MonthDecember 2018

My first day with Daily Burn

I signed up for Daily Burn today. They are well-reviewed, it works on my Roku (or anything with a browser) and had a generous month-long free trial. I doubled the trial with a Groupon for 60 days free. I always look for a coupon, a promo code or a better deal when I can. The two pricing tiers are Standard for $15/month and Premium for $27/month. I don’t entirely understand the differences in the two tiers, but it seems like Standard would be more than enough as it seems to offer 20 workout series including the 365 show. They produce a 30-minute workout show every day of the year and stream it live at 9am. It’s then available on-demand after that.

I downloaded the app to our living room Roku and connected it to my account. (Sidenote: I did not have to sign into service on Roku, so you can use a generated password without having to enter it using the Roku remote or Roku app). The free trial is for the Premium membership. It provides access to a huge list of workouts and programs. It’s a little overwhelming at first. This is where the Premium access looks good for the amount of choice, but I don’t need 600 workout videos especially when I am on the beginner/intermediate end of workouts. I’m not going to do anything with hardcore or extreme in the name.

I am at “fat guy, you’ll feel better if you workout today” level.

Since I didn’t want to explore the pile of workouts available to me, I tried the Daily Burn 365 since it was 30 minutes and meant for anyone. It was a good workout. I was dripping and dragging by the end of it. But I was able to do every move in the program today. That’s a major accomplishment. The only thing I couldn’t do was a mountain climber move where you bring your knees to the opposite hand. I’m too fat to pull that move off, but I was able to do a modified version of it and felt good.

I like that there is a daily workout show I can do. That’s part of my problem with doing a workout program. Eventually you do the same routine for the 9th time and you know the same jokes and the witty banter is no longer enjoyable. I like that with a daily show, I get variety both in workouts and the banter. The latter is a small point but it’s something I notice.

Previously, I have only done the Beachbody on Demand workouts. Of those, I have done their 21 Day Fix (a variable-length introductory workout for the entire body), Core De Force (a 45 minute MMA-inspired workout that left me panting on the floor), Cize (a hip-hop dance program) and Country Heat (a country music dance program). There are plenty of Beachbody programs available but there are so many above my level, I will never attempt them. The P90 programs all live there. Lots of extreme and hard-core workouts. Lots of things for people who don’t look like they need to workout because they’re skinny and in amazing shape.

Show me a chubby person trying this workout. That’s the one I want to see. That’s where I need to start. I enjoyed the Beachbody on Demand workouts, especially with the in-set videos that focus on the person performing the modified activities. This was really helpful since sometimes they’ll talk about the modified exercise but will never show it, or show it for less than a rep so I’m left unsure of how to properly modify this crazy exercise I physically cannot do.

I understand it’s called Beachbody and they want to give me a beach body. However, I’m starting with a body that could pass for a sand dune. I am hoping the Daily Burn has more for me at my level. Even if I stick with the 30 minute daily workouts, it will be a huge improvement in my life. That’s the other hard part for me. When I finished a program with Beachbody, it was hard to decide where to go next. There was no obvious next step. I didn’t want to re-do the same workout program because I wanted something different. But the difficulty curve is so drastic, there’s not many options. For awhile, I was switching between something intense like Core de Force and Yoga on alternating days.

I hope with the 365 program, this will help keep me active and engaged. In addition to the huge amount of workout programs available to me. I hope when I finish something, there will be somewhere to go on a smaller difficulty jump. It’s only Day 1 and I’m getting ahead of myself. There’s so much about the service and programs I don’t know.

But I am optimistic after my first day. It felt good. I’ve got two months to decide if this is something worth paying for or not. By then I’ll know if it’s worth my time and effort or not. But there’s so much content, even if we opt for the Standard tier, it will be more than enough content to keep us engaged and moving.

WonkaPiercer – A Film Theory

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of my favorite movies ever made. I voraciously read through every children’s book Roald Dahl wrote. The story of Charlie Bucket is one of my favorite stories.

The story of Snowpiercer is that of a post-apocalyptic train racing through a frozen world. The passengers of that train are the last remaining humans in a world frozen by humanity.

Are these two films related? Is Snowpiercer a sequel to Willy Wonka?

I don’t know (and neither do you) but it’s fun to think about. I will link two videos below. If you’re familiar with both films it will be a fun ride through a theory that is either completely true and compelling. Or a silly walk through finding correlations because you’re looking for them.

Why SNOWPIERCER is a sequel to WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.
Snowpiercer = Willy Wonka Sequel? (Rhino Stew followup)

Choose Your Own Adventure Movie

I loved Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books as a kid. I would always keep a finger in the last page so I could go back when I died. Or was lost.

I always wanted a movie to change endings or give me a different experience as I went through it. I want to talk about a movie only to find other people had seen a different version of the same film. I thought about what it would be like to have an alternate ending shown at every X showings of the film. You watch a movie expecting the ending, only to have it change without explanation. Then on the next viewing, it would be back to normal.

28 Days Later had different endings. Some of which made it into theaters. But Bandersnatch completes the vision.

Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch is the realization of my childhood choose-your-own-adventure wishes.

Is it the best movie? No. Is there a lot of foreshadowing and winks to the audience in the narrative? Yes. Am I absolutely struggling to get back to a certain choice I’ve only found once and failed? YES!

I love following the story and choosing a separate path with each viewing. I am sure there are entire branches I’ve not seen yet and I want too. I am starting to pick up on clues. While I haven’t gotten a notebook out yet, I’m tempted to make notes on my various viewings. Of course, Redditors are already on the case. But I am not ready to have the answers handed to me. I want to live the story over and over again. I want to see what I can find on my own before I go looking to the hivemind for help.

I’m loving the experience on the iPad with headphones. It feels very intimate as I push Stefan through the world.

Video games keep us in touch

While I don’t play Fortnite, this resonated deeply with me because video games keep me connected to my friends as an adult.

I have a small group of friends I play with regularly, who are scattered around New York City — they’re all busy with their creative, interesting lives, and we don’t see each other enough because we all have shit to do. But we talk fairly often, the rotating four or five of us. About our days, about our feelings, about what’s really going on. For us, Fortnite is an excuse to talk on the phone. It’s an excuse to stay connected.

Via Fortnite was 2018’s most important social network

This is why I play [Destiny](http://destinythegame.com/). I have a [group of friends](http://fr0zen.party/) I met through the game. And I will never be able to hang out with them in Texas and Missouri and England and Australia.

I barely find time to see my friend that lives an hour away in the same state. But gaming keeps us connected. It’s a reason to talk. It’s a place to vent and ask for advice. It’s a place to compare horror stories and find reassurance.

It’s a place to laugh with people. It’s an oasis in adulthood.

Christmas 2018

The Season of Perpetual Food

I have a mixed history with Christmas. I need my alone time and the holidays are filled with people and activities and socializing and more people and travel. Thankfully, this year the travel was done pre-Christmas so I didn’t have to go anywhere more than a few miles to my sister-in-law for the morning to view the ceremonial small child unwrapping presents.

Which we did and had am excellent breakfast there as we played Headbanz. It worked pretty well and showed how hard some of us guessed at very easy items. The premise of the game is you put a card on your head which you can’t see and ask yes/no questions to figure out what it is.

I learned that I overthink the answers and need to keep it to simple things. Example cards were Giraffe, Train and Sandwich.

I struggled mightily with butterfly after determining it had wings and flew, but was not a bird or a bat, or Fly (another card we’d seen earlier).

The main event is of course, the Christmas Dinner. This year we hosted and my wife worked up the menu including a broccoli salad (very fresh and not filled with mayo), roasted potatoes (because the Big Potato mandates their inclusion at every holiday meal) spinach dip with fresh veggies in a sourdough loaf bowl (because you need fuel to prepare the rest of the meal).

The main course would be a double-header of grilled salmon and grilled turkey legs.Grilled SalmonGrilled Turkey Legs

It was my second time grilling turkey legs and my first time grilling salmon. I largely winged the salmon and focused on not over-cooking it. My key to any properly cooked meat is to remove it from the grill about 10 degrees before it hits the recommended temperature. It’s still going to cook inside and instead of dry, tough meat, you have a juicy, moist meal to enjoy.

We set the table. Complete with plants and a small child.

Christmas dinner set at the table with my nephew present.
Christmas dinner set at the table with my nephew present.

Christmas was a success. We sat in front of the fire and played some more Headbanz and visited as adults who have eaten too many delicious foods do on holidays.

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