Saturday, October 3, 2015

WB Studio Tour

After the workout my buddy Thomas (who's visiting from Ireland) and I went to Warner Bros to do their studio tour. I've been wanting to do that tour for years so when Thomas asked if I wanted to join him I of course said yes.

I've heard great things about this tour so I was really looking forward to it. We got there about a half hour before our tour time and sat in the lobby and waited to be called. First thing you do is go into a screening room and watch a short film about the history of Warner Brothers.

We then are introduced to our guides (our guides name was Lisa) and she was very knowledgeable about the studio. What's great is there is no script or planned tour, it's pretty much up to the tour guide where they want to take you. Of course there are certain points and places they have to hit but what this means is you can do this tour over again and get an entirely different tour.. which is pretty cool.

We drove around the lot and since it was Saturday it was pretty dead. Some of the highlights of the tour was seeing the set for Pretty Little Liars. Now I don't watch the show but these sets are complete sets.. meaning their are four walls and no audience. They also have a great Batman vehicle room where you can get an up close and personal look at the various Batmobiles and well as some other cool vehicles. We took a foot tour of their "prop" building and the WB has rooms full of props. There are some well known props like the two chairs from the Matrix movies when Morpheus is talking to Neo about the blue and red pills. We walked through room after room of amazing and some very recognizable props.

Afterwards we did more of the "backlots" and saw various houses of well known TV shows. We then stopped off a the museum of sorts. The first floor is all Batman stuff, mostly costumes from all the movies. But the second floor is all Harry Potter.. this of course is what I have been waiting for and it was amazing. They even had a guy up there with a sorting hat. I mean it's just a recording repeating itself but if you line up right you can get the house you want.. I tried for Hufflepuff but I got Gryffindor which was cool as I was wearing my Gryffindor shirt. I took a ton of video and pictures.. this is a must see of all Harry Potter fans.

After the museum we headed over to another sound stage.. unlike Pretty Little Liars this TV series I love.. we got to go on the set of The Big Bang Theory.. and when I say on set I mean in the audience area. These sets are alot different then the Pretty Little Liars sets as these are missing the fourth wall and have a live audience. It was cool see and working in the entertainment industry I always knew that the sets look a lot larger on screen then they do in real life and this was no exception.

We pulled up to the final stop and got out as the rest of the tour is guide free and at your own pace. When you walk in the building there is a cafe which is of course title Central Perk (Friends). To the right is the gift shop and to the left is the beginning of a walking tour of some cool behind the scenes of your favorite WB shows and movies. They have a costume section as well as pre-production, make up and other various parts of movie and TV making. You then get to see the mock up of Central Perk, it's a prefect recreation of the set and the best part is you can walk around in it as well as get your picture taken sitting on the couch with a nice cup of joe.. that was pretty fantastic!!!

And since it's getting close to Halloween they had a section where there were famous horror costumes and props.. like Freddy Kruger's knife glove and sweater. They had a illusion prop where you could look as though just your head is on a platter.

They had a force perceptive Hobbit table (of course this was a favorite of mine). Both Thomas and I took turns sitting in the opposite seat so he was Gandalf and I was Bilbo and then he was Bilbo and I was Gandalf.. so much fun.

The next part section were interactive. You could ride a broom, batman's batcycle or float in space (ala Gravity). This part of the tour was extra if you wanted to purchase video or a picture of what you did. But you could do all three things for free and not purchase anything.. I of course did the Harry Potter broom ride and purchased video and a picture. They had some rather crude motion capture screens where you could move a digital dobby. They also had a cool sound room where you could watch the first few minutes of Gravity and hear all the different components of audio. And then the final room had props and costumes from some classic WB things... like Wonder Woman's outfit or Superman's cape, just to name a few.

This was the end of the tour but of course you have to walk through the gift shop to exit and get on a tram back to your car.. but this gift shop is amazing and I could have spent so much money there but I spent enough on the Harry Potter video so I resisted. 

Overall I knew I would enjoy the tour but what I didn't know is how much I would enjoy it. This is an amazing tour and if you're a fan of TV or movie and want to see some cool behind the scenes stuff then check it out. It is a bit pricey at $62 a ticket but honestly it's worth every penny, especially if you're a fan of Batman, Friends or Harry Potter.

Thanks to my buddy Thomas for sharing this experience with me. And if anyone wants to go on the tour I'd be happy to join you. It really is a must see when you visit LA.

NerdStrong Gym - Boss Monster

Today's workout was the Boss Monster, this is a new thing for the month of October. Every Saturday we will be fighting a boss, this is the biggest of the bosses to see where we stand. We will fight smaller bosses for the next few Saturdays but will encounter this big boss again in the near future and see how much we have improved.

So for this workout "Boss Monster", it had a 45 minute time cap to do 460 meter run, 50x Kettlebell Swings, 460 meter run, 40x Push Ups, 230 meter run, 30x Goblet Squats, 230 meter run, 20x Burpees, 140 meter run, 10x Burpee Pull Ups, 230 meter run, 20x Head Cutters, 230x meter run, 30x Box Jumps, 460 meter run, 40x Slamballs, 460 meter run and finally 50x Sit Ups.

This was one of the toughest workouts we have done in a long while. 45 minutes of constant workout is tough. Of course you could take breaks where needed but if you wanted to get everything done within the time limit you really couldn't stop and rest to long.

I didn't finish but I got further then I thought I would. I actually got to the 30x Box Jumps and got half way through them before time ran out. This is an amazing test of endurance and pacing. It's hard to judge how fast you should go, you don't want to kill yourself at the beginning and then have nothing left in the tank at the end. But you also don't want to go so slow that you don't get to the finish line. Of course your body will tell you when you should slow down, or rest and I've gotten to the point where I listen closely to my body and when it says take a break.. I take a break.

I can't wait to see how far I can get next time when we re-do this workout in a month or so, hopefully I can finish it.. guess will have to wait and see. And a side note my buddy Thomas (who is visiting from Ireland) was the only one who actually finished the entire thing.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Car Woes

A few days ago my engine light came on, besides having two recalls (nothing major) on my vehicle as well as having some sort of weird transmission problem the past six months I figured this was the last straw and that I had to take my little Ford Fiesta in to be serviced. So I made an appointment at the dealership since my car is still under warranty (thankfully I purchased the extended warranty). So I explained everything that was wrong with the car and the guy said that they wouldn't even be able to look at the transmission issue until Monday at the earliest but they could do everything else today and tomorrow. So I was going to have to leave my car there a few days. Luckily a co-worker of mine lives just a block away so I knew I would be able to get to and from work, I also have a ton of friends who live close by and go to NerdStrong so I was hoping to catch a ride with one of them. Now I wait to hear back and see what other issues they will come across.

Update... got call from the dealer towards the end of the work day.. He informed me that I need to replace my catalytic converter, that was causing the engine light to come on. And he also said that my clutch is bad. What's crazy is that I have an automatic. Come to find out that the car is actually a manual and there is mechanism in the transmission that automatically shifts. I knew they car had a weird shifting system but I never knew it's technically a manual vehicle. Anyways the catalytic converter won't be in until Wednesday which means I won't get my car back until Thursday morning... ugh!! You would think they would offer me a loaner car since it's a manufacturer defect but nope.. I mean I guess I could have been a dick but you know me.. I'm mister nice guy. What makes this worse is that my car is fairly new.. it's a 2013. Catalytic converters and clutches shouldn't be going out in a two year old car. This was my very first brand new car because I was tried of used cars needing repairs all the time. I guess I just have no luck with cars. I can say without a doubt that I will never buy a Ford again. But me being the eternal optimist, it's all covered under warranty so I won't have to pay a penny.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

MASH Podcast, My Gimpy Life & Work Woes

Geekyfanboy Productions released a new episode of the MASH 4077 Podcast. This is episode 113, covering S5 Ep 16 "38 Across".

Befuddled by a crossword puzzle, Hawkeye persuades his old friend Tippy Brooks, a whiz at puzzles, to come to the camp. Tippy arrives with his commanding officer Admiral Prescot, thinking it's a medical emergency. Hawkeye and BJ face a severe reprimand, but then there's an actual emergency involving burned civilians and the Naval officers have to help. Having scrubbed up and helped treat the wounded, they provide the needed solution to the puzzle.

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

My friend Teal Sherer's webseries My Gimpy Life is now on Facebook, you can watch every episode HERE. Besides it being an awesome webseries, I had the pleasure of working on it as well as doing their official podcast called My Gimpy Life Podcast, which you can take a listen to HERE. And if you look closely you might be able to spot me here and there through out the series.

Besides all this awesome podcast and webseries stuff, work today was probably one of the worst days I've had here. I made two fairly large mistakes with the potential of begin extremely costly. Luckily things worked themselves out but I still let me boss Andrew down and I hate when that happens. One of them was a true misunderstanding but that one could have costed us some money. The second one was me just being stupid and careless, which I'm happy to say doesn't happen very often. 

This wasn't a good day to start a new diet, by the end of the day I was starving and feeling like crap.. not a great way to start the month.

Whole 30 Challenge

Well the past few months I have slacked on my "proper" eating. I haven't gone crazy but I'm not on the ball like I should be. My workouts are great and I'm loving them but my eating needs a bit of work. So for the month of October I've decided to do the Whole 30 Challenge. If you've never heard of this diet here is what it entails.

Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc.

Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.

Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on.

Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).

Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee.

So I can pretty much eat lean meats and vegetables. Yeah this is going to go well!!

I'll report on my progress when the 30 days is up.. wish me luck!!!

NerdStrong Gym - EMOM's and AMRAP's

Today is the first day of the new "themed" sections of the workout. We started with the "Build" aka Warm Up, it was a fairly light warm up with a 230 meter run and then arm circles and calf stretches.

We moved on to the "Proficiency" part of the workout which was Banded Shoulder Mobility (one of my favorites as my shoulders tend to get really sore after a workout).

The Quest is next and it's a Barbell Strict Press EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) for 12 minutes. We had to do 2 Strict Press' within that minute. This sounds simple but it really isn't. I mean you are getting to rest between sets but it's a constant workout. Every minute you are doing 2 barbell strict press'.

After the Quest we moved on to our Battle. This was a 12 minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible). We had to do 100x Jump Rope, 10x Braniz and 16x Lemon Squeezers. I'm fairly decent at jumping rope, been doing it since I was little but 100 is alot so I would break it down into 2 sets of 50. Brainz are always fun with the threat of smashing your face in with a dumbbell. And then there are Lemon Squeezers and my arch nemesis. I hate these things.. not because they work the core and cause discomfort with your stomach muscles.. I hate these because they do exactly what they say they are going to do.. they squeeze my lemons (aka testicles). I assume other guys know my pain but none of them seem to complain as much as I do. I've tried many alternate ways to squeezing but still get the same results. Gonna have to talk to a coach and see if there is an alternate to these torturous workout. Anyways I did almost 4 rounds before time ran out.

And the finish it off we had a nice cool down of 10x PVC Dislocates and 10x PVC Figure 8s.. these are really good for the shoulders.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

NerdStrong Even Nerdier & Pilates

So my gym is getting even more nerdier.. they have decided to geek things up and label our workouts a little differently. Now each workout will consist of these four elements; Build - Warmup exercises, Proficiency - Movement prep exercises, Quest - A focused skill, Battle - Our workouts of the day.

They are also going to start to introduce Villians - These are to be defeated, usually on a weekly basis. An example of a weekly villain is "Dehydration". Kill this villain off by drinking more water and keeping yourself hydrated effectively. Loot - "Loot" will be our monthly goal at Nerdstrong Gym; the treasure we're trying to win each month. And finally Boss Monsters - Boss battles will happen at the beginning and end of the month, in between will have mini-boss battles to help us improve our fight for the final boss at the end.

So if you didn't think NerdStrong was geeky enough already... they just leveled up!!!

During the evening I attended the very first Pilates class at NerdStrong.. as well as my first ever Pilates class. One of the members of NerdStrong Corrin teaches Pilates so they added one class a week on Wednesday night at 8pm. I've been wanting to do Yoga at NerdStrong but the class' are always happening when I'm still working so I was excited that Pilates was a later class, one that I could attend. I really don't know much about Pilates other then they use large torture looking machines but come to find out that Pilates started out with no machines and this was the type the Corrin was teaching.

When I was done I felt great, for me Pilates is like an hour long stretching session. It's also suppose to help strengthen your core (which I need help with). I'm really looking forward to continuing with Pilates and seeing how strong I can make my core.

NerdStrong Gym - NerdMakers EMOM

Today is CON day and that means coach Blair... but he was mysteriously absent.. but that's okay as we had coach Christy and coach David as well as coach Andrew, coach Marla and coach Seely there. The day started with a 230 meter run around the parking lot. After the run we did lots and lots of stretching before moving on to the main workout.

This workout didn't look like much at first glace.. I mean it's just one thing but if you look closer you see it's a 35 minute EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute). Since it didn't sounds too difficult I choose to do the "advance" red workout which was 2x NerdMakers (3x if you wanted it to be spicy). Nerdmakers are Burpees on steroids. It's the same action as a burpee but you're holding dumbbells and when you go down and do the push up, you move right into a renegade row before jumping up and instead of doing a clap at the top you do a push press with the dumbbells.

This is 35 minutes of consistent work. I mean depending how long it takes to to the 2 to 3 Nerdmakers you may get a few seconds of rest between. I choose to do the 3x Nerdmakers because I'm a crazy man but that only lasted for the first 20 minutes. I was exhausted and my options were to either drop down in dumbbell weight or go to 2x Nerdmakers so I opted to go to 2 for the next 10 minutes. But the coaches have a way of encouraging you while you are in the middle of your work out and they asked us to max out if we could for the final 5 minutes so I went back to 3x Nerdmakers for those final minutes.

And just when you think you're about to die the coaches had a nice finisher planned for us. Half TABATA (4 rounds of :20 seconds of work, :10 seconds of rest) of Russian Twists with a sandbag. After the workout we just had my arms were like jelly but somehow I managed to do the Russian Twists.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

X-Files Promo & Agents of SHIELD S3 Premiere

Today Fox release a promo for the upcoming X-files mini series. It's only 45 seconds long but it's 45 seconds of AWESOME!!! I so excited to return to this universe. I have watched every single epsisode of The X-Files and have watched the two movies. I even have the action figures, comic books and trading cards.. you can say I'm a fan... Check it out...

Tonight I watched Agents of SHIELD S3 Ep1 "Laws of Nature" Director Phil Coulson and Agent Daisy Johnson leading the charge as S.H.I.E.L.D. searches the world for more powered people in the aftermath of their epic battle with Jiaying and her army of Inhumans. However, Coulson and the team soon find out that they are not the only group looking for these new Inhumans. Simmons has been missing for three months and Fitz is not ready to let her go and will do anything to solve the mystery of the monolith.

I have been waiting all summer for the return of this series and man did it not disappoint. The opening scene alone was amazing and it just got better and better until the crazy ending. There was no May or Ward in this episode but that was cool. I'm not sure how I feel about this new Alien Task Force, though I do like the lead women.. she's gonna be a good foil for Coulson. I'm loving the interaction between Daisy (Skye) and Mack, they have this great buddy thing happening. Glad to see Hunter and Bobbie still together and in love. Lincoln and Daisy's battle with Lash was pretty epic but Mack had all the great lines. Fitz is like an whole new man on a mission and the end when he goes up to the Monolith and starts to pound and scream at it to do something was heartbreaking. And last but definitely not least they didn't waste any time letting you know that Simmons is alive and well and somehow surviving on an Alien planet.

The writing is quick, the special effects are amazing for TV and the storyline is moving along at a very brisk pace. So much awesome in one episode, what an amazing way to begin the third season.. I can't wait for more.

NerdStrong Gym - Battles, Battles and More Battles

Today's workout consisted of 3 big battles...

First up was a Air Squat / Push Up Ladder. We started with 1 Air Squat and 10 Push Ups and then 2 Air Squats and 9 Push Ups and so on.. moving up with Air Squats and down with Push Ups. I love Push Ups but I'm so happy that we started high on push ups and dropped down as the longer this workout went the sorer my arms and shoulders became. We had a total of 9 minutes to complete the ladder and I'm happy to say that I finished just under the time limit. We did a total of 55 Air Squats and 55 Push Ups.

Our next battle was 3 rounds of 1 minute Jump Rope, 10x Dumbbell Strict Press, 10x Knee Raises and 1 Minute Rest. At first you think to yourself "I'm not gonna need that minute rest, I'll just whip through these 3 rounds.. but after the first round you are so grateful for that minute rest which feels like 10 seconds. This too had a time cap of 10 minutes and I'm happy to say that I completed everything within the limit.

The final battle was the toughest. It was 3 rounds of 7x Ring Rows, 7x Burpees and 1 Minute of Rest. My arms and shoulders were already dead from all the Push Ups, Jump Rope and Strict Press' now we had to do Ring Rows and Burpees and man was it tough. That third round of Ring Rows I thought my arms were gonna fall off but I did manage to get it all done with in the 10 minute time limit.

It was a tough workout but those are my favorite as I really feel like I push my body to it's limits and when you complete it you can look back and think to yourself.. "Wow... I just did that"

Monday, September 28, 2015

Star Trek TNG Turns 28 & Why You Should Love A Hufflepuff

Today 28 years ago Star Trek The Next Generation premiered in syndication. I unfortunately didn't start watching until around the sixth or seventh episode. I remember seeing commercials for this new Star Trek series but I was a Star Wars guy. I had seen Star Trek (the original) on and off again for years but never really considered myself a Star Trek fan... well all that changed after watching just one episode of The Next Generation.. I was hooked. Back then there wasn't an internet (like today's) and I had to wait until the summer when they repeated the episodes so I was finally able to see the beginning of this series that just adored. Star Trek The Next Generation is my favorite of all the Star Trek series with Voyager and Deep Space Nine a close second. I also enjoy Enterprise and The Original series. Hopefully Paramount/CBS (who own the rights) have something up their sleeves for the 30th anniversary in two years.. guess will have to wait and see.

The new and improved Pottermore has this awesome article explaining "Why you should fall in love with a Hufflepuff" and I couldn't agree more and I'm not just saw that because I'm a total Hufflepuff :)

You can see the original post HERE.

From the moment Draco Malfoy snarked: ‘Imagine being in Hufflepuff, I think I’d leave, wouldn’t you?’ it established Hufflepuff house as somewhat of an underdog.

Hufflepuff is the most underrated house at Hogwarts. Gryffindors may have the confidence to ask people out. Ravenclaws can charm their dates with witty banter over Butterbeer. Slytherins can impress their paramours with their ambition. But we reckon Hufflepuffs might make the ultimate companions. Here’s why.
1. The Sorting Hat says so

Many of us probably have a checklist of characteristics that we’re looking for in a partner. Maybe we’d like to find a witch or wizard who is charming, clever and successful.

So, does that mean you should go out with someone who embodies Gryffindor, Ravenclaw or Slytherin qualities? Hold your Hippogriffs, people. Those qualities alone aren’t enough, if your partner isn’t also kind and loyal. Take it from the Sorting Hat: ‘They are just and loyal / Those patient Hufflepuffs are true / And unafraid of toil.’ Sounds ideal, no?
2. Hufflepuffs aren’t just nice

Nobody would dispute that Hufflepuffs are the ‘nice’ house. But isn’t nice usually another way of saying that someone has no other personality traits? Hufflepuffs are so much more.

Case in point, one of the coolest characters in the wizarding world: Nymphadora Tonks. A Metamorphmagus with bubblegum-pink hair? Who gives birth then goes to fight Voldemort? Being nice doesn’t mean boring.
3. Ah, Cedric Diggory

Let’s just do a quick comparison between Cedric Diggory and Cormac McLaggen. When Gryffindor Cormac goes on a date with Hermione, he puts her off by talking about himself, boasting about his prowess on the Quidditch pitch, and being rather, ahem, forward.

Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory has just as much reason to brag: he’s a Prefect, Captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, and is selected as the Hogwarts Champion in the Triwizard Tournament. He is humble and kind but plenty of others notice his good qualities. Angelina Johnson calls him ‘that tall, good-looking one’ and Katie Bell quips that he is ‘strong and silent.’ So there might’ve been a queue for Cedric, but there are plenty more desirable Hufflepuffs. 
4. Hufflepuffs won’t turn into a Dark wizard after a bad break-up

Hufflepuff has the fewest Dark wizards of any house at Hogwarts – which we take to mean that they act decently when confronted with difficult circumstances. Ever been through a break-up where the other person turned into a total Dementor? Not a problem when you’re going out with a Hufflepuff.
5. They’re accepting of everyone

When the founders of the other Hogwarts houses were explaining what types of students they most wanted to teach, they picked very specific qualities. Said Helga Hufflepuff: ‘I’ll teach the lot, and treat them just the same.’

Hufflepuffs accept everybody. They’ll probably invite you round for a home-cooked dinner. The Hufflepuff Common Room is right next to the Hogwarts kitchens, after all.
6. Even J.K. Rowling thinks Hufflepuffs are brilliant

In the past, J.K. Rowling has said, ‘In many, many ways, Hufflepuff is my favourite house.’

Why? J.K. Rowling says to look at how they act during the Battle of Hogwarts. ‘The Hufflepuffs, virtually to a person, stay – as do the Gryffindors. Now, the Gryffindors comprise a lot of foolhardy and show-offy people… You know, there’s bravery and there’s also showboating, and sometimes the two go together. The Hufflepuffs stayed for a different reason. They weren’t trying to show off, they weren’t being reckless. That’s the essence of Hufflepuff House.’

If you can’t be a Hufflepuff, be with a Hufflepuff.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Xena Marathon Continues with Thomas

This morning I dropped off my buddy Erik at the airport before heading into NerdStrong for the Willow workout.

After the workout my friend Thomas came over (he's currently staying at a hotel but will be staying with me starting tomorrow). Anyways we are continuing our Xena marathon. Thomas is a HUGE fan of Xena and I've never seen it so whenever we get together we try and do a day of Xena watching. Since we see each other only a few times a year it's gonna take a while to get through the entire series but I'm cool with that as there isn't a better person I'd want to watch this series with.

Today's marathon started with S2 Ep 17 "The Execution" When Meleager, the hero who once saved Gabrielle's village, is condemned for murder, Gabrielle and Xena have only one turn of the sand dial to produce evidence that he is innocent.

I'm not going to go into great detail as there are quite a few episodes to review but I'll give you my quick thoughts. I enjoyed this episode, it was nice to see Meleager again though I have to admit I did like how quickly Xena and Gabrielle turned on each other. But overall a good episode. 

S2 Ep 18 "Blind Faith" When a young punk sells Gabrielle into a royal trap, Xena must force the punk to assist in Gabrielle's rescue while gradually going blind.

I enjoyed this episode, it was interesting to see Xena rely on her other sense as well as rely on the help of the kid who tried to kill her in the beginning. It was also hilarious watching Gabrielle try and be all Queen like. This goes to show you how much Xena cares for Gabrielle as she was willing to give up her sight to save her.

S2 Ep 19 "Ulysses" Xena and Gabrielle help Ulysses, King of Ithaca, to face all the forces of Poseidon, God of the Sea, so he can go back to home after the Trojan War. During the journey, Xena and Ulysses start falling in love.

I enjoyed this episode but I must admit that I'm tired of watching her fall in love with another well known figure from mythology. Though I am a huge fan of Ulysses and his story so it was fun to watch that.

S2 Ep 20  "The Price" Xena's arrival brings hope to a beleaguered Athenian outpost under siege by "The Horde." Meanwhile, Gabrielle's desire to care for the wounded clashes with Xena's ruthless arrangements.

We get to see the darker side of Xena in this episode and once again her and Gabrielle clash. I really enjoyed this episode.

S2 Ep 21 "Lost Mariner" After a shipwreck, Gabrielle is rescued by the cursed ship of Cecrops, where she will have to stay until she dies -- unless Xena can break the curse.

This was an interesting episode as I really had no idea how they were going to get out of this situation. It was nice to see Poseidon again though he's really not a nice guy. I liked how they broke the curse and it was a happy ending.

S2 Ep 22  "A Comedy Of Eros" The baby of Cupid & Psyche, on the loose with Daddy's love-causing bow, complicates Xena's attempt to stop Draco from attacking a temple of Hestian virgins.

Not a favorite of mine as I found all cupid arrows flying around making everyone fall in love with everyone a bit ridiculous. It was funny at times but after a batch of really good dramatic episodes this was felt a bit off. The one bright note in this episode is the return of Joxer.. he's one of my favorite characters and we find out that he is in love with Gabrielle (without getting his by Cupid's arrow).

S3 Ep 1 "The Furies" Ares convinces the Furies to inflict madness on Xena because she has not avenged the death of her father. Xena heads off to find the culprit, only to discover it was her mother, Cyrene. With the help of Gabrielle and a tale from Cyrene about Xena's conception, Xena is able to persuade The Furies that Ares is her father.

This was an interesting episode and we really got to see Lucy Lawless' acting chops. We find out that Ares is Xena's father (or is he).. they kind of leave it open ended but I think it makes a lot of sense since these two character seem to interact alot. And my dislike for Ares grows.. he's definitely not a favorite of mine. 

S3 Ep 2  "Been There, Done That" Cupid causes a town to relive the same day over and over until a hero can help the two star-crossed lovers from feuding families. Xena is the only person who knows the day is resetting and must work alone to save the day and break the curse.

This was the Xena Groundhog Day episode and it was pretty good. Funny but with serious under tones. It was great to see Joxer return again, still one of my favorite characters, he's such a dork and that I that one of the biggest reasons I adore him.

And the final episode of the marathon is S3 Ep 3 "The Dirty Half Dozen" Xena seeks the help of a group of Greece's best convicts against Agathon. Ares has given Agathon the Metal of Hephaestus to forge his new superior weapons and it is up to Xena and the others to stop Agathon.

This was a good episode to finish on, lots of who is good and who is bad. It was nice to see some of the "bad" people get redemption at the end. Again it was Ares being a douche bag.. man I hate that guy.

It was a long but awesome day of Xena watching.. Thanks Thomas for watching along and taking a day our of your visit to the U.S. to do nothing but Xena watch. I can't wait for our next marathon.

NerdStrong Gym - Oh Willow!!!

Today was a workout based on one of my all time favorite fantasy movies Willow. Though I didn't appreciate all the negative comments about the movie said and written on the board the workout itself was pretty fantastic.

We did a nice stretching warm up before splitting up into teams of three. Willow (Me), Madmartigan (Derek) and Sasha (Liz). What we had to do was 1 person would do the workout, while another held Elora Dana (sandbag) and the third person rested.

We started with a 460 Meter Team Jog around the parking lot while we took turns carrying Elora. We then moved on to 100x Team Push Ups, 120x Team Sit-Ups, 150x Team Air Squats, another 460 Meter Team Jog before finishing with a 3 minutes Team Plank.

We broke down each workout into smaller more manageable parts, so for the 100x Push Ups we did 10 each until the 100 were complete. We broke down each of the workouts similarly.

While we worked out "Brownies" would try and steal Elora. Coach would roll a dice, if they got 1 - 10 we were safe, 11 - 20 we were attacked, if we were attacked whoever was holding Elora at the time had to hold her above their head for 15 seconds. I think Liz and I got stuck a few times having to to this.

We finished fairly early on and realized that we should had gone for the red "advanced" numbers 150x Push Ups, 180x Sit Ups and 240x Air Squats but regardless we got an great workout and I had a pretty great team.