Monthly Archives: June 2016

No second chance

storm by shannon hWho would you want to be with you during a bad situation?

Probably not Adele, Brad, or Oprah or anyone else recognized by their first name. Personality  only carries you so far really. But character that’s been tested is what you’d want if the shit hits the fan and there might be no second chance.

My choice would be one of these three – an ER doctor, a Navy Seal, or an astronaut. Although the training for each profession is different, each one encourages critical thinking and members of each group have survived harsh testing of their skills. They are people who’re comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

This is just a thought experiment I came up with after a sudden, short lasting storm hit our town. It wasn’t a real emergency, but it got me thinking about who I’d like to have around if my world gets disrupted.

With a down jacket and a positive outlook you’ll likely be able to get through a few days of hell on your own, and there’re also regular folks around who have the attributes of doctors, Seals, or astronauts. So the label isn’t necessary for finding a solid person to have with you in tough situations. For identifying a tested, quality person with character – those  three categories are where I’d pick from.

Guns in America

ground droneIf this ground drone was available, some people would buy them. It might be someone with good intentions and training, or maybe not.

History is an early warning system for our public health that America keeps ignoring. Now we’re paying increasingly higher public health costs due to letting just about anyone buy any type of gun they like.

So the question is when will we update the second amendment to reflect current conditions?

A couple of hundred years ago guns were  cumbersome, time-consuming to reload, and fired only a single shot. The authors of the second amendment wrote on parchment using a feather for a pen. And, you could own another person too if you wanted to.

I’ve shot, owned, and still like guns. But just like driving a car, having and using a gun should be a privilege not a right. People should be able to have guns but they should be required to get training and certification to buy and keep one.

The difference between insanity and genius is measured only by success. The public health impact of guns on Americans is insane. America can fix this situation.

Are the tables being turned?

turning the tablesIt’s been 14 billion years since the Big Bang.

We’re a result of four billion years of evolutionary success.

For 70,000 years Homo Sapiens have been running the show.

Capitalism and science have given us an ever increasing standard of living over the last few hundred years.

And this year, the most powerful country in the history of the world is offering Donald Trump as it’s potential president.

Why is he getting the traction he has?

Trump says out loud what a lot of (white) people are thinking. Some white folks think they’re losing power and the tables are being turned on them.

Power is rarely given, it’s usually taken, and that’s what’s scary.

But in a big diverse society like the US the power isn’t equally distributed. It can never be exactly evenly spread across all people because everyone’s not the same. But everyone deserves a somewhat equal chance. That’s all. There’s not much to worry about.

What I’m doing

nico, rico, and gelatoI’m eating gelato, sometimes.

I’m not trying to be the next world champion bodybuilder, but having more muscle and functional strength is handy. So if you aren’t defending your Mr Olympia title, you shouldn’t be training like one.”

My neighbor has been doing lots of calisthenics but hasn’t put on much weight though he’s gotten stronger. So we’re doing more weight less frequently according to a time-tested, simple program.

Mark Rippatoe said that, “Strong people are more useful and harder to kill.” He’s been successfully training people for a long time boiling it down to something he calls Starting Strength.

Starting Strength uses a few fundamentals lifts that will make you big, strong, and keep you safe in the weight room.

Workout A

3 x 5 (sets x reps) Squat
3 x 5 Bench Press
1 x 5 Deadlift
2 x 8 Dips

Workout B

3 x 5 Squat
3 x 5 Standing military press
3 x 5 Rows (or power cleans)
2 x 8 Chin-ups

It’s simple – do ABA one week, then BAB the next, and repeat.

Spelling it out, on week one, do workout A on Monday, workout B on Tuesday, and workout A  on Friday. Then the next week, do workout b on Monday, workout A on Tuesday, and workout B  on Friday. Follow this pattern every two weeks.

Warm up with a few sets of squats before doing the “work sets.” Make sure to rest about 5 minutes between each set to be fresh for the next set.

Add at least 2.5 pounds each week. You’ll be able to add more in your first few weeks. When you get to the point where you can’t add weight, take a week off. Begin again after your week off at a lower weight.

Eat a lot, because you’re building muscle.

Don’t go to the gym on rest days, let your muscles recuperate. Starting Strength was designed as a three-day routine to provide recovery time. You’re squatting three times a week, which is plenty.

That’s it. If you want to bore down into it more, Mark Rippatoe has a book called “Starting Strength.”