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GoodDoug

GoodDoug trains for the Dragon Heart

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The half ogre looked around the tavern, it was mostly empty. Everyone was off fighting somewhere else. The Rebellion had the Enemy back in a defensive position. It was thanks to the work of all the guilds working together, sacrificing together that they were able to have a little breathing room. But they couldn't completely let up. Complacency caused the initial setback last year. It was inevitable that they would grow complacent again, that the enemy would grow strong again... but for now, they were taking the space given them by the recent victories.

GoodDoug approached the Ranger Guild Leader he had reported to for years, "Hail! How are things?"
The Guild Leader looked the half ogre up and down, "You look like you could use a new quest, you look like you're getting soft again."
GoodDoug smiled, he knew this was the old leader's way of saying hello. He sat down next to the guild leader and raised his mug to them.
The guild leader chuckled, as far as Rangers went, GoodDoug wasn't half bad. He could be inconsistent, but always seemed to put in the effort at the right times. "I have something I think would be good for you, you've learned a lot with us in the Rangers, and you've been teaching a lot as well. I know you've been hanging with some of the Assassins and Druids lately... that's good. Rangers need to be versatile, that's our strength."
The old leader paused, "I'm going to send you after the Dragon Heart... but not yet. You need to get yourself to peak condition." The guild leader paused again, "Speak with the Druids about the Dragon Heart, and then take everything you've learned and start applying it to training."

GoodDoug sought out advice from the Druid leaders, who told him that the Dragon Heart is as much a state of being as it is a relic. To obtain the Dragon Heart he would be required to be at his physical, emotional, and intellectual peak. It would require nurturing himself and others. They suggested that he train in isolation, running, foraging, hunting and surviving on his own. They gave him some mental exercises and showed him a place he could isolate himself.

 

This challenge marks a return to story. Might not make the story the focus of the challenge, but there is some story. I've learned a lot from you guys in my time here, and now I want to use all of that to make myself better. I'm breaking it down into an 80's training montage:

giphy.gif

 

Physical:

  • Run 2x per week
  • Exercise 4x per week (includes GMB Vitamins, handstand work, and rings work)
  • Eat smarter - This is a loosey-goosey goal which I normally frown upon, but I want to honestly look at myself each day and ask, "Did I eat like a doofus today?""

 

Emotional:

  • Cooking more - 1 "good" meal per day
  • Meditate 3x per week (might change that number up if I feel motivated by it)
  • Creativity 4x per week
    • including some touchpoints through the challenge:
    •   work in woodshop 1x per week at least
    •   draw for an hour twice during this challenge
    •   sit down and write backstories for PCs and NPCs at least once this challenge
    •   finish working on the tower I started with my daughter earlier
    •   more painting of miniatures at least once this challenge
  • Gratitude every night before bed (this will be tough to track/remember, but I'll figure it out)

 

Intellectual:

  • Duolingo every day
  • Learn new stuff (I'm hoping I can dovetail this with the creativity one as well)
    •  Read an article on programming 1x this challenge
    •  Watch a French TV show 2x this challenge
    •  Find a tutorial on some math thing I need brushing up on
  • Work better - I need to figure out a way to get motivated for work again

 

Overall, this is ambitious, but doable. There are some things that aren't SMART but I'm running with it this challenge to see how I like it.

Really, when I think about it, this challenge is about getting through this shelter in place reality in a better place than I entered it... physically, emotionally, and intellectually. That will require work, and it seems I've got the time to put in that work, so begin the training montage!

giphy.gif giphy.gif giphy.gif

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I realized I forgot to put something in about nurturing. I need to nurture myself, my family, my coworkers, and now my sourdough starter (named Doughregard) because like everyone else in this situation I've decided to do a sourdough starter again. I've just started making bread with it, and it is almost sour enough. Just got done doing the first knead on a batch of bread this morning, I am cheekily going to count it as exercise because 15 minutes of kneading is definitely exercise.

I plan to get into the woodshed today and bust out some dovetails on the bread box I'm making. I am hoping I can get this one done pretty soon so I can move on to the next project. My other big rock to move for today is making carnitas. I have some pork shoulder defrosting and hope it will be ready to go soon so I can get it into the oven before I need to get the sourdough loaf in... though I have two ovens, I tend to not use one because it is a bit finicky.

 

Here's to a great day, and keep finding those silver linings.

 

And I added you on Duolingo I'm DougWhitmo1 on there

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On 5/9/2020 at 7:28 PM, GoodDoug said:

because like everyone else in this situation I've decided to do a sourdough starter again

I did the same, baked bread once, and promptly forgot about its existence. Again.

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34 minutes ago, Mad Hatter said:

I did the same, baked bread once, and promptly forgot about its existence. Again.

Hah! I've made 3 loaves so far and the starter is doing well. I just have to remember to treat it like a pet (hence the name) and it usually goes pretty well. Speaking of, now that I've done my morning exercise, it is time to feed Doughregard!

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There you are!  Hi hi hi hi!!

 

We're in weird times and I think throwing things at the wall to see what sticks is a perfectly viable option right now.  :)

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GoodDoug found the cave. It was a good place to isolate himself. He was used to working alone, but this was going to be a different kind of alone. He hoped he could handle it without going too crazy. The half-ogre carefully set up camp inside the cave complex, here was a room with a natural skylight he could use as a kitchen, over here was a natural pool that would allow him to bathe once in a while. He had his supplies and his exercises, now to get down to work.

 

Starting off the week well. Did some good cooking yesterday, healthy breakfast, good leftovers for lunch (carnitas I made the day before), and an iffy dinner (some chips, leftovers and the last of the bread I had made the day before.) I had gotten into the wood shop on Saturday and got a few things done. Finished the dovetails on the breadbox I am making and made the final sizing cuts on the filing cabinet I am building for our room. Now that I've been doing this for a couple of years, I am finding that getting good dovetails is much quicker and easier than when I started.

 

Physical:

Did my GMB Vitamin workout this morning. It was one of those that is way too hard for me to do, so I have to be cool with doing as much as I can and not getting frustrated... almost didn't get frustrated.

Eating is going to be better today, I promise.

 

Emotional:

Cooking will have to be something creative with the leftovers as we didn't take anything out to thaw last night.

I did some gratitude work this morning and feel pretty good about it.

Creativity will need to be done today of some sort. I am hoping I can get some writing or drawing in today.

 

Intellectual:

Trying to be better about work today... but of course I'm here posting instead of working 😜 

I've already done some Duolingo today, and feel like I want to do some more... but after work

 

All told, I feel good about it. Need to not go so hot out of the gates that I burn out, but not so slow that I don't get started.

 

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5 hours ago, GoodDoug said:

Cooking will have to be something creative with the leftovers as we didn't take anything out to thaw last night.

I love these days.  My husband is MUCH MORE skilled with this than I am, so I usually reap the benefits.

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GoodDoug took stock of his stores. As long as he didn't keep eating the way he had those first two days, he should be okay. Maybe it was the isolation or just plain lack of willpower but those first couple of days he'd eaten a lot. He had done much better yesterday, and felt like he knew what he had to do going forward. There would still be some bad days, there always were, but the key was to not let those couple of bad days become a bad week, then a bad month.

The half-ogre was keeping it simple. No need to wear himself out with his exercises right in the beginning, he knew slow and steady would get him where he wanted to go.

 

Feeling okay about this challenge so far. I've been keeping up with eating at least one decent meal every day. I made some bread yesterday and my sourdough starter has just reached the place where the bread rises slowly but tastes really good with those great sour notes. It is just really hard to not eat the whole loaf myself! I also made my Instant Pot chili yesterday. The kids love it and I am also a fan. Basically, 2# ground beef 1# ground pork, onion, garlic sautéed. Then add tomato paste and two cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of beans (we did one pinto and one black) along with cumin, chili powder (good stuff if you can) and salt. Before you put the lid on, add fish sauce (or Worcestershire sauce if you prefer.) Put on the lid and set to pressure cook for half an hour. I would not add beans on my own, but in the name of marital harmony I add beans. 

I also make a mean traditional chili with chunk meat and no tomatoes that I and the kids love but my wife can't stand. So I only bring that out every once in a while.

For lunch I made 

 

Now that I've left you all hungry I can talk about exercise!

 

Went running with my daughter yesterday morning. That was tough, and it kinda wiped me out, but I am really glad we went. This morning I just finished my GMB Vitamin workout, and it was one of the easier ones. It is good to have an easy one after a couple of really hard ones. Also, this one really opened up my hips which I didn't know I needed until I started working out.

 

For creativity, I need to force myself to do something today. Though I'm not feeling it, I know that I just need to stretch that muscle to get it feeling ready to go again.

 

Hope you all are having a good week!

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5 hours ago, GoodDoug said:

Though I'm not feeling it, I know that I just need to stretch that muscle to get it feeling ready to go again.

This was me last night.   I told myself, 20 minutes of digital art, then you can stop.  I lasted an hour, and was sad to shut down to make bed time.     I know you'll get there!

 

Your chili sounds awesome.  Both of them.   Though I too prefer no beans!

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That chili sounds good. I'd go for the no beans option. It seemed to be pretty even for me, a day or two of hard GMB vitamin, and then the next day would be something I could actually do!

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Finally made my way over here to follow! I'm also caretaker to a sourdough starter, which has given me a surprisingly amount of meaning in my weird, structure-less days. I have yet to actually make bread because I find that process super intimidating, so I've just used the discard for biscuits, various loafs, and cinnamon rolls. I'd be curious to hear what recipe/process you're using for your bread making.

 

You've got lots of good stuff going on! Love all the creative stuff happening for your emotional goal.

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On 5/14/2020 at 9:23 AM, JessOfAllTrades said:

I'd be curious to hear what recipe/process you're using for your bread making.

Bread is easier than you might think. It is difficult to master, but really easy to get a decent loaf. I just finished kneading a batch, so here is how I make a single loaf: Spoiler'd for length

Spoiler

 

Mix 1 cup of starter and 2/3 cup of warm water in a large bowl.

To that add 1/2 cup of flour (bread flour if you have it, all purpose flour otherwise) and mix with a spoon for 100 strokes

Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit for half an hour. This allows the starter to get going in a salt free environment, and gets the flour ready for the next stage.

To that add 1 cup of flour and a teaspoon (or so) of salt, I sometimes add some store bought yeast at this point if I want even more of a rise). Mix until it mostly comes together.

Dump that onto a board, with all the leftover flour and scrapings from the bowl. It should look rough and shaggy at this point, that's okay. Clean and dry the bowl for later (or get someone else to do that part)

Then you knead for 15 minutes.

Yes, I said fifteen minutes... you can do less, but kneading is fun once you get into it, and it is magical to see the dough go from a shaggy mess to this beautiful elastic dough. It is a great workout if you can really get into a rhythm. I get a wide stance, and once the dough has mostly come together, I put my arms and hips into it. Put on your AirPods and turn up a good slow dance mix and you'll be done before you know it.

The dough should feel sticky, but not actually stick to your hands as long as they are moving. If it starts sticking to the board or your hands even while moving it, add a couple of sprinkles of flour.

Once that is done gather the dough into a ball, add some oil to your bowl, roll that ball of dough to get it coated and leave it in the bowl smooth side up for 2-4 hours. It is ready when you push a finger in and it springs back just a little. It is easy to under prove or over prove your dough, but it won't matter as much as the baking shows would have you believe... it will still make an awesome loaf of bread, so don't stress it.

Preheat your oven to 475F (245C) and put a pan with 1-2 inches (2.5-5cm) of water in there (you can skip the pan, but it helps give the dough more spring)

Now, you can use a loaf pan, a dutch oven (or any oven safe pot) with some parchment paper in it, or even just a plain baking sheet with parchment paper. Give the dough a little knead to get it ready then let it sit for two minutes to relax. Shape it into the loaf you want, and cover it with a towel or loose plastic wrap and let sit while your oven preheats and the water gets steamy. I like to let it sit for half an hour, but it won't hurt if you do it shorter or longer.

Cut slits in the top of the loaf with a really sharp knife, down about 1/2 an inch (1cm)

Put in the oven and drop the temp to 425F (220C) and bake for half an hour.

Once it is done in the oven, take it out of it's pan and onto a cooling rack immediately. Let cool for at least half an hour and enjoy.

 

In the end, there are a lot of ways to make good bread. This is my way and it involves a lot of kneading. Some people don't like kneading, but I find it is very meditative, and I can count it as exercise if I do it right.

 

And you may be worried about how much time it takes, but where else do you have to be right now? 😜 

 

 

I'm doing ok right now. Keeping up with exercise and went running again yesterday. Still trying to not eat like a doofus, but I have to believe I'll get there someday soon. Did some creative work with a little bit of crafty stuff and some design work. But I'd like to do more.

I keep forgetting to do gratitude work, I'll do that as soon as I'm done here as I enjoy it.

 

Otherwise, just trying to make the best of everything. Thnx for checking in!

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Good work, Doug, good work!     I just cant get over how darn handy you are in so many different things!  It's nuts!  (AND SUPER COOL!)

 

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On 5/16/2020 at 7:44 PM, GoodDoug said:

Otherwise, just trying to make the best of everything.

That's all we can do! You're doing great.

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First week in the books, and I feel okay about it. Food is my enemy right now, and I'm not sure why. 

Also, tried the gratitude thing the other night and my brain was having none of it:

Me: "I'm thankful for being able to do X today"

Brain: "Yeah, but not for nearly long enough..."

Me: "I'm thankful for baking today."

Brain: "Sure, but you really screwed up by eating so much of it... seriously, it was disgusting"

 

So, I'll need some more practice at this gratitude thing. Rather than get discouraged by it, I see that it means I need to work harder at it. Didn't do as much creative stuff this weekend as I wanted, but I feel good that I rested a little.

 

Goal for this week is to be more mindful about what I am eating and to recognize when I am starting spiral. If I can get that down, I'll feel much better. 

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Want me to come have a stern talking to your brain?  I'll do it!  I will! ;)

 

Though honestly, I am having to really talk my own brain down on the food stuff lately.   I am hard core wanting the less ideal choices.    I am trying to summon my inner Katee Sackhoff though and resist, stick to the plan!

 

Good luck on week 2. :)  You're doing just fine really!

 

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4 hours ago, GoodDoug said:

I see that it means I need to work harder at it.

Hmm I sense a pattern ;)  

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GoodDoug checked the cave entrance, he found another small pile of notes from his Rebellion buddies. These notes really helped him in his isolation. He was keeping up with the physical parts of his practice, but the other parts were more difficult. He had to leave this cave better than he entered it. But right now, he felt like he wasn't on the right track. He read through all the notes from his friends and decided today would be different.

 

Thnx all for hopping on and checking in with me, I do appreciate it. As the narrative implies, I'm having a motivation issue. Food is making it worse... I made more bread yesterday and then made my chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I am my own worst enemy! The bread turned out so well, that it is mostly gone, and I had only one piece. I was hoping to make some grilled cheese with it today, but I don't think there will be any left once the kids wake up.

 

I have a few obstacles to overcome:

giphy.gif

 

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I watched that Shrek agility course gif longer than was probably healthy.    But I got a great ab workout in from the laughter - omg where did you find that?

 

I cannot even imagine how hard it would be to resist the delicious things you've baked.     If the baking brings the joy- but also the temptation becomes too strong, ... have you thought about neighborhood surprise care packages?    I bet it would give others a great pick me up too- not just because it's taste, but because someone thought about them.

 

I am here to support Shrek Agility Course training!

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30 minutes ago, Starpuck said:

I watched that Shrek agility course gif longer than was probably healthy. 

I don't know which to focus on more: the little Shrek or the human running around after him.

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