Bike: Achievements Unlocked!

I’ve been tracking my progress a little recently. This AM marks the 50th mile (actually closer to the 60th) on my new bike I got last week at The Bicycle Chain in Apex.
My first two times I clocked in at almost exactly 45 minutes from leaving my kitchen to parking my bike in the lot/checking time in the 1st floor gym. Today, the same route only took me about 35 minutes.
Loaded up on water and pre-surge, too, to get a little more out of the morning workout. We’ll see if I end up crashing come 10:00 or not (particularly today: Only got a little less than 4 hours of sleep).  Luckily, the 10 pounds of Yerba Mate tea I ordered arrived, which will combat the effects of Not Being Wired.

OK, That wasn’t thought out very well

So on my week(oid) of vacation(ish), I was thinking to myself, “Hey, now that I’ve got this awesome new bike, I ought to bike to the library to do some Japanese translation hobby/game work that I’ve been working on! A change of scenery might shake me out of some funk!”

Great idea, because scenery changes often do shake funk loose.

There are only a few problems:

* Biking to the library, vigorously. I took the long/scenic route to get some exercise. It was nice, even in this ungodly NC summer 95-something degree blast.

* Unfortunately, by the time I hit the terminal, I was covered in sweat, and sweating more and more as my heartrate hadn’t totally reset yet.

* And then I remembered that, while I can get to JDICT (basically the academic bastion of All Japanese for English speakers, including Kanji lookups and the like) and see displayed Japanese, I can’t type Japanese on this PC without jacking the profile and installing software.

Oops. Well, when my heart resets I’ll take a breather and ride home, do the work there. Maybe hit up the coffee house near my place for an hour with my laptop for a change of scenery.

Weird Twist of Fate at the Game Store

Had to drop off the Honda Fit for service near Southpoint. When I was done, I took a detour up to the SciFi Genre game store in Durham, my favorite local place to pick up boardgames and the like. I wandered around for a bit, when I came to the “Discount Shelf Area”. There, for the marked down price of one single dollar, was my favorite Japanese tabletop RPG: Doublecross (2nd edtition), in perfect condition. Even the “Scene Player” card and survey form was intact. I asked the employee when I bought it what the deal was, but while he was aware of it (“I was waiting to see who would pick that up!”), he had no idea how it got there.

Now it’s mine. That’s fate kicking me in the pants, saying “Finish up Tenra, then run a Doublecross campaign for your friends.”

Random Wednesday Thoughts:

* Moved all my investing/Scottrade cash over to OptionsFirst (“”), and have begun experimenting with various option platforms. Currently have a few contracts of CREE, Jan 2011 expiry, a call with a strike of 30. Next, from now until then, I plan to lease it out by making covered calls against it. We’ll see how that does. It’s definitely interesting to make the same amount of money with only a fraction of the overhead of owning the stock in full.

* P90X: Day 3. Tightness kicking in. Totally wiped out after the *warmups* for Plyometrics, but it’s solid. And amazingly enough, it’s pretty fun too. I didn’t expect the fun part…

* PS3: Picked up Riddick: Dark Athena and God of War III. GoW is… well, not surprising at all. But the graphics are really, REALLY pretty, plus the reconceptualization of the Greek Gods is pretty cool.

* Currently reading “Gakuen Kakumei-den Mitsurugi” (“Mitsurugi: Tale of the School Revolution”). It’s probably my current favorite comedy manga (Saint Niisan in a close second place), I’m really enjoying the mini stories. If you read Japanese and dig surreal/human comedy (not so much slapstick, but watching twisted people make bad decisions over and over), I highly recommend this series. Plus, the art is gorgeous.

* So, aside from getting in shape, I’m also (stupidly enough) also getting better at making Parisian Macarons. I bought the “I Love Macarons” book from Amazon that I originally borrowed at the library, which started my descent into this party frenzy. I already have ideas of what to do for my next batch: Basically strong vanilla/vanilla-bean macaron shell, and buttercream in several flavors including Grand Mariner Orange, Vanilla, Matcha, and Ligonberry. While at the same time being careful not to eat too many, as I’m simultaneously dieting/exercising. This kinda feels like Greek Hell, but far more delicious.

Juuuust About Better…

* So 5 days of illness, starting with a nasty throat condition where I couldn’t speak, then switching gears to a horrible sinus condition of sorts (I still am stuffed up in the ears, but I think sinus infection/ear infection chances are low at this point)… Alllmost over it. Still, body feels a little weak today, very tired. Just wrote a little and watched some Netflix streaming movies. “Outsourced” was a really cute movie. “My Faraway Bride” was about as telegraphed and empty as a pop-idol choreographed dancing. Binging on classic Shaw Brothers Kung Fu stories now, and pre-ordering Red Cliff for an eventual RTP group movie-watching… thing.

* Went to the gym today to do a little, because after like a week of doing nothing I feel lethargic and sluggish. So they added two pieces of new equipment to the LFF gym I go to: This thing called an “adaptive motion trainer“. It was both awesome and bizarre: It’s basically like strapping into a resistance exoskeleton, basically all the benefits of a stair and elliptical in one, where you set your pace from step to step. Brilliant: It was bizarre when I realized that I was having so much fun that my heart rate was like between 155-170 for about 40 straight minutes. Every time I measured my heartbeat I had to back off so I WOULDN’T DIE. Then I’d forget and “have fun with it” again, only to realize I was back up to 168.

Part of that was because I’m out of shape due to busy/sickness. But most of it was because you’re having so much fun you don’t notice.

I swear, if they strapped a 14″ monitor to this thing, where it gives you a visual like you’re in a robot suit stomping/running across an alien landscape, bounding over boulders and canyons (because that’s what this thing feels like when you use it), I WOULD NEVER LEAVE THIS DEVICE.

* Not ready for this “hour later” thing. It’s 8:00 but it feels like it’s 5:00. I know, it just moved up an hour and all, but I’m still recovering from all this sick so it’s having that much more weight.

Anyway, bed early tonight, work early tomorrow…

Tuesday Thoughts

Exercise: Haven’t been to the gym but once in the last week.  Need to change that. When I go to the gym, I’m motivated to do more, make more gains, eat less bullshit, keep on the game. Got caught up in a cycle at work where I was tired, so I didn’t go to the gym, so I ate crap, and became tired, so I didn’t go to the gym… Going again tonight. Even a few minutes makes a huge difference.

BIG-XX this Fall: Looking forward to it. I didn’t go to my high school(s) reunions, college reunions, but damn I won’t miss my social group’s reunion. I hear the campus has changed a lot, will have to see that with my own head-orbs…

Spring is Here: I can tell because I have a sore throat and my nose won’t stop running.

Investing: The next game is getting an account at, and start applying what I’ve been learning about Diagonal and Vertical Spreads. Low-risk calls making 10-25% a month? (30% if I’m more aggressive, risky?) Yes, please. I turned $2500 into $10,000+ last year as a hobby/messing around, I wonder what I can do this year starting with that 10k… Only problem is that these take more research and control than regular options trades, so I have to be that much more careful.

Gaming: Been a slow month. Haven’t done actual role-playing games in a few weeks, as my main group has been between campaigns, playing Rock Band, boardgames and the like. Tomorrow we start up with Mouseguard, and will go from there…

Robot Unicorn Attack is far more fun that it should be at a glance. Very addictive. Also, Erasure. Woah.