There are two types of beings in the universe: those who dance, and those who do not.

-Drax Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

  • Been keeping up with the pencilling a page a day approach to drawing out comics.  Working more with a hybrid workflow on my comics now.  Draw it out in pencil, then go to the computer for finished art/lettering.  Works well for time management.  I’m liking that approach right now.
  • Saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  Liked it well enough.  Do think they got a bit overboard with the during/after credit stuff.  Just my opinion.  I just feel like the Marvel movies are losing the magic they once had.  Like they’ve been a lot more hit or miss in quality lately.  Might just be me though.
  • I’ve seen this quote Chris Pratt made about working out.  When he got the part of Peter Quill, he actually put himself through a fairly intense program to get into the shape he was for these movies.  It goes, “Six months seems like a long time unless you’re looking backwards… all you have to do is just a few things everyday and remain consistent, and time will fly just as fast as it flies if you’re working hard or not. If you just cut the crap out of your diet, and if you spend an hour a day doing something physical that will make you sweat, six months will pass by, you will feel better mentally, physically, spiritually — it all is tied together.”  Very true.  In the time since I became single I really ramped up my routines at the gym and straightened out a few things diet wise and it has made a huge difference.
  • Random question that occurred to me:  Why do we glorify breasts and butts?  I mean, functionally speaking I understand.  Ideal traits for reproduction.  The breasts are essentially fat and if they are small they get bigger when they are fulfilling their purpose.  But in general, is there really a serious benefit to bigger breasts?  As as for butts… admitted a well formed and solid backside is a sign of good physical conditioning.  I like looking at a squat booty as much as anybody.  I really do, but why is it that we focus on that?  We have to find the best attributes, but shouldn’t we appreciate the whole?
  • Finishing up my review for work.  I handed it in, but my supervisor wanted me to revise, go into more detail about a few things.  I’m almost tempted to post it online for public consumption.  Doesn’t really matter they won’t take it seriously anyway.
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Do you know what thinking is? It’s just a fancy word for changing your mind.

–The Doctor in Doctor Who “The Zygon Inversion”

 

  • Continuing with a previous post: Freedom of Speech.  I was thinking about the Bill Maher/Yiannopoulos interview and a point occurred to me.  I like to think that the whole point behind Freedom of Speech is the exchange of ideas.  Put forth new ideas that open people’s minds and get them thinking.  There’s a difference between trying to pick a fight and putting forth a new idea.  Ideas encourage thought and discussion.  Whenever I’ve tried to write seriously about any topic–guns, religion, relationships, politics, social issues, etc.–I’m really just trying to give people new ideas to think about.  I don’t necessarily overburden myself with a notion of being right or wrong.  And any of those ideas I usually think on more after I write about them and would be willing to have a discussion about.  I know that probably was never really possible for some people and probably never will be, but I wouldn’t mind discussion where possible.  Being challenged helps new ideas to form.
  • I’m pretty impressed that I’m holding steady at 175 pounds right now.  My diet and exercise routines seem to be working effectively enough and I’m ramping up the cardio lately.  Made it to 6.5 minutes on the elliptical machine.  Can’t wait to kayak and hike again.  I pretty much cut out cardio completely for the winter under the rational that I’m on my feet and running around for most of my eight hours at work every night so that should amount to something and I was trying to gain some significant weight.  Still not where I want to be in regards to sleep, but there’s always something to work on.
  • Trying to figure out how one is really supposed to celebrate President’s Day.  What is one supposed to do?
  • Lately, I’ve been giving more thought to bringing back Chlorine and Acid.  I almost did a special page about something that was going on at work, but events unfolded so it was unnecessary.  I feel like it is needed again.  Going to do some page layouts and maybe redraw some of the early pages.  Maybe even make some use of various reference pictures I took.

Meal Prep

March 18, 2016

Meal Preparations.  Kinda touched on this with the 80% of a plan post.  It’s bodybuilding thing where they make most of their meals in advance with carefully measured protein, caloric intake, carbs, and whatever else might be worth worrying about.  I occasionally try some of those recipes with varying levels of success.  Usually for cookies.  Tastes better than one might expect, although cooking with protein powder can be a bitch.  Also figuring sweeteners can be a pain in the ass.  Stevia is way too strong for my tastes.  Anyway, just wanted to go into a bit more detail about my food plan as I try to maximize my efforts in eating better.  Breakfast doesn’t change much.  Yogurt and Oatmeal, although I might try to diversify that a bit, incorporate more fruits.  Snacks obviously happen.

Lunches will probably remain pretty light, likely a smaller portion of dinner from the previous night.  Something like Cheese Steaks make sense.  Basically cut up the ingredients, toss them in a frying pan and go.  Chips or something on the side.

Today I made my usual standby of chicken parm with kale and a heap of garlic.  A bit of heavy thing to make, but I like it.  Pretty basic, most of the work is slicing or breaking up the chicken, garlic or kale.  Solid meal there.  I usually use a 1-1.5 pounds of chicken, a pound of pasta, a pound of pasta sauce–usually Newman’s Own of some variety–a package of mushrooms, a bundle of kale and an arbitrary amount of garlic.  Like I said, most of the work in cutting the chicken and garlic–might invest in a garlic press to make that a bit faster–and breaking up the kale.  Might take twenty minutes to a half hour–depending on organization and prep time–with most of it just stirring the frying pan.  Those amounts might make five to six largish portions, though I could potentially stretch it to seven or eight if I tried.  Would like to get this going with garlic bread as a side.

Hoping when my hours change I will be able to accomplish two things: get back to a more diverse meal plan where it is a bit more balanced and less frozen shit I just have to throw into the oven.  As much as I love my shrimp spring rolls, I’d rather keep those in reserve.  Or for lunches.  That might be a good quick lunch option.  Home cooked stuff usually lasts for more meals anyway.

Here are some ideas I have that I would like to start a rotation with the chicken parm.

Beef Stroganoff–This recipe was one of my standbys.  Usually I added the mushrooms.  Good for several hearty meals.  This one really is just an evening meal if only because it makes me want to pass out.  Very filling.  I always thought it had a good flavor.  Given that it included pasta, just added a veggie like green beans.  Planning to make this to celebrate getting off of nights.

Tacos–Another recipe I like, that I have used before.  This has a good flavor to it as well.  Tacos are versatile in that they can be a good salad type option.  The blue shells are good for some diversity and maybe healthier?  I have to look into that to be sure.  The various items you can add over the majority of the food spectrum, so I never worried too much about a side here.

Ranch Chicken–Fairly simple, another good one.  The flavor tends to bake in quite well.  Bit on the heavy side though.  Usually served with taters and a veggie–carrots or something.

Shepherd’s Pie–Who doesn’t love Shepherd’s Pie?  Everything in one dish.  Never really had a set recipe for it, but I had a bit of luck with it.

I would like to try this, this and this at some point.  Seafood stuff I am intrigued by.

That’s five so far that I’ve actually tried, another three that I haven’t.  I probably won’t be satisfied until I have ten to fifteen to work through.  My goal is to have a system where leftovers cover a certain number of meals.  I don’t like the idea of “Monday is this… Tuesday is that…” I would like to have a varying rotation.

One of my minimal effort options has been a box of Annie’s Mac and Cheese, with tuna or salmon added.  I had a bad experience with the recipe a few weeks ago, where the can of salmon I used had a complete set of vertebrae mixed in with the meat, so that’s one thing that can throw it off.  Needless to say, I’m not using that brand anymore.  Usually add some Cream of Mushroom Soup to thicken it up a bit.  Might try to get away from using a box of Annie’s too often anyways.  I like options that are not necessarily complicated, but complex.  There’s a short list of things I’m not going to make anymore.  Like I said I’m trying to get away from frozen stuff, but I’m always trying to minimize grilled cheese sandwiches or pigs-in-a-blanket or whatever I improvise in five minutes if only because they don’t have any real work to them.  Feeding yourself or someone else is serious business and should involve some effort.  There’s a spirituality and sensuality to cooking and abbreviating the process diminishes that or robs it completely.

I’m always on the look out for new recipes or ideas to try, expand the selection a bit.  May also try to like beans.  I have tried, but most times I’ve tried to like beans I struggle.  Baked beans seem alright, I will try them again.  For some reason beans in chili and tacos bother me more.  Not necessarily that there are beans there, but more the quantity.  That might be the point of chili, but I think too many beans dry out the taco meat too much.  Overrides everything and makes it an unbalanced meal.  Meals are supposed to be about balance.  Starches, Veggies and Proteins balanced out for nutrition.

Grilling is always a good option during the summer–and if during the winter if you got the stuff for it.  I like grilling a little too much.  This summer I intend to master grilling veggies and seafood.  Had some good luck shrimp and grilled up some halfway decent salmon in the past, would like to try some of the various other seafood.  I also really want to try grilling Turkey and Venison.  Just because I want to.

And I have over a thousand words talking about food.  I’m sure some people are going to hate me for this.  I didn’t intend to go that long.

My 80% of a Plan

March 12, 2016

So I occasionally talk about how I workout, mostly just general type stuff about what my weight is at or if I’ve reached a new personal best.  Between what I’ve talked about here and the occasional selfie on Instagram–Which I sorta apologize for–I feel as though I’ve got the formation of a post about health and conditioning.  So as I sit here, waiting for my peppermint tea to cool–not that much of a hipster to drink it before–I figured I would go into a bit of detail about what i try to accomplish and how much success I actually have.

So I’ve been working out for roughly six years.  I really got started the second I could legitimately afford a membership.  I started off pretty haphazard, very uncertain and a bit all over the place while getting more serious over time.  Over time, my routine evolved and eventually I began to start the process of figuring out the diet side of things.

Currently, I do six days a week with Sunday being a rest day.  I have a rotation that basically amounts to the following:

Monday=Arms

Tuesday=Chest/Shoulders

Wednesday=Legs

Thursday=Back

Friday=Chest/Shoulder stuff I didn’t do on Tuesday

Saturday=Legs or cardio or all around day–Usually ends up being an all-around day or Legs.

I usually can’t stand cardio, so I don’t do much during the winter.  Hike or walk when it is warm enough, hoping to do some kayaking this summer.  As meh as Cardio is, I really should do more of it.  True cardio, not just running around like a chicken with my head cut off at work type stuff.

This basically led me to explore the myriad selection of supplements and proteins.  And it is dizzying trying to figure them out.  I try to keep it as simple as possible.  Right now, I am rotating between two or three different pre-workout supplements, currently using Muscle Pharm’s Assault.  During my workout, I will drink a supplement made by Optimum Nutrition called BCAA.  BCAA means Branch-Chain Amino Acids.  These amino acids are used for a variety of things, in bodybuilding they help the body to absorb protein more effectively.  As for the protein itself, I am currently using Optimum Nutrition’s Hydrowhey with a serving or two of creatine mixed.  Creatine is another amino acid the body produces naturally on some level that helps the absorption of protein.  I also take a fairly basic multivitamin, Vitamin Shoppe’s Ultimate Man.  The name is a lot more impressive than the actual vitamin.  It is a decent vitamin but the name is generally overkill.

Not that supplements are the whole picture.  Diet is the key I’m trying to get together right now.  When I get up–hopefully not at twenty-two hundred in the near future–I start off with a breakfast of instant oatmeal and a serving of greek yogurt.  I’m liking the Green Mountain Cremery stuff because it is the least disgusting.  Yogurts can be weird sometimes.  For full meals during the rest of the day, I’ve been getting more into pasta with reckless abandon.  My current favorite is the chicken parm type thing I make with Kale in it–the supposed superfood–and the overload of garlic.  I like it, but I’ve been lamenting lately how I haven’t made Stroganoff lately.  Also have been getting more into seafood, primarily frozen stuff from the grocery store–although there is a nice little market for fresher stuff.  There are these shrimp spring rolls that I get that are really good.  Also have a variety of snacks primarily focused around granola and protein bars.  When cost allows, I’m doing as much of my shopping as possible in organic and natural foods sections.  And drink a lot of water.  Hydration is another key.

The last piece of the puzzle is the one the majority of Americans struggle with: sleep.  Working nights was far from the best decision in that regard.  I already had not been sleeping well for a variety of reasons, and this was one of my worst bad ideas–admittedly, I had encouragement, but it was still a bad decision.  Even with the concerns I had about how I was sleeping before starting to work midnights, I can tell you there is a considerable different in my recovery from illness.  If I got sick before, I was feeling the effects of that for a day or two at most.  Working nights, I’m feeling those effects lingers for majority of a week at minimum.  And I have noticed some behavioral shift.  So, while I have put on some muscle in the last year since going to nights, I’m suspecting I could or should have made more significant gains.

My goal is general to get up to 160 lbs of muscle and basically tweak things from there.  I think I could get up to 180 if I really had a strong desire to do so, but the main point of this is balance.  Using the workouts to improve my focus in writing and drawing.  Maybe there might be a long-term plan where the gym schedule cuts back to four days if I were to be working on a farm or something.  The in I had isn’t really an option anymore, but there are other farms.  Just wanted to outline these goals, explain how they are getting accomplished.

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