Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend Review: Oct 19th & 20th

Every weekend there are new sights, sounds, and taste to consume. There are other sensory inputs that tickle my brain too, but saying there is stuff to feel sounds creepy. This is a weekly journal of my weekend endeavors. Enjoy!

American Gods
Loved this book. I got a recommendation from Ethan a while back. Then I went looking for a new book last month on the NPR list of Top 100 science fiction/fantasy and saw it again at number ten. #10 seems like a lot of hype and thankfully American Gods lives up to it. The premise, story and prose are all top notch. Fantasy in a modern setting is more of a genre Crystal enjoys, but this hit on all cylinders for me. I really enjoyed guessing at who the Gods were before they were revealed. I listened to this in audio and it was a full cast production. It add even more to the tale. Best book I've read this year.

The single player in this game is far and above any other GTA story on offer to date. The up and coming criminal to king pin tale is out. They'd done it enough times and done it well where it would have been passable this time through. What they offered up instead was leaps and bounds beyond what they already did really well. Following three established characters from the start meant working with in the life already live, not meeting new NPCs every hour so you could play errand boy again. It worked really well. It lost it's head of steam about 3-4 hours from the end, but the plot was still paced masterfully.

GTA Online also came two weeks after the single player. It was much less polished. There is a lot not to like. Poor UI design, lots of loading screens and tons of grinding. If you can peel away the bitter rind though, there is a juicy center worth playing. The co-op is good, but really short and not repeatable. The racing is really fun and earning XP and cash to put into nicer car mods is rewarding.

In late Spring of this year I heard about a type of high-intensity interval training called tabata. It boils down to eight exercises (e.g. planks, burpees, etc.) performed for 20-25 seconds with 10 second breaks in between. A set of eight is called a tabata and you usually do 4 to 5 tabata in a session. A full session will kick your ass. I've never wanted to quit something physically more than I tabata every week. I introduced it to Crystal in June. We were into it for three weeks till a knee injury at Jumpology put me out of commission. Last month I signed up for a tabata class at work. It was like starting all over again and now I wasn't hand picking the exercises that made it easier. I love and hate it. It is challenging in a way that cycling and running have never been. When I finish it is massive sense of accomplishment.

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Recently Finished:

The Wise Man's Fear
Dynasty of Evil
100 Bullets Vol. 07: Samurai
Batman: Batman and Son
100 Bullets Vol. 06: Six Feet Under the Gun
100 Bullets Vol. 05: The Counterfifth Detective
100 Bullets Vol. 04: A Foregone Tomorrow
100 Bullets Vol. 03: Hang Up on the Hang Low
100 Bullets Vol. 02: Split Second Chance
30 Days of Night
100 Bullets Vol. 01: First Shot, Last Call
Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
Uzumaki, Volume 1
Runaways vol. 1: Pride and Joy
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 2: Dallas
The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite
Batman: Hush, Vol. 2
Atomic Robo Vol. 4: Other Strangeness