WELCOME TO MY SITE AND HAVE A GOOD DAY
Welcome to Las Vegas, Nevada- the Gambling Capital of US and the City that never sleeps! So, what has this city have to do with this site. The answer is none. I just love the photo, I took during our vacation to this city a couple of years ago. In this site, you will find articles from my autobiography, global warming, senior citizens issues, tourism, politics in PI, music appreciation and articles about our current experiences as retirees enjoying the "snow bird" lifestyle between US and the Philippines. Your comments will be highly appreciated. Please do not forget to read the latest national and international news. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringement of your copyrights. Cheers!
Thursday, February 23, 2017
If you are not a Filipino or had no Philippine connections, you probably have not heard of Romblon, Philippines. Romblon is the marble capital of the Philippines. It is a province that have touched my childhood years. I have written a chapter ( Chapter 2) in my autobiography about Romblon (http://davidbkatague.blogspot.com/2011/12/chapter-2-memories-of-romblon-1945.html) for your additional information.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Monday, February 20, 2017
My first industrial job after finishing my Ph.D from the University of Illinois was for Chemagro Corp in Kansas City, Missouri. My title was Chemist in the methods Development group( Biochemistry) headed by Dr. Charles Anderson ( Chuck). My primary duty was to develop methods for the detection of pesticides residues in plant and animal tissues. My work for five years( 1964-1969) resulted in several publications on the subject of analytical methods for pesticide residues in a couple of scientific journals. I enjoyed my first job very much because of my fellow employees and my supervisor, Dr Anderson.
Chemagro sponsored me for my permanent resident visa from a student visa. Looking at the group photo above, I now realized I was the first Filipino scientist hired by the company. There were 40 employees in the research Department mostly white men. There were only six women and no black scientist in our department. I was very proud to be the only Asian hired by the company for several years. As a matter of fact my photo with two other white chemists was published in the Kansas City Star as an advertising for the company.
Here's the latest information about Chemagro from the Internet: Chemagro is now called Bayer CropScience, LP.
The Bayer Crop Science site is located on about 236 acres at 8400 Hawthorne Road in North Kansas City, Missouri, approximately 1.5 miles south of the confluence of the Missouri and Blue rivers. The facility occupies about 150 acres of the site and is protected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ East Bottom Flood Levee. The remaining property is undeveloped land lying outside the Levee (river side of the Levee).
Before 1956, the property was farmland. In 1956, the facility opened as an agricultural chemical manufacturing facility, known as Chemagro, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Bayer A.G. in 1967. In 1971, the facility came under control of the Mobay Chemical Corp. as a result of the merger and restructuring of various U.S. businesses affiliated with Bayer A.G. Over the years the facility formulated and produced numerous insecticides, fungicides and herbicides for agricultural use, including guthion (azinphosmethyl), disulfoton (Disyston), fenthion (Baytex), demeton (Systox), coumaphos (Baymix) and Meta-Systox-R.
A variety of hazardous wastes were produced as part of the facility operations. From 1959 to 1973, approximately 7,450 tons of material was land disposed in three areas at the facility where trenches were reportedly dug. This material consisted of about 6,902 tons of Filter Aid (a semi-solid paste that remains after pesticide recovery), 16 tons of ethyl phosphoro-triesters with toluene, 500 tons of methyl phosphoro-triesters with naphthol spirit and 30 tons of DEF water treatment residue (polyphosphates of tri-n-butyl thioester phosphates). After the final placement of these materials, the areas were covered with a layer of dirt and then gravel or grass.
Since 1979, the facility has operated two hazardous waste container storage areas in the south-central part of the facility, with a combined capacity of 12,375 gallons; four 27,000-gallon hazardous waste storage tanks and one hazardous waste incinerator. In January 1992, the facility name changed to Miles Inc., and in April 1995 the name changed to Bayer Corp., Agricultural Division. These were not changes in ownership or operating responsibility, but changes in company name only. In 2002, Bayer CropScience LP assumed ownership of the site.
On Aug. 10, 2015, the department approved Bayer’s Class 2 Permit Modification request, allowing Bayer to, among other things, add a new 24,000-gallon capacity permitted hazardous waste storage tank and to increase the secondary containment capacity of container Storage Pad No. 2 in order to store larger-sized containers. Bayer continues to produce and package insecticides, seed treatments, herbicides and fungicides for crop protection. Bayer stores and incinerates hazardous waste created during the on-site production processes and hazardous waste from Bayer’s satellite and sister facilities and Bayer-contracted formulators.
This facility is not a commercial waste management facility, since the wastes are limited to Bayer or Bayer contractor produced wastes. Bayer also arranges for off-site treatment and disposal of waste that can not be treated in the incinerator.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Have you ever seen a waterfall on fire? I have not except on pictures as posted in this blog. It is a rare event, since it occurs only on mid to late February at sunset if the temperature and water conditions are right and usually last only for 10 minutes. The following video will illustrate it all.
For more details visit:
Friday, February 17, 2017
I have been retired from the US Federal Government since 2002. Looking back on my participation to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) back in the mid 1990's, I know I could have been a Millionaire, If I risked my savings into the more risky C fund ( stocks). At that time there were only three options to invest -The G, F and C Funds. I was putting 5% of my salary and the Government was matching it ( 6%). At that time I invested 1/3 of my savings to each G, F and C Funds because I was not risky enough to invest 100% to the C fund (stocks).
I have a fellow worker who put all his savings in the C fund. When he retired in 2002 he had almost a savings closed to 1 million, while mine was not even half of his savings. However, I did not regret since I did not have sleepless nights following the ups and downs of the stock market during those years. For more details on the TSP Savings Plan read:
Macrine and I had another chance during our younger years to become millionaires if were risky in our investments. About 3 decades ago when the condominium market was just starting in Makati, Manila, Macrine's cousin invited us to buy condos ( 50-50 joint venture) with him in Makati. We seriously considered it. However, at that time we were not sure of our retirement plans and we did not invest with him. Macrine's cousin is now a millionaire because of his investment in the condo market in Makati and Manila suburbs.
Today, although we are not millionaires we are very happy. I invested the money I inherited from my Parents ( Iloilo) and my TSP savings building our retirement home and beach house we called Chateau Du Mer in Amoingon, Boac, Marinduque, Philippines.
For more details about our beach house and retirement home in the Philippines, visit http://chateaudumer.blogspot.com
Lesson: Money will not buy you happiness, but it makes life easier in your retirement years!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Yesterday, Valentine's Day, I treated Macrine for a Valentine Day Dinner and an afternoon trip to our local Indian Casino. David was off and he volunteered to accompany Macrine to the slots Machine while I played Pai Gow Poker. My capital was $200 since the minimum bet was $15 with a dollar and two dollar side bets. The side bets will pay extra if you have a Full House ( or better poker hand) to the highest poker hand of a 7 royal Flush Poker Hand. The chance of winning the Royal Flush is worst than being hit by a Lighting.
However the chance of getting Full house or 4 of a Kind poker hand is doable. The 1 dollar side bet pays only 1 to 4 for full house and 4 of a Kind. The two dollar side bet pays $150 for the 4 of a Kind Hand, but I did not bet on it. The pay-off for a & Royal Flush Hand was 1.4 million. But how often one is dealt with a Royal Flush Hand. Maybe 1 in 31,000! That is you have to play 31,000 times before you can hit a royal flush of 5 cards. With 7 my guess would be 1 in 1 million is the odds.
After playing for one hour( about 20 hands) I was ahead about $55. On my last hand prior to our early dinner, I hit 4 Jacks and a Pair of Nine. Since I was betting only on the one dollar side bet, I received only a $25 bonus instead of $150. I was delighted as we went for our Special Valentine Dinner. The 3-course Dinner cost was $24. We had soup, steak and shrimp with rice/vegetables as the main dish and chocolate Decadent Cake with Berries and Ice Cream for Dessert. The dinner was excellent.
After dinner, Macrine decided to play more slots for 30 minutes as I head my way to the Pai Gow Tables. All the three Tables were filled and I waited for 10 minutes to get a seat. My capital was $100. After 30 minutes Macrine was ready to go home. I lost $50 this time. We went home happy but tired. When we arrived home, I took a nap for an hour, then a snack before bed time. It was a FUN DAY at the Casino.
In case you are not familiar with Pai Gow Poker, here's the link from the Internet and from my previous blog for details.