03 March 2015

Cuttlefish True Facts



I loved this too much not to share. Found it during my Cephalopodcast research but thought it warranted its own post.

02 March 2015

Cephalopodcast



This guy is Death's Shadow.

When is someone going to start a youtube channel called "Cephalopodcast" and show videos of cephalopods doing stuff? Because cephalopods are awesome. Just the octopus family alone would be worth hours and hours of entertainment. Then you have your squids, which are often predatory and come in sizes ranging from teeny tiny to 'sea monster'. And also the cuttlefish: kind of a cross between a squid and an octopus. They use camouflage like the octopus (chromatophores FTW!) but tend to be out and a bout a bit more, though they are not pelagic like many squid species. So there's a lot of good stuff there. Let's do this!

I visited the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific and got a kick out of seeing all the creatures. The Giant Pacific Octopus did not make an appearance. They are shy creatures. Oh well. 

27 February 2015

Vaccinate Your Kids Already



Why do we even have to have this conversation? Coddled, rich white people. That's why. These people. Ugh.

For fuck's sake you have to get your dog vaccinated before you can bring it home from the pound. Most vets won't even see dogs or cats that don't have their shots. You can't bring a dog into the country if it doesn't have shots and accompanying paperwork. Do you know why? Because the diseases they might get and/and or spread are horrific. Did you know rabies killed 10/10 of the people it infected before we discovered how to treat it? That's worse than ebola! (9/10, according to the book I read.) 

Why aren't you vaccinating your child? If you don't vaccinate your child you are a moron. Western medicine has plenty of faults but virtually eliminating horrible diseases that used to maim or kill is not one of them. Vaccines do not cause autism. Your genes cause autism. Probably. They're your kids, and external factors have mostly been ruled out. So it was probably you. That sucks, but it's not a good reason to give your neighbor the measles.

This is like talking to bible thumpers about creationism. It is so stupid it's not even worth talking about. But because we live in a society where rich white people might get their feelings hurt and make sad faces we have to pretend that it is 'okay'. It is not okay to spread disease and misinformation. You can make a 'personal choice' to be an idiot and not vaccinate your kids if you want. But you're still an idiot.

Poetry

I was busy all week doing Work Stuff. Now I'm back and too busy getting caught up so it will have to wait until the weekend when I'm doing chores.

Until then, here is some spam email lovely poetry courtesy Ruby's Dad. Like me he can't help reading words in front of him, even (especially?) if they make no sense. It's like the word equivalent of television. I used to read the back of cereal boxes during breakfast because I couldn't not read them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Anyway, he was cleaning out his Spam and bumped into this gem: 

niabdev, Goku is nowhere to be found.
Tennessee Corps of Engineers approved of the site.
Rogers in her investitural address.
DEVI is the Kuldevta. Conrad Lavigne, CM, O.
Test matches to that time.
Charlotte away with their powers.

//
Charlotte, indeed.
More later. 

20 February 2015

BIRFDAY BIRFDAY BIRFDAY

Tights Are Always an Option; Sleeves are Not
Thanks to the peeps for the birthday wishes. Yesterday the gym posted a picture of me thinking about maybe getting some exercise. Not actually doing it, but definitely giving it some serious thought.

Pull ups are good for you. People get wrapped up in how you do the pull ups because you can kip or strict or butterfly or band-assisted or whatever and then some pedant always says, 'welll that wasn't a REAL pull up because a REAL pull up is //lame definition of a pull up//'. Ugh those people are the worst. They wear crossfit t-shirts to social functions. 

Strict pull ups confine the work to your back (pulling) muscles. Kipping pull ups use your hips to take some effort out of your back. Butterfly takes some of the effort out of your back but adds work in the shoulders. Whatever. That is not important. 

Pull ups are hard. The range of motion is long. Your body is heavy. I don't know very many (any?) people that can do pull ups that are generally unhealthy or lack fitness. It's a keystone exercise: if you can do them, you can probably do a lot of other things, like run and lift and move and do. Get out there and give them a try.
//

Thanks again for reaching out. I heard from most of my peeps before 9 AM today, which is a sure sign I am getting very old. :)

18 February 2015

Metaphorically Speaking

Definitely Paleo
The Girl was cleaning up after her roommates and she found this in one of their kitchen cabinets. I said it was her roommates horcrux. Or it was a metaphor for her soul. Either way, really.

Good Doggie



This is Ruby the Dog running in slow motion.
Technically: the dog is running at speed, and the video is playing back in slow motion. Whatever.

Good doggie.

17 February 2015

I Got This

Filing TPS Reports
Sometimes you need to sneak out but don't want anyone to notice you aren't at your desk.
This looks like it'll do the job. (See what I did there?)

16 February 2015

Real Talk: Two Hundred Pounds is Always Two Hundred Pounds


Books Are Good for You
I've been going to the gym on a regular basis for about 15 years. First couple years I went with Spud, who is a superb gym partner because he lifts enormous weights and is cool and knows exactly who Henry Rollins is. After that I moved away and would go with my friend Jeff, who is also a superb gym buddy. Throwing some weights around with your peeps is one of life's great pleasures. Some people like to wear headphones and work out alone. I prefer company.

Jeff and I would lift weights and talk through our ups and downs, breakups and arguments and personal or professional successes and disappointments and whatever else. We had an expression that we would use on a regular basis: The gym is your friend.

By that I mean that the gym is always there for you; the gym will never not return your calls. The gym provides excellent ROI.

Over the years I have noticed that the gym delivers equanimity. If I am up, the gym settles me down. If I am down, the gym picks me up. Day in, day out the gym is a constant wherever I am physically (whether I am fresh or fatigued), intellectually (whether distracted or focused) or emotionally (whether up or down).

Injuries have slowed me down the past 6 months, and that is its' own lesson: Getting old is a bitch. So is getting hurt.

Henry Rollins (who is the kind of Progressive that I think the world could do with more of) wrote a famous essay about the immutable quality of time spent in the gym and the things you learn there. It appeared in Details magazine in 1994. What's great about it is that it was true before he put the words down, and it will be true long after he is gone.

You can find your true spiritual self in a lot of ways and a lot of places, and that's cool. I'll meet you there. But 200 pounds is always 200 pounds, and the weights aren't going to lift themselves.

Here is the complete essay. Thanks to RossTraining for posting a version, and thanks to Ben Oliver for bringing it to my attention.
///

Iron and the Soul – By Henry Rollins

I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself.

Completely.

When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me “garbage can” and telling me I’d be mowing lawns for a living. And the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn’t run home crying, wondering why. I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.

I hated myself all the time. As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn’t going to get pounded in the hallway between classes. Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you’ll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends, school sucked. Teachers gave me hard time. I didn’t think much of them either.

Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class. Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the blackboard. Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn’t even drag them to my mom’s car. An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.’s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn’t looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing. In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn’t want to blow it. I went home that night and started right in.

Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn’t know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and no one could ever take it away. You couldn’t say shit to me.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.

It wasn’t until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can’t be as bad as that workout.

I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn’t ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you’re not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.

I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone’s shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr. Pepperman.

Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through my body.

Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn’t see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

I prefer to work out alone. It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you’re made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live. Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it’s some kind of miracle if you’re not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.

I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.

Mix it Up: Julian Daleo Mix Tape #6



This is good.
Not sure what Winter Chill is all about. 80 degrees and sunny where I live.

Good talk. See you out there. 

14 February 2015

Theme Song for Today: Oh L'Amour by Erasure (STRFKR Cover)



Some days we revisit the classics, some days we post covers of the classics. This is the latter. I have a pile of 80's synth-pop I can post for Throwback Thursdays but in researching those tracks I bumped into this from STRFKR.

If the original is more your jam then here you go. I like the original best - it's a Sad Song that Sounds Happy classic.

Happy Valentine's Day!



This Valentine's Day story is the best. Enjoy.

07 February 2015

P90 Day



Most gun reviews are lame. They're boring, people take themselves too seriously (awesome tactical toughness alert!), and the music sucks. This is the opposite of all those things. Stick around to the end for some Orbital.

03 February 2015

A Classic

Friend of the Blog Jeff turned 40 today. He has shown up in these pages more than a few times. His lovely daughter celebrates her first birthday tomorrow (she's the baby that you see around these parts most often). In his honor I wanted to share a picture of a Lancia Stratos HF Stradale, famous for winning the World Rally Championships from 1974-76, because who doesn't love a Lancia Stratos? Alas, the photo I wanted to share was protected so I had to use this other one that was easier to pilfer. Fair use and all that.

The car pictured was winning races in 1990 and 1991. Those were formative years for Jeff so, enh, close enough.

I made Jeff and the Little Princess a cake for their birthdays. It was a disaster. Didn't let it cool enough before removing from the cake pan so it broke into 800 pieces. So many pieces. All the pieces. I was very disappointed so I ate my feelings about 1/4 of it. And then I ate another generous portion the following morning. Tasted delicious but looked a mess.

Called Jeff and offered to deliver the remains because I needed to get it out of the house. He agreed to terms and so I was able to share some tasty cake after all, on the condition that I will deliver a proper, not busted cake at some point in the next week or so. He doesn't care but I can't have people thinking I make/gift ugly desserts. That's just not the done thing.

See you out there.

01 February 2015

Never Been to New Mexico

After years of incompetence and deadly violence and extremely limited accountability the Albuquerque PD is, umm, the same as it ever was. But now there's a record of it, so that's something(?).

100 million people will watch a stupid fucking football game and blather endlessly about the amount of air in footballs and get all red-assed about whether or not some guy answers questions about candy or his hat. Meanwhile the Albuquerque PD will be out there in those streets, killing the poor and mentally ill and hiding behind their 'authority'.

Like Burneko says: The American justice system is not broken. It is functioning exactly as intended. Carry on about your business. Enjoy the Big Game, and be deeply glad you aren't poor and live in the godforsaken shithole that is Albuquerque, New Mexico.

30 January 2015

Long Week

Very long week. I had some things but they have to wait.
In the interim there's this:
http://howdovaccinescauseautism.com/

And also this from the consistently great Albert Burneko.

22 January 2015

Throwback Thursday: Your Love by The Outfield



My cousin that I don't really talk to called me on the phone yesterday. It was so weird and unexpected that although I saw his name on my phone I thought it was a mistake. Phones do not make 'mistakes' so I am very obviously a moron but it seemed more likely than someone that hasn't called me in over a decade would decide to reach out on a rando Wednesday. I about fell out of my chair.

Cousin Jeff is the oldest of my three older cousins, and he had a lot of money and the cool house and the cool car and a kickass stereo in both and was always going to exotic places and doing cool shit like getting punched by Don Johnson in Aspen (during peak Don Johnson) and going in and out of debt on development deals and wearing neon and a mullet and powerboat racing and traveling the world and modeling and doing all the drugs. And, significantly: leaving me the keys to his estate while he did those things, for which I am eternally grateful.

This song was an inescapable hit in the big 80's that defined my cousins heyday. He probably didn't much care for it then (or now) - his musical taste is more sophisticated. That's his loss, because this jam is solid gold. 

Word is that his life is something of a mess now. That lifestyle is only sustainable if you have an unlimited amount of money; he does not. I can't say I really knew him very well - we moved in different orbits. He was always doing stuff I understood but didn't relate to, even now as an adult.

Anyway, I gotta call him back and talk about... something.

Enjoy the Outfield.

18 January 2015

Hot Slow Jamz: Passenger by Royal



This is the good shit. It dropped a couple weeks ago, it's got a few hundred thousand plays on Soundcloud so as these things go it's something of a hit. And a free download. You're welcome.