post Darwin’s Gym

July 3rd, 2008

Filed under: CrossFit — Brock @ 3:49 pm

I wonder how many of these accidents ended in death… I hope at least a few.

post God? Never met him, but I bet he smells wonderful.

June 29th, 2008

Filed under: Life — Brock @ 12:40 am
Let’s kick off the discussion with the following premises:
  1. God Exists
  2. God is the greatest good.
  3. Anything is better when wrapped in bacon.

We’re just going to assume that all three of these are true. I’d argue that the only premise that we have good evidence to support is #3.  Do you know of anything that wouldn’t be better with a layer of bacon?  I sure don’t!  Even a piece of bacon would be a tiny bit better if it were wrapped in bacon.  And what about that piece of bacon wrapped bacon?  Slap some bacon on that sucker and it’s even better!  Now extend this out to its logical end…  The Infinite Bacon Sphere (the IBS).  Endless layers of delicious bacon – each layer adding bacony goodness out to infinite goodness.

But wait!  God is the greatest good!  But even the greatest good would be just a tiny bit better if it were wrapped in bacon, no?  You can probably see where this is headed.  Clearly – the greatest good is God at the center of the IBS.  What’s interesting is that once you’ve acknowledged the supreme goodness of the God/Bacon sphere – you can’t actually differentiate God from the bacon.  Since the bacon is necessary to the goodness, and since God is defined as the greatest good – the only conclusion is that the bacon is part of God – it is God.

This is obviously why the Jews were forbidden to eat pork.  Each bite of bacon would only serve to diminish the goodness of God.

post I got bored…

June 3rd, 2008

Filed under: Computers — Brock @ 4:36 am

I got bored of looking at my monitor doing all the same old boring stuff, so I decided to break out Visual Studio and recreate one of my favorite screensavers from the old days. It’s been a while since I’ve done any coding, and I’ve never really done much C#, but I figured I’d give it a shot just for giggles. Here’s the result. Just take it out of the ZIP file, tuck it in some quite corner of your drive (My Documents or something), right click and hit ‘Install.’ From there on, it *should* behave like any other screensaver – although I make no guarantees and I haven’t really done any kind of rigorous testing. As it’s a C# (managed) application, you’ll need to have the .NET framework installed on your system for it to work. If you’ve got WinXP service pack 2 or better, you’re safe. Otherwise, you can download it from the Microsoft Update site.


post Eww.

May 22nd, 2008

Filed under: CrossFit — Brock @ 1:55 am
Mr. Yuck

Why do I always look like an idiot in pictures? I suppose I could develop some theory involving facial reflexes, JPEG compression and optics. Unfortunately, I think Occam might have something to say about such a theory.

In any event, the photo there is from the CrossFit Championships held last Sunday. The whole gig was graciously hosted by CrossFit Seattle and held at Carkeek Park. The weather was perfect and there were lots of great people/competitors there. The actual competition felt a little bit hokey to me as it was overwhelmingly biased towards runners, with the run component taking approximately half of the total time of the 6-station workout. A couple of the stations (the tire-drag and the d-ball ‘chuck-and-run’) were just flat out silly and too easy.

It was a lot of fun, though, and getting to meet some of the other CrossFitters in the area made the trip well worth it.

On Monday at CFES, we did 1RM deadlifts. My back was sore from the workout on Sunday, but I gave it a shot anyhow and came away with a big PR of 165kg (~364 pounds). That’s 20kg over my previous best, and it lets me check off one of my year-end goals: a 2.5 x bodyweight deadlift. Huzzah! Now I’ve set my sights on a 400 pound deadlift by the end of the year. Wish me luck!

post What I want for my birthday…

April 29th, 2008

Filed under: Life — Brock @ 11:00 am

Ok — so it’s my birthday and I’ve decided to make it easy on the world. No guessing what I want this year because I’m just going to tell you all. I want an electric car. I’m tired of spending $60/week on gas. All I want is a tiny, lightweight, plug-in electric commuter vehicle. Ideally – it needs about a 40-50 mile range per charge. Why the hell don’t these exist? The Tango is close, as is the Myers Motors NmG (formerly the Corbin Sparrow). Unfortunately, the only Tango that you can actually *get* is currently $108,000 – and the NmG only has a 30 mile range – which would just barely get me from my house to my office. Additionally, the $36,000 price tag for the one-seat NmG is ridiculous. If you assume $4/gallon gasoline in my 22mpg Blazer versus the $0.02/mile electric NmG, I would need to put 225,000 miles (5000 commutes – or about 14.5 years) on an NmG just to break even… Versus an SUV!!!

Why isn’t there a fully electric version of the SmartCar yet? I guess I’ll just have to wait until my Blazer goes tits-up and see what’s available then. I hope that, by then, they’ll have figured out how to make an affordable, composite frame/body, fully electric, two seat commuter vehicle.

post “Karen” Pwns Me…

April 18th, 2008

Filed under: CrossFit — Brock @ 4:15 am

Last night at the gym was “Karen.” As workouts go, Karen is frighteningly simple to describe. You take a 20 pound medicine ball and hit a 10-foot-high target 150 times, making sure to squat down with the ball upon every catch (CrossFit calls this activity ‘wall-ball’). While “Karen” may be simple to describe, it is stupid hard for me to do. I’m short — I can admit it. My license says 5′6″, but in reality it’s more like 5′5″. In addition to just being short, I also have proportionally short arms. This is great for stuff like push-ups and overhead press, but it sucks for wall-ball. In fact, it’s almost as if I was engineered to suck at wall-ball. Here’s a list of things that make wall-ball suck:

  • I have to jump with every shot to have a chance of getting the stupid ball to the target. After about 50 jumps, my calves began a very angry dialog with my brain.
  • When the ball finally returns to my outstretched hands, gravity has had enough time to accelerate it to approximately Mach 0.98. It takes force of will to fight off the leading pressure wave.
  • The only part of my body that seems capable of consistently slowing the medicine ball upon re-entry is my face. My face feels like I pissed off Mike Tyson last night.
  • Once I’m actually holding the ball, my short arms and big head make it impossible to rest the ball against my chest. Instead, I end up holding it aloft in front of my face, burning my shoulders out throwing off my center of gravity.
  • My altered center of gravity makes it hard to squat on my heels. Instead, I end up coming onto my toes, making even more work for my angry calves and causing my quads to do a whole lot of work that my hamstrings should be doing.

The end result of all this is me whining on my blog… At least I finished the workout – a first for me. I was hoping for under 10 minutes, but in the end wound up with 10:23.

post 5 days, 6 Personal Records

April 4th, 2008

Filed under: CrossFit — Brock @ 10:25 pm

I’m drained… I’m tempted to say that they’ve been “putting the wood” to us at the gym, but the tone of this post is intended to be upbeat and celebratory and the combination of the two might skew slightly homoerotic. So instead, I’ll just say that this week has been one hell of an ass-pounding.

  • Monday: Max Squat & Overhead Press (2 PRs: 115kg and 67kg)
  • Tuesday: Cindy (PR: 21 rounds)
  • Wednesday: 5K run (PR: 19:54)
  • Thursday: Diane (first attempt & PR: 9:05)
  • Friday: 5-round Fight Gone Bad (PR: 402)

In general, things have felt a lot easier at the gym since I stopped losing weight. It’s amazing how different it feels when I’m not operating under a caloric deficit. It’s been a little over a month since I started eating to gain and I’m up from a low of 137 pounds to about 145 pounds. I figure I’ll just keep going up until I either look like a fatty or feel like the additional weight is hindering me, neither of which is the case yet.

post CrossFit Goals

January 24th, 2008

Filed under: CrossFit — Brock @ 12:00 pm

It’s been about 8 months (and 35 pounds) since I started working out at CrossFit Eastside in Redmond. I’ve managed to become completely addicted to it. When I started I would go three times a week for the (typically more laid back) morning classes. Now I’m there five nights a week working with the so-called fire-breathers. At first, I definitely didn’t belong in that class. I’m sure that Michael and Carrie were (and probably still are) irritated with having a newbie in the advanced class. Typically, they suggest that newcomers spend some time in CF Eastside’s ‘elements’ classes to gain familiarity with the movements and the routine. I basically bypassed those – electing to just jump in to the deep end and either sink or swim. The patience and restraint that Michael and Carrie showed in not kicking my ass was substantial.

It’s only been recently that I’ve started to feel like I’m not a total newbie chump during workouts. I now feel like I can do pretty much all of the workouts ‘as prescribed’ (i.e., without reducing the weight/reps/distance) and it’s been a while since someone stopped me in the middle of a workout to prevent me from killing myself. I’m still near the tail of the pack on a lot of things, but at least I can generally keep the pack in sight.
My list of CF goals for last year was fairly conservative. I wanted a muscle-up, 30 pull-ups, and a sub-10-minute time on Fran. I managed to get 2/3 as I was only able to get to 26 pull-ups. This year’s list is going to be a bit more ambitious:

I’m close to some of those goals (bodyweight C&J, for instance) – but some of them are going to take some real work. At the very least, I’ll have fun trying!

post An Angry Beer

January 21st, 2008

Filed under: Beer — Brock @ 6:37 am

So Kochun and I brewed up a Belgian trippel yesterday and tossed it on top of the yeast cake from the Belgian singel that had just gone into secondary. The trippel itself was based on the recipe for “Third Nipple Trippel” from the Randy Mosher’s book Radical Brewing, but I really wanted to come up with a different name. As it turns out, it didn’t take too long for inspiration to strike.

Within 4 hours of pouring the sugary wort onto the yeast, insanely vigorous fermentation had begun and the airlock was bubbling so quickly that you could feel the current of CO2 hit your hand. I noticed that the frothy krausen was rising dangerously close to the lid of the bucket and it was around this time that I decided that placing a potentially explosive container of yeast and sugar water next to my couch was probably a bad idea. I moved the fermenter inside of my bathtub, and replaced the airlock with a thick blowoff tube. I recorded a short video of the setup just before I went to bed.

For several hours, the yeast strained against the confines of the bucket. At first the blowoff tube was able to handle the stress, but as the night wore on, the krausen rose into the tube and starting gumming up the works. Periodically, the tube would clog and pressure would rapidly build up inside the bucket until finally the clog was shot out of the tube in a burst that sounded like somebody sneezing through a straw into a glass of water. These eruptions grew more and more violent until finally, the bucket yielded to the caged god inside:

I like to imagine that the the beer was just trying to get back to its open fermentation Belgian roots. In any event, the violence and fury of its creation inspired the name. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you Caged God Belgian Trippel.

post Total Radsauce

January 15th, 2008

Filed under: CrossFit — Brock @ 6:00 am

I finally got to participate in a CrossFit Total. The folks at CrossFit Seattle took on the task of managing the event while the CrossFit Eastside crew took on the task of populating it. It was a great time all around. Lots of inspirational lifts and more personal records than you can shake a stick at.

If you’re that sort of person, you can peek at the results (as a CSV if you’re nasty.)

One could interpret the data in any number of ways. As an egotist, I lean towards interpretations that move me higher on the list. If you use the Schwartz-Malone formula to adjust for bodyweight or just use a pound-for-pound (weight lifted divided by bodyweight) approach, my score looks marginally better. No matter how you look at it, there’s no denying that there are some crazy strong CrossFitters about.

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