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Inspired by this.

  • Food and water. OK – really bars with pb and/or chocolate, of if that’s not possible pb and apples, and tea (hot or cold).
  • Shelter. A sweater and a towel. The sweater for when it gets too cold, the towel for when it gets too hot. Eww. No. When I go into the bathroom and wash my face – I prefer the feel of a towel over paper. Bonus: wrap your near-frozen water bottle in the towel. Keeps the bottle’s sweat from damaging things in your bag and provides you with a cool (as in cold) towel as needed.
  • Empty bag. At least one for swag & purchases.
  • Wallet. With actual cash along side all the magical cards (with very limited magical abilities) that let me buy things I want so I can fill the empty bag (not really a goal, but some years it seems like one).
  • Medicines. The typical kinds that I need to keep relatively sane and mostly healthy. I’d rather add my camera to this list than medicines, but if I had to choose – most people would insist on the meds.

Food blogs and exercise trackers;  two things that help me lose weight. Also, two things I truly hate updating.

It had been my intention to post that information here (I’ve tried this before) rather than at the numerous other sites that lets me just pump in the numbers. I can  (typically) remember what I ate yesterday and maybe the day before; but never more than three days back in any level of detail. The same goes for the gym & health symptoms. Tracking anything over a period of months requires detailed notes. and reviewing the information from a hand-held book is painful (at best).

Gory details after the cut.

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After watching this videoI went looking for console emulators. While I still have my (borrowed) Sega Genesis and old Colico vision; I rarely plug them in any more. I still love the games, but am often too lazy to try and get them to work with my TV.
Cabling & lighting video for the cabinet: Suggest using plastic grommets over the holes to run the wiring on the back. Definitely need a Belkin surge protector (special for wall worts that get extra warm).
Cabinet part 3 (video-swithcing portion)Atlona video switchers. Don’t think they can be shipped to Canada. Sigh.
How to play old school console games on your computerThe article describes how to find and run an emulator, then seek out and load a ROM (a game). While not for everyone, this might be the perfect game solution for a laggy laptop with limited ram and graphics. Besides, how else are you going to replay the games that you could never beat as a kid. Golden axe here I come!  Oooh. They have Gauntlet too. CoolRom is mentioned in the article above and it is indeed a great index of available ROMs.

So, for the first time in two weeks – we made it into the gym on a Monday night.

  • 30 minutes cardio (recumbent stationary bike)
  • Chest  3×10 45 lbs (chest press machine)
  • Back 3×10 45lbs (seated row)
  • Shoulders 3×10 25 lbs (double shoulder press machine)
  • Biceps 3×10 30 lbs (bar/cable pull-up)
  • Triceps 2×10 20 lbs  (cable pull-down)
  • 10 minutes cool down (walking on the track)

It started to rain before we headed home and continued until well after we got there.  Tomorrow should be the lower body workout. Our goal is to go to the gym 4 days this week. I’ll have to weigh myself tomorrow as it’s been a while.

Last night I got myself an exercise program at the Y. I went in to the gym with big plans of what I’d ask for (core workouts, not individual exercises, focusing on bars not machines) and ended up going with what was offered.

I’m back to a three-day workout that involves muscle-isolating exercises focusing primary on the larger muscles of the body mixed with 30 minutes of cardio per session. I’m to follow this routine for six weeks, then the gym will call me to schedule a check-up appointment. I wanted a plan, something I could follow each visit that would allow me to measure my activities and my improvements over time. And that’s what I got. The instructor was very clear on form and technique (my form and pacing is excellent, but I need to work on my breathing), but frankly a lot of the machines I’m using I’ve used many times before. Different gyms, different instructors – similar workouts.

The interesting thing was that the trainer mentioned he was a diabetic on pills (a type-II diabetic I’m guessing). His diabetes was under control because he worked out frequently. He was very fit. We spoke a bit about the disease, and I hope I convinced him I understood my condition (diabetic out-of-control seeking to become healthy). He was focused on me losing weight through aerobic exercise and then muscle-building to replace the fat I lose. I was focused on figuring out how much weight would be a strain to work through; and proved again that I have weak arms and shoulders, a strong back and very strong legs and thighs.

Unfortunately, I’m supposed to keep the plan at the gym. This might make it a bit difficult to track my progress on my blog — but I shall see what I can do. When I go on Thursday, I shall have to take notes and weigh myself.

Monday, October 3rd, 2011. Time in gym: 45 minutes

  • 30 mins low-rider bike (cross-country program, resistance 10 max).
  • Bench press. 2 sets 15, raw bar.
  • Pull-down machine. 3 sets 15, 45 lbs.
  • Cable-machine triceps pull-down. 3 sets 15, 25 lbs.
  • Cable-machine biceps curl. 3 sets 15, 25 lbs.
  • Mat stretching. 5 minutes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011. Time in gym: 1h15m

  • Session with an instructor.

New gym memberships lead to madness. Found a site that offers good training programs. This, naturally, led me to the DIY Planner pages for workouts. Now, if I can only increase the amount of protein in my diet while reducing carbs — all will be well.

And yes, I am going to the gym today.

Do you think I should post my workout logs like this guy? I’d be curious to see how it goes over time. It’s a decent way of archiving material and (as I know from this guy) posting regularly about your weight loss at least keeps you honest.

The Montreal Transit system (STM) uses refillable cards (called Opus cards) that allow you to buy tickets (1, 2, 6, or 10), 1- or 3-day pass, and  a weekly or monthly pass. Opus cards should be registered in case of loss. Using the Opus card is as easy as losing one.

It’s coming.

In the run-up to Otakuthon 2010, I know a lot of people are a lot more busy than I am.

Otakuthon, Montreal’s own anime convention, is a three-day affair. Held over a weekend, it contains everything you would expect from a convention: art to view, stuff for sale, panel discussions, games, costumes, a mascarade contest, workshops, movies, and dancing. While it’s focus is predominantly anime; its themes expand on the greater genres of science fiction and fantasy, philosophy, science (political and otherwise) and even religion.

The convention is held at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montreal’s largest convention center, located at the edge of china town and the old port. Surprisingly, the large number of costumed attendees do not raise much interest when walking through china town, and I suspect they will fit right in this year with the wide variety of downtown festivals that are ongoing this weekend.

My very small part in Otakuthon is to run the Garage Sale table in their exhibit hall. The same job I’ve held with them for the last two years (starting in 2008). The Garage Sale table allows attendees to drop off their goods to be sold and then walk away. Later they can collect any unsold goods and their revenues (less 10%). It’s a pretty simple process, but with the growth of Otakuthon it’s become rather manpower intensive.

Even though I have only a passing interest in anime, I love Otakuthon. The attendees have such energy and verve. I can always find something new at the convention (a new topic, a new movie or TV series, new comics/manga) to entertain and enlighten me. Admittedly, most of my time is spent in the Exhibition hall (with the dealers and the artists), watching over my table. My breaks are mostly for meals, and with china town so very close — I eat very well during this convention.  But I do manage to attend a few events and buy a few things over the weekend. The variety of stuff in the dealer’s room is amazing, and along artist alley (where artists set up their own table and sell prints, crafts, and other fine things) I’m always able to find something to buy.

This week I’ve been somewhat frantically trying to schedule drop offs of goods for the garage sale with various attendees. I also hope many of them will send me their forms electronically (so I have less data-entry to perform).  It already looks like there will be a good turnout; with some returning members and some new.

The madness begins Thursday night, August 13th, at 5pm — when those of us that have pre-registered can pick up their badges. I’ve already been asked if people can drop off stuff on Thursday night; but we have no place to store things until Friday–so for this year, at least, the answer is no.

Friday, August 14th. Registration opens at noon! The garage sale drop offs start at 3 and continue until 5:30, at which point we move up to the Exhibit hall and the table opens. I strongly suspect people will continue to drop stuff off after that point. Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep up.

It comes to a close on Sunday night at 5pm. By then all the unsold goods have either been donated to the volunteers fund, or picked up and the monies divided.

The convention is a lot of fun. Even if you’re not into anime, I strongly suggest you give Otakuthon a try. I’ll be there, and I hope you will be too.

Part 4.

Read the previous parts here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Saturday morning the two tables and eight chairs arrived promptly at 9am. The front stairs leading to the door of my apartment looked like a bomb had blown up atop them. The surface concrete, support walls and guide rails were all gone. A team of 5 men had been bent on their destruction since Thursday, and had done a great job of reducing 7 concrete stairs and a landing to a slope with occasional toe holds and (just that day) a 4′ hole all around the edge of the stairs. Even the walkway from the street had been removed.

The delivery men from Breau & Martineau were absolute Aces. They double-parked the truck between the workers flatbed and their van. They scoffed at my offering to use the back door, and brought everything up licketty-split. One table and its chairs went into the kitchen, while the other was moved into the freshly-prepared office. I had to hurry and move the various cords out of their way.

We’d been warned that they wouldn’t be taking off their shoes, but with my steam cleaner at the ready — I was prepared. Surprisingly very little mud was tracked in (it hadn’t started to rain…yet). Once we agreed everything was there, and the tables were at least the right size and color, I gave them each some cold ice tea and a tip.  They left smiling, so I think I got it right.

That morning had already been a whirlwind of activity. We’d unpacked, cleaned, and prepared the office for the chair’s arrival. My SO was aces at putting things together; still the process took him 6 hours (with my help). I was on clean-up duty. I gathered and separated all the cardboard from the styrofoam and plastic; bagging it for the eventual eco-center run.

That night we were both too pooped to do much. We made an effort to go out for dinner to our favorite Italian restaurant (Vinnie Gambini’s); but conversation was strained and both of us were having trouble keeping our eyes open. We should have gone to my friend’s party; but just the idea of socializing made us more and more drowsy.

The next morning we were up early again. We went to the eco-center to drop off the Honda-load of plastic, paper and styrofoam. Then off to do some shopping for table cloths (Sears), and other stuff for the apartment. We didn’t get all the running around done, but we were back at home in time to clean the floors of the paper and plastic dust, do the dishes, and put the tablecloths on the tables.

Friends started to arrive around 1pm. No one took me up on using the back gallery to get into the house and instead, everyone braved the muddy front walk and ramp/stairs. There were oohs and awws as people inspected the “new” place. The few who had helped me move had last seen the office as a pile of miscellaneous boxes and the front-room as a storage of wall-to-wall furniture with almost narry a place to sit. Now the front-room is a nice TV room and the office is our gaming room, with the walls lined with bookshelves, the computer desk against the entry wall, and a nice new table and chairs with a bright red tablecloth in the center.

Fortunately the day was fairly cool with good breezes. But we had fans at the ready just in case. People were very polite in ignoring the dump room (our second bedroom) and dodging the shelving units in the hall (that don’t fit and are wider than the carpet we’d recently laid down).

All in all, a happy-ish conclusion. The only thing that would have made it better was our being able to attend the party. Then again, snoring is rarely appreciated at these things. 😀

Read the previous parts here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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