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About ITGeek

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    Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija

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  1. Update to my application. I received a text message on Sept 25th from the Main BI office notifying me that my ACR-I card was being sent via 2GO to the Clark (Marque Mall) BI office. So it only took 5-6 weeks for them to process and approve. I'll be travelling to the Clark BI office next week to pick it up. I'm hoping they open the BI extension office in Palayan by end of this year. That way I won't have to travel so far to pay my Annual Report fee.
  2. Marked in bold the key statements in the news report. Looks like Codilla needs to immediately resign or at least be charged with criminal negligence. So the government agency that oversees mining operations doesn't blame it on mining activities, but a "natural phenomenon"? The government agency then failed its due diligence in identifying "natural phenomenon" (seismic fracture/fault zone?) before approving mining permit. They obviously did not perform a seismic survey of the area before approving permits. The NBI should investigate Codilla's bank records, I suspect there may be some extra money in the accounts.
  3. I know that illegal quarries have been a big political issue, filled with the usual corruption including assassinations. This has happened here in my province, Nueva Ecija this year. Plenty of limestone and sand available in the Spratley's, Mischief and Fiery reefs. Oh wait, D30 and Obama were President Xi's lapdogs until Trump took office. Now D30 is regretting his mistake and the Chinese are becoming more belligerent.
  4. Some good news to report. The forming typhoon, currently a tropical depression (TD28W) is forecast to track well away from the Philippines.
  5. I've attached a video I mde usingfrom the GFS model from the "Ventusky" app. It shows a strong Typhoon developing by middle to late next week and tracking Northwest of Philippines. However, the ICON model shows a more Westerly track towards Luzon. GFS Model 92W_Medium.mp4
  6. We were fortunate here in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. The PDRRMO that I've volunteered with is currently assisting with recovery operations from landslides (lahars) in Itogon, Benguet. I've been getting updates from the PDRRMO Nueva Ecija manager and NDRRMC offices. I've sent emails out to my former colleagues asking if they know of any surplus Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment that could be donated and train the rescue staff. I previously volunteered in California for SAR with local law enforcement, Civil Air Patrol and the California OES. I also previously worked with equipment that was used for urban rescue operations. I'm hoping that I can prepare them for the next earthquake or lahar where time is critical in rescue ops. My wife's families homes in Talavera were spared the worst of flooding along the Talavera River. Flood waters literally were only one street away from her family home we've been renovating. Down the Pampanga River valley, many roads are still impassable and areas flooded near Tarlac. My prayers are with the rescue workers who still are holding out hope they can recover some victims alive in Benguet. However, it's really a recovery ops at this point. It can take a toll on rescue workers, but at least they could give some closure to the families who have missing loved ones. BTW - The US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center has reported another storm forming in same area that Super Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong) did. It's presently just South of Guam and forecast (using GFS and ICON models) to rapidly intensify into a Typhoon with the next 48-72 hrs. It's tracking West-Northwest, just hoping it's more Northwest and misses the Philippines.
  7. I've been following the storm closely on the USN Typhoon Warning web site. It will enter the PAR sometime late Wednesday evening and continue to intensify. It's current path shows it will make landfall in Northern Luzon/Batanes on Saturday. Although its max sustained winds will reach 150 kts, it forecast to weaken as it approaches Philippines. I've volunteered with the PDRRMO here in Nueva Ecija and they've already held meeting to discuss their disaster plans for the province. It appears Illocos Norte, Cagayan and Batanes will take the brunt of the storm. They are expecting Signal No 1 here in Nueva Ecija, Signal 2/3 in Illocos Norte and Cagayan. Now is the time to prepare. Hope everyone stays safe.
  8. ITGeek

    SSDI and dependents

    When my wife tried to open the account, the branch manager told her that if she were to become deceased, the money would be held in the account until our son is 18 yo and then he would be able to access it. This is exactly the reason I wanted access to the account. So I contacted the SSA Office at USEM and informed them, what happens if my spouse dies, since she is the payee how do I access my son's benefits. SSA states that children beneficiaries are prohibited from accessing their account. I was also told that I would have to go to the SSA at USEM and they will provide necessary paperwork for me to become the payee for my son. I hope it never comes to that, I can just imagine the amount of paperwork and approvals required.
  9. ITGeek

    SSDI and dependents

    I was recently at the SSA office at USEM to apply for SSDI dependent benefits. The SSA has my wife listed as the "Payee" and our 2 yo son as the "Beneficiary". I understand the child is not allowed access to the account. My only concern is if my wife dies, how would I gain access my son's funds. They say, "It's Philippine Law" that the surviving spouse automatically is granted access. However, I don't have anything in writing that states that. I would prefer to have a joint account with my wife so either of us can access the funds.
  10. ITGeek

    US SSDI Survivor Benefits

    I'm sorry you feel that way. I started working at the age of 16, delivering newspapers before school and as a janitor after school. I was blessed at the time of going to university that the personal computer boom was just starting in the mid 1980's. I even switched majors to get my BSCS, at that time one was either a Electrical Engineer or Software Engineer. I was also working full-time and going to school at night. I worked hard and paid into SSA for 36 years before my illness ended my career.
  11. ITGeek

    US SSDI Survivor Benefits

    My son is 2, so naturally I think it's the "terrible twos". He can have bad temper tantrums compared to most kids. He mostly cries and screams loud, sometimes hits or throws things. I think his Pediatrician (along with everyone else in the hospital could hear his loud crying. But then, he is also sick so of course he was feeling miserable. When we looked at his "Health Book", we noticed the nurse put his age at 3 instead of 2. So my guess is the Pediatrician thought he was 3, especially since he is big for his age compared to other kids here. That's why she probably thought his vocabulary and responses were below a 3 yo. Last night, I spoke with my sister who is an RN in the SF Bay Area about my son. Like you, she said it's normal for young kids to get 5 or 6 colds per year because of their developing immunity system. As far as the asthma, my sister has it and the Bay Area/Sacramento Valley have poor air quality (especially with all the wildfires). I agree with your statement regarding ADHD. When we were kids, we played outside, running around and riding bikes. Today's kids (and most adults) are more interested looking their smart phones (very bad on eyes) than normal playing. Thanks for the advice, as I said in my earlier post, I think once we live around my wife's family house, he will pickup more Tagalog playing with his cousins and other kids in the Brgy.
  12. ITGeek

    US SSDI Survivor Benefits

    This is kind of related to same topic. Today, we had to take my 2 yo son to his Pediatrician due to sore throat and fever. She mentioned he also has mild asthma, but was most concerned he may have ADHD and require therapy because of his behavior. Since he's been learning in English on Youtube (along with both my spouse and myself), I'm wondering if it's a language barrier. He knows "ate", "nanay" (lola) and "tito". When pamilya is here at night they speak only in Tagalog. I'm hoping once we move to my wife's family house, he will pickup Tagalog from his cousins who are around same age. Any thoughts?
  13. ITGeek

    US SSDI Survivor Benefits

    So sorry to hear about your wife. The SSA Official at the USEM said we first need to get my 7 yo step-daughter a SSN. There was some confusion as to whether I need to adopt her first. Fortunately, there isn't a father listed on her NSO BC, so hopefully it should be a simple process. I understand it's a much faster process for my wife/step-daughter to file for their Green Cards at the USEM since we've lived here over 2 years. However, when it comes to bureaucracies, nothing is ever simple or easy.
  14. ITGeek

    US SSDI Survivor Benefits

    At least I learned some good news. With the exception of taxes, student loans or child support payments, my SSDI benefits are protected from garnishment by any creditors. While I awaited the decision on my SSDI case (takes 3-5 mo's), I had to take a cash advance against my WF credit card to support my family. I explained to them my situation asked for a waiver on payments for 6 mo's, but they declined and were threatening legal action against me. That's when I sent their legal department a form letter from the US SSA that shows my only income is from SSA (SSDI benefits). It's upsetting when you try to make good on debts, but creditors don't care about your situation. WF Bank is the least ethical bank (after all their fraud) so I don't feel much guilt. It reminds me of when the US Real Estate Market collapsed and I was upside down in my mortgage/property value. I was current on payments, but they rejected my attempts at refinancing. That was until I spoke to someone at "Save my home California", who 'unofficially' stated to miss a payment or two and I'd qualify for their program. Best advice and decision I ever received. A couple years later, the market recovered and I was able to cash out with equity.
  15. ITGeek

    US SSDI Survivor Benefits

    This is a link to the SSA benefits pamphlet I received upon award of my SSDI. https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10029.pdf My wife be the payee for our 2 yo son's benefit which will be $1,150/mo until he at least 18 yo. I believe it can be extended to 23 yo if he is attending school full time. I currently receive $2,350/mo at age 54 (early onset dementia). So between my benefit and son's, we will receive the Maximum Family Benefit amount. That's why I'm unable to add either my spouse or step-daughter to my SSDI benefit. I don't understand why there is a 5 yr US residency requirement for a foreign spouse. That's is just extra costs for immigration (if approved) plus it's more expensive living in the US. Have to love government bureaucracies, no matter what country they're all the same. The only options that I have are to save as much money as possible (easier to do here). We are moving into her family's home, making some renovations, so no rent or mortgage payments. My father has a trust account setup for me and my siblings when he passes, but then I run into estate taxes. So as the saying goes, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes.