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The dangers of supplements, busy as hell, secret project revealed, R & S inspections, etc.

The Dangers of Supplements
After a month now of taking my multi-vitamins, I run out and had to pick up more. This time, I decided I was gonna do it right. I went down to a real store for supplements, and picked up some SERIOUS multi-vitamins. It’s Universal’s “Animal Pak” – each package of vitamins has 11 different tablets to take. Holy crap. But the contents are excellent – pretty much everything I was looking for.

I also replaced my weight loss pill at the same time. And that’s where things went wrong. The first day I used it (Hydroxycut, in case your are currious), my hands swole up, I was tired, and I felt like I had the worst arthritis ever (yep, I have arthritis. Too many fist fights, pounding on inanimate objects when I get angry, and knuckle popping. Kicked all but the knuckle popping habit, thankfully.) But I assumed I was just getting sick or something, and took it again the next day… same results. Hrm. Quit taking them, problem went away.

I’m not sure WTF I’m allergic to in there, or what else it might be interacting with. But damn did that suck. I gave the bottle to Lance, and he’s gonna try them. I’ll revert back to my previous stuff.

The problem here is I’m trying to do two completely opposite things at once – loose weight, and gain muscle mass. It means I won’t REALLY do either one at the maximum possible speed. But that’s ok – I feel fucking GREAT these days.

In fact, I seem to have gone completely the opposite of the problems I’ve had before. I’m one of those people that suffer from body image issues when I get serious about getting in shape. The better I look, the worse I feel about myself. Or at least, that’s what it’s been before. Hell, if it wasn’t for my ex-wife, the last time I was working out heavily I would have quit because I didn’t feel good about how I looked (I felt good about the amount of energy and strength I had though.) She worked out with me, and we were each other’s support group. This time – no need for a support group really. Now the problem is I’m wanting results faster and faster. I FEEL great, but I wanna see those muscles growing faster πŸ™‚

I’d never do the steroid thing – I prefer my nuts the same size they are now, and steroid rage is not a good idea for someone who spent a lot of time overcoming some violent tendancies. Plus, a lot of ‘roided up muscle is crappy muscle. It’s for show and size, not actual strength (big muscle only SORT OF means good strength.) But supplements are a good modifier to help move things faster. But they are expensive – so there’s one I don’t thing I’m going to bother picking up (Muscle Armor from EAS – it’s friggin’ $79.00 a jug, which is a 30 day supply!)

I haven’t lost a single pound, btw. I’m am at 225, plus or minus two pounds on any given day. Given that I’m broader across the chest and smaller across the stomach, that’s a very good thing πŸ™‚

But if you don’t loose weight, how to do you measure you’re progress? Well, you could just go by “how do I feel?” – which is what I’ve been doing. Or, you can do like me and take the geek route – a fabric measuring tape and an Excel sheet that you fill out to track the various pieces of your body. Complete with a graphing system to show nice visible feedback. Yeah, at heart, I’m still a geek πŸ™‚ As for the feel part – well, a nice shirt that I bought a month ago is now tight across my back, and loose around the middle. I suppose that’s all I really need to know – but quantifiable results is so much nicer some days πŸ™‚

Though one very encouraging thing happened today when it comes to the whole Davis Improvement project. I ran into a gal that works for Coke here in town, who works out A LOT and is getting ready to start doing physique competitions. We got to talking about stuff, and discovered we were using some of the same supplements and such. Cool – nice to run into someone that’s having serious success!

Busy as Hell
Equifest is this weekend (technically, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – but I have to skip out on the shoot for Friday because of an inspection at R & S), so I have to shoot it. My customer in Kenosha, WI is chomping at the bit for me to get up there and do a job like yesterday (I’ll be headed up there in three weeks I think. $500 / day + expenses for a week pays off a number of bills, plus buys equipment for the movie all at the same time. Yay!), and while I’m there I’m supposed to do fact finding for the next project, which happens sometime Q1 (which means, SOON.) On top of that, I’ve got a project that I’m supposed to be quoting for another company doing some Visual Basic app work (I could do that in my sleep)

This is all fine and dandy, but it means for a while I’m gonna be a tired mo-fo. No social life for me, I guess πŸ™‚ But the money is good, and gotta take it while I have the chance – one year is not a lot of time to make enough money to pay off all my bills and buy a piece of land in the country.

R & S Inspections
City Inspectors are pricks. This is the thing I always here. Truth is I don’t believe it at all. My experience so far has been completely the opposite. David the plumbing inspector stopped by this week on wensday to re-check the plumbing, and passed it. Stood there and chatted with him for like 30 minutes – nice guy, and we chatted about food (since, well, it’s a resteraunt we’re building.) Today I had the framing inspector stop by. And my framing failed to pass. Seriously. I was never told about a particular set of rules concerning fire block, and so I have to go back and do it. He’s going to re-inspect tomorrow (which is why I won’t be shooting Equifest still Sat & Sun). Thing is, he wasn’t a prick about anything – he explained the theory behind it, why the code says that, and how to easily and quickly fix it. Not only that, he spotted a problem, made some phone calls, and 5 minutes later cleared us of the problem entirely.

Maybe it’s just my attitude – maybe I’m supposed to think these guys are pricks because they didn’t just rubber stamp my project. But the thing is, their job is to make sure things are done right and safely. And if there’s a problem, they say what it is, and how to fix it. So I think it’s just a “thing” for people – they take an attitude with the inspector, the inspector turns around and takes an attitude with them (which means the project won’t pass easily.)

Now fire marshals… that’s the only city code enforcement group I’ve had ANY problems with. And even then, it was only with one of them, not the entire group as a whole (later marshals that I talked to were damned nice and helpful.)

Secret Project Revealed!
I mentioned a while back that I did some work on a project I liked, but couldn’t say a damned word about it for the moment. Well, I’m finally cleared to say what it was: Wichita Mayor dot Org. I did the design, installation, layout, and graphics for it. Though the current banner at the top isn’t from my original work – they decided they wanted a “happier” looking mayorial candidate. The original banner was:

Yes, I’m trying to help someone win as mayor. I don’t normally get involved in politics. But I like Darrell, his political views match mine pretty well, and I think he might accomplish something. And let’s face it, I love helping out a friend anyway.

The picture in the banner on the website isn’t my work – I just redid the banner to include it. The picture on the banner I just linked is my work. Proper 3 point lighting, blank backdrop, etc. Took me a very short time to integrate it into the banner and make it look natural. They provided me with the alternate picture, which was taken in front of a book case with a single flash, glare on his glasses, etc. Which means it took me forever to create a lesser looking product. *SIGH* The more I do this stuff, the less I like doing something that isn’t nearly perfect.

An additional upside to something like this is being able to say “Yeah… I know the mayor personally.” πŸ˜‰ (Not that I find that very damned impressive. But might be worth, I dunno, getting a parking ticket fixed someday or something πŸ™‚

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