Take care of your health!

Taking care of your health means more than just avoiding Covid! I recently turned 60, and my ABMarketing Leads business associate Michael just turned 53. He had a check-up, and he said on Facebook,

“Here is what a 30lb weight gain for this 53yo, during Covid, has caused: 1) blood pressure high enough requiring meds 2) cholesterol high enough requiring meds 3) pre-diabetes 4) likely sleep apnea 5) lack of energy and a few other downers resulting from 14 abnormal lab results. Point being: this surprise hit me like a ton of bricks SO get your check-ups! I will be fine as I drop the weight, eat better, and do more cardio to get back to where I was pre-30lbs. Then push for prime fitness.”

This is the down side of the lockdowns. Even with winter coming, get out and walk! Lift weights if you can, and eat right. Building muscle mass, especially as you are older, is critical. Belly fat = sewage collection for your body. Get rid of it!

The difference between Intelligent Design and Creationism

“The truth is that [Intelligent Design] (ID) and creationism have always differed fundamentally in their methods and starting assumptions. Creationism starts with a commitment to a particular understanding of the biblical text of Genesis and aims to reconcile scientific data with that understanding. [Intelligent Design], on the other hand, starts with a. Commitment to the essential principles of science and shows how those principles ultimately compel us to attribute life to a purposeful inventor—an intelligent designer. [Intelligent Design] authors settle for this vague description not because they want to smuggle God into science but because the jump from “intelligent designer” to “God” requires something beyond the essential principles of science.”

Douglas Axe, “Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed”, New York, NY: HarperOne (HarperCollins) ©2016, p. 48.

Thoughts about Patrick Buchanan

I came across this link on Facebook to an interview with Patrick Buchanan on Facebook, and it prompted some thoughts.

Populism’s Prophet: A Chat with Pat Buchanan

Buchanan is a smart guy, and I took a liking to Trump in 2016 when I first recognized how closely his agenda followed the 2010 Tea Party, and before that, Buchanan’s agenda. Not necessarily a 1:1 correspondence, but very close. There are interviews of Trump from the 1980s, articulating some of his trade policies even back then.

Looking back, I wonder how much Buchanan’s run for President in 1992 was responsible for some of the real trouble that we’re facing. I say this considering Trump’s agenda to be a very good thing, and “the backlash against Trump” as “the trouble we’re facing”.

In one sense Buchanan exposed “the trouble” as a policy option. The second was accidental.

Regarding Buchanan’s nationalism, vs George H.W. Bush’s internationalism — his policies challenged GHW Bush’s “new world order”. The elder Bush in 1990 did a remarkable thing, bringing 35 or so nations together in “Operation Desert Shield”, to oppose Saddam Hussein’s intervention in Kuwait. Perhaps Bush was able to do so by appealing to fear among the middle east nations — “join with me or Saddam may some day conquer you” — but in doing so, he set a pattern that the left has picked up on, and seemingly perfected, in the era of Covid. (“Wear a mask, or you will die”).

The accident was, his Primary challenge weakened Bush in the 1992 General Election, leading to Ross Perot entering the race. Perot won something like 19% of the popular vote, and maybe Electoral votes in one or two states, enabling Bill Clinton to gain the presidency with only 43% of the vote. I don’t know how much of that was due to a cause-and-effect, however.

Clinton himself was a longshot candidate. He finished third in Iowa — but he won New Hampshire. The media picked up on this, and Clinton became the media darling. He himself had been a long-term governor of Arkansas. He was a scoundrel, but more than that. He was intentionally evil.

Later investigations (primarily by Christopher Ruddy, but there were others) portrayed Clinton as having run the state the way a Mafia Don runs his family.

And he had Hillary, the Allinsky-ite, in tow. Together, they crafted the schemes that enriched them and perpetuated their ongoing political power. I believe that the fraud that is so evident in the election that we have just witnessed was modeled after, if not the actual brain-child of some Clinton associates in the Democrat party.

Trump has, in his brief four years, brought a severe challenge to the Clintonite scheming, mostly by functioning as an “anvil” (to the Clintonite “hammer”). Lord willing, Trump will continue as President, to investigate and root out the cancer that the Clintons brought (and exacerbated).

God, Life, Politics, and Business

I’ve used the phrase, “God, Life, Politics, and Business”, as the topic of this blog for years. These are the four things that have shaped my life, in descending order.

People recently have told me that I’m too far consumed with politics. Well, of course, this is a political season, and much is at stake. There is a difference with being “consumed” with something and having passion for it.

It’s not so much that I have passion on the outside. I’m very quiet on the outside. But you could say that I’m an example of the proverb, “still waters run deep”.

My personal passion has run all through the four elements here, at various times – passion for things of God, in much of my public writing; passion for life (see my writings about my wife, for example); passion for seeing “the right thing” done in politics – avoidance of criminal behavior, and a strong desire not to see criminal misbehavior rewarded; and of course, business, because this is how one makes a living.

Perhaps I would have more and better “physical things” in my life if I had paid more attention to being passionate in business rather than any of the other three.

But I’ve listed these things in this order of priority, for a reason.

God is the ultimate reality. I was impressed many years ago reading Francis Schaeffer, who said something to the effect that, there can only be two possible beginnings, one that is “personal”, and one that is “impersonal”. Either God is there, or there is nothing there. Personal, or impersonal.

Either “God created”, or somehow there was big bang + time + chance, and that is the story of how everything got here. In the event of the first, the existence of a personal God explains the existence of personhood. It has taken a conscious mind to create conscious minds.

Regarding life, well, here we are. Those of us who are here, have it. Those of us who are not here – my beloved wife: much abused, much loved, passionate, somewhat crazy – if God exists, then she exists still. If God does not exist, she no longer exists.

Politics. We are in a political season. Ultimately it matters because it shapes the lives we may have.

And business. Man was created for work. To work in the prelapsarian garden. Thanks to the fall, work kind of sucks.

We are all in the thick of all these things. In 21st century America, these types of questions are at the forefront of public discussions (or they are censored) everywhere.

God. Life. Politics. Business.

Negotiating with Roman Catholicism

It’s been a couple of years now, but I had the opportunity to submit an article to the “Evangelical Review of Theology”, which is the journal of the World Evangelical Alliance. The Alliance at that time had just completed a fairly long “ecumenical” discussions with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU).

The names have been changed, and the Vatican has move the website where these discussions and discussion papers were located, but here is my contribution:

Strength Training vs Cardio

Strength training carries more benefits vs cardiovascular diseases, according to a recent study:

“While it is well known that physical activity is important for heart health, neither research nor recommendations consistently differentiate between the benefits of different types of physical activity. New research, presented at the ACC Latin America Conference 2018 in Lima, Peru, found that while all physical activity is beneficial, static activities—such as strength training—were more strongly associated with reducing heart disease risks than dynamic activities like walking and cycling.”

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323732.php
https://www.alphagalileo.org/en-gb/Item-Display/ItemId/170906

Just testing

I’ve downloaded the WordPress app for iPad. I have it for my iPhone, but it’s pretty clunky. I’m just testing it out right now. I know I haven’t kept up with the WordPress interface(s) — I’m more accustomed to the old way of things — but I want to see how things are working at the moment, just in case I want to do anything with it. Thanks for checking in here!

A quiet rainy Saturday

John-Dani-Sissy-Nate.png
Top to bottom: John, Dani, Sissy, Nate.

I had four kids in the house today. It was a quiet rainy Saturday, and after doing the weekly food shopping, I took a nap, then I made my famous lemon pepper chicken. It’s one of the few things I cook that everyone seems to love.

Several of us had some really good and deep talks about what’s going on in our lives. To be sure, there are some things that we’d all change, but one of the things we are most happy about is how close we are as a family. We’ve all been through so much together (and on our own). The die is cast: we know we’re all in it together.

Later tonight we’re all going to see the new Justice League movie. It’ll be a letdown. All of my kids are already superheroes.

Shoot for the stars: you may miss a rep on occasion, but there’s always next week

Today, I missed a rep (and set) on squats today for the first time ever. You could say that I successfully completed two sets at 205. But it was that third set, which I hadn’t originally intended to do, that got me.

I had done 2×5 at 205, working toward my third set of five. I got two reps in, then on the third one, I squatted down, then tried to get up, and all of a sudden, the bar was sitting on the rails.

Of course, there’s a business metaphor for this. It came in the form of an admonishment to me some years ago – someone said “shoot for the stars, even if you don’t make it, you’ll have gone a long way.

As an old guy, I have to be careful about the weights I lift. Inching up brings perils with it. Still, a couple of weeks ago, I managed to deadlift 3×300 lbs. The big numbers no longer scare me as they once did.

Today, I did one set and two reps more than I originally intended. I’m going to shoot for 250 on squats for at least a couple of reps, before the end of the year. I’m very confident I’ll get there. I’m really happy with the kind of training volume I’ve been doing.

A low-bar position on the squat puts more stress on your glutes and hamstrings, and less on your quads and knees
A “low-bar” position on the squat puts more stress on your glutes and hamstrings, and less on your quads and knees (from Mark Rippetoe, “Starting Strength” pg 55).

By the way, one of the perils of squats is NOT hurting your knees. One of the reasons why there’s a big discrepancy in what I can squat, and in what I can deadlift, is because I had been doing squats the wrong way, and I was fighting a case of patellar tendinitis.

But there’s a right way to do squats (the “low-bar” variety) that puts more of the work on your glutes and hamstrings, and goes far easier on the quads and the knees. My knees actually feel better once I start lifting the heavier weights with good form.

See Mark Rippetoe’s book “Starting Strength” for details, or check him out on YouTube.

The only game in town

I’m at the airport for a 5:00 am flight. The sign says “Breakfast served 4:30-10:30”, but the guy here is open and crankin’ them out at least 3:45. He’s the only one open, and he’s “suggestive selling” too. He’s the only game in town, and he’s probably the guy who consistently makes and exceeds his numbers. Love the attitude!