Okome Bento & Sushi

We just finished watching a movie and were now on the hunt for an after movie meal.  Being the new year and all, we’re on a kick lately to try new places.  Although we live close by, we rarely make our way to the Ka Makana Ali’i Mall (or to everyone that lives around here, the Kapolei Mall) so in the spirit of new things, we decided to walk around and try a new place.  The other day we tried BonChon, which was ok.  So we decided to walk through the food corridor again to see what caught our eye.  After some debate, we settled on Okome Bento and Sushi.  I’d like to say that there was some interesting reason behind the choice, but really it was because we were able to secure a spot to sit.

They have two rows of seats, one for 4-seaters and one for 2-seaters.  So if you have a bigger group like us, it might be tough.  There are seats outside, but those are tougher to get since they’re open to everyone and the corridor with all of the eateries is probably the most popular section in the entire mall.  At that moment, there was a 2 and 4 seater open across from each other, so everything worked out.  I took the shot of the interior from my seat to give you an idea.  I couldn’t get a good shot of the outside because there were a ton of people walking around.  Maybe I’ll walk around one morning to take shots of all the eateries and update old ones or file them away for new ones.  Man, this blogging stuff is a lot of work!

When you walk in, you immediately see the counter that’s set up cafeteria style.  You can grab a tray and order from the friendly folks.  The first station is the hot foods section, and above them are the things they’ll prepare for you.  The next station is more fried stuff, but these are more of the sides like various tempura and other small food stuffs.  The third station are their selection of bento items, most of which are prepared sushi.  You can also order fish dons from the folks here.  Then you hit the cashier where you can order drinks (no alcohol, sadly) and pay for your meal.

Typically I would go straight for the sushi and whatever fish stuff they have, but I had a lot of poke yesterday (the good stuff from Ishihara Market on Kauai!)  So I was fished out.  Instead I went for the tonkatsu/mochiko chicken wing combo here.  It comes in a cool looking cardboard bento box, with each item in it’s own little cardboard box similar to a real wooden bento box.  Definitely a neat touch!  The sides (miso soup, salad, pickled ginger, edamame and rice) are typical for a bento box; neither good nor bad, just what you would expect.  The tonkatsu was a thick cut of pork, not the thin stuff that most other places offer.  It was slightly dry, but moist enough to be only slightly chewy.  The breading was thin, which I personally like.  For me, it’s just there to mop up the katsu sauce and add some crunch and it did it’s job admirably.

The mochiko chicken wings were on the sweeter side of the spectrum, which I like.  Some folks don’t like it too sweet and if you’re one of them, then you might want to steer clear of the wings.  Having this contrast with the tartness of the katsu sauce made this an enjoyable dish.  They also have miso butterfish so I might try that next time.  Actually, that’s a lie.  The next time I go I’m going to try their spicy ahi don or one of their nigiri sets.  As I walked by the third station, I was seriously contemplating giving them back the bento box and going for the fish.  The stuff looked pretty good!

All in all, I can honestly say I’ll be back here again.  True, it’s going to be for the fishy stuff, but even if that weren’t the case I’d honestly come back for this bento box again.  Cool novelty with the box, and decent price for the food.  I should mention that my son had the teriyaki chicken bento and he said it was pretty good.  I had a bite but it wasn’t enough to really make a judgement call.  Maybe I’ll pair that with the aforementioned butterfish next time and see how that goes.  Have any of you been here yet?  What did you think?

(Kinda) New Board Game – Settlers of Catan

As I mentioned in my previous post, my family developed a mild addiction to board games that started off with your typical common games but grew into more sophisticated ones.  In that post, I mentioned that we headed to our local game shop and picked up a new game that started our journey.  Well, that first game was called Catan Family Edition.  It came highly recommended by the nice young gal who was helping us choose our first game and when we brought it home and played it, she was spot on.  It’s not a tough game to learn, but it’s definitely deeper than Monopoly or even Risk.  We played that game for months before moving on to another one, and during that time we discovered that this was an off-shoot of the original version.  We decided to buy the “real” game someday to see what that was like.

Well, someday finally arrived.  After several years (and a good 8 board games later) we picked up the base copy of Catan.  The game puts you on a newly discovered island that has regions filled with resources.  Those resources are used to build settlements, cities, and roads.  In order to collect resources, you must have a settlement or city on one of the corners of the region.  Oh, and they must also be connected to each other via roads.  Sounds simple enough, right?  Well there are other players on the board who are putting their own settlements, cities and roads on the board.  You can’t build a settlement or city within a road length from each other, and they must be at least two road lengths from your other city.

There are a few other elements that make this game a lot tougher.  There is a robber token that is activated when you roll a 7.  You move that robber on a tile and no one can collect resources from that tile.  The player that moved the robber can also steal a resource from a player that has a settlement or city on that “robbed” tile.  This particular dynamic has probably started more fights in the game than any other.  I think this one is pure genius.  You’re also allowed to trade with other players and bargaining for resources is another argument starter (but in a good way for our family; your miles may vary)  If you’re a non-confrontational type, there are ports on the edges of the island that provide you the ability to trade for resources you don’t have with ones you do have.  These trades come at a cost however, ranging from 3:1 ratios (you trade three to take one) or ratios with specific resource types (trade two bricks for one other resource)

The fun part is rolling the dice to see what resources you collect.  Each resource tile is given a number corresponding to a die roll.  When a player rolls a die, the players whose settlements or cities rest on tiles with the number rolled collect resources.  They get one resource per settlement, and two per city.  These resources are then spent to build your settlements, cities and roads.  There are also development cards you can purchase with resources.  These cards do various things like give you a chance to move the robber or take resources from other players.  I can see this dynamic being another argument trigger, but our family seems to avoid these.  Maybe I’ll play them next time just to see how I can mix the game up a bit.

To win, you have to be the first player to hit 10 points.  A city is worth 2, a settlement is worth 1, having collect three knights before anyone else (via the development cards) earns you 2 points, building the longest road in the game (with a minimum of 5 units) also earns you 2 points.  Finally, there are victory point development cards that are worth a point apiece.  Again, it’s a pretty straightforward game, and it shows when we play as it is one of the quicker games we’ve played.  But, there are still enough strategies that in the few times we’ve played this version, a game has gone an hour and a half.

I definitely recommend this game for anyone who’s looking to dip their toes into advanced board gaming.  The rules are simple like the common board games, but it introduces some of the game mechanics and dynamics in advance board games that you won’t get in Monopoly.  The game is recommended for ages 10 and up and that’s a fair assessment.  If you have an 8-9 year old that is very patient they might be able to pick up the game as well.  Have you played this game?  Do you agree with my assessment?  Did I miss anything?  And what other games do you think would be good starter board games for those dipping their toes?

Hawaii’s Missile Threat

(Note: Headline image borrowed from ABC News)

Yesterday was a wild day for sure.  We were up early and on our way to my daughter’s school where I run a cyber security club.  Luckily I was with everyone except my son, who usually stays home because he has no reason to be out and about that early.  When the alert started to trigger on our phones, we were just entering the campus.  My wife was driving and I looked at the message.  My heart dropped as I read it.  Having been in the military, and working for the military as a civilian all of my adult life, I’ve been in briefings and conversations involving dire news with similar gravitas though never news that directly affected me.

If anyone says they took it in stride, they are absolutely lying.  There is no way anyone would act without some level of concern to that kind of news.  I reacted much the same way I do to most bad news: I froze.  I didn’t say a word, I just kept staring at the message with my wife in the background asking “What is it?”  My daughter woke up to her phone message and read it out loud.  My wife, as expected, blew up with a barrage of questions?  “What’s that?  Is that real?    Who do we call?  Where do we go?  WHAT DO WE DO?????”

It took a minute for me to snap out of it, but as usual, after that moment of shock dissipated and my mind took over.  That last time I’d gone over missile attack training had to be at least 5 years ago, but some of the memories flooded back.  I told my wife to park in the covered parking lot which was the closest place we could go to shelter.  All around us, parents and students were walking around casually as it was a campus visit day for prospective students.  I looked around, and saw that we parked close to a stairwell and told them that when I say so, we’re going to walk to it and huddle there to maximize our coverage.  I kept looking around to think where we could find alternate cover that was better than that but saw none in the immediate area.  So with that settled, I told my wife and older daughter we should try to look up more information.  I texted my son that if he saw the message, not to panic and just sit at home in our garage, which is made of cinder block except for the door to the house (which is metal) and the garage doors.  Those face west, away from Honolulu, so I figured the blast wouldn’t blow through that direction.

Having my wife and older daughter looking for news kept them fairly calm, as there wasn’t much of anything available at that moment.  I then looked at my younger daughters and saw that they were blissfully playing games on their iPads.  So far, so good.  I texted the teacher to see if they had heard the news and he responded that they did and were hunkered down in the locker room of the gym, which is partially underground.  He said we could join them if we could.  I decided against it as it probably would take too long to get there.  I then tried to call friends who worked at the various ops floors and watch centers that I used to work at to try to get some (Unclassified, in case anyone in the know is reading lol) information.  Unfortunately, every number I tried to call was busy.  That shouldn’t be a surprise as I’m sure I wasn’t the first to have that thought.  Plus, I’m sure the watch standers were going through their checklists and getting the word out to the decision makers.  I had a brief moment where I thought how lucky I was that I was no longer a mission essential person!

By this time,  I finally had some time to turn off automatic and take the reins mentally so to speak.  It had been about five or six minutes for everything to occur up to this point which left about a minute or two left before a strike should hit (The assumption is that a missile from NK would take about 20 minutes to hit Hawaii, and take up to 10 minutes to be identified, and leaves around 10 minutes for the alerts to take place)  I looked around again at my family, smiled and asked if everyone was ok, then look at my wife and tell her I loved her.  She said the same and I was about tell everybody to head for the shelter.  At that moment I realized we were in the heart of Honolulu and any missile blast, even from a non-nuclear warhead, would probably blow away our location.  So I made the mental decision to just have everyone continue to sit there and enjoy each other’s company.

We sat there for another 20 minutes or so, my wife and older daughters continuing to search for news while my younger daughters continued to happily play games.  I looked at a few sites, turned to talk to everyone here and there, and otherwise tried to keep the mood as normal as possible.  This despite all of the dark thoughts bouncing around in the back of my head about how I wasn’t ready to die and that there was still so much I needed to do.  Finally, my daughter said she saw a couple of tweets from some of our Hawaii congressional leaders that it was a false alarm.  My wife also came across the HI-EMA tweet saying the same.  The teacher texted me that they had received the all clear and that he and the students with him were returning to their classrooms.

There are no words that can describe the relief I felt in that moment.  Whatever perceived threat existed was now gone, and life was quickly going back to normal.  Everyone in the car continued on with what they had been doing and I was so relieved that they stayed that way.  We were able to go on with our day without skipping a beat, and I have all the training and knowledge I’ve gained over the years to thank for that.  I am glad to know that in that moment of perceived crisis, I stayed calm and kept those around me calm as well.  I was still able to draw on my knowledge to plot out a plan of action, and kept a level head in order to execute that plan.  I’ll probably be going over this “exercise” in my head over the next few weeks and months and will definitely get my wife and older kids involved so that they can operate in the unlikely case that I’m not with them.

Where were you yesterday when the message went out?  What did you do to prepare yourself and your family?  Is there anything I could have done better?  Please let me know your thoughts!

BonChon

We had a night alone without kids as one is on a trip and the other three decided to stay with my sister and her kids for the night.  It’s a rare occasion to get some time alone to ourselves so we were literally sitting at home trying to figure out what to do.  My wife has been dying to try a couple of the new places in the Ka Makana Ali’i mall, but with our entire family it’s an expensive proposition and one that would definitely hurt economically if it turns out to be a dud.  Tonight was our chance to try something new without spending too much.  So we searched the internet and Yelp before deciding to try BonChon.

It was initially recommended to me by a coworker who had tried it while visiting his parents on the mainland, and when he found out they had opened here he rushed out to get it.  His warning was to be patient as it takes time to prepare and cook, which I admit is strange for a take out/fast food joint.  But he raves about it, and my wife wanted to test it out so why not?  There was no one in line when we arrived, which was a good thing since it took a bit of time to order.

When we were done ordering, they gave us an order pager.  Really?  I know I was warned that orders take time, but a pager?  It took about 15-20 minutes though, so yes the pager indeed came in handy.  I’m guessing I won’t be seeing a BonChon drive through around in the future.  We took a stroll around the mall during that time and we were almost at the opposite end (close to Macy’s doors) before it started buzzing.  If you’re walking around, don’t worry about being out of range unless you’re inside of Macy’s.  That and the  Hampton Inn are about the only place they know of that it won’t reach.

BonChon takeout boxI ordered a 10 pack of drumsticks, half of them Spicy, and the other half Soy Garlic (the only two flavors their wings come in)  They also have wings and chicken strips, but I was a bit hungry and I also thought about bringing some to work for lunch the next day (and maybe get my coworker jealous in the process!)  The takeout box above contained my newly acquired treasure.  My wife ordered the bi bim bap bowl, but she dug into it before I had a chance to take a picture.  I tried to take at least one picture but she gave me the stink eye so maybe next time.

BonChon drumsticks soy-garlic foreground, spicy background with rice.My test plate has one each of the drumsticks with the soy-garlic drumstick in the foreground in this picture.  I also bought a scoop of rice because my kids weren’t home to cook.  It was an expensive cup of rice, so definitely cook some at home unless you’re eating it there.  The soy-garlic drumstick didn’t have much flavor to it sadly.  I got a hint of garlic, but otherwise it just tasted like a regular old drumstick that was coated in flour and fried.  It wasn’t a great start to the test and I admit I was already thinking that perhaps I wouldn’t be coming back.

BonChon drumsticks, spicy foreground, soy-garlic background with rice.Luckily, I tried the spicy drumstick (foreground in this picture) which saved the day.  When I was ordering, I asked the cashier if she ate hot stuff and she said yes.  I asked if she could compare this (heat-wise) to anything else that can be found on island and she couldn’t come up with a good example.  Luckily my wife was taking her time so we continued to chat and in the ensuing conversation, we started talking about Buffalo Wild Wings.  It was at that point that she said it probably rated somewhere between BWW’s Hot and Blazin flavors, depending on how much of the mix coated the chicken.  Blazin is one of those that I could eat one or two before having to tap out, so I decided to take the chance.

So was the cashier’s assessment accurate?  I’d say no.  It never reached Blazin level, but it was definitely at the BWW Hot level.  I had three pieces and each one was about the same level of heat.  I could have eaten more, but four drumsticks is kind of a lot of food lol.  I was never in danger of tapping out due to heat; it was more of a flavorful heat vs. a burn your taste buds raw heat.  It’s hot enough that anyone who knows they can’t handle heat shouldn’t try it, but if you occasionally dabble in the spicy stuff, one won’t hurt.  I now know which one to order here.  Strangely enough, I got more garlic taste out of the spicy than I did the garlic.  Go figure.

All in all, it was a good try.  If we go back, I’ll try the spicy wings and see if maybe the smaller size helps to pack a hotter punch.  They also have some korean tacos that looked interesting.  My wife wasn’t too impressed with her bi bim bap though, so this may be a one and done for our family.  Especially being on the pricier end of take out fare and not really seeming to meet the accompanying expectation.  The 15 minute wait didn’t help either.  If you’ve tried it before, let me know what you think, if I should give it a second chance and what I should try next if I do!

Uncle Lani’s Poi Mochi

You know, there are so many reasons why people love Hawaii.  The beaches are nice, the weather is great, the people are friendly and most importantly the food IS AWESOME.  Am I a little biased?  Darn right I am.  But there are so many tasty things that scream Hawaii, and whenever someone has it they immediately envision their favorite memory or two of these islands.  Some of them are so powerful, it evokes these memories even when you live here!  Want to know one of my favorite gastronomic memory triggers?  Well, they come in these pink boxes right here!  The famous Uncle Lani’s Poi Mochi!

 

Of course, I’ve already ruined the surprise.  I had to put these poi mochi balls as the featured image for this post.  Couldn’t keep you in suspense.  Sorry about that.  But that’s how good they are.  So what exactly are these things you ask?  Well, basically, mochi’s a japanese sweet rice that’s bashed over and over until it’s pasty.  The paste is then shaped, and you eat it.  I know, I know.  I really have a way with words.  Of course, there’s more to these than just that.  This particular mochi is flavored with poi, which is just about as Hawaii as you can get.  What’s poi?  Well imagine a purple yam called taro, then imagine smashing it into a paste.  Huh.  Kinda like mochi.  Anyway, when the taro gets smashed, it turns more into a wet paste so you can’t shape it.  I imagine the add some of it (or maybe powdered poi; I’m not a cook so I probably can’t do the process justice) to the mochi and then get a poi flavored purple mochi.  That mochi then gets shaped into little balls and dropped in some hot oil to crisp up the outside.  Bam!

While darn good just like that, what really makes this magical is their drizzles.  I usually go for the coconut and poi drizzles, but they’ve got a bunch of others available.  I’ve had the Lilikoi drizzle and it’s a little too sweet for me.  One day I’ll try the others.  I have to tell you though, these things are addicting.  I ate one of the boxes once we got home and it didn’t last but 10 minutes.  The other box will probably disappear after dinner and I’m trying really hard not to eat them.  Something about mochi, poi and coconut together hits all of the “local” buttons in the right measure.

Oh, curious about the memory I’m talking about?  Well, I’m not sure when they started making these, but it must have been at least as far back as the 90’s.  My dad always supported different causes, and I remember one day in high school he brought these things home as a fund raiser for some youth sports team.  It was just me and my dad, sitting in the living room watching a UH Wahine volleyball game and munching on these things.  Nothing special, but sometimes the simple moments are the best.  He passed away not too long after I graduated from high school, so it’s one of the last good memories I had with him.  I hadn’t had any of these in the years since, until I discovered their little gem of a kiosk.  I’m pretty sure these were the same things he brought home that day, so every time I have them they bring sweet tastes, and sweeter memories.  Hopefully my kids will have memories of me with these as well.  Anyone tried these?  What did you think?  Did you make a memorable moment along with them?

New Board Game – Evolution Climate

Evolution Climate
Evolution Climate

Pictured above is the new board game that my family picked up.  Before I go on, I want to explain how we got here.  When my older kids were young, we bought a couple of your typical board games like Monopoly, Life, etc.  We used to play a game or two every other Saturday until they got to an age where they grew disinterested.  Fast forward a few years and they’re now young adults.  One day we opened up some boxes we had in storage and found the old board games.  So we started to play a few games and we rekindled our every other Saturday routine.  Except the “normal” board games were too easy to play according to my kids so in the interest of preserving this rediscovered family night, we headed off to our local game shop to find a new game.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Ok, back to Evolution Climate.  Usually our Christmas and New Year’s are hectic times of the year, as it is the few times that all of my family here get together.  This year, however, a couple of my relatives decided to take vacations so we didn’t have a big family gathering planned for New Year’s.  So with the prospect of a long weekend, we headed to our local game shop on Saturday morning to find a new game to play.  Several games were recommended by the knowledgeable board game master, and this was the winner.  We originally set out to purchase the game Settlers of Catan, but alas they didn’t have it in stock.  So that will remain on our acquisition list for next time.

Picture of the game board set up.
Game board set up on the table.

To the left is a picture of one of our first games.  The instructions are pretty clear, and the game dynamic is easy to understand.  We’ve played about 7 games over the past weekend and while we’ve gotten the basic idea down, we still find rules we aren’t following correctly.  So don’t underestimate this game; it is challenging to play! We’re still trying to learn how to play the game so my description might be wrong in spots.  If so, please let me know.  The gist of the game is that you are creating different species of animals using trait cards that give your species different abilities.  Some affect how large your population is, and how that population is fed.  Carnivores eat other animals while plant eaters eat… well plants.  There are also traits to defend against carnivore attacks as well as traits to defeat these defensive measures.

A monkey wrench in the plan to create the perfect animal species is the food and climate dynamic of the game.  Each card has a hot or cold bit as well as a number representing the amount of food that is available in a turn.  The bits are added and if there are more hot points, then the temperature rises.  Of course, if there are more cold points, then the temperature drops.  Each rise or drop sets the number of base food for the turn and some temperatures also kill of a number of population based on the animal size.  You play until you run out of cards, then tally up the total amount of food your species have eaten, along with how many species’ population survived and the number of trait cards assigned to those species.

All in all, this game is a hit with my family.  Many of the modern board games follow the Eurogame dynamic which is passive with no direct interaction between players.  This game follows a similar dynamic, but adds a level of direct interaction (carnivores attack non-carnivores) that breaks up some of the boredom with other board games.  My daughter pulled a pretty cool move to win a game in the last minute to explain what I’m saying.  During that game, we all kept the temperature mild so we weren’t worried about any of the associated negative effects.  Also, no one had created a carnivore the entire time, so most of the animals in play had no defensive traits.  The last turn, she create a large carnivore and basically ate half of the available species in play (collecting a good chunk of food while lowering the number of species the rest of us possessed)  Long story short, her one round of hunting won her the game.  Good times indeed.

2-6 players can play this game, and the recommended age is 12+.  I recommend this game to anyone who has played a modern board game or two and understands, generally, how Euro board games play.  It’s easy enough to pick up in a handful of games but complex enough to keep you coming back for more.  Beginners to the board game craze might find it difficult the first time out, so they might want to try it with an experienced player to show them the ropes.  Until next time, happy gaming everyone!

 

Elena’s Kitchen for breakfast!

The other day, my wife and I brought my vehicle to the dealer for some service.  It was early in the morning and they said it would take an hour or two so we decided to have breakfast.  Which is always a difficult exercise when it comes to my wife.  Let’s just say she is a typical woman (sorry ladies, you know that it’s true.  If you don’t believe me, ask your husband) who can’t make up her mind.  I’ll go through the usual suspects like Zippys, IHOP, etc. and get shot down each time.  But when I ask what she wants, the reply is always “whatever.”  Uh huh.

This morning was no different, as we went back and forth for 15 minutes before I just told her to drive around and hopefully we’d find something we could both agree on.  So we were driving through Waipahu, and happened upon Elena’s Restaurant.  Understand that my wife and I are both from the west side of Oahu, and we’re both Filipino, so Elena’s is very familiar to us.  But it’s one of those places that we just never got around to very much, though for different reasons.  Her parents are frugal, so eating out in general wasn’t a big thing growing up.  Me on the other hand, I was blessed to have a mom who is an awesome cook.  So Elena’s was good, but nowhere near as good as mom’s.

There was something different about this morning however, because instead of passing by as we always do we decided to give it a try.  I’m not sure what my wife’s motivation was, but my motivation was not driving around for another hour until the car was done.  So in we went.  First thing I noticed is that the inside has been redone.  Not sure how many iterations I’ve missed, but it looked a lot different than I remember.  It looked pretty modern with orange walls lined with several awards that they had won over the years.  Oh, and the big Guy Fieri signed portrait from his visit while featuring them on his show Triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives)  Anyhow, one thing their known for is their buffet, which was my original plan of attack.  But we were a bit to early for it as they were transitioning from breakfast to lunch.  So I decided to look at the breakfast menu for a familiar favorite.

I saw my pork adobo fried rice omelette right up top, but on the bottom there was a new thing called the Triple D.  Apparently it’s the pork adobo fried rice along with the Lechon Special.  I couldn’t resist putting my favorite thing from breakfast (sans the egg wrap) with my favorite thing from lunch.  what I got was this:

It looks a little different because the acidic onions give me stomach issues (tomatoes do too, but it’s bearable) so I had the Triple D with no onions.  If you want to know what a full fledged plate looks like, you can see it here.  I can assure you that this plate lasted all of 15 minutes because it was so good.  I would have liked bigger chunks of fried pork, but I imagine they cut it smaller since breakfast shouldn’t weigh you down.  But who are we kidding, this plate is heavy no matter how you cut it.  (Oh, the pun!)  The unfortunate thing is that the lechon flavor is so strong that it killed the adobo fried rice’s flavor.  So I can’t really tell you if it was good or not; the flavors are too similar.  But when I had just the rice along with the sweet longanisa above, the adobo flavor came through and was accented by the sweetness of the longanisa.  I think that is a better pairing personally, and I’ll probably opt for my usual omelette and side of sweet longanisa (which is what my wife had)  You can see the omelette in the background of the picture below.

Ultimately, breakfast that day was a great experience.  Granted, it got off to a rocky start and almost never happened.  But the food gods must have been with us this day and reintroduced us to an old friend.  The breakfast experience brought back some nostalgic memories and the pull is strong enough that I’ll probably try to stop by to try their lunch/dinner items.  My mom is also getting older and she rarely cooks some of the more complex dishes, and wouldn’t you know those are the ones I like.  Some of them are on the menu here so I’ll have to see if perhaps my tastes can accept them as a substitute for mom’s.  Even if they don’t, breakfast here is a definite winner in my book.

New Year, New Site!

Hello!  This is probably the third or fourth iteration of this site.  I purchased the domain name two years ago and started the site to be my primary presence on the web.  It worked out for a while, but I started to notice certain topics dominated the site, so I created a second site (www.trainedmonkeynetworks.com) as technical blog.  The site then morphed into a business, but silly me I didn’t set the domain to auto renew so someone bought it after it expired.  I just re-acquired the domain name this morning which prompted this change.  That sites also being rebuilt.  I maintain my business website at www.newatechnologies.com which I formally started after I lost trained monkey.  It was probably for the best, as I think the former probably came off a bit unprofessional.

But enough of the boring stuff!  What is the point of this site?  I had a major life event a few years ago that made me look long and hard at what I was doing, what I wasn’t doing, and what I needed to do to make the most of the life I’ve been given.  My intention is to share some of these moments with the world with the hope that I am doing more than what I did yesterday.  Hopefully my stories will inspire someone else to live today better than yesterday as well.

So, what’s the first official blog post going to be about?  What to do to set the tone for this blog…  Hmm…  I know.  New Year’s Resolutions!  A tradition of making a promise to yourself (or others) that you will endeavor to change some thing(s) in your life.  Sadly I know most resolutions to last past a month of being made, and I’m no exception.  But I’m going to put my 2018 resolution out there so that you can all see them and call me out when (if) I break them.

  1. For 2018, I will quit drinking sodas. 

They’re my vice.  They’re really bad for my health but I can’t seem to break away from them.  I’ve had moments when I’ve been able to go without, but I always seem to go back to them.  I’m currently a three can a day drinker, and I resolve in 2018 that I will do my best to quit them (again).

Whew, glad to get that off my chest!  I’ve already been challenged this morning as I was getting ready to cook breakfast.  There was a can of Coke sitting in the fridge, staring at me and taunting me to drink it.  I took it out and put it in the pantry with the case of unopened cokes (what to do with those eh?) So far, so good.  But the day is only halfway done and I can feel the craving in the back of my mind waiting to take over.  Here’s to hoping my willpower will work at least for one day.