Thursday, January 31, 2008

God Speed Friend

This both sad and nice in that he helped raise the flag and got home. My Grandfather served in the Marines in WWII and was on Iwo Jima. He didn't get to raise flags. He just got some shrapnel . . .

I should have asked him more about it. He never seemed all that shy about talking about it, but he could be weirdly matter of fact. "There were some japs up in a pill box, so we killed them . . . "* I suppose that's to be expected, but it could be jarring. But I don't think I ever did because I was young and history seemed distant and inapplicable to my life. I don't think that so much anymore.

*Note: this is a quote, and I don't agree with it at all (the tone and racial aspects, not the fact that enemy soldiers may have needed killin'.) But it was exactly how they thought and talked back then.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I can has can of cheeseburger!!

I NEVER want to hear about European superiority in the gastronomic realm ever again . . . then again, these are the Germans we're talking about . . . they should have stopped at beer . . .

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

wham bam thank you sam . . .


Got in a car wreck. I use the passive (is that the passive voice) because I was the one wrecked. I did no wrecking . . .

At least the kids weren't in the car and it looks like it's just the back passenger corner and trunk that will need work. It drove away.

But dang. I cannot express the love I have for that car. I always had two kinds of cars: crap cars, or necessity cars. Usually some combination of the two: the crapnessity car.

A crap car is just that: it's crappy. Like the $500 '78 ford thunderbird with the huge doors and trunk that was shared by three guys, and was started with a key AND a screwdriver and whose lights had the unfortunate habit of simply going off whilst you were driving it: I kid thee not: Grown men screaming because on some back road in Massachussets, the headlights and everything just went out. At 50 mph. Good times good times.

A necessity car is just that: you need a car because you need a car and if you're not picky that's fine, but it's also meant what I got was a ford escort. Now that escort has been a hell of a car. It's run and run and run. It has 160,000 miles on it. But, you know, there's just no chemistry. Our relationship is purely platonic.

Now a crapnessity car is just that: it's crappy and you need it. It's like a logic puzzle. Almost all crap cars are crapnessity cars, but not all necessity cars are crap cars . . .

Anyway, fast forward to my Acura. I finally had a decent job and could afford something reliable and nice where I got to pick all the stuff on it. I had a nav system, it drives swell, has ne'er given me a lick of trouble. I'm talkin love . . . .

At least the guy who hit me seems like a stand up guy. Gotta appreciate that.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Prisoner, further thoughts.

I'm almost done. I'm working on the pentultimate episode now, and will see the last one shortly. Hard to say what I'll think of it when I'm done. I'm very impressed by it. It also has a way of getting under your skin, in a way that most works for TV do not. I'm tempted to say it's because the rather vague nature of the show itself and the clear use of symbolism among others, because these things conspire to make think: what was that all about, and support various interpretations. If something is good because it makes you think and wonder, then this is a great one.

Oh noes!! My fancy learnin' gotz no value!!

I guess they hadn't heard the old joke:

Lawyer to Plumber: What's the bill?
Plumber: "Well, two hours work, so $600"
Lawyer: "What?! That's outrageous! I'm a lawyer and I don't bill that much!"
Plumber: "Yeah, well, when I was a lawyer I couldn't bill that much either."

I loves it when smart people is stupid.

F'instance, if you did what I did and got to college et. all, plus masters degrees, all in all taking a well more than a full decade to get to a real job, (with 4 years in the army 5 years in college, and a year between college and law school) before I had my first "this is what I want to do" job, that guy who got on at the Mitsubishi plant has been making 50k a year . . . every year since graduation. He's 500k to the good of you before you ever cash paycheck one.

Then lets add in some student loans, so more of your after tax money goes to service that, AND you may not start out at that high a salary. Plus, even if you get 100k a year as a starting salary, if you add in the opportunity costs, and other eco-jumble, you take a LONG time to catch up.

Crap parenting . . . . un deux trois

I received Alton Brown's book: "I'm just here for the food" for my birthday.
As a funny add on, it has these refrigerator magnets of a cow, lamb, chicken, and pig, all with their tasty parts labeled.

Daughter wanted me to get those out and put them up, so we were looking at the book, which has a big chart of the animals and little arrows pointing out all the good stuff that comes from each one.

So daughter looks at the cow and see's all the steaks, roasts, ribs, etc., that are surrounding the cow and says: "Is that what the cow eats?"

Me, attempting at all costs to avoid the "no baby, we feed the cow, kill the cow, then eat the cow" conversation: "Um, no, mostly cows eat grass . . . do I hear your mom? Is she home from work?"

Daughter: "Oh! Maybe! Let me go see!"

Parenting 101: Only tell as much of the truth as you need to, to get out of the situation . . .

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Crossfit Plano-2nd Anniversary Workout

"The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain." I agree, and I was his cheif importer on Saturday. Notice the grimace? I am in the air. I am either rising or falling. Either way, I have expended all the energy and exertion I could have and I am still making a face.

Lordy, was this teh complete suck:

'Chuck's Big Brother'

For time:
75 Box Jumps - 24"
75 Jumping Pull Ups
75 Kettlebell Swings - 16kg
75 Walking Lunges
75 Knees to Elbows
75 Push Presses - 45lb
75 Back Extensions
75 Wall Ball Shots - 20lb
75 Burpees
75 Double Unders (Sub jump Squats yeah, tuck jumps were evidently not enough for Troy. . .)

I did the PACK scale which was 50 reps. So the MIDDLE scale was a full Chuck Norris/Filthy Fifty

So that was my first time doing a full FF.

50:56. Just couldn't bring it today.

For instance, last time I did this workout, doing pack scale (the pack scale for the regular FF, 35 reps of each) I did a 20 minute time. So by increasing the work by 1/3ish, I more than doubled my time. Yikes.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Handstands and Monkeybars

Crossfit Plano, TX 6:00 am

Normally, I joke whenever someone says "gee that was fun" about anything crossfit. Kind of like "I really love crossfit, only two times: before I start the routine and after I'm done".

But today was a lot of fun because all we did was play at getting better at stuff. Skill Practice Day: Handstands - Freestanding and Supported Challenges: Handwalking (distance) Handstand Push Ups (max reps - supported or unsupported) Monkey Bar 'Runs' (normal, skip rungs, double hand 'jump') Okay, I'm still on my one rep of a full hspu. So that wasn't helpful. Working the progressions from pikes. The Monkey bar runs were really fun. I couldn't get the double hand jump though. I think there is a picture of me missing it to be posted later. Then did pushup position hold for time. I nearly got 3 minutes . . . stud Bret got 8. wow and ow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Front Squats

Front Squat workout today:


107-133-143-153-163-176-176 (pr)

Then a cooldown? of

three rounds not for time

500 meter row
400 meter run

And it was fargity fargin cold outside . . .


Went to see Cloverfield last night. Really liked it, mostly. I mean, you have to know where I'm coming from: You had me at giant monster eating people in New York City.

But Spoilage ahead: so I'll see if this works, but I'm going to make the words below this white, so highlight to see the rest:

The basic plot: Several friends are having a going away party, when something comes a whoomping through NYC. It's big, it's bad, and it's really pissed. Said friends then try and escape. One of the friends was charged with going around the party and videotaping everyone's going away wishes. He's the one who captures the whole movie. But, what he does is tape over the main character's tape of the final day with the girl he loves, so in between crying and wailing and gnashing of giant monster teeth, there are these bits of the love interests stuck in between.

First, the handheld camera work: Oh lord. I actually got dizzy. It made watching the movie physically painful. I have a cell phone that makes movies and they don't jitter like this thing. Sweet Jesus! No one could hold a camera and make it that shaky, unless it was on purpose.

They ALMOST did a brilliant job at character development. It was all there, but they didn't go far enough, and the movie isn't long, but I swear the party in the beginning was wearing loooooong. I mean, we got it, going away party. It's time for the monster to crash the party baby!!! The interstitial frames of video, the ones "flashing back" to earlier that day should have been our clues to the relationship, why main guy wanted more, why she wanted less, etc.

And okay, let me get this straight: the monster is impervious to . . . tank rounds? Concrete isn't impervious to tank rounds. The monster is stronger/denser than concrete? Now, I could see the monster being say, faster than the tanks in a climb all over everything way, but impervious? Hmm. no. Rule one of monster movies: Don't let a guy who loves monsters start asking questions . . .

Monster babies: YES!! Brilliant. They were brutal and the scariest part. And that's something this movie did well, married the better elements of a haunted house/creepy bug movie with the giant monster aspects. Usually, a monster movie, say, Godzilla is all about the daytime and seeing the monster and destruction. Those types of movies need a lot of space to work in. there's almost always some scene about the president, some cabinet meetings, blah blah blah. That was totally dispensed with this time around. The folks on the ground knew nothing other than a monster was eating folks up. This movie was all about "get away from it". However, once you moved to interior scenes, having the "little monster babies" chase about was very nicely done.

I give it a solid B. It gets props for good ideas, well executed in non-stereotypical fashion. It loses points for not setting and keeping the emotional involvement, the dizzy camerawork, and some unbelieveable bits (yeah yeah I know it's about a giant monster . . . . )

More Crap parenting: the uh-huh chronicles . . .

I was doing dishes/making dinner (can't recall which, usually I do them as I go along while making dinner but hey . . . ) and the girl wanted me to play dolls with her.

We had played earlier, but she was telling me all about how this time, we were going to have a contest, and there was a fashion show, and lots of other things, but I was busy trying to get dishes done and dinner fixed (a quite good pan of enchiladas, I might add).

So I said "gotcha" after some remark . . . and decided until I needed to actually pay attention, that was the only answer she was going to get. I counted at least 40 "gotchas". She didn't catch on . . . this time.

Monday, January 21, 2008

more crap parenting . . .

I don't know why I'm still getting away with this, but until I get busted on it, it's staying in the parental swiss army knife.

Me: "maybe later"

Girl: "okay"

I'll just wait until she realizes she didn't translate from the original parent: "maybe" = "no" and "later" = "never".

Muahahaha! The 100th Post!

Can I go into syndication now? ;-)

Crossfit Plano be representin'

Over on the mainsite:

Crossfit Plano representin' at the Crossfit Cert held at GSX Sports this weekend (GSX is over in Cow Town, aka Ft. Worth, TX).


I'm curious about the certs, in that I suppose it would be nice to get the cert, but unless I was going to use it for something, I'm not sure I need it. Then again, I ask one bazillion questions on the boards at Brand X, so mebbe there's something I could use, to keep from being a pest.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Chuck E. Fargin' Cheese*

I remember watching this episode of Night Gallery, where the protagonist (John Astin, he of Addams Family fame) is a hip swinging 70's kinda guy who crashes his car and ends up in this weird room, a kind of American hillbilly deliverance Gothic. It's just bizarre, folks spouting nonsense like some sort of avant-guarde play.

Eventually Satan shows up (doesn't he always in a 70's tv show? Note to self: Why were we worried about Science in the 50's, and the occult in the 70's?) and helpfully explains to Mr. Gomez Hipster, that he's in hell. But, here's the rub, this same room that's hell to a hipster, is over in Heaven, because someone good would really really like this weird crap.

Had to attend a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there will be a lot of adults, that if there is a hell, will end up in Chuck E. Cheese for time and all eternity.


So crowded that when we found a table, we set our coats on the seats, and had some of our other restaurant detritus there. Come back a little later after letting the kids go wild playing games and there's this guy sitting at the table. Well, I needed to get something from one of the coats, and this dude just sits there. Doesn't utter a word. Like what am I supposed to say? "Excuse me Mister, but you're violating the social compact by failing to acknowledge your bogarting of my seat. If you say "oh sorry" that gives me an out to be polite the old fake contrition, and society moves on greased by . If you keep sitting your weird ass there, not acknowledging the universal rule of "finders keepers" and "early bird" I gotta get weird. I just left, figuring it would work itself out. It did.

Am standing there with my son looking around for our next mechanical toy to stuff tokens in and I feel the token cup in my hand getting very heavy. I look down and there's this kid trying to take tokens out of my cup! While I'm holding it! I get all "Whoa buddy! What are you doing?" And I get some kid answer like "well I was on the going to . . . "

I hate that place as much as the kids seem to love it.

*My apologies to Mr. Lileks who has said more and better and funnier things about this place than I ever will.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

WOD-power snatch/pushups

AMRAP in 20 min:

12 power snatch @ 65lbs (subbed 55lbs)
10 pushups

7 + 12 snatches

This is a hard workout. Ticked off that I didn't know how close I was to the end. I could have knocked out those last pushups, because they weren't the thing causing me distress.

Still, it was a tough workout. I thinks me shoulders is spent.

'splainin' my sucess with the ladies!

Eeeyup. Watch and learn fellas, watch and learn.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Meet the Robinsons

I give it two thumbs up. And a big toe. Good stuff that. I wanna think about it a bit, but good funny stuff. Frog mobsters. I kinda liked that.

The best part of Disney getting Pixar was that John Lassiter got Disney . . . .

Good discussion on the value of an LL.M.

If you're interested in the value of an LL.M. degree as an adjunct to your J.D., this discussion may be of value to you . . . of course, it's about as useful as all your relatives telling you what career to get into, but it gives you all the contours of the argument.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

How sick do you have to be . . .

To be unable to run a fake campaign for a fake office, and a fake election.

HAVANA - Fidel Castro said Wednesday he is not yet healthy enough to speak to Cuba's masses in person and can't campaign for Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Hmm. So they were all on the fence, but an appearance by El Jefe now, that'd change some hearts and minds . . .

"I am not physically able to speak directly to the citizens of the municipality where I was nominated for our elections next Sunday," the ailing 81-year-old wrote in an essay published Wednesday by state news media.

Glad to know his mad essay writing skilz are getting a workout. I find that extemporaneous speaking and essay writing require overlapping but not identical skills. Do you agree Castrito?

Castro's latest essay focused on blasting U.S. President George W. Bush, but included references to the Cuban leader's health.

He's writing for the Huffington Post and Mother Jones?

It was published on the front pages of state-run newspapers a day after Castro met for more than two hours with Brazilian President Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who said he though Castro appeared healthy enough to return to politics.

Yeah, you know, politics. That give and take, opposing parties, all that . . .

Castro has not been seen in public since July 2006, when emergency intestinal surgery forced him to cede power to a provisional government headed by his younger brother Raul, five years his junior.

Wait, I'm confused . . . who elected Raul? Is he on the ballot? Is he one of the opposing parties?

Riddle me this Batman: Why do the most heinous non-democratic regimes hold "elections"? I mean, is it one of those things whereby they can say "we hold elections too!". What I find funny, too, is among certain quarters, we engage in self-flagellation because we're not perfect. And to some extent I agree, we should constantly engage in the type of behavior that puts our institutions under the microscope and makes them more transparent, and those in charge more accountable. I mean, I love it when some Dirt-istan starts talkin' smack about our human rights issues. Are we perfect? Nope. Can we do better? Yep. But until you get close to our GENERAL level of competence, you can have a nice warm glass of shut the heck up.

Update: I thought about this some more and realized it pissed me off more than I had orignally thought. How come the article doesn't mention the sham aspects of it all? And riddle me this: reporters will admit that they have to toe the party line just to get access to these despotic regimes. Then they print what the regime tells them, rather than the truth. So the argument is "We print what they tell us so we have access to the lies they are going to tell us". Smooth. I mean, please. Castro could wash his arse for 40 years and never get all the AP reporter lipstick off it. Why not take a stand and only print real stuff, let the chips fall where they may and then REPORT that they don't let you report anything.

More crap parenting . . .

Daughter: "When are Mr. Fishy and Mrs. Fishy coming back from the vet's?

Me: "I'm not sure. They're probably taking a vacation in the ocean! Doesn't that sound like fun?"

Daughter: "Yeah!"

Note: The only trip those fish have taken was to the hereafter, via the toilet. Using the Dad-i (or Mom-i) mind trick isn't pretty, but sometimes necessary.

Note2: Yes, their names were Mr. Fishy and Mrs. Fishy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


That waist-high drawing you find all over everything the minute your turn your back on your child. It's like your house/car/clothing/table/tablecloth/other child* is Rome or something. See also: "500 crayons, but one permanent marker: ability of child to find".

And am I the only one who paints over the marking on the wall rather than trying to clean it? Sorry folks with wallpaper, I win this round . . .

*Family story: younger sister is being too quiet. Mom checks in on her. Finds her marking up the wall, the crib, and the even younger sister in the crib. Purple it was. Permanent it was. Yep, mom had to show of the purple head baby for a while.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

100 pushups

Couldn't get to the gym tonight, which was a total bummer, since they were doing a mile run which I would have totally wailed on.

So I did 100 pushups in the comfort of my very own home! (That's just a weird statement, but commercials say something like that all the time: "your very own home!" It's just odd idiomatic English, far as I can tell, but what can you expect from the language where you chop a tree down so you can chop it up . . . )

100 pushups: 8:06. Beat the old mark of 9:11 set on 11/12. So just over a minute improvement in a couple months. I'd like to get this to under 6 by the end of the year.

The ten things I've done that you likely haven't

Scalzi made me do it:

1) Intentionally failed the Army's Air Assault course.
2) Became reasonably fluent in Persian/Farsi and then lost it (and I wasn't Iranian to begin with).
3) At 6', 200lbs, been the "littlest bouncer" (how cute!) at a Country Western Bar.
4) Worked at a bar Jack Ruby used to manage.
5) Taken a class from one of Ted Bundy's professors.
6) Taken a class from one of Lee Harvey Oswald's teachers . . .
7) Had a client who claimed his father helped with the assassination of JFK.
8) Had "The Bangles" sign my chest at a music store.
9) Been a roadie for an Ethiopian band.
10) Have Gwendolyn Brooks find your favorite literature "interesting".

Monday, January 14, 2008

Man, that's some slooooow post

After the Christmas present fest died down, we realized a couple things we thought were supposed to come didn't. We knew some things had been bought off our Amazon lists, but the stuff never showed up. I mentioned it to DW but she shrugged it off, her reasoning being maybe the stuff didn't ship and the senders changed their minds. No biggie.

But also, around the same time, DW ordered a new stethoscope for her new nursing gig. She needed an infant sized one, so ordered on-line. It was supposed to show up on Christmas eve, but no dice. No show.

Now, that, she wanted to track down, so she spent all sorts of time on the phone with the seller, and at our post office, and finally the seller agreed to send her a new one, of the one she wanted, which was nice of them, since neither of us thought they were at fault.

So come yesterday as we come back from church, there are two packages on the porch. On January 13, Sunday. Two packages. One from, and one from the stethoscope supply company. And they weren't there before we left at 10:15.

Ha! I'm guessing a neighbor realized they had the packages, forgot to give them to us, then were embarrassed that they had them for so long, so waited till we weren't there or that we might not know they were putting them on the porch. Very funny, really . . . and now DW has like three stethoscopes . . .

Skill work

Didn't have a chance to do much of a workout yesterday, normally I would have done the 3/1 work/rest but that suffer on saturday wiped me out. So I did some skill work:

2:00 of handstands against the wall, i.e., stood on head for as long as I could stand at a time until I had amassed 2:00 upside down. Next time will be 3, etc.

HSPU progression: 20 x knees on bench, and 10 x pike-ish, i.e. feet on bench, bent at waist so shoulders and back are in line with arms and hands. Much harder. Will do 20 of that, next time.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Coach Troy Be Famous . . .

Coach Troy made the front page! Local boy done good!

Sufrir en Sabado . . .

Good lord:

or time:
800m run
50 Kettlebell Swings - 24kg
50 Knees to Elbows
50 Push Press - 65lb
50 Burpees
50 Walking Lunges
400m run
50 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls - 65lb
50 Situps
50 Ball Slams - 20lb
50 Push Ups
50 Jumping Pull Ups
800m run

My scales (pack) were as follow:

35 reps on each, 16kg kettlebell swings, 45lb bar on push press and sumo deadlift high pulls


I could swear I've done this exact workout before and I wasn't the only one, but I can't find it in my log books. Maybe I just dreamt about it . . .

Friday, January 11, 2008

How I spent my winter vacation!

Karen has another assignment.

So, how I spent my winter vacation!

What I like most about winter. I winter in Texas, near Dallas to be exact. Winter in Texas is more annoying than behavior altering. I don't know the exact figures, but we have lows in the 40's, generally. That's coat weather. Often all that means is that I throw a sport coat on as I go to work. I mean, really, I move from house garage to work garage and never leave the car.

So, what do I like about it? It's a respite from the heat. Texas can get blazingly hot in the summer, with the humidity to boot. I don't have to mow the lawn. But, there's not much to love about a Texas winter: there's just no there there. If there is something to love it's the absence of winter. The fact that cold just pops you indoors for a couple days at a time. The winters here aren't as unrelenting as the winters in places like Utah and Kansas, where I've lived.

What do I hate about them? The ice storms: because even though Dallas is full of Yankees, y'all forgot how to drive in this stuff. About once a winter, it rains and that crap freezes all over the roads. And we don't close the office until the Dallas public schools close. And they are evidently unconcerned by things such as oh, people driving to school and dying, hit by errant Yankees and Bubbas with 4 wheel drive and a lack of knowledge of physics . . . So on those days I must drive to work, white knuckling the drive . . . yay.

Here's to you Metric!!

Lookee what I found in my local grocer's refrigerated cabinet! Beer from New Zealand!! Made by Hobbits for Hobbits!!! The best lager in the shire!!! Kind of like a grown up version of the Keebler elves!! Instead of a bunch of cookies we get Man Water!!!

Actually, it's very good. It reminds me most of Heineken, at least the nose, and a kind of malty sweetness in the finish. All in all, a fine effort from our brethren down under. Of course, now I'll have some comment where I'm drinking the crappiest beer in New Zealand. "You can't be serious!" Like how we'll drink Newcastle brown ale here in the states and say things like "this is good!!" when at home its like drinking malt liquor: it does the trick, but it's revered more for its alcohol content than it's other qualities . . .

I realize now that I think that unless there's some beer in the lesser Englishy places, like Hong Kong, or India, I have finally completed my brewed grain, malt, and hops tour of the Anglosphere!! Hooray for Beer!!! And I admit that the great shame of our Nation is that that while we share our language, and our civic culture with England, our Mum, about all of our beer is named for Germans. How's that for payback? It's like dating someone mom disapproves of . . .

The "Fran" Never Ends!

This seemed like a Fran variation:

AMRAP in 20 minutes:

12 Thrusters (65lbs)/10 Pullups

7 rounds +4 thrusters.

Okay, so that was 88 Thrusters, and 70 pullups.

I'll need to try standard Fran with 65lbs now.

Hi Ho you there in FloMo!!

To my Flower Mound, Texas, visitor: "Ain't no party like a Flo-Mo" party!" You Flower Moundians Rock!!!

Not a no, but a heck no . . .

I find this telling: in an efficiency review, composing a letter and printing it is supposed to take more time than printing a will.

Okay, maybe I'm confused, but I think this question assumes a great deal, or the authors are not EP practitioners. If they mean print, as in "I've spent the hour with the client discerning jst what they want to have happen" and "now I've added in the specific bequests of certain items" but the printing time is only 5 minutes, fine. But that's like saying "We're not counting the writing time of the client correspondence, only the time it takes to click 'print'".

And what do we mean by simple will? Outright to surviving spouse? Okay, I can see that. But I recently had some "I love you" wills done with my lovely bride. We have no assets to speak of. The wills are relatively simple: the survivor gets all the stuff. I know it took more than 5 minutes to plan and print.

I don't want to say the authors don't know what they're talking about, but I'm guessing they don't know what they're talking about. It's a huge and common misconception amongst lawyer folks who don't do this for a living that once we wrote the form down in the computer, it's a matter of sticking in the right names and everything is hunky dory, that 99% of what we do is make boiler plate.

So, if we're only talking about printing up a basic will . . . i.e. click, print, yeah, 5 minutes. Otherwise I want to know why clients pay for litigators to review the deposition they attended. :-) Because maybe, just maybe, there's more to it than that.

Dive Bars part deux . . .


So previously, I went over a couple of the things you should have in a proper dive bar. Here are a couple more:

Drinks: In a word, beer. In two words: Native beer. The bar should sell the beer of your country. Furthermore, if there's a local beer, they should serve that too. Arguably, the "crappier" the better. I was once in a bar that served Schaefer Light on tap. I mean, serving Schaefer on tap was inspired. Serving Schaefer light was like genius inspired by wisdom. Yeah Buddy!!! (At some point down the quality scale, most American Lagers lose their taste anyway. Just man up and drink it.)

(Note: I could get into my discourse about beer. I once had an English professor who could wax eloquently about pens, and I mean, 15 minutes of the first class lecture. I can do the same with beer. I shall refrain momentarily.)

Food: I consider this an option. It isn't at all necessary, but some of my favorite divey places served food. Notably the pizza place mentioned previously. If the place has food, however, it needs something to set it apart. It should have some odd (not like pigs feet odd or pickled egg odd) thing or odd custom on the menu. For example, there's a place in Cleveland that puts the fries on your sandwich.

Music: This one's tough. There ought to be a jukebox, but I hesitate because that suggests you can come in and willy nilly play whatever you'd like. To me a dive bar has a personality expressed by its patrons, and like online forums, there's usually an unspoken set of rules that go along with what's played on the jukebox. Coming in like a noob and up and changing the music is a faux pas. True story: Was at the gym in the weight room. To say the population leaned heavily to the testosterone side of the population would give you the impression that there were more than just a handfull of women in there. Well, the weight room had its own music channel and was blasting out some good hard rock and metal. I swear to god this woman came in, got on the thigh master, heard the music, and immediately went back out, had it changed to something light rock/poppy. I mean, lady, please! We all liked what was playing! It was a perfect example of not taking into account what the group wanted overall.

And next we'll be behind exterminators . . .

This is interesting. Evidently, we lawyers are only perceived to be as prestigious as dentists . . .

The funny thing about that is this: you get what you earn. Prestige is a tricky idea anyway. I've always understood it to be something that attaches to the office, but not to you personally. Doesn't that seem a lot like "unearned wealth" or somesuch? Sometimes there is direct correlation: A Rhodes Scholar is likely worthy of his prestige. But how about Senator?

But I also think this can't be anything but good for the profession: if it loses it's built in prestige, maybe, just maybe, it will have to earn some.

And actually, though, I'm jealous. Had I known about investment banking earlier, I might have made a play for that. If you're going to work stupid hours, doing stupid things, this seemed to be a better devil's bargain. I've heard of lots of investment bankers who managed to get their FU money. The only lawyers I've heard of doing that are the jackpot winners, i.e., trial lawyers who get a lucky break.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Crap Parenting Moment of The Day:

Me, to Boy, on the way to school: "And you're always a good boy."
Girl to me: "I'm always good too!"
Me: "Exactly, when I say your brother is good, I also mean you too! Just like when I tell you how smart you are, I also mean your brother is smart too, isn't that right?"
Girl: "Yes."

When you can't get excellence, go for "buy-in".

Pretty sure the 5 year old saw through that. 99% of the time, its better if I say fewer things . . .

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

En Fuego!!!!!

Another PR Baby!!! Boo-yah!!!



155-177-199-221-231 (pr)

And actually, this is weird, but I haven't done a one rep max in a while, but continued to work on my deads, so not only is the 221 higher than my one rep max (previously 217) but the 231 is as well, obviously. So I can do 5 at a weight I couldn't do one at previously. And got the shout out from Garddawg at Brand X. Nice.

Dive Bars . . .

And I don't mean SCUBA.

For those of us with a penchant for dive bars, what makes a good one? I love a good dive bar, and am almost convinced they're like bananas, attaining perfection just seconds before going completely out of business.

For instance: There was this bar located roughly across the street from my college. It had those tiny bar pool tables (if you've played on a regulation table, you know what I mean, all of a sudden the curve of the earth affects your play . . . ). It had white trash music (you know, lots of Led ZZTop Railroad . . . the classics!!) They had cover bands that played crappy versions of the songs they had on the jukebox. They gave away useless swag (like keychains). One night they were giving away free shots of root beer schnapps. Oh yum. We went all the time. It went out of business as soon as it could.

So what makes the bar perfectly good and divey? Here are the things that help:

Grottyness: It shouldn't be completely disgusting, but a certain amount of, oh, lack of upkeep adds character. My favorites: The pizza place where when it rained, the water came through the roof, onto the floor in the hallways leading to the bathroom. The floor then began to SAG as you walked across it. So there you were drinking pitchers of beer that were $2.65, and then beer waddling around drip buckets across a wavy bouncy floor likely to give way any second. Ahhh, perfection.

Clientele: It should have a good mix. If it's all Ken and Sharons, or all ex cons, hmm. Not exactly right. The better ones are the ones where you the interloper are there on someone else's turf. It should be a semi-neighborhood joint. Some of the regulars should be "interesting". And by "interesting" I don't mean the ex-con who had prison tattoos up and down his arms. Yep. He was interesting allright . . . just don't make eye contact.

I'll have a bit more on this later.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

PR time BABY!!!!!


5 x 5 @ 65, 75, 85, 95, 105-f (3x) Still a PR

Then on a lark, max pullups: 17 PR

Pullups were hard because I hung on the bar and had to throw out 4-6 crap pullups. If the head didn't go over the hands, no dice. My grip gave out before my arms could come back. ;-)

I hope I made Elvis proud . . .

This shouldn't be as funny as it is . . .

I'm sorry, but it just lends itself to jokes like:

Is there a senior discount?
Could you get a nice little kickback, you know, some extra bingo swag, maybe an extra pudding cup, if you tipped the funeral home off to, um, "likely prospects"?
What's the price before 4:30 pm?
What's that they say about "location location location"?
Why do the call the people at the senior center "turtles"? "Because it takes them an average of 85 years to get across the street!"

Thank you!!! Don't forget to tip your bartenders and waitresses, even though there's a two drink minimum in addition to your cover charge . . . I'll be here all week!

Happy Birthday Jesse Garon and EAP . . .

He would be 73 today . . . btw, there's a great short story out there called "Red Elvis" by Walter Jon Williams. Goooooood stuff that.

The economically rational lawyer . . .

would look over this chart very carefully before starting law school. Granted this is not everything. There are non monetary reasons to go to these other schools. But know this: the amount you work per week/month/year is not substantially different (i.e. billable requirements) between the top and the bottom. What differs is just how much YOU get paid.

This, I believe, is a better marker than the annual law school rankings: This tells you with authority what you get for going where, i.e., what actual value is placed on the legal education you receive.

Noteable absences: Yale? Did I miss it? Oh, and why am I very curious about a methodology that puts Duke above Harvard . . . government work? What am I missing.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Prisoner

I remember something from when I was little, this scary thing I saw on television. It was a big white ball, that chased people. And when it caught them it would envelop them and you would see their faces contorted and apparently screaming from within this thing. It's kind of spooky as an adult, but as a kid, I had bad dreams for years over that thing. Or rather, that thing became one of the regular bad guy players in my dreams. Every once in a while it was the big white bouncy ball that chases and eats you . . .

Fast forward (or slow forward if you like) to a few months ago, when a friend at work loans me a copy of his dvds of "The Prisoner" series.

I pop the first dvd in, having no real expectations, other than his description of this as this kind of avant guard television series, containing interesting symbolism. I thought it sounded interesting, at least, from his description.

But there it is: the giant white ball. It has a name: Rover. It captures those escaping from "The Village".

It is an odd odd show. Well written. Interesting. But I'm about 2/3 of the way through and want to reserve judgment until the end, but there are interesting things to note: Everyone in the Village has a number, not a name. Yet Number 6, the protagonist, never says "I'm not Number 6, I'm "John Smith" or whatever his name is. He will say he's a "free man", but he doesn't seem to ever mention his name.

Like I said, not the usual.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Saturday, January 5, 2008

How I spent my Writer's strike vacation . . .

The first day of my Writer's strike vacation, I went to look for a job. I could not find one, so I hung around the drug store . . .

No wait, not at all what happened.

This homework assignment is courtesy of the Whatever, J. Scalzi proprietor, linking from Karen Funk Blocher's site.

So, what is different since the WGA strike?

Um, nothing, but here's why: Too much backlog of really really good stuff.

Like John, I had gotten out of the habit of too much tv watching, somewhere in high school. I found one summer that I watched tv from sunup to sundown and decided that was no way to use a brain.

And I hated being tied down by TV schedules. Worse, most of the shows weren't that good, so setting a slot aside in the week, that was to be inviolable seemed pointless.

Besides, if you have a job, kids, grad school, all that, there's really precious little time to spend in front of the idiot box.

Then something happened. I think it was whispers about Buffy. Or TV shows with long form plots, i.e., while each show is about something, the whole series is about something too. Why that intrigued me, I don't know, but it did. Serials? (Shall we discuss why "24" is the best serial about a paranoid country ever?)

But the thing that drew me into any TV watching whatsoever, wasn't a show . . . it was a thing: the DVR. Well, that and Battlestar Galactica. Now I could chase down those shows that sounded interesting. I didn't have to miss anything. I could see them when I had time, after the kids were to bed. I could save the ones I wanted! I could rewind if I missed something, fastforward through commercials!! Oh praise the gods!! TV as the gods intended!!!

Also, for whatever reason, I don't like my shows parceled out. Yeah, yeah, I know that's the way of it, if you want the new ones, but here were all these shows on DVD where I could watch the whole season: So what am I doing now? Working my way through "The Prisoner" which is great, and the first season of "Heroes". There are the two movies I got from Christmas that I haven't even cracked open: "The Thing" starring Marshall Dillon and a new Christopher Lee Dracula!!! That doesn't even get me through the HOURS of Xbox games I haven't finished.

There's more good entertainment I haven't seen yet than they're going to make this next year. I think I'll be okay.

Beach Assault

Crossfit Dallas (Plano, TX)

"Beach Assault" (subs noted, did pack scale)
Row to shore:
1000 meter row
Climb the cliff:
5 rope climbs (3 on knotted rope)
Assault the Target
100 burpees (50)
100 wallball shots 20lb (50)
Carry the Wounded:
200 meter Farmer's Walk, 2x32 kg kb (did 24kg kb)
Descend the Cliff:
5 Rope climbs (3 on knotted rope)
1000 meter row


Ow. Very happy with the time though. 8 minutes of that was rowing. And a bunch of minutes was probably wasted psyching myself up to go back up the rope . . . nothing like hanging there at the top with no grip left . . .

Friday, January 4, 2008

Even after all that . . . .

I've got a good friend applying to law school. I don't think I can talk him out of it, but I think I can give him some pointers.

He was pretty much set on it. And really, I'm not against lawyers (mostly anyway . . . some of the pointy head bar stewards got it coming to them). But against doing things for the wrong reasons.

A friend of mine in law school put it thusly: "People don't want to be a nothin'. They come to law school so that they can be a 'something' whether or not it was the right thing to do."

I just hope it works out for him. I'm not exactly sure why he's doing it, he's done a lot of work in finance . . . it seems that an MBA would suit him better, but what do I know?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Coach Troy be killin' us!

5 rft
run 400m
10 thrusters @ 79lbs


Oh lord, it's like the three days of Nancy . . .

Okay, on Monday, Cfit Dallas (in Plano, TX) did "Nancy" or 5 rft 400 meter run, 15 ohs @ 95lbs.

Tuesday we did Fran . . . Wednesday we did 5 rft of 400 meter run and 12 deadlifts @ 225. Today we do 5 rft of 400 meter run and thrusters @ 135 . . .

Man, it's Nancy, pulling Nancy, and pushing Nancy . . .

I about barfed last night . . . tonight shall be fun, considering my butt is still sore . . . .

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

WOD-Runs and Deads

Five Rounds for time:

400 Meter run
12 Deadlifts @135 (rx was 225, but, I ain't no stud . . . )


Man does that make your backside hurt.