Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chad Tries.... an organic homegrown red jalapeno

If you know me you know I've been growing habanero and jalapeno peppers in my garden and in my home for about a year now. I moved the pepper plants inside around Halloween and have been relatively successful at getting peppers to grow indoors. It's been a long time since I ate a raw pepper on video for YouTube, so I thought now was a good time to taste test one of my organic homegrown red jalapenos on camera for the world to see.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

P90X weeks 3 & 4

I should've posted this blog two weeks ago when I finished week 3, but I posted a vlog instead so bear with me.

Anyway, I am now down with the first "training block" of P90X. The first two weeks were pretty tough, especially the first week - man was I sore. The second week I wasn't sore at all (well maybe a tad), and by the third week I felt like I had been doing the workouts forever. Not that I was bored with them, just that they definitely seemed less challenging than they did the first week or two.

There's still a few exercises or movements that I can't do well. For example, many of the yoga positions. I've never done yoga before and the first time I did it I thought it was pretty silly, but after two or three times I realized it actually is a pretty good workout. I was definitely working up a sweat trying to balance myself in a lot of those positions. The "crescent pose" is especially difficult, as is "twisting half moon" and "crane." Though I'm not sure I understand the point of crane - all you're doing is putting ALL of your body weight on your wrists. It took me a long time to get the hang of it and even then I could only hold the pose for about 10 seconds at a time before I fell face first to the floor.

Also, I started taking the Kenpo X seriously. If you read my entry about the first time I did it I said I gave up halfway through the video. Well, I decided to give it another shot, and another and another. Not that I'm an expert on it now, but at least I can get through the entire workout. Still, some of the sequences are overwhelming mostly because they go SO FAST on the video that I can't keep up. It's like playing a video game or something - you just have to memorize the pattern. But I keep falling out of the rhythm. Ok, jab, cross, hook, uppercut - and I wind up throwing like 3 hooks and an uppercut the entire time. Oiy.

The fourth week is the "recovery phase" where you do yoga twice, "x stretch" twice and start a new disc called "core synergistics" (also twice). These are mostly abdominal exercises, but you use your whole body. So unlike Ab Ribber X, you're not just sitting or laying on the floor the entire time - there's a lot of lunges and pushups involved. Yoga X also throws in some ab exercises too, so even though you've had a week off from Ab Ripper X, you're still giving that area a pretty good workout through yoga and Core Synergistics.

What's nice is when I look in the mirror with my shirt off I can see my abs actually starting to take shape now. Well, actually it's just the top row of the six pack. I also see that 90-degree, L-shaped shadow on both side of my abs below my ribs. That's really amazing. I think I had some definition like this maybe 10 years ago when I first joined the Navy and was working out every day, but it's been a long time.

The problem is I still have this damn spare tire/gut/love handles. I think this layer of fat is here to stay forever. I think the only way to get rid of it would be to get liposuction (or get stranded on a desert island). This is something I've always thought about but have never pursued seriously. Whenever I mention it the first reaction people have is either "stop drinking beer," or "you look fine the way you are." To which I respond that I've had a gut well before I drank beer and science shows beer itself has nothing to do with having a gut - it's just body type and other genetic predispositions. So quitting beer altogether wouldn't magically make my gut go away. Also, I may look fine to you, but I'm the one that has to live with this every day. Even though I think I look great from the bottom of my ribcage up, that doesn't negate how embarrassing that midsection is to me.

So anyway, I'm glad to be a third of the way done with the program. I'm very curious to see how my new work situation is going to affect my exercise regimen since I'll be sleeping in late instead of getting up at 5:30am. Even though it's only been two days as of this writing, when I sleep in late I almost always wake up starving so I immediately eat breakfast instead of starting my workout. Also, knowing I have a ton of time before I have to be anywhere makes me put off my workout for as long as possible. The nice thing about working 9-5 and getting up early to workout is that it's a great motivator to keep you on schedule. 

I always said there's probably a Catch-22 to working at home. Hmm....

P.S. I'm down to 175lbs. For two weeks in a row I was stagnant at 177 which was pretty confusing because I managed to drop a pound four weeks ago despite going OVER my calorie count that week. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 vlog #2 | It's STILL Winter?!!? X(

Sorry it's been so long between vlogs. Though the long lull means I have more stuff to talk about. Watch the vlog for details.

The links:
Pliny The Elder vs. Heady Topper BLIND TASTE TEST!

Ben Harris of "Just A Beer Geek":

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chad9976 attempts the Guinness Gauntlet challenge

It's St. Patrick's Day, so what beer could be more appropriate than Guinness? But just drinking Guinness is boring - let's take it up a notch. This is the "Guinness Gauntlet" challenge which was pioneered by Terry Kay, aka

The rules for the challenge are:
1. You must drink four 440ml (14.9oz) cans of Guinness Draught Stout (the nitrogenated version) in less than two minutes. Guinness Extra Stout and Guinness Foreign Extra Stout are not eligible.
2. You must pour them into glasses or a giant boot or other stein. (no shotgunning)
3. Timer starts when it hits your lips.
4. A little foam at the bottom of the glass is okay.
5. Vomiting results in a forfeit.

Here's some interesting facts about this challenge:
four cans = 1,762.582ml or 59.6oz (only 4.4oz shy of a half gallon)
one can = 155 calories, four cans = 620 calories
my estimated blood alcohol content after four cans (according the BAC app on my phone) = 0.092%!


Monday, March 11, 2013

P90X: Week 2 and 4 pounds dropped

So as you might know I started doing P90X a few weeks ago. I completed the first week and then I went out of town for a few days. I managed to get in two 8.5-mile runs while I was down in Virginia, but when I got back I had gained about 2 or 3 pounds that week.

I started the program over on Wednesday to time it so that the yoga day would fall on a Saturday. I find the yoga workout to be easy as far as physical exerition goes. Though many of the poses are quite difficult. I STILL can't do the "crane" pose. And some of those twisting prayer poses are challegning too. Though it's interesting how much a sweat you can work up just by doing yoga. Though says doing 90 minutes of yoga, for me, only burns about 300 calories. That's about as many calories as 90 minutes of walking (maybe even less).

Also, I actually did the entire "Kenpo X" workout today. I don't think it's quite as high intensity as they make it out to be. What cracks me up is that it's about 59 minutes total. You spend the first 10 or so just stretching and warming up. Then you do about 44 straight minutes of cardio. Then another 3 minutes of cooldown. MFP says I burned 588 calories doing 44 minutes of it. Though as I said before I'm really uncoordinated and I can't really keep their pace. This time I paid more attention to the moves and was able to do most things the way they're meant to be done. The side kicks and the back kicks I've still yet to master. What sucks is Monday has traditionally been my off day for the last year that way I can "sleep in" three days in a row. But I had to bump it to Tuesday in order to make Yoga X fall on a Saturday. Once the schedule changes maybe I can get it back to having Monday off. 

But anyway, that's not really the point. The point is I've now completed two whole weeks of the program. When I went out of town I was planning on starting over from scratch since I took probably about a week off between weeks. But now I'm thinking I should just keep on going. So one more week of the same schedule of workouts I've done for the past two and then the fourth week the workouts change up a bit.

What's also interesting is that I lost FOUR pounds this week! I always weigh myself on Monday morning right before I shower regardless of what I did the day or week before. It's nice to have a benchmark like that. Some people make the mistake of weighing themselves too often which I think provides false data, both high and low. Once a week is probably good enough. Though last August and September, when I had lost about 40 total pounds, I was only weighing myself once every other week.

So I'm glad I dropped those four pounds in the last seven days. It's actually hard to account for since I didn't work out all that much harder than I usually do. In fact, I probably did a little less exercise. I've also cut back on the running to just a couple days a week. Usually a weight gain or loss of more than a pound a week has more to do with water retention (or lack thereof) than true weight loss. Though in retrospect I don't know what I did (or didn't do) that would account for losing that much.

Whatever, I'll take it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Tierra Espresso Stout" by JustaBeerGeek | Chad'z Homebrew Reviews #28

My first homebrew review of 2013 and my first-ever all-grain stout! This was made by my friend Ben aka "JustaBeerGeek." He actually just started doing video beer reviews so be sure to check out his YouTube Channel. Also, be sure to check out his blog as he writes articles and op-eds as well.

Check out Ben on the web here:

here's the recipe for this homebrew:
10 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row or Maris Otter)
1.5 lbs Crystal Malt 60L
1 lb Victory Malt
1 lb Chocolate Malt (350 SRM)
1 lb Roasted Barley (300 SRM)
.5 lb Black Patent Malt (500 SRM)
1 lb Flaked Oats
1 lb Milk Sugar (lactose)
2oz Williamette 60 min boil
10-14 days primary
7 days on 2 lbs Tierra Coffee Roasters Columbian beans
OG: 1.076
FG: 1.016
ABV: 7.88%
Yeast: Wyeast Labs #1335 2 vials