Tuesday, January 31, 2012

End of the Month

And with this day, January draws to a close. There are eleven more months left in 2012, and if they go as quick as January did, then it’ll either be the end of the world or 2013 before you know it.

I hope this month has gone well for all of you. Personally, I’m doing pretty good. So far, I haven’t missed a day on posting on here. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything has been GOOD, or worthwhile, but I have been getting the output taken care of, so there is that.

Weight loss and exercise, I could be doing better at that. However, it’s not totally on the back burner, and I did pass up the cake section while shopping last night, so I do have that going for me.

I still don’t have my other blogs up and running, and I’m running out of time on my self-imposed deadline. However, with the family tech support I’ve been doing this week, I’m not sure I’ll have those back up and running in time.

However, I’m not feeling bad about this month. I’m down about 8 pounds, I’ve started being healthier. I’m feeling better, and life, while it could be better, could also not be as good as it is.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Another Monday, Another Update on Your Host

All right, kiddies! It’s Update Monday! It’s time to update all the funky stuff that Tony did during the past week.

First, let’s touch on Fitness. I did a poor job of tracking everything last week. For example, I know I did pushups at work, even at home, but I didn’t track them. I hit the treadmill once, for 1.86 miles, but I was never able to get on a bike or get on a treadmill more than once. Now, I did purchase the Xbox 360 Kinect game “YourShape Fitness Evolved 2012” and I’ve played that, but I’m still figuring it out, so I have no idea how to track it. I do know that I realized that Yoga, even beginning Yoga, involves a lot of standing on one leg which involves balance. I do not know the meaning of balance. Seriously, gravity is my mortal enemy. However, I made it through some of the routines and I was feeling pretty good. I mainly need to keep switching up what I’m doing so I don’t get bored with the treadmill and the bike. Oh, and to wrap it up, I have new walking shoes that I’m breaking in right now, so that’ll be nice, since my old Sketchers were almost 3 years old and SEVERELY broken down.

Second, let’s look at the progress on my “beer money” quests. So far, I have $8.00 saved in my Amazon account. Yeah, that’s not a lot, but considering I really haven’t done much for it, I think it’s pretty good, especially since I didn’t do much with it over the weekend, since I was out of the house and all. On my “to do” list that’s starting to get a mile long, I’m going to do a referral link section on the side of the blog, if anyone is curious and wants to try this stuff. I’ve also started a few new sites, and also signed up for a writing group, so we’ll see how that goes.

Also, to elaborate on the Family Tech Support over the weekend, to my understanding, the new Verizon Hotspot is working VERY well and they are VERY happy with it, so I did that right. So far, on the laptop, I’ve removed the trial version of Norton that was installed, I’ve updated Windows 7, Java, and Flash. Chrome was already installed, but my father really prefers Internet Explorer for some odd reason, so I’m setting up his home pages on there. Now, their Netbook took a bit more work. Nothing really difficult, mainly updates, but I never was able to get it to connect to the apartment’s WiFi network, either on the main account or on the guest account, so I’ve had to hardwire it in to get Windows updates, flash updates, java updates, and install Quicktime and Google Chrome. This computer mainly exists as a portable media center, since it has a larger screen and longer battery life than most of our portable DVD Players, so I need to move some of my movies over to it this evening.

This evening isn’t going to be good for my goals. I have gas to buy, groceries to acquire, and beer to hunt down, since I’ll be hiding the later part of the week from the Super Bowl Madness that is sure to engulf the town. THIS weekend will be the weekend that I get work done around the house, the blogs back up and running, and some beer in the keg. I’m hoping to stop at Great Fermentations here in Indy to see if they have any Mr. Beer kits that are something I would drink, like a Stout or a Cider. I also need to pick up a capper and some caps, since I want to do glass bottles this round, instead of the large plastic bottles.

So how was your week? Feel free to comment. I know you’re all such a talkative bunch that visit here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Family Tech Support

I love my family, don't get me wrong. They're great. However, there is a downside to working in the career field that I do.

I'm their tech support.

This posting is late because of that. It'll also be short because I'm tired of typing.

Brief rundown: They live in BFE, and service there sucks for Internet. So, I helped them talk to a Verizon rep about one of their hotspots. After picking up the hotspot, went home, found out their desktop doesn't have wifi built in. Went back out, got an antenna, came back, not recognizing the hotspot. Actually, finding it but not seeing the IP address. Finally, I found out through Google that you have to completely turn off the old hard wired connection, reboot the pc, and reconnect. Do that (How did I not think to turn it off, then turn it back on?) and they have the internets.

I swear, it's not knowing how to do something. It's knowing how to Google it.

Anyway, today on the way home, they decided to pick up a laptop. So guess what I've been working on all afternoon. Updating Windows 7, removing Norton, installing AVG, installing iTunes, installing Office... whee.

So, good night, all.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Beer Money

Money for us, much like I’m sure it is for many of you, is tight. For me, health insurance costs have gone up, overtime opportunities have gone down, car insurance has gone up, and internet costs have gone up. Any chance I have to save money, or make extra money, I have been trying to take.

I don’t like to play the coupon game. I’ll use coupons where I can, but a lot of the “extreme couponing” I see just seems to be a bit shady, and I have too much on my plate to make it worth my while to deal with. I do a lot of my grocery shopping at Aldi’s, which helps quite a bit.

I’ve got a lot of living costs down as low as I can, but low funds means there is no money for fun. However, I have discovered something recently that helps out.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the website http://www.reddit.com. Reddit is a social aggregator  site with a ton of sub-communities for different areas. Some that I follow are based on Doctor Who, Costuming, Homebrewing, Coupons, Freebies, and one called Beermoney.

What r/beermoney is covers just that, beer money. Chump change that isn’t enough to get you anything really important, but gives you a bit of change for fun stuff or small items. You’re not going to get rich, but you’re going to get something. Most of the time, this will not get sent directly to you, instead it will arrive in the form of a gift card, or a gift card code. Personally, I have mine set up to deposit as Amazon gift cards, since you can get so much through Amazon for either myself, my wife, or the Geekling. Plus, you can just stash the codes in Amazon, and they just pile up, don’t expire, and will be used when you go to order something.

One thing to remember as I describe this: I use the Android OS on my Smartphone, not the iOS. All of my app experience is based on that platform, however to my understanding many of these apps and opportunities are also available on the iOS platform for the iPhone.

Also, as I describe something, I’m going to include my referral info. If you try something out, please put me down as the person who referred you, because then I get a little kick back in terms of points or money, which gets me closer to a new Blu Ray or X Box game.

The first app I’ve been using is called Clover. It’s invite only, and it’s meant to be a mobile version of Paypal, but it’s not Paypal. You sign up, and if you go green, there is a queue to get in because it's a very popular app and you only get a couple of invites to share.. If you attach a credit card to help transfer money, you get in instantly and you get more invites. If you’re curious, my invite link is  https://www.clover.com/a?inv&t=8pkurz9g884z and feel free to sign up. You get 5 bucks for signing up, and I’ll get a 5 buck referral bonus that can go towards The Lion King on Blu Ray. 

Other apps that I have been using have been from a company called AppRedeem. They have two apps that are linked together that I use: AppRedeem and AppTrailers. Instead of cash, they work off points that you can trade in for money in Paypal, or towards gift cards, including Amazon. 1000 points roughly equals a dollar. AppTrailers shows you 30 second trailers for Applications, giving you points for each view. AppRedeem allows you to download an app to try out, and you get a larger amount of points for that. So far, I’ve downloaded and deleted the available apps from Redeem and I’m waiting to see if different ones get put up. I’ve watched all videos numerous times on Trailers, and I’m still getting points. Now, you can’t just keep watching, instead you keep an eye on your credits, then when you stop, take a break and come back and keep playing. I’ve been messing with it since 8AM, and I’ve earned about 700 points. Not bad for occasionally looking over at my phone on the charger and pressing “Watch Video.” Between that, a referral, and AppRedeem, which is tied into the same points pool, I’ve earned about 1800 points, and I’ve deposited 1000 into my Amazon account for a buck. If you’re curious about this, my referral name is tokarrai so please give me some more points if you would be so kind.

I know there are other ones out there, and I might update them on here when I can. Have you used anything like this for a little extra fun money? If so, let me know in the comments!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fitness Center Rant

All right, so no one is commenting. I’ve got a silent group taking a look at this, and that’s okay, I guess. Before you say anything, no, it’s not tracking my visits. I’m smart enough to go in on every browser I use and install the blocking cookie from Blogger to not track my visits. Anyway, unless I hear otherwise, it’ll be business as normal.
I stuck to my schedule yesterday, and my body is happy for it. Kind of have my bum in a sling in Fallout, but I’ll work my way through it. Also, I still haven’t checked out the gym at the office complex, as I was advised that since I get off work at the same time as most of the other people in the complex, it’s going to be stupid busy until at least mid-February, due to New Years Resolutions.
What I do have today is a bit of a rant, and that rant is about the gym, specifically, the fitness center at my apartment complex. For what it is, it’s a decent center, and I’ve written about it before. Most of the time I go in, and it’s people at least earnestly trying to work out, even if they look a bit clueless or are dressed in skinny jeans and a beret. I’ll admit, when I get off the treadmill or the bike, I have no fargin’ idea what’s going on myself.
I got home last night, changed into my workout clothes, which not for nothing were freezing since they had sat in my car all day. Stretched, and walked down in the rain to the fitness center.
First thing I noticed was that the early evening crowd also thinks it’s a daycare. Luckily, no one was playing on the good treadmill, because I have no qualms kicking a 6 year old off the treadmill because mommy and daddy aren’t paying attention. Mommy was on an elliptical machine listening to a radio blaring mariachi music, and daddy was in jean shorts, with no shirt on, strutting around the weight machine banging weights around. Seriously, he’d use one a couple of times, then drop them. Then, after Mommy left with the kid who was crawling over the other equipment in the center, one of daddy’s friends came in, with the music still blaring, and sat at the machine, yelling at each other to be heard over the banging of the weights and the music. Before I left, and I was in there for about 40 minutes, the shirtless wonder decided to abandon the weight machine and try lifting one of the elliptical machines. I almost lost my cool on that, I was an inch away from stopping my machine and going off that it’s crap like THIS that causes the equipment we have to stop working, but I figured he wouldn’t understand what I was saying, pretend not to understand what I was saying, or take a swing at me, which I do not have the patience to deal with right now.
I mean, let’s be honest, what is the mental process that makes you think that this is acceptable? When my wife and I use the fitness center, we alternate. Not once have we thought about letting the Geekling run wild around the center. And walking around half naked? Dude, no one cares about your ego, or how studly you think you are. Keep it up, and I’ll start taking my shirt off while I’m there, and NO one wants that.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seriously, You Read This?

How’s everybody doing this morning?

First things first, I’ve been getting a small amount of visitors to this blog, about a dozen or so hits a day. To those dozen or so, I’d like to say two things:



Seriously, I’m getting a bit freaked out here. I mean, sure, I post the link to these daily ramblings on my Twitter, and I’ve recently linked it to my Google Plus account, but to see that people are actually CLICKING the links? Wow, I think I’m starting to get a little performance anxiety here. So, if you DO visit, and you ARE reading this, could you PLEASE leave a comment letting me know whether you like this? What do you like reading about? Seriously, sometimes I get a bit of block, and a little inspiration never hurts.

Moving on to my normal drivel, I failed last night, pretty big.

When I got off work, the weather was looking nasty, and the drivers were looking stupid, so instead of delaying my exit from Keystone for an hour and a half and letting the weather get worse, I went ahead and went straight home. Microwave burritos were the “healthy dinner” I had planned, and I had the TV on longer than I planned, having let myself get sucked into Warehouse 13 on Netflix.

However, I did get some more Video Games in. So, I guess there is that.

So, I’ll try again today. Seriously, I’m back up about 5 pounds with all the junk I’ve been eating, and spending more time on the couch than on the treadmill. I need to drop some of this before I have to cram into a seat on a Southwest flight on the 8 th of February. I do NOT need a Kevin Smith moment with them, especially since I don’t have a soap box as big as his to rant from when I get kicked off.

Speaking of the flight, does anyone need anything from Disneyland while I’m out there? Or perhaps some In N Out?

Once again, please comment to let me know what’s up, and I’ll see you all tomorrow. Tony

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Exciting Bachelor Life

I dropped my family off at the airport last night. They’re headed to Southern California to visit my wife’s family and to bring the Geekling to Disneyland for her birthday. I’ll be headed out there for the little one’s birthday, hopefully surprising her when they get off the tram from the parking garage to Downtown Disney, but I’m still going to be flying solo for the next couple of months as they’re out there for some birthdays and some special events at the park.

I spent my first evening totally disregarding any diet choices or exercise plans. Yep, I drowned my sorrows in Taco Bell and Mountain Dew, lay on the couch and watched some Warehouse 13, then posted a lot (for me) on Facebook and Twitter. After I burnt myself out on Social Media, I went back to the couch and fired up the Xbox 360, and threw in Fallout: New Vegas.

First things first, when did I start getting motion sickness from a first-person view in video games? I’m serious, I’m wandering the Mojave and my stomach started acting up. Now, it could have been the 7 Layer Burrito, but I’m familiar with the gastronomical discomfort that Taco Bell causes, and this wasn’t it. So, during the course of a few hours, I had to switch between first-person and third-person views to keep from getting totally ill, but it was worth it. I was able to get a few beginner level quests completed, got a bad reputation with the Powder Gangers and Caeser’s Legion, and didn’t die. I’m also remembering how the VATS system works, and to save the game pretty obsessively.

Tonight, I’m going to try to get into a schedule that I hope to follow while the girls are gone. I’ll get off work at 5, and I brought my clothes with me to see if it’s feasible to hit the gym here at the Keystone at the Crossing office complex at 5PM. I’m leaning towards “no,” but I’m trying to stick with a positive attitude. If that does end up not working, I’ll head home and try to find open equipment at the apartment’s fitness center.

After I’ve done my workout, I’ll head home and start dinner, which will NOT consist of Fast Food and soda. I’m figuring a baked chicken breast, salad, and some milk. No TV during this time, instead I’ll get myself and the apartment cleaned up and read a book. Once the food has been consumed and the dishes have been cleaned up, then I’ll belly up to the computer and do some coursework on a couple personal enrichment/continuing education projects, which I’ll stick with until about 9-ish. After that, then I’m going to go back to the couch, turn on the TV, and probably play more Fallout: New Vegas.

I’ll stick with wandering the Mojave until around 11PM, when I’ll get my lunch together and get everything packed up to do it all again on Thursday.

Yes, I plan to lead a very exciting “bachelor” life while the girls are gone, but I’ve got stuff I want to learn, stuff I want to do, and some fun that I’ve been neglecting. Plus, since money is tight, these are all activities that involve no financial expenditure such as using gas, or eating out.

‘Til tomorrow,

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Retail Touch of Death

Just a short bit of mental vomit for you all today. A little something that a conversation with a co-worker got me thinking about.

A good portion of my resume comes from 6020 E. 82 nd Street. Now, for those who aren’t in Indianapolis, and even for most of those who ARE, that is the address to that North Side monument to consumerism, Castleton Square Mall.

I worked there for most of the late 90’s, plus some time on into the “new millennium.” Not that I can go in there now and visit any of these places, because I also have the touch of Death to retailers at Castleton Square.

Let’s go down the list, shall we? Please bear in mind, the dates are rough generalizations, as I have the memory of a goldfish.

I started at a kiosk in the center court called Big Entertainment in May of 1997. It was a kiosk centered around comic books, collectibles, and related clothing. That lasted until summer of 1998, just a hair after our first anniversary. I helped unpack the truck when it opened, and I had to help pack it back up as well.

During the holidays there, I held down a part time job at Natural Wonders which was right in front of the kiosk. Now, that’s a Lego Store.

A month or so before it went out of business, I got a part time job at both Suncoast Motion Picture Company and Waves Music, both which have gone the way of the dodo. Waves got dropped when I took a position at Electronics Boutique, and Suncoast got dropped when I got promoted at EB. Both of those stores have gone the way of Pauly Shore’s career.

I worked at Electronics Boutique at Castleton before I got transferred to the Lafayette Square Mall location, and then left entirely when I moved to Southern California. They have since been bought out by Gamestop, and no longer exist.

I spent some time in Cali, then came back to Indiana in 2002. My first job back was a part-time gig at The Disney Store, which lasted about a month before I found full-time work elsewhere. Since I worked there, they closed down the location that I was employed at, opened a smaller in-line spot further down the mall, been bought out by The Children’s Place, then been bought back by Disney.

The final place I worked at that mall was Galyan’s Sports and Outdoors, around the same time Dick’s Sporting Goods was opening further down 82 nd Street. I still remember the day we were told we were bought out, and we were no longer allowed to wear the “Home Town Home Team” t-shirts. I jumped ship from there as soon as I could, because Dick’s wasn’t just their name, it was also their attitude for those of us who had stayed on from Galyan’s.

Every place I have worked at Castleton is gone, moved, or bought out, yet I still have good memories of working there.

Perhaps tomorrow…

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Update

Good Monday, everybody! Did you have a good weekend? How about those major sporting events leading up to an even more major sporting event? You know which ones I’m talking about, the ones that involve a ball that, despite its name, looks nothing like a foot? Yep, not really something I follow either.

I’ve been using my apartment complex’s fitness center since last fall, off and on, and as you know, I’ve been hitting it more regularly since then. The problem is, ever since the beginning of the year, it’s packed. When I say packed, I mean there are lines for machines, even broken ones.

To give you a run down, there are two treadmills, one of which has a loose belt. There are two stair machines, of which I never really use. There is a stationary bike that has a seat with a broken positioning pin, so it won’t stay higher than the base level, and a recumbent bike that actually works well. There are two Elliptical machines that I would assume work fine, but since I’m not coordinated enough for them, I couldn’t tell you. Finally, there is a weight machine that doesn’t have any numbers on the weights, so if you’re a rookie like me, you don’t know if you’re going to wrench your arm out of socket.

Towards the end of 2011, “crowded” meant someone is on the treadmill, and someone is on the elliptical, or perhaps someone is working with the weights. Now, when I walk in, and it doesn’t matter the hour, almost every machine is full. I like to go in and do 30 on the treadmill, then 30 on the bike, but now I’m lucky if I can get to either. Not once, this past week, was I able to do both. Two days, I was able to do the treadmill, one day I was able to use the bike, and the rest of the time when I dropped by, everything was in use.

I’m not a fan of New Years. Personally, I’ve been dinking around in there since last fall, but I didn’t get serious until around Christmas, and I didn’t really start tracking until this month, so I don’t have much room to talk. I’m not saying everyone in there is there because of a New Year’s Resolution, but when my wife is seeing someone in skinny pants and a beret trying to use the weight machine, and I’m seeing people driving a half block of apartments to the center, and recognizing the first week of Couch to 5K being done on the treadmills, you tell me what I’m supposed to think.

So, with that being said, this week on the recumbent bike I did 3.30 miles, and on the treadmill got 4.77 miles in. Since I’m not able to do much in the fitness center, I also really pushed the pushups, doing 476 over the course of last week.

With the family heading out tomorrow, I’m going to start packing clothes and trying to take advantage of the larger gym at our office complex. According to some of the people here that use it, it’s very nice and the beginning of the year surge is starting to thin out, so I’m hoping I can make it work on my way home.

I hope you all have a great week, and I’ll see you tomorrow! Tony

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Proof That God Loves Us And Wants Us To Be Happy

I find it appropriate that on a Sunday in Indiana that I’m going to talk about beer.

First, for those who don’t know, liquor sales are illegal on Sunday. Now, they’re not 100% illegal, as you can get a growler filled at most of the local brewhouses around here, but it’s still going to come as a shock to people coming in for the Super Bowl on the 5th, if they think they can walk into a grocery store or a liquor store on Sunday for a case of Bud Light.

Now, I’m not much of a drinker. Honestly, I’m stupid sober, so I have never gotten a kick out of getting drunk. I’m a social drinker, mainly sticking with Guinness or, if available, a Young’s Double Chocolate Stout because, well, it’s a Stout with Chocolate. I do enjoy a Sam Adams Coffee or Chocolate beer on occasion, but I am by NO means an expert, or even slightly knowledgeable on the subject.

While I don’t know much about beer, I DO enjoy creating things, building things, and sharing things. With this in mind, I was gifted a Mr. Beer Homebrewing Kit for Father’s Day last year. What a Mr. Beer kit does is let someone like me be able to make a drinkable beer from the base components. It’s fairly idiot proof, and acts a lot like “Beer for Dummies.” Essentailly make sure all of your tools are sanitized, follow the directions on boiling and mixing, and don’t get in a hurry. The kit tells you that you can have beer in as little as 3 weeks, but it’s best to give it more time to ferment, carbonate, and condition, because then you get a better taste.

The kit I received contained what is known as a LBK (Little Brown Keg), sanitizer, two kits to make batches of beer, and enough plastic bottles to be filled by one LBK that should be reusable. I don’t have the kits in front of me, but I seem to recall that one was a lager and one was an ale, neither of which I’m familiar with or drink on any sort of regular basis. Also, the plastic bottles were a bit large and they honestly seem to be a bit too much beer for one sitting.

I did my first batch back in October, and it got a good reception from friends and family who are actually familiar with lagers. I tried it, and while it tasted like beer, I wasn’t familiar enough with that type of beer to know whether or not it was good. However, I was assured by people who understand how to give constructive criticism and that included one REAL homebrewer that it was a good beer, and I hadn’t, in fact, messed it up.

Now, with the girls heading out in a few days, I’m planning on pulling the kit out this coming weekend to try the other batch. This time, I know a bit more of what I’m doing, and I have some better equipment. Also, after doing online research as to which glass bottles can be re-capped (Sam Adams works well) and then supplying alcohol to friends coming over for the holidays, I have a cupboard full of cleaned beer bottles awaiting brew to fill them. All I need is a capper and caps, and I’m set there. However, I have a few weeks before I have to get that equipment, as I’m not putting it in the keg for at least a week, and then not taking out and bottling for at least two weeks after that.

I’m really finding this to be fun, and I’m thinking that when I get more room, I might look into getting the actual homebrewing kits, taking off the training wheels, and working on my own stouts and hard ciders. As it stands, at the moment I’ll be happy with what I have and work with it, knowing that they have kits to make stouts and hard ciders out of the LBK I’ve got.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Game on!

I believe I’m starting to like video games again.

I don’t know why I stopped liking them, and why I’ve started again, but I really think I’m itching to pick up the controller again. I’ve never been a hardcore gamer, despite doing tours of duty with Electronics Boutique and supervising the video game department at Fry’s Electronics, but I’ve always enjoyed them to some extent.

Right now, our system of choice is the Xbox 360. We have an Elite system with a bad disc drive that can be used for online streaming, and a Slim that we use for gaming. We also have a Nintendo Wii kind of gathering dust, and in storage, waiting for the day to be played again, we also have an old Magnavox Odyssey 2, a Nintendo 64, a Sega Dreamcast, a Nintendo Gamecube, and a Playstation 2. Oh, the day that we unpack those boxes will be a glorious day indeed.

You know, except for that whole trying to connect the Odyssey 2 to a HD TV. That should be interesting.

As I mentioned yesterday, I have a lot that I need to pick up again, and none of them are short games. Games like Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, Fallout 3 with all the expansion packs, and Fallout: New Vegas with one or two expansions. I have Fable 3 that I need to restart, along with Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. And if I was feeling really sadistic, I have Modern Warfare games that I could play, but I’m not into hearing kids swear online.
I really want to play the expansion packs for Fallout 3, but the Save files had issues transferring from the Elite 360 to the new Slim, so I would have to start all over. While very tempting, I’ve already played through the main game and the first couple expansions, and I’m not really itching to play through all over again while I have unplayed games in my collection. I’m starting up New Vegas instead since, while I love the Batman games and just Batman in general, I can’t get enough of the Fallout universe

The fantasy role playing games are kind of on the back burner, as I really want to complete the Fallouts and the Batman games while Shannon and Mary are away. Then, I want to move over to the Nintendo Wii to check out the Legend of Zelda games and Epic Mickey.

And I must not forget L.A. Noire and Dragon Age, which are my wife's but I want to get some game time in on sometime in here.

Either way, I think with the games, I’m starting to stack my plate a bit high. When you think of all I want to do while they’re gone, I think I’ll be able to keep myself busy.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

To Do List, or Long and Boring Mental List of Goals

Good morning, everybody!

First things first: I’m not really expecting anybody to read or care about this posting. This is more of a motivational post for me. They say putting your goals in writing makes them a bit more concrete, and putting them online for others to see really puts you on the line.

I’m just going to be doing real short postings this weekend. First, when I’m not at the computer at work, I don’t have quite as much writing time. Second, I’m going to be sending my wife and the Geekling to California on Tuesday for a bit, and no offense to this, but I’d rather spend the time with them than on the computer.

Now, once they leave on Tuesday, I’ve got a “to do” list of things I need to get taken care of online. First and foremost is taking down my “Geeking” blogs and rebuilding them from the ground up. It is my understanding that Wordpress does allow multiple blogs on the same database in version 3, and if that is the case, I need to figure out how to get both “Geeking in Indiana” and “Geeking in SoCal” running off the same space, where they won’t die when I run an update on the Wordpress software, which is what happened with them. Plus, I need to teach myself about the actual software, since I guess it’s not quite as idiot-proof as I thought it was, to help keep it from happening again.

Once those are up, I need to re-establish my presence on their social media accounts. In the case of Too Many Twitter Accounts, I have the @tokarrai account that’s my personal one, then @geekinginsocal and @indianageeking for the blogs. I also have sorely neglected Facebook pages for them, and I’m really tempted to create Google+ pages for them.

However, they are not getting Pinterest or Tumblr accounts.

And the optimist in me is hoping to have this done by Super Bowl Weekend, since, you know how much people who visit the Super Bowl like visiting hobby shops. However, it still gives me a date and a goal to have it all taken care of.

Once that is done, I need to crack the whip on my SoCal crew about getting me some content on the West Coast, and I need to start visiting more locations in Indiana that sit outside the Indianapolis area. However, I will be out visiting SoCal for the Geekling’s birthday, so I’m going to try to check out some locations in the area where I’ll be staying.

I figure that I will head over to the office complex’s gym after work, work out, then head home for dinner and then pull out the computer and get to work for about an hour or so a night. I really need to treat these blogs like part of my job, or else I won’t do it.

Blogs like this one are fun, and they have no structure and ramble, so I really am just writing it for myself, and I’m not really expecting anyone else to read or care on it. It’s more mental roadkill on the internet superhighway, in all honesty. However, my other pieces I’m really doing for public consumption, and I’m trying to get some advertising money off of them just to pay for the hosting fees and domain names. I wish I could break even on them, but if I can’t even keep the blogs up, what hope do I have?

In all honesty, if they don’t take off any in 2012, then they’re going down as personally hosted sites. I might transfer all the info to a Blogger account like this one, since they already have Google accounts attached to them, but I’m not quite sure. Let’s just cross that bridge when we come to it, shall we?

Now, I have other things that I want to pick up while they are gone. I already mentioned the knitting, and I have barely scratched the surface of some of my games like Batman: Arkham City or Fallout: New Vegas. Heck, since I lost most of my game saves transferring from one Xbox 360 to another, I need to get caught back up on Fallout 3, Fable 3, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. Forget any new games right now, unless it’s a Fitness game for the Kinect to help break monotony, or a Gold Card for Xbox Live.

I also want to play with the Timeline feature on Facebook. Why? I really have no idea. It’s just kind of in the back of my mind that I haven’t even played with it, and I want to see what I can add in, like Stopping a Terminator from killing Sarah Conner.

Finally, I want to look at the appearance of this blog, see if I can make it a bit more “me.”

Let’s see how much of this I actually get done.

Now, did you actually read all of this? If so, do you have any tips or advice, especially on the Wordpress front? If so, let me know in the comments!



I like to wear shirts with things that I grew up with or am a fan of on them, like Star Wars, old video games, or cartoons.

I have glasses with thicker frames so they’re harder for my daughter to break.

I will occasionally bring my laptop to a Starbucks to write when my wi-fi is out at the apartment.

I like wearing hats that aren’t baseball caps.


I don’t wear skinny jeans.

I don’t ride a fixed gear bike.

I don’t wear a beret when I go to the fitness center and stare blankly at the weight machine.

I believe life is too short to not genuinely enjoy things.

So don’t call me a hipster.

I don’t even know what the frak a hipster really is.

Carry on.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

All News, All The Time

So I sit here at work for 8 hours a day, and CNN is playing in the background the entire day. Listening to this, I have realized a few things. First, there is never more than half a dozen things going on over the world at any given time, and they just rotate through those.

Second, no matter how crazy you think candidates for public office are, no matter how full of bull, or how crooked they are, they can always sink to new depths.

Third, they don’t cover the subjects of bacon or cupcakes as much as I believe they should, but if Burger King starts offering delivery, then they are all over that.

Ship wrecks are their wet dream. I swear they’re trying to figure out how to link Celine Dion music to this thing.

Celebrity chefs with diabetes are obviously big national news.

Oh, and look! There is a small blurb about SOPA and the website blackouts.

I wish they’d just let me turn Cartoon Network.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Well, as I’ve said before, I do costuming and prop building. I love recreating items seen on the screen, but I have a minor problem in that the extent of my ability with a needle and thread is putting a button back on a shirt. However, I’ve become intrigued with something over the holidays that I want to get into.


Think it through. I like Harry Potter. Anyone want a house scarf? And on the subject of scarves, how about an extremely long one like the Doctor wore? Who wouldn’t want a cunning orange knit hat?

Plus, have you looked at the custom pieces that people have done? Dwarven helmets and beards? Knit hats that look like Disney Mouse Ears? This is some pretty spiffy stuff, even though I understand that those are not quite beginner-grade projects either.

So right now, I’ve been talking with friends who knit, getting some shop names down, figuring out what kind of needles a beginner would use, and bookmarking some Youtube videos. As I was looking around for information, I found this:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/knits-for-nerds-joan-of-dark-aka-toni-carr/1108119711? ean=9781449407919&itm=1&usri= knitting+for+nerds

This is a pre-order, it’s not out yet, but this really pushed me into thinking that I’m on the right path. Plus, as my wife said, we’re not getting any younger. If we want to try something like this, now is the time.

Has anyone else ever done any knitting? Have any advice or tips for me? Feel free to comment!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Fitness Update

Good day, everybody! Yes, you too.


At the keyboard. Yeah, you too.

So, it’s Monday. Last week wasn’t my strong point on exercise. I only hit the fitness center twice due to being able to make excuses that I really need to stop making, but that’s still two more times than I normally hit it, so there is that. On the treadmill, I put in 75 minutes for 4.71 miles, and on the bike I put in 30 for 3.4 miles. Since it’s been fairly busy in there, I was only able to hit the bike once, so I put in an extra 15 on the treadmill instead. Pushups, I only did the 110 early in the week, which rather destroyed me for the rest of the week. I’m still learning to pace myself.

Weight wise, I’m down another four-odd pounds. I’m too lazy this morning to get the exact, but the point is I’m still down. And I will be doing more exercise this week, so that will continue.

Clothing wise, I need new shoes because the ones I’ve been using are wearing at the sole, and the sides are breaking down. Normal clothes are starting to get a bit baggy, and I’ve had to scrounge up a new belt because my 42 waist pants are too big, but I’m not yet back down to my 38 waist pants. That’s kind of my goal right now, to fit in those again so I don’t have to buy new pants.

Yes, my goals are based on me being cheap.

I’ll see you tomorrow for a posting that has absolutely nothing about my exercise, my weight loss, or my pants.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Just a Lazy Sunday

It's just a lazy Sunday around here. Grocery shopping is done, Mom is trying to nap on the couch while Child is crawling on her head, and I'm breezing through the sub-reddits on r/cosplay and r/homebrew.

I wish people would stop posting those pictures from the 80's SciFi Convention. They were cool the first twenty times, but now?

I just wanted to pop in to say I'll have something with a bit more meat to it tomorrow. I hope you all had a great weekend!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Quick Check

Good evening, everybody.

Are you even paying attention?

Feel free to comment!

Good night everybody!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Turn To The Geek Side For A Moment

All right, I’m actually going to get away from the exercise for a bit to focus on something that I’ve been a fan of for years: the replication of movie props and costumes. I know, that makes it sound all professional, but I prefer it over “cosplay” because, to steal a bit from comedians, that just sounds like you’re dressing in ugly sweaters and trying to sell pudding. I know I have touched on this a bit before, but today I want to get into detail on what I have done, and move into a weekend of where I want to go.

The entire idea that costumes could come into play on times other than late October came into my mind when I was entering High School. I had started getting into Star Trek, and went to a convention in Cincinnati with a fellow counselor from Scout Camp at the end of the summer of ‘92. That is what helped me realize that I could actually make and own items I had seen in movies, or on television.

Through high school, I would save my money and attend local conventions like Starbase Indy, and pick up kits from vendors in the dealers room. Looking back, these weren’t the best kits in the world. In fact, I still have a Star Trek V/VI Assault Phaser kit from those days that I now know had the two halves of the mold mis-aligned by an eighth of an inch. It is a pretty fugly choad, but I’m still going to hold on to it, just probably never going to finish it. Same with my Star Trek: The Next Generation Phaser Rifle. Compared to the screen used prop, it’s huge, but I remember how much I loved it, how much I wanted it, and how hard I saved up to buy it. That one I AM going to strip and refinish and I’m going to keep. All in all, during those years I acquired, if I remember correctly, those two items, a Star Trek III Phaser kit, a Star Trek: The Next Generation Science Tricorder, a Star Trek: The Next Generation Phaser 1, and a Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3 Costume top. Sadly, most of these items I no longer own, and I have even fewer pictures of them.

No, I did not get a senior picture in the Next Generation uniform. No offense to those of you that did.

Moving out of High School to my brief stint in college and the job market, I started fading out of Star Trek and into Star Wars, and then other sci-fi properties. I also discovered licensed replicas, because they were just starting to really come out into popular culture. Thanks to a lottery ticket, I ended up with a pair of Icons lightsabers, one for Luke Skywalker and one for Darth Vader. I was still picking up garage kits, though. At one con, I found a rough looking blaster similar to what Rebel Fleet Troopers carry for cheap, and I still have that for my costumes. Through the early days of the Replica Prop Forum, I picked up an Obi-Wan Kenobi Lightsaber from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and a replica of Han Solo’s Blaster Pistol built off a Denix Broomhandled Mauser replica.

Moving into the new millennium, I moved to California and started dating the woman who is now my wife. For some people, this ends the “toys” and foolishness, but since I met her on the Replica Prop Forum, it just enhanced it. This really brought on a lot towards my hobby, not only with collecting and building, but also with learning the craft. I spent time working in an FX Studio in Burbank, learning a bit about casting and cleaning resin pieces, along with working with expanding polyurethane foam, vacuforming, and foam latex. I also spent time in a friend’s garage, working on my resin casting skills as well as learning how to run fiberglass, rotocast resin pieces, and honing my finishing skills a bit more. This time in Cali got me hardcore into Star Wars costuming, starting with an X-Wing Pilot costume from A New Hope, and leading me to help form The Rebel Legion costuming group, a group that I am no longer affiliated with. My wife was more the Imperial type, going out as a TIE Fighter Pilot and a Scout Trooper. Since that time, she hasn’t done much costuming, and I’ve assembled a Rebel Fleet Trooper, also from A New Hope.

While working in that garage, I also helped other friends out with their projects, so I have a lot of half-finished pieces sitting in storage. Items like a Proton Pack and PKE Meter from Ghostbusters, a Boba Fett helmet from Star Wars, and numerous small pieces from Star Trek, Buckaroo Banzai, and other series that are just sitting in cases in a storage unit in California, just waiting to be built.

I’ve bounce around a bit since then, but I haven’t acquired much lately, mainly collectible pieces. I have picked up small things here and there, like a replica Batarang from Batman Begins, or a toy Sonic Screwdriver from Doctor Who, but nothing real hardcore. However, this is the year. This is the year where I’ll be building again, I just know it.

Now, what will I build? Feel free to comment! Tony

A Little Walking Music

Yes, it’s another exercise post. Let’s just write this off to exercise this week, and this weekend I’ll go with something a bit more geek, like costume ideas I want to get out there. Does that sound good? Excellent.
Today I want to revisit my “tech” that I use while exercising, specifically in terms of entertainment. Sometimes, if I have enough battery power, I like to use Pandora or Google Music through my Evo Android phone, especially Google Music. I have been using it since it’s been in beta, and I have most of my music collection uploaded to it. It’s allowed me to make some playlists, so I’m able to listen to fairly consistent upbeat songs that make me want to move. Pandora is nice, and I’m trying to “train” some playlists, but then it throws in a slower song, and it really drags me down. I’ve also attempted to use Netflix, but a movie doesn’t keep me moving like a song does.

Most of the time for music, I’ll use my Zune. Yes, I’m one of 20 people that still uses a Zune Music Player. Mine is a Gears of War 120G, and I’ve got a decent playlist that I’m always tweaking as I find something new, or I get tired of something. One great thing about the Zune is the Zune Marketplace, which for $15 a month you get unlimited subscription based downloads through their music store, plus 10 tracks a month that you get to keep. Sure, they don’t have everything, and some bands who have traditionally not been big fans of the digital format still make you pay for the downloads instead of being able to use your subscription, but it still has enough music that I’ve filled up with over 7600 songs.

A few months back, when I decided to start making use of the fitness center, I decided that I would need to have some tunes to keep me moving while there. I’m a big Barenaked Ladies fan, but their music isn’t really EXERCISE music. Something with a quick beat, not something that will put you to sleep, which put right out any of the Enya or Loreena McKennitt that I had on the player.

Don’t judge.

Knowing that the Lord of the Rings soundtracks wouldn’t keep me moving, I started digging around for ideas. One blog that I frequent is called The Art of Manliness, and they had a great article about songs for working out (http://artofmanliness.com/2008/08/05/52-workout-songs-to-help-you-get-bigger-stronger-and-faster/). So, one evening, I sat down and started downloading songs, and I was about to get most of them through Zune Marketplace easily. Since then, I’ve been tweaking and adjusting. For example, some of the songs are a bit too slow for me. And then I’ve been going through my library and adding songs when I remember one. For example, I’ve added:

- “Derezzed” by Daft Punk
- “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand
- “A Little Less Conversation (Remix)” by Elvis Presley
- “Bleed It Out” by Linkin Park
- “F**k You” by Cee-Lo Green
- “Don’t Stop The Sandman” by Rock Sugar
- “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy And I Know It” by LMFAO

Now, will this be what I’m listening to in another week, or another month? I might, I might not. I could have removed a song or three, I could have added a few songs. I could have thrown the Zune across the room in a fit of anger, something that has been known to happen from time to time. But anyway….
What about you? What do you listen to when you’re on the treadmill or working out?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Can Haz Pushups?

First off, let me assure you, exercise is just the train of thought for this week. I’m not planning on making this oriented on my exercise, or my weight loss. Like I said, this is more of a stream of consciousness blog that’s focusing more on output than any particular subject right now, and since I really don’t have anything else at the moment other than work and exercise, and I’m not going to put much specific about work up here, guess what you get?

Yesterday was a kind of big deal for me. Day off from walking/biking, but I still wanted to do a bit of strength, so I was doing my break time pushups. I normally do a set of 10 pushups because, well, I do a set of 10 pushups. I was able to get 3 sets in before clocking in for the day. During my first 15 minute break, I did 2 more sets. On lunch, I was able to find the space to get 4 sets done, and during my final break, I did 2 more sets. 3 + 2 + 4 + 2 = 11 X 10 = 110.

One hundred and ten pushups.

I can barely type right now, but I am rather proud of myself.

My next goal will be doing 2 miles on the treadmill in my 30 minute self-imposed limit.

I hope you all have a great day.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why My Pants Don't Fit Anymore

Today, I want to expand on what I’m doing to try to lose weight and get into shape, and some of the websites and apps that I’m using to try to track everything. I don’t know if I’m doing it right, but since I have lost weight and I think I need to punch some more holes into my belt, I don’t think I’m doing it totally wrong.

Now, for those who have never met me, let me give you a bit of info. When I started this, I was 5’11, weighed 271 pounds. I have never been that active, unless I’ve been in a job that requires it. In High School, I averaged 240-250 pounds. The lightest I’ve been was my freshman year in college, where I disliked the food so much I dropped to 205 pounds. I am now pushing 35, have two bad knees and a bad ankle that causes me to worry when I walk or exercise, so that’s kind of scared me off of pretty much any physical activity.

I started daily going to the apartment complex’s fitness center and spent half an hour on the treadmill. I’ve worked up to a fairly steady 3.8 miles an hour, switching between 0 and 1.0 for the incline. I’d also head over to the stationary bike when I was done, and start pedaling for half an hour. I’m averaging 6.5 miles an hour and not letting the resistance level drop below 4, sometimes pushing up to 7. Add in doing sets of 10 pushups every chance I could find an empty conference room at work, I was burnt out by Wednesday physically.

I took Wednesday off and went back Thursday, and felt better. Took Friday off, went back Saturday, and started to get improvement, especially when you add in remembering to stay HYDRATED while doing this, as I was sweating like a woman of ill repute in a holy place. So now, I’m still doing pushups at work to help break the monotony of sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours at a stretch, but I’m cutting back on the fitness center runs to every other day. I might go back up to daily, but starting out like this, I’m not seeing any benefit to going every day, especially when almost everything I’m reading is saying to try to start 3 days a week with the cardio.

Now, being a geek, I can’t just exercise. I also use the internet and my Android phone to track it. First, I use Runkeeper to keep track of my mileage. Right now, I’m using manual input for the treadmill, but I’m hoping by spring I can get outside and use the GPS to track me. I like Runkeeper because it allows me to keep track on my phone, and then refer back to it on the internet if I’m curious about how far I had gone on a certain day. For weight tracking, I use CardioTrainer, which I USED to use for distance tracking, and still do out of habit, but I was never able to find a website that let me look at my info online, so I switched over to Runkeeper.

SparkPeople is a decent website/app combo that I like, as well, that helps me keep track of my goals. It tracks fitness, weight, food and water intake, and other goals you’d like to keep track of. It is more of a group website, with group challenges, articles, and information about Fitness and Wellness. The only thing I don’t like is how their app doesn’t quite sync up with their website, but I’ve been able to work around that.

Finally, a really FUN one to use is a website called Fitocracy. It turns exercise into a social game, giving points for different exercises and allowing you to level up and earn achievements. It has groups you can join that have group challenges, and it just is enjoyable to see your points, and see your level go up. It really appeals to the Xbox player in me. It doesn’t have an app for Android, but they have an easy to navigate mobile site, and it works very well. I just have a shortcut to it on the same page as my apps for the others.

None of those websites or apps are really required, and I’ll admit that there are certain things I have to put in multiple times. One example is inputting my walking and biking. I put it into Runkeeper, CardioTrainer, SparkPeople, and Fitocracy. However, Runkeeper and CardioTrainer only track cardio, not strength training, so that is why I have SparkPeople, and everything still goes into Fitocracy for points. I figure if I had to go down to just ONE app, it would be SparkPeople. It tracks my exercise, my caloric intake, and it’s my main go-to with information, but being a creature of habit, I just fill in all of them because it’s easy to catch up on while riding the bike.

So, if you follow me and want to play along, what do you do? What’s your preferred workout routine? Do you use any websites or apps to track your progress? Let me know in the comments!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Fitness Update

All right, folkies! It’s a new week! It’s the second full week of 2012! How are we doing this week?

I’m going to give a quick update this week on how I’m doing with that whole “exercise” thing. I figure that is part of why I started writing here in the first place, so I don’t want to ignore it. Plus, it’s a nice cheat for a Monday blog post, it’s one less topic I have to think up.

First, weight wise, in the last week, I’ve lost 4.42 pounds.

Exercise wise, I’ve used the treadmill for 2 hours (30 minute a day, 4 days) for 7.06 miles. I’ve used the stationary bike for the same time, putting in 12.7 miles. And, over the course of the week, I’ve done 195 pushups.

I’m still getting in the swing of things, figuring out how to spread it out so I don’t burn out.

Looking for improvement this week! Tony

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Geek and Proud

Yes, I consider myself a geek. I spent my high school years in the band, in the Boy Scouts, and as a Trekkie. Going from High School to College, I was an avid player of both Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. When I left college, I would spend my paychecks on Magic cards, Star Wars action figures, and whatever new flavor of Collectable Card Game looked interesting.

When I moved into the work force full time, I mainly worked at stores that catered to the Fanboy. Stores like Big Entertainment, a kiosk in the mid-nineties that was opened by Tekno Comics. We sold comic books and trade paperbacks, did pull lists for subscribers, and carried memorabilia like t-shirts, statues, vinyl figures, art and prop replicas. That lasted about a year and a half before we packed up. I also worked for more familiar retailers like Electronics Boutique, The Disney Store, and Suncoast Motion Picture Company. Spending time in Southern California gave me the opportunity to work other geekish gigs such as spending time at the former movie practical effects studio, XFX, Inc. While there, I had a chance to work on pieces from the short lived live-action “The Tick” television series, the film “Blade 2,” and licensed blaster replicas from the original “Battlestar Galactica” series. I also was a cast member for the Disneyland Resort, working in Tomorrowland Attractions as a Helmsman for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and as a Space Ranger in Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters. They have all been good times, but they don’t pay the bills, unfortunately.

As I’ve worked, and as my tastes have grown and expanded from Star Trek and Dungeons & Dragons, so has my hobbies and collections. Cardboard playing cards and action figures made way for movie prop replicas and costumes. Over the years, I’ve played dress up on days that aren’t Halloween as a X-Wing Pilot and a Rebel Fleet Trooper from Star Wars, a Starfleet Medical Officer from Star Trek: The Next Generation, a Union Civil War Soldier, and a Ghostbuster, complete with a 35 lb. proton pack strapped to my back. I have helped found The Rebel Legion, a Star Wars costuming group that was formed to compliment the 501 st Legion when they didn’t know where to put the Rebel costumes. I have also learned a bit about resin casting, working with fiberglass, and how to clean and finish pieces from those materials. I have owned lightsabers, blaster pistols, phasers, tricorders, communicators, helmets, proton packs, and bits of droids that were made by either myself or fellow fans. Many of these pieces have passed on to other owners as I’ve needed money, but I always love new toys.

One thing on my list of things that I would like to accomplish this year is to get back into building. I need to be more careful with what I collect, as sharp objects can be grabbed by little fingers, and fragile pieces can be found no matter where you hide them. Also, apartment living is not conducive to running fiberglass or slinging resin, so I have to find alternative methods to be creative in that respect.

Just so you know, when I find them and start working on them, I’ll let you know on here.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Toddler Logic and Vocabulary

Some people know that I spent time in Southern California as a Disneyland Cast Member, and my wife and daughter are both California girls. Being from California, they have a tendency to visit without me from time to time, as I do have a powerful need to hold down a job, and they aren’t tied down by one. When they visit, they will inevitably visit the Park, which they both love. However, a toddler doesn’t care about what the Imagineers or the Marketing Department calls the attractions. Some things are easy to figure out. The “Nemo Ride” is the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, “Spooky House” is the Haunted Mansion, and “Mermaid Ride” is The Little Mermaid Undersea Voyage at California Adventure.

However, some things take toddler logic.

For example, if she wants to ride the “Tick Tock Ride,” what does she want to go on? Disney hasn’t put anything up for their classic live action film “Return to Oz” so there aren’t any attractions based on a clockwork soldier. Nope, she wants to ride It’s A Small World. Why is it called the “Tick Tock Ride?”

It has a giant smiling clock face on the front of the attraction.

Like I said, toddler logic.

If she wants to see “Boom Boom Jack” what could she be talking about? Well, she loves watching Youtube videos of the Park through our Xbox 360, thanks to the latest additions to the service. One of her favorite videos is the Halloween Firework Show over the Castle. It has a flying Zero, and Jack Skellington’s face is projected on an inflatable globe behind the castle. Fireworks go “boom” and Jack is in it, need I say more?

This goes for Disney films as well. “Frog” is The Princess and The Frog. “Tea Party” is a strange one, that is Beauty and the Beast. Why? Well, Mrs. Potts, of course. “Spooky Town” is The Nightmare Before Christmas, for reasons I believe are fairly obvious.

I love my little girl with all my heart, and I’m always looking forward to what her logic comes up with next.

Oh, and if you got the Return to Oz reference? +5 Geek/Disney points for you. Good show.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Why I'm Spamming This Blog Now

Good morning, everybody. Did you sleep well? Yeah, me either. The little one doesn’t like sleeping through the night in her own bed right now, and keeps coming to get Mommy to either lift her into our bed, or put her back to sleep in hers. Yep, that’s about as pleasant as it sounds at 2:30AM and 4AM when I have to be up at 6AM and can’t get to sleep before midnight.

So, one of my goals for the New Year is to write more. I’m not talking about NaNoWriMo writing more, but actually putting things on this blog, getting my other blogs up and running with new content, and perhaps writing for some friends, if they want. It might not be interesting, it might not be coherent, but the thought is to get used to putting pen to paper, or words on the screen, and start getting thoughts out there. First, work on output, then work on polishing said output.

I guess I want what everyone wants; something that is interesting, perhaps funny, that people can read and make their day just a little better. Sometimes I might write about my daughter, sometimes I might write about work, even though not too much. Honestly, while I work Tech Support which is full of funny stories, talking about work on the internet is like talking about religion or politics at the workplace, you just don’t do it. Sometimes I might write about past experiences, sometimes future hopes, sometimes it might just be something funny I read somewhere. Sometimes you might enjoy what I write, sometimes you might just roll your eyes and close the tab I’m currently occupying.

In fact, if you haven’t already done that, thank you.

I’d like to say the ride will be as thrilling as driving down the PCH with the top down, or as beautiful as driving through the Rockies in the spring, but honestly?

Most of it is probably going to be as thrilling as driving across Texas or Kansas.

Hopefully, it will be worth it.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Working With What You Have, Being Thankful For What You've Got.

Did know that people look at you weird when they walk into an unused conference room and find you doing pushups? I swear, I know I'm not the first person who's done that, and is it my fault that I don't want my clothes to get all sweaty?
In other news, yes, I spent more time in the workout center on the bike and treadmill. Let's just assume I've done that unless I decide to post up an excuse otherwise, sound good? Excellent, let us carry on.
So, I like tech. I wish I could afford tech. However, you make do with what you have, right? Sure, it would be great if I had a desk top with a scanner and sound equipment, a mega-megapixel digital camera, a HD digital video recorder, a tablet, most recent Android phone, and so on and so forth, but I don't. I have a Dell laptop running XP that a friend graciously gave me that is on its last legs. Seriously, the keyboard is toast, it will not read most thumb drives or external hard drives, and it's just old and well used. I have a HTC Evo phone that acts as my video and digital camera that I got for free when I switched from T-Mobile to Sprint. So I need to make do. Yes, I like to blog. I like to write, but it's difficult when half of your vowels or your space bar don't work right. Yet, here I am, putting up something with minimal mistakes, I think. I'm working around what I don't have, and working with what I do.
This is something that I'm trying to focus on this year. I don't want to dwell on what I don't have, I want to focus on what I do have. So, what do I have?
I have family. I have a wonderful wife that motivates me to get off me bum and do something, be it exercise, play video games, or write. I have a smart, beautiful daughter who is a handful but I wouldn't let go of for anything. I have a roof over my head, I have food on the table, and I have a car that's paid off.
I have a job. I have a steady source of income and health insurance for me and my family. I have my health. I have a computer that I can write on at said job, and a bit of spare time during it to get writing done.
I have a future. Even at 34, I have time ahead of me to do better. To study, to learn, to get us more to be thankful for, without forgetting the core that we already have. To find things that will enhance our lives, not just find things that are just, at the end of the day, just things. I need to remember that each new day is the chance for something new, and I need to jump on that.
What about you?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Can Mess Myself Up On A Treadmill?

The last few days, I've been spending 30 minutes on the stationary bike, and 30 minutes on the treadmill. Even after only a few days, it's getting easier and my muscles aren't complaining as much, but I'm still in pain this morning.

You see, our workout center has two treadmills. I normally use the one on the left, because it, you know, works. The one on the right works, but the belt you walk on is just a LITTLE loose, sometimes causing it to slip as you step down. Well, that happened last night, and something happened to my left foot. I'm not sure how to describe it, just that when it hit the belt it didn't hit RIGHT, and now I have a shooting pain across the top of my foot. Well, no pain no gain, right? It's not bruised, it's not discolored, and when I have a chance to walk on it and "warm it up," then the pain lessens, so I figure, why stop now?

I'm tired of making excuses. "Wah, my foot hurts." "Wah, I'm tired." "Wah, I'd rather do anything else." Not any more, I'm actually on a streak, and I'm not breaking it.

One thing I've learned is how to keep myself moving. The first time I got on the bike, I turned on Netflix on my phone and watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine while pedaling. That half hour felt like a half hour. The second time, I watched part of the Sci-Fi Channel Mini Series "Tin Man." That half hour felt a little longer than a half hour, just because that show starts out slow. Last night, instead of Netflix, I pulled up a playlist in my Google Music app, and the next thing I knew, it was time to wait for the treadmill. I think I know what my plan is here on out.

On other fronts, Shannon and I realized there are a LOT of series we want to watch on Netflix Instant Streaming, and we've started to organize what we want to watch. We've got series like Angel, which last a few seasons, series like Being Human (both UK and US) that only have a handful of episodes, and a dozen in between that we're starting to organize in our queue as shows we want to watch. Sadly, I can't get her to add any of the Star Trek series or Doctor Who to the list of series that she's willing to watch, but I can't blame her for that. She DID buy me Doctor Who stuff for Christmas, so I'm happy with that.

I've also backed up all the main content from my Geeking blogs, so if they need to be nuked, either for non-renewal or just to rebuild, I'm not going to lose anything. I'm hoping just to rebuild, but since I'm not the one paying for the webhosting on it, I'm waiting to hear back from the person who IS paying for it to see what he wants to do. We'll see.

Well, I hope you had a safe New Years, and if you were in Indy yesterday, you weren't hit by the cluster frak that was a light dusting of snow and ice that caused a lot of people to get in accidents.


Posting Late, Written On Friday

Well, I tried something new last night, and I'm going to be paying for it most of the day.

I went back to my apartment complex's fitness center last night for my second night in a row. While THAT is new in and of itself, since I was lucky to hit it once a week before, that's not the new thing.

First, I spent only 20 minutes on the treadmill, going for 1.15 miles with a bit of an incline. Then I looked over, and noticed the stationary bikes. They have always looked like typical apartment complex equipment; not usable because parts are missing, in this case it was the seat. Well, you really can't ride a bike, stationary or not, without a seat. Anyway, when I got off the treadmill and was cleaning it off, I noticed that the seat had been replaced. "What the heck?" I thought and went over. After getting my stuff set up around the bike, and pulling up Netflix to watch something while riding, I started going.

Now, bear in mind that while I won a bike a little over a year ago, I haven't been able to get myself motivated to use it. In fact, I really haven't seriously done any bike riding since the mid-nineties. We are talking about a set of muscles that really don't get used that often. And I used them last night, after walking for 20 minutes, for 30 minutes to the tune of 2.9 miles.

Now, I know some of you who are reading this might be shaking their heads and thinking, "Really?" but please bear in mind: I'm 34, have 2 bad knees, am overweight, and have NEVER been into exercise. Even when I was in Track in High School, I hated exercise. Yeah, looking back, I'm STILL trying to figure that one out, but that's not the point. Actually, I'm not sure what the point is, or even if I have one. What I do know is that I'm trying, and I'm trying to mix it up a bit. Plus, now that all the X-Mas leftovers are gone, I can start watching what I'm putting into my gut and start making the space it's occupying smaller.

Seriously, I'm at the front desk at work right now, and was just offered a fresh donut. A Fresh donut, and I said no. Yep, that's how serious fatty is about this.

So I'll just leave this here for today.