30 May 2012

Les Miserables Trailer

Yep, this looks pretty amazing.  And!  It looks like it will be a musical.  (I hope)  I've loved this play since I saw it after performing it with my marching band.  Can't. Wait.

24 May 2012

Vermont Trip - May 2012, Part 2

Click here for part 1

We awake on Saturday, and head to the Deli/Brewery for coffee and pastries.  We then put rubber to the road and head into Burlington for a day of exploration.

This is a BAD panoramic, but that's New York across Lake Champlain
View down the main street of the market

Unknown to us, every Saturday, Burlington hosts an open market.  We found some AWESOME stuff there.  Wine was tasted, cheese was eaten, hot sauce... survived.  Bought the requisite maple syrup, some wine and tasty jam. 

Burlington is a really neat town.  Right on the shore of Lake Champlain, it was really easy to navigate and find our way.  Granted, we only stuck to one street, but still, we did not get lost.  :-)

Dogbite Bitter
So, after fully exploring this market, we were getting a tad on the hungry side.  Where else to eat but the Vermont Brewing Company!  As pictured to the right, I sampled their Dogbite Bitter.  Their newspaper style menu suggested this be paired with fried foods, so I ordered their fish and chips.  Beer was great, fish and chips, mediocre.  But I got a healthy portion, so that made up for the lack of quality.

At this point, we decided it was time to go take a break and see Dark Shadows (more on that movie in another post).  But first, we made the life changing decision to get a light snack from this place called My Little Cupcake.  Oh. My. Thor.

My Little Cupcake sells mini cupcakes.  Leanda and I got an order of six, and each chose three.

Holy delicious Batman!

Clockwise from upper left: Red Velvet, Coconut Lime, Mint Chocolate, Maple Bacon, Salted Caramel and Chocolate2. I can only personally vouch for the bottom three, but these are the bomb!  I could go on about these all day, but trust me.  If you are ever in Burlington, go here.

On our way back to the Trapp Family Lodge, we swung through the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory.  Neat little place.  Took a tour.  It was pretty neat; got a free sample, so that was cool.

Onto dinner at a place called Michael's On The Hill.  While the dinner was truly amazing, it was the cheese board.
Look at this thing!
Now, I've got cheese plates at other places.  But those plates usually just had the cheese, some grapes and some crackers.  Not here!  Starting at your left, I got a peach chutney, raspberries, apple, candied mango, local honey and strawberries.  Oh, and no simple crackers here.  Fig wheat bread.  Nom. Nom. Nom.

So, as you saw, Vermont is awesome.  Go there.  Look for more pictures on my Flickr feed (23 Frames a Second)

Training Log - 24 MAY 12

Today was stripe testing.  Whatever offness was there on Monday was GONE today.  I feel like I did really well today.  Still felt a bit off on the kicks, but doing 5 pushups made up for it.

Next week, onto month three, which is all review and leads up to the belt test!

23 May 2012

Training Log - 20 MAY 12

Monday night was Krav Maga/Muay Thai and BJJ.  I felt off for some reason during the first class.  Not sure why, but my Muay Thai combo felt off, especially going from blocking with my leg to a left round kick.  Need to work on that.

Also, I'm using this site called Fitocracy.  You track workouts, get points, level up and earn rewards.  A fun site, it appeals to the gamer in me.  I have found myself looking for small things to do just to get a few extra points.  Check it out, and let me know if you find it interesting!

Vermont Trip - May 2012, Part 1

So this past weekend, Leanda and I took a trip up to Stowe, VT.  We love it up there!  We stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge, spent the day in Burlington, hit some breweries, saw Dark Shadows, and had a FANTASTIC meal at a little place.  To the pictures!

Our first stop was actually the Yankee Candle Flagship store in Massachusettes.  Took no pictures there, but boy is that place MASSIVE.

Leanda and her Blackberry Wheat
Me and the Belgian Double White

Next, we hit up the Long Trail Brewing Company in Bridgewater Corners, VT.  I've had a few of their ales before, and I looked forward to stopping here.  Leanda had the Blackberry Wheat ale, and rather enjoyed it along with their Grilled Portobella Sub.  I opted for something from their Brewmaster's Collection, a Double Belgian White.  Now that was a tasty brew.  Paired with their  Long Trail Bratwurst, this made for a fine late lunch.

Our journey then took us to the Ben and Jerry's factory.  But, alas, it was too late in the day to visit on our first day of the trip, so we planned to try again the following day.

So, where did we stay you ask?  The Trapp Family Lodge.  Yup, as in the Sound of Music.

View from the parking lot

Either Dunkel or Vienna Amber
Nice place.  They have a couple of beers that they brew.  Yes, I bought two of them.  They came in 1 liter bottles.  Impressive, I say.  I tried one of two.  I say this because when I had an impromptu tasting on our last day there, the beer I thought I had the first night was not the one they showed me at the tasting.  Oh well, they were still tasty brews.  The food was ok, nothing special.

So, I realized that this post is running long.  Stay tuned for our adventures in Burlington, which include some seriously bad ass cupcakes!

17 May 2012

Training Log - 17 May 12

Nothing too exciting this past week training wise.  Monday was a double up of Krav/Muay Thai and BJJ.  Today, just Muay Thai and Krav Maga.

Something slightly exciting though is I finally got my Revgear shorts in!  They are pretty cool, and a lot easier to movie around in than the pants I have.

Going to try and be good whilst eating this weekend as I am going out of town.  Luckily, there will be lots of walking, so that should help.

11 May 2012

Training Log - 10 MAY 12

So, started class like normal tonight.  Worked knife defense drills with a Green belt who (and I am not making this up) broke his wrist this morning, and did two classes tonight.  Then we did some crazy cardio stuff.  Plank work, frog pushups, etc.

The the call went out... 'BBT - Sparring gear!'

That's right folks, finally got to spar.  Spoiler:  it was AWESOME!

So, ya.  Sparred for the first time tonight.  I worked with an Orange belt.  Started with two minutes of drilling, trading kicks and punches, then two minutes of full contact sparring.  Did I do great?  Of course not.  Blocking kicks with my hands, not being close enough for punches to land, not working combos, just single shots.  But I did not fall down, got in at least one good shot on my opponent, and not all of his shots landed on me.  So its a win.  I really am looking forward to doing more sparring.  I still like the Krav material best, but I'm thinking sparring will be a close second.

08 May 2012

Training Log - 7 MAY 12

How I felt after BJJ tonight
Another night of fun and excitement tonight at ABD Norwich.  New material during Muay Thai/Krav Maga.  Did some awesome aggression drills tonight.

And then there was Jiu Jitsu.  Tonight was probably the first night where I really had a lot of fun.  We did some guard evasion drills.  Which were fun, cause they end with me putting all my body weight on my sparring partner; and I have body weight to spare.  Of course, then they dropped their weight on me.  Oh, and when did some drilling I got dropped on my head and saw stars, hence the picture to the right.

Either way, I HURT.  Yesterday I ran, then mowed the lawn.  Today was two hours of class. Tomorrow I was going to run, but I may rest my broken body.  :-)

06 May 2012

Training Log - 6 MAY 12

So I ran today for the first time since (mumble grumble).  Overall, not too terrible.  Had an average pace of about 15 min/mile.  When I last hit the pavement my average was around 13.5 min/mile.  Ahh well, I'll get back up there.  As somebody told me today, getting out there is what matters.

Of course, after I ran I did yard work, so I was pretty beaten the rest of the day.

Tomorrow is double dose of ABD - Muay Thai/Krav Maga and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

03 May 2012

The Superspecs

So I was at work today, when I decided to listen to a little band that I used to go and see all the time in college.

The band is called The Superspecs.  Also, The Specs, and finally The Laysan Rail (although I don't have any of their final version's music).

Enjoy a little bit of their awesome before I continue.

This video does not do them justice.

So, a bit of my history with the band.

As with many things I experienced in college, I came to know The Specs through my roommate Chris.  I don't remember if I first heard their music in our dorm, or when I first saw them at the Webster Theater, but I was hooked from the first note.

Their sound is a bit...eclectic, and changed with each of their albums.  As The Superspecs, they were a 9(?) piece ska group.  This is the sound heard most prominently on their first album Project H.A.N.D.S.O.F.F.  The best track off this album was 'Listen Up'. (Which the re-did for their second album)  Also of note is 'Dr. Evil Ska' and 'Freak'.

After this they went to six members.  Album title: Burning the Bandwagon.  Consisting of a drummer, two guitars, trumpet player, barri sax (backing vocals also) and trombone (lead singer also), they progressed to their eventual final sound of 'horn driven rock'.  Still mixing ska with the rock, they melted my face with tracks such as 'More Emo than Thou', 'Listen Up', 'Take Me Down' and 'Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)'.  That's right kids, they do covers.

Finally we move to their final iteration, The Specs.  Same members, new sound.  This is where they finally move into the full 'horn driven rock' sound that I mentioned above.  Declaration of Independence do be the title of the album.   The album as a whole is fantastic. 'Dorothy Never Had it So Bad', 'Straight Up' (another cover), and 'Target of my Animosity'  are three of my favorites on this album.

Two of my fondest memories of The Specs include the night my wife and I saw them at the Webster Theater and I was able to 'sing' along with one of the songs into the mic.  I think it was Target of my Animosity.

The other moment is when we had them play at our college, and then they came to our dorm and partied.  Most awkward moment of college:  when one of their songs came over Chris's speakers.  Never had I seen people move so fast to change a song.

Its a shame the band broke up and moved on.  They were a fantastic band with great energy and a unique sound.  Whenever one of their songs comes on, it brings a smile to my face, and I usually go and listen to the whole album.  If you ever have the chance to experience their music, I recommend it.  You won't be disappointed.

02 May 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

So, this came out the other day.  Not gonna lie.  It looks like things are pretty bleak in Gotham.  I have a couple of thoughts on the plot based on this trailer, but I will reserve those until I see the movie in July.

Looks like a fitting end to the Nolan chapters in the Batman universe.

01 May 2012

Training Log - 30 APR 12

So today was double night.  Krav Maga and Muay Thai followed by Brazillian Jiu-jitsu.  Good night of training.  All new material across the board.   Still getting used to the idea of getting choked at jiu jitsu.  Interesting sensation.  Some of those chokes come on quick.  The sparring part of class is...well I don't want to say an exercise in futility, because I'm learning.  I'm just learning that I have a lot to learn.

Next up, Thursday with double Krav and Muay Thai