Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Interesting tidbits from this last trip.

Overheard at the airport:
“I know he’s still in jail now, but he’s getting out soon and I heard he’s putting the band together and they’re totally going to take off and be huge!’

I had to control myself to not slap this girl and shake the crap out of her.

On the flight back:
A couple of the players from the little league championship team was on the same flight as me. One notable player was the kid that hit the game winning home run. The pilot announced that the kids were onboard and the plane cheered pretty loudly for a while.

Go Team! USA! USA! USA!!

I don’t think I can ever live in New Jersey. Nothing personal against people who live there. I’m sure there are plenty of lovely people there, but I don’t think it’s the place for me.

I always get cran-apple juice on the plane.

After another delay, I got home around 11pm. I had to start working till about 2am. I seriously need to do something about this. This is so wrong.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pup's Movie Review

Tonight Starring: Stardust

I saw this movie this weekend and I gotta tell you, other than knowing that Neil Gaiman (author of the sandman series) wrote and produced this movie, I didn’t know what this movie was about. Since I’m a big fan of Sandman and Claire Danes, that was enough to get me to go.

This movie was a very welcome surprise in the fantasy genre in a summer full of sequels. Sure, the overall plot has been done several times (nerdy boy searches for love, nerdy boy transforms to hero to save the girl, they live happily ever after), but this movie does a good job in putting a new angle on the storytelling. For those of you that tries to 'figure out' the movie instead of enjoying the story telling, cut it out. It's not that you couldn't figure out the plot and ending of the movie within the first 5 min of the movie, but you'll miss out on the beauty of this movie which is the storytelling.

Also, different than many movies this summer, this wasn’t a movie that seemed like just a 2 hour commercial (e.g., transformers) for its merchandise.

If you liked the Princess Bride from many years ago, I think you’ll like this movie as well. There are many elements in Stardust that are similar, but not so much as it seems like a copy. The supporting cast for this film is wonderful. You’ll see Robert De Niro as you’ve never seen him before and I don’t know what kind of movie magic they did on Michelle Pfeiffer, but she looked amazing.

Besides the story, what I found amazing was the soundtrack. I believe the composer is Ilan Eshkeri and he did a very good job in a score that really help emphasis the emotions of the scenes (especially the chase and fight scenes) and the mystifying setting of a fantasy movie.

Overall, this was a great fantasy romance movie. Those of you that know me know that I like the cheesy movies, and this is surely one of the better ones I’ve seen in a while.

Go see this movie. Take a date. You won’t be disappointed.

Official Pup Rating – 2 Paws up

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

End of Season Summer 07’

For those of us who doesn’t play at the club level, the end of season summer league tournament is pretty much the biggest tournament all year. After months of regular league play, this was the chance to shine with all the teams playing together (over 35!).

I’m not going to say that I haven’t been a bit disappointed with the season this year. Unlike the other years, I got on a really good team this summer. Looking at the roster we were sure to be a top 10 team. Especially after winning the spring league with the majority of the same people, we were suppose to be in the elite group.

It all started falling apart after a very impressive first week when we won all of our games. We easily beat the 4 teams that we played. One of our main players got hurt. It was like a disease as the injuries spread to over half the team. All but one of our best players was hurt during most of the season. A few of us had some bad traveling schedules that didn’t let us go to the games, so we played short handed most of the season.

The week before the end of season tournament was the first time we had everyone back. Just like the first week, the team won all their games. However, unlike the first week, it was close and very hard fought.

As many of you know who have played team sports, it’s not enough to just have the talent. If the team chemistry is not there, it’s not going to work. We struggled against teams that were far less talented than us, but because they’ve played together all summer, they have the teamwork and chemistry that lets them play much better as the sum of whole then each individually.

During the tournament we were put in a bracket with 2 top 10 teams and a top 20 team. There are 5 teams in our bracket and the top 2 goes to the A bracket which will compete for the championship.

We lost our first game to the first top 10 team, and then what I think is our best game of the tournament, we upset the other top 10 team in our bracket. We just have to beat the top 20 team and we’ll be in the A bracket.

Everything that could go wrong did during this game. It was a good competitive game, but we couldn’t pull it out in the end. We ended up being 2-2 for the day and that wasn’t good enough to make it.

We ended up being in the C bracket and we did win that bracket on Sunday, but like beating a kid in a wheelchair at basketball, it’s not something to brag about.

The C championship game was pretty fun though. Before the game, everyone first shotgun a beer before play started. During most of the game, there was always at least one person that was drinking on the field. I was trying to sober up a bit so I was drinking Jack and Coke.

Another reason not to be bragging about winning the C bracket.

It was a fun time overall. I’ll miss the playing 3 – 4 times a week during the summer. I’m gonna have to find another way to stay in shape.

Well, there’s always next summer.

Fall league starts soon. We’ll see what happens with that.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

One is not like the other.

I’m not much into organized religion. It’s not that I have anything against God(s) if he/she/it/they do exist. I’m just not that big of a fan of all their followers.

One thing I couldn’t help but notice between 2 very big religions.

This is the 8 ‘awakenings’ that Buddhist live by. Basically, this is a big part of their belief system.
The First Awakening: The world is impermanent. Countries are perilous and fragile. The body is a source of pain, ultimately empty. The five skandhas are not the true self. Life and Death is nothing but a series of transformations, hallucinatory, unreal, uncontrollable. The intellect is a wellspring of turpitude, the body a breeding ground of offenses. Investigate and contemplate these truths. Gradually break free of death and rebirth.

The Second Awakening: Too much desire brings pain. Death and rebirth are wearisome ordeals, originating from our thoughts of greed and lust. By lessening desires we can realize absolute truth and enjoy peace, freedom, and health in body and mind.

The Third Awakening: Our minds are never satisfied or content with just enough. The more we obtain, the more we want. Thus we create offenses and perform evil deeds. Bodhisattvas don’t wish to make these mistakes. Instead, they choose to be content. They nurture the Way, living a quiet life in humble surroundings their sole occupation, cultivating wisdom.

The Fourth Awakening: Idleness and self-indulgence are the downfall of people. With unflagging vigor, great people break through their afflictions and baseness. They vanquish and defeat the four kinds of demons, and escape from the prison of the five skandhas.

The Fifth Awakening: Stupidity and ignorance are the cause of death and rebirth. Bodhisattvas apply themselves and deeply appreciate study and erudition, constantly striving to expand their wisdom and refine their eloquence. Nothing brings them greater joy than teaching and transforming living beings.

The Sixth Awakening: Suffering in poverty breeds deep resentment. Wealth unfairly distributed creates ill-will and conflict among people. Thus, Bodhisattvas practice giving. They treat friend and foe alike. They do not harbor grudges or despise amoral people.

The Seventh Awakening: The five desires are a source of offenses and grief. Truly great people, laity included, are not blighted by worldly pleasures. Instead, they aspire to don the three-piece precept robe and the blessing bowl of monastic life. Their ultimate ambition is to leave the home life and to cultivate the Path with impeccable purity. Their virtuous qualities are lofty and sublime; their attitude towards all creatures, kind and compassionate.

The Eighth Awakening: Like a blazing inferno, birth and death are plagued with suffering and affliction. Therefore, great people resolve to cultivate the Great Vehicle, to rescue all beings, to endure hardship on behalf of others, and to lead everyone to ultimate happiness.

This is the first time I’ve ever read these Buddhist ‘awakenings’. I couldn’t help but notice the difference between this and the same ‘rules’ that are in Christianity.

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'
TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'
THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'
FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'
FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'
SIX: 'You shall not murder.'
SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'
EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'
NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'
TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'

Can you tell the big difference between these two sets of ‘rules’? Yes, I know, some of you will say that’s old testament, and Jesus is not as old school. Still, this is a big part of Christianity.

I’m not saying one is better than the other, but just reading this it sounds to me that one was written to make you a better person, the other is like a narcissistic parent talking down to a child. One talks about doing everything you can you help others, end poverty and suffering. The other talks about not having sex with someone you're not suppose to (twice). If that really is the biggest problem you/your God is worried about, you may want to do some rethinking on your priorities.

Just thought it was interesting.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

New York Minute Update

In lieu of an awesome show which would have allowed me to kick people in the face and some last-week-of-ultimate-before-our-tournment-this-weekend-games, here's some highlights of my stay here in NYC.
  • Went to Brooklyn for the first time. I know it's not a big deal, but for some reason I thought it was since I've never been there.
  • Went to a place call Barcade. It had one of the better beer selections I've ever seen and the place had wall to wall 80s' video games for a quarter. Sweetness.
  • Ghost n' Goblins, Spy hunter, and Zaxxon are all still impossible games. Don't waste your money.
  • Rampage and Gauntlet are good ideas for about 3 min. Then it's painfully boring.
  • I'm not as good at Dig Dug as I've previously claimed. Someone at barcade had over 2 million points.
  • I played Qbert all night so I can take out Furdell next time we meet.
  • Having a great room in the middle of Times Square is still boring if you don't have anyone to go out with.
  • You can't beat meat on a stick
  • I have mastered the NY subway system. Owned.
  • I had one of the better burgers ever. It was simple and plain delicious.
  • I don't want to be an adult. I've seen what it's done to my friends and I don't like it.
  • I just had a very delicious cupcake. I don't usually like sweets that much but I do like cupcakes. For some reason, cupcakes conjures an image of a cute girl with pig tails. Don't know how to explain that, but I like cupcakes.
  • I hope Pup did not destroy the house while I've been gone. I'm hoping to get home early with an earlier flight. That way I'll catch him cleaning the place after the wild party he's probably having right now.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sir, the line was back there.

I don’t mind the 50+ hour weeks. I don’t mind that I have customers that call me on the weekends or late at night. I don’t even mind the never ending load of work.

This however, is crossing the line.

I’ve been looking forward to going to a concert for a few months now. The concert is going to be next Tuesday. A concert that was surly going to kick ass and one that will allow me to kick other people’s ass in a fun friendly way.

Then I get the call yesterday. A customer wants me in NYC next week from Monday to Thursday. Oh.. I so don’t think so.

I argued and argued but they wouldn’t have any of it. It’s not that I’m not customer focused, but the meetings they want me for are for 2 hours each day. It’s not a good use of my time to go to NYC for 2 hour meetings each day that I can easily do over the phone. This all stems from the project manager leaving for vacation and is too anal to not have everyone onsite.

So, no kick ass concert for me. I’ve been waiting for years for one of the bands playing.

Talking to my boss yesterday, he mentioned that I may have to go up to NYC again (for another customer) the following week. I don't mind that, but of course, he picked a day when I was planning on going to another concert. What the hell? These are the first 2 concerts I’ve wanted to go to all year.

This does not make for a happy Pup.