Demagogue, see..

Demagogue, see..

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Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy

     summer-poison ivy

Have you ever had a poison ivy/oak/sumac induced rash? It SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had my first case of it just a couple of weeks ago and I’m still recuperating.  I had gone fishing at a creek not far from my house, but the only thing I ended up catching was this heinous proof that nature is truly a mother. Just Google some poison ivy rash images and you’ll see some truly nasty stuff. Like 9th level of Hell kind of nasty.

Treating poison ivy at home is a matter of some debate. You’ll find all sorts of advice on using store-bought and homemade remedies, but I’m going to tell you work worked for me when Benadryl, calamine lotion, and a bunch of other stuff failed miserably.




A friend at work lives in a rural area and I asked him what the hillbillies (meaning him) use. He said there was this stuff called Zanfel that you could get at CVS, but that is was pretty expensive. Some quick Googling lead me to a story that the inventor used to work for Mean Green and that the active ingredient in Zanfel was found in the much cheaper Mean Green hand cleanser which worked great on poison ivy rash.  Mean Green was not available at any of the 3 places locally that are supposed to be distributors according to the company website, but Fast Orange was everywhere so I bought a tub for $3 dollars hoping either the ingredient was included, or the basic principle of removing the oil and deep cleaning the site would bring some relief.

Well, it worked GREAT!!! After some intense scrubbing of the affected areas and then a quick shower to rinse off, relief was nearly instantaneous and the damned itching has stopped. Now I have some dry skin from the rash that is peeling off and causing some itching, but some regular skin lotion takes care of that.

Just so you know.



Looking up images of poison ivy will get you returns for Uma Thurman’s portrayal from the Batman movie. After Dangerous Liaisons, I’ve really had no interest in her what-so-ever. However the character seems to be popular for comic-con type dress-up, and many of these ladies blow Uma out of the water as far as I’m concerned.





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Squats and squats and squats…



So, I have been doing the program below for a couple of months now and am pretty happy with the results. If I would stop eating so much crap, and do better with my diet I’d be pretty ripped. Even so, I’m amazed at how well I do look after a couple of months, even with the shitty diet.

squat 5×5
bench press 5×5
Barbell row 5×5
dips 3xF(F=to failure)
Reverse crunches 3xF
Squat 5×5
over head pres 5×5
dead lift 1×5
pull ups 3xF
prone bridges 3x30sec

I found this schedule on a forum (askscooby) reviewing the Stronglifts 5×5 program, which I later downloaded the official PDF for. Don’t bother signing up for the emails, which are just spams for joining the “Stronglifts inner circle”. I work out every other day unless I take an extra day off to rest after a really tough session. So some weeks it’s a MWF, and others it’s TThSa.

One of my favorite things about the program is how simple and straight-forward it is. Start at a low weight that you can easily do 5 sets of 5 reps with and work your way up by adding 5 pounds to the weight each session you do that exercise. For example, I started at 135 pounds on both bench and squats, after having been lifting on an off for years. I could have started at a higher weight, but there’s no rush as I’m doing this for the long term.  As always, intensity brings rewards, but this type of linear progression should help avoid injury by trying to do too much too soon.

Currently, I’m at 210 for the bench sets and 235 for the squats. I can’t believe how much benefit you get from doing squats. If you’re ever working with a personal trainer and they don’t having you doing some squats, fire their stupid ass. This really seems to be the key exercise for overall strength and fitness development.

I’ve decided to do a couple of early season 70.3s next year, so I’m going to start working some swim/bike/run sessions into the weekly mix, but this program is going to stay the priority over the fall and winter.


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Superman is a Big Fat Slob


This is an older post from one of my previous blog attempts. With the new movie out I thought I’d re-post this.

That’s right, according to the National Institutes of Health; the ultimate symbol of masculine perfection is an overweight couch potato.

Superman, aka Clark Kent, is listed at various websites as being 6 feet, 3 inches tall. His weight is also listed as being between 225 and 235 pounds.  

 Above are the calculations for those two weights. According to the BMI tables, Superman is overweight at the 225 lbs. mark, and damn close to obese at the 235 lbs. weight.

This guy (pictured below), needs to get down to 199 lbs. to be in the healthy “normal” range.

Why am I harping on this? Because the BMI scale is bullshit. If you’re a healthly male of average to above-average height, who works out enough to have put some muscle on, the BMI will say you’re a fat bag of pork rinds.

I work for one of our local health systems. Earlier this year I went to see one of our physicians as a new patient for my first checkup in about 5 years. This doctor is also supposedly a “weight-management” specialist. I stand 6 feet tall, and weigh @ 185 pounds. I am also an Ironman triathlete, who works out 6-7 days a week. I am not one of the stick-figures at the front of the pack, as I lift weights three days a week and can bench 275.  I wear a 44 jacket, and have a 32 in waist. The doctor looks at my numbers and looks at the BMI chart on the wall and tells me I’m in the “overweight” category. I won’t be going back to that idiot again.

America does have an obesity problem, that much is obvious when you step out your front door, but the BMI scale is a bogus metric for those of us (men especially) who are in resonably good shape. But, more importantly, I think to BMI can be mis-leading to men, and possibly even disouraging some guys from taking better care of themselves.

So what tools or metrics should men use to gauge how they’re doing with their weight? I’m going to suggest two very simple ones:

  1. The mirror. Unless you live in a carnival funhouse, the mirror is going to give you an honest appraisal of how you are doing weight-wise. If you like the way you look naked in front of the mirror, you are probably on the right track.
  2. Female response to you. How do women react to you? I’ve definitely noticed improved IOI from women, since I’ve lost weight and added some muscle over the last couple of years. Getting a second look, or even significant interest from women 15-20 years younger than me is a strong motivator to stick with a working program.

So, if part of your plan is to get back in shape, toss out the BMI scale along with those bags of chips, and the bottles of soda. Increase your intake of lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and water. Get active by walking more, doing some reasonable resistance training, and generally decreasing the amount you sit down each day. You may not be able to leap tall-buildings, but you’ll be able to climb a couple flights of stairs without wheezing.

Superman (Clark Kent) is the property of DC Comics. The images used are for illustrative purposes, and are also the property of DC. Please don’t sue me.




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