DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

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from Toronto, Ontario

  • Activity

    • Chicken casserole - Getting It Right

      6 days ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      I've been working on a chicken and broccoli casserole for some time now. I want it to use healthy ingredients wherever possible, and I don't want to have to cook it over rice or pasta, as many casseroles seem to require. Last night I got it nailed down. The secret: don't use broccoli, use kale. Here's my recipe:

      Ingredients:

      • 550g chicken breast fillets
      • 2 stalks of kale (leaf only)
      • 1 tin water chestnuts
      • 2 tins cream of chicken soup
      • 237ml cream
      • 100g shredded parmesan cheese
      • 115g havarti cheese (I cut it from a 400g brick, 2/7ths length)
      • 130g medium cheddar cheese (I cut it from a 450g brick, 2/7ths length)
      • 1tsp curry powder
      • 1.5tsp paprika
      • 2tsp parsley


      Directions:

      1. Bake the chicken breast fillets in a 9x13 baking dish at 350 for 40 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. While that is happening...
      2. Veggies: Clean and dice the kale and mix it with the water chestnuts. The stalks are expendable, do with them as you please
      3. Cheese: Shred or grate the cheddar and havarti cheeses and mix them together
      4. Sauce: Empty the soup tins into a mixing bowl and gradually stir in the cream until it's a consistently smooth mixture. Add the parmesan cheese and mix it until consistent. Add the curry, paprika, and parsley, and mix them until consistent. Start this with about 10 minutes left on the chicken cook time, so that it can stay on the counter without issue until it gets added
      5. When the chicken is cooked, use a knife and fork to tear it apart into pieces. Mix in the kale and water chestnuts, distributed to an even height. Pour in the sauce and spread the cheese on top, and place back into the oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Allow to cool for a few minutes to avoid burning your mouth on it.


      Serves 6-8 depending how hungry you are. I may mess with the spice proportions when I make it in the future (more curry for more of a bite? more paprika to add depth?), but this is basically it. Let me know how it goes if you decide to make it!


      Nutritional Information:

      The entire dish is approximately 3400 calories, with 190g fat, 90g carbs, 288g protein, and a ridiculous amount of vitamins A and C and Calcium. Divide for servings as appropriate.

    • Why I Focus On My Characters

      1 week ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      Whenever I write a story that's longer than a few pages, I always begin by writing out descriptions of my characters. These typically range from 1-3 paragraphs, and cover everything from their physical appearance to what they're deeply afraid of. I find that by doing this, I'm better able to write them with consistency, since I know what drives them.


      One of the stories I'm currently working on is centred around a revenge plot. Person A took everything from Person B a long time ago, and Person B has spent an exceptionally long time hunting Person A to kill them (as opposed to hunting them to take them out to coffee, I suppose). The basic storyline was going to be that they back off, bide their time until things are all ready to go, and only then move in to exact their revenge. Another character would enter to serve as the antagonist in the meantime, trying to blackmail the hero under threat of exposure, and would ultimately be killed shortly before the climax.


      I got my story to the point where Person B had finally located Person A, but they're not fully prepared, and have to wait for things to come together before taking action. There was something about the scene which was bugging me, and which was making it very difficult to write. Coming up with each line of dialogue felt like I had to force it out, and that's not how my writing ever is. Today I realized why it was like that: because that's not how Person B would respond.


      Person B has spent their whole life single-mindedly in pursuit of Person A. Now, when they finally have them tracked down and know where they are, they're going to sit back and wait for the stars to align? No, that's not what's going to happen at all. They're going to go after them right away, whether things are perfect or not. The revenge plot, then, isn't really the story. The story is the fallout.


      Imagine you've spent your entire life pursuing a single goal. Finally, you accomplish it. What happens next? You suddenly have a gaping hole in your life where that pursuit used to be. What do you fill it with? And if that pursuit was to kill someone who destroyed your life, how unhinged have you become? That, I realized, is the story I'm writing here. It's not about Person B's pursuit for revenge, it's about the effect that it had on them.


      It happens that by changing the story being told, I also need to change whose point of view parts of the story are being told from. Originally, the entire book was going to be told from Person B's perspective. Now, however, the story is about how they've changed, which is best described from other people's viewpoints as they witness what Person B is doing. This is where my focus on characterization comes in to play.


      Some of the new viewpoint writing is going to be from someone who was barely going to be in the original storyline. However, because of how things were plotted out, they're going to find themselves at the forefront of what's going on. Main characters need to be fleshed out, so that they can be written consistently. How lucky for me, then, that I'd already written several paragraphs describing this person's personality and backstory?


      Having put in that time and effort in advance means I'm already prepared for something like this. The way that I create my characters means that I could take any of them and make them the protagonist, and they would have an interesting story to tell - even the very minor ones.


      I've always viewed my writing process less as me being creative, and more as me recording what my characters are doing. They tell the story, I just write it down. I'm able to do this because I create them vividly, complete with flaws and motivations. If you plan to become a writer, I strongly recommend focusing on your characters first, and letting them drive the plot, rather than the other way around. I promise you will get a better story out of them behaving consistently than anything you can force upon them.

    • Learning Things

      3 weeks ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      Have you ever wondered why blue butterflies are a different shade of blue depending which angle you look at them from? Turns out it's because they're not actually blue at all - they just look that way. Also butterflies are scaly.



      I'm almost four weeks into my daily tracking spreadsheet. Keeping those green lines on the left and right going is definitely motivating me to write and to exercise my abs every day. Perhaps too well: I'm spending 2-3 hours writing each day, which when combined with waking up and eating breakfast and lunch means I'm not getting to work - the thing that makes me money - until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. That's not too bad right now because I don't have a lot of work to do that's urgent, but when work picks up again it could be a problem.


      So, adjustments must be made. I either need to wake up faster and get to my writing sooner, or I need to spend less time writing each day. I think the end solution will be a combination of the two. I've been writing until a natural stopping point in what I'm working on, so that I can write a complete scene at a time, but I may need to follow a more rigid schedule of only writing for 1-1.5 hours each day so I can get on with work. Science must be done.


      As for what I'm writing currently, there are two main places I'm focusing my creative energy. The first is a humour book, being a collection of funny things that have happened to me over the years. I'm writing down as many stories as I can think of for now, and later I'll trim them down to just the best ones. The second is harder to pigeonhole. In the broadest terms, it's about someone who's cursed by a witch and sets out to get his revenge by killing her. I've written the first act, and yesterday I plotted out the second and third, though it may still need work. Progress is steady, which is good.


      In fitness news, last night was leg day. It's also the first time in a long time that I've gone so hard on a workout that I couldn't move afterwards. The workout was simple: 150 squats, then some hip adductor stuff, followed by core work: hollow body holds, hand over knee crunches, stomach vacuums, and serratus side crunches. I was ready to stop after the hand over knee crunches, but I wasn't done, so I forced myself through the rest. Then I just lay on my back in the crucifix position for about 10 minutes because I was too exhausted to recruit any of my muscles to do anything.


      Getting through the workout in its entirety was an exercise in mental stamina and durability. I don't usually get pushed like that. The last time was almost 2 years ago in the gym, where I ended up sitting against a post for about 5 minutes after an hour and a half of hard cardio. Knowing that I have the mental durability to keep pushing through like that makes me optimistic that the next steps are close at hand. I'm very much looking forward to them.


      Now here's a song about Lenny.



    • Daily Schedules, And Working Out

      1 month ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      I got back from AGDQ late Sunday. It was nice going from Toronto, which had been sporting daily highs below 0ºF, to a place that wasn't a frozen wasteland for a week. Then I got back and discovered my apartment was only slightly higher than 60ºF, because the rads were full of air instead of water. So I had to stay up until the wee hours until my place warmed up.


      Now I have my rads off and the windows open, because the heat has continued running at full power even though it's only slightly below freezing outside, so my place has gotten up to 80ºF. There will come a day when my apartment's heat finds a happy medium, but it is not this day.


      Two weeks ago I posted this journal about accountability and daily scheduling, wherein I linked a spreadsheet I'm using to make sure I stick to a daily routine. When I posted that journal, I thought that I wasn't going to be making it to AGDQ, and that sticking to the routine would be an easy thing to follow through on. The next day, my plans for AGDQ came together, and I found myself with a public commitment to a daily schedule, despite being essentially on vacation. That made things interesting.


      I was sharing a room with an online friend for the week. Breakfast was included in our deal each morning, and the hotel we were at (which was not the main event hotel, but an overflow hotel, meaning travel between them was something we had to figure out) had a gym. I managed to keep up a habit of writing for about an hour either before or after breakfast each day, and I made a point of at least doing an ab workout in the corner of our room every night. I made it to the gym twice as well, though I'd wanted to go three times. As for work, there is now a large block on my spreadsheet that just says AGDQ covering those five days. The timing for starting the spreadsheet was unfortunate, but when something is important to you, you follow through on it no matter what may get in the way.


      As I continue along on my journey of better habits, some things are clarifying for me. The morning is, I think, the correct time for me to be writing. However, it is occasionally interrupted by urgent client work. Nonetheless, I have accomplished more writing in the last two weeks than I had in the two months prior. Forcing myself to write every morning means that rather than simply thinking of a story and planning to get to it later, I'm actually making progress on writing them. It's not always easy, but it is important to me, and I'm very happy to finally be treating it as such.


      My initial plans to stretch with every ab workout are not going to continue. My ab workouts take about 5-7 minutes, and my stretching routine takes about 15. I've decided that stability is more important than flexibility right now, so I'm still doing my full stretching on workout days, but not on ab days.


      As for my ab workouts, they're basically non-stop work. I usually begin with hollow body holds, then hand over knee crunches, and then I have a variety of exercises I choose from based on what's sore. Leg scissors are a favourite, and I usually end with either planks or stomach vacuums. I also make sure to do an exercise that targets my obliques every day, since they'd gotten weak after a year of disuse. They're getting better now. I'm also hitting my serratus anterior whenever I remember to, since they're part of the core too.


      I think it's important to realize that there's more than just planks, crunches, and situps when it comes to training your abs. I have an ab wheel that I'll start utilizing again next month, and there are dozens of other exercises to do as well, some of which are done standing up. If you want a sampling of some of the creative ab exercises out there, just watch this video (embedded below). My ab workout today was 25lb side bends, walking cross-overs, going into arm extension from the pushup position (serratus exercise), and 25lb lower back extensions - not a crunch in sight.



      Also, Monday is leg day. Monday is always leg day. Don't skip leg day. I was smart enough to drop my caloric intake when I went on the bench over a year ago, so that I wouldn't become fat. In that time, I dropped down to 160lbs, and I still look lean. However, I lost a lot of muscle mass in my quads. My calfs are still large, because they're calfs, and my hamstrings are still okay, because they've been getting work from my lower back extensions and rear delt exercises, but my quads are pitifully small now. So, until they're not any more, Monday is leg day. Every week.


      I hope to be back in the gym around the middle of next month. My QL is feeling good, my obliques and lower back are getting stronger, and I have a solid stretch in my arsenal that's helping to speed along the final stages of recovery. When I get back to the gym I'll maintain the same methodology I'm using now, but I'll have a much broader range of exercises available to me. I learn from my mistakes, and I'm definitely learning from this one.


      Have you been keeping up with any changes you made in your routine lately? What positive effects have they led to?

    • AGDQ 2018

      1 month ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      It's pretty fun so far. I've gotten to spend a lot of time with my fellow Spelunky community, and played some co-op, which I never get to do. I've also beaten Killer Instinct 2 after not playing in 2 years, and in 2 decades before that. So that was fun.


      Spotted some RT merch around the place too. Grabbed a picture of someone in a RWBY hoodie, and also found a logo hat and a Protect Me Cone shirt. Merch in the wild.


      If you happen to be up in about 5 hours, the Spelunky run is currently scheduled for about 1am EST. You may spot me on the couch, in my red RvBTO shirt with a big white maple leaf on it. It should be a lot of fun.

    • Excuses and Accountability

      1 month ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      I said in my last journal that waiting for an arbitrary date on the calendar before starting something is silly, and it's better to start it immediately. And as far as I'm concerned, this is true. However, that doesn't change the fact that we are just a few days into 2018, and many people have made resolutions and set goals for the year. And statistically, about 80% of those people will abandon their resolutions within a month and a half, and only 8% will go the distance.


      So what's the deal? Why do so many people want to change something or accomplish something, and then just ...stop? What I think it comes down to is something very simple: changing a habit is difficult. You can't very easily go from doing something one way to doing it a completely different way, and expect not to fall back into the old way of doing things.


      But that's an excuse. Because I didn't say it couldn't be done, I said it couldn't easily be done. It requires a little bit more than just deciding to do something and expecting to get it right the first time. You're going to fail. You're going to lose focus. You're going to waver. What's going to keep you aligned with your goal is how well you can get back on track after those things happen. "It was too hard" is an excuse that should never enter your mind when it comes to changing your life. Because of course it's hard - otherwise you'd have been doing it that way all along! What's going to make the difference between wanting to do a thing, and doing the thing, is whether you have the tenacity to keep doing it even though it's hard.


      There's one really easy way to make sure you stay on track, and it's one that I've talked about countless times in my journal here: accountability. If you or someone else is holding you accountable for doing something, then you're more likely to do it. Having someone else paying attention means that if you back out, or if you fail, then you'll potentially be letting someone else down as well as yourself. Knowing that someone is watching makes you feel bad for not doing what you should be doing, and it keeps you on track because you're not doing it alone.


      Coincidentally with the new year, I've been thinking a lot about my habits, what they are, and what they should be. There are things I should be doing on a more regular basis that I'm not, and I want to get into the habit of doing those things. Here's what I would like my daily schedule to look like:



      • Write every morning
      • Work on weekdays between lunch and dinner
      • Work out abs every day
      • Work out other body parts about 3 days a week, with no more than 2 days off at a time



      I'm sure most of that is fairly self explanatory, but here's a brief summary of each for the sake of completeness. 2017 was the first year I've been paid for my writing. I want to keep that trend going. That means writing (or editing or sending out stories) every day. Working includes writing code, and sending cold emails to attract new clients (more involved than it sounds). Having a strong core is important for posture and general mobility and stability, and your abs can take a pounding daily without issue. I'm not talking about a long workout - that 30 day ab challenge was insane - just 5 or 6 intense minutes each day. I'm also not concerned with having a gorgeous 6-pack, or anything like that - this is a stability and overall wellness measure. It comes incidentally with stretching, which is also important to me. And the "other workouts" portion is to make sure I don't get complacent about the rest of my body, and continue improving it for the foreseeable future.


      You may have noticed, that's a lot to keep track of, and a lot of habits to change and then maintain. How do I plan to do it, you may be asking? To answer that, I need to tell you about a budding young comedian named Jerry Seinfeld. He's a fresh new face to the comedy world, and I think he's worth paying some attention to - that kid is going places. One of the things he does to help his productivity is just a simple reinforcement method to make sure he writes a joke every day: he has a calendar. A great big wall calendar, and every day he writes a joke, he gets to put a red X over that day. After a few days, he has a chain, and then a longer chain, and then an even longer chain. After a while, the chain feels good, and your only responsibility is to not break the chain, because if it breaks, you will know about it.


      What that does is it creates personal accountability. Every day, he either wrote a joke, or he didn't, and if he goes a day without writing a joke, he'll have to start that entire chain over again. New Year's Resolutions are basically the same: they're either things you need to do on a regular basis (work out more, lose weight, eat no junk food, read a book a day, etc), or they're long term goals that you should be continually working towards (write a book, learn a new skill, move out of your parents' place, move into your parents' place [fiscal responsibility hype], etc). In both cases, you can be doing something to further that goal every day. And if it's something that's important to you, then why wouldn't you do something every day to move towards it?


      What I've decided to do to help with my own goals is along the same lines as what Jerry Seinfeld does. There are chains I can get going (though some of them are 5-on-2-off chains). However, since I have more than one thing to keep track of, a simple calendar will not do. So I made a spreadsheet. It's an Open Document Spreadsheet file, so it should work natively in all spreadsheet programs, and it looks about like this:


      2018_so_far.png


      Just like Seinfeld's calendar, this is for creating chains and keeping accountability. I'll open the spreadsheet at the end of each day, and put a "Y" in each column where I did the thing that column tracks. That "Y" will turn the cell green, and I will get a chain of green cells. The top row stays in place when scrolling, and the font colour is the same as the conditional background colour, so it's just a solid green. And at the end of the year, all I have to do is copy it to the next worksheet, delete the chains, and change the first date to January 1, 2019 (the rest of the column is "previous date plus one"), and it will be good to go for next year. And if you're reading this, then you're welcome to download and use it yourself.


      The first few days for me are sparse, because I only actually created this spreadsheet today, but from January 4 onward, it should be two long columns of green on either side, with a dense patchwork of green in the middle. I'm counting creating the spreadsheet and writing this journal as my writing for the day, and there will be a general and abs workout later. Once this gets going, it will be something I take pride in knowing that I'm keeping up.


      But that's only one aspect of this. Because, you see, it would be trivial for me to make this big announcement and then not do anything with it. After all, how would you know? Which is why at the end of each month, I'm going to post a screenshot of how I did for that month. In that way, not only will I know whether I'm keeping up with what I want to do, but anyone who watches my profile here will know as well.


      If you decide to download and use this spreadsheet as well, then I encourage you to do something similar: show it to people on a regular basis, and become accountable to them as well as to yourself. And tell whoever you're showing it to that if you don't show it to them, or if it shows that you're not keeping up with what you should be doing, then they have your permission to punish you in some way - and it should be a way that you genuinely hate, as an extra incentive for you to stay on task.


      Of course, there's always the possibility that you could fake it - put a "Y" in a cell that shouldn't have one. After all, they're not watching you do the thing, how would they know? Here's the thing about that: they don't actually care. If you say you're writing every day when you're not actually doing that, the only person you're actually lying to is yourself. The only person you're actually hurting is yourself. And if you value that thing so lowly that you'd rather lie about doing it than actually do it, then what business does it have being one of your resolutions in the first place?


      When it comes to changing something about your life, the only person who can do it is you, and the only way to do it is to do it. With this spreadsheet, you now have a tool you can use to make sure you stick to doing the things you've said are important to you. Your real priorities are revealed through your actions, and only you can decide what you do.


      So what will you do?

    • 2018 Incoming

      1 month ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      If you've been following me long enough, you know that I'm not really one for new year's resolutions. After all, if the thing is so important to you, why wait on the calendar before starting? Just go now.


      This year, me changing a habit happens to coincide with the new year, so I may as well talk about it here. My biggest flaw, as I see it, is that I keep engaging with people I shouldn't. Someone will not be worth my time, and I'll know they're not worth my time, but then they'll say something that makes me want to respond, and I won't be able to help myself. I end up talking with that person anyway, and I just get frustrated and deciding that I was right and shouldn't have given them any of my time, except I already knew that and should have known better in the first place.


      This doesn't only happen online, but sometimes in real life too. It is probably my biggest source of stress, and the worst thing I do for myself. I believe it stems from my weirdly specific desire to make sure that facts are correct. I really don't care if someone proves me wrong, but when someone is saying something that's plainly false and passing it off as factual, I can't help but correct the information. Then the other person inevitably doubles down and it becomes an argument, and down and down we go.


      My biggest real world example of this was with my realtor client, who insisted that he was overpaying for my work while giving me what amounted to $5/hr, and yelled and swore at me along the way. A difficult client who's paying well is a pain to deal with, but still worth it. A difficult client who's doing everything possible not to pay at all is someone who's not worth your time. What I should have done was deliver the site without the final piece that was taking forever, at a partial discount to what was promised, and then walk away. Instead I kept promising to finish the site, worked 12 hour days for two weeks through the holidays to just get the site off my plate, and was miserable for months along the way. It was a bad decision on my part, brought on by my unwillingness to leave a project unfinished.


      It's one thing to disagree with someone you don't really know (good way to meet people, in fact) or that you respect. Even among friends and family, arguments happen. It's another thing entirely to argue or otherwise engage with someone you don't respect at all, who doesn't deserve any of your time in the first place. I can't think of a bigger waste of time, and I do my best not to waste mine. So it's time to take some steps to make sure I don't.


      In order to facilitate this, I'm introducing to myself a mental checklist that I will try to go over every time I want to spend time on someone. It will consist of the following three questions:


      1. Is this person worth my time?
      2. Is this something I really need to do?
      3. Will I or someone I care about benefit from me getting involved?


      I think this is a fairly elegant way to evaluate a potential interaction. If the answer to at least two of the above questions is "yes" then I'll contribute to whatever's going on. If the answer to one of them is "yes," or there are some "maybe"s in there, then I'll make a judgment call based on how long I expect it to take, how much I'll have to put in, and whether the end result will be worth those investments. And if the answer to all of these questions is "no," then I will simply walk away. Had I asked these questions when the realtor revealed his actual self to me, I would have saved myself a lot of time and aggravation.


      So let's look at each of those questions in a little bit of detail.


      Is this person worth my time?

      There are some people who are just a waste of your time. These are the leaches, the unfailingly rude, those who always take and never give, those who bring you only pain. Those who always seem to condescend when they speak, and who think they know better than you just by virtue of being them. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that someone falls into this category, but when you do realize it, you're probably better to cut them out of your life as if they are a cancer, for like cancer, if you leave them, they will inevitably begin to affect other parts of your life.


      You have a limited amount of time on this planet, and it is the one thing you can't get more of - once it's gone, you can't get it back. If spending some of it on someone would be a waste, then why would you choose to use up such a limited commodity on that person? All other things being equal, f I can choose between spending time with someone who enriches my life, and spending that same time on someone who detracts from it, I will choose the former every time.


      Is this something I really need to do?

      Most people don't want to go to work, but they do because they have to. Sometimes a personal interaction falls into that category as well. I moderate the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel, and occasionally there will be someone in chat who is just being disruptive for the sake of it, but not doing anything ban-worthy. In those cases, as a moderator, I need to talk to them and get them to calm down. It's not something I want to do, and it's not someone I know or care about, but it has to be done.


      There are instances where it's important that you get involved even though every part of you says you shouldn't do it. For instance, when people are being put at risk (perhaps even you), or someone is saying things that could lead to something dangerous. In those cases, if there's nobody else around to help out, or everyone else is being passive, then it is important that you be the one to take action. However, in most cases it's just a thing to do. And unless you really need to do it, why should you voluntarily do something that isn't going to benefit you in any way, with someone who doesn't deserve your time?


      Related to this, I sometimes answer questions that weren't asked to me, because I know the answer. This is a bad habit, and it's rude, and it's also something I'm working on. It's a process.


      Will I or someone I care about benefit from me getting involved?

      Sometimes we do things we hate because it will help someone out. Sometimes we do things we hate because we get something out of it. Depending how big that gain is, it may override other concerns when it is an optional thing with someone who isn't worth your time. And yes, it being fun can count as benefiting you, depending on what else is involved. It's all about priorities.


      That's not to say that you should only do things for personal gain - I tend to be fairly altruistic myself - but sometimes, knowing you'll get something out of it makes up for pain and suffering along the way. However, if there's nothing in it for you or anyone you care about, and it's not something you absolutely need to do, then there is no reason to engage with someone who isn't worth your time over it.


      Tying it all together

      What this ultimately comes down to is economy of resources. Time is a finite one that can't be replaced, so it is important to spend it well. If you have an opportunity to do something with someone who doesn't deserve your time, and it's something you don't actually need to do, and you will gain no benefit from it, then you should probably spend your time elsewhere. This is something I've been failing to properly evaluate more often than I'm comfortable with, and so I'm going to make my best effort to correct this. It may mean I spend more time evaluating things before taking action, but if it leads to me feeling better about myself and my choices, then it is absolutely worth it.


      Happy New Year, folks.

    • DDLC

      1 month ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      Yesterday I sunk some time into a free game called Doki Doki Literature Club (also on Steam). It presents itself as a cute little slice of life girls in high school dating sim visual novel. However, the first tag on Steam is "Psychological Horror," and there is a lengthy disclaimer at the beginning about graphic content and the game not being suitable for young people or those who are easily disturbed. If you find yourself with a few hours to kill, it is a very good use of your time.


      As for which girl to pursue, well, in my opinion, there's just Monik̶̰̤̅͗̌a. You'll see why when you play the game. Remember: it's not over until the credits roll.

      Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika.

    • Trump In A Nutshell

      2 months ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      Before taking office, Mr. Trump told top aides to think of each presidential day as an episode in a television show in which he vanquishes rivals.



      Being talked about is enough. As long as he is a subject of the national conversation, Trump is relevant. (Witness Trump's insistence that Barack Obama wasn't born in the U.S.)

      And, in Trump's world, being relevant is the only thing that matters. Death for him is not mattering.


    • Back To The Start

      2 months ago

      DiMono It's Back Baby!

      If you've been following along with the saga of my healing process, you know that I've been recovering from a pulled muscle in my lower back (and subsequent side effects) for over a year now. I spent several months unable to do any exercise at all, only really returning to it a few months ago. And then I had to take November off from working out again, because I caught the plague (not literally).


      Yesterday I attempted a workout I'm familiar with, called 200 pushups in 5 minutes. Basically, it's the following:


      5 sets of 25 wide-hand pushups, only doing the bottom six inches of each one

      5 sets of 10 standard pushups

      5 sets of 5 diamond pushups


      You can either do it casually, taking as much time between sets as you like, or you can do it rapidly, only resting for as long as the previous set took you to finish. It's actually meant to be a tandem workout, where you rest while your partner works, and when they finish you start, and so on. If you run out of juice, you can drop to your knees to gain assistance so you can finish up each set.


      Before my injury, I was able to get almost all the way through the fast version of this workout before having to go to my knees. Last night I started struggling 4 sets in, I had to extend my rest periods after 6, and I had to go to my knees after 8. There were multiple sets that I couldn't finish at all, where I had to rest for a few seconds, force my way back into position, and then finish it up afterwards.


      It is very humbling to take something you used to be able to do with very little difficulty, and completely fail it. But I also think it's important.


      I firmly believe that everyone should make a complete and utter fool of themselves at least once every few years. The reason for this is that it keeps you from thinking you're flawless. If once in a while you completely fall on your face, you are instantly reminded that you're still human, you still aren't perfect, and you're still not actually better than anyone else just for being you. As well, anyone who happens to be watching when this happens is reminded of the same things; if they had unrealistic expectations of you, then having you fail in front of them will help to temper those expectations as they are reminded that you're still just a person.


      I'm no perfect man. I make mistakes all the time. I've taken recently to posting journals about staying motivated, reaching for goals, and looking to always be improving yourself, but it's not because I have those skills and I think that you don't; it's because like everyone else, I also struggle with those things sometimes. As I'm sharing those ideas with you, I am also reminding myself of them.


      Every path to improvement is difficult, and every road to success is hard to navigate. Nobody got to where they are today without failing. You may not know about those failures, but they are absolutely there. It is in failing that we learn how to be better. We learn what doesn't work, so that we can do other things next time. This is why I think it's important to embrace failure, and to embrace making a fool of yourself from time to time.


      My chest strength is nowhere near where it was a year ago. I failed nearly completely at the workout I did last night. But I'm not angry about it. I'm not sad about it. I honestly don't feel one way or the other about it. It happened because the choices I've made over the last 30-some years led to it happening, and so it serves as a reminder to me to make better choices in the future.


      There are a limitless number of ways to make mistakes, and I guarantee you're going to find a lot of them. The key is to only make each one once.

  • Comments (3968)

    • Kaoru27Umi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Princess of Mars

      1 year ago

      tumblr_n0axkggz2k1r6xxsio1_500.jpg


      Happy Warm and Fuzz McFuzzy Day!

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        1 year ago

         heart

    • Tropes FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Einn Saman

      1 year ago

      Hey so you also got mentioned in On The Spot this week - so that's pretty damn neat, just started the episode.


      Hope y'all are having fun at UnCon! Wish I could be there!

    • TomtheIronMan FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      1 year ago

      Hey man this time g1 Tom the Iron Man over on ScrewAttack and just wanted to touch base with you about someone we've been seeing posts with on Twitter and Facebook, a fellow g1 named Dylan Toomey. Dylan's been around since 2008 and simply put, he's a wily and silly guy with a penchant of making memes that no one understands but himself, and that's the joke. He means no harm and he's just continuing his shtick now and introducing himself in his own special way that the migration of ScrewAttack to the Rooster Teeth family is complete. I know Dylan personally and have met up with him at every SGC he's been in attendance to, and he's actually a quiet and fairly reserved person IRL. Clearly he's been rubbing the mods the wrong way and it has led to you having to intervene personally, if it is a breach of conduct I can assure you he has no idea it is. Hit me back if you have any questions (I'm still trying to figure out how everything works here), and have an awesome night.

    • Toptoast FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper of the Breakfast

      2 years ago

      Hello, good sir! You're awesome!

    • Nat

      2 years ago

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    • Cove FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dancing Shark

      2 years ago

      Just wanted to toss you a quick "thanks" for all the workout pointers and Tough Mudder tips you gave me a while ago. You were one of the few people who gave me actual usable advice that has made a difference. I've been working out for just about 4 months now and I've seen great progress and plan to keep pushing forward.

      So, thanks :)

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        No problem :)

        Are you doing things next Saturday?

      • Cove FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dancing Shark

        2 years ago

        Next Saturday? Yeah, I'm going on an end-of-summer camping trip with some friends that weekend.

        Why do you ask?

    • Freelancer The Trash Man

      2 years ago

      bruh

    • Freelancer The Trash Man

      2 years ago

      pls respond

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        Personal Comment notifications have been broken since day 1. I didn't see your comments until now, after scanning through Adam's journal's comments and seeing that someone had discovered that fact. I don't remember whether we banned anyone for being knucklesdawson, but seeing as the thread you were commenting about is locked now, it seems irrelevant. I just wanted to let you know that I wasn't ignoring you, I literally had no idea you'd said anything because of a site failure.

    • Freelancer The Trash Man

      2 years ago

      To clarify, knucklesdawson is not me.

    • Freelancer The Trash Man

      2 years ago

      Have I been banned from the v2 thread or something? I can't post in there, says I lack sufficient permissions.

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      2 years ago

      Are you tagging me in posts? Or is it the site transferring data over. Because I'm not able to access the tags to see.


      Also, 4000th comment.

      • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

        2 years ago

        Just saw Jackie having the same issue. Bug, I guess.

    • jackiebot FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold me irl

      2 years ago

      I have no idea what's happening right now, but I'm getting like.. half a dozen notifications that you're mentioning me in a post.. and when I click on it, I get sent to a completely jumbled version of your profile.

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        I got no notification that you'd left me this comment. I was trying to put up a private journal entry and tag site admins in it. It didn't work properly. I eventually got it up and running, so check out my journal.

    • Nat

      2 years ago

      Check this out, this is incredible: Atmoph window

    • MaryFairy Barely here...

      2 years ago

      Happy birthday! (Sorry it's late)

    • Resolis FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Insidious Crow

      2 years ago

      Happy Birthday DiMono!

    • mattbab4 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 years ago

      Happy birthday

    • THEDODGER FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Wookiee

      2 years ago

      Happy Birthday DiMono! I hope you have an awesome day and make sure you enjoy yourself! Keep up the amazing work! smiley0.gif

    • Freelancer The Trash Man

      2 years ago

      Is there a time limit on my timeout from the Ask Anything thread?

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        Doesn't matter whether it's entertaining; it's inappropriate.

      • Freelancer The Trash Man

        2 years ago

        Come on, don't tell me it isn't at least slightly entertaining when someone is like "can u teech me how 2 make cgi" and I chime in claiming to be Monty?

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        I mean giving troll answers. People ask questions there looking for information, and they are trusting of the answers they receive. You posting random garbage in there is inappropriate.

      • Freelancer The Trash Man

        2 years ago

        Nah. But that's entirely dependent on how you define how I've been posting. Do you mean in the past few days or overall?

        Post edited 5/18/15 9:08PM

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        If you're unbanned from it, are you going to keep posting like you've been posting?

    • JJ FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      2 years ago

      HOLY SHIT is that fuckin DiMONO!!!!!

    • ailsarocks FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Community Stylist

      2 years ago

      tumblr_inline_nm6yjhy0Lg1sytfkh.gif

      smiley12.gifsmiley0.gif

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        kittenhug.gif

        smiley12.gif

    • Cove FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dancing Shark

      2 years ago

      I'm considering signing up for Tough Mudder this summer, any training tips or things I should know before I fully commit?

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        It's about 11 miles, so 17km is pretty close to accurate.

      • Cove FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Dancing Shark

        2 years ago

        Awesome thanks! I have a team I just need to get my ass in gear for strength training. I'm already running frequently so I just plan on increasing my mileage (I heard there's about 17km of hills).

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        Good luck!

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        2 years ago

        Ignore the time estimate on the site; expect to spend 5 hours out there. Plan your day accordingly. Wear clothes you don't care about, or else clean them immediately. Don't have pockets. Your shoes will probably be a lost cause; bring spares and donate the dead ones to the pile (you'll see what I mean when you get there).

        You'll be driving to an off-site parking lot and taking a bus to Mt St Louis. Bring I think it's $15 for parking, and include about half an hour on either end for bus transit. You'll be leaving your wallet behind while on the course; keep it appropriately empty, just in case.

        They will offer you food on the course; eat it, you'll need the energy. And the potassium. Completing the course is easier with a team, for many reasons; if you go there alone, try to find people to join up with. Tough Mudder is hard, but remember that you're going there to enjoy yourself; so have fun with it. Lots of people dress up in costumes.

        Most of the obstacles I encountered weren't that difficult; a moderate amount of fitness should be plenty to get you through them. Focus on cardio. Lots and lots of cardio. And don't skip leg day - in fact, add another one. They're going to be taking you up and down hills an awful lot. Compound exercises are better than isolation exercises. You will have to climb over a 7-8' wall in order to get to the course; make sure you can do that, as it's the one obstacle you really can't skip. But don't skip obstacles unless you absolutely have to, because otherwise what's the point?

        That's everything that comes to mind right now.

    • Kaoru27Umi FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Princess of Mars

      3 years ago

      Waaaarrrmmmm and ffuuuuzzzzyyyyyy
      tumblr_mr77z8xout1sayl13o1_500_by_mydrea

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        smiley12.gif

    • SailorGirl81 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Keeper Of Kittens

      3 years ago

      WarmFuzzy_zps976cbe40.jpg

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        smiley12.gif

    • Desayjin FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold RTX Guardian Emeritus

      3 years ago

      As it is technically the 14th, you can enjoy your Valentine's Warm Fuzzies now!

      il_fullxfull.303686824.jpg

      Happy Warm and Fuzzies to our favorite Bot Destroyer!

      Your Neighborhood RT Community Economist:
      -James

      • tutvuvu FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

        2 years ago

        One must appreciate some nerd love

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        smiley12.gif

    • Enforcer2005

      3 years ago

      You are cool and I like you. Hope you are doing well dude.

    • ailsarocks FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Community Stylist

      3 years ago

      tumblr_n3smgcQ3dA1rozg1zo1_500.gif

    • Tommex

      3 years ago

      Merry christmas dimono smiley0.gif

    • nouveaujour FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      3 years ago

      Catching up now on the harassment discussion from the other night (that really doesn't sounds so great when typed out, but I'm going to go with it...) via You Tube.
      Just wanted to say thank you for taking the time and putting the thought into a meaningful discussion.
      -nj

    • UB3R_FRY

      3 years ago

      sfondo-fry-futurama.jpg

      Guess who???

      • KWierso AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

        3 years ago

        Oh fuck.

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        Don't fuck it up

    • Zack FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Zatch

      3 years ago

      I'm being trolled or I'm sleep-defriending you. WHAT IS GOING ON.

    • film_geek FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

      3 years ago

      www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOoCixFA8OI

      Here`s that song I was telling you about. one of my favourite's of theirs.

    • Snaaaake

      3 years ago

      I saw you at RTX and wanted to come up to you and give you a high five, problem was the convention center was being evacuated... smiley4.gif

    • Shastamac

      3 years ago

      As of right now, you have one friend for each day of the year! Congrats! :)

      • Shastamac

        3 years ago

        That's true, but you have some time to find one.

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        I need a midget for Feb 29th still though

    • Julia FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold elDiablo

      3 years ago

      Give me TOUncon tickets! I want them now! smiley2.gif

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        We're very good.

      • Julia FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold elDiablo

        3 years ago

        It wasn't working but you guys fixed it and I am now officially attending TOUncon smiley12.gif

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        Are you really unable to purchase tickets from the website? If you do it from a desktop or laptop it should go through.

      • Julia FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold elDiablo

        3 years ago

        HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S TALKING ABOUT! GIVE IN! I NEED TO GO TO TOUNCON

      • KWierso AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

        3 years ago

        DON'T GIVE IN TO PEER PRESSURE

    • TheFatalFall

      3 years ago

      How do you rate achievements?

      • Laurenz

        3 years ago

        Click on the "Achievement Hunter" tab at the top, and then go onto "games". You can type games in and rate them there. smiley0.gif

    • Br0kenSt0ry FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Tacos

      3 years ago

      Sorry to bother you again good sir, but would you be able to change my Site birthday to June 3/90?

    • NealMcNeal FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold The Real Deal

      3 years ago

      Happy Birthday Chris, hope you have a fantastic day! smiley13.gif

    • Juular

      3 years ago

      So, been banned from the Red vs Blue forum. Know what's up with that?

      • Juular

        3 years ago

        good bye recon :'(

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        I was scuba diving at the time. No idea.

      • Juular

        3 years ago

        I mean, I did say the US government did 9-11. But I hardly think that's enough to get me banned from an entire forum.

    • Radius55 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Site Admin

      3 years ago

      So, managed to get the new set of Cookie Clicker Achievements yet?

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        3 years ago

        You mean 1.0453? I have all of them except 400 cursors, which is currently impossible. I haven't played in over a week, just sitting on my bank of 200 sextillion and waiting for the next update.

    • Tommex

      3 years ago

      Hey man! I'm a coder too! html, css, php, python, javascript, java, objective C

    • Myshu FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold chupariffic

      3 years ago

      Special delivery! (World domination not included)
      aac-pinkybrain1.jpg

    • Dopp ROLL TIDE

      4 years ago

      Did you change my title on here?

      • Dopp ROLL TIDE

        4 years ago

        k thanks

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        4 years ago

        Nope

    • um4dbro210

      4 years ago

      hey i have a error 422 and i have no idea how to fix it……plz halp

      Post edited 1/26/14 2:00PM

      • KWierso AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

        4 years ago

        i-am-error.png

      • Psycho

        4 years ago

        I had a error once. I never survived.

      • KWierso AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

        4 years ago

        Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    • Zack FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Zatch

      4 years ago

      hnts_zps667310f5.png
      Hahahaha. At work.

    • Thorenir

      4 years ago

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      • KWierso AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

        4 years ago

        #lolcanada

    • voidfox FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold gay robot

      4 years ago

      oh hey, I see you're from ontario, somewhere just north of toronto. well it just so happens that I'm from somewhere just south of toronto.

    • khurram_89 FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Nerf herder

      4 years ago

      What's with all the spambots lately? Janet8251 needs to be squashed.

    • DanielZhu1

      4 years ago

      I will be taking your advice on writing a little side story though, may give me some creativity practice. Maybe you can read it sometime and tell me if it is any good.

    • DanielZhu1

      4 years ago

      You have read the idea I posted, and I see the logic in your words. But I'm fine if they don't use my ideas until 3 years later, I just want to give them something, and be just a small part of this. Because RWBY is something that truly resonates with me.

      • DanielZhu1

        4 years ago

        I think I will also try writing the RWBY side story. May improve my creativity, and open up more possibilities.

      • DanielZhu1

        4 years ago

        With my current college possibilities it's very likely I'll be able to get some great credentials. After all and SAT score of 2280 isn't all that common.

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        4 years ago

        I wish you the best of luck, but I wouldn't count on getting an internship with them; it sounds like you've already decided it's going to happen, and you need to realize that a) they need to have such an intern position open, and b) they literally get dozens of resumes and applications a day. Hopefully it will work out the way you want, but assume it won't, and write it yourself.

      • DanielZhu1

        4 years ago

        Yes, they probably won't in the next few years, but in 3 years time I will have the qualifications to intern at rooster teeth for 1 summer, maybe it may be possible then

      • DiMono FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold It's Back Baby!

        4 years ago

        They're not going to use your idea. Ever. It's not going to happen. If you're passionate about it, write it yourself.

    • Cheshire_Cat FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Registration Team Lead

      4 years ago

      Spambot alert.. brunomarcos

  • DiMono's Pictures

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  • Questions answered by DiMono

    Day 5. Was saving it for binge watching, so now that it's done, my time is nigh!

    It is now...


    It's actually to do with something else - #paginated-results being in the url is coincidental