Thursday, July 29, 2010

Running On Empty

The most exciting time we've ever had driving economically.  

Dylan and I were driving back from Eugene to Corvallis.  I was in dire need of gas because the meter was at the last tick.  The estimated miles was calculated to be 34miles.  I remember from Eugene to the Shell near Corvallis was around 30-something miles.  We both thought the same stupid idea.  Could we make it before the gas runs out?  As you may know by now, we like a challenge. 

So off we went.  I was really tired, so I let D take the wheel.  It was a hell of an adventure for the next 40 minutes.  We had to drive around 60mph the whole way and we might not even make it.   So we thought of everything we could to conserve gas.  We closed the windows and sunroof.   We turned off the stereo.  We turned off the headlamps (luckily the sun was still out).  We turned off the A/C (shit. the sun's still out).  It was around 8 o clock so the sun was at perfect eye level, blinding the hell out of us, baking the inside of the oven that we had just created.  But whatever, we are not going to back down.  

Beads of sweat started forming and the temperature was rising.  I looked at the GPS.  16miles to go.  Looked at the estimated miles left: 18 MILES.   okay we're in good shape.  So I turn on the fan to cool off a little bit, you know, so as to not suffocate?  Instantly, the meter jumps down to 15Miles.  I panic and shut the fans off.  What the heck just happened?!  at this point we're yelling and panicking not knowing what to do.  He's yelling at me for turning on the fans, I'm yelling back for him to calm down and focus, it was a mess.  

But wait.  We see a big semi truck coming ahead of us.  We both smiled.  Let's draft that sommabich all the way there!  Cutting out all that headwind+aerodynamics mumbo jumbo would be huge for us.  So the next 11 miles D is trying his hardest to stay as close as he can to that semi.  It gets nerve racking as I look between the GPS and the mileage meter.  7...7,  6....6,  4....3  NOOOO what happened?!  we're so close!  1.2 ....0  a big fat zero shows up on the meter.  and we have 1.2 miles to go.  What does this mean?!  We're panicking even more than before, I'm imagining hiking over a mile for gas.  It was like waiting for a time bomb to explode.  

But it never did.  We coasted in neutral to exit, and slowly drove into the Shell station.  We made it!!  I look over at the data meter thing and was ecstatic.   I had driven nearly 500miles on that one tank.  Record broken!

I usually get around 400 for a tank.  but 496.2! That came out to 36.25 MPG.  (previous record was 462miles from my Davis to Eugene trip on one tank)

Who knew driving economically could be so fun?  The ambition, the panic, the pure joy.  Now I know why "Hypermilers" do what they do.  This can easily turn into an addiction.  Good times ol' chap.  Good times.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Camping and Casino Weekend

Who likes lists? I do.  I present to you, the highlights of my trip:

  1. Dill and I hitched a ride with Andy and Lisa, but the car had no MP3 capabilities! What did we do? we serenaded the lovely couple with the roadtrip classics.  You've Lost That Loving Feeling, Baby On Board, Still of the Night, Copa Cabana (wish you could join us Henry).  It was fun and funny as hell, to hell with ipods.
  2. Deciding to make a campfire without matches or lighters was very educational.  I learned some nifty techniques from Andy who took a wilderness survival class recently.  But most importantly, I learned to always bring matches with you cus if you had to build a fire from scratch you're SOL.
  3. Finding out somebody was no longer in the tent.  and in his place was a puddle of puke.  I almost died laughing from the absurdness of the sight.  I'm sorry, that was probably one of the roughest night of his life... but i couldn't stop laughing. 
  4. Prime Rib & Crab buffet at the local buffet.  'nuff sed.
  5. Playing roulette for over an hour and only losing 40 bucks.  That's probably the best gambling session I've had in a casino and I'm not being sarcastic. Anyways the lady next to us who was going to "teach us how to play"  kept on shelling out hundreds.  She probably lost over a grand of her rich husband's treasure that night. 
  6. Serenading Doug with You've Lost that Loving Feeling, Top Gun style way past the campsite's quiet hours. 
  7. Watching Doug re-enact the Warriors scene waaaaay past quiet hours.  HAHA

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Crack of Dawn at Farch Mountain

Last week, I was talking about where to go fishing in Portland with my Uncle and he was listing off all these lakes that I have now forgotten. Anyways, we started talking about scenic points and he mentions Farch Mountain having a great view of the sunrise. He jokes, "Wanna wake up at 4AM and drive up there? wahaha" Calling his bluff, I look at him deadpanned and go, "sure, lets do it!"... "ooh ok.. we'll go then, sure you can wake up?"

Haha when 4AM rolls by, I feel like crap and just snooze until 4:30AM. Then Wilton runs up the stairs bursting with energy, "Chad! Are we going? It's 4:30! I just ate two burritos!" The kid stayed up all night for this haha and I didn't have the heart to say no. I check out the sunrise time and it's 5:36. It takes about an hour to get there. So I'm like if we're gonna go we gotta go now!

About 30 minutes of driving, I start hitting the twisties to go up Farch Mountain. The sky is already brightening up, yet it was kinda foggy. Crap. I shrugged it off because we already drove so far. Twisties always bring a smile to my face, so I step on it. Wilton's been kinda quiet, so I look over and ask him if he's alright. He mutters that he's a bit carsick, so I dial it down a bit. I wasn't going fast just for the fun of it, I wanted to get there on time too! Apparently I didn't slow down enough. I totally forgot that he had eaten two burritos right before the trip. He ended up not going to see the sunrise at all. He threw up in the back of my car into a bag (thank god I had that bag)

I was probably about 5-10 minutes too late. When I left the parking lot, I had about a 1/4 mile trail to walk up to the viewpoint. From the parking lot the sun was poking out already...nooooooooooooo. But it made an awesome picture:

ooOOOoo, if I only had a better camera

Once I saw that starburst of a sun, I booked it.  Running like mad up the trails and I encounter the steps.  DUN DUN DUN
How far up? HOW FAR??

Luckily it wasn't that far up (but on my way down there was this heavy-set dude that was struggling so hard to get up there.  he had to rest every 3 steps.  ah man, poor guy).  When I made it to the top, I was gasping for air......

.....because the view was so breathtaking! (couldn't resist. i know, it's an illness and i believe its contagious)

Wish I was here before it rose.
I like this rock formation

Mt. Hood: Where snowboarding happens.

Above the clouds

What I saw when I first got up there, made me go Wow out loud. 

Staring at this kinda trips me out

The trees directly across from the sun provided a cool backdrop.  Yeah, I was alone, my uncle didn't wake up and my brother was passed out in the car.  But it was so awesome up there, even if it was by myself.  The sun was slowly rising, a sea of clouds below you, and five mountains in the distance all around you.  It was peaceful and quiet, I just let my mind go blank for a few minutes.  So relaxing... until the mosquitos found me.  RUN!!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2 Talented

Just spreading some music around.  This guy, Matt Cab has been going around in the FB/Youtube-sphere and I just can't stop listening!  I'm not a Bieber fan, but here's Matt's cover of his song "Somebody to Love".

wow, he just owns the song, puts Bieber to shame.  When he sings in the higher register its oh so silky.  I remember back in highschool when he sang for the talent show, and I wish him success 'cus he's legitimately good.  Thanks Fishy for passing along the vid.

Then I went on the usual Youtube surfing and found a video of the guy 'Snuggles' who beatboxes for Matt.  He's beatboxing 'A milli' by Lil' Wayne.  Now, I am not only not a fan of Lil' Wayne, but I think he sucks ass.  However, Snuggles just makes the song sound siiiick. Check it out:

Oooh and there was another vid of Matt behind the scenes producing one of the tracks on his up and coming album Ryan Leslie style (or Han style).  

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mt. Tabor

It's been loverly in Portland lately, so I decided to drag the boys out of their gaming dens and go hiking on a Sunday afternoon.  My brother came up here to visit for the summer and everybody just spends most of their time separate in their own rooms!  Can you believe that?  It'd be the same as if he didn't come up.  Kids these days.

Mt. Tabor is a small extinct volcano turned into a park only a few miles from where I live.  It's a really nice place to checkout on a sunny day.  It's got reservoirs, basketball courts, tennis courts, a playground, and a good amount of paved road.  I saw this guy take his longboard up there, and it looks like a lotta fun! We were initially feeling adventurous and decided to take the most adventurous paths we can find.  After about 10 minutes, and scurrying through a mosquito infested forest we decided to walk on the paved road instead.  Haha I think I got bit like 5 times in one path. 

 That's our drinking water
 Mr. Scott, the Pioneer pointing West
 NOOO Dont go in there!
Kenneth (15 minutes into the hike): "How long is this gonna take?"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Retro in the Metro: Home 4 July 4

3 days is not enough! I had a great time at home last weekend for Independence Day weekend. It's always good to be bask in the fog and see everyone (although I missed a few).

Friday Fireworks (and the incident)
T picked me up (thaaaaanks) from the airport to go straight to the Alameda County Fair.  We mucked (is that a word?) around with all the farm animals and it was pretty fun.  I believe I got urinated on by Babe, and shorts chewed up by a goat, but I got the last laugh because I've been eating bacon and lamb chops like crazy!! haha maybe not like crazy..  but we tried our first chocolate covered bacon! Sounds disgusting? It's actually pretty damned good, very bacon-maple bar like but too much of a good thing will make you kinda nauseous.  She kinda liked the chocolate more, and I kinda liked the bacon more.. so we ended up eating them separately haha.

Mmm... .delicious

beautiful shot! credits to T for the excellent iPhone-tography

The Iincident all started when I saw a dude carrying a Brian PBJ Time doll.  and I had to have one!  We saw this dart throwing game with the Brian PBJ and I walked right up.

Carnie: "First throw's free!"
I throw, and pop one
Carnie: "Keep on going and you win a prize!"
I throw, and pop one.  Throw and pop another."

Carnie: "read the sign, whats 5 and 5?"  (turns out, if you hit one, you pay 5 bucks per dart, if you dont its free, SCAM)
me: "huh? what do you mean? .....10?"
Carnie: "yep, you owe me 10, here's your prize"  
It's this crappy bear worth 25 cents.  I didn't want the stupid bear, I wanted Brian! so... he continued to con me until I paid 20 bucks for PBJ Brian *sigh*. 
T challenged the guy: "you do this all the time?"

Cockface: "yep, how else do I make 60k in 4 months" 

He made me look like a foolastnight... but I'm over it!  Brian is pretty awesome :)

Cou-Gary's Birthday
The rest of the weekend was pretty action packed, I don't think I even spent much time at home (wish I had more time!)  Jimmy's B-Day at Brunos and Gary's at Bliss Bar.

1.  Being very drunk after Jimmy's thang, getting forcefed a slice of pizza and all of a sudden it's morning.
2.  Gary coming back to the backroom (pretty awesome caged room) with a gash in his arm from falling on stairs!  It was still early in the night I think haha what a trooper.  Happy Birthday man
3.  Watching Gary's interactions with the older women at the bar haha, one of them gave him a little more than a bear hug?
4.  Xin!

Don't blame him, poor guy has to drive back to Hayward

Sunday, July 11, 2010

belated-Breaking News!

belated and breaking cancel out, so it's just news.  Finally, I've found a name for my car!

(drumroll please)

Minimus Maximus

I was talking to T about her car "Tobi" and she told me Tobi was short for Tobias. haha so I just joked with myself (I do this all the time) and thought "hmm..well then Mini is short for....Minimus.....MINIMUS MAXIMUS (in a low baritone voice)".   success! 

And Minimus Maximus generates a whole slew of nicknames:  M n' M, Max, Maxi, Maxi Cab, Relaxi Maxi? (err.. probably not enough room for a massage table), Mini Maxi? (nah.. reminds me of a tiny woman's product).  Anyways you get the point.

On further note, the name seems more suited for the MINI's overgrown buffoon of a brother the Countryman:

I dono about this one MINI...acquired taste much?

Although an AWD MINI is pretty sweet, why must you SUV-ize everything!?

Thanks to Tobi (Gary's car jr.) for his inspiration