Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Trump Administration and LOTR

Hey, did you hear that we have a new administration in the White House? From what we've seen already, it seems like Trump and his ilk may be a manifestation of pure evil. Pointless Venture would like to draw parallels between members of the Trump administration and the forces of darkness, so that nerds will know just exactly how evil each respective member is. You're welcome.

Steve Bannon = Grima Wormtongue

Steve Bannon is the slimy weasel whispering malevolence in Trump's ear. A career neo-nazi (excuse me, I mean member of the alt-right) and round the clock alcoholic, Bannon will likely have Donald's ear until his plunging popularity forces a lesser role, like Bootlicker in Chief or Food Taster of the Supreme Leader. Or maybe he'll just take over and stop being the power behind the scenes, I dunno. Perhaps we'll all get lucky, and he'll die of liver cancer or whatever sickness was eating Emperor Palpatine's face, because this dude probably has it.

Kellyann Conway = Shelob

Kellyann is the frazzled old bimbo that Trump sends out to devour the truth just like a giant spider. It is rumored that just like Shelob, she once inhabited a mountain pass and feasted on many a wayward traveler. Definitely has a weakness for hobbit flesh, as well as getting called out as a fucking liar.

Sean Spicer = Mouth of Sauron

Like Kellyann, Sean becomes rather indignant whenever anyone gives him a legitimate question. He is not poisonous, however, as far as we know. Thrown to the media to serve as the Supreme Leader's mouthpiece, he will almost certainly die of a stress-induced heart attack after getting really pissed off about having to answer for the Donald's indiscretions for the one-millionth time. He also apparently eats a lot of gum, so maybe that's why he's so angry. Either that, or he's just fucking retarded (this is Trump's America; I don't have to be PC).

Paul Ryan = Saruman

Professional shitweasel Paul Ryan thinks he has Trump under his thumb, just like Saruman thought he had Sauron fooled. As long as Paul gets to pass his budget, all is well in the Republic. Every night Paul Ryan falls asleep to lengthy passages from Atlas Shrugged followed by carefully selected excerpts from the Bible, namely the passages that don't mention having sympathy for the poor or having to give up one's wealth in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (Paul's version is heavy abridged). Unfortunately for Paul, and fortunately for everyone else, he's probably going to get stabbed by one of Bannon's Nazi goons the minute he offers up any resistance to the Donald. P.S. Paul, lift some fucking weights, you pussy. Your legs look like bamboo stalks, and judging by your arms, I have to doubt the veracity of that 25 lbs notation on your dumbbell. Somebody give this man some HGH and a squat rack so he can kill himself trying to squat two plates.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Weightlifting: 500 lbs Deadlift

The first step in my 600 lbs challenge. Bodyweight was 194, also used a weightlifting belt. Felt pretty easy, though you can see me strain right off the floor.

Alternative Facts

If 2016 was about upending societal norms, 2017 is about formulating new ones. With the Supreme Leader's establishment of so-called "alternative facts," we here at Pointless Venture would like to list some other candidates for Presidential consideration. Hold on to your butts, folks: this shit is about to get real (from a certain point of view).

Potential alt-fact #1) The dinosaurs never existed. Invented by the Chinese to destabilize our Christian nation, dinosaurs are incompatible with modern science, according to 55 percent of the people claiming to be scientists. Anyone who says otherwise is either a commie or an atheist, which are the same thing, if we're being honest.

Potential alt-fact #2) Jesus was white and definitely not Jewish. Did you know that the Jews killed Jesus? If Jesus was a Jew, then why would the Jews murder him? I also heard that Jews eat children and love money more than all things. Basically, they're Ferengi, is what I'm saying. Are you telling me that Jesus was a Ferengi? Blasphemy!

Potential alt-fact #3) America has always been best buddies with Russia. Cold War? That sounds like something L. Ron Hubbard made up! Let me lay down some history for you! The U.S.S.R. helped us defeat the Nazis during World War 2. Does that sound like something bad guys would do? Plus Vladimir Putin is like a man's man and totally nothing like a Bond villain. I know for certain that he doesn't own any white Persians, at least.

Potential alt-fact #4) Two wrongs make a right. Bill Clinton had illicit affairs, so that takes the Supreme Leader off the hook for grabbing pussies. Also there were emails and stuff, which negates most, if not all, of the racist/misogynist/xenophobic/evil shit he said.

Potential alt-fact #5) America is united in its quest to make America Great Again. Everyone voted for Trump. It was a historic election. The biggest of all time. His inauguration made Hitler's look downright embarrassing. There are no dissidents. All those women that were protesting were out of work and fat. Everyone thinks the Supreme Leader's Cabinet picks are terrific. If he says something, then it is true. He's the Supreme Leader, after all.

Potential alt-fact #6) Global warming is a hoax. Listen, I heard that Chinese scientists built a giant mirror up in space to reflect the sun's heat back at America so that we would regulate carbon emissions and stunt our economy. Rising temperatures are caused by that big-ass mirror. That's fake heat, is what I'm saying. It's not real, and neither is global warming. Even if global warming were real (and it isn't) who wouldn't want to live in a desert? Las Vegas is the desert and it's fucking awesome. Let's all live in Vegas.

Potential alt-fact #7) The Republican Party is the party of conservative values and not total, irredeemable evil. Abortion, the gays, guns, and God. Throw some white supremacy in there and call it the alt-right and we have all the ingredients to rally up the base while middle-class wages stagnate, corporate profits surge, people go without health insurance, and women lose the right to control their own bodies. Also, don't forget the deregulation that's sure to destabilize the economy, as well as the abolition of EPA policies designed to keep our planet habitable. Other than the first sentence, all that stuff I just mentioned is liberal propaganda. If you don't love your country and this President, then get the fuck out.

Potential alt-fact #8) "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." Look, I found this book called 1984 and it's a really cool guide to running a country. It's got a lot of great advice and stellar quotes. I think the Supreme Leader should have someone read an abridged version to him.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Weightlifting: Current Routine

I googled "600 lbs" and most of the results were photos of the morbidly obese.

I thought I'd share what I've been doing lately in the weight room in furtherance of my stated deadlift and military press goals. This is the down season for my job, so I have enough time and energy to lift heavy every day. Behold:

Sunday: Heavy military press. 115*5 135*5 145*5 155*3 165 175 180. Trying to hit 180 lbs every strict press workout. Will work on raising this max. Barbell rows: 135*3 185*3 205*3 225*3 245*3 255*3. My version of barbell rows focuses on explosively pulling the weight from the floor. I'm not trying to isolate the lats, but rather attempting to aid my deadlift starting strength. Press starts: 185 195 205. Similar to isometrics, I'll take a weight near or greater than my max from the rack and practice pushing against it. The start is the hardest part of the strict press, so my theory is that practicing unracking very heavy weights might aid in increasing my press.

Monday: Low bar squat: 135*5 225*5 275*5 295*5 310*5. I've just started squatting again after recovering from hip pain in my left side. Low bar squats do not seem to irritate my hip like high bar squats. I haven't squatted low bar in over a year so I'm taking it easy with the weights until I'm comfortable with my form. Dumbbell press: 55 for 3*10. Dumbbell presses are a great light pressing exercise because you can't cheat with your back like you can using a barbell.

Tuesday: Clean and press: 135*5 145*5 155*5 165*3 175 180. Cleaning the weight instead of taking it off the rack is a welcomed variation. I find that I can almost press the same weights as off the rack this way. Barbell curls: 3*12. Pressdowns 3*20. Some light arm work is good for keeping the joints healthy and building teh gunz.

Wednesday: Deadlift: 135*5 225*3 315*2 405*2 425*2 435*2 445*3 455*2. A beast of a workout, though I wasn't particularly sore afterwards. I think my real max on the deadlift is likely higher than 500, but I'm proceeding as planned.

Thursday: Front and back push presses: 135*3 145*3 155*3. A front push press immediately followed by a behind the neck push press, this method allows you to keep constant tension on the shoulders and arms. A press from the front and then the back is one rep. Dumbbell curls 3*10. Pushdowns 3*12. For gun work. Later during the day, I did Klokov presses (strict behind the neck pressing using a wide grip): 95*5 115*5 135*5

Friday: Reverse grip bench press: 135*3*5, 185*3, 185*2*2. A fool hearty attempt to bench press, using the unorthodox style. Unfortunately, my shoulder started hurting afterwards, even after using light weights.

Saturday: Low bar squats: 135*5 225*5 275*3 315*2 345. Squat felt good, the numbers will rise considerably in a short time. Rack pulls a little bit below the knees: 315 405 475 495 520. Practice handling heavy weights without really taxing yourself, rack pulls are invaluable for deadlift assistance. Just don't over use them because they have no carry-over to the floor.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

John Kruck's Second Guide to Becoming an Eating Champion: Advanced Training

Well folks, they paid me a king's ransom in hot dogs to come back to this blog and give everybody advanced tips on becoming a really good eater. Stuffing food down your gullet is like any sport: it requires patience, dedication, laxatives, and a whole lot of performance-enhancing drugs. Far as I know, they don't test for PEDs when entering eating competitions, so you need to get a leg up on the competition and get jacked. Haha, just kidding--forget Kobayashi and his painted-on abs, you need to get fat as fuck as soon as possible. A life-long commitment to being a walking barrel on two legs is what really separates the dilettantes from the hardcore. The only drugs you need are cream cheese, a case of butter, and as many pudding pies as you can fit in your refrigerator. Let's go over an advanced routine for the elite eater.

Breakfast is how you start your day. I like to wake up to the smell of bacon cooking, so I have my live-in maid Esmeralda cook bacon from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., unless I happen to wake up before that, which is about as likely as Donald Trump seeing himself in the mirror and not a half-Reptilian, half-human hybrid. My house is full of bacon smoke and I can hardly breath, yet it is the greatest thing I have ever experienced. Bacon is the perfect advanced eater food because it is chock-full of fat and grease, both of which reside at the bottom of our new food pyramid. But bacon is the just the start. Behold:

The above pile of food should only take an advanced eater about five minutes to polish off. I like to take a nap after a good meal, but it should be a cat nap, so only about two to three hours at the most. Then it is time for lunch.

I consider myself something of a forager; that is, I eat whatever is around me. If I'm at the ballpark, I eat hot dogs or urinal cakes; if I'm in Mexico, I eat drugs and small dogs. This dietary flexibility is crucial for the advanced man (or she-beast). Regardless of where I am, sausage is one of the pillars of my lunchtime feasting. The best type of sausage is whatever type of sausage I can get my mitts on. Feast your eyes on this pile I polished off today:

Looks like a stack of dinguses. Don't let that be a turn-off.

Money is certainly an issue when it comes to advanced eating. Thankfully for me, I'm a rich former baseball player, so I can spend 80 percent of my budget on food and eatable inanimate objects. If you are not so blessed, I you may have to consider a life of crime. Unfortunately, the rotund physique that comes with eating one-hundred pounds of sausage a day does not lend itself to a life of petty crime. God invented credit cards for a reason, folks.

Dinner is the meal that you cap everything off with. It's the finale, the Revenge of the Sith, if you will, and like the prequel trilogy, don't expect it to digest well. One of my favorite strategies is to stuff a bunch of junk into a cup and time myself as I dig in. You should be looking for creative ways to increase your food intake. Keeping things fresh is how you become champion, at least in your own mind.

I don't really have any other tips. I feel like this guide went a little long, but what can I do besides list all the garbage I put away every day? Becoming a gluttonous monster is a life choice, and only you can figure out the right path to that goal. Go with God. Kruck out.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Opinions for Free

Opinions for free! That's what you want, isn't it? Wouldn't you like to hear my opinion about the newest Star Wars movie? What about the President-Elect of the United States? Wouldn't you know that I have opinions on hot pants, Elvis Costello, Big Bird, stinky feet, and Elf on a Shelf? That's all I am, really. I am the sum of all my opinions.

Let's dissect the differences between the comic book Avengers' costumes and those of their movie counterparts'. Let's get into a scientific debate about convergent evolution. You say the dinosaurs roamed the earth during the time of man? Well, you're a dumb ass and let me tell you why! Let's talk about the best baseball player of time. Are steroids bad? You tell me! Then I'll tell you and we can argue about it.

Did you know that you're shitting wrong? You should aim your ass up in the air and pray that it doesn't come back down. Believe you me. I read it on the internet. I'm something of an expert in shit physics, I'll have you know. I'm the goddamn Isaac Newton of intestinal discharge and its thermodynamic properties. You want to spend two hours debating the minutia of dietary variation and how it can affect the arc of your poo poo? Come at me, bro. I got the time.

You have a stupid theory? I know the place. The earth's flat, didn't you know? Global warming isn't real. Donald Trump is a human being. Wait, wait, I take it back. Not the last thing I said, but the aforementioned sentence "I am the sum of all my opinions." What I really am is a nonsensical soup of emotion. You prick my finger and I cry. You tell me that I'm full of shit, well buddy, that's just like, your opinion, man. I don't believe anything, to be honest. My caldron of emotion is just waiting to bubble forth. I can't hear what you say, because you've said that I am wrong, and that's just the same as punching me in the face. You know what the greatest human fallacy is? Believing we are anything but the Id. It's the grand human conspiracy. Everyone's part of it.

That's my opinion, anyway. I don't give a shit about yours.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Weightlifting: Strategies for Achieving a 600 lbs Deadlift and a 225 lbs Overhead Press

Here's a photo of Arnold breaking his back.

My two weightlifting resolutions are to pull 600 lbs and strict press 225 lbs. To add some context, my best deadlift and press as of Christmas day are 490 lbs and 190 lbs respectively. That's an addition of 110 lbs to my deadlift and 35 lbs to my press! Anyone experienced in weightlifting will tell you that improvements of that magnitude are not realistic for anyone but a rank beginner. Well who gives a shit about what's realistic! Donald fucking Trump is President and the Chicago Cubs are the reining World Series champions, so I believe anything is possible in this strange parallel universe. As a big FU to those parties, both of which are intent on destroying the world, 2017 is the year I get serious. There is a method to my madness, which I'll attempt to explain below.

Deadlift strategy: gradually accumulate volume resulting in a 10 lbs increase in four weeks time. That's the main outline, how exactly I will implement that strategy depends on day to day factors, like how I feel, how much coffee I've drank, or whether or not I've consumed ten lbs of raw meat or choked a chocobo, etc, etc. I'm going to pull 3 or 4 times a week using the following lifts: the power clean, sumo deadlift, conventional deadlift, rack pulls, one arm cleans, and snatch grip deadlift. Rep range will stay around 5 reps or lower in most cases. There will be at least one conventional deadlift day in which I will either try to pull a new 3 or 5 rep max or perform 30 reps with greater than 320 lbs. The focus on variation will keep things from getting stale while also contributing to my eventual victory. Having not focused on the deadlift much during my four year weightlifting career, I know there is a lot of room for growth, especially considering that I am built for the deadlift, having long arms that nearly hang down to my knees. Squatting will not be neglected, despite the focus on the deadlift. I'll try to squat 2 to 3 times a week, concentrating on form and leg growth rather than achieving a new 1 rep max.

Here's some random woman deadlifting 515 lbs.
Strict Press strategy: Frequency and frequent 1 rep maxing. The strict press loves volume. I'm currently pressing 4 times a week, switching between the strict press, dumbbell press, behind the neck push press, and the clean and press. Usually I'll work on doing a lot of pyramiding sets of 5. Because the load is relatively light, you can max on the strict press very often. Form is really important, because moving big weights depends a lot on your back bend and your hip drive. Right now, I do a single with 175 every strict press workout. My goal is to gradually increase that weekly max.

Bill Starr pressing over 300 lbs.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Conan Brothers Q&A

PalpsforPrez asks "Rogue One: what's the verdict?"

Arnold: One and a half thumbs up.

Dave: What's the conversion of stars to thumbs?

Arnold: It's the same rate as unicorns to jelly beans.

Dave: Oh, okay.

Arnold: It was a good movie. Probably the first Star Wars movie since the Empire Strikes Back that wasn't really for kids. People die in this movie, dude. Like, everybody.

Dave: I always rate my movies by how many people get blown away. So First Blood: Part Two is the greatest movie of all time, if you all were wondering.

Arnold: Well duh. Regarding Rogue One, CGI Peter Cushing looked bad. CGI Leia, I didn't even notice.

Dave: Resurrecting dead actors using computer graphics is something I'd think Lucas would've considered. I don't know why they just didn't recast the roles. It's not like some Star Wars neophyte is going to watch Rogue One and then A New Hope and not notice that they were obviously filmed during different eras.

Arnold: The first thing they'll wonder is why Darth Vader turned into such a bitch in between films. In Rogue One, he's tossing rebels into the ceiling with the Force, whereas in A New Hope, he can barely keep up with Obi-Wan in a geriatrics's lightsaber duel.

Dave: Yeah, you can tell Lucas rewrote Vader's role in the original trilogy. In the first Star Wars movie, he's taking orders from Tarkin and is basically an enforcer. By Empire, he's commanding a giant Star Destroyer and Force choking Admirals left and right.

Arnold: So a thumb and half is what we're rating it?

Dave: Plus three stars and a unicorn.

Arnold: While we're on the subject, what is your definitive ranking of the Star Wars movies? I know you just did a rewatch.

Dave: In order from best to worst. Empire Strikes Back, A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, Rogue One, The Force Awakens, Revenge of the Sith, Attack of the Clones, The Phantom Menace.

Arnold: The prequel trilogy is hard to watch, especially The Phantom Menace. That movie has no characters in it.

Dave: It's pretty hard to act in front of a green screen, or so I've heard.


JohnCenasLeftThigh asks "What can I do to get my deadlift up to 600 lbs?"

Arnold: I don't know, you tell me.

Dave: We have a plan in place. It consists of doing pulls three times a week with the rep range dependent on how you feel. When I say pulls, I mean lower body dominant pulls, so power cleans, deadlifts, and snatches instead of pullups or rows. Obviously to add a lot of weight to your deadlift, you need a lot of volume; however, you have to be cognizant of burning out your back. Push your reps maxes in the 2 to 5 rep range, and get your volume with lighter lifts like power cleans. Grease the groove. Every once in a while add a light day with a ton of volume. I did 320 for 30 reps the other day, and I couldn't believe how sore my traps were the next day. So yeah, there's the outline of a plan.

Arnold: You call that a plan? That's a fucking incomprehensible mess.

Dave: That's how I run my life, Arnold. You should know that by now.

Arnold: If you want a periodized routine, go find one on the internet. I've never done very well on those type of programs, though.

Dave: At some point, you need to figure out what works for you. Programming isn't magic.


KillJill asks "What are your new year's resolutions?"

Arnold: Continue being a sexual tyrannosaurus.

Dave: Journey to the center of the earth.

Arnold: Go on a one man mission to Mars.

Dave: Stop global warming.

Arnold: Expose the Reptilian plot to control planet earth.

Dave: I thought you didn't believe in Reptilians.

Arnold: I believe whatever I want to believe. It's 2017, baby. Welcome to Trump's America.

Dave: Somebody save us, please.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year's Resolutions

Only assholes make new year's resolutions. Here are some of mine.

1. Deadlift 600 lbs like the long-armed gorilla I am.

2. Eat something besides cheesecake.

3.  Cut my coffee consumption down to 3 pots a day.

4. Grow back my beautiful, long, blonde mane.

5. Raise my beastboy the right way, so that he loves 'merica and kicking ass.

6. Strict press 225 lbs.

7. Figure out what French Surrealism is.

8. Learn German so I can better understand the current political climate (hah!).

9. Finish my awesome fantasy novel The Heart of the Thief.

10. Self-publish my feminist-pulp horror/thriller Apophenia.

11. Figure out the meaning of life so I can tweet it in 140 characters or less.

12. Replace one of my dogs with an animal that isn't a son of a bitch.

13. Cut off all access to technology, except for blogger, facebook, gmail, Steam, and firefox.

14. Release an album of music under the Theme Park Mistress name.

15. Stop my addiction to internet news.

16. Slow down and enjoy the quiet things, e.g., the voices that come out of the ether.

17. Figure out what my boy means when he makes all those fart sounds with his face.

18. Become a master guitar player, one so good that I can melt Yngwie Malmsteen's visage with a flurry of super-hot licks.

19. Stop pooping my pants so much.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Best Games of 2016

2016 may have been a shit year for most things, but it was a great year for gaming. I played more titles this year than I have in some time, and there were plenty of great games I haven't purchased (Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dishonored 2, X-Com 2). Below are my top three.

Best RPG--Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3 blends the fine-tuned controls of Dark Souls 2 with more thematically coherent level design, resulting in the best entry in the series. Multiplayer is much improved; I never was frustrated with a tough boss because I could always summon someone to help. However, after three titles, I think From should give Dark Souls a respite for a while in order to come up with some new ideas. Each game has had incremental improvements over its predecessor, but the formula is getting a little tired, especially the thread-bare story.

Best Indie game--Abzu

Abzu has about three hours of gameplay if you play it twice. It's really just a swimming simulator, for you do little more than guide your character through different oceanic ecological niches. There is a story having something to do with Sumerian mythology, though I couldn't make sense of it. It is, however, a beautiful game full of fairly-accurately modeled sea creatures. An interesting entry in the "walking simulator" genre that's worth its price despite being brief.

Best shooter (and best game of 2016)--Doom

The Doom reboot is a glorious return to the days of single player shooters, when all you really worried about was coming up with creative ways to slaughter legions of demons. A return to form for ID, who haven't put out a decent game since Quake 3.

Bonus: Most disappointing game--Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

It's not that Mankind Divided is a bad game--augs are better implemented than in its predecessor, functioning much like the superpowers they're supposed to be, and the shooting is the best of any Deus Ex game--but the story is uninteresting, and there isn't much to draw you into the world's fiction, despite the exquisitely detailed city of Prague. It kind of sucks that the Deus Ex series has devolved into a shallow discussion of transhumanism instead of the mishmash blend of conspiracy theories that powered the original.

Runner up: Dishonored 2. Bought it for Christmas, but I couldn't even play it for more than 5 minutes before it crashed. Supposedly, it's a great game. It's nice to see that Bethesda's anti-consumer policy of not reviewing titles before release is paying off for them.