We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The two "ups" are the classic back exercises. The other basic upper back exercise is bent-over rows. (Arms, pecs, and shoulders are secondary for both.) You can consider pull ups calisthenics because they are body-weight, but, approached right, they are strength-builders. Like push-ups can be. I do them on calisthenics days, once or twice/week.
Few fitness beginners can do many, or even one, pull up, and having excess weight makes it even harder. That's why gyms have assist machines, and bands for the pull up bars. Check your ego at the door, because we all suck. You begin with assists, and gradually reduce the amount of assist. (Pull-down cables are ok for upper back maintenance, but pull ups are the gold standard for fitness.)
If an ordinary guy over 35 can do 10 unassisted pull-ups, that's pretty good. Most gals need to use the assists, due to less upper-body muscle development. Some fit guys strap on weights to make their pull ups more challenging, but that ain't me. I see guys in their 70s doing a few sets of 10 as part of their strength rotations. That's cool. Some people will not give up on vigor and strength because they are part of the basic American values. In Euroland, people do not work out like Americans, but my pal in Switzerland tells me gyms are growing like weeds in Zurich where everybody has a desk job.
Funny thing about those 5 a.m. guys in their 70s is that after their workouts they shower and dress and leave for work in their suits and ties at 6:15 am, looking magnificent and powerful. It's a positive attitude towards life and I intend it for me. Not quitters. Quitting is not the Yankee way, not the Yankee ethic for men or women.
Mentally, the way to think about these ups is thrusting your elbows down rather than focusing on your arms. Best way to work on pull-ups (or chin-ups) for strength? Determine the amount of assist you need to do 5 - not quite 6 - good reps. With rests, do 5 sets each session. Over time, reduce the assist, still doing 5 sets of 5. When you can get to 5 sets of 5 with minimal assist (say, 20-40 lbs), work up to 8-10 reps. Then quit the assists and work up to whatever you can do. Nobody wants to be a twink.
If you're doing something like the Maggie's general fitness program, you will not have time to work on this more than once or twice/wk. A good challenge, though. We all need challenges or we decay.
This below is a bit technical. For me, sometimes pullups and sometimes chin ups. Doesn;t matter to me.
Trigger warning: these two guys have damn little body fat so they might make you feel bad about yourself. Too skinny, in my opinion, but clearly strong and healthy. What makes them useful specimens is that you can see the anatomy.
(Writing about Rousseau)In the Confessions, he claimed to be “drunk on virtue.” And indeed, it turned out that “virtue” for Rousseau had nothing to do with acting or behaving in a certain way toward others. On the contrary, the criterion of virtue was his subjective feeling of goodness. For Rousseau, as for the countercultural radicals who followed him, “feeling good about yourself” was synonymous with moral rectitude. Actually behaving well was irrelevant if not, indeed, a sign of “inauthenticity” because it suggested a concern for conventional approval. Virtue in this Rousseauvian sense is scarcely distinguishable from moral intoxication. Anyone who has contemplated the suppression of free speech in the name of sensitivity and identity politics on our college campuses will understand what I mean.
Establishing the reign of virtue is no easy task, as Rousseau’s avid disciple Maximilien Robespierre discovered to his chagrin. All those “particular wills” -- i.e., individual men and women with their diverse aims and desires -- are so recalcitrant and so ungrateful for one’s efforts to make them virtuous. Still, one does what one can to convince them to conform. And the guillotine, of course, is a great expedient. ..
The birds that live on Earth today have all descended from dinosaurs, the creatures who dominated the planet for a couple of hundred million years, before an asteroid impact caused their extinction. It turns out birds at the time, better called avian dinosaurs, nearly got plucked too, with only those species that lived on the ground surviving the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event...
I saw a poster that spoke to me: We do not remember days, we remember moments.
On Memorial Day, just take a moment to remember that special moment with a loved one, that kid down the block, that young soldier or Marine you saw in an airport or on a train, and either give thanks that any one of them might not have survived but did or respect that he didn't in a good cause and brotherhood with comrades.
The other night I went to a high school Seniors Award Ceremony. In honor of classmates lost in Vietnam a group from the class of 1966 handed out awards to some of the 18-year olds in the senior graduating class. Heck, I thought, most of their parents weren't even alive or much out of diapers during the Vietnam War, and probably have absorbed the defeatist excuses pushed by leftist academics. Heck with that, I thought again, maybe the awardees will take some time to learn something about the cause, the facts, in the deceased's name they received an award for the promise of their future, a future gained by others' loss.
"Once each May, amid the quiet hills and rolling lanes and breeze-brushed trees of Arlington National Cemetery, far above the majestic Potomac and the monuments and memorials of our Nation's Capital just beyond, the graves of America's military dead are decorated with the beautiful flag that in life these brave souls followed and loved. This scene is repeated across our land and around the world, wherever our defenders rest. Let us hold it our sacred duty and our inestimable privilege on this day to decorate these graves ourselves -- with a fervent prayer and a pledge of true allegiance to the cause of liberty, peace, and country for which America's own have ever served and sacrificed. ... Our pledge and our prayer this day are those of free men and free women who know that all we hold dear must constantly be built up, fostered, revered and guarded vigilantly from those in every age who seek its destruction. We know, as have our Nation's defenders down through the years, that there can never be peace without its essential elements of liberty, justice and independence. Those true and only building blocks of peace were the lone and lasting cause and hope and prayer that lighted the way of those whom we honor and remember this Memorial Day. To keep faith with our hallowed dead, let us be sure, and very sure, today and every day of our lives, that we keep their cause, their hope, their prayer, forever our country's own."
Classic Italian-American Sunday supper. Yes, they term tomato sauce "gravy." Some people like this style of southern Italian food, but I find it unpleasant. Not to mention the heartburn. Call me a food snob if you want.
Sure, we've all had experiences when the voice on the GPS thing directed us poorly. Mrs. BD and I have especially had those experiences in Europe. It can waste a lot of time, but sometimes can be serendipitously interesting anyway.
One time, in Sicily, we were directed through miles of dirt roads in lemon groves because the Euroland thing was set for "most direct route". Yeah, it was an "as the crow flies" route to some obscure place we wanted to hike with the Christian tombs carved into the cliffs.
I like maps for the big picture, and the driving tech for the details. Just last weekend, driving home from a fishing trip, I kept wondering "What town are we in?" I felt like "Where the heck are we, on a map? Where are we, on the planet?" We didn't have a clue, but WAZE got us home.
I think a combination of a map and a GPS voice are a handy combination - one for the practical and one for curiosity.
My lad claims Clothes Line Rag was a parody of Ode to Billy Joe. That is astute. Lay Down Your Weary Tune is a lovely hymn. Listen to that cover. How many masterpieces has Dylan produced?
Bonus below: Lou Reed covering Foot of Pride. It's about pride and Jesus. Pride is the greatest sin, is it not? The foot of pride will getcha sooner or later and, once it comes down, your life is screwed without proper repentence and rebirth.
Bulldog and I are planning a bouldering day for the near future. Well, full-day rough hiking with enough challenging bouldering and rock scrambling to keep everybody on our local hiking team happy, challenged, and entertained.
Friends and family. No ropes required but a positive, can-do attitude is required. I am planning the routes and want to make it as fatiguing and stressful as possible.
To keep the wives happy, we'll throw in a brunch at Mohonk. One hour, only, is what we guys will permit because we want to move, not sit and eat oysters, filet, halibut, Kobe beef, Nantucket scallops, fine wines, and a hundred other decadent delights.
Why get in shape if you don't use it to the max? Rock scrambling is great fun, and sometimes scary and that is what builds character. Or so my Dad said. "Face all of your fears. That's how you become a man." Like his beloved Shakespeare, he viewed fearfulness as a kind of death.
He was in two wars but he never spoke of it. Never once. US Army.
“His advantage is he’s unencumbered by values and unencumbered by a conscience. It’s an enormous advantage when you’re willing to make the end justify the means always. He’s willing to do anything as we know including lie repeatedly. It’s very disarming literally If you’re up against that- it’s very hard for people because they’re scared of his emotion. They’re frightened by his emotion. They don’t recognize that he’s throwing them off their game. They don’t necessarily recognize that he’s pushing them into their own emotion as opposed to the capacity to think more reflectively and as a result they’re not coming forward with their best.”
"Back when Trump came down the escalator and started talking like Pat Buchanan, I recall thinking, “I can’t imagine a scenario where I vote for him, but I never imagined anyone saying these things again either.” Trump is turning out to be the most consequential president in our lifetime, which is not something any sane person could have imagined two years ago. I think we have to withhold judgement on him until these great events of this age unfold."
Trump is the Honey Badger. That's why he was elected. He was not elected to be a role model: