Saturday, April 4, 2015

Wondercon Day 2 - Hobbiting It Up

After workouting at NerdStrong gym I headed home to shower and to Hobbit myself up as I am heading to Wondercon with fellow NerdStronger Erin and her roommate Mike. I quickly showered and then attempted to put on my Hobbit ears. It's always a hit or miss when putting on these ears. Luckily today was a hit and I got them on fairly quick. Luckily I anticipated that I would be in a hurry this morning so I did all my prep work for my wig and clothes last night before going to bed.

Once the ears were on everything else went on with very little effort. The hair is always tricky but with a bit of hair spray and styling I got it looking pretty Hobbitish. Shirt and pants went on with no issues and I don't put on my feet until I get to con as I can't drive in those things.

So I was set to go and drove over and picked up Erin and Mike from their place (they live less then a mile from me). We stopped by Starbucks, to get some breakfast before heading south to Anaheim. 

We got down to Wondercon around noon and we headed to Disneyland Toy Story parking (the same place we parked yesterday), but it was closed as in "full". We then moved on to the Garden Center and it too was full but you were able to drive in and hope someone would leave but we were in it for just a few minutes and knew this wasn't gonna happen.

After driving around for more then an hour we finally bit the bullet and decided to pay the $30 and park in the Sheraton parking lot, of course with one car in front of us the lot became full and we were turned away. Oh and did I mention that I had to pee for the past half hour so I was becoming more and more irritable. We went for one last hope and was going to see if we could park at Downton Disney or in the Disneyland main parking structure but when we got over there they had signs saying "NO Wondercon Parking". Now if I wasn't in costume we could have gotten away with it but I didn't want to take a chance so after an hour of driving around I just dropped off Erin and Mike so they could actually enjoy the con and I headed out solo to find an every elusive parking space.

I drove past the convention center hoping to find a smaller hotel that was allowing for parking and at this time I didn't care how much I had to pay. When I got about mile and a half from the convention center I decided to loop back around and head back so I turned down a side street (residential) and low and behold there was a little spot of street parking.

Now I have a small car (Ford Fiesta) and though the spot was barely the size of my car I was determined to get it in there. It took me about 10 minutes with many bumper taps going back and forth but I managed to squeeze between two other cars (and I did look at the bumpers and there was no scratches). So after an hour and a half of looking for parking I finally found one and it was free. It defiantly lighten my mood.

As I was putting on my Hobbit feet my long plastic shoe horn snapped in half and my heart sank as these feet were near impossible to put on without the help of a shoe horn. Well it wasn't a complete disaster as one of the pieces was still long enough to use and I was able to get my feet on fairly easy.

Now to put on my cape and I will be good to go... cape.. where is my cape.. guess what I left at my apartment.. my cape... I was devastated. The cape really gives me that "iconic" look of a Hobbit (well the feet actually do but the cape is a big part of it as well), but I didn't have it and there wasn't anything I could do so I went capeless.

Yes that's my brother Michael
I got to the con around 2pm and the first thing I did was pee as I had to go for the past hour. Next I met up with Erin and Mike and we walked the con floor for a bit. We parted ways as they were meeting friends and I spent the next few hours walking the con floor alone. I took a few pictures of other cosplayers but no where near as many as I usually do. I didn't really plan out my con this year. I normally don't do panels if I'm cosplaying so I didn't have a clue what was happening upstairs in the panels.

I would meet up with my brother and friends Steven and Hayden from time to time but I spent the majority of the time by myself just roaming, being a Hobbit. I did notice that I did not get as many photo requests as I have in the past and I think it's because my costume was incomplete without the cape. But I guess will find out if that's true tomorrow when I cosplay again and this time with my cape.

Towards the end of the con I hooked back up with Steven and Hayden again and for the last half hour I met up with Josh and his brother Justin and we walked the floor one last time as a group.

Afterwards I gathered up Erin and Mike and we made our way home.. once again I got home around 9pm and soon after called it a night.

NerdStrong Gym - The Terrible Twos

Today I was joining the 9am class (my usual Saturday class is at 10am) but I was heading to Wondercon after the workout so I wanted to do the earlier class today and tomorrow. 

When I arrived Coach Andrew was just writing up today's workout and all I saw was a list of 2 min written 13 times and my heart sank. Of course he then went in and filled in every other one with the word "Rest" so it was going to be as bad as I initially thought.

We started with a pretty hefty warm up; 8x Iron Cross', 8x Scorpions, 6x Perfect Stretch, 6x Cross Squat and 10x Light Kettlebell Swings

We then started what would be the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad 2's.

Two minutes doesn't sounds like alot but when you're in the middle of these workouts and Andrew says "okay you're 30 seconds in" and you are already tired, is not a good sign.

We started with Air Squats which aren't bad and I don't really have any problems doing constant air squats for 2 minutes straight. We then took a 2 minute rest before getting on the ground and starting our 2 minute Plank. This on the other hand were tough, but I'm happy to say that I was in full Plank mode for the entire 2 minutes, I did drop my knees once.

Another 2 minute rest and then Kettlebell Swings. I'm a hit and miss with these. If I can get into the groove I do fine but if I can't get the hip rhythm down then I'm all kinds of crazy. After another 2 minutes rest (which feel like only seconds) we moved on to a 2 minute run but this isn't your normal run, Andrew called this a Suicide Run. He set up five cones outside all the same distance apart from each other (looked to be about 20 feet). You started at cone one and then ran as fast as possible to cone 2, bent down and touch the ground and then sprint back to cone one. You then would bend down and touch the ground before sprinting off to cone three, touch the ground and back to cone one and so on. We had to do this for 2 entire minutes. I managed to do three rounds meaning I went, 1 to 2 and back, 1 to 3, 1 to 4 and 1 to 5 three times before time ran out... I was pretty much dead after this.

But we did our mandatory 2 minute break before starting 2 minutes of Push Ups. As you know from my previous blogs I finally got the form down for push ups and I can do quite a bit but I couldn't do them for the entire 2 minutes. I'd take longer then usual breaks between every five push ups. We then rested for 2 minutes and then did 2 minutes of Sit Ups. These aren't a problem and I was able to do sit ups constantly for the entire 2 minutes. We then had our final 2 minute rest before 2 minutes of the dreaded Burpees.

It was a pretty amazing workout and we still had 15 minute of class left. Some people stretched, some just laid on the floor resting.. I had some more energy to get rid of so I did a few Battleropes. I did the double waves and then opposite waves. Coach Andrew showed me a new wave where you swing the ropes to the side like a snake and a sort of battlerope press where you lift the two ropes over your head. It was a nice little "final" workout to end a very exhausting day at the gym.

Thanks Coach Andrew for another amazing workout!!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Wondercon Day 1 & NerdStrong Panel

After workout I headed into work for a few hours. I had asked my boss if I could get off early so I could go to Wondercon and support NerdStrong who was having a panel at 3pm today. It was going to be slow at work anyways since it was Good Friday and most of the company was closed. I was able to get out by noon and pick up my friend and fellow NerdStrong member Erin as were car pooling together. So I picked her up and we grabbed some lunch before heading south to Anaheim.

We got down to Wondercon around 1:30ish found some parking across the street in Disneyland Toy Story parking lot. Erin was meeting up with a friend to pick up her badge while I went into the convention center to pick up my badges.

After I got my badges and met back up with Erin and the NerdStrong folks at the Starbucks in the Marriott, which happens to be where their panel was taking place. I also ran into my friend Jes who was also joining us at the NerdStrong panel. We all hung out for about a half hour before making our way to the panel room and it was packed. Erin and I managed to find a few seats in the third row. It was fun watching all the coaches (and Victoria) take their seats on the panel.

The panel started with talk of how NerdStrong Gym became what it is and where they would like to take it. They talked about the community it has created and the safe environment where anyone can come and workout with confidence. Each coach talked about their experience with NerdStrong, how they went from just a member of the gym to a coach. They really pushed the idea that is more then just a gym, it's a community of like minded geeks and nerds. We not only workout but have movie nights, games nights and other outings. It was a really great panel and really gave you a go idea of what NerdStrong means to us all. I was so happy I was able to get off work and make the panel and be there to support my NerdStrong family.

Afterwards Erin and I walked the sales floor from one end to the other. We checked all some awesome toys, artists and other geeky things. We ran into some friends here and there as well as my brother but it was pretty much just Erin and I for the entire day. The con closed at 7pm and we met back up with Jes as she was catching a ride back with us. There were folks who were going out to dinner but the three of us were tired and just decided that we were going to head straight home.

I got home around 9pm and just crashed on the couch.. I was exhausted after working out in the morning, then actually going to work for a few hours and then walking around a convention hall for five hours... I didn't stay up to late as I had to get up early tomorrow morning to workout and then head back to Wondercon for another fun filled day.

NerdStrong Open Gym - Chest & Back

Today is Friday which means it's open gym at NerdStrong and we can do anything we want to. Like with last Friday's open gym I asked coach Blair to build me a workout that I could do to enhance my chest and back (I'm working on getting that "V" shape to my body). And once again Blair came up with a very fun and effective workout.

I was doing 5 reps 5 times of each of these items. I started with Ring Rows and this time my incline was extremely steep which meant I was almost lying on the floor and pulling myself up. I really enjoy Ring rows. I then did Dumbbell Upright Rows. I also feel like I get a good workout when I work with dumbbells. And then I tried something that I had never done before, Hand Release Push Ups and they are exactly what they sound like. At the bottom of a push up you remove your hand from the ground for a split second so all your weight in on your chest/stomach. Blair asked me to to 7 reps 5 times for this one.

I then went and did some Bench Press, 8 at 50% weight, 6 at 60% 4 at 70%, 3 at 80%, 2 at 90% and 1 at your Max weight. I knew my max was 175lbs and I did try to go a bit further but was unsuccessful.. my max is still 175lbs.

There was a fun moment when I was doing my bench press, friends Leonor & Corrin were doing last weeks Harry Potter workout and they were doing jumping jacks and a Michael Jackson song came on and the next thing I knew I joined in with them and did some jumping jacks to the beat of MJ.

I then finished off the workout with Dumbbell Chest Flies. These were tough as you lay back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand and with arms slightly bent you being the dumbbells together before releasing them to each side of you.

It was another great workout, I'm debating on doing another Chest and Back next Friday or do a Battlerope workout. I was talking to Blair about how much I enjoy battleropes and he mentioned there are 15 minute workouts just for Battleropes that he can give me.. I may give them a go next week. Thanks coach Blair for another awesome workout.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Awesome Fantasy Logo

I came across this amazing logo promoting this months Loot Crate. Now I'm not a subscriber to Loot Crate (lack of funds) but they do get away from pretty awesome things from time to time so I'm going to be interested in seeing what they give for their "Fantasy" crate. If you don't know what Loot Crate is, it's a monthly box of geek and gamer gear. You can check out their website HERE.

As for the logo I wish it was bigger, I'd love to have this on a t-shirt or poster. I actually contacted Loot Crate via Twitter and asked if this was a creation of their own or found online and they replied that it is a creation of their own. I also requested a larger version of it but they never got back to me. I did tell them that I'd like to see this on a shirt so maybe this design will make it's way to one of those 24 hours online t-shirt deals... fingers crossed.

NerdStrong Gym - It's All About The Dudes

Today only three other guys showed up for a the 7am class, Derek, Jason S. and Jason M. And Coach Andrew was teaching so it was a sausage fest at NerdStrong Gym.

We had a good warm up and then got into a three part workout. The first part we had to do for 15 minutes. It consisted of 5x Strict Pull Ups, 12-15x Hollow Rock and 5-10x Strict Push Ups.

We went at our own pace but tried to keep it constant. Since I can only do one, maybe two strict pull ups I did the scaled down version called reverse negatives instead. That' pulling your chin up to the bar (with the help of a box) and then slowly releasing your body back down... it's tough. The hollow rock is lying on your back and contorting your body into a "C" shape and then rocking back and forth. As for strict push ups, I may not like them but I'm getting pretty good at them, at least with the form.

The second part of the workout was working with barbells and doing Back Squats. We were going for our 1 Rep Max!! But we started with 5 at about 60% weight, then 3 at 70% 2 at 90% and then 1 at your Max until you couldn't do any more.

Since I didn't have a 1 Rep Max I didn't know where to start but knew I could do quite a bit so I started at 95lbs and did 5 reps. I then added 20lbs for a total of 115lbs and did 3 reps before adding another 30lbs to make it 145lbs and doing 2 reps and then I continued to add weight until I knew I had hit my max which was 200lbs. I back squatted 200 lbs, that's just crazy. I probably could have done more but having the bar on the back of my neck was hurting and it prevented me from going any future.  Next time I'll see if I can push myself a bit more and do 205lbs.

The final part of the workout was doing Sit Ups as fast as we can in :30 seconds. We then would rest for :30 seconds and do it again three more times. The goal was to do the same amount each time. I manged to do 15 Sit Ups in :30 seconds four consecutive times for a total of 60 sit ups in 2 minutes... not bad.

Another fantastic workout at NerdStrong Gym... thanks coach Andrew.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

MASH Podcast, SDCC Woes Continue & Galavant Gag Reel

Today Geekyfanboy Productions released a new episode of the MASH 4077 Podcast. This is episode 101, covering S5 Ep 4 "Out of Sight, Out of Mind". You can Download from itunes , listen on Stitcher Radio or listen and get direct download from our main website  Don't forget new episodes are released on the 1st and 15th of the month.

So it's been 48 hours since I last chatted with the folks over at Travel Planner about my San Diego Comic Con Hotel reservation. It's well past the 24 hours that they promised that my reservation page would be fixed. This time I was only on hold for 15 minutes before I had to explain for the third time what my situation was and the progress of fixing my page. Again like with the others this person couldn't figure out why my reservation was "locked", she put me on hold so she could talk to her supervisor (same as the previous two people). She got back on and said that they were trying to fix the problem and that if I didn't mind being on hold a bit longer.. and honestly I would have stayed on hold as long as it took for them to fix it. Finally she gets back on and says that she is transferring me to her supervisor who will take care of me. So I'm transferred and I have to explain my situation for a fourth time. When I told him that I had called two previous times and each person said it would be fixed in 24 hours the guy laughed and said that was misinformation. He said IT can take up to a week to fix the problem and possible more since there are a few hundred other reservations that are having issues.

He said there isn't anything he can do the help me at this time but he did say that there is a note to keep this reservation from going back into the pool. Speaking of that he said that the site can be fixed any day but if it's not working by the weekend then to call back by Tuesday as the Hotels lottery is having a second event for all the rooms that people didn't take on Wednesday. He said he's sure things will be busy on Wednesday and the phone system will be a mess. So I'm going to wait until Monday and if the site is still down I'll give them a call one last time. He assured me that my room is safe and that all will we settled soon. I can only hope he wasn't blowing up my butt.. guess only time will tell... I'll keep you all updated.

One last thing I want to share with you guys, especially if you were fans of the ABC four-week "comedy extravaganza" musical series Galavant. This looks to be an official Gag Reel that will probably be on the DVD/Blu-ray of season one. Check it out below.

NerdStrong Gym - Run Roh!!!

After the "low blood sugar" fiasco yesterday I made sure I had a nice big bowl of oatmeal. As I know with these "CON" classes can take a lot of stamina as they are a constant workout for a lengthy period of time.

Today's workout was called "Run Roh" And once again Coach Blair put together another crazy workout.

At first when you look at it you think that doesn't look like much but believe me it's alot. Added all together we Ran & Rowed 1500 meters each.

We first partnered up and I was teamed up with my buddy Derek once again. We were doing nothing but Running and Rowing but it was in the format of a ladder workout. We started with a 250 meter Run/Row, then 500 meter Run/Row, then 750 meter Run/Row and then started making our way back down with a 500 meter Run/Row and finally a 250 meter Run/Row. Derek and I were part of the first groups to do the workout (there were actually two groups). One person would Row while your partner would Run and then you'd switch. This was a timed event and coach Blair gave us 25 minutes to complete it.

I started with Rowing and the first 250 meters was a piece of cake. I then did my first 250 meter run (which is one time around the parking lot) but like with the rowing I was feeling great. I then started the 500 meter row and about halfway through I started to feel it. I pushed through the rest of the row and then begin my 500 meter run. It's crazy to think but the run is actually time to rest as you take it at your own pace. I didn't want to stop and walk so I continued to run/jog at a slower then usual pace. The 750 meter row was a huge hurdle to get over. I was good for about half of it and then like with the 500 meter I hit a wall and struggled to finish. Once the 750 meter row was done my legs were feeling like jelly but I now had to do the 750 meter run. Slow and steady is my plan.

Next I started down the ladder and did the 500 meter row and 500 meter run. As I was finishing the run I had about 30 seconds in the 25 minutes allotted to start my final 250 meter row. As time expired I was about 150 meters into the row and I knew the next group had to start and coach Blair even said that I needed to stop but as the next group was getting ready I pushed myself harder to finish and I did... I did the full 250 meters before the next group got started. I then finished my last 250 meter run and was feeling great. I managed to finish the entire workout in just over 27 minutes. It was a great feeling especially after yesterday failed workout. I got some high fives and well done from fellow members which is always nice. Thanks coach Blair for your continued support and encouragement.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Latest Eps of The Flash & SHIELD - My Thoughts

After a rough start to my day I was happy to be home from work and watching some of my favorite TV with my buddy Erik (via Skype).

We started with the latest episode of The Flash S1 Ep 17 "Trickster" Barry and Joe go after terrorist Axel Walker, who goes by the name Trickster. Axel sets a diversion for the Flash so that he can break James Jesse, the original Trickster from 20 years prior, out of prison. James and Axel attempt to extort wealthy patrons by poisoning them and ransoming the antidote. When the Flash arrives, the Tricksters fit him with a bomb that will detonate if he stops moving. Dr. Wells coaches Barry on how to vibrate his molecules so that he can phase through objects, which removes the bomb. Afterward, Barry provides an antidote to all the patrons, before capturing the Tricksters. Later, the Flash reveals his identity to Eddie, so he can help keep Iris from looking into Dr. Wells for her own protection, as Barry realizes that Wells is the Reverse-Flash. In flashbacks, after failing to kill Barry as a child, the Reverse-Flash escapes down the road only to lose his speed. Gideon informs him that travelling back in time has drained his powers. He removes his mask to reveal the real Eobard Thawne. Eobard stalks Dr. Wells and reveals the particle accelerator is not built until the year 2020. He then appears to kill Wells and steal his appearance and identity so he can develop the particle accelerator sooner and return to his timeline.

The Trickster stuff was awesome as it was a throw back to fans of the original Flash TV series. Mark Hamel was excellent returning as the original Trickster but I have to say my favorite part of this episode was all the info we got about who the Reverse-Flash really was. Turns out that it's not Dr. Wells, well it is but it's not. This Eobard Thawne killed Wells and assumed his identity in order to make the particle accelerator years sooner then it was actually made. Also I liked Eddie's reaction finding out that Barry is The Flash and speaking of Eddie.. isn't his last name Thawne.. so is this Eobard a distant relative... interesting.

The previews for the remaining season looked amazing with another crossover with Arrow which includes what looks like every character from Arrow including Atom.. can't wait.

Next we watched the latest Agent's of SHIELD S2 Ep 15 "One Door Closes" War comes to Coulson's doorstep in a way he never anticipated as shocking revelations are brought to light, and Skye struggles to control her new abilities but will soon make a decision that irrevocably changes her life.

I have loved this series since day one and the first episode and I didn't think I could love it any more but I was wrong. This series continues to blow me away. Season two has been on fast forward since it started. I'm always worried they are going to drag out something or not reveal something but then the very next episode it's resolved  and more questions and asked. We get the back story to this "real" SHIELD group and to be honest I understand why they created a second SHIELD though I may not agree with it.

I loved the scene with Gemma and Bobbi and Gemma tricking Bobbi and taking her out. I liked all the flash backs to the day SHIELD fell. It's cool seeing stuff that was happening while Captain America was fighting the Winter Soldier. It was great seeing Lucy Lawless' character again. I'm happy to see Fitts and Simmons kind of a duo again or at least heading that way.

I don't think Mac and Bobbi will every be trusted again by Coulson so it will be interesting to see what happens to them when the dust settles. And I loved the fight scenes between May and Bobbi.. just wish they lasted a bit longer but then we all know that May would have kicked Bobbi ass. I love that May kind of sacrificed herself to save Coulson and to look out for Fitts and Simmons. And what a great way to have Hunter return.

Like I said.. so much awesome in one episode but the big thing for me was the scenes with Skye. First season Skye I wasn't a fan of, she and Ward were my least favorite characters but man has she moved up on my list. Her meeting with Gordan and the audience getting to know him a little better was awesome and then of course the final scene when Bobbi and that other douche bag agent are after Skye and the douche bag agent shots Skye and Bobbi yells her name to save her and then Skye let's lose with her powers and disintegrates that tree while pushing back Bobbi and douche bag agent was amazing. And then she calls for Gordan to come take her.

I can't wait to next week to see what happens next for Skye. She is going to be one powerful InHuman.  Below is my favorite scene for this episode.. it's not the best quality but it gets the point across.

NerdStrong Gym - Battle Stations!!!

Today's workout is one of my favorite types of workouts. It was titled Battle Stations. And the first half consisted of six different areas with six different workouts.

I got teamed up with my friend Liz and we started in station 6, Block Taps. We had to do 3 rounds of :30 seconds of work and then :30 rest.

As I mentioned we started with Block Taps which was a nice way to start as they were just jumping up and down and tapping the top of a block. Once you got into a rhythm it wasn't that bad.

Next was station 1, Rope Climb. We actually didn't have to climb a rope instead a rope was hung over the pull up bar and a kettlebell was attached to the other then. We then had to pull the rope down hand over hand until the kettlebell hit the top of the bar. Liz took the lighter Kettlebell while I took the heavier 45lbs kettlebell. This wasn't to bad and actually a pretty cool workout.

We then moved on to station 2, Prone Wallball Toss, which is a Sit Up while holding a Wallball on your way up from the sit up you have to bounce the ball against the wall and catch it before going back down in the sit up. Once again I took the heavier of the wallballs, and it was tough making a 20lbs wallball bounce off a wall and back into my arms. I think this was the toughest workout for me.

The 3rd station as called Quasimodo. It was similar to station 1 as it too used a rope over a pull up bar with a kettlebell attacked to the other end. But instead of pulling the kettlebell up hand over hand we had to twist our body and lean and pull away from the wall, coach Andrew said it was like if you were ringing a large bell (hence the name). Also like with he rope climb I really enjoyed this one.

Station 4 was Short Wave with Battle ropes. I don't know why but I just love Battle Ropes and as the title said these were very small and short waves, coach Andrew even had some fun and put his hand over my ropes and said I want you to hit my hand, which of course I had to do.. such a great workout.

We moved on to station 5, Plate Orbits, this one looked easy as all you did was pick up a weighted plate and rotate it around your head and shoulders in one direction 5 times and then in the opposite direction 5 more times. I used a 25lbs weight and the first go round was pretty easy.

We then did it all over again and on the third round I was feeling it. Station 6 Block Taps were getting tough as I was losing steam but with the encouragement of my team mate Liz I finished and then at station 1, Rope Climbs I started to get dizzy and I could only do one pull. Station 2, Prone Wallball Toss was easier as I was lying on the ground, Station 3, Quasimodo wasn't to bad but afterwards I was feeling horrible, my blood sugar levels were dropping. I tried to do station 4, Short Wave but couldn't, instead I went outside to my car and grabbed some tangerines, which I store there for emergencies like this. I quickly ate two of them and was going to try and finish off the last station, Plate Obits but I just couldn't do it.

I sat for a good five minutes before coach Andrew went on to explain the next half of the workout. This one was also three rounds. We started with 10x (Pull Ups) Rings Rows, then 20x Sit Ups, 30x Jump Squats and then a mandatory 1 minute rest before doing 20x Kettlebell Swings and again a mandatory :30 second rest before doing it all over again.

I was feeling better as the sugars in the tangerines were kicking in so I did the first round with no issues, but on the second round I felt the dizziness return while doing the Jump Squats, but I did mange to finish the second round. The third round was nothing but a struggle. Again Ring Rows weren't that difficult and sit ups were fine as I was sitting but Jump Squats weren't happening. I sat there trying to stay conscious while everyone around me finished off the workout. I was feeling frustrated as I knew I could finish but my body wasn't going to allow me to and of course coach Andrew notice and came over to me and gave me a bit of a pep talk to lift my spirits... thanks Andrew.

So it wasn't my best workout but I did mange to do 90% and I did enjoy it until I started to feel dizzy and sick but with a ten minute rest afterwards and another tangerine I was feeling better and well enough to drive home.

Monday, March 30, 2015

SDCC Hotel Reservation Fiasco Continues

So my SDCC hotel nightmare continues. Today is the deadline to put down a credit card number to guarantee/hold your room. I still can't do that as the website is giving me an error with my reservation number. I called last week on Friday and after being on hold for 45 minutes the person on the other end of the call was not able to help as it was an IT issue and she wasn't able to get into my reservation either. She said that she would report to IT and that it should be fixed within 24 hours.

Well it's three days later and the website/reservation is still locked and I'm not able to add my CC to my hotel room so once again I called and once again I as on hold for a half hour. When I finally got through I explained my situation to this new person, he put me on hold while he discussed it with his supervisor. Fifteen minute later he gets back on and says that there is nothing they can do at this time, they have to wait for IT to fix the page which shouldn't take more then 24 hours... yeah right.

On the plus side he did make a note not to let this reservation go due to lack of credit card. He said when they fix the issue (again with in 24 hours) I will then have 24 hours to add my credit card. So know I must wait and see if the IT department actual fixes the issue and can finally confirm my hotel reservation for San Diego Comic Con... finger crossed.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jupiter Ascending - My Review

I was finally able to see Jupiter Ascending, as it's now playing in our "cheap" theater here in town. I've wanted to see this movie since I saw the first trailer last year. And yes I have heard all the horrible things people and critics have said about the film but luckily I don't care. It looks amazing and I can't wait to see it on the big screen.

If you don't know what Jupiter Ascending is about here's a brief synopsis: Jupiter Jones was born under a night sky, with signs predicting that she was destined for great things. Now grown, Jupiter dreams of the stars but wakes up to the cold reality of a job cleaning other people's houses and an endless run of bad breaks. Only when Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter, arrives on Earth to track her down does Jupiter begin to glimpse the fate that has been waiting for her all along - her genetic signature marks her as next in line for an extraordinary inheritance that could alter the balance of the cosmos.

First let me say that I LOVED IT!!! I don't have a clue what people were complaining about. The visuals alone were a good enough reason to see this movie but the Universe they built and the creatures that inhabited it were amazing. I've heard major complaints about people being confused by the story but I understood what was going on the entire time. The SFX were unbelievable and there were alot of them. The fight scenes were awesome and I enjoyed all the main characters. At times I was wondering if I was watching the same movie all the "complainers" were watching.

I am extremely happy that I went and saw this on the big screen and when it comes out on Blu-Ray I'll be sure to pick it up as I can see myself watching this over and over.. another hit from the Wachowskis in my opinion. Their last two films (Cloud Atlas & Jupiter Ascending) both were amazing though they didn't do well at the box office. I give Jupiter Ascending a solid B+

Lunch w/Friends & Watching The Flash

After the Aliens workout Andrew S., Derek, Liz, Lauren and I went to a local diner (Hungry Fox) to grab some breakfast, well at the time it was breakfast but after waiting a while to get seating and then waiting for our food it was lunch time. Though the other four got breakfast I decided to get some lunch. It was fun hanging with these guys as we are normally just being tortured at the gym when we hang out so it was fun  hanging out, outside of the gym. The food and service was really good but it's not a place that you want to eat if you are in a hurry... though when we left around 1pm it looked like their were tables to be had so maybe it's just a very popular breakfast joint.

Got home around 2 and hooked up online with my buddy Erik so we could watch a few episodes of Flash that we had recorded from previous weeks. We watched S1 Ep 15 "Out of Time" & S1 Ep 16 "Rogue Time".

Synopsis for episode 15 - Mark Mardon, who has the ability to control the weather, returns to Central City to avenge the death of his brother Clyde and sets his sight on Joe. Cisco begins to believe Joe was right about Wells, so he rechecks the containment field that had failed to hold the Reverse-Flash. He discovers that the Reverse-Flash seen in the containment field was only a hologram. Wells arrives and reveals himself to be Eobard Thawne, a man from the future who came back in time to kill Barry but killed his mother instead, and has since been stranded in the present day. Wells also explains that he is pushing Barry to get stronger so that he can use Barry's powers to return to his time, and he murders Cisco to protect his secret. Mark kidnaps Joe and forces him to watch as Mark sends a tsunami into the city in order to kill Iris. Barry is forced to reveal his secret identity to Iris, just after she admits to romantic feelings for him, in order to save the city. Barry runs back and forth across the coastline to create a barrier against the tsunami, but he runs so fast that he creates a time warp and travels back in time to when Mark first returned to Central City.

I watched this episode and my jaw dropped with every twist and turn... Everything is revealed.. I kept thinking to myself.. OMG this is a game changer. And then moments later.. OMG they just killed Cisco.. and then OMG the Captain just sacrificed himself for Joe and btw he's gay (which I loved, of course). And then Barry reveals himself to Iris that he's The Flash.. my mind was blown away by this episode.. well that was until the last five minutes when The Flash moves so fast he throws himself back in time to the previous day so none of what we just saw happened. I mean I was disappointed because this was such a HUGE game changer of an episode but it's all for nothing. Moving onto the next episode.

Synopsis for episode 16 - As Barry begins to relive the previous day, Dr. Wells realizes what happened and warns Barry not to change any event for fear that he will create a bigger problem as the universe balances itself. Barry does not listen and instead captures Mark Mardon before he can kidnap Joe. Meanwhile, Leonard Snart and Mick Rory return to Central City. Leonard sends his sister Lisa after Cisco, whom they force to rebuild the cold and heat guns, and a third gun for Lisa that turns people into gold, under threat that they will kill Cisco's brother. Barry realizes that Dr. Wells was right, and his actions have resulted in Cisco's kidnapping and Iris rejecting his romantic advances. Cisco returns and reveals that Leonard tortured his brother until Cisco revealed the Flash's true identity. Barry goes after the Snarts, and the two develop an uneasy truce: Snart will not reveal Barry's identity, will no longer kill innocent people, and stay away from Barry's friends in exchange for Barry not locking him away in the particle accelerator. The Reverse-Flash kills a local reporter and destroys evidence linking Dr. Wells to the death of Simon Stagg. The reporter's vanishing causes Barry to think Joe might be right about Dr. Wells.

I enjoyed this episode and watching this one helped me to not be so disappointed in the last five minutes of the previous episode. I liked where this one went. I mean I'm glad Cisco isn't dead and that the Captain is already. It was tough watching Barry be such a idiot when it came to Iris and her love for him but I did like the ending and that storyline seems to be back to normal for the time being. I'm happy to see that Barry is starting to get suspicious about Dr. Wells. I hope this storyline is resolved by the end of this season.

Overall two really good episodes, The Flash is quickly becoming "must see" TV for me. 

NerdStrong Gym - Aliens

Today is Sunday.. one of my favorite workout days because they are always themed. Today's theme was Aliens (see previous blog post as we watched the movie last night).

You know it's going to be a good workout when you see the warm up and it looks like the workout itself. Needless to say lots of stretching happened before we began the workout. And at the end of the warm up we had to do 3 rounds of 30x Jumping Jacks, 20x Mountain Climbers and 10x Squats. I was already exhausted when we finished warming up.

Now on to the actual workout and it was a good one. 

Coach Andrew was playing douchebag Burke, while Seely played both Sergeant Apone and Ripley.

We start by "Awakening from HyperSleep" and doing TABATA (8 rounds, 20 seconds of workout, 10 seconds of rest) We were doing Hollow Holds and then Push Ups. So you'd start with a Hollow Hold (which is laying on your back and lifting your feet and legs a few inches off the ground and also lifting your head and shoulders a few inches off the ground and then holding that positions. It's only 20 seconds but man it feels like a lifetime. We then had a 10 second break which gives you just enough time to turn over and get into a Push Up position and then do 20 seconds worth of Push Ups. We did this eight times while Sergeant Apone (Seely) "encouraged" us to do better.

For the next part of the workout we had to team up ( My partner was Lauren). We then started what would be a total of 16 minutes of workout. The first section "Crash Site to Operational" This consisted of running two laps around the parking lot.. not only are you running but Burke (Coach Andrew) has requested that you take one of the Alien Pods (aka Medicine Ball) and bring it to him so we had to run with a 14lbs medicine ball. Lauren and I began our run and about 1/4 way through I passed the "Alien Pod" to her and she run with it for a bit and we'd switch back and forth for the two laps.

The next section was "Building Barriers and Surviving Attacks" This workout consisted of 1x Farm Walk (which meant one partner would carry the "Alien Pod" while the other had to carry a weight in each hand but you had to hold it in the crease of your thumb and pointer finger, you couldn't hold it with you actual finger tips.) Luckily we didn't have to walk to far but it was still tough.

We then came back in and did 50x Medicine Ball Sit Ups, we'd split these up 25 each. We did another Farm Walk before doing 50x Medicine Ball Push Ups. Again we split this between the two of us and it was tough as you had to do a push up while on the medicine ball. We then did another Farm Walk and came back inside and did 100x Medicine Ball Mountain Climbers. Again this was like the push up as you are doing mountain climbers while balancing on the medicine ball. And like with the other workouts we split this up and did 50 each. Another Farm Walk before doing our final workout for this section 100 Wall Balls. Unfortunately or fortunately our time ran out and Lauren and I only manage to do 5 Wall Balls each, but we were both extremely happy as we didn't think we'd get that far.

Oh I forgot to mention during this workout, very four minutes.. Andrew (Burke) would roll a three sided die while Seely (Riply) would also roll a 3 sided die. If the numbers matched then Burke did not release any Facehuggers into the room.. if the numbers didn't match we'd have to do Wall Ball Burpees for the number that Burke rolled. Needless to say the odds were not in our favor and in the end we had to defeat seven Facehuggers by doing seven Wall Ball Burpees.

And for our final event was titled "Airlock" Which of course gets it's name for the end battle of Ripley and the Alien Queen. This was a Max Hang. All you had to do was hang from a bar as long as you could. And if you wanted to make it more authentic you could add a dumbbell and hold it between your feet like when the Alien Queen was pulling on Riply's foot. I opted for that as I wanted to make it as real as possible. Unfortunately I didn't even make it to one minute. I was disappointed in myself as I thought I'd be able to hold on for a while but it wasn't meant to be.

This was an extremely tough workout but also very fun. Thanks to Lauren my workout partner.. she did an amazing job and I want to thank coach Andrew for creating it.  Themed workouts are the best.