Once More Into the Breach

Finding Nonsense and Beating it Sensible

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Location: Virginia

I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tucker Goes to the Market

The Big White Dog has taken to expecting a ride in the truck each day. The last couple of weeks have kept us out of the house more than usual. With it being so hot we just don't like to take Tucker if he has to stay in the truck for very long. Still he thinks he's supposed to go when we leave.

Saturday afternoon I had to run to the gas station to buy diesel for the tractor. While I was loading the cans in the truck Mary called on the cell thinking I had already left to ask that I go by Safeway and get some floor polish. I was just opening the gate when she came out with Tucker. He ran out the gate, stopped and watched to see what I would do.

I have discovered a quirk that makes catching Tucker easy. His time in the rescue kennel must have taught him that the leash was a good thing. All I need do is pull one out and he gets excited and just lets me walk up and put it on. All I had in the truck was an old cross tie. It's like a lead line for a horse but the cord is elastic. This one had broken and got tossed in behind the seat. He let me catch him, then I reluctantly told Mary I would take him with me.

At the gas station I filled the cans and took pride as people admired Tucker while he stuck his head out the open window. It is fun to take him places because he gets so much attention. People are always asking, "What kind of dog is that?" or " That is a big dog."

When I got to Safeway I wanted to get in and get out quick because there was no shade to park in. I carefully set the windows so Tucker could put his head out but not escape. I went in, got what I needed, found a short line and got out. As I was paying for my stuff the checker asked "Do you need help outside?" They always ask that and of course I thanked her and said no thank you. Little did I know.

Two weeks ago I started the process of getting a dental implant to replace a tooth a horse had knocked out. It's much more involved that I thought. After they pulled what was left of the tooth they put a screw into the socket then sewed it up to heal for about four months. In the mean time I get to have a small denture plate for the missing tooth. As I left the store I stopped at the gum ball machines. I thought as I popped in the gum, "This was the first gum I have had since the plate. I wonder if it will be OK?"

Sure enough as I walked up to the truck I could not see a Big White Dog. I could not believe he got through that window. I turned to scan the parking lot just as I realized that the gum had turned to epoxy and glued itself to the plate. A store employee was pushing carts up the parking lot. I ran over to her and tried my best to talk clearly with a glob of glue stuck to the front of the roof of my mouth.

"Hab oo eem a bug whit dug?"


Clinched teeth, talked slow "Have you seen a Big White Dog?'

"Oh, yes he's in the front of the store."

As I jogged over to the other entrance to the store I tried to chisel the gum off my plate with my tongue. All I got for my effort was a dislodged plate with gum now securely wrapped around it. I did my best to jam that thing back in place without being too obvious. When I saw Tucker and his new friends I mumbled the best I could and thanked them. I was curious about what they thought when they saw the broken end of the" leash" but conversation was out of the question. A nice woman told me how beautiful he was and said "He must have gone in the store looking for his dad." I just hummed and knodded my head.

Oh great, the dog when right into the store. He probably liked the automatic doors. I can imagine how wonderful a place he had found thinking, "Gee, no wonder dad likes to go in this place. It smells great!"

As we walked up to the truck we came up on a couple with twin boys still sitting in the cart while they were loading groceries in their trunk.

"Look at the big puppy!" one of the boys called out.

"Oh that's the dog we saw in the store." replied the mother.

Normally I would stay a chat but the Blob was taking over my mouth.


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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Update on New Year Project

It's been six months since I announced my intention to use weight lifting to counter the effects of aging in the post entitled "Something New for the New Year". I started with the template detailed in the book "The New Rules of Liftng." I was happy with the results but continued to struggle with choosing the correct weight for each workout. The most efficient way of determining a proper weight is to use a precentage of one's maximum for one repititon on exch exercise..Unfortunatly no guidelines on this are provided. The result was a cycle of workouts that were too easy or too difficult. Finally in May I tested my bench press max to find it had not increased in four months. My squat and dead lift numbers were steadily going up but the bench press has always been a week spot for me so I knew I had to do something different.

In June I went to a varient of the Bill Star 5 x 5 program. A spreadsheet was availabe that needed only for me to enter my maximum weight for 5 reps on each exersice. It then calculated the weights used for each set of 5 reps for each exercise in a three day a week, 9 week cycle. The workouts went smooth and I made steady progress.

Along the way I had looked into the powerlifting sport. While I have no illusions about my abilities in a competative environment I felt preperation for a meet would help focus my traning.One federation, 100% RAW, looked attractive. They had many local meets, they forbid the use of drugs and assistant equipment and the members at a meet I attended in April were friendly and supportive of each other during the competition. The internet forum on the web site is quite helpful. It was here that I was convinced to compete

This past weekend I competed in the Freedom Cup at Standardsville, VA. The help I received on the forum resulted in a satisfying performance.

The results of six months of lifting are best understood by the numbers.

January 2007 Body weight 225 Bench press 215, Deadlift 285, Squat 265

June 2007 Body weight 217 Bench press 235, Deadlift 350, Squat 320.

I can tell you that the change in the way I feel on a daily basis is dramatic. I used to feel rundown, stiff and ill most of the time where now I feel strong. I can describe it no other way. My work capacity has gone way up and my general attitude is better. I never would have belived that I could feel so much better.

The workouts are not a chore, in fact I look forward to them.


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