Monday, July 20, 2009

Offline for the next 3-4 weeks.

See you on the other side.

Till then, I leave you this worthwhile philosophical and religious reminder.

Training 389-92.

389 - DB Squats/Asst Pistols, SLDL/Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls, Calf Raises, Crunches/Alt Twist Situps

390 - Rest

391 - 20m HIIT interval kickboxing/MMA

392 - So I blew off the "Pushups, Pullups, Squats, Situps" workouts after only a week [challenging but boring] then I had a week of screwing off, basically, and then two weeks of working out again with decent consistency on a diff protocol. Still, since today is the only day this week where I'm actually sure of my schedule, I figured I'd check my 1 set max on those same exercises I'd tested out on a month ago.

Pushups - from 28 to 35
Air Squats - from 40 to 60
Dead Hang Pullups - from 8 to 10 [I must admit, double digits is a pretty nice feeling - yeah, yeah, ego, ego, blah, blah]
Situps - from 31 to 45

So that's kinda nice, overall improvement even without really trying on those specific exercises. Onwards, upwards, work in progress, etc, etc...

After a bit of rest, out of curiosity I wanted to check out my one set max on chinups. Interesting benchmark only because I did chins as part of my PFT in the Marines a decade [jesus, a decade?] ago. Funny, because the first 4 years or so of my time in service the Marines allowed kipping and body English when you did your chins or pullups and then the last year I was in they changed the regs to dead hang style, no kipping. With kipping I always got the 20 reps to max out, but on dead hang, my last year I think I got only 17. Anyways, that means I've got a baseline going back the last 10 years or so. Today I hit 13 dead hang reps. Not too shabby considering, despite recent weight loss, I'm still about 10-15lbs heavier than I was in the Marines. And I'd done a max set of pullups 15-20m before. Oddly, it felt like my grip gave out before my back, which means I need more grip/forearm work. But still, given that 16 months ago I'd been reduced to 1 chinup, to hit 13 is pretty good. [That's what? A 1200% increase? I suck at the math stuff...]

And 1hr light muay thai shadowboxing, 2x10 dislocates/facepulls/pullaparts

Watched 7/17-21 - Damn Fine TV.

First off, Leverage is some good stuff. Season 2 premiere. Best grifter/Mission Impossible/scam/character/caper show on TV. Brilliant stuff. Great character beats and acting. Clever plotting. High humor.

Pull quotes -
"Never before has a production of the Sound of Music made me root for the Nazis."

"YOU quit drinking?
...You rent a condo above a bar?
That's right.
Well, that's very... Catholic."

"It was fun, it was wonderful while it lasted, but, you know... I was drunk most of the time to be honest with you..."

"You know when you're sober your metaphors get creepier..."
Next up - Dollhouse. You know, this show, first season, wildly uneven up until episode 6 or so [Man on the Street] where it started to get good. Now, making it's way to the magical internets is both the unaired 13th ep of season one and the unaired pilot that was scrapped after "network input" into something more palatable/adventure-of-the-week'ish for general TV consumption.

First off, the original pilot - vastly superior to what was aired on FOX. One day, suits will learn to just leave Joss Whedon the hell alone to do what it is he does. Whedon's shows are built to be anti dumbing-this-down-for-the-masses TV. You can literally see how and where the pilot that actually aired was genericized, made more "interesting" for the cheetos and beer crowd [love beer, love cheetos... you know what I'm saying] and generally just made dumber. This unaired pilot is way more interesting, the performances "pop" more, it's more intelligent, and even Dushku's performance, which has taken some slings and arrows this year, is really, really good. Very sharp. Suits, leave Whedon alone. You don't know what the hell you're doing. He does.
Topher - "Morality is programming too."

And Epitaph One, the 13th ep of the season, was straight genius. Set 10 years in the future, you see the future of world and the Dollhouse. [Which begs how will they squeeze out the dramatic tension in Season 2... see what Whedon comes up with, should be interesting.] Suffice it to say, spoiler free, the post apocalyptic future of the Dollhouse is way screwed up. Great episode. Kind of mythic. Outstanding performances as well.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - good stuff. The cartoon for kids continues to mine some of the more obsure DCUniverse goodness. OMAC and Shrapnel? Quirky goodness.

World's Strongest Man 2003-2008 + the "30 Years of" special... I don't dig on this as much as MMA, but strongman stuff is brilliant. Ultimately about man against the thing, and either it wins, or you do. Good stuff.

Warehouse 13
- first 3 eps - good show. Drawing a lot of comparisons to The X-Files. I can see that, if the X-Files had any kind of sense of joy or humor about itself. Wild amounts of potential. Jane Espenson, of Buffy and Angel, on writing. Plus it has Saul Rubinek, the character actors'character actor, at his twitchy best. And C.C.H. Pounder, lending all her weighty gravitas.

And it's been said cleverer by better than me, but "SyFy" instead of "SciFi" just makes you sound like assholes.

Star Trek Voyager S4 - Continuing to go nowhere fast. At least nice character pieces and acting. Only thing keeping me hanging on. The conflict between Janeway and 7 of 9 is good, when they use it right. Tuvok and the Doctor are still awesome, underutilized.

Geek win.

Geoff Johns to Produce/Co-Write “Flash” - Comic Book Resources:
"According to THR, Warners hired Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison and Marv Wolfman this last fall to act as consultants and writers for its superhero line of films. While details of Morrison and Wolfman’s projects weren’t revealed, it was noted that Johns has worked up a new treatment for a “Flash” film, being written by Dan Mazeau. Johns will act in a producer capacity on “Flash,” which does not yet have a director."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

On Neckties.

Dollhouse - [Joss Whedon is godly]
Boyd: ...There's nothing real about it, they're programmed.

Topher: Does that tie keep you warm?

Boyd: What? No.

Topher: No. It's just what "grownup" men do in our culture. They put a piece of cloth around their necks so they can assert their status and recognize each other as non-threatening kindred.

Boyd: So, what is this? The Sixties? Are we going to burn our draft cards?

Topher: You wear the tie because it never occurred to you not to. You eat eggs every morning, but never at night. You feel excitement and companionship when rich men you've never met put a ball through a net. You feel guilty, maybe a little suspicious every time you see that Salvation Army Santa. You look down for at least half a second if a woman leans forward. And your stomach rumbles every time you drive by a big golden arch. Even if you weren't hungry before. Everybody's programmed, Boyd.

Boyd: Damn. You really spend some time on your self justification.

Topher: Not the case. I don't care. This is an awesome gig. This is cutting edge science in a house full of hot chicks. Morality is programming too.

Joe Rogan -
" don't want to be Dr Phil. Trust me. You don't want to be a guy just bullshittin' the world. 'Look at me. My tie is in place. I am wearing a business suit. It's my chosen attire because I am a business man. I'm all business. I'm not wild. I don't go crazy. See the bottom of my shoes? They are slippery and I ain't running after nobody...'"

If I never wear one of these conformist, useless, limply phallic leashes for business-types ever again, I'd be content.


[Or an episode of Friends.]
texts from last night:
"(901): Considering that my ex-wife dumped me to become a lesbian, the Universe owes me a threesome."

What I've Read - The Historian.

At 800+ pages [in my edition, leastways] The Historian felt too long by half, at least. Fascinating and well written, but occasionally dry and meandering. Still, a worthy novel in the vampire/Dracula genre, and worth a read if you're into that kind of thing - Dracula, mysteries, Eastern Europe, history, bibliophiles, etc - at all.