post on wrapping books, here is a how-to video on folding a shirt. This is for all my mommy blogger-friends, especially Cess, who just conquered a pile of laundry the other day. On second thought, those who are still single will also benefit from this video…

The first time I saw this video was when our son M1, who had just come back from a China trip as part of their school curriculum, showed me a video he captured on his digicam. His China program coordinator had shown this to them while they were abroad and the boys thought it was just so cool. Unfortunately, the video was NOT in English and I have seen versions of it in Japanese as well.

Whenever hubby traveled, my role in the packing involved folding all the shirts he would bring. I think I did a pretty job of it though sometimes I could not align the shoulder folds equally on both sides and had to re-do the folds.

Thankfully, a quick search on YouTube produced several home videos done in English. This was the best I could find so far, more so since the guy who produced this showed both a short-sleeved and long-sleeved version.

Thanks to Screeners Choice for posting this.

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Andy Capp – Humorous Reality

One of my favorite comic strips is Andy Capp. Andy and his wife Florrie live in Northeast England. Andy is unemployed and terribly unmotivated to do anything but go to the pub or just lie around the house. This is looked upon with disdain by Flo and this is evident in their repartee.Andy Capp

The wry humor in these strips show a somewhat negative view of their marital state but surprisingly, it is well received by the international comic readership. This series has in fact been translated into 13 or 14 different languages. While the setting is very much England, the character represented by Andy is oftentimes portrayed in Pinoy movies where the supposed man of the house is jobless while his wife has to do everything at home PLUS go to work. Come to think of it, this kind of marital setup can be found in many other countries as well! Continue reading

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