This day 2 years ago. Day 1.

God bless Luca and his family.


August 28, 2014. Thursday. One of the greatest and craziest days of my life. I became a father.

My wife was scheduled for a c-section to deliver our first child, our son Luca, who would be born with a Congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome that required immediate open heart surgery.

We left our Redondo beach condo for the hospital around 6am and drove to Hollywood Presbyterian where Luca was scheduled to be delivered before he would be transferred to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Before arrival to the hospital we checked into our room at the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House where families stay when they have children or family being treated at CHLA, which was conveniently just only one block away.

After waiting for hours while preparations were ongoing, Megan went back to the delivery room before me as I waited in the hallway so she could…

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Hillary Clinton’s solid 260 Electoral Votes

View at

The recent significant democratic convention bounce in the polls may or not fade over the next couple weeks. Regardless of any fade, there are 260 votes outside of the swing states that are now securely in Hillary Clinton’s camp… (More on medium )



Could the 2016 Presidential Election end in a tie?

I’m trying out, Just published the following there:

It isn’t hard to predict who will win an election within the Electoral College system. Predicting the future is a different story, but elections held today or tomorrow are fairly easy to forecast. Here we’ll look at the electoral college system, the tools available to analyze polls , then try creating an electoral college map … (more on medium)

Click the map to create your own at

trumpWap – Make the web great again

This is fantastic, I’d love to bring TrumpWap to a coffee shop and name the access point “Google Starbucks” and enjoy the show.

Remember when almost every image on the internet was trump?

With trumpWAP, we can make the web great again. This is huge.


Plug in the trumpWap and on day-1 you’ll get between 20% and 90% more trump (depending on your browsing habits). It’s that simple.


Continue reading for more examples of trumped up websites & apps, a perfunctory video demonstration, and info on getting your own trumpWAP!

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20 Great Hospitals for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

A couple weeks ago our prenatal son was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS).   A doctor in Ho Chi Minh City told us he will need 3 operations the first few years of his life, and has about a 50% chance of surviving them.

The baby who keeps on fighting

The baby who keeps on fighting

Improving the odds

I’ve since found that his chances are much better if operated on in the United States. Children’s hospitals with good congenital heart programs boast survival rates as high as 80 to 95%.  Centers and surgeons who perform more surgeries have higher survival rates. (– Relative Impact of Surgeon and Center Volume on Early Mortality Following the Norwood Operation, Christoph P. Hornik, et al.)

The Norwood Procedure

The Norwood procedure (or a hybrid) is the first step in treating HLHS.   Compiled from the best children’s hospitals in the country, Here are 20 great hospitals that have a significant volume of Norwood procedures combined with excellent survival rates.

The best hospitals for the Norwood procedure are dispersed across the country, with clustering around population centers. In selecting these 20, I looked at four criteria, Norwood survival rates, Norwood volume, Congenital heart program rating, and infection prevention rating. This data comes from the US News Best Hospitals for Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery rankings.  Clicking on a hospital in that list, such as Boston Children’s hospital,  shows a breakdown of categories.  On that page, scrolling down and clicking on Cardiology and Heart Surgery reveals key criteria, such as Norwood/hybrid surgery survival. Here’s the combined data for the 20 great hospitals for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Norwood survival rates

Obviously the biggest concern is survival after the Norwood procedure.  However, hospitals have different criteria for which patients they accept.  Some hospitals avoid high risk cases, while the best hospitals take the riskier cases.  So hospitals not equipped to handle the hardest cases may have artificially high survival rates. After comparing survival rates, it’s important to consider additional criteria.

Norwood volume

The relationship between number of procedures performed and survival rates is well established.  The  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) Information Page says

Remember that the top hospitals perform 50+ Norwoods annually, and achieve approximately a 95% survival rate – this is the bar to which you should compare any hospital.

They also encourage us to ask for this data from hospitals we are considering for treatment.

Congenital heart program rating

The hospitals overall Congenital heart rating is important, because after the Norwood procedure, your child will require the Bi-directional Glenn Operation at around 6 months to a year, and the Fontan Operation at around 18 to 36 months.  You’ll probably want these procedures done at the same hospital.

Infection prevention rating.

This is another important indicator of the overall quality of the hospital. Most of the hospitals ranked by US News fare very well in this category.  In hindsight, this ranking has little to do with which hospitals made this list.  However it’s an important consideration particularly when looking at hospitals in developing countries.

The most important criteria

Your Support system  is more important than any of the criteria above.  The map shows that in the United States, there is a hospital near you.  There are dozens of additional children’s hospitals ranked by US News that are well equipped to perform the Norwood procedure.  So it’s important to get treatment near Family and friends.

Additional Support

Little Hearts Picnic

The  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) Information Page list’s several support groups including California Heart ConnectionLittle Hearts, Inc., The Congenital Heart Information Network.   Linked by Heart connects families affected by HLHS.


Picture of Hope

Your family’s most powerful weapon is hope.  Staying positive, eating healthy, exercising, and talking to your child in the womb all strengthen the child’s inherent resolve to live and have an incalculable effect on the odds beyond any choice of hospitals. The picture above includes some children born with HLHS who are now in college. The struggle to live a meaningful life continues for every one of us.  As you shift your focus to this struggle for your child, it is my hope that it leads to happiness and fulfillment you never imagined.

Outgunned Warriors no match for blazing Heat

Saigon Heat in the playoff hunt!



By Harry Hodge
Since the Saigon Heat team started, you can’t say the team has claimed too many must-win games. Sunday they finally came through.
In their last home game before an extended road swing throughout Southeast Asia, the Heat were poor hosts for the visiting Indonesia Warriors, thumping them 72-61 before a jubilant packed house.
American Justin Williams was again in fine form for the Heat. The former Houston Rocket scored 17 points and pulled down 18 rebounds, while fellow Americans Dustin Scott and David Arnold had 19 and 17 points, respectively. Birthday boy Leo Avenido from the Philippines tallied 16. Another American, Michael Fey, netted 23 points and 21 rebounds for Indonesia.
The Heat led by as much as 20 in the third quarter, and the outcome was never really in doubt from early on. Some notable developments included the Heat sliding into fourth place in…

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Mighty winter storm ‘Petunia’ heads to Northeast


8 to 10 cumulative inches of snow are expected tonight and tomorrow morning in the NY area.  The storm, named Petunia, will be accompanied by frigid temperatures as low as  15°F Thursday evening, followed by an icy cold 9 °F Friday night.  The good news is that temperatures will rise over the weekend to 46 °F Sunday.  Rain on Sunday should melt away any accumulation, rendering v, Petunia, a memory quickly.

The NY Office

The New York Public Library is a great remote work location.  There’s free wifi everywhere, and  The Rose Main Reading Room in this photo has outlets for laptops.


There’s even a snack shop, and museum like exhibits.  The current main exhibit is a tribute to Nelson Mandela.

The New York Public Library, glass negative fr...

The New York Public Library, glass negative from 1908 depicting horse carriages and trolleys. Late stage construction: trademark lions not yet installed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)