Wednesday, January 31, 2007 

Big Al has another celebrity sighting

It's not actually a celebrity sighting if you intentionally go to an event where the celebrity is scheduled to be at. So I went to the Googleplex for the first time on Tuesday to visit my "acquaintances" Carol, Lisa & Coach Ed. I was invited to Google's private concert featuring John Legend.

(John Legend singing Ordinary People - no that's not Kanye West)

First of all, I was impressed with Google and their facility - free food, drinks, etc. The vibe there was energetic with mostly 20-somethings in the room. Most of them were there for a few hours with their laptops as they were doing their Google work while waiting for the concert to begin. My "acquaintances" were camped out in their auditorium about 100 feet away from the stage (think Row 10 at Shoreline) so we were really close up.

John Legend played an hour set with 2 breaks. He played several of his hits like Save Room, P.D.A. & Ordinary People. The breaks included a Q&A with the employees where they could ask him anything like, "How did you break into the business?" (BTW: it took him 6 years to get a recording contract after he was doing management consulting), "What do you like to do in your spare time?" (surf the web with Google), and "Can I sing Ordinary People with you?" (the Filipino guy that sang with him was pretty good).

Thanks to Carol for inviting me!

*Update 1/31/07 at 14:43*
I edited this post and changed "friends" with "acquaintances" per the's policy that Males & Females cannot be "friends". There's way too much sexual tension involved. However, because males cannot have sexual tension with other males they can be "friends".

Monday, January 29, 2007 

Big Al's Celebrity Sightings

Sometimes you get that weird feeling that things aren't just right. You may have the bothersome anxiety that you forgot to turn off the stove or somebody may be following you to your car. In my case, neither of these happened, but at the baggage carousel at San Francisco International Airport on Friday night you could feel a buzz. I guess it started out as a whisper from one passenger to another then a few finger points and then a flash of the phone camera and before you knew it people knew that there was a Higher Being amongst us. In this case, I was blessed with the company of Matt Dillon of Something About Mary fame. Yeah, it wasn't exactly somebody powerful like George W. Bush or sexy like Posh Spice but it filled my celebrity fix for the year.So I'm waiting for my friend's luggage and one person tells me to look at this one guy. At first I didn't recognize him. It wasn't until he told me who he was that it clicked. Apparently somebody took a picture of him and Dillon got a little pissy. I took a picture of him from pretty far away and he happened to notice and gave me the evil eye stare. I should have shown him my credentials.

(The crappy zoom shot with the 1.3 MP camera. Dillon is in the black shirt and baseball cap)

I realized two things this evening:
1. celebrities sometimes fly commercial
2. part of a celebrity's job is to be more cordial to their fans and be happy to take pictures and shake their hands.

You would think that it's the little people like us who make Dillon who he is. We're the ones who watch his movies and buy his DVDs. He should openly embrace a picture and even proactively shake people's hands. I understand that you need your privacy, but it's not like we're ripping your clothes off - it's the price you pay for being a celebrity and making those millions.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 

Big Al wants to know what's the lamest song on your iPod

So I was talking with my buddy VJ from Vallejo. He mentioned that he was at work in Chicago and his co-workers were playing "What's the lamest song on your iPod?". I thought that was a pretty ingenious game to play, so I looked at my playlist and came up with a few lame songs:
  • Trashin The Camp (Disney's Tarzan Soundtrack) - Rosie O'Donnell
  • She Bangs - William Hung
  • Chocolate Salty Balls - Chef
I probably won't win in any contest, but I'd probably give you a run. Anyways, the winner of VJ's lamest song on the iPod is from A.C. Slater & Jess Spano of Saved By The Bell, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You:

What's your lamest song?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 

Big Al's Thoughts on School Shooting Simulation Drill

So every Wednesday morning I do volunteer work at Bishop Elementary School in Sunnyvale. I help about 11 First graders in their reading and math homework. I'm focused on helping them finish their work, but most of them just want to talk or play. I've been doing this for the last 2 school years in addition to my Big Brothers Big Sisters help. I'm pretty satisfied with my efforts in giving back to the community.

I was speaking with the First Grade teacher this morning, and she explained that today is "Code Blue" day. This is a school-wide drill that simulates an attack on the school by a shooter. Her job is to barricade the doors shut, drape all of the windows and calmly lead the kids into the corner of the classroom and hope to not get discovered by the psycho. The Sunnyvale police department will also be involved to run over the different scenarios.

Can you believe what our world has come to? I remember growing up and we would brush off our monthly fire or earthquake drills. The reality is that we are now in a time where today's children are not only vulnerable to natural disasters but to crazy people who have nothing better to do than take out their problems on others. It's very disturbing and sad. You often think that these situations would never happen to me, but I'm sure those in Columbine and the Pennsylvania Amish Community said the same thing.

Although I applaud the Sunnyvale School District and the Sunnyvale Police Department for being proactive about keeping today's kids safe, I suggest that they target the source of the problem and provide more assistance there. You cannot prevent the random school attack, but in cases where the problems originate with the students or teachers, I believe this can be prevented with proper community outreach such as a more welcoming environment, more available counselors and proper student monitoring. Small steps like this will reduce the number of school related shootings per year.

Monday, January 22, 2007 

Big Al ditches the hops and barley for some grapes

(Andrew, Steve, Natalie & Neetha chugging down the grape juice)

Did a little wine tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains this weekend. I did this once before in Italy, and I didn't exactly like it then and I don't exactly like it now. Maybe it's like cigarettes where you need to try it a few times before you get hooked.

(Natalie & Neetha)

We made it to 4 wineries on the Winery Passport Weekend (see map). For $30 you get unlimited access to 30+ wineries in the greater Santa Cruz Mountain area where you can drink all you want. It is organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association and happens every 3 months. My favorite was the first winery, Cinnabar, where they served goat cheese and Countrytime Lemonade Vintage 1999.

For all of you wine afficianado's you should take a trip out here during a passport weekend. Let me know, and maybe I'll be the designated driver... or I'll just bring my own beer and Countrytime Lemonade stash.

Friday, January 19, 2007 

Big Al's Rant: Wireless Headsets in Public

I figure I need to do more ranting on my blog rather than just tell things as they are. Frenchy's comments in my previous post bring up a good point about how so many people are walking around with their wireless headsets in their ear 24x7. I can understand if you're in your car driving, competing in the Burrito Counter or pleasuring yourself, but c'mon... you're not that important to have that piece in your ear canal all the time.

I will give one other exception to this: the High School student. Yes, Mr. Cool High School Guy you are the most important person on the planet and you have my permission to wear your Bluetooth earpiece whenever and wherever you want. I understand that you need to juggle your Trig homework or your Physics cram sessions along with your Prom date, football game and volunteer work. It would be inhumane if weren't allowed to do. Plus all the girls will think you're so much cooler - like Ferris Bueller.

For everybody else... don't do it! Or just do what I do.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 

Big Al's New Toy

(Big Al's new toy - Motorola MPx220)

So the news front has been rather slow lately. So in order to keep my fans interested, I went out and purchased a new phone on EBay so I can communicate with you and I can have something to talk about on my blog. The Motorola MPx220 actually came out in mid 2005, but it looks like the former owner never used it. It was still wrapped in its original plastic with all the protective adhesives that are used to scratch protect the more delicate parts. So the $75 I paid for a new phone was a steal.

(The O2 Atom - soon to be on EBay so somebody else can suffer)

I had to replace my O2 Atom. I bought it use from a Thailand swap meet in May 2006 and it went to sh!t slowly thereafter. It was obviously used when I bought it and it may have been stolen, but I felt that I need a piece of Asian technology before I left the "Land of a Thousand Smiles". The problems first started to occur when the battery charger didn't charge the battery unless it was placed in a certain angle. This eventually led to me using an external chrager - meaning that I had to forward all of my phone calls to my house phone and remove the battery to place in the external charger. I tried to overcome the phone forwarding problem by buying a 2nd battery, but it too had problems charging. Next, the battery door started to fall apart. Then I tried having it fixed in the Philippines and they broke the infrared thing and they never really put it back together correctly so my stylus would fall out from time-to-time. The bluetooth reception wasn't very clear nor loud enough for me. Lastly, everybody that I spoke to always complained about the unusual amounts of static in the background when they spoke with me.

So I finally fixed this problem. I hope you learn that it isn't wise to buy a phone from overseas from a company that has no US presence. Hopefully it'll bridge the gap until I can get the Apple iPhone.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 Service Announcement: Comments

Dear Readers,

It is come to our attention that you have been experiencing issues when placing comments on the blog. Please keep in mind that after posting a comment, the following notice appears:

In other words, your comments may or may not appear on the site right away. It's a limitation of Blogger (my blogging service provider). If you don't understand it now, please seek help.

Big Al

Monday, January 15, 2007 

Big Al Welcomes Lester to Club 28

(Lester posing in front of his birthday ice cream)

On Saturday I went to Sushi with Lester and his friends & family to celebrate his 28th Birthday. Most of them went to the Cache Creek Indian Casino prior to dinner, but I wasn't able to attend just because I didn't feel like giving away the remaining cash that I have left to them. Lester's Mom was cool enough to pay for all of our dinners. Until next time! Ciao!

(So many babies! There must have been at least 3 with 1 more on the way.)

(Mommy Venessa & Pharmacist Michelle (SP-SV97))

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 

Big Al Wants You To Run... with the bulls, in cooperation with 4nyay-The People's Champ, have a tentative agreement to visit Pamplona, Spain in July 2007.

~July 4-14 (exact length of trip is to be determined)
The festival launches into action each year on July 6 and continues with relentless energy until July 14. They do the bull runs everyday @ 8am for 830meters to the bullring, where bullfights follow.

The small and otherwise laid-back city of Pamplona is home to the internationally famous festival of Los Sanfermines and its chaotic Running of the Bulls. We expect to fly to Barcelona (easier) or Madrid and spend a few days there & then take a train to pamplona.

Bring your white outfit with the red scarf (We're looking into subsidized gear). Los sanfermines kick into gear on July 6 with the txupinazo, when a rocket blasts off in front of the city hall to announce fiesta's commencement. This moment of deafening cheers and uncorked champagne bottles certainly sets the tone of the week, as the city dives headfirst into a week a crazed festivities. The chaotic running of the bulls, or el encierro, is the most characteristic and internationally renowned part of the sanfermines. The running of the bulls takes place everyday at eight in the morning and consists of a crowd of primarily young men who run ahead of the clamoring bulls through an 830-meter stretch of cobbled road and into the city´s bullring.After each morning is greeted with the daily Running of the Bulls, bullfights liven up each afternoon, and parades featuring bands of music and enormous giants constantly wind through the streets. On July 7th, a procession dating back to the 13th century boasts music and enormous crowds as it passes through Pamplona in honor of San Fermín.

Every party must come to an end, and in the case of los sanfermines that inevitable moment is called the pobre de mí. The crowd laments the end of another year's festivities with the traditional song the pobre de mí, literally meaning "poor me."

Several people have confirmations for this. I hope everybody can make it!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007 

Big Al may sign a contract with the 49ers & you can too

So one of my friends works for the 49er's Marketing Department and she offered me this position:

This year, the 49ers will be participating in a handful of festivals and events in the greater Bay Area to promote the 2007 football season. We are currently looking to hire a promotional festival and event street team to set-up, manage and represent the San Francisco 49ers as a contractor. The street team will comprise of a diverse group of people which will ideally include 1 male and 2 females. During these festivals and events, the street team will be responsible for the following:


  • Delivering, setting up and tearing down the booth and materials to event
  • Distributing handouts for season tickets, team travel, individual tickets, merchandise catalog, Kids Club, Jr. Gold Rush & etc.
  • Actively promoting our free raffle drawing
  • Act as an ambassador for the 49ers


  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Must be friendly, outgoing, self-motivated, reliable, punctual, and professional looking. (No visible tattoos or body piercings.)
  • Must be a 49ers fan and be able to talk about football
  • Bilingual skills is a plus
  • Must have reliable transportation
She asked me if I have any friends interested. This is a paid position that pays you about $240-360 per day. The requirements are 7-8 weekend events throughout 2007 (mostly 1-2 day events such as the Cherry Blossom Festival, SF Pride Parade, SJ Grand Prix, Gilroy Garlic Festival, etc.) If you're interested, let me know. I haven't made up my mind as whether or not I'm going to do it, but if I can get a few of my friends to join then I'll probably do it. Email me!

Monday, January 08, 2007 

Big Al's addiction to crack...

...plumber's butt crack.

So I get home from Di-nee-lan last week and I see a bunch of puddles and wet dry wall in my garage. Over the weekend it looks like there was a leak in my fire suppression system (aka the fire sprinklers). After several hours of fighting with my insurance company, the fire suppression installers, the home warranty expert and the original builders I was able to get some plumbers to fix it for a low cost.

On other news, Soldier Steve is going back to Army retraining for a more than probable return to Iraq in February for an 18 month stint. Because of that, we were able to hang out in San Mateo & San Francisco for some partying with the dudes. So I'm at Glow Bar and I really started to feel my age. I easily was the oldest person there. We quickly excited as they were trying to offer me senior citizen discounts. We retreated back to a pool hall for some billiards where I sunk some amazing shots. We then wrapped up the evening on Broadway in San Francisco's finest dancing establishments. Until next time! Ciao!

Thursday, January 04, 2007's RSS Feeds

For those that are too lazy to click on my webpage, I have made it a little easier and have added a few RSS feeds linked to your favorite web portal. So for all of you Google, AOL, Yahoo & MSN users click on the links at the bottom of the right-frame and add my site to your homepage. Enjoy!

Technorati Profile
Technorati Profile

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 

Big Al's Disneyland Trip

Happy New Year! Welcome to's first post of 2007. Although 2007 is only 3 days old, Big Al has already accomplished a lot so far. This New Year's weekend I celebrated with Jo in Disneyland or as Archie Moses (aka Adam Sandler) of Bulletproof would say, "Did-ney-land".

(Trying on some new gear at the Mad Hatter)

The trip was 3 nights and 4 days at the fabulous Anaheim Hilton & Towers - quite possibly the worst Hilton property ever! The problems included: expensive parking (understandable), old rooms (disgusting), no refrigerator to store the beers (inexcusable), hearing the neighbors walk all over the place (terrible) and no upgrades for their "valued" customers (despicable). Sometime this week I'm going to write a letter to Paris personally and complain.

(Getting attacked by Sulley)

The trip was short but tons of fun. The first night was spent in Downtown Disney at the Rainforest Cafe where we dined on Hamburgers and Pasta.

(Trying to get Buttercup The Duck to do the Big Al's pose)

New Years Eve day & night were spent at "The Happiest Place on Earth" where we enjoyed the ever popular rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Thunder Railroad, The Haunted Mansion & Indiana Jones. The park was so crowded! Lines extended 2+ hours. The Fast Ticket system where you could make an appointment to get on a ride sold out on most of the popular rides.

(Pictures provided by Disney - they make you spend even after you leave the park)

The midnight countdown was really cool. If you have a chance, it's worth being in the park for this. Because of the crowds the main gathering points such as It's a Small World and Cinderella's Castle were overwhelmed with people. Jo and I decided to find a spot nearby the Castle. 10 seconds before midnight 10 streaks of fireworks went off behind the castle and then a huge 10 minute firework show went off. It may have been the best firework show I have ever seen. Growing up I was so used to the typical firework show, but that's not the Disney way. They went all out for those 10 minutes with all types of fireworks - happy faces, Mickey Mouse faces, fireworks that went everywhere, etc. Kudos to Disney for the show!

(Buttercup gets his own seat at California Soarin')

We capped off our weekend at California Adventures - my first time. I'm a traditionalist, and I will always back up Disneyland as the best theme park in the world, but California Adventure was really fun and it definitely could hold its own. They really did a good job at capturing the feel of the state of California in several hundred acres of theme park with a Disney feel to it. On a side note, they had carnival games there similar to what you would see at your local county fair. Being an excellent handler of balls, I decided to play the milk can toss game where you lob a softball into a milk can from approximately 5 feet away. The trick is to swish the ball into the can because the rim isn't very forgiving. You get 8 balls for $5. I was able to win Buttercup the Duck on the 64th ball. (You can do the math to see how much I spent). However, the joy of winning in front of others and the pride you get for carrying around a large stuff animal around the theme park is worth all of the money.

(Trying to get the Big Al point on Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters)

I hope everybody had a fun and safe New Years celebration.