O.M.G. – Yet Another Workout Variation !!!

I have to stop the madness. I know. I’ve been changing workouts every week – sometimes right in the middle of the week. It all started when I decided seriously to get into a daily workout. I stumbled across an Olympic Lift training book. So, I thought I would try that. Then I encountered Mark Rippetoe and Starting Strength. Then I ran across Texas 5×5 (which is a Rippetoe rip off). Somewhere in there I switched to Vince Grand’s 6×6. Then I thought I would try Mon Wed Frid 1 barbell exercise for each body part for 21 reps. Let’s not forget Barbell Complex workouts of 5 sets / 5 movements / 5 reps / 5 minutes rest in between. A few weeks ago I came across a very interesting workout centered on the big 5 (deadlift, squat, bench, clean and jerk, and snatch). But now, I’ve created my own version.

Using a modified 5×5 / modified Big 5 / modified Starting Strength, I came up with this. Using the following rep scheme of: 10 rep warm up / 7 rep moderate increase / 5 rep x 3 set “heavy”

Monday

Workout 1

Bench

75% Clean deadlift into an elbows high, triple extension, clean muscle over

Tuesday

Heavy Clean

Heavy Row

Wednesday

Workout 2

110% Clean Heavy Triple Extension Pull

Heavy Jerk

Thursday

Heavy Clean

Heavy Row

Friday

Workout 3

Deadlift

Front Squat

Monday

Heavy Clean

Heavy Row

Tuesday

Workout 4

Squat

70% Hang Clean

Wednesday

Heavy Clean

Heavy Row

Thursday

Workout 1

And, from then on you can see the pattern. Today is day 2 in the pattern. So, it’s heavy clean and then heavy row. While my clean is still an embarrassing 190, it is even worse because I stepping back off that to 180 and then using an every-other-work-out-add-2.5 pounds (ala Mark Rippetoe) and see what happens.

(Corrected) The Clerks Who Saved a Country

While our Country’s Capital building was under attack, while Senators were fleeing for safety, while Congressmen and Congresswomen were being shuffled under back stairs, while Vice President Pence was being wicked away by the Secret Service, a tiny group of young, far underpaid Congressional Clerks saved our Democracy.

How?

They simply turned around in the fleeing calamity, ran back into the chambers as the crowds were breaking through the doors and secured the mahogoney casks containing the Electoral Votes and took them out to safety.

Today, they remain anonymous. No one is talking about them. No one has said, “Hey, that was my staff member”. But, it won’t be long until History demands to know their identity.

This small group of government employees saved a country. They saved democracy. They saved the United States of America. This small group of government employees are worthy and deserved of the Medal of Freedom.

Trump’s Donation Request Letter

I have a friend, no – an acquaintance, who is a die hard Trump fan. The kind of guy who will be sitting next to you in a bar listening to a Trump press conference and try to justify everything Trump said. For example, Trump would say something like “All the Mexicans in Arizona will be voting for me”. Someone will readily dispute that and my friend would say, “Well, he was talking about all the Republican voters of Hispanic descent”.

Well, no, that’s not what he said. At all. But, you get my point. It doesn’t matter what craziness comes out of Trump’s mouth, my acquaintance and people like him will put some kind of positive spin, slant, altered version, “he was only kidding”, or “what he really meant was…”.

To my shock, this acquaintance did not vote for Trump. He and his wife were rabid followers of Trump’s Covid-19 made up recommendations. His wife is now dead. From Covid-19. My acquaintance said it became clear to him Trump didn’t know what he was talking about and after starting to do his own research on many other of Trump’s allegations and claims, on various issues, he discovered Trump out right lied during many of them. I was further to surprised to learn the real reason he didn’t vote for Trump. That will be discussed in the final paragraph, below.

During this past week my acquaintance gave me a copy of a donation letter he received from Trump. The letter header has Donald J Trump in big letters with “President of the United States” underneath it. Oddly, there is no presidential seal. The return address comes back to the Republican National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The letter is not dated. Is just says “Monday Morning”.

Let’s take a look at the letter.

The opening paragraph indicates there is a desire to count every legally cast ballot and make sure every illegally cast vote is not. Indeed, so does every one else in this country.

He, Trump, claims he was winning in all the key locations, by a lot, on Election Night, but numbers were whittled away in secret. No, that’s a lie. Republican Poll Watchers confirmed the mail in ballots, not counted during the day, showed Biden won.

The next paragraph discusses the Georgia run off Senate election on January 5th 2021 and the need for the Republicans to win.

He, Trump, then goes back to say when all the legal votes are counted in the recounts, he will win those states and he will win the Electoral College. Well, the Wisconsin recount gave an additional 136 votes to Biden and the Arizona recount only gave 2 additional votes to Trump. 2, as in two, as in the number after one. So, again, Trump lies.

Trump alleges all the Democratic lawsuits (there are none as of this writing), all the propaganda by pundits in the media, and all the marching in the streets were designed to rig the election against him. Something he has been complaining about for some 14 months prior to the election occurring. I should point out as of this date there are 42 lawsuits filed by Trump’s Reelection Campaign. Judges, most of which are Republicans, have thrown out 41 of them and only 1 (in Arizona) allowed a recount, you remember, the one that gave Trump two more votes. Wow, what a landslide.

Trump seeks my acquaintance’s assistance in keeping “corrupt” Democrats from stealing the election and silencing the voters. Well, the voters have spoken, loudly. Trump lost. And, the “corruption” appears to be coming from his own judges as they throw out lawsuit after lawsuit. Note, his own Attorney General, Bill Barr, said there was no signs of corruption. Additionally, his own Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency head, Chris Krebs, announced, “…. the vote was the “most secure” in US history.” So, I seem to have missed it. Where’s the corruption?

Trump claims that if he is able to stay in office he will continue leading the Great American Comeback. Well, there is not much to say here. I can’t even dig up one example of something he did in terms of any comeback.

Typical of Trump, he makes several disparaging remarks about his political rivals. He calls Ms. Pelosi “Nervous Nancy Pelosi” and Mr. Biden “Sleepy Joe”.

The rest of the letter is typical rambling about integrity of the election, stop the steal, and send him $135 to continue the fight.

Finally, it refers to my acquaintance as “Patriots like you.”

Here’s the kicker, my acquaintance is a citizen of a country in Europe. He isn’t even American and he’s not allowed to vote.

Just Can’t Say Good-bye

I have 6 guitars. Probably, five too many. I also have five amplifiers of various wattage, size, and electronics. I need to get rid of most of them. Mostly, because they take up a lot of space and I’m long “retired” from the live music scene. I decided I would try to play one each week for several weeks and find out which ones I could part with. It is an impossible task.

Of the collection I currently own, the oldest is an Ibenez 6 string semi-acoustic. For the unguitarist group, a semi-acoustic is most identical to a classic 6 string that can be played by itself but it has an electronics plug that allows you to amplify the sound through a sound system or amplifier. Frankly, it sounds just a little “tinny” (very metalic bright) acoustic but has electronics that make it sound very mello through an amplifier. I’ve had that guitar for about 25 years, maybe longer. It is in remarkable shape. It is not the top of line model but it isn’t a Christmas present toy either. When playing live, I ran it through a Crate 85 watt amp my father purchased for me from a music store on Main Street in Smithtown, NY. It has several channels that allowed me to connect a microphone as well. It has made me a lot of pocket change over the years and got me through a lot of weddings.

The second is a Taylor 6 string semi-acoustic. Again, not the top of line model but not a beginner’s model either. I’ve owned that since the Fall of 2012. I used to play this through a 20 watt solid state Behringer piano amp that can include build in effects. It was quite the work horse. Through this amp the Taylor works and sounds great. The third is a Yamaha Pacifica 6 string electric modeled to look like a Stratocaster. I purchased that with a Peavy solid state 35 watt amplifier that can similate a whole bunch of stacks, cabinets, and amplifier modes. Frankly, I used that sparingly during my life performance days.

The prettiest of the group is a Tacamini 12 string jumbo that is almost identical to the one played by Glen Fry of the Eagles. I used that a lot live and when I played in the “church chorus band”. Since you have to tune it down one whole note (E being the common tuning / D being the 12 string tuning) I learned a great deal about transposing music from one key to another and really learned the value of a capo. That is also a semiacoustic and sounds phenominal acoustic or amplified. I played this live and through a 150 watt Behringer Sound System. It has many of the same effects as the Behringer piano amp, above, but has many inputs, level pans, monitor outputs and room simulators.

My favorite guitar is a 2015 Fender Telecaster American Standard Delux blond 6 string made in the California plant (that appears to have since moved to Mexico). It is, by far, the most expensive and is one I consider to be a “real” guitar, probably because I only consider price as being the gauge in determining what is real and what is just a hobby guitar. I play that through a 35 watt Fender Tube Tweed reissue. It has a “bright” channel and over drive capability. I have only used that twice in live performance. But, I love it. As a side note, there are four guitars I have always wanted. The Fender mentioned above because Bruce Springsteen plays a similar model; a Gibson Les Paul similar to the one Peter Frampton plays; a Gibson Byrdland semi acoustic hollow body similar to the one Ted Nugent plays; and a Gretsch Streamline 6120 like Brian Seltzer from the Stray Cats plays. I can’t see really ever having the justification for making those rather large purchases.

Finally, I have a Fender Bass (market entry) model that my son gave me a few years ago.

The end of my little week long playing experiment made it clear none of these would be leaving. Each time I began to play one it brought back memories of certain events and I began to feel like they were old friends who had stopped by to chat about the past. All of them still sounded great and although my voice has weakened and long gone out of tune, it was so much fun to pick them up and start singing.

I guess we have all something tucked away in a dresser drawer, hidden away in a closet, or collecting dust in an attic that should have been disposed of long ago but tug at us to remain in our possession. Everytime we see them, they bring up memories, both happy and sad, and leave a strong feeling of nostalgia. I decided to mount these all on their guitar stands and spread them out throughout the house almost like art or furniture accessories. Everytime I move from room to room I inwardly smile and feel a small sense of peace.

I have a small group of close friends. And, I won’t be getting rid of them any time soon.

Some Things Can’t Be Ignored

I was referred to an editorial, well – advertisement is a more accurate description, by a journalist employed by one of NY’s papers. The journalist is explaining why he voted for Trump in 2016 and why he is going to vote for him again next week.

Firstly, anything from the the paper in question will be suspect for some time now considering the horrendously embarrassing “scoop” they received on the Hunter Biden lap top story. A story so bad even William Barr didn’t touch it. A story so bad not one GOP ass licker chased it. A story quickly shown to be a desperate attempt by Trump to throw shit up against to the wall to see if it would stick. It fell right off. Towards the end of his editorial he is almost whining about how his employer’s 1st Amendment Rights were squashed when all other journalist outlets showed it was a joke. If he was so concerned about his employer’s position why hasn’t the employer done anything since? Don’t worry, Rudy’s on the job. He’ll fix it for you.

Now, let’s get into the editorial.

We can skip over all the garbage regarding the 2016 Election other than to point out, if you read what he writes closely, he makes it clear he didn’t “vote for Trump”, he cast an anti-Hillary vote. So did a lot of other people. So what.

He goes on to admit Trump has a questionable background and complete lack of experience. He was hoping for something better but, “Four years later, everything has changed, not all of it for the better.” Frankly, I’m waiting to read exactly what he feels is indeed better. (Crickets)

He claims Trump has produced peace and prosperity. We should be able to stop right there because neither of those two things happened. Trump hasn’t done one single thing to promote peace. He has simply been very lucky that nothing has happened during the first four years on his watch.

He claims Trump’s most admirable trait is that he has kept his promises. I struggle to find any single one to which he refers. If it’s building the wall and making Mexico pay for it, well, that’s easy. Mexico didn’t pay for anything. And, the wall, what ever version of “a wall” you believe in, didn’t get completed. If he refers to clearing out the swamp, we’ll it’s very clear all he did was bring in all his yes men and women and weakened the country on the whole by putting people lacking in any type of experience into roles that clearly have no clue about. If he refers to the big tax break, well, sure you got your pitiful “tax stimulus check” but you lost a bunch of great tax write offs. A) you essentially either broke even or are now paying more on April 17th, and, B) that goes away after 5 years. So, essentially, you’re screwed. If he was referring to all the jobs he was going to bring back to the country, that fell flat on it’s face. Period. I guess I could look up all of Trump’s “promises” and then pick them apart one by one but I’ve already made my point.

While I agree eliminating regulations and cutting taxes sounds good, all we now get is more polluted water and more polluted air. Regulations have been put in place to control big businesses from placing profits above the lives of the public. I’ve already covered the cutting taxes farce.

Regarding Iran, nothing new there. Every president since Reagan has been putting pressure on Iran. We can just skip over that segment.

Getting other countries to pay more for NATO was, indeed, a good thing. Making the country a laughing stock; having other world leaders literally laughing behind Trump’s back during a major meeting of world leaders (all caught on camera); leaving us in a position where no one trusts us; and outright demolishing the reputation the US had as a world leader is nothing to be proud about.

His discussion on China fails to mention Trump’s family’s business connections there; the fact that all of his threatened sanctions and tariffs never materialized; and his failure to contain their aggressive positions in the South China Sea and most of South East Asia makes it clear Trump has no policy for responding to same.

Regarding the corona virus, you heard it with your own two ears. Trump admitting on tape he knew how dangerous it was and he held back cautions to the public. Why, because “he didn’t want to cause a panic”. What panic is that? On Wall Street? Was Trump afraid the one and only good thing going on would crash too? He lied to the public. He endangered lives and some may have lost their life because of him. And, that IS the point. As far as a rapid progress on a vaccine is concerned, there is nothing rapid about it. We should hope not. We don’t need some hastily developed medicine that could injure us in other ways.

He states an “honest score card must also include the disparities in the states’ performances”. Hmm, well, that score card will also Trump lied about everything to do with the virus, was giving out bad information and making ridiculous suggestions while criticizing the science, scientists and experts all of tried to protect us. Indeed there were fatal flaws. But they resulted from the poor performance of Trump.

The rest of his advertisement is really just the same old arguments we hear day after day. Nothing more than cry baby retorts about protecting one of most failing presidencies in American history.

Perhaps the kicker is the last two paragraphs in the editorial, and I quote the author direct,

“Thus, the election is not just Trump vs. Biden. It’s also America vs. The New York Times.” And, that’s what this was really all about. Trying to have the employer’s paper stand toe to toe with the NY Times. He loses that one every day of the week. He says it’s not just Trump vs. Biden. Here I agree. I’ll quote Biden on this one: “The character of the country is on the ballot.  Our character is on the ballot.” 

Vote for America. Indeed.

What is Trump’s Real Motive – Covid-19

Over the past few days Trump and some of his lesser intelligent staff members at the White House have been touting “herd immunity” as the answer to Covid-19. I should remind you that every solution presented by Trump and his lesser intelligent staff members at the White House have 1. quickly been proven as false information by the science community and 2. never worked. (Which leaves one to wonder why anyone with half a brain would either try what they recommend or pass it on to friends and loved ones as good information.)

So, let’s stop here for a moment as I would encourage all those who do support Trump’s claims for herd immunity to stop reading this blog post, go to the internet and look up three sources of information on herd immunity. Otherwise, your ability to comprehend this post, written at a third grade reading level (the reading level this writer) will be too much for you.

The next question is why would Trump push information that is blatantly false and would end up getting hundreds of thousands of people infected?

Is he desperately grasping at straws as the election moves closer and everyone clearly sees he did practically nothing to protect the country? Maybe, I guess one could argue he’s making suggestions as if he is in a brain storming session and just throwing out everything he can think of (well, he’s really not coming up with these suggestions anyway) hoping something will work. Frankly, that’s giving him too much credit.

Is he hoping that voter turn out will be suppressed by hundreds of thousands of new infections? Maybe, but that will backfire in his face because most moderates and Democrats wear masks and otherwise try to comply with CDC recommendations so it’s only his core, Qanon followers, and other mental incompetents that will get sick.

Is he trying to make the general population as cash strapped and in debt as he is by exposing it to massive amounts of uninsured medical bills and budget crushing prescription costs (think of all his attacks on the Affordable Care Act)? That’s rather sinister but a likely result. But, then again which segment of the population would suffer the most? (See paragraph above.)

Is he trying to weaken the population so it can’t defend itself from a foreign invasion? Highly unlikely. Not a very good military strategy.

Is he trying to weaken Democrats and moderates so they can’t physically remove him from office should he decide not to accept the election results and turn his “Proud Boys” loose on the American public? Again, really not a good strategy because it is clear he’ll be removed by Federal Marshalls and see three paragraphs above.

Well, I’m at a loss. I can’t really say why Trump would ever continue to press a health strategy that, well, isn’t a health strategy at all.

News So Fake Even the Trumpkins Knew It Was a Lie

So, when was the last time the NY Post broke a huge, I mean election changing huge, story?? I’ll make it easy for you – NEVER.

I guess I am not the only one who immediately knew their front page story about Hunter Biden’s emails with the Russians was a complete farse. Fortunatley, we have a free press cored with investigative journalists. They proved today they are so important to a democracy…… so important to THIS democracy. Even Fox News was extremely hesitant to report on this “October Surpirse”.

If your first question wasn’t why did the computer repair guy pass the information onto Rudy Guliani rather than the F.B.I., then perhaps you need a refresher on philosphical ethics, morals, and logic. Come on !!!!!!

Another fortunate event in this whole mess what the fact that the computer repair guy folded so easily. Obviously, not being a good liar, he couldn’t even get his own story facts straight and was, literally, sweating so much he probably lost 3 pounds during the interview with the throng of journalists who knew his story was bullshit from the get go.

We’re coming down to the wire on this election. It doesn’t matter who your guy is. CHECK THE FACTS !!!!!!!

The GOP War on the Postal Service – Scamming the Public Again

Donald Trump has been bashing, maligning, criticizing, and making blatantly false statements about the United States Postal Service for months now. He, however, might not be the first GOP member to attack the postal service in the never ending quest to make it a private enterprise (owned by a bunch of GOP members with some kind of inadequate and incompetent level of logistics experience). That honor goes to the GOP in general who came up with some very creative ways to make the USPS look bad. Aggresiously bad.

This is so odd considering the USPS enjoys a 91% approval rating with the American public. It delivers 47 – 49% of the WORLD’S mail to over 160 million locations in the United States alone. It has received $0, zero, zilch, nil, nothing – absolutely no government funding since 1982. It was, at one time, singularly, the one and only best employment place for blacks. As of April 1st, 2020, and supported by a TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AUDIT, when you remove the scam about to be discussed below, the USPS has been a profitable enterprise FOR DECADES.

So, let’s consider these few items: the United States military is a service. Correct? That is, tax payer money is used to fund their operations including benefits for their “employees”. We, the tax payers, really don’t actually see, smell, hear, touch nor taste the benefits of that particular service. But, we certainly do benefit by the protection it brings. It should be noted, there is really no, what so ever, revenue stream the United States military provides. The United States Postal Service is a service. Correct? That is, tax payer.. wait a minute – stop right there.

In 2006 a group of Senators and Congress folks, all who had logistic companies in their district and / or stock or other financial interests in United Parcel Service, FedEx, DHS, etc., came up with a scheme to make the USPS look horrendous and thus eliminate it. That scam was called the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. In brief, it mandates the postal service PRE FUND it’s pension system. So, what does that mean? If your bank came to you and said, “Over the course of your life you will probably buy three cars and two houses. The average car is $40,000 and the average house is $400,000. Therefore, we are going to start charging you principal and interest on $920,000 now. Because, you’re going to do it in the future.” That’s exactly what this scam does. It projects pension benefits into the end of the century, an amount of roughly $335,000,000,000 (335 billion). That’s insane. That’s inappropriate considering no other branch of government has to fund itself. That’s a scam because on paper the USPS looks like a huge loser but take away this mandate and they flourish. That’s a crime because GOP members will benefit when they start up their own version of the USPS.

Then, to strangle the USPS even more, it is forced to put all of its funding into government bonds. You know, those extremely low yield, long term financial instruments.

So, to conclude, we now see the USPS is actually profiting, is actually an impressive revenue stream, and provides a great service that has been in existence SINCE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN in 1775 !!!!!!!! This continued attack, from a financial argument, against the USPS has no merit. For if you are to believe the GOP logic for privatization, then you need to privatize the military, the housing department, the energy department, the education department, the FBI, DEA, DHS, Justice Department, the Senate, Congress, etc etc. You know, all those agencies that DON’T have a revenue stream.