Tuesday, June 24, 2008

100 Pushup Challenge – Week 1: Day 1

Yesterday was Week 1: Day 1 of my pushup challenge. I looked at the numbers (10/10/8/6/>7) and thought the workout wouldn’t even be a challenge. It ended up being tougher than I thought. It wasn’t so tough that I feared not being able to finish it; but I was challenged towards the end.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Joining the 100 Pushup Challenge

I’ve jumped on the latest internet bandwagon and decided to do the 100 pushup challenge. The site has a graduated 3 times per week workout schedule which is set up to guide one in attaining the ability to perform 100 pushups in one set. It’s at least a six week program so a certain level of commitment is required.

For my initial test and I was able to perform 17 good-form pushups. Quite the downslide considering that I could do at least 50 during my Marine Corps days. I’m looking forward to adding 83 to my current total.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Burnout Paradise

I finally tried the game out the other day and I was ready to get into it. Unfortunately the up-close camera position completely turned me off. I gave it a shot and continued to play in the hopes that the camera angle would grow on me. It didn’t so it ended up going back in the Gamefly sleeve after less than a couple hours.

On the plus side I liked the gameplay.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Netflix Eliminating Profiles

When checking my email this morning I saw the following message from Netflix:

We wanted to let you know we will be eliminating Profiles, the feature that allowed you to set up separate DVD Queues under one account, effective September 1, 2008.

Each additional Profile Queue will be unavailable after September 1, 2008. Before then, we recommend you consolidate any of your Profile Queues to your main account Queue or print them out.

While it may be disappointing to see Profiles go away, this change will help us continue to improve the Netflix website for all our customers.

If you have any questions, please go to http://www.netflix.com/Help?p_faqid=3962 or call us anytime at 1 (888) 638-3549. We apologize for any inconvenience.

- The Netflix Team

I’ve been considering adding another dvd to our plan along with a new profile for my daughter. I guess Netflix has made that decision for me. They better have some kind of queue management system ready to go the moment they eliminate the profiles because otherwise I don’t see an easy solution for my wife and I using the same account.

Two people rating movies on the same profile sounds like a great way to destroy the effectiveness of Netflix’s recommendations system.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Partial Fast to Full Fast

Yesterday I made the switch from a partial fast during the day to a full fast – meaning no food products at all during the fast period just water, coffee, and tea. I wish I could go monk style and add beer to that list. J

Since it was my first day I decided to go with a 16/8 split: a sixteen hour fasting period with an eight hour eating window. I intend to move to an 18/6 split over time.

Things went quite well. I got up at 0615 as usual and had my customary 2 cups of coffee around 1000. I didn’t experience any hunger pangs until 1250 and they were slight. At about 1320 I decided to have a cup of tea and break my fast later than the 1330 time that I had originally planned.

I ended up breaking my fast at 1430 and everything went well. The only hiccup came later that night. I was done with supper by 2000 and I figured I was all set. At 2130 I was logging the day’s intake into The Daily Plate and I was stunned to discover that I had only consumed 1,031 calories. I simply wasn’t comfortable with a number that low so I added a large glass of milk

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

UACC Court Case – June 17, 2008

I went through a court session for the case that UACC is bringing against me due to not recognizing a revocation of acceptance on a vehicle that the dealer (Auto King of Grand Rapids a.k.a. Chris Buben a.k.a. liars & cheats) refused to make requisite repairs on.

The lawyer for United Auto Credit Corporation (UACC) is Douglas E. Doornbos. This “man” fits the bill as the stereotypical unscrupulous lawyer who will do anything to win no matter how unethical it might be.

In my case he refused to answer interrogatories or supply me with UACC’s copy of the contract. A month after I sent my interrogatories he sent me a set which I decided not to answer until he answered mine - I naively thought that as a lawyer he wouldn’t purposefully ignore my interrogatories unless it was legal and ethical. Then he had the gall to file a motion against me for not answering his interrogatories AND he tried to get $200 out of me in the process.

His contact info:

Doornbos and Hoeksma

2932 East Paris Ave SE

Grand Rapids MI 49512-1924

Phone: 616-957-4950

Fax: 616-957-3629

Email: doornboshoeksema@i2k.com

Monday, June 9, 2008

Quit Raining

Please quit raining so I can ride my bike!

I’ve wanted to do some trail riding for the past few days; but it’s been raining heavy every day. The problem with the rain is twofold:

· I don’t want my daughter to get drenched and freeze her butt off as a result.

· The trail I usually ride is likely flooded in multiple areas.

More thunderstorms are expected this afternoon, tonight, and during the day tomorrow so it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting a break anytime soon. Maybe the radar will show enough of a gap for me to go for a quick ride after work, there’s another trail that I’d like to try and it should be less flood prone.

Friday, June 6, 2008

First Real Fast Day

Yesterday went really well on the fasting front. My intake consisted of:

  • Black coffee, 2 cups
  • Strawberries,
  • Water, lots
  • Zone Bar

Hunger really wasn’t an issue. Sure the feeling popped up as the day went on; but I’ve had worse, it was more an annoyance than anything else.

Beginning today I’ll be replacing the Zone bar with two or three boiled eggs. Other than that and switching up the fruit, I think I’ll be keeping the above list as my limit during the fast period of my day.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Daughter Pushups

I got a small workout in last night and my main issue was knee pain during squats. At first I dismissed it as phantom pains due to my past MCL tear; but it continued so I stopped performing squats. I’m glad that I stopped because my knee has been achy this morning.

I can’t do pushups with my daughter around. Whenever I try, she gets on my back and I end up doing pushups with a 25 pound living weight on my back.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Back to The Daily Plate

Today I started using The Daily Plate again to track my food. I’ve used it in the past and it helps greatly when tracking calories and macronutrients. I prefer it over FitDay due to the layout and the number of foods that are already in their database.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I'm Fat

Ugh, I’m disgusted with myself. Through a period of laziness of managed to balloon myself back up to 180 pounds. I’ve been finding too many excuses not to exercise and I haven’t been watching what I eat. There have been far too many calorie heavy lunches during the workdays (which have the added side effect of making me feel tired for the rest of the day) and too much snacking before supper.

It’s time to buckle down get serious about dropping this flab around my middle. A large portion of my clothes don’t fit and the ones that do fit certainly don’t fit well. I’m down to three different pairs of dress pants for work and two pairs of jeans.

What am I going to do to get back in shape? The root of everything is diet and I’ll be returning to an eating style that’s worked for me in the past: an altered version of The Warrior Diet; which is a version of Intermittent Fasting (IF) where one fasts during the day each day (as opposed to every other day, 24 hour fasting). Even though it’s a fast, a small protein intake or two is acceptable.

On the exercise front I’m mainly suffering the loss of my BJJ classes due to having to be at home with our daughter while my wife goes to work. So I need to do more at home exercises as well as go out bike riding more. I have a seat for my two year old daughter on the front of my bike, so there’s no reason why I can’t go riding more often. Inside I’ll just have to concentrate on bodyweight exercises, especially pull-ups.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What I’m Playing – Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

This game has been repeatedly hailed as one of the few PS3 exclusive must-play games. I must say that it deserves that reputation. Not only is the game visually stunning, the story and gameplay are engaging as well. My wife isn’t into games beyond XBLA and Pogo; but she was captivated by the screen while I was playing. She couldn’t help but watch me as I played and she actually enjoyed the cut scenes.

Even if one could find this game at a reduced price, I’d still have to classify it as a rental due to its short length. Another negative that rears its ugly head a few times are the “push this button now!” mini-games which mean instant death if you miss the button press. This ticked me off in Resident Evil 4 and my ire is even stronger now. The jumping from ledge to ledge eventually gets old as well.

Rent this game, you won’t regret it.

Monday, February 25, 2008

New PS3!

I am now the proud owner of a PS3. I’ve updated my Netflix account to reflect my new Blu-ray player.

I haven’t purchased any games yet; but I have rented Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and it is beautiful. I’ve also added a few PS3 games to my GameFly queue (the Netflix of videogames); but I don’t foresee any PS3 title purchases in the immediate future. Most of the really good games on the PS3 are multiplatform and I’d rather play them on the 360 due to the larger online community.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's Dead

Well, that’s it; HDDVD is officially dead.

In a statement on its Japanese website Toshiba says it has "decided it will no longer develop, manufacture and market HD DVD players and recorders".

Toshiba said it will begin to reduce shipments of HD DVD players and recorders to retail channels, with HD DVD to be withdrawn completely from the market by the end of March 2008.

My HDDVD collection consists of 300, plus the free movies I got as a rebate for buying the Xbox360 HDDVD add-on. The only additions to my library of this format will be $10 and under titles from the future sales that are sure to materialize.

I guess this makes it a really good time to buy a PS3 as a Blu-ray player.

Revocation of Acceptance - Part 6

The pre-trial conference was a waste of time. Doornbos didn’t even care enough to show up; he called in from his office. If I knew that was allowed I would have done it as well. We were told to expect a court date in 4-6 months. Other than that, there’s no new info.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Revocation of Acceptance - Part 5

Today is the big day. I have a pre-trial conference with the lawyer for UACC about the Auto King debacle. The lawyer for UACC is Douglas E Doornbos of Doornbos & Hoeksema. It’s being held at the 63-2 District courthouse and the judge is Sara J. Smolenski.

Tomorrow I’ll give a full report about how things went.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fatty Pig Fatty

After an injury and having to pause BJJ training due to financial issues, I’ve gotten a bit too fatty-pig-fatty for my tastes. So I decided to drop back down to a bodyweight that I feel comfortable with as well as improve my overall fitness. I half-assed it through January and finally got serious partway through last week. I started things out a few pounds over 180 and as of Friday I was at 178.

Monday through Friday I weigh myself in the morning before I get ready for work. This way I weigh myself at the same time every day. Since daily weight can fluctuate I plug my weight into The Google 15 on my iGoogle page, which gives me a weighted average as well as a little graph.

For food tracking I’ve been using The Daily Plate. I’ve tried both TDP and FitDay and I prefer Daily Plate. It has a better selection of foods and I think their setup is a bit more pleasing to the eye as well as being easier to use.

On the exercise side I’ve been sticking to running outdoors and pull-ups. I’d like to get a gym membership and start lifting weights again; but I refuse to let myself do that until I’m already in a routine of exercising on a regular basis. I don’t want to spend the money until I’m sure that I’d use the membership, especially since most memberships come bundled with long-term contracts.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Back Into Cigars

I’m getting back into cigar smoking. It’s a nice way to relax after I put my daughter to bed and I’m trying to wind down from a long day of work. Right now I smoke a cigar every 2 or 3 days except for the weekends when I’ll have one each night. The problem with good cigars is the price. I still have a pretty good stock in my coolerdor though.

My wife doesn’t mind it except for the occasional cigar that she thinks stinks. I’ve yet to discover a method to determine ahead of time whether or not she’ll think a certain cigar stinks.

I’ve been thinking about smoking a pipe once in a while too. I still have my old pipes and a few small pouches of pipe tobacco; I wonder if the tobacco will still be any good since it’s just been sitting in a jar inside the pouches. My problem with pipes is all the effort is takes before, during, and after the smoke. I’ll give it another try or two though.


Yikes, talk about procrastinating; we moved into our apartment in April and I finally blacked out our bedroom window. Like most things one delays doing for no reason, I wished I would have done it a long time ago. I sleep so much better in a pitch black room. I even turned my clock around to eliminate that LED glow.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Just Pick Someone Already

Will each of the main parties please get to it and announce their Presidential candidates. I’m tired of the Obama/Hillary and McCain/Romney arguments and discussions.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind it if they bumped the election up another six months or so as well. Most of us really don’t need to hear another nine months of bickering about who is better than the other person (especially since few if any voters will change their minds).