Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nerding Out

What are you nerding out about lately? For me it's The Nerdist podcast and Mass Effect.
The Nerdist podcast is great because it's three nerds sitting around talking about their lives and the stuff they are nerding out over, or talking with a person they like. I love that being a nerd is "cool" now. I grew up a nerd and it was not a desirable thing to be. I think the explosion of pop culture and the internet has changed that. After trying to shun and hide my nerd roots trying to be cool for years I can now be a nerd again and be proud of it!

Kim and I have been playing Mass Effect for the past 15 hours or so. Not continuously for 15 hours, over the last few days. The game has been out for quite a long time so I'm really slow getting on the bandwagon. It's a lot like Knights of the Old Republic and I loved that game too. I love that the game is so expansive. You could just blast your way through this game and do the basic quests but you can also meander around exploring other systems and planets, talking to everyone you can, taking every side quest. That's what we're doing. It's going to take forever but it's so fun! Exploring different systems reminds me of this game I played back in the 90's but I can't remember the name. You traveled through space mining and salvaging to build up your ship. It used coreward and rimward as directions in space? I want to say Wing Commander? Maybe?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Goals for the week of May 9th

My goals for last week:
  1. Consume 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, everyday. - Check! I used an unflavored whey protein from Superstore every morning while making coffee.
  2. Two 20 minute interval runs - Check!
  3. Two 1 km freestyle swims - Check! One of them was even longer than 1 KM!
  4. Four 30 Minute shred workouts - Check!
  5. Read 2 chapters from Common Ground - Nope.
  6. Read 2 chapters from Start Late, Finish Rich - Nope.
I didn't get my reading done but I did start listening to the 4-Hour Workweek audiobook. Interesting and challenging.

Now for this week:
  1. Consume 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, everyday.
  2. Do research into website idea, affiliate programs and drop ship programs.
  3. Read 1 chapter from Common Ground.
  4. Read 1 chapter from Start Late, Finish Rich.
You'll notice there are no physical activity goals listed. I had some minor surgery last Friday and was advised by my doctor to take it easy for a week.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Doctor Who

Kim and I haven't had a chance to watch the newest episodes of Doctor Who yet, we've had the Impossible Astronaut downloaded and waiting practically since it aired. I'm not sure exactly why we haven't watched it yet. Mostly I think it's due to the fact that Kim has been sick and we want to be able to really pay attention to the story. This requirement that we pay attention could be seen as an affirmative answer to io9.com's question "Is Doctor Who getting too scary or too complicated?". I do think that Doctor Who has gotten scarier and more complicated under Steven Moffat and I don't think that's a bad thing. I like that it's scary and complicated. It reflects the show's rich mythology and dark tones that have been present ever since it rebooted in 2005. I think the show is maturing. Of course it has some complex story lines, it has time travel in it!
As far as "too scary" or "too complicated", I would ask for whom? I know that Doctor Who is considered a family show and I love it. the thought of families gathering together to watch the Doctor warms my heart! Maybe some young children won't follow the story all the time but is that all bad? Is it bad to challenge kids with a complex story? Should we be worried that maybe some kids won't understand what's going on and as a result dumb it down? I don't think so and David Mitchell would agree, sometimes it's good to be confronted with our own ignorance. If the kids don't get it would it be so horrible if they just had to ask someone to explain what's going on? 

Too scary? Some kids may end up watching the show through the cracks between their fingers or from behind a blanket. Again I ask is that all bad? Is it bad for kids to be scared? Especially when it's fear of something make believe? It's one thing to be afraid of nuclear war as I and many of my contemporaries were, quite another to be afraid of being erased from existence by a mysterious crack in your wall. I watched some stuff that scared me as a kid and ended up with nightmares but I survived. I think kids need monsters. I think being afraid is an important part of developing as a child but then again I am neither a parent nor a child psychologist. I don't have to get up in the middle of the night to calm a crying child and assure him or her that there are indeed no Cybermen in the closet. Take my opinions with a grain of salt.
Our failure to watch the newest episodes may also have something to do with David Tennant, or rather the lack thereof. I think Matt Smith is great but Tennant was brilliant and left some big shoes to fill and I don't feel that Matt Smith has filled them yet. Although I think I would keep watching the show if it was nothing but one hour of Karen Gillan. I think Kim would too but we have slightly different reasons for that.
I have some downtime for the next few days so hopefully we'll get it watched!

The Real Thing

Lately when I've been swimming, about half way through I start dragging my butt. My stroke gets sloppier than normal, I feel like I'm just splashing around in the water and I want to stop. A couple weeks ago my friend Beeny tipped me off about a trick that she and her roommates do to keep up their energy during an extended workout. For them an extended workout is 45 - 60 minutes, my swim is usually about 30 minutes but hey, tired is tired right? Today I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a bottle of Coke and "de-fizzed" it. Then I mixed half Coke and half water in my Klean Kanteen and headed off to the pool. What a difference! I had energy throughout my entire swim and even swam an extra 150 yards. I probably could have done more but I swim on my lunch break and had to get back to work.
Generally I'm anti-pop. I think it's one of the worst things you could probably drink if you are trying to get in shape. However as a sports drink it seems to be pretty effective and for $1.65 for 500ml you can't beat the price. I'm still concerned about the high sugar content so next time I'm going to try one quarter Coke to three quarters water and see how that works.
Also, as a bonus my bottle of Coke claims that it will give me a free iTunes song. I've yet to figure it out though.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I've listened to two separate podcasts lately that dealt somewhat with the issue of failure. The first was the Nerdist podcast with Tim Ferriss. In the podcast he said that he learned at a young age to view failure as feedback. That's an interesting perspective. Instead of failing and giving up look at failure as a way seeing how not to do a certain thing. Like Thomas Edison talking about working on the electric light bulb; "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

The second podcast was Tapestry with the designer Bruce Mau. One of the things he talked about was how most people think about creativity and the finished product. Most of us think that the finished product leapt into the world fully formed. The process that leads to a finished painting, play, song, etc is loaded with failure, sometimes more failure than success. He says "Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child)."

These are great perspectives for me as I have a tendency to give up when faced with failure. Is there a point though, after failing over and over at something where you decide "Maybe this isn't for me?", "Maybe I can't do this?". Are we meant to succeed at everything we do? Do we start certain things and then realize after failing that maybe we don't want to do whatever it is?

Anyway, I'm off to do some failing! Hope my boss doesn't mind....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Small measurable changes.

One thing I learned from Tim Ferris when he was on The Nerdist is that you need to make small changes in your life if you are to have success at whatever it is you are trying to do. Don't try and make too many big changes at once or you'll just give up. Don't try to go from being a sedentary junk food eater to a finely tuned athlete overnight. Start by making small changes to your diet, maybe cut out drinking pop. (Yes, actually, if you drink pop and you are fat, stop it. Pop is full of sugar and helps you be fat.) I'd also add "measurable" to "small" when talking about changes. If you are trying to get into shape, take your measurements or get a body composition test now and then do it again in a month to see how you are doing. (Tim might have mentioned the measurable part in the podcast or somewhere else).
Alright, here's my small measurable change. I'll take my measurements and start consuming 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of getting up in the morning. Tim Ferriss (I am not employed by nor do I receive any financial compensation from Tim Ferriss. I'm not in love with him either.) recommends this and has seen favorable results so I'm going to give it a try.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Goals for the week of May 2

In the interest of being accountable for the changes I want in my life, here are my goals for this week. I'll post at the end of the week to see how I did.
  1. Consume 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up, everyday.
  2. Two 20 minute interval runs
  3. Two 1 km freestyle swims
  4. Four 30 Minute shred workouts
  5. Read 2 chapters from Common Ground
  6. Read 2 chapters from Start Late, Finish Rich