Review of the Samsung Intercept and Epic

Over the last month I have tried both the Samsung Intercept and Epic. Here are my thoughts.

I really wanted to like the Intercept, but in the end the quality wad so poor I couldn’t stand it. The phone frequently locked up and crashed, making it unusable. It had great features for the price, but a low price for junk out still money thrown away.
So I got an Epic. Right now I’m composing this entry on the Epic using the swype system, and even through I’m not used to the system it’s pretty fast. It has great apps and looks beautiful. I plan to stress test the phone in the next few days to check the camera and battery.

Tracking food: a 30-day trial

Armed with the Sparkpeople website and an Android app, I am tracking everything I eat for 30 days. I am on day 3. So far, I have noticed the following:

* tracking is hard with all the composite foods

* coffee cream has a lot of calories

* I didn’t intend to change my eating habits, but I have automatically

My BMI is around 28, so I’m due to lose a few.

Exercise update

Well, the third part of my new year’s resolution (yeah, remember those?!) — blogging — hasn’t gone so well. Neither this blog nor my professional blog over at Realizations has gone so well, at least in terms of frequency of updating. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, but, let’s just say that I’m out either doing the things I intended to journal about or paying the price of not getting laid off in a nasty economy. I’m thankful for that problem as opposed to the other side.

After kicking around the idea for a year, I decided to get back into taekwondo. (Ok, so pun intended.) As it turns out, my wife dropped by the local taekwondo studio a few weeks ago and really liked the place, so now 3 out of our 4 family members are going. About 28 years ago, I stuck with it long enough to get an orange belt, and now I’m starting over. This will give me a chance to refine technique and unlearn some bad habits established a while back (not necessarily as part of my childhood class). It also gives me a chance to practice beginner’s mind, which I can stand to practice far more often than I do, and if I get really creative I can figure out how to apply the principles of Anusara yoga to the practice. And the black uniforms rock.


So, this year I had a new year’s resolution to get back into exercise and yoga, and blog about it. I have hit one out of three, and on the second I’ve done ok but not as well as I want. On blogging, well since my last entry is Jan 2, you can guess where that went.

It’s funny that often, when one makes a personal commitment, the universe throws us a bunch of reasons why not. It’s like a test.

Well, the exercise has been going well. I’ve been running at least 3 times a week on the treadmill, and I’ve been building my base speed gradually. I can run for at least 45 minutes at about a 13 min/mi pace (no incline).

Usually, I do the following in about a week:

  • An “interval” train, which basically consists of running at about target heart rate (148-150 bpm) or slightly higher, interspersed with about 1 min bursts of speed.
  • A long, easy to moderate jog to build up endurance. (Zones 1 and 2, if you’re keeping track.)
  • A shorter, more moderate (Zone 2 1/2 or 3) run, with inclines.
  • If I can manage it (when I can’t, it’s more time constraints rather than physical limitation), I do the third another time.

The yoga hasn’t been faring as well, though I have much improved over my practice from last year. I went to 3 classes in Jan and one in Feb, and practice about twice a week.

I’ve started a bit of crosstraining as well. Now that the weather is nicer, I’ve gone out on my bicycle. One of the roads near my neighborhood has 4 consecutive challenging (for me) hills, so I try to hit that. It’s very much like the interval run. Once I’ve mastered that and it becomes easier, I can try climbing out of the valley the hard way. But I imagine I have plenty of time and growth before that happens.

As for blogging the results, well, you can see the results for yourself.

    An old favorite

    Appropriate for the season, for tomorrow I return to work.

    New Years resolutions, followup Day 3

    Well, yesterday I didn’t do a yoga or running workout, mostly because I was so sleep deprived I felt that doing a workout would do more harm than good. I had gotten 4 hours of interrupted sleep the night before, and ended up taking a nap in the middle of the day. In fact, I fell asleep on the living room chair with two children running full throttle!

    Today, I tried to turn it around a bit. I didn’t go to church this morning (need to get back on that schedule), but I did get in a yoga practice outside in the cul-de-sac. And, of course, some journaling and yoga. Last night, I got a lot of sleep, with quite vivid dreams.

    I do think journaling and blogging is helping with the anger management. I’ve handled things marginally better, though I am still feeling a bit of resentment. I think a combination of cabin fever brought on by a two-week school vacation (including 8 hours in the van together), two or three rather severe illnesses, and the after-effects of these (read: house a lot messier than I would like) have tested our ability to regulate emotions around here. I resume work tomorrow, and our older one resumes school on Tuesday. The saving grace has been that the neighbor’s children have been out of school as well, so when we haven’t been off visiting relatives they have been playing in the backyard.

    2009 resolutions

    Ok, New Year. Time for resolutions, which this year are very simple. The strategy is to do something on each of these for 30 days, like a bunch of mini parallel 30 day trials.

    1. Journaling! I did ok in 2007, will do better in 2008. First step: write for at least 5 minutes every day in January, and post the results in my personal blog.
    2. Yoga. Do at least 10 minutes every day for 30 days, more is better. Journal each day about the results.
    3. Anger management. Harder to set a measurable goal about it, so I will just have to journal the results each day.
    4. While this won’t be everyday, I do want to pay more attention to my statistics blog. So, I will aim for one entry a week. If it grows enough, I might turn it into something more of a semi-professional hobby.
    5. Dream journaling.
    6. I don’t really need to change what I’m doing for career success, just keep learning, and keep speaking up.

    Personal development for INTP people

    So, I bought Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People. Steve is a creative mathematical genius who has a passion for personal growth, and his book focuses on the principles behind any effective personal development program. So far, I’ve eaten up the first two chapters of the book, and I have to say that for someone looking for a framework behind all the disparate personal development ideas, I really like this book. It details 7 principles (really, three, but the next three are pairwise combinations of the first three, and the last is a combination of all three), as well as advice for strengthening one’s relationship to each principle. The principles are truth, love, power, oneness, authority, courage, and intelligence.

    The think I like about this book is that it really gets to the root of personal development. It’s not about getting a better job, or meeting your perfect mate, or learning how to be better socially, although all of these positive benefits can follow from the advice in the book. The book’s about why we are here – our connections, our passions, the very things that drive us. When we strengthen our relationship to those basic seven principles we determine our own lives. To someone who has developed as an INTP, this is a great find.

    Personal growth in a time of hardship

    The Succulent Wife’s Favorite Things: Why This Scary Economy is … Good For Us?.

    Read it. I think we all have some thinking to do. One thing about the gas crunch in Asheville is that I’ve really had to think about whether it was necessary to take a petroleum-consuming vehicle a particular place or another. I’ve really had to cut back.

    The Ziggy effect

    It’s Ziggy!

    From Playset

    ©2008 John Johnson
    Click to enlarge