Batcomputer – Enhance

I mentioned a while back that I was not planning on upgrading my computer for a while. That day has now come. When my parents came to visit for Christmas, my dad mentioned that he was interested in my MacBook, so I started looking around for a new computer.

BatComputer

My usage patterns have changed a lot over the last few years. I have not even turned my Dell workstation on in over a year, using my MacBook exclusively. However, all that usage was still in my bedroom, it was only because of performance differences.

I knew I wanted to go back to PCs. The Mac was nice for work and web-browsing, but I wanted to be able to play games again. The real question was whether I wanted a laptop or a desktop. In the end, I went with a desktop. It would be more customize-able now and more upgrade-able later. Plus, in sticking with my goal of a more active life, having it stay in my room is probably a good thing. I also thought about putting together the computer myself, like I have in the past when I wanted higher-end rigs, but I decided to go with a custom builder just because of convenience.

I went with Digital Storm and they did a great job. I got the computer yesterday and am in the process of deleting my porn moving my files over from the MacBook so I can give it to my dad. I have not had a chance to take advantage of the hardware yet, but am looking forward to a gaming marathon this weekend. First in the queue – Batman: Arkham Asylum!

Better late than never, right?

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Get a Grip

Some of you may have noticed that yesterday’s post, Mind Games, was originally published under the title “Get a Grip.” I originally meant for it just to be a segue into this post about grip strength, but it got so meaty I decided to unleash it on its own.

Superman Batman Handshake

Superheroes obviously have grip strength in spades, and so do a lot of action stars. For most folks, grip strength means being able to open a pickle jar. For weightlifters, it means going heavier on pulling motions like deadlifts, rows, and pull-ups.

I am unique among my workout partners in that my leg lifts are relatively stronger than my arm lifts, and I think a part of that is due to my smaller than proportionate (in my opinion) forearms, which limits my grip strength.

I looked into how to correct this imbalance, and got a couple of different suggestions. One was to simply change the way I was gripping the bar to get a better hold. Another was to start using chalk while lifting. I feel like these are crutches, though, that work around instead of addressing the problem.

Then I heard about some products designed to build your grip strength, and decided to go with Fat Gripz:

Fat Gripz

They are silicone tubes that fit over a standard bar to make it thicker and harder to hold, so you are constantly working your grip as you perform your normal lifting routine. I bought these because it was a cheap option and it did not add more work to my schedule. They have been in use for about two months now, and I definitely feel like they are making a difference in my lifts – I just set a deadlift PR every week this month.

The other option I had been considering, though, were the Captains of Crush:

Captains of Crush

I am sure you have all seen handgrippers, but these are specifically calibrated to different resistances so I can apply smart programming, and they also get a lot more difficult than competitors’ handgrippers. In fact, the manufacturers keep a list of lifters who are able to completely close the highest rated unit. Well, Joe got me a set of these, so looks like I will be improving my grip at an even faster pace now!

Really Really Ridiculously Good Looking

Heroes and Villains

I just heard about an exhibit that the Fashion Institute of Technology is putting on right now called “Heroes and Villains.” Too bad it is over in New York, or I would definitely go check it out. The pictures seem to be designers recreating super-costumes pretty faithfully, but what I would really like to see is riffs that keep the theme alive but take the designs in new directions.

Back in 2009, (it is hard to believe it was that long ago now…) after the Battle for the Cowl, there was a contest where fans submitted redesigned Batman costumes for Dick’s ascension, and I absolutely loved the winning entry.

Anjin Anhut's Batman

Not so much for Dick, just because it seems to stray a little far from the classic Batman design, but for fans and me personally, since it seems like a much more practical and realistic design a vigilante could use, especially one just starting out. If you follow through to the link, you will also see an Avatar-esque glider with a bat-shaped silhouette that goes with the costume.

Sad Batman

I have never really liked those family stickers people put on their back windshields. I suppose I am a single guy, so I am not really the target demographic for these things, but I feel like it always makes cars seem so busy, and my aesthetic sense leans more towards the clean de-badged look. However, the geeky riffs on these have gotten a good chuckle out of me, and the new Batman-themed one takes the cake!

Batman Car Decal

To Be A Kid Again

Under Armour just announced a new line of products called “Alter Ego” –

Under Armour Batman

As you can see, they feature superhero costumes, including Batman’s. Excited, I ran over to the Under Armour website only to find that the Alter Ego line only comes in youth sizes. I guess that model in the above photo is smaller than you would think.

I hope they do release adult-sized Alter Ego products soon. Big kids want to be superheroes, too!

Green Batman

On my way to the gym yesterday, I spotted a black Honda CR-Z with a Batman emblem!

Bat-CRZ

(Wish I had a better picture, but I was a safe driver and did not take this shot until we both came to a stop light.)

I guess he needed an upgrade from the Bat-Fortwo I have mentioned before. The CR-Z does give him nearly double the horsepower (going from 70 to 122) as well as make him more gas efficient (assuming he got a CVT model and not the 6-speed manual). Props to Batman for going green!

The Hard Way

A while back, I mentioned that I would love to get a Batman-style helmet. Recently, several friends have been forwarding me links to this new product:

Batman Motorcycle Helmet

(And also to the “cat” helmet here.) It looks pretty awesome! And I do like that it is built on top of an existing DOT-approved helmet. Eddie mentioned that I should be concerned about poking other with those ears, but I figure if I am ever going ears-first at someone, I probably have bigger concerns. Unless I am coordinating a stunt with a friend/sidekick…

Personally, I am worried about the aerodynamics of these helmets. The manufacturer for the cat helmet says “you won’t even notice them at a speed below 90mph,” which leads me to believe that my head is going to be ripped back when I go faster than that into a strong wind. Ideally, the Bat-helmet ears would sweep backwards like in the animated series.

Batcycle

I guess I will have to make it myself!