Red Wheelchair’s Farthest Run Ever

Stopping for his chocolate chip frap at Starbucks Sto. Tomas.

I ran with Marcus. Yup, not just for Marcus. A dream coming true for me even if he’s on a wheelchair. For two days in a row we covered the most distance and we achieved more running this time. In his gaming parlance it was “achievement unlocked.”

Saturday’s run on a route we once took with wifey earlier this year was short and quick. Seeing two clowns on a motorcycle was the one of the highlights of this run and although Marcus neither saw goats nor cows, he found a compound with Ostrich. An animal sighting made the 3K session worth it for him.

The next day Marcus wants more of it. I thought he won’t ever ask to do it in succession as he’d have to deal with smoke-belching vehicles, dusty road, and was exposed to the sun for a longer period. But I was wrong. Marcus didn’t mind staying out in the open on his red wheelchair. Our second run is proof that he loves to do more.

Sunday afternoon we started earlier. At about 4:30 PM we met the blinding sun head on. He refused to wear the visor cap which he calls a stupid hat because he finds it weird that the top portion is open. So I gave him the option to wear his Batman baseball cap and told him to just look down and avoid staring at the sun rays. We reached shade more than a kilometer later. Running was easier at this point.

Marcus was chatty almost the entire time and it was a good thing. Having a conversation with him diverted my thoughts away from the effort I was exerting to keep running. I would only check my Garmin whenever he’d ask how much distance we’ve covered so far and that’s only when I’d also see my heart rate and pace info. Every now and then he’d look back to check if I was sweating or not. I’d respond back that I’m fine.

We hit the 7K mark at exactly an hour later just in time before dark. His Starbucks chocolate chip frappuccino we got halfway of our run is already consumed except for its whip cream when we stepped back inside our house. I’m not sure when the next time is but I would love him to join me again while I try to rack up more miles this October.

7K with Marcus.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Air time for Marcus in few more days.)

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I Survived Buy-One-Take-One Day

Remember that lemon fan? Our weeks of being under the mercy of rechargeable handheld Iwata fans have ended. Yesterday, we went to our first ever S&R buy-one-take-one sale day with the main purpose of getting a replacement for our now useless electric stand fan. Well, one of the main purposes, at least that’s how wifey justified it.

The experience was crazy. I’ve heard of long queues during sale events but I never realized how long is long until I saw the queue of restless shoppers twisting back and forth outside S&R’s Nuvali store like an oversized hungry Slither.io snake. To be honest, I always appreciate Marcus’ wheelchair on days like this. We soon bypassed the regular line and was ushered to the priority lane where there are few patrons waiting to be accommodated, though including some grumpy senior citizens. A compromise I was glad to take.

Me trying to summon inner peace on our way to the cashier.

Entering the store wasn’t the end, however. This time we had to weave in and out and dodge over eager shoppers as they push their trolleys around like zombies out for blood. The line outside the store seemed more civil and subtle. To discover that not every item is buy one take one made me feel more impatient and secretly regret driving despite lack of sleep just to be there.

But wifey was a fighter. All women are, I guess. To them the word sale is caffeine. She was like on zen despite minimal lunch. What was once an empty large pushcart was soon filled. To her wallet’s credit, I noticed that the pack of toilet paper that Marcus and I were kidding her as the second on her list wasn’t the reason her cart was overflowing. Two boxes of stand fans shared space with other stuffs. Minimalism died that day.

Four hours later, we exited the store triumphant. Or more aptly, relieved. The buy-one-take-one smoothies capped our sale day. So are we going to do it again next time? Our answers are opposing. Mine and Marcus obviously on the negative side. But barely 24 hours after, I heard wifey saying she wants a second shot. Fingers crossed, I hope S&R drops prices by half in the hardware and car isles. I’ll be ready by then, hope my wallet is.

A giant Starbucks coffee pack made my day.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Can’t wait for this sleepy week at work to end.)

Chubby White Guy

I met a chubby guy.

One after the other. One day I was in a paint shop, next day in a car registration office, and then couple of days later I see myself at a tire shop. The pattern of where I’ve been at in the past few days shows that this month is definitely car month. More expenses in short. The price I have to pay in maintaining a 10-year old car.

Yesterday I finally replaced my car’s Goodyear Duraplus tires that already breached three years since February this year. I’ve been using the same brand after letting go of the noisy stock Bridgestones as I’ve proven that Goodyear tires are better and tough. In fact, this last set held on until the last thread pattern are almost gone which why it was hard for me to easily trust any other brand.

But here comes the chubby white guy. Up to the last minute I tried to fit another set of Goodyear tires specified for my car. The bad news is that even Goodyear dealers I’ve checked out don’t have the 175/70R13 tire readily available anymore. Fortunately someone recommended a tire shop that gave me an offer that’s hard to dismiss–a discounted Michelin.

Michelin has very good reputation despite the tire brand’s poor performance against the Pirellis at the F1 races years ago. Ask random car guys and most would likely say that Michelin tires are better but pricey. I had the same impression until I contacted someone at Minerva Yokohama tires in Calamba. A Michelin tire at Php 3000 a piece was a steal.

Two weeks ago I discovered my front tires have deteriorated badly, both would fail the coin test, and since then wet roads got me more worried than before. So imagine my relief when my schedule and wallet–wifey’s support included–aligned at last to get all four tires replaced before heavy monsoon rains strike again.

Needless to say, I’m back on safer grounds. The Michelin tires made me feel confident driving once more as the car has the grip it needs to stay in control. It’s also noticeable that there’s lesser road noise which means I can focus better behind the wheel. Only distraction now is the glowing blue seven segment LED display on my USB charger. Dear heavens, I need that voltage stuck at 12.5 volts please. Next stop soon, car battery shop. I need an online job.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Introvert mode off later.)

Not a Fan of this Fan

Not cool

Right out of work, enduring a shift dragged further by a very slow MS Excel, I tried fixing our fan that stopped working all of a sudden on this warm Thursday morning. The Handy Manny in me, however, failed to get it back running but to be honest I seem more than happy that it no longer works, finally.

You see this isn’t the first time it happened. Just more than two years since we bought it brand new, this Panasonic electric fan that features inverter technology, as its manufacturer claims it to be, has been nothing but a headache. I have lost track of the number of times I’ve lubricated it, took it apart, the entire time it’s been with us. We’ve bought other fan brands but these cheaper ones outlast the Panasonic big time. We’ve even had a stand fan that despite broken into half, its motor keeps running on demand. I heard its recipient continues to enjoy cool air.

I promised to avoid negative vibes in this blog site but I’ll break it for once. I think a little bit of service to other unsuspecting consumers would justify this hate post. So let it be known that my days dealing with this Panasonic inverter technology fan is over. I’m really not a fan of this fan. As the civilians in the Lego Marvel Xbox game would say, “Not cool.”

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I told Marcus that I would run over the Panasonic fan to spread it into pieces. Yes, that much hate. But I change my mind, as I realize my car tires are almost slick. Another sad story.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Getting sleepy by watching Marcus’ character bouncing back and forth on the purple Fortnite Loot Lake.)

Sleep, Where Art Thou

Toy ear muffs for a good sleep.

One obvious downside of working night shifts is that the body eventually adopts to the weird sleeping pattern. Often times my body no longer recognizes my timezone. Physically I’m in Asia but my system believes it’s somewhere in California. I would love to see the day that both are in sync again.

For several weekends already I find it hard to get a normal night sleep which sucks because I would be on and off in the morning instead of being awake to spend time with Marcus. I know he looks forward to weekends so we can play his games together longer. We could have explored Terraria more, and finished a hardened Wet Work mode in Call of Duty yesterday had I stopped snoozing off.

The irregular sleeping pattern has also become a challenge in my runs. I pick up slow and I struggle to maintain a good pace. My return to 10K on Sunday after a couple of months hiatus, no thanks to tropical weather, was a drag. I can’t be like this with running activities coming soon. I think it’s about time I get back to Sleepasil.

Frankly, though, I don’t like the effect of Sleepasil. This sleeping pill works quickly after intake but it also wears off fast, at least in my case. For a couple of weeks I took Sleepasil on Saturdays expecting uninterrupted sleep but I would always be up in the wee hours of Sunday morning craving for something to eat. My body’s priority exposed?

By nature, my wife knows that I can’t resist the call of the couch. I would easily fall asleep as soon as my body senses the soft cushioning of a sofa. Wait, I even would even fall for hard wood benches. No distinction. But still I long for days when normal night sleep isn’t hard to come by. The last time I slept through the night was in F1 Hotel back in June. I would appreciate it if same sound sleep happens soon, preferably just at home but no complaints if in a hotel once more.

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Another fast MV registration renewal at San Pablo office but it could have been better if emission test and insurance application are done within the compound like in Dasma, Cavite.

**”

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Blame the Starbucks music for the sleepy post.)

I Think I Can Dance

Over time I discovered I could dance or at least have the guts to embarrass myself all in the name of fulfilling what my son can’t do.

But tonight The Floss or Orange Jam from Fornite isn’t part of his requested moves. Marcus shifted his attention to his almost forgotten Xbox 360 console and found a demo of a Sesame Street game. The game requires Kinect and wifey did the story part while I was left to do the dance segment. Then Marcus got hold of the phone and had my moves recorded. This is my first ever Kinect dance game and I’m starting to think that I can dance indeed. Will have to put some shirt on next time though.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Wifey said we have a Xbox 360 Zumba game.)

To the Marcuses Around the Globe

Three years ago we celebrated our first Duchenne Awareness Day. Marcus was with his 1st grader classmates when they let go of the symbolic red balloons in unity with the rest of the world who continue to raise awareness that such type of muscular dystrophy exists. He can still walk back then.

He demands pizza for Duchenne Awareness Day.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a condition that affects mostly young boys. Also known as just Duchenne or DMD, this condition is progressive with symptoms that may manifest during the early stages of childhood with some kids starting to feel the signs earlier than the others. In Marcus’ case, his condition started to become obvious about a year since he started to stand up. He walks weird, can’t run like other kids, and had difficulty holding himself up on the monkey bars just to name a few. Eventually we discovered he has DMD after we had him checked at the age of seven. At eight he started using his red wheelchair.

DMD poses a whole lot of challenges on parents. The need for commitment, love, compassion, and patience cannot be stressed more than enough. To be honest, it is physically and mentally straining but once you put yourself in the shoes of the child who has it, then everything else that you secretly complain about becomes petty or trivial. As I always remind myself, if I’m frustrated and tired, more so Marcus. This short thought keeps me back up on track.

Today, September 7, we once again join all the families and the other Marcuses around the globe who continue to deal with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We also wish good luck and more power to the people whose aim is to find a cure that could be available soon to everyone who has DMD. It may not happen in our lifetime but as long as the awareness is alive there is always hope. We also recognize the physical therapists (FYI, tomorrow is World Physical Therapy Day) who work hard so that our young boys’ lives are a little bit better each day.

Today’s PT session.

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This week wifey had me watch Fundamentals of Caring on Netflix but we barely made it halfway as I got so sleepy after coming out of night shift. Despite the short clip I could already feel that this film’s depiction is accurate. Hope that we finish it this weekend and I hope I don’t shed a tear. Shhh.

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