Monday, January 23, 2012

Super Sunday

Giants and Patriots

So apparently it's going to be the New York Giants versus the New England Patriots in the Superbowl in about 2 weeks. Both teams had so-so seasons, not really shining until the end, but that's when it really counts. I'd like to be excited about this Superbowl, but I'm really not. I swear these two have played each other before. I'm not really sure about that. But I don't really care which team wins. I don't hate either team. I don't love either team. It's just kind of ... eh, whatever. I might watch it. It really should be a good game, to be fair. If both teams are able to field a complete team with minimal players lost to injuries then they should pound on each other pretty hard. I expect there will be some exciting passes and catches and some spectacular runs. Both teams are pretty well-rounded.

Joe  Paterno

Joe Paterno just died. He was in bad shape already, but he almost certainly would have lived a bit longer had he still had his football program and a reason to live. That homosexual coach, Sandusky, raping boys while Penn State did nothing about it went on for a long time before the whole thing blew up in everyone's face. I feel sorry for all concerned. Except for Sandusky. We live in a country that habitually laughs at sexual abuse and assault of men and boys, so it isn't surprising that this son-of-a-bitch got away with all that he did for so long. What is surprising is that anything was EVER done about it. And even then, it remains to be seen if he really gets any sort of punishment at all or just a "shame-shame" finger wag from a judge and then he's back out on the streets again walking hand-in-hand with the likes of Lorena Bobbitt and other sex offenders like that.

Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale is back as the sexy vampire that seems to have started this whole vampire fascination up again. And she seems to still be able to draw quite a crowd when she does it. Then again, the sight of her in that skin-tight black leather suit she wears is better than a testosterone patch for stirring the hormones. I don't know that I'll go see this latest one in theaters, but I did watch all the others despite not giving a flying fart about vampire movies in general and I'll be watching this one eventually, probably when it shows up in Walmart's $10 bin, if it ever does.

Hey, I only just today got Fight Club when I found it in the $10 bin, so you should really take my word on this one. I do have a little bit of self-control, you know. I'm probably the last person in the world not to have seen Fight Club before. I hope it doesn't suck.

The Australian Open

Serena Williams got pounded by a 53rd ranked opponent named Ekaterina Makarova in the Australian Open tennis tournament today. I saw her play the other day and win. I also saw what little they showed of Maria Sharapova's match. I have to say, as a guy and if it were up to me, I'd rather have just watched Sharapova play. I'm not saying she's much better-looking than Serena Williams, or slimmer and sexier and generally more exciting in a tall, hot, blonde, female sort of way. But then again, I'm not saying that she isn't, either.

OK, so anyway, that's my summation of this past weekend. Can you tell that I watched a lot of TV? Yeah, there is still crap in my lungs and I can definitely tell that I am not fully well yet. This crap, whatever it is, has really hung on with me like nothing I've encountered in a long while. I really do need to hit the gym tomorrow. I guess if my lungs are still not 100% maybe I should just do a light workout, but I think I should still do something because I've been out of the groove of consistent workouts for far too long now. There comes a point where your body is as much deteriorating from lack of exercise as it is from being sick. I realize it can be more harmful than helpful, or perhaps healthful is the better word, to work out while sick. But if it is simply the case that I am overly mucousy in my lungs (yeah, I don't know if 'mucousy' is a real word, but you know what I mean, right?) then I should think I can do something that doesn't tax my lungs too badly without harming myself. I guess maybe tomorrow I'll search it on the internet just to make sure.

* WORKOUT UPDATE: OK, so clearly trying to force my body to accept my theory that I'm not REALLY sick anymore was a definitely FAIL. I so very much am. My bench presses were ridiculous. Not only could I not generate any power, my endurance was a joke, too. I kept doing set after set, telling myself, "once I get warmed up and in the groove, the strength will come back. OK, that didn't work. Once I get warmed up and in the groove, my endurance will come back and I will be able to do more reps. OK, that didn't work ..."

In my defense, it is an unusually hot and humid day and I don't generally do well in terms of power on hot and humid days. Even so, this was more than just a reaction to that. I was awful. The only thing that didn't go badly was my 1 mile run at the end of the workout. I didn't push it, but I did alright even so. It's a bit ironic, because you really need your lungs for running. And yet this was the only thing seemingly unaffected by my illness.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the 13th - Bleargh!

I've been sick. Something has been going around. I managed to resist it for a long time, but it finally got me. Oddly, the combination of being sick and the medicine I have to take makes it hard to sleep. I mean, I sleep, but I don't sleep well. And then the next morning when I have to get up at oh-my-God-its-early I feel like death frozen and placed in the spare freezer down in the basement. So anyway, that means no gym time this week.

So what else is new? Hmmm

Sexual assault and torture versus peeing on dead soldiers
Some US soldiers were videoed peeing on the dead bodies of enemy Taliban soldiers. For some reason we are expected to get upset about this. I saw this video right after I saw the video of Keshana Wilson, a 14-year-old-girl, being shot in the vagina and electrocuted by a police officer with a Taser after he had slammed her against a car and then she raised her hands indicating that she surrendered to her assailant. The officer admits he aimed at her groin intentionally, as Taser recommends. Personally, I find the video of the Tasering and subsequent sexual torture of the unarmed teenaged girl far more offensive and alarming than the video of soldiers peeing on dead enemy soldiers, but maybe that's just me? I tend to think that a society where police officers are more abusive and prone to sexual assault and genital torture of unarmed citizens while soldiers in combat are held to an oddly tame standard is a society with a serious moral schizophrenia crisis. But again, that's probably just me who thinks this way.

The man who would be king
President Obama seems to be doing a bunch of stuff that the President lacks the legal authority to do, and then he dares anyone to do anything about it. Congress could impeach him, but if history is any guide, they don't have the guts. The problem with this is that even after Obama leaves office, if nothing was done to uphold the laws then the next presidents who come after can do the same thing and point to Obama's actions as legal precedent granting them the power to do likewise. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago talking about this. The author clearly likes Obama, but he pointed out the dangers of the "good prince" crisis where people allow some leader whom they think is moral and righteous and good to violate the law and get away with it. It inevitably leads to more of the same with the "princes" who come after, and then everyone is upset and wonders how things got out of control. Well, its because you let them.

Heather Locklear is in the hospital. She just had a broken engagement and next we hear she's being rushed from her home to the hospital, but they won't say what happened. Who knew you could be so good-looking and yet have such a disastrous personal life? I mean, besides everyone in Los Angeles, that is.

Casey Anythony
Casey Anthony, the 20-something girl who murdered her own daughter, has said that she was molested by her father when she was younger and that she became pregnant with Caylee after being drunk at a party and passing out. She remembers nothing about the party and believes she may have been raped. I find this interesting because it wasn't mentioned in her trial and only came out after. Had she been lying about this, like Lorena Bobbitt or Mary Winkler, it would have been her entire defense - "I'm the real victim" - and would have won her some sympathy. She still would have been hated by the women of the jury, but it would have gained her sympathy otherwise and made things go easier for her. For it to come out afterwards, though, makes me wonder if it is actually true.

I just farted and it was really potent.

Bad idea for a tattoo
A very foolish man in Iran had a popular saying tattooed on his penis. It was done using a hand-held needle, no electricity involved at all. And apparently the tattoo artist, not being acustomed to doing work on penises, pushed the need in too far. The result is that the Iranian man now has a permanent erection and doctors are unable to make it go back down again. In addition to the popular saying, "good luck with your journeys," he also had his girlfriend's initials tattooed on it. If they ever break up he's going to have a tough time dealing with that one.

Monday is a holiday for me. I just found this out. Today is Friday the 13th, the roads are frozen, the doors of my car were frozen shut, I am sick and under the influence of medications, and I have a long, cold, 3 1/2 hour drive ahead of me immediately following work on dark, frozen streets, and I am not looking forward to that. I hope I make it home alive tonight.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Football: Alabama vs LSU - boy was I wrong

A few weeks ago I wrote about a college football game between the University of Alabama and Louisianna State University in which LSU beat Alabama in a totally defensive game and took over the number 1 spot in the college rankings. Alabama ultimately settled at the number 2 spot. I noticed that neither team had a decent passing game and predicted that because of this shortcoming there just seemed to be no way the season could end with either one of them at the number 1 spot in the rankings. I predicted that someone somewhere would come along with a decent passing game and tear them up.

Well, no one did. In fact, I can't recall anyone even coming close. Oregon was probably the best chance of a passing team beating either one of them and LSU tore Oregon to shreds in the first game of the season, knocking Oregon out of the running for the title game right from the start.

Oregon did manage to work their way back up to the number 4 or 5 spot in the rankings, though. And they put on what I consider to be the best bowl game showing of the season so far against the equally exciting Wisconsin Badgers. Who chooses a badger to be a team mascot? For that matter, who chooses a duck? All I can say about that is at least neither team wore pink all season long. Anyway, enough about ducks and badgers. That was the best Rose Bowl I've seen in a very long time.

So LSU beat Alabama in overtime with a less than stellar score of 9-6 last time they met, if I remember correctly. There were several missed field goals by Alabama and only a handful of passing attempts. Mostly it was running the ball and tackling the runner with the ball and not a lot of excitement. I mean, I guess for LSU grads and Alabama grads that was an exciting game, but for the rest of the world it was just a lot of no one being able to do much.

Everyone is over on Facebook talking about the game. I guess it's on TV tonight? I guess I'll watch it. I might not. I don't know. I haven't made up my mind. I'd hate to miss the BCS Championship game, but good Lord, their last meeting was no thriller.

Speaking of thrilling games, did you watch Denver beat the Pittsburgh Steelers last night in NFL playoff action? I did NOT see that coming. Pittsburgh had some critical injuries prior to the game that left them without key players, plus a few injured people who went ahead and played, but were limited by their injuries. The quarterback was chief among them. Tebow got a little help from above in that game because if the full-strength Pittsburgh team had been on the field it would have been a different game. Then again, that's football for you. That's the way it goes.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Leg Day

OK, the Christmas and New Year's Day lull has passed and I am official back on my normal schedule again. That means I went to the gym Wednesday and tried to hit my legs with the usual workout, but a little heavier this time.

The fart position
I started with leg presses. I like the leg press machine this gym has. I can slide a bar to the side and separate each side of the sled so that each leg has to lift its weight separate from the other leg. That way if one leg is stronger than the other I can make it work harder instead of letting one leg do most of the work and never really noticing that it's happening that way. Also, if one knee bothers me, or one leg needs a few extra reps, I can take care of that with no problem.

Anyway, I did a warm-up set with 90 pounds loaded onto the sled and steadily added 45 lb plates on each side until I was up to 6 plates on each side. I tried to do 10 reps with each set and keep up an explosive speed for the lifting portion as best as I could, but on the last set I only managed 5 before my quadriceps started to complain that I was about to pull a muscle. I'm familiar with that pain. It's a warning right before the real injury happens. So I stopped.

Anja "legs" Langer
Years ago when I was young I remember a hot German female bodybuilder name Anja Langer who had legs that made men weak in the knees and a bit 'pumped' in the pants. She said she never got good results working her hamstrings on a standard hamstring machine. She always did stiff-legged deadlifts for her  hamstrings instead. So I went and grabbed a pair of 40 lb dumbbells and did 3 sets of 12 reps of stiff-legged deadlifts. My left knee wasn't overly thrilled about it, but it didn't seem to injure it or anything. I try to lock my knees when I do these. That's the old style. These days they say not to lock your knees on any exercise. I probably should change my style, but I never do.

Leg extensions
Despite my slightly injured quadriceps, I went to the quad machine and did 3 sets of leg extensions. I don't think the weight I was using was anything much. I can't remember what it was, but it was half as much as I did back in college. My quads haven't been the same since knee surgery, but it isn't as if I've really focused on forcing them to grow and get back to their old strength levels either.

I did some calf work on a funky machine while some college kid did a far better calf workout on the machine next to me. Then I hit abs and went upstairs to run.

I try to run at least a mile after every workout just to keep in some kind of aerobic condition so that it isn't quite so hard to get back into shape for a road race when one pops up that I'm actually interested in. I figured one tiny mile should never be that hard and I could steadily increase my speed with each workout. But after skipping more workouts than I made it to all through December this run was pure crap. I was slow and quickly huffing. Of course, winter dries out my sinuses and when my sinuses go completely dry then running makes me puke. Yeah, more information than you ever wanted to know, but it's true. My sinus troubles and allergies cause me to throw up when I run in seasons that screw with my sinuses, which is most of them.

I went to the lockerroom and showered and then grabbed my stuff to leave. Someone had left his military badge in my locker and I apparently hadn't noticed it when I put my stuff in. So now I have this guy's top secret missile defense government badge and I need to somehow get it back to him. I'm sure he noticed he was missing his badge as soon as he got back to work and couldn't get past the military police due to his not having it anymore. Anyway, I'll figure out what to do with that later. Right now my legs hurt and I need to go to bed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year and Another Missed Workout

Well Happy New Year! It's 2012 and I had thought I might try to get back into the gym today. My car has other ideas, though. I had my oil changed at Express Oil Change and whatever they did under there caused the 'Check Engine' light to come on. It hasn't gone off despite my best efforts and I can't find what's causing it to be on in the first place, so today during my lunch hour, instead of the gym, I'll be driving over to my mechanic and dropping off my car. This is how 2012 is beginning for me. I hope it gets better from here, but we'll see.

I've been thinking more and more about attempting a triathlon. It's funny because while doing all this thinking I haven't been in the gym at all. You don't do a triathlon in your head so this is counterproductive. I need to either decide to do it and make the gym a higher priority or give up the idea and focus on something else.

It's freezing cold here today. It was 25 degrees Fahrenheit when I woke up this morning. Just 2 days ago it was 60 degrees outside. All day yesterday the wind was howling like mad and I knew a cold front must be coming in strong, but I never expected it to be quite this cold. Oh well, that's January for you. Winter is here.

I stole the following idea from LX in Texas ...