Friday, July 22, 2011

I was impressed with myself I got this joke.

Jokes from the G+hole - Boing Boing:
"Werner Heisenberg is pulled over for speeding. When the state trooper asks 'Do you have ANY idea how fast you were going?', Heisenberg just smiles and says, 'No, but I know where I was!'—Laconia Laconia"
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle [from physics] explained here...

...and from the comments, this winner, especially given the next Foreign Service post we'll end up at:
"I sat on the train this morning opposite a stunning Thai girl.
I kept thinking to myself, please don't get an erection,
please don't get an erection...
but she did."
...and if you don't get that joke, click here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"If you really believe that death leads to eternal bliss, then why are you wearing a seatbelt?" - Doug Stanhope

“Lightning struck my baby! God chose him, he’s going to a better place now!”
"THEN WHY ARE YOU CRYING?" - [more from] Stanhope

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A thing of magic, beauty and mystery.

Also the funniest thing I've seen in a while.  All hail JCVD.

I laughed.

"John Wayne Parr: Blessed With Venom" Documentary Trailer.

I always like JWP. This documentary looks like good stuff...

"The saddest thing is that despite centuries of evidence, so many people hold voting as some holy ritual, some magic rite."

Living Freedom » Blog Archive » Responsibilities of a resident of the police state, part III:
"...You can vote out all the rascals in the world, but you’re still stuck with a system that attracts rascals and bullies and corrupts the rare good people who dare enter it.

The saddest thing is that despite centuries of evidence, so many people hold voting as some holy ritual, some magic rite. “If enough people would just vote, all would be well.” When it doesn’t work, it’s because the people failed to vote diligently enough.

No, that’s not the saddest thing. The saddest thing is that so many have been conditioned to believe that our only choices are the two “Vs” — a) voting or b) violence. “We must make the magic rite of voting work. If we can’t, blood will run in the streets.”

Now that’s a heck of a choice.

Is the universe really that limited? Nonsense!"
The classic voting bit from Warren Ellis' 'Transmetropolitan.'

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Pre-Vacation, Summer 2011.

Had to return to the States earlier than planned this summer to due to a health issue in the family, but have managed to squeeze in a few free evenings to celebrate momentous occasions like my newly engaged sis-in-law's earning her PHD and one of my awesome niece's birthdays. Plus I've indulged in some of the food and drink I've coveted while living in Liberia.

No time to cross-post the handful of pics, for a variety of reasons, but you should be able to see the pics here on Facebook, even if you don't have a FB account, if so inclined.

America, I've missed you.

"Dogen's idea is that subjective time and objective time are equally real..."

This is very, very good.

Understanding Christianity 101.

Missed it by *that* much.

"The only major American political grouping that has shown consistent growth during the last four decades is the bloc that no longer buys what professional politics is selling: independents."

Democrats/Republicans is the same as Coke/Pepsi or Yankees/Red Sox.  Goofy brand loyalty or primitive tribal affiliations.  You. Are. All. Being. Lied. To.  The game is fixed, and has been for a long time.

The Declaration of Independents - Reason Magazine:
"...We instinctively know that our tax dollars aren’t being spent efficiently; the proof is in the post office, the permitting offices at City Hall, or the nearest public school. We roll our eyes when President Barack Obama announces a new national competitiveness initiative in his State of the Union address just five years after George W. Bush announced a new American Competitiveness Initiative in his, or when each and every president since Richard Milhous Nixon swears that this time we’re gonna kick that foreign-oil habit once and for all. And yet the political status quo keeps steering the Winnebago of state further and further into the ditch.

A growing majority of us has responded to the stale theatrics of Republican and Democratic misgovernment by making a rational choice: We ignore politics most of the time and instead pursue happiness. We fall in love, start a home business, make mash-ups for YouTube, go back to school, bum around Europe for a year or three, play fantasy baseball, or trick out our El Caminos. Through these pursuits we eventually find almost everything that is wonderful and transformative about our modern lives: the Internet, travel, sports, popular (and unpopular) music, the spread of freedom and prosperity around the globe. People acting peacefully, mostly left to their own devices and not empowered by the state to force others into servitude, will create riches far more meaningful and vast than the cramped business of tax-collecting, regulation-spewing, do-as-I-say-or-else governments.

Yet as robust and infinitely varied as our private universes may be, they no longer provide a reliable refuge from the destructive force of politics. Today there is only one real policy issue facing the country, and unfortunately it threatens each and every one of us, even (especially?) those of us not yet born: We are out of money. The national debt has zoomed past the $14 trillion mark, roughly the size of the entire economy. At least 48 of the 50 states are running deficits, many of them staggering. Cities, counties, and states are on the hook for at least $1 trillion, maybe three times that, in pension promises for which they haven’t socked away any cash. And the federal government is one sharp turn in international market sentiment away from a crisis like none of us has ever lived through. But still the prospect of imminent fiscal catastrophe is not focusing minds in Washington or in the 50 state capitals or in countless town halls on the need to change politics as usual. It is a turbulent situation, one that cannot, by definition, last much longer. Something has got to give.

...You do not have to love or even like the Tea Party movement — to cite the latest (though not the last) example of a decentralized network of alienated citizens using technology to overturn the applecart of American politics—to appreciate its tactical success. To our minds, Tea Party loyalists are too inclined to indulge in military intervention, anti-Shariah paranoia (see “Fear of a Muslim America,” page 20), and constitutional amendments to prohibit activities they do not like. But the movement remains potent in large part because it generally has refused to take the bait on divisive social and foreign policy issues, focusing instead with admirable single-mindedness on a fiscal crisis brought on by reckless government spending.

...Such independence has tactical value that is surely not lost on what remains of the anti-war movement on the left. Having followed their original champion, Howard Dean, into the bosom of the Democratic Party, where they overwhelmingly backed an allegedly anti-war presidential candidate, anti-war progressives now have no organizational infrastructure to challenge Obama’s new wars... "

"Prosecutors don’t need more “tools” in these cases. They have plenty. They need more discretion. And empathy. And a more complete understanding of justice."

More at the link.

Prosecutors and Grieving Parents | The Agitator:
"When I’ve pointed out some hypothetical situations where an innocent parent or caretaker could be unjustly charged with the death of a child—cases where a parent may be guilty of poor decisions or bad parenting, but hasn’t broken any laws—the response is usually that prosecutors would never a grieving parent or caretaker under those scenarios.

Enter the Marietta, Georgia, case of 30-year-old Raquel Nelson... Last April, Nelson was crossing a street with her three children when her 4-year-old was struck and killed by a car. She was crossing at an intersection, but was apparently not in a designated crosswalk. The driver who killed her had been drinking, taking painkillers, and was blind in one eye. He also has two prior hit-and-run convictions. Nelson and her daughter were also struck and injured. Residents of Nelson’s apartment building have complained to the city about the intersection. The nearest crosswalk is a half mile away.

If we have as little to fear from overly aggressive prosecutors as supporters of Caylee’s Law claim, we could expect the prosecutor in this case to show some discretion and mercy for Nelson, right? Yes, she admits to jaywalking. Yes, she erred, and subjected her kids to unnecessary risk. But she just lost her son. It’s hard to fathom a more punishing, heartbreaking sentence. Moreover, the underlying “crime” here was a misdemeanor, one most of us commit every day. So mercy, right?

Of course not. Nelson was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide. Which is insane. She was convicted last week. When she’s sentenced later this month, she could spend more time in jail than the man who struck and killed her son. The prosecutor will say he was just enforcing the law. The jury will say they were just applying it. Both are excuses to duck responsibility (prosecutors can decline to bring charges, juries can nullify)..."

Monday, July 18, 2011

90's Flowchart/Indeed.

"...When we're absorbing their paranoid, hysterical vision of the world in constant crisis we should never forget just how much coffee, alcohol, Red Bull and cocaine is consumed by incredibly stressed-out workers in the media industries."

Grant Morrison gives great interviews. Go click over to read in full. Now. Seriously.

Exclusive: Interview with Grant Morrison & Signed Supergods Giveaway | comicbookGRRRL:
"...When we're absorbing their paranoid, hysterical vision of the world in constant crisis we should never forget just how much coffee, alcohol, Red Bull and cocaine is consumed by incredibly stressed-out workers in the media industries.
... The Flash is an actual representation of the same state of consciousness the Greeks personified as Hermes and the Vikings called Odin. The quicksilver mercurial quality of a mind possessed and enthused by language has traditionally been represented by a swift messenger god, a scribe, a magician, a trickster. The Flash is Hermes is Thoth is Nabu is Language, or if you prefer, Information.

...The power of words, or of stories in particular, is the main theme of Supergods and it should be taken seriously. As I point out at the end, the US military is currently developing the idea of 'counter-narrative strategies' or stories designed to undermine the scripts that drive terrorists or other enemies. We know that medical placebos work along the same lines and that hypnosis is effective so why not assume that the often nihilistic and despairing stories we tell ourselves are having a big impact on how we feel, how we live, and on the art that we create to make sense of it all. And proceeding from that, it seems only sensible to look into intelligently deploying counter-narratives that suggest exit strategies from the howling existential extinction void, perhaps using ideas we created for the specific purpose of saving the world in emergencies…i.e. superhero stories?"


Completed a full round of P90X as of yesterday - a 13 week program finished in 14 weeks, that extra week due to traveling & tweaking my schedule due to a family emergency.  Had started P90X twice before and either burned out/dropped out or got injured.  Nice to actually finish something and remember what a 'sense of accomplishment' feels like.  Caveats... didn't follow the prescribed dietary recommendations - followed my own low carb-ish/paleo-ish/primal-ish plan, which works really well for me when I stick to it... the last few weeks the use of junk foods and alcohol as a stress release/coping mechanism has been rearing its ugly head a bit too much, so I need to reign that back in...  I also adjusted the yoga workouts as described here.  

Results on P90X - lost 16 pounds, 3 inches off waist measurement
Results YTD [year to date, since Jan 1] - lost 30 pounds, 6 inches off waist measurement

Plan on doing another round on P90X, but not immediately.  Have a week until the Mrs rejoins me stateside for her vacation, so the plan/goals for the next five weeks is to mix it up a bit with no structured workouts but adhering to the following:
  1. PT 6x a week, minimum.  Each workout to focus on either strength, conditioning or flexibility.  Preferably, AM workouts/1st thing in the morning.
  2. Continue to log my food.  Attention and thoughtfulness to what you're actually shoving down the piehole is key.  Curb the use of food/alcohol as a coping mech/stress release.  Indulge on vacation without overindulging - a fine line.  Make the bulk of all meals low carb/paleo/primal.

Following vacation either another round of P90X or using the Body For Life protocols - which is really just a 'Bodybuilding 101' type workout + HIIT - to mix it up and because I've had decent results from it in the past.  
End of Year Goals
  • Lose another 24 pounds, 2 inches off waistline
  • Flexibility Goals - full lotus, side splits
  • Mindset/Psychology Goal - [most important, really] - Continuously Raise Standards.  Progress has been good so far, but in the past this has led to complacency and backsliding.  "Adequate" is not good enough.  "Not being a huge fatass" is not the goal.  Having a strong, lean, fit, flexible, durable and attractive body is the goal.  Push limitations.  Expect more of myself.  Demand I follow through.  

7/18 - Rest/Free/Off
7/17 - P90X D91/Final Day - X Stretch
Bas Rutten MMA Workout - Boxing - Shadowboxing 5x3m rounds
7/16 - P90X D90 - Yoga - Tony Horton One on One 'Patience Hummingbird' routine
Bas Rutten MMA Workout - Boxing - Shadowboxing 5x3m rounds
7/15 - P90X D89 - Yoga - Tony Horton One on One 'Patience Hummingbird' routine
Upper Body Weight Circuit - 3x Clean & Press/Curl/Tricep DB X - Finishers [forearms] light weight/high rep deadlifts & lying lower back extensions
Bas Rutten MMA Workout - Boxing - Shadowboxing 5x2m rounds - Heavybag 5x2m rounds - Thai Boxing - Shadowboxing 5x2m rounds - Heavybag 5x2m rounds
7/14 - P90X D88 - Core Synergistics
Bas Rutten MMA Workout - Boxing - Shadowboxing 5x2m rounds - Heavybag 5x2m rounds - Thai Boxing - Shadowboxing 5x2m rounds - Heavybag 5x2m rounds
7/13 - P90X D85 - Core Synergistics
7/12 - P90X D86 - Kenpo X
7/11 - P90X D84 - Rest/Free/Off
Bas Rutten MMA Workout - Boxing - Shadowboxing 5x2m rounds - Heavybag 8x2m rounds 

Inspiring/Motivating - - Michelle Dropped The Ice Cream Habit And Built A Fit Body!

I don't care what you say, that's funny.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"Deal with who you are so you can see who you can be."

"You are looking for reason, and you are looking for it without.  But the only reason you will find will be the reason you bring to the experience... and that can only come from looking within."
"Is this another lesson about letting go?  Cease being myself to become myself?"
"Lovely paradox.  A lot like life."

Why Japan Will Win - "Japan’s Youngest Sake Expert: 10-Year-Old Akane Niikura."