About

What is The Monthly Challenge?

The Monthly Challenge is was a tool to help people attempt to try new things. It has been inactive for quite some time, but it remains open and usable at the moment.

When it was still alive & kicking, here's how it worked...

Good fight, Good night

After a month of playing poker, I didn't quite increase my bankroll by 50%. In fact, my bankroll shrunk. Not by 50%, but by enough that I think I'll be taking a break from gambling for a while :-).

But that's not my only announcement. I'll also be taking a break from the monthly challenge for a while. It's been over a year of some fun (and some not-so-fun) challenges, but at the moment, I need to focus my energies elsewhere. I'm pretty sure I'll start this up again at some point, but until then, I'm signing off. (Although, there is a small chance that I may try to upgrade and redesign the site just in case anybody else is still around :-p.)

Three Weeks in & I Ain't Totally Broke

So it's been about three weeks. I've only played a total of two tournaments - I cashed in one and busted out very early in the other. I've only played one live game. I've played a lot of online poker. And I'm below what I started with. Things aren't going great, but I'm heading to the casino tonight and I'm confident they'll get better.

I had been doing pretty well (not on track to hit the +50% bankroll mark, but still pretty well) up until a the past few nights where I've just gotten wrecked at some of the online tables. I read an article a while ago that said if you're playing multiple tables online, your bankroll should be at least 25 buy-ins, and now I can see why. It's not common to get unlucky 3, 4, or even 5 times in a row, but it does happen. And if you're bringing too much of your bankroll to the table, you'll go go broke when that bad luck streak comes.

So let's hope I can head down the the Bike tonight and get back on the plus side.

One Week in & I Ain't Broke

It's been one week since this challenge officially began, and I'm doing OK. Last week I played one tournament (and placed 7 out of 252) and played in one live game at the Bicycle Casino. I forgot how terribly people play at LA casinos = it's insane. If you play online poker and think people make stupid moves there, just try going to the Bicycle or Commerce. I've played a few times in Vegas and the quality of players hasn't been great (probably about the same as online), but almost half of the players I've seen in LA will literally win $100+ on hand, then lose it all back the next. Over and over and over again. The number of terrible suckouts I see (and sometimes lose to) is absurdly high.

Anyways, I missed one tournament last week, but I'm up overall. I'm not even close to being on pace to grow my bankroll by 50% by the end of the month. Plust, this weekend I'm going to Boston so I'll probably lag behind a little bit more - but I'll try to play a few tournaments (and maybe even head down to the casino or find a home game) during the week before I head out.

7 out of 252

 Remember when I said that I wasn't good at tournaments? I had forgotten that I won the last tournament I played (in January) and turned $40 into over $400. And today, instead of going to the gym I decided to play a tournament online. I was en route to turn $10 into over $600. But, I managed to blow a huge lead at the final table and finished in 7th place out of 252 players. But I still turned $10 into about $80, which is better than turning it into $0.

Day 1 to a healthier smile :)

So, I have brushed my teeth twice today, but no flossing. I'm thinking that maybe I should not drink so much soda to help out. Maybe...

The Marine Corps Fitness Test

I took the Marine Corps Fitness Test today. I didn't do as well as I was hoping (I have apparently lost all of my upper body strength), but I still managed to rank in the 1st class. Not too shabby (considering I'm an old fart in my age group), but there's still room for improvement. I ended up doing 12 pullups (60 points), way more than 100 crunches (100 points), and finished the 3-mile run in 21:15 (80 points) for a total score of 240.

Class Age 17-26 Age 27-39 Age 40-45 Age 46+
1st 225 200 175 150
2nd 175 150 125 100
3rd 135 110 88 65

 

Massively, Manly Update

It's been a while since I've posted on here, and it's been even longer since I've accomplished something from the challenge list. I've been absolutely swamped with work and training for a half-marathon (and possibly full marathon.) But just for kicks, here's a summary of erverything I haven't done.

Day 18: Find Your N.U.T.s

N.U.T.s are your Non-negotiable, Unalterable Terms. N.U.T.s are the things you’re committed to, the things that matter more than anything else: your kids, your career, your primary relationships, yourself, your purpose, your spiritual practice, your hobbies, your integrity, your morals and your psychological well-being.

N.U.T.s are the boundaries that define you as man, those things which, if repeatedly compromised, will gradually—but assuredly—turn you into a pissed-off, resentful man who will likely blame others—especially your wife—for your unhappiness.

[...]

Some men find their N.U.T.s over time, while others sit down and make a list. Either way, here are some of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself:

  • What’s most important to me in life?
  • Are there activities I used to do for fun that I no longer do? Is someone interfering and am I resentful because of it?
  • Are there valuable friendships with men I’ve let slip away?
  • Where am I currently having problems (unhappy, frustrated, sad, angry, resentful) in my life, and did compromising myself—and what’s important to me—contribute to my feelings and/or the situation?
  • What dreams have I abandoned?
  • If I’m going to be the man I want to be, what will I have to do differently?

This is a bit more complicated than it sounds...I have some ideas, but it's going to take a while to get a solid list.

Day 19: Schedule a Physical Exam

The manly man is a healthy man. So today’s task is to call your doctor and schedule an appointment for a full physical.

I actually cancelled two doctors' appointments earlier this month. Not because I don't think I need them, but because the doctors were kind of terrible. So not only do I need to schedule a physical, but now I need to find a new GP and schedule a physical...It's on the "to do" list.

Day 20: Perform Service

Today’s task: Commit to do some service. You obviously don’t have to do the service in the next 24 hours. Your task is simply to find a project or opportunity you’d like to volunteer for and sign up if you can.

I will sign up to volunteer for some service this week.

Day 21: Write Your Own Eulogy

Today’s task: Write you own eulogy. Confront your mortality and really give some thought about how you want to be remembered. You don’t have to follow the guidelines or example given here. Be as creative as you want.

Haven't started on this one yet...

Day 22: Improve Your Posture

I've been trying to improve my posture for the past few days now, but it's really hard to realize when you're slumping down or slouching over. I may have to find some string and try that button-to-belt trick listed at the bottom of the TAoM post.

Day 23: Learn a Manual Skill

Today, you are going to pick a manual skill you’ve always wanted to learn, and take the first steps towards mastering it [...] Obviously, you can’t learn these skills in a single day. This task simply requires that you take a least one step towards learning a new manual skill.

After 5 months of arduous training on my bicycle, I've picked up enough knowledge to be able to repair the basics while on the road. As a kid, I used to take apart and reassemble bicycles all the time, but never really knew exactly how things worked. To get a bit more of a technical understanding of how everything works (and breaks) I signed up for a free class on bicycle maintenance through my company. There are also clinics at Performance Bicycle every week or so which I may also stop by.

Day 24: Play!

Manning up doesn’t mean turning into a robotic stiff. You should also maintain some of your boyish spirit. You need to make room in your life for things that you don’t have to do, but that you simply do because it gives you pleasure. So today you have to spend at least 30 minutes in pure play.

Dodgeball!

Day 25: Start a Debt Reduction Plan

We’re not going to pay off our debt overnight, but we can at least get started. Today’s task is to sit down and establish a debt reduction plan

Got no debt? Don't need no plan.

Day 26: Take the Marine Corps Fitness Test

Take an hour after work today and do the Marine Corps Fitness Test. No matter what kind of shape you’re in, it will help you know how fit you are, give you a benchmark to base future progression and regression on, and grant you either some motivation to improve or a sense of satisfaction that you’re ready for action.

Somehow, I was convinced that it would be a good idea to wake up Sunday morning and run 8 miles at 6 AM. Thankfully, the run got delayed until about 7AM, but I was still a bit tired. So, the Marine Corps Fitness will be done tomorrow. I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to score in the high 200s.

Day 27: Start a Book

I'll restart Hunter Thompson's Hell's Angels

Day 28: Write a Love Letter

When the time comes, maybe I'll revisit this one.

Day 29: Conquer a Fear

I'm terrified of birds. Anybody have a pet parrot? If I can let a bird sit on my shoulder, I'd consider that a very large step.

Day 30: Get a Straight Razor Shave

After I get a massage, I will pamper myself with a straight razor shave.


Final Status

Challenge Status
Not Started In Progress Completed
Day 1: Define Your Core Values      X
Day 2: Shine Your Shoes      X
Day 3: Find a Mentor    X  
Day 4: Increase Your Testosterone      X
Day 5: Cultivate Your Gratitude    X  
Day 6: Update Your Resume    X  
Day 7: Reconnect with an Old Friend      X
Day 8: Start a Journal      X
Day 9: Take a Woman on a Date      X
Day 10: Memorize “If”  X    
Day 11: Give Yourself a Testicular Exam      X
Day 12: Create Your Bucket List    X  
Day 13: Declutter Your Life    X  
Day 14: Write a Letter to Your Father    X  
Day 15: Make a Meal      X
Day 16: Create a Budget    X  
Day 17: Talk to 3 Strangers      X
Day 18: Find Your N.U.T.s    X  
Day 19: Schedule a Physical Exam    X  
Day 20: Perform Service    X  
Day 21: Write Your Own Eulogy  X    
Day 22: Improve Your Posture      X
Day 23: Learn a Manual Skill      X
Day 24: Play!      X
Day 25: Start a Debt Reduction Plan      X
Day 26: Take the Marine Corps Fitness Test      X
Day 27: Start a Book    X  
Day 28: Write a Love Letter  X    
Day 29: Conquer a Fear  X    
Day 30: Get a Straight Razor Shave  X    

Excuses are not Reasons

Why haven't I done anything "manly" for the past few days? I've been busy at work, I was too hung over, I was tired, my dog ate my computer... These are all decent excuses, but they're not good reasons. I've been slacking the "become a better man" challenge.

I'm kind of bummed because I totally missed today's challenge, which I need badly: Improve your Posture. I promise I'll work on these tomorrow...

Status Update

Challenge Status
Not Started In Progress Completed
Day 1: Define Your Core Values      X
Day 2: Shine Your Shoes      X
Day 3: Find a Mentor    X  
Day 4: Increase Your Testosterone      X
Day 5: Cultivate Your Gratitude    X  
Day 6: Update Your Resume    X  
Day 7: Reconnect with an Old Friend      X
Day 8: Start a Journal      X
Day 9: Take a Woman on a Date      X
Day 10: Memorize “If”  X    
Day 11: Give Yourself a Testicular Exam      X
Day 12: Create Your Bucket List    X  
Day 13: Declutter Your Life    X  
Day 14: Write a Letter to Your Father    X  
Day 15: Make a Meal      X
Day 16: Create a Budget    X  
Day 17: Talk to 3 Strangers      X
Day 18: Find Your N.U.T.s  X    
Day 19: Schedule a Physical Exam  X    
Day 20: Perform Service  X    
Day 21: Write Your Own Eulogy  X    
Day 22: Improve Your Posture  X    
Day 23: Learn a Manual Skill  X    
Day 24: Play!  X    
Day 25: Start a Debt Reduction Plan  X    
Day 26: Take the Marine Corps Fitness Test  X    
Day 27: Start a Book  X    
Day 28: Write a Love Letter  X    
Day 29: Conquer a Fear  X    
Day 30: Get a Straight Razor Shave  X    

fake cleaning & hanging frames

last weekend my roommate and i had a house warming party. since people were going to be in our house, in my room, i finished cleaning and made everything perfect.

totally kidding. you can't see inside my closet. let me tell you, i turned into a middle school boy and just shoved everything in there. my roommate and our friend (who was also once my roommate) were horrified at how clean it looked and how it was impossible that i lived there. they both breathed a sigh of relief once i opened up my closet door.

 

tonight i hung up a bunch of pictures on my wall. and i had the foresight to take pictures before and after. and after. and after. and...

Photobucket