Oh…why hello there!

Do you ever find yourself bored at lunch and looking to fill that hour with something else  other than just stuffing food in your face? Well why not update a blog I completely forgot about.

So let see…hmmm…..last entry 2011…biking from Milwaukee to Chicago. Wow! I probably cannot repeat that bike trip if I wanted to. I’m now 31, fatter, bad knees, and just plain lazy. A lot has happened since 2011, and I won’t go into exact details (at least in this single entry.)

What inspired me to add a new post out of the blue after 6 years? While trying to think of what to eat for lunch I realized that my eating habits have been revolved around Grub Hub, Seamless at work, and buying pub burgers from the grocery store to grill at home. So two things come to mind. One, I need to lose weight! Two, I need to just eat healthier.

Standing at a short 5″7 and weighing at 205, I am finding my clothes don’t fit like they used to. I’m over weight and my bmi is too high. I know, I know, everyone is trying to lose weight. Its true! I’m part of the millennial generation of eating healthy and working out. But fact of the matter is, I need to at least make an attempt.

Which leads into my next point. I need to eat healthier. I saw in my email from my health care provider about best diets. One of them listed was called the DASH Diet.  Created by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI),  U.S. News and World Reports gives the following overview:

 

The aim: Preventing and lowering high blood pressure (hypertension).

The claim: A healthy eating pattern is key to deflating high blood pressure – and it may not hurt your waistline, either.

The theory: Nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and fiber are crucial to fending off or fighting high blood pressure. You don’t have to track each one, though. Just emphasize the foods you’ve always been told to eat (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy), while shunning those we’ve grown to love (calorie- and fat-laden sweets and red meat). Top it all off by cutting back on salt, and voila!

Source: http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/dash-diet

I decided on the DASH Diet because of the overall ranking and theory of the diet. Fighting off high blood pressure! The diet seems pretty simple and easy to follow. Eat your fruits and veggies, lean meat and not much of it, and cut out the sodium. So I walked downstairs to the cafe and got a turkey and swiss sandwhich with a side of carrots and celery. Its a diet to be eased into so I may still have a burger every so often, I’ll just have to keep in mind of a smaller patty.

I’ll leave my picture above as is…my stuffing my face with a brownie at a fraternity camping trip around 2007.

Why o why didn’t I take the BLUE pill?

July 25th, I get an email from my great friend Cari asking me the following:

What are you doing August 13? Want to go up to Milwaukee with me and bike back to Chicago? I’m trying to find someone to drive me up and drop me off then I’ll bike the 90 miles back to Chicago. If I find someone to drive, do you want to bike back w me?

In which I immediately agreed. Why I did such a thing I will never know.

Our friend dropped us off in Veterans Park in Milwaukee on the lakefront and from there we started out 98.95 miles trek back to Chicago. Milwaukee was very nice and we took in the scenic lake view. It was within the first hour we saw a dog walking with his owner. This dog had a nice foot long catch in his mouth with such a happy strut showing off his catch. I couldn’t help but smile and laugh.The ride was nice along the lakefront. Took us through many parks and recreational areas. I’m not entirely sure of the route we took, I left that all up to Cari to plan and I just followed. Hit a little snag when we were in Racine. Her cyclometer fell off her bike and stopped suddenly to get it. I was not expecting it and fell. My front breaks were not working properly and I lack the knowledge of repairing it. My heart rate watch also broke, wrist hurt, and had a few scrapes. Since my tire was rubbing against the pad, I just decided to unhook my front break and go on without one. Hey, as long as I have the rear breaks we’ll be good.

We continued on and when we hit Kenosha we almost threw in the towel. We spotted some dark clouds, temperature dropped dramatically, and the wind picked up. It started to pour and Cari took us to an abandoned boarded up commercial building to look at directions. All of a sudden it started to hail. We decided that with the wind being pretty strong, we did not want to get blown into any traffic. We looked up the metra Kenosha line and the next train was in SIX HOURS. REALLY?? So we decided to just wait the storm out and continue.

To be honest, I do not remember in detail a chunk of the ride. All I know is for most of it I was in the zone just following Cari. I can recall seeing a goats milk soap sign, unattended vegetable stand (assuming it was honor system), porn shop, and a few taverns. I remember stopping at a metra train station in Wisconsin for a bathroom break. On the air dryer someone carved

Biked from Milwaukee to Chicago.

From then on it was a steady trail ride until we hit some nice houses in the north burbs. We passed Ravinia which I have never seen. When we got to Northwestern I wanted to quit so bad. The last 30 miles my wrist was hurting at every bump in the road not to mention my ass. I really should have bought new cycling shorts for this ride. I remember passing by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house at Northwestern, as well as seeing Loyola’s main campus for the first time ever even though I was a student there. Once we got closer to our destination the cars started being more careless of the space given to us and it started to rain once we hit the late front path. Once we got back to her apartment I really was out of it. I hated my bike, hate riding my bike and my body.

Staci (Cari’s roommate that dropped us off in Milwaukee) asked me how the ride was and I said I wanted to die. I also told her not to ever do it. Ask me the same questions now and I’ll say it was an awesome experience and lets do it again.

In the end I had my first fight with my bike. I hated her and she hated me for what I put her through. If dialouge existed it would be along the lines of the following:

Bike: Why did you agree to this?

Me: Why don’t you shut up

Bike: How’s your ass feel?

Me: I hate you.

Bike: I hate you.

We’ve made up since then. I’ve learned a lot about my bike in the 98,95 miles I spent with it this weekend.

Cari’s blog about the ride

 

Pictures and videos from the ride:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year!

Happy 2011! It sure does not feel like 2011. I do not plan on making any resolutions since they always get ruined anyways. If anything, my resolution is to have more fun!Live my life to the fullest. Maybe blog more often 😉

It has been just over one year since I got out of the hospital after chemo and radiation treatment. I’ve become more active physically and more determined to take over any challenges that come my way. I’ve round house kicked CANcer in the face and I am looking to do more damage.

I am focusing on the LSAT. I know I’ve been prepping for this damn thing just over two years now. It will take place this Saturday and I am nervous. It is about time I just get it over with.

This past weekend I meant to prepare more for it but decided instead to just relax. Went out Friday, worked Saturday morning, went to one of the best cocktail parties I’ve ever been to Saturday night, and Sunday was the big bowl game in which I won a small amount of moola!

The new year started off shaky, felt like I burned a bridge, one that I did not mean to. I attempted to stop drinking because of it but that did not last long. I know now to never ever ever drink Mickey’s again.

I’ll give more of an update post LSAT. Until then take care!

 

CX season almost done

After taking two weeks off from cx racing, I was back on day 2 of the double race weekend. I didn’t want to over do it so I chose to opt out Saturday.

It was a cold race day. I heard Saturday was just as bad with rain. While warming up, this caught my attention. The guy said it was custom built $300.

Bike on a bike

I didn’t pre-ride the course. I did however scanned it to determine where all the sand pits and barriers were. During my warm up I ran into Greg and chatted while we both warmed up. Still no sign of Rigo, its been over a month since he raced. At the staging area I stayed back like always. I’m afraid I’d be caught in or cause a crash at the start. Everything was going well, for majority of the first lap. Once I reached the double sand pit things got interesting. I was doing fine until I reached the end where the spectators had piled up the sand. I guess that is what I get racing in the 4s. No one really takes this race seriously. I crashed into the sand, got back up and continued. Except I was starting to have some trouble de-mounting from my bike. My right clip would not unclip. It caused problems at the barriers, probably about 20 seconds at each barrier. By the time I finished I was glad it was over, and I still could not get the shoe off. Turns out one of the bolts fell off. So when I kicked my heel to unclip, the clip wasn’t moving. After a rough race I bought a fat tire at the vendor and loaded my bike back on the car (with the shoe still hanging there) and drove back.

I still have yet to figure out how I am going to get that shoe off before my next race on Sunday. I was upset but I learned the hard way. I will add this on my pre-race checklist in the future. CHECK TO MAKE SURE BOLTS ARE SCREWED IN TIGHTLY. Here are a few of my “highlights” from that race.

Ordered some books from Better World Books.

I haven’t heard about this website or company until someone mentioned they had a bargain bin books sale, 5 for $15! They may be used books but what do I care? A book is a book as long as the pages are all there and there are no mysterious stains covering the texts. Currently I shop for books at Borders, and possibly B&N. When I heard about Better World Books, I was pretty interested in purchasing from them on a regular basis, especially for their cause. Then, I received this email to confirm my order has been shipped. Now I will always always use BWBooks for all my online purchases on books, assuming they have my selection 🙂 This is the email I got from them:

Hello Andy,
(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note – it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)
Holy canasta! It’s me… it’s me! I can’t believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I’ve got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can’t believe I’m leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already – the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge – so many memories. I don’t have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it’s time to see the world!
I can’t wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen) and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol’ brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?
I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I’ve had, I’m ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn’t take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I’ve found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.
But hey, enough about me, I’ve been asked to brief you on a few things:
We sent your order to the following address:
Andy Ho
xxxxxx
xxxxx
USA
Order #: xxxxxx
We provide quick shipping service to all our customers. You chose USPS Standard Mail shipping, your book should arrive within 4 – 14 business days. The Postal Service may occasionally take slightly longer to deliver your book.
At this time, we are not able to offer tracking on our USPS Standard Mail shipments.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email my friends in Customer Care at help@betterworldbooks.com. If you could please include your order number (xxxxxx) that would be very helpful.
Eagerly awaiting our meeting,

The Partner
The Firm
Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel
A Civil Action (Vintage Books)
Empire Falls

How creative! I look forward to providing the five books a new home!

The Associate by John Grisham

TAKE NOTE: My post includes spoilers, but I will warn you before hand. If you plan to read The Associate, I suggest you read it before you read my review.

Last night around midnight I put the book down with about 100 pages to go. I had to force myself real hard to put it down and turn in. It was already a few minutes pass midnight and if I kept reading, I would have finished it last night and woke up this morning 30 minutes after I was scheduled to be in the office After a long day of filing motions, arguing with managers at the Chancery division (typical) and just doing my law clerk thing inside the Daley center. I rushed home and picked it back up immediately. By the time I finished it, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the book. It’s not his best work, but a disappointing Grisham is still an enjoyable book.

*** The Following section will include spoilers***

Kyle’s situation starts off interesting when he is cornered into changing his plans from doing dirty honest legal work to working in one of the largest firms in the country against his morals. What he thought was a rumored video of a rape from his college days as a Beta, some how was resurfaced by a mysterious character named Bennie. Blackmailed by a video that recorded a questionable rape situation, Kyle had no choice but to follow the wishes of Bennie and his thugs. The Associate kept my attention. There was much going on in the book sex, blackmail, wiretapping, and hidden spy stuff. Lacked a little romance compared to his other books. Hey, I never said sex was considered romance. What really disappointed me were the last 50 pages or so. When Bennie was supposed to be taken down, I expected some action. Some punches thrown, gun firing, or at least Bennie actually being in the hotel room when it was raided by the FBI forcing him to jump out the window. Heck, I was foreseeing someone dying near the end of this novel. C’mon Grisham, lets add some of the same spice you had in A Time to Kill! Or the hotel room could have been rigged to blow when the FBI rushed in. While reading, it seemed like I was going to climb to a top of a mountain that would have one of the greatest view in the world. But in reality, the view was mediocre and the rest of the book took a dive…but only slightly.
As I mentioned before, a disappointing Grisham book is still is great. After evaluating the ending, it seemed like an ending that was more realistically to happen no matter how boring it may be. Books with sub par endings can only mean one thing; I can imagine my own alternatives!

Tiger Woods. So what?

Oh the media jumped on this one. Tiger Woods, adultery and such.  One stepped up in which turned into multiple women. My take on this? It shouldn’t matter. What Tiger does in his personal life should not be anyone’s business other than Tiger’s and his family. Rachel Uchitel, Tiger’s #1 mistress is now rumored to be in negotiations to pose for skin mag Playboy. Another reason why these mistresses are stepping up, they have something to gain from this. Whatever Tiger does, it is not and should not be anyone’s problem other than whom I listed previously. I don’t have anymore to say about the issues since this is not any of my business.

To move along, with this being my second post to my new blog and all, I feel I shouldn’t just talk about legal issues. I’ll be expanding to other topics such as books, sports, personal life, and anything else that pops in my head. Until next time. Stay focused!