Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday Odds & Ends: Following Up on Yesterday...

I took Hannah to her first poetry reading last night.  She was one of the winners of Fairfield University's "Poetry for Peace" contest.

"All My Thoughts" by Hannah Head

Friday, January 29, 2016

5 Things on a Friday: Iowa Election Edition

Happy Friday, folks.  This post is number 1,501!  I meant to do a little celebration for my 1500th post, but then I forgot.  Oh well.

Let's get to it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Last Night's Weight Workout

Hannah and I hit the gym last night for a quick weight workout. And I do mean quick. I got home a little late last night, so we had to really keep this short. 

If you're wondering, Hannah is twelve. We therefore do almost all of our work on a low-weight, high-rep basis (well, she does, anyway), because we first and foremost want to promote ligament strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. She also takes gymnastics and dance, so a lot of the movement she does with me, she also does at those other places, especially lower body. I therefore focus our time on upper body work, mixing in core and lower body for balance and overall athleticism.

The Bounty Hunter: A Cahokiantep Story (Part 3)

This is the third and last part of this story.
 -- Part 1 is here.
 -- Part 2 is here.
 -- Cahokiantep started here.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Morning Workout: Weights & Swimming

My daughter Hannah and I hit the weight room this morning for a key workout.  We've been working chest / shoulders / triceps on Tuesdays and back / biceps on Saturdays, but it's gotten us a bit unbalanced.  We've got more time on the weekends than we do for our mid-week workouts, leaving us struggling to keep our overall workload balanced.  I've been wanting to switch it up, and today we finsally did.  We put in a full-body workout this morning, turning it into a marathon session and trying to break through some barriers--both physically and emotionally.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What is up with all the fake boobs?

I’m back in the gym.  I’ve been back for a little more than a month, lifting twice per week with my daughter Hannah.  I’m trying to do for her what my father did for me, to teach her the basics of weight-lifting and of living a healthy, active lifestyle.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Bounty Hunter: A Cahokiantep Story (Part 2)

Sketch in My Notebook
This is the second part of three for this story.  The first part is here.  You can find backstory on Cahokiantep here.

Most of the Pony’s patrons made way.  The voltans watched me come.  They didn’t move towards their pikes, though.  That was something.  The center voltan wore a blue sash with silver trim—the mark of a warrior-caste princeling.  I’d never fought a princeling before.  I figured the others for bodyguards.
The leader’s voice was deep and liquid, but his Basic was unaccented.  “What do you want, human fool?  Have you come to die on my blade?”

Monday, January 18, 2016

Training Log: 1/11 to 1/17 (Week 3)

This was kind of a different week for me.  I've been struggling to find a sense of purpose for my training lately, especially because I've been enjoying running and lifting weights so much, but swimming is undoubtedly my best thing.  Around mid-week, I finally decided that I needed a change of pace, and in putting together my calendar afterwards, I chose the Danbury Half-Marathon on April 3rd as my next race.  

I'm not going to actually enter the race until I get a little further into my training and have assured myself that my knees and ankles are going to hold up for the long runs, but it feels good to have a training target.  More importantly, I'm happy to have a focus that won't force me into the pool so many times per week.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Army Football Preview: Recruiting Update

Sal Interdonato is Army Football’s beat writer, and on Wednesday he updated the Army Football Insider blog with his current roster of Army Football commits.   I compared Interdonato’s list to the list that Rivals.Com is tracking, and since it’s now the middle of January, this seems as good a time as any to discuss what I found.  I should point out up front that service academy “commitments” are non-binding due to the unique nature of the academies themselves, and for this reason—and because they just haven’t earned it yet—it is the policy of this blog to discuss recruiting only in general, non-specific terms.  We are not going to name specific recruits here, nor will we assume that any of these kids will actually join the Army Football team until after they complete Beast Barracks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (Part 1)

I'm reading through the Sword Coast Adventurers' Guide, and the most interesting part by far (at least in the early going) is the list of deities. 

Like... who worships Beshaba, goddess of I'll-fortune?  Or Asmodeus, the king of Hell and greed? Or Cyric, the Black Sun, god of madness and deceit?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Bounty Hunter: A Cahokiantep Story (Part 1)

“Cahokiantep is no more.  The city, the surrounding farms, the very bedrock itself… all of this is gone.  There are no ruins; the city wasn’t destroyed.  It has simply vanished.  
“What remains is indescribable.  It is a hole—a crater—more massive than mere words can convey.  Malthanisys calculated its depth at a distance of some five miles at least.  It reaches across the breadth of the city and beyond, into the sea.  We could scarce see the far side of the thing, even whilst standing at the edge on the clearest day.  
“We found an outland shepherd yesterday.  He spoke of a flash of blue lightning and a tremor to shake the worlds.  In his ravings, he whispered a name—Belarisarius, a being he calls ‘the Astral Dragon’.  None know this name, not even Malthanisys.  
“We will continue searching, but I fear that there are few answers to be found.”
 -- Sir Gustav Plantagaryean, from his report on the “Cahokiantep Incident” to the Royal Court of Wanderhaven, Kingdom of the Western Isles

Monday, January 11, 2016

Training Log: 1/4 to 1/10 (Week 2)

This was not an easy week.  We went from having beautiful, spring-like weather to the full-on heart-of-winter.  I kicked off the week with a bike commute in eleven-degree weather, and I'm not sure I ever fully recovered.  That made it hard to keep up with my training over the course of the week, and it left me exhausted, both physically and emotionally.
Swim, Bike, Run
It warmed over the course of the week, and the weekend has been actively nice, but it's been tough to get back on my schedule.  I wound up cramming almost the entire week's training into just Saturday and Sunday.  That's hardly ideal, but at least I got it done.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution: 10 Steps to a Fitter You

The nice thing about the holidays is that they give us time to rest, hang out with family, and think.  I spent my time thinking about how to improve both this blog and my fitness training plan.  I've seen a gazillion articles this week about New Year’s resolutions and fitness, so I thought maybe it was time to write a General Fitness/New Year’s article, too.  I should note that my wife Sally helped me with this; about half the items listed below are hers.
Sally mugged it up before class on Sunday.
Sorry the shot is blurry.  That's my fault for taking exactly one picture.
Sally works in fitness, but I'm like you.  I'm trying to manage my weight and my health at the same time that I'm working and raising a family.  I'm lucky, though.  I grew up with a father who took the time to teach me how to run and lift weights, and I got involved in competitive swimming at an early age.  This gives me an excellent base from which to build lifelong fitness.  I'm still busy, though, and I still find staying fit a challenge.  I envy folks for whom vigorous exercise is a part of their basic job functions.  For the rest of us, staying healthy is an important part of our daily lives; it’s just not easy.
You can abuse your body all you like.  In time, though, your body will abuse you back.  More importantly, kids become their parents.  If you want happy, healthy kids, you have to model a happy, healthy lifestyle.
So… how do you get in shape for the New Year?
There’s not just one way, of course, but there are a few basic things you can do to help yourself succeed.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Sketch in My Notebook: The Return of Dr. Necropolis--Chapter 15 (Part 2)

Frank McGuinness, the man who was once the notorious super-criminal Dr. Necropolis, escaped from Sing Sing Correctional Facility, robbed a bank, and got away with it.  He took a hostage named Chelsea.  Meanwhile, his former partner, the Russian super-criminal known only as the Siberian Tiger, resurfaced after years underground, with both Frank's ex-wife, Gun Girl Gracie, on his arm and Frank's greatest creation, the Neural Disruptor, wrapped around his head.

Against them stand Army Lieutenant Blaine Winters, the 
new Centurion of the N.Y. State National Guard's Enhanced Forces Division (EFD), and FBI Agent Tiffany Trujillo, once the superhero Titania. These two went with a SWAT team to confront the Siberian Tiger and Gun Girl Gracie at a bank heist in Brooklyn, but they got their asses kicked. Tiffany wound up in the hospital, a bunch of SWAT officers died, and Blaine would have died too if not for the prodigious gifts associated with his extraordinary genetic heritage.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Training Log: Dec. 28th to Jan. 3rd (Week 1)

It's a new year, and I'm trying to set myself up to make some progress.

I'm not sure what I'm doing, exactly, in terms of races.  I still have to set a few goals.  However, in terms of working out, I'm hoping to get into the gym twice per week, swim twice per week, and run twice per week.  I don't know that this will prepare me to do anything in particular, but it seems like a decent way to work, and I've been enjoying being back in the gym.  I've also been teaching my daughter how to lift weights, and that's been both fun and rewarding.

We'll see how it goes.

Friday, January 1, 2016

5 Things on a Friday: We’re STILL Talking Star Wars

Happy New Year, folks!
If you haven't read "Blog in Review: Top 20 Posts of 2015", go do that now.
We’re still talking Star Wars here, so if you haven’t seen the movie, there are **spoilers** after the jump.  I mention this because my buddy Ray is stationed in Africa right now, and he’s as big a nerd as anyone.  However, they still weren’t showing the film at his tiny desert outpost last I heard.