Body Bugg – What they don’t tell you

Don’t get me wrong.  The bio feed back I have gotten from my Body Bugg has made all the difference in my weight loss.  Its the forced reliance on their website that ticks me off.  I bought the watch too thinking that I would use that after my introductory subscription ended to the website.  At lest then my $350 investment would still be useful and not sitting in a drawer collecting dust.  After my subscription ended I continued to use my Body Bugg just like I’d planned.  I was happy.  After a while I didn’t need to be “Bugged” any more.  I had a good idea what I was eating and how many calories I was burning.  I stopped wearing it.  Time passed and I got slothful.  I noticed I had gained weight and I decided to start using my Bugg again.  But after adding new batteries it wouldn’t synchronize with my watch.  Come to find out when its batteries had died its memory was erased.  I had to sign up for a subscription to get it configured again for use!  I was ticked but once again, paying $9 for one a month subscription was cheaper then buying some other unknown system and finding out its gotchas later.  I’m still “Bugged” and doing great.

Jiu-Jitsu Shin Guards – Stopping the Bruises – Part 1

I’m a white belt.  I’m new to Jiu-Jitsu.  My guard is passed often as I learn while rolling.  As a result I have bruises up and down my legs.  The majority are from some one pinning my leg down as they pass.  From my knees down I look like a leopard, black, blue, and yellow.  I can’t heal as fast as I am getting new bruises.  I had to find a way to stop accumulating new ones until my technique improves.  I looked at the typical MMA shin guards but didn’t want something with the instep.  I also wanted coverage on the knee and farther around the leg then just the shin.  I was surprised to find that Softball Sliding Shin Guards (like these at Amazon.com) did the trick for me.  They didn’t hamper my movement.  I had to adjust them after each roll but the most important part is they gave my legs time to heal.

I picked up a few other kinds of shin guard that I am going to try in my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class.  I will review them as I try them out.

How to clean your Gi – No More Stinky Gi

I wash my Gi after each practice.  I dry it in the dryer and hang it up for the next days class.  I began to notice a stink or rancid sweat smell while rolling.  At first I thought it was the other guy.  Then I noticed it was coming from the collar of my gi.  The thick cotton collar of the gi wasn’t drying out even in my dryer.  The moister mixed with my sweat, the rubbing against the back of my neck, and of course hands being put in my collar were starting to breed bacteria.  I first tried rubbing some baking soda on it.  That had no effect.  I then tried Febreze (Sport Extreme Odor Eliminator).  After a washing the smell was reduced but not all together eliminated by the Febreze.  After searching around I found a few posts on using OxiClean.  I soaked my gi top in the washing machine overnight and then put it through a normal cycle after that.  It came out smelling fresh and new.  Thank you OxiClean!  No more stinky gi!  I understand that bleach is another alternative but that it substantially reduces the life of your gi.  My gi is blue and the color remained the same after the OxiClean.

Once again I am enjoying rolling at Jiu-Jitsu.

Creating a Windows Live Writer Plug-in using C# Part 2

First we will start off with the Plug-in class that inherits from ContentSource.  Please note from Part 1 that “InsertForm” is a class we will create.

 

   1: using System;

   2: using System.Collections.Generic;

   3: using System.Linq;

   4: using System.Text;

   5: using WindowsLive.Writer.Api;

   6: using System.Windows.Forms;

   7:  

   8: namespace AmazonQuickLinkPlugin

   9: {

  10:     [WriterPlugin(

  11:         "93DD80D7-9327-4375-A9D8-777C0549C1C8", 

  12:         "Amazon Quick Link", 

  13:         PublisherUrl="http://www.whatifoundout.com",

  14:         Description="Creates a Amazon Quick Link url",

  15:         ImagePath="Images.Shazam.png")]

  16:     

  17:     [InsertableContentSource("Amazon Quick Link")]

  18:     public class Plugin : ContentSource

  19:     {

  20:         public override DialogResult CreateContent(IWin32Window dialogOwner, ref string content)

  21:         {

  22:             using (InsertForm form = new InsertForm())

  23:             {

  24:                 DialogResult result = form.ShowDialog();

  25:                 if (result == DialogResult.OK)

  26:                     content = form.Link;

  27:                 

  28:                 return result;

  29:             }

  30:  

  31:         }

  32:     }

  33: }

Now that we have the basics lets create the “InsertForm” form.  First a capture of what I made it look like and then the code.

image

   1: using System;

   2: using System.Collections.Generic;

   3: using System.ComponentModel;

   4: using System.Data;

   5: using System.Drawing;

   6: using System.Linq;

   7: using System.Text;

   8: using System.Windows.Forms;

   9:  

  10: namespace AmazonQuickLinkPlugin

  11: {

  12:     public partial class InsertForm : Form

  13:     {

  14:         public string ASIN { get; set; }

  15:         public string Category { get; set; }

  16:         public string SearchTerm { get; set; }

  17:         public string InnerText { get; set; }

  18:         public string Link { get; set; }

  19:  

  20:         public InsertForm()

  21:         {

  22:             InitializeComponent();

  23:         }

  24:  

  25:         private void btnOK_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)

  26:         {

  27:             AssignProperties();

  28:             this.Link = CreateAmazonQuickLink();

  29:             this.DialogResult = DialogResult.OK;

  30:             Close();

  31:         }

  32:  

  33:         private void btnCancel_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)

  34:         {

  35:             this.DialogResult = DialogResult.Cancel;

  36:             Close();

  37:         }

  38:  

  39:         private void AssignProperties()

  40:         {

  41:             //TODO: Add validation of ASIN format

  42:             this.ASIN = txtASIN.Text.Trim();

  43:             //TODO: Get categories from Amazon

  44:             this.Category = txtCategory.Text.Trim();

  45:             this.SearchTerm = txtSearchTerm.Text.Trim();

  46:             this.InnerText = txtInnerText.Text.Trim();

  47:         }

  48:  

  49:         private void btnPreview_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)

  50:         {

  51:             AssignProperties();

  52:             txtPreview.Text = CreateAmazonQuickLink();

  53:         }

  54:  

  55:         private string CreateAmazonQuickLink()

  56:         {

  57:             StringBuilder s = new StringBuilder();

  58:             s.Append("<a type=\"amzn\" ");

  59:  

  60:             if (ASIN != string.Empty)

  61:                 s.Append("asin=\"").Append(ASIN).Append("\" ");

  62:             else

  63:             {

  64:                 if (SearchTerm != string.Empty)

  65:                 {

  66:                     s.Append("search=\"").Append(SearchTerm).Append("\"");

  67:                     if (Category != string.Empty)

  68:                         s.Append("category=\"").Append(Category).Append("\"");

  69:                 }

  70:                 else

  71:                     return string.Empty;

  72:             }

  73:  

  74:             s.Append(">").Append(InnerText).Append("</a>");

  75:  

  76:             return s.ToString();

  77:         }

  78:  

  79:     }

  80: }

I’ve added a few TODO’s but for the most part it is done and works great.  One other thing I might note.  I never did get the XCOPY command they give you in the documentation to work after the first compile.  I had to keep deleting the DLL I created in the WindowsLive Writer plug-in directory.

Here is the Amazon Quick Linker plug-in in action.  Let me recommend one of my favorite books on estimation.  Steve McConnell just knows how to put it in a way I understand.  When I read his book Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art (Best Practices (Microsoft)) it really opened my eyes and made my programming more enjoyable.  I hope it will do the same for you.

Creating a Windows Live Writer Plug-in using C# Part 1

There are a few example out there already for ContentSource but after trying to use them I found some glaring omissions.  For instance, two of the examples I looked at use InsertForm.  I just assumed that because we were using the namespace System.Windows.Forms that is where it was coming from.  Because the example were in the 2.0 Framework I thought maybe I was just missing some thing.  So when I got the error “The type or namespace name ‘InsertForm’ could not be found (are you missing a using directive or an assembly reference?)” I assumed it was just a matter of finding the reference I needed.  It was!  But to a class I should and would create.  I also had a hard time with the ImagePath property of the WriterPlugin attribute.  For starters the png file must be 16×16 despite what the documentation says, 20×18 didn’t work.  Also don’t forget to set the Build Action property on the image to Embedded Resource.  Its a minor detail that the documentation has but the examples leave out.  Please don’t go looking for a SDK to download despite what is said in the other example.  The WindowsLive.Writer.Api is in the root directory of WindowsLive Writer.

To Summarize:

  1. Your project will need a Windows Form Class added (Name if “InsertForm.cs” just for the fun of it)
  2. Make sure your image is 16×16.
  3. Make sure you set the Build Action on the image to Embedded Resource.
  4. The WindowsLive.Writer.Api file is found in C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Writer
  5. WindowsLive Writer SDK Documents

In Part 2 of this post I will share the plug-in I create and use it in the post.

Pre-Planning – A Key to a Successful Trade

You should always get a game plan in place before making a trade.  Getting caught on a emotional roller coaster is a sure way to end up penniless.

Points to Know:

  • What is my maximum risk?
  • What is my maximum reward?
  • What is my break even point?

Make a plan:

  • What is my entry point?
  • What is my exit point . . .
    • For taking profit or
    • For stopping losses.

The most important part of your plan is to make a good plan and stick to it!  Don’t let greed or fear over come you.  It isn’t easy.  I know.  If you go outside the plan you will wish you hadn’t later.  Remind yourself of that when the going gets tough.  In the end you will thank your self, feel a sense of accomplishment, and control if you stick with it.

Attributes of a Successful Investor and Trader – Perseverance

When I say perseverance I’m not saying keep throwing your money away until you get it right.  I’m saying persevere in your obtaining skills, knowledge, and technique.  In short development toward a successful trader and investor.  Warren Buffet didn’t make his billions over night.  We all know it yet the get-rich-quick schemes are as prevalent as ever.  Knowing how to persevere is a attribute that you can use in more then financial skill matters.  It is something most of us already have to some degree.  The key is to strengthen it and nature it when it come to combating our biggest weakness, “The Quick Fix”.  Greed is another name for it in the trading world.  We want the win now without doing the work to get it.  Persevere in your development and you will become a success.    

Jumping for Jiu-Jitsu – Jump Roping to Increase Stamina

What can I do to increase my wind or stamina in my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class?  This is a goal of mine that has been plaguing me.  Two things I might note right off.  Do not tie your belt tight.  Keep it lose and down toward your hips.  Second don’t tie your pants tight.  I noticed that both seem to constrict my breathing while rolling.  I’ve decided to try jump roping to see if that will give me more aerobic exercise and increase my wind.  I purchased a Harbinger 331600 9-Foot Beaded Jump Rope.  It wasn’t expensive.  The plan is to just take a few breaks during the day and jump.  I also understand that jumping helps increase your bone density.  Who knows it might also increase my vertical leap for basketball.

I have started with 10 minute jumps.  That gets my heart rate up in no time and is a nice break from work.  Yes, I get a few stares and yes, I skip like a school girl right now but in time I’ll have the rhythm and look like Muhammad Ali preparing for the next fight or Rocky going for the championship.

Jump roping teaches timing and timing is a essential part of Jiu-Jitsu.  It can mean the difference between a successfully executed escapes or submissions.

 

Ginastica Natural – Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga

How do I improve my muscle memory, stamina, and strength for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?  I’m not a little guy at 214 lb but that puts me in the lower end of the heavy weight division.  I end up with the 275 lb guys.  I need a way to speed up my learning while increasing my body strength.  I hate doing what I call mindless aerobics or movement for movements sake.  I want something from it even if it means peddling a stationary bike that produces electricity.  Because I don’t always have some one to do BJJ with I have started looking into Ginastica.  Here is a video of it on YouTube: Ginastica Natural in Action.  It combines Jiu-Jitsu moves with Yoga and claims to help in the three categories I want to improve.  I just ordered it from BudoVideos.com.  I will let you know how it works out for me.  I am hoping it will help me also reach my goal weight of 200 lb (10 more pounds then what I weighted in High School).