may twilight

May morning light

It's been killing me this month of mornings not to be able to spend the glorious early hours of the day at home with all the new plants warming up to the magic, growing light that spring mornings can bring. All I want to do is spend each second drinking in how the Columbines respond to the changing light and try to capture it with my camera. The chives, they lick at the sun like electricity, but I don't have the luxury of learning the cycle of their day...What I am left with is shooting whatever is left at the end of the workday, whether they're dry or the light burns, and it's not what I know was there over the comfortable hours before. But here were a few brief moments in between, on a weekend morning when the clouds cleared just long enough for me to taste this sort of experience, and my camera to kiss at the flowers.

poem on poetry writing, by William Boggs

One of my favorite poets quickly raveled this bit for me during an email conversation. Any thoughts for a title? (Thanks for letting me post this, Bill)

Poems float to surface,
bubbles deep from a dark watered pond;
they cannot stop until they surface
and rejoin words' blue air.
Some are deep memories of past lives,
for as surely our lives are renewed
from time
to time,
person to person,
lovers gone or renewed,
and all is forgotten except air trapped
rising to surface in the thin skin
of a bubble
poems, songs within the heart
of us
that does not change.

Daria Twarowski, monkey bar master

Daria Twarowski is new master of the monkey bars. This 7-year-old first grader was honored Friday for completing a record 37 round trips on the monkey bars, outscoring 400,000 students in 40 states for the national champ position.

From Chicago Sun-Times article by Teresa Sewell:

It gets your arm strong.

Gracefully leaping from each of the 11 bars on a span nearly 12 feet in the air, Daria seemed confident and focused at a demonstration for the press Friday. She said she had practiced in the summer at a nearby park.

"I think Daria is incredible," said Kennedy Principal Kim Boryszewski. "I couldn't be happier for her."

Daria said she wasn't tired after setting the record. It took her about half an hour to finish the 37 trips. She quit because she was bored, she said.

Photo by Thomas Delaney Jr./Sun-Times

Radio Lab is back!

O frabjous day! Radio Lab is one of my all-time favorite radio shows. There's nothing quite like it. Season 3 started May 18th on WNYC. This is a podcast to subscribe to, because you don't want to be distracted when it's on. You want a recliner, a dim room, a slow beverage.

Bobby, &dru, Kate, Ishmael ... trust me, you'll love this!

"Radio Lab is designed for listeners who demand skepticism but appreciate wonder, who are curious about the world but who also want to be moved and surprised.

What is Radio Lab?
Radio Lab is an investigation. Each episode is a patchwork of people, sounds, stories and experiences centered around One Big Idea. On Radio Lab, science bumps into culture... information sounds like music."

fatten up on cool summer drinks?

Hungry Girl published a guide to shockingly calorie-dense summer drinks, just in time for the season. Here's a tasty example.

Starbucks - Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino Blended Crème with Whipped Cream
(16 oz: 580 calories, 22g fat, 370mg sodium, 86g carbs, 3g fiber, 65g sugars, 14g protein)

Talk about a coffee shop flop! This silly chilly frap packs 580 calories -- for some chocolate-chip flavored liquid?!? If we're gonna spend close to 600 calories fulfilling a chocolate chip craving, we can think of far more fun ways to do it than this!

Endurox R4 discontinued?

Say it isn't so!

What a rude shock when body first backordered, then canceled my order for Endurox, saying the manufacturer has discontinued this product!

This is the best recovery product ever. I've been benefiting from its tasty goodness (glycogen replacement, 4-to-1 carbs to protein, prime blend of work out-fueling carbs) for years. I can't believe they're taking it away. I contacted the company asking why, but it failed, and there's nothing on their site about this (but then it's hard to tell whether their site is actually maintained or just gathering cyber-cobwebs.). If anyone has any info, please post.

Warning: Any veiled comments designed to market Pacific Health Labs' "other" product, Accelerade, will either be rejected or severely thrashed.

macronutrient profiles of beans & lentils

Soybeans are leanest, superior by far both in real and relative protein content. After that, stats are similar across the board. Still, the stats on all of these make any of them well-balanced between protein and carbs to make a meal.

  • soybeans 15 p/14c
  • lentils 13 p/27c
  • mung beans 12p/33c
  • split pease 12p/31c
  • kidney beans 11 p/29c
  • chick peas 10p/30c
  • lima beans 10p/30c

You may remember the vegetarian business of matching such plant foods to ingest a complete amino acid profile with each meal; recent thought has abandoned this notion, relying more on the idea of taking in a complete nutritional profile cumulatively throughout the day. This makes sense. We omnivores taking in lean animal proteins daily are most likely to hit all the marks anyway. So relax: let beans, lentils, nuts and cheeses (and whey protein products) take over the protein component for part of the day, and enjoy.

look for my abs article in the new F&P

The new issue of Fitness & Physique magazine (summer '07, out now) has an article I wrote on training the transverse abs. I'll link here when it's available online. Meanwhile, you can find it at Barnes & Noble, Hastings and these independent retail outlets.

review up on paper diet books

"I really enjoyed this smooth book, served up with little flair, relying instead on its own, unpolished beauty to deliver an exceptional reading experience."

Dazzling review of my book is up on, a cool book review site from Portland talking about books like food (hence the name). My book ranks in "books to be swallowed." Thanks, Stacey! Here it is.

"I recently ate dinner at a tiny Italian restaurant in San Francisco. Highly recommended by local residents, the place had a simple charm that was at the same time both inviting and slightly foreign. I ordered the roasted chicken with potatoes, and marveled at how delicious the food was. There was no fancy sauce over the chicken or even an extravagant garnish to dress the plate. Just roasted chicken with a hint of rosemary, and soft, delectable potatoes on the side. I could taste the purity of the food, and was left utterly satisfied, without the feeling of gluttony or eater’s remorse.

I make the analogy of food with this website, and so I extend the analogy of this wonderful meal to my review of Kat Ricker’s book of poems and short stories, Something Familiar. There is certainly something in this book for everyone – a bit of fantasy, a sample of memory, quiet humor, and even a story “based on actual hearsay.” It is a small, simple, appealing, rich, wonderfully executed collection of writing.

The title is entirely appropriate, for what I see as two distinct reasons. On one hand, I believe readers will find something in the stories and poems that is familiar to themselves. In “Ray’s Foul Ball,” I saw myself as a parent in the juxtaposition of Ray’s own individual dreams versus his selfless love for his daughter. In “Remembering Mrs. Little,” I saw myself on Mrs. Little’s bed, pouring out her tin of buttons (only, in my memory, they are my grandmother’s buttons, passed down through generations). And even in the fantastical “The Secret of Lara Lee,” I know what it’s like to have “something click” and to understand Lara Lee’s declaration “Isn’t it good just to be!”

The other incarnation of the title is the way in which many of Ricker’s characters, when faced with the circumstances of a changing life, retreat to something familiar in their own lives, or in their past. Oftentimes, you can even see it in their eyes. In “Change of Venue,” the artisan, faced with harsh financial realities, must turn to different pursuits, and yet you know the “truth – eyes sparkled” of where he would rather be. Old Michael’s bent form is transformed in “Walnut Harvest in Newberg,” as he remembers his fine accomplishments and “his eyes dawned” through the recollection. And despite Mattie’s confused behavior in “Mattie’s Orchids,” something of her former self slips through when “from the blankets, she turns and winks at you, twinkle of mischief in her eye.”

The flowing theme throughout this book of “something familiar” is rounded out by some wonderful phrasing in the poems and stories. In fact, in some cases as I was reading, the title could have just as easily have been something *unexpected,* as Ricker puts images together in beautiful new forms. There are also moments of humor that gratefully caught me off guard. I really enjoyed this smooth book, served up with little flair, relying instead on its own, unpolished beauty to deliver an exceptional reading experience."

chin-up master vid

I hate to post something I'm seeing around (first at Straight to the Bar), but this is so cool, it's gotta be in my blog. Doesn't it just make you wanna run out and do a pull-up work out? Shazam!

nonmeat protein shopping list

cashews (legume)
chick peas
lima beans
baked beans
soy products such as tempeh
cooked soy beans
soya protein
baked beans

craving less meat?

I eat a high-protein diet, usually consuming 20 - 30g a meal if I can. This means I eat a lot of meat, and during competition diet, I eat a ridiculous amount of meat. Since I want out of The Meatrix, and freerange, micro-farmed animals raised and killed responsibly are as lean in the market as they are in their nutritional profiles (I mean give me grass-fed buffalo, and wild game all day, everyday, and no complaints here, but I'm not rich yet.), I've been looking into incorporating some non-meat alternatives into my lifestyle. Besides, preparing all this meat is a real pain. I've no intention of going back to vegetarianism, but it sure would be nice to lighten up on the flesh-eating a bit.

Here's a round-up of what I've found. Comments welcome, especially recipe resource recommendations.

David Ogilvie at Vegetarian Network Victoria (Australia) has an informative page with good links. This bit I find useful:

"The best plant source of protein is legumes, including lentils, kidney beans, chick peas, split peas, lima beans, mung beans, baked beans etc., and soy products such as tempeh. The highest source per 100 grams is cooked soy beans, with 13.5 grams of protein.

"What I often do is buy a large range of dried legumes from the local health food shop. (Eating a variety of legumes at the one time maximizes the range of amino acids consumed.) I mix them all together and soak 2-3 cups of the mixture overnight. I then boil them up that evening. When cooked I drain them and use some straight away in the meal I am preparing that night, and I keep the rest in the fridge for the following few days. The cooked legumes can be added to many dishes, e.g. soups, casseroles etc. to enhance the protein content, or even put at the side of meals (I guess a bit like the meat in 'meat and 3 veg'!). I love them just on their own, warmed up and simply served with some tamari and flax seed oil poured over the top. (This is really nice, and the flax is a good source of omega 3 essential fatty acids!)"

Steve Holt has a site about himself, a vegetarian bodybuilder (He considers himself the veg. bb). Mostly I liked his pre-comp menu.

Here are straightforward tables, lists from vegetarian society of UK

And into the netherworld of veganism, from the Vegan Resource Group comes a quickie on protein staples: "Vegan sources include: potatoes, whole wheat bread, rice, broccoli, spinach, almonds, peas, chickpeas, peanut butter, tofu, soy milk, lentils, kale..."

The wilderness of has some articles, but I haven't found anything substantial in the list of hyperlinks yet.

James Collier at muscletalk UK offers:

"I feel that isolated soya protein is an absolute must for the vegan bodybuilder. Other great protein sources which vegetarians and vegans can enjoy are mixed beans, baked beans, hummus, tofu, quorn, textured vegetable protein (TVP), soya, coconut, oat and rice milk, and many more. Often these products do have a reasonable carbohydrate content too, useful for gaining weight, and are low in fat."

There are also menus on that page, but they mostly rely on commercial protein powder drinks.

The only books I found specific enough to be of interest were
Carl Lewis presents Very Vegetarian by Jannequin Bennett -- a vegan
book with recipes. Lewis tried going vegan while in his athletic prime and liked it.

Muscle Menus Vegetarian by MuscleTalk Moderators Nicole Bremner (Nikki) and James Collier. One can download this e-book with its 130 recipes for $25, which I find wildly expensive for any e-book, let alone a relatively thin recipe book.

men overweightier than women?

This stunned me. In an article addressing the recent problem in Sweden of female children running higher rates of obesity than male, this info emerged after a few graphs. Definitely deserves more investigation and a few headlines itself.
excerpt from article by Mattias Karen, AP

"And among adults across Europe, women generally are fitter than men.

Since 1980, when Swedes were among of the slimmest of Western nationalities, obesity among adults has doubled from 5 percent to 10 percent by 2005 in both sexes, according to Sweden's national statistics agency. However, roughly half the men are overweight compared to 36 percent of the women.

That is still far lower than the United States, where recent government figures show 71 percent of men are overweight, and two-thirds of women are. About one-third of the U.S. adult population is obese."

the Onion on women's sports

the Onion applies its sharp-witted writers to gender issues in sports & sports marketing, for the delight of us all...

feliz cinco de mayo

just having a blast with the iMovie

defying gravity vid by ironmaven

this is an exquisite, beautiful tribute to Amazons Olympic lifting. Alle, Alle: Ironmaven

Hi, I'm a Marvel, I'm a DC

in the endless parade of Mac/PC parodies, this series has me hooked, even tho I'm a DCer first.

...and here's the Batman one, just great.

summer dreams

We give up leisure in order that we may have leisure, just as we go to war in order that we may have peace. ~Aristotle

Any notion of the serious life of leisure, as well as men's taste and capacity to live it, has disappeared. Leisure [has become] entertainment. ~Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, 1987

de la hoya vs. mayweather coverage

round-by-round glosses by Steve Springer at L.A. Times

same at doghouse boxing, but with more annoying ads

Judges Tom Kaczmarek (115-113) and Chuck Giampa (116-112) scored the fight for Mayweather. Judge Jerry Roth had De La Hoya winning, 115-113.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. retains his title--WBC super-welterweight champion--with a split decision.