Monthly Archives: May 2011
Good for her.
What boils my blood?
“We are well and truly impressed. Often we don’t encourage people to fight back, because it can make things worse, but she acted with a great degree of bravery and she’s done a great job,” Detective Sergeant Shane Dye said.
So their official protocol is to just be a victim, to just lie there and take it and let violent criminals have their way with you.
Based upon that, I’m supposed to look my daughter in the eye and tell her if some man attacks her, she’s supposed to just lie there and take it.
If someone attacks my wife (again), she’s supposed to just “give them what they want”, even if it’s her dignity and life.
I have a problem with this. I wish more people did too.
Aunt-in-law sent me this video about Solar Highways.
I think that’s pretty cool, with a lot of potential. Not just that it provides us with a non-asphalt-based roadway solution, not that it provides a means to generate power, but the LED’s and what that can enable.
Of course, there appear to be lots of practical issues to have to work out, not just structural and environmental, but geez… that’s a lot of wire to have to lay down… do we have that amount of copper available? How about maintenance over 10-20-50 years?
Nevertheless, it seems to be some innovative thinking, and even if it doesn’t pan out, it’s great to see such ideas.
I’m glad I opted to not do much “work” over the long weekend, because it gave me a lot of time and ability to read, to think, rethink, and reevaluate.
I am changing my fitness goals and I do believe a more straight-up strength training program is in the cards for me. No matter what, it seems that route will lead me closer to where and what I want. My goals may change again later on: maybe I realize I didn’t want this, that I don’t like it, that I want something totally different, or this is good but just needs refinement or has a hole that I need to fill. Either way, the bottom line is to shut up and lift.
Before I can lift, I need to figure out how.
While originally I was leaning towards the StrongLifts 5×5 method, I’m thinking I may instead do the “original” system of Mark Rippetoe’s “Starting Strength”. I ordered his books and DVD, and since he’s up in Wichita Falls I reckon the should get here within a few days. Meantime, I’ve been reading through the SS wikia. Why his? Frankly, there’s more information and a lot less hype-y bullshit. It’s old-school, proven, and straightforward. Plus, there’s a lot more support and resources for learning how to do things right, which is key. Just watching some YouTube videos of Rippetoe discussing proper form on squat taught me a LOT that I didn’t know, and apparently a lot of people don’t know since I’ve obviously gotten a lot of wrong advice over the years.
The one catch? I will not be able to do the original SS program (A – squat/bench/deadlift, B – squat/press/power cleans). Instead, what I’m going to have to do is his Practical Programming Novice program: Mon – squat/bench/chin-ups, Wed – Squat/press/deadlift, Fri- squat/bench/pull-ups. Why? There’s just no way at the gym I go to that I can do the power cleans. Not enough room, consideration for other patrons, etc.; if you saw the gym, you’d understand. Kinda sucks, but there we go. I’m actually not even sure how deadlifting will work out given the room factor. Regardless, I think things should work out alright.
Another thing I’ve decided is to fully track my progress here, including weights. There’s an ego thing involved for sure because hey… we’re men, we’re supposed to be strong, and lifting weights less than 3 digits (or really, 135#… meaning a proper olympic bar with 2 45# plates) is a hit to the male ego. To post that today I only benched 85# is like proclaiming to the world in a tangible, measurable way how wussy I am. But… screw it. We all have to start somewhere. My strength is what it is. The difference? I’m doing something about it. If this program works out as it should, I’ll be putting on more weight every workout, I’ll be growing stronger by the day, and it won’t be all that long before I stop working with “wussy weight” and am moving around more weight than I ever imagined. But I have to be humble. I must check my ego. I must remember the long-haul. In the end, it will all pay off.
Getting concrete…. I may stay out of the gym this week and instead work on form and movement at home. Why? Well, one simple thing is I just gave blood so I need to wait a few days to let me arm heal up. But more importantly, I still have a lot of information to digest. Plus, it’s difficult to refer to my laptop while in the gym. Instead, I can watch videos, read instructions, and work on the basics at home so I’m not wasting time (mine and of others) in the gym. Mental. Visualization. Preparation. Get it right, get form down. That’s been my biggest issue so far, so why continue to fuck around and do it wrong?
Onwards and upwards.
I must like going to the gym because I hate that I haven’t worked out in over 2 weeks. I caught something (I’m thinking when I went to the Lazarus A.D. show), sore throat, then turned into a wicked sinus infection. It’s taken 10 days of antibiotics and finally I can breathe normally (take my last tablet tonight). Still a bit of hacking up crap, but geez… this sucked! Anyways, I finally feel well enough to go to the gym. Thing is, I won’t be going back for a few more days as I’m going to donate blood tomorrow so I’ll need a few days off. I think it’s a worthwhile trade.
While the time off has sucked, it’s also done me well. I was doing a very simple full body routine. It was a good routine to get me back into the groove, but I knew it wasn’t a routine I could stay for the long term, just enough to get my body used to lifting again. I was thinking about what to do and was thinking about taking a traditional 2-day split working 4 days a week, doing something like upper body Mon/Thu and lower body and abs Tue/Fri. I’d keep with the same basic compound exercises I’m already using but then add in an isolation exercise per bodypart, like keeping bench press and add in dumbbell flies, or expanding to hit other muscles in the group, like keeping barbell rows and adding in lat pulldowns. That was my plan.
But I’m not so sure I want to keep on it.
I was flipping through old bookmarks and went to the Beast Skills website. There was a video of the guy in a powerlifting competition and he mentioned how he used the “Wendler 5/3/1 method”. Never heard of that before, so off to Google I went.
Very interesting stuff. I like his approach, simple, no bullshit. You can Google for all the information you want, or pick up his eBook. I bought the eBook, it’s a quick read, but is full of a lot of useful information. Found a bunch of other useful information out there too.
So I tossed around the notion of trying his method, but the more I read the more I realize no, it’s not right for me. I’m still a beginner (some classify a beginner as anyone that can’t yet squat 1.5x his bodyweight; so, I’m a beginner); it’s a routine meant for later. But as I dug around I started to read about guys like Mark Rippetoe and his “Starting Strength“, and even found this StrongLifts 5×5.
I got to thinking.
All my life whenever I lifted weights I did it in a bodybuilding manner, so naturally when I started up again here I was taking that approach and mentality.
The more I think about it? I don’t want to do that. Well yes, I do want to look good… I don’t want to look like a fat blob that can move a lot of weight but can’t tie his own shoes without getting winded (Jim Wendler’s whole reasoning for coming up with 5/3/1 resonates here), but I also really no longer care about worshiping Joe Weider. I want functional strength. And yes, I want to move a lot of weight. Sorry, CrossFit doesn’t appeal to me (sorry Dave!). For the first time, powerlifting holds some appeal in my book.
So I think I’m going to throw it all out the door and start over. From what I can read, the SS or SL5x5 would be a good place to start. And really, SS would be THE place to start, but I’m going to start with SL5x5. Why? Because they’re both based upon the same theory, but SL5x5 is actually better for the pure rank beginner, especially since I don’t have a strength coach to help me out. Even the SS wikia promotes this approach (it’s a wiki so take it for what it’s worth, but still. Updated: apparently that blurb comes straight from Olympic Coach Glenn Pendlay, so I reckon that’s some sound backing). In trying to sort the wheat from the chaff, the only real downside to the SL5x5 is that I’ll probably stall out faster and want to back off to SS (e.g. from 5×5 to 3×5) or SL does have a “SL3x5″ and “SL1x5″ sort of deload progression so, there’s something to it all. But either way, they should get me going. Then once I truly stall out on these, then something like Wendler’s 5/3/1 can come into the picture. When will that be? Who knows… everyone’s different.
But I think I want to give this a try. I’ve been rolling it around in my head for a few days and while initially it’s going to feel like a big step back, the ego check will be good because well… I think reading Wendler’s book gave me a lot of perspective, to consider the real long term goals: on his system you’ll only go up 5#/month on bench/overhead and 10#/month squat/deadlift, but that’ll add up to around 50# and 100# at the end of a year, and over the long haul, that’ll amount to some amazing gains. But it’s all about the long-term, not about the instant ego gratification. I’m older now, I think I’m willing to accept that.
I’m also going to order some of Rippetoe’s books.
We’ll see how it goes.
Flipping channels on the TV and I see that VH-1 Classic is all heavy metal all weekend.
Rock on! \m/
And then… you realize, it’s VH-1… the “old people” music. And not just VH-1, but VH-1 Classic.
And it’s all old metal, which of course is cool in my book. I just watched a “Classic Albums” on Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” album. Awesome album.
Maybe it’s just amusing to watch the rebels of my rebellious youth becoming older. I mean, Jizzy Pearl’s recent rants on Metal Sludge sound like he needs to end them with “get off my lawn!”. When you see the guys in Slayer with their kids, or things like James Hetfield going to his daughter’s ballet class.
Yeah, we all get older. We’re just not as angry any more. Life changes, priorities change.
But in the end, well… Lemmy says it best: We are Motörhead, and we’re (still) gonna kick your ass.
Here in Austin, a women hit and killed a pedestrian. The woman left the scene, but was later apprehended and charged. Here’s the story.
I’m not here to talk about the incident itself, but rather the reporting of the incident.
The local news is making a big to-do out of this because of the woman’s job: she’s a staffer for a Texas State Representative.
Why are we supposed to care about this? Why is her day job something to focus on? Why does that make this more newsworthy than other hit-and-runs? Is it because she’s young, pretty, and blonde? The news media does suffer from “pretty white girl syndrome“. Is it because she works for a Republican and the liberal news media wants to try to draw some sort of evil connection?
If this woman worked as a garbage collector, would they care? even if her boss was a Republican?
Can someone please tell me why this angle of reporting? Why is it newsworthy? Why does it matter?
Or is it just their bias showing through?
I’m embarking on a little skunkworks project with someone. We need some sort of project hosting so we can share source code. My first thought was to things like Google Code’s project hosting, but that and many others require the project to be public and open source, or at least, must be public and open source if you want free hosting. Again, this is a skunkworks gig so, we need it to be private and we have no funding so free is the only thing we can do.
Within a couple hits in Google, I found this excellent website: Subversion Hosting Comparison. The last update was months ago, but it still seemed relevant enough. A few clicks to configure my requirements and I settled upon Assembla.