Sunday 13 March 2016

Zombies Run! 5k

So I'm going to talk about one of my favorite apps of all time. As an app it is available for both IOS and Android for less than 5 bucks.

So the basic idea behind the app is that is it a couch to five kilometer training app.  It is designed to take someone who is a none runner and train them up to be able to complete a 5-kilometer run.  All of this over the course of an 8-week program.  Each week is made up of 3 identical sessions, that get harder as the program continues.

What makes this app so much fun in my opinion is the story aspect of the program.  You take on the role of Runner #5 a new addition to Camp Able.  The world has been overrun by zombies and you are being trained by the Camp Able Doctor and Sam the radio room to be a runner for the camp.  One day you will be out running in the zombie wilds collecting much-needed supplies but not until you are ready if the doctor has anything to say about it.

I've been using the app every summer for the last three years.  Until this year I've gotten stuck at the end of week 3 and have never been able to get past it.  This past week for the first time I've made it past week 3 and in fact I have completed week 4 as of tonight.  In fact to night I saved runner #6 life.  That runner had been cut pretty badly and was on there way back to Camp Able.  The problem was that they had three zombies hot on their heels.  I, as Runner #5, was the only runner available to go out and distract the three zombies so that she could make back to the base and get the medical help that she needed to live.  It was an exciting run and I had a great time saving the other runner.  I can't wait to find out what comes next

You can find out more about it here

Thursday 25 February 2016

Cross post from Between the Rolls

For an RPG Night with Cliff Update please visit

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Exercise plan revisited

Ok so lets all jump in to the phone booth with Bill, Ted and the Doctor and travel back in time to January 16th when I said I would originally post this.
So back on January 6th I posted some goals for 2016.  One specific goal was about exercise planning;
 Build to a weekly exercise routine
 I find that I easily fall in a routine that lacks exercise.  So much of my life and the things I enjoy are sedentary that I need to work to actively make physically activity apart of my daily / weekly routine.  By January 16th I will post a weekly schedule that will show my intended out routine.  Then by the end of January I'll post a follow up to show how I've been doing on it.
I kinda failed on the deadline I set it seems so with the help of the doctor and friends I'll try and clear that up.

So here is the exercise plan as it stands now.

  • Zombies Run! 5k App every second day until it is completed.  Then move on to the main Zombies Run! app to maintain and continue the pattern that I've established.  For this part of the plan I am 4 sessions in to the program.  There are 3 sessions per week and I have just started week two.  As a reward for finishing a week I will be spending time in the pool and hot tub .  I think this habit has really taken root already.  The other morning was a none run day and shortly after I woke up I realized that is wasn't a run day and was disappointed by that fact.

  • Yoga I've been introduced to a Yoga class that I very much enjoy.  It is only once a week but I make the effort to try and make out.  The price is reasonable, it is by donation , so I try and make sure I have ten bucks to toss into the bucket at the end of the class.    I've also found in a couple of situations in my daily life where the stretches I have learned have indeed been helpful.  

  • Exercise Equipment; is something I want to start doing after my runs, but to date it is not something I've been able to include. I have walked through the equipment and looked it to try and figure out some type program for myself.  Also I have spoken with a couple of people I consider to be knowledgeable about such things to get their suggestions.

That is the plan as it stands right now.

Monday 22 February 2016

Encounters to RPG night with Cliff

Cross Posted from Between the Rolls, my gaming blog
About 7 years ago my wife and I were interested in checking out the latest addition of Dungeons and Dragons (4th edition).  We made a few calls to the local game stores and discovered that Wizards of the Coast was just about to launch their Encounters program.  Which was basically a on going adventure that was provided by them and broken into weekly installment.  The program was great and by the end of my first adventure I found myself as one of the DMs running the weekly events.
It has been a long time since those early days of Wednesday night gaming.  Looking back I've got to say it has been one of the best experiences of my life.  I've made some amazing friends over the years.  A few of which I basically consider family at this point.  People I never would have met if I hadn't committed to running all these games. 
A lot has changed over the years.  D&D Encounters, has changed to a different program, I'm not involved with it any longer.  The players who used to be with me when I ran Encounters have joined me for the last two or threes playing in what has become known as "RPG Night with Cliff"  We no longer play D&D 4th or even 5th edition for that matter.  We get together to play a variety of Role-playing games.  With special attention to the games that don't often get the attention they deserve.  Here is a list of some of the RPGs we have done to date: Fate, Dragon Age, Fiasco, Star Wars, Numenera, Savage Worlds Dead Lands, Cosmic Patrol.
We will play a game for several months in order to complete a single adventure and then move on to a new system.  This model has worked great for the store where we play because of my players pick up at least the core rule book.  They have also been very accepting of me running the occasional game of a system that is old or that they can't get in. 

Right now we are playing the Star Wars RPG produced by Fantasy Flight Games.  This is a returning system that we have played before.  As a group we are working our way the the published adventure "Mask of the Pirate Queen."  I'll be trying to post more about our on going adventure at this blog.  I want to make this somewhere people will come back to visit and check out. 
***The Following will contain adventure spoilers, if you are playing in the adventure please don't read this for your own enjoyment.***
A quick bit of background
The PC's have been hired by a large crime family and tasked with the job of bringing in the Pirate queen that has been targeting them.  The crime family was able to provide the group with three separate leads that they hoped would lead them Sorority (that is the name of the pirate band)  All of the leads have been explored and that has lead the group a crater valley elsewhere on the planet.  Last week they forcefully dealt with some of the pirate security and they are about to arrive at their strong hold
Our next game is Wednesday the 24th.  So expect an adventure update then. 

Wednesday 13 January 2016

A Surreal Weekend

It has been an oddly surreal weekend.   A very enjoyable one to be sure,  but surreal none the less. It started on Tuesday night while talking with tamile and roswyne.   The idea came up of going to Fargo for the weekend.   It was just a random trip or anything the was a charity fundraiser being hosted by the same group that puts on one of our favorite annual conventions,  Corecon House the person it was for has long been a major fixture of the convention and is one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet. He has also been battling cancer,  which as it turns out is a very costly endeavor in the United States (more on that later)

So planning the trip turned into something of a cluster fuck.   Which I guess in a lot of ways is why I don't like to plan trips at the last minute. It started out as a day trip four hours down spend the day and the  four hours back.   For the record I hate trips like that.   You spend more time driven then you do at the place you are driving too.   It seems wasteful and like stupid idea to me. So I started exploring a few options for crash space. With little to no effort found crash space for Friday and Saturday.   Roswyne was comfortable. Being down that long or being tied to our schedule, so she made other plans.   I tried to adjust what I had started to set up to accommodate what she needed.   Which didn't work out at all.   So rather than  taking one car that could easily have fit 5 people we traveled in separate cars and honestly hardly saw each other over the course if the weekend. In the end I guess it wasn’t to big of a deal one way or the other. By all reports she had a good time and I had a good time, which in the end is the important part.

In our car was tamile,  naivara and myself.   Now normally naivara suffers from a condition jokingly called carcolypse,  you put her in a moving car at highway speeds and she is asleep.   That didn't happen  on the drive down which lead to one of the better discussions the three of us have had since our break up as a trouple. The three of us talked about a lot of different things and I think we were able to clear the air on a lot of things.  tamile and I also found a fair amount of time to talk this weekend as well. I think it put the two of us back on a better track for our relationship in a time that we really needed it.  Honestly I think tamile and I need to make a point of taking car trips of a minimum of 4 hours on a regular basis.  We both tend to talk with each other really well and open up while trapped in a car moving over 100 kilometers per hour.

The point behind the trip like I mentioned was to help support friend who is undergoing treatment for cancer.  Now this wasn’t for moral support, this was about financial support to help cover the cost of his care.  I heard a few numbers tossed around over the weekend about exactly what his treatment was costing.  All of the numbers seem to me to be ridiculously high (1 quote went as high as half a million), but I have been assured by Americans who are familiar with the system that they are certainly within the realm of possibility.  As a Canadian and someone who has grown up with socialized medicine this completely boggles my mind.  Now thankfully in my friend’s case he does have medical insurance coverage.  I don’t know to what extent it will be covered it wasn’t really any of my business.

Another friend who I saw while down there had also just undergone a major medical incident and had spent two weeks in intensive care.  She had no coverage, so she is going to have to pay for that all out of her own pocket as I understand the American system.  The cost of that stay is going to follow her around forever.  The amount of money it would cost for a two week stay in an IC unit up in the hundreds of thousands am sure.  

I did some quick googling and they even have a special term for this type of debt “Medical Debt”   The link will take you to the Wikipedia page that discusses the term.  After this weekend I don’t think I have ever been more thankful to be a Canadian.  Sure we might have long wait times to see a doctor at the emergency room, but I would rather sit around for 8 to 10 plus hours to see a doctor then have to work for the rest of my life to pay of the debt that was incurred because of the visit.

If you are reading this and would like to help out my friend house please visit House Is Where the Heart Is  page to make a donation.