Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What weighs 9,000 pounds and can walk 3,000 miles?

Tonight has been a busy night.  I've been adding numbers, plotting routes, and writing a review.  Just about in that order too.

As some of you already know, we are kicking off a great weight loss contest in my Kinect fitness group.  If you haven't joined yet, you really should.  Wednesday, Sept 14, 2011 is the last day to join.  Take a picture of your feet on that scale, e-mail it in, and post your weight on this message board:

I'm excited that we are giving away some really cool prizes.  The winner gets a copy of Dance Central 2 and a pedometer valued at near $50.  Second place gets a $25 gift card to GameStop.  And a random name will be drawn from the list of folks completing the challenge for a $30 gift certificate to Amazon.com.  Oh, and you don't need to use a Kinect to compete.  What are you waiting for?

So far in the contest, we have nearly 50 people signed up.  The total weight of all people combined is almost 9,000 pounds.  Wow!  I can't wait to see what kind of weight we lose over the next 12 weeks.  And how are we going to lose weight?  Well yes, some of us will be using the awesome Xbox Kinect.  However, the easiest thing to do is walk.  The benefits to walking are so many and walking is something that doesn't require a lot of commitment or money.

So, we'll be walking across the country.  What???  Yes, we'll be doing this virtually though.  From New York City to Redmond, WA.  Check out our first blog post about it: http://bit.ly/o63Ydm

And finally, I did my first official Kinect review tonight.  If you are into Kinect or kids games, definitely check this review out:  http://bit.ly/qEiXM3

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Game Interviews So Far This Year

So this has been an interesting year for me.  After I got home from the hospital in February, I really started taking a liking to the OnLive service.  This twist has gotten me more connected to the gaming industry in the last few months than my over 20 years of gaming ever has.  Just some very interesting happenings and all of a sudden I'm writing about something I love...gaming.

My first interview was a little rough because I was so new.  It was to feature the game Astro Slug by Bit Barons.  Here is the interview: (Astro Slug)

The next interview was for a much larger game, FEAR 3.  This was my first experience dealing with a huge studio.  Warner Bros was the publisher, who I had to go through, and Day 1 Studios was the developer.  Because I didn't know how many questions to send over and how to phrase them, the interview appeared a little short.  (FEAR 3)

The interviews after started to get a little more meaty.  Not only did I ask about the games, but also about the process of getting them to the OnLive service.  We also found out a little more about what it means to be a publisher, a developer, a distributor, etc.  Here is my interview with the French publisher, Focus Home Interactive (Focus Home)

Recently, OnLive got a lot of good press from the whole GameStop and Deus Ex debacle.  What happened was, OnLive put a free game code in every retail PC copy of Deus Ex.  The free code was for the same game on the OnLive service.  GameStop saw this as a threat and opened up the games, took the code out, trashed the code, and then sold the games as brand new to their customers.  Lots of folks were upset about this and lots of folks were introduced to the OnLive service.  Combine this with OnLive giving out free consoles at PAX Prime and many new players were coming over.  It just happened that I had a nice interview for Deus EX as well: (Deus Ex)

My most recent interview comes from a game that I didn't think I would be into as much as I am.  Tropico 4 rolled out this past week and I am in love.  The game is all about you running a tropical island however you want to run it.  Lots of things take place on this island and it is up to you on how you want to manage it.  The music is great, the visuals are soothing, and the game is addicting.  Here is my interview with the fokls at Kalypso: (Tropico 4)

So I'm having a blast getting to talk to these folks and learning more about the gaming industry.  Look for more articles coming soon.  Tomorrow should be another from the makers of Space Marine.  Later should be ones from Dead Island, Hard Reset, Batman, Lord of the Rings, and much more.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Time to Lose This Weight - Who's Joining Me?

Let's do a little math.  What is 300 minus 3?  How about 295 plus 2?  How about 50 plus 247?

No matter how you do this, you'll get the same number.  That number is my current weight.  That's okay...I'll wait as you pick your jaw up off the floor.

You back now?  Good.  Last year, I ran a 5k and this is what I looked like:

I was feeling great.  I had lost over 40 pounds and ran my first 5k in nearly 20 years.  I was exercising, eating right, and having the time of my life.  I felt on top of the world.  See this picture for proof:

Fast-forward to February 19 of this year.  My family came out to visit us and we were having a blast.  I showed my dad how to play the Kinect and then we went out to eat.  Here is a picture of me and my son at the restaurant:

Just a few minutes after that picture was taken, I died.  Sudden Cardiac Arrest, leading killer.  Not a heart attack.  Nothing was blocked, blood levels were all normal, but my heart went into a dangerous electrical storm.  I was turning purple and cold.  My parents, kids, and wife saw me die in front of them.  Thankfully, this guy was there to start CPR:

Shortly after, they brought the AED in, shocked me and then I was rushed to Milford Hospital, where I would be fighting for my life.  72 shocks later, here is what I looked like (yes, I was in a coma):

Thankfully, God had other plans for me.  Yes, I said God.  When you die, you get your head straightened out.  You also realize the importance of family.  I remember my family there in the ER telling me how much they loved me.  Then I heard the physicians asking them to clear the area as they shocked me again and again.  Those memories don't escape me, I relive them every day.  I'm so glad to be here for my family:

So what happened since then?  Well, lots of things.  The purpose of this particular blog is to talk about my weight gain though.  I'm now the heaviest I've been in my life.  This sucks.  My lower back hurts, I get out of breath, I'm tired, I don't have much self confidence, and it seems I can't even fart without working up a sweat.

What now?  Thankfully I've found SparkPeople.com.  It helped me last time and I'm using it to help me again.  There are some really nice people that have started some contests too.  My friend Jose has started this contest: http://bit.ly/nMLvKQ  My other friend, Tema, has started this contest: http://bit.ly/oDDHFN  Both contests are giving away a free video game.  The best part about it though, isn't the prize.  It is the connections made during the process.  Each contest has a group of awesome folks, encouraging each other to do better.

So what about you?  Will you join me in this?  I don't care if you like video games or not.  If you don't and you win, just send the prize to some kid in need that would love to play.  If you are looking to have some fun, lose some weight, and get healthy, all while meeting great new people...come join us.

Keep your eyes peeled on this space.  You will be seeing some nice transformations.

Testing this out

I'm just testing this out, to see how it works.