Strength training routine – July 2003

Once again I find myself evaluating my workout routine and making changes.  After my back injury and subsequent recovery, I've been in a constant state of evaluation so far as my strength training routine is concerned.  There are areas where I need to focus a little more effort, and there are areas where I've been pushing too hard.

For instance, I need to put more effort into my chest workout in order to get the results I want, thus I've added a supplemental chest workout to my Thursday routine.  This isn't permanent and will only last until I make some progress in that area, then I'll narrow it back down to one day per week.

Two areas (or one overall area) that I was overworking were my abs and obliques.  For that reason, rather than working those areas every day, I've consolidate those exercises to three days per week with one day of rest between each of those days.

I've also changed a few of the exercises and have increased the repetition range slightly in order to push myself a little harder.

My cardio routine still only consists of walking.  Since I always use the stairs at work, hour-long walks each day simply augment that and provide adequate cardio exercise.  Eventually I'll replace my bike and get back into riding.

I'm no longer getting up at 4:00 AM to hit the gym.  I just couldn't manage my time tightly enough to get enough sleep based on that schedule, so now I'm hitting the weights in the afternoon when I get home from work.  If I have to work late and am not able to go to the gym, I simply push that day's workout routine into the next day and perform two routines instead of one.  Since this isn't frequent, it shouldn't hurt me.

I stretch for 30 minutes prior to each workout.  I focus on the muscle groups that I'll be working that day but include a general full-body stretch routine as well.

I've updated the workout routine to exclude repetition numbers for exercises where the repetitions increase without limit (such as crunches, pull-ups, etc.).  For these exercises, the x in the repetition columns simply indicates that I don't have a limited or target range.  I simply force myself (to failure) by increasing the repetitions each week by at least two.  For instance, if I'm doing three sets of 20 crunches this week, I'll push myself to do at least two sets of 20 and one set of 22 next week.  Since these exercises don't include easily increased weight (only body resistance), it made more sense to remove the reps from the table and use a variable instead.

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Pat Robertson

I've never been thrilled with the far right politically speaking.  I'm not a religious person, and I do not appreciate those who are trying to cram their beliefs down my throat because they believe themselves morally superior (hello? remember Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart?).  It is often those who speak the loudest while proclaiming the faults of others who are most times simply trying to hide their own shortcomings.  It would appear that Pat Robertson, a Nazi-esque religious fanatic with questionable ethics and a dubious morality driven by financial interests, has decided to put himself at the top of the list of religious idiots who need to just sit down and shut up.

Despite his successes with the Christian Coalition (more aptly called the Christless Cult), Pat Robertson has always been on the outer fringes of the conservative bandwagon.  His continual public prayers filled with vengeful requests begging for his god to visit pain, suffering, disgrace, and other punishments on those he does not agree with are certainly not representative of the ethical high-road one would assume he should be traveling.

You might remember after the September 11 attacks when Jerry Falwell, speaking on Robertson's The 700 Club television program, said, "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America.  I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"

Robertson, in a prayer during that very same program, said, "We have sinned against Almighty God, at the highest level of our government, we've stuck our finger in your eye," said Robertson.  "The Supreme Court has insulted you over and over again, Lord.  They've taken your bible away from the schools.  They've forbidden little children to pray.  They've taken the knowledge of God as best they can, and organizations have come into court to take the knowledge of God out of the public square of America."  This appeared to reinforce Falwell's statement and clearly intimated Robertson's support of that view.  Both freaks later "clarified" their points of view and backed away from what they had actually said (backpeddle…).

In recent weeks, Robertson has once again opened his mouth and allowed deceitful, immoral ramblings to spew forward.

In response to President Bush considering military peacekeeping forces for Liberia, Pat Robertson immediately jumped to the defense of Liberian president Charles Taylor.  Speaking of George Bush, Robertson said he was "undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country.  How dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country, 'you've got to step down.'"

Robertson's impugning of Bush in defense of Taylor is bewildering at best.  Charles Taylor is denounced worldwide as a bloodthirsty tyrant who is responsible for the massacre of countless Liberians and is happily bringing suffering down upon thousands of his countrymen. In fact, Taylor's disgraceful humanitarian record has been said to be as bad, if not worse, than Saddam Hussein's.

Yet we find this upstanding religious leader defending this man — a man who has committed crimes against his own people and has visited death and destruction upon his own country.

I at first believed Robertson to be senile (of course, I thought that during the September 11 fiasco with Falwell and Robertson), but this time I truly thought the man had lost his mind.  No religious leader, regardless of how morally bankrupt they are, could possibly voice support for the leader of another country when that leader is known to have committed atrocities against his own people and to have caused the deaths of so many.

It wasn't until the media reported on Robertson's financial dealings with Liberia that it all became clear.

You see, what shit-for-brains Pat failed to mention was that he has $8 million invested in a gold-mining operation in Liberia which is handled through an agreement with Taylor's government.

Suddenly the light reaches that dark little corner and reveals Robertson's ulterior motives.  His copious lies and deceptions are never revealed by Robertson himself, but instead they are often brought to the surface in response to some morbidly sadistic statement he makes in public which he must then clarify as part of damage control.

Now, just weeks later, Pat Robertson has made a public spectacle out of once again praying for some divine intervention in government, this time to the Supreme Court.

On Monday, July 14, Robertson specifically prayed saying, "We ask for miracles in regard to the Supreme Court."  In a letter posted on one of his web sites, Robertson went on to say that the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the country's few remaining sodomy laws "has opened the door to homosexual marriage, bigamy, legalized prostitution and even incest."

As usual, I find Robertson offensive yet predictable.  How equal protection for homosexuals could lead to incest is beyond me.

As I've never been fond of Pat Robertson or his puritanical, fanatical, inharmonious cult of self-engrossed, unfeeling counterfeits, none of his most recent episodes of hate and spite and greed even surprise me.

Practice what you preach, Pat, and remember what it means when you read "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."  Oh, that's right — you've probably never actually read that book.

Oh, and one other thing.

Pat Robertson, shut the fuck up!

Update on Grendel’s asthma medication

As you might recall from several previous posts (here, here, here and here), Grendel has been on a new asthma medication for several months.  I'm pleased to report that it's been a great experience all around.  He's lost some of the extra weight he had been carrying because of the steroids, and he has a lot more energy.  Most important, however, is the fact that he's not had any more significant problem with his asthma than he had on the original steroids.  He has an attack now and then (for which he has an emergency inhaler), but they've been no more frequent than they were before.  I'm thrilled that he's not on the other medication now and that the new medication has been such an improvement for him.

So much for that privacy policy

I always pay attention to the privacy policy on web sites where I intend to do business or provide personal information.  I've been happy to see "we won't sell your information" on most sites and have always considered that practice a point in a company's favor.  That is until now.  I read that, although the statement above is true, the fact that they won't sell your information doesn't mean they won't rent it.  Yes, that's right — renting your personal information.  I found it quite reprehensible and deceptive when I read this article on the topic.  Apparently it's quite lucrative and is an extensive practice.  This is a pathetic disservice to consumers and, as deceptive trade goes, should be stopped by the government.  If you tell me you won't sell my information, you are inferring that you won't share it (although, truthfully, that's not what you said).  Companies are using that statement to fool consumers into trusting that their information won't be shared.  Sadly, most customers will be surprised and confused when they get spammed or sent pounds of junk mail or start getting telemarketing calls — all because someone rented, not sold, their personal information.  Pitiful and shameful.