Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Was a Great Year

 It is approaching 9 pm and I am sitting in my living room with the next 3 days off of work.  Maleficent is on the TV, streaming from Disney+ as my wife fiddles with something in the kitchen.  My boy is blowing shit up in some video game and my girl is singing along to some random Bubble Guppies song and playing with the dog.  After a long week at work I feel totally at peace with my family and my life.

The year 2020 is not going to be remembered fondly by a lot of people because of the world wide pandemic that swept over us all, but I am a firm believer that life is what you make it.  You can choose to give in to your circumstances and proclaim Fuck 2020 and Fuck Covid loud and proud and just accept that your life was decidedly horrible this past year because of what happened.  Or you can be in charge of your life and march forward with a chip on your shoulder because you know  that the only thing that can slow you down is yourself and you did not allow that to happen.

I'm not saying that I ruled the world for the entire year and proclaiming myself king of the underworld but I am stating, as fact, that I sure as shit made the most of it as the year came to an end.

The positives of 2020:

1 - I changed my mindset and decided to take back control of my life.  I jumped on a program called #75Hard and over the course of 75 days I lost 30 pounds while building up a better mental toughness and increasing my will power.

2 - Due to the pandemic, and being an essential worker, the wife and I hit more (and bigger) bonuses at work and are closing the year out with our biggest income to date, and by a large margin.

3 - I finally decided to start a Fantasy Football League with a group of friends from all walks of my life and past.  My brother, my son, my brother-in-law, a friend I met in 6th grade, one from 11th grade, one from college, Co workers that I have met since moving to Vegas and a random dude from the internet that I met because of podcasts and video games.  Quite the gambit!

4 - My children have grown like bad weeds in a flower garden. They have outgrown all of their clothes. Their personalities are shining through loud and clear and they are certifiably crazy, but I love them.  Having gone from never wanting children to having a full brood has made my life more fulfilling than I ever thought possible.

5 - Since October 1st I have lost approximately 40 pounds.  I have cut out 99% of my junk food and fast food consumption.  I have cut out soda's and am drinking a ton of water.  I have started to eat healthier and the wife and I are finding new healthy recepes to replace unhealthier versions as we both work towards a better lifestyle for our family.

6 - While my hobbies have taken a back seat to me taking a journey towards self improvement I have actually reconnected with one that I have been ignoring for a bunch of years, reading.  Starting #75Hard I read through 5 books and have continued to read a little bit almost every day since. I am about 50% through one currently and have a couple more lined up for 2021.

7 - I expanded my podcast from a two man wrecking crew and added three new members to help us push out content more consistently and have formed great friendships with every member of the team.  In addition to the three new members we also have two others who are part of the team in some manner and I hope to expand their roles in the coming year.  

8 - I was forced to buy a car when my 2005 Ford Focus started to need too many repairs and then the AC shit the bed during one of the hottest times of the year.  I upgraded to a 2019 Toyota Corolla.  

9 - While trying to raise money to buy a Playstation 5 and an Xbox Series X I rediscovered some old Magic: The Gathering cards I had in a box and started selling them off so I could afford the new systems.  One month later I accidentally made enough money to pay off my car AND purchase one of the systems (and this was after paying eBay and Paypal fees).  I had ONE monthly car payment and then on month two I made a lump sum payment and now own the car outright.

10 - I still acquired my PS5 and my Series X and then I won a Nintendo Switch (which showed up today, the last day of the year) in a giveaway on Twitter from a video game company.

Ten reasons why the year 2020 has kicked a lot of ass for me and my family.

2021 is rapidly approaching (2.5 hours away as I clack on this keyboard) and I plan on it being an even better year.

I will enjoy my family more.

I will get in better shape.

I will drop another 30 pounds.

I will sink a lot of time into my favorite hobbies.

Life is good people.  Stop making excuses as to why life sucks.  Grab life by the balls and make it your bitch, not the other way around.

The FatManinVegas has spoken.  

Thank you all for being in my life.  Without friends and family you just have ass-hat co-workers  :)

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

My Corona - March to December

It is almost 8pm on a not so random Tuesday evening in March, the 17th to be precise.
The powers that be in Nevada just announced a total shutdown of all non essential businesses, in the state, for 30 days.  I can only presume that strip clubs are not essential and I worry what those poor young college aged girls are not going to survive without the aid of married dong and wallets.

Wait, I'm sorry.  That is really not where I was going with this. 

My business, big box retail, falls into the hardware store category and is considered to be an essential business and as such we will remain open for the general public.  This means we will still receive product shipments and stock the shelves so that others can come in and purchase.  Will other companies pay their employees to survive while they are not working for the next 30 days?  That is an important question and one that will shape not only Nevada but the nation for the next month or so.

Based only one what I witness people do not have rainy day funds any longer.  Emergency funds are credit cards and if business's are not going to support their workers in this time of crisis then the only people who are going to win are the credit card companies as people are forced to pay for everything on credit and then figure out how to climb out of life altering debt once they go back to work.

This situation truly makes me sad.  I've been in that position before where my only option was to put essentials (and sometimes bills) on credit.  You cannot win in those situations.  If you don't have friends and/or family in a better situation to help you through it you could end up digging your own financial grave.

It is 10:30 am on a random Wednesday in December, the 2nd to be precise.
I found the above in my drafts where I never finished my thoughts and didn't get around to publishing. The Covid-19 shutdown was supposed to last 30 days but instead it lasted like 9 months.  Small Business suffered while big business thrived.  Many small businesses collapsed and closed.  Some bigger companies did the same.  The food industry might never be the same with some places still only allowing take-out and delivery while their Dine-In seating area stays completely empty.
Masks have gone from "man I can't wait to stop wearing these" to a normal part of our daily routine without even thinking about it.  Strippers and Rub-and-Tuggers (one G or two?) have had to find alternative means to get their income.  The world is in shambles and Las Vegas is suffering.

Yeah, 2020 has pretty much sucked.  The world has changed and we all have to adapt and overcome.  

So how was your 2020?  Did you succumb to the shitiness of the situation and sit around in your underwear eating junk food and taking bong hits all year while getting fatter and making excuses for everything or did you man (woman) up and decide that Covid-19 does not dictate who you are and make some life changes and enjoy it as much as you can?

I decided (later than I should have) that I needed to make some changes.  Covid-19 kills the weak, the sick, the fat, the old.  Not 100% but the percentages do not lie.  If you are young and in great shape then the Rona hits you like a flu and you recover.  If you weigh 400 pounds and a heavy workout is lifting the pizza to your lips you are more likely to get stuck in a hospital on a respirator and perish while your family isn't allowed to come and even say good-fucking-bye.

It is not a pretty picture being painted and I do not want my family, my children to suffer such a fate. So I have decided to get off my fat ass and make some changes to my life.

I started on a journey called #75Hard and am currently on day 63 of it.  I have dropped nearly 30 pounds in the past two months and have added daily exercise into my routine.  I haven't touched any Junk Food (candy, chips, ice cream, donuts, etc) since starting and I have not had any Fast Food (Taco-Bell, McDonalds, etc) either.

I feel better, I look better and I know I am on the right path.  Once I am done with this challenge I will keep looking for ways to improve my health and lose weight until I am no longer considered Obese.

Covid-19 has helped change my outlook on life and while it has wrecked havoc on our planet I am not willing to give in to "2020 sucks and I can't wait for 2021."

Covid-19 is a wake up call.
We need to be healthier.
We need to appreciate who we have.
We need to live better lives.

Now pass the bong.


Saturday, February 29, 2020

Choose one - For Amanda

This showed up, as most things in life do, as a post on the Book of Face.  You are supposed to pick one and then move on with life not giving it a second thought.  That, however, is not how my mind usually works.

When I saw it I first started typing up a paragraph and decided that my response was going to be entirely too long to post as a reply and I wanted to do it here.  This would also serve the purpose of getting in my monthly blog post on the amazing grrouchie dot com site.

We do have six choices and I'm sure some out there would consider this a hard choice to make.  To me there is only one real choice and while some might seem enticing, none of them actually appeal to me like the one true choice.

Let's start by getting rid of the really crappy choices.

Take Flight With Falcor is off the table as the worst of all of them.  I was never into the movie when I was younger and I still really don't see the appeal of it now that I'm older with kids.  Falcor, you are the weakest link, good-bye.

Next, let's knock off one that is only on here for nostalgia purposes and that is Train with Mr. Miyagi.  The only reason to pick this one is so that someone can give you permission to Wax-On and Wax-Off and that is it.  You will not learn real karate and you won't come to discover the true power behind the crane kick.  No, you will just wash some old dudes car and get beat up by an old Japanese man.  I love you Miyagi but this choice is not a choice at all.

Two thirds of the choices are gone and how do you feel about where this is going?  Was your choice gone?  Hopefully not but it will probably disappear soon.

Listen, we all love Dr Jones but you know what we don't love?  Being hunted down by Nazi's or fighting indigenous people and aliens.  We don't like sword fights and we don't like getting shot at or having to outrun huge boulders.  These are things that we love to watch on the big screen and imagine we are Indy's sidekick but the truth of the matter is that you wouldn't make it and even if you did you wouldn't look as cool as a younger Harrison Ford standing there with his iconic hat, whip and gun and a girl on his arm.  No, you'd look like an old, fat and sweaty out of shape being who just got their arse whooped hardcore.  Bye-Bye adventures.

Fighting crime with Batman was originally going to be my choice as my eyes scanned the panels and then I realized that everyone who fights crime with Batman has some traits that I do not have and some that I do not want.  I am not a super skinny and athletic young boy dressing up in spandex with a fum nickname.  I am no Boy Wonder and I don't want people to think "Boy I wonder what that creepy dude in the dominatrix outfit does to the small boy he brings around with him."   I also don't want people to think that I'm the centerpiece in a NAMBLA buffet.  Also, how many times has the sidekick either come up missing or just get outright murdered when fighting alongside Batman?  And make no mistake, I'm not likely to end up with Cat Woman hovering over me and purrrrring me to completion.

Two thirds of our way through this list, did you expect we would end up here?  Is your de-facto choice gone or is it still sitting there with you cheering that I pick it so we can be Eskimo brothers?  Er, that took a weird turn.  Let's get to the biggest loser (you know, second place).

There is ONE reason that this choice came in second place.  Before I get to that reason I would like to point out that when I made my initial choices and rankings I pretty much left them as I thought of them instead of putting too much thought into them and changing my choices up until the point where I was typing this up.  So, with that said...

This one failed to get eliminated earlier because I wasn't paying attention.  I made my first set of cuts with a desired goal in mind and as I got closer to my ultimate choice I did something which I failed to do at the beginning, and that was almost my downfall.

I looked at the pictures.
Looking at the pictures changed what was going to be my number 1 and if I would have looked earlier I would have a different ranking as well, most likely.

Time Travel with Doc made mistakes that I didn't catch.  First, the spelling was off.  This was supposed to say Time Travel with THE Doctor.  This is what my mind told me it said, but I was wrong.  Also, if I looked at the picture earlier I just kind of thought I would have been staring into the dreamy eyes of David Tennant or having my heart warmed by the goofy but amazing Matt Smith.  No, I was looking at a much older guy who wasn't even the focus of the movies he was in.  Doc Brown you are no Doctor and because of that you have to be cast aside for the obvious choice in this montage of pictures.

Learn the Ways  of the Force from Yoda.

Yoda is the single best thing from the entire Star Wars Franchise.  Proof is in the pudding and in the Mandalorian where a being that is affectionately referred to as Baby Yoda has taken over the meme world by storm.  If this was Baby Babafet no one cares.  Baby Skywalker and no one blinks.  Baby best thing since sliced bread? Baby Ewok?  Nope.   But Baby Yoda rules the current world, probably the multiverse as well. 

Thus older Yoda takes the cake and trains me, a young stumbling grrouch to go from couch potato to force wielding, light saber dueling, Dark Side Ass Kicker.  Yoda never had a chance to lose unless he was up against The Doctor in which case I would probably Time Travel with my Doctor to the Star Wars Universe to kidnap Yoda and go on a crazy LSD influenced journey.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

New Years Revolutions 2020

2019 has come and gone and overall it was a great year for me.  When I look back on it I do so fondly and know that there are things I started that I will build upon and things that didn't work which I will discontinue.

That being said, it is currently the time of year to look ahead to what is in store and what I want to work on.  So, to fall in line with the social norms (this is still a social norm right?  This didn't stop being a thing did it?) I wish to present to you my New Years Revolutions!

These will be all over the place and, of note, I am also doing some daily (or weekly; or weakly) housekeeping in a journal this year which I will then translate to the written (and audio) internet form.

I bought this really cool looking Deadpool notebook and have been trying to figure out what to use it for.

New Years Revolutions
2020 Edition

Over the course of 2020 I want to read six books.  That is read with my eyes, the old fashioned way.  Whether it is a physical book or one that is on a Kindle device does not matter as long as it is old fashioned reading.
I also want to listen to 4 audio books over the course of the year.  I have a couple on my Audible account that I have not gotten to so that makes life easy.

Weight Loss
In 2019, when all of the fluctuation was done and I looked at the scale on January 1st 2020, I had lost a total of 30 pounds.  Thirty pounds was a great number and I feel that it was a great beginning.  However, I still have a lot of work to do in order to get to where I need (or more to the point, want) to be.  So in 2020 my goal is going to be to lose an additional 40 pounds.  I feel like this should be easy to do as long as I stick to my goals and eat the way I should.  So let's see how close to 200 pounds I can get as the year goes on.

One of the things we are going to be doing in order to help with this weight loss is we are buying an Elliptical for the house.  This is something that I have wanted for a long time and thanks to a generous donation from a family member we will be purchasing one very shortly.  Once it arrives you can look forward to pictures of my fat arse sweating on a regular basis

The end of the year had me all out of sorts.  My co-host got spooked by Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up and decided he needed to step away before his neck ended up on the chopping block and from there I lost my motivation.  However, an appearance on Megadads X rekindled my interest and while I know I have a small audience I really enjoy putting out content.
My recording goals:
Record the Backlog Confessional once a week (and based on the results from the Twitter Poll it will release on Wednesdays).
Record Fat Man In Vegas every other week (but have not determined a release schedule for that yet).
Record Backlog Busters once a month with some of my good twitter friends who have volunteered to help out.

Since the time approaching my wedding and then spitting out multiple children I have seriously neglected my writing.  Writing is something that I really enjoy doing and every time I dive into it I remember how much I love it, but I have been neglecting it a lot over the last few years.
So, with that in mind I'm not going to put an outlandish goal on my plate that I know I will not keep.  Instead, I will state that (at a minimum) I want to write one post for each of my blogs every month.  If I write more then all is right with the world but I do not want to write less.  One post is not a huge time constraint that I should be making excuses why I did not get around to it.

Plus, while I was really going hard with Fat Man in Vegas I had two different people tell me that I was a really good writer.  I can't let that kind of ego-inflation go to waste now can I?

I'm a lover of horror movies.  I grew up with A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and then married a woman who also loves to watch horror movies.  We have seen a bunch over the last few years but, in all honesty, this is another one of my loves that I have watched fall by the way-side as I started raising small children.
Now that my boy is about to hit 5 years old I feel it is time to give him some freedom to not follow daddy around everywhere and give myself some of my hobbies back.
That, and 100% in response to Donnie from PSVG watching 100 horror movies before their Horror-Cast DLC episode, has been my inspiration to watch more.  In fact, as a complete copy cat, my goal is to get through 100 Horror Movies before the next Horror-Cast which will presumably be in October.
To end 2019 I have gone through 10 or 11 and I know I have some work to do if I will hit 100.

My biggest hobby.  My most time consuming hobby.  The hobby that I have loved the most since I was a little boy.  2020 is the year where I attempt to focus on having fun with video games and adopt the attitude that I do not need to beat every game I am attempting to start.  If I am not having fun with it I'll move on.

Now, with that in mind, I don't plan on playing a lot of games that I'll have to abandon.  With me playing mostly games that came out previous years I have a lot of data and feed back from the #backloggers out there as to if a game was worth the time or not.  This means that every game on the list below has been vetted and I feel like I should enjoy them all.

This brings me to another thing that I stole and adapted.
I started following Shellshock Prime and his A-Z challenge where he is going through the alphabet and picking games that start with those letters.  So, being the thief I am, I present to you:

B - Batman: Telltale
A - Alien Isolation
C - Control
K - Kingdom Battle (Mario x Rabbids)
L - Luigi's Mansion 3
O - Ori and the Blind Forest
G - God of War

B - Batman: The Enemy Within
L - LOTR: Middle Earth: Shadow of War
U - Uncharted 4
E - Evil Within 2
S - Steamworld Quest

Now, there are still a host of other games out there that I really want to play and get to.  I know that I listed 12 games above and, honestly, with the length of those games it could, quite possibly, take me the entire year to play and beat them all.  So, the only section I am guaranteeing that I will beat is the BACKLOG portion.  The Blues is akin to Endgame content, optional but worth your time if you make it that far.

And here is my supplemental list of games.  Some of these I will 100% play and others are just games I really want to get to.

Fire Emblem Three Houses (I have gone through to the time skip thus far)
Final Fantasy 7 Remake (I have this game pre-ordered)
The Last of Us 2 (I have this game pre-ordered)
Resident Evil 2 Remake (I do not own this game)
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Darksiders Genesis (I do not own this game)
Travis Strikes Again
Danganronpa 2
Steins Gate Elite
Jedi Fallen Order

In addition to an amazing line up of games that I want to play, I want to make sure that I spread the love and give all of my systems/platforms some time.  Since the Nintendo Switch came out 99% of my gaming time has been on it.  I've played and beaten some games on the PS4 but my kids mainly dominate those consoles.
In 2020 I want to play and beat a game on the PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Google Stadia.  If I get the PS5 and/or Xbox Series X I will also add those to my list.

Finally.  Other than the houses I want my family to be debt free by the end of 2020.  The wife and I have been there before and we need to be there again.  We have some medical bills, some new house expenses and other things that we let get out of hand.

So, there you have it.  I have a whole lot of things I want to achieve in 2020.
Hopefully you will hear some variant of this in Audio form as I am trying to record with one of my favorite podcasters in the community I have become so attached to.

And, because I forgot but also because I refuse to go back and edit:

I hope to build better friendships with a bunch of you out there.
Turkeys, Knights and Odysseys included.

Keep on #Backlogging