Saturday, May 9, 2015
We really couldn't figure out the numbering system as they would have item 105 next to item 4, so it required alot of flipping of pages.. but they did group the items into similar categories. So you had a section for Tanks, for Trucks, for Navel Equipment and so on. As I mentioned each thing was numbered and then you look up the number in the book and get a nice description of the item. Some of these items were old and falling apart while some looked like they were taken care of. Some of the items were movie props, one in particular that I liked was an ambulance from the movie MASH.
It was fun roaming around this area with Matt as he knew alot of information about many of these things. They even had items there from the 1800's.
This wouldn't have been my usual thing to do here in SoCal but I'm so happy Matt found this place. If there are any other fans of Military things this is definitely a place to visit.
Afterwards we headed to Venice beach. Venice Boardwalk was on Matt's list of things to do. While driving over there we stopped by a Taco Bell for lunch (again this was his first ever Taco Bell), he enjoyed it. We then went over to Rite Aid and got him a bunch of "American" candy bars, he's never had a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, or a Hersey's Bar or Junior Mints or even a Butterfinger.. so we fixed that.
Once in Venice we parked and walked the entire boardwalk. What was great is that it lived up to what he expected. Lots of crazy locals.. he'd look at me, like did I just see that and I'd just smile and say yep.. that happened. It was nice outside and a bit warm, being in the mid 70's. After the boardwalk we walked down to the ocean so he could put his foot in the Pacific for the first time. We walked along the beach back to the car. It was a nice walk, though I ran out of steam about halfway back to the car (it's tough walking in sand).
We were about five minutes from the car when Matt mentioned that it's been two hours and I had parked at a meter that was about to expire. I figured we'd get there a few minutes late but it should be okay. Well as soon as we are about 20 feet from the car a meter maid comes rolling around in her car and pulls up next to my, now expired, meter. I quicken my pace and as she was getting out and pulling out your ticket machine I come up next to her, apologize and say it just expired. Now things could have gone two ways.. she could have said "it's too late I've already started the ticket" or she could have smiled and nodded.. I'm happy to say she did the latter.
Matt and I were drained after walking around so much that we decided to head back to my place to rest for a bit and then decide on what we would do next. We debated on going to Griffith Observatory or see a movie at Citywalk IMAX but in the end we (or I) was so tired after a grueling workout and then walking around for hours I was done for the day. I felt bad as I knew Matt wanted to explore more of the city but I just couldn't do it. We grabbed some dinner at Wienerschnitzel, Matt had never had a corn dog before (so deprived :) and we also tried a few of his new candy bars, he seemed to enjoy everything. I still debated on taking him out again but luckily I was saved as he had made plans to go out on the town with Bel.. I was off the hook :) But I also told him that I'm a middle aged gay man, probably not the best person to hangout with at a bar trying to pick up the ladies.
Again like with Thursday we didn't do a ton of sight seeing but we got a good amount in and we still have an entire day for sightseeing tomorrow.
It was themed Escape from Shelob. First of all I love me anything to do with Middle Earth/Lord of the Rings/Hobbit and second I love themed workouts.. so this was win win for me.
We started with nice walk around the park and then some stretching.
Today we had coach Andrew, coach Marla, coach David and coach Blair to help get us through this crazy workout.
Coach Andrew set the scene.. we are Samwise and poor Mr. Frodo has been attacked and incased in web by the evil Shelob. It's our job to pick up Mr. Frodo and get him to safety.
There were three orange cones set up, 1st one was about 50 feet away, the second was 100 feet and the third cone was 150 feet away from the starting point. We first had to do 40x Jumping Jacks, 30x Bicycles, 20x Jump Squats, 10x Push Ups and finally 5x Burpees. We then picked up Mr. Frodo (the sandbag) and carried him to the first orange cone 50 feet away. We then ran back and repeated the workout, 40x Jumping Jacks, 30x Bicycles, 20x Jump Squats, 10x Push Ups and finally 5x Burpees. We then had to Bear Crawl (on our hands and feet) to Mr. Frodo who is currently at the 1st cone, pick him up and run him to the second cone 50 feet away from the first cone. We then ran back and did the workout again. This time I was feeling it, it wasn't horrible but it defiantly took some work to complete.
In total we did 240 Jumping Jacks, 180 Bicycles, 120 Jump Squats, 60 Push Ups and 30 Burpees. We bear crawled 450 feet and ran/walked countless other feet. Oh and I forgot to mention that we had a time limit of 40 minutes to get this done but I'm happy to say that everyone in the 8am class finished well before the time limit... everyone kicked Shelobs ass!!
I have to say this workout looked extremely daunting on the board and though there were some tough times and I struggled a bit, with the help and encouragement of the coaches and fellow NerdStrongers this workout wound up being not so bad.
Thanks to coach Andrew, coach David, coach Marla and Coach Blair for your consistent support and encouragement. You are the reason we are NERDSTRONG!!!
Friday, May 8, 2015
During the evening after work Matt (who's visiting from England), Bel (who's visiting from Sweden) and I went out to dinner. I wanted to take Matt to one of my favorite places to get a tasty burger and some amazing cheddar fries.. Islands. Both Bel and Matt enjoyed the food, Bel's burger was gone before I even took the first bit of my hamburger.. so I think he liked it.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
First Marvel announced the cast for the third installment of the Captain America movie franchise. The next movie which is titled Captain America: Civil War will have a much larger cast then the previous movie and even more "superheroes" then Avengers: Age of Ultron. Here's who is going to be appearing in the movie.
Reprising their roles from the previous installments in the franchise, Chris Evans will be returning as Steve Rogers' Captain America; Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark's Iron Man; Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow; Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier;" Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson's Falcon, Jeremy Renner as crowbow-toting Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Paul Bettany will be revisiting his character, The Vision, Don Cheadle's James "Rhodey" Rhodes appearing as War Machine and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch.
Paul Rudd's Scott Lang from "Ant-Man," will make his first appearance alongside the rest of the Avengers, and William Hurt as General "Thunderbolt" Ross from "The Incredible Hulk" will play a supporting role.
Emily VanCamp, who played Agent 13, Sharon Carter, and Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," will be coming back to their roles as well.
And if that wasn't enough the film will be introducing Chadwick Boseman, who will be making his entrance into the MCU as T'Challa, the Black Panther, Daniel Brühl, who will be taking on the role of the film's villain, Baron Helmut Zemo and Martin Freeman as government agent Everett K. Ross.
This movie is going to be huge.. I just hope it can live up to the previous installment Captain America: The Winter Solider, which is probably my favorite of all the Marvel movies.
“MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER” (Season 2) “Marvel’s Agent Carter” returns for a second season of adventure and intrigue, starring Hayley Atwell in the titular role of the unstoppable secret agent for the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve). Dedicated to the fight against new atomic age threats in the wake of World War II, Peggy must now journey from New York City to Los Angeles for her most dangerous assignment yet. But even as she discovers new friends, a new home — and perhaps even a new love — she’s about to find out that the bright lights of the post-war Hollywood mask a more sinister threat to everyone she is sworn to protect.
ABC also announced a second season for the fun musical series Galavant.
"When heroes alone are not enough … the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat – one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known?"
I'm a huge fan of Arrow and The Flash and this is sounding pretty awesome as well.. especially since it has one of my favorite actors Brandon Routh (Atom) will be one of the main characters for this series.
So Matt and I walked around the cement hand and foot prints for a bit, we checked out a lot of the Stars on the Walk of Fame and Matt even managed to find Nicholas Cage's star (one he wanted to see). We walked around the Hollywood and Highland shopping area and while there Matt finally got to see the Hollywood sign (something that he was looking forward to seeing). We did a bit of souvenir shopping for this friends and family and then continued our walk down the Walk of Fame to Hollywood and Vine before we jumped on the Subway and headed to the California Science Center in downtown Los Angeles.
After Endeavour we headed to the Science Center food court to grab a bite to eat as we were both starving. Once lunch was over we explored the rest of the Science Center and the surrounding areas. We were temped to go to the Natural History Museum which was right next door but there was only a few hours left in their opening hours and for the cost to get in I didn't want to short change ourselves. We plan to return on the weekend and check it out then.
During our travels around Citywalk we checked out the new location of Things from Another World and found the new Wonder Woman 77 comic book that I've been wanting to get. I don't know when I'll have time to read it but I'm looking for to it. I've heard some good things about the storyline and the art looks amazing.
After Citywalk we headed back to my place and watched a few episodes of Agents of SHIELD season one (Matt's never seen it so he's been watching episodes here and there while staying with me).
Though we didn't get to do everything that I had planned for the day we did quite a bit and Matt got to explore a few of the cool things that LA/Hollywood had to offer.
Back to work tomorrow and then 2 days of playing the tour guide again for my buddy Matt over the weekend... can't wait!!
This was a more chilled workout as it was broken down into three parts, it was more of a focused and form workout for about 10 to 15 minutes and then a few minutes rest before doing it again and then one last time. Each set worked the same area of the body, the back and scapula.
We started with 5 sets of 10x Scap Pulls, which were not that hard but getting the technique down was challenging. We also had to do some 10x Sandbag Rows and these weren't to taxing but getting the right form was the more important part of this task.
After a mandatory rest we did 5 sets of 7x Scap Push Ups, again these aren't that difficult but getting the from down so that your working the correct muscle group was tough. We then did 10x - 15x Tri Dips (on a box)... okay now these were tough and I only managed to do the least amount possible each round.
For our final cool down period we did 10 minutes of arm Roll Outs. This is taking a barbell and moving your fore arm as well triceps and biceps up and down the bar. It's like a deep tissue massage that is a bit painful but you know it's helping in the end.
Overall a nice workout for a strength day.. thanks coach Andrew and coach David.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
We started with their tasty chips and salsa but he didn't seem to like it as he didn't eat much of it. I suggested that he get a combo plate so he could try many different items at once. He agreed and wound up getting a cheese enchilada, pork tamale and chicken soft taco, along with a side of Spanish rice and refried beans. He devoured everything... well except the sweet corn tomalito which they put on your plate as a small dessert. He wasn't a fan of the mushy texture. He also question if the second coke they waitress brought him was free.. I told him that we have unlimited soda here in the US.. he liked that. I'd say that his first taste of Mexican food was a success.
Today's workout is a "past" workout but before my time so I have never done it. Once again, like with last week, several people in the prior class yelled out when they saw me "Run... Run while you still can" Then coach Blair turned to me with that "evil" smirk he likes to share every now and then and said... "Oh... you'll run!!"
Yeah I knew I was in trouble.
So today's workout was titled The Royal Flush Gang and it's a kind of random workout which I really enjoy. How it works is coach Blair has a deck of cards and he has assigned a different workout to each suit. Diamonds are Goblet Squats, Clubs were Weighted Sit Ups, Hearts Russian Twists and Spades Burpees. Of course each workout had a modified workout in case the "regular" one was to much.
So coach Blair would randomly flip a card, we had to do the workout that corrisponded with the suit and then the reps were determined by the number on the card. So if he turned over a 7 of Diamonds.. that meant we had to do 7 Goblet Squats. The face cards of course were even higher number Jacks = 11, Queens = 12 & Kinds were the most at 13. Aces were 1 (we loved Aces) and then Jokers meant we had to do a 250 meter run. Though there were only two Jokers coach Blair added them back into the pile a few times. So we knew we were going to be doing at least 52 workouts, possibly more if coach Blair added the Jokers back in.
In the end we did a full 40 minute workout with no rest and you'd think I would have been exhausted but I wasn't. I mean I was tired and feeling it but I didn't once get dizzy or lose my breath. Maybe I'm getting better at pacing myself. It might be the fact that we did these workouts as a team so if you got done early you had to wait for everyone to finish and maybe those :20 second rests here and there helped in the long run.
Regardless it was another awesome workout with coach Blair... thanks
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
So Happy Birthday Michael, here's to another 40 (hopefully more) years.
I came across this poster that I just had to share on social media. Everyone knows I'm a huge Captain America fan.. he is my favorite Marvel superhero and if you have seen the recent Avengers: Age of Ultron then you will get his poster.
They also released the first image for Captain America: Civil War. I don't know a ton about the storyline as I haven't read the comic book limited series (yet). From what I understand the U.S. government passes a Superhero Registration Act it's designed to have superpowered characters act under official regulation, somewhat akin to police officers. However, those opposed to the act, led by Captain America, find themselves in conflict with those in support of the act, led by Iron Man.
I don't know how I feel about this storyline, especially since it's pitting super HEROS against super HEROS. Someone is going to be the "bad" guys and that's going to be tough to watch. Also if superheros are fighting superheros there are bound to be some super deaths and that's gonna be tough if they kills off a character that I love. Anyways.. I can't wait for this movie and more details.
Speaking of Marvel I came across this video that combines all of the Marvel movies into a 13 minute recap of what's happen to far before seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron. I thought it was pretty good and had to share it on social media and now I'm sharing it with you all... Enjoy!!
After work I took visiting friends Matt (England) and Bel (Sweden) around Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.
So I drove the guys up Hollywood Blvd, then back down Sunset, then back up Santa Monica Blvd, down Melrose Ave, back up Beverly and finally back down Wilshire Blvd. I also took them down Rodeo drive in Beverly Hills. It was a few hours of driving around but it did give them an idea of the night life in Hollywood, LA and West Hollywood.
Today's NerdStrong workout was brought to us by coach Andrew's visiting brother Paul.. who also happens to own a gym back east, so coach Paul lead this workout. Coach Paul's gym is a bit different then his brother's gym. As I as told it's more yoga-ish, with more mobility work. So we got a pretty extensive warm up as you can see from the picture. This warm up felt very much like a good workout.
But our actual workout was broken down into two sections.. the first one was a TABATA (:20 seconds of work and then :10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds). We switched between Jump Rope and Active Hangs. I've always been good at jump roping so this wasn't much challenge.. I actually enjoy jumping rope. Active Hangs were a bit tougher, as you're not just hanging there you are actively starting to pull yourself up and holding it. We went back and forth with each of these activities four times.
The second half of the workout we did in teams of three. My team consisted of Roe and Emily. While one person rowed 200 meters the other person was holding a weighted plate overhead and the third person is on the ground holding a plank. The person dictating the length of time that you had to hold the plank or weight above your head was the rower and how long it took them to row 200 meters. I had a great team, each person pushed themselves to complete the row as quickly as possible so the other two didn't have to suffer to much. We had to do three rounds of each and I'm happy to say that my team finished first.. not that it's a competition :)
Overall it was a nice workout, not to crazy but defiantly got the blood pumping. Thanks coach Paul.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Today is Star Wars Day.. So to all my amazing Star Wars loving friends "May the 4th Be With You"
Of course it seemed appropriate that LucasFilms would release some new Star Wars The Force Awakens pictures. Vanity Fair has an entire Star Wars spread from famous photographer Annie Leibovitz, there is also video of some behind the scenes from this photo shoot. You can see some of the photos and read the article HERE and watch the video below.
Yesterday I downloaded yet another "social media" app called Periscope. Here's is their story... Just over a year ago, we became fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s eyes. What if you could see through the eyes of a protester in Ukraine? Or watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? It may sound crazy, but we wanted to build the closest thing to teleportation. While there are many ways to discover events and places, we realized there is no better way to experience a place right now than through live video. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but live video can take you someplace and show you around.
And that is what Periscope is, You can "broadcast" right from your phone and folks who are following you can watch live, they can also chat instantly with you.. it's pretty cool. I don't know if I'll use it alot but it might be fun to share SDCC and other events with my friends. Only downside is it does use up a ton of your data plan (for those of us who don't have unlimited). So I'd only use it if I was able to be on wifi.
During my lunch I watched a few You Tube videos.. one of my favorite things to watch is Britain's Got Talent and the other incarnations of that show. Today I watched a video of a guy who was on the show last month, his name is Calum Scott. The story goes, he and his sister both were trying out for Britain's Got Talent. His sister Jade went on before him and though she had an interesting voice Simon did not like it and she did not make it through. So now this is where the video picks up, it's time for Calum to sing. You can tell he's nervous and upset about his sister but he starts to sing.. and OMG I'm just blown away.
His voice is just incredible. It's different in a good way, kind of raspy and soothing. And I wasn't the only one who loved him.. the audience gave him a standing ovation as well as the four judges. And the best part was when everyone sat down and got quiet Simon reached over and pressed the Golden button, which means Calum goes straight to the semi-finals... this is huge.
I think another thing that endeared me to Calum, besides him being extremely cute and adorable, is he seems extremely humble and an amazing brother. You get a "nice guy" vibe off him and sometimes it nice to see nice guys finish first for once.
So I did a bit more online research and found out that Calum Scott did an actual music video for the same song he sung on the BGT almost a year prior, Robin's "Dancing On My Own". I had never heard this song before.. of course after watching this I went and listen to the original and it's good but Calum's version is so much better.. I really like the words to this song.
He is also in a tribute band for Maroon 5, called appropriately enough Maroon 4 and covers several of their songs.. and in the comments of his videos alot of people say he sounds like Adam Levine, which makes sense for the tribute band. Anyways.. can't wait to see how far this guy goes, hopefully he makes it to the end or at least gets a record deal out of this. Can't wait to hear more from Calum Scott.
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Overall it was a fun session. I think I'm getting D&D fatigue and may take a break after this adventure. After D&D I headed back to my place and crashed.
We started with a really fun warm up. We had to team up with a 'buddy', mine was my friend Lauren. We had to pass a medicine ball back and forth many times in various ways. I think the hardest was doing sit ups while your partner tossed you the medicine ball.
The workout was broken into three parts. The first part was 10 minutes of 5x Step Ups and 10x Ring Rows. Once again we were teamed up and while you did the Steps Ups your team mate did Ring Rows. One thing about these Steps Ups, they were very slow and precise. Instead of pushing off from the leg on the ground they wanted us to use the leg that is up on the box and pull your body up to the box. It was tough because instinctively you want to use the leg on the floor to push yourself up. The Ring Rows were also slow and precise but really not any different then our usual ring rows.
The second part of the workout was an "Indian Run". I actually really like Indian Runs. An Indian Run is when a group of runners line up in a straight line and you all jog at the same pace while staying in this line, then the last person in the line has to run to the front of the line and set the new pace. We had to keep doing this for 500 meters as we ran around the parking lot.
For the third part of the workout we had to do 5 sets of 10x Box Jumps, 12x Thrusters and 14x Push Ups in 10 minutes. If we didn't finish with in the time limit we had to do 30x Wallball Burpees as a penalty. This task looked nearly impossible and folks were looking weary. But while we were out running a time shift occurred and suddenly the workout changed to 10 minutes time cap AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) 5x Box Jumps, 6x Thrusters and 7x Push Ups. And thankfully the penalty disappeared and turned into waffles. This was still a pretty tough workout and I couldn't imagine doing the original timeline workout... thank goodness for the time shift.
It was another great workout brought to us by coach Andrew and his visiting brother Paul who also happens to own a gym and be a coach... fitness must run in the family.