Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Training - "May All Your Squats..."

1/1 - squats, calf press/raise, back xt, 12min treadmill, steam room

12/31 - bench, wg neck press, db drag curl/incline curl, 12min elliptical -- steam room

12/26 through 12/30 - Vacation PT/DO SOMETHING EVERY DAY 

12/30 - pullups, 15min treadmill, db lateral/front raise

12/29 - chins, pressdowns, hammer curls, db laterals, 12min elliptical

12/28 - chins/pulls, lunges, 12min treadmill

12/27 - pushups, prisoner squats

12/26 - chins, db row, db press, pushups, 10min treadmill

Monday, December 30, 2013

Food Log.

12/23 - coffee, cream, water, eggs, Animal Rage, Iron Mass, Animal Pak, steak

12/24 - coffee, cream, water, eggs, Animal Rage, Iron Mass, Animal Pak, Korean BBQ/beef, pork, chicken, lettuce, sausage, shrimp, beer

12/25 - coffee, cream, water, eggs, Animal Rage, Iron Mass, Animal Pak - Xmas free/cheat/carb day - caffe latte, bloody mary, crab cake benedict, coffee liquor, egg nog, rum, chocolate fudge cake, french fries, fried chicken

12/26 - 12/30 Bali Vacation

12/26 - coffee, cream, caffe latte, water, Hawaiian Host chocolate macadamias, fish, rice, club sandwich, french fries

12/27 - eggs, bacon, coffee, water, creamer, low cal sweetener, caffe latte, Diet Coke, beer, Indonesian buffet & cocktails

12/28 - bottle coffee, Diet Coke, pina colada, banana shake, grilled seafood, cappuccino, chocolate, fried shrimp, bread, french fries, beer, ice cream, cheesecake, brulee

12/29 - bottled coffee, water, ice cream, bread, marinara sauce, oysters Rockefeller, beef carpaciio, ham, melon, mozzarella, steak, pasta, roasted veg, wine, tirimisu, chocolate, Coke Zero, Pringles

12/30 - can coffee, Hawaiian Host chocolate, chicken, bread, rice, Mars bar, beer, water, french fries, burgers, Coke Zero


Books in 2013 - "When you get older, things slow down but time speeds up. It's one of those contradictions."

Haven't done a "books read" post in a year.  Because procrastination.  Or something.  Looks like about 60 books & another 60 comics/graphic novels in 2013.  Onwards.

Books, Novellas & Short Stories
Gun Machine & Dead Pig Collector by Warren Ellis

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore [re-read]

The Con Job (A Leverage Novel) by Matt Forbeck

The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer

The End of the World (The Destroyer #150) by Warren Murphy

The Zoo Job (A Leverage Novel) by DeCandido, Keith R.A.

Murder at the Conspiracy Convention by Paul Krassner

Engineering the Alpha: A Real World Guide to an Unreal Life: Build More Muscle. Burn More Fat. Have More Sex by John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein

Muay Thai Fighter by Garrigan, Paul

Devil Said Bang: A Sandman Slim Novel, Kill City Blues: A Sandman Slim Novel, Devil in the Dollhouse: A Sandman Slim Story & Suspect Zero: A Short Story by Kadrey, Richard

Custom Nation: Why Customization Is the Future of Business and How to Profit From It by Flynn, Anthony and Vencat, Emily Flynn

Dragon's Fists: Kung Fu Master Richard Dragon by Jim Dennis/Dennis O'Neil [re-read]

Private Dancer by Leather, Stephen

Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life by Torres, Dara and Weil, Elizabeth

11/22/63: A Novel by King, Stephen

Critical Space, Patriot Acts & Walking Dead by Greg Rucka [all re-reads]

Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story & Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Schwarzenegger, Arnold

Bangkok Rules by Wolff, Harlan

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself by Roll, Rich

Thailand Bar Girls, Angels and Devils & Thailand Bar Girls' Men: Saints and Sinners by Peter Jaggs

Unfamiliar Fishes & The Wordy Shipmates by Vowell, Sarah

Hypnotizing Maria by Richard Bach [re-read]

Arnold: The Early Years (The Unauthorized Biography) by Wendy Leigh

Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel by Robert B. Parker & Helen Brann

Muscle Wars: The Behind-the-Scenes Story of Competitive Bodybuilding by Wayne, Rick

Axis of Time Trilogy - Weapons of Choice, Designated Targets & Final Impact by John Birmingham. Also Stalin's Hammer: Rome (An Axis of Time Novella)

The Revolution: A Manifesto by Ron Paul

How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Adams, Scott
Robert B. Parker's Wonderland (Spenser) by Atkins, Ace

The Devil You Know (Felix Castor) by Carey, Mike

Perchance to Dream by Robert B. Parker

Tattoo Machine: Tall Tales, True Stories, and My Life in Ink by Johnson, Jeff

Confessions of a Bangkok PI by Olson, Warren

The Risk of Infidelity Index: A Vincent Calvino Crime Novel & Spirit House: A Vincent Calvino Crime Novel by M by Moore, Christopher G

Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth by Ehrman, Bart D.

Batman Begins by Dennis O'Neil

Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude by Baer, Robert

Mai Pen Rai Means Never Mind an American Housewife's Honest Love Affair with the Irrepressible People of Thailand by Carol Hollinger

The Third Bullet: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel by Hunter, Stephen

Why Can't I Use A Smiley Face?: Stories From One Month In America & 30 Bangs by V, Roosh

You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames

Sleazy Stories: Confessions of an infamous modern Seducer of Women by Sleazy, Aaron

Hollywood Murder Mystery by Saylor, Lee

London Twist: A Delilah Novella by Barry Eisler

Phoenix by Chuck Palahniuk

Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga by Lorr, Benjamin

Functional Isometric Contraction by Hoffman, Bob

Building the Classic Physique: The Natural Way by Steve Reeves, John Little and Armand Tanny

5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System for Raw Strength & Beyond 5/3/1: Simple Training for Extraordinary Results by Wendler, Jim

Ultimate Flexibility: A Complete Guide to Stretching for Martial Arts by Kim, Sang H.

Starting Strength, 3rd edition by Rippetoe, Mark and Kelly, Jason

Comics & Graphic Novels
The Pro by Ennis, Garth, Conner, Amanda, Palmiotti, Jimmy and Mounts, Paul

Lust by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

Crecy by Warren Ellis

Kick-Ass & Kick-Ass 2 by Mark Millar and John Romita

Challenger Deep by Andrew Cosby, Andy Schmidt and Chee

Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin & Vol. 2: The Villain's Journey by JOHNS, GEOFF and Lee, Jim

The Punisher Vol 1-3 by Greg Rucka

The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, Vol. 1 by Justin Jordan, Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro

Aquaman Vol. 1: The Trench by JOHNS, GEOFF, REIS, IVAN and Prado, Joe

Archer & Armstrong Volume 1: The Michelangelo Code TP by Fred Van Lente, Clayton Henry and Matt Milla

Earth 2 Vol. 1: The Gathering by ROBINSON, JAMES and SCOTT, NICOLA

Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon & Hawkeye: Little Hits, Vol. 2 by Fraction, Matt, David Aja and Javier Pulido

Hitman: Rage in Arkham v. 1 by Garth Ennis and John McCrea


Batman/Deathblow: After the Fire by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo

Think Tank V1 & V2 by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedal

Batwoman Vol. 1: Hydrology by Williams III, J.H., Blackman, W. Haden and Reeder, Amy

Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds by Geoff Johns and George Perez

Invincible Iron Man Omnibus, Vol. 2 & Invincible Iron Man V7-10 by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca

DC Universe Presents Vol. 2: Vandal Savage by Robinson, James, Chang, Bernard and Various

All-New X-Men, Vol. 1: Yesterday's X-Men by Bendis, Brian Michael and Immonen, Stuart

Final Crisis: Revelations by Greg Rucka and Philip Tan

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel & The Joker by AZZARELLO, BRIAN and BERMEJO, LEE

Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale by Whedon, Joss, Whedon, Zack, Conrad , Will and Martin , Laura

Wild Children by Ales Kot, Riley Rossmo, Gregory Wright and Clayton Cowles

The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 2 & Vol. 3 by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra

Happy! by Grant Morrison, Darick Robertson, Richard P. Clark and Tony Avina

The Order Vol. 1: The Next Right Thing & Volume 2: California Dreaming by Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson

Atomic Robo Volumes 1-7 & Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures Volume 1 by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener

Saga, Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 by Vaughan, Brian K., Staples, Fiona, , Fonografiks and Stephenson, Eric

All Star Western Vol. 1: Guns and Gotham by GRAY, JUSTIN, PALMIOTTI, JIMMY and MORITAT

All-New Atom V1-4 by Gail Simone

Lazarus Volume 1 by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark

Stumptown Volume 2 by Rucka, Greg, Jones, James Lucas and Southworth, Matthew

Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk by Lindelof, Damon and Yu, Leinil

Astonishing X-Men By Joss Whedon & John Cassaday Ultimate Collection - Book 1

Howard Chaykin's Black Kiss & Black Kiss II

Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone & Jim Calafiore

Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth by Glass, Adam, Dallocchio, Frederico and Dallocchio, Federico

Wonder Woman Vol 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang

Some quotes & excerpts below.  Also a bunch over at my Kindle Highlights page.  The stuff below is mostly from books I read in paperback or before I really started using the Kindle to archive passages I liked.

Batman Begins 
"It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me."

Perchance to Dream
"I'm an elected official, Marlowe. I try to do the job as decently as I'm permitted. But I am also part of a larger government and social entity, and as such am not an entirely free agent."
"Sure," I said.
"When you worked here you couldn't tolerate that," Wilde went on. "I understand that and I can respect it. But if the community is to function there must also be people who can tolerate working inside a system, however compromised."
"Do I salute?" I said. "Maybe stand at attention and sing 'Yankee Doodle'?"

Tattoo Machine
"Anybody who says they don't like drugs has never tried them.  They make you feel good.  They wake you up when you're tired, they calm you down when you're jumpy, they make you happy when you're sad as hell.  That's why people buy them.  Until society is perfect and everybody is content, drugs are going to be around."

"Hopefully, my time will come when I’m old and half filled with organs grown in genetically tailored pigs. But I swear, if some doctor feels my nuts and looks up my ass and then tells me I’m going to die with all the compassion and feeling of an answering machine, like any self-respecting officer of the secret armies I will quickly close the emotional distance between us by stabbing him in the neck with his ballpoint pen."

"Things change, but history is real and permanent."

"The tools of homogenization brought to bear on the average person today are many and powerful and clever... We're fucking surrounded. Mass media, the corporate labor environment, and personal identity existing in harmony, well, I can sense a problem there. Look at the military, for instance. Those people are really pressed to conform, and they have a history of getting tattoos like no other group. It could be that the thought of fitting in fills a growing number of people with some measure of disgust... There is a singular quality in every person, a thing inside all of us that yearns to be free, to stab the boss in the eye with a pencil, to screw off some pressing obligation and get drunk on the porch, to just take a deep breath and stop worrying for a single afternoon, to say "I live in this skin. I will be me from now on, and I respect your right not to give a shit what I'm doing in here." Everyone knows those people are out there, the ones who slipped through the cracks, dodged the man, foiled their family's bleak dreams, and sprinted over the star-speckled horizon into the land of dreams of their own design."

Confessions of a Bangkok Private Eye 
"Soi dogs are strange animals. Like Thai people they’re good-natured unless riled, and they have a totally laid back approach to life. You’ll see them sleeping under cars, in the middle of the road, in gutters, totally oblivious to traffic and pedestrians. The dogs, that is. And the people, too, come to think of it. You never see soi dogs scrounging for food, either, the way you do in the West. They don’t go around begging, they just wait to be fed. There’s always a dog-loving foodstall owner who’ll put out a bowl of rice and meat for them or an old lady throwing out her kitchen scraps. The Lord will provide, seems to be their philosophy. Or Buddha will provide, I guess. I figure the dogs, given the choice, would opt for Buddhism rather than Catholicism or Judaism. The circle of life, and all that. I might only be a humble soi dog but next life I’ll be a general or a politician or a massage-parlour owner. Call me a naive and sentimental old fool, but I always felt that I’d been a soi dog in a previous life. The one question I couldn’t answer was whether my karma was improving or not."

"Like a lot of newbies, he was starting to believe his own publicity. Joe wasn’t a ‘handsum man’, he was just a short, balding, thick-necked Yank with more money than sense. The girls weren’t flocking to him because of his muscles or his personality, it was because he had money and they wanted it. They were bargirls, their job was to make punters feel good so that they would hand over their money. The smiles, the kisses, the sex, were all part of the act. But newbies like Joe sometimes forgot that it was all about money and started to believe that they were somehow more attractive and desirable than they were back home. And providing that he continued to shell out the bucks, they’d continue to live out their fantasy. But as soon as they stopped paying, the girls would stop playing, and reality would hit home. If often hit hard, too, and there are probably hundreds of farang suicides every year in the Land of Smiles, as guys like Joe realised that their fantasy lives were just that-fantasies. And once a guy has got used to being surrounded by attentive, beautiful women who behave like submissive pornstars between the sheets, it was hard, maybe impossible, to go back to the real world."

"I always say that when a newbie first starts to hang out with Thai bargirls, the newbie has the money and the bargirls have the experience. At the end of it, the bargirls have the money and the newbie has had the experience."

"Does any fifty year old guy really believe that a twenty-five-year old is going to think that he is God’s gift to women? It’s about money and security, which is what ninety per cent of Thai women want. They want someone to take care of them and their families. And if they have to tell the odd white lie to get that money and security, then they will."

"I phoned my contact at the British Embassy. Generally the embassy officials are not too helpful to guys like me but over the years my contact Clive had been less obstructive than most. I ran Jack’s situation by Clive and asked him what the chances would be of Miss Ying getting a visa to the UK. ‘About the same as a snowball in hell,’ said Clive. In cases like that-which were not unusual in Thailand-the embassy would keep on stalling, hoping that the husband-to-be would come to his senses. I passed that information on to Robyn so that at least he could stop worrying about anything happening in the short term.
I knocked on Miss Ying’s door, gave her the ‘I’m from the British Embassy and I’m here to talk about your visa application’ speech. I had a fistful of leaflets that I’d picked up last time I’d been at the embassy, and I gave them to her.
Part of me felt sorry for the girl. She was only doing what she had to do to survive. If she’d been born in the West I doubt that she’d have thrown herself at an old fart like Jack or a married man like Mr Car Salesman. But Thailand wasn’t the West and she would soon be thirty and in Thailand a thirty-year-old woman is well over the hill. But Miss Ying wasn’t paying my wages and Robyn was so I hardened my heart and lied to her. I told her that she wasn’t going to get a visa to the UK because the embassy was unhappy at the huge age gap between Jack and herself. I also told her that Jack had very little money, and that he lived off a small allowance. If he’d told her that he was wealthy, he was lying, I said. And I told her that any assets he had in England would, under English law, go to his children on his death. Even if they did go ahead with the marriage, all she would be entitled to would be half of any money that Jack had in Thailand. And there wouldn’t be much of that.
She took it quite well, under the circumstances. She nodded and smiled, fluttered her eyelashes and asked me if I was married. A real trooper."

"He started visiting Thailand every few months and was a regular face around Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy. He made no secret of his desire to ‘pay and play’ and only smiled when the girls accused him of being a butterfly. That’s one of the many contradictions you come across in the Land of Smiles. A bargirl who has sex with several hundred men a year is just doing her job. But if a bargirl catches her client screwing another bargirl, he gets accused of being a butterfly or worse and there are tears and tantrums. Funny old world.

"While I’m on the subject, just because a girl doesn’t work in a bar doesn’t mean that she’s not a bargirl. Being a bargirl is as much of a state of mind as it is a job description. A lot of guys who’ve married a stunner from Isaan will take you to one side and say proudly ‘she wasn’t a bargirl, you know.’ Yeah, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t pay to have sex with her the first few times. Or that he isn’t continuing to pay to have sex with her, one way or the other. She might have worked in a hotel or a hairdresser’s or a beauty parlour, or even be a student, but she was almost certainly a freelancer who charged for sex with foreigners. Some of the biggest rip-off artists I’ve come across have been ‘regular’ girls doing ‘regular’ jobs. Equally, there are girls who work in the bars who couldn’t be described as ‘bargirls’. There are waitresses who are working to put themselves through college, cashiers who work in the nightlife industry while a relative takes care of their children and who wouldn’t dream of sleeping with a customer. I’ve even known go-go dancers who won’t let customers pay their bar fine. One earned a big salary as a featured dancer and showgirl, plus she got a stack of tips every night. With the commission she got on drinks that guys brought her, she was probably making 40,000 baht a month. Her husband worked as the bar’s DJ and they were as happy and faithful a couple as you could meet. So, a bargirl doesn’t necessarily work in a bar, and a girl who works in a bar isn’t necessarily a bargirl."

The Risk of Infidelity Index 
"No matter what, there's always an upside for someone."

"There was comfort in a woman who took a man's strange behavior in stride, as if his actions were perfectly normal and expected."

"When you get older, things slow down but time speeds up.  It's one of those contradictions.  You stumble, and you fall down on your face.  You taste the dirt and grit betwween your teeth.  You get up and fight or you stay on your knees in the dirt."


Unfamiliar Fishes
"I suppose the double-sided way I see the history of Hawaii—as a painful tale of native loss combined with an idealistic multiethnic saga symbolized by mixed plates in which soy sauce and mayonnaise peacefully coexist and congeal—tracks with how I see the history of the United States in general. I am the descendant of Cherokees who were marched at gunpoint by the U.S. Army to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. (Incidentally, the Cherokees were Christianized and educated by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the very same New England organization that Christianized and educated the Hawaiians.) Yet I am also, and mostly, the descendant of European immigrants, notably Swedish peasants who left for Kansas for the same reasons Asian and Portuguese plantation workers sailed to Hawaii."

"Whenever I eat plate lunch, I always think back to the lore of my Swedish great-grandfather's voyage across the Atlantic. Supposedly, the only food he brought with him on the ship was a big hunk of cheese. Then he befriended a German in steerage whose only food was a big hunk of sausage. The Swede shared his cheese with the German and the German shared his sausage with the Swede."

"Growing up, I came to know America as two places—a rapacious country built on the destruction of its original inhabitants, and a welcoming land of opportunity and generosity built by people who shared their sausage and their cheese."

"Kipling later wrote, "I never got over the wonder of a people who, having extirpated the aboriginals of their continent more completely than any modern race had ever done, honestly believed they were a godly little New England community, setting examples to mankind.”"

"Obookiah, the young man who invited the army of Christ to invade his homeland, had witnessed Kamehameha’s men slaying his parents when he was around ten years old. He tried to escape from their attackers, carrying his infant brother on his back. The pursuers killed the baby with a spear while Henry was still shouldering him. “I was left alone without father and mother in this wilderness world,” Obookiah would later recall. A child does not have to endure such horror to grow up to be a religious fanatic, but I suppose it helps."

“All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone’s feelings.”

"All missions are inherently patronizing to the host culture. That's what a mission is. A bunch of strangers showing up somewhere to inform the locals they are wrong."

"For Americans, Acts 16:9 is the high-fructose corn syrup of Bible verses—an all-purpose ingredient we’ll stir into everything from the ink on the Marshall Plan to canisters of Agent Orange. Our greatest goodness and our worst impulses come out of this missionary zeal, contributing to our overbearing (yet not entirely unwarranted) sense of our country as an inherently helpful force in the world. And, as with the apostle Paul, the notion that strangers want our help is sometimes a delusion."

"But if history teaches us anything, upper-class white guys can be exceedingly touchy about taxation."

“Henry Cabot Lodge delivered a speech in the Senate in which he took up the crucial question of whether or not the imperialist developments of 1898 were a betrayal of the ideals of 1776... The evil genius of Lodge's argument is that he bypasses the question of whether the United States has received the consent of the islanders now governed by smacking down the notion that consent of the governed is even possible... In short, Lodge asserts, American government derived from the consent of the governed “has never existed.” I’m not sure what is more disturbing—that the annexation of the Philippines, along with Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam in 1898 is a betrayal of the principle of self-government established in 1776 or Lodge’s assertion that the principle of self-government was, is, and always will be a delusion."

Sleeping With the Devil
"Let’s start with the State Department. It is more responsible than any other government bureaucracy in Washington for spreading the big lie about the kingdom. By law the State Department has overseas responsibility for visas: it issues them in our embassies and consulates. The 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act is clear about eligibility. The section of the law related to granting tourist visas, Section 214(b) reads: “Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes that to the satisfaction of the consular officers he is entitled to non immigrant statues.” In other words a foreigner who has no reason to return home—he’s unemployed, unmarried, and broke isn’t eligible for a visa. The presumption is that he will remain in the U.S."

"According to the law, all fifteen Saudis who took part in the 9/11 attacks should have been turned down for visas. In issuing visas to fifteen unemployed Saudis, the State department broke the law..."

"Until 9/11, Saudis were not even required to appear at the U.S. embassy in Riyadh or the consulate in Jidda for a visa interview. Under a system called Visa Express a Saudi had only to send his passport, an application, and the application fee to a travel agent. The Saudi travel agent, in other words, stood in for the U.S. government. Just about any Saudi who had the money could book a flight to New York after a mere twenty-hour wait. Until recently Saudis were exempt from the new anti-terrorism entry regulations that apply to citizens of other Middle Eastern countries, despite the fact that most of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis."

"One night I was on my way home and noticed a convoy coming up Route 123 from the Potomac, led by a Chevy Suburban 2500 with flashing lights. At first I thought it was the president – he’s the only official in Washington who gets that kind of protection. But right before the convoy got to me, it turned in to a gated estate. The enormous iron gates opened, and in a second the cars disappeared down a tree-lined driveway. Only then did I notice that I was riding in front of the estate of Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Because the limo windows were fashionably smoked, I could only guess it was Bandar coming home.  The next day I asked about Bandar’s status and was told that he alone of all
ambassadors got official State Department protection. The Suburban must have belonged to State. Even back then, the incident seemed to encapsulate something important about Bandar, Washington, the CIA, and the peculiar relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Here I was on my bicycle, a CIA official supposedly charged with protecting America’s national security, passed on the road by the Saudi ambassador with his U.S. government protection, who then pulled into his estate overlooking the Potomac – the best piece of property in Washington. Ten of my houses could have fit inside his."

"And those are just the small fry, for God’s sake, the innocents – the ones who are feeding off the crumbs left from all those consulting firms run by former CIA directors and onetime secretaries of state. At the same time the Defense Policy Board was shocking official Washington by suggesting that Saudi Arabia might be the real evil axis of global terrorism, the board’s chairman, Richard Perle, was serving as a managing partner of Trireme Partners, a venture-capital firm that invests in companies specializing in technology, goods, and services related to homeland security and defense. While Perle was excoriating the Saudis and urging war against Iraq, his partners were meeting with leading Saudi businessmen in an effort to raise $100 million in new investments, according to an article by Seymour Hersh in the March 17, 2003, New Yorker. The chief middleman in arranging the meetings, Hersh writes, was Adnan Khashoggi, the same Khashoggi who seems to have conveniently left behind that briefcase stuffed with $1million during a visit to Richard Nixon at San Clemente. Hersh writes that Perle himself took part in one of the meetings – in France, at a Marseilles restaurant in early January 2003 – but he assured Hersh that he would never confuse his public and private roles.  Perle resigned subsequently as chairman of the Defense Policy Board. This pattern of behavior that Sy Hersh paints is one repeated time and again in the nation’s capital. Ask the Saudis for money, and if they don’t pony up, squeeze them for it. Foment crisis, then figure out how to capitalize on it.  This fantasy of a democracy is corrupting foolishness. We all know what version of “democracy” the State Department has in mind for Saudi Arabia. (Think Kuwait.) It’s insulting to try to make us believe it’s the real thing, just as it’s degrading for all those executive-branch officials and spokespersons who get trotted out to pay lip service to the myth. Say that the truth is something else for long enough, and you’ll forget what the truth really is.

There are something like seventeen million Saudis. (It’s the five million plus “guest workers” who bring the total population up over twenty-two million.) The average Saudi is too poor, oppressed, and afraid to express any sort of genuine political opinion. They make do with what they’re given by the Al Sa’ud: mosques, the Qur’an, subsidized food, one-way tickets to Afghanistan. But they’re not the people I’m talking about. I’m talking about the people who run the country, the people who control the oil money, the people who take the bribes and pay the protection money and fly over to Morocco whenever they want to get laid by someone other than their eleven wives.  These are the people who would rather keep Saudi Arabia stuck in the ninth century and spend the oil money on themselves than build a stable country.  Washington abetted the whole thing, even encouraged the Al Sa’ud to run a
kleptocracy. The result is a kingdom built on thievery, one that nurtures terrorism, destroys any possibility of a middle class based on property rights, and promotes slavery and prostitution. We can’t get around the fact that the House of Sa’ud underwrites the mosque schools that turn out the jihadists, just as it administers the charities that fund the jihadists. It channels the anger of the jihadists against the West to distract it from the rot in the House of Sa’ud. And by the way – in case I didn’t make myself perfectly clear earlier – the royals wouldn’t allow a real popular vote unless you wrapped them in Semtex and attached a burning ten-second length of detcord to help them make up their minds.

Saudi Arabia is, in a phrase, a goddamn mess, and it’s our goddamn mess. The United States made Saudi Arabia the private storage shed for our oil reserves. We reaped the benefits of a steady petroleum supply at a discounted price and grabbed every Saudi petrodollar we could lay our hands on. We taught the Saudis by example what was expected of them and neglected the fruits of our own creation. The Saudi Arabia of today flows in a direct, unbroken line from the $1 million that Adnan Khashoggi allegedly forgot to carry away from San Clemente in 1968, through Boeing’s reupping Khalid bin Mahfouz as its consultant on the Saudia airline deal, to all the hands still dipping furiously into the Saudi till even as the place gets ready to implode."

Mai Pen Rai Means Never Mind 
"At that time, newly arrived in the East, it was beyond belief to me that anyone who had the opportunity would not defect from its poverty, dirt, and disease. I know now that this is reflex thinking derived from Statue of Liberty propaganda pounded into me in junior high schoolcivbics. If I were isolatedly stupid, I would not mention this, but I have never met an American who did not think as I once thought. The statistics point out our egotistical delusion. Thailand, allowed the miserable quota of an Oriental country - 100 persons a year - never fills it, and not only never fills it, but has almost never reached the half-point level. This is a far cry from our conceited vision of millions clamoring to enter our golden country. Refugees, yes; Thais - no."

"Academic honesty was only a minor virtue in Thailand and loyalty to human beings was always paramount.  I was so confused by the the lack of sharp Western delineation between balck and white that I became very cautious about levelling accusatory fingers at people and insisting "This is evil.  That is wrong."

"People consume enormous amounts of alcohol abroad; what is known as social drinking in the foreign service is usually called alcoholism at home."

The Third Bullet
"Only fruitcakes and vegetarians believe in a conspiracy."

"There were other things that leaped out at him. The first was that when the big limo had pivoted around that 120-degree turn, it must have been almost still, or at least moving so slowly that the movement would have no play in the shooting. Moreover, it was so close. It was seventy-five feet away, almost straight down, and JFK’s chest and head were in total exposure and the windshield between the passenger compartment and the driver’s compartment was overcome by the vertical angle of the downward trajectory. That was the shot. He tried to figure out why Lee Harvey hadn’t taken it."

"The reds are familiar with this oddity of the American system. It produces men who can move mountains, build industries, win global wars, and break the speed of sound. It can down MiGs over Korea at a six-to-one ratio. At the same time, perhaps inevitably, it produces a small number of malcontents, of ambitious dreamers who lack the skills or the diplomatic grace to achieve anything in life, and rather than face their own inadequacies, they blame some amorphous structure called “the system” and look for its opposite, where they believe they will shine. Then they spend their dream lives imagining themselves as secret agents, destined to bring down the larger apparatus and be rewarded by its opponents, whose conquest they have so wonderfully lubricated.   These odd birds know history superficially and never notice that the first thing a socialist totalitarian state does when it takes over is round up all the secret agents who have worked so hard in its interests, cart them to the Lubyanka by Black Maria at midnight, and plant a bullet behind their ears. Reds cannot tolerate traitors, even traitors who have aided their own cause."

"The act had no meaning except for the tragic randomness of the universe, its cruel whimsy. What’s the line: Whom the gods destroy, they first make interesting? Possibly I made that one up."

"I might learn something of my own true motives, as opposed to the policy mumbo jumbo by which I justified the killing, knowing that policy is malleable and that it could be used to justify anything."  

"...my attempt to game history was an utter and inglorious failure."

Spirit House
"...man is a territorial animal that happens to drive cars, wear clothes and carry lethal weapons."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Training - "Let's grow SWOLE together."

12/25 - seated rows, db kickbacks, wrist curl, calf press/calf raise, neck nods/rotations, hyperextensions, situps/kneeups, treadmill 12m

12/24 - press, wg dips/negatives, Gironda db swings, db drag curls/incline db curls, treadmill 12m

12/23 - hyperextensions, squats, calf press/raise, treadmill 12min

12/22 - deadlift, tricep pushdowns, db rv curls, lat pulldown, treadmill 12min

12/21 - bench, wg neck press, laterals, db drag curls/incline db curls, treadmill 12min -- chins

Cute/Awesome couples are cute/awesome.

Maybe the best before/after ever - Obie Dog Journey: