Sunday, June 7, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3551.  Hong Kong is 12 hours ahead of D.C.;
3552.  The weather in Hong Kong (at least in May) is similar to the weather in D.C. during the summer . . . 85 and humid;
3553.  Central Hong Kong reminds me of downtown Miami (i.e., Brickell). . . . I think it’s (because of) the palm trees;
3554.  Hong Kong has a unique smell to it;
3555.  The food in Hong Kong is very meat and starch heavy.  There aren’t a lot of vegetables (at least in the restaurants);
3556.  Evaporated milk is homogenized milk with 60% of its water removed and vitamin D added for nutritional purposes.  Sweetened, condensed milk is a mixture of whole milk and about 40 to 45% sugar, which is heated until about 60% of the water evaporates;
3557.  You don’t need to tip in Hong Kong;
3558.  In Hong Kong, you can buy liquor at 7-Eleven;
3559.  They still use bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong;
3560.  The driver’s seat is on the right side of the car in Hong Kong;
3561.  You have to custom order cars in Hong Kong. . . . Land is just too expensive for car dealerships;
3562.  You have to pay for bags in Hong Kong;
3563.  An insane number of people use the (Hong Kong) M(ass )T(ransit )R(ailway);
3564.  The escalators in the (Hong Kong) MTR are twice as fast as the escalators in the Washington Metro;
3565.  The (Hong Kong) MTR reminds me of the London Underground;
3566.  Electricity is really cheap in Hong Kong.  Apparently, it's (highly) subsidized by the (Hong Kong) government;
3567.  (I've been told) you go to Hong Kong for the food and (the) shopping, not the culture (i.e., because of all of the redevelopment from the lack of land);
3568.  Johnny said I have some “game;”
3569.  Every chromosome in the body has a little protective cap, called a telomere, on its end, which determines how quickly the body's cells age.  Exercise lengthens those telomeres, according to the first-ever controlled trial of telomere length, published in The Lancet Oncology.  The result: Fewer illnesses and a longer life, says lead author Dean Ornish, M.D., founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute;
3570.  When researchers from McMaster University (in Ontario) biopsied the skin of adults 40 and older, they found that those participants who regularly exercised had skin that, on a microscopic level, was similar to that of 20- to 30-year-olds;
3571.  When researchers asked a group of sedentary folks, aged 65 and older, to jog or cycle at about 65% of their maximum aerobic capacity for 30 minutes twice a week, it only took three months for their skin to resemble the skin of 20- to 40-year-olds.  Researchers believe that the various substances released by your muscles during exercise may be behind the suppleness;
3572.  In one Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study, adults who performed regular exercise for just one year increased the size of their hippocampus (i.e., the memory center) and turned back their brains' clocks by about two years;
3573.  Apparently, it’s tradition for you to wash your dishes and eating utensils with hot tea at dim sum restaurants (in Hong Kong);
3574.  My (paternal) grandfather is a big fan of fish . . . and egg custard;
3575.  The rain and the mist are warm in Hong Kong;
3576.  It amazes me how people were able to haul up to (the summit of) Victoria Peak (i.e., a mountain) all of the materials needed to build an eight story shopping center;
3577.  I can say I’ve ridden in a Maserati;
3578.  Apparently, cars cost twice as much in Hong Kong as they do in the U.S. (because of the high import tariffs);
3579.  Wayne reminds me of an Asian Peter Griffin;
3580.  Yes, fried French toast is a thing;
3581.  The floating villages in Hong Kong don’t really exist anymore;
3582.  McDonald’s tastes different in Hong Kong.  The buns are fluffier and less chewy and they don't have a sour aftertaste. . . . The hash browns taste different too.  Apparently, they don't put salt on them;
3583.  My (paternal) great grandfather used to own shipping docks in Hong Kong(, which are probably worth billions today);
3584.  Most cars are black, gray, silver or white in Hong Kong;
3585.  Hong Kong has beaches. . . . Who knew?
3586.  There are 6 developed/main islands in Hong Kong;
3587.  The Sham Tseng area of Hong Kong is famous for roast goose;
3588.  If you want to get food smells and grease off your hands, try dipping your fingers in hot (black) tea;
3589.  Tsui Wah (TsuiWah.com) is (like) the McDonald’s of Hong Kong;
3590.  Apparently, there aren’t any open container laws in Hong Kong;
3591.  Yuzu is kind of like lemon;
3592.  There aren’t a lot of “to go” street food stalls in Hong Kong anymore;
3593.  There’s a great view of the Hong Kong skyline from the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade in Kowloon;
3594.  Apparently, the Tian Tan Buddha (i.e., “Big Buddha”) in Hong Kong has only been around since 1993;
3595.  My uncle used to be (the) treasurer for the Hong Kong Jockey Club;
3596.  My cousin is a member of the Hong Kong Jockey Club;
3597.  If you ever want a soufflé the size of a basketball, go to the Tai Ping Koon Restaurant (TaiPingKoon.com) in Hong Kong;
3598.  The casinos in Macau are (way) bigger than the casinos in (Las) Vegas;
3599.  “The House of Dancing Water” show at the City of Dreams casino in Macau is like Cirque du Soleil on steroids;
3600.  I’m a (big) fan of soup buns/dumplings;

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3501.  The amount of effort the human body expends on digestion, detoxification and elimination of sugar alone ends up leaching nutrition and energy from nearly every bodily function.  In particular, magnesium and B vitamins take a big hit around sugar;
3502.  B vitamins are essential to healthy brain function.  Your brain needs vitamin B to divide glutamic acid;
3503.  When refined sugar is consumed daily, the symbiotic healthy bacteria in our intestines actually wither and die, depleting our stock of vitamin B.  Low stock in vitamin B has a strong map-effect on brain function, lessening your ability to calculate or remember;
3504.  Most people, even with a clean diet, are already mineral deficient;
3505.  Chocolate cravings in women are often attributed specifically to magnesium deficiency.  A daily magnesium supplement helps the body absorb calcium and cut back on cravings;
3506.  Sugar is one of the single most inflammatory substances the body can absorb;
3507.  When the body's system consistently experiences an inflammatory response, it leaves you wide open to disease and aging;
3508.  Heart disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer and digestive conditions are all linked to inflammation in the body;
3509.  Over time, excess sugar will eventually come to affect every organ in the body.  Upon initial intake, sugar is stored in the liver as glucose.  Too much sugar throws the liver into overdrive.  Once the liver maxes out its capacity for glucose, the excess glycogen is returned to the blood stream in the form of fatty acids.  The body carries these to every part of the body, storing them as fat;
3510.  Insulin is the hormone created in the pancreas responsible for the storing and processing of sugar;
3511.  When you consume meals high in sugar, the body's demand for insulin increases.  If insulin levels remain consistently high, your body's sensitivity to the hormone becomes numbed, causing glucose to build up in the blood;
3512.  In order to keep the body in equilibrium, insulin levels should remain within a safe zone consistently throughout the day.  Spikes and dips lead to a litany of health issues from fatigue to kidney failure.  If your blood sugar dips too low, the body’s cells become energy starved.  Depending on the duration of the dip, minor or major complications can arise;
3513.  Normal body pH falls between 7.35 and 7.45, even marginal deviations on either side of the spectrum can lead to major side effects;
3514.  When consumed every day, sugar produces a continuously acidic environment within the body's system, meaning more and more minerals are required to offset the imbalance;
3515.  Disease loves an acidic climate.  Obesity, cancer, heartburn, even signs of aging can be linked to acidic build up in the body;
3516.  Chronically acidic diets (more than achievable with the ubiquity of high fructose corn syrups and fructose overloaded products on the market) leads to serious health risk and affects all cellular function, from the beating of your heart to the neural workings of your brain;
3517.  An alkaline diet high in water dense vegetables, good fats and fiber rich foods will rid the body of toxins and keep you feeling younger, leaner and stronger;
3518.  While some studies insist sugar is “non-addictive,” sugar intake spikes dopamine levels in the brain, giving you a consistent rush that will have you wanting more.  The good news is, you can absolutely rewire your brain.  Seven days has been known to create new habit forming pathways within the brain.  One week cold turkey without sugar will ease you into a solid regimen going forward;
3519.  Cancer cells thrive on sugar;
3520.  Research shows sugar not only feeds existing cancer cells, it is a primary driver in oncogenesis, the initiation of cancerous characteristics in healthy cells;
3521.  High sugar diets are strongly linked to pancreatic cancer;
3522.  The thread between high sugar diets and acid build up, obesity and diabetes all raise the risk factor for certain types of cancer;
3523.  The World Health Organization previously recommended no more than 10% of daily calorie intake should be derived from sugar.  They are considering lowering that percentage to five (i.e., 25 grams for the average adult);
3524.  The first YouTube video was uploaded on (Saturday,) April 23rd, 2005;
3525.  Anne Hathaway was (William) Shakespeare’s wife;
3526.  One of the problems with work is that you waste a lot of time with people you can’t stand;
3527.  Shōchū is like the Japanese version of vodka;
3528.  The “fish and chips” (specialty) roll (i.e., flounder, malt vinegar, potato crisps & wasabi tartar) at SEI (SEIRestaurant.com) in D.C. is pretty tasty;
3529.  A single entry visa into China is $140.00 for U.S. citizens and $30.00 for everyone else. . . . Who says the Chinese don’t like Americans?
3530.  Flonase actually works. . . . The smell reminds me of orchids;
3531.  According to Luisa, she sweats a lot . . . and it’s the stinky kind;
3532.  Eddie Vedder worked as a nightshift security guard at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California;
3533.  It seems that after living in a newly constructed place for about seven years, things start to break down;
3534.  (President) George Washington signed the first Patent Act into law on April 10th, 1790;
3535.  Sometimes it’s easier to want something than to have something;
3536.  The bacon wrapped scallops are really salty at Bobby Van’s Steakhouse (in D.C.);
3537.  When a waiter/waitress asks me if I want bread, I should (just) say “no.”  When a waiter/waitress asks me if I want more bread, I should definitely say “no;”
3538.  Happiness is not an object you search out and grab onto.  Happiness is a process;
3539.  The Whole Foods (Market) in Clarendon has Happy Hour every day from 4 o’clock to 8 o’clock.  It includes a Happy Hour food menu featuring half a dozen oysters for $6.00;
3540.  I know Gary.  Gary has a brother, (named) Richard.  Richard plays guitar.  Richard plays (lead) guitar in a band (i.e., “O.A.R.”).  Richard knows Brooks Laich (of the Washington Capitals) and Julianne Hough. . . . Who knew?
3541.  Laura’s hands and fingers are about the size of mine;
3542.  Laura said I have soft hands;
3543.  Laura has soft hands;
3544.  If she holds hands with you, tells you where she hangs out and says she’ll remember you because she’s only had a couple of drinks, ask her for her number, even if she says she’s had a boyfriend for two years;
3545.  Anyone can be an entrepreneur.  All it takes is a little drive and ambition;
3546.  In the 19th century, people consumed an average of about 13 grams of sugar a day.  Today, we consume an incredible 285 grams of sugar per day;
3547.  Success does not insure health, wealth or happiness;
3548.  Airport lounges can be rather nice (specifically the oneworld International Business Lounge at LAX) . . . free food and drinks!
3549.  There are a lot of 7-Elevens in Hong Kong;
3550.  One U.S. dollar is worth 7.75 Hong Kong dollars (in May of 2015);

Monday, April 6, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3451.  Julie’s hands are smaller than mine;
3452.  Apparently, Julie likes tongue;
3453.  A life is like a garden.  Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory;
3454.  It’s interesting how someone can become unhappy about her/his job, even though s/he’s very well paid, once s/he finds out s/he’ll never get promoted;
3455.  No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying;
3456.  It’s not a good idea to “hit on” a uniformed, on duty cop when she’s buying snacks at 7-Eleven;
3457.  There’s a parts discount (i.e., about 25%) if you get your GE appliance serviced by one of their company technicians;
3458.  The Kiwis (i.e., New Zealanders) celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (too);
3459.  “Cary Brothers” is a one man act.  There’s no brother;
3460.  Rachael Yamagata has gained (some) weight;
3461.  Rachael Yamagata grew up in Arlington(, Virginia,) and she went to Holton-Arms (School) in Bethesda(, Maryland);
3462.  Rachael Yamagata seems like she’s drunk or (that she) has A(ttention )D(eficit )H(yperactivity )D(isorder);
3463.  Cary Brothers, Rachael Yamagata and Joshua Radin went to school together (at Northwestern University);
3464.  According to Joshua Radin, Cary Brothers and Rachael Yamagata like to drink into the wee hours of the morning (when they’re out on tour together);
3465.  A warmed Starbucks chocolate caramel muffin is a pretty good substitute for a lava cake;
3466.  Surprisingly, Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner works really well;
3467.  Don’t ever burn popcorn in the microwave.  It smells really bad and odor just lingers . . . for days;
3468.  You can make popcorn in the microwave by putting a ¼ cup of kernels in a brown paper bag, folding the top over (to seal it) and microwaving it on high for 1 ½ minutes. . . . After you eat the popped kernels, you can put the bag back in and microwave it again for 1 ½ minutes to pop the leftover kernels;
3469.  Fear is a monster, a beast that devours happiness.  Being comfortable is fear’s greatest strategy.  Comfort is attractive.  Comfort feels like success (even though it’s stagnation).  It stops you from trying.  It stops you from growing;
3470.  If you define yourself by what you do not have rather than what you do have, your spirit will weaken and your heart will fail you.  The world is full of abundance.  Focus on what the world gives you and then take action to create the rest.  Stop waiting for luck.  Create your own;
3471.  According to a cardiologist, the 10 worst foods for your heart are: 1.  French fries (i.e., pure carbohydrate fried in saturated & trans-fats and covered in sodium); 2.  Sausage (i.e., saturated fat); 3.  Red meat, including pork (i.e., cholesterol & saturated fat); 4.  Potato & corn chips (i.e., pure carbohydrate fried in trans-fat and covered in sodium); 5.  Soda (i.e., processed sugar); 6.  Baked goods made with tropical oils (i.e., coconut, palm kernel & palm oils); 7.  Chinese food (i.e., saturated fat & sodium); 8.  Pizza (i.e., crust: carbohydrates & sodium; sauce: sodium; cheese: saturated fat & sodium; and meat toppings like pepperoni & sausage: saturated fat); 9.  Canned soup (i.e., sodium); and 10.  Butter-, mayo- or sour cream-laden foods (i.e., saturated fat & cholesterol);
3472.  Change is the essential process of all existence;
3473.  Kaitlyn said I have soft hands;
3474.  Alexander Ovechkin is (only) the 6th player in NHL history to score (at least) 50 goals in 6 (different) seasons (in the league);
3475.  Apparently, my body type is between an ectomorph and a mesomorph(, but predominantly ectomorph);
3476.  If you want your life to go beyond ordinary to extraordinary, you must expand your concept of yourself.  To reach extraordinary levels, where all things are possible, you must change what you believe is true about yourself;
3477.  If you’re in the Air Force, you can be a flight attendant on “Air Force One;”
3478.  When the president travels, they take two “Air Force Ones” with one on standby;
3479.  89 percent of bank robbers are caught at (either) their mom’s or their girlfriend’s house;
3480.  99 percent of bank robbers are men;
3481.  Check cashing places are not F.D.I.C.-insured;
3482.  Money is not the most important thing in life, but it does affect many things that are important to a full and happy life;
3483.  Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine;
3484.  (I can say) I was at the game that Braden Holtby tied Olaf Kolzig for the most wins in a season by a Capitals goalie (i.e., 41) as well as tied Jim Carey for the most shutouts in a season by a Capitals goalie (i.e., 9);
3485.  Braden Holtby got his 9th shutout of the season and his 3rd (this season) against the Bruins. . . . Apparently, it’s the first time in the 91-year history of the (Boston) Bruins that they’ve been shut out with no goals (scored) in a series against the same team in the same season;
3486.  The “Nick Howard” sign has been abandoned in L.A.;
3487.  What has this world come to? . . . Besides at a (night) club or a hotel bar, when did a Jack (Daniels) and diet (Coke) become a $12.00 drink?
3488.  Success isn’t something that just happens.  Success is learned, success is practiced and then it’s shared;
3489.  When we’re stressed at work, the high levels of stress and anxiety translate to higher cortisol throughout the body.  The excess cortisol creates an increased appetite, weakens the immune system and, among other things, causes weight gain;
3490.  Apparently, “War Machine” (i.e., Don Cheadle) is an environmentalist;
3491.  Apparently, Freida Pinto (the actress from “Slumdog Millionaire”) is an environmentalist too;
3492.  Usher is a U2 fan;
3493.  Gwen Stefani is rather attractive in person . . . at least from 50 feet away;
3494.  Don’t get the lobster roll at Bonefish Grill. . . . It’s tiny;
3495.  Life is a storm(, my young friend).  You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next.  What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.  You must look into that storm and shout (as you did in Rome.  )”Do your worst, for I will do mine.”  Then the fates will know you (as we know you);
3496.  Women value physical symmetry because it’s a sign of good health and good genes.  The deeper a man’s voice, the more likely he is to be symmetrical;
3497.  There is no single most-attractive scent, but studies show that women can smell symmetry, just like they can hear it;
3498.  Apparently, you shouldn’t top your sushi with the pickled ginger. . . . It’s there as a palate cleanser, not (as) a condiment;
3499.  You must be born into royalty, but to be an entrepreneur you need only create an empire in your mind;
3500.  Refined sugars deplete essential minerals and vitamins within the body;

Sunday, March 1, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3401.  First impressions are tied intimately to positive body language.  Strong posture, a firm handshake, smiling and opening your shoulders to the person you’re talking to will help ensure that your first impression is a good one;
3402.  The University of Virginia’s men’s basketball team has only won seven games in Chapel Hill against the University of North Carolina;
3403.  On February 2nd, 2015, the University of Virginia’s men’s basketball team beat a ranked University of North Carolina men’s basketball team in Chapel Hill for the first time since 1981;
3404.  You can’t give away what you don’t have. . . . If what you give out is self-respect and love, the universe will return the love and respect you’ve been radiating with increased abundance, happiness and opportunity. . . . If you want happiness and hope to give away (and more of the same to bequeath to your children), make sure love and respect are present in all your dealings with the world;
3405.  Stop focusing on the obstacles and start focusing on where you are going;
3406.  Tony Bennett is the only active (men’s college basketball) coach to have a win over all five active Hall of Fame coaches (i.e., Syracuse University’s Jim Boeheim, Southern Methodist University’s Larry Brown, Duke University’s Mike Krzyzewski, the University of Louisville’s Rick Pitino and the University of North Carolina’s Roy Williams . . . obviously they can’t beat themselves);
3407.  According to Dave, I’m not as shy as when we first met . . . progress;
3408.  Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence;
3409.  Mousse is basically a fluffier version of pudding;
3410.  Studying alone does you no good.  Study that does not motivate action isn’t useful.  It’s intellectual vanity.  It’s just something to make you feel better about yourself without taking any risk.  You must better yourself through action;
3411.  Six seconds of hugging is the minimum time necessary to promote the flow of oxytocin and serotonin, mood-boosting chemicals that promote bonding;
3412.  The White House has its own beer;
3413.  The Obama presidency is the first time alcohol has been brewed in the White House;
3414.  Aside from official state functions, the president pays for his own groceries at the end of every month;
3415.  By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail;
3416.  Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing;
3417.  The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness.  You have to catch it yourself;
3418.  Well done is better than well said;
3419.  Never confuse motion with action;
3420.  Jim Morrison (the lead singer of “The Doors”) graduated from George Washington High School in Alexandria (in 1961);
3421.  The first organized act of civil disobedience (of the Civil Rights movement) was a “sit in” in 1939 at the segregated Barrett Library on Queen Street in (Old Town) Alexandria;
3422.  In 1909, Orville Wright flew back and forth from Fort Meyer in Arlington to Shuter’s Hill (now the George Washington Masonic National Memorial) in (Old Town) Alexandria as a flight demonstration for the U.S. Army;
3423.  The Wright Brothers were awarded the world’s first military airplane contract (in 1909);
3424.  The Happy Hour Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon (i.e., both Canyon Road) at Virtue (Feed & Grain) are (actually) pretty good;
3425.  If you're dining out on a budget, avoid ordering (inexpensive) pasta dishes.  It's almost always a better value to order a chicken or pork entree that has substantial ingredients.  The only exception is if the restaurant specializes in pasta;
3426.  You want to approach new sushi bars carefully.  Always start by ordering some simple tuna sashimi.  This basic sashimi will give you a very accurate view of the quality of the fish (and food) at the sushi bar;
3427.  A simple way to quickly tell whether a restaurant is sanitary is to duck into the bathrooms.  If the bathrooms are a mess, then you can assume the kitchen is not as clean as you'd like;
3428.  If you want to give your oatmeal some flavor, try some (fruit) preserves;
3429.  Jamie Foxx is a decent three-point shooter;
3430.  Joe Harris (of the Cleveland Cavaliers) will get your Starbucks order;
3431.  It’s funny how some people(, in their minds,) can be so convinced that they’re right that they’ll still argue with you when the evidence to the contrary is (sitting) right before their eyes;
3432.  Freezing rain means waddling like a penguin . . . and a sore butt;
3433.  Apparently, Miss D.C. (i.e., Teresa Davis) and Miss D.C. Teen U.S.A. (i.e., Niara Iman) will show up to your condo(minium) building's Chinese New Year party;
3434.  (It's suspected that) people have sex about three times a month in the downstairs bathroom at Murphy's (Grand Irish Pub);
3435.  Megan’s dad was a mailman;
3436.  Veal chops are a little fatty, but they're very tender;
3437.  If you want something bad enough, you will find a way, if not, you will always find an excuse;
3438.  The cuddling that comes before sex, it turns out, is just as important as sex itself.  In fact, science has found that initiating physical affection, whether it eventually leads to sex or not, is seriously good for our relationships;
3439.  A study, first released last year and set to be published in the Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, looked at 397 cohabiting heterosexual couples to see how initiations of physical intimacy – that is, the physical nudges we use to indicate we’re in the mood – influenced their relationship.  This could mean cuddling, kissing, spooning and even sexy massages.  While past studies have suggested that these initiating moves might be negatively coercive, the latest study found that general attempts at physical intimacy increased relationship satisfaction, relationship stability, better communication and less conflict;
3440.  Both male and female participants experienced positive outcomes of physical intimacy, the relationship particularly benefitted when men made the initiating moves, since the initiations of cuddling and touch provided women with reassurance and commitment;
3441.  Many couples naturally experience decreased sexual activity as time goes on, but this study suggests even if we think our significant other might not be in the mood, it’s still important to try.  Initiation communicates a desire to be close, have sex and create interest in the relationship.  So even when couples don’t have sex, they are strengthening the relationship by communicating desires to be close and being committed to the relationship;
3442.  Cuddling not only tells your partner you desire them; touch itself has encouraging health benefits.  All kinds of physical contact, including hugs, have been shown to reduce stress, curb anxiety/depression and strengthen the immune system;
3443.  When we’re physically close to someone, our bodies release oxytocin, the “happy chemical” that contributes to feelings of intimacy and well-being in relationships;
3444.  It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no cares who gets the credit;
3445.  Play the board as it is, not how you want it to be;
3446.  Coming into the 2014-‘15 men’s college basketball season, only three schools had won the outright, regular season, A(tlantic )C(oast )C(onference) title in back-to-back seasons: Duke University, the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University. . . . You can now add the University of Virginia to that list;
3447.  (It seems like) Mr. Gwen Stefani (i.e., Gavin Rossdale) hasn’t aged much;
3448.  It’s kind of awkward hitting on a girl with her father sitting (just) two feet away (and he can hear your entire conversation);
3449.  Julie said I have nice hands;
3450.  Apparently, Julie likes her fingers sucked;

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3351.  Be specific about what you want and take action.  Decide on one thing that you would like to work on and do it today.  Work at it daily rather than making it a long-range objective;
3352.  You are unique.  But the key is in knowing what makes you unique;
3353.  New Year’s Eve gets confusing when your school’s fight song is set to “Auld Lang Syne;”
3354.  I can now say that I’ve been to a Winter Classic (hockey) game;
3355.  Eric Fehr (of the Washington Capitals) really likes playing outdoors;
3356.  The Winter Classic has a playoff feel to it;
3357.  Apparently, you can make a banjolele out of a Danish butter cookie tin;
3358.  (Prime rib) au jus isn’t a bad steak sauce;
3359.  Be wary of playing Pictionary against Kelsey (Muka) and Kristen (Cunningham). . . . They’re telepathic;
3360.  “The Sheppard” (i.e., “Spike” Mendelsohn’s speakeasy) is named after Senator Morris Sheppard, who sponsored the Sheppard Bone-Dry Act (of 1917) that banned alcohol(ic beverages) in D.C.;
3361.  The Corvette engine in the Cadillac CTS-V has a nice roar/sound to it;
3362.  I can say that I’ve gone 105 mph on the Whitehurst Freeway (in Georgetown);
3363.  Corn Chex is a decent substitute for croutons;
3364.  You know it’s (freezing) cold when you can feel the biting wind through your gloves;
3365.  According to Scott Shane in his book, The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors and Policy Makers Live By, people who dealt drugs as teenagers are between 11 and 21 percent more likely than other people to start their own businesses in adulthood.  And their higher rate of self-employment isn’t the result of wealth accumulated dealing drugs, a greater likelihood of having a criminal record or lower wages;
3366.  In entrepreneurship, you’re the boss.  So it requires leadership.  And some research shows being super-smart actually makes you worse at being a leader;
3367.  According to Shane, studies have found that people are more satisfied with their jobs when they are working for themselves than when they are working for others.  In fact, the studies show that to be as satisfied when someone is working for others as s/he is when s/he is working for herself/himself, the average person needs to make two-and-a-half times as much money;
3368.  I need to work on my posture (when I’m sitting down);
3369.  I’m not a fan of button fly jeans(. . . . They’re so hard to button and unbutton);
3370.  (If you want) to get rid of (a lot of) the grease in your pepperoni, place them between a couple of paper towels and microwave them on high for 30 seconds;
3371.  I know someone whose taken photo(graph)s for Scott Weiland;
3372.  What do you need to do to be the 1st star of the game?  If you’re John Carlson, the answer is: Score the game winning goal against the (Detroit) Red Wings on your 25th birthday;
3373.  Tia is from (just) outside Raleigh, North Carolina;
3374.  Ariane is a morning person;
3375.  Ariane has relatives in Pennsylvania and Belgium;
3376.  Ariane is a rower;
3377.  Don’t find fault, find a remedy;
3378.  If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right;
3379.  You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do;
3380.  Most people get ahead during the time that others waste;
3381.  As President, Thomas Jefferson was the first person to stock the White House with wine (and he spent a third of his salary doing so his first year);
3382.  To do something really great, there requires a long obedience in the same direction;
3383.  (Fruit) preserves make pretty good yogurt mix-ins;
3384.  If you like oysters, go to Meridian Pint (MeridianPint.com) in D.C. on Mondays or Tuesdays for Happy Hour.  From 5 o’clock to 7 o’clock, they have a half dozen oysters with a pint of Founders Porter for $10.00;
3385.  I can now say that I’ve seen a top 5 (men’s) college basketball upset in person (specifically Georgetown beating then 4th ranked Villanova 78-58);
3386.  According to research from Gallup, companies fail to make the right person manager 82% of the time;
3387.  The people who find a way to succeed don’t make excuses;
3388.  Arctic char is like salmon;
3389.  I can now say that I’ve (inadvertently) been to a “March for Life;”
3390.  Don’t make lunch plans in Penn Quarter/Chinatown during the “March for Life;”
3391.  Glass covered, (ceramic) baking dishes (i.e., CorningWare) work well for storing cupcakes overnight;
3392.  Nothing says classy like using Dawn dishwashing liquid for hand soap (i.e., Mac’s Club Deuce in Miami);
3393.  “Area 31” (Area31Restaurant.com) has a great view of downtown Miami;
3394.  Apparently, a plane can be too heavy to land (specifically at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport);
3395.  On Monday nights, it’s ½ off (pork spare)ribs at Sweet Fire Donna’s (SweetFireDonnas.com) in (Old Town) Alexandria starting at 5 o’clock until they’re gone;
3396.  Pork spare ribs can be rather fatty;
3397.  Apparently, storing cupcakes in the refrigerator is bad (i.e., it dries them out), but (oddly enough) storing them in the freezer is okay;
3398.  Dr. Wasink recently conducted a study in the Atlanta and D.C. metro(politan) areas that suggested nearly 60% of grocery store purchases happened within 12 inches of eye level.  That being said, most of the cheapest options are on the bottom shelf;
3399.  Alexander Ovechkin is (only) the 5th NHL player to score (at least) 30 goals in each of his first 10 seasons in the league;
3400.  Research shows (that) most people decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds of meeting you.  Then they spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction;

Monday, December 29, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3301.  At Lands’ End, a price ending in .00 or .50 is full price.  A price ending in .97 or .99 is a marked down price often a clearance or a temporary sale item;
3302.  At Best Buy, a price ending in .99 is full price or on sale.  A price ending in .96 is adjusted to beat a competitor’s price.  A price ending in .92 is a one-time price drop at or below Best Buy’s price;
3303.  If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values.  They’re hobbies;
3304.  If we amplify everything, we hear nothing;
3305.  The Sedins (i.e., Henrik and Daniel) are phenomenal passers;
3306.  (I can say) I was at the game that Joel Ward scored his 100th point as a (Washington) Capital;
3307.  Late at night on a weekday, you might want to double check when the last train leaves the Metrorail station. . . . At some places, the last train goes by a half an hour before the station (actually) closes . . . like at the College Park-U of Md (Metrorail) station;
3308.  Worcestershire sauce loses some of its flavor and potency after a couple of days;
3309.  Molly Galbraith’s 7 recent food epiphanies that set her free: 1.  Food is abundant in my life and I can have almost any food at any time that I want if I really want it.  Nothing is ever off-limits; 2.  I should stop eating an indulgent food at the point in time that the “payoff” (i.e., the taste) is no longer greater than the price (i.e., the calories). . . . I started recognizing that I would eat an entire pint of ice cream even though I couldn’t taste the last 2/3 because my tongue was frozen! . . . I make sure that everything I eat is utterly satisfying; 3.  I make sure that I’m only eating foods that I truly enjoy (even healthful foods).  When I do this, I find myself craving other things less (i.e., if I have buttery, garlicky, Brussels sprouts at dinner versus dry broccoli, I’m less likely to crave something more indulgent after dinner); 4.  I no longer stuff myself to the point of major discomfort/pain.  I just stop eating when I feel myself starting to get close to full. . . . I got used to stuffing myself on my “cheat day” because at midnight I had to stop eating and I was so scared of midnight hitting that I’d stuff my face from the time I got up until then; 5.  If I know I’m going to have an indulgent meal, I’ll fast a little longer in the morning (I don’t always fast, but I do enjoy waiting several hours to eat in the morning) or stretch out my time between meals to make sure that my overall caloric consumption is lower.  I also try to do a strength training workout that day, but I don’t stress too much if it doesn’t happen; 6.  I eat much more slowly when I’m indulging. . . . I’m an absolute fanatic when it comes to chips and queso and one thing I started naturally doing is breaking my tortilla chips into 2-3 pieces and taking smaller bites instead of mindlessly stuffing the whole chip in my mouth.  I eat more slowly, I eat less overall and it gives me something to keep my hands busy.  I also put my fork down between bites, drink water and engage in conversation; 7.  If I’m at my house and I really want something like ice cream or something, I’ll have a few bites and then stop, and I’ll tell myself that if I still want more in 20 minutes, I can have more.  I almost never want more(, but if I do, I have more!); and Bonus: There is no value judgment placed on food.  You’re not “good” for eating one thing and “bad” for eating another.  You’re not “on” or “off” the wagon.  You can have salad and cupcakes in the same meal . . . it’s not against the law;
3310.  I’m not a big fan of peaty Scotches (specifically Laphroaig);
3311.  I can now say that I’ve been to a Georgetown (men’s) basketball game;
3312.  Kangaroo (meat) is very lean . . . and dry;
3313.  The sweet chili butter (with jalapenos and English curry) for the mussels at the Red Star Bar & Grill (RedStarBar.us) (in Baltimore, Maryland,) is pretty tasty;
3314.  How do you take a tequila shot when you hate (the taste of) tequila?  The answer is: Take a lemon, douse it in hot sauce, bite it and then down the shot. . . . You can barely taste the tequila;
3315.  You learn more from your losses than from your gains;
3316.  Mary Lambert is pretty funny;
3317.  Heather Thomas (i.e., Mary Lambert’s drummer) is rather attractive;
3318.  According to Matt (Nathanson), playing someone else’s guitar is like masturbating someone else. . . . You know how to do it, but it feels weird;
3319.  Pat Monahan (the lead singer of “Train”) likes taking (audience) selfies;
3320.  Columbia’s “Omni-Heat” thermal reflective lining actually works;
3321.  Thinking of how she’ll feel about something is always a safe move to make sure your thoughtful gestures are received in the way you intended;
3322.  Bartenders don’t like it when you drink the random whisky shots left on the bar. . . . Apparently, they’re a dead man’s shots;
3323.  Lyon Hall (LyonHallArlington.com) (in Clarendon) has Happy Hour every day from 3 o’clock to 7 o’clock;
3324.  The “SJF” (i.e., Sobieski vodka, Barritt’s ginger beer & fresh squeezed limes) at Lyon Hall is pretty tasty . . . and so are the Thai curry mussels (i.e., rice vermicelli, coconut, lemongrass, chilies, spinach & basil);
3325.  Why would you (ever) make and/or wear ugly, holiday sweaters? . . . It’s another of the great mysteries of the world;
3326.  The 9:30 Club used to be (at 930 F Street, NW) in Chinatown;
3327.  I think a sign of how well you know someone is how easy or hard it is to buy presents for him/her;
3328.  The (mini) cake balls at Whole Foods (Market) are deceptively small.  They’re bigger than they look . . . and very sweet;
3329.  Megan likes Taylor Swift;
3330.  Some days, I really hate my job;
3331.  This thing called life is a miracle, each and every particle of it, and the holiday season is a celebration of the miraculousness of it all;
3332.  Live in the now and enjoy life one moment at a time;
3333.  The “holiday turkey and stuffing panini” (i.e., turkey, gravy & herbed, cranberry stuffing) at Starbucks is pretty tasty. . . . It’s (like) Thanksgiving dinner on a ciabatta roll;
3334.  Megan likes power tools;
3335.  According to Megan, she has stinky sweat;
3336.  Ariane is a hockey fan . . . and a (Washington) Cap(ital)s fan at that;
3337.  If you’re wondering if any place is open in (Old Town) Alexandria, Murphy’s Irish Pub is open every day.  There’s never a day it’s closed;
3338.  I (always) thought Stephen Hawking was American (after all his voice emulator does have an American accent), but he’s actually British/English;
3339.  Alan Turing was gay;
3340.  Apparently, you should flush with the (toilet) lid down.  Polluted water vapor erupts out of the flushing toilet (bowl) and it can take several hours for these particles to settle. . . . Who knew?
3341.  Get to a place of gratitude and you will experience peace;
3342.  Be in a state of gratitude for everything because there is something to learn in everything;
3343.  Be grateful even for pain because there are lessons to be learned from it;
3344.  When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change;
3345.  When you forgive someone, you let go of the resistance that is keeping you from your alignment;
3346.  Any resolution that involves making decisions about future behaviors is a waste of time.  It reinforces the self-defeating notion of living in the future. . . . Live in the moment.  This day that you’re living right now is the only day you get;
3347.  You are using up your present moments to worry about the future, constantly reviewing the past to come up with how you should have done it differently or contemplating disaster, remind yourself that you are wasting this particular present moment;
3348.  All of your thoughts about what you should have done or how terrible things were in the past will not change one tiny slice of the past;
3349.  Habits are changed by practicing new behavior;
3350.  Do an honest assessment of your “problems.”  You’ll very likely discover that almost all of your problems are really in your head and not located in reality;

Sunday, November 30, 2014

What I’ve learned since moving to D.C. (some of which should be obvious):

3251.  (I think) Tristan Prettyman’s drummer looks like Ron Howard. . . . (I think) she looks like Ellen Pompeo;
3252.  Eric Hutchinson is from Takoma Park, Maryland;
3253.  (Except for banana bread,) I don’t (usually) like anything mixed with bananas, but I’ll make an exception for the banana and chocolate dessert panini at barmini (minibarByJoseAndres.com) in D.C.  It’s pretty tasty;
3254.  The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in (Old Town) Alexandria (actually) has a theatre for hosting concerts. . . . Who knew?
3255.  (Carl Orff’s) “Carmina Burana” has 25 movements;
3256.  The ting from a triangle can be rather annoying;
3257.  The bass drum sounds like a cannon;
3258.  BRABO (BraboRestaurant.com) in (Old Town) Alexandria has a Sunday Happy Hour.  From 5 o’clock until close, it’s half off the bar menu and $5.00 for house red and white wines and Tecates;
3259.  Celery meringue . . . sweet tasting celery just seems odd;
3260.  Be open to everything and attached to nothing;
3261.  If you’re shopping for fresh beets, choose smaller beets over larger, tougher beets and pass over any beets that are cracked, shriveled or look very dry;
3262.  If the beet greens are still attached to the root, they should be crisp looking and not at all wilted or slimy;
3263.  Beets should be cooked with their peel on to preserve nutrients and to prevent their deep red color from leaking out, which turns them brown, making them unappetizing in appearance;
3264.  When cooking beets, you should leave about half an inch of the stem on so that the pigment doesn’t leak out of the top;
3265.  Once your beets are done cooking, peel the skin off while wearing gloves, unless you don’t mind (having) your hands stained a deep red;
3266.  People say everything happens for a reason.  I don’t think that’s necessarily true.  I think some things can just happen.  But I do think you can learn something from everything that happens to you . . . good and/or bad. . . . Of course, some lessons are harder to learn than others.  Some might require you to take a long, hard look at yourself, face the truth and be willing to take responsibility for your actions and not blame others for what’s happened to you;
3267.  The Glenlivet distillery is the oldest, legal distillery in the parish of Glenlivet;
3268.  Bourbon is whisky made in the U.S.  It has to be made with at least 51% corn and aged in new, charred, oak barrels;
3269.  I (still) haven’t gotten over Robbie. . . . I know she’s not perfect. . . . She has her faults and her vices . . . being human, we all do. . . . But sometimes I wonder if I can’t get over the “real” Robbie or some idealized version that I’ve made up in my mind;
3270.  (Your) looks get you in (the door).  (Your) personality determines if you stay;
3271.  It’s interesting how our tastes can change (over time).  After not eating a lot of sugar for three to four months, fruit, desserts and even some vegetables taste so much sweeter to me (now);
3272.  Failure isn’t (necessarily) bad as long as you learn from it and don’t make the same mistake over and over again;
3273.  Teddy Roosevelt used to live in the row house that’s (now) Eighteenth Street Lounge (in D.C.);
3274.  Almonds are packed with tyrosine, an amino acid that helps your brain create dopamine – a neurotransmitter that stimulates the brain’s pleasure center;
3275.  Broccoli contains chromium, a mineral that helps increase the levels of serotonin and melatonin in your brain.  That means a more level head and even mood.  In fact, chromium is being studied as a possible treatment for depression;
3276.  Spinach and clams are good sources of folate also known as vitamin B9 and vitamin B12, a known depression-fighting duo;
3277.  Saffron is believed to help make serotonin more available, much in the same way that Prozac does;
3278.  Vitamin D activates genes that release neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.  Sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, which is why during the winter many people experience a drop in vitamin D levels and, subsequently, depression.  You can help replenish your vitamin D supply with eggs – specifically egg yolks;
3279.  Studies have found a connection between low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and depression, and though they are an essential part of brain health, the body cannot produce them on its own.  You can get them by eating fish like salmon;
3280.  Chocolate contains anandamide, a neurotransmitter that acts a lot like T.H.C. (the most important component of marijuana).  The sugar in chocolate also helps boost endorphin levels;
3281.  When our brains detect capsaicin, the compound in chili peppers that make them spicy, they release endorphins in order to calm the body down.  If the peppers are spicy enough, the result can be almost euphoric;
3282.  You can get married in St. Peter’s Basilica (in Vatican City);
3283.  There’s a truly magnificent side to the unknown, but we aren’t taught how to welcome it, let alone explore the breadth of its possibilities;
3284.  Ube ice cream tastes like (Danish) butter cookies;
3285.  The fish B.L.T. (specifically with salmon) and the apple slaw at Harpoon Larry’s (HarpoonLarrys.com) (in Newport News) are pretty tasty;
3286.  Apparently, there’s such a thing as a tattoo party;
3287.  At Gap, if the price ends in .47, .49, .97 or .99, it’s a discounted or clearance price;
3288.  At American Eagle Outfitters (“A.E.O.”), a price ending in .95 is full price and prices ending in .00 or .99 is a clearance price and your best bet.  Your single best strategy for holiday savings at A.E.O. is to wait until Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.  Go in to the store on that weekend or shop online and head straight for the clearance rack and look for items ending in .00 or .99.  Why?  Because they always offer coupons on clearance items that time of the year which will help you Christmas shop at close to 80% off the original price.  You’ll save 20-30% more than any other time of the year;
3289.  Prices ending in .99 are full price at Costco, ending in .97 are a discounted price and an asterisk (“*”) in the upper right hand corner of the price tag means it’s a clearance item.  So when shopping for Christmas gifts at Costco, always start by looking for items ending in .97 or with the * on the price tag.  The .97 and/or * always provides the best value.  Let’s say you’re buying your mom a coffee maker and they have three different brands for sale.  By buying the coffee maker ending in .97 or with the * on the tag you’ll end up getting the item for 20%-30% cheaper than anywhere else. . . . Be sure to start looking for deals now, don’t wait until Black Friday or early December as the more time you have the better your chances of finding a deal.  Costco notoriously carries quality brands across the board so stop being a brand loyal shopper and instead use the price tag code and shop for the best value. . . . Also, while at Costco, look for items that end in .00 (i.e. $25.00).  It is either a returned, unopened item that has already been deleted from the system or a one-of-a-kind item and is always the lowest price;
3290.  At The Home Depot, a price ending in .06 and on a yellow price tag means it is a clearance item and has six weeks until the next markdown.  After that six-week period, it will be marked down to .03, which means three weeks until the item is liquidated. . . . You’ll find some good Black Friday deals on tools at The Home Depot but few of the deals will be as good as the yellow tag deals ending in .06 and .03;
3291.  At JCPenney, .00 is the full price, .99 is the first clearance markdown price, .97 is the final clearance price and then the price will be cut in half every two weeks.  The absolute lowest price an item can get is $2.97. . . . JCPenney keeps its clearance section in the far back of the store and it’s usually stocked with great gift ideas like housewares, dishes, apparel, heating blankets, silverware, linens and pillows.  Look for items ending in .97 and, if they have a bunch of any particular item, wait a week or two, come back and the item’s price will be cut in half;
3292.  Look at the digital shelf tag at Kohl’s, particularly in the upper right hand corner.  If you see a “NM,” it means new markdown and the item will go on sale that night or the following morning.  “GV” means great value and is a limited time price drop.  “S” is simply a sale item.  While the NM can be somewhat elusive, the GV can be found fairly easily.  Look for the GV and only Christmas shop in those sections of the store.  By doing so you’ll save a minimum of 25% off your purchase. . . . Also, be aware that you can use a Kohl’s printable coupon on all clearance items.  So be sure to stack a coupon on top of your clearance purchase to save close to 50%;
3293.  At Office Depot, a price ending in a 1 (i.e., $18.21) is the first clearance markdown, ending in 2 is the second clearance markdown, ending in 3 is the third markdown, a price ending in 4 is the “holy grail” and represents the final markdown price and the absolute best value. . . . Office Depot marks things down every 7-10 days.  So if you’re shopping for gift ideas and stocking stuffers and they have an item at the first or second clearance markdown, wait and come back.  By Christmas shopping early you’ll have plenty of time to come back and get items only when the price ends in a 3 or a 4. . . . Items that present the best buying opportunities are as follows: basic office supplies, small electronics, printers, software, packing supplies and desk organizers. . . . Office Depot is notorious for unloading some great clearance deals on Black Friday.  Shop on Black Friday and instead of fighting over the door-buster deals, head for the clearance sections of the store for better savings;
3294.  At Old Navy, prices ending in .47, .49, .97 and .99 denote a clearance item. . . . The single best time of the year to shop at Old Navy, for both gift ideas and the ability to stock up for the following year, is Black Friday weekend.  You can easily save 65-80% off the original retail price on pants, sweaters, dress shirts, outerwear and dresses. . . . The real value of shopping on Black Friday at Old Navy is taking advantage of the clearance deals. . . . In-season styles are typically not that great of a deal. . . . Plus, Old Navy typically offers some great clearance coupons on Black Friday that you can stack for even more savings;
3295.  When shopping at Sam’s Club, check out the letter in the upper right hand corner of the shelf tag and look for the “C.”  This means the item is cancelled and is a clearance price and, thus, provides the best value. . . . Similar to Costco, Sam’s Club stocks quality brands and products across the board.  So if you’re Christmas shopping for your sister and she needs a new crock-pot, go to the one with the “C” in the upper right hand corner of the price on the shelf tag.  The “Cancelled” item almost always provides savings in the 25-35% range. . . . A price ending in 1 is a sale price and on clearance;
3296.  At Sears, .99 is full price, .97 is a discontinued item on clearance and .88 is the final markdown price. . . . Where in the store should you look for items ending in .97 or .88?  This works best in the tools section as well as in electronics and appliances.  The price will typically be close to 30% cheaper than Amazon.com. . . . Take advantage of additional Sears coupons and clearance deals on Black Friday for maximum savings;
3297.  At Target, a price ending in .99 is full price.  .04, .24, .88 or .98 is a clearance item. . . . Check out the upper right hand corner of the clearance sticker for the tiny little number.  It will say 15, 30, 50, 75 or 90 and that represents the percent off the original price. . . . Clearance items get marked down every 10 to 14 days. . . . When Christmas shopping, the best departments in Target are: electronics, apparel, shoes, small kitchen appliances, housewares and linens. . . . When looking for bargain gift ideas, always look for items where the store has many in stock.  By doing so, you’ll be able to start shopping early and use the price codes to your advantage;
3298.  At BJ’s Wholesale Club, a price ending in 9 is full price.  .00 or .90 is a manager’s special, discounted 10% per week until gone for a maximum of 60% off;
3299.  At Pier 1 Imports, a price ending in .95 or .00 is full price.  .48, .95 or .98 is a clearance or reduced item;
3300.  At PetSmart, a price ending in 9 (i.e., .09, .49 or .99) is full price.  A price ending in 7 (i.e., .07, .27 or .97) is a clearance or reduced item;