Saturday, June 20, 2015

Guest Podcasting: Willow

I spent the evening recording another guest podcast for Treks in Sci Fi with my buddy Chris. Chris and I have been talking about doing a joint podcast for over a year but timing has never been right, but no longer.. we finally were able to get together to record our thoughts on one of my all time favorite fantasy movies Willow.

If you've never seen Willow here's a brief synopsis: In a time of dread, seers have foretold the birth of a child that would bring about the downfall of the powerful Queen Banmorda. When this child is born, her midwife flees with her. But she is hunted down by dog-like creatures and she puts the baby on a wooden raft to be carried out by the river. The Daikini (human) child is found by the Nelwyn (dwarf) family of the farmer and wanna-a-be magician Willow Ufgood. His wife decides to take care of the baby. But when the dog-like creatures attack the Nelwyn village, Willow discloses the baby to the council. The High Aldwin decides that Willow shall take the baby to the crossroad of the Daikini land with a small group and deliver her to a responsible Daikini. But Willow meets the thief Madmartigan locked up in a cage and he believes Madmartigan is not the right person. However he is convinced by his friend to deliver the baby to Madmartigan but soon comes to regret that decision.

Fairy Cherlindrea tells Willow that the baby is Elora Dana from the prophecy and is very special. She also tells him that he must protect Elora and deliver her to a good king and queen who will raise her properly. She also gives him a magic wand to be deliver to Fin Raziel, a powerful sorcerers who will help him achieve his task. Willow embarks on his journey with Madmartigan and the Brownies Franjean and Rool but they are chased by Queen Bavmorda's daughter Sorsha and the evil General Kael. The struggle between good and evil begins.

The recording went great, we had lots of interesting behind the scenes things to talk about. I learned alot more about this movie doing my research for it. If you haven't seen this movie then it's a must watch.. I'll even come over and watch it with you or vice versa ( I own it on DVD and Blu-Ray). I don't know when the podcast will be out but I'm thinking sometime towards the end of July or beginning of August... but as always I'll keep you guys posted.

Inside Out - My Thoughts

I got to see a PGA (Producer's Guild of America) screening of Inside Out with my friends Robert and Cait at the Writers Guild. If you don't know what Inside Out is.. here's a brief synopsis: Riley is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents move to San Francisco. Riley's emotions -- led by Joy -- try to guide her through this difficult, life-changing event. However, the stress of the move brings Sadness to the forefront. When Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley's mind, the only emotions left in Headquarters are Anger, Fear and Disgust.

Going into this movie I expected to love it as I have loved 99.9% of the Pixar/Disney movies so the bar was set pretty high for this one and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. I knew after the first five minutes that this movie was going to be a winner, like with Up, Inside Out had this amazing beginning that sets up the entire movie.  

The animation is pretty spectacular as the (emotion) characters edges aren't sharp lines but their clothes are. The writing is funny and heartwarming. I love that it's kind of an educational film, teaching kids about various emotions and how it's okay to feel sad or mad or happy at times. It may not be scientifically accurate on how the mind works but still it's a blast to watch. 

Many scenes had me on the verge of tears, with a few that pushed me over the edge. When Riley's imaginary friend Bing Bong sacrifices himself to save Joy I just lost it.. I loved the dynamic of Joy and Sadness, and the realization that sometimes it's good to allow Sadness to be in control. It was fun seeing into the minds of the parents and also at the end when they went into the mind various other people and animals. I love the idea of the personality islands and it made me thing what islands do I have in my brain. 

I can't praise this movie enough.. I loved every minute of it. It's definitely one of Pixar's best. I look forward to seeing it again and buying it when it comes out on blu-ray. I give Inside Out a solid A. 

NerdStrong Gym - Zombiez!!!

Zombiez are once again attacking NerdStrong Gym.  We started with a good warm up of 5x Burpees, 20x Mountain Climbers & 7x Dumbbell Curls 2 Press and we had to do everything twice. As I said it was a good warm up (mini workout).

For the actual workout it was 30x Goblet Squats, 30x Push Ups, 30x Slamballs, 30x Leg Levers, 30x Battleropes (2 hand slams), 30x Wallballs, 30x Box Jumps, 30x Lunges, Run 2 Laps around the parking lot and finally Row 500 meters.

We had 12 minutes to finish all these things or the Zombiez turned into SuperZombiez which meant we added +20 reps to our already 30 reps or another 250 meters to the row and another lap to the run.

The order in which you did these workouts was random as we were all handed a red solo cup with each workout on a piece of paper. You reached in and pulled out a piece and that's what you did.

It's a tough workout but enjoyable, nothing is to taxing as long as you pace yourself but you don't want to move to slow as you want to have to many things to do after the 12 minutes as the workouts almost double in toughness. I'm happy to say that I had all but two workouts done before the 12 minutes was up so I got stuck with SuperZombiez for Slamballs x50 and the Run 3 laps. But I'm happy to say that I finished everything before time ran out at the end of class.

Overall another fantastic workout, next time we do the Zombiez workout I think I'll try and do the "hardcore" version.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Breathtaking Performance & Chris' 29th Birthday Party

I opted to not to go to NerdStrong today for open gym. My body told me to take a rest and I listened to it for once. I'm sure this weekends workouts are going to be crazy so I'll save up my energy for then. 

I came across this awesome video. It was an act this years America's Got Talent. I love seeing these really interesting performances. The duo is called Freckled Sky. It's breathtaking.. dance, water, video effects all come together for this beautifully moving performance.  Check out the video below.

During the evening I headed over to my buddy Will's place where my best bud Chris was celebrating his 29th birthday. He asked that folks cosplay so I dressed up in my Gryffindor robes. I had a few.. okay many Fireball whiskey shots and was feeling pretty good. It was nice to get to hang with a bunch a friends after the crazy work week that I had had. I didn't want to stay out super late as I had to be up early for the gym but we were having so much fun. The last hour or so of the party we wound up singing Disney song to each other. I left around 1am and I think many of the other people followed my lead. Over all it was a great birthday celebration.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Geeks Motto, SW v ST Parody & Potter Kids Then and Now

Today my friend Kevin posted a picture of this really cool geeky poster/painting and I just had to have it. I did a bit a research online and found that it's an esty product but it was so successful that the person had to pull it because she had to many order to fill and needed time to catch up.

I actually contacted the her and she informed me that she is almost caught up current orders and will be taking new orders for this item in a few weeks. She asked if I wanted to be informed when she is taking new orders and I saw a resounding YES!!! So now I just have to wait patiently.

Also on Facebook I came across this really funny Star Wars vs. Star Trek parody video from Collage Humor. I usually don't enjoy things like this but this one was actually pretty funny and I usually enjoy the stuff that Collage Humor puts out. 

And finally I came across this article about the Harry Potter cast then and now.. and man did some of those young kids turn into some beautiful people. You can check out all the "then and now" photos HERE.

NerdStrong Gym - Deadlifts & Strict Press'

After the crazy workout yesterday I was happy to see the workout for today.. it's a STR day which usually means barbell work and that's exactly what was planned for today.

We started off with a nice warm up of Banded Stretches before moving on to the Skill work where we practice the lifts we were going to do for the workouts.

For the actual workout we were doing Deadlifts and Strict Press. I'm a fan of Deadlifts because I can lift nearly 300lbs but today isn't about weight, it's about form. So they asked us to do 5 sets of 3 starting at a lighter weight and then going heavier but not your max. Trying to get the correct form down was tough. Because everyone's body is shaped differently sometimes you can't mimic the coach when they do it so you have to figure out how to make it work for you. And it's funny but being short actually works to my advantage with deadlifts as I don't have to left the bar far from the ground to stand up straight... finally my height working for me :)

The Strict Press' were pretty much the same, 5 sets of 3 starting with a lighter weight and working our way up. Again form is tough but they say practice make perfect.

We usually have a short workout at the end but today was all about strength and form.. and after a day like yesterday I'm good with that. Thanks coach David for another great NerdStrong workout.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

NerdStrong Gym - Wow...What A Workout

It's Wednesday which means CON day at NerdStrong Gym. But instead of coach Blair we had coach Christy and boy we thought coach Blairs workouts were rough.. this one was a killer.

First I want to say I finally got my NerdStrong t-shirt last night. So this was going to be my first time wearing it. It's a bit smaller then I had expected but it's just the fact that I'm not use to wearing such tight clothing.. eventually I got use to the tightness and after a while thought it looked pretty good on me.

Now back to the workout.. we started with lots and lots of stretching, samson stretches, calf stretches, hurdler stretches and couch stretches.

This has a 40 minute timecap on it.  We started with a 1000 meter run (that's four times around the parking lot), came back into the gym and did 30x Wallballs, 30x Sumo Deadlift High Pulls with a Kettlebell before doing your 2nd 1000 meter run around the parking lot. We then came back in and did 30x Slamballs and 30x Kettlebell Swings. We went back out for our 3rd 1000 meter run before coming back in and doing 30x Overhead Walking Lunges and 30x Knees to Elbows and finally doing our 4th and final 1000 meter run.

I started off great, I had a nice pace to my run. I came in and did the 30 wallballs 10 at a time and then moved on to the 30 sumo deadlifts, which weren't to taxing. I did the second run and was starting to feel a bit tired but continued to run the entire time. I came back and did the 30 slamballs with easy but the 30 kettlebell swings were a bit tough. I strained my back last month while doing kettlebells so when I do them know it's always in the back of my mind that I'm going to hurt myself again. But I managed to finish and began the third run, at this point I was falling to the back of the pack but we steady. I considered only doing 500 meters so I would have enough time to complete the entire workout as time was dwindling fast... but I opted to push myself a bit more to get the 1000 meters done. I quickly went back in the gym and did the 30 overhead lunges and began to feel the pain in my knees, my body was getting tired. I struggled with the knees to elbows and did 5 at a time until I hit my goal of 30. All I had left was the 1000 meter run but only a few minutes to do it. I figured I'd do as much of it as I could and by the time 40 minutes was up I had just finished my second lap (500 meters).

Though I didn't finish the workout completely I am very happy with how far I got. Thanks coach Christy for giving coach Blair's workout a run for their money.. this one was definitely tough.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

NerdStrong Gym - A Good Day!!!

After taking Monday off it was nice being back at NerdStrong. Today's workout was pretty tough. It looked like alot of work but when it was all done and over I felt pretty good.

We started with the Agility Ladder, which is always fun to do and when I say fun I mean I look ridiculous doing it.

For our Skill work today we worked on Pull Ups. Now when I started the gym I was able to do one really good pull up but that was it. Well today in front of coach Andrew I actually did two really good pull ups. I was so shocked that I got up there a second time that I lost my concentration and couldn't do a third. I know it sounds stupid to get excited for 2 pull ups but it's actually a huge deal.

We then did a 21 - 15 - 9 rep workout on Ring Rows and Push Ups. So that meant we had to do 21 Rings Rows and then do 21 Push Ups, rest and then do 15 Ring Rows and 15 Push Ups and finally 9 Ring Rows and 9 Push Ups. I once again surprised myself and impressed coach Andrew who was watching me when I did 21 strict push ups without stopping. I was having a great workout so far.

We then moved on to a 4 minute time cap to try and do 100 Sit Ups. I managed to do 66 within the time limit.. which isn't bad since sit ups are still tough for me.

And our final workout titled "Finisher" consisted of 5 minutes of AMRAP (As many reps/rounds as possible) 10x Box Jump & 10x Kettlebell Face Peelers.

Though this workout was a DEX workout it felt very CON to me.. great workout.. thanks coach Andrew.

Monday, June 15, 2015

MASH Podcasts & TV Apartments

First up Geekyfanboy Productions released a new episode of the MASH 4077 Podcast. This is episode 106, covering S5 Ep 9 "Mulcahy’s War". 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.

I came across this pretty cool "article" about famous TV apartments and they had these really cool layouts of each place. I watched all of the series so I'm very familiar with each place but it's interesting to see the apartment from above and the layout of everything. Examples of the layouts they have.. Three's Company, Friends, Sex and the City, Dexter and Big Bang Theory. I went through and saved copies of each apartment.. don't know what I'll do with them but I thought they were pretty cool. You can check out the article and see all the layouts HERE.

I'm really trying hard not to wait to the last minute to edit my podcasts so today after releasing a new episode I actually spent a few hours editing the next one which isn't due until July 1st. Meds, Al and I have recorded six episodes so if I'm extremely motivated I can edit them all up in a few days and have the next three months of podcasts ready to do. Of course that's easier said then done.. but I'm gonna try. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

NerdStrong Brunch and Pathfinder Fun

After today's workout fellow NerdStrongers Erin and Mike were having a special NerdStrong Brunch at their place. I headed over an hour early to help out and I'm glad I did as they needed all the help they could get. It was crazy chaos but in the end everyone had a great time and some tasty food. Like with yesterdays going away part it was fun seeing alot of the gym folks outside the gym setting.

When brunch was over a few of us stuck around and played some Mario Cart. I don't play video games that often and boy did it show. None-the-less it was a lot of fun and I wish I could have stayed longer.

But I had to leave early as it's D&D/Pathfinder day. The last session we lost two characters and was stuck in a cave with some very deadly orcs. We finally were able to kill all the orcs and the giant. Dash (that's me) was able to put a spell on the door and magically locked it. As there were thousands of orcs and goblins just outside wanting to get in. One of the enslaved Dwarfs did some sort of magic and opened a door in the rock face to a long stairwell going up. He warned us to to be on the lookout for something in the dark. We quickly entered the stairwell and began climbing up deeper into the mountain. We found a lookout area at the top of the mountain and rested there for the evening. During our rest several of our party members heard something coming from the only other exit we could find. So in the morning we cautiously made our way down.

We found several rooms with nothing in them, but some sort of residue. We finally found a large room with what looked to be slime all over the floors. When Philig tried use his rope (for no apparent reason) and touched the slime it reacted and retracted itself into one large blog in the center of the room. We weren't sure what was going on but we made our way slowly into the large room as on the other side of the room were two large double doors and the only way we could go. Of course the slime was blocking the doors. Talyn shot an arrow at the slime and it split into two entities. It started attacking us and soon we realized that magic was the only way to defeat it. After a few rounds of battle we defeated both blobs of slime and was able to escape the mountain into the forest and back to base camp.

It was a fun session and no one died this time.. which is always good. I really didn't have a clue how we were going to get out of the main battle area but I liked the idea of magic helping us and it was nice that spell casters were needed for the final battle with the blob. Thanks Dallas for another fun adventure. Our next session should be our final session for this campaign. We then will be taking a few months off before starting our sixth campaign sometime in September.

After D&D I had to come home and finish up a MASH podcast that is due to be released at midnight. Luckily I had most of it done and it only took me a few hours to finish it.

It was a full day of fun but I'm tired.. off to bed I go.

NerdStrong Gym - When Raptors Attack!!

Today I came to the 9am class (usual go to the 10am) but today my friend Jes was joining me for the free 9am class at NerdStrong. The theme of today's workout is Jurassic World aka Raptor.

We grouped up into teams of three, I teamed up with my buddies Kevin and Derek. Between the three of us we had to do 100x Push Ups, 150x Sit Ups and 200x Squats. And in between each activity we had to do a 250 meter team run. But it wasn't that simple. While one of your team mates was doing the workout the other was doing a wallball hold and the third person got to rest. Then the person who just finished the workout got to rest and the person resting moved on to the wall ball hold and the person who just finished holding the wallball moved on to the workout.

Each workout had a specific way we had to hold the wallball. For push ups we had to do an overhead wallball hold, for sit ups we held the wallball out in front of us and for Squats we laid on our back and held the wallball up above our chest while lifting our feet slightly off the ground. I feel the worst of these was definately lying on your back and holding the wallball above your head while lifting your legs... that took a lot of core to hold that position.

Oh and I almost forgot..  every five minutes Pterodactyl's would attack us, which meant that coach Andrew would roll an 8 sided dice and what ever number it landed on would be the number of Burpees we had to do. This meant whatever we were doing we had to stop and do them immediately.

Before we started each task my team we come up with a number of times each of us would do it. Depending on what it was we did anywhere between 10 to 25 each before the next person would take over. We did this over and over until we reach our goal number.

My team rocked it.. it was a really fun workout and I'm glad my friend Jes was able to join me for it. Hopefully more friends will join in the fun for Free 9am Sunday classes here at NerdStrong.