Friday, January 24, 2020

Only Beef, Salt, And Water To Eat. Will It Work? Journey to Onederland: Week 35 Progress Update

Week 35 update on my Journey To One-derland. I tried making my carnivore diet as strict as possible to get back on track after all my slip-ups in December. How did it go? Watch and find out.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hard Rocker

There's a new episode of That Gets My Goat up on the Dunesteef feed. Rish turned the show into a gameshow of sorts. See how well you can do in naming the list of the top 100 hard rock songs. Better than me? Couldn't possibly be worse. Follow the link and enjoy.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Happy Juan Day To You!

On Facebook a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon an upcoming event here in Houston.

A toy store called Super Happy Incredible Toys was having a big uh...toy-stravaganza in their parking lot today. It was in honor of a guy named Juan, for changing things...for the better I suppose. In fact, here's the copy from the Facebook announcement:
It’s the most wonderful day of the year for us. So join us as we celebrate the person who changed Super Happy Incredible Toys Forever, in the best way we know possible, by having a party. We will have an outdoor market, a huge sale, a piƱata, free Saint Arnold beverages and cool prizes. Food will be available for purchase by our good friends Tacos Anna. So come on down and meet the coolest people in the Houston Toy Community and buy, sell, or trade from us, them or each other and celebrate Juan Appreciation day with us.

Ever since I started watching toy collecting videos on YouTube, and then went on to create my own toy collecting video channel, I've wanted to attend something like this. I've seen many others going to these events, and posting videos highlighting their experiences, and they look like they would be really neat.

However, despite the way I may seem on my podcasts and videos, I'm not a particularly social person. My social interactions are mostly motivated by fear. I do just fine when hanging out with people that I know, or people that can be relied upon to be at least generally friendly, but uncontrolled interactions I try to avoid, even though they might lead to something great. I don't know why I'm explaining this so in depth, everyone these days is this way. It's why ghosting has become a word.

So, though I've heard of other events like this before, I've yet to actually go to one. This time around, though, I was on the phone with Rish when I found the listing for the event, and he really encouraged me to go. He wanted to hear about what it was like. I don't know, maybe he wanted me to get out of my shell and see what the fresh air was like. So, I kind of felt obligated to actually go this time. Besides, it was pretty close. Houston is a huge city, but this event was less than 30 minutes away from me.

It would be a super happy incredible time, right? Nobody says things like that disingenuously. Advertising can always be believed. Those pills we see commercials for on TV all the time really will make you more healthy.

So, I dragged my keester out to Super Happy Incredible toys this morning, as close to 11:00 as I could manage. It seemed like the best way to go, because more stuff would still be available if I got there early, right?

Super Happy Incredible Toys posted this picture of the event on Facebook. The little blue house is the store, Super Happy Incredible Toys. In front is a gravel parking lot where several local toy vendors set up their tables with stuff that we could buy. I walked around and looked at it all, impressed with the selection even though it was a relatively small event. They had a lot of my favorite things available--Marvel Legends, Star Wars Black Series, vintage GI Joes, Sectaurs from the 1980s, vintage He-Man figures, and so on.

I found a figure that I had to take a picture of and text to Rish.

This is Monkian. He's a villain from the 1980s cartoon Thundercats. Back in the early days of the internet, before I became Big Anklevich, I used to call myself Snarf on all of the message boards that I would frequent. Rish would joke with me that he was going to call himself Monkeyan, a character that he had just discovered the existence of. I suppose he thought Snarf was pretty awful, and was surprised to find another awful character lurking behind Snarf. Rish was pretty sad to find out that he had the name of the guy spelled wrong, and it was in fact Monkian instead. For several months on end, I would receive emails from Rish signed Monkian. It eventually wore off, and disappeared into the mists of the forgotten past. But whenever I hear anything about Monkian, I think of Rish. So, I had to send him that picture.

When Rish looked at his phone, he knew exactly what was going on, and suddenly my phone was ringing.

"Happy Juan Day!" he shouted when I picked up.

I spent the rest of the time at the toy show, wandering around and talking with Rish. It was fun. It was almost as if we were attending together, only if Rish had been my blind friend that I had to describe everything to. Going to something like this together is something the two of us would both love. Unfortunately, circumstances have made the distance between us too great for this to be possible.

I walked around looking at the tables some more. I wanted to look everything over once before deciding what I would buy, just in case I found something I had to have at the last table that might require all the money I brought or something.

There was a bag of Hulkbuster figures that I was seriously considering.

It came with two of the same figure in it for $15. I have a fairly extensive collection of different Hulkbuster figures in all different shapes and sizes, but I didn't have these figures. Should I? Did I need these two to make my collection complete?

I also sent the picture of one of my favorite things I saw inside the store to Rish.

If you're approximately my age, then you probably think you know what that is. We all played with Star Wars toys back in the early eighties. Return of the Jedi is my favorite of the three Star Wars films. And that is an Ewok village from Return of the Jedi. I played with that at my friends' house. Darin and Denny, a couple of twins that I would hang out with back in the day, had the Ewok village, and it was so fun.

Of course, that is not exactly what that toy is. It's actually the Sherwood Forest playset that Kenner put out for the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves toyline. Most people don't even know they had a Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves toyline, so I understand that you didn't recognize it. I didn't know it existed until a year or so ago myself. The Sherwood Forest playset is actually better than the Ewok village because the trees come with leaves on top. The Ewok village trees didn't have that. They were just big tree trunks with no foliage whatsoever. So, if I ever get an Ewok village, it will, in fact be a Sherwood Forest, because I want the greenery.

That toy was $100, though. I can't spend money like that on a toy without at the very least consulting my wife first. If I did buy that, then I'd need to get a bunch of figures to populate it too. So, $100 would just be the beginning. So, it stayed on the shelf.

What did I finally settle on? Well, for Christmas this past year, my nephew, and the GI Joe correspondent on my defunct toy review channel, John, gave me a vintage Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.

I was really excited, because those two are quite hard to find anymore and there for pretty expensive. Up until now, I haven't tried collecting any of the vintage GI Joes. I've stuck with the 25th anniversary figures that I got back in 2007.

Having these beautiful guys in my hands, however, has brought back a lot of good memories of the days when I owned my very own copies of these figures. So, when I saw a bin full of vintage GI Joe figures for only $5 a piece, and started fishing through it in search of figures I'd like to own. There were many, including several guys that I'd had as a kid, and would love to own again. In the end, these were the ones I settled on:

Roadblock because he was great, and Iceberg and Frostbite because I want to put together a cool GI Joe winter battle of some sort for another Christmas decoration. My holiday shelves are getting more and more out of control.

So, in the end, it was a lot of fun. There were many other things I wanted to buy, but I was careful not to overdo it. I'm not a rich man, and I've got kids trying to go to college now, so I need to keep my money rather than blow it. But I still managed to find some fun, and have a happy Juan Day.

Fighting A Month Long Setback, What Plan Is Best? Journey to Onederland: Week 34 Progress Update

Yikes, last week was a bit of a setback within a setback. But I think I've got the plan that will get me on track this week and make all the difference to get me going again.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Writing Update For the Month of December

Should have got this out a while ago, but I've been behind on literally everything that I'm doing in my life.

So, you may remember that last October, I decided it was time to make a really big goal for writing. I started on October 28th, and will be working on it through the next October 27th. I did an update for November, the first full month of writing, and now it's time (well, past time) for the update for December.

In December, my goal was to increase my writing from whatever I could manage to at least 500 words a day. It went really well to begin with, but then my dad passed aaway, and everything in my life went out the window for a while.

When I cam back to it after a trip out to my dad's house for the funeral, I was much more spotty with my success. When I did write, I got at least 500 words, but I forgot to write relatively often.

Here is my final tally chart for the month of December:

So, there was a big hole there from the 10th to the 18th where I wrote nothing at all. Then on the weekends or if I had days off from work, I would forget to write. I usually write on my lunch break at work, so when I'm not at work, sometimes I forget.

I actually wrote on Christmas day, but not the weekend afterward. Why? Well, I didn't get Christmas day off. I was in there making the news happen, so I had a lunch break. I'm an intermittent faster, however, so I don't have to sit there and stuff my face with Doritos and Mountain Dew anymore. It gives me plenty of time to write instead...but I only seem to remember when I do things the usual habitual way.

Rish does try to call me to remind me to write, which helps, but it's definitely something I've got to get better with, because I didn't write on fourteen of the thirty-one days in December. It's all well and good to up my output to five hundred words a day, but that doesn't help a lot in getting to my goal if almost half of the days are zeroes.

So, I finished out the month with 12,574 words. Should have been closer to at least 15,500 but considering that nobody ever stops at exactly 500, it probably would have been several thousand above that. In 2017, when I did the 500 words a day thing, my total word count was more than 20,000 for the month.

So, here's my chart for the year-to-date total:

Missing so many days meant that I barely beat out November's total, and my total for the year so far is only 26,883. That's a lot, and more than I was doing back in September, for example. But, considering my goal is 300,000 for the year, it doesn't make me feel to excited. I still feel like I'm way at the bottom of Mt. Everest. Still miles to go before I even make it to the base camp.

Here's my picometer with my percentage

Eight percent is kind of small for two months worth. Two months is sixteen percent of twelve. So, I'm a little behind. However, I'm not upset or worried just yet. These first two months were supposed to get me in gear so that I could put the pedal to the metal for the last ten months. I plan to write at least one thousand words per day for the next ten months of the year. If I manage that, then I will definitely make 300,000. I even have 26 days of breathing room because of the 26,883 words I've written already.

So, for January, I'm taking it to the next level. The level that I'm supposed to be at. I am going to write one thousand words per day. If I manage that, then I'll get 30,000 words for the month, and ten percent of the total needed for the year. Should work out great...he said knowing just how poorly things can go because that's what happened last month.

I guess I'll let you know how it turns out.

Trying To Overcome A Setback, How Long Does It Take? Journey to Onederland: Week 33 Progress Update

Okay, now that I totally blew it in December, what happens next? Can I get right back to it? Or is it a struggle? Check it out on the week 33 progress update.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Emotional Eating and the Carnivore Diet--A New Weekly Update

Finally managed to get back at it. This is my update for the last three weeks straight. Check it out, and see how I navigated the emotions that came with the death of my father...spoiler alert: not well.