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  1. The earliest parts of 2014 were some very trying months for me, where I had to deal with a knee blowout, surgery, and tons of physical therapy. But now I'm free and ready to take flight once more. And in honor of dealing with feeling crapped on by the world, but persevering, I'm going for a fun, Firefly theme. (and bonus geek points to anyone who can tell me who said each line and in what episode/context) Goal 1. "I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar" (physical) Now that I've been cleared for sports and such, I want to test myself with some new fancy flying tricks (well, hanging and balancing moves with my legs off of the ground). I plan to work on these moves at least 3 times per week, with the aim of mastering at least 3 5! new moves by the end of the challenge: yoga balances: firefly , dragonfly, 8 angle pose, shoulder press, leg forward crow variation, flying crow variation, forearm stand bar or misc stuff: tucked leg front lever, tucked leg back lever, tucked human flag, and/or dragon flag. Current status: can balance a forearm stand 10 seconds if I wall balance first (will need a solid, 20 second hold for challenge). Can hold tucked leg front lever 3-5 seconds (will need a solid 10 second hold for challenge). I can hold peacock/elbow lever, side crow with legs extended, flying crow, and scissor pose. I haven't really tried or succeeded at any of the rest of these. I would need a 10 second hold for the move to "count". Goal 2. "I aim to misbehave" or behave. (le sigh). (physical) Yeah, I still have to be a good girl with the PT stuff and the climbing rules. So, Leg day must be done 2 times per week (can be split into more days, depending). I must do squats, split squats, balances, knee ROM stretches, lunges, my jumping sets, the leg press machine, the hamstring curl machine, and 30+ minutes of some sort of leg endurance building cardio, like cycling, elliptical, jogging, or swimming. For climbing, I need to follow my rules, which are: -No letting my right leg get more than 3 feet off of the ground while bouldering. (basically, I can only do traverses and the bottoms of routes) -I'm not allowed to do drop knee or heel hook moves with the right leg. -If the knee hurts at all, stop. It's not worth it to push through the pain just to make it to the top of a route. -No knee brace = no climbing. No exceptions. -No whining. Just enjoy being able to climb again. Goal 3 - "The living legend needs eggs" (diet) -I've been doing a lot of strength building stuff. But, as a vegetarian, it's tough to be sure that I'm getting enough protein. So, I need to track my protein and reach 100g each day. I'm expecting to eat lots of eggs. Goal 4 - "What the hell's goin' on in the engine room? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?" Life goal #1 Yeah.. That's how the home often looks, largely because I do have two terrifying space monkeys wreaking havoc on everything. I was pretty successful when I did Flylady a few challenges ago, but I don't find her chores especially relevant for my house. Instead, I made my own chore list and randomizer (yay, iOS programming). The goal is to do 6 of these cleaning chores each week. Goal 5 - "Also, I can kill you with my brain." Life goal #2 This is kind of an extension of my time management goal, but I'm going to improve my brain by learning iOS development. My goal by the end of the challenge is to completely go through my tutorial book. Also, I need to paint at least 4 images for some apps I'm planning on making, as well as record at least 3 piano songs to use for background music in said apps. I've already started one of the apps, which is my cleaning chore manager and randomizer. I'm hoping to add a lot more front end features and make it a professional looking app by the end of the challenge. Bonus "flying" goal (maybe I'll turn this into a PVP): Pull ups in odd places: Yeah, there's a poses in unusual places PVP, but I want to try doing pull-ups in random places or on random things. I already kind of look for odd things to pull up on, but this time, I want to take videos and make a montage of weird pull-ups. Anything other than a standard horizontal bar or rings would "count". Hey, I'm a climber, so I always have to work on my grip. I'll still be hooping. I'm just planning on putting on music and just going with it, rather than specifically learning new moves. And I'll still go swimming with the kids or do it as part of my endurance-building physical therapy. And I'll still be cooking. i'm just not planning on specifically focusing on any of these.
  2. I'm not great at themed challenges and pretty much all of this is going to be a stretch. Especially since I'm going to focus on martial arts and Kaylee is pretty averse to violence, unless it gets in the way of her and Simon :-) She's my favourite character so I'm going with her regardless of personality test results (usually I get Simon). It's all about the mechanics Kaylee understands mechanics and engines. I need to understand my Judo and striking practice the same way and that comes through practice and study. Judo and Striking - Work on turn-ins and footwork, learn basic striking and practice 3/weekly. Judo (should it actually happen) counts. Grading: x/18 Bend and stretch Judging by a few scenes where she's climbing on things to reach switches or access panels, she needs to be flexible and able to climb. I'll address climbing later but yoga is something I like to practice. It helps keep my irritable shoulders happier and helps with flexibility. 2 yoga sessions/week. Prasara yoga is my usual focus but if I feel like doing another kind for a change, I'll go with that. Grading: x/12 Quiet time in the engine room This is what Kaylee does to calm down and relax after Mal pisses her off. I handle stress somewhat poorly and meditation would help with retaining my calm in general. Meditate for 5 min per day to start, probably using the Calm.com app on my iPad . Also read Three Deep Breaths, as recommended by my Dad. Grading: x/43 42 for the meditation and 1 for reading the book. It's short. I like to meet new people, they've all got stories! In this sense, I'd to meet some new fictional people. Spend some time each week reading, or watching TV/Anime. Most notably, this is time to relax by myself and NOT spend doing chores, cooking, etc. I was recently reminded of the difference between recreation and relaxation. Relaxation does need to be scheduled or it doesn’t happen. Pass or fail each week. Besides, maybe if I spend some time watching more anime I’ll recognize more at the Anime convention next year and I haven't re-watched Firefly in a bit :-) Eh, I warned you all that these were likely to be a stretch.
  3. Yup. I got Shepherd Book. I've always liked Shepherd Book as a character. He strikes me as one of the few genuinely Christian characters in media - not a caricature or a propaganda piece, but someone who was deeply religious and has to wrestle with what that means from time to time. He prays for people who don't want to be prayed for, but more than that: he walks with them in the muddiness of their lives, and keeps trying to point back to something greater than himself. Also, the man can shoot, and he's not afraid to throw down when it's time. So, I have a theme for this challenge. What shall my three goals be? Goal 1: Twice Weekly Yoga The Shepherd's someone who can clearly still move well, even at his age. He fights, shoots, works, just like a regular member of the crew. It's a good example for me to strive after. I've found three yoga flows over at doyogawithme.com that are specifically tailored for trouble areas. All told, the whole time investment would be thirty minutes each session. I'd love to do more like go for a full-body SMR session, but that takes time, and right now I want to get back in the habit of doing some kind of regular maintenance routine. Goal 2: Follow Through The Shepherd learned to fight. Nobody really knows how. It's a part of his life he doesn't talk about very much. Fortunately, I'm there now. Keep on with the PUG. I'll have to find some other cool way to keep myself training afterward, though... Goal 3: "The important thing is the spices. A man can live on packaged food from here 'til Judgment Day if he's got enough rosemary." When Book first shows up on the show, he pays his way aboard the Serenity with strawberry and spices. This is a man who knows how to eat well. I need to figure that out my own self. The current program I follow only allows for one cheat meal per week. I'm not feeling deprived - I eat between 2300 and 2700 calories and easily go over 3000 on a busy day - but this is going to take some real grit on my part to compartmentalize and not let myself get side-tracked. LIFE GOAL: KEEP WRITING Book quotes poetry and scripture and is quite cultured. I bet if he'd had the time, he would have written a book... maybe... Anyway. Need to get back on those deadlines. One chapter per week. Here we go on another crazy adventure!
  4. OK, I admit this is a bit of a weird one.... Firstly, I'm not into Furry thing. I'm not passing any judgement on those who are but this 6WC is just me indulging my nostalgia and my imagination as a way to motivate and structure my training. Right then... I used to love the TMNT roleplaying game as a kid. Long before any cartoon or films appeared, there were the comics and the RPG. It was visceral. It was funny. It was well written (admittedly as a counter to the increasingly gritty and cynical media of the 80's). It was also one of my first introductions to roleplaying games (after d&d). So I have a soft spot for it. The increasing news of the latest reboot from Michael Bay (about which I still have mixed feelings) has kept me in a nostalgic mood when it comes to the subject. The RPG was called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness. It featured the eponymous turtles as examples but you were encouraged to create your own bizarre, original, funny, tragic and/or heroic mutant animal characters. It was great craic and I remember fondly not only playing but indulging my creative side by generating countless oddball characters (some of which might make an appearance in this 6WC) So, this is my "TMNT part 3: Other Strangeness" challenge (with Firefly sidequest). So, this is following a "mutant animal" theme - concepts and goals will be epitomized by the characteristics of certain animals, which will be anthropomorphized for the purposes of mimicking their qualities. These mutant animals might be well known characters (e.g. Master Splinter embodying discipline or Raphael embodying Sai training... or berserker rage ) or they might be "new" characters (such as a mutant Gorilla representing "beast mode strength training" or a mutant Wolverine representing endurance and outdoor activities) Some of the new characters will need names - please feel free to suggest some as they appear. These mutant/anthropomorphized animals will be my... Spirit Guides, I guess. They will inspire my training and workouts. Along with the other goals. (Don't worry if I start reporting on their antics as thought they were real people - I'm not writing or running any RPGs right now and my storytelling reserve tends to start leaking after a while) onto the specifics... The Turtles and the Newt: Martial Arts. The Turtles rock when it comes to weapons! In my case, Donatello and Raphael - as my oriental weapons training concentrates on Sai and Bo. I might play with swords and nunchaku a bit too... but we'll see Embodying the karate practice is... The Karate Newt!! (sorry the gif sucks. best I could do on short notice ) Karate every Wednesday. Helping with the juniors class as and when needed. Time is short but I should be able to make enough of it to practice my katas (armed and unarmed) at least twice a week outside of my regular classes. +1 STR, +1 DEX, +1STA, +1 WIS NB the Karate Newt needs a name... he's a slightly manic, hyperactive, mutant newt version of Master Ken. distinctly less cool than any of the turtles but doesn't realize it. Splinter's Discipline. This is about diet and routine. I'll keep a food diary. This is my first time trying to keep a food diary (despite having meant to for ages!) so I'll cut myself some slack here and concentrate mainly on keeping it up to date on Mondays - Fridays. In theory, this should help me maintain a fairly low carb/low grain paleo-esque diet... It will also help me make sure my caloric intake is about right. Treat day at the weekend is planned. +2 Wis, +2 CON Cheetahs, Tigers and Gorillas! Oh my..?! Exercise: Cardio, Strength and some Animal-Flow. Tiger Strength training: Twice a week. Embodied by Rugshasa, the mutant Tiger! (Whose name derived from some d&d players wanting to open a shop. They had recently skinned a bunch of Rakshasa so I suggested calling the place Rugshasas) Bodyweight or Kettlebells, some machines <spit!> because I have limited access to free weights. The Lat-Pull-Down machine and the Chest Press machine will supplement push ups, pull ups (well, hanging shrugs at this stage), kettlebell stuff and squats/lunges. Intensity is the key here! This is BEAST MODE. When I'm not going TIGER, I'm going SILVERBACK! Cheetah Cardio training: Interval sprints twice a week (on non-tiger days). My gym time is too short for longer/slower cardio So Cheetah Style Sprints it is! I typically go easy for 60 seconds and hard for 30. Each session I will max out the speed on treadmill at least once. By the end of the challenge, I want to be maxing it out the treadmill more than once and bringing my "rest" time down to 45 seconds. Doing an image search for anthropomorphized cheetahs started getting disturbing results so I'll just use a pretty picture of a normal one.... Animal-Flow: uhm, yeah. Thanks Kishi, for the idea. Now I've gotta actually learn some of this stuff!! Well, I guess I'll start by introducing some of the moves into my warm ups and my non-Tiger days in the gym. The first six of these will be a nice start I think (the more locomotive movements are tricky considering the tiny size of the gym) Getting tired of searching for anthropomorphic animals. That last search has left me scarred... So here's "a chameleon that looks like you owe him an explanation for what you just did". NB the cheetah, the silverback and the chameleon all need names +2 STR, +1 DEX, +1STA Wolves and Wolverines. Some kind of hiking / camping event. Well, that's nice and vague... And that's how it'll remain until I can organize it but at some point over the next six weeks, I'm taking to the hills for a nice long walk and an overnighter. Just for the hell of it. well, and the exercise and the "getting away from technology for an evening" thing. My inspiration for this is "minimalist survival". As embodied by the fuzzy little fellow above. Don't let his "cutesy Snake Pliskin teddy bear look" fool you. This is Caesar, a mutant wolverine of terrifying stature (3'7") who had a train load of guns and explosives. He's a weirdo survivalist embodied in the form of an Ewok from Hell! +1 WIS, +1 STA And of course there's the Firefly themed sidequest... Hitch a Ride! Part of the course I'm on includes securing a couple of days a week work placement over the winter months. The sooner I sort it out, the better my options will be. So I'm gonna do my damnedest(?) to sort the gorram business out sooner rather than later! +1 CHA
  5. I was working on trying out a fancy themed topic this time around with the theme of Phantasy Star Online and I mistakenly deleted the post TWICE without posting the topic :< ! Oh well. I have my goals in order though. They are mostly about walking more, doing kata and martial forms, harder resistance training and donating stuff because I might be moving out of my family's home. I have even been doing the goals this week, I just critically messed up in posting the topic. I will have the whole thing up soon!
  6. Here's how it is: The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths. Some rich and flush with the new technologies, some not so much. The Central Planets, thems formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule; a few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself. I'm Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. She's a transport ship; Firefly class. Got a good crew: fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher for some reason, and a bona fide companion. There's a doctor, too, took his genius sister outta some Alliance camp, so they're keepin' a low profile. You understand. You got a job, we can do it, don't much care what it is. Right. Dunno iff'n y'all noticed, but a couple of the GLs had the idea that we should do a Firefly-themed challenge. And by had the idea, I mean that we laughed and thought and laughed, and now we're doing it. Here's how this is gonna work. The Challenge goes like normally does, but we're gonna but a slight twist on it. You have a background theme to use if you want to. You can base it on a character, on an episode, on a planet, on the setting itself, whatever. It just has to tie back to Firefly somehow. There is no limit on how many people can share a character or an episode or what have you. If anything, it'd actually be fascinating to see lots of different riffs on a theme. If you're having some trouble figuring it out, I've thrown in a Character Quiz to give you some starting points. So, there you have it, guys. Have fun! (NOTE: Just so we're clear: you don't have to do this if you don't want to. We just thought it'd be fun to shake things up a little bit and play around some. But believe me, I know better than anyone: martial arts is srs bzns).
  7. UPDATED: APRIL 21ST/23RD EPIC QUEST Get down to 25% body fat CHALLENGE QUEST Drop 3 inches off body measurements Nourish CON +4 Track calories and stay under 150 grams of carbohydrates. I've started back up with MyFitnessPal. I know that I eat better when I am monitoring what actually goes into my mouth. So, I'll be tracking my calories every day (starting 4/23). I would like to keep my calorie intake at a reasonable level, and I feel that making sure my carbs stay under 150 grams a day will help that. Eat breakfast before leaving the house for work. I am always SO busy at work. If I don't manage to make a smoothie to take with my for breakfast, I usually don't eat until about 10 or 11, which pushes lunch back to about 2 or 3 and then I'm not hungry for dinner until 10 o'clock rolls around! So.....I will be eating breakfast before I leave my house for work in the morning. Not bringing a smoothie or something with me, I want to finish my breakfast before heading out. And I don't want to be rushing or scarfing down my food either. I want to be able to sit down and have breakfast. Eat Paleo for breakfast and lunch Monday thru Friday. I’ve tried Paleo before and it hasn’t really worked out for me. My boyfriend is definitely not Paleo and I do almost all of our cooking. So I figure, if I only eat Paleo when I’m not eating with him, I’ll have a much better chance of succeeding. Reduce sugar intake. I was thinking about it this weekend, and I decided it will be more helpful to work on reducing my sugar than to go part-time paleo. I have a sugar problem. I absolutely love it! Once I start eating it, I can't stop. I'll be eliminating it gradually, as to avoid putting myself into shock! Week 1: Eliminate sugary beverages Weeks 2-3: Eliminate junk food Weeks 4-6: Drastically reduce carbs Train STA +2 | DEX +2 | STR +2 Workout 6 days a week everyday, for at least 30 minutes. I need to keep my body moving. I’ve been doing pretty good lately but I want to do better. I want to incorporate a lot of dancing, but I don't want to slack on strength training. I want to work in some kettlebell training, but body weight training is fine too. Improve splits. I miss being able to do the splits. Inspired by a few of my new Assassin friends, I have added a split component to my challenge. I will do stretches in the evenings that will help me to improve my splits by the end of this challenge. Starting photos will be posted tonight. I will post my improvements at the end of the challenge. Prepare WIS +2 | CHA +1 Clear out and prep my temple for painting. My boyfriend and I moved to a new place last spring. He has his office (he works from home most of the time) and we have our bedroom and other common rooms, but I don't have a place to relax and call my own. There is a room downstairs that we're using as a storage room. It's going to become my temple. Inara's shuttle is my inspiration. Though I will be working on the room most days, I’ll only be posting weekly update photos. My goal is to have the room ready to paint by the end of the challenge.
  8. Mini-Challenge #1: The Operative The Operative is sinister. The Operative is smart. The Operative is a Ranger. Your challenge, Rangers, is to be the Operative. Take two of your goals, and approach them as if you have already completed them. Your plan is so perfect, that you've accounted for everything. Don't let yourself slack. If you don't have a plan, make one. This week, you attack your goals. You track them down, sniff out their weaknesses and eat them for breakfast. Once the week is up, you will have started to instill two good habits. Don't break the chain... because next week... you may... misbehave... Call out your two goals here, and write in with progress. This challenge will run from today (9/17) to 11:59pm (your local time) on Sunday 9/22.
  9. Mini-Challenge #2 - River River! We love River. But look at this ^^. How much strength and flexibility is necessary for this type of movement. What do we need to do to be like River? We need flexibility and core strength. Your challenge: Part 1) 10 minutes of mobility or stretching per day. Today - Sunday. Part 2) Accumulate X minutes of planks: Beginners, or those new to planks, aim to accumulate 2 minute per day. Intermediates, try to accumulate 3 minutes per day. Advanced Rangers, try to accumulate 5 minutes per day. ** You decide what level you're at. If you want to go even further, try to accumulate your time without breaking the time up throughout the day.
  10. We all die alone. But we don’t have to live that way. Space is lonely enough, and without the support of a good crew, you may just end up crazy as the gorram Reavers. But even they don’t go it alone. For the next six weeks, I will be revamping and revitalizing my relationships with my crew members. I have four specific missions to get me to that point (technically, to follow the new guidelines, 3 goals and a side mission). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mission 1: Become a “stronger†captain. Do the 100 Pushup challenge Right now I can do 30 at a time, although I can do more if I rest in between sets of 10. I want to be able to do 100 all at a time. This is my solo goal. (3 STR, 1 STA) Mission 2: “Refresher†flight training with co-pilot. Complete the Marriage Fitness Program I have a good marriage, but you know the saying, good is the enemy of great. I want to be more intentional in my marriage, so I will be doing a 6-week marriage enrichment program I designed. This goal will be done with TornadoAllie. (3 CHA, 1 WIS) Mission 3: “Coordinate†actions plans with co-pilot and gunner. Learn 3 songs on bass guitar. I have taken a few lessons, but want to do more with it. My wife is in the dame boat with her guitar. My dad just got an electronic drum set and wants to learn to play. So we will be picking three beginner songs and working on them individually so we can al play together in six weeks. This goal will be done with TornadoAllie and NoMoreBull. (3 DEX) Mission 4: Keep “on the run†with my whole crew: copilot, gunner, and mechanic. Run 5K under 30min. We all have different goals for time, but we all will be working on running a 5k by the end of the challenge. I will be training with TornadoAllie, but this goal is also with NoMoreBull and TombRayder. (3 STA, 1 STR) “When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl, you find someone to carry you."
  11. Last challenge, I gave my challenge a Rainbow Dash theme because I was preparing cosplay as her for PAX East. This time, I'll be using the ladies from Joss Whedon's Firefly to inspire my goals! Note: All artwork by Megan Lara. Starting Stats: Hearthsinger the Wandering Bard Level 2 Halfling Ranger STR 4 | DEX 3 | STA 7 | CON 5 | WIS 6 | CHA 4 Starting Photos: Starting Weight: 151.4 lbs Starting Measurements: Bust: 36.25" Waist: 36.5" Hips: 42" Thigh: 20.75" Calves: 15.5" Bicep: 12.25" Fitness/Diet goals: "I need you up in the engine room figurin' out what caused this." ~Malcolm ReynoldsI'll use all the tech at my disposal to maximize the efficiency of my workouts and the effectiveness of my diet plan.I'll log every meal I eat on Fitbit.I must meet my -1000 calorie deficit at least 6/7 days a week while still eating EVERYTHING I'm supposed to on my diet plan so I can stay on track with my weight loss.No more starving myself to meet the deficit is allowed. I must consume at least 1100 calories every "day of rest." On active/working days, I must consume 1250-1350. Reward: CON +4 "You ever been with a warrior woman?" ~WashTime to get more serious about my strength training with. Daily Yoga!20-30 minutes/day including vinyasa series and warrior dance to warm up the body, followed by focused work on the following three poses.Hold crow for 10 seconds (right now I can just barely get both feet off the floor for a few seconds)Wheel for 10 seconds (I've gotten up into it one time, but mostly only make it to the top of my head)Hold shoulder stand for 10 minutes by the end of the challenge (right now my PR is four minutes). Reward: STR +3, DEX +2 "No power in the 'verse can stop me." ~River TamI have graduated from the Zombies, Run 5K Training app so it's time to start doing 3 missions a week with the regular Zombies, Run app.By the end of the challenge, I'd like to go from my 5k PR of: 33 min down to 30 min. Reward: STA +3Life Goal: "Should I start with the part where you're stranded in the middle of nowhere or the part where you have no clothes?" ~Inara SerraI'm running out of clothes that fit properly again and I don't have a lot of money, so it's time to get resourceful and list all my old designer clothes, shoes, and sundry items that no longer fit or are no longer wanted for sale on ebay.They do not have to be sold by the end of the challenge, but all of the items have to be collected, organized, photographed, and listed by the end of six weeks. I can use the proceeds to replenish my dwindling wardrobe! Reward: CHA +3
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