Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I got home, had a snack and digested for a bit, changed clothes, and at 5:49 I got started.
I finished the first 20 at 6:01.
I stopped long enough to flick on the simpsons.
at 6:22 I was half way. I stopped to take on some water, and headed for the home stretch.
I finished right at 6:40.
I am sweating like a baptist in a whorehouse.
My surgically repaired shoulder is sore, and I have a serious runner's high.
I am wiped out, but I did it.
hells yeah.
Have a great night.

A challenge.

Everybody loves a challenge, especially me.
So in the order to break my new kettlebell in right I am going to go for it:
100 turkish get-ups with the 35 pounder.
The rules:
I can take as long as I need, but must do 50 with each arm.
I must have the bell at full extension unless I am lying on the ground (either switching hands, or gasping for air: no getting up, then dropping the bell and flopping to the ground, and no getting half way up, resting, then finishing the rep.) exceptions include needing to use the restroom, get a drink, or throw up.
No rest period may last more than 3 minutes... and that's it.
Wish me luck.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Under the bar.

Great article on EliteFS. Makes me consider driving over to Spokane to train at Irongladiators. I'd consider driving an hour, but 3.5 each way is a bit much.
I bought Dave's book since it's on sale, I'll review it once I get it and get through it.

Totally Weekend!

quick run down of the weekend's events:
Friday: Grandfather-in-law's birthday. Catered event at their house. I was tired and cranky, but I like my in-laws quite a lot.. so it was a wash. Had some laughs, but would have rather been on my couch and to bed early.

Saturday: rowing practice, coffee and breakfast with friends, then Try-rowing bash. By the time I got to the gym in the afternoon, I was whipped. I ground out my leg workout, but it was more effort than 'best.' That night the wife and I went to our local for some conversation and I had some fish-n-chips. It was a good night.

Sunday: Inspired by CES and Christine I have decided to jump headlong into kettlebells. So the wife and I went to go buy some. The place we went to is sold out, but They're holding some for me near work. I'm going to pick them up on my lunch break. Then we went to the market (I love the market) and the Outdoor Sculpture museum.
All in all a good weekend.

Oh and I added 2 shots of espresso to some vanilla protein powder. Tastes like a thick vanilla latte. Quite tasty.
I hope you had a great weekend.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sad times.

Wednesday, WSM runner up, and fellow Washingtonian Jesse Marunde passed away. This was a guy who pushed not only himself and competitors, but really worked to popularize strength athletics in the U.S. Seeing Jesse on WSM inspired me to get back into training hard and heavy. One of my goals was to go out to Sequim to train at Jesse's Gym, not because of the facilities, but because of Jesse. Strength sports, strongman, and the world at large are a lesser place for this loss. I should have just gone, but I didn't want to embarrass myself. Now, he's gone and I am embarrassed at my inaction. My condolences go out to his family and friends.

Condolences can be sent to Jesse's family via the forums at his website.

Story in the Sequim paper here.

First person account of what happened.

I wonder if they'll be my friend..

The other day I saw an old bronco with a David Allen Coe sticker and a Spazz sticker. They can be my wingman any time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Beautiful morning.

Showed up to the boathouse this morning, and the guys I was supposed to row with didn't. Didn't matter. The water was perfect. It was one of those mornings that really makes rowing so magical.
Would that the rest of my day had followed suit. Oh well.

Link pimpage.
My friend CES (after intense peer pressure) has his blog up.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

the straight edge thing...

“I have never thought of straight edge as an organized movement,I was never kidding about the lyrics and the decisions about my own lifestyle. I just wasn’t interested in engineering a code to be enforced on others.”
- Ian MacKaye

For 15 years I was Straight Edge. That is not to say I have changed my beliefs, or really my lifestyle since, but that I have grown disillusioned with the very thing this thing has become.
The entire premise of Straight Edge was that the people in the greatest position, those who were most willing to make a difference in this world were spending all of their time and energy pursuing things that were at best petty rebellion: getting wasted, getting stoned, getting laid. Pursuits that, while they annoyed the clergy and some parents, never accomplished anything. Straight edge was a rejection of those petty rebellions. An acknowledgment that instead; young, open minded people, the outliers of society; should be getting educated, getting vocal and making a difference.
The older guys I saw in St. Louis were putting their energy towards shouting down racists. Playing in punk rock bands, and talking to younger people (like me) about doing something.. anything positive. Everything I have seen makes me sad for what could have been.
If you listen to the old Straight Edge bands: Youth of Today, Minor Threat, 7seconds, Gorilla Biscuits. All of the lyrics were about doing, being, making changes. Now bands like Earth crisis, and most of the bands on the Victory Label ( some of which are bands that I like, btw) are just negative. How this person or that is full of shit, or wrong, or whatever. The whole "movement" for lack of a better term is negative, and full of hate. Rage is fine, hate is not.
Every scene I have been around has become one gigantic pissing contest. It has become it's own navel gazing petty rebellion.
When I was younger, I wore Xs so that others like me could identify with me. I wore a shirt that said "Straight Edge" so that I didn't have to deflect offers of beer at parties. I never did, wore or said anything to anyone not making those choices. I never questioned anyone who claimed to be straight edge about his motivations or whether or not he'd "broken his edge."
What do I care. The quality of the person is not in the labels he takes or is given, but in the quality of his actions.
I have no interest in anyone or group of people who categorically writes off others. It's no different than racism, classism, or misogyny.
I have no interest in drinking. Drugs never appealed to me. I am a very faithful married man.. but am I Straight edge? Who cares?

"For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed."
Clifton Fadiman

File me under 'M' for "Meat-Popsicle"


Ok, I've reworked my workout schedule.. I think I posted about that.. maybe not. Yesterday was DE squats.
It goes a little somethin' like this:
5@45 (c'mon hips, open up.)
4@95 (little more, just relax)
4 @ 135 (that's better.. well good enough.)
8x2 @ 185: 60 sec rest. (last set of these.. not so dynamic)
all off a 13" box.
4x 8 glute hams

The DE squats will help the two biggest problems I have with my squat:
1) tight hips, which I am working on mercilessly.
2) explosion out of the hole.

We'll see. More on that when there's more on it.

In which I reveal my darkest sucrets..I mean secrets..

I have been tagged. There goes my shot at the Nobel prize. Oh well RULES:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.


1) I was once "master of my domain" for 8 months.

2) When I was a kid I had a Star wars: episode IV A new Hope poster. I would stare at it for hours on end and I swear if I stared at it long enough Luke would Lower his lightsaber, for just a second.

3) I had a girl break up with me in high school because I wasn't picking up on her attempts to seduce me. (For those that know me IRL, should not be surprised)

4) If you're ever at the Shoney's just outside of Memphis, don't eat the Ranch Dressing. Just trust me on this one.

5) My first "grown up thoughts" were about Linda Carter /Wonder Woman.

6) I met my wife in a bar, but I found her on the innerweb (we met before she was found)

7) I hate it when my food touches on my plate, when I eat, I tend to eat all of one thing before moving on to the next thing. I used to own a set of plates with dividers that were the bees knees.

8) One of the most painful things to happen to me on a Rugby pitch was a guy tackling me grabbed the front of my shorts, and tore out a 1" square patch of my pubic hair. It took months for it all to grow back.

Those who are tagged:
Dr. 1%
CES (as incentive for him to stop talking and actually start..talking)
Um.. that's it. Everyone else has already been tagged.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Salmon Risotto:
1 package crimini Mushrooms
salmon (I used 2 frozen wild salmon burgers)
4-6 cloves garlic
1.5-2 c brown rice (slow cooking, none of that quick rice junk)
1 bottle beer
1 q stock (I used homemade crab stock, use what you have)
1/2 c peas
olive oil (couple splashes)
2 oz cheese (parmesan/asiago/mozzarella.. whatever)
1 Tsp butter (optional)

rough chop the mushrooms and brown in a large pot (salt and olive oil).
Once the mushrooms are brown add a splash more oil, and the rice and garlic. stir 2-3 minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium, and add the peas and salmon and beer. (I used some henry weinhard's private reserve that we had left over from a gathering we had a while back). Once the beer evaporates/gets absorbed, cover with stock (preferably keep the stock just below a simmer in another pot).
keep adding the stock every 5-10 minutes to keep the mixture just covered. Stirring.. most of the time.
When the rice is just done, stir in the butter and cheese, and cook off any excess liquid.
Let sit for 5 minutes or so, and serve.
You could add some herbage if you want. You could use better salmon.. or none. You could skip the butter. It's your supper, do what you want.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I have to say it was a good day.. er weekend.

Oh man, What a weekend.
Friday I slept in (14 hours). I was supposed to row the Pair with Joe, but I was better off catching some Z's.

I got a workout in (my first DE bench workout mixed with some oly lifts), and the wife and I went to a matinée: We saw Ratatouille.
I really dug the movie. Anyone who really digs food, has kids, or genenerally likes cartoons, or any combination there of (CoughSJCough) should really go see it.

As an aside, I admire the french love of cooking, and in a professional kitchen "Brigade de cuisine" is the ideal, but in a home kitchen, the French ideal is a bit much (outside of a bit of mise en place) there is no need to be so formal. Rough chop is generally fine, things do no need to be 100% uniform. The Italians have a much better more relaxed attitude about things.

Saturday, I got up and went to practice. My rowing fitness has dropped off quite a bit, but my technique is still coming along. I was told I "got a few good strokes in." which is high praise considering the source. After that I had a "15 minute" meeting that lasted two hours. I was starving by the time I got out. Later the wife and I ran some errands, then headed to the gym for ME legs. two weeks ago, I hit a PR deadlift (without rowing in the morning) of 450, saturday I rowed and someone stapled 405 too the floor. The bar bent, but the weight stayed put. Purely coincidence.

We finally used up most of the last of our wedding gift credits. We picked up an espresso machine! Which considering it cost us nothing it will end up saving us a lot of cash in the long run. There were a few issues:
1) The first one we got didn't work and I had to take it back.
2) I pretty well suck as a barista.

Saturday night we went to this little Indian place in fremont. So tasty.

Sunday I got up and rowed the pair with Joe. We hadn't gotten the band back together for a long time, and I was pulling him around a bit, but all in all it was a lot of fun.

And Highlight of my weekend the Cards beat the braves 7-2 in 10 innings and I got to watch the whole damn thing. I do miss my Redbirds.

I have been tagged by SJ, that entry is in the mail, but I want to craft it a bit more.
Hope your weekend was as good as mine!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I am outta here.

boss gave me tomorrow off.
32 hours straight.
I've added a foot long subway to the below list.
I'm going home now.

working.. suffering.

Been here for 29 hours straight.
I have eaten:
My usual lunch (tuna (with garbanzos, mustard, flax) on spinich)
1 fish burrito on whole wheat tortilla, hold the rice.
1 batch Pad Thai (extra spicy)
1 spinich omlette with mushrooms and swisse cheese (tomatoes and cottage cheese on the side)
I have drunk:
9 shots of espresso
1 Vietnamese Coffee
1 drip Coffee
5 L H20

God knows when I'll get out of here.
I just want to get some food and go to bed.
Who knew cabling would be so important.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My assesment, they're all jerks!

Our condo assn. has decided to put a new roof on the building.. next month. We are being "assessed." I have till the beginning of September to come up with about a grand.
There is nothing immediately wrong with the roof. It will "need to be done in the next year or so." The others in our building "just want to get it done before the winter." Since they all have the scratch, they don't give a damn that we don't. JERKS.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tux measurements..

Just got measured for a tux for my little brother's wedding:

Height: 5'10"
Weight: 215 (approx)
Chest: 47"
jacket size: 48
Neck: 17.5
sleeve length: 35"
Waist: 35
Hip: 42

Not a bad baseline. A little thicker than ideal.
Funny thing my waist to hip ratio(.833) says I'm healthy, however my BMI (30.8) says I'm obese. Now to be honest, I could lose 15 lbs and be leaner, but how can I fall under one indicator's definition of "healthy" and another's definition of "obese?" Seems to me that something is wrong with one of those. I'll give you a hint it's initials are BMI.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Beauty is only skin deep..

I have been fortunate in my life to have a number of beautiful women call me a friend in a number of different forms. Some of them read this blog, some I haven't spoken to in years. This is not a list that excludes those not mentioned, but pays special attention to those who are:

My Wife: This list begins and ends with her. She is the most complete woman I know. Statuesque and adorable. Powerful and demure. Athletic and curvaceous. She could appear as easily as a Greek statue as a renaissance painting. She is sweet and insightful. She is the most amazing athlete. She is Humble and sweet. She is the sun that warms my life, the world I live in and the gravity that holds me to it.

AE: Lovely without subterfuge, no make-up, no lace. Just soft eyes and a fierce and complex intellect. She is warm and graceful. She begins her emails "dear." She takes her leave of Dug and myself with a peck on the cheek.

Dr. 1%: An expression of kinetic beauty. Constantly in motion. Always smiling, and lifts the whole world up with her. I can't remember time spent with her that I didn't laugh.

Amelie: Sweet and Demure. Intense and petite. She told me once, quite matter of factly, "you are good." I wish I appreciated that then, the way I do now. I wish I believed her now, the way I did then.

V: Statuesque and girly. An amazon with a Coach shield, and Prada grieves. Caring and matter of fact. Truly one of my best friends.

Boozetan: Curvy and shy. Beautiful and funny. She introduced me to Tom Robbins, and helped me see a lot of the traits I was showing other people. It doesn't matter that she covers her mouth with her hand when she smiles, because everything about her shows it when she laughs.

Most of these women are not now and never have been anything other than my platonic friend, but as I get older (and hopefully more mature) the more I appreciate the beauty of these, my friends. If you are on this list I hope you are happy, healthy and generally well.. and if you are my wife "D.D.I.L.M.D."

Meow Meow Meow Meow...


My family is nucking futs.

The big Irish Catholic side of my family had a reunion this weekend. Highlights:

Friday morning: worked out with my good pal CES. He brought his Kettlebell and taught me Turkish Get-ups, and K.B. snatches. I gave him some lessons on the ergometer. Get-ups kicked the stuffin' out of my ass.

I emailed my father (who is not part of the reunion) so that we could meet up for breakfast. He lives about 90 minutes/2 hours from where we were staying. I told him, we'll meet Saturday 9 a.m. I don't know where, but I'll find someplace in XYZ neighborhood. I'll give you a ring Friday. Things were hectic at my mom's (I ended up doing most of the cooking for 50+ people) I didn't call (I feel terrible about that). I called at 8 am on saturday assuming they'd be on the road, and i could give them directions. Long story short, they weren't. He waited for me to call, and then when I didn't instead of picking up the phone like any normal adult who had plans with another adult who was just trying to iron out the final details, he bagged the whole thing. I asked him if he wanted to meet up somewhere in between since the notice was short, he said "that's ok." Well it's really not ok. I make it down there once a year (at most) and you'd rather mope. I feel guilty, but also angry. I feel like we made plans and instead of picking up the phone, he decided to feel sorry that I was too busy to see him. Once I realized my mistake, we could have met up somewhere, done something, but he'd rather be pitiful and unhappy than see me. If anything he should have been a man, and my father, and picked up the phone on friday, called me a slack-ass punk for not calling. Hell read me the riot act, meet me at a fricken denny's and tell me to my face, but don't squander chances, life's too short.

Friday night my 65+ year old Great Aunt talking to my 20 y/o cousin:
G-A: So I hear you've got a boyfriend.
Cuz: Yeah, his name is Justin.
G-A: Does he have a big dick? (wink)
Cuz: Uhhh... he lives in L.A... I gotta go.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Monday, July 9, 2007

I can't get no...

Master card, I'm slightly dissatisfied.
I have been a team sport athlete all my life. There is something great in a close team, where everyone is pushing for a common goal, and every practice/drill/game you're pushing to get, or to keep a spot in the first side. It's magic when it happens. You have no choice but to respect the other guys who are busting their butts with you. That is gone from my life. I've tried the rowing thing, and it's really fun, but I can't tell if I don't like racing, or if it's all sour grapes because the guys I was racing with expected to lose. They had the same lame excuses all ready. It sucks to bust your butt and look at the guys around you and most of them are plodding along, crushed under the weight of their excuses. I really love lifting, and it's been really fun to get back under some (fairly) heavy weight, but there isn't a hardcore gym around here, and while mine has 2 platforms, bumper plates, a glute-ham, and just about everything a growing boy needs.. I work out alone, and it gets hard to keep pushing, to stay motivated. The question becomes.. what's next? Am I going to race in the single? Start seriously powerlifting? give Girevoy Sport a try? Something else? I've been doing some soul searching, and I haven't really found it. I guess more than anything, I've been surrounded by 20-30 like minded, guys working for the same goals for 20 years, and now.. I'm all by my onesey, with no long term goal.
Which alternates from getting me down (poor lost lonely soul.. everyone all together "Awwwww.")
To the world is my oyster! I'm going to take on a new challenge and totally kick it's butt!

Rocky mountain hiiiiiiiigh..

Ok, not exactly the Rockies, but the high Cascades. We packed in, there was snow, first night was a little cold, but not unbearable, day 2 we packed in further, it was sunny and there was lots of snow on the ground. We were hiking in T-shirt/shorts, I didn't wear enough sunscreen (I'm pretty crispy) With the reflection on the snow, I have a sunburn inside my nose, weird, and not fun. It was amazingly beautiful the whole time, Sunday we packed out. The whole trip was really fun. I'll post some pictures.. someday.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Totally PR!

I've moved things around in my exercise week, so last night was heavy legs. and inspired by this I decided to add some deads after my squat workout.
here goes:
squat (off 13" box.. more on this at the end)
2x 5@45
0@315 (doh)
0@ 315 (damnit!) I came off the box awkwardly the first time and barely missed.. the second I was a total headcase. Decided to call it a day on the squats.
4@ 120kg/264 lbs
2@ 160kg/352
1@ 180kg/396 (former max-10 lbs)
1@ 204kg/450 PR!
1@ do a little happy dance in the gym.
I should have taken smaller steps, and probably could have moved more weight, but after bombing out on the squat, I was frustrated, and wanted to "just rip some weight."
So I did.
I have great levers for deadlifting. long arms, short tibias, long femurs... squatting, not so much.
It really did make my week.
Happy friday!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Somedays, you just are THAT guy.

I had one of those days yesterday. I just seemed to mis-speak every time I spoke. Treading on proverbial toes. I felt misunderstood. Like my day was a sitcom where I was the annoying guy.. maybe I am the annoying guy, and yesterday was just a moment of clarity? I don't think so.. but then everyone thinks they're an above average driver too.

Could have had to do with the pan au chocolate breakfast and the piroshky lunch. That's more unbridled carbs than I've had in a long time, but it sure was tasty.

Hope you had a happy 4th.
Even those I suspect might be Canadian.

Monday, July 2, 2007


The DNS server here at work has been crazy-wack-funky for the past couple weeks, hence the intermittent posting.. BUT! it seems to be back. We'll see how she goes. Steady as she goes Mr. Christian!
The past three days has been proof of relative time. It went soooo flippin fast.
Friday night: The wife got the strange sickness that had me laid out a couple weeks ago, so we didn't do much. We went out to eat at Agua Verde which, I haven't been happy with for a good while now. Food is ok, but over-priced, and the service is awful. We went home and watched Man vs. Wild on discovery. I love this show.. more on that some other time.

Saturday: Got up and went to practice. We did lots of low rate work in the single.. apparently my "low rate" was too low, but I need to work on my slide control any way. Major blisterage as I haven't been in a boat for over a week. After that we had a coaching clinic at the boathouse with my father in law. It was very beneficial. I learned a lot. Afterwards squat day at the boathouse:
2x5 @ 45
1x5 @ 95
1x4 @ 135
1x 3 @ 185
1x 2 @ 225
1x 2 @ 275
1x1 @ 295
1x1 @ 315
good mornings:
1x 5 @ 135
1x 5 @ 185
2x 5 @ 225
Since the wife was feeling poorly we ordered some pizza, and watched The Pursuit of happyness
on on-demand. Well made movie, very predictable. worth 3 bucks.

Got up late, made some scrambled eggs with aged goat cheese, and went to the zoo with the wife. We ended up joining, since it's near by and we're always talking about going, but never feel like paying for it. The wife went to work out, I pulled all of our backpacking gear out of storage and took inventory. I haven't been in forever, and we're going in a couple weeks. This will be the first time I've gone with someone else, and with any sort of modern gear. The last time I went was years ago (just after college) I brought:
beans (2 cans)
instant oatmeal (several packets)
1 small tarp.
1 can of sterno
1 box of matches
1 small pot.
bug dope (1 can)
fleece lined flannel jacket.
that was it. It all fit in my bookbag/backpack from college, I walked out in my doc martin boots. I was down in the ozarks, and if anything had happened, I would have been miserable, but I had been hunting/fishing/hiking those areas my whole life.
Now out here. We're packing:
Camp stove (along with a small bottle of white gas)
sleeping bag (lightweight 40+ rated)
therm-a-rest pad
water filter
lexan flatware
bug dope
a couple of water bottles
not to mention food (dried fruit, nuts, some mac-n-cheese, canned salmon, oatmeal, honey, seasoning, and some olive oil) and extra clothes, and probably the GPS just for giggles.
I'll be using trekking poles, and my Merril light hikers that have been from the top of the Andes, to the Ozarks, to the Costa Rican rain forests, to snow shoeing the Olympic peninsula and pretty much everywhere in between.
By no means is that a ton of gear, but when I lay it all out, I feel like a bit of a gearhead. I'll get over it when I'm getting a decent night's sleep in a tent with a belly full of something other than beans and rice.