Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Kids Nowadays Want to Become Famous YouTubers

Posting videos on YouTube has become a profitable trend for many people.  My kids tell me that most of the kids in their class want to become YouTubers.  Okay, well.  I asked if they wanted to become one and they said 'yes'.  So I took it upon myself to create a YouTube channel for them.  With the existing cellphones and tablets they have, they have the tools to create their own stop motion videos, especially the Minecraft videos.  And so far their videos started out kind of awful, but as they got more experience, their videos continued to get better and better.

Minecraft Stop Motion Studio

Now, they are making videos with their toys and my youngest daughter started a series "Cooking with Pinkie Pie".  The kids are so creative!

All of this can be created inexpensively too.  All the kids need are toys, a tablet or phone that can download apps and a little bit of creativity.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Why it is Important to Read Everything No Matter the Topic

Sometimes, I come across articles on Yahoo that I truly don't care about.  I ran into one article that was about a journalist that was bashing another journalist, which quite frankly seemed like a huge waste of time.

But I got something out of it.

The article was full of words that I was unfamiliar with.  All of the sudden, the article became interesting to me and I took fascination with the difficult words that the journalist was using.  Now that I know how the words were used within a sentence, I wrote down the list of words I didn't know in a notebook.  The next thing I know, I was looking up words up on Google like "excoriation" and "decommodified".  I unknowingly increased my vocabulary by reading stupid articles that I normally wouldn't read.  There was this feeling of satisfaction that I have learned something on Christmas Day!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

I Want to Burp but I Can't

Recently, I had an episode where I felt like I needed to burp, but no matter what, I couldn't.  I could swallow air, but it felt like air was being trapped in my esophagus.   I tried to drink water, but it only made it worse.  It felt like water would only go down a certain point and stop as if it stopped at the sphincter that enters the stomach.  The pain was excruciating.  I didn't know what it was.  I had a co-worker drive me over to the emergency room.  I told them that I had chest pain and immediately, they took an EKG on me.  I told the technician that it wasn't my heart!  I had pain in my esophagus area!  My EKG turned out to be fine.  My blood pressure was through the roof though.  It was 200/100.  A normal BP is 118/50 for me.  People could tell that I was in extreme pain, my face was red and I never felt so horrible.  I sat in the waiting room for an hour and a half and they finally called me in.  The staff did a turnover with the night crew and I saw a triage nurse.  About 30 minutes later, I spoke to the Doc and I told him my symptoms.  He said, "what helps with the inability to burp is a carbonated beverage like 7-up."  He left and I didn't see him again for another 3 hours.  Between that, I got a couple of chest x-rays and they turned out normal.  A nurse gave me a "G.I. cocktail" which numbed my mouth and throat and I would assume that it did the same for my esophagus.  I didn't fell better though.  I just waited and waited.  Eventually, someone came in and verified that my blood pressure went down and then I was shortly released.  They couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.  My diagnosis was "gastric pain".  I almost yelled at the doctor.  I asked why they didn't scope me to see if I had some kind of tumor or something.  He laughed and said, "scope in the ER?!?  I need you to go see your primary care provider and he can give you a referral to the GI clinic."   My visit was so disappointing that I left pretty pissed.  I wasted five hours of my life just to find out it was confirmed that I had gastric pain.

I figured that I had something called heartburn.  When I was sitting in the ER,  I had plenty of time to google all my symptoms on my phone and all signs were pointing to heartburn.  Next time I have heartburn, I'm going to take Alka-Seltzer or drink some carbonated beverage or something.    

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to See the International Space Station

If you watch the night sky, on occasion, you can catch a glimpse of the International Space Station.  NASA has a website where you can put in your location and you can find out where it passes over and in which direction to look.  You can even sign up for text notifications when the ISS is about to pass over day or night.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hacking the 2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition/RTL-E

When I first got my truck, I was amazed with all the tech that comes with it.  This is the only truck thus far that has in-bed audio.  It is really great for listening to music while you wash your truck or tailgate, camping or whatever.  However, this feature is disabled when you start moving your truck above 10 mph.  Yeah, once you go a little bit fast, it shuts off and the music you hear in the bed will be transferred to the inside cabin.  I have figured out a work-around.  Just click on the video above to see what you have to do.  If you want to blast music while driving down the road and get a ticket, that is totally up to you.  But still a super cool feature!

If you have a Ridgeline and don't have a screen protector, you should get one. I tried the cloth and I have already scratched the screen and it drives me crazy every time I see it. I highly recommend getting this:

This will also hide your scratches by covering them up.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cause of Poor Sleep

For the past year, I've been tracking my sleep using the Fitbit Blaze that syncs to my cell phone. I typically wake up in the middle of the night multiple times for no reason. Now, I figured that it was because I had sleep apnea or something. Instead, I read an article that explained everything and it caused a moment of eureka for me: "sleeping with your pets". My cat!!! Yes, my cat wakes up all the time. Every time she moves, the bell on her collar rings. She also throws up furballs in the middle of the night. Now everything makes total sense as to why I'm sleep deprived. Time to get rid of the cat! No, just kidding. I have to figure out how to keep her out of my room for now on.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Not All Psychics are Fake

On a TV show, Adam Ruins Everything, Season 2 Episode 16 Adam Ruins the Future, Adam did a brief piece on how fake psychics trick people.  He brought on a magic show magician to explain how he does cold readings.  It is actually quite fascinating to see, but it doesn't tell the whole picture.  Someone who have never gone to a psychic will see this and think that all psychics are fake.  I think everyone should see for themselves to see if they are fake or not.

Being an objective person, I did an experiment to go to 6 different psychics, get a reading and see if they all tell me the same thing.

The results were quite interesting.  The quest was to see who was real, who was fake and how they do it.

The first reading I got was incredibly interesting.  I started out with a flat out lie to see if the psychic would correct me.  And she did.  I phrased my question to make it seem I had no doubt about the event such as "why did my father kill himself?"  She closed her eyes and took a deep breath and responded with "he didn't kill himself my dear...  he died of chest pain".   She was right, my father died of a heart attack.

I continued to ask questions to test her ability and when I was happy that she could debunk me at every trick question, I wanted to know about my future.  She told me about an event that were to happen in 3 months time and she was specific about what activity would happen.  When that time came, I knew in an instant that the psychic was real.

The second psychic I went to was a medium.  I found her kind of wierd because she would look above my head and move her hands as if she were moving clouds to see images of what she needed to see.  She told me that my father was slapping me in the head and telling me to stop going to psychics.

The third psychic I went to had a broken accent.  I could tell that she must be from the Caribbean or something.  Somehow she knew how many children I had, what sex and around what age they were.

The 4th psychic had a crystal ball.  I almost laughed at the stupid crystal ball, but she used it as if she was reading pages out of a book searching for answers.  She told me a lot about my current financial situation and every bit of it was true.  She also told me about future money I were to receive and she was correct about that also when the time came about 6 months later.

The 5th psychic I went to claimed to be an intuitive.  She would give advice based on what she could feel.  I thought she was totally fake because when I asked her questions, she couldn't answer them, instead she would ask me questions so I can answer them myself.  When it came to making hard decisions, she wanted me to guide myself and she said that when the time came that "you will know the answer".  Total bullshit.  In my mind, I was thinking that I wanted my money back but she was nice and was wearing rags for clothes.  She also tried to refer me to someone else for some spiritual cleansing that I bet she would make a commission off of.  She was obviously fake.

The 6th psychic gave me mixed answers, some came true and some didn't.  She had a timer and a good chunk of that time was spent on introduction.  I wasn't too pleased because she was rushing me after the timer went off.  I couldn't conclude if she were fake, but I know for sure that she was doing it for the money and that she didn't want to talk to me anymore when time ran out.

I have found that it is a good idea to go to older more experienced mediums for psychic advice.  Mediums have a 6th sense and can communicate with spirits that are attached to you.  I find it amazing how they can tell you about yourself without you telling them.  I like to stay quiet and not reveal anything but answer a few questions without going into detail.  It's their job to ask spirits for information to give you. 

The last psychic I spoke to knew that I was about to change jobs within a few months and that I was taking "classes" in order to prepare myself.  She told me to start preparing my resume...  did I tell her I was retiring?  Nope.  Amazing huh? 

I highly recommend Hollister Rand.  I watched her go around the room speaking to spirits that were connected with the audience.  It was pretty convincing because she didn't ask anyone any questions, she just knew stuff and spit out information like a machine gun.  I recalled that she looked at one member of the audience and told them that the person that hung himself was very sorry that he ended his life so quickly...  the audience member was very amazed and nodded in confirmation. 

Things psychics use:

Tarot Cards - Psychics use these as visuals to guide the conversation.  The cards can be interpreted in infinite ways because the pictures are highly detailed.  A figure holding a box in a hand can mean anything.  Click on the link below to add it to your Amazon shopping cart.

In conclusion, based off my experiences.  75% were true psychics.  If and when you find one, it is like having a cheat code on a video game.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The US Navy is a Dead End Job

As I look back at my 20 year career in the Navy, it took me this long to figure out that it really is a dead end job.  Here is my advancement history:

E-1 thru E-6: 8 years.
Time as E-6: 12 years.

Hmm... what's wrong here?  Quite simply, there is no room for advancement in the Navy.  For whatever reason, it is extremely difficult to make it up to the next rank.  I was very successful in the first 8 years of my career, some would call me a fast-tracker.  I took on a lot of hard jobs and volunteered a lot in the community.  Advancement was very easy for me because it was just a matter of doing well on an advancement exam.

Now from going from E-6 to E-7, you have to pass a test and get your record looked at by a board of E-9's and Officers.  Passing the test is easy and it doesn't even require studying.  For my last exam I didn't study and "Christmas Tree'd" the score sheet.  Somehow, I still managed to score in the top 93% of all E-6's that took the exam.  What kind of crap is that? 

Part two of the advancement is nothing but a popularity contest.  Navy Chiefs recommend brown nosing Master Chiefs that may have some kind of influence in the board process.  The board process is highly secretive and is held in high regard.  However, perception is that the whole process is rigged.  Somehow, people who elect themselves as "President" of the First Class Petty Officer Association (FCPOA) at a large command usually, if not always get selected for E-7.  If they don't get selected, there is something seriously wrong with them.  Another thing is Sailor of the Quarter (SOQ), this is something that recognizes people that look good on paper.  SOQ has some serious flaws because not everyone that should be nominated go up.  The chain of command is supposed to nominate, and if your chain of command doesn't give a shit, then you're pretty much screwed no matter if you deserve to go up or not.

So what did I do wrong?  Nothing.  When I couldn't be popular enough to be president of the FCPOA, I became president of another volunteer organization and led my peers in that aspect.  My chain of command never nominated me for SOQ.  My evals were written by people who didn't have a strong grasp of the English language so my evaluation write-ups were horrible.  Some say that getting promoted is mostly luck and being at the right place at the right time.

Would I have stayed in the service knowing that I was going to be stuck at E-6?  No.  Absolutely not.  Job opportunities are better paying on the outside.  If I were to know that I would be stuck at E-6, I would have been more focused on myself instead of helping people advance and surpass me.  It's extremely frustrating to see my peers become Senior Enlisted Leaders while I'm still turning wrenches.

So I am writing this just in case someone at their 10 year mark was wondering if they should stay in the Navy or get out.  The best advice that I was given was from my first LPO, "Do everything as if you were staying in, and most importantly do everything as if you were getting out."  Best advice ever...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Long Trips and Back Pain

Recently, I went on a long trip from San Diego to Las Vegas in a tiny little Prius c. Me and my friend opted to take his car because of the MPG and ease of parking. Well, I got to tell you that it was an experience that put me out of commission for about 4 days. Sitting in a chair that is low to the ground and your knees slightly bent or extended really stresses your back muscles. There were a few cars I had in the past that gave me problems and they were all little bitty cars like my old Saturn SL1 and Nissan Sentra, but when I upgraded to a larger vehicle such as a SUV where I can raise the seat to near chair height, my back pain was alleviated.

So for the long weekend, I stayed home, lying on my back taking 500 mg of motrin.

It's been a while, but that trip reminded me why I got a larger vehicle.  Avoiding what causes back pain is totally worth the extra money on paying for lower mpg.   

Click on the link to add this to your Amazon shopping cart if you need it.  I get a small referral fee that costs you nothing and helps me so I can keep blogging.  Thanks!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Separation Anxiety

This blog is almost as old as my entire career in the military. I can't believe it. I will be separating soon. I still have 7 months to go... Now, I have prepped myself and did everything that my mentors have told me. Get a degree... got it. Get your certifications... got it. Complete your USMAP (United States Military Apprenticeship Program)... done. However, despite all the accomplishments and accolades that I have earned, I feel somewhat nervous about separating. I'm always hearing stories about people not getting employment within the first year after separation. Some freshly separated folks have to collect unemployment while searching for a job... the list is endless. Trying not to focus on the negatives is a really hard thing to do. A new thing that has come up is that there is a 180 day gap after separation before being able to apply for a GS job (federal job). I think that is complete bullshit for anyone that is enlisted and cannot create a job opening for themselves. Oh well, whatever. Private sector it is. Well... even working in the private sector isn't secure either. It is easy to get laid off without much notice. The money is good though, but there isn't much benefits that come from it, like a legit retirement plan. I recently watched a show called "Adam Ruins Everything" and he ruined 401Ks. He states that money that come from 401Ks don't provide enough income to maintain your standard of living... more like a quarter of it if you're lucky. I know that I am ranting on and on, but it is really hard to predict the future. So yeah, retiring from the military makes me nervous.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thoughts on Chivalry

Dating rules have drastically changed within the past few decades.  The spawn of the internet and dating apps have seeded the expansion of potential mates.  Darwinism, which is the theory of evolution by natural selection, has died off as far as mating goes.  Now, anyone with three eyes and a tail can find a match, all with the ease of the internet.  There are sites that even allow people that lack all their teeth to meet each other such as Farmers Only! 

Some say that chivalry is not dead and it is evident that every so often you see that men still open doors for women and offer them their jackets when the temperature is slightly below the comfort zone.  There is still an argument of whether or not it still exists.  Depending on where you live there is a gender disparity, in military areas like San Diego, men outnumber women 3 to 1 (citydata.com, 2017).  In these places, men may need to go to extremes to attract the opposite sex.  Hence, chivalry must exist there, right?  Not necessarily.

As the population of millennials grow, medieval acts of chivalry are increasingly becoming known to be sexist as women are gaining independence.  Times are changing.  True gentlemen question if they should or should not be gentlemanly.  It seems like as if acts of chivalry are performed, it could be deemed as offensive and vice versa.  What do you think?

If you want more information about dating and stuff, get this book. Enjoy!

Monday, May 29, 2017

My First Truck, 2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition

I bought a new truck!  I traded in the 2013 Prius v for this bad-boy.  

I have owned many vehicles.  And this is my 10th vehicle.

Cars I've owned:
1. 1984 Red Pontiac Fiero
2. 1996 Gold Saturn SL1
3. 2002 Red Nissan Sentra SE-R
4. 1996 Gold Toyota Previa
5. 2006 Red Toyota RAV4 4WD
6. 2012 Red Chevrolet Convertible Camaro V6
7. 2012 White Chevrolet Traverse (Totaled)
8. 2012 Green Dodge Grand Caravan
9. 2013 Black Toyota Prius V Swag Wagon
10. 2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition AWD (Current)

Most of my purchases have been very economical, practical cars.  The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is pretty practical and economical (sort of).

I got the Black Edition which is the highest level trim.  It comes with radar-cruise control, lane departure assist, in-bed speakers, a trunk (YES!), Apple / Android Car Play, premium sound system with subwoofer, moon-roof, electronic sliding rear window and parking sensors.

This is the most high tech vehicle I've ever owned and for the price tag of $38,750 (MSRP $43K) it is a really good truck.

The 2017/2018 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition has painted wheels which require a unique lug nut socket to prevent marring of the paint.  Click the link below for the correct size lug nut socket.  A must have item!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Pets: An Untapped Market

Did you know that there is $$$ to be made in pets?  If you ever go to PetSmart or Petco, you'll see that there isn't much "variety" in pet products.  Sure, their stores look huge on the outside, but go inside and you'll see that each isle is dedicated to different animals.  Pet stores are seriously lacking in pet products for each type of pet.  For example, the cat isle is usually half an isle dedicated to toys and the other half isle to bowls and litter boxes.  If someone got smart and had a lot of start up cash, there could be warehouse stores about the size of a Walmart Supercenter.  There should be a small zoo and activities for pets to include obstacle courses, various pet hotels with internet cameras, and of course accessories.  These stores should be destinations for socialization... a place where people would want to spend a big part of their day.

Katie the Lovable Cat
 For people that have pets, they treat their animals like humans.  When I was in Japan, practically everything a human has (except for electronic devices) their pets would have.  Everything is shrunk to fit their needs like beds and clothing. 

Pet hotels.  Today, I tried to find a boarding place for my cat so that I can be at ease while I take a week long vacation.  To my surprise, the pet boarding place was completely booked for the summer.  I couldn't believe it.  I even came a month in advance.  The lady at the counter asked if I wanted to be placed on the waitlist.  Of course, I said sure and I looked at the outlook calendar on her desktop computer.  There were 25-30 people on the waitlist for next month!!!  Again, I couldn't believe my eyes.  Knowing this, the pet business is truly an untapped resource.  Only if people knew...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Gripes about living in San Diego

There probably isn't many articles about the downside of living in San Diego, but here are my gripes.

1.  The major league sports teams suck.  The Padres and the San Diego Chargers are among the worst teams.  I really want to love them... I really do.  It's just that every game ends in disappointment.

2.  Expensive!!!  It's really hard to survive out here.  You definitely can't live off minimum wage and trying to raise kids is even more expensive because there's no cheap childcare options.  From eating out to getting gas, everything is so damn expensive because of the "sunshine tax".  Good luck trying to purchase a house.

3.  Homeless people are everywhere.  You'll see them at almost every curb and intersection out here.  With the great weather, it is no question why the homeless would want to live and stay in San Diego.

4.  Micro breweries are everywhere.  I like beer, don't get me wrong.  But I can't tell the difference and there's no major brand that people stick to out here so it's hard to find common ground.  Sitting around and drinking beer isn't at all productive.  With all this drinking, there's a lot of drinking and driving.  I'm sure there's hundreds of intoxicated people on the road right now, so it doesn't become a question if you'll you struck by an drunk driver, it's when.

5.  Fires.  There is a constant threat of fires no matter what time of the year.  Oftentimes, this causes the next issue, traffic.

6.  Traffic and noise.  Like any big city, San Diego has lots and lots of traffic.  If you live in San Diego, you live near a freeway.  They're everywhere.

7. Male to Female Ratio.  Because of the numerous military bases in the area, males outnumber females nearly 7 to one.  There is a big gay community here which includes lesbians.  Women have a major advantage here to find a mate if they wanted one.  This is good for them in the dating scene but bad for them on the professional career scene where men of power in the workplace treat attractive, unattached women with concierge preferential treatment. 

8.  Drugs and the border.  The news is constantly showing drug busts and tunnels.  There's a huge amount of drugs flowing in and out of San Diego.  With that brings crime and human trafficking.  Children are constantly being eyed for kidnapping near schools in this area.  So I wouldn't consider San Diego a good place to raise a family, rather than a great place for young adults.

9.  Military presence.  Yes, I know.  I'm in the military but that doesn't mean that I embrace everything about it.  Military people of every branch are everywhere which isn't a bad thing, but it annoys the shit out of me.  I don't know why, but it does.  Maybe because it NEVER feels like I'm out relaxing and that I'm constantly reminded that I'm on duty 24 hours a day.

10.  Everyone is trying to one-up each other.  What you wear and what you drive matters.  You are what you present yourself to be.  Individuality is strong here and there's a lot of diversity.  Everyone thinks that their home country/culture is the best in the world and is not afraid to show it; almost obnoxiously so.  Some people may think this is a good thing, but I see it as exploitation.   As a result, people are trying to appear much richer than they actually are and are contributing to the problem with the decline in human values.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Reverse Lottery

I watched this interesting documentary about living in a van.  This lady talks about giving up her house and living in a van.  Giving up possessions and spending less on things to fill up a house with.  It's like the ultimate form of freedom and with a cost effective lifestyle.  The more that is given up, the more time that is given to you.  The energy that used to be spent on fixing, maintaining and cleaning your home is draining and relaxation time often means sitting on a couch and staring unproductively at a TV screen.  Whereas the van life is spent doing cool and fun stuff and meeting new people and experiencing new things.  Van life forces you to have less clothes and possessions.  The payoff is better than living a life where you are constantly paying for things.  Not having so much stuff and so much responsibilities is liberating so you have time to actually do things that you are interested in.  Having a home that is too big and too comfortable will only keep you from all the things that happen outside in the world that is constantly evolving.

Before taking on something like this, you have to ask yourself a few questions.  Would you mind taking baby-wipe showers?  What would you do if you needed to use the restroom?  Can you give up internet?

This is not a lifestyle that everyone should do, but this is a lifestyle best reserved for the most adventurous and most interesting people on Earth.

Below is a clickable link to a book that explains the ins and outs of living a minimalistic lifestyle by living in a van by someone who is doing it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Family Pic

A simple family picture that was taken at Admiral Baker Park.  V (8) N(9) 

Things like Facebook and Instagram is taking me away from Blogging.  I hate that I don't update this as much as I used to.  One of my hard-drives crashed so I lost a ton of digital pictures from the past.  I'm uncertain if I can recover them all.  So I'll do my best to post some updates here and there.