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English: BenchPress ex

English: BenchPress ex (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last few months have seen me using the exercises in Iron Man Magazine nearly exclusively. In particular, those found within the Training & Research Center’s articles, using the ideals of HIT and 4x. Steve Holman’s articles have lead to very good results and since the body needs to be confused from time to time, it is now that there will be some change.

For June and July, I am going to go with heavier workouts, though the reps will not be forced to drop much. Research is starting to show that decline chest exercises are more effective and stimulating the pectoral muscles. All the standing cable flyes will be replaced, as with the flat press. I’ve also knocked out some of the supersets and lowered the overall number of exercises. I want more bang for my time. The resulting chest, back and ab workout will now look like this:

  • Declined flyes   3×10
  • Declined dumbbell bench press   3×10
  • Super set:
    • Flat flyes   3×10
    • Wide-grip bench dips  3×10
  • Smith machine flat bench (negative)  1×9
  • Super set:
    • Pulldowns   3×10
    • Undergrip pulldowns   3×10
  • Upright barbell rows   3×12
  • Super set:
    • Dumbbell shrugs   3×12
    • Laterals   3×10
  • Knee Ups   4×12

The idea is to do this workout at least through June and then perhaps tweak it a bit for July. This is done once a week, usually on Monday, with a followup workout on Fridays that is more TORQ oriented. The latter workout will remain from the Iron Man articles and will be adjusted once the July issue of the magazine has arrived.

Changes for the leg work are still being finalized and will be posted as soon as they are ready.

Happy lifting.

Main blog article.

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The Reality of a WIP

Reality. It is all around us. It is what we see. It is us. It is also a plugin. Yes, a plugin.

Reality was created by Paolo Ciccone for DAZ Studio. It is a bridge between Studio and LuxRender, a free physical light non-biased rendering engine. When first introduced on the DAZ forums, it created a storm like no other product. When it finally came out, rendering threads would fill up in days. It freed the artist to work on lights like the real world. Light bounced. Caustics were real.

Enough about Reality. Join Paolo in his forums for more.

It is time to return to rendering. Now it is time for a Work In Progress (WIP). The latest scene features Victoria 4 with the Jamie 2 textures. It is time to move lights around and create a simple scene. It is time to learn how to render realistic looking skin.

Join me on this journey.

w00t!

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English: The BBC Top Gear presenting team of ,...

English: The BBC Top Gear presenting team of , and . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not British. I’m not English. I’m not famous. I’m not the mayor of London. I do have Scot-Irish ancestry mixed with German. I live in America and not England. No matter. I want to drive the car on Top Gear. I want to be on Top Gear.

Oh no, not that American crap. The real Top Gear. The one on the BBC. The Top Gear with Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Hamster. I mean Richard Hammond. I want to drive the Kia. I want to sit on the Green bench seat and talk to Jeremy. Heck, I want to talk to them all. I want to help them with a film about getting lost.

Oh yeah. I do want to be on Top Gear. Think of it. A home brewing, photography loving, Autobahn trained American guest on a British television show. I want to talk torques and horse powers (why do they make plurals of those words) with Jeremy. I want to talk over pints of beer with James May. I want to do better doughnuts better than Hamster. I mean Richard Hammond.

So, BBC, come one. Give a bloody Yank a break. I’ll even come early and make beer for the audience.

I want to be on Top Gear.

 

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Holy crap man! What is this? Post once a month and expect people to subscribe to your blog? What are you? Stupid? I mean, WordPress is a great

Sexy girl

Sexy girl (Photo credit: doom_sellers)

thing, but only if you write. Otherwise, it is just another dead subsite handing off of the WordPress domain hoping and praying someone stumbles across it and they buy something. I mean, Holy crap man! What are you?

At the other end are the sites that have 15 postings a day, all about the same product and how great it is. It will make your penis bigger! It will whiten your teeth! It will make women want to rip your clothes off and do it all night long! Oh wait! I can only sell a few in your area. After all, if all the women are sore from all the sex, who will want them?? So hurry, act now!

Boo! Hiss! What a scam! Who are you Michael Parness? Dani? That crazy nut on CNBC hocking stocks?!?!?  Cramer!?!?! Dude! Bite me.

No, this is about truth. Barack Obama isn’t an American. He isn’t his own person. He is a shill for George Soros. Obama supposedly came from a poor family, yet went to the most prestigious schools in the country and received mediocre grades. Dave Icke is right! The reptile Overlords are in Control! Run for your life!

When does my dick get bigger?

Don’t worry dude. Keep rubbing.

Free sex all night at the best clubs in town. My free formula will show you how to get the ladies wet and wanting. Send $200 postage and handling and even you can have sex like Bill Clinton. The babes love him and they will love you too. Get it today!

Yeah. Obama is a tool and his supporters are idiots.

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We are on the last full day at being at the beach at Emerald Isle, North Carolina and tonight is taco night. Last week, we drove from

English: Split, gymnastics Deutsch: Spagat

English: Split, gymnastics Deutsch: Spagat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cincinnati, Ohio to Mechanicsville, Virginia. We still don’t know if we are driving home to Cincinnati on Saturday or Sunday. Yeah, it is a bit late to be discussing such maneuvers, but such goes vacation.

The greatest lessons learned during this whole trip is one easily forgotten: be flexible. When things don’t go as planned, change the plans or perish. Too many people get completed stuck in the schedule and fail to see when it is time to change. They ignore the signs and complain. They get angry and point to the schedule. They will not relax.

Some things do require a tight schedule. Open heart surgery being one. The patient will not live for too long if left open. Very few things in life, however, require such a tight schedule. Failing to plan is as dangerous, so plan, go and be flexible.

Who knows where we are going tomorrow. We may drive to the in-laws and head home on Sunday. We may drive about half-way and stay overnight and then drive the rest tomorrow. Doesn’t really matter. When the decision is finally made, that is the direction will will go, until the signs say to move differently.

Be flexible and succeed.

 

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The Delicate Arch, a natural arch near Moab, Utah

The Delicate Arch, a natural arch near Moab, Utah (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The intent was to blog each night. The idea was to share the experiences in Utah with everyone. The days became long. The hikes far more tiring than anticipated. Here now lies the last night, beer in glass.

While I am sipping on a 4-Play Porter from Shared of Pale Brewing Company and a video is being exported from iMovie of scenes shot at Canyonlands National Park, the time has come to finally updated the readers of where we are. This whirlwind tour of Utah started with beer and it will the same way.

The first day saw us at Park City, where beer was consumed at the Olympic Park and the No Name Saloon. A panoramic video was shot at the top of the town lift near the old silver mine (King Silver Mine). The area was beautiful and it was warm. Flies abounded. In the late afternoon it rained and that is when we ate at the No Name Saloon. The Buffalo cheeseburger was great.

Mid-tour found us in Cedar City and enjoying Zion National Park. It is quite interesting how little English was heard amongst the visitors. The two most popular languages were German and French. I didn’t get to speak to many. But it was fun trying to remember the vocabulary to attempt at understanding.

This last night we went to Arches National Park to see the stars. This park is open all day. A quite drive out of Moab and we are there. Pull over. Let our eyes adjust. Oh my. I took some long exposures with my Nikon D7000. I’ll post some results.

The beer is nearly gone. It is a LONG day tomorrow making our way to North Carolina.

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Great Salt Lake And Valley

Great Salt Lake And Valley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh my. Getting to our vacation in Utah proved to be no less an adventure than what we planned to see. As we were leaving from Richmond, Virginia, we elected to fly from Newport News as it saved us quite a bit of money (more to spend on the actual vacation…). Getting there wasn’t too bad and it gave my wife and her friend time to talk. Once there, a sequence of events transpired that was nearly tragic and comical.

It started with security that had a slow moving line, despite the shortness of it. There are six gates in concourse A, why does this have to be so hard? The line grew and it was slow. Next came the sterilizing body scan. As they made me take off my belt, my pants would not stay up high enough. I went to hold them, but all that did was have the TSA inform me that I need to put my hands over my head. This made my pants fall a bit (yes, I’ve lost a few pounds when I changed my workouts). After a few rounds of this, I pulled them up high enough and pushed my gut out to make them stay long enough for the scan. Ugh, now what?

That was the wrong question to ask, albeit only in my head. As I had had my camera backpack on, my back was sweaty. This made the scan register stupidly which lead to a pat down of the areas marked. Nothing was found that way, of course, but as the TSA does not train the agents to think, we danced anyway. Finally, redressed and through security.

After a bit of food and waiting, it was time for congregating around the gate and waiting to board like cattle. The biggest problem is that there wasn’t a plane. Oops. I guess we wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, it arrives 30 minutes late from Denver. Plane cleaned, we get to board. Plan full. Finally, off.

Our Denver arrival was only about 30 minutes late. No worries. Our scheduled layover was 3 hours. Find the next gate, ask about the exit row (it was full)  and get something to eat. Done, done and done. Congregate at A42 in Denver at the appropriate time. Oh wait. No plane. Hey, I’ve seen this play.

I check my boarding pass again. It says we are flying Frontier, not Delta. What’s with all the delays? I expect this from a heartless giant like Delta Airlines, not from a locally run regional. Plane finally arrives. Crews gets off. It is cleaned. New crew boards. We board. Well, sorta. Very slow to board and then someone says they forgot their laptop in the terminal. Ok, get it. She does. Pilot is still chatting with co-pilot. Nearly full plane. We are hot.

Someone finally figures out that customer comfort on an Air Bus 319 is a good thing and gets the air on. Pilot and co-pilot are still chatting. Time goes past 30 minutes since time to leave. We aren’t. What is going on?

Finally, an announcement that we are waiting on passengers from a flight from Atlanta. We wait more. Lady in window seat huffs and fidgets. Inside, I giggle. Outside, I am in discomfort. Very tired and seat will not recline. I’ve been awake since 5:30 am Eastern. It is nearly 10 mountain time. We still have to fly to Salt Lake, get bags, get shuttle to rental car, etc.

Finally, the last passenger is on-board. Seems he had to stop at McDonald’s on the way. Thanks buddy. I smile. I know karma will get him back. It did me. We fly.

Ok pilot, full throttle, we have time to make. Nah.

Arriving in Salt Lake started with one of the loudest and hardest landings of which I been a part. Nearly thought I was on Alitalia, except we didn’t bounce. Former Navy pilot I guess.

Now the very long wait for bags. Walk to shuttle area. Wait….wait…oh crap, midnight approaches and Fox Rental car closes then. I call. Get the recording. Another person shows up at the waiting area. She is on the phone. Turns out, she got the only human available to answer the phone. We wait and shuttle finally arrives. We drive…long way.

It is well past 12:30 am when we are out the rental area with the car. Now, the trip to the hotel. We find it without problem, though there is no stoner walking about in the drive way and security is following him. Welcome to the Red Lion Hotel. I check in and am informed our room does not have a closet. I don’t care at this point. We take everything up and I go to move the car. The elevator comes as expect, I push 1 and head to lobby. The car gets there and the doors will not open.

Really? Is this really happening? The time is pushing past 1 am Mountain time. This 3 am for me. I’ve been up nearing 22 hours. I push buttons. Nothing. I push more. Still nothing. Oh wait, I have the key and the envelope. A number. I call and get the front desk. I get disconnected before I can be understood. I call again. This time, good communication happens. In a few minutes I hear noises. Finally, the doors are open. How often does this happen??

Car is moved. I make my way back up to our room. I try to sleep. My mind is racing. I doze. At 5:30 eastern, my mind says “Wake up!” I hit snooze.

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Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000 (Photo credit: jaredpolin)

My typical camera bag is showing its age. It is a great backpack and I’ve taken many times on driving and flying trips. These days, however, there is the added need of taking a laptop. When going by car, this really isn’t much of a problem. I put my MacBook in another bag with books, power cords and other materials. Taking two bags on a plane though, that’s a problem.

I started looking at larger backpacks that could hold the 17″ laptop. Holy cow they are expensive. I settled on one from Sam’s Club. The Case Logic DSLR Travel Pack. Though it is inexpensive, I am already seeing problems in the design. For starters, it doesn’t seem to have much room and there are no straps for the chest and waist. Hiking is going to become a problem. I don’t need to worry too much about the tripod as it isn’t making the trip (all aluminum and too heavy).

I have an idea, I’ll pack my existing bag in my suitcase. I stuffed it full of underwear, etc, placed it in the suitcase. It fits! Well, sorta. There is some room leftover, though not enough. It will have to stay home and I’ll need to get used to the new bag.

The biggest problem here is that I really do need two bags. I need one large enough for traveling. Stuff all my gear, lenses, cleaners, filters, laptop, etc. Rugged so I can take it on the plane. Once where we are going, I need a smaller one for hiking around, whether town or wilderness, in which I take only what is needed for that trip. I have tried a few other bags, results are crap.

Are there any bags out there that fit this bill? Perhaps a bag in a bag? Let me know.

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Cincinnati skyline

Cincinnati skyline (Photo credit: joseph a)

Today I did something I’ve never done. I work at AAA in Cincinnati and today was our annual Children’s Outing. This event takes many disadvantaged children from the tri-State area and gives them a day at King’s Island. This year was the 105th anniversary for this event. It is great community outreach and way for our company to give back.

This year, I was asked to take pictures of the kids during the event. Though I seem to be suffering from a cold, I thought that perhaps the sun would do me good. I’ve also taken pictures at various beer fests in Cincinnati and Columbus, so I’ve do events that require lots of walking around. Wow, I had no idea what was ahead.

Arriving on time, I neglected to put sun screen on. Big mistake as the temperature climbed to over 90 degrees. I did my best to stay hydrated, taking breaks inside every few hours. By 4 am, however, I was done. All pains and sunburned have, I barely made it home. Once cool, I started to get cold chills from the cold and sunburn combination. Yeah, I’m in a world of hurt.

No mater. I would do it again for the kids. To see their faces all smiles all day long at King’s Island is worth far more than price. To have their smiling faces thank you for letting them come is a warmth that will break the hardest heart. These kids have tough lives and it was good to give them a happy day. The event is one that all the kids talk about for the rest of their lives. Some were able to rise above their situation and look to give back through the event.

What a great day!

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It is time to mix it up on my YouTube channel. It is time for a video challenge like no other in the history of YouTube. What could that be???

This challenge has no real rules, no real goals, no prizes, only journeys, only growth, only fun. So, check out the video introduction for the video challenge.

Here’s the story:

  • Have fun. Make what you want.
  • Expand your thoughts and ideas. Learn new techniques. Grow in your skills.
  • Have fun.
  • Post your videos and keyword to June 2012 Video Challenge
  • Use content you never have before
  • Have fun
  • Don’t worry about the video being perfect.
  • Be in front of the camera, be behind it, use computer generated, make slideshows. It doesn’t matter.
  • Did I mention to have fun?

That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Go. Start. Learn. Grow. Post. Enjoy!

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