Going back to Planet Fitness

planet fitness

We had to stop going to the gym last month because both of us got really sick. When I say we or us, I am referring to myself and my partner. I was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and then upgraded to AIDS in 1994, so when I get sick, I’m not just sick with a 24 to 48 hour bug, when I get sick, I’m down for a month or longer. I literally have no immune system. My viral load has been undetectable for years and my t-cells have been pretty high in the 900’s for awhile now, but I still suffer when I get sick.

The virus from my cold is long gone, but I’m still coughing. I was coughing up and blowing mucus out of my nose even though I had no nasal or chest congestion at all. That first couple of days when we first got sick last month we just so happened to have a doctor’s appointment and the doctor checked my lungs by listening to my back while making me breathe in and out, in and out, in and out… He didn’t hear anything, so he told me I would be fine. I asked him for antibiotics or at least cough syrup, and he refused to give me anything. He didn’t want to give me medicine for something I don’t have. Well, that’s fine and dandy if I was only going to be sick for a couple days, but I was literally sick for a month.

So we could have gone back to the gym a couple of weeks ago, but we wanted to wait until it was fully out of my system. I would hate to give anyone else my germs and then get them sick.

Going back to the gym after being absent for a month is basically like starting over from scratch. Whatever exercises we did today will probably hurt in the morning and for the next couple of days. I mean, I don’t feel anything now, but then again we just came home from the gym about an hour ago, so who knows what may happen later tonight or when I wake up tomorrow. We’ll see.

The surgeon who operated on my broken leg in December told me to do leg exercises at the gym, and of course take my time and not try to force myself to bend my leg on the leg machines and then hurt myself. My leg is in agony, so I will have to be very careful when I do the leg exercises. I haven’t spoken to a trainer, but I already know which machines I want to start using… all of them! LOL No, but seriously, I will have to make an appointment so she can write down our day 3 exercises for leg day. She gave us 2 days for our upper body, and my partner only wants to go 3 days a week, so legs will all have to be done on the last day of the week.

I’m not expecting to lose any weight, I just want to exercise to feel healthy. You see, I have a feeling it’s when you stop trying is when you will actually lose weight. I say that because just about every time I try to lose weight, I end up gaining weight. So I’m using reverse psychology… on myself lol. Hey, whatever works right?

Xbox One Controller for Minecraft PC

Minecraft PC.png

I was feeling good about this Xbox One controller to play games on my Windows 10 PC. I was able to play Terraria with no problem, I played Lego World’s, both from Steam, and I was even able to play Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta with no problem. Well, I was having one problem, the problem was getting Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta to load. The darn game just wouldn’t load properly.

So I thought ok, what now? I mean, I do have Minecraft PS4 and Minecraft PS Vita, and I even have Minecraft Pocket Edition on my Nook HD+. Now I have Minecraft Windows 10 edition, which is basically a mobile version of Minecraft, but I couldn’t play it, so I thought screw it, I wanted to buy the PC edition anyway, so I bought it and wouldn’t you know the Xbox One game controller wouldn’t work. How frustrating is that?

joy to keyI went to Google and asked how I can play Minecraft PC with a Xbox One controller and the first couple things that came up were videos. One said to install the Xbox One drivers, which I don’t need to do since my computer recognizes the controller immediately. I have yet to feel a rumble, so perhaps I will need to install that anyway. Next they said to downloaded JoyToKey and the guy had all the commands in the description for his video. It didn’t have every key correct though, so I was able to find the keyboard/mouse command so I could fix that problem. Now the Xbox controller works perfectly, except for the inventory. I can go into the inventory, I just have to use the mouse to craft with, but that’s fine. My only concern was that I was able to use the game controller to play the game.

Now, the only other problem is how slow this game is on my computer. Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta is much faster to load and gameplay is a fast as on my PS4 and PS Vita. I’ve already adjusted some of the settings so some of the graphics aren’t too high of a quality, but it’s still slow as hell. Perhaps one of these days I will reformat my computer (ugh) so I can reinstall games again so my computer will be faster. One of these days…

UPDATE: Ok so installing the Xbox One driver was an extremely bad idea. I think the driver is specifically for people who want to use bluetooth. The Xbox One logo on the controller is normally lit, but after I installed the driver, that light turned off. It’s a button, so I pressed the button and the light would blink on and off for probably a minute, then it would shut off. I loaded Terraria and the controller was non-responsive. I went into the Device Manager and uninstalled the driver, then rebooted my computer, and waited with anticipation for that light to come on. I actually started to panic when it didn’t come on because I thought great, now I have to reformat this thing, but then the light came on and I played Terraria and it was fine. WHEW!

Xbox One Game Controller for Windows

Xbox One Controller for Windows

I’ve been playing computer games on my Windows PC since the late 90’s using keyboard and mouse with pretty much success. I bought a game controller some time in the late 90’s that never really worked right. I’m sure it worked, I just couldn’t figure out how to make it work for the games I was trying to play.

In 2002 I was reunited with my aunt in Simi Valley after more than a decade of no contact, and my cousin introduced me to a new style of gaming that I wasn’t even aware existed. MMORPG which stands for massively multiplayer online role playing game. This was literally the first time I’d ever played a game where there were other people also playing. Mind blowing! That game was called EverQuest. I tried using the game controller for EverQuest, but I could never get it to work.

So recently I bought a game called Terraria from Steam which I already own on my PS4 and PS Vita, but I bought it on my PC because I wanted to see how it is to play on another format. Playing EverQuest with the keyboard and mouse were easy, but playing Terraria with the keyboard and mouse was difficult. I would place blocks in places I didn’t want to place them, and then when I tried to break them with the pick axe, I would end up breaking the pieces I actually wanted to keep.

I received this awesome Xbox One game controller for Windows that I bought on Amazon and got in the mail 2 days later with Amazon Prime shipping. I can actually place blocks in the place I want them to be, and I can remove blocks I want to remove without breaking blocks I want to keep. It’s so weird that I’m super excited to play a game with a game controller lol.

One of my other options was the Steam controller, but I read the reviews of those, which were terrible. I mean just terrible lol. Yes, it bears repeating. Many people said to just use a Xbox One controller. I wondered what about Xbox 360 controller, and many people said Xbox 360 controller works, but Xbox One controller is better. I don’t have the 360 controller to compare it to the Xbox One controller, so I’ll just have to take their word for it. I tried using my PS4 controller, but it didn’t work at all.

The Xbox One game controller for Windows that I bought came with a wire. There is an option to buy a USB , I’m just gonna say dongle. I don’t know if it’s the right word, but it sounds silly so I’m just gonna say dongle. There was an option to buy a USB dongle (LOL) to play wirelessly, but the Xbox One game controller doesn’t have a rechargeable battery, so you literally have to use 2 AA batteries that aren’t even included. LAME! I don’t care about playing wirelessly, and I’m not going to waste hundreds of dollars on batteries, so I can play with the wire.

The Xbox One game controller works with Minecraft as well as other Windows games. I considered if I bought a Steam controller, would it even work with the Xbox for Windows games? So I’m glad I bought the Xbox One controller. I haven’t tried EverQuest yet, but I would be interested to know if it works. I also used to play a game called Lord of the Rings Online, and I don’t know if it works there, but I’m sure it does. I have The Sims 3, and I tried loading that game, but it crashed after I waited literally for 10 minutes for it to load. I don’t have that much time to sit there wasting on a game to load. I have better things to do, like I don’t know, putting tape on my nose and attaching it to my forehead so I have a piggy nose.

I’m not going to switch over to Windows games because it annoys me how PC games crash all the time and how slow they are to play on my slow ass computer, I just wanted to have the option to play games on my computer with a game controller, and now I have the option.

Anton Yelchin

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June 19th, 2016 was Father’s Day, but it was also one of the most difficult days for me particularly because one of my favorite actors passed away at his home. This is the story according to most news websites.

yelchin crash 876“According to police, Yelchin died from blunt force asphyxia when he got out of the vehicle and it rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a brick mailbox and a security fence. His 2015 Grand Cherokee featured an uncommon type of electronic gear selector that works like a self-centering toggle to cycle through the transmission’s modes (park, reverse, neutral and drive,) rather than a lever with notches or specific positions for each.”

We had family visiting us from San Diego, and it wasn’t until after they left that I saw the news on Facebook. My heart sank in my chest and I just started saying “No no no no no no this isn’t happening. No! Just NO!” I read the article and about how he passed away, but I just couldn’t wrap myself around the details, and I kind of think that I was in denial. I went directly to Netflix and watched Odd Thomas because that’s one of my favorite movies. I started crying as soon as I heard his voice, and then again when I saw his face. I tried to keep calm throughout the movie, but I couldn’t help it, I just kept crying. At the end when he realizes his girlfriend is dead, and he starts crying, I just lost it. Netflix doesn’t have my other favorite movie of his, which is Fright Night and the new Star Trek movies. I would like to watch those again just to see him.

I don’t know what he was like in person because I’ve never met him and I haven’t seen him on camera in a reality setting. I haven’t seen many interviews with him, I’ve only seen him in his movies. I would imagine him to be one of the kindest people you’ve ever met. He just gives that vibe to me. I’ve seen his body language in pictures, and he doesn’t seem like his head ever got too big from the fame, so that tells me that he is a really down to earth person. He was a very talented actor, and I was looking forward to so many more movies and hopefully TV shows, but that’s not going to come anymore. I’m sure he had acted in some movies that are still sitting in the editor’s office, so I look forward to losing my shit when I see those movies. Face it, you know if there are any movies coming in the future with him in it, you’re gonna bawl your face off at the movie theater right next to me. I can’t be bawling in the movie theater by myself!

This world has lost one of the greatest talents it will ever see. I am still mourning his passing as if I knew him personally. I don’t know what it was about him, he just touched me, and I will never forget him.

I love you Anton Yelchin. Rest in peace buddy.

Homemade Apple Butter

apple butter jars

I can remember my mother buying Apple Butter when I was a child. She would make toast for us, and we would spread the butter on the hot toast, then when the butter melted we would spread Apple Butter on top. It wasn’t an every day thing since it wasn’t always in the fridge. My mother would buy it occasionally, so it was a treat when she did buy it.

I’ve been making applesauce a lot more than I normally do, and peeling the apples is always the worst part, which is why I don’t make it all the time. If I had something that made peeling apples easier and faster, then I would make it all the time. I recently bought this gadget on Amazon called Starfrit Apple Pro-Peeler. I watched a video on YouTube that came from QVC and they made it look so easy to peel apples. I bought it based on their video and decided to make Apple Butter with the peeled apples. This is what it looks like.

Starfrit apple peeler

So you basically remove the plastic, then stick the apple on the 4 prongs to hold it in place, then turn the crank which turns the gears which turns the apple and the arm with the blade moves down to the bottom of the apple and starts peeling it from the bottom to the top. It’s really fun to peel apples. It normally takes me about 2 or 3 minutes to peel 1 apple, and this thing literally took 5 seconds to peel the apple.

I got the recipe for the Apple Butter from Betty Crocker. The recipe is for 12 granny smith apples, apple juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and ground cloves. You put all of the ingredients in a crock pot for 10 hours on low, then use a mixer on the apples, then continue cooking it on low for 2 more hours, then 2 hours to cool down before canning it.  Here’s what it looks like in the crock pot at the very beginning.

Apples in crock pot

I tasted it when it was finished, and I was surprised that it didn’t have the same taste that I remember of the Apple Butter from my childhood. I think it is too spicy in fact lol. Not hot spicy, but I mean like the cloves and nutmeg etc. I don’t recall tasting those ingredients.

When it was finished cooking, I tasted it and it didn’t taste very sweet to me, so I added more brown sugar. It did help with the sweetness and the bitter aftertaste. I figured I would not judge it while it was still hot, but instead go ahead and can it and put 1 jar in the fridge and make my decision when I could try it cold. I did, and it still wasn’t sweet enough, so I added a little bit more sugar to the jar (in the middle of the 2 jars in the picture above) and it did help it a lot. I made 1 slice of toast and added the butter, then added the Apple Butter and cut the toast in half and gave one half to my partner and we both ate it together. It was actually very good. I can see me trying this on several different things like ice cream and perhaps waffles and pancakes.

I used 20 apples and doubled the amount of the rest of the ingredients. I got 11 jars out of it, and there was a tiny bit leftover, so I poured the rest in the jar in the middle in the picture above. It’s from my Magic Bullet lol. I only have 11 glass jars for canning because 1 jar broke last year. I am going to be missing 4 more jars because my partner is giving 2 jars away at church tomorrow, and I will be giving 2 jars to people who work at the grocery store lol.

I’m going to buy more jars since we will be losing 4 more jars, but I’m going to buy the bigger jars because I want to make more applesauce and put them in the bigger jars. Now that I have this apple peeler, I’m probably going to be out of control  with canning apple butter and applesauce lol.

Planet Fitness for Weight Loss

planet fitness

It’s been 5 weeks since we started going to Planet Fitness since I broke my leg in December. I haven’t seen any weight loss on the scale, but then again I am building muscle, and I do see a significant difference in my face. It’s not as fat as it was, and I can even see where the fat is disappearing. I also see that my chest, shoulder and my arms are getting bigger from building muscle.

We go 3 days a week because it’s a bit of a drive, and that costs gas which as you know isn’t free. I’d love to go more often, but my partner doesn’t. He only wants to go Monday, Wednesday and Friday, although that depends on our week. The last couple weeks we’ve gone on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I only have 2 days worth of exercises anyway since they didn’t give me any leg exercises because I can’t really do those because of my leg issues. When the surgeon says I can do leg exercises, I will start doing them.

We do incline chest press, chest press, pectoral fly, shoulder press and tricep press on day 1. Day 2 it’s lat pull down, row, rear deltoid and bicep curls. My partner feels like those aren’t enough, and because he’s not really on the same exercise plan I am on because they didn’t give him a plan since he’s my guest, he doesn’t really have to do what I do, he can do what he wants.

After we do upper body, we walk over to the lower body section. I discovered there are exercises over there that I can do, like they have a machine for abs, it’s like crunches, and another one where you sit on it with your knees and your body twists to do the side abs. It does hurt my right leg to sit on my knees, but it doesn’t hurt for long. I do my usual 15 reps, rest, 15 more, rest, 15 more and done. I actually love that machine, and I can’t wait to see how ripped my stomach will be once the fat disappears from my stomach lol. My partner does the other leg machines. There is also a machine for the lower back and butt, which I need to do because the last time I lost weight, I noticed that my ass was as flat as a board. I need all the help I can get for my butt. I can’t do squats because of my leg, so this will have to do for now.

Last night I was looking at Instagram, and I came across a post from Planet Fitness. I don’t normally read the comments because there seem to be a lot of people who hate Planet Fitness. I never could understand the hatred, but it became clear to me why they hate them so much. They have Pizza nights and bagels mornings. This guy said that Planet Fitness doesn’t give a crap about you losing weight and they just want your money. Well, um… what does that have to do with anything? Of course they want your money, they are a business and that’s what businesses do. They lure you in with a great price like $5 down and $10 a month and they give you perks like 1 night a MONTH you get pizza and one day a MONTH they give you bagels. I’ve never actually gotten those perks, but even if I did, that’s on me, not on them. I’ve eaten pizza at home more than I’ve eaten it at the gym, which is never, so who is trying to sabotage me now? ME! I am in control of what I put in my mouth whether they are feeding it to me or not. Planet Fitness IS a gym because they have free weights, kettle bells, rope on beams, they have tons of machines that target all of your muscle groups, and they have tons of machines that allow you to do your cardio.

Give them a chance because they are a good gym. I have self control. I wouldn’t drink beer in a AA meeting, so I’m not going to eat pizza at the gym. I go there and do my exercises and leave. I’m on disability, and I am going to go to Planet Fitness since it’s the only gym I can afford. It’s too bad my health insurance doesn’t pay for it since the doctor is the one who insisted that I go.

PS Vita Not Properly Charging

psvita charger

Today I was faced with a problem that I was not mentally prepared for. My PS Vita refuses to charge.

Last night I turned my PS Vita on so I could see if the weekly sale was in the PS Store yet. Each week on Tuesday they have a sale on games. I knew I was early because it was Monday night, but it was after midnight so I thought I’d check. I noticed that the battery icon showed that it had about 50% battery. It doesn’t say 50%, but it was around there. I plugged it in and let it charge for about an hour and the light turned off. I assumed if the light turned off that it was fully charged, so I went to sleep.

This morning I turned it on to check for the weekly sales, and I noticed that the battery icon was still at that halfway point, so I plugged it in again and forgot about it for about an hour.

PS Vita Screen

After an hour, I thought this has to be at full charge by now, but as you can see, it was still at the 50% mark. I didn’t understand why it was doing that, and I was starting to panic, so I went to Google and searched for the problem. I searched “PS Vita not charging” and the first post that I came across said to just plug it in and start playing a game, so I did. I plugged it in and started playing Minecraft. I played for about 10-15 minutes. You would think that after being plugged in for 10-15 minutes it would have at least gone up to 75% or something, but it didn’t move at all.

I turned it off all the way off by pressing and holding the power button until I saw POWER OFF. I actually did that last night and before the Minecraft “fix” that didn’t exactly fix anything. You can usually solve any problem by turning it off then back on again. Usually.

I read another message board post that put me in a panic attack. It said if you have only had it for like say a couple of weeks or a month to go back to the store and return it for an exchange. Well, I’ve had mine for 5 months, so yeah I can’t exactly do that, now can I? I kept reading, and was getting more discouraged by the minute until I went to find the original box that the PS Vita came in, which yes, I had because I save things like that lol.

Inside the box I found a couple of things. I found that I have a 2 year warranty from Game Stop, thank goodness for my partner buying the warranty with my Christmas present. I also found something, it’s a little box that you plug the USB cable into and a plug. I never unpacked those because I figured if it can be charged via USB cable, why use that? So I took it out, took a picture (above) and plugged it in and guess what? It charged my PS Vita to 100%.

This is my fix for this issue, and it may or may not work for everyone else just like the plug it in and play a game fix didn’t work for me, but if you haven’t tried it, try it and see if it works. I sure am glad I figured that one out. Technology doesn’t love me as much as I love it.