Thursday, September 6, 2018

Weightlifting: On Training a Lift Once a Week

This picture has nothing to do with the article but I had to include it, having stumbled upon it.

Currently, I've been training with a focus on one lift per workout. Sunday is my squat day, Tuesday bench day, Thursday deadlift day, and Saturday focuses on the overhead press. I've had success so far training like this, even though I've always heard that you should train movements multiple times a week for maximum results. That's probably true for newbies, as well as people peaking, but if you're just looking to get stronger and more muscular, I think you're fine just squatting or benching once a week. The key is to make those workout hard, with enough volume and intensity that you're decently sore the next day. Keep in mind that just because you're squatting once a week doesn't mean your squatting muscles aren't being training twice a week, since the deadlift also hits the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower back. Same thing with the bench; the overhead press trains the front delts and triceps as well as the upper pecs (depending on how far you lean back). Below is my current program.

Sunday: Squats five sets of five, pyramid style, starting with about fifty percent of my one rep max, with the last set being a record attempt. Do either five heavy singles or five paused singles. Deload and do a light set of ten. Calf raises, just bodyweight, in between sets for 20 reps.

Tuesday: Bench Press five sets of five. Next do heavy singles or paused reps. Lastly, do back off sets of five so that the total repetitions performed for the workout total forty. Low cable rows for five sets of 10-15 reps in between bench sets.

Thursday: Deadlift five sets of five, using a two and a half inch deficit. A few heavy singles afterward. Total reps should at least equal thirty. Arms in between sets, curls and pressdowns.

Saturday: Overhead press five sets of five. Backoff sets of five afterwards. Pulldowns or pullups in between sets, superseted with barbell curls 5 sets of 10.

I try to get my workout done within thirty minutes. That's not a lot of rest in between sets.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Quake Champions Review

Look at that Lovcraftian monstrosity in the sky.

Quake Champions is a curious game. It's right up my alley; my multiplayer heyday was the late ninties and early aughts, when arena shooters were in vogue, and every competent PC gamer knew how to bunny-hop and set up a dedicated server. How times have changed. Counter-Strike changed the first-person-shooter scene, and battle royal games like Player Unknown: Battlegrounds and Fortnite seem to be initializing another paradigm shift. Arena shooters, in other words, are old news. Quake 3 was the last relevant Quake game, released in 1999, and Unreal Tournament 3 was the last triple-A arena shooter, released way back in 2007, and it was a flop. Quake Champions aims to update the arena formula by stealing from Overwatch and introducing characters that have unique abilities. This strategy is partially successful; mastering the abilities of each character gives the game more variety than it would have otherwise, since deathmatch, team deathmatch, and duel are the only current game modes. Still, the introduction of Champions ruins the perfect balance of Quake 3 (the weapons and damage numbers are more or less taken from that game). For example, the Death Knight Champion has the ability to launch a wide spread flame attack that does a lot of damage with a direct hit, as well as flame damage for a few seconds. It's very spammable, and I've often died while playing a weaker Champion from a blind flame shot emitted from a death knight who didn't even know I was there. Heavier Champions start out with one-hundred health and shields, which lets them withstand two railgun shots. With a full stack (100 health/150 shields), you'd have to hit them three times to kill them, severely limiting the usefulness of Quake's venerable sniper weapon. Give a heavy champ the mega health and mega shield, and they're pretty much invulnerable. Some active abilities, like Visor's wallhack, and Nyx's invisibility, are short in duration and take some skill to use, while others, like the aforementioned Death Knight's fire spam and B.J. Blazkowicz's dual wield, are unbalanced. All this doesn't matter much during a messy free-for-all, but I imagine it is frustrating for duel players.

The introduction of Champions, as well as lootboxes, alienates Quake's core fanbase. Yet because of the core gameplay, taken from Quake 3, newcomers to Quake will probably get squashed. Success depends on movement as well as map control; if you don't camp powerups like Quad damage or the mega health, you will get destroyed. Also, newbies have to play against people who've been fragging since 1996, when the first Quake title was introduced. A more in-depth tutorial system could fix this problem, as well as the introduction of more team-based game modes. Without those changes, Quake Champions player base will stay small, which is a shame, because it's the most fun I've had with a multiplayer game since Left 4 Dead 2.

Not a fan of loot boxes, but I had to have the Quake 2 railgun. Weapons skins from previous games are available.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Writer's Block: Lord, Deliver Us from the Boomers



Lord, deliver us from the Boomers

Though they toss and turn

And throw their own feces about,

Give us the strength to dodge

Said thrown feces,

Also, give us a giant broom,

A wastebasket,

And a pacifier,

To aid in the cleaning of their mess.

What a hellscape they left,

An endless land of desert and dust

Where the sun doth shine

On every corner and crevice,

Where only the rats,

Roaches,

And reptiles roam.

They had theirs, and now we will have ours,

And ours is the refuse they have left on our doorstep.

Thanks a lot, guys.

But do me this pittance,

And never bitch about Millennials again.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

New Music: The Constant Complaint

I wrote this song many years ago. The original demo was recorded with me playing a shitty Fender 12 string that I eventually sold in a yard sale for like fifty bucks. The intention was to write a doo-wop like song, and although I definitely didn't accomplish that objective, I still dig the end result. Wanted to make this song piano-based, but my keyboard finally crapped out on me, so it's just guitar, bass, vocals, and a drum loop.




Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I'm Sorry for the Stuff I Said Back When We Were All Idiots


Recently, some evil bastards have uncovered some Tweets I made that were in poor taste. They date back to the early tens, back when we could basically say whatever we wanted. Remember South Park? There was a talking piece of poo called Mr. Hankey, and the fat kid made fun of the Jewish kid for being Jewish. It was typical Generation X comedy, is what I'm saying. From the late nighties on up to the early tens, all you had to do to be a comedian was say something outrageous and claim you were being ironic. So you could tell racist jokes or sexists jokes without actually being called a racist, even though it's kind of hard to tell why people were laughing at such comedy. Were they laughing at your gumption? The breech of social mores? Or were they laughing at the racist/sexist/homophobic content of your joke? See, nobody really gave a shit about all that until just recently.

Look, it might sound as though I'm making excuses, and I guess that I am. But you have to realize how much the world has changed since the early nineties. I've changed and for the better! Should I have taken those Tweets down? Sure. Everybody should be minding their internet footprint, lest it be weaponized against them. Kids these days are growing up connected to the net 24/7, and let me tell you, kids are just as stupid as they've always been. They're putting things up on the net that are never going to go away. I guess what I'm trying to say is that kids, you are going to say or do something stupid and you better damn-well make sure that you keep that idiocy to a minimum on the internet, or you will reap the consequences.

The difference, of course, is that I'm a grown-ass man apologizing for my mistakes. The internet would like you to think that there is no virtue, that everyone pretends to have morals, that all of us are irredeemable sinners putting on a show for our own personal benefit. That's a dangerous attitude to have, and really, you can trace that sort of cynicism back to Generation X. Cynicism is what powers the internet. The internet takes something that I said out of context and puts it next to racist Tweets that Rosanne Barr made and says "See, they're the same!" Are they, though? Roseanne made those comment in the present, in the context of our current political situation. I said my stuff back when we were all idiots. Spot the difference?

What I'm saying is: have pity on me, and the subsequent generation of idiots. Some of us will grow as people, and some of us will not. Keep in mind that we all should have the right of reevaluation of self before you grab your pitchforks.

Sincerely,

Generation X Guy

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Feed Me to the Meatgrinder, That'll Show Them


Just lost my job at the nail factory because of the President's steel tariffs. I don't mind. Somebody has to fix the economy. If I have to pay the price, we'll so be it. I'll be the meat that's fed through the grinder that chokes the libtards.

How do you like that sweet economic growth, hippies? Stock market is booming. Of course, I don't have any stock. They didn't offer us any at the nail factory, though we did get a bag of nine inch nails every other quarter if the price was up. I've got a lot of nail bags sitting around the house. Maybe I should grab the initiative and sell some nails on the internet like a real capitalist.

That tax cut they passed is going to help me too. I think I'm going to get an extra three-hundred back. Of course, I'm out of a job at the moment, and tax day is nearly a whole year away. But at least the government ain't getting my hard-earned cash.

What I really enjoy, though, is watching all the libtards squirm as ICE does its job and kicks all the free-loading Mexicans outta the country. They were taking all of our jobs! I know a farmer who doesn't have anybody to pick his crops now, so he's gotta offer those positions to honest Americans. Now he might go out of business because picking peaches is a terrible job and nobody wants to do it but illegal immigrants, but hey, that's capitalism. There are winners and there are losers. We can be meat for the grinder now, but someday, that meat is going to reform itself into a cow, and that cow is going to be filthy rich.

Right now, though, I'm working on getting Disability for my bad back so I won't have to work if I don't want to. A man can live in squalor while he's reconstituting his meat juices. I got plenty of time to watch the Fake News and wonder how some people can be so dumb. So the President's best friends with Russia. Who gives a shit? I don't want to hear any conspiracy theories.

You know if Clinton had been elected, we would've already had World War 3? All the Mexicans would've got amnesty, and I would've lost my job to a woman. At least I have the comfort that my job ain't held by no welfare queen, since the factory is going out of business. Screw you, liberals!

You don't understand the way our psyches have intertwined with the Donald's. You don't understand that every time he trolls the media, it's us that are trolling right along with him. When he says something racist or dismantles a federal agency, he's working for us, fighting the establishment, the forces that hold us down and make us poor. If you think he looks like an idiot, that's because you're over-educated and think you're better than us salt-of-the-earth folk. Every criticism of the Donald is a criticism of us. When you claim that he's fat, ignorant, narcissistic, and incredibly short-cited, then you're saying the same about us.

What you don't get is that it doesn't matter if it all burns down. At least we screwed over the libtards. Really, that's all that matters.

Friday, July 13, 2018

We're All a Bunch of Gamers Being Gamed


Hello, morning. I'll have a cup of coffee and about forty minutes of first person shooting. I must remember to login every day so that I maximize my daily rewards and earn more experience. Every two levels I get a free loot box. I'll click on that box and watch eagerly as it explodes like a pinata full of fireworks. Look at all of those worthless cosmetic items. Wait, did I say worthless? I guess not if you're Epic Games. To be clear, I've never played Fortnite. The game in question is Quake Champions, a hero-shooter update to the venerable arena franchise complete with all the lovely trappings of modern gaming. Not a lot of people play Quake Champions. It's a niche product peddling 90's nostalgia to thirty-year old gamers like myself.

I don't know if I imagined I'd be a gamer in my thirties.When I was a kid, video games were played by nerd children. Now everybody's gaming, from your preteen adolescent to the baby-boomer with a smart phone. Everyone has a console in their hands, and everyone's attention can be diverted for a few precious seconds. That's fine, right? After all, football and baseball are just games. Chess is a game. Every hobby is pointless in its own way. Although I've never heard of baseball teams employing psychology to engineer an addictive product. Doing so might help with ratings since Millennials are watching Youtube more than live television.

What are the consequences of an entire population addicted to games? Can parents ween their children from spending too much time playing Fortnite when they're dicking around on their phones 24/7? Are my son and I going to bond together playing Call of Duty 15? Or are we each going to become isolated in our own private gaming spheres, separated by the years and cultural touchstones that neither can understand? Really, that's probably inevitable. Every generation has experiences that are incomprehensible to the previous generation. My father loves baseball. I occasionally watch baseball in order to share a fandom with my father. My son will probably dismiss baseball as a relic of another era and spend his time watching pro gamers or twitch streamers. That's okay, right?

Childhood obesity in America is at twenty percent. Do video games have something to do with it? I don't know. I think I'm more concerned with our addiction to constant distraction.We live in an ever-changing world that requires an engaged response to the myriad challenges the future holds. Over forty-percent of the population doesn't even turn out to vote. Am I painting with broad brush strokes? Sure. I guess.

I don't know where this post was going, but there's a loot box with my name on it.