Ok, I have to admit the title of this post is deceiving, I’ve only given blood in 3 different hospitals so I haven’t done an exhaustive survey. Of those 3, I’ve only given once at Medical City. It was an alright experience, nothing out of the ordinary.
For a little background, I try to donate blood every 6 months or so. I’m a type 0+ so technically I’m a universal donor. I say technically because I’ve noticed that nowadays doctors seem to prefer to follow the types (ie. B+ gives to B+, A- to A-, etc.) instead of allowing O to give to anyone.
Be that as it may there a lot of factors which rule out a lot of people from donating. You have to have the right weight (not too thin, not too fat), not be on any medications, not have any piercings (although some hospitals are not too strict on this) not to have caught anything infectious recently, etc. So since I’m a qualified donor I figure why not, it’s only an inconvenience to me (the slight pain of the procedure, having to make time for it) but could be potentially life saving for someone else.
Enough background. Before I used to donate at Makati Med. Two things have changed though which made me decide to donate elsewhere.
One, they’ve changed the screening process to require all donors to pass before they can donate. So the current procedure now is a vial of blood is taken from you and they you have to wait at least half a day (several hours) while they make sure you do not have any infectious diseases. Only once your blood has been cleared can you give. While you’re waiting you can’t eat. You also can’t go anywhere reasonably far as you’ll have to come back to do the actual donation. (You can’t get tested, leave and come back the next day to donate.)
This is extremely inconvenient for the blood donor. Hey, I want to help people out but I don’t want my time wasted either. Before Makati Med used to (and this is the more common practice) take a sample of blood to type it (to see what your blood type and RH factor, + or -, are) and then proceed with the donation. The screening for pathogens came after the donation, after the donor had left, ie. the donor didn’t have to wait around twiddling his thumbs for several hours.
The second reason why I no longer donate at Makati
Med is trivial compared to the first reason. They changed their bloodletting setup from beds (the donor would lie down while he was giving blood) to these humongous overstuffed chairs. A nurse told me the change happened because a foreigner had wanted to donate once and had found he was too tall for the hospital beds on hand. While it’s true that the current chairs can accommodate taller people, they are so plush as to be difficult to rise from.
So, Makati Med out. Now I donate at St. Luke’s BGC. Two reasons why.
First, St. Luke’s doesn’t have that silly prescreening requirement of Makati Med. You go in, they give you the standard form, you get interviewed, you pass, you give blood. Easy peasy, you’re out in around 30 minutes or so. Your time is not wasted.
Two, the swag at St. Luke’s is better. It’s illegal in the Philippines to get paid to give blood. But most hospitals usually give a token of appreciation. St Luke’s is quite generous with its tokens. So far I’ve gotten a tumbler, an umbrella and a nice planner. Of course I don’t give blood to get swag. (Believe me there are less painful ways to get swag.) But if you’re going to get swag anyway at least it’s useful stuff.
Long story short:
- Give blood if you can
- I suggest going to St. Luke’s BGC if you do want to donate
We were in NYC for a couple of days and I thought it would be nice to see a show. My wife and I are last minute kind of people so we only decided to buy the tickets a couple of hours before the show started.
I’m not in NYC often enough to have a preferred ticket dealer so I just googled where to buy last minute Broadway tickets. After browsing through a couple of sites I settled on Headout, an app which was selling tickets at a lower rate than the other sites I saw.
At this point you have to wonder if the app is a scam. The prices were cheaper; it seemed too good to be true.
Still, nothing ventured nothing gained so I paid online with my credit card and hoped for the best. The confirmation email said that I would receive instructions on how to pick up my tickets in 20 minutes.
20 minutes rolled by and I still had not heard from Headout.
40 minutes later I tried contacting their customer service through a phone call and live chat. No joy from both channels.
At this point I had to admit it wasn’t looking good. I was resigned to join the ranks of dumb tourists fleeced by New York City.
But lo and behold about an hour later Headout emailed with the confirmation I was to show the theater to get my tickets.
We picked up our tickets without incident and really enjoyed the show.
An hour’s wait isn’t long actually, it was just unnerving since it was the first time I had used Headout.
I would use the app again and would recommend it to others.
TL/DR: Headout is Legit. Use and enjoy.
Smalltime has been quiet for awhile as I was out of the country for a bit. If you’ll notice I wrote about getting a marriage license from Makati City Hall so if you guessed I was on my honeymoon then you’re correct!
I won’t go into other wedding details (this isn’t that kind of blog) but I did want to share a few tidbits from the trip which I thought would be useful to some travelers.
One of the places we visited was NYC and as tourists we wanted to go up the Empire State Building. There’s always a long line though so we thought it best to try to skip the line.
The first thing you do is buy VIP Express Pass tickets. Yes they cost more than regular tickets. But if you’re only in town for a couple of days they’re worth it.
Getting VIP Express Tickets though is just the first step. The confirmation email says that you can print the tickets at the site itself. What the email doesn’t say is that you’ll have to convince the staff of the building to let you up to the first floor where there’s a kiosk where you can print the tickets.
When we got to the Empire State Building we first tried talking to a young, confused doorman who suggested (not unkindly) that a Kinko’s (local copy shop) around the block could print the tickets. That didn’t sound right so we made our way around the corner to where all of the other tourists were lined up.
At the head of the line was a lady in the distinctive uniform of the building staff. I explained that we had tickets and that we were told to have them printed on the first floor. She wasn’t buying it so asked to see the receipt of my purchase. I pulled out my phone and showed her the email but the email isn’t clear on its face that the tickets have been bought. As she was studying the email I mentioned the tickets were express or VIP or some such and she immediately brightened up and let us in (skipping the line) and told us to go right up to the first floor.
At the first floor there was another staffer who helped us print our tickets and we had a wristband that identified us as express/VIP guests. So we got to go to the head of most of the lines, from the outside of the building to the interior.
So if you want to skip the lines at the Empire State Building, get the proper tickets and nicely inform every staffer you see that you have an express/VIP ticket.
So my year and a half with the Yoga Pro 3 there have been some problems.
The latest concern to crop up is that the battery on my Yoga 3 Pro would suddenly discharge for no reason. A typical scenario would be I would shut it down with around 60% power still being reported. When I would come back to it 2 hours later, I wouldn’t be able to power it up anymore as the battery was reporting as completely drained.
When I would try to charge the laptop there were times when it wouldn’t charge, even though I kept it plugged in for more than an hour.
Finally I searched online and found a Lenovo forum which had some answers. Unfortunately Lenovo, based on the irate posters, has not done a good job of finding a solution and communicating some easy to do maintenance steps which may solve the problem.
Fortunately internet posters may complain but some are resourceful and two of them, MarinM and Vladtech, came up with solutions they shared. (All steps copied directly from the forum.)
Unplug AC adapter
Open OneKey Optimizer
Choose Save Power, from top row of icons
Choose Battery Conservation, from the row below the icons (Checking Power Ultra Saving Battery Conservation)
Click the Battery Sleep Mode slider to turn it on (blue)
Shut down computer
Insert AC adapter
Turn on computer (this automatically resets the battery sleep mode to off)
01. Uninstalled battery driver from Task Manager
02. Disconnected AC power
03. Unscrew 10 bolts of back cover and remove cover. As you know YOGA 3 PRO have not battery slot, that why u need anscrew back cover to reach battery
04. Carefuly disconnect battery jack. Very easy to find because only 2 black wires going from battery.
05. Connect battery jack back
06. Plug in AC power
07. Check that battery start charging. This is up to you, but I just start the Laptop with open back cover, good thing that screen can flip.
08. Confirmed that battery charging, OKO gives 3.5 hours from 0%
09. After 2 hours, battery has reach 95%
10. Switch off AC power, disconnect power cord and close back cover. Feeling satisfaction. With myself of course not with LENOVO support.
I tried MarinM’s solution and it worked brilliantly for me. My Yoga 3 Pro is now running normally again. (Although oddly now every time I turn it on it reports more power than when I last powered it off. So if I turn it off with 70% power, the next time I turn it back on it reports 74% power.)
For good measure after I trued MarinM’s solution I also ran the battery calibrate feature of the One Key Optimization software. The calibration took a long time (over an hour) and then finally just reported that it failed and to try again. So honestly I’m not sure if the calibration helped in any way.
The Yoga 3 Pro is certainly a finicky beast. Still, I’ve found it very useful and don’t regret including it in the list of my favorite things of 2015.