Muscle for life

Cool Stuff of the Week: ’80s Game of Thrones, Garmin Approach S4, Panzer Commander, and More…

Cool Stuff of the Week: ’80s Game of Thrones, Garmin Approach S4, Panzer Commander, and More…

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m kind of a sucker for cool stuff. I like nifty gadgets, quirky decoration pieces, nice clothes (and shoes!), good books, and fun games.

In this series of weekly posts, I share whatever currently has my fancy. Maybe some of it will catch yours as well!

(Oh and in case you’re wondering, while I do participate in Amazon’s affiliate program, I’m not paid to promote anything–I just do it for fun.)




What if Game of Thrones were a cheesy ’80s TV show? I’d still watch it!




Nope, Cloud isn’t a fancy Wi-Fi connected device that captures and uploads your entire life to a server somewhere. It’s, well, a cloud. And it stays in your house and does…cloud-like things. Check it out:

Pretty neat, right? It was created by artist Richard Clarkson and lets you enjoy a “storm” whenever you want thanks to its color-changing lights and speaker system. If you’d rather jam out with a light show, it comes with Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music as well.




The Gamevice Controller gives you a console-style gaming experience on your iPad mini. It already supports thousands of games, it’s plug-and-play (no need to pair with Bluetooth), and its light, ergonomic design fits both hands comfortably.




 If you want to cut your baked goods with swift, silent, and deadly precision, then you want the right type of cake slicer. This (plastic) samurai sword will do nicely.




If you’re even semi-serious about playing golf then you probably spend far too much money on this damn “pastime” than you should…but you’ve got to check out the Garmin Approach S4 watch. 🙂

The S4 is a powerful, GPS-enabled “virtual caddy” with a plethora of useful features and functions:

  • The yardages are very accurate when compared with a laser rangefinder (within a yard or two)
  • It’s great for tracking the distance you hit each of your clubs (hit the ball, click, go to ball, click, done)
  • The touchscreen makes for easy, quick use and can be read in the sunlight
  • Distances to the front, middle, and back of greens are shown, as well as lay-up and dogleg distances
  • The Green View feature is great for seeing the actual shape of the green and it also allows you to drag the pin into the appropriate position for perfect yardage accuracy

It’s also very light and unobtrusive. I wear mine on my left wrist when I play and don’t even notice it when I’m swinging.





I’m a bit of a history nut (I’ve plowed through hundreds of hours of Great Courses lectures) and especially like military history.

The best historical reads are almost always biographies as they give you so much more than a dry account of “this happened followed by that”–they give you the vicarious experience of the period and events and the great ones also give you profound lessons on how to navigate the ups and downs of life.

Well, Panzer Commander is one of the great ones.

Hans Von Luck was a tank commander and one of Nazi Germany’s most decorated soldiers, and in this book he takes us behind the turret to experience each of the major military campaigns of the war from the blitz through Poland to the disastrous Battle of the Bulge and finally to his bleak days as a prisoner of war in a Russian gulag (which was particularly interesting to see through his eyes).

As other readers have noted, the actual descriptions of the military battles themselves are a bit dry and, at some points, confusing due to a lack of maps, but all in all I thoroughly enjoyed von Luck’s anecdotes as well as the “behind-the-scenes” view  of the Wehrmacht that only someone as prominent as von Luck could provide.





 There’s a reason this movie won 4 Oscars: it’s one of the best movies of its type that I’ve ever seen.

This movie is (loosely) based on the biography of John Forbes Nash, an American mathematician whose pioneering work on game theory won him the 1994 Nobel Prize in Economics, and is a riveting tragedy of tortured genius.

You see, despite his great brilliance, Nash was also a paranoid schizophrenic, and thanks to what I think is Crowe’s greatest performance to date, we experience what it’s like to fight back against a kaleidoscopic mind that can crack infinitely complex codes but which also slides into almost phantasmagoric states where nothing is as it seems.

Complex, intelligent movies with a visceral tension and suspense are rare, and this stands out as one of the greatest. If you liked Shutter Island or Good Will Hunting, I guarantee you’ll like A Beautiful Mind.


What do you think of this week’s picks? Have anything you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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Leave a Comment!
  • Adele Frizzell

    I like all your picks, especially Game of Thrones 80s style. That was genius.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks! 🙂

  • James

    Hi mike, does your new book have a similar scheme to 5 3 1? I.e change in percentage of your 1 rep max that you should be lifting each week? That sort of periodisation is appealing to be recently but I don’t want to start it until I read your book! Lol

    • Michael Matthews

      Not exactly. You will be lifting in the 2-3 rep range, the 4-6 rep range, and the 8-10 rep range in each workout. Similar to a WSBB conjugated program.

      • Ben

        When is the new book coming out? Thought it was due out in March originally? haha

        • Michael Matthews

          Yeah man just have run into a lot of random slows–typesetting slows, printer slows, etc. It’s very close though. I would say 10 days longest.

          • Ben

            Ahh good! As long as its out in time for my holiday next month i’m happy! haha. Guessing there’s going to be a Kindle version?

          • Michael Matthews

            Yessir! You’ll be good. 🙂

  • Adel-Alexander

    Hey Mike, have you ever heard of the thing called musclegenes.com ? I saw a video of Scott Herman and his gf trying it out, and even if I don’t really plan on changing my training routine because I’m definitely seeing results doing the stuff that I’m doing now. It did get me a bit curious about this whole thing and wanted to hear your opinion about it.

    Scott’s video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIIEp3V-xcM

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah honestly I’m skeptical… Very skeptical…

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