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Workout 3/22

DEADLIFT 364 (165kg) PR WOOT WOOT

I lifted some other stuff but who cares. This is about 12 lbs. more than my previous best so it's significant. Now I can go back to cutting for a while, this was the accomplishment I really wanted out of my carb vacation.

My big 3 lifts now are 364, 300, 225 for a total of 889. If I can squeeze 11 lbs more in there somewhere I'll hit 900, which is a nice milestone on my way to the 1000 lb club. I haven't tried to max out bench for a while, I'd bet I can get 235 with a few weeks ramp up, maybe more. 236 would do it. Then I'll be shooting for 405/355/240 or something like that. I'm more than halfway there I think counting from my untrained first failures (270/195/165 respectively). Best starting point I have even though those were 1x5 failures rather than 1x1.

Oh yeah, body weight 194 today. Ive been doing some stepmania on off days to burn off some of these carbs. Also haven't been taking the creatine in hopes of looking slimmer, doesn't seem to have affected my performance much and I think I lose all the waterwhen I eat keto anyway and get enough creatine from meat that it doesn't matter.

This deadlift was really hard, so much so that I actually had to rest my hands on my knees and catch my breath for a second after finishing. I've only come close to that level of effort a few times. My form wasn't perfect but for a max-effort lifit wasn't terrible either, my back didn't round to help the lift (although it didn't start perfectly straight) and I got a solid lockout at the top.
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Just Some Numbers

11667
23334
35001
46668
58335
610002
711669
813336
915003
1016670
1118337
1220004
1321671
1423338
1525005
1626672
1728339
1830006
1931673
2033340
2135007
2236674
2338341
2440008
2541675
2643342
2745009
2846676
2948343
3050010
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Robert Jordan Fans - New Chapter Available

The sample chapter for the new Wheel of Time book is available on tor.com but you have to endure an annoying registration process first. It's not bad. It was written by Brandon Sanderson from RJ's notes about how the series ought to be finished. It's not bad, but not much happens (which makes it a lot like RJ's work honestly). The first couple paragraphs feel a bit off, for instance I don't think RJ would ever have used the word metaphor. It gets better though. Despite my twitch-inducing hatred of what Brian Herbert did to the Dune universe, I'm going to give this a shot and maybe check out a couple of Sanderson's other books too while I wait for the release.
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Ted

I am trying to be even-handed. I think about how I felt when Reagan died. It's politically correct to say that your thoughts (and usually your prayers too) are with the family, but to me that always felt trite, I mean, unless you know the celebrity's family firsthand or at least feel some sort of connection with them. Well, when Reagan died, it's true; my thoughts were not of Nancy's well-being but of Iran-Contra and how this man was somehow being sainted despite what he did.

Now it's Ted's turn, and it doesn't matter if you write a thousand lines praising him and one mentioning Chappaquiddick, Chappaquiddick is what people are thinking about. Some are remembering his 1980 speech at the DNC, some are mourning the apparent end of the legacy that his brothers started. But it's especially tragic that a man who embodied the best of Christian ideals, who lived his life a true public servant and champion of the poor and powerless, will always be remembered by, in his words, his "indefensible" behavior the night Mary Jo Kopechne died.

Now all these years later, we can finally move on from that. In my life, I think the only speakers who I have ever heard who could hold a candle to Ted Kennedy were Jerry Falwell and Bill Clinton, and honestly I don't think either were his match. He was brilliant, eloquent, and he exuded a charisma that would have made him a celebrity no matter who his people were. As a long standing member of the Senate from Massachussetts he had the freedom to espouse the sort of ideals that politicians from, shall we say, less enlightened states are compelled to water down.

You'll hear people lionizing his life but harping, with differing degrees of regret, on that one black mark on his record. As I think back to Reagan I am reminded that this is the narrative with all liberal tragic figures; great personal failings that manage to detract from their tremendous public accomplishments. Clinton. Kennedy. Edwards. The conservative tragedy narrative is the reverse, a man of great personal virtue who falls from grace through the abuse of power. Reagan. Bush. Nixon. I know which of the two affects me most directly. We will miss Ted Kennedy, Lion of the Senate.
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Post Office

I send and receive a lot of mail since I buy and sell trading cards over the internet, and I have to say that after hundreds of transactions, I have had virtually no problems at all with the Post Office. The USPS does a great job with residential service and I just think that people take it completely for granted.

So anyway, yesterday I was at the Post Office and I asked the lady at the counter for a coil of Forever stamps. She tells me "Forever Stamps don't come in coils", which seemed strange to me since I had just pulled such a stamp from a coil not more than 15 minutes prior to mail out a card order. She was insistent, and while I knew my eyes did not deceive me, I saw no profit in arguing philately with a pro so I just asked for the equivalent number of stamps on sheets.

So today I go to Google to be proven right as usual but in a stunning turn of events, I was wrong!

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Harry Potter and the 0.5 Blood Prince

Saw the new Harry Potter last night. I'll try to keep this spoiler free.

I liked it, despite some flaws. I think I felt the same way about this that everyone else felt about the wretched Star Trek reboot a few months ago. It was a well executed genre flick, not changing my life in any way but entertaining me more than competently for a few hours. Let's do top 5 best and worst list, shall we?

Worst things about the new HP movie:

5. There were a few slow moments. I'm at a loss now to remember them precisely but those are the moments when you realize you have to pee and it might be a good time to sprint to the restroom.
4. The characters most definitely do not look like they are only 6 years older than they were in the first movie. Draco has some serious crow's feet. It's not horribly bad and I know movies take time to produce, but you can't ignore it.
3. Helena Bonham Carter's teeth were made up to look bad, presumably because she's evil and evil=bad teeth. Or something.
2. The major secret of the movie is revealed in an off-hand way and we have no idea what it means or why it's important. Oh how I wish good writing and consistent plots were correlated with the financial success of movies.
1. Sir Ian McKellan called. He wants his Gandalf wig back.

Best things about the new HP movie:

5. Harry's adoptive parents do not appear. This is the first time that's happened I think, and it really helps to cement the idea that we've moved from the whimsy of childhood to the serious struggles that the characters have to face.
4. The Hermione/Ron relationship. I really liked what they did in this movie. In a way it was all over the top, but for a sublplot in a movie that's the only way to do what they wanted to do. These characters feel very, very real to me, in fact everyone in this movie felt that way to me, even Harry Potter himself for the first time in all the movies (even if his only thing is the difficulty he has dealing with his fame).
3. Special effects. They were not overstated, silly, or fake looking. I thought this movie, visually, was simply amazing. I'd like to identify my favorite moments but I'm afraid I'd give things away if I did.
2. Helena Bonham Carter. She doesn't get a lot of screen time, but for some reason when she plays a character like this I find her irresistibly (yes that's spelled right :) ) attractive. What I like about her character here is the same thing that I like about Tatiana del Toro, guess that says more about me than the movie. Anyway she gets one really tremendous special effects scene where she's on a rampage in Hogwarts that was just about worth the price of admission all on its own for me.
1. Dumbledore (played by Michael Gambon). The first actor who played him put me to sleep. This guy is great though. He keeps reminding me of Kevin Spacey minus the smugness. His character got a lot of screen time this time around.
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Palin

Possibly the only person capable of breaking the Michael Jackson news cycle. I can only hope that this resignation signals her intention to seek higher office. As long as the Republican '12 Presidential primary process eliminates her that is; is it reasonable to count on that? Reckless?