Sunday, June 28, 2009

Quick Update on P90X

We're more than 30 days into the P90X program, and for the most part we've been doing it diligently. There were a couple days here and there where we had to shift around the workout days vs the rest days and we missed maybe 3 sessions altogether.

The good news is that there's been improvement in my muscles, most noticeably my biceps. We've been taking pictures each week (none to share yet), and looking at them it seems that there's been a decent amount of fat loss and muscles are overall getting more toned.

The workouts still suck... we hate them, but we love them (haha, that's a joke for anyone that has been doing the P90X). I'm definitely getting more flexible, but there's no way I can actually do all of the exercises. Many are still out of reach for me, but I do whatever 'easy' versions that try to work the same muscles, etc.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wild Animals

The other day, JC caught some sort of field mouse in the garage. We kept it around for a few days feeding it apple bits and crackers. We finally let it go today. Hopefully, it doesn't return.

We also have been spotting wild boars around the area lately, and we finally got a decent shot of two of them. Looks like a mother and baby.

So, I looked up whether or not hunting them was legal or not, and it turns out that it is legal provided you've got a hunting license ($41.20) and a wild pig tag ($19.70). Also, it's perfectly legal to hunt them on your own property or on public land... I am not exactly sure what counts as public land. Is a county park considered public land? Because, I've definitely seen them in a nearby park.

I've never been hunting before, but it might be an interesting experience to take one down and then bring it over to a butcher or something to obtain useful meat. You'd probably get a ton of pork and bacon from just one of these guys.

Also, it turns out there's some odd rules (in my opinion) on what sorts of weapons you're allowed to use. From the official guidebook from the California Dept. of Fish and Game...

The following methods can be used for hunting wild pigs:

1) rifles and handguns using centerfire cartridges with soft point or expanding bullets;

2) muzzleloading rifles of at least 0.40 caliber;

3) shotguns capable of holding no more than three shells and firing single slugs; and

4) archery equipment and crossbows.

Spears, knives and other methods not specified in Sections 353 and 354 of the hunting regulations are not allowed for hunting wild pigs in California.

I guess I don't quite get why you're not allowed to spear them or use knives, yet you're allowed to shoot them with a gun or utilize archery. Seems strange to me, but maybe there are good reasons for these rules. Then again, I have no idea why anyone would want to try to take on a wild pig with only a knife if they had other alternatives.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hands-Free Motorcycling

This video is about a year old, but it's just nuts. That is one crazy dude.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mystery Beer

We hit up Trader Joe's today, and they had this mystery beer bag available. Undoubtedly, the beers were going to be leftovers from packs that got partly messed up. Anyway, we thought it was likely we'd get a good deal, so we went for it... 8 beers for $4.99.

Here's the mystery bag.

And, here are its contents.

So, we've got 2 cans of Murphy's, a bottle of Guiness, a San Miguel Dark, and 4 different varieties from the Trader Joe's Brewing Co. (Joseph Brau's). All in all, it seems that the mystery bag was a good value.

Monday, June 15, 2009


This past weekend was pretty busy for me. Headed down to SoCal to attend a wedding and also to enjoy a fancy dinner with the family to celebrate my dad's retirement. We were originally going to check out Mastro's steakhouse, but my sister and her husband had just gone there recently. So, we decided on Spago, which none of us had ever been despite it being a classic LA institution of fine dining.

The meal was very good. But, I'm not sure if it was on par with other two-star Michelins that I've had the privilege of trying in the past. Definitely a one-star, but it's really hard to say for sure since I'm really not that much of a foodie despite having lots of food pictures.

I liked my dishes (Tagliatelle as a first course and Salmon as the main course) a lot, and I did get to try bits of most others' dishes. JC's duck was excellent. Those that tried it felt it was probably the best prepared duck ever. My dad ordered, after some familial pressure, the Kobe (100% Wagyu) New York steak and he loved it. My sister and her husband shared the Côte de Boeuf for Two, and it too was very good. Though, they both claimed to have had better at other places. Also, JC and I felt the desserts at Le Cirque (in Las Vegas) were much better.

All in all, everyone was very happy with the meal. It was a nice dinner complemented with good conversation. Anyway, I'm a bit too lazy to write more since I did just spend a lot of time getting the photos ready. So, without further ado, I present the pictures of food.

Starting off with the First Courses...

Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms

Endive and Vegetable Salad

Gnocchi with a Meat Sauce
(not sure exactly, but it sure was good)

Crab Cake

Hamachi and Tuna Sashimi

Risotto with Asparagus and Crab

And now, the Main Courses...

Pan-Roasted Liberty Duck

Red Snapper - Hong Kong Style

Alaskan White Salmon

Kobe Beef - 100% Wagyu New York Steak

Côte de Bœuf (half)

Alaskan Halibut

Finally, the desserts...

Souffle Pancake with Crème Fraîche

Raspberry Souffle

I guess that's all. The meal was expensive, and depending on how you look at it, perhaps it was a bit overpriced. Some felt that more should have been expected, but to be fair, the portions were generous and nothing was 'off.' Plus, there's the added cost due to 'brand recognition' that can't be helped.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Habana Cuba

JC and I went out for some Cuban food last night at Habana Cuba. We took advantage of the Dine About Town deals for San Jose. The promotional period ends in a few days, so if you're thinking about trying a new place on that list, hurry up.

I've been there once before, and I had a good experience. However, I recall the Mojito not being all that good, and this time was no different. The food was good just as it was during my previous experience.

There was some seriously good value to be had due to the promotional pricing. We shared two appetizers, a Yucca Fries plus Tostones combination and Papas Rellenas with more Yucca Fries. We each got a choice of either soup or salad; both of us opted for the chicken soup which was really good including a chunk of chicken with bone intact. Then there were our main dishes followed by desserts. I had the Cuban-spiced pork dish, and she had the stewed shredded steak dish (Ropa Vieja). Dessert for me was a cinnamon-spiced rice pudding, and for her it was a Tres Leches sponge cake. All this for $20 a person. We were both incredibly stuffed after finishing everything, so they surely didn't skimp on portions.

Anyway, if anyone wants to try some Cuban food, I would recommend that they give Habana Cuba a look. I've had two good experiences there so far... just skip the Mojito.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Neat Problem

Recently, I went in for a series of technical interviews in search of a new position. As is typical in an interview for the types of jobs I seek, I was given a few reasoning/logic/brain teaser types of problems. One of them really stumped me, and it was only after being pushed in the right direction that I was able to see the correct approach and arrive at an answer.

Here it is for all of your entertainment.

A man arrives at the train station after work at 5pm daily. His wife always leaves the house earlier to pick him up and she arrives at 5pm sharp every day. After pick up, they head straight home. The commute time each way is always the same, so they get home at the same time each and every day. To be clear, both one-way trips (to and from) take the same amount of time.

One day the man catches the earlier train and arrives at the train station at 4pm. His wife does not know this, and so she is on her normal schedule. The man (at 4pm) decides to start walking home to save his wife some time. The wife sees him on the road on her way to the station. She picks him up and they turn around and head home. They arrive home 10 minutes earlier than their normal arrival time.

For how long did the man walk for?