Monday, September 29, 2008

Facebook puts up some strange sponsored links...

Now you can pick whatever fever you'd like.

Giants vs Dodgers

Jen scored tickets to the Giants' game against the Dodgers since her boss was out of town. His season tickets are in the club level with a great view of home plate. We got lucky and Tim Lincecum was pitching. He struck out 13, but the Giants didn't really get it going until the end. They won though so that's cool.

We weren't in the sun so it got cold.

I didn't get much of a chance to take pictures.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beefcake Challenge: End of Week 39

Day 271:
Weight = 193.4 lbs (+1.6 lbs)

Body fat = 27.1 % (-0.2 %)

Visceral fat = 9 (no change)

Resting metabolism = 1858 kCal (+11 kCal)

Well... my weight went up a little bit, but my body fat came down slightly. My metabolism went up again which explains the hungry hungry hippo pains I've been feeling the past couple of weeks. I've stalled out a bit and I think it's because I'm not exercising enough since I just played basketball this past week along with my track work and I'm definitely eating too much sugar. I had ice cream for dessert all last week and made strawberry ice cream last night. I also made a big ass pizza with Cindy which is shown below. I was full after eating just one slice. It has italian sausage, turkey pepperoni, onions, tomatoes, red peppers and mozzarella. Hot damn it's tasty.

Ok, time to hit the track to burn off some of that food.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Time off

I found out that we only need to take seven business days off this year rather than a full ten. I guess three tenths of a paycheck is better than none though I might have enough vacation to cover all seven.

The first three days are the week of Thanksgiving and the next four are during the week after Xmas. I plan on flying up to Portland for Thanksgiving so that's not a big deal and I'm going up for Xmas, but I wasn't going to go up that long. I'd like to drive down to LA to see some friends, but I'm not sure if they will be in town or if they're interested.

Housing prices are still falling and expected to drop even further here in Cali. I need to check with my mortgage broker to see if I can still get a loan. I probably should move regardless because my current place is pretty expensive.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I can feel another foul mood coming on. I'm not sure what the heck happened to my good mood from last weekend, but I'd like to get it back ASAP.

Got yellow fever?

Then here is your cure. Yikes. I think my life is complicated enough without getting a mail-order bride.

This site shows up a lot on my Facebook page.

Fun with money

As many of you know Washington Mutual (WaMu) made some pretty bad choices with sub-prime lending. Some parts of the holding company has been downgraded to junk status, but their bank part is actually pretty solid. They're my bank and I've decided to leave my money in there. In fact, I just moved over my housing deposit from INGDirect. Because WaMu has taken a PR hit, they're offering some pretty good rates - 4% on savings with no fees or minimum balance if you have a checking account. Pretty sweet eh? Even if the bank goes under, I'll be ok because the money will all be FDIC insured.

Housing prices are still dropping like crazy so I might hold off on buying one until a little later into next year - maybe January or February. I don't want to wait too long, but I might be able to save an extra $25-50k. I'll just go month-to-month on my current lease starting in January. I'm sure it'll cost me more, but that's ok. I might actually be able to get a decent place rather than just a cheap place.

Edit: I just saw this story about WaMu five seconds after hitting "post". Heh. I've got great timing. I wonder if they'll rename the bank or what --> I just logged on and the website looks the same except it says, "Welcome to JPMorganChase" in places.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hungry hungry hippo strikes again!

I just got done eating my lunch and it's not even noon. I was starving at 11 so I ate the two sandwiches and the salad that I brought. I'm not that full, but I'm going to give it some time in case the full signal needs to travel from the black hole (stomach) to my brain. I've got some protein bars in my backpack for emergencies and I can always get something from the cafeteria.

I had been doing pretty well earlier this week in eating a normal amount of food.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

[insert something witty]

I tried to get into a good mood today at work, but it was tough. I need to let more stuff just slide right off, but sometimes it sticks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


It's strange, but my good mood from the weekend completely evaporated on Monday. I don't know if it's because of work or allergies or what. The weather is changing and I've been eating/drinking a lot of dairy which usually messed with sinuses. I'm not sad, but rather really irritable which gives me a good indication that it's my allergies. I was irritable for nearly all of 2007 and it really effed up my personal life so I need to make sure that I nip it in the bud to build on the momentum of my recent happiness.

I got good news since the pool group has scheduled a meetup at a pool hall two blocks from me in two Saturdays. I'm already pretty excited. I'm definitely going to see if I can put a pool table in whatever new place I get. Heh. I like to buy quality so I'll need to find out what that means these days for a nice hardwood frame with slate. I guess you can't get single pieces of slate that large anymore so they give you three smaller pieces. Rather than putting my home theater in the living room, I can make the living room more like a game room with a pool table and maybe foosball. The home theater can go in one of the bedrooms. That might eff up the acoustics though. We'll see.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Free haircut

I know it's a terrible picture of me, but I don't really care.

Gymnastics Superstars

A friend from work scored two tickets to Gymnastics Superstars at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. Now, normally gymnastics is not really my bag, but the tickets are for seats in AMAT's luxury suite. I've never been in one so I said yes. She said there'd be food too and I'm a sucker for free food. It's amazing how differently the arena staff treat you. We didn't have to wait in line to get in since there was a special line for suite folk. There is also a special information desk so you find your box pretty quickly. The suite inside is pretty nice with a bathroom, more than ten seats, a couple of couches, two HD TVs, a fridge, etc. There was pizza, wings, wine, beer, soft drinks, salad, etc. so there was plenty to grub down on.

The actual show was a bit weird. It's cosponsored by Disney or something because we had to listen to the craptastic stylings of KSM and Jordan Pruit - further proof that anyone can have a hit song without having any talent. The actual gymnastics stuff was pretty cool. It's amazing how strong the athletes are and the kind of stuff they can do on the rings and whatnot. They had a couple of rhythmic gymnists and I only thought about Wil Farrell in Old School. Heh.

The worst thing about the show was how overly packaged it was. There was some stupid choreography and too much forced excitement. I don't think "they" get it. The audience is there to see people do some crazy cool stuff, not to dance around like robots or play crappy cover songs. I definitely think Disney has lost its way and I feel bad that Olympic athletes have to whore themselves out like this to support themselves. I guess it beats working at Home Depot.

Anyhow, it was definitely an interesting experience and now I know why people like rockin' the luxury suites. AMAT will invite us to hockey games, but those tickets are usually reserved for management type folks. I guess I'll have to work on my charm a bit more.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


A Livejournal friend recently posted a question about what we do to get through this life. Her implied question is what do we do to be happy. It's an important one because I don't believe there is any real purpose to our existence. We're just like everything else on Earth except we're probably a bit more self-aware than most other animals. I don't believe in a higher power so I don't think anyone or anything put us here. Since we don't have a real purpose we might as well be happy. 2008 has been a year of introspection for me and I think I've now got a better sense of who I am and how I can be happy.

The real tipping point for me came when I decided not to worry as much. Worry was leading to anxiety which led to impatience which led to nothing good. Some of you may find it hard to believe, but I hardly ever worry now and I'm much happier for it. I've been getting out and about more because I don't worry about what other people think or what might happen. I go into these friendly encounters or social situations with no expectations. I've been just trying to have fun by being myself. I don't try to be the funniest dude or the smartest or whatever. If people don't like me, then too bad for them. I'm not going to sweat it because I'm sure there are people out there who do or will like me. Those are the people that I want to meet. I'm not going to waste time trying to force a square peg into a round hole. As a consequence, I'm much more relaxed and that makes me an easier person to be around. If people aren't comfortable around you then they aren't going to want to spend any time with you.

What else helps is that I no longer expect anything from my activities. I go in with an open mind and whatever happens, happens. It's not fatalistic because our life is defined by our choices, but we can't control other people or their actions.

I think getting into better shape has helped as well. Exercise releases a lot of endorphins.

I think this line sums it up for me: The key to happiness is to be satisfied with what happens when you give it your best shot.

Sunday breakfast

I'm usually pretty hungry after doing my track work so I thought I would be more proactive and eat more that morning rather than waiting for voracity later on. I scrambled up three eggs with milk, pepper jack, a small red pepper and a green onion. I used my juicer to juice up an apple, a banana, an orange and about half a pineapple. Yeah, I know that I said I need to cut back on my sugar, but I don't really care.

I would say that I'm a pretty decent cook, but I think that my breakfast making skills far outstrip any of my other skills other than following recipe directions. I can scramble eggs with the best of them, fry bacon, make pancakes/waffles, etc. I can even flip crepes though I'm probably out of practice. I definitely need some work on my omelet making for sure.

Beefcake Challenge: End of Week 38

Day 264:
Weight = 191.8 lbs (-0.2 lbs)

Body fat = 27.3 % (+0.5 %)

Visceral fat = 9 (no change)

Resting metabolism = 1847 kCal (-3 kCal)

Hmmm... my weight went down a little bit, but my body fat percentage came up. I exercised quite a bit last week: hit the track for my sprint work, walked to work on Tuesday, did my strength training and played basketball on Thursday. I think maybe I need some more aerobic exercise mixed in. Still, I'm pretty happy with my progress. I've let a little too much sugar back into my diet, but that's easily fixed.

From the pictures above, you can see that my abs are getting flat, but that I've still got some love handles. Those are going to go last unfortunately, but I think I can get rid of them by the end of the year. That's my goal certainly.

Saturday night fun

A friend of mine hooked me up with a Yahoo Group, BAPBSC, and they had a social mixer at California Billiards in Mountain View tonight. It was only $15 to play 3.5 hours of pool and I had an awesome time. I forgot how much I like playing. I didn't forget how badly I suck, but I did hit some decent shots as I got warmed up towards the end. The people in the group were cool for the most part and were pretty tolerant of some of the newbies. Some people there were really good and a lot brought their own cues. I would get one just so that I'd have something consistent to play with, but I don't want to look like a poser. Maybe my new place will be big enough for me to get a pool table. That would be pretty effin' sweet and I would play every night for sure.

The only bad news is that they only have an event about once a month. I can always try to organize my own event or maybe I'll try to rustle up some friends to play. I guess there is a decent place in downtown Sunnyvale so I have no excuse for not playing.

This weekend has been awesome so far so we'll see if Sunday keeps up the pace.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday night fun

Last night I met my friend June in Redwood City to see Pineapple Express. Most stoner movies suck, but this one wasn't too bad. I actually have a hard time describing how I feel about it. Parts of it are effin' hilarious, parts are really stupid and parts are unbelievably violent. Heh. I guess it's a movie that you need to see for yourself. I don't recommend Century Park 12 in Redwood City though. The seats smelled musty and were not all that comfortable.

I was stupid and didn't eat before the movie so I was starving when it finished. June found a good Mexican restaurant in downtown Redwood City, but they were closed for a private party. Maybe they could've told her that over the phone when she called earlier, but no big deal because the hostess directed us to a pretty tasty SE Asian place, Red Lantern. I would've eaten anything at that point, but the campogee beef I had was excellent. I'll definitely go back there when my blood sugar is a bit more normal. Even though it was a Friday night and the place has a bar, we closed it out. Weird.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another tasty dinner

I cooked again tonight and made one of my favorite dishes: peanut butter sauce chicken. I got the recipe off a Smucker's peanut butter lid. You mix natural peanut butter, lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic powder, water and paprika together and heat up. The lemon juice and soy sauce will break down the peanut butter, but if it's too watery you can add some corn starch. I cooked chicken and broccoli and served it over red and basmati rice. Very tasty especially with a glass of vanilla almond milk.

In other news, I was in a pretty good mood today mainly because I was really busy at work. I always feel better when I have a lot of work.

Hungry hungry hippo with black hole explained

I ran my problem by my doctor friend, Jen, who fortunately specializes in metabolism. She told me that my diet (South Beach) and exercise regime have contributed enough weight loss in a short amount of time to put my body into starvation mode. Once in starvation mode, your brain tells you to eat and eat and eat to build up some fat stores for the upcoming apocalypse. Unfortunately, I'm trying to lose fat, not retain it so I need to figure out how to get out of starvation mode. Apparently, eating until my wallet is empty isn't quite working. I could eat foods (simple sugars) that are easily converted into fat, but that defeats my goal of getting ripped. I don't really want to stop exercising either since I enjoy that. Hmmm...

Edit: Now that I think about it some more it seems that my new exercise and diet regime has done an excellent job of ratcheting up my metabolism. If that's the case, then I should just eat until I'm full, but make sure that I only eat the "right" foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I'll supplement lunch with a salad from the cafeteria to see if that helps stem the tide.

Tasty dinner

It's been a while since I've posted a picture so here's a treat for y'all. For dinner tonight, I baked some slices of polenta with mozzarella, browned up some turkey and then combined it with marinara sauce and meatballs. Add salad with green onion and goat cheese and throw in a glass of milk and call it good.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hungry hungry black hole

I'm starting to get pretty cheesed off because whenever I do my track work or exercise significantly, I can't stop eating the next couple of days. I was on the track for maybe 20 minutes at the most yesterday doing my sprint work, but I ate and ate and ate yesterday and I can do the same today. It doesn't matter what I eat or how much because I'm still hungry.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Beefcake Challenge: End of Week 37

Day 257:
Weight = 192.0 lbs (+2.8 lbs)

Body fat = 26.8 % (-0.7 %)

Visceral fat = 9 (no change)

Resting metabolism = 1850 kCal (+22 kCal)

Hmmm...I'm not happy about the weight gain, but I did set a personal record in body fat percentage. Sweet. I'm definitely getting into better shape, but I think I still eat too much sugar. I'll blame the picnic on that one. It's hard to resist sweet stuff when it's right there for the taking.

This past week I hit the track for my speed work, rode the exercise bike a bit and played pickup basketball. I went bowling last night, but I'm not sure that counts as exercise.

I have been pretty hungry this past week and the increased resting metabolism provides an explanation for some of the hungry, but not all.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Department picnic

This afternoon was the annual department picnic. Last year's theme was Hawai'ian, but this year's was Mexican. Not too many people wore sombreros, but that's alright. They had tortillas and pork and steak and chicken with fixins. I had three helpings which amazed my tablemates. I don't know what the heck is going on with me, but I've been hungry as all get up this week. I guess my metabolism is shifting for the better, but it's still surprising to eat three times as much as everyone else, but still be hungry. I'm hungry right now. I could probably eat another full meal for sure.

They had a raffle and I came oh so close to winning something. My number was 212 and 210 won a power sprayer that I wanted, 211 won a bottle of wine and 214 won something as well. My friend standing next to me won a jar of nuts so I was in the lucky section, but came home empty. That's alright.

The park is in the north part of Sunnyvale, past 101 and in the neighborhood of Lakewood which is probably where I'll buy a house later this year. The park is close to the bay so it was windy and a bit cold even for me and I don't really get that cold.

A few people got drunk which is always amusing. I think maybe next year I'll help out so that I have something to do.

This and that

The hungry hungry hippo trapped in a black hole has returned today. I thought I ate quite a bit last night for dinner after basketball, but I guess not because I've been hungry all day. I just polished off a sandwich and I don't feel any less hungry than earlier. I've got salad and yogurt left to eat, but I'm not sure those will fill me up. Fortunately, we have the department picnic tonight so I'll make sure to eat until I'm stuffed.

I guess the increase in exercise the past couple of weeks is responsible for my changing metabolism.

I don't feel as sick today so it was good that I played basketball last night. I read online that exercising with full sinuses is better than just sittin' on the couch.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gettin' sick

Super weak. I think I'm getting sick. My nose has been running this morning and my head feels like it's stuffed with straw. Bum deal. I might still try to play basketball tonight. Maybe the fresh air and exercise will flush out the crap from my system. I don't want to miss work tomorrow because I've got a lot to do and it's the annual fab picnic. I've got weekend plans as well so I better get better soon.

Not feelin' hot

I'm not sure if it's allergies or stress or what, but I've been pretty depressed and sad today. I didn't really want to go to work today, but had to because our big ass meeting got postponed until tomorrow so we had to have some marathon meetings today to get our story straight. I'm not cut out for ass-covering, but that's a major part of any job in the real world these days.

Today is one of those days where I definitely feel like I'm no good for people. Heh. That quote actually makes me smile because it's a pretty funny scene in the show.

I think that I'll go to bed early tonight and hope that tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I bit the bullet and made a real account on Facebook. It seems like a good way to keep in touch with people.

You can find me on there using my Gmail address.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Curiouser and curiouser

I played quite a bit of badminton on Saturday with June and did my track work yesterday morning and I wasn't sore at all. However, when I woke up this morning my hamstrings and lower back are pretty sore. The black hole is also back in my gut so I'll be hungry again today. I ate quite a bit yesterday, but apparently there is a time delay on my metabolism boost.

Very strange.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Beefcake Challenge: End of Week 36

Day 250:
Weight = 189.2 lbs (-2.0 lbs)

Body fat = 27.5 % (-0.2 %)

Visceral fat = 9 (no change)

Resting metabolism = 1828 kCal (-13 kCal)

Well I was able to get quite a bit of exercise in this past week. I did some track work on Sunday, strength work throughout the week, pickup basketball on Thursday and badminton on Saturday. I lost two pounds, but wasn't able to make a huge dent in my body fat percentage. That's ok because I'm starting to set some good exercise habits. I was right in that Cupertino's high schools have much better facilities because they have more money. Homestead High's track is really nice and I was able to complete three laps of walk the curves, sprint the straights. I wasn't able to sprint too quickly since I'm a little sore/tired from yesterday's badminton, but I'm happy that I went out and did it. I was feeling lazy this morning, but those are the feelings that I need to fight.

I think I'll be able to fight the good fight this week so next week's numbers should look good as well.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Republican National Convention

Try as I might, I could not watch any of the RNC. Every time I turned it on, I had to turn it off after a few minutes because I could not stand the speakers. I don't think any one in the Republican party represents my views. I thought Palin was a desperate choice for McCain because she strikes me as kind of weird in a bad way.

I'm not totally sold on Obama, but I think that this country is definitely ready for a new direction.

No farmer's market today...

Boo hoo hoo. Apparently, they're doing road construction so the market is closed. They had signs up last week according to some people I saw this morning, but I wasn't there last week. Oh well. I'll just have to get my fresh stuff from Trader Joe's or Safeway. I probably should figure out what to cook first though.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Gettin' in shape

I played pickup basketball tonight and was able to play two full court games to 15 without too much trouble. My offense was bad, but I played good defense and was able to board a bit. My knees held up though I think I'm working out some scar tissue in my right knee. It's all good. I'm sweatin' like a pig though, but that's normal.

Pretty soon I'll be able to run hard on every possession.

In other news, I was able to keep my pants up with a belt today. I think I'll use that until I save up enough money to get some new clothes. I bought a lot of sportswear when I was in Portland and I'm going to get a badminton racket on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Saggin' pants

I have now gotten lean enough that neither my pants nor my shorts fit quite right. My jeans are loose enough that they nearly fall down when I go up the stairs. That may be the style on the street yo, but isn't necessarily the best thing at work. I was going to wait until I got into better shape before buying new pants, but I'm not sure that I can. I'm constantly hitching my pants up. Heh. Maybe I should get some suspenders.

I'm pretty stoked that I'm gettin' lean, but not too keen on replacing a lot of my clothes.

I'm still black hole hungry. I just plowed through my lunch so I might need to hit the cafeteria for reinforcements.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hungry, hungry hippo

Ever since I did my sprint workout on Sunday, I've been voracious. It's like a black hole has set up shop in my gut. No matter how much I eat and no matter what I eat, I'm still hungry. I know that vigorous exercise can change your metabolism, but one round of wind sprints shouldn't be enough for me to see a difference.

I'm still hungry now after eating lunch, but I'm out of food and the cafeteria at work does not carry a lot of healthy stuff. I went to the store yesterday afternoon so I should've gotten some snacks.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fantasy football roster

It's finally September which means football which means fantasy football with my dad and my brother for the chance to win $3 a week and the right to trash talk. We just had our draft and I think I did alright:

QB: Romo, Dal; Brees, NO; Warner, AZ
RB: Westbrook, Phi; Addai, Ind; Barber, Dal; Jones-Drew, Jax; Portis, Was; Turner, Atl
WR: Edwards, Cle; Johnson, Hou; Fitzgerald, AZ; Burress, NYG; Jennings, GB
K: Gostkowski, NE; Kaeding, SD; Vinatieri, Ind; Brown, Hou
TE: Winslow, Cle
Def: Minnesota

I think I should've gotten a second TE rather than a fourth K, but it's alright. I've got an empty roster slot so I can add a dude after the first week without dropping anyone.

Unfortunately, the opening game of the season, Was @ NYG, starts at 4 PM my time this Thursday. I don't think I can skip out of work early to catch it. Bummer. I know what I'll be doing this Sunday though.