Saturday, March 26, 2011

GR: Muscle-Up

On Friday I set a new personal record and gym record (at CrossFit Diesel) for consecutive muscle-ups: 10. I think I have 11 in me, so I'll try again sometime.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today I set a gym record for consecutive reps of toe-to-bar: 30. Not bad, considering that I had just done a workout with 55 pull-ups in it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

GR: Cindy

In the pantheon of CrossFit WODs, rarely is the athlete given a choice within the prescribed workout. Athletes are encouraged to scale the load, number of repetitions, or one or more of the exercises, but those choices are just that: scales. The most notable exception to this pattern is that Cindy and Mary are usually prescribed together, and the athlete has the choice of Cindy or Mary. For either workout, the goal is to perform as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes (AMRAP 20) of 3 bodyweight exercises. Since Mary consists of exercises that are more difficult, at least individually, I've only ever done that workout. I believe I've only done Mary at CrossFIt Diesel once in the 14 months that I've been a member, but I honored to say that hold the gym record for it. That's not too surprising, since it consists entirely of skills at which I excel.

You can guess where this is going, I'm sure, even without reading the title of this post.

On Thursday, CFD offered me the choice of Cindy or Mary once again. I decide to give Cindy a try. My score, 22 round 5 pull-ups, and 4 push-ups, set a new gym record. I'm quite proud of that performance; it wasn't easy. I don't think I can honestly call it a personal record, since I've never attempted this workout before, but, on the other hand, maybe it is.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Embassytown: Chapter the First

In other news about one of my favorite authors, the prologue and first chapter of China MiƩville's upcoming science-fiction novel, Embassytown, are available online. I found this excerpt very intriguing; there are so many questions I want answered. I'm excited to read the rest of the book.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Contrast: The Hunter has Become the Hunted

I've posted numerous photos showing one of my Miatas being dwarfed by a truck or SUV. These kinds of pictures are easy to come by, since my car is almost always the smallest in any given parking lot. Encounters with Loti and MR2 Sypders are rare. An exception occurred the other day, when I pulled into my local strip mall to find the highlighter-yellow Smart Fortwo that I've seen there recently. For once, my car was the "big" one. This relationship was especially true because I was driving Zelda, my "big" Miata.

These two cars are remarkably different, given that they are both rear-wheel-drive two-seaters, don't you think? Both cars,do look very happy about the experience, though.

This post reminds me that I wish Smart would bring back the Roadster and Roadster Coupe and export them to the States. Those, I would drive.

Scalzi News

Those of you who care about John Scalzi are probably aware of this recent news, but I thought I'd share it to be sure.

First, if you've enjoyed his books in the Old Man's War universe, you'll be interested to know that Paramount Pictures has acquired the film rights to OMW, and Wolfgang Petersen is attached to direct.

Second, on Monday, Scalzi finished a new novel set in a new universe. Details are scarce, but its on the lighter end of the spectrum of his works.

So, that's all the news that's fit to Scalzi.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


The theme song to Castle has been stuck in my head frequently late. Much to Alison's annoyance, songs stuck in my head tend to leak out, but their pitches are not preserved in the process.

Also stuck in my head, but unrecognizable to my dear bride, "People are Strange" by the Doors.

Music Comma New-Ish

Of course, I've also been listening to some more "contemporary" music:
These songs also all came from Pandora.

So, what have you been listening to?

Music Comma Old-Ish

I'm sure, gentle reader, that you've been wondering to yourself, "What has Michael been listening to lately?" Well, the answer is a bunch of "old" stuff:
  • "Pompeii" by E. S. Posthumus. I enjoy how this track combines orchestral music and a choir with contemporary electronic instruments.
  • "We Took Pelham" by Deadly Avenger. Again the combination of an orchestra with electronic sounds really entertains me. I was correct in believing that this track was built up from a piece called "Going the Distance" from the Rocky soundtrack.
  • "Lux Aeternia" by Clint Mansell. This piece was written for Requiem for a Dream, which was released in 2000, but parts of it are very classical-sounding to me.
  • "Palladio" by Escala. This is a modernized and slightly cheesy version of the "Diamonds are Forever" song used by De Beers. Cheesy but fun.
  • "Kashmir" by Escala featuring Slash. Clearly, these ladies are doing the string-instrument version of lip-synching in the linked-to video. String-synching, I guess. There's no way they are playing while dancing around like that. And where's Slash in the video?
  • "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin. Because the Escala version reminded me how much I like this song. And because it was time to get the Led out.
  • "The Chain," by Fleetwood Mac. Because sometimes classic rock fits my mood.
I found most of these tracks through Thanks, Pandora.

Friday, March 04, 2011

PR: 10-km Row

I set a new personal record of 46:20.6 on the 10-km row today. That's 7.6 seconds faster than my previous best. I'm happy with it.