Saturday, July 04, 2009

Training 371-6.

Well, that was an abomination. Poor planning, poor choices, visits from old friends, omiyage, eating out, drinking out [and in], emotional food therapy [fail] and just general laziness.

No PT this week. Diet all over the place, including a couple 7-11 fried chicken and potato chip stops.

Saturday, today, my efforts at beginning to level the field equal this
From 2009-07-04

Low calorie/carb Chu-Hi and beer, and...
From 2009-07-04

...snacks of a not entirely healthy but at least low carb variety.

Scheduled PT/MMA tomorrow, weather permitting. Get back on track this week.

Happy 4th.

Chuck Berry is a bad dude.

Go go go!

If a huge scandal isn't about to break, I'll eat my hat.

If, you know, I had a hat.

Palin announcement an early start to weekend fireworks - | Alaska's news and information source |:
"In a stunning announcement whose shockwaves will likely reverberate from Alaska's state capitol to the Beltway politics of Washington, D.C., Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday morning that she will resign her office July 26."

Jesus Christ.

Turkish game show – Convert the Heathen « Derren Brown Blog:
"A Turkish game show is challenging atheists to reassess their views and win “the biggest prize ever”. Penitents Compete will bring together an Islamic imam, a Jewish rabbi, a Buddhist monk and a Greek Orthodox priest seeking to convert the atheists. The prize for any converted contestants is an expenses-paid pilgrimage to a holy site of their chosen faith.

...The imam, rabbi, monk and priest will then seek to persuade the atheists of the merits and truth of their faith.

Adverts for the show promise: “We give you the biggest prize ever; we represent the belief in God. Believe, repent, God will forgive you.”"

"I want you - to hit me - as hard as you can."

You're not listening.
Tyler Durden: I want you to hit me as hard as you can.
Narrator: What?… in the face?
Tyler Durden: Surprise me.
Narrator: This is so fucking stupid. Well, what do you want me to do? You just want me to hit you?
Tyler Durden: C’mon, do me this one favor.
Narrator: Why?
Tyler Durden: Why? I don’t know why; I don’t know. Never been in a fight. You?
Narrator: No, but that’s a good thing.
Tyler Durden: No, it is not. How much can you know about yourself, you’ve never been in a fight? I don’t wanna die without any scars.

"If I could capture the rage of today's youth and bottle it
Crush the glass from my bare hands and swallow it
Then spit it back in the faces of you racists
and hypocrites who think the same shit but don't say shit
You Liberace's, Versace's, and you nazis
Watch me, cause you thinkin you got me in this hot seat
You motherfuckers wanna JUDGE me cause you're NOT me
You'll never STOP me, I'm TOP speed as you POP me
I came to save these new generations of babies
from parents who failed to raise 'em cause they're lazy..."

"You got a phone. Pick it up. Call me."

"I like his music as much as the next Nazi."

If you can't laugh at Nazis and the death of Michael Jackson, what can you laugh at?

Hitler finds out Michael Jackson has died (Der Untergang remix) - Boing Boing:
"Video. Adolf Hitler is pretty pissed off to learn that Michael Jackson has died and won't be able to perform at his birthday party. Evidences the true marks of a great internet meme: infinite expandability, extremely bad taste in multiple respects, and an unfairly long lifespan."

Homeopathic Emergency Room.

Via If woowoos ran the emergency room - Boing Boing


Overheard in New York | How'd You Know?!:
"Smoking scenester #1 to another, after seeing toy poodle: Hey, look, that must be one of them dumb city rat dogs.
Girl with poodle to smoking scenester #1: Hey, look, you must be one of those dumb bridge & tunnel cunts.

--11th & 1st"

"How could your god be jealous if he was the only one?"

First commandment, bitches. Utter nonsense.

"There was once a time when everybody believed in at least some form of god and religion ruled the world. It was called the 'Dark Ages...'

Why don't you believe in Ra?
Why don't you turn to the east daily and pray to Allah?

...Look at these so-called down brothers
Hell I might as well be looking at their grandmothers
That's where they get it from anyways
Just brain washed by the fear and the whip like mini-slaves...

...When you understand why you reject all other gods
You'll understand why I reject yours...

...How could your god be jealous if he was the only one?

...If God was omni-benevolent how could evil exist?"

"The product of god and allah is Osama bin Laden, George Bush, Saddam Hussein, just bottlin' problems..."

"...Why would I accept a God that my slave owners practiced?

Your God is logically impossible, and can't even survive the most basic logical obstacles...

Infinite regression prevents a god from even existing..."

Not really that good.

See, given what I was talking about - weird flavors - you'd think this would be better... beef + chips. Sadly, not so good.
From 2009-07-04

Stand. Up.

Do something, for christ's sake. Anything.

"I know all the words to De Colores, and I'm proud to be an American."

[Wired wrong, I am, as an American... 4th of July means nothing to me. Happy 4th to you though...]

Wait, there was a video?

What I get for going to a college where I couldn't watch TV.

"We're bustin funky compositions as smooth as a prism
So check it while I kick it to this funky ass rhythm..."

You know, we don't really *lean* into it...

...but the more you make a word verboten, the more power you give it.

So, you know, fuck that. If there was ever a word that deserved less power, that's it.

What are the "Dr Dre Rules" on the internet?

Goddamn Chris Rock is a funny dude.

"It's been too hard livin', but I'm afraid to die..."

Maybe the best song ever.

"He who does not feel me is not real to me, therefore he does not exist. So, poof... vamoose, son of a bitch."

I love this jam.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Daily Brickbats; Professional Accountability - Reason Magazine:
"Paul Abel says someone punched him while he was stopped at a red light. So he drove around the neighborhood trying to find the man. Abel, who'd been drinking, saw Kaleb Miller and thought he was the man who hit him, so he struck him on the back of the neck with his handgun. The gun went off, striking Miller on the hand. At trial, a judge declared Abel's actions "inappropriate, impudent and ill-advised," but acquitted him of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and DUI. Why? Abel was an off-duty cop, and he says he was trying to arrest Miller, who witnesses say wasn't the man who struck him. He says he had to use force when Miller refused to obey his commands."

How math should be taught.

Guy makes a great deal of sense... so of course this shall never come to pass.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

What I've Read - Japanese culture is a trip.

Given that after nearly four years in country, it's painfully clear I won't be dedicating myself to any degree to mastering the lingua franca, at the very least I can try to pick up on the culture. Which is quite fascinating. To that end, I had the chance to check out 100 Tough Questions for Japan, by Gen Itasaka. [A bilingual book...]

It was... interesting. In that kind of insane sense of the word. One part fascinating, one part illuminating, one part "this dude is ludicrous." Checking the indices, the author was apparently born in 1922, with the first edition of this book coming out in 1996, which explains a lot, actually.

The interesting bits; knowing why the Japanese call "green" traffic lights [and my kids call my green eyes] "blue." Having to do with "ao" - the Japanese word usually translated as "blue" having both blue and green connotations, and the word "midori" usually taken for "green" these days, a relatively new linguistic addition. [The limits of your language are the limits of your world, after all.]

Other interesting bits; till the late 1870s, Japan was on the lunar calendar... they used to take off one day from work every ten days. Which really explains how the concept of "weekends off" and workaholic applies in Japan. Learning why money is always wrapped/enveloped when given... In short, samurai's ruled by the sword and imperial fiat. They had no money. So lacking it, they de-emphasized its value, painted it as "dirty" and therefore shouldn't be touched with your own hands. Money as "unclean." Clever, if highly dysfunctional.

Also I learned that the school year starts in April because it was modeled on the French system of the time, which did the same.

But the author clearly has issues. Gender issues. And really, "grumpy old bastard" issues. And the standard myopic Japanese issues.

Actual, I kid you not, questions and answers:

Why are Japanese mothers overly soft on their children?
"...The mother sometimes brings up the children with too much love."
Why aren't the elderly offered seats? [...on the need for designated priority seats for the elderly on trains/buses. This was the most delightfully insane rant the author had in the book.]
"...there are many Japanese who do not offer their seats to the elderly. This can be particularly seen in the younger generation... The child expects to get a seat and becomes unmanageable when the expectation is not met. There are even people who offer their seats to these spoiled brats.

...Japanese parents also pamper their children by buying them nearly everything they ask for. Being raised spoiled, these self-centered children grow up feeling they have every right to be seated.

Also, the children of today are not as strong as before although they are built better. They are unable to stand for long periods of time. Japanese with sense frown at the sight of them sunk in a crouch along the roadside."

The close second for batshit crazy answers comes with this question:

Why do some companies require only women employees to wear uniforms?
The answer, I kid thee not:
"Women love to dress up and there is a risk they would try to outdo one another if they were free to dress as they pleased. Using unnecessary energy on matters unrelated to work would be detrimental to the company..."
Other genius insights, in response to a question about Japanese manzai/slapstick comedy:
"The United States places strict restrictions on violence and sex scenes, and Americans may find slapstick comedy... to be a little too violent."
Um, no. You're an idiot. In general, and this is really my own personal opinion, I don't get manzai because the idea of having the tsukkomi constantly smack around the boke just because, really, he's dumb, comes across as more mean spirited than funny. Especially to the degree it's done. And, well, slapstick can be funny, but it's not clever. It's kind of "low" comedy. Not witty, not thought provoking, not deft. But the idea that it might be too violent for Americans, kings of ludicrous cinematic violence? That's just commmentary from somebody who's been buying into their own nonsense for too long.

Big picture wise, the most frustrating thing was it trended to the superficial and lacked a lot of insight. In response to "Why are the Japanese so attracted to brand names?" instead of delving into how Japanese society is psychologically deeply wrapped up in - to a greater degree than the U.S., at least, I'd argure - and values the concepts of appearance, reputation, hierarchy and status, he instead talks about how this "weakness for big-name brands" is a problem of the "young generation, especially Japanese women" and the "leniency parents show to their children by buying them anything they ask for, even expensive items."

Dude has issues, is what I'm saying.

All the 100 Questions started out along the lines of "Why is/does/doesn't Japan..." such and such. The answer all too often seemed to be a variation of "Japan does this because this is the way it has always been done." A very typical Japanese style answer.

Interesting but obtuse. Lots of generalizations and bias. Overall though, glad I read it.

Yes. Indeed.

Your Hero of the Day.

Elderly retired boxing champ beats six kinds of crap out of drunken burglar neighbour - Boing Boing:
"A British hard-partying 24-year-old bartender got upset that his elderly neighbour called the cops over all the noise he was making, so he got drunk and broke into the 72-year-old's house, wielding some kind of Mall Ninja knife that incorporated brass knuckles. What he didn't know was that the neighbour was a retired boxing champ, and the older man beat the everloving crap out of the would-be assailant.

"Taco Bell's New Green Menu."

Taco Bell's New Green Menu Takes No Ingredients From Nature

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Tuvok doesn't play.

Necessity, mother, invention, etc, etc...

You buy a bunch of cottage cheese, because you know it's high protein and a good snack. But given you used to mix it up with artificial sweetener - and don't do that anymore - you find you don't actually like the taste of cottage cheese, per se. So, what to do? Use the cottage cheese, mixed with some powdered ranch dressing, egg yolk and mayo to make the filling for some deviled eggs. Total Win. I Am Awesome. That is all.
From 2009-07-01

Thoughts on, well, thoughts, I guess.

Talk is cheap. Absent my own projections, as much as I can, and thinking of earlier stuff, what you say is - pretty much - meaningless.

What you do is what matters. You can talk of friendship, and I'm as guilty as anyone else, but if you don't make any damn effort, you're just pretty much full of shit, yes?

God bless Japan and their weird ass Japanese Pringles flavors.

You know, technically, extra pepper and balsamic vinegar aren't that weird, but the fact is that the constantly new and shifting flavors they make available in Japan is simply brilliant.
From 2009-07-01

One more time, for old times sake...

Old coworkers visiting the old stomping grounds...

Getting chummy with the old boss...
From 2009-07-01

Natsukashii, indeed.
From 2009-07-01

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


From 2009-06-30

From 2009-06-30

From 2009-06-30

Still - mostly - the only dance moves I know [you know they're dope.]

If I had to crip walk or crunk, I'd probably break something.

Kinda wish this one was real.


Bleeding Cool » Do Anything 005 by Warren Ellis:
"Do anything.


"Fuck you, Reality," said the Cross-Dressing Clown Robber.

Cross-Dressing Clown Robs Liquor Store - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver:
"The Boulder Police Department is looking for a cross-dressing man wearing clown makeup who robbed a liquor store on Saturday night."

Old School Hip-Hop YouTube Spiral.

17 years in - goddamn I'm old - this is still infectious. Pete Rock was a bad, bad man.

"I'm not a hippie, but yo B, I'm hip..."

Speaking of Pete Rock... one of the best tracks in hip-hop. Ever.

Never have figured out who was badder... Guru or Premier... Together they were unstoppable, though.

You do, in fact, gots to chill.

The irony is, of course, is that this was a "crossover" hit. As is all hip-hop music of any popularity. Without dumb white kids [like me] buying tapes and later CDs back in the day, hip-hop never has the influence it has now, for good or ill. That's right. Blame whitey. Damn crackers.

Not the Golden Age without PE. "Yes. The Rhythm. The Rebel."

But THIS is THE Public Enemy jam.

"...Crucifixion ain't no fiction, so called chosen frozen
Apology made to who ever pleases, still they got me like Jesus
I rather sing, bring, think reminisce...

Caught in the race against time, the pit and the pendulum
Check the rhythm and rhymes, while I'm bendin' 'em...

Every brother ain't a brother, cause a Black hand
Squeezed on Malcom X the man
The shootin' of Huey Newton, from a hand of a nig who pulled the trigger..."

Yes. You. Can.

As close as I'll get to an MJ tribute [though 'Off the Wall' and the Jackson 5 are still badass] with the 'Human Nature' hook...

"This rhythmatic explosion, is what your frame of mind has chosen
I'll leave your brain stimulated, niggaz is frozen
Speak with criminal slang, begin like a violin
End like Leviathan, it's deep well let me try again..."

Hola. Hola. A.

[I don't care. I dug this.]

First posse cut I remember jamming to. Bonus points - the vid is from Rap City, Puffy is the sign holder and Big Daddy Kane is wearing some kind of all purple satin ensemble. With a matching scarf.

I miss 1991.

1990 was so positive even Too Short was a conscious rapper.

"600 million on a football team, and her baby died just like a dope fiend."

From the hands down classic O.G. "My brain's a hand grenade. Catch."

"Whoever said that what I say and portray is negativity, need to come kick it in the city with me..

"They put a hurtin' on your ass, man, you know, they really degrade you,
White folks don't believe that shit, don't believe that cops degrade you... 'Oh come on, those people, those people was resistin' arrest.'""

Nobody figured the Geto Boys would be the first to go metaphysical.

I don't care what happened later... Hammer was a bad mf'er.

If you're of a certain age, and you say you didn't like, or didn't dance to this, you're a damn liar. I remember jamming to this at impromptu T-Court pep rallies in 1990-1 [that only makes sense if you're a USNA grad...]

I don't care. Before he got stupid and started talking junk, I dug his music.

Juice - and New Jack City - were the soundtracks of '91.

Personally, I say the Golden Age went from '86-'94, which means this counts...

"Don't be mad, UPS is hiring..."

Yeah, "Summertime" was the anthem, but this was the dopest, slickest, flyest thing that JJ & the FP did. Still the JAM.

"Hold up, Jeff, wait a minute, play it
He just smiled and said, "Yeah def ain't it?""

I could be a parent if it was really like this.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Training 369-70.

369 - rest
370 - 5 sets pullups/situps, 2x10 dislocates, facepulls

The First Amendment is Important :)

Stripping Away Free Expression: A Pennsylvania town tries—and fails—to ban a form of exercise. - Reason Magazine:
"Dressed in a low-cut pink shirt, tight black booty pants, and thick, plastic platform stilettos, Stephanie Babines doesn’t look the part of a political rabble-rouser.

Yet an activist is exactly what Babines became when her efforts to help women shape up through fully clothed, decidedly G-rated stripper-inspired aerobics ran afoul of overzealous officials in the small western Pennsylvania town of Mars. This unyieldingly perky 31-year-old entrepreneur, standing in the small forest of steel poles that shoot up from the floor of her mirrored dance and fitness studio, has taught dance-phobic authorities an expensive lesson in federal court..."

Cola Fail.

From 2009-06-28

Not good. Tasted like a leaf. Which, I guess, it's supposed to. Shiso being the Japanese name for perilla, a member of the mint family. So I guess I expected something minty, not leafy. Like licking a tree. Not my cup'a tea, I guess. Still, thank kamisama for the weird things you can try in Japan.

What I've Read.

Haven't done one of these in about six weeks... so it's due, lest it stack up more constiderably.

Read the first two books in Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, Killing Floor and Die Trying. Deftly and well written thrillers/suspense/action novels, featuring an ex-Army military policeman. Enjoyable. I think though, that I actually read the first book years ago. Strikes me as one of the books that my Dad wouldn've picked up back in the day. Course, that would've be a decade ago or so. I remembered a couple of the plot beats, though not all the twists.

Read the next 3 books in the Robert Parker/Spenser series - Promised Land, Mortal Stakes and Judas Goat. Mortal Stakes was good, but the level of game and writing steps up with Promised Land the Judas Goat. The characterizations, already sharp, get razorly fine well done. Plus, Parker starts to weave the Hawk character into the Spenser mythos, which amounts to all sorts of ass-kickery awesomeness. Funny, witty, engaging, well crafted. Officially addicted to the series with Judas Goat. Great book.

Atomic Dog - The Testosterone Principles by TC Luoma - collection of columns from the Testosterone Nation/T-Nation/TMuscle author. Think of Dave Barry, but from a physical training, no bullshit perspective. Words of wisdom wrapped up in hilariousness and profanity. Entertaining and thought provoking.

The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy by Mark Sisson - if I had to pick only one book to read about nutrition or health, this would probably be it. Advocating a primal/paleo/low to medium carb/real food style eating plan. Explains step by step, in a quite readable manner, optimal evolutionary nutrition. Much stronger on nutrition than exercise, but it still provides a solid, well thought out discussion on that as well. Highest recommendation. A good summary of the ideas here.

Mind-Reach: Scientists Look at Psychic Abilities (Studies in Consciousness) by Russell Targ and Harold E. Puthoff - a mostly very dry book about a fascinating subject. Recounting investigation and the protocol for a series of ESP experiments back in the 1970s. Interesting in particular their experience with Uri Geller, noted psuedo-psychic/magician/charlatan/tapper into of the unknown. [My own personal undeducated opinion, having read more than a little on Geller is this - he's a magician [in the stage sense] who may have had authentic psychic experiences and abilities at one point. But he's also a huge egomaniac, who, having gotten a little bit of attention and notoriety, goes to any lengths, including fraud, to perpetuate his rep.] One thing that the book shows, in its dealings with Geller and famed professional debunker/skeptic James Randi is that so-called professional skeptics, supposedly dedicated to the "truth" are more than willing to play fast and loose with the "facts" in pursuit of their own agenda. Of course.

The Question, Vol. 4: Welcome To Oz by Dennis O'Neil - continuing adventures/reprints of the outstanding 1980s series. Highly recommended.

Walking Dead by Greg Rucka - If this does turn out to be the last Atticus Kodiak book, as the author has hinted, it's a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging conclusion to the series. Rucka's craftsmanship is at his deftest here - it's one of those books that will get its hooks into you and not let go to sleep until your eyes utterly fail you. He explores some dark areas and topics of the international scene, and as usual, mixes up kickass action with great locales, research, character beats and humor.

While not my favorite of the Atticus series - still Critical Space for me - it's still a 5 star/can't put it down book. Highly recommended.

The Sivananda Companion to Meditation - equal parts excellent insight and the same bat-shit crazy theology of any religion. I think it suffers from the same problem of any religious philosophy, it conflates effective techniques for altering and developing consciousness [the techniques of meditation] with the metaphors some have developed to explain reality. These metaphors then become religious "truth." Ultimately though, a worthwhile read. A lot you can learn.

"Uniqlo to buy the Gap?" - This would crack me up.

Probably only because I've always thought of Uniqlo as the "Japanese Gap."

Uniqlo to buy the Gap? | Japan Probe

Happy Sunday.

[Religion can do this to you.]

This cracked me up.

Writ large.
"Top Ten Signs That You Are An Unquestioning Christian:

10- You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your god.

9- You feel insulted and ‘dehumanized’ when scientists say that people evolved from lesser life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.

8- You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Trinity god.

7- Your face turns purple when you hear of the ‘atrocities’ attributed to Allah, but you don’t even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in ‘Exodus’ and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in ‘Joshua’—including women, children, and animals!

6- You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about god sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5- You are willing to spend your life looking for little loop-holes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (4.55 billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by pre-historic tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that the Earth is a couple of generations old!

4- You believe that the entire population of this planet wi th the exception of those who share your beliefs—though excluding those in all rival sects—will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet you consider your religion the most ‘tolerant’ and ‘loving’.

3- While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor, speaking in ‘tongues,’ may be all the evidence you need.

2- You define 0.01% as a “high success rate” when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1- You actually know a lot less than many Atheists and Agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history—but still call yourself a “Christian.”"