• Fantasy Sports

    2013 Fantasy Baseball

    The spring is here and its time for baseball season to start again. 99% of the people that read my blog could care less about baseball, and in reality i could too, but i still love fantasy baseball. I’ve been playing since the early 2000s on a now defunct website called sandlot.com. Back then i didn’t know much about the individual players, but now i can probably name you the utility man sitting on the bench on any team.

    bryce-harper
    Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals

    Most people i know who do play fantasy sports play football which is more of a constant weekly obsession, fantasy baseball is much more of a marathon. Having your first, or second round pick completely bust due to injury or pure worthlessness often has little to do with you year end standing. Its a real marathon of a game that daily you have to monitor who’s gone to the DL, which prospects are being called up from the minors and pick which pitchers you’re going to start.

    evan-longoria
    Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays

    Rotisserie Baseball is my favorite type of baseball league where you gain points based on a total accumulation of specific stats throughout the whole year, rather than a week by week scoring system like head-to-head.

    jered-weaver
    Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    Last year was a complete failure for my keeper league (a league where you get to keep players from the following year) that i joined with my intern partner Hubert at Shaxon , but after much wheeling and dealing i did what all great managers should do, dump all the players that are performing well enough but aren’t worth keeping for as many studs as you can.

    I traded up and got a top 3 player, two CSULB alums, and a rising star to go along with my hold over Joey Votto.

    • Ryan Braun for Ryan Zimmerman, Shin-Soo Choo, and C.J. Wilson.
    • Evan Longoria (go beach!) and Bryce Harper for Mark Teixeira and Giancarlo Stanton
    • Jered Weaver (go beach!) for Ian Kinsler, Adam Jones, and Emilio Bonifacio

    I originally went into the draft looking to load up on pitching since i have a tendency to have a weak staff, and luckily found that the reigning AL Cy Young Winner David Price was available to me with the first pick. After that pick i through out my original strategy and went heavy on hitting. Overall i may need to work on my pitching staff once again but at least with two aces it should be a lot easier to deal with. The rest of my drafted as follows:

    1. Ryan Braun
    2. Joey Votto
    3. Evan Longoria
    4. Bryce Harper
    5. Jered Weaver
    6. David Price
    7. Brandon Phillips
    8. Freddie Freeman
    9. Jordan Zimmermann
    10. Victor Martinez
    11. Asdrubal Cabrera
    12. Josh Willingham
    13. Chase Headley
    14. Hiroki Kuroda
    15. Addison Reed
    16. Casey Janssen
    17. Adam Eaton
    18. Michael Morse
    19. Jayson Werth
    20. Bruce Rondon
    21. Josh Rutledge
    22. Bartolo Colon
    23. Brandon Beachy

     

     

     

     

  • Chapters

    Kings vs. Stars

    Thursday night Joy got tickets to the LA Kings vs. Dallas Stars Hockey game from her work. We got 4 Premiere tickets so we invited Tony and Lisa to join us since they’re one of the few people that i know that like hockey.

    The Kings were getting a lot of shots on goal, but unfortunately Dallas’ goalie was standing on his head that night. The Stars eventually scored a goal in the third, and put in a second when i came back from the bathroom, and figured it was time to leave since its pretty rare for a team to come back from two down with minutes to play in the third period.

    joy-john

  • Chapters

    Afternoon in Little Tokyo

    For lunch on Wednesday Jonathan had to drop off some stuff for creativity heals so we headed to LIttle Tokyo to meet up with Jenny at Spitz. After eating, chatting, and dropping off stuff we went to visit Roy at his Japangeles pod. Its pretty cool to see our one time business banker make it as a small business owner.  Last on our agenda was to stop by the Spice Table before dinner service to say hi to Bryant. Seems like he’s a super busy guy beyond just running his restaurant, now that he’s part of a new The Inaugural World Street Food Congress. He’ll be travelling to Singapore this summer to do some speaking and cooking.

    spitz

    japangeles

    chef-ng

  • 10 Best List,  Disneyland

    Top 10 Days To Visit or Not To Visit Disneyland

    Disneyland is open 365 days a year but not every day is created equal. There are days that should be avoided at all costs and other days where you basically ask never to get off the ride because no one else is in line. Weekdays are better than weekends, summer days are hot, winter months can be rainy, and everyone goes when school is out, but here are a few days that stand out the most as good or bad days to visit Disneyland.

    10. New Year’s Eve

    Don’t Go! Its such a good idea to go to Disneyland to ring in the new year, but it is the number day not to go. On an average day there may be 50,000 people but on the eve that i worked there was an estimated 120,000 people waiting for the clock to hit midnight. You can get on about two rides for the day, and have to stand shoulder to shoulder, groin to ass for hours on main street waiting for the fireworks to go off.

    9. 4th of July

    Don’t Go! See number 10, but at 80,000-100,000 guests. Its genrally a bad idea to visit the park during the summer months due to people visiting for summer break but the just skip going on the 4th of July. You’ll just be standing in excessively long lines, next to excessively stinky people waiting until it gets dark to see the fireworks show.

    If you insist on seeing the fireworks you don’t actually need to go into the park and the view from the The Disneyland Entry Esplanade.

    8. Grad Nights

    Don’t Go! For the last few weeks of June, Disneyland opens specifically at night for the current year’s Grad Night. This means that the park has to close early so that they can get the park ready again for teenagers to run amuck on their own. In 2012 i noticed that the kids are there during the day and just allowed to stay in the park into the Grad Night Party, and makes the park unbearably busy.

    Looks like its moved to only California Adventures

    7. January through March

    disneyland-construction

    Go/Don’t Go! After the new year, and all the holiday decorations come down, Disneyland puts on their gloves and goes through a period of refurbishments and ride closers to get ready for the summer rush. This means while you’ll still be paying the normal rate, you’ll be visiting a park running at only 70%-80%. Every year at least one big ride goes down until summer rolls around so you maybe lose your chance to ride the likes of Matterhorn, or Thunder Mountain.

    This is the time typically they also give discounts for Southern California residents

    6. Themed Days

    disneyland-dapper-days

    Go/Don’t Go! Disneyland is a very popular place for groups of people to meet up at. While not officially recognized by Disneyland, they are very accommodating to large groups of people with interesting types of hobbies and lifestyles. If you’re really into a certain theme it would be fun to join, and as a bonus sometimes they can even get group rate discount. Otherwise it may be best not to go if you feel uncomfortable being around such enthusiastic people.

    I’ve personally witnessed Rave Day while working there, and attended the park as a guest during Bats Day, but here are some other that may or may not tickle your fancy.

    The majority of these people are quite nice, and are more than willing to take pictures with you if you want.

    5. Premium Days

    premium-pass

    Go! As a general rule if you are going for one day, check out the Disneyland Annual Passport Calendar and check out which days are Premium Pass days only. Its not a perfect system but at least you know you’ll avoid people with the lower grade pass.

    4. Mother’s Day & Easter Sunday

    Go! While most families sit shoulder to shoulder trying to get to a breakfast buffet, Disneyland tends to be quite light and you can have the run of the town for most of the day.

    read: Easter Premium

    3. Halloween to Thanksgiving

    disneys-halloween-time

    Go! Any day between Halloween and Thanksgiving is a great day to go to Disneyland. Its the eye of the storm as the shortened Halloween hours have come to an end, and followed by the time where people start taking off time for vacation. You’ll get to enjoy the Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas, all the rides will be open and the weather is perfect.

    There was one day working there that i remember a group of teenagers run in circles on Splash Mountain doing different poses for the camera.

    2. Your Birthday

    birthday-pin

    Go! If you really ever want to feel particularly special, go on your birthday (or close to it). If you tell a cast member when you buy your ticket, or city hall you can get a special Birthday Pin where they’ll write your name and draw some Mickey ears on them. All day you’ll hear a Happy Birthday from the majority of cast members and even random guests. Within a four hour day Joy got at least 14 greetings.

    1. Christmas Eve

    small-world-holiday

    Go! During the two week winter holiday, Disneyland is a madhouse. Disneyland pulls out all the lights out of the closet and goes crazy decorating Main St. USA, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and of course it’s a small world. There’s also the special holiday parade, dressed up characters and don’t forget the “snow” after the fireworks. Amazingly the best day to go during this time is Christmas Eve. The main reason is that its not a federal holiday, and from what i’ve learned, many people who celebrate Christmas for religion do it on Christmas Eve. Back in 1998 they even closed down the park at 6:00pm so cast members could go home to celebrate (but not anymore).

    That said, avoid Disneyland on Christmas Day.

    Other Notes

  • Restaurants,  Travels

    Maui Grindz – Food around the Island

    There were many places that we ended up eating, some good, some ok, but nothing horrible. Of course the first day we had Da Kitchen, and Star Noodle. Here is the rest of our eats on our trip.

    The Cliff Dive Bar

    Pina Colada @ Cliff Dive Bar Sheraton
    Pina Colada @ Cliff Dive Bar Sheraton

     

    Black Rock Lager & Nachos @ Cliff Dive Bar
    Black Rock Lager & Nachos @ Cliff Dive Bar

    While the family is on the beach or snorkeling around Black Rock, The Cliff Dive Bar at the Sheraton is the perfect place to grab a drink.

    The seats along the edge have a perfect view of the people diving off Black Rock into the water. We snacked on a huge plate of nachos that is easily sharable with four or more people.

    Full bar to get your mai tai, piña colada, or basic vodka tonic. The food isn’t anything special but they at least serve food.

    Hula Grill

    Coconut Calamari @ Hula Grill
    Coconut Calamari @ Hula Grill

     

    4 Years later and it hasn’t changed. Super busy place since its beach front of the Whaler’s Village. The food is ok, and i actually enjoyed the Coconut Calamari this time around. No food discounts for happy hour, but mai tais are cheaper. Expect a wait if you have a larger party and follow the rule of ordering when the waiter/waitress ask if you’re ready or else you’ll be waiting for another 20 minutes.

    Fish Sandwich @ Hula Grill
    Fish Sandwich @ Hula Grill

     

    Happy Hour Mai Tai @ Hula Grill
    Happy Hour Mai Tai @ Hula Grill

     Foodland Poke

    Poke Foodland on top of a Maui Onion Chip
    Poke Foodland on top of a Maui Onion Chip

     Aloha Mixed Plate

    Loco Moco @ Aloha Mixed Plate
    Loco Moco @ Aloha Mixed Plate

     

    Mixed Plate @ Aloha Mixed Plate
    Mixed Plate @ Aloha Mixed Plate

     Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

    Olowalu Lime Pie, Pineapple Lemon Tart & Apple Handheld Pie @ Leoda's Kitchen and Pie Shop
    Olowalu Lime Pie, Pineapple Lemon Tart & Apple Handheld Pie @ Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

    Be careful or you might just drive past it. Leoda’s was a random stop between activies and a good place to take a break if you’re heading to or leaving lahaina if traffic is backed up.

    There were 6 of us so we got to sample a few pies. We got the Olowalu Lime Pie, Pineapple Lemon Tart & Apple Handheld Pie. I love the sour pies but found the handheld pie a little too doughy.

    Da Kitchen

    Cheese Burger @ Da Kitchen
    Cheese Burger @ Da Kitchen

     Hula Cookies & Ice Cream

    Kona Mud Pie @ Hula Cookies & Ice Cream
    Kona Mud Pie @ Hula Cookies & Ice Cream

     Ono Tacos

    Ono Tacos
    Ono Tacos

     Sansei

    Butterfish @ Sansei
    Butterfish @ Sansei

    Pre Trip Food List:

    Izakaya Matsu
    Geste Shrimp
    Paia Fish Market
    Da Kitchen Cafe
    Takamiya Market
    Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop
    Foodland Farms
    Gazebo Restaurant
    Local Food
    Ono Tacos
    Ono Gelato Company
    Okazuya & Deli Honokowai
    Grandma’s Coffee House
    Sam Sato’s
    Home Maid Bakery
    Kalama Local Grinds
    Foodland Lahaina

  • Family,  Travels

    Around the Island of Maui

    I always makes lists of things to do beyond what i think is actually possible but i find i’m happier traveller if i’m never left to wonder what else there is to do. Even with only 3 full days on the island i think we were able to do quite a bit.

    honolua-bay-wide

    Sunday afternoon we headed to the far west part of the island to attempt to go snorkeling at Honolua Bay. When we got there it was a bit tricky to find where to park and find the beach (we never did). We stopped along a bluff and checked out the scene and saw that the beach was pretty rocky and that the snorkeling looked pretty far into the bay so we just hung out for a few minutes before heading back home.

    iao-needle

    iao-needle-hut

    Monday morning we headed back up to the north part of the island to do a little hiking at Iao Needle. I obviously did not do my homework because i prepared for a good hour long hike but in reality it was a five minute hike. Its like walking up three flights of stairs to a little hut that faces the Iao Needle (the pointy mountain in the picture).

    maui-ocean-center

    After the short hike we headed back down south to the Maui Ocean Center to check out the fish with out the need of a snorkel mask. Its not a big place but definitely a good place to check out on any day thats gloomy or if you have a few hours to kill.

    Places:

    Maui Swap Meet
    Kula Country Farms
    Iao Valley State Park
    Kula Botanical Gardens
    Honolua Bay
    Maui Ocean Center

  • Family,  Travels

    Return to Kaanapali

    black-rock

    During our trip in Maui we spent the majority of our time at Kaanapali Beach just north of Lahaina. We spent two afternoons lounging underneath umbrellas, drinking some beers and just relaxing. Nina brought along two pairs of snorkel gear so each couple took turns using them to swim around Black Rock and look at all the fish.

    black-rock-turtle

    The real excitement happened both days when a few turtles decided to swim close to shore. There was one that was swimming back out to the ocean and swam underneath Joy which surprised her and freaked her out for a second.

    black-rock-whale-tail

    Far out into the ocean there were some humpback whales passing by, spouting up water, and breaching a few times too. I had a little fun shooting this photo through my binoculars. Next time we are definitely staying at the Maui Sheraton so that we can just walk out of the hotel and get right on the beach.

  • Family,  Fastfood Diary,  Travels

    Lahaina Morning

    kaylee-awake

    Saturday morning I was up early because of the two hour time difference with PST and the kid was up with me. We hung out and watched a little Lilo and Stitch until the sun rose.

    joy-jumpnina-jumpOnce the sun peaked up over Haleakala all the early risers headed out the small beach just a few feet from our house. Kaylee wasn’t so happy about the loud crashing waves, but the adults had fun in the cold sand and had a little fun with some stop action photography.

    maui-running

    For breakfast we always have to go get some McDonald’s Local Breakfast, and we made it worth it by running the 1.8 miles to the nearest McDonald’s in Lahaina. Some people had a little trouble but we made it there in under 20 minutes. This is the first time where the weather has been comfortable enough to actually last that long because normally its too muggy and i have to stop five minutes into it.

    mcdonalds-local-deluxe-breakfast

    mcdonalds-fried-apple-pie-haupia-pie

    I was happy about the spam, eggs, and rice, but what really puts a smile on my face is the fried apple pie, and for this trip they had a fried haupia (coconut) pie as well!  We walked off the food walking around Lahaina doing a little shopping before getting heading over to Kaanapali, a few miles north of Lahaina.

  • Family,  Travels

    Family Time in Hawaii

    Its been almost three years since my last trip to the islands and finally we were able to coordinate it with the sister, along with jason and jia and booked a trip to Maui. We got a 3 bedroom, 3 bath vacation rental at the Puanama Resort just a few miles away from Lahaina. It also coincided with Joy and my 4th Wedding Anniversary so as custom we celebrated with family.

    puamana-maui

    Joy and I arrived on Friday first and picked up our rental van for the week from Alamo and headed to Da Kitchen for a late lunch which is just 5 minutes away from the airport. We ordered the Fried Spam Musubi, and a bowl of Wonton Saimin noodle soup. The Fried Spam Musubi was probably my favorite thing i ate all week and the saimin was delicious even in all the humidity of Hawaii.

    da-kitchen-fried-spam-musubi da-kitchen-wonton-saiminAfter lunch we went to K-mart across the street to pickup some toiletries which was of course more expensive (about a 20% markup) but still much cheaper than having to check in luggage for $50 Round Trip. Finally my sister arrived and we quickly headed to drop off all our stuff at our house so we could make it to our 5:00pm dinner rsvp at Star Noodle in Lahaina.

    Star-Noodle-Garlic-Noodles

    The place was packed when we arrived and plenty of people waiting for a seat so it totally worked out to make rsvp a week earlier. We went family style and ordered up about half of the menu to share highlighted by the Ahi Avo  (the best Poke we had on our trip), Filipino “Bacon & Eggs” (delicious Crispy Pork Belly), and Garlic Noodles (a very homey flavor). We were disappointed that Chef Sheldon from Top Chef wasn’t there, but we were still excited try out the food.

    Star-Noodle-Ahi-Avo

    Star-Noodle-Filipino-Bacon-EggsAfter dinner we went to FoodLand to pickup food supplies for the rest of the week, including plenty of spam, eggs, beer, and the second best Poke we had on our trip. I also bought another of my favorite insulated grocery bags, and this time a Poke one.