Friday, October 24, 2008

Wine Maturity

I bought some 2005 Montrose since I like Montrose and 2005 is supposed to be the vintage of the century... blah blah

Today I go and read a bit more about the wine... I quote the review " If you are over the age of fifty, this backward, powerful wine will probably be more enjoyable to your descendants. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040+"... 2040... am I going to be alive then?

On a less morbid thought, K & I are back from Munich and moved into our new place. I'll try and post pictures at some point soon !

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Desolation Wilderness trip

panorama of Gilmore Lake

Wow, I haven't posted anything in a while. Apparently my last post was when we went to Yosemite. Well - K & I went to Desolation Wilderness (by South Lake Tahoe) area over Labor day weekend backpacking. It was different from our Yosemite trip. The first night was extremely crowded (Dicks Lake), I think we saw at least 10 tents the first night. The next day we did a day hike to Gilmore Lake. It was extremely cold the second night. There was ice on our tent the next morning... I was wishing I had some crazy warm down jacket whilst we were cooking dinner.

Rest of the pictures on my flickr here

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Yosemite backpacking trip

So Kekoa and I went on a backpacking trip in Yosemite last week, we started near Bridalveil campgrounds (not falls), and ended up in the valley.. This was the first time we planned a trip ourselves and went without anyone else who knew (better) what they were doing. So the planning was slightly stressful, but, we are back, and didn't run into any bears or hurt ourselves. Some pictures Kekoa took on my flickr.

It was refreshing to be far away from civilization for 4 days, the first 1.5-2 days we saw no one, which was surprisingly nice.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Update on mail fraud

Back story here, if you didn't hear what happened. I finally checked my mail in SF and figured out how they activated the card. The other piece of mail missing from my mail box is a pay check stub from work. I look at my other pay check stubs, it actually contains the last 4 digits of my social security.... *sigh*

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mail Fraud?

My old debit/ATM card expired, and I only found out when I went to the bank and said.. "uhh I can't get money out of the ATM, I think my card expired...". The lovely folks said "oh, your card expired, we mailed you a replacement card a long time ago, I guess you didn't receive it? Let me mail you a new one!" That was last week.

Yesterday I receive a call from the WaMu fraud department saying there are charges made on my debit card that were suspicious... I start freaking out, as I haven't received the card!! I call the number, they list about $1000 of charges made on my card, and of course I now can login online to see that someone has been using my debit card. Wonderful, right? So how did they activate it?

My theories about this: I did a quick search online, according to the internet, to activate it over the phone, you only need a security code (from the back of the card) and the card number, they verify you via caller ID and your bank account. When I called from my cell phone to say "shut this card down", the automated system even had the wrong phone number then, so I guess that system doesn't work...

The fraud claims department at WaMu claims that they mail you 2 pieces of mail, one piece of mail with the PIN to activate the card and another piece of mail with the card itself. So I'm guessing someone has been intercepting my mail. Last night I started thinking - I've also not received the old card (originally mailed debit/atm card), and also an AMEX that was supposedly mailed a while ago... Which makes me think it's my mail man. Said mail man also knows that I check my mail only once/twice a week. I guess I should probably also call the US Postal Service and point some fingers, huh? :/

So what happens now? There's been about $1000 charged on my card, the fraud claims department says I can file a claim with them to get the money back once the charges go thru (right now they are still pending). I think from now on, I'm only going to go with a bank that allows me to ONLY get an ATM card, and not a debit/ATM card. Since they can't even get their activation shit together. :(

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The need to pee

Every time before I go on a bike ride, I have this ridiculous desire to pee say.. 2-3 times in the 5-10 minutes it takes for me to get ready. And I usually do go to the bathroom around 2-3 times before I actually leave the apartment. I think just the fact that I know it will be a pain in the arse to go in the next few hours, makes me just super nervous and want to pee again and again. Yet every time I do this, I feel a little ridiculous...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

ridiculous prices of the 2007 Bordeaux futures

The 2007 Bordeaux futures are so ridiculous expensive, the wine seller I've been getting price quotes from are including a disclaimer in their price lists:

"Obviously we wish these wines were less expensive, and the strong Euro cannot be blamed on the Châteaux's pricing policy, but we feel obliged to point out there are other wines that offer considerably better value for money. We cannot condone the price for the 2007, but we feel we have to make an offer of some of the world's great wines."

Pretty sad, they are pretty much unaffordable at this point. The prices are just insane. Especially since the 2007 vintage is nothing to write home about.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Review: Bay Area Women's Cycling Clinic

I signed up for this Bay Area Women's Cycling clinic last weekend (schedule here), and I'll say it was a bit of fun, and a good workout.

It definitely made me try a lot of things outside my comfort zone, like being comfortable in a pack, taking corners tighter, trying to ride no hands, and just building confidence.

The first day was more useful in terms of building skills, I felt more confident about certain aspects of being on a bike after the first day (the first day was a bit of bike handling, cornering, pack riding, being around people, pacelines). The first day I think ~50 people showed up (this included some people in racing teams...)

The second day felt more "hard core" for me, around ~30 people signed up, and most of them were the folks in team kits or were signed up to do the death ride this year. We did hill climbing drills (standing on hills, sag climbing, finding your rhythm, ...), and we climbed this hill off of page mill like 7-8 times. After that we went up on page mill (~8 mins of it) for a "real climb"... Then after the climbing we did a mock race. The interesting about this is I realized that I really don't have the desire to beat out other people to get to the front. I just, enjoy riding for the sake of being outside and such.

The best part of the second day was the session talking about exercises that stretch and strength - I learned a bit about which of my muscles were weak, tight, and also some ways to maybe improve on it. I'm looking forward to mixing up my workout routine.

That said, I thought the clinic was extremely useful and also really well organized. Everyone was extremely helpful and cheerful. Nicole has way more energy than anyone I've met. I was impressed by how the organizers managed to block traffic and let the whole group through. There was also lots of swag - I got pink water bottles! Lastly, it was just fun being around a group of upbeat women for the weekend.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cubee crafts

I think these cubee crafts toys are pretty awesome. Especially when I'm feeling crafty and lazy. You can print out these "patterns" for toys and print them out and make 'em.

I should make myself a domo-kun and a kirby...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

referer or referrer?

So I'm doing something for work that requires dealing with HTTP referers. Given that I can't spell, I had to go look up which was the correct spelling.

Apparently, referrer is the right spelling, just in not when we are talking about HTTP. I quote wikipedia:

"Referer is a common misspelling of the word referrer. It is so common, in fact, that it made it into the official specification of HTTP – the communication protocol of the World Wide Web – and has therefore become the standard industry spelling when discussing HTTP referers."

Also, if you do a google search on referer and referrer, you get about the same # of hits - ~20 million.

How wonderful, right?

I feel dorky.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

donating money to a good cause?

Lately I've been getting a lot of "donate money for my Tour de Cure/Team In Training" thing... in the last few years I've been getting more and more of these types of emails. I used to say, fine, it's for a good cause.

Now I just wonder if it's worth it. Yesterday I had a conversation with piaw about it too - he seemed to think that most of the money is probably gone into the overhead of planning such an event instead of the charity itself... which I wouldn't doubt. My mom does a bit of charity work for some Hong Kong charities, and she's also indicated to me that a lot of money you donate goes to 9-course meals the higher ups of the charities enjoy.

I guess it also feels weird to hit your friends up for money. I feel guilty for not donating, but I just don't really want to anymore... Piaw also said it feels icky for cycling to be used this way, and I agree. So I guess this year my policy is - I'm just not going to donate any money for these events. Not because I am being cheap or don't love my friends. Just - I don't feel like it's as worthy of a cause anymore.

Edit: so I was talking to a friend earlier, who's riding the TdC this weekend, and he pointed me to this. Which essentially says that the American Diabetes Association isn't all that efficient. And just read about the privacy policy, it apparently sells your info unless you opt-out.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weird "new" slang

I've been hearing these new terms lately, maybe I'm getting old.

- "Push Present" - apparently this is a present you give your wife/gf after she gives birth to your baby. I mean, the concept makes sense, I guess. The term is just... weird

- "Myspace angles" - pictures at angles which really flatter people and they post said picture on myspace. Funny post about this here. I guess I just find this term, funny.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Slanted Door @ Ferry Building

So last night was K's birthday, and I decided to take him out to Slanted Door @ the ferry building to celebrate. I'm usually skeptical of expensive Asian food, but I'll admit I was pleasantly surprised.

The veggie spring rolls were really good, it had a different mix of textures just made everything yummy. I also really liked the rib eye (more than the shaking beef), although everyone online seems to like the shaking beef more. The sauce it came with just tied everything together..

The drinks from the bar were pretty good too, yum (we had like 3 of them...). What I especially liked was the dessert wine baring with the dessert we had. It was like this chocolate brownie with a sweet red dessert wine (Clos de Paulilles Banyuls)... that was just very yummy. I will admit tho that K said he liked dessert the least. I just really enjoyed the pairing.

Yum. I'd go back. I just wish it wasn't so hard to get reservations... I guess you could always eat at the bar.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Riding bikes & HRMs

I haven't been on the bike for say... 3-4 weeks, and I was threatening to K that I was going to sell my bike since I felt too slow for him.  Then we go on a ride, and I remember once again it's pretty fun... And I wish my bike fit me better :P

Gaaah. I wish bikes just *fit* me - it's so much work to find a bike that fits.

Speaking of which - my brother sent me his old Polar F6 HRM - sadly the thing doesn't work anymore. This actually kind of pisses me off - the HRM is say, 3 years old. The batteries only last ~1.5 years, and they also say you have to take it (or mail) to a special Polar dealer to replace the battery. Of course I try to do it myself, and now the screen is just broken. So the real question is: Do Polar HRMs only last < 3 years, or did I screw something up when I tried to replace it? Anyhow, I still think it is ridiculous that for a $100 HRM you need to spend $15 to replace the battery on the damn watch every 1.5 years or so.
And now I want a nice purty HRM (that's maybe not Polar) so I can figure out what heart rate is when I'm working out. Now to convince myself it's worth spending the money.

Monday, April 28, 2008

HK airport

I can't believe that eating 焗豬扒飯 at 大家樂 (cheap plate rice place in Hong Kong) in the HK airport actually cures a little bit of homesick-ness. I love baked pork chop rice.

Last day traveling

So tonight is my last night in Taiwan, after my almost 2 week business trips of going to Korean (Seoul)/Taiwan (Taipei), I'm pretty glad to be going home.

Random thoughts:
- "fatty beef cakes" (I have no idea how to type the chinese) is super yummy - yummier than in Cali.
- People are amazingly polite and orderly (like they line up for the MRT and don't jaywalk) in Taipei
- Kalbi and Tong Kalbi are both yummy
- My stomach does not like eating too much meat
- I like the other remote Google offices almost more than Mountain View
- Business travel is actually pretty lonely if you aren't traveling with anyone.

It was fun having friends from work in Seoul. The first night we all went out to have Bul Tak (which translates to fire chicken), and it was super SUPER spicy. We ignored all the warnings from the hotel concierge and the resturant person about "very spicy"... One person in our group starting tearing up it was so spicy, it looked like he was crying the whole night :)

I managed to make it to the DMZ one of those days - it was pretty interesting... We got to walk down to this tunnel the North Koreans supposedly dug to attempt to infiltrate South Korea, when the tunnel was found it they coated coal on the sides of the tunnel so it would look like they were mining coal. We also got to go to this observation deck and go see the 500 lbs flag North Korea put up so their flag would be bigger than the South Korea flag in the DMZ.

One awesome thing was that most of those days we had someone who was local take us around. One day she took us to this street called Garosu-gil, and it had the CUTEST stuff I've ever seen. I'll take a picture of this sheep I got when I get back to the US.

Traffic in Seoul is RIDICULOUS. I mean, it's the worst out of any asian city I have ever visited (this includes various parts of China). People run red lights, the drivers are insane, and there are so many cars so traffic is always congested. It took us 1.5 hours to go less than 10km on a rainy day. RIDICULOUS.

Food (meat) was awesome in Seoul.

I was pretty glad my parents were here with me over the long weekend, we went to the National Palace Museum and saw the meat shaped stone (which seriously looked like a fatty piece of meat), and the jade cabbage (bak choy) - which were pretty impressive. I guess it is the two more famous pieces at the museum :P Also shopped and bought A LOT of books from eslite. I like chinese books.

I surprisingly managed to return something at eslite that usually doesn't like you do return/exchanges with my broken mandarin (my language handicap which was probably why I could exchange it...)

I gave the same talk I gave in Seoul in Tapei today, I just made to make it twice as long... It didn't go so bad, talking for almost an hour is pretty tiring tho. I hope my talk was well received and that people learned a bunch of stuff from it. I managed to only have one person in my audience use his laptop, which IMHO is pretty good.

My dad also found this restaurant in Taipei that served only Tuna, like 10 different dishes on different parts of the fish... It was really good. We also went to AoBa which served Taiwanese food, it was yummy, but I think expensive for Taiwan.

Ok, I think I rambled long enough... All in all, I got to tour two asian cities I've never been to, which was pretty awesome. Although next time I think I need a partner in crime, as traveling alone is pretty lonely (especially in airports).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I can buy nalgene bottles again (soon)

This makes me super happy. I'm getting increasing afraid of BPA (bisphenol A) and I was wondering if I would have to never use Nalgene bottles again.

Man, I'm going to have to replace the 5x Nalgene bottles I have. Hard plastics are now scary, no more polycarbonate for me.

Core work outs

So I'm trying to remember all the core workouts I've found online... so here goes:

Some of these are from the Fit chick blog.

- Pull ups with assisted pull up machine
- Pushup Row (this one is killer for me right now) [push ups on weights, then lift weight to chest]
- Pike [push up position but with legs on stability ball, then pull ball in]
- Bird dog [opposite leg/arm lifts]
- Swiss ball mountain climber
- Should probably work those inner/outer thighs
- Ball bridge hamstring curl <- I want to try this one
- Plank (30 secs right now)
- Lower back extensions on the magical machine

Ok, that's it for now, I'll probably have more later. Must make core stronger.