Recently, my workouts have taken a bit of a nose dive. I’m still running a couple days a week, but I should be doing more. Also, I’ve pretty much halted my strength training for no good reason other than, “I don’t wanna.” I’m feeling a bit bored with the whole process, but that’s not really a good excuse. My good eating habits are still in place, but without the fitness regiment to back them up, my progress is going to grow stagnant. I need to come at this from a fresh perspective. While foraging the Internet for inspiration, I came across an interesting post over at The Art of Manliness that caught my attention with 3 words: Steel.Mace.Workout.Um…YES, please!The short version is that fitness experts have designed a full body workout regiment where you swing around a heavy mace known as the gada, the weapon of choice of ancient Hindu warriors. This workout is supposed to build practical strength for real world application. That means a diminished chance of throwing your back out when you didn’t lift with your legs like you’re supposed to. So I did a little research and I found one of these tools of
I’m not a weight lifting guy, in spite of a brief history in full contact sports. Speed and endurance have always been more important to me, which is why I’ve taken to running like I have. Exercise is about health, not how it makes me look. That said, I know strength training is an important part of my fitness journey. I have a Bowflex at home, but lifting is such a mundane activity to me, that I’m never really that into it.
THIS on the other hand? This I could get into. Not only because the idea of getting healthy by swinging around medieval weapons appeals to me, but because of the practical strength aspect. I don’t need to look like a superhero; I just want to feel like one. Also, I will totally OWN the LARP circuit after six months of training with this baby.
If you’ve decided to take up blogging as a hobby, and have made the decision to brave the world of self-hosted blogging, then you know that out from under the aegis of a big blogging community like WordPress.com the spam bots descend upon you like with the fervor of a school of piranhas. Normally their brand of terror come in the form of shallow praise in broken English about the “useful information” the “reader” has gleaned from whatever post they’re attempting to sneak onto with an advertising link to another website. I usually find these funny, so I like to browse a few of them them and get a chuckle before deleting these little cyber demons, banishing them to internet oblivion for all time.
Today, however, I came across one that is a first for me in my 5 years of blogging. It was as irrelevant to the post it was trying to comment on as any other piece of spam, but rather than vague and shallow praise, this bot tried a different tactic. Behold:
Will you please stop typing in capitals all the time, it’s rather annoying? and makes you look stupid….
The spam bots are are evolving into spam trolls. This is a sign of the end times as fortold in the gospel according to Neo. All I can think to say in response is:
At this point everyone in the world has an opinion about the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. Who did it, how cowardly and evil an act it was, etc. I don’t wildly speculate, and I’m not going to rehash what we already know. Yes, it’s terrible. Tragic. An act of terrorism, either domestic or foreign and time will tell on that front.
But from my personal observations, I have to say: we, as a public, are reacting to this tragedy completely wrong.
Hold up a tick. I see your brain already going into rage mode. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be sad. I’m not saying we shouldn’t want justice. I’m not even saying we shouldn’t be a little scared. These are all perfectly reasonable and healthy responses. What happened was terrible. And it could have been me or you in any other large public setting, because that’s the venue for terrible events such as these; but acts of terror are not about killing people, not about hurting people physically at all. These are just catalysts for the real objectives terrorist activities are aiming to achieve. It’s about the panic. It’s about the confusion. It’s about the chaos.
For the past two days my mother has kept her TV set glued to CNN. And as a result she’s become part of the panicked, terrified, and wildly speculative masses that are grasping at every shred of information the news media spits at us as soon as they get what I think is an extremely loose definition of “confirmation” of their sources. At this point it’s important to remember the business that news networks are in. Like any other television network they make money by keeping people glued to their seats. They don’t have sitcoms and 1 hour dramas to do this, so they’ve figured out the best way to keep us tuned in is to show us horrible acts, further sensationalized to the best of their abilities. We can only hope, and I admit that I’m being optimistic here, that they are at least trying to maintain a shred of journalistic integrity as they do this; but more often than not that integrity is compromised for the sake of ratings, feeding us false or barely legitimate new information while rehashing the same news and images of carnage and death over and over again. This further demoralizes viewers and sends them spiraling into irrational rage or paralyzing fear. It’s ironic, but the news media’s business model is the terrorist’s best tool. It turns some of us into vengeful monsters that strengthen the propaganda and lies that are used to indoctrinate new followers. It crushes the spirits of others, shaking the faith in our government, and ultimately democracy.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, turn off the TV. We know what happened, and we’ve seen enough of its horror to not forget it for a long time. Instead, go to the internet and start scanning headlines. Cut out the awful images and just try and absorb the facts coming in. Not just about Boston, but about other things in the world and in our own country. Let a human interest piece lift your spirits and remind you that it’s not the world that’s going mad, but a few mad men trying to remake the world in their own bat-fucked insane image. And for the cosmos’ sake, try and keep what you read in perspective. Read another source to confirm it. And only retain what are the facts. My heart goes out to the persons and families of anyone who has experienced a loss or life-altering trauma due to this event.
I had a bunch of random thoughts this morning and they’re all WAY too long for twitter postings, so here we go:
The Pope Resigns:
This morning I saw on the TVs that Pope Benedict XVI is stepping down as head of the Catholic church because, to irreverently paraphrase his own words, he’s too old to get the job done. I wonder how long it will take for the Internet to explode with Nostradamus nuts speculating end times. If you are unaware, Nos’ prophesied that two popes will follow in JP2′s footsteps before a “Terrible Judge” of the people brings fiery terror to all that is good and holy. I can’t wait to see what delicious crazy talk assaults my senses. Batten down the hatches, folks. We’re in for a bumpy ride.
Cinnamon Vanilla Lattes:
After my workout this morning I stopped in at Wholly Grounds and picked up a cinnamon vanilla latte. If you’ve never had a vanilla latte with cinnamon, it’s delightful and you should get one. It tastes like Cupid is finger-banging Christina Hendricks in your mouth. If you’re not into that kind of thing, then it’s like Red Hots melted in a vanilla latte.
Morning Commute Soundtrack:
I get up very early in the morning. I’m up, like, way before Apollo drags his lazy ass out of bed to drive his chariot across the sky. This morning, after a damn fine workout at the gym and with delicious cinnamon vanilla latte in hand thanks to the gals at Wholly Grounds, I got on my way to work. As the sun broke over the skyline Google Play decided to play The “Riders of Rohan” from the Twin Towers soundtrack. “Very appropriate,” I thought, and it made me feel even more the epic hero after my workout. Google Play wasn’t done being awesome though. It brought me the rest of the way to the office with “Heat of the Moment” by Asia. Dude. Asia.
As I was scrolling through Facebook’s friend “suggestions” I came across a group of people I once knew in in a dark time in my life where I was subjected to a horrible, dank prison known as high school. Deciding to brave this memory lane, I began sneaking peaks at random profiles, and a few minutes later was rewarded with a profound sensation of relief. I decided to voice my emotional chicken nugget out loud to Heidi, my co-worker, and this is how our coversation played out.
Me: You know, a lot of people I went to high school with got trapped in my home town, usually because they failed out of college, or got preggers as soon as their graduation cap hit the turf. I’ve been looking through these people I used to know. Some of which I once entertained or sampled in romantic relationships with. I dodged a giant fucking bullet.
Heidi: Yeah, people get really stupid when they begin to figure out where parts go together.
Me: “THAT FITS WHERE? GENIUS!”
Heidi: “It’s like legos for adults! Or Tetris!”
Me: You’re amazing.
My baby bro just turned 18 and his selective services papers came to me in the mail as he lived with me for a short time. Here is how I gave them to him:
Me: congrats baby bro. Your voters registration papers came in the mail. Now you can take an active role in shaping the future of our nation!
Tony takes envelope with a shaky hand. He’s grinning and has a twinkle in his eye that is common among all optimistic, bright young people: Yay!
Me: Also included in this form is your draft papers, so if we go to world war 3 you’ll be the first to go.
Tony’s expression deflates as he looks down at the envelope: Well… Shit….
I love my baby brother.
Ratsputin is disappointed that his (her?) infernal brethren did not rise from the depths to crush the puny mortals. Poor Ratsputin.
As I write this we have roughly 29 minutes left on 12/21/12 here in Central U.S. time. Unless something catastrophic is about to happen, I think we can safely say that the Mayans were full of poop. The world continues to turn and we all continue to live our lives.
The following is a conversation that took place between myself and my co-worker, Alex.
Alex: Look at all these ray guns pointed at us.
Alex: All the Christmas cards we’ve recieved. They’re like ray guns of love pointed at our hearts.
Me: Ohh! I was looking for real ray guns.
Alex: These are metaphorical ray guns.
Me: Metaphorical ray guns are stupid. I want REAL ray guns.
Alex: Real ray guns can hurt us.
Me: So can love.