Friday, October 23, 2009

Lost in music

Waltari played at Lost in Music festival in Sputnik. But the best band once again was a semi-unknown one, Pitbull Terrorist. My reaction to Waltari itself disappoinment, the same as for most bands I last heard and liked when young.

Pitbull Terrorist is the Cause For Effect of black metal. Both PT and CFE have very short songs which game the listener's expectations - first forming expectations and immediately breaking them. They sound extremely fun when drunk - still able to analyze how they break patterns but not disturbed by their lack of own message.

Cause For Effect was the warm-up band for Canatata Sangui, a band which actually has things to say. Social constructionism had a big effect on my worldview when I was younger, and Cantata Sangui is one of the few bands that sings about constructionist themes. It's the one band whose lyrics I like most. (There are other bands which make greater music, and still others which strike a good balance between music and lyrics, and still others which are not that good by any standard but which successfully express their original message with the skill they have.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One year of training diary

The first entry is dated 22.10.2008. Now it spans exactly one year. During this year I've trained 120 times, once every three days. Achieving this regular habit is the greatest sports achievement in my life, so sorry beforehand for the masturbatory tone.

It began in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. We lived in an apartment block which was 45-minute car ride from center because of horrible congestion (local newspapers call Hyderabad "the city of the traffic jam"). This made the gym next door an inviting choice, especially since most of us had earlier exposure to this sport.

In the beginning, I increased weights until I could just barely do 10 reps. Marking this highest weight was enough, since progress was fast. Nowadays I mark all sets and reps. It adds motivation to see that despite glacial progress my training weights have in fact increased.

Gym log is also very profound health data. Making progress requires that you eat right, sleep right and train right. For example, when I just came back to Finland and didn't yet use recovery drink nor extra meals, I was recklessly hungry after training and didn't make any progress. A progressive gym log is definitely a better measure of health than mere body mass index.

Measured progress is also an important factor in other hobbies. In go, you have the go rank. If your game genuinely improves, it quickly shows in the online game rank. In Chinese, Clavis Sinica's character test serves the same role - although as a multiple choice test it tells little about your actual skill, it is definitely sensitive to progress.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bodyweight training

Lately, I've gained enough strength to add dips and chin-ups to my gym program, and ordered a gymnastics book which should contain more bodyweight moves.

In weight training you adjust the weight to suit your strength. In bodyweight training, you have variations. Bodyweight training requires some initial strength, so not everyone can start with it. But you won't face the upper limit ever. Here are for example some pull-up variations:
  • Chin-up. Heavy on biceps (hauis). The lightest of all pull-up variations.
  • Pull-up. Hands have overhand grip unlike in chin-up. A little heavier. I expect to have enough strength for this when I get bored with chin-ups.
  • Mixed-grip pull-up. One hand has underhand grip while the other has overhand grip. It is good for endurance that you can use a bit different muscles between series.
  • Muscle-up. You raise above the bar by doing a dip after the pull-up phase.
  • False grip pull-up. A component move for the muscle-up. It enables you to switch to dip after the pull-up phase.
  • Front lever pull-up. It is extremely heavy on your core and shoulders to even get to the static position.
  • One-handed pull-up.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I'm in the mood for crazy things, let's cross the line

Update: Public service announcement for googlers: The title is from a song named "Can I Get A Witness" by Cascada and Rob Mayth. It has a fine parapara dance routine:

Now it's my time, I'll buck you up, come on feel fine
I'm in the mood for crazy things, let's cross the line.
I got the drums to make you move, got temper flying!
You look so shiftless, can I get a witness?

Bought a new bag, the old one was breaking down after 15 years of service.

After breaking many bag zippers, I prefer bags with rope closing mechanism. You can overpack a rope back and pull it close without fear of breaking it. They didn't sell rope bags, but these supersize zippers look robust enough.

Update: The old bag had a drawstring with cord lock.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

BB: Esa S left the house

Esa S the hothead engineer was the second flamboyant character in the house, but his flamboyance was much more refined and entertaining to watch than Nino's.

His strengths are most visible in the video clip "Esan kyökkikoulu pilteille", where he makes a parody of TV cook genre while cooking tunafish pasta. His showmanship skills produce first-class tech frat humor. His style of speaking in the show oscillates between "army style" shouting and teaching style for children. He's inserting mock abstractions ("cup-shaped object" for a cup) and generally being witty ("kurjalainen perinneruoka"). He may not be Mensa-level, but is pretty smart anyway. Making not just imitation but actively polarized parody as well as cracking witty, topical jokes on machine-gun fire requires well over average mental capacity.

His dark side was hotheadedness. His outbursts were probably scary for those who didn't see the reasoning behind them, and irritating for those who had to listen them, but the outbursts always had some justification, even if sometimes childish. He wasn't a loose cannon about to assault people on whim. They say that squeaky wheel gets the grease and in some other environment his habit of mentioning his discontents again and again may (or may not) bring better outcomes.

Regarding his realtionship to Minna, Roissy would probably say that it's hard to get better proof that you are preselected by women than by fucking in a popular TV show and having newspapers tell all about it even for non-watchers.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Eppu Normaali: Urheiluhullu

The lyrics in this Finnish pop classic are so true. I'll explain it line by line.

Punttisalin hämärään toisten lähdettyä jään ja huokaan
Kuinka kummia ajatuksia päähäni tuokaan

Often I exit the gym near closing time...

Tuo toiveeni ainoa että olla saanpi
Nuorempi ja laihempi ja lihaksikkaampi

Most people on Pakkotoisto are younger, and most people start doing sports at earlier age than I did. And active training makes you compare your own muscles and fatness to others.

Vaikken sitä julkista, katson lätkää ja pelaan sulkista

I don't watch any competitive sport, but I like to watch skillful sports videos on Youtube.

Must on tullut urheiluhullu
Must on tullut urheiluhullu
Must on tullut urheiluhullu
Must on tullut urheiluhullu
Elävästi muistan kuinka velttoilin silloin
Nuorempana aamuin sekä päivin sekä illoin

I used to jog when I was younger, but still have pangs of remorse when thinking how much easier it would have been to become fit had I started younger.

Luin Sartrea, Nietzscheä, Hegeliä, Kanttia

Replace by tech/math books.

Se oli kyllä tavallaan kovin intressanttia
Että toiset vei naiset
Oli jokaisella heili, ne näet urheili

All current talk about game claims that your character is the main tool of seduction, so I have very little proof that a good-looking body will help me much. The effects that training has on personality may be just as important as the better looks it provides.

Must on tullut urheiluhullu...
Ennen uskoin älyn voittoon
Oli tapanani lueskella filosofiaa aamunkoittoon
Kunnes paikalle tuli, kas, sulkapallokuningas
Sanoi minulle: huhuu, se on liha joka puhuu
Ja se meidät yhdistää

I've become more fascinated by unifying culture that bridges the gap between different tribes and provides food for conversation with strangers. Quality be damned. For example Big Brother or sports...

Kerran menin ravintolaan
Sieltä naisia saa
Mut ne katsoivat vain yhtä jääkiekkoilijaa
Silloin minäkin päätin pakaroistani näistä
Tehdä niin isot että silmät putoilevat naisten päistä
Must on tullut urheiluhullu...

Well, I wish this was true, since training is anyway going to give me a better looking body, and if it "makes eyes drop from women's heads", that's great. But I'm not counting on it.