Monday, March 5, 2018

Hanging with the Goon

You all like sticks? I sure do.

Howdy partners, its been a good adn long time since teh Goon laid his eyes on teh interwebs and told folks about this sorry mess called Life. Last time I spokee to ya'lls, I was thinkin' bout heading down to Mexico to rescue Hernando from Vanilla Ice and his crew, but taht got called off cuz I was busted fer drunk drivin' wit out me pants or shoes on. Sense I also had one pound of Cokecain in my truck, theys was gonna put teh ol' Goon away fer a very long time. Luckily, I am three-quarters cousins wit Attorney Gerneral Jeff Sessions, an after I wrote him a long letter about how drugs an teh liberal media have ravaged our family, he let me off teh hook by arranging to have teh door to me cell be left unlocked, inablin teh Goon to escape. Now I'm on teh run, just like Hernando was, though I don't think Vanilla Ice is after me, far as I know. Don't tell anybody, but I'm hidin' in teh ochard, eatin' worms and rotten apple skins an' waiting till teh coast is clear an I can start my ol' time life agains. Sam discovered me one day pissin' on an apple tree, an he putt me back to work picking up prunings. Now if none of yas have ever pruned an apple tree, its mighty hard work, lemmee tell ya. You have to shape it like a South-eastern Indiana lady, that is, like a pear that's about to explode out its bottom-side. I done F'ed-up too many trees last year so Sam don't let me prune none. Pickin' up sticks is my business now. It is my life.

When I close my eyes at night, I sees sticks. When I look at my fingers real good, I sees sticks. When I eat dinner, I sees sticks (sometimes I eat sticks, so that's why taht is). I counted teh stick piles in teh orchard one day an I counted four-hundred and twenty-seven an three-quarters. What are we gonna do wit all them sticks? Well, we're gonna bury them. Some, we're gonna burn. Others, we're gonna haul to teh dump. Even more we will feed to teh chipper. Any thats left I'm a gonna build a house out of to live in full-time. I has had enough of trailer livin. I has embraced teh outdoors.

That there above is me me prototype. Do ya think I can cajoule any perty ladies to come an touch my pillow snake in the humble confines of this dwelling? I think, if teh Goon makes a point to brush his teeth and comb teh worms outta his hair that he has as good a chance as anybody. Tilll next time, God bless.

Monday, February 26, 2018

How Much of You Do the Big Four Own?

Not what I was going for, but oh well.

Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook are worth a combined 2.8 trillion dollars. Despite all that cash, they all pay well under the corporate tax average in the US (Facebook only pays a 4 percent tax rate!). All that revenue is going to a small number of people--Facebook only employs 23,000. Sure, you might know a lot of people that work at an Amazon warehouse, but how much are they getting paid? Is our increasing servitude to these four companies worth the disruption they cause the economy when one of them puts yet another company out of business? I don't think so: these companies are vast data mining operations that sell every piece of info they can glean from you to the highest bidder. In the futile interest of reducing the onset of the surveillance state (hah, it's been here for a while), I'm going to examine my usage of the four aforementioned companies and figure out if I really need the services they provide.

Amazon--I've had a Prime membership for three years, but I don't really need it. I don't order a whole lot from Amazon. Their streaming service is my least watched app--none of their original series have grabbed my attention, and the exact same movies can be watched on Hulu. I do use a Firestick to watch TV, but you don't have to have Prime to use one. It is awful damn convenient to order books from them, since there isn't a bookstore in my vicinity. However, you don't need Prime to order stuff. I think I could cancel our Prime membership, if I can talk my wife into it.

Apple--I've never purchased an Apple product. I used to have an Ipod, but it was given to me by my sister. Apple's entire strategy is to design nice-looking products and charge a lot more for them than they are worth. Since I've resolved never to get a smartphone until it is government-mandated, I have little use for them. Their PCs are shit, and tablets are for children. As far as I'm concerned, the world's most valuable company ain't worth shit.

Facebook--Facebook also sells a product that I'm not interested in. It was fun in Facebook's nascent days to check out girls and keep tabs on friends while I was in college, but as an adult I have no use for fake news and shitty design. Seriously, every time I log in the whole interface is so terrible I have to wonder what all those billions are being used for; I assume Zuckerburg is building an underwater lair in the shell of an old volcano. If you care about somebody, visit them in person or call them on the phone. Stop putting your life up on Facebook for them to data mine at their pleasure. My profile picture is the face of William Riker, and my birthday date is listed as January 1st, 1901. The only reason I have a profile at all is for my business. Otherwise, I'd never use Facebook.

Google--Ah, and here is where my snarky attitude and smug superiority fail me. I use Google for everything. If I have a question, I google it. This blog is provided free of charge from Google Blogger. I have 10 gigs in my Google Drive, 10 gigabytes of music and writing that I've done over the years. My email account is a Gmail account. I do use Firefox as my browser instead of Chrome, but big whoop. Youtube is full of nerds commenting on bullshit, but that doesn't mean I've never uploaded a video myself. I suppose I could backup my data on multiple hard drives like I used to in the past, but it is so damn convenient to be able to access the same document on multiple computers using Google Drive. I'm probably not going to change my email, and this blog ain't moving. Perhaps I should start using Bing to look up shit, but Microsoft is basically the granddaddy of the big four, and is Bing still around? Fine, Google. I surrender. Please don't sell my secrets. I swear they aren't worth anything.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Weightlifting: 2018 Goals

Remember this stupid commercial?

2018 is the year of hypertrophy, the year to add muscle mass and not worry about how much I squat, bench, or deadlift. Due to the back injury I've written about here, I haven't been able to squat or deadlift without pain for a while, so the focus on bodybuilding is a side effect of that fact. Increasing volume and intensity comes before adding weight to the bar. Here's the program I've been doing lately:

Day One: Chest/Back--I've been using only three exercises, the bench press, cable row, and pulldowns, alternating the two back movements. I don't feel like I need more variation than that, since I've always had big pecs naturally, and the upper back doesn't need anything besides vertical and horizontal pulling. I've never seen the need to do direct trap work.

Bench press: 5 to 6 sets of 8 to 10 reps, starting with at least 50 percent of my max, and going up into the 70 percent range.

Cable row/pulldown: 5 to 6 sets of 10 reps.

Day Two: Shoulders/Arms--Currently, I'm not doing much overhead pressing, since the bench press takes care of the front delts, and my manual labor job is hard on my shoulders.

Side laterals: 3-5 sets of 10 reps.

Dumbbell face pulls: 3-5 sets of 10 reps.

Barbell/DB curls: 5 sets of 10 reps.

Pressdowns: 5 sets of 10-12 reps.

Day Three: Legs. No heavy squats, but split squats (essentially a lunge with one foot on a bench) are a decent replacement. Considering getting a leg press, but I don't think I need one.

Split squats: 5 sets of 10 reps.

Leg extensions: 5 sets of 12 reps.

Leg curls: 5 sets of 10.

Dumbbell calf raises: 5 sets of 12.

And that's it. I do this routine once a week, sometimes switching up exercises. I might do a strength block in a month or two to switch things up.

Monday, February 19, 2018

New Old Music: Wish There Were Some Air

A very old song about drowning underwater (not really). I think it's one of the better singer-songwriter pieces I've done.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Writer's Block: Life without Squats

I look my power rack

and see a rusted frame

a weak monument

to the greater ambitions

of a less-compressed spine.

I can still squat on my toes;

I can use the toilet like any man.

I can tie my shoes,

put on my socks,

lift the litter off the floor.

Lunges are a poor substitute;

leg extensions are for babies

and people scared of weights.

I console myself with the fact

that the Rock doesn't do squats.

My legs won't atrophy without them,

for it is not their destiny to be

balsa wood sticks.

As Jeff Goldblum said,

"Life will find a way."

And so I will persevere,

while my power rack gathers dust.

Good bye, old friend.

May I use you again some day.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

New Old Music: Time Machine

A song about the underclass, married to a techno beat. No idea why I called it "time machine."

Friday, February 2, 2018

2018 Fake News Predictions

Look at this shithead.

As the White House releases today a controversial (i.e., bullshit) House intelligence memo alleging FBI bias in the Russia investigation, Pointless Venture thought we'd make a few predictions on future news/fake news developments for 2018 because why the fuck not? We're living in Trump's world, which means if you say something enough times, then it becomes true. Maybe at the end of the year, if we're all still here, we'll examine this post and see if any of these came true. Let's hope not!

Prediction 1: President Trump's true weight will leak to the press, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders will have to lie to Americans and say that the President does not weigh 300 lbs. Let's get this straight--the President is fat and full of orange dough. He does not weigh 239 lbs, and it's doubtful he's 6'3. I will give it to him that he must be a medical miracle, because he's still alive even though his daily diet seems to consist of KFC and charred steak.

Two men, clearly the same height.

Prediction 2: President Trump will be recorded using the N-word. He already called African nations "shithole countries". There has to be a non-negligible chance that a live mic catches the President using a racial slur. If this happens, cue all the GOP politicians defending Trump, saying that the President didn't mean it while his base continues to not give a shit. Tax cuts!

Prediction 3: The Piss Tape will be proven real and leaked on the net. Is it a little far-fetched to believe that Donald Trump went to Russia and paid prostitutes to piss on a bed that the Obama's slept on? I dunno. He seems to have paid a porn star 100 grand to have an affair and nobody cares. And despite what Congress would have you believe, his Russia connections are very real. Donald Trump, by all accounts, is a very petty, stupid man, having been filthy rich enough his entire life to avoid the consequences of his behavior. Therefore, we give this one a pretty high chance of happening.

Prediction 4: Republicans will continue to give no shits about democratic institutions. Mitch "the bitch" McConnell was recently quoted as saying "2017 was the best year for conservatives" in his entire career. Anybody wondering whether Trump will be impeached if the Russia investigation reaches a conclusion unfavorable to the President has their answer in the Senate Majority Leader's quote.

Prediction 5: Nobody will know what to believe anymore. We're basically already at this point. Sure, intelligent people are not distrusting what they read on Politico or hear on CNN, but since when have intelligent people made up the majority of the electorate? Apparently, a large number of people get their news from Facebook, which has done jack-shit to purge its newfeed of fake news. I guess when President for life Zuckerberg topples Trump in a bloody coup and forces us all to have social media installed directly into our eyeballs, we may finally see the error of our ways.

Prediction 6: Stupid people will continue being stupid. Remember when Jerry Sandusky was convicted of sexually assaulting young boys as a member of the Penn State football program? Remember how Penn State fans vehemently protested the NCAA's punishment, to the point that the NCAA erased the four year ban after two years? Football was all that mattered to these people; the terrible sexual abuse of children for a period of fifteen years by an assistant coach of the Nittany Lions may as well not have happened. Trump is the Republican Party's Jerry Sandusky. He's doing what he can to fuck over the marginalized, but team players are blind to these abuses because he's on their team. He's a part of their identity. Yankee fans hate the Red Sox. Everybody but New Englanders hate the Patriots. Logic doesn't figure into the debate. If it did, stupid people wouldn't be stupid.