Monthly Archives: May 2012

Memorial Day Weekend. Here Are Our Orders.

HEADQUARTERS GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC

General Orders No.11, WASHINGTON, D.C., May 5, 1868

  1. The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

    We are organized, comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, “of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers, sailors, and marines who united to suppress the late rebellion.” What can aid more to assure this result than cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foes? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their deaths the tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

    If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.

    Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation’s gratitude, the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.

     

  2. It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope that it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to lend its friendly aid in bringing to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.

     

  3. Department commanders will use efforts to make this order effective.

    By order of

    JOHN A. LOGAN,
    Commander-in-Chief

    N.P. CHIPMAN,
    Adjutant General

    Official:
    WM. T. COLLINS, A.A.G.

My Advice About Losing Weight: Fourthly, Your Brain

It’s all in your mind.

This is a series of posts about losing weight. I broke them up so that I don’t produce an 8,000 word post you won’t read. Instead, it’ll be four or so posts that you most likely won’t read. I’m OK with that.

The first one had the intro and dealt with the basics. Read it first for a better feel for the context. The second one was about Calories Eaten. The third one was about exercise, burning calories, and yoga pants.

OK. We’ve talked about the basic premise – burning more calories than you eat – along with calories and exercise. Now, it’s time to get to the important part.

But but but diet and exercise ARE the important part! They’re the ONLY part!

Yeah, no. Not at all. All that stuff is great, and can be vital to the process of getting fit and healthy and all that. But more important than the physical aspects of weight loss is the mental aspect. See, if your mind isn’t behind what you’re doing, forget it. It’s over. That’s why I don’t buy any of those “tips” that talk about “fooling your body into thinking you’re full”. Eating crunchy bread (/wanking motion), chewing your food extra slowly (/roll eyes, wanking motion), drinking 87 glasses of water during dinner (/wanking motion into Spider-Man gesture) – all of those things designed to “fool your body” aren’t going to work, because your brain knows the trick. The reason why we eat too much and don’t exercise enough isn’t because of body signals. It’s our brain saying “I can totally eat this large pizza. I want to eat this large pizza. I will eat this large pizza.” Most of us don’t even know what real, actual hunger feels like. But our brains sure as shit know that when we’re bored, an ice cream sandwich is a great answer. Our brains make us fat.

It’s a pretty powerful little bastard.

But that power can be harnessed for good. In fact, it MUST be harnessed for good, or you won’t succeed. This post is all about the Mental aspect of fitness.

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My Advice About Losing Weight: Thirdly, Exercise

I hate treadmills so much. Maybe you don’t.

This is a series of posts about losing weight. I broke them up so that I don’t produce an 8,000 word post you won’t read. Instead, it’ll be four or so posts that you most likely won’t read. I’m OK with that.

The first one had the intro and dealt with the basics. Read it first for a better feel for the context. The second one was about Calories Eaten. It also has invaluable parenting advice that is best ignored, like the rest of my advice.

A quick word about advice before I move on. All advice is pretty much worthless when taken in whole. My advice about taking advice is this: take what you like, chuck the rest. Chances are very good that you can take the exact opposite path of my advice here and lose weight, because the only truly useful advice I have is to Do What is Right For You. The rest of it is mostly stuff that worked for me and might be of use to you. Also, quit wasting money on diet books. Use that to buy a food scale.

Moving on.

Calories Burned

Ahhh, exercise. The bane of many a weight-loss plan. Some people LOVE exercise. Most people dread it and hate it. Why is that? I think it’s because the people who love working out are – wait for it – doing something they honestly enjoy. And that in a nutshell is my advice about exercise. Find something you like to do that involves moving your ass, and you too will love to exercise. If you hate running, don’t run. Don’t listen to the people who tell you that you should run because running is the best exercise ever. They say that because they like to run. If you hate to run, then doing Couch to 5k is a bad idea. You will hate it, resent it, and stop doing it.

That’s the big fat secret to exercise. Find something you like. Do that thing.

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My Advice About Losing Weight: Secondly, Calories

Eat salads if you like them. I don’t. So I don’t eat them.

This is a series of posts about losing weight. I broke them up so that I don’t produce an 8,000 word post you won’t read. Instead, it’ll be three or so posts that you most likely won’t read. I’m OK with that.

The first one had the intro and dealt with the basics. Read it first for a better feel for the context.

Calories Eaten

I was going to label this section “Diet”, as in the overall picture of the food we eat, but that word is banned. See, the key to long-term weight loss isn’t a diet. It’s not about detoxing or juicing or eating a grapefruit for breakfast every day (ahh, the 1980’s) or some “paleo” bullshit or low-carb or Nutrisystem or meal plans or any of that utter bullshit.

But they work!

OK, sure. Short-term, a diet works just fine. I know. I used to jump on the Atkins diet and lose 20 pounds in a month or two. I loved that diet. I ate that way for over a year at one point. So look at me, contradicting myself! OK, not really. The reason why diets and meal plans and all that shit don’t work is because they don’t simulate real life. Sure, you can starve yourself on the Water and Salt Tablet Diet to lose 15 pounds for your wedding, but I guarantee that during your honeymoon you’ll gain it all right back, plus 5 pounds more. Then you’ll look back at your wedding pictures and see yourself 20 pounds lighter, feel fat, and eat a quart of ice cream. Unless you plan to change your life after you finish the diet, you will gain the weight back. It’s what happens. Plus your significant other will get to makes cracks about how much weight you gained after the wedding and make you want to shiv them. You might want to avoid life in prison.

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My Advice About Losing Weight: First, The Basics

I hate scales too. More about them later.

This is a series of posts about losing weight. I broke them up so that I don’t produce an 8,000 word post you won’t read. Instead, it’ll be three or so posts that you most likely won’t read. I’m OK with that.

All day every day, we see images and commercials and blog posts and signs and a million other things about losing weight and feeling good and getting TOTALLY RIPPED BRAH. We overhear coworkers, friends, family, hobos, whatever, all talking about how they are going to lose some weight or drop some pounds or something. I won’t bother quoting the statistics of “Americans spend eleventy-gatrillion dollars every second on diet and exercise products” or obesity rates or any of that stuff, because a) who cares, and b) no, really, who cares? Statistics are for chumps and journalists. Says the accountant.

So today I decided to dispense my shittiest of shitty advice to anyone who cares to read it. It’s about losing weight. What makes me an expert? Well, I AM a clinically-recognized expert in the field of Absolutely Nothing Whatsoever, and I have been recognized by the American Medical Association as one of the Six Billion People Worldwide the AMA Does Not Recognize One Bit. So why do I feel the need to unload my carefully-hoarded lore upon you? I’ll tell you why.

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Time to Enter the Nerd Confessional

I’ve mentioned quite a few times on this blog how much of a nerd I am. I am not ashamed of this. I can sit at a table in the middle of a restaurant while everyone I’m with disclaims loudly about LARPing or playfighting or tabletopping without wanting to die (Just barely. Seriously, not one of my favorite things, but I’ve gotten a little better at handling it.) The purpose of this post in no way indicates my need to seek absolution for being a nerd, because I don’t really care what general society thinks of my hobbies.

However, nerd society itself is big on shaming those that don’t share every geeky interest there is. Admonishments about how “you HAVE to watch this” or “what do you MEAN you don’t like this” or “how can you say the new Battlestar Galactica is a pathetic uninspired piece of shit that resembles more of a random Cylon-of-the-Week generator and whose main premise seems to revolve around the idea that LOOK STARBUCK IS A GIRL!” run rampant whenever geeks collide. Many of us nerds carry our opinions proudly and defend them vociferously. Others hide the things they hate lest they get besieged with long-winded arguments and belittled by someone with uncontrollable flatulence. They just nod knowingly but silently during the conversations regarding the things they dislike.

I fall into both camps. In general, my apathy (my third superpower) wins out over any desire to strongly express an opinion about anything to argue with another nerd about geek stuff, and my desire to get along with people means that I’ll happily seem interested in whatever thing they want to talk about. But seriously, if you use “frack” in conversation as a substitute curse word, you’re a tool.

Anyway, I’ve decided to come clean on some nerdy things I don’t like. I’m not sure I hate them (see: Superpower 3 – Apathy), but for many people the simple act of not really liking something is an act akin to supporting Vichy France. We nerds can be touchy. And I’m not excusing myself. Diss on Mass Effect or Skyrim or Firefly or Conan the Barbarian (original movie) or Marvel comics (specifically until 1992 or so, since a lot of ass has happened after that which is unforgivable. Fucking Clone Saga.) and I’m liable to get pretty snooty and uppity and use the word “Philistine” for some reason. But now is the time for me to confess my disdain for some of the Nerdy Touchstones. I’m not seeking forgiveness or absolution or anything. I’m just coming clean. Hopefully the rest of us can do the same and clear the air.

Here are some things I don’t like.

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The Tactical Guide to Snake Plissken’s Hair

In honor of Snake Plissken Month, I thought it was important to take the time and focus on the most important advantage that Snake Plissken had in his one-man battle against the world. Forget his special forces training, Purple Hearts, and combat experience. It’s not his quick wit and acerbic attitude. It’s not even his guns (ahhh, the 1980’s – we just couldn’t get enough of huge unwieldy revolvers with massive scopes mounted on them). It’s not even his badass jacket. Forget all that shit.

It’s the hair, baby, all day every day.

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Cover Art Reveal for Kendall Grey’s JUST BREATHE Novel, Complete with Behind the Scenes Stuff

Kendall Grey knows how to do shit right. She’s organized, has a plan, executes it, all while maintaining her sarcasm-slinging attitude and foul-mouthed proclivities. In comparison to her, I am a slacking lazy bum who can barely raise the energy to write a blog post.

Of course, I’m a slacker compared to Spicolli, so that’s not the highest of praise, either.

Anyway, Kendall’s new cover art for the third and final book in her Just Breathe urban fantasy trilogy is being revealed today. Because I adore her muchly, I want to share it with you, my loyal readers – by that I mean my wife and the same Peruvian farmer who keeps asking “¿Cuál es la mejor pala?” – and pimp out a pretty killer damn cover.

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It’s Time to INHALE, Everyone. My Twinsie’s Book is OUT!

Sweet cover, no?

There is someone on the internet so foul-mouthed and opinionated with a love of booze and wildly inappropriate statements that is absolutely hilarious and sarcastic and awesome in every way, and I’m not even talking about me. Oh, you didn’t think it was me as soon as I said “hilarious” and “awesome”. OK. Well. This is awkward.

*crickets*

Of course, I am talking about the incredible and amazing Kendall Grey. If you’ve not come across Kendall before, I highly recommend that you do so, right now, on Twitter or Facebook or at her blog. Be warned, though, that if you’re afraid of womancock, you might not want to, but if you’re up to it, you’ll be pleased. Take me at my ranty worst and turn it up to 11, and you’ve got a “good morning” post from Kendall. I heart her quite a lot.

Today’s a big day for her. I mean a HUGE fucking day for her. The first book in her paranormal romance (no, there are no gay-ass vampires in it, so don’t worry) trilogy, Inhale, is available for sale. I know how cool a day that is, how absolutely fraught with fear and excitement and nail-chewing insanity that comes along with the long-awaited release of a novel. I’m uber-psyched for her, because she is a phenomenal writer and someone that brings a completely irreverent and exuberant perspective on life.

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