Friday, January 30, 2009

#80 Try Patron's Anejo Tequila - Must Sip, not Shoot

Patron is a brand of Tequila produced in Mexico and made entirely from agave. And that is supposed to be a thing to be desired. I've never been a tequila fan, except for via shots in darkly lit clubs. Patron's Anejo is supposed to be a sipping tequila. A robust, strong-bodied spirit that connoisseurs of Tequila will hold in their mouth and sample the full texture and taste of the liquid, all while discussing politics and other matters of consequences.

My friend, Hanley, is such a man. He gave me all the instructions and feedback necessary to enjoy such a fine tequila, and then we poured two glasses. We sipped, he enjoyed, and I nearly vomited.

#80 is done. Thankfully.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

#97 - Read the US Army Survival Manual

This is a reprint of the the Department of the Army Field Manual, and it's full of all sorts of awesomeness. While I will probably never have to use the evasion techniques to hide from a hostile force, it was an interesting to read, and there were all sorts of practical tips that can be used while camping or hiking far from assistance. I will definitely be including this manual anytime I am on long camping trips. It would be invaluable if you got lost and had to survive on your own for days or weeks.

Some of the coolest stuff, in my opinion, is the sections of the psychology of the individual in a survival situation. The "desire for comfort" and the "passive outlook" are the two main dangers to survival. As someone who values the lowest possible need for comfort, I found the section very interesting. How much pain, fatigue and discomfort can you take? The answer is almost always, more than one would think. The suggestions for dealing with pain are 1) understand it's source and nature, 2) Recognize it as something to be tolerated, 3)Concentrate on the things that you need to do, and 4) Take pride in your ability to take it.

When identifying the types of external bleeding, arterial bleeding is the most serious, and is identified by the bright, red blood and spurts. Venous bleeding is recognizable by dark red, black or bluish blood, and more steady of a flow. Capillary is usually common in scrapes and light cuts. It will begin scabbing almost immediately.

There is a large section on obtaining and purifying water in all sorts of conditions. It also outlines the Universal Edibility Test to determine if a plant is non-toxic and suitable for consumption.

Trapping, skinning and gutting animals has a large section. Lots of hand-made snares and animal traps. Creating shelters in all types of climates is explained in detail, with pictures.

The section of field-expedient direction finding by using a watch, stars and geography is very helpful. There is great guide on how to prepare different knots for different situations, how to deter sharks when stranded on a raft, signal to boats or planes, identify poisonous vs. non-poisonous snakes, etc.

Excellent read for anyone who is ever in the back-country, campers, hikers and outdoorsmen.

#20 - Read "Enough" by John Bogle

John Bogle attempts to answer the question of what is "enough" in today's society. His argument is that we have traded our values for what is viewed as success today. The first section is a rant on the evils of speculation over long-term investing, and how the current financial services industry takes too much value out of the investor's pockets. This was educational, but pretty boring.

The second half of the book focused more on our increasing lack of 18th century values, exemplified by Benjamin Franklin. There seems to be a lack of focus on self-improvement as it regards to personal values, morality, and a sense of responsibility to society and our fellow citizens. I particularly like his example of the "invisible watcher" that the true leaders operate under. In short, he makes the point that you should live like someone is always watching your personal and professional conduct.

My favorite part is a quote from William Parsons, that describes the good merchant as "an enterprising man willing to run some risks, yet not willing to risk in hazardous enterprises the property of others entrusted to his keeping, careful to indulge no extravagance and to be simple in his manner and unostentatious in his habits, not merely a merchant, but a man, with a mind to improve, a heart to cultivate, and a character to form.

The only thing I disliked about the book was the idea of a multi-millionaire telling others what is "enough" in terms of financial needs. The people he describes as "middle-class" are way above that, in my opinion, and there is something sickening about a man who has NO need to stress or worry about money, telling others that financial success isn't THAT important. While I agree that it's not the only thing, if you haven't know the desperation that comes with not being able to pay bills, then you shouldn't talk like you do. In my not-so-humble opinion.

Friday, January 16, 2009

#1 Complete

The #1 thing on my list was to, ahem, make the list. Which I did. AND I posted it online. On this website. That you may or may not be reading. So...#1? Check.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The List

Oh right, the list...

1. Create my list of 101 goals and post it online
2. Blog about each completed task
3. Inspire 5 people to start a 101 in 1001 blog
4. Compete in regional Golden Gloves boxing tournament
5. Spend at least 1 month in Thailand at a Thai boxing camp
6. Visit Heidie In Charlotte, NC
7. Backpacking adventure through Kings or the Sierra's with Dad and Brother
8. Repair relationship with Susan
9. Spend a full, uninterrupted day with Mom in Texas or California
10. Become nominated supplier for Eddie Bauer, Columbia and Patagonia
11. Buy house or condo
12. See "The Devil Makes Three" in concert
13. Save $5,000 in 2009
14. Have Lasik surgery
15. Own a handgun and practice enough at the range to be competent
16. Eat via Berardi principles every day for an entire month
17. Make at least one loan through
18. Finish reading "Chechnya Jihad"
19. Read "The End of Poverty"
20. Read "Enough"
21. Run a half marathon
22. Run a full marathon
23. Visit a brewery
24. Brew an absolute "hop-bomb" beer with Hanley
25. Run a mile in less than 5 minutes
26. Attend a major boxing event in Vegas
27. Become passing-fair at a foreign language
28. Finally watch "Full Metal Jacket"
29. Get my DVD Burner to finally work
30. Close the #2 Captains of Crush hand grippers with my left hand
31. Read "The Audacity of Hope"
32. Move into a part of San Francisco with more hustle and bustle
33. Pay off all credit card and student loan debt
34. Track finances daily for 3 months
35. Go "car-less"
36. Set up retirement plan
37. Send a thank-you note to someone every month
38. Buy a good camera
39. Research working for the State Department
40. Complete one challenging DIY project
41. Go without buying lunch for a month straight
42. Floss teeth every night
43. Make dentist appointment and keep it.
44. See the Grand Canyon
45. 1-2 gallons of water a day
46. Go wine tasting
47. Go without a store bought haircut for a year
48. Replace coffee with green tea
49. Use cash for all purchases that are not a bill or online for a month
50. Call 1 friend from home a week
51. Visit Alaska
52. Bring income to $100,000 a year
53. Write at least 30 boxing "articles"
54. Watch "House of Saddam" HBO Mini-Series
55. Watch "The Boxer"
56. Attend "Fight Night" at the San Jose Shark Tank
57. Try Absinthe
58. Visit SF zoo
59. Get beers with Will, Steve and Mike
60. Buy a decent watch
61. Completely clean inside of car
62. Make a steak marinade to be proud of
63. Read "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
64. Visit a Churrascaria
65. Hang out with an english bulldog
66. Finish reading "Guns, Germs and Steel"
67. Reduce worldly possessions - get rid of everything I don't need
68. See Antonio Margarito fight live
69. Go to one Project Luz event
70. Sleep in a hammock
71. Write a letter to the editor of Men's Health or Best Life
72. Read "What Every American Should Know about the Middle East"
73. Buy Arabic language CD's for listening to in the car
74. Train at Tommy's Gym for old time's sake
75. Meet up with Rich for beer and boxing conversation
76. Re-start jiu-jitsu or other grappling sport
77. Get absolutely hammered with Bryan
78. Play ping-pong
79. Play chess
80. Try Patron Anejo Tequila (Must sip, not shoot!)
81. Subscribe to "The Modern Outdoorsmen"
82. Attend Mirza's wedding in Bosnia
83. Attend Bernhard's wedding in Germany
84. Learn CPR
85. Play laser tag
86. Take a politics or history class at SFCC
87. Eat blueberry pancakes (homemade)
88. Watch the sun come up
89. Convert an MMA fan to boxing
90. Write 5 letters (snail mail)
91. Complete the Artist's Way morning pages every day for 2 weeks
92. Meet up with Jay for book exchange
93. Go to the beach
94. Listen to a "GSYBE" CD while doing nothing else
95. Books read list
96. Go on a camping trip by myself
97. Read the USMC survival handbook
98. Grow a vegetable of some kind
99. Run every day for a month
100. Splurge on a truly great steak dinner
101. Create a new 101 task list

Attempt #4,217

I suck at maintaining a blog. I do better at writing in my journal, probably because no one else will read it. I constantly find myself trying to write "well" when blogging. I want it to be entertaining to anyone who stumbles across it. More importantly, I don't want to come across as whiny, needy, shallow or depressed to any of my imaginary readers. Because of that, I find myself writing an entry, reading it, then deleting it within a few days.

It's a new year, so here's a new attempt. The current incarnation of my blog is to make a list of 101 things that I want to do/see/accomplish in the next 1001 days, and then record those events. Not only will I get to do a lot of cool stuff, but my blog will automatically be interesting, since I am writing about something specific and, to my mind, exciting.

The inspiration for all this came from this website:

I have sent the link out to a bunch of family and friends, so hopefully, other people that I care about will respond in kind, and maybe even blog about it. A trend-starter, that's me...