Flex Friday… The year of the virus

See my journey

Well hell… five years ago I started my adventure into a new lifestyle that I had never attempted before. With the help from good friends and family I worked hard to better my body, and in turn my soul.

In the last few years, I’ve been posting my journey on each anniversary and I was pleased to report that every new year had brought more strength, and a huge feeling of accomplishment. That all came to a halt this year with the closing of our local gyms due to this virus debacle.

Now, I’m not going to go on a rant here about why our government leaders think it’s a good idea to remove healthy people from one of the ways they stay healthy, but I will say that my fitness level and health has dropped significantly this year and I have a hard time finding that motivation I once had.

I haven’t given up, far from it. I’m hoping we can soon move past all this craziness and I’m still ready and eager to get back at it, as soon as the the current regime allows the gyms to open back up. I’m just hoping that the local gyms can hang on long enough to actually reopen some time in the near future.

Hasbro’s Ghostbusters Plasma Series Ecto-1

Added another Ecto-1 to the collection. This is Hasbro’s Ghostbusters Plasma Series Ecto-1 version for the new Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie that will hopefully actually be release this year. Currently only available at Target stores. this movie inspired beast is a 1/18th scale collectable of the Ecto-1 featured in the new movie.

Looking through the windows you can see all the inner detail. Three of the four doors open up, one of which allows the release of the all new gunner seat which extends and rotates like the one in the film. The back door also opens to reveal the little trap on wheels (which can be removed) that all the Ghostbuster fans seem to really be excited about.

It’s pretty beat up and rusty, like we’ve seen so far in the trailer. The front seems to be a lot more dirty (not sure how I feel about it) but that may be explained more in the film.

Overall I’m impressed with this Hasbro version with its size, looks, and features, and this Ecto-1 will be a valued addition to my collection.

First snow of the new year

After being without power for the last five days due to the worst wind event I’ve ever seen, we were treated to our first snow day of the year.

The power was restored on Saturday night, after being out for the week, and it was nice to get the house back to normal after days of generator power.

The snow started falling Sunday evening and kept up pretty much all night. Woke to a nice covering of the fluffy white stuff and thankful that the power was still on. 🙂

Roads from the house were not plowed and a little unnerving as I rolled the beast down the hill toward town. I was very happy to see the roads were clear when I hit the highway, and from there on out my travels were free and clear.

Days like these are the reason why I love the mountain life.

Trying out our new throwing axes

After using the shop’s axes for a few weeks now, we decided to try to increase our chances with a little consistency in what we are throwing.

I first purchased an axe directly from the WATL called “The Butcher”. This thing is a beast, and I quickly named it “Thanos” of course, or “Θωτος” in Greek. Ali’s been really into Greek mythology recently so it seemed fitting.

I also purchased a WATL “Completion” thrower for Ali, as it was described as the perfect axe for the beginner. After receiving the axe we found that it was way to heavy for most younger throwers so we decided to name this one “Brick” (“Τουβλο” in Greek) as it’s built big and strong.

While we were at the shop trying out the new axes, one of the instructors had Ali try one of his smaller lighter axes which she loved so much we convinced him to sell it to her. She named this one “Cheese” (“Τυρι” in Greek), but I’m still not sure where she came up with they name.

Ali throwing “Τυρι” at Yosemite Axe Throwing in Oakhurst.

Well, even though the heavier “Composition” axe didn’t work for my baby girl, I’ve found that I really like it for a hitting kill shots, although consistency on those shots are still developing. 🙂

I have to say, it’s nice to be doing something new in this crazy time of having so much taken away from us. It’s fun spending some family time outside the confines of our home. Can’t wait to try these new axes out at the next league night.

Still rockin’ the Paradise!!!

It’s hard to believe that 40 years ago one of my favorite albums of all time was released. I have purchased this album on vinyl, 8 track, cassette tape, compact disc and on digital. It was the springboard to which I was introduced to Styx, which quickly became one of my most favorite bands.

“Paradise Theatre was release on Jan 19, 1981, and is a fictional account of Chicago’s Paradise Theatre from its opening to closing, used as a metaphor for America’s changing times from the late ’70s into the ’80s.”

Here’s to all the great memories their music has brought, and to all the rockin’ still to come!

Sunday axe throwing with the fam…

Took the fam and met some friends for axe throwing this weekend at Yosemite Axe Throwing in Oakhurst.

It was the girl’s first time throwing axes and they both did great. My youngest loved it so much, she decided to join the winter league with me.

I’m beginning to find my rhythm and I’m hoping that I do much better this week. It’s funny to think that something so simple can be so much fun.

Breakin’ to the Bumpboxx

Yup, that’s right!

Been breakin’ and be-boppin’ since my birthday, thanks to this awesome gift from my favorite youngest daughter. 😉

This thing connects via wire, Bluetooth, USB or even MicroSD. Even has a FM radio deep in its innards.

Been filling up my Spotify playlist with everything that was cool about the 80’s. Just need to dig up some large pieces of cardboard so I can perfect my moves.

Yosemite Axe Throwing

I had a great time at my first league night at Yosemite Axe Throwing in Oakhurst. I hadn’t thrown an axe much at all before this day and I was a little intimidated at first, but it was fun to start my adventure with many helpful throwers, including our own former national champion axe thrower and lumber jack.

I have a lot of learning to do and I can see there is a lot of competition out there, but I’m looking forward to some fun times ahead.

Check out our local stats on the World Throwing League website:

-> Winter league 2021 Winter Tuesday

Wow, this thing is a beast!

With the help of my daughter, this Lego Ghostbusters Ecto-1 from the new “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” movie took me about 8+ hours to build, spread out over a few days. Lot’s of tedious little pieces to assemble, but it all comes together nicely.

Lots of really cool features like a very detailed engine compartment.

Storage for remote trap with deploy action.

Gunner seat that can be spun around and popped out.

Steering, moving sniffer, and rotating antenna all work as the tires roll.

This is truly an incredible build. I was on the fence for days trying to decide whether I wanted to drop so much on a “toy”, but I’m sure glad I did.

This kit will be prominently displayed in my collection and I’m so thankful I decided to pick it up.

Who ya gonna call?

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!

So, after thinking I was done with any more major mods to the Ghostbusters pack, I changed my mind and decided to do the wand and sound upgrades.

It wasn’t like I didn’t have any extra time on my hands since everything is still closed. 😉

The sound upgrade wasn’t much of an effort and I had no issues with the install, but the wand upgrade required a lot of cutting and drilling to fit all the lights and electronics. I took my time and made all my cuts with care which resulted in a job well done.

I added a few extra buttons to disable the continuous hum, and also switch between single pack and dual pack (slime) mode which were currently only accessible via a jumper on the sound and wand circuit boards.

I replaced all the stock stickers with weathered versions I found on Etsy. It’s amazing to me how much support there is out on the world wide web for these things.

I added a large frosted LED for the shutdown affect, which flashes through the holes where speaker used to sit. Since I upgraded to the new sound board, I didn’t need that tiny little speak any longer. 🙂

Believe it or not, I still have a few other things I’m going to add before I can call this one complete.

We got one!!!!

Wow, this thing is huge!!

I just couldn’t resist(and believe me I tried) this massive Lego 2352 piece “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” inspired Ecto-1 measuring 8 high, 18 long and 6 wide(last picture for box scale).

This thing features working steering wheel, trapdoor, ghost trap, an extending gunner seat, and more awesome details from the converted 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance used in the new movie.

Can’t wait to dig in over the long weekend and get this thing built.

A few final mods to accommodate the new Spengler wand

More work on the Ghostbusters pack. I wanted to be able to swap out the Rubies wand I use for display, and the Spengler wand I’ll be using for my costume.

I first swapped out the 3D printed v-hook setup I was using with a standard Dixie® Cup bracket that would accommodate both wands. The new v-hook setup strengthen the mount on the inside of the pack, as the Spengler wand is much heaver than the Rubies version.

I added a small four pin quick release connector at the bottom of the pack which allows the four wires needed for the Rubies wand to remain functional when connected. The connector I chose fits prefect in the stock hole, so no additional drilling or modifications was needed.

I didn’t like the way the electrical tape looked on the end of the extra afterlife cable, so I removed the tape and cleaned up the faux plug a bit to make it more presentable. 🙂

The Spengler wand hooks in using the same type of plug, but I didn’t wire anything up as the wand itself handles all the sound. I know a lot of people have opened up the Spengler wand, tied into its speaker and routed it to the pack, but I’m just not ready to do that yet. At this point, I’m happy with the sound emanating from the wand.

I was planning on doing the whole wand light and pack sound kits, but I think I’m happy with the way everything turned out. I’m going to switch my focus towards a full sized pack. Although I love my little Rubies setup, a full size pack with all the bells and whistles is where true Ghostbuster happiness is found. 🙂

Who ya gonna call?

In other news…

Just finished the fiber install at our mountain home, switching from copper wire to fiber for our internet.

Just in case you are curious, the following two pictures are of the actual fiber. The first is the line with the blue protective coating, and the second is the actual fiber that has been stripped of the coating.

It’s truly amazing that this tiny fiber line can fulfill the needs of a single family home, all the way up to a large corporate building.

Finally, the world is my oyster!

Well, first the bad news…

The ol’ 55″ TV took a dump, and needed to be replaced. Unfortunately, they don’t make 3D TVs anymore, and I have well over a hundred 3D movies on bluray. I was never happy with the old TV’s 4K HDR processing and still prefer 3D over 4K all day, every day.

And now the good news… the higher end OLED TV’s have really come down in price. I was able to go where no man (well, me anyways) has gone before, taking it up a notch to purchase features that were previously out of my price range.

Enter the Sony 65″ Class A8H Series OLED 4K UHD Smart Android TV

This thing is simply beautiful and the OLED technology gives me a picture I have only dreamed of. Android TV built in which is better and faster than ever. This thing communicates flawlessly with all my other Sony components and even has a Netflix calibration mode for streaming in 4K.

Even though I use an external surround sound system, I think it’s pretty cool that this beast utilizes a technology Sony calls “Acoustic Surface Audio” which actually uses the glass to distribute the sound in a surround type environment, putting the sound at the correct sources on the screen.

To be perfectly honest, I may have shed a tear or two when losing the ability to watch 3D and I hope and pray for a 3D revival at sometime in the future, but this 4K thing is starting to grow on me.

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