If you were directed to this site via one of my self-published works (there are some few copies still floating around with the link), the focus of this site has since changed.

Here I still write about writing, and include story prompts and the occasional book review (disclaimer, Amazon and Smashwords affiliate links included where relevant), along with assorted random topics. I am slowly trying to shift the focus towards those reviews and away from the random topics.
The sister site, Pioneers of the Shattered Waters, now bears the focus of my own stories, up to and including Nation Novel Writing Month competition data.

More details on this change can be found on the relevant page, “Migrating Certain Posts

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Technology Marches On–Oculus Quest (One) Support Disappearing

Guess it’s official… I need a new VR headset.

Not because my Quest One has quit working, though given how long it’s been gathering dust as I attempt to declutter and recover floorspace yet again it’s a little hard to say. But rather because, as per the post title, support for it is disappearing. More and more games that simply aren’t designed to work on the older model (Resident Evil 4 was, apparently, only the first), features I’ve been waiting for since they were announced that are available on the Two but never made it to the One (Guardian Space Sense, finding out the new Wireless Bridge only lists the Two as compatible, etc), and now finding out that games that used to be compatible with the One are now no longer (found this one out when I tried to buy Les Mills when I had a 30 percent off coupon).

I can still use the Quest One… for now. And budget being what it is I don’t anticipate replacing it until the Three comes out–worst case scenario this would at least let me compare specs before deciding which model is best for me. But thanks to these discoveries there’s now the underlying paranoia that at some point games I’ve already bought may quit working due to updates, and more to the point, quit working before I can afford to buy a new headset. While they are tied to my account and would presumably be accessible as soon as I can manage such an upgrade, such a change would still mean temporarily losing access to content I’ve paid for due to changes on FaceBook’s end rather than due to, say, my lack of floorspace; thank goodness none of these involve pay-for subscriptions.

In other news I’ve heard that Sony has finally announced a timeframe for their new VR system. I keep saying “budget being what it is” I don’t expect to get a PS5 (assuming availability) until that’s released, but the expected date of February next year is so soon, before tax refunds come in, that I don’t know that I’ll even be trying to get it then… especially not since the VR system alone costs almost as much as the console. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll get lucky and they’ll release a bundle of console + VR that’s slightly cheaper than buying the two separately. (Did they ever do that for the 4? I don’t remember.)

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Random Food Experiments: Almond Flour Pancakes with Berry Dressing

(Disclaimer: Amazon Affiliate links included where possible and I deem them relevant. I’ll earn a small commission, as described in my privacy policy from eligible purchases made through these links.)


Finally got around to trying another recipe from my Pesco-Mediterranean cookbook and the results were… not pretty.

This time I went with the “variation of food I’m familiar with,” being pancakes as mentioned in the title but made with almond flour and a berry-based syrup instead of white flour and the fake maple stuff we usually buy.


None of it turned out anything like what I was expecting, for a variety of reasons.

For potentially environmental ones (I’m in Michigan and relatively near the lakeshore, for however much difference that makes), the pancake batter was entirely too thick: if I make it again I may need more water than what the book calls for, or I may just resort to tossing it all into a waffle maker instead of trying to do “pancakes” at all. In any case, when doing the recipe as written there was no way I could measure out two tablespoons of batter per pancake, so I considered myself lucky to scrape it out into six pancakes when the recipe expected you to make eight.


Edit to add, since I’m apparently not at a high enough altitude for any of that to matter according to Google, there’s also this technique for measuring flour that I came across several hours after writing this post:

The bag I’d used was too small to just scoop the flour right out so I’m pretty sure I did something like the video recommends for the measuring step, but I don’t believe I’d “fluffed” it ahead of time so it’s quite likely that it was packed enough that I’d used too much without realizing. (I’ll have to remember this step when making scones, as well; I can never get the dry ingredients to mix in properly with the wet without adding too much liquid and ending up with a sticky mess that, again, I’m lucky to scrape out of the bowl well enough to manage a fraction of the alleged servings.)

End edit.


For “personal mistake”/”technical errors” reasons, the first batch of pancakes simply took forever to cook. By which I mean I went the recommended five minutes, then another five, then started on a third group of five, and still the bottoms had not cooked enough for me to flip the things without the entire batch falling to pieces. Not sure if I’d used too much oil (I’d added extra to accommodate the size of the skillet) or if the burner wasn’t heating properly (mom had had it checked due to problems a few weeks previously) but I ended up switching burners and they finally cooked… but not before I’d already made a mess.

This WAS four pancakes before I tried to flip them.

Tasted good, though… the parts of them that I didn’t burn, that is. The three that didn’t completely fall apart (one, miraculously, from this batch, and the two in the second batch which cooked without any problems) got put away as leftovers while my dinner consisted of the crumbs of the experiment.

The syrup, I’m not so sure about. While the pancake batter might have benefited from more water, the syrup looked like it could’ve done with less. The recipe tells you to use more water if it ends up being too thick, but it seems to me that all I even made was vaguely strawberry-flavored water with occasional lumps of actual strawberry in it. And I’m already not a fan of flavored water. This after I added more strawberries to accommodate the “you can’t really measure out a cup because they’re too solid and weirdly shaped to measure volume” issue.

In addition to the not-syrupy texture, a mixture of berries as the book recommends might have tasted better than one type, but there aren’t many other berries I like to begin with (though I think I’d do better with a bowl of fresh and skip the syrup entirely) and we had a ton of them in the freezer from one of my parents’ trips to the food truck, so I’d figured that was my best bet for a first try.


Oh, I did one single ingredient substitution. Rather than buy a lemon for the express purpose of zesting and juicing it, I decided that the oranges in my fridge were getting old and needed to be used up, so I zested and juiced (or attempted to 😉 ) one of them.

As small as they were (being Mandarin or a similar breed), I probably should’ve used two.


And on the not-healthy-food side of things, I still have plenty of almond flour left for whenever I get around to trying to make scones with it. Been meaning to try that for over a year now.


Suggested products in use:

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Non Scale Victories

After dropping a pants size in six months last year, and then doing it again six months later, I was starting to get a little frustrated at not seeing any change this year.

I mean, the technical errors and need to declutter (not to mention procrastination as neither of those have prevented me from exercising, just exercising in my room and on camera) have certainly interfered with the process, but I’ve still been getting more exercise than what I normally do.


But now, finally, after spending most of the year wearing 34 waist (US men’s sizes) pants at work… as of yesterday I tried putting on my 33 waistline pants and they fit. Not only did they fit but they were comfortably loose. Like “I’m not ready to buy smaller” (these things are expensive) “but that time will come” loose.

I’ll still be hanging onto one of the 34 waistline pairs, just in case–the other got tossed into the pile of things to be donated as (the other reason I was hoping to lose enough weight to change them out) my wallet and phone have finally put enough pressure on the pockets as to wear a hole straight through, as in I can stick my hand in one pocket and stick a finger out into the outside world. The one I’m keeping doesn’t look so bad as that but it’s a question of whether it will last long enough for me to be confident that I won’t need that size anymore.

Casual jeans, at least, are much cheaper to replace. And take up less space in my closet for some reason.


As a more scale-oriented victory, my doctor says I’m losing weight at a healthy rate. This in response to my concern that I might be undereating due to poor appetite. Like “adding a protein pack to my lunch at work to make sure I’m eating something” poor appetite.


I’ve also finished May 2020 of the Unus Annus (yes I’m cheating) playlist and started into June. Just another week or two according to various sources and I should be back into the content where the lockdown has been lifted. So there’s that little bit more deleted from my computer for some digital decluttering.

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Random Food Experiments: Crostini with Smoked Trout, and Homemade Vinaigrette

(Disclaimer: Amazon Affiliate links included where possible and I deem them relevant. I’ll earn a small commission, as described in my privacy policy from eligible purchases made through these links.)


Disclaimer: I have no intentions of turning this into a food blog. Not even a healthy food blog. I simply don’t have the cooking know-how or inclination, and I’m absolutely terrible at planning meals so I rarely cook anything (besides, say, several helpings of roast chicken) that requires making it far in advance or deliberately intending to have leftovers.

Heck, it isn’t even supposed to be a “fitness” blog–all that had the ulterior motive of embedding my YouTube videos for extra views, exploring the creative process as I (theoretically) learned more about how to actually make decent videos, and, thanks to the blog’s intended purpose of book and product reviews… link to some of the gear I used or games I played in the hopes of selling some things through affiliate links. And perhaps once I’ve got my room decluttered I can get back to something vaguely resembling a schedule of such posts, in addition to the actual “book reviews” that I just plain keep procrastinating on and don’t actually require decluttering before I can properly tackle them.


But speaking of product reviews, there are a couple of foodie products I’d like to rummage up that are related to my oh-so-slow attempts to eat healthier.

One is a Pesco-Mediterranean cookbook, and the other is the AeroGarden brand vinaigrette maker.


The first one isn’t a cookbook per se, it’s a “28 day meal plan,” but as specialized diets have a tendency to not be budget friendly I’m simply not doing that. For me, it’s a way to find interesting recipes to try to change up what I’m eating now and then for a gradual improvement, not a permanent lifestyle change.

With that, I started out by selecting two specific recipes I wanted to try: one, the Crostini in the post title, that I reasoned would be the easiest to make, and the other, a pancake recipe, would be most similar (albeit with healthier ingredients) to foods I’m already familiar with.

So far of the two I’ve only tried the Crostini, and for all that the recipe was easy, there were… challenges involved.

See, as little experience as I have I’m moderately sure there’s some cardinal rule about not (over)experimenting with recipes until you know how the recipe as written will turn out, but as mentioned previously, some recipes as written are not exactly budget friendly. Not to mention forgetfulness or simple unavailability of ingredients can play a role. Case in point, when I went to buy groceries, I factored in what we normally keep in the house and reasoned that I only needed the French bread, smoked trout, and cream to make this one work and added those to my list of things to buy… but had not factored in how the cooking would be done and had bought single-serving French baguettes, thinking I’d just slice them in half without ever realizing that would interfere with the instruction to “toast both sides.” Likewise with forgetfulness, I had not looked to see if we were out of anything we “normally keep in the house” and had ended up using avocado oil and a garlic and herb blend in lieu of returning to the store for the olive oil and onion powder the recipe called for. As for overall lack of ingredients? I wasn’t driving the distance it would take to get somewhere that sells cream fraiche, so I chose cream cheese (whipped for ease of spreading) from a list of recommended substitutes on the grounds that I’d have more use for it outside of such experiments than any of the other suggestions.

Also I opted to try it with smoked salmon in addition to the recommended smoked trout, and the next night I finished off the leftovers with a fried egg on top. The only thing I didn’t like was the tendency for everything to fall off the toast (even before I added the egg), so that’s something else to experiment with.


While I did like the result with the avocado oil, it is more expensive than olive so I prefer reserving it for when I intend to use it and not as a substitute.

As such, forewarned by this incident, I bought more olive oil in preparation to make those pancakes (as well as almond flour as the only required ingredient we don’t normally have around). Now I just need to see what I’ve got for frozen fruit… and double check the other things we “normally keep in the house.”


But that is not the only recent experiment in my ongoing quest to improve my diet.

As mentioned above, I also invested in the AeroGarden brand Vinaigrette maker. Basically you’re looking at a glorified food processor and salad dressing serving bottle. (I also have an AeroGarden–Sprout model due to lack of counterspace–but as I’ve only just set the thing up I required store-bought herbs to try out the vinaigrette maker).

For sake of experimenting, I opted to go with a variation on the garlic lover’s vinaigrette included in the instruction manual for my first attempt. I couldn’t find the rice wine vinegar it called for, so after reading posts suggesting that garlic and maple go well together I finally opened up the bottle of maple vinegar that’s been sitting in my pantry. I bought some fresh mint (not so fresh by the time I got around to using it, though–even in the crisping drawer that stuff wilted),

Best not to buy fresh herbs until you’re sure you’ll use them soon….

pre-peeled garlic cloves that only required me to roast them, added a touch of raw honey… and the two tablespoons of lemon juice that the written recipe called for. My mom was all concerned that the required 15 garlic cloves would make it too garlicky but the only ingredient I found intense was the lemon juice, and even then I really only noticed it on the mostly-tasteless green part of my salad.

As for reviewing purposes, I will say this thing isn’t very powerful. Probably comes with the territory of being battery powered instead of plug-in.

Battery slot is mislabeled. Took a few tries to get it working consistently.

While it can “dance” around if you’re not holding it

it took quite a bit of work to chop up even the mint, and the recipe tells you explicitly to finely chop up your garlic cloves before you add them. But if you don’t mind cutting your veggies before using this to cut your veggies, it does provide the convenience of being the food processor and serving bottle all in one.


Whether it leads to new blog posts or not, I am hoping for more successful food experiments with both of these products… and to eventually figure out the logistics of recording actual cooking videos so I can incorporate game-themed cookbooks into my gaming channel.


Suggested products in use:

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Mini-Rant: Goodreads Giveaways is officially more difficult.

They’ve announced that they were changing the layout of the book pages for some time now but I have refrained from switching over to the new mode–even switched back to classic when the option existed–for all that time.

Why? Because everything I need for the giveaways is on Classic mode, not on the new layout.

Here’s an example of two books that popped up for me to look at today:


Seeing the book in new mode:


Here, in contrast, is the actual giveaway page for another book:


Anybody else see critical details missing? Something that each one has that the other does not?

The new layout has the ability to mark an item as already being in one of my shelves (or in my case, see if it’s one of my shelves before I even enter), a detail that the giveaway lacks… but it does not give me the option to enter the giveaway.

And there is no longer an ability to switch to Classic mode… which has both details.


Goodreads help pages say you can “add an idea” to their idea pages here but there is no actual option to add an idea!

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Zombies Run bodyweight exercises

Finally, finally finished the Dragon Corps story on Zombies Run. With a slight twist off my usual method.


See, when I got home from work on Tuesday, while eating dinner and watching Strange Evidence, I found myself struggling to even keep my eyes open, more than an hour before I normally go to bed! So shower and to bed it was, no late-night exercise bout this time.

Wednesday, though, given that it was too hot to get started on Season 2 as an outdoor workout, I took advantage of having the house to myself, and instead of trying to perform the bodyweight stuff in my increasingly-Vine-cluttered bedroom

I went down to the living room and used my phone’s screen mirroring function to display the app on the TV.

At which point I was reminded that the screen mirroring function forces all audio to come over the TV with no sound to be had over headphones. Oh, well, one less thing to sweat into for the session.


And since I’ve been forgetting to upload “progress reports” of the different stories, here we have Abel’s Buccaneers and Dragon Corps alike, completed in April and June:

Here’s hoping I can persuade myself to get back to the episodes that track actual progress soon. 😉

Oh, speaking of the heat and getting started on Season 2, I cheated on Radio Abel for season 1. At some point I wanted to be able to just finish the story, but I’d put it off for so long that the weather was deterring me from going outside and finishing it that way. So what did I do? I set the app to play a new radio clip every two minutes, connected my phone to my car, and listed to the rest of radio mode while running errands in one day. Then deleted the resulting “run” from my progress for obvious reasons. (On the plus side this did confirm a question I had: you can in fact unlock new radio clips solely through playing Radio Abel; unlocking them via the regular missions–which at this point would require repeating the missions–is not necessary.)


And then, following on the “I had the house to myself” bit, I made dinner for one on Wednesday, in the form of making enough burgers to last me almost until the Fourth of July. I just tossed them in my Instant Pot toaster oven model, only to discover the hard way that when the instructions tell you to flip them when they turn brown, that means you need to actually watch them and not trust the timer to warn you while you browse the internet (IP’s broiler function doesn’t go off halfway through for flipping like some of the other settings do).

They came out looking a bit like charcoal but were still surprisingly juicy and tasty… even after nuking them in the microwave as leftovers.

But as these, using wagyu beef (at $6 and change for a pound of meat, they’re still cheaper than going to Burger King! 😉 ), were less “juicy”–by which I mean greasy–than the turkey burgers my mom usually makes, I plan to make them again the Fourth to see how much of that difference is the type of meat and how much is me oopsing the job.


And finally I did get that video uploaded of a thunderstorm.

The fact that this came from local weather instead of downloaded stock sound makes for some limitations, but maybe, heat/AC depending, some day soon I’ll get one with the window open?

Also made another attempt at tackling the backlog of the “Goodreads Giveaways book reveal” videos… there are a lot of those on my computer from over the years.

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Lindsey Stirling is on Synth Riders! And more decluttering

Not exactly an up-to-date announcement for most of you I’m sure, but I have, for the first time ever, bought an entire music pack for one of my VR rhythm games because Lindsey Stirling is just that amazing.

One of these days I need to set up a playlist (of sorts–Synth Riders natively supports the option but Beat Saber doesn’t) to determine the order in which I play different songs since I’m using this for fitness. I’ve noticed many times that even on the same difficulty level some songs require considerably more activity than others. Shadows, for instance, is much more of a workout versus First Light having more the the feel of a warmup or cooldown. Meanwhile Shatter Me is just plain stuck in my head.

Granted that does assume that the difference in difficulty from one song to the next will stay the same as I improve enough to increase the actual built-in difficulty levels, but only time will tell. Bear in mind my fitness level is still such where easy mode has my heart rate reaching the higher tiers for most of the workout in these particular games.


In other news, not trying to turn my hodgepodge of a main channel into more of one, but I have been musing on and off lately about ASMR videos. Specifically, what, from the perspective of video niches, is a meaningful difference between ASMR and nature sounds videos? Because I have to say, if we’re discussing ASMR in terms of the physiological response to different sounds, nature sounds (like thunderstorms) are what do it for me, but as a niche I tend to see people doing more hands-on things.

In any case, I did an experiment with my GoPro recording a thunderstorm passing overhead a few nights ago so that’s getting added to the backlog whether I end up calling it ASMR or not. Obviously if I’m relying on my real-world environment instead of downloading sound effects my ability to produce such videos will be limited to what’s going on outside, but it’s something I’d be interested in trying… depending on how well the camera picked up the sound. (And if I do it again maybe I’ll try opening the window next time–while there was no actual plan to get video footage out of the deal it would’ve been nice in hindsight if I could’ve gotten that without seeing the camera blinking in its own reflection, plus there’s the more critical detail of parking it behind a curtain with no airflow causing it to overheat and shut off three times before the storm had ended, whereas I was hoping to get a recording that lasted as long as the battery did.)


And finally got some of that decluttering done. I have, courtesy of Vine, a new VR stand I like (I’d like it more if it was charging friendly but I digress) so my old one got tossed into the pile of things to be donated, my person humidifier got relocated from my bedroom to the much larger living room (turns out that the smoke detector can’t tell the difference between all of that mist the thing puts out and, ya know, smoke) so my “personal air conditioner” that I bought to help keep me cool while exercising got moved to the shelf unit by my bed, so now the dresser is a titch less cluttered…..

I finally, finally filed away the assorted user manuals that have been piling up on top of my desk. The desk has not been “cleared off” in the process, I’m afraid, but I did use that space to relocate some mugs full of pens and bookmarks and such that were making the area around the aforementioned VR stand very cluttered.

And on the fitness front, I made the executive decision to donate that sit-up machine I’d bought solely for the purpose of using with Zombies Run bodyweight exercises, on account of how much dust it was accumulating (achoo!) from being shoved under my bed for space-saving reasons…. only to realize that the very next episode of the Dragon Rider training had me doing crunches. Oof.

Still plenty of decluttering to go if I’m ever going to get rid of that extra desk and reorganize my room for floorspace, but it’s a start.

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Yet more Procrastinating and Decluttering.

This time with “Decluttering” higher on the excuses list, I swear!

Also with a small side of “I need to exercise self-control so I won’t have so much decluttering to do in the first place.”


See, I’ve mentioned in a previous post somewhere that I’ve been invited to join Amazon Vine. And while I haven’t had a whole lot of products that would be relevant to my website, I’ve encountered a lot of products I’m interested in requesting and reviewing, period. (Four different brands of freezable migraine hats, urgh. Someone cure the disorder already! 😓)

And while some of these “a lot of products” are fairly small, to the point that “decluttering” is mostly an organizational problem, some of them are quite sizeable. Like, until recently maybe a quarter of my available floorspace was taken up with a combination of three items. Not “three boxes that have several things shipped in them,” three items, period. (Well, four if we want to be technical but only because one of those products came as a set of two.) Not exactly conducive to the moving around that is necessary for doing any of my fitness games, and even less conducive to playing virtual reality when my ability to avoid such obstacles is limited by how precisely I can configure my guardian boundary and still convince it I have enough space to play. Granted, I could move back into the living room–and honestly should just for the exercise–but I’ve come up with a set-up I like from the recording side of things so I’d like to try to stick with that for consistency’s sake.


In the meantime I really ought to get back to work on non-fitness/VR stuff. The booktubing, the motorcycle videos, the to-be-edited backlog in general…. Or Zombies Run, for that matter. And of course my writing. I’m (mostly) sure I was doing a fairly good job at keeping up with my projects until something came along to make me lose my momentum (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it)–when my phone started acting up I think three years ago so I couldn’t trust it to work on drafts during my lunch breaks (for writing) and when I was without a consistently working computer for two months almost five years ago (for YouTube). Inertia’s a bitch but I need to get moving and get that momentum back.


In quasi-related news, I’ve taken more pictures of stuff to get rid of and posted to eBay. I still have more things that need posting (including way the hell too many Beanie Babies that I’m far less confident are rare enough to “pay off my student loans with” than my parents are), but again, purely for organizational reasons, I probably don’t want to list too much more until I’ve sold some of what’s up there now. Anyone care to help me get that little bit closer to decluttering and getting out of debt? 😉

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*sigh* So much for Supernatural

I signed up for Supernatural VR on Monday. (April 18. Thanks to procrastination I never got around to posting this until the following week.)

Due to forgetting to actually download it until late at night, I didn’t try it until Tuesday… when I subsequently made the decision to cancel my subscription.


Why cancel? Not because I didn’t like the app or the workouts or the fact that it costs as much as it does. Nope, I cancelled because you can’t use it without an internet connection (which is to be expected–without the ability to add a memory card to the Quest something like this is bound to use up all of your storage sooner or later) and my internet just isn’t up to the task.

Oh, the normal wifi’s decent. Decent enough to livestream on Twitter, anyway (even if I do need to bite the bullet and invest in a better router one of these days), so I assume decent enough for this game.

No, the problem is that, shocking as it seems to be for a lot of companies (including our ISP), but we don’t leave everything running when we’re not using it. The modem/router stays shut off (and in nasty weather unplugged) at night when we’re sleeping. I wants apps that I can use without having to run back and forth between my room just to turn the internet on for a workout and off again when I’m done, especially when I’m using it late at night and am trying not to disturb anyone else in the house… and while I can take forever and a day downloading the app by using my phone as a mobile hotspot, the connection just isn’t enough for anything to actually load once the app is available.


Even if I was willing to run back and forth to opposite sides of the house so late at night, there’s also that “nasty weather” comment I made. One of the benefits of using the Quest is the ability, charged battery depending, to play games without needing anything connected to a potentially vulnerable power source, and “lifetime warranties” on surge protectors just aren’t good enough when you’re talking about the potential for fried storage. So the only games I can consistently play during questionable weather are the offline varieties.


So what I ended up doing instead was playing more Beat Saber, sansprogressively increasing difficulty” for short sessions each night. Played on Easy mode, the mapping was not only gentle on my sciatica, some of those songs actually worked really well to give me a decent stretch in the process.


Now I just need to… get back to doing on the regular and stop procrastinating. Not to mention start playing some of my non-fitness VR games for recording purposes.

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Decluttering and Procrastination

(Disclaimer: Amazon Affiliate links included where possible and I deem them relevant. I’ll earn a small commission, as described in my privacy policy from eligible purchases made through these links.)


Thanks to Amazon Vine I’m starting to fill my room with boxes again, which kind of makes it hard to exercise in there. 😅 Hopefully my dad can help me install that storage unit into my motorcycle soon, because that’ll get rid of the largest box.


But that’s only a small part of why I haven’t uploaded much recently. The rest? You guessed it, I am terrible at procrastinating. (Or am I too good at it?) Doesn’t bode well for my plans for Twitch, given their “only show the video for two weeks” system for non-affiliates.


I did (finally) get the April “monthly” fitness test via Wii Fit uploaded:

As well as finally starting to make proper thumbnails so I can start deleting any excess footage from my computer that I don’t intend to use.

Sadly weight gain is involved, not just evidenced by the game data but also by the fact that my 34 waist work pants are starting to get snug on me. On the flip side, I just started wearing a pair that I haven’t been wearing since I first bought them so it’s hard to say how much is “I gained inches again” and how much is “I stretched the other pair out from use and I haven’t worn this pair yet.”


New level of Ring Fit Adventure, too, finally crossing that river via one of Ring’s special abilities:


No other “official” workouts (Zombies Run should be in there but it took me forever to get around to finishing the Abel Buccaneers storyline and I keep forgetting to upload the run graphics) to be had here, but I do have this:

My first efforts at showing off just how bad I am at using a weighted “hula hoop,” courtesy of Amazon Vine.

Now, the actual review is already posted to Amazon (with this same video attached) but for something of a recap: I’m well aware that I’m wearing this thing higher on my body than I’m supposed to, but the “thinner” space between spare tire and muffin top was simply too narrow to make it fit properly. The result is that, despite wearing a 34-inch waist and this fitting up to a 47 inch waist (according to their product page–when I took a tape measure to it I only got 39 after installing all of the included links so I have no idea how they measured it) I could barely fasten it.

It is also nowhere near the “whisper quiet” that the product page claims it to be, as you can tell from the above video.

But for all my talk about decluttering, it takes up little enough space when not in use, and if I look at using it in terms of “practicing to increase how many times I can spin the weight” instead of “using it x minutes per day” I can easily fit it into any other workout routine without taking much time away from my other options. And for that reason alone it’s worth keeping as part of my regular workout… whatever “regular workout” means when the context is me. Perhaps, if I use it often enough, I’ll eventually get to a point where my spare tire doesn’t interfere with using it properly and it will fit the way it’s supposed to….


And finally, after cancelling my Netflix subscription I’ve hemmed and hawed about taking on something else. There are plenty of VR fitness and fitness-adjacent games I’m interested in that require subscriptions–far too many that require subscriptions, actually, to make the decision easy–but one I keep coming back to is, of course the most expensive one I’ve found, Supernatural.

And my interest strengthened when I saw one of the coaches.

Nope, not your “OMG so-and-so is hawt” reaction. No, one of the coaches, when she started her fitness journey, was sizeable enough to make it “OMG a weight loss tool actually thought to use a model that the customers can relate to!” (Seriously, I know anyone can have body image problems, but it feels like there are way too many “weight loss” tools that only use models to show what you’d probably want to look like and never show who would need the product in the first place.) On the strength of that reaction alone I felt like I should support the app, but still I hesitated.

And then recently I had a sciatica flair-up. Then the reaction was like “Okay, time to see what Supernatural has available for stretches!” (Haven’t found a lot of Yoga in VR which is what I was really looking for.) And I signed up.

Now the main question is whether to include it on my channel as a random workout (and how) considering they allegedly come out with new content every single day.

Also I ordered Switch Sports, learned that there is supposed to be aesthetic gear that’s only available to online members, caved, and signed up for that as well. That one unfortunately requires competing with other players and “buying” the items with points earned in the process so I’ll have to try it out to see if it’s worth continuing to subscribe….


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