Category Archives: Game Of Life

Observations of my life and the people around me

The Bronze Age Gruppo Gamma N-19A Review

Vanguard N-19A Review

I’ve been keeping my eye on this little watch for awhile now. Made by this little boutique watch company from Singapore called Gruppo Gamma. After I heard prices for the movement would be going up, I decided to just bite the bullet and order one. My initial fears were my wrists would be too small and it would look utterly ridiculous on me. I tend to stay within the 37-43mm range of watches, and the largest one I have is the Seiko “SRP309” –the second generation orange monster– so needless to say I was a bit apprehensive. However, the guys from the company responded on Instagram and helped the decision making process.


As I mentioned before, they are based in Singapore, but do have US distribution centers. I got my watch in 3 days, shipped via DHL. It comes with a travel case, a secondary darker leather leather band, 2 spare screw bars (which is very nice of them), a screw driver to change the screw bars. I am very glad they are not spring bars because this watch is pretty solid and heavy. It weighs 170 grams with the strap, and I did not want to strap a NATO band on it since the leather one it came with was very nice. Screw bars gave me a bit more reassurance.


The Vanguard comes with a signed screw down crown. There are crown guards that are present and the grip is very nice. Compared to my orange monster, it is much easier to screw and unscrew this crown. According to the Gruppo Gamma Site, the Vanguard Mark III N-19A is backed by a Miyota 9015 movement. Which is for the most part identical to the Miyota 90S5 movement. What I find odd, is the Miyota specs, say the 9015 has a date calendar complication, whereas the 905S does not. And the Vanguard Mark III N-19A that I have definitely does not have a Calendar Date, so I’m wondering if the Gamma site is incorrect and it is actually backed by a 90S5 movement. [UPDATE] Confirmed by the company that it is using a caliber 9015. The date function is just not exposed. You can tell when asjusting the time, it needs to be in the second position(vs. just the first, for the 90S5).



  • 24 Jewels (The Jewels (synthetic or otherwise reinforce the friction points in the mechanical parts to allow for longevity)
  • 28800 vibrations per hour, which allows for a more smoother sweep of the second hand
  • hackable (essentially when you pull the crown out to adjust the time, the second hand stops completely allowing for more precise time syncing)
  • manual winding(means you can wind it to power it along with kinetic automatic motion)
  • Power reserve of ~42Hrs (How long it will last on a full charge/wind in theory
  • Accuracy of -10~30 seconds/day this of course as we all know vary
  • Depth rating of 20 ATM (Or 200meters/660ft) Should I ever get that deep, I would most likely be dead or too freaked out to worry anyways
  • Double domed sapphire crystal (It is convex on both faces which allow for less optical distortion of the dial. On a single dome, if you look at it from 90 degrees it is great, but at an angle of 45 degrees or so, there is so much distortion you can’t read the dials. Double dome, you can view it from 90 to nearly 180 degrees)
  • The case and crown is is phosphor bronze, with a stainless steel caseback. Screws are visible throughout and it has a very Jules Verne-esque 20k Leagues under the sea feel to it. The bronze, as the name implies has phosphorous in it, which is a deoxidizing agent and helps it resist and corrosion. Hence phos bronze has lot of maritime applications, such as ship propellers.


    The Lume is something I honestly expected a bit more out of. One caveat, is I did not do a full thorough analysis. This model uses C3 luminescent markers. C3 is essentially a color code, designating it a yellow daylight color per ISO 3157:1991 specs. There are no specs from the manufacturer as to what kind of lume they use, but I can rule out tritium and guessing maybe super luminova. After shining a bright 400k temp LED light to it (which should give it a good ~360nm wavelength of light to be absorbed by the pigment) It looks amazing! As seen by the pics below. However, the discharge rate seems pretty fast. After about 5min or so, it diminishes greatly. Again, to re-iterate, this is all anecdotal, as I did not saturate the material, give it 20-30minutes of load time. But these are pretty standard with most watches. With a tool diver, maybe I was thinking it would last a little longer? I’m not sure.


    My initial impression of the band was, “wow”. It feels like I’m wearing a belt on my wrist! It’s a thick, giant 24mm leather band. I’m used to wearing G10/Nato bands, so this thing felt gigantic. The stitched leather smells nice, and has an amazing bronze buckle as well, which bears the company’s name. It is a bit hard to take off the watch, but I suspect that is because my leather has not been broken in yet.



    Below are iphone pics I took if the watch on my wrist. I tried to take close to a 90 degreen angle shot to show the thickness of it and how it wears. The lugs are angled so it does not seem ridiculous at most angles, with the exception of the side profile since 16mm does protrude up quite a bit. I have small wrists, and it does not appear as if I’m wearing a giant pocket watch on my wrists. This was my first concern, but as of now I’m really digging this timepiece.

    Parting Thoughts
    I can’t wait to see what this watch will look like in a few years. As time passes, the bronze will mix with co2 and water to essentially form a patina that gives it some character. I can force it with sulfides and chemicals but there’s not much fun in that. I’ll let nature take it’s time. It so far far has jumped up in my rotation as one of my favorite watches so far. I love the teal colored dial, and the sci-fi steam punkish case makes it a joy to wear. Similar watches to this that I looked at is the Ancon M26 tank. But that thing was even bigger than this one, and the guys at Gruppo Gamma mentioned that the designers of the Vanguard Diver has small wrists too, so that sealed the deal for me.


    Portrait of a House

    How do you begin to document memories that have been built up for 42 years? A place where family got together for Christmas, and Thanksgiving. Where kids, grandkids, and even great grand kids played. How do you do that place justice with photos?
    After a few hours, I realized the answer is “you simply can’t”.


    My original goal was to capture a portrait of the house as a keepsake. But I soon began to see that I was merely capturing empty rooms, with empty chairs and empty tables. Every time I visited, I used to love to look at the photos that adorned the living room walls. Now all the pictures are all gone.


    The orange paint that splashed all over the kitchen walls are now neutral white. Tiny toys and decorations that lined the windows, vanished into storage. Trinkets and keepsakes that reminded Lita and Migel of Texas are now tucked away in our memories.



    And as I explored through the kitchen, I remembered the smells of tamales, or tasty pies. A new family will soon be building memories here, so my goal was to try to get portraits of the house as it is now.


    And as wonderful as the fresh coat of paint is, and as perfect and pristine as the rented furniture is, sprinkled throughout the house.


    Nothing can replace what once was.









    The kids would wait and nap in these hallways and rooms during Christmas eve. They would tell each other stories until it was time to open presents downstairs.


    As the project came to an end, as I put back the furniture that I have moved, and reflected on the past. I thanked the house for the shelter it provided…But I began to see that it will never provide warmth. It is just an empty shell. The true soul of a place lies in the people that live in it. Houses can’t hug, they can’t smile.


    They can’t cry with you during times of loss. They can’t celebrate with you during times of joy. Wood, pillars, stucco walls, windows and cold gates is all I took photos of.

    So with that I end with a parting thought. Don’t get too tied to your possessions. Home is truly where the heart may be, but we can make any place home so long as we have friends and family near. When we leave this earth, no one will remember where we lived.
    Just how we lived it, and who we touched along the way.

    Thank you for the memories Miguel and Lita.

    The Walk

    “We’re meant to lose the people and things we love.
    How else would we know how important they are to us?”
    -Eric Roth

    It is because we never know precisely when life will be taken away from us, that I feel that we are all on borrowed time. Every once in awhile, we should learn to take a step back from the insanity of work, and truly appreciate the gift of time.


    We should stop and take in beautiful colors of the sunset.


    Kiss our loved ones a little bit longer.


    Hold them a little bit tighter.


    Howl and bark at the moon as if every day is your last.


    A buddy of mine in Portland found out that Bear, his beloved dog, has cancer. The prognosis was bleak and I did not even know if I was even going to make it up in time to capture some photos. As luck –or fate– would have it, Bear is still fighting the good fight. Some days are better than others, but the good news is, he’s still walking, eating, drinking, and sniffing other dog’s tush’s.

    I had the honor of hanging out with them for a short while. I do not have a pet myself, but I have dealt with love and loss by this awful disease, and there are lot of parallels. So I can truly empathize. We do not want your loved ones to suffer, but the selfish side of us wishes they could be here forever. The reality of it is:

    Some days, your body is just so tired you just want to do nothing.


    Some days are filled with sadness.


    And some just full of love, hope, and smiles.


    I look into Bears eyes, and he seems a little tired. He doesn’t quite know what is going on with his body, but he knows something is very wrong. The medicine and the drugs probably hurt or make him feel very ill at times. But he wants to hang around to play with his friend Henry just for a a bit longer.



    Bear still smiles, hangs around, eats normally and goes about his routine. But I do get the sense that there is an implicit understanding between the two of them. It is as if they know the bond they share will be for an eternity, but Henry knows Bear’s health is giving out and he can’t be there with his friend forever. I think to some degree, Bear knows it too.

    Having a pet seems a lot like raising a child. You train them, they grow up with you. They are there for you through good days and bad. You clean after them and feed them, but in return, they provide you with unconditional love, and provide comfort and affection. They don’t care if you are rich or poor. They don’t care what car you drive, they won’t argue with you or leave you.

    I got to experience Bear’s warmth and innocence. Watching the two of them interact with one another, I witnessed that unbreakable bond between dog and man.

    We went for a stroll around the neighborhood. Bear loves to sniff the flowers, the rocks, the trees. In true Portland fashion, he loves nature.

    I felt a bit sad as I pet Bear’s head one final time before leaving. I knew it was probably the last time I would see him. He probably just thinks I’m the strange little Asian guy that followed him on his walk today and wonders why I keep on pointing this odd black clicking device at him.


    Bear, I don’t know how many walks you have left in you. How many more times you will feel the pitter patter of rain splashing around your paws. How many other interesting butts you will smell,

    or rocks you would uncover. But I do know that Henry will walk with you until the very end of him. And until the very end of you.

    And when you are gone, and my memories begin to fade, these photographs will be here to help me remember this walk we had in the rain. And in the 30 minutes I have spent with you Bear, you have reminded me to love life:


    To not take things too seriously sometimes.


    To smile more often.


    To be aggressive and fight for the things I believe in.


    To always lend a hand to helpless old Jewish ladies crossing the street.


    Hang in there buddy. Both of you.

    2013 Fried Chicken Festival Review


    When my wife first informed me that I was attending this event, I was intrigued. There are just a handful of fried chicken establishments in Southern California. The most notable ones are: the ubiquitous KFC, and the more delicious (In my opinion) albeit found only in gentrified neighborhoods, “Popeyes Chicken”. Church’s chicken is also available to us, though I see less and less of them these days. I don’t think I can leave out Roscoe’s Chicken Waffles, but I have not been there for 15 years, so I can’t even use that as a basis of comparison.

    With that said, the event is $55 dollars a person. A portion of the proceeds (Yes, I love it when they never specify and only state portion) goes to My Friend’s place, a charitable organization helping the youths of Los Angeles.

    We began at “Handsom Coffee Roasters” nearby and had some tasty expresso while we waited for the event to begin. I noticed there was Dr. Doom graffiti art across the street and insisted I had my photo taken there. It was quite apropos, considering we are about to embark on a journey that has doomed many a chicken. Bruhahahha!

    We lined up for the event, which opened their doors to non VIP Ticket holders at 16:00PST. Food was all inclusive, including alcohol. As such, they did prerequisite ID checks.


    Note for $90 USD you can get the V.I.P tickets which allow you to get in an hour earlier, have a special area to sit in, and get the nationally renowned bartender Matthew Biancaniello to serve you this concotion: (Yes that is a chicken’s foot)


    Now onto the food!

    Ricardo Zarate: Mo-chica, Paiche + Picca

    This glorified fried chicken ball over a bed of cabbage can be broken down to two distinct areas. The green sauce, and everything else. The sauce was very flavorful, it was a bit tangy with hints of spices that went very well with the chicken ball. However, the chicken ball itself was soft, but not very flavorful at all. Without the sauce, it tastes a little bit like the soft meatballs you get at IKEA. Bland, soft and squishy in texture. The sauce is ultimately what saved it, but in general, sauce should augment a dish. Not carry it. Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? YES

    Matt Poley Heirloom LA

    The chicken pieces here were a bit dry. The skin, though fried did not have much flavor. The accompanying potato salad I thought was pretty decent, however overall, it was very forgettable.
    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? YES

    Daniel Mattern & Roxana Jullapat Cooks County

    We were initially very excited when we saw this. What would best be described as petite, fried chicken sliders with a pickle on top. It looked delicious! However, once we bit into them, our enthusiasm faded, along with taste of the sliders. What was destined to be a cornucopia of flavors, bursting in our mouths with every bite, ended up being a dry, bland experience. The good news is, it is definitely not forgettable. Chrissie wanted to take the bread off and go for the chicken, then eventually tossed it. I find it hard to waste food so I forced myself to finish it. There were two issues with this one. The bread that was used was very dry, and not soft. Take away the bread and you are left with flavorless fried chicken.
    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? Heck Yes!

    David LeFevre: Fishing With Dynamite + M.B. Post

    This Truffle Honey Laced Fried Chicken with Lime Cilantro dish was quite delicious. They were the only ones there that gave us a combination of dark and white meets, fried and splattered with a delicious honey sauce. The meat was soft, and flavorful. The problem with the sweet chicken is they can’t be consumed en mass. Generally, after 2 to three pieces, you start to get tired of it. So far this one was quite decent.
    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? Maybe

    We decided to go inside to take a break, and to cleanse our palates with refreshments. These guys at Bierkast had two drinks: Ketsara (Thai Tea Soda), and Ginger Citrus Soda. The Ginger was ok, but the Thai Tea Soda, was fantastic and amazing, all rolled into one. It was refreshing, not too sweet, and overall just brilliantly brewed. Unfortunately they are currently looking for a distributor, so it is somewhat of a Unicorn drink. Meaning, we spotted it once, and it is highly improbable that we will find it again. However, the discovery was quite worth the hour drive up to L.A. Yes, it was that good.


    We moved on to beer! It must be noted that I am very upset with these people. They made me commit a cardinal sin, “Thou shalt not waste alcohol”. Despite being very cold beer, the temperature did not save us from the assault on our senses. Going down, there was this bitter, unpleasing taste. Then two seconds later, the after taste hits you like a freight train. We both agreed, that this beer had to disappear, and we had to do it to not offend anyone. So we walked outside and I quietly buried it in the trash bins. Firestone, we thank you for your efforts and donation to the community.


    After the awful beer experience, we wandered outside for round two of the Chicken Feast.

    Susan Feniger: Street : chicken, Bacon & Waffle Croquette With a Spicy Maple Sauce

    I’m going to ignore the fact that Susan Feniger is a TV personality. After all, in my opinion, art, much like food, should be judged based on what you do, and not who you are. That aside, I was very pleased that she was serving food and just being out there with us lowly lumpenproletariats.

    The dish was very good. It hinted of waffles, and the cucumber and hikama salad went very well with the main dish. The skin was crispy and the contents within were moist and flavorful. It was one of Chrissie’s favorite dishes at the event.
    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? No

    Jason Neroni: Superba Snack Bar

    This Fried Chicken with Red Wine Glaze, Pickled Chilies, and parmesan with Kentucky style Bacon Slaw looks quite wonderful on paper. The presentation is wonderful and appetizing. Here’s what I think is wrong with it. When you first bite into it, you think you just got robbed. Where are the spices that was promised? Were they just there for decoration?! What does this taste so bland? After a few bites, you start to get a little annoyed. Then, just as you are about to give up, a hint of spices start to trickle, then stream into your mouth. But by then, I fear it may be too late. Mentally, I had already given up on it. I think however, this is one dish I wouldn’t mind giving a second chance.
    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? Maybe

    Chris Oh: Seoul Sausage

    This boils down to sweet and sour chicken wings. The sweetness over powers the wing and ensures you would only want to eat just one wing before moving on to the next booth. I think this would taste decent if it had a lot of rice, to offset the flavors. But I think that would undermine the spirit of chicken wings, which is to consume as much as possible in one sitting while sipping on beer and watching a game. That should be the mission statement of all chicken wings out there, and sadly, this one fails masterfully at it. It would be closer to home in a restaurant, eaten slowly during dinnertime, along with Orange Chicken, because that is pretty much what it tastes like. Just one notch above Orange chicken except pesky bones to slow you down.

    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? Yes

    Bryant Ng: The Spice Table
    Prawn Paste Fried Chicken Chinese Honey Mustard with Spicy Baked Beans


    This was a decent entry, it tasted like curry chicken. The beans did not pair well with the chicken at all, but over all if you had a hankering for flavored chicken, this may hit the spot. This is an average dish, with just enough flavor and spices to keep you interested, but not enough to have anything much to write about it.
    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? Yes

    Eduardo Ruiz Corazon y Miel

    This is a dry rubbed fried chicken with chorizo, preserved mushrooms, barley, lemon creme fraiche. Sounds very fancy, but I will have to put this as the worst chicken item there. Next to the mini chicken sliders, except the sliders, given plenty of beer, I would eat again. The creamy/mushroom flavor does not go well at all. When I first bit into it, I thought I accidentally bit into a large chunk of fat. It left a very discernible awful taste in my mouth. Going with my life’s motto of “You gotta try everything once, maybe twice”, I mustered up the courage to take another few more bites. It was not better the second time around, in fact I think it made it worse. I can best describe it as biting into sludgy lard.
    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? Very much Yes

    Ernesto Uchimura: Plan Check Bar

    This is one of the best dishes during the festival. Spicy and smokey fried chicken, a hint of jalepenos with sweet corn pudding. The chicken was soft, moist, had an explosion of flavors and spices, and the sauce helped it along and worked with the chicken. It was one of the best pairings there. The corn pudding helped balance out the spice, and it was one of the few chickens we scarfed down to the bone with no remorse.
    Would I rather go to Popeyes Chicken? No

    Inside the second tent, we stumbled upon much Better Alcohol! I’m the first to admit I’m not a huge tequila fan, but this stuff was not bad!
    This mixed drink,dubbed ‘Zapatos Nuevos’ was pretty tasty. It comprised of Milagro, with watermelon, lime and basil. They were very generous with the amount of tequila and I think we will definitely be buying from them in the future.

    The second most notable item for this event was the fabulous McConnell’s Ice Cream. I had never heard of them until today. The ice cream tasted home made, and very delicious. It wasn’t too sweet, but it was very creamy, and you could just tell the ingredients used were top notch. I can say, hands down, this stuff is way better than any hagaan daas, or other ice creams out there. The closest thing that can touch them was this old ice cream shop that used to be in my neighborhood back in the day called Haans Homemade ice cream on Bristol Street in Santa Ana, which essentially made hand made ice cream right there.

    Serving Life

    I watched this documentary, and I thought it would be interesting, but what was just a peek into the rabbit hole ended up being a roller coaster of emotions. The basic premise is these inmates, some doing various crimes, regardless of the circumstances, are all serving life or very long sentences. The warden started a program where volunteers who qualify can help care for other inmates serving life in the prison hospice. So in serving them, they find redemption, and change, in themselves, and it was very touching. It made everyone realize that family, and those bonds are very important, and if they had the care that they had and the love that they had in their last days on Earth, as they did growing up, maybe half of the people in prison wouldn’t have committed their crimes.

    The volunteers do not know what the people they are taken care of are in for. It isn’t for people to judge. When you meet your maker, or make you lonely journey into the void, you make it alone. Doesn’t matter who you are or what you did, we all have to go sometime. The most touching I think was the two brothers. The younger brother following the older one always, and they each got into trouble, both doing time. The younger one, who know’s he is dying implores his older one to make a change. Just open up his heart and make a change, and it’s tough to see these large grown men break down and cry. But I watched these people take care of each other, and I was reminded of when we were taking care of my dad. The water swabs to keep the mouth dry, the potential bed sores. It all brought back a lot of memories, and I think three years after his passing, I thought I could handle it. Turns out, I was partially right. It did make me want to volunteer more though and give back. I remember the mantra growing up in high school during our volunteer days. “Make a Difference”. I think back then we did it to earn credit and get recognition to pad our resumes to get into college. It is not until later that you really want to do it for altruistic reasons. And as it turns out, regardless of who you are or what you’ve done, it’s never to late to help others, and make a change.

    It is a good documentary, and if you are up for some good old fashioned depressing, yet hopeful exploration of the human spirit, then it would be something I recommend.

    last party

    I attended my grandma in law’s funeral the other day. It was a celebration of her life and family, and I just thought that life was just so fleeting, and I’ve been humbled and reminded that life is beautiful.


    It was beautiful. There was supposed to be rain that day, but the sky cleared up. There was a mariachi band, and there was a lot of sadness, but I was very pleased that soo many people showed up. She at one point touched each of their lives, if they took the time out of their Fridays, to travel and to fly from a far, to pay their respects.


    I know how it feels like to lose a father, and as much as Dad’s rock. I don’t even want to know how it would feel like to lose a mother. You hear stories of war, where wounded and dying men cry out for their mommies. There is just an indescribable bond that is attached to mom’s. I think I would be completely devastated. But such is the circle of life, and I know none of us can escape the journey. Here’s to you grandma Solis. I’m sorry, I promised you photos the last time we met, and nearly 10 months have passed and I haven’t made good on that promise. That is the one thing I regret, and I guess I’ll carry that along with many other things until it is my turn to take that journey as well.


    Got my wedding demo reel back!

    Awww it was so sad watching this. My dad was so vibrant, the kids that back then are seniors in high school or moved off to college. Salud…to good times. Salud to lost loved ones. Salud….to life.


    I often wondered if if bees ever stop to just smell the flowers, as opposed to ceaselessly working all the time, gathering honey for the collective. The past two months since I’ve come back from my brief journey with my mom and cousins across the country in an RV trip have been very busy, to say the least. So I’ve finally had some breathing room to sit down and update this blog.

    We set out on the one year Anniversary of my dad’s passing. It was my first time driving a giant RV, and I must admit it was a bit frightening at times, especially in the city of San Fran. We went to visit my grandma, who passed away one year after I was born. What’s interesting, is as a child, we used to go almost every year to San Fran to visit.


    But I was to naive to understand. Even as I grew older, I went to visit out of respect, but I never understood what my mom felt. And that is, the profound loss of losing a parent. After San Fran, we headed east towards Nevada/Utah.



    Wherever we went, whatever we saw, I did feel that my pop was with me, and we did see some really beautiful things.
    I would love to go back to Zion National Park in Utah again. I haven’t seen much of the rest of the country, but for sure it has been up to this point want of the most awe inspiring places I’ve seen.






    I had to cut my trip short though. Only had 3 days off from work, so I left them after Zion to fly back home. However, I knew my mom was in good hands. My cousin’s hubby was more than a capable driver.
    They went on to tour the rest of the country, and I called every day when there was service to check up on them.
    After looking at their photos, it made me think about an excerpt from a song from the band Death Cab for Cutie.
    I always think of my parents when I hear this verse.

    You and me have seen everything to see
    From Bangkok to Calgary
    And the soles of your shoes are all worn down
    The time for sleep is now
    It’s nothing to cry about
    ’cause we’ll hold each other soon’


    I feel that wherever you go, you take your loved ones with you. Whether it be your wife/husband, children, family, best friend. What you experience, and see through your eyes. How you conduct yourself in life. They are all present, in some form or another. They influence your actions.



    The only time I took a pause when processing my mom’s pictures was when they went to White Sands National Park, New Mexico.
    It was one of the last few trips we took as a family, with my dad being present. So when I saw that place again, and I knew my mom was there, I must admit, I did feel a small tinge of anger. Not at my mom, not at anything in particular. Just the fact that my father isn’t there in those photos. I felt silly afterwards, but some of the photos I just outright skipped, refusing to look or process that section. I told my mom this and she laughed.


    Portraits of my mumsy.





    Graduation day is near

    Death is the graduation ceremony, while living is just a long course in learning and preparing for the next journey.

    -The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

    The anniversary of my father’s passing is almost here. It has almost been one year. I must admit, it’s gone by pretty quickly. Not a single day goes by that some random event in life reminds me of him. To celebrate life, and his passing, my mom and getting an RV, and taking a tour around the country (sort of speak). My mom and my cousin the RV and are traveling across the country. I’m taking 3 days off of work (5 days including weekends) to join her during the first leg of her trip, and flying back in Colorado. I think it’ll be fun. I’m looking forward to just relaxing, and taking pictures, living in the moment.

    Speaking of living in the moment, a friend of mine’s dad recently passed away from Cancer. At his funeral, I think took home one valuable lesson. Celebrate life, and during the course of your own journey, treat everyone equally, whether they be a pauper or a king. Because you can’t escape the laws of physics. –What goes up, must always come down– and when you’re on your way down. If you treated people with dignity, respect, and integrity all throughout your journey…then you will be rewarded, and your life will be enriched. I’ve only met her dad two times, but am thankful that he has taught me this lesson.

    I must admit, back in the day, I used to be a complete egotistical jerk. (ok, don’t laugh, a lot of people still think I am one! lol) I had a huge chip on my shoulder, with an elitist attitude towards everyone. We thought we were untouchable, and were better than everyone else. Thankfully, age, experience, and going through life has tempered that, and I think I’m way more humble, and way more self deprecating than ever. (My wife may disagree lol), but in all seriousness I’m not the same person I was 15 years ago, and I think hopefully I’m headed towards the path for the better. I don’t judge people as much anymore. (Note I say ‘as much’, as I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t). I’m the first to admit I’m not perfect.

    Despite everything, I think I’ve come a long way since I first started this blog three years ago. I had just received news that my dad just received a death sentence. I think I did lose a little bit of myself, but that part of my soul that became empty is no finally start to heal. I’m more accepting. More forgiving. And filled with more compassion towards everyone than ever before.

    With that I’ll share this nifty little tune from SIXX A.M. titled “Life is Beautiful”.

    “Life is Beautiful”
    I was waiting for my hearse
    What came next was so much worse
    It took a funeral to make me feel alive

    Just open your eyes
    Just open your eyes
    And see that life is beautiful.
    Will you swear on your life,
    That no one will cry at my funeral?

    yes I talk to myself

    Something peculiar happened yesterday. I went to have dinner with my mom and stopped by her place after work, roughly around 6-7. It had to be 7 because I never leave work at 6. I was parked, and I just had this sudden pang of emotions hit me. I just totally thought of my dad. There was this wall that that he used to exercise near. He used it to brace himself in case he fell, which was why he liked the wall. So I was walking by the walk towards my mom’s and I really felt as if he was there, so here I am admitting I do this (but I’m sure others do it too, so I’m not entirely crazy). I turned to my right and I said hi dad, I love you. Then sort of chuckled, wondering if other people do this. Anyways, to make along story short, a friend of mine’s father passed away. I didn’t find out until the day after, and I just thought it was just very peculiar that I think the time of his passing was just about the time I had this surge of emotions go through me.

    I can’t explain it, it could just be coincidence. The 1 year anniversary of my father’s passing is coming up very soon, and it may be because subconsciously I’m thinking of him a lot. Whenever I’m stuck with a problem doing car stuff, I always ask his advice. Lol, yeah silly, but we do what we do to get by in this crazy world I guess. Anyways, wanted to wish Mr. Lai a safe journey, may you rest in peace.

    I went home today and there’s a picture of my dad where I put some of his stuff on. I can’t believe it, I still have the pictures that we put up on the boards from the funeral. It still hasn’t hit me, that it has been a year. But I haven’t taken them down yet. I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet. But I told him, that he has a new friend up there. I’m sure they’ll both get a long just fine.

    The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying says that death is the graduation ceremony, while living is just a long course in learning and preparing for the next journal.