Category Archives: Aberro Specus

Strength & Wisdom

Over the past 12 months I’ve been on a journey to redefine myself mentally, physically and emotionally. I have changed my diet, many of my habits and focused on being healthier and happier overall. I am at the point now where I feel confident in myself physically and mentally, and that I’d like to start sharing some of the insights I’ve gathered along the way. This site is my opportunity to do that, and as I have already been sharing many of my thoughts here, won’t be too much of a stretch. Moving forward, the format the site is likely to change a bit – as are the topics covered – but expect the same snarky attitude I’ve always had.

Strength
One of the biggest changes I’ve focused on over the last 6 months has been changing my physical appearance and abilities. During college I stopped caring about what I looked like. I put on weight, and while I was never weak, never put much thought into my strength. About 12 months ago I decided to change all that and adopted a paleo way of eating/lifestyle. The WOE didn’t immediately take, I cheated a lot and didn’t see much weight loss/change until I really focused down on it about seven months ago. That’s when I joined the Nerd Fitness “Rebellion” and kickstarted my fitness, nutrition and lifestyle learning.

This pushed me into high gear. I started working out multiple times a week, focusing on cleaning up my diet even more and on improving other bad habits I had picked up over the last decade or so. Many of you know I quit smoking a few years back, but I had many other bad habits that needed to be cut, or at least backed off on. Over the last seven months I’ve stopped ordering takeout as much, cut back on drinking, focused on getting adequate sleep, made sure I’m eating enough food every day and get enough physical exercise every week. Because of this I’ve lost 50 pounds (total over the last year), and started seeing some real improvements in my strength. I started off doing a body weight-based workout every day, then joined a gym in September and started lifting. In January I started Stronglifts 5×5, which is a progressive strength training program, and I’m lifting double the weight I used to. The overall idea is that you do five sets of five reps, in 5 basic, compound lifts, increasing the weight by 5 pounds every workout. It works… impressively. More on that at a later date though.

Honor
Strength (fitness, nutrition and health) is nothing without wisdom, however. These efforts have pushed me to focus on learning as much as I can about fitness, nutrition and overall growth as a human being. I could link you to the 43632426 sites that I now read on a near-daily basis, but that would probably be overwhelming. People like Tim Ferriss, Elliot Hulse and Mark Sisson are certainly more knowledgeable than I am in these areas, but life is a learning curve in itself, so why try to jump ahead? The idea here is to share my knowledge, which is still growing, with other people who might be starting out from the same point I was, at the same point I currently am, or still thinking about trying to change their lives. These efforts aren’t meant to encourage, or motivate, but simply be informative… because like many other people I started off with an understanding of fitness and health, but over the last several months it has changed and evolved. I learned that many of the things I “knew” previously were wrong, or misrepresented, and I have since learned to question everything, and keep looking for the answers. Aberro Specus is about “escaping the cave” and discovering things for yourself. Hopefully I can point you in a better direction.

Moving forward my posts will be on four categories, primarily: Fitness, Nutrition, Philosophy and Personal. There will be other topics, such as gaming and writing, but these will probably all fall into the Personal category – unless I post fiction… look out for that. These topics will be broad enough to appeal to most people, but more focused, much in the way that I have been trying to bring focus to my life. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire others to make positive changes in their lives… or at the very least share them with other people.

I look forward to sharing more with you later… Until then.

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Oh hey look at that…

So yeah, it’s been well over a year since last time I posted. Life has been hectic. Work, play, more work, less play, some lifestyle changes, etc. But I’m back! Here’s what has been going on.

I’m in a band now – Origin of Inertia. We do nerd metal, it’s a thing.

I started changing my diet and eating Paleo – which is basically the removal of heavily processed food, most simple carbs and grains and legumes from your diet.  Basically, I don’t eat bread, pasta, sugar, baked goods, potatoes (often), rice (often), cereal or beans (often). It’s interesting, and I definitely feel healthier and like I have more energy.  Plus it’s an awesome excuse to eat steak. Every. Night.

I also started working out – then stopped – then started again more recently with more motivational support. It has been great. I feel stronger and I have more energy (again).

I’m drinking less. What?

I’m running a biweekly Call of Cthulhu game, woo creativity!

So what does that mean for Aberro Specus? Well, with all the “lifestyle” changes I’ve been making the primary goal is, kinda obviously, to be happier. And non-work-related writing makes me happy, so my goal is to start posting here again, and stick with it (the hard part). I’m going to make it easy on myself with some sub-goals.

  • Post once a week.
  • Post quality content.
  • Talk about shit that is actually going on in my life as well as random musings.

That’s it. The Nerd Fitness community takes a gaming approach to fitness and setting goals, so I’m going to incorporate this into mine. So hopefully that will keep my posting. There are several new types of posts that will show up then, in order to keep myself organized and motivated:

  • Workout related stuff (sorry if you don’t care)/weekly journal of fitness and nutrition.
  • New life goals
  • Home improvement projects

That last one might have thrown you – but the idea is that I’m funneling money saved from drinking less and some other things into getting some new furniture, and more importantly, building new furniture – as well as some other things for the house. So stay tuned there.

That’s it for now – Stay tuned for the first weekly fit/nut update on Monday.


A poll! A poll!

She turned me into a newt…

Wait… no. Not that again.

In all seriousness, I believe strongly in giving the people what they want. Or a good hard kick in the face. But that’s what I want to give them… sorry, I digress.

I figure that many of you have favorite posts here on the site, and that by getting a little feedback I can not only make the site more enjoyable for you… but also make it easier for me to find something to babble about. So… a poll. Please answer truthfully, or hordes of slathering beasts from the bowels of Warren Ellis will devour your skin.


Hello, again

*blink, blink* AH!!!! The sunlight… it burns the retinas.

But seriously, “what the hell!?” you might be thinking. I’d be thinking it too. Too be fair, I did complete Nano, so I did a lot of writing… I’m also working AS a writer. So I spend 90% of my day typing away… I generally don’t want to come home and do more of it.

The problem is that I have to in order to complete personal projects… right?

Right. So we come full circle, returning to, well, here. I’ve always been a prolific writer… just not steady prolific. I go frequent stints without outputting anything, then in a flurry of activity do too much, and burn out the creative synapses. I hear that it’s a common issue, actually… with many creative types. Only when you rely on that creativity for profit, it’s generally a bad idea, no? So to work around that we practice moderation.

Moderation in all things.

Some of you may know, and many may not know, that I’m a Buddhist. More in nature than in practice. I do believe in 98.7% of the tenets of Buddhism, from Enlightenment to moderation. I also don’t give a rat’s ass about the organized “sit here and recite koans till your mouth bleeds and your hands have become fused into a claw-like shape. Fuck that nonsense. There’s a certain level of… un-authenticity behind anyone who says that I can’t reach enlightenment without zazen practice 4 times a day. To you I say “And?”

Brad Warner, of punk rock fame and Zen obscurity… wait… strike that, reverse it… recently made a bit of a kerfuffle in this area. What is authenticity, and who decides what is authentic, and what is wrong? Without going into detail, because Master Warner (is that right… Priest? Awesome-dude-who-does-the-meditation-thing? Meh…) says it better than I would anyway, plus you should visit his site, I think he’s dead on here. I think that there’s a bit too much focus on who the person is, and not what they do. Who cares if I think The Beatles are overrated? Which I do (their early stuff anyway). Yes, it’s been some of the most influential music ever made… but that doesn’t mean it’s good.

My point is that there’s not enough moderation in thought and action going around these days… so I should make an extra effort to bring more into my own life.

So… the goal here is to steadily post again… also finish a few projects that I’ve been sitting on for far too long. From The Cult of Done manifesto… I should abandon those… but again, all things in moderation – I agree with some of the points of The Cult of Done, not all of it.

So look forward to seeing new and interesting things here in the near future… and scream at me if you don’t.

~Ian


Sunday Reviews

Sorry for the lack of movie reviews. As I mentioned a few times, I was traveling for two weeks, and this week things have just been hectic. I promise to have one for you next week. It will probably be on a documentary… if I get my xbox working again (long story – got hacked, etc. Account is frozen).

So, do not despair, there will be a return to the Sunday Review. Just not this week’s. Stay tuned for a real post later today though!

~Ian


Busy Day

Lots of things to do today, not much time to write.

Utility Work Ahead

I’ll try and give an update tomorrow about some of the stuff we’ve been doing. More than likely, it will be about food.

Mmmmm… food.

~Ian


Work Ahead!

No time to post right now, I have work to do! For science!

Utility Work AheadIn all seriousness though, I’ll try to have something up later. I just felt like posting something silly and random for now.

Sorry.

~Ian


Turntable.fm – Bringing the fez back.

Avatar Tier 1000-9999So, It’s been a few weeks since I wrote about Turntable.fm, and I have to say that I’ve gotten some interesting feedback about it. For instance, most of my spam comments go to that post. Most of my new readers read that post. And that post has had more hits than any other (except if you combine my two posts about Google+). So what makes turntable.fm so magical? Well, some say it’s the social interaction while playing music. Some say it’s the fact that you can discover new music from people with similar tastes. I say it’s the fez.

Turntable’s avatar system is fun to toy around with, and is, currently, the only motivation behind racking up DJ points. I recently hit 1,000 points, which opens up the tier of avatars I was most excited about, a monkey with a fez. For reference…

Aberro Specus Room - Fez!

See! Fez Monkey always rocks out.

So why are the avatars awesome? Well – for one thing, you can do synchronized DJ’s. We’ve had rooms with all Gorilla DJ’s, or rooms where we had symetrical gummy bear DJ’s – you get the idea. It’s fun. It’s humorous. And like always, an intensive productivity killer. Though I have been able to manage playing on turntable.fm and writing, which is good. Yay multi-tasking.

In all seriousness though, turntable.fm has become my new favorite website. It lets me keep in touch with groups of friends (at the same time), and lets my friends who live states away introduce me to new music, without having to tell me about bands, let me guess which songs are good and listening to them myself. They can play the song, we can discuss while listening, and I can give my opinions right there (and we all know how much I like stating my opinion…). Turntable has opened up an entirely new venue for keeping in touch with friends, and a particularly fun one for myself and my friends, because we all love music.

So if you get a chance check out the Blogenning turntable.fm room sometime. We’re usually in there in the evenings, playing theme games or just ripping it up with good tunes.


Changes!

Movie ReviewsI expect there to be a few changes around here! I expect this place to be kept tidy! I expect you to stop jumping on the bed! I… wait… no.. wrong context. Sorry… Sorry everyone.

So yeah, I know I mentioned changes, and obviously one of them was revealed yesterday, and you’ll get more information on that later. The next change is much less impressive. I’m going to do a little format changing on Aberro Specus here. This includes getting some more regularity in post topics, as well as a higher standard of material. Which hopefully you’ll see less posts with Colbert facedesking, and more posts with lengthy editorials on the Google+ nym wars. I have intentionally had little real content in my posts this week, because A: I’ve been busy, and B: I was working up to this post. Not that this one has much real content in it either, but it’s an announcement for real content coming soon. I guess that counts, right?

So – this is this the first change you’ll see coming to Aberro Specus – movie reviews.

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to review a movie every Sunday. I love watching movies, usually horror, and I might as well put that to good use. Lately I haven’t been watching many movies, so I figure now is as good a time to start as any. There are no specifics in this, they might not be new movies. I like watching old movies. But, for example, I’ve never even seen Citizen Kane. Some would consider that blasphemy. I just haven’t gotten around to it… Hell, if you look at Time Magazine’s list of the All-Time 100 Movies, I’ve only seen… 27 of them. That number goes up on most other lists of “Greatest Movies of All Time” so… Time magazine probably just likes boring movies… but you get my point. I watch a lot of B-Horror, a lot of crappy action movies. I also watch a lot of classics and a lot of thought-provoking films. I also watch a lot of trippy stuff… So it’s not that I don’t watch a lot of movies, I just don’t watch a lot of what most people consider to be “the best.”

So what does this mean for you, the reader (all five of you)? Well, you get to read potentially entertaining reviews. You get to learn about a movie you might never have heard of. And you even get to give input! That’s right. Every Sunday, I’ll be taking recommendations/requests for the next week’s movie. So tomorrow, when I post my review (I haven’t even decided what movie yet), you can make recommendations in the comments as to what you’d like to see my review for next week. This comment thread will be open until the following Saturday, when I’ll make my decision, and watch that weekend’s movie. And hey, maybe I’ll watch Citizen Kane for tomorrow.

Clapping

I approve! Watch me!

So! Get to thinking. I’ll get to watching, and writing. And let the games begin.


Today is fail.

Today is fail for here. That is all.

I have the dumb, I cannot brain.

Colbert Facedesk

Yeah, this pretty much sums it up. Thanks.


The Blogenning! 3.0

TyperwriterLet the Blogenning begin! Those of you who are longtime readers may remember the Blogenning. For those of you who are new to here, I will explain. The Blogenning was started by Brandon Schory and I as a way to motivate each other to write on our sites more often. Then we gathered a few more victims friends for our little game. And it worked out very well, for a while. Then someone (probably me) started lagging behind. Then another person… then another. And we all just kind of quit, without really saying anything about it.

Then, shortly after I moved back to Delaware from Boston, we tried again. This time we got even more victims friends together. And it went very well for a while. Then I got a high-stress job working nights. And I stopped posting. And they kept going for quite some time… then it slowly died again. Of course, even though I had stopped writing, I was still reading most of their posts. And about four months ago I realized it had been almost a year since Brandon had posted. So I started scheming. I knew I could get Brandon to start again, but what about everyone else? The only person still posting on a semi-regular basis was Tom…

So I schemed. And I pondered. And finally I plotted to get everyone posting again. So I set myself to a rigorous “one-a-day” posting schedule. Then I e-mailed everyone asking if they were interested in starting again. Obviously, being “unemployed” gives me an advantage over everyone else… but I said that instead of the previous “post for post” rule, we’d go “three a week.” Everyone agreed… and here we are! So without further ado… I give you… the Blogenning!

Aberro Specus, Dimestore Romance, Extant Musings, Independent Thought Alarm, Jaco’s Random Writings, Rachel Ober’s Life & Times of a Female Software Engineer, Time with Tom, and last, but not least, Words, Words, Words.

And for those of you interested… here are the rules of the Blogenning.

  • The first rule of the Blogenning is that you always talk about the blogenning.
  • The second rule of the Blogenning is that you ALWAYS. TALK. ABOUT. THE BLOGENNING!…
  • *ahem* The third rule, three posts per week, minimum, is expected from all members of the Blogenning, ere they risk countless ridicule, name calling, and badgering (with sporks… arse eels, and possibly even badgers).
Angry Mob

Or these guys will be coming for you!

  • The fourth rule of the Blogenning is that of “The Rotation.” The Rotation is a thematic challenge, started every week by a rotating member* of the Blogenning. The first post of this week by the scheduled member becomes the challenge theme, and the same topic/category of post must be written by all members of the Blogenning that week. This means that if I write about rabid bunnies as my first post on my week, you all have to write about them at some point. Or if my first post of the week is a poem, you all have to post a poem by the end of the week. This post does count towards your weekly total, so it is not “extra.” The punishment for failing The Rotation is to produce an extra post the following week to make up for it (meaning that if I do not make one of my weekly posts about furries during Jaco’s week to meet his challenge post of “The Wonders and Joys of Furries” then I will owe an extra post the following week covering that topic. If I still fail to produce said post… the group shall think up an appropriate punishment.
  • And finally, rule five of the Blogenning… have fun. This is meant to be an enjoyable and inspiring project. So if it begins to feel like a chore, or even like a second job… let the group know.

*The Rotation is alphabetical by blog title. So the order is Aberro Specus, then Dimestore Romance, then Extant Musings, etc. Also… Monday is the start of our week for The Rotation.


With Apologies…

I’ll apologize now for the lack of “real” post on here today. I had the script for Lazarus to finish, another project I am working on for Brandon Schory‘s band Far From There to finish, and of course my mother’s birthday is tomorrow. So instead of writing a craptacular post on here for today, I will save what I’m working on tonight to post tomorrow so I don’t have to worry about it… and give you this, a day early…

Happy Birthday Mom!

Intentionally bad jpg is win...

So as I was saying, sorry for the off day, but you’ll get a post tomorrow. I promise!

Although technically I did post something today… check out my inaugural post over at The Critical Table!


Phone Test

Just testing see how posting from my phone works. This could come in handy very frequently…


Moving things around…

I decided to move my blog to a free wordpress site and make a different use out of the AberroSpecus.com homepage. Obviously you’ve probably figured that out if you found this site, since, well… you had to have gotten here from the old site.

If you are disturbed and angered by this move, get over it. 😛  I was having too many issues with trying to update wordpress, losing content, etc. I just finally recovered my old backup after almost a year, but after sifting through it I decided not to repost the old content. This is a revitalization of the site, and hopefully of my writing. Finally, I have decided to remove the (majority of) fiction and poetry posts from here. If I want to start submitting them to publishers, I don’t want them already floating around on the web for free, right? I might post some once in a while… or maybe excepts from them, but for the most part you can look forward to rants, philosophical musings, reviews, and general life posts here.

So why start the blog up again you might ask? Well, because it gets me writing. And because I enjoy it.

So look foward to more here in the very near future (I promise this time).

~Ian