Happy 13th Birthday!

Hard to believe they grow up so fast. Today is 13 years that my web site, The 6th Floor has been online. What is even more amazing is the transformation the site has taken over all those years. Originally opened as Oswald’s 6th Floor Map Depository in support of map reviews for the Quake 2 modification, Action Quake 2. While I have all the original content archived, the Way Back Machine has no records dating back to 1999 when I was hosted at my ISP, The Loop when I lived in Redondo Beach, CA.

While I don’t remember exactly when the moved happened, I made the hosting jump to Planetquake, which worked to my advantage, allowing more gamers to be exposed to my rantings. The relationship with Action Quake 2 would last until June, 2000 when I would start looking in a different direction for The 6th Floor. Interest in Action Quake 2 was waning and new PC games, such as Quake 3, Half-Life and Unreal Tournament were the games on the horizon. I wrote a few pieces and compared some of the upcoming “mods” that were being developed using the Quake 3 engine, which could possibly replace Action Quake 2, since the development team was moving to a different game engine. Enter Urban Terror.

I was fortunate enough to start my 10 year relationship with this mod, which led to many great memories, trips, people and a hell of a lot of wasted time in my life. I don’t regret any of it. Hell, I met the girl I would marry playing Urban Terror! The 6th Floor started supplying a week poll question to the Urban Terror web site in early 2000. The relationship I had with some of the early developers, Brian, aka Preacher and Sam, dokta8 got me on the fast track and more involved with the development team and the modification.

The 6th Floor was also my base of operation when it came to ‘shoutcasting’ or providing commentary for online gaming. I aligned myself with TsN (Team Sportscast Network), followed by Radio iTG a few years later. I would be the only caster to provide coverage for Urban Terror at Clanbase. I also introduced gamers who played Medal of Honor to shoutcasting coving the MoHi (invitational league) followed by further coverage at Clanbase. I even ran my weekly 80’s show, Just Push Play off here.

Based on this story, I closed the door on my participation on the development team in 2008. Either I don’t have all those years updated, but at any point I made a quiet exit from the entire online gaming and Urban Terror scene. Since that time my has been my own. The site when stale for periods, but reemerged as my personal blog.

Gone but not completely forgotten is all the gaming related material, but more recently I have focused my efforts on using this as my journal talking about my life. Amateur radio seems to take front stage at times, as does fantasy football when the NFL season rolls around. But there is much more that I continually add to T6F. Since changing my diet (aka lifestyle) I have been promoting the success I have had in just 3 months.

If nothing else my site gives me the freedom to do whatever the hell I want to do. While I vowed I would never participate in “social networking” my site and participation existed long before Facebook, MySpace and Twitter came along. I still enjoy posting daily bits of information, relevant or not. As for the social networking aspect, I do link each post I make at Facebook for “friends.” Never once did I think I would still own my domain name and actively update The 6th Floor. I am glad I have and look forward to many more years!

Thanks to everyone who has supported my site over the years!

Exercise & Me

The results never have ceased to amaze me since changing my diet and taking my health into my hands since I don’t believe my personal physician has the best intentions for me. That based on his recommendation to supplement my “deficiency” with 50,000 IU of Vitamin D weekly. I continue to discuss my disappointment, Vitamin D, possibly changing doctors and “playing doctor” with other individuals who follow Dr. McDougall’s way of life. But why harp on that? I can control each aspect I just brought up. I have added exercise to this lifestyle change this last week.

I dusted off the copy of Power 90 I purchased from a late night infomercial back in 2003 and made it through Sweat I/II and Cardio I/II four days this week. This after breaking my red, 13 pound resistance band when performing the lawnmower exercise. Probably all the better since the 20 pound, blue band seems to answer the call. Friday was a rest day, but I was back at on Saturday, pulling off the sheets that cover the Bowflex Revolution.

While no where near the level of “expert” or even casual user, I spent time at work sifting through the the manual and looking at the different exercise routines possible. I then settled on two routines that were similar in nature after comparing 3 different work outs. The first was a 20 minute upper/lower body workout that would alternate body parts every other days.

The other 2 work outs are circuit training one listed as ‘Anaerobic/Cardiovascular’ in nature and the other as ‘True Aerobic” work out. The aerobic work out lists some of the same exercises as the anaerobic, but adds 30-60 seconds of aerobic rowing in between each exercise. I did a circuit of each yesterday, before finishing up with some bench press exercises and calling it a day after about 45 minutes.

Aside from getting healthier with this way of eating, the addition of exercise should help me achieve my goals come April, which should coincide with my next blood test to see where my Vitamin D level is after supplementing on a weekly basis. After a week, the exercising has been fun, I have enjoyed it and I think breaking up the routine will help keep things fresh and keep me interested. I have a long way to go before I can say I am where I want to go. Three months of training should be a very good base from which to build.

Neither exercise or this way of eating will cease after April, which will be approximately 6 month since making the decision to change my diet, giving up meat, dairy products and oil, while going to a plant-based whole food diet or in the words of Rip Esselstyn, living “plant strong.” This will go to show my doctor that even though the improvement on my blood, the loss of weight and overall health I gain is just a start, the next 3 months should speak volumes when we meet.

Preliminary Win: 2011 SSCW

On the NCCC Reflector this week there was a message sent about the initial results being posted by the ARRL for the 2011 Sweepstakes CW. After reading through a series of comments from other KB’ers I decided to check the initial results. I was happily surprised when I saw I had retained my title from last year (last year’s win) winning the 2011 SSCW in the single operator, low power, unassisted category.

For me, it’s about picking and choosing a category I can be competitive in. Winning is nice, but not necessarily the priority for me when it comes to “BIC” and participating in any contest. It’s nice to achieve a winning effort and while they haven’t been all that often, it is nice to know I can compete. Granted, I was only competing against 8 other stations, but this effort was a daytime operation only since I had all sorts of complications on the low bands (40/80M) with my SteppIR BigIR. Unlike 2010, when I had 88 low band contacts, 2011 yielded only 2, the bigger difference was 10/15M.

With any luck I can put aside all the station issues, find a full effort and really see what I can do. Based on my numbers from the last 2 years a goal of 600 QSO (all S & P) is possible. Then again taking a chance and running a frequency should allow me to easily achieve this goal, but I am still not as comfortable running as I am in S & P. So there is a big tradeoff in my rate. We still have 10 months before 2012 Sweeps, but I am already looking forward to what is the most enjoyable contest for me.

Vitamin D(on’t)?

It’s been an interesting journey the past 3 months, as I have taken my health into my own hands. With the big changes, some would call “extreme” I have experienced better than anticipated results in a short period of time. But all is not good, sure my health is improving based on my PSA screening, weight loss and my dietary habits. As my doctor eluded to yesterday, this is a start. In my opinion a damn good start.

The more research I do online, the more confusion I am faced with. As I mentioned yesterday in ‘Doctor’s Opinion‘ I was not in full agreement with what my personal doctor had to tell me. Not being trained in the medical field, how do I go about disputing what my doctor is saying? For example the more light that is shed on Vitamin D “deficiency” I have my level of 23 is not considered low. In the opinion of Jeff Novick, MS, RD, “I would never personally take any action based on the results of any one test. Any test, that may lead to an intervention, should be confirmed with a second test, maybe even from a different lab.” He went on to say, “As of today, over 20 is considered sufficient and not insufficient by many many national and international health organizations.

After further reading and referencing Dr. McDougall’s newsletters I am convinced that my doctor doesn’t seem to be looking out for my personal health. Why should he? Healthy people don’t need doctors. If there is no medication he can prescribe or test to run, I am not making him any money. In fact, I can’t agree with him when it came to what I ate and what I plan to do for the future.

Right now though, the more I read the more I need to question what I am being told and prescribed. As for the Vitamin D supplement, maybe it requires me to pay out of pocket in order to get a second test to confirm the first. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) stated that, “North Americans have serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations above 20 ng per milliliter, which is adequate for bone health in at least 97.5% of the population” (source). While this paper actually was discussing Vitamin D in a cancer prevention roll, there was another interesting finding. “The report provided evidence suggestive of a significantly increased risk of pancreatic cancer at high 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (≥40 ng per milliliter). An increased risk of esophageal cancer at higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels has also been reported” (source).

My doctor, with his prescription of 50,000 IU (1 pill a week for 3 months) hopes to raise my Vitamin D level between 40-60. With some of the above information found after the fact, I am beginning to think the doctor is not out for my benefit, but that of his wallet. I am having a very difficult time swallowing the information he provided me, contrary to what I have recently found in established medical journals. Now with an increase in Vitamin D my body could be more cancer prone? Did I miss the benefit of adding this supplement somewhere? Thankfully taking my health into my hands has been eye opening, but I am not sure I will accept his prescription and take it for 3 months.