Weight Update And A Few Thoughts

Lake Charles, LA

For anyone who might be following my attempt at losing weight, I am currently at 206 lbs.  I started my current weight-loss journey at 244 lbs, so I’m quite proud of myself so far.  I want to make it to two hundred pounds before I dial back on the goals a bit.  When I reach that magical two hundred number, I plan on shooting for ten pound goals until I’m happy with what I see in the mirror every day.

How am I losing the weight?  I’ve been doing Insanity since January (I’m on my second round now) and about two weeks in to my first round I started using the Lose It! app on my phone.  Insanity works, period.  If you apply yourself to it and follow the program, you will see results.  I’ve done Insanity in the past and while I didn’t lose as much weight (I wasn’t really watching what I was eating), my body became more tone and my endurance shot through the roof.

Lose It! was recommended to me by my wellness coach, who is provided through my insurance provider.  She checks on me every three weeks by phone and gives me tips and ideas to help me on my journey.  She has recently started to encourage me to add weight training to my repertoire and I must admit that I’m giving it a lot of thought.  If any of my readers know of some simple weight training plans, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.

In other business, I’m growing very fond of a small group of Trekkies that I’ve joined.  They are called the USS Lafitte and are based in southwest Louisiana.  I have attended many of their meetings and while I’m not as hardcore when it comes to Trek, it’s nice to be surrounded by people that get me.  I’m completely comfortable nerding out in front of them and they get almost all of my nerdy jokes.  I’m also a member of another local group called the Doctor Whooligans.  I’m a Who fan from over thirty years ago, and this group makes me feel pretty old since most of them are into New Who.  However, the group’s founder hosts monthly meetings focusing on each Doctor from the classic series, and the newbies seem to really enjoy the old stories.  I hope to become more involved with this group as time goes on.

I mentioned Jennifer Lawrence in my last post, and I have to bring her up once again.  There are rumors floating around that a Mystique movie could be coming at some point in the future.  To be honest, I hope that Fox backs off of the X films for a while.  While I love Jennifer Lawrence (and that open invitation to come out at my house with me and my family is still open, Ms. Lawrence), I’m afraid that the X franchise is a bit too excessive, especially in recent years with the seemingly endless amount of Wolverine focused stories (including his solo flicks and the recent anime version).  I want the focus applied to characters like Gambit, Nightcrawler, Cyclops, Banshee, and especially Beast  and Colossus.  While the two latter guys are getting more attention in the newest film, I want some solo adventures from them both.  However, I’ll happily wait three or four years for a really good solo outing from any of these characters instead of one mildly enjoyable flick each year.

Disney has their Marvel properties locked in, and they are doing a brilliant job with them.  They put out more films than Fox and Sony when it comes to Marvel, but the difference is that their films have all been excellent (except for the misfire that was Iron Man 3).

Well, gang, thanks for reading.  I really do want to hear from you on any and every topic, and if you happen to know Jennifer Lawrence, tell her that I would really like to have her check out my blog and/or hang out with me and my family!!!!!



A Few Quick Notes

Lake Charles, LA

I don’t have much to talk about this week.  Good Friday and Easter are upon us, so I hope that everyone has a great weekend.  Hopefully the Easter Bunny will leave all of us something good in our baskets.  I’m hoping for a million bucks and (if I weren’t happily married) Jennifer Lawrence, but I’ll probably just get a couple of pieces of candy and an egg or two.  Oh well, if you’re reading this, Ms. Lawrence, you have an open invitation to hang out at my house for a few days.  My entire family loves you both on the screen and in interviews that we’ve all watched.  You seem like a really down to earth person, and that’s rare in Hollywood these days.

I did manage to see Captain America:  The Winter Soldier this passed weekend and I must say that it was brilliant.  I loved it just as much as the original Cap film, but for different reasons.  The first film made Cap an icon with every single scene and bled patriotism.  It showed an America that needed a hero, and it got one in Cap.  Soldier finds our hero in a new America, where all of our moves are being watched and/or recorded, and he begins to question just how far our country’s defenses should go to keep us all “free.”  It’s actually a very heady film, and I highly recommend it.

As far as my weight goes, I’m at 208 pounds.  Insanity is kicking my butt for a second round and my wellness coach has me eating more veggies.  I’m exploring more foods now, and I would love to hear some of your favorite healthy recipes and snack options.

Have a great Easter weekend, friends, and as always, thanks for reading.

CyPhaCon 2014!

Lake Charles, LA


Deep in southwest Louisiana, in the growing city of Lake Charles, there is a convention that takes place every year that is something of an anomaly.  It’s called CyPhaCon, and it has done something that very few fan-run cons in similar (and in some cases, larger) markets have achieved:  It’s thriving and growing each year.

CyPhaCon is in its fourth year now and has grown by leaps and bounds each year.  It caters heavily to the anime scene, but offers up plenty of things for fans of other genres to check out.  For instance, this year’s guests of honor included Battlestar Galactica and Hemlock Grove star Kandyse McClure, anime legend Tiffany Grant, and Chuck Huber, another anime voice artist who is also involved with Star Trek Continues, a project that is a labor of love for another anime titan, Vic Mignogna.  Fan groups included the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion, a number of other fan-run conventions, the Doctor Whooligans, the USS Lafitte, and many others, as well as a load of artists and vendors like Jessica Grundy, Paper Heroes, Icarus Wing, and Cosplay World.


Panels ranged from topics like self defense from Batman (yep, Batman) to Stargate SG-1 to cosplaying.  There were also panels featuring all of the guests and some great entertainment from Take One Improv and the brilliant Suzaku 7 band!


I attended the event for all three of its days, as well as the Wednesday night pre-party that included video games, a few episodes of BSG, and music at a club in Lake Charles called 3Topia.  When I arrived on Friday, the venue was packed.  There was quite a line to get into the convention, which is something that rarely happens at similar events in the lake area.  Saturday found even more people at the convention, and I squeezed in as many panels as I could between visiting with friends and making new friends as well.


I got to meet Kandyse McClure, who turned out to be a real delight.  I turned her on to Tabasco Ice Cream and was a bit surprised when she actually made a note about the ice cream so that she could get some later.  I also talked with Chuck Huber, who was exceptionally friendly and very, very excited the entire time he was at the convention.


Another treat was rocking out to the Suzaku 7, an anime party rock band that had everyone dancing as they sang hits from anime greats like Pokemon.  The band hung out with the fans after their set, and I snagged a copy of their CD, SuperEffective. 


One thing that I noticed happening more at this convention than at other fan-run events, was the amount of attention that the volunteer staff paid to the needs of fans, vendors, and guests.  They would routinely check up on people and would also pop in on panels to make sure everything was okay.  The registration process went smoothly as well, and any gripes or concerns were addressed immediately.


The quality of the costumes at this convention, especially considering the size of the event, was remarkable.  There were a lot of anime cosplayers at the event, as well as a few Star Wars, Star Trek, and superhero cosplayers as well.  All of them were kind enough to pose for photos, even with guys in bad costumes like myself.  I was dressed as the Discount Dark Knight (pictured above) and actually got in a couple of photos with people.


The event was a bit quieter on Sunday, but it was also the best day to hit the vendor area.  I picked up some magnets from Three Sisters, a Commander Appo figure from Paper Heroes, and quite a few pieces of artwork from Jessica Grundy.  Look her up on Facebook!  Her work is amazing!

I wasn’t able to stay until the very end of the event, so I can’t say how well the last panels and closing ceremonies went.  However, I can say that I’ve been to many other conventions in the Gulf South, and none of them come close to CyPhaCon.


I’ll be reviewing more conventions as the year progresses.  At the moment there are at least two others coming up pretty soon that I plan on attending.  There’s also another one coming up in June in Lake Charles.  I’ll be sure to review it as well.

Thanks for reading, peeps, and as always, much love!

The Discount Dark Knight Rises (At 3Topia)

Lake Charles, LA

As some of you might already know, Lake Charles has a yearly sci-fi/comic/anime/pop culture convention that happens every April.  It’s called CyPhaCon, and is the brainchild of a few people that I am proud to call friends.  This group works hard to make their event one of the top fan-run conventions in the southern United States, and having visited others and also having been part of a so-called “board” for another convention (a terrible move on my part, as the “board” consisted of myself and another guy who did his best to control any and every decision and expense made by that convention….in my opinion at least), I can say that they are doing things right.

Since last year’s event, CyPhaCon has expanded their event beyond the walls of the Lake Charles Civic Center and have started having events year round, including events specifically tailored to children or CyPhaKids, as that division of the convention is called.  They’ve held multiple gaming events and had a movie night as well (I attended that, and watched The Empire Strikes Back and The Wrath of Khan in all of their Blu-ray goodness). 

Many of their events take place at an up-and-coming bar in the lake area called 3Topia.  I’ve been there a couple of times and look forward to my next visit.  The bar is excellent and the kitchen serves up some great eats.  They also have Zapps potato chips, which are basically Louisiana chip cocaine.  The wait staff, or at least the one waitress that I’ve had the privilege of having serve me on both occasions that I’ve been there, is excellent.  She’s friendly and attentive to her customers.  The bar also features multiple big screen televisions featuring everything to movies, TV shows, music, and gaming consoles.

Last night I atteneded the CyPhaCon Pre-Party.  The convention is this weekend (I’ll give a full report with photos next week), and the organizers decided to have an “appetizer” for any and every con goer who showed up at 3Topia. 

The event was great.  Lots of people showed up and I even threw on my Discount Dark Knight costume which, oddly enough, drew the attention of quite a few attractive ladies who chatted with me and/or took photos with me.  What is it about the Batman that makes ladies all excited?  I don’t know, but whatever it is, I apparently have it!!!!

Gamers were there to challenge each other in friendly matches, Battlestar Galactica was playing on one of the televisions in honor of the convention’s guest, Kandyse McClure (Dualla), and music, drinking, and dancing was happening everywhere else in the club.  There was even a fire-eater!

I had a really great time, and if this small event was any indication as to how great the big event this weekend will be, we are all in for a crazy ride!  Check out their website, http://www.cyphacon.org, for more info and try to come out to the convention if you can!Talk atcha soon people!

For those of you who have read any of my posts, thanks.  I really do appreciate it.  This silly little blog of mine would be nothing without readers.  If you enjoy what you’ve read, let your friends know!