I shall fear no lid...

I know I promised that I would confine the workout shit to my other blog, but I'm too excited about this to not blog it. Some of you may recall that I have been working on my grip strength. The grippers that I use are the Captains of Crush (CoC) line made by IronMind. To put things in perspective, the little plastic grippers you see at your local godless corporate superstore call for about 30-40 pounds of pressure to close. The approximate poundage needed to close the CoC range is listed below.

CoC #1 - 140 lb.
CoC #1.5 - 167.5 lb.
CoC #2 - 195 lb.
CoC #2.5 - 237.5 lb.
CoC #3 - 280 lb.
CoC #3.5 - 322.5 lb.
CoC #4 - 365 lb.

I started out with a CoC #1, and mastered it pretty easily. Then came the overtraining, the injuries, the illness, and the painful starting over. I have been back to using the grippers regularly for a while now, but at a much more sane level of intensity than before. I have been doing proper warm up sets, stretching my fingers out, and giving my hands time to rest between workouts... which is all stuff that is found in every training manual, but why would I listen to experts, right?

So with the hard lessons learned and the injuries behind me now, I've been making some progress. About a week ago I finally closed the CoC #2 with my left hand. That was an amazing feeling, since my left side in general has been seriously lagging behind in strength development and coordination (ask any of my handball partners about how my left hand is "my lucky fin").

That was a nice dose of confidence, so I started hitting the #2.5 pretty seriously with my right hand. I have been close to closing it for a few weeks now, and today was the day! At the beginning of my evening kettlebell workout, when my grip was rested and fresh, I gave it a try and the handles touched pretty easily. I tried it again about an hour later, just to make sure it wasn't a fluke, and I was able to close it again.

In the grand scheme of things, it's not really all that important that I can generate 237.5 lbs of crunch with my right hand, but it does feel good to reach one of my short term goals. Also, it makes me the bane of pickle jars the world over...

Black Vatican Hardware Upgrade

My Tuesday class was cancelled, so I literally had nowhere to be all day. I got up at the crack of noon, and began the difficult task of breaking in my new Macbook Pro.

I got it on Monday afternoon, but due to my Monday evening class, I'd only played with it for a few minutes. Today I did all those things you do when you get a new computer - set up my email accounts, set my homepage, downloaded Firefox and Word for Mac, etc. I haven't, however, hooked this baby up to my old iBook G4 for file transfer yet, and I might not. I am enjoying the "clean slate" feeling of this shiny new toy. No old essays cluttering up the hard drive, no half finished blog posts on the desktop, no stale pr0n in the trash bin... It feels like New Year's Day - the future is full of promise, and resolutions of power computing.

"I resolve to properly categorize my bookmarks."
"I resolve to change my passwords every month."
"I resolve to keep food and drinks at a safe distance."
"I resolve to cycle my battery regularly to extend its life."
"I resolve to not use my desktop as a file cabinet."

Unfortunately, just as the resolutions of January 1st usually only last until the 15th or so, I know it won't be too long before I'm looking at my hard drive saying, "WTF is all this shite? When did I save 120 MB of lolcats?!

For now, however, it feels lovely. It is like skiing on fresh snow; I am alone on this pristine cyberslope, and each link I click on is a beautiful Telemark arc in the history window...

Wow - where did that come from? I don't even like winter sports.

Maybe it's time to put the Macbook down for the night...

New Accolyte

Since the Papal Hell Puppy has been reassigned to the D.C. branch of the Ministry, it was decided that FlockHall was underrepresented in the quadruped demographic. In the interest of cultural and species diversity, an exhaustive selection process was put into motion. After a final round of interviews yesterday, a female Havana Brown was chosen; Miss Quinn officially joined the Flock around 5pm Black Vatican standard time. She spent most of last night sleeping on my head, so she is fitting right in.

Just to clarify - I am not a huge fan of cats, but I do not, as has been reported, "fucking hate them." I was misquoted. I did say, "My mother had these cats; I fucking hated them." That is a very different thing. Miss Quinn is welcome here, and like any other member of my Flock, she is much beloved (Yes - I love you all, creepy as that sounds).

Frogs Are People Too

I was all set to just come in here and bitch about how Lewis Black stole my flying car joke, which I posted here, on this very blog, on July 18th of this year. I’m not looking for royalties or anything, just a little recognition and maybe some better seats at your next show, Lewis…

Instead, I’ve spent the last two days trying to figure out if Glen Beck is actually so deranged as to throw a living frog into boiling water on live television. In case you haven’t heard about it – the alleged amphibicide took place on the September 23rd edition of his show. In order to illustrate some arcane point about how the American people are being boiled alive slowly by John McCain or suddenly by President Obama, Beck appears to toss a small frog into a pot of boiling water, with fatal results. For the frog, alas.

After reading a dozen so-called news reports, and watching the video over and over… I just really can’t tell. He does look a bit stunned when it doesn’t jump right back out, but Beck is a consummate showman – that could be part of the act. What point this was supposed to make is beyond me. What I can tell is that Glenn Beck is one pathetic little monkey. He reminds me of a 5 year-old kid dancing around in his pajamas when company comes to visit. It’s kind of pitiful really, the way he is willing to do anything for attention and a bigger slice of the Nielson pie. It was making me feel kind of sad for him, as if he didn’t deserve the all the ire that is heaped upon almost daily – I mean, he’s sick, right? It was as I was leafing through the DSM IV in an attempt to diagnose his personality disorder when I suddenly remembered… he made 23 million dollars last year! Even if it is a sickness, it’s a lucrative one, and I kind of wish I had a case of it myself…

Becks lunacy aside, what does his popularity say about his fan base? I can’t believe that they’re really just a pack of ignorant hillbillies who would be amused by dropping live animals into boiling water. I mean, that’s just… wait, what? I’m sorry, hang on, folks… Oh – oh, they are? Ok, one of our fact checkers is telling me from the booth that they are just ignorant hillbillies. Ok, wow – I stand corrected. Well, in that case, I guess this is just par for the course. You can’t really expect much more from the demographic that made turning left for 500 miles a major televised sport.

Glenn – as one radio personality to another – let me give you some advice. This kind of crap may be good for ratings, but in humor, you really only have two choices – tell a joke, or be a joke. Looks like you’ve made your choice.

Fallout is a Harsh Mistress

Contrary to what you might have assumed, neither this blog, nor I, are dead. I wish I could say that I've been really busy or that I'm still sick, but no - the truth is, I've just been Lazy McSlackenheimer of late.

I only have two classes this semester, plus 3 credits of thesis research. Granted, those two classes (Sociobiology and Research Methods) are both beastly, but in past semesters I have taken 3 classes and still had time to post. I'm not sure what the deal is this semester, but it seems like I have less time to write than ever. I am beginning to believe that the days are shorter this year. It probably has something to do with the economy - fucking greedy Wall Street types...

Several of the BCPs have tried to motivate me by offering topic suggestions. Some have suggested that I go back to my usual pissy ranting about the ennui of college, but even I'm tired of that. Another wanted me to put more effort into bashing the talking heads of the Right, but that would mean that I'd have to listen to Limbaugh and Beck more. The Papal cardiologist and the Papal therapist both recommended against it, as listening to those asshats simultaneously depresses me and makes my blood pressure soar.

One even offered me a book concept. She said, "You know how you're always saying that the average American doesn't begin to understand why the Proletariat should rise up and throw off the Capitalists? You could write a book that explains it to them!"

"Yes," I said, "but that book has already been written. It's called The Communist Manifesto."

"Well, yeah, but you're so funny!" Then she wrinkled her pretty nose and said, "Besides, no one wants to read Marx."

Despite these adorable shows of support, I have remained a non-productive lameass. Some of the problem is related to my brief but intense fling with Fallout 3 (if that game was a woman, I'd buy it chocolates and ask it out - and it would say "no," because it's way too good for me, and I would just love it from afar... maybe wait outside it's house... and end up with a restraining order). I can't really blame my silence on that, however, as the Xbox here at Flockhall is currently out of commission, due to the red ring of death. It is by sheer force of will alone that I am not at WalMart right now buying a new one.

Truthfully, I believe it is mostly due to my lack of a proper schedule, which is directly related to my lack of regular workouts. Simply put, if Linus no tired, Linus no sleep. Now that I'm well enough to sweat again, I'm trying to remedy that lack. We have been playing handball for the last two weeks, I've been swinging the kettlebells again, and I've started going back to the MMA gym as well. I am taking it easy, however, as I am finally accepting the mileage my body has on it. I don't want a relapse of the mystery virus, nor do I need to tweak my shoulder again. I just want to be tired enough to fall into bed around 11:00 every night, so I can rise early and get stuff done. If that works, I should be able to take some daytime shifts in the computer labs, and that is when the blog magic happens.

So - if you have missed my inane blathering here, make the correct obeisances before whatever heathen altars you frequent, and pray that I sleep. Light candles, make burnt offerings, anoint things, or even one another - I'm authorizing you to pull out all the stops. Once you get the attention of the supernatural entity of your choice, ask nicely, like you would ask Santa.

Not Mono, but Dying Just the Same

In my ongoing quest to destroy what little readership I have left, I've been posting nothing but political rants and Veganazi propaganda. Despite this, my tracking software indicates that my daily number of hits has remained steady. This led me to wonder just exactly who my readers are. I wanted to equip my corps of flying monkeys with a list of referral URLs and send them out to hunt you all down, but the boys down in Legal said no. Apparently it's some kind of liability issue if you cause people to freak out by subjecting them to living proof that their childhood fears are real. Stoopid Wizard of Oz PTSD...

In order to give you a post that will neither destroy your faith in the political system, nor ruin your lunch (you filthy omnivores) I'll just try to fill you in on some changes in my life.

I am working what I hope is my last overnight shift in a computer lab, ever. Because the class I am the GA for is in the mid-morning, my office hours are in the early afternoon, and my own classes meet in the evening, working 03:00 - 07:00 means I'm not getting anywhere near enough sleep. If you follow my fitness blog, you may recall that I mentioned a blood test for mono a few weeks ago. Turns out that I don't have mono, nor do I have a host of other viral nasties, but they are not sure what IS wrong. All they can tell me is that I have a lingering viral infection, and the treatment is rest. Anecdotally, I have to agree. If I get 6-7 hours of sleep on a given day, I will begin to cough by late afternoon. If, however, I get 8-10 hours of sleep my cough does not return.

I have thrown myself on the clemency of my boss, and begged for some day shifts. Failing that, I'd be ok with slipping back to a "subs only" status on the schedule, where I'd only work the shifts that others give up because of personal conflicts. Hopefully, he will oblige - if not, I'll just have to quit outright.

In other fun news, I am getting certified to judge ISCF MMA bouts. It's a bit like the judging in boxing; a "10-point must" system, with equal weight given to standup striking, clinch fighting, take-downs, positioning, submission attempts, ground striking, and overall control. It means that I will be one of three sanctioned judges at the next cage fight in Black Vatican City, which happens to be taking place on the 11th of September. If you are local and would like to come to the bout - there are three championship belts on the line - contact me by email and I'll give you details on getting tickets.

Anywho, I have some poll results for you. The question was:

How do you want to see the health care issue resolved?

(This, of course, assumes that you see health care as an issue. If you don't, you may not have felt the need to participate in the poll. You also may not feel the need to remove your cranium from your rectum. Your call...)

The Results:

A single payer system, like the European models. 43%

A modification of the current system, with both private and public options. 56%

A slight reworking of the current system, with more options for those with pre-existing conditions. 0%

Viva la Capitalism! Fuck the poor and the ill - health care for the highest bidder! 0%

The cyber-faithful are divided, but both factions want to see some form of public health care - you godless Socialists. (I'm so proud of you...)

Thankfully, none of you punks chose that last response. Even if you had just done it as a joke, there would have been flying monkeys galore - liability be damned.


I know you hate it when I bring this up, but this is just plain fucked up.

The machine they use to grind the chicks is called a macerator... yeah, as in "to chew." Think about this when you order your next Egg McMuffin. Or anything with eggs in it... which is a lot more than you'd think. Read labels - and be horrified.