Semi-Charmed Life

31Oct/090

Custom Mouth Guard Review

This is my review of Scott Patterson & Python Guards:

I have nothing negative to say about him. From start to finish he handled my order professionally. Timely responses on everything, and when I fucked up on my initial impression, he sent me a new impression kit right away. He suggested that I go see a dentist to do it the second time around, and this is what I would also recommend to anyone getting a custom mouth guard.

The dentist was able to do my impression MUCH better than I was able to.

Anyway, I just received my mouthguard in the mail today. Included was a note saying that this one was imperfect, so he was going to send me another one free of charge. The imperfection is only aesthetic, as it is perfectly functional. Needless to say, I am ecstatic.

As far as the design goes, originally I was going to just have a plain black mouthguard but I figured if a design came free with it, why not? I chose something simple . . . the 4 Japanese characters on my mouthguard translate to : "Fall down seven times get up eight."

The fit is absolutely perfect, both a credit to the dentist that did my impression and to Scott. It is not too tight but it is very snug. A world of difference from your average boil and bite.

If anyone is in the market for a mouthguard, please do not hesitate to contact Scott Patterson at Python Guards.

Home of the True Custom Mouth Guard

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30Oct/090

A Little More Weight, A Lot Less Gas

These past several weeks I have been gassing real hard in my gym. Even doing the simplest positional drills in class gets me huffing and puffing. The last half hour is absolutely brutal because it's free rolling for 30 minutes straight. It completely baffled me because I've been doing this since last June and my grappling cardio has never been this bad. I'm in relatively good shape and have not been doing anything differently.

I think I've finally figured it out though. These past few months I've slowly increased my caloric intake in an effort to gain some weight. In early August I weighed about 145-147lbs. I haven't been tracking my weight gain progress but I finally did last night and I came in at a whopping 160lbs. This might not sound like much of a gain in weight, but keep in mind that the heaviest I have ever been in my life was 155lbs, which was not very significant because it was all water weight from the creatine I was taking at the time.

I typically have a difficult time gaining weight and nearly always maintain a weight of 145lb, for better or for worse. So when I stepped on that scale last night, I was pretty shocked. Now, I am not 100% positive that this is the reason why I run out of gas so easily at the gym, but it seems the most likely. My guess is that my body is not used to this excess weight. I had no idea that gaining a little weight would affect me so drastically.

I hope my body slowly becomes accustomed to this added weight because it's making life miserable in the gym.

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26Oct/091

26

My birthday was last week, ushering me into the final year of my glorious mid-20's. I'm not big on doing elaborate "look at me it's my birthday!"-type celebrations like a lot of people. I'm not the type of person who likes the spotlight to be shined on me. I prefer it to be just like a regular day. That said, I had drinks and dinner with a small group of friends last Friday and overall had an enjoyable night out.

Another year gone, another one begins.

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22Oct/092

From Misery to Epiphany

Blindsided

This past weekend I was blindsided by a pang of depression which hit me pretty hard. I'm not normally the type to get depressed, and especially for no apparent reason. I attributed it to a number of things . . . I had a HORRIBLE day at work on Friday. Had a major screw up which cost my team several hours of extra work and also rolled over into Monday. Also looming over my head was my contract being up soon, throwing me back into the masses of the unemployed. And lastly, my parents have been hit with massive cuts in work hours which places a heavier burden on me and my brothers. Moreso me, because although my brothers are 23 they are still apathetic or perhaps willfully ignorant about our parents' financial situation. This last part bothers me a lot.

Trying to rationalize my sudden downward mood swing didn't do me any good though because I still felt like shit. At one point I was going to write some pity party blog entry but luckily I still had enough sense to realize that doing so would have been pathetic.

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." - Mahatma Gandhi

On Tuesday night I met up with some people for dinner and on the car ride home, one friend was trying to give another friend advice on life because he was going through what I would say is a quarter-life crisis. I didn't really chime in because he was not exactly soliciting for advice, so I did not feel the need to try to assess and give my two cents. Besides, I was trying to work out my own issues.

In the middle of their conversation though, I had an epiphany and immediately thought of the Ghandi quote I posted above. A lot of times we know what we should do, but we never do it.

"I should have study tonight instead of going out."

"I should have drank less last night."

"I should be hitting the gym more often."

"I should be drinking less soda."

I think that everyone for the most part has an idea of what they should be doing. Everyone knows that the thing that they should do is the right thing to do, but a lot of times we find a reason to not do it, however lame that reason may be. These things that we should do but don't do range from minor to-do's, to major life decisions such as a career change because we're unhappy with what we're doing now.

These neglected things begin to pile up like dirty dishes, to the point where it becomes overwhelming. That's what I think was happening to me. I have all these things that I plan to do but never get around to doing it. And when I say "never get around to doing it," that's basically a euphemism for being a lazy sack of shit.

The reason it reminded me of the Ghandi quote because in essence, it's a disconnect between mind and body. You know you should be doing one thing, but you go ahead and do another. This contradiction between mind and body takes a toll onĀ us.

So the real reason I fell into that slump was not because of the reasons I listed earlier. It was because I wasn't taking care of business. I'm not sure how or when exactly it was that I got sidetracked, but I resolved that night to re-focus myself on the things I know I should be doing, from the little things to the big things.

So the next time you feel like your room is messy and you know you should clean it, do it. Don't let things fester. Get it out of the way and you'll feel much better about yourself.

On a sidenote . . . this whole experience really gives credence in my mind to this article where they say that depression is an adaptation, not a malfunction. Give it a read. Interesting stuff.

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21Oct/092

Dear JCPenney

This was an email I sent to JCPenney this morning:

To Whom It May Concern,

I recently purchased two pairs of Dockers Slim Straight pants from your website, on the premise that there was a 50% off sale coupon that was available. The restrictions stated that it was only to be used on items which were at retail price, and to my dismay, nearly EVERYTHING on the JCPenney website is priced at a slight discount.

I looked past that because I was already on the website and I was in need of a pair of pants at the time, so I picked up two pairs of Dockers. The shipping was $12 for two pairs of pants, which I thought was somewhat expensive but I considered it a convenience tax and went ahead and bought the pants.

I waited two weeks for the pants to arrive, which I thought was unacceptable. I did not expect a major retailer like JCPenney to have such poor turnaround time.

But I looked past it because my pants had already arrived and it was too late to do anything except to be happy with my pants. Well, one of the pairs of khakis was missing a button. I was a little disheartened because this was supposed to be a NEW item and it already had a defect (rear pocket button was missing).

However, I told myself it was a minor inconvenience because a missing button is an easy fix, and would not be worth the hassle of a return.

Well, this morning I decided to wear my khakis to work and what do I notice on my commute to work? A gaping hole in my crotch which was caused by a break in the seams.

This is where I must draw the line in what is acceptable. A large retail chain such as JCPenney should be expected to provide a certain level of standards that at the minimum should include defect-free products.

I was able to overlook the deceptive "online coupon," the overpriced shipping which arrived two weeks after I ordered (in cheap paper packaging nonetheless), and the missing button, but I have to walk around with a gaping hole in my crotch today and this is where I draw the line.

I am asking that a new pair be sent to me and that a pre-paid shipping label be provided so that I may send in the old defective pair. (DockersĀ® Flat Signature Straight Fit Pants 31x30 Cloud color)

Please get back to me as soon as possible. You may also contact me at (xxx)xxx-xxxx. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Regards,

Alvin

Hopefully they'll send me a new pair of pants . . . and maybe even throw a freebie while at it.

But that's probably asking for too much.

Anyway, can anyone who is computer savvy tell me how to get rid of that UGLY ass "Get Firefox" banner on my site? The coding is probably embedded in the WordPress theme but I tried looking and could not find it. I don't usually notice it because I use Firefox at home and I guess it only shows when you're on another browser.

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