Saturday, October 04, 2008

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist Trailer.


"Todd Diamond On The Bailout."

This is hilarious.

Via Warren

T2 - 33/34.

33 - Upper body wkout/6 meals/3L water.
34 - Free day.

Inspiration of the day.

I love "Before/After" pics and stories. Much needed motivation/optimism/kick in the ass. - mikeshelton's BodySpace: Progress Pictures - Female Transformation Of The Week - Female Transformation Of The Week - DeAnna Chamberlin!:
"Marzia Prince was in the middle of writing a book and needed a transformation story. I offered myself without thinking twice. She wanted to do a 120 day transformation of a middle aged woman and a mom. I was tired of being 'skinny fat.'" - Female Transformation Of The Week - Female Transformation Of The Week - Lauren!

"The only way of knowing a person is to love them without hope...." - Walter Benjamin.

I like that.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Ninja Cat.

Best pet video of the ninja genre.

[Slow start. Accelerates to awesome.]

This is awesome.

Library celebrates Banned Books Week with window-display featuring volunteers reading banned works - Boing Boing:
"Adrienne sez, 'We've created a 'live' Banned Book Display at our library [Twin Hickory Public Library, Glen Allen, VA]. We have volunteer readers who sit in the display and read (silently) banned and challenged books. So far it's gotten a lot of attention – we hear a lot of 'Mom, what are those people doing in there?'"

There's entirely too much about Sarah Palin on my blog. But it's like a car accident. I can't not look.

Palin Debate Prep Flowchart - Boing Boing

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » Famous People - Jumping the gun. [This is real.]

American Fascist Writer Westbrook Pegler - Boing Boing:
"Clayton Cubitt blogs:
“Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin quoted an unidentified “writer” who extolled the virtues of small-town America: “We grow good people in our small towns, with honesty and sincerity and dignity.” (9/3/08) The unidentified writer was Westbrook Pegler (1894-1969), the ultraconservative newspaper columnist whose widely syndicated columns (at its peak, 200 newspapers and 12 million readers) targeted the New Deal establishment, labor leaders, intellectuals, homosexuals, Jews, and poets.”
I disagree with him fully. Except for the poets. Fucking poets."

Jumpoff Street Battle: Palin vs. Biden:
"Imagining if Palin and Biden tried to settle things with an emcee battle (Although I'm expecting Palin to do better than this in the real thing)...

Hit & Run > Biden Wins - Reason Magazine:
"I didn't expect Sarah Palin to melt down, no more than conservatives should have expected Obama to implode without the aide of a teleprompter. You don't get elected governor if every public performance is a Katie Couric interview. But for her to recover the spotlight and the momentum of early September she needed to prove that she knew more than talking points and Wasilla. She didn't. For Biden to implode he needed to lose his cool, invade her space, or talk past the audience. He didn't. Notably, Biden talked about people he knew in Delaware. Palin talked about herself."

Hit & Run > Dick Cheney Wanted to Work With Special Needs Kids Too, But the Kids Said No - Reason Magazine:
"By ordinary standards, Joe Biden 'won' the debate. He was more articulate, seemed more conversant with the facts, made more of an effort to answer the questions. But Sarah Palin's performance was so weird that I don't know how to judge it. She just wasn't playing the same game as her opponent.

The Alaskan dived deep into the Avatar Of The Everyday American role, not just with cloying, self-conscious allusions to 'Joe Six-Pack' and 'hockey moms' and soccer sidelines and so on, but by stammering through her answers like she'd won an Anyone Can Debate Joe Biden contest. Maybe there's a method to this madness. Maybe she was authentic enough to impress a lot of viewers as Someone Like Me, evasive and incoherent enough to lure Democrats into attacks that might be seen as mocking People Like You.

Or maybe she just came off as an ill-informed panderer. Who knows? I appreciated the debate as Dada, at any rate, especially that bizarre exchange about the vice president's powers."

Sarah Palin's Greatest Hits

Even Japan knows Sarah Palin is a train wreck.

Japanese TV reports on Sarah Palin | Japan Probe:
"In a Japan Probe post last month, I mentioned the Japanese media’s focus on Sarah Palin in the U.S. presidential race. Initial reports were mostly about her personality and her exotic background, but the Japanese media has since moved on to covering her lack of experience and the many gaffes she makes."

And that explains that.

Via Friday Funnies - Reason Magazine

Dogs lie too.

The addendum to House's "Everybody lies."

Hit & Run > The Drug Warrior's Best Friend - Reason Magazine:
"...Justice David Souter, noted, "the infallible a creature of legal fiction." Souter cited examples from court cases of dogs with error rates of up to 38 percent. A recent report in The Tampa Tribune suggests he was being generous:
Talon, who worked for the Palmetto Police Department, smelled drugs on every single vehicle during a four-month period and drugs were found less than half the time.

Circuit Judge Debra Johnes Riva said in a ruling that she had no choice but to throw out evidence in a drug case because of that track record.
...the way they've been doing business is to search pretty much any vehicle they please, using the dogs' reactions as a cover for their hunches. Given the animals' accuracy, police might as well replace them with coins or magic eight balls. At least they'd save taxpayers some money."

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Best memorial plaque ever.

Via riotclitshave

Nuns still aren't cool.

Even if the pics are.

riotclitshave: Sister Rosalba Garcia, one of the 23 nun:
"Sister Rosalba Garcia, one of the 23 nuns of the Salesian Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province wears a San Antonio Spurs jersey at their facility in San Antonio. Tuesday June 5, 2007"
riotclitshave: A sister taking Taekwondo By Richard Fal:
"A sister taking Taekwondo By Richard Falco"

Not nuns, but hey, close enough...

riotclitshave: Muslim School girls in India learn the a:
"Muslim School girls in India learn the art of Wushu"

I know who I want to vote for now.

Via - Warren Ellis » received goods 2oct08

Don Quixote De La Mancha, In Japan.

Every year prior to the school's bunkasai [culture festival] they have the kids attend some kind of play/show/musical. This year it was Don Quixote. While not The Man of La Mancha - [I'm almost positive to that, though never having seen it, there was no rendition of "Impossible Dream" - for which I can thank Quantum Leap for knowing it's part of the play. I totally need to watch that now.] - it did have a couple musical numbers.

Totally fun to watch though, even if I couldn't follow all the Japanese. Particularly fun were the bit parts they had some of our students play...
From 2008-10-01

Snagging a teacher and two students to catch tossed rings.
From 2008-10-01

From 2008-10-01

From 2008-10-01

The classic Don Quixote windmill scenario.
From 2008-10-01

Schoolkids playing the armed guards and about half the dancers in the pics below.
From 2008-10-01

From 2008-10-01

The swordplay was not half bad.
From 2008-10-01

From 2008-10-01

From 2008-10-01

T2 - 31/32.

31 - Lower body wkout/6 meals/1.5L water
32 - 20m cardio/6 meals/2.5L water

Matt Taibbi on Sarah Palin - "It was like watching Gidget address the Reichstag."

Matt Taibbi seems to be the next Hunter S. Thompson, in that he is insightful, profane, and funny as fuck.

Mad Dog Palin : Rolling Stone:
"The defining moment for me came shortly after Palin and her family stepped down from the stage to uproarious applause, looking happy enough to throw a whole library full of books into a sewer. In the crush to exit the stadium, a middle-aged woman wearing a cowboy hat, a red-white-and-blue shirt and an obvious eye job gushed to a male colleague — they were both wearing badges identifying them as members of the Colorado delegation — at the Xcel gates.

"She totally reminds me of my cousin!" the delegate screeched. "She's a real woman! The real thing!"

I stared at her open-mouthed. In that moment, the rank cynicism of the whole sorry deal was laid bare. Here's the thing about Americans. You can send their kids off by the thousands to get their balls blown off in foreign lands for no reason at all, saddle them with billions in debt year after congressional year while they spend their winters cheerfully watching game shows and football, pull the rug out from under their mortgages, and leave them living off their credit cards and their Wal-Mart salaries while you move their jobs to China and Bangalore.

And none of it matters, so long as you remember a few months before Election Day to offer them a two-bit caricature culled from some cutting-room-floor episode of Roseanne as part of your presidential ticket. And if she's a good enough likeness of a loudmouthed Middle American archetype, as Sarah Palin is, John Q. Public will drop his giant-size bag of Doritos in gratitude, wipe the Sizzlin' Picante dust from his lips and rush to the booth to vote for her. Not because it makes sense, or because it has a chance of improving his life or anyone else's, but simply because it appeals to the low-humming narcissism that substitutes for his personality, because the image on TV reminds him of the mean, brainless slob he sees in the mirror every morning.

...The great insight of the Palin VP choice is that huge chunks of American voters no longer even demand that their candidates actually have policy positions; they simply consume them as media entertainment, rooting for or against them according to the reflexive prejudices of their demographic, as they would for reality-show contestants or sitcom characters. Hicks root for hicks, moms for moms, born-agains for born-agains. Sure, there was politics in the Palin speech, but it was all either silly lies or merely incidental fluffery buttressing the theatrical performance. A classic example of what was at work here came when Palin proudly introduced her Down-syndrome baby, Trig, then stared into the camera and somberly promised parents of special-needs kids that they would 'have a friend and advocate in the White House.' This was about a half-hour before she raised her hands in triumph with McCain, a man who voted against increasing funding for special-needs education.

...It is worth noting that the same criticisms of Palin also hold true for two other candidates in this race, John McCain and Barack Obama. As politicians, both men are more narrative than substance, with McCain rising to prominence on the back of his bio as a suffering war hero and Obama mostly playing the part of the long-lost, future-embracing liberal dreamboat not seen on the national stage since Bobby Kennedy died. If your stomach turns to read how Palin's Kawasaki 704 glasses are flying off the shelves in Middle America, you have to accept that Middle America probably feels the same way when it hears that Donatella Versace dedicated her collection to Obama during Milan Fashion Week. Or sees the throwing-panties-onstage-"I love you, Obama!" ritual at the Democratic nominee's town-hall appearances.

So, sure, Barack Obama might be every bit as much a slick piece of imageering as Sarah Palin. The difference is in what the image represents. The Obama image represents tolerance, intelligence, education, patience with the notion of compromise and negotiation, and a willingness to stare ugly facts right in the face, all qualities we're actually going to need in government if we're going to get out of this huge mess we're in.

Here's what Sarah Palin represents: being a fat fucking pig who pins "Country First" buttons on his man titties and chants "U-S-A! U-S-A!" at the top of his lungs while his kids live off credit cards and Saudis buy up all the mortgages in Kansas.

The truly disgusting thing about Sarah Palin isn't that she's totally unqualified, or a religious zealot, or married to a secessionist, or unable to educate her own daughter about sex, or a fake conservative who raised taxes and horked up earmark millions every chance she got. No, the most disgusting thing about her is what she says about us: that you can ram us in the ass for eight solid years, and we'll not only thank you for your trouble, we'll sign you up for eight more years, if only you promise to stroke us in the right spot for a few hours around election time."

"People with high cholesterol live the longest."

The Benefits of High Cholesterol:
"People with high cholesterol live the longest. This statement seems so incredible that it takes a long time to clear one´s brainwashed mind to fully understand its importance. Yet the fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers. Consider the finding of Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, who reported in 1994 that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with a high cholesterol.1 Supporters of the cholesterol campaign consistently ignore his observation, or consider it as a rare exception, produced by chance among a huge number of studies finding the opposite.

But it is not an exception; there are now a large number of findings that contradict the lipid hypothesis..."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The real reason our government is always broke.

Here's a radical concept - how about we stop policing the world and fix America, hmmm?

People are rightfully bitching and complaining about the 700 billion dollar economic bailout, but when it's par for the course spending, nary a sound is heard...

Hit & Run > The Nearly $700 Billion Payout No One Talked Much About - Reason Magazine:
"Decrier of American expansionist foreign policy Chalmers Johnson gripes... about how no one paid much mind to the casual passage by the House this week of a $612 billion defense authorization...

Our annual spending on 'national security' – meaning the defense budget plus all military expenditures hidden in the budgets for the departments of Energy, State, Treasury, Veterans Affairs, the CIA, and numerous other places in the executive branch – already exceeds a trillion dollars, an amount larger than that of all other national defense budgets combined.""

Birth of an evil genius.

Evilly awesome.

Bank Robber Uses Craigslist To Hire Unsuspecting Accomplices - Boing Boing:
"A man robbed an armored car outside a Monroe, Washington bank and used a dozen unwitting accomplices to act as decoys during his getaway. He hired the accomplices on Craigslist and instructed them to wear very specific clothing. From
"I came across the ad that was for a prevailing wage job for $28.50 an hour," said Mike, who saw a Craigslist ad last week looking for workers for a road maintenance project in Monroe.

He said he inquired and was e-mailed back with instructions to meet near the Bank of America in Monroe at 11 a.m. Tuesday. He also was told to wear certain work clothing.

"Yellow vest, safety goggles, a respirator mask… and, if possible, a blue shirt," he said.

Mike showed up along with about a dozen other men dressed like him, but there was no contractor and no road work to be done. He thought they had been stood up until he heard about the bank robbery and the suspect who wore the same attire."

"Let's be clear: This is a Wall Street crisis, not a national economic crisis."

What you wont hear from panicky, fear mongering politicians and media.

The Roots of the Crisis: How did Wall Street get into this mess? - Reason Magazine:
"Let's be clear: This is a Wall Street crisis, not a national economic crisis. The overall economy, while a bit weak, is still growing. Some politicians are comparing the current environment to the Great Depression. But in 1932, when the federal government last moved to bail out the banking sector, economic output had fallen 45 percent and unemployment was a staggering 24 percent. Today, economic output is actually up and unemployment is a historically modest 6.1 percent.

The overall economy doesn't even face a liquidity crisis in the current turmoil. Consumer, commercial/industrial, and real estate loans are all up over last year. Main Street is doing fine. The liquidity crisis is confined to Wall Street, between and among investment banks, insurance and securities firms, and hedge funds. There is the possibility that the contagion could spread, but in a global capital market, this is hardly certain."

Blue Collar Gay.

Overheard Everywhere | I've Mastered "Fabulous," But I'm Still Working on Three Snaps in Z-Formation:
"Construction worker #1: So, Lou, how's that gay thing going for you?
Construction worker #2: Goin' pretty good, Al, goin pretty good.

West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Overheard by: keeeeem"

You know, I already watch too much damn TV, but they keep making stuff that sounds interesting.

Welcome to 'Americatown' - ComicMix news:
"HBO has announced the development of Americatown, a new drama series project from writer Bradford Winters and producers Tom Fontana, Barry Levinson, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy.

Americatown is "set 25-40 years into the future when the precipitous decline of the U.S. leads to a mass exodus of its citizens," says The Hollywood Reporter. The show focuses on newly arrived American immigrants in a large foreign city..." : Robin Before he was Robin:
"According to Variety, the CW is preparing a new series based on Dick Grayson – before he was Robin, the sidekick of Batman. Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson – executive producers of Smallville, and Supernatual executive producer McG are behind the project, which has received a put pilot commitment from CW.

As the trade reports, the series will take a Smallville tone in that it will focus on the young man (Dick “DJ” Grayson - his full name is Richard John Grayson) before his hero days. The series will either replace Smallville, if this turns out to be the series final season, as many are speculating, or be a companion piece to the series starring a young Clark Kent, if this season’s ratings justify a ninth season.

Like Smallville, The Graysons will take elements of the character from DC Comics continuity, and put its own spin on it. In the original origin of Robin, there was virtually no backstory given, save that his parents died as a result of a gangster’s extortion scheme at the Haly Circus, where the Flying Graysons were performing. Some backstory has been added in since that story in 1940’s Detective Comics #38, but never with the scope that The Graysons is aiming at...

Things I Have Need to Learn In My Life.

Great list from designer Stefan Sagmeister.

Stefan Sagmeister: Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far (Monoscope):
"Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far is on show at Deitch Projects until Feburary 23. Sagmeister's full list of 20 maxims are as follows:

1. Helping other people helps me.

2. Having guts always works out for me.

3. Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.

4. Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy.

5. Being not truthful always works against me.

6. Everything I do always comes back to me.

7. Assuming is stifling.

8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.

9. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted.

10. Money does not make me happy.

11. My dreams have no meaning.

12. Keeping a diary supports personal development.

13. Trying to look good limits my life.

14. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.

15. Worrying solves nothing.

16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.

17. Everybody thinks they are right.

18. If I want to explore a new direction professionally, it is helpful to try it out for myself first.

19. Low expectations are a good strategy.

20. Everybody who is honest is interesting."

You know it looks delicious.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not on your side.

Not even a little bit. Do well to remember that.

The House of Death: An Interview with DEA Whistleblower Sandy Gonzalez - Boing Boing:
"Radley Balko, senior editor of Reason magazine, says:
'Federal agents looked the other way while one of their drug informants [Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, also known as 'Lalo'] participated in a series of gruesome murders. They knew about the murders, but refused to call off the drug investigation. When an outraged DEA agent [Sandy Gonzalez] blew the whistle, the DEA, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and DOJ forced him into early retirement. The government is now trying to deport the informant they've paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to over the years. They want to send him to Mexico, where he'll almost certainly be killed.'"

Hit & Run > Because You Can't Make a Denver Omelet Without Cracking a Few Heads - Reason Magazine:
"T-shirt handed out by Denver's police union to commemorate the 2008 Democratic National Convention:

"I've been saying bad things about Sarah Palin.. only because I thought she was an unqualified, passive-aggressive, hypocritical cunt."-Patton Oswalt Blogs - LET’S ALL NOT BE MEAN TO SARAH PALIN! - Patton Oswalt MySpace Blog:
"...However, I was hit over the head 11 times with an amber paperweight this morning. Then, seventeen minutes ago, I got my head trapped in a big plastic bag, and was not able to get any oxygen into my breath-hole for several minutes. And then I paid the mailman to give me a screwdriver lobotomy.

And so now I see things different and also clearer than before back then..."

It gets better [or worse] from there, depending on your perspective, of course. Personally, I think Patton Oswalt is one funny motherfucker.

Brainwashing 101.

I only felt like posting this up because when I clicked over to read's brainwashing joke-y fest, one of the first pics was this...

...and I realized maybe, 6 or 7 years ago, that the military is such an obvious brainwashing organization. Clear, in hindsight, but it was a bit of a shock and revelation at the time.

I picked up on it, of course, reading some R.A. Wilson, talking about using meditations and peak experiences to re-imprint conditioning.

Fundamentally, to brainwash someone, to re-imprint their cultural conditioning, you go through some very specific steps...

Isolate and eliminate prior support networks. Confuse, disorient. Increase feelings of inadequacy, dependence and helplessness. Control their food/feeding cycle. Infantilize them.

Once you've snapped their previous conditioning, you implant what you like. You reward "achievement" - i.e. whatever behavior you want - while continuing to degrade the subject in all other areas. Instill regimented movement patterns and response to instruction. Another easy one, obvious in hindsight, is the use of specific in-group language and jargon, fostering a new sense of "community" and group-think. [For example, military language - bulkhead - vice wall, head - vice bathroom, etc, etc...]

Initiation rituals are also extremely common... "The Crucible" in the Marines, climbing the Herndon monument at USNA, in order to fulfill very specific psychological imprinting...

"Breaking you down and building you back up" is the polite way the military phrases it. Brainwashing, if the "bad guys" do it. Same same.

6 Brainwashing Techniques They're Using On You Right Now |
"#6.Chanting Slogans

Every cult leader, drill sergeant, self-help guru and politician knows that if you want to quiet all of those pesky doubting thoughts in a crowd, get them to chant a repetitive phrase or slogan. Those are referred to as thought-stopping techniques, because for better or worse, they do exactly that.

Sounds like:

"Say it with me now, folks!"


"One, two, three, four, I, Love, The Marine, Corps. One, two..."

Recently Seen:
At the political conventions, notice how they trained the audiences to fill the gaps between applause lines with chants ("U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!") rather than, say, pensive silence to carefully consider what the speaker has just said.

Also, those of you who've worked at Wal-Mart are familiar with the "Wal-Mart Cheer" that begins every shift...

#5.Slipping Bullshit Into Your Subconscious
#4.Controlling What You Watch and Read
#3.Keeping You In Line With Shame
#2.Black and White Choices
#1."Us vs. Them""

Some of the original Wilson stuff I read years ago. With Timothy Leary.

How To Wash Brains

"I don't want to play whatever game this is."

Wally and Osborne continues to delight.

Well, that was unexpected.

Your result for The Classic Leading Man Test...

John Wayne

You scored 55% Tough, 19% Roguish, 19% Friendly, and 10% Charming!

You, my friend, are a man's man, the original true grit, one tough talking, swaggering son of a bitch. You're not a bad guy, on the contrary, you're the ultimate good guy, but you're one tough character, rough and tumble, ready for anything. You call the shots and go your own way, and if some screwy dame is willing to accept your terms, that's just fine by you. Otherwise, you'll just hit the open trail and stay true to yourself. You stand up for what you believe and can handle any situation, usually by rushing into the thick of the action. You're not polished and you're not overly warm, but you're a straight shooter and a real stand up guy. Co-stars include Lauren Bacall and Maureen O'Hara, tough broads who can take care of themselves.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the
Classic Dames Test.

Take The Classic Leading Man Test at HelloQuizzy

T2 - 30.

20m cardio/shadowboxing, 6 meals, 3L water


Man, in hindsight, the last... ummm... jeez... 12 years?... my health, fitness and fatness has been all over the the place. Mike's celebrating about getting down to a size he hasn't seen in a decade made me ponder just how I got to the point I am now. Maybe useless navel gazing, but let's see where the day takes me, as it were.

12 years ago, 1996, 23 years old, maybe in the best shape of my life. Hitting the gym 5x a week with a SSgt from work... [Much thanks, wherever you are HW.] I am awesome. A weight-lifting, running, beach-volleyball-playing, martial-arts-training 1stLt in the USMC.

Marriage in 1997. With that comes a bit of domesticated laziness, plus changes in work responsibilities, transfer of workout partners... the gym 5x a week becomes a distant memory, but hitting the JKD/MMA classes 2x a week + a cheapo weight bench and heavy bag in the garage keeps fatty at bay. Mostly. At the end of the tour in 1999, and exiting the fitness oriented culture of the Marine Corps, there is a detectable widening of the waistline starting to form. I blame my Gunny, and his delicious sweetened coffee flavorings. God bless you, wherever you are, Duane Keys. I hope you are having not a single "2pac day."

Japan 1999-2001. First time in Japan... 6 months of acclimating, poor diet, and being a lazy ass takes it's toll. Started working out again that winter. Getting to use the gym at Sandy's school was a godsend. [Yay Hirowatari sensei. Yay awesome wife.] Last 6 months in Japan also gave me the Daido Juku dojo to train at 2x a week. [Yay wife. Yay Hisako san.] Leaving Japan in the summer of '01, in pretty good shape.

NC 2001-2003. In good shape when I got there, apparently the understanding that I'd actually have to keep working out didn't occur to me. Occasional MA training with Jr does little to hold back poor diet and lethargy. But I do manage to figure this out, maybe after a year. [Slow in the head, that's me.] Last six months in NC spent getting back into some semblance of condition. Not as good as when I got to NC, but I leave NC with a modicum of conditioning and self respect, having shed a lot of my chub.

VA 2003-2005. Where it all goes to hell apparently. VA was, I don't know, a weird time for me. Sandy busy with grad school. Me working a particularly meaningless job just to make $$ to pay bills. Living closer to more family than I had in a long time... not that that was a bad thing, it was just... different. All sorts of different stressors and issues and nonsense going on. Became a fatty. I was looking at the pre-JET Programme physical I had to take and noticed that I had ballooned up to 100kg/220lbs, even in VA, which I hadn't thought I'd hit till I got back to Japan. So clearly I had forgotten/not even noticed that at the time. Not good at all. Didn't work out, really at all, for two years. Just horrible.

Japan II 2005-Present. Back in Japan, I hit the ground running. Back to the dojo, even though fat and out of shape. No longer eating like a basket case. Enjoying my job. After about a year, year and a half, while not in shape by any stretch of the imagination, I've managed to drop about 10lbs... Then, boom. Tweak/strain/pull my neck. Followed up my tweaking/spraining/pulling my hip/leg. A layoff for recovery becomes longer and longer. Can't go to the dojo. Working out at all is a huge pain in the ass. Frustrating. Hey, junk food and alcohol make me feel better! I'm so fucking simple... Eating emotionally will be my downfall, I swear. Flash forward to February 08, I am the fattest and in the worst shape I have ever been. Haven't been to the dojo in about a year. I top the scales at [and it is with great shame that I write this] 103kg/227lbs. My waist [even more embarrasing] measures at a disgusting 43inches. Even being slapped in the face with this cold, harsh reality, it takes me another month to finally get off my lazy ass and start doing something about it.

So, here I am, not quite 6 months back into it. Still haven't been back to the dojo, as I've promised myself the next time I train there, I'm going to be able to make my body do the things I want it to do, and not be held back by my lack of fitness. I've dropped about 8-9kg/17-19lbs, which puts me at 94-95kg/207-209lbs, and about a 37.5/38inch waist, depending on what time of the day I check my measurements. I want to drop about another 10-11kg and another 5-6inches, at least. 85kg/34inches would be acceptable, but 84kg/32inches would be ideal, I think.

Lot of work to still do. Work in progress. Onwards.


Truer words never written...

Philip Pullman on the futility and evil of banning books - Boing Boing:
"Religion, uncontaminated by power, can be the source of a great deal of private solace, artistic inspiration, and moral wisdom. But when it gets its hands on the levers of political or social authority, it goes rotten very quickly indeed. The rank stench of oppression wafts from every authoritarian church, chapel, temple, mosque, or synagogue – from every place of worship where the priests have the power to meddle in the social and intellectual lives of their flocks, from every presidential palace or prime ministerial office where civil leaders have to pander to religious ones...

My basic objection to religion is not that it isn't true; I like plenty of things that aren't true. It's that religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations. Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good. "

Monday, September 29, 2008

The best way to stay healthy is to avoid doctors and hospitals...

...and that's what I'm sticking with.

Dramatic Example of How Health Truth May Take Up to a Century to be Accepted:
"...this kind of willful ignorance on the part of the medical establishment is not particularly surprising. Some of medicine’s most glaring mistakes and deliberately ignored problems include:

* Bloodletting as a cure-all
* Promotion of cocaine, heroin, and other narcotics
* Lobotomy
* Thalidomide
* HRT: The menopause “cure”
* H. pylori, which is the true cause of ulcers
* The Vioxx disaster that killed 60,000
* Disregarding Dr. Semmelweis and his hand-washing recommendation"

Or, as most deftly put by my favorite philosopher R.A. Wilson,
"According to a study by the Office of Technology Assessment only 20% of American medical theory has been validated by randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. About 80% of the time, then, doctors follow prejudice, hunch, intuition, guessing, prayer, or just plain bluff."

Avoid unless absolutely necessary.

If he's going down, he's taking a whole lotta people with him* - "Russian sumo wrestler claims matches were fixed /wrestlers smoked marijuana."

Russian sumo wrestler claims matches were fixed / Japanese wrestlers smoked marijuana | Japan Probe:
"The Japan Sumo Association might come to regret its decision to ban Russian wrestler Wakanoho over a marijuana scandal. Today he went before the press and claimed he was forced to throw matches in exchange for money:
“I was forced to accept money and put in unfair bouts,” Soslan Aleksandrovich Gagloev, known by his ring name, Wakanoho, said through an interpreter.

Wakanoho also accused trainers and other wrestlers of smoking marijuana.

He said he will give further details when he testifies in court later this week as a witness for the weekly magazine Shukan Gendai, which faces a defamation suit by the Japan Sumo Association and several wrestlers over its articles last year alleging bout-fixing."

*"Why yes, that is a quote from New Jack City," Rob said, showing his age.

My new discovery - "Wally and Osborne."

Late to the game on this one, and it's "all-ages, family friendly" of all things, but this cracked me up.

Wally and Osborne


T2 - 29.

Upper body wkout/7 meals/3L water

Inspiration of the the day - my boy Mike, detailing his successful month of watching his diet. Rock on with your bad self.

Adventures in the Not-so-Orient: Happy news:
"The last 4 weeks have been an interesting time for me. I am now on day 23 of my diet. With Saturday as a nominal cheat day, the rest of the time, not including things like enkais or whatnot, I am carefully watching what I eat..."

Kick in the ass of the day - | ATOMIC DOG: A Mobius Strip Life:
"...So, gentle reader (you knew this was going to eventually turn to you, didn't you?), if you're like 99.99999% of the population, you have your ambitions, too, whether they're career ambitions, conditioning ambitions, or physique ambitions.

Only you suck.

I suck.

We all suck...

...are you sacrificing even 10% of what Jason's sacrificed to get what you want?

I doubt it. I rarely meet anyone who gets what they want. Everybody's got plenty of lofty ideas, but I rarely see anyone carry through with them. I run into hundreds of people want to change careers, but the only effort they expel towards that end is complaining to me or any other poor bastard unlucky enough to be in the way of their lament.

...I'm usually highly resistant to motivational articles or articles designed to harness the psychology of positive thinking because I'm a motivational reductionist; I tend to break motivation down to the simplest statement: if you want to do something bad enough, you'll do it. Clearly, most people are comfortable with the status quo because they don't do it.

But what the hell, I've come this far so I might as well try to offer a couple of words of advice.

Get off your ass.

For once in your mediocre, lack-luster life, take one thing, one goal, to completion; see one thing to fruition. You know how to get the new job. You do. Really. You don't need anyone to tell you about education, certifications, studying, contacts, etc.

Do it or just stop boring the hell out of the rest of us, okay?

...It may or not be the best time to invest in the market, but it's sure as hell the best time to invest in you."

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Only in Japan - SUMO HERPES.

Extreme form of herpes hitting sumo wrestlers | Japan Probe:
"AFP reports that a severe strain of herpes simplex virus type 1 of herpes is hitting sumo wrestlers in Japan:
Known as Herpes gladiatorum, or scrumpox, it causes painful, virus-filled blisters to form on the face and the neck that can damage the skin. Fever, headaches and an infection of the lymph nodes can also result."

Fresh, for 2008. You suckers.

Overheard in New York | Wait! -- Let Me Put on My L.L. Bean Jacket and Try That Again:
"Wannabe rap superstar: Yo, wanna buy this CD?
Middle aged white guy: What are the beats like?
Wannabe rap superstar: (silence)
Middle aged white guy: Are they like (starts beat-boxing)?
Wannabe rap superstar: No. (leaves)

--96th St & Amsterdam

Overheard by: sure they weren't"

T2 - 28.

20m cardio/shadowboxing, 6 meals, 1.5L water

I only read about the debate, but this sounds right...

Hit & Run > None of the Above - Reason Magazine:
"You can divide last night's debate into two parts: the argument about the economy, and everything afterward. In the first section, my basic reaction was Both of these guys are full of shit. In the second, my reaction was Obama is a mixed bag. McCain is a trigger-happy lunatic. I guess I prefer Obama. I'm still trying to figure out how McCain thinks he can reconcile his fiscally conservative rhetoric with the aggressive and expensive foreign policy he prefers."

See, it's funny 'cause it's true.


Why I'd be a bad father.

This is how I'd run my house.

Overheard at the Beach | Instead of Setting Daddy on Fire, Like Usual:
"Four-year-old girl: Daddy! Why did you knock over my sandcastle?!
Dad: Because you knocked over my sandcastle first.
(dad coolly turns to two-year-old son and begins playing with him)
Four-year-old girl, in hysterics: Daddy! I'm so angry at you!
Mom: Good honey, you're expressing your feelings really well.

--Hampton Beach, New Hampshire"

Choices, choices...

Wal*Mart shutting down DRM server, nuking your music collection -- only people who pay for music risk losing it to DRM shenanigans - Boing Boing:
"Hey suckers! Did you buy DRM music from Wal*Mart instead of downloading MP3s for free from the P2P networks? Well, they're repaying your honesty by taking away your music. Unless you go through a bunch of hoops (that you may never find out about, if you've changed email addresses or if you're not a very technical person), your music will no longer be playable after October 9th.

But don't worry, this will never ever happen to all those other DRM companies -- unlike little fly-by-night mom-and-pop operations like Wal*Mart, the DRM companies are rock-ribbed veterans of commerce and industry, sure to be here for a thousand years. So go on buying your Audible books, your iTunes DRM songs, your Zune media, your EA games... None of these companies will ever disappear, nor will the third-party DRM suppliers they use. They are as solid and permanent as Commodore, Atari, the Soviet Union, the American credit system and the Roman Empire.

Boy, the entertainment industry sure makes a good case for ripping them off, huh? Buy your media and risk having it confiscated by a DRM-server shutdown. Take it for free and keep it forever."

The law of unintended sexual subtext.

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Turkey Ranger Chips - Chicken Flavor.

I bought them. I had to know. [They were eh.]
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"The World of Golden Eggs, Since 2004.

Who's that guy in yellow? That's our hero, Turkey Ranger!"

Seriously, you can't improve on that. Japan is just full of win.

Opportunities for Engrish abound.

Sandy didn't want to embarrass Kawabata san by explaining what his hat meant. I cracked up though. Because I am sad and immature.
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When I see stuff like this I can never figure if they had no clue what they were doing, just copying something they saw in English, or if they knew exactly what they were doing, and taking the piss out of the nation of Japan. Even odds, I'd think.

Daytripping with Bachan to Aonodōmon and Rakanji Temple.

Another month, another day trip with Granma and the fam.

Bachan readies her hat - one of many - for the day's adventures.
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Headed over to Aonodōmon (青の洞門 ao no dōmon; meaning "blue tunnel") in Nakatsu, Oita...
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Via the mighty Wikipedia - Aonodōmon:
" a tourist attraction located in the former Yabakei town, now part of Nakatsu City, in Ōita Prefecture, Japan.

Legend has it that before the tunnel was built, people had to climb over the cliffs through which the tunnel is built to reach an important local shrine. The path was very dangerous and people regularly fell to their deaths. During the Edo period, a Buddhist monk named Zenkai, who had committed a murder in his earlier life, decided to build a a safe passage for worshipers in order to atone for his crime. Beginning at the age of 49, he dedicated 30 years of his life to digging the 185 metre tunnel by hand, using only a hammer and chisel."

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I'd actually read the story of chipping out the tunnel years ago, maybe in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, which I'm pretty sure is the volume I read... Anyways, here's the tale, reproduced in full -
Zenkai, the son of a samurai, journeyed to Edo and there became the retainer of a high official. He fell in love with the official’s wife and was discovered. In self-defence, he slew the official. Then he ran away with the wife.

Both of them later became thieves. But the woman was so greedy that Zenkai grew disgusted. Finally, leaving her, he journeyed far away to the province of Buzen, where he became a wandering mendicant.

To atone for his past, Zenkai resolved to accomplish some good deed in his lifetime. Knowing of a dangerous road over a cliff that had caused death and injury to many persons, he resolved to cut a tunnel through the mountain there.

Begging food in the daytime, Zenkai worked at night digging his tunnel. When thirty years had gone by, the tunnel was 2,280 feet long, 20 feet high, and 30 feet wide.

Two years before the work was completed, the son of the official he had slain, who was a skillful swordsman, found Zenkai out and came to kill him in revenge.

“I will gived you my life willingly,” said Zenkai. “Only let me finish this work. On the day it is completed, then you may kill me.”

So the son awaited the day. Several months passed and Zenkai kept digging. The son grew tired of doing nothing and began to help with the digging. After he had helped for more than a year, he came to admire Zenkai’s strong will and character.

At last the tunnel was completed and the people could use it and travel safely.

“Now cut off my head,” said Zenkai. “My work is done.”

“How can I cut off my own teacher’s head?” asked the younger man with tears in his eyes.

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Sandy disappears down the tunnel...
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I am a dork.
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But so is my wife.
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Now I'm up 2-1. [Also, little known fact... I, not Atlas, hold the world up.]
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We're awesome. That is all.
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Sandy ties it up 2-2.
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Prepare to feed the fish...
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Fish go nuts. Mission accomplished.
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You can never have too many towels in Japan. Seriously.
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There is nothing Japan cannot turn into a super cute kawaii design. Zen monk doing 30 years of Buddhist atonement? Nothing to it. It is cool though.
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Japan is brilliant. Frogs!!!
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Bachan takes pictures with everyyyyything.
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The lower half of the pic you can see the tunnel cut through the mountain. Really quite impressive.
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Bachan will do anything for a picture.
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Obligatory mid-day Bachan's bring along bento lunch.
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Folks were feeding the fish by the river. They were going nuts.
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On to Rakanji Temple, home of 3700 stone Buddhas. But the cool thing is that going up to the temple you can take a ski lift type thing. Which was awesome.
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My favorite bit - check out the chairs... no belts, no safety measures, and the chairs never actually stop, you jump on mid-ride. Brilliant. And would never fly in the litigiousness of modern day America. Japan does not concern itself with such things.
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Warning: Don't try this at home. I am a professional tourist.
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I love my shoes. Though having worn the hell out of my Vibram Fivefingers the last month, I think I'm gonna need a size up. Oh well, chance to upgrade. Great shoes though.
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At the entrance to the temple.
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This next pic is, supposedly, the baby of a demon. I'd love to know the real story.
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Yes, this appears to be a dragon/lion/fish. You figure it out, I'm a foreigner.
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Some of the 3700 Buddhas.
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They said this looked like Takeshi ojisan. I say it looks like a young Jichan.
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82 years old, still kicking ass.
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Pay no attention to the look of strain on my face. I am becoming fit.
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The top of the lift. Awesome view.
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Me, reliving every Batman/Tarzan fantasy I've had since I was 5.
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More pics here: