Educating Daughter

Yesterday (Sunday) Quincy (who sometimes reminds me of the robot from Short Circuit in terms of both zeal for data/input and how it’s funny when they jump) insisted on doing Khan Academy until she’d finished first grade, she was exhausted, and Karena was frazzled. 

Today Karena had early appointment & her mom took her. Quincy interrupted my breakfast…

Quincy: i want to do Khan but hidden pictures is out.

Me: what? You can do Khan. I don’t care. Or do hidden pictures (reluctantly leaving the table, i deduced that this was some sort of workbook that had been left out but i wasn’t sure if it was intentional)

Quincy (now in tears & hopping up and down): i don’t want hidden pictures can do Khan mom said i can it’s not up the book out (i.e. frantic gibberish)

Me: Look, i am just here in some sort of custodial capacity. I am not in charge of the education of young women. Go play video games and let me alone. Go see what your brother is doing.

Kent Goom in front of the learning/babysitting machine.

Super Bowl LXIX

I watched the Super Bowl at my inlaws’ apartment. Yes, they moved out a little while ago into their own apartment 10 minutes away. Otherwise not much has changed. My mother-in-law still comes over and moves our furniture around & still argues with my wife. They are still storing things in our shed. I discovered five things that looked like fancy push lawnmowers hidden under an awning behind the other shed. I asked my father-in-law about them and I can’t remember the exact conversation we had but I do remember the one I had with my wife:

Me: No, two are lawnmowers, one’s a roto-tiller, one is to edge the driveway and walk, and I forget what the last one was.
Me: No.
Me: One, I think he said, just needs a new carburetor, and another is new but it’s been sitting there for so long (the house originally belonged to Karena’s late great-uncle; her father’s uncle) that the little rubber bubble that you have to push when it won’t start – the bubble rotted. He’s not sure what’s wrong with the others.
Me: (rubbing head – when I talk to my father-in-law, everything sounds so reasonable; it’s only later when I or someone else questions the agreements and decisions that were made that my head starts to hurt) Um, the roto-tiller – he thought you and Rex might use it for a garden. You had a garden on the back porch of the apartment, right? You and Rex like to garden.
Me: Well now you can have…a bigger garden.
Me: Um, I can’t really remember. One was the kind of mower that he always wanted when he was a kid. Another one – the one I can’t remember what it does – he said that we didn’t have any use for it here, but he wants to wait til Rex is older so he can teach him how to replace a carburetor…
Karena: !

As a digression, because I rarely mention her, my daughter is now taking dance class. I take her to the dance class. I will tell you more about this in a subsequent post, keeping in mind that I still haven’t finished the one about my VA Appointment (or even gotten to the point where I went to the appointment).

As a digression within a digression, she is two and has been talking for a year, but until recently was very hard to understand. Part of this is normal baby mumble-mouth. Also, she’s continually punctuating her sentences with a noise/word/gibberish that sounds like this: “Zinga-Wanna-Gonna”.

Another part is because when you ask her her name she insists that it is “Name Name.” She has never said her actual name in her life (it’s not actually Quincy btw). Also – and Nancy Reagan would be very proud of her for this – she has never said the word “Yes” either. Instead of “Yes” she says “No”. It is never hard to determine what she actually means though, because her “Yes” “No’s” are very cheerful and her “No” “No’s” involve screaming.

But anyway, there are two words now that she can say with startling clarity: “Mom” and “Dad”. Pretty much an exact copy of the tone and volume my son uses to say those words, after he’s, say, clogged the toilet. Much like a parrot’s mimicry though, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking you’re dealing with someone possessing sense and reason. I submit the “conversation” I had in the car with her as evidence:

Quincy: Mom?
Me: I’m Dad.
Quincy: Dad?
Me: Yes? (optimistic; she sounds like she actually wants something or has something important to tell me)
Quincy: Dad?
Me: Yes.

Tonight I’m determined to continue until one of us wears out. In the past, Karena has been around and made me knock it off because she was getting a headache. But tonight it’s game on.

Quincy: Dad?
Me: Yes.
Repeat the last two lines approximately 7,000 times, until my concentration is broken by some traffic condition and I blow it.
Quincy: Dad?
Me: WHAT??!
Quincy: Zinga-wanna-gonna.
Me (muttering): Zinga-wanna-gonna.
Quincy (sounding surprised): Dad?
Me: Yes?


Back to the Super Bowl. It was okay. Better than some. The highlight was “helping” my son with his science fair project during halftime, and realizing that he was carrying on a proud Christmas family tradition of waiting to the last minute and having to do homework during the Super Bowl (actually I was carrying on the tradition since I was doing most of the work while he watched Katy Perry’s boobs and commercials about kids dying.)

His procrastination is not totally his fault since Karena’s his first science fair project (a sundial made out of a paper plate and a straw) got run over by my father-in-law while it was innocently and ineffectively telling the time in our driveway.

My project Rex’s new project is The Scale of the Solar System. One component of the project is a poster with a bunch of circles that I measured to scale, Karena cut out, and Rex colored to look nothing like the actual planets. The other component is a 75-foot piece of yarn that I measured to illustrate interplanetary distances, and Karena adorned with tape labels of the planets’ names. Rex helped me with the tape measure until – like every 7-year-old who has ever lived since tape measures were invented – he let the full length of the thing zip back in at full speed and laughed hysterically. I, like my father, and so many fathers before me, fulfilled my role in this time-honored drama by shouting at him that he was going to put his eye out and/or damage the tape measure. Karena did her motherly part: “WE’RE GOING OUT OF OUR WAY TO HELP YOU WITH THIS PROJECT THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS STOP FOOLING AROUND”

I personally loathed science fairs, but my mother always made me participate even though they were sometimes optional. The whole concept is an overreaction to Sputnik that’s lingered for 50 years. This one is during the school day and parents aren’t invited, but I personally wouldn’t mind going. Partly to see how my work compares to the other parents’. And partly to see my son unwind a 75-foot yarn in a crowded gymnasium full of  science projects.

The VA Healthcare System – Part One and Southern Drivers – Part Two

Went to the VA today.

You hear a lot of bad things about the VA medical system in the news lately.  Also, Vietnam vets got a bad deal from the system, so most of them have strong feelings about the subject.  However the current situation is not as bad as outsiders may think.  (at least for most people, i’m sure there’s some guy who’s been living in a VA waiting room since 1983 who will disagree)  Let me use one of my famous analogies to demonstrate:

Me: I’m deploying to Iraq.
1)My dad (civilian): Well, son, your mother love you very much, and we just want you to stay safe.  Please be careful.
2)My uncle* (Vietnam vet): Oh, man.  I’m glad I’m not you; glad I’m done with that shit.  Stay alert and stay alive.  Let me tell you about my buddy… [humorous but morbid story which also serves as a cautionary tale]
2a)Grandma (in the room listening to Uncle Frank’s story): Oh my.  Oh dear.  That’s just terrible!

Me (ten years later): I get my medical care from the VA.
1) My dad: Well, son, your mother love you very much, and we just want you to stay safe.  Please be careful.

2)My uncle: Oh, man.  I’m glad I’m not you; glad I’m done with that shit.  Stay alert and stay alive.  Let me tell you about my buddy… [humorous but morbid story which also serves as a cautionary tale]
2a) Grandma (in the room listening to Uncle Frank’s story): Oh my.  Oh dear.  That’s just terrible!

*I always thought my Uncle Frank was the coolest guy on the planet.  He was a powerlifter in the late 70s & early 80s.  And a Marine who did 3? tours in ‘Nam rocking an M-60. He didn’t like to talk about the war (actually he loves to talk about the war just not with an 10-year-old boy who’s holding a G.I. Joe figure in one hand and asking questions like “so did you shoot a lot of bad guys?”)  Later when I was home on leave from the Army and I could correlate his military career with my own, I learned a lot of stuff which made him even cooler.  Like how many Article 15s he got and how after like 6 years in the Marines he got out as a PRIVATE.

Since I moved I’ve been avoiding going to the VA, even though I need prescriptions filled, etc, because the nearest VA hospital is almost two hours away and in another state.  So a lot of driving during which time I figured out what makes Southern drivers so bad.  A quick digression …  (And by quick digression I mean I’m going off on a tangent: we’re done talking about the VA today – the rest of this post is just making fun of Southerners and other groups)

When a driver does something stupid and/or rude – you can usually categorize the offender into one of 6 groups.  Here are the first five:

1. Innocent Mistake – Hold up a hand in the universal “my bad” sign, duck their head, or try to avoid you afterwards.  Usual Offense: Trying to change lanes while your car is already there; pulling out in front of you.

2. Important Businessman – In an luxury car, SUV – or, in the south – an expensive pickup truck.  Usual Offense: Tailgating and lane shifting like a motherfucker.

3. Young Maniac – Driving a fast car or sport bike.  Offense: Runs up behind you at 110 mph.  There’s nothing you can do, he just materializes 3 feet from your bumper, but he’ll either squeeze between lanes (even in a car) or drive on the shoulder, or do something else unsafe and terrifying.

4. Woman in SUV – It’s too big for her to handle.  hue.  Offense: pick a fucking lane and use your turn signal and look where you’re going.

5. Old person in Lincoln Continental – Offense: going 30 in the left lane

With these five, as long as you survive the encounter you can feel better afterwards:

1. Ah yes I’ll be magnanimous.  We all make mistakes.

2. In his defense you’re on his normal route to work and you’re in the way of Progress.  Also, stressful day + high blood pressure + bad eating habits = coronary trouble.  And will probably get a ticket soon, making day even worse.

3. The lad will someday contribute to society – as long as he’s checked the organ donor box on his license.

4. You get to have this conversation with your wife:

Me: I bet there’s a woman driving that.
Me: Bet she’s texting or playing with her hair.
Karena: OH COME ON.
Me: Haha!  Three for three!  They call me Coachstradamus!
Me: Only men should drive SUVs.
Me: They should have to drive minivans.  Pink minivans so you know to get out of their way.

5. Later today, his children will have an awkward conversation with him insinuating that just maybe he’s too old/blind to drive.  Nothing will result except hurt feelings and lost tempers as the octogenarian asserts his rights.  Next week he’ll park inside a convenience store.

But the last category is the most frustrating.  It’s also much more common in the South.

6. The Insensible

6a.i. Eighties pimp: Mid-forties, wearing a tanktop and a fedora, driving an dented-up old person car.  Probably wearing slippers with socks.  No license due to multiple traffic violations and possibly a warrant.  Offense: Relatively minor – at least to my driving sensibilities unless the highway is so crowded that you can’t pass.  Viz. going 54 mph in a 55, hoping that he won’t get pulled over.

6a.ii. Comic book guy – the real-life – and much more depressing – version of the Simpsons character.  Fat, greasy hair, unshaven, wearing a stained sweatshirt, and – up North – a trenchcoat, unsafe decrepit car full of trash, driving from his parents’ house to the public library to read newspapers.  Offense: see above, replace “won’t get pulled over” with “will be able to finish this fascinating radio programme.”

6b. The Manatee: If you weigh 400 lbs you suck at everything.  Offense: …including driving.

6c. The Medicated: Mostly – or completely – closed eyes, mouth open, placid look. And generally, a handicapped tag in the rearview mirror.  (“THAT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING”). Offense: Not noticing that your car – or any car – is also on the road.

6d. Farmer Bob: This guy drives a tractor on the road at 15 mph for his day job.  In his spare time he picks up debris and drives around with it in the back of his pickup truck.  Offense: Going 40 in a 55 so that you naturally are forced to tailgate – until you realize that pebbles, rusty bits of metal, and feathers are hitting your windshield.

The reason the Insensible are the worst is that you know that none of these people have any remorse – hell they won’t even notice.  And there will be no consequences for them; they’ve been doing this for years.

Tomorrow (or when I feel like it): Past VA experiences

Package Check

At Walmarts (it’s plural in the South) with my 2 yr old daughter, and walking out with our cart.  This greeter in her 50s or 60s is sitting on a bench near the door.  There’s this old guy with white hair and a cane sitting next to her talking to her.

Greeter: Your receipt?

Me [pushing cart by her]: Yup, got it, thanks.


Me: [continuing to walk out and ignore her]

Old Vigilante: HEY!  HEY!  STOP!

No one chased after me, as usual.  Or maybe they did, they just moved very slowly.  That’s right – I’m pretty brave when confronted by elderly quasi-security personnel.  My wife and her family are impressed by my audacity.  Like legit impressed, which, after some introspection, I’ve decided is the main reason I continue to do it; rather than some notion of consumer activism, a mistrust of authority, or a general surly nature.

Several years ago, in a mini-van with my wife, son, and inlaws…

Karena: HAHAHA

Mother-in-law: What are you so giddy about?


Father-in-law [amazed]: They didn’t stop you?

Me (blasé): Ahh, I never show my receipt.

MiL: Don’t you have to?

Karena: ACTUALLY THE LAW STATES THAT… [cites various legal theories that I’ve expounded to her; she has adopted my opinion on exactly two matters in life, this and the evils of gun control]

NB i’m not a lawyer, and I’m not giving you legal advice on the internet – but I got my information from lawyers who give legal advice on the internet.  A couple of things to keep in mind:

1. Don’t do this if you actually stole something. Or on second thought, maybe you should do it, as I seem to “get away” every time.  I dunno, man – you’re on your own. But, instead of shoplifting like a crackhead or a spoiled actress, try committing a manly crime like armed robbery. *

* do not actually commit felonies even if I joke about them, and 50 Cent makes them sound cool

1a. Don’t do this even if you didn’t steal anything – but you’ve got coke in the car, an arrest warrant, etc.

2. Don’t shout at people or touch others.  Don’t try to juke around the greeter, or hit a spin move.  He could fall and break his hip. Or you could get nabbed for disorderly conduct, or tased or something.

3. Don’t do this if you got somewhere to go and can’t spend an hour standing in the front of Walmart waiting for the police to arrive, which could possibly happen.  Store employees, at least in my state, can detain and question you if they are acting in good faith and on reasonable grounds that you’ve stolen something. (Which doesn’t include not showing your receipt, I mean come on, the cashiers can’t even tell what the shit is on the receipt without scanning it –  how is some half-blind and addled senior citizen gonna know)

4. Don’t do this at stores like Sam’s Club where, when you join, you sign a form giving them permission to check your receipt, examine your bags, put their hands down your kids’ pants looking for “candy,” etc.

buying another horse mat tomorrow, already used a Lowes’ gift card to purchase the high-quality utility knife that i plan to use to cut it into sections


Me [scoffing]: This is the non-retractable Blue Diamond titanium carbide cutter.  Have you seen  what I’m planning to slice?  That rusty piece of crap that I stepped on in the shed is not going to cut through one of those mats that I’ve got out there in the gym.  It wouldn’t even cut through my foot!  In fact…


Me: …one of the reviews on the TSC website a guy said that he tried to use a Dremel, but…


Me: Some of the guys on my blog were trying to get me to build this wooden dowel thing with hose clamps, whatever those are, but I said to them,


I should have told her that they tried to check my receipt.

NCBY Part Two

Did you have a good Thanksgiving?   Did you stick to your diet, or did you have a cheat meal and gorge yourself?   Was your gym open in the morning?  Did you get a training session in?   Did you see your relatives?  Watch football?   Well, we have a saying at my house:  Nobody Cares But You.  So please do not post your Thanksgiving exploits in the comments.  What’s that?  It’s a little late for a post mentioning Thanksgiving?   What’s that?  It’s been 2 weeks since i posted?  Too bad.  NCBY.

Here’s yesterday’s training:

wt: 169.8

Squat: 45×4, 135×3, 225×2, 315×1

Partial Squat #17 (halfway down or a little more): 385, 425, 455×1 (10 lb PR, goal at this height is 600)

harder than it should be because i went down very slowly in an attempt not to do what I  did with 425 i.e. come crashing down and bounce off the pins

(supersetted squats with band pulling)

Behind The Neck Press: 45×8, 115×5

I been doing this before bench and worked up to a not too bad 160 lb single the other day but today went light because i actually missed my first rack bench yesterday

Bench: 185×3, 255×1

Bottom Position Bench #19 (like the upper third): 315, 350×1 (5 lb PR, missed 360 yesterday a lot of the presses have been easy, so I overextended and then didn’t have time/motivation to redo; goal at this height is 460)

Sumo Deadlift: 135×3, 205×2, 265×3,3 in 16 seconds

so you do this 265×6 = 1590 (volume) then you divide by time (16) = 99.4 which is the “power” and you keep the weight the same until you can beat your old power record.

Father next to me at jiu-jitsu will not shut the fuck up and just starts telling me things.  “Got some new dog food the other day, gonna try that.”  “My daughter stayed up too late last night.”  “Taking the week of Christmas off from work.”  So then I say, “Oh yeah?” to be polite and he then elaborates.  “It’s the expensive kind but it’s good for worms.”  “Her and her sister were watching a movie.”  “I put in for it in January just to be sure.”  NCBY NCBY NCBY.  Look ,exchange pleasantries in the first five minutes of the class, then let me fucking type okay?   Finally had to just say only “mm” or nothing at all and bang the keys to get him to leave me alone but he still kept trying.  Glad i made a pattern of sitting next to him every time so now if I don’t everyone will notice because all the parents sit in the same spots always.

Still have not found the charger for my camera.  However, my wife pointed out to me that “IT HAS AN ATTACHED USB THING THAT FOLDS OUT YOU IDIOT” (for charging on a computer).  Expect videos soon.

3 acres of rakable lawn.  2 years since the yard has been raked in some places.  About 50 trees on the property or hanging over it.  On a corner so all kinds of shit blows in, much more than blows out – at least in my biased opinion.   This is World War I.  I am the German army, with better technology (I have a leaf blower), and better tactics.  On the other hand, the enemy has nearly unlimited resources and can just throw men at me.  The lines are barely moving.

Also international opinion is against me.   The assholes from the City Works Department and the Trash Company only pick up my yard waste when they feel like it.  My father-in-law wants to burn the leaves.  My wife is against this for environmental reasons and because my son has asthma.  He doesn’t want me to call the trash company or city works dept any more (“That’s not how it’s done in the South”)  Also because I was ranting and raving within earshot “I’m going to call those jerks and yell at them” and out of earshot: “Everybody from the South is lazy and stupid.”

Karena: HEY

Me: Sorry, I didn’t know you were standing there.


I wasn’t really going to yell at them on the phone.   He technically owns the place for now – so i have to do what he says.  He doesn’t want me to put bags of leaves roadside anyway bc it’s “bad for the environment”.  We’ve compromised that he’ll take the leaves to the back of the property and dump them in a compost heap at the edge of the woods.  So my passive aggressive retailiation to this compromise is that I now have 50 bags of leaves behind the house in addition to a pile about 10x10x10 and will work like a madman to generate a similar quantity daily until he grows tired of pushing them across a bumpy field in a shitty old wheelbarrow, then gets yelled at by the women for allowing leaves to pile up behind the house.

The Coming of the Third Reich by Evans was inferior to The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich –  or at least offers very little new at 3x the price and 3x the number of books you have to get IOT have the whole story.  Discuss and argue in comments if you’re that kind of guy.

Reading a book called Dreadnought by Robert Massie.  It’s basically about 1815-1914 and the buildup to World War I.  It’s fucking awesome so far.  And I still have like 970 page left.  Learning a lot I don’t know, because my pre-existing knowledge of that time period is minimal.  Like, for instance, did you know that Queen Victoria was King George III’s granddaughter?  Yeah the Revolutionary War guy.  But even more fascinating, she’s Kaiser Wilhelm’s grandmama.  So basically this guy fought a war against his own family.  Never would have happened if Wilhelm’s dad hadn’t been murdered by a English doctor died of cancer 100 days after taking charge.

I owe Celica bench press advice that he won’t take, and to inspect his nonsensical videos as well as maybe a reply or two to some other comments but my internet on my desktop is not working and it’s pissing me off when the damn laptop is right next to it, but the laptop is too small and i can’t see shit or think straight because i’m too angry.   G’night.

Garage War II

At my house we have 3 garages.  Yes, you read that right.  I’m not wealthy, but in things like books, firearms – and now barbell plates and garages – I’m in the 1%.  Especially in the South, where a lot of people don’t even have one garage and are forced to settle for just a carport.  Two of the garages are attached to the house and can each hold two vehicles easily.  One is detached, and could hold an additional single car.  So there exist a possible total of five garage parking spaces.  My wife and I have two vehicles that we park at the house.  My inlaws have one.  (There’s also a sweet van that used to belong to my wife’s great-uncle, but it is parked in the back yard while my father-in-law figures out what he wants to do with it – it doesn’t factor into this equation) So three cars, five spaces – should be no problem, right?

Wrong.  Much like people who suddenly inherit a lot of money and then squabble over it (adding to the irony/aptness, neither my wife and I nor my inlaws had any garages at either of our previous residences) the garage situation has become a point of contention.

The Facts

  • The outdoor garage is actually being used as a storage shed by my inlaws.  This is kind of how it has to be; they dutifully removed their things out of the storage areas in the house to make room for our bullshit when we moved in.
  • My gym is in what we call Garage #2.  It takes up half of the garage.  So there would, theoretically, be room for one vehicle on the other side, but it currently contains a lot of random junk from my gym area that I just pushed over instead of putting it away.  Actually, besides a washer and dryer, which absolutely must be moved, I could push the rest of it over even more and there’d be plenty of room for a car.
  • My wife parks her car in Garage #1.  I promised my inlaws a garage spot, so until I tidy Garage #2 – and until my car stops leaking transmission fluid oil (i fixed the transmission thing with stopleak) – I said they could park in the other Garage #1 spot.
  • My mother-in-law, instead of parking in this spot, has turned it into a “sitting area,” with chairs, table, carpets, and, bizarrely, a window frame with glass & sill that just hangs on the wall and houses a decorative poster.  She’s stated that – even if/when I clean it out – she doesn’t want to make the free half of Garage #2 into a sitting area, because her and her friends “don’t want to watch [Coach] work out” (bc this is my blog I can point out what I can’t in RL: that she has guests over maybe twice a month – and I guarantee they will spend none of their time sitting in a garage)
  • My inlaws therefore park their van on the driveway.  It’s a long driveway, but not limitless, and now, with 2 cars parked on it, my wife is concerned because my son has to dodge them to ride his bike (we live on a busy highway so he can’t ride on the road; he likes to drive in aimless circles in the driveway for hours; that’s fine).

There’s a lot more as far as who said what and to whom and when, who promised something, and who assumed things – but rather than bore you and myself by typing them out – I will instead analyze the situation by comparing my family members and myself to combatant nations in WWII.  Is this because I finished the 1150 page 3rd Reich book in 4 days (see below)?  Will I proceed to make light of a conflict that cost millions of lives?  Will my mother-in-law find out that I compare her to Adolf Hitler?  Yes, Yes, and I hope not.

  • So my mother-in-law is Germany.   She’ll blitzkrieg and conquer parts of the house and claim them as her own.  (She is like a poltergeist, rearranging furniture in the early morning hours.)   She has given speeches about lebensraum (“I need some space of my own”) so many times that she has even convinced herself that Poland (the family room) is the aggressor, and next thing you know she’s moved in her panzers (fancy couches and decorative wall-hangings) and sent the pre-existing population (my wife’s junk) to concentration camps (tupperware containers that she hides in an alternate dimension)
  • I’m the Soviet Union.  At first I sided with Germany because it suited my interests (if I ask my wife to clean something up she takes 3 months to do it, so it was funny to see my mother-in-law take charge and unpack boxes for Karena and put her things wherever she felt like).  But eventually it was my turn to be invaded.  The outrage and betrayal!  (at least the comparison breaks down somewhat: she is not enacting a scorched-earth policy – yet).  But although I was surprised and unprepared, and suffered grievous initial losses, I will be able to outlast the attack and eventually push her out of my territory (I’m passive-aggressive and will eventually just “forget” the sitting area is there and drive into it with my car)
  • Karena is France.  Despite being regarded as one of the Great Powers (adults) she’s not at all prepared for this war.   She needed help to survive the last conflict (dealing with her mother for the last 30-odd years), and it took a lot out of her.   As soon as the Germans struck, she adopted a defeated attitude.  I expect her to start collaborating at any moment.
  • My father-in-law is America.  Although he’s powerful, he chooses isolation rather than becoming entangled in another European war.

This would be more apt – and more fun – if we had a Britain (maybe if my son was old enough to drive) or a Japan (the wasps that my father-in-law is always battling?  maybe my mother-in-law is somehow allied with them?  How do you ally with wasps?)

I’m now reading The Myth of the Great War by John Mosier, so expect some WWI comparisons soon.  It’s shorter, but I have less reading time as Quincy has stopped refusing toilet-training.  I read most of the last book while I sat on the couch, my calf pinning her to her potty (so she couldn’t get up and dance – or run for it) while she watched Teletubbies or Elmo and drank endless bottles of water.

weight was 163 today in the afternoon.  I would say that I have 10% bodyfat now. (I would have also said that when I was 195 but shut up)

been training with rack squats and benches.  I have like 8 different valid pin positions for squat but only 4 for bench.  Get that 1-inch hole spacing, boys.  Maybe will put a 1 inch mat underneath the bench for added variety.

Working on my bench arch.  Using the tactic shown here, I have been able to bench 155×3.  No doubt IPF records will soon be falling.

Nice Rack

I’m changing some things up.  I am still training every day.  But now that I have guaranteed access to the rack for as long as I want, and no meet coming up in the next few months, I want to give rack work a fresh shot.  So the new training protocol looks like this:

  • Squat to a light daily max, then squat to pins for 3-4 singles, each time increasing the weight and decreasing the ROM. (much to my consternation I still cannot bench and squat simultaneously without either buying another rack or running the risk of banging the 45s together; neither of which I want to do)
  • supersetted with band pulling, and exhorting the large imaginary crowd who attend my workouts (by means of triumphant gestures, and stirring – but mostly inaudible – victory speeches)
  • Bench: warming up with a couple light/medium sets of BTN press, then up to a pretty light triple (for now – this may change to do more sets and a daily max) and then bottom position benches w/the same loading as squats: 3-4 singles, weight +, ROM-.
  • supersetted with real light sumo deadlifts, working on speed and form, maybe 10 singles or 5 sets of 2 or 3 or whatever I feel like

I do enjoy bottom position squats and may give those a try in addition to/instead of the partials.  OTOH I feel that when I do these I tend to widen my stance, go unrealistically low bar & in other ways make it less specific and more like a Paul Anderson back lift.

My weight is super low, like 165-166.  The other day I went to a buffet restaurant with my family & inlaws.  People remarked that they were surprised that I was eating dessert, and I replied that I eat it once in a while (it’s been about 4-6 months).  I then had four desserts (pie, cake, other pie & cookies).  Stomach distress commenced. and I commented to my wife (between groans in the car on the way home) that my actions were like a guy who hasn’t drank alcohol in months and then drinks way more than anybody else.

Thanks to, I think, Celica, for pointing out powerlifting2win website.  I may have checked it out a few months ago and dismissed it bc content was sparse.  Now I’m reading that thing all the time and trying out a lot of the form pointers.  An invaluable resource.

Rex and I now play two-player Minecraft (split-screen).  Our relationship in the game is similar to our relationship in RL:

On our first (game) night we constructed a temporary shelter.  Things were going well and we were getting along/working together.

The second night, Rex found the ruins of a town and we set up camp there.

Me: I’m going to use some of this stone to build a wall.
Me: Aaagh!  I fell in water.  I’m stuck!  Crap!
Me: [drowns to death]
Me: Why is there a giant hole filled with water under our base?
Rex: That was a well.  I covered it up before you got here.
Me (irritated): I’m going to live somewhere else.  This place is a dump.
Rex: I’m coming with you.
Me: No.
Rex: Please!  Please dad!  Please let me live with you!
Me: Fine.

Night three we established a permanent base in a village.

Me: You’re going to keep this place neat and not punch holes in the wall or let animals wander in.
Rex: I’m putting our beds next to each other!
Me: Umm… okay.  I’m going to get some supplies.  I’ll be right back.

When I come back I see that Rex has filled the house with furnaces.  There’s like 30 of them, and not even in lines, just randomly placed, so that you can’t even walk without jumping around.

Rex: Look, dad, furnaces!


Me: Do you want to go mining or do you want to stay around our house and farm?
Rex: I’ll stay home.
Me: Okay, I’ll get you iron and coal and stuff.  You should get some animals and put a fence around them so that we have food.
Rex: Sounds good.

[2 minutes later]

Rex: I punched a villager!

[3 minutes later]

Me: Hey, I see that!  Stop taking stuff out of my chest!

[4 minutes later]

Rex: Did you know that emerald ore is the rarest ore in the game?  My friend Liam likes to play creative mode.  The Ender Dragon has 1500 hit points…

[15 minutes later]

Me: Why are you sleeping?  You didn’t even build the animal pen.  Do you have *any* food yet?

Rex: I have a potato…

Me: I’m not giving you all this iron for one lousy raw potato.

Rex: [hits me with his shitty stone sword]  Sorry, I was trying to, uh, mine there.

Me: [pours lava on Rex’s head]

Rex: MOM!!!

The 2014 Chore Draft

My wife and I have a complicated system for how we deal with questions of household responsibility.  These questions include:

  • Who does what chore?
  • Who watches the kids?
  • If a kid is sleeping, are you “watching” them?
  • Should that count as much as, say, taking them to the library?
  • And what if my son wakes up at 3 AM yelling that he can’t find his blanket – when it was on him (this happened last night) – who deals with that?
  • Does carrying the baby around in the backpack count as watching it?
  • 800px-Howdah_(PSF)
  • Is the microwave clock the official time of the house or is it Karena’s cell phone?

Answers, in order:

  • mostly me, or at least it seems like it (keep reading)
  • both of us a specified amount of time calibrated to account for work, appointments, home school, activities, and etc.
  • for a daytime nap, yes; at night, no
  • pretty much, some days you just get lucky and the baby takes like an 8 hour nap other times she doesn’t sleep and alternates pooping and yelling instead; you get what you get.
  • Me – by shouting at him, which is my specialty.  If he had an asthma attack then it would be Karena.
  • Hell yes
  • Howdah
  • She’s not crying is she?  If you want to carry her, go ahead.  It’s great exercise.  You just have to adjust the shoulder straps, the waist buckle, and the chest buckle.  Of course, it’s sweaty, I’ve been wearing it for the last two hours…No, that changes the overall strap length.  Well of course it’s cutting into you – this part here needs to be the same length as…  oh, you changed your mind, huh?
  • Still a disputed point.

When we first got married, we hardly squabbled at all. This was because I was in another country. Then when I got back and she stopped treating me like a sexy, heroic returning war veteran who needed to unwind and enjoy the comforts of home (after about 12 hours), we would get into fights. 

It was my idea to come up with strict regulations for who is supposed to be doing what and when.  Karena was opposed to extreme scheduling, list-making, and negotiations at first:




but my beliefs were:

a) It’s better than shouting at each other

b) Yeah right, for example she can somehow not notice that there are 100 crayons on the floor, OTOH I think the dishes need to be done only when you want to eat off one of them, and the rest of the time they’re fine to sit on the counter growing mold.

c) Absolutely, about 5 minutes a day per year of age would be perfect

She’s accepted the system and it’s become such a part of the way we do things that it’s even spawned it’s own terminology such as “changeover,” “illegal nappage,” and “handing over a blue-liner” (let me know in the comments if you get the last one)

Is making lists, rules, and schedules healthy for a marriage? It seems to work for us so far. I’ve noticed that most other couples don’t have systems like this, I’ve noticed. Instead they handle division of labor in one or more of the following ways:

1. Yelling, fighting, and eventually getting divorced

2. The man works 40+ hrs a week outside the home, and the woman does all the housework except for heavy outdoors stuff like mowing the lawn, and all the child care except for teaching them sports.

3. Both partners instinctively work together, and through the magic of love, everything gets done.

4. Your house is fucking disgusting.

#2 is how my parents handled it.

I know a lot of couples who do #3 – none of them have kids.  Must be nice to wash and dry like 2 plates after dinner with your arms linked together.

The Chore Draft: When we move to a new place, we make a list of all the chores and then take turns picking them, until at the end, the easy ones (wash towels), the ones I already am used to doing and are particular about (change beds), or the ones I think I can get out of doing because she won’t notice (sweep garage) are gone, and everything left is pure drudgery.

Somehow I am terrible at these drafts.  I’m the 1984 Blazers, or the 1998 Chargers.  I was determined to get rid of “wash dishes,” but not only did I fail, but I also picked up “dry/put away dishes”.  And now I have to do the grocery shopping.  How the fuck did that happen?

The only positive thing about this draft is that I was able to get rid of the odious task of mopping the floor.  I thought this was huge, as we have a lot more floors.  However, the wife negated this small victory by buying a steam mopping thing that actually looks pretty fun to use compared to my old method of moving everything, sweeping, putting water and soap into a mop bucket, mopping the floor, letting it dry, then mopping again with clear water to get the soap residue up (usually at like 4 AM before parents came to visit)

tomorrow i’ll just post some workout logs okay

How to Make Almond Butter and Raw Brocolli

(nb. this is two SEPARATE recipes)

A few weeks ago, as I was pumping gas, I realized that I could see nine restaurants in the immediate vicinity. Six were fast food (I’m counting the gas station, which, like all gas stations around here, sells fried chicken), and the other three were all-you-can-eat buffets.

I pointed this out to Karena when I got back in the car.

“There’s a million fun ways to be fat around here,” I said.

She actually laughed, which made it a memorable occasion*

* Since we’ve been married she’s legit laughed five times at things I’ve said – an average of less than once a year. I’ve been told that I’m a funny guy (yes – funny haha, like a clown) both by real people, and by people who read this blog, on a fairly regular basis. Apparently being married to me takes away a lot of your sense of humor.

Anyway, I like almond butter. But I couldn’t find any around here to suit my specifications. I like it with no sugar, no hydrogenated anything, just fucking almonds, a little salt is fine.

There’s no Trader Joe’s within like 300 miles. There is one health food store 20 minutes away; it’s the kind of place that sells vitamins at double the normal retail price, and a lot of wheat germ and womanly stuff. They had almond butter – for $14. I tried amazon, but the good shit wasn’t prime, and it was like $9 + $5 shipping.

(keep reading hsilman; yes I know you could immediately find someone 3 hours from me who’s selling it on craigslist or groupon or instagram or something)

I thought about making it, so I googled “how to make almond butter”. You can google it yourself – all the sites say the same thing:

How to Make Almond Butter

1. Put almonds in a food processor.

2. Turn it on.

Wow, I felt dumb. But also a little skeptical, since I’ve processed almonds before and made a powder that I put in my shakes. Further reading explained where I went wrong: you’ve gotta run that thing for like 20 minutes, I was only doing it for 1.

I was still hesitant, since I didn’t want to make everyone in the house deaf, piss off my inlaws, wake the baby, etc.

Turns out, it took more like 3 minutes.

Another thing I enjoy eating is raw brocolli. It’s better than spinach, because it stays fresh longer. I put on an italian dressing I make out of EVOO and red wine vinegar

and eat a whole bowlful (along with meat; you need the protein to cancel out the estrogen).

But it’s a little annoying because I only want to eat the tops, not the gnarly green stalk (sometimes those fuckers at the grocery store will leave on like a foot of the stalk, since it’s sold by weight, I’ll break it off in the store – protip, you don’t have to buy the whole bunch of 14 bananas either).

But even when there’s only a reasonable amount of stalk, it’s too much for me, so after I wash the brocolli, I would break each floret (that’s a real word) off by hand and put it in a bowl. This would take a bit of time and I’d always end up with tiny little brocolli fagiolis (not a real word but you know what i’m talking about – the individual molecules of the floret) all over my hands, the counter, the floor, etc.


Me: […]

How to make Raw Brocolli florets

1. Use a knife.

Coming soon: thrilling workout logs, the 2014 Chore Draft, a hot girl at the gym calls me sir, bits of my home gym has arrived (of course ironically overnight the number of craigslist ads of people in my area selling power racks, olympic barbells, and etc has gone from 0 to 10), and my weight loss secret (fine i’ll just tell you, I may be a charlatan but I’m not a spammer – it’s skipping lunch)

The Weight of the Beast


No time for a leisurely breakfast bc gym closes early.  So ate a banana and some almond butter and rushed off.

Weight: 170.0 (post-gym)

Squat: …390; 350x2x2

ugh, maybe over the course of a few weeks feeling everybody else’s eyes on me as I squat with iron weights, no spotter and no rack in the middle of the gym floor irresponsibly risking making a loud noise and/or dying – has built up the pressure to where it’s too much.  Also I was feeling over-caffeinated, undernourished, and underslept, like I was about to have a bloody nose (not like when my blood pressure built up on heavy sets, just randomly, I could kind of taste/smell blood)  – or maybe I just lost heart.

Bench: …310x3x1 (that’s three singles for new folks, Europeans, Olympic lifters, and Communists) felt heavy

Sumo Speed Pulls: 360×1,1 felt slow ugh what a day

Time: 1:23


Weight: 166.6

for once, glad to have a day off


Weight: 169.8

Squat: …355×2,2,1

Bench: …310×2,2,1

Sumo Speed Pulls: 365x4x1

real quick and easy, today was a better day not sure if I want to keep risking life squatting heavy singles at the Y, home gym stuff should be here soon, I’ll see how I feel

Time: 1:20

Have two never-healing sores about the size of dimes – one on each of my rear delts.  .  Not sure if from squatting or benching, but both cause irritation.  I suspect the latter, bc of the increased frequency (6 vs. about 3.3 days of benching) or maybe it’s something to do with the Y’s bench.  Nothing that has affected my lifting, but just annoying.  Also I couldn’t take my kids swimming on Sunday. 

I put Neosporin aka Walmart triple-antibiotic pain-relieving ointment on them before I lift and at other times when I remember (aka I’m in my bathroom with my shirt off).  One is hard to reach, but the other is almost impossible, because I’m more flexible on one side than the other.  I sometimes have Karena put the ointment on which she does but not without sighing and saying something like:


Where _____ varies but is usually some household chore or project.  Which makes me reluctant to ask her.  Which is probably why she says it.

Fake Wife and the Exterminatrix

Had a doctor’s appointment last week.  It was cause we moved, just the introductory appointment thing.  Mine was at 9 AM, wife had one at 10.  They said that we could have one together to save time.  I’d rather not, thanks:

Doctor: So do you have any concerns?

Me: Can you take a look at my anus?


Not only that, but we got the two kids.  “You can bring them too; it’s not a problem; it won’t take very long,” the people at the office said.

Rex: Are you a real doctor?  How come you are a woman?  Do you have breasts?  Do you play minecraft?  Are you from China?  You look like my grandma.  I think I’m sick.

Quincy: No!  No!  Mama!  Dada!  Abba! [brother] Elmo!  No!  Cookie! No!  No!  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Nah, I don’t think so.

So I went first, and called my wife when I got there to tell her how long it took, how to find the place, etc. (This is at a military base btw). She put the kids in the car and drive over in the other car.  Then when I was done, she’d go inside, I’d drive the kids home, and she’d take my car home.

When I was checking in at the front desk, the doctor came out and we exchanged pleasantries.  She then looked at this chick sitting down close to the window who was maybe 19, blond, 5’8 and thin, wearing a t-shirt and short running shorts.

Doctor: And you must be Mrs. Christmas?

Hot Chick [looking up from magazine]: Huh?

Me: Come on honey, let’s go in the back for our appointment and remove our clothing.

Okay, fine, I didn’t actually say that.  It might have been funny to call her “Karena” and act impatient, like her joke of pretending not to know me was wearing thin.  But there’s a fine line between “funny” and “creepy,” I’ve noticed.

Also, she was reading a pregnancy magazine, so no thanks.  On the other hand, all the magazines in the waiting room were pregnancy magazines, so you never know.

Some guy who may have been like a senior in high school and looked a little like a more muscular Spicoli came into the gym and looked longingly at the bench, then slumped his shoulders and resigned himself to benching on the Smith machine.  He was pretty strong, I guess, I think he worked up to 295 or maybe even 315 (it was hard to tell because I was also using all the 45s so he had to use a lot of smaller plates)

I’d pushed some benches out of the way to make room to deadlift.  Where I’d pushed them was right in front of the dumbbell rack.  I was the only one in the gym at the time.  I mean there is no real “place” for them anyway.  But instead of moving them, Spicoli reaches over them to take the 50 lb dumbbells and stands in this cramped little spot to do curls.

Me: You can move the bench if you want, man, I’m not using it.

Spicoli: Do you do crossfit?

Me: Powerlifting.

Spicoli: Cause you have all the, like, clothes, and stuff.

Me: Oh. [puts headphones back on]

Final story, I’ll save the rest for tomorrow:

I often proclaim that I hate people; I don’t want anyone to talk to me, I just want to be left alone, etc.  However, whenever I go somewhere (e.g. the Y, the other gyms, my son’s jiu-jitsu practice) I end up meeting people, learning their names, and then engaging in conversations.

On the other hand, my wife frequently says that she would like to make friends, but she’s (in her own words) the kind of person who could go to something every week for a year and never talk to anyone.

So she took my son to his 2nd Cub Scout meeting, and decided that she would try making a friend.

She smiled at this woman who was there with a little girl, maybe 4 years old.

(BTW she demonstrated this smile for her mother and I; we both used words like “scary” and “forced grimace” to describe it)

They made some stilted small talk, then the little girl interrupted:

Girl: Mommy, I want to play with them.

Mom: No, we’ll take you to girl scouts later.

Girl: When?

Mom: Uh, after this is over.


Mom (softly): No.


Weight: 169.4

Squat: …380; 305×3

Bench: …295x3x2

Sumo+monster: …365

Time: 1:40

Not sure why this took so long, I didn’t have anywhere to be afterwards, it was a gray day, and there was no one in the gym for most of my workout – all three of which made me a bit lethargic.

Oh, this woman drove up in a Pest Control truck, and came into the weight room. She was in her 40s-50s, chubby/gym teacher looking, and carrying a metal can with a wand attached via hose.  She sprayed whatever poison it was around the joint between the walls and the floor.  She started over by the treadmills and worked her way around to where I was.


If the above is the arrangement, she squirted the liquid by the x’s.  I was kind of concerned though.  Isn’t this sort of thing normally done when nobody is in the gym?  On the other hand, she was wearing shorts, a tank-top, and sandals, so I didn’t want to seem like too much of a pussy.

Me: So, whatcha got there, some DDT?

Exterminatrix: Haw haw haw!  Naw hun, just gettin’ rid of some of your spotters.

Which I thought was pretty funny, though a bit cryptic, until I realized some minutes later that she’d actually said “spiders”.

The really funny thing is that the two foam rubber puss pads, and a leather belt and a neoprene belt that belong to the gym were lying in those x’s – and she just doused them like they weren’t even there.  Another reason to buy your own belt…


I promised the Swede a good post.  It will include:

  • The guy who asked me if I did crossfit.
  • The guy who asked me what church I went to.
  • Antics involving my in-laws, who live with us.  Or we live with them – it’s complicated.
  • Good Thing #3’s underwear
  • My wife’s tragic attempt to make friends with one of the moms at my son’s Cub Scout meeting.
  • What the house painter really meant when he banged on the front door and demanded “Wall Spray”

But that will come tomorrow.

Today you must be content with a bunch of mediocre workout logs:


Weight: 171.8

Squat: up to 365; 265,270×3

did all the sets except for 355 outside of the rack.  My knee hurt when I did 355 but not when I did 365.  it’s that fucking rack and descending too slow trying to hit it.

Bench: …290x3x2

Sumo+Lite Band: …335

Time: 1:22


knee was painful so skipped saturday and sunday the gym is closed. 

Weight: 174.8

Squat: … 275,280,285 x 3

Bench: …290x4x2

Sumo+avg: …290

Time: 1:10


Weight: 172.2

Squat: …370; 290,295×3

Bench: … 290 x 2,2,2,2,2,1

Sumo+strong: … 260

Time: 1:32


Weight: 171

Squat: …375; 300×3

Bench: …295x2x2

Sumo: …440

Time: 1:38  i blame the fat soccer mom who was doing leg presses with 315.  The gym only has 6 sets of 45s.  I had 2 on the bench, 2 on the squat, she had 2 on the leg press.  I needed to jump from 305 to 330 on the squat.  Is she using the leg press?  Oh good she’s done.  Oh no, wait, she’s supersetting it with six other exercises.  Well, I’ll ask her if she’s done.  Oh, wait, she’s talking to someone else.  I’ll just use a 35 and a 10, and… Oh never mind, she’s done…no…etc etc.

Last surviving Confederate soldier

The guy who’s been at the Y more than anyone else when I’m there (6 out of 9 times?) is this gray bearded guy maybe in his late 50s, who does like 2 hour slow cardio sessions, switching between 6 or 8 different machines while watching the TVs.  Sometimes he’ll stop, and just move to the adjacent, identical machine.  Sometimes – I think – he just stops, stands there for 5 minutes watching the TV, and then resumes walking on the same one.

He wears a greenish tanktop and jeans.  He has a tattoo of a confederate flag on his arm. Despite the beard, he has no mustache (which is as suspicious as the inverse). I’m not sure, but he may be slightly retarded.  He does have a pretty nice car (new, clean maroon Impala).  On the other hand he’s at the gym in the middle of the day a lot.  He seems to perform some custodial function (see below).  He also says hi to me (but doesn’t chase me around and say bizarre things)

One of the problems with the area where I live is that it’s hard to understand what people say because of their slow drawl.  Also, all the vowel sounds are the same.  For example, when my wife (who was born here but has lost most of her accent) says “PIN,” “PEN,” and “PAN” – there is no discernable difference.  It’s kind of scary that she’s homeschooling my son and teaching him phonics, but that’s a topic for another day.

It is also a very illiterate area – but even the smart people here sound illiterate to me: “How you been (being?) done (doing?)”.  What?

It’s kind of like the opposite of a foreign country, in that people understand me just fine (as long as I don’t talk too fast) but I can’t tell what anyone is saying. 

Anyway, the Confederate guy was getting off the treadmill and turned to me just as I was facing that direction and started saying something to me, so I took off my headphones.  I won’t transcribe the dialogue exactly, as I had to ask him to repeat everything three times, and verbatim, his speech would look something like this:

“Say, who is you?  Whar is you?  Dog my cats ef I didn’ hear sumf’n. Well, I know what I’s gwyne to do:  I’s gwyne to set down here and listen tell I hears it agin.”

He said that the squat rack, or the bench press was either dirty or squeaky, and/or he hadn’t gotten around to cleaning it?

Then he did cardio for like 20 more minutes

I thought maybe he was saying squeaky, so I did my next sets without music, just to make sure the thing wasn’t going to collapse on me.  No squeaks.

At the very end of my workout he came over with a rag, and what common sense and later events indicate was a WD-40 type product – but I swear it was canned air.

He indicated the squat rack and asked “where y’all take this from”.

I thought he wanted to know where it was bought, so I told him that I had no part in it; I’d only been here for two weeks.

After much gesturing I finally realized that he wanted to know where we put our hands on the bar because he didn’t want to clean there so it wouldn’t be slippery.

I showed him, and then he either lubricated, cleaned, or sprayed canned air on the barbell sleeves.

He said some other things which seemed friendly and explanatory in nature, but they were totally unintelligible to me.

Also was a new chick there, brunette, a bit thick for my taste, early/mid 20s, pretty face, did cardio, then used every machine in the gym (i.e. all the strength-training equipment) & did 135 lb Smith machine half-squats. 

Supposedly the south is friendly, but by friendly, they mean “people feel free to comment on your appearance and ask you questions.”

Like some middle-aged fat guy who was getting on a piece of cardio as I was leaving today.

Guy: That’s some beard!

Me: Thank you.

Guy: My son has a beard, he says it’s cause he don’t like shavin’!

Me: Oh yeah, hmm.  Neither do I.  Good times, good times.

Weight: 170.2 (74kg here we come)

Squat: up to 360; 255,260×3

did these all outside the rack felt good

Bench: …290x2x2

not really feelin it today on the ol’ bench

Sumo+monster: …355, 360

Time: 1:22


the highlight of my day was that there was another pretty young girl at the gym.  She was blond, tan, wearing short running shorts and a t-shirt.  But I couldn’t see her face because she walked immediately to the cardio, did 30 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill (like 10% 2mph) and then left.  So not seeing her face would be the lowlight.

I never understand why people drive to the gym to walk slowly on the treadmills.  It was 85 and sunny – you can walk slowly outside.  Or at the mall and do some shopping.  OTOH I guess I could pick up logs and stones, or do manual labor instead of lifting.  At least she looks good.  One of my wife’s fat friends used to go to the gym 3x a week for 30 minutes of slow walking/elliptical and when I’d saw her she’d of course complain to me that it was ineffective.  Which it was – she gained about 10-15 pounds a year in the time I knew her.

Me: I saw your friend Patsy at the gym.


Me: I didn’t talk to her!  I was working out.  She was riding on the elliptical or something.  But I did wave to her when I was walking by to go to the water fountain.  I think she got stung by a bunch of bees or something.


Me: Oh, she looks all puffy and swollen up.  [puffs out cheeks and waddles on imaginary elliptical]


[two weeks later]


Me: Oh, that’s nice.


Two other Patsy anecdotes:

1. Patsy had no control over her kids (7 and 5 now) and they used to hit and scream at each other at the playground.  They would also play pretty roughly with Rex.  And then he’d defend himself, so the three of them would be pushing each other around, someone would be wailing and it would generally make me miserable.  She was honestly a nice person and good to talk with, but she didn’t believe in spanking, she could never stick to a punishment, she didn’t believe in forcing kids to learn things, or toilet train, etc.  Like when her kids came over to play – once – they wouldn’t clean up the mess they made in Rex’s room.  Rex was picking up his legos and looking bewildered – so she did it for them.

One day the three of them were wrestling and shrieking, and she said, for like the 100th time “I wish I could send them home with you.”  or maybe “I wish you could yell at them.”  So finally I said, “You want me to?”  And she said “Yes, please.

I didn’t feel totally comfortable shouting at someone else’s kids.  But I figured out a solution.  All three of them were roughhousing and being brats, but it was mostly her oldest one.

So I snuck up kind of close to all three, and in my best Army sergeant voice yelled “Hey! Stop that hitting!  Do you hear me?!  You knock that off NOW!”

Which worked like a charm.  The older kid stopped hitting.  (The other two were probably thinking about it anyway, so they figured it applied to them)  Being yelled at by a strange male adult scared them enough to straighten up, at least for the rest of the time we were there. (yes I know yelling eventually loses its effectiveness – ask my son)

2. We would see Patsy like once a week, usually at the playground.  Sometimes my wife saw her at the school or something.  Like I said, the kids came over to play once.  Rex went over there once. Once her husband gave me a pass to this big computers/games/nerds convention because he worked in computers but they’d be out of town.  I gave it to Karena and she was eternally grateful.  But like we knew them for 4 years and never hung out with them socially.  She didn’t talk to Patsy on the phone, or facebook or whatever.  Even when the kids played, it was always a random encounter, except for those two times, which were both in 2012.

The above is just context for the following exchange, when one day, about 6 months ago, we were at the playground together for like the first time in several months.  The boys were throwing sand at each other or something while my daughter toddled around the bench Patsy, Karena, and I were sitting on.

Patsy (for the 100th time – she said everything over and over): …omigod I’m going to miss you guys so much. What will we do without you?  I can’t believe you’re moving so far away?  It won’t be the same without you here.  don’t move, teehee!  No, I know it’s a good opportunity but we’ll miss you so much…etc


Then the two of them start discussing this hypothetical visit.  What else there was to do around there.  The hotels.  The climate.


Patsy: oh that’s so nice!  visit you yes because we’ll miss you so very much and it won’t be the same without you and the boys are such good friends and the baby is so cute and i can’t believe you’re moving.  definitely we should visit each other and…

Karena and Patsy [simultaneously in cacophony]: DEFINITELY.  totally.  VISIT. so nice. WONDERFUL

Me: Stop!  No one is going to visit anyone.  You two have never hung out and you live 3 miles away.  You’re not going to travel a thousand miles.  Look, I’m not trying to be rude – if you do happen to be in the same state – or one of the adjoining states – you’re definitely welcome to visit, and even stay at our place.  But please, let’s be realistic.

They both just stare at me like I’m speaking Tagalog.  Long, uncomfortable pause.


Patsy: Yes, that would be so wonderful!  We’ll miss you guys so much.  If we visit, the boys could play together, etc.


Patsy: …totally visit!  Can’t believe you guys are moving… etc.

Later, of course:


Back to the present day, and ogling women at the gym: Another highlight was Good Thing #3 who was there at the same time as the blond, which is the first time two women who I’d have sex with have been at the Y at the same time.  She was wearing short orange shorts and a tanktop, and high socks.  But she just rode on the cardio too, so I couldn’t even really look at her because there’s no reason for me to point my head in that direction.  But when I went to the water fountain, I did admire the way her buttocks jostled athletically as she ellipsed.

Weight: 174.2

Squat: up to 350; 230,235,240×3

knee felt better, only hurt a little on one or two random sets (like 175×3 and 325×1) 

Bench: …285×3, 290x3x2

Sumo+strong: 255

Time: 1:25

Celica and my wife were right.

celicaxx on September 12, 2014 at 5:54 am said:

Do YMCAs not exist down south?

I replied:

haven’t seen any. up north they are like fancy and expensive bullshit. […]

This morning when I woke up, Karena started going on about how we could get a family membership to the Y, and my son could take art class, or karate, or gym class there (he’s homeschooled), and they had a pool (my daughter likes to swim i.e. be carried in the water) and fitness and child care and military discount and family membership and blahblahblah.

I’m extremely cranky and unreceptive in the morning.  Until I’ve had my coffee and my breakfast I’ll admit that I’m a total asshole.  So I basically just yelled at her until she left the room.

Turns out:

1. There are 4 YMCAs within a half-hour drive.  Family membership to all of these is $32 a month.  (Compare to $36 for the lowest prices of the gyms – but you have to lock into at least a 12 month contract)

2. There is one Y that is five minutes away.  I visited in the early afternoon, when I will be typically working out.  It was totally empty besides the employee.  It had a bench and a half-rack (plus the typical nonsense), and a good sign was that the place was pretty used-looking. (You don’t want rusty stuff, totally mismatched plates, or stuff all over the floor; but a lot of the gyms that look too pristine are the kinds that object to heavy lifting and chalk).

3. They have an outdoor pool but it’s only open Memorial-Labor Day.  There is a Y twelve minutes away that has an indoor pool.  (It also has a weight room that was actually kind of busy at 3 PM but I’ll be lifting at the close one)

4. Hours are decent, but they both have a religious endowment with a stipulation that they are closed Sundays.

5. I apologized to my wife 3 times and probably will a few more tomorrow to be on the safe side.

6. I’m/we’re joining tomorrow.  Funny because the owner of the Anytime Fitness was supposed to be back today.  He had some medical or family issue, so the kid told me that he wouldn’t be in until Tues.  I’ve talked to this nerd Shawn every day about memberships, the owner, one-month deals, and today called to make sure the place was staffed so I could get in.  And now I plan never to go there ever again. 


found the bathroom scale; need to find a 9V battery.  It was in a box of guns.  My personal property consists of:

10% weight training equipment including workout clothes, shaker bottles, bands, etc.

20% office supplies – e.g. 500 file folders and 50 notebooks of nonsense

40% books

25% guns and gun accessories

5% clothes, toiletries, and other.

Squat: …365×2, 370×1, 375×2

BTN Press: …135×2,3,3,2,2

Sumo+Light band: 5 sets, up to 325

Time: 55 minutes wtf

Put you on a T-shirt.

Wt: 173.2

That’s a PR, it deserves respectful bolding.  It’s my blog, I’ll bold what I want to (even if it makes me look like I’m writing a ransom note)

Saw Andy for the last time.  In retrospect, I like him a bit more than you’d guess from reading this blog.  The other day he told me how he squatted 625 (in wraps @230 bw) and I made a noise like “hm-yeah”.  Didn’t tell him that I’d watched it online and hoped that it would be high.  It’s called being a hater.  Now that he only comes to the gym once a week – to speed bench – he is much more bearable than when he and George and FatFriend were taking up the rack for hours with reverse banded chain good-mornings to a box or whatever.  Now the only thing I actually dislike about him is his ear gauges, which I find myself staring at.  He takes the bamboo/padlocks out during his workout,leaving droopy earlobes and a jagged wound.  Very disconcerting.  But yeah, um, as much as I hate to admit it, Andy’s okay.

Speaking of FatFriend, had this conversation about him with Andy:

Andy: Have you seen that guy Jesse who comes to the gym with George?

Me: Hmm, I dunno, what’s he like?

Andy: He’s a big guy…blahblah, sturdy, muscular, bulky…

Me: Nah, the only guy I seen George with is some fatso…

Andy: …wears ____ brand shoes, short brown hair, blue shorts…blah blah…pretty strong

Me: I only seen him with this one guy who squats 240 everytime which is like less than his bodyweight – wait, but he had blue shorts…

Andy: (not missing a beat) Yeah! that’s Jesse; so anyway…

Talk about politically correct.  Your new team member is a fat lazy fuck with $200 shoes who squats less than his cholesterol.  Own it.

Squat (no belt): up to 430×1; 315×3, 335,350×2, 355×3

Skinny trainer i never seen before training 2 women on the astroturf area, using various high-dollar Crossfit-type moves.  One may have been the other’s mom.  “Mom” was 40+, brunette, like 5’8, 180, ugly face but would be bearable if she lost 50 lbs.  “Daughter” was late 20’s?, blond, pretty, but like 5’8, 160 making her just too big to be worth fucking IMO (if you’re 6’2 and 220, i’m sure she’s petite to you, but at the same time I’m sure you can pull better chicks than this. 

Me (to John the BB): Beware! The astroturf area makes chicks fat and guys skinny.  I have a large enough sample size to prove it.

Trainer was leading Fatsy Sr. and Jr. through a toning and shaping workout in the cable crossover.  If you refer to my diagram, you’ll see that it’s beyond my line of sight.  (However high schoolers should still refrain from playing what my wrestling coach called “grab-ass and goose-the-moose”)  While trainer led daughter through an exercise, Mom deliberately stepped away IOT more perfectly stare at me from 10 feet in front of my face.

When I reracked the bar, I looked over at her and she made an expression like if you just saw a guy bend his knee like a chicken, i.e. kind of fascinating but also seemingly unhealthy (I’m sure my face was looking like fatman’s penis, i.e red, veiny, and bulging, as Celica and wo claim) 

During my set (350×2) I resolved to blow her a kiss or wink at her at the conclusion, or something to indicate that I caught her staring, what’s up you chubby cougar lose the trainer who looks too weak for golf, except to serve as a club, and get with a real man who doesn’t even need a squat belt.

Except then I saw that she was really fat AND ugly and I lost my nerve and instead just glared angrily at her, tell your daughter that if I was drunk I’d fuck her, but there’s not enough booze in the world for you, i almost want to start a fight with your trainer for not babysitting you properly.

BTN Press: up to 144x3x2

today cleaning it was fine but pressing hurt the rib.

Sumo+strong: …205, 225, 235

Time: 1:30

didn’t get yelled at re: time, but did get yelled at for not doing one of the 20 things my wife asked me to do – but refused to make a list of (because I wouldn’t do them.)  If that makes sense, you must have a vagina

Floating (Rib) Pain

Something always hurts, to the point that I’ve (mostly) stopped mentioning it in my blog.  Last week it was my left knee.  Now that feels fine, but for the last few days, my lowest ribs on my right side have ached.  I thought it was maybe that I strained an ab, but the pain is like just to the side of my upper ab.  Ribs are tender, though I guess (scarily) it could be the organs underneath, which seems to be the gall bladder.  I don’t think I have gallstones, as this didn’t hurt.  It hurts when I poke it or when I lift my arm over my head and arch to one side.  I figure as long as I keep hitting squat PRs, it can’t be too bad.  You can play doctor in the comments, but I figure the only thing worse than trying to diagnose yourself on the internet is having other people do it.

If I had to guess, it’s that I strained my intercostal or something between the ribs real scientific here.  No idea how.  I’m pretty sure I made it worse the last two days by hanging one-handed from the chinup bar between sets trying to “stretch it out.”

Wt: 173.8

Squat: …455,470,480; 380×3, 385,390,395×2

Bench: …340,350,355; 310×2, 315×2,3

Sumo: 375 off 5″

Time: 2:20

Mostly not my fault as Porter and crew were using the two good benches so I couldn’t start until like 45 minutes into my workout.  Emilio did a 345 lb board press with his new ipf legal fancy shirt.  Nancy, Porter’s wife did 200 something in her shirt, couldn’t care to look over.  My wife’s friend did like 150 raw at 132, but Porter basically curled the weight off of her.  When she and her husband came over here to play Munchkin one time, I called Porter a “charlatan” and an “idiot”.  Didn’t know that she trained with them frequently.  Whoops my bad.  Glad I’m moving.  It’s fine, she still is real friendly with me and comes over to interrupt my workout chat with me.  She’s doing her first PL meet in the near future.  It must be nice to be a chick and lift 150-120-240 and win your weight class and then post pics on facebook and feel good about yourself.

Except this conversation after Karena comes back from a walk with her:

Karena: [Friend] is not sure she’s going to do the meet bc of her knee.  (she had it scoped like 3 months ago)

Me: I saw her at the gym doing box jumps and walking lunges today.

Karena: Yeah, she banged up her shin when she missed a box jump.  She had a band-aid on it.

Me: I’m just saying why bother do that shit if you got a bad knee.  It’s not going to help your powerlifting – or your knees.

Karena: I’m sure she knows what she’s doing.  She’s a physical therapist.

Keeping the streak alive

I’ve gotten into minecraft lately.  Not seriously – I don’t play it by myself; only when my son (7) is watching.  He plays sometimes, but he likes to play on “Creative Mode” which annoys the shit out of me because he’s invincible and he just wanders around.  He likes watching me play (survival mode easy, xbox360).  I use it as a motivator; for example, if he’s supposed to be cleaning his room, but he’s dawdling, I start up the X-box and sit on the couch and say something like “gonna go diamond mining,” and he’ll finish cleaning his room in like 10 seconds.

He gives me advice.  Most of his advice is arcane trivia (like how to enchant a sword – when I’m still hitting stuff with rocks), or nervous nelly-ness (“don’t go out at night! please, dad!”), but sometimes it’s good stuff, e.g. what I can build with the crap I find, or reminding me to put torches in a cave, and save my game.

The only problems:

1. Last night I was playing and died (i was running around at night, fell into a ravine, and a creeper blew me up).  This isn’t a big deal: You respawn in your house and can go back to where you died to pick up your items, or you can just reload the game. But he started crying hysterically.  Admittedly, it was bedtime, so he may have been over-tired, but my wife still looked at me and mouthed “What the Fuck?” (i.e. why is he sobbing, not why are you a shitty dad)

2. We can only play it if my daughter is sleeping, or eating in her high chair.  If she’s in her fenced-in “playyard” (which is like 8’x8′ and takes up 90% of our living room) she gets angry that no one is paying attention to her and starts throwing things.  Quincy is only 20 months old but she throws hard.  She’ll pick up big heavy toys and heave them at us where we sit on the couch.  The other day she hit me in the crotch with a plastic bongo drum.  She’ll throw board-books like they’re frisbees.  And she can wing her little wooden blocks across the whole room.  It’s just too dangerous.  She laughs like a maniac while she does this (until she runs out of stuff to throw – then she cries).  Until we stopped playing with her around, if this happened, Rex’s job was to bat the objects away before they hit me.  She throws about as well as he did when he was 5-6.  Not that he had a great arm, but still.  It’s a lot easier when a kid learns right from wrong before they can throw that hard (or roundhouse kick, etc)

wt: 174.4

Squat: up to 475; 375×3, 380,385×2 (7)

motivation to do a lot of volume drops quite a bit if i hit a new “PR” that day

BTN: up to 165, 167.5; 125,130×3, 135,139,144×2 (12)

kind of sick of behind the neck press.  not really; just sick of being stuck at 95% of BW.  may just do volume and not max, i dunno. 

Sumo+strong band: 6 sets, all PRs, up to 230 off 2.5″ deficit

almost time to order the heavy bands

lately I’ve been sumo deadlifting by still using a wide stance, but basically bending over at the waist with a round back, legs almost straight, and hauling it up.  it feels great and is a lot easier but a true test will be tomorrow when i use heavier weight and no bands

time: 2:15


Wednesday: It’s about 100 degrees outside.  The gym is air-conditioned, and the temperature is lower inside, but the AC can only do so much.  Maybe it can lower the temp by 15 degrees, which is fine when it’s 80.

Knowing it was going to be hot, I didn’t wear my gray Army PT shirt, instead choosing a green cotton one (also Army surplus). But of course I sweated through that and then did so many sets of squats that I got a sore or something on my right rear delt, which the thicker PT shirt probably would have prevented.  It made holding the bar painful, but I just kept going. 

Suzanne, the top cougar, came in wearing a new outfit.  Short black shorts, and a black top with the front kind of open showing her ample tan cleavage.  Pretty sure those are implants.  She began doing her bodyweight-only exercises in the cable crossover area, about fifteen feet in front of me.  I no longer even feel lust towards her, just disgust and annoyance that this whore has to bounce around in front of me.

Wt: 181.6

LBS up to 440, 395×1,1,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,1,1 (20)

BTN press 160, 140x2x3, 140x7x2

Sumo + avg band: 4 sets, all prs up to 280 off 3.5″ deficit

Time: 2:00


Wt: 182

MRS up to 380, 355×1,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,2,1,2 (22)

Bench up to 350, 320×2,2,2

probably could have done more on bench, both max and volume, but didn’t start benching til I’d already maxed on squats bc Emilio and John the Bodybuilder were using the 2 good ones.

Sumo+strong band: 4sets, all prs, up to 180 off 3.5″ deficit

Time: 2:10

Wife hung out with George’s wife (I forget if I gave her a fake name we’ll call her Rita) and this other chick Crystal who used to work at the front desk at the gym and is married to an Iraq vet (navy corpsman) who still does work the front desk (i think they both have other jobs too).  Um, for regular readers of the blog, Crystal and Rita were the ones who took those pics of me at the powerlifting meet.  For even more diligent readers, Crystal was once deadlifting with 10 lb metal plates and I pointed out the 10 lb bumpers but she didn’t care and kept doing them like that.  When I joked about this with her husband he rolled his eyes.

Got a lot of good gossip about Andy and George.  Of course the cost of this was Karena blabbing things about me that now they’re going to tell their husbands. Some of the stuff is kind of unfair to repeat so I’ll think about what I want to divulge…


Wednesday: It’s about 100 degrees outside.  The gym is air-conditioned, and the temperature is lower inside, but the AC can only do so much.  Maybe it can lower the temp by 15 degrees, which is fine when it’s 80.

Knowing it was going to be hot, I didn’t wear my gray Army PT shirt, instead choosing a green cotton one (also Army surplus). But of course I sweated through that and then did so many sets of squats that I got a sore or something on my right rear delt, which the thicker PT shirt probably would have prevented.  It made holding the bar painful, but I just kept going. 

Suzanne, the top cougar, came in wearing a new outfit.  Short black shorts, and a black top with the front kind of open showing her ample tan cleavage.  Pretty sure those are implants.  She began doing her bodyweight-only exercises in the cable crossover area, about fifteen feet in front of me.  I no longer even feel lust towards her, just disgust and annoyance that this whore has to bounce around in front of me.

Wt: 181.6

LBS up to 440, 395×1,1,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,1,1 (20)

BTN press 160, 140x2x3, 140x7x2

Sumo + avg band: 4 sets, all prs up to 280 off 3.5″ deficit

Time: 2:00


Wt: 182

MRS up to 380, 355×1,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,1,1,1,1,1,1,2,1,2 (22)

Bench up to 350, 320×2,2,2

probably could have done more on bench, both max and volume, but didn’t start benching til I’d already maxed on squats bc Emilio and John the Bodybuilder were using the 2 good ones.

Sumo+strong band: 4sets, all prs, up to 180 off 3.5″ deficit

Time: 2:10

Wife hung out with George’s wife (I forget if I gave her a fake name we’ll call her Rita) and this other chick Crystal who used to work at the front desk at the gym and is married to an Iraq vet (navy corpsman) who still does work the front desk (i think they both have other jobs too).  Um, for regular readers of the blog, Crystal and Rita were the ones who took those pics of me at the powerlifting meet.  For even more diligent readers, Crystal was once deadlifting with 10 lb metal plates and I pointed out the 10 lb bumpers but she didn’t care and kept doing them like that.  When I joked about this with her husband he rolled his eyes.

Got a lot of good gossip about Andy and George.  Of course the cost of this was Karena blabbing things about me that now they’re going to tell their husbands. Some of the stuff is kind of unfair to repeat so I’ll think about what I want to divulge…


seems to be shrinking. When I was my fattest at like 200 lbs, I would wear my lifting belt 5 notches from the end for lighter sets and 4 notches from the end for heavier.  But most of the time, including at my meet, it was 4/3.  Recently got to 3/2.  Today I used #2, and #1, for the first time ever for three or four of my heavier sets.

I started doing the paleo diet (no breads/potatoes/sweets/dairy) 16 days ago.  Mostly because of a flip comment that I made to Celica, and then, as usual, to prove something to Fatman.

Although I didn’t want to admit it, I guess I’ve become lactose-intolerant.  Which is why the whey protein was giving me such digestive troubles.  And then I noticed when I totally got rid of all milk, I felt a lot better.  I mean even putting milk in my coffee was sometimes giving me troubles – which have now gone away.

I have been trying to not tell my wife that I’m any kind of diet, as it creates more problems than it is worth.  I think I mentioned this to hsilman in a comment somewhere.  I mean, she realizes something is up as I have her buy unsweetened almond milk to put in my coffee.

Today, Mega Mike, the steroid bodybuilder at the gym, asked me if I was “leaning out”.  Which is the first anyone has noticed, so that’s good.

Weight: 184.8

didn’t work out yesterday/day before so no heavy stuff

Manta Ray Squat: up to 375, then 355x15x1

Medium Grip Bench: up to 335, then 310x5x2 and 315x3x2 (was working in with some former olympic lifter and it was easier to switch to an even 3 plates)

Sumo Deadlift: 335 off 5″ deficit, 360 off 4.5″ deficit

Time: 2:05


seems to be shrinking. When I was my fattest at like 200 lbs, I would wear my lifting belt 5 notches from the end for lighter sets and 4 notches from the end for heavier.  But most of the time, including at my meet, it was 4/3.  Recently got to 3/2.  Today I used #2, and #1, for the first time ever for three or four of my heavier sets.

I started doing the paleo diet (no breads/potatoes/sweets/dairy) 16 days ago.  Mostly because of a flip comment that I made to Celica, and then, as usual, to prove something to Fatman.

Although I didn’t want to admit it, I guess I’ve become lactose-intolerant.  Which is why the whey protein was giving me such digestive troubles.  And then I noticed when I totally got rid of all milk, I felt a lot better.  I mean even putting milk in my coffee was sometimes giving me troubles – which have now gone away.

I have been trying to not tell my wife that I’m any kind of diet, as it creates more problems than it is worth.  I think I mentioned this to hsilman in a comment somewhere.  I mean, she realizes something is up as I have her buy unsweetened almond milk to put in my coffee.

Today, Mega Mike, the steroid bodybuilder at the gym, asked me if I was “leaning out”.  Which is the first anyone has noticed, so that’s good.

Weight: 184.8

didn’t work out yesterday/day before so no heavy stuff

Manta Ray Squat: up to 375, then 355x15x1

Medium Grip Bench: up to 335, then 310x5x2 and 315x3x2 (was working in with some former olympic lifter and it was easier to switch to an even 3 plates)

Sumo Deadlift: 335 off 5″ deficit, 360 off 4.5″ deficit

Time: 2:05

The Swimming Lesson

(this is about Tuesday’s lesson, I’ve been busy with work and will post some workout logs soon.  Thursday’s lesson was basically the same)

Both kids are signed up for swimming lessons this summer.  Quincy, my 18 month old daughter, started yesterday.  She’s in “Baby/Parent” lessons for ages 6 mos – 3 years, where a parent (i.e. Me, because it was my idea; and also bc my wife can’t swim) has to get in the water with them.

The swimming lessons are at the local college.  They have an outdoor pool with a “zero-depth” entry, sand for the kids to play in before and after, etc.  But this year it’s closed for upgrades, so the lessons are in the indoor pool.

Last year, Rex was 6.  It was his first swimming lessons.  I seemed to remember starting swimming lessons at about that age.  My mom made me take them every damn summer and every winter too.  In the summer, I went to some fun day camp, and she’d pull me out for a coupla hours to go to those lessons.  By the time I stopped, around age 12 or 13, I was a marginal swimmer.  Years later, I still was.  I at least passed the Special Forces swim test (50 yards in BDUs and boots).  Barely. These days I don’t do a lot of swimming. (But I still tell a lot of people about passing that Special Forces swim test.  Any time swimming, BUDS, or Michael Phelps is mentioned I manage to work it into the conversation.)

Anyway apparently swimming, like reading, solid food, and toilet training, is not something you just start cold at age 6.  I found this out last year when Rex, got put in a group with 3 year olds.  He wasn’t too bad, though he was a little afraid of the water.  The lessons aren’t cheap, so to get him to cooperate, I admit to bribing him with donuts a coupla times.  Also once, when the instructor was coaxing him to jump into the water, after 5 minutes of this, I may have walked over and  kind of kicked him in.

So I signed up my daughter, hoping that getting her started early would prevent fear/donuts/kicking.  For the past several weeks, I’ve been excited about it.  Part of this was yes, the MILFs in swimsuits, and the plethora of hot college-aged instructors.  But honestly most of it was genuine fatherly enthusiasm.  I was looking forward to spending time with just her and me.  I thought she’d like the splashing around and the novelty of the pool.  About once a day, I’d pick her up and “swim” her around the house and tell her how much fun we were going to have, even though she didn’t understand what the hell I was doing.

Also, she looked cute in the swimsuit my wife bought her:

r-quincy swim

The last time i’ll be posting a picture of my daughter in her bathing suit on this blog

But as the event approached, I started to get nervous. There was a lot that could go wrong.  What if she didn’t cooperate and started screaming?  What if she crapped the pool (they actually make special Swimmy diapers, but still).  There’s a parking situation at the college.  There’s rush hour traffic.  I’m bad with directions.  What if I forgot something?  There’s a lot of preparation involved when babies/toddlers leave the house normally: pacifier, emergency snack, water, diapers, wipes, changing mat, blanket thing, change of clothes.  For swimming we also had to pack towels, my sandals (she wore hers, I can’t drive in flip-flops) and a change of clothes for me.

The traffic was pretty bad, but we left early so we made it with plenty of time to spare.  I parked illegally and we went in.

We were early by like 10 minutes so we sat with everyone else in the bleachers while the instructors set up. Shockingly, Quincy sat quietly on my lap for 10 minutes, looking around – without pulling my beard, trying to put stuff in her mouth, crying, pooping, yelling, etc.

The indoor pool was a piece of shit, freezing cold and too deep.  The very shallowest part was 5 ft deep.  So I was on tiptoes for half an hour.  They set up these rickety platforms to help the kids get in and out of the pool.

We were put in the younger of the two baby/parent groups.  Of the dozen or so female instructors (there was also one dude) ours was the only fat one.  She was wearing a long t-shirt over her swimsuit (“it’s so cold in this water, i’ve been in the pool all day” yeah ok you look like a hippo)

Here was our competition:

  • chubby mom/tiny fat baby (6 mos?) – Mom wore a t-shirt over her bathing suit too, but she had an okay ass.  I don’t usually get to see side butt 3/10.
  • big fat hairy dad/pointy-headed baby (9 mos?) – Obviously another member of the t-shirt club, thankfully.
  • young military dad (probably in Navy/Coast Guard)/19 month son looked like a miniature copy of him.  The dad had short blond hair and looked a little like a younger version of Duke from GI Joe.  He also had visible abs, and like 8% bodyfat. Thanks for standing near me you asshole.


  • Tiny fat baby fell asleep after 5 minutes.  Pretty impressive considering the frigid water.  Boom, gone.
  • Pointy-head baby just screamed, whether it was in or out of the water.  Boom, gone (and I think getting refund)
  • Mini-duke at least tolerated the water and only cried like 5 times, but wouldn’t do anything but cling to his dad.
  • Quincy did not cry at all, and did whatever it was we were supposed to be doing which, wasn’t much I mean you kind of just float them around and let them play with the little rubber duckies, and try to get them to kick their legs.

So it was a clear win for team Christmas.

At least we have one natural swimmer in the family.

(Well maybe two – did I mention that I once passed the Special Forces swim test…)

Father’s Day

Halloween is an example of a holiday that’s great when you’re little.  Still good in high school when you’re putting fireworks in pumpkins and running from the cops.  Also good as a young adult going to drinking parties where girls wear costumes that are always prefixed by “sexy,” even though in RL those two words would never go together: (I’m a sexy cat!  I’m a sexy nun!  I’m a sexy dinosaur!).  Then, when you’re married with kids, Halloween is a giant piece of shit where you have to escort the little twerps around town with 0 enjoyment for yourself.

Mother’s and Father’s Days have always been pretty lame and continue to be so.

Mother’s Day as a child: Dad hauls me to the store and makes me pay some of my money to buy a gift for mom.  I draw a card.  On mother’s day, I have to be extra well-behaved.  Don’t hit your brother, it’s mother’s day.  Don’t throw that in the house, it’s mother’s day, etc.

Mother’s Day as an adult:  Send my mom a card.  Call her the day of.  Buy a present to give her the next time I see her.  Take the kid to buy Karena a present.  Make him draw a card.  Watch the kids all day long, except when I get to go to the gym.  Karena spends 90% of the day playing Kindle games, sleeping, playing Wii, or surfing the web (sometimes 3 or 4 of these at once).  I cook the “breakfast for dinner.”  Karena is mad at me for some inexplicable reason, regardless.

Father’s Day as a child: Mom hauls me to the store and makes me pay some of my money to buy a gift for dad, which he will hate.  Draw him a card.  Can’t remember but probably spent some time with the old man that day.  I guess I’m lucky cause some of you don’t have dads, or had crappy ones, and usually I did like doing stuff with him, but other times i wished he would be an MLB player and away all the time so I could get away with more.

Father’s Day as an adult: Send card to dad, call dad, get present for next time I see him. Get presents from “kids.”  They are actually pretty good this year (bottle of Walmart Shiraz and bacon-jalapeno jerky).  Go to the gym.  Somehow get stuck watching kids the whole rest of the day, despite Mother’s Day (see above).  “YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO SPEND TIME WITH YOUR KIDS ON FATHERS DAY”  But it’s fine.  Went to the park. Played minecraft while my son sat next to me and shouted gibberish/advice in my ear “Mine spawn creeper sheep oooh egg snowball zombie…”  Was gonna teach my son to play Pokemon cards but not enough time/energy, will try again tomorrow.   Played mario kart 8, was a good sport about losing.  Wife slept and played kindle/computer/wii.  She tried to get out of making the Sunday breakfast for dinner: “WE SHOULD GO OUT TO EAT FOR FATHER’S DAY.  WE DIDN’T GO OUT FOR MOTHER’S DAY, REMEMBER?”  Too bad.

Actually, it was all right.  Take a look at this card I got from my son:

r-father day card 2014

feel free to comment, keeping in mind he’s 7 and this isn’t Maddox.  Still pretty funny/odd and some of you will get why immediately.

Weight: 187.2 (+1.2)

Low Bar Squat: 45×6, 45bbx5, 135bbx4, 225bbx3, 315bbx2, 375bb nb, 405, 430, 450, 460, 470; 380×2,2,2,3,3,2,2,2,2,2,2,3,3

Exchange with cottage-cheese assed PAWG trainer after I squatted 450:

Trainer: Omigod, that’s so good.

Me: Thank you.

Trainer: You make it look not even heavy!  I mean for me, this is heavy! [indicates 75 lb barbell with puss-pad that she’s using to do some sort of push jerk/jumping lunge hybrid]

Me: Oh, ha ha. [puts headphones back on]

Still sick, took aspirin and sudafed before workout so I feel my performance was commendable, except that I may have hallucinated some of my sets, and spent majority of rest time coughing, sniffling, clearing throat, sweating, and possibly, groaning.  Still did last 8 sets of volume with 4 min rest and either band pulling or deadlifting between.

BTN Press: 45×8, 89×4, 135×3, 145×2, 150×2, 155, 160, 165, 170, 175; 135×4,4,4,3,3,3

Got 175 about halfway up but couldn’t lock it out.

Sumo + strong bands: 4 sets, all PRs, up to 155 off 3.5″ deficit.

Time: 2:05


Have a cold.  My son got sick first; he has asthma and allergies so he missed two days of school where he just hung around playing video games and occasionally coughing/getting a nebulizer treatment.  We got Mario Kart 8 which sends my blood pressure through the roof as both my wife and son can beat me at it, but I still enjoy playing, but they practice more than me.  So I’ll play it with them and rant and rave and grumble and in general be a poor sport and terrible husband/dad.  But at least we all play together.

Anyway, then my daughter and I got sick.  We both have the same symptoms: runny nose and general malaise.  We are both crankier than usual, the only difference is that she expresses her crankiness by: 1) throwing her pacifier on the floor, then screaming because she doesn’t have a pacifier, and 2) refusing to accept food or drink unless it is presented to her in a acceptable (but secret) format. For example, yesterday I tried to give her a couple of animal crackers. She wouldn’t take them from me, and swatted at them, then rolled on the ground crying.  Karena tried next, and she didn’t want them either.  Karena tried putting them in a plastic bowl, and that was the secret.  But before eating them, Quincy dumped them on the floor anyway.

I’m not allowed to express my crankiness like this, so instead I just become irritated with everyone at the gym in a similar fashion.  If they compliment me, I get annoyed at them for talking to me.  If they ignore me, I feel like they should come up to me and pay me compliments.

Despite not feeling well I went to the gym anyway, because otherwise I’d be stuck at home all day watching the kids.  Yes, going to the gym while sick is preferable to spending time with my family.  My wife cannot know this, so I took some ibuprofen and phenylephrine and vitamin c, and fruit juice and pretended everything was normal.  It was a pretty good workout considering.

Here’s another example of my crankiness, but it could just be my normal personality.  There’s two college kids at the gym, we’ll call them Bryce and Bryan.  Bryce is bigger, he trains a little heavier and more consistently, he’s maybe 5’10 and 180. Bryan is the same height maybe 170.  I don’t know.  I like both of them.  They’re good spotters, they train pretty sensibly, we occasionally chit-chat.  Lately I’ve been irritated with them (though careful not to show it) because they’re making decent progress on bench.  Bryan can do an ugly 275, and Bryce is approaching an ugly 315.  The other day, Bryce was doing 315 for 1-2 ugly reps on decline; which I thought was in particularly bad taste, as untutored onlookers who saw me benching 315x5x3 next to him might fail to notice a significant difference between us.  Listen you motherfuckers, this is all I have.  You’re tall, good-looking, get to go to college, and party regularly.  You have bright career prospects, and probably hot young girlfriends whom you can swap out when you get bored with them. I’m a sweaty, hairy little troll who has wasted an unimaginable amount of his life with this shit. I’ve trained for 16 years more than you and all I have to show is about 70 lbs (figuring I could “press” 375 as well as Bryce “presses” 305).  4.375 lbs a year. Unacceptable.

Weight: 186 (-1.8) you think it’s fat but it’s not.  (get it? say it out loud; so clever)

Manta Ray Squat: 45×6, 135×4, 225×3, 285×2, 325nb, 355, 380, 390; 345x12x2

Could have gotten the last 6 reps, maybe would have had to go to singles, was on the verge of passing out after each double.  But decided don’t want to make a practice of extending workouts past 2 hours as it is a slippery slope.

Medium Grip Bench: 45×10, 135×4, 225×3, 275×3, 320×2, 340, 350, 360; 300×5,4,3,3,3,3

Sumo+Avg band: 190 off 5″, 205 off 4.5″, 225 off 4″

Time: 2:05

Non-training Anecdotes

Jackmancoctus: Your son is probably going to start posting on Mopewod one day because of you Coach.

One day, a few months ago, some great-great uncle died.  So, we told Rex the news when he got home from school.  He frowned, and then asked if he could play video games.  That night, when we said his bedtime prayers, we included the uncle.  Everything was still fine.  Twenty minutes later, he starts hollering.

I rush into his room, and he’s sobbing, “I don’t want to die.  I don’t ever want to die.”

Fortunately, I’d just been reading about the technological singularity.  So I explained to him that he might not have to, that if he could just make it to 2045 or so, they’d probably be able to upload his brain into a computer, and then download it into a new body, etc, etc.   I talked to him about it for ten minutes or so, because a) he seemed pretty upbeat and fascinated, b) it seemed a lot easier either the “Everybody dies…heaven…theology…etc.” conversation, especially at that late hour, c) new, captive audience: my wife groans the instant I start telling her about something I’m reading.  When I left, Rex was drifting off happily to sleep.


Took the kids to the playground today.  Rex took off at a dead sprint from the parking lot.  I followed, walking at a normal pace.  Wife followed, holding Quincy’s hand.  Quincy the baby takes 4 steps to every adult step.  The playground is about 350 meters from the parking lot.  They were gonna be a while. 

Sat down on the bench next to some lady whose great-grandkids (she looked about 70) were playing there too. Of course, she wanted to chat about a variety of boring old-person subjects (“It’s quite hot today, isn’t it”).  After a few minutes she asked me, “Do you have any children here?”  I replied, “No, I just like to sit on the bench and watch other people’s kids.”  I paused for a moment, then told her the truth.  She played it off like she knew my son was mine and she was just seeing if I was his dad, or his uncle or something, but I had her.  Hue.  Glad when wife got there and started talking to the woman.  Wife is 30 going on 70 so they got along great.  Showed my wife pictures of the clown college (not kidding) she went to.

MILF on the playground, about 5’1, with toned arms.  Jeans cinched securely, so no whale tail, tramp stamp or buttcrack was visible when she bent down.  Small breasts so wore gray tanktop with no bra so that nipples clearly visible.  Instead of sitting there like most moms, was kind of hanging off of stuff.  I mean, not doing muscle-ups or anything but you could tell she worked out.

Barely worth mentioning except she started playing a game with her son (6-8).  He took her prisoner, and put a pair of realistic-looking plastic handcuffs on her.  This was kind of strange, but also kind of hot if I could somehow delete the little kid chirping next to her from my mental images.  He made her get inside some jungle gym.  At this point, my son started playing with them too.  They made her get inside one of those little tunnels.  Her son guarded her from outside, and Rex got in the tunnel with her. Hue. She eventually escaped and they chased her, and then like 5 minutes later we went home.


Me: Yeah that chick looked pretty hot with those cuffs on, I was having some lewd thoughts bout her.

haha I did not say this, long years of marriage have made me at least 0.3% more sensible about what I blurt out.

Me: huh? oh – that game he was playing with that lady and her kid? that’s nice.

Sports Training Science Center

Last time I was at this place, just getting back into low bar squatting hit 440, I think. Looked hard.  “Ugly”  said Old Coach.  “Also high.”  Video proved him right.  Hey you want to try my scientific Bulgarian program it’s how I’ve become such a success since I left here. Good thing I stopped doing your program and now have come back in shame. 

Today not like I’m gonna convert him yet but I squatted 455 and it was legit.  Will post vid later maybe Monday.  That fucking stiff Pasanella 60 lb bar with sharp knurling can suck my dick but I used it anyway.  I need as much practice with this thing as possible as I feel it played a part of my failure in my last meet.  Not blaming a bar for my being a pussy I’m just saying if I can credit a deadlift bar for putting 30 lbs on my deadlift I can credit this piece of shit for intimidating me.

Weight: who knows, eating my parents food which would give Celica an orgasm it’s just carbs and veggies and fruits, tiny servings of lean meat, supplemented with my mom making a lot of desserts since we are visiting.

Low Bar Squat: 59×6,4 (did 2 sets with bar bc switched racks bc for some reason the flooring in one rack was like those interlocking multicolored foam squares you find in a nursery, but not big enough to fit the rack might as well squat on those Valsa-sliders that Ben Bruno likes) 59bbx4, 150bbx3, 240bbx2, 290bbx1, 330bbx1, 370bx1, 400, 425, 445, 455; 340x10x3

BTN Press: 45×6, 85×4, 105×3, 120×3, 135, 145, 150, 155; 125x9x3

No excuses esp since I took these off a rack rather than doing a half-assed hang clean, a push press then dropping them on my brain stem first.

Sumo+monster bands.  I prefer the floor mat situation at my gym.  Only 2″ and 4″ deficit were available.  Which is ironic bc Old Coach has record plates down to, not kidding, 1/100 of a pound.  Not recording warmup sets:

265 off 4″, 350 off 2″, 410 off floor

Time: 2:30.  Approximate, everything just takes forever because of having to find things in unfamiliar gym, and not wanting to leave and go home and get nagged by wife and parents and then not work out for 2 days.