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May 2017 Update

Despite the appearance of my blog over the past year, I am still alive and kicking.



I've had a great past year. It was filled with adventures and good times. What have I been up to?

1. I'm walking a ton. At a minimum, I try to walk 10,000 steps a day. When you work a desk job, that is a lot of steps. If I work from home, don't go anywhere, and don't make an effort, I can walk around 2,000 steps in a day. To hit 10,000, I have to make a serious effort. This leads to long rambles to Minnehaha Falls, the Mississippi River, Fort Snelling and circles around the Mall of America.

I try to snap cool videos and photos while I walk. I took a short video of Minnehaha Falls this spring:



I also snap pictures of the wildlife I manage to stumble across, like this adorable duck family:


2. I've traveled a bit. I went with friends to Massachusetts and Maine a month or so ago. Best selfie from the trip:


Brian and I also took a trip to Hawaii in November. It's as beautiful as everyo…
Recent posts

Motivating Myself to Keep Exercising

Most days, it is hard to stay motivated. It's easier to grab fast food, sit on the couch and watch a movie than to go to the gym. But easier is not better. I need to constantly remind myself of the benefits of working out and eating right.

One strong motivator: how much I have changed in the past year. Since last March, I have lost nearly 40 pounds. When it takes that long, it can be hard to notice the differences. However, they are clearly evident if I take the time to look at pictures of myself.

Here is me in March, just as I started working out and eating less:


Here is what I look like now:


You can really see the change. Pictures like this keep me motivated to get to the gym and keep running!

Painting With Bob Ross

Bob Ross's PBS show, The Joy of Painting, ran from 1983 to 1994, with more than 300 shows that permeated my childhood. The speed and skill he showed on screen made painting seem like an unattainable art, not something that someone with my limited skill could do. I can hardly sketch a tree let alone paint one with friends in a happy forest scene. But with each episode, he assured his listeners that they could paint along with him and have the same result. 
Honestly, I didn't believe him. But a few weeks ago I decided to give it a shot. 
The official Bob Ross YouTube channel has full episodes to watch, which means that you can pause at your leisure. That helped a lot because I could stop it when I needed and rewatch parts until I understood what I needed to do. 
I also used acrylic paints, not oils like Bob did. This made it a bit tricky because they do not have the same colors nor do acrylics stay wet like oils do. But I managed to muddle my way through some episodes. 
My first…

A Place to Log My Progress

This blog has just been sitting out here for nearly two years without a new post. So, I thought I would put it to some good use and start logging my progress with some of my new hobbies.

What have I been doing?

I started jogging. It is very slow going and it hurts like hell. But it will be worth it. I'm painting and drawing. I am not very good but I get better with each attempt. I figure that if I keep it up, I can only improve, right?I want to start writing fiction again. This one is arguably the hardest for me. Even though I am a professional writer and write for a living, it is different for me when it is fiction. I've signed up for an online class to try to get over that hump.  Also, I am always watching some horror movies. My goal is to start writing fewer reviews and more substantive content over on my other blog: www.horrormoviemaven.com
Do you have any hobbies you have taken up recently? Any hobbies you would recommend? I am always looking to learn new things.

Starting the New Year Off Right

I'm starting this year off on the right foot...with Legos. For Christmas, friends bought me a cool Lord of the Rings set that I put together today. I love the Eye of Sauron bit:


I also picked up some minifigs today from the new series that just came out:


All of the minifigs in this series are from the new Lego movie. If you haven't heard of it, here's the trailer for your edification:


Full honesty: I don't know if I'm too excited for it. But, I highly doubt that I am their target demographic.

While we're talking about Legos, I got this awesome book for Christmas from those same friends:


It's got all kinds of awesome pictures of Lego creations. So far, this is probably my favorite:


It's a dilapidated Victorian home that has been damaged by a big tree. It looks very real and is all done in black, white and grey bricks. I wish I could do that. For a better version of the photo and to see more of this guy's work, go to the website of Mike Doyle, the aut…

Day 365: Happy New Year!

To finish off my year of blog posts, I am ending with a picture of me and Brian ringing in the new year. Photo bomb courtesy of Andrew Berns.


It was a good year and I am happy that I made it through my goal of posting a picture for every day. Should I continue posting? What do you think?

Day 364: Freddy Krueger Scratch Art

One of my gifts from Brian this year was a scratch art kit. The kit came with a board and a carving knife. It also came with instructions to carve a picture of a dog. I don't want scratch art of a dog, at least not one of any dog I could be capable of drawing.

So, I thought to myself, what kind of scratch art would Alicia not mind propping up in her library? Scratch art of Freddy Krueger perhaps?

So this is my scratch art creation:


For someone who has very little drawing talent, I'm pretty darned proud of myself.