Workout Plan #97.3

Longtime followers of this blog will find amusement in my latest self-discipline post, because I often post at the start of a new writing or exercise routine and then it falls apart a month later and I never post about it again, as if perhaps the plan has gloriously succeeded, or I’ve crept into the Sobbing Corner to cuddle with defeat.

bbWorkout plan time! I’m 5’11” and 183 lbs. — which is fine — but I feel lousy and it’s time to start exercising regularly. Let’s keep things simple:

  1. 2,400 calories daily
  2. MWF: Pushups, kettlebell swings, and chinups/pullups
  3. TTh: Exercise bike
  4. Weekend: Posing in reflective surfaces, such as my wife’s adoring eyes

I can manage 3-4 unassisted underhand chinups and 0 unassisted overhand pullups. Current goal is 10 unassisted chinups. Goal for pullups: how about 1?

I can do 15-20 pushups. Rather pitiful. Goal of 40 (consecutive).

Bike: goal is 1,000 calories on those two days per week.

I’ll keep you posted. (Or not.)

The Equinox Society

Friends and followers: you may enjoy following William Rook at THE EQUINOX SOCIETY, as he appears to be a strange, perhaps even dangerous version of me. I hesitate to use the term doppelgänger, but the word has crossed my mind.

William Rook alleges to be writing a YA ghost novel about a Victorian occult society in Troy, NY, which has apparently shown signs of reemergence in recent months.

I encourage you to investigate THE EQUINOX SOCIETY for yourself, although I cannot vouch for Mr. Rook’s trustworthiness or sanity.

w rook

MECO Empire Strikes Back Medley

empireI stumbled upon a cheap 45 of Meco’s “Empire Strikes Back Medley” this weekend: a fantastic cheeseball disco version, with sound effects, of the Imperial March. I loved this thing as a kid.

Meco was a record producer and musician (currently aged 75) whose real name is Domenico Monardo. He’s best known for the space disco version of the original Star Wars theme in 1977. That single went platinum.

According to Wikipedia, he saw the original Star Wars on opening day. After his brief musical success, he became a commodity broker in Florida.

The Worst Guitar Solo of All Time

A friend told me about this last night: in 2008, Guitar World listed the worst guitar solos ever. The top slot went to C.C. DeVille from a Poison live album, and it’s really something to hear. I laughed out loud three or four times. The entire solo is like a fantastic spoof of ridiculous hair metal shredding, except no one but a completely serious C.C. DeVille could have pulled it off.

Here’s Guitar World’s description:

Remember when you were in high school and your novice shredder best friend kept insisting he’d “almost nailed” Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption” solo, and you’d be stuck in his room wanting to kill yourself as he tried to play it again and again? That’s a little what listening to C.C.’s jaw-dropping nine-minute solo spot is like. Only instead of your friend going “No, wait!” and starting over every time he fucks up, there’s an arena full of idiots loudly cheering him on. And just to show you the breadth of his chops, C.C. also throws in a messy attempt at some “Hot Club”–style gypsy jazz licks (Django Reinhardt would surely be envious of the tres magnifique tones C.C. coaxes from his pointyheadstocked ax), a touch of polka, some searing Miami Vice blues bends and, of course, several more dive bombs and two-handed tapping runs whenever inspiration fails. Completely devoid of taste, structure or steady tempo, this should be required listening for budding guitarists everywhere. Surely they can’t do any worse.

The final minutes remind me of a soft-lit meditation/training scene from a Steven Seagal movie, like when he’s preparing for the action ahead by sticking lighted incense acupuncture needles into his skin, and Kelly LeBrock is peeking in, admiring his discipline, and they’re about to make tender love before he goes on his elbow-breaking revenge mission.

My favorite part (how to chose?) is right after the jazzy cruise-ship section. There’s a brief pause, an artificially amplified roar from the crowd… and then the hair-metalist of hair-metal shriek notes to reignite the action. I’ve queued that section up below, but really: treat yourself to the whole nine minutes.

Maiden Returns

Who knows if it’ll be any good, but I’m looking forward to the first-ever double studio LP from Iron Maiden this September.

Three vinyl discs. Terrific Eddie cover. The closing song is eighteen minutes long. And with a world tour in 2016, my son and I will get to see them live, which is really what parenting is all about.

BELL WEATHER in the Columbus Dispatch

BELL WEATHER is a Columbus Dispatch top-shelf recommendation. Thanks, Ohio!


bwWhen Tom Orange rescues a mysterious young woman from the flooded Antler River, he senses that their fates will deeply intertwine.

At first, she claims to remember nothing, and rumor animates Root—an isolated settlement in the strange wilderness of colonial Floria. Benjamin Knox, the town doctor, attends to her recovery and learns her name is Molly. As the town inspects its spirited new inhabitant, she encounters a world teeming with wonders and oddities. She also hears of the Maimers, masked thieves who terrorize the surrounding woods.

As dark forces encircle the town, the truth of Molly’s past spills into the present: a desperate voyage; a genius brother; a tragedy she hasn’t fully escaped. Molly and Tom must then decide between surviving apart or risking everything together. Dennis Mahoney’s Bell Weather is an otherworldly and kinetic story that blends history and fantasy, mystery and adventure to mesmerizing effect.