Saturday, January 08, 2005


Well sorry I'm late.
I think the Japanese managers at my company read about how Electronic Arts treats their workers and decided they had gone slack. However, I got away with only 6 hours on a Saturday so I guess I should be happy that it isn't "crunch time".

To give you some details of the setup:
The treadmill is a NordicTrack C2050, on sale at Sears over the holiday for around $699 with a 10 year warranty on the motor and 1 year on everything else.
Pros: Has a fan and a drinkholder on each side, a large display with a bookholder and a bar for measuring your pulse and to hold onto. The fans are nice for airflow after you have been walking awhile. The drinkholders form a nice flat area, between that and the "pulse" bar, these forms the "4 corners" to use a a base for holding your keyboard and mouse. For that matter if you get rid of the the keyboard/mouse base, the drinkholders would also hold a controller or controllers for a console game. Oh yes, and I don't do a lot of programs with it since it breaks my concentration while playing, but my wife enjoys all the different features. Overall its a nice unit even if you take the gameplaying out.
Cons: It still seems a little lightweight. I'm 260 lbs, 6'4" so I am probably an outlier on who is supposed to be using this. But as I said, this is an experiment, I didn't want to spend a fortune. You can also put the unit "up" but even in the up position the "ramp" comes out quite aways so you don't gain back a massive amount of space, I would have liked to have seen more "verticle" to the ramp when it was put up. Also, you can only use it for 99:59 minutes before you have to restart. To save paying for an extra digit, that seems kind of stupid.

I use a rubbermaid brand shelving found at most Home Depot stores. It is fairly heavy duty, it is of the "Twin Track" variety. You will see some units where you screw in a bar at the top then just hang the other bars off that. Those make it easy to keep them level and not have to put in a lot of screws. The ones I use allow you to do that too, but they also have screw positions in the rails about every 12 inches. I didn't use the top rails, instead I screwed them directly into the studs in the walls. After all, these shelves are holding my pride and electronics (don't tell my wife and daughter I said that) I have used these to hold my extensive role playing game and magazine collection for about 4 years (yes, I'm the complete geek package, but alas I do not speak Klingon, nor Icelandic, but more on that later). They are very strong.
Pros: I bet I could sit on it and not have it come down, it's very secure, and flexible. You can move shelves up and down in about 1 1/2" increments, I'm moving the monitor up about 6" as soon as it stops snowing here.
Cons: Somewhat expensive, just to hold what I show in the picture would be about $80 in rubbermaid and probably another $20 in wood. If you don't have power screwdrivers, saws and many other tools, this isn't going to be an easy project

I'm not going to get into the keyboard and mouse base as that's a whole different project and I don't want it to be specific to my setup, I want to try to be general about the things I learned while making it AND using it. Maybe tomorrow, maybe later, I will try to get to it as soon as possible.

Cleanup: Sorry about not leaving an e-mail to send stuff to me, that's what happens at the end of a 16 hour day, near the end of a long week. This blog stuff is new to me, I'll try to do better. You can NOW find my e-mail in my profile. I'm trying to figure out how to get it right on the front page like my friend Bill Harris.
For the one person who did comment, my main character is Ironscope on Stormrage. Say hi sometime.
Also, I'm up to 3.2 miles per hour now, although I've cut back to a more realistic 100 minutes (see above for reason) per night. I haven't started keeping track of my weight yet (still finishing off holiday cookies) but I couldn't have dreamed two weeks ago of walking 3.2 miles per hour while playing for over an hour and half; now its not much of a stretch.

Lastly: The name Sporticus does indeed come from "Lazy Town", a show produced in Iceland. In the show Sporticus teaches kids about fitness and seems like a cross between a jumping bean and a reject from "Fame". This achieved my goal of choosing a name that fell between helpful and mocking.
However visiting and reading about him (his real name is Magnus Scheving), he is quite a character. If you get a chance, take a look, and if you have small children, find it on cable and watch it with them. My daughter and I are both entertained watching it.

-Power on


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