Thursday, January 31, 2008


Tonight we dine in Cleveland!

Ultimate Driving Machine

Yesterday, I went to test drive some vehicles. There were many to choose from so I am pretty sure I need to go back and try out the others, especially the Titan. From all the commercials I see about it, it's gotta be some monster juggernaunt. Not so sure about the fuel mileage or warranty though.

The first vehicle felt a bit sluggish and didn't really have very good acceleration because of the treads. However, it's handling was incredible. I was able to rotate this thing in almost a full circle inside a tiny little place without hitting any of the other nearby parked vehicles. It also had fairly decent stopping power.

The second vehicle was super sporty. It was fast and even had some jet boosters for that additional burst of speed. I wonder if jihad futuristic jeep is still a viable tactic with this thing.

The third vehicle could actually fly. Didn't really test drive it too much as I accidentally crashed it into the Titan and then forgot to respawn on the Titan.

The big event though was test driving the Ultimate Driving Machine. The BMW felt much tighter than the camry. The acceleration was better since it was a V6 vs the V4 on the Camry. It would have been nice to drive it for longer periods of time at a high speed to get the true experience.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Technology: 1 Deer: 0

I know, all of you have wondered this: In a showdown of epic proportions, who would win in a ramming contest to the death? The fancy-smancy race car? or the deer? Judge for yourself! Visited again just for kicks!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Car Blues

Recently found a buyer for the old Maxima so now it's time to get a new car. Since I am obviously not a car type person and really just want something that's fuel efficient and doesn't look like a box, I wouldn't mind some advice on the subject matter. Preferably nothing ludicrously expensive, but nothing super cheap either. Added bonus would be if it had a super awesome HUD and could shoot guided missiles.

Man, these car salesman are like vultures. I had JUST sent an inquiry about a car through edmunds and the dealership called me within 5 minutes of the email.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Only a Total Geek

Rated 33.13609% - Total Geek on this quiz. Probably because I didn't like to read or watch any of the Star Trek movies.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Those puppy dog eyes..

BlupnutMM couple came over on the weekend and they brought their dog. My mom had been vehemently opposed to letting dogs into the house. However, after much negotiation, she relented but only if the dog would not go into her room. After some initial apprehension, my mom soon fell prey to doggy charm. She started talking to it, playing with it, and even taking it out for a walk. If the dog were here any longer, I swear she would have become his slave.

Friday, January 18, 2008

New Phone

My old ancient phone broke during the trip to Austin. I had been with Sprint for so long, but I found their coverage kinda lacking so I decided to switch it up to AT&T. Best part was I was able to get 16% off monthly fee with company discount.
Trying to get my account information from Sprint was very difficult though. They must have spent about 20 minutes telling me how valuable a customer I was and how they had all these plans. Everytime I tried to get the account number, they seemed to magically come up with an even better deal than the last. Finally, after just flat out telling them that I didn't want to stay with them, they finally relinquished the account number.
I got a Samsung SGH-A747 phone with the plan. The phone is nice and thin and supposedly scratch resistant. We shall see.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Makeover.....for my wallet

In keeping with the makeover theme of things, Citicard has decided to mark my account as fraudulent and basically forced me to close my account and get a new one. Apparently, through their advanced fraud detection algorithm, they discovered that buying semi-expensive clothing was totally against my nature and flagged those Austin purchases at GAP and Express as being fraudulent. While this makes me relatively pissed off since I now have to switch all of my automatic bill pay to the new card, I feel as if this is somewhat of an ironic twist. I think maybe I should shop at these stores more often so that my occasional visits to Austin will not result in the closing of future accounts.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Trip to Austin was very good. Got to go golfing and kayaking, two things I had never done before. Because most of us had never played golf before, we just elected to go to a driving range. A friend there let me borrow his golf club and off I went to attempt to hit golf balls. I first intimidated them several times by swinging menacingly and hitting mostly dirt and grass, and after several of these with the ball quivering in fear, I managed to hit it about 3 feet. Sweet! As the day progressed, I actually hit the ball about 9 out of 10 times for an average yardage of something like 30 feet maybe? I should have taking Kira's advice about the golf gloves as I had a couple of blisters after the session. Tiger Woods really has nothing to fear from me...

Kayaking was pretty fun as well, if a bit cold. We had 4 people so we got 2 2-person kayaks. Before we started, an eccentric lady there gave us a tip about the water guards on the paddles that prevent water from getting down our sleeves. It totally didn't work as my sleeves and half my sweater were absolutely drenched after the row. The wind and not so calm waters also contributed greatly to the overall misery. It was simply too cold to keep rowing after about 1 hour on the waters. Despite the cold, the overall experience was great.

I was able to reacquaint myself with cornbread obsession as we went to Z-Tejas the first night. Second day for lunch was this awesome local pizzeria called The Home Slice. For dinner, we went to another local BBQ placed called Rudy's. These mom/pop places were totally awesome and I really hope we get to eat at more of these local places for Veg Out 4.

For some reason, every time I go to Austin, I get volunteered for some kinda makeover; be it haircut/clothing/shoes/etc. This time, I was mislead into going to a local mall instead of heading home to watch the Patriots/Jaguars game. While I was pretty reluctant to go at first, I must say the end result was pretty good. Got a nice jacket, some nice polo shirts, a pair of jeans, and 2 pairs of loafers. I was also signed up for and some other similar online dating site. How this will go is anyones guess but at least I should get some good blog posts from this.

Again, much thanks to BluPnutMM couple for letting me crash at their place and to their lovable pet, Teddy, who was forced to watch me eat cornbread in front of him without given any. Sorry Teddy, but cornbread addiction > puppy dog eyes. Did I mention I like to drink cornbread and that the cornbread can cure cancer?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I R 71G3R VV00D5

For a change of pace, gonna try golfing this weekend over at Austin. This is gonna be my first time ever golfing but I expect it won't be as bad as skiing. Afterall, in skiing I am more liable to hurt myself, while in golf, it's all about hitting others! Much thanks to the BluPnutMM couple for letting me crash at their place.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Veg Out III: Day 7-Homeward Bound

Woke up early and headed out to the airport. While BlueBerry had already left the night before, his spirit was still with us as it mentioned that Google was an awesome place to work because of the free food they provided and how he loved to drink blueberries because they were the best berry. He also mentioned that there was no point of going out to eat because the food was worse than the food Google offered and he had an amazing DS that did everything but cure cancer.

We made it to the airport at around 6 am with about 1 hour left before my flight departed. As we entered, I saw that the Continental line to check in wrapped all the way around the lobby. Upon further investigation, I learned that about 30 of these people in line also had 7 am flights out. The Continental representative was totally not helpful as he insisted that everyone just wait in line. When 6:40 rolled around, I basically thought I wouldn’t get home today because the next couple of flights out were all fully booked. Just as it looked like I was going to spend some more quality time at the airport, a senior Continental representation started organizing the crowd and rushed the 7 am flight passengers through baggage check in. I finally got my boarding pass at around 6:55 and sprinted all the way through security and arrived at the gate JUST in time to catch the flight.

At the end of the day, we had all reached our respective destinations safely. This Veg Out was certainly the most adventurous one to date and a lot of fond memories were created.

Veg Out III: Day 6-Winter Park

Having had one day taken away by the weather, we wanted to make the best of the time we had left by taking an extra day of skiing at Winter Park. This ended up being a great decision as the weather was perfect for skiing.

On the way to Winter Park, BlueBerry mentioned that Google was an awesome place to work because of the free food they provided and how he loved to drink blueberries because they were the best berry. He also mentioned that there was no point of going out to eat because the food was worse than the food Google offered and he had an amazing DS that did everything but cure cancer.

As we got closer and closer to Winter Park, the thermometer in the car kept dropping until at one point, it had reached a temperature of -19 degrees Fahrenheit. At Winter Park though, it didn't feel nearly as cold. Catnipped and I again split off to do the green trails while BlueBerry and jOrange went to tackle something more difficult. Perhaps it was the time spent at Frisco mansion, perhaps it was the lack of sleep, or maybe I had just run out of my quota of falls but Winter Park was totally awesome. I only fell once as Catnipped and I ran many of the lower green trails. We actually did the trails in less than 10 minutes and had time to explore almost every green trail available to us at the base of the mountain before lunch. I had finally learned the art of turning and put it to good use.

After lunch, we all decided that all four of us should do a run together as a final hoorah for our last day of skiing. We took several lifts and green trails all the way to near the summit of the mountain. Once there, we all took one giant trail (Village Way) all the way down to the base of the mountain. The run took over 2 hours, but it was really fun. I only fell about 3 times the whole trail. jOrange was taking pictures and movies the whole time.

The trip home from Winter Park was uneventful. Upon getting back, we finished up the leftovers, cleaned the linens, and packed in preparation for our flights out of Denver the next day. BlueBerry was the first to take off as he had a 12 am flight. Returning from the airport after sending off BlueBerry, we finished up the remainder of the laundry and went to bed.

Veg Out III: Day 5-The Long Trek Home

After a restless night, we decided to head out at around 6 am for some breakfast at a place I think was called “The Log Cabin.” The food tasted so good after a long tiring night and we even learned what grits were. The latest news from the road authority was that the roads should be open by late morning so we decided to explore Frisco a bit to pass the time.

While exploring Frisco, BlueBerry mentioned that Google was an awesome place to work because of the free food they provided and how he loved to drink blueberries because they were the best berry. He also mentioned that there was no point of going out to eat because the food was worse than the food Google offered and he had an amazing DS that did everything but cure cancer, but lamented the fact that he had forgotten to bring the DS with him.

After some shopping at a local Safeway, we decided to sit at a local Starbucks and wait for the roads to open. While there, we met a friendly trucker by the name of Roy Williams who entertained us with his trucking tales. I never knew that Swift was the company responsible for over 95% of all trucking traffic. Around noon, the roads were still not open while the opening time was pushed to late afternoon. It was at this point that we decided to head out of Frisco by going south to Colorado Springs, then taking I25 north all the way to Boulder.

The crossing required a very treacherous drive through the mountains and taking Hoosier pass across the summit. There was tremendous wind and drifting snow everywhere. BlueBerry did a great job of controlling the vehicle and after a very tense climb, we finally crossed the pass. The temperature outside registered at a nice -3 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather outside totally changed as we came down the mountain. Gone was the wind and snow as the sun came shining through the clouds. The view was incredible as we saw snow-capped mountains under the blue sky. We started to pass through a small town when we noticed a shining bastion of civilization, a Pizza Hut!

The pizza was awesome despite being served by a rather masculine looking man with a very feminine sounding voice. After stuffing ourselves, we hit the road again in hopes of getting to Boulder in time to celebrate the New Year.

The entire time during our ordeal, we had not heard from Kira, who because of illness, we had left behind in Boulder. Because of the lack of communication, we had postulated all these different scenarios of what could have happened to him and what our actions should be. Most of them involved Kira being on his deathbed and our having to call 911 once we finally got back. Kira himself had also been worried about where we were and had also devised several scenarios of what had happened to us. He was afraid that we had gotten trapped in the snow and resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.

We finally reached Boulder after about 6 hours on the road. Along the way, we saw some snow-covered fields filled with cattle and horses as well as several more mountains covered with trees and snow. Once back, we glady discovered that both scenarios didn’t play out. Kira was alive and well and had even gotten in some quality Xbox360 time with Halo3, Assassin’s Creed, and Mass Effect. I think Kira was glad that we also hadn’t eaten each other…

The original plan was to find some nice restaurant to eat at in order to celebrate the New Year. Unfortunately, we were all exhausted by the time we finally got to Boulder and all promptly passed out after surviving until the ball dropped in Times Square.

Veg Out III: Day 4-Vail

Because we had heard so many good things about Vail, we were all very excited to be heading out. We made a pretty small mistake of not checking on weather conditions before heading out in the early morning hours, a mistake that would definitely come back to bite us.

The drive was through fairly mountainous terrain and as we winded up towards the top, the wind and snow started to pick up. During the drive, BlueBerry mentioned that Google was an awesome place to work because of the free food they provided and how he loved to drink blueberries because they were the best berry. He also mentioned that there was no point of going out to eat because the food was worse than the food Google offered and he had an amazing DS that did everything but cure cancer. BUT, he left his omnipotent DS at home instead of taking it with him, a decision that would haunt him for the rest of our Vail trip.

The actual skiing at Vail was awesome. The resort easily lived up to its reputation as the most popular resort in Colorado. The powder was fresh, the hills were fast, and for me, the falls are plentiful. While Blueberry and jOrange were off doing the bowls, Catnipped and I stuck to the “greens” or so we were lead to believe. I am pretty sure I fell about a billion times.

Swingsville was the first trail we took. It looked like a relatively harmless green trail, but I ended up falling just about at every turn, managing to hit my head once and slightly twisting my neck. Towards the bottom, I had a very brief moment of competency where I managed to go down a whole hill without killing myself. This trail took about 1.5 hours to go down and at the bottom, Catnipped asked if maybe I should head inside to sit down a bit. Stupidly, I suggested that since we still had a good hour or so until lunch, we should try to do another less deadly green trail.

Ramshorn obviously sounded tamer than Swingsville so we took that trail. What I didn’t know about Ramshorn was that the trail inexplicably had blue AND BLACK sections inconspicuously mixed in throughout the trail. These sections of the trail were particularly enjoyable to me as the fresh snow made my falls look rather spectacular, with snow, skies, poles, and my vertebrae flying everywhere. At this one turn, Catnipped was able to turn right and reach the side of a nice little hill. I on the other hand, couldn’t turn worth crap and went straight down this ultra steep hill, quickly wiping out while losing both skis in the process of hitting my head and twisting my neck again. A nice lady going down the same hill helped me get my skis on, a process that easily took 10 minutes. She then gave me some advice to try to go to the right a bit to get off the steep part. Before she could even finish, I was off going down the same hill again because of my awesome stopping abilities. Again, I wiped out and she had to help me again with my skis. It was at this point that she told me this particular part was a black diamond trail (South Look Ma). Eventually after a long time and many bruises, I managed to make it down the hill, a process that only took about 2 hours. Who knows how long it would have taken if I hadn’t tumbled through about 3/4th of the trail.

On the other side, jOrange wasn’t having as great a time either. He had managed to lose one of his skis on the second trail and spent over 2 hours in the freezing wind and snow looking for it to no avail, even bending one of his ski poles in the process. Finally, with no other options left, he called the ski patrol which promptly found the ski in less than 2 minutes!

After lunch, I was pretty beat up, jOrange was super tired from digging in the snow, and Catnipped was also very tired from the “green” trails. We three stayed to recover in the lodge while Blueberry went off and did some more trails. At the end of the day, we three took the lift down the mountain while Blueberry skied down the hill, easily beating us down.

On the way back to Boulder, we started running low on gas and decided to stop at Frisco for gas. It was in the gas station that we learned that the road authority had CLOSED the tunnel back to Denver, effectively trapping us in Frisco. We went to a local Wendy’s for some dinner and to strategize our next move. With jOrange’s custom iPhone’s web capabilities (his sister) helping us, we basically found out that every possible road back to Boulder was closed. The only option left was to spend the night at an emergency mansion set up by the police. This would have been the perfect time for some DS action, but alas, BlueBerry had left it in Boulder. The one time it could have served a good purpose, ruined.

The mansion was indeed palatial. It had a huge reception area, room for over 300, and even served breakfast! Okay, it wasn’t quite that luxurious. The emergency shelter was at the local Summit Middle School. The reception area was the cafeteria, we had to sleep on the freezing cold gym floor, and the breakfast was basically cold cereal bars and pop tarts.

Before we left, my mom had given me some emergency survival gear. This included matches, some chocolate, and an emergency blanket. This emergency blanket was basically a specially designed piece of tin foil that insulated the body while providing a reflective surface for increased visibility. We decided Blueberry should be the recipient of this device since he would be driving the next day. Catnipped displayed her awesome culinary skills as I am sure that was the best turkey wrapping job that anyone could have come up with. We just needed some potatoes and carrots to complete our centerpiece. The blanket apparently worked quite well as Blueberry slept through the night. The rest of us were not lucky as both Catnipped and jOrange were freezing to death, while I wasn’t able to sleep because of neck pain. We all hoped that the highway would open in the morning and we could be on our way back to Boulder again.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Veg Out III: Day 3-Eldora

First day of skiing! jOrange’s skis finally arrived around midnight so we took it as a good sign of things to come. We all woke up pretty early in order to make it there in time for the first lifts. The drive was again uneventful. On the way there, BlueBerry mentioned that Google was an awesome place to work because of the free food they provided and how he loved to drink blueberries because they were the best berry. He also mentioned that there was no point of going out to eat because the food was worse than the food Google offered and he had an amazing DS that did everything but cure cancer.

Since this was my first time ever skiing, Eldora seemed like a very cool place. To the seasoned veterans such as jOrange and Blueberry, Eldora was like a children’s playground in terms of difficulty.

With helpful advice from Catnipped, jOrange, and Blueberry, I was able to master the art of stopping. The trick was “falling down.” I fell so many times today as I had no idea how to do anything. I couldn’t control my speed, I couldn’t turn, and I couldn’t stop. I was like a machine. Towards the end of the day, I was able to learn how to turn left. This made the hills a lot safer for others.

Kira’s myriad of ailments was joined by elevation sickness through the mix of high altitude and cold air. This was pretty much the first and last day that Kira was able to join us on the slopes as the trio of illnesses knocked him out of commission for the rest of the trip. Not even the potent 3-hit home remedy attack of Vitamin C, Ginger, and orange juice could help him.

After a day of face plants for me and skiing for others, we dropped the stricken Kira off at the house and had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Vail was lined up for the next day and from all we heard, it was an amazing place to ski. We were definitely in for an experience….

Veg Out III: Day 2-Boulder Preparations

Woke up early in the morning and headed out to Boulder to pick up our ski rentals. We had a relatively uneventful drive to Boulder and proceeded to first settle down into our Boulder Mansion The house we rented was a relatively antiquated house. The design was pretty standard with 2 floors as well as a basement. Unfortunately, the centralized heating was pretty craptacular and so the house always felt pretty cold. The owner was very artsy and had strange paintings and pictures of nude women hanging from the walls. There was ample space in there though. I doubt we would have any trouble fitting 8 people in there.

The next order of business was picking up our ski rentals and buying lunch for the next day of skiing. On the way there, BlueBerry mentioned that Google was an awesome place to work because of the free food they provided and how he loved to drink blueberries because they were the best berry. He also mentioned that there was no point of going out to eat because the food was worse than the food Google offered and he had an amazing DS that did everything but cure cancer.

The ski rentals went very smoothly. While Kira and I got our gear from Christy’s, Catnipped had to get her equipment from Crystals because Christy’s didn’t have shoes in her size. After the rental we picked up some sandwiches from Safeway and headed back home.

For dinner, we decided on getting delivery from a Thai placed called the Siamese Plate (The Best Thai place in Boulder for 18 years in a row and sanctioned by the Thai Government). Most of the food there was pretty decent, but Kira and I made the wrong decision on what to order. We both ordered their special, the “Three Taste Chicken.” The description reads: “Sauteed crispy chicken, tofu, shrimp or fish with three-taste sauce (sweet, sour, or spicy) and sesame seeds.” Sounds tasty right? Well, it just ended up being deep fried, dough around tiny pieces of overcooked chicken. Apparently the three tastes in the description were all “acquired” tastes since the food itself tasted absolutely terrible.

Unfortuately for Kira, the combination of the cold, lack of sleep because of my buzz saw-like snoring, and the “Three Tastes” was too much for his immune system and he started developing both flu and stomach flu like symptoms.

Veg Out III: Day 1-Denver

Today, everyone flew in. Lemon was unfortunately unable to attend this Veg Out because of some family issues. This Veg Out started out not so auspiciously with my flight being delayed and jOrange’s first flight being cancelled.

National Rent-a-car apparently has very low standards for their vehicles, as the first vehicle we got had tire pressure problems, as well as a constant “no fuse” display where the odometer was supposed to be. The power windows did not work on this vehicle and there was a constant smell of something being carbonized.

Kira, BlueBerry, and I drove this vehicle to the hotel. On the way there, BlueBerry mentioned that Google was an awesome place to work because of the free food they provided and how he loved to drink blueberries because they were the best berry. He also mentioned that there was no point of going out to eat because the food was worse than the food Google offered and he had an amazing DS that did everything but cure cancer.

Check-in at the hotel went very well and after we had settled down a bit, Kira did some research about the problems plaguing our rental vehicle and we decided to exchange the vehicle (ended up with a Black Chevy Tahoe) as well as pick up some water/oranges.

The plan for the day was to settle in, and then jOrange, Kira, and I were to attend a hockey game between the Colorado Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings. However, because of the rental car exchange, Kira and I didn’t make it to the game until the start of the second period. jOrange was able to bypass the hotel shuttle by getting a ride with some other people also going to the game. He was able to make it at the start of the third period, but unfortunately, Air Canada decided that people going on ski vacations to Colorado really didn’t need skis and forgot to load skis for about 30 people on jOrange’s flight. The free hotdogs that were supposed to come with the tickets were also a LIE!!!! =( Just for the sake of getting the entire “Pepsi Center” experience, we foolishly took the wrong path to and from the stadium and had to walk in -9999999999999999999 degree weather.

Catnipped got in towards midnight and after a couple of hours of playing BANG! We called it a night.