The mystical cat report

Hello out there, it’s been a while since my last update on what’s going so far. First of all, fitness is still existing and starts kicking ass again. I cannot deny that I had some serious difficulty to get back on the track, but with this week, everything seems to be on a satisfying level. My stamina feels like it was the day I let the whole fitness thing fade away, for say, it’s still on a high level. For my circumstances. Actually, I still have like 15kg of weight too much on my bones, but like I said, I’m not facing any serious trouble during training. I’m running solid 30 minutes on the treadmill followed by 30-40 minutes on the cross-trainer.

I decided to take no prisoners and I also increased the weight on many exercise machines. I’m doing very well with this and I’m making a lot of progress in this particular area of my training. Besides losing weight is gaining muscles one of my main goals for now. I know, it sounds weird, losing weight and gaining muscle mass on the other side but according to the serious amount of overweight at the moment a goal that can be reached. Like losing at least 15kg of fat and getting like 5-6kg of muscle mass.

What else happened? Well, I got a little bit more into photo editing and developing of RAW pictures. I’m not making great progress but it finally is some progress to be found. I also joined a couple of new groups on deviant Art to get a little bit more feedback on my works. And of course a few eyes more watching my stuff. I’m also looking for a new camera, not for now but for the end of this year. I’m thinking about buying a Canon 7D, this camera got all the features I want and is not that expensive as the Canon 5D MarkII. At least, it would be a total waste of money according to the fact that photography is just a hobby mine. It’s like 1,500 bucks that ring on the bill, but I’m sure it’s totally worth it.

Gaming, another passion of mine. If the days has like 36 hours I would definitely play some games, but currently I don’t really have time to play some more story based games. I play a lot of “Bad Company 2” these days, for like one hour a day. There are still some games in queue that I need to play. There are plenty of games, as there are “Medal of Honor”, it can’t be more worth than “Homefront”. The “Dead Space” games, I started “Dead Space 1” several times, but never managed to finish or do any larger progress. Several LEGO games are waiting and so on. Most importantly, “Portal 2” is hopefully in my mailbox these days and I’ll definitely play this game as soon as possible.

Last game I played through was “Homefront” which was a kind of disappointing. Weird performance issues. Weird story and pace of the game. I can’t say that I didn’t like it, but, well, I don’t know. They whole concept was promising but the presentation was a big and epic fail on the whole line. I instantly switched back to my beloved “Borderlands” after finishing the four hour campaign. I barely had any interest in the multi player mode.

Passions regained

This is the announcement, that I’m back on track. Well, actually, it’s just an announcement that I’m finally back to a fixed, regular schedule for my gym sessions. It’s three days a week in the morning and one day in the afternoon. I’m totally happy and completely satisfied with this new schedule, it doesn’t burn me out too much, leaves enough room to rest and I don’t have the feeling to lose to much free time. Apparently, I’ve to go to bed pretty early because the alarm clock rings at 4:00am but like I said, it’s easy to handle when you have only three days per week to get up that early. I’m also making good progress when it comes to dexterity and pure muscle strength. The dexterity is good so far and much, much better as it was in times where I was a smoker, even with my massive overweight. Even though I’m at the beginning of training my strength is as good as it was the time I let the training fade away. I was also able to increase weight on some stations in the gym. Right now, I’m focussing on chest and neck. I guess it’s pretty obvious and I don’t have to mention it explicitely that I always train belly and back. Nothing’s more important than a well trained centre. Within the next couple of weeks I will also start a protein diet to get a little boost to muscle growth and lose some fat.

Pike's place

Secondly, I’m once again a little bit more into photography. During my trip to London, I haven’t even used a whole SD card for my pics. Compared to previous trips it’s an improvement, because I used like two or three cards within one or two days. A lot of crappy pictures came up these days. Just let us say I reached a border where quality took over quantity. Whatever the case, I personally see me making progress in photography and my picture are getting better. There are still some issues with incorrect focusing and a weird usage of depth of field, but this okay for the moment. I do no longer have these completely wrong exposures. It’s natural to get a couple of pics that too bright or too dark, but you don’t have to forget that some pics are snapshot style and I’m not always rethink light and stuff before a shoot the pic. This happens from time to time.

My besty gifted me on X-mas with a nice book about Lightroom and Photoshop. I’m currently working myself through the Lightroom book and it’s giving me a blast in knowledge about digital photo development. Until a short time ago, I was using Lightroom for collecting and organizing my picture only. The whole editing always happened in Photoshop and it happened a couple of times where the final product was worse than the original picture. Lightroom is fun and it’s so awe-inspiring to see how my pictures can still develop, even those that I already abandoned.

Finally, shame on me, I still owe you an article about XBMC and a couple of nice add-ons I don’t wanna miss anymore. It’s coming. Just be patient.

For the rare time being

The last couple of days has been very busy for me, not that I had too many “private projects” but some too intense of time. First things first, my gaming system got crashed during the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 update process and I wasn’t able to revive it any way. I had to reinstall everthing, had to setup a lot of applications and so on. Good thing about this, the system can now be rebooted again without getting a raid failure, which was one big issue with the previous setup. I’m nearly finished with the system, like 90 per cent, and I only have to restore most of my games profiles. Actually, this whole thing wasted a lot of time on my last weekend and is also responsible for missing, once again, the game of the week feature here in this blog.

Besides all this were I still in modifying and hacking my Motorola Backflip cellphone. I now managed to install Android 2.2 aka Froyo including multitouch, which isn’t a stock feature of the phone, and I also installed an unlocked kernel that I’m able to overclock and also underclock it. The phone now runs with a stock Android, without any Motorola software features, and it’s, compared to the default Android 1.5, as fast as hell. I’m testing the battery at the moment to see, if my also also increased the lifetime of this particular part of the phone. It’s such a hilarious feel to finally have features on my cellphone that aren’t supposed to be there actually. And most importantly, for my subjective estimation, the phone has now a status, where I would say, that one can use it instead of just getting angry about it.

Android

Far from all this nerdish stuff did I come back to a more healthier living style without all this unhealthy, calory rich and fat food. I also visit the gym from time to time and as expected, it’s giving me a boost in many ways. Say whatever you want, after a fine session in the gym, you feel refreshed and the essence of life creeps back to your bones and you feel recharged. I mentioned it in one of my previous posts, I don’t want to exaggerate anything at the moment and I want to keep it on a level where I still have fun with all this too. Getting into a boot camp like training plan as I had it once before is not my intention, even though I can say, that this was fun too. Anyhow, I’m losing weight, I start feeling better now and hopefully my cardio will increase once again. There’s no particular muscle training on the schedule right now, I just want to sustain my back and belly muscles at the moment to get a strong centre for future training plans.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found any time for photography or any creative stuff in that kind of way. I also haven’t managed to get a little bit more into the whole Photoshop/Lightroom thing that was actually on my schedule for this year’s beginning. Saying that there was no time is not totally correct, I actually wasn’t in the mood to do anything like this. Maybe later, when my bike is fixed and I’ll be able to get out a little bit more often and most importantly further away.

More sports

As you may I am stuck in a vicious circle that makes it nearly impossible for me to go to gym again. Well, a friend of mine noticed this problem too and so she asked me if she should give me some kind of a kick and join her for some company in the gym. I am pretty sure if I just licked some blood in gym again and can fall back to my daily habits everything will be fine again. It’s pretty necessary for me to get a little bit more sporty again because after this relatively long period without sports I feel a kind of rusty (back hurts sometimes, etc. etc.)

We’ll hit the road to gym in nearly two hours and I am much excited about how I’ll make myself in gym again. Hopefully I’ll not completely fail and the muscle ache will not be too horrible.

The first month

There’s exactly one month that has past in the ‘straight edge’ project. A few friends and colleagues of mine followed me more or less successfull on my stone covered path to the ultimate “edginess” and some who tried to follow cancelled the whole project after a few days. Time for a conclusion…

Like I said a few times in the past, I feel much better now and I can’t say that I miss something urgently. I feel more and more comfortable with waking up at 04:00am to get off to gym to practice my every day workout and training. The training itself turns to a more interesting and less boring point by now because the muscle regeneration and buildup process is nearly done and I can focus more on cardio training. I have done a lot of muscle training, especially bulge, back and legs, to get a kind of more body control in the cardio training and to obviate joint problems. I had these problems last time where I started with sport though, mainly in my knees.

Every gym session, including last week, implied the cross trainer and the bicycle as the only cardio gear. From this week on I decreased the amount of muscle training and increased the cardio training, it’s now about 30 percent muscle to 70 percent cardio training instead of 50/50 that it was before. I jog every day on the treadmill and soon will start with rowing, each 30 minutes plus crosstrainer (40 min) and bicycle (10 min). I guess that this will give me an enormous boost to my reduction of weight (hopefully). I have to mention that the bicycle is only warmup gear, because I ride my bike as much as I can in everyday life.

workout by *Geironimo

My weakest point are my passion, or better obsession, for sweets and chocolate. One rule says that I am not allowed to eat chocolate and I almost made it to live without it. Well, I eat ice cream nearly every day but this is for sure going to be stopped with the next milestone of this project. And I bought me a bar of chocolate yesterday BUT it’s got only 528kcal on 100g and it’s a bar of plain chocolate. One piece every third or fourth day won’t really hurt.

One thing that I absolutely don’t miss are cigarettes and alcohol. Two good things about this are #1 it’s better for my health living without alcohol and cigarettes and #2 I save a lot of money because I don’t have to buy this shit. Drugs are taboo, too.

Well, what can I say at last. I feel very well with my new circumstances in life and I am pretty sure that I will continue with it after 15th July.