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    Monday
    Oct132014

    Syndicated: Episode 15 (Heroes, Part 1)

    Every day, normal every day people are waking up and finding that they have super powers, and also they have new episodes of Syndicated waiting for them.
     
    This week, we're going to be looking at three of these people, and how destiny has led them to record a conversation about the first eleven episodes of the much praised, much maligned NBC show "Heroes".  
     
    We have a twitter account!  Follow us @SyndicatedPod!
     
    Don't forget to email us at SyndicatedPodcast@gmail.com!
     
    Friday
    Oct102014

    BOX OFFICE POISON: EPISODE 91

    Welcome back to Box Office Poison! On this episode, Jonny, Karl, Jon, and Stan gather to discuss Gone Girl, Locke, The Broken Circle Breakdown, and even a lengthy discussion on the original Star Wars trilogy! Then in our second segment Mike jumps in to discuss his pick for Movie of the Month, Being There! Did we fall for Chauncey Gardener like the elite of Washington, or did we find him a simpleton not worthy of any attention? You'll have to listen to find out!

     

    Be sure to send in your listener mail to crosstawk@gmail.com or hit us up on Twitter (@crosstawk) and we'll get to your questions on the next episode. See ya then!

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    Friday
    Sep262014

    BOX OFFICE POISON: EPISODE 90

    Hey everybody! We're back for another episode of BOP. Mike and Jon couldn't make it this time, but Jonny and Karl go over The Skeleton Twins, Tusk, and Tim's Vermeer in the first segment. Then Stan jumps in for another round of Post Office Poison where we go over racism in movies, VOD pricing, theaters from our childhood, and more!

    If you want to send us your own listener mail hit us up on Twitter (@crosstawk), Gmail,  or in the comments below. Be sure to come back in two weeks when we'll be discussing Mike's Movie of the Month, Being There!

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    Wednesday
    Sep172014

    Syndicated: Episode 14 (Arrow, Part 2)

     

    One by one, we're crossing TV shows off the list, and keeping our streets clean.  We've finally tackled the last half of the first season of Arrow, the CW TV show about the DC Comic.
    In the first epsiode, Andy and Luke were lukewarm on the show, while Nathan had really come to like it a lot, and Neal was in love.  Where do we go from here?  Download!  Subscribe!  Find out!
    We will be talking about episodes 13-23.
    We have a twitter account!  Follow us @SyndicatedPod!
    Don't forget to email us at SyndicatedPodcast@gmail.com!

     

    Previous TV shows covered:
    Friday Night Lights
    Veronica Mars
    Fringe
    House of Cards 
    Derek
    Chuck 

     

    Friday
    Sep122014

    Box Office Poison: Episode 89

    Hello there, and welcome back to BOP! Stan and Jon couldn't make it this time, but Jonny, Mike and Karl are here to give you the skinny on some great flicks, including Frank, Wadjda, Only Lovers Left Alive and the IMAX re-release of Forrest Gump. Then, in the second segment, it's time to discuss El Topo. Was the acid western up our alley, or did it leave us bleeding out in the desert, desperately contemplating the meaning of our existence? You'll have to listen to find out!

    Have a question for BOP? Let us know via Twitter (@crosstawk), email (crosstawk@gmail.com) and in the comments section on the site. And head on over to iTunes to leave us a rating and review - we could always use more!

    Thanks for listening, folks!

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    Monday
    Sep012014

    Syndicated: Episode 13 (Arrow, Part 1)

    Dear listener, I'm afraid you have failed this city.  And by city, I mean podcast.  And by failed, I mean downloaded.  Now you should listen to it!

    The usual crew is lined up to dish on the first twelve episodes of the DC Comics-based TV show "Arrow", which is about the origin and adventures of the character formerly known as the Green Arrow, and apparently now just known as "The Vigilante". 

    What do they think?  Is it any good?  WILL OUR HEROES SURVIVE?  Tune in to find out!

    We have a twitter account!  Follow us @SyndicatedPod!

    Don't forget to email us at SyndicatedPodcast@gmail.com!

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    Thursday
    Aug282014

    Box Office Poison: Episode 88

    Hey folks, Jon Rind was unfortunately out of town for this recording session, but the rest of the boys from BOP are here to 'splain you some sick flicks! We start things off with the star of the critiquosphere, Calvary, before getting around to Assault on Arkham, Dallas Buyers Club and even a bit more on Guardians of the Galaxy. Then, in the second segment, we answer some of your questions for Post Office Poison, including directors putting their personal lives in their work, watching movies at the gym, models vs CGI and more!

    Want to show your support for BOP? Head on over to iTunes to leave us a rating and a review. And when you're done there, hit us up via email (crosstawk@gmail.com), Twitter (@crosstawk) or in the comments section on the website.

    Thanks for listening, and be sure to come back in two weeks for our discussion on El Topo!

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    Friday
    Aug152014

    BOX OFFICE POISON: EPISODE 87

    After some technical difficulties with our last recording, we are back with the do-over of episode 87! We go over Guardians of the Galaxy, Boyhood, The One I Love, and Blue Jasmine before going in depth with our 50th Movie of the Month, Fiddler on the Roof!

    Next episode we'll be answering your listener mail so send your questions over to crosstawk@gmail.com or to @crosstawk on Twitter. See ya in two weeks!

    Direct Download

    Wednesday
    Aug132014

    30 Days of Fitness: Day 30

    Wow. It's hard to believe that the start of my journey to be less of a fat dude is actually over. The operative word there is "start," of course - I'm nowhere near my goal of 185 pounds. But I'm closer - more than 25% of the way there after this first month. If you haven't been reading, well, why the hell are you starting with the end? Go back to Day 1 and read through. But if you insist on starting here, the rules were simple - I had to eat less than 1500 calories per day and work out four times a week during the morning on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

    There's a lot of stuff I want to talk about, but before I get to that, let's round Day 30 up.

    Day 30: 8/12/2014

    Yesterday I wanted to hit the bench again, but there have been more and more people showing up at 6AM lately, and every bench (there are four at my gym) was being used by someone with their personal trainer. So I had to opt for dumbbell curls and the fly machine instead. Here's what I did:

    • 125 Calorie Burn on Elliptical
    • 150 Stomach Crunches
    • 60 Leg Lifts
    • 50 Freeweight Curls
    • 2000 Meters of Rowing
    • 100 Reps on Fly Machine

    Those freeweight curls were also with heavier weights - I went from two 20-pounders to 25 and it was definitely a challenge getting all the way to 50. And the fly machine continues to feel agonizing for every set of 25, but I just dig deep, and somehow, I always get there. Oddly enough, the last set always feels the easiest. Maybe it's because I do it last, and I know I can just give everything I have left.

    By the way, I know it seems like a cheat to still do 125 calorie burns on the elliptical machine, but believe me, on a higher setting, it's so much harder. It gets my heart rate going in a serious way, so even though I do it a little faster now (12 minutes versus maybe 14-15), I feel like I've exerted way more when I'm finished. Plus it frees up more time to do other stuff. So I think it's a net win. Maybe I'll kick it up to 150 calories next week, though.

    As for rowing, it continues to be awesome. It's just so much fun, and being insanely low-impact, I just feel like I can go on and on forever. I'm really looking forward to doing 2000 meters in under 7 minutes - I'm at around 9-10 now, and I know I can push myself further. Every day I get a little faster, a little stronger and a little more determined to kick that machine's ass, even as it's kicking mine.

    Now let's get on to the food:

    • Breakfast: Protein Shake (160 Calories)
    • Snack: 2 Mango & Raspberry Bars (280 Calories)
    • Lunch: Healthy Parm Bowl from Protein Bar (382 Calories)
    • Dinner: Pan-Fried Salmon w/Quinoa and Salsa (337 Calories)

    Total Calories: 1159

    I wanted to have a really light dinner to make my final weigh-in the best it could be, but as it turns out, eating a much later lunch (alas, work meetings) just gave me a really small appetite anyway. The salmon was delicious, though. Fish, guys - so pricey, but so delicious.

    Anyway, here's the moment you've been waiting for, most likely - the final weigh-in. Here are the numbers:

    Starting Weight: 238.5 Pounds
    Current Weight: 222.2 Pounds
    30 Day Weight Loss: 16.3 Pounds
    Remaining Weight to Lose: 37.2 Pounds

    And there it is. 16.3 pounds lost in a month. It's been an awesome start to the long road to 185, and these thirty days have shown me that I can make it. I'm nearly a third of the way there already. That's not to see I'll have lost the rest in two months - it'll probably take closer to six. Now that I've built my eating and workout routines, I need to start pushing myself harder to keep my weight loss consistent. Otherwise I'll have weigh-ins like Monday's where I'll either stay the same or even gain a little weight.

    Now, as promised, here are my Before/After photos:

    There are a handful of things I'd like to impart, but to avoid endless paragraphs here, I'm going to format it in a mock Q&A.

    1. What was/is the hardest part?
    It's actually two-fold. The first hardest part is getting out of bed at 5AM. There isn't a single day where I leap out from under my blanket ready to bust my ass. Fighting the desire to sleep in an extra 2-3 hours and forget the whole thing is constantly there. But I've gotten stronger each day, and as I see the results and look at what I've accomplished, I've never lost that battle

    The second hardest part is when I first get to the gym, put my stuff in the locker room and walk to the elliptical machine. The elliptical, despite being relatively low-impact, is the hardest exercise I do every day. Before I've warmed into a rhythm, my body is just screaming at me to stop, take a breath, sit down, drink water, etc. But I push past that and get to 125. Usually around 40-50 calories, I've locked in, and the rest is just keeping in form. But that first third is always incredibly difficult.

    2. What's the easiest or best part?
    The best part is when I've done the last exercise of the day, then go the locker room and weigh myself before taking a shower. I get to see the day's progress and then I always take a nice hot shower to relax get in gear for the work day. I love showers in general, but it's always that much more satisfying after I've worked myself to the bone.

    3. When did it start to feel normal?
    Probably around Day 10. The first week was really hard because I was cutting down on my calorie intake by so much. I think it was in my Day 5 wrap-up where I talked about getting a headache from literally starving myself to clear enough room for a restaurant meal, and how dumb that was. But I was just so afraid of going over, I was taking drastic measures and since my body hadn't adjusted, I just felt really hungry constantly. That kind of leveled out around Day 10, and while I still get hungry, it's usually closer to when I've scheduled a meal, and so I never feel too hungry for long.

    Oddly enough, working out felt great from the very start. If anything, that first week was really easy because it was new and I was seeing such quick and easy results. It's so invigorating seeing you've dropped 5+ pounds in your first week, so that first third was probably easiest, actually. It wasn't until I hit that first plateau at the start of Week 3 that I knew I needed to start taking things seriously and push myself continuously.

    4. Did you actually think you'd finish when you started?
    Yes. I'm a stubborn asshole, and especially vain when it comes to how I'm perceived publicly. So I knew I wouldn't be able to take the shame of throwing in the towel in front of the maybe 10 people who read this blog series. Plus my friends, family and girlfriend knew about it, and I didn't want to let them down either. So no, I knew I wouldn't give up. If anything, after my first week, I thought I'd lose way more weight. But I wasn't really being realistic at that point.

    5. 16 pounds in a month seems like a lot. Are you being healthy by doing all of this?
    Well, there are a few things to consider. First off, I started off pretty damn fat, and so a lot of the weight I've lost up to this point is water weight, which just kind of falls off once you start being active. Burning fat takes a lot longer, which has why my weight loss has slowed and I'm probably going to average 2-3 pounds at best from here on out. In fact, I'll be extremely satisfied with losing 10 pounds a month from here on out if I can. That would be fantastic.

    As for the food, as I've learned more about nutrition and daily recommended intake for things like protein, sodium, carbs, etc., I've been paying a lot of attention to what I'm putting in my body. So I take a lot of care, not just to limit the potentially harmful substances, but also making sure that I get what my body needs and that I don't end up malnourished. To be frank, it'd probably be a tad healthier for me to have taken a more gradual approach to slimming my diet down, because that first week was kind of a physiological shock, but now that I've gotten used to it, I'd say I'm very healthy.

    Furthermore, let's not forget the Golden Lesson of 30 Days of Fitness: Pay attention to your body and listen to what it tells you. I'm sleeping better, I have more energy, and my body feels strongger and more toned. If I was litertally just starving myself and working to the bone, I would've landed myself in the hospital at this point. I would've at least started suffering symptoms like bad headaches, nausea, etc.

    6. Do you have any advice for people looking to lose weight or just generally get more fit?
    Well, let me start by saying that I'm not a nutritionist, personal trainer or even a seasoned veteran at the gym or in the kitchen. But as someone who's gotten really great results in the last month, I would say that if you're looking to make a change, you've gotta commit full-tilt. Don't go all-in at once, necessarily, but if you want to lose weight, you have to know that your diet is actually more important than just working out, so don't just do one or the other.

    For god's sake, make your own meals. Depending on restaurants or convenience meals to get you where you need to be leads to malnourishment or over-indulgence, straight up. By controlling the ingredients and various serving sizes, you're able to custom-tailor a meal plan to what you're after. Whether it's bulking up or slimming down, this will make a gigantic difference, no doubt about it. I know cooking all the time is tedious, but if you cook in bulk (last night I cooked my lunch for the next three days), it's not so bad.

    Try to make things fun, if you can. I got a FitBit Flex because it kind of gameifies fitness. I get real-time updates on my progress against my set goals, and it constantly pushes myself to go a little harder, walk a little further or just stay upright a little longer. I got a standing desk because I'd read so much about how sitting all day is bad for you. And that's been a fun way to make me more active in general - I'm always moving. And by keeping your heart rate up consistently, you'll see better cardio results.

    Whether you're bulking or slimming, protein shakes are a great way to achieve your goals. I use a Hydro Whey formula from GNC that helps me cut calories faster while giving me a lot of much-need nutrients to get through the day. It's also got caffeine, which is great for you folks who are cutting coffee.

    Lastly, just don't be afraid or intimidated. Everyone goes at the their own pace and if you're making any effort at all, you're going in the right direction. Be proud of yourself for that. Stick with it and you'll get where you want to be. Because seriously, if I can do it, you can do it.

    7. What happens now?
    Now I begin the meat of my journey to 185. I'm going to stay on the 1500 calorie diet, but I'll probably cut myself some slack a couple times a week if someone wants to grab dinner or a couple drinks. I really only need to be at a caloric deficit of around 750 a day to stay on track, which ,at my basal metablic rate, gives me around 2400 total calories a day to play around with. Shooting for 1500 is only going to speed up my progress, but hitting 2000-2200 calories every now and then isn't going to kill me.

    All the same, I'm going to keep doing Cheat Days. They're incredibly helpful mentally (during the week, I often think about all of the awful shit I'm gonna stuff down my gullet on Saturday) and they keep my metabolism running quickly. I might show a little more restraint, though, especially when it comes to carb-heavy meals like pizza.

    My workouts will continue getting more intense and I'm going to keep going Monday through Thursday. My body's trained to wake up around a quarter to 5AM now (though I don't make myself get up until the alarm goes off - I'm only human), so I don't see my fitness schedule changing any time soon.

    Finally, I plan on writing additional fitness blogs here when I hit milestones or experience something noteworthy. I can't promise that it'll be on any sort of schedule, but I'll chime in every now and then. If you want the most consistent updates, check my Twitter feed (@crosstawk) on Monday mornings. I'll keep updating my weekly weigh-ins there.

    So that's that. 30 Days of Fitness is over, my life of fitness is only beginning.

    Excelsior!

    - Karl Castaneda

    Tuesday
    Aug122014

    Syndicated: Episode 12 (Chuck)

    Round 2 (Season two?) of Syndicated beings!   Andy's back on deck with his next pick, and his pick is the 2007 action-comedy: Chuck.  The world of Chuck Bartowski is filled with spies, nerds, gunplay, karate, and lots of sexual innuendo.

    Neal, Nathan, and Luke join Andy to give their thoughts on Chuck.  What do they think?  Do they all agree, or do we have a genuine disagreement on the show?  Tune in to find out!  

    Next time on Syndicated, we'll be talking about the first 12 episodes of Arrow.  Email us your thoughts!

    We have a twitter account!  Follow us @SyndicatedPod!

    Don't forget to email us at SyndicatedPodcast@gmail.com!

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