Friday, November 30, 2007
That shot of him bouncing down the ramp after screwing up the jump over the fountains at Cesar's Palace is a permanent part of my growing up in the mid 70's psyche, even though it happened earlier (1968) I think. But they showed it before every stunt he did . . .
When you grew up when I did, boys played "SWAT" and Evel Knievel. But hell, I may only get to 69 and the only thing I've ever jumped were hoops . . . .
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Now, in all fairness, if you're a marketing type of guy/gal, you would want to test the hypothesis because . . . you wanna know how to make mo' money selling to your target audience.
Still, I loved the bit about men wanting parking close to the entrance. It's a hunt!! How close can I get to the gazelle/new computer!! Closer, closer, the motherboard is mine!! Get me outta here!!
But you could boil it down to women want a good shopping experience, as they define it. Men want the thing they came for. Now.
Having worked in the area of law euphemistically called Tax Controversy (yeah, there usually wasn't much controversy, our clients owed the money . . . . ), I still find it fascinating that folks won't pay up and will actively avoid paying their taxes through easily traceable activities. And this isn't even a personal judgement on whether or not Mr. Yagman is guilty or not, though for the reasons I'll outline, I suspect he is. (Though I will make a personal judgment, and argument Ad sitem, the argument against the website . . . dude, that site just ain't right . . . )
That said, the Judge, I think, has a brilliant take on the government's case: approached with a healthy skepticism of the charges.
I tended to find that our clients fell into two different, but not mutually exclusive categories: the dishonest and the dimwits. (We'll throw out weirdo tax protesters . . . . I've seen my share . . . . that be a whole 'nuther post.)
Some of them just didn't pay. Kind of inexplicable. Often these were bidness men/women who would get their money and not pay up. These guys, often wheeler dealer guys were pretty much convinced that they'd just get out of it somehow. It's an interesting mindset. These guys wheel and deal and because of that, I think they do make their own lives and expect that with regard to the government, they can do the same. Problem is, the wheels of American tax justice roll slowly, but they will grind you finer than pixie dust at the end.
The others were just kind of hapless. They knew they should have paid, but they didn't do it, or they didn't pay the payroll tax or they did this or that, and then intended to pay, but then, there was this other thing, and oh, I gotta make the money . . . . blah blah blah. These folks would seem to get in a death spiral: They wouldn't pay the payroll tax, then they'd spend that money on something else and then they'd get the deficiency, but then they'd ignore it, and then the penalties and interest would start being, well, interesting. It's not like a fine, where you just pay a set amount, you get dinged both penalties and interest, and quickly, they become the majority of the deficiency. So soon, what was a standard robbery of Peter, to benefit Paul, soon becomes a situation where the business can't operate due to the debts it owes the IRS.
(If there's one piece of advice you oughta take . . . it's pay the damn payroll tax. Don't even make it YOUR decision. Hire a payroll company and have them make you pay them. Income taxes? Child's play. Estate taxes? Sweetness and light. Payroll taxes? Fuggedaboutit!)
*Not to be confused for the love of Peet's, as mine runs long and deep . . . although unrequited as of late . . . because we've got no stores nearby . . . but I understand the one grocery store I do not frequent carries it. Must mount expedition for Major Dickason's Blend . . . .
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
*I have no idea if the Germans really called Scottish soldiers who fought in kilts "girls from hell", or if they wore kilts while chasing German soldiers about, but as they say, it's too good to verify.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
50 (35) Box jump, 24 inch box
50 (35)Jumping pull-ups
50 (35) Kettlebell swings, 1 pood (20kg)
Walking Lunge, 50 steps (35)
50 Knees to elbows (35)
50 Push press, 45 pounds (subbed pushups)
50 Back extensions (supermans)
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball (air squats)
50 Burpees (35)
50 Double unders (35 tuck jumps)
20:36 Pack Scale, 35 of each.
The subs on the push press and the wall ball are part of my shoulder rehab. It's taken too long. I need to back off so I can move forward. Also, kettlebell was parallel to shoulder, not full overhead swing.
The shoulder has been aggravated for 5 months. To a normal person that would mean "take action!" I did the physical therapy but that didn't fix the final part of the problem, in certain ranges of motion. Also, things seemed fine until the workout that was 10 rounds 10 pullups 10 dips. Something about that workout set me back on my butt hard. So no more overhead work for a month.
I think this sums up my disgust with most record companies. For the longest time, I didn't have an ipod, but would have bought tunes online if I could have. But. They. Would. Not. Sell. Them.
So rather than see the shifting of the tide and riding it tsunami-like into the future, they simply tried the old tricks in the face of the coming onslaught.
And no, I don't think you should get stuff for free. Frankly, scratch a file sharer find a communist aka theif, so I'm not at all sorry that if someone got something they didn't pay for, the record companies are coming down like a ton 'o bricks on them. Why not? Don't play if you can't pay.
At the same time, it was like a one pronged attack!! Prong one: Sue the theives! Prong two: Refuse for years to give the customers anything remotely like they wanted!!
Me: "I want to buy mp3s of good quality."
Them: "No. Want a subscription?"
Me: "No thanks. I just want one. One song, I can play over and over again and I pay once. I care about it. A subscription is like 60 bucks a year. It only works well for me if I have more then 60 bucks worth of music. And you only came out with that begrudgingly." I want to be able to make 17 copies for myself if I want. "
Me: How about throw in a ringtone?
Them: You can have any color, so long as it's black . . . .
Really, protect the artists, by all means . . . if that's who you're protecting, and not your phoney baloney jobs. So are they artists for hire or independent contractors or the owners of the product?
And one funny thing about DRM. If you were a computer game player, say 1986-1992ish (and I'm just guessing here), there was DRM of some sort on every game you got. I mean, some of it was flat out odd. Colored sheets of plastic that you laid over a key to get the code to punch in and get the game going.
And then, it pretty much stopped for years. (Although since by that time I was loading games to the hard drive, there may have been some check going on that I didn't know about.) But boy did I appreciate LESS frustration from something I purchased.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Current PR's of interest(to me):
Backsquat: 3 x 175lbs. (My one rep max is less than that . . . )
Deadlift: 3 x 225 (found out I wasn't counting 5 lbs on my weight set bar, again one rep max tested ws 217lbs)
Max Pullups: 13 (started at 3 total)
Fran, 45lbs: 5:56
100 pushups: 9:11 (I have done a half "Angie" with jumping pullups in 6:48, so wth?)
100 Situps: 4:43
100 Squats 3:07
3/4 Murph: 1 mile, 100 pullups (75), 200 pushups (150), 300 squats (225), 1 mile run: 61:44
FGB: 14lb wallball, 35lb sdhp, 55lb pushpress: 258
Shoulder Press: 5 x 85
CFit Total (just using the above measures: 175 bs, 225 dl, 85 sp = 485.
Goals for 2008:
Max Pullups: 20 (chin over bar)
Full "Angie" <=30 minutes
Full "Murph" <= 60 minutes
Fran: 6:00, @ 65lbs
And rehab the shoulder . . . . first . . . .
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Razor is two stories intertwined: the backstory to the Battlestar Pegasus, and her commander, Admiral Cain, and Lee "Apollo" Adama's initial command after the deaths of the three previous Pegasus commanders (Helena Cain, Jack Fisk, and Barry Garner).
The Inigo Montoya "sum up": Liked it (Note, however, I'd give two thumbs up to "Transformers" so know that). Well done overall, but with caveats as I'll mention below.
First: Admiral Cain: Sadistic. It's hard to understand why. Quite literally, she cries over fallen crewmembers, makes a funny (if you've been in the military anyway) joke about chewing up a new lieutenant, and has a girlfriend (A number 6, who really gets around, ya know what I mean?) but so? Contrast this with her 1) killing her Executive Officer in cold blood. No brig for this guy 2) Ordering the slaughter of civilians who have the temerity to want to avoid their own death by Cylon.
Say huh? Contrast this with Lieutenant Shaw. She starts out as a green officer, matures quickly in the heat of battle, turns into the instrument of Cain's brutality, and later seeks redemption through a self sacrifice that completes her mission. In other words, you see her character as dynamic, changing. Cain is fun, if spooky, to watch, but two dimensional and frustrating. What makes Shaw (or a long term character like Adama) fascinating is the believable humanity underneath.
The thing is they could have made Cain so much more interesting and not changed her actions? What if her XO was plotting against her? Yeah, that's predictable, but that's just an off the top of my head example. And I don't get paid to write decent stories for these guys.
Anything to ground her actions in something other than whim. There were rumors of a supposed back story that gave Cain reasons for her actions and motivations. See here where there was a suggestion that Cain had an overriding hatred of Cylons from the fact she witnessed the killing of her family by Cylons. That I could have gotten behind. Wouldn't that scene have added more depth than another drunk Starbuck scene or making Shaw a junkie of some sort (was she a junkie just to get her in the same room with Starbuck?)? But unless I missed it, there was nothing of the sort.
And, good as Shaw was, didn't we have Kat pulling the same stunt and dying of radiation poisoning from flying too many missions, in order to save the fleet when the food stores went bad?
But, all carping aside, good show and what's all this then about Starbuck being Kara Thrace of the Apocalypse? Helllo?
Oh and mad mad mad props for giving me geek woody when the old school Cylons showed up. Sweet! How I loved that wretched Star Wars knockoff. But now I think BSG tv is better than the entire Star Wars Franchise. Ironic, that.
Now playing: 3 Doors Down - Kryptonite
Deadlifts @ 135lbs/pushups
Funny, my PR is 110lbs and half handstand pushups (to 2 pillows) and that was 11:10 on 6/10/07. Better retest this soon.
"As near as I can tell, my first recorded cfit workout on 12/24/06 was this:
cleans @ 70lbs
I couldn't remember the workout, but knew I'd seen it before. And lo and behold, lets look on the cfit main site today: "Elizabeth"
Hmm, I must have done the scaled version courtesy of Brand X
scale the weight to 95-115# for men/55-75 for women
If you can't do ring dips do 2X the bar dips
If you can't do do bar dips do 1.5X the number bench dips.
I need to do this wod soon as a test. I was thinking about today then I got into squat clean position after yesterday's sumo deadlift high pull/ballslam/thrusters/lunges nonsense, and realize that no way was that going to happen. :-) I'll try something else.
Now playing: Rick James - Super Freak
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Crossfit Plano Texas
"Suffer on Saturday" (subs in parens)
5 rounds for time . . .
50 ball slams 20lb
7 muscle ups (21 pullups/21 dips)
50 sumo deadlift high pulls 32kg (20kg)
21 hspu (21 db presses, 25lb dumbells, yeah, I know . . . )
7 muscle ups (21 pullups/21 dips)
35lb dumbell thrusters (25lbs)
400 meter run
100 meter walking lunge
100 meter sprint
100 meter walking lunge
100 meter sprint
Just kidding about the 5 rounds, they did write that on the board, and I was trying to do pain math in my head . . . . pain math is hard.
On the plus side, I was surprised how my kip was coming along. I can get 3-4 reliably. If I can bump that to 6-7 I'll really be somewhere.
Came in last place. Didn't use bands, however, which I think makes all the difference. You can do it a lot faster if you use the bands. However, bands are a crutch.
This is a pure grinder though.
Update: Found out I was not LAST, but 2nd to last by 30 seconds or so. But on Saturdays, I may use bands just to get 'er done.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Okay, so I'm curious. What's possibly WORSE than the Navy Seal Workout (I know now, nothing, since I do the Navy Seal Workout, it's called Crossfit).
But here was this site full of odd little workouts. 21-15-9? 3 rounds for time? What? So you read the whole site, and get sent over to Brand X Martial Arts, where Jeff Martin and the crew helpfully scale the workouts because you've learned (if reading closely) that these workouts will kill you. I don't mean figuratively, I mean as in rhabdomyolysis. I took the hint. I scaled. I wasn't in that great of shape anyway. Unless round is a shape.
Besides, this stuff was crazy!! Who can do 100 pullups? Seemed like everyone on the site! Who can do 21-15-9 of a 225 deadlift and handstand pushups? These very normal looking freaks, that's who.
Okay folks, this aint for the squeamish: Crossfit in action.
Exhibit One: What you look like January, 2006, before finding Crossfit in November 2006.
So what happens when you start doing a bunch of insane stuff? Learning things like RTF and AMRAP?
As near as I can tell, my first recorded cfit workout on 12/24/06 was this:
cleans @ 70lbs
I was doing WODs before that, I just wasn't keeping track. (And what is up with Mr. Bozo here working out on xmas eve? Weird.)
Okay, let's fast forward to 1/06/07. Now, honestly, I think I must have been losing some weight all year, and I wish I had thought to take a picture in November, but here's what I look like on 1/06/07:
So clearly something (I think mostly my sucking in my gut . . . ) is happening.
Okay, so a few more pullups, pushups . . . f***ing burpees . . . . and we get to 6/18/2007:
January 2006 = 200-205lbs
June 2007 = 180-182lbs. None of my pants fit any more. I dropped two inches off my waist. I'm closing in on a 32" waist, which I haven't seen since, well, a while ago.
I can be as guilty of this as the next guy. But when i show up to the gym, I just do the workout. Not that there hasn't been a touch of controversy about that, too. We have a suggestion list and one of the suggestions is to stop posting the workouts on the internet in the morning. That way the nighttime folks don't know what's coming. One of the trainers thinks that folks are "finding better things to do" than suffer if they see something that looks like pure pain.
I have been guilty of this, not because I want to avoid the pain (though I'm sure there are days that I've looked at it and said . . . ohh, nooooo) but more because of the shoulder and not wanting to give it grief. But that makes it too easy.
But, I've got a new vow, never, ever wuss out. So if I can't do "death by pullup" (starting every minute on the minute do a pull-up increasing by one each minute, i.e., first minute do one pullup, second minute do two, etc., until you can't finish the round, i.e., you run out of minute before you do the number of required pullups) I'll do death by kettlebell or somesuch.
We were joking that someone had a dnf on a ME day, which was funny, but I suggested we start a new acronym: DNS, did not start. It goes with the POD (p***y of the day) label too. In math I think that's DNS = POD, for all values where DNS = cherry picking . . . .
Troy and Jeff show the puppy scale as
8 pullups (with band if necessary)
I'm positive that's not what it was on the whiteboard. But now I have doubt. Oh good lord. Did I do the buttercup workout? No shame, but hell. Was I that lame that I picked the wrong workout then claimed the better one? That's shameful.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
400 meter run
I did the puppy scale:
400 meter run
I hadn't ever done this workout before, so I went lower scaling to make sure I'd take the fewest breaks possible, with the fewest broken sets.
Thing is, I came in 10 minutes before the best big dog (of course, he did like 4 times the work I did.) Now I'm wondering if I missed a round. But, I had no broken sets (though some of the late round pushups and situps were slowed way down like 11-12-----13--------14-----------15, and took no extensive breaks between anything. Next time I know to do more.
Still, my squat form sucks. Troy was giving me "coach grief" over it, i.e., "chest up, your hips shouldn't do that . . . " Arrg. I thought it was coming along. Not so much.
I also came in first, and everyone finished waaaaay after I did. Little Chris, the superhuman spider monkey did the whole thing in 35 something.
Everyone else did like these marathon workouts. I mean, if it's a metcon, I shouldn't spend 55 minutes doing it, and I don't want to just slog through unless there's a reason, like a Murph or painstorm where I just want to get it over with and done.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Last night's cfit workout was ME, so we did squats.
3 x 111
3 x 121
3 x 131
3 x 155
3 x 165
3 x 175 (PR).
I said on the Brand X site that that my former one rep PR was 176, i was wrong, I failed at 176. I was writing the post from memory and for some reason thought I had hit the 176 mark. So, in fact, I had never squatted 176, but I did in fact squat 175 3x last night. Big improvement, particularly since the one rep max was only back in Sept. Lower back is very sore today though. I think its a matter of hamstring flexibility, resulting in a 'butt wink' at the very bottom of the squat.
New goal: 200lb back squat one rep max by 12/2008. To achieve goal I need to work on lots of lower weight squats say 5x5x135, etc., to keep form perfect and build the stabilizers and assist with the stretching.
There are good reasons for going to law school. I think I did everything wrong that this gentleman mentions.
How I got the position I hold now, in all its glory, is too strange to account, but it works something like this:
Graduated from a less than "elite" law school, with a modicum of debt. Not bad, but not great either. Attended a tax LLM program.
Work at a firm in Albuquerque, NM. Great folks, great place to live, crappy job overall.
Worked for a financial planning firm where they hired attorneys. Wrong skill set entirely for me.
Back to private practice, reminded how much I hated it. Big firm hours, little firm pay!! Hooray!! Stay late! Get less!!
To give someone a sense of perspective, in a typical law firm, Saturday is just another work day. Leaving at 7 pm was normal, 10 pm wasn't unusual, and that was for ordinary work. You stop taking lunch to squeeze out another hour of time (5 hours a week! 260 extra hours a year!)
It can work for some folks, perhaps, if you get out of school without a wife and kids at age 24 and devote yourself to working until say 32 to establish yourself, then look up an start finding dates, yeah. But don't kid yourself that you're different otherwise someone would have blazed the trail before you. Your specific roll in the machine is to be a profit cog early on. Someone is living off the sweat of your brow . . . and it aint you.
Figure you bill out at $200 an hour (the amount you bill at a large firm is probably more like $300 . . . because after all those mahogany partners' desks aren't gonna build themselves . . . ). And you only billed 2000 hours. That's not quite 40 hours a week, but we'll pretend you got to take a vacation. That means you billed $400,000. You got $130,000 of that. Hmmm. Overhead. Was it $170,000 all for you? Hmm. Methinks not.
Then to my current position. Sane working hours. Great learning environment. Pay was less than market for similar experience. . . but for the hours worked, as an economic being, I get paid waaaaaay more when I get to leave work at 4:30 pm (note, I get here at 7:30, I put in a full and fair day, just not a stupid 12-14 hour one . . . .in case someone might stumble upon this).
But all of that occurred specifically because it's not a typical law firm job.