Friday, December 22, 2006

10 Holiday Tips

Someone sent me these tips. Perhaps you might want to adopt one or two of them...

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet
table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see
carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine
single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than
single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but
now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every
sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or
something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's
later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of
gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of
your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk
or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a
sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to
control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party
is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?!

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New
Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.
This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the
buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like
frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position
yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before
becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of
shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each.
Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin.
Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one
dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the
mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean,
have SOME standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the
party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.
Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather
to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other,
totally worn out and screaming,

"WOO HOO what a ride!"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What would you do?

So, I have a friend who has a rich dad and father-in-law. Both are in their 70's and have more money than they can spend. One uses all his money on himself by buying a new car, eating out at fancy restaurants, tip heavily, go on elaborate trips, ...etc. But, the other one is frugual, stays home, eats home cooked meals, looks for bargains before making purchases, ...etc.

I think you get the idea of both personalities. If you were at their age with lots of money to spend. What would you do? Spend it all on yourself before you die or be a penny pincher and pass on your money to others? Why did you choose one over the other?

- AV

Friday, December 01, 2006

Learning to Relax

It's a little over a month since I last blogged. I thought about giving it up due to a lack of time, but I met some nice people so I'm thinking about keeping it up...for now anyways.

I don't like to have lots of free time to do nothing. I'm under this notion that life is short so I try to get involved with lots of things all at once...and this stresses me out.

Here's what I''m involved with at the moment. These are not listed in order...

1. There's my regular job
2. Involvement in 3 volunteer organizations, one of which I am the president until Dec. 31, 2006!
3. Projects within each volunteer organization
4. Taking a class to learn video editing which is finally ending soon!!!
5. Visiting my parents
6. Going to the gym
7. Having dinner with the family regularly

Did I forget anything??? Oh yeah, having time to myself to relax. The only time I have is in the evenings after I'm done with all these other tasks so I can relax, but that means I won't sleep until midnight and I'm tired in the morning. The whole cycle starts over the next day and so on...

Been doing this for so long over the years that I might have developed a ulcer or something.

Well, I am finally trying to learn to relax. So what if I don't finish my homework, complete a project, or arrive on time because I have to look out for my health. I'm even trying to relax while driving which is amazing because I'm usually a speed demon on the roads.

Any tips you have to relax, pass it on my way.

Thanks for listening. (Breathe in, breathe out)

- AV

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Back to Reality

Hey Cous,

Just came back from a week-long vacation in Oahu. I had hoped to blog while I was over there to keep everyone updated, but didn't get an internet connection that was convenient to use plus I had a whole lots of fun stuff to do.

Took the usual "Circle Island Tour", toured the Arizona Memorial and Battleship Missouri, swammed and snorkeled at Kuhio Beach and Hanauma Bay, walked Waikiki Beach, ...etc. I didn't go to the Polynesian Cultural Center this time and again I didn't get a chance to hike up Diamond Head.

We sort of had an "oceanview" room if not for the two Hyatt towers in the way, but I guess I can't complain for the price we paid being only 2 blocks from the beach with a rooftop pool and jacuzzi.

Unfortunately, I had to go back to work and reality on Monday. I wished my co-workers wouldn't save a week's work for me to do when I returned. Those guys are just clueless without me.

- AV

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What would you put in a Time Capsule?

I just discovered tonight that Yahoo has started a digital time capsule. For 30 days from Oct. 10th until Nov. 8th, people can contribute stories, photos, videos, audio, and drawings. Plus you can see and read what other people have contributed and make comments...just like a blog. :) And, you also have a say on how $100K of Yahoo's money should be dispersed among 7 charitable organizations.

It's very cool! Check it out!

What could I contribute to this time capsule? Definitely lots of photos of family & friends, my dog, fun vacations, ...etc. If we could only preserve feelings...there would be those carefree times as a kid during summer vacation, being in love, hearing songs I loved as a teenager, euphoria when the 49ers won the 1981 NFC Championship with "The Catch" to go on to the Superbowl, excitement from graduating from high school to start life's journey, ...etc. This has got to be a mighty big capsule to bottle up all these feelings of mine. :P

If it's alright with you, I'll just leave out all my sad, angry, stressful, and embarrassing moments out of this.

- AV

Sunday, October 08, 2006

San Francisco Fleet Week 2006

As you can see, I was at the Fleet Week festivities this weekend. I was able to take some fairly decent shots this year even though I was farther away from the action and with a shorter lens than last year. Go figure!

What irked me was this guy sitting to the right of me during the Blue Angels portion of the show pushed me on my leg and told me to move back (so he could have a better view.) I was there first and there were tons of people around him, but he only "informed" me that I was in his way. He could have easily stood up to get a better view as he was much taller than me. He eventually got up and made sure he blocked my view. Some people are so damn rude!

Then on Saturday, I spent practically my whole afternoon and part of my evening finishing a video editing assignment for an online class I'm taking from a local college. I learned today that the instructor gave me a 70 out of a 100 because I didn't follow instructions and went several assignements ahead. Geez, she should have given me at least a 90 for all the effort I put in. Since it's an online class, it's difficult to know exactly what the instructor wanted. Oh well, in the future, I'll just follow all the instructions and dumb down all my assignments.

And, that was my weekend! I hope yours was better.

- AV

Friday, October 06, 2006

My Day

As you can see, this was my day. Said 'good-bye' to my dog before I left for work, cooked my Healthy Choice Asiago Chicken Portobello lunch, took a picture of my office and tonight's 12% larger than normal full moon.

By the way, my lunch didn't look like much, but in actuality, it was pretty tasty.

Funny joke I heard today..."I have no Monet to put Degas to make the Van Gogh." But, seriously, the price of gas has really gone down around here. The lowest I've seen today was $2.37 per gallon. I thought I would never see those prices again. The most I've paid for a gallon of gas was $3.78 some time last year.

- AV

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hey, It's Wednesday Already

I decided to skip my workout today since I have been to the gym 3 consecutive days. I don't know how some do it, but they practically live in the gym. I go about 4 to 5 times a week for 45 to 60 minutes each time. I used to go 3 times a week, but work out 90 minutes each time. The adopted new schedule is perfect for me.

I discovered a few new tools for my blog from fellow bloggers. One being for photo slideshows and the other is for videos. I'm going to have to try it one of these days.

To my surprise, I noticed my blogger profile has over 7 views. Yippee! Feel free to leave comments. I tried to leave my first-ever comment, in this case on "", but apparently since I'm using the beta Blogger, I could not leave comments on a non-beta Blogger post.

Had dinner with my SIL & BIL (in-laws) who just returned from Kona, HI. They had a great time swimming with dolphins and sea turtles for 45 minutes. But, for over $200 per person, I think I would skip that tour.

The rain has started falling in the Bay Area so autumn is here and winter is just around the corner. I have been so busy this year that I feel we skipped summer all together. When it rains, it means the dog will drag in mud and paw prints all over the house. Aaaargh! Luckily, we love him to death and put up with it. :)

- AV

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hawaii Here We Come

I was able to find a very inexpensive Hawaiian vacation trip last week and I booked it for late October. I guess October is Hawaii's off-season so I was able to get roundtrip airfare plus 5 nights stay in a ocean view condo for under $600 per person on Orbitz.

I've attached a picture of the condo where we'll be staying. I have read some good things and some bad things about the place, so I guess we'll see in a few weeks.

Normally, the airfare alone would cost over $600, but I guess I lucked out. I was going to book it for November, but it was even less expensive in October and I figured my parents needed to get away. Yes, it'll be the 4 of us to Oahu. I was there in 1998, but my parents have never been to Hawaii except for stopping over at the airport.

I haven't gotten a chance to tell my boss or co-workers yet about yet another vacation I'm taking. I only have 2 days of vacation left so I'll take it without pay which is no biggie. I'm sure my co-workers will complain as I handle much of the paperwork in the office and when I'm not there, they will be lost and screw something up which I will have to fix when I come back.

On the other hand, if they complain too much and don't approve my vacation, I can always quit my job which I probably will do eventually. I have another vacation coming in late December and then again in late May. Not to mention all the small ones in between.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Random Thoughts

Going live!

Hmm, "My First Blog". That's probably how everyone else titles their first blog.

Well, I started this blog to eventually start creating some videos for fun to show off on the internet. I'll be starting my video editing course next week so I'm excited about that. I've done photo editing and creating dvd slideshows, but video is where it's at.

Been looking at different minidv camcorders and the JVC models are it. The prices haven't come down in the last few months, but I'll keep you updated on my purchase.

Here's a picture of my dog, Maverick, since he's been named as one of my many interests under my profile.