Monday, December 31, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed

I try to watch comedies on my tablet during my plane rides, but I think iTunes miscategorized this one.  It had some funny parts, but was more a weird movie than anything else.  The main actress had a bangable look and some good deadpan acting, but some parts were a bit slow.  I'm not even sure how to describe my reaction to this movie so I'll just say that you shouldn't turn down watching it, but don't go out of your way to do so.

First Lord's Fury by Jim Butcher

I was able to polish off the final book in Butcher's Codex Alera series.  I still believe the series peaked in the middle, but this ultimate book was more entertaining than the previous one.  I think the magic became a little pedestrian and there wasn't enough other stuff to fill the void.  The middle books had some good military action that the later books lacked. 

I also wasn't as interested in the romance in this book as it felt a bit forced.

Still, the series is entertaining and fairly innovating so I recommend this book and Jim Butcher in general.

Namaste Yoga

A work friend recommended I check out Kate Potter's Namaste Yoga series on DVD so I ordered up the first season.  It got good reviews from Amazon and the comments indicated it was suitable for beginners.  Now I've never taken a yoga class, but figured I'd be alright.  I tried to follow along the first episode and it was tough.  The movements are smooth, but fast and I was a good step or two behind the hot women doing the routine.  I feel more relaxed now, but a little frustrated at my inflexibility.  I guess I should try to turn the frustration into motivation since increased flexibility will help me more readily apply sports beatdowns.

Not a bra is to be found so I did get the treat of a lot of nipple action along with some tight asses and hard bellies.  Definitely six to midnight and was one big selling point for me since it's about $4/episode.

I'm a little congested from my air travel yesterday and could hear myself wheezing during these supposedly relaxing moves.  It's all good though and it's one reason why I do this kind of stuff at home rather than by taking a class.

I think I'll try the next episode and see if it builds on the first one or explores new moves.  My colleague does one episode a day in the mornings, but I think I'll shoot for two or three episodes per week since I'm focusing on strength gains.

I'm trying to challenge myself more and yoga will definitely fit the bill.

Fitness update

It's past the last Saturday of the month so it's time for another fitness update.  The holidays are always a tough time for my fitness because of the traveling, the tasty food and the inactivity.  I started the month off well, but hit a snag when I rolled my ankle at basketball a couple of weeks ago.  I was still able to get three sessions of tennis and running in apiece while in Portland along with some pushups and whatnot, but it wasn't enough to overcome the crap I ate.

In the charts below, you can see the holiday uptick, but the ending point isn't too bad.

I think I'll go back to keeping photographic evidence of my progress.  I'm not ashamed of my body, but I know I've got more work to put in until I've reached my goal.

Not a bad financial year

Despite having to take out a personal loan to pay for my new HVAC system, I still ended the year $14k less in debt.  Not too shabby.  My goal for 2013 is to pay down another $30k.  It's ambitious, but worthy goals always are.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


I saw this movie in the theater this afternoon with my mom and my sister-in-law and it didn't do anything for me.  I'm not sure exactly why I didn't like it, but it could be a combination of a stupid plot line, bad movie physics and a lack of typical James Bond elements - hot women with goofy names and cool gadgets.

This movie was the third in a prequel trilogy, but featured a lot of high end computing.  How does that fit in with the other movies?  It would've been cooler if they had set these stories in the past.

The bad guy was creepy, but annoying.

I do not recommend this movie, but I guess a lot of people liked it.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


A friend of mine said this movie is pretty funny, but he's a bigger Family Guy fan than me.  It did feel like an extended live-action Family Guy episode since it had Seth McFarlane's voice and similar jokes.  Family Guy can be funny, but when it's not, it bombs and I felt the same way about this movie.  I watched it on my iPad and laughed a few times, but not even Kunis' smokin' hot body could save me from feeling disappointed.

I do not recommend this movie.

Friday, December 21, 2012


I remember a lot of hype when this movie hit the theaters earlier this year but it bombed and I can see why.  The movie visually awesome, but the plot is weak and the dialogue is even weaker.  Fassbender does an ok job, but there was something slightly off from his performance.

The movie physics was weak as they never explained how they traveled to another solar system in only two years.

No part of the movie was scary and no part was dramatic.  It was also severely lacking in eye candy.

I do not recommend this movie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

Abercrombie is one of my favorite authors and his Circle of the World novels are awesome.  I like gritty fantasy which is heavy on fighting, wenching and drinking and light on elves and dwarves and he doesn't disappoint.  He's just about my favorite fantasy author out there and Red Country is one of his better ones.  Perhaps I'm biased because it features one of my favorite characters, but there is plenty of grit, well-written characters and an exciting plot.

I highly recommend this book.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Orb Sceptre Throne by Ian C Esslemont

Esslemont and Erikson are co-creators of the Malazan world, but the main books are written by Erikson while Esslemont's fill in back stories.  I think I prefer Erikson's writing style, but Esslemont's books are solid.  This one is a bit light on magic and contains a few too many sub-plots for its length.  Esslemont's writing is not as weighty as Erikson's, but he also involves a cast of thousands so it can be difficult to keep track of everyone.

There is plenty of the action from the previous books and a good plot.

All in all, I recommend this solid book.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Son of a gun.

I stepped on someone's foot playing basketball tonight and rolled my left ankle.  I had to leave early because it won't take much weight.  Shucks.  I was just getting back in to my fitness routine and now I need to take it easy for a week.  Fudge.

I'm surprised I made it this far into the season before getting knocked out of commission.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Expendables 2

I enjoyed the first movie, but a friend of mine said this one was a disappointment.  I'm going to have to call shenanigans because I enjoyed it.  It is a bit cheesy, has some pretty piss poor movie physics (wooden bridges exploding!) and weak sauce eye candy, but it has a bunch of action stars from my childhood shooting and kicking bad guys.  Really, what more can you ask for?  There was enough irreverence, blood and one-liners to fill a number of action movies.  The cameos were a bit strange, but it's all good.

Some of these action dudes have aged well, but some just look weird.  The BluRay transfer was a little grainy which was unexpected.

I recommend this movie.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I think I'm going to be sick and it's your fault.

Hot damn I'm ready for my Christmas vacation.  I e-mailed my cousin and I think we'll go snowshoeing around Trillium Lake.  I haven't done it before, but it's supposed to be fun.  It'll be a good workout which is something.

I got my family some good gifts and I'm excited to see what they got me.  I wish I could say I only get greedy during Christmas, but perhaps it's fair to say I get greedier.

I overslept this morning and came to work to find another workstation in my cube which means they're doubling me up.  Super weak.  I know the building is full, but there has to be somewhere else to put new folk.  I'll go squat in an empty cube in the new building so it's not a big deal, but no warning was given.  I don't think companies treat employees like they used to and figure we're just grateful to have a job in this economy.  Perhaps they're right, but fuck that noise.

I'm not happy about missing basketball tonight, but I nearly crapped my pants.  I must've eaten something bad today; perhaps the fruit cup I had as part of lunch.  It's a good thing my Toto toilet is world class as I don't think another brand would've been able to handle the mess I made in there when I narrowly avoided shitting myself.

I can't remember the last time I got a proper night's rest.  Maybe tonight's the night.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's a good thing I don't have a gun in my car.

I'm pretty sure I would've taken a shot at the white trash dude who cut me off this afternoon and then had the temerity to flip me off when I honked at him.

Also, iTunes sucks big time donkey dick.

Saturday morning ramblings

I've had too much dairy this week so I've been battlin' some sinus issues which makes it tough to sleep. I could've slept another two hours this morning, but I got up at 7:15 in order to get ready for squash.  I've had some trouble getting up early the past month or so, but feel much better after I've exercised so I'll need to make sure to do something each morning.

I've dug myself into another financial hole, but it's not as deep as previous ones so I should be ok.  Things'll be a little lean until after Australia, but I can't complain.  My financial discipline comes and goes.

I was disappointed this morning I didn't see a chunk reduction, but perhaps it's because of the crap I had Wednesday night.  I need to bail from work to bowling so I've been getting something there, but they don't have any healthy options.  Too many chicken quesadillas.  I should try to pack something I can eat cold in the parking lot since you can't bring in outside food.

The Wahl colon struck again this morning.  I was doing some burpees after squash this morning near the courts and ripped out some oily stank.  I went over to get my stuff right as some people were exiting the court and could hear them complaining about the stink.  Heh.  I guess it smelled bad enough to go beyond the usual farts.  The Wahl colon is nothing, but a stank factory and I've been feeding it garlic, broccoli and duck fat.

No snow today, but the rain should help with the water level come summer time.  Actually, I don't know if water is an issue around here or not.  In Oregon, you have to deal with California trying to jack the water each year and each year, Oregon, Washington and Idaho tell them where to get off.

I'm definitely ready for my Christmas vacation, but there are still two weeks to go.

There is a Crossfit club in the building where I play squash and I always go over to look since there are often hot women in tight pants.  This morning they were having some sort of competition and I started to wonder how much weight I could lift in my current state.  Probably not as much as I think as I need to work on strengthening my connective tissue.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I like my AdiLight basketball shoes, but they've got a fair amount of plastic in them which means not a lot of give in the toe box.  Somehow the rub against the outsides of my big toes so I've built up some callouses.  Usually that's a good thing, but mine get wicked tender so I tried some moleskin tonight.  Nothing doing.  I suppose I could get some salicyclic acid pads to dissolve them or maybe I could try cutting them off.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thanksgiving visit 2012

This year I decided to surprise my family by flying in to my hometown of Portland, OR.  The night before Thanksgiving, I took a cab from the airport and walked up to my parents' house.  Both cars were there, but the lights were off.  I ran the doorbell a few times, but no one answered.  Normally my folks' dog would go apeshit, but they took him to the doggie hotel earlier that day.  I called their home line from the porch and the conversation went something like the following:

My dad [sleepily] - Hello?
Me - Dad, I'm in big trouble.
My dad - Wuh what?
Me - I really need your help.
My dad - Wuh what's going on?
Me - I'm on your front porch and no one is answering.
My dad - Are you...are you joking?
Me - No, come downstairs and open the front door.

He comes down about 30 seconds later and realizes I'm actually there.  The surprise went pretty well and was definitely worth the $30 cab fare.

I had a great time hanging out with my family, especially my nephew.  He's now crawling and is pretty active.  He likes to bang on stuff and babbles a lot.  He's a baby so he does fuss now and then, but nothing that would piss you off.

My brother and I went to see Portland square off against Minnesota at the Rose Garden the night after Thanksgiving.  I got us good seats and the game was entertaining.  I haven't been to any sporting event more exciting than a home Blazers game.  Even when they suck, the crowd is great.

I ate a lot of tasty food, but a lot of crap as well, but it's a holiday so it's all good.  It actually didn't rain for two days as well which is always appreciated.

Out of order picture vomit can be found here.

First snow of the season

I woke up to snow on the ground yesterday:
 It's all gone now.

Desolation Island by Patrick O'Brian

This Aubrey-Maturin book took me a bit longer to read than the others, but I'm not sure why.  The book is well-written, but perhaps the pacing was a bit off.  There was more intrigue and less sea-action. I guess I'm not as interested in Aubrey's home life as well.

O'Brian definitely knows his sailing and definitely knows 19th century British history.

I recommend this book if you like historical fiction and/or nautical stories.

Feelin' good

I can tell that the Paleo lifestyle is the one for me because I feel much better since I haven't had any intentional wheat since Wednesday night.  The exercise helps, but my head feels much clearer when I'm gluten free.  I put some beer in the slow cooker with my German food, but I think a little gluten isn't going to hurt me.  I also sleep much better when I'm gluten free and that contributes to less grumpiness as well.

I was able to run 4.7 miles this morning without a heel strike.  I tried out my new biking jacket and it worked well.  It's cold and windy out, but I stayed pretty warm.  I need to get some running gloves, but those went on to my Christmas list.  Yeah, I still put a list together for my parents.  So what?  Heh.

I should eat well this week since I browned up ground meat for super nachos.  I saw some rendered duck fat at the grocery store and I like to experiment with different kinds of natural food.  I think it added a nice richness without any overpowering flavor like coconut oil.  I fried up some chicken liver in duck fat this morning for breakfast and it was pretty tasty for sure.

As I mentioned, I've got kielbasa and sauerkraut in the slow cooker and I'll pan fry some shrimp and scallops for lunch today.  Three dishes should be enough to give me some variety this week.  Last week I ate at the cafeteria at work.  The food there is good and I chose wisely, but I still spent about $50.

I finished my Christmas shopping last week and even got myself some stuff.  Heh.  I'm still not disciplined enough to not buy stuff, but it's ok; I'm slowly crawling out of debt.  I've been told I do a good job of getting people stuff and I like to give as much as I like to get.  I think my family will be happy with the gifts.  It was pretty easy to shop for my nephew since he's just a baby and will be more interested in the box than the actual gift.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fitness Update

I'll admit I ate a lot of crap over Thanksgiving and it cost me a bit of fitness.  You can see a bit of an uptick in chunkiness over the past couple of months, but I think I'm back on the wagon and this morning's measurements indicate a loss of two fat pounds.

I'm still not to my intermediate goal of 20% body fat, but I think I can get there with some discipline.  I need to do some kind of exercise every day which gets my heart racing and makes me sweat.  I currently have basketball twice a week and squash once a week, but basketball will end soon.  I usually go running once a week, but I'll probably backfill with burpees and mountain climbers.  They aren't much fun, but are certainly effective.  I wouldn't mind taking some boxing classes as well so I can learn to punch well enough to get my own speed and heavy bags.  I think it would be a great stress reliever and would help get me closer to my goal of being jacked/ripped.  I'm certainly enjoying the process.

I ate a lot of gluten over the holiday and I could tell it was slowing me down since I feel much better now since I haven't had any intentionally since Wednesday night.  I feel pretty good actually and that's always a good thing.

It still amazes me that I've lost nearly 30 fat pounds over the past five years.  I'm embarrassed I chunked out that much, but I think I'm headed in the correct direction.  I definitely do a lot of walking at work because our complex is large.

The Walking Dead: Season 2

While I'm a huge fan of post apocalyptic stories, I'm not a fan of zombies.  However, I still found this season entertaining.  Sarah Wayne Callies is poorly cast for her role and the little kid, Carl, is pretty annoying.  The show could also do with some more eye candy, but it wouldn't be realistic if only the good looking folk survived.

The movie physics are terrible in some of the episodes and it definitely detracts from the zombie killing.  I don't think the producers realize how hard it is to be an accurate shot with a pistol standing let alone from a moving vehicle with zombies all around.

I'll still watch the third season, but I'm not going to bust a nut to do so.

I recommend this season and this show if you like post apocalyptic plots and/or zombies.

The Watch

The Watch was the movie I watched on the way home on my tablet on the plane.  There were some funny parts, but a lot of the jokes fell flat and I think they pushed the envelope a bit far.  I blame the Hangover for convincing viewers that nasty = funny.

Ben Stiller also seems to be able to go an entire movie with just two facial expressions.

I give this movie a lukewarm recommendation.

Princeps' Fury by Jim Butcher

Another installment in Butcher's Codex Alera.  I liked it, but I think the series has gone on for long enough and should've ended with five books.  It's not that the books are getting worse, but nothing new is coming out.  The magic has become a bit routine and the characters are a little rote.

I still recommend this book.