Wednesday, June 15, 2011

This chest is on fire

So once again I got turned down for a new job...

So I headed off to the gym after work and blasted out my chest in a way I have never done before. Climbing pushups with the Smith Machine at 12-20 reps at each notch; Dips 3 sets narrow grip 10 reps and 4 sets wide grip 10 reps each; Pec Deck at 3 sets 220 pounds with ten reps, Military Press 120 pounds with 3 sets and 10 reps; Incline press 145 pounds 3 sets 12 reps; Incline dumbell flyes 40 pound dumbells at 4 sets with 12 reps; Decline bench 135 pounds with 3 sets 10 reps; Flat bench 155 pounds at 3 sets 10-12 reps; Cable chest flyes 40 pounds in each hand with 4 sets 8 reps and finally decline pushups on a Bosu platform until failure which by that point it was about 15 reps. All of this took place in the span of 45 minutes.

Is that overtraining? Oh very likely. But my chest can take quite the beating and come out larger so I am fine with that. I am very surprised I do not have more stretch marks from today and I wore a full shirt to work out in. I've gotten so used to sleeveless and slit shirts for working out which is much better for me once I get pumped up. An uncut shirt just gets real tight.

My chest is burning along with my lats. And I am so unbelievably sick of job searching so I sit here in a deep depression. I likely will not sleep tonight.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Good or bad?

The following three songs have qualities about them that I like, but at the same time there are qualities I really dislike. With that in mind, here are songs that walk the line for me. Are they good? Are they bad? Or are they just part of the middle ground?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rune Factory

Today's topic of conversation is a video game series. The game series "Harvest Moon" is definitely a Japanese outing in which you farm, raise animals, and pick yourself a wife from a small range of ladies living in the nearby town. Sounds boring? Oh hell yes. I will say that a good portion of the Harvest Moon games pretty much suck and that they are all largely the same game, but there are games in this series that are addictive and a good time.

But Harvest Moon is missing a major gameplay amenity that would send it up quite a bit higher on my list of great games. That thing would be adventuring in dungeons and fighting enemies. So the series "Rune Factory" sets out to fix that problem. Again, all the games are very similar - the hero wakes up with amnesia outside a town and is given a house and farmland and slowly becomes part of the town as he farms his way to their hearts and fights bosses in order to learn more of his past and save the town from eventual destruction. Now that's a game I can sink my teeth into!

I will say that the first Rune Factory is the weakest one. Everyone is very polygonal, in a bad way. You get some pretty nasty slowdown if there's too much going on the screen, which actually makes the last couple boss fights extremely easy. You can pick a wife but it has not a single bearing on what happens after and she has a baby down the line and that baby does not grow up at all. And you can absolutely break the game by mining rocks and selling all the expensive ores you get. I traded this one in for a different game after I beat it just because I knew I would never touch it again.

Rune Factory 2 starts out pretty weak like the first one, but once you get a wife and she has a kid, the game moves forward until the kid is around ten years old and the kid becomes the star of the game since the father has disappeared shortly after the wife gave birth. The kid can sit through classes and learn how to make things and he's small enough to get through all the barriers blocking off most of the dungeons from the father. The story gets pretty damned ludicrous in the final act where the kid learns his father went out to fight a dragon once he regained his memory only to be felled by said dragon. The dad's ghost helps the son fight the dragon at the end of the last main dungeon and you get the second round of end game credits. After that, there's a series of bonus dungeons that will allow the kid to revive his dad after all is said and done, thus leading to a third round of end game credits. This is a great game out of sheer length.

Rune Factory 3 streamlines a lot of things that needed to be streamlined. The hero moves a lot faster, and there are dual swords which are far more badass than the rest of the weapons. Farming goes a lot faster. So this hero is a half-monster and half-human and it's his job to ultimately bring together the people of the town and the nearby monster village. This is a fantastic game out of sheer gameplay.

The nice thing about this series is that there is not a single thing pushing you to get the story moved forward. You can fart around the farm all day, mine for ore, try to land a lady, whatever you want and there's no consequence for taking forever to do it. It is the best game for dicking around on a lazy day.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I've been reading the book Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder again and today I shall talk about it. Basically this is the story of a skinny college grad who's journey into bodybuilding takes him into bizarre and dizzying lows. The young lad graduated an Ivy League college and finds himself in New York scared of everything around him. He can not go a day without the fear of being attacked or mugged, so this fear led him into the YMCA where his plan is to get so grotesquely swole up that no one will ever mess with him. He takes up with the biggest guys there and very quickly rises among the gym's ranks. He turns his back on his job with a publishing company, his family, and his entire upbringing as he takes residence inside a tiny little basement in order to continue his quest for ludicrous size. After hitting a plateau, he decides to head to California to break the plateau and continue growing forever. While there, he moves in with three bodybuilders who all use steroids heavily and get him started on it. And finally comes the competitions, they being the bench press in addition to the tiny pants one. At that point, the realization that this is all been one long joke finally hits him backstage before a bodybuilding competition. After finishing on stage, he ultimately walked away from bodybuilding and back into the life he led back in the beginning of the story.

While this may or may not be partially fabricated doesn't really matter. I really enjoyed the read. This guy peppers his college learning and thus observations throughout his experiences. I really liked the blunt and pointed psychological observations as I tend to think a lot in that same fashion.

I understood being skinny and wanting to overcome that and thankfully I have the mind to know that there will be a stopping point for me. I have no desire to morph into a muscle balloon like the author, and is largely due to the fact that I am not doing it out of fear. I also have no desire to walk across a stage mostly naked showing off my body and have no idea why that seems to be the end all of muscle building. You can be built up and not have to have your body judged while you flex for an audience.

Anyway, I recommend the read if you are into fitness and are a total nerd, like myself.