Saturday, January 24, 2015

An Unexpected Surprise

So my buddy Andrew Seely joined us for D&D today but I didn't think anything of it as Dallas has had guest players come in now and then. Before we started he said that Andrew had something to say. Then Andrew turned to me and said with a straight face.. Kenny this is an intervention. I had no idea what was going on, suddenly everyone was looking at me. I started to wonder, what do I need an intervention for. It only lasted a second as a smile crossed his face and others started to laugh. He then handed me his iPad. He told me to swipe to open and read the front page. This is what I saw....

Yes a group of my friends got to together and purchased me 2 months of unlimited classes to NerdStrong. If you don't know what NerdStrong is you can check out their website HERE. In short it's a gym for Geeks and Nerds. My buddy Andrew has been trying to get me to go for months now but since funds are low I haven't been able to join him. But my awesome friends care about me and my health so much that they figured this would be a great way to support me in reaching my goals.

Along with this was another page filled with warm wishes and caring words of encouragement from those to contributed. 

I couldn't believe they did this for me. Never in a million years did I think this was going to happen. I know I have bragged about my amazing friends but I can't say it enough, I have some truly wonderful friends.

I want to thank the following who contributed to this amazing gift. I will do you all proud!!!

Thanks to: Aaron Trahan, Robert F. Ludwick,  Dallas Bloom, Erik Nelson, Matthew Kuhns, Thomas Needham, Hayley Smith, Will Gatlin, Adam Levermore, Brett Trusler, Elea Freidman, Jes Reaves, Scott Meisner, Steven Bustamante, Tamar Curry, Jennifer & Matt Luchsinger, and Andrew Seely.

A New Adventure in Pathfinder Begins

Today we started our fifth adventure for our D&D/Pathfinder game. It's been several months since we finished our last adventure and everyone was really looking forward to coming back (well maybe not our DM Dallas :) Unfortunately we were missing several key players who couldn't join us for this session but we did our best to survive.

Will's character Ginnion went missing (he was one who couldn't join us) and we went off to find him. Of course we start looking in a red light district, as Ginnion is very much a player. Our DM Dallas purchased some new game mats that were pretty epic. Of course my character Dash tries to be helpful and sneak around a building by himself to flank an enemy but is attacked by a goblin who stabs him in the back from 18 points of damage. Of course Dash yells out in pain and alerts the quiet town that we are there and suddenly we are in battle. Luckily I have a new spell called Dimension Portal that allows me to transport a short distance as my yell drew several "bad guys" to my position and since I was alone there was no around to help me.

Dash spent most of the battle on top of a roof casting some new and exciting fire spells. I love that my character is now level 7 as it gives me access to some very powerful spells that if I roll right can do some major damage.

After we defeated all the bad guys we found Ginnion and headed to met up with the Elfs. When we got to their camp we found nothing but dead bodies. Across the bridge we see two orcs on their mounts and then suddenly four giant bridge trolls come from under the bridge and attack.

It was a tough battle as these trolls could take a beating. I managed to put one of the trolls under a spell that prevented him from attacking us. Unfortunately one of my traveling companions casted a spell that kind of backfired and caused my little pony Bill to be enchanted and start attacking a troll. This would be certain doom for my pony. Which sent me Kenny into a little fit as the last time, when we were being attacked by giant bears my little pony was the only one killed and again it looked like Dallas was going to kill my little pony again. I was not a happy camper and a bit whiny so Dallas relented and spared my pony. I do feel bad for acting like a douche but it did bummed me out that my pony was going to die twice while everyone else horses and ponies were fine.

Anyways as I said it was a tough battle and when we finally defeated the trolls we were quite done as we didn't realize that trolls regenerate and several of them came back to life and we had to fight time again and this time we burned the bodies.

We debated on if we should camp which Dash desperately needed to do as he was out of spells, but our second in commend Phlig decided to move forward and look for a safer spot which we never found and instead came upon a hoard of giants and the orc army who were flinging men/dwarves to their death and one of those Dwarves was our companion Borin (the other person who was unable to join us). And this is how the session ended...dun dun dun....

Good stuff... Thanks Dallas once again for going through all this work and for continuing to DM our games. I look forward to each one every few weeks and I'm glad we are back again.. can't wait to see what happens next.

Happy Birthday Thomas

Today is the birthday of my favorite Irishman Thomas. We met while I was working The Guild booth at San Diego Comic Con many years ago. We kind of just hit it off, there are those rare occasions when you meet another human being and it feels like you've known them you're entire life, the friendship is just meant to be.

So ever year when he would return to California for SDCC he'd do a few weeks here in LA before or after the con and our friendship continued to grow. I've enjoyed our long hikes when we would talk everything from our favorite TV shows to our unfortunate love lives.  He's also one of those rare friends that I can sit in a room and not say a word to for hours, with no awkwardness and just enjoy each others company.

Last year I was fortunate enough to travel to Ireland and hang out with him for 10 days while we (including my best bud Robert) traveled around the entire island seeing so many amazing sites. While I was there Thomas and I started to do a rewatch of Xena (my first time, but a rewatch for him), and we promised to only watch it together so when he came for a visit for SDCC last year we watch a few more episodes... at the rate were going it's going to take ten years to finish the series but it's fun to experience this series with him. Anyways I've babbled on long enough. I wanna wish him a very Happy Birthday and I can't wait for our next visit, be it here in the US (which is more likely) or there in Ireland (which I would love). HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!!

Below 200

So I'm going to start blogging about my weight lose again. I think it actually helps me to stay on track when I publicly put it out there about how much I weight. I know that if I gain weight everyone (well my blog readers) will know and in a way that stops me from eating that extra piece of "insert carb filled tasty food here".

I'm going to officially weight myself every Saturday after my morning jog. Today I weighted in at 197.5 I have finally fell below 200, which I did as well during this time last year (came in at 199) but then went on my dream vacation and gained 6 pounds, got back from that and had a hard time finding work and put on another 14 lbs before hitting my heaviest weight ever coming in at a whopping 219.

If you're a regular reader of my blog you know three months ago I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. I have worked hard those past three months to lose weight and I have to say that all my effort has paid off. I went from 219 to 197.5 in 95 days, that's a lose of 21.5 pounds.

I've set my next goal for the end of February and I want to get below 195, If I keep up with my half a pound lose every few days I shouldn't have a problem hitting that goal. My ultimate goal is to get down to a solid 160. I know it won't happen over night as I still have 37.5 pounds to lose but I'm more motivate then I have ever been.

I'm still struggling with my eating but my morning jog has become habit, so half the battle if won.. Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes and continued support.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Uplifting Videos, Powder, Who Rings & Portal Tattoos

I've been kind of down the past few days from all the negative in the world, from you tube comments to anti-gay attacks on marriage to so much hatein the news.. My soul needed a boost so I spent some time watching mostly Ellen clips on You Tube. Ellen loves surprising people with gifts or money or other things that just make your heart smile. You watch one video and it leads to another which leads to another and the next you know you it's been three hours, but I was feeling better.

While I was spring cleaning today I popped in a movie that just lifts my spirits no matter how down I am.. it also makes me ball like a baby every time I watch it.. the movie is called Powder. I blogged about this movie last year, it's one of my all time favorites and you can read my thoughts on it HERE.

I came across this picture on Facebook and wanted to share it with you guys. These are custom made Doctor Who wedding rings. I wasn't sure who made them so I did a bit a digging and came across the Etsy store who sells them. The male ring is only $55, if I had the funds I'd snap one of these up in a heartbeat. Even the wedding rings(pictured) are cheap costing only $150 for the set.

The other picture that I wanted to share with you is this cool tattoo, actually two cool tattoos. My buddy Robert and I have been talking about getting a "joint" tattoo. Something that we both love that could represent our friendship. When I saw this tattoo I thought it would be a cool "joint" tattoo, but neither of us are huge Portal fans so it won't work for us but I still think it's pretty cool.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Baby Groot & Supergirl

Today I got a surprise in the mail. My buddy Erik knows that I collect certain Pop! figures and he found one that I have been looking forward to getting since I heard they were going to release it. It's part of the Guardians of the Galaxy series, it's baby Groot in a pot. I have the "regular" Groot (thanks to my friend Aaron) so now I have both of them.

In geek news they announced the actress who will be playing Supergirl in the upcoming CBS TV series. Her name is Melissa Benoist, this series will be telling the story of Kara Zor-el, who escaped the destruction of her home planet before arriving on Earth, the show will deal with the 24-year-old Supergirl as she begins to embrace the powers our yellow sun provides her and gradually becomes the hero she’s destined to be.  

I'm unaware of this actress but she played Marley Rose on Glee and currently is in the movie Whiplash. This series is still in the early development stage but I'm hoping for good things.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Babylon 5 In The Beginning

Almost forgot about TV night with my buddy Robert. We are continuing our first time viewing of Babylon 5. We finished the series off last week but there are still several TV movies and a spin off series that we plan to watch. So tonight we watched the TV movie "In the Beginning" Emperor Londo Mollari tells the story of the Earth-Minbari war that almost destroyed Humanity and later inspired its last best hope for peace.

I enjoyed this "sort of" prequel to the series. We got to see quite a few of the "regular" characters from the series. It was fun to see the Minbari Delenn that we only saw in the first season. I found it odd that Sheridan, The Doctor and G'Kar met before Babylon 5 but it didn't bother me much. It was cool seeing stuff that we had only heard about throughout the seasons. I liked how they tied the entire story into an episode from season 4 with an older Londo telling the story to some kids. As we know from the episodes he is going to be killed by G'Kar later that day.

I look forward to seeing more of the TV movies, I hope they are all just as fun and interesting as this one.

Looking, Rebels & Call the Midwife

First thing I did after my job this morning shave, not only my beard but my head. I didn't go completely bald but left a very short stubble. I just felt like I needed a change and that's one great thing about beards is that when you shave them off it really does give you a completely different look. Now I don't know if I'm going to keep the beard off, but for now I'll enjoy the look.

Watched some TV today, I started with HBO's Looking S2 Ep2, "Looking for Results" After reminiscing over their childhood obsessions, Patrick and Kevin decide to develop a gay game app on the side, but Patrick soon descends into a panic spiral when he discovers a small rash. Dom scopes out a location in the Tenderloin for a peri peri chicken take-out window; Doris is chatted up by a cute political aide; and Agustin makes plans to meet up with Eddie, the "bear" he met at Russian River, but gets sidetracked by an old co-worker.

I wasn't a fan of last weeks episode and again I have to say there is something that I'm just not liking about this season so far. I feel as though they have fallen into the "gay" stereotype stories and I don't like it. I mean season one had some storylines but I felt the stories were everyday life in San Fransisco. Now it feels forced and it making me not like the characters. This happen with Queer as Folk (the US version). I watched the first few seasons and then it got way over the top and so unrealistic that I lost interest. Hopefully things will change with future episodes.

Then I watched Star Wars Rebels S1 Ep10 "Idiot's Array" The wrong gamble with a new acquaintance forces the crew into transporting some unusual cargo.

I enjoyed this episode, they introduced a younger Lando Calrissian who is just as much of a con artist as he was in Empire. I keep comparing this series to Clone Wars and I really need to stop doing that. I enjoy Rebels, but not as much as Clone Wars, at least not at this moment. I mean they are only 10 episodes in but it's still fun to watch new Star Wars on TV every week (or when there is a new episode).

And then I watched the return of Call the Midwife S4 Ep1. Whilst Sister Evangelina has health problems she grudgingly comes to admire Barbara Gilbert, replacement for Cynthia, for her tireless work with a new mother. Tom proposes to Trixie whilst the other nurses are concerned for the Teemans, a family of young children living in squalor, whose mother appears to have abandoned them and who are being raised by ten-year old Gary. When Gary is arrested for shop-lifting the nurses swing into action.

I can't tell you how much I love this series. This is the first season without the main character Jenny, though this isn't the first episode as we had gotten the Christmas special last year. But it works, they are focusing on the other nurses and giving them more screen time. The story with the young boy Gary just tugged at my heartstrings. I felt so bad for him as he was doing the best he could with what life had given him. We learn a bit more of Trixie's backstory and we are introduced to a new nurse. I do hope that we see Cynthia again (as she's off becoming a Nun) and then Chummy left at the beginning of this episode and I don't know if she'll be returning anytime soon. If you're not watching this then you're missing out on a really good series (btw the first three seasons are on Netflix). 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gotham, Flash & FaceOff

Gotham S1 Ep12 "What the Little Bird Told Him" Jack Gruber and Aaron Helzinger escape from Arkham Asylum and are on a rampage through Gotham. James Gordon promises the Commissioner he will arrest Gruber within 24 hours and he is reinstated as a detective for that time. Fish Mooney makes her move against Falcone and "abducts" Liza. Falcone confronts Mooney and Liza at the former's club, and strangles Liza to death. Victor Zsaz and several mercenaries working for Falcone then take both Mooney and Butch Gilzean prisoner, while the Don gives Cobblepot a chance to mock his former boss, as he has inherited her nightclub as well as what is left of her gang.

Another good episode of Gotham, I'm really surprised at how much I'm enjoying this series. When it first started I didn't see how I was going to like any of these characters other then Gordan but they have proven me wrong. My favorite character by far is Penguin, he's playing every side and winning. And then there is Harvey Bullock who I HATED with a passion at the beginning but man the past three or four episodes his character is really starting to grow on me. I'm liking his friendship with Gordan more and more. And I'm happy to say that Gotham was picked up for a second season.. so we have plenty of more Gotham to enjoy... woot!! 

Flash S1 Ep10 "Revenge of the Rogues" As Barry works on improving his speed through various training exercises, Leonard Snart returns to Central City with the freeze gun and a new partner, Mick Rory, to set a trap for the Flash. Cisco and Barry realize that if they can get Snart and Rory to cross the streams of their respective weapons it will cancel out the effects. The Flash meets Snart and Rory in the middle of a city for a showdown, exposing himself to the media. While in transport to Iron Heights Prison, Snart and Rory are broken out by Snart's sister.

This was a very "comic bookish" type of episode. I was watching this with my buddy Erik and he kept saying that it felt like the old 60's Batman series, he felt the dialogue and acting were over the top. I agree that the dialogue was a bit comic bookish, especially by the bad guys and all their freeze and fire puns. But I enjoyed the episode overall. The Flash is now known to the public. This is going to change the series (or at least it better).

FaceOff S8 Eps 1&2 If you don't know what FaceOff is here's a brief description; Face Off is a competition/elimination series exploring the world of special-effects make-up artists and the unlimited imagination which allows them to create amazing works of living art.

Last week season eight of FaceOff premiered but it was a two-parter so tonight we (Erik and I ) watched the second half. This season is different then the previous seven. They brought back three former champions and each champion has a five person team. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like this since the champions help their team out but the way they have done it works and it's extremely entertaining. I'm looking forward to this season of FaceOff.

Monday, January 19, 2015

American Sniper, Dragon 2 & Unbroken - My Thoughts

After my doctors appointment my buddy Brett came over to hang out and watch some PGA screeners with me. We started with American Sniper. Here's a quick synopsis: Chris Kyle was nothing more than a Texan man who wanted to become a cowboy, but in his thirties he found out that maybe his life needed something different, something where he could express his real talent, something that could help America in its fight against terrorism. So he joined the SEALs in order to become a sniper. After marrying, Kyle and the other members of the team are called for their first tour of Iraq. Kyle's struggle isn't with his missions, but about his relationship with the reality of the war and, once returned at home, how he manages to handle it with his urban life, his wife and kids.

I enjoyed this movie but I did have a hard time identifying with the main character. Though I would never consider joining the military I do understand the reasoning behind those who do and appreciate each and every one of them. What I don't understand with this character and others like him, is continuing to do tours. The first one I get, but after his first tour he has a wife and child and he goes back again and again and again while his family is left alone and his wife is left to raise their two kids as a single mother. This is different then a person who's in the Military for life as their family moves around with them from base to base. This guy claims he was protecting his family by doing these tours and I think that's the part I don't get. How can you protect your family when you are gone nine months out of the year, thousands of miles away. Anyways it was a very tense and suspenseful movie. ::spoilers:: I didn't know the real story so when the title card came up at the end of the movie and informed the viewers that Chris was killed by a vet he was trying to help, it kind of put a dampener on the movie for me. But I give American Sniper an B

Next we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2. Here's a quick synopsis: It's been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snotlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.

I really enjoyed the first Dragon movie so I was looking forward to seeing this. I even was hoping to see it in the theaters but never found the time to go. The second one was just as good as the first. I liked the story and the character growth over the five years. There's really not much to say.. if you enjoyed the first movie then you'll enjoy this movie. I give How to Train Your Dragon 2 a solid B+

And our final movie of the day was Unbroken. Here's a quick synopsis: After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.

I've been looking forward to seeing this one and it did not disappoint. You watch this movie and keep asking yourself.. is this really based on a true story, man this guy went through hell and survived. Some of the scenes are so hard to watch and you feel so much hatred and anger towards his captures (well the main "bad" guy) that you just want someone to kill him. This movie is all about the human sprint. The main character had some much of it, you could beat him down and take everything away from him but he wasn't going to let them win.. he persevered and won in the end. It's an pretty amazing movie.. I give Unbroken a solid A

My 90 Day Check Up

It's been 90 days since I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic. My doctor gave me 90 days to try and bring my sugar (A1C) levels down. I took this seriously as I don't want to be "labeled" diabetic for the rest of my life. I took up walking/jogging 30 to 45 minutes everyday, which I'm proud to say that I stuck with and it's now become a routine/habit to get up every morning and do my cardio.

The food on the other hand has been extremely tough for me. Overall I have cut back on calories and carbs but I still struggle with eating "fast" food. I have my good days and bad. I try not to let my bad days discourage me to much. I know this is a process and it will take a while to change my eating habits. This isn't just for a short time, it's for the rest of my life.

I am happy to say that three months ago I weighted in at the most I have ever weight 219 lbs. Today while at the doctors I came in at 200 lbs. I have lost a total of 19 lbs in 90 days. I set a goal of being below 200 lbs when I went back to the doctors and I barely missed that goal by a pound but I can't be upset with myself as I did lose 19 pounds. And what is even better was that the nurses and my doctor were very impressed with my weight lose, which of course made me feel good.

So I gave blood and will find out in a week or so if my numbers have gone down. But this battle is far from over. My cardio work outs are habit but I continue to fight my addiction to fast foods. It's a process and I know it's not going to change over night. I want to thank my friends and family for their continued support in this endeavor.

My next goal is for the end of February and that's for me to be down to 195. That's six pounds in about six weeks. It's going to be tough but I'm going to push myself to achieve this goal.. wish me luck.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Friends, Potter, Love and Minecraft

I got to spend some times with friend Nicki and Anne. They live down in San Diego and we haven't seen each other in quite a while so it was nice to get to hang out for a few hours. We got to catch up on each others lives and grabbed some lunch before they headed off to see more friends.

The Treks in Sci Fi guest podcast on the first Harry Potter book and movie that I did with co-host Rico was released today. You can take a listen HERE. We plan to continue with the series and talk about all seven books and eight movies.

Freedom to Marry released this amazing video about four months ago but this is the first I'm seeing it and it's pretty awesome. So I figured I'd share it with you all.

I also played some Minecraft with my buddies Brett and Chris. I only planned to play for an hour or so and the next thing I knew was 3 hours. It's funny how games can just suck you in and you don't feel the passage of time.