sad merlin

Homeschooling

Late last year, Lynette and I made the decision that we were going to pull our kids from their school and switch to homeschooling. It was something we spent a lot of time thinking about before we actually did it, and honestly were pretty terrified.

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sad merlin

Deep Space 9 Review

Yeah I know, this show ended like 20 years ago.

But it's on Netflix and I had only ever seen something a bit less than half the episodes, so I thought I'd go back and rewatch it. Now, I didn't really LIKE DS9 back when it was on the air, though I didn't hate it. It lacked a bit of the charm that TNG had, but at least they didn't go off the rails like Voyager did at first. (Digression: I hear Voyager got better but I couldn't get past the premise. I *loathe* the Lost in Space premise in general, I didn't really like most of the characters and the characters I did like got almost completely rewritten in the first couple of episodes.)

So let me sum up my review:

It wasn't as bad as I remember it, nor was it as good as the people who loved it tell me.

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sad merlin

Thoughts on The Last Jedi

Quick review: On par with Return of the Jedi for me, will watch again. Yay Star Wars!

The non-spoilery part:

It's only been a day, and it was a long film. There's still a lot to digest. I suspect that some of the flaws I didn't notice right away will come back and bug me a little. But that said, right now at this very moment, it's on par with Return of the Jedi for me. It's not perfect, but oh MAN did I love it. It was 2:33 and I didn't wonder why it wasn't over yet. I was completely into it, drawn in. I found certain scenes very predictable but I was satisfied because I think they were the Right Way to do it. I'm disappointed by a couple of storytelling choices but not in a big way. There's some unusual humor choices for Star Wars and I still need another viewing or two (at least) to decide what I think. They didn't feel like they undercut dramatic moments like they did in Ragnarok, but they DID evoke a bit of awareness that this is a movie, not a story. But really they were no worse than the "humor" in Jar Jar or the battle droids in the prequels, and the pseudo slapstick of R2D2 and C3PO in the originals.

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sad merlin

Weight Loss VII: The gym-boree

It's been a long time since I've updated this tag!

I more or less took six months off; last October I kind of crashed hard and found myself unable to make myself do anything. It took MONTHS to struggle through that and it wasn't until the end of Marsh this year that I started finding enough willpower to force myself to do things again. This wasn't really just about exercise, either, it was general life stuff too. Lots of things kind of fell to the side for me.

I gained 25 pounds in that time (ugh, that's a horrible rate of gain) and by spring I was feeling pretty wretched about myself. I've since lost 10 of it back, maybe (it's weird, my weight is fluctuating a lot more than it has in the past) and feeling somewhat better. My cardio was terrible for the first couple of weeks, and it was a struggle just to run a mile.

I'm still not back to where I was, but at least I can run 2.5 miles in a go again, and with a walk break I can do 4-5, but I haven't gotten in a full 5K with no break yet.

I've also added a gym routine, which is not super stressful; it's designed to make sure I don't lose muscle weight. I'd noticed that my pecs, in particular, were not as strong as they used to be, and decided I needed to reverse that trend. Back last fall, I had always intended on throwing some weight training in anyway, and that was next on the docket when everything fell apart.

So here's my current routine:

Sun Run to gym (1 mile), do full routine, walk home. The run is really just a nice cardio warmup for the gym.
Mon Rest day (it's my regular day in the office, so hard to get anything in this day anyway).
Tue Medium run (40-50 minutes)
Wed Run to gym, do full routine
Thu Short run (30ish minutes)
Fri Optional: Run or walk to gym, do abbreviated routine
Sat Long run (60+ minutes)


Things keep getting in the way so I don't quite get to keep my schedule perfectly, but as long as I'm close I don't feel too bad. For example I had to turn Saturday's run into a walk, and Sunday we had busy plans so I didn't make it to the gym (but I did make myself do some body weight exercises so at least I didn't do nothing).

It's warming up, too, so now I'm going to have to deal with my *ideal* running time (around 3pm) often being too hot for an outdoor run. :(

My gym workout is generally 2 sets of 12 reps of the following exercises. I'm doing only machines because I'm kind of terrified that one oops on free weights and the disc in my back explodes. (Ok that's exaggerating but seriously I can hurt myself pretty bad if I fuck up)



  • Chest press

  • Incline chest press

  • Machine Fly

  • Rear Deltoid Fly

  • Hip adductor

  • Hip abductor

  • Bicep curls

  • Row

  • Leg press

  • Torso rotation (I often skip this as I only do it when my back is feeling good)



It generally takes right around 30 minutes to get through that routine.

I'd started out adding some cardio on the lateral elliptical trainer but decided that the lateral motion wasn't worth the extra time in the gym, and I'm already running plenty. Plus with the run down and sometimes run/sometimes walk back, that's already an hour out of my day and I usually want to get back to work.
sad merlin

End of the Era

I bent Dreamwidth to my will; it's now a usable, modern-ish site for me.

In the last 2 weeks, only one person is posting on LJ but not Dreamwidth, so there's very little reason to stick with LiveJournal at all. So I guess I'm going to stop checking here.

I won't delete the account, and will probably continue to crosspost, but in general, expect to see me at http://merlinofchaos.dreamwidth.org now.
sad merlin

Unsure I'll be able to stick with DreamWidth

A couple, maybe a few years ago now, LiveJournal made some really good UX updates to their friends/reading page and made the whole thing much more readable and usable.

DreamWidth is like the old LiveJournal. Poorly sized, poorly spaced, not well designed. There's a bajillion themes, but I don't have the patience to sift through them to find a diamond in the rough; I basically hate every one I've tried so far, and have had to settle for which one is least annoying.

If anyone knows of a theme that closely replicates the existing LiveJournal reading UI I'd love to see it.

But without that, I find reading LJ unpleasant; it's a bit like going back to cars without power steering, power breaks and air conditioning after being used to modern cars. Sure, I can drive it, but I don't really WANT to.