Sunday, 26 January 2014

Systems Functional

This is extremely awkward posting once a week. But no more! Thanks to my friend Terry (who some of you may remember also helped me with car hunting a few months back), my computer is virtually back to normal. He had to disassemble my hard drive though, fix some of the damage in my manic attempts at repair, and reinstall most of the software.

He got a steak dinner out of it. So I think we're even.

Help me out and I feed you. Good deal.

So while it's great that I can finally start blogging consistently again (and following up on everyone), January has not been a very productive month for anything that require the use of my desktop computer. My laptop doesn't have the power to do anything from Project Pandering or the information to help with Project Raven.

Which only leaves Project Derp which can be done from anything with a keyboard, and Project Jason which requires a gym.

I know I've been talking about working out a lot, but it's probably the most interesting thing that I do the most of these days. I'm averaging 4 times a week, with a maximum of 6. I'm constantly in a state of pain but it's a good sort of pain.

I only need Sunday to rest right? Right?

My biggest problem is still maintaining weight. One weekend I pushed myself and was eating 3 kilo-calories a day.

And lost a pound the following Monday.

Discouraged, I slowed down on eating, which reduced my diet down to 2kcal and I lost an additional 4 pounds by Wednesday.

I'm bumping it up to 3.5kcal a day in hopes that some of the weight will start staying with me. I don't expect any sympathy from you guys. I have an unorthodox problem here. I'm counting the calories of everything I eat to make sure I'm getting enough. I'm reading nutritional charts at restaurants and ordering the items with the most calories.

And this still isn't enough. At the end of the night, you can find me chugging down a litre of chocolate or homogenized milk to help hit my caloric goals.

I`ll never be like Joesph Gordon-Levitt at this rate.

But the increase in eating is helping somewhere I think. I am noticing a bit more size gain this month and I kind of wish I took a progress pic when I started back in August so I could compare. I was kind of embarrassed at how thin I looked so I opted out.

Ah well, what can you do. Posting should be back to normal now and I actually do have other things to discuss. I`m excited to finally talk about Project Derp and my experience so far with the ridiculous Dogecoin.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Persisting Technical Issues

Technology has not been on my side so far this year. Perhaps I've done something to anger the machine gods. Should I sacrifice something to appease them? Maybe set fire to my old computer parts, my old phone, and my old laptop while screaming binary at the sky?

This would be far less painful than what I've been doing so far.

Seriously, some of these things may as well be on fire.

Let's start with my desktop computer. A stick of RAM was defective and caused my entire computer to crash literally every few minutes. Fortunately, I had a friend come over, we found the defective stick, removed it, and now things are ok now.

Unfortunately, we believe that that stick of RAM also corrupted my OS. I spent around a thousand dollars on upgrading the parts. It shouldn't lag when I try to view files or stutter when I'm watching a video on Youtube.

So fine, we need to do a reformat of my hard drive. A bit of a hassle, all we have to do is back it up and we're good to g-

Oh wait. My external hard drive is corrupted too.

Kill me now.

When my computer was crashing I tried to back up my files. Unfortunately it crashed during a back-up and this has done something to my external hard drive. I could reformat it, but I have files on it that would be forever lost. I have back-ups from multiple computers on it.

So I'm kind of scrambling to try and access it. I really don't want to go running about through old computers hunting down specific folders.

Speaking of old computers. Have I mentioned how bad my laptop has been getting? I constantly require a laptop cooler otherwise the whirring and the overheating gets unbearable. One day in class I was afraid it was going to catch on fire.

Maybe if I fall asleep everything will be ok.

And then we have my phone. It began to die in less than 24 hours leading me to believe it was a battery issue. But the new battery does nothing. Nothing! So it's just my phone being defective. Lovely.

My sister recently upgraded to a Nexus 4. And I'm really tempted to do the same. Sure, I'll be giving up my beloved keyboard, but I'd getting something that isn't a complete disaster. Something that can take decent pictures and have voice commands.

Upgrade now, or upgrade at the end of the year? Decisions decisions.

My main concern is still my computer. Hopefully things will be resolved by the end of this week.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Project Jason: New Schedule

One week back into classes I think I've finally gotten a hang of things. Note that because I'm an open studies student (a.k.a. not actively working towards a degree), I can only take 2 courses a term. Which is fine, I'm only missing two per-requisites for the after-degree program that I want to get into. And because I managed to cram both of them on Tuesday and Thursday, this gives me a very nice 4 day long weekend AND Wednesdays off.

Unfortunately, this does not mean I get to relax any time. Oh no, if anything, I'm working as hard as ever.

Yeah! Motivational pictures!

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday consist of me going to the gym with Eli, my personal trainer. Some days things don't work so to compensate, we do double work-outs like chest and back on the same day, or chest and shoulders. It's not fun, I mean, I'm in the gym for over 2 hours on these days. Still preferable to leg day though.

God, I hate leg day.

BUT, I still have those sessions that I purchased from the gym that Eli quit from. I have a bunch of people that are still considering taking them off me, but they're taking such a long time deciding. So, I do another round of working out with who we'll call Trainer D on Tuesday and Thursdays after class, and on Saturdays before work.

For those wondering, No. No I still don't like Trainer D.

Some of you probably think I'm working out way too much now. But that's the thing, despite my heavy work-outs with Eli the day before, I'm fine. Trainer D's workouts do nothing to me. What we've been mostly doing is form.

Listen, I understand that form is important to doing things like deadlifts (which are supposed to be great for mass gain) but it makes more sense to (to me) to do these with low weights, adjust my form during/after each rep/set and go from there.

Do we really need to spend half an hour with me flexing my shoulder blades to make sure my back is straight? Yes, I've had bad posture most of my life and I'm starting to work on that, but if I really wanted to work on posture and flexibility, I'll sign up for a yoga class.

Seriously, the only times we've ever done anything that left me kind of sore after is anything regarding legs. But I've "missed" leg day for a few weeks now, so he only gets half points. Also, I know that if we did these with Eli, we would have kept pushing until I was left a hobbling cripple.

And waddle like this for the rest of the week.

Oh, and another thing that bothers me about Trainer D is the inflexibility of his schedule. Last Saturday I couldn't make it to my session on time, so I text him and let him know. He then responds back saying that "Sorry, but I still have to charge you for the session. You need to let me know at least 24 hours in advance.".

Well that's just great. Good workout.

Eli never had that problem when he was my trainer back then, and he still doesn't. In fact, that's why I signed up for half a year's worth of sessions with him, because he knew the volatility of my schedule but still allowed me to cancel at nearly any time. So fine, I now proceed to cancel in advance all the sessions that I have that I may not be able to make on time. Trainer D doesn't really like this either.

Too bad.

For those that don't want to turn upside down, it says "Deal with it".

I literally have no good reason to stay with Trainer D. The sessions are more expensive (more than double what Eli charges), the sessions are shorter and are cut short even if we don't finish everything planned, cancellations are inflexible, I don't feel sore at the end of the sessions, the list goes on.

We are working on "foundation" he says. It feels like we're just doing a bunch of warm-up exercises. Welp, the "end" of foundation is coming up and maybe Trainer D will have a second chance to impress me. I've had about half a dozen paid sessions with him so far and I'm unimpressed. Eli impressed me so much with 2 free sessions that I was convinced to buy half a year of training with him.

Anyone interested in buying the rest off me? I really don't want them.

Monday, 6 January 2014

And we're back

Phew, it's good to be back. I've been out of commission for nearly a week now and it has not been fun. When your main computer starts up like it's running on Windows 98 and crashes 5 minutes later, you know things are bad. Fortunately, I had a friend come over and we confirmed it was due to one of my sticks of RAM being faulty and possibly an operating system issue. So I need to email a few people, get some new hardware, and reformat everything.

But at least I'm back! I've missed all of you. Most of my friends in real-life don't understand what it's like having Internet companions and I sort of pity them. They don't know what they're missing out on. I can't wait to jump around and see what you guys have been up to since my computer went haywire.

But it's also the new year. And just like last year, instead of resolutions, I'm submitting my projects again. We dropped/added some, completed others, and are still working on the rest. With Project Vegas a (mild) success, we need to replace it with something, but what? Let's get to the list.

Warning, this is a long post, I've been gone a while, and I have a lot to share.

Oh and I hope everyone had a good new years eve with lots of alcohol.

Project Derp:

Goal: $$$$

The longest ongoing project I have. And one of the first ones I pitched back in 2013. Some of you are probably wondering, "Damian, why is this one taking so long?". Well I'll tell you why. See, back in January of 2013 I was typing over 1000 words a day. Then that dropped to 1000 words every few days. Exams and working full-time came along and I dropped to 1000 words a month before finally bringing back up to ~1000 a week.

I have written over 40,000 words for this project. If it takes me about an hour to write 500 words I've spent 80 hours on just typing alone. This doesn't include other the other nitpicky things that have come along with this project. And honestly, I think I need at least another 10,000 to feel comfortable.

But I think it's finally paying off. October had me breaking even, and December had me making a small profit. Sure, if I had maintained the pace I had started with, I probably would have done much better, but things don't often go according to schedule do they?

I'll be talking about Project Derp in detail in the coming weeks. Or rather phase 2 of Project Derp, with hopes of eventually advancing it to phase 3. Because phase 3 is where all the money comes in.

Project Pandering:

Goal: Learn and re-learn skills.

Heh, most of the skills being learned here required me to be on my desktop. Which I have mentioned was dead for longer than I would have liked. I'll get back on them though, I did want to show progress for at least one of them come February.

I just need some more practice.

Don't want to traumatize anyone.

Project Jason:

Goal: Exercise.

I have both good and bad news to report for Project Jason. In good news, Eli has been great. I am still feeling worked out and sore after each session. I've been getting supplements from him (after doing some background research on it) and this stuff should help with muscle growth and reduce muscle fatigue with no negative side effects (if taken properly).

My biggest problem is just eating enough. I did some math, and I need to be consuming around 3000 calories and 150 grams of protein A DAY in order to be putting on muscle. I'm kind of lazy, prefer to go hungry instead of get food (also stress causes me to not want to eat) so I'm used to eating maybe half of that. So a big part of this is trying to just shove food into my face whenever possible.

In bad news, I mentioned how I was still trying to get rid of those trainer sessions. I basically bought a ton (with the intention of using them with Eli) with financing. Unfortunately, Eli has quit that gym but I'm still stuck with these sessions, and I'm still paying them off. It's getting fairly expensive and seemed a lot more manageable back when I had a full-time job.

I'm using the hours that I've already bought with a different trainer. Honestly? Not impressed. If I had this trainer at the beginning, I never would have bought those sessions. I'm spending each session working on "form" and "posture", things that could be fixed while I'm doing the work-out which is what Eli did. I'm not sore after my workouts, I'm somewhat out of breath. Whoo.

So now, it's time to get manipulative. In a series of emails trying to wiggle my way out of the sessions something caught my attention. I think I may have found the loophole needed to worm my out of this. See, losing my job, difficulty paying for the sessions, not their problem. But a single word of customer dissatisfaction? Suddenly I have their attention.

The next few weeks are going to be me being unimpressed with this trainer (which isn't hard to be honest) and then swapping him for someone else, be dissatisfied, rinse and repeat. And from what I've seen, most of these trainers? Not great. So I won't even have to fake being dissatisfied. And once I've compiled my evidence, I send a few emails, and let's hope this sways them into getting me out of this contract and having more money.

Seriously, Eli didn't spend a quarter of my sessions "warming up".

Project Raven:

Goal: ????

With Project Vegas laid to rest, it's time to bring back an old one. Who remembers the potentially unethical Project Raven? Applying for scholarships that I clearly do not qualify for BUT under "unfortunate" circumstances will still get the money.

I'm back in school. I need money. I am not above performing slightly morally questionable acts to remove debt. I know many of my readers said it was sketchy at best, and wrong at worst. But I'm still giving it a try. I'll let you guys know how it turns out.\

Project Koi:

Goal: Dating

Ohohoho, what's this? Damian back on the market so soon? So soon after some of his other disasters. Well, not really. I may have found someone with interest in pursuing a short term/casual relationship. And you know what? I'm fine with that. Dating is just like any other skill, and the longer you go without practice, the harder it becomes to get back into it.

Also, it might be fun. Get out more, spend time with someone. If I don't have an update on this come February, assume that it failed and we'll pretend like it never happened ok?

And that's it for now. I'm back in classes on Tuesday but I have MWF off. I'll have plenty of time to blog and work on projects. It's good to be back.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Rough Start to the New Year

Happy new years to everyone out there. Unfortunately I have to keep this post short again. As the title may suggest, things aren't exactly spectacular for me. Bit of an unfortunate start to 2014 really. Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been making my usual rounds around the Blogosphere lately. Well, it's a bit hard to when your primary computer was crashing every few hours but is now crashing every 5 minutes. It forces you to use your inferior, overheating, and crashing (slightly less often) laptop.

We think it might be stick of corrupted RAM or a driver issue. I'm still waiting on a friend to take a look at it for me.

Also, I mentioned back here that I wanted to use my mass number of airmiles to go to an event called Magfest. Unfortunately I can't go this year. Just because you have the airmiles to get a free ticket doesn't mean you'll be able to get a returning flight in time for classes.

Oh and also, I mentioned here that I had an excess number of personal training sessions at my old gym that I wanted to get rid of. Still haven't been able to get rid of them much to my dismay. You'd think that with the new year around the corner more people would be interested but this has not been the case.

I have to end this post with no pictures. This laptop was never designed to do more than take notes and be used for temporary entertainment before I could use my superior desktop. Instead of hitting the ground running for 2014, I've hit the ground face first. Welp, things can only go up from here right?