Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
It was really hard at first because you get so hungry throughout the day. After the first two weeks it was a breeze though. My hunger subsided in-between meals and I got on a pretty regular schedule. How I began was cutting out unnecessary calories. I already drank diet soda so that wasn't something I could change. Things like big snacks in-between meals got the axe though. I also cut out big sides to the main parts of my meals. I am now on a pretty regular "diet" of a small breakfast, a decent lunch, and a big dinner. I put diet in quotations because I really just consider this how I eat now, not a temporary way of cutting weight. And that's really how it has to be in order for this to work.
My breakfast usually consists of Eggo Cinnamon Toast waffles. I have 2 each day with nothing on them. Trust me, they're that good. Lunch I have a sandwich with little or no side. If you have been following my Facebook posts you know that I frequent Subway. That's not because of the advertising of losing weight from Jared, but more that it provides low calorie food and is also my favorite fast food restaurant to begin with. Dinner is most of the time at home. Jenna and I have found recipes online that are not only delicious, but low in calories. As long as you keep breakfast and lunch low though, you can have a hearty dinner and not feel bad about it.
Watching every single calorie is very important the first two or three weeks. It lets you know how many calories you have left for the day and gives you a feel for what is acceptable food to eat. Trust me, we've found some food that is just jaw-dropping in calories that we used to eat all the time. It's not to say that you can never have high calorie foods or go out to eat any more. You just cut calories in certain meals if you know you want to have a bunch during a certain one.
The two tools we use most to help us are iGoogle which has a free app called "Food and Calorie Finder"
Jenna started probably 3 weeks after I did and is up to 17 pounds lost. I started back in early September-ish and just hit 30 pounds lost. It's an amazing feeling to have old clothes fit you and have people notice that you're losing weight by asking you.
Back in July I started researching the world of building my own arcade. It’s very fascinating what people have done and can do to say the least. There were so many paths and options I could take. It took me about two weeks just to get a feel of what all needed to go into it and where to get everything.
First I had to decide whether I wanted to use an emptied out original cabinet, build one from scratch, or fork out the money for pre-cut pieces. The emptied out cabinet offers true form and is pretty cheap, but could lack quality due to wear and tear. Building one from scratch gives self satisfaction of doing the job and let’s imaginations run wild, but could lack in quality depending on carpentry skills and requires quite a bit of garage space. Pre-cut arcade frames look fantastic and professional, but cost quite a bit.
Next was the decision on what type of monitor to use. There’s the original arcade monitors that will obviously give a true feeling of an arcade, but can be pricey and are also known for electrical shock even when unplugged. In some cases I read where people died from this capacitor electrocution. I could put in a television that would give me an arcade feel and is cheap, but it can be difficult to find the right size monitor that has s-video and power return (more on power return later). The other option is a computer monitor which works well since there is a PC running it anyways so it obviously hooks up, but it can cause sound delays that really take away from the arcade feeling.
I also had to decide on a control panel where all the joysticks and buttons reside. With any choice of cabinet, I could choose from a number of control panel options. I could buy one flat out which again looks professional, but is definitely costly. I could build one which requires a lot of know-how on running wires and would have to convert to USB eventually. I could also buy an original arcade control panel. This would give me original feel, but limits you to one style as far as where the buttons are and I would still have to convert to USB.
So my decisions were an emptied out original cabinet, a TV for the monitor, and a purchased custom control panel. The cabinet I bought off of Craigslist was in really nice condition and was super cheap. I haven't purchased the TV monitor or custom control panel yet because my money has been pretty much frozen since we started house shopping. The TV monitor is the safer route and let's me go up to a large screen without ridiculous weight like a computer monitor. It will need power return which means when I power the arcade on, the TV will turn on and go to the correct input that it was last on without me having to touch anything. LCD's would have been nice but I did a test with one and the choppy sound lag was unbearable. The control panel is going to be the most expensive part, but it will allow me to put the buttons in the places I want and in the colors that I want.
I bought a PC off of Ebay to run the arcade. The motherboard was DOA and so I got a refund for it, but got to keep the tower. I used the refund to buy a new mobo and a faster processor for it, so it worked out. I also bought a wired Xbox 360 controller to add to the one I already had to provide controls to the games until I can buy the control panel. I also picked up a smart power-strip from Target that allows me to shut everything off by shutting down the PC. This is done through it's master/slave power sockets. The only other purchase thus far is a nice wireless keyboard and mouse from Logitech off of NewEgg that provided quick access and easy hiding when I needed it.
As far as graphics for the cabinet, I have picked out Mortal Kombat II vinyls for the sides and control panel, and a plexi-glass marquee for the top. Mortal Kombat II was and still is my favorite arcade of all times. I play it constantly already on the setup I have now.
Currently it is an unfinished project, but after we move into the house this things gonna be perfect. I will blog about the finished project and provide more links on where everything came from and the prices of each component. Here are the pictures of the arcade currently.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
If anyone knows where the Wizard of Tampa is please let me know. I gotta couple things I'd like to ask him for. Really? They couldn't come up with a better logo than this? Pretty unoriginal. Unless they were trying for that look, in which case I think someone may owe likeness rights money.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Thursday is going to be sensory overload for me. We are going to see the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte. I saw the last "home" game here in Tampa in 2005 during interleague play and it was total internal euphoria and personal paradox at the same time. In a way, I wish these two teams were in the same league so I could see more games versus each other, but I guess it makes it that much more exciting when they do. Go Rays! Go Cards!...head's gonna explode!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I finally got 'em all. I went to the eye doctor today and ordered a new pair of glasses. I haven't had a pair since I was about 14 and have worn contacts day in and day out since. I think my eyes need a rest. I wear my contacts for about 16 hours a day on average, sometimes more. I never really wanted to get a pair of glasses because I didn't feel like paying a whole bunch of money for something I might not wear all of the time. Well, since I have vision insurance now, I figured why not? I decided on this pair of Izod 375's in blue. This is the ONLY picture I could find of them on the net. Unbelievable. It's like the company tells these sites they can only use this standard picture. I really like them because they have a plastic side to the frame. My last pair were cheap metal and would bend, which pretty much warped them for life. I'll post again once I have them to write a better review of how they feel and look.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Getting ready to leave for my endoscopy today, and I find it funny that I'm not actually worried about the tube they're going to be sticking down my throat. I'm actually more concerned about what I might say while on the anesthesia. You know when you have a night of drinking and are like "man, I wish I wouldn't have said that"? Well, this is like being super drunk, but around people with Ph.D's. Wish me luck.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Yes, Saturday the Dane Train was at full speed. We had excellent seats about 20 rows from the stage on the lower floor. We even got to go in the VIP section for our food since we had floor seats. Dane was awesome of course, but I was surprised at how good his openers were. I found myself quoting them just as much the next day as I was him. I have video from the show but will not post it. He is coming out with a CD/DVD with this material and they were filming here so I know it will be on it. If you want to see it, buy it when it comes out.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Every now and then when Jenna and I come home, there's something wrong in the house. There's poop on the carpet, there's garbage on the floor all chewed up, etc. and we usually can't tell which one of our dogs did it. Well, we came home to this the other day. I'm pretty sure we know which one did it.
Although I knew the definition, I have learned where the phrase "dog tired" came from since I started working from home. Every day, I sit in my chair at my desk and this is what I have right behind me alllll day. Our two dogs are the sleepin-est loafs I've ever seen.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
It has been 3 years 4 months and 24 days since the last time I saw Dane Cook live, and now I am just 7 days away from seeing him again. Back then I still worked at the Casino overnight on the 9:30pm - 630am shift. My friend Jesse and I found out that Dane was going to be at the Sundome at USF for FREE! We couldn't believe it, however, time was not on my side in this situation. The show was on a Thursday and my schedule was a Sunday through Wednesday. So, I woke up that Wednesday around 1pm and did my usual day to day stuff, and then went to work at 9:30pm. I got off work at 6:30am and waited for Jesse to get out at 7:30. We then went straight to the Sundome on Fowler and got in line. We were not the first ones there. In fact we were about 20th in line. So we waited all day there until the 7:30pm door opening. By that time I had been up for about 30 hours and was definitely feeling it. We got inside and ended up getting 4th row from the stage. They were amazing seats, and still free. The show started about an hour later and let me tell you, I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I kept falling asleep in the chair and was 4-wheelin' pretty bad. I definitely missed all the USF hoopla ra ra stuff at the beginning of the night. I also missed quite a bit of Dane's opener, Jay Davis' show unfortunately. When Dane came on it was so loud in there I finally was up. After his act he mentioned that there was some 8500 people in the dome and it was Jay's birthday, so he wanted everyone to meet him at Bennigan's next door after the show. Jay even came out and called Bennigan's on speakerphone to reserve a party for 10,000. Everybody was cracking up. Unfortunately I was so tired I told Jesse there's no way I'm going to Bennigan's just to see if they show up. I went home and got some much needed rest. When I woke up the next day and checked Jay's myspace page, you guessed it, him and Dane and about 3500 people showed up at Benningans. Unbelievable. I missed out. It was an unforgettable show none the less, but I missed out on a great after party. Just a little funny note - Jay's page says they were at UCF.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Friday morning I'm working from home. I'm sitting at my desk while Jenna, in her cold ridden-Nyquil doused state, is sleeping heavily in the bedroom. Well, Nathan is up and wandering around the house aimlessly. He keeps lookin' at me like "what can be so important on that computer that you can't play Rock Band 2 with me?". I hear him head off to the bedroom one more time to try and wake mom out of her medicinal coma and don't hear anything for a good 10 or 15 minutes. He comes back and holds his hand out to me. Well, every day when I take a shower, I grab a multivitamin out of the medicine cabinet and then go into the bedroom to get dressed. I usually set the vitamin down on the nightstand or our dresser while I put some clothes on. Since I have the short term memory of Tom Hanks in that old Saturday Night Live skit, I usually end up forgetting my vitamin until I see it later that night. The vitamin is what Nathan hands me. It's kind of slimy to the touch so I look at him for a disgusted look because I know I almost gag at the taste just from taking it with a glass of water. The half second it's on my tongue is enough to leave that fowl taste in my mouth for hours. He doesn't have a look. But it's wet, I'm sure he tried it. I ask him, "did you put this in your mouth?". He says, "there ya go daddy, not candy." I lost it! I said "very good Bubby, not candy." "Daddy's. Mehcine. Not candy." I couldn't believe how cute of a moment came out of one the parent's instinctual fears: kid getting into the medicine.