Sunday, July 31, 2005

Training: DE Bench

Good session on a day I'd rather have just stayed on the couch.
Bench press
2x15 @ 45
2x3 @ 135
8x3 @ 185 (3 grips)
Heavy stuff was easy.

4 board press
3x4 @ 275

Neutral grip pullups
3x5, 3x3, all done in 6 minutes.

Face pull
3x15 @ 70

pressdowns superset with hammer curls

Treadmill: 15 minutes.

Total Workout time: 1:10

Saturday, July 30, 2005

It was a dark and stormy night...

The Bulwer-Lytton 2005 Ficton contest results are up. There are two that had coffee on my keyboard:
I peeled my body off the alcohol-soaked carpet, spat the cigarette butts out of my mouth, licked my lips with a tongue that felt and tasted like a rat that had been lightly sauteed in lighter fluid, and after struggling to what a quick visual inspection confirmed were apparently my feet, decided that the next time a seven- foot-tall Lebanese fisherman called Bottomless Mary challenged me to an ouzo-drinking contest I wouldn't wear suede shoes.
India, which hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia, presented itself to Tex as he landed in Delhi (or was it Bombay?), as if it mattered because Tex finally had an idea to make his mark and fortune and that idea was a chain of steak houses to serve the millions and he wondered, as he deplaned down the steep, shiny, steel steps, why no one had thought of it before.

Read them all, it's worth it.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Training: DE Squat/Dead

So I've been a little down on myself about being inconsistant, and had a couple of sub par workouts to start back up - I needed a good one, and got it. I'm still lagging in the conditioning department for sure, but that should come back in a couple of weeks.
Box Squat
8 sets of 2 @ 245
365x2 Fast and easy (I think this is a PR)
Excellent boost to hit that with ease. I think doubling 405 will be very good for my squatting psyche, given I should be good for 50 to 100 pounds more than that for a raw single if I can get past my mental blocks.

Rack pulls (from knee)


Incline situps

Extensions ss w. standing leg curls
2 x12

Static holds with 455 - 2 sets (this is a BIG weakness, if I can't hold on to 455 for more than a few seconds, I'll never deadlift it.)
Superset with wide leg situps

2 sets of negatives with COC grippers.

10 mins stretching

Workout time: 1:15

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Speedy responses on the REAL ID act

As you may know, I sent e-mails to my Senators (Mikulski and Sarbaines) regarding the REAL ID act that was attached to an appropriations bill to fund our troops in Iraq.

Senator Sarbaines responded that while he didn't like the REAL ID act much, he voted for the appropriations bill because he had to support the troops.

Yesterday (quite some time after the bill passed the Senate), I get the following e-mail from Senator Mikulski.

Dear Mr. Stagg:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the REAL ID Act of 2005. It's good to hear from you.

As you may know, the REAL ID Act was added as an amendment to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, H.R. 1268. This controversial and overly-broad provision has no place in an emergency spending bill. The changes to our immigration laws and the policies on asylum proposed by this legislation are major modifications that are contentious on both sides of the aisle.

Plain and simple, REAL ID drastically changes our immigration laws, limits access to the courts and due process, and places significant new costs and duties on local and state governments. It's the type of change that both the House and the Senate should have deliberated on and given in-depth consideration to. The Senate should have had the ability to review, debate, and amend this provision before it became a permanent part of our federal immigration law.

It is important for Congress to recognize the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Yet, immigration reform must balance our concerns for protecting our borders with reforming the immigration process. The United States is a nation of immigrants and it is important that we honor that history. Like millions of other Americans, my great-grandparents came to this country to build a better life for themselves and for their children. Our country is strengthened by its new citizens who make up the mosaic of our nation.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If I can be of service to you again in the future, please do not hesitate to let me know.


Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator

It passed the Senate 100-0, so she voted for it, anyway. I responded to her message asking why.

I think I may have to send a link to this post to the local news/talk radio station. It's important to see how the process works, and we need to hold our elected representatives accountable for how they vote, not continue to elect them because of who they are.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Loyal readers...

To the few people regularly reading this blog, I have two things:

First, please feel free to leave comments, I would like to know what you think. Unless you disagree with me and can not make a logical argument, in which case it is in your best interest to be quiet.

Second, if you are not regularly checking the Weebl and Bob link, you should. This is hysterical.

Iraq, the new bastion of Liberty

Except for some people.
That is not enough for Ms Mohammed. She said: “We are practically being turned into slaves by the constitution, by admitting that Islam is the formal religion of the country, and by handing over the writing of it . . . to a bunch of religious bigots who want to see women inferior in society.”

Women’s advocacy groups have started demonstrating publicly, but they fear that their lobbying is being overshadowed by more pressing issues. “Unfortunately we don’t have a militia,” Masoon al-Denuchi, the Deputy Minister of Culture and president of the Iraqi Women’s Group, said bitterly. “The only thing we can do is lobby and talk and talk and talk.”

Gotta keep them in their place. Plus, they aren't as fiesty, so rolling back the freedom women had under Hussein won't cause a big rukus.

President Bush has an interesting definition of 'Liberty', but then, he's pushing for the Patriot Act.

Hat tip: The Agitator

Training: ME Bench

Felt much better today, and had a better training session (although not the best, but I think I can chalk that up to taking 3 weeks off). Had some fun, which is what it's all about.
Bench Press
My spotter was brutal - I felt like I pushed forever before he helped me rack it. Stalled a couple of inches off the chest

Incline DB press
70x6, 5

Hammer strength seated row

2x10 @ 150

Neck work, 2 sets

20 minutes treadmill

Workout Time: 1:05

The sticking point a couple of inches up tells me my lats are not a weakness, and that I should keep working on speed and on low end stuff. Didn't have nearly as much trouble getting through this one, but my work capacity still isn't anywhere near where it should be.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Training: ME Squat/Dead

You may have noticed a lack of training entries for the past few weeks... that due to a lack of training. I've been a bit overwhelmed with work, being onthe road, and timing of some other things, so what started out as a couple of day break turned into a couple of weeks.

The end result - my conditioning is gone, and I've basically wasted the past several weeks of good training.

Todays session was further hampered by some intestinal issues, as well as the rediculous heat. It was a pretty shitty workout. I actually wondered if I should just call it quits, drop 40 pounds, and take up power walking.
Sumo Deadlift
2x5 @ 135
365x miss, miss
First miss was grip. Put on straps, second miss was weak.

Good morning

45 degree hypers
superset with
lying leg raises

10 mins stretching

Workout time: :40

So, the stuff I need to work on:
  • Conditioning
  • Grip
  • GSaF
  • Mobility

I've got some ideas, just need to execute. The August meet is out of the question (business travel is going to make it nearly impossible), but I'm going to be ready for one in the late fall.


If you were wondering why the government scares me more than terrorists... read this.

This is why there is due process.
By far the most controversial claim is from several witnesses who cast doubt on police statements that they shouted a warning or identified themselves before firing.

Lee Ruston, 32, who was on the platform, said he did not hear any of the three shout "police" or anything like it. Mr Ruston, a company director, said he saw two officers put on blue baseball caps marked "police" but that the frightened electrician could not have seen that because he had his back to the officers and was running with his head down.

Less than a minute later, Mr de Menezes was pinned to the floor of the carriage by two men while a third fired five shots into the base of his skull.

Score another point for terrorists, I suppose.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Well, it's as expected, I guess...

The President nominates someone it seems is pretty bland, but no fan of the Constitution based on this ruling.
According to the government, Salim Ahmed Hamdan is the former driver and bodyguard of Osama Bin Laden. He was captured by an Afghan militia in November 2001, during the U.S. invasion, and shipped off to Guantanamo Bay. In July 2003, the Bush administration brought charges against Hamdan, as it has done against only three others among the hundreds of suspected terrorists being held at Guantanamo. Hamdan was accused of conspiring to commit attacks on civilians, murder, and terrorism, and the Bush administration moved to try him before a special military tribunal.
Now, obviously, this guy is probably guilty of something, I'm not going to deny that.
This tribunal isn't like the courts-martial that are used for prisoners of war. It goes by rules that cut back the rights of defendants even more drastically than the tribunal that the United States has helped establish in Iraq to try Saddam Hussein has. Hamdan has no right to be present at his trial. Unsworn statements, rather than live testimony, can be presented as evidence against him. The presumption of innocence can be taken away from him at any time; so can his right not to testify to avoid self-incrimination. If Hamdan is convicted, he can be sentenced to death.

The opinion Roberts joined, written by Judge A. Raymond Randolph for a unanimous panel (though the third judge, Stephen Williams, expressed a reservation in a concurrence), swallows all of that and then some. The opinion says that Congress authorized the president to set up whatever military tribunal he deems appropriate when it authorized him to use "all necessary and appropriate force" to fight terrorism in response to 9/11. While the president has claimed the authority only to try foreign suspects before the tribunals, there's nothing in the Hamdan opinion that stops him from extending their reach to any other suspected terrorist, American citizens included. This amounts to a free hand—and one Bush is not shy about extending. The administration has already devised its own tribunals to review its claims that the Guantanamo detainees are all enemy combatants who are not entitled to the international protections accorded to prisoners of war. As of February, 558 hearings had resulted in freedom for only three prisoners. The Supreme Court has yet to rule on the legality of these tribunals—a question that Roberts may now help decide.

This is simply not due process. I didn't go to Harvard Law, and even I can see that.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

This seems so obvious

Another challenge to the US policy of holding 'Enemy Combatants' indefinately without due process.

But this one should be remarkably clear, and we should be up in arms about the obscene abuse of power here.

They caught this guy in an airport, not on a battlefield. He is accused of planning crimes. Yet it's OK to just lock him up without a trial (or for a while, a lawyer)?!?!? Just because the government says so?

If we let them do this, political adversaries (like me) are not far behind.

It's a scary time. And this is exactly what the terrorists want.

A prescription for vitamins?

Ron Paul can see it coming.

Apparently, CAFTA opens the door for Codex as a regulatory standard. More power for the government over what you put in your body... and oh, by the way, more control given to pharmacutical companies.
CAFTA means less freedom for you, and more control for bureaucrats who do not answer to American voters.

These days, that's pretty much the case with everything Congress does, isn't it.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cooter speaks.

Apparently, the new Dukes of Hazzard movie isn' tup to 'ol Cooter's standards. Ben Jones says the movie trashes the TV version.
“Basically, they trashed our show,” said Jones, who read a script of the Warner Bros. movie, scheduled for release next month. “It’s one thing to do whatever movie they want to do, but to take a classic family show and do that is like taking ‘I Love Lucy’ and making her a crackhead or something.”
“From all I have seen and heard, the ‘Dukes’ movie is a sleazy insult to all of us who have cared about the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ for so long,” Jones wrote. “Unless they clean it up before the August fifth release date I would strongly recommend that true blue Dukes fans hold their noses and pass this one up.”

OK. Now I think Cooter just insulted an awful lot of people, there. The 'I Love Lucy' analogy might be a little bit of a stretch, don't you think? A 'classic family show'?

I'm certainly not going to see the movie, mostly because I thought it might be true to the television show - that pretty much guarantees a bad movie. A little sleaze might make it a little better.

Monday, July 11, 2005

An open mind and a big heart

Those are qualities Democrats want in a Supreme Court Justice.

I just want someone capable of reading, understanding, and applying the Constitution to cases brought before him or her. I'd rather they not kick puppies, I suppose.

Good thing we got the criminals out of the White House

This group is much better. Rove should simply resign now and get it over with... but knowing the arrogance of these people (meaning the elite ruling class), I'd be very, very suprised to see it happen.

Of course, the President promised the person who leaked the information would be fired. I wonder how he's going to get around that.

The question is, now, was what Rove did illegal? My understanding is that it was not, because the CIA operative in question was not out of the country or engaged in a sensitive area.

All for a payback for something that was, well, true. There weren't WMDs in Iraq.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Training: ME Bench

Skipped an extra day, needed a little extra rest.
2 Board press
45x15, 15
275x2 (missed the boards on the second rep, so did a full rep)
325x1 (PR)
Sticking point has moved up a little.

Incine DB press
3x5 @ 80

Bent rows
3x5 @ 275

Cable side laterals

Single arm rev grip pressdown
2x10 @ 60

Workout time: :55

No cardio. You'll get over it.

Friday, July 8, 2005

Worm creation

Apparently, the German government thinks property crimes deserve suspended sentences. Microsoft is paying $250 to reward the people who turned this scumbag in, but a German court doesn't apparetnly think millions of dallars of damage is a big deal.

I can only hope someone sues the bastard.


Baseball and Softball, out. Ballroom dancing and syncronized swimming, still in. Apparently due to interest levels (where are all these syncronized swimming fans?).

They are considering rugby, golf, squash, karate, and roller sports.

Roller sports?

I'm pulling for rugby.

London bombings

Not much to say, other than my heart goes out to those directly and indirectly affected by people who know only evil.

I'm amazed at how quickly they got back to (or close, anyway) to normal. I guess a city that can withstand the German bombing during WWII can handle a couple of cowards with 10 pound bombs.

Thursday, July 7, 2005

Training: Max Effort Squat/Dead

Decent session. Need to re-address mobility, I'm rouding my back at the bottom of the low box squat, and I tried to do some lunges, and I can't.
Low Box Squat
315x3 (PR)
355x1 (PR)
Stopped there, although I might have had a little more in me.

Good mornings
4x5 @ 225

Step ups
3x6 @ +90

Pull down abs
3x15 @ 150

10 mins stretching

Workout time: 1:05

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

US Crack Security

I'm not at all suprised by this story, and I hope this gets a little more press.

It's about time the American Public sees how the Federal Government continues to completely disregard the Constitution in the name of 'security', and treat people who have not comitted a crime, who are not suspected of comitting a crime as if they are already guilty of being terrorists.

The last time Rahman, 32, drove over the border, guards in Detroit stopped the Chicago man, handcuffed him to a chair, and grilled him for six hours about whether he has terrorist connections, Rahman said. Officials detained his wife and two children in a small, dirty office while Rahman was questioned, he said.

He has been stopped five times.

''I really need to find out what's going on," Rahman said last month at a news conference in the Illinois ACLU offices in the Loop. ''I can travel to any country -- Canada or otherwise -- and get through in a few minutes, but coming back home . . ."

On Tuesday, lawyers from the Illinois chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security department officials, saying Rahman's Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights were violated when he was allegedly seized and searched with excessive force, then not allowed to make phone calls.

''They're using a very, very crude screening system," said Harvey Grossman, legal director for the Illinois ACLU. ''There are thousands and thousands and thousands of names on various watchlists our government keeps. We don't know whose name he is similar to."

In a letter to Rahman, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement department stated Rahman's name is a ''near match" to another person in the National Crime Information Center list maintained by the FBI.

A near match. Perfect.
The problems began in spring 2004, when Rahman, the owner of a computer software company in Chicago, was detained for two hours at Los Angeles International Airport, Rahman said. He was born in the United States to parents who emigrated from India, ACLU spokesman Edwin Yohnka said. Rahman and his parents are US citizens.

In August 2004, Rahman was again detained for two hours, this time at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Agents told him they were trying to identify him, though he carried his driver's license, passport, and Social Security card.

Rahman said he then wrote six or seven letters to government agencies to find out why he was being detained. In the meantime, he was stopped twice more. In April, he received a letter from the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency of the Department of Homeland Security. It states Rahman's detentions resulted from an ''unfortunate misidentification scenario."

Of course, this is the direct result of the Feds not telling anyone who is on these lists, or how they get on the lists in the first place. This is disgusting.
Grossman said Rahman's name in Arab-speaking countries is similar to ''John Smith" in English-speaking countries -- and the government is apparently looking for someone connected with terrorism with a name similar to Rahman's.

The letter also states that the government corrected databases but advises Rahman to carry several forms of identification.

Rahman said he was carrying his passport, Social Security card, and Illinois driver's license when he was stopped May 8, this time at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel coming back from visiting family in Canada.

Yes, since we can't seem to get our act together, we need you to prove to us you are not a danger, even though you've never been accused of or convicted of any crime. Those pesky 4th and 5th amendments, bah!
Two other agents took his wife and two children to a room by themselves. Rahman and his wife, Moosada, didn't see each other again for six hours, Rahman said.

Akif Rahman said the agents took him to a room and took his cellphone. He was asked to empty his pockets, then face a wall and spread his feet.

''An officer yelled at me to spread my legs further," Rahman said. ''Before I could do so, the officer kicked my legs apart with great force. He then demanded that I take my shoes off. Before I could complete the request, he kicked one of my shoes off my foot."

From there, he was led to another room and handcuffed to a chair. Then, he said, agents asked him if he knew any of the Sept. 11 hijackers and if he had ever given money to a terrorist group.

''This made me feel like a suspect," Rahman said, ''not an American citizen returning home."

We are now all suspects, first. It starts with sobriety checkpoints. It ends with 'your papers, please, Comrade'

I really hope some of the obscene stuff we've seen this year (if I see the President talk about 'Liberty' as he fights to renew the 'Patriot' Act one more time I'm going to vomit) really gets people motivated to make some noise.

Training: DE Bench

Squatting with bands really seems to tear my shoulders up. They were both bugging me today, but not enough to make some progress.
Bench press
3x3 @ 135
8x3 @ 185
Speed very good on all 8 sets

Close grips
5x3 @ 235

V-grip pulldowns
5x6 @ 210

Face pulls
3x12 @ 90

Workout time: :45

Yup. No cardio. Weighed in at 226 this morning, so while I had been successful at dieting for a short period, I seem to have gotten back into some bad habits (like eating everything, everywhere, all the time). I think I may just not worry about it, try to just eat well, and wherever my weight is when I have to sign up for the meet, that's the class I'll be in. (BTW, the meet looks like it's August 13 in Catonsville, MD.)

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Training: DE Squat/dead

Week two of the band phase. Felt pretty strong. Added in speed deads.
Box Squat (all sets w/ light bands)
8x2 @ 245

Speed deads (sumo)
6x1 @ 275


light band choked x 3x10

super set with
lying leg raises


Workout time: 1:15

Friday, July 1, 2005

Dream Theater


Get it.

Your Government at work

The National park Service has spent $20,000 of your money to revamp a video shown at the Lincoln Memorial.

Why? Because it showed primarily Leftist demonstrations, and not enough pro-war, anti-abortion, pro-gun, etc.

Park Service documents, released recently under the Freedom of Information Act to two liberal advocacy groups, show the agency moved quickly to assuage conservatives' ire.

The service bought footage of President Bush, pro-gun demonstrations and pro-Iraq war rallies and even considered cutting out a section showing former President Clinton, a Democrat.

Park Service officials said they wanted the video to be politically balanced but refused to provide a copy of the revision to The Associated Press, saying it was still being evaluated.

Fantastic. Money well spent, I say. Have we found Osama? No, but we've got Republicans equally represented in the Lincon Memorial video. Thank goodness.

Training: ME Bench

Did some repetition work today.
DB Bench press

OH press
3x4 @ 135

Bent row

Cable rear delt
2x12 @ 25

3x10 @ 150

Incline DB curl
2x8 @ 30

Elliptical - 15 mins, 200 cals

Workout Time: 1:10