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April 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Cielo of Casino Morongo.I come here minimum once a year as a student translator for foreign exchange students during the day, but I also come here at night for the amazing view and true top-shelf spirits (Louis XIII, Richard, Martel XO, etc …wait, why’d I only name cognacs? oh well.).  For all those who come to Morongo Casino, I highly recommend visiting Cielo at least once. 

Cielo of Casino Morongo.

I come here minimum once a year as a student translator for foreign exchange students during the day, but I also come here at night for the amazing view and true top-shelf spirits (Louis XIII, Richard, Martel XO, etc …wait, why’d I only name cognacs? oh well.).  For all those who come to Morongo Casino, I highly recommend visiting Cielo at least once. 


2014: Time to start flaunting!

April 13, 2014 at 5:10 PM

2013 was quite the eventful year which included my first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition, my first major personal development/mindset overhaul, and my first time truly delving into the world of Japanese, American (bourbon), and Scotch Whisk(e)ys.

I’d gone on hiatus for more or less a year for personal reasons, but now that I’m back on track, do expect various postings about my past years’ research and development as well as various product reviews.

As far as resolutions for 2014 go, let’s just say all of them are directly tied into the 180^2 project which will be brought up very soon.

Cheers,

~A.J.

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January 7, 2013 at 1:05 AM

You know you’re a spirits collector when the selection at the bar/restaurant at the top floor of Casino Morongo looks exactly like the selection on the shelves in your bedroom.(…minus the Dom Preignon of course.  I’ve yet to dabble in wines).

You know you’re a spirits collector when the selection at the bar/restaurant at the top floor of Casino Morongo looks exactly like the selection on the shelves in your bedroom.

(…minus the Dom Preignon of course.  I’ve yet to dabble in wines).

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January 6, 2013 at 8:17 PM

My all-time favorite line of vodka.  To this day I have yet to find anything that comes close to the PLATINUM and the GOLD.  Whether it’s the smoothness, the crisp finish, or the fact I don’t hear complaints from newbies about them tasting like they ingested a permanent marker, there’s a great deal of things to like about this brand.As the name implies — they truly are my idea of the absolute bar to meet… dare I say… the ‘standard’?
Cheers.

~A.J.

My all-time favorite line of vodka.  To this day I have yet to find anything that comes close to the PLATINUM and the GOLD.  Whether it’s the smoothness, the crisp finish, or the fact I don’t hear complaints from newbies about them tasting like they ingested a permanent marker, there’s a great deal of things to like about this brand.

As the name implies — they truly are my idea of the absolute bar to meet… dare I say… the ‘standard’?



Cheers.

~A.J.

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January 6, 2013 at 8:12 PM

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS: 2013

Now, if you’re wondering why I added a pic of the Venetian, it’s because most people associate the ‘doors to success’ as either invisible, the door to their house, or the same pearly gates they see when they die.  I am not ‘most people’.  When I think of ‘doors of opportunity’, I think doors like those pictured.  Every day is a new opportunity that will only come once, so why not treat it like one? Tomorrows are infinite, but today? It’s once in a lifetime.
So here’s my list of 2013 Resolutions, not in any particular order:
1. Get my stamina up to where I’m the equivalent of a 4-Round Pro Boxer.
2. Not let myself become a ‘once in a while’ acquaintance with my friends.
3. Become a director of the collective alliance I am part of by the end of March.
4. Finish restoration of one of my sports cars.
5. Purchase a new timepiece from either Zenith or Glashutte Original.

Once #2 is done, #3 becomes quite simple— at which point #4 and #5 become immediately attainable.  …It’s #1 which I am most concerned about.  Then again, if I am to believe the line we’re all told by our parents or counselors (“you’re a rough diamond!”), then I suppose this is a spectacular way to start chiseling at the body— all puns intended.

Cheers.

~A.J.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS: 2013

Now, if you’re wondering why I added a pic of the Venetian, it’s because most people associate the ‘doors to success’ as either invisible, the door to their house, or the same pearly gates they see when they die.  I am not ‘most people’.  When I think of ‘doors of opportunity’, I think doors like those pictured.  Every day is a new opportunity that will only come once, so why not treat it like one? Tomorrows are infinite, but today? It’s once in a lifetime.

So here’s my list of 2013 Resolutions, not in any particular order:

1. Get my stamina up to where I’m the equivalent of a 4-Round Pro Boxer.

2. Not let myself become a ‘once in a while’ acquaintance with my friends.

3. Become a director of the collective alliance I am part of by the end of March.

4. Finish restoration of one of my sports cars.

5. Purchase a new timepiece from either Zenith or Glashutte Original.

Once #2 is done, #3 becomes quite simple— at which point #4 and #5 become immediately attainable.  …It’s #1 which I am most concerned about.  Then again, if I am to believe the line we’re all told by our parents or counselors (“you’re a rough diamond!”), then I suppose this is a spectacular way to start chiseling at the body— all puns intended.

Cheers.


~A.J.

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January 6, 2013 at 8:00 PM

一期一会

一期一会

I rarely if ever post things about myself, and in all honesty I’d rather keep it that way— however, in order to ring in the new year and kick it off with a bang, I’m just going to share one bit of wisdom I learned from a highly-accomplished professor at a quite prestigious university in Japan, which is the quote for today: “Ichi go, Ichi e”.  It means “Cherish every moment, because it will never occur again”.  You can easily and loosely translate it to a plethora of meanings, but in essence it’s a more elegant form of ‘YOLO’, which I still wish to this day would hurry up and die down.

I’ve decided to make this my motto for this year.  Certainly, it’s a quote I will indeed utilize for the rest of my life, but this year is a critical point for me (especially with my very ambitious resolutions).

I’ll get into my resolutions in the next posting, but for now let me just say this: 

When you’re in your early teens, you have time to make mistakes and as long as you learn from them you’ll be fine.  When you turn 18, your mistakes begin to have consequences, but people know you’ll still make many— you won’t be reprimanded severely long as it doesn’t violate any serious laws.  When you turn 21, chances are you’ll end up in a police holding cell in Las Vegas or you’ll be in a random motel bathtub full of ice with a note telling you to call 911 because a kidney is gone.  Once you hit 25 though, one forth of an ideal lifespan is gone.  If you are already 25, have you ever asked yourself where all those years went?  I have, and I can assure you I am concerned.  There’s only 25 years left before I plan to retire, as by 50 many people hardly have the ability to compete with the youth in any real job market.  I do not intend on settling with a simple 9-to-5 job ever again, but on the same token I do not intend on doing nothing with myself either.

For a couple years now, I’ve been working at a very promising business venture, yet before I knew it all my peers had left or quit and I was stuck with nowhere to go to but up.  The person I looked up to gave me a snyde remark of ‘well, you were never producing any results’.  I’m overjoyed now that I’ve seen her true colors.  In turn, I took a major risk and went far above her and signed on with a very powerful man who really is the face of success in California: a true self-made millionaire, who came truly from nothing.  However, she’s quite powerful in her own right and so my only chance of ripping off the target from my back is to outclass her.  So from this point on, I am going to live life as a unique moment never to repeat again.  I didn’t know at the time what things I was doing wrong, so I pushed the rest button on EVERYTHING except my family and close friends.  All those that gave me negativity or bestowed upon me ‘tall poppy syndrome’ were cut before they could cut me again like many times before.

Now to wrap this up: If you read this and saw nothing but jumbled jargon from the mind of a middle-aged man sounding like he’s hit his midlife-crisis, then in a sense you’re correct.  I’ve hit my quarter-life crisis.  I have very little to show for my over 25 years on this earth with exception of some fine timepieces, a nice car, a decent living establishment, a great group of friends and mentors, cabinet full of top-shelf spirits/liqueurs, and a beautiful girlfriend with brains and personality to match.  However, many people have what I have.  What am I missing? The money and sense of security to hold onto all those things I treasure dearly.  The ability to see a $25,000 home repair bill and have the only worry being what color to paint the walls afterwards.  The ability to give to a charity because I care, rather than fall into political territory of which yields the greatest tax benefits.  I will treat every day as an opportunity to make all my goals and dreams a reality.  If not now, then when? The number of ‘tomorrows’ that come are limited only by your lifespan, but there is only one ‘today’.  From now on I will NEVER take that for granted — I hope you choose to do the same.

Cheers,

~A.J.

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April 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM

Whether it’s the car or the sunset, both are equal contributors to the radiance of this photo.

Whether it’s the car or the sunset, both are equal contributors to the radiance of this photo.

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April 29, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Lexus still has a certain marketing issue: Toyota.  With exception of the Mk. IV Supra Twin Turbo, the single-turbo MR-2, and the 2000GT, most of Toyota’s fleet has always been micro-cars or gas-sipping grocery-getters.  Plus, for the amount of money that you could use to purchase a glorified Toyota, you could easily purchase an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes.  Dont’ get me wrong, the LS 460 and 600 lineups are the two most amazing higher-tier marvels ever in terms of luxury cars.  In fact, I used to pester my friend for a lift to work all the time a few years ago.  It’s a vehicle that far outclassed many European rivals and even AMG or Brabus edition Benzes were given a run for their money once you delved into the area of ‘VIP (bippu) cars’.  I just find it a shame people still choose a less reliable and practical vehicle like the Lexus lineup for the sake of trying to impress people who know nothing about the vehicles nor care.  If you want to impress people at a club that you’ll only know for a few hours, get a European counterpart.  If you want to impress those that truly matter, do your homework and purchase a car that will impress those that truly matter.  The car is an extension of you as a person whether you want it to be or not.  I would definitely take a person with an LS-600h far more seriously than a clown in a new C-class that doesn’t even know if the car is front, rear, or all-wheel drive.

Lexus still has a certain marketing issue: Toyota.  With exception of the Mk. IV Supra Twin Turbo, the single-turbo MR-2, and the 2000GT, most of Toyota’s fleet has always been micro-cars or gas-sipping grocery-getters.  Plus, for the amount of money that you could use to purchase a glorified Toyota, you could easily purchase an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. 

Dont’ get me wrong, the LS 460 and 600 lineups are the two most amazing higher-tier marvels ever in terms of luxury cars.  In fact, I used to pester my friend for a lift to work all the time a few years ago.  It’s a vehicle that far outclassed many European rivals and even AMG or Brabus edition Benzes were given a run for their money once you delved into the area of ‘VIP (bippu) cars’.  I just find it a shame people still choose a less reliable and practical vehicle like the Lexus lineup for the sake of trying to impress people who know nothing about the vehicles nor care.  If you want to impress people at a club that you’ll only know for a few hours, get a European counterpart.  If you want to impress those that truly matter, do your homework and purchase a car that will impress those that truly matter.  The car is an extension of you as a person whether you want it to be or not.  I would definitely take a person with an LS-600h far more seriously than a clown in a new C-class that doesn’t even know if the car is front, rear, or all-wheel drive.

Dating 101: Top 10 (#4)

April 29, 2012 at 10:24 PM

There comes a time in a person’s life when things like fancy cars, luxurious clothing, and other ostentatious items become unable to fill certain voids.  Humans are creatures that crave companionship as they are social animals by nature.  With that said, there’s some people who go on a single date, assume a date = relationship, and then may end up marrying someone that has a horrible personality and appearance to match.  To avoid such things, here’s a list of 10 things to look for when choosing a man/woman as a partner.  They’re not in a particular order, and will be released daily.

TOP 10 THINGS YOU SHOULD LOOK OUT FOR: #4: ONE MORE CHANCE = LAST CHANCE.

This is a topic that’s just like a coin: it has two sides, one edge, and that edge can topple onto either side when being spun depending on the portions of the coin that are worn down.

Lots of people want a companion that will give them second, third, fourth… perhaps hundredth chances to fix something in their lives.  Here’s some examples “I only spent a little bit of our savings because I was sure I’d win the next poker hand! Gimme another chance!”, “I swear it was an accident and we only did oral! Gimme another chance!”, and of course we’ve all heard “It wasn’t my fault! Gimme another chance!”.

Unfortunately, sometimes drawing the line (no matter how harsh it seems) is the only way to save someone.  Sometimes it is you hurting them that will heal them and no, I don’t mean by cheating on them (shame on you if you’ve done that!).  Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give people second chances.  I’m sure everyone deserves one under certain circumstances.  Nevertheless, I would refrain from anything past the second one.  I’ve heard countless stories from both men and women from both the dominant and submissive roles of a partnership share with me how they’d give in to certain requests to keep the other person happy.  Want some close-to-home and highly realistic scenarios that occur after you give in to someone’s pouty puppy eyes all the time?  Watch an episode of “PRINCESS” that’s done by Gale Vas Oxlade.  It’s a show about trying to change girls who’re turning into spoiled brats into refined individuals before they hit the point of no return.  This doesn’t apply just to women, people! This applies to EVERYONE!!!

Please always keep in mind that when you are dating someone, there is always the chance this person could end up financially involved with you.  Surprise pregnancies or shotgun weddings can happen even if you use various forms of contraception.  Perhaps you went as far to co-sign a loan for that person for something like a car because they were desperate? Either of the two scenarios can lead to you being involved with that person for a lifetime.  Regarding the former, you are now involved whether you are the man who will have to start supporting your girl and future child financially or if you are the girl, you now have to make sure the guy won’t run away and also that he won’t be a pansy by freaking out and having moodswings worse than his mom hitting menopause.
For the latter, did you know that shared personal loans are one of the biggest reasons couples fail in life?  This is because a co-signed loan means that should the original reponsible person decide to be… well… irresponsible, the loan companies don’t need to sweat it out as they can chase after YOU.  Did the other person pass away by an unfortunate accident? In that case you don’t need to pay the remainder AT ALL, but companies will still illegally harass you until you get a lawyer to shut them up or you panic and accept the charges yourself.  Oh, and just because you’re paying for the majority of the loan doesn’t mean the item in question is yours— it’s completely THEIRS.  You are simply signing to help pay for the item and put your credit score at risk and not signing up as a co-OWNER.  No matter what your friend/significant other/family says, you don’t co-own anything unless it’s written on the document you’re signing.

Now back to the original emphasis of this topic:  Giving a third chance can be anything you can think of, but more often than not it will always come back to finances.  Finances will always be connected to relationships and that relationship will always be connected to your own character.  If you are the type of person who needs more than a second chance to get something right or to change things in your life for the better, then you don’t need to be dating.  What you need is a life coach or a counselor to help you fix whatever your problem may be.  Remember how as a kid, if someone repeated the same thing over and over you would get irritated at that person?  Same thing happens even when you reach adulthood.  You don’t like getting nagged about the same thing hundreds of times nor do you enjoy having to fix someone else’s mistakes or situations hundreds of times.  It leads to destruction or at the very least erosion of a relationship.  People don’t change unless they have reason to that impact their lives enough to MAKE them move.  If a person is complaining about something and aren’t doing a thing to change it because they would rather make excuses, then that’s their business and not yours.  In fact, I would get out of any relationship that has more than a third attempt at anything as far as chances to change are concerned.  If it’s regarding finances, the second chance is the last chance… aka… EVERYTHING ends at the second chance.

In conclusion, if you or your partner requires more than a second chance, then neither of you should be in an intimate relationship.  Dating isn’t the same thing as searching for a one night stand or a regular booty call — it’s to find a possible long-term relationship that’ll lead to marriage and more.  Show the situation, your possible partner, and yourself that a second chance is the last chance.  Search for a partner that feels the same.  You’re looking for someone befitting as your future child’s parent — not a future parent or child to yourself.

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April 24, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Everyone should own one.  Knowing how to play it (whether by ear or actual sight-reading) is always an asset that will prove its weight in gold when you least expect it.

Everyone should own one.  Knowing how to play it (whether by ear or actual sight-reading) is always an asset that will prove its weight in gold when you least expect it.

(via thepiccolino)