Powers of Two

Looking back at my last post, it’s been almost 9 months since I have written anything here. Reading back, I feel like I don’t even know who that person is anymore. It feels like a completely different lifetime. I guess reading back through posts from 2005, I can see what was important in my life at different times. Apparently, I really liked something called “CrossFit” and was an avid health and fitness aficionado.

I re-read my last post and while it is still true, I now see what I once thought with new eyes. What kind of eyes are those? A busy parent, basically.

Anyway, I was laying in bed this morning thinking about lots of things, namely circumstances. That lead into some broader ponderings of the meaning of it all and why we are all here. See, my wife is a Baptist and for her and people like her, that question seems to have a pretty simple answer. You can figure that one out on your own or answer it according to your own personal belief.

For me, it’s not so simple. In the sermon that I heard this past Sunday, I heard that “God made each and every one of us”. Not only that, but made each and every one of us with a purpose. Crafted… with a purpose. Really? I don’t know about that. Many religions and belief systems talk about how we all have a “Godly” potential; that we all have a “light” within us. Can you map that meaning of “light” to “purpose”? Maybe. If you live your life in a way that you reach your full potential and you are a light to others, have you fulfilled your purpose? Maybe, I don’t know.

What I DO know for sure, is that my parents made me and that got me to thinking. It wasn’t just my parents that made me. If their parents hadn’t made them and the circumstances wouldn’t have been right for them to meet, I would not exist. If I would have never met V, then B wouldn’t exist. At that point, the geeky engineer in my head took over and here’s where it went:


For every generation you go up, it took <MATH>(2^(generation number) + (all of the right circumstances to align))</MATH> to make sure that you walk the Earth. It gets more and more amazing to me with each iteration up the table. At my great grandparent’s level, it took 8 people to get together, encounter all of the right circumstances to create more people, then have all of those people meet and make more people to get to the point where it trickles down to me being here. In that sense, 8 people unintentionally made me. I am say without a shred of doubt, that my great great great grandmother/grandfather had NO clue that they were going to be responsible for someone like me.

If you go back further, say, 7 generations, 128 people had to pair up and produce offspring that would pair up 64 times, etc., etc..

That’s pretty crazy.

If you go back 14 generations, 16384 people donated genetic material which lead to my being here to write this blog post.

What really baked my noodle was looking at myself as the starting point or at someone else’s level in the tree. I wonder what person I will have donated 0.00006 (1/16384) of their genetic makeup.

At that point, I circled back around to the first part of these ponderings. Is it all just a big machine that keeps churning and churning? Obviously, yes. The real question is, is there someone operating the machine? If someone’s operating the machine, how involved are they? Are they just kind of making sure that it’s working or are they intimately involved?

That’s what I am still trying to figure out.


It’s that time of year… the time when we make promises to ourselves to {loose weight|take care of finances better|treat someone/everyone better|do this that, or the other thing better, less, or more}. We say that we are making resolutions, but do we ever stop to really think about what it means to “resolve” to do something?

I have an idea of what this means in my mind, but I decided to look it up for shits and giggles. There are 2 usages, a noun and a verb.


Verb: Settle or find a solution to (a problem, dispute, or contentious matter).

Noun: Firm determination to do something.

If you are here, stop, and read those definitions again, maybe, a few times, actually. Let that really sink in.

Firm. Determination. To. Do. Something.

Now, think about your “new year’s resolution”. Does the above describe how you feel about the “resolution” that you’ve made? If so, GREAT! You get it. If not, think about the resolution you have made and really think about your motivations and your reasons for making it. Is it just something you kinda-wanna do or is it something that is deeply important to you?

I feel like, for lots of people, there’s an unspoken sentiment that we will all say we are going to resolve to do some crap, then 2 weeks later, we say “yeah, whatever, never mind”. That isn’t resolve. You haven’t yet internalized the desire to have whatever it is you’ve decided to do.

“Resolve” means you will do anything and everything to make what you want to happen, happen.

You might not know every step to take and you might have hindrances and challenges along the way, but if the resolve is there NOTHING will stop you from accomplishing what it is that you want.

It doesn’t matter what your resolution is, the above sentiment applies to any and all things that one could resolve to do. I remember reading Tim Ferris’ “The Four Hour Body” and he makes a fantastic point which he encapsulates into a term he calls the “Harajuku Moment”. In short, this is the moment when you realize that what you are trying to do is a matter of life and death. Most people people will not commit themselves to something until they see it from this perspective. The perfect example is your typical middle aged, overweight, out of shape human hearing “If you don’t loose weight, you will die very soon” from their primary care doctor.

At this point, it’s no longer a game and failure is not an option. Well, unless you want to die. That sentiment is WAY different from “you could loose a few pounds, but whatever, it’s not really hurting you”.

I feel like I’m rambling. Back to the point…

I am not making resolutions this year. I know what I need to work on and I know where I need to go. I don’t need a resolution starting on a certain date to become a better {person|athlete|husband|father|son|etc.}.

You shouldn’t either.

Rest of this week…

Wednesday, 12/7/2011

I felt good when I got in that morning and that feeling carried on through my workout.

  • 500m row
  • 3×5 Back Squat: 270#
  • 3×5 Press: 145#
  • 1×5 Dead Lift: 355#


Friday, 12/9/2011

Exhausted this morning. Got 3 or 4 hours of sleep all broken up. Wanted to do more but the feeling of exhaustion was too much. I just hit a point where I didn’t feel good and needed to leave.

  • 500m row
  • 50 GHD
  • 50 GHBE (25#)
  • Dead lift protocol (315#, 365#, 395#)
  • Front Squat Negative @ 135#: 12 reps
  • Dip Negative @ BW: 11 reps

I had V take some “after” pics of me yesterday to compare against the one that I took on Sept. 3rd before starting the AdvoCare 24 day money loan. I am hesitant to post them here because I am still, for the most part, grossly unhappy about my appearance. With that said though, I am extremely happy with the progress that I am seeing and will continue until I can get actual “after” pictures that mean something more. These current “after” pictures should be called “progress” pictures.

Validation that you are going down the right path and that what you are doing is working is ALWAYS nice.

My parents will be here tonight and are staying for a little over a week. I am really excited to see them again. I really hope that by this time next year, we are all together. It’s been so long since I have had regular family around (aside from my grandmother).

Soshul Netwerks я Fun

I think yesterday will go down as “ridiculous comment flame war of 2011” day.

My wife posted a very innocuous status about lacking motivation to leave the house. Although the reason why she lacked this motivation wasn’t stated, it was because it was cold outside. Leaving this crucial piece of information out was, apparently, the fatal flaw that lead to the further assassination of people’s character and sensibility when commenting online.

See: “history of the internet”. People seem to feel that it’s “OK” to say whatever the hell they want in whatever manner they wish when posting on the internet. Now that we have things like FaceBook and Twitter, where, we can let people into the most intimate details of our lives, we also give them ability to supply their opinions about said details whether we like it or not.

Some people are perfectly fine about this. There IS, in fact, a way to convey your opinion about something that is respectful and kind to your audience or intended recipient. There is also the complete and utter opposite of that, where it’s not necessarily the content of your posting that is wrong, more so, how you decide to release that nugget of information into the world. THIS kind of transference of information will leave your audience feeling no-so-great about you.

These kinds of interactions cause unkind words between groups of people that would NEVER normally interact. To boot, a conversation of this kind would almost NEVER occur if this were, say, a giant party where all of these same people were physically in the same room. I can say will 100% certainty that if we were all in the same room (physically) and my wife said in passing “Man, I really am finding it hard to leave the house today, even with new Yoga pants”, that the complete absurdity that occurred on her FaceBook wall yesterday would NOT happen. The inflated sense of self that people have online rarely manifests itself in the real world in the same person. It’s really easy to be a complete and utter douche nozzle when you are typing words on a screen and clicking a button. The act of delivering this information verbally would have a whole other set of checks and balances that would [hopefully] prevent this level of douchery in a real world conversation. Something to the affect of “hmm, maybe I shouldn’t say that” might run through your head and make you think twice about the impact of your words.

What is even worse, is when people meet in the “real world” after these kinds of interactions on a social network and nay a word is uttered regarding said interaction. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. It’s like running into a girl you had a one-night-stand with, left before she got up, and never called at a coffee shop. There seems to be this sort of unspoken agreement that “what happens on <SOCIAL NETWORK> stays on <SOCIAL NETWORK>”. It’s sort of understood that when we meet, we won’t talk about what you said, how you said it, what it conveys about YOU as a person, and how it makes me want to ban you from my life. No, we will just go on as normal, smile, say hello, and exchange formalities.

Absurd. And here I thought that we were mostly adults.

Fret not, my 4 readers. I have a solution for you! It’s called the “FaceBook Restricted List”. What is this, you ask? Well, it’s a list that FaceBook has now included with your other lists, but anyone that you put on it will ONLY be able to see what you PUBLICALLY post. I like to call this a “soft de-friend” because you aren’t actually de-friending the person, just well, making sure they don’t provide the garbage that’s in their head unless you publically post something for them to see. Here’s how to soft-defriend:

  1. Go to your lists. Find the “restricted list”. Add the offender.
  2. Go to your wall. Find their posts. Click the arrow in the top right corner. Hide their inane ramblings.

Remember that social networks will provide the experience that you tailor them to provide.

Why not just defriend the person, you ask? Well that’s a great question, voice in my head! Sometimes it would cause more social upset to defriend the offender. Soft defriending gives you the ability to shut them up on FaceBook without actually having to have that awkward face-to-face “why did you defriend me” talk. Perhaps you work with this person or see them at a place that you attend as a member and you’d like to keep things civil. Soft defriending lets you do this. They no longer get to see your posts, hence, can no longer comment on them and you get to not have conversations with your significant other every night about “what so-and-so posted on my status”. Win2.

Happy soshul netwerking, friends!

Paleo Peach Cobbler/Mess

This is one of the first paleo “desserts” that I ever made. V loves it and it’s pretty much a staple dessert in our house. Note that you can use whatever fruit you wish, but I most commonly use peaches.


  • Medium size pot
  • Potato masher
  • Standard size pie plate
  • Parchment or wax paper
  • Small/med mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Small glass
  • Spoon


  • 1.5c Almond Flour
  • 2.0c Sliced Peaches (fresh or frozen)
  • 0.5c Water
  • 3 Tbs Butter
  • 2 Tbs Arrowroot Powder
  • 6 Stevia Packets
  • Cinnamon


1) Pre-heat oven to 350F.



2) Get 1.5c of almond meal/flour and put it in a bowl.



3) Get some finger-fulls of butter and grease up your pie plate.



4) Melt the 3 Tbs of butter however you wish. I really don’t care how you do it. Just melt it.



5) Pour the butter over the almond flour and mix until it looks like wet sand.



6) Dump the wet sand mixture into the pie plate and shake it back and forth to even it out.



7) Place your parchment or wax paper over the mixture and press it into the pie plate. I sometimes use the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass for this as well.



8) Remove the parchment. Easy!



10) Put that sucker in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until it looks like this.



11) While your crust is cooking away, get your 2c of peaches + 0.5c water going over medium heat. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until the peaches fall apart.



12) Once the peaches are falling apart, MASH!



13) Add 4 packets of stevia and stir.



14) Put your 2 Tbs of arrowroot powder into a glass.



15) Add some water (about 0.25c maybe?) and mix.



16) Turn your heat to low and add the arrowroot slurry to the pot. Mix it in and let it cook away for a minute or two.



17) Pour the mixture into the shell. You might have some left over.



18) Bonus topping time! Sprinkle on a light layer of almond flour followed by 2 more stevia packets and a light dusting of cinnamon.



19) Add pats of butter all around.



20) Put it back in the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes.


Monday Morning Strength

I am really liking this morning workout time. It’s hard to get up, but if I drag myself into the gym, I feel great afterwards.

Here’s what I did today… still working things back up to where they were:

  • 500m row to warm up (1:47)
  • 3×5 back squat – 265# for all… felt good. Not too hard.
  • 3×5 bench press – 205# for all… challenging but doable.
  • 3×5 clean – 155#, 160#, 160#… felt really good. I failed on one of the 160#’s, but it was just due to bad form. The weight actually felt relatively light.

I did lots of stretching in between the sets. Good stuff. If we could just get our sleep back on track, I think that would make the whole package.

I am still progressing, though. I was able to fasten the weight belt another notch lower today =)

Back to it… (again)

Yeah yeah yeah… there are highs and lows.

I never got to re-do my total after the 8 week super strong program ended. I could only speculate on where it would have been, but it’s a pretty worthless endeavor at this point as my strength has clearly suffered in my absence.

I got 2 strength workouts in this week and took them sort of light. I am trying to get my body acclimated to lifting again. Yesterday, I got to the gym while V did an elements class with someone. I entertained Brenna with 5 sets of negatives”:

  • Front Squat: 12 reps @ 165#
  • Dead Lift: 12 @ 235#
  • Press: 10 @ 135# (push pressed for the positive)
  • Pull Ups: 9 @ BW
  • Ring Dips: 10 @ BW

It felt good to get back in there. This coming week should be a bit more regular with attendance. Maybe one day soon I will break 1100 =)

Strength Make Up

We missed class Wed night, so we made it up yesterday… we skipped some stuff in the interest of time:

  • 50 GHDs
  • 50 GHBE (35#)
  • 3×5 Dead Lift – 3×325#
  • 3×3 Dead Lift – 325#, 355#, 375#
  • 3x{5 bar dips, 5 ring dips} – (5/5, 5/4, 5/3/2(Blue Band))
  • 3×5 Push Press – 135#, 145#, 155#
  • 3×3 Push Press – 175#, 185#, 195# (1 rep, hit my chin, then stopped)

I wasn’t feeling very strong yesterday. Maybe it’s that I haven’t worked out in a week… maybe it was the drop in temperature. Whatever it was, I was just happy to get the workout in.

Chain Gang

Last night was a good night. Bigg Dave had some fun stuff planned for us (see below) and Brenna was really good for most of the class. We brought her pack & play and she stayed in there, content with her toys, for almost the entire class. We did leave “early” at 9pm, though so we could get her home and get her to sleep.

Anyway,here’s what we did:

  • Stretches
  • 50 GHDs
  • 50 GHBEs (35#)
  • 3 minutes of whatever you want with a kettle bell (1.5 pood)
  • 50 Hang Squat Snatch with the bar (technique practice)
  • Dead lift protocol (3x (3 1/2 dead lifts with 85%-95% of 1RM + 8 box jumps)) 420#x3 / 20”x1, 24”x2
  • Back Squat 8 – 5 – 3 (225#, 275#, 305#)
  • Back Squat 2×5 @ 75% of 1RM WITH CHAINS (4×275# with 1 set of chains, 1×275# with 2 sets of chains)
  • Back Squat 1×15 @ 50% of 1RM AFAP (185#)
  • Press Strip Set 5 – f – f – f – f (8@135#, 5@105#, 3@85#, 3@65#, 2@45#)


Food went really well yesterday too:


Sleep is really the only thing that still is lacking a bit, but it’s getting better. Brenna as gotten to the point where she’s too big for the bassinette in her pack & play. The directions on it say to stop using it if the baby is 15# OR if they can press up, whichever comes first. Well, she’s right around 15# AND she can press up, so we are done there. To compound things, her swaddling blanket is too small for her and I can’t swaddle with a normal blanket. I’m just a spaz like that. Dealwithit. In light of all of that, we now have her sleeping in the pack & play, in our room, un-swaddled (just with really cute footy pajamas).

The night before last was really tough. She hated it. She didn’t want to be left in there alone. Last night was a little better. We had her down at around 930pm, but she woke up screaming around 1030pm or so. We couldn’t get her to go back to sleep for realz until about 1230am-ish.

We are working really hard on letting her cry and fuss more. Neither of us are really fans of the CIO method, but she’s really got to learn to put herself to sleep. Now, we let her cry and fuss as long as she isn’t in hysterics. Once she gets there we pick her up and console her. It’s funny how we both know exactly when she crosses that line into hysterics. It’s almost like the whistling tea kettle, but, with a kid, and more subtle.

Ok, I’m rambling.