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41  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: Wheel of Time beginning to the end. on: October 21, 2013, 01:07:30 PM
I finished book 5 last night and am still really enjoying my reread...two more books before I'm caught up to where I stopped 15 years ago, but it's been so long that it's practically like starting over anyway. I remember some of the more major plot points, but the details are what make this story so great.

After reading the last three books back to back, I am taking a short break to read something else quickly. I'm enjoying my WoT read, but I don't want to burn out by trying to blast through 14 books of the same thing. I should be back into it within two weeks though...
42  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: Wheel of Time beginning to the end. on: October 21, 2013, 01:06:29 PM
I finished book 5 last night and am still really enjoying my reread...two more books before I'm caught up to where I stopped 15 years ago, but it's been so long that it's practically like starting over anyway. I remember some of the more major plot points, but the details are what make this story so great.

After reading the last three books back to back, I am taking a short break to read something else quickly. I'm enjoying my WoT read, but I don't want to burn out by trying to blast through 14 books of the same thing. I should be back into it within two weeks though...
43  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My First Order From Amazon Was Over 13 Years Ago on: October 20, 2013, 04:15:50 PM
August 14, 2002...starting my second year of medical school and ordered a couple text books.

I think my ordering from Amazon has increased every year since, and has exploded since I joined Prime a couple years ago. Now, Amazon is pretty much the first place I look for purchasing anything that I don't need in less than 2 days.
44  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So what's your ride? on: October 15, 2013, 01:28:38 AM
2010 Infiniti G37x

45  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: October 14, 2013, 02:39:35 AM

Quote from: ATB on October 13, 2013, 09:00:53 PM

Quote from: disarm on October 12, 2013, 06:26:16 PM

I had a great first half, finishing 6.5 miles in 55 minutes, but I hit a wall around mile 9 when we came into a few hills and was never able to get back to my pace.

Was thinking about this on my run this morning. Sounds like you started out too fast. Do you agree?  Race day adrenaline? What are you going to do to not start so hot in a month?

I wear a Garmin watch that constantly gives me my pace, so I knew what I was running the whole time. The tricky thing is that I wouldn't really say that I made a mistake because the fast pace was something I consciously decided to try.

I had been running quite a bit faster on my shorter runs recently, kicking myself up to around a 9:00-9:15 pace for 5-6 miles as opposed to the 9:45-10:00 that I had been doing. I was starting to feel really good there for the shorter distances, so I decided to push myself more in the race with hopes that I could pull of a better time. Even if I wasn't able to keep up the pace, I figured that I would bank enough time in the beginning that I could slow down later on and still finish near my 2:10 goal. Unfortunately, I did feel really good for the first half, but it was around 8 miles that we hit the toughest part of the course, and I had spent too much energy getting through that point to keep my pace up in the second half. It was a risk that I knowingly took, and unfortunately, it didn't work out in my favor. Moral of the story? Don't try out a new strategy during a run that exceeds your previous longest distance by 2 full miles icon_wink

As for next time, I know now that I'm not capable of maintaining that kind of pace for the full 13 miles, so I'm going to pull back to something more comfortable from the start and not take the same chances. I don't think that next month is really going to be about improving on my time, however, because there are a lot of things different about the next run...mostly flat terrain, warm and humid Florida weather instead of 55 degrees, and it's a Disney run that we're doing more for the fun experience of running through the parks than clocking a fast race.
46  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: October 12, 2013, 06:26:16 PM
It's done! I finished the Hartford Half-Marathon a few hours ago...hardest physical thing I've ever done, but it was worth every bit of the effort to cross that finish line. My official time was 2:18:10 at a 10:33 pace...a little behind my goal time, but I'm happy just to have finished considering that I couldn't run much more than a mile nine months ago. I had a great first half, finishing 6.5 miles in 55 minutes, but I hit a wall around mile 9 when we came into a few hills and was never able to get back to my pace. The whole training process and race have been an amazing, life-changing experience. I'm 35 years old and in the best shape of my life...never would have imagined being at this point a year ago icon_cool

Now I have four weeks to recover before doing it all over again...
47  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: October 09, 2013, 06:52:29 PM
I drink either water or Nuun when I run...water for short runs, then carry one bottle of water and one of Nuun on an Amphipod belt for long runs.

Nuun is pretty good because it replaces electrolyte losses without all the sugar that's in Gatorade and is more interesting than plain water. I'm a very heavy, salty sweater and drink a lot when it's hot, so I think it's better for me than just just water. The only issue I have with it is that it's a quick-dissolve tablet that fizzes when you put it in water...start drinking it too soon after it dissolves and I get air in my stomach and have to burp while running (not comfortable). It will also build up pressure in your water bottle and spray when you open the top of you're not careful. Both problems are easily avoided if you mix it ahead of time so the bubbles can dissipate though.
48  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: on: October 09, 2013, 02:31:32 AM
My first half marathon is in three days, then I'll be doing it again exactly four weeks later. Way back in early summer, my fiance and I signed up to do the Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Disney World on 11/9 just because some friends were also going to be there. It should be a lot of fun, especially without the pressure of the first time. I'm not sure how it will feel to do two races so close together, but I did several long runs (9-11 miles) on consecutive weekends without any trouble. I guess I'll find out in a month...
49  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: on: October 07, 2013, 03:31:48 PM
Taking 10 minutes off a previous time is no small feat. Congratulations!
50  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: Re: on: October 05, 2013, 02:22:49 AM

Quote from: ATB on October 04, 2013, 10:07:43 PM

Quote from: disarm on October 04, 2013, 08:23:48 PM

I'm one week out from running my first half marathon...feeling good about the race and enjoying a little rest during my taper time. It's still not an easy distance for me, but I don't have any doubts about my ability to finish at this point. Almost to the end of a nine month process...

If only you would answer this question from days and days agO!


What's your time goal for the 1/2?

I did answer...on August 24! icon_wink

I'll say it again though...was originally aiming for two hours when I started training, but I've slowed that down to a 2:10 goal based on my recent runs. I think that's still pretty respectable for a guy who only started running nine months ago.
51  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: on: October 04, 2013, 08:23:48 PM
I'm one week out from running my first half marathon...feeling good about the race and enjoying a little rest during my taper time. It's still not an easy distance for me, but I don't have any doubts about my ability to finish at this point. Almost to the end of a nine month process...
52  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: on: September 21, 2013, 01:51:44 AM
GTA V...same as pretty much every other gamer this weekend
53  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: on: August 29, 2013, 03:06:22 PM
They did two seasons of Spartan Ops. I never played the second one, but I think it was regarded as be a big improvement on the first season, which I thought was pretty fun. I haven't heard of any further plans...
54  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tomb Raider on: August 25, 2013, 10:08:35 PM
I finally finished this last night and have to say that I think it was excellent from start to finish...not quite my GOTY (that has to go to The Last of Us), but still a great game and probably my #2 for the year so far. The gameplay was fun throughout, characters and story held my interest, and the visuals are some of the best of this generation (PS3). This wasn't even on my radar until all the favorable reviews and positive comments around here, but I'm really glad I picked it up...thanks forum effect!

With such a strong reboot of the franchise, I'm finally feeling excited for another Tomb Raider game again...wasn't sure that would ever happen icon_cool
55  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: August 25, 2013, 01:21:07 AM

Quote from: ATB on August 24, 2013, 10:11:41 PM

Quote from: disarm on August 24, 2013, 06:55:08 PM

I finished a 9-mile run early this morning, setting a new distance record for myself (by two full miles) and getting one step closer to my half-marathon goal. I'm now only seven weeks away from running 13.1, but a challenge that seemed so crazy just a few weeks ago is feeling much more within reach all the time icon_cool

If you can run 9, you can run 13!  Congrats.

What's your time goal for the 1/2?

My goal from the start has been to finish in two hours, but I'm not feeling good about making that pace right now. That means I have to average a 9:10 mile, which is about 30 seconds behind the 9:45 that I'm doing on most of my runs now. I still have seven weeks to prepare though, so we'll see what happens. If I don't make two hours for this one, I'll be trying again about a month later when I do my second race on flatter ground...might be able to go a little faster for that one icon_wink
56  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: August 24, 2013, 06:55:08 PM
I finished a 9-mile run early this morning, setting a new distance record for myself (by two full miles) and getting one step closer to my half-marathon goal. I'm now only seven weeks away from running 13.1, but a challenge that seemed so crazy just a few weeks ago is feeling much more within reach all the time icon_cool
57  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: August 10, 2013, 04:01:20 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on August 09, 2013, 07:58:59 PM

Quote from: disarm on July 28, 2013, 11:28:21 PM

My half-marathon training officially started with a 5-mile run on Saturday morning. Now I have only 11 weeks to get to 13.1

October 12th is seeming awfully close already...

This reminded me that I have a half marathon Oct. 6. Ugh.

Started in earnest today with a 3.3 mile lunchtime run. Finished in 33:14 which is okay since the last time I ran was back in April.

The things we do to stay in shape...

My half-marathon is October 12th...only nine weeks away now. I did a very hilly 7.2-mile run this morning in 1:13 and felt great at the end...was surprised how well it went considering it's a new personal distance record. My previous longest run was a 10k I did at the beginning for June. I'll be adding another mile pretty much every week for a while to hit my goal.

Now I just need to relax for a little while this afternoon before going out with a bunch of friends tonight to do another 5k for the Electric Run in Hartford. Fortunately, the event isn't timed and is more about having a good time, so I'll be taking it pretty easy...pretty much expect it's going to be so crowded and crazy that we'll be almost walking a lot of the time anyway. Those extra few miles tonight will put me over 20 miles in one week for the first time though. The crazy things we do indeed...
58  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Social vices - do they limit you? on: August 10, 2013, 03:42:52 PM
I enjoy going out for drinks with friends and coworkers occassionally, so I don't feel like I miss anything in that regard. When it comes to smoking, I can't stand being around it, but I can honestly say that I don't think there is anyone within my social or work circles that touches cigarettes either...one of the 'perks' of being a physician and living in a state where smoking is banned in all public buildings and businesses. I very rarely have to deal with being around smokers, so that doesn't affect me either.
59  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: August 08, 2013, 05:57:20 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on August 08, 2013, 03:30:55 PM

An anti-inflammatory might help as well.  Ibuprofen (like Motrin or a store brand) would be ideal, but Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Aleve (naproxen) might also work.  The charlie horse feeling is due to the muscle spasming from injury.  Muscles will tighten to limit mobility so that they cannot be extended further beyond their strain.

I feel bad coming in here to correct the pharmacy student, but it should be noted that acetaminophen isn't an anti-inflammatory. It's a centrally acting (works on the brain & spinal cord) pain reliever that might make you feel better, but you'll need to stick with ibuprofen or naproxen (both NSAIDs) if you want to decrease inflammation in the strained tissues. A few days of NSAID pain relievers, rest, and stretching can do wonders for a muscle strain.
60  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: on: August 08, 2013, 05:46:34 PM
I've finished a few over the years, but haven't played any since the N64. Here's my list...

The Legend of Zelda
A Link to the Past
Link's Awakening
Ocarina of Time

In my opinion, Ocarina of Time is a high mark for the series, I also really enjoyed LttP and Awakening...all great games.
61  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: on: August 05, 2013, 05:59:23 PM
I've beaten every Splinter Cell game so far and enjoyed them all. I think Chaos Theory is the pinnacle of the series, but Conviction did take things in an interesting new direction. I like the gadgets and sneaking of the early games more, but the faster pace of Conviction is fun in its own way and left me thinking that the next game will probably be worth playing once it's released.
62  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Re: Have you beaten a Metal Gear game? on: August 02, 2013, 08:12:35 PM
I've beaten MGS 1, 2, 3, 4, and Peacewalker...all great games in my opinion, but I will agree that they're not for everyone. The gameplay definitely took a backseat to story early in the series, but it improved considerably from MGS3 onward. I'm also in the group that thinks the story is great despite all the confusing twists and turns. The way they pull everything together across decades and generations is really cool...great series :cool:
63  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Did you beat...Contra? on: July 31, 2013, 12:08:18 AM
I beat it, but only because of the cheat...can't imagine making it through without all those extra lives
64  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: on: July 30, 2013, 08:02:15 PM
I've been on Spotify Premium for a little over 6 months now and really like the service. The audio quality is excellent for a streaming service, and their music library is broad enough that I never have trouble finding good music. In fact, there are very few occassions at this point that I can't find an album or artist when I search, and new releases hit the service quickly enough that I rarely buy music any more.
65  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Pacific Rim on: July 28, 2013, 11:36:07 PM
I saw this in IMAX 3D earlier this afternoon. While the grown-up part of me is whispering in the back of my mind that Pacific Rim is a ridiculously over-the-top example of Hollywood excess, I can barely hear that over my inner 12-year old screaming that it was awesome!
66  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: July 28, 2013, 11:28:21 PM
My half-marathon training officially started with a 5-mile run on Saturday morning. Now I have only 11 weeks to get to 13.1

October 12th is seeming awfully close already...
67  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: on: July 25, 2013, 07:43:30 PM
I have to give it to The Last of Us so far this year, and I can't imagine much topping it...easily one of the best games I've played in a very long time.

GTAV is still on the horizon though...
68  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The Weekend Playlist -- 7/19/13 on: July 20, 2013, 03:39:44 PM
Tomb Raider for me...several hours in after starting earlier in the week and loving it so far  icon_cool
69  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: Re: Sony on a roll (positive personal story) on: July 08, 2013, 07:47:29 PM

Quote from: Laner on July 08, 2013, 04:27:00 PM

Glad they did right by you.  They refused to do anything about my 2006 Sony DLP which crapped out after two years, despite it being a widespread problem among their DLPs (failed optical block).  They were finally forced to address the issue for nearly every other model due to lawsuits, except my model, of course  finger

I had the optical block failure (green blob) on my 2006 SXRD (A2000 model) when the set was about three years old. They replaced the optical block under extended warranty and it worked for about a year before failing again. I contacted them a second time and they offered to replace my faulty set with a steeply-discounted brand new LCD thanks to a class action lawsuit over the issue. I was able to replace my five-year old faulty 55" SXRD with a new 42" 3D LCD for only $200 out of my own pocket. I then sold that replacement without even opening the box for a $500 profit and used the money toward buying an awesome 55" Panasonic plasma.

I got a pretty good deal in the end, but I won't buy another Sony tv because I know many others weren't so lucky, and there are plenty of better options now for less money.
70  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS3] The Last Of Us on: July 07, 2013, 11:07:17 PM
I finally finished this afternoon...absolutely loved it and I can't imagine anything being able to top it as my game of the year. TLoU has one of the best-told stories I've ever experienced in a game, not only because of the fantastic character relationships and dialog, but also because of ND's ability to convey so much emotion and realism in the way characters move and speak. I could go on for a while repeating all the great things that others have said, but the most significant compliment that I can give is that The Last of Us really is an amazing artistic, storytelling, and gameplay accomplishment that has a well-deserved spot on my list of all-time great games icon_cool
71  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: on: July 02, 2013, 06:23:56 PM
I've recently began my push to finish WoT after making it through the first seven books roughly 15 years ago. I was waiting for book 8 at that time, picked up the hardcover when it was released, and never got around to reading it. I eventually decided to just put it all off until the series was complete.

Fast forward to the present day, and I've started again, determined to make it to the end. I just recently started book 2 and hope to finish sometime early next year. I'm confident that I can read a book a month, but I will probably squeeze a few other things in between...will see how it goes...
72  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: on: June 27, 2013, 08:00:57 PM
The jokes only happen at very specific times during the game, you have to talk to her when she has a triangle over her head, and that triangle only appears after she's been idle in a specific location for a while. There are five points in the game where you can hear the jokes, and catching them all actually nets you a trophy.
73  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Meet Alex, the first Muppet to have a dad in jail. on: June 18, 2013, 10:50:42 PM
I think the big thing that is missing from this discussion is the fact that the Alex character and this conversation did not appear on the Sesame Street show. That segment, along with a great deal of other clips and information, are part of an online toolkit that Sesame Street has created for parents to use in helping their children cope with difficult issues.

Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration Tool Kit

The Sesame Street organization has a whole series of tool kits dealing with different topics that parents can use to help kids that are struggling. In this case, they recognized a situation that affects a significant number of children and chose to provide resources to help parents who aren't sure how to address it on their own. That seems like a pretty respectable idea to me...
74  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: Geek or Nerd on: June 05, 2013, 09:28:16 PM
I'm pretty firmly in the upper right-hand corner...equal parts major nerd and geek :cool:
75  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: June 02, 2013, 10:01:31 PM
Today was the big day for running my 10k race...woke up bright and early to run at 7:30 this morning. When the race started, it was already about 75 degrees and 80% humidity. Those of you who have run before can probably relate to how miserable those conditions are for a long run...might not seem all that warm when you're just standing around, but that kind of humidity and bright sun can really steal your energy. I think most people did pretty well for the 5k and 10k events, but it really took a toll on the half-marathon runners who were facing temps around 85 degrees by the time they were finishing...saw a number of people stumbling across the finish, and heard that several had collapsed along the course. It was still a fun morning, but I'll be hoping for something a little cooler for my next race.

So how did my run go? I had set a goal to finish 6.2 miles in under an hour and just barely came up short...crossed the line with an official time of 1:01:38 (9:56/mile pace). Even though I didn't quite make my goal, I'm happy with my time given the day's tough conditions and fact that I could barely run a single mile (let alone six) at the beginning of the year. I still feel like I've come a long way and plan on continuing to push myself in the coming months. It has taken me 4.5 months to get this far, and I have the same amount of time to finish my prep for my first half-marathon in October...and a second 13.1 a month later. I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life at 34 and don't plan on stopping any time soon icon_cool
76  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: May 30, 2013, 01:30:49 AM
I ran my second 5k race this past Sunday morning and finished in 28:05 (9:05 pace)...ahead of the 9:15/mile goal that I had set for myself, and shaved 2:45 off my first 5k just over two months ago Headbanging!

Now I'm only a few days out from my first official 10k race this Sunday, and feeling really good about meeting my 60 minute goal. I ran the course with my training group two weeks ago and finished in 62 minutes, and that was coming off a week of being sick...should have a much better go at it this weekend icon_cool
77  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Re: What is the first video game you ever purchased? on: May 24, 2013, 08:15:19 PM
I used to play Jumpman on the C64...awesome game!
78  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Re: What is the first video game you ever purchased? on: May 24, 2013, 03:11:40 PM
Mine was definitely something for the Atari 2600, but I have no idea exactly what it was...maybe Asteroids?
79  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Re: Xbox One Discussion on: May 24, 2013, 01:27:24 PM
I played a fair number of original Xbox games on my launch 360 during the first year, but that was mostly because the flow of quality new games wasn't up to speed yet. I also didn't have the time or money to play the original Xbox, so I was interested in experiencing the previous generation. There are so many new games hitting the market at this point that I never feel that I need (or have the time) to go back and play stuff that was released 8+ years ago.

This time around, I already have a 360 and PS3 on which I've been able to play most of the games that have interested me, and I'll still have them for the early next gen when new releases might be slim. For those reasons, I just don't see backward compatibility as a significant concern in my gaming future.
80  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Star Trek 2, AKA Star Trek Into Darkness on: May 19, 2013, 11:12:21 PM
I  saw it in IMAX 3D this afternoon and loved it...great movie from start to finish that had just the right combination of humor, action, and nods to long-time Trek fans. I had my suspicions about where the story was going as all the twists began to unfold, but there were still a lot of unexpected parts, and it was really cool to see exactly how it all plays out.

Anyone who has any interest in seeing this definitely needs to make sure they avoid spoiling the plot early if they want to enjoy it to the fullest though...
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