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Everything posted by PoisonJam

  1. Agree with Jeff. My kids started playing touch games on phones and tablets. Plants versus zombies, Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, etc. Then came the Minecraft monolith, which consumed first my son and then my daughter for over a year each. Club Penguin (Disney) introduced them to multiplayer. My daughter is still at the Minecraft/Club Penguin/mobile stage (she's 9), but my son has moved onto the Xbox, first with FIFA (he's a huge soccer guy) and finally this year I allowed him to play FPS games (he's 11). Now he plays CounterStrike:Go on the PC and whatever current flavor of CoD is on consoles. He also has a character in Destiny that he plays occasionally. The only stipulation is that he can't join any audio channels for any of the games unless he is playing FIFA with some of his soccer teammates. Video gaming wasn't ever something that I planned to get my kids into. Hell, shortly after they were born I pretty much stopped playing them myself, and didn't play for many years (as my posting history here would indicate, lol). But as my son gradually got into the types of games that I left behind, I picked it up again to play with him. I will never be the gamer that I was 15 years ago (who has the time?) but I am happy to be back and enjoying myself. And it's great to have some experiences in common with him, especially as he is just starting to enter the stage in life where it gets harder and harder to find common ground with him. He likes watching me play Destiny, and we compare notes on what monsters we got in Puzzle and Dragons, etc.
  2. Kelley, I've been playing for a little over two weeks, and I am level 24 (most people on the forum are 29). It sounds like I am close to the rest of the group, but the leveling is weird after 20. I would say I have at least another two weeks of playing to get the stuff I need to level close to everyone else. But one great thing is that some of the stuff that I need to do to level are things that a new player would need to do to progress the story. So high level people helping out lower level ones is not pure charity. There is benefit to both people. Also, the level difference isn't as big a factor as you might think. I was running patrols on Earth yesterday (the starter area) and killing level 1-5 mobs. Unlike a lot of other games where someone approaching the level cap fighting starter mobs is like a sledgehammer fighting a teacup, I had lots of hairy moments where I got ganged up on and had to retreat to recharge my shields or I would have died (in fact I did die three times, wiping out the "Earn 9k exp without dying" bounty all three times).
  3. Just downloaded and played it for a bit. Lots of fun, definitely down for some multi for this!
  4. Finally got to hook up with some LCVG'ers the last few days. Muchos thank yous to Carlos, Josh, and Sean for guiding my fledgling steps from level 20 to 22. Turns out it's a hell of a lot more fun to play a multiplayer game with, you know, multiple players. I've got a long way to go but so far I am enjoying the ride.
  5. It disappeared once I cleared the mobs, but later on I saw the same thing on Earth. Someone was already engaging the group, though, so I passed it by. I would guess that it's a timed micro-event but with only two data points I can't say for sure. I'll swing by where I saw it on the moon tonight and hang out for a bit to see if it reappears. Oh, I just remembered: there was a server message that preceded the event. Can't remember the exact text; something like "The Ascension is invading" or something. I didn't pay attention to it at the time because I am still learning the ropes and I figured it was another thing that I had no clue about, but looking back I think the server message was related to the event.
  6. I was monkeying around on the moon, clearing some patrols, when I saw the same thing with the sword of Crota. A bunch of big Hivies where none should be, kneeling around a glowing circle. Wiped them out and saw a prompt to "grab artifact". I did, and bam, plasma sword city. Seemed kind of a waste to use it on lowly dregs, but whaddyagonna do with a big glowy sword...NOT use it? Fun times.
  7. Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll keep plugging away. Really enjoying the game and the story so no rush there. Just wanted to get an idea of what to work towards now that exp isn't as much of a factor. I'll definitely welcome any kind of co-op if you see me online. I've played in several public events and enjoyed those.
  8. Well, I solo'ed my first character up to 20, but I have yet to participate in any strikes, crucible matches, or anything else that requires a fireteam > 1. I have been reading a few "Destiny after 20" guides, but I'm not entirely sure where to start. Anyone have any tips on where to go from here? I will continue the story missions (just unlocked Mars), and I will do the bounties for Vanguard rep. I've also been socking away every engram that I found from 1-20, so I guess now would be a good time to start getting them examined? Almost all of them are green, but I do have a few blues. Would love to be able to play with some of you but I realize I am way behind most of you.
  9. Just took delivery of a PS4 Destiny bundle. I know the game is old hat by now, but I'll be firing it up for the first time today. Anything I need to know right off the bat? I'll be adding a bunch of your gamertags as soon as I get the lay of the land.
  10. Hey, guess what, I'm not dead. Just kind of stopped playing videogames for a few years. But I don't know if I can resist the promise of a Borderlands-type MMO. I need to buy a next-gen system to play it on, though. Are most of you playing on the PS4?
  11. August sucked for me. After running 20-26 miles a week in July, I am down to about 14 miles a week in August, with this week currently sitting at a dismal 5 miles (run today), with another 5 planned tomorrow. I have reasons for the weak showing but no excuses. I need to turn it around this week. Kids are back in school on Wednesday, which means I can finally get back into my regular routine. Got to tighten up the eating habits again and get back to my 25 mi/wk goal. It sucks, you get into a rhythm and you think finally, ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride, I am finally eating right and exercising frequently and I feel great, and even after months of solid effort it takes about three missed runs and a couple of indulgent meals and you are right back to being a fat slob on the couch. They say that one healthy meal doesn't make you thin and one unhealthy meal doesn't make you fat, but it sure doesn't take a whole lot more than one before the old belt starts feeling a little snug. Carlos, thanks for continuing to post in this thread with updates on your status. I know it must be beyond frustrating for you, but it sounds like you finally are in contact with some doctors who are engaged and interested in your specific case. I'm curious to hear how this "audit" goes and what this group of doctors thinks of your surgeon's strategy.
  12. Oh, definitely, I would never do a HIIT workout on an empty stomach. For high-intensity sugar-burning activities, you have to fuel up.
  13. I guess I am in the other school of thought on this subject. Your body does burn carbs if you are running at a high intensity, but if you are running at a true aerobic pace, you are burning almost all fat. That's how ultrarunners can go 50 or 100 miles at a clip...they run slowly enough that they don't use up their glycogen stores. That's the training that I've been doing this year. The problem is, it takes a long, long time to build your aerobic base up to where you can run at a pace that is actually fun. But it is possible with a lot of patience and (unfortunately) humility. What happens when you eat that bagel before your run is that your digestive system turns it into sugar, which your muscles use because it is quick and already in your bloodstream. Then you take in more sugar in the Gatorade, and then more sugar after the run. You are also running at a high intensity, so you are using that sugar as quickly as you consume it. I'm not saying you are doing anything wrong, it's just the other side of the sugar/fat coin that you talked about. You are running at a great pace using a quick-burning energy source, whereas I am running at a tortoise pace using a less easily-accessed energy source. By contrast, on my 7 mile runs, I don't eat anything beforehand or during, unless it is really hot out in which case I might take some water. Then afterwards, I will either make a recovery drink with coconut milk (fat), protein powder, peanut butter (fat/protein), and raw spinach (complex carbs), or else I will make three scrambled eggs in coconut oil with half a can of black beans and a few spoonfuls of chopped tomatoes, onions, and peppers on top. And my run is (painfully) slow. Like, 10:30 mile slow. But the upshot is, I am burning maybe 95% fat and very little sugar, and then I am replenishing with fats and proteins and slow carbs. Now, you might think, "Cool, if I burn fat then I will lose weight." Well, no. Not for me anyway. Even on my 7 mile runs, I might burn only 1200 calories because I am running so slowly. And I immediately put 300-500 back when I finish. That's not why I am doing this, although I definitely need to lose weight and I wish this method was effective at doing so. I am doing this so that at some point when I do run a marathon, I will be burning mostly fat instead of mostly sugar, which means I shouldn't bonk at 20 miles and I shouldn't stress my heart as much as I would have if I had run the mara I trained for (on sugar) last year. The hard part is, I am not going to run a marathon until I can average at least a 9:30 pace at 140 beats per minute. And frankly, I might never get there. I never imagined it would take this long to go from 11:30 to 10:30, and it's hard to see how I can get into the 9s at all. But they say it can take years to fully develop one's aerobic system, so I'm going to keep at it. I sure hope it pays off at some point.
  14. Choco milk tastes like cold hot chocolate, if that makes sense. Steady as she goes for me these days. Still cranking out low and slow miles without a ton of improvement to show for it. I thought by now that I would be at least in the 9:30 minute mile range for my low HR rate, but I am still almost a minute slower. I've been averaging 20-25 miles a week for months now, and my improvement can best be described as "incremental". But I'm trying to focus on the fact that every mile I run injury-free is a victory of sorts, no matter the pace. Weight hasn't changed up or down much. I am training my body to burn fat for fuel and not sugar, which means I've really tried to cut down on eating refined carbs (which turn to sugar almost instantly), I run in a fasted state, and I never take gels anymore. But, my long runs are 7-9 miles these days, not 17-19 like last year. I'm sure once I get above 12 miles I will need to supplement with some carbs. Also doing a lot of barefoot work to strengthen feet and ankles. Mostly this means that unless I am in a store or walking into work, I don't wear shoes. As soon as I get into work, I kick them off and stay in my socks. As soon as I get home, I am barefoot. I've also done some light barefoot running, but never more than a half mile at a time, with several days rest in between. The soles of my feet have gotten a lot tougher this summer, but I haven't had a lot of blistering like last year when I tried to do too much too soon. Finally, from my normal 12mm drop running shoes last year I went to an 8mm drop shoe for about 350 miles this year, and then switched to a 4mm drop a few weeks ago. I plan on staying at 4mm, although I do have true zero drop shoes that I can run short distances in. The slow approach seems to be working, as my achilles tendons are still sore, but they have gotten better and not worse this year. I didn't sign up for a single race this year except for the Warrior Dash, which is more of a fun event. Definitely missed the motivation that comes with training to meet specific time goals. Hopefully I can maintain my fitness over the winter and build on it for a few short Spring races next year, and then train for a full marathon next Fall. Anyway, that's my story these days. I haven't posted in a while because I haven't had much progress to report, but I'm still plugging away.
  15. That well and truly sucks, Carlos. During my PT I had several treatments of iontopherosis, which is similar to phonopherosis, but using electrical current instead of ultrasound. I thought the first treatment seemed to help a bit, but followup treatments were not effective. I hope you have better luck with yours. I am going on a year and a half of symptoms in my Achilles tendons, but I am finally seeing some progress. What has worked for me is relentless working on my calves, looking for trigger points and mashing them out. Every night. For months. I started with foam rollers, moved to a lacrosse ball, and now I just mash them with my thumbs. Once I work the trigger points out, I do eccentric calf strengthening exercises to realign the tissues in the correct formation. This treatment, combined with completely revamping the way I run so that I am landing on my midfoot with my weight under me instead of on my heel out in front of me, has finally had some positive effects on my symptoms. I still have soreness, but nothing like what I was feeling last year at this time. All I can say is that I feel for you, man. It sucks so much that you haven't had any success with your therapies. I have been there, although never as bad as what you are going through, and I know how frustrating it is to be in pain every step of every day for months and years.
  16. Thanks, everybody. Some great ideas here. To get myself started, I took a look at some stores at a local outlet mall (J Crew, Polo, Bass, Nautica, etc.) Found some nice stripey t-shirts at Bass that I can live with so I picked up a few there. Nothing special, but a darn sight better than my freebie t-shirts. I will check out some of the other suggestions on this thread this weekend. REI is a great call; I know there are several EMS stores around here but I'm not sure about REI. I'll do some checking. Also liked some of the shirts on that Lucky site. Much appreciated, gents!
  17. Okay, another question in the occasional "how to be a grown-up" series: Although I wear slacks and polo shirts to work, around the house and on the weekends I'm a shorts and t-shirts kind of guy in the summer. In looking at my summer duds, all of my t-shirts are either freebies from local road races/leftover swag from my company, or cheap-o $5 shirts from Old Navy (flag shirts, etc.) And my shorts are usually cheapie cargo shorts from Old Navy as well. I just don't spend a lot of money on myself, especially with casual clothes. But I am looking to put a little lipstick on this pig and class it up a bit. So, any recommendations on where actual adult males who make more than minimum wage shop and what kind of stuff they wear in the summer? I'm just looking for something a little nicer than my $5 outfits to wear to bbq's, out to the store, wherever. Silly question, I know, but I actually haven't bought clothes for myself anywhere outside of Old Navy or a warehouse club in probably decades. I just never grew out of the "poor college student so whatever's cheap and will cover my body" phase.
  18. Wow, Dan, some red flags in there for sure. Blood work sounds like a very prudent idea, and the sooner the better. What you describe sounds a lot like some overtraining symptoms, but If you are training four to five days per week at a manageable pace and you have a few recovery days built in, it doesn't sound like an overtraining issue. How is your sleep? Any eyelid twitching or muscle twitching or spasms? Getting up in the middle of the night to pee? Do you get that feeling when you are starting to fall asleep and you suddenly jerk awake with a body spasm? Any lightheadedness when you stand suddenly? Those are more signs of overtraining and/or too much stress in your life.
  19. Haven't updated in a while. Still doing my slow, aerobic runs at less than 140bpm to try to build my aerobic base. It is still frustrating almost all the time, but I am starting to see some slivers of benefits. I did my third maximum aerobic function test on Saturday, where I run around the track at 140 bpm to see if my times have gone down from the last test. My average time did not, but I am not concerned for two reasons: I ran five miles this time, while previous tests were run at three, and it was 75 degrees with 80% humidity this time, whereas my previous tests were done at 57 degrees and dry. If I look only at my first mile, I was down to a 10:30 pace. However, each subsequent mile added 30 seconds to my time as the heat and humidity got to me. Not that 75 degrees is super hot, but with that much humidity it was definitely sticky. I was heartened enough that I am going to stay the course, and I am curious to see how my times fare in the fall, when the temps will be closer to what they were when I first started doing these tests.
  20. I think I need to unwrap Uncharted 2 and boot it up, based on the comments in this thread.
  21. Carlos, good luck with your latest endeavor to get healthy. I can't tell you how much I am hoping that three weeks of full immobilization does the trick for your achilles tendon. Not only because I care about you and I want you to get better, but also for the selfish reason that if it works for you then I have some measure of hope that if my own injuries don't get better I have an additional recourse to look into. Please keep us updated on your progress!
  22. Did my second maximum aerobic function (MAF) test on the track on Sunday. This is where I run 3 miles at a 140 HR to see how much faster I have gotten (at the same HR) since my first test. My first test was back on March 29th, and I am supposed to retest every four weeks, but the day before my April retest I injured my calf. I ended up rehabbing it for about two weeks and I have gradually ramped back up to my 20 miles/week goal. So the May retest was 8 weeks after my initial test, but only 5-6 weeks of that was quality training. The results? MAF test #1 3 miles 34:46 11:31 min/miles 141 bpm avg MAF test #2 3 miles 33:42 11:13 min/miles 140 bpm avg I dropped a scant 18 seconds in my min/mile pace in eight weeks. My running pace last year was around 8:30 (granted at a higher HR), so I was hoping for a much more dramatic improvement. To be honest, when that first mile lap pinged and I saw 11:02 pace, I was crushed to the point where I didn't even want to finish the other two miles. So now I am trying to figure out what to make of my results. Does the 180 minus age formula not work for me? Is my weekly volume too low to affect a significant change? Did my injury and rehab have a bigger impact than I thought? I am going to go another four weeks to see what happens. If I see little or no improvement again, I may have to rethink my strategy here, because running this slowly sucks. I could stand it when I thought it would be for a month or two but I'm not going to plod at an 11 minute pace for the rest of the year.
  23. Sounds like a great start, Dan! You don't need me to tell you anything about running, but having been injured so often in the last year or so, I will just caution you to listen to your body! Almost every single injury I sustained was because my ego overrode my body's signals and I kept going longer, faster, or harder than I was ready for. It's a bitter lesson that I seem doomed to repeat ad infinitum...don't be like me. Went for my follow-up with my orthopedist today. Told her in the nicest possible way that my Achilles tendons started feeling better as soon as I disregarded just about everything she told me to do. Ditched the orthotics and the heel lifts, started running again (with a form change), started doing barefoot drills and strengthening exercises, and stopped static stretching, all counter to her recommendations. I still have pain and soreness but it is definitely better than it was. She told me to keep it up and to call her if the pain starts getting worse again. That was $450 well spent. Sigh.
  24. Terrible news, Carlos. I'm so sorry. I hope the second opinion offers a more positive prognosis. Please keep us updated!
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