Weight Room and Fitness Regimen

Today I walked 20 minutes on a treadmill in the small weight room at work. I read the foreword of my Kindle book, “The Best American Travel Writing – 2014.” I followed this with 50 bicep curls using two 15 pound dumbells.

As I was nearing the end of my treadmill power walk, I began to hear the most annoying and atrocious noises coming from a woman who was working out on the weight machines. She was moaning and groaning and, I kid you not, barking. It sounded like a dog barking. Each time she would finish her reps on a particular machine, she would let the weights go crashing down with a horrific clanking noise and a loud grunt.

I finished out my 50 dumbell reps but then I simply had to leave to escape the terrible noises she was making. Even when I was back in the locker room down the hall with the door closed, I could still hear the weights smashing down with loud metallic thuds as she worked out. So annoying.

I started a workout regimen today. It is basically very simple: 20 minutes on the treadmill at a brisk walking pace (I can also do this outside when the weather is nice) followed by as many reps as I can do of one specific weight/muscle group combination, five days per week. Today it was curls. Tomorrow I will probably do bench presses if Annoyingly Loud Woman is not bogarting the machines like she was today.

Government Shutdowns Are So 20th Century

Republicans. You have to admire their exuberant passive aggressive tenacity. The first couple times they threatened a governmentshutdown over some non-issue, it was amusing and a bit endearing. But now it’s just annoying. Like when a toddler  throws a temper tantrum for the 10th time and the grownups just don’t pay attention anymore.

The public learned that nobody wins with governmentshutdowns. No money is saved. No issues get resolved. Well, OK, maybe Obama wins. Obama ALWAYS wins.

So, Republicans, just stop yourselves. Government shutdownsjust aren’t thrilling or cool anymore. OK? Thanks.

Why is Bernie Sanders "Un-electable?"

Actually, I have not heard as many people say Bernie Sanders is un-electable as other past underdog candidates, like Ralph Nader. They even said it of Obama at first, who then won because people got sick of the same old dynastic clans governing the USA (Bushes, Clintons, etc.).

But some people do say Bernie Sanders is un-electable, captured in phrases like, “I love Bernie Sanders, but he can’t win.”

Why not? That sounds like self defeating language. Do we still have a democracy where whoever gets the most votes wins? If so, then Bernie Sanders is totally electable. A majority just needs to vote for him. Period.

Now, you might argue the system is rigged. How is it rigged? Granted, political fundraising is rigged in favor of special interests. But unless there is widespread election fraud (and this happens…Waukesha County…), votes determine the outcome of an election. So, if Bernie gets the votes in the primary, he wins. There are no two ways about that.

It’s possible the delegates at the Democratic Convention could totally ignore the will of the people and coronate Hillary Clinton, but that would be a PR disaster for the DNC, killing the goose that laid the golden eggs just to get a special interest loving corporatist into the White House to further advance the agenda of the 1%. That could happen, but it is highly unlikely.

If Bernie gets the votes, the corporate mainstream media could still fabricate election results and report Hillary as the victor, since they are beholden to big money advertisers. This also seems unlikely, especially if Bernie wins in a landslide.

There is no question Bernie Sanders represents the 99% and wants a great society for everyone. He doesn’t hide from the liberal, socialist moniker, but prefers “Progressive” (=progress). The right wing has nothing on Bernie except negatively loaded labels.

You could argue that some Sanders supporters will vote for Hillary out of fear that Sanders cannot beat whoever is the Republican pick. But a quick glance at the Republican clown car should dispel that anxiety. The crazy glutton for pain demographic that will vote for the Republican candidate just doesn't have the numbers (even if it doesn't seem that way on social media, sometimes).

So go vote for Bernie Sanders and if he gets the votes, he wins. If not, the status quo will still take you back.

You get one vote, your only "voice" in government. So don't waste it on the "winning" loser.

What a Mass Media Fast Can Do For Your Mind

I fast almost completely from corporate mainstream media, and I am awake and free.

Mass media is poisonous. It’s messages are anti-intellectual and fear/hate mongering, irrespective of political bent. American society is crumbling and has very little chance of recovering, for which I blame almost exclusively corporate mainstream media, which supplies most news, information, and “analysis” to the public. People turn to media to determine what they should think and feel about a certain event or topic. They hear both sides of a debate by experts and think they are making a free willed decision when they side with one or the other. But there selection is inherently biased by the filters applied by media gatekeepers.

My thesis is that mass media provide social cues to people about how they are expected to behave and how they should expect others to behave, and these cues are often detrimental to popular behavior.

Think about that, then think about some of the stuff you see in the mainstream media that is considered acceptable (Donald Trump, for instance, or a general distrust of Muslims).

There have been scientific studies on persuasion and it has been shown that human beings use social cues to determine how to behave in certain situations, especially uncommon ones, like witnessing an accident or crime. This is hard wired genetically and makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. If everyone else is running away from the lion, you should probably do so too. The people who ran toward the lion did not produce as many offspring as the ones who ran away and so following social behavioral cues became a stronger trait in the population.

People get their social cues from a lot of sources – friends, family, colleagues, social groups, and the media. Increasingly, the media is becoming a majority source of social cues as people become more isolationist and indulge in social media more. After 911, afraid Americans stopped going out as much, fearful and sometimes ashamed of social interaction. They consumed more social cues from media and social media, and lost the connection with peers. When people get their social cues from mass/social media, these media get incredible power to influence behavior, unchecked by the historically stronger social cues like peer groups and family members. Corporate mass media exploit this to great profit. But there is a dark side. People are made more dumb and behave contrary to their own best interests, especially as it comes to corporate advertising in the mass media. The biggest corporate entities get more air time and thus influence more people via social cues than smaller/poorer entities, like environmental groups or vegetable farmers.

I now avoid almost all mainstream corporate mass media, even NPR. I get all of my information via social interaction with friends and family. I use social media, but I limit it to my friends and like minded acquaintances. I filter news and information through my go to satirical news analysts, like John Oliver and Jon Stewart (until recently). I have no issue with investigative journalism and news analysis, as these media apply much more strenuous criteria. It is the media that simply regurgitate sound bites and accept politicians’ statements without question that are toxic.

So I purged those media from my life, and I am smarter and freer as a result.

Throw Space Dog (Foster) a Bone!

It was supposed to be a simple teeth cleaning and nail trim under anesthesia for everyone's favorite space dog, Foster.

Until the vet decided to spend two hours pulling a bunch of his teeth at the charlatanic rate of $300/hour.



Now Space Dog is broke and can't afford simple things like treats and tennis balls and the soft canned dog food he has to eat for two weeks because of the stitches and way fewer teeth!

Can you throw Space Dog a bone or two to help pay for the oral surgery and subsequent recovery?

Then I can keep throwing the tennis ball for him for years to come.

You know he will love you long time for it.

CLICK HERE to view the contribution page.

(Note: Yes, I am changing veterinarians ASAP!)

The Waiver (100 Word Flash Fiction)

An awkward moment in the otherwise comfortable flow of love making.

Foreplay lingers like a conversant guest who overstays the party.

“I will get a condom.”

“You don’t need one.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I have an IUD.”

“How effective are those?”

“Better than the pill.”

The mood is threatened.

“OK, would you sign this?”

“What is it?”

“A waiver.”

I [YOUR NAME] do hereby indemnify one RICHARD IMBIMBO of and against any and all paternal liability and/or responsibility resulting from mutually consensual unprotected sexual relations on [TODAY’s DATE].

“You said you were sure.”

“Maybe you should get a condom.”

Waiver (Flash Fiction - 6 Word Novel)

Sometimes they sign the paternity waiver.

Writing and Music

I wish I could do more writing and music. It would be cool to work three days a week instead of five, so as to have that extra time for writing and music. I might propose that to my employer. They have a category of job here called 0.6, which is basically 60% of full time, or 24 hours a week, or three 8-hour days per week. I could get behind that, and I think they can too. But first I need to sell my house and have that nest egg rainy day fund of emergency cash.

Buck Passing

Ownership of projects at a company is really important for accountability and completion.

When there is no owner of a project, everyone passes the buck and it never gets done.

When one person is accountable for the completion of the project, they are on the hook for it, no matter what other people do. As you can imagine, stuff gets done then. No one wants to be the weak link in the chain.