Rest in peace Lola Eugenia

June 9, 1916 – January 9, 2006

My last surviving grandparent, Eugenia Santillana, passed away on Monday, January 9. Unlike my other grandparents, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with her. She moved to the US from her native Philippines in 1980 and helped raise my sister and me for five years. After visiting California and returning to the Philippines for a brief period, she returned for a little while before moving permanently to California. The last few years of her life were difficult as she continued to suffer from a list of medical problems. She was admitted to a nursing home in 2005 and put on life support. By Monday, life support could no longer keep her going.

I have many fond memories of my grandmother. When she first came to live with my family, she already had some health problems. But that never made her stop smiling. She traveled with my family, always found time to do some exercising (even if she had to sit), managed to always cook, and sat outside to soak up some fresh air. But her accomplishments go further. I also learned that she survived the Japanese invasion during World War II, my grandfather’s untimely death in 1978, one daughter’s death at an early age, and a dictatorial president (Marcos) for many decades. She managed to bring many of her children to the US, and she saw many of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

As I helped lay her to rest, I couldn’t help but notice that she was beloved by so many people. It was really sad to watch her casket lowered into the ground, but many of us also realize that her suffering was finally over. I am glad that I was able to see her and pay my final respects.

I admit that this blog is long overdue, but I dedicate it to my grandmother, her family, her friends, and everyone whose lives she touched. May she rest eternally in peace.

My grandmother

I have a grandmother in San Francisco who’s health has been failing over the last few years. She recently went to the hospital over the weekend due to a number of complications. Although she is now in stable condition, it’s hard to say what will happen next, especially due to her age. Yet she’s already been in the hospital twice recently, it’s difficult to think about the next time she may end up there. So tonight, I’m dedicating this blog to my grandmother.

Another tragedy in India

A few days ago, India was hit with another natural disaster. This time, a major monsoon hit the western coast of the country, dumping 37 inches of rain in many parts of the country. Over 750 are either dead or missing, including almost 400 in the major city of Mumbai (Bombay). Some died from falling buildings and landslides, while others died from electrocution due to falling electrical lines.

I have family in Mumbai, and I’m currently trying to see if they’re okay. In December, a massive tsunami hit the coasts of Ceylon and Chennai (Madras). Fortunately, my family was not home at the time, and they live several miles inland from the coast. However, my family in Mumbai are not as far from the coast (I visited them in 2001). So I hope that they are all fine.

I dedicate today’s blog to all of those in India and other parts of the world that are affected by the recent monsoon in India.

CNN: India rain death toll nears 750

AP: Finding Survivors of India Monsoon Fade

Bombings in central London

It’s September 11, 2001 all over again, but it’s July 7, 2005. This time, the target was London’s Public Transport. At least 37 innocent victims died, and another 700 are injured. This cowardly and despicable act of shear terror angers me and makes me realize that they hate many of us carry is absolutely pointless, stupid, and just outright f***ed-up!

My relatives are all fine, and I hope that they and the millions of others in and around London can bind together as Americans did after September 11, 2001, and realize the stupidity of hate and cultural ignorance.

I dedicate today’s Web log to the victims of the London Transport terrorist attacks and to all of the United Kingdom. I hope that they all can find a glimmer of light in this dark time. I also dedicate this blog to all of those that fight hatred.

BBC News article: Massive hunt for London bombers

BBC map of London attacks

In-depth reporting of the London attacks

London Time Online in-depth articles

CNN article: Britain launches search for bombers

Introducing Hayden

I was just minding my business, setting up a new RSS reader that works in Microsoft Outlook. I wanted to add my friend Jason’s RSS feed to my reader. So as I open his web site, I discovered that he and his wife are the proud new parents of Hayden. Hayden was born a few days ago on March 9.

I’ve known Jason for a few years. We were drinking buddies at Von Rothenburg in Germantown when we both lived in the area. I also met his wife Liz, and I realized that these two were genuinely great people. We became good friends, so I continued to keep in touch with him when he moved to Minnesota. In July 2003, I spent an evening with Jason and Liz when I went to the Metallica concert in Minneapolis. I also rely on Jason as a resource for my web site.

Jason and Liz had been trying to have children for a while now. It has finally happened, and I know that they will be wonderful parents. They are truly special people, and I am extremely happy and proud to write about this on my own web site.

By the way, RSS Popper works pretty well so far, although you have to download Microsoft .Net Framework version 1.1 (the developer has a link to Microsoft’s download site). I’m glad that I decided to finally enter the next phase of the online community and actually start using an RSS reader, and I’m really glad that my first RSS feed came from a friend that had great news. Now I just have to set up on my own site with an RSS feed.

Jason’s new son

RSS Popper web site

Lunch with DOT

I had lunch with a variety of friends from the Office of Policy and Budget today. I really enjoyed seeing them and taking time to sit with them and speak about things happening there (not that I miss it). I also had a chance to mention how much I love my new position at DATCP. It was a great time, and I look forward to seeing them again in the near future.