Saturday, February 04, 2012

Training.

2/4 - deadlift 3x20, superset calf rs/bnt ovr calf rs 3x20
MMA Conditioning Circuits - boxing pad combos/band rotations/tire flips - kicking drills/arm drag drills - pummeling clinch work
2/3 - tri kickbx 6x6, bnt ovr row 6x6, wrist curls 3x15, 12m footwork
2/2 - wg dips 6x6, side swings 6x6, ss drag curls/inc curls 4x8, shadowboxing 11m, skipping rope 3m

I always dig on Blade: Trinity, in no small part because Reynolds and Biel molded themselves some straight up superhero physiques.



Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Training.

2/1 - goblet squats 3x20, ss calf rs/bnt over calf rs 3x20, 2x2m rounds heavy bag, 3x2m rounds shadowboxing/Bas Rutten MMA Workout/Boxing
MMA Circuit x2 [thai pad combos + bungee slams] - arm drag drills & 2 sets chins/pulls

1/31 - triceps pushdowns 6x6, lat pulldowns 6x6, rv curls 4x15, 12m footwork, hand conditioning x100

Awesome. - Go forth and be Savage! Nancy’s Training and Food Log for January 29, 2012 | Nancy Johnson Chavez:
"People that put real time and effort into their training get results. People that don’t put the time and effort in don’t get results. Seems simple, right? What I’m stunned at is how people get frustrated when they’re not getting the results they say they so desperately want when they show up half the time, don’t push themselves, eat like crap and make excuses. I don’t make excuses. I push myself. I eat right. These are the facts. Am I surprised at my results? No. What is happening is exactly what I expected to happen. I’m in the best shape of my life at 43 years of age. And what do I mean by “real time and effort”. That means hitting the weights like you mean it and doing conditioning workouts that challenge you. Lifting tiny multi colored dumbbells unders 10 lbs is not serious weight training. Riding the elliptical machine at a “People magazine reading pace” is not serious training. When someone tells me that they lift little weights to not bulk up and do the elliptical machine to “burn fat”, I see what I expect to see. Minimal results if any. When I run into them again they’ll complain how they’re not seeing any results..."

Reading in January.

In an effort to keep these 'reading' posts from piling up into a year long "to do" list, I'm going to try and knock these out monthly now.  We'll see how that goes...

Diplomatic Baggage: The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse by Brigid Keenan -
"Brigid Keenan was a glamorous and successful young London fashion journalist. But falling in love with a diplomat saw her leave behind the gilt chairs of the Paris salons for a large chicken shed in the forests of Nepal. Thirty years later (at the farewell party for the Papal Nuncio in Kazakhstan), Brigid found herself wondering whether her decision had been the right one. This is her marvelous account of life as a "trailing spouse"—an endlessly engaging tale of diplomatic protocol, difficult teenagers, homesickness, frustrated career aspirations, witch doctors, and giant jumping spiders."
An entertaining book, for the most part.  Passed on to me by another "trailing spouse."  It's pretty funny in places, but at times I had a hard time relating to it.  Not only is it written from what seemed to me a very traditionally feminine perspective, it also was, more significantly, really clear that I was reading a book written by someone far more indoctrinated in my parents' generation than in my own.  The concerns, struggles and 'turmoils' she went through I had a bit of a hard time, again, relating to.  Still, pretty well written, and I did get this worthy pull quote, worth remembering, taking note of, and probably tattooing on my chest as I go forward further into the Mrs' career:
"I learned a hard lesson from all this - never again to interfere in anything to do with AW's work - but I have to say, when the office is the whole reason for your being in a place, it's almost impossible not to be, at the very least, interested in it."
Pax Romana and Transhuman, both written by Jonathan Hickman.  Hickman made his comics debut with the exceptionally good The Nightly News back in 2005.  Outstanding writing, with simply kick-ass art and design sensibilities as well.  He's gone on to do some entertaining mainstream work with Marvel Comics, but his two independent follow-ups here really let him shine.  Just incredibly well done, well crafted, creative and interesting works.  His stuff just crackles with great ideas, executed deftly.  Easily joins the ranks of guys like Warren Ellis, Matt Fraction and Grant Morrison as guys who really know how to make use of the medium of comics.  Both highly recommended if the synopses sound even vaguely interesting to you.

Pax Romana:  "In 2045, as Islam has overrun Europe and the West openly shuns monotheism, the Vatican funded, CERN Laboratories 'discover' that time travel is possible. The Pope orders the creation of a private army, and led by a few handpicked Cardinals and the finest graduates of selected war colleges, they travel back in time to 312AD - the reign of the first Christian Emperor, Constantine. Upon arrival, conflicting agendas, ideological differences, and personal greed see grand plans unravel. Pax Romana is the tale of 5,000 men sent on an impossible mission to change the past and save the future. At the end of the world, will they succeed, or will they fail?"

Transhuman:  "Jonathan Hickman and JM Ringuet present a mockumentary about the future, where genetically engineered humans are created by rival companies in an attempt to corner the market under the guise of bettering the world. Transhuman is an irreverent view of the origin of a new technology, the starting of rival companies, the piles of cash made from taking them public, and the marketing wars that end with one company dominating the other."

Absolute Planetary, Book One and Book Two by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday - Planetary is, quite simply, my favorite comic book series of the first decade of the 21st century.  Running for 27 issues, and a handful of one-shots, between 1999 and 2009 it's a series that, well, is hard to put into words.  Ostensibly, via Wikipedia, it's about:
"Describing themselves as "Archaeologists of the Impossible", Planetary is an organization intent on discovering the world's secret history. Funded by the mysterious Fourth Man, the field team consists of three superhuman beings: Jakita Wagner (strong, fast and almost invulnerable); The Drummer, (can detect and manipulate information streams, such as computers and other electronics) and new recruit Elijah Snow (can create intense cold and extract heat)."

And it is about that.  But it becomes something more.  It becomes this amazing celebration, reinterpretation, examination and metatextual adventure into the popular culture of the 20th century.  It is simply fantastic.  I've long loved Ellis' gift for dialogue, character and ideas and the oversized Absolute editions really let the artwork shine.  They were gifts, and sadly out of print now, but if you're interested, you can start here with the first volume of the regular sized trade paperbacks and/or Kindle versions - Planetary: All Over the World and Other Stories.

Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III -  At this point I'm probably a bigger fan of Rucka's novels than his comics, but his comic book work remains exemplary, if all too infrequent.  He always knocks it out of the park, but in particular when he plays in the Bat-Universe.  His characters live and breathe and feel.  It's damned awesome.  And the artwork in this volume is simply stunning.  Williams has done things with layout, design and color and that really redefine what you can do with comics.  It's literally "art" in that hippy, pretentious sense.  Just beautiful to look at.  Highly recommended.

Pull quotes:
"Batman Rule in effect, Kate.  Don't kill her."
"I'm always on the Batman Rule, sir."

"When you act wrongly, you have to answer for it.  Without hiding, without complaint.  That's integrity, and it is the foundation of honor."

American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies that the Government Tells Us by Jesse Ventura and Dick Russell - Didn't know what to think before I read this.  I've always liked Ventura's skeptical, independent-minded public persona, and his stint as Governor and in politics showed a lot of libertarian/constitutionalist/practical tendencies that I lean towards...

Plus, I love a good conspiracy book.  If nothing else as a way to flex out my mental acuity and test my bullshit detector.  Going back years, even.  I think the first one I read was Mark Lane's "Code Name Zorro: The Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.," a book they even had in the library of a podunk like Jacksonville, NC.  I may have read that as early as Junior High.  No later than high school, certainly.  From there, Lane's "Rush to Judgement," on the JFK murder was the natural follow up, and on and on and on down the rabbit hole.  That early recognition that "Hey wait, governments lie to you?" dovetailed nicely with the burgeoning realization that "Hey wait, religion lies to you?" and the classic revelation of almost everybody's teenage years "Adults are lying their asses off to us all the time."  Anyways, now 20 years deep on reading all sorts of stuff and a bit of life experience, and without evaluating any particular conspiracy theory, I do have three basic ideas I've arrived at:
  • Governments Lie
  • Conspiracies are Everywhere
  • The World is a Strange Place.
1. Governments lie.  It is their default setting.  Every report, every statement, every decision of what to include, what to accentuate, to minimize or highlight... the obfuscation, "spin", PR techniques, 'buy-in', framing, they very job of someone like a "Communications Director" [an aside, remember in the mythic past when at least the language was honest?  When you'd have a 'Department of War' instead of 'Department of Defense?'  Or a 'Communications Director' would rightfully be called a 'Propaganda Minister?'] - it is all designed to make you buy into their story and invest your belief in what they are saying.  Hopefully without using your own critical faculties.  Maybe they're trying to do it because they think they "know better" than the unwashed masses what's best for them and have just a lovely sense of noblesse largesse and our best interests at heart... or maybe because they're evil bastards who want to run shit... whichever/whatever/something else completely.

2. Conspiracies are everywhere.  Whereas I only give it a .00000000001% chance that the Illuminati, The Alien Grays, The Trilateral Commission, the Pan Dimensional Lizard Lords, or whomever - are secretly running the world, the truth of the matter is that the history of the world is the history of small groups conspiring against one another.  Criminal conspiracy is on the law books in damn near every country.  Why?  Because people conspire all. the. time.  By their very nature, the role of any organization is to conspire to advance their own interests.  People who dismiss arguments out of hand as "that's a conspiracy theory" are some of the dumbest, most irrational people in the world.  And an easy way to know when I can stop listening to someone.

3.  The world is a strange place.  A stranger, more interesting, weirder, and more complicated place than we're told or that we can understand.  Just 'tis.  Everybody want to put this amazingly rich and complex onslaught of information that we experience every day into some simple, easily digestible, cookie cutter pattern - but any belief system or structure or reality tunnel ultimately ends up excluding so much of the world.

But I digress.  As to this book, specifically, I ended up really liking it.  The writing style, the layout, the way they pretty much 'no-nonsensed' the facts of the various things they looked at.  In fact, if I had to recommend just *one* conspiracy book as a kind of conspiracy primer, this would probably be the book I'd go with.  Topics covered include the Lincoln, JFK, RFK, MLK and Malcolm X assassinations, the FDR Overthrow Plot, Watergate, Jonestown, the October Surprise, the CIA/cocaine connection, stolen elections, Wall Street, 9/11, and the continued onslaught on civil liberties in 21st century America.  Recommended.

But on the other hand, once you get into "conspiracy," you end up like this, pretty much.

Made of Awesome/Applying Logic and Reason.


“What we speak becomes the house we live in.” - Hafez

Magritte, RenĂ© (1929) La Trahison des images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe)
The Treachery of Images (This is not a pipe) 


Truth.

But only because we never remember the "map is not the territory."  We all become trapped by our own linguistics, semantics, ideas.  Perceptions aren't reality.  What reality is, we have no idea.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Training.

1/30 - wg neck press 6x6, lateral raise 6x6, ss drag curl/inc db curl 4x8, 12m footwork, hand conditioning x100
PruFit - 2 rounds pushups, bear crawls, TRX lunges, sprints
1/29 - off
1/28 - deadlifts 3x20, superset calf raise/bnt ovr calf raise 3x20, 12m footwork, light stretching [calves, hams, glutes, neck]

Stallone, age 42, Rambo III.

Age 65, upcoming film Bullet to the Head.  Looks leaner than he did in The Expendables.


"...common sense isn't a real thing."


Scott Adams Blog: Who Benefits More? 01/27/2012:
"And its ugly cousin, fairness, is a concept invented so dumb people could participate in arguments. Fairness isn't a natural part of the universe. It's purely subjective."

Cooking/Food Log.

Coconut flour serves as an acceptable, low carb-ish, paleo sub for regular flour.  Doesn't quite crisp up the same though.  At least not with my meager cooking abilities.

Cookies were 'feel good/happy/I've got a cold food' for the Mrs.

Free/carb day.