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  1. So here I go again. Wow, it's been a long time. I'll summarize some major life changes: Getting close to a one year anniversary with my girlfriend! Over a year at my IT job Been off my medicine (depression, anxiety) for over a year So now that the good is out of the way, on to the less good. I got really out of shape again. After a photography-related accident, (fell off a cliff) I could not walk for 6 months. Needless to say, health and mental outlook suffered. I've been walking again since January, so time to respawn, reload, and destroy this challenge. 2019 Master Quests Lose 63 lbs. Eat Better Be Active Get Out of Debt Review/reduce spending Organize debts Contact creditors regarding settlements Become Much Better At Magic Education Practice Become A Much Better Vocalist Education Practice Perform a magic show Practice favorite effects till perfect Build a cohesive routine Research volunteer opportunities Build my photography business Do a few TFP photo shoots to build buzz Consistent marketing Prospective client engagement Whew! That's a lot of quests! I should probably just buy a quart of pralines and cream, a 2 liter of mountain dew and watch 14 hours of youtube videos right? #$CK NO! Let's break this *$%^ down into manageable pieces: S.M.A.R.T. Goals: Drink no more than one 21 once soda a week during the challenge (date night, movie, etc) Maintain 90% or better daily calorie goals Hit 5000 steps a day (average) Perform magic set for one open mic night
  2. Time to join the Rangers: Arcelas the n00b Carries On: Post-New-Year’s-Resolution Challenge Questline: Lose 48 lbs Complete all scheduled workouts Rewards/Penalties based on percentage of workouts completed 80% or higher: Maximum effort Deadpool workout t-shirt 79% or lower: I have to wear a plain white t-shirt to the gym, with things written/drawn on it suggested by Nerd Fitness Complete all daily food journals Rewards/Penalties based on percentage of journals completed 80% or higher: Super whey tasty chocolate protein powder 79% or lower: I have to buy, cook and eat a spaghetti squash (literally the worst-tasting thing in the world to me) Questline: Become Much Better At Magic Read and practice chapter 2 of “Royal Road to Card Magic” (30 minutes a day) Practice a coin trick (2 hours per week)
  3. Greetings from Arcelas the n00b! If you are reading this right now, it means I have successfully posted it. 2018 (The year we all become murlocs) Quests 4 Week Challenge Quests: Quest Line: Lose 59 lbs. Hit my daily step goal of 10000 steps. 5000 the first week, then add 1666.66 (repeating of course) steps each week until 10000 is reached Quest Line: Get Out of Debt Cook as many meals on Saturday and Sunday as possible to reduce dining out spending by 50% (dropping from $220/mo to $110/mo) Quest Line: Become Much Better At Magic Read Royal Road to Card Magic: Chapter One and watch the accompanying videos Quest Line: Become A Much Better Vocalist Complete KTVA Streaming Lessons Vol 1 and practice 30 minutes a day 3 days a week OK Rebels. Let's do this!
  4. I just read "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg. Excellent insights from scientific research on the subject of habits and how to make them and how to break them. I need to start some new habits. I actually already started so the challenge will be to continue them until they are an automatic habit. 1- Don't eat in my office or bedroom. 2- 1 hr morning meditation, seven days a week 3- Work on memorizing basic witch stuff from my first and second Alexandrian coven class. (Yup, I wanna be a witch.) That's about it.
  5. The Storm was coming. The grey stretch of storm clouds gathered and moved forward, threatened to wash away anything the people of Urbanos held dear. Varuna was another breath closer to the dark side. Phytomancer looked at the sky. His brown eyes stared upward, and only he could see Varuna’s glowing form, pulsing blue and silver. Tears ran down Varuna’s face, and once they fell from his chin, another storm cloud funneled into the herd of dark stretch over Urbanos. “It’s cold.†Flashwolf, Phytomancer’s companion said. His beard ran with water. “And look!†A cluster of venti, storm spirits, appeared on the horizon. They looked very mean, and they were approaching quickly. On the west, magicians with the scrolls flashed their lighting magic as golden letters floated around them. “Eat… this… cup… cakes…†Phytomancer’s mind whispered. “Or… cheesecakes… “ That couldn’t be! He had been using much magic, and without training and focus, he would lose to the power of the gods and become a potbelly monster. Phytomancer must fight. Goals: Food: Keep the greens, cut most grains, and limit non-fresh fruit desserts - Eat green leaves everyday - 7 Grainless meals (except rice) per week - 3 desserts per week, and only when it’s social Fitness: Keep the training schedule - 3 cardios a week - 3 strength trainings a week - Keep tracks of everything Magic: Catch up with everything - 20 hours of research a week Mini Quests: Playing soccer against the venti Thai Student Associations around Illinois are having a soccer match next week. I will participate in many physical activities and limit my food. Keep the fire going I will keep my creative fire burning by write creatively—at least 10,000 words will be written within this challenge. Stick with Ranger Mini-Challenges This one needs no explanation. And go Phytomancer!!
  6. The Wild Hunt “Join, hide or die. That’s all you can do when the Wild Hunt comes to call.†--Harry Dresden, Cold Days Thunder rolls. Or is that hoofbeats in the sky? Above the wailing wind, a hunting horn can be heard, and the baying of cruel hounds. The Wild Hunt roams the land and sea and sky, and most folk cower in their homes, for even the sight of it can bring disaster. (click any picture to enlarge) In the Dresden Files book series, the Wild Hunt is when the Fae go hunting in the mortal realm. When the Hunters sweep through, some individuals are given the option to join the Hunt or to flee as prey. Members of the Hunt can fly, traverse open water as if it were dry land, and run at freeway speeds. They are instinctively aware of the locations of the other Hunters. They wear a shadowy mask that hides who they were before joining the Hunt. The Wild Hunt can be called up and led by a number of beings of Faerie, including the king of the goblins. Not that Goblin King. The lord of the goblins, called the Erlking or Lord Herne. He is devious, cunning, strong, and swift. He also is the consummate hunter, selecting his game and then pursuing his quarry with joy and determination. Members of the Wild Hunt will have a similar (if less blood-thirsty) attitude. We will pursue our respective targets with enthusiasm and dedication, whether a particular 5K or a weight goal or getting our food choices under control. We will make the most of our brains and our bodies. We will also consistently let the other members of the team know how we are doing, so that we can help each other to capture success. And in the process we will probably talk a lot about the Dresden Files. And there will be spoilers, oh yes there will. The moment of choice has arrived. Join, hide or die? This team will be limited to eight members, because any more than that (as we are without magical aid) it starts to get hard keeping track of how everyone else is doing. If you are interested in joining a Dresden Files-themed group, but the Wild Hunt has already taken off (or you don’t like my theme, which is all right too) here are some suggestions: The Grey-cloaked Wardens (whose swords cut through all enchantments and also bad habits) The Fellowship of St. Giles (striving to control their own urges while fighting the predators) Chicago PD: Special Investigations (they might be regular people, but they stand up to the monsters anyway) The Alphas (using teamwork and tactics to overcome powerful enemies) Knights of the Sword/Knights of the Cross (maybe expand to more than three members?)
  7. Base Stats (if week 3 is completed) STR: 0 DEX: 3 STA: 0 CON: 2 WIS: 4 CHA: 1 Main Quest: Gain the shapeshifting skill "dog/tiger transform" (The ability to parkour-run through woods with no low branches.) This is a big quest, step 1 is to develop basic strength (arms and core) with a bit of stamina. The measurements for this will be to manage one chin-up and pull-up consistently, 2x90sec plank, and hold each side of Warrior 2 (yoga) for 2 minutes without a significant break between. Support Goals Goal 1: (STR) Do something at least 6 times a week. (push ups, dumbbell rows, squats, walk through the woods and vault fallen trees, . . . , any intent to move to approach the Main Quest.) A: at least 6 times a week B: average 5 times a week or better C: average 4 times a week D: no less than 3 times any week F: anything less Goal 2: (WIS) Hold posture. This entails sitting and standing up straight, and possibly holding abs while sitting or standing to be measured by conscious efforts or corrections. (The count will be by days, with 3 corrections/intentional efforts required to count the day.) A: at least 6 days of at least 3 corrections a day per week B: at least 6 days of at least 3 corrections a day per week on average C: at least 5 days of at least 3 corrections a day per week on average D: at least 4 days of at least 3 corrections a day per week on average F: anything less Goal 3: (STA) Play with or walk my dog more. Yes, this is stamina if done right. (Walks can double count for Goal 1) A+ BONUS: average 4 days a week A: 3 days a week B: 2 days a week C: average 2 days a week D: 1 day a week F: anything less Life Quest: (I do not know what stat) Study and register for the GRE. (reverse letter order, at cut-off) - Finish the first book - Vocabulary notepad (D) - First book practice tests - Two old book practice © - Get New library book and read ( - Those practices - Register for a date and time (A) - Online Practice tests Diet Goal: (no points) Try to eat fewer extra carbs/gluten. Basically, attempt to eat fruit or something instead of carb junk food.
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