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Thursday, July 28th, 2016
8:35 am - In Defense of Insularity
Periodically, some wag will pen yet another epistle against how people curate their own echo chambers on social media - citing the unfriending or unfollowing of people with different views on the bookface, most commonly, or, for the less social-media savvy, decrying the splintering of cable news into slanted offerings.

The latter criticism, I agree with - news should be presented with as little inflection and as much context as possible, so that viewers and consumers can draw their own conclusions and perform their own analysis, not be spoon-fed some pre-digested opinion like so many baby birds gulping down gizzard emissions. (I say this, not as some kind of pure and unbiased scion of journalistic objectivity, by the way - I enjoy the occasional episode of The Daily Show, used to tune into Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” for a nightly dose of righteous indignation and schadenfreude, would happily body-check anyone who gives Rachel Maddow a hard time, and who finds the Fox News Channel odious); I am subjected to eight or so hours of mercifully-muted CNN coverage on a monitor at my workplace, and it’s a case study in how not to provide depth and insight. My preferred information source is the ecru wallpaper of American broadcast journalism, NPR.

As to the former, I think that it misses the point - people are not, generally, on social media for the primary purpose of being news consumers, necessarily - many of us use it as an escape, a sanctuary, a half-step away from the nine million stressors and flavors of shit the world throws at us constantly; having boundaries and self-selected safe spaces is a self-defense mechanism, and nobody should be made to feel bad for having them.

People can, and should, have a place where comfortable agreeableness is the rule, rather than the exception.

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
6:08 am - the three-skwatz haderach
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlBw7cAA5oA

and here is me less-than-threeing (ie: <3) more than three reps:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GQyDfVHOuE

super-encouraging note from Jenn: "Based upon the velocity of the bar, you had more in you."
me: "YAY. felt myself getting loose out of the hole and don't yet have the re-set routine down to get my tightness back, but that's very encouraging to hear; thank you!"

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Friday, July 22nd, 2016
10:41 am - the fight and the fridgings (weights and cats)
this may not make a lot of sense at the outset, but i promise it will all coalesce somewhat by the end. the concept/trope of "fridging" - that some unfortunate thing that happens to a female character to catalyze a male character's development as a response to manpain[tm] is very much awake, aware, and alive for me, and sort of comically on display on two fronts.

on the one hand, the deaths of a couple of my most-favored feral cats, whom i had hoped to bring into my household, are part of why i have gone out of my way to be a caretaker for so many. Drake (Magellan's sister) was struck by a car before my renovations in 2012 were complete, and tiny's first litter featured two super-assertively-friendly kittens, who were the unfortunate victims of a well-meaning neighbors to feed them milk because they were vocal and mobile and they succumbed to the improper ingestion of cow's milk before they were weaned.

i don't like seeing needless pain or suffering, especially if it is in my power to help prevent it. so there's that.

On the other hand, one of the things that has rekindled my lifting motivation of late is seeing what it looks like when someone fights for every rep, and trying to apply that to my own practice and training. it's easy to half-ass stuff, or not bring everything to bear on a rep, or whatever - this isn't news to folks who do martial arts, for instance, and it shouldn't be news to me, either - but, as a non-perfectionist, i chafe at the "perfect practice makes perfect" dictat as well; i am much more a zeno's paradox kind of guy, incrementally creeping towards a near-ideal. this is sub-optimal on two fronts - one, you're not going to hit your limits, and, tangentially, you get more out of a rep when you move the bar with speed rather than slowly; F=MA doesn't give a shit.

so, watching Jenn R miss that world record deadlift pull was literally seeing someone try to give 101% of what they have, committing absolutely everything to a lift (her training videos show the same kind of focus and intensity); i honestly am more inspired by the failed attempt at the absolute extreme of her capability, rather than yet another (impressive-as-fuck) successful pull. we've talked briefly about how to develop that and bring it to bear, which is one of many facets of my strength practice that i want to improve in order to achieve the goals i have recently set for myself. i've been putting this into practice this week, after my chance to train with her last weekend - i may not have made every lift this week, but i have sure as shit fought my best fight on every rep (though this still isn't happening every rep of every set, i've ground out some number-of-rep PRs by stomping into this relatively new psychological territory as I remind myself what it looks like when one of the best refuses to give up, and trying to emulate that in my own performance)

so, yeah, i am kind of embracing the trope that is so tiresome and problematic in our imagined fiction, because, for better or worse, "grizzled white cishet dude" is the current protagonist in my personal narrative.

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Monday, July 18th, 2016
10:55 am - lifting feelz
maybe other people get this kind of unmooring, furniture-moving emotional/intellectual shit from doing other types of activities; i'm not accustomed to having an emotional hangover from an arduous workout. so i went on a babblestream via chat with the coach.

me: i'm still going over a lot of what we covered in my head and mulling over a lot of things. i assume this level of introspection was kicked off by how comprehensively i need to revisit my fundamentals - not bad, but a very necessary reality check. :-) (so, you continue to kick my ass even while not actively kicking my ass)

her: Sore today?

me: not nearly as much as i was expecting. most of the discomfort is psychological. i'm going to be doing some light mobility work and those 5x5 hamstring breathing exercises during my breaks at the office. i was beaten flat all yesterday evening, though *laugh*

her: Good. We didn't do a lot of volume, so soreness shouldn't be bad. CNS had a wee bit of a shock, so I wouldn't expect you'd feel perky. You might feel fatigue, but not necessarily sore.

me: i think the combination of just working so long in the heat, and trying to focus a lot more than i am accustomed to took a toll. it's the thinky bits (which is what i assume other folks get out of doing endurance events or yoga/meditation) that are unexpectedly taking a lot of my attention. i knew, intellectually, that i would be excited to learn stuff from a technical standpoint, but it's the second-level motivations and goal evaluations that i'm trying to get a handle on. you're a hell of a role model. :-) (i have no idea if the other chp clients/trainees wander this far into the weeds *laughs*)

her: Thanks. ☺️ glad I could help

me: profoundly. and i hope to continue to benefit from your guidance, both directly and indirectly

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5:57 am - stupid meatsuit tricks


That was probably the most arduous fitness thing I've done since attempting the ultramarathon. Four hours in the gym, and I'm pretty confident that I sweated on everything except the ceiling. (failed to set a PR deadlifting, and came away with fairly copious notes on how to improve my setup and execution for pretty much everything I do with a barbell in my hands, because i have a lot of room to get better. there's no better way than to have one of the best lifters in the world say, "try this" and help figure out how to get it right)

my workout notes for my coach in the aftermath:

So, Jenn completely kicked my ass, and I loved it. Heh. I have been completely useless since getting home five and a half hours ago; maybe it's Stockhom Syndrome, or maybe it's Maybelline. Whatever it was, I want to bottle it.

NOVEL INCOMING

tl;dr - i have a lot of work to do on my setup for all three lifts, but Jenn gave me a ton of valuable feedback, that I was, with varying degrees of accuracy, able to put into practice for real-time feedback.

squat cues: get narrow, get tight, bull the bar, hips through
dead cues: head back but straight, fall back to pull, hips through
bench cues: unrack at eyes, lockout lower, traps tight, load the lats, drive the heels

in a nutshell: i am way too lacking in tightness pretty much everywhere when i first get engaged with the bar on everything. *laugh*

Deadlifts: Tore my callouses off going for 525; probably had the strength (even doing these after squats), but the bar twisted on me and I helicoptered. so, a bit of a disappointment there, but it's what i had today.

DL keys: JR recommended a narrower overall approach to the bar, both feet and hands, and to stop fucking around while bent over with my hands on the bar, so we decided to go with a more SLDL-style setup - breathe, grab the bar, take out the slack, drop the ass, fall back, and get after it. did some moderate weight pause work (bottom of the knee sleeves) and a bunch of singles to try and groove this; some reps were better than others.

Squats: to combat my lawn chair / squat-morning tendencies, i need a lot more upper thoracic tightness, from more assertive bar grip all the way to lat engagement along the whole chain. on the upside, working up to 315 with a conventional bar caused no notable strain on my shoulders or elbows, though i still break my wrists backwards (somewhat mitigated by employing a false grip, but i was able to bring my hands in a lot narrower than i had previously, which was a nice surprise). again, she recommended bringing my feet a lot closer together when i am unracking the weight and using leg extension rather than hip hinge to do so to keep the weight back where it should be. i was less sloppy in the hole than i was afraid i was going to be, but bar control on the descent is going to require some attention so i don't dive-bomb them. out of the hole, i still have a tendency to go ass-first, so driving my shoulders back is going to require practice and attention.

benching was a struggle due to fatigue and electrolyte depletion - my hips, hamstrings, and even my rhomboids wanted to cramp by the time we got to these, but working on better leg drive mechanics and trap tightness and taking a better position under the bar definitely helped. i suspect part of my happy feet when i lift at home is because my bench is higher than the competition ones at her facility - i didn't have to reach for the floor to get (what passes for) solid contact, so i will be laying those pavers alongside my bench in my garage to try and bring that into a more normal alignment.

overall, i have a lot of notes and things to work on, and some plans of attack that the two of us discussed (you'll probably be getting her take on things as well), and it was definitely one of the most informative and educational and valuable gym sessions i think i've ever had.

we even finished the day with some comic relief yoga. :-)

other things i learned: it's possible to SWEAT COMPLETELY THROUGH TPS SLEEVES WTF (ballpark estimate, i dropped ten pounds of fluids in four hours; weighed in at 189.9 out of bed, 24oz pre-workout drink, approximately 100oz of fluids during the workout (50oz mercury blend, 50oz plain water), weighed in at home at 187.5 before downing a recovery shake. EVERYTHING WANTS TO CRAMP NOW. BRB, GOING TO SHOVE MY FACE IN A HALF GALLON OF MERCURY AND CHOCOLATE MILK AND A STEAK.

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Thursday, July 14th, 2016
7:08 pm
TFW a knee injury impacts bench day. Trying to find a comfortable position, and then having to monkey around with leg drive in a manner that didn't cause shear on the injury (SBD sleeve plus Shock Doctor 872 brace to avoid doing anything *excessively* stupid to it)

270# for 3 and... less than three.

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Tuesday, July 12th, 2016
4:17 pm - [Review] Making Money and Mort, by Terry Pratchett
I went on a mini Discworld binge in the run-up to vacation so I would have plane and hotel/pool/beach reading, and so I went with the three kickoff books for his grand arcs ("Mort" for Death; "Guards, Guards!" for the Night Watch, and "Wyrd Sisters" for them) and snagged "Making Money" because I was considering using it as a book club title for a group at the office, since, you know, I work at a credit union.

MORT is a fun introduction to the Big D, and an entertaining tale to boot, featuring derring do, daring dudes, and a couple of lovely satirizations of tropes, as is Pterry's wont. If you enjoy the Discworld stuff and somehow haven't read it, you will like it.

As the lattermost (maybe, I think?) of the Moist von Lipwig tales, MAKING MONEY drops the reader into a later-days version of Ankh-Morpork, where many of the machinations have already been machined, so it was a lot of adjustment for me, since I have only read a scant handful of the series thus far, and hadn't met any of the principals previously, but knew who they were by reputation and fandom exposure. It's kind of like a cheerfully Saturday-morning-cartoon version of Steven Brust's "Taltos" novels, with the rapscallion going straight, mostly.

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Sunday, July 10th, 2016
6:23 pm
nice-ish to know that on a strained MCL and 2.5 hours of hockey the day before, I can still pull 455#. hopefully next weekend when i'm with the seriously strong people, i won't be compromised and can take full advantage of her expert critique.

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Friday, July 8th, 2016
11:44 am - kittenstream is back
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/GDFpGbNtCkH

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6:51 am - 16 days, 12.5 ounces
Not sure what caused my livestream to tank - possibly something with the USB connection for the external webcam, which I was too tired to fuck with last night.

So, here's a shot from this morning.

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Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
6:53 am - big weekend of bigness
had a fairly excellent night of hockey on saturday after a decent day of lifting, but it was sunday that is going to stick with me for the long haul.

my strength and conditioning coach and several of his staff, as well as a few of my fellow athletes, were in town for a women's powerlifting meet, co-hosted by and named for one of them. i was only able to make it for sunday, but next year, i am going to make it a priority to get to all three days, and potentially volunteer to work the event or help with prep and whatnot (funny coincidence: it was at the same venue as the friday night stuff of c14 - and some of the lifters' walk-out music would not have been out of place; there was a young woman who came out to evanescence's 'wake me up,' and another woman who hit the platform to NIN's 'wish')

https://www.facebook.com/events/1530705470572015/

so, naturally, i was hanging out at my coach's merch table with one of the other coaches while everyone else was getting lunch and no fewer than four people thought i worked there, and i had to improvise a sales pitch for the service or figure out how to take payment for a shirt. *laugh* "i'm... not actually a coach. i'm just a client."

the hostess, jenn rotsinger, was fucking inspiring, and has earwormed me with a song i'd never heard before (the refrain from flo rida's "welcome to my house") in a manner that i hope never abates.

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Saturday, June 25th, 2016
4:21 pm - weighed, measured , and found adorable
there are fresh kittens as of wednesday. three of 'em, tone on tone black tabbies all.

one, assuming there's a male in the bunch, has been spoken for by a coworker. the other two are available if anyone wants them, and they'll be weaned and ready in september :-)

tiny, of course, still hates me.




the most adventuresome is, for obvious reasons, being named "Furlong."



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Tuesday, May 31st, 2016
6:53 am - [Review] A Companion to Wolves - Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear
A COMPANION TO WOLVES is one of those things that I was aware of since it had been published, but only recently got around to buying and reading. If you like high fantasy, don't mind intense sex scenes in service to the narrative, and are a dog person, just stop here and buy the fucking book.

The tag-team duo of Bear ( matociquala) and Monette ( truepenny) is one of my favorite collaborative voices (their short story "Boojum" and the follow-on fiction in that world is excellent sci-fi), and here, they have tackled a slice the Norse mythos by way of turning the "warrior/chosen one finds their animal familiar and heroics ensue" from 45 to 270 degrees around a several axes.

Young men are tithed to the force that guards their homeland from trolls and other threats, which kicks off the narrative, as our protagonist brings us into that world. It is cold and harsh, and things promptly begin to go into multi-named and/or hard-to-pronounce[1] handbaskets.

As anyone who has gone to a breeder or animal shelter knows, you aren't the only one choosing a friend; so is the animal, and here, the wolves drive the bus, and the humans need to keep their shit together in service to the pack. Thus, there are two sets of politics, two sets of social hierarchy, two sets of friendships and yearnings, and two sets of chains of command to be navigated and negotiated, and it's as overwhelming for our protagonist as it is for us as readers, as he tries to keep himself and his wolf-sister alive and only appropriately embroiled, with the expected varying levels of success.

It is a tough read in some places - it's not grimdark for the sake of grimness and darkness - but there is hard sledding to be done socially, in combat, and a handful of scenes that are a starkly visceral blend of both.

I will definitely be picking up the two further books in the series - A TEMPERING OF MEN and AN APPRENTICE TO ELVES, because, even though this book absolutely stands alone, I want to see what else Bear and Monette have in store for this world and its inhabitants.

[1] If you enjoy Russian novels for their [sarcasm font]ease[/sarcasm font] of identifying individuals who can be referred to by six or seven different names/titles and casts of characters running to fifty or so, this will not be the challenge for you it was for me. I found myself having to pause frequently to try and remember if it was Skjaldir or Skollmir or Skaljir who did the thing with the stuff, or if that was Hrolldir, Hrair, Hrafn, or Harry and the Hendersons who had. There were, however, definitely no militant moles wielding Mjolnir, although subterranean creatures swinging clubs *do* feature prominently.

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Friday, May 27th, 2016
12:34 pm - [Review] Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
The one good thing about air travel is reading opportunities in larger than 40 minute increments, which is why I blew through matociquala's KAREN MEMORY in such short order, as opposed to only having lunch-hour time to nibble (the hardcover is a fairly svelte 350 pages cover to cover, whatever that means - I certainly wouldn't have objected to another couple of tens of thousands of words, but I'm not the guy supplying the ink and paper or paying the freight).

It's set in the gold-rush era PNW in a mildly steampunked semi-alternative history shortly after the Civil War, and the narrator is a "seamstress" in a house of ill (but pretty good) repute. There is a serial killer, an international intrigue plot, a local political scandal in the making, and a human trafficking scheme overlaid one another like the Olympic rings, and we're promptly embroiled in all of them, along with a keenly pining love interest.

Bear doesn't do fluffy popcorn; even as rambunctious as this is - whore-house bar fights, a sewing machine that's an homage to Ellen Ripley, a mechanical Kraken - it's rich and layered in the ways that restaurants too fancy for me to patronize are lauded for their wine pairings and plating presentation - it's still delicious and multi-layered and shot through with surprises that entice even if you're expecting to find them merely satiating.

It's no secret that turning tropes on their ear is one of Bear's hallmarks and favored motifs (A COMPANION TO WOLVES is the next thing on my TBR pile), and KAREN MEMORY shoulders enough social consciousnedd freight that a certain bad dog blue devilman would probably break out in self-loathing hives if it merely crossed his line of sight. there are no punches pulled in acknowledging the racism of the society that just freed African-American slaves, the deeply problematic treatment of Asian slaves and expatriated individuals, as well as the omnipresent, multi-dimensional sexism that still haunts our politics and society.

I'm giving it to my dad to read next, since he keeps watching old John Wayne westerns, and KAREN MEMORY is a wry, smart, sassy, and brassy update to the Louis L'Amour/Zane Grey cowboy opera it inhabits the tradition of (and it pairs and contrasts well with suricattus' SILVER ON THE ROAD as a rainier, rowdier one-two punch)

heartily recommended.

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Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
8:59 am - witness me, bloodbag!


The hotel was lovely and super-close to the donation site - that's a keeper for anyone else they need to send that way.

The donation site was... more of a mixed bag.

I got there before any of the staff when I rolled up at 0815, because both the phlebotomists thought the donation was at 0900; the on-site coordinator arrived about 0820.

Things remained a little rocky with the facility staff once they arrived and got down to business.

Them: "We're ready."
Me: *picks up tote bag with snacks, Tums, laptop, and cell phone*
Them: "What do you think you're going to be able to do?"
Me: "... keep myself occupied?"
Them: "Oh, no, honey, you ain't going to be able to do nothin'."
Needles: *go in both elbows, rather than an elbow/back-of-forearm, to allow one hand any kind of freedom of movement*
Me: "Well, at least my girlfriend had the foresight to load movies* on her computer."

The apheresis equipment looks to be a half-step up from what they had at Shands, or maybe they just used a bigger-gauge needle, because it needed a lot less intra-donation hand-holding to make the centrifuge happy - or maybe the process is better able to extract the T cells from what they drew off and it doesn't need to be micromanaged as much anymore. In either case, the attending nurses paid a lot less attention to what was being drawn off than during either of my previous two donations. There were no other donation/recipient folks present until noon, and, while I try to be as low-maintenance as possible as a patient/guest, it was a notably less-welcoming environment than the previous ones had made me accustomed.

They also seemed to be a lot less actively involved with the process as a whole, especially towards the end, when all the saline replacement and calcium depletion had me feeling rather desperate to use the restroom, and they took an almost ostentatiously long time unhooking one, and then the second, needle. When my answers to "how are you feeling?" are increasingly pointed iterations of "I really need to use the bathroom," maybe... pick up the pace just a scosh? Nobody likes a bedpan, folks. I had a sense of urgency there that was, perversely, in inverse proportion to what it looked like the staffer was feeling - the more uncomfortable I got, the more slowly she appeared to go about her tasks.

Despite being hooked up to a calcium/saline** IV on the return line, I still got to "enjoy" the symptoms of calcium depletion at varying levels of acuteness throughout.

The blood return warmer on the rig I was wired into had two temperature settings: OFF and FRESH COFFEE. I opted for OFF. Which was funny, because everyone else was in long pants, scrubs, and fleece jackets, and i was in a T-shirt and shorts.

The staffers mentioned that they (OneBlood) have a facility in Orlando; if my donor recipient needs another refill, maybe that's an option. The combo platter of a pair of four-plus hour drives compounded by a lot less favorable bedside manner than the folks at Shands had me feeling pretty crispy, even though the donation itself went more quickly this time than either of the previous iterations (18,000 ml to be drawn and spun, rather than 23,000 or whatever it was the previous ones)

... and I totally forgot to pick up a well-wishes greeting card for the recipient.

* Captain America: The First Avenger (and CA: The Winter Soldier, but we only watched the first one at the facility; TWS was once we got home)
** I had to laugh that, the last time they checked my blood pressure before unhooking, it was elevated 30 extra points, and their concern was that I was *dehydrated* rather than, you know, tense from trying not to piss my fucking pants and at a five or six in terms of discomfort due to calcium depletion. I pointed out that the more saline they wanted to push, the more I had to pee, which had approximately no effect on their attitude whatsoever. I weighed EIGHT POUNDS more when I got home yesterday than I did when I left the house Monday morning - snacking on some homemade beef jerky and drinking two 16oz bottles of water ain't gonna do that, folks. How about you just turn off the fucking spigot and let me take a much-needed leak.

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Monday, May 2nd, 2016
10:32 am - fiddy. (if you round up)
Sunday, at the encouragement of friends and due to an astonishing lack of foresight, I did a thing.

Well, that's both true and misleading - I did a thing, but it was not the thing I had set out to do.
Putting the rest behind the cut, because long w/ picturesCollapse )

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Sunday, March 20th, 2016
10:13 am - It's like Mr. Met. Sure, he's goofy, but you still need to call him "Mister."
Pending some administrative folderol, yesterday's ten hours in the stationary bike saddle will render unto yours truly the title of Sir, Knight of Sufferlandria.

Here's what yesterday's menu looked like, beginning at about 0645 (parenthetical notes are from our coach; numeric notes are ride length without/with the 10 minute recovery before the next one):

1) Blender (100/110)
2) The Rookie (55/65)
3) The Wretched (48/58)
4) A Very Dark Place (51/61)
5) Power Station (nice break here) (50/60)
6) Angels 2015 (56/66)
7) Nine Hammers (55/65)
8) Hell Hath No Fury (this will be the worst part of the day) (75/85)
9) Do as You're Told (47/57)
10) The Best Thing in the World (48/58)


The rest of my cohorts, save two, began with "Rookie" and ended with "Blender," but I wanted/needed to get the earlier start so as to have the extra recovery before playing in my rec league championship game last night (Sadly, we came up on the short end of the score sheet, but the look on the ref's face was priceless when he asked why my stickwork in net was sloppier than usual. "I biked a hundred and some miles today." "Well, shit, if I did that, I wouldn't be here!" "And here I am.")




My FitBit kinda freaked out, and only recorded the first six hours as an "activity" (honestly, I probably just had my wrist pinned back at just the wrong angle after 5:45 in the saddle while catching a breather and it pressed the watch button), but at least the calorie graph tells the whole gory tale. Yes, playing goalie is hard fucking work from an aerobic/anaerobic standpoint in a completely different way than skating out is, where it's one minute on, two minutes off.

If someone had told me that I'd cycle a hundred miles or so in a single day, much less still have anything at all in the tank afterward, I'd probably have scoffed. As it stands, I've got tight calves and equipment I need to discharge from my garage before I can lift again and a ferociously tight arch in my right foot this morning, but I've also got the glow of doing something kind of nuts with friends and that's gonna help get through the next thing, whatever it is.

The scale also told an interesting story - 194.0 at bedtime friday, 191.6 upon waking saturday, and 193.3 with sneakers and shorts throughout the ride, save for an hour and a half 3/4 of the way through where I bumped up to 194.2. Hydration and electrolytes/carbs was handled drinking 24oz of Chaos & Pain's Mercury or GAT's JetMass (each were supplemented every second drink with C&P's BCAA complex); it remained so flat that i got on the scale with one of my cats in hand to make sure it hadn't gone into "stop checking your weight compulsively, it's not changing" mode. bumped up a pound when i flagged, then started sweating heavily again for the last two rides. (maybe taking a midday multivitamin was better in theory than practice?)

Woke up this morning, down three pounds from yesterday morning. Breakfast was a cup of coffee and an entire pizza. :-)

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Friday, March 4th, 2016
7:13 am - Stupid fitness things... now for charity!
http://www.completehumanperformance.com/donations/knights-sufferlandria-charity-event/

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Thursday, February 25th, 2016
6:48 am - yasss. (I had missed this initially, but the author rebageled it to tumblr this morning)
Originally posted by copperbadge at post
This morning I was asked to change my password on my work computer, as I must do every four months. And I sat there waiting for it to authorise my new password, and I thought, I have measured out my life in login codes.

And, as it so often does, then my brain screwed me out of several hours of productivity.

Edit to add: Why hello there, entire internet! If you'd like to know who I am or what I think of this poem, I made a separate post that you can check out. Hope you enjoy your stay here at chez Copperbadge.

The .doc File Of J. Alfred PrufrockCollapse )

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Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
7:27 am - snippets
so, having a couple little hernias fixed via an incision at the navel isn't nearly as big a deal as five little entry points for shoulder repair - i was under for less than an hour, and the discomfort after an 8 hour sleep window of no pain management (5mg hydrocodone / 525mg tylenol) is a 3 with spikes to 4.5 if i move the wrong way too abruptly.

proof that i am even boring while on drugs: my impulse buy at CVS while waiting for my prescription to be filled was a bag of dunkin donuts' decaf.

knowing that i am a hirsute bastard and they'd need to mow, i more or less clippered the entire front of my torso last week, and it still took the poor prep nurse the entire charge of two handheld trimmers to clear the drop zone.

pic of the little razor that couldn"ts work under the cut. it"s not flattering, but that"s why i need to do cardioCollapse )

with the arrival, finally, of fall-like temperatures (and my relocation to the bedroom while my dad is here to snowbird), there are typically between three and six cats arrayed around me from the hips down at nearly all times. the moat depicted here is my left leg.



(Clockwise from bottom left: Nymph, Kirk, Garbanzo, Magellan, Spawn, and ThreeBob)

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Friday, December 25th, 2015
7:14 am - SW: TFA re-watch
As I had hoped, based on the remarks of others, the new Star Wars holds up very well to subsequent viewings - the whole movie slows down so you can take in little details you’re too caught up in the rush of the first watch to catch.

I was struck more, emotionally, by the climax this time around because I knew it was coming, for instance, but I was also able to pay a lot more attention to the little compositional details - especially the lighting effects when anyone Force-sensitive was on-screen.

Admittedly, this was *far* from subtle (and anyone who has seen the movie will look at the poster with new eyes), but was easy to miss in all the excitement of an opening-night packed house, when the pre-crawl words LONG, LONG AGO, IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY… appeared, and then John Williams’ horns kicked in and drew a standing ovation from people who might have been too choked up to speak.

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Thursday, December 24th, 2015
9:47 am - Review: ZER0ES - Chuck Wendig
For a guy with as big and foul a mouth as Cherk Wendigo has on the twitternets and interwubs, it's no surprise that folks I get along with enjoy his writing (I peruse his blog on occasion, and sometimes trade comic volleys on the twitters), but this is the first time I've picked up his fiction. I mean, a guy who can incite the racist, homophobic portions of Star Wars fandom into such a frothy lather is probably somebody I'd enjoy having a literary beer with, right?

Zer0es is a fairly straightforward "AI goes rogue" story, told from the perspective of a group of tech-savvy folks who are dragooned into government service (and a couple of the government agents doing the dragooning). There are hacking events, chase scenes, shootouts - all the stuff of summer action movies, though it never feels so big that the ominous end-of-the-world implications it hints at seem to be happening, despite background details that suggest this is exactly what's going on. It just didn't seem to have the doomy immediacy for me, as a reader, that it seemed to warrant, because the characters themselves didn't seem to be greatly imperiled after a pre-climax OH THE FUCK YOU DIDN'T, Y'ALL moment.... the fact that the tension didn't ratchet up from that, but seemed to back off and not regain traction until the denouement (and, even then, it still felt somewhat small and lower-stakes than maybe it could have)... I was left feeling like there was a bigger payoff that didn't quite reach the page.

There are a lot of individually-fleshed motivations, though they tend towards being "one broad stroke per character, with a little shading on both edges" - there are a lot of guilt and redemption motivations, a nontrivial amount of justified mistrust of Big Brother and US policy in general, and a deus ex-ex machina character I had a hard time reconciling with the rest of the worldbuilding. There was some good action, some good conflict, some good atmosphere, and enough handwavium at the actual hacking to provide plausible deniability (because if there is one thing hacking stories almost invariably fuck up, it's how generally uninteresting it is to anyone not actually sitting at the keyboard or reading the chatlogs; Wendig smartly pulled the camera back enough to keep this from being a stumbling block).

Overall: Good with popcorn and a soft drink, if a bit lighter and fluffier than my tastes currently run. Five bits out of a byte.

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Friday, December 18th, 2015
8:54 am - An Old Hope
The Force Awakens is an outstanding Star Wars movie; if you like the franchise, you will almost certainly enjoy it.

Bonus goodness: seeing a couple of friends in the lobby pre/post.

No spoilers, but will cut-text out of courtesy.Collapse )

Also amusing: I got mistaken for theater staff at one point, somehow, despite the utilikilt, t-shirt, and conspicuous lack of nametag. Apparently, I just give off the door/line thug vibe whether I want to or not. I was just standing around and shooting the shit with TheOneBob.

The new movie makes me crave the next one; the prequels made me dread theirs.

Well done, rekindling that old hope.

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Saturday, December 5th, 2015
7:44 pm - flavor of the weak
(with apologies to front line assembly, i don't care how canadian they are, there's no 'u' in that first word)

did my first officially-sanctioned workout since the diagnosis, and... doing moves that try to put no strain on the valsalva maneuver for abdominal stability is tricky fucking shit, and taking a month more or less off cold turkey (other than hockey, which is not a strength-building endeavor)... i am fucking weaksauce, compounded by my repaired shoulder getting tetchy due to disuse despite stretching and mobility work.

in lieu of bench press, floor presses, up to three sets of ten at 135# - i might have had 165 or 185 for that much volume, but was babying the shoulder rather than be a heroic idiot. some unscripted mobility work - 50# overhead pressing and pullup bar hangs with some light twisting - the latter caused some good-feeling but crunchy movement where it was probably needed.

for leg work... pistol squats, with the concession that i could hold onto something. because otherwise, i go about a third of the way down, and fall the fuck over even when i'm in unhindered condition, since my ankle mobility is shit and my leverages mean i fall on my ass because my center of gravity is somewhere aft of my heel. maybe if i lose thirty or forty pounds, i can lean further forward. which is not the reason i'd want to lose that weight, but being a trapezoid rather than a faintly narrowing and bulging tube shape would be nice.

and for back, bench-supported rows. tried doing these on my roman chair, which would, in theory, press against my abdomen so i wouldn't have to stress the hernia sites with stabilization. which it does, of course, but makes it damn near impossible to breathe. 3x10 of 135 here, too.

plus, three hockey sessions this weekend, and a 3km stroll for groceries wearing my 40# weight vest... which, in retrospect, probably makes me look like the world's least-discrete suicide bomber.

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Sunday, November 22nd, 2015
7:24 am - My Smite button is the one with "Bad Motherfucker" written on it.
Okay, here's one for you: On 11/22/15, kindly discuss why you have a penchant for playing healers, when your physical world mindset relates more to meat shields.

I don't necessarily agree with the meatshield assessment; I basically play a healer in my day job, too - people need shit to do shit, i (re)supply the shit so they can do their shit. I only tank for my department, and that's because when they fuck up, they don't have to answer the phones - I do... so I am basically tanking their inability to control aggro and/or pulling before the group is ready.

Being a healer is reactive; you see who got kicked in the dick, and throw some green shit their way, or you know who is *supposed* to, and pre-emptively buff/shield them. DPS is brainless - kill shit as long as you don't overtop the aggro meter. Tanking is a pain in the ass, you have to manage everything's aggro and trust your healer is paying fucking attention.

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Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
11:49 am - Vatines on ice
November 17th

Ice hockey, the whys and whys not of playing the game.


The prosaic answer is because the sport is probably my first love; my folks had season tickets when I was a kid, so I got to watch a lot of hockey when I was young. My dad played in a sponsored league - what would be analogous to the "invite" leagues where I play (which is to say, you have to be good enough to be asked to participate, rather than just show up, sign up, and pay up) - and seemed to enjoy it, and I do as well, and will be skating in his footsteps beginning in december when i take up goaltending (my natural position is winger, where i've played each of my nine 12-game seasons in the two years I've been doing so).

It's an excellent cardio workout, includes balance, eye-hand coordination, teamwork, communication, and requires quick thinking and reactions. it's also hella fun.

I'm sorry, the why nots? There aren't any. :-) I mean, unless you have medical issues that make ice skating or exertion a non-starter, I think it's a fine thing for anyone who wants to.

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Monday, November 9th, 2015
7:01 pm - Thangs
Give me a topic.

chaosvizier/angledge have introduced me to a meme. You, my wonderful and loyal (and hopefully still present and accounted-for) readers, comment below with a date and a subject, and I am honor-bound to talk about it on that date. Photo essay/entry requests are allowed. Encouraged, even. Bring it on, folks! Come partake of my vast tasty wisdom!

I'll update this entry with date and subject requests as I get them.

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Tuesday, September 15th, 2015
3:01 pm - Friending Meme for LJ Survivors - 2015 Re-edition
Originally posted by silviarambles at Friending Meme for LJ Survivors - 2015 Re-edition
Three years ago (where did time go?!) I lost my LJ Friending Meme Host virginity. That first time was so successful and satisfying that I haven't attempted a second yet but, talking to falena84 and lamenting the good ol' days of LJ as we recurrently do, I thought 'why not again?'. Because my inbox will explode. Because you're a responsible adult with a busy job and less time for this internet stuff. These are just two of the reasons I chose to ignore, so here we are again ladies and gentlemen. So, I quote falena84 with thanks because she's a lot better at this than me:


Picture by Wuxi on Flickr

Feeling like you're drifting all alone in the once-fun-but-now-too-quiet pool of Livejournal? Not to worry!


Friending Meme for LJ Survivors - 2015 Re-edition



You know the drill. Do it. Share it. It only works if you share it, because I have a small flist and you mostly know each other. So, please spread the word even if you don't want to take part yourself. Tell your mum, your grandpa, your neighbours, your friends and their dogs. GO!!

Here's a link for sharing:



EDIT: I've turned off email notifications for this (for obvious reasons as there are currently almost 3000 comments...), but I come back and check my thread every now and then. If there's anything else you need my attention for (ie. comments marked as spam) I'm afraid you'll have to message me or I might not see it!

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Friday, September 11th, 2015
3:06 pm - Ricardo Montalban on a Trailer Hitch*
It would be easy but inaccurate to cast this year’s event as a nonstop cascade of fuckups, but, ultimately, every fuckup was un-fucked, and there were plenty of good times without a commensurate karmic earning in advance.

That isn’t to say the fuckups weren’t stressful and frustrating - scrambling to get a prescription filled the day before flying up was a seven-hour ordeal instead of a one-hour thing, for instance - but they were all ultimately overcome to the general satisfaction of those involved. Those of you who saw my entry on the bookface got the detailed run-down of the shambling fiasco that was our experience with the non-con hotel; even that was ameliorated with a brief, pleasant, and entirely rewarding conversation with their accounting/billing service rep.

The con itself was what it’s always been - a chance for me to bellow at hundreds of people at a time like a jovial, stentorian-voiced traffic cone with arms. Said arms also got to provide hugs and fist-bumps to friends I don’t get to see nearly often enough ( suricattus and several others), and one whom I’d never met in person before ( lisamantchev), despite a decade-plus online friendship. I made some new friends and found new authors to read. I think I saw a casual tumblr acquaintance in passing, but she was with staff-mates and doing the “we got shit to do” walk.

I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to or do everything I’d hoped (I was cross-staffed to work shifts that precluded me from seeing a couple writerly friends talk craft), but that’s the nature of an event this big. I missed the kilt blowing for the first time in a long time, because I was double-booked that night and exhausted after a long day; the fact that’s my biggest complaint says a lot.

There are going to be changes aplenty next year, both rumored and certain (rumors, I can’t speak to; the certainties are changes to the staff on my track due to folks taking a year off from working the event), but I will be back to herd cats and not cosplay despite considering it (random conversations with other obvious gym rats, dressed as 300′s Spartans or Kratos from God of War or various superheroes tended to go like this: “You think we spend more time working out than the serious cosplay folks do with a sewing machine and hot glue gun?” “Maybe? But the only part of this I made myself was duct taping and spray painting this spear; I got everything else on Etsy and Ebay because I can’t sew for shit.” *fistbump*)

Since I took approximately zero pictures, here’s one my girlfriend took at the Heroes & Villains Ball, because it’s not every day I run into someone with a spiffier kilt than my orange camo one. :-)



* Draggin’ Khan, as it were

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Thursday, August 13th, 2015
8:41 am - mo' bob, no problems
So, ThreeBob got a fairly clean bill of health - fleas and worms (because, duh, stray), and weak hips, might be a non-broken bone injury, might be a congenital propensity for hip dysplasia. I was advised to keep him sequestered from the other cats in case the FLV test is a premature false-negative, and to give him carpets to walk on rather than tile, and do some physical therapy to strengthen his hind legs.

Follow up worm shots in two weeks, unless he’s adopted by a local human sooner. Vet pegged his age at about nine weeks, so, he was born the first week of June-ish.

have some bob-vids:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGljukoY424
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nsdTfdmFlo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoWPjlfnKWg

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Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
9:29 pm - kat stuf


So, this little dude, provisionally nicknamed Three Bob, was pointed out by my boss as lurking in the shrubbery by my office yesterday afternoon, "looking hungry."

He's got a pronounced limp and a lower abdominal lump and a bad rear gasket, but a healthy appetite for wet food - my guess is a displaced hip or some other kind of hindquarter trauma - but led me on a merry (if low-speed) chase, for about a hundred yards before I cornered him and tucked him into a cardboard box. He goes to the vet tomorrow for a checkup, vaccinations, and whatever repairs may be needed, with an eye towards adopting him out to a semi-local friend who is moving into a pet-friendly apartment this weekend (family friends in the market for an orange tabby clarified that they're looking exclusively for a female when I called to let them know). An internet acquaintence has generously donated towards that, which was a welcome surprise. :-)

Tiny's most recent batch are coming up on three weeks old, and are beginning to be heard meeping and crawling around under the house; hopefully they'll make their appearance soon. I have not yet seen them, tucked up under the insulation below the maternity suite bathroom where she's had the previous litters, since it's been raining almost every day and the loam and underbrush have combined to cut down on the amount of ground clearance I have to wriggle through to get under there, and I'm not as svelte and lithe and nimble as I used to be.

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Saturday, August 1st, 2015
8:44 am - 42
As I begin my lap of Sol coinciding with The Anwer to Life, the Universe, and Everything, some observational musings on the spiritual end of the spectrum, which, for those who know me, is grotesquely out of character:

* I remain skeptical about The Great Green Arkleseizure, and our universe’s having been expelled from one of its nostrils. I have, however, expelled A Curiously Tenacious Red Mucous Membrane out of one of mine.[1]
* I have no no doubt whatsoever as to whether or not the universe is stranger than we imagine, or can imagine. I have no evidence for or against the argument that it has already been replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable; I can firmly contend that nobody on this planet is smart enough to have figured out what it’s for in order for that to have happened, but am guardedly optimistic that sentient life elsewhere might be. That’s also contributing to why they’re ignoring us.
* Many days, I concur that Creation itself was a bad move, and that I’m among those it has made very angry.
* I do not carve a perfect Perfectly Normal Beast sandwich, but I do make a mean grilled cheese.

“Beethoven tells you what it’s like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it’s like to be human. Bach tells you what it’s like to be the universe.“ - Douglas Adams

[1] not this morning, it was several years ago.

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Saturday, July 4th, 2015
9:39 am
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

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Saturday, June 27th, 2015
8:46 am - My Smite button is the one with "Bad Motherfucker" written on it.


"I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."

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Thursday, May 28th, 2015
10:04 pm - Fluid Dynamics in Fury Road
While I have only seen Mad Max: Fury Road once, it's been inexcapably and exhaustively critiqued, meta'd, and otherwise held up to the light for praise and examination in pretty much every corner of the internet I regularly peruse, save for ESPN's NHL playoff coverage.

This will not be another review or exhortation to see it; I enjoyed it, and so might you. Well worth the $6-and-change-plus-Fandango-service-fee, in any case (and I did end up buying the soundtrack in both circular media and digital formats).

Rather, I'd like to focus on the various liquids' role in the narrative, so there will be spoilery talk beneath the cut, as well as some half-assed thematic wank, in all probability.
Read more...Collapse )

[gratuitous icon post]

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