Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is this talk of a Bubble Match?

So bacon found in my mailbox this morning indicates that the Rams will play the Jaguars tomorrow at 4:30pm pacific daylight savings time. Whaaaaa...???

For those who don't remember, the Rams were scheduled to play in the Hall of Fame Game this year. We should have played the Bears. That game was canceled. Logically, this must mean one of two things: (1) we were originally scheduled for 5 preseason games, (2) they did something to quickly make up for the lost game. I have not heard of any rescheduling, so we must have been scheduled for 5 originally.

That is absolutely crazy.

In any event, it looks like we will have ourselves a Bubble Match.

For those who don't know, the first game of the Preseason is sometimes called the Fumble Match. This is because no unit in football has its $#it together as of game 1. There are often miscues, fumbles, interceptions, penalties, blown assignments, etc.

The second game has no name.

The third game is called the Dress Rehearsal. This is because both team's starters are expected go 2 or 3 quarters, and both teams are expected to compete for the victory. This is the big tune up game.

The fourth game is called the Bubble Match. Coaches are supposed to play their marginal rosters candidates through most of this game. This is the game where kids in danger of being cut get a chance to show they can do something to help the team make it through the season. If you are on the bubble, this is your chance to make it... at least in the near term. If you don't, they will burst your bubble, and you will be thrown off the team.

I understand Denario Alexander is on the bubble. Some believe Donnie Avery is on the bubble. That wouldn't surprise me, but it would surprise many. Cutting Donnie would mean we just gave up on our 2nd round pick of 2008. That would be another significant bust, and the first credited to GM Billy Devaney. Most believe Brandon Gibson and Mardy Gilyard are on the bubble.

The large number of receivers On the Bubble shouldn't surprise observant Ram-fans. We had the worst receiver corp in professional football last year. Most of these guys did not impress us. I thought Denario and Donnie might be safe, or at least beyond critical reach, but it seems they have underwhelmed coaches in camp and in the Preseason games. There will be some addition through subtraction.

The one guy who would cause me some mourning is Mardy Gilyard. He's a kid with a great story, and he was pretty sensational with the Bearcats, who even ran him as a Heisman candidate a couple of years ago. I was hoping he would flash some of that broken-field running ability we saw in college. However, I have seen some scared play out of him.

Run angry kid. Don't run scared. Run like hell. Don't tread softly. Run to kill the enemy. Don't run to avoid injury. You can still make it, and I hope you do.

206.2... again?

I just weighed in at 206.2 again. This was my weight as of my last log entry a couple of days ago. Two days ago, after a full-slate of aerobic workouts, it went all the way down to 205.2.

Of course, the indication is 16 ounces of lost water weight through sweat. Still, I am surprised that it remains at 206.2 two days later. This could be a good thing.

Yesterday, I completed a full ROM cycle (11:45 minutes of exercise, performing all movements) in less than 22 minutes of real-time. I took very little rest between these intense exercises. I also did a couple of minutes of shake weight in there. It was pretty brutal.

That wasn't enough for me, though. I still went to the gym around 11:00pm for a short weight lifting workout. Short but brutal. Nautilus style workouts are short but sweet.

After this workout, I downed a Pure-Pro 50 protein drink. As the name suggests, this provides 50 grams of pure protein. It's mostly Whey protein, which is the most preferred protein source for Gastric Bypass patients. It provides the protein you need, and stimulates fat-burning at the same time. Whey is less efficient than albumin (egg protein), however, we are willing to trade some protein efficiency for the fat-burning effect whey offers.

This morning, muscles all over my body feel pretty hard, stiff and sore. I got something out of that training last night. I got something out of those 50 grams of whey protein.

Let's remember, the main objective of this cycle is to regain and protect lean weight. I am not happy with my lean weight. This is the two week cycle where I don't give a damn about scale weight. Body fat percentage is the only thing that matters.

My USC linebacker buddy, Aaron Graham, is scarcely 2 inches taller than I am. He currently weighs in at 215 pounds, and he is much leaner than I am. If we put Aaron in the Bod Pod, I doubt he would have 16% body fat. I would guess 13%. This would indicate that he has a mere 27.95 pounds of fat on his frame. This would indicate that he has 187.05 pounds of lean weight on his frame.

My General Practitioner once thought I had 190 pounds of lean, although I am now skeptical of that.

Aaron is a linebacker, I am a nose tackle. I aught to have a lot more lean than he does. He has graciously invited me to go weightlifting with him. I am going to take him up on that offer.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Couple steps shy of the loony bin

Bouy... have you ever had one of those days that made you question the safety and sanity of your environment? I just finished one off. It was a crazy, crazy day.

Since I just finished a full ROM cycle and got whopper of a protein drink down the hatch, I am now feeling a heck of a lot better. Still, this day tested my soul.

So what made this day crazy? I am currently working on a software project, which in itself is an unusual thing. This project has become ultra-politicized. Crazy politics are typical here. On those few occasions when you find yourself working on a software project here, you are working in a politically charged environment, but let's forget all about that.

This is what I would call a 'completition project'. This software project will complete a former project that was left unfinished for unknown reasons. Think of it as finishing an unfished symphony. The strange thing is that you would seldom try to finish Beethoven's unfinished symphony if Beethoven is around to finish it himself. If Beethoven is dead, or has left the company, maybe somebody else should finish his symphony. But then again, maybe not. If Beethoven is still around, he should certainly finish his symphony, correct? Not so?

Folks, our Beethoven is still around. For political reasons undisclosed, Beethoven is not finishing this symphony. We are. This in itself poses both technical and political problems. I honestly don't know why Beethoven is not finishing this symphony. There are three or four vague possibilities. None of them seem like satisfactory explanations to me. I would tell you about each and all them if any of the possibilities made sense.

This situation is crazy. It's just fucking crazy. I had lunch with one of the stakeholders in the project. She also thinks this is crazy. Absolutely fucking crazy. We talked about how crazy it is.

Today, our little finishing team had a run in with Beethoven. Beethoven was going to be dragged back into the project (briefly) to make some minor modification to his symphony. Then he would continue along his former path. He threw a heck of a temper tantrum. Essentially, he insisted that we throw his application software away and start over again from scratch-one. He couldn't and shouldn't be bothered to modify this application. "Start over! I don't want you using my code or database for the scheduler component!"

Gaaawd damnnnn...

I flipped out... very quitely. I struggled to remain completely rational and dispassionate.

I never heard of a programmer telling a company to throw away a working application, or working code he had written... because he could not be bothered. If you understood the magnitude of the disruption to the workflow of the company we are talking about, you would understand what an outlandish and preposterous event this was. I've seen some prima donnas and wide receiver divas in my time, but not like this. We took 90 minutes out of the day to have an ad-hoc meeting with Beethoven and argue about whether we should throw away his application and start over again... and massively disrupt the workflow of the firm. It was a very emotionally charged 90 minutes as well.

The cherry on top came when he insisted our design was bad. Real-time dynamic recalculation of the entire company workload was a necessity. Rather, it is strictly an impossibility.

Absolutely fucking crazy. 90 minutes for a temper tantrum about the categorically impossible proposition of...

Sometimes I think the whole goddamn world is coming to an end in our time. This is the time of trouble. We are at the begining of the birth pangs. The great tribulation is nigh. We got earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear meltdowns, huricanes, floods, peak oil, political corruption, wars all over the place, financial chaos, investment banks looting the world, the world economy teetering at the brink...

The Mayans were probably right on the fucking money. I wonder if things won't go from bad to worse right up until 12/21/2012. This is a scarry goddamn time. The Chinese have an anchient curse that says "May you live in interesting times."

I think all of us are feeling the stress of these times very acutely. I think it is making all of us a little bit crazy with insecurity. All of us are a little bit out-of-sorts because of these stressors.

Beethoven is a pretty good guy. I've had good relations with him. He is a Pisces. I am a Virgo. He advocated me strongly when I was being selected. I know that is looking like a mixed blessing right now, but... He certainly has many valid complains about the way he's been treated around here. They've kept him on an H1 visa for 10 years, which is preposterous. They not done much to help him secure a Green Card. He has been passed over for promotion when he deserved it. He built the biggest cash cow the firm holds, but he doesn't get pay raises or a bonus out of it. He has legit complaints. I understand his position.

Nevertheless, this tantrum today was completely crazy. It did nothing rational to advance his position. It made him look crazy.

I didn't stay for the full 90 minute ad-hoc meeting. I walked out at around 12:35pm. I needed my lunch-time workout badly. I had a brief moment of silent lucidity as I drove back to work. My metabolism was revved up. My blood sugar was good. The beta endorphins were flowing. At that moment I had very pleasant and peaceful thoughts of living in San Francisco, working as a force for sanity in management, visiting with my brother and sister (face to face) just about every day, having a city full of man-shortaged young women.

Even if this is a pipe dream, it was a lovely pipe dream. It occurs to me that there is nothing wrong with my life at this point, which cannot be drastically improved by a change of venue, a fresh start, and a new lease on life. Overall, I am fairly well blessed in my current life, but loony-lunacy of the work day is for the birds.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Results of our Fantasy Football Draft

I got one nasty team, people. I didn't get the two QBs I was targeting, but I did just fine, thank you. I wanted Aaron Rodgers and Sam Bradford. As the draft unfolded, I nailed Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.

What a combo! You basically can't go wrong with those aces pulling the trigger. Now the burning questions is this: Which one do I start? Nice problem to have, aye?

I am loaded to the teeth with Wide Receivers. It's almost disgraceful how I cleaned out the Receiver corp. Consider the following list:
  1. Andre Johnson
  2. Julio Jones
  3. Miles Austin
  4. Donald Driver
  5. Greg Little
  6. Leonard Hankerson
You will notice I nailed all three of the rookie receivers I wanted my Rams to draft. I was pissed... I am still pissed about the way the Rams draft turned out. I would have selected A.J. Green, but the Bengals are so deep in the shit-house that you just can't expect the young lion to have a great rookie year. Hopefully, his second year will be a good one.

At the TE position, I nailed Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Pettigrew. I got Jahvid Best, Mark Ingram, and Ronnie Brown for my running backs. I got Adam Vinatieri as my kicker.

The Packers will be providing my starting defense, however, I did draft the Rams defense as my backup defense.

I really need to acquire a kicker for the by week, when Adam is off. I should have gotten a second kicker.

Round: 1
(1) Team Ortiz - Adrian Peterson RB
(2) Team Graham - Michael Vick QB
(3) Team Alexander - Jamaal Charles RB
(4) Team Hawkins - Arian Foster RB
(5) Team Rolling Thunder - Chris Johnson RB
(6) Team s - Ray Rice RB
(7) Team Kurylo - Michael Turner RB
(8) Market Garden - Aaron Rodgers QB
(9) Reedley Simart Ghai - Lions D/ST D/ST
(10) Team Augies Swag - Rashard Mendenhall RB
(11) Team TD's and Beer - LeSean McCoy RB
** (12) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Andre Johnson WR

Round: 2
** (13) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Drew Brees QB
(14) Team TD's and Beer - Maurice Jones-Drew RB
(15) Team Augies Swag - Tom Brady QB
(16) Reedley Simart Ghai - Marion Barber RB
(17) Market Garden - Antonio Gates TE
(18) Team Kurylo - Steven Jackson RB
(19) Team s - Roddy White WR
(20) Team Rolling Thunder - Philip Rivers QB
(21) Team Hawkins - Greg Jennings WR
(22) Team Alexander - Darren McFadden RB
(23) Team Graham - Larry Fitzgerald WR
(24) Team Ortiz - Calvin Johnson WR

Round: 3
(25) Team Ortiz - Vincent Jackson WR
(26) Team Graham - Frank Gore RB
(27) Team Alexander - Tony Romo QB
(28) Team Hawkins - Matt Forte RB
(29) Team Rolling Thunder - Dallas Clark TE
(30) Team s - Hakeem Nicks WR
(31) Team Kurylo - Matthew Stafford QB
(32) Market Garden - Peyton Hillis RB
(33) Reedley Simart Ghai - Falcons D/ST D/ST
(34) Team Augies Swag - Mike Wallace WR
(35) Team TD's and Beer - Jason Witten TE
** (36) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Miles Austin WR

Round: 4
** (37) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Jahvid Best RB
(38) Team TD's and Beer - DeAngelo Williams RB
(39) Team Augies Swag - Ahmad Bradshaw RB
(40) Reedley Simart Ghai - Bears D/ST D/ST
(41) Market Garden - DeSean Jackson WR
(42) Team Kurylo - Eagles D/ST D/ST
(43) Team s - Reggie Wayne WR
(44) Team Rolling Thunder - Jeremy Shockey TE
(45) Team Hawkins - Peyton Manning QB
(46) Team Alexander - Dwayne Bowe WR
(47) Team Graham - Jonathan Stewart RB
(48) Team Ortiz - Matt Schaub QB

Round: 5
(49) Team Ortiz - Mike Williams WR
(50) Team Graham - Reggie Bush RB
(51) Team Alexander - Dez Bryant WR
(52) Team Hawkins - Knowshon Moreno RB
(53) Team Rolling Thunder - Chester Taylor RB
(54) Team s - LeGarrette Blount RB
(55) Team Kurylo - Marques Colston WR
(56) Market Garden - Felix Jones RB
(57) Reedley Simart Ghai - Adrian Peterson RB
(58) Team Augies Swag - Jermichael Finley TE
(59) Team TD's and Beer - Brandon Lloyd WR
** (60) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Packers D/ST D/ST

Round: 6
** (61) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Mark Ingram RB
(62) Team TD's and Beer - Jeremy Maclin WR
(63) Team Augies Swag - Santonio Holmes WR
(64) Reedley Simart Ghai - Anthony Gonzalez WR
(65) Market Garden - Kenny Britt WR
(66) Team Kurylo - Vernon Davis TE
(67) Team s - Ben Roethlisberger QB
(68) Team Rolling Thunder - Matt Bryant K
(69) Team Hawkins - Steve Johnson WR
(70) Team Alexander - Ryan Grant RB
(71) Team Graham - Wes Welker WR
(72) Team Ortiz - Owen Daniels TE

Round: 7
(73) Team Ortiz - Beanie Wells RB
(74) Team Graham - Daniel Thomas RB
(75) Team Alexander - Steelers D/ST D/ST
(76) Team Hawkins - BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB
(77) Team Rolling Thunder - Eli Manning QB
(78) Team s - Percy Harvin WR
(79) Team Kurylo - Nate Burleson WR
(80) Market Garden - Jets D/ST D/ST
(81) Reedley Simart Ghai - Brett Swenson K
(82) Team Augies Swag - Shonn Greene RB
(83) Team TD's and Beer - Mario Manningham WR
** (84) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Julio Jones WR

Round: 8
** (85) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Matt Ryan QB
(86) Team TD's and Beer - Josh Freeman QB
(87) Team Augies Swag - Ravens D/ST D/ST
(88) Reedley Simart Ghai - Thomas Jones RB
(89) Market Garden - Fred Jackson RB
(90) Team Kurylo - Jason Hanson K
(91) Team s - Ryan Mathews RB
(92) Team Rolling Thunder - Randy Moss WR
(93) Team Hawkins - Cedric Benson RB
(94) Team Alexander - Brent Celek TE
(95) Team Graham - Nate Kaeding K
(96) Team Ortiz - Anquan Boldin WR

Round: 9
(97) Team Ortiz - Sam Bradford QB
(98) Team Graham - Kellen Winslow TE
(99) Team Alexander - Matt Cassel QB
(100) Team Hawkins - Brandon Marshall WR
(101) Team Rolling Thunder - Jay Cutler QB
(102) Team s - Austin Collie WR
(103) Team Kurylo - Chad Ochocinco WR
(104) Market Garden - Malcom Floyd WR
(105) Reedley Simart Ghai - Ryan Succop K
(106) Team Augies Swag - Mike Tolbert RB
(107) Team TD's and Beer - Danny Amendola WR
** (108) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Rob Gronkowski TE

Round: 10
** (109) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Brandon Pettigrew TE
(110) Team TD's and Beer - Plaxico Burress WR
(111) Team Augies Swag - Sidney Rice WR
(112) Reedley Simart Ghai - Aaron Hernandez TE
(113) Market Garden - Marshawn Lynch RB
(114) Team Kurylo - Colt McCoy QB
(115) Team s - Pierre Garcon WR
(116) Team Rolling Thunder - Patriots D/ST D/ST
(117) Team Hawkins - Marcedes Lewis TE
(118) Team Alexander - Joe Flacco QB
(119) Team Graham - Jimmy Graham TE
(120) Team Ortiz - Dolphins D/ST D/ST

Round: 11
(121) Team Ortiz - Josh Brown K
(122) Team Graham - Cam Newton QB
(123) Team Alexander - Kevin Kolb QB
(124) Team Hawkins - James Starks RB
(125) Team Rolling Thunder - Desmond Clark TE
(126) Team s - Pierre Thomas RB
(127) Team Kurylo - Tony Gonzalez TE
(128) Market Garden - Steve Smith WR
(129) Reedley Simart Ghai - Greg Olsen TE
(130) Team Augies Swag - A.J. Green WR
(131) Team TD's and Beer - Mark Sanchez QB
** (132) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Ronnie Brown RB

Round: 12
** (133) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Adam Vinatieri K
(134) Team TD's and Beer - Saints D/ST D/ST
(135) Team Augies Swag - Kyle Orton QB
(136) Reedley Simart Ghai - Bernard Berrian WR
(137) Market Garden - Joseph Addai RB
(138) Team Kurylo - Brandon Jacobs RB
(139) Team s - Santana Moss WR
(140) Team Rolling Thunder - Tim Hightower RB
(141) Team Hawkins - Johnny Knox WR
(142) Team Alexander - Neil Rackers K
(143) Team Graham - Michael Bush RB
(144) Team Ortiz - Jacoby Ford WR

Round: 13
(145) Team Ortiz - Zach Miller TE
(146) Team Graham - Roy Williams WR
(147) Team Alexander - Willis McGahee RB
(148) Team Hawkins - C.J. Spiller RB
(149) Team Rolling Thunder - Mike Thomas WR
(150) Team s - Lance Moore WR
(151) Team Kurylo - Chargers D/ST D/ST
(152) Market Garden - Robert Meachem WR
(153) Reedley Simart Ghai - Jordy Nelson WR
(154) Team Augies Swag - Stephen Gostkowski K
(155) Team TD's and Beer - Baron Batch RB
** (156) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Greg Little WR

Round: 14
** (157) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Leonard Hankerson WR
(158) Team TD's and Beer - Cowboys D/ST D/ST
(159) Team Augies Swag - Giants D/ST D/ST
(160) Reedley Simart Ghai - Jerome Harrison RB
(161) Market Garden - Donovan McNabb QB
(162) Team Kurylo - Mike Sims-Walker WR
(163) Team s - Rob Bironas K
(164) Team Rolling Thunder - Ryan Torain RB
(165) Team Hawkins - Braylon Edwards WR
(166) Team Alexander - Steve Smith WR
(167) Team Graham - LaDainian Tomlinson RB
(168) Team Ortiz - Danny Woodhead RB

Round: 15
(169) Team Ortiz - Denarius Moore WR
(170) Team Graham - James Jones WR
(171) Team Alexander - Darren Sproles RB
(172) Team Hawkins - Garrett Hartley K
(173) Team Rolling Thunder - Ricky Williams RB
(174) Team s - Dustin Keller TE
(175) Team Kurylo - Jerome Simpson WR
(176) Market Garden - Chris Cooley TE
(177) Reedley Simart Ghai - David Garrard QB
(178) Team Augies Swag - Todd Heap TE
(179) Team TD's and Beer - Robert Agnone TE
** (180) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Donald Driver WR

Round: 16
** (181) Woodsman Sexy Cocks - Rams D/ST D/ST
(182) Team TD's and Beer - David Akers K
(183) Team Augies Swag - Lee Evans WR
(184) Reedley Simart Ghai - Michael Crabtree WR
(185) Market Garden - Billy Cundiff K
(186) Team Kurylo - Jason Snelling RB
(187) Team s - Chiefs D/ST D/ST
(188) Team Rolling Thunder - Mike Williams WR
(189) Team Hawkins - Raiders D/ST D/ST
(190) Team Alexander - Tony Moeaki TE
(191) Team Graham - 49ers D/ST D/ST
(192) Team Ortiz - Taiwan Jones RB

The Sexy Bastards

So I have decided to play fantasy football this season. That is a first. My team's name is the Sexy Bastards. This is in honor of the fact that I am now officially recognized as the sexiest bastard in the company.

I have posted my teams logo, mascot, and top cheerleader right here for all you to see. As you can see, she fits the team's image perfectly.

Our draft takes place at 8:00pm, or in about 2:15. I will let you know who I draft.

Everyone says take a running back in the first round, and a QB in the second. We shall see.


Just weighed in a moment ago on the Tanita scale, and the score is 206.2. This means the Bod Pod would have me at 205.35 this morning. This is exactly 4.01 pounds less than the last Bod Pod test.

I have been very diligent about protecting my lean weight during this cycle. I executed my 4th Nautilus-style workout of this 2 week cycle yesterday. Two more will follow before my Friday test. Most of my weights and reps went up. This is usually an indication of increasing lean weight. It is usually impossible to increase in strength or stamina without some increase--no matter how small--in lean weight.

This is the right way to kick off the week. This is shaping up to be a very nice test indeed.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another case where Sirus got it wrong

Those of you who read this blog know I am a fan of the Sirus 1.1 astrology package. You also know that I view this engine as imperfect. It generates a lot of solid results. Then it screws up. It screws up not because I say it screws up, but because it does not identify key synastry aspects any keen-eyed astrologer would spot on close examination.

In other words, it fails to consistently apply the rules of the game. It makes mistakes, and that can be demonstrated by the book. This is probably just a simple defect in coding in some cases. In others, it may be that writers of this software subscribe to a different philosophy. Nevertheless, errors are made.

Such is the case with Poppy Montgomery, the new star of the new TV series called Unforgettable. If you are like me, you are watching a lot of preseason football right now. If you are like me, you are seeing preposterous numbers of commercials for the upcoming TV season. You may or may not have caught the advertisement for Unforgettable. If you have, you may agree with me that Poppy Montgomery is pretty unforgettable.

She just about knocked me over when I first laid eyes on her. She's a stunner. Of course, Hollywood is overflowing with stunners. I see a hundred stunners on the tube every single day. Few, if any, blow my brains out like this one did.

Naturally, I had to have a look at the synastry scores to see what was going on. Poppy is a 6/19/1975 Gemini, cusping on Cancer, born in Sydney Australia. She happens to be a gorgeous red-head also.

As a rule, I am not all that thrilled by Geminis. They make good buddies, but the girls don't often flip my lid. When they do, they really do, however. What does Sirus 1.1 have to say about the situation? Nothing to warrant a synastry reaction. Check this out:

1. Romantic and Sexual Attraction: 104
2. Similarity of Interests and Temperament: 229
3. Mutual Success and High Achievement: 21
4. Problem Solving, Communication, and Mutual Understanding: 61
5. Mutual Kindness, Friendliness, Pleasantness, and Peace: 32
6. Aggressiveness, Competition, Power, Success, or Violence: 0
7. Adventurousness, Surprises, Disturbances: 88
8. Shared Creativity, Imagination, and Inspiration: 68

I've learned that whenever my gut disagrees with the scores, it is time to have a look at the planet lineup, and see what Sirus missed. So it was this time. Consider the following snapshot of data:

As you will notice, her Moon is in Libra, mine is in Aries. Roughly speaking, this is a 180 degree opposition. What do we know about opposition? Opposites attract and balance one another. Now this is not precisely a 180 degree angle. It's more like 158, but let's not split hairs. She is a lunar Libra, and I am a Lunar Aries.

Now consider the all-important Mars vs. Venus aspects. These are the most important key determinants in sexual attraction. My Mars is a 5 degrees Leo. Her Venus is at 12 degrees Leo. That is what we call a conjunction folks. When his Mars conjuncts her Venus the two of them are going to react to each other. This is one of the most powerful guarantees of sexual attraction in the book. Here we see it strike once again. Sirus just flat-cold missed it.

Incidentally, I encountered this same conjunction earlier in the summer with that 8/19/1990 Leo girl I mentioned. There was a big reaction there. Still love her to death, folks, but it is better that she find a guy closer to her in age.

But wait! There is still more. Notice that Poppy's Mars is at 21 degrees 18 minutes Aries. Notice that my Venus is at 22 degrees 04 minutes Leo. This is close to a perfect Trine, or 120 degree angle. This is the most favorable angle possible. It may not produce quite the high level of attraction as conjunction or opposition, but it leads to far better things. It is better in quality. Once again, the scoring engine in Sirus blew it. It just flat cold missed on this Trine.

What does the Trine found here mean? It means she would pursue me almost as hard as I would pursue her. She would be on offense, and I would be on offense. Nobody would play any defense.

One more thing: My moon Trines up with her Venus. This leads to very nice emotional understanding and harmony. Why the Sirus engine declares low pleasantness and peace between us I will never understand.

It is true that Sirus makes bad predictions, but this is only because the software fails to identify key and clear aspects that are there in the charts. If the software identified these aspects and scored them correctly, we would see a big score here.

This one should not score less than 300 points. There is some elemental conflict between Gemini and Virgo, but it ain't that bad. I can testify that these two signs love to chat together. We are both Mercurial.

I need to make sure my engine catches these things and scores them correctly.

Rams over Chiefs 14-10 in the Governor's cup

It was a game George Allen would have loved. It fit him to a tee. Furthermore, it was the type of game that will garner praise from any old-school smash-mouther.

The Rams looked like they had acquired former Patriot OC Charlie Weiss from the Chiefs, not former Patriot OC Josh McDaniels from the Broncos. What the Rams showed us in this game was a perfect example of Erhardt-Perkins offense, not the Spread. We ran like hell between the 20s and in the Red Zone we took passing-shots at the end zone to score. That is Erhardt-Perkins folks: You run to win, and pass to score. You run between the 20s and take shots at the end zone when you get to the Red Zone.

This is the offense that garners the most praise from the stogie, stick in the mud, fuddy-duddy, old-time religious conservatives of the golden order of St. Vincent Lombardi. Did somebody just say Merril Hoge..?

Did I mention to you that I utterly detest the Erhardt-Perkins offence? It's my least favorite scheme in the whole wide world. It usually means boring, boring football.

Still, I rather enjoyed it last night. Once again, the Rams offensive line fired out and blew the defensive line 4 and 5 yards off the line of scrimmage. They opened some big holes and Steven Jackson rumbled through with ease. This is something we have seldom seen during his career. Usually, Steve has been responsible for blocking 3 and 4 defenders in addition to carrying the football... each and every time he carried the football.

It's nice to see him get some fucking blocking for a change, goddamnit! What took you so long?

It is nice to see a functional offensive line for a change. Just don't let Sam get destroyed again like you did last night. I know that only happened once, but that was a nasty looking sack. We don't need anymore of that.

With that said, the days of the Ram offensive line pissing me off just might be over. We just need the young tackles to stop jumping off sides. I had visions of Alex Barron for a a split second there in the first quarter.

What happened in this game was pretty obvious. We got Steven Jackson back, and we wanted to give him a tune-up behind our re-born offensive line. I am very pleased with what I saw. I am sure Steve was very pleased with what he saw. I am sure the rest of the NFC West was frowning deeply. I am sure they foresee problems in the future.

We all know that the game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage. Whether you run or pass makes little difference. The game is won and lost at the line of scrimmage. You can't pass or run unless you win at the line of scrimmage.

It was interesting to see the impact that this game had on the world of NFL analysts. Mark Schlereth, one of my favorite ESPN analysts [because of his brutal honesty] was downright sanguine about the Rams. He described us as the class of the NFC West. That's a little bit of a double entendre, but we'll take it. It's a lot better than where we've been all these years.

You just knew that all the old offensive linemen were going to love this performance.

There is something to be said for coming out on the first drive, punching the defense in the mouth relentlessly, and throwing a pretty pass into the end zone. You send a Sicilian message to enemy: I'm going to beat you up, take our lunch money, and make you cry. However, the ESPN guys do exaggerate this value.

A few other observations:
  • We certainly aren't showing much of the spread offense Josh McDaniels is famous for. We're showing just a little, but not a lot.
  • Why is this true? Is this because we are playing Vanilla? Is it possible we wish to conceal what we will really do in the first game of the year versus the Eagles? Or is it because Coach Spags wants something more like a Ground-Chuck offense. I frequently chastised Pat Shurmur for our Ground-Chuck offense in 2009. Maybe it's Spags after all?
  • I'm going to hope we are setting an ambush for the Eagles.
  • We scored all 14 of our points in the first quarter. They got nothing in the first quarter. Our starters whupped their starters pretty badly.
  • As you might surmise, depth is a problem for our Rams. We weren't able to sustain anything after our starters split from the game. Compare and contrast that to the way the Chargers' scrubs came back and won the game against the Cardinals. Teams like the Chargers, whatever their ultimate status, are deeper than our Rams.
  • Their scrubs scored all 10 of their points, both scores coming off turn overs. Sam threw a pretty ugly pick in the first half. This setup a field goal. We had a fumble later in the 2nd half which set up a pretty touch down pass. Nothing else happened for the chiefs.
  • As ESPN taught us, the chiefs have had almost as many turnovers as points scored this preseason. They have scored 23 points and had 22 turnovers. The analysts were laughing at that statistic. That's ugly, ugly, ugly.
  • Despite the fact that I have no confidence at all in the Chargers, I think I am going to have to pick them over the Chiefs in the AFC West race. It looks to me like the Chiefs have regressed mightily this year. I don't think the Chargers have improved, but that doesn't matter, they still look better than the Chiefs right now. This is the year the AFC West passes the NFC West as the worst division in football.
  • The Rams now lead the Governor's cup series 7-5.
  • As Packer CB Charles Woodson says, winning preseason games is not important... if you loose. Winning is important... if you win.
  • Robert Quinn showed up in the clutch, blocking a key field-goal attempt that would have set up an on-side kick and the victory drive for the Chiefs. As it turned out, Quinn's block completely snuffed the Chiefs. You should have heard the KC crowd boo, hiss and boo. The Chiefs died quickly after the blocked kick. As you know, I didn't want to take this kid. That's the way to show up and prove your critics wrong, youngblood.
So the Rams have played their third and final preseason game [remember they canceled the Hall of Fame Game] so we have finished our preseason course. It's all looking pretty good. I think we are going to shoot it out with Cardinals for the title. The Cardinals looked damn impressive against the Chargers. I think they are going to represent problems for us. I still think the 49ers and Seahawks are going to trail far, far behind.

The two guys who have impressed me the most are DT Justin Bannan (#95) and TE Lance Kendricks (#88). Justin Banna has the biggest damn arms I've ever seen... setting aside Gary Gibson. These guys are going to have to establish the 30 inch python club. Hulk Hogan has nothing on these guys.

Lace Kendricks is acquitting himself nicely. We've only seen flashes, but they are good flashes. So far so good. It looks like we may have a tighend vertical threat (finally). It would be nice to see us run the Ghost to the Post. As you know, I wanted Greg Little, now with the Browns. What really bothers me is the assertions that we could have selected Little in the 2nd round and gotten Kendricks in the 3rd. If we had done this, I would have been fine with it.

I'm still a rather pissed about the draft, but it looks like we may get away with it.

Can I ask you a scientific question?

Imagine a fellow, like me, walking into the California Health and Longevity Institute for a Bod Pod test. Suppose this fellow did not use Magnesium Citrate or some other laxative/purgative compound to clear his intestines the day before. Suppose this fellow steps on the scale and into the Bod Pod with his intestines fully loaded with foodstuffs at various levels of digestion.

Does this material in his intestines count as lean weight, or does it count as fat weight? It is a fair question because this material has weight and volume. It has a certain level of density, regardless of what that is. It should show up on the test, unless we have very imprecise instruments. If that is the case, all bets are off.

Knowing the Bod Pod is accurate, it should show up on the test documents. Just how does it show up?

Rationally, if the test is super-accurate, the components of this material that are lean (non-fat) should show up as lean. The components that are fat should show up as fat. If you are eating a low fat diet, about 85-90% of that material should be lean. This would bias the test now wouldn't it? This would skew the figures toward a leaner number, wouldn't it?

This is food for thought, folks. Is the Bod Pod that accurate? Would composition of material in your intestines alter the results of the test? I don't know.

I have been very careful to use Magnesium Citrate before each of the Bod Pod tests. I have cleared out as much as possible before each test. Further, I consume so little in the form of solid food these days, the purge is not all that significant. It's probably better for detox than anything else.

If I were to skip this practice, I would walk into the test a little heavier, and probably a little leaner, wouldn't I? It would be an easy way to cheat the test a bit, now wouldn't it? Less prep equals better results, right?

Nah... I think I will keep the conditions of the test constant.

207.9 a new post-gastric bypass low

This morning, the digital read-out on the scale flickered back and forth between 207.8 and 208.0. Once again, the Tanita rounded up and not down. The official score is 208.0. For the sake of argument, let's presume I am 207.9. This means that the Bod Pod would show me at 207.05 this morning.

[Editor's note, sorry for the inconsistent math before correction. I wrote this before my morning Muscle Milk.]

Not quite a pound less than I was 9 days ago. Hummmm... kinda scarry eh? Nah, not really. I've been completely focused on lean weight this time.
  • Nautilus-style workouts with free weights and machines.
  • The ROM.
  • The shake weight.
  • Core training.
  • Push-ups.
Everything is focused on muscle strength and tone. I do believe this is producing tangible results. All my resistance levels are rising. My muscle tone has improved dramatically in just 4 workouts. My muscularity seems to be rising. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing.

I've been aggressive about raising the resistance on the Elliptical Cross Trainer also. I am now working exclusively at level 16, which is very, very intense. At level 16, I burn 365 kcal in just 22 minutes. This is 16.59 kcal beyond RMR/BMR every single minute. That's pretty brutal baby. Most people burn 8-10 kcal above RMR on the bike or the treadmill. A woman performing 1 hour of aerobic dance will burn approximately 7.5 kcal about RMR for the duration. We're talking about a cool 221.2% increase in intensity over that.

Everything is getting easier, and my capacity to do work continues to grow. I can't help but think that my lean/fat ratio is improving.

Provided that my fat loss has been strictly average, I should have lost 0.5 pounds per day on each of the past 9 days. This means 4.5 pounds of fat loss. Knowing that I am scarcely 1 pound lower in terms of absolute weight, the indication is that I have regained 3.5 pounds of lean.

Is this possible? Yeah sure, given muscle memory, it is possible. Remember, I lost 2.556 of pure lean on the last test. That weight might have snapped back as a result of re-hydration. I might have added a new pound in the past 9 days.

If all this is true, my fat weight should now be approximately 57.5 pounds and my lean should be equal to (207.05 - 57.5 = 149.55). My BFP should then be equal to 27.77% this morning. This is progress folks; -2.03% of progress, to be precise.

Since I have been averaging 1% of fat loss per week for the duration of my testing, -2.03% in just 9 days is very fast-paced progress indeed. It is disappointing that such rapid progress still leaves me with 27.77% body fat, which is still considered obese and high risk. I still have a considerable distance to travel.

Is it legit to consider people with 27.77% body fat obese? Consider the following facts. When you go to the butcher's counter, lean ground beef contains around 10% fat. Not so lean beef contains 15% fat. Fatty pork contains about 20% fat. I contain 27.77% fat. I contain more fat than the ground pork on at the butcher's counter. I still contain my bones and my vital organs... at the present moment. If you made a fillet of Dave, that fillet would certainly contain more than 27.77% fat.

Now, isn't the fatter meat the tastier meat? Don't all the super-star chefs on the Food Network say "Zero percent fat, zero percent flavor"? Doesn't Michael Symon say that the most tragic term in the English language is "Lean Beef"? Of course they do.

But with that said, I still have rendering-out to do. I think it is fair to say a man should meet the standards of not so lean beef before we can call him healthy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Karmic lessons learned

Have you ever had a strange epoch in your life? One where everything basically went okay, but life just didn't make any sense? You were kind of trapped in a waiting place. Nothing really happened. Bizarre crap just happened... one strange thing after another... randomly almost... At the end of the epoch it is all terribly hard to understand how or why things went this way?

I am exiting such an epoch in my professional career right now. It's been a pretty empty four year term. My career has been stalled for four years. I've been rusting and rusticating in Calabasas California since about June of 2007. My employment here has made little sense. More often than not, I have had little or nothing to do. At the same time, I have made close to a 6 figure salary. Well over that, if you consider benefits. At the same time, organizational politics have been quantum. Almost megachurch-like in their intrigue and intensity.

Lately, I have often sat back and marveled at how your author, the most a-political, anti-political technocrat God ever made, was ever brought into such an organization. It makes no sense. Perhaps if they had used me more, and I became a model of how a-political technoman can get things done, this would make more sense. Such is not the case. That explanation is not available.

Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Esoteric Astrology all have a common belief in reincarnation. A common pillar in their doctrines of reincarnation is the concept of the Akashic Record Library. Theosophy also cleaves to this doctrine. The concept is of an ethereal, extra-dimensional, super natural library, record vault, or super computer where all the deeds every done by all the souls who have ever lived are recorded. According to this doctrine, everything you have ever done in all of your many lifetimes, and everything I have ever done in all of my lifetimes, is recorded in the Akashic Record.

In most belief systems, the Akashic Record Library is the dwelling place of the 7 Masters of Destiny. These are benevolent souls who function as magistrates and judges. Their major role is to present a menu of Karmic lessons to each soul about to reincarnate. After studying the karmic deeds of these souls records in the Akashic Library, the 7 masters of destiny have a pretty good idea of what you have learned, and what you need to learn.

You might also think of them as college guidance counselors. They recommend professional choices and a course of classes to help you learn what you need to know. The whole objective is to get you to evolve and become better.

Like a college student choosing classes for this quarter or semester, you ultimately decide what karmic lessons you are going to study during this lifetime. You sign up for those classes. You sign up for those classes with fellow students who are traveling in similar directions, and need these course, or similar courses.

The concept common to all these religions is that groups of friendly souls--classmates of a sort--most of whom know each other from several or even many lifetimes gone by, meet together in the Akashic Record Library and hash-out life contracts with each other. You may agree to be my father, mother, brother, sister, cousin, etc. I may agree to be your father or your mother this time. You may agree to be my son or my daughter this time. Another may agree to be my wife. Another soul may agree to be my illicit lover during my midlife crisis. Some one else may agree to be the buddy who accidentally kills me on a hunting expedition, etc.

All of these contracts, all the challenges they represent, and all of these karmic lessons we are supposed to learn are agreed upon before we incarnate. The 7 Masters of Destiny review these contracts to make sure everything is in order, that the lessons are sufficient, and well chosen. If everything is in good order, the contracts are approved. If not, the contracts will be revised. When the contracts are done, off we go into the womb.

It's all terribly interesting food for thought. I like the fact that it makes us responsible for our own plights and messes in life. We agreed to learn these lessons. That is why we are here, where ever hear is. Of course, I like it is not a criteria of truth, so the fact that I like it doesn't make it true.

For the sake of argument, let us presume that this belief system is true. Consider the past four years of my life. Just what the hell was going on there? Just what the hell did I sign up for? What was I doing in this place? What karmic lessons was I supposed to be learning?

Perhaps I harvested a little good karma from the past without sewing much of anything for the future. It 'tis a scary thought.

I made some friends I hope to stay in contact with. Perhaps these are old and friendly souls I have known many times before. I made it through a good chunk of the Great Recession without interruptions in the pipeline. I got a couple of knee surgeries and a Gastric Bypass out of it. I have essentially fixed my body, and made ready for the second half of my life.

This presumes that the world does not end on 12/21/2012. It will be a short half in this case.

Still, I am hard pressed to identify karmic lessons I have learned. I can count some benefits, but benefits are not tantamount to karmic lessons. These are two different categories of things.

About the only thing I can think of are the following two things:
  1. The pitfalls of hiding your light under a bushel, and making scared choices. I am much more than what I have become, rusting in Calabasas. I have wasted years of professional and personal potential here. I need to be bolder and more aggressive and more fearless in my future professional choices. I need to chose wisely, but I need to chose boldly.
  2. The real pitfalls of workplace romances.
The second one is going to take some considerable unpacking.

Before coming to this company, and for years inside this company, I saw nothing wrong with workplace romances. I wouldn't personally strive for one, but I wouldn't be against one either. If it happened for me, or someone else, I would be perfectly happy.

Well... it's taken four quick years, but I get the feeling the ship is about to explode because of sexual politics. This is a pretty swingin' company. There have been many tales of intrigue in this firm. There are plenty of stories about bedroom antics in the high command. We have it from reputable authorities that these stories are true.

When you look at the intensity and bitterness of the politics inside this outfit, you have to scratch your head and wonder about just what is driving all of this high high-drama stupidity. Why the hell would any of these figures butt-heads to this massive extent about absolutely nothing? What drives their emotion?

You could say Satan finds work for idle hands to do, but I don't think so.

I think the personal battles I see in this organization are a product of scores of busted sexual liaisons. Nearly all of these liaisons failed, but they left behind a viper's nest of awkward entanglements, emotions, and personal agendas. The bigwigs fight like hell because of these things, not because of tech issues. The fights are about everything other than tech issues.

Kinda reminds me of the movie Reds (1981). The interpersonal sexual politics in that story were absolutely crazy.

We've finally reached a point recently where it is becoming impossible to function inside this firm. Many of our guys have active escape plans in progress. I am not the only one. Most of us just can't take it anymore.

Information is our business. Information technology is the cardio-vascular system of our organization. When the guardian-programmers of the system disappear, this firm is going to suffer a massive coronary.

In this location, I have witnessed the incompetence that comes from sexual promotions. I have witnessed the corruption of meritocracy that comes from sexual promotions. I have witnessed the jealous and angry reaction of the meritorious passed over for promotion because of sexual politics. I have witnessed the back-biting and recriminations this produces. I have witnessed brutal personal politics that interfere with ordinary work-days.

I myself have been severely upset by having incompetents placed over me. It is usually pretty tough to piss me off in this manner. I have a pretty high tolerance for stupidity. This is truly excruciating.

In most of the major firms I have worked in, this kind of thing didn't take place.; at least not with this frequency and this intensity. Yeah sure, the boss would get his son or daughter or girlfriend a job. They would have no real responsibilities unless they showed themselves capable. They could not get in the way of a functional machine. Such is not the case here.

In other places, a couple of low-level clerks might fall in love and get married. Everybody was happy for them. We threw them a party.

Yeah, sure, the boss would occasionally take up with a girl in the office. They kept it very quiet, and nothing overt took place in the workplace. This was an after-hours business only. Such is not the case here.

These bloody fools have sewn to the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.

I am looking for my first serious break in management. If successful, I will be a single man, making good money, holding a good position, and a wielding a bit of power in a healthy organization. I will also have something like 15-17% body fat (pretty soon).

Put these things together, and any man, not just me, will become a serious target for acquisition. There are probably going to be office girls in that next workplace who will go after any guy fitting these criteria.

As a single man, it might be tough to say no. I am looking around for a wife, am I not? If I should meet an office girl who tickles my fancy, why shouldn't I go after her, or just let her win?

I'll tell you why not. The past four years of my life have been an object lesson in why not. Sex is a river of fire and when you unleash that volcano, there is no telling where the lava will flow. There is no telling how long it will erupt, how much greenhouse-gas will be released, how big the disruption will be, how much of the city will burn, and how much will be buried.

I take it that I have been sternly warned about the dangers and pitfalls that stem from workplace romances. If I don't learn that lesson vicariously, I am doomed to repeat it. If I don't guard myself closely, I could very well screw-up my big move into management.

Let's remember that this world is not a safe place.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tit for Tat

I just knew something bad was going to happen at work when I got up this morning. Somebody was going to try to smite me someway. I knew it as I drove to work. I just didn't expect it to be this lame.

The game is called tit for tat. It is an old English expression denoting the rule of equivalent retaliation. Game theorists believe it is a highly effective strategy in most types of contests.

Yesterday, the entire company received another one of those annoying corporate eMails indicating that Green Week was coming up. It would begin September 12. I was later notified, by one of my favorite people, that I was on team 4. Team 4 contains several of my least favorite people, and my absolute least favorite person in the entire world.

That would be the nasty little Scorpio I have mentioned before.

"No fucking way! I won't have it!" You don't know this chick. This is a real Type-A control freak who strangles the life out of any project. A true over-officious jerk if there ever was one. She takes these utterly meaningless corporate contests as if they are her chance for a Super Bowl ring and the Hall of Fame in Canton. She is way to competitive about nothing.

I demanded that my favorite person move me to another team. She said she could not. Human Resources had made up the teams. HR would have to change the teams, if the teams were to change. No one expected me to petition HR for a change of teams. Guess what? They were wrong. I did.

HR wanted to know why I wanted a change of teams. I told them. I am a brutally honest dude and a very tactless Virgo. I spat it right out. They moved me.

Now, it turns out that my boss, and let's just call him Coronal Gadaffi, got wind of this. Psychically, I could feel the guy seething and raging yesterday afternoon. I am sure he was pissed off that I nicked his darling Condoleezza's reputation in front of the HR department.

When a man loves a woman, she can do no wrong. He'll break up with his best friend if he puts her down.

I am far from his best friend. Under different circumstances I might have been. I just knew something was going to happen on this day. I never expected it to be quite this lame, though.

Around 3:30pm I was called into HR.

The two HR ladies told me they were asked to investigate my schedule by one of the managers who did not feel comfortable asking me about this subject "themselves". Wanna bet that is Gaddafi? Of course it is. He didn't want to confront me himself because he knows I know. I know he knows I know. I know that he knows that I know that he knows.

He knows I can be explosive about this little thing, and I would not be willing to stay within the boundaries of the little rebuke with him. I can fight very, very dirty. It would be a messy, messy, messy thing to confront me face to face. Could blow a man's entire day.

Sign of weakness. I see a sign of weakness here.

The two HR ladies wanted to know about my schedule. I didn't seem to be working a normal full-time schedule. Of course, this was about my lunchtime workouts. The HR ladies, who are very nice, insisted they know whether these workouts were doctor-mandated. I told them it would be easy enough to produce the doctor(s)' orders if they would like to see them.

Normally, the typical wall-flower would fold up under examination like this. The typical pussy would cry for forgiveness. Not me baby. I told them I would get them doctors orders and listen to their proposal. Not much else. As I mentioned, the two HR ladies are very nice. I like them, and I think they like me. I think they were satisfied they addressed the issue.

The real objective was to play tit for tat. Gaddafi believes I nicked his darling's reputation in front of the HR department yesterday, so he felt it necessary to nick my reputation in front of the HR department today. This is the rule of equivalent retaliation.

Lame, lame, lame.

Anytime you want to do pistols at 10 paces let me know. Let's settle this like a couple of men. I would prefer to shoot it out with your girlfriend. This would be much more fun.

He may also be goading me to hurry up and leave the company, but I am not entirely sure about that. I am certain he knows of my plans. I know he reads this blog as a part of his policy of general surveillance. I am also a loud guy when I want to be.

There are still rumors afoot that he does not want to loose anyone in the programming department. Rumor has it that we are short handed, although I am not sure why people say this. Rumor also has it that we will be firing one of our programmers, who is not me, very soon. Too much sleeping on the job.

I guess it is worse to sleep at work that go for lunchtime workout.

'Tis a shame. The two Earth brothers could get along fabulously were it not for the poisonous Scorpion. She is the poison in the mix. Women usually provide the very best reasons for brother to kill brother. Women have caused many a war between tribes and nations.

I remember when I fell in love with that 413 Pisces girl. [She was my mid-life crisis girl, by the way.] My brother, who is also a Pisces, didn't like her at all. He had no use for her. He felt she was very bad news. He saw nothing but bad things in the tea leaves. He didn't dare to tell me that. He just backed off, and made himself scarce for a month or so.

It turned out that it only lasted one month. Thank God. My brother was mostly correct. He was still careful about the way he addressed the subject afterward. As delirious as I was in this condition of insanity, I would never have listened to him.

I wouldn't expect Coronal Gaddafi to listen either. As deep as he is in the madness, he would never listen to reason, no matter how factual or logical. As Socrates says, love is a very grave form of insanity. Modern psychologists agree. People do take leave of their senses when in this irrational state.

I gotta leave, Coronal. I hate your girlfriend... real bad. That means there ain't room in this company for the three of us.

I'm warning you: One of these days that woman is going to absolutely destroy you. It won't be me. It's going to be her.

I noticed the market is down

I noticed that market is down about 116 points after the first few hours of trading. Now what do you think about that? Apple's stock is back up to $371 per share, but it is still negative for the day. Now what do you think about that?

Do you think the market has some jitters about the Post-Jobs era?

212.0 and all is well

It's curious that we are now 6 days after the last Bod Pod [where I weighed in at 209.34], my current weight is 212.0, and I am pretty fine with it. Why is that?

As you know, the last Bod Pod indicated that I lost 2.556 pounds of lean weight. That is not okay. I am not okay with that fact. Presuming I hadn't lost that lean weight, my weight would have been 211.896 last Friday. Interestingly enough, my weight popped right back up to 212 within 24 hours of the test. This probably indicates that I was temporarily dehydrated.

However, it is interesting that 6 full days later, my weight remains the same, and I am still fine with it. Why is that?

I began a regime of serious weight training again this week. Today, I will execute my 3rd serious Nautilus style workout. Weren't you supposed to do that before? Yes, but I didn't have the heart. I modified my existing regime to focus on stress and intensity over duration. I did not actually add a Nautilus regime to my training. Now I have.

I will do more than just a Nautilus workout today. I will do a full-cycle ROM in just a couple of moments. I will probably do some light cardio at lunch also, just to stay awake this afternoon.

I also added swimming to my regime. I do an evening swim at 24 Hour Fitness. I try to spend 20 minutes in a nice chilly pool, and I do at least 20 100 meter laps. That's 2K folks. That ain't bad. The thermogenics of it should help me to loose more pure fat than ever before.

Essentially, I have decided that this is the 2 week cycle where I am not going to worry about scale weight. I am just going to worry about strength training. For the sake of science, I am going to work on the hypothesis that I am loosing 0.5 to 0.6 pounds of pure fat each day. This loss is courtesy of surgical modifications in my digestive tract. It is reliable and dependable. I can bank on it. I am focusing exclusively on muscularity and strength. I am trying to raise my resistance each time out, and do more reps.

I am hoping and praying the kiss of the Nautilus is activating my muscle memory, and doing so at a pace that is equal to the rate of pure fat loss. If such is the case, I should have lost 3 pounds of pure fat, and added 3 pounds of pure muscle. This is certainly possible, as only 0.5 pounds of that muscle would be new muscle. The rest would be recovered lean weight.

If this were to continue all the way through to Sept 2, my fat weight will drop from 62 to 55 pounds and my total weight will remain constant at 212. Mathematically, 55/212 = 25.94%. In other words, my body fat percentage will drop quite considerably. Ultimately, this is the only thing that matters.

My body weight is already within acceptable parameters according to my orthopedic surgeon. Now leanness and muscularity are the only goals worth pursuing. Absolute weight is neither here nor there. In fact, I would prefer my body weight to remain slightly over 200 pounds whilst achieving a lean mass of 10-15%.

I don't want to be skinny, skinny, skinny.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The end of the Steve Jobs era

Shortly before the close of the stock market today, the powers that be ordered a halt to the trade of Apple Inc stock. A few moments later Apple made an announcement that the Apple world has been dreading for some time. Steve Jobs resigned his position as CEO.

Cancer was not mentioned. He didn't say he was close to death. Rather, the statement read "I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first let you know. Unfortunately that Day has come."

Most do not believe Steve Jobs would take his hand of the wheel of the ship unless he were fairly close to death. We all know he had major surgery for Pancreatic cancer 7 years ago, and a liver transplant surgery 2 years ago. He took a medical leave earlier in the year. We understand the situation.

When trading resumed, the value of Apple stock dropped from around $375 a share to $356.

You aught to have a look at a documentary titled "Welcome to Macintosh" which is available for immediate streaming on Netflix. It was made in 2008 and released to DVD late in that year. It's a very good history of Apple and more specifically the Mac. The last 12-15 minutes are dedicated to prophecies of the future of Apple in the post-Steve Jobs era.

It was understood at that point that Steve had suffered a few mortality incidents, and Apple was going to have to begin planning for the future. Major voices from Apple's past and present were interviewed in that segment. There was no question about it. All of those voices were worried. Some rang an optimistic note. Some rang an uncertain note. Guy Kawasaki and Andy Hertzfeld rang uncertain notes.

It is widely believed on Wall Street that Apple is a one-genius firm. They believe that Steve Jobs is the visionary poet-prophet who inspires the technological revolutions. They are very concerned that there will be no more inspired revolutions from Apple Inc. in the Post-Jobs era. This was the reason for the big drop in Apple stock values immediately after the announcement.

The same announcement at NCR or IBM would trigger no such stock movement.

We will have to see what sort of a man CEO Tim Cook is. Let's hope he does not try to revive the old time religion of Scully. That was a serious turn-off.

I've known about Jobs through most of my life. I became a computer adept at the tender young age of 14. I read everything I could get my hands on. I was never an Apple II or Apple III guy. Nobody ever bought a Lisa.

Believe it or not, I was an enthusiastic devotee of the Mac philosophy in the early days. That would be circa 1984-1987. I began loosing interest after that.

It became clear to me that Macs were not priced to move, and they would never be the computer of the general population. Jobs was forever obsessed with Jaguar. He wanted to be the luxury and elite brand. He was never a populist.

It always made me laugh when Mac religionists would say that 198x was going to be the year that the Mac took-over. That year never came, and it never will, because this objective was not and is not a part of Apple's goals or model. They always wanted to be the brand for elitists with significant money. You can't let the plebes own the good stuff.

This brings us to the performance of Apple's stock on Wall Street. The Street loves any company that can command high margins on premium priced products, and build customer loyalty at the same time. This is the entire secret of Apple's stock performance. They innovated, but so did Commodore and Atari. Both of those firms raced to the bottom in terms of margins and prices. They both died. Apple stayed up based on higher margins.

You must understand, this means you pay higher prices... if you buy in.

These reservations aside, it is with a great sense of sadness that I heard this news. I knew immediately what it meant. Steve will not be with us for much longer. Most of us pioneers who remember well the days of 8 bit micro computers have had jobs around for all our lives. It is remarkable moment which means that all of us a lot closer to that final end that we realize.

Arguably, this will be the first passing of one of the tech titans who made the modern computerized world. This impact will be felt by us all. Some may say Gary Kildall was the first tech titan who passed away. I deny that. His window of influence was so short, I have difficulty calling him a tech titan. Sure, he strode tall in the early industry, but his window of influence was only about 10 years. Then it was over.

This announcement may be felt keenly tomorrow on Wall Street, folks. Apple Inc is one of a few healthy and robust firms in our nation. They are a bell weather of sorts for our economy. If tomorrow begins with a sizable dump of Apple stock, it could spook an already jittery and skiddish market. Apple stock is a part of the profitability plans of a lot of investors. They may be shaken by this news.

My own thoughts about Steve Jobs are complex. On personal level, I always liked the guy. Incidentally, he happens to be a Pisces. His pricing model always infuriated me. I regained some respect for the dude when he made moves to quash the fundamentalist religion Scully instituted after Jobs was thrown out. This began in 2006 with the introduction of Intel based Macs, and the adoption of Windows as an alternative through Bootcamp.

Jobs is not the innovator and inventor he portrayed himself as [he stole almost everything from Xeorox Parc], however, he was crucial in the mass popularization of these technologies. Fundamental technologies such as the ethernet, the mouse, the GUI, object oriented and event driven programming, and laser printing might never have made it to the mainstream without this guy. At the very least, there would have been a long delay.

He did change the industry for the better many times. Our world would not be what it is, and probably not as good as it is, if Steve Jobs had never lived.

In a sense, my thoughts about Jobs reflect the sort of love-hate-love ambivalence I often feel towards Pisces figures. There is no doubt that this guy got under my skin many times.

He will be sorely missed by the technology world.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The intensification of Sam Bradford

Those who caught NFL Total Access on Monday know that they did a Rams-CAM interview with Sam Bradford. This was a different Sam Bradford than the one I saw last year.

Last year, Sam usually smiled for the camera, he came off mild-mannered, and a little happy. If you just received a $50 million dollar check, you would probably be pretty happy too.

This time, Sam bit his lip, frowned, and he looked a bit grim and intense. He even had a bit of anger about him. He tried to smile for the camera, but he seem more determined, grim and serious. You can see the video here. Maybe I am seeing things, but I think it is a pronounced change.

I've heard Sam say that he regrets not taking a more aggressive hand in leadership last season. He was just trying to manage his own transition to the NFL last year, and didn't speak up in key situations where he felt he should have. This year he plans to do things differently. So he says. I didn't say that, he did.

This is an interesting change. This is a much more Scorpio-like demeanor then what we saw last season. If he starts to play with a higher mental intensity and maybe a bit of anger... whew...

Troy Aikman was certainly intense on the field. He played angry. He played with passion. He shredded people when he wanted too. This is the competitive demeanor of a Scorpio.

I remember the day of 2008 when the Sooners shredded everyone except Texas and Florida. They annihilated the rest of their schedule by scoring 55-65 points a game. Sam was throwing the ball on almost every play in those days. He picked teams apart. They couldn't stop him. He pretty much took what he wanted, and nothing was enough. He was rapacious in those days.

If those days should happen to return in 2011... I know Sam wants the days of 2008 to return.

Welcome to Virgo season

90 days have passed since the end of Taurus season. We've already zipped through Gemini, Cancer, and Leo. The Sun moved over to the constellation of Virgo about 2 hours ago... according to the Tropical zodiac... and from a Geo-centric point of view. We're back on earth turf again.

There's no place like like home. It's good to be here, but the older you get, the more chagrined you are to see another birthday rolling around. I guess I am the last guy who should be complaining about getting older. I just lost 120 pounds and reversed the clock 25 years. Arthritis pain doesn't bother me anymore. I am the dude 34 year old women mistakenly think they are going to cougar.

One of the sayings about Virgo is that we have the gift of eternal youth.

With the exception of the start of the school year, this has always been a good time for me. Sports Talk finally comes back to life with talk of football. We have had a few preseason games. Things are beginning to shape up for the new year. I get a new football season each year as my birthday present. The college kick-off weekend happens just about every year on my Birthday. Many an NFL season has started around September 2 also.

All I want this year is a new management position, and an end to the career dead end. Well... I want a lot more than that, but this is the single most important thing that has to happen this year.

I've usually not paid much attention to who was born around this time of year. I've accumulated a lot of anecdotal knowledge about who was born around my birthday, but I don't have a broad knowledge of just who is who among the Virgos. I'm going to track things pretty closely this year and give you a report.

The funny thing is that I noticed a lot of Virgo women on the list during a recent preview on I seem to like these girls more than I thought. I'm not the only one. You're going to be surprised by the list of Virgo men and women. A lot of your personal favorites are on this list. I'll bet you real money you like the people on this list more than I do.

Surprisingly enough, a bunch of the leading men from the chick-flicks are on this list. I was shocked to see the number of ROM-COM dudes on this list. I never thought of myself as ROM-COM leading man material. I am shocked that my bookish and nerdy brethren are. Gene Kelly, Sean Connery, Hugh Grant, Mark Harmon, Richard Gere, Keanu Reeves and Adam Sandler have all had their chick-flick moments. More than several, actually. Lately, James Marsden and Chris Pine have been moving in on this territory.

There are some serious heart-throbbers in our clan. I guess mother Virgo has some good looking sons.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The push up test

Once upon a time in the U.S. Army, I could execute 54-56 push-ups inside two minutes. It wasn't super easy, but I could do it pretty much at-will.

The 2 minute push-up test is one of the several mandatory fitness tests the U.S. Army qualifies you with. I don't remember precisely, but I think I needed to be able to perform 48 push-ups inside 2 minutes as my minimum-standard qualification. If you fail this test, you are on your way to a bad discharge. After developing a bit in basic training, I was never in danger of failing this test.

Looking back on my life, the days when I exited Basic Training and AIT were probably my absolute best days [in terms of physical fitness]. Those were far from my absolute best days, but they were the best in terms of fitness. I weighed in at 192 pounds at that stage. That is technically considered over-weight by U.S. Army BMI standards, but the tape and pinch tests indicated that I was fine. I passed all standards for Army fitness at that time.

Everything old is new again. Lately, I have found myself approaching 192 pounds once again. I am just 19.15 pounds away from that weight. I have lost 51.676 pounds of pure fat in just 14 weeks. That is an average of 3.691143 pounds of pure fat per week.

Statistically, this seems to suggest that those 19.15 pounds will be gone in just 5.1881 weeks. That is 5 weeks, 1 day, 7 hours, 31 minutes. This means I should reach 192 on Sunday September 25th, 2011, around 7:31 AM... or something like that. For what it is worth, Body Fat Percentage will still be around 24% at that time. That is barely inside the moderate-risk standards.

Libra season should be pretty sweet. I find Libra women charming and delightful. I don't know if we could make a go of it, but Sirus 1.1 says I have blistering scores versus the girls next door.

But I digress...

I have been casting about for new fitness goals to conquer. You have to have a goal, and you have to have a plan to reach that goal. The workout will languish without that goal. The reason powerlifters compete is that the competition is a driving force. Knowing what your opponent can do and knowing what you need to do to beat him becomes an all-consuming driving force in training.

The goal drives you onward to better things.

I have been thinking that revival of the push up test might be the best way to drive on towards better fitness. Being able to do 60 push ups inside 2 minutes on September 25th would be a hell of a thing, now wouldn't it? How many guys at 45 can do what they did at 22? How many guys at 45 can do more than they could at 22? It's a nice way to prove that I've got my groove back.

There is more. The push-up test accords well with ROM philosophy. We're talking about brief, timed, high-intensity, mid-resistance exercise, centering resistance around the concept of ideal body weight. As I approach my ideal body weight, the push-up test looks better and better as a ROM sort of thing to do. I should take advantage of this moment.

Using a simple egg-timer, I should be able to benchmark the test. Of course, I will have to count reps myself. It would be better if someone held a click counter and bench-marked me. Perhaps I can talk somebody at work into running the test on me every other day. Naturally, you can't have everything.

I have to say, the ROM is doing absolutely wonderful things for me right now. It is the power gear in my workout. I strongly recommend it.

212.0 before and after the pool party

Yesterday morning I weighed in at 212.0 on the Tanita scale. This morning I also weighed in at 212 on the Tanita scale. This was before and after the pool party yesterday.

I manned the grill at the pool party. This was a lot of fun, as I rarely get a chance to cook these days. The items on the menu were not of my choosing, but the standard sort of pool-party fare: hot dogs, hamburgers, a bit of Kielbasi, and a few steaks. A good time was had by all, and they liked the way I seasoned the steaks.

Next time, we will do a Paella.

Of course, manning the grill means quality control work. This taste testing. I ate a lot more at this party than I would normally eat in a day. I was quite surprised at the easy with which I consumed hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and steak. Normally, I wouldn't have had more than one of those items in a day, and I would never mix. The more complex a dish, the more difficult to digest. Ordinarily a variety of complex proteins, eaten at one time, gives me trouble. Not yesterday. Who knows... maybe I crossed another threshold yesterday.

I wasn't too concerned about my weight this morning. I presumed that eating all that protein was a good thing. I am trying to gain back my lean weight. I did not consume a bunch of worthless candy, cake, cookies and ice cream calories. Nevertheless, I was... interested in the score this morning.

Evidently, the drop down to 209.34 was just a preview peek, and not a real or immediate achievement. I wonder if the 2.556 pounds of lean weight was just water weight, lost to dehydration. Of course, the Bod Pod would score me at 211.15 on both of these past two days, and this is 1.81 pounds higher than the Bod Pod test on Friday. This suggests that I may have lost a little lean weight, but it is not as bad as I originally thought. Just 0.746 of a pound, or less than 12 ounces.

I ran into a former employee of my current firm at the party. He hadn't seen me since the days of 320. He had no idea I had the surgery. This is a big-time Chicago Bear fan who had purchased Walter Payton and Dick Butkus jerseys back in the days when I was building my collection and organizing shipments from China. He flipped out when he saw me.

It turns out that a female cousin of his just had the surgery Friday. I also had my surgery on a Friday. His cousin was in a pre-diabetic stage, and needed the surgery to prevent this long-term terminal condition. It was interesting seeing the look in his eyes and watching his mind boggled. I don't need ESP to know what he was thinking. He was considering the magnitude of transformation his cousin was about to experience. He looked downright inspired.

That was the most memorable moment of the pool party. It must have been a divine appointment. He'll probably go visit with his cousin and tell her my story. This will serve as encouragement to get her through the early days of surgical recovery, which can be a little bit rough.

Friday, August 19, 2011

If you weren't so young, I'd flirt with you!

So I just had a lengthy phone conversation with my dad. We talked on many subjects, one of which was my birthday. He just reminded me of the funniest event of the day. It slipped my mind completely, due to the bad news regarding my lean weight.

When you go for a Bod Pod analysis at California Health and Longevity Institute, the first thing you have to do is report to the business desk and pay your $65 fee for the service. You are then given and invoice which you carry over to the labs. Shortly after this, you step on the scales, get in the egg shell, and they hand you your paperwork. This is the workflow.

So, following that pattern I walk over to the business desk. The lady behind desk seems to recognizes me and she greets me by name. This surprises me. She had either prepped by looking at the schedule, or she recognized me. I chose the former.

"My, my. my, your program sure is generating results! You look so good! If you weren't so young, I would flirt with you!"

I hate to break this to you, but she was flirting with me. Still, this was a very strange opening salvo.

Now, she probably could have determined that I have been losing a lot of weight by looking at the results of my Bod Pod tests. However, that information is supposed to be confidential and kept under lock and key in the corporate database. Still, in most business settings, this doesn't prevent people from seeing anything they are interested in.

She could have easily seen my birthday and age printed on any of my documents. If such was the case, she would have know I am half way to 90. That just ain't young anymore folks. I know 40 is supposed to be the new 30, but Jeeze...

To make this even more puzzling, we must consider the fact that this woman was certainly much younger than I am. She was certainly in that age range where it is difficult and dangerous to estimate a woman's age. Still, she was an absolute, outside, preposterous maximum of 40 years old. I would put her at 33-34 if I was going to venture a guess. I would put her birth year no earlier than 1976.

I studied her face to see if she was jesting. No, she was not jesting. The comment was intended as a deniable flirt. I am sure her intention was to say: I shouldn't be flirting with a younger man, but I am going to do it anyway. If you are interested, I am.

Needless to say, I was a little dumbstruck, speechless, stunned, astonished, etc. I had no witty retort at that moment. The thought ran through my mind: Does this woman actually think I am younger than she is, or is she manipulating? I have replayed the mental videotape 30 times now, and I am sure this was not a manipulation. This was a deniable flirt.

I should have asked her: How old do you think I am? I did not. I said nothing. I stone-cold flipped. It seemed that this woman was blissfully unaware of my real age. This would imply she hadn't looked at my documents, or read them carefully. This would imply that she actually noticed me, and perhaps had a synastry reaction, during a prior visit. This would imply she had been looking forward to my next visit.

Implications, implications, implications... they are mind blowing are they not? Incidentally, you are reading the blog of a guy who weighed in at 330 pounds just 6 months ago. You have to understand this kind of thing is going to blow my mind.

So here we had the case of a 33 to 35 year old woman who thought she might cougar me. Just imagine how surprised she would be if...

I suppose this is going to happen folks. Let's hope the next few cases turn out better than the last one. My dearly beloved little Leo (who just turned 21 today) un-friended me on when she discovered my birthday clearly printed on my profile. This includes my birth year. She can do the math, trust me. I made no secret of my age, but evidently it flipped her out when she saw it in print.

Bod Pod VIII: Victory spoiled

So today was Bod Pod VIII day. Just what were the results?
  • My body weight went down from 220.348 to 209.34.
  • This is a loss of 11.008 pounds
  • 8.452 of those lost pounds were fat
  • 2.556 of those pounds were lean tissue.
  • My fat weight dropped from 70.865 to 62.414 pounds.
  • My body fat ratio dropped 2.4%
  • My official BFP is now 29.8%
  • I am now over 70% lean.
  • My body volume dropped from 97.356 liters to 92.042 liters
  • This is a loss of 5.314 liters of body volume
  • For what it is worth, my BMI is now between 29 and 30. Few medical professionals take BMI seriously.
There are reasons to be excited, there are reasons to be disappointed
  • I was hoping to go inside 60 pounds of fat.
  • I was hoping to go inside 28% BFP
  • My BFP dropped 2.4%, which is 0.4% more than we would expect under the benchmark average.
  • I lost 1.452 pounds more fat than we would expect under the benchmark average
  • This came at a high trade-off, as I lost 2.556 pounds lean more than I should not have lost
  • I also failed to gain new lean, increasing the negative.
  • The net difference in terms of body fat percentage is negligible. If I had simply kept my lean and been 2.556 pounds heavier, my BFP would be only 0.34% lower.
As always, I was hoping for better. To make it short and sweet, it was an exciting week of rapid loss, spoiled at the very last minute by lean weight loss instead of lean gain.

The next Bod Pod will be on my 45th Birthday. Yep, that's right folks. We are officially 2 weeks away from the moment when Dave turns 45 years old. Shocking, isn't it? Where has that ocean of time gone? How have I dissolved half of 90 years already?