Saturday, May 30, 2015


Today I skipped my NerdStrong workout so I could go to Disneyland and hang out with some awesome people. My best bud Chris was visiting his girlfriend and planned a trip to Disneyland. I haven't been to Disneyland since November of 2014 when my annual pass expired so I was really happy to be going again.

I got there around 9am and the line to get into the parking structure was backed up to the freeway exit... I actually sat on the freeway in line waiting to get off. As I got closer I just missed them opening the express lanes. It felt like forever but the line moved slowly but surely and soon I was parked. I met up with Chris and Hayley in the parking structure. We made our way to the park and found Brett and Elie in the baggage check line. Once through that we met up with our buddy Aaron.

Soon the six of us where in the park and heading to Tomorrowland (cause that's what you do). We got a fast pass for Star Tours and then got in line for Space Mountain. Once we got off Space Mountain we found a cool section dedicated to the new movie TomorrowLand. They had props and costumes from the movie.. it was pretty cool.

Our fast pass was good to go for Star Tours so we got in line for that. We waited for the front row as this was Elie's first time on the revamped ride. It was pretty great but we had a transport full of young girl scouts who'd scream for at anything.. it got pretty loud. We then went over to Astro Blasters were we ran into Jennifer, Matt and their adorable little girl. Once we finished Astro Blasters we headed out to grab some lunch and of course we had to have Disneyland's amazing Corndog. We were once again joined by Jennifer, Matt and their daughter. Those guys left as the little one had had enough fun for the day. We said goodbye and headed over to the Indiana Jones Ride and grabbed a fast pass before getting in line at Pirates of the Caribbean. While on that ride I got a text from my best bud Robert informing me that he and his fiance Cait just arrived so we met up with them as we exited the ride.

Our next stop was the Haunted Mansion and after that we went over Big Thunder Mountain and grabbed a fast pass before getting in the single rider line for the Matterhorn. They updated the two abominable snow men and wow are they impressive now. The ride is still shaky as hell but I did like the improvement.

We then did Tarzan Tree House before heading over to Indiana as our fast pass was now valid. Unfortunately Indiana was temporarily closed. But they did tell us that we could use our fast pass at anytime. So instead we went next door to the Jungle Cruise. Afterwards we headed over to Disney California Adventures. First thing we did was grab some chocolate dipped soft serve ice cream before heading over and grabbing a fast pass for Tower of Terror. We then headed over to Screaming, where Elie and Hayley opted out. While in line we got a text from Steve who needed Chris to get into the park so Chris jumped out of line. That left Robert, Cait, Brett, Aaron and I to ride Screaming. Once off we met back up with the ladies and soon after Chris and Steve joined us. We headed over to Midway Mania for a fun spin. Afterwards we grabbed some dinner and Red 5 joined out little group.

We headed over to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail as Chris really wanted to find out what his spirit animal was. I had never done this section of the park and always thought it was more of a kids section but man did we have a ton of fun. By the way my spirit animal is a Bear. After that we grabbed a fast pass for Soarin' Over California and then headed back over to Disneyland to see if Indiana Jones was up and running. We got there and it was opened and luckily we had the fast passes as it was packed. Once we rode that we decided to head back to DCA to use our last two fast passes.. first was Soarin' and then finally Tower of Terror.

It was now 10:30ish and I'd had been at Disneyland for over 12 hours. The group was heading back to Disneyland but I was done. I had blisters on my feet and I just couldn't make it to midnight. Robert, Cait and Aaron also left while the others headed back to Disneyland for a few more hours. I headed back to the parking structure with Robert.

Getting out of Disneyland was just as bad as getting in. I don't think I actually got out of the parking area and onto the freeway until just after 11pm and home around midnight. It was a fantastic day, a much needed Disneyland rest. Thanks Chris for organizing the trip and for the fantastic 3 day military ticket. That means I can go two more times before it expires in Oct... woot woot!!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Being Remembered & Game Night

After open gym my buddy Derek gave me a remote control for my iphone camera. So now when I take pictures at NerdStrong I can use the remote and not have to use a camera app. Thanks Derek for this cool device.

I read this amazing article about a Canadian gay man in the 40's and it got me thinking how people would have perceived me if all they had to go on were the things found in my apartment. Of course now a days with social media and such it's nearly impossible to disappear out of existence. With Twitter, Facebook, Instragram and blogs, parts of your life are digitally saved forever. That's one reason why I enjoy blogging. Long after I'm dead and gone this blog or something similar will remain. My future family members will be able to see who I was and how I lived my life and that to me is pretty awesome.

After work I headed to NerdStrong, not to workout but to play board games. Tonight is NerdStrong Gym game night. We set up five tables and each table had a person teaching a game. I was co-heading a table with my friend Lauren, we were teaching Ticket to Ride.  Joining our table was Liz and Shannon, neither of them had played this game before and were excited to learn. We explained the rules and jumped in. It was a fun game and alot less cut throat then some previous games I've played in the past.

Afterwards we played a new game that I had just purchased a few weeks ago (I blogged about it as well). I played this game in England with I was staying with Erlend and Mat and fell in love with it. It's called Kaker Laken Poker.. well that's the German title, in the States it's simply Cockroach Poker.

Here's a bit more about the game and how to play it.. Cockroach Poker is a reverse set collection game that has nothing to do with poker – except that the game is all about bluffing, but with cards that show cockroaches, rats and stink bugs instead of queens, 10s and aces. The goal of the game is to force another player to collect 4 of any one type of critter.

The deck includes 64 cards, with eight copies of eight types of critters. On a turn, a player takes one card from his hand, lays it face down on the table, slides it to a player of his choice, and declares a type of critter, e.g., "Stink bug". The player receiving the card either... Accept the card, say either "true" or "false", then reveal the card. If this player is wrong in her claim, she keeps the card on the table in front of her face up; if she is right, the player who gave her the card places it face up before him. Of you can peek at the card, then passes it face down to another player, either saying the original type of critter or saying a new type. This new player again has the choice of accepting the card or passing it, unless the card has already been seen by all other players in which case the player must take the first option.

The game ends when a player has no cards to pass on his turn or when a player has four cards of the same critter on the table in front of him. In either case, this player loses and everyone else wins.

Shannon, Lauren, Liz and I were joined by Erin and Mike and the six of us started to play and we quickly became the loudest and most entertaining table there. Lauren's way of quickly looking at the card was hilarious while Mike couldn't bluff to save his life. Everyone loved this game and I'm happy to say it was a huge success. We had people standing around watching us play. When the game was over a few of us swapped out so more could play, Anne, Jess, Josh and Tyler joined in the fun. Three people actually purchased the game right then and there in the middle of playing it... that's how much fun this game is. We played a total of 3 games (probably could have kept going) but it was late so everyone called it a night.

Another awesome NerdStrong Game Night.. thanks Derek and Andrew for putting these together.

NerdStrong Open Gym - Biceps, Running and Handstands

Today was open gym at NerdStrong. My initial plan was to do the "Viking" workout with a bunch of the NerdStrong ladies. A group of them mentioned it last Friday and I said I'd like to join in. Yesterday one of them posted on Facebook to get more people involved and soon it turned into a Vikings Vs. Raptors conversation and of course we get in this morning and coach Seely created this  amazing workout.

Of course I planned to join them all before I hurt my back and though it was feeling much better I didn't want to take any chances on making it worse then it already was so I opted out of joining in the fun... I was bummed.

I started my workout as I have the past few days doing about 20 minutes of mobility work, especially on my back. For my workout today I worked on my biceps and shoulders. I did 5x5 set of bicep curls as well as 5x5 shoulder presses.

While the group of Vikings where doing their running portion of the workout I joined in and ran so many laps that I lost count. I also joined in a group who were practicing handstands, I did a few before I thought better of it.

Overall it was a good workout, nothing crazy but that's fine since my back isn't 100% yet. I have to say this was the largest turn out for open gym that's I've seen since they started it. Good times were had by all!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

NerdStrong Photo Album

I take alot of photos while I'm at NerdStrong Gym. I've always been a big fan of taking pictures.. I love documenting events in my life. I post some of the photos here on my blog, some on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but that leaves a lot of unposted pictures so today I created a "photo album" on Facebook and decided that I'd post all my pictures there (expect the actual workout). So if you wish to see more of my adventures at NerdStrong Gym you can check out the album HERE.  Or better yet come check out the gym for yourself. For more info click HERE.

NerdStrong Gym - Bench Presses & Pull Ups

So my back is still out of sorts from Tuesday's Kettlebell mishap but luckily for today's "Strength" workout it looks like I should be able to accomplish all of it.

Today's workout was all about Bench Press's and Pull Ups.

We were teamed up and instead of me going with my unusual bench press partner I was teamed up with two of the coaches, coach Blair and coach Christy. I assume coach David did this because of my faulty back and he wanted to make sure I was being well looked after.  Just another reason I love this gym.. they actually give a shit about you.

We started with 5x 50% of my max (180lbs) which is 95lbs, then did 5x 60% (110lbs), 5x 70% (130lbs), 5x 80% (145lbs), 5x 90% (165lbs) and finally 12x 50% again which was 95lbs. This wasn't really about the weight or speed it was all about form (as most of the things we do here at NerdStrong). They want to make sure we are doing things properly so we, firstly don't injure ourselves and secondly get the full benefit from the workout.

After the bench presses we moved on the pull up. I don't think many of the NerdStrongers can do pull ups (yet). I can manage one maybe two but that's it so instead we did negative pull ups... and to be honest those are just as though as pull ups.

To finish off the workout coach Andrew had to us do a TABATA (:20 seconds of work :10 seconds of break for 8 rounds) of Barbell Finger Rolls. These sounded and looked easy but man after a while it got tough and your fingers, wrists and hands started to get sore.

Overall it was a great workout, especially for my "bad" back. I didn't aggravate it the entire workout and that made me happy. Thanks to coach Andrew, coach David, coach Blair and coach Christy for all their help and encouragement.

On a side note I didn't get a NerdStrong "class" picture. Soon as the workout was done several people left and then the others got into conversations with the coaches and I didn't want to interrupt. Coach Blair did come over to me and snap a picture but this was the first class in since I started taking pictures to not do so.. it was kind of bummed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

J.K. Rowling Fighting Hate, Piggy-Sue & Traveling to Mordor

I've been a fan of J.K. Rowling for obvious reason... she wrote one of my all time favorite book series but she's an amazing human being as well. She generous with her time and fortune, helping multiple causes and she is also a big LGBT supporter.

Here is an example of her continued support. This was the headline of the article. "J.K. Rowling Blasts Westboro Baptist Church In Epic Tweet Over Ireland Marriage" You can check out the entire story HERE but in short the Westboro Baptist Church tweeted some hate filled speech at Mrs. Rowling about Dumbledore (who she has said is gay) marrying Gandalf (who, as far I know, is not) in Ireland where it is now legal. She of course wasn't going to take this lying down and responded to their hate tweet with "Alas, the sheer awesomeness of such a union in such a place would blow your tiny bigoted minds out of your thick sloping skulls."

She did get a little flack from fans saying that she should just ignore the hate (as most people do) but she responded with this tweet "I don't care about WBC. I think it's important that scared gay kids who aren't out yet see hate speech challenged." Again this is just one of many reason why I admire and appreciate this lady.... Thanks Jo for your continued support.

I came across this commercial for a cell phone company in New Zealand and it's pretty amazing... it even made me tear up. It's called Piggy Sue

I'm a huge Middle Earth fan as you may know if you read my blog or know me at all so when I found this picture I just had to share it.

It's actually the distance Sam and Frodo traveled from the Shire to Mordor to destroy the ring. First it's shown on a Middle Earth map but then they have the same distance displayed on a United States map as well as a Europe map. It's interesting to see the 1350 miles traveled, kind of puts things in perspective. In the US, the same 1,350-mile journey would take you from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas. In Europe, the 440-hours of walking could get you from London to Nis in Serbia. I thought this was interesting. It also made me realized that Western Europe is tiny compared to the US.

NerdStrong Gym - Welcome to Hell

I woke up this morning and my back was tender but felling better so I came into NerdStrong.

Today is Wednesday and that mean coach Blair and CON day. This workout looked simple but we knew it wasn't going to be and we were right. We started off with Stretching... and then more Stretching and finally some more Stretching. We moved on to a mini workout but it was still part of the warm up and we had to do 3 sets of 7x Kettlebell Straight Leg Deadlift & 7x Kettlebell Slow Goblet Squats.

Now that we were all warmed up and exhausted we moved onto part one of the main workout. It's coach Blairs famous Run/Row Combos. Everyone teamed up.. well everyone but me. Since my back was injured coaches felt that I shouldn't be rowing. So instead I did a Run/Run. I ran (well it was more like a jog) 10 times around the parking lot in 12 minutes that's 2500 meters. That's roughly a mile and a half and I didn't stop once. I found a nice pace and when it was over I wasn't out of breath and the only thing that hurt on me were my ankles.. I was extremely happy with the results.

I was able to participate in the second half of the workout, that consisted of 5 sets of 7x Thrusters (with a bar bell) and 7x Burpees (I opted to do a scale down version which was a Push Up). I felt great after this bit of the workout. My back was still tender but didn't hurt and I didn't aggravate it at all during the workout... woot!!

Even with my Alts I still got an amazing workout.. thanks coach Blair.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Ordering New Glasses

Yesterday I went to Costco Optical Center to have my eyes checked. It's been several years since I have been to an eye doctor and now that I need to buy new glasses due to me breaking my last week I figured it was a good time to check my prescription. Come to find out that my prescription hasn't really changed over the years and the doctor says my eyes look fantastic.. so that's good news.

Today I went online to purchase some glasses. Usually I go to Lencrafters and spend $500 on an eye exam and new glasses. Since I'm on a budget I opted to do the eye doctor at Costco which really cost about the same at Lenscrafters but I also opted to buy my glasses online. Coach Andrew told me about this online place called Zenni Optical where he gets his glasses for about $40. I checked them out and they had my style of frames for as cheap as $9 but of course the ones that could be used for bi-focals (which I have) were a bit pricier at $29.95 and when you add the bi-focals, the standard anti-reflective coating and the polarized clip-on sunglasses (which I couldn't pass up for $4) my total for this pair of glasses was $60.80 and when you include the $75 office visit the total is around $135, that's a savings of over $350 dollars.

I think the hardest thing for me was finding my pupillary distance, which is the distance of my pupils in milometers. First I had to find a ruler here at work and then I tried to look in my phone camera and do the measurement on myself but since my eye are extremely brown and it's tough to see the pupils in the middle, especially when I'm not wearing my glasses. After trying several times I finally asked my post production assistant Brad if he could measure them for me. Of course he said yes (he's a very nice guy) but I'm also his boss so that helps :) he measured 65 and when I did it I got about 70 so I opted for something in the middle and chose 67.

Now I just have to wait two weeks for delivery and see how these glasses turn out. If they are good I'll defiantly be buying a second pair. Let's hope my current broken one can last two more weeks.

NerdStrong Gym - Pop Goes the Back

Today's workout started off great, had a nice dual Indian run for a warm up along with some stretching.

This workout was broken into two parts. The first part consisted of 3 sets of 6x - 8x Tempo One Leg Kettlebell DeadLift on both legs then rest for 1 minute before doing a Nose-to-Wall, Wall Walk 2 HandStand and hold for :45 to :60 seconds. Rest another minute and then do 10x - 12x Tempo Ring Rows

The Kettlebell deadlifts were tough as my balance was off and I just couldn't seem to get things right. Wall Walks are a piece of cake for me so I had no problem doing those due to my upper body strength and ring rows are pretty easy though doing tempo can make things a bit tougher.

The second part of today's workout was a 12 minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) We started with a 140 meter run, then 12x Kettlebell Swings and finally 20x Lunges. The run started off great and then I went in and started to do the 12x Kettlebell swings when on my sixth one something in my back gave way and pain ran up and down my spine. I immediately stopped and went over to coach Andrew and explain that I must have pulled a muscle in my back, he quickly started to rub my back and found the sore spot and could feel that something was wrong. He had me a small ball and push it into the pulled back muscle. It was painful but I knew I had to work the muscle out. I think I sweated more doing that then the actual workout.

My day was done I couldn't finish the workout and spent the rest of the class trying to work the muscle. This is my biggest fear coming true. Hurting myself bad enough that it prevents me from working out. I already knew I had a bad back and both my knees are shot so it was just a matter of time before something gave. I just hope it's a minor thing and it won't prevent me from workout tomorrow. Gonna take it easy at work today and rest tonight and see how I feel tomorrow... wish me luck.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day, Geek Pride & Arrow and Flash

First I want to say Happy Memorial Day, I may not agree with what the military does all the time but I do appreciate each and every person who volunteers for it and especially those who give their lives. They made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and should always be remembered as heroes.

Secondly I booked all my classes for NerdStrong Gym for the month of June so I'm committed to another month of this amazing gym... not that there was any doubt I'd be coming back.

Thirdly today is a very special day in the Geek/Nerd world. No only is it the 38th Anniversary of the release of Star Wars which in turn created Geek Pride Day, it is also International Towel Day, for all you fans of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,

38 years ago today I went and saw a movie that would forever change my life. I credit Star Wars for making me the Sci Fi / Fantasy lover I am today and that series will always hold a very special place in my heart. It will always be part of my life and I am forever thankful to George Lucas for the world that sprung from his imagination.

Geek Pride Day is an initiative to promote geek culture. The date was chosen as to commemorate the release of the first Star Wars film as mentioned above and I don't mind celebrating Geek Pride day today but honestly I celebrate Geek Pride everyday of my life.

Towel Day is an annual celebration on the 25th of May, as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams (1952-2001), who wrote the very famous series The Hitchhikers Guild to the Galaxy. On that day, fans around the universe proudly carry a towel in his honor. This is truly a day of geeky goodness!!

I spent a majority of my lazy day off being very geeky and catching up on Arrow and Flash. I watched three episodes of Arrow solo so I could be caught up with my buddy Erik. We then jumped on Skype and watched several episodes of Flash and Arrow. We still have about 4 more Arrows and 5 more Flash's to watch but we are well on our way to finishing off both of these fantastic series.

But I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of the current storyline for Arrow, I hate when so much bad is happening to the "good" guys, but I'm gonna wait and see what happens in the remaining few episodes before I complain to much. On the the other hand I'm loving The Flash and really look forward to seeing how they are going to wrap up season one of this series. So much AWESOME TV these days.. it's good to be a geek!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mel's BBQ Extravaganza

So I've heard about the "infamous" Mel's BBQ the past few years as several of my friends have attended and I've always been slightly jealous as they always sound amazing. And even though Mel and I shared 80+ friends on Facebook we never actually met in person until I started going to NerdStrong Gym which he also attends. So needless to say I was super excited when I got the Facebook invite to his 7th Annual Mel's BBQ. I immediately said yes and didn't care what I had planned for the day (luckily there was nothing).  

After workout I headed home, showered, changed and headed over to my friend Andrew's place as he was driving a group of us over to the party.. this way I could drink. Joining us for the ride over was fellow NerdStronger Liz, Lauren and Meg. We squeezed into Andrew's Prius and made out way into Hollywood. We stopped off at a BevMo to pick up some supplies (I grabbed a large bottle of Fireball Whiskey) to add to the bottle of Butter Shots that I brought from home.

We parked across the street from Mel's building (Boom Studios) because Lauren works in the building and had a parking card (saved us time and money.. thanks Lauren). We got to the party and it was in full swing.

I ran into Marla and Andrew at the bar, Marla has several bottles of this unknown liquid. Come to find out that her brother is a mixologist and he made these for the party. Of course I had to try one, it was tequila mixed with a bunch of juices and it was extremely tasty. Found a few of my friends and said hello but I spent the majority of my time with my NerdStrong family. There were quite a few of us there and since they really didn't know anyone else they all kind of stuck together.

I did several shots of the Fireball and was feeling great. My goal was to get drunk (as it has been a while) and since I was not driving this was the prefect opportunity to take advantage of it. But I didn't want to drink so much that I would pass out and/or forget what happens.

In the end I think I did a pretty good job at balancing it all. Of course I had friends helping me by telling me to drink water before having another drink... or to eat this first before drinking more... my friends are awesome.

The BBQ was a success, I got drunk, but the fun kind of drunk. I got to see friends I hadn't seen in a while. I got to see my NerdStrong family outside of NerdStrong and I have to say they are all pretty awesome people. I got to meet Jenna Busch who I have admired for years and I also got to meet Derek Theler who plays Danny Wheeler on ABC Family's comedy Baby Daddy. Danny is my favorite character and I didn't realize how tall he was.. he towered over me.

I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked but I did go around and grab selfies with those I found. Luckily Mel had a photo booth set up so I got quite a few amazing pictures with friends there. You can check out more photos HERE on my Facebook Album.

Overall this BBQ lived up to and surpassed all the hype. Great food with great friends leads to a great time. Thanks Mel for the invite... can't wait for next year. 

NerdStrong Gym - Guzzoline!!

Oh look it's another Mad Max themed workout (our third in a few weeks). If you can't tell the coaches really loved this movie :)

We warmed up with a jog and some stretching before moving on to the very impressive workout. 

This one was broken down into segments, each being a 4 minute AMRAP's (As Many Reps As Possible). We started with "Go East" a 250 meter run around the parking lot with a weighted plate.  They allowed us to carry it however we wanted and at first I head it on the back of my neck and shoulders but that didn't last long, I then moved it around to the front of my body and held it around my chest and that worked for about 2/3's of the run but then my arms were burning so I opted to run the rest of it holding the weight over my head with my arms extended.

The next segment was "Guzzoline" which consisted of 6x Push Ups, 9x Hops Over Bar and 12x Deadlifts. Starting of the third rep is when I started to feel it. For my push ups which I have actually gotten really good but towards the end I started to struggle. Hop over bar wasn't that difficult but the important thing was to keep your feet together. Deadlifts is probably my best "bar" workout but trying to do them fast and with form is difficult. By the time the four minutes was up I was exhausted.

Though we had a two minute break in between the segments we also had to prep for the next workout so there really isn't time to rest. For segment 3 "BulletBoys" we had to do 12x Hammers, 10x Lat Raises and 10x Lying Triceps. There were done with kettlebell weights. Anything that has to do with my upper body strength I'm pretty good at, so these weren't horrible.. just lots of them.

The next segment "WarBoys" had us running again... this time we had to do 140 meter run then 10x V Ups and finally :30 Plank. The running has never been a problem for me but the V ups were tough, not physically but they take a toll on your core and then you flip over and do a :30 plank which also works the core.

For the final segment "My Name Is Max" we had to so 1x Burpee and then 2x Ring Rows but with every rep we increased by 1. By the end of the 4 minutes I was doing 7 Burpees and 8 Ring Rows and was exhausted.

For segments 2, 3 and 4 I did roughly 3 1/2 to 4 sets each. It was a tough workout but as I've said in the past I love Themed workouts and it's great when they are broken down into these smaller segments. I know it doesn't matter overall but it does help with the mental part of the workout.

Thanks to coach Andrew and coach Seely and of course NerdStrong Gym for making me a much happier and healthier Geekyfanboy.