Learn Photoshop in 2 hours!!

February 12, 2007

If you’re a web designer or aspiring web anything really; there’s a key skill that you need to have.  The days of long boring text html pages are long since dead; so 1995.  You must learn how to effectively work with Photoshop to really do anything effective on this wide ol’ web!  Check out this site, its really handy: Learn Photoshop in 2 hours

Well these last six weeks have been a bit of a blur.  Time flies when your losing weight!  My trainer, James ‘El Diablo’ Louthan is great, he works me out hard but makes sure not to kill me..just yet.  We’ll also end up talking about stuff and that makes the workouts go by all the faster. 

So here’s my typical workouts:

With the trainer (Mon/Wed/Fri)

  • 5 minutes warmup, get the blood flowing
  • 30 minutes strength training
    • The idea here is to maintain the body’s lean muscle mass while losing weight, if you don’t maintain it, typically during weight loss 40-60% of your weight loss will be lean muscle mass, which spells all kinds of trouble (more on that later)
    • To maintain muscle mass, the strength training is pretty easy going, only 1 set and 20 reps for most exercises.  He’ll up the weight if he thinks I’m doing 20 reps too easily and so far its worked out well.  For folks who are used to thinking 4-6 reps, trust me on your 20th rep you are just as exhausted, but the focus is to retain lean muscle mass
    • We do about 5 machines, alternating days with lower and upper body
  • Floor Exercises
    • Find a wall, put your back against it and squat down so that your thighs are parallel with the floor… hold for 45 seconds, x2
    • Do standing pushups against the wall, 20 x 2
    • Crunches (when I first started I did about 12, now I do about 40 x 2)
  • Cardio
    • This is the bulk of the session, 30 – 45 minutes
    • Various machines, treadmill, Ellipticals etc.  Idea is to get heart rate up and keep it up for the entire duration
    • Use the programs the machines have built in to add variable resistance

Without trainer (Thur/Weekend)

  • Cardio
    • Pretty much same as above, except cardio only.  30-45 minutes
  • Home Excercises
    • For fun, I’ll do crunches and wall pushups at home before bed

20/20 Lifestyles @ Proclub

August 16, 2006

Some of you other Microsofties have probably heard about the 20/20 program, its a really extensive behaviour modification program designed to get people healthy and down to their ideal weight.  I am and have been for most of my adult life overwieght.  Not something I talk about much and now that I think about it, not something I really thought much about either.  But recently for several reasons, I decided that I had to do something to get healthy and I joined the program.  There’s other people who’ve also joined the program, people like Bill Canning & Jessica.  I ran into Bill at work for a work thing and I kept thinking I’d heard his name somewhere, but only later did I realize that this was the same Bill who had put up his 20/20 blog and which I had read before deciding to join the program.  Anyway so I emailed Bill and he had two excellent suggestions, why don’t you blog your experience, and two: don’t cheat.  Hmmmm, good advice! 🙂

Anyway so I’m already a few weeks into the program, lets get to the nitty gritty details:

when I started the program, I was:

  • 311 pounds
  • Could only run on the treadmill for a few minutes before I got completely winded
  • Fairly weak muscles, even though I used to weight lift in school, I’d given it up a long time ago
  • My cholesterol is in the normal range, but my doctor would like my “good” cholesterol to be higher for its protective effects

I usually felt tired in the evenings, I was very sedentary, I would sleep late and wake up late.  Although I love my job, at the end of day I would feel very drained and tired I never used to eat breakfast, I would have lunch (either in the caf or go out or fast food), mostly comprised of sandwiches, fries, etc. Not eat anything at all until I’d got home around 6PM or so, then be very hungry by that point and have something to eat right away, followed by something else later on.  The biggest problem was, I didn’t feel in control.  Although I ate “fairly” healthy I thought, I wasn’t losing any weight, but thankfully I wasn’t gaining any either.  My excercise consisted of walking around the grocery store, or other day to day activities, I felt intimidated and strange in the unfamiliar environment of the gym so I rarely went.

So, about a month ago, I joined the program.  The program is very comprehensive (I’ll blog about the various components), and what I really like about the program is that it works and is adapted to each person and their individual metabolic problem. 

For people who are thin and healthy, they never really understand what its like; so allow me to make an analogy.  Imagine a crack addict, but a crack addict who can go home, to work, drive down the street, go to a friend’s house, go to the movies, go to the store and finds himself constantly surrounded by every type of great crack.  And its cheap.  In the vending machines its only 60c.  He even sees commercials on tv and on the radio telling him about great and tasty types of crack.  And its available at 10 different places just on his drive home.  For cheap, and its legal.  And everyone’s doing it.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  Well thats to a certain extent, what people with metabolic disorders go through (I don’t want to make light of drug abuse, of course thats a much more serious condition). 

However, a lot of similarities do exist.  There are physiological reasons for the addiction.  Their are emotional connections.  Their are denial issues (“its not really that bad”), it makes people feel good etc etc. 

So… how does the program work?  Well the first step is to cold turkey you off of your crack.  There’s a strict regimen of eating that is quite easy to follow because its so specific, and whats great is you don’t feel hungry.  You feel fine.  Sometimes a little bored, but otherwise fine.  Then you gets lots of information, LOTS of information.  About how foods affect the body, what are the different types of issues people could have, what are chemicals at work in the body causing different behaviors, what foods are beneficial, what foods can affect how you respond etc.  Then the program is also specifically tailored to each person and their response and goals. 

That’s all for now, I’ll write more later. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=321f_e8Ap0M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSoVKUVOnfQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zey8FsGNLeI

New Mortal Kombat video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMf40daefsI

So what have I learned having this wordpress blog for the last several months?  People love making their own South Park characters!  It's the highest page I got, and people are doing a lot of web searches for it too.  Create your own south park character, or make your own south park character lol.  Well here's the link to my earlier, way popular post:

https://allthingstech.wordpress.com/2005/12/30/create-your-own-south-park-character/

Okay I’m posting this for the second time because it ate my post the first time.  Which sucks.  Anyway I just saw the new trailer for X-Men III which is coming shortly… it looks to kick some hard serious arse.  One of the reasons X-Men has been so well done is Patrick Stewart was perfectly cast as Professor Xavier.  The strength of character and gravitas this man brings to the screen is unreal.  Just listening to his voiceover gives you goose bumps.  I’ve admired his acting chops from the ST:TNG days, I just happened to catch an episode yesterday (after a couple of years) and it brought back some memories.  If you want to see some real acting, you need to check out “Chain of Command”, a two part episode (more here and here).  This was when Picard was kidnapped and tortured, it almost didn’t seem like Star Trek anymore, it was so evil. 

Anyway I digress, see the new trailer here:

http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=c135dc09-be72-4261-bda4-d46d0b2ebb25&f=rssimbot_us_default

This is awesome.  Apparently, NBC uses a call center in India for tech support, with hilarious consequences.  Enjoy!