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The Most Loathed

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  1. I started a Challenge for the next cycle. I'll transition over there for the next several weeks.  



    Yo. It was Christmas. Even if you aren't Christian, the United States And presumably elsewhere) derails for at least a day. We spent the day at some friends' house. They have lots of random people over and make a lot of food. It was a nice time. I ate, drank, and was merry. We came home and watched Trading Spaces because neither of us was sure we had ever seen it all the way through. It was ok but definitely a product of its time. 



    If you had asked me the day before I would have planned to hit the gym. I woke up (after a good night's sleep) and just felt like it was a holiday and decided to not fight it. We did a standard weekend schedule, stay in bed until 7, make  breakfast sandwiches. we hit up the grocery store to stock up after the holiday. The store was hilariously  decimated. After that I tidied up the kitchen. 

    Tonight we're kind of doing our own Christmas dinner, a whole chick and green bean casserole. 

    • Like 3
  2. Welcome to my first NF challenge in years. So much has changed. So much hasn't changed. To learn more, check out the battle log that will link challenges together over time. If you want to learn more history, go backwards into my battlelog.


    There are myriad challenges I would like to set myself but I'm forcing a max 2 3  to stay focused:


    Challenge The First


    I recently took double gold in a BJJ tournament. My professor has not let me forget, though, that they were all on points. So, my goal is the pretend kill people. Yeah, that's right, that's what we play at. For BJJ Nerds, I'm studying the New Wave 4x4 system. It's already been improving my submission frequency. My goal, in rolls, is to pull 1 break or kill per 2 minutes off whites belts, 1/5 mins  off of blues (my level),  get some on purples, minimize how many I give up to Brown and Black.




    Challenge 2


    This crosses many levels and is left to a lot of interpretation so here is my attempt to give it rigor:


    I've always overshare on NF so here I am. Want to hear something you shouldn't? ,,,

    I kind of miss just journalling on here so I'm returning to that. I'm a bit of a prude when it comes to logging my personal life so don't get too excited. 



    For a long time I have attempted to treat myself as a consultant, tracking my hours and work. Lately I've gotten a little lazy about it so going to brink it back. 

    I work for a single company and my leaders have never cared but I personally prefer it.



    Arguably the hard bit. Certainly the least established bit. I want to keep some kind of an eye on what I'm doing well and poorly at. 

    I will have to figure this out on the fly to some degree. The inital plan is to document drilling (not class time), submissions given and taken. However, I know that when I go to open mat it's hard for me to remember all the rolls. 




    Challenge C


    I've always had bad mobility. I still have bad mobility. The only solution is the work that it takes. If I get 5 days a week, I'm gonna be doing great. 



    Not a challenge

    Food: I'll talk about food. It's a thing that I do I won't be tracking calories or macros. Should I? Maybe but

    Sleep: My sleep has been bad forever. It still is. I'll talk about it but it's not a goal.

    Guitar: I've been practicing for several years and have never been happy with it. In the future I'd like to make some goals around it. 



    A Day in the Life

    We all have very different lives and I think it helps to contextualize what one expects in their own day. You don't need to read this but it is here:

    Most weekdays

    0530 - wake up

    0530-0600 - make coffee

    0600-0700 - practice guitar

    0700-0730 - get dressed and make any breakfast I plan on eatine

    0730-1000 - work

    1000-1300 - workout / shower / lunch

    1300-1800 - work

    1800-1900 - dinner prep

    1900-2000 - dinner and clean up 

    2000-2100 - relax

    2100-2200 - reading and lounging in bed

    2200-0530 - sleep


    A Week in the Life

    Monday - normal work day, BJJ 11-12:30

    Tuesday - short day, rec time 11-12 ( cardio and kettlebells), 6:30 - 8 Marathon Roll

    Wednesday - sometimes normal, sometimes very short. 11-12 BJJ, 4:30 - 5:15 Guitar every couple of weeks

    Thursday - "quiet day" rec time 11-12, nothing else planned

    Friday - BJJ (no gi day) 11-12

    Saturday - chores day

    Sunday - Open Mat at Akagi (not my home gym) 10 - 1 but I'm usually there 10:20 - 12:30


    The Plan

    • Post 5+ days a week
    • Do my usual training but write it down
    • Keep working through 4x4 (strangle people)
    • Actually do mobility and keep myself accountable on it
    • Do my guitar but try to be a bit more focused
    • Really work on getting back to documentation my time in and out of work


    Feedback welcome.

    • Like 6
  3. On 12/23/2022 at 9:02 AM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

    Glad things weren't any harder on you during covid 


    I truly felt I got off the easiest possible. I'm already somewhat aware of my stupid level of privilege but that shone and enormous light on it.


    On 12/23/2022 at 11:46 AM, Elastigirl said:

    What a wonderful update. Glad it is going so well. Did  you get a chance to do any hiking in the redwoods?  I loved hiking there.

    During the camp proper, I didn't do any hiking. However, and I left this out of my update, we did a tiny bit of Anderson Valley wine country on the way out. Laura had done Anderson Valley and more several years ago. We wanted to visit our favorite vineyard Roeder Estates. We were way early for our tour and tasting so we spun by Hendy Woods State Park. I can't find any good descriptions of it online but I was really genuinely impressed by the trails they had there. It was wheelchair accessible and only a few miles by we were among, literally, the biggest trees I have ever seen. I have seen the photos from Sequia National park where a car can drive through a tree, they aren't quite that bit but close. The forest was so soft and spongy but vibrant. They had many fallen trees, one of them I walked away from the trail on and I'm not a great judge of distant but, something like 40 meters away and I was still just walking on a huge tree trunk. It's was beautiful and I'd recommend it to anyone. 



    I was not a productive employee today. I mean, I tried but I was not focused. Probably, at least partially, do to not sleeping well. I think I'll bundle sleep tracking into my next challenge. I suck at sleeping .

    My gym notified us all that it was closed on Friday, unexpectedly, due to a sick teacher. I need to talk to the professor. He's let me me unlock the door for people once before so I have the info. I'd run open mat on these days. However, I made the most of a a bad (not really bad) situation and went to Alliance Jiujitsu. They're known as a competitive gym but I've been once before and thought is was a good experience. They share space with a Crossfit box and I think you can really see the Crossfit culture in the jiujitsu culture. I don't know if it translates the other way or not. Lots of thick strong dudes, including the professor. 

    The professor there is apparently know for his deep half guard game which is interesting to to me as I play a lot of half but haven't gone into deep half there (I fully realized this a nonsense sentence to most of you ) so it was super interesting to me that he gave some deep half instruction and it was nothing like anything I have heard to date. Which just reminds me of how much I have to learn.

    That said, it was a crazy day for me on submissions. I took 9 submissions in 4 rounds, 7 of them from my current area of study. I also got called over by the Professor for a roll, which is a weird thing to explain. Jiujitsu is a martial art and martial arts have a lot of paramilitary hierarchy to them Blue belts (Where I am) have free license to call out white and blue belts (lower belts) but generally need to be called out by higher belts (purple, brown, and black). It's. a privilege to roll with them. Some gyms care more of less and once you have a relationship you can cross these lines but it's a good general rule. Being called for by the Professor could mean you are privileged and special, you've been recognized as a hard worked (in your home gym) or it could mean you are going to be taught a lesson. He was definitely trying to teach a lesson.

    It's a weird paradigm. I've never seen a display more like a dog trying to force another dog to expose its belly. don't get me wrong, he's so much better at jiujitsu than I am. I would have granted that before I ever entered the gym. But I've been to other gyms. I've been beaten by other professors even. I've never felt more like it was a display of dominance. Don't get me wrong, he can kill or cripple me pretty much at will. I've just never felt as much like a black belt was making that point. I don't know, does that make sense? It doesn't lower my impression of his jiujitsu but it makes me wonder what is in his head at that moment. i have a theory, and it may be wrong. He called me over after I submitted one his blue belts a bunch of times, I rolled against his stud blue belt to a draw and submitted a white belt a bunch of time. My theory is that he knew what was going on and wanted to let me know that I don't get a free pass just for meeting his blue belts where they are. That's probably a little bit conspiracy theory but it's by best guess. 

    All in all, I learned some cool deep half and dinged 9 submission, 7 of which were from my current project. I only gave up subs to the professor. My big win was my second sub from my project where the guy said out loud "I know what is happening and I can't stop it". Yes. FWIW, he and I chatted after class and I think that when we see each other again we'll immediately be drawn into chatting.

    My other big win was that last time (The only previous time) that I visited Alliance I felt like I didn't represent my school well, I got rolled. This time, I felt like I was a good representative of the school.


    Friday work was meh at best. I just wasn't focused and didn't work on my project for the day. I did talk to a peer and I think offered a suggestion to a problem that he hadn't considered and will save him a ton of pain. So maybe I won back as many wasted hours for him and I didn't use well for myself. 




    I woke up at 4 am and couldn't sleep. I listened to the Friendly Atheist Podcast but was nowhere near falling asleep to I got up at 5 and started working on the Minecraft trading hall for my sister, until about 7 am when Laura work up. I know many of the folks on this site are Christian I don't don't offer the info about Friendly Atheist to be antagonistic but to be honest about where I am. as I told someone recently, I'm an atheist but I'm not recruiting. If you ever want to talk to an atheist honestly, here I am but I have no need or desire to create converts. You do you as long as you're not being a dick (that includes homophobia).


    Ken, my preferred training partner, joined me to Akagi open mat It's his third time my *mumble mumble* time. We normally go on Sunday but they moved it for the holiday. We warmed up together and I had him help me practice a couple movements and then we went our separate ways to fight people. I don't recall most of my rolls. We were there for a couple hours  so I had 10+ rolls. A couple of rolls of note to my brain:

    • M-theory black belt - I've rolled with this guy before and he represent but BJJ can be. I have 25 pounds on the guy but I get nothing but what he give me. He just shuts me down. He's super quiet so I don't know his mind but he, to me, represents a version of what it means to be a black belt
    • Hussain - I like this guy. We've rolled before. I was first introduced to Hussain in a meet I wasn't in where he was identified as the man the beat in the open category. I first personally rolled with him several weeks ago at Akagi. He's a Judo player and for former college wrestler (lower level like St Cloud State, not U of I) but I learned quickly that because he was forced to start at blue, not white belt, he's not great after the take down. He's a big dude like me and I think he wants to learn to play half guard but I don't think he is getting what he needs to do that. What I like best about Hussain is that he reminds me of me in a very specific way. You can beat the shit out of him and he pops up and ties it again with some minor variation and will do so until he solves it or you kill him. He'll grin the whole way. I'd like to think i'm the same. 
      When we roll, we usually roll multiple times. I think we rolled three time. 
    • Try Hard White Belt. there is at least one of these every time. Today was Nick. He thought he was winning when I granted him position. He immediately tried to strangle me for a minute. He then looked up and same me making hard eye contact. I was never in danger, merely tolerating this. To his credit he said "It's not working" to which I said, out loud, "No". If you try to strangle someone and they respond out loud, you need to fully reevaluate your life choices. I proceeded to take top and set up but not complete the submission. I didn't know until later but apparently I took him down hard after that strangle attempt and people noticed. 
    • Mopey White Belt - man, I like this guy but I don't know what his deal is. Rob, I think, is his name. He sits in the corner and talks to no one until called out. He leaves his belt off most of the time which is a clear sign of I'm sitting this out. I invited him to roll and meant to give him top position but he bulldozed straight to a choke (paper cutter) I realized quickly thatI may have given too much. I may have to tap to this chump for my own misjudgment. Then I found a little space. Then I found a little more. Eventually I swept him, took his arm away and strangled him (with my current project) . After he tapped I asked if he was ok but he indicate that he was fine.  I was happy to have recovered from such a deep hole but I'm really questioning if he's worth my time in future. 
    • Older white belt - This guy is at least ten years my senior and easily 25 but I think 50 lbs under my body weight. Some people will disagree with this but I try very hard to never give him my full weight. I try to use wedges and technique but I try to not put my full body weight into him.  I never got a sub on him as he continued to work. This is an aspirational project for me. I won't to beat white belts without weight but with wedges and technique and nothing else. 
    • Lasso Purple Belt - I mention this guy because I meet at least one per week. Lasso guard is powerful. When I'm attacking, I'm aware of my bodyweight enough to not give up the sweep for a while. This guy would have won a match but I need to learn to defend these advance guards but also learn them for myself as well. 

    There were more rolls but those are the ones I can think of for now. That's about 10 rounds some most of them by far. 


    On the way home Ken mentioned that he had looked at my old training videos on YouTube (when I was doing kettlebells under @KB Girl's instruction) and that I was "cut" and "fit" . It was weird to hear that. I need to go back and look but I think I was 10-15 lbs lighter but obviously more muscular and 10 years younger). To my memory of the time I felt similar about my body and build as I do now but put waaay more effort into changing that with almost no more actual change. This is a thing I need to reevaluate full and don't know when that will happen.  I have made myself and others (*cough* laura *cough*) crazy with my obsession with my own body weight. I don't want to go there again but do I either a) know something here I can leverage or b) just need to do better? I mean, look, if I competed at 200 lbs and 40+, imma gonna kill someone but also win a lot.


    The next few days. 

    • Tomorrow is Christmas. I'm at home with my wife, In many ways, that's the most boring possible outcome. Also, I want nothing else in my life
    • I see that the new challenge folder is up. I'll start a challenge there. I plan to talk about BJJ, specifically, 4x4 and mounted triangle. 
    • I do want to work on body weight a bit I'm currently about 235, I'd like to go down to 215 in 2023,
    • Mobility is a thing that I'm bad at. I want to put in some time here
    • I have always been bad at sleep. I have no idea how to make it better so that should be an early foray
    • I have been practicing  guitar for something like 4 years but don't feel like I play guitar. I'd like to work on this

    As always, there are a million possible topics but those are probably enough

    • Like 4
  4. I went back and found my previous log because I was curious to see how much of my story I had told. All of the exciting bits. I'll add a small addendum here but this is just personal stuff so it's fluff.


    The log ends when I am moving into a two bedroom apartment with Laura after we had separated, divorced, and reconciled. I had just come back from my 40th birthday gift to myself of a trip to Peru. COVID hadn't happened yet. I'll spoil the story and say, it's pretty much all good news from then to now. 

    When I got back from Peru I began working remotely. I was still with the same company but my team didn't have enough desks and since the company was building a new skyscraper downtown, they weren't interested in shuffling people around when they were going to all be in a new space in a few months. Then Covid was a thing. 


    My whole team went remote. Laura went remote for a bit but within a month or two was back in the office as .... shoot, what did we call it ... essential employee, that was the euphemism. Honestly, I think it was part that and part that I had already taken over the only valid office space in the apartment so working from an apartment for both of use was just not possible and she took the bullet. Anyway, everyone did that first winter and spring of Covid.


    Given that we were living in a high rise apartment, downtown, with a dog, completely avoiding people was impossible. Also, downtown Minneapolis was a mess because of the George Floyd situation. I don't even want to say "because of the protests" because it wasn't the protests, it was a lot of things. It was a dark pall that hung over the area. It was non-protesting looters breaking up the windows to the stores over and over. It was the national guard patrolling and the overly militarized police. It made it not a fun a place to live.


    I don't really have anything specific to say about 2020. Covid was about as easy on me as it could be on anyone. I already worked remotely. I used the time to workout at home a bit and just do me. Laura had a harder time for a lot of reasons but we both made it through. We're pretty sure we caught it in early 2020 because we were both wiped out for a few days but tests weren't a thing yet so we treated it like any other disease.


    2021 rolled around, arguable Year 2 of covid, we had been cooped up in that apartment a long time. Laura had gotten into sourdough. I plunked away on my guitar and tried to get into video games a bit to fill the time. We knew the housing market was inflated but we really couldn't see another year there. So we joined the housing bubble. and bought a house in the suburbs with a big back yard and fence. 


    We're still in that house, we love it. Laura does now work from home but has her own office. We never talking about moving out, we only talk about improvements and even those are pretty minor and orderly.


    Another thing that happened during that time, actually in 2021 as well is that we got married, again. I wasn't super into the idea at first but given that it's the easiest way to make sure that if one of us is sick or dies, the other can make decisions and have access to resources, it made sense. However, it was COVID times so getting married wasn't as easy as it used to me. We just wanted a legal marriage, we've done the ceremony and didn't care for it. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a good way to do it until my mom made a suggestion.


    My mom is pretty conservative so I was very surprised when one day I was whining about our challenges in getting married and she said "could you do it in Las Vegas? Don't they do a lot of weddings". They do. I mentioned it to Laura and she was immediately into it. I did ask one clarifying question though. "Are we going to Las Vegas to get married or are we having a Las Vegas wedding?" She indicated the latter and we were off to the races. 

    June 1, 2021, we got married by The King himself






    Best wedding I ever had


    I never did buy new kettlebells. I did start training for powerlifting at a local gym. I had a coach and everything. During COVID I went to his garage to train alone, which was nice. My numbers were climbing but I felt like I was getting stiffer and more injury prone.

    While we were walking around the house we currently live in for the first time, I noticed a jiujitsu gi hanging in the closet. I had a moment where all the times that people had suggested I try jiujitsu and I had never done it. So, I went home, thought about it. Watched Youtube about it. Talked to Laura about it and decided to try it. The gi they had was for the closest school to the house and I asked around and it had a solid rep. So I went there. It took one class and I was in love with it. It was like going home. 


    So that was 2021, married again, bought a house again, started jiu jitsu


    2022 has been much quieter. We had the deck rebuilt. Nothing has changed in our relationship status. We communicate much better. I'm still in the same job. I had a few months of seriously thinking about changing jobs but that's passed for now. I train jiujitsu about 5 times a week. Accounting for random days missed, travel, etc, I think I have probably trained about 200 times this year.

    Our vacation this year was to drive to California for a week of jiu jitsu camp in the redwood forests. We went to Grappler's Retreat. The obvious question is "Laura went? Did she train?" Nope. She worked half days and just enjoyed hiking the coastline and hanging out in the forest the other half. The food and fellowship was good for both of us and I got to learn from a couple of the best in the world and just train with a cool group of people in a cool setting.






    So, that's been my life since my last update. I love that is has been much, much calmer than those last couple of years I was intermittently posting. I love where we live. I love my hobby.  No, not everything in life is perfect, but I genuinely have no real complaints. I mean, I complain, but I have no complaints. :)

    • Like 3
  5. 12/22/2022

    Went about as planned. I was burning PTO before the end of the year but we also had a bunch of snow and subzero temps blow in so I was planning to just loaf around the house and I did just that. This is two Thursdays in a row where I had optimistically planned to get a covid booster and get my car serviced but canceled the day before because we had a bunch of snow coming in. I'm booked for next Thursday now so let's see how that goes.

    My "accomplishment" of the day was on the Minecraft realm I created for my niece and sister. I built a villager trading hall and have most of the diamond gear tradable. I also got a mending and one other good librarian set up, I forget which one it was. But I gifted them both diamond tools except pickaxe and my niece full diamond armor. I'll probably double the hall's size in the next couple weeks and get all of my top tier librarians in. Then I can set off in the nether to look for blaze spawner to set me up for an End run. Neither of them know about The End of elytra so I want to surprise them with the fact that you can fly in Minecraft. After that I'll settle into a nice agrarian life for a while to let them run around and play more freely than they ever have.



    I think I'm the only person on my team working today which is 100% ok by me. I'll watch the mailbox for anything but most of the company is on PTO. I have a huge project that has been so close for so long, I'm going to do some polish and shine on it today and next week but I have to wait for a January 11 meeting to actually meet with the team again.

    My gym decided to close starting yesterday through the new year. I don't intend to go over a week without training. Today I'm planning to visit a different gym that I've only been two once, Alliance. Last time I was there it was a bit humbling. I think it's a tougher gym than my own. It doesn't help that apparently their professor specializes in half guard which means they're used to defending against a black belt who plays a similar game to mine but at a much, much higher level. I managed to hold my own with some big guys at my level but I also got steam rolled by a couple. It's good for me to get this exposure because in most gyms, I'm arguably underbelted but not here. 


    Long weekend ahead so I'm thinking about a couple projects to entertain myself:

    • BJJ
      • Train at Alliance, train at Akagi
      • Start note taking on Danaher 4x4
      • Build some drills for my training partners and I to work through on 4x4
      • try to come up with some kind of BJJ notebook for 2023, NF is mostly this but do I need something more?
    • Minecraft
      • Trading hall expansion
    • Guitar
      • Continue working on planning a drum track at speed
      • Review notes of what I'm supposed to be working on besides Dead Flowers
    • Themes
      • come up with a 2023 sketch of themes and checkpoints
    • House
      • work of Room for Improvement
      • tidy up my office
    • Professional
      • come up with some discussion points for manager 1 on 1 in early 2023
        • conferences
        • skills
    • Like 1
  6. 12/20/2022


    Mostly to plan

    I had a busy work day, trying to deal with the script hand-off from our consultants we hired in. That went so-so. More of that today (21st). I found out Monday that Laura needed me to run her to the eye doctor which cramped things a bit more but it worked out. We have some bad weather coming so we also hit up the grocery store midday. I generally don't do personal stuff during work hours but it was unavoidable. Because of all of that, no trip to the rec at midday, which is fine. 


    Marathon Roll

    Almost every Tuesday night I go to marathon roll at my gym. It's an hour, usually five minutes on, one minute off of sparring. Often the Professor will assign starting positions or specific objectives like "Lower belt has closed guard and lapel grips, lower belt can sweep or submit, higher belt can pass or disengage, reset if either happens" but last night was just "go from neutral". I won't remember every roll but I'll scribble a few things down. 

    My objective for the night was to take mount and work for the arm triangle thatI'm working on. I achieved three, which for a new technique, is a very high percentage

    • Arthur - blue belt - brand new cop, former wrestler, built like me (stocky, no neck). I dominated position but never got near a submission. We usually take the first round together so it's a little light to warm up
    • Ken - blue belt, primary training partner - we opted to not roll, we drilled arm drags from half guard and I'm still trying to make them work for me from guard
    • Army Dan - White belt, Dan and I used to have battles but the balance has shifted. He got a sub on me a couple weeks ago but it's been all me for a while. He has a great spider guard that stymies me but once I pass, his recovery isn't so good. I got mounted slowly built to the triangle and got it. 
    • Alex - Blue belt, much smaller than I am but we have fun. I try to not just smash. I think he was actually my first arm triangle (before Dan). Given the weight discrepancy, it feels a bit cheap
    • Wrestler Alex - smaller guy but crazy strong for his size, amazing balance, and definitely still has a lot of wrestler instinct. He's figured out a long time ago that against us bigger guys he can sit out and roll through enough to shake us off then do his thing. I managed to follow him through what I think was our longest chain wrestle to date and got ahold of his pant leg and pinned him down as he attempted to roll through. I took his back but never made anything of it
    • Wrestler Alex again - this was actually the final round and the only one with assigned positions, He started on my back (seated , but in a position like I'm giving a piggy back ride) with grips. In five minutes I fought to mount but didn't quite set up the sub
    • Gavin - blue belt, younger than me but about 20 lbs lighter so a really good match up. we used to battle and he would win 2/3-3/4 of the time but over the past year the I've pulled ahead as I have trained more. I don't recall his last sub on me. I got him with my third arm triangle of the night. We had time to reset and he had dreams of getting me and it might have been close. He dove for a guillotine not long before the buzzer. I was getting my legs from and transitioning to cross body when it sounded but the guillotine was still tight. If there had been 30 more seconds I think I would have taken position but genuinely can't say
    • JD - brown belt, tall, strong and good - our first match is a blur, he eventually got a shoulder lock from a mounted triangle but I can't recreate it in my mind. 
    • JD again - no taps either way (not that I tap JD) - I enjoyed his wry chuckle of frustration when I fully escaped his mounted triangle this time. We talked after and he really wanted a strangle from there, knowing that I'm notoriously hard to strangle, and was just frustrated that he couldn't get it
    • Hawkins - brown belt, much smaller than me but controls my body weight the whole time, every time - I don't recall any specifics, just that we rolled. I don't think I tapped but I genuinely have no details in my head from this match

    I think that is everyone but it's possible that I forgot a round. I took three subs off people, all my current project sub, arm triangle from mount. I gave us one that I specifically recall but it's possible there was a second in there. 

    I was also working on arm drags and can't say I got anywhere with those. The one that sticks in my mind was JD, I was in half guard bottom and had both of his arms pushed across to the opposite side of my body, exactly the position I wanted, but I couldn't get off my back to take his. They need more work.


    Normally after Marathon Roll, Arthur and I work takedowns but I ended up trying to help Ken trouble shoot his mounted arm triangle because it wasn't working for him last night. 


    Tuesday nights, when I get home, are what we call "Popcorn Night in America" at our house. It started when I first did marathon roll and I would get home at 8 and need to wash my gi before bed but felt exhausted and beat up. I shower immediately, make a soda stream soda, put my gi in the laundry, pop microwave popcorn and sit on the couch and watch some of our favorite YouTube channels with Laura until I could move my gi to the dryer. We've got a stable of go-to channels that we share specifically on Tuesday nights. It's fun. These days, after a year of marathon roll I don't feel exhausted or beat up but I enjoy the ritual. 



    More of my work day spent on script hand-off. I'm trying to get a clean run through of the consultant's scripts before he's done. I haven't done any real python in several years so he has to baby sit me. I think we'll get it done. Everyone is starting long vacations so things should be quiet.

    BJJ at midday

    I'm making chicken, broccoli, and soba with peanut sauce for supper.

    The snow is supposed to start today with as much at ten inches over the next 24 hours. It's also sub zero out so I'll be surprised if we actually get that much, those two don't usually go together. 

    If the snow starts soon, it may prevent BJJ, assuming it doesn't then I'll go.


    Here is a link to the mounted attack series I'm working on. The link will jump you to minute seventeen, you only need to watch the minute from 17-18 to get a sense of it. If you listen to how the guy on bottom struggles to breath, that's real, I heard it three times last night. If you notice the bottom guy's hand hovering, he wants to tap so bad but is trying to survive for the sake of the demo. It's a miserable experience. 

    • Like 2
  7. Super frustrating that the new gig seems to be imploding. If you can go back to your old or move on to a new, new, maybe it's better as they're demonstrating how they'll treat you once you're there.

    Dumb question but would swapping Monday off for Friday off make a big difference? I'm new here so you may have explained it already but I thought I'd ask.

  8. 12/19/2022


    Went about as expected. I had a private session with my instructor (professor in BJJ parlance). We were reviewing lesson's learned from my meet just over a week ago and planning my next areas of focus. It was a tad messy but I got some good take aways. Focus for the next few months are:

    (I'll unpack the terminology at a later time)

    • Arm Drags
    • Mounted Attack System

    Two things we didn't get to and will probably part of subsequent focuses are:

    • adding on to half guard
    • Body Locks

    In class proper we covered guard retention which is something we all need to work on. I rolled with many of my usual cast of characters:

    • Bill - old white belt I just beat up on because he's a goofball and seems like it
      • I did feel bad as I got him into a really awkward position with a rear strangle and pulled him backwards over his own body. I should have taken him to the side, I could have really screwed up his feet or ankles by pulling him that way. He thought it was funny. I don't think he realized the risk I put him at. I wasn't thinking in that moment.
      • two taps, one shoulder lock, one ugly strangle
    • Professor Anderson - when you get called by the professor, you go.
      • Right now he's toying with me. Since my meet he only uses arm drags to just completely control me from every position then takes mount and tries to force a pressure tap until I escape and then he starts over. 
      • I tapped three times, I think. I never even threatened him
    • Bradley - ex-marine who started the same time I did but missed a bunch of time for health reasons. I've advanced beyond where he is because of that but when we roll he goes into try-hard mode.
      • as always, a tough roll but never one where I'm really threatened
      • I don't think I got any taps. If memory serves, I got an arm triangle that felt good but I could still him breathing so I abandon it
    • Josh - purple belt who mopes that he can't beat me anymore.
      • he wanted to drill guard retention / sweeps so I let him do that while I slowly passed then we reset and did it again. After the second pass he want to keep rolling so I mounted and he pressure tapped
      • tapped him once after fighting up from bottom
    • Chris - for hobbyists, a really good brown belt. Always a very aspirational roll for me
      • We went a round and a half. I managed to get top, side control and hold it. He reguarded and I was able to pass to mount. In the end we just kind of fell apart and the roll just sort of ended.
      • 0 taps, had good position but I think he would have taken it in the end

    Work was fine. I was feeling grumpy about coworkers wanting me to get on the phone with them when I'm pretty busy. So I avoided it. Reading a consultant's machine learning code so that when he is done on Thursday, I can maintain it. I'll probably end up unpacking this whole thing at a later time but for now the gist is, we have a junior manager who wanted to hire in a consultant to do a machine learning project with the idea that we could just copy their work going forward and do our own machine learning. For many reasons, I don't think this is the right fit for us.


    I did not pull off my aspirational goal of mobility work. I had a moment where I almost went for it but I realized I didn't have a good space for it. I'll talk about the "room for improvement" sometime.



    A very messy day ahead. I won't get my rec time at midday. 

    Starting my  workday soon. My rec time was booked over for a product demo. I also need to run Laura to the eye doctor and pick her up later. We also have snow, cold, and wind coming so we're going to grab our groceries for the rest of the week then as well. Then wrap up my day

    • Guitar - done - only did about 20 minutes. Working on Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones with a digital drum track to try and learn to stick to the drummer
    • Work - mentioned above
    • Rec - no go today, probably no go this week
    • BJJ - Marathon roll tonight
    • Like 2
  9. 11 hours ago, Ike Eldrazi said:

    Salad jars arrived and I already love them. Today I filled up 4 of them with some veggies for this week's lunches. The idea is to "quickly" cook some kind of protein every day, dump the jar on a plate with some dressing and eat. At least at the moment, pretty excited to see how this little experiment goes.

    Other than that, I cleaned the fridge (lots of old stuff went out) and made some jelly for the week. Feeling pretty motivated now that I have some prep-work done.

      Reveal hidden contents









    This is clever and I will likely steal it. I love cabbage salads but if I leave the ingredients separate it's too easy to decide I don't have time to assemble them. 3-5 prebuilt salads would be game changing.

    • Like 1
  10. 12 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

    It has been a while since you were here. The forums got small enough we just all challenge in one big challenge forum each time, though we tag our posts with our guild. I'll follow challenges you post and here too.

    That all makes sense. IIRC, I tended to follow across guilds anyway. It's nice to have some kind of shorthand for what to expect (guilds) without segregation.


    I will look forward to the first challenge of 2023 starting but in the meantime, just try to get back in the habit of logging things.

    • Like 1
  11. 12/19/2022

    I headed to Akagi for open mat, as I usually do on Sunday. My training partner, Ken, joined me this week. He doesn't usually come along on Sundays but today he was talking like he'd like to do it more often.


    I don't really document these days in any meaningful way, it's something to think about but it's not super easy to bring writing equipment on the mat and after going in and out of lizard brain over and over, memory goes out the window. The best moment was that a guy I was supposed to compete against last week was there. We ended up not competing because he got promoted to purple belt. So we rolled today. I pulled off a nice back strangle. I've rolled with him before and I don't think he was at 100 % today. So I'm not taking it as "I'm the King" but I'm counting th the sub regardless. 

    We checked out after about 90 minutes and I probably got in 10 rounds. I got to roll with some folks I love rolling with and learn a bit every time. Most of my worthwhile battles were with purple belts which is pretty standard from me. I always feel bad smashing white belts so I ta then less than I know my coach wishes I would. 


    Tonight a non-workout project I'm working on is that it's almost my niece's birthday and I started  Minecraft realm for her and her mom a couple months ago. I'm going to enchant the final piece of armor to give her a full se. I'll put on an armor stand with a sign in her base. 



    • practice guitar
    • monthly BJJ private
    • BJJ
    • prepare for hand off of python code from consultant we hired in


    Aspirational goal for tomorrow: mobility - some kind of yoga or similar for 15+ minutes

    • Like 2
  12. It's been a long time since I was on NF and a lot has changed. A lot hasn't changed. 


    I've settled into a new sport and hobby and that's at least part of what is bringing me back here. I've always had that drive to document what. I'm doing, to see the change over time, and just to generally wax poetic on the whole experience. Lately, I've really been feeling that drive to record what I'm doing personally, professionally, and athletically. I've also felt the need to make it possible to hold myself accountable to my own expectations. So, I'm going to try again.


    My intention is to use this battle log to track the day-to-day, week to week I'll probably try to build out some cycl eof posts just to give myself a topic on a regular basis. I will plan to use the challenges in ... wait for it ... monks .. gasp. To track my individual BJJ projects and preparations for upcoming competitions.


    For the moment, I'm not going to over build this, I'm just going to use NF for what I have always tried to use it for, just talk and be around people.




    • Like 3
  13. It has been long, so long, since I posted on NF. I still follow of a few of my old friends and fellows from back in the day on social media but for the most part, I had written it all off. 


    I've been trying to find a good way of documenting and holding myself accountable for the past year but nothing has really stuck. I probably thought of NF at some point but I don't even recall anymore. But, I'm going to give it a go. A NF respawn, several years later, as very, very different person, but also the same. Wish me luck. 


    • Like 3
  14. 32 minutes ago, Novaurora said:

    The biggest news this week was that I was able to take some huge steps in my relationship.  While my husband and I are still living apart, we did have therapy this week, and he was able to express his feelings in a way he hadn't before, and we had a really productive session.  We went out to dinner on Thursday, and he has actually been here all weekend.  It's been very reminiscent of the beginning of our relationship, and while I know it can't last forever, I hope it sparks some energy for us, and it makes me happy to know that he still wants to spend time with me, and we can enjoy that time together.

    That is awesome! There will be ups and downs but, man, those ups are so good. FWIW, this was a huge thing for us as well, being able to express ourselves. Keep doing the work, you'll each be better for the time investment. 

    • Like 3
  15. 1 hour ago, RisenPhoenix said:


    I have this feeling right now, too.  Then again, I'm also wondering what I need to sacrifice and to whom so I can make sure it will be a good, quiet year.

    virgins. It's always virgins. No idea why.


    You bring up a good point. It seems like there is always something that must be given up to make any change as an adult. The days of just adding and adding are over. 


    I've gone through a couple versions of follow up sentences to to this but they all come back to me probably not thinking this entirely through. It will take some kind of work to keep it calm. 


    • Like 1
  16. It doesn't look like I got much logged last week. It was a good week though. Quick recap then off we go.

    • Monday - Guitar - teacher is trying to get me to improvise. I find it very tough. I'm probably too much in my own head but I think of it as being unclear on how to improvise
    • Tuesday - trying to recall what we made for supper. Recall enjoying it but don't recall what it was
    • Wednesday - Didn't get guitar time in but did work on clearing out my old apartment
    • Thursday - ended up doing more apartment clean out
    • Friday - just had a really nice, lazy evening. I made sourdough pancakes and sausage for supper. we watched the most recent Great British Bake-off, which I hadn't seen since a first couple early episodes.
    • Saturday - Say Jay and Silent Bob Rebooted with intro and Q&A by Kevin Smith. If you like other media featuring Jay & Silent Bob, you'll like it. If you don't like that media, you won't like this. Had Southern Fried, hot chicken at a popular local restaurant for supper. 
    • Sunday - Went to a friend's house for about 6 hours to play boardgames. Made a new recipe, Ginger Chicken. I can think of some good enhancements but will do again.

    Things that didn't happen last week:

    • Gym - chose to just focus on getting through the week and deal with move stuff
    • Diet - same as above. Also gave myself the excuse that it was my last week in the office
    • Daily tracking - I didn't log here or in my notebook. Not totally sure which box my notebook is in at the moment

    This week

    • Monday - Guitar
    • Tuesday - professional training during the day, nothing in the evening. Laura's night to cook
    • Wednesday - professional training during the day. probably meeting up with a friend in the evening
    • Thursday - My night to cook
    • Friday - probably going out to eat
    • Saturday - hosting games
    • Sunday - nothing

    This week begins my full time work-from-home life, again. Probably the single biggest goal for the week is to start building habits and patterns to being productive and happy doing that. I began today by going to the gym but taking it pretty easy there. I lifted, lightly, for about 30 minutes then walked on the treadmill, at an incline, for 30 minutes. The goal was to get there, start the habit, and keep myself from getting particularly sore this week.

    Today I plan to have hot lunch. I've gone back and forth on exactly what but probably chicken breasts that are left over from my garlic chicken recipe. I will probably also head down to the apartment gym, around midday and walk a bit more. 


    Broad notes/goals on the week

    • move daily - walk a couple miles outside or on the treadmill everyday that I'm working from home (the two training days to give me much freedom on this)
    • guitar - 5+ hours
    • gym - 5+ hours
    • eating - baring the couple of social food outings, stick to home made, hot foods. Don't eat convenience foods

    Near future

    • As mentioned above, I'm start full time work-from-home today. That will probably be my top priority to get dialed in the next couple weeks.
    • In two weeks I have to leave home for two weeks of conferences. That will be top of mind for me (right after the WFH shift) for the near future
    • I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving week as the beginning of "stability". The holiday season is always a hot mess in terms of stability but considering I'll finally be moved in and home, it's the beginning for me
    • I already have my eye on the new year and thinking about 2020. It's going to be a good, quieter year. 
    • Like 4
  17. Have your feels and don't punish yourself for it. It is the little things that you notice the most. There are songs, restaurants, recipes, and so on that I just had to avoid. 


    I fully support the hobby idea. I started to learn guitar. For me, sometimes that really helped. Sometimes I felt like more of a failure for having one more thing I was bad at. Commonly, despite having more free time, I just found that I didn't have it in me to put out the extra energy. That said, I'm glad I've spent the time, and I have gotten better, and it probably was a good distraction.

    • Like 3
  18. Last week's attempts to get back on fitness track were kind of a bust. Ah well. Ever forward.


    This weekend I moved. I moved from a one bedroom apartment to a two bedroom apartment in the same building. I have a roommate again, an old character in this little drama, Laura. you know, my ex-wife. 


    Friday night we each packed in our respective spaces. Saturday we got breakfast together then more packing. Sunday was move day. I left her to handle organizing the friends. 

    We got the keys to the new place at 11 am (11:30 by the time the leasing office got their act together). We did a few small trips from our respective units to the new one from 11 to 1. At 1 we got the freight elevator and our peeps showed up. We started hauling. By 3, the end of the planned move time. We had moved all we had planned on. We fed people and dismissed them.

    We, of course, had a lot small finishing work to do so that's how we spent our evening. I have my apartment for a week still so I left all my little tasks for this week. I'll be spending some time there tonight and Wednesday night to get it wrapped up.


    This week

    • Homemaking - This week is all about getting settled into my new home. That means packing the last bit of my old home, moving them to my new one and unpacking them
    • Habitmaking - Moving to a new place, a new situation requires that I build up a new set of habits and routines
    • Habitmaking 2 - This week is my last week heading to the office reliable for a while. I'm going back to working remotely for a while. I don't know how long "a while" but I would assume a minimum of 2 years. So I will be trying to preplan habits to help make me more effective going forward.
    • Self Care - Moving beats up the body. I need to make sure some mobility happens this week. Once I get two mobility workouts in, I authorize myself to do a strength workout but not before


    • Monday - guitar. Was planning to go catch a concert but I'm going to focus on moving
    • Tuesday - Night in. Laura and I both have this night free so we're just going to have a nice night in and forget about moving for a little bit.
    • Wednesday - wrap up my old apartment. Play guitar
    • Thursday - unpacking. Play guitar. Mobility
    • Friday - unpacking, kitchen focused.
    • Saturday - Jay and Silent Bob rebooted, dinner out, probably sushi
    • Sunday - option late concert. Mostly enjoy down time. Prepare for first remote week.

    I see that it's time for new challenge threads. I thought about doing one but got shy and opted not to. May still be a thing. My month is going to be more focused on realigning my life in my new living space, working remotely, and so on. I'm going to be less concerned with hitting any particular numbers. 

    • Like 5
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