Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wanna get really strong?

I mean really really strong? Then you gotta deadlift. I'm not talking about getting perfectly sculpted biceps that peek like mountains when flexed, I'm talking about "dad strength," as in "Dad, you're strong! You can lift THAT?" If you wanna get "dad strong," then DEADLIFT.

I'm not much of a physical specimen, to tell you the truth. And I've always felt kind of weak... weak grip, can't lift much, just not strong. So, for the past few months I've been lifting some weights in the basement a couple times a week. A few weeks ago, I added the deadlift into my routine, and I love it. Today was "get the air conditioner units out of the windows day," which is traditionally the weekend before Yom Kippur, or thereabouts. Four air conditioners, one of them an oversized beast. Well, guess what -- piece of cake. I could have picked them up over my head and tossed them. And why? The deadlift.

The beauty of the deadlift is that this one exercise works virtually the entire body. Here's how to do the standard deadlift:

A variation that I do, since I don't have room or equipment to safely do the other exercise that works virtually every body part (the squat), is the sumo deadlift, where your legs go on the outside of your arms, and you end up squating like a sumo wrestler.

My routine, consisting mostly of compound exercises, now looks something like this (with a warmup set before each exercise):

Deadlifts (with shoulder shrugs) 6-8 reps, two sets.

Sumo deadlifts 6-8 reps, two sets

Flat Bench Press 6-8, two sets

Bent over dumbell rows, 6-8 two sets

Dumbell shoulder presses (I'm awful at these, and hate them... still playing with # of reps and sets).

Pull downs, 6-8 two sets.

I finish with one set of pushups to failure, and some crunches to failure.

I know, it's not a big long routine with tons of sets, but the average joe don't need tons of sets to get big a strong. Besides, I also go to Karate class twice a week, and have a job, a wife, and seven kids, so I have to squeeze as much as I can into a short time for a couple times a week.

Did I mention that I'm really diggin' the deadlift?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Day Trip to Luray Zoo

Since we were nearby to Luray, we decided to visit the Luray Zoo and Reptile Jungle. It's a smallish zoo, consisting of mostly rescued animals. We were greeted in the parking lot with a warning that was a bit concerning. We were glad that we had money to pay the admission price!
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The kids liked the entrance to the zoo, which looked like big alligator jaws.
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Inside, there were very many interesting reptiles, including a very large alligator turtle, an amazing selection of snakes, and these bearded lizards which I named "The Three Stooges":
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The outdoor portion of the zoo featured some very cool animals. We especially enjoyed the monkeys.
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And the petting zoo was a favorite of the littles.
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The Alligator feeding was especially groovey. The zoo owner, Mr. Mark Kilby explained to us that he doesn't approve of the foolishness of jumping on crocodilians, tying their mouths shut, wrapping them up, and all that jazz that is sometimes seen on certain nature shows. Mr. Kilby just calmy approaches his alligators, and presents the food, and gulp, the alligators chomp it down.
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After the alligator feeding, Mr. Kilby was kind enough to sit down with Cole and talk.
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One of the questions Cole asked was, "So, were you considering Steve Irwin when you said that you didn't jump on your animals like some other people?" Mr. Kilby spoke very respectfully of Mr. Irwin, and yet with every bit as much conviction for the conservation of animals, explained why he believed Mr. Irwin was wrong in his tactics and antics. "My animals trust me, and if I grabbed my snakes by the tail and held them up and yelled stuff, they would never trust me again." He also talked about the time Steve Irwin came to the Luray Zoo, and borrowed some of Mr. Kilby's snakes for filming (under the condition that he would not act crazy with the snakes). We found Mr. Kilby to be a very knowledgeable and kind man.

Later, he got out some of his snakes to show us, including a Copperhead, a Diamondback rattlesnake, and a Cobra!
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During the snake show, Mr. Kilby made an interesting point (I'm going on memory here): The most common venomous snake in Virginia, is the Copperhead. The Copperhead has killed 6 people in Virginia since 1948. That's SIX -- two of which were religious snake handlers who did not seek medical attention due to their delusional thinking. The other four deaths were intoxicated males that were bitten between the fingers and the elbow ("I know I'm a little drunk y'all, but I'll be dipped if'n I can't pick up that there snake!"). Snakes are generally hated, and killed with a shovel when seen. A far more deadly animal -- that has killed thousands of people, many of them elderly ladies, infants and other young children, is greatly loved and kept as pets -- the dog. The dog kills babies and old ladies, and the Copperhead takes care of nuts and drunks, and we love the dog but hate the snake, because one is "creepy" and the other is cute. Hmm...

We had a great visit to the Luray Zoo, and everyone had a really good time.
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Monday, September 25, 2006


We just got home from a trip. The first load of laundry is in, the neighborhood kids are all gathered around the house, on the porch, in our yard, to welcome us home, and I have a few minutes at the moment to write a quick note to let you all know that we were gone, and now we're back. I plan on sharing some things about our trip in the very near future. For right now...

I was in the restroom at a fast food place a few hours ago, and I noticed a page with writing on it in the urinal next to me. I squinted to try to read what it was. I was shocked and saddened to read the name of my Lord on the piece of paper... it appeared to be a page from either the Bible, or perhaps from the Book of Mormon, but it was my Savior's Name, that's for sure. I thought for a moment. If I saw my own name in a filthy urinal, I probably wouldn't bother to reach my hand in there and pick it out. My name, I confess, is worthy of such an insult as to be a target in a urinal. Besides, I would rather take the insult of having my name voided on, rather than putting my hand in something so vile. But this was not my name, but a far BETTER name, and one NOT deserving of this treatment, and so... in my hand went. The page was then properly disposed. So...

If you are the one that put a page of what appeared to be Scripture in the urinal of a fast food place's restroom in Green Castle PA, email me... I want to talk to you.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

"To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life."

The Name which you depised is the only Name given under Heaven whereby you must be saved, and they way you treated it indicates that it is a savor of death unto death to you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"How dare you call me violent! Now I must kill you!"

So, the Pope quotes a medieval text that calles Muhammad's teachings evil and inhuman, and notes that Islam has been historically spread by the sword.  As if wishing to prove the Pope's point, many Muslims respond by burning the Pope in effigy, and calling for his death.

I can't be the only person that finds this whole thing tragically and awfully funny.  I mean, all of this seems to me to be a diabolic case of sibling rivalry. Some of the quotes I read from the angry Muslims are warning the Pope that true religion will come to Rome and knock down the Pope's thrones along with all the crosses in the houses. Hmm...

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
~Rev. 9:17-21.

"Antichrist is the pope and the Turk together; a beast full of life must have a body and soul; the spirit or soul of antichrist is the pope, his flesh or body the Turk. The latter wastes and assails and persecutes God's church corporally; the former spiritually and corporally too, with hanging, burning, murdering, etc. But, as in the apostle's time, the church had the victory over the Jews and Romans, so now will she keep the field firm and solid against the hypocrisy and idolatry of the pope, and the tyranny and devastations of the Turk and her other enemies." ~ Martin Luther.

May the LORD JESUS CHRIST restrain and conquer all His and the Church's enemies, and protect and save all those that are His.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cool Picture of Camel Shadows

Check out this picture... the "camels" you see are actually mere shadows. Look closer to see the camels themselves (click the pic):

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(Yes, it's a real photo).

Monday, September 11, 2006

Fish Experiment NOT going well.

Well, poor Henry didn't make it through the weekend. Squirt ain't looking to hot today either. :-(

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Our new hobby

We picked up some used aquarium equipment a couple weeks ago. I got it up and running a few days ago. Today, we introduced our first two fish to the aquarium. I decided on...

(drum roll)...

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The Blue Gourami!

Let's see if they can hang in there for a while. The Ph level and the temperature are A-OK, but aquariums can be fragile environments sometimes. Gouramis are pretty hardy, though.

Well, I'm tired and feeling kinda... ugly... really for the second half of the day, for whatever reason. Time for family worship, and then BED.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

(Almost a) Headline: Guy in goofy gi goes to wrong class.

I'm all messed up (no wise-cracks!).  I work at noon today, so I figured I'd get up early and try to catch a Karate class this morning before work.  So I drag myself out of bed (I've been really tired lately), chug two cups, eat a banana, grab my gear and head out the door.  I get to class, and it's filled with Krav Maga people.  Now, they don't dress like us karateka, and there I am standing with my bo.  So, before getting into full uniform and making a complete goof out of myself, I sneak over to the schedule hanging on the wall, and figure out that IT'S WEDNESDAY (thanks LABOR DAY!), and my class isn't til 11am, which is too late for me cuz I work at noon, so I came home and typed this instead.  Good news is that I do indeed work at noon, and my not knowing what day it is did not make me late for work.... yet.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter


Video removed to avoid offense (see comments), and to avoid any possible vain use of the Lord's Name (unintentional on my part).

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Be Angry And Sin Not

I'm in the process of posting a series in Calvin's Corner from his sermons on Ephesians on the verse that says "Be ye angry, and sin not."  I do believe it is the best explanation of that verse I've ever heard.  Far from finding justification for outward anger in these words, Calvin would have us to be angry at ourselves, at our sin, and what should follow is a carefulness to check ourselves against sin, a willingness to forgive others, and decrease in rage against others. 

Post #1

Post# 2

Post# 3

With more to follow, Lord willing.

If you have any good John Calvin quotes you think others may benefit from reading, come on over to Calvin's Corner and share them.

Friday, September 01, 2006

AikiJutsu bullshizu

Something tells me that you have to be in this guy's martial arts cult in order for these moves to be effective on you. I mean, a shrug of the shoulder sends someone flying? Give me a break!

Let's see a shoulder-shrug take out one of these guys, huh?