I plan on ending the juice diet that I've been on for thirty four days tomorrow. During that time, I've had five meals that consisted of solid foods and I've quit caffeine entirely. It's been a tough, but rewarding experience and I hope to begin eating sensibly, starting this weekend. I think the big test will come this upcoming week with Thanksgiving and then next month with Christmas.
Saturday was my 28th day on the juice diet and I was coming off back to back cheat days. Thursday, my friends Brandon and Lauren were married and I ate at the reception, but I did okay calorie-wise, as they had Subway cater and I did have juice and water for the other meals that day. My biggest food sin at the wedding was a piece of the cake, but I think, with all of the standing and walking, I burned it off. Friday was a different matter entirely. My friend Brent, who I haven't seen in years, had come into town for the wedding from California. He invited me to his sister's house for dinner with his fiance and Kristin's husband also in attendance. We cooked burgers out on the grill and also had potato salad. We then had beer and tequila shots to wash it down. It wasn't a very productive night for my diet. I have decided to go another week on the diet to make up for these two cheat days I've had and plan on trying to start eating (sensibly) next week.
Saturday was my twenty first day on my juice fast/ diet and I'm down to 274 pounds. I'm feeling good. I feel more energetic than before, more aware, and better in general. I am exercising; mostly with kettle bells and resistance bands, but I'm starting to incorporate traditional weights and cardio into the regimen, as well. Friday, I'm going to a podiatrist and hopefully I can begin walking more often also. The juice diet isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it's does take willpower to do. I will be glad when it's over and hope I'll have the same willpower to eat healthy in the future.
I've manged to survive one week on the juice diet and so far, so good. I'm down ten pounds in one week and I don't miss caffeine as much as I thought I would. I did cheat a little during the week, but overall I'm on the schedule I've set for myself. I hope to add light exercise tomorrow morning and build up from there. I'm still trying to decide if I'm just going to do two weeks or an entire month on the diet.
I've decided to try a juice fast/ diet. My friend Mark has had some success changing his lifestyle doing one and now it's my turn. During the fast, I'll only partake of vegetable and fruit juices that I'll make myself and lot's of water. After the fast is over, I will, in theory, switch over to a better way of eating. I think, initially, the hardest part will be kicking the caffeine addiction, as I love my sweet tea. I started today at lunch. I'm 293 pounds right now and am hoping for the best. It should be, at the very least, an experience.
An interesting idea, though I'm not sure if it could happen in the current political climate in the world. I think, right now, there would be too many issues of citizenship and recognition of independence for city-states to be a feasible option, but it would be worth at least experimenting with, I think.
Today, I took the time to watch Transformers- Dark of the Moon at the theatre in Imax 3D and thought I would provide my own two cents on it. First, I will say that it is better than the second film in the series, but not quite as good as the first. It is a Michael Bay film, through and through, consisting primarily of action, explosions, and hot women. I consider this a good thing, myself and enjoyed it quite a bit. The 3D is good and was worth the money I think. There was a fairly big plot hole that I noticed, but I won't spoil it for everyone else.
Saturday I had a chance to watch the new Green Lantern film in 3D and I must say I really liked it. I won't say it's great, but it's much better than the critics are giving it credit for. Of course, most of them really don't "get" films of this genre anyway, so I really only read the reviews out of curiosity than anything. I'm not a big fan of most DC characters, so I only know the most basic facts of his origin, but what I do know of it, they seemed to stay close to. The visual effects were excellent, I thought, and the 3D was pretty good. I've noticed there seems to be two types of 3D. One kind give the impression of the action intruding out of the screen and into the theatre (the kind most people think of). The other provides a certain "depth" to what you see on the screen and it gives the film a certain texture. Green Lantern fell into the latter category, I think, which isn't necessarily bad, but some fans may have an issue with. I will say, without any spoilers, that it does set itself up for sequels and there is a scene after the end credits. Overall, I recommend seeing it.
I haven't updated lately due to a combination of stress and just being plain busy. I'm generally not one to complain or have personal pity parties, but my Mother's house has been foreclosed on. This is the house where I practically grew up and it's been in the family longer than I've been alive. When my Father passed two years ago there wasn't enough insurance money to finish paying it off. My Mother just couldn't keep up payments between not having consistent work and taking care of my nephew and oldest niece. This has been on my mind lately and, while I know all things must come to pass, it has been depressing. On a somewhat lighter note, I'm discontinuing "20 Top 20s". I've run out of ideas to post. Maybe next time I'll do "10 Top 20s" or similar.
I'll now list my favorite games. This list will include table top role playing games, miniature based games, video/ computer games, and board games. I already know that the list will be heavily dominated by role playing games, as this is one of my favorite pastimes. In some cases, multiple editions of a game may appear. In these cases, I'll be sure that the different editions will be different enough to constitute an entirely different game.
I decided to go ahead and follow up on the previous post with a list of my favorite villains. Much like the previous list, these characters are drawn from T.V., movies, comics, and literature. Some of these are villains in the classic sense of the term; others are monsters or other adversaries.
Now that I'm back from the convention, it's time to get back started with these lists. This time, I'll be listing my favorite actors and actresses. Some have won Acadamy Awards; others are B-movie performers. Action!
I returned yesterday from a water/waste water conference I attended for work. It was two days of classes and demonstrations from various government agencies and companies. I enjoyed myself, made some new work contacts, and spent time with some of our vendors and contractors in a bit more of a laid back setting. There were a couple of things I noted while I was there. There are basically one of two ways to become a water professional. One is to start at the bottom, as a laborer, meter reader, or such, and work your way up from there. This is how I began with the City. I started as a meter reader, became an operator, and then became Water Coordinator. Water professionals with this background tend to be rooted in tradition and resistant to both new technologies and work philosophies. The second type earn degrees and attend classes. They tend to have little practical experience in the field, but are often more open to new ideas and technology. I realize these stereotypes apply to many fields of work, but they were very much on display for me at the convention. Young, college graduate engineers debating with grizzled vets over the most efficient ways to repair water mains and lay sewer lines. It was interesting.
Tonight, I'm going to list my top twenty favorite musicians. Originally, I was going to make a list of vocalists only and a list of guitarists only. After thinking about it, I decided that would be too difficult and decided to use the all inclusive term musician.
Time for something a bit more serious, the list of the twenty most beautiful women. I must confess, the list is smack full of adult actresses and models and a large number are Asian, but I am a admitted pervert. I also didn't add any body I know in "the real world" as that could get awkward. Let's do this!
I am a bit late on this bandwagon, but I feel now is the best time for me to comment on the death of Osama bin Laden. It's been about a week and half since he was evidently killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan and I think that we, the people, have as much information as we're going to have, for now. I imagine, maybe years from now, more information will be made available once we, as a nation, and those directly involved are a bit more removed from the event and it enters the annals of history. Personally, I feel the world is a better place without him and I have no problem with him being "assassinated" as some like claim. At his direction, he's killed thousands of innocent people, both American and other nationalities. I also feel that, if it were a viable option to take him alive, the SEALs would have done so, but they did not. Some reports say that he was armed or reaching for a gun, in which case the lives of our servicemen were more important than he as a live captive. There's also the fact he or others in the compound may have been wearing explosive vests. Obviously, we know now that's not the case, but it's something that had to be taken into account. Military planners prefer calculated risks, not frivolously gambling the lives of their troops away and they probably felt any resistance should be dealt with using lethal force. Once again, I'm okay with that. Many people fear that terrorists will seek revenge for what we have done and they probably will try. I feel, however, that they were trying before and they'll continue in the future. The nature of being a superpower is that you illicit strong emotions. Everybody either loves you and seeks to emulate you or they hate you and want to destroy you. This has been true from the earliest city states to now and will be true in the future, as well.
Today's entry in the 20 Top 20s list is my favorite albums. This one may be difficult as I like a variety of music. A couple will be compilations where I'm not sure where the original songs came from, but I have tried to cite the original albums as often as possible. Here we go;
1. Live After Death (Iron Maiden)
2. Hangover Music (Black Label Society)
3. Boggy Depot (Jerry Cantrell)
4. Peace Sells, But Who's Buying (Megadeth)
5. Appetite For Destruction (Guns N' Roses)
6. Purple Rain OST (Prince)
7. Dirt (Alice in Chains)
8. Sonic Brew (Black Label Society)
9. Sound of White Noise (Anthrax)
10. We Sold Our Soul For Rock and Roll (Black Sabbath)
It's time for another exciting episode of 20 Top 20s. This time, we'll look at one of the more difficult subjects for me to write about...TV. I only have two or three shows I like per season and/ or per year. I just don't care much for TV. I will give this a go, however.
It's time to list my favorite books. I have hundreds of books; thousands if you count comic books and magazines. I will list, in no particular order, my favorite books. I will not include comics unless it is a graphic novel or a storyline compiled into a single volume. Some of these, particularly the Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft entries, have material that have been released in other forms. In these cases, I will name the book as it appears in my collection. I will name authors when I can.
1.Legend (David Gemmel)
2.The Black Company (Glen Cook)
3. A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin)
4.The Coming of Conan (Robert E. Howard)
5.The Twelve Caesars (Suetonius)
6.The Gallic Wars (Julius Caesar)
7. Warfare in Antiquity (Hans Delbruck)
8.Infantry Attacks (Erwin Rommell)
9.To Conquer Hell/The Meuse-Argonne 1918 (Edward G. Lengel)
10.Rangers at Dieppe (Jim DeFelice)
11. The Art of War (Sun Tzu)
13. Mosby's Rangers (Jeffry D. Wert)
14.Death in the A Shau Valley (Larry Chambers)
15. Ripcord (Keith Nolan)
16.The Conquering Sword of Conan (Robert E. Howard)
17.Dreams of Terror and Death (H.P. Lovecraft)
18. The Call of Cthulhu and Other Tales (H.P. Lovecraft)
I went to the theatre to see Thor today and I must say, I really liked it. Thor ties with the Hulk as being my favorite comic book character. A good Thor tale is epic, it's bombastic, and, dare I say, legendary. I won't go quite that far with the movie, but it was excellent. The Asgard and Jotunheim set were grand; they felt god-like in their scope. The characters true to their comic counterparts with some tweaking for the story to come together as it should. I highly recommend it.
I've decided to do a daily top twenty list. This will be done partly as a mental exercise, but also an attempt to get into the habit of blogging. None of these lists will be in any particular order as many of these entries are subject to my whims. On another front, I should have two new short stories soon. One will be another tale of Barius and the other will be a Western/ Horror/ Action tale. Now, onto my first list, songs. These will be not only in no specific order, but I'm limiting myself to no more than two songs per performer or group ( I could probably fill the list with just Black Label Society, Guns N Roses, and Alice in Chains songs). Here we go;
1. Whiter Shade of Pale (BLS cover, Harum Procul original)
2.Estranged (Guns N Roses)
3.Angry Again (Megadeth)
4.Born to Lose (Black Label Society)
5. Luchenbach, Texas (Waylon Jennings)
6. There Was A Time (Guns N Roses)
7. A Tout La Monde (Megadeth featuring Cristina Scabbia)
8. N.I.B. (Black Sabbath)
9. No Excuses (Alice in Chains)
10. Inside Out (Anthrax)
11. Fueled (Anthrax)
12. Wicked World (Black Sabbath)
13. Rain When I Die ( Alice in Chains)
14. Seven Spanish Angels ( Willie Nelson and Ray Charles)
15. Pancho and Lefty ( Willie Nelson featuring Merle Haggard)
16. Devil By His Side (Jerry Cantrell)
17. Hurt A Long Time (Jerry Cantrell)
18. Mother (Danzig)
19. Clean My Wounds (Corrosion of Conformity)
20. Drowning in a Daydream (Corrosion of Conformity)
Another weekend gone by with little accomplished. I am working on another short story following Barius after his desertion from the Roman Army after Teutoborg massacre. I hope to have it up soon. Writing's much tougher than I ever imagined it would be. Some of the problems are obvious; such as semi-original story, characters, etc. Other problems are a bit more subtle, but no less annoying. The one problem I keep having is writing myself into a corner with grammar. I'll express my ideas to a point and realize that my current narrative structure won't allow me to move forward and still make sense. I then have to either figure out either a different way to express my thoughts, or go back and make re-writes. I realize most writers, many far better than I'll ever be, go through the same thing, but it can be frustrating.