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The MadScientist turns life upside down


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My long-term goal is still to be awesome, as defined several months ago.  Continuing with my quest, I still have several issues that keep coming up, so will address them this round, hopefully making some better habits.

 

Physical Goals

  1. Eat low-carb.  I define low-carb as anything below 100g of carbs per day, with 60g per day as the target to allow some overshoot.  My goal is 100%, but I will count it good if I do it 80% of the time.  I have been doing better lately, but not there yet. +2 STA, +2 CON, +1 CHR
  2. Work at learning a handstand.  My long-term goals include a headstand, but handstands are more impressive.  Steve just posted an article on how to gently pull it off.  I will practice for 5min per day during the challenge.  With any luck, I should be able to do it by the challenge end, since my major problem is dizziness inverted, not strength. +2 DEX, +2 STA
  3. Start tracking my workouts again.  I used to track repetitions and weight, but my old PDA died and I have yet to find another app to do it well.  I have a shiny android phone with a nice display (Nexus 4). I will find an app and start using it. +2 STR

Life Quest

  1. I love playing my mandolin and violin, but don't do it enough to stay sharp.  I will practice music for thirty minutes at least three times per week.  Goal is five to seven times per week, but life has been a bit too complicated lately to make this realistic. +2 WIS, +2 CHR

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Oooh, violin! I'm thinking of adding it to my list of things to learn next year. That or the fiddle.  Going to record it so we can hear it?

 

Your goals look great and I'm looking forward to how you progress through this challenge.

The question isn't who's going to let me, it's who's going to stop me!     


~(to come when I remember)


Level 3 Adventurer


Huge NF Meet up?


Polls for marathon meet up: States   International (more info click the link above!)

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Oooh, violin! I'm thinking of adding it to my list of things to learn next year. That or the fiddle.  Going to record it so we can hear it?

 

Your goals look great and I'm looking forward to how you progress through this challenge.

I had a goal to record something last round, but only made it halfway there.  It was partly technical and partly I just didn't like what I did.  Hence, I am going to ramp up the practice time so I will like what I do.  Then the recordings will come.  I belong to a music group (the Backyard Boys - our wives kicked us out of the house for making "noise") which performs in nursing homes about once a month.  We are always being asked about recordings.  This is definitely on my hit list.

 

It has been a couple of days.  How have I done.  My carb reduction goal has gone nowhere, unfortunately, but I have made progress on the other three.  I have practiced handstands the last couple of days.  I got in music practice, as well.  And I put JEFIT on my phone to try it out as an exercise logger.  Today is my weekly high intensity weight workout.  We will see how the app works.  I will be doing the weight workout after a yoga/pilates class, so expect lower performance.

 

If anyone has a good suggestion for an android exercise logger, I am all ears.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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How has your work out plan gone? I need to sit down and figure out my android system so no helpful advice from me. :(

Backyard boys sounds like you guys have a lot of fun and I think it's awesome you visit the seniors homes.

The question isn't who's going to let me, it's who's going to stop me!     


~(to come when I remember)


Level 3 Adventurer


Huge NF Meet up?


Polls for marathon meet up: States   International (more info click the link above!)

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I had a great workout Wednesday, but did not log it due to time constraints.  JEFIT requires an account creation, with password, so that did not happen.  I should get it done this weekend.  I have a problem with a simple exercise logger requiring a login, although I can see the benefits (e.g. access to data anywhere on any platform).  I looked for other loggers and really did not find much.  Maybe I should write one (in my copious spare time :playful: ).

 

I am 50/50 on keeping my carbs down, but trending in the right direction.  I should be able to pull it off this weekend.  I practiced an hour this morning and half an hour yesterday, so am keeping the music practice up.  I also got in my handstand practice each day, and am seeing some progress toward reduced dizziness.

 

Now if only I could do four things at once...

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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If anyone has a good suggestion for an android exercise logger, I am all ears.

 

Fellow Android user here.  I've tried out a few apps (though I forget now which ones; how useful is that?), but haven't been terribly impressed with any of them so far. I'd be delighted to hear what you ultimately land on.

Level 4 City Elf Scout


STR: 6 |  DEX: 5  |  STA: 9  |  CON: 8  |  WIS: 6  |  CHA: 6


To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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Hello MS, glad to see you going on!

I love your goal to be awesome :-)

The only app I use is Map my run and I think you can use it for logging other things such as repetitions as well but haven't tried it. It's free and quite user-friendly I think.

Since I am still not updated one the role-play points I will go on and ask about other grading, as I always do  :mushroom:

I have chosen to believe in myself.


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Well, JEFIT did not work out.  It asks for some info I would rather not give it (birthdate) and it does not include my common exercises in its database.  I know this is heretical at nerd fitness, but I prefer to use machines for my workouts.  I found the arguments in Body by Science more convincing than other arguments, and have been using the Slow Burn Fitness workout for years to good effect.  JEFIT does not include many machine exercises.  If you do free weights, it will probably work for you.  I am currently checking out Simple Workout Log.  It is almost freeform and includes a timer so I can easily check my time under load in addition to repetitions.  Time under load is actually a better indicator than reps, since repetitions can be gamed by how fast you do them.  The down side is I will need to enter a lot of info to get started.  We will see...

 

I am continuing to progress on the handstand practice.  My dizziness on inversion seems to be pretty much gone, although I can still trigger it by moving too fast.  Now to get the control and bit of strength.  I may actually manage to pull this off before the end of the challenge.

 

Music practice is going well.  I just needed to prioritize it.  Carb reduction is not.  Lots of stress at work and home lately.  Nothing bad, just life.  I have started to be more proactive about my response to stress, after reading this article on Mark's Daily Apple, and this seems to be helping.

 

Four things at once.  I can do it (at least serially, but not cereally).

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Still not making it on the carb front.  I had one very good day and one very bad day.  My biggest issue is that I think I can have a little, but it turns into a lot.  When I get it right, I have none, and that works. I will get better.

 

I am still making progress toward a handstand.  I was up at about 40° off vertical last night.  I got a blood rush, but held it for about 20sec.  I am going to try a headstand tonight (short) as well as the handstand practice.  I believe I can pull it off (in the middle of the living room with plenty of space around ;) ).

 

I ended up short of time on Wednesday, so was unable to check out my new tracking app.  I did a pilates/yoga class and some pushups and pullups to finish off upper body.  I got a good workout, but not one which was very amenable for tracking.

 

Music practice has gone very well the last couple of days.  My group practiced Wednesday night, and we went over a bunch of Christmas songs for a Dec 28th nursing home concert.  That was good for an hour and a half.  Last night, I practiced 45min for a Nov 30th nursing home concert.  It was very therapeutic.  As I practiced, I could feel the tension flow away, and my performance got better.  For the December concert, one of the members asked to do Riu, Rui, Chiu, an old 16th century Christmas carol.  In digging it up, I remembered that I had done this with the SCA for a Yule Revel back in 2011, and it got posted on YouTube.  So if you want to see me fiddling away, check out this and this.  Riu, Riu, Chiu is at 4:37 on the first one.  We had one more short piece for Candlemas, where we did a spring carol.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Those Christmas musical videos you've posted look fun - it's great that the choir is in costume, too!  Riu Riu is an old favourite of mine :)

 

Well done on a 20s handstand - that's really impressive!

Eirlys - Long Time Wood Fairy Druid

Current Challenge: S4 (Sleep, Sugar, Spending, Son)

 

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Done is better than perfect

-- Facebook

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Thanks for posting the clips, I quite enjoyed them.

Thanks!

 

 

Those Christmas musical videos you've posted look fun - it's great that the choir is in costume, too!  Riu Riu is an old favourite of mine :)

 

Well done on a 20s handstand - that's really impressive!

What is funny is that I had never heard of Riu Riu until we performed it that year.  I heard it multiple times on the local classical and public stations that year.  Could be just awareness.  I have started noticing folias now, as well, after looking into them due to interest in a superb Hesperion XXI performance, a lot of which is pure improvisation.  I listen to it whenever I need a good Renaissance music fix.

 

For some reason, doing a yoga style headstand gives me much more of a blood-rush-to-the-head feeling than the handstand practice I have been doing.  I had to quit before I got vertical, so have not made my headstand yet.  Got about 20° off vertical yesterday, so things are getting better.  My strength is not where it needs to be yet, mostly due to shoulder issues I have had in the past.  This should help, since it does not seem to be aggravating things.

 

I am using Simple Exercise Log to track my weight, since it tracks that as well as exercises.  Unfortunately, there is no good way to see archived data other than to export it.  There are no included visualization tools and you can only see the result of the last time you logged something.  While it is very easy to use, the lack of seeing historical data easily is probably going to kill this one.  I think I might try to use a Google spreadsheet, since I used to use a spreadsheet on my old Axim PDA.  However, I had a stylus on that, and the smartphone does not, making the Axim a much better choice for dealing with spreadsheets.  My current phone has a faster processor and bigger screen than my last phone, where I tried a spreadsheet with mixed results, so it is worth another try.

 

Alas, I missed my carb goals the two out of the last three days.  It is getting better, but still not there.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Been a busy week, and fairly productive, although I have only managed to stay so-so low carb (50%?).  We had Thanksgiving at my in-laws house out on the lake.  We saw a roadrunner out by the lake, which is very low due to drought.  I brought a sausage/pepper/onion stuffing that went over really well.  It was somewhat strange, since I have brought it before with almost no comment.  In any case, it felt good to almost supplant the high carb cornbread dressing with something equally good, but low carb.

 

I keep working on my headstand.  I stayed inverted at about fifteen degrees off vertical, using the wall for support, for about thirty seconds yesterday.  The head rushes are getting easier.  It is about time to try a yoga headstand again.

 

Music is almost a no-brainer this time of year.  I had a nursing home concert last Saturday, am cantoring the next couple of weekends at church, with solo violin prelude this weekend before Mass.  My music group will practice tonight for a Dec 28th concert.  We have to pick out all the songs.  I told them we cannot have more than half the songs from the "complete list" of songs you hear incessantly through the season.  Not a problem.  We like such off-the-beaten path things as Gaudete, Christmas Day I'da Moanin', and The Old Year Now Away Has Fled.  We will have fun.  I also have a tradition of singing in a nursing home on Christmas Day.  That is always a lot of fun.  Lots to practice for.

 

Not so much progress on the tracking, although I have pretty much decided not to use Simple Exercise Log.  It just does not do what I want.  I will try a Google Doc and see where it goes.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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No, I am not dead, just very busy.  Unfortunately, also sick, so my physical goals went away for the time being.

 

I have redecided to stick with Simple Exercise Log for the time being.  We will see what I think in a couple of weeks.

 

Music, as said before, is being easy to keep up due to the season.  I should have picked something a bit more challenging ;).

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Well, I recovered from the cold just in time to go on a trip, but I am back now.  My carb goal continues to be in poor shape.  I think I have managed about 20% :(.  On the plus side, I am up to 40sec upside down at a near vertical with the handstand.  I can't quite go all the way up, yet.  I tried a headstand and my balance for that has gone, so I need to actively work on it, as well.  I suspect the two will come together.

 

I continue to use Simple Workout Log for my workout tracking.  It has a simple plot of past performance, but I believe that only exists in the paid version.  I will find out in a few more days when the demo expires.  I may or may not continue with it, since it does not have a good way to track time at load.  While this is less important for repetitive things (e.g. pushups or squats), it is vital for things like planks, where you only ever do one rep.  It has kept me honest the last few weeks.  And I am actually getting better.  Nothing like a little personal competition.

 

On my trip, I visited my family and got a copy of the video that was shot of my immediate family's performance at my Dad's 90th birthday party back in October.  There are a few numbers worthy of being uploaded.  When I get a chance, I will do that.

 

Also on the trip, I organized a big Christmas Carol sing-alone with my family last Sunday.  About fifteen siblings and spouses showed up and we had a great time.

 

So music is still good.  I have concerts at nursing homes on Christmas and the 28th, with cantoring in church the 28th and New Year's Eve, so it should continue to be good.

 

A Merry Christmas to you all!

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Time for grades - other than not posting much, how did I do.

 

Physical Goals

  1. Eat low-carb.   +2 STA, +2 CON, +1 CHR - I got 10%, at best, of this.  So F.
  2. Work at learning a handstand.   +2 DEX, +2 STA - I practiced almost every day until I got sick, then fell off.  Nonetheless, I managed quite a bit of progress, so C.
  3. Start tracking my workouts again. +2 STR - Nailed this one A.

Life Quest

  1. I will practice music for thirty minutes at least three times per week. +2 WIS, +2 CHR.  Due to the season, this was probably a bit too easy.  A

Total +1 DEX, +1 STA, +2 STR, +2 WIS, +2 CHR

 

I will have to make low carb my focus next year.  I let too many things get in the way.

Level 8 Human Druid


STR 10 DEX 8.5 STA 11 CON 11 WIS 11 CHA 12


"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm... that's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov

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Hope you're feeling better now!  I doubt Christmas is the easiest time to eat a strict low carb diet :)

 

Well done on those A's for workout tracking & music practising (hmm that spelling looks wrong..!) and for your great progress on the headstands! 

Eirlys - Long Time Wood Fairy Druid

Current Challenge: S4 (Sleep, Sugar, Spending, Son)

 

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

Done is better than perfect

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