Tundig Pictures Update #1

October 22nd, 2008

I got through all of Heather’s tonight, and then went back through some of mine and got rid of some that Heather had better shots. I’ll combine them and sort by “Date Taken” tomorrow and then start editing/weeding down. I don’t think I’ll get down to 200, but I’m thinking 300 might be doable. Right now we’re at 420.

Photo Status:
Photos Taken: 1421
Photos Removed: 1001
Current # of Photos: 420 (29.56%)
# Photos away from Goal of 200: 220
# Photos Edited: 1 (0.23%)

-Pika

Michigan Trip

October 22nd, 2008

It’s been wayyyyy too long since I last posted on here (with something real). Unfortunately, this post is going to be lacking. It’s 11:37pm right now and I’m just exhausted. I got in around 10pm last night and was up until about midnight unpacking and settling down. Today I ran at the gym, lifted, got my abs destroyed in Abs Class, and then played Softball at 9pm where we won 18-6 and I went 4-4 with 2 singles, a double and a triple.

Let me say this though: the Michigan trip was awesomely amazing. It was prob. one of the best weekends I’ve ever had, if not the best. There was something about it that just made it sparkle. Part of it was the company and part of it was the landscape and part of it was just the utter relaxation that we had up there. Michigan is absolutely gorgeous this time of the year and I ended up with about 1400 photos between Heather and I. I’ll post more on the trip later, and apologies to Heather, but I think the only 2 other people who actually read this, weren’t able to make it (although you were in my thoughts all weekend). We’re all pissed at Gil for not coming, so if you read this Gil, you’re in trouble!

I will take this brief period to give an update on how the pictures are coming. I’ve gone through the pictures I’ve taken and knocked the 650 pictures down to about 310. Unfortunately, I still have the 790 pictures from Heathers cameras to go through. My goal is to get hers down to about 300 tomorrow (Wed) night. If I have some time on Thursday I’d like to go through the combined 600 photos and knock those down to about 350-400. From there, I’ll start editing them. In the end I’d like to end up with about 200-300. Ideally I’d like the # to be 200 but judging by how many I have, I think the number could creep up to 300. That’s a lot of pictures for people to go through so I’d really like to hit the smaller number — we’ll just have to wait and see. I’d estimate having things ready around Monday or Tuesday. I know it’s a long time but I like to go through and at least touch up every photo in some way (even if it’s just to give it Adobe’s “Punch” and make things a bit crisper).

I’ll post updates on the progress of the pictures on here, so if you’re interested to see how they’re coming, check back.

Photo Status:
Photos Taken: 1421
Photos Removed: 319
Current # of Photos: 1102 (77%)
# Photos away from Goal of 200: 902
# Photos Edited: 1 (0.09%)

-Pika

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

October 4th, 2008

I went home last weekend and we spent an evening with my cousins and grandparents. My grandmother made this awesome Coffee Cake, so I asked her for the recipe. Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb. butter – soft
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Filling:

  • 6 oz. Nestle Semi-Sweet Morsels
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:
Using a Springform pan

  1. Preheat over to 350Ëš F.
  2. Grease Springform pan.
  3. Put about 1/2 the batter into the Springform.
  4. Put about 1/2 the filling into the Springform, on top of the batter.
  5. Put the rest of the batter in the Springform, on top of the filling.
  6. Put the rest of the filling in the Sprongform, on top of the batter.
  7. Bake 40-45 min. Use a toothpick to test.

Happy Birthday Gil, Happy Anniversary Mom/Dad

September 16th, 2008

Today is both Gil’s birthday as well as my parents anniversary. Happy celebrations to them! If you see Gil, send him food, a flower, or a present. He’s sadly all lonely with nobody to celebrate with this year, and it makes me sad just thinking about it. If he were here I’d treat him to a lovely pizza bagel, his favorite meal ever.

It’s been a while since I last posted. I went back to Michigan, which was awesome. I saw Anna, Luke, Brian, and some others of our old crew. It was a really nice weekend and I watched Michigan Football win a game (yay)! This weekend I had people over to my apartment and we watched the sad game against Notre Dame. We had a fun time despite the outcome of the game. We did highly enjoy OSU getting their butt kicked worse than ours did.

I also went and saw Beethoven’s 9th Symphony performed by the San Francisco Symphony. I had actually gotten 4 tickets (thinking I could find a date, or Katy would go with me, and that 2 of my friends wanted to join) and ended up with nobody to go with (obviously Katy didn’t work out, and I forgot my friend said “check with me before you buy the tickets” and wasnt’ able to come since I forgot to check). At the last minute I found a guy at work who wanted to go (I actually went with him to the Linkin Park concert) and his mom joined us. We went early and listened to the 30 minute lecture on the Symphony that was before the concert. It was really interesting to hear them talk about the different parts of the music, the humor that Beethoven added, etc. The Symphony was absolutely AWESOME. I’m so glad I got to go!

So the real reason I wanted to post was because a couple people that still read this may be interested to know…… it seems that I will most likely be making a Lockheed Martin Interview trip out to Ann Arbor on Tues/Wed October 14 and 15th. It also appears that Tundig IV is planned for Friday October 17th and it would make perfect sense to stay the weekend and partake in Tundig. So I think that’s what I’m going to do. My plan is to work from Ann Arbor on Thursday and then join in on the Tundig festivities. I’ll know 100% that I’ll be coming once I get final confirmation from HR to book my plane tickets. But as it stands, I’m mostly likely going to be coming for the reunion. I’m pretty excited to spend a weekend with all my favorite friends!

Anyways, off to bed. Nite nite.

-Pika

P.S: If you talk to Gil, convince him to join in on Tundig. He can study for his exams with us!

Super Yummy Banana Bread

September 1st, 2008

We had a couple leftover bananas that had gone too brown to eat so I decided to make banana bread today. I searched around for a couple recipes, found a couple online, and then adapted one that I found on SimpleRecipes here. I ended up under cooking the bread and had an entire gooshy mooshy section in the middle, but the cooked parts on the outside were amazing, so I present to you Aaron’s Super Yummy Banana Bread:

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed (note 1)
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar (white)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Orange Juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Combine:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ËšF
  2. Mash the bananas if they’re not already mashed (note 1)
  3. Mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl
  4. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla, and Orange Juice
  5. Sprinkle in the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon over the mixture and mix in
  6. Add the flour and mix
  7. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan.
  8. Sprinkle the top with a little bit of cinnamon
  9. Bake for 1 hour (note 2)
  10. Cool on a rack, remove from pan and slice to serve

Notes:

Note 1: I used a mashed potato beater thingy. You want them all nice and squished and almost liquidy.
Note 2: Make sure the banana bread is cooked. I took it out after 45 minutes and the center was a big thing of mush. I definitely recommend an hour, if not more. It all depends on the way your oven cooks.
Note 3: Don’t overcook the banana bread or it’ll dry out and be all icky.
Note 4: Let the banana bread cool completely before covering it or wrapping it in saran wrap. The edges will get icky if you do.
Note 5: I used large bananas. We also had a couple small bananas that I counted about 1.5 small bananas = 1 normal banana.

New Lens, Nikon’s New D90, Michigan, and More

August 31st, 2008

It seems hard to post these days since I can’t make posts when I’m bored at work. I actually haven’t had too many “boring” slow days at work. I’m getting in full swing with my new rotation and I’m still supporting my old job a couple hours a day and a couple hours of overtime every night. My new job is pretty nice. I now work for one of Vice Presidents, which is both stressful and really interesting. It’s stressful in the sense that I want to impress him and show him that I do good work but it’s been so scary that I’m a bit intimidated to ask him to get me more involved. I have to put up my fears and just do it. At the same time, it’s been great exposure and I’ve been meeting a lot of the executives in the company. The overtime hasn’t been too bad because I’ve just plopped the laptop on my lap while we watch Alias (or at the time, the Olympics). The extra money isn’t bad either, because I haven’t exactly been saving my money either.

I decided to buy a Macro lens for my camera. I almost plopped down $800 on the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens but at the last minute I decided to rent it from the local photo shop. It was a good thing too because after I let the “SF Bay Area Photo Shooters” Yahoo Group know, a nice lady (that happened to live just down the street) ended up selling me here extra Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro lens. The lens has been great so far and I’ve been really pleased with some of the shots. Take a head on over to SmugMug to view my Macro photos.

Nikon recently announced their D90, a new SLR body that is basically the successor to my camera, which comes complete with a better 13 megapixel sensor, and even cooler, the ability to record HD (720p) video! Video’s on an SLR seems awesome to me because you can take advantage of the nice glass (lenses) that I already have! To all the people that say “why do you need to do video with an SLR?” I say “why not?” Obviously it’s not going to replace a camcorder, but if you have a random situation where you said “I wish I had that in nice video” — now your camera (which is more handy than a camcorder) has that feature! If only money grew on trees I’d get the D90. But I’m happy with my D80, it’s a great little guy. I just feel bad for Heather who just bought her D80 a couple weeks ago and now Nikon just out of the blue comes out with this. Oh well, such is life.

I also decided to throw down some money and make a spontaneous trip to Michigan. I had been hoping I’d get to go out in September for recruiting but I wasn’t picked this year (I was actually quite devastated). I want to see a football game, see how the campus has changed, check out the new BTB bar/restaurant thingy, and see a bunch of people. I realized Luke and Brian are around and Abe’s (one of my roommates from my gradschool year) still living in Ann Arbor. It should be a fun time!

I was randomly looking at my backup HD’s today and I just had to laugh at the folder sizes of my pictures:

  • California 2006: 4.02 GB
  • California 2007: 10.24 GB
  • California 2008: 26.72 GB (to date, for an estimated (36 GB by the end of the year).

I think I’m going to need to upgrade HD space at some point just to store all these damn pictures!

Alright, I’m tired, off to bed.

-Pika

Boo to NBC

August 15th, 2008

So I’ve been watching the olympics pretty much all night as soon as I get home. I’m a big fan of womens beach volleyball, softball, and swimming. Michael Phelps has been amazing. I’ve felt really bad for Katy Hoff. She keeps just *almost* winning gold but just dies at the end. Oh! Gymnastics has been awesome too! I have a small crush on Nastia Luikin (she’s 18, don’t worry) and a major crush on Caitlin Lowe (center fielder for USA softball). My comcast cable box has an HD DVR built in (even though we said we didn’t want it) so I’ve been recording everything in HD. The problem is that I can only record 2 channels at 1 time and there’s 3 HD channels.

So my biggest complaint is how NBC handles the viewing in the west coast. They decided that they’d display the races at the hour (aka 3 hours after) that they air in the east coast. What this means is that it’s actually 3 hours *after* the east coast sees it. NBC keeps calling it “live” but it’s not live – it’s 3 hours behind live! I already know all the outcomes way way before I get to watch them. LAME!

Anyways, enough iPhone blog posting. Back to watching the tv.

-Pika

Silly Lockheed

August 12th, 2008

I’m writing this post from my iPhone because Lockheed decided to block my website. They did som crazy website blockin lately and I’m surprised we can still get to *any* webpages at this point!

So my body is recovering… kinda. On Friday I went to the nose doctor and he took a look by sticking a giant camera up my nose. Turns out he hitthis nerve in my nose which causes the body to cut blood flow to the brain and made me pass out. I didn’t know I was out cold until I woke up. The doctor said he’s never seen someone react to the touch as quick as my body did- go go super reactions! Other than that he said I was ok but I’d have to get my sinuses checked every year to make sure there aren’t any odd things growing in my sinus.

Friday I went down to the beach in Santa cruz with the interns. Idroce one of my co-workers down and it was a good thing too because I lost a contact while on the beach and couldn’t drive home! Half the contact was still in my eye and I couldn’t get it out! It wasn’t until the next morning ad I was getting ready to make an emergency visit to the eye doctor that I got it. I still went to the doctor and they said I need to wear my contacts less (there was visible fatigue). I ha also bought my mauwi jim sunglasses there and they cracked for a *second* time and I wanted to have the doctors office send them back.

Sunday was pretty relaxing. The silicon valley michigan club had a “taste of ann arbor” event and they had stucchis, cottage inn and zingermans there! It was super tummy and we got all excited (and scared) for football in 2-3 weeks!

I’ve been watching a bunch of the olympics in HD on my sweet tv. The 4×100 mend relay was AMAZING! U watched the US softball team destroy venezuela last night. It was sweet and I have a new crush: caitlin lowe. Look her up – she’s a softball godess (if I ever believe in polytheisism).

Ok, enough typing on the iPhone. So long!

-Pika

The Power of Negotiating

August 5th, 2008

For the most part my leadership conference was a bust. I didn’t feel like they went over anything that was ground breaking, or even above common sense. Most of the courses taught said “Leadership is blah blah blah or “this blah blah blah stuff happens in the work force blah blah blech.” They didn’t really tell us anything that most of us have seen for ourselves. I, personally, would have loved to see something about “here’s how you deal with these situations” or “here are organizational tips so that you can get your team to work more effectively and more efficiently.” The one good class we had was on “Finance for Engineers” and even that started to go bad. Last year we had a finance class that talked about the Corporation Wide Finance stuff — Return on Investment, Return on Sales, etc. This year they started going over the same things until I asked specifically to learn about what we, as future managers, would need to know about budgets, finances, etc; that’s when he turned the class into the stuff we needed to know.

One of the other classes has turned out to be the most useful, although it took me a couple days and a real world experience to see how useful it really was. We had a class on Negotiation Basics and for the most part it was kinda obvious: there’s 5 different kinds of negotiators (compromisers, blah blah, i forget the other 4 by name but it’s like: the ones that try to do equal for the two, the ones that try to get the most benefit for the two, the ones who look for benefit for themselves, etc). The one useful thing I got out of the class was actually a story that the presentor told. She mentioned how she went to a tile store (or some store) where they had a sign up for “50% off Sale, ends Saturday.” It was Sunday, but the sign was still up. She managed to convince the store to give her the sale since the sign was still up.

After all this, what’s the point of this post? Two weeks ago I decided to print a bunch of my photos (“umm… I thought you were getting to the point of this post.” Just wait, I will!). I printed about 20 of my favorite photos from the past year or two (a couple from Yosemite, a couple from Greece, etc). Costco was the cheapest but they messed up my cropping and about half the pictures were ruined (they cropped off the parts I actually wanted to see). Since all my pictures are on SmugMug I decided to try them out for my re-do’s. Not only were the croppings correct, but the colors, clarity, and sharpness were all better on the SmugMug prints. So now I had 20 printed pictures lying on the floor in my room. They needed frames…. badly! Sasha and I drove to the local Michaels (and arts and crafts store). Turns out we too had just missed the 40% off sale, by a day. The guy had told Sasha we could come back in a week for their next sale but I didn’t really want to wait. I managed to use my negotiation skills: “If we buy 15 frames, will you give us the 40% off sale from last week.” He looked at me, thought about it for a second and said “If you buy 15, I’ll give you the sale!” So sure enough, Sasha and I bough about 15 frames between the two of us. I also walked out with a Mat Cutter Set (retail value $110, but I only paid $65), to which he pulled out next weeks coupons and applied the “40% off 1 item” to it. The dude and my negotiating skills just saved me $160 and Sasha about $50! Wahoo.

Change of topic: This week is going to be hectic. Everyone in my 5 person group is basically out of town except for me — reporting to the big VP head honcho himself! It’s a bit intimidating, but I suppose now is my time to shine. The only problem is that tomorrow and wednesday is the day that the interns are doing their presentations, and as co-lead of the presentation committee, I’m supposed to help out. Today I was at work till about 7:15pm printing stuff and getting ready for tomorrow. Unfortunately I’ll be in an all-day meeting and won’t get to see the interns give their presentations! :( Ce la ve I suppose.

I watched the “Jungles” Planet Earth video today. I managed to get a HD copy in 720p on a DVD from a co-worker. It looks absolutely AWESOME on my big plasma tv.

Bed time, 11:30pm is too late when I need to be up at 6am!

-Pika

iPhone, Denver, Broken Face, and More

July 30th, 2008

It’s been a long time since I last posted and since it’s 12:25am I think I’m going to make it a quick post. Here’s a quick rundown of all the things I’ve been up to:

- I was out in Denver a couple weeks ago for some work related stuff. I went with my manager and co-worker and we went to 3 of the sites in the Denver area, all in a little over a 24 hour period. It was actually quite successfull and I racked up almost another 2k frequent flier miles.

- I stood in line on July 10th to get an iPhone. I got to the Apple Store at the Stanford Mall at 6am and was the 35th person in line. Apparently the mall wasn’t allowing anyone to line up until 5am (it’s an outdoor mall) so it wasn’t too hard getting a phone. I had more problems activating/setting up the phone than getting one. I got my number transferred over and everything is all good. It’s such a fun toy!
- Last Tuesday I was playing softball and we went into extra innings. We scored a couple runs in the top half of the inning and in the bottom half the other team started to make a come back. One of the girls on the other team hit a high fly ball into foul territory that I started to chase down. Unfortunately I lost the ball in the lights and didn’t find it again until it smacked me right in the forehead. I feel somewhat embarrased to say that my first broken bone came at the expense of a softball. The bone broke in 3 places around my nose area (see Smumug for pictures). I don’t need plastic surgery, I don’t have any eye damage, and I should be A-OK. I do have a couple black eyes right now.

- Hanging out with Sasha (my new roommate) has been great. She’s kept me busy and we’ve had a lot of fun!

- I went wine tasting last weekend. I came back with 4 bottles of wine (prob. about 2 bottles more than I had expected to come home with). I stopped by Frogs Leap to see if they could squeeze us in but they were all booked up for the day. They did let us sip a Merlot on their porch. Turns out that 2 of the ladies working there used to work at Goosecross and were the ones that always poured when we stopped by. Since they knew me, they managed to squeeze me in next weekend. A couple co-workers couldn’t come with us last week so I decided to make another trip this coming saturday. Yay!

- I’m in Denver (well, actually in the mountains at Keystone Resort) this week for a leadership conference. So far I’ve been dissapointed with the conference, but I’ll give more feedback when it’s over.

Off to bed. Night ya’ll.

-Aaron