August Update 2023

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Tags: Updates 2023

Back update

I think from here on out I’ll stop doing back updates as often unless something major happens like a surgery, a procedure, or I go back to work consistently. I’m finally working into a routine and good habits so there probably won’t be much change from month to month to be interesting enough to blog about. I have started doing the McGill big 3 slowly, which are a set of 3 core exercises that are commonly recommended for low back pain. Personally, the McGill crunch has seemed to be more helpful to temporarily relieve pain than a cobra push/press up has. That might be due to my genetics. I didn’t know that genetics and the actual shape of your vertebrae are factors in what cause herniated discs and what can aid/restrict healing.

I’ve also been trying to limit my caffeine intake, and that has seemed to help a fair bit. So far it’s helped with having less anxious feelings and mood swings, better sleep, and I am staying hydrated better. Drinking 300-400mg of caffeine a day was average for me, which is not quite lethal but really not good for you. I went cold turkey 0mg for about 3 weeks before I “fell off the wagon” again, and have been drinking 1 energy drink (about 180-200mg for the brands I drink) every other day and I am really starting to feel the negatives again.

Moderate caffeine intake is not harmful or negative, there’s a lot of research on the nootropic effects of it. But because of how much caffeine I would have and when I would drink it it’s a negative experience for me. While off of caffeine I have much better sleep which leads to better recovery. Better sleep also leads to more regulated energy levels and better mood. Caffeine is a slight diet suppressant and diuretic so I’m eating a little more and also hydrating better by drinking water, which is good for your discs (as well as your mental health and general feelings).

I’m making better choices than I have been, so we’ll see how it goes.

One Piece


I think I caught up to the story the day after my last post. I read like crazy for about the last 30 chapters, which is sort of a bad thing because there’s going to be some stuff that I missed. To be totally honest I’ve forgotten the last 10 chapters at least. Overall One Piece is starting to ramp up really quickly with Egghead. I’m incredibly excited for Elbaf, another island that has been in talks since around chapter 115, it’s the one island Usopp really wants to go to, I’m just so hyped.

I’m so glad I finally decided to read it, it’s been such an awesome story. I was never sold on One Piece, I thought an anime that was about pirates that lasted for so long was stupid. I thought “why do they need 1000 episodes, that’s gratuitous, there’s no way all of that is important”, but I was SO wrong. Everything is important, even when you don’t think it’s important, it’ll come up again later. I want to eventually go back and read it and catch up again (if it’s still not finished). I’m incredibly proud that I stuck with it and caught up before it was finished. One Piece will go down in history as one of the most complex and intricate pieces of art ever made.

I kind of hate to say it, but I’m getting a little excited for the live action that’s coming out in a few days. I HATE live actions, and see almost zero point in them. A lot of them are horribly done and are just trying to make money off of a medium that does not translate well to human emotions, and I thought that was especially going to be true for One Piece. One piece is very cartoony (for lack of a better word), there’s a lot of ways the characters exhibit emotions that don’t translate well into normal human reactions if you were to see someone do them in real life (take for example Ed’s personality in the Cowboy Bebop live action). I think this will still be slightly cringe, and I think reading the manga or watching the anime first would be the smarter choice. A video came out a few days ago with Oda telling IƱaki (the actor playing as Luffy) that he was the person closest to Luffy he’s seen. Time and time again I have questioned Oda and been unfaithful, and have always been proven wrong, so I’m going to sit back and trust him this time. I’ll be watching at least the first season of the show and maybe reviewing it. There’s a lot of stuff I want to review, but never make time for.

Vinland Saga


I also started watching the Vinland Saga anime again. I watched the first season 2-3 years ago, and I thought it was ok. I didn’t understand/care for the politics stuff of what was going on between Denmark and England, which is what the first season is mostly about. Keeping track of all these places and their motives was boring to me. I finally decided to rewatch it, and I paid a lot more attention and enjoyed it much more. The politics are actually stupid simple, I was just being dense.

I’m almost done with the second season which I think is really good too. I’ve heard that people don’t like it as much as the first season, but I’m not sure if they mean the animation or the story. It’s animated by Mappa, so it’s up there in quality in my opinion. The story is definitely a tone shift compared to season 1, but that kind of tone shift is what made me want to rewatch it. I knew that it started centering around Thorfinn becoming a pacifist and more of the ideas presented in the bible. I think having Thorfinn really sit down and wondering what he’s going to do after Askeladd died is an amazing side of the story, and one that doesn’t get explored enough in other anime/manga. Berserk for example, Guts is after Griffith and is basically all hate and fear. He’s spent his entire life fighting in one way or another, so what’s he gonna do if and when he gets him? I don’t know, I really like Thorfinn’s progression and growth. Thorfinn is struggling to be a pacifist and to find the “first solution” instead of violence, which is much better than him never putting his hands up again, it shows he’s human and still makes mistakes. I think I like it better than season 1. I miss Askeladd, but it has Snake who is really interesting.

I might buy the deluxe editions of the manga that are coming out later this year and early next year. I’ll probably try to read it before then, but One Piece still has me in a weird spot with reading manga right now.

Zach Bryan - Zach Bryan

On August 25th, Zach Bryan released his self titled album and it’s pretty good. I haven’t given it a thorough enough listen, I’ve been slacking a little. My favorite songs right now are “Hey Driver” and “East Side of Sorrow”. It’s still Zach so it’s good and definitely worth a listen.

I cut the blog pretty close to the end of August this time, I’m gonna try to be earlier next month.

by Jackson Taylor