Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Alex learns wine tasting IS just like the movies

"Oh, Jesus. Don't ask questions like that up in wine country. They'll think you're some kind of dumbshit, OK?"

Some friends and I went on a winery tour this past weekend in Livermore courtesy of my lovely cousing Stacey. Lucky for us, I think everyone knew when we walked in that we were dumb, so we could ask all the silly questions we liked. And, ask we did. Well, I didn't, but everyone else asked some awesome questions. There was lots of learning and drinking going around.

One fun thing we learned is that all of Alex's wine knowledge is based from the movie Sideways. We discovered that Wine Country means most of California. We determined that the wine is actually stored in the barrells that we could see when we were tasting, and they were not there for decoration. Patrik and Alex found out when we were leaving that they had driven south, not north to get to where we were, and that Napa was very far away indeed.

Though we did not come at the height of grape season, it was nice because there were hardly any crouds. If there ever were any crouds, Stacy used her clout with the local wine people to get us our own tasting bar.

We tasted Zinfendels. We tasted Chardonneys. We tasted Pinots... oh the Pinots we tasted. We even tasted a Merlot... yes we even had Merlot.

We had a fun time indeed. Our friends were very sad that we had waited so long to do such a fun thing, since they are leaving in a few weeks. We told them they would just have to come back and visit during the height of harvest so we could experience a different side of the wineries. Everyone was all about it until we found out that is actually the worst time to come because you will get swarmed with bees and fruit flies.

Patrik was drunk by this point and when shooting, couldn't get everything in the photo.

Patrik, sad that it is not the height of grape season.

Stacey, our guide, answering some silly question I am sure.

For more pictures than Alex, click here.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wii test

"Wii made a revolution. Join it."

Nintendo has been all about trying to reach new markets with the wii, I put this idea to the test this past weekend when I went home to Chicago. I was hoping to get a bunch of people to play with the wii to see how it would fare amongst different people.

Unfortunately, I was very busy with the whole throwing two showers and they only people who got to enjoy the funness of the wii were my family. But, that included my parents (both in their 50's), my brother and his wife (who is pregnant). This was a great test group to start with.

We started with bowling and moved on from there. The family really enjoyed bowling. It was amazing how results of wii bowling were very similar to real life bowling. We also tried wii play. My mom struggled the most with wii play because the whole moving the remote and sensor bar being so sensitive thing.

My dad and brother did amazingly with fishing, better than anyone else I have seen.

We boxed. And, this is where my brother struggled the most. My dad figured out that all you need to do is flip the remotes a little, while my brother exhausted himself trying to use actual boxing moves.

I think the favorite of my brother and dad's was tennis. They got really in to it. Things got really interesting when they started trying to do jump serves and actually were jumping around.

All in all, everyone enjoyed themselves. And with the exception of fishing, I kicked everyone's butt. Which was a nice change from playing against all the gamers that I seem to be hanging out with lately.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Flashbacks to College

"Learned everything I know without gaining any knowledge... in college"

(me in college... Im the one without the crown)

Saturday I found myself feeling like I was back in college.

Down the street from where I work, there was a brightly colored bus parked with music blaring out the windows. Two men were standing outside handing out free bottles of dole's new fruit spritzers to anyone who would take them. The one big difference was most of the people put the bottle down into or next to the garbage cans half a block away.

Later that night I attended a party where I knew no one except the person who brought me, who also knew no one but one of the hosts. We stood awkwardly with a drink in our hands against the closest wall and avoided eye contact with most people. Neither of us talked to anyone beyond the stray awkward comment and one sad attempt at starting a sports related conversation with some stander byers. And yet, with all the free drinks we walked away thinking it was a great party.

Ahhh I miss college.

Oh, and I have already come upon a problem with the special K diet: it says nothing about alcohol. I guess that is part of the "up to" six pounds catch. Though, while on this diet, you can't drink very much. The lack of calories equates to lack of tolerance for alcohol.


"Someone has to be the the loser, and when it comes to video games, that someone is me."

Friday night PJ and I were driving around East Bay when we saw a strange little man dancing on a balcony. We decided that seemed like a fun place to spend the evening so we bought some beer at the nearest gas station to bargain our way in.

That beer bought us admission to a night of fun, tacos and video gaming galore.

Kevin was our host for the night and he cooked some of the best shrimp, mushrooms, as well as other juicy taco fillings that I have ever had. Lots of eating ensued.

To work off these delicious calories, we followed the pigging out with much playing of the Wii. We boxed, we played air hockey, and we shot at various targets including spaceships and ducks. It got me very excited about my own Wii which PJ had brought home earlier that day.

The night was great fun and it made me very sad to know that nights like these will soon be coming to an end as many of our friends are moving away from the Gold Rush State to the Big Apple. And, we thought the commute to East Bay was bad.

Amila kicking butt and taking names

The Puhala's are fighters to be feared

No one could take PJ's boxing seriously, not even PJ

Alex kicking my butt

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I never met a calorie I didnt like

"I'm on a seafood diet... i see food and I eat it."

Ever since I moved to Texas and gained the "Texas Twenty," I have been trying to lose it. I figured when I moved to San Francisco I would start walking around more, eating heathier, being healthier. Instead, I think i gained back any weight that I managed to lose while in Africa.

Then came the trip to Mexico, and when I got my pictures back, I decided to make a plan. I set a goal of losing 20 pounds by May 19th. This gave me just about 17 weeks to reach my goal.

I started off pretty strong. I worked out atleast three days a week and was eating pretty healthy. It was not a strict diet, but I stuck to cereal for breakfast veggies and hummus for lunch and some sort of "sensible" ish dinner. And, in the first six weeks, I lost six pounds. Trouble is, I have not lost any weight in the past three weeks.

So, I am cracking down on myself again and trying a stricter diet. Yes, I am trying a fad diet. For the next two weeks (starting yesterday) I am on the Special K diet. They boast you can lose up to six pounds in two weeks. I will let you know how it goes.