Archive for February, 2009

Sweatin’ to Somethin’

I’d recently (as in the past three weeks) reincorporated weight training into my fitness regimen.  I’m starting out slow, sticking to ‘circuit training’ versus muscle group focus.  It’s not the most challenging resistance workout but I’ve gotta start somewhere, right?  I don’t want to bulk up because I want to be in lean running shape, but I do want to define my musculature a bit.  I’d kill, for instance, to have washboard abs, but that may be a pipe dream. 

Presently, I lift every other day, and do all the muscle groups except for my legs (which I already work out hard enough with my running).  Using machines, I go in this order (with free weight alternative in parentheses):

Chest: Bench Press (or Dumbbell Press)
Back: Lat Pull Down (or Barbell Upright Rows or Dumbbell Rows)
Shoulder: Military Press (or Dumbbell Lateral Raises)
Triceps: Pressdown (or Dumbbell Kickbacks)
Bicep: Curls (or Dumbbell Hammer Curls or Dumbbell Preacher Curls)
Ab:  Crunches (or Leg Lifts)

On my off-days from running (no more than 2 days), I would do Leg Presses, Leg Extensions, and Calf Raises (either seated or standing).

Anyway, because I’m spending more time again in that part of the gym that has the weights, I’ve started to (re)notice a couple of things about my fellow weight trainers that piss me the hell off:

Hogging Equipment
There’s this beyotch in the gym that sits at a machine in between sets instead of allowing anyone else to work in a set.  Sometimes, there are other machines that can work the same muscle group so I have no problem going to those instead.  But in our gym, there is only one ab crunch machine, for instance, and people generally work in their sets.  However, whenever this beyotch is there, she remains at the machine until she completes all of her three sets.  I once asked her if I could work in a set, and she flat out refused saying that she was “almost done.”  Fucking inconsiderate…

Not Using Sweat Towels
There’s another asswipe in the gym who likes to work out in tank tops.  I don’t necessarily have a problem with this, but this bastard is a tall motherfucker, and drapes his sweaty pits over (instead of snaking his arms under) the part of the ab machine that’s designed for a person’s chin.  And he doesn’t layer a sweat towel over the part first, so that part gets the full blast of his smelly juices.  So, the next person who uses it, if not keen on the previous bastard’s sweaty ways, will be subjected to the pungency and stickiness of fresh sweat.  And even when I drape my own sweat towel over the part, I could still smell the bastard’s body odor.  Fucking disgusting…

I’m sure I’ll come up with more, but I should probably just have to mind my own damn business and get my workout on.

Signed, Sealed, Scammed

It’s probably now old news that the United States Postal Service (USPS) may soon be reducing delivery days to five instead of the current six in order to address its financial deficits.  This may or may not be too big a deal, but, in addition to increasing the price of stamps, it may be what’s needed to turn things around for this American institution.

So, how, in spite of this, can the USPS explain their Postmaster General, John Potter, receiving a nearly $80,000 salary increase last year plus a $165,000 “performance” bonus?  The USPS lost of over $2B in revenues last year.  Shouldn’t that, in fact, constitute ‘poor performance’ on the part of the Postmaster General?  In any other industry, this would probably result in a ‘poor performance’ rating.  Why, then, is he being rewarded for it?

But, is the revenue loss a result of the sign of the times?  Did emails, texting, and other constituents prolific in this Electronic Age do the USPS in?  “Pen Pals,” for instance, email each other rather than sending notes via mail; Regards.com is but one of many outfits from which electronic greeting cards can be sent; and instant downloads of music and books are making it possible for us to enjoy traditional physical media (which would’ve otherwise been mailed/shipped out) in a more portable electronic format.

Are our technological advancements actually to blame for the downfall of the USPS?  Was this a self-fulfilled prophecy?

When ‘Push’ Came to Shove

I asked for the Lexus!  Why cant you guys get it right?!

"I asked for the Lexus! Why can't you guys get it right?!"

Don’t let that image in the poster fool you; nothing that cool happened in the movie.  At least, I don’t think it did.  Well, not while I was awake.  What really irked me about this formulaic pic is that it ended in such a way that might lead to a possible sequel.  You know the type– it leaves certain questions unanswered, with that annoying wouldn’t-you-like-to-know-what-happens-next wink.

The only plus in the movie is that Dakota Fanning was not as annoying or creepy as in her other films.  There was one particularly amusing scene that probably called for more waterworks than the single teardrop Little Miss Freakshow produced.

Wait for this come out on DVD, if you were so inclined.  Otherwise, just muddle through any single episode of ‘Heroes.’  At least that wouldn’t cost you seven bucks.

Bullet Thoughts // 02.21.09

There really are a lot of ‘crazy folk’ in Portland.  The most amusing and seemingly harmless bunch are those folk who love to talk whether or not there’s another person on the other end of the conversation.  You see them on the streets, involved in one tirade or another, with topics as varied as the weather, God, and the donut shop around the corner.  One was on the bus with me today.  I don’t think he was completely out of his mind, but he certainly wasn’t all there.  He jabbered on while one other hapless passenger within his vicinity could do nothing but nod and respond periodically.  The guy truly didn’t care whether anyone was listening or not.  Like the Energizer Bunny, he kept going and going and going.  Oh, and he had a dog with him; a boxer of some sort that seemed docile enough.  The problem is that animals are not allowed on the bus unless they were in kennels or are labeled ‘service animals.’  I guess he got us on a loophole; he’s probably insane, after all, which means he’s handicapped and that dog was probably some sort of ‘service’ animal.  But, is there really a service dog for crazy?

—–

My favorite coffee shop near the house is finally showing some customer recognition abilities.  They still don’t care enough to know my name in spite of my being a weekly (or even more frequent) customer.  But, when I ordered my decaf Americano this afternoon, the lady behind the counter– one to whom smiling seems to be a strained facial expression and, therefore, should be avoided at all costs– said, “You like that in the big cup, right?”  I nodded.  Well, if nothing else, she probably knows me as the ‘Big Cup Decaf Americano Guy.’  I guess that’s better than nothing.

—–

Meanwhile, I’m at one of my favorite watering holes right now where I go in, find a seat, and the guy behind the bar immediately pours me a pint of Guinness without my even asking for one.  No sooner than I get my trusted laptop set up do I have a pint of cold, dark serving of heaven plopped down in front of me.  Greetings and pleasantries are overrated.  Just bring me my beer.

—–

At a wine tasting dinner last night, I fell into a riveting conversation with strangers about the state of society nowadays amidst ever-changing, constantly improving technology.  I’d previously blogged about this, of course, so my reservations where fresh in my mind.  We focused on how technology is at once bringing us closer together and tearing us apart.  I updated my Facebook status via my cellphone while the two ladies with whom I was involved in the discussion were waxing nostalgic about the ‘old days’ when people actually talked to one another rather than relying on emails, texting, or BBS’s.  I agreed and said that these days you’d be hard pressed to find a coffee shop without a sea of laptops adorning the tabletops, their individual owners hidden behind display screens, some with headphones on, effectively shutting out the world around them.  One lady, a psychologist by trade, says that we’ve evolved into a society of isolationists.  I paused my phone call to nod at her in agreement.

—–

I saw Coraline today.  In 3D.  Go see this film.  It’ll give you nightmares but it would be so worth it.

I Don’t Know About You, But…

…I don’t feel like taxpayers should support Nadya Suleman.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past month or so, let me recap the story of the “miracle” Octuplet Mom. Suleman is the proud mother of newborn octuplet in addition to six other children she already had. All fourteen children are a result of IVF (in vetro fertilization) allegedly from one donor, “David Solomon,” whom Suleman had supposedly briefly dated in the past. The accuracy and truth of this and other details Suleman shared in a primetime interview with Ann Curry several weeks ago are under scrutiny based on statement from Suleman’s mother, no less, stating that she had lied about many things.

Prior to the octuplet’s birth, Suleman was already living with her mother and was subsisting on settlement payments from lawsuits she’d won against her previous employer and the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. Supposedly, a majority of the settlement money went toward the IVF treatment that eventually lead to the octuplet’s birth. The successful birth of the octuplet became an overnight news sensation, thrusting the unknown Angelina Jolie-wannabe into the spotlight, so much so that she now has an agent and had a PR company.

Suleman was depressed and wanted a large family due to the “isolation she felt growing up”– a statement blatantly being denied by her own mother. But now that she has her large family, she can’t afford them, and is asking for donations via a website. Plus, her mother’s house is being threatened with foreclosure. What’s a mother of fourteen to do?

Rely on the generosity of the American people, that’s what.

But, should the burden of raising her fourteen children– a feat that she knew going into it was not something she could’ve possibly handled– suddenly become our responsibility or even worth our pity?

Call me insensitive but I’m pretty much on the “you reap what you sow” mentality here. She’s still probably going to get some sort of government subsidy because, well, that’s why America is so great. So, ultimatelty, I, as a taxpayer, am going to end up helping her whether I like it or not.

The thing is: I do want to help because of the children. But, I’m nervous that any help sent her way will only be used for more plastic surgery, more IVF treatments, or other ventures that harm more than help the kids.

What a sad, twisted tale…

Meme-ries, All Alone In The Moonlight…

Pilfered this meme from Rejected Reality:

THE RULES

Place an X by all the things you’ve done and remove the X from the ones you have not, then send it to your friends (including me).

THINGS YOU HAVE DONE IN YOUR LIFETIME

(X) Gone on a blind date
(X) Skipped school
( ) Watched someone die
(X) Been to Canada
(X) Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida
(X) Been to Hawaii
(X) Been on a plane
( ) Been on a helicopter
( ) Been lost
(X) Gone to Washington, DC
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robbers
( ) Recently colored with crayons
(X) Sang Karaoke
( ) Paid for a meal with coins only
(X) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t. [happens a lot]
( ) Made prank phone calls
( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain-naked
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Gone to the movies
( ) Been deep sea fishing
( ) Driven across the United States
( ) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
( ) Gone snowmobiling
(X) Lived in more than one country
(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
( ) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
(X) Seen the Statue of Liberty
(X) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
(X) Been on a cruise
(X) Traveled by train
( ) Traveled by motorcycle
(X) Been horse back riding
(X) Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR
(X) Been to Disneyland/World [been to both]
(X) Been in a rain forest
( ) Seen whales in the ocean
(X) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant
( ) Swam with dolphins
( ) Been to the Olympics
( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China
( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf
( ) Been spinnaker flying
( ) Been water-skiing
(X) Been snow-skiing  [I prefer Utah powder]
( ) Been to Westminster Abbey
( ) Been to the Louvre
( ) Swam in the Mediterranean
(X) Been to a Major League Baseball game [St. Louis Cardinals]
(X) Been to a National Football League game [St. Louis Rams]

Happy VD!

Whatever those initials may mean for you…