Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pre-sale Charter Memberships sold today!

5-21-06 Today was our first day set up to sign up pre-sale charter memberships at our location! We've been e-mailing and calling the names of those who saw us at the mall over the holidays, so this was their first chance to come over and see where we are at. All together, we have over 30 charter members to date! So in the few weeks left before we actually open, we will be promoting the pre-sale and contacting everyone we know about the charter memberships.

Here's Joel giving a tour to the Greenes, long-time patients of mine. I'm pretty sure they signed up!

Here's Kim talking to a potential member. I don't recall if she actually signed herself up.

Aleta was our last sign up of the evening, coming right before 8 PM. She was ready to become a charter member and wants to focus on toning up. I told her about the Powergrid and the bouldering wall toning her up big time.

4 year old Conner had a blast on the wall; his parents signed up his older brothers, but it looks like it's going to be tough to keep him off the wall! LOL!

Connor also likes to take pictures using my digital SLR, and he wanted to take a picture of me on the wall, so here's his shot--pretty good, if I do say so myself. Nice shot Connor!

By this time tomorrow night (5-22-06), all this front glass part will be changed (to comply with certain codes). Stay tuned!

The Knowlton boys also came by, and wanted to try the bouldering wall. Here are Jake and Josh testing out the wall.

Javan couldn't be left out, so he had to give the wall a try. He's into it!

Jake eyeing his next move or hold....

Oh no! Jake lost his footing and his hanging on for dear life!!!

Josh managing under the ledge. You go Josh!

More later!!!

Friday, May 19, 2006


5-19-06: Just a quick shot of the walls. One is the completed bouldering wall, and the other shows the kitchen's wall completed and half painted.

Excuse the stand in the way, but this gives you almost a full view of the wall (you can't see the starting holds on the left). If you follow just the colored holds, the green is the easiest, the yellow more difficult, and the Orange Crush is the most difficult. Even though you don't get off the ground that high in places (the lowest points are the most difficult, just ask Nate!), it is very challenging and you'll feel muscles you didn't know you had before!

The kitchen is now all dry walled, and by now, may even be all painted. Soon, the appliances and flooring will come in and the ceiling will be fnished off.

Keep checking for more changes!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Orange Crush tested by Nate

5-14-06 Our bouldering wall is complete (except for the 4-inch padded flooring). We finished putting the last route up with the orange holds. This is the most difficult route on the wall, which we dubbed, the "Orange Crush". It was designed for most people NOT to be able to finish! I wanted to have it tested by someone experienced in wall climbing, so I recruited Nate Garcia, a certified wall climbing instructor, to give it a run, even though he didn't have his gear or shoes!

Last Friday, Joel and I set up what is now the Orange Crush. Here is Joel, marking out the route with blue tape while I followed along, bolting the holds into the wall. (Thanks to Corey and Shan for helping Joel set up the green and the yellow routes!)

With Joel spotting, Robert, one of the construction crew, gives the wall a try. This part of the wall requires a lot of forearm strength just to hang on!

Our general contractor, Fred (yellow shirt), and Robert take a break to give the wall a try. Way to go, Fred! Looking like spiderman!

Nate nears the end of the Orange Crush. Here's a very difficult overhang where the holds are underneath that shelf! While he did very well, especially without shoes, he will need a few more runs at it before he can make it all the way without dropping off. He graded it "very challenging" and well-done (especially how we turned the holds more difficult), and looks forward to trying it again! Thanks for testing it out, Nate!

Trip to E3

5-12-06 Joel and I made the trek to the Los Angeles Convention Center to see the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the trade show for anything and everyone in the video/computer game world. E3, as it is commonly referred to, is where you can see every single game that's out there. Plus this is where companies unveil their upcoming games and consoles, such as the PS3 and Nintedo Wii. This is where I've found some of the companies that we now have in our Zone! Unfortunately, there was hardly any exertainment video games or hardware this year, which was very disappointing. But we did find a few good contacts, such as distributors and such.

Joel is mesmerized by the 360 deg. display by one of the big companies, I think Sony here. E3 is definitely sensory overload!

BodyPad is a company that found out about us on the Internet and Frederick (suit in middle) and I started e-mailing each other. They are located in France, so this was our first time to meet in person. The other Frederick (in white), demo'd the BodyPad for us.

Frederick shows us how to play one of the many martial arts games. They told us this would work with other sports gams as well, such as Athens 2004. We're looking forward to trying it out!

Joel is talking with BodyPad's US distributor, filling her in on who we are and establishing a relationship for future business dealings.

All throughout our time there, Joel's cellphone kept going ringing as he was taking care of...what details!

While there, we did try a few games, such as this baseball sim by QMotions (based in Riverside).

A few days before, I attended the 1-day Games for Health conference, held a few miles away at USC. That was very exciting, and networked with a lot of different people doing research in a variety of video game applications in health. Besides speaking on a panel at the end of the day representing exertainment/exergaming, I heard a wide range of presentations such as the use of video games in stroke rehab and decreasing anxiety in kids going into surgery. (This has sparked an idea about using handheld video games to help quit smoking....)

And so ended another trip to the annual video gaming mecca!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Passed Food Tech certification!

5-2-06: A group of us (COO Joel, Joel's wife Judy, GM Dr. Knowlton & husband Corey, myself, and some of our current interns/future employees--Alicia and Jose H.) took a food service technician course and test this evening. This is required for anyone working with food prep and sales in a commercial setting, such as our smoothie bar in the Cool Zone. Since we will all be taking turns working at the smoothie bar, we all took the test to get certified!

It was an "open-note" test, so why are Corey and Kim looking at Judy's notes??? Actually, Corey and Judy both scored 100% (which means they get to spend the most time working the smoothie bar) while the rest of us passed as well (I missed 1--argh!!!). The teacher, Gerry Cox, said that he's tested 20,000 students in his career, and only 9 have failed, so our odds were pretty good that we'd pass.

We are now officially certified to wear our hair nets that Judy brought to the class to give out as our reward for passing!

Visitors from the Midwest

5-2-06: Had some special guests from Michigan, Dr. Richard T. Orrison (left) and Mr. Thomas Baker. Dr. Orrison was the principal at Andrews Academy which I attended back in Berrien Springs, MI. Mr. Baker was (and still is) an English and German teacher there as well. They were out here visiting us alumni, and had heard all about XRtainment Zone and wanted to check it out. After checking it out, they offered to open the franchise up in the UP, maybe on Mackinac Island!

Small world! Turns out Mr. Baker and Betty Simental (our gen. contractor Fred's wife) were high school classmates! They had a nice time getting caught up.

The ancient A/C ducting is being replaced throughout the place.

Bouldering wall taking shape!

4-28-06: The carpenter, Steve, works on attaching the panels to the wall. Quite a task!

5-2-06 The panels are finally attached to the wall and soon, we'll be putting the hand holds on it. Look at all those angles. You can't see it here, but further to the right, it gets really difficult. Looks like it'll be a fun and challenging wall to work out on!