Thursday, March 21, 2013

Game of Thrones, Season 3

I had the good fortune to attend the San Francisco HBO premiere of Game of Thrones, Season 3. It took place at the Palace of Fine Arts and HBO went over the top.

Entering the venue, HBO had hired a dozen or so of actors to entertain guests in dressed in full character. The theater was packed with fans ready to watch the show. Members of the cast were in attendance. The author of the Game of Thrones season and producers of the show made themselves available for a Q&A following the premiere (interviewed by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher). HBO even followed up the premiere with an open bar cocktail hour.

All in all, a pretty cool event.

The actual season premiere was great. My only complaint about the show? Episodes are never long enough. Given all of the characters and story lines, it almost feels like the story progresses in small chunks throughout the hour and it's always over too fast. I wish each episode was two hours long.

Hopefully the producers are taking note ;)

-s

New Podcasts app

Apple released a great update to the Podcasts app today. I'm pretty thrilled with how it turned out. I think my favorite feature is Stations, which makes it super easy to create lists of your favorite podcasts in your desired order, and it updates automatically as new episodes come out.

This feature makes it really easy to just play your favorite shows, back to back, just like a custom radio station.

The new Now Playing screen also offers a clean, and easy to use design that most people will enjoy.

This is definitely a worthwhile upgrade. Go check it out.

-s

Friday, March 8, 2013

Her Special Day

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday dearest Alin.
Happy birthday to you...
(and many more...)

Beef Jerky and Coke Zero

I recently read a book and it changed my life. Suffice it to say, I now eat very differently than I did just a few months ago and my body has reacted by shedding 25 pounds since late December.

Switching to a low carb diet has been an interesting adjustment.

The first thing you'll notice is the pervasiveness of carbs. Nearly every meal has some sort of high-carb component. For example, hash browns with breakfast, bread on your sandwich at lunch, pasta with your chicken at dinner—carbs are everywhere.

That said, I've been making due. I used to be a very non-picky eater. I would scan the menu, find something I wanted, and ordered it stock nearly every time. Now, I'm almost always customizing a meal to make it work with my new dietary restrictions. It's actually fairly easy, you just have to stay on your toes while ordering.

The most challenging part is when you go somewhere and there's already food waiting for you. The worst are meetings at work where lunch has been served. You'll typically have sandwiches or pizza waiting for you. What can you do? I'll tell you what, you sit there and pick it apart and eat the meat, cheese, lettuce, etc. You'll feel pretty awkward doing it, but eh, what are you going to do?

As part of this new diet, I now have two staples that I absolutely enjoy. Let's start with beef jerky. A wonderful source of protein and almost no carbs. Though it can get pretty pricey. Fortunately, Alin made me a batch a few weeks ago using her dad's dehydrator and it's been a real treat (at less than half the price).

I've also had to completely remove sugar from my diet, which I've found to be quite difficult. Unfortunately, I've always had a sweet tooth and this change in diet has me always second guessing myself (especially at work where people keep out bowls of candy). Fortunately, there's Coke Zero. It's quite tasty and is sugar free. I only wish they made a Caffeine free variety so that I'm not wide awake  at 2AM writing blog posts.

Nevertheless, it's all been worth it. It really is an inspiring feeling to hop on the scale every morning and see progress toward your goal weight. It's also pretty exciting to fit into clothes you haven't worn for years.

Another 15 pounds and I'll be ready to buy a new wardrobe. I can't wait.

-s

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thank you Adam and Dr. Drew

Growing up in Southern California, KROQ's Loveline radio show was popular and nearly universally respected.

You too can now enjoy the amazing chemistry, humor, and insights because Adam and Dr. Drew now have a new podcast. I highly recommend you check it out...

-s