Words, Weights, Whatever

Saturday, September 11, 2004

For your reading dizpleasure...four daze!

Little behind here. But first, a moment of silence for the victims of 9-11 and those who continue to pay in its aftermath.

That's how I felt on the last day of my assignment. I immediately noted the much hotter temperature as I went through the secured door into the department's section of the building. And it worsened as the day progressed and more people milled about. I'd periodically leave my cubicle and stand in the public counter which was considerably cooler. Relief didn't arrive until much later in the afternoon.

R. was on-call this evening. I joined my friends CS and GAC around 2100 and we discussed the book, East of Eden, as planned. Wonderful session. See Way for details and here as well.

I ran errands throughout the day. Normally I enjoy driving about from restaurant (of course) to picking up my comic books (which were delayed due to the holiday). This time, though, the heat and, worse, the increased humidity made it dreadful to leave the air-conditioned interior of my car.

R. had a fairly good on-call evening and met me around 1600. We surfed the Internet until contractors arrived. We've decided to see how much it would cost to upgrade the house staircase. After they left, we watched anime.

I wrote! Yeah! And virtually everyone at the coffeeshop wanted to know where I had been and what was the status of my novel. Yikes! I feel grateful and mortified.

Great post on the state of science fiction over at Way by author Crawford Kilian.

The rest of the day was similar to Wednesday except I slept in.


"When you eat, eat. When you sleep, sleep."

The above Zen phrase came in handy as I cleaned around the house for four hours straight. I kept repeating it as the thoughts of how little impact I was making to the piles continually surfaced. We have so many piles! Around 1400 I stopped for the rest of the afternoon. I started several new books and read at least a chapter in each of them before heading out to write.

And now for a special treat:

From Comic Con 2004 and taken by yours truly!

Dark Phoenix

Image was taken by me and all rights
(well, except the character concept and all that jazz but the pics...!)
belong to me.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Sibling silliness

Thanks, sis!

If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee .
(Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
(Now that's more like it!)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet.

A pig's orgasm lasts 30 minutes.
(In my next life, I want to be a pig.)

Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its bo...er...owner.

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. (Creepy.)
(I'm still not over the pig)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour
(Do not try this at home...... maybe at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male's head off.
("Honey, I'm home. What the....?!")

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It's like a human jumping the length of a football field.
(30 minutes... lucky pig... can you imagine??)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.
(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day.
(I still want to be a pig in my next life...quality over quantity)

Butterflies taste with their feet.
(Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer
than left-handed people.
(If you're ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump.
(OK, so that would be a good thing....)

A cat's urine glows under a black light.
(I wonder who was paid to figure that out?)

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
(I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains.
(I know some people like that too.)

Polar bears are left-handed.
(If they switch, they'll live a lot longer.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.
(What about that pig??)

And if your funny bone still needs relief, here's a website for you (thanks, bletchly-park!)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Top 100 things about...well...ME

Instead of how my day went, here's something about...well...me!

Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to their owners.

Seen these list everywhere (well, if it's a blogger or a homepage.) Been meaning to do one of these for a while. To be a little different, I'm gone divide the list among different entries. Hopefully that'll keep you comin' back, salivating* for more.

  1. My real name's not Joel.
  2. My last name's pronounced differently depending if you ask me, my parents, or if you speak spanish or italian (or both).
  3. No, I'm not Hispanic despite my appearance.
  4. No, I'm not of "mixed blood" despite my height and build. And, no, I've not been adopted nor a "half" to any of my sibs (in either direction.)
  5. I've always looked older than my age: in high school, most of the students mistook me as a substitute teacher.
  6. I have only one set of parents.
  7. My parents wanted me to be either a doctor, a nurse, an accountant, or an engineer. I did none of these.
  8. I once wanted to be a marine biologist.
  9. I have a bachelors in business adminstration which I have yet to use.
  10. I have two younger siblings.
  11. I have worked primarily in the IT field but as a writer or support staff, not a technician.
  12. I was in a business fraternity in college.
  13. I have yet to travel back to the Philippines since I arrived in the U.S. at age four.
  14. Yes, I'm an American citizen.
  15. I have two nephews on my side of the family. If I count R.'s nephew's, I'd have three.
  16. I considered my ex JC's two boys (from the first marriage) as my own kids.
  17. My family's only had dogs for pets. (And, no, we didn't eat them.)
  18. Did you know you can burn a doll's hair against a lit lightbulb?
  19. Yes, sticking a key in an electric socket can hurt you.
  20. My family's first cable provider was ON TV. (Anyone else had it?)
  21. I started to wear glasses when I was seven years old.
  22. I had piano lessons as a child.
  23. I don't speak or understand tagalog. Same with any of my parents' dialects. (This lack of ability is my parents' fault: they stoppped speaking their language to us kids when we were young.)
  24. I do not have an accent: folks have told me they picture this "tall, blond-haired, guy." Well, at least they got the 'tall' right.
  25. I do not find the term "flip board" to be demeaning to Filipinos.
  26. I am not offended by the term "coconut" ('brown on the outside, white on the inside') personally offensive.
  27. I used to eat bagoong but not anymore.
  28. I have been shot by BB guns.
  29. I have never eaten balut and have no desire to do so.
  30. Yes, you can make kites out of shopping bags and rice.
  31. When I was younger, I did some...really bad things...with bricks, needles, syringes, scalpels, and toads. (And, no, you don't want to know or see pictures.)
  32. Did you know snails dehydrate really fast if you put them in a jar and pour salt on them?
  33. I won a class short story contest in junior high.
  34. I've only experienced four earthquakes since I've lived in SoCal.
  35. I stopped watching the Ms Universe pagents in elementary school. (If you don't know the significance of this statement, ask your Filipino friends.)
  36. I nearly drowned while on a junior high trip to the beach.
  37. I learned how to type in junior high. My max speed is currently 88 wpm. Not fast but not slow, either.
  38. I started reading comic books in high school and continue to read and collect them.
  39. I used to know the X-men comic book history in intimate detail until the second death of Jean Grey/Phoenix.
  40. My stack of comic books is easily over eighteen feet.
  41. I read voraciously and can handle four novels, dozens of comic books, a newspaper, the Internet, and a couple of role-playing game books in a day with ease.
  42. My first job was a part-time one in Winchell's Donuts.
  43. I used to build models as a child. R2-D2 was my favorite.
  44. My first car was a Malibu Classic. It was painted bright yellow. I never had a prob finding it in a parking lot.
  45. I hate large SUV's, trucks, and vans, finding them wasteful in both fuel and space.
  46. I've ridden a motorcycle once. Brrr.
  47. The first role-playing game I played was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition.
  48. I buy role-playing games just to read.
  49. I learned how to stuff a rat in high school.
  50. I tried to join the military twice: once after high school (Navy) and during college (Army). Backed out both times.
  51. In my junior year in college, I was working three part-time jobs for three months at one point.
  52. In college, I wrote a short story for a midterm. The professor pulled me aside and asked if I ever considered submitting it to magazines. Hmmm. Do I see a career direction here...?
  53. I took martial arts in college and would have been the equivalent of a green belt if I had taken the tests.
  54. Once I wanted waves in my (I thought) straight hair so I got a perm. Unfortunately no one told me that I already had waves in my hair (from my grandmother's side of the family.) When the stylist was finished, I had an afro. (Mercifully, that was flattened by lots of conditioner and salt water.) No, I don't have any pics of that...incident.
  55. My first crush was (true) blond haired and blue-eyed. And a scholar-athlete. Thus, I'm highly attracted to athletic-looking, intelligent (i.e., knows the difference between there, their, and they're), stereotypical Nordic-lookers. (And they're rarer than hen's teeth, damn it!)
  56. When I figured out my relationship-0rientation, I didn't want a relationship: I wanted sex, baby!
  57. My ex took me inside the huge Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints in L.A. in a vain attempt for me to convert to Mormonism.
  58. I met R. in 1994 a few months after I graduated from college. And it wasn't love at first sight. We at least exchanged phone numbers.
  59. I dated R. for six months which is the same amount of time my parents dated before my dad proposed to my mom.
  60. While dating R., I lived with my ex JC, who had remarried. I lived in their downstairs bedroom. The kids (who knew JC and I for three years) got confused.
  61. My future spouse answered my query about our finances by stating we'd combine them "of course." I nearly fell on the beach in shock and said, "are you nuts?"
  62. I proposed, after six months, to R., who, crying, accepted the ring.
  63. I spent two years after college learning how to write novels. Oops.
  64. At this time I have started four novels.
  65. My first visit to England was during a heatwave, so hot the asphalt was melting at the Wimbleton. And, of course, all I had were long-sleeved shirts.
  66. Stonehedge is way smaller than you see in pictures.
  67. While visiting Africa, I saw a huge herd of elephants, one of whom I thought had a very long tail. Damn thing practically touched the ground. When it got closer, I realized the animal was male and that was not its tail.
  68. On our last major cruise (Africa, the Middle East, then Greece), I gained so much weight so fast that I ripped apart all my pants.
  69. At last count, we have nearly nine thousand hard-back books in our house.
  70. We have over forty coffee cups in our household.
  71. My highest weight was 225 pounds which was back in 1997. Whew! Stopped myself in time. Now it's below 200.
  72. Step aerobics is my exercise of choice. I did six classes a week at one point.
  73. My stack of fitness mags is easily six feet tall.
  74. I'd rather play sports than watch them.
  75. I used to be able to work out two or more hours regularly, usually combining an hour of weight training followed by an hour of cardio (usually step aerobics) four to five times a week.
  76. I once caused (accidently) my heart to go into atrial fib by taking a sudafed, drinking a cup of coffee, and inhaling my asthma meds all within thirty minutes. I was hospitalized for a couple of days.
  77. Ibuprofen, over a long period of time, can kill me without my knowledge. Eek!
  78. I was hospitalized for three days a few years ago due to an ulcer I never felt until I collapsed in shock after losing five pints of blood. (Humans normally have eight.) My spouse was so not happy but I finally lost five stubborn pounds.
  79. If anyone ask if I take steroids, I say yes...for asthma. And only en extremis.
  80. My appendix exploded when I was younger and I was in the hospital for ten days, losing over fifteen pounds.
  81. When I say I'm hungry, you better not get between me and the nearest food source (e.g., refridgerator, fast-food place, etc.) Same if I say I'm "crashing" (hypoglycemia.)
  82. Alligator tastes like chicken. So I've heard (when I received a can of alligator soup.)
  83. Ostrich tastes like beef. So I've heard (when I tried the ostrich burger in South Africa.)
  84. Rabbit tastes like chicken. So I've heard (at the restaurant...)
  85. I tip regular servers at my regular eateries at least twenty percent.
  86. I don't drink alcohol. Even the smell makes me nauseous.
  87. I love desserts, especially anything chocolate.
  88. When my dentist introduced me to nitrous ("laughing gas"), I suddenly began to make my quarterly cleanings and check-ups.
  89. I like asses and breasts and I'm not talking about horses or chickens.
  90. I have attended...erotic...clubs with my spouse's permission. All I did was watch. Really.
  91. I believe in sex on the first date. Get rid of the insignificant stuff first. If you both have nothing to discuss in the morning, then that relationship was a flop (so to speak.)
  92. Yes, you can climax while driving in a car. So I've heard.
  93. Yes, you can climax while attending a boring lecture and without touching yourself. So I've heard.
  94. My philosophy on sex: the more, the better (the activity amount, not the number of participants. Unless you both want to, of course.)
  95. I'm agnostic.
  96. I would declare my closest "spiritual path" to be (Zen) Buddhism but then I would not be following Buddhism. So I keep my mouth shut and know The Way.
  97. I've never watched any reality show for any length of time, especially the current batches. If I wanted to see people act stupid, I'll look around me or remember my high school and early college years. Besides, those shows are as "real" as televised wrestling.
  98. My view of famous people: they all look the same in surgery.
  99. I do believe there's extraterrestrial life "out there", but I'm skeptical if any has visited Earth.
  100. I got at least one friend to regularly blog.

*Hmmm. What's with it with food these days? Is it my diet or other oral fixation stuff...?

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

We interrupt for an important....

Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owner.

Mysterious signals from light years away

Anyone else have more recent news?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

For your reading pleasure: three daze!

Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owner.

A wonderful, relaxing day.
We woke around noon and spent the early afternoon surfing the Internet, our appetites surpressed by coffee, yesterday's breakfast haul...er...treats, and "sparkling flavored beverages." I finally heard one too many growls and we dined at our favorite local thai restaurant. The owner was very pleased; apparently there was a local food tasting thingie going on nearby and it drew away the scant few folks who had not gone away for the holiday. Pleasantly stuffed (with lots of leftovers) we drove out to the local Barnes & Noble.

We didn't drive directly to the bookstore, though. R. had read the new Canon A95 had been released. We checked out Circut City to see if they had received a shipment yet. They had not but we discovered the 8 megapixel cameras. As we resumed our trek to Barnes & Noble, we began to rethink our choice of digital cameras.

The rest of the afternoon and early evening was spent at home watching DVDs and surfing the Internet. I was amazed at the drop of participation over at Tribe. Most people weren't updating their blogs, either.

We ended the relaxing evening dining at our favorite local japanese restaurant.

We woke early (for us) to greet contractors. R. and I had decided to price how much it would take to replace our staircase with our damaged wood floor. After the gentlemen left, we lunched on leftovers then headed out to R.'s workplace.

R. is a physician and, like most, has way too much paperwork and is not given an administrative time to do them. We had discussed (okay, I pushed) about driving out to Northridge during one of our three days off and chose Sunday. It was a good choice: the drive was light due to people being on holiday.

We arrived mid-afternoon. R. gave me a tour of the office then left me to my own devices. I set up laptop, notebooks, and books in the kitchen. I read East of Eden until I began to feel a bit sleepy. R., seeing my yawns, put me in one of the examining rooms to rest. "Don't play doctor while I'm asleep," I joked, then quickly fell into slumber which lasted a good half hour.

We took a meal break around 1800. I alternated reading East with jotting my goals for the rest of the year. Whew! Do you know how time-consuming that is? Later, as I reviewed the pages, I realized I had yet to note my employment goals.

Later, I thought. When I can extend the 24-hour day to 30.

Some of the goals can be found here and here.

R. finally finished the day's session around 2100. Since it had been an age, we decided dinner down in West Hollywood.

Wow! We were amazed how many people were in town. At our favorite local restaurant, I asked the host about all the eye-candy. He laughed and pointed out that, as many folks are leaving town for the holiday, there's a whole slew of folks coming in the sunshine state.

Besides having dinner, we made our regular tour of our favorite shops. The homeward journey was uneventful except that I noted there were so many cars out and about even at 0100 in the morning.

My spouse and I don't immediately jump on the technological bandwagon at the same time like many of our peers. And some fads we'll probably never try: instant messaging, webcams, internet telephones.

We're not adverse to new technologies. Far from it. We love our toys. However, like everyone else (well, except the very wealthy) we have a limited amount of resources much of it we lavish on books. But, for a variety of reasons, we've been focusing our attention to electronic ones this year:

I purchased my first personal digital assistant (PDA) only a couple of years ago. I finally upgraded it last year when the old one broke.

Though DVDs have been out for years, we purchased our first DVD player last year. And we would not have done so except the anime we loved so much was being discontinued in VHS format.

We've been eyeing high definition televisions (HDTVs) for some time now. Actually, R. was drooling over them while I looked out, nonplussed. I just didn't see the benefit to them and couldn't justify the cost. Finally, though, their prices dropped within acceptable limits and I reluctantly agreed to the purchase of one. We also upgraded our DVD player and cable to take advantage of all the device's features.

Today we finally joined the digital camera age. As some long-time readers will remember, we were originally looking at the Canon A80 since late last year. We tried to purchase one last month but discovered they were being phased out to make way for the A95.

Then we discovered the 8 megapixel cameras while visiting Circut City looking for the A95 (see above.) This time I was the impetus: if we're going to get a digital camera, why not a good one? So after research and the discovery CompUSA had them, we came home this afternoon with our brand new baby.

Gak! I can already see I'm going to find a new job or temp assignment fast!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Beyond the Blog

Prison Pete

You have to make up your own mind.


What will I tell the kids?

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Thursday and Friday...and a little extra.

Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to its owner.


The client's weekly staff meeting was quite informative. One learns a lot about the inner workings of city government by being on the opposite side of the counter. Case in point: the licensing of "exotic entertainment" establishments. I didn't know they had to be a certain distance from residential areas. And don't get me started about the maintenance of horse trails.

Home life that evening was quiet with the exception of one little incident. R. and I were in the bedroom when I heard the words, "uh, who left the porn on top of the DVD player?" I looked and turned a darker shade of brown. Oops! I made a mental note (as I snuck the disk back to my office to join the other couple of dozen) to clean up any evidence after I "cleaned up" my messes.



The beginning of the end. The last day of my assignment is next Tuesday. I spent most of the day cleaning up my files. My co-workers, because it was the start of a holiday weekend, were more chatting than usual...which each other. I tried to stay in the background as much as possible.

Evening was spent at the coffeeshop, writing. (See Way.) Wow! Nice guys (and gals) can finish first. I came home with lots of free treats (unasked) after a productive writing session.

Image found on the Internet and all rights belong to the owner.


The following section is more of my thoughts than my daily activities and is not interesting to the average reader. So I won't mind or be offended if you stop reading here.

Still reading? Well, I warned you...

My goals--for the day, the month, the year, and next year--were prominent in my mind throughout the day.

I like to plan. Execution, though, has always been a problem. I start off strong then peter out. (No cat calls from the peanut gallery, thank you.)

One technique that helped me in the past sustain myself is writing my goals, the projects, and the to do items and noting which were (or were not) accomplished on a daily basis. I have used all types of paper and electronic management systems. The best combo that worked for me was the purchase (and use) of a personal digital assistant (PDA) and blogging.

The former's uses are obvious. As for the latter, the original purpose--for me--to create a blog was the noting of my daily activities for future reference. I quickly discovered that, since I looked at it constantly (I work primarily in the IT industry), I could make the blog me "daily, in-your-face reminder" that time management/goal orientation/"get rich quick" gurus constantly harp about.

Many of my prior post reflect this use. I will be resuming it again within the next few weeks. I've already taken some rough steps as can be noted in recent entries over at Way and Forge. Both reflect a refocusing of my interest in those areas.

I'll be elaborating in greater depth shortly. Otherwise...

Happy Labor Day, y'all!

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