2007 female boxing retrospective

David Avila's article in The Sweet Science names the following highlights for 2007.

Fighter of the Year
- Elena "Baby Doll" Reid

Best Fight of the Year - Florida’s Chevelle Hallback (26-5-1) and Kentucky’s Terri Blair (9-13-2) - eight-round lightweight bout.

Knockout of the Year - Undefeated featherweight Jeannine Garside (7-0-1) of Canada dropped DBrooke Dierdorff (4-1)

Contender of the Year - Moreno Valley’s Kaliesha “Wild Wild” West, 19, bantamweight

Prospect of the Year
- Elizabeth Quevedo, being compared to Lucia Rijker, won four US National titles as an amateur, shooting for a world title


In general, the year saw the spotlight wane on the sport.

"Female professional boxing took a dip this year with fewer bouts between champions and contenders than in the past several years," Avila writes.

Although Kenya did a pretty good job of keeping its female boxing scene on the radar, things weren't too great there, either. "For the first time in two years, the general interest on female's boxing, which flocked countless enthusiasts to the game, degenerated considerably with fans shying away from the bogus match-ups." (East African Standard)


I've re-organized my post categories (in the right margin) in an effort to simplify and streamline them. Please check it out - feedback welcome.

Heads up because the last time I did this, the RSS feed went haywire - old posts showed up as new.

polycarbonate water bottles pulled

This AP story by Ben Dobbin explains (in the very end of the industry-defensive piece) by sellers are pulling the Nalgene polycarbonate bottles because of a chemical that mimics a hormone. Which one, doesn't say. Still looks like glass or a ceramic is probably the safest vessel, altho I'm still recycling plastic bottles myself...

from the article
...Critics point to an influx of animal studies linking low doses to a wide variety of ailments — from breast and prostate cancer, obesity and hyperactivity, to miscarriages and other reproductive failures.

An expert panel of 38 academic and government researchers who attended a National Institutes of Health-sponsored conference said in a study in August that "the potential for BPA to impact human health is a concern, and more research is clearly needed."

Fred vom Saal, a professor of biology at the University of Missouri and one of the study's chief authors said the panel reviewed 700 published articles on BPA, practically all published in the last 10 years. Yet U.S. health and environmental regulators "are pretending they're still in the dark," he said.

window xmas eve eve

holiday greeting

gym ideas: handles on chains

For the gym that has everything, and for the space that has nothing but could become training space for a tool that gives great bang for the buck and takes up modest space, here are handles suspended from chains, staple equipment for me.

My full article is posted at Straight to the Bar.

Handles hung on chains
These are more versatile than their more glamorous cousin - the rings - because they can easily be adjusted into every possibly degree of proximity to one another, and their level of suspension from the floor can easily be manipulated as well. They’re not just fixed into a ceiling beam for time immemorial. You can move them as often as you like, even during a work out.

spontaneous group emergence pay-forward

Here's a mind-blowingly good holiday story. Starbucks detractors are always down on them for trying to become community mini-hubs, and I have mixed thoughts about the coffee giant, but you have to admit, if something like this happened, there's something good going on.

1,000+ Starbucks Patrons Treat Next In Line

MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) - One woman's kindness to a fellow Starbucks customer has resulted in more than a thousand others spreading holiday generosity in Marysville, Washington.

The regular customer paid for the person in line behind her a few times before, according to The Everett Herald. When she did the same thing Wednesday, though, that good deed set off a chain of 1,013 customers who each paid for the next person's drink.

Many even tacked on an extra ten or twenty dollars, and shift manager Sarah Nix says Starbucks Corporation will donate to that money to the company's holiday toy drive.

A store employee says the seemingly spontaneous pay-it-forward run ended at 6:20 a.m. today.

The name of the iced-tea drinker who started it remains unknown.

fallacies of counting calories burned

Excellent editorial with cited sources on the wilderness of "counting calories burned while exercising". Good night, this whole idea is as fraught with variables and misconceptions as those charts basing ideal bodyweight on height and age, or ... phrenology.

"... it can be all but impossible to accurately estimate of the number of calories you burn."

Gina Kolata puts things into perspective so well in her NY Times piece Putting very little weight in calorie-counting methods that I had to post about it so I can pull it up readily.

new reviews up

I've posted three new reviews at The Mighty Fit Review. They're all thumbs up.

The book Lift with your Head: The Training and Movement Philosophies of the Physical Subculture, by Chip Conrad

No Sweat, 100% union-made apparelNo Sweat Apparel.com

Harbinger leather wrist wrap weightlifting gloves, by a big company that doesn't need my help

ghost of Batmobile past

storm washes up sea critters

Here in the PNW, we've been focused on the havoc that the storms caused us terrestrials on the surface, but the big storm last week really shook up the underwater world, too. It washed up a lot of life on the Pacific shore that belongs on the ocean floor.

More "ghost forests" appeared on the beaches, there are odd finds on the central coast, and a ten-mile stretch up north is covered in a massive debris field.

There was a dead but lifelike umbrella or butterfly crab,

a giant jellyfish,

numerous sea stars and egg casings, ascidians, various types of sponge, bryozoans, moon snail shells, hermit crabs, cockle clams, tubeworms, Dungeness crabs and black skate egg casings, according to the Seaside Aquarium.

Also quite rare was the leather star, which is hardly ever seen above water in this part of the Pacific Ocean. ... The sights are stunning, but they make me sad for the creatures.

All photos by Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium

nut bars

Sooo good! Thank you - interesting, radical guy blogger Ran Prieur - for sharing this recipe/guide to making nut bars. Delicious! Nutritious! And they keep.

Made mine with diced almonds, cashews, pecans, dates, maple syrup, and a dash of quinoa flour, although the flour wasn't necessary after all, since I was sparing with the sticky stuff (don't be too stingy, though, because the bars and/or the air absorb it). I dried mine out in a warm oven for an hour or so instead of letting them air dry.

From Ran's blog
Store-bought "energy bars" are expensive and poor quality, typically made with processed soy protein that's quite bad for you. (Unfermented soy was not used as food until the industrial age.) And high-quality organic nut bars, like Govinda or Bumble bars, are even more expensive. But you can make the same thing at home, with exactly the ingredients you choose, for less than a quarter the price.

Miss Penitentiary 2007

Finally, coverage of this surfaces again! I haven't seen anything for two years.

Rio de Janeiro (IOL) - A 26-year-old woman serving time in a Brazilian prison for holding up trucks has been named her penitentiary's beauty queen in a competition between convicts, authorities said.

Brunette Dione Normando Pires was on Tuesday named "Miss Talavera Bruce" in the Gericino women's prison in western Rio de Janeiro, beating off competition from eight other convicts.

"Today I don't feel like prisoner. This is the happiest moment of my life," Pires said as she accepted the red winner's sash, which she put over her pink dress.

Runners-up were two drug traffickers, aged 20 and 24.

Photo from Bad News Day

Boxer Esther Phiri

African Esther Phiri beat U.S. fighter Belinda Laracuente to defend her world title over the weekend, increasing her status in the country.

Here in Christian Science Monitor is an article about a Zambian single mother who has turned her life around by becoming a boxer. She's doing well for herself and is becoming a role model for African girls.

Thanks Kris & Andru
Photo by Joseph J. Schatz

Go around twice if you're happy

This is wonderful

first snowfall

This one's especially for Scott in Australia, who loves snow but has to go south for it. :-)

working out in the COLD

Since my gym is in a big, drafty shop, winter means working out in the cold. While getting myself out there first thing in the morning can be rough, I get a lot of benefits out of living this way. Obviously, there are the benefits of the work out itself. On a psychic level, there's also the communion with nature, experiencing the cycles of the seasons, living in the elements. My office job lifestyle would keep me indoors all the time if I let it, so this keeps me in touch with reality. I know exactly how cold, foggy, rainy, or clear, sunny, and warm it is, because I'm part of it. On the character front, it hones my discipline and ability to generate my own motivation. It keeps me tough, and just cocky enough to get through the day.

It has forced me to modify my work out, and I present the following work out and tips for dressing. My holiday gift to you.

This regimen is a grab of exercises that work together nicely for a fast, full-body work out that gets the body warmed up quickly (both athletically and literally), keeps you off of cold equipment, puts you through aerobic and anaerobic paces, generally minimizes risk of injury (for me, vs. not warming up and moving big weights), and is a satisfying start-up for the day. It also doesn't involve running.

The Work Out

  • Dumbbell swings
  • Heavybag work
  • Light squats
  • Static lunge stance-lateral dumbbell raises
  • Band lateral raises
  • Dumbbell one-arm snatches
  • Pull-ups
  • Step-ups w/dumbbells
  • Lateral step-overs
  • Snatch with hardly any weight
  • If time and body allow, clean & jerks
Insert bagwork intermittently; it's a perfect balancer for everything else.

Getting Dressed
  • Layer (duh)
  • Use silk and synthetics. Leave the cotton.
  • A down vest makes a great outermost layer, since it leaves arms free and is easily shed
  • layer head coverings (oh yeah, you'll look GREAT). Start with a bandanna or Buff, then follow textile guidelines above - a heavy, woven silk hat is great; fleece always works, too.
  • Gloves - Right now I use worn leather work gloves. The palms are slippery, which forces my grip to develop on pull-ups. But I am going to look into more high-tech alternatives, because I still need to be bare-handed on the Olympic bar (suggestions welcome).

That's all it takes. The biggest part is getting your butt out there. I'm always reminded of Jack La Lanne saying "It isn't easy. You have to leave a warm bed and a hot woman for a cold gym." (er - modify as necessary :-D )

photo from museum of the gulf coast


ohio fall

view from the air

Survived cross-country flights this week! Have these awesome pics to show for it.

weightroom at Hiram College

This would be a great photo project for me. Tour and photograph college gyms, or any kind of gym, for that matter. Note skinny "bumper" plates.

Curves pushing inedibles

Curves is in the midst of a campaign launching a new food product line. I already have plenty of problems with Curves, but this has opened a new pit of evils that staggers even my imagination.

I got a Curves/General Mills "chewy granola bar" in the mail - 25 grams, 100 calories.

protein - 2 grams, not enough to mention, really
fat - 3.5 grams
saturated fat - 1 gram - who puts saturated fat in anything?
carbs 17 grams
sugars 5 grams - seriously, since carbs are sugar, what are the other 12 grams made of?

Ingredients - I am not making this up.

chicory root extract, crisp rice, chocolate chips with confectioner's shellac (choc. chips - sugar, choc. liquor, cocoa butter, dextrose, milk fat, soy lecithin), ethanol, shellac, hydrogenated coconut oil, peanuts, oats, barley flakes, high maltose corn syrup, honey, glycerin, sugar, maltodextrin, canola oil, tricalciam phosphate, high fructose corn syrup, palm kernel oil, soy lecithin, salt, milk, cocoa processed with alkali, peanut oil, natural and artificial flavor, baking soda, color, almond flour, wheat flour, sunflower meal, mixed tocopherols.

Seriously, WTF?! This is one of the worst formulas for anything purported to be ingested that I've ever seen. No one should put this into their bodies.

coolest outdoor gym ever

Toffe's outdoor gym in Finland, built by an innovative lifter who values nature and an idyllic setting, makes my heart race and swoon at the same time. 24-Hour Fitness, eat your heart out.

flyng squirrel

random poem

in the orange surf of fever
tangled in sweaty sheets
visions broke through

computer screens
from work
and i thrashed to be free

i called up the dappled light
of ohio fall
the scratch of leaves against
the wind
and sidewalk
on the way home from school,
blue sky,
the indian mounds
in the woods where
warriors had crawled

belly against dirt,
sun against skin,
the smells of october
lifting me up
into those golden red trees

before i tumbled
back into my desk,
words on the screen beating
my eyes for attention.

in front of that screen,
i call up that fall day
and smile.

playground equip for everyone

This has been my fantasy for so long - playground structures for grown-ups. You see those awesome playground set-ups kids have been getting since about the 1980s (not the Darwin-inspired stuff of yore, like we had. Made us tough.). While I'd opt for something more similar to those for adults, with lots of wood and highly evocative aesthetics, this is the best thing going I've found that's available: Outdoor Fitness. Truly innovative structures made of steel tubing. Looks like great fun. I want them all over my yard (but since they don't mention prices online, I'll probably improvise, instead).

Thanks again Straight to the Bar. Scott, you have really added to my life with your amazing blog.

in flight

Wow. Just. . . wow. Inspiring form, via Straight to the Bar.

wheatie and the hole

write your own jokes...

morning glories

I LOVE morning glories. The purity, the color slays me every time. Guess I started mine late, cuz they just started booming. Looking forward to a total infestation.

dahlia fest

Gorgeous, gorgeous way to spend a holiday. Can feel the edge of fall in the air, despite the hot temps.

Check out the "giggles" variety - 40 acres of dahlias, and the bees were going bananas over this.

Also hit a new personal best on my clean & jerk, for the record.

high-protein grains

Here's info on high-protein grains, from my climber friend Andru, who compares them to soy.

- Add in hard red spring wheat from Montana.

"Amaranth, oats, buckwheat and quinoa all have more protein per 100g than soy (14.5g, 16g, 13.25g, 13g respectively). Each have all the essential amino acids, as good an essential fatty acid mix and none of the phyto-estrogens. Millet is good too, but has slightly less protein than soy.

The quinoa has a large amount of tryptophan (1g), arginine (0.9g) and phenylalanine (0.9g) all of which help speed up recovery."

Living Era releases George Formby 2-CD set

Oh MAN!!! Am I the only person under 60 to be flipping over this? George Formby is fantastic. I can't wait to get this collection. (Thanks, Guy, for the tip!)

From Sanctuary Classics -

George Hoy Booth (1904-1961), otherwise “George Formby”, endeared himself to his audiences with his cheeky Lancashire and folksy Northern England persona to such an extent that he has become an icon.

With a toothy grin and playing his banjolele (hybrid banjo/ukelele) to accompany his postcard-style risqué songs, he became, along with Gracie Fields, Britain’s best-loved, and highest paid entertainer, and the top box-office attraction from 1934-1945, starring in 16 films. Today only Elvis Presley copiers can boast greater numbers than the legion of George Formby impersonators!

52 George Formby classics are collected together on Living Era’s double CD Leaning On A Lamp Post.

These include every single one of his familiar favourites. Hearing When I’m Cleaning Windows, With My Little Stick Of Blackpool Rock, Chinese Laundry Blues, Auntie Maggie’s Remedy and all the others conjures up a vivid picture of this utterly unique figure; a crucial piece of Britain’s heritage.

summer olympic lifting training

...man, it's getting tough to find time to post to this blog. Just picked up a part-time gig on top of my full-time. Outside of work, I'm focusing on keeping training going, and wow, have had some breakthroughs. I'm finding that I am enjoying major lifting developments when it seems the most difficult to get the sessions into my schedule. To wit~

Thanks to O-lift master Tommy Kono and youTube user bd1saul for posting his lecture, I feel like I finally have a solid grasp of form, after two years of C&J training. And I officially began snatch training with this video (there's a sentence you can't use in most circles). Looking forward to a lifetime of perfecting the lifts.

Bison might roam

This is it, the last wild herd.

Tentative bison deal would allow some animals to roam

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - For the first time in more than a decade, bison would be allowed to freely migrate outside Yellowstone National Park, under a tentative deal between Montana wildlife officials and the Church Universal and Triumphant.

The long-anticipated deal still lacks a crucial element, a pricetag.

It would let bison move through the church-owned Royal Teton Ranch during winter, to reach about two-thousand acres of Gallatin National Forest land.

...Under terms of the deal, a small number of the animals would be allowed to range well outside the park's northern boundary in areas free of cattle. Initially, 25 bison that test negative for brucellosis would be allowed passage. In coming years, that could grow to 100 bison if the program proves successful.

Bison that wander outside Yellowstone's northern boundary in excess of those numbers would still be subject to slaughter...

Since 1998, the federal government has paid $13 million for conservation easements on the ranch, but has never resolved the issue of grazing rights.

The issue is considered key to preventing contact between livestock and bison, which can carry the disease brucellosis. If the disease spreads to livestock, it can cause pregnant cows to abort their calves and have financial consequences for the cattle industry.

In recent years, bison coming out of the park have been routinely rounded up and sent to slaughter to prevent the disease's spread (and many say the disease has never been passed from bison to cow in the wild). That has prompted outrage from members of Congress and environmental groups who want more protection for the nation's largest herd of wild bison, also known as buffalo.

new work out video

threw together this summer mash-up of recent work out moments, in celebration of my new lifting shoes.

new weightlifting shoes

These shoes are the BOMB for anyone looking for shoes for Olympic weightlifting or powerlifting, or just good shoes for heavy lifting. My full review is here.