Rants, Musings, Opinions

Greetings,

Settling into a nice quiet groove in the new house. There honestly isn’t much left to do. The leaves are almost all down and been blown back into the woods, lawn is manicured, I refuse to use my weed whacker. Note, buy new one in spring. Cord of firewood stacked and seasoning. Going to have to put away deck furniture soon, but it was 65 yesterday and I sat out there and had a cold beer and admired the end of the fall foliage.

I’m not coaching basketball because the 9th graders play JV. Playing soccer Wednesday nights and basketball Thursday nights. So my crazy loud summer is now a quiet autumn. Which leaves me time to contribute to this blog which I have been neglecting.

Let’s catch up:
Diet: Atrocious. Low to mid 190’s, all in abdomen. I cannot stop eating right now. Today is the day we are reeling it in. Son’s birthday was Friday and wailed on Chinese food plus beer. Is there any better food coma inducing combination than this? Finished the food off last night. I figure it’s now or never. If I go to Thanksgiving and fat season where I am now, the 200 lb. mark will be hit. My all time high was 203 and change and it wasn’t pretty. I’m a salt guy. Love candy, but hate the way sugar feels in my stomach. Favorite sweet vice is doughnuts. The problem with working from home is the cupboard is always yelling for me. Need to drink more water. On the days I don’t drink water, I eat too much. Goal 183-185 by Thanksgiving. Fasting Monday.

Workouts: Good, decided to do the Rite of Passage with rows. My pull-up bar is too narrow for the width of the doorways in my house. Did heavy day all 5 ladders with a 70. Piece of cake. Did 11 getups on each side with an 88. Still can’t figure out why I can’t press the thing for one rep. Did easy day, strict 70 lbs.presses, no sweat. Decided on medium day Friday to do cleans and presses with double 70’s. Boom got all 50 reps and then did 240 one hand swings in 11 minutes. My options are to A. do heavy day with doubles or B. do the ladders in a 2,3,5,8 range. The problem with option B is my fingers callouses will explode from all the friction. Option A is what I’m going to try. Go heavy or go home. Yesterday, practiced my snatching 13 sets of 5 each side, no timer, just worked on the drop. Then ran 3.6 miles, then alternated 20 sets of 10 88 lb. swings with 50 jumps of the rope. My conditioning is there, just need to harness the diet.

Sports: Been into the baseball playoffs and enjoying the World Series. I’m rooting for the Royals. Two reasons, American League guy. Second, Red Sox are the only team to win 3 championships this century. If the Giants win, they’d be tied. I don’t hate the Giants, I like them, I just don’t want them to win. That being said, Hunter Pence is the MVP 4 games in. Absolutely raking right now. He is so gross to watch play, he fascinates me. Wears his socks WAY too high. I’m a huge proponent of showing the sock, but over the knee? His swing is awful, he only wears one batting glove. He side arms the ball from the outfield. His old school schtick is trying to hard. Plus, he went from clean cut to looking like the lead singer from the Spin Doctors.

The biggest mistake a team would make is signing Pablo Sandoval long term. He’s enormous and only going to get bigger. Plus he’s injury prone. I know San Francisco is a mecca for fine dining, but between Sandoval and the two relievers, do they have a nutritionist on the payroll? Right now, I’d fit well on that team. Royals are a nice story I saw Danny Duffy pitch at Fenway this year and was surprised with how poorly he pitched last night.

Can we stop with the it’s so different managing in the National League?  Harold Reynolds was bringing up this tired conversation Saturday night.  The pitcher hits, no shit, you might not want him up in a scoring situation.  I’ve been hearing about this since 1975.  He’s adding about as much value as Erin Andrews in the booth.

The referees in the NFL need to be reeled in with the holding and pass interference calls. Hand checking is now an illegal contact foul. Even when the calls go for the Patriots, I’m embarrassed by the bad calls. The only team in the NFL allowed to run a pick play is Denver. They look tough right to beat right now. I’m not buying the Cowboys, they’ll find a way to screw it up. I want to see the Colts play a real team on the road before I start expounding on their brilliance. The league is terrible right now. The AFC South, NFC South are awful. So many bad teams. You never know what you’re going to get with the Lions, Bears, Steelers, and Saints. So glad I started Brady and Gronk on my fantasy team yesterday.  Chicago absolutely quit out there. How about Lamar Houston dancing after a sack down 25 points and injures his knee.  You can’t teach stupid.  Big game Sunday afternoon at the razor.  Broncos vs. Patriots.

Watched college football last night. What was Ole Miss doing not kicking the 47 yard field goal to tie? Always great seeing Michigan State whip Michigan, and Ohio State wail Penn State. Nice to see the wide receiver out with the porn star Lisa Ann in NY. Which begs the question…I know Notre Dame had a bye week, but where did this guy get the money to go to New York? Why isn’t he catching up on his studies? Oh yeah, Notre Dame is like every one else and his tutor is doing his work. Speaking of porn stars, Jenna Jameson is on Couples Therapy. She makes faces like the bride on Sixteen Candles after taking the muscle relaxers. Nice to see the years have been kind…

NBA starts this week. My fascination has been with the Lakers. The story this past week about players not wanting to play with Kobe Bryant and how he is the anchor that is keeping them down. Here’s my take on Kobe. Great player, one of the top 10-15 all time. But, also the biggest gunner who ever played. Has 5 rings, but never made anyone around him better. Great competitor, but you don’t chew out your teammates on the bench or in the press. A grade A sphincter as a teammate. And finally someone in the press says what I’ve thought all along. He’s due to collect $45 million over the next two years. I don’t begrudge the guy for taking the money, but he’s 75% of what he was. If I’m a coach of a team playing the Lakers, I’d say, let him get his 35 points and shut everyone else down. Steve Nash is soon to be 41 and is out for the year! And the Lakers are paying him $9.5M! Poor Steve Nash, he was going to retire, but…$9.5 M and he doesn’t want the ex wife to move to California because he’d have to pay higher child support. The Celtics will be lucky to win 25 games. I want to see the Cavaliers, they should be interesting.

Television: Watching Person of Interest, Gold Rush, Masters of Sex, Boardwalk Empire and House of Cards. Almost finished season 2 of House of Cards. Watch that and you’ll have less faith in Washington then you already have. Boardwalk Empire’s season finale is tonight. It has been terrific this year. I love how there is always one extremely violent scene each episode. Classic HBO formula, hour long program, lots of slow moments and dialogue, then boom, violence. You need to watch the post show interview to figure stuff out. Most of their drama shows have this. The Wire, Game of Thrones, Sopranos.

Started watching Master of Sex, first season. It’s good, not great. They could have done better casting Johnson. Lizzy Caplan doesn’t do it for me. When you have to ask the question, do you think she’s attractive, the answer is no. Michael Sheen is great as the dour Bill Belichekeque Masters. Have you seen two of the babes he’s pulled in real life? Kate Beckensale and Rachel McAdams. Unfortunately for him he’s stepped down to the ugly, unfunny Sarah Silverman.

Love Gold Rush, the perfect reality unwind show for a Friday night.  What’s not to like about Person of Interest?  Two hot chicks and violence perfect with some dry humorous writing.

Best of luck to all!  For the record, a  pet peeve is closing an email with “cheers” if you’re not British

Why Professional Football is like a Hot Dog and Why Women Should Lift Heavy

Greetings on the last day of summer. Today at quarter of seven it was 39 degrees outside, and yes there was frost on the lawn. Usually, the heat doesn’t’ go on until mid October, but it went on this morning. New house heats up nicely. Thankfully it’s getting into the 70’s today and the low 80’s tomorrow. The leaves are prematurely turning colors and “I’ve Got A Feeling..” as the Beatles sing, it’s going to be “a long cold lonely winter,” (Here Comes the Sun).

Have you ever noticed once every year or two, you take a step back and ask yourself, “is the world going crazy?” The NFL, ISIS, mid term elections, and the surgeon taking a photo of herself (not using that stupid word), in
Joan Rivers’ operating room. I’m only going to cover the NFL here.

The NFL, currently constituted is an absolute all around disgrace. It is one step above the WWE. It starts at the top. Roger Goodell is a complete joker as commissioner. He made $44 million dollars last year. Under his watch, you’ve had a murder suicide, a double murder, domestic violence on women and children, drug use, drunken driving deaths, one owner being arrested for drugs and another being accused of sexual assault. Now is he responsible for all this?, no. There are over 1000 players in the league and you are going to have some bad apples. However, strong leaders must face things head on, not cover up. He had an interview with a friendly network and was thrown softball questions. Krafty Bob, the Patriots owner went out there and embarrassed himself saying Goodell had done an excellent job. He is doing an excellent job of printing money for the owners. But when morality comes into play he is failing. He should step down for the good of the game but won’t. I wouldn’t either to tell you the truth. For once I agree with that obnoxious blowhard moon bat Keith Olbermann.

Football, actually professional and major college sports in general, are like hot dogs. Everyone loves hot dogs, you don’t want to know how they’re made. You don’t want to know the inner workings of organizations. Players are treated like pieces of meat. Don’t believe me? Read the article last year on Oklahoma State’s college football team. Over 60% of all NFL players are broke 5 years after they retire. They are crippled from playing. On disability, have post traumatic stress disorder from too many concussions. You don’t hear about a lot of former NBA and major league baseball players dying in their 40’s, but you get one former wrestler or football player every two months.

The owners don’t care, and the press covers up for them more than they do Obama, if that’s possible. The Patriots have their own newspaper called Patriots Football Weekly. On one of the local sports channels, they have a show with the 3 writers during the season. I refuse to watch it. Why? Complete lack of objective journalism. Housemen. Remember when Peter King was a good writer? As George sings with the Traveling Wilbury’s “overexposed, commercialized.” He’s a pathetic mouthpiece now. Unreadable, unlistenable, holier than thou with his “the team in Washington” The Krafts do it here in Boston and they’re some of the better owners in the league. But don’t tell me they are pillars of society.

I have season tickets to the Patriots, and was supposed to go this Sunday. I sold them to my brother. I don’t want to put money in their pockets. I park at a private lot, I’m the guy without the Brady jersey. Funny seeing my father strut around Naples in his #12 Patriots game jersey. Never owned one, never will. I used to catch heat from my buddies about not having a team jersey. I used to tell them, you can’t do that once you hit 30. I’m not getting arrested by the fashion police.

The games have no flow. It’s gotten to the “I was watching a commercial and a football game broke out” territory. Too many penalties, too many injuries. The players are too big, and too fast. I was watching the Dolphins kick the stuffing out of the Patriots and the Saints and Falcons were on the other station. At least 6 times both stations had simultaneous commercials. Touchdown and Extra Point, commercial. Kickoff into the end zone, commercial, hand off, 2 yard gain, injury commercial. During the Patriots/Vikings game, there was one play over a span of 9 minutes. I learned two things last year. The total amount of action over a 60 minute football game which lasts 3:15 is about 11 minutes. Secondly, Tom Brady throws the ball about 50 miles per hour. I watch the Patriots and that’s it. No 7 hours in front of the TV for me.

The domestic situation in the NFL is beneath contempt. You never hit women, period. Second, you never hit a child. Period. Third, Wear a condom, if not pull out, period. Willis McGahee (the worst fantasy football running back of all time) has 10 kids from 8 different mothers. Adrian Peterson, Antonio Cromartie have multiple children from at least 3 different mothers. The street/rap culture which glorifies keeping your bitches and ‘hos in line and violence is to blame. Just the facts.

Another blogger wrote about the decline in Pop Warner and youth football to soccer and specializing in one sport. Good, I say. I’m way too scared of concussions to have my sons play. I’ve seen their friends, have concussions, break arms and legs. I was speaking with my cousin, who was a successful high school QB, actually held the record for most Super Bowl touchdowns in a game in the state. He is reluctantly letting his 11 year old play. He said he didn’t start until the 7th grade, but because his older son is playing high school ball, his younger son begged him and he gave in. The problem with starting too young is that a lot of kids don’t learn how to be aggressive until they get to be 11 or 12. I have an 11, soon to be 12 year old who is big for his age and a good athlete. He is finally learning to be aggressive. You have younger kids who are aggressive and when they collide with a child who is not, injuries happen. I remember a basketball game where I had my son cover a bigger kid who was a year older. The kid mauled him, my son held his ground, but came to the sidelines in tears. He was the only kid big enough to cover him so he got the bad matchup. I can see this happening more in football a contact sport than basketball which is non contact.

I’ve been continuing with the volume days / heavy days with the kettlebells. On the volume side, I’m up to 8 sets x 8 reps. So on Monday and Tuesdays I’m doing 32 sets. BORING… However it’s working because on my heavy days, I’ve set personal records on the deadlift 22 reps w/ 88’s, double swings 15 reps w/ 88’s, rows and presses, 16 reps w/ 70’s. On other days, I’ve been doing some running, playing basketball, farmers walks, low volume snatches.

This fall I’m doing indoor soccer on Wednesday nights and basketball on Thursdays. Last week played basketball for the first time and played well. Knocked down 18 footers which made me happy. Played 5 games. On Friday morning, my knee joints ached. I’ll probably be in a wheelchair come December, but playing is fun. I haven’t been watching my diet at all. Hanging around 190 and sipping a Budweiser as I write. A great beer that I picked up is the Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA. 8% alcohol, nice kick you in the teeth pale ale.

Worked out with my wife this morning and sermonized her about the benefits of lifting heavy weights. She’s in great shape and is an avid runner but does little strength work. Doesn’t like it, but is getting stale in her workouts. So we trained together. She’s one of those people, who when she lifts, can get ripped really quickly. (I’m envious of it) A couple of years ago, she did the getup/swing challenge and it was noticeable. She can TGU a 35 and does swings with a 45. I told her she needed to lift heavier and build her strength.

Ladies, if you are still reading this, or most likely tuned me out in the 3rd paragraph of my football rant, you need to lift heavy weights in GOOD FORM. You’re not going to get bulky. Stronger leads to heavier weight which leads to more muscle which leads to less fat. Here is what I had her do. I took an idea from my kettlebell brother in arms, ex jar head, Tommy Rambo and implemented it. Take a 12kg kettle bell, hold it by the horns. Press it straight overhead, then do a goblet squat, then one lunge left, one lunge right. That’s one rep. Do 5 reps. Do 5 sets of this. I had her alternate it with deadlifts with the 88. Yes, darlings, an 88 isn’t too heavy. She did 5 sets of 5. Said it really hit the glutes. Then, we did swings. I used the 88, she used a 62 lb. 10 sets of 10, rest to the top of each minute. Explode with the hips. Less reps but using more effort. She didn’t hate it, like she thought, once it was over, but said that it got her heart rate up high. I think 3 days of this and 3 days of running would be a great program for her.

Me and my conscience will enjoy the Patriots game tomorrow, just going to avoid the rest of the noise.

Back To Reality And Ranking the 32 NFL Quarterbacks

We had a tremendous time in Aruba.  What an terrific place!  92 degrees and a nice 15 mile per hour warm breeze.  We stayed in downtown Oranjestad at the Renaissance.  It was all inclusive and they shuttled you to a private island with two sides.  Family and adults only.  Beautiful beach, beach service and an outdoor bar.  Yours truly would get an ice bucket of 4 Balashi beers and sip them while I read my book.  Finished Trinity which was tremendous and then jumped into Leon Uris’ first book, Battle Cry about World War II.  Finished it in 4 days, might be better than Trinity.  Yes, I did work out.  They had a gym there.  Two days I did some dumbbell complexes of Military Press, Squats, Rows, Pushups.  I ran on the treadmill for 2-3 miles.  Other days I did 200 pushups and went for a run outside.  Gained only two pounds and I was pretty much in double figures every day with cocktails.  

I loved drinking my morning coffee at the pool.  Never looked at the clock, or my email.  Didn’t text, telephone or email the whole time there.  Brought my laptop and had free Wi-Fi, never used the internet either.  What I didn’t like was two things.  A lot of people smoke there, but not indoors and I don’t like gambling anymore.  I stated in the last post, I was looking forward to it.  Threw $30 in a video poker machine didn’t get better than a Full House. At least I got a free Dewar’s on the rocks out of it.  

One thing I would say is, if you’re looking for a party, Aruba isn’t the place, But a great vacation in the Caribbean with super friendly un-pushy people, lots of restaurants (went to El Gaucho’s) out of the hurricane belt, then you’ll love it.  It’s a desert island on the sea. I also developed a liking for running again.  

New house is at the bottom of a valley in a cul-de-sac.  Cell phone reception is so poor, we’re getting a free network extender.  Being in the valley, is like running in the mountains.  I have a 3.5 mile course which is so hilly that it’s like running 6.  First 1/2 mile straight up hill, then it levels off for a 1/2 mile.  Then you have a choice take a left straight downhill or take a right and go up a steep hill.  If you take a left going downhill, you’ll pay the toll about a mile away.  Steep hill back into the neighborhood that is a 1/3 mile long.  The good news is once you’re done, it’a pretty much downhill.  Go straight and you get to run down this black diamond ski slope.  However, you’ll pay for the next mile which grades upward.  Either way it’s not a lot of fun.  At least the last 1/2 mile is downhill.  Got it?  I’ve done it 5 times so far.  Put the tunes on and jam to the Beatles.  I’m the dork sha la la-ing to Baby It’s You.  Though I was happy yesterday to jam to the Rolling Stones’ song, Star Fucker.  My wife and dog have gone with me a couple of times.

Kettlebell workouts are going as planned. Heavy doubles.  No sooner did I write what I was going to do, Mike Mahler put out a similar workout where you have 2 volume days and 2 heavy days.  Volume is 8 sets of 5, when you can do it add a rep.  Heavy day is the 5/3/1 3 x 3 workout.  2 sets of 3, rep out 3rd set.  Using my 88’s for deadlifts, double swings, and then on heavy days rows, as well as one hand swings.  Sets of 15.  For presses, I’m using 55’s and 70’s.  I’ve lost strength in my press.  Doing 70 x 3 is my max right now.  Last winter, I did 7 reps, now, barely can squeak out 3.  I’m going to start greasing the groove with 5 sets of 2 throughout the day.

NFL season is upon us.  After reading two powderpuff pieces in Sports Illustrated on Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, i decided to rate the starting QB’s for each team, ranked 1 through 32.  Two phrases I can’t stand are “elite quarterback,” and “game manager.”  As in, is Eli Manning an elite quarterback?”  Or “Alex Smith is a quality game manager.”  So this is from my eye test and some simple statistics.  No QB rating, none of that crap.

1. Tom Brady  This is his 15th season in the league and 14th as a starter.  Not counting 2008 when he was injured in the first game, he’s been to 5 Super Bowls and 8 AFC championship games.  8 out 13 full seasons.  And other than Randy Moss, Gronk, and Welker, who has had more hot garbage for receivers?  He had nothing last year.  Go ahead, hate all you want, who would you want to start the Super Bowl, him or Peyton Manning?  

2. Peyton Manning  Great comeback from his neck surgery, and had a terrific year.  Has put up some ungodly statistics.  Not the best playoff qb, if this was based on regular season, I’ll take him over the San Mateo kid.  But, he’s had some real bad playoff games, and has had much more talent for receivers.  Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison are Hall of Fame candidates

3.  Aaron Rogers  I love this kid.  His back end throws to Jordy Nelson are awesome to watch.  Right now he’s more like 1C.  Can run with the ball as well.  He’ll go down in the top 10 of all time.

4.  Drew Brees  Thank you to the Miami Dolphins for failing him on a physical so I didn’t have to watch him torture the Patriots hot garbage secondary of years past.  Spreads the ball around well.  Used to love watching him at Purdue

5.  Ben Roethlisberger Big, tough and is at his most dangerous on broken plays.  You can’t bring him down.  He’s going to have issues when he gets older in that he’s taken a lot of hits.  Has 2 rings, didn’t play great in one of them, but excellent.

6.  Cam Newton  Saw him live last year.  Big, fast great arm.  And Carolina let all his receivers go.  It’s going to be a long year.

7.  Matt Stafford  This guy has top 5 talent, but rumor has it, he’s not as committed.  I remember him throwing for 400 yards without any TD’s  Has Megatron, Calvin Johnson, that never hurt

8.  Andrew Luck  And he’s only going to get better!  3rd year in the league, weak division, I expect big things.  Not the best looking buck to strut down the pike.

9. Joe Flacco His numbers (except his salary) will not wow you, but the former Blue Hen is a winner with a big arm.  Steve Smith will help his cause

10.  Philip Rivers  Great competitor, hot head, but throws a lot of TD’s  He can play on my team anytime.

11.  Matt Ryan  Has had an excellent career, but couldn’t overcome  the Julio Jones injury.  Other knock is never trust a Boston College alumnus in crunch time.  The last big moment was David Gordon hitting the field goal against Notre Dame in South Bend back in 1993.

12. Russell Wilson  Had a nice year last year, and makes the plays when he has to.  Good wheels as well.

13. Tony Romo If football was like hockey and only had 3 periods, he’d be a hall of famer, alas, in cruch time, hand the ball off

14.  Colin Kaepernick  When he finds consistent accuracy, he rocket up this list.  Big arm, great wheels.  Don’t look at the ink, look at the rest of the package.

15.  Nick Foles  Came out of nowhere last year in Chip Kelley’s offense and had under 5 picks.  If the line can keep him erect, with the running game the Eagles have, it will be another fine year

16.  Eli Manning  On the back 9 of his career.  Had a terrible year last year and looked worse in the preseason.  Classic drop back throw it 20 down the field.  Has 2 rings.  That’s the only reason he’s this high.  Threw over 20 picks last year

17.  Jay Cutler  Great arm, horrible mechanics.  Terrible body language.  Has top 10 talent.  Good looking wife scores him some points.  A poor man’s Jeff George

18.  Alex Smith  A boring quarterback with a boring head coach who plays not to lose.  Best thing 49ers did was let him go.  

19  Andy Dalton  The Red Rifle is 0-3 in the playoffs.  Did the Bengals brain trust watch the playoff game last year vs. the Chargers before they signed him to that big contract?  Absolutely brutal.  He should give half his money to AJ Green.

20.  Ryan Tannehill  Two years in the league and improving, if only he can survive the Dolphin offensive line overhaul

21.  Robert Griffin III  A one read quarterback with a bum knee.  Too worried about what the haters think vs the coaches.  Needs to learn to stay in the pocket and go through his progressions.  

22.  Josh McCown  The Bucs expect big things for Josh.  Lots of weapons around him.  We’ll see if last year was a fluke.

23.  Carson Palmer  Carson Palmer was a top 10 QB with the Bengals until he blew out his knee.  He was never the same after that and always good for an interception or two a game.  He’s played for the three worst owners in the NFL.  Mike Brown, a game has passed him by Al Davis, and now Bill Bidwell.  Retired until he was traded only to play for Oakland.

24.  Matt Cassel  Inconsistent, a seat holder for Teddy Bridgewater.  Has some weapons.

25  Chad Henne, the perfect seat holder for Blake Bortles.  A 4-12 team, do you really care about the soon to be back up QB?

26.  Ryan Fitzpatrick  A poor man’s Carson Palmer right down to the red beard.  Will play great and then kill you with interceptions.  Backup city.

27.  Jake Locker  Can’t stay on the field, hasn’t developed the way the Titans hoped when they drafted him in the 1st round.  Classic reach because you need a QB

28.  Geno Smith  We’ll see in the 2nd year.  In his defense he had no one to throw to.  Adding Eric Decker helps. Did beat the Patriots last year.  

29.  Shaun Hill  Brings experience after the Rams lost Sam Bradford to a knee injury again.  

30.  EJ Manuel  Rough first year, has some guys to throw to.  Passing in Buffalo in November and December doesn’t help the cause.  A warm weather guy going to the tundra.  

31.  Brian Hoyer  Forget the Manziel talk until he stops pretending he’s Brett Favre in his Falcon days.  Hoyer did well before he blew out his knee.  I think offensively it’s going to be a long year in Cleveland

32.  Derek Carr  Has had a good preseason.  Hopefully he doesn’t get shellshocked by the pass rush like his brother.

Thank God for Tom Brady, you can have everyone else after Eli.  Let the arguing begin!

 

Ready Set Aruba!

The light at end of the tunnel of the world’s craziest summer has finally appeared!  After a trip to Naples, Denver, coaching 2 baseball teams, working and moving out of one house and into another, I’m almost free.  We close on the old house tomorrow, and Friday…. ARUBA!  Can’t wait to relax and do nothing except sit on a beach, drink beer and finish reading what might be the best book ever.  Trinity by Leon Uris.   500 pages into the 900 page epic novel about Ireland at the turn of the 19th century.

Baseball, my younger son’s team got knocked out of the all star playoffs early.  My older son’s team went to the finals.  Double elimination, we beat the team once, then the next week, my best players went on vacation, we got killed 14-2, I called the other coach an asshole for stealing bases up 10 runs, and the next night with only 7 kids forfeited.  Great experience and we had a lot of fun. One game, I told the kids, find a position.  My son pitched for the first time on the big diamond.  2 innings, did well. 

Travel.  Naples was a good time under shitty circumstances, father is better but still needs a procedure.  Denver was a crazy time.  Went to Coors Field to see the Rockies and Nationals.  Both Bryce Harper and Troy Tulowitzski were out.  Fun city, went to breakfast at some joint Guy Fieri visitied.  (Love how his name is Ferry and he greases it up).  98 degrees both days, but I like Denver.

Workouts  Finished week 6 of Herky Jerky and completely finished Lucky 13, Oh Row You Don’t and Clean ‘Em Up from More Kettlebell Muscle.  Heavy day of Clean’em Up is brutal.  I managed to get 2 of the 6 rounds with all 14 press reps.  Oh Row was easy.  On some easy days, I used 55’s and 70’s.  Love Lucky 13, simple and to the point.  Herky Jerky, I do as a chain and after Lucky 13, the Jerks really tire me out.  Some days, I substituted, double swings for snatches because of my hands and humidity.  Used 45’s for the most part and what I noticed was how quickly I was able to recover when I cut the rest periods down.  By week 5, I really noticed the difference.  

I’ve been kind of cheating this week however.  While trimming my yard, was the recipient of a poison ivy like rash on my forearms.  The hair dryer, which was orgasmic, was the only solution but it was frying my skin.  Went to the doctor and was put on high doses of prednisone.  Voila, but not without side effects.  First the good;  My workouts have been incredible!  I did all the reps, my recovery became even shorter and instead of resting say 90 seconds, rested 75.  Basically set world records in a time density format.  Charles Staley would be proud.  Now the bad.  It gave me ‘roid rage.  I was on edge, flying off the handle, couldn’t sit still.  As I lower the dosage, it’s 180 degrees and I’m in complete feel good mode.

I’m going back to heavy kettlebell training for a month or two when I get back from vacation.  The plan which I made in my head while wide awake at 4 in the morning, wired from prednisone

Day 1 Double Military Press alternated with Pullups  Followed with Squats and Double Snatches 

10 sets of 2-5  70’s for presses and squats, 55’s for Double Snatches

Day 2  Floor Press alternated with Double Rows.  Deadlifts and Double Swings  70’s for the floor press, 88’s for the other 3. I’ll do these twice a week.  Going to finish Herky Jerky on the other days.

Weight, good 183-185.  Good enough, have had diet under control recently, though have only done a 40 hour fast once in the last month.  But daily about 16-18 hours.

Move:  Where to begin.  We moved into our new house on 7/31.  I really like it even though it has its quirks.  Cellphone reception is lousy because we’re in a valley.  We needed to call a plumber.  We need to call an electrician because the jacuzzi tub is haunted and goes on by itself.  I can’t believe how much walking I do, it’s 3900 sq. ft.  My wife has been the MVP.  She did ALL the packing, a lot of unpacking put the house all together, decorated, spackled and touched up wall in the old house, dealt with movers, insurance issues and every other administrative nuisance you can imagine.  I always thought headhunting was a tough job.  Realtors and originators have it much worse.  Way too many flies in the ointment.  I’ve unpacked, cleared out the garage and shed of old house.  Set up garage in new house, trimmed 22 bushes, shrubs.  Cut down about 100 tree branches around my yard to bring more sunlight and get rid of overhang.  Weeded all the beds and transferred firewood from one house to other with a buddy’s pickup.  The funny thing is nothing went smooth.  We moved furniture around in the basement until we finally got it right.   Hanging a tv took me over 2 hours.  Brand new refrigerator has a broken water dispenser.  King size mattress is being delivered next week.  However, It finally feels like home.  We close on old house tomorrow, then….

ARUBA.  One full week, all inclusive on a private adults only beach.  Located my leopard skin speedo and will be counting the freckles on my Irish ass by Noon Friday.  We are really looking forward to it, after celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary this month.  Even though it’s busy, it’s been a great summer.  Had a great Saturday in Boston with the family.  Skateboarding on Long Wharf, drink at Tia’s, dinner in the North End and Red Sox game at Fenway.  $125 seats, thanks cousin Ryan!  They won too.  Next week, boating in Boston Harbor out to Hull from the Jeffries Yacht Club with friends.  So although insane, and not your normal summer here, we’ve had fun doing different things.  Haven’t been to Newport or Wellfleet (the Cape doesn’t begin until you hit Chatham)  That’s the elbow for you people trying to picture it geographically.

I’ve been so absorbed in all this, that the Frigidaire repair man told my Robin Williams died.  I’m so glad I don’t battle depression.  I can’t even opine on this.  What I realized is I need to be grateful.  As I was in a rage Tuesday, I kept saying, “what do I have to complain about?”  Nothing, honestly. It could all change tomorrow.

More Kettlebell Muscle is fantastic, now time to go heavy.  Still 5 weeks of summer left.  And the water is getting warmer up here.  I’ll be at a beach in New England soon, but not before Aruba.  I’m also going to play a little blackjack.  Looking forward to it as I haven’t played cards since a cruise 3 years ago.  Hopefully there won’t be some numb nuts splitting 10’s.  Cheerio!

 

 

 

I’m Back

I think this has been the longest stretch since I’ve been blogging without a post, and with good reason.  I’ve been coaching two baseball teams, working full time, and getting ready to move.  Those addends create the sum of zero time.  I have been doing More Kettlebell Muscle using 4 different workouts.  One focuses on the clean, one on the jerk, one on the lunge and one on the row.  I’m in week 4 of them all, but I’m going to cut the programs to two.  Throw in an emergency trip to Florida for 6 days to see my father in the hospital, add a trip to Denver next week, and you can appreciate the insanity.

With the kettlebells, I’ve put my ego aside and am using the 45’s.  The complexes are great for conditioning as I ran 5 miles twice down in the Florida heat with no breathing issues.  The issue I’m having is all the programs have the squat in them.  I’ve been squatting too much and my knee joints have been barking a little.  So yesterday, I decided to do an old standby workout.  200 snatches, sets of 5 each side, resting to the top of each minute for 20 minutes.  Form was rock solid, the 55 was going up nice, conditioning felt great, until…set 18.  3rd rep dropped from the top, pinched the callous below my index finger, did another rep, felt the skin get loose but not break and put the bell down. Blood blister, and an ugly one too.  It doesn’t hurt but quite the eye sore on the palm of my hand.  Taking today off.  My upper back behind my traps are sore so I did something right.  I’ve learned the error of my ways, high volume snatching in humid weather requires a lot of chalk.  Chalk completely dries out your hands which makes the skin a little vulnerable.  I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

My son’s 11 year old all star team got knocked out yesterday and the season is finally over.  He came into pitch with a 6-3 lead and gave up 3 runs.  Walked only one, just got hit.  One of the other coaches asked me if I was nervous watching him.  “No way, I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”  He’s 11 and tried his best.  He has no control over what happens once he lets go of the ball so why not enjoy?  I wasn’t able to make a lot of the all star games because I was head coaching a 14-15 year old Babe Ruth team, but I saw enough.  We blew a 6 run lead.  The other team put in an 11 year old that was literally 6’1” 180 lbs.  Threw gas and threw strikes.  My son fouled off a couple and then took strike 3.  I said, “you had him timed, why did you take strike 3?”  The opponents fans were obnoxious, chanting, singing, etc.  I started getting worked up when we lost, but thankfully, didn’t lower myself and express poor sportsmanship.  One of the other team’s mothers started lecturing me during a pitching change when I was coaching first base about pitch counts, and how could we let a kid throw over 100 pitches.  i said, “why 100?  what is so magic about that number vs, say 90 or 110?”  No answer for me, then I told her we watch the mechanics and can tell whether the pitcher is getting tired.  I didn’t tell her that on my Babe Ruth team, pitchers finish games.  One kid struck out 15 and threw 121, another has thrown 110 and 105 and another threw 112.  I’m like Billy Martin with the 1980 Oakland A’s.  I feel it lets the kids know I have faith in them and it teaches them how to pitch the right way.

In my opinion, the reason there are so many injuries is 1. Kids pitch all year round.  You need to rest, just like working out.   2.  Because of pitch counts, they don’t pace themselves.  So instead of using your fielders, every pitch is max effort.  That’s why there are a lot more strikeouts, because, everyone throws hard these days.  The pitch count is the problem not the solution.  How in 1974 did pitchers well over 250 innings a year, pitch on 3, not 4 days rest, smoke, drink, carouse and get in shape in spring training?  And even though there were arm problems, there were a lot less.

The Babe Ruth team has been a blast.  The kids are funny, we’re good 11-3, my son has been hitting well and I enjoy the banter.  One kid whom I’ve coached for years was sitting the first couple of innings.  He then says, “Coach, my self esteem is hurt sitting on the bench while my friends are playing.”  He also spent $80 on his girlfriend for her birthday.  I explained to him, 8th grade girlfriends are for catching your lips on their braces when you kiss them, not spend $80.  He’s also the best cross country runner for his age in New England, yet has a bad back from running.  I told him he should take the month off.  His track coach has different ideas, I said, “what’s he going to do, bench you?  He’ll be a freshman for goodness sake, with back issues?  Towards the end of the season, I told the kids, go out to a position, and play it.  My older son pitched and caught for the first time since little league and enjoyed it.  Has a nice curve and a knuckleball.  Surprised me, as he played tennis this spring.

Went down to Florida, my father was seriously ill.  Thank God, he’s better and going home today.  He still needs a procedure, but it will wait for a month.  Seeing him in that state was a shock.  In spite of the bad circumstances, actually had a good time, went to the beach with my brother.  Out drinking and to dinner and golfing.  Surprisingly, I still really suck at golf.  I was done by hole 14.

Was delayed on the plane trip to and fro. That’s 11 flights this year, delayed on 8.  Ah domestic air travel.  Jet Blue wanted me to pick my seat, all were $70 upgrades, so I waited to get assigned at the gate.  Last row in the middle next to a 300 lb. dude.  Good times.  Non-stop, unless you’re going to a remote island, the word “connection” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary.  On a plane to Denver a week from today.  Then in mid August going with the Misses to Aruba.  The Goldman Sachs Guide to Air Travel is a good internet read.  One of my other favorite lines is if you’re afraid of flying listen to Britney Spears before the flight, no one is destined to die like that.  

Have you noticed there are commercials that are so annoying, you’d never buy the product.  I can think of 5 that come to mind that I would rather go without than give them my business just because they’ve annoyed me.  

I’ll take the Germans today in the World Cup thank you.  Holland completely outplayed Argentina but lost on kicks.  Brazil absolutely quit on their fans in the 7-1 game.  

Stated reading Leon Uris’ Trinity in Florida.  100 pages in and just terrific.  I had read QB VII 20 years ago and just haven’t picked him back up.  I grabbed Battle Cry and Exodus while I was at it.  

Why Sunday is the Best Day of the Week

I’m sitting here on a quiet Sunday morning knowing I have to post something for you: my subscribers and readers whose workouts and lives are predicated on every word I write  While enjoying my 8 o’clock coffee (black, the only way to drink it because you get the full taste of the beans), I realized how much I enjoy Sundays.  Yes, tomorrow is Monday, but it’s Memorial Day and that means 3 day weekend!  Sunday is the best day of the week, as long as you’re not too hungover from imbibing on Saturday.  Also, living in the present Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest and leisure, so why even think of Monday?  Lionel Ritchie and the Commodores had it right singing “Easy Like Sunday Morning.”  I just can’t figure out, how he has such a messed up troll like Nicole for a daughter.  She literally gives me the chills when I see her.  Anyway let’s stay positive.

Here are some reasons why Sunday rocks

1.  It’s a beginning: Last week is over, you can start a whole new life and make resolutions that you’ll never keep just like New Year’s Day (I’m succeeding so well in resolving to quit swearing and being more gentle and patient)

2.  No rush:  Unless you’re one of those parents who have your child in AAU sports or hockey, you can get up, relax and think about what you can do today.  For me, at 8:30, I have the WHOLE day in front of me.  And there are plenty of options to choose from.

3.  Celebrate the Lord:  I haven’t been going to Mass, just not feeling it, plus, I was more of a Saturday afternoon and get it over with.  I have always had this family fantasy of going to Mass then going out to dinner from there.  it’s never happened.  I guess some fantasies are best left in your mind.

4.  Sunday Paper:  Yes, people are getting away from it and using the internet.  But I’m not a great internet reader.  More of a skimmer, and you can’t take your laptop to the can to read the Sunday Baseball Notes.  Plus you get the Sunday crossword puzzle with great themes and clues.  A few weeks back there was a puzzle with a song/kitchen theme.  Here are a couple that stood out.

Clue 22 Across

Paul McCartney singing that he doesn’t care how you cook in the kitchen?

Answer

Live and Let Fry  (I shouldn’t have to explain it, but instead of Live and Let Die). Clever no?

Or Beach Boys singing about the San Francisco Treat?

Answer

Wouldn’t It Be Rice (Wouldn’t I be Nice)

Coupons, I found my new house in the Open Houses section.  The bride doesn’t like the ink stains I leave.  The paper is also good for firestarter for the grill and fireplace.  (As much as I love the smell of lighter fluid, I’ve gone to a charcoal chimney)

5.  Sports:  NFL in the fall, baseball in the summer.  Final rounds of golf tournaments.  Tailgating at the Patriots, going from coffee to beer at 9 AM.

6.  Grilling Sunday dinner:  I love sitting on my patio, and cooking on the grill.  Steaks, brisket, ribs, anything.  I’ve been souping up the bride about getting a ceramic or steel kamado cooker like the Big Green Egg.  She’s not amused by it.  Weber Silver Charcoal grill $89, Big Green Egg, $1200.  Man needs his toys.

7.  Sunday afternoon cocktails:  As my buddy Billy says, the best beers are on Sunday afternoon.  And they really taste good after a Patriot win, or on the patio or in front of the fireplace while spending time with my wife or reading a book with a glass of scotch

8.  Playing sports with the kids:  Baseball, basketball, getting spanked in tennis.  Their basketball games were on Sunday afternoons.  Coaching and watching.

9.  Workouts:  I like using Sunday as a free form day.  Doing exercises or activities that aren’t in the rotation.  Running with my wife and dog, sprints, jumping rope.  Farmers carries, maybe do a snatch test (that’s kettlebells) get your mind out of the gutter.

10.   Impromptu get togethers at my next door neighbors’ pool:  I’m going to miss this when we move.  They are great people and give us carte blanche on their pool.

11.  New episodes of Mad Men and Game of Thrones:  If you’ve watched either of these shows, there are no explanations necessary.

12.  Beach day:  Newport, Naples, Wellfleet.  What’s more fun than a Sunday at the beach?

And on Sunday night, there shouldn’t be any dread of Monday.  If your job stinks, change it.  I did, and am much happier.

For my workouts I went back to basics and am doing Escalated Density Training.  Workout day on, next day rest.  On rest days I’ve been taking the dog for a walk.

20 minutes

Double Military Press (Use 70’s) alternated with Double Rows (Use 88’s)

Rest 5 minutes

Double Front Squat (70’s) alternated with Double Swings (88’s)  I’ve started swinging inside the legs again to mix it up.  Again, get your mind out of the gutter, not that type of swinging….

Rest then do Turkish Get Ups with the 88 or Farmers carries.

The other day I do

20 minutes

Floor Press 70’s alternated with Pullups

Rest 5 minutes

15 minutes

Double 55 kettlebell reverse lunges alternated with Double 55 Snatches. This workout is an absolute body burial.  190 heartbeats per minutes when I was finished last time.

EDT has gotten my workouts back on track.  I’m in the second week of it.  I was completely having Kettlebell ADHD.  What did I want to do?  Cluster training? 5×5? MetCon?, Rite of Passage?  HIIT?  Russian Bear? Ladders?  I finally just said to my self, BVK, which program has always given you the most bang for your buck?  (Snatch, bang, swinging, who said kettlebells aren’t sexual?)  EDT, so I’m starting off the week with a bang doing EDT.

Enjoy your Sunday, because that’s my fun day, my I don’t have to run day….Was Prince a poet or what?  I know it’s the Bangles, but he wrote the song…

Back to Strong and other thoughts

It’s been over a month since I posted which might be kind of a record.  I ended up going on vacation and taking some time off from working out.  A well needed mental break.  I ran a couple of times to move some calories, but basically relaxed, ate steak, drank beer on the beach and didn’t touch a weight.  From Florida, I had to go to business in Dallas.  Had to fly American Airlines, which is the worst.  The last day in Texas, got out of our seminar early and tried to catch an earlier flight to Boston.  No seats, my buddy and I sat in the Dallas Fort Worth airport for 7 hours.  On top of that, the plane was delayed and our gate was moved from terminal  A to D which is a 10 minute tram ride.  Got home at 2 AM.  The good news is I slept the whole flight, but still, no seats on any flights, delayed departures and cramped planes.  American stunk in the mid 1990’s, they were one of the airlines on September 11 and it’s even worse today.  But it was the only direct flight out of Fort Myers.

I gained about 6 lbs. which I haven’t taken off yet.  My diet hasn’t been great lately and on top of that, I’ve had a hard time getting back into working out.  I’m doing it, but it’s a chore, not fun.  I switched after 9 weeks of More Kettlebell Muscle to going for strength.  Working with my 70 lb  and 88 lb. bells.  The first couple of times were tough.  The bells felt HEAVY, but I’m adapting now.  We’ll do this for 6 weeks and then go back.

Big news is we’re moving across town to a bigger house after 17 years.  Since I work from home now, our house has gotten smaller.  I don’t have an office and there isn’t central air and one full bath.  With the kids home for the summer it’s going to be hard to concentrate.  Saw an open house in the Boston Globe in a desirable neighborhood.  Went Monday afternoon, made an offer Monday night.  Turnkey, the only thing we’ll have to do is paint 2 rooms, (my wife will do that, she wouldn’t give me such a high level of responsibility), get a shed and a basketball hoop for the kids.  Very excited, even though i was completely against the idea for the longest time.  We were going to refinish the ceilings, knock down a wall and put more hardwoods in 2 rooms and landscape the side of our house.  Probably 8k in reparis and renewals.  Now, we have to get our house ready and THROW STUFF AWAY.  It’s amazing even if you’re not a pack rat how much stuff you amass over the years.  You also realize how cluttered your house is, even though it’s not.  It’s going on the market Wednesday so it’s all hands on deck.  Yard and garage today, probably the basement and another room tomorrow.  Hopefully, it moves in a hurry.

The new Jack Daniels commercial with Frank SInatra stinks.  He wasn’t the man.  That stuff is beneath my palate.  Scotch is better and more refined.  Though, why is bourbon being pushed so hard lately?  I like it, but not as much as scotch.  Not that I mind Jack, it’s just not my first choice.

Donald Sterling has been an churl for 80 years.  I don’t know how they can take his team away legally, but the NBA is better without him.

I read where Adam Dunn has less than 40 home runs to 500.  A few years ago, if you hit 500, you were in the Hall.  Adam Dunn is the worst regular in big league baseball.  All he does is hit home runs he hits .200, strikes out 180 times a year, can’t run, throw or field.  Actually, Dan Uggla and BJ Upton stink too.  Why don’t guys choke up and hit the ball to right field with 2 strikes?  Way too many strikeouts these days.

Derek Jeter’s bat looks like Marty Barrett circa 1988.  Hitting flares to right field.  I know he’s trying to salvage last year, but he’s hanging on too long.  Yastrzemski did the same thing.  Played 3 years too long.

I find the hype and the coverage of the NFL draft highly entertaining.  I love reading the opinions of the picks, the grades, hearing the stupid cliche, “football is important to him…”  No one has any idea whether someone will be any good.  Injuries occur, big money changes guys, etc.  Mel Kiper has made a 30 year living out of this.  I like his radio show on ESPN radio, but still he’s wrong as much as he is right.

I’m watching the Bruins, and know I’m in the minority, but playoff hockey doesn’t do it for me.  It’s soccer on skates.  Okay Chris, call me an idiot,  Every insult is $50 off your wedding gift…

I’m watching the old Bobby Orr highlight and I see the puck better on an old UHF screen than on high def now

The NBA playoffs have been highly entertaining.  Loved the block by Paul Pierce to beat the Raptors.  One of the top Celtics of all time.

Speaking of which, how would this matchup go.  All Time Laker team vs.  All Time Celtic?

Lakers                                            Celtics

Magic Johnson                              Bob Cousy

Jerry West                                      Dennis Johnson

Elgin Baylor                                    Larry Bird

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar                    Bill Russell

Kobe Bryant                                   Kevin McHale

George Mikan                                Paul Pierce

Wilt Chamberlain                           Bill Sharman

Shaquille O’Neal                            Dave Cowens

Slater Martin                                  John Havlicek  (he’s in the top 5, this is a random list)

Gail Goodrich                                Tommy Heinsohn

Byron Scott                                   Robert Parrish

Michael Cooper                             Sam Jones

(i know where is Sedale Threatt or Jamall Wilkes for the Lakers?

You also realize everyone on the Celtics list is in the Hall of Fame except Pierce who will be a no doubt about it.

I love Game of Thrones but why can’t I get through an episode without either my wife or I falling asleep?

The best Van Halen album is Diver Down.  Had Little Guitars blaring through my head today.  “Senorita I’m in trouble again and I can’t get free…”

Where was the quality control on Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen?  A speed ball is called a fastball.  Why didn’t anyone pick up on this error of a lyric?  He could throw that speed ball by you,  NO NO NO…

What’s up with the 5 day, Don Johnson/Miami Vice beard being fashionable?  I can’t stand more than a day beard growth.  Then again if you looked like me, you wouldn’t be hiding your handsome face with scruff either…

Good drinking contest, every time Erin Andrews says “you guys” on Dancing with the D-Listers, do a shot.  And no I don’t watch the show, my wife DVR’s it and it blares through the house.  She might be the only person still watching American Idol as well.  I love that Jennifer Lopez is a judge.  The only thing she knows about singing is she can’t.

Trying to figure out which insurance commercial I hate the most.  Geico, Progressive, Aflac or Arbella.   The Geico commercial just reinforces my hate for the Australian accent.  I hate Flo, (loved Flo from Alice), the Duck sucks, and so do the people gushing about Arbella.

Warren Buffet can go back under the rock he came from.  If you post a quote about him on LinkedIn, your connection from me will be hidden or removed depending on whether I need you.  I cleared out about 100 connections a couple of months back.  It was emancipating.

Why can’t the Republican Party get their shit together nationally and especially in Massachusetts?  I used to love calling people who were looking for a job, tap the mouthpiece of the phone and say, “hear that?  that’s opportunity knocking…”  Same concept.

I’m not tagging this blog, too lazy, too many, are you really reading it to learn about my opinions of Adam Dunn?

The Red Sox have been anti-climatic after last year.  Jackie Bradley Jr. is vanilla at the dish.

I love interleague play.  The Red Sox fatten up on their record every year.  The AL is more competitive because of the DH.  It’s a much more difficult transition going from the NL to the AL as a pticher because of it.  The Reds came to town, the Sox took care of business.  Every year the worst they to is 11-8.

My NBA obsessed son just asked me if Dennis Rodman was one of the 50 best players.  No

Stuff/things/people that suck:  Toyota ( a silver Toyota has all the soul of a shopping cart), Facebook, Corona, Bud Light (love Bud or Bud toughs as one of my friends says), Toro lawnmowers (had one, what a piece of junk and with a white bag.  How stupid, recently learned you should never bag your clippings by the way), bad accents, American Airlines, my leaky power washer, dandelions, weeds in asphalt, Dell computers, Warren Buffet, Oprah, Chris Brown, Elizabeth Warren (or any Democratic senator) Paul Krugman, under seasoned chicken.  Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, way too thin for my taste.  Gum chewing adults.  Saw a sales woman speaking with her new boss while chomping on gum.  Could you be less impressive?  Humorless fitness people on forums.  Kettlelbell lifting is just lifting weights, not brain surgery.  Lighten up.

When I’m in a restaurant, and you’re telling me the specials, just stop as soon as you say salmon. You’ve lost me.   I had it once, hated it then 10 years later, found out I was allergic to fish.  Don’t miss sushi either.

Love Chinese, Mexican, Hibachi Japanese, Italian, almost anything else.  I have the appetite and enough bad eating habits, that if I didn’t watch what i ate, I’d be a solid 215-220.  No doubt about it.

Cheerio!