Author Archives: Gabriel Mercado

Post Angioplasty Post

So two days ago on the 2nd of Mar., 2018 I had my Angioplasty at PGH. As I explained earlier it was one of those situations when an Angiogram, a procedure to find out if your heart had any blockages would be done and should it be found to be necessary an Angioplasty would then follow immediately while you’re lying there.

And as it turned out I had two blockages, and thusly two stents were installed.

This image may or may not be exactly how it was done to me but you get the idea.

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Checking In PGH This PM

This here is Truck aka Juan Carlos Mercado, born Dec. 4, 2017. I fall asleep and wake up to this face almost daily as he sleeps right beside me. He had a nasty cough starting last weekend so we took him to the Dr. yesterday and she told us it was because his tonsils were red, causing him to have a very itchy throat. It is very likely he was infected by people kissing him, specifically his 4yo brother Ace, who adores him. The Dr. said a lot of kids cry a lot when infected with such but not this guy. He seemed to just smile through it and by yesterday he was hardly coughing.

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Not Sure I Had A Heart Attack

So between Jan. 15 (Mon), to the 19th I suffered chest pains. I was still able to go to work on Tue and Fri AM. The worst of it came on Fri PM as I was coming home Jill suggested and I agreed that I go to hospital where I stayed until Sunday.

The feeling is exactly 100% like GERD, which is why I hesitated so long. I would feel much better after rest but after simple exertions such as climbing stairs or walking short distances my chest would feel very tight with pain across my shoulders and arms.

I went to a cardiologist on the 17th Wed and after an ECG, a blood pressure check (a whopping 160/130 at the time), reading through my thorough history of lab tests (I keep detailed accounts), and his interviewing me, he leaned towards believing I had an Unstable Angina, a condition in which your heart doesn’t get enough blood flow and oxygen, that may lead to a heart attack. He concluded this after considering my decades old diabetic condition which had unfortunately worsened since my last tests mid 2017) and of course existing symptoms.

He was however cautious about saying I had a full on heart attack because of my ‘young’ age (truly relative, that), and that he needed lab work. He required a battery of tests which I took the next day at HP along with a long list of medication.

The most conclusive tests of all however are prohibitive and require pause. Here’s the results of Jill’s exhaustive research. Continue reading

Mocha & Thoughts On Beating Fake News

It’s silly to assume Mocha Uson would adhere to journalistic principles simply because her readership doesn’t want that. As long as she provides what her 5M followers want she has no reason to change.

Mocha is a cog in the wheel. To understand Mocha one has to study her followers. They are the extreme cynics. The reason she is who she is. The angry mob. People who didn’t really understand the issues but were angry at how things were. People who are not able to invest time and effort to think and argue about the situation, or if really things were as bad as they think it is, but wanted to rail and rant anyway. People who don’t write long FB posts like I do but wanted to express their frustration.

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Thoughts on Reading ‘My Family’s Slave’

Some thoughts on reading Mr. Alex Tizon’s ‘My Family’s Slave‘.

At my age I remember the concept of ‘giving’ children away to other people as either ‘gifts’, as a way to pay debt or as a means of saving children from difficult or impossible lives. I do not consider this uniquely Filipino. I see it as a last resort way out of poverty and therefore would imagine this to happen even today in similarly impoverished situations.

I am convinced that many my age and older have first hand knowledge of similar events in the past or even until now. There are many families I am aware of that are living with so called ‘relatives’ that live in the same house and play with or take care of their children depending on their age but do not enjoy the same privileges. They have limited education, sleep in far worse conditions, and I suspect some may not receive wages. They however work tirelessly night and day for the benefit of the family.

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Review of Better Call Saul Season 3 – Chicanery; Can You Handle The Truth?!

The show has taken a courtroom drama turn as the legal issues between the brothers are finally threshed out and all in one episode as well. While there had been 3 episodes from the time Chuck managed to tape a confession from Jimmy, this episode closes the issue of Chuck’s attempt to get Jimmy disbarred once and for all.

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Review Of Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 4 – Sabrosito

We are given a short backgrounder on Hector Salamanca’s (Mark Margolis) motivations and a history of his feud with Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). It may seem oddly coincidental that he is delivering profits to the charismatic Don Eladio at the same time that Fring’s profits are delivered there too, but we take it all in stride considering how important the scene is to understanding one of the most powerful individuals in the show (incidentally Don Eladio it turns out is played by Steven Bauer, who is famous for his role in Scarface (!!). I thought I recognized him).

Hector is Embarrassed

By far however, the scenes indicating that Mike (Jonathan Banks) is getting tired of it all are the most telling of this episode. He is first shown to ask about joining his daughter in law for dinner where he hesitates but gives in eventually. And in another he says how it feels ‘nice to fix something for once’ when Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) asks him if he fixed Chuck’s door when he pretended to be a handyman. Later on he is shown reading a DIY magazine while at work. Continue reading

Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 3 – Sunk Costs

I know I’m very late posting this and am doing so belatedly because I just don’t want to skip it. The two things I remember most are below:

Chuck reminding us why we hate him.

A.) Chuck (Michael Mckean) above reminds us all why we hate him. He is condescending in his application of his own self righteous standard onto his brother, who while obviously isn’t the best version of himself still does not deserve it considering he is actually trying to improve himself and win his appreciation.
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Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 2 – Witness

I enjoy shows that have almost no music, so when Mad Men came out I was beyond hooked. Here was a show that not only dared to de – romanticize the ’60s but even goes as far as relying on great camera work and even greater acting to get their point across, sans any music cues that in my mind serve as a disingenuous way to tell the audience when to pay attention.

Having said that I get chills whenever the music turns on during any of Mike Ehrmentraut’s scenes. Mike is a cool customer, a regular James Bond in sheep’s clothing and when he is engaged in spy like activities I cherish every second. The scene that finally introduces us how he finally ends up at Los Pollos Hermanos via a wide shot with thumping music is a winner. Seeing Gus Fring again is actually refreshing if you can say that about any bad guy, and how he gets wise to Mike is a mystery that will have me thinking about it till next week.

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Logan 8.5/10

[Spoiler Alert]

Of all the comic based movies I’ve got to say the people who make X-Men are the most grounded and downright courageous of them all. To come out with this movie you have had to outright declare war on commercialism and *gasp* go for pure story, pure realism. Grit and truth.

The movie discusses the utter uselessness of the hero persona, and that war per se or the constant use of battle to resolve dispute is essentially futile, and that eventually the hero ends up anything but heroic. But rather as aged, desperate, weak, regretful, bitter people longing to correct wrongs of the past.

Not that any of that of course, is a surprise. Governments use propaganda to bombard people with the idea of heroes on top of white horses galloping off into the sunset after they complete great missions. But time and time again historians and often those heroes themselves belie the truth – that war and the warrior mystique is shrouded in glamour and fantasy to course fools into fighting wars.

And here we have Wolverine the ultimate X-Men, the greatest and most iconic hero of them all taking the series of movies to its logical, agonizing and tragic end. A task that is not only truthful but worthwhile and reasonable considering the aging of the actors and of course, the fact that another X-Men with characters swooshing around in tights just won’t make sense any more.

However as much as the premise itself is beyond worthy, the story telling is not.

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