Hittin' the Barz(Highlandaz pt.9)

Love this group. Ideas, inspiration, motivation, and gettin' da groove on. Via Straight to the Bar.


good times this weekend. Here are some trees from around the world.

Portland park

Downtown Portland has some great parks.

Film: Better, Stronger, Faster

From the producers of Bowling for Columbine and Farenheit 9/11

Via Stumptuous.com, here's a deleted scenes clip that includes chicks at the end.

Marketing copy
In America, we define ourselves in the superlative: we are the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world. We reward speed, size and above all else: winning--at sport, at business and at war. Metaphorically, we are a nation on steroids. Is it any wonder that so many of our heroes are on performance enhancing drugs? "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" explores our win-at-all-cost culture through the lens of a personal journey.

WBAN presents Best of Best trophy belt

This post first appeared on Straight to the Bar.

Ring Magazine does it for the best male boxers. Now WBAN, the online reporting authority on female boxing, does it for the best female boxers.

On June 13 at the Isleta Casino & Resort, in Albuquerque, during the historical first all-female televised Pay Per View boxing event, WBAN made history by awarding its independent World Title trophy belts to “Best of the Best” fighters.

The timing of this inaugural tradition was terrific: WBAN celebrates its 10-year anniversary of being live on the Internet this month - June, 2008. (I am a big fan of WBAN, a labor of love by Sue TL Fox. Female boxing depends on it.)

WBAN awarded two belts. One went to Holly Holm, after she defeated Mary Jo Sanders in a 10-round unanimous decision in the junior middleweight (154 lbs) title bout, sanctioned by the IFBA. (WBAN belts are offered on a bout that ONLY has a sanctioning body governing the fight). The second belt went to Chevelle Hallback, after she won a 10-round unanimous decision in Chevelle Hallback vs. Jeannine Garside for a lightweight title bout.

Photo of Holly Holm copyrighted: Lori Steinhorst. Used by special permission.

new work out vid up

Nothing fancy, just a work out for the record. Coming back from a nasty bout of stomach flu, so there are some rusty moments. Work out by Jim Schmitz, Program 2, OSW intermediate training. Plus pull-ups.

Bloggers boycott AP

AP is bullying bloggers who link to and pull from its stories. So with this push, bloggers are pushing back by boycotting AP, and turning instead to Reuters and the wealth of other sources who respect Fair Use policies and appreciate exposure.

The unAssociated Press is running the official boycott list and petition. This blog also houses news articles on the whole saga - just scroll down.

AP is a dinosaur crumbling--an old timer newsie told me a few months ago when a local office stopped paying its freelancers--they haven't kept pace with the Internet evolution, and they're headed the way of UPI. The comments on Newshoggers echo this. It's possible AP is so financially strapped, they're seeing frivolous copyright lawsuits as a potential cash cow.

Whether or not they're headed for extinction, I have no patience for anyone being idiotic, mean, and just plain wrong.

it's a walk in the park

Here's where I was this weekend (and still am, in my head). Weather was gorgeous!

Wild foxglove!!!

me happy

saw a Heron here

dragon boats


This was the year spring never came. But today it's supposed to break, so here's my offering to the weather gods.

one-armed ring push-up

Seriously. Unfreakingbelievable.
Via Straight to the Bar

First guy who's made it into the Amazon gallery.

first all-women pay-per-view boxing

From Sue TL Fox's award-winning WBAN

Women's boxing history will be made June 4 when an all-women pay-per-view card airs on Fox Sport Network.

A total of six world championship bouts will be held for seven different world titles - 6 International Female Boxers Association (IFBA) and one International Boxing Association (IBA). Photo from site dedicated to main event - Holly Holm vs. Mary Jo Sanders going for ten rounds Wednesday. Full details at WBAN.

ETA: Holms trumped Sanders. Read fight report at ABQ Journal

Dear Prudence - Gabby at gym

Slate's online advice column is pretty cool - check out this approach to delivering the traditional letter-response advice feature online. It's entertaining. And yeah, the topic - how to get rid of an annoying chatting guy at the gym - is worth a look, too.

muscle chirps

Do you have your tickets?
To what?
The gun show.
(Dwight Shrute)

Do you like dogs?
How you like these bitches?

You know you need a license?
For what?
To carry big guns.

anybody got any more?

MMA on CBS - not everyone is happy

Bryan Burwell has an incisive commentary on MMA hitting mainstream TV. Great stuff. Below are some excerpts; read the entire latest bout with insanity comes to CBS in St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He's already getting beaten up for it by industry moguls.

Burwell disparages what "a distasteful freak show mixed martial arts is in this bastardized form. " It's important to realize that's the subject here - the UFC-shaped MMA that America is finding on their cable channels and now CBS, ultimate fighting/cage fighting repackaged.

I've posted my thoughts about ulimate fighting-turned-MMA, and the defense stormed even my hole-in-the-wall blog, so I can only imagine what Burwell's experiencing. I hand it to him for running his commentary. There's a rhetorical push from the MMA to silence its detractors, something that's largely absent from any established combat sport. The thinking person may question why that might be. The mentality doesn't stop within the cage, the company, or any subculture fan enclaves - it tries to extend to anyone who might object.

Quick example I just stumbled on, after writing this - troll comment on Windsor Start article on big female boxing night. Article, comments have nothing to do with MMA, yet "Ahmad" posts "Boxing is out - MMA is in."

There's a relentless redress of us boxing fans in particular, as if we're supposed to adopt enthusiasm for this enterprise because it's combat. It's weird, the idea that people should be malleable enough to be argued into liking something. I've already addressed disparities between boxing and UF/MMA. There's a notion of entitlement to boxing enthusiasts' loyalties, similar to the Democrats' sense of entitlement to third party voters who oppose the GOP. Some of the fingerprints lead to Everlast. In a short time, the company went from positioning itself as the home for true boxing afficionados--expanding their catalog to a "magalog" with profile and training articles and having pro boxers model their clothing--to merchandisers promoting MMA clothing. Who's behind that? I envision the same group of corporate heads we all see every day in our corporate jobs, sitting around a table telling their staff how the company's vision is changing with the market and that they'll be seeing some exciting changes that will really give their customers what they want. Of course we should want this - because the CEO told them we do. Then again, there's a strategic aspect as well; just as the MMA is drawing comparisons of itself with the NFL, part of mentioning boxing in the same breath is likely a vie for acceptance simply by association with established sports.

This MMA has an identity conundrum. It wants to stand as a distinct, original entity, and yet, mixed martial arts is built on existing combat forms. The UFC-turned-MMA brand has the problem of trying to distance itself from its earlier versions - ultimate fighting and cage fighting. So unless you're a loyalist, you're likely not clear what MMA is these days. Ironically, with all this to draw on, when under fire, MMA public relations tactics routinely rely on comparisons to established sports that are not part of MMA - boxing, football in the form of NFL. Marketers are in hyperdrive to forge branding, characters, and imagery for today's American MMA companies, and while there is an audience for anything, the general population will never put it on par with its hallowed megasports.

There are serious qualities of character that cause some people - most people - to instinctively disapprove of this latest incarnation of ultimate fighting. There's the celebration of barbarism. Burwell writes, "This crazed, unrestrained violence allows men with thinly padded leather on their fists to pummel each other nonstop, even when your opponent is on the ground. It allows you to knee your opponent in the groin, then while he's prone on the ground, pound him in the head, choke him, or squeeze his torso with your legs locked around him, attempting to rupture kidneys and squeeze the air out of lungs."

Then there's the profiteering. For me, I don't see a "sport" here. I see a group of rich men who are profiting from this corporate-run bloodsport. I see the manipulation of talent, of ignorance, of bodies, minds and money; I see people with families being needlessly injured; I see branding, merchandising and marketing. But I don't see anything good created. The saying goes that capitalist parasites make money off the back of the working man; when it is so literal, so deliriously proud, self-righteous and dominionist, that edict can rifle the sense of decency in anyone. It's like puppy-stomping; if you have a soul, no one has to tell you it's wrong; you just know.

Are other sports injurious? Sure. Brutal? Yup. Are other combat sports run by capitalist corporations? Of course. So what? I'm not defending them. These are the arguments I've heard, but none of that makes me like ultimate fighting/cage fighting/MMA/whatever-you-want-to-call-it any better. Between Burwell and the American Medical Association, which calls cage fighting medically and morally wrong, the detractor arguments are far more compelling. To whit, the following are excerpts from Burwell's piece.

Welcome to the American Apocalypse, a dark and sad place that celebrates the absurd and the obscene, and can't tell the difference between good ratings and good taste. Jumping headlong into this disturbing abyss comes the CBS television network, which Saturday broadcast the first of three prime-time events it calls "EliteXC Saturday Night Fights."

... All I want is for someone to realize what a distasteful freak show mixed martial arts is in this bastardized form. What I want is for sane folks to slow down this gradual slide into a post-Apocalyptic haze in which the worst elements of human nature are sanctioned and celebrated. What I want is for us to stop glorifying the most deviant aspects of our own personalities, the ones in which pit bulls, roosters and human beings can be gored, gouged and brutalized for sport, and where intelligence is a fault and the dumbing down of our society is considered a point of pride.

But sadly, instead of halting the slide, CBS is driving the bus directly into the cultural abyss by putting this on national television for the first time, instead of allowing it to wallow in a corner on cable TV with all the other cartoonish "reality" fare.

Ultimate fighting and all the other ultimate fighting leagues want the world to embrace their bloody human cockfighting as a replacement for boxing as a real combat sport, and now they have CBS as a co-conspirator in this fraud. They reason that the world has proclaimed them as legitimate, simply because their barbarism is now on network television.

rhubarb pie

When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it's not, mmmmmmmm, boy.”