Saturday, May 9, 2015

Military Museum, Venice Beach & American Candy

After the workout I went home and got ready to take Matt out and about for our second day of touring LA/Hollywood. First up was a museum that I had never heard of. Matt is big into History and really likes World War II Tanks. So of course he found an American Military Museum about 30 minutes away in El Monte. So we made our way out there and came upon this very interesting museum. It's not in a building but instead in an open field. The cost wasn't bad.. something like 5 bucks and they give you a white three ring binder with descriptions of each of the 178 items they had on display at this museum.

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.

NerdStrong Gym - Escaping Shelob

Since our gym is under construction they had today's workout at a local park.

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.

We then had to bear crawl 100 feet to the second orange cone, this was tough, 50 feet was bad enough but 100 seemed impossible. I took several breaks along the way and some of my fellow NerdStrongers just crawled on all fours.. I was tempted to do the same. Once there you pick Mr. Frodo and run him to the third and final cone 50 feet from the second cone. You run back like before and repeat the workout. Once again I struggled with this workout, I was tired but forced myself to complete it in a timely manner. Once done you bear crawled 150 feet to the third cone, yeah this wasn't going to happen. I crawled on my hands and knees half of the way before finishing the rest of the way in a bear crawl. I then picked up Mr. Frodo and ran him back to the second orange cone.. yep that's right we aren't done.. this workout is a ladder. So I dropped Mr. Frodo off at the second cone and just walked back to the beginning to do the workout for a fifth time. I don't know how I got through it but I did and I once again bear crawled to the second cone 100 feet away, pick up Mr. Frodo and brought him to the first cone. I then had to do one final workout before bear crawling to the first cone 50 feet away, picking up Mr. Frodo and bringing him back to the beginning and out of Shelobs reach.

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

Dinner and Arcade Games

Since NerdStrong Gym is under construction, Friday's class was cancelled. I was going to go for a jog in the morning before work but I opted to actually take the day off. I only have one day a week where I don't workout so as a treat to myself I took a second day off.

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.

Afterwards Bel mentioned a bar where you can play old school arcade games. It was right down the street from where we were so we thought we'd check it out. It's called The One Up though you wouldn't know that from the outside as there was no name on the building.. just an 8-bit alien. Inside looked like your typical bar, but in the back corner was a room full of arcade games. These games were free to play as long as you're eating and or drinking. The guys ordered some beers while I had a diet coke and we played a few games like Frogger, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Pac Man and a couple more. It was alot of fun and I was surprising good at them, we played for a few hours. I had a blast and I could see myself coming back here again with some friends to hang out some nights.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cap 3 Cast, More SHIELD & Agent Carter and DC Expands

While I was out showing my buddy Matt around town lots of amazing geeky TV and movie news was announced. Here are some of the highlights and my favorites.

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.

In TV news... ABC announced the renewal of Agents of SHIELD for a third season (woot woot!!!) and even better then that, they announced a second season for Agent Carter (one of my favorite new series).

“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.

CBS picked a full season of Supergirl, which means that they liked the pilot, so that's great news and the CW announced the title of the Arrow/The Flash spin off "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" and they released a synopsis of the storyline:

"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.

Hollywood, Space Shuttles & Chinese Food

Today I played hooky from work (they actual knew what I was doing) to show my British friend Matt around Hollywood and Los Angeles.  We headed out around 9:30am. Our first stop was downtown Hollywood. When we got there it was super crowded. No only where they preparing to present a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to Modern Family star Sophia Vegara but they were also setting up a red carpet event for the LA premiere of Mad Max: Fury Road. There were crowds everywhere. Luckily we got to the Chinese theater when we did as later in the day they close down that entire area.

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.

Though Matt isn't American, he is a geek and I figured he'd like to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour and I was right. This was my third time seeing this amazing vehicle and it still takes my breath away when I enter the building where it is housed. One of many great things about Matt is he loves to read all the little details about everything (he's really into history). So this made me take the time to stop and read along. I learned a bit more about the space shuttle, it's missions and even got to listen to an older gentleman (who worked there) explain some of the more finer details of Endeavour.

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.

So instead we got back on the subway and returned to my car and headed to Universal Citywalk. We walked around there for an hour or so before grabbing some Panda Express. Matt has never had "fast food" Chinese food and Panda does have their tasty orange chicken. Matt enjoyed it and even tweeted that he just had some the best Chinese food ever.

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!!

NerdStrong Gym - Back and Shoulders

Today coach Andrew and coach David took us through Grood's Revenge!!!

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.

The third segment has 5 sets of 10x Hammer Curls. This is using dumbbells and it's like regular curls expect you keep your elbows tucked into your side and only move your forearms. I started with 15lbs weights and then coach Andrew came by and asked if 20lbs were to heavy for me and I said that I hadn't tried and he gave me that look of... you need to go heavier so I grabbed the 20lbs weights for the rest of my sets. The other thing we had to do was Banded Pull Downs. I have to say of all the things we did these were probably my favorite. I enjoy upper body workouts as I tend to do better with those.

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

Mexican Food First Timer

Tonight after work Matt (who is visiting me from England) and I went out for dinner. He has never had Mexican food, I couldn't believe it.. he did say that he thinks he had a taquito once. Well we had to change that so I took him to a favorite of mine Chevys Fresh Mex.

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.

NerdStrong Gym - Royal Flush Gang

Wednesday means CON day and Con day means Coach Blair.

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 I did 91 Goblet Squats (I did modify down to Air Squats a few times), 91 Weighted Sit Ups (I also did regular Sits Ups when I was exhausted), 91 Russian Twists and 91 Burpees (It was suggested by coach Blair to do the modified down Push Ups if the number was over 7, which we were all very happy to oblige by). We also ran three 250 meters runs around the parking lot for a total of 750 meters.

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

Bro's B-day, Captain America, Marvel Recap & A Night Drive

Today is my brother Michael's 40th Birthday... I can't believe he's 40 already. I remember the day he was born and my aunt and uncle telling me that I had a little brother. I was 4 1/2 at the time and staying with them while my mom and dad were in the hospital. Of course being almost five years older made our childhood a bit challenging. I heard many, many times "you are older and should no better" when I would try and retaliate against my brother for initiate a fight between us. But as we got older and he became an adult our relationship changed and we are must closer now then we were as kids. I have watched him go from annoying little brother, to rebellious adolescence, to young adult having fun, and finally to loving Husband and Father.

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.

We didn't have lot of time as it was late in the evening but I wanted Matt (and Bel who's been to LA before) to see some of the night life of Los Angeles. That is one thing I wish I would have done more on my trip to Ireland/UK. I wish I would have gone out and see the cities at night.

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.

NerdStrong Gym - TABATA & Teams

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

Star Wars Day, Calum Scott & A Friend Visits

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.

During the evening I headed to LAX to pick up my buddy Matt who is visiting from England. This is his very first time in the US. I'm honored that he choose to visit me. His plane was delayed an hour but I was able to find out where he'd be exiting and was there smiling when he came down the escalator.  We got home around 11:30pm and we chatted for a half hour before I had to call it a night as I have to be up at 6am for NerdStrong. I look forward to showing Matt around Los Angeles in the coming week. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Breakfast with NerdStrongers & Playing D&D

After NerdStrong a few of us went out to a local "diner" Hungry Fox to grab some breakfast/lunch. This seems to be our go to place on the weekends after a good workout. There is always a bit of a wait for a table but the food is good. This time around there were 7 of us and after about 20 minutes I went in to see where were are on the list and they had crossed our names out. This is the second time this has happened here. I mentioned their mistake and they quickly moved us to the top of the list and we were seated with in ten minutes. Once seated our waitress took our drink orders and brought us the drink but then disappeared for quite a while. When she finally returned we ordered food and I'm happy to say that it arrived fairly quickly. We ate and talked about all sort of crazy things like if the guys junk hurt while working out with certain equipment (ie Kettlebell), the guys then posed the question to the girls about their breasts and doing certain moves. We discussed pole dancing (as their a school right across from our gym) and how we all feel like kids more then adults. We discussed our diets, calorie intake and previous eating habits. You know, your typical conversations post workout. It was a good time. We then had a wait once again to get our checks but as I said.. the food is good.

Afterwards I headed home and got ready for D&D. Today's session was a continuation of a battle that started last time. At first we seemed to have the upper hand but then suddenly they came back and it was a full on battle again. Lot's of party members lost alot of HP (hit points). We even lost one of our party members, Phlig our Gnome Rogue (in a human body now) was killed. Luckily he had a few hero points and was resurrected. My little Halfing Mage Dash took a beating but never went unconscious. It took us 13 or 14 rounds but we finally defeated this small band of Orc, Goblins, HobGoblins and a Troll. We had to take our "polyjuice potions" and change into the beasts we just killed. Dash became a Goblin. We continued our journey into enemy territory. Our mission was to get a number count on how many troops the enemy has and needless to say it's currently double the amount of troops our Queen has... this doesn't bode well for the good guys. We got into a few scuffles in our travels and Xander became part of a pit fight but as we were hitting our mid way point in the potion (it only lasts 5 hours) and thinking of heading back with our report. Nar (who couldn't change and we were pretending he was as hostage) was taken from us and disappeared into some menacing looking gates... to be continued.

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.

NerdStrong Gym - Time Cop

Today is Sunday which means a themed workout. Today was all about Time Cop.

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.