I was up for about twenty hours when I got around to watching this movie on the plane last night. I try to rent comedies because they look ok on the iPad and because they don't require a lot of mental energy. I fell asleep halfway through this movie and slogged through the second half without paying too much attention. Needless to say, it's a dud. The plotlines are thin, the physical comedy is weak and the dialogue is poor.
I haven't been sleeping well lately so my energy level has been low. It's been a vicious cycle because I haven't been working out either to give my right shoulder a break.
My mood was ok this morning, but is improving as my vacation nears.
These haven't been an issue for a couple of weeks now. It'll be interesting to see how my body reacts to wheat, dairy and sugar. I suspect I'll feel like crap pretty quickly.
Don't let the uptick at the end fool you; I'm confident I'm in the best shape of my recent life right now. I lost over ten pounds, most of which was fat. I also dropped about two inches off my waist. My mind is clear and my physical cravings are gone.
I highly recommend this program to anyone looking to start Paleo. Cold turkey is the easiest way to start and this program will help you reset your blood sugar. You'll also learn how to treat food in a different light. You can still live to eat, but your thoughts won't be dominated by cravings for junk food.
I'll move back to less strict Paleo with almond meal, butter and occasional dairy, but will follow Whole 30 now and then if I feel I need another reset.
I knew about this show, but dismissed it because I don't like Spacey. However, a friend at work gave it two thumbs up so I checked it out. I was instantly hooked on the gritty plotlines, the excellent acting and believable dialogue. I don't know much about DC politics, but these storylines feel plausible and that's enough for me.
Spacey may be a jerk, but he plays his role effectively.
I highly recommend this show and I eagerly await Season 2.
I'm not happy with Google's response to the NSA spying allegations. The current CEO is also not in favor of open standards. I don't care for Google knowing every intimate detail of my life so I'm going to cut the cord as much as I can.
Step 1: Stop using Gmail
This step will be tough, but my website hoster gives me an e-mail account so I'm going to start using it for my personal communication. I can use Thunderbird which isn't as cool as Gmail, but at least it's relatively safe from prying eyes.
I have a Tor mail account as well so the FBI/NSA probably thinks I'm a child molesting pervert dealing illicit drugs and black market guns. For the record, I'm none of those.
Step 2: Stop using Chrome
This step is the easiest as Firefox is more than an adequate replacement.
Step 3: Don't upgrade to another Android smartphone
I'm due for an upgrade so I'll get a Blackberry Q10 since I use my current phone only for checking e-mail, texting, calling and occasionally navigation. The Blackberry will allow me to easily check my new personal account, will be better for texting because of the physical keyboard and has ok navigation. I'll probably save up to get a Garmin for my car since it's something I can take to Europe or Asia.
I briefly considered an iPhone, but I already have enough plants in Apple's walled garden.
Step 4: Move blog from Blogger to Wordpress
This step will wait until after my vacation because I don't feel like messing with stuff now.
I don't really have much to hide, but I value what privacy I do have and I don't care to contribute to Google's efforts to own the internet. Perhaps I should take my tinfoil hat off, but I like to be prepared.
My mood has been impacted more by my impending vacation than anything else, but I'm certainly less irritable these days.
These are gone, but I'm about ready to end this challenge and have a treat. I know I can eat mostly Paleo from here on out and can use a ketogenic diet now and then to reset my blood sugar levels.
I'm still maintaining the good progress and don't expect to lose any more weight though perhaps my waist could shrink a little bit more.
I've had pretty good energy though not as much as yesterday. I did take a nap this afternoon, but those don't have to indicate a lack of energy.
My mood has been good today and my thoughts clear.
The cravings are now completely mental. Given all the advertising and my past lifestyle, I don't think I could maintain Whole 30 or even Paleo 100% of the time, but I have done a good job resetting my blood sugar so eating crap is now a conscious choice rather than a necessity.
I don't think my scale handles it when my weight goes down since lower weight seems paired with a larger body fat percentage. I'm sure this scale can measure elite athletes so it should be accurate for me. I'm not too chuffed either way since the progress is visible.
I've had good energy today and accomplished quite a bit.
It's Saturday and I'm going on vacation soon so my mood has been great.
I'm already starting to think about the foods I can eat next Thursday, but I don't have to have them. I've proven I can stay the course physically, but perhaps not mentally.
I'm still maintaining the fat loss. I'm down 11 pounds, 7 of which are fat. I'm almost down 1.5 inches from my spare tire. I'm starting to get some definition in my torso which is one of my many fitness goals.
Today marks the end of my first twelve week StrongLifts 5x5 cycle and I think it'll be my only one. I did get my deadlift up to two plates and my bench to nearly one, but the other lifts didn't make as much progress. Five sets of five reps each at a relatively heavy weight seems like overkill to me so I'll give Wendler's 5/3/1 a try after vacation.
I know this program works for some, but it didn't really work for me.
I got a bit tired late in the afternoon, but I had a lot of meetings at work.
My mood was pretty good.
I don't think I craved anything really and easily passed on doughnuts this morning.
The numbers indicate my progress has stalled a bit, but I feel as lean and as mean as ever. It's still tough to grab on to belly chunk so I'm going to chalk up these numbers to a finicky scale. Heh. They are what they are, but don't define my total fitness.
This Norwegian thriller is a bit eclectic, but worth watching. It gets a little slow in the latter half, but picks up the pace in the end. Some might recognize the dude who plays Jaime Lannister. He's Danish, but I guess managed credible Norwegian.
There are some over-the-top moments in this movie, but it's always nice to see something outside of the Hollywood mold.
My energy has been good today, but it took me a little while to get going this morning.
My mood has been good despite the usual crap at work.
I think these have become psychological at this point. I'm surrounded by people eating the modern American diet and I'm tempted. I know that pizza is going to taste bad, but it's still in my head. I don't like to deny myself anything.
It'll be interesting to see what happens when the 30 days are up. I'm sure I'll have some crap, but I'll make sure it's worth it. I won't get storebought cookies, but I might eat some homemade pie with ice cream.
My waist has been steadily shrinking the past 21 days and it's getting tougher for me to grab fat on my torso. The spare tire is there, but it's nearly deflated.
I didn't have as much energy today as I did yesterday, but I had enough to get quite a bit done.
The carbs from the fruit I ate today didn't seem to spike my blood sugar.
My mood was good, but not as good as yesterday's.
I'm still tempted by crap food I see on TV, but have been able to resist without any trouble. I have to be careful with fruit since the added sugar does bring back some urges, but I finished it off today and will not get any more until this Saturday.
I'm two-thirds through my challenge and my progress looks solid. I've lost a little more than twelve pounds and my waist is more than 1.5 inches narrower which indicates a good bit of the weight loss is belly fat.
By the end of the next third, I'd like to lose another 0.5 inches off my waist while dropping the fat pounds a bit. I'm not convinced my scale is adequately capturing reality, but perhaps it's just wishful thinking on my part.
People have talked this movie up so I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm not a big fan of musicals, but this one is ok. It's not anything I recommend you run out and see, but you shouldn't ask to turn it off if someone has it on.
I took a Benadryl last night to clear out my sinuses and it knocked me out well enough for me to sleep a solid eight hours. I got quite a bit done today and only felt tired for a little bit in the afternoon.
I was able to move around the squash court about as well as ever.
I haven't been in a better mood since I was in Australia.
These still come and go, but I finally added some carbs back in today with strawberries, raspberries and sweet potato. They all tasted really sweet, but shouldn't knock me off the wagon at all. The fruit is all less than 12% carbs by mass and sweet potatoes are good at evening out blood sugar. I definitely expect to have more energy going forward and will finish the 30 days without a single cheat without any further struggle.
My weight is at a low for this challenge and I feel lean and mean. My waist is more than an inch smaller than when I started so the progress is real.
I slept poorly again last night and struggled deadlifting this morning. I suspect I'm not getting enough calories since my body isn't quite fat efficient.
I was in a bad mood up until I started watching Breaking Bad.
The cravings were really strong today and I came close to breaking down. Don't worry though because I'm determined to stick it out for the full thirty days and I've got plenty of willpower. I'm going to get some sweet potatoes tomorrow which should really help. I think I've gone carb-free for about as long as I can.
Some strange things are going on with the measurements, but I'm not going to sweat it because I'm definitely leaner. I can see it in where my gut used to be and in my face. I think I feel healthier overall as well and that feeling is my main goal. The numbers will get in line sooner or later.
I'm not sure if the next eight episodes will be considered in Season 5 or not. It doesn't matter because I'll watch them for sure. This show is awesome, but these past eight episodes have been fantastic. You've got the same themes as before, but now you add in Walt's transformation from bumbling high school chemistry teacher to meth kingpin.
Skyler is still my least favorite character followed by Walt, Jr.
All in all, Breaking Bad is one of the best shows on TV so check it out if you haven't already.
It has been raining quite a bit and I didn't sleep well last night so my energy level was average today.
My mood was good.
These haven't gone away completely as I nearly jacked some Asian chicken off someone's plate. It looked just like Chinese fast food and smelled fantastic. I'm sure it's covered in sugar and gluten, but it was still tempting. Cookies sound good right about now as well.
My waist is definitely shrinking which was one of my key objectives because belly fat is the worst for you. I think eleven pounds lost over sixteen days or so is a decent amount and it seems like more than half was fat loss. I'll assume the rest is water.
I was able to power through nearly all of this season during FiOS' free On Demand weekend around Memorial Day and watched the rest via HBO Go. I was a little disappointed with Season 2, but Season 3 picked up the slack. It doesn't hurt the third book is more entertaining than the second, but there was finally a bit more action and bloodshed.
I like the casting of Tyrion and Tywin especially.
The real question is whether Martin will finish the series before the show catches up.
I didn't sleep enough last night and had some strange dreams so my energy level was fairly low today.
My mood has been solid.
I think the cravings are just in my head now because I don't like to deny myself anything. I don't feel any particular hunger for crap which is good. I'm at the take-it-or-leave-it level which is probably about as good as it's going to get for me.
I don't mind the weight creeping up a little, but I'd really like to see the body fat trend downward. I've still reset my blood sugar and fat metabolism so I'm on the right track, but I'd be happier about it if the numbers reflected how much better I feel.
I had a decent amount of energy until this afternoon when I ran out of gas. I think I'll add sweet potatoes back in this weekend.
My mood was pretty good.
My cravings were under control except when I was driving home. Cookies no longer appeal to me, but a milkshake sounds pretty good right about now.
My scale has finally caught wise to my fat loss. I'm not sure why it's delayed, but six fat pounds lost out of eleven total sounds about right because I probably lost a few pounds of water and bacteria from my gut. Not too shabby.
My goal is to be at fifteen percent body fat at 190lbs so I don't mind the total weight going up.
Cloud Atlas is wildly ambitious and mostly successful. Some of the make-up jobs were a bit poor, but I liked how the same few actors played most of the main characters. I don't know if I had the mental energy to follow all the plotlines or to extract any meaning, but I enjoyed this movie and recommend it.
I didn't want to get up this morning, but I had fairly good energy until I got home.
My mood was mostly good today.
I didn't have any cravings yesterday, but they came back today. I eat lunch in the cafeteria and saw a lot of folks eating the big cookies. I wanted one, but was able to resist without too much trouble. I am already starting to salivate over my post-30 reward meal, but I don't want to undo my hard work. I've also got sixteen full days left on this program.
I haven't decided if I should stay nearly zero carb or I should start eating sweet potatoes again. I'm making good progress so I think I'll try to tough it out as long as I can.
My jar of coconut oil came so I've got a high energy snack for work which will fill me up right quick.
I'm still on pace for losing a pound a day which is crazy considering I'm nearly fourteen full days into the program. Even if my scale doesn't think so, most of this weight has to be fat. It better not be muscle or I'm going to be pissed. Heh. I was able to deadlift two plates this morning so I don't think so. I feel pretty strong as well.
I woke up early this morning to dooker out the curry ribs from last night, but have had good energy since. I did quite a bit of exercising so I'm legitimately tired and did take a short nap this afternoon. My head feels clear and my thoughts focused.
I don't know if it's the sunshine or what, but I feel great. I'm less irritable and feel...whole.
I no longer desire crap and I think I'd be able to turn it down without any trouble. I was talking to my dad yesterday about our family vacation and I do plan to eat things like milkshakes and such, but I'll be able to keep it all in check thanks to this reset.
I wasn't as hungry today, but ate plenty. I'm still consuming few carbohydrates so I must've switched my body over to mostly fat burning by now. I still have plenty of fat to shed so we'll see.
The weight loss tapered off a little bit yesterday, but I still feel lean and mean. I'd like to see the fat pounds drop as rapidly as the full weight, but I suspect the inaccuracy of my scale. We'll see. I feel a lot leaner and my gut seems smaller, but I guess I'm paranoid I've lost some muscle.
Cook's Black Company books are well-written, fast paced and full of plot twists. The magic in his world is a little vague, but doesn't overwhelm the action. I like the world he's built and his characters spring up with depth without needed excessive backstory.
My energy was good today and I was able to get quite a bit done. I started to get tired in the afternoon, but rallied. I should sleep well tonight.
It's Saturday so my mood is good.
My cravings for crap seemed to have stabilized a bit, but junk food still seems appealing for some reason. I was hungry today, but not as ravenous as I was last week. Slowly, but surely I'm increasing my fat metabolism.
I changed up the chart a bit because the fat pounds weren't adequately capturing the progress. I'm still losing around a pound a day, but hopefully none of it is muscle. My gut has shrank quite a bit and I'm starting to get much more definition in my torso.
My energy level was good today though I'm beat now. I woke up many times during the night to piss for some reason.
Despite a crappy day at work, I'm feeling pretty good.
The cravings are still there, but I think they're slowly moving to the background or at least I'm finding it easier to ignore them. I was eyein' my coworker's stash of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but I don't think they'd taste as good as I think.
I suppose I'll always be a sugar junkie so it's up to me to be vigilant so nothing gets out of control. I've found eating coconut oil helps since it's pure fat and easily digested. My plan is to have a spoonful before every meal to make sure I stay at least a bit ketogenic.
Despite what the graph shows, I'm down more than ten pounds so I'm back on track for losing a pound a day. I guess the other six pounds are water. I feel much leaner and have trouble grabbing fat around my waist so I suspect the fat measurement is inaccurate.
This movie starts off slowly and the pace never increases. The plot is lame, the action is boring and it seems like the entire movie exists just so Cruise looks good. The only redeeming feature is Pike's rack.
I slept in a bit this morning and missed my morning workout, but I was juiced after boxing. I did alright during the day, but I'm starting to fade now.
My mood was surprisingly good given the crap at work.
The cravings for crap seem to have stabilized, but I'm still hungry often. I think I need more fat to boost my caloric intake since I'm eating very few carbs. I had a couple of pemmican sticks today and will eat some coconut oil here in a few minutes to top me off.
In about another week or so, I'll add starchy carbs and occasional fruit.
I've now completed one-third of the program and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm down 9.6lbs of which roughly 4 are fat according to my scale. Hopefully the rest is water and not muscle. My spare tire is deflating which is always welcome.
I had no energy this morning and slept in so I missed my morning workout. I slogged through the day, but felt better after eating some coconut oil and going to boxing.
It was only fair until boxing. I've got to do a better job of letting go at work.
Surprisingly, the cravings were more intense today than they were on Day 1 which is a bit troublesome. Cookies don't sound all that good, but ice cream does.
It seems like I took a couple of steps backwards yesterday. Weak, but it's bound to happen. I didn't cheat on my diet at all, but I think I'm low on calories and my body isn't quite into pure fat burning mode. I've got to stay ketogenic for another week or so and then I'll reintroduce starchy carbs.
I'm down 6.8lbs so I'm not going to cry in the corner about anything.
I had trouble getting up this morning and was sluggish for most of the day.
My mood was poor this morning, but improved after I got home and fired up the first disc of Breaking Bad: Season 5.
I'm surprised I'm still hungry often and still crave junk food. All I can think about now is ice cream over a brownie. Holy moly does that sound good right now. Fortunately, I don't have any crap in the house so it's easy for me to stay on track. I know these cravings will decrease. I'm pretty sure I'm eating plenty and I'm getting a lot of animal fat and protein.
Progress is slowing down a bit, but I expected as much. I hope I'm not asymptotically approaching 38lbs because I think I can get down to around 30 if I stick with this plan.
I slept well last night until 3:30 this morning. Then I slept fitfully until I got up at 5. My energy level was good until about 4 this afternoon.
I was in a good mood until about 4 this afternoon. I don't think I ate anything bad for lunch, but I'm not sure.
I'm still thinking about junk food, but it's getting easier to resist. I'm still hungry often, but it's reducing a little. I must have really effed up my fat metabolism last month.
I lost another pound yesterday, but I guess it was water instead of fat. It's tough to say because the fat measurement on my scale is inaccurate. My waist did shrink and that metric is more important. Four fat pounds in six days is still pretty damn good and I figure I can lose another couple during the next week.
I slept poorly last night, but I think it was because I was nervous about today's 25 mile bike ride in the Tour de Cure - Saratoga. I hadn't ridden in a while and wasn't as fast as I would've liked, but it wasn't too bad. I'm properly sore and tired so I expect to sleep well tonight.
We got some good news at work which is always good, but I'd say my mood was neutral otherwise.
These still haven't gone away. I've been able to resist, but it's tougher than I expected this far along in my purge. I guess May was really unkind to my blood sugar and it'll take another few days for sure.
I lost two pounds over Day 5, but my scale says it wasn't fat. I imagine tomorrow's reading will be similar to Day 4's in that I'll recover the roughly one fat pound lost per day trend. We'll see.
I have lost enough chunk to get back to where I was about a month ago which is nice.
I don't know why Conan needed to be remade given its awesomeness, but this version was acceptable. There was plenty of blood, titties and cheese. It didn't have the epicness of the original and the lead dudes' man-boobs were distractingly large.
Ah, I just checked IMDb, and this Conan was also Khal Drogo which explains why he looked familiar.
I didn't want to get up early this morning to get an oil change, but I've had pretty good energy. I'm tired, but it's more from working out and mowing the front jungle than the apathetic tiredness which comes from eating poorly.
It's Saturday and the sun was out so I was doing pretty well.
My need for sweet is subsiding a little bit each day, but hasn't gone away as quickly as I thought it would. I'm hungry quite a bit, but that, too, is subsiding. Hopefully the cravings will go away in a couple of days or perhaps I should have some fruit. I'd really like to wait for the third week since I'm probably eating fewer than 25g of carbs a day.
I'm still losing one fat pound per day on average. Day 3 is the only day which doesn't fit the line made from the other points. I figured I'd lose about three pounds per week, but I'm not complaining.
It's getting easier to wake up early in the morning since I seem to be sleeping better. It's humid out and my bedroom is stuffy. I also found I was more alert during the day.
Work notwithstanding I think my mood and mental clarity is improving. The usual Capital District white trash stuff didn't bother me as much as it usually does.
Management brought in doughnuts and bagels this morning to celebrate an achievement, but I was able to resist without too much trouble. I'm still jonesin' for some sugar though and I'm still eating quite a bit so I think more detoxification is needed.
I'm in the tricky part of this challenge because the initial enthusiasm has worn off a little and I'm not fully cured. If I can tough out the next two or three days, I'll be golden.
I've lost three pounds since I've started and my scale is telling me it's all fat. Sweet. My goal is to drop 10 fat pounds and my stretch goal is to lose 15. I'm on a good pace, but I'm not going to maintain roughly a pound lost per day.
This re-imagining is cheesy with questionable movie physics, but it was still entertaining. Biel and Beckinsale are smokin' hot and Farrell seemed to show more range than in his previous movies. Walter White kicks some ass as well.
I slept better last night and was able to get up at 5 this morning and complete my workout. I had pretty energy during the day.
This category is tricky because work is hectic, but I think I was less irritable today.
They're still there, but are reducing. I'm not as tempted by crap food, but I am hungry often and eating quite a bit.
In two days I've lost five pounds which seems to be mostly water. My waist did shrink a little so there has been fat loss. The fat measurement is not all that accurate so expect to see a bit of variation. The overall trend should be downward though.
I slept poorly last night and had trouble getting up this morning. I slept in and missed my morning barbell workout. I was sluggish at work, but got pumped during my boxing lesson this evening.
Today was my first day back to work after four days off so I was a bit grumpy, but I'm feeling better now.
I brought extra food to work which I ate in the morning and I got a salad from the cafeteria to supplement lunch. I still have sugar cravings, but they've subsided slightly.
In just twenty-four hours I lost over three pounds, 1.3 of which are fat if my scale is accurate. I believe the weight loss, but perhaps there is some error in how much of it is fat. I imagine the rest is water since going Paleo flushes your GI tract out.
I enjoyed Cook's first Black Company book so I thought I'd try out his other series. This one seems to be the inspiration for Butcher's Dresden Files, but the pacing was off. Parts were slow enough to turn me off while the ending came by in a rush.
Cook is a great writer and economical with his words. His novels involve a lot of characters so you have to pay close attention. You can see his influence on several other popular fantasy authors.
My blood sugar is completely out of whack due to some craptastic eating habits this month so I'm going to start a Whole 30 tomorrow. The idea is to cut out grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes and other stuff for 30 days. It's more or less my paleo diet, but I'm going to be a bit more strict and eat only stuff which are fewer than ten percent carbohydrates by mass. I like this site for checking nutrition content. So...no fruit and no sweet potatoes.
I'll continue to follow my exercise plan so I expect to lose around two fat pounds per week, but we'll see. I'll update my blog daily so follow along.
May has not been a good month for me health-wise. I've been eating like crap and it shows in increased chunk and foul moods. I'm going to fix it by starting a hardcore Paleo detoxification on Tuesday.
The good news is I have been keeping up with my strength training. I'm definitely getting stronger, but I'm just building muscle under the fat rather than getting ripped. It's definitely better than nothing, but I need to exercise discipline.
I bought a few new fitness gadgets like ab rollers with two wheels so I can do them one-handed. I also bought an ab wheel you can put your feet on so you can crawl around. A friend helped me install my fitness rings so I've started using those. My goal is to build functional strength and power which means I need quick muscles and quick muscles come from loose muscles.
You can definitely see some upward trends in the measurements related to chunk.
I really wanted to like this movie, but it felt more like one of the bad GI Joe movies than a comic book movie. The suits had little screen time and parts of the movie were overly introspective. The Mandarin was not portrayed well and the movie physics was poor.
The Clifton Park theater was ok, but this movie was not worth the $11.50 ticket price. I am neutral towards it and hope Thor 2 is more exciting.
This season had some good parts, but felt a bit more uneven than Season 2. I realized I don't care for Tom since his schtick has worn its welcome. I prefer to see more episodes focusing on Ron fucking Swanson.
I'm starting to really dig this show. You can clearly see the influences from The Office, but it has its own style. This season is a bit funnier than the first because the writers realized Ron Swanson is the key. They also cut back a bit on Tom which is always nice.
This movie was trite and predictable. The animation is awesome and the voice acting solid, but it was a weak effort from a previous powerhouse. I guess I blame Disney for corrupting Pixar, but it's hard to say. I'm not that enthusiastic about the upcoming Monsters University, but who knows?
I just finished another of Butcher's Dresden Files and it was one of his better ones. I like the ones which focus more on the action and detective work than Harry's romances. He borders on being an anti-hero which makes for more interesting stories though there are plenty of good and evil foils.
I picked up my bike last night from its tune up. I had also gotten speed pedals along with speed shoes. I opted for the kind of shoes you can't really walk in on recommendation from my boss. He claims the wider pedals are easier and I didn't know any better so I listened to him. The dude at the bike shop also had the same opinion. I gave it all a shot today and like using speed pedals, but I'm not sure I like this style. The shoes are not good for walking around and I wasn't able to easily dismount. I damn near fell off my bike onto a tree when I was practicing in my driveway and I don't know how easily I could dismount on command. I gradually got the hang of it, but I think I might try out the other style in the future.
I ended up riding around the area for about an hour. My ass is a bit sore, but my knees feel fine. It's gorgeous out so it was good to get some sunshine. A lot of people were out running and biking.
I like to do what is right, not just what conventional wisdom says. I had read about people taking the soapless shower challenge so I gave it a shot this week. I didn't use any soap on my body for five days and just used a wash cloth to get any dirt off.
I didn't notice any difference and didn't feel dirty or anything. The idea is modern soaps strip off your skin's natural oil and replace it with something else. Skipping the soap should leave your skin healthier.
I already only use baking soda and water for shampoo and vinegar for conditioner so it's not a stretch for me to go soapless going forward.
I've been watching this show on Amazon VoD because I'd wreck the mess out of Rashida Jones. It turns out the show is actually pretty funny. There is no laugh track which definitely piques my interest. Amy Poehler is a little over-the-top, but it's intentional and the rest of the cast is dry enough to provide some contrast.
"I'm Ron fucking Swanson."
I highly recommend this show and I'll keep watching.
Parts of this movie were awesome, but parts were predictable so it averages out to a pretty good movie. I liked the random violence, but not the teenage angst. One of the main characters reminds me of one of my brother's friends growing up.
The American Pie dude sort of mails in his role which is too bad because he can be pretty funny. The rest of the casting was adequate. Much of the movie also feels dated.
I recommend this movie if you're looking for something straightforward.
Even though I ate like crap this week, the numbers are pretty good. The plots show a plateau, but I think I can break through by staying Paleo and by continuing to exercise daily. I've been moving pretty well at basketball and squash so my hard work is paying off. I've been doing my wall slides diligently and my shoulder mobility has improved.
I can now deadlift my body weight for reps and am nearing triple digits for bench press and shoulder press. I still can't squat, but I'm getting close. I can get into the proper low-bar position with minimum pain with the bar in the rack, but can't take it out without my lateral deltoids squawking. It'll get there soon.
I took my bike into the shop for a tune-up and got a new helmet, pedals and shoes. I also discovered my bike fits into my car easily if I take the front tire off which means I can take it to work and ride during lunch. I have a bike rack, but I'm worried about someone jacking my bike or removing my computer and light.
I had my first boxing lesson last night and it was awesome. I feel a bit stupid for not going there sooner, but my first impression it was a gym for meatheads. The reality is quite a bit different. Sweeney's is in my neighborhood, clean and well-equipped. I got a free introductory lesson last night. The owner wrapped my hands had my start out on the speed bag. You do 15 rounds of activities with three minutes on and one minute of rest. You work through the speed bag, the heavy bag, the agility bags, rope jumping and mitt work. I learned how to stand and what "jab," "hook," etc. are.
I was pretty jacked after my workout because it's a great way to relieve stress and tension. I just pictured some of my more annoying coworkers' faces on the bags and punched away. I'm a little sore this morning, but nothing serious.
I can get 12 more similar lessons for $200 which is a great deal and you get a pair of wraps for free. After 12 lessons, most people switch to a $50/month plan for unlimited access, but no mitt work. I found mitt work to be the most fun so I'll see if there is a way to get some in now and then. I had originally planned to do the 12 lessons and then get my own equipment, but now I realize I enjoy the social aspect and $50/month is covered by half my raise so it's all good.
Longtime readers know I really dig this show for the humor, the irreverence, the 80s references, the muscle cars and the frequent hot chicks. I found Season 6 to be a little slow, but Season 7 reclaimed the usual awesomeness. There was the expected season-ending cliffhanger, but it wasn't overly dramatic.
This show is well-written and well-acted and I highly recommend you check it out. Just don't write slash fiction about it.
Longtime readers know I'm constantly tinkering with my diet and my exercise plan because I want to live forever. I've done enough research and experimentation to settle on a Paleo diet and a barbell strength training program. I also run and play sports, but those are done for fun more than any health benefit.
I found a great article laying out the Paleo diet in six easy steps - http://www.gnolls.org/1141/eat-like-a-predator-not-like-prey-paleo-in-six-easy-steps-a-motivational-guide/. His advice is medically sound and jives with everything else I've read. The key to a successful diet is to eat real food. If it isn't something you could kill or gather, then don't eat it. If it requires significant processing to be edible, don't eat it.
This diet has worked well for me and I can tell when I've fallen off the wagon. Last weekend, I was feeling crappy so I got a bunch of crap from the grocery store. I ate cookies, cupcakes, ice cream and other garbage. I enjoyed the sugar high for about a day and then I got the farts and dookers and generally felt crappy. I got back on the wagon on Wednesday and have been doing much better since. Sure, it's just anecdotal evidence, but give it a shot and see how you feel.
Combine the worst elements of Transformers, Independence Day, Top Gun and the A-Team and you still wouldn't have a movie as stupid as Battleship. Bad acting, poor casting, a monkey punching bag and a goofy fake Matt Damon further drop this movie into the abyss. It was definitely a cash grab by Liam Neeson so I hope he got paid fat stacks because this movie is an anchor on his career.
I'm not sure I have enough time to detail all the movie physics fails, but I was especially impressed by the visible radiation used as a transmission signal.
I took advantage of my Amazon Prime membership to watch this movie while I had lunch. I'm not a big fan of Heston because he always looks pissed off, he has a Jesus complex and I don't care for his jungle fever in this movie.
The plot is interesting, but the execution comes up a bit short. The dialogue is cheesy and the movie physics is not acceptable.
I usually avoid Superman comics because I think he's overpowered and overly goody-goody. However, this short movie had a great take on the morality of having super powers. While the animation was just ok, the dialogue was witty, current and evocative. The plot was completely relevant to the events of today and was well-paced. The voice acting was solid.
I much prefer comics focusing on antiheroes rather than the Golden Age ones because the world is a complicated place and conflicts are rarely black and white.
I got deja vu about fifty pages into this book until I read online Erikson's Malazan Empire novels were inspired by this series. The Malazan books are some of the best written so it's high praise for Cook, but he deserves it. His storytelling has a great mixture of magic, intrigue and the weird. His demi-gods are as human as the rest of us and his mercenary company is full of antiheroes.
Cook has fewer described characters than Erikson so it was a bit easier to follow and faster to read, but nothing beats the Malazan books for detail.
I highly recommend this book and I will read the rest of the Black Company series.
I haven't been able to squat since my back is a bit rounded so I asked my chiropractor about it during my monthly appointment on Wednesday. He said my back is a bit rounded with a protracted neck. He pointed out it's nearly impossible to pinch your shoulder blades together with neck protraction so he recommended I continue the LYTP raises and prone Bruggers, but to add a little weight. I'm using the 3lb weights from my weight vest set and it seems to be enough to provide resistance. The Y raises are the ones that give me the most trouble.
He also recommended an exercise he calls a wall angel which is similar to a wall slide. You stand with your back to a wall. Put your arms up with your palms facing away from the wall. Keep your butt, your skull (retracted neck), your upper back, your elbows and the backs of your hands on the wall and move your arms like you're making a snow angel. If you have good scapulothoracic mobility, this exercise should be easy. If you're like me, it's borderline painful. I can't get my elbows and my hands/wrists to touch so I flex my wrists to have my fingers touch. It's not ideal, but is better than nothing. He recommended ten repetitions twice a day which I've done. I can definitely tell it's working because I feel much more aligned with reduced neck protraction. It's also less painful each time.
I'm going to keep at it along with Bruggers stretch and will try to squat every Sunday. I'm not going to force it and will only squat if I can get the bar into the correct position with no lateral deltoid pain. It could take a couple of months, but it's better I get stuff squared away than risk serious injury.
He did save me a trip to a physical therapist because they'd likely have me do the same exercises, but in an office. I probably should be on the computer less often, but my job demands it. We'll see how this improved posture impacts my sleeping and my sports.
The first one was just ok, but I enjoyed the second one a bit more. I could've done without the stereotypical spear-chucking Africans as well as the one-dimensional heroes: playboy Stark, jerk-off Pym, whiny Banner, etc. The animation was just ok with solid voice acting.
However, the plot was a bit more focused with plenty of action. There wasn't quite enough Hulk, but he was in time-out for smashing up the joint in the first movie.
I enjoyed the first movie, but was skeptical about the second. Well, I was right to be skeptical since the second was more of the first, but with ten times more cheese. The movie is quite short and the action curtailed. The plot is flimsy and the movie physics poor. The daughter is not believable and Famke Janssen's rack is about her only positive quality. Her acting has gone downhill since the X-Men movies.
Not much about this movie makes sense, but the Istanbul scenery is cool.
I often stream short animated movies while I eat dinner and usually the Batman ones are entertaining enough that I don't feel cheated. This movie doesn't have the usual voices and it was distracting. Some of the animation was up to snuff, but most felt rushed. The plot was predictably stupid, but there wasn't the same amount of detective work as in most Batman movies.
I really enjoyed Abraham's first two Dagger and Coin novels so I had high hopes for this book, but it fell a bit short of expectations. The first two-thirds was engaging, but the last third fell flat. During the last third I lost interest in the characters and the outcome of their scheming. The magic was also poorly explained.
I am neutral on this book, but will check out the rest of the series to see if he finds his groove.
I don't think I could've streamed a more Easter-inappropriate movie. This movie combines the cheese of a spaghetti western with the production value of a porno. The dialogue sucks and the acting is terrible. However, the movie is full of naked women shooting people so I'm alright with it.
I've mostly recovered from my Dr. Seuss Day food orgy, but I'm not quite on schedule. I've been eating better lately, but still indulge in wheat, dairy and sugar. I've been exercising fairly regularly, but not every day. Given my level of nervous energy, I need to do something to induce sweat seven days a week. The good news is the warming weather means I can get out and jog/run and I can get out on my bike.
The plots showing good downward trends:
My main goal is to get stronger every day, but I'd like to see the waist and body fat measurements start trending downward.
I bought a digital tape measurer so my body measurements should be more precise.
Yesterday I had my 2012 performance review. It went well which is not surprising considering I was promoted last October. I'm getting my full bonus target which is quite substantial. The question now is what to do with all that money? "But Jeremy, you have a mortgage, a 401k loan, a personal loan, etc.?" Uh...yeah, but I'm also stupid with money.
My new plan for extra money which also includes patent rewards and the extra two paychecks is a year is to firstly pay off all credit card debt. I then split whatever is left over thusly: one-third for other debt (mentioned above), one-third for my emergency fund and one-third for something cool.
As for something cool, I've narrowed it down to a gun, an indoor rowing machine and a HD home theater receiver. I think I'm too mentally unstable to own a gun and a new receiver would necessitate new speakers so I'll get an indoor rowing machine. There is one at the club where I play squash, but it would be more convenient for me to have one at home to use whenever I want. Rowing is a great fully body exercise and a really nice machine would be about a grand. It would also hold value and I'm not sure if I'm going to renew my club membership.
The cool money will have some leftover to spend in Portland on new indoor basketball shoes, an adventure hat, bike pedals, bike shoes and a bike helmet. As you can read, I spend most of my "free" money on health and sports which is not such a bad thing.
Today marks the end of Lent. While I'm not Catholic or even religious, I like to participate since I think it's good to sacrifice. This year I gave up alcohol and social media. I went seven years without drinking so giving up alcohol was no big deal. Even when I do drink, it's rarely and lightly.
Giving up social media was not quite what I expected. I was able to wean myself from lusting after the hotties on Fitocracy, but I did miss using Facebook and Twitter. I'm only on Facebook to keep up with extended family, but I was surprised to learn I missed tweeting my random thoughts. My brain is always running and lots of thoughts are swirling around so I guess Twitter is a good outlet for me.
I'm just going to use Fitocracy to track my activities/progress and will try to avoid spending time checking out pictures. It's not good for me to lust after women who are neither available nor geographically convenient. I'm trying to reduce the amount of wanting I do so I can be more satisfied with what I already have.
Last night, for the first time I can remember, I got a mark in every frame. I ended up with a 182 which is pretty good, but could've been more if I had been able to get some strikes instead of a mess of spares.
I guess this movie won an Oscar, but I thought it was just slightly above average. The movie was well acted, but there wasn't enough doubt in the ending to create any real drama or tension. I didn't read up on the deviations from reality, but some scenes felt over the top.
I didn't really enjoy the first novel so I'm not sure why I wasted a Kindle lending library slot on the sequel. I wasn't regretting my decision until about a third of the way through when the story went from fairly interesting to ridiculous. There was a bit of redemption in the end, but not enough to convince me Richards has much talent. He took an interesting scenario and beat it to death with cheese corniness. He wasn't able to create depth in his relationships and his characters seemed one-dimensional.
I'm starting to really like these Dresden Files novels by Butcher. There is the right combination of violence, magic and smart assery. Butcher is good at creating believable characters in a believable world. He did a bit more recapping in this novel than in ones past, but the story doesn't suffer overly much.
Abraham's second Dagger and Coin novel is another solid effort with more than enough intrigue, plot twists and violence. In Cithrin, he has created one of the more interesting characters of fantasy literature. While Abraham doesn't have Abercrombie's gift for describing gritty violence, I think he captures the action well enough.
The world he has created has enough magic to be interesting, but not enough to cross over into the absurd. Perhaps I'm too much of an engineer.
I highly recommend this book, this series and this author.
Well, the Wheel of Time series has finally ended for me as I finished the fourteenth and final volume this afternoon. I only had two weeks to read it because it's a new library book, but I was able to polish it off in one with most of the damage done last weekend. I probably read it too quickly since it's all mashed together in my head, but I can always reread the series later.
I found the ending satisfactory if a bit inconsistent with what Jordan had set up with the earlier books. This book really felt more like Sanderson's interpretation of how Jordan wanted it to end than Sanderson completing a few chapters here and there. The battles were better described, but some of the characters didn't feel right.
I recommend this book to anyone who has started the series.
I like to be able to do as many sports as possible so I bought some handball gloves and a ball last weekend. I wasn't able to try it out after squash because of a handball tournament. I gave it a go this morning and it's tough. It looks pretty simple - use your hand to hit a bouncy ball towards a wall. Well, I didn't know the bouncy ball has all the softness of a golf ball. Even with a hot water rinse and gloves, my fingers are still swollen.
I practiced hitting the ball for about twenty minutes and got good enough where I could hit it a couple of times in a row. I whiffed quite a bit and I expect my hand-eye coordination to improve immensely. My hands are also going to be tough as well and that's always a good thing.
My goal is to practice for 20-30 minutes every time at the Court Club.
Today I did the LYTP bodyweight exercises as part of my warm up. I approached the bar to squat and my shoulders started barkin' before I even touched it. I wasn't able to get my hands in position to high-bar squat let alone low-bar. I thought I'd try overhead squatting, but that position puts even more stress on the shoulders.
I ended up doing some bodyweight squats instead. They're better than nothing, but not by much. I'll keep up with the LYTP and see how it goes. It my thoracic mobility does not improve, I'll find a physical therapist.
I'm definitely disappointed with and frustrated by this situation, but such is life.
While this season was entertaining, I'm starting to think I need to evaluate this show on its own merits and not on how faithfully it follows the books. Season 1 had some deviations and omissions, but Season 2 was only loosely based on the books. While I appreciate all the titties and female nudity, the violence to nudity ratio was low. Battles are hinted at and it smells more like cost-cutting than art. The ones that are shown seem a bit off.
I still recommend this show, but not quite as much as I did during Season 1.
Today is a barbell lifting day which means squats. I have tight shoulders so it's tough for me to get my arms into position with even high-bar (the bar resting on the traps) let alone low-bar. I'll be damned if my lateral deltoids didn't start screaming when I tried to do just the bar (20kg). I was able to plow through 45, 65 and 75lbs, but couldn't even unrack 95lbs. It's frustrating because my legs and trunk are strong enough to do much, much more, but my shoulders are not flexible enough to hold the bar in position. Fudge.
I'll check my ego and drop down to an empty bar until I strengthen my shoulders up. It's disappointing for sure, but it is what it is. Hopefully I can get them up to snuff within a couple of weeks.
I've heard Louis CK is one of the funnier dudes around, but I haven't heard his routine so I streamed it while I ate dinner. His comedy is smart, but I didn't laugh as much as I thought I would. I was thrown off a bit when he would laugh before a joke since I prefer more deadpan humor. His accents are also a little ignoring.
I'll check out some of his other stuff, but I much prefer Chappelle.
I've now completed five Stronglifts workouts and I feel pretty damn good. I added shoulder dislocations twice a day to loosen up my shoulders so they don't bark as much during squats. I've only been doing them for a couple of days now, but squatting was a little easier this morning. I took a video of a squat to check bar placement and the bar's path. I think I've got the bar in a good low-bar position, but I'm leaning a little too far forward. I'm going to start using a tennis ball to keep my chin down which should help keep my chest up. I will also focus on going deep, but the field of view wasn't enough for me to check depth.
I feel stronger and I'm starting to build some noticeable strength which is always appreciated. The downside is all this testosterone has me wanting to fight and fuck. I can take some boxing lessons to help with the first and maybe getting into better shape will help with the second. It's hard to say. I know there must be single women around here, but I haven't yet been able to put myself in a position to meet them. I see some fit hotties at CrossFit when I'm at the court club, but I prefer to lift by myself on my own schedule. I also like playing sports and can't afford two memberships.
Maybe one of these hotties will notice me watching and will come up to talk to me. Heh. More likely just to tell me not to be a creep, but there is usually an audience so I think I'm safe.
I thoroughly enjoyed Butcher's third Harry Dresden novel for many of the same reasons as the first two - engaging plots, witty dialogue and background information teased out bit by bit. I like how he refers to actions which happened before the books or between them without fully recapping them. It feels like how you would get to know someone in real life.
This book had a couple of slow parts, but the ending fully compensated. I highly recommend this book and the series in general.
Last weekend I ate a bunch of crap in honor of Dr. Seuss Day and because I felt like it. I got cake, pop, cookies, lasagna, etc. It all tasted great going down, but since then I've been farting, sharting and crapping up a storm. The dairy and sugar have combined to give me sinus headaches and I feel depressed from all the wheat.
I had to hurry back home today from work because I felt like I was going to chunder all over my colleagues in a meeting this morning. I took some travel medication which knocked me right the fook out. I slept for maybe a couple of hours, but it was enough to calm my gut.
I know this story is anecdotal evidence at best, but it's definitely good reason why I shouldn't deviate from a Paleo lifestyle.
Today marked my third barbell training session and my second legs day. I was able to squat and deadlift a plate on Sunday, but struggled this morning since my shoulders are stiff from yesterday's overhead pressing. My legs are strong enough to squat more than 200lbs, but my shoulders aren't flexible enough to hold my elbows up which is necessary for low-bar squatting and that's the only kind I want to do.
I can't remember why I limited my deadlifting this morning, but I have to remind myself I'm trying to get stronger and not just lift more weights since they aren't quite the same thing. Proper weightlifting involves many muscle and connector groups and it's the connectors I need to strengthen. I risk injury by adding too much weight too quickly, but it sucks to be lifting less than the petite women on Fitocracy. I'll get stronger eventually, but need to be patient and humble since it's not a race.
This morning marked the first time for barbell squatting and barbell deadlifting for me. I've been reading Rippetoe's Starting Strength to learn how to do them properly. I highly recommend this book because he goes into the mechanical reasons why you want to do the exercises his way.
I was able to do 135lbs x 5 for a few sets for each. I could've gone heavier for sure, but I didn't want to overdo my first day because the proper technique recruits many muscles and some of mine are probably not strong enough. I noticed I wasn't locking my wrists on the heavier squats which means some of the load bearing was done with the arms rather than with the back. Not good.
The deadlift wasn't too bad, but I'm going to have to toughen up my shins so I can drag the bar completely vertically.
Both of these exercises work the legs, the hips and the back. I'd say I'm the sorest in the groin and the upper back because was getting good depth on my squats (looked like beyond parallel) and was able to keep my chest up during the deadlifts.
There are women on Fitocracy who outlift me considerably, but I think I can catch up pretty quickly. I just need to make sure every rep is done with good form.
Tomorrow I'll do bench press and overhead press. Once I develop some more strength, I'll add in the power clean and then will fill out my workouts with planks, push ups, pull ups and chin ups. Maybe some box jumps as well if I'm not too gassed from the squats.
I've been celebrating by eating all sorts of crap. I didn't just fall off the Paleo bandwagon; I blew it up. I've had a ton of wheat, dairy and sugar so far and will have lasagna, bread and soda for dinner, cake for dessert and a banana split for a second dessert. Heh. I figure it's all right to cheat now and then and, if I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right.
I'll watch a Blazers game tonight and then call it a day.
I streamed this double feature while waiting for my lasagna to cook. Both are animated and are fairly short. The first featured the Hulk brought to and unleashed upon Asgard. The second featured Weapon X trying to recruit the Hulk and Wolverine getting in the way.
The animation is decent, but the dialogue was a bit weak. The Thor one had a decently clever way of explaining a Rage Incarnate Hulk, but the second one felt rushed.
If you're looking for something mindless to kill some time, give these a shot, but don't go out of your way.
My mom talked enough about this show that I thought I'd give it a try. It's fookin' awesome. I like detective/spy stories and I like violence and I like ass and titties and this show has it all. The mom is bangably hot and Clare Danes is alright too.
The show has plenty of plot twists so you won't get bored and I'm ready for the second season to roll around.
When this movie hit the theaters, I wonder why they bothered making a fourth Bourne movie without Damon. Well, having seen it, I now wonder why I was stupid enough to watch it. The Damon Bourne movies were fast paced with a significant amount of intrigue which kept you on the edge of your seat. They were also well paced with character depth. This movie? Well, a few people got punched, but that was about it. I didn't care about the characters and the plot felt cobbled together. The first half of the movie was slow background setup.
This movie felt like a cash grab riding on the coattails of the real Bourne movies and I do not recommend it. The requisite fruit cart seen also came way too late.
I enjoyed Butcher's Codex Alera series, but I'm starting to enjoy his Dresden Files just a bit more. I like the irreverence and the witty dialogue. The magic satisfies Sanderson's Law and the stories are engaging. I'm normally not a big fan of vampires and werewolves, but the modern day setting is enough to turn the tables.
Butcher has a good feel for pace and his characters are believable and have depth. I also like how he's teasing out Dresden's background book by book rather than by spilling it immediately. It leaves you satisfied, but ready for a bit more.
I highly recommend this book, this series and this author.
I finally got around to doing another workout from my Namaste: Season 1 DVD. Episode 2 was a little easier for me to follow than episode 1, but I was still several beats too slow. The show was advertised as being suitable for a beginner, but there are a lot of poses I don't know like monkey pose. Also, it would be nice to show the full body of the people doing the routine so I can follow along. Don't tell me to get into monkey pose if it involves the legs, but you're only showing the upper body. Besides, the women doing the workout have awesome legs and asses, but not a lot going on up top.
I felt fairly relaxed after doing the workout and perhaps a bit more centered. I'll definitely continue, but I need to find a way to do the routines while trying to follow along with my eyes.
I streamed this movie during dinner tonight and it was pretty decent. I prefer Marvel over DC because the DC folk tend to be ovepowered, but this movie kept things under control. The voices for Batman and Superman were the usual ones, but I didn't like the celebrity ones for Darkseid and Supergirl.
The animation was decent and the streaming quality great.
I recommend this movie if you're a fan of comic book superheroes.
I finished streaming the second season a couple of days ago. I watch an episode while I eat dinner because the show doesn't require a lot of concentration. The first season was good, but the second season is just weird and I can see why it soon was canceled.
I'm not Catholic nor am I religious, but I like to give something up for Lent. This year I'm giving up alcohol and interacting with strangers online. The first one is easy to explain, but the second one is a little more complicated. I think I need to focus on people I actually know rather than pining away for chicks I only know online.
This season was jam-packed with a convoluted plot. I wasn't sure how it was going to tie together to lead to a fifth season, but the writers found a way that surprised me (which is hard to do) and one which wasn't a deus ex machina.
There were plenty of titties, lots of violence and solid acting. I'm not a fan of the actress who plays Tara, but the rest of the cast does a great job. It's weird seeing bit characters from the Shield, but they're both FX shows so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.
I highly recommend this season and this series. It will not disappoint.
I've neglected this blog a bit because I've been spending on a lot of time on Fitocracy which I found out about from a Fark thread. It has some stupid social media aspects, but I've learned a lot about fitness there and there are a lot of really hot ladies. I prefer women with meat on their bones and that's what you get when you do a lot of deadlifts and squats.
I was previously against weight training because I thought it's hard on the joints and unnatural, but now I see there are plenty of weight training exercises which mimic real life situations. The farmer carry is an obvious example and you could imagine squatting down under something and lifting it up and out of the way. I belong to a court club which has a weight room, but I prefer to workout early in the morning (~5AM) by myself so I don't have to wait for equipment to free up. I've got a decent set up for body weight exercises, but just cleaned out a portion of the unfinished part of my basement. I had all the moving boxes there, but moved them elsewhere (I'll eventually break them down for recycling) and put down exercise flooring last night. Why? Because I pre-spent my tax refund on a squat rack, 400lbs of weight plates, farmer carry bars and a bench. I'll be able to do all sorts barbell exercises which should lead to some pretty quick strength gains since my frame can handle a fair amount of bulking. Deadlifts should increase my core strength which will come in handy during basketball.
I have been doing the 666 program which is helping to build some strength, but not quickly enough for my tastes. I am still going to do some of the progressions because I really want to be strong enough to do a muscle up and a handstand push up. I'm able to attempt one armed push ups and my dips are solid, but I still need work on my pull ups since I put on Fat Gripz to improve hand, wrist and forearm strength. My wrists are fairly narrow for my frame which will kill my dreams of being a professional boxer, but also limit quite a number of exercises.
As for the barbell work, I think I'll start out with the 5/3/1 program because it seems pretty straightforward and I don't know any better. I have no idea what my four rep maxes are, but it'll be easy to find out.
I'm still trying to follow a Paleo diet, but I fell off the wagon in Australia and haven't been diligent since I got back. I definitely can feel the ill effects of wheat, dairy and sugar, but they are still damn tasty.
I'm tracking my visual progress in this album. I'm stronger than I look, but certainly not "cut" or "ripped." I think having those as the only goal is a bit bromo so my main goal is overall health and strength gain without sacrificing flexibility.
I'm still hovering close to my short-term target of 20% body fat, but haven't been able to break the wall. I think I can get there within a couple of months with increased strength training and a renewed focus on nutrition.
Being able to stream movies from Netflix means I'll probably watch more. That's probably a bad thing, but we'll see.
Anyhow, tonight I streamed an animated movie about The Avengers. It was a team-origin movie with a heavy focus on Captain America. This movie came out in 2006 and seemed to be the basis for the 2012 live-action blockbuster since the plot was similar.
The animation was acceptable, but I didn't care for the portrayal of Thor and Bruce Banner. I much prefer the Banner from the live-action movie since he seemed more real and more multi-dimensional. The animated one just seemed like a little bitch.
All in all, I recommend this movie, but there's no need to rush out to see it.
Earlier this year I went with my parents to visit Australia. As many of you know, my brother married a woman from Tasmania so we went there to visit some of her family and then went over to Port Macquarie, NSW on the mainland (mid north coast). I was gone for about seventeen days and it was one of the better trips of my life. Australia is awesome. Sure, it takes a long ass time to get there, but it's definitely worth it. The people there are awesome - kind and laid back with a great sense of humor. I don't think I had a bad meal there and we ate a bit randomly. Australia also has some unique wildlife and plants - 80% of which are found nowhere else.
I was there for a long ass time and saw less than one millionth of the places to go so I'll definitely have to go back.
My trip got off to an ignominious start since Albany got two inches of snow the morning I started my vacation. Now, you'd think a northern city like Albany could handle a small amount of snow and you'd be mostly correct. I boarded my flight on time, but sat on the plane for more than an hour while they de-iced it and then waited longer for a knucklehead to shovel the snow from around the plane's tires. Of course, we landed in Dulles ten minutes after my flight to LAX was supposed to take off. There were a few of us going to LAX on the Albany flight so they held it for fifteen minutes which means we missed it by five minutes. Awesome. I was booked on to the next flight which ate all about an hour of my margin in LAX before my flight to Sydney.
Fortunately, my flight to LAX landed ten minutes early and I was able to hustle over to the Virgin Australia counter where they allowed me to get on the flight. I got through security and was on the plane a full ten minutes before it was scheduled to leave. Phew. Missing it would've meant a huge hassle.
The plane ride was long and boring. I tried to sleep, but had trouble. There was an old lady in the aisle seat who couldn't get up so I had to climb over her when I wanted to use the toilet. Super sweet. At least the food was pretty good.
Yeah, I lost a day traveling and due to the time change. Weird eh? We landed in Sydney at early o'clock and went through customs without any trouble. We spent roughly two hours in the airport before our flight to Launceston, Tasmania. I spent this time trying hard not to fall asleep because the secret to avoiding jet-lag is to get on local time as quickly as possible.
The flight to Launceston was mostly empty, but I was seated next to two hotties and I spent the short flight trying not to fall asleep and trying not to get caught looking at their impressive racks. There was some good scenery out the window as well.
Some of my SiL's family met us at the airport and helped us drive into town. It took a while to organize the caravan and to make sure my dad knew what to do driving on the left side of the road. We checked in to our bed and breakfast. My dad and I walked to the grocery store to get some food and then we relaxed until mid-afternoon when we went over to my SiL's maternal grandmother's house for "tea." Now "tea" in Australia can mean many different things like just tea or tea with food or food, but I never got my decoder ring to work. There we met up with the rest of my SiL's family. I had met most at my brother's wedding, but it was good to see them again.
We ate and drank and then went back. I think I hit the hay at 8PM and got a reasonable amount of sleep.
My dad, my SiL's step-dad and I walked over to Cataract Gorge and hiked one of the loops there. It's right in the center of Launceston and offers some awesome views of the Tamar River and surroundings. It was good to get out and get some work in since I had spent most of the previous two days cooped up in airplanes.
After we got back, I got cleaned up and then we walked a few blocks to Beer Fest. There I had wallaby and a mess of local beer and cider. I always thought of Australians as heavy beer drinkers, but the ones in Tasmania mainly drank cider and mixed drinks. I was with my SiL's half-sister, her husband and their friends so it was good to be in some younger company. We listened to music and drank.
My family plus my SiL's family possed up and visited a raspberry farm, a dairy and a chocolate factory. What's strange is you weren't allowed to see much and it was Sunday so the chocolate factory was idle. I did eat some tasty food. I normally avoid dairy, but am less strict when I'm out and about. It's a good thing because Tasmania cheese is really fookin' tasty. I also experienced scallop pie for the first time.
I drove in Australia for the first time and it wasn't too bad. They have a lot of signs reminding you which side to be on and traffic coming the other direction definitely reminds you. The only difficulty is in locating controls in the car (all backwards) and in properly tracking in your lane.
That afternoon we had a barbecue at my SiL's mother's house. It's up in the hills and is well laid out with a great garden. It was summer in Australia so lots of stuff was growing. We grilled up a lot of different kinds of meat and fish, but I was forced to over cook the fish because some people don't appreciate non-dry wish. Heh. The food was great and drank some more cider. I really developed a taste for pear cider there.
On Monday, we possed up again to drive east to the coast near Wineglass Bay. My dad, my SiL's half-sister, her husband and I hiked around and we got a couple of chances to get in the ocean. The water was reasonably warm, but the sand was fairly coarse. On that hike, I got within a foot of a wallaby eating someone's sandwich and also got a rare glimpse of the douchebag tourist. This dude and his hoochie practically walked right into the wallaby and were dressed as if they were out clubbing.
In one of the towns where we stopped for a snack, they had bricks commemorating the first convicts. The bricks gave names, the crime committed and the length of the sentence. When you think of the convicts sent to Australia, you'd assume violent criminals, but most of the bricks were for people caught stealing two rabbits or a pocket watch or something equally minor. It seems England was determined to thin out its growing under-class and thought Australia was a good place to send them. Since these criminals earned jack diddly, they couldn't afford passage back when their sentence was up.
My parents requested a down day, but my SiL's half-sister cut my hair that morning and I walked with her around town while she priced out iPhone 4s for her mom's birthday present. My SiL's half-sister is wicked cool (and wicked hot, but she's married) and is my kind of people. She doesn't take any crap, but is really nice which I guess describes most Australians.
My dad and I walked around the river a bit, but there wasn't much to see and it wasn't as green as indicated.
My family and I drove over to visit my SiL's father who is a bit of a loner. He's a little weird at first, but opens up pretty quickly and is cool. I definitely see where my SiL got some of her sense of humor.
We had a late breakfast and then hit the road to go into the Cradle Mountain area. We didn't have time to go up to the summit, but my dad, my SiL's father and I hiked up to Marion's Lookout. It was fairly steep and had chains to hold on to. I beat them up there by a good fifteen minutes, but we had enough time to do the loop.
We drove back to Launceston, got cleaned up and then went over to my SiL's paternal grandmother's place for dinner which was tasty. We got a sense of Launceston's middle class as well.
My dad and I hiked the longer loop in Cataract Gorge and then we all went out for dinner to say our goodbyes.
My family and I flew from Launceston to Sydney. We then drove about 200 miles to Port Macquarie which is still in NSW, but close to the border with Queensland. The scenery was good, but it took a long ass time to get out of Sydney because it's about the size of LA and a lot of people were headed out of town for the holiday weekend.
Australia Day. It felt more like Memorial Day than the Fourth of July even though it celebrates when the convicts first landed. The aboriginals call it "Invasion Day" and I don't blame them.
We were close to the beach so my dad and I walked around for a bit.
It started pouring because a tropical storm or cyclone or something (Oswald?) was off-shore. Since we were on vacation, we toughed it out and went to the koala hospital which was awesome. I mean, it's not awesome the koalas were hurt enough to be there, but it was cool to get pretty close to them. They're pretty weird looking, but well-adapted to Australia.
The next stop was a littoral rainforest. We walked along the boardwalk and I learned all about eucalpyts and strangler figs and the weird things which grow in Australia. The walk was fairly short, but was invigorating since it was warm and raining.
We then went to a lighthouse down the coast, but didn't stay long because of the weather. It was really fookin' windy as well.
On Monday, it was pouring buckets again, but we were determined to get out and about. We drove out to see some waterfalls, but were only able to get close to one because of trees downed across the roads.
My dad and I hiked down to the waterfall through the forest. We were warned at our lunch time spot about leeches, but thought nothing of them because they usually only get you when you're in a lake or something. Because of the rain, the falls were overflowing so it was definitely worth getting soaked.
We de-leeched on the way back which was a new experience for me. The suckers have a strong grip so you need to dessicate them with salt. I'll now pack salt with me any time I go camping or hiking because those guys are jerks.
Even though I hiked in shorts and my dad in pants, he got attacked more.
It finally stopped raining. I guess Port Macquarie got 400mm of rain in three days which is something like 14 inches which is a buttload. My dad and I took advantage of the weather to do most of the coastal walk which is close to 11 miles. We saw goannas, birds and brush turkeys. We also saw a lot of the ocean, but we couldn't go in because the storm filled the coastal waters with silt and funk.
We drove up North Brother to check out the view and then hit a winery for a reason which escapes me.
On our last full day in Port Macquarie, we drove up to Southwest Rocks which is an awesome place. There are cool rocks and nice beaches up there. I was stupid and didn't bring my swim trunks so I didn't get in the ocean.
We drove back to Sydney and spent the night at a hotel near the airport.
We left Sydney and I got to have two Saturdays because of the time change. Due to an unfavorable flight schedule, I had a fourteen hour layover in LAX. I could've gotten an earlier flight, but I wasn't sure I could clear customs in time to catch it. Of course, I got through customs in less than thirty minutes. I tried to get on the flight, but it was full. I know people in LA, but they were either busy or out of town. Oh well, I survived and took the red-eye to Chicago. I was smart and had upgraded to first class when I bought the ticket. Well, we were on a 777 which has three classes so I initially had a business class line-flat seat, but was upgraded all the way to first class because two brothers wanted to sit next to each other. A red-eye isn't the best opportunity to live up "international" first class, but I actually was able to sleep for a couple of hours.
I brought back a bunch of Tim Tams for colleagues so I indicated I brought back food from Australia on my customs form. The customs guy asked what I brought and when I replied, "Cookies," he just said "Tim Tams." It was funny because it wasn't a question; he knew exactly what kind of cookies people would bring back.
I got back to Albany mid-morning and was awake enough to catch the Super Bowl.
Out-of-order picture vomit can be found here. My photography skills are still a work in progress, but I tried to capture the natural beauty found there. I can't emphasize how much fun I had and how much I'd like to go back. My SiL's family is awesome.
My memory isn't good enough to remember everything so I think I'll take notes next time.