You are a liar, you must die!

August 16, 2013 47 comments
Courtesy of Bing image

Courtesy of Bing image

I don’t know what kind of woman Eve was, but it wouldn’t surprise me if she had similar zero tolerance policy against lying like my wife. White, grey, black, green, purple…no color bias here, it’s all the same, lie is a lie and I must pay the price of…ummm…near death!

Many years ago my wife and I had a fiery argument over this topic. The zero tolerance policy is too strict and I feel it’s impossible to have a good healthy relationship that’s based on full disclosure of EVERYTHING and 100% pure truth on EVERYTHING. She vehemently hate liars with so much anger and vitriol its shocking to see such lovely peace loving princess transform in to a She-Hulk at the hint of lying.
In her world white lies and non-white lies should be treated the same, and punishable to the maximum penalty while staying inside the legal bound.

I tell her that I’m sticking to my core principles and I’m going to continue lying and forget mundane things on regular basis for as long as I’m alive.

My take on lying is, as long as it’s done tastefully and in good judgment with good intention, it can be an important tool for romance, excitement, laugh, and surprise.  I told her I believe in miracles and white lies. She said b.s. and called me a compulsive liar, and I accused her of being a hateful vile person. So we had our first real fight, it was our epic Marriage War I. She threw everything at me such as, the bible, Oprah articles, psychology articles, Dr.Phil, Judge Judy, etc… while I simply spoke from the heart.lol
In the end, the peace treaty was signed in the form of hugs, kisses, & Belgian chocolates. I just want to take this time out to tell the world why I’m a compulsive liar and why it’s required to hold my marriage together. In fact I don’t even call it white lies, my wife and I now call it “pieux mensonge” per the peace treaty article 7 section 2(b), because French language has a way of turning everything into romance and love. As long as the word ‘lie’ is omitted from our conversation, my wife will stay in her human form.

  1.  Most common form of pieux mensonge is when I leave out certain details of the conversation that my wife is having issues with because, I honestly forgot about it. I have superior ability to forget things that I perceive to be irrelevant. Sadly there are too many things that my wife does consider to be relevant and I just can’t keep up. 7 out of 10 times, I truly don’t recall things. It’s a pieux mensonge because even when I’m telling the truth, it still turns into a lie.
  2. Wife asks these questions: Do I look good in these? Can you see the panty line in these? Do they make my boobs look too big? Does this belt work with this necklace? I almost never tell the truth to any of these questions. Sometimes I just love the way she looks and I certainly don’t want her to change out just because she is afraid of some would-be weirdo. But the main reason why I lie is so we can get going and not show up 1hour late to our destination, one outfit change equates to 1hour delay … pieux mensonge the situation and move out.
  3. Can you tell I’ve been gaining weight? …no need to explain this one
  4. My wife thought it would be okay to let my kids play with my garage tools. I come home one day and to my horror I see my youngest digging a hole with my Snap-on torque wrench!!!!!!!…ugggggggg…I was withholding a lot of information and comment that day. Is there anybody in the world that’s prepared to “handle the truth” after such gross negligence?
  5. Bought her a 1oz silver American eagle coin for Valentine’s Day and talked about its beauty and health benefit. I left out important reason…it had better resale value than flowers and candies. The resale feature didn’t seem appropriate and romantic for the moment…pieux mensonge.
  6. Wife asks if she looks better with long hair or short, I always say short. She thinks it’s odd because everybody else around her thinks she looks great with long hair. I lie about this because she looks gorgeous with her long flowing hair. But her long hair gets EVERYWHERE. It can cover the floors, counter, clean laundry, bathtubs, & sinks. If I tell the truth, she will never cut it short, ever.
  7. Wife and kids thought the Disney vacation was fun and we should do it again. I honestly hated it because of the crowd, heat, humidity, mosquitoes, & infinite distractions for our kids. It was difficult to hold everything inside of me because I knew I can potentially turn this $5k lovely family vacation into trip from hell if I opened up my mouth. I lied, “yeah it was good, glad everybody had a good time.”
  8. “Cleaning people are coming tomorrow, you have to come home early so you can help me clean.” Her cleaning crew means a lot to her so I’m not even going to tell her the truth about what I really think about the double cleaning duty.

As horrible as it might sound, I also lie to my kids, but my wife sure seems to get a kick out of it.lol

  1. “Daddy what is a penis?” This was an incident after a boy in his class got thrown out for repeatedly saying the word, ‘penis’. I explained to him that “pee-in-this” is not appropriate, that’s why the boy got thrown out. I asked my boys, “Where should you pee-in if you have to go?” and my smart boys responded with, “ the bathroom”
  2. If I’m spending over $100 to take the family to Thomas and Friends train park, I want everybody to have a good time. So when my boys said, “Daddy, that’s not real Thomas the train, his eyes are not moving and he is not talking”. I lie to them and say Thomas is simply sleeping with his eyes open. To that they ask, “then how can he move along the track?” to which I reply, “because he is sleeping, the driver has to drive him”

And my biggest pieux mensonge of all, Santa Claus and friends. The reason why I lie about these characters is because I love my cute little innocent kids do cute little innocent things in their innocent world. They will have plenty of opportunity to deal with hard truths and reality in few more years, so why not let them live a happy beautiful fairy-tale imagination that feel so real that you can almost touch it. It’s a whole new level of excitement when they believe some mythical characters could have been real, or is real. Their little eyes light up and their smile get so big you can see their missing tooth gap.lol

  1. “Is Santa Claus real?” “Yes, and he is planning on bringing you something very cool this year, too!” I lie on this topic because the trade-off is worth it. I have such beautiful memories of my kids staring out the window on Christmas Eve and listening in on their private conversation between the two of them. It’s something so adorable and innocent that it needs to be witnessed to fully appreciate. I also have memories where they try to stay up for Santa, and the incredible struggle to keep themselves up all night. You know when their heads sway side to side and eventually topple over.lol I will milk this Santa lie for as long as I can. Lately my oldest has been dealing with some pushback from other older boys in the neighborhood saying, Santa isn’t real. I sat my boy down and I said this to him, “there are people that believe in Santa and there are people that don’t believe in Santa” It’s something you should not argue over with friends but just know this, kids that believe in Santa clause always get one extra special present. Kids that don’t believe in Santa will always get one less. It’s your choice to believe in Santa or not believe in him. Yep, I lie through my teeth on this one.
  2. Older kids say leprechaun isn’t real: Sure they are, where do you think gold coins come from? To that they devise a plan to capture some of leprechaun‘s gold. Supposedly the young one will be the one distracting the leprechaun with his sno-cone machine, while the older one uses his red wagon to haul out the gold coins.lol
  3. Did fire breathing dragons exist? Sure they did, it was a very large pterodactyl that can breathe volatile chemical components from their snout or their mouth, similar to some other creatures that exists today that can project fiery chemical mix.

There is no doubt lying is bad under most circumstances. But there are certain things that are said, or purposely left out because you love someone. I would have no problem telling the 100% pure truth if I didn’t care about the individual. I don’t know about you folks, but I can’t just tell it like it is to people I deeply care about. I can’t imagine being happy with my life if I answered all those above examples with 100% truth. It would turn me into a grumpy, depressing, anti-social, & boring father and a husband. Grumpy old men are probably the best truth telling people around.
My closing for the peace treaty went something like this, which would you rather live with?
1. Grumpy, anti-social, angry man that always tells the truth and nothing but the truth
2. Happy, fun, social man full of loving pieux mensonge.

“Baby, I will pieux mensonge to you forever and ever because I love you”…that is HOT!

Categories: children, family, humor, wife

Lance Armstrong, 7 time players’ Champion and still a hero

July 31, 2013 40 comments
courtesy of Bing image

courtesy of Bing image

This month held the greatest cycling event in the word, aka Tour de France, and it was intense. I am completely sapped and I haven’t even ridden a bicycle all month! I’ve been doing minimal work and rushing home to watch about 4.5hours of Tour de France every day. It’s actually very difficult to keep this routine up for the entire month, minus the two rest days.

This particular topic on Lance is something I’ve been meaning to vent on numerous occasion, but I seem to do it more in restaurants and sport bars than anywhere else .lol. It’s amazing how much hatred there is for this man, and I think it is overblown.

It is no argument UCI’s Anti-doping program is probably the strictest in the world. You can be involved in a car crash with a broken collar bone and blood everywhere, but you are not allowed to take any banned substance such as aspirin/Tylenol as long as you want to stay in the race.  These guys can come after your urine/blood samples while you are having Christmas/Thanksgiving dinner with your family, and they will preserve your samples so they can screen it through any future drug testing method that is yet to be developed. They are relentless.

Ethic of the bust

As you may already know, Lance Armstrong is the most tested athlete ever by multiple anti-doping agencies. For 20+ years Lance has passed every test imaginable using latest/greatest testing methods and equipment, this guy was clean in terms drug test results. The way Lance got busted in 2012 was absolutely disgusting in the type of tactic these agencies used. USADA knew they couldn’t bust Lance using any of their testing tools anymore, so they resorted to threats and persecution on former team members who are not as financially fortunate as Lance. Most pro cyclists only make an average living and they don’t have the money to fend off federal agencies like Lance can. USADA made lives of these former members and their family a living hell, and coerced these close friends to point their fingers at Lance.

It’s like a schoolyard bully trying to kick my ass, but because I kicked his ass, he has to go beat up my sister and my pet turtle instead.

Is Lance a hero?

I’ve been once called a hero for participating in one of those Walk-a-thons and various other charitable activities, I think most I ever raised was about $500. Firefighters are heroes for savings lives, Police officers are heroes for saving lives, and the U.S. military would be considered heroes for saving all of our lives. You think there are drug users among these undeniable heroes? Does it make them any less of a hero if they did?

Lance raised over $500million for cancer research. If my math is correct that’s about $500million more than the most I ever raised for charity. Through his work, I’m pretty sure he helped countless amount of loved ones make it through one more birthday, one more anniversary, watch his/her child get married, etc…

You can take away his Tour de France titles, but let’s not take away what he accomplished in the cancer community. The dude is a hero, no argument here.

Does U.S.Postal have anything to get upset over?

I think Lance did more for the U.SPostal than USPS did for Lance. Lance made USPS a cool icon, a really cool icon. I bought stamps, jerseys, and other misc. USPS trinkets because of Lance. Without Lance, the USPS is just another bloated government organization that is bleeding taxpayer money and misrouting my mail. Currently the USPS is asking for their money back from Lance. By similar logic, can we get our money back on all the GM stock that we purchased during the bailout? Yes, I would like to get $95/share for the current $36/share stock… just want to break even please. Or can I get my money back on my Pentium 2 desktop computer that I spent $1000 about 10years ago? I really thought I was buying the fastest machine on the planet, but I just realized it’s actually not that fast.

I think USPS should just focus on delivering my mail instead of wasting more money and resource on this lawsuit. If the lawsuit is for $14million, I guarantee the USPS will spend over $20million to get the $14million from Lance. Yeah, that will show’em who is the boss.

Lance and me

I didn’t start cycling back in year 2000 by some random chance. I was inspired by his cancer story and the amazing matchup between Lance and Ullrich. Cycling has done wonders for my health, cardio, and saving money at the gas station. Lance has inspired many people around the world to just grab a bike and go. Even when Lance admitted to doping, it never crossed my mind, I should stop riding because I feel so cheated.

Is Lance the 7time Tour de France champion?

Riding bicycle through multiple countries, through the massive French Alps, through the daunting peaks of the Pyrenees, riding 23 consecutive days till you reach 2000+ miles, traveling at 50+km/hr wearing nothing but thin fabric and a bicycle helmet, etc… Is it even possible to complete this race without doping?

As a recreational cyclist, I actually attempted climbing the Alpe d’huez on one of those fancy simulator trainers. I only made it 1/2 way up the mountain traveling at 2mph before I had to stop. Ladies and gents, it’s absolutely insane that anybody can do this 2000+ mile bike race through Europe.

There is almost no wrong answer to the question of Lance’s championships. I can fully understand why some would say he is or isn’t a champion. My answer to this question is in a form of a question, did the guys who finished 2nd and 3rd also “cheat”? The Tour de France organization already answered this for me by declaring Lance’s 7 Tour de France wins to be left vacant, because the next guy also admitted to “cheating” and/or there is no proof he did not “cheat”. Even Jan Ullrich came out and admitted to doping soon after Lance was busted.

What if we were playing a game of Monopoly and ALL the players decided to start with $2000 instead of the usual $1500 while the banker was away. It’s as if the players formed a union and decided to play by their slightly tweaked rules. Is there a winner in the end?

Come to think of it shouldn’t Gatorade, Powerade, and Powerbar  be considered performance enhancing substance?

Although Lance has been stripped of his official 7 time Tour de France championship, I believe he is still the 7time champion among the other Yellow Jersey contenders that were competing at the time. I firmly believe ALL the contenders were doping.  Ones that over-doped got busted and the ones that under-doped made it through.   Lance is still the champion among the contenders.

————————————–

Addendum A

Here is a short top 5 list of characters that seems to be doing good job of flying under the radar who, in my opinion, are bigger frauds than Lance Armstrong.  If you use these names as a comparison point, Lance isn’t so bad after all.

1.  The politicians:  Some of the real crooks seem to get re-elected every election cycle.  How ironic Lance and some other athletes have to appear before a Congressional committee over cheating.

2.  Steven Seagal: One of my favorite blogging friends, call him ‘Cook’M to cover his identity, is convinced Mr. Seagal and his TV show ‘Lawman’ is a fraud.  Cook’M comment sums it up, “He is a commissioned JP officer for political reasons only. He is a huge financial contributor and they gave him an honorary commission. He is such a joke. I don’t know any real police officers who like him. Well at least not here anyway”…mmmm…mmm.mmm.  That’s a sure sign of a fraud if I ever saw one.

3.  Owners of various drug/alcohol recovery clinics: CNN broke this last week and these frauds pay few bucks to random people off the street to get signatures, so they can bill the taxpayers for the recovery service they provided.

4.   CEOs and directors for Toyota Camry hybrid: This thing gets same gas mileage as a Toyota Corolla and many other fuel efficient gas cars.

5.  Directors at Fannie Mae: For misleading investors about their holdings on all the toxic mortgages leading up to the big housing crisis.

————————————–

Addendum B

Confession…I’m guilty of cheating under the UCI rules.  My bike weighs less than 14.99lb and I take Advil before every bike ride…I’m a doper 😦

Luckily I’m riding with other people in my category and we are all middle-aged, have nice bikes, and rely on Advil, so its okay.lol

Categories: bicycle

Quest for perfect Valentine gift

February 14, 2013 29 comments

 

Fabio valentine courtesy of Bing image

Fabio valentine courtesy of Bing image

Fabio has nothing on me when it comes to Valentine’s day.

I’ve been doing lots of R&D on the most ideal Valentine day gift which I would like to share.  Here are the boundary conditions that must be met in order for the gift to be considered ideal.

  1.  Shiny is good
  2. Smells good
  3. Tastes good
  4. Feels good
  5. Have good recycled value once the event is over
  6. Under $50

This is a pretty good check list because it applies to most of the classic gifts that exchanges hands during Valentine’s day.  Let’s think about the two classic choices, chocolate & roses.

Chocolate accomplishes items 2, 3, 4, &6 really well.  It barely passes condition#1 with its shiny laminated box, but it is a complete failure when it comes to accomplishing item #5.  Unless you are into natural fertilizer for your herb garden or into methane powered microprocessor robots, it turns into a complete waste once you are done with it.

Dozen roses, or flowers, are good too, it accomplishes items 2, 3, 4, & 6, but it falls short with the other two qualifiers.  It’s not shiny, but it does edge out Chocolate on item #5.  I think these stay alive for several days longer than it takes for a box of chocolates to be fully consumed and digested.

So the big question is this, IS THERE A PERFECT GIFT that nails ALL the conditions  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6? I think I may have found it…a silver bullion/coin is the perfect valentine gift; a full 1oz silver American eagle coin is the answer.  Let’s review,

It is very shiny…check

Pure silver smells pretty good…check

Pure silver tastes pretty good and possibly good for your health, too.  You can also take advantage of silver’s anti bacteria property by leaving the silver coin in your favorite drinking cup…check

Feels good: come on, who doesn’t feel good holding a giant silver coin…check

Have good recycled value: I think I read somewhere silver has gained over 600% in the last 20years.  Plus it can be handed down to your kids/grandkids.

Under $50: it’s at $37.87, YAY!

I’m heading over to a pawn shop to pickup the perfect Valentine gift, how about you?

Happy Valentine’s day everybody 🙂

Categories: family, humor, wife

Blogger recognition – all rolled up

February 8, 2013 72 comments

9911fan Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg Blog of the Year Award 3 star jpeg moonbeam the-sunshine-award

Getting a WordPress endorsed nomination is great for obvious reasons.  But I also take huge pride in getting my blog recognized by any blogger that thinks I’m, at minimum, a descent blogger.  And then there is a fan recognition where I am recognized as one of the notable followers.  All these are personal, thoughtful, and its like a virtual ‘pat on the shoulder’.  You folks are magnificent and I want to let you know I am so thankful for every mention and recognition you give me.

I’m going to start this ceremony with the best recognition I have ever gotten in my little blogging career.

Purpleowltree1234 gave me this personal, custom, hand-crafted #1 fan award, and this was my initial reaction back to her and her team.
“I……LOOOOOOVE…..THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is the nicest thing any blogger friend has done for me. “

There is nothing that makes you more welcome in someone else’s blog home than entering with your shiny #1fan award badge.lol  I like to read about hardship and how people overcome tribulations;  Rach is living through perpetual tribulations.  I follow her blog very closely because she needs to succeed.  Not only for her own sake, but I think she has a much greater calling to help out many many more who are suffering every day, with no end in sight.  She is one of the warmest friendliest people you will meet, she is also one of the most creative people you will ever meet.  Great thanks to Rach and her team, I now have new appreciation for copics.lol

Its fair to say, this is going to be sitting on the highest position in my blog mantle column!

Science and space inspired Sunshine blogger award from astronomy science

Moonbeam Mcqueen awarded me with her book, it’s a wonderful short read from an intelligent odd-funny-creative writer 🙂

Reconstructingchristina somehow got hold of a video of me back when I was in college, and she put it up on her website and gave me the recognition.lol

Terry with 2012 blogger award, 1

Nutsfortreasure recognized me for blogger 2012 #2.  Big rig truck driver, nature lover, and a blogger.  Lots of great stories and pictures here.  This is a real personal story that has some contrast to all the awesome pictures.

Terry1954 recognized me for Blogger 2012, 3

http://terry1954.wordpress.com/author/terry1954/

Oh and the person that sent me the get well e-card during my 2012 3month absence.  Thanks and good guess on being sick, I came down with poison ivy and it was a mess!  Please send me your blog address so I can appropriately link it here.

I’m sending out my bundled re-recognitions to all the people mentioned above as well as these folks below.

1. Russell Deasley: my wife and I like to visit his website for cheap alternative to Friday date night. All his “top 10 lists” are well thought out and researched, you will find yourself spending lot of time in his website. You’ll see why here, http://theverybesttop10.com/2013/01/03/pizza-cutters/

2. greeneyesmom: If you are a fan of art, humor, & interaction you have to start following this blogger. Check out her artwork and this analysis on why women go to bathroom in herd, rather than individually.

3. BadPlaydate: she loves her children and her employees.lol. Check it out because its funny, its got kids, and all the craziness that’s associated with parenting.

4. Sarin another fun international friend, but this one is out of Pakistan…cool.:

5. lexiesnana : can you tell I love blogs on family and kids. Well, this is about grandkids and wonderful grandparents.

6. Blue Giraffe image: he is well on his way to using his creativity and hobby in photography to have little fun and make extra money. Please go congratulate him on his first 3sales and his awesome new car. He says he bought it from the insurance money, but I think his photo sales has been better than he is telling the readers.lol

7. Cristi M: this guy recently achieved over 300,000 hits on his website!! Always inspirational

8. Pennycoho: http://thewhyaboutthis.com/2013/02/06/my-own-photography/ a wise owl and a sensei. This one is easy, just click on her link on the left, hit the follow button on her page, and thank me later.

9. Writestar: Along cam Alligator: recently wrote a piece about losing his wife and it makes you realize how precious marriage is. Thanks Stan

11. Aewl This is where he puts down his material, its very original and its simply whats on his mind.

12. Cometojesusmoments: who can’t use little bit of Jesus every now and then. He has great sense of humor and offers great feedback on a any given topic.

13. Peakperspect: an obvious dog lover. Would you believe his dog’s ears perk up at the moment someone thinks the word ‘bacon’ lol. I had good laugh on that one.

14. Star on the forehead: a super blogger with a super star on her forehead, just like wonderwoman. Fellas, you need to try this experiment. Put on a santa suit and offer to fix her flat tire 🙂

15. You jiving me turkey: great photos. If you are interested in who would win between the Marvel’s Incredible hulk vs. DC’s doomsday

16. Charmaine Gordon: wonderful author & a loving grandmother with life stories that will capture your imagination

17. Ounitproduction: lots of great photos here with things that will make you go hmmm.

18. Persecutionofmildreddunlap:Her husband started his blog career on my site and ended it on my site, too

19. Xo-ortiz: opinionated, kind hearted, and loves her car

20. Cultfit:I know he can be stealthy, but he is out there…

21. Veronicaesiste:Beautiful young lady with big personality and a humongous heart. Why can’t our youth be more like her?

22. H.stern:Just trying to survive out there like the rest of us

23. Justwriteaway: lots of great quotes can be found here.

And of course… Serene scribe, yibei, Stephenedwards425, cookiemom, & fela

Thank you all for your creativeness, inspirations, amazing photos, and support.

Categories: awards

My blog of 2012: Ode to Thomas and Friends

December 28, 2012 55 comments
First Thomas toy

First Thomas toy

As I’m sitting down to write my thoughts down on my two little toddlers, I can’t help but to get choked up and get caught up with regrets. I miss my two infant boys, terribly. All the times I was upset at them, or all the time I pushed them to be more independent and to leave me alone, I wish I could have just slowed it down and accepted it all. I wish I could have taken more naps with them while gently cradling their soft baby skin, but instead I was on the computer. Regret over all those pictures taken with a camera phone, because I was too lazy to grab a real camera. Countless opportunities to see them in a little song and dance performances, but I was out having lunch with clients and co-workers. I can’t redo any of these things because kids are older. I now realize, we are at a closing of a chapter where my two little toddlers are no longer toddlers, they are boys. This is an irreversible milestone; there is nothing I can do to relive the previous pages of their lives, and it hurts. Thomas & friends represent everything I miss about my two babies.

‘Thomas and friends’ go beyond rank of toys, it takes on a rank as a family or a friend.  I was really disappointed when, for the first time, my boys didn’t want any Thomas&friends item for Christmas…It was sad because they are not babies anymore, and I’m not mentally ready to let it go yet. Out of all the things I’ve done with the boys, T&F(Thomas & Friends) has the most amount of hours logged, with some of the best memories.  Only daddy is able to build the ‘Big Big Bridge’ like nobody else can. Only daddy can build the awesome cool ramps that make trains fly with paper wings taped on its back.  These toys have given me so much and I am not going to let these friends to die off like this, I need to send these little choo-choos off with a very honorable discharge, with a medal of honor if you will.

Pic#1 is the first train we ever purchased; it’s what I secretly carry in my work bag.  My wife and kids think I threw this in the trash along with bunch of other toys, because I was upset over their toys being all-over the living room.  Most of their first set of trains are in terrible condition because they do get smashed quite often.  I wanted to salvage little Thomas to serve as a compressed memory of their babyhood.  Every time I hold this toy in my hand, I get flooded with baby memories.  I’ve shed some tears just thinking back to when they were so tiny and just babbling.  I reminisce about their struggle during tummy time or when they took their very first step.  I think about the moment when my oldest made his journey from my hands to the nearest sofa.  He was happy as a clam, squealing and laughing while pounding the sofa seat, all in the little yellow striped onesie outfit w/ big diaper bottom.  All these wonderful memories captured inside a little beat-up train toy…

still functional

still functional

Pic #2 is a picture of my boys’ 1st starter underwear when they graduated from pull-ups.  My oldest boy had it first, and then it was handed down to the wee-bear who is now 4.5yr old.  My wife and I can’t stop laughing when the wee bear runs around with this battered undie on, with all its tears and holes.  We call him the ‘Incredible Wee Hulk’ because that’s what happens to Bruce Banner’s clothing when he turns into the Hulk.  This undie is finally getting retired this year because it is one cycle away from losing its functionality per outlined in this write-up.
‘Can underwear outlast a marriage?

Sadly this will go in my treasure box that consist of their first beige colored baseball cap with little bear ears, and their first pair of shoes (size of my thumb!) Gosh they were so cute wearing that stuff.  I’m proud of my boys because they are following my footstep of appreciating everything, recycling, and using items until it’s beyond repair, like their paper thin undies.

Here is a list of all my favorite Thomas & Friends characters and what they accomplished for me:

***Warning: List may contain possible adult language***

  1. Thomas ‘the cheeky one’: He is the little engine that could.  There is a lot to like about this guy because he is little, compassionate, follows orders, and loves helping friends out.  If there is a perfect role model outside of mommy and daddy, it’s definitely this little #1 engine.
  2. Gordon ‘rumbles down the line’: Big powerful steam engine with pretty big ego.  He is a great character for my kids to imagine what it would be like to be bigger but also teaches them it’s not nice to walk around with big ego.
  3. Lady: She is the only female train character we have.  As you can tell from the first picture, my boys are extremely rough with their toys.  Lady was brought in to establish some order and calmness with their play style.  I SPECIFICALLY told them to be gentle with Lady, because it is a girl.  Needless to say, it’s the only T&F toy that is in excellent condition with all her colors.
  4. Spencer: He is fast, shiny, looks cool, but is very arrogant.  He is another one that served its purpose by teaching my boys to separate out the good and the bad.  Appreciating someone’s beauty and power is good, but arrogance is bad.  Concept of arrogance is very difficult to teach, but having Spencer around was a great help.  Thanks Spencer.
  5. Percy ‘pulls the mail on time’: my my my…I wanted to save the baddest little engine for last.  This little green character sent me in a full panic mode!  Normally he is meek, gentle, and is Thomas’ best friend.  He truly teaches how one friend should treat another.  Here is a little story on how I got acquainted with little Percy.  I came home from work and I asked my little wee-bear, “What do you want on your birthday?”  To that he replied, “I want pu-cy for my birthday”.  Now with more seriousness I asked again, to which he replied with, “I  want pu-cy for my birthday”.  I panicked because this is the kind of stuff that lands deadbeat dad in jail!  I called for emergency meeting with my wife and told her this had to get resolved ASAP!  I didn’t care for her explanation about the “r difficulty” and a toy character named ‘Percy’; I wasn’t going to jail over this.  We practiced countless hours with the letter “r”.

I look at my boys now and can’t believe how big and independent they have become.  They inflict a lot of damage when they jump into our bed now.  There is nothing scarier in the morning than opening your eyes to a wild toddler, airborne and barely missing the family jewel upon landing.  I’ll yell at them, I’ll scold them, but I know with 100% certainty that I will miss these morning attacks.  When they were babies, all I wanted was for them to grow up quickly so they would be more independent.  Now that they are independent, I want my babies back.  What is going on? I miss them terribly.  I know you can argue that I can still do these things with them, but it’s not the same.

I don’t usually have morbid thoughts, but with all the tragic deaths in the news and worrying about my wife and two kids, it’s hard not to.  If I get into a fatal car accident tomorrow, or some lunatic fires a fatal blow, I plan on using the last remaining breath to hold the Thomas train(picture #1) with my right hand and place my left hand, with the wedding band touching little Thomas, close against my heart.  I can’t think of a better way to make the best of the given situation than that.   I would be at peace…

This music video sums up everything and I think it’s the perfect music to close the chapter on a group of very special friends, Thomas and friends. They will all be missed and will always have a spot in this dad’s heart.  Here is Thomas & Friends with Josh Groban:

Categories: children, family, wife

I am mad as hell, 20 innocent children dead!!!

December 14, 2012 62 comments

 

courtesy of Bing

courtesy of Bing

 

I don’t remember last time I felt this kind of anger and grief toward anything in my life, not even 9/11 or Columbine.  My wife and I cried today over all the innocent little children that will not be celebrating this Christmas with their moms and dads, only 11 days away!!  What sick lunatic slaughters the purest and the most precious representation of humanity? They were as young as 6 years old, dammit!  They smile at everything and everybody, they have tiny little hands that barely wrap your fingers, they haven’t been corrupted by the society yet, they put on biggest happiest smiley face when they are allowed to wear their little Transformers t-shirt, they run around with their oversized princess and pony book bags.  Just thinking about all the unopened presents underneath their Christmas trees, and thinking about what these parents are going through right now is ripping me apart.  How can anybody be this damn evil? With all the information/classes on tolerance, education, & anti-bullying, how can something like this happen? Already people are out blaming the pro gun group; already people are out blaming the anti-gun group.  Politicians are already setting up to politicize this. I can’t stand people right now.

Here is my simple message to all the lawmakers:

Get these psychopaths that lack empathy toward life off the streets right now!!  I don’t give a crap what you do with them, but I don’t want these maggots anywhere near my family and my kids.  They need to be kept far away from anything that can be used to kill innocent people: guns, cars, Home Depot, hardware stores, lathe, mill, etc…
Its 11pm and they are still going though all the little lifeless bodies in the kindergarden… God, I can’t stand this.

Categories: children, family

Hippo Christmas song and Brenda Lee

December 10, 2012 36 comments

Going to start off by saying, Gangnam style song has NOTHING on these two songs I’m going to talk about!

My last music related blog was about Guns N Roses, so I thought it’s time to do another music blog.  There are couple of songs that’s been humming in my brain for some time now, its the holidays, and you can say these are couple of my favorite things 🙂

I’ve been listening to lots of Christmas tunes lately and there is one song that’s an absolute smash hit with my two little boys. Song is called ‘I want a hippopotamus for Christmas’. It makes me laugh just reading the title. Every time this song plays on the radio, we all sing along to it and we also add our own little twist to it.

My version: replace all the “I” with “My naughty boys” and replace all “hippopotamus” with “lump of coal”

My boys’ version: replace all hippopotamus with any Thomas&friends stuff, T-rex, Rhinoceros, Ninjago, etc…

Just how powerful is this holiday song? My boys could, once again, easily destroy another one of my electronic gadgets in an accident, but if the song comes on, I can’t help but to smile and sing the coal version of the song!

Some people think the hippo song was sung by Shirley Temple, or that it was sung by a much older person pretending to be a kid.  The truth is, the song was recorded on the set of Ed Sullivan show in 1953 by an amazing 10yr old talent named Gayla Peevey. Check out the video and tell me you are not impressed by her spunk, & talent. Love the song and love the video.

Now that brings us to “Sweet Nothings” by Brenda Lee. I know I’m probably sounding like a senior citizen raving about all these golden oldies, but when quality is involved, there is no age gap! Brenda Lee is one of my all time favorite artists and this is my favorite song from her. It’s hard to go back to listening to the modern stuff after listening to this type of music. I love her voice and her stage presentation. Wish I could have seen this performance live…so simple…so mellow.

How about you folks? Care to share some of your favorite things? 🙂

Categories: children, family, humor, music

I’m a bad man

November 30, 2012 91 comments
lindt chocalate

Lindt chocalate courtesy of Bing images

So I’ve been away from blogging world for almost 3months now.  No need to discuss what I was up to, but this blog needs to happen ASAP, because it’s eating me up.

My wife is a tri athlete and we are both middle aged.  Problem is it takes enormous amount of work to keep the body she has and actually lot more work because she is a middle aged woman.  I try to be as understanding as possible but it is freakin hard when I rarely see her sometimes and I have to take care of the kids and take care of the house, on top of everything else I gotta take care of while she is doing her thing.  On this particular day I was really annoyed because it was months from her first triathlon event and she was training every freakin day!  I was so pissed because I was so f’in tired as hell and first thing she does is leave when I come home.  I don’t see her till the next morning because she practically lives in the gym/pool.

When a man gets tired and upset beyond his max limit, he is destined to do something really dumb.  I mistakenly made series of mistake that caused great remorse…all over one little bad decision I made.  This day started with same ol same ol.  I come home, she says goodbye, I feed the kids, bath them, and I put them down to sleep.  I think this evening was quieter than other evenings and maybe I had little more difficult time at the office than other days.  I didn’t eat dinner so I was hungry, but didn’t have appetite for anything.  As I’m moping around on the couch thinking how shitty my life was, I ended up reaching for the phone.  I called our babysitter to come over ASAP.  I went upstairs to shower groom and put on something nice for the evening.  At this point I was committed to going through with what I planned.

The babysitter arrived at the door, I let her in and I told her that kids are asleep so it shouldn’t be too bad.  I told her I had somewhere to go and that I should be back in about 2hours.  I got in the car and I drove straight to Ruth Chris steakhouse and dined by myself.

I later got home and I really prayed(knelt down), for improvement and wishing my wife wasn’t so into fitness and health.  This was a prayer I would later regret because it was done 3days before the 1st triathlon event of the year.

The very next day was our coed volleyball game.  We ran a routine play where I’m setting from the back row and my wife was switching from middle to outside hitter position.  Nobody can explain what happened during that moment.  My wife just stood in the middle while everybody else was shifting around for the offensive setup.  Nobody touched her but somehow she just spun around and BADLY tore her right ankle.  I knew this was serious because she couldn’t get up and she was in tears.  She went to see the doctor and was devastated to learn that she wouldn’t be able to walk for a very long time; she will miss her 1st triathlon of the year.  The doctor and I also knew she was probably finished for rest of the year.  If you’ve ever had your impossible prayer answered, you know what I was feeling, I was in shock.  I felt so much guilt at this point as you can imagine, I couldn’t believe what just happened.

My wife does not know what I prayed about the night before her accident.  I would see my wife in crutches and ankle support and I just felt terrible.  I thought one way I can mitigate the situation was to make her feel comfortable and happy as possible.  Some of her favorite comfort snacks are Lindt chocolates and potato chips.  I went out and purchased enough chips and Lindt chocolates to last a whole year….so I thought.  My wife was putting away a whole package of Lindt chocolates every other day!  In two months she put on about 15pounds and I can visually see that she has gotten softer and larger.  I then realized if I keep this up my wife may completely give up on fitness.  I was having all sorts of selfish and evil thoughts.  What if she puts on additional 50 pounds and she completely gives up on fitness, wouldn’t my life be sooooo much better?  I loved having my wife home and having a full house.  House looked clean, smelled clean, and it felt like a real family.

To be continued in part 2

Categories: family, wife

Wanted Caddyshack DVD but ended up with a lab microscope instead

September 23, 2012 31 comments

This sums it up

Here is a quick summary paragraph if you don’t care about all the details.  This blog is about how I ended up purchasing a super discounted lab grade microscope because a blogger reminded me how badly I wanted to watch Caddyshack (popular 80s movie).

My incident with sale sites such as Ebay and Amazon is legendary, when my wife is out of town.  Those that follow my blog probably know about my 1973 Swedish military truck purchase and the carbon fiber wheelset purchase.   Yesterday started out innocent enough.  My wife is out of town and I’m out of town with my 2 boys, for a nice quiet weekend getaway.  Earlier in the week, I started having conversation over some 80’s movies.  It’s really hard to stop an 80’s discussion when it was such a nostalgic period for me.  Long story short, the conversation concluded with an urgency and a burning need to watch Caddyshack, ASAP.

My quest started with my local RedBox movie rental box on the way to the vacation…unfortunately, Caddyshack was not available.

I also checked the local grocery store near the hotel.  Luckily, they were having a big sale on all the old DVD movies! But, unfortunately, no Caddyshack showed up even after about 45minutes of probing and flipping through bottomless pit of old unwanted DVDs.  By then my two little boys were pissed at me for wasting their pool time…lol.  No biggie, I can always sign up for Hulu or Netflix and watch it when kids go down for bed…so I thought.

Kids had a wonderful pool time, fried chicken dinner, and ice-creamy (that what they call a good tasting ice cream).  Woo hoo, they went to bed and it was my time to fly!

I rush to get the laptop and my headset, lunge into my comfy bed, and I start putting all the pillows together to build a man-throne, I was set!

hurry…quickly…hulu+[cntrl & enter]…sign up for membership…search Caddyshack.  Damn! They only had trailers of the movie!

hurry…quickly…netflix+[cntrl & enter]…sign up for membership…search Caddyshack.  Double damn!! Bunch of golf swing videos and no Caddyshack the movie!

On to Bing search for ‘watch Caddyshack movie’.  Among all the questionable sites and torrents, I see a one result that was simply heavenly.  Amazon.com came up, I clicked on it, and sure enough they have streaming service, too!  Lucky me I am already a long time Amazon member, and $2.99 for 48hour streaming rental was very reasonable.

Everything was all downhill after that.  Time was 10:30pm and I figure I’ll just peruse through their deal page for few minutes.

Folks let me tell you about the deal they had on Amazon…it was a $1200 microscope that was on sale at over 80% off!  I had a few thoughts,

  1.  I didn’t know a microscope was so expensive
  2. I bet it will be fun to see what is in my drinking water
  3. I better buy it before it sells out

Followed by reasoning phase,

  1.  Why do I need a professional level microscope when a professional level water analysis is only $20?
  2. It’s huge and weights over 10lbs, where can I put it?
  3. What would the wife say when she finds out?

And lastly, the justification phase,

  1.  I need it because it can do more than just look at drinking water.  Maybe I can find a cure for certain blood disorder, or at least look at a fish tail when it gets ich disease.
  2. Well…we do have the dining room that never gets used.  I can probably put it on the corner of the table and nobody would even know it’s there.
  3. Maybe she’ll be proud I’m making positive progress buying things on Amazon and Ebay.  It’s probably better than the old 1973 Swedish military vehicle and all the carbon fiber goodies for my bicycle.  Microscope is educational and maybe it will encourage our boys to become a brain surgeon or a neuro-scientist, because their daddy took the heat for the microscope and stood up for their future! [insert ‘U.S.A…U.S.A’ chant here]

It was about 12am by the time the microscope was in the shopping cart and I’m thoroughly going through every single review on the scope.  I was really hoping to find the one comment that would explain why this thing was 83% off and why I need to back out of the deal.  Every reviewer was in full agreement that this scope does EVERYTHING.

The biggest coincident occurred when I got a reply comment from the same blogger that basically paved the way for me to get this microscope, reply comment came as I was putting my credit card info in the checkout box.  I had a chuckle with her explanation for this purchase on a whim,

‘THE ultimate man reason…. “because it was on sale” hahaha doesn’t matter WHAT it is….’

Christina is a wonderful blogger and she loves her Caddyshack and Spaceballs.  Check out her blogsite @

http://reconstructingchristina.com/

She asked if I saw the movie yet and it dawned on me, it was now about 1am and I was SUPPOSE to watch Caddyshack hours ago!  All I wanted to do for the evening was purchase the Caddyshack rental for $2.99, but somehow I ended up with a Lab LED Binocular Compound Microscope with Double Layer Mechanical Stage.

You guys are probably thinking the exact same thing I’m thinking right now; there is something wrong with this society when it’s so much easier to buy a lab grade microscope over one of the greatest comedy movies of all time…lol

My road trip back home should be interesting.  I have to train the boys to say the “right” thing. Three of us need to have a consistent story when mommy finds out whats in that brown smiley box from Amazon.  I will also make my wife a nice soothing Lipton tea, when the box arrives.  Did I mention I bundled the Lipton purchase with my microscope purchase?  144count tea bags for $3.99, it was 79% off 🙂

Not losing any more focus, this weekend isn’t over yet, and I will watch Caddyshack this evening!

Categories: children, family, humor, wife

Route in Google Earth and transfer to Garmin GPS (part 2)

September 21, 2012 2 comments

Updated 9/21/12 using google earth version 6.2.2.6613

In this guide you will learn how to get any sketched or routed path from Google Earth directly to your Garmin GPS.

I got an email request for an update to using standalone Google Earth software with a Garmin GPS.  Everybody knows I stive to keeping perfect customer satisfaction rating, so here is my update.  Please refer to part 1 if you are still using older version of Google Earth.  This post will be using Google’s latest v. 6.2.2.6613.

There are several ways to get info into your personal GPS, but this method is the cheapest method(free) without having to sign up for another web account service.  Besides, its just so cool when you can integrate Google earth with any GPS.

1. Install GoogleEarth for your computer

2. Install Garmin Mapsource

3. Reboot your machine

4. Start your GoogleEarth

5a.  There are two options now.  You can use “Add Path” icon from Google earth to sketch your route.  Once you are done sketching goto step11.

5b.  or if you want Google Earth’s calculated directions proceed to step 6.

6. Create all your “Placemarks” first. This sets up a point to point connection of your path

Note: Once you initially hit the placemark icon, you will need to drag and drop it to specific location.

6.  Place your mouse cursor over the starting placemark, right mouse click, and click ‘Directions from here’

7.  Place your mouse cursor over the next placemark, right mouse click, and click ‘Directions to here’

8.  Click icon for ‘Copy the current search results to My Places’.  This moves directions and route to ‘My Places’

9.  Repeat steps 6 to 8 until all the routes are created and moved into ‘My Places’ box.

10.  Here is what it would look like after you connect everything up. My routes are in blue, also notice all the connections I made on the left side of the screen

11.  Once you are happy with your newly created route(s), its time to get it ready for your Garmin GPS. Go to “My Places” in Places box/right mouse click/Save place as/<route_name.kmz>

Note: DO NOT use the upper left File/save/Save place as…

12.  Open up your web browser to GPSvisualizer.

13.  Browse for your .kmz file, be sure to set output file to .gpx, and hit the ‘GO’ button. Your form should look like this.

14.  Click on your shiny new .gpx file and save it to your computer

12. Open up GarminMapsource

13. Open the newly created .gpx file from step 14.

14. Connect up your Garmin GPS to your computer

15. Click Transfer/send to device.

 

 

Part 3 will be a guide to using Google and GPS to mark your own property boundary, with excellent correlation!

Categories: gps

Pays to look like a woman when you are a woman

September 10, 2012 36 comments

One of the sports I follow very closely is a sport of MMA (mixed martial art), so when I hear Ken Shamrock in the news I was excited.  There is just two things you need to know about Mr. Shamrock 1) his ring name is “World’s most dangerous man”, well, he used to be.  2) He is a formal heavyweight champion of the UFC and Pancrase.  In other words, you do not want to mug this guy no matter how desperate you are.

So Ken is walking down the street minding his own business when he spots a damsel getting assaulted.  He goes in to break up the fight when he gets jumped from behind by a heavyset man.  The guy that jumped him probably didn’t realize Ken was a professional fighter because Ken basically man-handled him and “incapacitated” the heavyset guy.

It isn’t until one of the spectators yell out, “Ken, you just hit a girl!”  Upon closer look, indeed, he was a she…Ken immediately backed off.  He later apologized and said, “It was an honest mistake”.  I sure hope Ken doesn’t lose his house over this incident 😦

Here is the link to the news article,

http://www.tmz.com/2012/08/23/ken-shamrock-fight-mall-attack-woman-ufc/#ixzz24QXJkZfG

Categories: humor

Strange observation this morning

August 16, 2012 60 comments

courtesy of Bing imagecourtesy of Bing image

I’m getting my donut and coffee this morning at Dunkin Donuts when I notice something you don’t see every day.  A lady in semi clothed swimsuit pulls up in her min-van, greets a guy, and they both get in his Maserati.  Her vehicle was an older beatup looking red Dodge Caravan, probably worth about $4,000.  His car was a newer looking Maserati GranTurismo, probably worth about $150,000.

Now I can be as male chauvinistic as the next guy, but I thought this was quite unjust.  Guys, I know we can be such a selfish cheap bastard sometimes, but you got to take care of your matriarch.  If you can afford to drive a $150,000 sports car, at least get your wife a top-of-the-line Odyssey or Sienna!  Don’t be such a penny-pincher when you can afford not to be!  I know I should not judge people and maybe I should simply assume the Dodge is their beater car while HER Maserati is in a repair shop, but I find that scenario hard to believe.  Other than that, donut and coffee was pretty good 🙂

Categories: auto, humor, wife

Why the heck am I blogging anyway?

August 10, 2012 84 comments

See this little picture here? It’s a figure of my blog traffic for this week.  You would think most bloggers would give me a “gratz” for the one peak you see there.  Unfortunately, that one peak is basically somebody flipping me the bird…lol.  I’ve been sparsely blogging for about 6 months, and I’ve received about 10-12 personal emails that range anything from weird, graphical, odd, beautiful, & inspirational.  BUT….I’ve also received some negative emails, too.  It’s not the occurrence of the negative emails that’s got me thinking, it’s the pattern of the occurrence.

I was at a ball park on the evening when I had a spike in my blog traffic.  I’m standing in line to purchase some beer and pretzels when I notice the spike.  At that moment I’m thinking, “Oh damn, what did I do now…”  And sure enough, about 25minutes later, I get the negative email in my account.  The email was very valid and I could see the point the emailer was making.  But at the same time it was a gross misinterpretation of my comment that caused the misunderstanding.  It’s amazing how differently a short comment can be interpreted if read in a wrong chronological order with a “glass is half empty” attitude.  Anyway, I did reach out with an olive branch and I left it at that.  The stuff I don’t understand is why a traffic spike is always associated with a negative email.  Does this happen to anybody else?

I’ve had 3 spikes like this, and they were all followed by 3 sets of negative emails, it never fails.  So, naturally, this event made me think about what I am doing in the blogging world.  Am I here to make someone’s life little sadder? Am I here to get rich? Am I here because I have nothing better to do with my time? Am I here because I’m an aspiring writer? Answers are no, no, no, and heck no.

I realized the reason why I’m here is to invest my time in people.  You hear the phrase, “there is something to be learned from every individual” It is so true!  It makes me feel like a human again, I want to look forward to what others look forward to, and feel the excitement when a fellow blogger achieves something.  All these feelings are things I would normally never experience, but it’s a human experience that makes me a better more fulfilled person.  I know that last sentence sounds cliché, so let me explain it better with some examples.  Here are my reasons to why I stay involved in this blogging world:

  • There is an individual that is about to lose his/her home, and potentially become homeless.  I want to see this person get back to stability and re-establish his/her life
  • Special someone working hard in the Carolina in which a novice writer, like me, cannot describe in words how awesome she is, but she is such a beautiful person inside and out.  I want to see her land a wonderful life-changing job or maybe marry a self-made millionaire from a guy from Isle of Man.  Why? Because there is no studdlier place than Isle of Man, that is man’s man coming out of that place!
  • Another beautiful person that’s currently living with 20+ roommates and has to get along with every single one of them.  Worst part is, they only have 1 car to share amongst them.  This person is in survival mode right now, and I pray every day this person stays alive.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if this person does survive and ends up saving lives of 1000s others who were also brutally abused and traumatized as a child?
  • That customer no service guy…lol.  This guy is such a f’in ass, but he sure has some funny stuff.  You often hear that your job affects your personality.  Can you really blame him for his personality when you are dealing with customer complaints every day? Lol.  I want to see what happens to him if he lands a different job, a better job.  Can people change their outlook in life with a different career? I want to see it.
  • Couple of young folks that I follow.  They are bright and energetic with bottomless dreams.  I want to see them grow up, get married, and write about their little children.  I want to be the uncle9911 that showers them with toys and candies and go around telling them to pull my finger…lol.   Okay that’s little creepy, but you get the idea.
  • Handful of aspiring writers waiting to release their first publication.  You better believe I’ll be in full support mode once it does get released.
  • Handful of accomplished writers.  I want to eventually read all their books.  How cool is it to read somebody’s book while understanding them at a personal level via personal blog?  And that guy who ran across America.  What did he learn, what did he see, what made him get up every day to do this crazy thing.  I’m hoping to collect these books and maybe score some complementary autograph!
  • All those single people.  They seem to have so much give, just waiting to share them with the right person.  Who isn’t a sucker for a good romantic ending?  I’ll pop a Champaign with every one of you that finds your life mate 🙂

I blog because I want to be in the middle of the action!  Its one thing to be a spectator and simply read blogs, it’s a whole new experience when you are “in the circle” and interacting with all the fellow humans 🙂

I also want to apologize to some of you for my misinterpreted comments…Can I blame it on my inner city public school education for it? It was a really bad education and I was more focused on not getting beat up than studying 😦

Categories: humor

Hide your women and children

August 2, 2012 66 comments

Figure 1 (courtesy of Bing image)

Figure 2 (courtesy of bing image)

I have a fellow bloggers that are in their youthful & prime 40s&50s and it’s always intriguing why they say they want a good man but yet they cannot find one.  I just assumed these ladies have too high of a standard and unreal expectations.  After all, good men are everywhere, aren’t they?  I think I’m a good guy, all my buddies are good guys, all the spouses of my wife’s friends are good guys…what is the problem? They are everywhere.  What’s wrong with these single women who can’t seem to find the right one?

My blog is actually a Part 2 to this person’s blog.  My response was getting too long and I didn’t want to massacre her page any more than what I’ve already done…lol

http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/welcome-to-my-e-harmony-profile/

The only possible red flag I see is the line, “… I try to go to Brazil twice a year to see them(family). I hope that my partner will come with me.” because it seems to imply she wants her date to come visit her MOTHER, FATHER, & rest of her family in Brazil.  Some guys flee at the thought of hanging out with the “in-laws”, some may not.  But still, it’s no reason why there is virtually no interest in this genuine and honest profile.

Star is currently among my top 5favorite Brazilians: Anderson Silva, Lyota Machida, Wandeli Silva, Vitor Belfort, & this blogger who claims she does NOT have any birthmark on her forehead.  I read her blog and my automatic reaction was, “oh boy, we got another one here with high standards, it’s not that she doesn’t have suitors, she is probably rejecting every single one of them”…lol.  Is it really possible for a beautiful Brazilian woman to struggle so much to find a good date?  What if she just lowered her standards?

Most people that read my blog are also aware of my friend, Big Ben.  My friends and I want him married ASAP because we want him to hang out with us when we plan big family trips to Sesame place, Crayola Factory, Great wolf lodge, etc.  Ben wants to hang out with us on weekends, we want to hang out with him on weekends, but it can be very awkward with presence of a lone middle aged 6’3” single guy hanging out in these family venues.  He needs to get married ASAP, get some kids of his own, and we can all hang out.  After getting few feedbacks from my fellow bloggers, I am faced with a reality that big Ben might not be “normal”.  The one last saving grace is, normal to what?  I think it should be graded on a curve.

So I went off and did some data collection to answer two questions:

  1.  Do middle aged mature adult slightly-seasoned women have a real challenge when it comes to finding a “good” man?
  2. Is Ben normal?

Following table lists all the data points I collected, with some help from Larry and Moe.  All the sampling data was collected in my work campus.

  1.  Sample1: He is a recent divorcee and a roommate to Ben.  He is an electrical engineer by day and a full time video gamer by night.  He is currently fighting evil in nightmare mode of Diablo3
  2. Sample2: His wife recently left him and she moved back to Texas.  He is the 2nd roommate of Ben and is also an electrical engineer by day and a video gamer by night.  He is also currently battling ghouls & zombies in nightmare mode of Diablo3
  3. Sample3: Big Ben (man that needs no introduction).  Also a gamer playing Diablo3
  4. Sample4: He is a director of one of the engineering branches here.  He wears flip/flops to work, has untrimmed toe nails, and plays video game called Eve online, ALL day and night.
  5. Sample5: looks really normal from top to his shin.  He goes above and beyond logic and practicality.  He is a perfectly healthy, in low 40s, but wears orthopedic shoes (figure1)! He reasons it’s very comfortable and the Velcro make it easy to get in/out of.  He takes it as a complement when somebody says, “Hey, those shoes look RIDICULOUSLY comfortable”
  6. Sample6: Another perfectly normal looking guy, until he becomes Bruce Lee in a team meetings (figure2).  He twirls nunchuks in the back of the room, while we are going over reports and figures…
  7. Sample7: Comes in drunk every Monday morning, has his driver’s license revoked for DWI, & lives with his parents
  8. Sample8: has been eating nothing but peanut butter&jelly sandwich for last 20years at work.  He doesn’t talk much either.
  9. Sample9: He is depressed, has very low self esteem, alcoholic, and grossly overweight.
  10. Sample10: He is very fashionable and wears interesting looking top hat every day.  His perfectly manicured finger nail says it all.
  11. Sample11: sex addict level1: All he talks about is sex, it’s near impossible to have any regular conversation with him.
  12. Sample12: sex addict level2: This person works in the deepest darkest “dungeon” of my building.  He works down there alone and he does his own thing.  On his desk, he has pictures of himself with what seems to be a stripper; his hands are “covering” her mammary glands.  His screensaver has similar theme.
  13. Sample13: sex addict level3: Group of colleagues would be having an interesting conversation, when all of a sudden, a nice looking woman walks by.  He completely shuts off from the conversation; he turns around to check out her behind, he tilts his head to almost horizontal, and drools.  I have personally witnessed the drooling from this man.
  14. Sample14: He works in the manufacturing building.  He is very confident and does excellent job with all our hardware.  He is a stud, athletic, loves sports, drives a Jeep Wrangler, and has no trouble finding dates.  In fact, women are lined up every weekend to go out with this guy!  His only issue is he belongs on a very special peer generated list.  The list is titled, “top 10 most likely people that will go postal”.  It’s meant to be kind of funny but there is definitely some bit of truth to it.  He definitely has some kind of emotional problem and sometimes on the verge of just “exploding”.
  15. Sample15: Another guy that has no problem getting dates.  He has been married at least 3times & has about 7 kids that he knows of, by different women.
  16. Sample16: He has pretty good success of finding dates, but he is piss poor from buying them lavish gifts.  He is another one that lives with his parents.
  17. Sample17: He is located in my building and is his early 40’s.  Smart, good looking, & he just broke off his engagement with his longtime girlfriend, actually his girlfriend broke it off.  He wanted to have an “open” style marriage where you are permitted to cheat, with permission.  His fiancé freaked out and said no-way.  He also has this mentality that if he buys dinner, then the date has to go all the way with him.  Really? This is the current standard?

I was disappointed that I couldn’t find anyone that was worthy to marry my fictitous daughter.  Actually, I take that back, I would consider all the video game guys :), they remind too much of myself…lol

In closing I would like to say the following:

To all you single mature slightly-seasoned adult ladies looking for mature adult men:

Unless you like video gamers, it looks really bad.  I really tried to look for a good prospect to even out the result, but it was just one bad sampling after another.  Probability does not look good and I can see why you are having such a hard time finding a keeper.  Good luck finding the one needle in a haystack, and best of luck avoiding those professional daters.  I can seriously see how adopting a pet and living alone would be MUCH better choice than being with some of the said guys from the table.

To all you married folks who are considering cheating on your current spouse for reason other than abuse:

Idea might be tempting and grass might look so green on the other side.  But that patch of grass might only be a sod, as soon as you lift it up you may not like what you see.  It’s a HUGE gamble and odds are well stacked against you.  Fights over money, kids, nagging, dirty dishes, leaving dirty laundry on the floor, toilet seat lid is nothing compared to what’s out there.  Try to forgive & forget and just try to remember back to why you married him/her in the first place 🙂

To all you lucky husbands out there…lol.  You may want to present the data to you wife and tell her she should be so lucky….lol.  I know I will 🙂  Ummm, actually, you better not, you’ll get your ass beat.

Last but not least, big Ben is looking pretty normal to me 🙂

Categories: family, humor

40 year old virgin (part 2)

July 27, 2012 46 comments
courtesy of Bing images

courtesy of Bing images

Not going into details about Big Ben on this one because it’s been done in part 1 of the story here,

https://chris9911.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/40yearoldvirgin/

I got into a pretty good conversation with a fellow cool blogger and we ended up talking about Big Ben.  Yes, he still is a virgin; just want to get that out of the way first.  My other buddies and I have done a lot since my last post, to get him more prepared for the real world and real expectations from normal women.  For example, our biggest task is to convince Ben to lose his virginity.  It is becoming clearer that it’s a liability/red flag and not an asset.  Some may say it’s downright creepy rather than something admirable, for a man of his age.  At least we convinced him not to say anything about his virginity when he is out on a date, so we are making some progress.

That’s a quick update on his life, now let’s get to his most recent incident where friends tried to help, but it ended up causing nothing but grief and stress for everybody  😦

It was a lovely day, and best of all, it was lunch time!  I needed to go to the DMV (department of motor vehicles), so we decided to eat at a noodle bowl restaurant that was directly across the DMV.  It’s a shitty DMV and it’s always annoying to find a good clean seat to sit on.  It seems to be a cesspool of coughing/sneezing people, bad B.O., greasy hair, etc…  I finally find a good seat to sit on and I’m minding my own business waiting for my number to come up.  I didn’t have to wait long before somebody decides to sit RIGHT FREAKIN next to me!!  Big Ben actually does this to lone woman, he and I had a pretty lively argument about it.  Anyway, back to DMV.  I guess I lucked out because this person that sat next to me was clean, healthy, well groomed, and passed the smell test.  So back to minding my own business when all of a sudden, she starts talking to me.  First line out of her mouth, “<sigh>…..I feel so lonely…”   At this point I’m trying to pretend I didn’t hear her, and praying she doesn’t start sobbing.  She then follows up with, “do you know of any good man, sir?”  Adding a “sir” in the end was a good thing, because I do like friendly respectful people.  We start talking about her current situation and her ex-boyfriend that treated her like crap(surprise, surprise..).  Just when I thought I was done talking to her, she still follows up with, do you know of any good man?  Right then, I knew instantly what this was all about!  Of course, it was meant to be!  I told her to hold that thought while I pulled out my cell phone to start texting a very special friend of mine, Big Ben!  Texting went something like this:

Me:     still single?

Ben:  yeah 😦

Me: want a date?

Ben: yeah, what is she like?

Me: well, she is not a doctor, nurse, or a lawyer.  I think she is an English teacher.

Ben: is she good looking?

Me: she isn’t ugly

Ben: K, when does she want to go out?

Me:   Now!   Go do something about your uni-brow, we’ll be there in 15min

Ben: okay

So it was turning out to be a special day.  From everything I can tell, she seemed like a good fit for Ben.  They instantly hit it off.  They were laughing, they were loud, and it was good to see Ben acting so lively.  Ben was in total control of the conversation and he was really worked up…lol.  The momentum was strong and he actually asked her out on a date, BUT….

He freakin drags us into it!  What the hell was he thinking? He goes on and on about kayaking, tells her there is an extra kayak for her to use, and tells her we’ll ALL be there and how awesome it will be.  What the hell is he talking about???!!!  I barely have time to do anything on a weekend and I’m certainly not spending my free time with Ben, especially when my wife is complaining I don’t do enough with the family, and Ben knows this.  Unfortunately for Ben, rest of us is married with kids!! Did he forget this important fact?

Sadly, Ben did not stop with the kayak date invitation 😦 He gets this bright idea to exchange everybody’s phone number…WHAT THE HELL???!!!   It was such an awkward situation where Ben is volunteering all this sensitive information.  Everybody, except for Ben, knew this was weird but we all ended up putting our phone number down on a piece of napkin anyway 😦

I found out two things from this situation.  1.  Turns out I’m actually smarter than these average bears, that I call friends, because I wrote down Ben’s home number…lol.  2.  Ben can be a freakin idiot sometimes.

For next couple of days, everybody was nervous she would call.  Larry took it very hard, he was so nervous that he didn’t sleep for these several days.  He was so scared the teacher would call and his wife would find out it was a woman.  This is probably every husband’s nightmare, a stupid misunderstanding that leads to accusation 😦  I know Larry is a good man, but he can be pretty dramatic in some situations.  By the 3rd day of no sleep, Larry actually did something that was drastic…lol.  He called up the teacher and told her to delete and forget his phone number.  As funny as that may sound, Larry slept like a baby that night…lol

Soooo, let’s see, who else was nervous about the prospect of getting a phone call from this teacher. Answer, Mr. Big mouth himself, Mr. Big Ben.  He was beyond nervous and was in total panic!  He was panicking because he committed to something that he wasn’t comfortable doing.  No, he is not afraid of Kayaking, he was afraid of being involved with the teacher!

We got together to discuss Ben’s problem and it was more perplexing than calculating a 6×6 mathematical matrix with pen and paper.  This was Ben’s explanation why he didn’t want to be with her:

  1. She had a small tattoo (fyi: it was NOT a “ tramp stamp” in the lower back)
  2. Her cleavage was showing
  3. Didn’t like the idea of dating a stray from DMV
  4. And last but not least, he said his mother wouldn’t approve.

I’m starting to lose hope for Ben because I don’t think it’s possible to work around his boundary conditions.  Grown man needing mother’s approval to date?…<sigh>

Ben also did something drastic once sleep deprivation became unbearable.  He, too, called the teacher and said this, and I’m quoting this EXACTLY, “I cannot have you in my circle of friends”

I guarantee this teacher will probably never want to date an engineer or a scientist for as long as she is alive.

I don’t go to that specific DMV anymore, because I have a phobia to an angry or emotional woman; I hope I never run into that teacher.  I also do pray she is doing well, and I feel terrible for the grief I may have caused.  So I do have a lesson learned from this.  BIG BEN IS ON HIS OWN.

Categories: family, humor

Sausagefest over this person/machine (TDF celebration part2)

July 14, 2012 57 comments
Figure 1

Figure 1 (courtesy of Jenny Fletcher pro-triathlete)

For those that just fell off the turnip truck, world’s greatest sporting event is in full swing and it’s nearly over 😦  Yes, I am talking about the Tour de France!  What better way to celebrate than with a blog related to cycling?

There is an English slang word, “sausagefest”.  What is the definition of sausagefest, you ask? I’m not talking about the kind you experience at local state fair but it’s of something more…umm…anomalistic.  Since Mr. Webster has decided it’s not worthy of his dictionary, I will have to define it for the public.  Definition of sausage fest:

sau-sage-fest” n: An odd phenomenon that describes plurality of modern male Homo sapiens to particular location in mass.  This strange gathering is usually triggered by some sort or stimulant that seems to disrupt the homeostasis by erratic discharge of testosterone of the affected subject.  Possible known stimulants are: 1. anything that involves torque/horsepower, 2. Anything that explodes, 3. anything with wheels 3. Female subject or equivalent.  Such fantastic congregation ends up overwhelming female participant(s) within the group.  The event usually ends with no resolution and no satisfaction by all parties involved.

My wife and I are part of a weekly bicycle ride group in our area.  It’s a fairly large group consisting of 40-50 riders, predominantly male riders.  On this one particular day, we had a new member that rolled up in a STUNNINGLY gorgeous $8k (MSRP) fully decked out Orbea Ordu Time Trial bike.  The cyclist just so happened to be a really pretty young lady probably in her 20s or early 30s.  Please refer to Figure 1 for reference on the rider and the time trial bike.  She was also seriously decked out with a matching aerodynamic body suit and all the bells and whistles.  It was unfortunate she showed up for the ride by herself and no wedding ring on.  I say unfortunate because the event that happened next is something I don’t even wish on my worst enemy 😦

Can you say, “Release the Kraken” or “open the floodgate”?  It was a sausagefest of the millennium!  I’ve never seen such blatantly obvious ploy/tactic/excuse to meet the new member like that.  I counted about 9-10 isolated cyclists around the parking lot and one giant hive of cyclists around this one particular area.  You could not see the new rider, it was that dense!

My wife made a comment about how stupid they all look…lol.  Apparently she has never witnessed a sausagefest of this kind of epic proportion.  I simply told her that our overly friendly bike group is just trying to be helpful to the new rider and probably just making her feel welcome.  Most of them were trying to talk over each other and you can hear some of the ridiculous comments coming from the hive.  Comments ranged anything from the weather, road course, bicycle tune-up, proper setup of the bike, etc…  I think every single one of them offered free tune-up of her bicycle…lol.  It was obvious they were not thinking with the correct brain, because:

  1. It was picture perfect weather.  70degree F, no wind, and not a cloud in sight.
  2. Road course? It was obvious she came equipped with a bike gps with all the turn by turn programmed in.
  3. Bike tune-up? A person with an $8k bike will have her own mechanic that she trusts.  You do not trust any bloke mechanic that you just met at a parking lot.
  4. Bike setup? A bike shop that sells you the $8k bike will not let you out until it is professionally setup, usually takes hours under close video analysis.

The new girl handled it with great personality.  If anybody was touching/groping my bike like that, you better believe there will be some fists flying!

Anyway, while all that was going on I also realized there was another “forgotten” new rider in the parking lot.  Rider was a she, and ironically she also came alone and without a wedding ring.  I actually noticed her front wheel wasn’t on properly.  So I went over there to introduce myself & reassured her that I used to be a bicycle mechanic, before working on her bike.  The lady was a postal worker in her mid 40s and her bike was pretty old, it had been in storage for 15+ years!  I lifted the front end of her bike and smacked the top of her front wheel, the wheel popped off with ease.  She was very thankful that I caught the problem and offered to pay for my service.  She made one funny comment that made me laugh.  She said, “Well I’m glad she (referring to new girl#1) didn’t need all the bike mechanics from this group today…lol”

I looked at my wife and I thanked her for marrying me, thus saving me from such embarrassment.  I like to think I am better than all those guys participating in the sausagefest, but who knows?  I could have been the loudest one making the biggest fool of myself…lol  I was just so glad I wasn’t part of that and I have my wife to thank 🙂

In case you are wondering about the new girl, we never saw her again after that ride…lol

Categories: bicycle, family, humor, wife

Intense heat wave = please check your tire psi

July 3, 2012 18 comments

This is a big travel week and I need raise this concern for people driving along regions affected by this crazy heat wave.  This is something that I noticed yesterday on my own truck and it is important enough for all of you that drive, to understand.  What you feel may only be 110-114degrees, but that’s nothing compared to what your tires feel going over that hot pavement.  I’m not going to go through the equations and theories on why gas expands when heated, they just do.  PLEASE PLEASE, check your tire pressure under two conditions:

  1.  Check it when its cool
  2. Check it after you’ve been driving for some time.

My tires are 44max psi.  I noticed they were at 55psi during this intense heat wave!! That is 20+psi ABOVE the recommended pressure when its cool!  Be sure to make sure your tire pressure stays safely below your maximum psi rating.  Happy 4th everybody, and safe driving.  Don’t be that guy/gal with a blown tire during this bizarre climate.

Categories: auto, camping, children, family, wife

Fun at Stonewall resort in WV (review)

June 28, 2012 8 comments

I took a week off with my 2 boys and we went back to a place where it’s a guaranteed perfect vacation spot.  Here is my short summary of the resort:

I decided to write about my experience at this resort because we live in a world where people are quick to complain but not enough complements are given out.  I’ve already stayed here 4 times (in the past 14months) and it’s one of the best resorts I’ve ever stayed at.  It’s easy to find a resort that is pure family friendly, they are dime a dozen.  Its lot more difficult to find a resort that goes another big step further, and accommodates a vacationer who HAS to work during the vacation.  Haters can hate me and criticize me for working during family vacation, but I’m the one that has to put the food on the table, and that dang electric bill better be paid so the light turns on when my wife flips the switch at night.

There are 6 areas within the resort that are critical to my family’s enjoyment, they are:

  1.  Indoor pool
  2. Outdoor pool
  3. Hot jetted pools
  4. Restarurant #1
  5. Restaurant #2
  6. Kid’s activity area

All these locations are clustered together and it’s easy to migrate from one area to the next, if need be.  I have perfect line of sight, and all within audible range, to what my kids are doing from any of the mentioned locations.  There are comfy chairs and tables to accommodate my work package.  I also have direct line of sight to all my work stuff as I’m interacting with my kids, too.  All this adds to peace of mind and I don’t miss a beat.  Everything just flows from work to fun seamlessly.

I found this 1900acre BEAST of a resort hidden away in West Virginia that has earned the Four Diamond Award from AAA.  It’s so huge that it’s got its own separate waterfront campground, waterfront cabins, full marina, fishing bridge, 18hole Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, and 3 restaurants.  You might be saying, did he just say West Virginia?? Isn’t that where all the hicks hang out?

This resort couldn’t be further from the West Virginia stereotype.  All the staff and visitors are so friendly and I assure you they all speak the proper English.  It feels like visiting ummm…that Munchkin land from Wizard of Oz, with normal sized people though.  Everybody is smiling there.  Not just any ordinary smile but a radiant one from all the staff members.  There are visitors of many shapes and sizes.  Best way to describe the resort experience is, it feels alive! You can feel life there!  There are cute little kids bouncing around, there are great grandparents holding hands by the campfire, there are newly married honeymooners embracing by the dock, & everything in between.

Just because there are cute little kids there doesn’t mean people without kids are going to be shortchanged.  All the parents I’ve seen are very responsible and staff member are very strict about keeping things in order and enforcing the resort rules.  For example, when my kids jumped into the adult heated whirlpool, one of the staffers was on to them like a hornet on a stick wielding kid.  Let me repeat,

The staff members will STRICTLY enforce the, no kids in the hot pool rule!

I love kids, but just not in my whirlpool.  I wish I knew the name of the staffer that booted my kids from the whirlpool; I would have tipped her generously and would have given her boss a high review.

I’m kind of an uptight vacationer and I do embarrass my wife with all my complaints.  But as I said, I’ve vacationed here 4 times and I haven’t had a single incident.  When a resort does something so magical where it makes even the grumpiest vacationer happy, I will reward them.  I am extremely generous tipper, and I will tip like I’m gambling in Vegas when I’m jolly.

Lastly, I want to comment on their drinking water, because it is so clear and so crisp.  I have a nose for fishy water, probably from all the years of my aquarium hobby, but I’ve been to various high end restaurants where water smells funny.  I love the drinking water from all of Stonewall’s restaurants.  I think the water is so good to a point where it could be a bad for their business.  Why? Because I will not order my usual glass of Coke with my meal, when I’m at Stonewall.  Their drinking water is that good.

That’s my quick summary in a nutshell.  If you ever see a man with a portable Dell laptop and 2 rowdy little boys, stop by and say hi to me.   Now I’m going into the details that matters to me the most.

Pool

If you are vacationing with little kids, pool is a #1 priority.  Stonewall have a large heated indoor-outdoor pool.  Two pools are connected so the indoor side is warm and the outdoor side is cooler.  Also, there are two adult only whirlpools that are jetted and bubbly hot, it will instantly melt all your stress away.  Sometimes I’ll get in a repeating rhythm of working on my laptop for few hours followed by relaxing in a whirlpool for 10-15 minutes.  There is also a fitness area with changing room, complete with sauna and a steam room.

Foods

No such thing as a good resort without good food.  Exquisite food can only start with the freshest locally raised ingredients.  Their meats and veggies taste noticeably different than what I’m used to back home.  Burgers are amazing and they use traditional recipes on their other fine gourmet dishes.  Oh and kids under 8 eat for free!

Categories: bicycle, camping, children, family, wife

no, No, NO!!! We can’t afford a family trip this year.

June 20, 2012 54 comments

I am just so tired of having this conversation with my wife; I’m really losing sleep and productivity over it.  Our 10year anniversary is coming up in couple of months and she cannot focus on anything else other surfing all the travel websites.  We have a conference room setup in our house and we should be working-working, not surfing the web for vacation stuff.  Kids are sleeping, and she knows all the to-do items that need to be addressed before we even discuss anything related to fun.

It all comes down to the fact I didn’t give her the wedding honeymoon that she wanted.  I planned the honeymoon and I picked a quaint little town called Door County in Northeast Wisconsin.  It was ideal because it was close to home and I started a new task at work that needed my attention, ASAP.  It was a beautiful honeymoon and we have such beautiful memories from it.  The whole honeymoon became a problem on our 1 year anniversary.  She said, “You still owe me a honeymoon”.  To that I said, “Its honeymoon everyday in our householdJ” But she wasn’t feeling it L  So that forced me to take my 1st ever international trip out to Cancun for 7days.  The 2nd anniversary was more of the same with the added, “That last resort was pretty bad”.   So the 3rd anniversary we stayed in presidential suite that was big and lavish enough to house family of 10.  Things were quiet until the 5th anniversary.  Apparently I still owned her a honeymoon.  She said all the other ones didn’t count because it wasn’t on an island.  We ended up staying in a gorgeous hotel on the island of Cozumel for 14 days.

We now have 2 kids since the “last” honeymoon.  I’m working on family budget, business budgets, project timelines, design reviews, business proposals, & renderings, and what do I get from across the table?…”Honey, when are you going to give me the honeymoon you promised”.  I was so close to just blowing up at her.  All I did was look at her and not say anything.  She kept going on and on about how we needed a big family trip and how badly she wants to go to Hawaii or Europe for the honeymoon, which I still owed her.  I took a deep breath and told her we can’t afford it this year.  This is absolutely true because we have a double mortgage and our monthly spending has ballooned to 10 times what it normally should be.  Yes, you heard that right, 10times!!  The construction of the new house is draining all the money and I need to work more hours and days to make it all happen.  Since acquiring the new property, I’m working 7 days/week and I’ve been going to bed between 12am-2am, everyday.  I’m not whining or complaining here, I just want somebody to throw me a bone! But all I get is, you are too cheap, you are not participating in family activities, you still owe me a honeymoon, etc…

I feel like everything is so fragile right now, and my absence will cause a catastrophic collapse of all the intricate progress that I’ve been making for all the businesses and the new home.  All I need to do is continue the same routine, eat same type of food, & same exercise for next 9 months, and everything will be fine.

Baby, I love you but WE CAN’T AFFORD A FAMILY VACATION TO HAWAII THIS YEAR!! Is there a different way to say this? because this conversation is ready to blow up if it doesn’t get resolved real soon.  I’m definitely pushing my human limit everyday and stuff like this can really send any man over the edge…<sigh>

Leopard DC1 bike, my Ferrari on two wheels. (TDF celebration part1)

June 18, 2012 19 comments

Summary:

I want to showcase my most favorite bicycle from my fleet of bikes, sorry Orbea 😦

This is a custom built climbing machine, built by yours truly, and it only has the components that has been certified by weight weenie federation of the world…lol.  I had an option to complete this project with the Shimano Dura-ace DI2 system, but I’m a firm believer in “light makes right” philosophy when it comes to bike building.  It currently does not meet the weight requirement, of 6.8kg/14.99 lb, set by International Cycling Union, but I am not racing in UCI sanctioned events and none of my riding competitors need to know how light my bike is…lol.  Some may say it’s cheating but I’m older and I need the technology to even the playing field among other better riders.  I don’t have the time and luxury of training everyday but what I do have is a credit card to purchase my “performance in a box”, I order parts and it arrives in 2 days.

My Race stat:

The last competitive race was back in 8/8/2011 for a duathlon race, and here is the result of it.

The machine spec:

Without further adieu, I present to you my Ferrari on two wheels, Leo-pard DC1:

  1. Bottle Cage:  44 Bontrager XXX carbon holders w/bolts
  2. Rear Brakes:  130 SRAM Red
  3. Front Brakes:  135 SRAM Red
  4. cable adjuster: 6
  5. cable housing: 54
  6. Cables:  100
  7. Cassette: 106 SRAM Red
  8. Chain:   255 SRAM Red
  9. Crankset: 720 Token Carbon 170mm, 53/39, bb, rings, bolts, arms, cups,
  10. Derlr (Front): 71 SRAM Red
  11. f derl hanger: 31
  12. Derlr (Rear): 139 SRAM Red
  13. Fork:  380 taper Leopard Carbon
  14. Frame:   876 53cm 2010 Leopard DC1
  15. Grips:  39
  16. Handlebar:  192 Ergonova 3T Pro Team Carbon Handlebar 42cm
  17. Stem:   100 edge 110mm
  18. Headset:  138  Headset Cap/Bolt:0 with fork Headset Spacer: 0 with fork
  19. Quick Releases: 89 Zipp
  20. Seat Binder:  20
  21. Seat:   103 custom full carbon-carbon
  22. Seatpost:  156 Exotic carbon
  23. Shifters:  293 SRAM Red
  24. Tire (Front) 215 tufo s3 215 tubular
  25. Tire (Rear): 215 tufo s3 215 tubular
  26. wheel (Front): 480 Reynolds cirro sv carbon
  27. wheel (Rear): 685 Reynolds cirro sv carbon

Total weight w/o pedals: 5772 grams or   12.7 pound

Categories: bicycle

Recognitions from my fellow bloggers

June 11, 2012 66 comments

I’ve been putting this off for some time now.  Finally taking little break from my daily tasks and do some “blog-keeping”.  To the ones that recognized me, I apologize for such a long delay, but I want you to know you made my day and thank you for the motivation!

I received 4 recognitions from following bloggers:

  1. http://cookiemomma.wordpress.com
  2. http://serenescribe.wordpress.com
  3. http://xoevelynortizhasspoken.wordpress.com
  4. http://terry1954.wordpress.com/

I’m going to do something different with the nomination.  I will nominate a specific blog rather than a specific blogger.  If you are not familiar with any of these bloggers, please check out these specific blogs, it’s pretty awesome.

NOTE: all these good blogs are nominated for “Versatile Blogger award” or “One Lovely blogger award”

1.   http://purpleowltree.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/basic-life-story-38/

So you think you have it rough, you lost over $250k trading EBay stock, you whine about your life in these “occupy” type of gatherings, you got beat up in school, somebody stole your lunch money…Waa Waa Waa, cry me a river and go read about this blog.

2.   http://serenescribe.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/tempest-in-a-teapot/

What can you say about this selfless blogger that recently was blessed with Freshly-pressed status.  She responded to every single comment left by the mass! I know she worked countless hours/days/ and sacrificed her own health to give back to her readers.  I’m proud to be her friend and I am fortunate I get to read another freshly press worthy blog from her.

3.  http://newviewfromhere.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/pleasant-and-unpleasant-surprises/

He has a really creative line in here that goes something like this, “drive by” (shooting up prayers for him as I drove by the house),..”  That is T-shirt and bumper sticker worthy statement!  He better copyright this and start making some bumper stickers.

4.   http://christiepepper.com/2012/05/24/firearms-qualifications/

Don’t be messin’ with this ranger momma!  An officer that loves her Glock, Blizz-con/Comic-con nerd, history buff, and a cooking genius.  Oh and her latest published article about a nostalgic music store.  http://www.povhouma.com/Articles/2012/05/lv_01_0512.html

5.  http://terry1954.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/these-four-walls/

It is a beautiful blog about a handicapped brother and his loving sister.  If you like reading about selfless act, sacrifice, and overcoming tough obstacles you should check this out.

6.  http://djterbo.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/abba-%e2%99%a5/

Blog site about Abba, Fedor, Mike Tyson & the Axe murderer….nuff said!

7.   http://heartofamothersprayers.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/the-greatest-lesson-learned-in-motherhood/

Best Mother’s day blog for 2012.  Thanks Stephanie

8.   http://fela2fela.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/553/

This one hit close to home because it brought out my engagement memory that I forgot about.

9.  http://lomaxbike.com/2012/06/10/who-do-you-rate-as-this-years-best-team-in-the-tour-de-france-2012/

Tour de France is less than 3weeks away and this is where you get your cycling updates!! The tour is only 1 of 2 sports I follow and it’s always a treat to see them come around once a year like.

10.   http://mylifeworthliving.com/2012/05/18/day-sixteen-30-day-challenge-about-myself/

“Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you are going to get.”

11.   http://turkischland.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/fotos-fromturkeywithlove/

Very cool photo blogger who shows lots of passion for his hobby.  Lots of pictures you don’t see every day, about another country.

12.   http://xoevelynortizhasspoken.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/racing-through-life-slow-down/

Normally she is a happy & energetic person, but I think she was feeling little down on this particular day.  I was very sad to learn of her health condition at such young age of 21.  But at the end of the day, I know she will keep on truckin’ along and get that dream Dodge of her’s 🙂

13.   http://blog.dianehenders.com/2012/05/09/beautiful-sunshiny-versatile-and-lazy/

Cool picture of 6’4” biker lady, on heels, with even cooler fanny pack (bum pack if you are Brit) to match!

14.   http://durtonthebible.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/standing-in-hope/

What is your option when you miss church on Sunday? Very easy, you check out Sean’s blog

15.   http://www.photobotos.com/freshly-squeeze-sarah-ann-wright/

Photo blogger that has blessed me with lots of “like” button hits.  I appreciate the support and I enjoy his creative photos!

16.   http://liferevelation.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/virtue-2-accountability/

Powerful inspirational writer.  Here he talks about a topic on accountability and it’s perfectly done with a really good lead in.  What can you say about a guy that’s signs off with “Be encouraged!”

17.   http://yibeichen.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/stay-at-home-dad/

Another nostalgic topic, this time about my magical year as a stay-home-dad.  I guess retirement will come before I get that opportunity again.

18.   http://lifeinthedashlane.wordpress.com/aboutme/

I will man up and just say it, I was wrong, I was wrong, I was wrong.   A lady leaves her husband who has passion for bridges…what man doesn’t like bridges? I assumed one way because her ex reminds me of me and my buddies, but I was completely wrong.  She is a brave lady and I feel like an ass 😦

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Some random things about me

  1.  I’m a big fan of MMA, just wish it was on regular free TV for all the major matches.
  2. I have a secret collection of McDonald’s Beanie baby collection, sealed in original case.  It was PURELY for future investment purpose!
  3. My wife and I LOVE playing Rock Band in the basement when kids are sleeping
  4. I would love to have a daughter, but a fear of ending up with 3 boys is just unthinkable.
  5. Favorite beer is Miller Genuine draft….its Miller time, really, right now 🙂
  6. Favorite food is spaghetti with meatballs, not the one giant meatball kind but about 5 or so smaller meatball kind, and LOTS of garlic.
  7. My ultimate dream cars are Volvo c303(urban assult vehicle) and Factory 5 GTM(Ferrari killer).  Almost had the Volvo within grasp until my wife threatened to leave me with both our children 😦
Categories: awards

No such thing as wasted time (father & son)

May 18, 2012 31 comments

This is a very compelling 4minute video if you are a busy father and sometimes feel guilty about not doing enough for the family.  I admit this short clip made me little teary eyed.  Luckily I watched it while no one was around.  I think about all the times I blow my oldest son off, while I’m working on various projects around the house, because either I feel cranky or I feel he is going to slow me down and waste everybody’s time.  This video was brought to my attention by a wonderful blogger named Stormlover.  I can’t thank her enough for this short clip that basically re-energized my mental capacity for dealing with my kids. 

To a child- love is spelled T-I-M-E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfZhReSOP9w&feature=youtu.be

Categories: children, family, wife

horrid memory into funny memory in less than 1year (part 1)

May 16, 2012 49 comments

This conversation came up during our lunch time w/ Larry, Moe, Curly, & Shemp.  We are scientist, scientist, engineer, & engineer, respectively.  I point this out because it’s amazing what kind of stupid discussion we can have, given the education level.  It goes to show you that education does not make you smarter…lol.  We are all married with two kids, except Shemp.

We decided to do some manly offroading with our trucks.  I have a Jeep Cherokee, Larry has a Toyota FJ, and Moe has a Honda Ridgeline.  Place we went is called Rausch Creek Off road park in PA.  This is the real deal, nothing but sea of lifted rock crawlers and jeeps.  Everybody had fun except for the Ridgeline guy.  We had to winch him out of the park.  He damaged his transmission for sure.  Thick smell of roasted transmission oil was a sure sign it needed overhauling. 

Once we got out, we were all pleased with our capable 4x4s, minus Moe.  We operate in a buddy system.  Larry and I barraged Moe with reasons and justifications why he NEEDS to get a different vehicle, a real truck, a man’s truck!  This kind of pressuring by close friends worked! He found enough strength and bravery to face his wife.  Before I continue further, I need to fill you in on his wife.  She is a mean, large, and in charge.  Whatever she says goes, there are no if/and/buts.  If she wants a rabbit, you pick one up by next day.  If she wants a bird, you pick up the complete kit.  If she wants a dog, you pay whatever it costs to get the one that she wants.  If she wants a cat, you say yes ma’am and shut up.  Moe doesn’t have anything left for a backbone, it’s just cartilage. 

Being good friends we are, we told him to stand up to his wife and demand that he be allowed to have some adventure time with us.  Moe is only allowed to come out if his wife okays it.  It gets really freakin annoying to plan anything around his schedule because of “it”.  So we really pumped him up to stand up to his wife, we coached him, and we did some dry-runs of all the different scenarios of the argument. 

We practiced for about a week and it was finally time.  Larry and I were on standby all evening, just in case if something goes wrong.  Moe would be welcome to stay at my house or Larry’s house for however long. 

We finally received an email at 11pm!!! He had the green light to purchase a beater Jeep!  I did reply-all, “Oh, HELL YEAH!”  Larry replied something that wasn’t politically correct, but we were all so happy for Moe.  His “backbone” was finally strengthening!

Our next day consisted of heavy strategizing of the purchase.  We said the purchase has to happen ASAP, before she changes her mind.  Three of us hit Craigslist and EBay really hard.  Found a beater Jeep for $3000usd and we all went to check it out.  It was a great truck, Larry and I gave it four thumbs up.  Moe paid for and you can tell he was beaming.  Not only was this a capable 4×4, it was a trophy, trophy of conquering his fear and adversity.  That made all of us proud of him.  He is such a great guy and he should be able to reward himself once in a while like this.  I volunteered my time to get it fixed up to pass state inspection.  After about 2weeks of repair, the truck was finally ready.  We held a team meeting and we all agreed to hit the 4×4 park for upcoming Saturday, we were set….so we thought…

Moe’s Jeep was definitely worth $3k, but it wasn’t perfect, it was actually next solar system over from being perfect.  Moe decided to celebrate this joyous occasion by driving it around with his two young girls, ages 5 and 7.  They are such adorable little kids, and their daddy loves them to death!  It was a beautiful day, Jeep is driving great, and his girls are having a blast in the back seat. 

Things suddenly turned for the worst when Moe decided to drive his beater Jeep through a mechanical car wash.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been through one, but it’s the kind with 3 giant mechanical rollers; two on either sides and one huge one on the top….Moe’s Jeep is a RAGTOP (made of cloth), a very very very old ragtop 😦

Water started pouring in as some of the smaller holes turned into bigger holes, and the spinning of the rotating machine banging against a cloth cover made it sound like you are in a tornado.  Two girls are screaming in the back, & Moe is screaming in the front.  Moe tries to start the car but it sputters to a stop, he can’t get it started.  In his last ditch effort to save his daughters, he threw himself to the back seat and covered up his two girls.  He feared the roof was going to collapse and kill his girls.

Good news is they all survived, but the ragtop was no longer a top, it was just a rag.    His last email to us was, “I am so fucked”.  Larry and I were frantic; we tried calling him, texting, & email, but no response.    Larry and I were feeling so guilty.  If it weren’t for us, Moe and his girls would have been fine.  One can only guess what kind of wrath he was dealing with.  His girls poured their heart out to their mommy and pretty much ratted him out.  No one knows what happened next inside Moe’s house…  I just know whatever backbone Moe had it just turned into string cheese.  Larry and I were very scared for him.

We finally got email back from Moe saying he can’t join us for the next 4×4 adventure, and that he is selling his Jeep.  He didn’t join us for lunch during that whole month, and he ended up giving the Jeep away for $1500. 

It’s been almost a year since the fallout, and it looks like everything is back to normal.  Moe has paid his “prison sentence” and is able to breathe fresh air again.  We talk about this incident once in a while, and we just start cracking up and it always ends with, “What the hell were you thinking, man?”…ROFL!

Categories: auto, children, family, humor, offroad, wife

When a bear falls from the sky…lol

May 15, 2012 25 comments
funny bear fall

picture of bear falling off a tree

It’s hard not to love funny animal picture.  I came across this one and it was just unbearably funny to me, so I framed it as such…hahaha.  I thought everybody can use a quick laugh this morning. 

Check out his extension and his elegant form! Judges are going wild over the near perfect fall, for a bear.

Note: The way I understand it, this bear went up a tree at some university.  Cops came, shot him with a tranquilizer, and it fell safely on a bear-sized mattress.  Parents, please don’t ever buy a bear costume for your college student…lol

Categories: animals, family, humor

kids’ Mother’s day brawl

May 14, 2012 16 comments

This mother’s day started out with my wife poking me in the morning, asking me to get up and make her some breakfast.  I am half asleep and I THINK I inadvertently told her “you are not my mother; I can make you some cereal when I get up”.  As I was trying to fall back asleep, I felt an eerie omen come over; it was complete silence from other side of the bed.  Every married man knows, when a silence like this makes its presence in the bedroom, something bad is about to go down.  I quickly responded with, “how about I assist the boys in making your breakfast?”

From my bed, I called out for my oldest boy (5yrs old).  I told him to make mommy some lovely breakfast for mother’s day.  My oldest, who I refer to as “the champ”, is an amazing kid.  He loves is mother to death and he will never say “no” to daddy.  As I’m lying on my bed, I can hear all the rustlings and activities going on in the kitchen.  I am smiling because its just too darn cute. 

My champ comes upstairs and tells mommy there is a surprise for her 🙂 She kisses him and we all walk down the stairs.  Long and behold, what do we see?  Our “wee-bear” is caught eating some of the food the Champ has laid out for mommy. 

All hell breaks loose!

My oldest lunges in with a double fisted superman punch and knocks the little one down.  This is when my mother’s day participation comes in.  I pull the oldest one off and I tell the little one to apologize. 

 I proudly prevented bloodbath between these two rivals 🙂

Picture below is the breakfast our Champ made for mommy.

Categories: children, family, humor, wife

Need your opinion on a Home Design

May 7, 2012 46 comments

All,

I need everybody’s opinion on this, PLEASE.  Please put on your “design hat” and “home buyer hat” and tell me what you think about these 3 designs, cost being same for all three houses.  Which one of these 3 homes would you buy, and why?

The exterior finish is a brown stucco.

Home #1

home1

home1

Home #2

home2

home2

 

Home#3

home3

home3

 

Thanks for your input, you have no idea how much of a help this is 🙂

——————————————–updated 05/24/2012——————————–

Thanks for all the great input.  I definitely do not want this property to look like its owned by a drug cartel…lol.  I did like the comment about creating warm friendly and inviting looking house.  And definitely more modest looking 🙂

052412

052412

052412-2

052412-2

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052412-3

052412-4

052412-4

Categories: family, Uncategorized

The versatile blogger award

April 27, 2012 41 comments

versatile blogger award

Now here is something that doesn’t happen to me every day.  Went for a stroll the other day, came back, and this is what I found in my blogger inbox…lol.

I am actually very thrilled to receive this cool recognition because its from a fellow blogger whom I respect tremendously.  All his blogs are well thought out, humorous, and certainly inspirational.  Thank you “Mr. About me” for the nomination.  His blog address is:

http://newviewfromhere.wordpress.com/about/

Now on with the rules and requirements of this recognition:

——————————————————————————————————-

VBA Rules

If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger award.

  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. That’s common courtesy.
  •  Include a link to their blog. That’s also common courtesy — if you can figure out how to do it.
  •  Next, select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. ( I would add, pick blogs or bloggers that are excellent!)
  •  Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award — you might include a link to this site.
  •  Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

————————————————————————————————————————————

Okay, now it my turn to nominate 15 bloggers!  I am going to select bloggers based on the amount of impact they had on my blog.  If this award is new to you, then congratulations! you certainly earned it.  If you are so good and are familiar with these types of nominations/recognitions, well it is just another confirmation from one of your followers to re-affirm how good you are.  Here they are in no particular order.  <Drum roll please>:

1. Cookiemomma: http://cookiemomma.wordpress.com
One of my most favorite bloggers bar none!! Lots of credit to cookiemomma for the dramatic evolution of my blog site.  Intelligent writer, thoughtful commenter, and she is going to make me a superstar among other moms at next kid’s b’day party.  Wait till I unleash my new learned knowledge on cakes and cookies, to rest of these soccer moms.  Oh and, yes, there is a big difference between a soccer mom and a cookiemomma 🙂
2. Fela2fela: http://fela2fela.wordpress.com 
This blogger’s  material is nothing like you’ve ever seen in the blog world.  It’s mostly based on random thoughts and dreams and it just pulls you in.  Many occasions when I read the blog, it stimulates my old memory bank in my head, and brings it out in full force.  You also got to pay attention to all the pictures with the stories because they intertwine so flawlessly.  This particular blog is my favorite story.  The mother’s reply is what adds to the “drama” of the story. http://fela2fela.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/medication/
3. Yibeichen: http://yibeichen.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/stay-at-home-dad/
This blogger may not know this, but Yibei is my first follower and was also my 2000th customer to my site…lol.  Very creative with design and very smart.  This link is my favorite blog from Yibei’s site.  I found myself saying a mouthful on the comment section…lol

4. LifeWorthLiving: http://mylifeworthliving.com
I love underdog story, and what can you say about a gal that was singing “welcome to the jungle” with her daddy when she was small.  She has about one more month to go before being reunited with the love of her life. 

5. Mari Sanchez Cayuso: http://marisancayuso.wordpress.com
Definitely a “heavy weight” when it comes to poetry writing.  Some of them are pretty intense and some will just relax you like warm summer breeze.  And all her comments are just as beautiful.

6. DianeO: http://diane-owens.com/
She just completed her 100 straight days of pretty impressive blogging.  They are all intended to be thought provoking and she has a very lively audience with good interactions.  She is a hippie sorta person and she recently wrote about her relationship with her very Republican father, and was just perfect.  

7. Ignitemenow: http://ignitemenow.wordpress.com
This blogger has a style of writing that will charge you up every time you read it.  I often say it’s a direct replacement for my morning coffee.

8. Dana: http://serenescribe.wordpress.com
Soooo fun!  You can instantly get to know her really well by reading her blogs.  Fun, loving, daddy’s little girl, humorous, and currently the Queen of one liners 🙂  Visit her “favorite blog” page and you’ll see what she is all about.  Anybody that ever wrote bad response to her is an ass.

9. Stephanie Romero: http://stephaniesromero.blogspot.com/
God only knows it’s difficult to understand and comprehend what can possible be going thought my wife’s head.  This blogger has some very wise advice and stories to help me be a more understanding husband.

10. JustWords: http://kzackuslheureux.wordpress.com/
I didn’t think it’s was possible to find somebody that loves camping more than I do.  Lots of great articles on outdoor related stuff and some bit of controversial stuff, but it’s all good.

11. Diane Henders: http://blog.dianehenders.com
An author, business owner, public speaker, gear head, computer nerd, Harley rider, car enthusiast, etc… are you kidding me? You think this person knows a thing or two about getting things done?  Truly inspirational and probably the next biggest celebrity I’ve known since Willie G. Davidson 🙂

12. Donna on Palawan: http://donnaonpalawan.wordpress.com/
I guess when you live in paradise and eat natural foods; you get the result you see on her webpage.  Can’t thank her enough for nudging me to write a letter to my wife.  As soon as I was done writing it, it just felt right.

13. Shawna: http://rosemarymint.wordpress.com
Wonderful poet and a partner in crime to an awesome blogger that tagged me with all this.  Don’t know how she got left out of the original nomination but certainly deserving of it for sure.  You and your husband are wonderful people and your websites are a great reflection of your personalities.

14. Heart of a Mother’s prayers: http://heartofamothersprayers.wordpress.com/
Another great blog to help me understand my wife better.  I think this blog caused me to give my wife some hugs, that I normally wouldn’t have done 🙂

15. xoEvelynOrtizHasSpoken: http://xoevelynortizhasspoken.wordpress.com
Recently stumbled on this gem of a writer.  Great interaction with followers and great material.  I’m tell you folks, this blogger is going places, I recommend jumping on the bandwagon early 🙂

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7things about me

  1.  I was a stay home dad for about 1.5years and she threw me out.
  2. Best job I ever had: Project engineer for Harley Davidson motorcycles.  How cool is it to work side by side with Willie G. Davidson!
  3. Worst job I ever had: working at a local pet shop at $3.75/hr cleaning reptiles, rats, mice, creepy bugs.   I had to quit because I broke out into hives when I mishandled a giant rat and it got on my arm and started climbing up toward my head.  It was the only time I ever screamed like a little school girl.
  4. All the music I ever need to listen to fits nicely in 2 GB memory card.  Consists of Doo-wop, opera, heavy metal, southern rock, & oldies
  5. Got suspended from high school for almost burning it down, accidently.  It was a stupid science experiment gone wrong with other nerds.
  6. My driveway looks like a used car lot, and my garage looks like a bicycle store.
  7. If I wasn’t married I’d be playing video games and be completely worthless to the society. 
Categories: humor, Uncategorized

bad tragedy affecting my house purchase

April 25, 2012 39 comments

Yesterday was supposed to be a pretty exciting day for me.  I purchased a short sale house, bought it for $250k less than what it was appraised, and we finally closed on it yesterday, yay!

My wife and I were there as buyers and there was only one person as a seller.  This was odd because there were two names on the property deed.  Not only that, the seller was a mess.  She looked like she hasn’t slept for days and was on a verge of having a mental breakdown, right in that office.  Everybody understood the mood and nobody said anything, other than the closing agent instructing us what to do. 

As everybody is signing documents, I couldn’t help notice tears rolling down the seller’s face as she was trying ever so hard to swallow back whatever emotion was trying to surface.  She was quivering so much, I felt sick for being the one to “take” her property 😦

Her story goes few months back.  Just before Christmas, there was a horrific car accident that involved a small motor vehicle and a garbage dump truck.  The dump truck driver ran a red light and basically leveled the other car, instantly killing the driver.  That driver was the seller’s husband. 

She is left with three children, with the youngest boy being about the same age as my kids.  The husband had a successful business and made lots of money.  Unfortunately, for as successful as he was, he didn’t have any life insurance, and the wife had no clue about his business.  Long story short, she lost EVERYTHING in matter of months! 

I actually couldn’t sleep last night because I felt like shit.  This is a perfect example of morality vs. business.  The agent did reassure me this has nothing to do with me.  The seller made a deal with the bank and she will get paid some money, because the property sold.  Agent told me the sale price has nothing to do with how much the seller gets paid.  The agent also told me that the seller was very happy to see her property go to such a wonderful family. 

So today, I am trying to come up with anything to make my conscience feel better.  If there is a bible expert out there please correct me on this, but I’m pretty sure there is something about helping out a needy widow.   

I am in the middle of writing a personal letter to the seller.  In it, I will be offering to let her and her kids live in the property until she is able to stand on her own again.  I am also offering her one of my cars until she is able to afford one of her own.  I thought about giving her money, but she has so many creditors after her right now, it’s just going to get confiscated.

———————————————————–

update 5/7/2012

Her agent is telling me, the seller just wants to be left alone and doesn’t want to talk to anybody.  She has moved in with her family, and her kids have transferred to a different school.  She knows my offer will always be there for her.  I’ll just remain on standby until I hear something back.

Categories: children, family, wife

Bloggers rules of engagement: standard procedure draft “A”

April 18, 2012 46 comments

Do commenters make you feel like this?

I love reading through other people’s blog, leave comments, and occasionally hit those like buttons.  But just like all things in life, you realize one size doesn’t fit all.  I came across a very powerful blog where the writer was venting off about some of the ways readers were interacting with this blogger’s website.  Let’s just hypothetically say his/her name is Rousseau.  Keep in mind, just because I’m referring to the blogger as Rousseau does not mean it’s necessarily a French sounding woman, because it can be any talented blogger, male or female.  I just picked that name after my favorite prime time TV series, LOST :).  Anyway, she was venting off regarding some “mediocre” comments left by one some of her readers and supposedly people hitting the like button when they didn’t even read anything.  I personally don’t care what viewers do when they come to my site, I’m still in shock that people swing by to look through my crap…lol.  But in her defense, she is a very good blogger and she probably gets ton of emails, comments, and the like hits.  She also had plenty of comments that supported her venting.

I tend to view everybody blog site like it’s his/her personal home.  I go into their home and I need to have a proper etiquette.  Every house may have its own variance and rules that may differ from other homes, but I must respect it.

I’m wondering if it’s worthwhile to create a page dedicated to going over some “house rules” for guests.  It would be a sad situation if Joe Blow enters Rousseau’s blog page and leaves a comment about how good her title font is, hits the like button, and he gets blasted by her.  There is enough anger and resentment in this world as is, do we really need to create more?  If this “house rule” page can save the life of one Joe Blow from being blasted, it would be worth it!

Another reason to support the house-rule page, it can prevent the “throttle back condition” that may result.  For example, you want to leave somebody a comment, but you want to be cautious and not be the first one to comment on the topic.  Wouldn’t it be great to eliminate the uncertainty before you start diving into somebody’s blog?

I don’t want to be political here but we are dealing with a political hot potato of “Pro choice vs., Pro restriction” 🙂

Do you think Rousseau’s assumptions should be common sense, or do you think some rules should be documented on the main page?  I would have loved to link Rousseau’s blog here, but I wasn’t sure if there are some release forms I need to fill out before I can do something like that.  During tough times like this, it’s better to “throttle back when you get near a door” than to be caught in a middle of a controversy 🙂

Categories: humor, Uncategorized

3 bears and Goldilocks story (Tour de France style)

April 13, 2012 13 comments

This picture reminds me of “3bears and Goldilocks” story…lol.  There is “Momma bear’s bike” that is sleek, fancy, with all the bells and whistles.  There is “Papa bear’s bike” that is purely functional.  There is “junior bear’s bike” where he can bounce to the moon and back.  And, last but not least, there is “wee bear’s bike” that rocks him all the way to the finish line…lol. 

I didn’t purposely configure our fitness room this way, it just ended up looking like this.  This is our post dinner exercise where we all go in the basement, get on our assigned equipment, and watch Tour de France stages on the big screen.  I suppose it is a pretty funny sight when all four of us are working out at the same time.

Categories: bicycle, children, family, humor, wife

I am flabbergasted by this Guns n’ roses comparison

April 13, 2012 36 comments

 

I’m sitting down with my lunch buddies and we somehow end up talking about a musician named Justin Bieber.  I don’t know anything about this person but my friend’s daughter is really in to him.  Anyway, we start talking numbers.  His music video supposedly has over 720million hits on YouTube.  At this point that number doesn’t mean anything, how does other famous musicians compare? I get back to my desk and I start pulling up info on what I consider to be the greatest musicians of my personal lifetime, Gun n’ Roses.  I can go on about how I wanted to be just like Slash, but truth be known, I’m of the wrong shade and my hair just cannot look like his.  If there ever was a moment where I wanted to smoke, it would have been with torn jeans, top hat, and a 6string.

Back to numbers on Guns N’ Roses:  Paradise city @ 27.5million, November rain 88m, Sweet child o’ mine 43m, Welcome to the jungle 20m, Patience 19m.  It’s nowhere near the 720million number, what the heck going on here?!  Maybe this Bieber guy is the next Beatles.  So on with pulling more numbers.

View numbers on the Beatles: Let it be @ 9million, Hey Jude @ 5m, Imagine @ 6m, Yesterday @ 10m, I want to hold your hand @ 20m, Help @ 20m.

How can this be? Mr.Bieber’s number is much greater than all these top songs combined???!!!  Beatles and Guns n’ Roses have been around lot longer than Justin Bieber, so you would think they would have bigger numbers. 

Now, I am not ignorant and I certainly wasn’t going to disrespect Mr.Bieber just because he is of different era/generation.  Maybe the guy is the next big thing? Maybe he is an amazing musician? Maybe I will like it.  After all, how can 720million viewers be wrong, right?

I found the video of Mr.Bieber; I listened and watched it for about 37seconds(includes Youtube’s 15s ad).  I’m just going to write, in verbatim, exactly what I said to myself,

“…omg, Lord help us all…sigh”

All I did was graduate from college, get married, and have two kids.  I wake up one day and I realize Guns n Roses is classic rock and Justin Bieber is the new Beatles.  I’m having a rough day, folks.

My taxes are going bad, just realized the world and people have changed a lot, and Gun n’ roses will not be reuniting for the Rock n’ roll hall of fame this weekend; Axle Rose still can’t get along with Slash. 

Maybe I should try out that cigarette while wearing a top hat.

Categories: family, humor, music

**punk!**Larry J. of Reisterstown, MD won the mega millions jackpot in Maryland.

April 5, 2012 23 comments

**updated 4/10/2012**

Unfreakin believable!!  His email caused alot of hysteria because they all thought he would never joke around with anything like this.  Here are some of the things that happened to him as a result.

1.  Lost handful of facebook friends

2.  His boss acutally rode his bike out to his house to “rub elbow” with Larry.  I thought this was pretty funny that his boss, all of a sudden, wants to be buddy/buddy with him…lol.  I’m sure Larry won’t be getting his promotion anytime soon.

3.  He devastated a very close friend of his wife.  I didn’t know Larry emailed his wife’s friends, too.  This one is rather sad becasue her family is going through some rough fincial turmoil right now 😦

4.  He is officially off my Christmas card distribution list for this year.

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Normally I can care less about who won lottery this and that, but how often do you get email saying your best friend just won the biggest lottery jackpot in history?  One of my best friends, Larry, sent out an email several days back telling us he is the winner of the recent mega million jackpot.  I want to post his email here, but I want to keep this blog short.  I emailed him back wished him well, and that he needs to pay for lunch next time.

Having said all that, here are my reasons why I think he really won:

  1.  He and I are lunch buddies, we eat out every day and I haven’t heard anything from him all this week. 
  2. We are also coffee buddies during weekdays.  Haven’t heard anything all week
  3. We talk almost every day on our way home from work.  Haven’t heard anything all week.
  4. He is one of the deacons at his church, a very reputable guy in his community.
  5. He is also the condo association president.  Again it makes him a very reputable guy in his community
  6. We typically talk to each other at least once over any given weekend.  I haven’t heard anything from him.
  7. He just is not a prankster kind of guy. 

It’s already Thursday and I haven’t heard ANYTHING from him.  I know he is not sick or at home, because he always emails me so I know when to bring lunch.  Like I said, I haven’t heard a peep from him all week.

Now, here is a reason why I don’t think he won the lottery.

  1.  He sent out the email on Sunday, April 1. 

If he did win the lottery, we are expected to go to 2012 Tour de France, without wife and kids…lol.  As of right now nobody has come forward with the winning ticket, and it’s almost lunchtime here and I still haven’t gotten anything from Larry.  If this is some sort of a big joke, 7 days is long enough, don’t you think?  Anyway, if he did win, you heard it here first.  If he did lie about this…

Categories: family, Uncategorized

can underwear outlast a marriage?

April 2, 2012 48 comments

What kind of society are we living in, where underwear can outlast a marriage?

I was reminded of this when I went in for my yearly checkup, and my doctor made a remark about my underwear.  She was little surprised by the “looks” of it.  It’s not dirty or unsanitary; it’s just really old with lots of holes.  I still wear it because it is still 100% functional.  As long as there are no holes near a critical zone, and as long as its elasticity can create enough friction to prevent slippage under standard 1g vertical acceleration, it’s still useable.  Oh, and most importantly, it has to be clean. 

I find it truly amazing this simple piece of clothing can last so long.  I am nearing my 10year wedding anniversary, and I still have bunch of pairs that predate my relationship with my wife! 

I got few thoughts in closing of this blog:

  1. How does Hanes and Fruit of the Loom stay in business? 
  2. Is the issue that underwear is too well made, or is it marriages seems to fail too quickly?
  3. Marriage should last longer than anything you own.

I’m probably just rehashing something everybody is already aware of, but it just doesn’t seem right that many mundane items tend to last longer than most marriages these days. 

Next time you get angry with your spouse, look inside your laundry hamper and ask, “Is he/she better than these dirty old pair of undies?”  The answer should be a definite “YES”.

Please be considerate and don’t let your marriage get beat by some old used underwear, thats just embarrassing 🙂

Categories: family, humor

CV boot patch using Techi CV boot repair kit

April 2, 2012 9 comments

Decided to create automotive section in my blog to help folks save some money with their car repair.  I have a page dedicated to it at

https://chris9911.wordpress.com/automotive/

Feel free to ask me any question regarding your car, I love hearing bout it 🙂

In this tutorial I will show you how to fix, or repair, your damaged cv boot.  This is something I just did today on my truck.  CV boot repair is MANDATORY if you see any damage on it.  Prolonged driving with damaged boot will result in loss of steering control of your vehicle.  A damaged CV boot will usually have signs of “leaking” grease near and around the damage (see figure above).  A traditional repair at the shop will run you about $200-$500 to remove the axle and to replace the damaged boot.  If you want to save some money, and the boot damage isn’t so bad, you got two options. 

  1.  Split boot option
  2. Techi cv boot repair kit

I’ve used split boot option before, and its piece of JUNK.  Do not waste your money on this messy worthless piece of crap.  It will spring a leak soon enough and it is really messy.

Techi cv boot repair kit is pretty nice, and its really easy.  I got it from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/techI-CV-boot-repair-kit/dp/B007LTW0CE/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1333250532&sr=8-4

You might have to use brake cleaner to get off most of the grime and grease off the cv boot, before you start the patching process.  I did make a mistake of lifting the vehicle at the vehicle lift point.  This causes the cv to bend at extreme angle and you can’t patch around it.  You have to lift it at the knuckle to make it horizontal.  So basically level it, clean it, and patch it.  I did 2 applications of compound “B”, and I finished it in less than 30min.  I also found a really helpful video on the web at:

Categories: auto, offroad

Hunny bunny sweetie pie, I love you so much. Oh, BTW look what I just won on EBay.

March 28, 2012 22 comments

I’m in a little “dilly of a pickle” (Ned Flanders from Simpsons) this afternoon.  I ended up winning an item on EBay that I had no intention of winning.  Cycling season is in the air and I bid on pair of bicycle wheels with MSRP tag of $2500.00usd.  Of course I’m not crazy, there is NO way I’m spending that kind of money on some bicycle wheels.  I kept my max bid amount at $1101.00 just because I knew there is no way these wheels are gonna go that cheap.  Call it a surprise, miracle, fate, or coincidence.  I get a notice this morning via my smartphone saying I won the wheels for $1100.  My first thought, were all those Ninja Ebayers sleeping?  Those Ninjas always wait till the very last second to snipe the item, but somehow missed out on these wheels.

Now what am I gonna do?  My wife is my director of operation for finance and accounting, I can’t really hide a big purchase like this.  I thought about having my other cycling friend pay for this, and I would pay him back in monthly installment of cash.  I would simply tell my wife I am buying some cheap beater wheels from Larry, in hopes she doesn’t notice the quality and aesthetic difference.  Problem with this approach is, Larry has a wife that watches over his bicycle spending like a hawk, and my wife might know the difference between aluminum wheels vs. carbon fiber wheels.

I can also do the whole flowers, multiple I-love-yous, chocolates, dozen Georgetown gourmet cupcakes, but she’ll know I did something really bad.

I can argue its whole lot better than spending $1100 on gambling, smokes, alcohol, or drugs.  I’m kind of leaning toward this angle if I can’t think of anything better.

I suppose I can also email the seller and tell him my 5yr old son accidently bid on the item without my consent and ask him to cancel my purchase.  This is almost unthinkable because how often do you ever win a lottery? I just won the jackpot here, I can’t give that up.  Besides, what if I get a negative feedback as a result?  I am a model Ebay’er with perfect 100% feedback, and I have various award certificates to prove it.

There is a 3 way conflict going on here. 

  1.  I can’t lie to my wife about this
  2. I am not going to rip up my “winning lottery ticket”
  3. I really don’t want to deal with arguing over, “that money could have been spent on bathroom upgrades, kids clothing, end world hunger, help animal shelters, etc…”
Categories: bicycle, family, humor, wife

Prayer request is conflict of interest…not.

March 27, 2012 8 comments

Blogging definitely has strange affect on me, its one area where I feel I’m really disorganized.  It kind of feels like work, but not really.  It kind of feels personal, but not really.  Just when I think I’m going to write on something specific, I end up writing about stuff that’s complete opposite.  That is the case today.  I was all set to write about DLP vs. Plasma vs. Led TV, and I get a thought provoking comment from another talented blogger who, again, has better About-me page than me.  So, if you were planning on purchasing a big screen TV today you should probably wait a few days, and you can blame Mz.Autumn for the delay…lol 

I’m a different person now, but I used to get really awkward when somebody prayed for me.  In fact, I made it known to all my friends and family to never to pray for me under any situation, when there are other needy people who can better benefit from someone’s prayer.  My logic was this, and I still wonder about its validity, God can probably gather up all the prayers, every day.  All these prayer requests are in a form of a raw data, because it needs to be post processed to mean anything.  The processing procedure probably consists of going through all the data, combing through all the requests, and making them all work with each other and other events around the universe.  He probably needs to trim the ones that are not as important, or ones that may interfere with whatever conflict he sees. 

I’ve always been pretty good about taking care of things/people around me, and I never ever consider myself needy under any circumstances.  In other words, there are less fortunate people around the world that are in direr situation than me.  This kind of thinking made me feel really guilty and selfish for accepting someone’s prayer.  I felt like I was a billionaire and I’m accepting charity money from other people.  I would often say, if you have the energy, faith, or money, please go help them instead. 

Wouldn’t it be lot more efficient for God, if he did not receive prayer request that wasn’t urgent? It will be less data for him to go through.  And of course I feel bad, because somebody else around the world is missing out on his share of prayer request, because I’ve taken up that spot. 

I know all this data processing stuff sounds crazy, but remember, God made us in image of him.  There has got to be some kind of complicated process to go through all the prayers he receives every day.

So why did my opinion change, you ask? I came to another conclusion.  God probably has a lot of employees up there.  Can you imagine a perfect corporation run by a perfect owner and perfect employees, making perfect products?  An ideal perfect organization will have no issue going through all its customer/client requests.  Hopefully they’ll look out for the ones that believe in their product, first J 

Keep all those prayers comin’ folks!

Categories: children, family

Life is tough when you’re not “Brad Pitt”

March 23, 2012 69 comments

It’s about 90F here in picture perfect Maryland.  I am reminded of summertime foods, fruit/vegetable stands on the side of the road, and this topic.

Let me start by setting the stage. 

Scenario #1: Try to picture yourself kayaking in open water, its turbulent, you are little nervous.  Out of nowhere comes Brad Pitt in his own kayak.  He asks, “Ma’am, are you okay? Do you need any help?”

Scenario #2: Try to picture yourself selling fruits and vegetables on a side of the road in some distant foreign country, and you are alone by yourself.  Again out of nowhere, here comes Brad Pitt in his fancy sports car.  Wind is blowing through his perfect movie star hair and he approaches you to start up a conversation, maybe even a little flirt.

Is there anything wrong with any of these situations? Anything alarming?

Okay, let’s use couple of real examples now. 

Example #1:  My buddy was kayaking with his sea specific kayak and enjoying a beautiful day on the ocean, taking photos and just absorbing all the natural beauty.  Things start getting turbulent, so he starts heading back to shore.  He spots a lady in a recreational kayak struggling to get to the shore.  He quickly gets to her and asks very politely, “Ma’am, are you okay? Do you need any help?”  She instantly lashes out at him!  And says, “Stop stalking me, I’m calling the police when I get back!”

Example #2:  Around this time of the year, we have influx of Norwegian teenage girls working fruits and vegetable stands near our house, on a side of a small road.  Lots of respect goes out to these young ladies for doing such a difficult job when they could be out partying or relaxing.  Instead, it’s just her, the stand, & one little umbrella baking under the blistering sun or getting bombarded by rain.  So anyway, my wife and I always try to get something from her because it just feels like the right thing to do.  One time we are waiting at the 4way intersection, and my wife alarms me about our favorite vegetable girl.  She tells me there is something suspicious going on.  I look over and there is a silver Prius, fully decorated with all the “standard” Prius bumper stickers on the rear, parked next to the stand.  There is a middle aged man trying to have a conversation with the vegetable girl.  Wind is gently blowing and his comb-over hair is flying straight up like a sail.  Man has thick glasses and looks just like many of the scientists I work with.  My wife says the situation is very bad and insists the vegetable girl needs help.  She actually pulled out her phone to dial 911 only to find out her phone was dead, as usual…lol.  At this point I am in disbelief that my own wife would react this way.  I simply told my wife to stop profiling.  Just because a guy looks like a creep doesn’t mean he is about to harm her. 

I’m actually curious how many phone calls like this go through 911/police.  Was my wife overreacting? Did my buddy do the wrong thing by offering help?  I never want to be caught in any situation like this, and that’s the reason why I will never ever talk to a stranger woman.  For example, if a stranger lady and I are walking toward a same door, I will always throttle back so she gets there first.  I don’t want to deal with any complication that may result from holding a door open for a lady.

Categories: family, humor, Phone, wife

Inches away from a really bad day…

March 22, 2012 14 comments

Warning1: Do not read this if you are eating/drinking something crunchy, slurry, brown, slimy, sticky, or chunky.

Warning2: Do not read this if you have weak stomach or have bad reaction to bugs.

I believe there is a fine line between a good day, bad day, and an average day.  My morning routine is the most crucial determinant for predicting rest of the day.  Why? Because it sets the pace.  I’m a firm believer in starting out very strong in the morning and trying to keep that momentum going for rest of the day.  It’s always easier to maintain things in motion vs. trying to get something going from static.

Following my usual morning routine at the office, I entered the bathroom one way and came out on the other end.  As I walked out of the bathroom, I nearly stepped on this giant abomination of an organism called a Cockroach!!  I was only merely few inches from having it abdominal slurry plastered on bottom of my dress shoe, with its juice and slime getting between all the crevices on the sole!!

Once you see something this grotesque, your mind just starts spinning out of control.  I’m looking at the open ceilings where these roaches are cruising up and down the plumbing line all day, and heaven forbid one fell off and landed on back of my neck, and went down my shirt!

I safely made it back to my desk and it dawned on me, I was, literally and figuratively, inches away from having a really bad day.  If I would have stepped on this thing it would have completely shut down my momentum and probably would have set the tone for a bad day.

Isn’t life risky? Well, I hope you have a nice day 🙂

Categories: animals, humor, Uncategorized

I am so poor that I am “po”… (part 1)

March 21, 2012 13 comments

 

 

 

Those that grew up in the ghetto probably know what I am talking about.  “po” is half of poor, which should be enough explanation as to what it means.  You know its election season when you hear poor people this and poor people that.  But does anybody even understand what poor is?  Or the evil rich? 

I believe I am well qualified to address this because I’ve been through all the various wealth stages.  I want to discuss meaning of “po” class, middle class, poor class, wealthy class, & evil wealthy class.  First part will talk about my po phase.

Part 1 start

I grew up in pretty rough part of NYC with my sister, mom, and pop.  My dad worked full 7 days from 5am to 11pm, my mother worked from 8am to 8pm, while my sister and I attended local public school together.  Everybody in this public school would be considered poor because almost all the family was on food stamp and welfare.  It was actually pretty easy to see who was on welfare and who was not.

Most kids had real lunch boxes with lots of candies/snacks, & real milk.  They dressed pretty nicely, for living in a ghetto.  Keep in my all this has to be in perspective.  I am not comparing ghetto kids to average kids in some wealthy districts.  They looked good for ghetto standard.

I didn’t have a lunch box, but a mere paper lunch bag that I would use over and over until it was non-functional.  I actually remember crying as a kid because some punk blew up my new lunch bag by blowing air into it and popping it.  I also wore girls clothing to school because my mother sold women’s clothing at a flea market, and I would end up wearing clothes that were returned by customers.  Most kids wore Lee and Levi’s while I was wearing Jordache, Gitano, or Sergio Valente with pink stripes, rhinestones, or little flowers.  Needless to say, I had my fair share of ass-whoopin and bullying.  My lunch was always the same bologna sandwich with water from the fountain, everyday.  I used to always be on a lookout for which kid is throwing away what snacks and I would go pick it out from the trash can to eat it.  Dumpster diving was a way of surviving back in those days.

So by now you have a pretty good understanding of who is “po” and who is poor.  I definitely grew up “po” while those other kids grew up poor.  Now let’s look at the family.

Most of the parents from this school were on welfare, various subsidy, & food stamp programs.  That also meant their kids qualified for free milk at school.  They also lived in nice apartments because it had air conditioning.  Most of them also had cable TV and a car.   

According to the tax codes, my parents made too much money to qualify for welfare, food stamp, & apartment subsidy.  Our apartment was so hot, we didn’t have a/c.  I always hated summer for this reason.  According to the government, my family was a middle class.  

Based on my experience I am going to say, poor is if you are in certain welfare class and certain middle class.

Based on my experience I am going to say, Po is if you are in the bottom middle class, just above the welfare cutoff threshold.  You get no free help even though you can be a penny above the cutoff mark.  Bottom middle class people need most amount of help and most amount of sympathy.  They are usually the type that work their asses off and refuse to take a handout.  I admire these people for their strength and durability.  I have no sympathy for anybody living under the welfare cutoff number, because there are group of people who has far less, in worse condition.  I’ll go one step further and say most of these welfare recipients live better than most middle income families. 

To be continued…

Categories: family, humor

Poll: Movies that might determine a good man.

March 20, 2012 22 comments

I was beginning to comment on someone else’s blog regarding, “finding a good man”, when I realized there might be a common pattern among good men.  So rather than violating someone else’s comment page, I decided to draft it out on my home turf.  Please don’t take this too seriously; it’s only for entertainment value only.

I enjoy watching movies and love to talk about them with other folks.  In doing so, I noticed there seemed to be some kind of pattern forming with certain movies.  I can’t prove this, but I think there might be some kind of correlation between certain movies and men.  Here is a list of top 10, which seems to come up over and over among my good friends & coworkers.  FYI, I define a good guy as the type that is good enough to date my sister.

You think you are a good man, or you think you are hooked up with a good man?  Any correlation with the list?

Categories: family, humor

Is this a good advice, from this man?

March 7, 2012 7 comments

 I like getting advice from folks that has “been there, done that”.  The most intriguing advice I ever got was from an old man, on marriage/wife/kids.  His said, “Key to successful long everlasting marriage is…” <short pause> “make your decision based on what will make her quiet” 

I have a lot of respect for this old man; he only had one love of his life, he talks and resembles Santa Claus, and children love him.

Categories: children, family, wife

God, cucumber, & lottery ticket

March 6, 2012 13 comments

One of my favorite bloggers spurred me to write on this topic so, here—we—- go.  Tackling topic on God, I hope I don’t mess this up.

I think a lot about random topics, as most bloggers do.  I especially like the, “how did we get here…” question.  I was an atheist pretty much all throughout my life, until I finally graduated with my engineering degree and started living on my own.  I used to torment fellow college students who were faithful to God and I tried my hardest to make them feel bad.  It went something like this, “You belong to Christian Fellowship group?” “Hmm, you must be a hypocrite and a fool!”

I had what I call a cucumber moment when I lived out in Iowa for couple of years.  When you are out there all you do is muse because there is absolutely nothing else to do.  I am your typical guy.   I’m messy, I keep rotting things in a refrigerator, all my cooking involves the George Foreman grill, etc…  One day my mother came to visit me and helped me clean out the apartment and the fridge.  My mother discovered big pool of “mucus” in the vegetable drawer, she was clearly disgusted.  I stared at it for a while and realized that used to be a fresh healthy cucumber.  But also, it finally dawned on me, that pool of mucus will never be anything better than its current condition of “pool of crap”.    I don’t care if I stare at the thing for 20+million years, it’s NEVER going to turn into a frog, fish, potato, or a toad.  I convincingly believed it doesn’t matter if you kiss it, spit at it, mix it with other rotting juice, it will never ever turn into a “prince”.  How could I have believed such a fairy tale to be true, when it was so obvious it wasn’t?  Princess and the Toad story will always remain a fairy tale story.   

It became pretty easy to apply some logic after I was convinced about the state of the cucumber.  I asked myself what is the most reasonable thing to believe?  What makes better sense?  It’s either 1.  God exists, or 2.  That Pool-of-crap will someday, in the distant future, will fly in the air with feathers.

With those to two possible assumptions I get four possible outcomes:

1.  God really exists and I believe in God.

2.  God really exists, but I believe the Pool-of-crap will fly someday.

3.  God doesn’t exist but I believe in God

4.  God doesn’t exist and I believe the Pool-of-crap will fly someday.

If scenario 1 is true, congratulations, you are going to heaven.

If scenario 2 is true, you are in for a world of hurt.  That last divorce where your spouse wiped you out is nothing, compared to what is about to happen.

If scenario 3 is true, you basically wasted time going to church, some money, and some time.  But I’m willing to bet people waste more time and money by sitting through bad TV shows/movies/parties, etc…  (Can somebody please put Kardesians & Jersey Shore out of their misery?)

If scenario 4 is true, I guess you will die an optimized death, with minimal resources wasted.

Being a good person is a very hard work, it’s not easy resisting temptations on a daily basis, but it’s one of the requirements of going to “heaven”.  We all know, the other requirement is to believe, which I feel is the easier of the two requirements.  What I’m implying is this; you are already doing the hardest part of the requirements anyway.  Why not just take a chance on believing and see what happens in the end?  When you invest this HEAVILY on yourself, you do want a good return in the end.  If you are this good person, there are two possible outcomes.  1.  If there is God, you will be very well rewarded.  2.  If there is no God, it won’t even matter because if you die, you simply remain dead.  If you are going to gamble don’t you want to put it into something that may have some reward in the end?  versus putting money on something with ZERO chance of any positive reward.

Conclusion(1)

 I see this “believe/non believe issue” like a lottery ticket. 

Let’s say you are only allowed to purchase one very special lottery ticket from a store 15miles away.  It costs a $1 to play for $1million, but your chance of winning is 50/50.  Do you commit? 

In conclusion(2),

 Assuming you are a good person.

Let’s say you are given a chance to believe in God at a church roughly 15miles away.  It costs very minimal in tides to participate for infinite happiness, but your chance of winning is 50/50.  Do you commit?

Categories: family, humor

Best dog video

February 25, 2012 9 comments

I can’t explain why I can’t get enough of this video.  It makes me cry with laughter every time..hahaha.

If you want to laugh, this will do it every time.
Categories: animals, children, family, humor

40 Year Old Virgin (part 1)

February 21, 2012 33 comments

Going to take a break from happy family stuff and focus on something little different, single guy with no family.  I have a very close friend who happens to be single, and he is dying to get married to that someone special, its something he wants more than anything else in this world.  I’ll let his stats speak for itself.

SWM, 6’1”, 210 lbf, 39years old, brunette (resembles Ben Affleck), making six figure salary, has a large single family home, loves to cook healthy meals, is a musician and plays all instruments, oil painter, and an electrical engineer.  This is guy is that guy from school that has it all, looks, brain, and talent oozing out of every orifice.  Oh, one more thing, he is also a virgin.

If my sister was single, I would coerce her into marrying “Ben Affleck”.  My kids call him uncle, and I trust him 100% with my own kids.  He is as loyal as it gets, when it comes to friends.  So how can he be single?  He has a big problem holding down relationship along with very eccentric view of marriage.  I know this may sound cliché but he wants a woman that has it all.  Let me elaborate.

Case 1.  He is a virgin because he wants to save himself for that someone special, whom he hopes is doing the same thing.  Biggest issue is finding a woman in her 30s that is a virgin.  He actually dated one girl of that quality and they ended up breaking up after several months.  They broke up because he wanted to hold her hand and kiss her toward end of their relationship, and she freaked out and called him a pervert.  Lesson learned here is, he does not want to marry a “prude”.

Case2.  He recently dated a nurse that was helping him with a physical therapy.  This relationship also ended after few months.  She was lot better at showing him affection than the previous lady, maybe little too much.  She would constantly sleep over at his house, and sometimes in the same room.  “Ben” really liked this girl and wanted everything to work out with her, BUT…  she was driving him insane.  Imagine his struggle, there is a beautiful girlfriend sleeping in your room, but you got to fight yourself not to do anything to touch her in any way.  I would know immediately when Ben had his girlfriend over at his house.  He would look like a crazed man, in complete disarray, coming into work with zero sleep, and looking more like a uni-bomber than a Hollywood actor.  Transform is quite shocking.

Case3.  Dated one more girl that seemed to be perfect.  He actually proposed to her and she accepted!! hooray!!…nope, this one failed after 6months.  It all happened after the engagement, he decided to meet her family for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving party went great, everybody loved him, including all children that were there.  He even had chance to play the guitar for everybody to enjoy.  You can imagine Julie Andrew in Sound of music, with all those kids in the field singing do-rae-mi, well, that was Ben at this Thanksgiving party.  His fiancé was furious at him.  She went off on him about the guitar, singing, and attracting too much attention.

Its all fun and games till somebody gets hurt.  Ben is currently on anti-depressant because he wants a woman so badly.  He sees all his friends getting married, having children, and not hanging out with him anymore.  He loves children so much but he can’t have any right now.  He wants to sleep with a woman but he can’t.

Every woman he dates makes him even more depressed.  He hates dating older women because he says they are too depressing or too bossy.  He hates dating younger women because he says they have too many unrealistic dreams and goals, and too much energy that wears him out.  But more importantly he can’t seem to find a real virgin that behaves like a …ummmm… non-virgin.

He says looks don’t matter but I’ve known him long enough to know what he is attracted to and what he isn’t attracted to.  He attracted to someone who is also tall, slim, and fit.  He really has a thing for all the female elven characters from Lord of the Rings.  All this plus she needs to be in her 30s and a virgin that is not so prude.  I guess you can’t really fault him for wanting all this because he is the one that has to live with this lady, and you really can’t help what you like and dislike.

I truly wish he would meet that perfect woman because he is a really good caring guy.  He is on anti-depressant because there is a huge mental conflict that he cannot deal with, alone.  He wants to date and get to know somebody, but at the same time, his urge to have sex is too overwhelming, and he is afraid to get to know somebody for fear of wanting to go to bed with her.

I suggested maybe he should just do “it” and get it over with.  Why choose to be dependent on narcotic when you don’t have to?  But at the same time, he waited this long to remain who he is, what if he ends up finding the perfect person right after he does it? That would really suck.  Another friend suggested one of those mail order brides from another country, but that’s just too weird.

Categories: family, wife

How is a man to die?

February 17, 2012 11 comments

So I’m watching a TV show called 1000 Ways to die, and although its funny in some sense, its actually really depressing knowing you died and you are being made fun of on TV.  I haven’t really thought about death until I had kids.  I’m not afraid of dying but I’m very afraid of what might happen to everyone that depends on me.  I think about what will happen to my kids, my wife, & even my parents.  Also, I certainly don’t want to die in a way where its lackluster or humiliating.  The more I think about this topic, the more complicated it gets, there are too many details to consider. 

After careful consideration, I decided I want to die as a complete wreck.  Let me explain, I see my body as a work truck.  Best work truck is the one you own from beginning to its final death, after the odometer rolled over at least once and while its still able to haul building material in the back.  The truck will have given it all, over the years.  Radio stops working, roof starts leaking, power window/lock stops working, bad rattling noise in the front, etc… Even while things are breaking down inside, the truck still pulls hard until it no longer can.  The owner at this point will look back and see how much the truck meant to him.  All the money he was able to make because of this truck, all the memorable family trips, the first home you ever built while carrying lumber and equipment with that truck.  There will be no doubt the owner got tremendous VALUE out of the truck.

I want to die as a wreck.  I will have given everything I possibly can.  I will try my best and push myself to the limit.  I want every part of my body and spirit to be falling apart from all the things I accomplished.  I want to die while closing a huge business deal or while turning that last bolt with a wrench.  I want to die knowing I gave everything I am capable of, to make things better for my family and to people that depend on me.

Categories: children, family

My best moment as a father and a husband

February 15, 2012 8 comments

This event happened several days ago but it still makes me laugh, so its a sure indicator of a good post for my blog. 

It was just an ordinary dinner at my house, just me, the two boys (5 and 3), and my lovely wife.  The two boys are talking back and forth about what they are going to give mommy for valentine day.  It was pretty cute to see them go back and forth trying to “one-up” each other.  Eventually, oldest one settles on full size Hershey’s chocolate and the little one settles on his ring pop.  It was a really sweet gesture because I know how much those two items mean to them.  Full size chocolate bar is so valuable to my oldest because we rarely allow any candy in the house and when he does get one, it’s always the little baby sized ones.  The ring pop is also the most treasured item for my youngest.  It’s almost halfway eaten thus it is a “used” item.  He guards it like a pit-bull, and it’s the only candy that has lasted this long because he only allows himself to get few licks/day before he packs it away for another day.  So now, I just couldn’t just sit on the sideline and let this simply play out like this.  After my boys made their final decision, I stand up and yell out, my valentine to mommy will be the bestest in the whole wide world!!  I see the look on my kids face and you know they are getting nervous.  “What are you gonna get mommy, daddy? asks the oldest.  I boast bombastically, “I’m getting her a shiny new expensive Proform Tour de France training bicycle for Valentine’s Day, and it is sooooo expensive and sooooooo beautiful that nobody can get her anything better….HAHAHA!”  Please keep in mind I am just playing around and my wife is a tri-athlete.  I just know there is somebody getting ready to blast me with a hate mail for getting my wife a nice bicycle when my avatar shows how much I like bicycles, too.  I promise you, my wife really loves this bike.  So anyway, going back to the dinner table, my kids are in shock, devastated, and feeling hopeless.  I don’t ever recall having a quiet moment at the dinner table like that…lol.  You can clearly see my boys are worried sick to their stomach.  I just had to take another jab again.  I ask the young one, “Sooooo, what did you say you were gonna get mommy?”  He replied, “It’s a secret, I’m not telling you.”  LOL, I was balling in tears!  Then I turn to my older one and ask the same question.  He was in complete silence with facial signs of distress everywhere, I was actually getting worried he might start crying right then.  He looked over to mommy, with the saddest puppy face, for some kind of miracle, hope, or sign that was clearly starting to dissipate from him.  You can see the sadness in his eyes, worried his mommy would love him less because daddy’s gift is so much nicer, and knowing it was beyond impossible to match daddy’s gift.  I wish I could have taken a picture of them looking at each other; it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  Mommy didn’t say anything back, but I can tell she was getting all teary eyed, too.  She understood what was going through his little mind and she understood he felt that way because of how much he loved her.  My oldest truly loves mommy beyond anything in this world.  I started getting little choked up because it was so sweet, beautiful, and innocent.  Just when I think it won’t get any worse, my oldest finally starts to say something.  He was very choked up and emotional as he was trying to say what was on his mind.  He says, “Mommy, I’m gonna give you my heart for Valentine’s Day…” and he starts crying uncontrollably.  That immediately sets off chain reaction of tears.  My wife embraced my oldest, the kind of embrace only a loving & caring mother can give, and starts crying with him.  I’m trying to hold back my tears, while my youngest is getting upset because he now understands he has the worst present for mommy…lol.  My youngest is at an age where he realizes it stinks to be so little.  He gets very frustrated at times when he knows what he want to do, but he just can’t accomplish it because…he is only three. 

Everybody had wonderful dinner and everybody is feeling pretty good, so we just resumed our normal activity after dinner.  Kids run off to play with their toys for next 30min while mommy and daddy catch up with day’s events at the dinner table.    My oldest kept interrupting by asking us to spell “love”.  What happened next was something words cannot describe, so I am not even gonna attempt to describe it.  Please refer to Figure 1 below, mommy is the tall skinny one.  He did that 100% all by himself, no help from anybody, from scratch.  Its days like this where parenting has its greatest reward.  This one day makes up for all the chaos, destructions, broken electronics, crying, fighting etc…, and whatever grief these kids will cause in the future.  The little one hears all commotion going on and takes a break from his Thomas & friends to see what is going on.  Realizing he is snuffed again, he is now DEMANDING somebody help him create an art project that will match what his older brother just did.  Folks, when things get this cute, this fast, I cannot control myself.  I start chasing these two rugrats around until they are cornered, then I give them a big giant bear hug to squeeze out whatever cuteness remains within them..lol. 

I guess we all know who won the Valentine’s day challenge of 2012 🙂

Mommy's valentine

Categories: bicycle, children, family, wife

Help, missing my darn wife…again

February 3, 2012 14 comments

I have to write this blog because I can’t take it anymore, she is driving me insane.  I hope I am not alone when I say this but why is it so damn difficult to get hold of her when I need her the most.  I, maybe, call her once or twice throughout my day, and there is probably one or two occasions every month where I REALLY need to talk to her for some non-life threatening emergency.  But every time I make that desperate call to my wife, she is never there.  In theory she is somewhere between home, kid’s school, and occasionally grocery stores, when I do try to reach her she never picks up!  I would be less upset if she calls me back after an hour or two, but of course that is asking for the world.  I get the usual excuses such as,

My battery drained, I had it on silent, I couldn’t hear it ring, I didn’t take my phone, etc.…pretty much everything except for “my dog ate the phone” excuse.

I’ve done everything I can to combat this.  We got the exact same matching phone so I can easily swap out her battery incase her charge is running low, got her an unlimited text plan, unlimited internet plan, setup multiple email accounts to sync with her smartphone and laptop, got her a new portable laptop, she has the iPad.  There is nothing more I can do, given the current limitation of technology.  You would think all this change would make a difference, but I wouldn’t be blogging about it if it did.  Only difference it made was create newer, more creative excuses for why she didn’t get my messages hours ago.

I think I’m a very understanding husband but I feel this is inexcusable because my wife is the smartest person I know.  I’m your typical single processor husband that has limited memory(rom and ram) capacity and can only perform single task at a time.  My wife, on the other hand, can, figuratively speaking, tear up my liquid cooled six core i7 machine to pieces!  She NEVER forgets anything, memorizes any number combination with ease, she can multi task beyond belief, she is very efficient, and never runs out of power.  How can a unit with that kind of impressive spec not be able to respond to a simple call, email, & text?  It just doesn’t make any logical sense.

Luckily, because of my limited memory capacity, I can wake up the next day and forget most of the details as to why I got so upset trying to reach her.  But, unfortunately, I do retain enough bits and pieces of it to still drive my nutz.  I do  recall it happening frequently enough and I know I’m suppose to get really upset by it.

Mr. Dell/Mr. Gates/spirit of Mr. Jobs, I am pleading with you to come up with some kind of solution that will rectify this dubious black hole of communication.  Whatever this new device is, it needs to have these characteristics:

1.  must come in gold or platinum finish.

2.  must come packaged in nice velvety blue sack.

3.  retail price must be pretty high but with big discount at the store for husbands to purchase.

4.  absolutely no wires or cords must be visible

5.  infinite battery life is a must

6.  GPS tracking feature is optional

Categories: family, wife

My kid has Eczema, what now?

February 1, 2012 2 comments

My oldest boy had really bad case of eczema when he was just an infant.  Our pediatrician recommended we use all sorts of topical cream on him.  For example, the one cream she recommended was called Fluocinonide cream 0.05%.  I read the ingredient and it sure looks like something I do not want my kid getting dependent on.  I’m probably being ignorant to modern pharmaceutical, but I’m all for letting human body deal with whatever comes its way, naturally.  Long story short I fought tooth and nail against my wife and pediatrician and decided to treat him using something lot less potent.  Wife and I agreed on dry skin cream labeled, “Eucerin Dry skin therapy Original” moisturizing crème.  I lathered him up after every bath, every night, and completely replaced Fluocinonide cream.  I knew it was probably tough on my boy because there were times when he would really flare up and complain about the rash.  By this point I knew what his threshold for irritability was.  I let him go long as possible with just Eucerin until it became really bad and I would add little bit of fluocinonide for instant relief.  I kept up this routine for next 4 years with really positive result.  I started noticing his body was getting more tolerant and his irritability threshold also got raised significantly.  He would have fewer cases of bad outbreaks and these outbreaks eventually became smaller and smaller.  I know his pain tolerance was raised because he would same same kind of breakout that used to bother him, but now he would just….take it like a man and not think of it.  My oldest is 5 now and I no longer worry about his eczema.  I should also add my current 3 year old was also diagnosed with eczema when he was an infant.  I treated him the exactly the same way as my 5 year old, and he is already “cured”.  I put cured in quotes because he does have some small level of breakout from time to time, but its nothing little Eucerin and pain tolerance can’t handle.

Categories: children, family

Children’s book review : Toto the cloud dog

January 21, 2012 8 comments

This is my first children’s book review based on a great book I just read to my two boys, 5 and 3. My wife and I read plenty of children’s book to them but for some reason this one book stands out above all other books I’ve read to them. The book is called “Toto the Cloud Dog” by C. Nicholas and it’s on Amazon.com books. This book is interesting to me because it can be read in couple of different ways. Your kids will interpret it as a cute fluffy dog doing good deeds around the world. You will interpret it as something bit more serious. If you ever suffered loss of a family dog, or pet, this book will strike a chord with you.

My kids love this book because illustration is bright and characters are fun. Story starts out with Toto, the main character, being abused by a naughty kid. Toto gets rescued by a good boy who takes really good care of Toto. At some point Toto is struck with illness and is in pretty bad shape. What happens next is really interesting and there is a twist here. Your children will see it as Toto eventually getting better and helping out other animals around the world. Parents will realize Toto is dying while there is some “behind the scene” stuff going on with the higher power. Toto eventually do die and becomes an angel. I got really choked up here because I did lose a family dog some time ago and it was bitter sweet reading this book to my boys. So anyway, according to my interpretation, Toto becomes an angel and starts helping out other animals around the world.

I love the fact this book is written with a strong Christian value. If you are offended by Christmas, this book is not for you. I will definitely keep this book handy for the future. I want my kids to read it again, for the first time, when they are older. It will be interesting to hear their reaction when they realize what is really going on. Its intelligent writing, very thoughtful, and the author clearly loved his dog.

So in conclusion, this is a great book if you love dogs or you just love animals, and especially if you recently lost a loving pet.

I would like to award these books as being the best of the best children’s books for my kids,

1.  Best classic children’s book category: All the Margaret Wise books.

2.  Best behavior teaching book category: Rainbow fish

3.  Best children’s dog book category: Toto the Cloud dog

Am I a bad father?

October 21, 2011 38 comments

I’m going to take a little break from all the reviews and how-to-do’s and discuss something little more personal.  I am a father of 2, happily married, and trying my best to be the best dad possible to my little boys(3 and 5).  But here is something I get accused of time to time, “You don’t do anything for the kids!”  I gotta believe there has to be handful of other dad’s that gets accused of this.  Or I gotta believe there has to be handful of wives that’s accusing their husband of this.  It’s a terrible accusation that hits the core of my spirit and I was wondering why that is, and I finally figured it out…because it’s the truth, and it hurts.

I have a traditional family where mom stays with kids and I work several jobs to make sure all the lights turn on in the house.  I borrowed that line from Chris Rock when he said, “It is mother’s fault if kids do bad in school, but it’s the father’s fault when kids do bad in school because the light don’t turn on in the house”.  That cracks me up but its right on target for how my family operates.  Anyway, I been thinking lot about where things have gone wrong and where things are headed.  If something does not change I will end up as the father that just works, sleeps, and sits on a sofa on weekends.  I don’t want to be that guy.

I guess a mother always has that distinct advantage from the  beginning, and its that beginning that puts a dad at a huge disadvantage.  Mom will always grow with the child but Dad’s growth will pretty much end when all the vacation days are used up.  This means a mom will always have that comfort level with the child.  I, on the other hand, feel like I’m missing out on lot of stuff and getting left behind.  Its beautiful to see my wife singing and dancing along to things like Wiggles, Thomas Train, Wonder pets, etc…  But its kind of sad because I don’t feel included.  My wife gives me every opportunity to participate and do these things, but I just simply don’t do it, I simply do not want to do it.  She asks me to come out to birthday parties and other social kid activities but, again, I don’t want to participate in these activities either.  All this sounds pretty sad and depressing, but I assure you, I am not on any anti-depressant, drugs, or undergoing therapy.  I’m just logically trying to explain what I think is going on in my head.  Its hard to do anything during weekdays because I am tired and burnt out from work.  And its hard to do anything on weekend because my wife already has everything planned for the kids and its either I participate or I don’t.   I would say 99% of the time I end up staying back on doing chores around the house, and missing out on the action.

I guess in any therapy, the first step is admitting you have a problem.  I admit it, I have a problem.  Now what?  In an ideal world I can hit a button and I will instantly have the same personality as my wife, so I can feel natural and happy doing all the parties, sing-alongs, and other kiddie stuff.  But realistically that is not going to happen.  I pray to Jesus I don’t become a grumpy old man, because that is exactly where I am headed.  Although this may sound little selfish, I need to do things with kids that makes me feel more natural and comfortable.  I can’t put on a smile and put on conversation with other people, I feel disgusted every time I’m in a situation like that.  For some strange reason I really enjoy being alone with my family, away from EVERYTHING.  Based on my other postings, you would think I have gadgets, computers, & cars all over the place.  While that part is true, I could totally do away with all that if I can be isolated with just my family.  I wish I can pack everybody up and live out in some remote part of Alaska, but we know marriage is about compromise, so we are not moving anytime soon.  I wish I can take my kids and go off fishing every weekend, or go mountain climbing, or go shoot a slingshot, and start a campfire.  As all this was going through my head I started getting really excited, because there is hope!!  Grumpy loving dads have different set of activities than some “mainstream” activities determined by bunch of mainstream moms.  I started getting all teary eyed because of the thought of hanging out with my little rugrats in a setting where I’m comfortable, motivated, and looking forward to every weekend.  Of course I would be devastated if kids would rather go to another stupid birthday party than to hang out with dad.  I don’t have any other option at this point.  I will need support of my wife to get this ball rolling.

For all you dads out there going through a similar situation, please find an activity that you feel highly motivated for and get your family involved in it, ASAP.

For all you moms out there taking your kids to countless birthday parties and kiddie activities, please cut your husband some slack and encourage him to get involved in activities HE want to do, not what YOU want to do.  A dad is not going to be as versatile as a mom, we cannot just jump into an activity and be natural at it.  You gotta support the father if there is an activity he wants to do with the kids.

Categories: camping, family

Best cell phone plan for me

October 18, 2011 5 comments

Okay, you just completed your 2 year contract and you are excited about jumping into that next 2year contract, you want to make sure you are getting the best possible deal.  Lot of your friends will tell you this phone is better or that service is better.  In the midst of this cell phone battle there seems to be the most important element missing when discussing what is the best of the best…and that missing element is your “LIFE SITUATION”.  I know it sounds cliché and easy way out answer but I will explain it in detail using my personal experience.

My Verizon contract just ended and I knew it was going to be a real tough decision to try out a different carrier.  I live in Columbia, MD and I am telling you there is no service more reliable than Verizon.  With reliable service also comes high monthly rate.  So lets talk about “life situation”.  My situation is, I run a business, married, two kids, and I need data, text, voice on a reliable network.  This probably sounds familiar to lot of people but there is a price point where everybody may disagree on.  I wanted to optimize on lowest total cost for average service and great phone.  I wanted everybody’s cheapest plan with voice, text, and data for 2phones and 2voice service for another 2phones.  All the phones I picked are the top of the line phones for all the service providers, that is also reasonably priced.  Why there is no iphone in my selection? because there are simply much better phones available than an iPhone.  Anyway, here is the breakdown:

1.  Wal-Mart phones/services: This gets you the cheapest service, cheapest plan, cheapest phone, but it has a horrible service area.

2.  Verizon: 2lines w/ 2data, 2 add-a-line, Droid3 phone, 1400minutes, unlimited txt, 2gb unlimited data.  Real cost is $199 upfront, $200/month.  Best cell phone service provider.

3.  Sprint: 2lines w/ 2data, 2add-a-line, 1500min, HTC evo shift 4g phone, unlimited txt, 5gb unlimited data.   Real cost is $221 upfront, $169.99 per month.  This plan is a no brainer if you are a heavy heavy data user, because Sprint is the only one that will not throttle back on your network speed.  Unfortunately, there is no plan cheaper than this via Sprint.

4.  AT&T: The reason I went to Verizon in the first place was because AT&T was so bad.  I don’t get reception at work and there was no significant difference this time around either.

5.  T-Mobile: 2lines w/ 2data, 2add-a-line, 1000min, Dell venue pro phone, Unlimited txt, 2gb unlimited data.  Real cost is $140 activation, $124.27/month 2data&2basic, plus upfront cost of the 4 phones of $250.

Based on all the information I gathered up, I was almost paying $100 less with T-Mobile! That was all the information I needed to give them a try.  It has all the elements I was looking for at fraction of the cost.  As long as T-Mobile service is more reliable than AT&T, I will be happy as a clam.  I will report back on my review of T-Mobile.  Sprint would be a no brainer if I was a heavy data plan user, but 2gb plan is more than enough for my need, so I don’t have a reason to pay more.

So in summary if you are,

1.  …heavy data user with one of the best phone choices available, Sprint is the only game in town.

2.  …really cheap and don’t care about the crappy service or a crappy phone, stick with Walmart

3.  …in need of best reliable service regardless of cost, stick with Verizon.

4.  …semi cheap looking for lowest cost with average to above average service with great phones, stick with T-mobile.

These phones deserve some recognition for being the best at each category,

Best gadget packed & most advanced: HTC evo 3D

Best business/productivie: Dell venue pro

Best fun/popular: iPhone 4s

Categories: Phone

Is my gps elevation data correct?

October 14, 2011 8 comments

This topic seems to come up over and over so I figure I’ll just post it here and forward this link instead of writing 300+ word document every time.   Determining the “correct” elevation gain is going to be somewhat subjective and we are limited by the consumer-grade device and its software that plots it.  First topic I want to touch on is gps elevation vs. atmospheric elevation.  The choice comes down to accuracy.  GPS does great job determining “X & Y” position but its not so accurate in the Z, in comparison to using atmospheric pressure baseline.  One can argue you can be cycling along air mass front, weaving in and out between cold and warm air masses.  There are instances like this where your atmospheric baseline will be way off, but in normal comfortable weather condition an atmospheric pressure based data will be more accurate than the gps reading.  Although the error difference may be miniscule for short sampling/ride, if you consider 5000+ data points for a century ride, the error can basically make your valuable data worthless.  Now keep in mind I am comparing consumer version of the gps to consumer version of barometer device.  There are ones used by NASA and the military that really isn’t worth discussing here.

So assuming we have a good device that plots air pressure based elevation, its now worth discussing why there can be such drastic total-elevation number between a two similar/identical devices.  Chances are both data are correct, your “data recorder” is doing what its being told to do, collecting data points.  The root of the problem is lack of standardization.  Consider these questions:

1.  How often should the device take a data in?

2.  What should the minimum delta elevation be in order for a grade to be considered a hill?  Novice rider and pro rider will interpret this very differently. 

3.  Should data point be collected based on time, distance, elevation difference, or a more complicated equation?

4.  Should the elevation data be collected using same formula for when you are hiking, cycling, or riding in your car?

5.  Is your elevation parameter set properly for your fitness level and your choice of locomotion?

6.  How are you using your elevation data? bragging right? for your specific fitness?

For simple example, if your gps took 100 data points but your buddy’s gps took 100000 data points for the exact same loop, on a perfect day, at the same time, the guy that took 100000 data points will have a data result that shows he completed stage 18 of 2011 Tour de France!  Standardization is the key if you want to compare data to your friends.  Lot of good devices offer various ways to take elevation readings and you can play around with its parameters to suit your need.  A cheaper device may allow you to export your elevation data in ascii format so you can really go crazy with M.S Excel.

I found Garmin to be a top notch gps system for processing elevation data.  Its menu does offer reasonable flexibility with the way it collects its elevation point, but more importantly, its Garmin Connect website offers “elevation correction” option for every workout you upload.  Its Garmin’s way of somewhat standardizing everybody’s elevation data.  The elevation correction isn’t perfect but I think it’s the best tool available for comparing other rider’s workout.  Standardizing on data-over-“x”distance would be the simplest method I can think of, because most gps offers that as an option.  Keep in mind, even with the Garmin elevation correction, the data result can still be skewed by quantity of samplings and the way the sampling was taken.  Like I said, its not perfect. 

One last note.  Please don’t bring up iPhone’s gps cyclemeter into this conversation because its basically a toy compared to real instruments like the Garmin series.

Categories: gps

What should my tire pressure be, if I changed my original tires?

September 1, 2011 6 comments

Please keep in mind all this is purely my opinion, read it as entertainment value and please do you own research before committing to some random guy’s opinion on something that can potentially affect your life and well-being.  I decided to write today’s blog on this specific question because I got into a heated argument with a mechanic while I was getting my oil changed, and I figure this is a safety concern that EVERYBODY needs to know about.  The mechanic was telling me I was in danger because my tires were way over inflated.  Little did he know who he was dealing with.  I responded immediately that HE could have potentially get me in to an accident because he deflated my tires.  You have higher probably of tire failure with under inflated tire vs. over inflated tire.  Under inflated tires generate lot more heat, because of higher friction and resistance between the rubber and the road, and cause your rubber to break down both inside and outside, it’s a very dangerous situation. 

The mechanic said the tire pressure needs to be set based on what the vehicle’s requirement is set to.  This is typically written on a sticker by the driver’s door.  I told him that is absolutely true if the car has the recommended factory set of tires, or equivalent.  I specifically told the mechanic that I had upgraded my tires to a larger aftermarket tires and it has different set of requirements from the original car factory spec.  He was insisting that was irrelevant and it needs to adhere to the original car factory spec.  Long story short, I told him to leave my tires alone and I ended getting the oil change I needed.  So who is right?

The factory set pressure number only applies to factory set equipment.  Its what they designed to, its what they analyzed to, its what they tested to, and its what correlates back to all their calculations.  Factory spec applies to factory set/recommended equipment!! if you change anything in your car outside of the factory spec, it may or may not apply.  

So what do you do if you go against the factory recommendation and upgrade to some really big heavy duty tires with completely different PSI range?  Do you just randomly set it to a number based on the tire range or auto factory range or something in between? The answer is a big “NO”.  You, or qualified, tech/engineer must determine that number.  Since most drivers in this country will not have state of the art testing equipment, sensors, and DAQ we will have to improvise. 

Your ultimate goal is to set the pressure such that there is even pressure across the width of the rubber that is in contact with the road.  There are many different ways to figure this out using just the tools you have at home.  Just be sure your tires are at ambient temperature before continuing with the exercise.  Here are some of my suggestions to determine the pressure gradient:

1.  Use sharpie/markers/chalk to draw some lines across your tires and drive it for a while.  You will start to see some areas start to rub of more than other areas.

2.  Use a very thin plastic sheet like the overhead transparency sheet for projectors.  Use pair of scissors and cut them in strips and lay them down on a flat surface and roll your car over it.  Make sure its sandwiched between your tire and a flat surface.  In an extreme case you may be able to pull some of these strips out, but most likely you wont be able to pull any of these out.  Let your car rest on it for few minutes and roll your car off it.  You should be able to see all the indentations on the strips and determine which area has the high/low pressure.

Now that you know what the high/low spots are, you can inflate/deflate using this information.  If you find there is more pressure in the center region of the tire, it means you have too much air in the tire and its starting to balloon up.  Release some pressure and run the test again.  If you find you have more pressure toward the ends of the tire, you have too little pressure, this is very dangerous!! Add more air in to remedy this.  You definitely want to have more air than less air, but you want to try to shoot for nominal, which is nice flat contact across the rubber.  Also, DO NOT EXCEED the max limit of the tire, you should be well below it.  Check your pressure and check it often, especially with changing weather condition.

Categories: auto

How to create route in Google Earth and transfer to Garmin GPS (part 1)

August 17, 2011 24 comments

NOTE: Latest version of this guide as of 9/21/2012 is in the part 2.  Google Earth has some significant changes since this post, so it needed to be updated.

https://chris9911.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/route-in-google-earth-and-transfer-to-garmin-gps-part-2/

Lesson #1 General overview

I figure this is the most effective way to show people how to get started with creating and transferring google routes to your Garmin GPS.  This tutorial is for those that don’t like reading a manual. Follow these steps and leave me question if you have any:

1.  Install GoogleEarth for your computer

2. Install Garmin Mapsource

3.  Reboot your machine

4.  Start your GoogleEarth

5.  Create all your “Placemarks” first.  This sets up a point to point connection of your path

marks

6.  Create routes by connecting placemarks.  If you rightmouse click on a placemark, it will give you option to route to/from.

route

7.  Here is what it would look like after you connect everything up.  My routes are in white, also notice all the connections I made on the left side of the screen

route_sample

8.  Once you are happy with your newly created route, its time to get it ready for your Garmin GPS.  Click on File/Save-as/<route_name.kmz>

saveas

9.  Open up your web browser to GPSvisualizer.

10.  Browse for your .kmz file, be sure to set output file to .gpx, and hit convert button.  Your form should look like this.

visualizer

11.  Click on your shiny new .gpx file and do a save-as to your computer

gpxfile

12.  Open up GarminMapsource

13.  Open the newly created .gpx file from above step.

14.  Connect up your Garmin GPS to your computer

15.  Click Transfer/send to device.

16.  That is it…Gratz.

17.  If you got this far, least you can do is leave me a friendly comment below Smile

Lesson #2

This will be published dependent on if there is a demand for it.

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Jeep commander vs. hummer H2, Toyota Land cruiser, Mercedes G, Land Rover, Toyota FJ, Nissan Armada

August 13, 2011 13 comments

I am a huge auto enthusiast because I love to drive it and I love working on them even more.  I feel taste and need for a specific vehicle evolves with changing lifestyle and situation.  For example, when you get married with 2 rambunctious boys.  Maybe I’m a typical guy because I’ve always loved trucks for their all around capability and that go-anywhere  attitude.  My family has decided to be more outdoor active and decided to go all in on camping.  We started off  with your traditional kind of camping where all the amenities are there at the site, hot running water, full service bathroom, and groceries nearby.  We entered a phase where that is not good enough and we need a primitive style camping lifestyle.  For those not familiar with camping terms, primitive camping=you camp if you can get there.  So this meant we trade in our beloved Nissan Quest minivan for an off-road worthy SUV.  I have a track record of holding on to cars until either wife makes me get rid of it, or until it burns to the ground.  That was enough justification to go out and pretty much buy any SUV in the market at any price.  Wife really wanted the Land Rover Range Rover or the LR series.  We looked at it together and I have to admit, it’s a beautiful car and I’m sure it will be very off-road capable.  On paper it seemed like a done deal, but… From an auto mechanic’s point of view(yours truly), Land Rover is on top of my list of unreliability.  Their drivetrain has never been the same since going with an aluminum block.  Its inexcusable that you need to have a head job on these motors at about every 30k miles.  Thought of picturing my wife and kids stranded on some 2 lane highway is a nightmare situation for me.  It was tough convincing my wife out of it since her heart was so deeply buried in a Landover, but I convinced her she had to think of it from family point of view, and she finally agreed it wouldn’t be right. 

Hummer H2 was just okay in luxury features and initial presentation.  Test drive proved this vehicle was not ready for prime time.  It accelerated like a turtle and interior is surprisingly small for such a huge vehicle.  The H2 in its stock form actually looks lot more tougher than it really is.  In fact the H2 is probably the least off-road capable truck out of all the other trucks I listed.  Even if I can overlook it pathetic abilities, I cannot risk my family getting attacked by environazis while shopping for groceries.

Mercedes G series and Toyota FJ was rejected immediately because it doesn’t offer 3rd row seat.  Its unfortunate because these two trucks look very unique and fully off-road capable.  7passenger seating is a necessity for my family because we need to include grandparents, friends, and family during some road trips.

Nissan Armada, all I can say is WOW.  It is probably the best value in terms of capability, cost, and features.  Its not the most off-road capable but it exceeds in every other category.  Enormous interior, great gas mileage compared to others on this list, and I know it will get through 90% of trails I need to get through.  So what is the problem you ask?? It was the size.  This truck is just too big to drive around for practical purpose, especially for my wife who has horrible time parallel parking her small Volvo sedan Sad smile  This was truly a sad realization because we both wanted this vehicle so bad…

Next up is arguably the best off-road vehicle for a family, Toyota Land cruiser.  Its on road/off-road capability is legendary, its reliability is legendary, its also sized perfectly for everyday use, and all this for about $65k.  This was my 1st choice truck, in fact we almost did buy this until…

Jeep Commander.  This was the last truck we looked at and it was basically a no-brainer when I found out about its “newfound” features.  I already knew following things about Jeeps.  Its off-road capability is legendary, repair & service is cheap and easy, and it’s as American as it gets.  But I also know the following negative things about Jeeps.  They smell like gas, most women hate it, has “redneck” image, small interior, nuisance failures, and its loud.  Many Jeep owners I know have well over 200k miles on them and the powertrain usually outlasts the body, which is amazing.  So knowing all this, I was shocked and blown away when I found out the Commander is everything a Jeep is with refinements you see in luxury vehicles, and its got 3rd row seating.  Its got sunroofs all over the celling, its got stadium seating, its got Jeep’s version of dual lockers for going over anything, power rear hatch like a mini-van, and Hemi-V8.  Its also very quiet on the road, and parking/maneuvering this truck is piece of cake.  Wife loves it for the 3rd row seat, power, visibility, turning ratio, and maneuverability.  Kids love it for stadium seating, sunroofs everywhere, & dvd player.  I love it because it should be mechanic friendly, replacement parts will be cheap, aftermarket support will be big, and I know my family will have one of the most reliable vehicles on the road.  We maxed out the Jeep commander to their Overland edition with Hemi V8/Quadradrive system with every option imaginable under the sun.  All this and it still came out cheaper than the Land cruiser!

Categories: camping, family, offroad

Dell inspiron Duo vs. netbooks vs. Ipad vs. xoom vs. galaxy tab vs. Convertible laptops review

April 22, 2011 13 comments

Its pretty rare that I find a device that shatters all my expectations and imaginations, and fully deserving of a blog on my site.  First let me go over the background; My day to day job consists of nonstop productivity with all the businesses I run, meetings, and giving presentations.  I needed a solution that incorporates my paper notebooks and various laptops.  Notice I put those in plural because that’s what it takes to get me through the day.  My budget was to get the cheapest device possible that will help me eliminate some of the things I was juggling and carrying throughout the day.  First criteria is the size, it cannot have larger footprint than my regular notebook, its about 11”x8”x1”.  Here are all the devices I evaluated and my thoughts on them.

First up is the new Ipad2. Contrary to my previous post on MacBook pro, I truly feel Apple did an amazing thing with their Ipad.  Its crisp, sexy, responsive, excellent battery life, and from what I hear it does “everything” right.  So I was all excited to pick one of these up and went to check it out, especially considering they start at only $499.  I tried out my friend’s 16 GB Ipad2 and was extremely disappointed.  I quickly realized importance of a real qwerty push button keyboard, not that screen touch keyboard.   If you are blogging, writing reports, answering countless emails, you NEED a real keyboard, don’t even kid yourself on this one.  So my friend goes, “Here is a wireless keyboard for the Ipad.”  So I give that a try and it was even worse!! I’m sitting in a chair holding Ipad with one hand, balancing the keyboard on my lap while trying to type with the other hand.  I also find out I needed to run Microsoft office and bunch of other software on it.  Only realistic thing I can see myself using the Ipad is for surfing the web and running those cute apple apps.  This is apple’s real reason for not releasing the full spec of the Ipad.  It is SEVERLY underpowered for running real modern software.  I find out its only got 512mb of ram!  its plenty good for running all the cute apple apps but that is just a joke to me.  Then I find out its offered at 64GB storage for $699.  That’s just not adequate for what I need.

After learning so much from Ipad2, I decided a fully qwerty keyboard is a must.  This automatically ruled out xoom, galaxy tab, and all the other tablets.

Next I looked into 10” netbooks.  They seem ideal for most of what I do and they are definitely priced right at under $400 for most of them.  I found two biggest problems with these cheap netbooks.  First, its got the windows starter OS on it.  This is too limiting and I would have to upgrade to at least Windows7 professional for about $100.  Second, I really need the tablet function similar to Ipad and xoom.  Tablet function is absolutely critical when I’m giving presentation on 1:1 basis with customer or client.  It’s a must feature and these cheap netbooks don’t have it.

So my final destination brings us to the convertible laptop category.  I looked into convertibles from Asus, Acer, HP, and Dell.  I’m sure any one of those laptops would have gotten the job done, but the Dell Inspiron duo is the only one with the “WOW” factor that no other convertibles have.  Words can’t describe the design of the mechanism but you’ll know what I mean if you check it out in YouTube or Dell Website.  So needless to say I went with the Inspiron Duo and it has been everything I wanted it to be.  Its powerful enough to run all the applications on my Alienware, minus some engineering specific software, and I was even impressed it brought up an entire spacecraft model in Edrawing software.  I wasn’t able to rotate/pan/zoom on it, but it is still freakin impressive that it pulls it up.  Now there are some misses with the Inspiron Duo.  First I really wish it had removable battery, its only got 3hour battery life which means I’m charging this at least one additional time in a day.  The touch feature is not as precise and crisp as the xoom or Ipad.  It is running full blown Windows 7 Professional and its really hard to integrate capacitive touch to fully work on this operating system.  At the same time it is the best operating system because it runs everything.  It was a no brainer giving up some precision for productivity capability of windows 7 operating system.  BUT…. Microsoft does offer an excellent solution for lack of precision with its touch function.  They have a virtual mouse that can be enabled and you use your finger to drag the mouse around and click on its buttons, it is SLICK!!  Windows 7 also comes with it Media Center that seems to work flawlessly, and it interfaces to my Windows Home Server perfectly.  I am streaming all my movies, videos, music, and photos from my home server right on to my Inspiron duo in a tablet mode.  Dell definitely hit a homerun with this product because it’s a real productive computer that will handle most of your business needs.

Categories: computer, tablet, Uncategorized

Mac vs. PC laptop

April 14, 2011 11 comments

Last updated 3/14/2012

I know this topic has been talked about over and over elsewhere but none of the other reviews are credible, IMHO.  This topic really hits my nerves because all these mac user think they have the best looking bad-arse laptop in the world; this mentality makes them smugs!  I will point out some arguments put up by these “sch-mac” users and tell you the real truth.

“My Macbook pro is best performing laptop”

Are you f’in kidding me? I often follow this up with this question, “What are you comparing that to? 9 out of 10 times they will say it is in comparison to their prior PC computer…..which is over 5years old!! Lets even out the playing field shall we? Lets even it out by cost.  Lets say Macbook pro is $2k to purchase.  What is one of the baddest pc laptops that you can buy for $2k? Anybody ever hear of Alienware m17x laptop?  Other dumbass reviewers always make a mistake of comparing MSRP of macbook pro to MSRP of pc laptop.  This is unrealistic because you need to compare price based on “street price”, or the actual price you will pay to purchase the item.  Macbook pro sells pretty darn close to its MSRP, PC laptops always sells for DEEP discounted price, just go check out k-mark, walmart, tigerdirect, and newegg.  If you ever read another mac vs pc review that compares msrp, run from that website because that reviewer is a dumbass.

Now that we evened the playing ground, the real comparison comes down to top of the line Macbook pro vs top of the line Alienware m17x.  Folks that know about Alienware are probably laughing right now because performance difference isn’t even on the same planet.  Now here is a real treat.  I have a real data from the same model year macbook and alienware.  My buddy purchased a top of the line macbook for about $2k.  At the same time I purchased a top of the line $3k(msrp) Alienware m17x for less than $2k.  Mackbook is sleek and sexy, the Alienware looks scary as hell.  We ran same benchmark on both of them.  My alienware scored 17k+ at its lowest performance setting.  The Macbook pro barely broke 7k !! in its highest performance setting.  I was laughing my ass off becuase my wife’s $500 gateway scored higher than the $2000 macbook pro.  In another example, I work on spacecraft related projects and I was working with this one lady that picked up a top-of-the line macbook pro for her consulting business.  We had same engineering software loaded and we had to pull up a spacecraft CAD model on our computers.  Mine came up in about 10minutes.  Her Macbook pretty much gave her the middle finger.  Her comment was classic! she said, “The guy at Best Buy told me this was the most powerful laptop.” First of all, you are in trouble when you rely on a Best Buy guy/gal for valuable information on really technical stuff.  You have no idea what happens when I walk into my local Best Buy and we start debating about laptops, computers, and TVs…lol.

Here is a pop quiz, can you think of any ultra high end laptop that does NOT come with bluray player as standard equipment?….Yes, Macbook pro stands alone winning that trophy.  PC has far surpassed mac in this competition in 2012.  Most mid-level PC laptops now come with Blueray reader/writer, its pretty much the standard on PC laptops.  I don’t know how one can spend $2k and not get a bluray reader/writer. 

So why does Macbook pro offer such dismal performance and features for the money, compared to its equally street priced PC? Answer is all about thermodynamics.  Apple prides itself in making sleek slim profile notebook and it doesn’t really offer great cooling.  Higher performance will require higher cooling rate.  This is also the reason why Macbook will always underperform against its rival PC laptop,  for identical cpu and gpu.  In other words, just because latest Macbook has the latest i7 doesn’t mean it will perform like the same  i7 in Alieware.  In fact, Apple’s latest i7 performs at about same level as what older alienware’s i4 processor will do.  This is good and bad for Mac.  Its good because they can package average level components in relatively slim packaging.  Its also bad because it means Macbook is already 1-2years out of date as soon as its “newly” released to the public.  What that means to folks like me is, Mac is already obsolete as soon as it gets released.  Why would people pay $2k for an obsolete machine is beyond me. 

Bottom line is this, in a fair comparison regarding performance, 17″ Macbook pro is just simply outclassed outmatched against the similar streetpriced Alienware m17x.  Can somebody say young Mike Tyson vs. a ballet dancer?  I can’t even believe this topic is even worth arguing over.  A $2k Macbook looks great and will perform perfectly for most people around the world, but so can a $500 PC laptop from Newegg or Tigerdirect.

Categories: computer, Uncategorized
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