Saturday, January 03, 2009

"An excess of reason is itself a form of madness."

From Forty Signs of Rain by Kim Stanley Robinson. Having a time trying to get into this book - the bureaucracy of science is just painful to read about, and the characters haven't grabbed me - but this is a money quote.

Training 264-6/P90X 32-4.

Days 264-5/P90X 32-3 were a wash, diet and exercise wise. Two days at baachan's, eating whatever she was kindly enough to make and/or serve. And no PT.

Today - 266/34 - Kenpo X, 1.5L water, one big meal @ end of the day.

Hard work, the only thing that's gonna make a difference:
From 2009-01-03

New Year's Day.

The Adachi clan eating the osechi.
From 2009-01-01

Japanese folks in the 21st century. Loading up the webcam and Skype to conversate halfway across the globe.
From 2009-01-01

Kawabata-san is adorable.
From 2009-01-01

82 year old Baachan owns the internet.
From 2009-01-01

Obligatory walk to Odori koen [park] and shrine.
From 2009-01-01

From 2009-01-01

From 2009-01-01

This turned out well, I thought.
From 2009-01-01

From 2009-01-01

From 2009-01-01

Jan 2nd, at the very crowded [so I was told, I stayed home under the kotatsu - which I definitely needed since Baachan put the air-conditioning on by accident...] Iimori shrine.
From 2009-01-01

From 2009-01-01

New Year's Eve.

It's Japan. You stay in to watch the fights. [It's why I came to Japan. MMA and kickboxing on national broadcast TV.]
From 2009-01-01

But there's also alcohol.
From 2009-01-01

And cards, of course, Sandy being who she is.
From 2009-01-01

Jon is classy.
From 2009-01-01

Sandy greets the tequila.
From 2009-01-01

Ah, the self timer rules.
From 2009-01-01

On to karaoke.
From 2009-01-01

Freely dispensed New Year's Eve poppers.
From 2009-01-01

From 2009-01-01

Sometimes, it's painful. Clearly.
From 2009-01-01

And that was New Year's...

Experts... aren't.

Worth remembering. Also, avoid doctors and hospitals to remain healthy.

Second Opinions | Mark's Daily Apple:
"...I find that this happens all too often in many other areas (tech support from Mumbai that has you defragging your disc or reinstalling your operating system when a patch or reboot would have done), but most notably in medicine. How often do we all hear stories of expensive surgeries undertaken because a battery of tests (that weren’t that solid to begin with) “indicated” that there was a problem that needed fixing? Many prophylactic mastectomies or prostate biopsies or quadruple bypasses are probably not necessary (in my humble opinion). Yet they can severely compromise lives forever if they really weren’t necessary or if a few lifestyle interventions might have done a much better trick. How about the prescribing of multiple drugs to address symptoms or bring a few “out-of-norm” numbers back into the proper range? And then prescribing additional drugs to offset the side-effects of the first drugs - all based on sketchy diagnoses. My knee surgery last year would not have been necessary had my doctor not hastily shot cortisone under my kneecap. Long story. But, hey, he only had seven minutes of office visit time to make the (wrong) diagnosis and, hey, he was my friend. Oh well, my bad. If anyone should have seen that coming it was me.

I tell anyone who will listen that lawyers, doctors and CPAs don’t have answers. They only have opinions and sometimes those opinions are no better (and often worse) than your own instincts. This is why we at MDA are on a mission to try to help you better understand how your body works, so you can make educated, informed decisions when it comes to matters of health. Armed with an understanding of what might truly be behind your problem, that little extra you pay for a second or even third opinion might just make the difference."

Wow, vegetable oils are kind of disgusting.

Free the Animal: "Makes My Mouth Water.":
"Typically, a mixture of refined oil and finely powdered nickel catalyst (comprising 0.05-0.1% of the weight of the oil) is pumped into a cylindrical pressure reactor of 5-20 tons capacity. It is heated by heating coils to 120-188°C (248-370°F) at 1-6 atmospheres pressure. Hydrogen is pumped into the bottom of the reactor and dispersed by a stirrer, continuously, as bubbles into the oil... After hydrogenation is completed to the desired degree, the oil is filtered to remove the catalyst (which may be reused) then pumped to a storage tank; it may later be blended with other harder or softer fats or oils to make margarine or shortening."

"Yep. A regular chop licking affair. Virtually every household has this frankenfood-crap in the cupboard and as Stephan alludes, they might not if they had any idea."

Tom Cruise teaches important political lessons.

Okay, not really.

Hit & Run > One of Many Interesting Political Philosophy Questions Raised by Tom Cruise - Reason Magazine
After watching the new movie about the plot to kill Hitler, Valkyrie, Bryan Caplan asks: why are people so squeamish about tyrannicide?
I'm amazed that people who don't think twice about killing conscripts (or even civilians) are so reluctant to justify violence against serial killer statesmen. What could be less objectionable than trying to stop mass murder by killing the specific individuals most responsible for it?

If the philosophical case for tyrannicide is so strong, why do so many people - including the members of the 1944 plot against Hitler - have such strong moral qualms against it? My best guess is that (a) there is a high correlation between moral virtue and obedience to authority, and (b) political leaders are very reluctant to support tyrannicide because they're worried about retaliation and/or setting a precedent. But I wonder if that's a little too conspiratorial.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Eve Karaoke Madness.

More to come.
From 2009-01-01


Overheard in New York | He Would Get the Last Laugh in Ebonics Scrabble Later That Night:
"Thuggish 12-year-old kid: I can so beat you at UNO.
Thuggish 10-year-old brother: Fuck you.

--L Train"

Self knowledge is the key.

Overheard Everywhere | I Was Thinking More A Piece of Pizza:
"Guy: You know what you need? You need your asshole licked.
Girl, deadly serious: I've had my asshole licked. That is not what I need.

Planetfest 2008
Jacksonville, Florida

Overheard by: Raynay"

Worth trying in the New Year.

"...most everybody is looking around and vibrating in response to what they are seeing. So, what is the solution? Look around less. Imagine more. Look around less. Imagine more."
- Jerry and Esther Hicks

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."