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cn3wton

cn3wton, Dúnedain, Ranger of the North.

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So since the challenge is over I figured I'd do a mini update here.

 

What I am working on.

  • creating stuff for my art class that starts next friday.
  • balancing out and furthering my survival pvp (i think its coming along well)
  • Trying to beat The Evil Within on Akumu mode... holy crap its soo hard...
  • Get back into the groove with YAYOG, now about 2 weeks behind...

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So today was going good food wise, then this guy showed up.

 

captain-crunch-face.png

 

Seriously. I don't know what it is but I have been craving Crunch Berries for days. So I got some. My dinner was 2 bowls of crunch berries and a steak. Thats what adult's eat right?

 

cap-n-crunch-count-chocula-get-creepily-

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So the last couple days have been interesting.

 

Halloween I went out with friends, had a blast. I had some stuff to drink (hadn't drank in months, I could really care less for alcohal 99% of the time). But there is something about sitting around enjoying a drink with some friends. We all went to a casino that has a bunch of bars and clubbs in it. Most of us guys went to a more formal bar. It felt like it was right out of the Great Gatsby. Girls in flapper outfits serving drinks, live piano (with band). It was a good time. Then a girl came over and started talking to us. A canadian friend of my cousins husband was interested so they struck up conversation. Long story short it got really akward when we realized that she had come with her mother and father, who where sitting right next to us. Did I mention she was wearing a skimpy angel outfit? Yea... 

 

Then the next day I was beat so didnt really do much. Obviously diet had been thrown out the window friday and saturday. So last night I made the vow that today (sunday) would be the day I turn my diet around. Along with some other things.

 

So this morning I woke up, had special K, and set about doing some stuff. Lunch time came around and my mother called. She was bringing home pizza and wanted to know if I would want some. I said no, and instead went to the store and grabbed a rotisserie chicken. Ate that and some broccoli. I tried to make a strawberry smoothie out of strawberries ice and milk but it didnt work out very well... Gonna have to work on that. SO I ditched that and had a banana. Then I went to the movies and saw saint vincent. Awesome movie. Afterwards we went to a hibachi place. I got sushi and had most of my mothers chicken. (and some rice)

 

In the end I came in under 1800 calories (about 1600 in fact) and I avoided getting the diet root beer from the store that I have been drinking way too much of lately. Now I just have to find a good breakfast to make. I have never really had an omellette before... And I love bacon but I think that could get boring after awhile. I mean bacon is amazing... Any ideas?

 

Worst part about the day was that I had forgotten to do my workout. So I got home after eating and was like, maybe I'll just do it tomorrow.Then I was like screw that and did it. But I did not feel good during it. I felt weak... But at the end I felt like I had a great workout since I really pushed myself. So thats a plus. Then I jumped on the scales and it said I was at 198!!! What! Is it possible to gain over 8 pounds in 3 days?

 

I know I have to get my diet under control. As its affecting my performance during workouts and is decreasing my motivation. 

 

Anyways back to the Evolve Alpha

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My "go to" breakfast is a strawberry smoothie. I use frozen strawberries, whole milk and a whey powder protein supplement (vanilla flavor, sweetened with stevia) and it works really well. I get the strawberries at Costco in a big bag, organic ones, for a lot less than the regular ones at the grocery store.

The trick is to find a powder you like, and blend the powder and milk first so you don't get lumps, then add the frozen berries.

Omelettes are great, but I usually just scramble stuff together. That's a whole lot easier. Bacon, Mmmmm. Breakfast can get boring, so mix in different veggies, try different meats. There are lots of tricks to adding variety. Lots of good recipes on various threads and internet in general.

Are you trying to go paleo, or can you handle the grains okay? If you can do the grains, try breakfast burritos. You can do all sorts variations, use different salsas, sausage or bacon, spicy or mild versions.

Good for you for turning the diet around and doing your workout anyway!

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I want to cut back on carbs, but not eliminate them. For instance if I go to a burritto place I can have a bowl instead of a burritto, I like them just as much. Try not to have breads. That stuff. At least for now.

 

I make a similar smoothie. Except I use water instead of milk. I never even thought of using that for breakfast... 

 

I honestly never have really even tried eggs. At least not as long as I can remember. Something about them just turns me off. I really gotta give them an honest try soon. I mean if I can eat sushi I should be able to eat eggs...

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Yeah, the smoothie is a nice light breakfast, especially good with the protein powder if you workout early in the day. Add half a banana, or a tablespoon of cocoa powder for some variety. Can use pre- or post-workout, depending on how you like to do it.

Hear you on the eggs. I have to use salsa, cheese, veggies, etc.to manage them. You might like a fritatta. Mix up omelette type stuff with a little flour and bake in the oven. Good recipes in the forums and online. Easy, too. Can cut into pieces and get several meals out of it. Lasts well in the fridge and isn't as "eggy" as an omelette.

I don't think I could do sushi... :)

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My man breakfast in a hurry is 400ml of milk, two scoops of rocky road protein powder, 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter, 2 bananas and if I feel I need it an egg cracked in.

 

Blitz it together and it's a thick chocolatey, bananay, peanuty shake that hit's the spot and fills me up, I have mine with a few pints of water. It does the trick even after an early morning workout and I'm a big dude

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My man breakfast in a hurry is 400ml of milk, two scoops of rocky road protein powder, 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter, 2 bananas and if I feel I need it an egg cracked in.

Blitz it together and it's a thick chocolatey, bananay, peanuty shake that hit's the spot and fills me up, I have mine with a few pints of water. It does the trick even after an early morning workout and I'm a big dude

Holy smokes batman that's alot of stuff! You mix in raw egg?!?

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yea, I know there is some controversy over it, but I have never had a problem, it makes the shake lovely and thick. This is the shake I have after a morning workout and it keeps me going until lunch time.

 

It's a nice way to get a big ol' protein hit in the morning

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So this morning I woke up "early" (8-830 ish) and went to a local diner to have breakfast. A friend just started working there. I had my first ever omelette. Details below.

 

A 3 egg omelette with bacon, provolone cheese, red pepper, tomato, and jalepeno. It was ok, better when I put some hot sauce on it. I also had an english muffin. MFP said it was about 450 calories, which I think was a tad high, but oh well. Ate all but like 1/4 or so of it.

 

I found that the eggs where pretty much taste-less. Is that often the case? I know its hard to believe that I am 24 and have never eaten eggs, but I just never felt like trying them. I was extremely picky when I was young. 

 

I have decided to officially cut back on the survival pvp. I really want to nail out the basic features of the game before complicating it with classes and the like.

 

This past week has been crazy, but I think I am doing really well food wise. Yesterday I hung out with friends for 3 hours. We ordered dominoes. I had a chicken thing from there, and 1-2 slices of pizza. I could have had more as we had 2 left over but I resisted. And while the chicken isnt the best for me, its not awful. Then I went out for an election party and had 6 wings and 2 diet root beers.

 

After breakfast this morning I went to the grocery store. I bought more captain crunch and diet root beer, things I had sworn that I would not get for awhile. But I have determined that I have to really perfect my self control. I have tried gradually re introducing things into my diet and it has often led to failure. So I think thats going to be part of my diet quest next challenge.

I am also thinking about making art/writing part of my actual challenge. I finally managed to get my copy of Painter transferred to my desktop, and I need to start learning how to paint digitally. I also have a survival horror short story running through my head lately. Inspired by the evil within and alien isolation. I would like to maybe get that done and post a bit every week or so, with an aim to finish it by the end of the 6WC. A part of this would also be increasing my vocabulary. I am thinking a word of the day kind of thing.

 

Currently listening to: https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:user:melnim:playlist:0YuOICv0K5c8zod1SpMl33

Been in the fallout mood lately. Love the music!

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So I have decided to review games in this thread. You know, to work on my writing and do something I have always wanted to do. I like to think that I can take an unbiased look at games, so I hope I do them justice.

 

My first one with be the first episode of Game Of Thrones by Telltale games.

 

For anyone not familiar with telltale games they create story driven games where the gameplay comes from making certain dialogue choices, and some reflex button presses and actions. I will break this review into parts.

 

The first, story. The story feels very much like something that would take place in game of thrones. Lot's of unexpected death and brutality. It seems to take a bunch of elements from other already known stories in the universe and integrate them. You will also run into characters from the show (voice acted by the actual actors). I rather enjoyed the story, and it took some twists and turns that I really did not see coming. However my key issue is that it seems that every dialogue option seems just to be an illusion of choice. Responses by the characters are generic answers that can be responses to all the options. And often you find that some choices are just a longer dialogue option that eventually ends with the same sentence as its polar opposite choice. Now it must be stated that there was one crucial part of the story that I did not explore that may have affected things rather differently. And while I did start to attempt this path, I soon realized that it too would most likely end the same as my other option. Only after upsetting more people than necessary in the process. As I thought about the answer I had recieved while following the previous path, I could not help but laugh as how well it fit as a response to both paths of inquiry. So sadly while the story seems interesting the first time, and the possibility of different outcomes an incentive to replay the episode, it becomes quickly apparent that there are certain parts that you cannot change. 

While on the topic of dialogue options I would like to cover a feature I greatly dislike in the game. Whenever you respond to someone and it is of some importance, a notifier will appear in the top left of the screen saying something like "They will remember this." or "They where not pleased." For me this is something that pulls me out of the story. And in fact just sheds light on how unable they are to portray this through the story and character emotions. At one point I could not tell if a character was happy with me or upset. Later on my second playthrough I found out this character had the same face whether they where happy or upset! 

 

The look of the game is interesting. In fact I rather like the art style on the figures, and some of the environments as well. However they utilize this odd filter on background elements to break them up and unfocus them. This makes straight objects appear to be pixelated, and wall sections to be semi transparant on the edges. Even worse it seems that they are unable to control this affect, as it sometimes clings to the edges of characters and can prove rather distracting. At times it works fine, others it is so glaringly obvious it looks as if it was done in an effort to conceal shoddy work.

 

In a game that is primarily story based I expected quite a bit of dialogue and cut scenes. Overall the voice acting was passible, however the lip syncing was noticeably bad. I draw issue to this as this is 90% of the game, they have cut out so many things from the game, that you would believe they would do their best in this regard. As well some animations are choppy and outright laughable. In a certain scene your character stands and stares into the eyes of the man who has just helped him to his feet. Oh did I mention they where in the middle of a battle. Movement of the characters is very hit or miss, sometimes they seem to move with completely exceptable grace. Then at others the appear to be stop motion action figures. Dialogue choices can alter a characters positions drasticaly, to the point that there is a visable jump. In a game that is solely based on this, you think they could do something to make smooth transitions and animations. And dont even get me started on how the clothing on the characters clips into their arms and bodies...

 

The choreography and sense of the world in the scenes is horrible. I offer two examples to this. At one point your character is in a group with fellow fighters, one man says "get a sword" you look back and to the right and see a sword laying on the ground. A group of enemies approach from the front. As you move to pick up the sword somehow an enemy from that group manages to intercept you. How is it that he got past your allies? Later your character is in a forest, someone comes to get you and you must follow. He arrives from one side of the forest. When you agree to leave with him you head in the direction completely opposite of where he arrived! I believe this is just an attempt to save time by using the same animation as if you had chosen not to follow him. 

 

Gameplay is, as stated above, mainly dialogue choices. In the beginning of the episode there are quite a few reflex button presses and motions required to navigate through the scene. However most quickly lose their impact as you soon realize that most of these have no penalty for failing. And on the other end of this completing these successfully or with above average speed overs no benefit. 

 

After the first opening scene of the episode the reflex button presses all but disappear. What few remain do little to drive the story. Instead they focus on dialogue options that must be completed within a certain set time. Failing to do so just means the story continues towards its pre determined path anyways, so there isnt much of a sense of urgency.

 

There are a few scenes where you can actually control your character and walk. However it has a ridiculous fixed camera angle that follows you as you move. I believe this is supposed to reflect a point and click adventure, but it just feels odd as the camera takes odd angles at certain moments.

 

Price will be my final talking point. The first episode I purchased for $5 dollars, with the option to purchase the all the remaining episodes at a discount at $20. I don't know if I can justify the cost. I compare a game like this to a movie. For around $10-$15 dollars I can see a movie that lasts 1-2 hours, this game took me 20-30 minutes to complete. So compared to the shortest movie and longest playthrough are two episodes worth the cost of a movie? One could argue that I have access to this again unlike a movie, but I feel that the quality of the game drags it down. The animations are often distracting, the fuzzy filter mainly just looks bizarre, and the fact that it appears your choices have little ultimate affect on the outcome of the first episode makes replay value fairly low until the other episodes are released. I would much rather the entirety of the series cost $15 dollars. That equals out to about $2.50 an episode.

 

In the end I find myself torn, the story was good enough and engaging enough that I want to see what happens. And I would be lying if I said I was not tempted to purchase the seasons pass just to see how it ends. This is the first game I have ever played by telltale, and honestly I just don't see how anything like this won the rewards it did (The Walking Dead). The story is of course very engaging, but they are taking an already popular source material and feeding off of its popularity. The only reason I even considered it is because I love Game Of Thrones. The "action" sequences rarely feel rewarding, and often feel pointless.

 

So I would give this a 5/10, based solely on the story. I feel like they missed some many cool opportunities to utilize reflex button presses and movements in more engaging ways. Perhaps because it was so overused in the first 5 minutes and then rarely seen again?

 

I look forward to hearing what others think on this.

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Nice write up dude

 

as an idea, take it or leave it, instead of just an overall out of ten score, I would find it helpful if you sub-ranked things out of ten with an overall rating below

 

i.e. - combat, story, graphics, value

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Nice write up dude

as an idea, take it or leave it, instead of just an overall out of ten score, I would find it helpful if you sub-ranked things out of ten with an overall rating below

i.e. - combat, story, graphics, value

Hmm that is a good idea.

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This is my 12/24/2014 update, where I officially move over from the previous 6wc to this log. 

 

The last few days have been crazy. I was posting all my workouts in my challenge post, but I fell a bit behind. So heres Monday and tuesdays.

 

12/22/14

 

Air Dyne 20s max effort x2

Lunge Stretch/Frankenstein walks

3 Air Squat, 3 Gob Squat, 3 Frankenstein squat (numerous rounds)

 

Front Squat Progression

5x55lb

5x65lb

5x75lb

5x85lb

5x95lb

5x87.5lb

5x77.5lb

 

The front squat was harder on my back and wrists than it was my leg. Previous max I worked up to was 85 lb. Still taking it slow, but I don't mind.

 

WOD

150 KB swings (started with 16lb moved to 12lb)

4 burpees top of every minute

 

Max 10 minutes, completed between 8 and 9 minutes. Lost track, probably something like 8:50

 

12/23/14

Prowler push

inchworm pushups

samson stretch

 

2 Front Squat, Push Press, Thruster

3 Front Squat, Push Press, Thruster

 

1 Hang power clean, hang clean, push jerk

  • 3 rounds at 55lb
  • 1 round at 65lb

actually hit my chin on the push jerk... that was not fun. At least no one saw me do it. Was having some issues with the movement. The weight was fine, just havent gotten the skill down yet. 

 

WOD

5 min AMRAP

250m Row

8 Kettle bell snatches (per arm)

 

2 rounds plus 80 M

 

2 minute rest

 

5 min AMRAP

8 wall balls

8 TTB

 

4 rounds plus 6 TTB ( so close to 5!)

 

All and all these two days where moderate workouts. I saw gains in the strength section. Of course I am progressing quickly due to the lighter weight I am using. But I want to take it slow to ensure I am doing them correctly.

 

So now that those are out of the way...

 

img_10620613635242.jpeg

 

The likelihood of me being on tomorrow is slim. So I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. If you don't celebrate christmas, I wish you a happy holiday.

 

Today I did the 12 days of christmas workout... And let me just say that I sweat more today than I have in years. We did a very light warm up then jumped in. Since I am new to the barbell movements I chose the bodyweight version.

 

Day 1 push up

Day 2 toes to bar

Day 3 goblet squat

Day 4 box jump

Day 5 lunges each leg

Day 6 20 sec plank

Day 7 ball slams

Day 8 kettlebell swings

Day 9 burpees

Day 10 ab mat sit ups

Day 11 sumo deadlift high pull with kettlebell

Day 12 30 seconds max effort air dyne

 

So how this works is you start at 1 and work your way up. So you do one pushup, thats round 1. Round 2 you do 2 toes to bar, and 1 push up. Round 3 is 3 goblet squats, 2 toes to bar, and 1 push up. Just like the song. We had a max of 35 minutes.

 

I got all the way to 12, did the air dyne, sdhp, am sit ups, and got 1 burpee in before I ran out of time. I was sweating bullets. So bad at one point that the following happened. On the back of the shirt I wore is the word champs. When I stood up and looked at the floor there was a ring of sweat with the word "champs" in the center of it. I couldn't help but laugh.

 

It was a hard, grueling workout. I paced myself well so I never reached the "i cant go on" point. There was just a "wow I am sore... well better get back to work" feeling. The hardest part of it all for me was those damn lunges. I wish I could have finished but I wasn't the only one who didn't. I was proud of myself for keeping good form for all of the exercises throughout the whole thing.

 

I even moved up to a heavier kettbell than I have been using!

 

I didn't really talk to anybody again today... Partly because I was so damn tired. I am going to make a point to talk to more people in my next class. I think part of it is that they are in such better shape... but I think thats just an excuse.

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12/26/14

 

Today marks the day I get back on track diet wise.Not going to dwell on the shitty eating habits of the past week.

 

The gym was packed again today, so  much so that I shared a barbell with two other guys. Each where from out of town. One owned a crossfit gym in NH, and the other was from florida. Did the following warm up 5push ups, 5 strictpress, 5 push press, and some stretching. We had the choice to work on strict or push press 5 rm, I did strict press.

 

5x55

5x65

5x75

5x85

4x87.5

5x75

5x67.5

 

I tried 87.5 but just could'nt quite push it all the way up. I was so close. The guys where really supportive. 

 

Then the wod was 12 minutes, a different exercise at the top of every minute for 45seconds. 

Max effort row measured in cal

Burpees

Max effort plank

 

You add burpees and cal's together to get your number. I got 75. Planks suck... I hate planks.

 

As far as non gym stuff I am going to a hockey game tonight. Going out to eat before so I am going to make sure I get chicken breast, nothing else. I am going to keep working on the story I started last challenge. It's getting pretty close to completion. I just gotta go back and do some revisions.

 

For christmas my mother gave me to books. How to be an Illustrator, and How to grow as an illustrator. Both of which she researched online and purchased from amazon. Which is an amazing show of support. They talk all about ways to attempt to break into the field. I have been lucky that both my parents have supported me in this pursuit.

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So today I opened the fridge and realized... I havent gone shopping!

 

So I grabbed a sub for lunch and will have some wings for dinner... Not the best start to my new diet plan. But I will stay within my calorie alowwance at least.

 

The hockey game was fun, it started with a ref falling and slamming into the boards at the start of the game. When the game actually did start there was a fight immediatly. My team not only won the fight, but the game. 

 

Also my friend actually ended up going with me instead of skipping out at the last minute!

 

Other news I have started doing something I call shitty sketching. It's where I take an idea I have in my head for a drawing, and just do it. I started with the dragons hoard from the hobbit. And went to town sketching with a permanent ink pen. I got the ideas down, a simple composition. The focus is on just getting an idea down. It doesn't have to be 100% perfect. I just draw for the sake of drawing. And I actually enjoyed it! So a few days later I did the dragon burning down Dale, with Bard up in a tower with a bow. Again not perfect and not exactly what I wanted. But I just went with it and had fun. 

 

So today I started working on a sketch of a large battle between dwarves and goblins, taking some ideas for composition from a piece by justin gerard. I usually worry about "oh this has been done" or "oh this composition isn't original". This lets me get past that and get ideas down. The focus is composition, then value, then detail. Accuracy doesn't matter as much. I get what I want down, use cross hatching to knock back areas that I need to, then detail only the important aspects and figures of the scene.

 

I also joined pinterest to get some extra inspiration. And it can help me keep stuff organized.

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