Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Life Is Always Good

I love dateing sisters :-p

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Nutcracken Weekend

Nothing quite like staying the weekend at a Holiday Inn Express in Walnut Creek, taking a quick 30 minute ride on the BART to get here: The War Memorial Opera House.

Why?

To see the Nutcracker of course!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

After Eight Years Something Amazing Happened



Tonight, like every first Tuesday after the first Monday in November since 1996 I was glued to the TV. Regardless of the outcome, history was being made. On one side of the spectrum there was a possibility that a women could be our Vice President (which I guess was a possibility in 1984, but Mondale had no chance of beating Reagan). On the other end, the end I support, a young African-American stood to be our next President-elect.

And after the frustration of an election being stolen from us in 2000 and feeling bewildered by a population that voted in the illusion of fear in 2004, today I got the honor to cast my ballot for someone that promised change, for someone who was change in a monochrome world. A man that would introduce us to a vivid spectrum of solutions because, to put is simply, something different needed to be done. For to long we have been living with the status quo, implementing either solution A or B for a problem that time and time again rears its ugly head and stares us down to the point where we know no matter what we do, this beast, will never leave us.

But after today. . . after today we have another option, an option we never considered. For the first time in our lives we will look at this beast, from the melting of the middle class to the financial meltdown that my 91 year old grandfather never though he would see again, with new eyes, a new focus. Starting today America will get a new lease on life, a second chance to create the "Great Society" that FDR, JFK, and LBJ were trying to build but could never finish.

Starting today America is a better place. Starting today America overcame a battle that our parents fought in the 1960's. Starting today America is anew with hope and a joyous look at the path that leads into the unknown. Starting today the youth, the minorities, and the fed-up spoke with one unified and clear voice shouting "we are tired of being ignored!"

Starting today. . . chance for the better will start to happen. The end of an era is coming to a close, and the dawn of anew is about to happen.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Magic Of Tahoe

OH MY GOD!! So here is the scoop, Dani did not want gamble at all but I made her put $5 down on 21 in roulett.

Well. . . WE WON!

My Baby Is 21

Besides the free birthday shot the waitress gave us (it was called a chocolate cake), this is my baby's first leagle drink. Its a 'Tropical Rock'

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tahoe For The Two Of Us

On our drive around this great lake (that would be Lake Tahoe) we decided to stop at North Shore and take a picture.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sampler Day

Lets see, from left to right:
Gran Centenario 100% Agave Tequila, Crema De Almendrado Orendain, Maui Gold Rum, Maui Dark Rum, Maui Platinum Rum, and Disaronno.

Some of these bottles haven't be opened in two years!

So good. . . oh so good!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Last Maui Bike Ride Of 2008

I thought this would make a good 'last bike ride of the year in Maui' picture.

In the background is the last sugar mill in Hawai'i.

Ever wonder where C&H sugar comes from? Right from that mill.

Heading Down The Volcano

Now that was one hell of a bike ride!
~Blake

Ten-Thousand Feet Up And Its Cold!

That's right foks, 10,000 feet up!

This Honda Shadow rocks!

On Top Of The World

Wow! This is amazing!

Above The Clouds

Not quite to the top, but I am above the clouds. How cool is that!

Last sign said 8,000 feet.

Going To The Top Of The World

Next stop is near the top.

Ending elevation is 10,000 feet, right now I'm about 2,500 feet.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Ending At The Beach

Even though sunset is at least 30 minutes away, this isn't bad for the conclusion of my 25th birthday.

More Birthday Drinking

I just realized that all I've been drinking today has been from Maui Brewing Company.

Birthday Dinner

Oh, now this is the life!

Big beer and good BBQ here at Fat*Daddy's in Kihei.

Birthday Beer

My first birthday beer of the day: Big Swell IPA by the Maui Brewing Co.

And it was amazing!

A Lot Of Forgivness To Ask For

Where does my mom take me on my 25th birthday?

Thats right, to church.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I Love Flea Markets!

Now this is the place to buy anything you want at amazing prices!

Nothing like haggleing for the best price in paradise!

Friday, August 01, 2008

From The Top Of Haleakala

From the top of the world. This is what we are going to hike into.
~Blake

Thursday, July 31, 2008

See, not all prices are high.

A case of Pale for $25 at Costco
~Blake

Maui Tropical Plantation

Baby pineapple. . . they look cool don't they?

What A Movie

Wow, worth every penny.

A Movie With No One Around

So here I am at the Kukui Mall 4 about to see Batman, by myself.

Why the post?

Because I had to tell someone that counting myself, there are only two others in here!

It feels like a private screaning.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Drinking At The Beach

And here I am, sitting in the shade, drinking a Bud Light 'The Offical Beer of Hawaii'

Another Morning At The Beach

We're all here but in this picture you can see Nora, Monica, and my mom.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I love our Tuesday dinners here in Kihei.

Why? Because of two-for-one fish and chips at Kihei Fish'N'Chips and Taqueria.

Plan B

Now this is the place to have a picnic after canceling the Poli Poli State Park hike due to bad weather.

This is the view from our park table here at Rice Park in Upcountry Maui.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Final Destination

Bubba Gump's

Oh hell yea!

Stop Number Four

Somewhere I have never been, the Maui blowhole.

Stop Number Three

Some art gallery in the middle of nowhere.

Stop Number Two

Somewhere on Highway 36 North.

Stop Number One

Ioa Valley.
(Thats the Ioa Needle in the background)

Riding Day Is Here!

The bikes for our trip.

On the right a 2006 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail.

On the left a 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 750.

And in the middle you have my 2004 Honda Shadow.

The 6 of of us going around the island . . . this is going to be fun.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Hawaiian Dream

This is my new Hawaiian love. Last year it was the Honda Rebel.

This year, it's a 2005 Honda Shadow with custom Cobra pipes.

For the next 2 days this bike is going to alow me to relive my dream of bikeing Maui.

Life is good!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Saying Goodbye To A Good Unit

Well this one bedroom with a loft was a wonderful home. But now its time to move to our 'usual' condo. And like a lot of things we say goodbye with a beer on the lanai.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Big Moco

Oh hell yea!

A Welcome Back

There are only a couple of things that you can find here in Hawai'i, like POG by the gallon and a Mocha Coconut Frappachino at Starbucks.

But at Denny's there is the Local Moco. Fried rice topped with a beef paity smothered with brown gravy with 2 eggs on top.

I'm home. . . I'm finaly home.

The Start Of Hawai'i 2008

So here we are, just settling in to our first of two condos of this vacation (they did not have one open for three weeks in a row).

Why am I starting to blog again?

Well. . . its time for one thing.

And I found an unsecured wireless network so I had to tell someone!!

No more AOL free trials of dial-up when we go on vacation!!

Thank you linksys, Clearwire (the ISP), and the poor sap that forgot to put a WEP key on their network!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mountain Shooting


See what happens when two guys go up into the mountains with guns!

What to bring: guns, ammo, a half gallon of good beer, soda, and more guns!

~Blake

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Holly Pancakes!


Nothing beats all you can eat blueberry pancakes at the convent (Mt. St. Joseph Novitiate and Minor Seminary) here in Loomis!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Another One Off The List

(Monica on the left, Rachael on the right)


Dinner time at a new brewery.

See my ladies holding up the Rubicon Brewing Company coasters, very nice!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Wonderful Salena Wednesday

So here is a first, Salena and I at LaSalles seeing Greg (Target Food Ave) kicking ass with a guitar!

He rocks! And being over 21 helps!
(By the way, that is Greg kissing Salena, guitar in hand.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Today was a good lack-luster day up until tonight.

An overwhelming wave of malaise towards my former employer hit me tonight. . .

I have been drinking since 9:30 tonight and I'm not stopping anytime soon.

All I have to say is God bless my friends, and God bless Erick for having beer on tap at his house.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Picture Of The Day

There is nothing more relaxing than having coffee with my parents at a Starbucks in Auburn.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Another Another Salena Wednesday


This time we are exploring the inner Chico city. Today we are at one of my favorite bars.

There is nothing quite like The Oasis. A couple of Gin and Tonics and Sevens Sevens, plus several games of eight ball. All for $10.

Another amazing day with Salena.

Once Again, Starbucks Has All The Answers

It is amazing how one cup of coffee not only revitalizes your body, but also your soul.

As a continuation to an early post from February 2006 (see Starbucks Has All The Answers), "The Way I See It #270" not only gave me hope at the conclusion of one of the worst months of my life, but made think of the good people I had the pleasure to meet along the way.

So here it is in its entirety, I hope you find it as uplifting as I did.

The Way I See It #270
Taste is subjective. Taste is democratic. Taste is powerful. Taste – the combination of texture, aroma, temperature, aesthetic and environment – is also a window into someone else’s life or culture. Be confident in your taste, but remain curious and expose yourself to new tastes. Allow your taste to constantly evolve and grow – while keeping and cherishing the memories that taste creates.

~Marcus Samuelsson
Chef, co-owner of Restaurant Aquavit and author of The Soul of a New Cuisine

As Betty Williams, one of the greatest bosses I ever had the pleasure to work with, once said "variety is the spice of life."

So taste it all, and never hold back from your next great adventure.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Happy Easter

Dinner time.

I have just finished smoking two chickens and a mess of turkey legs. So what is the family's dinner conversation about? How about my recent unemployment.

Keeping my spirits high while reliving the death of my career to the pace of our "cheerful" banter, someone chimes in with "There all crooks, like the manager from Auburn."

What?!

That was the store that I was going to work at.

That was going to be my store.

I was going to be the ETL-HR of Auburn T-1096.

I mean that was my plan. Their STL (head store manager) Sean loved me. I mean, come on, he was the one who interviewed me for team lead. A great, moral, and dedicated person to work for.

I guess I was wrong.



According to the Auburn Journal, on the 18th Sean Ryan (Auburn Target's STL) was arrested for embezzling $10,000 over 3 months from the store's safe at night. The best part is he was caught by his own AP (that's basic store security).

All of the sudden getting let go over $50 isn't all that bad. I did not steal like he did, but when I got let go I did not face jail time.

There is always a silver lining. Always.

As a side note, I love how he is in his red & khaki for the mugshot. That means he was arrested at the store, during business hours, while he was working.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another Salena Thursday

You know its funny how much I look foward to Thursday. It gives me a chance to rediscover the things Chico is known for. Today, we hiked upper Bidwell.

We started at Bear Hole, this picture was taken overlooking Salmon Hole. I wonder where we will go next week?

(This was posted LIVE using my Samsung-u740)

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's A Bright Dark Day

It's cold outside, but I can feel the sun on my face. In the distance I can here the train going through town, and if I close my eyes, I can smell the damp earth of a recent rain storm far away. It has been a while since I last posted a "real" entry on my beloved blog. But a lot has happened since my days at the "Townhouse." I have changed, the world around me has changed.

It took me a while to come to grips with what just happened. . . I think that is why I have not posted anything about it. To be honest I am still trying to recover from the dishearting malaise of their quick action to, and I quote, "end their relationship with [me]." After 5 years of dedication, loyalty, and personal defiance of all the evils the outside world would say about my beloved employer; Target fired me over a return which created a $50 loss to the store. And that's it. That's all of it. I did not steal, I did not pocket any products, and to quell a rumor that I still get phone calls about, I did not rape anyone on the clock. If that last one was true don't you think I would be in jail right now?

Five years, then poof, gone. I always volunteered when help was needed. I always traveled when other stores need help (the best was the 2 and a half weeks I spent in Auburn as Human Resources), and I gave up precious time with my ever shrinking family because "they" needed a closer in a position that only I knew. I interned with them, and was even on the right road to becoming an ETL. But all that didn't matter. Once again they saw a return, which gave a guest a $50 gift card, not cash or a refund to their credit card, but in-store credit, as an error.

Even now I feel I did the right thing. I was helping a guest who, for lack of a better term, I fell prey to their sob story. She was old and got the classic runaround from the operators, and her receipt was about to expire, so I wanted to help her out. Target's revenue for Christmas '07 was $19,900,000,000.00. So what is $50 in store credit? I mean just the day before I saw Debbie (the store manager) give a guest a $30 gift card just to shut her up. Nevertheless, I was wrong and $50 dollars is all it took to terminate my employment. Not a suspension, dock in pay, final warning for a year, or a letter of reprimand; all of which you would receive if you worked in a public institution or at the very least a union job.

They may have taken my job, I would not let them take my pride. I walked out of there with a smile on my face and my head held high. Because, in the end, that's all you have left.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Coming Home With Happiness In A Bottle

There is no more room and there is still beer left! It almost feels as if we live in a mini-mart right now.

We might have gone a little bit overboard, but we have 5 cases of the North Coast's finest Ales! That's 120 bottles of beer!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bar Hopping In Eureka

Enough said
~Blake

A Drinking Weekend

Nothing like a weekend off to go drinking in Eureka! I mean come on, there are 4 breweris in 10 miles!

By the way, yes, Toph is wearing a bath robe.