Saturday, May 31, 2008

My kind of music

I really like Nutshell by Alice in Chains:
We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home


My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I cant be my own
Id feel better dead

Don't worry. I'm not depressed or suicidal.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I've gotten so used to watching TV on DVD that I can't really watch it live anymore. I can't stand commercials and I don't like not being able to pause it whenever I want. I guess I should get a DVR, but it's easier to just to wait for the episodes to come out on DVD so that I can watch them via Netflix.

Nothing of importance

I didn't play basketball tonight because no one responded when I asked who would show up. I could go over to the park and play against whomever is there, but I don't like hoopin' it up with the bangers.

I was pretty stupid for not filling up my tank early last week because gas has gone up about 20 cents per gallon since then. Fortunately my commute is short, but the next fillup will be pretty brutal. Yet another good reason for walking to work as much as possible.

Now that I've got financing secured for the 3% down necessary to score a loan, I'm wondering what sort of property I should get. I made another poll so my loyal readers can provide feedback. I can afford a house in a just-ok neighborhood or I can shoot for a townhouse in a better neighborhood. Houses appreciate faster than townhouses, but better neighborhoods appreciate faster than just ok ones. I'm not going to live in the ghetto, but I can't afford the really nice parts of any town around here. I could probably get a pretty decent place in south San Jose, but then my commute would be really brutal. A townhouse might make a little more sense financially, but it would be cool to have my own place with no immediate neighbors and it would be even better to have a yard. Houses are a lot of work though, but it's work I don't mind doing. I know that whatever I do, I won't be living here past the end of my lease. It's too expensive and the quality of tenants has gone down quite a bit in the past few months.

Social blackout

Many of you are probably wondering why you didn't hear from me yesterday since I am usually good about replying back daily. Well, for one reason or another, yesterday was a social blackout for me - no personal e-mail, no blogging, no phone calls, no idle chit-chat at work and no small talk. It wasn't for any particular reason other than I needed a break. I even went to bed before 10 last night because I was exhausted.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gettin' beefcake

I walked to and from work again today and feel pretty good. I made the mistake of walking in my new shoes. The leather is still pretty stiff so my dogs were barkin' during the day. I'll probably just leave my work shoes at work and walk in some more comfortable shoes. That'll save some wear and tear on my nicer shoes as well. I'll walk in tomorrow since I don't have to be anywhere after work.

I'm getting leaner for sure because my pants are looser and I was able to take my belt in a notch this morning. Sweet. I bet I'll be near my goal weight by the end of the summer. Three months should be enough to lose about ten pounds. I'm doing a better job of eating less and eating better. I'm making sure to have a vegetable of some sort during each meal (except for breakfast, I have fruit then). Dessert is now yogurt instead of ice cream or other crap.

I need to start riding my bike though and going hiking. It's too nice to ride the exercise bike indoors though it's nice to ride and watch sports at the same time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Back to the grind

It's always tough to go back to work after any time off, but I gotta make dat money. Usually I wake up before my alarm goes off, but not this morning. I was in the middle of a really strange dream. I was on a ship and was trying to sneak away for some reason. I'm not sure where I thought I was going since I'm on a ship in the middle of a storm. I have a pretty vivid imagination, but it's laced with a healthy dose of paranoia.

2008 Presidential Election

I have no idea for whom I will vote this fall. I am a registered independent because I do not feel that any major party represents my views. I'm pretty cynical and do not like politicians in general. As soon as they are elected, they start working on their next campaign. Did you know that Clinton, McCain and Obama are still getting paid as senators? How much legislating do you think they've done in the past year? If I lived in NY, AZ or IL, I'd be pretty pissed. How can you do your job properly when you're out campaigning for a new one?

I think that I would vote for any politician that actually voices an honest opinion even if I don't agree with it. I don't want our president to be someone who lacks firm convictions. Today's politicians are so worried about steering a middle course, that they say nothing. I would probably also vote for any politician that advocates a national health care plan and any plan to upgrade our decrepit infrastructure. Why is 1 Mbps considered broadband? Why do telecoms describe speeds in comparison to dial-up? Why does anyone still have dial-up? Why have cable costs gone up 70% in the last decade?

Once the nominees are announced, I'll do some serious studying to try to figure out each candidate's views on issues I care about. I'd like the US to get the heck out of Iraq as well. If our mission was to ruin the country, I'd say we're just about done. Thank god we liberated the poor Iraqis, but I'm not sure why they don't thank us more. Heh.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Living off the grid

I read something on Digg the other day about how more and more Americans are living off the grid or at least trying to. Unfortunately, they're doing it for the wrong reason. Decentralizing power and food generation should be done in the name of efficiency. High voltage power lines are pretty efficient, but even a one percent loss during transmission adds up quickly over time so it makes sense to generate all necessary power on-site.

Most of the people quoted in the article are concerned about what happens when American society collapses and hungry folk try to storm their compound. Somehow living off grid now involves hoarding food and stocking up on weapons. Uh...yeah. One old codger said his car and house were configured to run off natural gas. Natural gas eh? The same stuff that also needs to be pumped out of the ground? The same stuff that is also finite? Oh, that's much better than gasoline or heating oil. Yikes.

The most reliable alternative energy source right now is solar. While efficiencies are still below fifty percent, more and more companies are investing in developing panels and arrays because they can smell the future. Most of the recruiters here in Silicon Valley spamming my e-mail and voice mail are looking for people to help develop solar. My cousin just got a job in Phoenix helping to sell solar systems. Why not? The sun shines more than three hundred days per year there so you might as well take advantage of it. If everyone could put three or four panels on their roofs, we could probably reduce the number of power plants necessary. It would certainly reduce the number of brownouts and we could reduce the number of high voltage lines running around so that we can minimize our impact on this planet.

Since I'm a big dork, I was trying to figure out if solar panels could help insulate your home. The sun's output is pretty broadband (shown in the picture horked from the web) and is much broader than Si's absorption spectrum (Si is the main element in a solar cell). Let's say half of the sun's output can be absorbed by Si (the cutoff is 1100 nm which seems to be more than half on the graph, but we want to account for reflection as well). However, solar cell efficiencies are around forty percent so a solar cell could only convert about twenty percent of incoming light to electricity. The rest is either reflects or generates heat.

Wind power is becoming more and more popular, but large towers are needed to extract sufficient energy and most people don't have the land to put up 200 foot tall towers. I've seen websites selling smaller cylinder systems, but their efficacy has not yet been proven.

Pretty effin' cool

Check this out:


I've had some pretty tasty food the past twenty four hours. Since it's a holiday weekend and I've got today off, I'm more likely to take longer to make stuff and I don't worry as much about cleanup since I can do that later today. Dinner was outlined in this morning's post, but breakfast was tasty as well. I fried up some bacon and made french toast. I cut up some strawberries and used a ton of maple syrup. I also got some oranges at the farmer's market so I used my juicer to make orange juice. Maybe I have no calibration for the juice to orange ratio, but four oranges only yielded enough juice for two glasses. That's alright. I need to cut down on my sugar. The juiced tasted awesome and was pretty frothy. The pulp was a little wet, but that's because the orange pieces were a little small so they were juiced as soon as they went into the feedtube. I think it's better to juice more slowly so the fruit pieces should be just slightly smaller than the feedtube.

I've eaten quite a bit of food in the past couple of days and now I'm groggy. I think I'll do some reading and let everything digest. I don't think I'll be eating a big lunch for sure.


I was too lazy to post this last night, but it doesn't really matter. In honor of Memorial Day, I cooked a lot of different kinds of stuff. I grilled some steak, cooked some white and red rice, fried up broccoli, made a salad, cut some bread and made mashed potatoes.

It was all really tasty, but just about everything had garlic which makes me fart. I even sat at the dining room table for once rather than eating in front of the TV.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I took advantage of the Memorial Day sales at Macy's to get some stuff. I'm not a huge fan of Macy's, but it's only three blocks away and I like some of the brands that they have.

I got some black Rockport shoes for work. The guy said they are pretty comfortable and should survive my walks in to work. I also got some more dark socks, a pair of boxers, some boxer briefs and a Nautica shirt.

I've been a boxers dude since college because I like a healthy breeze around my privates, but they aren't great for sports and tend to bunch off. I got both pairs of underwear in M whereas my old stuff is in L. I'm losing weight/inches so my clothes are fitting more loosely. I definitely see that as a good sign.

I had to walk back there because the dude forgot to take the security tag off the shirt. It did beep when I left the store, but those things go off all the time. Most of the people that work at that store are a few cards short of a full deck. The shoe guy was nice, but the other people seemed like clock punchers. Yeah, it does suck to work on the Sunday before Memorial Day, but we're in a recession so you should be happy you're employed.

I would buy more of my clothes online, but I like to see them and I usually need to try them on to make sure they fit.


Nothing like some vigorous tub scrubbin' for a little Sunday morning exercise. My apartment has the stupidest designed tubs. They have all sorts of weird ledges and nooks and crannies so I had to use an old toothbrush to scrub some of the funk off.

The tub isn't spotless now, but I'm going to call it good enough.

Beefcake Challenge: End of Week 21

Day 145:
Weight = 202.0 lbs, 7.0 lbs too heavy
Body fat = 30.2%, 5.2 percentage points too fatty
Visceral fat = 11, 3 points too fatty

It's hard to say how much progress I've made in the past week because the numbers don't exactly stand out. I did gain a pound, but your weight can fluctuate by one or two pounds throughout the day so that's just in the noise. My body fat went down by 0.7 percentage points. I don't know what the plus/minus is for the scale, but maybe that's meaningful. I hope so because I walked to work twice and played basketball. I also tried to eat well, but I think I had too much dessert.

From the pictures, you can see that I have a lot of upper, upper body definition, but I'm still pretty soft around the waist. That fat is the first to go on and the last to come off so it'll be a while before I trim that down. It does feel more solid when I poke it though, but maybe it doesn't show well in the pictures. My web cam sucks and I'm not sure how to take these kinds of pictures with my regular camera.

I think I need to add some more cardiovascular activity for sure since weight or strength training will not lead to fat loss. It's too bad that I have that late Tuesday meeting or I could play frisbee.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I made pizza for dinner tonight and it turned out pretty well though I think I should have cooked it a few minutes more to brown the cheese a bit.

  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Mix/knead in food processor with dough blade and let it rise covered in the fridge for at least six hours
  • 1 lb mild Italian pork sausage
  • turkey pepperoni
  • green onion
  • diced tomatoes
  • sliced orange bell peppers
  • sliced sweet onion
  • red sauce
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese
Cook on pizza stone until it's done. The parchment paper is necessary to keep the pizza from sticking to the stone. As you can see, the cheese isn't quite uniformly brown so I think I slightly undercooked it. Oh well. I was pretty hungry by that time and I'm known for being a bit impatient.

The pizza is pretty heavy so I had some salad to balance it out. I'm trying to eat less so I had just one piece when in the past I would've had two.

Not the fanciest of dinners, but pretty tasty for sure. Most of the ingredients were organic courtesy of the Sunnyvale farmers' market.

[Damn. Google needs to use AJAX for posting so that I can position the pictures exactly where I want them.]

New travel plans

My friend no longer has time for me to visit LA and SD because she needs to concentrate on her dissertation. I'm driving down to Santa Barbara later this summer, but I wanted to go on another road trip. I set up a new poll so that you can help me decide. One option is to drive to Phoenix because my cousin lives there, but it's 720 miles away and Phoenix is wicked hot during the summer. Another option is to drive to LA/SD anyhow. I can also drive elsewhere in CA or maybe to another state. I could drive up to OR to see my family, but I would prefer to go somewhere new or somewhere that I haven't seen in a while. No, not Disneyland. That's definitely not for me.

It's tough to sleep in when...

  • the stupid little kid from upstairs is crying at 6 AM
  • his equally stupid dad is yelling at him to stop crying
  • the mom is yelling at both of them
  • it's really effin' bright out
  • you're used to waking up around 6 AM during the week

Seriously, that kid cries all the time and it drives me crazy. I hear like a dog so I have no problem hearing him. I think my good senses of smell and hearing are a curse rather than a blessing. I do appreciate having perfect eyesight though. My dad has 20/400 in one eye and 20/200 in the other.

Can't sleep

Normally I sack out pretty early on Fridays because I'm worn out from the week, but tonight is different. I tried going to bed at 11 something, but woke up after about 15 minutes. I'm tired, but not tired enough to sleep. Pretty weird eh?

The temperature outside seems pretty ideal for sleeping so maybe my allergies are keeping me up. I can get hyper because of them.

I might give sleep another shot. I need to wake up before about 8:30 so I can make it to the farmer's market when it opens. That's the best way to avoid the crowds and to be able to choose from a better selection.


Tonight's dinner was macaroni and cheese out of a box. No, it wasn't Kraft dinner, but it was pretty cheesy. I got it from Safeway and was pretty underwhelmed. However, it didn't take long to make and it was filling so it counts. I would've taken a picture, but it's too boring. I'll take a picture of the pizza I'm going to make tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Gah. I'm glad that it's Friday afternoon because I've been in a pretty foul mood today due to problems at work. One thing that pisses me off is that people at work aren't very good about giving credit where its due. If I come up with an idea and ask someone to simulate it and they distribute the results, then it shouldn't become the simulating dude's proposal or idea. I mean, it doesn't really matter since we all want the company to do well, but it does affect my reputation which could affect how quickly I get promoted and whatnot.

I'm a principled kind of guy and like to give credit where it's due and I also like to receive it if I deserve it.

The other thing that was really bothering me today is that none of our meetings ever starts on time. People wander in ten or fifteen minutes late and if they're managers, then you need to catch them up on what you've discussed already which takes another ten or fifteen minutes. Then you don't get to cover all of your material so you either run into the next meeting or save it for next time. That's pretty inefficient and is pretty frustrating. However, because everyone has a laptop, there isn't much need for efficiency. You can do some work while waiting for the meeting to start. However, most of the time I need a big block of time to do my work since it can be fairly involved. If I can't do it piecemeal then I end up sitting there twiddling my thumbs waiting for the meeting to start.

My allergies are buggin' me somethin' fierce as well and that always makes me irritable. I think I'll make some dinner and watch some Battlestar Galactica on DVD. Not the most exciting Friday night, but I need to unwind. I think most of my weekend will be pretty chill and I'll definitely appreciate having Monday off.


Today has been a pretty crappy day at work. I think some people just don't give a rip and just want to get paid. Whatever happened to having pride in your job? Don't they realize that their slacking just adds to my workload?


One way I know that I'm getting into better shape is that my clothes, especially my pants, fit differently now. I don't notice it as much with my work clothes because I wear a belt and tuck my shirt in, but I am noticing it with my jeans. They're saggin' a bit. My boxers are also a little loose around the waist so it's probably time to get some new underwear as well. I'm sure there a lot of sales this weekend so I'll see what I can find.

I was stupid, though, and didn't gas up my car earlier this week. The gas station I like bumped the price by 10 cents per gallon yesterday. Weak. It's $4.10/gallon now which means nearly a $40 fillup. Ouch.


I'm pretty stoked because I played pickup basketball for a little more than an hour last night and I'm not even really all that sore this morning. I've got a couple of bumps and bruises, but nothing major. I didn't shoot all that well, but I don't really care since I play for fun and fitness. The courts were pretty crowded though with bangers looking to play full court. No thanks.

It doesn't look that hot out so I think I'll walk to work again. I might take a different route home again just to see different stuff.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Crap from the Something Store

I read about the Something Store ( on The Consumerist and thought I would give it a try. You pay $10 and they ship you something. You don't know what it is until it shows up. You don't pay any shipping and you could get something cool like a sweatshirt or a coffee maker or something lame.

I decided to order two somethings to increase my chance of getting something cool. I'm not sure that I succeeded because I got a pocket watch and a grooming kit. The grooming kit has some tools that I don't currently have, but it's certainly not worth $10. Oh well.

The pocket watch has a motorcycle on the outside. You can see my ballot in the background. It's pretty light because I registered independent.


Weak. The cafeteria at work is under new management and I don't like the changes they've made. They cut back on the sandwich and salad bar in order to offer more pre-made stuff (no thanks). I had leftover Thai food for lunch today with some yogurt, but I'm still a little hungry so I wanted to get some pasta salad or something like that. No such luck. I think I'll have to get some snacks at Target that I can keep at my desk for emergencies. Beef jerky would probably do the trick.


I feel like learning a new language because I think it would be cool and also because I think I need more hobbies. I'll probably start drumming later this year as well and especially if I get a house because then I can move my set down from Portland.

Anyhow, I'm not sure which language I should learn. Most of the people I work with speak English as a second language with their firsts being Chinese, Korean and Hindi so it might help to learn one of those. Or it might be easier to learn Spanish since I wouldn't have to learn a new alphabet. Spanish might be more practical here in California.

Please vote using the poll at the upper right.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New toy

Ah ha. My new digital camera came today so I tried it out by taking a picture of the huge keloid scar on my right thigh. The picture isn't fantastic, but I don't really need a great digital camera. I just wanted something simple.

Oh yeah, I got a Canon PowerShot A590 IS from Amazon. It was in my price range with a lot of positive reviews.

It's hard to see the scar since I've been using snail cream on it for the past few years and the lighting in my office isn't great. The picture is also huge since the camera has an 8 MP detector and I didn't change the default resolution. I bought a 2 GB flash card along with the camera so I'll be able to store a lot of pictures.


I know it's stupid, but I actually believe that I can see the difference in my body after each day I walk to work. My metabolism isn't that fast so it's probably just wishful thinking. Heh. That's ok. I shouldn't congratulate myself too much though because I still have a ways to go before I'm where I want to be.

I walked a different route home last night and learned that not every neighborhood in Sunnyvale is ghetto. The sad thing is I can't even afford the ghetto neighborhoods around here. That's crazy. Well, I don't want to start ranting about housing prices here because I don't want to jinx them as they're still falling. I wouldn't mind if they fell another $50k.

I slept in an extra thirty minutes this morning because I was up late (for me) last night watching The Shield. That show is pretty cool though it's not quite as good as The Wire.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walk walk walk

Ah. I feel much better when I walk to work. It is much cooler today than last week and there is even a nice breeze. I managed to walk the 2.1 miles in less than 30 minutes, which is pretty good. I feel stronger as well. If I had started walking or biking to work last year, I would've achieved all of my fitness goals by now. Oh well.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I think I need a slightly lighter topic to cool down from my previous post. I don't want to go to bed angry, that's for sure.

I use Pandora ( for my music needs. They repeat a lot of songs, but that's ok. They play a lot of Slipknot and I really identify with their music. I don't think that's a good thing because it's pretty angry, but I find it pretty soothing actually. I tend to like heavy music with a driving beat. I also like classic rock, Johnny Cash-type music and some classical. Piano solos are pretty cool and I like jazz as long as they don't sing.

Life is unfair

I got some bad news today about a friend of a friend who passed away during the weekend. He wasn't that much older than me and lost a battle with cancer. That's pretty craptastic, but most likely his life was cut short because of medical malpractice. I never met the guy, but he was a very good friend of someone very important to me and I know that his loss will be felt strongly.

When I got the news, I got angry enough that I couldn't really see straight. If I could hulk out I would've and smashed everything in sight. This situation further emphasizes that the US medical system is no longer in great shape. The US is no longer superior in anything really. Our educational system is going down the toilet and our infrastructure is crumbling. Society has bifurcated into the haves and the have-nots and the gap between the two is growing. It's almost enough to encourage me to move to Canada or something, but I'm not sure what I would do there since most of the jobs in my field are here in Silicon Valley. I'm pretty sure that I'll move somewhere else when I'm retired because I don't trust the system here to take good care of me.

I'm not saying that there aren't good doctors here, but I think the system is overcrowded for sure and that strains the resources too thinly. To all those who think it would be a good idea for the US to just open its borders: are you really that stupid? Do you really think this country can handle half of the world's destitute? Do you think we would be better off with twice as many people? My colleague seems to think that the US is "empty" and that we still have it "great," but he's from India. Is that really the gold standard we should be using for reference? Yeah, we may be a step up from Delhi or Beijing or whatever, but is that a good thing? Is it a good thing that even a cheap house here in the sticks will still cost me four years' salary?

Anyhow, I'm just venting, but I don't really like the attitude of many Americans who think things are going just fine. Sure, why not drive a big ass SUV for no particular reason? Do you need a V8 truck for your commuter car?

Back to the grind...

I enjoyed my three day weekend and am not quite ready to go back to work. Oh well. Gotta make that money. This week is going to be pretty tough though since we'll need to recover from the power outage.

My big concern is that I won't be able to leave at 6 every day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Reducing junk mail and widgets

I saw a post on Digg describing how to reduce the amount of junk mail you get so I signed up through the Direct Marketing Association to say that I'd rather not get any direct mailings. We'll see how much it helps. I also opted out of credit card offers. I'm sure that I would've gotten a lot more once I sign a mortgage, but they're pretty annoying and contain a lot of personal information. Some people advocate responding with a brick since the credit card companies have to pay postage by the ounce, but that's not cool. I prefer a "non-violent" response in this case since there is no reason to piss off the post office.

I added a couple of widgets to this blog to see where my visitors - yeah, all three of them - are located. I like the map one and hopefully I can get some international visitors. I had a similar tracking program on my web page from when I was in grad school and I got a lot of German visitors because my last name is a German word. This blog finally shows up in a Google search, which doesn't surprise me because Google owns Blogger.

Feelin' pretty good

I've been feeling pretty good today and I think it's because of my new exercise routine. Of course, having Friday "off" didn't hurt either.

I think I'll continue to walk to work twice a week and see how much better I feel next weekend.

Beefcake Challenge: End of Week 20

Day 138:
Weight = 201.0 lbs, 6.0 lbs too heavy
Body fat = 30.9%, 5.9 percentage points too fatty
Visceral fat = 11, 3 points too fatty

Well, well, well. It seems that I actually made progress this week. I didn't make it to frisbee because of a long meeting on Tuesday and I didn't make it to basketball because it was too effin' hot. However, I did walk to work twice last week and that's an extra nine miles. Ok, 8.8 miles, but close enough.

It could be that most of the progress is just water loss from the heat since the visceral fat reading did not change, but I'd like to think that all that walking did something. I'm going to keep up the walking because it feels good and it saves gas.

As you can see from the profile picture my web cam sucks. Wait, I mean, most of my chunkiness is in the love handles as my belly is reasonably flat. It sticks out a little, but not too much. The resistance bands are giving quite a bit of definition to my arms and shoulders, but it sort of stops before it gets to my belly. I've also noticed that I have a heckuva lot more chest/body hair than a couple of years ago. I guess in two or three more years, I'll look just like a bear. Perhaps a scary bear.

I also notice from the sideview picture that my posture isn't fantastic. I need to make sure to work opposite muscle groups to prevent my chest from caving in on itself. Swimming is good for posture, but I don't really like to swim for fitness. I could probably take a yoga class, but I would need to find one.

Scrambled brains

I think that I got too much sun the past few days because I am exhausted right now. You know you're a big dork when you're contemplating hittin' the hay at 21:45 on a Saturday night. You know you're a bigger dork when you don't really care.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Well, I'll be...

I just got back home. I walked to work and ran into a colleague of mine on his bike riding away from work. It turns out that our building is still without power so they told everyone to go home. That's bad for the company, but good for me because I didn't really feel like working today anyhow.

I guess now I have no excuse for not doing laundry and cleaning up the kitchen.

It's a good thing I have A/C and ceiling fans because it's going to be hot today.

Edit: I just checked work e-mail from home and of course they sent out something last night saying my building would be closed today. I could've slept in and saved myself a 4 mile walk. Oh well. At least I got some exercise.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Damn hot

Holy cow it's hot out. I left work early because a transformer blew so we lost power. I guess I could go back to the park in an hour to play basketball, but it's too warm for me. It's been a long time since I've been home this early so I'm not sure what I should do with myself. I think maybe I'll turn the AC on and do some reading.

Holy moly

Damn. It's hot already and it's only 7 AM. It was pretty toasty yesterday, but it's supposed to be in the 90's today. Some people might like that, but it's a little hot for me and I'm going to play basketball tonight. I better bring some water and a towel because I'll be sweatin' like a pig. Of course, I sweat when I do just about anything that requires concentration. It doesn't mean that I'm out of shape and it can be pretty annoying. Maybe if I concentrate hard enough, I'll hulk out.

I slept in an "extra" half hour this morning because I felt like it. I woke up about 30 seconds before my alarm was supposed to go off. I thought only brother had that power, but I guess it was dormant in me.

As Yvonne can attest, I have this bad habit where I sing under my breath, but replace the regular lyrics with obscene ones. I won't provide any examples here, but I think you can use your imaginations.

My parents left for Europe yesterday. They're going to spend more than two weeks in Italy and Provence. It sounds pretty sweet to me. My vacation this summer will be flying down to LA to visit a friend and then we'll drive down to SD. I'll probably also take a within-CA road trip as well since I don't have a lot of vacation days saved up.

I've done a pretty good job so far of eating less so we'll see if my Sunday measurements prove it out.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Go go healthy body

I walked to work today. It took me about 35 minutes to walk the 2.1 miles, but I would say maybe five minutes of that time was spent waiting at crosswalks. That means I walked 15 minute miles. Not too shabby. It's pretty warm out so I was sweating a little, but it wasn't too bad.

My goal is to walk to work on Wednesdays and Fridays. I estimate that I use half of my gas each week driving to work. The actual mileage isn't that much, but these 2.1 mile trips are pretty inefficient. Walking 40 percent of the time should lead to 20 percent less gas so I'll help my wallet as well as my waistline.

I'm also trying to eat less. Before each meal, I determine how much I think I should eat and then reduce it a little. I've got some extra calories around my waist so I'm not going to starve. Hopefully I won't cause my body to start burning muscle, but we'll see. Of course, last night was not a good example as I wolfed down two cheese dogs and half a bag of Reece's Pieces.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Ratchet and Clank

Damn. I forgot how much fun this game is. I just played for an hour and cleared another planet. Sweet. I think I'll save up my money for Metal Gear Solid 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV.

Good news

My parents went to the vet today and it seems like Toby is going to be just fine. He must have eaten something really funky last week because his bloodwork came back clean. They said he can't have any more treats though so he'll be disappointed, but it seems like he'll be able to live a normal life. I guess they'll still give him baby food though with his kibbles.


Thanks to the largesse of my friend, I will have enough money for a 3% down payment towards property in the beginning of 2009. Thanks to the credit crunch, banks are asking for 20% down or maybe 10%, but I qualify for ACORN and CalHFA so I only 3%. Sweet. I'm pretty excited about getting my own place. Unfortunately, it'll mean moving a bit more east and having a longer commute to work, but it'll be nice not to have to piss away rent. I'm sure it'll be pretty annoying too since I'll have to take care of stuff that I don't normally have to worry about, but I'm ready to be neighbor-free. I might get a townhouse instead. That's sort of like a real house, but then someone else has to do the landscaping and whatnot. We'll see.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Beefcake Challenge: End of Week 19

Day 131:
Weight = 204.2 lbs, 9.2 lbs too heavy
Body fat = 31.2%, 6.2 percentage points too fatty
Visceral fat = 11, 3 points too fatty

Well, I'm still not making much progress, but I'm not surprised given that I wasn't very active last week. I did go hiking last Sunday, but not enough people showed up for frisbee on Tuesday to have a game and I had a late meeting on Thursday. That shouldn't stop me from playing basketball on that day, but I got hungry so I went home.

From the picture (sorry about the quality), you can see that my midsection is still a little soft, but my arms and shoulders are pretty strong.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I don't believe in God...

...and this week's events prove why. God wouldn't let my parents' dog get sick and God certainly wouldn't let a friend of a very good friend go through another bout with cancer.

I think the quote below sums up my feelings more eloquently than I could ever express.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able, nor willing? Then why call him God?"

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bad news

My mom called tonight and told me that their dog, Toby, isn't doing very well. He's been sick the past couple of weeks and has been getting worse. They took him to the vet and got him tested. There is protein in his urine, which is not a good sign. I guess he has some sort of kidney problem and they won't know until Monday whether it's treatable or not. The vet seems a little pessimistic.

Damn. I'm pretty depressed now because he's a great dog and has a lot of funny habits. The picture I put up here was taken by Yvonne during one of our Xmas trips to Portland. Toby really likes to sit on that corner of the couch in the living room because he can see the front door, the living room, the dining room, into the kitchen and down the hallway.

Well, I'll think good thoughts for him and hopefully he'll be ok.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Unfortunate headline

Just a test

This first post is a test to see how pictures will look. It's one of the main reasons that I'm porting over blogging from LiveJournal. I also like how these blogs look anyhow.

Sweet. I like this format much better. I wonder how much space they'll give me.