Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 4, DE Squat/Dead

Still brutal, it doesn't get any easier. I cut back some on the accessory stuff, I'm going to put more on ME day.
Box Squat
8 sets of 2 @ 285

12 singles @ 305, 30 seconds rest

5x8 @ 45

Inverted situp

10 mins stretching

Workout time: 3:55 - 5:05

The gym really gets packed between 4:00 and 4:30. I need to stick with the earlier schedule for sure.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Italian politics

Apparently, it's just as odd, or odder, than US politics. In order to show allegiance with 'family values', the Pemier has promised to lower taxes, raise pensions, and not have sex until the elections.

He was not clear on what that has to do with family values.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 4, ME Bench

I was a little off this morning, but it didn't effect my training.
Warmup: front, side, rear raises and flys - 2 sets

2 Board Press (330)

Incline press
3x5 @ 185

HS Seated row
1pps x 12
2pps x 12
3x5 @ 3pps

1 arm lateral raise
2x10 @ 30

Pec Deck

Preacher curl machine
2x15 @ 60

Cardio: Elliptical 20 mins cardio setting, 1.7 m, 278 cal

Workout Time: 1:30 - 3:10

Quiet in the gym today, the resolutionists may be giving up.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 4, ME Squat/Dead

Deadlift still sucks. I didn't decide on what to do until I got there - I was thinking I might suit up and squat, but I was running late and didn't want to spend the time to get my suit on, etc. So I pulled. Meh. I hope it's just because I've been pulling so much.
Reverse Band Deadlift (Green/Average Bands, 3 holes down)

Leg press
2pps x 10
4pps x 5
2x5 @ 7pps

HS Shrugs (seated)
1pps x 15
2pps x 12
3x5 @ 3pps


Lying leg raise


Workout time: 3:45 - 4:55

The President will save you from Terrorist Bees.

Just trust him.
Q. How does a War Bill become a War Law?
A. It all begins with the president, who submits a bill to the president. If a majority of both the president and the president approve the bill, then it passes on to the president, who may veto it or sign it into law. And even then the president can override himself with a two-thirds vote.
Q. See it's the checks and balances that make all the difference in our democratic system.
A. It's true.
Q. Can the president spy on me without a warrant?
A. The president would never, ever spy on you, unless you're talking to a terrorist.
Q. That sounds reasonable!
A. Or an associate of a terrorist or a suspected associate of a terrorist or a possible suspected relative of a member of an affiliate of a terrorist or someone with a name that's spelled like a terrorist's or someone who's been mistakenly identified as a terrorist by an NSA algorithm.
Q. That sounds like I should look into switching to smoke signals.
A. Well if you want, the president can stop the illegal wiretapping just for you.
Q. Really? Well thanks, that'd be great!
A. And then the terrorists can come and eat you.
Q. Wait! What?
A. Cause without the wiretaps there's nothin to stop the terrorists from eatin you, yknow. The terrorists and their army of bees.
Q. Oh no! I'm allergic to terrorists AND bees!
A. Oh that's too bad, cause now the president hasta stop the illegal wiretaps and let alllll those terrorist bees eat you.
Q. Quick! Put the wiretaps back, put the wiretaps back!
A. No no, you just said you wanna get eaten. Eaten by terrorist bees.
Q. I change my mind! Please let the president wiretap me, pleeeease.
A. I dunno...
Q. Please, I can change! I DO believe in terror, I DO believe in terror!
A. Oh, alright. But just this once!
Q. It's a Nine-Elevenmas miracle!

Read the whole thing at fafblog

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Impeach him.

Certainly, I think the President is breaking the law. He has ignored his oath of office. Now it looks like they are expecting to be impeached.

I think if the Democrats gain control of the House (which is certainly a possiblity, given the ineptitude of the Republicans), you'll see an impeachment. Hopefully this one will stick.

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 3, DE Bench

Skipped it. Feeling really under the weather with a sinus thing. I'd feel less guilty if I were more consistent.

Goal is to make it through cycles without missing a day, and getting each cycle done in 8 days.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Bush Administration stands up for privacy rights.

But only in an attempt to not publish the names of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Yesterday a judge ruled that the feds must turn over the names of those (illegally) detained. The Administration disagreed.
The government immediately asked the judge to reconsider saying the court had overlooked the privacy interests of detainees families and friends.
Funny, they don't seem to think checking your Google searches are a privacy issue.

That's some stand up folks running the show. This administration is so far more disgusting than the one that preceeded it.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Public healthcare?

Well, if government run health care is anything like government run retirement, Rainbough Phillips points out what it might be like.

Well done.

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 3, DE Squat/Dead

Man, this is a brutal workout.
Warmup: dynamic stuff

Box Squats
8 sets of 2 @ 265, 1 minute rest between sets
All fast.

15 singles @ 285, 30 seconds rest between each.

Good morning
235x1 Back fried, put belt on
3x5 @ 235

Bench situps w/ 6lb med ball overhead

2x15 @ +25


Workout time: 4:00 - 5:20

I truly hate this time of year at the gym. I was in early enough to beat the power rack curler, but by 4:30 the place is packed. Fun comments today, though. Two guys wearing about 20 pounds each of clothing (hoodies with the hoods up and belts cinched tightly on the outside) were amazed that I could squat 225 on a box 'that low'. One of the regulars - a young girl who has been training there for as long as I have - remarked on the lunacy of squatting and deadlifting in one workout. The best, though, was the older guy with his Powerhouse t-shirt and fanny pack, who came up to me when I was unloading the bar after doing good mornings, and told me I was bending over way too far doing my squats. Heh. I just told him I meant to do them that way (although I'm now worried that I'm bending my knees too much). I should have explained it, I guess.

Usually by March they are all gone.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 3, ME Bench

Work was insane this week, with a very tiring trip up to NYC. Anyway, back to it.
ME Bench
Warmup: 5 mins elliptical, level 3
front and side raises 3x15

3 Board Press
2x15 @ 45

Incline press
2x5 @ 185

Hammer Strength Y Row
1pps x 12
2pps+25x 8,8,8,7(f)

Lat raise
2x8 @ 30

Machine Row
3x12 @ 100

2x15 @ 70

Upper body stretching

Elliptical machine: 15 mins, cardio setting, 1.3 mi, 203 cal.

Workout time: 4:15 - 5:50

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


As a lifelong resident of the Baltimore area, I am required by statute to hate* a specific sports franchise. That franchise is the Indianapolis Colts.

So throughout the season, I've been troubled. In week 14, when they lost to San Diego, I felt some relief, that the hated* team would not break any record.

Then they play the Steelers. The rival from the AFC North. I'm torn, but I pull for the upset, for the Colts to continue without a championship trophy. I missed watching the game, but got to listen to a little on the radio while out and about. I am pleased.

But with all that hate* I still had to give the Colts credit. They have a hell of a team, and one of the greatest QBs ever... until the whining and crying started.

"I'm just trying to be a good teammate here," Manning said before doing the opposite. "Let's just say we had some problems in protection."

With that comment, Manning skidded off the high and mighty road. Remember this was the guy who called kicker Mike Vanderjagt an "idiot" for calling out teammates in similar fashion a few years back.

* I don't really 'hate' anyone, it's all in fun, really.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 3, Day 1, again

Decided to do it, just a couple of days late. I still had to back off a little on the accessory work.
ME Squat/Dead
Warmup - 5 mins elliptical, dynamic work
High box squat (hole 4, 1 inch higher than DE)
I couldn't find a PR for this.

Leg Press
2pps x10
3x5 @ 3pps

Pull thru
3x10 @ 140

Pull down abs
2x15 @ 150


Workout time: 1:50 - 3:00

I have to hit my DE squat/dead workout a day early (Tuesday), so I needed to back this off a little to make sure I'm up for that. Taking an extra couple of days off wasn't exactly what I should have done, but life goes on. I really do need to up the conditioing work, I was running really well for a while, but it seems I hit the week 3 mark, I start to wear out.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Clear statement, Maryland to Big Corporations: We don't want you here.

The MD general assembly overrode the veto of the 'Fair Share Health Care Plan', which essentially extorts 8% of a companies HR budget to the state if that company employs over 10,000 people and does not spend 8% on health care benefits. The legislation is directly aimed at Wal Mart, the only company in the state that meets the criteria.

The logic? Well, it's unfair for the rest of us to pay for Medicare for Wal Mart employees.

The reason that logic is completely stupid? Here are a few:
  • WaL-Mart employs about 10,000 people. If NONE of them have health insurance (which isn't true), they would make up less than 2% of the people on Medicare. Of course, that assumes all of these people need insurance, and are not otherwise covered by a spouse or parent. Based on the artice, less than 1% of the people in MD without health insurance work for Wal Mart.
  • The assumption that these people would otherwise be insured is completely false. They would either not be working, or work for some other company that also does not provide health insurance
  • There is an assumption that Wal mart competitors will stop offering health insurance. This is simply unfounded. I'm willing to bet that the reason people are working for Wal Mart is that Wal Mart offers the best mix of salary and benefit available, and that means the competition is already not offering health benefits. Of course, the state won't be requiring that. Yet.

This isn't a victory for anyone. Wal Mart will now not be opening a distribution center in Maryland, not employ many more people who are now currently either un or underemployed.

Good Job!


The 'war' in Iraq will cost $2 Trillion (not counting the cost of approximately 50,000 lives). That's $76,000 per person in Iraq.

I'm thinking they could have just done it themselves had we sent them the cash. Of course, we weren't told it would cost this much - we were told it would only be $80 Billion or so.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 3, Day 1

Total Deload day. Overwhelmed at work, tired, have to get up early tomorrow, just need to go home and veg out. Was considering deloading today, anyway, but the day took me there. Plus, I'm not able to get out of work until after 5pm anyway, so I'll get to the gym right at its most crowded, and I just don't have that in me today.

I'll decide Saturday if I'll do the ME squat/dead training then, or if I'll just go with ME bench and continue on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 2, Day 4

It was a festival of assclowns tonight. I try to be encouraging, and polite, and I always hope the lifting bug will stick with at least some of the New Year members, but for most of them, I can't wait for February to get here. I had a pretty bad day today, got to the gym a little later than I wanted, and the place just filled up, so I couldn't get to what I needed to get done.
DE Bench
Warmup - 5 mins elliptical, front and side raises

Bench press
2x15 @ 45
2x3 @ 135
8x3 @ 185
Speed was good on teh 8 sets of 3, but not great. The heavier lifts were easy.

Close grips
3x3 @ 235

4x9 @ 180

Seated DB clean
2x12 @ 25.

Frustrated I couldn't get to anything else, so I left.

Workout time: 4:10 - 5:05

I'm getting in early on Thursday. Count on it.

So, how am I doing against my goals? Well, my ME stuff is awesome, DE stuff needs a little work. I've been consistent, and I've continued mobility work, although I need to really keep after that. I haven't done anything for conditioning other than some long workouts, next cycle I have to get back to that.

Beer as a learning aid

When I was an undergrad, I had a professor (for the life of me, I can't remember his name), who taught an entire semester of Intermediate Price Theory in terms of Beer, Pizza, and time.

For a 19 year old Econ minor, this was quite effective. I loved that class. (This same professor took us un a field trip to a bar when I was a senior. Racers Cafe was his hangout, and he wanted the owner to talk to us about entrepreneurism, craft beer, and running a small business. Racers became one of my favorite bars, and stayed one until I moved into Fells Point and started going to Max's.)

Well, here is an article showing how well Beer is suited to teach us.

Edit: Remembered his name - Ross Fabricant. Looked him up, he's in Florida.

Heard in 2005

This is just fantastic.

I wonder if it bothers anyone that we may never know if some of these things are true, because the government doesn't want us to know.
I heard that the primary source of information about the tons of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons buried under Saddam’s private villas and under Saddam Hussein Hospital in Baghdad and throughout Iraq was a Kurdish exile called Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri. He was sponsored by the Rendon Group, a Washington public relations firm that had been paid hundreds of millions of dollars by the Pentagon to promote the war. (Rendon, among other things, had organised a group of Iraqi exiles in London, called them the Iraqi National Congress, and installed Ahmad Chalabi as their leader.) I heard that after al-Haideri failed a lie-detector test, administered by the CIA in Thailand, his stories were nevertheless leaked to journalists, most prominently Judith Miller of the New York Times, which published them on the front page.

Funny, some of us knew this (or suspected it) before the invasion

On the effectiveness of the 'War on Terror'
I heard that the State Department refused to release its annual report on terrorism, which would have shown that the number of ‘significant’ attacks outside Iraq had grown from 175 in 2003 to 655 in 2004. I heard Karen Aguilar, acting co-ordinator for counterterrorism at the State Department, explain that ‘statistics are not relevant’ to ‘trends in global terrorism’.

This might be the best
I heard about despair. I heard Colonel Joseph DiSalvo, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, say: ‘What we’re seeing is the terrorists are in desperation.’ I heard him say: ‘By the end of the summer, the terrorists will be captured, dead or, in the least, severely disrupted.’

I heard Dick Cheney say: ‘The level of activity that we see today, from a military standpoint, I think, will clearly decline. I think they’re in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.’

I heard Porter J. Goss, director of the CIA, say that the insurgents were ‘not quite in the last throes, but I think they are very close to it.’

I heard Dick Cheney later explain: ‘If you look at what the dictionary says about throes, it can still be a violent period. When you look back at World War Two, the toughest battle, both in Europe and in the Pacific, occurred just a few months before the end. And I see this as a similar situation, where they’re going to go all out.’

I heard Donald Rumsfeld say: ‘Last throes could be a violent last throe, or a placid and calm last throe. Look it up in the dictionary.’

And the most frightening, but again, something I said long before the first shot was fired
I heard Condoleezza Rice speak about a ‘generational commitment’ in Iraq.

Read all of them.

Via Lew Rockwell

Annonymous Annoyance

Add that to the list of things the Federal government says you can not do.

According to this article, as an unrelated part of the 'Violence against Women' act (because we needed another law to make violence against women illegal), the Republican controlled congress passed, and the Small Govenrment Republican President signed into law, a provision that makes it a FEDERAL CRIME to 'annoy' someone on the internet without using your real name.
Buried deep in the new law is Sec. 113, an innocuously titled bit called "Preventing Cyberstalking." It rewrites existing telephone harassment law to prohibit anyone from using the Internet "without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy."

How did this happen? Are we still not bothering to read bills? Apparently.
To grease the rails for this idea, Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, and the section's other sponsors slipped it into an unrelated, must-pass bill to fund the Department of Justice. The plan: to make it politically infeasible for politicians to oppose the measure.

The tactic worked. The bill cleared the House of Representatives by voice vote, and the Senate unanimously approved it Dec. 16.

One more attempted blow to the Constitution. We can only hope this ends up at the SCOTUS and they overturn it.

Usenet trolls beware. We can't find Osama, but you better believe we are coming for you.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Why government control of money is bad.

And why a return to the gold standard (at a minimum) or to a more realistic economic system of free trade and bartering should be on everyone's mind.

Consider this interesting editorial regarding inflation, devaluation of currency, and the issue with the printing of more money with nothing to back it up. Essentially, as the government has printed more money, the value of that money has decreased (duh?). Now the article doesn't go into the increase in incomes or wealth, so it doesn't paint the entire picture. But it sure is something to think about.

Oh, by the way... the fed isn't going to report M3 any more, so maybe we'll just forget about it and go on our merry way.

Links via Catallarchy

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Beer Notes

Went to Max's on Broadway on Friday, and had a few brews:

Heavyweight Black Ocean (had a couple of these)
Fantastic. Very Stoutlike, dark, low alcohol. Suprisingly refreshing

Smuttynose Double Bock
Very high alcohol, kind of ruined the taste. I didn't really like this much.

Hook and Ladder Backdraft Brown
Excellent brew. A nearly perfect brown ale, with just the right balance of bitterness.
All were on draft.

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 2, Day 3

This is a brutal day, I hope it pays off in the end.
Warmup: dynamic stuff

Box Squat
10 sets of 2 @ 245. All sets fast
365x1 felt heavy, but fast

15 singles @ 265 30 secs rest

Good morning
3x5 @ 230

4x10 @ +45

Lying leg raises



Workout time: 2:15 - 3:35

Friday, January 6, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 2, Day 2

Vault Zero + Slayer = PR
ME Bench
Warmup: 2x15 superset of front and side raises
Lots of low back streching to loosen up

Reverse Band press (light band)
380x1 (PR)

HS flat chest press
1pps x 12
2pps x 10,8,5(f)

HS Y Row
1pps x 12
2pps + 25 x 9,8,7(f),4(f)

Lateral raise
3x12 @ 25

Rope pressdown
2x15 @ 120
superset with
hammer curl
2x15 @ 30s


Workout time: 1:40 - 2:45

Looks like the goal to get to within 10% of PRs was too low. Got to talk to Tom and Tony a little today (two strong as hell guys).. it's nice to ba able to talk training with someone who knows better than to curl in the power rack. The plan to avoid the resolutionists is working as well.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

Boy, this is going to be ugly.

The Abramoff scandal is going to be a mess. Politicians are now trying to distance themselves, and as usual, making clear their priorites.

President Bush and numerous lawmakers hastily jettisoned campaign donations linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff on Wednesday as Republican Party officials pondered the impact of a spreading scandal on their 2006 election prospects.

"I wish it hadn't happened because it's not going to help us keep our majority," conceded Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Ohio.
Because what's important isn't the illegal activity, it's that this might make people vote for Democrats.
In all, two dozen Republicans and six Democrats, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, have announced plans this week to return donations, mostly funds that came from Abramoff or Indian tribes he represented.

Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, who faces legal scrutiny for his links to the lobbyist, joined in the rush.
It's important to note there are folks on both sides who will get swept up in this, although I think the focus and the blame will hit the Republicans, leading to further bolster my opinion that we'll see a good bit of change in the next 2 - 4 years.

I also find it interesting that the focus in the media, even from Forbes, is on the Republicans, as if there are no dirty Democrats mixed up in this.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 2, Day 1

Set some PRs, and got to talk to a couple of guys at the gym I hadn't seen for a while... always good to pick the brains of guys much stronger than you.
Warmup: 5 mins elliptical, level 3
stepovers (hole 2) front and side, both 10 reps
bar squats 1x10

Low box squat
365x1 (PR)
375x1 (PR)
355x0 Unracked it and was way too wobbly, I was spent. Last noted PR for this was 355 or so. This is pretty big, especially when my goal was just to get close to old PRs. I do want to improve so I can get at least 3 lifts in over 90%.

Icarian Leg press (the one I don't like)
4x10 @ 4pps.
ROM is screwed up because of the back pad and the angle of the machine, I round my back.

Pull thru
3x12 @ 130

Pull down abs
4x12 @ 150

HS seated leg curl
3x9 @ 90

Calf raise
2x15 @ 200

10 mins stretching

Treadmill: 8:15 on cardio setting (heart rate 150), 85 cals, .4 mi. This sucked...in order to get my heart rate up without running, the incline was rediculous, and that made the side of my lower leg cramp as it does when I run. I think I need to bag the treadmill, and use the elliptical machine, and do some interval training on off days outside.

Workout time: 2:15 - 3:50

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Training: Regular Phase, Cycle 1, Day 4

A day late, things were nuts over the weekend. Pretty decent, although it seems there is also a consideration of conditioning over longer periods of time than a workout.
Warmup: front raises and side raises 2x15
Bench press
2x15 @ 45
2x3 @ 135
8x3 @ 185
speed OK, not as good as it was at 175.

Close grips
3x3@225 had more in me

3x8 @ 180

Face pull
3x9 @ 100

Band pressdown (single arm)
3x8 @ light band

Ext rotation
2x8 @ mini band

Workout time: 3:40- 4:30

Notes in the log: work capacity dying off, cumulative effect of week, not just single workouts. Need to keep up work on it.

Overall, this cycle is good. I didn't do a couple of key things that I need to keep up, namely conditioning work (treadmill, cardio of some sort), and I didn't get any odd lifts in. I have to keep up the mobility work, too. I am pleased with the overall week, though. Next cycle, I'll get the treadmill/cardio work in, as well as some unconventional stuff, and make sure I do dynamic/mobility warmups for lower body, and keep on stretching. I need to do a better job with upper body stretching, as well.

A note on the resolutionist rush: I think I have a solution to the inevitable crowding of he gym that happens every January and lasts 4-6 weeks. I'm trying to change my sleeping/working schedule so I start my work day early (7AM), and get to the gym by 3:30 or so. That gets me out by 5:30 at the latest, and I miss the rush. It also gives me my evening back, which lets me spend more quality time at home, enjoying the finer things. We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Hangover Cures, Revisited

Last year around this time, I posted some of my own hangover cures.

I was perusing the fantastic eGullet forums today, and ran across a gem in this thread.
Queneau's solution (warning: this may not be applicable to many others):

Initial Home remedy (preparatory only):
Hot shower
Cold Shower
Hot Shower
Eye drops
3 heavy-mg paracetemol

Stagger to pub:
Bacon Sandwich
Pint of Guinness
Sunday papers
6 cigarettes
An argument



Sunday, January 1, 2006


Stupid or not, this kid who went to Iraq on his own to experience 'immersion journalism' has a set.

I'm pretty sure he's going to be successful at whatever he does in life... so long as he gets a little smarter about what he chooses to risk. I'd give a lot to have (or have had) the courage this kid does at 16. At 16 I was afraid to talk to the cute girl in my Spanish class.