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”


Workout 1


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


Heavy Clean

Heavy Row


Workout 2

110% Clean Heavy Triple Extension Pull

Heavy Jerk


Heavy Clean

Heavy Row


Workout 3


Front Squat


Heavy Clean

Heavy Row


Workout 4


70% Hang Clean


Heavy Clean

Heavy Row


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.


On Wednesday, January 6th, 2021, I too was monitoring the various news stations waiting to see what the “mass of Trump supporters” were going to do. At first, I was pretty impressed with how they were actually behaving rather civil. I have no problem with “rallies”, flag waving and enthusiastic chants (propaganda speeches). I was, however, chuckling to myself when the fallen-from-grace-trying-to-figure-out-to-remain-relevant Rudolph Giuliani shouted out “Trial by combat”. Wow, for someone who had raised his hand and practiced American Law for decades, forgetting about trial by jury was stunning.

My biggest scornful laugh came when the 1st Duffous-in-Son, Donald Jr., shouted out, in a warning to fellow Republicans at the Capital, “We’re coming for you.” That statement in and of itself is a joke. That pussy piece of shit couldn’t fight his way out of a wet bag.

We’ll get back to Donny-Boy in just a minute.

Fast forward to the crowd attacking federal and city police and hearing various chants threatening bodily harm at all levels it was clear some people may indeed have been crazed enough to die for their hero, Donald Trump. Psychologists will be picking apart that phenomenon for centuries to come. In similar fashion we are boggled to explain how millions could have followed Hitler like he was a god. Maybe they were afraid of what others would think of them if they voiced their real thoughts. Maybe they have such weak mental constitutions they just do what everyone else is doing. Maybe they are so stupid they simply believe anything someone tells them. Maybe they truly believed (albeit based on being flooded with lies and false information for four years) that their country was under attack from the inside. Maybe they fell victim to falling for one of the best propaganda machines since 1930’s Germany. Maybe they are social outcastes who found a common cause. Maybe they are financially crushed and looking for an excuse other than the bad choices they made in life. Maybe they are tricked by a well placed quote, detail or anecdote. Maybe they truly accepted the frustrations of being victimized by their fellow Conservatives and honestly thought, based on Trump’s allegations, that the swamp was going be drained. Maybe they feel blind loyalty will yield some kind of reward. Some people just need something to die for (but, really, die for Donald Trump????).

Well, I know one person who wasn’t willing to die. I know one person who was too cowardly to join the crowd marching in protest and then attacking the building. I know one person who obviously doesn’t believe in Donald Trump. Donald Trump, Jr. While all the brain dead zombies were making history (not the good kind at all), that coward was hiding under his daddy’s desk.

Maybe he just has bone spurs. (Oh, by the way Donny Boy, it looks like we’re coming for you.)

(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.


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.