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Five exercises I like - Part 3

This is the third of 5 parts.

Over the years I have tried many movements and exercises. Some felt like a waste of time. Others helped me add on pounds and absolute strength (thereby making me look muscular than my 165 lbs) while at the same time keeping me light on my feet (like I was when I was a 100 lb kid). Here are five movements that I seem to have settled on now. They get done on a regular basis although not in each and every training session.

Overhead Shoulder Press

To achieve and maintain optimal shoulder health, everyone should do at least one overhead movement on a regular basis (once a week or so is sufficient). The overhead shoulder press is the perfect way to keep the shoulder girdle (which includes the rotator cuff and shoulder blade muscles) and upper arms (especially the triceps) healthy and mobile.


Start...


Finish...

You should do this movement standing to allow your legs and lower back to stabilize the lift and reduce compressive forces on your spine. When you go heavy, th…

Oh, ye of little faith

Apparently Walmart is coming out with a full line of religious toys.


The Samson on...I mean, and Goliath toy. Hey, where's the delectable Delilah? Are they fighting over her?

If toys have to put the faith in kids, then that to me is an act of desperation by those who want to send the message. Of course, I can't discount the possibility that this (out-of-control kids who need to be showered with the latest toy) is also an economic opportunity for some shrewd people to make money.

It will always be difficult for a high-consumption, fully democratic society and religion to "integrate" the way religious leaders probably want the general population to. Because if it were any easier, then there wouldn't be that much of a difference between the societal "morals" of the United States and Saudi Arabia.


Guess who this is? Yup. David. That discerning young man who slayed Goliath. This was a sculpture by Donatello (circa 1440). Of course, its hardly want you want your …

Creative juices

So last night, in my Art History class, we started discussing High Renaissance art. The paintings had started getting controversial around this time. The human organic form was shown more often and more vividly. One such controversial painting that we discussed was the Venus of Urbino by Titian.


Venus of Urbino, Oil on canvas.

Naturally everyone chimed in with their opinion of what was controversial. Everyone generally agreed on what was controversial about the painting: the position of the left hand...and what it was possibly doing. So while everyone was going back and forth, I wondered how I could have made this picture more erotic (and then had myself burned at the stake). Essentially, I would have had her cover her left hand with the flowers in her right hand. This might give an impression that she is trying to be modest. In essence, everyone will know for sure what that left hand is doing under those flowers but no one can see sh*t. Plus I would have made her place that right hand …

Back when...

I am a big fan of Louis L'amour. I grew up on his Westerns as a kid in India. I would regularly bicycle to a small library a few kilometers from my house. It was really a rectangular, dusty room that always looked like a tornado had just gone through it. For the most part, I was the only person there. Sometimes I visited after school. Sometimes I would go weekend mornings, rent a book and finish it in a couple of hours if it were a small Western and maybe in 5 or 6 hours if it were a bigger book (like a Robert Ludlum or Frederick Forsyth novel). Then I would go back again immediately after.



The library was owned by an old man with red and black colored teeth. He was always chewing betel leaves. Once I took a couple of friends with me and one of them pinched a book. He wasn't going to read it. He had done it for the thrill of it. Anyway, I didn't feel too good about it. I didn't encourage my friends to go to the library with me after that time. I did, however, eventuall…

Five exercises I like - Part 2

This is the second of 5 parts.

Over the years I have tried many movements and exercises. Some felt like a waste of time. Others helped me add on pounds and absolute strength (thereby making me look muscular than my 165 lbs) while at the same time keeping me light on my feet (like I was when I was a 100 lb kid). Here are five movements that I seem to have settled on now. They get done on a regular basis although not in each and every training session.

The Rack Pull

Ever leaned into your car trunk to pick up those grocery bags or a heavy case of books? Ever helped a friend carry a couch up the steps to the 5th floor (because an elevator wasn't available in the building)?

If you are female, do you like wearing clothes with a plunging neckline (men already know the answer to that one)? Well, most pulling action will help you quickly develop that shapely neck, shoulders and arms.

Enter the Rack Pull (aka Top Deadlifts or Deadlift off Blocks). It develops your grip strength, strengthens the …

Picture of the times

Seagull becomes crisp shoplifter, Aberdeen, Scotland. Picture courtesy BBC News.

Five exercises I like - Part 1

This is the first of 5 parts.

Over the years I have tried many movements and exercises. Some felt like a waste of time. Others helped me add on pounds and absolute strength (thereby making me look muscular than my 165 lbs) while at the same time keeping me light on my feet (like I was when I was a 100 lb kid). Here are five movements that I seem to have settled on now. They get done on a regular basis although not in each and every training session.

The Front Squat


Feet positioning: whatever keeps you stable.

If you don't or can't squat, you don't know squat about human kinetics. The squat gives you an accurate idea of your capacity to do hard work. If you have flexibility issues, the squat again will let you know exactly how much inflexiblity you have in a particular spot. It aids greatly in digestion/elimination and will help strengthen the inner abdominal wall. The squat will also allow you to develop and maintain the proper strength balance between the quads (front of the …

Between Rockport and hard bodies

Rockport, MA.

So I was out in Rockport last Saturday. I took the 2.15 commuter train and returned by the 7.30. The weather was awesome. The (young) people looked good. I was one of very few people in the entire town who wasn't white. I thought that I had stopped thinking on such terms a long time ago. Actually I have. But I must have been quite a standout (from the number of people who stared at me) that I couldn't help think on those terms, even if only briefly. Anyway, other than me, I noticed a black family and an Indian family. The latter comprising of the usual married couple with a bawling kid and another guy (looked like kin) who looked like he couldn't wait to get married. On a side note, I have seen his demeanor before. He was probably finding all the skin around him a major distraction and needed release from...a guaranteed traditional source :)


Testing the Olympus C-5000 that had been rusting for a while: My calves are now about 1/2 inch bigger from all that sprin…

Four and then some

Two or three days a week, I have a big breakfast at the Country Kitchen in Weymouth, a couple of miles from my office. This morning as I was settling down to my usual 3 scrambled eggs, 4 slices of bacon (done soft, Irish style) and wheat toast, I noticed a group of four people in one of the tables. Normal. Now these folks were clearly in their eighties. As the minutes wore on, I began to notice a lot of enthusiasm and involvement in their chatting. Were they strangers who had met only 4 days earlier? Or have they been neighbors for the past 4 years? Or have they been friends for the past 40 years?

Having come off several first dates in the past few months where the attention span of my dates had been miniscule, and disparate attempts on my part to start a conversation with utter strangers, I was starting to find the camaraderie amongst these folks infectious. I had to fight back an urge to get up, walk over, introduce myself and steal some of their moment. Instead I finished my meal, t…

30 year old camera!

Ken Rockwell made this picture with a 30 year old film camera. Amazing!

Just check out some more stunning pictures Ken has made from this ancient model camera.

This is another reason why I am amused when people insist on having the latest model of any device to do "things" better (I know. My blog has been dripping with sarcasm all week).

I suppose if the intention is to just have the latest (and maybe show it off), that might be okay. I mean, I show off my muscles, my attitude, etc. all the time :)

Rowling's tears at Potter book death

Original BBC article:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2998198.stm

I have never read a Harry Potter book or watched any of the movies. I find something wholesomely buffoonish about the whole concept. It is beneath me. So when I read that JK Rowling cried about an important character she killed off, it only evokes guffaws from me.


JK Rowling. In my opinion, her boobs definitely carry more weight than her writing.

But I still like certain children's books such as The Book of Brownies and The Adventures of Dunno and his Friends...probably because I read them as a kid and so have continued to carry a certain fondness for them.

It wasn't a blast

So I was over at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) last evening. David and I were supposed to attend a get together of sorts for singles. The moment I walked into the Old Masters paintings gallery, where the party was being held, I knew I wasn't going to like the atmosphere.

I had been expecting quiet socialization, champagne and an intelligent discussion of art. Instead it looked like another meat market with loud music. There were women who were only half-clad in clothing. I have no problems with that. But this wasn't sensual or seductive clothing. It was flat out obscene type of clothing and it didn't quite gel with the general demeanor of the MFA. If it weren't for the phenomenal paintings on the wall, I would have left earlier. To be fair, some women were dressed tastefully. In that sense, the older women there (the ones in their 40s and 50s) actually appealed to me more so than the 20 somethings. Something to do with bearing and poise, I guess. And no one seemed to be…

ID4

Well, I have decided to stay in to complete a paper that is due tomorrow in my Art History class. The fact that it is drizzling outside has made it an easier decision. But I am pretty sure that I will still go for a walk later, perhaps toward the waterfront. But I did take the time to make a nice juicy steak earlier.


Before...


A few seconds later...

Now where did I put that glass of Brandy?

Old School, baby

There is an article in the BBC today about Framingham here in Massachusetts. It is a brief story of about 5,000 volunteers (starting from the mid 50s) who have been contributing to an extensive study on "why and how we get or inherit heart disease", the results of which are used for diagnoses around the world. Winnie Toy, 88, is one of the volunteers. She signed up for the study in 1948. Here is a brief extract of the conversation between her and Humphrey Hawksley, the BBC author of the article.

"And eggs," chipped in Winnie. "We were great egg eaters."
"So who's healthier?" I asked.
"Well I'm still here, aren't I," said Winnie.

Yeah!

Now all she needs to do is add a bit of Whiskey to her everyday diet for the ultimate touch :)