MONDAY

1. ObamaCare gets the slapdown from a federal judge. The SCOTUS should finish it off.

2. Egyptians are using dial up to get back on the internet. Apparently, they still had a bunch of those free AOL discs lying around from the 90's.

3. Israel is sweating this revolution in Egypt. The new guy is probably going to be a tad bit antisemitic.

4. Tom Brokaw refuses to say that Keith Olbermann is a cocksucking loudmouth arrogant worthless motherfucking son of a bitch who needs his ass kicked and his car keyed to hell and back because he keeps parking in Brokaw's spot!!

5. Eva Longoria and Tony Parker are now divorced. I only report this for the sake of posting this delicious pic:



6. Mubarak would flee to the USA, but he doesn't want his balls cupped by the TSA.

7. Wife swapping is probably not good for a marriage especially if there is variability in penis size.

8. I went to find my perfect match on eHarmony, and I ended up with a bald bitch who cursed a lot and liked looking at porn all day.

9. The reason SETI hasn't found alien life is because they skipped broadcasting completely and went straight to cable.

10. The first skill of a blogger is the ability to endure great hatred. The second skill is the ability to provoke that hatred.

[SOC]

It has been an eventful weekend here on the C-blog thanks to the tri-bash I did. If people ever wonder if I delete comments, they now have overwhelming empirical evidence that shows that I don't.

This isn't the first time I have written about a sport. In fact, I have written stuff about a variety of outdoor activities from cycling to weekend warriors to ultrarunners. Nothing has set off a group of people like that tri-bash post. I poked a sensitive spot. The only thing that provokes that kind of response is hard truth.

I don't have any hatred for any other sports. I am critical of activities that require a bunch of expensive shit and big toys. I think a guy fishing with $500 john boat is pretty cool. The guy with the $35K boat is not so cool. There is vanity there which is really dumb if it requires going into debt.

Someone remarked to me the other day that they noticed that I tended to be humble. Of course, I have to deny this since to acknowledge it would be bragging. But I do eschew status, conspicuous consumption, and all that shit. You can see where a yuppie sport like triathlon would be a ripe target for a blue collar guy like me.

Distance running has the opposite effect on me. I like a sport where the elites come from third world poverty. I admire a sport that is virtually free. You can go to any marathon, and you will see blue collar folks lining up with bankers to compete. Money doesn't buy you shit in the marathon.

There is a lot of social commentary to be had in these worlds. Because I bring a certain class consciousness to my discussions, people probably think I am some kind of Marxist. But I'm not. I just question the snobbery. Snobbery is the desperate attempt of rich people to convince the rest of us that they are also happy. But if you are happy, you don't convince anyone. They already know it just by looking at you.

This is why I am constantly surprised when people envy me. I figure envy is reserved for people who drive expensive cars and live in mansions. But envy comes from unhappy people who see other people as being happy. A great example would be the warden's hatred of Andy Dufresne in Shawshank. You start to see that happiness is less dependent on your circumstances than it is on your choices and your response to those circumstances. This is also why envious people become so hateful and destructive. When you live in opposition to their way and it works, they want to hide the evidence that they are not living the good life. These people are deep in a delusion.

I envy people, but what I call envy is really admiration. I admire people who reflect values that I have or have virtues I wish to have. These vary from individualism to humility to a tenacious work ethic. I admire these people because they confirm the things I already believe in. When a Mexican immigrant comes here, busts his ass working, and ends up owning his own home and a business and surrounds himself with a loving family, I am going to admire that way more than the fact that a coke whore like Paris Hilton is able to pull down in a day what this guy earns in a year.

Anyway, these are the thoughts in my head at this present moment. On to other things. . .

Quotable Quotes

I have a fear of being boring.
CHRISTIAN BALE

I've never met a genius. A genius to me is someone who does well at something he hates. Anybody can do well at something he loves - it's just a question of finding the subject.
CLINT EASTWOOD

I made a commitment to completely cut out drinking and anything that might hamper me from getting my mind and body together. And the floodgates of goodness have opened upon me - spiritually and financially.
DENZEL WASHINGTON

I hate working out. Because I work out for films now solely I come to associate it with work.
BRUCE WILLIS

I don't have any plugs or tucks but people do what they want. I look at it as mutilation.
JACK NICHOLSON

Greece and Rome



When an Olympic athlete, a cyclist, or a baseball player tests positive for performance enhancing drugs, it is a big scandal. It makes huge headlines. When a football player, a WWE wrestler, or a professional fighter is discovered to be on the juice, it is not nearly as scandalous. In fact, the fans of those sports could care less. Then, you have NASCAR where cheating is virtually admired. Why is there a difference? And what does it have to do about the fundamental nature of sports?

There are essentially two traditions in sports. The first tradition is the Greek tradition. The ancient Greeks started what were called the Olympic games because they were held in Olympus. Various city states would cease their warfare or whatnot and send their athletes to Olympus. The ancient Olympics were a combination of sport, religion, and art. There was some politics as well as since winning a competition brought great pride to the city-state much as it does to countries competing today. The ancient Olympic games began in 776 BC and continued until 393 AD, an impressive run.

The Romans had a sporting tradition as well, but it was much bloodier. Their tradition is marked by two locations--the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum. The Romans raced chariots at the Circus Maximus, and there were often spectacular crashes with charioteers getting fucked up or killed. You can watch Ben Hur to get the idea. The Colosseum was a huge arena where great spectacles and human suffering played a huge role. The most well known of these spectacles was gladiatorial combat where armed men would fight often to the death. Rome had smaller venues throughout their empire that were just like the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum.

The difference between the Greek and Roman traditions is evident. The Greeks were about virtue. They aspired to something nobler and higher. You can see this all throughout Greek culture. The Greeks had idealized statues showing perfect forms. They appealed to what was best in humanity.



The Romans were much cruder and realistic. You can see this in their statues as they portrayed their subject warts and all. Likewise, their sporting events were spectacular but appealed more to the visceral impulses than any sort of ideal. Where Greeks aspired to the laurel wreath, Romans just wanted their blood and guts.



In modern sports, we see both of those traditions alive and well. The modern Olympics, track and field, cycling, and baseball fall into the Greek tradition. Football, NASCAR, and MMA fall into the Roman tradition. This is why baseball fans were so shocked to discover their big names were not virtuous at all but were on the juice. Football fans and MMA enthusiasts probably wish their athletes were on steroids. For Greek tradition sports, discovering your heroes are cheaters is like finding out Santa Claus isn't real. For Roman tradition sports, finding out only increases the entertainment value. Baseball fans started tuning out their game when their steroids scandal broke. Lance Armstrong fans continue to be in heavy denial.

The fundamental nature of sports is an important issue to consider. Are sports a noble activity? Or are they simple entertainment? The reality is that it is entertainment. The sports as nobility thing ended the moment an athlete took a paycheck. This is why the Olympic games are drenched in doping. The Olympics are big business, but it is business based on a lie. The fans of those sports are awakening to the lie, and they are tuning out. The Romans had it right. They wanted their entertainment, and it wasn't pretty. But at least it was real.

The fans in the Greek tradition want more drug testing and all that. They are fooling themselves. This will never work. The fact that so many are doping and that the dopers stay one step ahead of testers reminds me of government efforts to fight alcohol during Prohibition and to fight drugs today. It is delusion and folly to think the testers will ever win this battle. The answer is to let doping happen. But to do this, the fans of those Greek tradition sports will have to become Roman in their thinking. They will have to accept sports as entertainment and not noble activity. If you're going to do that, why watch sprinters and baseball players when you can watch grown men in spectacle?

The evidence is in. The noble sports are sliding in attendance and ratings while the entertaining sports such as football, MMA, and NASCAR hold top or growing positions for the attention of male fans. Then, you have the in-between sports. Basketball is one of these sports. Seeing those dunks is spectacular entertainment, but the NBA has been sliding into oblivion ever since Michael Jordan left the game. This is because Jordan was a hero. Likewise, the NHL is a game of hard checks and even fights. But it has a tradition like baseball. Hockey can't make up its mind whether it wants to be noble or bloody.

Sports are entertainment. That is the bottom line. The Romans had it right. The people want to be amused. You can try and inspire them, but this is just so much bullshit. It is no coincidence that the Olympics combined sports with religion, politics, and art. This is because they are all bullshit. All of them leave you disappointed. Say what you will about the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum. When you went to those places, you were going to get a good show.

But fans in the Roman tradition can be betrayed as well. Professional wrestling is a spectacle, but it is fake. Likewise, MMA has taken over from boxing primarily because boxing had so many rigged fights. True fans want non-fiction not fiction. They can handle cheating just fine. They just can't abide fakery. Anything that leads to a predetermined outcome is fake for these people. It kills the suspense to realize the contest is not real.

Greek tradition sports could clean themselves up fairly quickly if they were willing to eliminate the money. But they aren't going to do this. As long as there is cash to be made, there will be doping. It is an unwinnable deal, and those fans face nothing but a future of disappointment. This is why I want Lance Armstrong to go down so badly because it will show what a myth that guy is.

If you want to be a sports fan, the answer should be clear to you. Go with football and MMA. Fuck baseball. Fuck heroes. Just get yourself some beer, some brats on the grill, and a comfy chair. Then watch the spectacle. It is the difference between watching a chick flick and watching a porno. Ulimately, you want to bust that nut. Likewise, sports is where you watch grown men suffer, hurt, and bleed. Can there be virtue there? Absolutely. There is toughness and endurance and courage. You can find things to admire in these anti-heroes. They ain't pretty, but they put on a hell of a show. They don't compete for the gods. They compete for you.

---

NOTES

Ancient Olympic Games

Circus Maximus

Colosseum

Gladiator

Dead Subjects



I read a bunch of stuff, and I have various interests. But some of my interests just aren't interesting anymore. This is because there is nothing new to add to them or to say about them. They haven't stopped being true, and I know they are interesting to those who are new to them. To me, they are simply dead subjects. Here is a list of them:

ATHEISM

I have been an atheist for ten years now. It took me awhile to adjust to reality, but I did. Now, being an atheist holds as much interest for me as being a believer in a flat earth. Most atheists of the evangelical persuasion get their jollies from debating with theists, but I don't really care. I spend no time on issues of metaphysics as Hume suggested.

MINIMALISM

This is something I have discussed before, and there is not much else to say when it comes to simplifying and living within your means. Basically, you decide against the creeping lifestyle inflation that comes with increasing income. That's it. I don't know how people can create entire blogs around this concept and keep them fresh. It is a lifestyle, but we must not confuse it for a life.

INDEXING

Index funds are simply part of a larger theme for me of knowing the role randomness plays in our lives. It is a settled issue for me, but the hard part is being average while some foolish risk taker is out there pulling down major cash. It takes a great deal of self-confidence to go against the masses. Eventually, you find vindication. But there's always a new crop of fools that come along. The difference for me now is that I waste no time trying to tell them any different.

LOVE

Everyone knows my viewpoints on romance. They are very dim. Love is nature's trick to make you reproduce. I remember how coming to this realization was a bit traumatic for me. Now, I don't even think about it anymore. I am so indifferent now that I don't even bother going out on dates. I remember telling my last girlfriend that she was going to be the last one for me. This is because I didn't care anymore. I knew it was bullshit. There's plenty of sex out there, but my enthusiasm for it has dimmed considerably. This is because a one nighter might turn into a relationship.

MAJOR SPORTS

Football, baseball, basketball, NASCAR, or whatnot bore me now. I will have more on this in a future post, but I think the reason I have changed on this is because I don't see athletes as heroes anymore but as just entertainers. When you divorce the virtue from it, it is really suck ass entertainment. Toss in the gossip and the PEDs, and you might as well change the channel. As a friend once told me, if you have time to watch a game, then you have time to go for a run or hit the gym. Basically, you should be your own hero.

MUSIC

I have listened to all sorts of music in my life from experimental to classical to hip hop to jazz to traditional stuff. In the end, I listen to country and rock especially classic rock. I've tried to get into stuff like indie rock and Norwegian death metal with the Cookie Monster vocals. But it just sucks. I always come back to stuff like Dylan, the Stones, and Tim McGraw. I don't waste my time or money on musical explorations anymore. Most of the time, I just listen to the radio.

I do have new and continuing interests. I've learned a great deal about economics, and I want to continue in that vein. I'm also pursuing new interests in science, mathematics, history, and blue collar trades involving construction, engine repair, and metal fabrication. I have to have new subjects to replace the dead ones. I am always growing, learning, and exploring.

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION

History has a way of happening and gradually then happening suddenly. From 9/11 to the housing bubble collapse, things happen rapidly, but they overlook the conditions that persisted slowly and quietly for years. This revolution is just like that.

Right now, the USA is in a bit of shit over this. This is because American foreign interventionism has led our political leaders to back Mubarak. The result is that the average Egyptian hates America. I shudder to think what lies on the other side of this.

I am like everyone else. I am watching as events unfold. The one thing we can learn from this is the stupidity of shutting down social media and the internet. That was an incredibly dumb move on the part of the Egyptian government. My advice to Mubarak is to negotiate a safe haven in some foreign country and get the fuck out.

2. VIRAL POSTS

It was bound to happen sooner or later. I was going to write a post that was going to touch a nerve and go viral. In this case, it was the triathlon post. The attention it has received has actually been quite small relative to the size of the internet. I would probably do better to get linked by a site like Instapundit. From past experience, I know this flurry of attention will be short lived, and I will go back to being a total nobody on the internet.

The one thing I have learned from this is that posting a lot of shit in a month will get you noticed simply as a result of the law of averages. It is the same thing I learned from meeting a lot of chicks or applying for a bunch of jobs. You spread your bets and let crazy shit happen. Of course, that crazy shit can also be bad, too.

I had the same thing happen before from the ultrarunner crowd when I reviewed the Badwater Ultramarathon DVD. Ironically, I have softened my stance considerably on those folks. I don't think they are that extreme though Badwater is pretty damn insane.

I have an incredibly thick skin, so I am simply amused at the anger and vitriol I have managed to stir up. I scored a direct hit on a group of people who never saw it coming. Vanity and narcissism are no substitutes for self-acceptance. This too shall pass.

3. WIKILEAKS

So far, the US Government can't find any link between Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. When you consider that Wikileaks is an electronic drop box, this makes sense. People have seen more on this than just one guy copying shit onto CDs. But that is all it is. As for the rape charges against Assange, I suspect they will be dropped at some point. Wikileaks is the new reality, and political leaders are adjusting. But looking at what is happening in Tunisia and Egypt, it behooves leaders to leave this shit alone. The internet is bigger than them, and it will swallow them whole.

4. OPENLEAKS

OpenLeaks is the creation of Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a WikiLeaks defector. Instead of being a publishing unit like Wikileaks is, OL simply acts as a middle man between leakers and established media. Will this new strategy work? I can't say. This is a period of evolution for media. But the one advantage of this approach is that it eliminates the editorial burden on the hackers. The downside is that the established media already gets info like this and sits on it. At least with Wikileaks, it stands a good chance of being published unedited. I see both organizations having the same goals but trying out different strategies. Which strategy will ultimately prevail is something I will have to wait and see about.

5. PIERS MORGAN

CNN's experiment in being the tabloid news channel is turning out to be a real dud. Piers Morgan is losing out to Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity. Why is this?

The public wants partisan news. Talk radio reflects this. The internet reflects this. The history of journalism is replete with examples of newspapers that took a certain editorial viewpoint. Is this the end of "objective" journalism? Probably so. Even libertarians are getting in on the act as they watch Fox Business News with Stossel and Napolitano.

CNN does have its bright spot in Anderson Cooper. I don't get Fox Business or MSNBC, and I don't watch Fox News. But I enjoy good journalism which is why I still read the Times and the Post and listen to NPR. CNN should explore this territory more, and they should try and get Dan Rather from whatever exile he is currently in. They should ditch Piers Morgan and make an offer to Charlie Rose. Quality journalism instead of popular journalism should be CNN's niche. But they won't go for it.

6. RON PAUL

I've been watching Ron Paul on the various programs, and he seems tired. They always ask him if he is going to run for POTUS again, and he seems very ambivalent about that prospect. When talking about the Tea Party, it is that same ambivalence. I don't see the same vigor or optimism he had when he ran in 2008. Then, he seemed surprised at the attention that he got. Now, he seems to understand it hasn't resulted in real change and probably won't. I suspect he will not run again. But he doesn't need to either.

FRIDAY

1. Revolution in Egypt! I don't know if the young people there want true reforms or the return of internet porn.

2. OK. I admit it. Triathlete chicks are kinda hot.



3. But triathlete dudes are still douchebags.



4. College students are registering record levels of stress. They have high tuition to pay. They have student loan debt that has fucked their entire futures. There are no high paying jobs waiting for them. And, the worst thing of all--contemplating learning a trade and doing real work for the rest of their lives.

5. I never knew Borat was a triathlete.



6. I asked my neighbor if he was a triathlete. He said that he was. I then told him to pedal his ass to the store to get me some more beer and cigarettes.

7. Actually, number 6 is bullshit. You can only carry two beers on a tri-bike. I sent him to the liquor store instead.

8. I think if Obama pulled the plug on Facebook and Twitter he would have a revolution on his hands, too.

9. Sarah Palin is still trying to figure out what Sputnik was. She still thinks it is the name of that monkey the Soviets sent up there. She just knows we don't need any more monkeys in space.

10. Charlie Sheen is in rehab. While there, he asked a triathlete if he would make a run to the liquor store for him.

PRINT-Libertarianism from A to Z by Jeffrey Miron



Jeffrey Miron's Libertarianism from A to Z is a great primer for libertarians or anyone else inerested in the libertarian viewpoint. Covering a wide array of topics in alphabetical order, Miron lays out standard libertarian views on things like gun control, school choice, and the like. Long time libertarians won't find much of anything new here.

The one interesting thing I found in the book was Miron's discussion of consequentialist libertarianism and philosophical libertarianism. A consequentialist libertarian argues from a utilitarian and empirical point of view. What are the results of a particular policy? Where does it bring us? This is opposed to the philosophical or rights-based viewpoint arguing the moral case for libertarianism. One argues that libertarianism is the smart thing to do while the other argues that it is the right thing to do.

I consider myself a consequentialist. I try to use an empirical approach to things. I rely on facts. The problem with making the moral case is that opponents make the moral case for their side as well. For leftards, it is all about equality and social justice. For fasctards, it is all about maintaining social order. When philosophical libertarians enter the fray, they just toss out liberty as their preference. The result is that their case is no stronger than that of the other people at the table. The consequentialist prefers liberty but also shows how liberty works better at providing both equality and order than what the leftards and the fasctards are doing. These approaches are what have separated the libertarians of the Cato Institute/George Mason University/Chicago School/Reason Magazine bunch from both the Rothbardians/Austrians/Lew Rockwell/Mises Institute people and the Objectivists. It is the difference between science and philosophy.

I listen to both sides since I think they have interesting insights, but I tend to the consequentialist side. I am a minarchist. I don't see anarchy working better than limited government though it works better than tyranny. I'd rather live in Somalia than North Korea because I can get the hell out of Somalia. But empirically, limited government such as what we have had in the Western world has worked the best. The reason philosophical libertarians tend towards anarchism is because they are trying to be philosophically consistent. I think this is dumb. I don't argue like a lawyer. I argue like a scientist.

When you argue from the consequentialist viewpoint, you don't get called a "utopian" or a "loony" because arguing against you is arguing against reality. Your opponents end up looking like the loonies and the utopians then which is what they are. Miron's book gives you the facts you need to make the case.

Now, I am willing to compromise on issues. I think private roads are better than public roads, but I'm not going to stop driving on them. If the welfare state was just a provision against starvation and sleeping on the street, I could handle that. I'm not a Platonist yearning to live in Libertopia because I know it doesn't exist. But I believe that is the right direction based on history and the facts. Freedom works and works better than statism.

LAZ is a good volume to add to your library of liberty. You will find it a handy reference.

The New Record

You may have noticed that I have been posting a lot of shit this month here at the C-blog. There is a reason for that. I wanted to set a new record for posts in a month, and I have now set a new record with this post. I still have a lot of month left, but I already have other work completed and put in the queue. I also didn't want to cheat and put a bunch of filler either. Of course, the posts might suck, but I can honestly say I worked on them all with as much creativity as I could muster.

I don't anticipate trying for a new record. I think one post daily is sufficient. But it has been fun cranking it out this month. I will spend my time working on the books I have on my projects list. 2011 is going to be a productive year for me. I can feel it in my colon.

Triathlon Is a Stupid Sport



I take what I call a journalistic interest in a variety of sports. If I didn't write, I wouldn't waste my time learning about them. But when you are a writer, you learn everything about everything. In the case of various sports, I can tell you all sorts of things about surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing, bowling, scuba diving, or what have you. I learn a lot about these activities, and I talk with people who do them. Every one of the people I have talked to have been charitable types willing to indulge my curiosity. But there is an exception. Triathletes are that exception.

Triathletes are douchebags. If you doubt this, go to any messageboard for any single sport like running, swimming, and cycling and declare that you are a proud triathlete. You will be showered with invective. People will hate on you, and you will think it might be envy. But it isn't. Triathletes are huge fucking assholes. The sport and the douchebag personality go together.

Triathlon began as a sport in the 70's concurrent with the running boom that took off and remains with us today. Those early triathletes were pretty cool people. Basically, they could swim and took up either running or cycling as a second sport. In those early days, triathletes were kinda weird and gnarly much like ultrarunners are today. It was during this time that the famous Ironman Triathlon was created and would go on to become the most recognized tri-event in the world. The M-dot logo would become a valuable trademark, and that is where things began to turn wrong in that sport.

Nobody has a copyright on the word "marathon." But imagine if someone did. Imagine if you had a 26.2 mile race, but you had to pay to call it a marathon. Suddenly, you are in a shitty deal. Now imagine you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but you have to run a marathon in order to do it. The only marathons recognized are the ones that paid to be called a marathon. Suddenly, you have control. A group of people are going to get rich off of a trademark that no one else can use. Of course, this scenario is ridiculous. But this is the deal in triathlon. You can't use the Ironman name much less the logo without paying for the privilege. You might say this is no big deal, but the reality is that everyone wants to complete an Ironman event for the bragging rights.

The result of this arrangement is that entry fees for these events are high--very high. With other events like marathons and 5K's, the money made goes to charitable endeavors and maintaining the race. This is one reason why municipalities are willing to let organizers use their streets. It is for a good cause and promotes health. An Ironman is different. It is about profit. This is why marathoning is so egalitarian while triathlon is elitist.

Without a doubt, triathlon and the Ironman are well organized. But those events are expensive. The entry fee for last year's Hawaii Ironman was $550. The entry fee for the Boston Marathon is $130. The entry fee for the New York City Marathon is $196. The entry fee for Western States is $295. Now, these races aren't cheap. They require a lot of logistical support, aid, refreshments, and the like. But you can run Boston for less than your electric bill. Plus, you can drive or take the bus. You can't do that with the Hawaii Ironman unless you live in Hawaii. You automatically have to tack on airfare for the Ironman.

The next barrier is the time needed to train for triathlon. World class runners train for less than 20 hours per week. An amateur triathlete needs 20 hours per week just to be decent. The optimum is 25+ hours per week. This is a heavy time commitment. Only someone extremely dedicated is going to pull this off or has sponsorship enabling them to quit their day job.

The next aspect is the cost of training and equipment. Triathletes drop $4000-$5000 on the bike, and $400 on the wet suit. This does not include all the accessories that go with this shit like a cycling computer, membership at the Y, etc. Between time, entry fees, and costs of gear, who can afford to do this sport or even want to do it?

The average salary of a tri-geek is $150,000. So, you guessed who wants to do this sport--elitist pricks with bullshit jobs and money to burn. And since they often go to the same places as runners, swimmers, and cyclists, they run into these other people who don't make $150K a year with their MBA or JD and leave a very bad impression. The bottom line is that triathlon is a contrived piece of shit sport peopled with colossal assholes who want to claim another accomplishment for their resumes. Since they buy so much expensive shit, equipment makers line up to market to these twits.

If you come away with the impression that triathlon is the McMansion of sports, you would be correct. Triathlon makes golf look cheap and egalitarian by comparison. There are dirtbag runners, mountain bikers, rock climbers, surfers, etc. Ultrarunner Anton Krupicka often lives out of the back of his pickup in order to indulge his sport. But there are no dirtbag triathletes. Triathlon is a money sport. Supporters of triathlon will tell you that you can do a triathlon with a mountain bike you got from Walmart. But don't think they won't be laughing at you because they will.

Of course, triathletes are silly fuckers anyway. You can see by the way they dress for the event:



I realize that all sports require wearing some silly stuff. But this takes the cake. This outfit would look cool on a chick. It doesn't look so good on a dude. I know. This is a cheap shot. But I wanted to get that lick in before I took my beating in the comments section.

Triathlon isn't really a sport but the narcissistic indulgence of rich assholes. The competition can't be that fierce since your annual salary is as much a factor as your genetics and your training. It is a status symbol. That's it. These rich assholes do this sport instead of opting for one of the single sports because it seems so awesome that they can suck at three disciplines instead of one. It is like getting a 2.0 at Harvard. People just hear Harvard and assume you're smart instead of being the brat of well-connected rich parents. The symbol is what matters not what it signifies. Triathlon is a way that pricks can tell the world that they are awesome and rich and better than you. Now you know why all the other cyclists want to kick the triathlete's ass at the century ride.

UPDATE: This post has generated a great deal of feedback thanks to somebody posting the link over at Slowtwitch. The overwhelming response just indicates to me that I hit my target. I'm not apologizing for anything I've written. Triathletes are assholes.

I'm weird, but I don't admire sports where the outcome can be determined by one's income. Poor people might participate in triathlon, but I suspect they are denigrated by their wealthier peers in the sport. Every triathlete I have ever met has been a carbon copy of the Brad Pitt character in Burn After Reading--a douche.

I also like this video for some reason:



UPDATE 2: More videos.







UPDATE 3: This post continues to rake in the hate. The comments are pretty harsh, but the voting here and on Reddit are on my side. I interpret this to mean that the silent majority agrees with me. The vocal minority flails wildly trying to land some counterblow against me. But I don't think anything is going to equal that picture of the guy running in the Speedo and the bra.

Other people point out that cyclists are real assholes and douchebags, too. But cyclists are a real diverse bunch. You have fixed gear folks who I think are really cool. You have the mountain bikers who I think are friendly except if you are walking on a trail they are riding. Road cyclists tend to be more prickish. But I have never found any that were just overt snobs. Granted, many cyclists have some really expensive rides, but I find them strapped to roof racks on 20-year-old cars. The bike is worth more than the car.

I find runners and ultrarunners to be the antithesis of triathletes. They have a minimal amount of gear, and no trace of vanity coming from the fact that they are so damn skinny. Plus, they bitch a lot about entry fees and are always looking for discounts on shoes. Running appeals to tightwads, and none of them get upset when I point out this fact. They just laugh and idolize someone like Krupicka who is often literally homeless.

I tossed the original essay off in a writing binge on a Thursday night and was at work all day Friday as it blew up. Had I known the reaction it would get, I would have spent more time on it but only to make it meaner and more insulting. I have had coworkers who were triathletes and met some outside of work. Every damn one of them was a prick. I used to think this was just a few bad apples until other people told me they thought the same things I did. Cyclists seem to have a special antipathy towards triathletes, but I'm not a cyclist.

I've also gotten slammed for calling the triathletes out on having bullshit jobs. I don't see these guys doing neurosurgery. Most of them work in marketing and sales or work for law firms, financial services, and the upper rungs of middle management. I already despise these people even if they aren't triathletes because they tend to be slimebags. The reason I point this out is that a real job requires real commitment. In order to do triathlon, it helps to have a job that pays well but is rather shallow in the social contribution department. This provides both the time and the funds to be a triathlete with the attendant moral vacuum and narcissism. I present the first commenter on the thread of hate at the end of this post as Exhibit A--Denis Oakley. You can look that guy in the eye and see that he is a complete prick. Naturally, he has an MBA and works in marketing.

I've also heard from poor triathletes who say they sacrifice for their sport. Why? Why not go run marathons or ride the trails than get beat by some douche who can afford a better bike than you? This strikes me as an athletic form of sycophancy. You probably also wash and wax the rich triathlete's BMW after the race. Do yourself a favor and pick another sport.

Finally, people probably wonder why I pick on triathletes. Regular readers of my blog know why. It is the socioeconomic aspect of it than the sport itself. I could have picked golf, but I know a lot of blue collar golfers. I could go after tennis, but the only people playing tennis today are rich middle-aged housewives. But all you need is a racket and some balls to play tennis. There are a lot of empty tennis courts in my town. (Very few basketball courts.) The fact is that just about any sport out there is open to regular people like me including running, swimming, and cycling. Triathlon makes itself exclusive by combining three sports. I don't think this was planned in the same way that I don't believe in Intelligent Design. But triathlon has evolved as a money sport for rich narcissistic pricks.

Can triathlon be changed? I don't know, and I don't even care. Should it be changed? The libertarian in me recoils at that notion. People have a right to be pricks. I also have the right to call them pricks. I have just held up a mirror to a subculture, and the tri-pricks have responded to what they saw. The ones I respect are the ones who don't deny being pricks but embrace it. They know what they are. The ones I don't understand are the idiots who want to be in the company of such pricks.

As for me, I think the finest sport ever invented is bowling. Any sport that allows you to drink beer during the competition has to be the best thing ever in the athletic world. Plus, they have the coolest shirts. Fuck Spandex. Go with Rayon.



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NOTES

How Triathlon Became the New Status Symbol

Triathlon Is An Expensive Sport

Triathlete Demographics

Why I Hate Triathletes

Why Cyclists Hate Triathletes

Are Triathletes Deserving of a Bad Reputation?
---
REBUTTALS

Diminutive Dissertation 1.0 (apparently I'm a douchebag)

Headlines, Bylines, and Why-lines

Is Triathlon a Stupid Sport?

Enjoy the Ride: Triathlon Is a Stupid Sport

Why Do People HATE Triathletes?
---
RELATED

Why Running Is the Perfect Sport (Almost)

24 Hour Party People



With the twenty four hour party people plastic face 'carn't' smile a white out
Cos' I have to wait for you to conduct.
Press the pause of the self destruct.
With the twenty four hour party people plastic face 'carn't' smile the white out
With the twenty four hour party people ...


I think the reason drugs remain illegal is primarily because of the people that use drugs. I think this is the reason alcohol was made illegal during Prohibition. We like to point to drug addicted celebrities, their bad behavior, and their slides into self-destruction as if this all happens in a vacuum. But it doesn't. The consequences happen in a vacuum. You go to rehab and jail by yourself. You overdose and die alone. But prior to that, you are always in the company of "friends." These friends are the 24 Hour Party People.

The 24 Hour Party People or the 24HPP for short are that class of people who live to party. They drink. They do cocaine. They do cocaine, so they can stay up and drink. They drink, so they can come off the cocaine. They might do a little ecstasy. But there is always the drinking, the music, the sex, and the good times. Daytime is for sleeping. The party is the life.

There are consequences for those who choose not to party. This is the family that gets wiped out in their minivan by the drunk frat brother. This is the mother who finds her jewelry pawned as her son finances another coke binge. This is the husband who sees his bank accounts wiped out by his drug addicted, cheating, partying wife.

I have never been one of the 24HPP. I have met them and been friends with them though. I regret this. I've never done drugs in my life, so I'm not saddled with that problem. I used to drink a bit, but I gave that up years ago as well. The regret comes from the fact that I ever associated with those people or considered that they might have some perspective on the good life. I realize now that I was mistaken.

The 24HPP are the garbage of humanity. They are the employees who call out sick at least once a week. They are the ones with the endless drama, the money problems, the drunk driving convictions, and what have you. Once you realize that someone is a 24HPP, you need to put daylight between you and them. These people are trouble. They will ruin you.

There was a time when I would hang out at the bar. This was "fun." I was really stupid on that. Now, I like to hang out at the library, the bookstore, and the coffee shop. Dark roasted black coffee has replaced Jim Beam. Deep reading has replaced the stupid conversations. The people I meet in those places are intelligent and without drama.



If you want to have a better life, it behooves you to associate with a better class of people. 24HPP are not those people. They will never make you better. They will only make you worse. I think the reason Starbucks became so popular was because they served coffee in the evenings and became a place to hang for people who want a quieter mode of existence. There is a reason they have WiFi at those places.

I need a name for those people at the coffee house. Maybe I should call them the 24 Hour Caffeinated Cerebral Quiet People. It doesn't have the same ring to it though. I think I will just call them the Quiet People. The QP don't bother you. The most exciting thing they talk about is politics. Otherwise, they just read or tap away on their laptops. The caffeine buzz accentuates the hum in their brains.

THURSDAY

1. Charlie Sheen is in the hospital today. This will be a speed bump on his road to self-destruction. I think this is all caused by the fact that the cute kid on his show has grown up to be an obnoxious teenager that makes the other teen girls want to puke. The lesson from all this is don't put kids on your TV show.

2. Speaking of self-destruction, rumor has it that Everett Bogue might have to get a real job.

3. Frank Gehry has designed another building. It sucks. It is the waste of what would have been a good parking lot.

4. You know you are getting old when your jokes stop being funny and start sounding like profound wisdom.

5. Alberto Contador was stripped of his TDF title for doping. Then, they gave the win to the next doper in line.

6. Lance Armstrong is right. I don't believe in miracles.

7. You can always tell the ones who are fixing to run for president because they always begin by pandering to corn farmers. Ethanol is a great idea every four years.

8. It is not spending. It is "investment." Corn subsidies are an "investment."

9. Corporations are not persons. Of course, this all changes in regard to taxes. Then, they can enjoy the full rights that the rest of us have to pay for all those "investments." And they wonder why corporations go overseas to escape the largest corporate tax in the world.

10. Two weeks is too fucking long to wait for a Super Bowl. PLAY THE DAMN GAME!!

BONUS: Chad Ochocinco is changing his last name back to Johnson. No word if he will have "85" tats removed as well.

Simplicity as Strategy




Good design is innovative
Good design makes a product useful
Good design is aesthetic
Good design helps a product to be understood
Good design is unobtrusive
Good design is honest
Good design is durable
Good design is thorough to the last detail
Good design is concerned with the environment
Good design is as little design as possible

DIETER RAMS

Dieter Rams changed the world of product design with his minimalist philosophy. His products endure as timeless pieces of elegance, functionality, and beauty. His work is described as "ageless" because you cannot tell when it was made. His work is not a product of a time but is timeless. His legacy is felt today by the work of Jonathan Ive over at Apple.

There are a lot of ways to design a product. But over and over, you see that the designs that last are the simple designs. This is because they adhere to that famous dictum, "Form follows function." By keeping the good stuff and removing the crap, you end up with some really cool shit.

As a writer, I learned early on that editing was as important as creation. What you leave out is as important as what you leave in. I have received many compliments on my writing style, but I am able to do something that everyone else should be able to do but can't. I write simply. I don't use a lot of big words. I never try to sound smart. I do not aim for sophistication. I aim for truth.

I call this "writing with balls." I once tutored a pharmacy major in college who was a brilliant student except when it came to writing papers for his English class. I read his work and saw the usual problem. He was trying to sound smart, but he ended up sounding dumb. He was "writing with bullshit." I told him to write in simple declarative sentences. He called it "Dick and Jane" writing. He did as he was told, and he went from an F to an A in that class. The teacher was so impressed with his newfound skills that she read his paper aloud in class. Everyone said it sounded like Ernest Hemingway. My pupil had started writing with balls.

It requires self-confidence to write simple sentences. You have to believe in yourself to take on the world without adjectives and big words. The truth is simple, so you put that out there. And it is devastating. Words can change the world. But those words must be true. In a world full of liars, telling the truth is revolutionary.

People want to lard it up with bullshit. This is because they are afraid. All forms of maximalism and excess come from fear. The hoarder can't throw away their shit. The news junkie is afraid he won't hear the latest news. The McMansion dweller is afraid of having less status than his neighbors. The person who overpacks for a trip contemplates emergencies and necessities that never happen. And the person who overwrites is the one who is afraid of being discovered as being dull and stupid.

I can understand the maximalist impulse completely. As my old man used to tell me, "It is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it." I tend to favor Yvon Chouinard's dictum, "The more you know, the less you need." If you apply this to writing, your need for words is inversely proportional to your brains.

The same thing applies to your lifestyle. People buy shit because they are afraid of being seen as poor and broke. The result is that they go broke trying to look rich. Women are more prone to this than men. I have had many girlfriends who would always want to borrow money from me while also harping on my lack of style, my used car, and living in the ghetto. There are other people who would rather earn less in a status job than earn more with a dirty job. I find this to be unbelievably stupid.

Going with what is simple requires courage. In the case of Dieter Rams, it required going against what was fashionable. It meant deciding to be plain and dull. Yet, for all their simplicity, his products defied them all. They are authentic. "Good design is honest."

When choosing simplicity as a life strategy, you only have to ask yourself one question. What is it that scares me? What is my fear? For most people, it could simply be the fear of being bored. For others, it is the fear of the ridicule of other people. For others, it is being in need. Yet, in attempting to escape these fears, their worst fears come true. The expensive car gets repossessed. They have 250 channels of crap to watch. They foreclose on the McMansion. Their creative work looks terrible because it is too damn gaudy.

Simplicity works. The problem is that people don't have the balls to execute on the strategy. They can't be unconventional. They don't have the self-confidence simplicity requires. This is why people often need failure to move on in the direction of simplicity. This is because failure bankrupts your phobias and allows you to move on with courage. Or as Seneca put it, "Disaster is virtue's opportunity." It is my sincere wish that more people would fail. Being a loser is very liberating.

Existential Angst



Nietzsche called it "the death of God." Sartre called it "nausea." Camus called it "the absurd." No matter how you put it, it all comes down to the same thing--existential angst.

There is no God. Consequently, we are left adrift in a world without transcendant values. It is both liberating and frightening. The existentialists struggled with this new reality. We still struggle with it today. How do you find meaning in a life that is ultimately meaningless?

I think you create your own meaning. Some people choose religion. Others choose an ambitious project. Still others choose to do nothing but live in hedonistic excess. There are many paths, but I think they all have the same destination--human happiness.

The pursuit of happiness is what gives our lives meaning. Philosophy is simply the strategy for finding that happiness. We make our choices, and we live with the results for good or ill. The first choice we must make is a simple one. It is the question that Camus asked. Should one live or should one die?

When faced with absurdity, the ultimate question is whether or not life is worth living. Camus, Sartre, and Nietzsche all chose to live. I think it is a good choice since death is certain and ultimate. You can always choose not to live. Choosing to live is another thing.

Once you choose to live, the next question concerns how you choose to live. People have to answer this question for themselves. There are many others who would like to answer this question for you. But who the fuck are they? Who put them in charge? What makes them the ones who get to choose for me? The next question is as simple as the first one. Do you choose slavery or freedom? Are you going to determine your own path? Or are you going to let others determine it for you? If you choose slavery, you can stop reading here. If you choose freedom, carry on.

Once you choose freedom, you must also take responsibility for that freedom. Your life belongs to you. There are things that happen to you. You become sick. You get arrested. You get laid. You win the lottery. We cannot control what happens to us. We can control how we respond to those circumstances. Our choices are us. We are what we choose to be.

In everything, we can choose happiness, or we can choose misery. Misery is the false belief that we had no choice. But this isn't true. We always have a choice. You only have to think back to that first choice to live instead of dying. Likewise, in adversity, we continue to choose to live. Or we can give over and choose to die. If life is so horrible, why do we cling to it?

It is in overcoming this absurdity that our lives find meaning and greatness. When an amputee chooses to become a runner, this is defiance. When a dyslexic chooses to become a great author, this is heroism. When you choose to be happy no matter the circumstance, this is virtue.

Our times of existential angst come when we must make a choice. It is so easy to have someone else make the choice. But we make our own choices, and we live with those choices. If I have any deeper meaning to impart here, it is this. Quit being a fucking pussy and get on with it.

WEDNESDAY

1. 12 hour day at work for me. I feel like I have been chewed up and beshitted out the ass end of some monster.

2. I feel a joke coming on. Here it comes. . . aaahhhh. . .it went away.

3. NASCAR is making changes to its points scheme AGAIN. Basically, you get an extra point if your name isn't Jimmie Johnson.

4. If Jimmie Johnson wins another championship, NASCAR will become the first sport of any kind to commit suicide.

5. Jimmy Buffett fell off the stage at a concert in Australia. There is no word if he spilled his margarita.

6. The recession must be over. I know this as the minimalists go back to buying shit they don't need.

7. People are all for cutting the deficit until they realize the cuts are coming out of their asses. Then, it is spend spend spend.

8. People are quitting Facebook. The ironic thing is that they all want to go on Facebook and tell everybody they quit Facebook.

9. Mark Zuckerberg had his Facebook hacked. I am not making this up. So much for privacy.

10. Ok, one pic of hot female flesh:

VILLAINS-Warren Buffett



Warren Buffett is one of those villains that used to be a hero of mine. That was when I didn't know any better. When I first got into investing, I gravitated towards value investing which means worshipping at the altar of Warren Buffett, the greatest value investor of all time. Then, I read Malkiel and Bogle, and my mind changed.

I think Warren Buffett is a lucky coin flipper. I don't think he has any greater insight than anyone else. I know this because the guy owned a significant stake in Moody's that was suckered completely by the housing bubble shenanigans of the big Wall Street banks. All Buffett had to do in his infinite wisdom and Omaha common sense was to get on the phone and tell them they were wrong. He didn't. The reason was because Buffett was in the dark like everyone else. The guy who called the tech bubble couldn't see the housing bubble. I could see it, and I am a "know-nothing" investor.

Warren Buffett does not believe in efficient market theory or even the randomness theories of Nassim Taleb. He believes he knows the future for investments that are within his sphere of confidence. I know better. A lucky coin flipper looks like a genius or a magician when he flips heads ten times in a row. But it is luck. When it starts hitting tails, you know you've been fooled.

Buffett wrote a famous essay entitled "The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville" that was his rebuttal to efficient market theory. Of course, with the performance slide of Bill Miller, that essay seems really stupid now. The dirty secret is that many many many people copy Buffett, yet so few of them are able to duplicate his success. The result is that the successful ones are counted as "value investors" while the losers are dismissed. This is nothing more than a clever reworking of the fallacy of hindsight bias. It is drawing the target after the arrow has already been shot.

But being an indexer and a "know-nothing" investor is not what has pissed me off at Buffett. Unlike his father who was a true patriot of the Old Right, Warren Buffett is a rent seeking Democrat. He praises the bailouts and pushes for government regulations and gets chummy with Goldman Sachs. He is in the club of rich parasites gaining advantage from government favors. The worst of it is his endorsement of the inheritance tax. The result of that is that family businesses must sell in order to pay the tax or avoid it. They want cash for the business, and Warren is there with the cash. He gets quality businesses on the cheap because of that tax. That isn't genius. That is theft. He just has the government put their gun on the victim.

Buffett is also a hypocrite. He always had my respect for pushing for corporate transparency, slamming derivatives, and all the rest. Well, he has had a scandal on all these things he preaches about from shenanigans in his insurance business to that Moody's thing I mentioned to owning a huge portfolio of derivatives to sucking Lloyd Blankfein's dick over at Goldman Sachs.

Warren Buffett is a piece of shit in my book. I'm sorry, but my disgust with him grows every year. The reason you aren't Buffett and won't be like Buffett is because you believe the myth instead of the reality. He is as crooked as all the rest of those fuckers. He just has better PR. Don't believe the hype.

SOTU

I turned on the news channel to watch the State of the Union and missed the whole damn thing along with the GOP and Tea Party responses because I fell asleep. I am saddened to confess that I will not be able to share my thoughts on all those wonderful bullshit riddled speeches. And, no, I'm not going to YouTube to catch up either. There are more important things in life. One of those is sleeping.

This country is fucked. That's all you need to know. No talking is going to change that.

Existentialist Self-Help

You can do anything but not everything.
DAVID ALLEN

Reading David Allen and Sartre at the same time has a profound effect on you. Sartre tells us that we are free. We are free to choose the lives we wish to lead. We can do anything we like. Then, Allen adds his two cents, ". . .but not everything."

I doubt David Allen was thinking of Sartre when he penned that best known quotation of his. He was simply pointing out a truth. You can choose to do anything, but when the choice is made, you are automatically choosing not to do other things. For Allen, he is obviously talking about the amount of time available in a given day to accomplish your goals and how to make better use of it. But he is also talking about a much deeper truth.

To choose one path is to not choose another. To go left is to choose not to go right and vice versa. You can't go down both paths. You have to choose and live with the consequences. Those choices may also involve regret and envy.

To see how this plays out in a practical way, I give a real life example supplied by a friend. He has a cousin who worked for a major outfit, and this job required extensive world travel. The guy loved to travel. This is not really a problem. The conflict came when he also tried to be a husband. His wife was not too keen on his travel or his job. Not willing to give up the job or that lifestyle, the two of them eventually divorced. He could be the world traveler or the devoted husband, but he could not be both.

Life is full of just such conflicts. As Allen put it, you can do anything, but you can't do everything. We are slammed in the face with the necessity to choose. You may have 500 channels to choose from, but you can only watch one at a time. Similarly, there are many paths you can take in your life, but you can only take one. Because of this reality, it creates problems for us.

The first problem as I have illustrated is conflict. You can't serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. People will argue that they can pull this sort of thing off. They can have their cake and eat it, too. I strain to see who is able to pull off this trick. When I see people trying to defy this reality, all I notice is the imbalance in their lives. I see plates spinning, and I know they will fall. This is a problem that I have in my own life. In doing some things, I neglect others. The answer is to choose.

The second problem we have is regret. This is a dumb response but one we can understand. We want to rethink our choices. We imagine what our lives would have been like if we had taken option B instead of option A. The irony is that if we had chosen option B, we would have gone on to regret option A. It is a no-win situation. Life is always better in some parallel dimension of our minds where we made all the right choices. I know this is foolish thinking, so I have few regrets in my life.

The third problem is envy. We see people who made different choices from us. The bachelor envies the married man. The married man envies the bachelor. The poor man envies the opulent lifestyle of the rich man. The rich man envies the simple life and pleasures of the poor man. Like regret, this is also foolish thinking.

The remedy for all these problems goes back to David Allen's advice. You can do anything but not everything. You have freedom, but that freedom comes when we choose and sacrifice the alternatives because even choice becomes a form of tyranny. We become paralyzed with an array of possible future regrets. In order to live, we must also have the courage to accept the consequences of those choices. Every life has some negative consequence. It cannot be avoided or escaped. The surf bum and the Wall Street trader have very different lives, and you can't be both. One is poor and happy. The other is rich but perhaps happy in a different way.

I know in my own life that I have made certain choices, and I live with the consequences. One of the choices I made was to give up drinking and hanging out with the party people. It is fun hanging with those folks, but at some point, you are going to have the drunken driving conviction, the physical altercation, the weekend in jail, and the endless drama. As I pointed out to a guy who had a fight outside the bar one night, that shit never seems to happen to me outside the library or Starbucks.

Another choice I made is to always live in South Carolina. When I look at the map, I see all the other cities where I could live and do so many things. I spent five years in Orlando being homesick. I was glad to be back in SC. This place isn't much. But it is home to me. I have the option because of my work to transfer to a lot of different locations in the country. Living simply, all of my stuff could fit easily in a U-haul truck. I can go anywhere and do anything as someone pointed out to me. But I've done that before, and I know there are regrets to that as well. It makes more sense to stick where you are and make the most of that.

Another choice I made that readers already know about is eschewing white collar professions. I know I am sacrificing status and money, but I gain in job satisfaction and the ability to sleep well. I don't lie awake night grinding my teeth at the office politics or wondering if my employees will show up for work. I don't work selling financial products to my helpless customers who are clueless victims. I don't dread going in to a boring ass job that makes no sense. I wake up every morning with a tingle of excitement as I contemplate all I will accomplish that day. If this makes me a loser, I am fine with that. Being a loser feels much better than when I was a "winner."

The last choice I have made is to just remain a bachelor. I need to face the fact that I would make a lousy husband and family man. I enjoy my work and my projects too much. I like being alone for long periods of time. I don't understand the neediness of women and children. I am not built for that sort of thing. I am just a divorce waiting to happen. As in the example of the well traveled divorcee, I'm not a good match for a woman wanting to settle down or do a reset on a failed marriage. I hate being nagged, and I will ignore and neglect any woman for the sake of the things that make me happy.

Make your choices and accept the consequences. Realize that you can do anything and not everything. No choice is necessarily better than another, and you should never waste time in regret or envy. Your life is yours. Own that motherfucker. Be who you choose to be. This will bring balance and self-acceptance to your life.

Has Everett Bogue Lost His Mind?

Fuck Minimalism

I don't consider myself a minimalist anymore, because being a minimalist isn't a thing to be anymore -- it's an idea that came and passed. Minimalism was cool for awhile. Now, it's simply the echo of a revolution that once was.

I'm not sure what to make of this. I don't know if this guy is pulling a joke or if this is some new clever marketing gimmick. But if he is sincere with this, I have to wonder what changed for him. My personal belief is that Bogue is an opportunist who sees the opportunity now fading.

For what it is worth, I haven't changed. I still live the same way and will continue this way. I think Everett suspects that his extreme lifestyle has become a bit farcical. He will probably go try and buy a new McMansion.

I still think simplicity is the way to go and the way to live. No matter what the economy does or if I win the lottery, I am still going to remain with my simple lifestyle. I have always lived this way and always will. The things that bring me the greatest pleasure are affordable and easy to obtain.

Bogue was into the minimalist fad. I can only hope there are those like myself that are true believers.

UPDATE: I have been perusing the interwebs, and I am surprised at how other people's thinking about minimalism is almost identical to the same thoughts I have been having on it lately. Basically, I am of the opinion that minimalism of the Everett Bogue variety is just extreme, and I prefer simple living. Here are some various links:

Mediumism

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_ASIV2TvOg

Could We Be Done With Minimalism?

It’s Still Cool to Be a Minimalist: Everett Bogue Moved on But You Don’t Have To

Of Cyborgs and Amish

TUESDAY

1. Taco Bell has "beefless" beef. You gotta love when the government that declares an "end to combat operations" in Iraq lectures a private company about their slippery use of language.

2. I have been accused of spilling "shitless" bullshit here at the C-blog. I want to lay those claims to rest by declaring that all my posts have 25% more shit in them.

3. TIP: If you are playing in the NFL playoffs, you don't get to leave the field under your own power. You must leave unconscious on a stretcher. Anything less will lead to you being called a pussy by your own team. Of course, it would help if the offensive line didn't let the QB get sacked in the first place.

4. I have to post this:



5. State of the Union tonight. I will post my response to the speech. I expect Obama to milk the Tuscon strategy and to try and sound tough on fiscal and economic policy. Of course, Obama on fiscal matters is about as ludicrous as Bill Clinton on fidelity.

6. It is exceedingly difficult to find a clean pic of porn star Stoya:



7. Rahm is back on the ballot. Of course, he may still be disqualified even if he wins. TIP FOR RAHM: You need to find that guy that forged Obama's birth certificate. I know he can forge a backdated lease for you.

8. Shitt Romney is the Republican frontrunner. Someone should forge a birth certificate showing that he was born in Kenya.

9. I don't think this is covered under ObamaCare:



10. Here's that 25% more shit I promised:

Why You Are Fat



Samoans are fat people. Why? Were they always this way? Nope.

Fat people are survivors. They are blessed with highly efficient metabolisms. They burn calories at a much slower rate than other people. This allows them to live longer and function better without food. Put some fat people and some skinny people in a survival situation, and the fat people will live. The skinny people will quickly die off. Even if you introduced a new group of skinny people later, the former fat people will still outlive them. I learned this from watching the first season of Survivor which the fat guy won.

Samoans are fat because their ancestors were the only ones that survived those long ocean voyages in dugout canoes and could live in such a remote place. Samoans historically are not fat people. So, what happened? What made them balloon up like they did? The answer to that is simple--the American diet.

The key term is caloric density. The modern American diet is packed with calories from food larded up with fat and sugar. Everyone loves fat and sugar including skinny people because we have all evolved to prefer those foods. These are survival foods. Most of human history has been a tale of near starvation. Then, along came McDonald's.

Americans historically have not been overweight. Old Army posters of pre-WWII inductees show skinny guys coming to sign up. After joining the Army, they actually gained weight because they had access to three squares with lots of beef, pork, and dessert. Nowadays, inductees often must lose weight to make the cut.

The key to losing weight has always been to decrease caloric input and increase caloric output. From fad diets to The Biggest Loser, the answer is the same. It is simple math. Losing weight is no mystery. The problem is that no one keeps the weight off. It always creeps back on. What is the answer?

The answer goes back to caloric density. The problem with fad diets is that they leave you hungry. You can't live on them, so you go back to the shitty diet you had before to stop feeling hungry. Having a chronic growling stomach will erode anyone's willpower. People will say you just need portion control, but this is just so much horseshit. You need to go back to the culprit that makes those Samoans fat--the American diet.

I have always had a weight problem. The first time I lost significant weight was right after high school, and I had a job stacking hay for a feed merchant. That knocked a lot of weight off of me. Farm work burns the calories. It is so good that I used to eat a lot of crap like burgers and fried chicken and still lost weight. But you can't do that kind of work all your life. I was doing an aerobic type workout for 8 to 10 hours per day. I was up there with Tour de France cyclists in the caloric need department. When I left that job, my weight ballooned back up like before.

I lost significant weight again when I had another physically demanding job stacking boxes in trailers. I only did this four to eight hours a day with some running and cycling mixed in. The weight dropped off but not as significantly as when I was stacking hay. My meal of choice was the Whopper with Cheese combo from Burger King. I was on a first name basis with the ladies at that drive thru.

Now, I have tried fad diets. I went vegetarian for a year. I lost no weight on that at all. I was starving all the time and would eat a ton of carbs and sugar. Since I wasn't a vegan, I could do dairy, and I did. I made a lot of Hamburger Helper with the fake meat. I was also working moderately physically during this time. I didn't gain any weight, but I didn't lose any either. Perhaps I would have done better as a strict vegan, but the perpetual hunger just drove me insane. I have seen people on the Atkins plan which is the mirror opposite of veganism. They lose weight, too, but they report being hungry all the time as well except they crave plates of pasta. You might as well not eat because you are always hungry.

The answer came to me by accident. I had given up on fad diets as being unworkable, and I figured the only way I could lose weight was to do it like before--a couple of hours of exercise each day. But I was having problems with indigestion and all the rest from the crap that I ate. It was like having Crohn's Disease. I would eat a burger and then shit my brains out. After almost two decades of this, I decided to stop eating hamburgers. I was tired of having an upset gastrointestinal tract. Then, I started losing weight. No exercise. My job was really sedentary. No fad diet. No hunger. I just stopped eating the worst of the crap, and I noticed my pants weren't so tight. I didn't have to do the inhale-button routine anymore. I did some reading, and I figured out the caloric density thing. Remember, my goal was not to lose weight. I didn't care. I just wanted to stop having the shits. But I lost 50 pounds as a result of that one small thing.

You have to eat. Being hungry sucks. But you don't have to be hungry to lose weight. I was losing weight without being hungry because I was moving away from the diet that makes those fucking Samoans so goddamn fat. The twin culprits in our diet are fat and sugar. They pack more calories per gram than any other thing in our diet such as carbs. The Atkins diet is a farce, but it works because those Atkins people eliminate sugar. Similarly, vegans eliminate both fat and sugar. The problem is they eliminate stuff that is good for you as well. This is why you are hungry as well.

Fat and sugar in proper amounts are necessary. You must get these, or you will feel hungry. The problem is that people get the fat and sugar from sodas, candy, sweets, and fast food. In nature, you would get these things from fruit, nuts, and cuts of meat which are going to be pretty lean. The American diet supercharges this with ground beef, fried food, and Coke. A gram of fat contains 9 calories where carbs and protein only contain 4. Sugar has about 4 calories per gram as well, but when you dissolve it in a liquid you drink all day long, you get ginormous. I am convinced that these sugary beverages are the cause of so much Type 2 diabetes as the blood gets a gigantic hit of this sugar all day long. Insulin resistance builds.

When you eat foods that are less calorically dense such as those found in non-American diets, you lose weight while eating more food. Compare a 12" roasted chicken sub from Subway to a Big Mac. The sub is huge, but the Big Mac is small. Yet, the Big Mac has 704 calories. The 12" roasted chicken sub has 620 calories. The difference is 80 calories. Doesn't seem like much, but it is those small differences that add up to the big things much like a dripping faucet over a period of a few days can flood a house. Plus, you can't be hungry after eating a 12" sandwich. I switched over to this healthier eating, and the pounds came off slowly but surely.

In order to cut back on fat and sugar, this was the diet plan I followed:

-No sugared beverages. I used artifical sweeteners or drank water.

-No candy, desserts, or sweets. If I had a sweet tooth, I would eat some fruit or a low fat fig newton.

-No animal with four legs. This eliminated all beef and pork from my diet. Poultry and fish were all I would eat.

-Nothing fried. This meant eating the grilled chicken sandwich and a plain baked potato from Wendy's instead of the fried chicken sandwich and the French fries. It is the same amount of food minus the added fat from the frying.

-Skim milk and whole wheat bread.

When I switched over to this new eating, I was hungry for the first three days. I went ahead and ate more but stuck with the plan. Eventually, the portions came back down. I realize those three days are the "withdrawal." I wasn't chronically hungry. I just ate more for awhile until I adjusted. It was painless.

When you eat this way after eating crap, you immediately feel better. Your guts stop hurting. You have more energy. You feel lighter on your feet. In short, it works. You don't even have to be this austere. The French aren't this way, and they seem to do fine. They eat butter and beef and other crap. But it isn't American food. A French diet is in between what the Japanese eat and what we eat. The same is true for Italians and Mediterraneans. My own experience, the observations of Asians, Europeans, and Samoans, and everything you read in the medical literature coupled with whatever you doctor preaches at you all back me up on this. Caloric density is the culprit, and the American diet is the most calorically dense in human history.

There are people who seem able to eat this crap and not gain weight. It could be portion control or natural metabolism. Remember, I lost weight eating just such crap by burning a ton of calories on the job and from exercising, and I am a born fat ass. Then, you have the fad diets. The reason fad diets fail is because they always eliminate a food group. It could be carbs or meat. Think back to Thanksgiving when you were stuffed with Turkey and dressing and all the other goodies. You couldn't eat another bite. Yet, you still had room for dessert. Why is this?

The brain and your body has triggers. It wants protein, fat, and carbs. Vegans eliminate the fat and feel famished. Yet, a piece of grilled chicken with 3 grams of fat will eliminate that craving. Similarly, the Atkins guy wanting pasta just needs a couple pieces of whole grain bread. Because they are extreme diets, they punish you and can't last.

I have no problem sticking to this plan, but I do fall down from time to time. I might have the fried sandwich instead of the grilled. I might leave the Canadian bacon on the Egg McMuffin. When I start slipping bad, my weight creeps up. When I go back to the plan, the weight goes back down. And I eat at fast food places. My faves are Subway and Taco Bell because their menus are firmly within my plan. Other places like McDonald's suck because they will have a healthy sandwich but no sides worth a damn. The best advice I can give for eating healthy is to eat out as little as possible and bring your lunch to work.

I ignore certain food phobias. I think artificial sweeteners are great. I eat eggs all the time. That is good protein. I also like peanut butter. It is fatty, but I can't eat more than a spoonful of that stuff. I put it on whole wheat toast or a bagel, and I can go for four hours and not feel hungry.

Now, I know this post is going to bring all sorts of criticism from vegans, Paleo people, and all the rest. I have found out a dirty secret about these people. They cheat. I know vegans hit the soda and the Gatorade and the Clif bars and the McDonald's french fries. I knew a guy like this who wouldn't touch Jell-O but would eat the fries. Then, he went ape shit when it was discovered they used some beef for flavor. What an idiot. I know Atkins people will cheat as well with a piece of bread. No one misses that dinner roll. These are fucking fads on par with Christians teaching their kids abstinence instead of sex ed. The kids cheat by giving head and butt fucking which is why so many end up like Bristol Palin. Sorry, but that's the hard truth. Humans love to fuck. It is better to teach them how to properly fuck than to tell them not to fuck.

I cheat on my meal plan, but it isn't because of cravings but convenience. When I run out of milk for my cereal, the only thing I can get for breakfast is a Pop Tart from the convenience store. Crap food is ubiquitous and cheap. It takes extra effort to prepare a proper meal. It takes further driving and a longer wait to go to Subway than the McDonald's drive thru. You run into the social cost when you get invited to the picnic where they are grilling burgers and hot dogs. Everyone tells you to eat healthy, but they aren't going to help you do it.

The Samoans ate fish and rice and taro before the American diet hit. These are bad things according to the fad diet people. Yet, these people who have such an overwhelming genetic predisposition to be fat were skinny. When Spam and Coke came their way, it was over with. As for me, I know the truth. Here is my favorite food now:



The Japanese have the right idea. Even Chinese food is greasy and fatty compared to the Japanese. I imagine the Samoans ate similar fare for a long time. I love seafood as long as it isn't fried. The answer is to stop eating crappy American food. My weight goes up and down in direct proportion to the amount of crap I eat. But I am never hungry except when I forget to eat because of a project. I hate eating as much as I hate sleeping and having to take a shit. They interfere with the fun. But you have to do those things, or you will die.

MONDAY

1. Jack LaLanne has died. Naturally, slackers gloat and argue that 96 is young as they continue to lounge on the couch eating potato chips.

2. 96 is young. More chips please.

3. Aaron Rodgers celebrated his win over the Bears by sending a text to Brett Favre that said, "You are old." He also sent a picture of his penis.

4. Ben Roethlisberger celebrated his win over the Jets by finding a drunk chick to rape.

5. Rahm Emanuel just got fucked clear off the Chicago mayoral ballot. Tough shit, ballerina boy. The good news is there is a job opening over at MSNBC.

6. Oprah has a half-sister. That poor bitch. Oprah will charge admission to see the sister, and for a dollar, you can feed her peanuts through her cage.

7. MSNBC is going to contest Keith Olbermann's claim for unemployment checks.

8. Miranda Lambert is one hot country bitch!



9. Christina Aguilera is singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. That is all the excuse I need to post this:



10. I hope someone warns Christina about drinking around Big Ben.