Thursday, September 29, 2011

2011 NFL Season Week 4

So I am a little tardy with my picks this week.  I am pressing to get a great result on Bod Pod XI, hence I am very pressed for time.  Only 13 days in this cycle.  I have double down for the lost day.

Still I managed to find enough time to do my predictions.  This is not a particularly interesting or good week in the season.  There are only a couple of interesting match-ups.

  1. The Bills should smash the Bengals
  2. The Browns v. Titans is an interesting match up, but the Titans are mortally wounded without Kenny Britt.
  3. The Steelers barely squeaked by the greatly down-trodden Colts last week.  The Texans are bitterly disappointed by their loss to the Saints.  This is a recipe for disaster for the Steelers,  This is one of the few interesting match ups, though.
  4. The Lions' visit to the Cowboys this weekend is the most interesting match up on the board.  I don't think Tony's broken rib can handle Ndamukong Suh.  I take the Lions.
  5. The Eagles should brutalize the 49ers.  I am shocked the 49ers are 2-1 and the Eagles are 1-2.
  6. Cam is going to face his first real defense in Chicago.  I don't like his odds.  He may give them a scare, but Julius Peppers may do a lot of violence to his former team
  7. I just can't pick against my Rams.  I am gloomy about this game, but the prospect of going 0-4 to start the season brings out my bias as a Ram-fan.  If there is any reason to bet on us, it is the fact that we have had the Redskins' number over the past several years.  Why the hell do we play the Redskins every year?  We are not in the NFC East?  What is wrong with the schedule makers?
  8. The Saints v Jags is a massacre.
  9. Now for the scariest pick of them all:  Vikings v Chiefs?  Talk about a pure heart-attack for a guy who has to make a pick... Which of these two snake-bitten teams do you pick?  Ultimately I feel the Chiefs are a little more terrible than the Vikings.  Maybe a lot more terrible.
  10. I believe the Cardinals are a lot better than they showed themselves in Seattle last week.  I think the Giants are more questionable than I believed at the beginning of the season.  On balance, the Giants should win, but I am issuing an upset warning here.
  11. I am officially off the Falcon bandwagon, but the Seahawks {chicken of the sea} are a horrible team.  The Falcons should prevail.
  12. If you are a Bronco fan--as I am--don't even bother to tune in.  The Packers are a very worthy champion.  This weekend is going to be hell.
  13. I am a fully self-confessed, self-actualized hater of both the Patriots and the Raiders.  Ergo I dub this the hate bowl.  A plague on both your houses, as Mercutio says.  I want to pick the Raiders, but I don't think so.
  14. I have no confidence in the Chargers, but I have even less in the Dolphins.  I do not believe Tony Sparano has control of his team or locker room.
  15. The Ravens v. Jets is a very interesting match up, but the Ravens should handle them decisively.  I would be surprised if the Jets ever hold the lead in this game.
  16. I believe the Colts left all their pride on the battlefield last week.  Now they have to face a very scrappy and spry gamer in the Bucs.  I am taking the Bucs.

193.0

The score just a few minutes ago was 193.0 on the Tanita.  The Bod Pod would place me at 192.531 = (193.0 - 0.469).

This brings my total weight loss to 137.469 pounds.  I presume my total fat loss is greater, as I am in net positive figures on lean weight.  This mean that I have reduced my total body mass by 41.66%.  According to Dr. Bachner, I only needed a 30% reduction to avoid the wheel chair. This is the lowest body weight I have had since exiting Boot Camp and AIT in the U.S. Army, circa 1989.

I'm starting a new plummet.  Not much time for a blog entry this morning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

194.6

So the score this morning was 194.6 on the Tanita scale.  The Bod Pod would place me at 194.131.  This was after 30 minutes of elliptical cross training, so I lost a bit through sweat.  I also replaced some of that with a nice 8 ounce glass of water.  Let's call it even.

Folks, that's not much progress for 11 days of training.  According to the scale, this is a paltry 2.6 pounds.  Normally, we would expect 5.5 pounds of progress by this point.  On the face of it, it looks like I am making poor progress.  Perhaps the new fruits and nuts are retarding my weight loss and hence my progress towards the goal?

Or can it be that I have put on 2.9 pounds of muscle mass?  I swear I feel stronger than I have in months, and I can feel more muscle on the bone. Further, the last time I experienced such a plateau, I made historic gains in lean weight.  That was a very good Bod Pod day indeed.  I was pleased with my results on that day.  Lord knows I have wanted to put on more lean mass.  I would welcome more results like those.

I am betting that my evening swims are cutting the fat weight and adding new muscle.  Swimming stresses muscles that are seldom used in other forms of exercise.  The cold water of the evening pool places thermogenic stress on every human body.

This is one of the key points about swimming most people don't understand.  We are warm-blooded animals.  We are biologically programmed to maintain homeostasis at 98.6 degrees F.  Some of us are better at this than others.  As rule, men are better at self-heating than women.  When you immerse yourself in cold water, you force your metabolism to burn much larger amounts of energy just to maintain body temperature.  This is before any consideration of actual swimming exercise you do in the pool.  This type of exercise is extremely effective at burning fat.  Brown fat cells consume energy from white cells in order to generate heat.

Presuming that I am correct, and I have lost my normal 5.5 pounds of fat, whilst gaining 2.9 pounds of lean, this means my current body fat percentage is 22.361%,:  150.721 pounds of lean, 43.41 pounds of fat, 194.131 total pounds.  This would indicate that I have already reduced my BFP 2.539% during this cycle.  If so, it's a big credit to the swimming regime.

Bod Pod XI is scheduled for Friday morning at 9:00am.  I am returning to my normally scheduled appointment time.  This means I have only 13 days in this cycle.  This should normally mean lesser results, but I am optimistic.

Monday, September 26, 2011

2011 NFL Season, Week 3 Outcomes

Well, my record dropped to 10-6 this week.  That's a mighty fall from the lofty 14-2 record I scored last week.  There were plenty of surprises.

I was more than a little surprised the Giants handed it to the Eagles.  Michael Vick is officially snake-bit.  The guy just can't seem to stay healthy.  The so-called dream team is now 1-2, and in last place in the NFC East.  They would remind me that their sole victory came at the expense of my team, the Rams.

The Raiders over the Jets was an out-and-out shocker.  I never even dreamed that might happen.  Rex Ryan's defense is falling apart.  He can take solace in the fact that Bill Belichick's defense is also falling apart.  But then again, the NFL has illegalised the playing of defense, now haven't they?

The Jets have done themselves a real disservice.  Now they have to face the toughest team in the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens.  I doubt many will favor the Jets in this game.  I certainly won't.

The 49ers over the Bengals was mildly surprising, but these are two poor and rebuilding football teams.  When one bad team defeats another bad team, the outcome cannot be described as shocking.  I am just surprised the road team won in this match up.



I was astounded the Cardinals lost the Seahawks.  They have no one to blame but themselves.  That game was theirs to win.  They laid an egg in a very winnable game.

I am officially getting off the Atlanta bandwagon.  They have not looked particularly sharp in any of their games, and Matty Ice is having serious problems with ball security.  Their only victory was won over a suspect Eagles team that is 1-2 and in last place in the NFC East.  The Falcons are officially on my suspect list

The Cowboys and Redskins just finished an ugly defensive struggle in which neither team seemed to be able to protect their QB worth a shit.  Terrible, just terrible.  In any case, Romo survived and played the entire game.  I am surprised the Cowboys prevailed, but I knew this was a close match.

A few thoughts about Week 3


Nine fourth-quarter come from behind victories

The last two weeks were filmed from the same script: All the favorites were in heaps of trouble as of half-time in just about all their games. Most of them came from behind to win. Of course, the Bills were nobody's favorite (except mine), but they also followed this pattern. We finished the evening with the Steelers.

Steelers vs Colts was a titanic struggle

I'm not going to play coy with you folks: I didn't even want to watch this game. I went to the gym around 5ish because I had no intention of watching this game closely. Fortunately, 24 Hour Fitness is Thousand Oaks is full of 52 inch Samsung LCDs, and several of them were showing the game.

What a battle! The Steelers were completely ambushed by the Colts. It looks to me like the pride of the Colt defense had been abused just a little too much for them to stomach. This was the game where they were going to make their stand and prove everybody wrong, For three quarters of play, the Colts out-smashed the Steelers at every turn. When Kerry Collins left the game with a concussion and Curtis Painter came in, I was sure the Colts were done for. Sure enough, Harrison strip-sacks Painter from behind and Troy Polamalu was there to scoop-n-score. But the kid didn't quit, he comes right back on the field and connects on three major passes to put the Colts in the end zone. Ben Roethlisberger pulled another 2-minute rabbit out of his hat, and Suisham nails the game winning field-goal.

The Steelers prevailed 23-20 in the 9th fourth quarter come-back of the day, but it cost them dearly. The Steeler offensive line suffered two deadly losses in Marcus Gilbert and Doug Legursky; that is, both of their offensive tackles. This was a suspect group anyhow, and now both OTs are hurt. It sucks to be Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers may have won the battle but lost the war.

The Vikings are the most snake-bit team in the NFL

A couple of years ago, NFL Films made a top-10 documentary entitled the NFL's Top 10 Most Snake-Bit Teams. The Vikings were ranked #2 behind the Browns in that documentary. At the time the film was made, the ranking might have been valid, but no longer. There can be little doubt that the Vikings are the NFL's most snake-bit team.

Just look at all the hellfire and tarnation they have suffered in the past 2 or so years! They have a magic season with Favre, but in the end, the clock strikes midnight, and Favre turns back into Favre, throwing a peck of interceptions. Adrian Peterson also fumbled like an SOB. They are snake-bit in the NFC Championship game versus the Saints.

Still, they think they are close to a championship, so they kidnap Favre off the farm and bring him back for one more round. Unfortunately, this Favre is suffering the cumulative effective of a billion injuries. He is now snake-bit, and so is the franchise. Then the roof collapses on them, literally and figuratively. It don't get more snake-bit than that.

However, just as you are getting ready to cast them into the purgatory of rebuilding, the Vikings get lucky, acquiring Donovan McNabb for one (possibly two) 6th round draft choices. They also get him at a cut-rate in pay. It looks like the franchise's luck is turning around.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. Donovan throws for just 39 yards in his debut as a Viking, and the Vikings blow a 17 point lead en route to opening day loss to the Chargers. They blow a 10 point lead en route to a 24-20 week two loss to the Bucs. Today, they blew a 20-0 half-time lead en route to a 26-23 loss to the Lions. There can be little doubt that the Vikings are utterly snake-bit. This is the most snake-bit franchise in the NFL.

Right now, it's probably worse to be Viking fan than it is to be a Ram-fan, and believe me, that is pretty hard. I can tell you from personal experience.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Your guide to wide receivers in the 2012 Draft

Yesterday was a rare treat for fans of the NFL Draft.  This is especially true if your team has a serious lack of talent at the offensive skill positions.  It's even more true if that lack of talent is sharply focused on the WR position.

The first game of the morning featured UNC vs Georgia Tech.  This allowed us to see the most under-the-radar candidate, Dwight Jones. Then, Oklahoma State squared off against Texas A&M which gave us a chance to look at the presumptive top-two receiver candidates in the 2012 draft:  Justin Blackmon and Jeff Fuller.  Then we had a dandy between Clemson and Florida State.  We got a chance to see freshman phenom Sammy Watkins catch 8 passes for 141 yards.

As I watch my Rams go down in flames at the hands of the Ravens, who are the very best team in the AFC, my mind can't help but wander forward to the 2012 draft.  Why not?  We're racing out to an 0-3 start, and this season is quickly slipping away from us.  It's going to take one hell of a rally in the second half for us to dig out of the vicious hole we are in.

I can't help but notice the offensive lack of skill and talent at the offensive skill positions.  We'ed better start thinking about the draft.  This time, we better move mountains and extinguish the fires of Hell itself if that's what it takes to get some serious WR talent.  I warned everybody that the only thing we had to do this past off season was acquire a deadly play-maker for Sam Bradford to throw it to.  We didn't do it.

Without further ado, here are the top guys, as I see them:


Num
Name
Pos
College
Class
Height
Weight
Speed
Hometown
Birthday
1
Justin Blackmond
WR
Oklahoma State
Junior
6-1
215
4.45
Ardmore, Oklahoma
1/9/1990
2
Jeff Fuller
WR
Texas A&M
Senior
6-4
220
4.42
Stanford, California/McKinney, Texas
4/20/1990
3
Dwight Jones
WR
North Carolina
Senior
6-4
225
4.5
U.North Carolina
1/1/1989
4
Robert Woods
WR
USC
Sophmore
6-1
180
4.6?
Carson, California
4/10/1992
5
Sammy Watkins
WR
Clemson
Freshman
6-1
190
4.42
Fort Myers, Florida






Go Bills, for we are here to cheer for you!

It has often seemed, over the past several years, that I have been the only man who is man enough to call bullshit on the Patriots.  I should give a nod to Andrew Siciliano who called their bullshit once last year.

How about 'dem Buffalo Bills?  I want you to know I was the only swinging dick on God's Earth who had the nuts to pick these guys.  Every last 'expert' on ESPN and the NFL Network picked the Patriots.  They were laughingly certain that the Bills didn't have a chance.  I picked the Bills early in the week, and I didn't wavier.  I took a ton of shit for it, but you know I am grinning like the Cheshire Cat right now.

The Bills went down 21 nothing in this game and came all the way back to win 34-31.  The Patriots catastrophic road collapse was entirely due to Tom Brady's massive 4 interceptions.  Brady terminated two consecutive drives with back-to-back interceptions. That is, he terminated two of his own drives by throwing back to back interceptions.  I had to clarify that point for the Patriot-cult members who just "Wow!  Tom can play defense too?!?!?"

For the other team, yes.

It's very clear that the Bills are a heck of a lot better than anyone gave them credit for.  I could see that as early as week one when they splattered the Chiefs all over the field.  Their come-from-behind victory against the Raiders basically confirmed that.

I bet all of you guys are jumping on the bandwagon now.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

199.6?

As a preface to this blog entry, I just want you to know I am struggling with the new blogger text editor this morning. Evidently, they have changed everything... this morning. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The little window for text editing wasn't particularly great. It wasn't exactly terrible either, though. Ah, I hate feeling lost!

So the score this morning was 199.6 pounds on the Tanita Scale. This means the freshly re-calibrated Bod Pod would place me at 199.131. There is now an estimated 0.469 pound difference between my scale and the Bod Pod. The Bod Pod continues to be lighter. 

This is a full week after the Bod Pod weighed me in at 196.731. This is an increase of 2.4 pounds in just one week. This was after a partial day of rest... If you call weigh lifting and 30 minutes of swimming a day of rest. My first reaction was simple "What happened?"

I've been a little lax about weighing in these past several mornings. Since moving the check mark to moderate risk, I seem to have relaxed a bit.. about weighing in, not about working out! If anything, I found ways to intensify the workout this week.

I'm hitting it much harder in the mornings these days, doing the Elliptical Cross Trainer every day. I am "rowing crew" on the Olympic rower at lunch. This is the briefest and most intense exercise form I can do at the neighborhood gym. It fits my lunch hour. I come home and squeeze out 50 more minutes. I started keeping a workout journal in Excel this week, and I burned the following numbers of calories during exercise this week.

  • Saturday {bod pod day} 670, 49 min
  • Sunday 1,175, 88 min
  • Monday 1,451.60 kcal, 100 min
  • Tuesday 1,052 kcal, 83 min
  • Wednesday 995 kcal, 68 min
  • Thursday:  814 kcal, 86 min
  • {partial day of rest:  No aerobics.}
Now I did change my diet this week.  With a little information from a former boss, I decided to give raw food a go during this past week.  I am eating a lot of raw fruits, nuts, whole-grain crackers (like Triskets) , and cheese.  Protein drinks continue to be my staple, though.  The raw foods have done great things for my energy and for my digestion.

Although these are high-energy foods, and therefore somewhat dense in calories, I don't eat a lot of them.  I doubt I am getting many more calories than before.

So what gives with the weight gain?  There are the usual suspects:  water retention (due to sodium in the crackers), possible excess fecal matter in the intestines, etc.  However...

As I write this, I am not particularly panicked.  I am optimistic, and looking forward to the next Bod Pod.  There is a visible difference in my physique this week.  I have developed a considerable amount of definition in my arms, back and chest.  Rowing crew every day will do that to you.  My muscles feel hard.  I'm not particularly soft anymore.  There is some serious vascularity and striation showing in my arms and calves.  The swimming is having a remarkable effect on my core.

I have reason to believe my lean weight is rising.  The anabolism is being fueled by the nuts, fruit, grain and cheese.  These are all good growth foods.

Until proven otherwise, I believe this next Bod Pod is going to be something special.  I think my lean weight is going up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homage to the Virgo Women

It would appear that Virgo Sisterhood is far stronger than I originally presumed. It would appear that I under estimated them... severely. That statement comes from a September 2 Virgo.

For whatever combination of reasons, I have never really taken a hard look at my astrological home girls. I have had a strong tendency to discount any female I encountered who happened to be a Virgo.

Perhaps it because I actually do happen to have a Virgo sister (born on 9/10/1963)... Perhaps it is because the two of us have an aggression score of 650 Sirus 1.1... Perhaps it is because she really has been my nemesis in scores of years past... I don't know...

We are almost at the end of Virgo season. Tomorrow is officially the last day of Virgo season. Next comes Libra. As these past 30 days have rolled by, I have been more and more astonished by the names that have come up on the IMDB.com birthday list.

I already knew that most of classic dames of Hollywood's golden era were Virgo women. I already knew Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Berman, Greta Garbo, and Sophia Loren were all born around my birthday. I noticed this through the years.

I already knew about my birthday buddy, Salma Hayek. I knew about Shania Twain and Faith Hill, two of my all-time favorite women. I hesitate to mention this, but I already knew about two-time defending AVN performer of the year, Tori Black.

I did not know that any of the following women were Virgos:
  • Angie Everhart
  • Barbara Eden
  • Claudia Schiffer
  • Heather Thomas
  • Jacqueline Bisset
  • Rachel Ward
  • Rachel Hunter
  • Raquel Welch
  • Rose McGowan
  • Shannon Elizabeth
I'm not even naming all of the famous women whose photos I just posted.

Folks, is it just me, or does this list contain most of the biggest sex-symbols from the 1930s clear up to the 1980s? You have 50 years of the biggest names on the Virgo list. No wonder the Scorpio dudes rank Virgo women #1.

Before I continue with my opinion, you should know conjunction is a tricky thing in Astrology. It's an incredibly powerful aspect, and often ranked as the single most powerful aspect. Unfortunately, it is unpredictable. You may love them. You may hate them. It depends on how they strike you. If they remind you of everything you hate about yourself, you will certainly dislike the conjuncted ones. If you strongly identify with them, and have an intuitive understanding of the conjuncted one, you're going to love them.

As a Virgo, I usually disdain Virgo women. It's not easy for them to get me to react to them. I would have told you I was biased against them. I would have also told you I had few, if any, good Virgo scores. Upon further review, I find plenary evidence to overturn that call. It would appear that I am wrong on all counts.

It seems that I have been reacting to Virgo women all along. Barbara Eden, in particular, was my first childhood flame. When I was 5 or 6, I thought she was the ultimate woman. I wasn't the only one. All my buddies in school thought she was the ultimate woman also.

Later, during the 1970s, I thought Raquel Welch was the reigning goddess of women. I always thought Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman were insanely gorgeous. I recall seeing Rachel Ward for the first time in 1981 when I saw Sharky's Machine with my dad. She blew my brains out. I didn't know what hit me.

I ran my scores versus all Virgos born between 1966 and 1994, and it would appear that there are far more good scores than err I thought before. Top Virgo was born on August 31, 1985. She just turned 26 years old, and she's got a madness-educing score of 390. There are many marvelous Virgo scores in 1985. 1987 features a top score of 304. 1980 has a score of 303. 1976 holds a top score of 280. I have a 275 versus women born on 9/21/1974.

It would appear that it is indeed theoretically possible for me to hook up with a fellow Virgo. I would have scoffed at that notion just 30 days ago. I am more compatible with my own than I would have originally suspected.

In any case, these past 30 days have forced me to re-evaluate my home-girls. I am not prepared to say that the girls of my clan are hotter than those of the Capricorn or Pisces clans. I am still very, very biased in favor of these two clans.

However, it seems that for every Capricorn like Eva Gardner, I can show you two Virgo women like Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman. For every one Pisces super model like Cindy Crawford, I can show you two like Rachel Hunter and Angie Everhart. I am leaving Claudia Schiffer out of this.

This may be a function of our general numerical superiority. Virgo is one of the most common signs. We are born during the baby boom that happens at the end of every summer. However, you have to give our tribe it's due. We got a lot of good looking women (and men).

I wanna go on the record and say that God only made one perfect Virgo woman. That was Faith Hill. Shania Twain and Lauren Bacall came within micro-fractions of a nanometer of perfection, but they didn't quite make it.



A gallery of Virgo women







































2011 NFL Season Week 3 Predictions


Without further ado, here are my week 3 picks. Commentary tomorrow.

Monday, September 19, 2011

2011 NFL Season Week 2 Outcomes



Well folks, it was a banner week for my predictions. I went 14-2 this weekend. I should have put some money on it in Vegas. Of course, I would have preferred to go 13-3. Unfortunately, my Rams didn't put a dent on my record.

I want to know if any of the pros did better than me! I bet they didn't.

The spoiler was that my team did what I expected them to do in New York. We just don't have good skill position players on offense. The defense is more than good enough. Our lack of play makers on offense forms a hard cap on our achievements in 2011.

The Bronocs over the Bengals was a very mild surprise. These are two football teams ass-deep in the quagmire of rebuilding. Both are poor football teams. When one poor football team defeats another, the outcome cannot be described as a shocker. You might not even be able to use the term upset.

On the other hand, shocking upset is the only term you can use to describe the Titans' victory over the Ravens. What do you call it when a rebuilding squad takes out the odds-on favorite for the AFC Championship?

It's pretty straightforward folks: The Ravens shot their wad against the Steelers and they came out flat as hell for the Titans. They were expected a free walk-over victory I guess. It was a gimme. Nope, the Titans took down a listless Raven team that just couldn't get it up.

I still think the Ravens are the prohibitive favorite in the AFC. Hopefully, this is a great lesson for them.




Drive (2011) good acting, razor thin story, I'm not buying it

If you read rottentomaotes.com, you will know Drive (2011) is the current hot-flick. It is making a lot of waves with the critics. It isn't making a lot of money, however, given it's low-budget characteristics, it will probably be seen as a big success.

I saw it last night, and I am not buying in. I'm not drinking the Cool Aid. I give it the thumbs down.

Why? I just had a conversation with my dad and one of my coworkers on this very subject. Every movie ever made can be divided into two halves: The first half is pure story. The second half is acting.

If you ask me, the story is by far the more important component. The story gets you 75% of your grade. Great acting will only get you 25% of your grade. It is far easier for me to forgive a great story with poor acting than a poor story with great acting. The play is the thing, as Shakespeare says. Just as surely as you can't polish a turd, great acting can't make a poor story good.

Most of the people who dwell on planet Earth are fans of the story first, and acting second. I am in this category. However, there is a strange tribe of performance artist in this world who are fans of acting first, as the story is just an excuse to see some great acting. I will never understand this group. As long as I may live, I will never understand these people.

Unfortunately, Drive is a razor-thin story. It is also a very hackneyed and cliched story. There are some great acting performances, but these performances just can't polish the turd that is this story.

What is this story?
  • It's a story about the slimy underbelly of disorganized crime in Los Angeles
  • Ryan Gosling reprises Jason Statham's role as the transporter. He is a professional driver for the disorganized crime factions of Los Angeles.
  • It's an unrequited and frustrated love story in which Gosling falls in love with the semi-married MILF. He subsequently tries to help her jail-bird husband out of a jam for the sake of the kid.
  • There is a standard rote, proforma heist and double cross.
  • Then we have the compulsory revenge-out-of-a-jam sequence.
  • It is a very low-cost movie, made at home in L.A. A couple of television style car-chases are the big expenditures.
  • The script was automatically generated by script-o-magic machines.
Anything else? Not really. You've seen it all 20 times now.

Folks, I am calling the producers out for yet another attempt to market Ryan Gosling to the single mothers of this world. This is already his strongest demographic, and they are trying to profit from it. Soon, this movie will be in heavy rotation on all the girly channels like Oxygen and A&E.

So the acting performances are strong? So what? What does this amount too? What does this purchase us? Does this get us a better story? Nope. It's all for naught. This is a very forgettable movie. In two years time, no man (with an emphasis on the gender man) will remember that this movie was ever made.

With that said, there is some very interesting Astrology happening in this movie. For me, this was really the only interest aspect of the procedure.

As you may or may not know, Ryan Gosling is a Scorpio. Ryan Gosling is a November 12, 1980 Scorpio. He happens to walk around all movie long wearing a white racing jacket with a big gold and orange scorpion on the back. He even recounts the story of the scorpion and the frog to the mafia boss he's gunning for. It's interesting that many have described his performance as extremely intense. If you look up Scorpio characteristics, intensity is #1, jealousy is #2.

Bryan Cranston, Gosling's business partner and budy, just happens to be a March 7, 1956 Pisces. What do we know about Scorpio and Pisces? These two water signs frequently team up. This is a classic match up.

Cranston and Gosling are both under the shield of a mafia boss played by Albert Brooks. He is a July 22, 1947 Cancer, cusping on Leo. What do we know about Cancer? It's the Cardinal leadership sign of the water clan. So we have a Pisces and a Scorpio under the leadership of a Cancer... hummmmm...

And they have great acting chemistry together.

Then we have Carey Milligan, Ryan's MILFy love interest. This is the clean-miss and the blow-it point of the movie. She just happens to be a May 28, 1985 Gemini. This is why I didn't buy the romance and I wasn't feeling her. If she had been born 1 week earlier, everything would have been just fine. I didn't feel any chemistry between these two. I am pretty sure there wasn't any.

If you guys had just cast Jordana Brewster or Jessica Alba as Gossling's love interest, the movie would have been twice as good... but that wouldn't have gotten us that far. Next time, you cast a hot Taurus woman versus Gosling. You will see him spark-up big-time.

Then we have Oscar Issac, who plays Carey's jail-bird husband. He is a January 5, 1980 Capricorn. He has good acting chops, and he worked extremely well with Gosling.

I have been noting lately how often Scorpios and Capricorns team up. It seems to happen all the time. I would have guessed that there would be more power struggles between these two, but they seem to have a strong affinity for each other.

Then we have Ron Perlman, who plays the really, really bad mafia guy. He is an April 13th, 1950 Aries dude. He is Gosling's arch-nemesis in this movie. Perlman is the guy that Gosling just has to kill. What was I just telling you about Aries and Scorpio? Deadly enemies in most cases. These guys just don't like each other. It just might be the worst of the fire-water conflicts.

I find it interesting that the water sign scorpio drowns the fire-sign aries in the ocean. What a terrible way for a fire-sign guy to be extinguished...

Somebody in Hollywood is absolutely playing around with astrology.

Despite some pretty good ensemble acting, this movie still doesn't make the grade. I give it a C-.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I am having a very good day (9-1)

It's a rare thing when I stop to boast in the middle of game day, but I had such a rare morning, I thought I just had to say something.

Check my week 2 picks from earlier in this week.

If the Ravens had not lost in the most shocking upset of the day, I would have been totally undefeated this morning. Right now I am 9-1. I am off to a flying start, and already guaranteed a winning record for the week.

I should have placed some action in Las Vegas. I just found a 1986 Pisces woman who is a party pit manager in Las Vegas through POF.COM (plenty of fish dot com). Maybe I will ask her to put some action on it next week.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bod Pod X: Moderate Risk





So I had my 10th Bod Pod test this morning. It was pretty good. As per usual, it was not everything I had hoped, but (all things considered) it was a pretty damn good milestone. Just like Super Bowl X once was once regarded, this was the best one ever (thus far).

I apologize for the wet-spots on the paperwork, but I spilled some water on the documents.

In summary, the facts of the case are these:
  1. My total weight was 196.731, a little higher than expected, but a reduction of 7.003 pounds
  2. My fat-mass went down from 55.912 pounds to 48.964 pounds; a reduction of 6.948 pounds
  3. My lean weight decreased from 147.821 to 147.767 pounds. This is scarcely 0.05299 of a pound, or 0.86 of one ounce of loss. This is within the margin of error.
  4. My Body Fat Percentage decreased from 27.4% to 24.9%. This is a reduction of 2.5%, and just barely enough to move me into the Moderate Risk Category.
  5. Conversely, my lean percentage increased from 72.6% to 75.1%.
  6. My body volume decreased from 89.135 to 85.61 liters; a reduction of 3.525 liters.
Since I began testing with the Bod Pod on May 13th, 2011 I have done all the following:
  1. I have reduced my body fat percentage 19.2% from 44.1 to 24.9.
  2. I have lost 65.126 pounds of pure fat, down from 114.09 to 48.964 pounds.
  3. I have increased my lean weight 3.027 pounds. I am still net-positive on the lean weight front.
  4. I have decreased my total weight 61.92 pounds, down from 258.651 to 196.731 pounds.
  5. I have decreased my body volume 31.5 liters, from 117.111 to 85.61 liters.
As we were finishing the test, the fellow conducting my test related a horror story to me. He said he had just performed a test for a woman who showed virtually no change in a month of work. She burst out in tears and challenged the whole Bod Pod methodology. He then asked if he could introduce me to some people and show them my chart. I said "sure!" After all, what would I want to hide?

We walked over to where a television production crew was setting up cameras. Evidently, this was the crew of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition. The CHLI rep introduces me to a pack of three beautiful blonds. I was a bit shy. They were just two pretty. He shows them my chart and explains the situation. They congratulate me profusely. I took a bow. I was a little overwhelmed.

Of course, there was a connection point unstated there. I am sure the woman who cried was (is) one of the subjects of the show. I am sure she was pissed at her lack of progress and public embarrassing. I am sure he was bolstering the credibility of the method by showing me off. Still, it was fun. I got another ego stroke out of that.

I just need to stop being shy around the beautiful blonds. I am not the same old fat guy I used to be. People I know don't recognize me anymore.

One other factor: The Bod Pod was undergoing routine maintenance and certification yesterday. The crew was not undergoing training. Maintenance was the reason the Bod Pod was unavailable to me yesterday. Interestingly enough, I weighed in at 197.2 pounds on the Tanita this morning and 196.731 on the Bod Pod. The gap of 0.85 pounds has now closed to just 0.469 pounds.

Interesting... one day after routine maintenance the gap has closed from 0.85 to 0.469. My Tanita is closer to accurate than I originally suspected. The Bod Pod is a little less accurate than I suspected. In any case, the gap is there, but smaller than suspected.

Friday, September 16, 2011

196.6

So the score this morning was 196.6 on the Tanita scale. The Bod Pod would place me at 195.75. This constitutes a loss of 7.99 pounds thus far in this cycle. This is shaping up to be a very, very good Bod Pod test indeed.

Not much time to gab about it. I have a very full night of training ahead of me. I need to belt out 60 full minutes and then do my hydro therapy. I am also going to break tradition and hit a second full-cycle ROM workout in just one day. That will begin in just a few moments. This will get my blood pumping.

Just one quick story to relay. I went to Fry's Electronics today after work for the first time in a couple of months. I haven't been visiting there very often lately. I have had a lot on my plate, and very little time for recreational electronics browsing.

I purchased just one item, a copy of Code Magazine, and headed for the door. The guy working the security angle at the door is a dude I've talked football with a hundred times (both college and pro). I haven't seen this guy in quite some time. I think the last time I saw him, we were talking about the demolition job the Ravens did on the Chiefs in the playoffs. This was immediately after the game. That was before the surgery. It's been more than 7 months.

As I approached, I expected him to be shocked by my weight loss and make some comments. Nope, no reaction at all. He didn't recognize me. I wasn't wearing one of my trademark football jerseys to help him out either. I had an Under Armor shirt on. As I handed him my receipt for examination, I expected him to tweak at any moment. I thought he would figure it out.

Nope, there was nothing there but a completely blank, vacuous stare. He wasn't giving me the shine or anything like that. He just didn't recognize me. I was just one of a thousand nameless and faceless customers who go out the door with an item.

I decided it would be awkward to tip him off, so I just walked out the door. As I walked to the car, I was flipping out. I've had a hundred conversations with that dude, and he flat-cold didn't recognize me. There was no trace of recognition in his face at all. That was a completely natural miss. It wasn't forced at all.

I can't say I blame him. You don't ever expect to see a 330+ pound dude drop to 195 in just 7 months. I have changed dramatically in a relatively short people of time, and that just doesn't fit the cognitive model we humans have. We don't ever expect to see that.

Well, my own cousin Justin told me the following "If I didn't know it was you, I would never know it was you."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

197.6

This morning the core was 197.6 pounds on the Tanita scale. The Bod Pod would have me at 196.75. This means I have lost some 6.99 pounds this cycle with an evening of workouts and a full day ahead of me. The battle goes well.

If all of that was fat loss, I should currently have 48.93 pounds of fat on my frame. 48.93 / 196.75 = 24.869%. Of course, the implication is that I have already gone inside the 25% BFP marker. Accordingly, this would mean that I have already (unofficially) moved into the moderate risk category.

Let's hope I have put on some lean to re-enforce these numbers.

Is there any perceptible change in the way my body feels as I make this transition in medical categories, or is this just an arbitrary boundary marker the doctors have invented? I must say that I am starting to feel awfully different that I have through most of my life. As I mentioned in a previous blog-post, I feel like I am transforming into Superman. No amount of exercise seems to be too much. No exercise challenge seems to be too great. The only thing that kills me is missing workouts.

There is this amazing and boundless energy that seems to be welling up in me. I get these surges during the workout where I feel I can intensify and go forever. I'm even beginning to experience greater energy first thing in the morning, something I have never had at any point in my entire life. I move rapidly everywhere. I walk fast without intending too. I jog down the stairs with ease. I feel far more agile than I have since I was in my early 20s.

There are other factors. My entire back, arms, neck and calf muscles have become ripped and cut, with muscularity, vascularity and tendons beginning to show. This is not typical of my entire body, as I still have plenty of flab around the middle and on my butt. Still, several regions of my body have reached near-depletion of their local fat supplies. As I reach lower and lower levels of body fat, but abdomen and butt will empty their fat cells also.

There is another point of interest: I am learning that most of our SoCal population is carrying more than 25% body fat. I am shocked that I am now much leaner, smaller, and harder than many men my size at the gym. Remember, I am still around 25% BFP, yet I am beating these guys across the board in a clean sweep. They are chubbier and softer and less able to do exercise than I am.

There are two kinds of guys at the gym: Those who really need to be there, and those who are just showing off. The show-offs are around 10-15% BFP. Those are the muscular and ripped dudes who where the spandex costumes. They are the minority. Most of these dudes show up to maintain their fitness levels, and allow the ladies to hit on them.

Hit on them they do. I have been impressed by how many ladies I have seen approaching these guys lately. They are much more forward than in my day. I am not a member of this club yet, but it won't be long...

The remainder, and by far the larger population, are the guys struggling to improve their fitness levels and get healthy. These dudes constitute about 70-75% of the inhabitants of any given gym. Regardless of age, I am beating most of those guys.

Perhaps there is some empirical fact and logic behind these medical categories after all?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

198.0 Exactly

This morning the score was 198.0 according to the Tanita scale in my bathroom. You know this means the Bod Pod would have me at 197.15. This means that I have hit or surpassed the 40% mass reduction point. This should also mean that I very, very close to going below the 25% body fat level.

This also indicates a loss of 6.59 pounds during this cycle with two full days to go. I had 55.912 pounds of fat on my frame as of the last test. If all 6.59 pounds of that loss come from my fat weight, I will now have 49.32 pounds of fat on my frame. 49.32/197.15 = 25.017%. I am so, so, so close! The moment I go below 25% BFP, they will officially move me from the high risk category to the moderate risk category.

The weight mark, the BFP, and the risk category are all major milestones in this process. Bod Pod X is shaping up to be a major landmark in this process.

I need to re-double my efforts in these last three evenings. A major, major milestone is in sight, and I can't miss it this time. Especially not when I had 15 day in this cycle to bring home the trophy.

2011 NFL Season Week 2 Predictions


Here they are folks, my week 2 predictions.

There are only a couple of tough choices on the board this week. The Cardinals vs. Redskins is the first of these. These are two pretty good and evenly matched football teams. I am taking the Redskins based on home field advantage, but this could easily go the other way,

One of the most dangerous matches on the board is the Bears vs. Saints in the Super Dome. The Saints should power-slam the Bears. All the Bears do is upset the shit out of erstwhile superior opponents. Saints beware! This is one of the two most interesting matches on the board.

The most difficult game to assess is the Chargers vs. Patriots. The Patriot defense got lit by none other than hot-seat QB Chad Henning. What are they going to do when the face Phillip Rivers and the Chargers? Rivers didn't exactly light it up against a weak Viking secondary though. As we all know Tom Brady threw for 517 yards against the Dolphins (1 Int), but what will he do when he faces a secondary that canned Donovan McNabb, holding him to 39 yards?

Ultimately, I am going to take the Patriots based on home field advantage, but this game could easily go the other way.

The Falcons vs. Eagles is somewhat intriguing, but I expect the Falcons to be wildly pissed off after their humiliation at the hands of the Bears. The Eagles defeated my Rams based on a limited number of big plays, but their lines are absolutely vulnerable. My Rams gashed their defensive line on run after run. If the Falcons will just run a little with Turner the Burner, everything aught to be all right.

This brings me to the most regrettable choice on the board. As you know, my Rams got banged up against the Eagles. We now have to go on the road to New York to face the Giants without Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola. I don't like 'dem odds. Also, I don't want to use the term sophomore jinx, but... If the Redskins can beat the Giants, so can we, but it isn't super likely. I am forced to take the Giants.