Saturday, July 05, 2008

What I've Read - fitness, fantasy, comics, religion, Japan...

Haven't done one of these in about 6-7 weeks, as evidenced by my growing stack of "finished" books... so here we go.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow -
"Marcus, a.k.a “w1n5t0n,” is only seventeen years old, but he figures he already knows how the system works–and how to work the system. Smart, fast, and wise to the ways of the networked world, he has no trouble outwitting his high school’s intrusive but clumsy surveillance systems.

But his whole world changes when he and his friends find themselves caught in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they’re mercilessly interrogated for days.

When the DHS finally releases them, Marcus discovers that his city has become a police state where every citizen is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself."

Doctorow is one of the co-editors of the BoingBoing groupblog, which I obsessively read. "Little Brother," while ostensibly a "young adult" book, it's one just about every adult in America should read. Mixing together politics, technology, relationships and ideas, it wast vastly entertaining. It's the only book I've read recently that was able to make me viscerally angry, as it's probably the best written example of how far in the wrong direction the U.S. has gone since 9/11. [That's the antagonists in the book, not the book itself.] And it gave me some hope for the equalizing power of technology to help return life and government to a more positive, open, healthy, and less "fear-mongering" sort. Great book. Recommended highly.

The New Destroyer: Dead Reckoning by Warren Murphy, James Mullaney - Remo and Chiun take on more terrorists! Slam bang [semi-]mindless adventure yarn. Funny. Diverting. A light read and enjoyable.

Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy -

Never been much of a fan of fantasy type novels, even though my precious comic books are tinged with a lot of the same concepts. Never really got into the Narnia stuff [though I do remember, I think, seeing a "Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe" cartoon when I was a kid] and even less interested in it when I'd grasped the goofy Jesus/Aslan metaphor. Thanks, I got enough propaganda from the church itself, already. And I saw the LOTR movies, and they were "okay" but not exactly my "cuppa." My one attempt to actually read the LOTR stuff didn't see me last very long. The language seemed almost intentionally dense and it seemed more interested in world building than telling a good story. But what do I know?

Anyways, that's all prologue to having read this fantasy trilogy by Pullman. I had read it described as the anti-Narnia where the bad guy is "god" and where, as he's said in an interview, almost tongue in cheek, that "My books are about killing God." So I figured anything that subversive was worth checking out. So I ordered it up and hammered through the 900 pages or so.

I enjoyed it quite a bit. At times I thought it ran a little long - but that's probably because it's three books I read in one go - but there were bits and pieces of sheer brilliance in there. Well worth a read.

And of course, the xtian nuts who were up in arms over the movie adaptation of his 1st book last year, remain clueless. The subtext of the book isn't really about "killing god" but about killing the ideas of the autocratic and authoritarian god and his self appointed representatives on earth. I personally found the tale to be quite spiritual with a touch of the profound. But I've zero faith in any religious dogma, or dogmatists, so... like preaching to the choir, to further confuse the situation with a religious metaphor.

Plus, there were armored polar bears who fucked people up. Armored Polar Bears!
"In the epic trilogy His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman unlocks the door to worlds parallel to our own. Dæmons and winged creatures live side by side with humans, and a mysterious entity called Dust just might have the power to unite the universes--if it isn't destroyed first."

Great article released with the movie adaption last year about the book and film here - How Hollywood Saved God

Maximum Strength:
Get Your Strongest Body in 16 Weeks with the Ultimate Weight Training Program!
by Eric Cressey and Matt Fitzgerald -

Great book. Requires a lot of equipment that I don't have access to, but if you do, there's probably not a better modern day book out there about improving your strength and health with weights. The joint mobility and warm up section of the book, which I do plan on implementing, is worth the price of the book alone. Author's blog is here -

How to Pick Up Japanese Chicks and Doom Your Immortal Soul by Josh Muggins -

Not an actual "how to" - [I'm married people] but a memoir... the title alone grabbed my attention and I thought it particularly funny. The humor in the book might be an acquired taste, but I dug it. And I like expat-in-Japan stories. Go figure. It veers off into some pathos and twists towards the end, and I don't know that I particularly enjoyed that, but it's a psuedo-memoir, so what can you do? I enjoyed it overall. Author's website is here -

Tarnsman of Gor by John Norman -

Controversial for it's supposed misogyny, but still considered a cult classic, I was curious to check it out. Mostly harmless adventure. Reminded me of the old school pulp John Carter of Mars type stuff, in serials and movies. Not bad, but the writing style didn't really do anything for me. I didn't find it particularly misogynistic, just standard chest thumpin' "Me Tarzan, you Jane" "He-Man Woman Hater's Club" fantasy type stuff. Apparently, according to the Internets, it gets worse later, but it didn't grab me enough to want to check out future volumes.

Holmes by Omaha Perez -

Sherlock Holmes as Hunter S. Thompson. I found it pretty funny. Manic writing and art. Lotsa laughs. Clever.
"...This version of the Sherlock Holmes mythos expands on Dr. Watson's revelation that Holmes was a narcotics addict. The World's Greatest Detective is a maniac completely out of his head on drugs at all times and Dr. Watson, his own personal "Dr. Feelgood," isn't much better off! Appearance meets reality as the duo must cope with their handicaps while recovering composer Joseph Haydn's missing skull."

The Invincible Iron Man: Extremis by Warren Ellis and Adi Granov -

I make no bones about digging Ellis' quintessentially British and sarcastic writing style. Add into the mix a protagonist who's a futurist and technologist - Iron Man's Tony Stark - and the combo is pretty much outstanding science fiction. I enjoyed this volume a hell of a lot.

Rex Mundi Volume 3: The Lost Kings
by Arvid Nelson, Eric Johnson, Jeremy Cox, Jim DiBartolo, Juan Ferreyra -

Volume 3 in the continuing saga. Still enjoyable, interesting, fascinating, etc, etc. Still onboard for two more volumes to finish out the series.
"...this series continues its epic story of an alternate history Europe in which the Reformation never occurred and the Catholic Church is the most powerful institution in the world. Dr. Julien Sauniere, the hero of the series, is deep into a mystery that involves the "true" nature of the Holy Grail and the lineage of Jesus Christ. At the crux of this alternate history thriller is an almost excruciatingly detailed religious theory involving French royalty, Mary Magdalene and the creation of modern Christianity. Its depth is rare for what is ostensibly a murder mystery comic book, and writer Nelson has clearly done his research."

Everything You Know About God Is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Religion
by Various -

I've read a lot of the Disinfo anthologies, and enjoyed most all. But like any anthology, there are hits and misses in the volumes. This one wasn't... well, it didn't feel particularly strong, to me. Make no mistake, there were some good essays, just overall, it didn't really fire me up. And I'm always ready for some good blasphemy.
"...Among the dozens of other articles and essays, you'll find: a sweeping look at classical composers and Great American Songbook writers who were unbelievers, such as Irving Berlin, creator of "God Bless America"; the definitive explanation of why America is not a Christian nation; the bizarre, Catholic-fundamentalist books by Mel Gibson's father; eye-popping photos of bizarre religious objects and ceremonies, including snake-handlers and pot-smoking children; the thinly veiled anti-Semitism in the Left Behind novels; an extract from the rare, suppressed book The Sex Life of Brigham Young; and rarely seen anti-religious writings from Mark Twain and H.G. Wells.

Further topics include exorcisms, religious curses, Wicca, the Church of John Coltrane, crimes by clergy, death without God, Christian sex manuals, the "ex-gay" movement, failed prophecies, bizarre theology, religious bowling, atheist rock and roll, "how to be a good Christian," an entertaining look at the best (and worst) books on religion, and much more."

And I reread The Complete Keys to Progress by John McCallum
and Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik.
In my ongoing quest to get back into shape, maintaining motivation is sometimes a bitch, and these are two of the best and most inspirational books on training that I've got. Old school wisdom and no-nonsense advice and ideas. Just the kick in the ass I need sometimes.

Awesome-y Parkour/FreeRunning Goodness.

Via Straight to the Bar | all things strength

Darn Librul Media.

Yeah, right.

Balloon Juice:
"“Mr. President, you’ve authorized torture. Over 4,000 men and women have died in a war that most people know was absolutely unnecessary. It is now well known that intelligence was manipulated to get us into Iraq. Are you a war criminal? And should you be tried as one?”

I would love to hear one – just ONE - credible journalist ask him this question. We won’t though because it’s the MSM. And we all know the MSM sucks. MSM bias towards the left? Pleeeeze."

Japan Cries. Takeru Kobayashi defeated in overtime at the Coney Island Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

I don't know why, this whole competitive eating thing fascinates and cracks me up at the same time.

Frankfurter photo finish: Reigning champ wins NYC hot-dog eating contest after tiebreaker - Mainichi Daily News:
"American Joey Chestnut achieved frankfurter immortality Friday, outdueling his celebrated Japanese rival, Takeru Kobayashi, in an epic hot-dog eating contest that pushed both of the gluttonous gladiators to the brink.

In a seesaw struggle for the ages, Chestnut and Kobayashi each consumed an eye-popping 59 hot dogs in 10 minutes, forcing an unprecedented showdown that tested the very depths of their distended stomachs.

Under the glare of television cameras and facing a boisterous and sweaty crowd of thousands on Coney Island, Chestnut, the reigning champ, and Kobayashi, the six-time title holder, were forced to gobble down another five hot dogs in overtime.

Staring into the wiener abyss, the pair found the pluck to continue, devouring the beef and buns with renewed gusto, before Chestnut finally prevailed to chants of "USA!"

When it was over, Kobayashi was left holding a soggy mush of bun in his hand, and Chestnut had achieved nearly mythical status in the annual event held by Nathan's Famous since 1916.

...the two will face off again at the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship on Sept. 28 in Chattanooga, Tennessee."

George Carlin Quote of the Day - "I'm a Modern Man" + His Final Requests.

...which are pretty on-point and funny.
"I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond!

I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive.

Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial!

I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers.

I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail.

But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant.

I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn.

I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity.

I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!"

Friday, July 04, 2008

Holy shit... Jesse Helms and I have the same birthday!

I did not know that. But he's dead now, so that means I win.

It's funny, growing up in NC in the 80s and 90s, Jesse Helms pretty much was North Carolina. I only vaguely even remember his political campaigns and whatnot but his persona and opinions and, well, his 'essence' always struck me as an intolerant, archaic outmoded system of thought that vainly tried fight the onset of the future and couldn't handle the complexity of the changing reality of the world. And I never really cared for him, despite his late in life psuedo-mellowing and U2/Bono cred.

Though I do, in the increased cynicism of advancing age, find myself agreeing with his concept of smaller, more limited government. Though probably for radically different reasons.

And the story of him and his wife adopting a boy with cerebral palsy is touching, and more than enough to keep him from becoming only a caricature.

The Associated Press: Former Republican NC Sen. Jesse Helms dies at 86:
"Helms was a polarizing figure, both at home and in Washington. He delighted in forcing roll-call votes that required Democrats to take politically difficult votes on federal funding for art he deemed pornographic, school busing, flag-burning and other cultural issues. Among his first forays into politics was working in 1950 to elect segregationist candidate Willis Smith to the Senate, and he later fought against much of the civil rights movement.

In 1993, when then-President Clinton sought confirmation for an openly homosexual assistant secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Helms registered his disgust. 'I'm not going to put a lesbian in a position like that,' he said in a newspaper interview at the time. 'If you want to call me a bigot, fine.'

...But Helms wasn't entirely inflexible, especially in his later years in the Senate, where he worked with Democrats to restructure the foreign policy bureaucracy and pay back debts to the United Nations, an organization he disdained for most of his career. After years of clashes with gay activists, he softened his views on AIDS and advocated greater federal funding to fight the disease in Africa and elsewhere overseas, and in doing so, struck up an enduring and unlikely friendship with U2 frontman Bono.

"There was trouble in my band for even having the meeting with the senator," Bono said in a 2008 documentary, recalling the objections of his bandmate, Edge. "And I said, 'It's worse than that, Edge. He's coming to the gig.' He said, 'There's no way Jesse Helms is coming to the U2 show and I said, 'He is.'"

...Helms was born in Monroe on Oct. 18, 1921...

...Helms and his wife, Dorothy, had two daughters and a son. They adopted the boy in 1962 after the child, 9 years old and suffering from cerebral palsy, said in a newspaper article that he wanted parents. That story stood out for Dole and others Friday, as they said that for all of Helms' political bombast, he should be remembered first as a considerate and compassionate person."

But on the other hand, he could be a real asshole. To wit:

The Associated Press: Jesse Helms quotes on life and politics:
"'To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn't have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing.' — Helms responding in 1956 to criticism that a fictional black character in his newspaper column was offensive."

Saturday Morning YouTube Spiral - Jon Lajoie is funny as hell.

Reminds me of the Lonely Island/SNL Digital Short guys. And Flight of the Conchords, Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell too. This is a funny dude.

"Everyday Normal Guy" - the most incisive rap commentary of our generation. Okay, not really, but damn funny.

'A song for the ladies' - "It's not sexist because I'm saying it in a song..."

A commercial for Rapist Glasses.

From the makers of Rapist Glasses... Introducing: "Pedophile Beards"

A commercial for "The Mainstream Media."

Everyday Normal Guy 2

Sunday Afternoon

Showtime's "Weeds" imparts valuable lessons.

I, myself, learned new things from this educational and informative video. If only I had premium cable as a youth.

Training 86-89.

86 - Nutrition - lg coffee w/equal, cream - 3 diet sodas - 3 steaks - almonds
PT - 30m Rutten MMA wkout/thai boxing 3m rounds
Isometrics 3x5s - neck/shoulder/bi-tri/chest/back/1m wall sit

87 & 88
- bone deep exhaustion and a case of the "lazy-ass" conspired to keep me from working out... but I still kept eating clean, at least
Nutrition - 87 - 3 coffees w/equal, cream - .7l water - 4 steaks - 3 diet soda - almonds
88 - 2 coffees w/equal, cream - 3 diet sodas - 3 sausage sticks - chicken strip - 1/2 'sausage' from the konbini [it was not good, hence the 'half'] - 2 beef patties w/mayo

Nutrition - 3 shakes w/9 eggs, cream, peanut butter, equal, inst coffee - 2.2l water - 1 diet soda
PT - Single arm DB snatch - 40x10, 2x52.5x6, Squats/Pullovers - bodyweight box squats/20x20, front db squats 105x6, Pullups/Chins - 5/3, 3/2, 3/2, kipups 3/2, Pushups - 21/15/10, SLDL - 3x105x10, Shrugs - 3x105x15, Wrist curls/Rv/Hammer - 17.5x20, 25x10/15x15x2/15x10, Calves [single] - 20/18/15, Core Circuit - crunch, superman, vup, back x, Dislocates/face pulls - x20

That's some good mother-ing right there.

Overheard in New York | Mom Finally Comes to Terms with It:
"Mom: You're not cooking anymore. You're awful.
Daughter: I don't like cooking. I'd rather bake.
Mom: Of course you would, you fucking stoner.

--A Train

Overheard by: A Birdy Told Me"

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sunday's trip to the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008 in Fukuoka - Japan.

On Sunday, K-1 came to Fukuoka. As it usually stays up in the Tokyo/Osaka region, and this is most likely my last year [okay, entering into my last year] in Japan, I figured I'd take advantage and go check it out - dragging along the Mrs and a fellow MMA/K-1 fan/ALT Jon.

Some decent fights, particularly the Hari fight, and the Aerts fight, and the Schilt-Lebanner matchup. Only 3 of the 10 fights had KOs/TKOs though, so it wasn't, you know, the greatest night of fights of all time, but I dug it and had a good time.

Jon and I goofing around out front of the arena.

When they were doing fighter intros we still hadn't gotten to our seats, which worked out kinda cool, as the fighter Jerome LeBanner was introduced about 20ft in front of us.

The only two words that apply are "huge motherfucker." The pics don't do him justice, as he looked just massive. [Official stats - 6'3", 265lbs] That day was the only day I've lived in Japan where I pretty much felt tiny the whole day. Lotsa big dudes walking around.

And here we go...

Peter Aerts vs Jan Nortje.

You can see in the pic above that the arena was pretty far from sold out - probably why K-1 only ventures south to Kyushu once every other year or so. But they get most of their revenue from their TV contract, not their gate, so... who knows?

Obligatory outing big face pic.

Jon reacts with surprise/disgust/confusion at my tasty and enjoyable milk-coffee beverage. But honestly, Japanese arena food kinda sucked. Vending machines and microwavables. Not that good.

I dug the lighting in the pic above.

Current K-1 Super Heavy Champion Semmy Schilt vs Jerome LeBanner.

LeBanner, the outrageously huge dude I talked about upthread? Yeah, he's the tiny little guy on the right in the pic below. [Semmy Schilt is 6'll", 300lbs - ridiculous!]

Like I said, probably the only K-1 event I'll get the chance to see live, so I went full-on tourist mode, complete with souvenir-y goodness.

Hey, why not?

Couple more pics here:

Honestly, when the fuck did we become the bad guys?

And how does that happen?

Just unbelievable.

Balloon Juice:
"The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”

What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

The recycled chart is the latest and most vivid evidence of the way Communist interrogation methods that the United States long described as torture became the basis for interrogations both by the military at the base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and by the Central Intelligence Agency."

Goal setting, changes, other people...

"The other thing I suggest when setting goals is to keep your goal specific to yourself and a select few, and general to all others. In other words, if your goal is to bench 400 pounds, keep that as a marker in your mind, but if others ask just tell them, 'I'm training for a bigger bench,' or 'I'm working toward a new PR.' Your goal may be to get your bodyfat down to 6%, but all the masses need to know is, 'I'm dieting right now.'

Just tell 'em you're dieting.

The reason for this is simple: 90% of everyone you meet are negative pricks who will go out of their way to tell you why you can't do something. Once they know your goal, they'll try and tear you down. Just keep it vague, and all they can do is wish you success.

Of course, they may still try and tear you down once you've actually accomplished your goal, but who cares. You've done the work and have the results to show for it. They couldn't have done it. So fuck 'em."

When people say "awesome" I'm pretty sure they mean stuff like this.

Watch it. Seriously. You'll smile.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Via Where the Hell is Matt: a silly dance in 42 countries that will make you grin like a fool - Boing Boing
"Matthew Harding spent 14 months visiting 42 countries in order to produce "Where the Hell is Matt?", a four-and-a-half minute video featuring Harding (and anyone else he could rope into it) doing an incredibly silly, high-energy dance in some of the most breathtaking scenery around the world. This may be the best four minutes and twenty-eight seconds of your week."

Where The Hell Is Matt? - About Matt:
"Matt is a 31-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who used to think that all he ever wanted to do in life was make and play videogames. Matt achieved this goal pretty early and enjoyed it for a while, but eventually realized there might be other stuff he was missing out on.

...Matt lives in Seattle, Washington with his girlfriend, Melissa, and dog, Sydney. He hasn't had a real job since Stride called him up. Matt doesn't mind working, but he doesn't much care for having to show up at the same place every day.

Matt is not rich. Matt also doesn't have some magical secret for traveling cheaply. He does it pretty much the same way everybody else does.

Matt thinks Americans need to travel abroad more.

Matt was a very poor student and never went to college. When he got older, he was pleased to discover that no one actually cares. Matt doesn't want to imply that college is bad or anything. He's just saying is all. There's other ways to fill your head.

...Matt has never lost a staring contest."

What happens? Who knows? Then you try to figure it out.

On Eating New Contexts for Breakfast and The Price of Radical Growth | The Growing Life | Alternative Productivity, Anti-Hacks for Living:
"...Following your own growth down the rabbit hole isn’t easy...

* What happens when you outgrow an old job and have no clue what’s next because you can barely keep your head above water with work?
* When happens when you love your spouse but know that irreparable growth (a positive thing) has pulled you apart?
* What happens when you’re half-way into a Ph.D. program and know the degree isn’t right for you?
* What happens when your growth path requires you to ostensibly change course every week or so?

I don’t know what’ll happen. And neither do you. And that’s some scary stuff.

...When I usually think of growth, I think of making more money, following my goals, and growing relationships. But sometimes. . .

* Growth can mean the end of marriages and relationships
* Growth can mean making far less money
* Growth can lead to existential crises, questioning everything, and depression
* Growth can make you come across as a quitter and a flake
* Growth can wrench your self esteem
* Growth can push your friends away and lead to (temporary) alienation"

Tips to deal at the link.

I'm unique just like everyone else.

Everybody deals with the same stuff. But it's still trippy when you hear your thoughts coming out of other people's mouths. Or keyboards. Whatever.

What Dads Think About Honest Communication | Discovering Dad:
"Here’s what the Dads think about honest communication, talking or inner dialogue:

Jim from BusyDadJim from The Busy Dad Blog.

...Men are often given a bad rap because we “don’t like to talk.” But eavesdrop on a group of guys downing pitchers at Hooters and tell me that. We talk. So much so that it looks like we’re trying to out-talk one another. Because we are. But we welcome that. It keeps our minds sharp; it keeps us logical. Each fact we throw out there, each point we make, each go-Google-it-then’s sole purpose is to get the other person to see point A, so we can move on to point B.

Did you just roll your eyes? Fine, I’m going to shut down now.

See how that works? Communication between a man and a woman can be a major stressor. Of course I am generalizing, but I’m going to say that most males enter discussions with a concrete objective... while women generally communicate to find common ground and understanding. Those two modes of communication often clash...


Ed from Zoe\'s DadEd from Zoe’s Dad.

I’m not a talker - never have been. For some reason, my inner self stays just that - inner. I never considered this a big deal until I got married. Damn, girls like to talk. A LOT!! My wife is a great communicator, wonderful command of language, very well educated and quick thinking. Me? Not so much. I tend to absorb words and phrases in a conversation formulating answers. It’s a lengthy process, all internal, and by the time I have prepared a response, it’s too late. By then, the topic has changed at least three times, or my wife is so frustrated with my silence that she starts to respond for me.

...It starts a vicious cycle wherein I become frustrated and start to clam up and tune out. Before long, her words become background noise and I am deaf to them. It has been the cause of many, many a heated (on her part) arguments...


Chuck D is for DadChuck from D is for Dad.

...The thing about talking with guys is that we really just need you to get to the point. If the drama or family history you are going to unleash has little to do with a question, then you can feel free to leave it out. The truth of the matter is I have the attention span of a very small child, so asking the questions that need answered sooner rather than later is always best.

If there has to be some long (more than five minutes) explanation leading up to the question, then tell me that up front. Something like, “Honey we need to talk about this party next weekend, and I want to make sure you remember what happened last time.” If I were to hear that it would tell me I need to pay attention for the duration, rather than checking out after the first question crosses your lips. I know it’s like preaching to the choir, but the kid reference is pretty spot on, at least where I am concerned.

...The only other thing that I know can make a guy shut down and stop listening, aside from his own idiocy, are exaggeration’s and generalizations. Don’t carry on about how “we talk about this all the time!” when, in reality, we’ve talked about it twice. That isn’t all the time, or “you never support me!” because you know that just isn’t true. Maybe you feel like you’re not being supported this time but NEVER, come on.

I think at the end of the day we are here to honestly discuss what needs discussing. It’s just important to remember that it is very likely we’d rather be doing something else...


Jeremy from Discovering DadJeremy from Discovering Dad.

...She also seems to ask me a lot of rhetorical questions…you know…the trick questions; the stream of consciousness questions; the giving-direction-in-the-form-of-a-query questions; the validation questions; basically, questions that do not have a black or white answer, only shades of gray. It’s hard for me to know how to answer these types of questions in a positive way. Why? Because I’m not a process guy - I don’t enjoy all of the back stories and details needed to get to the answer; I like getting to the results, solutions or happy ending.

...One of the things I feel is important to keep in mind when communicating within a marriage (or committed relationship) is tone and courtesy. I am a very courteous person, always have been. I struggle with my tone though. I can have an air of superiority at times, moreso with people that I love than people I hate (which doesn’t make any sense when I really think about it). I’m working on it though..."

I don't care, it made me laugh.

The Law: Common sense need not apply.

Reason Magazine - Hit & Run > Set a Camera to Catch a Thief:
"Dave Johnson's motorbike was stolen. He wasn't lucky enough to catch the thieves in the act, but he posted a note on Craigslist to keep his neighbors informed. Turns out that one of his neighbors caught the troublemakers on camera attempting another bike heist. They posted the video, which shows the car and faces of the culprits, on YouTube.

The Sacramento sherrif's office is ticked off at engaged citizens for stealing their thunder using basic online tools. A spokesman offers a strange hodgepodge of reasons why the video shouldn't have been posted...

To review: Potential jurors shouldn't see all the evidence, lest they be "polluted"; the accused shouldn't get to use exonerating evidence in their defense; and law enforcement arrogates all judgement calls about evidence to itself."

"Your species is not a beautiful and unique snowflake."

Monkeys can do math.

First, algebra, then, the world.

I, for one, welcome our new monkey overlords.

Counting monkeys - Boing Boing:
"Monkeys can count! Researchers report a study on macaques that suggests humans may not be the only animal that can do math. From New Scientist:
(Utah State University psychologist Kerry) Jordan and colleague Elizabeth Brannon, of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, US, trained two eight-year-old female macaques to equate beeps to dots on a computer screen. So if a monkey heard seven beeps, it knew to tap a square on the screen displaying seven dots..."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

You don't have to...

I thought this was rather brilliant. And, of course, counterintuitive to everything I was raised and indoctrinated to believe. So it's probably got quite a bit of merit, then. In the long run, being "responsible" can be a loser-script.

Much more at the link.

Quitting Things and Flakiness: The #1 Productivity Anti-Hack | The Growing Life | Alternative Productivity, Anti-Hacks for Living:
"You simply don’t have to…

* Return all phone calls
* Respond to all email (I have 258 unread messages in my inbox right now)
* Stay on that committee you joined to pad your resume
* Take opportunities that “you’d be stupid to pass up”
* Stay in college
* Stay in grad school

It’s not necessary to…

* Hang out with friends you only kind-of sort-of like
* Stick with everything you start
* Live up to others’ expectations of you
* Have a respectable career, own a home, and be married by the time you’re 35, 45, or 55

In order to make time for renewal, you might have to…

* Not buy great/cool/expensive birthday and Christmas gifts for everyone
* Make your husband file his own papers
* Let those who have become unhealthily dependent upon you take responsibility for their own lives

In order to jump-start passionate living again you might have to…

* Stop being an (unnecessarily) “responsible” person
* Quit projects that are no longer relevant
* Be happy with a less than permanently clean home

In order to come alive, you might have to…

* Pursue an occupation that doesn’t put your insanely expensive degree to use
* Move back in with your parents
* Work a low-status, low-paying job in order to make time for your new endeavor
* Come to terms with your messy home
* Completely and utterly ignore your parent’s and friend’s expectations of you

If you really want to live passionately, you’ll need to consider leaving nearly everything you’re not passionate about. To live passionately you may have to quit your job, sell your home, rent a small apartment, and live simply for a while.

To get off the treadmill you’ll have to realize that your high IQ does not obligate you to work 80-hour weeks in high-status professional career. Your high IQ also doesn’t obligate you to get a Ph.D., or to put on any other golden handcuffs.

In order to de-clutter all the crap in your life, you might have to quit a lot of things. You might have to say no hundreds of times. You might have to back out of several commitments. And you’ll very definitely run an incredibly high risk of looking like a flake, coming across as arrogant and ungrateful, and disappointing people who love you.

...People stuck on the treadmill of life have often invested a lot of time and anxiety buying into all the “shoulds” of life. Your liberation will threaten their mode of existence. Lots of people have devoted themselves to following, and strictly enforcing, societal rules, and your liberation will threaten the very foundation of their false parallel universe. By breaking free, dropping down the rabbit hole, taking the red pill, etc. you will challenge numerous false assumptions, and you may sadly lose friendships. I have. It sucks."

Monday, June 30, 2008

Training 82-85.

- Forgot to track food as I switched over notebooks.
SLDL - 105x10x5
Press - 40x20, 60x8, 70x7, 80x5/5
Chins - 5/5/4-1/3-1-1/4-1
Pushups - 18/10/10/8/10
Shrugs - 105x20/20/15/15/20
Wrist curl - 20x15/10
Rv wrist curl - 15x20/15
Dislocates/face pulls - 25/25
Calf rs x 40
Core circuit - crunch/superman/v-up/back x X10

Free/rest/high carb


30m Rutten MMA wkout/Thai boxing 3m rounds


Shake - 3 eggs, cream, inst coffee, equal
Coffee w/equal, cream
3 diet sodas
3 eggs
1.2l water
Ground beef, mayo, chs, sour cream

One arm DB snatch - 25x10, 40x8, 52.5x5/5/5
Box squat - BWx20x3, DB Squat - 105x5/5
Pullups/Chins - 4/2, 3/2, 2/2, 2/2, 1,1/1,1
Pushups - 15/10x3/9-1
Dips - BWx10x5

I have GOT to stop drinking sodas.

Trying to figure out which was worst for my teeth - coffee, tea, soda - and apparently soda is the hands down "winner." Coffee and tea may stain your teeth, but soda eats away your enamel, stains your teeth and gives them a lovely permanent yellow luster. At least I don't drink the citrus sodas. [Hi Sandy.]

Healing Water Machines Health Blog: Why Soda is Bad for your Teeth:
"Yellow stains aside, brewed coffee or tea may not be the worst thing you could swish past your pearly whites. Other drinks tested in a recent study produced much more wear and tear on tooth enamel, especially bubbly soft drinks.

But here's the surprise: It didn't matter if the sodas were diet or not. When your tooth enamel starts to erode, you've got major problems on your hands. And certain foods like sweets and sodas may hasten this process. All carbonated drinks in a recent study had some impact on tooth enamel (with the one possible exception being root beer -- its impact on tooth enamel was slight). Citrus-flavored sodas hit teeth hardest, but colas caused problems, too. And it didn't matter if the drinks were diet or full-sugar...

The total acid content and acid type -- look for names like phosphoric, citric, malic, and tartaric -- in a beverage affect how strong the attack is on your choppers."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Again, I have totally been in this bookstore.

It wasn't nearly this interesting.

Overheard Everywhere | Those Were Different Times--There Was a War On:
"College girl #1: If I'm pregnant, the father is either him or his cousin.
College girl #2: Wait, you slept with David* and his cousin?
College girl #1: It wasn't a big deal, it was a threesome!

Barnes & Noble
Cary, North Carolina

Overheard by: Jennifer"