Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas Bounty

So for Christmas, I got an Xbox 360. I was surprised, to say the least. It was a raffled prized won by Jaim from EA, and I wondered how many places like EA gets hooked up with. Upon opening my new toy, I noticed two strange things. First, I did not receive the Xbox Live headset. Not a huge deal, since I don't have too much interest in getting waxed by a 12 year old at Tiger Woods Golf. Secondly, on my player profile in the system, it said that I had played Call of Duty 2, which, as much as I am interested, I had never played. Very strange indeed.....I hope that some poor, hardworking schmuck at EA didn't get his beloved Xbox raffled off accidentally. If you are missing your Xbox, I uh.....sold mine on eBay. Sorry.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Gambler's Anonymous

Another sign that you might have a gambling problem:

When you hear of another's tragedy, you think to yourself, "How does the affect the spread?"

(Incidentally, it moved a whole 3 points. But I'll let you continue to watch me get struck by lightning)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Hooked on Phonics

Hannah is a pretty smart kid. She supposedly is around the top of her class and she loves to read everything in sight. So I am in no way laughing AT her. She probably can read more than I could have when I was her age (actually considering that I was still living in Hong Kong when I was her age, chances are pretty dang good that she is more advanced than I was). English being a messed up language, funny things come up. She was walking around a shopping plaza when she pointed out the ups store, that was cute. The best was when she was going over her reading list with Brittany and asking what the word was after "come on."

"Come on?" my wife asked, "What 'come on?'"

"You know, the word after 'come on'!"

"You mean, 'common'?"

"Oh, yeah. Common..."


Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Funnies

I used to love Dilbert. I don't read Dilbert everyday like I used to, but I was browsing the paper today and I think this might be the funniest comic strip in the history of comic strips (at least when it comes to my humor). I hope I haven't hyped it up too much....

Sunday, November 20, 2005

American Entrepreneurs

Who says people aren't ambitious anymore?

Had Chinese food recently with my family and came across this fortune in my cookie...


Freaking hilarious...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Random Picture of My Kids II

...Or rather, of my kids at play. If you have seen them at play, you would how their room can be turned upside down in a matter of seconds. Apparently, amidst the chaos, there is some law and order...or at least some quality spelling of a 5 year old....


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Halloween!

So for Halloween, we had a party. We always try to get people to dress up, with mixed results. My wife was supportive and dressed up, with the Halloween theme and everything...

Candy Corn girl
(For the records, it is not a condom, a go-go dancer, or "an ugly dress and I just thought you had bad taste." It's a candy corn dress. Apparently some of our friends are either drunks or are just idiots)

My kids were all involved, of course. They even had two costumes to switch depending on the occasion....

Tigger and Nala
(No no, Tigger and Nala, not Winnie the Pooh....I swear, next year I am just having a name tag party)

I really wanted to dress up, I swear. I looked everywhere with my family but I just didn't find anything that I liked and wasn't too I just blended in with those that were in costume.

Alan and Sammi
(I have never seen nor read any Harry Potter....can't I be one of the wizard kid's lame normal friend? Is there such a role?)

So the party still went well. The turnout was great and that's the most important thing...wait, the food. The food is the most important thing....

Tim feasting
(Right, Tim?)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Cubicle Monkeys

I've never really had a real office job before my current endeavor. While I enjoyed the humor of Dilbert and watched Office Space countless times, I never really experience the oddities of "the life." My job, for example, is really pushing paper to and fro as I send out summons to defendants in cases to let them know they are being sued. I am, for all intent and purposes, a "paper pusher." Not exactly what I would put on my resume, but that is the reality.

If you have watched Office Space, you no doubt know about the crazy memos that gets put out there for just about everything. I got an e-mail from our Facilities Department the other day that I would like to share:

Subject: Screwing around with...

...the coffeepot lid. Yes friends, someone has been unscrewing the tops of the coffeepot lids in the break room. This could, and has, lead to unsuspecting cofffeepot pourers spilling hot coffee on themselves.

Please keep in mind:

1. Do NOT unscrew a coffeepot lid to put brewed coffee in it. (There is a neat little special opening that allows the brewed coffee to flow in without unscrewing the lid.)
2. Do NOT unscrew a coffeepot lid to pour coffee.
3. DO unscrew a coffeepot lid to clean the coffee pot.
4. If you do unscrew a coffeepot lid BE SURE you put it back tightly.

Also please do not put just your cup under the brewer to "save time." It does not work. It just makes a big mess.

Facilities Dept.

Don't get memos like that working the beat.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

That's my wife, folks.

My wife went with Hannah's class on a field trip to the Animal Rescue Foundation (started by Tony LaRussa, while he was in Oakland, in case She said it was cool and that she even got to ride on a yellow school bus, although she had to endure the kids singing "The Wheel on Bus" approximately 40 millions times. She also said that she would like the meet the guy that wrote that song and, and I quote, "rape his skull".....apparently that's from a movie, but I'm sleeping with my skull firmly secured inside my head tonight.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The End of Summer

Went to the Giants game when Barry hit 704, courtesy of work...Good times...good to see renewed energy at the Phone Booth again...although it was my first Dodger game in a while and I was expecting a little more energy. Ah well, in this season full of slings and arrows, it was a good time. And I broke my losing streak, with another walk-off single for the fans to go home happy. Probably my last Giants game of the year, and I didn't even have any garlic fries.

So a week later I ended up at an A's game. Fireworks night (like the 4th one from the A's this year. Nothing like some explosives to attract the fans of the Green and Gold) was a good way to bring the kids one last time (like they haven't turned into A's fans enough as it is, courtesy of all them two dollar days..."Let's go Oak-Land!" chants are popular around my household). As it turns out, work came through again and I was awarded two lower level seats, owned by Mr. Al Brayton himself. I already had six tickets in the upper level for the pyrotechnics extravaganza, of course, so I invited my sister and Chris to take two of the upper level tickets while Tim and I sat about 20 rows from the field. Sure it was weird to look up and see your Winnie the Pooh clad daughter up in the nosebleeds, but I think my wife didn't mind me being a Teixeira home run away for nine innings, as long as I came back to her for the fireworks (the post game ones of course. Our private fireworks were later). The game was ok, but the real star was the fireworks show. I have seen enough ballpark fireworks to know that it is usually a pretty good effort, but we were all dazzled at all the never before seen stuff that night. How many ways can you possible blow up technicolored bottled rockets, you ask? Well all I have to tell you was that I saw fireworks that was a cube....a cube, for all you geeks out there, is pretty cool at a fireworks show. McAfee Stadium is still the sight of some of the scariest fireworks show I have ever seen (some looked like they were set off from the roof my car), but I would take that over a crowded 4th of July or even a Michael Bay production any old day.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Random Picture of My Kids I

tyrone biggums

I love Dave Chappelle. I will miss the Chappelle Show. My daughter will miss Tyrone Biggums...but likes powder donuts.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Thrill of Victory

Softball Alan

Back to back games, but we were ready. We had beat this team before and we were playing the best ball all season. It was an early start, there would be no 12-run rule, and no time limit. Seven innings between us and the nicest championship t-shirts you can't buy. I took the mound again and we were running on all cylinders to start. Three quick runs in the first for us and we kept scoring. I had a shutout through three innings and we were up 9-0. I then lost the plate for a few batters and and gave up a few team bailed me out though when we scored again...and again..again. When have you scored enough in a softball game? Probably when the other team yells at you for sending the runners on every we run the bases aggressively, big deal? Anyway we won by a somewhat lobsided score (I can't remember exactly again. They were pretty mad, and they didn't bother playing the last inning), and I am the proud owner of a 2005 Novato Softball Champion t-shirt. I've never been part of a champion team before, I can get used to it. I'll miss just playing more though. It's been a great summer...Is there like a flag football league we can join next?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

On the cusp of winning it all....

Of course I sneaked that softball post in yesterday because I had a game today. Playoff started and I took the hill again. We started with a difficult first inning and got out of it after three runs and a controversial call that went our way. Tied after one, we stalled in the second and broke out with 10 runs in the third. We added a few here and there, made some fine defensive plays, danced around a few hits, and we prevailed 15-5...or something like that. I came up with a new strategy with my pitching: concentrate on the girls. No offense but it's never a good idea to give up a walk to a girl. They just make the hits that inevitably come that much more costly. It's coed softball, people will score...anyway, I have to put my arm on ice, and get ready for the Big Game tomorrow night. Go Inlaws!

Are you ready for some FFL?

In honor of football season, and inspired by the Mad Cal himself, I like to introduce my about to be champions fantasy football team:

QB B. Leftwich
RB J. Lewis
RB L. Jordan
WR R. Moss
WR A. Johnson
TE R. McMichael
Def Bears
K J. Elam
RB T. Jones
WR T. Houshmandzadeh
WR A. Toomer
QB J. Harrington
WR D. Stallworth
RB M. Shipp
TE B. Troupe
K S. Graham

I took some risk with younger guys that I think will break out, and I hate to be rooting against J.J. Arrington in Arizona, but hey, a winner's a winner.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dog Days of Softball....

A quick look to see what's sitting in the draft folder....

I made my starting pitching debut at our last regular season game. It started out worrisome as I arrived early and found the other Brayton squad taking batting practice because their opponent forfeited again. Thinking I might get some pitching action I volunteered to toss them a few. Then I found that I still thought the plate was 6 inches closer than it actually was. Everything was consistently short and it was getting bad. Then the guys just two steps forward and adjusted, leading up to a liner right back up the middle and off my right arm. That hurted for a good long while and I was done helping them out.

I guess it might of loosened my arm though as I did get the call and pitched pretty well. My philosophy in softball pitching is just throw strikes and let my defense do the work. I even got three strikeouts (two looking) and ended the game by catching a familiar liner up the middle. We won 24-12, and we are off to the semi-finals, two wins away from the crown.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Streak Continues (or New Beginnings)

So I was caught up in the hype and caught the Gigantes-Boulders game Monday night, the debut of golden boy Matt Cain. I wanted to see for myself all the hype and I certainly want to see it well. I browsed Craig's List and found a pair of Field Club seats for 75 bucks. I called it a bargain so I went for it. It took a while to find someone available to go (Tim really needs to quit that loser job), but I found someone that enjoys the hype of the young phenom as much as I do (hey he's a Twins fan. Every Tuesday is new phenom night). So I ventured into the world of luxurious baseball watching....

- So the cool thing about the field club (other than being close enough to spit at the players) is the separate entrance. No being herded like cattles for us. In fact, when you first enter, there is this whole eating area -- with no lines! I felt guilty not getting any food (I pretty much shattered my meager budget this week on the tickets) and taking advantage...leaving after the game was even better. Twenty thousand people leaving at the same time, but I walked right out. That was worth admission already.

- Crazy thing about cozy seats, they are all pretty much owned by season ticket owners. You sit there and everyone around you greets one another by their first name, ushers come by and ask about work today, and most of them leave after six or seven innings and tell each other that they will see them tomorrow night...they would have totally sold me out if I spit at Todd Helton.

- Hey anyone knows what they play in the bathroom before the game starts? I know they radio broadcast comes on during the game ... So I went to the bathroom about 10 minutes before game time. The bathroom looked like a slightly bigger version of my bathroom at home, minus the shower, the scale, and the feminine hygeine products. I was just getting down to business when I hear Renel (voice of the Giants...and old school R & B) come over the speakers, telling me that it was Scout Night and Troop whatever the heck would be presenting the colors during the National Anthem...Does anyone know the rule for the national anthem while in the urinal? Is it more offending to not take off my cap or to splash all over the place while the bombs burst in the air? (metaphorically speaking) Can anyone help me out here?

- By the way, the Giants lost, and I don't think anyone really cared. We all felt bad that Matt Cain didn't get a win for a decent pitching performance, but we were happy to just have seen the Next Big Thing do his stuff...Plus he made fans of us one at a time getting about 84 foul balls into the stands.

- Byung Hyun Kim swinging a bat is funny.....Byung Hyun Kim doing a pirouette while batting is freaking hilarious.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Kids Can Be So Profound

I was drinking a 7-Up earlier today when Hannah asked me:

"Did you get that from 7-11?"

Friday, August 19, 2005

Reminds me of 1994

Flipping channels between innings of the Giants-Cards game, I found music videos playing on both MTV and VH1. I can't even tell even tell you the last time I saw a video on one of those channels. But while admiring talents of Rihanna, I missed Ray Durham's shot off of my fantasy ace, Chris Carpenter. Good thing Tivo was backing me up with the recording....

Monday, August 15, 2005

Look What the Late Night Santa Brought Me...

What would you say if I told you my parents got me a Magic Bullet? ..... ...... ...... Ok, get your head out of the gutter now. Of course, for those of you late night infomercial viewers, you know what The Magic Bullet is. Basically a portable blender/food processor, it supposedly makes cooking faster and easier. I don't really know what I am going to do with it. I'll let you know over at my other blog home when I come up with something....

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Long Winding Season

So I figured everyone is bored about hearing about my softball season, but at the same time I feel compelled to at least keep it up to date so no one would be left hanging... We've played two games since our last game (a forfeit win) and our slide continues with two losses. Personally though I've had two milestones. The first game was my debut at managing with a short staff. There was apparently some sort of company golf thing that took our team's best players so I was left juggling the lineup myself. Because of an injury, I didn't even play out there. It was hard to just watch; I am not ready to give up my playing days and go the route of Jeff Tedford, Larry Brown, or Bob Melvin (all average players who are pretty good coaches). Our juggled line up was rough from the get go when we were down 12-0 after one inning. We bounced back and made it 12-9 after two, and took the lead at 14-13 after three. After getting a rally snuffed out at the top of the inning, our defense failed us again when we gave up 6 runs in the bottom of the inning. We couldn't even do it efficiently as time ran out and the game was over.

Three nights later out Brayton rematch was set. The weather was perfect this time and we were all anxiously awaiting a good game. Pitching did us in this time as numerous walks made the hits that we did give up all the more costly. The last inning, when we were down 16-10, I made my debut at pitcher. I wasn't trying to do anything fancy, just throw strikes and hope my defense can take care of business. It went ok, I gave up a long shot to right center (can't believe someone took me opposite field) for a two run home run but that was it. That plate is a lot father than I thought and the pitches I missed were all short. We rallied for 4 runs and had the winning run at first (me) when my wife of all people had the hardest ball she had ever hit caught for the final out. Technically I guess I took the lost but I think I moved up the depth charts at pitcher. One more regular season game and I might be making my starting debut... tickets still available.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Commercials Killed the Radio Star

Since I am technologically hindered lately, let's talk about classic innovations... Now that I sit in an office all day long, I listen to a lot of radio. I don't really like having headphones on all the time. Besides the fact that you can't hear people walk up to you and you wind up jumping out of your seat and looking like an idiot when someone taps you on the shoulder, I just don't like being tied to a radio or even an iPod (maybe I'm afraid the cords will choke me). So I just listen to whatever my office mates listen to on the radio we all share. I am reminded of the down side of long term listening to radio stations -- The songs, and especially the commercials, just repeats all day long. I think I can stand Gwen Stefani's "Hollerback Girl" 6 times in 8 hours (she really sold out for this song, and after 7000 times through, I still am not sure what she is talking about...and why she suddenly starts to spell bananas. Is there a follow up song where she teaches today's youth how to spell Mississippi?), but the commercials drives me nuts. Commercials for TV shows and movies are the worse offenders. EVERY commercial break I would hear about the very special episode of The OC on tonight, and if I hear about Deuce Bigalow's European Adventures again, I will hurl (I'm guessing Deuce Bigalow 3: Thailand Whore will be a big hit as well). Do they have Tivo for the radio?

On the flip side (can you believe how long I can talk about radio commercials?), the best commercials on radio has got to be the Bud Light Real Men of Genius series. Hilarious. I think I like the Mr. 80 SPF Sunblock Wearer or the Mr. Mail Order Bride Orderer best. The background singers totally make the commercials.

Next time: An enlightening discussion on the benefits of the fax machine.

Pardon the Interruption

Aside from my usual laziness, the lack of posts lately is related to the fact that my desktop's power supply went kaput recently. For those of you scoring at home, this would be the second power supply that my computer has burned through. The rest of the computer is on its last legs anyway, but I can't get anything better yet, and all my docs and music and most importantly, my pictures are on that computer (in a secondary drive, should this power supply thing kill off the primary drive). Which is why I haven't posted. There are post in the pipeline, but I had planned some visual aids and I can't get to right now....I bought a new power supply yesterday and I'll tackle it tonight...In the meantime, I'll try to paint some visual pictures with words (like the good old days) on some other soon as I come up with something....

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Talk about anti-climatic

There's a softball team out there that owes me 3 dollars. I've waited all week to avenge our painful lost, went home to round up the wife the kids because we have the late 8:20 game again, only to find a half softball team waiting for us...Bam, forfeit, we win 7-0 (don't ask me why we get seven runs in a forfeit). We lent them a player and played a few innings for the heck of it, schoolyard style (the ump was a little TOO eager to go home and left us). Talk about unsatisfying. I fought traffic twice to not play. To top it off, I got to play third base, and STILL had no balls hit to me. What a rip...

Friday, July 29, 2005

TV pick

Here's my Tivo nugget of the week. Why was The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas on the Sci-Fi channel? I think Zach said it best..."That's like The Jetsons being on the History Channel."

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pillow Talk

My wife said I needed to buy new pillows. Aside from not supporting the neck like it used to, it was definitely yellower than I remember it once was. (it reminded me of 5824's hand towel, really) So with a sale at my local Target, I picked up two extra firm pillows...I didn't really realize there was an adjustment period to pillows, but I haven't slept a whole night straight since I got those things. Sure my head stays cleaner, but boy am I tired....

Friday, July 22, 2005

The A's We Ain't

Playing in a coed softball league, one should go in with low expectations. Maybe it was the 4-0 start we jumped out to, but I was feeling pretty good about my team's chances. Now we are 4-2 and I am spending too many hours at work wondering how we can tweak the defensive alignments. I still think I am ok with losing, if it was normal losing. We have lost leads of 11-0 and 10-1, and I don't think I have to tell you -- it sucks. The streak ends Friday, because either we win one, or I will become so unproductive at work I will be fired.

On a related note, Britt played the whole game at catcher because we were short one girl. It works out in a funny way. My wife gets more playing time than I do on my company team. Go figure.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tivo Phone Home

I've had Tivo for about two weeks now, and it is great. We got a reconditioned box in exchange for paying for one year's service (A deal that has since expired. I'll try and alert you of deals while they are still good next time). Of course, I am watching a lot more tv, which I haven't decided if it is a good thing yet. I at least don't have to fight with the girls as much over the tv. Now I can watch Family Guy and Good Eats at my own convenience, but the best part is finding the gems that come on when no one should be watching tv. I mean really, who knew Bosom Buddies come on the weekends at 6AM on TBS?

(Incidentally, is a site full of informative breastfeeding info. Just thought you should know)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Alan at bat...

Our softball league hit the tough part of the schedule today with a double header against the other undefeated team in the league. (I guess an update would be needed. After the first freezing game, it was the Brayton vs. Brayton match in a 100mph dust storm while staring into the sun. That was followed by the first pleasant weather game where I finally got comfortable and got a hit on my fifth at bat of the year...ok, you're all caught up) So the elements at Indian Valley College continue to insist on being a part of our league as the 11th team. It must've been at least a hundred degrees out there with not a lick of shade out to be found. We tried to save our strength by enacting the 12 run rule on the other team. But two games in the heat was rough. We were up 11-0 in the second game when the wheels came off. We lost in the last at bat 12-11. I think I would have been more shocked if I wasn't suffering from heat exhaustion. With more boys than girls I only got four at bats in two games, but I got a hit on all of them. Still in first place and our team is really settling in with contributions from everyone (oh, and Britt is getting playing time too filling in when we are short girls), I think we will challenge for the crown this year.

Good TV

Originally uploaded by geetargeek.

I think currently, my favorite show on TV is family. I LOVE the left field humor. I can certainly understand how it might be too weird for some, but I love how edgey they are without resorting to potty humor all the time (unlike a show like South Park). Stewie rocks!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Play ball!

So my softball season kicked off the other night. My work had so many that wanted to play that we are fielding two teams in this league. My team took a lay back approach and went into our first game totally unprepared (we had one meeting to discuss whether we wanted to sprung for shirts). The plan started off well enough when we scored 10 runs in the first inning. Then we found out that our offense will have to carry us over the hump that is defense and pitching. After a heart attack of a last inning, we held on to win 26-24 (not a typo). Personally, I was 0 for 1 with a walk and two runs score. I was definitely rusty and I really have to get used to funky softball rules and strategies, but felt ok about my performance. Next game isn't until next Friday when the two Brayton <> Purcell teams go head to head. Hopefully playing conditions won't be so Candlestick like for that one...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Lucky Guy...

I always knew I was blessed with a wonderful wife, but sometimes she exceeds all expectations. After our successful vacation, she tells me that we should schedule all of our future vacations around baseball parks around the country...God bless that woman.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Vacation Top Ten

I was going to give a play by play of my vacation in San Diego, but I figured that you'd want to read all that as much as you'd want to watch the slide show version of my vacation (or my home video of Hannah's kindergarten graduation). So I'll give you a quick review, in a well organized, somewhat ripped off, and hopefully amusing top ten list:

Top Ten Things I learned while in San Diego:

1) If you think you are escaping bad weather with a vacation, if will invariably follow you.

I couldn't believe it was raining at home when we left...I couldn't believe we didn't see a lick of sun while we were in San Diego. After flying over the above clouds, it decided to follow us the rest of the weekend. I've ran into stray puppies that aren't so loyal.

2) Lil John's singing vocabulary is very limited.

One of the neat things about traveling is scanning the choice of radio stations. We pretty much went with Z90 90.3 FM ("Where hip hop lives"). I first noticed that Lil John is a very prolific producer because practically every other song is a Lil John production. This also means that we heard his "contributions" just as often. Unfortunately, this really only includes either "Yeah!" "All Right!" or "Okay!". A thesaurus apparently does not exist in the world of crunk...

3) SoCal people love their malls.

Does this come as a surprised to anyone? There are lots of malls in San Diego. They are basically like the malls you know, just outdoors. There are food courts upstairs, there are little carts selling you cell phones. Just substitute your "Anne's Plus Size Boutique" and two of the shoe stores with an Armani Exchange and Abercrombie and Fitch and it's just like home...

4) I do not have a curse the home team at baseball games.

I was beginning to wonder, after my three game losing streak at SBC. So on Thursday afternoon we visited Petco Park for an afternoon matinee between the Pads and the Indians. I like the park. It's more a part of downtown than SBC and the little quirks are cool...It would have been better if it wasn't cloudy and sprinkly (see #1). And the Padres won...all those people around me cheering like mad...I had forgotten what that was like...

5) There is such a thing as too much nature.

Friday was spent at the world famous San Diego Zoo. The place is really big, with some of the steepest walkways I have ever seen in a civilized setting (who decided to build a zoo in a canyon?). The kids loved seeing the animals up close. There was about a 45 minute stretch, however, where every animal we saw decided it was time to urinate... "Look! A giraffe....ewww." "Look! An antelope.....whoa..." "Look! An elephant.....holy @%!$#!"

6) 12 Hooter Girls fit in a hula hoop.

Friday was also my birthday. My wife thought Hooters would be a good place to have dinner (God bless that woman). It was the liveliest Hooters I had ever been too. There were dance numbers, a girl poured beer while hanging upside down on a trapeze, and the above girls in hula hoops...Although if it was my birthday, why was my wife surrounded by hot chicks and not me?

7) Taxi drivers are out to take every last cent you have.

We only rented a car for a few days before my sister and Chris came down with the van. When I returned the rental, I figured I'll just take a cab back to the hotel. It wasn't even 10 miles back and it would be way easier and closer than public transportation. Well the meter reading $23.40 was a darn good reason to learn the public transportation system well. It happened to be all the cash I had at the moment. I thought I was being charged by the mile. I swear I saw that meter move while we were at a red light. What's up with that? Bad people....

8) Dumb people are rapidly taking over the world.

Again, probably does not surprise you. The prize for dumbest thing I heard while in San Diego goes to the lady at Balboa Park. We were looking at the botanical garden building and the above lily pond in front with many koi fishes when she said:

"They just look like big goldfishes to me."

9) Graduations are nothing but people sitting around for 4 hours for 10 seconds of excitement.

And that is if your particular graduate is a slow walker or trips on the stage. The whole reason for our trip was my cousin's graduation. I thought maybe he is graduating with others with the same major...nope. Okay, maybe it's grouped by colleges of similar majors...nope. I heard there were about 700 graduates with totally unrelated majors at this graduation. What sense does this make? Why would they still decide to have TWO class speakers in addition to all the chancellors and provost and janitors speaking ahead of them? What a cruel things to do to parents who have already given their savings to these schools just to see their child walk across the stage in a robe for a paper. Lots of people do that every morning...

And finally...10) Kids CAN sit in a car for 11 hours and not drive others to suicide.

I couldn't believe it either, but my kids sat through unexplained traffic in LA, fields of nothing along I-5, smelly cows awaiting slaughter, and numerous dirty bathrooms in even dirtier gas stations without any complaint. The trip back, while long, was pretty pleasant...I'm am still awaiting word from the aliens on the whereabouts of my real children.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The verdict is in...

So Michael Jackson gets to be the King of Pop for 4 more years....Prince will vie for the title in 2009.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vacation time!

So I am about to be off for a weekend in San Diego. Airplane travel with two small children, then really tempt fate by driving back with two small children. Enjoy my clean up of unfinished posts. Wish me luck.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Two and half day work weeks rock!

Monday, Thursday, and a half day Friday...That is how I am thinking about this week. Woohoo!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Night out on the Town

Ronald McDonald and Grimace in SF
Originally uploaded by Alanmine.

We celebrated our 6th anniversary Friday with an evening without the kids (really all we can ask for nowadays). It was fun, real casual time together. We first had dinner at Bay Street Plaza in Emeryville and hung out there window shopping. We then headed out into San Francisco where we roamed around North Beach looking for coffee in big soup bowls. While roaming, we ran into...Ronald McDonald? Walking down Broadway with a cameraman was Ronald McDonald, The Hamburlgar, and Grimace. We followed and were hoping they would walk into a strip joint. They just wander though and we lost interest. Had to take a picture though, no one would believe it....

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Cherry Picking

On Memorial Day we decided to take the kids cherry picking. I have a lot of memories as a kid going with my family on these fruit picking trips...Those memories are still pretty much true. The place is filled with Asian families...but I am getting ahead of myself. My parents saw an ad in the Chinese newspaper of a place in Fairfield. We decided to try that since it's closer than the Brentwood orchards that we used to go to... boy was that a mistake. That place is the biggest rip off ever. They charge by the person instead of just what you pick. It would have been 40 bucks just to get all of us and the kids in... So off to Brentwood from there we went.

I was surprised that we even made it there. As we got closer and closer, my parents just kept talking about how much more the area has developed since the last time we have been there. Yet somehow, after a few questionable turns, we made it (sure there are like 30 orchards in the area, but it's not like the highway dead ends into one). Two dollars a pound, all you can pick. Two lessons learned here:

- Little kids will eat cherries off a tree until they get the runs...for a week.

- They ask you to sign a waiver before you go in for a reason...My dad lost his footing on a tree and fell completely out...Not slipped off, but fell out, landing on your side.

Good Times.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Take me out to the ball game...

Charlie Brown Day at SBC
Originally uploaded by Alanmine.

I had the pleasure of going to two Giants game in a row. One has been planned for a while, the other was a last minute thing. On Friday, work was giving out bleachers tickets. I didn't make the first cut of the ticket drawing, but some of the tickets were returned because people can't make it so I got one. I hadn't actually sat in the bleachers in a long time - I've been spoiled by the luxurious club level and lower level seating lately. It was good time, I hadn't really spent a lot of time outside of work with my co-workers, and it was fun to see them in a more relaxed (and alcoholic) environment. The game sucked though. The Giants were never in it and Brian Lawrence didn't even break a sweat. I had the feeling it wasn't going to get much better the next day...

And I was mostly right. It started ominously as the whole reason for heading out there was because my sister saw that it was Charlie Brown Bobblehead day. It was only to the first 10,000 fans 14 and under so my kids were enlisted for duty. I even got a ticket for Hannah to make getting the bobblehead more I should've known when the usher didn't even look in Sara's direction when she went through the gate. Totally ignored her. I walked up to another usher and told him that my daughter didn't get one and he told me that coming through the gate was her one and only chance...jerks. We settled in to see the Giants at least tease us with SOME clutch hitting only to see the bullpen fall apart. Great. I have a 1-3 record at SBC this year. This might be the first year in a long time that has happened. I am hoping I can put a stop to the voodoo by attending the even worse A's and D-Rays game on Two Dollar Wednesday. B.J Upton?

Monday, May 30, 2005

When the heat goes out...

(The next few post might be out of order since I have a few on draft status waiting to be finished... I have a short attention span, what can I say?)

Britt was baking cookies today while I was making dinner when the oven was all of a sudden...not hot. My oven of all things gave out today. The burner works fine, so dinner went well (see other blog shortly). At least I can maybe still catch those Memorial Day sales tomorrow, huh? ... If anyone is interested in some peanut butter cookie dough, I have quite a bit to spare....

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Return to Sender....

No one likes junk mail, but sometimes they are amusing - both in content and in ever wonder how you get on certain mailing lists? I know your name and address just gets sold like cheap t-shirts outside sports stadiums, but how many issues of tattoo Weekly do you need to get before they get the message that piercings are really your thing? ... I still get the occasional mail at my parents house even though I haven't lived there for almost a year. I went over the other day and saw a Frederick's catalog laying around and figured that it was for Britt. I picked it up to make sure it wasn't to my mom's (a very quick, sickening thought, by the way) and the addressee was one...Hannah Kwong.....Is my five year old ordering things without telling me? Is there a lot of things she isn't telling me? Does the Disney corporation own more businesses than I thought? I'd rather see things mailed to a dead guy than a lingerie catalog to a five year old girl......grrr.....

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bay to Breakers

I guess I could have posted sooner since it happened almost a week ago, but I've been recovering... So it's Bay to Breaker time again, my third time, and still no costume. I think I do it every year for two reasons: an excuse to convince myself to exercise in preparation, and to see the more "colorful" side of the Bay Area...By no means do "colorful" mean naked, of course... I hadn't decided if I was going to be running or walking with my wife this year until we got there. I guess seeing all the people running by kind of inspired me. I was off for a good pace for a while there. Then the Hayes street hill hit and reality set in. With about two blocks left up the hill, I was pretty much done...which brings me back to the naked guys. I have to hand it to them, they really helped me get through it. Whenever I started to get tired and started to walk, I would see the backside of one of them and be motivated to run past them. They kept coming and I kept running. Two hours and two minutes later, I was at the Great Highway standing between a taco and Tinkerbell.

There was a whole thing about not finding my wife and friends for two hours while she was taking a picture with a naked guy, but that's another story. Anyway it was fun. I recommend it for anyone for the experience. But please, a stupid costume is preferred over no clothing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Talented Ms. Sara...

Sara was in rare form yesterday. First, she went into the bathroom and put hand soap all over her hair. Then she took her bag of pretzel into her room and smashed them one by one with her Bob the Builder hammer. I don't know which was worse...

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Siete de Mayo

A follow up to my last post:

- The Company picnic went off nicely. The sun even made an appearance. I brought my mitt and played catch for a while, and a pick up game of touch football took place (I didn't play). There was a raffle for things ranging from $10 gift certificates to Extreme Pizza to the coveted $100 gift card at Target. I did not win any of that stuff. At 2pm, I promptly went home to get ready for the baseball game.

- The Giants-Nats game was pretty much a case of bad to worse. We had pizza beforehand and took a stroll through SBC Park since my co-worker's nephew came along and had never been to SBC before (he is a Dodgers fan of all things. He wore a Dodgers hat and a Piazza Mets jersey. Bad omen #1). We were pretty early and somewhere while watching batting practice, my voice decided to take a vacation. I got more and more hoarse, until I just couldn't talk. I wasn't even heckling. I can't talk right now. This is now my only venue for communicating with the world. Stay tune...

- Then there was the game. The most exciting thing was the fireworks at the end of the game. I don't know what's worse, the Giant's lack of clutch hitting or the pitching staff that likes to give up two out RBIs.

- Forecast still calls for rain tomorrow for my barbecue. We'll see if this weekend gets any better......

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Cinco de Mayo

As I type this, I am watching a news report on TV of a riot going on about a mile from my house. Apparently, tequila and Coronas beat out green beer on the ethnic partying scale. I also learned that both St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo are more Americanized holidays than anything else. In their native countries, the people don't really give a hoot.

This week started out looking like it was going to be good, but unfortunately...

- I've been sick for the past few days. I think I shared it with Sara, but she is a lot better while I am not. I think it's a chest cold or something, but I'm never sure because I am not sick very often...

- It's kind of a short week at work this week. Friday is Employee Appreciation day and we are having a catered lunch (turns out it's salads from Fresh Choice and cold cut platters from Costco - whoopee). The threat of rain might move this from a nearby park to the cramp break room at work...bummer.

- Most people at work are also speculating that we get to leave work early after this lunch. The chances also decrease if we are still at the office...

- A co-worker invited me to the Giants-Nationals game tomorrow night. Fireworks night AND KNBR night...threat of rain puts all of this in jeopardy as well...

- After much debate, we decided to celebrate Mother's Day with our first barbecue of the is also expected to rain on Sunday.

I'll go with April showers, but this is ruining a perfectly good week.

In related news, the weather just pleasant for rioting. Bring your own rocks and bottles...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

More of my kid's amazing talents...

For those of you that have had the pleasure of meeting my kids, you know that like most kids they love to play. They both also have great imaginations. I have told you of how Hannah talks a lot while on the toilet, but they both also have conversations with just about anything. All their dolls come to life in their room, as seen here when Hannah got a new Little Person and arranged a getting-to-know-you party with her other Little People.

Meal times turn into social hour when they start talking to their forks, coloring time is halted when crayons starts to talk to each other, and my personal favorite, while in the car seat, Sara takes off her socks and shoes so they can talk to each other. You have not lived until you've seen a sock and a shoe have a conversation.

Friday, April 29, 2005

A picture is worth about 232 words...

Well my time without a camera didn't last long. My kids were going to stop being cute so I had to move fast. I decided that I liked the "ultracompact" variety for its convenience to carry around. Britt really wanted a bigger LCD screen to help her frame the pictures. My sister thought I should get a different brand for better picture quality. (Really, why wouldn't that be on the top of everyone's list? Who gets a camera that takes crappy pictures but has great zoom? or because its cool looking? It's a camera. You want one to take pictures of stuff...I don't get it)
So it's so long to the Minolta Dimage X and hello to the Canon Elph SD400. There is a longer story of how I actually decided on the SD300 but I had a 10 percent off coupon for Target along with Britt's employee discount but Target only had the SD400 so it ended up being around the same price of the SD300 but I won't go into it (Wait, that's pretty much the story).

It's hard to show off the camera with pictures...since I would be holding the camera. So here's a picture of my dirty mirror (and apparently I was in the middle of dressing myself. Or starting a new fashion trend). Of course, lots of pictures of my kids are sure to follow...Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 23, 2005

I Love this Game

So the baseball season is about two weeks old and I already couldn't stand it anymore and had to go to a game. I saw that the D-Backs series was mid week and figured I could find some cheap ticket from someone who didn't want to go. I let Wednesday go by but with the Schmidt-Ortiz match up on Thursday, I just had to find a way there. I checked Craigslist Thursday morning and found a pair of club level tickets with a parking pass for 90 bucks so I went for it.

I called my friend Tim who I go to games with a lot and is a Schmidt fan. He punked out on me though with some work excuse. I tried a few other people and no one could make it. I couldn't believe it, I was about to be stuck with a 45 dollar ticket. My wife was going to spend the day with her family while I was gone but I called her and asked if she could come back and go to the game with me. (Hey I love going to baseball games with my wife, she wasn't on my initial list of person to ask because she was set on going to see her family when I told her I wanted togo to the game) I asked my parents to watch the kids and all of a sudden I had a cozy date with my wife.

I tried to leave work as soon as I could but I ended up leaving five minutes late. Traffic was actually pretty good to the Golden Gate but as I hit the span an electronic sign came on with, "STALL ON BRIDGE. USE CAUTION." I could not believe it. I was stuck on the bridge for a good twenty minutes before I got up to see the tow truck working with a motorcycle...A motorcycle???? Someone could not have just picked the thing up and moved it aside? Anyway I winded through the city and picked up the tickets (at least he was near the park), pulled into parking lot A (by the clydesdales, who are on tour through the country), met my wife coming from BART, and settled into our seats on section 223 one pitch into the game.

And what a game it was. Schmidt wasn't real sharp, but he got the job done. Ortiz was typical Ortiz, a ton of pitches, but effective. The struggling Giants offense certainly helped him out too. The game went along pretty briskly without much offense. Britt and I wanted to take advantage of the club level and find something that we can't get in other parts of the park but we settled on fish and chips and Irish nachos. At least we've never had it before and it was reasonably good value for the money. I was hoping for some kind of potatoe skins for the nachos but it was just steak fries and gave me the feeling I was eating chilli cheese fries...

When the game went into extra innings, I had mixed feelings. I always look for games to go long when I am there, it means that it's a good game and I get more game for my money. That night, however, with my kids falling asleep at my parents, I knew I couldn't stay forever. As the innings go by, my wife and I gave each other questioning looks as to how late we are going to stay (incidentally, I was at a Giants-D-Backs game once that went 19 innings. I left that game after 15 innings and they lost). We decided that we would stay for a 14th inning stretch but that was it. Lucky for us, Deivi Cruz has also been sitting for 12 and a half innings and decided that he wanted to go home too. It was awesome, I think I would have been pretty bummed if we lost.

Lastly, and sadly, in all the excitement, my camera fell out of my pocket and took a nasty fall. It still kind of works, but the case pops open and it makes strange sounds. I guess we did get a good 3+ years out of it. I looked on my computer the other day and saw that I had like 5000 pictures on the computer...I am now officially shopping for a new digital camera....

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A regular mold mine...

My sister is generally thought of as being more prone to sickness than most people. Her husband Chris (wow, I think the first time I referred to him as such) would call my sister a "petri dish." I love that name (I wonder if she knows...well, she does now)...I think of it now because everyone in my household is currently sick. Hannah has croup, which is basically a viral infection of the larynx. It gives her the nastiest coughs, especially at night. Sara has an ear infection, somewhat common for her age when she gets a cold. Britt has a kind of adult version of croup I guess, cough that hurts her chest, runny nose, and her eye sneezes (Not really a sneeze, I guess. More of a rapid watering of the have to see it to get it). I am trying to stiff arm all of that the best I can. My throat hurts a little when I swallow (remember those old commercials? "It hurts when I swallow.." with the little girl...chloraseptic I think it was...) but I think I'm ok for now. It was a lot easier when it was just Hannah, more control over what my kid is exposed to. With two kids to swap germs back and forth, one kid bringing germs from school, someone always seems to have something. I'm surprised my sister still comes over to visit...guess my kids are kind of cute after all...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Bar flies...

Remember when ESPN didn't have deals with the major sports and championship lacrosse was a daily event? Then they got access to more popular sports and decided to showcase the Jacks championship on ESPN2.... Are we going back to those days? I saw darts on ESPN2 the other day. Between poker and darts, when are drinking games going to be a televised sport?

(BTW, I saw curling on the other day as well...Was that invented by some old people who was re-enacting their cruise vacation playing shuffleboard to friends back in Maine? Why is it so strangely captivating?)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Taking up space.....

I have been feeling pretty lazy lately. When I have nothing to do, I do just that - nothing. Now while some of you are already thinking, "How's that different than any other day for you, Alan?" I will tell you how it's different. I am too lazy to even do my usual lazy activities. I can play some video games, but I don't. I can be productive and organize my thousands of pictures on my computer, but I don't. Post a funny anecdote on my blog? Too lazy.... It's sad...where was I going with this? I forget...I'm going back to sitting around.....

Friday, April 01, 2005

Happy April Fool's Day!

I am not much of a joker when it comes to April Fools, but I like other people's efforts. My favorite today is the fine folks at Google...Of course I am on a Google phase though. They can come out with Google toilet paper right now and I would use it...incidentally, if you haven't tried Google Maps, you are so missing out. Happy fooling....

...And speaking of jokes...

I was having dinner with my daughters when somehow they started to tell me knock-knock jokes. Now they can't tell them right yet (I like Sara telling me "Knock knock" who's there? "*mumble* *mumble* *mumble*....hahahha") but Hannah surprised me with this exchange:

Hannah: "Knock knock"

Me: "Who's there?"

H: "Joe"

M: "Uh...Joe who?"

H: "Joe Mama...hehe...Joe Papa..."

M: "Who taught you that joke, Hannah?"

H: "Zach..."

Thanks, Zach....

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Science of Cartoons...

My sister was nice enough to stop by and visit after work the other day...ok, she wanted to see the girls, but you know, whatever draws them in...The girls, of course, wanted my sister to either read a book to them or watch cartoons with them. They were watching one of those Disney collection DVDs and I was starting to notice something - You just cannot watch cartoons with my sister. She starts to bring reality into what happens in a cartoon. "Why is that chicken so much bigger than Donald Duck?" "How can he see around the corner like that?" "What kind of animal is Goofy suppose to be?" (ok, that last one was from Stand By Me... How did Jerry O'Connell go from being the fat kid to dating models?? He needs to write a diet book and cash in..)

I don't remember her doing this when we were kids (Of course, Smurfs probably obeyed every law of physics anyway). Wonder how she would handle watching Aqua Teen Hunger Force? "Why is that french fry talking?"

Friday, March 18, 2005

Who needs a personal assistant?

A friend told me the other day that Hannah reminds him of Dakota Fanning. I don't see it. Hannah is too much of a crybaby to compare to the Dakota Fanning's eerily mature persona I see in her movies. Maybe he was thinking of the wrong kid...Sara picked me some toilet paper and deodorant the other day. I think I will have her drive me to work next.... Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Might as well give him a big 'A' to wear...

I promised myself I wouldn't watch any of that congressional hearing today (good thing I was able to busy myself listening to the NCAA tourney all day) but I saw some highlights on the news and my favorite moment will never be heard on any soundbite. When the congressman asked Mark McGwire whether he wanted to comment on whether he used steroids, he had this dumbstruck expression on the his face and shook his head like a five year old with his hand in the cookie jar. Hillarious!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Raising Hannah...

Call it a public service announcement. Out of all my friends, I am pretty much the only one with kids. Sometimes, I think I am helping them out by giving them a preview of what it will be like for them (if anyone wants to try to change diapers, let me know). Having kids means that you will run into things that would probably never exist in your otherwise well defined, organized life. Kids say strange things (I think I made that point in an earlier post), stick strange things up their nose, and play...strangely. I was putting the kids to bed one night and I found the above sitting on Hannah's bed...I don't even want to know how Big Bird will explain this to his therapist... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Anger Management

Sara has been in an "anger" stage lately. At first, we thought it might have been related to an ear infection that she had (with a subsequent comeback for a while). It appears now though that it just might be all part of being the proverbial 'two.' We can take her clothes and diaper off when she needs to be changed, but you can forget about getting anything back on. Britt can convince her better than I can, but as far as I'm concern, Sara will be wearing a lot of sweats for a while. Even then it's a 10 minute process to get her arm in the sleeves. Kids are surprisingly strong and inflexible when they have the right motivation. Here's hoping that she will be mature for her age and start practicing to be three in a few days....

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

You talk about "juiced" balls...

House panel issues 11 steroids subpoenas

I can't wait for baseball season. Both because, well, I love baseball, and I am so dang tired of all this steroid talk. I think that people like Jose Canseco is just taking advantage of the time of year. People are so ready for baseball to return that the talk is usually of every little injury and transactions that occurred during the last 4 months. Canseco just gave them something new to talk about. Let's just play ball and worry about executing that squeeze bunt and not who was with who doing what in bathroom stalls...

- First of all, Jose Canseco is an idiot.
- Having said that, Canseco is also everything that everyone is saying about him. Greedy, Self-absorbed, delusional, Angry, and even honest. He can certainly be a jerk and a snitch while telling the truth. I haven't read the book, nor do I plan to. I hope he makes enough money off of all of this, because he is certainly playing his last ace. I hope that money can buy him some friends too....
- So the government is getting involved and will get to the truth for the people....why? What does this have to do with my congressman working for me? Aren't we trying to wrap up a war? Isn't Social Security in trouble? ... When it comes down to it, sports is entertainment. I don't think there is a congressional committee on a fact finding mission to seek out all the fake boobs in Hollywood (not officially anyway). I can understand fans wondering about the hallow records books being tainted (I don't think any asterisks are needed, btw), but what is this suppose to accomplished?
- The truth is, the government does not have any evidence of wrong doing, unless you count Mr. Canseco's book. MLB did not start testing until 2003 (do they still have those samples?). Simply asking some players if they used steroids isn't going to shed any new light on the subject. I think everyone has accepted that players used steroids. So they want to know exactly which players were using and who wasn't? Good luck. Let's try and be more strict, learn a lesson from this, and move on. I'd rather watch Schilling drill A-Rod, and the government can go after the track and field folks. That's where the chemistry labs excel...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

TV night....

I say a lot about Scrubs around here so I'll be brief. The last episode was a good example of why the show is great. They take a lot of risk and do a lot of different things that you don't see anywhere else. The fast motion is a little gimmicky, but it's still unique (that episode where they had the laugh track was good too)...and I have a confession to make while I am at it - I don't really like Heather Graham. I don't really have a problem with her so much. I just don't think she is very attractive. Her character is funny though, so it was nice to see her back...

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Party like it's....

We had a birthday party yesterday for Sara and it was good. My daughters are still young enough where there really aren't THAT many actual kids around, really just family and friends. We like to have parties at our house, and coming up with good ideas for food and the like. There are certain things we have learned from our parties:

- No matter how many people under the age of 10 are at the parties, having a lot of balloons present will result in all participants to behave like an 8 year old. We always figure that when it's the girl's birthday, having a lot of balloons will make it festive....then everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) starts beating each other senseless with them...and we haven't learned yet.

- Like I said, we try to come up with some good idea or theme for food. Rest assure, though, that our party will always include Chinese food cooked by my parents. People are thankful and tell them how much they enjoy their cooking, but here's the truth: They just want to make sure they have something to eat. Ever since our macaroni and cheese party, they just don't want to go hungry, and are good sharers. The menu for my next party could just be...Chinese food, but that would be no fun.

- I can always count on one of my friends to get my kids something either: loud and has no volume control or off switch, bound to get all messy and on my wall and/or carpet, or oversized clothes from the Roseanne line of clothes from Thrift Town. I cannot wait to exact revenge on them when they have kids...

Parties are still great though and we can't wait until summer to have bbq's in our backyard. I got some tiki torches that I just can't wait to use.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 even makes julienne fries...

I did something I almost never do on my President's day holiday: I went outlet shopping. I am not really a shopper as it is, and I am usually smart enough to avoid outlets on holidays (not to mention always being poor). I needed some new work clothes though so I trudged out with my wife and sister out to Vacaville. I ended up with one whole shirt that I probably won't wear until it gets warmer, but I did get caught up with the kitchen gadget stores...

Like most people who are just putting together a home, I have all sorts of cheap, hand-me-downs, and other random kitchen supplies. Ever since my recent renaissance in cooking, I decided that any new purchases would be of quality. Anyone that has been in my kitchen knows that nothing exemplifies that better than my knives. Aside from not being sharp, many of them have started to be....rusty. So boy was I excited to get a fancy (German made...there is a joke there but I'm not seeing it) knife. Was it hard to spend 70 bucks on one knife? Absolutely. But I consider the money I would save from having to buy one of those attractive hooks for my hand once I cut it off from the hundredth cutting accidents from a rusty knife made it worth it. I went home just looking for something to cut but we got home too late and I ended up eating at my parents. Finally, I was ready to wield my newly forged metal, a moment I will always remember....

I sliced a croissant to make a sandwich for work.

I know, anticlimactic. I followed that up by slicing a slightly frozen steak for stroganoff the next day, and that was a whole lot more fun. (Btw, that croissant didn't stand a chance either)

Friday, February 18, 2005

The Yeast of all...

After a few months, I think I am still getting used to having a blog. I find myself wondering what to write, like I'm expecting to be reporting on some important world changing event or something. Really, blogs are great because it lets people examine the little things. The little things that might otherwise be ignored and forgotten....but the lost entertainment would be a shame. Like this nugget that happened like a week ago...

I came home the other night from work and had a nice dinner prepared by my wife. My mom called and said that they had made baked pork chop rice and asked if we wanted to come over for dinner (a nice perk, living so close to my parents. Only rarely far). I told her we just ate but I'll come take some leftovers to bring to work the next day. So after we cleaned up after dinner I drove over to my parents. I noticed something shiny sitting by rear tire but didn't think too much of it. When I came back 15 minutes later, however, I had to drive by the shiny object to park the car. It looked a lot like a plastic bag...with...a loaf of bread? Sure enough, when I got out, there laid a loaf of bread, sitting between the sidewalk and the rear right tire of my car. I was sure it wasn't there when I got home, so in the hour or so while I was having dinner, someone dropped a loaf of bread by my house...or maybe, divine intervention came and is feeding my poor family (kind of like Jesus feeding the masses with his fish and bread). So like the frugal Chinese guy that I am, I brought the "holy" in and it's currently sitting in my freezer. I figure I have at least a little head start with my holy sandwich than that Virgin Mary Grill Cheese....Holy Tuna, anyone?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Potty mouth...

Little kids are funny. I love to talk to my kids just to hear what comes out of their mouths. And I'm not talking about Bill Cosby's kids say the darnest things. Kids are so imaginative that they don't need some weird adult talking about jello to them. My daughter Hannah does her best monologues...sitting on the toilet. Evertime I walk by she is talking about something...unique. Here is a sample:

"Ducky, you sit there and watch me brush my teeth later."

"Hi Strawberry Shortcake. You brought your family with you today?"


No gelatin can make kids say stranger things than that.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I'll stick with Jamba Juice...

I was happily flipping through my ESPN magazine when I ran into the ad for the latest offering from Budweiser. Now I don't really drink beer anyway but it shocked me. The alcohol isn't enough that we have to put caffiene it? Does it come in a can, bottle, or IV form? I can't wait to see Bud Crack......or Bud...well...bud. (low carbs!)...endorsed by Randy Moss...official drink of the NBA....

Friday, January 28, 2005

On the trail of Good Eats III

(So where are we here? ummm boy takes advantage of his family always making good food. One day, watching revolutionary cooking show that makes cooking more like science sparks the inner cook in him. Manages to make himself pork chops sans e.coli. Now thankful for the creative force that brought him to his present culinary renaissance. Yeah, that about catches up)

So I was checking out Alton Brown, mastermind of Good Eats, at his website when I noticed that he was going on a book tour for his new book. One of his stops was in Corte Madera at a bookstore. Now that I work in Novato I thought maybe I could swing by after work to see if I can get an autograph or at least tell him that he saved me from dry pork chops. My wife was still sick though so on the big day I actually ended up going home early to help watch the kids. I told her my original plans and she insisted that I should still go...if I take at least one kid with me. Well my oldest actually knows who Alton Brown is so she was happy to come along (that and the promise of reading a lot of books at the bookstore)...

So we get there about 45 minutes before his scheduled appearance. There were chairs set up in front of a podium with about 15 people milling about with their books ready to be signed. There was no way my daughter (er...Hannah, she does have a name) would just sit and wait though so we retreated to the rear of the store where the children's books were. We sat on a chair set up back there for kids and read about every book that was within reach. I watched the room fill up in those 45 minutes quickly. The chairs were all taken...then some folding chairs were brought out for people...then all those were taken...then people were standing back with Hannah and I with the kids books...then people were standing around the corner where you wouldn't actually see Alton Brown while he was up front...and on and on...the place was packed. I didn't mind losing out on the good seats since I didn't really go to get front row seats and be a huge Alton groupie. Anyway he finally came out and thanked everyone for coming on a rainy night.

He had a few things he wanted to say (like how mad he was at the editors for misprinting his pizza dough recipe. There is a part that says children's aspirin when it should have said children's vitamin C. Brown himself is allergic to aspirin and he didn't like his own recipe being able to kill him. On the plus side I guess I have a collector's item. Like an error baseball card!). He mostly opened it up to questions about whatever. Most of the questions were about his shows (Good Eats and Iron Chef America) and a few had specific cooking questions that he helped out with. Then he made himself available to sign whatever we wanted for as long as was needed...He was pretty much what I expected. He is pretty funny and very personable. The line was already monstrous with all the people but he still took the time to talk to everyone that he met.

I knew that Hannah would not stand in that line for longer than 3 minutes so we stayed and read just about every book they were selling (need some kidsbook buying tips? contact me. I know some great pop up books now). We finally saw an end to the line and jumped in. When it was out turn he was still very friendly and thanked us for coming. I told him that Hannah and I had a card for her sick mom and Hannah would like him to sign it as well. He was happy to sign it and told Hannah that he was very sorry that her mom wasn't feeling well. We finally had a picture taken and that was that...

Now I am not real big on meeting celebrities. I am always worried that meeting the real them will only shatter what image I had of them and will only be disappointed. This time it worked out well and if possible, I might be a bigger fan now than I was before.
Posted by Hello

Thursday, January 27, 2005

On the trail of good eats...

(In honor of the upcoming February sweeps, I am going to have a stunt of my own. You got to do what you got to do for rating, right? Gary Coleman wasn't available, so stunt casting was out. I decided to go with the second most used trick in the book - the crossover epidsoe. So in this multi-part post, you will also have to read the posts other site! Shameless, I know...)

So I mentioned before that I watch pieces of a lot of shows. A regular stop of mine is the Food Network. Watching it has actual made me go and try some cooking on my own...Now some quick background (imagine the screen going squiggly and that whole flashback music....). My whole family cooks...except me. My parents are chinese, and they cook. My dad has worked at various restaurants doing various things for a long time and has learned a whole lot about cooking (ask my family, my friends, everyone likes to eat at my parents). My sister picked it up somewhere along the line and now she is the Martha Stewart of the family (er...without the conviction record)...I think being in that kind of environment just made learning how to cook...unnecessary.

When you hang out with my sister enough, you are bound to watch a lot of Food Network though. At first thought, I was like "That looks good, sis. Make me some of that." Then I discovered Good Eats...

Good Eats appeals to a lot of non-cooks, especially guys, like me. Alton Brown makes cooking so practical, so scientific. Instead of following instructions in a recipe, I now also know the whys of the steps. It makes cooking less about being a cook and more just using good scientific know how to produce food that taste good. I'm all about simple and delicious food. Anyway that show is great, and I'm getting hungry...

...on the part II...

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A burger that really forces itself on you...

Ah got my Scrubs fix in today. I am a much calmer self....

I was at Fuddrucker's the other night with my wife and her family. I like their burgers, especially all the different meats that you can have. It may be low fat alternatives, but I just like the novelty of it. I like the Buffalo myself while my wife likes the ostrich...anyway so we walked in and I saw a sign for their new burger...a Kobe burger. Now I obviously know what they mean by that, but I stared at that sign for a minute, and my head pretty much exploded with so many jokes at once...So you will have to insert your own

Really...Kobe burger?

(I know I know...I saw the title too...I couldn't help myself...)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Rush Hour 3 this ain't...

My parents and sister went to Hong Kong recently so naturally I asked them to do some shopping for me. One of the things I asked for was the DVD of the new Jackie Chan movie, "New Police Story." I was surprised to find out when they came back and reported that it was sold out everywhere so they had to buy a pirated copy for me (I wanted to be legit and it didn't work, go figure). I was even more shocked to find that the DVD worked perfectly and things like subtitles and chapters even worked. Do they make the best cheap stuff in China or what?

Anyway I watched the movie last night and I liked it a lot. I'm glad Jackie Chan returns to Hong Kong to do stuff that isn't all slapstick. Now I admire his efforts to make his movies more artistic and fun (kind of like a Chinese MacGuyver, really. "Don't use guns! Just kick the crap out of people 15 times, tied them up with the coats, hop on their back and propel yourself into the next guy's chest... before they even turn around!"...well, maybe not), but it's good to know he can still be dramatic displaying some angst...and angst there are...the movie centers on Jackie Chan being the head of an elite team in the HK police. Their arrogance catches up to them though when some extreme-sports loving bank robbers lures them into a trap. Jackie feels guilt over the distastrous operation, takes a long leave from the police to be a drunk, until a new recruit gets partnered with him and tries to convince him to get it together and solve the case. Some parts of the movie is pretty intense for a Jackie Chan flick, especially the beginning when his team gets ambushed. I have to say though, the bad guys are regular boy scouts with the rope tying skills. They drag someone out of the room and they next thing you know they are tied up and hanging from the ceiling. All in all a really solid movie, with some great acting and yes, still the great action that is the signature of a Jackie Chan movie. Being a HK flick he does have more control (it was made by his production company, after all) to do things his way....probably the best pirated movie I ever saw.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Driving in TV Land...

See what you get when you whine enough? I whined a few minutes about missing my favorite show, and I get blessed by the news that season one of Scrubs is coming to DVD...Maybe I should whine about not having a million dollars, or how I have to work FIVE whole days a week, or maybe just how I need someone to come mow my lawn for me...
I do find that I am watching more TV lately. Still not enough time to watch anything regularly, but I have finally seen some stuff that I have been meaning to for a long time. So here are some shows that I might watch regularly if I had TiVo:

- First off, I'd like to say that I am proud that I have never seen a whole epidsoe of any reality show. (Well, not since Real World San Francisco anyway...back when there was one reality show) I don't watch them for lots of reasons, really. Mostly because I think they are dumb. I get sucked in from time to time when I flip channels but then I realize I can never make the commitment to watch a whole season and see how things turn out so I don't bother. Besides, I have a reality show of my own called, "Watch my sometimes funny kids wreak havoc around the house."

- Chapelle Show - I do watch it whenever I find it on. I don't think there is anything funnier on TV as far as him pushing the envelope. That black white supremacist thing still has me shaking my head...

- Arresting Development - I finally watched this recently and I do agree that this is an excellently written show. It's really smart and unlike anything else on (reminds me of something I would watch on HBO...if I get HBO...which I don't). I still like the silliness of Scrubs better (which for the record, I do think is a notch less funny this season. I haven't really fallen out of my chair this season like I have in the past) but I should make time for this.

- The West Wing - I think I might be one of the last person on this planet to watch this for the first time. I liked it. While I have no idea what the storylines are I can certainly see that it's very well written and very well acted. Maybe I will find someone with the DVD and watch it sometimes...

- There are a few others that I catch whenever I find them on: The Simpsons (most timeless show ever), Family Guy (glad they are coming back. freaking hilarious), certain shows on Food Network (more later, I think my next post)...I definitely would watch more TV with TiVo because kids do not adhere to your TV schedule (Unless it's Sesame Street or Spongebob). Maybe I will whine about not getting my share of quality TV...wish can come true anytime now...I'll be home tomorrow between 9am and 1pm...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Channel surfing

Hmm not doing so well on that resolutions...let's rant with some fresh anger...

Arg...I just missed Scrubs. One of only two shows on tv that I actually make time for, and they changed the time on me. I was busy sitting in a dark room trying to get my daughter to sleep (not nearly as entertaining, by the way. Nothing against my daughter. The light was off, I couldn't even see her.) First I they were pre-empted by this Committed show and now they take over the spot. I watched this show here and there, it's ok. There are some funny parts but I am always weary of midseason replacements. Even if they are good they aren't for long (as Tom Postal just pulled his pants down, showing off lighted boxers). I haven't seen Scrubs in like a month, and there just isn't anything as funny least I caught Las Vegas last night. ..

...Which is the other show I make time for. Why wouldn't I watch beautiful people in a beautiful place? As long as Nikki Cox keeps wearing the cleavage bearing outfits, I will be there. I will even ignore the conveniently invented surveillance technologies that happens to magically figure out who was cheating the casino (how many times have they made images appear on their camera that couldn't have been there? "We only got the back of his head, but we'll just scramble every pixel, put it back together, and there is his face!") Really, more Molly Sims in bathing suit and I'm good.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Oh yeah, it's New Year....

...almost forgot, Happy New Year! Hmm let see...this year I will...cure a disease or two...prove that Barry Bonds is just a fitness the in my blog more often (got to have that one attainable one to boost the 'ol confidence)...Hope your year will be pretty good as well!

Movie night...

Found some time away from the kids to watch 'Spanglish' tonight (that and we got one of those free ticket thingies from buying an Adam Sandler DVD). I liked it. I wouldn't say I'm a James L. Broks fan, I like his movies ok. I do like that his movies really just look at people and their interactions with each other, especially family. The movie doesn't have a huge plot, just a single mom from Mexico who gets a job as a housekeeper for a dysfunctional LA family. At the same time there is a lot of little things that make up the movie. There are funny moments, poignant moments, a bit of a love story here, shows the clash of culture there. It was just a movie about life, albeit an exagerated version for entertainment purposes. Sometimes quieter movies are good. I'll watch something blow up tomorrow...

On a similar note I watched 'Garden State' on DVD last night. I am a huge Scrubs and Zach Braff fan and I was very impressed with his writing and directing debut. It's a great story about finding yourself and...well, see above. And that Natalie Portman....mmm a girl with a brain as beautiful as her face....anyway, watch it when you get a chance.