Saturday, October 31, 2015

Comikaze Con Day 1

Stan Lee's ComiKaze Con is happening this weekend. It started yesterday but because of work I wasn't able to attend so after gym today I headed to the Los Angeles Convention Center. I got to the center around 1pm and the place was packed (come to find out that a Hockey game was happening at the Staples Center, which is right next door). So parking was crazy expensive (most lots were asking $40) I opted to try and get into the convention parking as it was only $10 a few years ago and though I assume the price went up I'm sure it's well below the $40 the outside parking was asking.

It took almost an hour to park but I was one of the last cars they let in the convention center parking and it only costed me $20. Once inside I had to find my friend Hayley and Dallas who were roaming the floor in the Game of Throne cosplay. I did not cosplay today as I knew I'd be getting there late and wanted to really roam the floor. I plan to cosplay tomorrow.

I met up with my friends and we walked around the many floors of the con for the next four hours. This con is about half the size of Wondercon which is about half the size of San Diego Comic Con. The cosplays were the best part of this con. Cosplaying has really taken off and there are so many talented people out there making some amazing costumes.

Nerdstrong had a panel upstairs around 4 so I left my friends and headed to the room. I met up with several other NerdStrongers and we waited for the panel to start. I'm happy to say that I have been to every single panel that NerdStrong has done so far and this was another fun panel. With exception to the really drunk guy being disruptive the first half hour (he headed out looking for the bathroom and luckily never came back).

Met up with my friends after the panel and roamed the floor a little longer until 6pm when the sales floor closed. I was taking my friends Dallas and Hayley home so we made our way to my car and along the way I ran into one of my coaches, coach Kimi who was waiting for an Uber ride. Since she lives right down the street from me I offered to take her home. So the four of us made our way to my car and one by one I dropped everyone off before crashing on the couch and relaxing the rest of the night.

Looking forward to going again tomorrow in my Hobbit cosplay as my friend Hayley will be going as Galadriel.  

NerdStrong Gym - Boss Monster Take Two

The Boss Monster is back.. we fought this Monster (workout) on the first Saturday of the month and then we fought smaller bosses the past three Saturdays to prepare of the second battle with this Boss Monster. Of course you are hoping improve upon how far you got the first time.

Here's the info about about this "Boss Monster"workout, we 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.

Now the last time I fought this guy I got to Box Jumps and did about half of the 30 that were required. So my goal was simple.. I wanted to finish Box Jumps at the very least. But I'm happy to say that I not only finished the Box Jumps, I went on an ran another 460 Meters around the parking lot and managed to get almost halfway thru the 40 Slamballs before time ran out this time. I was extremely happy with my results. Yes I didn't finish the fight but I got even closer this time around.

I'm sure will fight this boss again in the future and hopefully the next time I can kick it's butt and finish it. 

Friday, October 30, 2015

Finished My Whole 30 Diet

Today marks my final day on my "Whole 30 Challenge" diet. First of all I only lasted a week on the strict diet of now added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No alcohol, no grains, no legumes, including 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). No dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream.

I manged for a week before feeling tired and exhausted all the time. Workouts were extremely difficult and after working out it took me forever to recover. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to do this for an entire 30 days so I modified the diet. I gave up bread and pasta, additional sugar, alcohol, and eating out. And even with it modified I would say that I was about 90% successful. I did eat a hamburger bun once, mac and cheese, a few slices of pizza and a piece of cake on day 28. But other then those few slip ups I stayed strong and kept to the diet.

I don't really feel any different and maybe that's because I had to modify the diet, all I know is that I won't do it again as I was hungry all the time. What's great is that I didn't crave sugar, kept my intake for the 30 days well below 20 grams a day, alcohol isn't a problem since I drink only a few times a year but I found the hardest to give up and craved the most during those 30 days was bread. That to me was my biggest struggle.

What will I take away from this experiment, is that I know I can cut back on my carbs intake, especially bread and pasta. If I can cut those down to only a few times a week that will be huge. I gotta keep telling myself that I'm in this for the long haul. There are not quick fixes in health care, if you put the time in the results you are looking for will eventually happen.

Show I Worked On - Santas in the Barn

So here is a video presentation of the show I've been working on this past year (since February). It's called Santas in the Barn and it's gonna air on truTV at the end of November and into December. It's a reality show to find America's Best Santa Clause. I really enjoyed watching this show and I normally don't watch the things I work on since I see them over and over again but this one is alot of fun and I think if it can find it's audience can be extremely successful. Here's the presentation video they released for the Upfronts. This kind of gives you a idea about the series.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

LARPs The Series S2 Ep4 - My Thoughts

Today a new episode of LARPs the Series was released.. S2 Ep4 "Retcon" In this week's episode of LARPs, everyone has their own story of how the game went down!

I really enjoyed this weeks episode, the way they structured it was really cool. The episode starts out with everyone gathering for food/hot tub after a intense day of LARPing. What makes this a really fun episode is that we get to see a specific fight scene from everyone's very different perspective.

Each one is shoot differently, acted differently and color saturation or lack there of from each persons tale is fantastic . Some are very different then the others (Will's in particular) while others are over dramatic (Brits) or under dramatic (Kat). I love the use of different music to express the different styles of story telling.

This series has really stepped up for it's second season.. I enjoyed the first season but every episode this season has taken it to new levels of awesome... this series for me is getting up there with great webseries like The Guild. Can't wait for the next episode.

NerdStrong Gym - Back Squat, One Rep Max 295 lbs

Today's workout was to find our One Rep Max for Back Squats. We did this about three months ago so I was looking forward to seeing how much I improved (if any).

We started with a nice warm up "build" 2 rounds of 150 meter rowing & 4x inch worms. Then 2 rounds of knee hugs, toy soldiers, butt kickers and high knees.

For Proficiency we worked with Bands.. we worked on Ankle Mobility and then Hip Mobility.

And the Quest was the One Rep Max for Back Squats. Before finding out ORM we started with a much lower weight and did 5 reps, we then added more weight and did 3 reps before starting to find out one rep max.

My previous one rep max was at 145 lbs, but since then I realized that I have much better form if I take my shoes off.. so I did that this time around. I started at 145 lbs and kept adding 20 lbs, I was shocked when I passed 200 lbs as I was lifting it with ease, so I continued to add 20 lbs and soon pass 255 lbs. What was crazy is that I wasn't struggling with the weight, which meant I was still far from my one rep max. I added an additional 20 lbs making my total weight lifting 275 lbs and then I started to feel it but pushed through and managed to finish the squat.

Coach Andrew suggested that I go up by increments of 5 or 10 lbs but I was getting tired and I knew I only had one or two more lifts in me and our time was almost up. I opted to go up another 20 lbs to make the total 295 lbs. Now everyone else was close to being done so all eyes were one me. I brought the weight up and prepared for the squat, it was heavy but I was feeling pretty good. I went down into my squat and stopped for just a few seconds at the bottom before pushing with all my might and standing back up. It took some effort but I knew I still hadn't found my one rep max yet.. but I called it quits as I was tired.

Looking back I kind of regret that I didn't try for at least 300 lbs as that's a real milestone but I can't be upset as I increased my One Rep Max by 150 lbs.. that's more then double my original ORM. Next time we do our One Rep Max I'll be sure to surpass 300 lbs.

Coach Blair thinks in time I'll be able to back squat 400 lbs. If he would have told me this yesterday I would have laughed but after doing almost 300 lbs today I can defiantly see myself lifting that much in a near future and it's kind of exciting.

After our one rep max we moved on to the "Battle" portion of the workout which was 5 rounds of 10x Weighted Sit Ups, 10x Sprawls and 10x Push Ups. I found out that I can't do weighted sit ups, even with the lightest of weights it puts a strain on my lower back and causes some pain. I so did regular sit ups instead. We only had five minutes to five rounds which meant you had to go full steam the entire time and even at that I only got half way through round 4 before time ran out.

Overall a great workout and I'm still in shock I was able to back squat 295 lbs..

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

NerdStrong Gym - 7 Minute Row Test

Today was our 7 Minute Row Test... but leading up to that we did a nice warm up "build". 230 Meter Run, 10x Arm Circles (forward and backwards), 2 sets of 5x Wall Squats and 10x Air Squats, then 10x Leg Sweeps (front to back) and then 10x Leg Sweeps (side to side).

For the Proficiency portion of the workout we had to do 2 minutes of couch stretching and 2 minutes of hamstring stretching. Couch stretching is one of the toughest stretches we do. I struggle every time I have to do them as I'm just not as flexible as I'd like to be. I use a pole to help keep me upright and if they ask for my knee to be all the way against the wall I can't get up on the other foot. I'm hoping in time my flexibility will improve.

The Quest was our 7 Minute Row. I know rowing is some of the folks favorite workout and I use to enjoy it as it really does give you a full workout but lately I haven't been a fan of this workout. The goal is to row 2000 meters in seven minutes, my previous number was 1476 meters and I'm happy to say that improved this time with 1540 meters. Still far off from 2000 but getting there slowly. It really is all about pacing and keeping the endurance up.

After a brief rest we moved on to our Battle. We started at Cone 1 with 5x Weighted Squats, then we dropped the weight and sprinted to cone 2. We then grabbed a heavy kettlebell and suitcase carried it to cone 3 and then back to 2 and then we sprinted back to cone 1. Took a :30 second break before doing it all over again another four times for a total of 5 rounds. It was rough especially after rowing for seven minutes. The only upside is that I was in the first wave of rowers so I actually had a bit of a longer rest then the ones who went second but honestly that didn't help much.. it was a tough workout.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

NerdStrong Gym - Tightrope Walks & Slamball Battles

So much stuff for today's workout... look at that board.

We started with a nice "Build", up first was an Agility Ladder and we had to do 2x High Knees, One Forward, Two Forward, Two Lateral, Hop Scotch and finally In In Out Out Forward. We then did Shoulder Stretches and Tricep Stretches.

We then moved on to our "Proficiency" portion of the workout which was 3 rounds of 10x Knee Raises and 5x Inch Worms.

Then the Quest was next. This was a Slow Tightrope Walk. We started with 4x 1 Kettlebell Front Rack (alternating from arm to arm). We then did 4x 1 Kettlebell Overhead (alternating from arm to arm). Once we did those twice for both arms we grabbed a heavy dumbbell and did 4x 1 Kettlebell in Front Rack with Dumbbell in Farmer Carry and then 4x 1 Kettlebell in Overhead with Dumbbell in Farmer Carry. These were tough after the third and fourth pass. When you start out you walk in a straight line but then by the third time you are trying to stay in that straight line and it's getting more difficult.

For the Battle we had to partner up and do :30 seconds of work, :10 seconds of rest for three rounds of Plank with Low Fives (this is fun, you face  your partner and while you are low planking you are slapping hands back and forth. Slamball Sit Ups (you sit with you legs interlocked and do a sit up and pass a heavy slamball back and forth while you are doing it). We then did Standing Slamball Rotations (here you stand back to back with your partner and turn back and forth and pass a slamball between the two of you). And the final thing we did was a Wall Sit, while one is doing the wall sit with a mace the other person holding a slamball overhead, we switched off every :15 seconds.

It was alot of stuff but I really liked the Battle as it was with a partner and it's always more enjoyable doing the workout with a partner. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

X-Files Trailer, Extended Sherlock Special & Broadway HD

They released a new X-Files trailer for their upcoming mini-series. The more I see of this the more excited I get. I love me some Mulder and Scully.

They also released a new Extended Edition of the next Sherlock special. This is their first Christmas special and it's set in the past during the Victorian times. It's been forever since we have seen a new Sherlock and the more I see of this the more excited I get.

I came across this video and thought it was very cool.. it's the new Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer music but it's set to the original Star Wars trilogy footage. They work so well together.

I got another screener in "Straight Outta Compton". I've heard nothing but amazing things about this movie but I have absolutely 0% interest in watching it. I enjoy good drama but this to me is to much like real life, which again I don't mind from time to time but for whatever reason I have no inclination to watch this movie. Who knows maybe a friend will want to watch it and I'll watch with them but at this time I don't have any plans to watch it.

And the final thing I wanted to share is this new on-demand streaming of Broadway shows called BroadwayHD. I mean I don't know why no one has thought of this or tried something like this before as it's such a great idea. And yes it's not the same as being there but there are so many amazing stage shows that millions of people won't be able to see because they can't get to New York. I for one am super excited for this new service. You can sign up and get more information HERE.
On-Demand Streaming of Stage Shows
On-Demand Streaming of Stage Shows

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Downton Abbey S6 Eps 5 & 6 - My Thoughts

I love watching the new season of Downton Abbey but the more episodes I watch the closer it gets to the end. Today episode 6 aired in the UK. So in this blog I'm gonna review episodes 5 & 6. Only two more after this and then the final Christmas Special.

So S6 Ep.5  1925. Mrs Patmore, Daisy and Andy help Mr Mason move into the farm; Daisy is jealous when she realises that he and Mrs Patmore like each other. Andy has offered to help with the pigs, and learn about farming, but reveals to Thomas, whom he has been avoiding, that he can't read or write; when Thomas offers to help him, he accepts. Edith appoints young Laura Edmunds as her editor, and also gets romantic with her friend Bertie. Molesley accompanies Baxter to the trial, but she doesn't need to testify. Carson, used to perfect meals and service in the servants' hall, makes nit-picking complaints to his wife about the food in their cottage, which annoys her – especially when he dares to ask Mrs Patmore to help his wife brush up on her cooking skills. Denker rudely confronts Dr Clarkson about going against Violet in the matter of the hospital; he complains, and Violet fires her, but she uses her hold over Spratt to blackmail him into speaking up for her, and she is allowed to remain.

Violet persuades Minister of Health Neville Chamberlain to visit Downton for dinner, but Robert suddenly collapses with a burst ulcer, and is rushed to hospital. He survives an operation, but Mary tells Tom she must take over the running of the estate, as her father must not be worried further. She is also suspicious about Marigold, after half-hearing a puzzling remark about the child. Before rushing off to the hospital, Cora, fed up at long last with Violet always getting her own way, tells Chamberlain to let the hospital merger go ahead and refuses to argue further with Violet.

Wow.. what an episode.. I'll start with one of the most shocking and gruesome scenes I've ever seen on Downton. Robert's ulcer bursting and him spewing blood all over the table and his poor wife. That scene was horrific yet it had one of the most heart wrenching lines of the episode. As Robert is lying on the floor dying (presumably) his wife by his side holding his head, she looks up at her and said "If this is it... just know that I have loved you, very, very much". Such a sweet moment and thankfully he doesn't die.

Daisy has been acting horribly this season, I'm glad she's growing and her mind is expanding to new possibilities for herself and other servants but man she's becoming a bitch. And now she's jealous that Mrs Patmore and Mr. Mason are interesting in each other.  You'd think she's be thrilled as Mr. Mason is like a father to her and Mrs Patmore has been like a mother and mentor but no, Daisy is being a bratty kid.

Carson is another one who's been getting on my nerves as he continuously belittles Mrs Hughes though it's just the way he was brought up and he's pretty set in his ways. Luckily Mrs Hughes has a huge heart and can forgive easily enough. 

I like the interaction between Thomas and Andy, I had always hoped that Andy would wind up being gay and get together with Thomas but it looks as though Andy has his eyes on Daisy.

Next was S6 Ep.6  June 1925. Carson continues to moan about things at the cottage not being 'up to standard', to the increasing annoyance of his wife, even complaining about how she makes the bed, and suggesting that she get some pointers on cooking from Mrs Patmore. The Board of the Downton Cottage Hospital decides to approve its merger with the Royal Yorkshire Hospital and invites Cora to be their new president in place of the Dowager Countess to avoid such situations in the future. Daisy continues to try to sabotage the growing flirtatious friendship between Mrs Patmore and Mr Mason, but is too blatant, and both realize what is going on. Mary takes Tom to London, where they meet Henry, who invites them to a motor-car race at the Brooklands circuit. Henry tells Mary he is falling in love with her.

Mary and Tom decide to open the house to the public for a day to raise funds for the hospital. Edith's beau Bertie persuades Cora, Mary and Edith to act as guides, but they turn out to be woefully ignorant about the house and its contents. Violet, having learnt of her demotion, arrives in a frightful temper, imperiously sweeping aside the hoi polloi, and angrily berates both Cora and Robert for their treachery. Carson questions Thomas about his meetings with Andy, causing him more distress and reducing him to tears of self-pity.

This episode was pretty much a continuation of last weeks episode.. Daisy still being bratty and Carson being a male chauvinist. We also get some forward movement in Mary and Henry's relationship.

I liked the idea of opening Downton to the public of a day and I wanted to punch Carson for the way he treated Thomas after finding Andy slipping out of his room after hours. Of course we all know that Thomas is teaching Andy to read but they are keeping it on down low. I know Thomas has been a dick from time to time but he's been softening the season and a half and I just want something good to happen for him. At this rate he's going to kill himself (I hope they don't end his storyline that way).

So two more awesome episodes and only two more left, then the Christmas special. As I said at the beginning.. I'm excited to watch more but the more I watch the less new there will be.

NerdStrong Gym - Back To The Future

In honor of Back to the Future Day we did a Back to the Future themed workout.

Started with a nice "Build" of 10x PVC Good Mornings, 10x PVC Figure 8's, 10x PVC Pass Throughs, 10x You Shall Not Pass' and finally 10x Air Squats.

For the workout itself, it was a team workout (Marty and Doc) so I partnered up with my buddy Adam. We began with a 1985 Meter Row, We took turns rowing roughly 200 meters each back and forth until we completed the 1985 meters. Next was 85x Front Squats, again this was a team workout so we did 20 squats each until we got through the 85. 19x Box Jumps were next and these we had to do individually, then 85x Push Ups which we did as a team. Next was x55 Pull Ups and since both my team mate and I can only do a few we opted to scale down to Ring Rows and did a combined total of 55. We then did x19 Burpees each before doing a 1985 Meter Run around the parking lot (that's eight times around). Again this was a team one so I would run once and then tag Adam and he would run once and so on. We managed to finish the run just in time.

Thanks Adam for being a great team mate and thanks to the coaches for the awesome workout.