Thursday, February 28, 2008 

Big Al sees you

So I've been looking at my website visitor statistics over the last few days, and I've noticed a few cool things. Beyond my regular visitors such as Mike in South San Francisco, Joe in Concord, Pike in Canada and Steve-o in Kuwait, I've noticed a huge increase in traffic from overseas. On a normal day, I'll have about 15 unique visitors to my site. Last Wednesday I had about 3 x's that. The new users came from Russia, Switzerland, Holland, Australia, Greece and other places. I'm thinking somebody linked my webpage to their site or maybe Google crawled through it. Who knows?

(The Big Al Mafia from this week - which one is you?)

I do also get a about 5 people that visit me on a regular basis who I have no clue who you are. The most frequent visitor is somewhere in San Jose and it's not me. I do have other people from Phoenix (not Frenchy), Dallas and New York. All of these mystery guests visit me at least once per week. I do encourage you to leave a comment and become part of the BigAlsHouse'com community.

I may start to put some advertising banners on here and if I can maintain the explosive growth that I've had on Wednesday, I may be able to afford a McDonald's Happy Meal by the end of the year.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 

Big Al drinks... a lot

So I went out on Saturday night to celebrate Joe-Jeezy's birthday. It's been a long time since I've been to a club. Most things were the same - dudes thought they were the shizzle, girls were sporting their muffin-tops and everybody was drinking... including Big Al. What was supposed to be a night of memories and laughs with my friends turned into a blur. Maybe I was trying to drown all of my stress away, or maybe I was running away from stuff, or maybe it's the beginning of alcoholism.

(Birthday boy Joe, drunk Big Al and his non-point pose, Mrs. Tanya and VJ.)

(There's Nick and Big Al with the point pose.)

All I remember was hanging out with my friends at a hotel room and then I see flashes of bits and pieces of the club. One minute I'm seeing my old friend Nick and the next I'm telling this girl that she's pregnant (I don't think she was) and then I found myself hanging out with a group of computer programmers that I didn't know and being asked to leave and then I was throwing up on the couch of the club. Normally, this would be pretty bad except for that night in the fall of 2000 when I lost my shirt and during Joe's birthday in January 2006 where I threw up all over the Hilton... but we'll save those stories for another day.

(I have no clue who the girls in the foreground are. I'm not sure if I even took this picture. What I want you to pay attention to is Mac Daddy Chris in the background kicking the game. Did he hook up? I dunno, but the staff would like to know.)

Everybody had a really good time. Luckily the guys were there to save me from getting into trouble. VJ (who was being molested by some girl at the club) got me into a cab and back to his place, so I could continue to throw up on myself. Until the next party... in Seattle? Huh?

Thursday, February 21, 2008 

Big Al History - Sleep Paralysis

People tend to stray from discussing their medical conditions. I guess that's a problem if you're Frenchy and you need to take the magic blue pill or if you're Q and you need to take testosterone pills. Unfortunately, for my case there is no magic pill. One of the problems that I have from time to time is sleep paralysis. You can get the technical explanation from Wikipedia.

(Time to check out what's going on in Big Al' head.)

It usually occurs when I'm sleeping on my back. What happens is that I wake up from my dream and become fully conscious of my surroundings. I can open my eyes, but I can't move nor can I speak. I'm probably in this state for less than 5 seconds, but it's a very scary 5 seconds. Some people that have this condition tend to experience alien abductions. To get out of the state of paralysis I consciously try to move my finger or try to make a noise. Often times the paralysis comes in streaks where I may go through this process a few times per night - go to sleep, experience sleep paralysis, wake up, go back to sleep, experience sleep paralysis again, etc.

These symptoms occur probably once a month. For as long as I can remember I have always had these episodes. To prevent it from happening, I try to sleep on my side. If I find myself on my back I immediately shift my body.

I've mentioned this phenomenon to a few of my friends. Only one time have I encountered somebody that experiences the sleep paralysis episode. Their case was very extreme where they had to visit a sleep doctor. Crazy eh? Be lucky you don't have to deal with this.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 

Big Al's thoughts on the steriod madness

Not a week goes by where I don't find myself in a discussion regarding steroids and performance enhancing methods. I am not opposed to the use of steroids. Whatever you do to your body is up to you. If I was given the gift of speed, the ability to hit a fastball or the endurance to ride a bike through the Alps, and I knew there was a large prize at the end then by all means I would do anything and everything to get that prize especially since my co-workers would take the same attitude. The same rules apply in everyday life: I want the good grade therefore I study. I want the promotion therefore I work my butt off. I want the girl therefore I bring the A-game.

(Big Al did it on protein and Eph.)

With that said, I have taken my fair share of performance enhancing supplements. I have never taken any non-prescribed drugs that are steroids. (I do take a nasal spray that is steroid, but that doesn't really count unless I'm in a smell-a-thon). Some people forget that prior to 2003 I weighed close to 300 pounds. I did the exercising and dieting, but I feel that taking my daily ephedra tablets helped me out tremendously. I have also gone on cycles of andro and creatine for lifting weights. All of these supplements are banned in the major sports (with the exception of creatine). There wasn't a million dollar contract at the end of the tunnel, but there was the satisfaction of living a healthier life. If it required cheating a little bit, so be it.

(Bonds did it with some cream and clear.)

You take another form of entertainment like music and tell me that they are all clean. They used drugs to make them the artists and entertainers they are. Imagine Bob Marley without the weed or Jimi Hendrix without the acid. You'd get mediocrity.
(Lance pumped a little oxygen into his blood.)

In the defense of people like Barry Bonds, Marion Jones or Lance Armstrong. They did what they did. Their competition did it. In order to stay competitive and be the entertainers that they are, then so be it. I enjoyed seeing Bonds crush 73 home runs. It was fun to see Marion Jones take home 5 medals in Sydney. It was patriotic to know that Lance showed the French who their daddy is.

(Was Peter on the juice? Or was it all no-handed pushups?)

Monday, February 18, 2008 

Big Al History - where did the point come from?

February is starting to become Big Al History Month. I've had a lot of positive response on last week's post of where the name Big Al came from, so I decided to run with it and explain a little bit more of Big Al's history. One of the common questions is where my signature "point" came from. It's something that actually evolved throughout the course of my blog writing. The inspiration of using a signature picture pose was from my Torino friend Pike back in February 2006.

(The inspiration of the point - Turino, Italy 2006)

Pike introduced me to this concept of getting a bunch of random people to do something completly pointless, so I ran with it. Pike managed to get people to do a V shape with your thumb and index finger held below your chin. I couldn't copy him, but it definitely got me thinking. I've done a few poses in the past. Some were better than others, but nothing really stuck.

(The facial reaction and hand sign was a little too overpowering.)

(The peace sign was played out.)

I wanted something simple yet effective. One picture did stick out from a certain award ceremony held in Las Vegas every January. I happened be next to a person who I asked to take a picture with and the rest was history.

(The first appearance of the point - January 2006 in Las Vegas)

It didn't take much coersion to to get other people to follow along. It became a trendy thing to do. People that knew me or knew of me asked to take a picture with the point.

(Big Al isn't even required. People just do it. Costa Rica 2007)

(This is what happens to people that don't point correctly.)

Just for your information, the proper way to do the signature point is:
1. stand side ways
2. raise both hands up
3. extend the arm that is on the same side of the lead leg
4. hold your other arm up next to your chest
5. with both hands point with your index fingers out, but remember to keep your thumbs down. It's not a gun.
6. open your mouth

Thursday, February 14, 2008 

Big Al wishes you a Happy Valentine's Day

Have a safe and happy Valentine's Day. Start knockin' da' boots!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008 

Big Al's news about his lost friend

As you may recall my friend was fatally shot on December 26, 2007. It looks like the case can head through the legal process now. They have arrested his ex-wife, the shooter and one other man connected to the case. You can read the details here:

I met his ex-wife once. I was in Texas in November 2003, and Craig and I went to the store to buy the Finding Nemo DVD. We headed back to drop it off with his daughter. I walked in to meet the daughter and his ex-wife. Not much was said other than the typical hi and goodbye.

I'll keep you all up-to-date on this case in what probably will take place over the next few years. One line did stick out in the articles. It was quoted out of the affidavit from his ex-wife,. She said, the "shooter made [him] admit that he molested his 6-year-old daughter before he shot him in the head".

Monday, February 11, 2008 

Big Al History - explain the name

So many people have wondered where the name "Big Al" came from. Legend has it that Big Al was at a college party where everybody was drunk, his pants came off and the rest was history. Contrary to popular belief, that was not the case. It took a life of its own in college, but the true history of "Big Al" came up in the spring of 1989.

(No future MLB'ers here. Just the beginning of Big Al.)

1989, oh what year. We were blessed with the first coming of George Bush. The Giants were in the World Series, the 49ers just won a Super Bowl and we all were blessed with "Big Al". Big Al started his 3rd year of Little League - majors division for a team named after Vallejo Nissan. I was one of the younger kids on the team and probably wasn't ready for the majors yet, but I had my bench role. (Little League also required me to play at least 3 innings and have 1 at bat, so I played).

Coach had a habit of giving nicknames. We had Raw Scotty, Scooter and Mo to name a few. I didn't have that much skill back then, but I did have size so Big Al was born. I had no problem with the name. It was a lot better than being called "Fatso". I did have my moments with the team. There were some kids that I could hit off of, but then there were kids that I couldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. I did have one thing that that coach could count on me for - on base percentage through hit by pitch. This meant that everytime that I went to bat, I had a high probability of getting on base because I stood 2 inches from the plate and would get hit. I took one for the team - literally.

Team Nissan did well the 2 years I played. We missed the playoffs by one game each year, and it was because we lost the last game of the season both times. I then knew how the Buffalo Bills felt.

Sunday, February 10, 2008 

Big Al kicks off wedding season 2008 with Marc & Aimee

Wedding season 2008 got off to a late start this year at Marc & Aimee's wedding. I thought the wedding was at 2:30pm on Saturday. It turned out that the starting time was 2pm. Oh well... Filipino time.
(Aimee, Marc & Big Al... I think we're happy.)
(Clockwise: Big Al, John Paul, Frank & Nolan. Just talking shop.)

I was happy to check out the old grade school and high school folks. It nice to know that they're doing well. I learned Michelle is pregnant. Frank, Nolan and John Paul are World of Warcraft professionals and Chris V. is still horny.

(Big Al and Yvonne. Big Al is trying a new pose for 2008.)

Marc was one of my closest friends growing up. We slowly grew apart, but I'm sure everybody has a similar story. I'm happy that he found a cool wife in Aimee. Good luck guys! Lots of children. Name one Big Al!

(Chris and Jenny. Chris was undressing everybody with his eyes that night.)

Jackie & Paolo you're on the clock!

Thursday, February 07, 2008 

Big Al gets duuurrty

So my vacuum, da' Bissell, died a few weeks ago. He lasted me about 4 years. Over the last 48 months, I thought it a pretty good job. You run it over the carpet, see dirt fill in the chamber and you assume that it's doing its job. Every once in awhile you treat it to a sprinkle of CarpetFresh. I thought it was doing a great job... at least I thought it was.

(Mr. Bissell R.I.P. 2004-2008)

I was taking my Christmas tree out of my living room and because I didn't water it at all the pine needles just fell off while I was carrying through my house. It left a huge mess. The needles were everywhere - window sill, stairway, between couch cushion, etc. I thought it was no big deal. I knew my Bissell could do the job. My Bissell has no chance against the pine needles. The motor was smoking in less than a minute. So out I go to get a new carpet cleaner.

(The newest member of the Big Al family - da' Dyson)

I went with the Dyson Animal DC 14. I was skeptical at first. The vacuum was expensive. I thought I was a victim of good marketing by the Dyson folks. So I unpack and take it out, and not only does it get all pine needles it apparently found some dirt and dust that I didn't know existed. The lies that da' Bissell was telling me over the last 4 years came out that out.

(GRAPHIC CONTENT: 4 years of lies from da' Bissell)

Before removing my Christmas tree, I ran da' Bissell on a regular basis, so I thought the carpet was really clean. It wasn't until I went with the Dyson on that first evening that I realized how bad da' Bissell was. It was painful to see the truth.

Sunday, February 03, 2008 

Big Al's goes to the party... the engagement party?

So Big Al made it out to Fairfield to party with a few old high school mates to celebrate Ken and Es' engagement. There's always a first time for everything, and this happened to be my first engagement party. I'm not quite too sure what an engagement party is. Nobody got engaged - the happy couple have been ringed since last August. So it wasn't like a big surprise where we all jump out and tell Es that she's engaged. Kind of messed up my expectations. Weird.

(Big Al, Es and Officer Ken hanging out.)

For those that have locked down with this whole marriage thing, please explain to me what an engagement party is. Is it really the first of many parties leading up to the big occasion? Or is it one of those Hallmark parties? There weren't any strippers, so it's not as cool as the bachelor party. There weren't any drunk bridesmaids, so it ain't the wedding party. I'm was kinda' hoping for a little craziness, but I was sadly disappointed that the exposed skin was kept to a minimum. I'm starting to think that the engagement party is all about a celebration of the engaged couple. Weirder!

(Eric, new dad Curt, Chris, Big Al and Kenny - SPSV 97!!!)

Additionally, can you please tell me what the etiquette is in regards to gifts. The wedding probably is not until 2009, so I didn't give a wedding gift. I did see that some folks did bring wedding-type gifts. I brought a bottle wine. Was that enough?

Anyways.... congrats Ken and Es. You lead off my wedding 2009 season. Marc and Aimee you lead off wedding 2008 next week!