Saturday, March 31, 2007

Still a bit AFK; More Tourney Talk; Plus Some Good News

I really need to get back into blogging high gear but it is just a bit difficult right now. As is returning to my healthy diet, it's like Chili's made Southwestern Eggrolls extra delicious just to make it difficult for me. Actually 1 serving of the eggrolls isn't THAT bad (some may argue it is a bit of a small serving). In a related matter, I think I may have discovered the world's most unhealthy dish (thanks to perusing Chili's website and their helpful menu nutrition pdf). It is Chili's own Awesome Blossom, seriously check out these "awesome" stats:
2710 Calories
203 grams of Fat
194 grams of Carbs
24 grams of Protein
15 grams of Fiber
6360 milligrams of Sodium

And for those wondering what the FDA's Daily Recommendations are:
2000 Calories
less than 65 grams of Fat
less than 2400 milligrams of Sodium

And let's remember this is recommended for an entire day.

In other news, my NCAA Tourney Bracket is looking mighty fine. Kids, it is not good to gamble on sports (though if you do make sure to do your homework as it's not easy to beat the odds consistently, though not impossible). But if there was ever a time I should have gambled it was this year. And by gamble I mean head to a sportsbook website and drop a grand or a couple hundred (and by the by, can I borrow a couple hundred?) Anyway, I have filled out only one bracket and it's the same one I have on ESPN's free Tourney Game. Currently I'm ranked at the 98% (97.9 to be exact). I have no clue how much moohla this would have turned into, but I'm going to guess it would have been some decent coin. But oh well, this was mostly luck and I clearly don't have this success every year, lol. But just to toot my own horn a little longer, I picked the entire West region correctly, 6 out of 8 for the Elite Eight, and I have all 4 of the Final Four. So hooray for me. Diane's bracket looks strong too so hooray for her as well. And Diane, I have G-Town over Florida ... but Florida looks extremely strong so I think your pick is safe (by the by, who do you have losing to Florida in the final?).

PS - I'll be posting a political post or two because while I've kicked back on my Slate and Google News addiction recently, I just cannot post on the absurd incompetence and selfish greed this presidential administration is guilty of. Words cannot describe how insanely tragic this administration's era will be seen (if not seen already). So be on the lookout or skip the next post or two, whatever is your fancy.

PPS - Oh yeah, the good news. The other day I received my first law school acceptance letter. It's from the University of Maine which is far away and in a cold, cold state. But it's a decent school and, more importantly, it's my first acceptance so I can relax a bit knowing at least one law school will gladly have me.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I'm fat. And the NCAA Tourney.

I'll start with the good news. My bracket is looking very, very sharp. Thanks to UCLA and Ohio State (the team of destiny), I'm 2 for 2 in my final four. I picked 6 out of the Elite 8 and would have 7 if the stellar Acie Law didn't run into some bad luck. In any case only Diane is still reading this paragraph and so I say, Diane, it seems many are unhappy with this year's tourney due to the lack of crazy (or any major) upsets. I'm much more of an NBA fan, but I've found the games enjoyable and I'm pretty happy with this year's tourney, though much of this might have to do with having picked a stellar bracket, lol. Anyway, I hope your bracket is doing well too.

And Sage, I'm sorry to have to say this, but your beloved UNC will fall to G-town

Now the bad news. Late last year I decided to get back into shape. I was able to stay on my exercise regimen for a couple months, and stayed on my healthy, low-calorie diet even longer. Unfortunately, I've abandoned both for a month or two. I've gained weight (like 10 lbs), but it is actually worse than that because I've gained fat and lost muscle. And because I'm one of the lucky people whose problem area is their belly, the fat has concentrated there. But, there's a silver lining, I simply can't stand being a skinny guy with a belly. I mean if I'm unlucky enough to not have any muscles, at least help me out with a flat stomach. Am I right people? Unfortunately my DNA code doesn't seem to agree. So I've restarted my exercise program and I've started to watch what I eat (I will gradually return to my former caloric intake). Anyway, more about this in my next post.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Short Break

Sorry folks. Once again things have become hectic and I've taken a short break from all things blogging. I should be back soon, but I'm not exactly sure when. And if I can't post, I definitely will comment, so be on the look out, lol. Seriously, sorry for the down time. I hope to be back in high blogging gear in no time. I hope all is well for everyone.

And I have Georgetown, UCLA, Florida, and Ohio State in my Final Four. My Final Four is still intact! Though barely, thanks to Ron Lewis. I still have 7 of my final 8 left.

And I have the G-town Hoyas winning it all!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

For the Birds

I've been feeding the local wild birds by leaving bird seed and pieces of bread in the backyard. They're definitely not pets but maybe this is something like what a pet chicken would be like, though probably not since chickens can't fly away and are a bit more sociable (at least the internets say so). But it is a tad bit entertaining watching the various wild birds, especially their behavior to feeding and each other. I'm not sure if this is what bird watching is about (I'm guessing bird watchers trek into the wild to observe rarer birds, in their natural habitat), but, for me, it's fun to check out the birds ... for like 5 minutes.

If you're not already bored with this post you soon will be. But I do have some photographs so hopefully that will help.

We have a good deal of crows around here. I think they're American Crows but I really have no clue. The wiki article says they're quite intelligent and I'd have to agree. They're the first to arrive and kind of Bogart the area calling their friends. They prefer the bread pieces and will try to take as many pieces as they can fit in their beaks (3 to 5 from what I've noticed), not worrying if a piece falls as they fly to their eating area. And while it seems they tend to keep other birds away, it's only when it comes to the bread pieces. I spread out the food and so when the smaller birds come to feed on the bird seed (which is a bit apart from the bread pieces), the crows don't make much of a bother.

The smaller birds are fun to watch as they are a bit timid compared to the crows. They perch on the bare pare tree and wait until ready to drop down and peck at seed. I don't know what types of birds they are, and I think there's more than one type. Though in these photographs I just have a group of one type, the most common small birds. Hopefully someone might know what bird family they belong to?

Recently some medium sized birds have joined the party. I have no clue what kind of birds they are, and so I refer to them with the scientific "medium sized" moniker. Anyway, they also prefer the bird seed. But they're far more comfortable, pecking away with almost disregard. After they're full (I'm guessing) or there's no more seed, they perch on the back fence as if they're relaxing on the porch before their next meal.

If anyone can help identify these birds, that would be great.

The bread pieces and bird seed are only on the weekends and maybe another day. I don't want the wild birds to become depedent, though a wild bird website said the only worry is a waste of energy if they expect it on certain days but even then it is only harmful in areas of truly cold weather. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know. The last thing I want to do is harm these wild birds.

So that's my bird post. Thanks for making it to the end.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I have to admit I didn't know what to expect going into viewing TALLADEGA NIGHTS (2006). That's mainly because while I think Will Ferrell is a comic genius, I was thoroughly disappointed with ANCHORMAN (2004). I know most people found it hysterical, I just did not. Completely. But that wasn't the case with TALLADEGA NIGHTS.

Now I can't say TALLADEGA NIGHTS is a movie you should run out to see. It is pretty silly. But while there isn't much detailed substance, there is a wonderful, hokey charm that will (or might) win you over. Ferrell plays a bumbling young midwesterner who gets the chance to become a NASCAR driver and takes the sport by storm, only to hit rock bottom after a crash and the introduction of a nemesis: a gay, french Formula One driver who enters NASCAR (brilliantly played by Sacha Baron Cohen). The triumphant comeback is both predictable and randomly funny, with a great ending. However, for me, the real gem of the film is the funny, odd best buddy relationship between the characters played by Ferrell and John C. Reilly. I can't really describe it in detail only to say that the buddy relationship takes up a good part of the story and showcases some stellar oddball humor.

All in all, this is one of those flicks I would recommend to those people who are already interested in it. Yeah, a rousing endorsement. If you're not familiar with the Ferrell/Adam McKay (director) brand of humor, this might be a long two hours. But if you found Ferrell funny on SNL and enjoyed the previews, this will probably be a fun afternoon.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Pet Update and Photographs

So I might not be getting a pet after all. A pet chicken, while convenient, is probably just too messy for me. And while I think they might be sociable (as the shelter and websites claim), the level of friendliness is probably far lower than what I am imagining. Though I might head down to the shelter and check them out. And that ties into my new idea. Actually it's not my idea, but someone else's. But it is a terriffic idea. Someone suggested that shelter's are always in need of dog walkers. And that sounds perfect to me. I've always thought about volunteering at an animal shelter to learn more about pet animals. Since I don't know much about shelters, I never realized they would need dog walkers. But they must, and that sounds like the perfect way to learn and prepare for a pet dog sometime in the future. I still haven't called nearby shelters so this dog walking idea is way in the future, but I think it's the best idea for me and I'll post more about it when new info arrives. Again, thanks everyone for the great ideas and thoughts on the pet chicken matter and pets in general.

In other news, last week was a stellar time for blog photographs. Both Diane and Sage posted photos of their recent trips. For those of you who haven't caught the photos from Diane's exciting trip to Yellowstone, head over to her blog and scroll down for them. And Sage has some wonderful beach photos of his trip. Another great source of photos is Norm. He's posted some wonderful photos (here and here starring his adventuresome dog Stinky) of the winter wonderland that is his backyard.

So, taking a cue from these wonderful bloggers I took some photos and now I'm going to share them. They're pretty mundane. Just some rain (perhaps hail) from a couple days ago; mainly to show it gets cold here in the Bay Area (California) too. But I just checked the forecast and today's high is 70. So I guess it is true. We don't get cold weather.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'm back.

So that was my break. One whole week. There's no way I can stay away from blogger. I have to admit I really, truly enjoy blogging ... especially visiting and sharing in everyone's wonderful blogs. And I've decided I am going to embrace blogging a bit fuller. Or in other words, I am going to return to my blogging roots, lol. What I'm trying, so uneloquently, to say is that I shall be posting two or three times a week. So go ahead and stop by more often, if you'd like.

In other news, I am thinking about getting a pet. I've wanted a dog for a decent amount of time, because let's face it, they are man's best friend. But, unfortunately, I cannot get a dog at this time. However, scrolling the websites of animal shelters in my area, I came across this pet idea: the chicken. This shelter states that chickens are always available (rather sad that so many people abuse and neglect them) and that they make surprisingly good pets. A chicken would also be a convenient pet (I feel kind of bad that I am choosing a pet for convenience) since it remains outdoors. I can set up a small chicken home (many sites say a dog carrier type enclosure will do) in the backyard and that should be it. They eat common pet store pellets and drink water, and love cheerios and chex mix as tasty treats. This informative article even says they can be trained a bit and are rather sociable. From what I've read, I'm really looking into getting a pet chicken. But, I briefly asked a fellow blogger on gchat about the pet chicken idea and her response was that it probably wasn't a good idea. That the chicken would not be very social or pet like and would simply crap all over the place. So I'm asking anyone out there, blog buddies, neighbors, first-time visitors, everyone ... do you think a chicken would make a good pet?

PS - Perhaps this is a sign, but Slate has a piece about a peculiar chicken. It's a great read and be sure to check out the author's other pieces about his livestock and farm.

PPS - Most of you are probably familiar with the lovely and witty Diane. But if you don't visit her wonderful blog, Nanners and Noodles, do so now and scroll down until you find her amazing photographs from her recent trip to Yellowstone.