Searching for the Ideal Skatepark

As I continue to look for BMX hot spots here in San Diego, I started search for skateparks online. I saw a lot, in fact there is a walking distance one from where I live right now, but are for Skateboarders only. BMX’s are not allowed.

Most of them are like that, there is one in Poway too that is very near my location, it is a good biking distance, but still BMX’s is not allowed.

After searching, I found three main skateparks I want to go to. The first one I found, was the Clairemont skatepark. When I first found it online, just by looking at the pictures, how big the ramps were with enough space to generate a lot of speed, I already knew, BMXs are allowed here. It would be impossible if they are not allowed. But just to be sure, I called them up by phone. And yes, 3pm to 8pm weekdays and 5pm to 8pm weekends are the BMX schedules.

Just look at their vert ramp! In the Philippines, all my life, I have only ridden a quarterpipe. I haven’t really catched air big time, just slightly over the coping on an 8 foot quarterpipe in Lagro, Novaliches, Quezon City and I have been to Villa Sabina in Talipapa Novaliches, Quezon City. Both of the ramps mention are demolished already. They were also narrow, like 8 to 10 feet wide, so learning was even harder. You can’t make wide arcs while learning and should really make good 180 turns or else you will fall of the ramp on the sides. Which already happened to me in the past. And in the Philippines, we never wear safety equipment.

Now look at this ramp. The last time I did quarterpipe areals was in 1989 to 1990. I am not even sure if I can still do it, but what the heck, this is a big ass super wide halfpipe. I can just go back and forth, go wide first with big arcs and progress going higher and higher. I am sure I will get the skills back that I had before. As the saying goes, once you learn how to ride a bike, you will never forget it. I hope that applies to ramp riding too.

The Clairemont Skatepark Website
The Clairemont Skatepark Photo Gallery
The Clairemont Skatepark on

As I continue on searching, I found the Escondido skatepark. This looks just as exciting as Clairemont!

But, it is made of metal?!@#$% I guess that is pretty stiff, stable but it looks hot on a sunny day. It might be glaring to in some instances.

I will also give this a try, maybe who ever is cheaper, that is where I will go to more often. 😛

Escondido Skatepark Website
Escondido Skatepark BMX Photo Gallery
Escondido Skatepark on

But if I have no money and is saving some money, I might just go to the cheap public parks. But most are for skateboarders only, I found one that allows BMX. Ramps are not big. No serious very ramp, but if I need to have fun and needs to save on money, I found the one in Santee.

Santee Skatepark Webpage on the City Gov’t Website
Santee Skatepark on

But since I am in the US now, and the people here are pretty much sane than the people in the Philippines, that means I need to buy a helmet and some pads. Since I am not the crazy Philippines. Nyahahaha. These skateparks are also not that near, so I need a bike rack too to place on my car. Money again… Well I am not buying these right away, I got other things to work on first. If I need more money for recreation, I must not spend my money from my working income but spend it in income generating assets first and generate more money for recreation. Well I am near that already, once all these hosting sign up process is all done and my customer support system and billing system is also done already with my existing company so I can concentrate on boosting sales after that.

I love this game!

Games for the family

I love this game is the famous slogan of the NBA. Though I am not really into basketball, I like games, all sorts of games, from sports to board games, and card games.

I have a friend from college days where we king of had a deal where I receive some products that her husband ordered from somewhere here in the United States that I consolidate and put together in a single box and send to the Philippines for them to save on shipping cost, where I had some space that I can put some stuff in to send to my family.

After going to the toy store… I bought Jamie more Lego. I know she already inherited a large part of my old Lego sets, she has enough parts to be so creative to make something with all those parts, but I still decided to buy her a small box of Lego parts. She has just turned 3 years old. This time, I made it a point; the one I buy is something that has instructions already. Lego instructions are very nice. No words, just pictures, with easy to follow instructions. It shows the blocks, how they go together step by step. This way I get Jamie working on how to follow diagrams early on. A few more years, I will give her more complex sets, where sometimes a lot of counting is required. Sometimes just centering a Lego piece on a large piece, requires you to count the circle studs on both ends of what you are centering. It helps early on a better understanding of more complex things when she grows up. Centering is all about symmetry, you use it a lot of times in school, from the simple number line, to geometry, to calculus. Soon she may learn about ratio and proportion when she decides to change the size of what she is building. I like Lego because the circle studs are actually units of measurement that kids use to compute at an early age. I myself grew up with Lego, and was thinking at an early age, joined a Lego competition, and started playing with technical sets in high school. Technical sets are already early physics applications even without learning physics right away. But that will all be up to Jamie if she enjoys it. All I can do is influence but not enforce. Since enforcing the games to play may give a negative effect. All I can do is show the beauty of this toy. It is game right there. Challenging yourself to do things out of blocks that are nothing but blocks when not together, but can form something beautiful with a creative mind when put together.

For Ate Dawn, I bought her one of my favorite board games, Clue by Parker Brothers. In the Philippines and many other Asian countries, it was sold as Cluedo for some reason I do not know. But my guess it could be due to a registered trademark thing in other countries where they did not get an international trademark for Clue. So in other countries, they change the name. But that is only my guess, it can also be a marketing reason related to branding.

Clue makes you think, it is more of a deductive process thinking game. At the start of the game you are clueless, but as the game progresses, clues get more and more and you start to make wise decisions using simple probabilities (even without statistics lessons) to get the right answer. The more clues come out, the more deductive processing you will do, the more probable answers you make, the more you get closer to winning. Although there is some element of luck that can make you win, but the best of luck is made when you make more probable decisions. In life this is like minimizing risk. Risk is always there, but if you know how to minimize it, the better and more successful you may be.

My influence, my Dad who liked playing games

While shopping for these games… just by looking at each one, it reminds me of many memories of me playing the games. From Sorry, Monopoly, Chess, Checkers, Mastermind, Boogle, Connect Four (In the Philippines and other Asian countries this was known as Bingo Chess) to games only found in the Philippines like the original Filipino game called “Games of the Generals” sometimes nicknamed Salpakan. Up to the many card games I played as a kid and even Mahjong.

While buying these made me realize that the reason I am buying them because I believe it is good for the family. It encourages us to think while having fun. It made me realize if I had these games when I was a kid, it was my dad who bought them. Which made me smile since I see the benefit of the games, I see what he was doing. Since that is what I am doing now. My dad loved to play games and he wins a lot of times whatever game we played. He just learns the rules and comes up with a strategy from there. He analyzes the game and thinks of the best ways to win. He also identifies his weaknesses and strengths as well as the weaknesses and strengths of the opponents and uses his strengths to overcome the opponent’s weaknesses. Sound like a lot of thinking, but it is not that confusing as you think. It sometimes happens in a few minutes while playing the game. My dad was also a good bluffer, he makes you think he is planning on some move and at the last minute, he has a different master plan. He also sees the big picture of game, not only concentrating on how to win, but he also sees what his opponents are trying to do win.

And I guess I inherited the same habit of liking to play games too and started playing how my dad plays. During my age was the start of the video game era. Atari 2600 was what I played on and Nintendo made simple handheld games that played only one game with lousy graphics. This is where I was doing eye-hand coordination, something my dad did not learn since these games did not exist during his time. Some of the games were reflex types and as my dad tried playing them, his reaction time was too slow for games like those. I was like 10 years old then. About 10 years later… before my dad past away, he was bed ridden for more than a year. We had a brick game them, the Philippine sidewalks got filled with brick games which are nothing but game consoles that can only play one game which is the famous Russian made game or Tetris. My dad was down but he was not out, and he still like playing and his eye-hand coordination, his reflex improved even during the last days of his life.

I remembered when I ask my wife Marcia what card games she plays, she said none, basically because card games had a negative impression on Marcia. And not only that, I noticed that in my mom-in-law too. In the Philippines, when you say card games, they always think of 3 games, Pusoy, Pusoy Dos and Tong-its. Three games often played with money as a betting game. So there is some negative impression with cards thinking it is all about gambling. I grew up with a lot of card games, Rummy, Gin Rummy, Crazy 8, Pequa, Trump, Bluff, Speed, Poker, 41, Blackjack, Lucky 9 to the very simple 123 pass and Monkey-Monkey. All these games promote thinking. Mahjong is a very good thinking game, but some people just see the gambling part of it.

Recent games I played

I like playing an online game, Yahoo Pool. Unlike other games today that consume a lot of time, and some you even have to pay, Yahoo Pool those not consume a lot of hours unless you play over and over again. I am not the best player of this game, but I know all the rules and play within these rules. And during the play of this simple game, a lot of decision making happens. Mainly the questions I ask myself are:

– What will I choose to be, solid or stripe?
– What will be the next best ball to shoot?
– Where will my cue ball go after this shot to shoot my next best ball to shoot?
– For sure I cannot get anything in, what is the best thing to do so the opponent can’t do anything or will have a harder time for his next shot?

While most people, I noticed they just shoot and shoot, the balls nearest to the cue ball and nearest to them not thinking where the cue ball goes or what is the next best shot to take, and not considering how strong they supposed to strike. There are a few good players that I know are good just based on they choice of balls they shoot and where they place the cue ball. These people I ask if I can add them to my Yahoo Messenger so when I see them online again playing pool, I go and challenge them again.

For every player, there is a rating system. Every new player gets a rating of 1,200. The more games you win, the rating goes up. The more you lose, the rating goes down. If you beat a high rated player, the more rating increase you get for that win, and the more your opponent loses. If you beat a low rated player, you still get an increase in rating, but is very low.

I find it funny when people get scared of your rating. They just see the numbers. Once you have a rating of 1,300 and higher, you get fewer people that want to play with you. When you get a rating of 1,400 to 1,500, the people that play with you either have a high rating too, or are not aware of the rating system and do not care about it. If you reach 1,600, you are like a superstar and a few people actually come to you to challenge you. Beyond that I do not know since I never reached a rating of 1,700 or higher.

I have encountered people with high ratings that do not want to play with other high rated people. They only play with low rated people. They are the people looking for beginners so their rating goes up. I used to play that way that is why I know. You try to get your rating up and you are afraid to lose it, so you only play with the beginners. Each win, you get like an additional 5 points per win. When my skill got better, I was more confident to play with higher rated players. When I see a higher rated player, the more I am attracted to play with them. Because when you win, you get about 30+ points in your rating. With just 3 games, you are like higher by another hundred. This is the fast lane.

Some people think that a higher rated player is better than them, that is all they look at. But the real numbers to look at is how many games this person has played and how many wins and losses does he have. The larger the number of the difference of wins versus losses, the better this player is, especially if the number of times the game has been played is large too.

Playing a new game

The day I set foot on US ground, I knew I would be playing a whole new game. Up to now I am still learning the rules of the game. So far I found out, most of the basic rules are the same as it was for my company in the Philippines. Same selling techniques, same marketing… the difference lies mainly in minor cultural differences and the law. And the only way to get into the game and win it big is to learn the difference in the rules of the game and play with a strategy based on these rules.

So far with this game I play, winning has been happening, but winning small. I haven’t been going for the big fishes yet since I still need some knowledge gathering on how this game is played. In the meantime, I have been catching the small easy fishes where each small fish that went for the bait give one small lesson at a time in preparation for my big fish catch.

Like in Yahoo Pool, I also loose, but I also win. It is not my rating I am looking at, but at the number of times I win, and the number of times I lose. I lose, but I do not make suicide moves. And I try to win big. While others try to win small, like playing with the small rated players, they win, but they win small too, afraid to lose their rating.

I do business by the numbers I make. I may lose some, but I do not lose big time. I make calculated risk, I may win, I may lose. But if I win, I will win it big time. If I lose, I learn from the even and make me wiser in the next events. People that are afraid to play the high rated people are like those that save money in the bank, since there is that small interest the bank gives. It increases, but very slow.

I know someone who is married. But does not want to have children yet, simply for him, children are expenses. For me children are happiness. We may be in the same company, earning the same, but I go for the big fish. I am not afraid to play with the high ranked Yahoo Pool players. I lose, I also win. But then I win, I will win big. The more knowledgeable you are, the more risk decreases in probability. The more people play it safe, avoiding losing everything, the slower they get better. And their fear is mainly because of the lack of knowledge.

My Concepts?

Nope, although the attitude is already my attitude, my game strategies are mainly from my dad. Applying these game principles in business is mainly Robert Kiyosaki’s principles. I have been reading his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad and I highly recommend it. It is a very good book.

The first time I heard about this book was from a former partner in business, Terence Teves. He idolized Robert kiyosaki and had nothing but good words about the book. But I never gave the time to read it.

After some time, I met Pepet Macachor and Ray Alcoseba. Businessmen I knew, they invited me to a gathering of people playing Cash Flow, a game by Robert Kiyosaki. They did this every Friday night to early morning. It always started with a talk, some sharing of a business person and shares how the game helps him/her in their business. When I attended the meeting with Marcia, when the talk was over, Marcia wanted to go home already, so I was not able to play the game.

While working at Informatics Computer Institute, the manager, the owner of the franchise, Danny Lim and Cecille Lim once talked to me about business and we talked about books. I remember telling them about the book The Millionaire Next Door and they told me about Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad. But then again, I did not read the book right away.

While teaching at Informatics, one of my students in a computer crash course, George Arriola Pimentel who owned a franchise of SOS Save on Surplus also shared about the book when we were talking about business.

Recently, I had lunch with a co-worker, a writer, Matt Greene and a web support staff Mook Choi. As we were talking about business, we talked about books, The Millionaire Next Door, 101 Ways to Promote Yourself, The 30 Minute Manager, and the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. And he was actually reading the book that time and had it in his bag.

Realizing that the book is pretty cheaper here in the US that is was in the Philippines and there are used books that are even cheaper, I decided to buy one 2 weeks ago online. For the two weeks of reading it, all I can say is I highly recommend it. It is for anyone who wants to have a more secure financial future and it is like a must for any business owner.

Wife 1.0 Tech Support

I received this email long time ago and has been passed on and on and received again, and I just recently received it again from high school classmate Dale Vicent Mactal whom he sent it to several people and landed in the hands of Gerlie Lota-Bernales who forwarded to several people and I received it again…

Just thought to posting this funny email. And I myself have stuck with the software Wife 1.0 and never decided to go back to all other software programs, simple because it was not worth it and I have no plans at all replacing the software ever.

Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0. I soon noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. In addition, Wife 1.0 installed itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Poker Night 10.3, Football 5.0, Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6. I can’t seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications. I’m thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0, but the uninstall doesn’t work on Wife 1.0. Please help!

Troubled User

Dear Troubled User:

This is a very common problem that men complain about.

Many people upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0, thinking that it is just a Utilities and Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its Creator to run EVERYTHING!!! It is also impossible to delete Wife 1.0 and to return to Girlfriend 7.0. It is impossible to uninstall, or purge the program files from the system once installed.

You cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is designed to not allow this. Look in your Wife 1.0 manual under Warnings-Alimony-Child Support. I recommend that you keep Wife 1.0 and work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background application “Yes Dear” to alleviate software augmentation.

The best course of action is to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway.

Wife 1.0 is a great program, but it tends to be very high maintenance. Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0, Cook It 1.5 and Do Bills 4.2.

However, be very careful how you use these programs. Improper use will cause the system to launch the program Nag Nag 9.5. Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0!

WARNING!!!DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Secretary With Short Skirt 3.3. This application is not supported by Wife 1.0 and will cause irreversible damage to the operating system.

Best of luck,

Tech Support

BMX in California

The company where I work along with a bunch of webmasters, writers and sales people had a company picnic by the beach.

I brought my BMX with me since it was by the beach and so I can go from end to end on the beach. We were at Crown Point by the side of Mission Bay.

I grew up doing BMX racing and freestyle since my highschool days until early college. I was always up to date with the news, X-Games did not even exist and it was all American BMX Association (ABA) and National BMX League (NBL) for Racing and American Freestyle Association (AFA) for freestyle. The Ron Wilkerson’s 2Hip contest came out, vert, street, dirt content. Then Matt Hoffman started doing his Bicycle Stunt contest and was getting much coverage by media with the help of ESPN and MTV. That somehow became B3 – Bike, Blades, Boards contest and I guess with the EPSN coverage, and popularity was getting better, then X-Games was born that included all sorts of extreme sports.

All these information in the early days was all from magazines. BMX Action and BMX Plus. BMX Action also published Freestylin’ and Go-The Riders Manual. Cheap magazines came out, like SnapBMX. Today’s magazines include Ride, which is a Transworld publication. I subscribed to BMX Plus for 2 or 3 years I think. There was no X-Games then, and the only BMX we see on a TV screen was from videos ordered from the US and borrowed by BMXer’s and Freestylers in the Philippines. The have the movie Rad and the oldschool Movie BMX Bandits that had Nicole Kidman. Also the Hi-Torque Publication videos 101 Freestyle Tricks, part 1 and 2. I also have the GT Demo Tape. There were actually Betamax tapes.

And whenever a new trick came out, that you read from the magazine, you really do not see it, but just read the descriptions and just imagine how is was done, like when the tailwhip airs came out, the 900s, I never really save how they were done, but I ready about them.

Then the age of X-Games came out, there we saw everything in the Philippines, how everything is done here in the US. Ever since I was in highschool, until the X-Games age… one thing in common that you will see in a lot of BMX news… a lot of it happens in California.

The BMX companies were in California, many of the freestyle pros lives in California. And when you live in the Philippines and is a hardcore BMX fan, you start thinking, BMX is really hot in California. I remember the early Playstation game that came out, called California Games that had BMX, Skateboarding, Rollerblades, Surfing.

Now I’m in San Diego for 1 year already. I got a BMX, and I see BMX nowhere. Yeah I see people biking, but just by looking at their bike, I already know, this person does not freestyle. Where the hell are these people? LOLz All that BMX sh*t I see in the magazines all in California. Well one thing I didn’t consider is California is really a big place. Bigger than the Philippines alone. If there are a lot of BMX people in California, there are more people that do not give a damn about BMX. lolz And just want to ride a bike the normal way.

My skill depleated over the years, but I do not care, I still ride for fun. I can still rockwalk, and do a smith boomerang, a simple tailwhip, wind surf, framestand, and yeah, the lawnmower nyahahaha, the balance lawnmover too. Front hops and back hops, the infinity roll. All old school tricks. I do not even have a single scuffing or rolling trick dialed in. I cannot pull off a hang five, steamroller, backyard funcky chicken, freak squeak or other similar tricks.

And when I brought my bike to the company picnic, being in San Diego, California where (Ron Wilkerson used to live for some time too) I was thinking that I would have many co-workers that would know freestyle. And would probably pull off a hang five easily and I might even ask them to teach me. And when a BMXer sees a BMXer, and we are in the same company, for sure, they will try the bike out and pull something off with it.

Everyone that approached me, I offered them to try the bike out, and I was surprised no one was really doing freestyle. Some said they used too, like Chris Jilly, but way back 1980’s. Eric Ricasa said he had he share of BMX accidents in the past. When Justin Sepulveda saw me doing simple freestyle tricks, he said: “Is that Benj? What? Is that Benj? What? That’s Benj? Get off of that bike.” LOLz

So everyone in the Philippines reading this… if you think California is all BMX because of the magazines you read. Not exactly true. I guess it is true that the good riders are here, but not true that you can easily see them everyday. California is a very big place.

Or maybe I just haven’t seen all the hot spots yet?

Results of my Fitness Crash Course

As I have mentioned that I have been working out lately pretty hard, just giving myself a one month preparation to get back into shape and compete again in the San Diego Annual Taekwondo Championship, where I won 2nd place last year in my division, I was doing a rush fitness crash course and see what it has done to my thigh.

Lolz, not good. Some hematoma on my left inner thigh. But it does not really hurt that bad. Actually my whole body feels sore but I know it will go away on my second week of August. So if some of you at work has been noticing me walking like a robot, I actually feel so stiff I feel like walking like a robot. Everything should loosen up by the 3rd and 4th week of August.

Teresa Heights Get-Together

I Went to the Santos’ yesterday who used to live on Silangan St. Teresa Heights. Were all other people from the same subdivision, Teresa Heights, Novaliches, Quezon City, Philippines who are in Southern California also went. Most of them are a generation ahead of me so they really know my Mom and my late Dad. Surprisingly, they also know my sister. Nyahahaha. Of course they knew me too, but I did not really hang out with them when we were all still in the Philippines.

Most of the guys, nagiinuman, except me since I never really drank any alcoholic beverage since birth. And most girls were inside doing some videoke and the usual chikahan. They then decided to do some Mahjong. I had no cash on me, but if I did, I think I would play.

I took some pictures. Check

Extended Workout

Last September 11, 2004, I won 2nd place in the 10th Annual San Diego Taekwondo Championship. And I wanted to compete again this coming September, but with all the work I do now, in and out of the office, I haven’t been practicing much, slowed down, gained weight, and easily gets tired.

Since August 1, 2005, I have been doing some self-training, a crash cardio workout, crash weight training, and crash flexibility workout and plan to do this up to the 15th of August on every other day. The remaining part of August will be the actual training at the Taekwondo school under Master Won Kee Min, while still doing the same crash fitness course. If I feel good in September, I’ll compete again. If not, I might just watch.

Last Friday, I did some cardio workouts, worked on the punching bag and did some weight training and ended with some cardio again as my cool down. While on the treadmill for my last run, I saw Sergei. One of the Russian friends I have at the Taekwondo school, he just came to start his workout.

While running he had all sorts of stories, his career life and mine. Then he told me if I want to do some no-contact sparring, and of course I said yes. After an hour of doing that, we talked about Taekwondo in the US, in the Philippines and in Russia. His Taekwondo in Russia had many similarities to the Taekwondo training I got in the Philippines. Which is very far from how Taekwondo is here in the United States. I will not explain the differences anymore since I think I already posted two stories in the past about that already.

Daryl Coming Soon!

Yeah, Daryl is sis-in-laws baby in her womb. This very minute… she will be brought to the hospital to give birth. I’m sure the three kids would be excited to see their new cousin.

Big Package!

This is what I received today. The box was up to my chest. Nyhahaha. Impossible to bring inside the house.

I had to open it and upload every small box inside and placed them in my room.

I view from one side:

And on the other side:

I literally filled up the room! Nyahahaha. These are stuff for college friends Myton and Jean. Not complaining at all, since bayad naman ang pagod ko.

Past few weeks have been very busy weeks

No postings, too busy.

Start of the month again, new billings to send… And my billing data is saved in an external drive using a 120GB hard disk in a External USB Casing. Then last night, my whole invoice folder dissapeared. Actually it was still there but totally unreadable. It had client invoices going back to August 2003.

I am not running any automated system yet and all invoices are in Word Documents that are manually edited and saved, emailed, faxed and snail mailed to my clients in the Philippines that pay via bank deposits rather than online payments.

The whole invoice folder was totally corrupted and unreadable, even after doing chkdsk twice.

If you are a client of mine, nothing to worry about, I have backup files all the way from the beginning up to January 16, 2005. Then the rest of the months are in the sent items of my email software. I just dfelt bad about the trouble of going through my email, sorting and putting things together. Another time consuming thing. I guess if updates were done more often, it would be better.

I just decided to sleep last night and when I woke up today, ate lunch, I decided to go to the gym and just burn out my negative energies.

When I got home, I decided to do one more final chkdsk. And restarted, and like magic, all the files were there!

So I took out a blank DVD right away and burned about 3.5GBs of backed up data, documents, contracts, invoices, proposals and websites.