Friday, June 30, 2006

The Bet -- Day 3

Talk about some ups and downs--this definitely isn't going to be easy. But I've been telling more and more people about it. The more people that know, the more motivated I become. Why? Because people will start to ask me how things are going and I want to have a good answer to give them.

General lifestyle still seems to be an issue, and I don't have a good solution yet. I played soccer last night (we won 2-1), and with about 5 minutes left in the game, my calf on my right leg got tweaked. My guess? General muscle fatigue. I haven't used my legs this much in a while. Basketball season was intense, but running seems to have shocked my legs--and soccer is a lot more running than basketball. Still, I left feeling pretty good. Not only did I have a good run yesterday morning, but I also played a full game of soccer.

I think I can handle soccer and my new running schedule--just make sure that I have recover days after my games. But I still need to work on the whole sleep thing. Playing video games until midnight and then doing laundry until 1 AM is NOT going to help. I've got to get more sleep than that.

This morning, my run started pretty good--a 1.5 mile run at 7 mph, followed by my 10 mph/8 mph laps. However, about halfway through my 10/8 laps, I started to get really fatigued. I had to change to a 10/7, and then fell short of my goal by 2 laps. I had to jog the last two. Talk about disappointing! My spirits were definitely down--how am I going to make it to running a 5-minute mile if I can't even handle the training? Then I realized how stupid I was--the treadmill was set at an incline and I hadn't even noticed. That makes me feel a little better, but not much.

I had planned on just lifting weights afterwards, but a game of full-court basketball started, and I decided to give it a run. What does this exactly mean? Soccer last night for 40 minutes, 3 miles this morning, and then 3 games of basketball. The result? Yup--my body broke down on me. Both my calves got tweaked and it sent me down to the ground. That's the first time I realized that getting an injury would really suck. I'm sure there's a better word for the situation, but that's all I could think as I was laying on the pinewood--this sucks.

What was the smart thing to do in this situation? Leave. Me? I decided I was still good to go and would just play at 80%, which basically means 50% unless I have the ball then I'm back at 100%. It was stupid to keep playing, but I was just having too much fun.

Overall, I feel great. I'm down to 184 lbs (both scales agreed with each other this morning), which is the slimmest I've been in almost two years. I was thinking about running on Saturday to get a jump start on the training, but I definitely need to the day off, especially after what happened to my calves. I'll still run on Sunday, which is going to be tough--I'm in Gainesville for my MBA and have my first class at 7:30 AM. That's going to be an early morning to get in 5 miles!

I'll update again after the weekend, and I'll give some insight into my diet. I might also start "spamming" this blog out to some other sights this weekend. I'd like to get some comments and responses from people that have done this before. It'd be nice to have more than 2 other people read this.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Bet -- Day 2

Okay, so this isn't going to be as simple as I thought it was. Again, here were my three simple goals:

1.) Build my aerobic endurance
2.) Build up my tolerance for lactic acid
3.) Get leaner (i.e., lose weight)

I realized this morning that it's naive to think I can make that happen without some significant changes to my lifestyle. Take last night for example--I was up until midnight with my girlfriend. That makes it a little difficult to get up in the morning and get going in time to make it to the gym. I still made it, but it was a few minutes past 8 AM. Given that I really want to get to work by 9 AM, I didn't really leave myself much time to workout. Add to the fact that I have a soccer game tonight, and life if getting a little complicated. But enough about that--let's talk running first.

I got the basic premise for my workout plan from this website. The basic concept is that you want to build enough aerobic endurance and tolerance for lactic acid so you can handle running for five minutes at a pretty fast pace. The "get leaner" concept is my own idea, as I'd rather not carry an extra 10 lbs with me if I don't have to. So here is the work-out schedule:


  • Run 4-7 miles at a nice pace (8 mph)
  • Warm up with 1 mile (7 mph)
  • Run 100m at 12 mph, Recover 300m at 6 mph (x 6)
  • Sprint 60 seconds at top speed (incline), Recover 2 minutes at 5 mph (x 4)
  • Warm down with 1.5 mile (7 mph)
  • Warm up with 1 mile (7 mph)
  • Run 1.5 miles at 10 mph on straights, 8 mph on turns (x 6)
  • Warm up with 1 mile (7 mph)
  • Run 400m at 11 mph, Recover 200m at 5 mph (x 8)
  • Warm down with 1.5 mile (7 mph)
Thursday & Friday
  • Same as Tuesday
  • Day off

Now that I have a plan, it's time to put it to use. I did the Thursday workout this morning, and it seemed to go okay. I ran the warm up mile with no problems, although I did it a little fast (8 mph) because I couldn't remember what to do. I think I'll print my plan off and leave it in my bag for next time.

Anyway, the treadmill I was using actually has a progress tracker in the shape of a track, so I can actually pretend I'm running on straights and curves. Not ideal, but it will do for now. At times, it felt like the treadmill was wobbling a little bit, especially when I start pounding out a 10 mph clip. Eventually, I need to find a real track to run on, because I think this is going to wear on me. Don't get me wrong--I like watching SportsCenter while I run, but I'd like my knees to last.

The end result? I ran two miles and stuck to the schedule pretty closely. I was short a half-mile, but I ran out of time. Tomorrow, I'll try to get to the gym earlier so I can stick to my plan. I also weighed in somewhere between 186-189 pounds. There are two scales in the gym, and I'm not sure which one is more accurate, so I'll give a range for now. Hopefully I can get down to 178-180 by the end of July.

Tomorrow I'll give another update on my workout, and I'll also fill you in on the rest of my plan:
  • Diet--what am I going to eat (or rather not eat)?
  • Motivation--what's my true motivation when I don't feel like going another mile?
  • Lifestyle--how do I fit this into an already busy schedule of work, kids, sports, and friends?

The Bet -- Day 1

Yes, I've been MIA for the past two weeks, but vacation and homework can do that to you. But I'm coming back with a vengeance, and I've decided to blog a personal experience over the next month or two. Yes, that's right--you get a daily view into Gstdog's life.

The reason? I took a very stupid bet. I have a friend that challenges me with ridiculous bets almost every time I'm out with him. You know the type--rather than using persuasive arguments or facts to convince your opponent, you throw out a bet in the hopes to make him back down. This is basically the equivalent of a bully that would actually get his ass kicked if he ever really picked a fight.

Anyway, day after day of stupid comments, I couldn't take it any more and just ignore him. I folded and took a bet without really considering the implications. What's the bet you ask? To run a 5-minute mile by the end of July. Was it a stupid bet, yes. But I'm willing to put that past me. Is it a stupid goal? Of course not. In fact, it's actually a rather good activity to keep me busy for the summer.

The first question is how many people can do this? Are we talking 5% of the US population or 1%? Maybe a better question is how many people are capable of doing this? When I was in high school, I was able to run a 6-minute mile in my sleep, but never really pressed to see how fast I could do a mile. Maybe I'll do some research later and find out.

The second question is can I feasibly run that fast while still staying in control of my bodily motions. Yesterday morning I decided to get a read on the situation--I hit the treadmill, punched in the 12 mph pace, and was off.

The first quarter mile was all good news. I was running with good control, and my head wasn't jerking all over the pace. Breathing was okay, and the legs felt great. This filled me with a lot of optimism--I can run at that pace. The only question is for how long?

The second quarter mile answered that question for me. I could feel the old ticker starting to pound a way, and realized I wasn't going to win anything today. So I pushed back on the throttle and brought it back to 10 mph. I had a lot of work ahead of me to build me endurance, and killing myself today could be painful tomorrow. Still, I finished the first half-mile in 2:45--15 seconds off the pace, but a promising statistic for someone who hasn't run more than 2 miles in a week in over 12 months.

The last half-mile was a lesson in reality, that I am indeed out of shape. I finished the mile in 6:20, which is over a minute off from where I wanted to be. So, can I shave off over a minute in 4 weeks? Maybe not, but I sure as hell am going to try. Even if I lose the bet, I'd still like to hit my target by August or September.

So, time to create a plan. I need to do 3 things:

1.) Build my aerobic endurance

2.) Build up my tolerance for lactic acid

3.) Get leaner (i.e., lose weight)

Starting tomorrow, I'll give regular updates on my progress. As well, I'll fill you in on my training plan. Trust me--those three steps above are not my own idea. There is a lot of great research and anecdotes about how to get in shape for a mile-run.

Also, I'm planning on adding a side bet--that I can out race my friend. No reason to go through all this training, only to walk away a "loser" if I run a 5:08 minute mile. I'd like to challenge him to train as well and see who can do better. Should be fun!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Fashion tips

If you're a nerd, you can understand how important clothes are by asking yourself how you'd feel about a company that made you wear a suit and tie to work. The idea sounds horrible, doesn't it? In fact, horrible far out of proportion to the mere discomfort of wearing such clothes. A company that made programmers wear suits would have something deeply wrong with it.

And what would be wrong would be that how one presented oneself counted more than the quality of one's ideas. That's the problem with formality. Dressing up is not so much bad in itself. The problem is the receptor it binds to: dressing up is inevitably a substitute for good ideas. It is no coincidence that technically inept business types are known as "suits."

Nerds don't just happen to dress informally. They do it too consistently. Consciously or not, they dress informally as a prophylactic measure against stupidity.



Indeed, that's practically the definition of a nerd. I found myself talking recently to someone from Hollywood who was planning a show about nerds. I thought it would be useful if I explained what a nerd was. What I came up with was: someone who doesn't expend any effort on marketing himself.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Coolest thing ever

Since gstdog is MIA this week, I was looking through the net for a substitute DORNA. I decided to search for the coolest thing I could find. I was not prepared for results like this:

"Nothing in the Universe that we know of is naturally this cold" says Aaron Leanhardt, who led the research. Even deep space is six billion times hotter.

Monday, June 19, 2006


...I post my shit ASAP. Like this kick-ass webgraph generator. The pic is a representation of this blog, minus this post of course. I'll have to run it again to see how it just changed. As of the moment recorded on this post, 1,412 graphs have been uploaded here.

I give confusion

How the hell is the consumer suppose to know what they are buying? Why didn't we see this with 'Power Steering', 'Anti-Lock Brakes' or 'Cruise Control'? What's the big deal here?

Life-saving technology goes by many names
While it is known generally as Electronic Stability Control, car companies use different names for this important technology.

NEW YORK ( - Below is a list of the trademarked names used by various car brands for their Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems.

Acura: Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

Audi: Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

BMW: Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)

Buick: StabiliTrak

Cadillac: StabiliTrak

Chevrolet: Active Handling (cars); StabiliTrak (SUVs)

more here...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 Volvo Race?

I posted an excerpt from the Volvo Pirates of Caribbean 2 buried SUV contest earlier this week (I would post a link, but wtf...find it yourself. Why should I send thousands of extra people to a link so they can compete against me?) (And why do I think we have a readership of thousands?)

Well, this is turning out to be a pretty lame race to find the Volvo. I got the new clue today and I have already solved the riddles on the 2 new islands, Saint Helena and Isle of Saint Mary. We keep hopping from island to island, but it seems that everyone has a chance until the last day, since Volvo keeps putting the brakes on the hunt.

I am now waiting for yet another e-mail on June 21 for the keyword to unlock a new island. They don't even give me a field where I can try to guess the word. I have a hunch that I'm being taken on a rather simple marketing ride with a disappointing payoff in the end.

On the bright side, I am solving these puzzles in about 5 minutes each, which at least makes feel remotely intelligent. Although, knowing it's a national contest, I'm not trying to overthink them too much. They are really pretty simple after you take a minute or 5.

And so, to pass the time, here are 2 dissenting reviews of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. If it takes you less than a week to read them, well, then, welcome to my Volvo contest world.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Weekly DORNA

It's back, and I'm loving the new random schedule. It gives me the freedom to ignore my obligations, but at the same time, I can act offended if Yojay accuses me of not contributing. Anyway, without further delay, here they are:

  1. Kick-Ass Pong: Okay, maybe that's not the title, but that's what it should be. The simplicity of the control, the effortless fun, and the thrill of hitting a wicked curve is just too much. My first try got me to Level 7, but my anti-virus update started and then slowed everything down. Perhaps this could be the new featured "War Game" of Listen Up? Especially since I haven't gotten past 11,000 meters in Nanaca Crash in two months.
  2. Alizée: Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I click on those "other" links on Fark (only if they say SFW, I swear!). But this time paid off. Alizée is a young French pop star, and she happens to be quite mesmorizing in this live performance. Here is another video, that seems to be the same song, but an English version. I know what you're thinking, and your half right. No, she's 22, so it shouldn't make you feel bad that you're watching. But yes, I probably have no taste in music (I thought the Spice Girls were kind of catchy when they first came out).

    On a side note, I happened to be listen to the Philips Phile (local radio talk show in Orlando) the other day, and the host was pretty adamant that French women are not attractive. I think I will formally log my dissenting opinion.
  3. Net Neutrality: Sometimes the Weekly DORNA has a theme, sometimes it doesn't. This week, I'm throwing in a serious topic, because I'm a little passionate about it. Google has officially weighed in on the issue, and if you haven't formed an opinion about this, you really should. The freedom of the Internet is a stake. Okay, no more serious stuff--back to the normal DORNA. (Editor's note: I promise to find a better medium to be political in the future--more like the Ask a Ninja clip from last week).
  4. Wonder Showzen: Check out this clip from the show running on MTV2. Nothing quite like hearing a child say "that's the dark side of capitalism" or "hot dogs give me energy so I can fight my demons." Come for the funny kids, but stay for the education in hot dog production.
  5. Bush as a Jedi: "Hehehe...saber beats rock!" Nothing more can be said.

Best Blackberry signatures

I recently added an auto signature to my Blackberry messages:

"(From my Blackberry)"

Short simple and to the point.

Why do I have a special Blackberry signature? To let people know I am not being short or abrupt, it's just a pain to write long messages and edit on the little keypad. This is my subtle 'out' from verbosity and embedded graphics and advanced hyperlinking, etc...

The standard signature used at our company has been a version of:

"This message was composed on a Blackberry Wireless handheld. Kindly excuse any typos, abbreviations or brevity."

Recently, I got a message signed:

"Written on a tiny keyboard. Please excuse any typos"

Clever and a little mysterious, yet not too unprofessional. I am making the leap that she is using a Blackberry.

I got to thinking about other possible signatures we could use on these things:

  • "Written with my thumbs, give me a break. From my Blackberry."
  • "Probably written while driving, please contact 911 if end of this message is garbled. From my Blackberry"
  • "Currently ignoring family and friends. Please treat this message accordingly. From my Blackberry."
  • "This probably didn't require immediate attention, but I'm not in my office and I'm trying to look productive. From my BlackBerry."

What else is out there?

Some good ones from this site:
  • "Fat Fingers + BlackBerry = What you just read"
  • "Sent from my berry, fore!!!"
  • "I totally didn't just send this to you from the can. No, really, I swear."
  • "Sent from my Blackberry Wireless Handheld. Sorry about the speling."
  • "Sent from the window office that corners."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Volvo has good prizes

9. ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE: The Grand Prize will consist of the following: (A) Vehicle: One (1) Model Year 2006 Volvo XC90 V8, left-hand drive vehicle consisting of custom-painted 20 inch wheels, tinted windows, Borla four-tip dual exhaust, and smoked out lights. The Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (“MSRP”) of Grand Prize Vehicle: $82,340; and (B) TAX ASSISTANCE: Up to $29,000 in U.S. Dollars to assist Grand Prize Winner in paying Grand Prize Winner’s actual federal and state taxes on the Grand Prize. Approximate retail value of Grand Prize up to $111,340. The approximate retail value of the Grand Prize will vary depending upon Grand Prize Winner’s tax liability. Grand Prize Winner is solely responsible for paying all federal, state and local taxes on the prize. In the event the Grand Prize Winner’s federal and state tax liability on the Grand Prize is more than $29,000, Grand Prize Winner will be solely responsible for paying any and all federal, and state taxes beyond $29,000. In the event the Grand Prize Winner’s federal and state tax liability on the Grand Prize is less than $29,000, Sponsor will provide the Grand Prize Winner only with the actual dollar amount of his/her federal and state tax liability and the balance will not be provided. Grand Prize Winner will fully cooperate with Sponsor to enable Sponsor to determine the cash value of the Tax Assistance portion of the Grand Prize. Grand Prize Winner will be solely responsible for any and all car title, license and registration fees, emissions inspection, additional equipment, insurance, gasoline, vehicle maintenance and all other fees and expenses associated with the receipt and use of the prize vehicle. The interior and exterior of the Grand Prize vehicle will be designated by Sponsor. All additional car options will be the responsibility of the Grand Prize Winner. Grand Prize Winner must provide proof of valid insurance and a valid driver’s license to take delivery and must take delivery at a dealership designated by Sponsor within sixty (60) days of notification. In the event, for whatever reason, The Final Leg is cancelled, the Grand Prize will not be awarded.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Paul Newman gives relationahip advice

He made it sound simple: "I never ask my wife about my flaws. Instead I try to get her to ignore them and concentrate on my sense of humor. You don't want any woman to look under the carpet guys because there's lots of flaws underneath. Joanne believes my character in a film we did together, 'Mr. and Mrs. Bridge' comes closest to who I really am.

"I personally don't think there's one character who comes close ... but I learned a long time ago not to disagree on things that I don't have a solid opinion about."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

X-Men just got funnier

When I first watched X-Men: The Last Stand (which was kind of disappointing...but that's another article and I digress), I was taken back by this scene:

I had my kids with me, and all I could think of was how out of place it was. I mean seriously, "I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!" is just so freakin' corny. Ahh...but I was SO wrong. Little did I know that this was one of, if not the greatest pop culture reference ever inserted into a movie. Check out this movie (or at least the first 5 minutes of a 9-minute clip):


Okay, seriously. I promise you that this catch phrase is about to take off. This is going to be way bigger than Chappelle's "I'm Rick James, bitch!" In fact, check out Google Trends:

I promise you that is real--click on the picture and check for yourself. So, in preperation for this new pop culture infusion, here is a quick primer of how to use quotes from this video in your daily life.

  • After blocking a shot playing basketball, "Silly bitch, your weapons cannot harm me. Don't you know who the f*** I am? I'm the Juggernaut!"
  • Right before bedtime with the girlfriend, "I'm the Juggernaut, I'm ready to f***. I've been ready to f***. My suit's so tight!"
  • When your boss is giving you advise you don't want to hear, "Comb your beard, I don't want to hear that shit!"
  • And of course, everytime you come in the room, "Oh, it's the Juggernaut, bitch!"

Weekly DORNA

Yup, sure am glad I decided to drop the "Wednesday" from the title of my submission. Although soon I may drop the "Weekly" and replace it with "Random." Hmm...that may be a good idea for next week, er...random occurrence.

So here they are, the things you should read or watch this week:

  1. Ask a Ninja: This guy is hilarious, so I am sure there are other episodes worth watching. This one is especially funny as he explains the issue of net neutrality. I could agree more: "that's what the internet is all about: people in funny hats making things people like."

    Update: Actually, I haven't found an episode I don't like yet. The most recent one on the home page is great. "Watching the Matrix is like watching a retarded bear in the's painful, and it's annoying, but it's just frustrating, because you wish there was something you can do."
  2. Awesome Town: Don't watch the whole thing, but the first five minutes are great. Jack Black as George Washington is classic, and the opening theme song is pretty funny. Actually, maybe its not. In fact, most of the sketches are terrible. But you know what, Jack Black is worth it. Watch the beginning, and if you have time, watch the rest of it and see why Fox, MTV, and Comedy Central all passed on this.
  3. Jaws: The Musical: I am so jealous, only because Disney would never let its Cast Members do something like this. Or am I speaking out of school? Shall I call upon the great defender of GMR? What say you spieler? Am I wrong? Would Disney have ever let you guys do something like this?

    The best part is the "Don't Cry for me Argentina" spoof where the manager explains whey they have to close the attraction. Unbelievable. Really. I say again...I'm jealous.
  4. Windows Vista Review: Check out this great review:

    Heat - Forget chemical castration for sex offenders. Most of these guys are hooked on internet porn anyways... just give them a laptop with a free net connection and a souped up graphics card running Windows Aero. Use sensors and that new FlexGo system to make sure they can only use the laptop when it's in their lap. After their nuts melt to their legs, they won't be able to do bad things to people anymore. The heat problem is so bad, I'm seriously considering modding my Toshiba Tablet Dock II for liquid cooling and/or fans.

    Okay, most of what he had to say was positive, but this caption had me laughing all day. The new Outlook and overall performance gets rave reviews, but the overheating problem is more serious then you might think.

  5. Growth of a Nation: If you've forgotten the significance of the 49th parallel, need a primer on the Mexican War, or can't remember what the Gadsden purchase was for, then watch this 10-minute video. My dad sent this to me for my kids to watch, but it was actually a nice refresher. My gut tells me that this has no place in DORNA, but I have to do something with it.

Bow Down to His Highness

I'm sad to say that I no longer hold any Nanaca Crash records. Sean has the long distance at 17k, and Ketan now has the highest arc at 670 meters. Damn.

That means I have to start playing more often. Either that or make up a new record.

First fark entry

fsm_bush_fark, originally uploaded by yojayy.

You should be able to find this on shortly.

What scared George into hiding?

Update: Check here around comment 110.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ladies and Gentlemen...

The Governor of California

All-Suck Batman & Robin

Here's a brilliantly written rip on the new Batman book by veteran writer Frank Miller and superstar artist Jim Lee. It's been a while since I've read a Batman comic, and I'd hate to jump on a bandwagon here, but this article is pretty compelling and very comprehensive. I'm going to make a leap of faith and agree that HOLY FUCK OF HOLY POTATO, what a disaster...

Then we cut back to Batman and Robin, sitting in the Batmobile, talking. We're going to see a lot of this, because it takes them the next two goddamned issues to actually make it TO the Batcave, which is apparently somewhere in northern Canada, given the amount of driving they have to do. Batman then tells Dick to sleep tight and calls him his "ward", behind a lecherous grin, which confuses Dick because nobody talks like that anymore.

But let's think about three important words here. "Fifteen hours ago". That means one of two things. Clark Kent either drank this carton of milk fifteen hours before Dick Grayson was kidnapped by Batman, and thus it is a magical prescient carton of milk, OR it's actually been a long enough ride in the Batmobile for Dick to have been reported missing, for his name to get to the missing persons groups, for them to submit his information to the milk company, for the milk company to print the cartons, distribute the cartons, and then for Clark Kent to go to the grocery store and buy the carton of milk. Let's see, by my rough estimate, that means that Batman and Dick have been on the way to the Batcave for, oh, about FIVE FUCKING WEEKS now.

Friday, June 02, 2006

If your mailbox is made of PVC and a chair...

I will never complain about my HOA again.