Monday, January 29, 2007

Like that Patriot Act, do you?

How are you going to like it when Hilliary can pick U.S. Attorneys without Senate scrutiny?

Because that's what's happening now.

And thier priorities under the current adminstration? Why, pornography and online gambling.

Because if you see boobies and play poker, the terrorists win.

It's not what you think

I didn't stop training again. I'm just dealing with that inflammation in my back, probably caused by the way I sit in my car and drive long distances, coupled with inactivity, specifically the weakening of my abdominals.

It's getting better, but still bugs me a little. I know that some prudence now will get me farther later. I'm doing some stretching and bodyweight stuff at home, but nothing worth talking about. I'll probably go to the gym and do some upper body work later in the week, then get back to my planned training on Monday.

I don't know that I'll do another 'prep' phase or just get to it, probably should keep working on conditioning and form. We'll see.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Conservtive Morals

This post just about says it all about the morals of Conservatives.
Now, would I approve of American soldiers beating these terrorist? No. Would I prefer that these Iraqi soldiers didn't beat the terrorists? Yes, because it's unprofessional and even if these guys deserve it, if you get into the habit of delivering beatings, the next person may not.

On the other hand, am I going to pretend that my heart's breaking because the Iraqi troops beat the hell out of some insurgents? No way. They deserved everything they got and much, much, more. Heck, if anything, it was great to see the Iraqi troops in the lead and showing some enthusiasm for their jobs.

PS: However, I will say this, our troops should have made sure that the embeds didn't film this. That was a mistake.

Due process? Freedom of the press? Not on my watch. Yes, this is the Conservative movement in 2007. I don't think I want to have anything to do with this. Do you?

Great quote

I have to attribute it to a commenter at Hit and Run.

At the root of all evil is the desire to control others.
At the root of all good is the desire to control oneself.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

It's a party, Friday Night.

I'm getting old. No secret, no suprise I suppose. I'm not a club guy, never have been. I don't like crouds, I don't like club music, and I don't like paying $4.00 for a warm Coors Light in a plastic cup.

So when Mrs Stagg called me Friday night and suggested we go to Looney's with some friends of ours, I was a bit apprehensive. Now, Looney's isn't clubby, it's a busy bar, younger crowd, OK music, if a little loud. But I went.

No where to sit, of course, which is OK, but the age gap got to us. We decided to go across the street to Granite, which is a bit more upscale, a bit older.

And it was. Until about 11pm. At 11, the lights go down, the music comes up, and they take all the barstools, chairs, and tables away. They cover the large windows, break out the plastic cups, and the place transforms into a lame interpretation of trendy club.

I know there's a market for it, but I don't see why in this particular place (Canton) there is a draw for folks to come in from the burbs and 'dance', when there are plenty of big places to do that out there. Keep the cool upscale vibe, give us drinks in glasses, and let us be grownups. Leave the clubbing for downtown and the burbs.

But then, I don't own a bar/restaraunt, so what do I know. I guess they make more money this way. But not from me. We left.

Friday, January 26, 2007

You can't force freedom

An excellent article by Lew Rockwell on why US Iraq policy is a failure. It stems from the typical misunderstanding of statists that the national 'state' they define isn't necessarily what the people want.
This is what cannot be done, and the very possibility of a new central state is precisely what has set off the bloodshed. It is not the case that the groups in Iraq cannot get along. What they cannot do is get along under a central state ruled by some other group. This is the basis of the bloodshed.


So what should happen? The US should abandon Baghdad. It should, in effect, allow the country to "fall apart" in the same way that Gorbachev let his empire dissolve. Iraq would split into many states, some of them noncontiguous. Governing units of all shapes and sizes would appear. The main reason for the ghastly killing – fear of the rule by one group over another – would vanish. Here is the highest hope for peace in Iraq.

So long as the US insists that Iraq be a single nation under one government, it will inspire chaos and killing. Bush was wrong, but in a way that is usually not understood. His mistake was not in overthrowing the state but in hoping to create and control a new one.

I don't think abandoning Baghdad is the answer, but I do think letting the people of Iraq split up the country as they see fit is.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How far will this go?

I'm not much for watching TV any more. I like Dirty Jobs, and the Food Network is cool, but I've never seen the show Grey's Anatomy.

I also, generally, don't pay attention to Hollywood news. I don't care who Britney showed her genitals to, or who is divorcing whom.

However, the story about an actor on Grey's Anatomy using the word 'faggot' struck me as odd. Not so much that an enlightened thespian would utter such a horrid attack, but the reaction (his) to it. Apparently, he's going into residential counseling. Because he called a gay guy a faggot.

Seriously?

I'm not a fan of the word, or disparaging hurtful language toward any particular group. But residential counseling? That's what you do when you won't stay on your meds and keep trying to kill yourself, not what you do when you call someone a name.

What if you say something worse?

What a ridiculous overreaction.

Found the zone

A number of lifters describe themselves when training as being different people, or in different places. I don't really experience that (which is part of why I don't have impressive numbers). Tonight I did. I'm not sure who I was, but I wasn't Paul.
1/24/2007 ME Bench
Warmup: 1x15 of face pull, pushup, ext rotation, 45 degree back raise

Floor press
45x15
95x5
135x5
185x3
225x3
245x1
3x1 @ 265

Close grip incline
3x5 @ 155

Side lateral raise
3x8 @ 30

Hammer Strength Seated row
45/side x 5
2x5 @ 135/side

HS pulldown
2x10 @ 90/side
Hammer curls
2x15 @ 30
Light band pressdown (2 hands)
2x15
Cuff stuff

You'll notice I skipped a workout. My back is getting better, and I didn't want to put it at risk under suboptimal conditions - lots of driving, not good eating.

I also think I'm going to do another 3 weeks of a prep phase before I really get going. My conditioning and work capacity is coming up, but I'd like to get a bit more.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

End of week two

Finished up on a positive note. Today was one of those days... I didn't feel like going, and was a bit out of sorts. But once i got to the gym, I felt great. I flew thruogh the session, and felt more energetic than I have since starting back.
1/21/2007 DE Bench

Warmup: 1x15 face pulls, pushups, ext rotations, 45 deg extensions

Bench Press
2x15 @ 45
2x5@95
20x3 @ 135
Did these with less than 45 secs rest. Felt great.

DB Ext
4x10 @ 25

Rear lateral raise
3x10 @ 20

CSR
45x5
90x5
3x5 @ 160

Cable Rows
2x8@150
Hammer curls
3x6@40
Pressdowns
2x15@150
Situps
2x15

All done in under an hour, too. I may go ahead and squat tomorrow, although I should take a day more to rest, I really feel like I could do it. We'll see. I'm out in the field tomorrow and Tuesday.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ouch.

Been dealing with some back pain. Looks like just some imflammation, so we're doing 800mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day (that's prescription strength, so I hope the government isn't looking). Moved the workout to today as my chiropractor did a number on me yesterday

Eating has been decent, but not great. I'm now at 5 non compliant meals for the week (missed two on Thursday, lunch and dinner on Thursday were also non comlpiant, and I had a non compliant meal yesterday.) I'm trying not to get obsessive about it.
1/20/2007 DE Squat
Warmup: 5 mins elliptical, level 10

Box Squat
2x6 @ 45
2x3 @ 95
20x3 @ 135
Did them in under 18 minutes.

Pull thru
3x10 @ 120

Pull Down abs
2x15 @ 150

Good mornings
3x10 @ 95
See: Back pain

Pullups
2x6

HS Seated hamsting curl
2x15 @ 45
Smith Shrug
barx15
+90x12
+180x8

Stretching and out.

Turns out, Corrosion of Conformity's Wiseblood is outstanding for more than just cardio.

Pop/Rap is not. Ever. For anything.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Ahhhh... Freedom

In Arizona, not only can your car be siezed if you are accused of being drunk and/r driving on a suspended license, but if you transport an illegal alien, say, to the hospital.

According to the U.S. Border Patrol, those drivers are committing a crime by transporting illegal immigrants.
"It doesn't make any difference whether you're taking them to the grocery store or taking them from the desert to the hospital," said Jesus Rodriguez, a spokesman for the agency's Tucson sector. "There is no free pass."
You mean, there is no freedom. Your government in action. Read the following, and tell me if this is how you want to live.

"Are they saying we're supposed to check somebody's immigration status?" asked Cecilia Gutierrez-Arce, a real estate agent and legal permanent resident whose extended family includes U.S. citizens, illegal immigrants and a Border Patrol agent.
"It's like McCarthy days. Are we supposed to be spying on our neighbors? On our relatives?"
Absolutely, according to Chris Simcox of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.
He said people have a "civic duty" to check the immigration status of passengers and alert authorities if they suspect someone is in the country illegally.
"It would certainly have a chilling effect on employers," he said.
The debate on transporting illegal immigrants was set to play out during the trial of Daniel Strauss and Shanti Sellz, two 23-year-old volunteers with the aid group No More Deaths who were arrested in 2005 while driving three illegal immigrants from the desert to a medical clinic in a Tucson church.
But a federal judge in Tucson dismissed the charges last month. The government had given No More Deaths volunteers reason to believe their actions were legal, and therefore could not prosecute them, U.S. District Judge Raner C. Collins ruled. He did not address the legality of their action.
"That issue must wait for another day," Collins wrote.
Lawyers for Sellz and Strauss argued that the two were innocent because they were trying to get medical aid for the three men and were not transporting them "in furtherance of" illegal entry into the United States, as required by federal statute.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the district of Arizona declined to discuss the specifics of the law.

Declined to discuss. Nice.

Hat tip: Hit and Run

Good Wal Mart News!

Yet another court struck down Marylands asinine 'Wal Mart' bill.

Of course, if you read The Sun, you get the impression this is just a minor setback.
Maryland's first-in-the-nation law to compel Wal-Mart to spend more on employee health care suffered another setback yesterday, providing fresh incentive for legislative leaders in Annapolis to explore ways to boost insurance coverage that do not involve the retailing giant.
Nah, they aren't letting editorial content sneak into news reporting.
With the future of the so-called Wal-Mart law in doubt, state legislators are planning to resurrect a host of other possible health care solutions during the 90-day legislative session that began last week, including an expansion of the Medicaid program to low-income adults, a reduction in insurance premiums for small businesses and a requirement that the state's highest paid workers buy insurance coverage.

They just don't get it. 50 years of creeping Socialism, and the 'problems' still need 'solutions'.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Coming along nicely

I like my gym. But sometimes the environment is just tough to take. Today, we has skinny guys flexing in the mirror, Britney Spears blaring, and awful form. Thank the FSM for MP3 players and Pantera.

On to the workout!
1/17/2007 ME Bench
Warmup: 1x15
Face pull, pushup, ext rotation, 45 degree back raises

Floor press
45x12, 12
95x5
135x5
155x5
185x5
203x3
2x3 @ 225

Close Grip Incline
45x6
95x6
3x6 @ 145

Lateral raise
3x8 @ 30

Hammer Strength Row
45x6
3x6 @ 115 per side

HS Pulldown
2x8 @ 90 per side
OH EZ bar ext
2x10 @ 40
EX bar curl
barx 10
+20x10
+40x6

Work capacity is coming up, this felt kinda easy. Diet has been 100% compliant so far this week. Tomorrow will have at least one non compliant meal.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Constitution is not confusing.

Yet Congress has a hearing on data mining.

Mr. Leahy warned that the potential for abuse requires oversight. "A mistake can cost Americans their jobs and wreak havoc in their lives and reputations that can take years to repair," he said.

This is why the Constitution clearly states the Federal Government can't do it.
Former Rep. Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican who recently became an activist for the Libertarian Party, told the panel that data mining poses a "serious threat" to the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth amendments to the Constitution.
"That is nearly half of the Bill of Rights," he said.
"Adding insult to injury, there is no scientific proof that data mining to identify terrorists even works. No scientist has ever demonstrated that the government can predict who will commit an act of terror at some future time. Yet the government spends tens of billions of taxpayers' dollars on data-mining programs each year -- collecting, manipulating, retaining and disseminating the most personal and private information on unknowing American citizens and others," Mr. Barr said.
James Jay Carafano, a senior research fellow with the Heritage Foundation, defended the practice of data mining but agreed oversight is needed.
"The federal government's use of data-mining technology should be strictly limited to national security-related investigations," Mr. Carafano said. "Congress should also require agencies to report on their intent to establish data-mining programs and require annual reports on their implementation, as well as their compliance with federal guidelines."
There is no exception for 'National Security' in the Constitution.

Sad news

Benny Parsons died today at 65.

He was the voice of racing to nearly a generation of fans.

Spontanious solutions

Don Boudreaux on why markets work, in spite of people who make irrational choices.

If you don't let people make irrational choices, there is no incentive for them to correct them, is there? Let the system work. It does.

Look who's coming to dinner

Obama says he's running for President.

From one perspective, I like that someone who is apparently not a career polititian is running for President. I'd rather see someone come out of industry who has no political background, but I doubt I'll see that in my liftetime.

However, from a political standpoint, I think this is a bad move for a number of reasons. He's going to lose. Yes, he's charismatic. He's smart. He's a regular guy. Whatever. He's not going to be able to get through the Democratic primary and win in a General Election. If he stays in the Senate for another 4-8 years, he'll have a chance to replace someone who will probably make our current President look spectacular. Further, he will have been able to build a resume of creating consensus (if that's possible), he'll have a bit more political credibility.


It also shows he's really not in this for us. He just wants to be President. If he's in it for us, he would be much more effective 'brining people together' as a leader in the Senate than as president.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Week Two of Prep Phase

Stating out at 216 pounds, feeling good. Got in today before the resolutionists.
1/15/2007 ME Squat
Warmup: Elliptical

Low Box Squat (hole 2)
2x5 @ 45
95x5
135x5
185x5
2x3 @ 225

RDL
45x8
135x7
4x7 @ 205

Spread Eagle Situp
4x8

45 degree back raise
4x8 @ +25

Pulldowns
2x8 @ 160

Leg Ext
2x15 @ 50
Calf Raise
2x15 @ 200
Lying leg raise
2x8

Stretching and out
Brutally humid, I think I sweat out a pound. All meals today compliant.

If by progress you mean making something worse..

Then yes, you could call it enormous progress.

If progress means:
Destabilizing the Middle East
Taking out Osama's enemy for him
Creating an Islamic State
Starting a civil war
Getting 3000 US troops killed
Getting 600,000 Iraqis killed
And not making anyone in the United States safer...

Then yeah.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

A good first week

Training and nutrition all went fairly well. 28 meals (so far) 3 non compliant (so far). I haven't used tobacco since last Monday, and I haven't beaten anyone (yet). Did some benching today.
1/14/2007 DE Bench

Warmup: 1x15
Face pull, pushup, ext rotation, 45 degree back extension

Bench press
2x10 @ 45
2x3 @ 95
20x3 @ 135.
Less than a minute between sets. This wasn't so bad, but it's boring.

DB Extensions
20x12
30x12, 6
20x12

Rear lateral raise
3x10 @ 20

CSR
45x5
90x5
3x5 @ 135

DB Flye
2x8 @ 30

Hammer curl
2x12 @30

Pressdown
3x15 @ 100

Getting thru a little better. ME Squat tomorrow.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

There's always next year

Boy, this was a bad time for the Ravens' offense to come out flat. But they did, and thus a 15-6 loss to the Colts.

I thought this might be the game that healed those old wounds; a win would satisfy those of us old enough to remember, and finally take the city past it.

As usual, the defense did what they had to do. I guess it's encouraging that much of the same team is returning next season, so there will be another shot.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Three in a row!

Yes, three training sessions in a row... it's like a record or something. I'm out of shape, and struggling a bit to get through them, but that's the point of a preparation phase. The real work comes in a couple of weeks.
1/12/2007 DE Squat
Warmup - elliptical

Box Squat
2x3 @ 45
2x3 @ 95
20x3 @ 135, less than one minute between sets.

This is harder than you would think... mosttly because I'm out of shape.

Pull thru
3x12 @ 100

Pull down abs
2x15 @ 100

Good morning
3x12 @ 45

Yes, 45. I was exhausted, and I didn't think I could actually put any weight on the bar.

Chins
2x5

Stretching and out

My lower back is tight as hell - I need to stretch a couple of times a day to get it loosened up; I have a chiro visit scheduled on Wednesday.

Eating continues to go well.

Records?

Brandon Berg has a nice easy reading post at Catallarchy on why record profits and record Dow Jones levels really don't mean all that much; and how easy it is to use 'records' in a story to make it sound more meaningful or more sinister than it really is.

Another point in light of what Congress is probably going to do to Evil Big Oil by taxing 'windfall' profits... consideration of return on investment and profit margins should be paramount. All we hear is 'record profit of 89 bazillion dollars,' we don't hear that's the same profit margin as pretty much every other successful company out there.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Second day of prep phase

Eating is going well. So far, all of my meals (14) have been compliant. One of my 3 non compliants will probably be later today... my sister had a baby today (number 4), and we'll be off to see her later.

On to the training!
1/11/2007 ME Bench
Warmup: 1x15 face pull, pushup, ext rotation, 45 deg back raise

Floor Press
45x15
95x5
135x5
155x5
175x5
2x5 @ 185

Close grip incline press
45x6
95x6
135x6,4,4,3

Lateral raise
20x8
3x8 @ 30

Hammer Strength Row
3x8 @ 90

Not too bad; about where I expect to be. DE squatting either tomorrow or Saturday, depending on work tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A quick lesson

If what you do is worth less than the new minimum wage, what happens?

Hint: You don't make the minimum wage.

The good news: a very small percentage of workers and business owners will be affected by a minimum wage increase (because so few workers actually make that little). Those who are, however, face catastrophe.

Economics is simple, yet the vast majority of people don't get it.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Day 1

Back at it. I can't make fun of the resolutionists this year, since I seem to be one of them. I decided not to do a before/after photo and not to track bodyfat and weight, mostly because I'll know success when I see it (in the mirror and on the lifting platform), and, frankly, you don't need to see my pasty fat photo. We all know what works.

I did change my diet (as of today), I'm using Precision Nutrition as my template. It's pretty easy, Berardi has written about it a great deal.

Eat every 2-3 hours
Eat complete lean protein at every meal
Eat a vegatable at every meal
Do not eat other carbs (wheat, sugar, etc) other than meals immediately preceeding or following training.
No drinks with calories (booze, cola, juice)
Fruit anytime.

I adjust it a bit - one glass of wine a day is OK, and I will drink V8 to get vegatables in (in a pinch).

It's ok to break the rules 10% of the time. For me, that's 3-4 meals a week that I can skip, or eat bread, or have a cocktail.

Anyway, on to the training.
ME Squat
Warmup - 5 mins elliptical, level 10
Low close stance box squat
45x5
95x5
135x5
2x5 @ 185
Shold have used smaller jumps

RDL
45x8
135x8
4x8 @ 185

Spread eagle situps
4x8

45 degree back raise
4x8

Pulldowns
2x8 @ 150

Stretching.
Other than being weak, not too shabby. Benching tomorrow.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Huge!

Ravens vs Colts next Saturday. All the Colts history aside, this is a heck of a matchup.

But the way the Colts are playing, I'm not sure they'll put on much of a show.

Ravens 27, Colts 20.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Thursday, January 4, 2007

This just in: Wolves vote to eat sheep

An alternative title: Poll shows 78% of the people in California aren't particularly smart.

A poll shows that 78% of Californians support forcing companies to provide health insurance to employees, or to pay into a state fund to provide health insurance.

How is it so many people don't understand the following:

Health care is not a right
Health care is expensive
Employers provide health care benefits as an incentive to attract employees.

If we are going to mandate this, why not go all the way and mandate salaries, too?

Read this

As predicted, the government is trashing the Constitution via the Patriot Act. Here's an example.

Not only does it cost us our rights, now it's costing the taxpayers damages.

Today is the warmest day in the last week...

Clearly, a sign of global warming.

But wait, you say. That's silly. You can't make such a determination based on just a day in a week.

Actually, you can. And the U.K. government weather forcasting division has.

Because the only thing that matters is the last 160 years. The 10 warmest of those years have all been in the last 12. No matter the previous several million.

Thing is, this sort of thing hurts their cause, because it makes people like me (certainly a minority) more skeptical.

As Predicted

The Democratic control of the legislature has inspired the President to suggest not spending so much.

Too bad he didn't do that for the last 6 years.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Q: What is the best way to make a free newspaper worth what you charge?

A: Hire Michael Olesker.

Yes, the alternative to The Sun has hired ex Sun columnist and apparent plagiarist and known fact maker upper Olesker to write 4 columns a week.

We already don't take The Examiner seriously, now we can just pick it up from the front door and put it directly in the trash without bothering to do the Soduku.

Don't quit!

Lew Rockwell makes the case for Libertarian hope.

He's right, of course. Classical Liberalism has stemmed the tide of the State, and will continue to do so. We are all responsible to make it so.

Monday, January 1, 2007

First. Round. Bye.

The Ravens did what they had to do, beating the Bills, sewing up a 2nd seed and a bye next week.

They still get no respect, though. It's all about how good the Colts are. They aren't. They have a virtually unstoppable pass offense, and one of the most talented QBs ever. But they don't have a great running game, and the defense is awful.

At home, outside, the Ravens defense is better than the Colts offense. That's assuming the Colts win next week, which isn't a lock.

I'm more concerned about New England than anyone else. But I think the Ravens can go all the way.

Happy New Year!

We did more than we usually do, and it was a heck of a lot of fun. I'm not one for crowds and the whole New Year's Eve thing - been there, done that, I'll leave it to the youngsters now. But we did want to have a nice dinner, and spend some time with friends, so out we went.

First, we got gussied up and went to dinner at Charleston. Now, I'm not Spamwise, but I do want to give you a run down of what I had and what it was like.

I had 'The Season' tasting menu, with wine pairings. $150. (Mrs. Stagg had 'The Sea'.)

Amuse Bouche
Green Lentil Soup with Gamebird Stock
Champagne, Pommery "Brut Royal" NV

It's like a spoonful of soup and 3 ounces of bubbly. What I found interesting is they were fantastic together.

First Course
Phesant and Rabbit Terrine with Torchon of Foie Gras, Roasted Walnuts
Vouvray Moellus "Le Mont" Gaston Huet 1997

My first Foie Gras. WOW. The wine with the food was like an explosion of flavor (all good).

Second Course
Grilled Hearts of Romaine with a Reggiano Tuile and Sweet Garlic
Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, Marram "Anima" 2004

Again, the wine and the salad were just perfect

Third Course
Pan Roasted Duck Breast with Root Vegatables, 50 year old Balsamico
Rioja, Valsacro 2001

Duck medium rare, again, the wine was perfect. Interestingly, neither the wine or the duck blew me away on their own, but together, fantastic.

Fourth Course
Frilled Lamb Rack Chop with Prot Wine Reduction, Pommes Puree, Black Truffle
Zinfandel, Surh Luchtel 2004

Again, outstanding. I loved both the lamb and the wine on their own.

Dessert
Chocolate Trio: Chololate Baked Alaska, Bloor Orange Tart, Chololate-Caramel Creme Brulee
Banyuls M Chapoutier 2004

Decadent.

I'm usually not particularly expirimental with my food - I'm a Ceasar Salad, Rare Tuna, Steak eating kinda guy. I rarely eat duck, and had never eaten rabbit or Foie Gras. Cindy Wolfe makes being a little experimental with food fun and nearly risk free, helping folks like me open up to new things.

9.5 out of 10.

Afterwards we came home, walked the dog, and went to K's house for a little more food and drink with friends. Then to Gecko's, where I ran into two old friends, folks I hadn't seen in years. We planned to either go back to K's or back home to see the fireworks at midnight, but stayed - we were just having to much fun with everyone else. The bar wasn't too crowded, yet lively enough to make it a heck of a lot of fun.

Off to my parents' today for some of mom's cookin' and football.