Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Enter: The Droid

So, I've had the Droid for little over a week now, and because of my week long bow hunting vacation I have been able to spend some quality time with the device. Some history, my previous phone was a Verizon Voyager, which is a decked out touch screen phone, but not a smart phone. I had recently become more and more envious of Iphone users; however, never enough to make the jump from Verizon. I was really excited when I heard that Verizon would be releasing a phone that could compete with the Iphones, Palm Pres, and Blackberries of the world. I'll go through some pro's and cons, although I don't even want to call them cons. They are more like small subtle annoyances that are easier to remember when writing a review then it is to remember how awesome everything else is.

The physical Pros:

The screen is gorgeous, with a high enough resolution (480x854) that I can often view a website in it's entirety. The brightness, quality, and size of the display is also a thing of dreams. I haven't put any movies on it yet but I would like to see how it holds up against my ipod nano. The heavier weight feels solid in your palm and the slideout keyboard is also smooth, firm and durable. My Voyager felt like if I put a little too much pressure on the flip, it would break off, this is not the case with the Droid. It feels like a rock. Battery life is great, The only time the battery drains faster then you would like is when you have the display on bright and constantly. You can regulate the devices which use most battery life, such as wifi, bluetooth, GPS, display brightness, and account syncing. The 2 LED flash for the camera is pretty sweet. Unless you are taking pictures of animals, then they just look like our cyborg overlords, watching, waiting...

The physical Cons:

I was very comfortable with my Voyager QWERTY keyboard, with it's individual character keys. The shift to the Droid was allllright. I can't speed type without seeing many typos, but I imagine that will come with time. The lip on the right pushes my right hand farther from the keys then I am used to, which results in me pressing "/" instead of the spacebar A LOT. The alt key + delete will combine to delete a whole row instead of a character. This is a nice shortcut, I guess, but all it has done to me is result in frustrating lengthy IM's getting blown away to be rewritten again. Also, the d-pad on the right is not 4 directional buttons surrounded by an OK button like on the Voyager. It resembles a Ipod where the pad is 1 continuous button surrounding the OK. This makes me nervous when entering forms and texts because if I want to navigate with the d-pad I risk thumbing the inner OK button and sending off my data prematurely. And nobody wants that.

The bottom of the touchscreen has 4 physical links, all extensions of the touchscreen. One for back, settings, home, and search. The bevel around the phone is very small, small enough so that my static electricity from how I hold the phone constantly sets off the google search app. Not a huge problem, a quick back fixes it. Similarly, the volume buttons on the opposite side are easy to bump. I can't tell you the amount of times I unknowingly sent the volume from vibrate to silent. There's a game I like to play called put the phone in your pocket without changing the volume. It's a lot like Operation.

This is more of a like-to-have, but with all the candid opportunities to take a video or a picture in life, the camera should be a little more agile. If you hold down the camera button you have to wait several seconds for the app to load, then if you actually want to take a picture you have to hold down the button for about 3 seconds longer then when you think it took the picture. That's the actual equation, thus making you always lose. If I see Molly Malaney and Jason Mesnik walking around downtown Milwaukee I should be able to be the paparazzi that I am and press the camera button once and have a picture taken. No matter what I am doing with the phone.

The Software pros:

First, without any mention of apps, the phone is able to merge my gmail account and contacts with the contacts from my old phone. Then on top of that a facebook account can be merged in and combined with your contacts, (or you can even add your fb friends as contacts) It will take the numbers or email friends provide via facebook and populate your existing phone contacts with more information. Contacts can now direct you to the facebook profile, and all contact images are updated with status and profile pictures. So when a friend calls you see their facebook image. Also, The phone has a notification bar on the top, it shows which apps are running and the time, battery life, signal, and volume. When you receive a notification (Text message, new email, facebook invite, anything from any app) it flashes on the taskbar, then gets nested in a pile of unchecked notifications which can be viewed by pulling the taskbar down. You can then individually click on your notifications or clear all.

Second thing to mention before apps, Google maps. For anyone who doesn't know, Google released turn by turn navigation with their maps app. For free. This will make anyone hard pressed to find a reason to buy an expensive GPS device for your car if all cell phones have Google maps in the future. Not only is it free, but it also gets it's maps directly from the internet, always up to date, which you can't say for all the other GPS manufacturers.

Ok, so now, Apps. Wow. Definitely the key selling point of any smart phone. It seems like they have them for everything. Some are for fun, some are for productivity and information. I'm a big multitasker, and having multiple apps able to be run simultaneously is something I wouldn't know how to live without. I can run Pandora in the background for music as I run through other tasks. Just earlier today I was adding friends to a Xbox Live app by alt-tabbing between a browser of my xbox friends and the app. The widgets are also cool. Now instead of just having a home screen shortcut to an application, you can have a widget. A widget is usually a link to the application, but also a dynamic feed to display data quickly to the user. The weather channel has a small and large widget, both showing the temperature and weather image populated by your location. The Handcent (handles all my text messages) widget looks just like the shortcut except a small number on the bottom right of the icon shows you the amount of unread texts. Widgets also get as complex as the SportsTap sports ticker reading my favorite sports team schedules and scores, a time and date widget, or the pandora music player.

My current list of must have apps:
  • TasKiller (Manage resources)
  • Meebo IM (AIM, Facebook, Gtalk, etc..)
  • Pandora ( Music, duh!)
  • Handcent (Text messaging)
  • Robo Defense (Tower defense game)
  • Shazam (Get's songs by listening to it)
  • SportsTap (Good hub for all things sports)
The Software cons:

Having apps run simultaneously can be a downfall too. Everything runs fast and smoothly... that is until you have a bunch of them open at once. My TasKiller app says anything over 5 apps is too much, but I don't think I ran across issues until I was closer to 10+ apps. The main menu takes awhile to load, the screen taps don't register immediately, etc. The TasKiller app is great because you can tap it's widget and clear all but a few chosen apps.

Searching the apps marketplace could use more google magic. When I search 'weather' I should be returned the most downloaded highest rated weather reporting applications. Instead I am returned apps which match closely to the word 'weather'. Therefore weatherchannel and accuweather, which I believe are the 2 most downloaded weather apps, are around 10th and 20th in position. Not too user friendly.


All that being said, it's a great phone and I am very happy with my purchase. I realize it may look like there's a ton wrong with it, but it's just easier to nitpick something then to praise it. If you are someone that likes staying connected, social networks, taking pictures/video on the go, and just being a dork in general, this phone is a must have. And I'm sure an Iphone would do the job too, I don't want to sound like I'm saying the droid is better then any other smartphone. I haven't tried them all so I don't know. I do know that the Droid brings my expectations of a cell phone to new heights.

Monday, August 10, 2009

When saving money goes horribly wrong

Ok, so I found this Ebook, Ian Dunbar's AFTER you get your puppy, online for free. It is a sort of positive reinforcement training 'bible'. Maybe I can post on the evolution of dog training from how I was raised to today... another time.
I digress. So I didn't even look at the price of the paper back version after I found I could download the book to PDF for free. Victoria and I had vacation up north this last weekend (8/7 - 8/9) and I figured this would be great reading material, that and who wants to read 167 pages via computer. Why not print it off at kinko's? Normally I would think of printing this off at work, or home, but 167 pages is really over the top in my ethics book for at work printing, and at home it might kill our ink cartridge. I figure kinko's will solve the problem for mere dollars. WRONG! We stop on the way to the cabin in Eau Claire, our alma mater, and Kinko's hand's me 167 unbound pages of dog training... for $15.. I told him to print both sides, black and white, figuring I would save money. He didn't even staple it until I asked. Good thing I asked him after I was charged, who knows what fee that staple would have cost.

I march out of there and cross my fingers that the Ebook costs $30 or something, which im sure it didn't. We go up north and I never even open it up.

End of story. Right? No. I get home from the vacation, and get ready for work 7am Monday. I realize my keys are no where to be found. Victoria's car? No, they are on the USB drive that Kinko's never handed back to me.

I call Kinko's and get them to ship my keys and usb back for some $7 ground shipping charge and the cost of the envelope. So let's just say $10.

Out of curiosity I look and the book is $12.95 paperback, so lets say $17.95 shipped. I just paid $25 in cash and even more in stress for a unbound, stapled, goddamn dog training manual.

Commenters: It hadn't crossed my mind until now, but do you think Kinko's is responsible at all for not handing the usb back?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The time piece

The watch is the one piece of jewelry that is always acceptable for men.

I was told this by a guy trying to justify spending a couple hundred on a 'time piece.' He had a pretty expensive watch and I remember thinking I could never put that much into a watch.

Well, years later, and in a secure corporate job, I can start to see what he was talking about. A watch can be a good outlet to set yourself apart or say something about yourself. I recently dropped my old watch and broke the band. I went in to get it fixed only yo find out that wasn't possible. As I looked for a replacement I found myself drawn to the ones priced a little higher. I ended up purchasing the Relic seen above. Like a child on Christmas morning I was excited enough to mobile blog it. Consider it my early bday present. And don't worry, a local retailer known for great discounts took nearly 50% off the top. The more you know.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The dreams in which I'm dieing...

I don't think I've had a dream this realistic and emotionally moving in so long I almost have to write about it. I recently got my M license, so it started with me at my parent's 2nd of 3 houses(where we lived in the 90's). I had some random motorcycle and it was my first time riding. You are supposed to wait awhile and become comfortable with the bike before taking on 2 riders, but Victoria wanted to go with me so I took her on my back and we go off through the streets, taking curves and trying to stay upright. I fall over once and watch as elderly people drive by me and my mom tells me she used to bike and gives suggestions on staying up.

Then cut to a baseball game in Minneapolis. A lot of my friends and I visit the Brewer games here, so that may have been why I was dreaming about this. We were watching the game, twins vs some other random team. This went on for awhile with nothing out of the ordinary. Suddenly there was a earth shaking boom like an airplane had broken the sound barrier above us. People started screaming and looking behind us. I remember seeing the stadium falling in on itself a distance in the back. The crowd started to push forward as panic struck. I remember not being too worried, but then it happened again, a loud thunderous bang. I looked back and this time the stadium was collapsing much closer to me. I now felt a fear deep in my stomach. Either through the people's commotion, or just the fact that it was a dream, I knew the source of the catastrophe was terrorist attacks. First I thought it was missiles, but later it turned out to be kamikaze (I don't know why, nothing has really been happening in the news).

The crowd pushed on with urgency and panic and as I approached a large entry way that would bring us out of the stadium. A third explosion rocked us and I looked up to see the stadium directly above me begin to crumble and fall inward. (Picture the stadium looking as the coliseum, many rocks falling from the sky) I realized at this moment I had to make it below the overhang to survive. I dove just in time and where I had been seconds ago was now rubble. This success was trumped by the feeling that everyone who had just been with me hadn't made it. I followed random survivors as we walked out into the streets and made our way to a nearby building. Swat teams were all over in the streets and I remember stepping over a k9 drug dog with a muzzle on which barked at me. We made it into some big skyscraper and were directed to the 3rd floor(inside resembled Mall of America). They put on a movie for us all to watch to calm us while the attack was dealt with. I kept asking people what happened and they said that a higher-up in the army had a successful mission overseas and he had been from Minnesota. So that was why such an odd target had been picked for retaliation. I heard a huge explosion and looked down through the balconies to the ground floor and saw it rush in with smoke, dust, and ash, (an image very reminiscent of 9/11). The attacks had followed us and it was time to run again. I jumped from the balcony on floor 3 to floor 2, started running for somewhere to hide, people were jumping in show cars and riding away. I remember the need to hide somewhere small and sturdy. I knew the building would be coming down any moment. The floor went sideways and people started sliding down towards the smoke. I got my balance and dove into a kids ball pit. (now I was apparently on the ground level) some of the structure had broken off the kids play area and I took a heavy metal grate and held it against myself. This was the most emotional part of the dream because I looked up to the sky, and watched as pieces of brick fell from high above landed all around me. It was all very realistic and I remember having to look away for some of them so that the blow would be a surprise. The grate did a good job protecting me, but I misjudged one and a large brick hit my mid leg area and I heard 2 cracks and I knew my legs were broken. I kept on like this thinking I might survive as the building fell around me. Then the largest rubble fell above and I could see there was no avoiding it. It crashed into the me, and the grate wasn't able to deflect it as it had some of the smaller ones. My midsection was crushed completely and the dream cut to the aftermath of the attack. I was being helped by a nurse-like lady who I thought I recognized from Eau Claire. I asked and she said no, she hadn't gone there. She stuck a needle in my arm and started trying to pull blood, only nothing would come, just clear saline type liquid. I knew it was because I had massive internal bleeding and all my blood was in my stomach. I took the IV from her and tried pumping some blood from my arm to show her I had some. It was no use. She then took my IV and gave me a large shot of morphine. I knew it would be the last I saw as all my adrenaline, fear, and panic was replaced by a soothing high that took hold of my body. Then slowly, everything went black and I drifted into darkness.

After awhile my eyes awoke. I was at my cousin's parents 1st house. Where he lived in the 90's, and we were playing with nerf guns. (reminiscent of my childhood, being baby-sat elementary school age) We were playing cops and robbers, with 2 of his friends I didn't recognize. It was my cousin and I versus them. I was shot in the head with the toy guns and I had to act dead, for those were the rules. I layed and watched as my cousin tried to fend off the 2 friends in this faux-battle. He overtook one, but it did not end in his favor.

That is the moment when I woke up. Such an emotional trip I figured I would write it all down on here just so I can remember it. Dunno if I'll post this or not.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marathon post

Little late, but now's as good a time as any. Earlier this month, May 3rd, my past 4 months of training culminated into 1 morning of running. I followed this training program, almost to a T. By the last 2 months I was actually running the recommended/example speeds (Tempo 8min/mile, Speed workouts under 7min/mile) My longest run, an 8 mile, straight 8 min per mile pace, felt just attainable. However, the guide said that same 8 min pace would be my race pace for the whole 26.2 miles. Haha, impossible! In regular over-competitive fashion, I nearly proved myself wrong.

It was literally a perfect day for running. 60 degrees, sun, little to no wind. Victoria and I awoke around dawn and went through a quick runner's morning routine. As I clipped on my race number to my old highschool track jersey I started feeling the pre-race tingle I had known so long ago. That anxious feeling that something big is coming and you'll either crash and burn or soar above the clouds. A couple weeks before the race I saw my company's physical therapist after I injured my heel. She happened to be very experienced in running and biking long distance and marathons (told me she ran around 3:30 times). She gave me a ton of good advice, but also gave me a little tooo much. She swore by having a fuel belt (4-6 8oz drink bottles on a belt) half with g2 Gatorade and half with water. When I found out these things were $45+ I decided I'd stick to the basics. I bought 5 HammerGel packs. 1 during warmup, and 1 every 6 miles. Since I hadn't been drinking any gatorade during my long runs I decided to stick to water at the water stands, and not drinking too much, mostly wash it around and spit it out. Also, a secret tip from Dr. Therapist, after your first poo of the morning, take 2 Imodium AD, and this will make sure its the last of the morning.

We arrived and I dragged Victoria along on a 15 minute warmup, 35 minutes before race start. I told her I would meet her somewhere as we broke off towards the end but that didn't happen. I stretched alone, and began getting the pre-race adrenaline flowing. Fell into the zone and tried to visualize how the race would go. I found my spot in the pace markers at the starting line, somewhere between 9 and 10 I figured so then I could be passing people most the race. I then spotted V and her race pace buddy for the half marathon at the 8 min mile group. I quickly ran up by them and started chatting. Before I knew it we were moving.

First mile I started getting in competitive 10k mode and tried passing people and told myself to shut it down, take it easy. I slowed and found V caught up to me again. We ran together for another mile or 2 and I realized that we were pushing 9:30 pace, which sadly was not going to be reaching any of the lofty goals I set for myself. We had stopped chatting so I gave her a wave and focused in on my pace and got back into the zone. (I specifically remember being mesmerized by Metallica's Master of Puppets) The miles all came one after another. As I approached a mile I would multiply it by 8, and say that was what my goal time was supposed to be at. At first I was at mile 4, and instead of 32 minutes, like I wanted, I was at 37ish. I told myself next mile would be better, and it kept on like that. Every mile it would become math time. I kept sliding closer and closer to my goal time. It was a good driver to keep going, but I worried that this fast pace might be too aggressive.

Then the marathoners split from the halfers at the 5 mile mark. Right before the first Gel stop. I took the 2nd of my own from my pocket and almost choked on it. I dunno why the pre-race one had been such a better experience. Now with a dry mouth it made me gag. Thank god I had taken it before, and not after, the water stop. I quickly grabbed some water and washed it down. I also remember looking and seeing its crumbled remains in my hand as I passed the last garbage from the fuel station. I quickly threw it on the ground, I don't know why, but I noticed 2 people picking up trash 10 ft further down the road looking at me and I felt really bad that I littered right in front of them. (It's humorous because if you see these fuel stops its just empty cups everywhere, and I shouldn't have been so worried ) To note: my future gel intakes were less of a surprise and went better.

As I mentioned the day was great, and the crowd thinned out now that it was only marathoners, (213 marathoners vs 1036 halfers) I ran along rural roads through the northwoods of Wisconsin. Every 2 miles was a pack of volunteers and people cheering or handing out water. It was a great experience, I was also passing people at a good pace. I daydreamed as I ran, wondering which place I was in, how many people I had passed, how many more ahead of me. Right before my half way mark a girl yelled out "Come on! 125!" and I thought that was my place. So for the next 10-15 minutes I tried to calculate if that was my place, and how many more I would pass before the end. 5-8 miles later I realized 125 was my race number. Which reminds me that I was glad I wore the freedom jersey instead of something plain. A dozen bystanders cheered by shouting "Freedom!" at me which made me more identifiable.

Yes, I know I look like a Dbag, this was mile 21. :-(

I crossed my half marathon at 1:50:11. Right on pace for what I thought I should be at. I wondered if Victoria would be finishing soon, Probably a little closer to 2:00. I kept on and I began to feel the cold grip of reality take my body. I kept on. At mile 16 I noticed I had began to start to feel the burn of a runner chafe just south of my armpits. I had prepared by taping my nipples and wearing compression shorts for my thighs, but I had forgotten about my under arms. The gods must have been smiling though, because within 800m of me thinking this, a random bystander (not even a volunteer) stood just past mile 16 with a huge jar of vaseline. He waved it at me as I approached and I gave him a huge smile and nod, possibly even a thumbs up. This guy was so helpful he actually started running before I got to him so I didn't have to slow down. I took a huge gob in 1 hand and thanked him and said something like "Thanks man, I hadn't even thought of this". I spread it on the worrisome areas and everything just felt right.

I kept wondering when the "wall" would hit, and as I finally forgot about worrying about it, it hit. Mile 21-23 are on a beautiful trail through the woods, but the problem is there isn't many spectators back there. And in miles 18-21 I felt like I was running in a parade, people everywhere. This new lack of cheers, despite the scenery, was a killer. You'd think I would leave the woods at 23 and the final 3 miles would be a breeze... Or at least the last mile? No. None of them. I had used everything in my gas tank and I was simply running to keep myself from walking. Every corner wondering how close I would get to taking that dreaded walk step. The fact that I kept passing some people may be my only savior. I ran up a hill 800m prior to the finish line. Didn't really know if I was going the right way (guy ahead of me was long gone) and got directed to the finish chute. I picked it up and sprinted by some of the halfers (walkers) and nearly collapsed at the finish line in 3:34:27. (an 8:12 min/mile pace)Good enough for 26th place. I remember being worried if I was drinking too much water, or if I was standing too still, or not stretching out enough. Lol! Once I calmed down I was able to bask in the accomplishment that was my first marathon. I felt good (good being a loose term. Immobile probably fits better) and it was as quick as the next day I was able to convince myself that another marathon would definitely be in my future before I leave this earth.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Classic Rock Ooooohhhhhhhh!

As I mentioned before, I go through phases of music. I have usually kept a pretty strict line in making sure I let people know when I say I like rock that its more new metal, hard rock, and alternative rock then classic. I would often point out that I am not living in the past and avoiding bands like The Who, Pink Floyd, or Led Zeppelin.

Well, after years of stubborn music listening, my walls have finally fallen. Or what's closer to the truth is I came to the realization that they have crumbled long ago. This morning I found a nice Classic rock top 50, and added most of them to a new pandora station. I don't know what the events were that led to this decision. Most of it probably can be contributed to the Guitar Hero Franchise (Before which I had no appreciation for a good guitar riff, and simply despised solo's) .

I have also come to the realization this summer that when I finally get around to buying a motorcycle, that it would probably suit my persona better to go with the Harley body style vs what I dreamed of all through HS and college, which was a crochrocket bodystyle. And as I envision myself badass'ing around like Wolverine (Or the Gov' of Cali), it just comes natural that I have some Led Zeppelin or AC/DC blasting.

Maybe some Master of Puppets to help the Gov'na

So there you have it. I am sure most of my readers will consider me now more cultured and relatable in my 'rocking.'

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dog Parks!

So for some reason growing up I just had the impression that dog parks were disease infested dirt pits where half-untamed dogs run wild and revert back to their wolf pack instincts. Now that we own a dog and do research we found that socialization a puppy with other humans and dogs is essential. It helps in building a stable temperament and good behavior for your dog in the future. Low and behold, we live within miles of the "first off leash dog park of the Milwaukee County." The Granville dog park.

We first saw a big hill and decided to run Dexter up it. When we arrived on top we looked around and realized this place was huge. The hill was more of a ridge, which curved through the woods and had benches scattered throughout. We made our way to the first bench which had 4-5 people sitting watching the same amount of dogs play around. If I have to say anything about dog parks it's that the people there are Incredible! I felt like I had joined some new society of pleasantville and everyone was quick to give us tips and help with any questions or concerns. Dexter doesn't know his recall (or come) command too good yet, so we had planned to leave him on leash the whole day. The other dog owners convinced us that he would stay with the pack and we should unleash him. We did and he impressed us. We expressed our fear that Dexter's herding instincts had been making him very "bitey" and he was infactuated with humping everything. Our new friends were very helpful and they explained that this is why the socialization is so important. What we may not have been able to do through training, Dexter would soon learn through the pack mentality. When Dex got too bitey, the alpha dog would rear back and pin him to the ground. Letting him know when he had cross the line.

They left after 30 minutes, and we continued on. The next group of people said that a high-quality snack that the dog rarely gets but loves is great for dog parks and she gave us a handful of hamburger which kept Dexter listening to us a lot more then the kibble we had brought.

We continued on, and were on our way out when we found yet another good Samaritan. This one seemed to be the park's fairy godmother. She knew half the dogs by name, showed us the spots to avoid (a bridge dogs could escape through, an area prone to coyotes, etc), the spots the dogs loved, and informed us that our previous plans of leashing Dexter actually harmed more then helped because he'd felt constricted in the pack.
We ended up meeting a ton of great people, and I am pretty sure Dex learned A LOT more about respect and obedience from the other dogs then we could have taught him in a week.

Alligater dog waits fawr victimz!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

GoGo Gadget: Conformity!

A random act of events occurred in the last 12 hours which ultimately ended in my submission to the internet's newest fad, twitter. I don't feel tooooo hypocritical here because I don't think I ever bashed it outright. But I do admit I thought it was a bit crazy in the beginning.

The act of events went as follows: As I was making dinner I was listening to my favorite podcast[Penny Arcade] as our heroes discussed Gabe's obsession with being a techy slut and jumping on the Twitter bandwagon as soon as possible, WTMJ4 ran a special on Twitter in big business, and the final step was yesterdays episode of South Park. Kanye West has had a history of quickly responding to media via twitter. I was curious about what he thought of last night's South Park where he was bent over and made their bitch, or gay fish, rather. My answer? Sign up for twitter and find out. Sadly, further research shows that Kanye's account was fake and response to Colbert therefore meaningless.

Bottom line, if anyone wants to tool it up with me, join up. I linked my twitter account to my facebook status though, so odds are following my twitter would be redundant.

Thank you, that is all.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pet Peeved

Ok, lately I have stopped my masochist ways and started running indoors until the temperature returns to >40 degrees. This means I have basically began living in the gym again. Which is a splendid place and actually brings lots of thoughts to mind for possible blogging. There is one in the front of the line though. It drives me batty, crazy, through the roof. It is women (mostly, sometimes guys) who jack the incline on their treadmill, which alone is not offensive. The offensive part is when they hold on for dear life while they work out.


Let's think about this, from a physics standpoint. You are maxing the incline so that you are running a steep hill, its a hill workout and gravity is now fighting your progression from point A to point B. Also, you need to lean forward, adjust your weight from falling backwards, and some new muscles get worked. Ok, all those benefits, are negated when you hold on to a stationary object such as the treadmill.

If you want to envision this on real life, lets say I am running down a road, then I see a massive hill jutting out in front of me and I go for it! So then now, what if someone on a 4-wheeler drove up in front of me, and gave me a bar and rope so I was now able to use his 4-wheeler like a water-skier. All I have to do at this point is move my feet up and down and the ground travels beneath me, making the hill workout easier then actually running. I mind as well just lean back and drink a caucasian at this point.

So there, thats it, I see a half dozen women in front of me at the Y, all practically able to touch the ceiling if their raise their hand. And they are all holding on to the reigns of the treadmill for dear life. I want to walk up to them individually and slap them in the face and ask them WTF they think they are doing. But then I just realize that people in the gym is people in the gym, regardless of their incorrect ways, at least they are out here and being the minority in America.

Oh, and by all means, I could be wrong, I am not a physical therapist, or trainer. If you can debate my points here please comment below.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I won't let it get to my head

So, I rarely, and I mean rarely, see commentors, much less visitors, to my blog that I don't directly know. So it came to a surprise when I got a special comment on my phantom police jammer post. So, naturally, I decide to drill down into my traffic analyzer, provided for free by google. That's when I was completely blown away. In the last month, 50% of my viewership has been thanks to that post (120 page views, 88 unique IP's which is nearly the exact double of how many people have visited my homepage in the last month). It is already the third most popular page on my blog to date, and its only been available 1 month. (actually, now that I look at it, I am posting on its 1 month anniversary. Pun not intended.)

Top 5 pages of all-time (of my blog)

I noticed that google was actually a big source of my page views, so I used one of the keywords that had been successful, and low and behold, the answer!

Check him out!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You like dags?

Hey everyone, Victoria and I have been talking about getting a dog for awhile now. I've always said I will get one once I graduate college. I even went as far as to make sure my apartment post college was animal friendly.

I just wanted to make sure that I had the time to put towards the young and restless life destroyer known as a puppy. And some of you may know that Victoria and I have been checking the Wisconsin Humane Society dogs daily, sending each other pictures of the dogs we would like to pick. We even made a trip a week or 2 ago and realized that the turnover rate at the humane society is insanely higher then you would assume. I thought maybe a dog sits there for months, maybe a year, and finding homes is near impossible. It's the opposite, these dogs are gone usually same day they hit the showcase. I'd be surprised to see a dog last longer then 1 week in this place without getting scooped up. It really is a great deal too, you are helping the world solve an over abundance of dogs without homes, and its an affordable price (between $125 and $250).

Please note that for those of you who haven't researched dogs, a purebread breader sells dogs for $500-$1k. After you get the dog, you buy a couple hundred in supplies, food, and then couple hundred for Shots, Deworming, Flea treatment, and if you're smart, please tell me you are, the neutering or spaying. (If you splurge, you get a microchip inserted for quick and easy identification by the pound/firedept/police) Now heres the big seller. The $250 humane society price includes all of this. Because for the 2 weeks before they hit the showcase, these dogs have been taken care of. Completely. So now you help out the streets, and you save $1-$2k in monies. A win win in my book. And just look at him!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jump on the gamer bandwagon

Lmao! i knew 'of' this product prior to coming to walmart today. but im sorry, it's really that much more hilarious seeing it irl. enjoy.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Phantom Police Jammer

So I was in my car this morning, and a crazy commercial starts up about "making your car invisible to police speed detection." I am kind of interested simply because of the blatant disregard to the law. The "Phantom" is self-proclaimed illegal in YOUR state, and renders your car invisible to all police speed detection devices. It is available to try free for 30 days, and this really gets me, if you get a ticket in those 30 days Phantom will pay for it. (some restrictions apply)

I am pretty curious now and I make sure to look this thing up when I get to work. Unfortunately I do not find the actual Phantom website. But I did find this. Which is an interesting read. I dunno if it is the same phantom radar jammer I heard this morning, but while reading I found out that police have radar detector-detectors. So the people that drive around with radar detectors are probably getting noticed easily by police and singled out and not given the benefit of the doubt. Also, I was pretty amazed that the technology does exist to jam the police. Atleast back when that was tested it was working. Who knows how fast the police's detection technology is updating.

The bottom line, no I probably wouldn't invest in something like this because I feel that anything which screws with the police equipment is most likely to anger them or make them suspicious. Which gives them all the more reason to pull you over and disregard your civil rights.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Big Fish

Take a good, long, 5 hour stare at that picture. Do you see any prehistoric fish? If you’re answer was No, and you actually spent 5 hours, then welcome to my Saturday morning. I was actually excited to make it out because last year the season was shut down due to the limit being caught after 3-4 days. This year was slower, and it went for a whole week + Saturday. For those of you who don’t know, last weekend when the season opened, I got violently ill and couldn’t make it up to Lake Winnebago. Now the registration wasn’t a complete waste because I was out there for at least one day.

This was my 2nd year; I didn’t see anything the first year either, so hopefully the third year is the charm.

Sunday I was able to get my long run in, something I also missed last weekend. Sunday’s was the longest to date, 13 miles. I should note that the widget on the right probably says I ran 14 miles. The nike+ sensor is having trouble calibrating with my new shoes, so its going to be saying I am going a little fast and farther then actual until I fix that. If treadmills at the Y don’t lie, I was going 9min/mile pace.
I spy the spear!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Cows?

Ok. I just want to get this rant off my chest. Fuck California. Ok, there I said it. F them right in the A. They think they can create a national advertising campaign to laugh in our faces!? What gives them the right. I would be a little happier if they left it in the air and just said they had the happiest cows. But no, in case that is too open ended for anyone, they have to make it blatantly obvious that what they ACTUALLY mean is that Wisconsin cows are freezing stereotypical yoopers, confined and depressed.

I still remember the big thing in elementary when California surpassed us in dairy sales and the kids who liked throwing out random facts of intelligence would point out that we are no longer the dairy state. And that we had to change our license plate. Felt kind of like losing on homecoming. All the state hung their head and admitted defeat. Which I now get to relive as California jabs us from the west.

Happy Cows indeed.

Ok, in the end I can't be too pissed. Because after my research I found this jewel. Showing that California actually took a stab at themselves. For those of you who don't feel like youtube, it's some cows in Cali, enjoying a foot massage. As the earth splits in two you realize the vibrating foot massage is actually an earth quake. If there's one thing my crazy Geology teacher Mr. Severson wanted us to walk away with in college it was to

"Never move to California. Never. If you do I will not talk to you anymore.
Knowing what I have taught you this semester it would be suicide to move to
I may have paraphrased slightly, but not much... He was a little off his rocker, (Loving rocks most your mature adulthood can do that) but he was adamant that California would not be with us forever. He was very intelligent, so I believe him.

See you in Arizona Bay, Motherfuckers.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Ok, so the Rudy allusion isn't exactly head on, but Victoria linked me this and I think it's our new favorite youtube clip, atleast for this week. I am usually up on my internet crap, so I was suprised to see this is from 2006. Which means most of you (greg) will probably have already have seen it.

If not, Enjoy. (might want to get a kleenex box out if your softie like me)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


When I moved in 1 year ago I got a perk of getting the normally $40 underground parking, for free. You get a key to get into the parking and it's heated. So it's pretty nice. I was given spot 24, and I parked there. I came to my car the next morning to find a big note written on an 8x11 and placed in my window saying that this wasn't my spot. I remember the feeling I had in my stomach when I read the note. It's probably just me, but I hate the feeling that someone thinks I disrespected them. The worst part was I had no way to explain myself. I got over my emotional anxiety by the time I got to work and called the office, they said that I was indeed in the right spot and that the same man had called the office and everything was settled. Whew, that was a load off my shoulders. The man even spotted me getting out of my car once and approached me to say how sorry and embarrassed he was, and that he had been parking in the wrong spot for a year and never known. I understood and we laughed about it.

So, that was then, and a story to let you know how I respond to being accused of taking someone's spot. Now fast forward a year and it's Winter... Right now. In the cold season the garage becomes used a lot more. I have had people park in my spot 4 times. All different cars. I don't remember the first, but the 2nd was a blue bronco, 3rd was a brown old-person-car, and yesterday's was a smaller black coup. That's 4 cars in about 3 months, in a parking lot where you need a key to enter and has around 40 spots. (In contrast, my gf's spot hasn't been taken yet.. or maybe once) The first time I figured it was a random accident, and after the 2nd I figured I should leave a note just so they knew this wasn't a empty spot. This wouldn't really be blog-worthy (and to be honest it still isn't), until the point where my notes end up wrinkled and littered on the floor of my stall. This has happened 2 times, with the 2 cars which fit the ID of a young person. The 2nd and 4th, both highly tinted, 1 with bandannas which matched the car's color. You park in someone else's spot, you get a nice "Hey, sorry but this spot is already taken... Thanks" note, and you wrinkle it up and throw it on the floor to prove a goddamn point.

Now I guess I am just blowing off steam, but I can't believe the extreme difference in my guilt over parking in my own spot and getting a note, to the 2 guys who felt it necessary to give me a big middle finger through throwing the note on the ground.

Listening to: Death Blooms by Mudvayne

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I hate this guy

We are in a very political time right now, all you hear on the news is inauguration this and Obama that. I was driving in this morning when I saw someone with this W04 bumper sticker. Normally I am only slightly perturbed by these, but this morning this bumper sticker made me hate the driver. What are they trying to say? Do they think they are better then everyone? Are they trying to say they stick to their guns? Are they saying they don't cut and run when it comes to voting? They can't possibly just be forgetful can they? (Maybe I'm wrong in assuming that any normal citizen would have removed these stickers long ago when everyone started hating Bush)

I understand being a die-hard Republican, but then wouldn't you have changed to the McCain sticker?

Maybe I'm just biased because I don't hang out with very political friends, and everyone I talk to save for a few older co-workers is for Obama, but I feel that the world hates Bush. So in my eyes that bumper sticker is just like having a confederate flag on your truck.


And good luck seeing me post on anything vaguely political again. I rarely speak on the matter.

Listening to: Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meat Loaf

Monday, January 19, 2009

Injury Week: Missing Thursday Post

Ok, So I was sick on Thursday last week and ended up losing one of the better injury story days I was planning. So I guess I'll just keep it going.

In high school we had 1 lunch period and about 400-500 students overall. If you walked to lunch you got in the end of a huge line and had to wait 15-30 minutes for your food and this was more then half of your lunch period. So, those of us unconstrained by feelings of fitting in, would run to lunch. Every year was a new experience depending on how far away from the cafeteria we were located. Scheelk and I were 2 of the most ambitious lunch runners and also 2 of the best Cross Country runners. I don't know if that's a coincidence or a prerequisite. Either way, here is a video of a lunch run just so you get what this is all about.
So, we did that every day, and every day I would try to find some ways to shave some seconds off my time, beat Scheelk, etc. One day I had the bright idea to pass him through the left door before going down the first staircase. I went for it and as he broke through the right door his left foot planted in front of the left door. I had no clue but as I pushed open the left door it hit his heel and stopped dead. My body's momentum then proceeded to run full force into the door with my forehead. It all happened in a split second and I was propelled through the door after it slapped me in the face. I was kind of surprised and dizzy and trying to figure out what happened as students ran past me and laughed at my folly. One girl happened to look back and her face went from amusement to fear. I remember her saying "you should probably see the nurse, you might want to go to the hospital." "Huh?" I wondered to myself. I instinctively put my hand where the door had slapped me and I feel some swelling and something wet. I bring my hand back down in front of my face to see it drenched in blood. I ended up geting a trip away from school to the family doctor who stiched up my eyebrow. I was excited for some sweet facial scarring, but now 5 years later it's near invisible. I guess it's for the best.

This injury happened with a chain reaction of other injuries. Within the 3 months of senior year I injured myself 3 times. This was the first, second was very similar. I was running to lunch again (I know, I know) and where the youtube video ends is the bottom of the main staircase. You're not allowed to bring your backpack into the lunch line so everyone just throws there backpacks down. So not only do you have to hurtle backpacks, you have to avoid the ones being thrown from the staircase at record speed. I was not so lucky and in full sprint I was tripped up by a flying backpack. I spun a couple times on the tile and eventually thwacked my head against one of the columns that line the cafeteria. My head split open and required 4 staples. Another month later again I was clowning around during lunch body slamming something and being a general ass-hat. My head hit the tile and ended up splitting my head again a couple inches away from the other stapled spot. So yeah, they knew me by my first name at the family doctor that year.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Muhahahahaha. Soooo checkit. I ordered a pretty little 22" widescreen dell monitor for cheaps.(Props to Assailant 9 for the find) This is only moderately hott as far as deals go. But still, our current 350 lb Sceptre 19" LCD monitor is approaching 12 years old and has started flickering randomly. So overall the purchase was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Well, it would have been, except for the part where my monitor arrived with a small chip on the left side of the bevel. No biggie, if I would have been born in a different lifestyle or country I probably would have just put some super glue on it and been on my way. Unfortunately I am a spoiled white boy so I called up Dell support to let them know what happened. Dell support, Ughhhh. I know I should have seen it coming because Dell's customer support was their biggest downfall in 2004-06. I thought they would have cleaned up their act by now... Guess I was being optimistic. Dell's call center is based in the middle east, not a huge problem at all, just a little hard to understand some of the women. That I can live with, the problem was how I was transfered 4 times. The 1st, 2nd, and 4th times my order number and name were asked. If they knew it on the 3rd time why didn't they know it the other times? Also, my final time being put on hold after the 4th transfer took 45 minutes.... That's right... Victoria and I opened the phone, put it on speaker, and got to listen to hold music while we watched A FULL TV EPISODE. I politely mentioned this to the final guy and he said yes he knew, and that they had a very high call volume tonight. Shortly after that I was gone and done and the phonecall itself took over 60 minutes. Woohooo!

Overall I don't really mind what happened too much, I was watching TV anyway. The cool part is that he said they would send me some return labels for the chipped monitor. As I was crossing my fingers and hoping, those did not arrive. So I am putting ethics on the sideburner and I am going to set these 2 monitors side by side for awhile and see what happens with the whole situation. I really do love the view as it stands.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Injury Week: A Modest Bet

This is probably the injury everyone knows of best. My most glorious moment on this earth so far. It began like many stories, I had been drinking all day. We began by going to a work outing at 11am. We bowled and drank, then when that was done we figured we should keep the party going and went to a friends house to drink some more. After drinking for the better part of a day we moved the party out to the bars. It was 9 or 10pm at this point and me and one of my best friends were in full drunken stupor mode. We weren't just your average drunks either. When Dan and I got together and drank we were said to "ruin lives." So, I still remember how it all went down. We were walking back to the bathroom when we saw a drinking glass wedged between the bars of the foosball table. The bar we were at had these very thick pint glasses. I don't remember exactly who had the bright idea, but we decided we would see if we could break the glass. Now try to imagine the safest, easiest ways to break a glass... Got those all in your head? Great. Now throw all those ideas away and think of the single dumbest most suicidal way to break a glass. Perfect. We kept the glass in the foostball table and began taking turns punching it, open fist, as you could imagine Chuck Norris or Nicholas Cage sending someone's nose into their brains.(Fast forward to 4:20)

First 2 tries we alternated back and forth, didn't really hit it too hard, as if we were feeling the situation out. Then we began to get angry at the glass for its strength. The 2nd round Dan started out hitting it pretty hard, 2 times. He looked down at it and noticed he chipped the glass and also taken a small piece of his hand where the chip had hit it. I took the glass and knew that it had shown weakness and I was about to achieve victory. I pulled my fist back and came down on it as hard as I could. The next thing I remember is just seeing red cover the foosball table beneath my palm. I pulled my hand back and looked into a torn open flesh. An artery had been cut and a stream of blood shot out about 5 feet out and landed on the floor. I quickly applied pressure and realized the severity of the situation. We ran into the bathroom and I said we need to wrap this up and go to the hospital. I quickly pointed at one of the towel dispensers. You know, the cloth kind that wraps back into the dispensor. We must have looked very comical because as I held my blood soaked hand, my accomplice began tearing the towel from the dispenser as it wrapped back into the base. He didn't realize no matter how fast he pulled he wasn't getting any closer to providing me with toweling. A guy who walked out of the stall began laughing at our faces. I was appalled that someone found our situation amusing. I saw the foley in Dan's ways and suggested he tear the dispenser from teh wall. After 2 huge yanks we were getting no where closer to wrapping my hand. I suggested his shirt. He yanked off 2 shirts and gave me his white undershirt. I quickly wrap my hand and we dodged out through the now crowded bar and out onto the street. Dan's girlfriend sees him shirtless and drunk and begins to get very mad. "WHY'S DAN'S SHIRT OFF!?" she came at me angry and accusing. I simple lifted part of the shirt off my hand and showed her the pooling blood in my palm. Instantly her angry face went ghostly white as she understood completely. "oh." was all she mumbled. I then headed across the street and went to a taxi van I saw. I jumped in and the driver said "I'm sorry I am already waiting for a party." I felt entitled to hijack here and simply told him "WERE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL." I showed him my hand and he also understood and we were off. I didn't know if it was customary to tip a hijacked taxi cab for bringing you to the ER, so I instructed Dan to give him $10.

We arrived at the hospital I worked IT at. I remember when I realized I was in safe hands in the ER the alcohol kicked in again and I was all jokes. I asked the triage nurse if I would be getting an associate discount. Again when I was on the operating table I told the doctor that I was very appreciative of what she was doing and if she ever wanted a new tablet PC, a new handheld device, or anything computer related that I would give her my personal extension and I would put her on the top of my list. 16 stitches later I was back in 1 piece and lucky to hear that I hadn't severed any tendons so no physical rehab would be needed.

I was supposed to return 2-3 weeks later to get the stitches removed. I was out hunting at the 3 week point and bored. So I ended up taking the stitches out myself with my hunting knife. Overall if I was to say I learned something it would be that you should weigh the pros vs the cons of drunk ideas. That night was also one of the first nights V and I went out together. So if anyone else wants to lock in a steady girlfriend rinse and repeat I guess.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Injury Week: Chicks, dude.

Sooo. This shouldn't take long. I had a girlfriend for a year or so in high school(relationships seemed to go in slow motion back then). She was pretty steadfast in the "lets save ourselves" type thing, and I wasn't going to push the envelope. We all know how much of a classy gentlemen I am! So it was senior year I figured we were both going to different colleges, so we broke it off. Next thing I know one of my best friends is talking to her more. He and I talked via AIM a lot and when your having those instant message conversations you end up saying a lot more then you would in real life. Kind of like alcohol. Well, he just couldn't wait to share how he had talked her into the deed. I was pretty furious, but I just acted like nothing happened. That is, until I saw them out in the parking lot as the XC guys and I were getting ready for a run. I can't remember exactly what they were doing, holding hands, kissing maybe. Either way it lit a fire in me and I punched a stopsign as we ran by it. This is something we did often during cross country runs, only we would usually slap it, something to make it ring out. We'll I punched that stopsign about as hard as humanly possible. .. I looked down to see my hand and saw a pretty big bump. It was rock hard already and my first thought is that it either swelled up super fast or it was broke. We ran our 4 miles and the swelling didn't go down or soften. I brought it around the school for teachers who were still around and they mostly thought it was fine. I could still move everything, there was no pain, and the only difference was when I made a fist my pinky knuckle was non-existent. Eventually I found the physical trainer and he said it might be a boxer's break. I researched it at home and told my parents. They didn't know if going to a doctor was necessary but I insisted.
I remember the doctor didn't really key me into what exactly he was doing, he made a cast that covered my wrist and half my hand. Put it on me, then put a lot of pressure on my hand and I felt the bone snap back into place and vibrate through my body. I instantly felt light headed and he told me to lay back. He said some people pass out after that. I still find it amusing that he didn't prepare me for that.
Well, that's the story, after awhile I healed. My heart did too. Sah-luuuuuuuut.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Injury Week: Bicycles

In the beginning of my college career I was cheap, and needed to get to far off house parties. I walked a lot, then realized that biking was much faster. I would see a bike on the side of the road as I stumbled home and grab it, and bike home. First I would put the bike in the racks near the library near the dorm. Then as I got gutsier I would bring the bike back to the dorms racks. I cycled through a couple different bikes, some stayed longer then others. I grew a guilty conscience eventually and bought a used bike by haggling the pawn shop guy down to $20. So, now you know me, drinking, and bikes.

The first picture was taken freshman year, before going to a Beta Upsilon Sigma (BUS) party. It wasn't really a frat like it sounds, more of a business organization.. that drinks. We were having a sports themed party and that's why I am wearing the ridiculous visor. Me and some of the non-BUS friends chose to indulge in our new friend, Mr. Shotgun. After gunning far too many I decided it was time to go to the party and headed to old-downtown eau claire. It was a good 3-4 miles and I started feeling it mid bike ride. I was driving down a deserted part of eau claire and I saw a rabbit in front of me. He took off down an alley so I drove in after him. I saw that he had nowhere to turn, so I peddled faster. I was just about to nail him as we hit the next road and he took off to the right. I was thinking "I can still get him!!" and I jerked the handle bars to follow the rabbit for the kill. That was when I remembered that bikes don't turn in 90 degree angles when your going 15 mph. I immediately jammed the front tire sideways and crashed head over heels. I would have sat there and wallowed in self pity but I saw headlights coming towards me and figured it was the cops. I jumped up on my bike and took off only to see the rabbit sittin on the side of the road a ways looking up at me laughing. "You may have won this battle..." I said aloud to him as I drove by. I arrived at the party with my chin and elbow cut open and dripping blood. (sorry, no pic)

Next, a quickie... My brother came to 2 sib-weekends. The UWEC weekend where your little brothers come and you 'show them campus'. Both times I had high expectations and when he was 14 we peer pressured him into a shot of 151 as soon as he walked in the door. Needless to say we were not role models in my dorm. I took him to a house party and we drank together. Then it was time to head out and I thought I'd show him how I rolled. I had him steal a bike with me and we took off towards campus. Going over the UWEC footbridge I began wavering, jarred my handle on the guardrail and stubbed my toe hard when I tried to catch myself. We made it back to the dorms and I gave my 14 year old brother my ID and told him to get my bike lock from my room. Well, the RA's guarding the entrance weren't about to let my obviously intoxicated brother, alone into the dorm without me. They came outside and asked me what was up. I mumbled some drunken excuses and eventually they let my brother and me in... When I arrived in my room I saw my foot and decided I best take pictures. Another great college night for my brother to take home.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Injury Week: The Toe

Injury week is finally here. I know you're all excited. Well, except for Ric, who apparently passes out at the sight of grotesque injuries.

We'll begin with the easiest to explain. It was '01 or '02 and the night of the homecoming dance. I was walking around barefoot getting ready, when I stubbed my toe on something in the carpet. It was an abrupt sharp pain so I went down there to inspect. I saw a red dot in my big toe, but it didn't seem to be bleeding. Odd. After searching the carpeting I found the culprit, a small pinlike needle. That must have been what created the red dot. Fast forward to a year later. After some cross country run I notice that same big toe has a tiny scab-like ball forming near the cuticle between the nail and the skin. I scratch it away but notice day after day it keeps re-appearing and getting bigger. Soon when I try to scratch it off I feel pain as though it has nerves. I realize this isn't going away anytime soon and I don't want it to start affecting my running so I go to a foot doctor.

Upon arrival the doctor explains to me that it looks like [insert medical term]. This thing forms on the outside of skin when your body is trying to remove unwanted debris or junk from itself. The body pushes this foreign object out through the little scab-pus-ball opening it created. So he says to make sure we will take some x-rays. He looks over the new xrays and exclaims that, sure enough, I had a small needle under my toe nail. He then says, "If you don't have any problems I can perform the surgery to remove it right now." I remember being baffled at how quick one can be propositioned with surgery on a seemingly normal afternoon. I surely didn't want to sound like a pussy, but man, surgery? Would I be able to run on it? He says everything will be fine and I agree with the surgery. What happens next is one of the most irritating/painful experiences I have had. (Erica: look away) He took the needle with numbing stuff in it and began inserting the needle between my toes. Almost a half dozen spots. Yes, Needles, between. ..toes. So that was horrible, but after the numbing kicked in everything was A'ok. He took a knife, cut open the ball guy growing beside my nail and dug around a bit. He then pulled out a shiny needle which was A LOT longer then I would have ever imagined. The foot healed up and was good to go.

In the end somehow I was able to connect the story of stubbing my toe and this incident which happened almost a year later. The needle I stubbed my toe on must have broken off near the bottom of my big toe, then made its way up under the nail as my body tried to reject it. I still have the needle, along with these nice Xrays.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Declaration

Running a Marathon wasn't on my radar 2 weeks ago. But here I am, signing up for one today. Victoria's post was a good kick in the butt. In the end it will come down to the training and shape I am come May, but a collegue at work was quick to suggest I sign up now and that the hardest step is the first. So, I figure what else will make sure I actually go through with this.... Post something on my blog. So there. Did I just make a horrible decision?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obligatory Gaming Post

So, as promised yesterday, I'll give you a update on my gaming happenings as of recent. First off, I was happy to receive 2 1600 microsoft point giftcards for Xmas, so that slingshot me into the world of XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade). My first purchase was N+. This has been highly spoken of by Assailant 9, my trusted gaming nemesis. He was not lying. The game, albeit simple, is addicting after the stages get more complex. The idea is you get coins to increase the time you get per level, you progress through levels, 5 levels per episode. Once you begin a new episode your time resets. Each level provides a new unique challenge in either opponent or terrain. You have a analog stick and an A button to jump. It's easy at first, but the things that keep you coming back are the levels that take some thinking and a little finesse to conquer. Thanks Assailant.

My next Xbla purchase with this new plethora of points was yesterday, Geometry Wars Retro Evolved 2. It was a hard decision between the new GW and the old original version. I looked around online and the 2nd version has actually been getting rave reviews and contains new gametypes, and multiplayer. So with that, purchase completed, and I am very happy with it after just one night. Reminiscent of my father's video game era, this plays a lot like asteroids in a contained box. Maybe it's my ADHD, but the bright multicolored laser graphics of the game are one of its most enjoyable traits. The basic gametype is as you would expect, running around trying not to get destroyed whilst shooting everything in sight. Multiplier shards, called geods, now drop from fallen enemies and are a requirement to reach those high score boards. Other gametypes include no-shooting-allowed escapism, waves of enemies, stage completion mode, and another where you can only shoot from bubbles which quickly disappear and reappear at different locations. An interesting callout to the oldstyle arcade games is the highscore of your xbox live friend list post on the top right of your screen as you play. Just a little something to keep you playing.

Lastly, I was a latecomer to The Force Unleashed. I heard not-so-good things from this much hyped game, so, I just didn't purchase it. Recently I did a little tradesies with known gaming accomplice, away went my Mirror's Edge, in came TFU. I must say, now that all hype had been obliterated I was very happy with my playthrough. This mainly because I am an avid Star Wars fan. I loved the connections this game made between the Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope movies. I followed the plot in-game as if I was in fact playing out one of the Star Wars movies. Also, since I stick closely to FPS's, it was a great change to be able to run around in third person throwing special forces and lightsabers around. Overall I enjoyed the first playthrough and I am currently making attempts at a Master Sith difficulty playthrough.

Also, a last image as a teaser for next week. I plan on doing my Injury Themed Blog Week. Where I speak to the numerous adventures I have had which leave me with, well, souvenirs(read: scars).