Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ze Work

I'm at work at the moment and Dad is busy running some errands so I'm here trying to make the most of my time. So as it turns out I'm practically done with my workout program due to lack of results after 11 weeks of working my tail off. As of right now I can only grab the rim with two hands and dunk it with a small ball but honestly...I could do that before I started this whole thing, darn. I haven't completely given up yet but I'm going to have to find another way to make this work since doing a lot of jumping and doing individual leg exercises were not enough.

My next plan of attack will probably encompass going to the gym for some leg press and maybe squats but I'm a little hesitant about squats. Usually it requires two people and can be bad for your back if done incorrectly and that just doesn't sound to great to me. I figure if I do a lot of heavy leg workouts that include hamstring and quad muscle workouts, I may just see some noticeable differences but I won't be able to start any of that until this upcoming term starts so that I can go to Dixon.

Right now I feel like a lazy bum just playing games to finish out this summer since old man softball is coming to a close this friday and volleyball in Salem is only on Thursdays (and it requires gas money). I don't know what it is but of all the things I would love to be doing it is to be a part of a team. When you are on a team you have expectations, goals, and things going on to keep you busy and give you a sense of direction. All I have at the moment is online gaming with a team which is shoddy and not exactly conducive to social interaction outside of the gaming realm. Some might think this is odd or asking too much to be a part of some team since most of the teams that exist after high school are collegiate or professional. Club teams are even an option but it is always nice to have someone you know that you can go with so that you aren't the lone guy who no one has ever seen before but is actually pretty good and everyone is afraid to get to know (it is that comfort and security bubble that keeps them from reaching out). The other problem with doing these types of these is that much is required and that also means change. If you don't know what you are getting into before you get started, you may get involved with something that you asks for too much or is just not as enjoyable as you had first imagined.

Maybe just feeling limited to outside interaction with people who can't really take you anywhere is what bothers me and makes me want something more. Old man softball is great but I'm not going to start up long lasting friendships with people who are 20-30 years older than me. The salemites are fun for those brief periods of time during volleyball but distance creates a huge barrier as well as familiarity with friends and families that I don't have any association with. It is funny but I don't think I have ever really branched out to people who I didn't grow up with since I just can't find enough things in common whether it be people, interests, places, or personality. The other problem that holds me back is willing to put yourself on the line and let people know who you are since too many times I get the immediate feeling of judgment or comprehension of position (them feeling superior in comparison to me) from those who I give the opportunity to get to know me. That feeling can really put you off and frustrate you to no end.

Teams just don't ever put me in that position since you have to mesh and create bonds with people who you play with. If you don't, you won't ever truly reach your potential. Another reason is that often I have qualities or abilities (not trying to brag) that are usually an asset to the teams I play on making my presence there wanted or needed. That is also something that really keeps people coming back and feeling a place of worth.

That is about all I want to talk about for today and I feel like I'm going into a complaining/whining session which is the last thing I want to do right now.

I wish I had some worthwhile pictures to upload...so here's the next best thing, Dad's Office!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

All I smell is cherries...

For the past couple weeks I've been dealing with different kinds of solutions that my dad has been making to prevent the cracking of cherries with varied results. As you might have guessed, I am starting to get a bit tired of cherries and honestly the smell of them is kind of gross to me now if you can believe it. Well, that is not entirely true. The smell of soaked cherries is what is making me sick. See, we stick these cherries in bags for hours upon hours and see if our solutions have kept them from absorbing water and cracking. We check them every two hours and by the time we are done the whole area in which you are working smells like bacteria infested warm wet cherries...just foo.

My friends and I have started to get back into Day of Defeat which is a half-life modification (branch off of a previous game redone for the World War 2 era). Since it is extremely old and hasn't been updated the game can get very frustrating to play. The hit registration is horrid if you have a latency connection (ping, or time it takes to send information from your computer to the server) of double than the person you are playing against because the server has to make guesses as to what it thinks you will do or where it thought you were when the other person shot. This makes for ridiculous kills and frustrating matches. Anyways, we used to play this game a lot and enjoyed it quite a bit and even went to Canada and Texas to play in a couple tournaments. We never accomplished anything super spectacular in terms of finishes but we were always among the best in the United States while we were in practice (2003-2004) but now it is quite the different story.

I don't have the patience for the crappiness of the game anymore and there are so many exploits and random inexplicable shots being had that it is more of a "who can pull off the more amazing shot than the other person" in order to win, not cool. Another gripe of mine that has been since the beginning is that sound is absolutely so crucial in this game. Now you might think "well duh" but it gets to the point that if you move without crouching or even run for a split second that people are able to pin point your exact location these days. Now to me this is insane and people will honestly crouch walk or not move for minutes at a time just to avoid detection and to get the upper hand and get a kill. If you have ever played a video game before in your entire life then you know that action is what drives a lot of the fun, either that or the suspense of something. Let's think for a second, how about we wait 2-3 minutes to wait for something to happen only to get rocked and think "wow, what a waste of time." It's like playing counter-strike and getting killed within the first minute and have to wait another 4 minutes just to be able to play again...lame. I like a game where you have to not only outsmart them but outplay them skillwise. Day of Defeat has become more of outwaiting and hoping that your shot registers than anything else...not fun.

Either way I will continue to mess around with my friends and play this game but only because it is a game we all can play and enjoy only because we are playing it together. I would try and suggest another game but of course as is always a problem among a large group of friends, it is hard to find an activity or game that everyone can agree upon to play, ugg. I think this is why it is good to be open minded and be able to appreciate many different things/genres of activities or games. I like to think that I am this way but like many I do have my limits of things I can tolerate. Country music, dancing, being around strong personality people, mushrooms (I know it isn't an activity but I can muscle them down if I have to), soap operas (I don't think I've ever actually sat through an entire one before), and there are many more things you could put on this list.

As you can see your mind talks about what it wants to and completely neglects the subject of the post, heh. Anyways, I feel better now and most likely the majority who will read this will think "hmm, that was interesting up until he started talking about day of victory or something like that" which is understandable. Just for kicks I'll post an old screenshot of a match that I played in and did exceptionally well.

I am [C.A.P]Reubenec for your information

As you can see I was able to pull off a 2:1 ratio in both halves of this match which is actually quite hard in this game. As of late I am having scores that are close to 12-24, so sad. Although I did have one half in a scrim against old cal-invite players where I went 26-24 so I haven't completely lost all of my skill :).

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Новости (News)

Since I don't have a lot that I feel like putting on here for my journal that I would love everyone to read I decided to take some pics of some recent stuff that I bought or did (plus a shot with me actually in it...cause people are more interesting than just scenery).

Pardon the quality since I don't have a digital camera except for the one that is integrated into my phone. It is a 2 Megapixel camera so you can't expect much but they do the job just fine I think.

Here is a picture of the new shoes I bought since I nastified the shoes I have been wearing for the past year and a half for almost everything (darn freshly mowed wet grass + ultimate frisbee = nastified). I tried them on and after like 5 seconds I was like "yeah, I'm getting these." They only cost me $40 which is not bad considering I am used to paying much more for high quality shoes. I'm still looking for another pair of shoes that I can wear casually but for now these will do until I find the pair I'm looking for. Kohls, by the way, is where I bought them and I would recommend that store to anyone since that is also where I caught my jacket from for only $60, what a steal.

These are the clippers I got for any hair trimming needs. I could never really trim my sideburns so I thought that I would get these since they cover all the aspects of cutting hair. This Wahl brand is supposed to very high quality and I played around with them today and they seem very nice. The only problem is that all the stuff that comes with it (guide combs and brushes etc.) just sit in there with nothing holding them in place so it can bounce around if you were to shake it or turn it upside down. Overall it does its job and will hopefully last.

There you go, a picture with me actually in it. I had to throw some kind of sign just for kicks :)

This last picture is more for me since I washed my car this past saturday I believe. The rims were absolutely disgusting so I did my annual washing of my car so it would look presentable again. As you can tell the driveway is still soaked from all the water I used, so no it didn't rain.

As for the volleyball thing that went from Tuesday night to Wednesday night, it was enjoyable but long and draining. Being able to stay at Nate and Kari's place was fun and comfortable but the whole experience was more of a learning experience than anything else. Let's just say it is pretty obvious that when you are on a double date and you can hardly get your date to directly talk to you that you should just call it good and say that it wasn't судьа (fate/destiny) that you both met. Her sister on the other hand is a whole different story but that could be mucked up now as well. I will just leave it at that.

Oh, thanks for letting me stay at your guys' place (Nate & Kari) and for the food and shopping around. I really did sleep better than you think (like a log actually). Hopefully Audrey will stop saying "No Derek" now that I've left since I apparently wore out my welcome within the first day, ugg. I seriously cannot read that girl sometimes. One moment she is playing around with me and the next she wants to hit me or shove me away when I swear I haven't done anything wrong, oh well. At least she acts like she likes me half of the time :). Oh the fun. Less than two weeks I believe until the Net Net arrives!! Woo!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Air Alert

I've been messing around with this new workout program that is supposed to increase your verticle jump by 8 to 14 inches after 15 weeks. I've just started the second week of the program where instead of having a day of rest in between workouts you have to do three consecutive days in a row. All I can say is that even before getting to the second day the reps, and sets that they are making you do are killer on your legs. It is a good thing that they have you warm up, stretch, get plenty of sleep, and eat plenty of nutricious foods because if you didn't do these things I would be immensely sore right now.

For some reason I'm feeling pretty good after the workout I did today but before I even began I was so tired and was slow to even get started at the beginning but once I began it was just fine. The reason behind all of this is so that I can have some better hops by the time the summer ends since I've always had a goal of dunking on a 10' hoop and not just one handed. Some other benefits that I would like to gain from it all is overall increased strength in my legs for better sprinting and being able to perform better in all aspects of sports. Playing volleyball would be way cooler if I didn't have to get as much of a running start to be able to spike it at a good angle as well as being able to consistently have a better view of the court to spike to since I would be able to get up higher. There are some other things that would be interesting such as being able to do a backflip without flopping on ones head and probably others that I just can't think of.

Anyways this will be short but man will it be cool if I can follow through with this to the end and get some real results. It is not every day you see a 6' white guy two hand dunk a basketball.

For a really cool dunk fest that features a 5'10" guy who's got major hops you should check out this link. If he can do it and make it look easy, why shouldn't I be able to at least get up there. I mean heck, I can already touch the rim with two hands but I just can't grab it. Another 8 inches would allow me to at least two hand dunk and more if done one handed.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Entrepreneurship Fun

I feel like at least mentioning the class that I'm finishing up today since it was a very unique experience that was frustrating but somehow managed. So this entrepreneurship class that was just barely introduced to the Business core program was forced on me this past term. This course thought it would be funny to make 4 people work together off a crazy idea that we came up with at the beginning of the term and form an entire business plan around it. This strategy is a very hit or miss strategy since often the absolutely unrealistic ideas get picked and worked on. Although there are some groups that have plausible ideas that students have come up with and even plan on making a reality. My group, that was formed at the last moment because the group I had initially joined up with collapsed..., was composed of 2 polynesians and a 2 white guys (myself included). One polynesian was a guy who was decently smart and knew what he was doing and the other polynesian was a girl who was a marketing major but seemed stuck on laughing and having fun which was good and bad at the same time (I'll give her credit that she got her work done and was basically our leader). The last guy was quite the interesting character. He always seemed half stoned, half unaware of how slow he really was (mentally). Now he was a very nice guy and tried to do his part but it was like we had a child on our team that needed constant care. This guy by the way was a good friend of the two polynesians so I was the odd man out in the group (they were friendly though). The way I could best describe this guy though is to quote him from what he said when he was doing some work on iPod specifications. He was in the library with us and he says "Man, this is really hard stuff. I just don't know how to look for this stuff. Are you guys getting this too?" Now in my head I was thinking "Are you kidding?" but luckily I kept a straight face but in my head I wanted to laugh but thought that wouldn't be very nice since he is sincerely trying.

Anyways we got a couple of assignments per week to finish out each part of the business plan and I found it very frustrating when these guys wouldn't come to class to realize that you can't do the break-even analysis for a company when you don't even know the COGS (Cost of Goods Sold). The reason this bothers me is that I had to do the break-even analysis part and the ROI (return on investment, which requires you to know the initial investment) but each required numbers from other parts of the plan to be able to progress. I was forced to essentially make up those numbers on my own so I could do my own part since they never did their part, ugg. This happened routinely but I just tolerated it and thankfully I will be done with this on Tuesday.

Man there is so much I could talk about that there just isn't time for. Take for example my Institute graduation, new work out program, and all the time conflicts that encompass going to Salem to play Volleyball. To keep it short I will just say that I was forced to graduate this year from institute and now have to do extra work during the summer to make up for missed classes instead of just graduating next year with no extra work, AWESOME. I want to start a work out program to work on my hops since I have always had a goal to be able to dunk a basketball on a 10' hoop. With the workout that I picked it should be possible by the end of the summer (maybe much earlier). Volleyball....hmmm, very sticky situation that could be either totally worth it or lots of missed opportunities that I had planned on in advance (softball, DoD league, soccer in town). Oh, did I mention it costs $10 to drive to Salem and back, yeah ouch.

Dang it I did it again. It is 12:45am and I have a Russian final at 9:30am today. Thankfully I don't have to do any studying but I'm gonna have to look at my book for 5 minutes before I get in my car to remember just what it is that I'm being tested on and I should be good to go. I know, a little boastful but I'm just stating what I'm probably going to do (thank you Donetsk, Ukraine mission for the mad Russian skills). Hey, there has to be at least a few things in life that you shouldn't have to stress over and thankfully Russian is that way for me now. Sleep...must stop typing.

Random pic from the end of my mission with my crazy awesome finnish companion, Visa Jouttenus.

He could understand any english slang you threw at him, oh, and I got a lot of good quotes from him, he held nothing back. Take for example something he said at District meeting where he said "Ukraine is the armpit of Europe" with complete seriousness, simply priceless.

Monday, June 2, 2008


This past week was full of amazingly interesting activities (sarcasm there). Not including soccer since that was fun, I had the opportunity to help someone move which wasn't so bad except that it started at 8am... That is way too early for anyone especially myself since it was a saturday morning. Because I'm a retard and don't like to go to bed early I stayed up playing games until 12:30 and realized that if I didn't go to bed real soon I was going to be hurting real bad in the morning. So I got up at 7:00 o'clock and thought to myself "I'm not showering for this because it's too early and I'm already hurting." So I slept in to 7:45 and as you might realize that made absolutely no difference at all. Anyways, I helped these three girls move in to a single apartment (they were all located at different places, WIN!) and by the time it was over I felt super grungy not having shaven and eaten two donuts since that was our reward. Not a good start to a day. Now you might be thinking what the realization is but I'm getting to it as soon as I get through all my random thoughts for this weekend. After finishing the move I went home and had Dad give me a haircut but what I forgot to take into consideration was that I wore a hat that morning since I didn't shower which made my hair greasy and matted to my head, not good for cutting hair. Amazingly Dad powered through the terribleness that was my hair and the frustratingly off and on extension cord that made the clippers get caught in my hair since the clippers would be hiccuping as the power was sporatic until dad grunted with anger and forced the prongs into the socket as far as possible (I was thankful).

After showering and noting that there was only 1 hour till the bbq at camp alpine was to start I thought "this could be very bad if I get stuck there and there isn't anyone I want to talk to or if this dance that is to be happening is full of people I don't want to be around" (I was right on one of those parts unfortunately). I went to the institute for the carpool and we took off to camp alpine and fortunately I had Kevin Costa and Levi Gonzalez to talk to for the first 4 hours while we did service clearing the paths and juggling a soccer ball till our shins started to hurt. Finally dinner came and there were some amazing hamburgers and hotdogs with other delicious foods that I would gladly partake of again. I was forced into some awkward conversations with the graduating seniors that I couldn't really relate to as I ate dinner but I survived and threw the frisbee around with some people that I regularly talk to and enjoy their company. This is where things went sour. During the time I had been talking to Kevin Costa and Levi G. I had mentioned that there was to be a dance after the fireside and both of them apparently didn't know anything about it. They said that most likely they would be taking off before the dance since that wasn't exactly what they had planned on. Ok, so while I was throwing the frisbee around apparently they slipt out the back and took off... What I'm guessing happened was that they didn't want to bother me while I was busy messing around with some other people to inform me that they were taking off. Because of this I was stuck. Now if you don't know I absolutely loathe dances. I go to them for only one purpose and if I don't think it is worth my time I won't be there, plain and simple (you can guess the purpose). So there I was, stuck at camp alpine without a car and no way to get out of a dance that I hadn't planned on attending with no motive for me to be there, ugg.

The dance started and I quietly sat near the fire and talked with what people I could until many had left to the dance floor while I just kept sitting there and thinking "man this lame. Not only that but I look like a loner and miserable person, dang it." After about a 30-45 minutes I couldn't take it anymore and whipped out my phone and tried texting Scott out of desperation to see if there was any chance for him to get me out of there. Now you might realize that we are at camp alpine and there is literally no signal out there, meaning, whenever the connection decided to come back I would get a response. All the while texting I had over 4 people ask me if I was alright and comment something close to "by the looks of it, you want out of here" and they were right as I told them that I was just fine and that I just didn't want to dance (cheerfully I might add because honestly I wasn't in a bad mood or anything). Amazingly after chatting with a girl for the next half hour since I think she felt bad for me or something Scott came with Alan since Scott didn't want to get lost on the way there which was probably a good idea since Scott once passed the Portland airport and went over the bridge heading to washington while I was in the car with him once, hehe, fun times.

So the realization that may not have been obvious is that I sincerely dislike dances and always associate them with bad experiences (now with one more to add to it). I don't know what it is but jumping around and moving to a beat to enjoy music is not what I envision as fun. All the girating and making a fool of yourself only makes me laugh and that is the only reason why I would dance but since I can't get people to laugh at what I do while feeling comfortable at the same time, there is no point in doing it.

Dang, this was a long post but it was more of a barrage of thoughts that needed to get thrown out after such a draining weekend (I slept 9 hours in the morning and took a 3 hour nap on sunday and was still tired). Hmm, I gotta throw in a picture since pictures almost make the post worthwhile.
This is before I was retarded and shaved my legs just so I could say I had done it and to know what it was like.
And after (notice the whiteness, just wow)
Now that you are totally grossed out, how about something a bit more pleasing.This was after a hike up to the top of bald hill. It's quite the view up there.

Ok, I'm tired and need to go to bed since I have class in 8 1/2 hours, woo!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

In the Flow of Things

It has been quite a while since I've been able to find an enjoyable game that I can run through again after CoD4 was seeming to drag on night after night. I must confess that it was still fun to play CoD with the Salem crowd but after a couple prestiges and feeling like I was really accomplishing anything I just wanted some change.

So finally I have a couple games that I am running through right now. One of those oddly is CoD4 but for the PC (a little backwards huh?). This is mainly because I enjoy the control a ton better and can play with my hometown friends. A different game I have been playing since day one of its release is Team Fortress 2. This game is just a blast simply because of the classes that you can choose from and the fact that it relies on team based play while allowing for you as an individual to still make a difference, even if your team sucks, so that you don't get absolutely wrecked. But the main reason why I am posting is because of a newer game for me, yet is actually 2 years old, that I am simply immersed in called Titan's Quest: Immortal Throne. To me it is like the spiritual successor to Diablo 2 which my friends and I have put countless hours into. The leveling system with skills and attributes that you attain as you move up really keep you playing around to find the best setup for your character so that you don't get owned by hordes of mobs and godlike bosses. Like most action RPG games there are items that drop as you take out enemies and that also is a driving force to keep playing but I think the powers that you are imbued with as time goes on is the real factor that keeps you re-playing the game and perhaps even starting new characters.

For most this seems absolutely ridiculous and an outright waste but I can assure you that it is the same as playing a board game with friends or simply hanging out and watching a movie. The only difference is that you don't get to be with your friends in person but at least you can talk to you them as if they were right next to you thanks to an online communication program called Ventrilo. Now I know that for many this makes absolutely no difference to them and that playing video games is for children and that is all there is to it but some people decide to get their social interraction in different ways then others.

It seems I got a little sidetracked but nonetheless this is how I have been and will be spending my time when I am free and don't have other activities occupying my time (sports, church, school).

To finish off this post I want to add a picture that I have loved since day one when I came across it in Ukraine. This was soviet propaganda that was thrown out there since people were drinking too much and not getting enough work done on the job. It is simply priceless to see since it was an official poster from the CCCP (USSR).

Isn't it great! (HET is pronounced Nyet, meaning NO!) What I don't get is what is with that white stuff on the table, the straw, and scraper in his left hand...I must have found a picture that has been tampered with since that is not on the official poster.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It has Begun!

After repeated comments from friends, I'm starting a blog. I think I'm doing this moreso to have a journal that I actually might keep up on instead of doing it because of pressure to not be the only one without a blog.

What would actually be fun would be to write a good chunk of my entries in russian so that I could keep up my practice of the language and learn to better type in it. Since this is my blog and I can do with it what I want and I may just do that from time to time. Most likely I will add words and phrases in russian (with explanations/translations) since they are simpler and I get the meaning of what I wanted to say anyways without going through a painstaking hour or more of pecking out russian characters. We'll see.

I will finally be able to post pictures and make comments on all the little things I notice day to day that I never seem to get to write down. I think I will enjoy this more than I had originally thought. Heck, I've written this much without even thinking and I don't even feel like I've gotten started. I think this is a good sign.