To Hold One’s Self Accountable

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Don’t be fooled by the above image. I, like many other people in this world, battle a raging war with obesity. It is a plague that has stricken the population on a worldwide scale… well mostly. I have known nothing else but the comforts of food from a very young age and just grew up with it. Today, I still have the same bad food habits as I did as a child and I am writing this as a 28 year old whose last time being in a “healthy” weight bracket was probably at 5 years old. So being able to say as an adult I’ve never had a slim healthy body, let alone an average one, is quite striking. I am writing this coming in at approximately 6’3 and 150kgs. I’m a big lad.

I am also like many others who have tried to stick with a diet, a lifestyle change, a promise to myself, different plans and workouts but just don’t seem to stick with it more than 4 weeks. Now most times I end up making excuses for myself, other times something else happens like I’ll get sick or whatever, either way “stuff happens” basically and I just drop the ball. Then follows a low point where you’re beating yourself up about failing and you return to the age old friend, comfort food for your momentary feel good moment while you move on from letting yourself down again. Now all this and some other life situations ended up taking me down a path of severe depression which I would be medicated for over the course of the last 2 years. Also your doctor informing you that you have an under active thyroid. This hasn’t helped my weight situation at all you could imagine.

Before you start going down the road of calling me out as a “cry baby” and that I should just “get over it and get off my fat arse you lazy bum”, it’s just not that easy. When your whole life you’ve known nothing else but these habits, that’s a daunting task to make that change. Getting out there for a walk, doing some weights, lunges and push ups is really the easy part in all this. I can do that stuff. At my best in any fitness regard I was able to bench 110kg 3 sets of 10 reps, standing upright curls 50kgs 3 sets of 10 reps, standing upright rows 3 sets of 10 reps, go jogging with a 20kg vest on with 5kg weight bands on my wrists. I can do the workouts. The real challenge comes from within. Trying to rewire your mind into something that it’s never been is hard, real hard.

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This is me at my the best I’ve ever looked, and trust me that’s something.

To change my lifestyle from sedentary to active is difficult as I work at a job where I’m sitting for 8 hours, then when I come home my hobbies either involve a computer or a game console. Now studying I need to dedicate at least 2 hours a night to my learning and assignments. Do every day chores. Spend time with my girlfriend and also somewhere in all that I need to find my personal time to unwind. This last part is the important piece of this puzzle or balancing act if you will. Working a job is a necessity, so are my studies and now I also need to make my health a priority. I know my girlfriend will support that and will accept that managing time around this will require understanding.

So you might be asking yourself now after reading this: “Then what’s the hold up? Why aren’t you out there doing something about it already?”. That is a very good question. I can only answer that by admitting that I’m still guilty of looking for an excuse, or there’s always something or nothing that’s more important. By writing this it is actually helping me sort out my mind frame and start making myself more accountable for my actions and priorities. If I can make putting my thoughts down into my blog I will hope to utilise this as a means to get my thoughts down so I’m not over thinking and when I check in on my site I can see my posts and remind myself about what I need to do.

I want to be healthy in my 30’s. For the first time in my life. I’d like to see a 30 year old me as someone who’s finally comfortable in their self. So tonight I’m going to record myself a little time capsule video to watch on my 30th birthday to give myself a solid remind of where I’ve come from over 2 years. So this is it. Monday morning is just around the corner.

Here goes everything.

-Chunt

New Shelf Lighting – On A Budget!!

Hey guys just an update on something I’m proud to have put together on a very tight budget. I’ve had a shelf that I’ve been placing all my collectables onto over the last 2 years now, slowing adding bit by bit. I’ve always wanted to be able to set up a lighting display some how but have never been keen on spending lots of money just for lighting and I also done have a fancy cabinet to begin with. Here I just want to share with you how you can set up a pretty rocking display shelf by spending very little just by being a little creative and smart about it.

THE SHELF:

Starting with the main point: You will need some kind of shelving to put all your prized items to show. I went to a local store that stocks packed furniture and found this big shelf for about $80, it came in Black or White. I chose white so my items would stand out more rather than against a dark surround. As you see here in this early version I was just putting whatever I had at the time on there. No keep in mind you won’t really be putting any 25″ Premium Format statues on here or anything but we’re working on a budget!

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THE LIGHTING:

Here is the awesome part. I searched everywhere for lighting, reasonably priced lighting. I wanted lighting that was easy to set up and easy to place where I wanted. The only thing was there is plenty out there to choose from, but on a budget, that’s going to really narrow it down. I couldn’t find what I wanted and couldn’t think of how I was going to tackle it. A friend of mine saw me post a photo of my Dragonballs set and noticed I wanted to set up a lighting display for it. He let me know that he just bought some kitchen lights and put them on his shelf. You know? The little LED lights you stick onto drawers and such? I immediately thanked him and jumped online to find some. Again I didn’t want to pay more than $5 for each of them and on my shelf which has like 15 spots that was going to get expensive fast. I went to eBay and wouldn’t you know it, I found a seller who had them for $1 EACH! That was a steal, so I bought 10 of them straight up, free postage too mind you. So then I realised that these take 3 AAA batteries each. I wonder down to my local IGA and found a sale on a big stack of AAA batteries for $8 down from $14. Needless to say I snatched them up. From this pack I managed to have enough to fill 8 of the 10 lights I had received. It will do for now until I get more. So I stuck them on my priority spots first and my goodness, it turned out better than I thought.

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THE END RESULT:

As you can see you can indeed spend very little money and get quite a big impact. I am very satisfied with how this turned out and the bonus is I can choose which ones I want lit up in any arrangement without having them all on at once. For those collectors out there like me who barely get the money together to collect your items and don’t have the income or the funds for a fancy shelf display with glass and recess lighting, this is a great alternative. I hope you enjoyed my tips and it might give you some ideas on how to do something like this yourself.

TOTAL DISPLAY EXPENDITURE: $98.00

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2014…. So Far

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As we begin our latest calendar year I have been quite reflective of late. What is to come. Will this year be just as uneventful and all my goals still not met for another 12 calendar months. Will holding full time work and trying making a life in this world take up my available time and energies so I won’t have enough left over to pursue my hobbies, interests and dreams as attentive as I’d wish to be?

This and more I have been contemplating. Yes it’s only January and I realise it’s barely passed half way into the first month of 2014 but I feel like I’m wasting my time already. I’ve drawn only one full sized sketch. I’ve not watched any films. I’ve barely had the time I wish to chill out with my Xbox One. I don’t listen to nearly as much music as I used to. I haven’t made any progress with my Youtube channel or my website. I haven’t completed any projects or barely even started them. I still haven’t continued any projects I tried to start for the umpteenth time last year. I haven’t met my fitness goals. I haven’t put any time or effort into my relationship. Lost contact with all my old friends whom I barely see anymore. It’s all just gone sour.

Yes this all sounds like “first world problem” syndrome, but you know what? Fuck that. I live in a first world country and am blessed to be able to bitch on about these petty things in my life. These are all things that make me happy and yet I haven’t been able to work on any of this. Why is that. How come? Why is it even when I want to make the time, or even when I actually do have time nothing comes of it? By the time I’ve sat down to work on something, I am physically and mentally exhausted after the day that I just don’t have it in me to give it my all. So that’s not a good mix, I don’t have the time or energy to do the things that make me happy, so what’s the point in trying?

The 8+ hours a day I spend at work, the extra 1+hours spent on exercise a day, the 6-8 hours sleep a day,  travel to and from work, the time spent getting ready for work in the morning and the time settling after getting home, the time spent with my girlfriend after she finishes work, then dinner, then catching up with each other to connect, by then there’s maybe 3 hours left before bed. Now that’s not enough time to make a Youtube video and upload it, or work on some extra coding for the website, or get some good practicing in with improving my drawing ability again or write some music. 3 hours sounds a lot but it’s basically broken down into phases: The first half hour or more is finding inspiration and getting set up. The second is finding your groove and once you’re there you don’t want to stop. The 3rd phases is reviewing and finding satisfaction with your progress. That’s how I work. It takes me longer to get to where I want to be, so I can easily spend 2 to 3 hours getting through that process which this also depends on what I’m working on so it varies.

So this is where my weekends come in. Here is when I will have to do the bulk of my work and complete any tidbits throughout the week. I am going to have to make a roster or schedule in my time and try and do my best to stick to it. I don’t know what else I can do to help bring in some more happiness and satisfaction in my life so I don’t feel like a complete creative failure.

I just can’t let myself waste yet another year on false hopes and dreams. This all sounds very “New Year Resolution” but again, fuck that. I refuse to go there as that’s a set up for failure out the gate as that never works. I need to change my lifestyle in all areas. To change into a successful progressive lifestyle. I’ll be 30 years old next year and I’ve not completed any projects in the last 3 years. I don’t want to hit 30 and realise I’ve wasted so much time.

So hopefully with the help of my website as an outlet, my Facebook page, my Youtube Channel, my schedule that I stick to that I can meet some of these goals and make a solid go of it. All things take time so I can’t rush anything. Here’s to a new progressive and successful lifestyle.

– Chunt

Band Review – Astral Display

 

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Upon my annual search for new bands, new sounds and new musical enjoyment I came across a band called Astral Display. I had not heard of them before but their name and artwork from their initial work “Prometheus” took my fancy so I downloaded their album from a bandcamp supported site. This was before they seem to have been picked up by Rogue Records America who seem to be picking up a lot of overseas Djent/Math/Progressive Metal bands such as Astral Display.

The boys hail from Moscow, Russia. The “motherland” sounds true as I have recently found a well of great bands coming out of Russia of late and it’s a pleasure in comparison to the over saturated mediocrity that comes out of America these days.

Bands Astral Display like: Periphery, Tesseract, Meshuggah, Textures, Monuments, Twelve Foot Ninja, I-Exist, Siamese Fighting Fish, Mnemic, After the Burial, Monuments, Volumes, Heart Of A Coward, Solace

What has stuck with me is their melodic vocals, atmospheric tones, grooves, memorable riffage. The experience isn’t just a round of tracks but to me feels like an audible journey with their priorly mentioned ambience checked in between tracks. I highly recommed checking out their debut outing “Prometheus” with “Standing on a Precipice” and “Ignorance” giving me all kinds of giddiness.  Their first EP via Rouge Records America has 3 tracks and can be purchased through bandcamp, I will link it at the end of this article. Via their Facebook page they noted that this 3 track EP was their way of showing us their sound and what they’re wanting to give out there, and great sample of what they’re capable of and they don’t disappoint. Yes it’s 3 tracks but it really plays like 1 overall experience with “Conception” leading into the amazing “Breath” then finishing with “Perception”. It’s like taking the best parts of “Prometheus” into a tidy package. I am hoping they follow up with a full album after this tease.

Being in Australia not many bands come down this way that I’m interested in, and early days yet but I would love these guys to do a tour here. I would go out of my way to see them. I don’t normally big note many bands, but I want more of what I like and what I like, they have. Bring on more Astral Display!

Here are some links if you want to know more about this very enjoyable band.

Buy “Prometheus”: http://roguerecordsamerica.bandcamp.com/album/prometheus

Buy “Breath” EP: http://roguerecordsamerica.bandcamp.com/album/breath

Website: http://www.astraldisplay.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AstralDisplay

– Chunt

Amazon Restores White Ranger Enjoyment

I have had an eventful experience with a recent Amazon purchase.

I bought an SH Figuarts version of a White Ranger figure. They’re like the bees knees of Power Ranger figures. I finally got around to buying one of my fave ranger. I bought it, along with some other items just around Xmas time and finally got them in the mail. The other Zords and Megazords and MegaForce Red figures I ordered came through unscathed, yet this one looks like it had been ripped open and shoved around and stomped back together. See the below images:

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So you should now understand my frustration. I have been looking forward to getting one of these all year and to have it arrive in such a state really soiled the experience. I took these photos as I went along. Later that night I sent them a complain form online via my order status and attached these images with the most negative feedback I could while remaining civil.

A day goes by and Im still disappointed, I finish work and go for my afternoon walk and once I get home I get an email to my iPhone. It was a message from Amazon informing me I will be refunded in full for the amount including postage for this item, to which they continue to surprise me by saying I can keep the item and there’s no need to return it.

Just goes to show that good customer service goes along way, specially for those who bother to take photos and leave strong complaints. Needless to say they will soon have another purchase out of me since this all ended swell.

-Chunt

Chunt Featured in Morning Bulletin!

Rockhampton’s Christoper Hunt – Photographer: Austin King

NEWS ARTICLE:

Exclusive games draws Rockhampton man to buy new Xbox One

Article by: Amy Haydock 19th Dec 2013 6:00 AM
http://www.themorningbulletin.com.au/news/christopher-hunt-lives-in-a-digital-worldhe-was-th/2119384/
 

CHRISTOPHER Hunt lives in a digital world.

He was the first man in Rockhampton to buy the XBox One at its midnight launch last month, and he’s created his own website where he shares his love of all things comic and games related.

The 28-year-old, who works at Ergon Energy’s helpdesk, said he’s been a fan of all things comic and games related since he can remember.

“I had the previous generation of consoles; I had the Xbox360, the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii and they were all great,” he said.

“But the big factor for me as to why I chose the Xbox One was I found myself liking all of the exclusive games that came with the Xbox console and it’s a real next generation experience.”

Detailing many amazing technological advances in the latest console, some of the most impressive Christopher said was its voice commands and thermal camera.

“Once you learn all of the voice commands you can tell it to turn off and on or pause a game while playing it, tell it to return to the home page while requesting to play another game and it will do it all for you,” he said.

“Also during a game, you can give voice commands while you’re playing instead of pressing button so it’s awesome.”

The Gears of War (video game) fan, named after his nickname Chunt said when it comes to the ongoing debate for diehard gamers, it’s really more about the games than the console.

“It’s like sport teams, everyone has their favourite but it’s stupid because you’re basically going to go with whatever consoles go with the games that you like,” he said.

Recent reviews have said while the PlayStation 4 has great resolution graphics, texture details and applied effects; the Xbox has more of a holistic approach, adding a new dimension to any entertainment system.

WHO IS CHUNT?

Chunt isn’t out to prove anything to anyone. All he wants to do is share what he loves with the world.

Through the vehicle of his website and social media he hopes he can interact with people out there in the real world whether it be through his YouTube channel or Facebook page or Tweeting up a storm. Chunt loves to upload videos on various forms of his interests to share with you all on ChuntTV.

His favourite Super Heroes are Superman, Green Lantern and Tommy Oliver as the White Ranger.

His favourite gaming characters are Marcus Fenix and Master Chief.

His favourite bands are Fear Factory, Korn, The Korea, Monuments, Limp Bizkit, Solution.45, Sunk Loto, Sevendust, Superheist, Scar Symmetry, Slipknot, Soilwork… and probably more bands that start with ‘S’!

His console of choice is anything Xbox.

Killer Instinct – Xbox One Review

I have taken my time to ponder on this review longer than the other launch titles for Xbox One for a number of reasons. First, this game was so verily exciting to me as I’ve been waiting for a new instalment in this series for feels like decades. Yet somehow I can’t help but feel disappointed as this isn’t even a complete game.

This game comes in different packages. I bought the ultimate pack which comes with all currently available characters and the classic version of Killer Instinct. Having the classic version sounds awesome and nostalgic but I never realise how hard it is to actually play, it’s sluggish and slow in comparison to this new iteration. So once I passed over the nostalgia trip I loaded up the new Killer Instinct and may I just say, wow. This game blew me away.
I am so happy they’ve kept the musical theme in an newly recorded format. The KI theme is one of the coolest theme songs in gaming. This respect for its roots flows throughout the reset of the game, as it stands anyway. All the characters still are recognisable from their older counterparts but look absolutely amazing. The particle effects in combat are a plenty and smooth. Textures are very sharp and detailed. Lighting is very well implemented and is affect by projectile attacks and super combos, all I’m saying is this is a beautiful looking fighter.
This is probably the best fighter out there right now. High call I know, but there is reason behind this. They’ve made this game an entry for hardcore fighter fans and also managed to create this into an entry platform with arguably the best tutorial system I’ve come across with its KI Dojo feature. For more of the fighter mechanics they have got down to the finer details in teaching you how to work your timing with attacks and animation frame stages. It’s quite thorough.

This all sounds amazing but here comes the negatives. There is no arcade mode or story mode. There are only 6 characters at the moment if you buy the ultimate pack otherwise you can download the game for free and only have Jago to play with but will have to buy the characters separately. This is what Double Helix who developed Killer Instinct have called the most generous demo ever, I don’t quite understand that. It just seems to me they’ve tried something new here that doesn’t quite sit well, or that they’re coating over what is an unfinished game by selling it as different access models. However they do say arcade mode and more characters are coming in their “season 2” DLC. But still, you can play online with the free version. Thats something I guess.
By releasing this game as a digital download is one thing, but releasing what is clearly an unfinished game with only a VS and Dojo mode to play with 6 initial characters seems like bad form. I would have much more appreciated a full on game release with story mode, arcade mode, vs mode, online, dojo and the normal staples then I could be happy with only 6 characters at launch.
This has made a bitter sweet taste in my mouth which I’ve had to sit on while trying to write a review. I’ve been playing other launch games and seeing the Killer Instinct logo pinned to my Xbox dashboard which first brings warm fuzzy feeling of hope and joy swiftly quashed with disappointment in the lack of content.
I am giving this current version of Killer Instinct a 2/5 Chunts.

 

Ryse: Son of Rome – Xbox One Review

I remember when this game was presented to us all at a Microsoft press conference as a Kinect only title for Xbox360. My, my how things changed, for the better I might add.

You play as a Roman solider Marius bent on avenging his family that were killed in the heat of conflict. I don’t want to give much away. I couldn’t help thinking that I am playing a bigger budget game version of Russell Crowe’s Gladiator, which is essentially almost the same story. Family gets killed while you’re on duty and you eventually fight in the Gladiator arena to prove someone can stand up to the empire. Don’t let me think that this game is a push over or a bad story, by no means. I actually really enjoyed this story and felt the acting over all was very good which made me root for Marius on his quest.

This game at a face value looks like a showcase game to prove the Xbox is a powerful machine as everything looks just so damned amazingly beautiful. Crytek are the ones behind this so you expect high production value in the graphical department and they sure as hell do not disappoint. This is the game for me that made me realise that – okay, were are now into next gen, The character models are all so very crisply detailed, the environments like damned near real thanks to some very high resolution textures. The facial animations are just so expressive that hacking into your enemies immerses you further as you watch the pain on their face. Very unnerving. Two portions of the game that really were wow moments as far as being blown away by the visuals were the part storming the beach off the roman boats. It really felt like a massive battle was being waged, the waves, the dirt being kicked up, the sails of the boats never looked to real in a game that whole chapter was probably my favourite. The other being the chapter making your way through the forests. I’ve never plaid a game where the trees and shrubs actually looked to lush and real. The lighting, shadows, beams of sunlight peaking through the branches, the rivers everything was just so damed gorgeous. I could go on about how amazing the game looks but you really have to see it to appreciate it.

Now I know being a pretty damned beautiful game doesn’t make it the best game ever made. This game is far from it. Although I really did have a great time making my way through to the end of the story, the combat really could have done with some variation. This might just be me coming right off of Batman Arkham Origins release and playing the hell out of that and just about to get into Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, but the combat in Ryse is very samey to that of the Arkham series. So my first thoughts were that of disappointment that I was about to play the same mechanics but the Batman shell was being replace with a beautifully rendered Rome skin. Once I told myself to get over it and let’s approach this as if I’ve never played the Arkham series I started enjoying it more and realising more of its deeper functions in combat. You can gain special bonuses each time you kill your enemies with particular kill animations which play out in a faux quicktime fashion. On the d-pad you can change the option to gain extra health, XP and focus points after each time to complete a kill animation. Otherwise you can just slash them up until they fall, but then you would miss out of all the chopped of limbs, the stabbing through necks, the intricate killing blows which is the real satisfying parts of the combat mechanics. As fun as they are to watch every time, after the first 20 times this tends to get very tedious and monotonous as you realise you’re only 1 hour into a 7 hour campaign.

Considering there’s no much more to this game than you playing Marius hacking your way through hoards of enemies around every corner you can see the problem here. There are no extra weapons to change up the combat if you leave out the odd throwing spears you can pick up in some areas. They’ve really tried to make the combat as realistic as possible so there aren’t really any over the top acrobatics or physics defying stunts happening in combat which is fair enough. So it’s just you, your sword and shield. I do admit though, when you get your flow happening of parrying and countering with your shield you feel so unstoppable and combat becomes enjoyable. My only other problem is that I got very tired of killing the same 5 character models the whole game. In all of this games high production value they couldn’t have added more character models? I don’t know how many times I saw the same fat guy with handle bar beard and the shield, let alone 3 of him on the screen at once.
The sparse sections where you man a turret were fun but one of the cooler moments were when you and your Roman soldiers go into what I call the Turtle Shell formation where you command your crew to bring up your shields when having a volley of arrows fired at you as you advance. I. Loved. That.

Speaking of firing a volley of arrows, this game utilises voice commands via Kinect. Which I really enjoyed and it actually works! You will find yourself in the midst of combat and a prompt on screen will say “Fire Volley!” or “Catapult Fire!” and sure enough you’ll see your fellow solider fire a volley of arrows at your foes or you’ll see a flaming ball of fire land from the catapult you ordered. It is a real hoot and I want more of this in future games.

Now to some multiplayer points. This is a bit of fun. You can fight with a co-op partner in the Colosseum and battle your way through hoards of foes while the battlefield is constantly shifting like one giant PokeMon stadium. It’s pretty great to do. The combat from the main game is the same but you get to make your own Roman soldier and upgrade him as you go with different gear and stats. I can see this mode being played quite often as playing online with a friend makes it that much more fun.

At the end of the day I really enjoyed Ryse: Son of Rome. Granted its combat could have used more variety and more character models to battle would have helped break up the monotony. This game’s signature will come from its slow mo quicktime kill animation shots which were always a treat to view. Add to that it’s just one of the most beautiful games i’ve ever laid eyes upon, you’ve got yourself a mixed bag. It’s like this: I love spaghetti but it’s got shit on it. That’s how I feel about Ryse. It’s so beautiful but it’s gameplay elements needs work. That’s why I noted at the start of this review it’s like a graphical showcase for Xbox One foremost.

I’ll give Ryse: Son of Rome, 3 out of 5 Chunts.