Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gyms, Weight Loss and Other Stories


Workout Diaries for Further Reading

The truth can sometimes be very cruel. Not only had my last business quarter been a fiscal nightmare, but I also managed, by some unkind twist of fate, to put on about seven heavy kilos. I had tyre marks permanently engraved into my stomach, and I could no longer do up my favorite jeans. Situation: very frantic.

I always wonder why this happens to me alone. I'm NOT a hedonist: I don’t drink, I don’t smoke (not even the odd one or two, honest), but I will admit, I am a narcoleptic insomniac- I hardly sleep, maybe four to five hours and I absolutely don't exercise. In fact, I hate exercising.

But I know I need to do something to offset (or at least balance) all the evil toxins and fats floating inside my body. So recently I joined a plush gym and went devotedly four times a week for one month. Then I got jaded and gave up.

Let's face it, any gym is tiresomely dull and expensive. You pound away on the treadmill / exercise bike like a hamster on a wheel, getting nowhere and being forced to watch VH1 into the bargain. Or you dislodge several bones hauling away at the weights machines, all under the supposedly clinical supervision of a expert trainer.

Or, in my case, you manage somehow to increase the size of your stomach muscles doing sit-ups. I really don't know what happened there, but it put me off the gym for life.

But I do want to get a flat stomach; I want to trim my tummy. And I'm aware that I possibly won't attain this if I carry on spending every evening down the pub or snacking out on my sofa.

It's time again for some drastic action. It's time to go back to the gym. Yeah, the torturous gym: hauling my ass off and submitting myself to workout hell!

Now, after battling for 20 minutes for car parking - it is the first Tuesday of July - I finally find a spot about half a kilometer away and begin my trudge towards the gym into the sliding entrance.

My sense of humor swiftly deteriorating, I push my way through the hordes of other harried over-eaters to the changing room. The guilt hangs thick in the air. One can cut the self-deprecating ambiance with a blade. No one looks in the mirrors, and the scale has never been so idle. Post-binge horror has set in!

Squeezing into my gym gear, which seemed so much looser just a few months ago, I mull over the task ahead. Half an hour on the step machine and, just to push myself into sado-masochistic overload, and a full bottle of Gatorade. Might as well go huge...or go home.

I climb aboard the Stairmaster, trying to disregard the almost licentious stares of the overweight, over-aged and probably under-sexed neanderthal next to me. This is the gym, not a bloody gay singles club! Aargh!

Stepping furiously, I punch in my details. Getting to the "weight" category, I absurdly hit 75, wondering if the stair machine knows I'm suffering from a solemn bolt of self-loathing and will "work me" extra hard.

After a mere five minutes I'm sweating up a storm, but still determined. After 15 minutes, I'm hanging onto the arms, struggling to inhale.

Twenty minutes. I start debating my sanity. Body has taken over, mind has shut down (probably a subconscious survival tactic to dry the pain) and the hirsute ogre next to me has become a blur. I decide to focus really hard on VH1. I don’t relish the BlackEyedPeas but Fergie really does have the most amazing colour eyes and also the most remarkable….never mind.

Five minutes to go. Reality escapes me and I set the machine to a higher level. Stepping hysterically, I can almost taste success! Almost there... and I'm sure I'm getting thinner by the second. I too can have a body like Van Damme!

Bingo. "Goal Attained" flashes in beautifully cheesy neon across the screen. I sink to the floor, breathing hard. The neanderthal has moved onto the bikes, and is staring at me oddly.

When my breathing returns to normal, I try to pinpoint the nearest water machine. Why do they always have to hide the bloody things?

I start feeling kinda pompous of myself. Not a bad start. I've survived the first blitz without going into cardiac arrest, my legs have quit trembling and, suddenly, the Gatorade doesn't seem necessary after all. Don't want to overdo it on the first day. Reality has returned!

Feeling slightly unsteady, but very contented, I manoeuvre through the crowds back to my parked car. The sun is still high in the sky, despite it being around six o'clock. My tummy already feels smaller but then it’s just a feeling, tomorrow will be another day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Gotcha 1985 Original Movie Soundtrack + Bonus Mp3s


A WebSnacker Exclusive Mp3 Release

My last movie review post received an unusual number of requests; not for a movie upload but for the soundtrack of Gotcha - the 1985 teen action adventure starring Anthony Edwards and Linda Fiorentino. I was not at all surprised, they ought to. Featuring hit music from the 80's like the Bronski Beat, Nik Kershaw, Joan Jett and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the soundtrack's no.1 hit was the title track by Theresa Bazar. Finding this from my collection was a pain though, my vintage hard disk wont boot and if it did, it wont let me search. Anyway, I hope it was worth the effort. Go ahead, download and let the nostalgia floor you..

14 tracks in playlist, average track length: 5:44

1. Thereza Bazar - Gotcha
2. Giuffria - Never Too Late
3. Camelflage - What's Your Name
4. Hubert Kah - Angel 07
5. Nik Kershaw - Wouldn't It Be Good
6. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - Gotcha Where I Want Ya
7. Giuffria - Say It Ain't True
8. Bronski Beat - Small Town Boy
9. Randy Newman - I Love LA
10. Hubert Kah - Engel 07
11. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
12. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Two Tribes
13. Bill Conti - Check Point
14. Bill Conti - On The Edge

Free Mp3 Download - 88.01 MB Single Zipped Folder – Multiupload Link - (links to Rapidshare, Deposit Files, Megaupload, Zshare, Hotfile and More)

This is a limited time promotion. If you like this, please buy the Original Gotcha Soundtrack at http://www.itunes.com/, http://www.amazon.com/ and your nearest music retailer.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Digital Playgrounds of the New World


Child's Play and Advertising

Quick! What do you remember about Saturday or Sunday mornings when you were a kid? Chances are, if you grew up in the 70s or later, Saturday and Sunday morning meant cartoons. And while a weekend sunup might have meant cartoons for you, it meant direct-hit, targeted marketing for toy and cereal companies. Bernard Loomis is known as the man who invented Saturday morning because, as CEO of Mattel, the manufacturer of Hot Wheels, he launched the Hot Wheels television show. This flawless blurring of TV show and commercial was a revolution of positively epic magnitude in marketing terms. Imagine getting a consumer's exclusive attention for 30 straight minutes today! Very good luck.

But a few weeks ago on a rainy Saturday morning, I noticed a fascinating experience at my former senior colleague’s home. His three kids (all under 7 years) and their two equally young cousins were huddled around one of the many computers at his home. The living room was completely vacant and the television was switched off. Lazily sipping a fine Nescafe blend, I asked them why they weren't watching cartoons like good little kids.

The collective force of annoyed looks was scornful. "We're playing games with other kids online." Pointing excitedly to the ever-changing screen, my friend’s daughter said, "See, if you want to chat, you type your message here. Look, I'm talking to a kid in Austria while we play." "Whoa," I thought, "After these messages, we won't be right back!"

I was intrigued. Multi-user web gaming isn’t breaking news to me, but it dawned on me that yet another precept of marketing had been rendered dead in the water by the Internet. Man, I just love that!

I sat down in the empty living room with my favorite cup of hot coffee and stared out the window, past the darkened television to the distant wet sky, and wondered just what, exactly; Bernard Loomis would do in this situation.

Marketing is shifting swiftly these days, and technology-driven opportunities are numberless. Just look at the frantic promotions that those sprawling mega-malls are employing to keep people off-line. Or checkout Airtel’s new Facebook promo, the telecom leader in India has a new promotion with Facebook that offers consumers free access to the Facebook’s mobile site in vernacular languages on their phone, a first of its kind in the world. Seems like kind of a stretch to me.

Everywhere you look, big brands are in trouble. Kelloggs, McDonalds and Ford are all examples of big brands having difficulties adapting to the new consumer-driven web economy. Back in 1969 when Bernard Loomis came up with his brainstorm, the brand was the central focus. The thinking was that if you create a popular brand, customers would flock to you. But now, consumers are more concerned with the future of their brands than the history of the brand. Yikes. This turns traditional packaged goods marketing upside down.

Then again, every fit of disorder and change presents new opportunities for those who are willing to apply some energy to their interpretations. We know that kids have moved from in front of the TV to in front of the computer, from passive viewing to active real-time interactions. There's an exchange going on, and the challenge for marketers is figuring out how to meaningfully join in and capitalize.

For Bernard Loomis, that meant creating a TV show based on his product. For today’s marketer, it might mean creating something completely new that delivers exactly what tech savvy kids are asking for these days. Poke around the Cartoon Network website and you'll see what the little kids are doing today.

So if you're a marketer experiencing that nauseated deer-in-the-headlights feeling brought on by out of control change, I encourage you to remember that chaos breeds opportunity. And if you think about it the correct way, you just might find that opportunity waiting to be knocked online (and also offline).

Friday, July 2, 2010

Garbage Greatest Hits – A Websnacker MP3 Exclusive!


The Best of Garbage - All the Garbage You’ll Ever Need and More!

If you have never heard of Garbage, the fantabulous 7 times Grammy-nominated electronic alternative rock band (famous for the James Bond theme song ‘The World Is Not Enough’), now is the time.

An exceptionally talented ensemble featuring Shirley Manson on the vocals with Steve Marker, Duke Erikson and the hit producer Butch Vig for support, Garbage play a inimitable kind of alternative rock that seamlessly blends rock, electronica with elements of grunge, power pop, new wave and even trip hop.

Butch Vig incidentally is the producer of such multi-platinum selling albums like Nirvana’s Never mind, Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream besides acts like the Soul Asylum, AFI and more recently Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown, which won this year’s Grammy for Best Rock Album.

From their self-titled debut in 1995, to their second album in 1998 – Version 2.0 to 2001’s Beautiful Garbage, 2005’s Bleed Like Me and other singles, you’ll find almost all their best hits plus my personal favorites in this exclusive compilation not available anywhere else on the web or at your nearest record store. Download and enjoy the Garbage..its good as gold!

26 tracks in playlist, average track length: 4:05
Estimated playlist length: 1 hour 46 minutes 16 seconds

Garbage - Drop Dead Gorgeous
Garbage - Stupid Girl
Garbage - Cup Of Coffee
Garbage - A Stroke Of Luck
Garbage - Crush (I Will Die For You) ( Romeo & Juliet Sdtk)
Garbage - You Look So Fine
Garbage - So Like A Rose
Garbage - Bad Boyfriend
Garbage - Androgyny
Garbage - Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
Garbage - Special (Rickidi Raw Mix)
Garbage - When I Grow Up
Garbage - The Trick Is To Keep Breathing
Garbage - I Think I'm Paranoid
Garbage - Milk
Garbage - Shut Your Mouth
Garbage - Breaking Up The Girl
Garbage - The World Is Not Enough (World Is Not Enough Sdtk)
Garbage - Run Baby Run
Garbage - Special
Garbage - Push It
Garbage – Parade
Garbage - My Lover's Box
Garbage - Only Happy When It Rains
Garbage - Deadwood
Garbage - Queer

THIS IS A NON-COMMERCIAL FAN MIXTAPE.
If you like this Garbage compilation, please buy Garbage. You can buy their music at www.garbage.com or directly at www.store.livenation.com/Store.aspx?cp=13281_16771_16025 or at www.itunes.com, www.amazon.com and other music retailers.

Free Mp3 Download - 98.35 MB - Single Zipped FolderMegaupload Link
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