Cycling with Smokey Air from the California Wildfires

The air here in California has been pretty bad, as a result of the 3 major fires (1 in the Bay Area, 2 in Southern California). If gotten really acquainted with Purpleair

Screen Shot 2018-11-11 at 11.11.53 AM

This was at 11 am

It was kinda odd, that Sunday morning, when I woke up, it had a reading of 110 (150 is considered unhealthy). So I took a quick ride out. Climbed up Montebello Road, and seeing the view from up top, looking down on the valley was depressing.


There were many who had the same mindset as me … get out while the air is bearable.  I guess we were lucky, that we had this small window of bearable air.

This morning when I woke up, it got a lot worse.

Screen Shot 2018-11-12 at 6.15.41 AM

6:15 am on 11/12/2018

I also hear on the news that the air today (11/12/2018) will be the worse day for air quality. I guess I’m driving again.

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Have You Lost Weight?

I’ve been hearing that question a lot lately … Have you lost weight? In fact I have … I was at 170, and lately I’ve been hovering between 158-160. But it’s even more significant, when someone takes a glance at me, notices something different, and says “Have you lost weight?”

I’ve gotta admit, that gives me a big head. Can’t help but get a real big boost with this. I just hope I can keep it up.

As far as I can tell, the only thing I’ve really done is reduce the amount of starch … no pasta, limit amount of rice, more greens. I thought it would be a minor but I guess it is making a difference.

I’m still snacking too much, and I know it. That’s the next thing I’ve gotta cut out.

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Turning off Auto-Play of Videos on Twitter and Facebook from your Smartphone

It’s the most annoying thing … you scroll through your feed or timeline, and one of the feeds has a video.  It plays as soon as you scroll to it.  While it is a neat feature, not everyone wants it on by default.  First, it’s annoying, if you are scrolling through it, wasting time, in a doctor’s office.  If you have your phone on half volume, then everyone will hear the video.  Second, it chews up your bandwidth.

So when you read articles from Facebook, it tells you about the obvious disadvantage of it using up bandwidth on your phone.  So why the hell do you have it enabled by default?  You would expect that it would be off by default, and you would opt in, if you happen to be in high bandwidth wi-fi regions.  Not only that, they make it extremely difficult to find the options to disable it.  I guess I should be fortunate that they give you an option to turn it off … but there is no reason why it should be enabled by default, on your mobile phone!

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No $749 is not an affordable phone

Apple is so smug. Here they are, advertising they have these new phones and at an affordable price, $749. What the hell? That is not affordable. A Chromebook is half that price.

Why can’t someone make an affordable phone, less than $500? Is that too hard to ask? All I want is the following

  • Decent camera
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth
  • Headphone jack
  • Removable battery
  • WiFi
  • Run social media apps

Is that too hard to ask for?

A fingerprint scanner would be nice, but why can’t we have this less than $500? While we’re at it, how about something smaller than 5 inches? Something I can fit in my pocket?

If you want a big screen, get an iPad.

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Where Can You Get a $6.75 Ticket to See a Movie?

I didn’t bring my bike with me this weekend, so I had to spend some time away, so I thought I’d duck in to see a movie. Crazy Rich Asians was showing in West Covina, and the web site advertised $6.75. I thought, this must be a typo.

I go there, and yes, the admission is $6.75. Wow, that is amazing. And this is not some second quality flick, this is the best selling movie for the past three weekends. Damn, and the place looks really good too. They have a large courtyard with room for a band. They don’t have anything like this in the Bay Area … unless of course, they close off the entire downtown area.

I hardly ever go see movies, and this prompted me to see movie on consecutive days. Crazy Rich Asians, and Black Klansman. All in all, a great movie seeing weekend.

Oh the movies? Both were excellent. Crazy Rich Asians is pretty important, as it is the first all asian cast movie in about 25 years … last one was Joy Luck Club, which I totally enjoyed. This one was up there too, although it was more of a chick flick, screwball comedy. I could relate to all the weird characters in the wedding (as some of my 1st and 2nd cousins are like that). The backstory behind the mother, and not knowing who the true father is … although that didn’t happen with my family, the story certainly has parallels to mine.

The second move, Black Klansman, is great. It is a bit political, and even though it takes place in the 70s, they do have a bit of it at the end, that reminds us of what happened in Charlottesville, SC in 2017 … basically stating that the same problem is occurring today, so that story is relevant even today.

So that’s my quick review of the two movies. Have a great Labor Day everyone!

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I Can Use Android Pay as an ATM Card

I’ve been using Android Pay for a couple of years, and it’s great.  I regularly use it when I go to the market, and I just pay with my phone.  I also use it at a few favorites, like Chili’s, Subway … I just wish everyone would use Android Pay.  I was thinking … if only I could use my phone as an ATM card, without having to pull my ATM card out.  There was a time, where I forgot to bring my wallet, and I commuted into work.  Since I didn’t have my wallet, I didn’t have money to pay for lunch.

Now, I find that my bank does support Apple and Android Pay.  Sweet!  All I did was go onto my bank app, chose Android Pay, choose my account, and voila.  Now I can swipe my ATM machine.  Very cool!

Since I always carry my phone around, if I happen to forget my wallet, I have a backup.  Sweet!

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Cranking up Those Miles in July

Wow, I guess I had a pretty good month in July. Stuck in the middle was Santa Cruz Mountain Challenge, a good 95 mile ass kicker, but I did keep up with good solid rides. It feels good, and I feel stronger, and to some extent, more fit. I’m able to hang in with the Meetup group, without getting caught up in the back.

782 miles is for to be one of my best months. Felt so good, I signed up for Carmel Valley Double Century at end of August. Now why did I go and do something like that? I guess I need to keep it up

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