Journal Entry 368 – Quarantine Continued…

It has been about two months of quarantining so far. For some strange reason, “cabin fever” has not really hit me too hard. I think it’s because I’m still working full-time during this period of time. If I had been laid off, then I likely would be getting a bit bored by now. But with working full-time, I almost look at this period of time as an opportunity I don’t want to waste. Working from home for me has been really nice and I likely won’t get another chance like this again. Going on walks, sitting on the deck, and yardwork has gotten me out of the house, so I don’t feel like I have been “stuck in the house” all the time.

Last week, Sarah and I took a couple of days off for our Anniversary. We didn’t go anywhere due to the quarantine, but we had a nice meal at Red Salt which is Sarah’s favorite. It was also nice just to be off from work and spend more time relaxing.

Knocked out another book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. 2 out of 10. Not good. I heard about this book from Joe Rogan, who loved it. I’m not really sure why. It had a really strange format and really seemed pointless with tremendous amounts of fluff. The main point was basically to figure out what you are meant to do in life and avoid resistance which is almost anything or anyone that is keeping you from your goals. The author started talking about Professional vs Amateurs. Professionals being regarded as much higher in his opinion. He used an example of Tiger Woods as the utmost professional in professional Golf, which is so dumb, I literally laughed when I read it. Tiger Woods has cussed people out, snapped his clubs in half, thrown his clubs across the golf course, made several enemies, ruined his career by cheating on his wife, and was also diagnosed with sex addiction. His former caddy wrote a book about him and it was not a favorable one. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Tiger Woods and I really enjoyed watching him win the Masters again, but to use him in that example was hilariously bad. The author then continued on with some pointless ancient literature references and some new-age religion talk. It seemed like the book could have been finished in like 20 pages but was over 170 pages long. I don’t know man haha. This book was weird and contradictory.

Recently beat God of War on PS4. Another good game for sure. Besides some slightly annoying puzzles you need to complete and a bit of repetitive fighting, the game was very well done. Kratos is a likable hero with a really deep back story and it’s fun to fight with his son Atreyus who shoots enemies with a bow and arrow from a distance. I’m a story mode player and not a “completionist” meaning I don’t need to do everything the game has to offer to enjoy it or consider it complete. The cutscenes and graphics are also really great. 8 out of 10

Been tipping the scales at around 177lbs recently. Diet has been pretty balanced with probably less protein than usual and WAY less processed food from protein bars, protein chips, etc.. Peanut butter has cured me of my protein bar addiction haha. Sarah and I have gotten good at keeping dinner interesting each night and eating at home way more often has been another benefit of the quarantine. We usually rotate between Asian style, Mexican style, Italian style, etc… each night so we don’t get bored. Lunch for me is almost always a chicken and avocado salad or eggs and toast. Also, been working out daily with bodyweight movements consisting of pushups, chin-ups and squats.

 

 

Journal Entry 366 – Low Key / Final Fantasy VII

Coronavirus is still in full effect in the U.S. and is still causing a nationwide Quarantine. We usually check it every day and the numbers just keep rising, especially in the U.S. Our local county has also been hit pretty hard as well, so I’ve been keeping it pretty low key and really have no need to leave the house. Sarah and I have still been working from home and have enjoyed doing so. This quarantine has allowed us to spend much more time together and we usually try to go on a daily walk just to get out of the house and away from technology.  I predict the quarantine to be and stay in effect for at least 2 more months.

This quarantine has also upped my entertainment game. Been into a variety of shows recently. One show I’ve been watching is an anime called My Hero Academia, which I have almost finished. It is not nearly as good as my other favorite animes (Berserk, Hunter X Hunter and Dragonball Z), but it was still a really good show. Also, been watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix. This show is great and I’ve certainly been enjoying it. Also, one of my childhood favorite games, Final Fantasy VII, was just remade for the PS4. It originally came out on the original Playstation about 23 years ago. The game has been amazing and I have some serious nostalgia playing though it. It’s nice to see what characters and settings look like in real-time now that technology is powerful enough to show it.

I’ve also been working out every single day. Day one is 50 squats and 50 chin-ups. Day 2 is 50 squats and 100-200 pushups. I rotate these each day. It gives a good energy boost and helps to maintain strength as much as I can at the moment. We usually go on a walk with Luke at some point as well.

As for diet, if anything the quarantine has improved my eating habits. I have more time to make food and been throwing together meals will cheaper foods. Since we don’t really have the option to go out, it forces you to be more creative with the foods you do have. I would say a quarantine favorite is peanut butter and banana. Peanut butter is one of the few foods to cure me of my addiction to protein bars, which we are not eating a ton of right now. I was also getting a ton of “protein chips” which I’ve recently replaced with food. Feeling good. We just stocked up at Aldi for two weeks worth of food.

I’m also sticking to my book a month goal for the year. I’m in the middle reading this book called:

“Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook: The Complete Middle School Study Guide (Big Fat Notebooks)”

Now, why the hell would I read a study guide for middle school students? – Don’t let the title fool you, it covers way more information than what is covered in middle school. The point of this reading project I started at the beginning of the year was to learn more. This book is a giant review of everything I have ever learned in school (including high school). It covers almost every single topic you can think of in Science and is highly enjoyable and easy to read/comprehend. It also kind of shows, how information that you don’t use, you lose. There are large parts of the book, where I remember learning topics in school, but have long forgotten about. These book types also have one for American History, World History and even Coding. Since I’ve enjoyed this one so much, I plan on reading these other titles as well. Highly enjoyable and would rate a 10 out of 10.

 

Journal Entry 365 – Quarantine

Due to the Coronavirus, I have basically been a hermit for the past week as I have been working from home and had no real reason to go out. Time has somewhat changed meaning a bit for me. I go to sleep later, wake up later, save money on gas (although all of it went to food), but it almost just feels like the past week was just one really long day haha. I have enjoyed working from home though for a change. I’ve been working for the past 6 years of my life and never had the experience of working from home daily for that long of a stretch of time.  The whole situation still feels a bit unreal. Almost like its a movie or something. The more people that quarantine though, the less it spreads. This basically means the duration of this virus is really dependent upon people doing what they are supposed to.

I will admit though, one thing about this whole situation has been really annoying. Celebrities are getting tested with ZERO symptoms. These tests are hard enough to come by already and they are wasting tests on the famous elite for literally no reason. It’s like why are you getting tested if you’re not sick? Why not save for it the people that are checking into the hospital with it? – LAME

Sarah, unfortunately, had to go into the office a few days last week, because she is the only one that can do a particular function. She has been racking up the OT in the meantime. She actually went to the grocery store on Friday after work and stocked up. Luckily most everything we were looking for was in stock. I’ve been eating a lot healthier at home than I normally do haha. I eat way more fruit and have been eating salads or eggs every day for lunch instead of those convenient protein chips. I actually have time to do a short workout on my lunch break and then have enough time to make lunch right after for the latter half of my day. Since the gym is closed, I have been doing home workouts. Mainly just calisthenics but it has been enjoyable.

In my free time, I’ve been watching Hunter X Hunter. This is the first anime I’ve watched in awhile and after a slow start, this show has been GOLD. Some of the best and most intense fights that I’ve seen. My friend did not let me down on this recommendation. I’m almost done with it though and once I finish, plan on knocking out another book.

Journal Entry 363 – Silicon Valley / D&W Update

Sarah and I recently finished a show called Silicon Valley on HBO.  It’s about coders in Silicon Valley that are trying to make it big, based on their idea of middle-out compression. This basically allows data to be stored in way less space and also makes software faster.  The idea comes from the show’s main character, Richard, but his buddies are also very talented in their own right. This group of friends constantly encounter ethical dilemmas and try to navigate a largely corrupt industry where the rich corporations buy out any innovative ideas that these young geniuses come up with and add it to their own company. (This is basically how it works in reality.) Richard and his friends, fight back and try not to sell out, so they can be both ethically sound and successful with their own company Pied Piper. Long story short, it was a hilarious show and very enjoyable to watch. However, I did NOT like the ending. It was rushed and the ending, while maybe being a metaphor for the entire show, was not good. Not going to spoil it, but personally, I didn’t like it. My favorite character was Erlich and Gilfoyle. Erlich left the show in season 4 😦 and man it just was not the same. Erlich was not the smartest guy in the world but was hilarious and really made for some great scenes.

Recently, I’ve been reading a book called 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Certainly, been a slower read and I have found myself checking out a bit reading it. The author is very liberal, which is fine, but he seems to be an idealist as if everyone in the world is nothing but angels being manipulated by evil governments. Come on man. Let’s get back to reality here. While your ideas sound great in theory, we don’t live in fantasyland. So far I’m not really impressed, but I do want to finish.

As for Diet and Workouts, I did want to provide an update. My workouts have been great recently and short and sweet as well:

Current Diet:

  • Coffee / Protein Pudding
  • Our Little Rebellion Protein Crisps
  • 2-3 drinks of Kraken
  • Large Dinner – Varies
  • Chocolate Protein Pudding

High Protein / Mod Fat / Low Carb (around 50-150g a day)

Current Workout:

  • Push Workouts (Twice a week)
    • 3 sets of 10 reps each move
    • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
    • EZ-bar Skullcrushers
  • Pull Workouts (Twice a week)
    • 3 sets of 10 reps each move
    • Dumbbell Rows or Chins
    • Smith Machine Shrugs
    • EZ- bar Curls
  • X Workouts (Optional)
    • Legs and AbsSquats or Lunges
    • Weighted Crunch
    • Weighted Obliques
  • Cardio
    • Light Jog
    • Incline Walk

Journal Entry 362 – Kobe / Vick Documentary / Reading Frenzy

Since my last post, I feel like a lot has happened in the world. My favorite basketball player, Kobe Bryant, was killed in a freak helicopter accident along with his daughter, two other young girls, and a few other people. They were on the way to his daughter’s basketball game. Terribly sad. Kobe had a big and positive influence on players and he was one of the good guys. Well-spoken,  clean-cut, family man and was doing a lot to help with basketball’s image. He was only 41 years old. I’m not a huge basketball fan anymore, but when I was younger, Kobe was my guy and the Lakers were my team. Kobe was my generation’s Michael Jordan and it was certainly fun to watch him play. He will certainly be missed.

I also watched the 30 for 30 Michael Vick Documentary which was about 4 hours long over two episodes. Vick was a Quarterback from the Newport News area in Virginia. He played at Virginia Tech since it was close to his family and quite literally put our university on the map. He almost won the National Championship in 2004. (Sidenote – The National Champion Game that year was the same day my Grandfather died :()

Vick was then drafted to the Atlanta Falcons after they traded the Chargers for the first overall pick. Vick became a superstar due to his unique ability to be dual-threat. At the time, nobody could stop him because this type of talent didn’t exist! He really did change the game and you can see SEVERAL teams who want their QBs to be dual-threats (pass and run effectively). Vick had lighting fast speed and agility and it was really fun to watch him play. Unfortunately, several sources say that his friends quite literally took advantage of him in every way. Vick really does seem like a nice guy and wanted his family/friends to enjoy his success. He also became extremely popular in pop culture, especially black culture, and made a lot of friends with celebrities, rappers, etc.. Long story short, Vick bought a house in Virginia, where his friends were bullshitting around whether he was there or not and they started a kennel for Pitbulls. They were setting up dogfighting arenas and then introduced Vick to it. Vick did not stop it. One of his friends got busted for weed and the cops raided his house with a warrant. This lead to finding 8 dead dogs and of course several Pitbulls that were still alive. Vick went to prison for 2 years. Largely due to his dumba$$ friends. Vick’s successful career was put on halt.

After serving his time and increasing his maturity and humbleness exponentially, he joined the Eagles with his buddy Donovan McNabb, who brought him in. McNabb got traded and Vick got his chance. Vick dominated and got a 6 year / $100 million deal. He was able to pay off his debt (after somehow running through $100+ million from his initial contract and endorsements) and due to the fact that he is changed man, lived a better life. He now actively is involved in the Humane Society and likely has already done more good than the harm he did by bringing greater awareness to preventing dogfighting like this to continue. I think Vick does have a good chance at the Hall of Fame as well. I like Vick and glad he was able to redeem himself after his mistakes and being taken advantage of by some shady friends, who clearly did not have his best interests in mind.

The Underdog Cheifs also knocked out the 49ers in the Superbowl. Happy for Andy Reid, who very much deserved to win the Lombardi Trophy.

In other news, I have knocked out three more books this year:

The True Story of Fake News by Mark Dice

This was a good one. He takes a look into the massive influence that News and Social Media play in shaping public opinion and how easily those news stories can be fake and a play on words. This manipulates millions that don’t look further than the headline even if the article is complete trash. They also inflate the importance of certain events that align with their agenda, while ignoring more important events that don’t align with it. Behind the scenes, Social Media companies can manipulate search results and control the flow of information. The power of these companies is actually in the hands of very few people, which is the top 1%. The people that own these companies can control everything we see. 9.5 out of 10

Drink this Now! by John Boyer

This was a re-read from college days. He goes into how to taste wine, the nose of wine, the equipment, the components of wine and covers several different popular wine varietals in a very simple and entertaining to read format. Wine has 4 main components: sugar, alcohol, tannins and acid. The interaction of these four factors can dramatically change how the wine tastes. Also, New World wines (wine not from Europe) tastes great young (a few years after being bottled depending on the type) and on its own. It also has a more fruity taste. Old World wine is very much intended to be consumed with food or it will taste harsh.  8.5 out of 10

100 Deadly Skills – Survival Edition by Clint Emerson

This was an interesting book written by a navy seal. He goes over several different scenarios that may be of use to you if it were to happen. Each skill has a small picture outlining what to do in certain situations. It spans from how to survive if you get stuck in the deadly cold, how to fight a bear and how to use a pen as a deadly weapon. Some of the skills were completely useless though and were more for entertainment purposes. 7.5 out of 10. (I definitely skimmed parts of this)

I need a revamp of my workout routine. For a very organized person, my workout routine is currently in a state of chaos with no real order at all. Diet has been consistently high protein, but I was thinking about leaning towards the Keto side here soon. I also got sick this week out of nowhere and needed a day off from work to recover. Thought it was the flu but just a small viral infection. Symptoms were painful joints, nausea, headaches, weakness, chills, and lightheadedness. Not fun, but luckily it did not stay around for long.

 

 

 

 

Journal Entry 361 – New Treadmill, Book Recaps: Waking Up, A Brief History Of Time, Change Your Mind, Eli Retirement (Long One)

Sarah and I decided to get a treadmill for the house. I haven’t really done legit cardio with any consistency since we moved into the house about a year and a half ago. We got one that is about 165lbs assembled. After researching treadmills, you either go really small and it will likely fall apart soon or you go with the BIG ones that are very expensive, fancy and take up a whole room. Luckily the one we found was in the middle. It has all the same features and look of a bigger treadmill, but it’s like a fraction of the size. Personally, I used it 5 days in a row last week and then got super burned out the last day. I have always enjoyed running but just like anything else, when you do it too much, you get burned out, bored, etc… So as of now, my routine will be balanced between 2-3 days of cardio, 2-3 days of lifting and 2-3 days completely off. All of these different days have benefits and ensure I don’t burnout towards any one way of training.

As I stated in my previous post, my plan was a book a month. I have already read 3 books. These are not easy reads either. I write down important notes, look up words/topics/people I’m unfamiliar with due to the fact that the authors have a very advanced vocabulary. (Not sure if it’s just to show off or they genuinely use those words.) I’m also trying to change the subject of the book each time, so kind of like exercise, I don’t get burned out on reading similar topics even when I find that topic very interesting.

Books read so far:

Waking Up by Sam Harris – This is a book that explores the various religions of the world and its main focus is on meditation and the author’s experience with it. He explores Eastern Meditation more specifically a couple forms of Buddhist meditation. These people try to transcend through meditation leaving the ego (the self) and all of the worldly pleasures behind. Transcend being a spiritual term, something that happens to you mentally through intense effort and when you pass away. He stated that most westerners have likely achieved a similar state when on LSD or Psilocybin. If taken responsibly with a guide/expert/therapist/etc.. (not the way they usually are) they can be a very transformative experience that quite literally help to interconnect your brain.  I don’t want to go too indepth here as the topic was complex and the book was long. To say the author’s vocabulary was impressive would be an understatement. I would recommend it if your interested in mediation. I myself have not ever meditated on purpose, even though it is rapidly growing in popularity. A bit slow, but I like the author. I would say like 7.5 out of 10.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking – Holy hell this book was insane. He presented it in a very simple to grasp way, but I had to take a lot of notes on this one. He goes into various topics of evolution, God, Physics (Obviously), the future of our race, etc.. The Universe is made up of Matter, Energy and Space. Mass and Energy essentially being light and living organisms. Space is a vast store of empty negative energy. The Universe is actually in perfect balance between positive and negative energy. The Universe likely started about the size of a proton and Quantum Mechanics may explain the Big Bang. At the beginning of the Big Bang, Time began. If you traveled back in time, the universe would collapse in on itself being reabsorbed to a tiny singularity (huge mass of energy and gravity in a tiny amount of space) beginning point. Similar to what you would expect a black hole to do. A Black Hole is a star that collapses in on itself with gravity so powerful, light (the fastest thing in the universe) can not escape.

Hawking, does not believe in God. His main argument as I understand it is that time started when the Big Bang begin (a singularity). Which means God would have had to been around before this event took place. But based on the laws of nature and matter nothing could have existed before this time, as there was no time or nothing to exist in. Just reading this gives me a headache, but personally, I don’t feel this is a strong enough argument to disprove anything. If you believe that the universe was created out of randomly appearing protons through the very confusing nature of Quantam Mechanics, you can’t rule out a supreme power either. (I take a very agnostic approach to all of this.) This book is WAY too dense to cover it all here. These reviews or recaps if you will are just to provide some really interesting takeaways I got from each book.

A few other interesting tidbits were M-Theory. A Complete Unified Theory – which suggests that the universe may have a very large number of possible histories. A multiverse theory if you will, where everything that is possible may have happened in an alternative universe. Kind of a scary thought if you think about it. That means I could be contemplating suicide in one universe after a terrible life and a multi-billionaire in another. Not sure how I feel about this theory.

Consciousness likely is tied to intelligence somewhere in our evolution. All conscious beings have a huge percentage of processes that happen subconsciously, but the ability to perceive our environment and surroundings is a conscious activity. Millions of years ago we had to pass down intelligence through DNA. In the last 10000 years, we haven’t actually gotten any smarter from an evolution standpoint. However, due to written language and passing down knowledge from one generation to the next as well as technology to assist, our intelligence as a species has increased dramatically. Genetically modified humans (DNA alteration) will be a thing in the future. This means humans that have no diseases and can potentially live hundreds to thousands of years among other favorable traits. We will not last long as a species if we do not stop destroying the planet, however. Due to the sheer size of space and our current technology, we are on pace to destroy ourselves faster than we are to travel space with any real success.

I will finish with this interesting statement, wormholes are still poorly understood and not likely to be a method of travel (as of yet) so the fastest we can go is the speed of light (670,616,629 mph). This means the nearest star is 8 years away at that speed and to reach the center of this galaxy, which is a tiny speck in terms of the size of the Universe, it would take 50000 years. You’re head hurt yet? Mine sure as hell did. I don’t think I have ever had my mind blown so many damn times in my life. HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book. It’s not too long either, but you will likely need to look up stuff, write facts down and re-read statements a few times. I would rate this book 9.5 out of 10.

Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan – This book was somewhat off the coattails of Waking Up. The author looks into the history of psychedelic drugs, how the stigma around them was created and their use today. The history piece was pretty interesting at first, but some of it felt it dragged on too long. Psychedelics have been around for a long time and used in cultures all across the world in various forms through Peyote or Mescaline (American Indians and Mexican Cultures),  Ayahuasca (South America), LSD (literally from a fungus called Ergot) discovered on accident only 100 years ago and made popular around the 60’s. If there are any Hippies reading this, you are likely familiar with this one. Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms) this one has been around a LONG time. Most researchers say in the BC period. Made popular to Westerners in the 60’s through Tim Leary, a Harvard Professor who started taking a lot of drugs and started the counterculture movement. This drug was just legalized in Colorado and California. Believe it or not its almost impossible to overdose on LSD and Mushrooms from a physical standpoint. That being said people should proceed with EXTREME caution when taking these. They are not to be taken lightly and while they can be transformative to people in a positive way (more loving, less selfish, more creative, stronger spiritually, even increased intelligence if used correctly) they can also incite terror while the subconscious parts of your brain come to the surface and force you to deal with things that you may not be ready for. Time is distorted, which can make the experience endure for much longer than you would like.

He basically then goes to say there is an underground network of therapists who use these drugs intelligently to help transform the lives of people with mental issues, PTSD, Depression, Cancer and there seems to be a very promising success rate to cure these people. He also cautions that if you have any history of Schizophrenia, stay the hell away from these things. The brain has a Default Mode Network. This is quite literally your ego and “normal reality” that everyone is used to. When this goes offline (through the use of drugs) your brain becomes more interconnected and your perceptions can change drastically. A good read. I obviously do not use these drugs as they are still highly illegal in this country. However, he presented a good case for them to be used appropriately given a certain situation.

I have a theory about the powerful effects of these drugs. Especially about one he mentioned called 5-MEO-DMT, which is from the venom of a specific Toad native to Colorado and South America that you then have to dry its venom in the sun and then after the venom has been removed, you smoke the after-effects. (How the hell do people figure this out, am I right?) I think these drugs may have somewhat of a Near Death Experience to them acting as short-acting poisons. Not enough to kill you if you get the dose down (again there is almost no amount of LSD or Mushrooms that can kill you from physically taking the drug) but affecting your brain in a similar fashion to those that pass away. However, since you are not dead, your ego is still fighting to hold on to you. This creates an interesting interaction between your brain in this reality and the “next realm/reality/spirit world” if you will.

Overall a good read. May have been a bit slow, but the author did a LOT of research on a subject that is not easy to research at all. He did a great job presenting it over the 400 or so pages. I also learned a lot from this book. 8.5 out of 10.

My main goal of this reading frenzy project is to simply learn a lot. Especially about things that I’m unfamiliar with. You can only read so many nutrition and exercise books. 😉 As I finish a book I will write up my recap, so that I don’t have 3 books in one MONSTER post.

Eli Manning – My favorite player of all time and personal hero Eli Manning retired yesterday. To say I’m happy for him would be a massive understatement and I’m really glad he decided to retire. His contract was up, there was no market as there are a LOT of young QBs coming up through the draft, and he can finish a New York Giant. It’s rare for a player to spend his entire career with one team. The Giant’s have also retired his number 10. He has nothing left to prove to anyone and won his team two Superbowls in a 16-year span. Understand that this is more than half the teams in the NFL have ALL TIME. Winning a Superbowl is no small feat. I have watched literally every single game Eli Manning ever had in the league. Certainly had some ups and downs, some good Giants teams and bad Giants teams and rode the waves of the angry media and fans that Eli took on full force. Eli’s is 7th all-time in passing yards and 7th in touchdowns. When other players talk about him, it’s nothing but overwhelmingly positive. Eli made a lot of players better. Especially receivers. He was a great team player and will certainly be missed.

Journal Entry 359 – Month Update – Birthday, Football, Diet, Gamechangers

Been a while since my last post due to several busy weekends in a row, which is pretty common with the end of the year. (Holidays, Birthdays, Football, Work Stress, etc…)

I turned 29 on November 14th and Sarah and I went to Charlottesville for the day. We went to 3 wineries on a Hop-On / Hop-Off Tour and two of them were good and one was pretty mediocre:

  • Pollack was great. Nice view, great wine and great staff. 9.5 out 10
  • Valley Vineyards was average. Nice staff, but location was pretty lacking and the wine was average at best. 6 out of 10
  • Veritas was about the same this time. You get a very “snooty” vibe at this place. I still like it, but the pours were stingy as well. I do really like their logo though. 7 out of 10.

After that, we stayed the night in a hotel in Charlottesville and went to a place called The Whiskey Jar for dinner. Again, pretty good but not as good I was hoping for.

For my birthday, I also got a game called Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Basic rundown is about a young Jedi who is on the run, shortly after Anakin becomes Darth Vader and all the Jedi are being hunted down. Don’t want to get into a detailed review, but the game was very fun and the combat was awesome. The other characters were okay, but the main character was good. The Darth Vader cameo (Spoiler Alert) was a great addition as well. 9 out of 10. The only reason I didn’t rate it a 10 was because there were certain physics with the game that was frustrating to deal with. Other than that it was really fun and by far one of the best Star Wars games ever made.

We also had Thanksgiving last week as well. It was nice to get a 4-day break from work as its been really busy recently. This year we just stayed in town and went to my parent’s house. Pretty laid back. Used the other days to get stuff done around the house and just relax. I didn’t really buy anything for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I’m a simple man and looking around at most of the deals looked like a bunch of crap. I already have everything I need right now anyway.

Last night, Sarah and I went to my yearly Holiday Party in Richmond. It was good times as always. It’s very much geared towards kids, but its still fun to hang out with people.

Random Tidbits:

The Hokies lost to UVA for the first time in 15 years. Felt a little sick to my stomach after that game, to be honest. The last drive was pathetically bad for the Hokies. Still mad haha. At least Clemson SMASHED UVA for the ACC Championship (as expected). If anyone is going to take the title back, it certainly is not going to be UVA.

The Giants have lost 8 straight games and have changed titles from trash to a straight-up dumpster fire. Clean House. Use the next few years to build through the draft and get a new Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator. Especially the latter. I don’t hate Shurmur (the Head Coach), but he just has not done anything to keep his job and makes some questionable decisions. In the NFL, if you don’t win, you’re out. Sorry but that’s the way it is. Need to move on. Also, Eli Manning is starting on Monday (HELL YES). In a weird way, I think it was good they benched Eli. And the only reason I say that is because now everyone can see how much of a shitshow this team is without using Eli as a scapegoat for the multitude of problems this team has. If anything we are worse without him.

My shoulder still hurts from tweaking it on the bench. I have gone to the gym about 2 times in the last month. However, I’m still doing short range of motion chinups, (stretching full extension hurts my shoulder), Squats, Abs and lighter stuff. That being said, I still look almost exactly the same as before I left the gym. My appetite has actually gone down a lot since not working out. Recently this is my diet in a nutshell:

  • Weekdays (Workdays)
  • Breakfast
    • Coffee and Protein Pudding
  • Lunch
    • Enlightened Beans
    • Iced Coffee*
      • This is a recent addiction and an expensive one. I need to find a place with cheaper black iced coffee
  • Dinner
    • 2 Whiskeys or some type of liquor drink
    • Dinner is whatever I want. Its usually meat, starch and vegetables. But is a large amount of my calories for the day.
      • Chipotle, Panda, Mezeh, Kickback Jacks are still staples when eating out.
  • Dessert
    • Protein Pudding
  • Snacks**
    • Our Little Rebellion Protein Crisps (A lot of volume for these)
    • Fruit
    • Protein bar

Weekends are “kind of” similar, but breakfast is usually paleo pancakes and I usually eat 2 protein bars for lunch with a big dinner. I always eat lighter during the day and bigger at night for a multitude of reasons.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was the recent podcast I heard on Joe Rogan about the Gamechangers Documentary on Netflix. The Gamechangers is essentially a vegan propaganda film on Netflix. It may be described differently from others, but let’s be honest here, the shit is vegan propaganda. Anyway, I’ve watched it and it reminded me of a lot of other vegan films I have seen in the past. Some good points were made, but the claims are usually way overblown and then the whole thing just gets weird. After watching, you’re left with the impression that if you eat meat, your death is imminent. STOP. Long story short … Joe Rogan had a nutrition expert, Chris Kesser, come on his podcast to “debunk” the documentary. I watched it and he made a lot of good points. However, the person that made the film, James Wilks, wanted to come on the podcast and debate the nutrition expert that “debunked” the film. I will admit that James Wilks did a brilliant job of backing up his evidence and sources that he used for the film. He CLEARLY WON the debate. That being said, he came off as arrogant a$$hole the entire time and looked like he was more interested in personally attacking Chris Kesser than actually just defending himself with his clearly well done personal research.

Nutrition research is notoriously difficult to measure because it relies on a lot of imperfect measurements. I mean think about it, unless you put someone in a lab and monitor EXACTLY what they are eating then a lot of the data is left up to chance. Epidemiological studies are used for red meat to show that is bad. But this research also has several other variables that could be causing the problem (smoking, lack of sleep, other drugs, fast food, etc…) They also lump meat into one category. So salami, lean chicken breast, McDonald’s burger patties are all the same thing, with the same health outcomes? – I think not.

Nutrition also relies on anecdotes a lot and can be EXTREMELY variable for each person due to genetics, digestive health, pre-existing conditions and so on. So to say that vegan diets will work for everyone and that all meat is bad is a false assumption to make. I’ve seen a lot of fat vegans and vegetarians. To assume everyone on the planet, is going to eat 100% whole foods plant-based diet is almost as realistic as Utopia. It’s not going to happen.

 

Journal Entry 358 – Sarah’s Birthday, Gym Hiatus and Random Updates

Last Monday was Sarah’s birthday. Not going to lie we actually celebrated it more like a week than a day. 😉 We both took off that Monday, so we decided to go out to eat that Sunday before instead. Went to Sarah’s favorite place called Redsalt Chophouse and Sushi. We always get the sushi and it is by far the best sushi I have ever eaten. The size of the sushi is much larger than what you normally see. Afterward, we went to Gelati Celesti, which is always good times. For her actual birthday, we hung out in the morning, then she wanted to go to Panera for lunch and then shop at the mall. Panera was $8 for half of a salad (YIKES), but its what she wanted it, so it’s all good. Personally, I just don’t see it with that place haha. Anyway, after that, the mall was actually pretty fun. It was a nice day and the crowd was way down since it was a Monday. Most weekends there are almost intolerable with the crowds. After that, we just got some Chipotle and hung out the rest of the night.

We also had a Halloween Party, last weekend as well. We went as Flynn Rider and Rapunzel from Tangled. One of my good friends had a party at his place. As for actual Halloween, we had about 50 or so kids come by our house. Pretty busy neighborhood for it. Sarah also had about 10 pieces of candy. 😉

I actually haven’t been to the gym in 2 weeks. I have lifted at home probably twice in 2 weeks. This was on purpose as I tweaked my shoulder on the bench press. I thought it was going to be a minor annoyance that would just go away, but it is still there. I feel it more in certain angles than others, but I don’t want to injure it more either. I’m sure when I do feel better and workout again, I probably will have lost a fair amount of strength. 😦 It has been a nice reset period though that I have not taken in a long time. I’m going to give it a bit more time before heading to the gym.

Funny enough my weight has dropped to around 178-180lbs, which is a bit lower than what I have been recently (on average). I don’t think it’s muscle loss as I’m certainly eating enough protein. Last week I ate like crap, but recently I have been focusing more on digestive health. This for me means LESS fiber. This also means no Quest Bars in the time being. I have switched to Quest Cookies which have way less fiber or other Keto style bars that have a lower fiber intake. Protein is still high, carbs are always on the lower side (usually around 50-150g) and fat is where it is. I really don’t care about fat to be honest. It always averages out to where it needs to be. My average seems to be around 55-70 grams for the week. I do enjoy some alcohol as well. Mainly on the weekends, but I do have a couple drinks after a long day at work some nights. My favorite recently is a White Russian. 1.5oz of Kraken or Vodka, Diet Dr. Pepper, top with almond milk and then 1 splenda pack in a tall glass. I also recently did a week of no caffeine. I literally felt no different. No withdrawals, no benefits. I did, however, really miss the taste of coffee. I also noticed a very interesting benefit, which was my psoriasis seemed to get worse on my arm. It was extremely irritating. The day I drank it again it felt better within a day and as of writing this blog it still feels WAY better with more caffeine. Coffee is a very dense source of antioxidants that can lower inflammation and even cancer. I really think people like coffee for more than just caffeine. It has some interesting health benefits.

Random updates.:

Giants are trash! Daniel Jones looks good provided the team he is on currently. He does make some very questionable plays, but this is the learning curve for a rookie. He also seems like he is going to be very streaky. I still miss Eli Manning though. 😦 Giants games are just not the same for me.

VT Hokies look like a different team with Hendon Hooker. Last game Qunicy Patterson, who is a BEAST, took over for the injured QB and played really week. This guy is 6 foot 4 inches and 250lbs. He looks like a linebacker and has great speed and a good looking arm as well. Definitely reignited hope after that 6 OT win against NC. We sit at 5-2 vs a highly ranked Notre Dame, who we play today.

Joe Rogan has released some great podcasts recently. He had Edward Snowden on Skype for one and it was probably one of the best I’ve heard.

 

 

Journal Entry 354 – Labor Day / Football Returns

Another week in the books. Been a long week for me to be honest. I was just itching for the weekend to start and now its finally here. Virginia Tech (VT) Football finally comes back today at 4 PM EDT against Boston College. I expect a win here. Next week, my brother and a couple of friends are meeting in Blacksburg to see our first actual game in years. Should be an easy one, but it’s the experience that counts. I just hope my liver is ready! 😉

After the game today, Sarah and I also plan to have some friends over for Labor Day. Technically, the holiday is on Monday, but no one wants to throw a party then haha. It’s nice to have some days to chill and relax and since you have to go back to work the next day, I think Saturday is a much better choice.

I’ve been sticking to the my workouts outlined in my last post, but I’m not sure I’m feeling it anymore. The trap-bar deadlift is ALWAYS begin used OR there is nowhere to set it up in my gym because the squat racks are constantly being used. Let me put it this way, if 5 total people were in the gym, 4 of them would be in the squat racks. These people don’t like to leave either. That makes programming anything in the squat rack a real chore. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the 4 rest days. I actually almost forced myself to do ZERO lifting outside of those 3 workouts and I hated it. My workouts were almost too heavy and the second movement was considerably weaker than my first movement. I decided to shift it once again to daily bodyweight movements. The energy and mood boost I get from these moves is incredible. Honestly, feel like a zombie coming back to life after a pretty quaint set of pushups and squats. I don’t really have evidence to back this up, but the energy boost between doing heavy moves for low reps vs high reps of bodyweight movements is really different. The higher reps feel therapeutic.

 

 

Journal Entry 352 – Company Party

Another couple of weeks in the books. Missed my post last weekend because we had our annual Company Party in Downtown, Richmond. My company goes all out for these parties and spends a lot of money. This year was an 80s / 90s theme and there was no shortage of food or drinks. I would say a good 80% of all employees show up to this party each year. This year there were a ton of games set up including Flip Cup (drinking game), Ping Pong, Arcade Games, Jenga, and many others. My favorite game was Flip Cup and my favorite feature they had there was a Speakeasy setup, where you would order your drink from an IPAD and 15 seconds later, a bartender would slide the drink out to you behind a wall. We all had a lot to drink and were up til about 2 AM.  I did try to preempt my hangover by chugging a huge container of Pedialyte, but it did not help the next morning. 😦 We drove back Sunday morning and Sarah and I went to IHOP to get some pancakes, but it was so crowded we couldn’t even park. We decided just to go home and make something instead. Sarah and I never go out for breakfast, so the one time we did, that had to happen. Not fun.

Other than the party, things have been pretty normal over the past two weeks. My desire for alcohol dropped to almost zero after the party until this Saturday afternoon (So literally an entire week). Sarah and I went back to Cooper’s Hawk for the monthly wine tasting and honestly, this month was not that great. We were walking around the mall before we went and it was really hot yesterday, so I don’t know if the dry wine just wasn’t doing it for me at that point in time. The White Sangria was really good though, so we ended up picking that for the bottle.

Workouts have been about 3-4 days a week. It varies every time I go though. My bench press is still roughly 225lbs for a solid 6 reps on average over 3 sets. I’m still trying to do Push/Pull in the same workout. I have not been incline walking as much after though because I just sweat too much now. I think this has to do with the very hot temperatures outside.

Diet has been very consistent. I pretty much eat the same way every day and then my dinners vary each night, eating whatever I want. Dinner is always the bulk of my food.

  • Coffee
  • Orgain Superfoods Powder (It’s a protein and superfood powder)
  • Our Little Rebellion Chips (No preparation snack before and after the gym)
  • Snacks – Carrots Sticks / Egg Whites / Hummus
  • Dinner – Anything I want / Biggest meal of the day
  • Orgain (Chocolate) with berries

That is my diet almost every single day except for the weekends. I like the idea of eating “Superfoods” powder every morning. I get Orgain from Costco and its a really good deal. To consume on a daily basis (5 out of 7 days anyway) I think its better than slamming down normal protein powder as I’m getting a billion Probiotics and thousands of micronutrients.

Sarah and I have recently started watching “The Boys” on Amazon Prime. Really awesome show so far. It’s about Superheroes that basically commit crimes and a large corporation called Vought, basically sweeps it under the rug. The Superheros also do some good, but collateral damage and hurting innocent people largely get ignored by the media and public opinion. The Superheros are also insanely selfish and don’t really care about people. They mainly save people to make themselves look good in front of the public. The Boys are a group of rebels that lost a loved one to the careless actions of the Superheros and are now fighting back against them in a careful and controlled way. Only one season out so far, but has been great so far.