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So–yesterday, I drove back from WV. It was a beautiful drive; relatively light traffic, and the roads were clear of snow and wet.

Mom is doing really well. They keep moving her further and further away from the main nurse’s station… I’m sure that has nothing to do with a bad attitude, and everything to do with her improving health and condition… 😉

In fact, she’s back up to the two radiation treatments a day, and they have her traipsing around the hospital for cardiac therapy. The physical therapist has her bat balls around, do time on the cycle, and go up and down the small set of training stairs to build up her cardiac capacity. I’m very happy and thankful that she’s improving so well. She has a number of treatments to go, which just amounts to a few weeks, and they intend to keep her there at the hospital during that for rehab and ease of getting her to her radiation treatments.

Dave and I spent a good bit of time with her, splitting our time between her, my dad’s, and my brother Chris’s. It was a traveling holiday, let me tell you. I put lots o’ miles in going back and forth. I did have the oil changed on the truck, poor guy. But he’s still holding up well.

We had time at the range, of course–what’s a trip to WV without that? 😀 Got to see my old friend (and college climbing partner) B-Squared, and his son. And in fact, shots were fired at New Year’s Eve (you knew it had to be 🙂 ). Blanks only–no worries.

One of the presents I got are those “Ultimate Push Ups.” Those are those rotating handle things you put on the floor to do push ups with. I’m sure you’ve seen the infomercials by now (or maybe that was for the “Perfect Push Up”–whatever). I used them a bit while there, and of course brought them back with me. Pretty much the only workouts I did.

Got the chance to use them today. For years I’ve had another one of those gadgets you see in informercials–it’s called the Iron Gym now, I think. I got it a while back (from Sports Authority, before you started seeing them on TV), and it’s pretty handy as a doorway pull up bar and push up bar as well, keeping your hands in a neutral position off of the ground.

I started off upstairs, using the pull up/push up bar for a few reps of each. Then I came down to my “Courage Corner” and hit the kettlebells. A simple, slow routine of two minutes long cycle clean and jerk for each arm, two minutes rest and stretching with the 16 kg, then the same with the 24 kg. Two minute rest and stretching.

These were very slow, get back in the groove, hit every point right kind of sets. Good clean up to a good rack, then hold it. Wiggle around and find the best rack position. Feel it. Jerk. Feel the shoulder suck down into the socket at lock down. Hold it. Back down to rack. Make sure it’s good. Hold it. Etcetera.

After that, I used those Ultimate Push Up handles to do two minutes of a variety of push ups. I have to say–they feel really good when using the handles. I often do push ups with my fists, martial arts (esp Systema) style. Those feel pretty good, and that helps train good hand position for a good punch. Only problem is that I can flay the skin pretty good on the carpet or whatever floor surface, so the handles help with that. They also help with variety, so that it’s easy to change hand position at any point in the exercise. Nice.

After those, and then two minutes rest/stretch set, I did deliberate cleans with the 32 kg bells. A single two minute stretch where I trade off hands. Again, trying to pay attention to the form, or position of everything, trying to clean up the movement.

Then a really good stretching session, mostly for legs and lower back, which didn’t get a lot of attention in between exertion sets. Followed by a trip to the recycle bin with some big bags full of plastic, glass, and waste paper/cardboard.

All-in-all, a good deliberate session that didn’t really leave me gasping for air, but I can still feel a little in my shoulders and arms. And all that on a fast day. Other than water and coffee, I finally broke fast around 1630 or so, having some salad, steamed veggies, and salmon stuffed with crab florentine.

A good start to the new year, and I wish a wonderful new year to all!

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Isms…

You like red rocks. I like green rocks. We good-naturedly argue about the virtues of each, but we respect each other and know we simply have different tastes in rocks.

Capitalism.

A fellow sees that some of us like red rocks, so he comes up with a way to make red rocks, and sells them. Excited–you buy one. It’s a little more than you’d like to pay, but you do okay, what with your own business of delivering rocks giving you enough to afford your beloved rock.

Another girl sees that some people don’t have rocks because they like green, so she comes up with a way to make green rocks. Beautiful! I buy one as soon as I can. Mine starts chipping immediately, however, so I take it back. She exchanges it with quickness, because she knows that sooner or later somebody else will make green rocks, and if word gets out that hers suck, then people will go elsewhere to get their rocks, and she won’t be able to buy her own blue rocks, which she loves so dearly.

We are all happy with our rocks. This is free-market capitalism.

Socialism.

The government owns the only way to make rocks. You can have a rock, but they’re in shorter supply. We each buy a rock. They only come in yellow, so we each have the same color rock. And they chip and the color goes away quickly.

We both complain; we want different color rocks, and ones that don’t suck. We are told that having any other color rock is unpatriotic, and traitors will be imprisoned or sent to make sucky rocks, or shot. After that, we are told we will go to Hell for liking rocks of unauthorized color.

We both have rocks, but we are not so happy with them.

Communism.

“The People” own all rocks. And “The People” own all means of production. Apparently “The People” aren’t enough to make many rocks, of any color. So “The People’s Army” comes and takes our other rocks, to give them to… “the people.” Apparently those people need them more.

We both complain that we are “the people” too, and deserve some rocks. We are convicted, tried, and hanged (in that order) for being dissidents and traitors and conspirators. At least the communists are atheists, so we can’t go to Hell.

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My Next Jeep

My only question: will I have to qualify to drive this thing by playing Halo?

More info about it at Autoblog.

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