Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Vintage Scarpa Shoes

I just won the vintage Scarpa rock climbing shoes on Ebay!! I am soooo excited because they are really vintage, and I love the colors. They are hardly used, too!
I really like going rock climbing. Its fun, and good exercise. The shoes help you climb because they have a lot of rubber on them, which helps you grip the wall, even when there are no grips on the wall. They are also form-fitting to your foot, unlike gym shoes, which have bulky sides. We go climbing at XSport Gym, and at the Y. Next week, once they come in the mail, we are going to Vertical Endeavors, a huge indoor rock climbing facility. I am training with weights at the gym too, so that I can do a pull-up all by myself. It'll help me climb much better. I am also improving my grip, which is suprisingly very very helpful, more than arm strenght! If you can't grip something, no matter how strong your arms are, you aren't gonna hang on!!!!
Next, I'm searching for climbing harnesses on Ebay. Women's sizes are not so popular, because its mostly a guy sport. There are so many men's shoes, etc on Ebay, but only a few women's things, and I'm so lucky because there are also few bidders for womens' items!
Hehehehhe. . .

Friday, November 25, 2005

Lots of eating!

There was a lot of eating going on in the past few days. It started on Wednesday night, when we went to Klas to celebrate our birthday. We had a nice dinner and some beer. Then after, we got a little tour of Klas, and explored all the rooms upstairs. It was pretty cool. This pic is in the Dr. Zhivago room. There a beautiful murals all over the walls, and a big fire place.
We thought that we might as well ask if the date for our wedding was open, June 24th, so that we could have the big crystal room, with a bar, dancefloor, and outside beer garden. To our suprise, it was marked down for a 50th anniversary party! But, there was no deposit made by the other party, so I said I will put a deposit on it RIGHT NOW!! We were planning on having it there, and we couldn't afford not getting our room!! That was close!
Then, it was turkey day, and we stuffed ourselves good.

We saw a good Czech movie called Zelary, about World War II and a girl trying to hide from the Germans. She hid in a small Slovakian mountain village, and got all involved in their life there. . . it was such a good movie!

Then we watched Ju-On, a Japanese horror movie.

Then finally, today, we ate a second Thanksgiving with Romy's family at his house. It was good too, especially this brown sugar squash stuff. Mmmmm.

Monday, November 21, 2005

TBP Engineering Honors Society

Yay, Romy finally got initiated into Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor's Society. It happened on Friday, actually, at UIC. To get into TBP, you need to be in the top 1/5th of your class, in the college of engineering. I was initiated my Junior year @ UIC, and now Romy is finally initiated too! After, we went to Leona's to celebrate. Here are some pics:

Romy is somewhere in there! Those are the new initiates.

Romy is awarded for being the "best initiate." He got a $25 "Gift Certificate" to Best Buy! That's Samantha, our president, in her retro polyester dress she got off of Ebay.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Today was Math Day.

Today was mega study linear algebra day! We studied all of yesterday night, plus this morning, then we went to school to have lunch, and studied for math again for an hour. Then we took our math exam. I believe that we both got 100%, so the studying was very worth it.
The test was similar to the practice exam he went over on Friday, so thats good.
Now, we just got done doing more math homework that was supposed to be due today, but its due Wednesday, because the exam was today.
We are both so awake right now because we went to Caribou Coffee while doing other homework that had to be done. Ahhhhh! Non-stop studying today!!!! My brain is fried!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

a new machine

It finally arrived in the mail, my new (old) Sharp Zaurus ZR5800 little organizer/word processor! I love it. It comes with a "pen," so you can do touch-screen stuff, like a PDA, but it also has a very mini QWERTY keyboard.
The reason I got it was because I was looking for a little machine, ideally cheap, and small, and it would allow me to type articles while riding on the train through Siberia. I needed something that would run on batteries for a long time, and have also a cord in case I was to plug it in.
I found the perfect machine, after searching for about half hour on Ebay. It runs on two AA batteries, for 60 hours, or one month. It has a cord incase I wanna plug it in to the electricity. It has a word-processor, spreadsheet, and all the cool stuff an organizer PDA has, a calculator, plus it can capture notes I take with the "pen," and it has a PC card slot, so I can have a flashdrive or whatever hook up to it. It is also able to hook up to any computer and transfer the files.
Finally, it is small, small, small! It can fit in a large pocket, perfect for traveling. Now I can write about anything, where ever I go, when ever I want! And it only cost $30 bucks. I don't even have to cry if I lose it! ;-)

The BEAST!!!!

Ho-k, so Jenn's mom asked me about speakers for Bill's Jeep cos his are blown. She works for Bosch, who owns Blaupunkt, so therefore has a nice hookup. I picked out the best ones for Bill's Jeep cos apparently Blaupunkt is moving their headquarters away from the same building as Bosch, so they're doing a clearance type thing for employees and the stuff I guess, is cheap. Jenn's mom said that if I wanted anything to pick it out and that maybe, but probably not, we'll see, type of thing. So I picked out their best sub, the Vw1200. This beast (I love that word!) handles 1200WRMS. Ok, I'll repeat that to get it across again. 1200W R M S!!! I mean, damn!!!!

I have an Infinity sub right now in my car which draws just 300WRMS and bumps as it is, but 1200?!?!? Now I need to find an amp that doesn't suck and can push somewhere around that much!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy 21st Birthday!!!!

Wooooooo LETS DRINK!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well, actually, we're not celebrating today, but this weekend, and next week when Nicole comes for the whole week of Thanksgiving! I got a special coupon for Brown Cow's Ice Cream Parlour for a free scoop. Mmmmmm. . .

Well, as Peter Griffin would say, "You know what really grinds my gears?"
The people who find something on Ebay, and the item has like, more than 2 or 3 days left on it, and they freakin BID on it!! Why? It makes me so mad because there are these awesome espresso machines on Ebay, and one has been on there for only one day, and it already has 6 bids on it! And some idiot over-bid himself, three times. Don't they know the secret of bidding? You bid during the last few hours, when as many
people don't have the chance to over-bid you! Duh! That'll keep the price lower too. . .

Well, this is it, the espresso machine made in Italy, manual press, with steamer, La Pavoni Romantica. It is sold brand new for $7-800, but on Ebay, they are going for $1-300. A lot of them start out even lower, but the dumb people bid on them right away for some reason. Well, I am watching out for them, because one of these would be the perfect B-day present for myself (if no one gets me one. . . .)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Latte Art on Jackson

Many people may appreciate art on the walls, or in furniture, architecture, etc. Me, I appreciate it on the froth of my latte!

A little cafe, hidden near the Jackson exit of the CTA Blue-Line, called Intelligentsia, has a really cool employee. He makes your latte very special by making a design on the top, mixing the dark creama and the light froth into a leaf-shape, or a heart! I never got the heart though, but I saw him make one for the guy infront of us . . . . guy you ask? It was actually some old man, and I don't think the special employee is gay or anything, but whatever.

The coffee they brew is excellent, and they used to have this quarter machine that was filled with chocolate covered espresso beans. I ate so many of them after downing a latte, and I was shaking like never before! Well, they don't have the machine anymore, and maybe thats a good thing.

This pic was taken when Nicole visited in the early summer, and we went downtown for a walk, or maybe to visit STATravel or something. Well, as you can see, we both got leaves!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Ode to Rafail Abramov

Ahhh yes. . . our Linear Algebra Prof. Is there any way to describe him?

Lake Baikal Plan:

So I've been preparing a plan of activities while we will stay by Lake Baikal.
This is a map of Lake Baikal and the cities around it. We will be mainly on the west coast. The train will take us to Irktusk, where we will find a hostel to sleep the night and of course, get a nice shower!! There are a few I found already on that are not bad.

Our next stop, after a good rest, it to get to Port Baikal or Listviyanka by bus. At that point, our handy hiking map has a hike from Listvyanka - Bolschoi Koty (18km) and from Bolschoi Kotuy - Bolschoi Goloustnoye (35km). We will be camping, of course, by night.

This will be major hiking, because I would like to eventually reach Buguldeika. Thats about 90km away though, and a total of 140km one way. Hmmm. . . thats a little outrageous! Maybe we will hike only half way, and take a bus back, or take the bus first, and hike back. There is a bus that runs between Irktusk and Buguldeika. We'll see. . . . just some initial planning!

I'm also planning a possible week or so helping to build sections of the Great Baikal Trail, but I have to research more into it!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Great Baikal Trail

Today I did a lot of research on the Lake Baikal area.
A few weeks ago, I was surfing the internet for info on the Trans-Siberian Railroad journey, and I found an awesome hiking tour that starts in Irkutsk, by Lake Baikal, and goes up north along the coast and into some of the mountains surrounding the world's deepest lake. You hike the whole way, or you can choose to kayak part of the hike. You camp over-night, and the excursion was 5 days.
The problem was the price. On the website, they advertised $310/person. That was great! But when I e-mailed them, they said the price changed to about $700/person, which didn't include hourly rent of kayaks, or the guide! What a rip off!
Then I found another website that offered a very similar tour, for about half the price. But today, I found the PRIZE!
I've been searching for a website that just has info for hiking/outdoor activities around Lake Baikal without the whole "tour" thing. The site is and its packed with lots of great info, including a site which just sells hiking maps of different regions of Siberia: Its great!

Well, today I bought this map, called "Great Baikal Trail from Listvyanka to Buguldeika," and it includes 4 hikes that those two tour companies were charging hundreds of dollars for:

1) Listvyanka - Bolschoi Koty (18km)
2) Bolschoi Kotuy - Bolschoi Goloustnoye (35km)
3) Bolschoi Goloustnoye - Bukhta Peschanaya (46km)
4) Bukhta Peschanaya - Buguldeika (45km)