Sunday, December 31, 2006

President Hillary Clinton

In the middle of the Clinton Presidency, I saw the possibility of Hillary becoming President.

I believe that John Edwards and Barack Obama should not run. They are young enough to wait for Hillary. Edwards had the unlucky decision of pairing with Kerry, a war veteran who should have pummelled Bush on defense. Obama does not have enough Senate experience. He should not take a VP spot however if he wants to become President someday. He should wait and garner power in the Senate. He still has 20 to 30 years of opportunity. To jump in now would be to take a beating. Align yourself with Hillary.

Barefoot Running

In the Dec 27 Wall Street Journal, the newspaper featured a runner trying to run barefoot in marathons. The runners want to develop a thick sole of epidermis on their feet with the idea of preventing ankle injuries and plantar fasciitis. However, the pain of blisters and the very real threat of feet injuries resulting from infections is something that the runners ignore.

One runner stated that he went bare after other barefoot runners passed him by. HELLO??? Why don't you improve your conditioning? Train in a dry, environment with heat up to 80 degrees. After that, you can run pretty much anywhere. How about training without food? Without hope? Without anything? That is why the African runners do so well. They don't have any other hope and running is their lifeline out of the ghetto that is their current existence.

Some part of me admire the stupidity of the runners in America who want to go barefoot. IF they want to impale their feet to pebbles, gravel, pine needles, and INSECTS and worms, GOD BLESS AMERICA! Americans are free, but it does not guarantee wisdom.

As for me, when I walk around the block, I wear my New Balance shoes. My feet are wide and they demand protection. I grew up with tsinelas. I even had a nail puncture my tsinelas. Forget that running without shoes.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


Bryan Boy is the Pin@y Blog of the Day for Dec 30, 2006. He is outrageous and laugh out loud funny. In the Philippines, he should be a celebrity. In America, he would be a comedian. Go see what every parent dreams about when thinking that their son might be gay.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Obsession with Trophies

I never had trophies. Okay, I had one trophy for an essay contest that I won while I was in Latin class. I did not grow up here in the States so I never participated in the baseball, basketball, and pop warner programs that apparently satisfies everyone's desire for trophies.

Trophies for me mark achievements. A milestone you commemorate. You look at the trophy and you feel good about yourself. It might be the hunter in me. Instead of looking for the head of a deer or a seal, I instead look for glass or acrylic trophies that have the insignia or seal of some corporation or club group.

I am shallow. I embrace my shallowness. But I think that compared to gambling on football games or basketball games, my obsession is quite delightful.

I just finished the first step in my Toastmasters group. I am applying for the Certified Toastmaster level. So I decided that once I am approved, I will get the acrylic trophy and place it on my desk. At work, a ton of people place their trophies on their desks. Why shouldn't I?

Of course, I will have to buy the trophy myself. The Toastmasters group I am a part of is too poor to afford. You know what? I don't mind. I earned the darned thing. I prepared and gave ten speeches in front of people. That is not anything to sneeze about. In fact, there have been at least thirty people who have tried to come in. But, public speaking is never easy. It's challenging and sometimes a little bit intimidating.

So yes, I will get that acrylic trophy. It's either that or I have to shoot a seal.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Shopping

Christmas Shopping

It used to be easier before when i did not make money. There simply were no gifts to anyone. But now that I can afford some gifts, it makes it more complicated. Do I get them something just for the sake of getting them something? The SO gave me a great advice. “We will only give them something if it is something that they need or can use. This frees me from having to give someone something generic.

Thus, the list of materials that I have from my list are as follows
A maroon bowling ball for my brother so that he can take up bowling
A PINK (very loud pink) bowling ball for the sister in law
Chocolate bars from Scharfen Berger for the officemates
A bowling ball (BIG TIME from Ebonite) for the SO
The complete set of WEST WING for me
Two pairs of booties for the twins
A huge glass aquarium made of light for the first niece
A bowling ball for a friend of ours in our bowling team

It is quite obvious that in our past time, we are using bowling. And why not? It is cheap, there is room for constant improvement. And it is a social game. Although in league this past Thursday, there were a bunch of grumpy old men who were not so much into conversation. They were fabulous bowlers, but grumpy and inaccessible. You might as well have bowled alone.

My scores were 110, 131, 108. Next time, I will scream more ENDORPHINS.

I also went to the Berkeley Street Fair held every Dec on Telegraph Avenue. Yesterday, I got lucky and bought a sling type leather wallet that you wear on your shoulder. I had been looking for that for quite a while. I used my prize for bowling a FIVE BAGGER to get the wallet. The guy who sold it to me was named Dean and his company was Santini leather. For those looking for good leather material, his number is seven-one-four, seven-two-six, one-sixe-two-three. Beautiful leather.

And then we saw our Tibetan friend who manages to give us prosperity. May he be blessed in his lifetimes.

The other place that I went to was the LeatherMaiden’s workshop for leather belts. Boy, talk about great belts, I have had a black belt now for two years. I bought it from them when they still did not use a stamp. It took her a while to figure out if she did my belt or not. But the belt is still in great condition. It shows that I have lost weight because of the way that it is held. Awesome.

Merry Christmas to everyone!!!! Prosperity to All!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Certified Communicator

Choosing Happiness

For my tenth speech for the Toastmasters Certified Communicator Award, I had to give an inspiring speech. It was supposed to go 8-10 minutes. I only planned a speech for 5-7 minutes. Somehow, I had to prolong my speech.

So, I went to the dramatic course. Instead of just giving a title of "Choose Happiness," I went to the title of "Become a Magician."

For about two minutes, I showed fear. I mentioned stuff about my earlier life. No money. Hypochondriac. Thoughts of cancer and heart disease seeping into my life everyday. Fear of being killed. Fear of dying. Fear of death. How does it feel to die? Is it sudden? Is it slow? The audience did not know what to make of it. After all, I was supposed to give an inspiring speech. Why in the name of heaven was I so scared? They were giggling. Smirking. I continued until they were absolutely uncomfortable. They were on the edge of leaving their seats before I changed.

I snapped my fingers. I clapped my hands. [Thanks Tuhan for the dramatic flair]. I did a compare and contrast with who I was five years ago and who I am now. I showed that fear and sadness is not a fun way to live.

Then, I gave practical advice. The first is to smile. The smile makes hormones of happiness in your body. The second is to leave the depressing people. Sad story. But if all they are about are themselves and how sad and lonely their lives are, forget it. Time to leave them. Choose happiness.

Now some would say that it is better to feel something than not to feel. To those, I say visit a third world country where there is no indoor plumbing or food on the table. That should shake them up well enough.

The third advice was to control your thoughts. Do it slowly. First control the small things. Don't be jealous of the successes of others. Be happy for them. Don't think about trying o one-up others. Congratulate them and you will see that you too will be congratuled in turn for your successes.

For the speech, I whispered, I screamed, I stood behind the podium and I did every single trick in the book. They said that I exceeded it when I began talking about death and using the snapping fingers and clapping hands. My personal belief is that it was an effective memorable speech because they were uncomfortable. It is amazing what Toastmasters can teach.


The last time we ate at Kansai was during its opening night. We stayed very conservatively and only ordered traditional sushi and sashimi. At the end of the evening, we figured out that you could order the fusion cuisine.

Tonight, we went back to Kansai and our palate was entertained by the fusion cuisine. From the Specialty section, we ordered

Imperial Sushi: The fish is selected by the customer. I ordered hamachi. The fusion cuisine came with caviar, yogurt and the hamachi. The sensation in my mouth was outstanding. The individual pieces looked like mochi ice cream. As one bit into the food, little explosions stimulated one's taste buds.

Ebi Boat: The shrimp was placed on top of a ____. A huge dollop of caviar and gold flakes was placed delicately on top of the shrimp. The head of the shrimp was fried to crispiness. Absolutely divine!!!

Creamy Hamachi: Raw hamachi is already a treat. Add cream and some tempura beans, the fish reaches new heights of ecstacy.

Salmon Lover: Pieces of salmon are paired with apple slices and avocado. It gave new meaning to salmon.

Kings Maki Sushi: This one was extraordinary. As I bit into the piece, the texture of the fried soft shell crab was mind boggling.

Yellow Road: salmon in and out, lemon, basil and chilly sauce. Probably the most sedate out of all the ones we ordered. But can go head to head with the very best of any other restaurant's masterpieces.

The price of the restaurant is reasonable. With the above, our bill hit $150 for three people. Include in that a meal for me at about $14 for fried calamari. I believe that anywhere else, this thing would have cost something like $300.

Th bonus for us is that the chef came over and asked if everything was okay. He then suggested that the next time we are there, we should just go to the bar and don't order form the menu. He will just make stuff as we order a type of fish. Can you believe that???

Sushi Bar & Japanese Cuisine
4345 Telegraph Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609

Friday, December 08, 2006

Maybe It Was Not a Fluke

Bowling results: 154, 129, 192

So maybe, my high score last week was not a fluke. I got the high series for the handicapped group at 711. Woohoo!!!! I also had the high score handicap at 262. Woohoo!!! Endorphins! Happy Thoughts!

I realize that I bowl well when I am happy. I have to dance my happy dance during bowling to make sure that my endorphins are flowing. Otherwise, it does not bode well.

I just heard the Bayer offers discounts for bowling balls!!!

Monday, December 04, 2006



I had been struggling with my bowling over the last two months. I have not been able to pick up the spare frames. The pesky single pins at the 7 and 10 location were just giving me problems. I got so desperate that I bought a spare ball so that I could shoot straight.

On Nov 30, I was able to put together a 500 series with a 177, 203 and 143. Woohoo! I never thought that I could concentrate hard enough that I would ever break the 200 barrier.

We were not able to play a game before league. The lanes were being reserved because the other league had positional play. I wore my red cowboy shirt because I had forgotten to take along my bowling shirt. My Wrath bowling ball was newly bleeded of oil.

The night started well with a spare and then a strike. I was trying to focus so that I could bowl well. For some reason, I thought that I could bowl a 200 game. The first game was definitely going well. I was able to find the line between oil and dry and the ball kept getting strikes. The tenth frame was the adventure one because I ended up throwing a gutter ball after a strike. I lost 20 pins because of that.

The second game, I forced myself to relax because I had already bowled a fabuloug game. This time around, I was able to accomplish the feat of a 200 game.

With bowling, I can ask the question "Who needs Kobe when I got me?"