A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I bought my first digital camera. It was an Olympus. Then eventually I saw the Canon Digital Elph S100 and I fell in love with carrying around what are pocketable cameras.
Olympus in the meantime had produced some interesting models, but they were not pocketeable and as competitors advanced in what they were doing, their image quality had jaggies and chromatic aberrations (or purple fringing) - all over. They had improved somewhat but I was still not exactly interested. They have been doing some nice 10x ultra zoom models though.
Well, the latest round of Olympus cameras seems to have solved several issues they used to have... Chromatic Aberrations, one of my pet peeves since to be the handled the best in the current camera generation on the prosumer range. The 8080wide angle model and the new Ultra zoom fairly compact 765 and 770 models are very interesting. Of note is that the 770 can capture mpeg 4 640x480 @ 30fps movies. Makes pretty much about 4 times the length vs my Fuji motion jpeg movies.
I don't think the 770 is pocketeable, but it's still darn small. And having a 10x optical zoom with controlled chromatic aberrations is interesting.. indeed....
Will I buy it? I think I should wait. Even when my F700 seems like flopped on delivering Fuji's hype of the SR sensor every now and then I take a picture where I do see an edge in the dynamic range.
Anyhow, kudos to Olympus. I already recommended the 8080w to a co-worker.
It's weird in a way to think this "2nd movie" is actually part of Vol. 1.. in a way.. the pacing somehow changed... but in other parts it picks up and is similar, then changes again. But it was good. Great visuals, great compositions, great stuff.
Now, I have noticed that Kill Bill seems to evoke the following statistical ratio:
70%- liked quite a bit
30% - hate it to death or absolutely don't care about it, thinking of it as boring, or stupid, or silly, or pointless.
So here's my tip: If you fall in the 30% here, do yourself a favor and *DON'T WATCH* Vol. 2. There, I said it, save yourself some cash :-)
So umm... so far so good, I am working out. Two days so far, yipee! (said like Anakin Skywalker from the first movie in the new trilogy).
The good: I can feel my muscles "reviving". I feel kewl.
The bad? proably 19 days of consistency to go to etch the habit in my brain. Yup, according to psychological research it takes an average of 21 days to create or destroy a habit. Literally, a neural path is created in the brain that grows in strength with the repetition of said habit.
Well it took me some time that night to assemble it but mostly because at first I did not have all the right tools.. so I went into a super market that happened to be open 24 hours around here (Ralph's) and bought a couple of things.
So it's assembled, and I just finished my first "the 20 minute workout" thingie... it's the same as my older bowflex for that set of exercises except the new "movable pulley/angle of resistance" change thing. I did a bench press with the default narrow angle (equivalent to my previous Bowflex) and wide angle... it really does make a difference. Made the bench press much more challenging.
So other impressions:
Build of machine is good but..
The row seat. God damn Bowflex, it's virtually the same design. No "superior new and shiny" design. When I did the rowing it all brought back memories.. great rowing, but I can tell at some point something may give (the damn plastic rollers). I have decided to take the route that probably is what Bowflex expects: no I won't return it, but they will definitively hear from me every time the damn things break and will have to send a replacement seat or rollers - whatever. I have to admit this really pisses me off.
They better be working on that "improved design" for real.
My overall advice if you are buying a Bowflex:
* If you want cardio and rowing (and would not mind asking bowflex for a replacement seat every 6 months or every year), or you are not as overweight, anywhere near as I am, buy the Bowflex Pro at Costco. Really, it includes near all the same things and now that I worked out on this "Ultimate" model, the Bowflex Pro will feel for all the exercises they have in common pretty much, the same and will be equally effective. Save yourself $600-$700
* If you are a super hardcore trainer, and you know that you have been going to the gymn consistently 4-5 times a week for the past 2 years, and you want the ultimate variety in all sorts of exercises, then go for the Ulimate. Also if you run/bycicle, whatever consider the Extreme model, which doesn't have rowing but has virtually all of the "pro muscle building" exercises.
So there you go. It's a nice machine but in hindsight, going from what Costco sell would have been equally good and I would have saved $600.
Anyway, now that I have it, I am happy. It's setup, ready to go and zero driving/carding/waiting/getting out of car/getting in car gymn overhead.
"Hey Raist, would you defintively recommend everyone looking for a home gymn or such a Bowflex?"
I recommend you buy whatever you feel you will *USE CONSISTENTLY*, that is a good product at the lowest price you can get. In my case that was Bowflex. If for you that means a nice $500 bank w/ free weight go for that. The real reason went with Bowflex other than I already knew it really offers the training one needs is that I will use it consistently and is a better quality than say the Weider Crossbow.
Other than that, go for whatever you can find at the lowest price, that is good quality and above all *YOU WILL USE*.
The analogy from digital cameras applies here... Just like a big nice camera that stays at home doesn't take many pictures, the same applies to these things... The ultimate system/machine you don't use doesn't train you very hard, does it?
Well I have had my first workout.. which is getting those 6 boxes to my loft all the way from my garage of course! YAY! This just highlights how POOR my cardio vacsular condition is.. I even had to stop midstairs to catch my breath..
Onto first impressions on opening the box:
HOLY COW. Looks like YOU DO GET what you pay for! Everything is so... "pro"... so.. perfect.. all screws and all even labeled in a "plastic tools type thing" ready to be found. Wow wow wow. and the .. umm handles for back exercises and... um... hands and . MY GOD. This looks so PRO GYMN NEW like.. I am floored so far... let's just wait now until I get to that rowing seat and see if it's any different.. I'll post some pics later.
I hope to assemble this tonight, go to bed and then go to work early in the morning. Oh it's only 11:40 pm here.. I'll manage :-)