Wednesday, October 31, 2007

In which I reveal my first misunderstanding with the fairer sex.

(and god knows not the last)
Inspired by SJ, I have decided to regale you with my own youthful fumblings.

I was an 8th grader, I had long hair, listened to Metal (I would not discover the Sex Pistols, or Black Flag for another year or so) . I was (and still am) pretty quiet around those I don't know, and was deathly afraid of girls. I was standing in the lunch line all by my onsey, pondering the lyrics of an Anthrax song or sommat. Standing in line ahead of me was a collection of the cooler girls in school. They had on tight torn jeans and real actual concert T-shirts (not the lame ones you buy out of the back of metal rags, but actual concert shirts). They were talking in hushed tones and giggling.. alot. One of them points to me, and more giggling. Great, here it comes, they're going to do something to make fun of me or otherwise make me look like a jackass, and I can't even clobber them because they're girls.
Just as I finish that thought a tall girl with big blue eyes who had her back to me literally jumps in the air and whips around.
"Will you go out with me."
I froze. I was not expecting this. She can't be for real, somehow this leads to a big joke.
"uh.." witty response. If this is not a joke this is great, she's cute, and cool.. Wait, how could this not be a joke. I realize that while I am deep in thought this entire gaggle of girls has me surrounded. They are hanging there waiting for me to answer.
I panic.
I blurt out "no." The girl looks horrified.
One of her friends with a Metallica T-shirt and huge blond bumper bangs jumps around to defend her.
"Why the hell not? She's cute."
I am totally out of my element; not one, but TWO girls are talking to me.
I nod.
"Then why won't you go out with her."
I think.. what was my reason again? I mean "going out" with a girl.. that could be fun.. wait fun.. that's it they're going to make fun of me.
"She's not serious, you guys are just going to make fun of me."
"Wait, what?"
The whole group gets a very puzzled look on their face, then immediately starts shouting at me. I can't make out what any of them are trying to say, all I hear is shouting.
At that point one of the teachers rushes over attracted by all the yelling and breaks us all up.
I never actually talked to that girl again.
I think both of us were too mortified by what happened to ever actually sort out the reality of the situation.
I wouldn't have a "girlfriend" till the end of my sophomore year.
Happy Halloween everyone!

better dead than..

I had to work late last night so I simplified my workout:


zercher lunges:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What's this, What's this..

Nightmare before Christmas 3-D was truly amazing. We went to see a matinee on sunday. I love the movie, and the new 3-D rendering is unbelievable. Zero the ghost dog is incredible. Oogie Boogie (who always seemed to me a bit silly) is actually kind of scary with all of the bugs and creepies coming at you in 3-D. If you can possibly get away to see it, you should. It’s really amazing, and even if the new HD dvd will allow the rendering to translate to home viewing, unless you have a 20 ft screen, it’s not going to be remotely the same experience.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Making Christmas..

Saw Nightmare before christmas 3-D today, full update tomorrow. I just want to get my workouts down before I forget:

Heavy uppers:

5/4/4/3 @ bw

worked up to 2x3 @ 205
2X1 @225

DB lateral raises:

bent rows:
4x5@ 135
2x4@ 155
3@ 185

Friday night we kept it quiet. Ordered some pizza, watched a bad movie (the Village, I figured it out half way through, and spent the rest of the movie being pissed. I assume I'm not the only one)

Saturday went to open mat at BJJ. Had a some great rolls. Learned a lot.

After a couple hours of rest I tried to lift DE legs, it really didn't happen. My hips were too tight from working on my guard to actually squat. I tried, I had to bag it. So I did speed pulls:
7x1@ 315
3x1@ 365
I worked on pulling quick and even. Got the work done and got out.
I was fried by the end of it all.
Mental note, you can't roll and lift heavy in the same day. Your CNS can't handle it.

This morning we went and got some coffee, and read a bit.
then we got our home espresso machine replaced. total pain in the butt, but hopefully it's something I won't have to deal with again.

After that we went to see Nightmare 3-D.
It was great, but I'll wait to write about that when I have more time.

now I'm making cioppino and yogurt (separately, not together)
I'll tell you how that goes when I get them done.
Hope your weekend was as good.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day off.

Took yesterday off. I was feeling kind of beat-up and just generally sore and over trained. I am skipping my upper body speed work, and just lifting heavy today, and doing lower body speed work this weekend.
I'll probably take an official de-load week when my folks come into town in two weeks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Some times you eat the bear, sometimes he eats you.

Had a tough workout last night. My hips are sore, and took forever to warm up:
4x4@135 (start at very high box, and lower each set till I got to 13")
off 13" box:

Good mornings:

Dead lifts:

405 felt light, 455 wanted to go, but didn't. It was too big of a jump. I need to work my way up more slowly. I knew this at the time, but I was pig-headed and jumped right to 455. The results were predictable. I guess we've all had those moments. When you step outside yourself, and see that you're doing something too quickly, but you go for it any way. Sometimes that's the only way to hit PRs.. but usually you end up calling yourself a dumbass and hitting the showers.
I'm taking a 'sick day' tomorrow, so there'll likely be no update.. but maybe there will.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My first tap.

Last night's class was pretty remedial for most of it. I worked the 360 drill, and learned the key-lock. The upper belts were a little more active, but I wasn't in a position to see what they were doing. With that caveat:
My first round of sparring was great. Granted I am bigger than my opponent, and hadn't worked as hard, but the long and short of it was I took mount and hit an arm-bar, and scored my first tap in open sparring.
Second round, was also good. Rolled with a blue belt. Was aggressive, and worked for position, and ended up a draw. All in all, a great result.

As you may have noticed, there is now a set of links over there-->
If you are linked and want to be linked no longer, let me know. If you aren't linked and wish to be, or If you feel that you are in the wrong category, likewise and I will make adjustments.

Monday, October 22, 2007

workouts and such...

friday: great speed squat day:


Went to open mat, got some good sparring in.

Speed bench:

face pulls 4x10


The Chris McCandless thing..

I saw Into the Wild this weekend. It is one of the most well made, beautiful movies I have seen in a long time. However, having read the book a couple of times, the movie is incomplete. The movie does a fantastic job of expressing the passion, charisma, the innocence and pure joy Chris McCandless had for life and the free wild world, however it ignores the pitfalls of that innocence. Instead of seeing a reflection of our own youth in Chris, the movie elevates him to a Christ-like figure, which he doesn’t deserve, and does a great disservice to Mr. McCandless. If we elevate him to these heights then we are no longer on his plane, and I don’t think he’d like that any more than he’d have liked a 9 to 5 with a desk and a tie.. but then that’s Hollywood.
In the book, the story is filtered through Jon Krakauer. McCandless’s innocence and hubris are fully examined along with all of his better qualities, and the story is more full and whole. The simple steps that could have saved him are fully examined, and laid out, it gives him three dimensions, and makes him human.
There are many folks (particularly in the PNW and Alaska) that dismiss both the book and movie out of hand as “another greenhorn who goes up to Alaska to die.” They are guilty of the same hubris that killed Chris McCandless. The truth is that all of us in our passionate youth have taken an ideal too far, with mixed results. Those who survive end up whole people. Denying the inexperience of our youth is like denying that our parents had sex.. it happened at least once. Taking things too far, exploring the boundaries of our ideals is part of the process of becoming a whole person. Those who dismiss and deny them are too far gone. They have no ideals left, and that may be worse than dying.
Overall the movie is fantastic, but read the book first.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I find your choices.. odd.

A senior member of the England rugby team has notified the press that A) the film the team is going to watch before their epic World Cup final against the Springboks this weekend is "Cool Runnings" starring John Candy and Doug E. Doug.
B) the Song that they've adopted for the team this go 'round is "the Gambler" by Kenny Rogers.

I don't know if it's weirder that they're English and yet a sports movie starring John Candy and a Kenny Rogers song is what they've taken their inspiration from, or the simple fact that ANYONE, of any nation, would want to go onto the proverbial field of battle with those images emblazoned on their shield. Maybe it'll work for them, but personally I'd have chosen "the coward of the county."

mat burned toes.

I had a couple of good rolls at BJJ on monday, but my toes are all scabby from mat burn. I think I've told you this. It's really bugging me.
So last night I decided to lift at the boathouse so that I could do so barefoot:
squats (off a 15" box):
that was all, but it was enough.

Monday, October 15, 2007

what a great weekend..

Friday, I took off from work a little early (Thursday I was there till 10 pm). Got to the gym around 3:30 or so. Workout:
Speed Squats
8x2 @ 225 (45 sec rest)

5 singles @ 315.
Tried some conventional, and some sumo. My sumo is still better.

Headed home, showered and got all spiffy (tie and everything).
My father-in-law got a private room at Trader Vic's. We had great food. The wife was a knockout in her LBD which isn't quite little enough these days. We had a good time.

Saturday was BJJ. I learned the arm-bar from mount, and the 360 drill. The big news is I was allowed to spar for the first time. I rolled with a brown belt, and I feel pretty good about how I did. I got choked once, and arm barred once, but that's supposed to happen when you roll with a more experienced player.Slight breach of etiquette when I attempted a heel hook (lower belts are not supposed to attempt leg locks.. which I found out after) I apologized to the professor, and the guy I was rolling with, I think all was forgiven. Later, I got a few kudos from some other folks at the school. I had a blast! My toes on the other hand, not so much. I have mat burn on top of my big toes on both feet, they're kind of scabby and gross, which is less than ideal. I'm treating them, and hoping for the best.

Saturday night we headed to a cabin at Ross lake, which is a beautiful lake in the mountains. We stayed in a floating cabin up there that night with some friends. It was a great time.

Last night we went shopping at the Ballard Market. Really cool place with some good prices and... everything. We got a couple lbs of mussels and I steamed them with white wine and garlic. We had those and a Capresi salad for supper. It was great.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Some quotes that I believe to be true:

But first.. yesterday's workout:

Bent BB rows:

chins: @BW


was short of time, so that's it... on to the quotes:
When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing!

-Bo Schembechler.

Promises, are the counterfeit currency that inferior people exact from each other when unsure of their own strength.
-Gustave “Christmas Eve.”

A fit person can ask anything of his or her body and can expect a reasonable rate of compliance. A fit person is not intimidated by physical challenge because he or she has the confidence that the body will do what the mind requests.
-the Wife

I don't think I've learned anything that I didn't already know. I just didn't recognize it at first.

You don't accidentally become an ass. It takes a bit of work.
-Ozzy Osborn

I feel so lucky to be alive that I never bitch about my age.
Billy Bob Thornton

When there is no peril in the fight there is no glory in the triumph.—Pierre Corneille

If you're not going to practice, don't dream.

Practice without improvement is meaningless.

The only place you can start at the top is digging a hole.

-Dan Gable

The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare.

-Thane Yost

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A great disturbance in the force..

Has ended.
For almost a week, I had this feeling that things were a little "off." That the world was not as it should be.
Then the cubs got swept out of the playoffs, and things felt "right" again.

tumbling tumbleweeds..

Not wanting this to turn into one of those blogs that never updates, and really has nothing to say, but work sucks. I'm looking for another job, but these things take time.. more on that as it develops.

BJJ update:

Saturday, I went to my first class. The professor, talked to me about some stuff, showed me where the school Gi's were. I tried a few of them on, the pants fit fine, but I couldn't find a top to fit. That’s the problem with being 5’10” and 100kgs. So I went through class in my t-shirt. Not ideal, but it worked out. We started with some basic calisthenics, push ups, sit-ups, bw squats, nothing too difficult. Then the rest of the class went and did some drills, and I learned to stand up properly from a sitting position, which is harder than it sounds. After some individual instruction, have the movement, now I just need to make it smoother.

The other thing I learned Saturday is what's called a scissor-sweep. Which is complicated. The idea is that I'm on my back, my opponent is on top of me, in my guard (his hips behind mine), I knock him over and end up in full mount, my hips over his belly. A good ju-jitsu player can defend himself quite comfortably from guard, when mounted however, your best option is to get the hell out of there.
I also learned a "cross choke" which is when in full mount using your opponent's collar as a fulcrum to scissor your forearms across his neck and choke him out. Hard to execute... actually it's all hard to execute, but that’s why it’s fun.

After all of the drill and demonstration the "not new" folks did 4-5x 6 minute rounds of sparring. I watched. After class, I paid for a month of classes, and bought a gi (since none of the club gi's fit, I didn't really have a choice) It was a blast. It's very technical, and physical, but it's still fun because everyone's more than happy to teach you what they did to you and what you did wrong to get there. It's a really cool environment.

Monday, I had off for Columbus day. Random, but a day off none the less. So, I got up late, had some breakfast, and went to BJJ class. This time in a gi. The daytime class is much smaller and there were two other beginners there. So we got loads of the basics. We learned a arm-bar from guard, 2 ways to go from mount back to full guard. And how to jump to guard (basically concede a take-down and just start things out on the floor).

I was sweating like crazy. It's pretty chilly outside, and the school isn't warm, but the BJJ gi's are about 1/4 inch thick. Very heavy cotton.. thicker than canvas, and only slightly softer. I was sweating my butt off.

I've washed and dried the thing about 15 times just trying to soften it up, no dice. Apparently as you roll, some of the fibers stretch and break, and that softens it up. Right now the jacket could stand up on its own.

Needless to say I am having a blast, but I am tired and sore in weird spots as my body gets used to the new stimulus.

Last night’s workout was brutal.

Heavy legs:



Build up to 4x2@275


4x1@ 405.

The deads felt super heavy. My hips were tired from all of the work on Monday in guard, and the two weeks away from heavy weights from the rib injury. This will get better as I get used to the addnl work.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sorry about the slacking..

Work has been crazy, and I've lost a couple posts due to power outages here at the office.

intervals, short ones.. I forget what exactly.
After that I visited Ballard Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I met a few folks, sat in on a class. I dug it. Tomorrow I go take my first class. More on that after.

Wed: Calisthenics (for lack of a better term) with my Pair Partner.
(all work was done 1 person at a time, I work you rest, you work, I rest)
10 burpies with 20lb vest
stair wheelbarrow 1 set with vest
side to side jumps over bench 20
renegade rows 10 each side
broad jumps 10
step overs 20
yeats rows with vest 20
split jumps 20
kb squats with 44lber 20
I think I'm forgetting something, but those were the big ones.
burpies with vest:
good times.

Last night heavy uppers:
very close grip:
8@135 (need to work on this more, my delts and triceps are the limiting factors on my bench, need to bring them up)

db 1a rows:

2x as many

and some light shoulder work.
The rib feels better, but I'm being very careful.
tonight, I'm taking off. Tomorrow is BJJ, and maybe speed legs.
Sunday will depend on a couple things.
Monday I have off work, so things'll be a little quiet around here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

cardio is for suckers.. and that's me.

Healing up I am becoming Mr. Cardio. Lasterday, I did:
10x30 sec all out/30 sec light jog
6x 30 sec all out/1 min light jog.

The rib feels pretty ok, only hurts when I do.. "this" but it's not effecting my normal life

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


last night's speed upper workout:
scap retraction/warm up.

8x2@185 (45sec rest)

1A rows:

4 sets of as many

Roman chair med ball throws:
4 sets as many.

Rib/back still bothering me, so no heavy legs today.. got to get healthy first.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Everybody loves a wedding.

This weekend was a chock full of fun:

Friday I did Speed Lower workout because we were leaving town saturday.

8x3@225. I lost my stopwatch so the rest was walk over to the clock, rest 30 sec, walk back to the rack.

Speed Pulls:
7x1@315 rest walk 20 ft to a bench and back.


We went out for sushi, and went to our favorite place for books, coffee and pie.
Saturday: I did some actual cardio..
10x1 min on 30 sec off. elliptical.

Then showered, packed and hopped in a car with my in-laws and headed down to Portland. On the way down we stopped at Fry's. I bought a Grahame Parsons double album (GP and Grevious Angel), and a Chris Ledoux anthology. Once in P-land, we stopped at Powell's book store which has to be experienced. I bought 3 books, two that I will review.. sometime, and a very cool Rugby picture book. From there we went to an excellent Cuban restaurant (Oba). We had some great food, I talked to my wife's cousin's S.O.s and generally had a good time.

Saturday, was the wedding. The cousin in question is a little eccentric, and I have heard plenty of stories about her, and knowing some exceptionally strange folks myself, I was prepared for.. a lot (of what I'm not sure, but a lot of it). It really wasn't all that odd. There was a bride, and groom and minister, a wedding party, cake and tears, and happiness. It was a wedding. Sure all the groom's men (and one woman) were armed with swords. There were several references to Dungeons and Dragons (a game that I'll admit to playing in my youth, and on a handful of occasions during the summer in college ) at least one reference to Star Trek, and none of it was contrived, which was the best part.

Coming from a large extended family I have been to weddings all over the united states. I have been to crappy ones all over the place. The worst weddings where you learn nothing about the people involved from being there. They put nothing of themselves into the ceremony or the reception, they have a generic hall, play generic songs, and do all the generic traditions. Or worse, they contrive some "funkyness" into the wedding, it's forced and awkward, and everyone shrugs and moves on. This wedding, nothing was contrived, the ceremony and reception was a reflection of who they are, the two people were obviously in love, and meant every word of their vows. That to me is a good wedding.