Sunday, March 27, 2011

Up the Mountain

Since I had the weekend off (first time in a long while), I decided it would be a good idea to head up Mount Hood. It was about a 2hr drive and the drive up was pretty entertaining. I have never really been up a actual mountain (with snow) so this was something new to me.





I had planned on taking a snowboarding lesson at a place in Government camp. But I got there too late to start. It was a big disappointment, but I will be going back in a week or two to attempt it. I have a feeling I'd be the oldest person in the beginning class but growing up in the south didn't exactly present many opportunities to go snowboarding. The people there were actually really nice and even willing to show me the basics, although I couldn't get into the class. I didn't accept it vowing to return to get an actually lesson. Any advice on what to expect when I finally do get a lesson? Sorry for the short post but I will be updating in a few days with some goings on. I already know I need goggles and possible better pants.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Milestone #1

So lately work has been kicking my ass. Changing shifts to early morning and what not has thrown me off. I haven't been able to get to the gym every night and have been attempting to go every other day at least. But I did get a chance to weigh in today and finally hit a milestone. I have lost 30lbs, according to the scale here, since I started this. I defiantly have more muscle tone in my legs and arms but stomach still is in need of help. So I will keep going and hopefully soon I can reach under 200lbs for the first time in well a long time. As far as 5k training goes, I haven't had time to lately but I am working on setting up training for it. I plan on reading up beginning running and possible getting my running analyzed so I can find out if I pronate or have other issues I don't know about. Sorry for the short update will post more when I have time!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Running or the lack of

So through my work there are some sponsored 5k runs that they provide free entry into. I have decided I might attempt a 5k but needed to get into running. Now I have no problem doing three miles on a setting of thirteen on an elliptical. I can usually average 5.1mpg on that setting but I attempted to run on a treadmill only to be struck down. I am thinking maybe I should start slower and work my way up but maybe I can get some advice on that later.

My issue is when I started running on the treadmill I could feel immediately what I'd describe as shin splits. It wasn't a horrible pain until I got about a mile in and I had to stop. Now I have to say I have not ran ever in my life and that could be part of my problem. I stopped after a mile, or 10 minutes 20 seconds in, and after about 5 minutes or so of resting the pain went away. I have decent shoes , Adidas Super Nova Glide 2, which have nice cushion and support. I am not sure if I need more arch support but I don't feel I need it. If anyone has suggestions on how to avoid shin splits let me know. I am also looking at how to get into running not as permanent thing but to participate in a 5k sometime.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dragon Age II

So I had taken some time to finally play Dragon Age 2. What can I say about it.... Its damn awesome but has its flaws. I enjoy the graphics and the cuts scenes so far, especially after killing mobs and being covered in blood. I have to give credit to the quick switching and setting of the battle system. Being able to set an NPC to attack or be a defend is nice so you don't have a Mage constant charging into battle to tank. It's also great to have the tank being able to defend other NPCs besides sitting there swinging a sword. Also if you haven't seen or heard about the facebook game Dragon Age legends it allows you to earn in game items for a simple version online (which are alright as far as rewards go). The graphics are great and the cut scenes allow the options of responses. I am not sure if the responses actually change the game but I defiantly feel like. Another great thing is the talents systems, which allow you to specialize in new different types. For mages can be healers or even specialize in fire / ice. I still have a bit to go so not sure if you will be able to complete all the specialization skills but either way makes it unique.

Now the bad. The combat system is great except for the AI of the party members. It can get annoying if you have a Mage to set to heal it doesn't exactly keep up with the task. I understand it has a cool down but I have come across many times switching to Mage and seeing it being able to be used when my character is almost dead to find it ready to use. Another issue that bothers me is all the junk items you find that you cannot sell or do anything with besides take up space. I will be honest I haven't gotten into the crafts like potions and stuff so I could be missing out. One huge issue I have is the quest system. When you accept a quest and are in zone, it has no way of showing which you are headed towards. Now it does show you before zoning but once in there, especially if more than one quest is in the zone, it can be annoying.
I love the game and will recommend it to anyone even if you haven't played the first one. If you have doubts about the game and enjoy other RPG give this one a shot and sit back because it's a great ride.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weight Update

So It has been over a week since I started posting about my weight loss goal and thought I'd share a short update. I have been going to the gym regularly with cardio and weight. I have been pushing 45 minutes on the elliptical and ranging  anywhere from 3.35 miles to 3.75 miles and burning between 580 -640 calories. I have been maintaining about 1800 - 2000 calorie intake.  I have been combining cardio to included upper body work out. I have seen a  bit of change in muscle definition in my legs and arms compared to months ago. My stomach still has fat that I want to get rid of but has come down in size. I have also added crunches to my routine. Now I know I have a ways to go still but I have done down from  211 to 206ish. When I say 206ish I mean depending on the time I weighed myself it varied from 207.2 to 205.4. So I took an average of the weight to come up with 206lbs. I am hoping that over the next few weeks I can get reach 200lbs and lose some more fat while gaining muscle.  If anyone as advice as far as what to throw in my workout let me know.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Serious Lawn Mowing


  Today I had but one goal in mind, to mow the jungle that has emerged in the yard. Now I am sure you probably are saying to yourself "It can't be that bad, it's just grass". Well you are correct, it is just grass but here in the Northwest its always wet. Meaning that to in order to cut dry grass in the winter you'd have to wait a couple days of sunny skies. Even then days are usually filled with spotty showers. I don't want it to sound like living in the northwest is nothing but rain but after living in the south I can say it does rain a bit more often.  This wouldn't be a problem but this grass that covers the yard is excessively thick and one way or another it had to be cut. 

  Normally getting to a lawn mower is a simple task of heading to the garage and removing it. But I should note I have a slight fear of spiders. I can view them from a distant and not care but being within a close range I get uncomfortable.  I headed out to the garage and the first thing I noticed was this spider in the corner. I would have just left it alone but there is a latch on the door which has to be unlocked and his web was blocking it.  This spider had defiantly had his cool face on saying "Problem?" as I eyed the lock.  After seeing him I had to go back and get the spray, as I couldn't have it climbing down on me as I opened the door.  

 Before I hear that I should not have sprayed the spider and they are vital to the ecosystem, you need to understand a few things. The yard and house has excessive spiders, I mean a lot of them. I often find them all around the house and in the summer I have to be careful even leaving the house. Now I sprayed down the door only seeing the one in the corner.  I left it alone for about 10 minutes and go back outside to open the door. There are 5 decent size spiders all hanging dead from their webs. I promptly clean them up and remove the lawn mower.

 I spent the next two hours mowing the yard. Now I wasn't joking when I said the grass is excessively every two passes it required me to stop and clear the blade.It is partly due to the fact the grass is just wet and clumps together so well.
  
I finished the backyard and finally was wrapping up the yard work when I was headed back to the garage door. Being confident I had killed the spiders I went to walk through the door way. Now as if I was in some kind of comic, as soon as I walked through the door what hit my face? A damn spider and I kind of freaked out a little. Swatting my face vigorously and just plain freaking out.  The good news is I didn't get bit, but am now even more nervous about entering that damn garage. 

On a side note, after freaking out I cooked some delicious grilled pork and yellow rice.I used Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue sauce and if you haven't had it, you need to try it. You probably will not be going back to any other kind of BBQ sauce. Although I am still a bit jumpy from that damn spider incident. 

TL:DR I hate spiders. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Portlandia

Today I had  the privilege of taking a trip to Portland. But what made that trip even better was the fact I was headed to the Adidas Employee Store. I had heard that they usual carry a lot of the stuff you can't find in other stores like Star Wars items. The first thing you notice when coming up on the Adidas campus is the giant campus style shoes which are pretty impressive. There was also a giant Blazers sign plastered on  a side of a building which you pass pulling around to the Employees store. I didn't get a chance to take a photo of it as I was driving but did get a picture of the entrance.

  
When I got inside I saw all the running and training stuff which was nice but I was after the Original items. I found it shortly after fumbling around and saw the jacket I wanted. 

I know, I'm nerdy. I saw this jacket and just couldn't resist buying this jacket. They also had a white storm trooper one but had too much white on it for me to keep clean. Also if you hadn't noticed that is Darth Vader on the left side and the back contains a picture of the Death Star. It is rather badass, and just as nerdy. 

After leaving the store I decided to finally visit a place I had seen on the travel channel show Man vs. Food. This place, The Stepping Stone Cafe, was featured because of its signature Smother B.A.  This enormous item contains a chicken fried steak, with hash browns (with peppers and onions) on top of it, topped with eggs and sausage gravy.  Sure it is a fating meal but it is a damn delicious. They were right in featuring this cafe, as I have never tasted such delicious breakfast. Now of course I'd include pictures. 


If you are ever are in Portland you have to look up Stepping Stone Cafe located at 2390 NW Quimby Street. Now time to finish off that delicious food.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Charlie Sheen

So I am sure most of you at this point have heard of what Charlie Sheen is up to and I gotta say its great. He is making an uproar all over every media station and website on the internet. Everyone is falling for it, its doing nothing but raising his popularity. I think its a great strategy for a long time he was pictured just as a drunk and druggie but not he is becoming a sensation. Sure he is still pictured as crazy but something is working here, he is the second hottest topic according to google trends.

Look at what happened when Brittany Spears shaved her head. People went absolutely nuts over and it was all over the news for weeks about how she is crazy and what not. But I think it was all intentional to call attention as she hadn't been in the spot light in a long time. I think some of these "stars" just crave the attention and do these crazy acts to draw attention so they can be back in the spotlight. I think we can all agree Sheen has a drinking issue if nothing else but I gotta say after watching his live cast on USTREAM, I find all of this funny and excessive. I don't think he is really as bad as people say he just wants attention. I mean he doesn't have Two and a half men anymore so he is trying to fill a void. If you haven't seen his interview go check it out on youtube, you can't take it serious. He talks about smoking a 7 grand rock and winning. Now I don't usually follow celebrities as I don't usually care one way or another but all this Sheen stuff has been hilarious, speaking of which here is a video of a remix I found funny.




Anyways my point of this crappy post is to say: Don't take him serious, all of this is for attention.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Changing Room

I work for a major footwear company at a store located in a mall and often come across "interesting people". Now I am not talking about a weird looking or rude nasty person but more of the "eccentric" persons. I recently had one of these persons come in and ask to use the fitting room to try on clothes. Now normally this isn't an issue nor does it raise any attention  but I knew something was up when this person spoke. If you ever seen a cartoon when they have a guy dress up as a girl and they still have that manly voice, this is what that "lady" sounded like. Now I was expecting a man until I turned around. What I encountered was a 6'2 "lady" with size 12 (at least) feet.
 .
 I don't judge people, if a guy wants to dress like a girl and parade around that's great for them.  I allowed this person in the fitting room with some short, shorts and a tank top, with the hopes they wouldn't come out and ask any questions. Well of course "she" did. Wearing the short shorts and the tank top asking if I had it in a larger size. There is nothing really like seeing that and not in a good way. I think I have been scarred for life thanks to this "lady".  After parading back into the changing room she comes out wearing what she wore in. Thankfully she made her purchase and left after that but the damage was done.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another day, another work out.

So when I posted my first blog about weight loss it was actually written about a week and half ago. I just haven't had the time to post it up. I have been taking that pill every time I go to the gym and if nothing else I feel a little more energy. I have started using the elliptical more (as I hate running on treadmills) and have gone to 45 minutes of non stop. I have jumped up to burning about 600 calories every 45 minutes depending on the amount of energy I have. I should note I have weighed in at about 207lbs and still have a bit to go but seemed to help some if only with the energy I have towards exercise. Well I will update more later when I have time and not exhausted.

Xbox Mod

Since weight loss isn't an over night thing I thought I'd also included other things in this blog besides it. I finally after years decided to mod my xbox using a connectivity kit, as I had a Lite-on version 7 drive. Modding the disk drive to read dual layers disk was relatively straight forward and went very smoothly. The real fun part was doing the case mod. I chose to do a cut out of Boba Fett's symbol on the side and apply plexiglass underneath it.

Below shows the work step by step.

Starting out with stenciled design

Here is the hard work after 6hrs of drimmel and cutting.

First coat of paint.

Second coat of paint.

Final product that needs a bit of touch up.
So after a bit of hard work I am please with how it turned out. I wanted to make it so the disk drive is see through as well but that will wait. it took a total of 10 hours I think ti complete the cut and paint. The hardest part was the sharp corners and areas on the skull right above the tusks.Not much more to say about it, so I'd love to hear some comments.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

First day


Like most I am skeptical of a pill that is supposed to "melt fat away" but I have had friends who have tried other products like Jack3d and loved it . So I figured I'd attempt to give myself a boost in helping me reach my goal of 180lbs by June. But before I go into my rolling review of this product here is a little information about myself.
                 I am a 20 year old male and current weight is 211lbs with a starting weight of 234lbs as of Dec 31st 2010. I just recently joined Anytime fitness and although I don't love working out this gym has made it much easier. I can go anytime and its usually not busy at all. I have been attempting to go twice a day, one in the AM and once in the PM. I have been averaging 30 minutes on the elliptical machine burning anywhere between 250-300 calories. I also spend about 15 minutes on a stationary bike pushing between 100-120 calories. After these work outs I am drained and usually exhausted but I keep pushing through them so that I can reach my goal. I should note that I lost 20lbs with minimal exercise, 3 times a week on a treadmill burning about 300 calories. I made major changes to the portion sizes I was eating, cutting out virtually all snacks.  I tried to stay at about 1700 calories to 2000 calories but like most people I had my bad days of eating more but enough of the intro on to the review.

I was initially skeptical of this product but after reading reviews online I figured it was worth a shot so I went down to my local Rite Aid with a GNC inside and found a bottle of 90 pills on sale for 39.99, no sales tax here (yes I could have gotten it a little cheaper online but I was rather impatient and didn't want to wait for shipping) . I also purchased a multi vitamin as I should have been taking them a long time ago but just never got around to get a bottle. I reach home and immediately open the pill bottle to see these purple pills and think "Huh reminds me of the Nexium commercials". But I read the directions and followed them (taking the first pill on am empty stomach before breakfast).  Within 15 minutes I started to feel very nausea but reading online I saw that I needed to drink more water and after 15 minutes or so of drinking 32oz of water I did start to feel better but I was starving. So I ate some cereal and skim milk feeling full afterwards like usual. At this point I wasn't feeling over energetic but it was time for my AM working at the gym so I head out. I still wasn't feeling anything but as soon as I started my normal workout I started to feel different. I had more energy and was able to push harder on the elliptical then I ever had.  I was pushing around 130 rpm compared to my normal of 116-118 rpm and maintain them for the whole 30 minutes. After the first few minutes I also noticed I was sweating a lot more than normal and by the end of my elliptical workout I had drenched my shirt.  Normally I would feel tired and have to push myself for the 15 minutes on the bike but not this time.  I hopped on the bike and begin the workout extending it to 25 minutes with ease. I could have kept going but work called and ask me to come in. So far I am impressed, I have burned off 560 calories this morning, compared to my normal 350. I'll report in later to see how my work out is after work .