Saturday, September 19, 2015

New Season of Doctor Who

The new season of Doctor Who has started tonight, Season 9 Episode 1 "The Magician's Apprentice" Where is the Doctor? When the skies of Earth are frozen over by an mysterious alien force, Clara needs her friends. But where is the Doctor and what is he hiding from? As past deeds come back to haunt him, old enemies will come face-to-face, and for the Doctor and Clara survival seems impossible.

I watched it with my buddy Erik (via Skype). Overall I enjoyed the episode. It was extremely tense at times and when it was over I felt my body release all the tension I was holding in while watching and I let out this deep breath as it felt like I was holding it in the entire time. It was great seeing Missy again. I knew there was no way she was dead. Michelle Gomez does an amazing job of playing crazy. It's cool to see Clara is sort part of U.N.I.T. now and can be called into action when needed.

I think the only part I really didn't like was the Doctor riding into the arena on a tank playing a guitar, felt it was very stupid and made no sense to me. But other then that everything else was great. This is of course part one of a two parter so we are left with a huge cliffhanger. I really enjoyed the snake/man effect when his face unravel.. that was pretty awesome.

Overall I nice start to the season. I'm still not a fan of Capaldi as The Doctor, but I am enjoying Clara as a companion to this doctor. Capaldi isn't horrible by any means but there is just something about his version of the Doctor that I'm not enjoying. I'm not finding him as lovable or memorable as the others. But this won't stop me from watching.. I still love this universe and will always come back for more.

Firefly Re-Watch

Today I headed over to my buddy John's place to watch Firefly. John is a fellow NerdStronger and we see each other at the Gym (well not as of late now that he is doing the Thor project) but I wanted to hang out with him outside the gym and what better way to do this but to watch a series we both love... Firefly!!!

John has a lovely wife Lauren and one of the cutest babies around Neil (who I got to play with for a bit.. he seemed to like me). But with all that family stuff his free time is very limited. But he managed to carve out a few hours for us to hang and watch the show. Lauren is also a fan of Firefly so she joined us on and off while tending to Neil. Neil even joined us for a bit but wasn't really into the series.. at least not yet. :)

John made us some home made pizzas... from scratch... and they were great!!! We started at the beginning and watch Episode 1 "Serenity". We both agree we have no idea what Fox was thinking by asking Joss and company to do a new pilot for this series. Serenity is the perfect way to set up this verse. We then moved on to episode 2 "The Train Job" which was the actual first episode that aired. And though the episode is good and kind of sets up the worlds it's not Serenity. The final episode for today was episode 3 "Bushwhacked". One of the darker episodes with the little more background about the Reavers. There's alot of humor among all the darkness.. just the way Joss likes it. 

After Bushwahacked we called it a day as John had to get back to his family duties. Hopefully will be able to pick up where we left off in a month or so and get a few more episodes under our belt. Thanks John for your hospitality, delicious pizza and great geeky company... until next time... stay Shiny!!!

NerdStrong Gym - Killer Workout

Today's workout was titled Sulaco Days.. I didn't have a clue what this was in reference to but found out that it's the name of the ship in Aliens.

Coach David was teaching today and we started with a good warm up. "2 Steps" Air Squats, Overhead Squat, Lunge and Push Ups. So we lined up at one end of the gym and then would take two steps and then do whatever it was we were to do. We did this all the way across the gym. After doing all those we then did a Bear Crawl and Crab Walk twice.. bear crawl is a piece of cake but the crab walks are horrible especially since they make us keep our fingers pointed forward. It causes alot of strain on the wrists and is a killer.

Next we did a "skill" titled "Vasquez" and if you remember the first thing Vasquez does when she gets out of cryo is do Pull Ups... so that's what we were doing. We had to pick 3 from this list of Strict Pull-Ups, Paused Negatives, Negatives, LAT Pull with short bar, Banded Pull Downs and Strict Ring Rows and work on them for about 15 minutes. I think instead of picking three I did all of them, or at least gave each of them a try. I'm only able to do 2 strict pull ups on a good day but I'm improving.

Next was the main workout and it was a killer.. it had a time cap of 25 minutes and this is what we had to do. 5x Burpees, 30x Push Ups, 40x Sit Ups, 50x Squats, 5x Burpees, 30x Push Ups, 40x Sit Ups, 50x Squats, 5x Burpees and then 30x Dumbbell NerdMakers.

There really isn't anything you can do to prepare for a workout like this.. you just chug along at what ever pace works best for you and keep moving. It was exhausting but I'm very proud of myself as I made it all the way to the Dumbbell Nerdmakers and got about 20 of those completed before time ran out and the workout was over.

This was alot of work but I think these kind of workouts really show how far I have come. I use to look at something like this and think "OMG this is impossible".. now when I look at something like this I think... "bring it on!!!". Thanks coach David for the awesome workout.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Disneyland - Dapper Day

Today is Dapper Day at Disneyland. What is Dapper Day you ask.. well it's the the brain child of Justin Jorgensen, Dapper Day is a twice-yearly event at Disney Parks wherein guests are encouraged to look their best, in whatever vintage tradition happens to be their cup of tea. Attendees aren’t limited to a single period to draw inspiration from, but rather are encouraged to let the various retro designs of the Parks inspire their attire. The only rule is to be chic, stylish, well-coiffed, intentional–dapper.

I had never heard of this before but several friends from NerdStrong were talking about it and made plans to attend. I was fortunate to be ask to join in the fun and after talking to my boss I was able to get the day off and thanks to my best bud Chris I had a military pass with a few more days on it so I was good to go. 

I spent a good hour trying on various combinations of clothing trying to look my best. I wound up going with some grey slacks, white dress shirt with red pin strips, black suspenders, wine color bow tie and wine color vest with my fancy Captain America pocket watch.. oh and my vintage type hat. I thought I was looking quite dapper. I joined Anne, Christine and Leo to car pool to Disneyland and they ladies agreed that I looked better without the vest and showing off the suspenders (which I liked as well). So the vest and pocket watch came off and my look was complete.

We headed to Disneyland, parked and made out way into the park. It wasn't super crowded when we got there and it looked like California Adventures was less crowded so we started there. Our first ride was on Radiator Springs Racers and then we made our way over to The Little Mermaid ride (one of my favorites). There were quite a few others dressed for Dapper Day but we'd get the occasional question of why is everyone dressed this way. After Little Mermaid we headed over to Toy Story Mania. This was Leo's first time on this ride which always makes it more enjoyable.

The four of us grabbed a bite to eat and rested for a bit before moving on. We headed to Monsters Inc ride and met up with another NerdStronger also named Anne who joined our party. After Monsters Inc we went to Carthay Circle to have lunch and meet up with the remaining members of our Dapper party, Lauren, Liz and Andrew.

Lunch was a bit prices but the food was pretty amazing and the company was priceless. After lunch we headed over to Disneyland. Now Disneyland was packed, we roamed for a bit before heading over to get our pictures with the Princess'. I had never done this before but it's something that Andrew and Liz enjoyed doing. And I actually had a great time as we got some great pictures with Snow White, Cinderella and my favorite Belle.

Afterwards we headed over to Big Thunder Mountain but it was closed, as well as Pirates. Our next stop was The Haunted Mansion, especially now that it's decked out for Halloween (Nightmare Before Christmas themed).  But the line for that as over an hour wait and we really didn't want to wait that long. As we were walking by the Indiana Jones ride it re-opened and we pretty much just walked right on to that ride. We then grabbed some Dole Whip (a must) and headed out of the park. It was around 7pm but we had been there since 9am and were pretty beat. A few of the posse stuck around but Anne, Leo, Christine and I were done for the day and headed back.

Today was an amazing day. I got to spend it at one of the happiest places on Earth with people who I just adore and to top it off we were all decked out to the nines. Definitely gonna have to do another Dapper Day in the future... good times!!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Wizarding World of HP in Hollywood

They released a poster for the upcoming Wizarding World of Harry  Potter in Universal Hollywood. I can't put into words how excited I am for this. But since this is a written blog I'm gonna have to try. To have this right in my backyard is fantastic. Universal is only a 10 minute drive from my place. There is no doubt that I'll be getting a season pass to Universal and be spending as much time as I there. I said in the past that when this place opens up I'm gonna try and get a part time / weekend job there. I mean how awesome would it be to say to people.. Oh gotta head off to Hogwarts for work.

I've been to the Wizarding World in Florida before it expanded to two parks and had an amazing three days just hanging out in that world. So I know what to expect here in Hollywood and I am so looking forward to it. The thought that I'll be able to have some Butterbeer whenever I feel like it is pretty epic or grab a bite to eat in the Three Broomsticks... I mean it's pure magic.

NerdStrong Gym - Atlas Unleashed

Today's workout was titled ATLAS Unleashed. It was broken down into three parts.. Arms, Legs and Shoulders.

We started with a nice warm up.. lot's of stretching before moving on to the first part of our three part workout.

"Arms"... 4 rounds of 10x Heavy Dumbbell Bench Press, then 10x Heavy Dumbbell. We teamed up as we didn't have enough benches for everyone so I teamed up with my buddy Derek. These were "heavy" versions so we went above our usual weight. I found out that I could bench press a heavier weight then curl. We rested in-between rounds as the other person did their set. I did pretty good with the heavier weight but the fourth round was a bit of a struggle, especially the curls.

Part two of three "Legs"... Front Squats, we had to do 5 reps working to our "not quite one rep max". So we started with 5 reps, then 3, then 1, 1 and 1. I teamed up with my buddy Derek again as we are about the same height and can squat the same weight.

After doing those Front Squats we did 4 rounds of 3x Front Squats at 80%, then 5x Box Jumps (As high as possible). For these box jumps I attempted to jump my highest, that's by putting the box up on end. I don't know the exact height but it's more then half my body length. I did the jump with ease, it really is a mind game, getting over the fear that you will hit the box is the toughest part. Once you do that it's not that bad.

Finally...part three of three "Shoulders"... Class ended but a few of us stuck around to do the finisher, which was 3 rounds of :30 seconds of work / :30 seconds rest for Dumbbell Strict Press. At first I chose a much to heavy weight and was struggling to get those weights up over my head but once I dropped the weight down the other two rounds were more successful.

Thanks coach Christy!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

NerdStrong Gym - Row, Run, Row!!

Today's CON day is made up of two of Coach Blair's favorite things... Rowing and Running, though coach Blair isn't coaching today.. instead we have coach Kimi. But before we did the workout we had this crazy mini-workout or as they like to call it "Warm Up"

We had to do two rounds of 10x Lemon Squeezers (more like ball squeezers.. I hate these), 5x Wall Squats, 10x Prisoner Squats (:30 second hold on final drop), 10x Leg Sweeps up and down and finally 10x Leg Sweets left and right.

We then moved on to the main workout. It was 6 rounds of :30 Row Sprints where we had to row as fast as possible. Rested for 4 minutes, then 6 rounds of :30 seconds of Running, we didn't sprint but they wanted us to run as quickly as possible. We then rested another 4 minutes before doing the final part of the workout.. a Team Relay Row, we had to row 3000 meters combined.
Since we have more people then rowers we rowed in waves. I was part of the first wave so I would do my first :30 second row sprint and then someone else would do their first sprint and we'd go back and fourth until the six rounds were done. It didn't really get bad until the fourth or fifth sprint, that's when your numbers start rising meaning your rowing slower... but I did my best to keep the same speed for all six rounds.

For the running part we all started with a nice brisk run and when you're running those thirty seconds feel like an hour but when the coach yelled rest we had to do an active rest which meant we either jogged or walked but they didn't want us to stop moving. And then those thirty seconds felt like 2 seconds. We then ran for another thirty seconds.. Again like with the rowing you really start feeling it on the fourth or firth run but I'm happy to say I kept my same pace for each run.

After a much needed rest we got into groups of three for the 3000 meter team relay row. My team agreed to row 500 meters each, two times to achieve the 3000 meters total. Rowing 500 meters isn't bad.. it only starts to burn at meter 300 but you just focus and force yourself to continue.. luckily I had a few minutes break between 500 meters rows.. that little rest helps a great deal.

Thanks coach Kimi for another awesome workout.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New MASH podcast & Jungle Book Trailer

Today Geekyfanboy Productions released a new episode of the MASH 4077 Podcast. This is episode 112, covering S5 Ep 15 "The Most Unforgettable Characters".

Radar gets accepted into the "Famous" Las Vegas Writers School, and begins to write his impressions of the camp. It happens to be Frank's birthday, so Hawkeye and B.J. stage a fight with each other to make Frank happy. However, it turns real when BJ says some things that Hawkeye takes personal.

You can Download from itunes , listen on Stitcher Radio or listen and get direct download from our main website

Disney released the first trailer for their new live action Jungle Book movie. When I heard they were making a live action movie I really didn't care since I'm not a fan of the original cartoon. I remember watching it as a child and even seeing it in a drive in theater but it did resonate with me. But WOW... after watching this trailer it's on my must see list. It looks to be well done and the CG looks incredible. I can't wait to see more from this movie. Check out the trailer below.

NerdStrong Gym - Circuit Work

Today started with a crazy warm up. We had to do each of these movements for an entire minute, which doesn't sound like much but it really is when you're in the middle of it. We had to do one minute of Lateral Neck Rolls, Shoulder Rolls, Wring the Towel, Seated Windshield Wipers (which are horrible), Bootstrappers and finally Squats to Walk-Out.

Now that we are exhausted from the warm up we move on to this crazy "Circuit" workout. This was broken down into pods and each pod had three movements we had to do. We started with pod A which consisted of a :30 second Plank, then moved on to :30 seconds of T Push-Ups and then 1 minute of Kettlebell AB Extensions. We got a minute rest before moving on to pod B and do :30 seconds of Mountain Climbers, then :30 seconds of Spiderman Push-Ups and then 1 minute of Straight Leg Raises. Another minute rest and then pod C, :30 seconds of Sparwls, then :30 seconds of Wide Grip Push-Ups and then 1 minute of Inch Worms. Minute rest then pod D, :30 seconds of Striders, :30 seconds of Diamond Push-Ups and then 1 minute of Kettlebell Sit-Ups. Next was pod E and :30 seconds of Air Squats, then :30 seconds of Wide to Narrow Push-Ups and then 1 minute of Bicycles.

Once we were done we had to do it all over again.. the entire circuit for a second time. This time around those minute rests started to feel like just a few seconds. And to top it all off we had a finisher. We had to do 8 rounds of :15 seconds of work, :15 seconds of rest of Burpees. Coach Andrew gave us a goal to do at least three within those :15 seconds. Though exhausted I'm happy to say that I did 5 the first 2 rounds, then I did 3 the next four and I pushed myself to do 5 for the final two rounds.

Though this workout was tough and exhausting, I really enjoyed it. I like these kinds of workouts as they look daunting at first when you start and in the middle you might want to die but when you finish and you look back at what you just did.. there's no better feeling.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Magical Clock & Birthday Gifts

I came across this Harry Potter inspired clock. If you've read or seen Harry Potter you know the Weasleys have this amazing clock that tells you where each family member location. Well some students at the University of Munich actually made a working version of this clock. It isn't actually enchanted, of course, and works by updating a special mobile app. You can update manually with one of the twelve locations provided, or let it track your position with GPS and choose a location based on that. 

The students (Frederik Brudy, Fabius Steinberger, Felix Praschak and Claudius Böttcher) built it for a course in "Building Interactive Objects." They've documented the entire project on this webpage, where you can get all the information you need to replicate the clock, from circuit diagrams to server software. If was smarter I would love to make my own version of the clock.. maybe I can get a techy smart friend to do it for me.

I started to receive some birthday gifts. Thanks Ken Todd for Guardians of the Galaxy & thanks Joshua Kemmling for Boys & Return of the King. I've been wanting Guardians of the Galaxy since it came out and I loved the movie Boys and I can't wait to watch the animated Return of the King as I haven't seen it since I was a kid.. Thanks guys for the awesome gifts.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

MASH Podcast, Magic and Laundry

Went to the 9am NerdStrong class today so I could get home in time to grab a bite to eat before sitting down with my buddy Meds (Al had to cancel) and record six new episodes for my MASH 4077 Podcast. Out of all my podcasts that I do this one is the most constant. I have released 2 episodes a month (1st and 15th) for four and a half years, never missed a single episode. We are almost done with season five and still have six more seasons to go meaning another five or six years of podcasting. I wanna thank my co-hosts Meds and Al for being awesome as this podcast wouldn't have succeeded or been as much fun without you to.

Liz hated when I played my Terra Stomper
After recording the podcast I headed back to NerdStrong as they were having a Magic The Gathering game day. I've only played a few times so I still consider myself a noob and my Magic nemesis Liz was there so we played a few rounds for a few hours. She killed me 4 games to 1 but it was a blast.

After Magic I headed back home, sorted my laundry and headed out to the laundromat. While there my buddy Dallas came over to hang and grab a bite next door at The Habit. It's always fun having some one on one times with friends. Dallas and I always have some amazing conversations. We also talked about my D&D character Dash as I have opted out of the next adventure but we wanted to keep my character up to date for if and when I return to the game.

Overall it was a good Sunday. I got some errands done, played some games and hung out with a friend.

NerdStrong - Lightside vs Darkside

I'm doing they 9am class this morning as I have to record a podcast at noon so my usual 10am class would be cutting it to close. So for today's workout it's a NerdStrong favorite "DeathStar" I've done this workout in the past and it's tough but super fun.

After a nice warm up we were broken into Rebels and Empire. Coaches use to just have us count off but to many people would complained about the side they were on so now they ask which side you prefer and those who don't care even out the teams.

I of course am always on the lightside. We are broken into teams of two.. I teamed up with someone I didn't know. Our goal was to do 200 Wallballs between the two of us. While one person is doing the wallballs the other person is doing Slamball Sit Ups, Slamball Push Ups, Slamball Twists and finally just plain ol' Slamball. Depending on where you were in the number of Wallballs would determine what Slamball workout you did. 0 to 50 you did Slamball Sit Ups, 51 to 100 you did Slamball Push Ups, 101 to 150 you did Slamball Twists and 151 to 200 you did Slamballs.

My partner and I tried various numbers of wallballs but in the end we did about 10 each going back and forth until we got all 200 of them done.

If a team from the Rebels sides finished first then everyone gets a go and try and blow up the Deathstar (by throwing a slamball into a large tire from 20 feet away). If the Empire wins they fend off the Rebels and the Deathstar survives to blow up another planet.

Well the Empire won this time but just for fun they allowed to to see if we could blow up the Deathstar. Out of the six people who tried I think only one succeeded.

Overall another fun workout, we had a good amount of "new" members trying out the gym today. Hopefully some of them will become regulars... May the Force Be With You!!