Chicago & Michigan: Here I Come

March 26th, 2009

I found out today I’ve been picked to attend the Lockheed Martin Candidate Dinner (we take out everyone who accepted a job to Lockheed) in April. That means I’ll be in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, April 14th! Anyone in AA should come say hi!

Since I’ll be in AA, I figured it would be a good excuse to go to Chicago too. So I’m going to fly into Chicago on Friday night (April 10) and be there for the weekend. Anyone in Chicago should come visit me too!

That is all. I have a splitting headache :(

-PikaJew

Back at Work and My Accidental Call to 911

March 25th, 2009

One of the main reasons I haven’t been doing too many blog posts lately is because I can’t access my website from work. Well, that’s changed…. kinda. Work used to block everything, and then allowed certain websites. If you wanted access to a website, you had to fill out a form requesting it. Obviously I couldn’t do that for my own website since they wouldn’t approve it. But now, they’ve given us a way to access sites that we trust. Since it’s my own website, I trust its contents. Thus, I’ll start posting blog updates a bit more frequently.

Yesterday I was at lunch and my work BlackBerry started to ring. It’s fairly new and only a really small number of people have the number (like, 2 people), and usually they’ll call my personal cell-phone¬†anyways. I thought it was strange, but the number was a Palo Alto number, so I answered it.

Phone: “Hi this is 911 emergency services. We received a call from this number. Do you require emergency assistance.”
Me: “umm…. no, I’m fine. I um…. my pocket must have accidently dialed the number. I’m sorry!”
911: “No problem sir, thank you for letting us know.”

So yea, good to know that they follow up! I feel much safer now. OK, back to work!

-Pika

The Dharma Bums

February 26th, 2009

“This book has helped me learn about life. It tapped into my want to ‘live it all’ and encouraged me to not shake of my whims but to pursue my dreams + dare to think for myself. This book is about not being tame, it is about embracing life and being yourself. Read this – and go out and be a WILD THING! Happy 19th B-day. Laura”

Laura wrote that on a small gift card, with the picture of a Wild Thing on the front. She gave me “The Dharma Bums” by Jack Kerouac for my 20th birthday (I think she was off by a year) and I’ve read the book 3 or 4 times now. Not only has this book been a huge motivation in my life, but every time I read the card she left me, it makes me want to go out and live life and follow my dreams.

Lately I’ve been in a funky mood — trying to figure out what’s going on with my life. I keep turning to this book, and his card for some inspiration.

I know it’s been a while since my last post. I’ll try to start posting more regularly.

By the way, I’ll quote a line from the book that seems to be pretty motivational: “O wise and serene spirit of Awakenherhood, everything’s all right forever and forever and forever and thank you thank you thank you amen.”

-Pika

Visit me!

January 29th, 2009

I haven’t posted in a while and I promise I will upadte soon, but for now I’m just leaving a quick message:

The following people better visit me, or bad things will happen:
-gil
-Steph
-heather
-brian

The following people I would love to come visit me but are excused from absolutly having to come for various reasons (ex: they’ve already visited and rock my socks)
-julie
-luke
-kyle

So yea, come visit me or else!

-pika

Sessions Sale!

December 8th, 2008

I’m making this post from my phone, so it may be short and even incoherent with lots of typos. Please forgive me.

I was in Huntsville Alamaba last week for a review of some hardware that we make. We make test missiles for the government to try to shoot down. I got to see some really neat stuff and we stopped at NASA’s rocket museum where I got to see the Saturn V rocket (it’s the one that launched all the Apollo missions — to the moon and stuff!). It was pretty damn cool!

I got back on Friday, went for a run (I ran 10 miles last week, I was super proud of myself!), and then cleaned up the apartment and went and got food before people came over for dinner. I made veggie stir fry and sesame chicken (from scratch). I was really worried the sesame chicken would suck, but it came out REALLY good!
Everyone was impressed. The dinner was ctuslly really nice because there were only 6 of us. We had a really good time hanging out and Martin even did the dishes for us! I’ll have to post re sesame chicken recipe on here at some point when I’m on a real computer.

Saturday I woke up early and drove down to Santa Cruz and went to the Sessions sale. Sessions is an outdoor clothing company that makes some awesome ski clothing. I got myself another pair of ski pants (goretex, $230 pants for $120), some ski socks, and thermal shirt and pants. I also got Ben and Katy new ski jackets (the one I got for ben was a $350 jacket that I got for $110!). Katy wanted a new jacket but was stuck at work and couldn’t go to the sale. She wanted something bright colored (so see stand out) in a small. The only thing in a small was black or brown bit I found this awesome jacket in a medium that is red and had a swet design on it. I asked if they had it in a small but it turns out the jacket is a one of a kind sample embroidery. I had a girl about Katy’s size try it on and it fit so I got it for her. I dropped it off a he parents house (Which was only 5 minutes away) and ended up staying and talking to her parents for about 45 minutes. I love her parents! I drove home, grabbed by friend John, grabbed some sammichies from Alottas (yum) and then spent 40 minutes convincing Kira not to bail on our ice-skating “date” (she’s my fake girlfriend and we go on fake dates). Eventually she gave in, met us at my place and we went and took the train into SF. We got to union square only to find that the ice rink had a line until 5 hours later so we have up and went shopping instead. We made Kira try on all these clothes and she got a shirt from Banana. John left to meet up with his girlfriend and Kira and I went to the mission to andrews housewarming party. His apartment was awesome, I saw a bunch of my old college HKN friends and it was a lot of fun! Kira got tired so we left early and I got back to bed by 11 (which was really nice!).

Sunday I woke up early, picked up carl and Adrienne and went back to be sessions sale. I promised Adrienne I would take her but she couldn’t go on saturday. I had to get a smaller siR in the themal shirt, so it worked out for me. Carl and Adrienne both got a bunch of stuff and then we had to head back so I could get to the 49ers game. Sadly we got stuck in a ton of traffic and i was super late for the game with Kira. We got stuck trying to find a place to park and we didn’t get into the game until there was only 4 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. The game was fun, the 49ers beat the jets and the seats we had were in row 4! We got back to my place fairly quickly, and I helped Sasha clean up the apartment. Her Alaskan Boy (huge crush) flew in, we grabbed drinks and dinner and then came home and I finished Clive Cusslers latest book while they caught up.

The end. I’m really tired of tpikg on here. Game over!

-Pika

Ahhh-luhhh-BAAAAh-muh

December 2nd, 2008

I’m pretty bored right now. And by pretty bored, I mean reaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllyyyyyy bored. I’m also really f-in full. I don’t normally swear on here, and I don’t even feel comfortable saying it abbreviated like I just did, but I needed some word that described how really full I am. I’m in Hunstville, Alabama on a business trip. My boss and I went to the Macaroni Grille where I had a yummy steak with mashed potatoes and fresh bruschetta and then topped it off with this chocolate cake tiramisu thingy that was delish. We also ordered a bottle of their House Chianti, which turned out to be like twice the size of a normal bottle. I think we polished off maybe 1/3 of it. Oh well.

All I did today was eat and drink. I take that back, because I felt like that’s all I did, so I went down to the fitness center in the hotel and ran 2 miles. I needed something to make the food not feel like it was sitting in my stomach. Unfortunately, as soon as I showered, I went out to dinner and now I feel like I’ve got a baby sitting in my tummy. Not cool!

Hammy and Brenda decided to accompany me on this trip. I hadn’t brought them on a trip with me in a long time and since I had room in my bags, I figured I would finally take my travel companions with me. I (or my friends) have been taking them around the world and taking pictures of them in each place. Hammy’s now been to Canada (Vancouver), Hawaii, Greece, Bali, Thailand, England, Chicago, Michigan, Connecticut, Tahoe, DC, Colorado, and maybe a couple other places I’ve forgotten. Pretty nifty for him!

I’ve decided I’m going to get a membership to the rock climbing gym near us (Planet Granite). Pretty much everyone I know has or is getting a membership, and Zack took me once and it was a lot of fun. Lockheed will pay ~$250/year for a fitness membership, so that’ll help pay for it. I need to get certified to belay, otherwise it sucks for whoever I go with.

Ok, enough blog posting for one day. Peace!

-Pika

Pictures, Thanksgiving (Finally updates!)

November 30th, 2008

Finally a blog update! It’s been a while since I posted on here! I keep meaning to post more, but it’s difficult since my website is blocked at work and I don’t spend too much time on my computer when I’m home from work.

First things first: photo updates! I’ve posted (or will be posting) a couple new albums:

  • Blue Angels, from the middle of October
  • Windy Hill Hike, with Speneva, Alicia, and Brian, a couple weeks ago (I accidentally deleted the pictures!)
  • Thanksgiving Photos, these are actually recent.

I’ll include links to the albums once they’re up on SmugMug.

So what have I been up to? I guess a lot’s been going on, but then again, not much has been going on. I’ve been taking Tango lessons at Stanford every Wednesday. It’s been a lot of fun, but it can be somewhat frustrating as well. The class is in a small dance studio at Stanford, and something like 60 people show up — we don’t fit in the room too well. I end up running into stupid people since there’s not enough room. There’s also usually more guys than girls and I will often be left without a partner (we switch partners every song). Sasha (my roommate) takes me to the “Practica” session on Mondays (like it sounds, it’s just a practice). She teaches me some things and also lets me practice the things that I learned the week before. Sasha’s been dancing Tango for a couple years, so she’s really good and because of her, I’ve been getting good really quickly. I met a couple girls who are also beginners at the Practica and I’ve been dancing with them a bunch. They’re both pretty good and fun to dance with, so I try to dance with them at the lessons whenever I can. And in case you’re wondering, they both have boyfriends who also dance Tango but haven’t caught on as quickly as I have, so I’ve been helping the boyfriends dance as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not that good at all, I still walk around in circles instead of dancing, but I do figure out the steps quicker than many of the guys. Anyways, Tango has been fun, and I’m almost at the point where I can dance. Right now though, I’m still just walking around in circles.

A couple months ago I got convinced by the SF Symphony to buy a 4-pack of 2 tickets to the symphony. They threw in 2 free tickets to a 5th concert. I’ve been to 2 concerts, in addition to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, which is how they got my info to convince me to get the 4-pack. The first Symphony we saw was a Bruckner symphony, which was pretty good. There was this weird Piano Concerto by Lutoslawski, which was really weird and Sasha and I didn’t like it. It sounded like music for a scary movie – with spiders crawling around and stuff. The other Symphony I went to was Beethoven’s Pastoral Symhony (Symphony No 6) with a Haydn Symphony before it. Both of them were great, but Adrienne and I really loved the Postral — we really could feel/hear/see the countryside where he wrote it. Each movement had a different theme, for example one movement sounded like a thunderstorm (with the loud timpani), another sounded like we were reclining by a brook, and another one felt warming like we were sitting out in the sun. I still have 2 more concerts to go to, although I may buy a couple more depending on ski season.

Speaking of ski season: it’s almost here. Unfortunately we haven’t had any snow (ok, one storm a month ago, but that doens’t count at this point). I went to one of the Ski Shops and bought a pair of last years rental skis for $50. I’ll use them at the begining of the season when there’s snow, but not enough to cover all the rocks. Last year my ski’s got all scraped up by skiing over rocks that you couldn’t tell were rocks until you went over them. Since I bought brand new skis at the end of last year, I don’t want to scrape those up. Thus, I’ll ski the crap outa my $50 skis and not worry if they get all torn up. \

For Thanksgiving I took a couple days off from work and flew back to CT. I got home Friday night and hung out with the family for a bit. On Saturday, Ben and I watched the Michigan game (ugh, it was awful). We went to the high school musical in the evening, which was actually really good despite the fact that it was 3 hours long! On Sunday my mom and I went shopping and I came home with something like 6 sweaters and a jacket (from Express, Aeropastle, Hollister). On Monday my mom and I drove up CT a bit and did some more shopping (I got another couple sweaters and light jacket from H&M and a different Express). We drove a little bit further and went to the Outlets where I got some new PJ’s and despite telling myself I was done spending money, I couldn’t resist the Under Armor with Michigan colors. I needed some more thermal undergarments for skiing and I really couldn’t pass up the Michigan looking one! We stopped at this little pub for lunch and was surprised with a really good bread-bowl of Clam Chowder (mmmm, still tasty). On Tuesday I drove into New York to visit my grandparents in New Rochelle. I had lunch with them, hung out a bit, and then drove back home. On Wednesday I hung out the house and then Ben got home early and we went down to the beach where we took Dash for a walk (which he loves, since he’s a cute little doggy). In the afternoon, I took the train into the city and spend the night with Jaime (and her twin sister Lisa). I made Tilapia and Zucchini Pancakes for them and then we went to a club called “Duvee” (it had beds and stuff) for a Jewish singles event. It was super lame, mostly older men who were extremely awkward and didn’t know how to talk to people. But we had a couple drinks and then called it a night. Jaime and I ended up staying up until something like 5am talking about life, relationships, and just catching up. I had planned on getting up early and going ice-skaing or something, but I woke up at noon and had enough time to eat breakfast and then catch the train back to Westport so I could help my mom get ready for Thanksgiving. I helped get things ready and then we drove over to my grandparents (they also live in Westport) where my cousins and grandparents had already arrived. We ate some appetizers and then my dad and uncle carved the 2 Turkeys and we ate a yummy meal. I think my favorite part were the desserts: all the pies and brownies (the turkey was also really good though)! My brothers and my cousin (who is a couple months older than me) and I went to go see the movie “Role Models” which was really good/funny! On Friday we hung around the house, raked some leaves, ate some more food, and then I packed and went to bed. I flew home Saturday morning and as soon as I landed, decided I needed to go for a run to burn off all the food that I ate. I did a lil over a 2 mile run, showered, did laundry, and then went to Target to get a mirror and then picked up my new skis which had been sized for my boot and waxed/edged.

I’ll try to post more frequently. For now, I’m back to picture editing.
-Pika

Tundig Pictures Update #4

October 26th, 2008

This will be the last time I post any updates on the pictures. After this, they’ll be online and ready for everyone to look at! In fact, I was debating even making a new post for this, but I figured I’d just keep with the tradition and make a new one. I’ve come a good way through most of the photos! I’ve gone through all the indoor pictures and most of the ones with people in it. Now I’m just down to the 60 or so nature photos that I took. I also decided to remove about 8 pictures from the collection due to the fact that they were part of my “sign montage” that I want to put together (but they don’t need to be part of the Tundig collection). So the number shrinks even more!

Also, it looks like I won’t be uploading these until Monday or Tuesday. Sorry guys! I don’t think I’ll finish editing them until Monday and it may take me a long time to tag all the pictures with the keywords that I like to include (I like to include tags for everyone in the picture, plus what the picture is. Ex: “fall, autumn, Michigan, Tundig, Wine Tasting, L. Mawby, Winery, Wine, Sign, Trees” for the picture of the L. Mawby sign with the trees in the background).

Photo Status:
Photos Taken: 1421
Photos Removed: 1158
Current # of Photos: 264 (18.58% of original #)
# Photos Edited: 228 (86.36%)

-Pika

Tundig Pictures Update #3 (Getting Closer!)

October 25th, 2008

Well, we’ve hit the first milestone – I’ve selected all the pictures for the weekend and now it’s time to start edit-edit-edit! I’m selected a set of 273 pictures from the 1400 that we took. After the Michigan game, I’ll start processing them. I’d imagine I’ll have photos posted by Sunday night!

Update: I got through editing a bunch of them. I’ve still got about half to go, but I’m getting there! Boo to Michigan football as well.

Photo Status:
Photos Taken: 1421
Photos Removed: 1148
Current # of Photos: 273 (19.21% of original #)
# Photos Edited: 122 (44.69%)

-Pika

Tundig Pictures Update #2

October 25th, 2008

Another update: I’ve been permanently deleting (to answer Heather’s question) the bad photos that I could care less about. If I think I might want the photo at some point but don’t really care about it (for example: a decent picture of Heather, but I’ve got 2348 better ones) then I delete it from Lightroom but leave it on my computer. This means that when I post them online, those pictures won’t be in the gallery, but if I need it, I’ve still got a copy on my HD. So I imported all the pictures into lightroom today and I was able to sort by “Capture Time”, which helped me delete about another 100 that Heather and I took of the same thing. I also had a couple I needed to compare side-by-side in Lightroom. Sometimes you change the exposure and one may look better, but a simple quick fix in Lightroom may make the other one better. So yea, I’m about 25 photos away from my goal of 300, and then from there I can windle down a bit more. Hopefully I’m still looking on track for my Monday/Tuesday posting of all the pictures!

Photo Status:
Photos Taken: 1421
Photos Removed: 1098
Current # of Photos: 323 (22.7%)
# Photos away from Goal of 200: 123
# Photos Edited: 6 (1.86%)

-Pika