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 367 – Show Time / NFL Draft

The last couple of weeks at work have been crazy busy. My stress levels have seen better days. I’m not entirely sure what is causing the spike in traffic, but we do see certain waves throughout the year of highs and lows and right now we are certainly on a high. Hoping it slows down soon.

During this Quarantine, I have luckily been able to watch several shows that normally I tend to just blow off. I have really enjoyed catching up on Animes, which have the added benefit of amazing soundtracks as well. There also seems to be a ton of content on Netflix that has come out recently. Here is a quick list of some of the shows I’ve knocked out so far:

Quarantine Accomplishments:

Shows:

Hunter X Hunter

My Hero Academia

Parks and Recreation

Tiger King

The Midnight Gospels

The English Game

After Life 2

One-Punch Man

Games:

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Books:

Everything You Need to Ace Science

 

Hunter X Hunter, My Hero Academia and One-Punch Man were the anime’s I watched. All of them have amazing soundtracks and intense fights. Would highly recommend if you are into it.

Parks and Recreation was great. The characters were extremely likable and the show continued to stay funny. Favorite character was a tie between Ron Swanson and Andy Dwyer. 9 out of 10

Tiger King was an interesting one. I thought it was a bit overhyped, but good nonetheless. 8 out of 10

The Midnight Gospels was a trippy show created by Duncan Trussel. Duncan is a close friend of Joe Rogan, so I knew him through several podcasts. He created a strange animated show about he multi-verse and traveling to different planets through a simulator machine to discover the meaning of life. While each episode can feature some really strange things going on, the actual words spoken about eastern philosophy, meditation, and “deep” concepts were really good. 9 out of 10

The English Game is about the beginning of the European Football League that started in England. It started as an upper-class game only that head a death grip on it. However, the working class (industrial workers at the time) also formed leagues and were actually very talented. The shows explores the struggle to make a league that allowed more teams to join that was not just limited to the privileged upper class. The two main characters were good as one was in the upper class and the other in the working class, which showed two different perspectives.  8 out of 10

After Life 2 is another great show. The show is about a man that loses his wife to cancer. The after-effects are hard to deal with. Ricky Gervais is an atheist in both the show and in real life. The show explores the depression and suicidal tendencies that his character has to constantly deal with. The atheist philosophy does not believe in an after-life and assumes once you die that’s it. This philosophy makes it even harder for his character to deal with. That being said the show would be a “Comedy/Drama” and isn’t all dark even though that is the underlying energy of the show. 10 out of 10

Final Fantasy VII Remake was amazing. Not much else to say here. It allowed me to play a nostalgic game that came out when I was age 7 and should be one of a few games to come out before the final storyline is finished. 10 out of 10

This post is already longer than I wanted it to be haha. I do want to get out some thoughts on the NFL Draft though. I thought the Giants had a solid draft. They drafted 3 offensive linemen that were desperately needed. We also drafted two cornerbacks and four linebackers. It’s clear that the Giants came into this draft with a goal. Draft a new offensive line and draft some defensive talent for speed and depth. I thought we should have drafted at least one wide receiver and one defensive end, but didn’t happen. I would say 8.5 out of 10 though. Even though we really addressed three positions only, we should be much better next year. I’m hoping this new coach can pull this team out of the hole we have fallen into.

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 360 – New Decade 2020

Another year in the books. 2020 marks the beginning of my 4th decade, which is kind of insane to think about. 2019 was a good year overall and certainly went by fast. A lot of coffee was consumed, certainly had its fair share of stressful moments, made my first trip to Europe, had several gatherings with friends/families/parties, completed several workouts, listened to way too many Joe Rogan podcasts and endured a long year of watching subpar Hokies/Giants games. Eli Manning turned 39 years old yesterday and will likely retire this offseason. 😦 The Giants have moved on to Daniel Jones, there are several great QBs coming out of college and there is simply a very limited if not non-existent market for Eli. Wished his career would have ended differently as I thought he deserved better. The Giants organization is really frustrating and really think they need an overhaul. I digress though.

New years typically bring new goals. Most people have great motivation to start the year and then it fizzles out pretty quickly. At the end of the year, they never really end up achieving anything. To quote Will Smith “If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.” I think this is a good way to look at it. I already have habits in place that are beneficial and don’t feel the need to do a complete overhaul to become a healthier person. That being said I do have a couple of things I would like to focus on this year, that would help make me a better person.

First, would be to read a book a month. Now this book isn’t going to be an easy read. I typically go non-fiction and also research a lot about the topics that the book mentions that I’m not overly familiar with. I think a book a month is a good starting point with all of the other factors I need to balance in my life. This is a great tool for building knowledge about a certain subject and just increasing overall intelligence.

Second, would be to simply stress less. I think anxiety is built into my genes and was always something I’ve battled with. Anxiety is usually a negative term, but it can actually be very useful as well. A double-edged sword if you will. It helps get things done, but can also be a nasty source of unneeded stress. I take zero medication for anything other than my Psoriasis. This is the way I prefer it. It’s on me to fix the root cause. I do think several things can be improved upon though to help battle stress/anxiety. Have a bit more patience with things, leave 10 minutes earlier for work (I leave early anyway, but I mean really early), so traffic does not play a factor, be more understanding about new advisors using our software (newbs), spend less time reading toxic Social Media articles or posts, continue my really good grasp on personal finance and find ways to get better without overwhelming myself.

I do have a workout routine in place to start the new year and it consists of 2 workouts on the weekend (more time off) and two workouts (Heavy) during the week at the gym. This gives me 3 lunch breaks off during the week to relax and likely just read whatever book I’m doing for the month. It also helps me avoid the new crowd of the gym. Diet will continue from last year. I like the way I currently eat and don’t really see a need to change it.

Until next time!

 

 

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 357 – VA Tech Round II

After a three and half-year hiatus from visiting VA Tech, I have already gone back there twice within a month! This time was for my dad so that he could finally see a football game.

We drove up early on Saturday morning. Before the game, we went to Cabo Fish Taco for lunch which is a REALLY good Mexican place on Main Street in the middle of Downtown, Blacksburg. Good eating. After that we went to the Blacksburg Wine Lab. This was a wine bar created by my old Geography of Wine Professor, John Boyer. Hands down my favorite professor, but unfortunately he was not there when we went. Nevertheless, the wine bar was really nice, so we had a few drinks before the game.

The game started at 4 PM and the matchup was VT vs Rhode Island. Not a blockbuster matchup by any means, but on a down year for our team, it was an easy win with lots of scoring. The final score was 34-17 so not exactly what I was expecting. I was thinking more like 50-0, but it’s still a win. The game ended around 7:30 PM or so and my parents dropped us off back at the Air BnB that we were staying at. My parents drove separately because they were staying in Roanoke that night. Sarah and I wanted to go Downtown, Blacksburg, so we picked a local house that was really close to Downtown. The house was interesting for sure. It was bout 1.5 miles away from Downtown, but it was in its own world in what felt like the middle of the country. Anyway, the first stop was TOTS (Top of the Stairs) and we got a couple of famous “Rails.” A “Rail” is $10 drink with about 5-7 drinks worth of alcohol in it. Obviously, a hugely popular drink with college students on a budget. Besides the drinks, I really love the second floor outside balcony on TOTS. It has a pretty good view and its nice to stand there instead of inside the crowded loud bar interior. We left TOTS and then hit a new place called The Coop, which was a nice interior but the service kind of sucked. I wanted to see the end of the LSU v Florida game, so we watched the rest of that and then finally went to Benny’s for a HUGE slice of pizza to end the night.

The following day we woke up early and parked on Campus. Sarah had never been to VA Tech before, so we walked around I gave her the grand tour. VA Tech is a huge college to walk around and the Hokie Stone makes it look like Hogwarts. It’s a really nice Campus and Sarah liked it a lot. For me, it was a long  walk down memory lane. After visiting VT twice in the past month, I really want to return at least once a year for a football game. It’s not that far away (about 3 1/2 hours drive) and always makes for a fun weekend.