Thoughts from a Cylon

Random thoughts on everything from technology to video games to politics to world events. But probably mostly the first two.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thoughts on Completing a Possibly Impossible Challenge or Eating Healthy for an Entire Month

Yes! I'm finally back! Do not fear, dear reader(s?), for I did not forget about you...much.  After that super serious post last time that was so serious that it forced me into a minor retirement from blogging, I decided to return with a much easier but much scarier subject, healthy eating.

For those of you who know me, you know that my eating habits are less than stellar.  My diet consists of junk food, very little healthy food, and more junk food.  The reason I stay at a normal weight is thanks to my awesome metabolism and a regular exercise schedule.  However, let's just say that eating all that junk food makes me feel like crap, and not just physically.  I feel bad mentally after I eat a lot of junk food, which leads me to over exercise to compensate and feel even worse then next day.

SO! I have decided to take it upon myself to declare March to be Healthy Eating Month for Chris, in which I will give up almost all junk food (if I go cold turkey, the side effects may be dangerous) and eat healthily for the month.  As the title suggest, this may be a possibly impossible challenge, although it is one I intend to take head on.  Right now, I know those of you who know me are striking this pose and likely holding this sign:
And you wouldn't be wrong to think so.  I have a hatred of vegetables, and have had a salad exactly once in my life, but this month I intend to change that.  How so, you may ask (if you didn't, I just asked it for you)?

I've made a list of how I intend to change my diet, what I will give up, what junk food I will replace with healthy food, ect. (I'll likely add to this list as more good (bad?) ideas come to mind.)
  1. Give up fast food (girlfriend related trips to restaurants may not apply)
  2. For supper, instead of eating pizza subs or breaded chicken patties, I will have such meals as fried chicken breast with salad/chicken on a salad, and other healthy alternatives.
  3. Snacking on fruit instead of cereal at night/eating a healthier cereal instead of Frosted Flakes, etc.
  4. Waking up early enough to eat a breakfast of oatmeal (not the instant kind).
  5. At lunch and dinner, eat something like pretzels instead of cheese curls/chips.
  6. Cut down on the amount of food I eat, as I can eat quite a bit.
  7. This is more of a lifestyle change, but I intend to try to go to bed earlier/wake up earlier.
  8. Keep up running 3 times a week, possibly add a fourth day of running on the weekend.
If, after looking at that list, you think, "Wow, you have the diet of a 5 year old boy", congratulations, you are my girlfriend.  I intend to keep up this eating/lifestyle change throughout March, and see how I feel at the end of the month.  If the month isn't too hard, and I feel a whole lot better, I'll keep it up for the foreseeable future.  I'm currently 6'6" and weigh 215, so I intend to weigh myself at the start and at the end, just to see what effect eating healthy may have on my body. 

This will be extremely hard, but the thought of looking and feeling much better at the end of this month is enough to help me stay on track.

Look forward to future blog posts during March in which I name my favorite junk foods and possibly eat keys from my keyboard in the delusional state that they are candy.  Wish me luck! (not that I end up delusional and try to eat my keyboard)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thoughts on the European Debt Crisis, Greece, and the Fate of the Euro

I decided to start this blog off on a light subject, so naturally I chose the European Debt Crisis.  For those of you who don't know what that is, it's the problems that the European Union is having primarily with Greece's massive debt, along with other countries that are in financial trouble, including Portugal, Spain, and Italy.

Greece is the country that is in the worst shape, hence the majority of the press it receives.  Basically, Greece's government is completely broke and has had to receive multiple bailouts from the other countries in the European Union, mainly Germany and France.  When I say bailout, I'm not talking about a couple million Euros, Greece received in May of 2010 110 billion Euros, with another 109 billion on the way.  The problem with this, Greece's debt exceeds 340 billion Euros, and it has no way to pay back the money it has been receiving.  At the moment, investors (mostly banks) are being told not to expect repayment on up to 50% of the money they are currently lending out.  The fear, which is growing, is that Greece will end up defaulting on its debt payments and not be able to pay back the money they have received.

So what would happen if Greece were to default? From this BBC News article, "Europe's banks are big holders of Greek debt, with perhaps $50bn-$60bn outstanding. An "orderly" default could mean a substantial part of this debt being rescheduled so that repayments are pushed back decades. A "disorderly" default could mean much of this debt not being repaid - ever." Greece, in order to receive these bailouts, has created even more problems at home.  In order to receive the 110 billion bailout, they agreed to austerity measures that included cutting public spending and raising public taxes.  This lead to riots throughout Greece which occurred in 2010 and 2011.

                                                        Greek Riots                    Source:

A recent pact was created by the members of the European Union to fight the debt crisis through tax and budget means, and Britain, a member of the EU, chose not to be a part of it.  This has lead to much anger towards Britain from other members of the EU.  However, Britain does not actually use the Euro, and they have long seemed to ignore the problems that have been caused by it.  This article discusses much of the anger directed towards Britain, with one German politician saying "Either they [the British] do it on their own initiative, or the EU refounds itself - without Great Britain. Switzerland is a model towards which Britain can turn itself."

As stated in the title, what does this all mean for the fate of the Euro? From here on out, this is just conjecture and personal opinion of what I think could happen.  With Greece and many more countries falling further into debt, I think it's just a matter of time until Greece has to default on their loans.  This will likely be a disorderly default, as I don't see a way that Greece will be able to pay back their debts, even with decades to do it.  This will cause many of the banks who are the holders of those loans to go bankrupt.  While there are at least 4 to 5 countries that are currently slated to use the Euro in the coming years, I think more countries will follow Britain's example and choose not to adopt the Euro, or revert back to the currency they used before the Euro.  If Greece defaults, this is going to cause many of the banks and lenders who were so anxious to loan them the money to become wary of helping out other countries in need, such as Spain and Italy.

Basically, it seems like the European Union could end up collapsing from the weight of this debt.  Speculator George Soros recently speculated that the EU could collapse, which caused the Euro to fall on the foreign exchanges.  Soros said, "Unfortunately, the European authorities had little understanding of how financial markets really work, and did everything wrong,"

Overall, it will be interesting to see what will happen to the European Union and the Euro if Greece defaults on its debt, as that seems to be what is holding everything together at the moment.  Americans should especially pay attention, as the United States is currently 15 trillion dollars in debt and seems to have no way of paying it off.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012


Hello reader (likely someone I know),

My name is Chris, and this is my blog (I feel very early 2000s by starting this. Do they even call them blogs anymore?). Anyways, I created this to type out my thoughts on things that I find interesting and hopefully I can present them in ways that you find interesting as well.

Since the title is "Introductions" I'll start off by telling you a bit about me. As I stated three lines up, my name is Chris. I'm 24 and just graduated from college last spring. I'm currently working two jobs, and hoping to find a full time job somewhat soon (if I can figure out what I want to do...that's terrible, isn't it?)

Now that we're past that boring part I can start to tell you a bit about what exact types of things this blog will be about. First off, my major hobby is video games, so I love to talk about upcoming games, games I'm currently playing, the state of the industry, etc. I also find technology to be fascinating, so I'll likely be posting about cool new products that I'm geeking out about. Another one of my big fascinations is world news and events (exciting, right?). I'm obsessed with keeping up with world news, so I have to check my cellphone at least once an hour to make sure nothing really interesting has happened, so likely when something big happens, or I read about an interesting event, I'll be posting about it here.

While I can already hear the footsteps heading for the metaphorical doorway, I ask you to bear with me and give me a chance to hopefully introduce you to something interesting. Also, as for the title of this blog, I'll be talking about that one before too much longer.