Alcatraz Trip

February 18th thru the 22nd I took a late Birthday vacation to San Francisco.

It’s been awhile since I flew in an airplane. I actually got lucky with both flights cause I got to sit next to window (No squishing anyone).

Anyways, you’re probably thinking why I went to the Bay Area (cause I’m usually there a couple of times every year). Well, it’s basically because I won’t be visiting San Francisco for a while. I’ve decided that from here on out I’m going to use my vacation to visit cities I’ve never been to. So before I stop going to The Bay, why not take one more trip to see Family and also visit Alcatraz.

The only downside of the trip was the weather. It rained hard and it caused us to cancel visiting a couple of spots but overall It was still a good trip.

I’ll post pictures later.

2017

So how did 2016 go for me? Well it went pretty good.

I mean I got a new car, went hiking with friends, traveled a lot, had a family reunion, bought a new command center (computer) and was in another wedding. Overall like I said before it was pretty good.

So what’s in store for 2017? Well here’s a list:

  • Post more content on Samoan-Ninja.com & Youtube as well as other social media
  • Tackle more things from my bucket list
  • Take more pictures and videos using a handheld camera rather than my phone camera
  • Get my passport
  • Travel around more
  • Lose weight

What I want the most out of this list is to travel. Meaning, I want to use my 2 weeks (paid) vacation, and dip into non paid vacation days. I’ll have to tighten up my budgeting, but once I pay off 2 of my most expensive loans, everything will fall into place.

We’ll see how 2017 treats me.

Mt. Charleston Trails

On Saturday one of my co-workers picked me up and we headed to Mt. Charleston to hike up Mary Jane Falls (attempted).

The adventure kicked off to a very slow start. We were supposed to be on the road by 11am, but my co-worker kept falling asleep. It wasn’t until 1pm he showed up at my house.

On our way to Mt. Charleston another small delay happened, we got hungry. So we decided to stop and get something from Burger King. While sitting down eating, some guys came in and tried selling their cologne to everyone. It was funny and sad at the same time. After we finished our meal and getting back to the car one of the cologne “salesman” tried again to get us to buy their product with the pitch “It’ll make the girls panties drop”. I politely said no and we were back on the road.

I knew there was going to be snow there. What I didn’t know was that the weather was going to be a bit harsh. It’s a good thing I didn’t take The Green Goblin cause the windshield wipers in that thing don’t work and we would’ve had to Ace Ventura it up the mountain.

About 30 minutes left to get to our destination on Mt. Charleston two things happened. One, the car wasn’t powerful enough to climb up the mountain. Two, my co-worker wasn’t watching the gas level and we were between half and quarter tank left. Realizing we probably weren’t going to make it to Mary Jane Falls we pulled over to the nearest lot (which was The Resort), and decided to hike whatever trail in that area. The beginning of the first trail wasn’t too bad, but while trying to get to the second trail it became too steep with snow and me and my co-worker kept sliding down the damn thing. It wasn’t worth trying to “climb” it and decided to try and find another trail and walk around that.

After walking on another trail we found we hiked on it for a little bit then decided to turn around cause we didn’t know how far it went and where it ended. Also it was started to hail/snow pretty hard and didn’t want to be those guys on the news cause we got stranded out in the cold.

While going back into Las Vegas we decided to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant called Basil N Lime. The food was good albeit pricey. Overall it turned out of be a rather busy but interesting day. Since we didn’t get to hike where we wanted to go, we decided we’ll do it when there’s no snow, probably right before summer hits. Anyways, that was my Saturday. This is the Samoan-Ninja signing off.

Phoenix Trip Explanation

At almost every job that I’ve had I experienced burnout. You see in my mind being a “good” employee was taking on as much work as possible, while rarely taking any breaks and time off. What usually ends up happening is I’ll start missing out on important life events. I’ll be skipping out on celebrating many things with family and friends, while also never getting to say my goodbyes at funerals. Eventually, it’ll hit me hard that I’m being overwhelmed, and sooner or later my anxiety/depression kicks in, and now it takes an enormous amount of energy just to get out of bed.

So lately I decided to change some of my ways. The new me was going to take breaks and time off away from work as much as possible. I now don’t care how much of a “lazy” employee it makes me look like, my health and well-being is more important than anything. So with all that being said about 3 months ago I randomly started planning on a trip. I didn’t know what I was going to do, and just so happened to look up SF Giants games. At first I wanted to see if I could catch a game with them playing against the LA Dodgers or the SD Padres but those were all mid-week games. Then I found out on the weekend of July 17th-19th they would play against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I planned out my trip as leaving early morning, arrive at Phoenix around Noon-ish, go exploring around the city, go check into the hotel, and be at the ballpark probably an hour before the game starts at 5:10pm.

Everything about the plan was pretty solid, and the only thing left for me to do was follow through with it. On the night before the trip I decided to go to bed early and get some extra sleep. What really ended up happening was I was more excited about the trip, and couldn’t sleep. I forgot what time I slept, but when I woke up, it was past 11am, and by the time I got ready and was out the door it was already Noon.

So after the late start, I was finally on the road. The drive there wasn’t too bad, and the only other delay I had was about an hour outside of Phoenix. It was about a 6 car accident caused by extremely bad weather (the accidents was so bad that they had a chopper land on the highway) . The detour probably tacked on about 45 minutes to my trip.

When I finally got to my hotel and was checked in, it was 4:45pm. I just quickly dropped everything off in my room, and left for Chase Field. I didn’t know where there stadium was exactly at, and when I saw it was located Downtown Phoenix, my mood went from “I’ll be a little late” to “I’m going to be hella late”.

Since it was Downtown, I couldn’t find any free parking at all. The only lots available to park costs $20, I didn’t have any cash on hand, and there was no convenience store around. I had to drive like 5 miles outside of town, finally came across an ATM at a 7-11, and drove all the way back to spend $20 bucks just to park, not even having made my way into the stadium yet.

I parked, and walked. It wasn’t too far, but the humidity was high. Making my way up to the stadium I kind of got nervous pulling out my ticket cause it was printed on paper instead of an actual ticket stub. I got in line, the lady scanned it, and I successfully got in.

The time was now around to 6pm. Running late, I didn’t have any time to walk around Chase Field, I immediately tried to find my seat. While I was on my way towards my section, it was a Star Wars night and I kept bumping into a bunch of Stormtroopers, Darth Vaders, and other various characters. I found it hella funny that I saw an advertisement for that themed night on one of the TVs I was passing by and the SF Giants were pictured as the Dark Side.

It was in the 4th inning when I finally reached my seat (between 1st base & away team bullpen) and there was a lady sitting in it. She was with her family, and when I asked her to please move, I saw she was kind of disappointed that I showed up because she now had to “squeeze” in with me. It was all fine because when she moved over, and I sat down, there was still plenty of space between us. I eventually started up small talk with them and found out they live in Arizona but are from Daly City, and Sacramento. We started talking more about the SF Giants seasons, and The Bay Area. Overall they’re pretty cool people.

While I was sitting and watching the game. Looking around I noticed Chase Field is kind of amazing. Really more of the retractable roof it has and how the A/C can blast pretty high and instantly get rid of the humidity. The SF Giants dominated that game, and by the 7th Inning Stretch, I decided to get up and do a small walk around. I went to the snack bar, ordered a small $1.50 hotdog (really worth it), and the $6.50 hotdog (hella NOT worth it) with a small soda on the side. I stood off in an area on the side and was just people/Star Wars character watching, it was nice.

After the game, I went back to the hotel. I was HELLA tired from driving, and being at the ballgame. I fell right asleep, but in the middle of the night I woke up with my ride side hurting pretty bad, it was to the point of where it was causing me to have a shortness of breath. I eventually fell back asleep but still woke up with the same problem. I didn’t have medical insurance at the time so I toughed it out, ate breakfast at some hole-in-the-wall diner, and drove home.

I found out it was a pinched nerve causing that problem. You know how I know? I woke up Monday morning, had a good sneeze (which I thought was going to be painful), but felt the nerve shift into where it was supposed to be and I could all of sudden breathe with no problems. It was disgustingly satisfying.

After that Phoenix trip, I felt like I needed to do more things. So, I’m going to start doing more random adventures. If it seems fun, and is a unique experience, I’ll probably do it.

Reunion Trails Park Lens Test

On Tuesday I met up with Moli. She takes a photography class and she was given a list of assignments to do for the week. So I tagged alongside her and went to the Reunion Trails Park. She went to complete her photo assignments, I continued testing out my 50mm lens. While walking around I found out that it’s also a small water park which opens in May. There’s also a bunch of decorations that don’t make sense like a cement circle walkway that resembles a crop-circle and in the middle of it all are rusted rods sticking out the ground. I can’t figure it out. Anyways, after staying there for about an hour or so, the park starts filling up with children and that was our cue to leave because people with cameras at a park full of kids are kind of frowned upon. We left to Moli’s house and I snapped some shots of the twins, then I went home and got a pic of my Mom and the backyard.

Mid December

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Bored as fuck and came across these. Funny as shit. Anyways, I haven’t posted in awhile and acouple of posts before I said I was looking for a job, and I did get one. It’s technically in retail, and it’s only temporary. My main job is still being a contractor. I don’t know what I’m doing for Christmas and or the New Year… Still planning things out. Later.

On That Juice Part 3

I’m done juicing cause it’s expensive. I get more out of my money when I actually eat the fruits and veggies. I’ve also became a food grazer, picking and eating things throughout the day at random times.

I’m still working out, and I’ve resurrected the HIIT program. I can’t lift heavy anymore because I’m hardly eating so I might as well lift light until muscle failure. It’s a good kind of burn.

Anyways, 30 days ago I started juicing and I came in at 375. Right now I’m 347. It was really fucking hard trying to break into the 340s but I did it, and I might as well keep going.