Saturday, January 30, 2010

Status report for end of January

As previously mentioned, I started pursuing a new exercise routine as part of rebuilding myself in 2010. Last night I decided to take a measurement of my progress.

I lost 3" off my waist.


This post marks another interesting milestone. I downloaded blogging software to my iPhone and this post has been composed and uploaded totally from my phone.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Burpee: The One Exercise to Rule Them All

The Burpee: The One Exercise to Rule Them All

Having done a number of these in my life, I can attest that these are indeed butt-kicking exercises. I'm probably going to replace the jumping-jacks in my Mon/Wed/Fri workout with Burpees. I was thinking of doing that even before I read this.

Monday, January 25, 2010


One quick aside before I begin: the job hunt has been going OK. I'm still asking for opportunity and guidance. Hopefully, the seeds sown will find fruit soon.

Now to the blog post...

The third aspect of my New Years resolution is to sharpen the grey matter between my ears. It occurred to me that if the human body could become physically better at a task by doing it (e.g. weight lifting makes you stronger, running regularly makes you run faster), then it follows that you should be able to improve your brain by exercising it. While I've always valued my faculties, I've often wished I was "smarter". So now it's time to add in the "mental" weight training to try to make myself brainier.

I'm doing this a few ways. First of all, I grabbed a number of iPhone apps that tout themselves as "brain trainers", such as, Brain Challenge, Brain Toot, and Brain Exercise. Every day, I run through the exercises they recommend followed by a few turns with ArithmeTick and Sudoku.

The next step is practicing "lateral thinking" and logic problem puzzles. These are a dime a dozen at your nearest half-price books. Currently, I'm working on The Mensa Genius Quiz-A-Day Book. When I've finished this, it's on to The Riddle of Scheherazade.

Third is to step up my learning. I downloaded a few Linux distributions this past weekend so that using VirtualBox, I could practice my Unix scripting and bring a few other programming skills up to snuff using the exercises from my old programming books and applying them to new languages.

When I get re-employed, I'll probably pick up Rosetta Stone and start learning Spanish.

So here's to sticking it out and becoming smarter and a better person in 2010.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Looking for work!

I'm being laid

Friday, January 8, 2010

Food Intake

I've been making some very basic changes to my diet in an attempt to follow my destiny to "be a Jedi". A Jedi would likely have a diet that was functional, rather than be attached to the crazy food options that a galaxy spanning civilization would have and only have "fun food" occasionally. So, this is my new Diet. Not glamorous; certainly functional.

The biggest change is to kill off my addiction to Diet Soda (again). In the past, I've tried this but it never stuck. I think part of it has had to do with the fact I'm actually dealing with two addictions instead of just one. Not only do I like caffeine, but I like the fizziness of the soda.

I'm cutting fizziness first. I've started drinking green tea with a shot of lemon juice. The caffeine is slightly lower than soda, but still there. Furthermore, I don't have the feeling that my kidney's have been "dry cleaned" as I do after I've had 2 litres of soda in a day. In theory, this should also help me reach my health goal. For the record, green tea doesn't taste that great, but the shot of citrus juice makes a big difference.

I'll see about reducing my caffeine intake at a later date.

As to solid food...

South Beach generically didn't work that well for me. Further, the Tim Ferris diet recommendation was very labor intensive first thing in the morning. Then I remembered the one diet plan I had that DID work for me in the past. I never followed it because of general ridicule of others and because the EX didn't support me. It IS South Beach friendly, easy, and I'm NEVER hungry.

Back in the 70s, Covert Bailey published a book called "The Fit or Fat Target Diet". Basically, it's cut fat and refined carbs (sound familiar?). So, I cut up a lean piece of meat and toss it into a crock pot full of beans.

Yes, Beans...

Beans: High Fiber, No Fat, High Protein, and No simple carbs. In fact, the South Beach diet lists Beans as a phase 1 (most restrictive part of the diet) food. Yes, there are "gas" issues, however, after about 2 weeks, your body adapts to the diet and doesn't banish you to living in your own little cloud.

Yes, I have a normal dinner; this is just breakfast (really) and lunches (I have several small meals through the day to keep the metabolism pumping). This also helps give me the will-power to NOT snack on food that is bad for me in times of weakness.

People have lived for thousands of years on less variety and less food. A Jedi would have the discipline to follow this simple diet. If I want to be a Jedi, I will have it too.

I will form good habits, and become their slave.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Body Weight Exercise!

One of the themes of Star Wars, is the triumph of the human spirit and it's superiority to machines. We may love R2-D2, but after he (a robot) is shot, Luke switches off his targeting computer to fire the lethal shot into the Death Star.

Abstracting this, I realized that I don't need "machines" for my goals. To be sure, they make life easier, but they aren't necessary. So, today I worked out before starting work.

This simple workout doesn't require a gym and will kick your butt!

I only got through 2 sets this morning.

Eventually, I'm shooting for this....


And one more just for fun.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Being a Better Man

It seems that the universe is pointing me towards the path I've set forth. I stumbled over these two related posts at "The Art of Manliness".


It was these types of posts that made me recently recommend this site to almost all of my male friends. While the people who run this site are a tad more conservative than I, that doesn't mean I don't find value in what is said. Again, I recommend this site to my male friends (including the confirmed bachelors. Richard the Lionhearted and Alexander the Great were both very manly men after all!)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Today is the first day of the rest of my life!


This is nominally a gaming blog, but it also collects the effluvia of my brain, so here we go!

Those of you in the know, may recall that the last major New Years resolution of mine actually worked out quite well. It was "Better Living through Technology", and involved me leveraging the technology of the world to help me step up and get through life.

Well, I've decided that 2010 is time for the next major resolution. I don't have a nice term for it beyond "Be a Jedi", so I'm going to have to stick with that. Basically, its the building and remaking of my Body, Mind, and Spirit. I've tried this previously, but it hasn't worked well.

I attribute this failure to "Do or Do not...there is no Try". So, I will "DO" and will post here. I've decided that the ennui I've felt of late is my own fault, and so it's time to move on and be the guy I can be!

So, lets start off with the following....

In the book, "The Greatest Salesman in the world", Og Mandino has a series of "scrolls" that one can follow for self-improvement. Whether or not you believe in a supreme being, I recommend his works as they are good for providing rules and structure to live by.

Here is a link to the text of "The Scroll Marked One" that someone posted.