Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Star Trek Crew Experience Something Horrible

   Space...the final frontier. The USS Enterprise, on its five year mission to explore strange new worlds and to seek out new life forms, make an encounter that they will truly regret. And many others across the globe do as well.
   The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards was meant to be astounding and entertaining to those who watched. And perhaps to many it was. But to many it may have run afoul. Mainly due to Miley Cyrus' and Robin Thicke's performance. They were both nominees in several award categories, but neither won any awards.
   At any rate, and for purely hilarious purposes, I found the following video on and thought it was very well done and worth including on my blog. Fans of Star Trek and especially those who are not really fans of either Miley Cyrus or Robin Thicke might get a kick out of it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Another Movie List

I was thinking the other day about different movies in which the people rode about in vehicles that drove themselves and/or could swap between manual & computer control. I'm talking about sci-fi movies mostly set in the future (one of my favorite genres) and vehicles not locked onto track systems or rails (like subway cars), but ones that could be told or programmed where to take you. It kinda seems like a trend in movies such as these to exhibit the kind of technology that would exist in this type of world. Years ago, say back in the 70s & earlier, future worlds in movies rarely displayed computer-controlled cars, probably because computers weren't as prevalent back then. But today computers run everything. So now it is pretty easy to imagine them taking the control away from us. Of course this would mean an immense overhaul of the urban infrastructure--something that few cities would be willing or able to do anytime soon. And as long as things stay relatively the same, and no major ground-breaking changes happen, it won't be coming to anywhere USA I'd imagine. However, if some radical changes were deemed necessary someplace or a rebuilding was needed in some large city (say post apocalypse for instance) then the development of a system like this I think might be prime for implementation. Until then I guess we can just keep developing and improving the technology for just such a world of tomorrow.
List of movies with self-driving cars: (I'll be updating this list)
Minority Report
The 6th Day
I Robot
Demolition Man
Equilibrium ?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I Am The Biggest Loser

  You may have heard the old axiom: put a frog in a pot of boiling water & it will hop out. But, if you put a frog in room-temp. water & slowly raise the temp. until it boils the frog will not hop out. I think the validity of this is actually incorrect. A frog won't let itself be boiled alive if it can help it. However, similarities exist between this and many real-life situations. One such instance is the problem many Americans have: that of weight gain.
  Becoming fat & obese doesn't happen overnight. It is a process that takes months & years and occurs because of poor lifestyle habits more than anything. But because of that I think it can be reversed. No one I think can claim that they are incapable of losing weight & becoming fit. Not even after being grossly overweight. Just look at the game show The Biggest Loser & it's ilk. Last season the US version of the show (there's like 27 versions across the world) there were 15 starting contestants who dropped tremendous amounts of weight while competing. the weight losses ranged between 20% up to 59% and 87 LBs up to 222 LBs, not bad for about 3-4 months work.
  I contemplated trying out for the latest season of The Biggest Loser. The NBC weight loss competition show was holding an audition on Saturday, April 12 at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The show is looking for individuals, families and former athletes who have at least 100 pounds to lose for its 16th season. Those interested in trying out should be 18 or older. The grand prize for the show is $250,000. Birmingham has had its share of winners and contestants on the show. Mostly recently, singer and city native Ruben Studdard (American Idol winner) appeared on the show. However, after seeing what the average male contestant weighed from start to finish I thought that I probably wouldn't be considered since I'm like 100 LBs lighter already than they were from last season. (the men averaged around the high 300s while I'm 275). So, I'll be doing my own biggest loser challenge at home.

  I started today recording my weight loss programme on April 13, 2014--hopefully a lucky day for me. I'd already been doing it a bit before today, but now I'm locked in to the regimen and focused on the goal.
  As of 4-13-14 I weighed 275 LBs. You can see from my video slideshow (to be uploaded when this is completed) how I looked when I started. Overweight and obese. Not too fargone (I actually weighed 315 a couple years ago & lost down to the weight of where I started this programme) but still far from my goal of about 200 LBs.
  I'm 49 now. Back when I was around 20 I was in prime condition. Probably weighed around 190 LBs. I ran & played tennis all the time. Running was the primary way that I originally lost weight. I went into high school at 230 LBs. Back then I wasn't into athletics or anything really other than D&D & computer games. Between my Sophomore & Junior years in school I began running around a mall across the street from my home in the mornings (mainly because my brother had started doing this & I thought he knew what he was doing so...). This continued & I ran more & more & by the time I graduated high school I'd gotten down to about 180 (my brother had also lost weight-down to around 170 or so). We were looking good & feeling good.
  I started playing tennis so much that I got good at it. Me and the friend of mine who played entered local tennis tournaments around town. Back then (in the 80s) the skill levels were A, B, & C, with A being the best. I started in C and found that I was too good so went to B. There I stayed. I played singles, which I wasn't that great at, and doubles, which I could occasionally win. This went on for years.
  In time the tournament skill formats changed & went to a point system like that of the USTA. I think it starts at 3.0 & goes 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, etc. So now you could enter under one of these categories. I played at 4.0 & found it to be about the same as B level from before. I'd do average in singles at that level & about half the time win tournaments in doubles. Sometimes I'd even play higher level, say 4.5 or 5.0 in doubles and still win matches. In singles I would rarely win above 4.0.
  At any rate this went on for about 15 years. In 1995 I was actually in a USTA league in Birmingham that won locally and went on to win the state. The next year we came in 2nd in the state. The team couldn't win past that (playing against winners from other states), but I still think this was a great accomplishment.
  After that I rarely ran anymore or played tennis. I'd be lucky to play more than once a week or in a couple tournaments a year. The only thing I can attribute this to is lack of interest. That and I remember it seemed that the quality of opponents in tennis was waning (it seemed like they tried to cheat on line calls more or on what point it was=one guy tried to cheat me out of a couple points in a tournament and he called me the cheater-unbelievable).
  Anyways, so I wasn't running or playing tennis much. I got more into computer games again. Around the year 2000 I found the game Everquest through a friend at work. It seemed like the coolest game ever made. I lost myself in the virtual world of EQ for hours on end leveling characters and finding treasures. It was great. I eventually got tired of that & moved to other games; EQ2, Perfect World, D&D Online, LOTR Online, Tanks, etc., but then found what became my go-to-game: WoW.
  World of Warcraft has been my game of games since around 2005 or so. I began playing, as alliance, when all there was was the original game-max level 60. I played it for a year or two and got a couple dwarves to around level 50 or so, then quit due to job issues I think.
  Later, when I was in a regular job again I heard that WoW had added the BC expansion=max level 70, the new territory of Outlands to explore, etc. So I rejoined the game and leveled characters on 2 accounts each to the max, horde this time, & journeyed all over this new world. But I ultimately became bored again-I guess due to lack of content. So I quit yet again.
  Jobs changed & years passed. Then I heard of another expansion-then another. (The Lich King, The Cataclysm). I had to return again. So I bought WoW again and rejoined, again. This time alliance. The world had changed-big time. The capital cities had been reshaped as well as many areas of Azeroth. Much of the way you played was different: spells has been altered, talents were different, etc. It was almost a new game. There were new races and classes in the game. And the new territory of Northrend to explore. New lands & new dungeons for higher levels. Also now you could fly in Azeroth & Northrend, something you couldn't do before. Flying had been only allowed in Outlands until now.
  Then the Pandarean expansion came out advancing levels to 90 & introducing panda race & the continent of Pandarea. You could now be a monk=who could be anything he wanted; healer, dps or tank. Kinda like the druid, though more Kung Fooy.
  And so since about 2010 I've been playing continuously leveling several characters on one account. Between my job, watching TV & playing the game (and finding at least some time to write a couple books that are available on that's pretty much all I've been doing. No exercise, and eating fast food just about every day. Needless to say I've gained weight.
  No more. As of today I'm losing it. Everyday that I can I am hereby striving to take the weight off one pound at a time. I've done it before. Like I said, a couple years ago during the summer in 3 months I went from 315 down to about 275, a loss of 40 LBs. So I know I can do it. Then what I did was to walk for about 45 minutes every morning and evening and stay away from fast food & sweet drinks & desserts. It worked then, so it's gonna work now.
  My goal is 200 LBs. I'm at 275 or so now on 4-13-14. I will walk for about 45 minutes every morning and evening that I can & stay away from fast food & sweets or anything fatty. I bundle up in sweats & just kinda power-walk=walking with purpose, not strolling. Eventually I might get in good enough shape to jog, but for the time being it's walking. And I'm keeping a photo record of myself (selfies) to show how I look.