Google Cardboard Glasses? Okay, I’ll Try It!

d_scope_pro_cover

Okay, so I’m a newbie when it comes to this Virtual Reality stuff. I guess I’m like 99% of the world, but I’m always willing to try something new.

I had heard of the Occulus Rift glasses (amazon link), and I’d even seen them in posts, on websites, etc. Yeah, I wrote them off as some tech geek stuff, but for some reason hearing someone mention them recently, I decided to give them another look.

So I went on amazon and looked them up.  So they were only about $650, which basically meant there was no way on earth I was buying these things!

So anyhow, as with any and all products you look up on the site, Amazon shows you related products. So I saw these Google Cardboard glasses, and I thought it was a joke. I mean, these things were really made of cardboard! And they cost less than $20. So there was some sort of rip-off happening.

But as I read the reviews, I saw that these things are for real. Google, the masters of all things, came up with some cardboard knock-offs of Occulus Rift? For under $20? Yup, I gotta try it!

Soooo, I ended up buying the D Scope Pro ‘Google Cardboard’  (amazon link)glasses.

Ordered them on Friday, with my Prime Membership, they came on Monday, and here I am assembling them.

Basically, I’m sold! They are an awesome new toy for under $20!

As I state in the video, I ended up downloading the Titans of Space app, so I could experience floating around our solar system. I plan on downloading many more of these apps! Only issue is the apps do take up quite a bit of space (Titans was 220 MBs), but we can work around that.

I can only assume that this is only the beginning for VR. One day it’ll probably get to the point like in that Woody Allen movie, Sleeper (waaaay back in 1973), where he (they) were able to use the orgasmatron. But until then, get yourself some Google Cardboard glasses, and enjoy the ride (literally)!

Lamont Clark on “Water”

Day 2 – Water

Most of the time I love water. The only times I don’t like water is when it rains and I leave me car windows down. And those 1,2,3 times I nearly drowned. Other than that, water is wonderful! Besides the fact that we need it to keep us alive here are three wonderful things you can do with water…

1. Twerk

 

2. Light it Up

Just take some water, add some lights, and an international hit song, and you could always do this….

And when life gets you down…

3. Just Keep Swimming

Lamont Clark on “Castle”

Surprise!

I’m still here! Haven’t written in a minute (or two, or three, or 50,000,000), but I’m still here!

I’m not even gonna promise to do better! Just accept me for who I is!

Anyhow, I do know I should write more, so when a friend of mine started another 30 Day Challenge, I figured this would be impetus to get me writing on the blog again. So for the next 30 days (I am already a day behind) I will be writing on the ‘word of the day’. It will be short (about a paragraph) and as ‘creative’ as I feel like being at the time…

Today’s word….Castle. So heeeeeere we go!

CASTLE

I’m not a player, per se. I do my thing every now and again, but I know I need to brush up on my game. But she is right here, and I’m putting some good moves on her if I do say so myself. I know it. She knows it. It is what it is.

I see that hole in the middle, and I’m coming after it. I’m not gonna move too fast, because this is something you just can’t rush into. I think if I make a few more moves then I’m in there!

But just when I thought I had her right where I wanted her, she went and “Castled” her King! It was a good defensive move because now her King is away from the hole in the center, and her Rook is free to move around.

Shit!

 

qscastlerookmove

Help! My Email Is Eating Me Alive!

It started innocently enough. I got one simple email account. I used it to stay in touch with my family and friends. Things were moving at a leisurely pace. All was good with the world.

Then I signed up for few newsletters, bought some products, and joined a few groups. The amount of emails noticeably picked up, but it wasn’t out of control…yet.

Then one day my email got hacked. Someone used my email to send out a bogus link to my personal contacts. That’s some dumb shit, why do they do that?

So I went ahead and started a new account, just for my personal contacts. And I vowed to keep it under control by not signing up for groups, lists, promotions, etc.

I didn’t delete the first account, I figured I’d just use that email for groups, product ordering, and those non-personal type things. Account #2 was going A-OK, but Account #1 quickly got out of control. I mean all sorts of spam and if I left it unchecked for a day or two I’d have hundreds of emails.

Then along came GMail (Account #3). If I wanted to be up with the newest-latest, I had to have a gmail account. I used Gmail for business-like functions and a little personal. I quickly started following a similar pattern as with Account #1, but fortunately it didn’t get anywhere near as out of control.

Then I got some advice that I should have an account that used my name, instead of accounts that used my nickname. So I set up Account #4 (Gmail Account #2). This account was supposed to be used for resume, job application, and other “professional” purposes.

Account #5 came under similar auspices as Account #4. In addition to an account using my name, I followed some advice that I should have my own website that would help “brand” my name or at least allow me to have some control over what people saw when the Googled my name. (And I agreed because after Googling my name I wasn’t happy with the results). So instead of Lamont@gmail, I had lamont@lamontclark! Much better! I guess…

Account #6 came when I decided I was going to enter contests and sweepstakes and I needed an email address just for that.

Of course I can’t forget my work email.

Sigh.

It’s just ridiculous.

Talk about information overload! I’m getting a ton of email everyday, I am not reading 90% of it. To make it worse, I create folders within my accounts as if I’m being “organized”. All I’m doing is shuffling emails that I will probably never ever read. Sure, I say that I’m going to take a day to go through my folders, but that day never seems to come. I’m not fooling anyone but myself.

Now I have to take on the daunting task of figuring out which email account is connected to things like PayPal, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Animoto, LinkdIn, etc, etc, etc, etc. Then somehow funnel them into one or two accounts.

Heeelllpppp!

A Pain In The Neck

OH, MY NECK! MY BACK! MY NECK AND MY BACK!

This post isn’t about a hypothetical “pain in the neck”. Well, at least not completely.

You see, I’m not talking about an annoying co-worker. Or a family member. Or a neighbor. Or any one of a million things that could be a “pain in the neck”.

I’m referring to a literal pain in my neck.

Unfortunately I’ve been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (or RA for the hip folks) in my neck. How the hell does one get RA in the neck? I have no idea.

According to Wikepedia : Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that results in a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks flexible (synovial) joints. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility if not adequately treated.

So, it’s an autoimmune disease, meaning my body(namely my immune system)  is fighting against itself. This is pretty ironic because I used to always say “I never get sick”, because I believed my immune system operated exquisitely (that and I didn’t have health insurance for a while and I simply couldn’t afford to get sick!) So it is apparently working a little too well.

It also “attacks flexible joints”. Yup, my neck is a flexible joint.

And it can be “disabling and painful” and can “lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility”. Well, it’s not really painful, at least I don’t think so, It’s uncomfortably, but not really painful. I know painful (see my post about running the marathon). But it has definitely lead to substantial loss of mobility in my neck.

I literally probably only have maybe 20% of normal mobility in any direction with my neck, which is really the proverbial “pain in the neck”. When I need to tun left or right to see somethings, I basically have to turn my whole body. I couldn’t be inconspicuous if I wanted to look at a girl’s butt (not that I want to, I’m just saying). If I need to look up in the air at something, I basically have to do the limbo in order to see it. Oh, the joy!

So you can see how it can bring unwanted attention to me. Because of the limited mobility now I constantly look like I have a stiff neck (well, I don’t just ‘look’ like I have one, I do have one). Now it is common for me to get the questions “What’s wrong with your neck?” or “Does your neck hurt” or some variation of those questions. Not that I’m into trying to be cool, but you certainly don’t look cool when you walk around with a “stiff neck” look. I’ve never really been one to be self-conscious, but this is something that can make you become self-conscious. It’s not like it’s a huge zit, or a nasty booger, but still it’s not something you necessarily what you want people to notice about you.

Unfortunately there isn’t a cure for RA. I don’t know if it will get “worse” (I sure hope not), or if it is possible to get better. Well, let me take that back. I believe I can get better, I just don’t know how or when. The doctor initially prescribed me Humira, but that was just for the “pain”. And since I’m not in pain, I don’t need Humira.

Do you know of any natural remedies? If you do, I’d appreciate it if you’d pass it along.

Anyhow, it won’t stop me from doing anything. It’s just a pain in the neck…

My Day Today…Easter Monday

Okay so today is “Easter Monday”, which is basically just the day after Easter. But apparently it is a ‘holiday’ in many places around the world and it’s called “Bright Monday” or “Renewal Monday”. But since I’m not Christian, I’m not going to get into the religious aspect of today.

In addition to being a semi-holiday, it is also an established tradition here in DC. On Easter Monday the National Zoo has what is called Easter Monday:Celebrating the African American Family Tradition. Apparently this tradition was started in 1891 and has all sorts of activities including Easter egg hunt(s), live music, and all sorts of other cool activities. I’m not sure how or why this tradition was started at the Zoo, but hey, I’m all for a good, positive tradition. I’ve been in DC for over 20 years now, and today was my first day going.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, enough while it is billed as “African American Family Tradition”, there were plenty of non-African Americans there. But regardless of what race, creed, or colors were present, all that really mattered was that Justin enjoyed himself. We didn’t participate in any of the activities ( we had other errands to run, as well as karate class, so I didn’t want to prolong the day too much), just a bunch of running around seeing the animals. It’s not the first time he’s been to the Zoo, but at 6 he is more aware of the animals so it was definitely interesting having him have a better understanding of the animals.

It was a great day, and now I look forward to taking Ryan to the zoo for the first time. I know he will love it.

 

My Proudest Day To Date

Day #30

Your proudest day to date…

At first I was going to write about some my proudest moments because I didn’t think I had a whole day that I was particularly proud of. I was all prepared to talk about how most, if not all of my proudest moments came about without me knowing those moments would happen. I was ready to write about the Coaches Leadership Award that I won for football (yeah, I’d mentioned that award in a previous post); the time an acquaintance of mine mentioned that I told her my “football story” and how it inspired her to not give up playing basketball (and she subsequently made the varsity team); when I was ‘inducted’ into the Mary McLeod Bethune Society in college for all of the community work I did on/off campus; and even recently getting notice I was going to get my first royalty payments from Amazon and Smashwords for the books I wrote.

My whole theme was going to be about doing your best because you never know who is watching. Yeah, it’s corny, but true. But before I got to tap it all out on the keyboard my youngest started to fall asleep, so I took him upstairs to put on his pajamas. And on my way up the stairs, it hit me! There was a whole day that I was proud of, and ironically, in this particular instance, I was well aware that people were watching me…thousands of people to be exact.

That day was October 26 2003, the day I ran, and finished, The Marine Corp Marathon.

I ran the marathon on somewhat of a challenge by my friend Stephen. Mind you I had never ran anything longer than a 600 yard dash, and that was for the Presidential Physical Fitness thing they used to do in school. So a marathon was unheard of in my mind, but I still took on the challenge with the goal of finishing around 4:30:00. So I signed up for the “AIDS Marathon”, which basically meant that I was signing up to run the marathon and I had to raise a certain amount of money which would go towards HIV/AIDS organizations in DC. Running for this cause also allowed me to be a part of a certain training program which took place on a weekly basis starting in early May.

The training program was every Saturday morning, and we were grouped by our speed. I fell into the 6:1 group, which basically meant we would run for 6 minutes and walk for 1 minute. We started at 3 miles, and each week we went up another mile the next week. When we got to 8miles, the following weeks  we jumped up 2 miles, so we went from 8, to 10, to 12, to 14. Every week I was setting new personal ‘records’ and it felt great!! But some where around 12 miles my left leg started tightening up. I thought it was just cramping because I was getting so high up in the mileage. I went to the doctor, and as it turned out, I had hurt my IT Band. I didn’t know I had an ‘IT band’. It was mid-July, three months before the race, and my marathon dreams were in jeopardy.

When I started rehab, and I could barely walk, so running was out of the question. For about a month or so I was rehabbing, getting better as time went on, and then I got approved to do pool running! So every week for about another month, I ran in the pool for 3-4 hours at a time. I was feeling so good, that I rejoined my training group. It was about one month out, I came to the park on a Saturday morning ready to run! But unfortunately, while running in a pool was fine, running on a course wasn’t…I suffered a setback. Back to running in a pool and on a treadmill I went.

I was diligent about re-rehabbing, and then the day of the race. Well, actually, let me go back to the day before the race…

So on that Saturday night I was chilling, getting mentally prepared for the next morning. After all, I was making a huge jump going from only 14 miles (in mid July) to 26.2 miles in late October, with mostly pool running in between. So there I am taking a bath, listening to Stevie Wonder. As I’m getting out of the bathtub, I hear our dog barking like crazy. My housemate Dario and our friend D-Jerzu were in the basement, and I was wondering why they wasn’t addressing the dog. As I open the door to the bathroom, a thick cloud of black smoke was hovering above the entire ceiling in the kitchen, dining room, and living room! I look over to my left, and I see that there was a fire on our stove!!! As it turned out, my housemate was cooking something on the stove (using cooking grease), forgot it was there, and it caught fire! Talk about mad! The day before a marathon I had to deal with a grease fire, which could’ve burned down the house!

*Sigh*

I moved past that, and the day of the race, there were thousands of people ready to run, and even more cheering us on! Talk about a buzz!!! I find my place in the crowd, and then we are off!!!

I was cruising the first half of the race. I was on pace to make my goal of 4 hours 3o minutes (I figured I could beat Oprah’s marathon time!). But then I re-aggravated my IT band injury, and it was torture from that point on. I was stru-ggl-ing the entire last 14 miles of the race. I gave in and stopped at one of the stations to get some aspirin to try to ease the pain. Didn’t work. And the 6 minute run, 1 minute walk was out the window. It became more like 1 minute run, 6 minutes walk. Then it became more like “I will run to that tree over there before I start walking”. My ego and pride took a serious hit as I watched people who had absolutely no business in the world passing me, pass me. I felt like one of those Benny Hill skits where old ladies, women with baby carriages, and people on crutches was passing me by. And no lie, there was this one guy, who was literally dragging his leg. I swore to God he would not beat me!! Every time I stopped, I’d see him hobbling along long. But he was NOT going to beat me…I hoped. It was brutal.

But the wonderful thing was that I had friends in the crowd who I would see at different points during the race, and they would cheer me on. And there were complete strangers in the crowd who saw the pain I was in and was cheering me on. And there were people in the race who would cheer you on. There was this older white guy who I held conversation with at one point during the race. We had a good conversation about something, but after I got my energy up, we parted ways as I ran ahead. Well, about a mile or two from the finish line, I thought I would pass out. I was bent over a railing, thinking about how I was just going to give up, and then I felt a hand on my back. It was the old white man. He didn’t even say anything to me, but just that act alone gave me the strength to press on.

As I rounded the final corner, and heard all of the people cheering, the finish line got closer, and closer, and closer….and then…I crossed it!

Through all the trial and tribulation, the pain, and the passion, that was certainly the proudest day of my life…