Sunday, 10 July 2011

A Revival, of Sorts

After struggling with a few pressing matters that kept me away from the blog, here I am, ready to rumble.
Posts will be far more frequent now, and I should be able to update regularly. Today I'd like to point out a great website that I greatly respect. The Art of Manliness is a website about guy stuff, and focuses on being a gentlemen. It has a ton of 'How-to' articles that explain a lot of cool little things you have always wished you knew how to do, and the community is fairly active.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

It's Good to be a Sports Fan

The setting is almost surreal. Almost immediately after Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs won the NBA championship to win a huge victory for the everyman, the NHL final series has been extended to a final and deciding Game 7.

It really doesn't get any better than this. The Dallas Mavericks came in the underdog to the high-flying, cocky Miami Heat. They stole a few games from the Heat and then convincingly won the final game, proving to everyone that a championship cannot be bought. Here's the catch.... WHAT a brutal celebration! I assume the after party was a wild affair, but the on-court celebration when the Mavericks won was like game 6 of the regular season. Their leader and best player immediately bailed, and although he returned after, it was undeniably odd. Lets hope they paint the town red this week.

In hockey news, the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks are locked at three games apiece in the Stanley Cup finals. The series has been crazy and undeniably entertaining, featuring controversy and heroics. Its been a homer series so far, but I am having a hard time trusting Luongo in the net, even though his record in stellar at home. As a goalie myself, I know how tough it is to shake of a performance like that. After he first returned from Boston, he could just play it off as a bad few days, but now he has come and gone and got a similarly poor result. Its gotta be kicking around in the back of his mind.

Boston 3-1 empty net

Monday, 6 June 2011

The Daily Fresh

When you are looking to dress up but not go over the top this summer, there is a versatile option that always rises to the top.

The v-neck and blazer has been around for years, but people are really starting to warm up to the versatility and wearability of this combo. There are a few rules to follow, but nothing that isn't painfully obvious. You'll want to stick with a solid colored blazer that is fairly fitted. A baggy jacket will cramp your style and ruin the shape of the outfit.
The t-shirt has a fair amount of freedom. Another solid complementary color is a popular choice, but a simple pattern can work if need be. 

The great thing about this trend is that it can be worked into a lot of different situations. A day on the town, a first date, a casual business meeting, or a night out are all viable options for this kind of ensemble. The only thing you really would need to flip would be the shoes, dressing your feet up or down accordingly.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Check out this Workout

Today is a day for the ages. I've set some fitness goals for the summer and I mean to tear into them like a big juicy steak.
Aww yeah.. like any good fitness goal I've decided I'd eat better as well. I'd like to pack a few pounds of muscle onto my frame, so it's gonna be a high calorie, high protein, and low fat few months. Started by cutting out the chips and pop, and easing off from being the snack-vacuum that I am.

Essentially, the basic idea I have on paper for the workouts are short, high intensity blasts with a lot of muscle targeting. I'd like to be able to run hard for 30 minutes at the end of the summer, so I'll focus on keeping my heart-rate up and keep cardio in mind.

Today,  my workout looked like this, and I'd suggest something similar to anyone who considers themselves in fairly good shape but wants to push themselves. Another plus is that you only need one ~45 pound plate and a Stability ball:

Warm up: 10 min run/jog
Light stretch

First Circuit 3x
-Single Leg Squat with Plate extended to the front / 10 per leg
-Jump Squats
-Hamstring Roll on Stability Ball 

Once finished first circuit, immediately hop on treadmill/ running track and push yourself for 5 minutes. I'd suggest 75% of max speed, and a slight incline if possible. 

3 min rest

Second circuit 3x
-Box Jumps on a high box/bench
-Calf Raises
-Lower Abdominal exercise (e.g Leg lifts or V-situps)

Hop on the track/treadmill again, pushing the pace

Final Circuit 3x
-Romanian deal lifts
-Quadriceps Extension

Once finished, go for a cool-down jog and make sure to stretch thoroughly.

Soon enough, you'll look like this guy
Well, maybe not, but I was very exhausted after this workout, and I will probably do something this intense no  more than twice a week.

Hope you liked it! Any questions feel free to comment

Friday, 3 June 2011

Launching You v2.0

Ok, so you are fresh out of college/university, and what now? There are so many options available, but most won't fall in your lap. You need a plan. Ask yourself a few of these questions:

Who are the players in your industry that you are interested in working for? Who do you know in the industry?
Connections are an important but oft neglected part of the business world for young men and women coming out of college. With the guarded nature of most modern social mediums (Facebook, Twitter etc.), there is a lack of real relationships in the business. Get out to the job expos and open seminars to meet people in your industry. Make friends and more importantly, note the lay of the land. Most sectors have a defined social hierarchy, and knowing who to talk to and who the major names are is important.

What is it that you want to do? Decide what your short, mid, and long-term career goals are. Choose a company or define a career path that gives you the most chance to achieve those goals. Don't rush it, but work your way up the ladder, making connections as you go.

Now. It is never to early to start building your career. That is the difference between a career and a job. A career is a lifestyle, and should be approached as such. There will be late nights and early mornings. Joe at the office will get under your skin and the hot secretary down the hall may send you into a daze, but it is important to start working toward your goals with a plan, and as soon as possible.

Are you willing to relocate? If so, what are your prospects and options. Would you be happy with moving anywhere to wind takes you, or so you have defined limits to which within you feel you are comfortable?

Before you make any commitment to relocate or accept a job offer, take a step back and ask yourself why you are doing this. Define a concrete goal and strive to reach that goal, and understand the sacrifices that must be made to reach it, and if you are ready and have the right reasons.

This is your business plan, your angle of attack. Go into your interviews with a purpose that is personal and professional. Realize that having a solid interview that sticks to your principles increases the chance that you will be happy at your job, and your employer will be happy with you. Starting your career path with a job interview that is false and "boss-pleasing" may not be the best way to go. Seasoned employers are also quick to sniff out the pretenders, so go with what you know, and rock it.

It may all sound painfully obvious, but it is my experience that most, including myself, don't always follow these simple steps. Big change in life always comes with its fair share of hardships and hurdles, and if you stick with what you know, and have a solid plan of attack, you should be able to overcome anything that this cutthroat world can throw at you.

One last thing: Continue to learn. Never put the books down or let your brain collect dust. The business world is always changing and it is only a fool who doesn't change and adapt to best perform.

What are your thoughts? Any other tips or suggestions? If so I'd love to hear from you


Thursday, 2 June 2011

In the Game of Thrones, you win..or you die

Lately I have been devouring the new HBO series 'Game of Thrones'. It's a ten episode set of admittedly epic proportions. In classic HBO fashion, it is extremely detailed, and plays like a big budget film on the small screen.

The series is based off of the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin. After having read that series myself, a few of the shocking twists and turns are a bit dampened, but its still very awesome to see the scenes that were once in my head come to life so accurately on the T.V.

The really great thing about this T.V show, and the books by extension, is that everyone has their own agenda. Its like real life in that way. Instead of being a battle of the pure, good side versus the black, evil side, there is a certain realism. Everyone has their good qualities and their faults, and even the most deranged of the characters has an underlying likability. It really comes down to being a story about humans, and the faults and virtues of humans, and how even trying to do the right thing isn't always the best thing.

Loving the cast as well. Sean Bean of Lord of the Rings fame is doing a great job as Eddard Stark, one of the main roles. Peter Dinklege is also shining as the witty dwarf Tyrion.

There is no denying it though, this is dark, gritty stuff. There is an abundance of blood and sex, as well as very real language. Thats HBO for you though.

I'd suggest checking this series out.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Just a few notes

Had a great night watching the game, and listing to the newest Porcupine Tree albumThe Incident. The album flows together beautifully, and has a great prog rock sound.

Lead singer and producer Steve Wilson is a big player in the modern rock music scene, and is known well for his work with many rock/metal bands, including Opeth.

I'd recommend this album to fans of Tool and\or Rush, but I'd suggest a listen to anyone who is musically minded and can appreciate well crafted music.

Any bands you listening to right now that are blowing you away? Give me a shout and I'll check them out.