Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions.

So, a few year's ago I did the whole S.M.A.R.T. goal setting New Year's Resolution thing. [Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.] The way all the motivational-advice-giving-type-folks advise...

The result?

Abject and total failure. No headway at all and even further physical and financial deterioration.

So much so, that apparently I didn't attempt any more resolutions for two more years. At least not that I can find on the blog, amidst all the nonsense.

Then last January, the sum total of my resolutions consisted of saying I was going to "get my shit together."

The result?

While it took me till April to finally get my ass in gear, since then I've lost 9kilos/19lbs and paid off a credit card.

So, something to be said for the terse expression of frustration, apparently.

So yeah... this year, same again.

Lose another 9-10kilos and pay off another credit card and we'll chalk 2009 up in the "win" column.

See you on the other side.

Training 263/P90X 31.

Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X - 1.5L water - no food as of yet, but heading out in about an hour for New Year's Eve festivities, so there'll be pizza and liquor and whatnot. So, you know, it is what it is. Got my PT in today though.

Inspiration/Motivation - - ChickenTuna - BodySpace Member Of The Month - December 2008: MQuang!:
"Quang has been an active member of the BodySpace community since November 2007. His profile is very inspiring and he has made some incredible changes since he made up his mind to get in great shape and stay fit."

"We are living in exponential times..."

Via MUHSASHUM - Thoughts on Design, Culture & Whatever...

Course, ol' Bob Wilson told us all this years ago...

Timewave zero - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Robert Anton Wilson has the theory of The Jumping Jesus Phenomenon, which he describes at an hour and a half long seminar given in 1988 titled 'The Acceleration of Knowledge' and in his book Prometheus Rising. He also theorizes that information has doubled over history, and that these doublings come faster and faster...."

Robert Anton Wilson | Right Where You Are Sitting Now:
"The Jumping Jesus Phenomenon

...Let us define the measurement of known scientific facts in the year 1 A.D. as "one jesus," using the name of the celebrated philosopher born that year.

Before going any further, let us ask how long it took to arrive at one jesus. One way of estimating is to take the estimated age of homo sapiens, in which case it took 40,000 to 100,000 years.

How long did it take to double this accumulation of knowledge, to achieve two jesuses? It required 1500 years - until 1500 A.D. How long did it take to double again and obtain four jesuses? It required 250 years, and we had four jesuses in our larder by 1750.

The next doubling took 150 years, and by 1900 A.D. humanity had eight jesuses in our information account. The next doubling took 50 years, and by 1950 we had 16 jesuses. The next, ten years, and by 1960 we had 32 jesuses. The next doubling took seven years, and by 1967 we had 64 jesuses. And the next doubling took 6 years; by 1973 we have 128 jesuses.

There is no reason to imagine that the acceleration has stopped. Thus, we almost certainly reached 256 j around 1978-79 and 512 j in 1982.

In short, we are living in a mental transformation space; that is, an omnidimensional halo expanding toward infinity in all directions. And the electronic center of this halo of mentation is possibly everywhere. It is all available to you right where you are sitting now. Just plug in a terminal. The machine doesn't care who or what you are."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm totally a generational casualty of this.

This kind of stuff really came of age with the Saturday morning TV of my generation. I can't even imagine how it is now.

Free the Animal: Parents: Stop Killing Your Children Slowly:
"I think this angers me more than anything else. I want to slap parents silly when I see kids constantly chowing down on cereals, drinking those poisonous "fruit juices" in boxes marketed to imbecile parents as "healthy,' cookies, sweets non-stop, and then, when it's time for a meal -- even if it's a remotely healthy meal -- the kids either don't want to eat, or they want mac & cheese, pizza, or some other awful crap.

Just go to a local mall sometime, and any mall in America will do. You'll see it: the lines at Jamba Juice (don't be a moron: that garbage isn't remotely healthy), Cinnabon, cookie stands, Cold Stone, you name it.
Some breakfast cereals currently being marketed to U.S. children are more than half sugar by weight, according to Consumer Reports.

A single serving of 11 popular cereals, including Kellogg's Honey Smacks, can carry as much sugar as a glazed doughnut. And some brands have even more sugar and sodium when formulated for the U.S. market than the same brands have when sold in other countries.

Post's Golden Crisp and Kellogg's Honey Smacks are both more than 50 percent sugar by weight, while nine brands are at least 40 percent sugar.

If you don't have junk in the house -- at all, never, no exceptions ever, your kids will eat whatever is provided at mealtime. I don't believe in forcing them to eat anything. If all you have in the house is real food, just let their hunger take care of it. Don't worry about them not eating for a day or two. They will, eventually.

I once saw a program where some experts came into a home where the kids would throw a fit unless it was pizza, dogs, or burgers every damn meal. They initiated the approach above, never forced anything, but offered no alternatives that what was served for the meal, and no eating between meals. Inside of two weeks, all the kids were eating spinach and Brussels sprouts."

The H. L. Mencken Creed.

I'm not big on belief, but if I was, there are infinitely far worse ways to go.

Plus, Mencken is hilarious.

The H. L. Mencken Page - A Mencken Cornucopia - guide to H. L. Mencken resources on the Web:
"Mencken's Creed

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind - that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.

I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.

I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty...

I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.

I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech...

I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.

I believe in the reality of progress.

I - But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant."

Global 'warming' is tricksy.

I don't know... I wouldn't call myself a global warming "denier" per se [though the use of that expression, and the context of truth and psuedo-religiosity does make me wary] but the whole argument smacks of human hubris and overestimation of its own relative importance.

In the words of the immortal George Carlin:
"We’re so self-important. So self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these fucking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven’t learned how to care for one another, we’re gonna save the fucking planet?

I’m getting tired of that shit. Tired of that shit. I’m tired of fucking Earth Day, I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. They don’t care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are fucked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We’ve been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we’ve only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we’re a threat? That somehow we’re gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that’s just a-floatin’ around the sun?

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet…the planet…the planet isn’t going anywhere. WE ARE!

We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that."

Anyways, all that was kicked off by reading this -

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved - Telegraph:
"Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Ever shriller and more frantic has become the insistence of the warmists, cheered on by their army of media groupies such as the BBC, that the last 10 years have been the "hottest in history" and that the North Pole would soon be ice-free – as the poles remain defiantly icebound and those polar bears fail to drown. All those hysterical predictions that we are seeing more droughts and hurricanes than ever before have infuriatingly failed to materialise.

Even the more cautious scientific acolytes of the official orthodoxy now admit that, thanks to "natural factors" such as ocean currents, temperatures have failed to rise as predicted (although they plaintively assure us that this cooling effect is merely "masking the underlying warming trend", and that the temperature rise will resume worse than ever by the middle of the next decade).

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a "scientific consensus" in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world's most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that "consensus" which was only a politically engineered artefact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions..."

'Growing up in D.C. will turn you into an anarchist...'

That's funny. - Videos > Anarchist Philosopher Does Not Consent To Be Governed!:
"'Growing up in D.C. will turn you into an anarchist,' jokes Against the State: An introduction To Anarchist Political Theory author Crispin Sartwell. 'I'm expecting the revolution to emerge from Wheaton (Maryland), high schoolers in the D.C. area who are embroiled in the bureaucracy of the American state.' This five-and-a-half-minute-long interview was conducted by Nick Gillespie and shot and edited by Dan Hayes."

"We Like Sportz" by The Lonely Island.

The long awaited sequel to "Just 2 Guyz."

And for the hell of it, once again, Just 2 Guyz.

Ha-Ha! I say.

The third one? Not entirely dissimilar from comments made by my Mrs. [Not to me, thank god.]

Uncoached - 10 Funny and Inappropriate T-Shirts That Don't Use Curse Words |:
"I think that sometimes points are better made without having to use profanity."

Training 262/P90X 30.

Plyometrics - one big meal at the end of the day [off diet/Indian restaurant/a beer/big glass of homemade choco milk dessert] - 1.3L water

Hip-Hop Beef.

Hip-Hop Wargames: Ransom vs. Budden:
"Hip-hop's latest beef shows us the only way to win is not to play."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Training 260-1/P90X 28&29.

260/28 - Yesterday, Rest/Free. Originally had a wkout scheduled, but took a straight day off instead. Wasted from all the travel this week.

261/29 - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Ab Ripper X. 2.5L water. 2 meals.

Recap for last week... I managed 4 out of 6 scheduled wkouts, which is actually better than I thought I'd do, given the holidays. But food intake was all over the place, especially and obviously up in Hiroshima.

This week's anticipated hurdles... PT during two days over at the relatives for two days of Oshogatsu. Plan - one wkout in the AM before going over on New Year's day and a low impact Yoga on the second floor of Baachan's the next AM. Dietary hurdles - dinner tomorrow night w/friends, New's Years Eve and then Oshogatsu/osechi. Sigh.

Plan for the week -
Day 1 - Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Ab Ripper X [done today]
Day 2 - Plyometrics
Day 3 - Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X
Day 4 - Yoga X
Day 5 - Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X

Switch day 4/5
Day 6 - Kenpo X
Day 7 - Rest or X Stretch

"It should only be talked about if the talking will make you feel better."

It should only be talked about if the talking will make you feel better. It is of no value, ever, to activate and talk about something that doesn’t feel good, because it reactivates it in your vibration; it makes it another point of your point of attraction—so you’re less clear.

In other words, when you focus upon the problems of others, you diminish your ability to help them. People believe that you’ve got to focus upon the problem in order to find a solution. And we say, no solution ever comes forth—it’s never inspired; you never recognize it, and you are never able to facilitate or achieve it—from your place of focusing on the problem... If you have someone who has many things going wrong and one thing going right, beat the drum of what’s going right, and let that be your point of attraction. If you focus upon their problems, you achieve vibrational harmony with something other than the Source that gives you solution.
- Jerry and Esther Hicks

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Don't Believe Everything You Think.

Ideally, don't believe anything you think. But that takes a lot of work.

Reminder to Self: Existence Precedes Essence.

"Into Each Generation a Slayer is Born..."

Fan made trailers these days look as sharp, if not better, than the ones put out by the studios. And plus, the fans love what they're doing - that's why they do it. It comes across.

This reminded me of just how good the show was - not that I forgot, but, you know - and also reminds me to put the DVDs back into rotation, once I [oh god, it takes forever] get caught up on all the stuff I haven't watched yet.

Awesome vid.


What I've Read - more Rex Mundi.

Yay Xmas presents.

Great comic/graphic novel series that never disappoints. Alt history/religion/conspiracy/mysticism/mystery = awesome. The penultimate volume [5 of 6.]

Rex Mundi, Book Five: The Valley at the End of the World
by Arvid Nelson and Juan Ferreyra.

Rex Mundi (Dark Horse Comics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Rex Mundi is an American comic book published by Dark Horse Comics...

The series is a quest for the Holy Grail told as a murder mystery. It is set in the year 1933, in an alternate history Europe, where magic is real, feudalism persisted, and the Protestant Reformation was crushed by a still politically powerful Roman Catholic Church. All of this is woven together as '… a meditation on the prophecies surrounding the advent of the Bahá'í era.” The book takes its name from the Latin term meaning 'King of the World'. It is derived from the Cathar heresies of the Middle Ages, and taken up in works like Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Within the Cathar context it seems to have been equated with the Demiurge."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The day after Christmas in Hiroshima.

Day 2 starts with a daytime visit to the Genbaku Dome.
From 2008-12-26

Note the crane - symbol of peace in Japan, kind of - who's taken up his place in one of the windows.
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The hypocenter/ground zero of the bomb is now a hospital. Appropriate, that.
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Hiroshima streetcars.
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I'm the one with 4 years at the Naval Academy and 5 years in the Marines, but my wife is the one who wants to visit, not one, but two military themed museums.

First up, the Yamato Museum.

Yamato Museum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Yamato Museum is a nickname of the 'Kure Maritime Museum' in Kure, Hiroshima, Japan.

...It is called the Yamato Museum due to the display in the lobby of the large model ship Yamato Hiroba, a 1/10 scale model of the Japanese battleship Yamato."

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I mock Neptune. Without fear.
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Japanese battleship Yamato - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"IJN Yamato (大和), named after the ancient Japanese Yamato Province, was a battleship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, and flagship of the Japanese Combined Fleet. She was lead ship of her class. She and her sister ship the IJN Musashi were the largest, heaviest, and most powerful battleships ever constructed, displacing 72,800 tonnes at full load, and armed with nine 46 cm (18.1 inch) main guns."

From 2008-12-26

Manned torpedoes. Suicide weapons. You know, the psychology of Japan at war is actually pretty freaking disturbing.
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Kaiten - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Kaiten (Japanese: 回天, translated 'Turning of the Heavens' or 'Reverse Destiny') was a torpedo modified as a suicide weapon, and used by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the final stages of the Second World War."

[That's it below, with Sandy getting her learn on.]
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The deservedly feared Japanese Zero.
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A6M Zero - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a lightweight fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) from 1940 to 1945... The A6M was usually referred to by the Allies as the "Zero"...

Its history mirrored that of the Empire of Japan in World War II. When it was introduced, the Zero was the best carrier-based fighter in the world and it was greatly feared by Allied pilots. The IJNAS also frequently used the type as a land-based fighter. A combination of excellent maneuverability and very long range made it one of the finest fighters of its era. In early combat operations, the Zero gained a legendary reputation, outclassing its contemporaries. Later, design weaknesses and the increasing scarcity of more powerful aircraft engines meant that the Zero became less effective against newer fighters. By 1942, due to the evolution of new tactics and techniques, Allied pilots were able to engage the Zero on more equal terms. By 1943, American and British manufacturers were producing fighters with greater firepower, armor, and speed, and approaching the Zero's maneuverability. The Mitsubishi A6M was outdated by 1944, but remained in production. During the final years of the War in the Pacific, the Zero was utilized in kamikaze operations."

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Kairyu class submarine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Kairyu (海龍, Kairyū?, 'Sea Dragon') was a class of midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy, designed in 1943–1944, and produced from the beginning of 1945. These submarines were meant to meet the invading American naval forces upon their anticipated approach of Tokyo."

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Sandy is the master of all pink submarine mock-ups. That is all.
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It being the Yamato Museum, there's a whole section devoted to the manga/anime Space Battleship Yamato [Star Blazers in English].

One of Sandy's first crushes was apparently on the lead character. But I'm not jealous.
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Space Battleship Yamato - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Space Battleship Yamato (宇宙戦艦ヤマト, Uchū Senkan Yamato) is a Japanese science fiction anime series and the name of its eponymous space craft...

The release of Space Battleship Yamato is often cited as the beginning of the Golden Age of Anime..."

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Befitting the Space Battleship Yamato theme, there were some space related shenanigans.
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Half the fun of traveling is the food.
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Youme Town now has its own Navy.
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Kidding. That's actually the front of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force Museum.

JMSDF Kure Museum:
"JMSDF Kure Museum is established to introduce and exhibit submarines and minesweeping just as JMSDF HISTORY MUSEUM SASEBO and AIR BASE KANOYA MUSEUM exhibit surface ship and aircraft, respectively.

The aim of the museum is to educate Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) personnel and promote understanding by the public of JMSDF through extensive PR activities by exhibiting and preserving materials owned by JMSDF as well as contribute to coexistence with the region."

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Sandy, much stronger than she looks.
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Japan actually has some extensive minesweeping operations. Really appropriate to the Japanese mentality, imho.
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Even the military is cute in Japan.
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Our last Hiroshima cultural event was eating up some okonomiyaki. I'd had it once before, and didn't particularly care for it, but having it made Hiroshima style - much better than Kansai style, imho - made all the difference in the world. Delicious.
From 2008-12-26

Okonomiyaki - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き, Okonomiyaki) is a Japanese dish consisting of a pan-fried batter cake and various ingredients. Okonomi means 'what you like' or 'what you want', and yaki means 'grilled' or 'cooked' (cf. yakitori and yakisoba); thus, the name of this dish means 'cook what you like'. In Japan, okonomiyaki is mainly associated with Kansai or Hiroshima areas, but is widely available throughout the country. Toppings and batters tend to vary according to region.

...In Hiroshima, the ingredients are layered rather than mixed together. The layers are typically batter, cabbage, pork, optional items (squid, octopus, cheese, etc.), noodles (yakisoba, udon) topped with a fried egg and a generous dollop of okonomiyaki sauce. The amount of cabbage used is usually 3 - 4 times the amount of Osaka style. It starts out piled very high and is generally pushed down as the cabbage cooks. The order of the layers may vary slightly depending on the chef's style and preference, and ingredients will vary depending on the preference of the customer. People from Hiroshima tend to claim that this is the correct way to make okonomiyaki. This style is also called Hiroshima-yaki."

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That's all she wrote, folks. Two very full days.