A Plan, A Movie, An Upgrade, and Another Upgrade

I Think I have The Plan

One of my big goals is to loose wieght and gain some more muscle.  Emphasis on the loose weight part really – I’m ok muscle mass wise, but wouldn’t mind being much bigger 🙂

Problem is, I’ve been looking for the setup that “feels right” and I’d be able to execute on.  I don’t have a gym membership, and diets can be problematic given that I cook for Erin and myself (when I cook, which has been less frequent in the last couple o’ months). 

I’ve tried low-carb diets, and while my body loves lots of protien, when I go without sugar intake for too long, I start having depression problems.  Which sucks like hell.  Oddly enough, as much as I love pastas, I get the “carb lows” afterwards where I get all sleepy and tired while my system digests ’em.  

One of the things I learned driving on long trips is I can maintain a good even energy level if instead of loading up on caffene I just eat a slow and steady amount of protine.  In the form of beef jerky or beef sticks.  Both on the way up and the way back from my last trip I could have gotten away with driving straight through I think (I wasn’t getting particularly tired), but I like to be careful about falling asleep at the wheel, so I took a nap.  Woke up, eat a beef stick, and within minutes I’m ready to roll again.

I’ve got many with diets.  One of those problems is probably that I’m “all or nothing” – once I get on a diet, that’s how I eat until I fall off of it.  No real “free days” or anything like that (Free days are a bit of a joke on some diets anyway, since the way it’s set up you can have extra portions of the crap you were already eating.  Whatever.)

I finally found a diet and a workout regeme that should work for me, and makes a LOT of logical sense.  It involves lots of protine, but you’ve got a true “free day” to work with so I can get some sugars in for the week.  It uses train to failure techniques (which I think always made sense anyway, but oddly never used them!), and has a very low workout pattern.

So now I’ve got the plan – it’s a one month program, and if it works I should end up looking leaner around the middle, and thicker across the chest and arms.   Which will be perfect for my goals for the movie :-)   This hopefully will work really well – I sure think it will anway!

Closer to Movie Time…

Man, every day is just one step closer to time to order equipment.  The 14th I go for my second trip to Kenosha, WI for a couple of days (woohoo, more bills paid off!), and when I get back, it’s time to start ordering.

I’m not easily impressed when it comes to video camera equipment.  I can tell the difference between different categories of cameras by what the final product looks like, but, the truth is within a certain class of cameras, there’s really not that much difference.  You’ve got the $1k range of video camera, the $3k – $5k, $8k – $10k, and on from there up to the $100k range. 

So, if you buy a $1k camera, no matter what brand, you get $1k results.  Smart work with the camera, lighting, etc. help to improve the hell out of it, but, it’s still a $1k camera and $1k results.

Still researching my camera, and I run into a link for a Brevis.

See the little grey thing in the center of the picture?  That’s an HV20 (the HV10 and HV20 are the two cameras I’m debating between.)  The rest of that is the Brevis system, and the stand.  Looks neat, but, whatever – what matters is what it costs, and what it outputs.

So I check out the demo movie done by one of the users:

Brevis on a HV20 running 1080p, 24 fps (Warning – large file, long load)

I don’t think Meredith had a clue what I was babbling about for the next 10 minutes, and had to show her a picture of the setup, etc.  I completely geeked out about it.  That’s a $2000 camera setup (HV20, $1k, Brevis stuff $1k) acting BETTER than the $10,000 camera setups!  I finally found something that impressed the shit outta me on a camera setup.

Unluckly, my budget for a camera is half that.  Damn.  Gonna be movie #2 before I do something like by the Brevis setup for the HV20.  But man or man do I look forward to when I do – that thing is AMAZING.  (Two other things about that video… the Brevis allows you to use 72mm lenses, so the sky isn’t so bright that it “blows out” the sky colors to over bright since they used a GOOD polarizing fiter.  Secondly, it’s amazing how much psychological difference it makes having a sound track layed overtop something as simple as a movie demo – it’s a trick that makes you think it’s more professional than it really is 😉

Cheap Upgrade

My old PowerBook is… well, it’s OLD and beatup.  It’s a 1.66 Ghz Powerbook with 1/2 a gig of ram on it.  It does wonderfully for editing video (well, standard def – it’s gonna be laggy editing 1080p @ 24fps!)  I’ve considered getting some upgrades like RAM, etc. for it, but damn… even if I am going to limp along on it for another year or two, I just can’t quite merit putting money in it.

But Dad calls me tonight, and mentions that he’s got an upgrade for me for $20 – instead of 1/2 Gig, I’ve now got 1.25 Gig on my machine.  And OMG does that make a difference.  Definitely helps out on Virtual PC (which I use for contracting gigs that require PC stuff like the Spirit jobs.)

So, instead of spending $75 on RAM, I get an even larger upgrade for $20.  Now that’s a deal! 🙂

Ex-Construction Worker?

I may be a jobless bum again!  The owner of R & S walked in today as I’m ready to head of to fabricate a part so I could finish a piece of plumbing and get the inspection called in.

And he throws a fit.  I mean a screaming, hissy, face turning red and veins popping out of his head fit.  I had enough very quickly.  He starts ranting about how long it’s taking, etc., etc., etc. – gee, I’m not the guy who decided that I wanted to build custom tables for the place (burning around 70 man-hours so far, and it’s only half done), who hired an electrical contractor who hasn’t shown up to finish the job, or the guy who delayed for THREE WEEKS getting two toilets and sinks.  

I start to yell back, and he says “Just leave”.  I smiled, walked for the door, and said “It’s all yours: and walked out.

No one is going to yell at me and blame me for their mistakes.  I quickly take the blame for my own – I’m far from perfect, just like the rest of the world.  But damn – I don’t need to accept someone else’s mistakes as mine, particularly the mistakes of the person doing the yelling.  

I haven’t bothered to call, and the truth is this:  If he calls, and doesn’t lead off with an apology, I consider it game over.  I built my one place as a construction worker, and forever I’ll have my “been there, done that” TShirt for it ;-)  

Oddly enough, it could be very fortuitous having lost that gig.  I’m getting A LOT of contracting work, and was starting to have serious reservations on if I could actually keep up with ’em – I was turning down work part of the time, but now I can go back and correct that and pick some of those contract up.  So not only could I make up what I’m missing by not doing R&S, I can far exceed it.

Damn I’m gonna miss physical labor though.  I really do enjoy that part of things, and I enjoy the process of making a physical, tangable object to show off to people.  And if I’m done at R&S, you can bet I’ll never step foot in there to show it off to friends.


One of the reasons why I said I needed a week or two between projects can be executed on though – that gives me some extra time to get the website up for Midnight Ryder Tech / Midnight Ryder Games / Midnight Ryder Productions.  It’s STILL just a base install right now, with one article displayed.  Some time setting with Photoshop will finally help get the site shaped up, and I can start using it as a sales point for contracts.

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