Activity Time! See if YOU can spot what's wrong with PeTA's website today

I don't really like re-posting shit I find on other sites, except in rare cases. This is one such case. From Fark.com today: See if you can spot what's wrong with PeTA's site:

I did not tamper with the above screenshot in the slightest. If you hurry, you can visit their site and see it before it's fixed.

I hate trolling as a general rule, except when it's trolling of other trolls. And PeTA are trolls, end of story.

UPDATE: turns out, it's actually a domain owned by Omaha Steaks themselves. Stupid me, I just took it on face value... But actually, now, it's even FUNNIER. Strikes me that someone just like me might be working for Omaha Steaks.



I don't give a fuck about starlets. Period. I just don't care about them. Paris, Brittney, Lindsay, J-Lo, whatever. Don't care. Can't care. Won't care.

I used to respect Scarlett Johanssen... But that's probably because I love Ghost World and Lost in Translation. I gave her passes on her latest block of schlock, starting with "The Island" and... Well, not ending yet. But only because those two movies I mentioned before were so damn great. So yeah, I was blissfully unaware that this retard went full-blown starlet and released a record.

Good for her. More money, I guess. But did she have to go and attempt to cover one of the greatest songs by one of the greatest singer/songwriters to ever exist? I mean... What the fuck IS this shit, man?

GODDAMN AWFUL, that's what.

It is in no way anywhere near the same league as being close to ranked on the same scale as this:

Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye (Official Music Video)

I swear to God, I wish I had a baseball bat the size of California so I could beat the holy shit out of this planet.


Seth Godin on Bullies (for Adults)

It's happened again. I get into a conversation with a friend about something, and Seth Godin goes and posts on his blog about that exact topic, giving advice better than I ever could.

A good friend of mine has been dealing with a horrible, pushy coworker for a few months now. She takes crap from this guy daily. You know the type... Equal to her in status, but treats her like she's his employee (or worse, his whipping post). So while we were discussing it, I was giving her my natural, instinctive reaction ("give me the guy's address, I'll go show him where he can shove his TPS cover sheets..."), and Seth posts this gem about dealing with bullies in the workplace.

Un-freakin-canny. And his advice is, of course, miles better than mine could be because he's actually thinking about how to deal with it like an adult.

Me? I was raised around bullies all my life, both in school and in my family, and when I finally got old enough and big enough to dish it back out, I made damn sure to fight that fire with fire. It was my volunteer efforts around my high school that made it safe to play Dungeons and Dragons in the lunchroom in the mornings, or listen to silly alternative music, or be a gothy kid and not get your ass kicked by the jocks. So my natural instinct is to step on a toe or two when I see someone getting the shit-end of the stick.

That only works when you're someone like me - built like a bear and unafraid of concequences (or simply oblivious to them). So naturally, my big brother instincts kick in when I hear about a female dealing with some bully male (or even smaller dudes who have to put up with the fratboy jocular bullshit that pervades most white-collar atmospheres). So if you have a bully giving you shit, listen to Seth, he's absolutley right: stonewall them by simply refusing to play the game.

"I've had this feeling for a long time..."

"I've had this feeling for a long time. It's like I'm standing outside myself, watching me do things I don't wanna do, you know? Just seeing me like I'm somebody else... But never ever able to stop the show. I'm tired."
- Cutty


My Akira sleeve featured on PixelatedGeek.com

Wow, the guys at PixelatedGeek.com really dig my Akira tattoo - enough to do an entire feature on it! That blows my mind!

You may have heard about PG lately, they did this really wicked photo series with one of their writers dressed as Faith from Mirror's Edge, and it got sent all across the net. They also do crazy series critiquing MySpace and pretty unique reviews of stuff you don't really find elsewhere... A mix of BoingBoing and Kotaku, but with all original stuff. Neat place, and I'm honored they featured me :)

How very nice of them!


The Favor, done: "Who is Joe Peacock?" Penguin internal sales vid finished!

First, a huge THANK YOU!!!!!!!! to everyone who sent in video! You guys are so awesome to me, I do not deserve you.

Second, this cut is the result of losing the original cut at 1:00AM this morning, and starting over from the last saved state (about 2.5 hours lost). Ended up SO MUCH BETTER than the original version. I'm happy.

Okay, so here it is:



Biggest used book store ive ever seen... At least a football field long. Awesome.

Smoker's Rights?

I don't smoke. And I don't give a shit who does. What you do to your body on your own time is up to you - I lump smoking in the same category as drinking coffee, drinking alcohol, shooting heroin or freebasing crushed-up Pez. Whatever gets you off and doesn't hurt anyone else is just fine by me.

That said, the second your little extracurricular activities start to get in my way or put me at risk, they need to get the fuck out... Preferably by realizing yourself that you're being a dick or a hazard and moving on. But if you're too big of a dick to stop being one voluntarily, I should have every right to demand that your jittery, smoky, caffeine-addled, crack-addict ass move on.

It's for this reason that I find the entire concept of smoker's rights to be laughable. Take for instance the furor building around this job posting for a webmaster for a non-smoking advocacy group. This is lunacy. First off, it's a non-smoking advocacy group, who themselves are special kinds of dicks - those who want to tell you what you can and cannot do with your own body. What smoker in their right mind wants to work for this zealot-laden group of busybodies anyway? Second, shouldn't the advocacy group have the right to request that people supporting the group with their time and effort be at the very least in-line with the group's behavior standard, so as to keep from being hypocritical?

Third, I get where "smoker's rights" groups are coming from... It shouldn't be an employer's business what I do with my free time. But when they make it their business, it's really my decision whether or not to work for them, not the government or society's business to regulate them. I feel the exact same way about the bans on smoking in bars and restaurants across Georgia (especially in Decatur). This shouldn't be a law, or even civic business. It's the restaurant's decision what clientel they want to attract, and if non-smokers want to frequent an establishment where smoking is allowed, fuck them. They can cough and hack, or move on someplace else. It's not THEIR right to insist that a business cease an entirely legal form of narcotic use in their building (especially when they're also serving alcohol).

The same goes for this job posting. Smokers who want employers to accept their personally chosen form of vice are really just big cocks. I don't bring up legal threats against my employer due to my addiction to video games. I don't get "game breaks" from work so that I can go sneak a hit of my chosen drug. I don't get the privledge of inconveinencing everyone around me with the sounds of gunshots and screaming and digital death, just because MY personal vice has a hold on me. So why should smokers?

You picked up the stupid cigarette, you were dumb enough to get addicted... Deal with it. It's a vice - a personal choice. No one HAS to accept it. You can choose to be around folks who do accept it, or you can live the rough annoying life of constantly being harangued for choosing smoking.

Or coffee, or alcohol, or heroin, or video games, or food... It's all the same damn thing.

And before someone gets it in their head to start equating smoking with race, gender or other traits, know that there's a HUGE difference between God-given rights for humankind to have acceptence and equality based on biological features, and your workplace dealing with the fact that you couldn't tell your pals 'No' when you were 16 and started lighting up. Or drinking coffee, or shooting heroin...



ladies and gentlemen: Fark.com. 5 webservers, 1 dev box, 1 database and a shitload of smart administration for over 5 million uniques. And people say perl is dead...


So, late last night, I started getting emails from the comment notifier on my blog that an entry from late 2007 was being commented on. I went and found that an anonymous commenter decided to take me to task for saying the things I said in that piece about the client; expressing disgust and near-outrage that I would write these things about the venture-capital-funded, didn't-learn-any-lessons-from-the-first-dot-com-crash morons on the other end of my phone line.

I responded, and the whole thing began to spiral into a conversation about dignity. Now, I'm not really concerned or worried about what Anonymous thought - first, because anyone unwilling to stand up and say "Yeah, I said it, what are you going to do about it?" doesn't deserve a moment's worth of attention, and second because I've been me for almost 32 years now, and I'm not likely to stop that anytime soon. It's gotten me this far, I'm sure it'll keep me going just fine.

No, the reason I am writing this is because the whole thing got me thinking pretty deeply on the concept of dignity. Is it dignified to write about my first intimate encounter going horribly awry? For that matter, is anything I write dignified?

I think that the term is probably misappropriated in this regard. I think that dignity comes from self-repsect (which is good for me, since Princeton WordNet thinks the same thing). I think that writing about embarrassing things, or being party to embarrassing things, or royally screwing stuff up isn't any measure of dignity. It's how you handle those things that makes you dignified.

Passing judgement on others is natural - we all do it. Owning up to it is dignified.

Having judgement passed on us is a natural course of life. Standing forward and accepting responsibility for what you've done - that's dignified.

I have been dealing with other peoples' opinions of my life and work since I was a kid. Ultimately, I use them as tools to shape and mold my direction, so long as they're worth listening to. The good opinions, like the ones from readers on Mentally Incontinent, get listened to and accepted. The bad opinions are dismissed. And the one thing I've learned so far in life is that I'm still responsible for breathing air into my own lungs, feeding myself, tying my own shoes, wiping my own butt, and living my own life.

No matter how loud the passengers are yelling in your car, you're the one behind the steering wheel. Get where you're going how you see fit. If you make a wrong turn, admit it. If you make good time, congratulate yourself for it. Just get there safely, and don't forget to laugh at the morons in other cars, picking their noses and looking at you like YOU'RE the strange one.


Snake Oil, 2009 edition

I got this incredible offer in my email today! For just $129, I'll learn the THREE SECRETS TO GETTING MY NON-FICTION BOOK PUBLISHED:

I also found it ironic that, in the 2nd bulleted upcoming webinar, you can pay $129 to learn what you need to know about self-publishing before you pay a dime.

Did you also know you can pay 60 dollars a bottle for this:

It's not just Hydroxycut, it's Hydroxycut HARDCORE!!!!! It's exercise in a bottle! And it's so fantastic, it's the #1 best selling weight loss supplement ever! Of course, all "best selling" means is that there were a terrific number of people who did the same thing for the same reason.

That reason? They want the benefits without the work. Same with that stupid webinar series up there, or model / talent searches, or those "I made $12,000 my first month!" work-from-home commercials...

How can you tell if something is bullshit? Easy: If they're selling you your dreams, they're full of shit.

Never trade money for your dreams. Go out and chase them down yourself.


Quick reminder: Video Deadline approaching

Hey all,

First, a huge thank you for everyone who has sent me videos for the Penguin Video Thingie:

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Now, the reminder: there's a few of you who have contacted me about doing videos and are still working on getting them to me. I need them ASAP. I have to have the video done and delivered by the 27th, which means I need to begin editing by Wednesday (1.21.08) to have a prayer of getting it done. If you can't get it to me by then, I may not be able to use it - and I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY want to! So if you can, hurry! And if you can't, no problem - I understand completely, and thank you for working on it!


The impotence of proofreading [video]

Chris (aka addictv on Mentally Incontinent) sent me this. It is absolutely fantastic. Every single English teacher, major, student, user and abuser will adore it:


Okay I take it back - CNN has one redeeming quality...

...and that quality is named Rick Sanchez.

ANYONE who takes this Joe the Plumber fuckwit to task, especially on the air, gets my unyielding approval:

I swear to God and all that is holy, if I ever meet Joe the Plumber in person, I'm going to straight up tell him "you've got three seconds before I punch you in the kidney until you piss blood," count to three, and if he's running, chase the motherfucker down and punch him in the kidney until he pees blood. If he's not running... He doubly deserves the beatdown for being stupid enough not to run.


More weather ranting - CNN is RETARDED.

Maybe it's because I work for Fark.com and have been privy to the glut of nonsense CNN passes off as news submissions, but I simply cannot find any reason why a banana hammering a nail is "Breaking News":

I think this video editorial by NBC Chicago morning producer Ben Bowman (AKA El Dangeroso on Fark) sums it up best... Yeah, producers read Fark, as do editors, writers for [NAME OF POPULAR DAILY SATIRE NEWS SHOW ON COMEDY CENTRAL HERE], and... Well, everyone:

This is why I want to punch every meterologist ever

First of all, when your current temperature is higher than your forecasted high, shouldn't your system be smart enough to just increment up the forecast a little?

Second, this 14 degree night just entered the forecast 2 days ago. The "10 day outlook" had the lows this weekend at like 42 for almost a week. WHAT GOOD IS A 10 DAY OUTLOOK THAT'S PERPETUALLY WRONG?

Meteorology is astrology with a tie and tv cameras. Gnar.


Free design template - eNewspaper

I did this for a client about 2 years ago. They never paid, and it never went live, so here you go - free to use for anyone who wants it. I'd love to know if you do use it, but there's no attribution or anything required. Just take it and run with it.

The concept: A single-page site done in a "Minority Report" style newspaper metaphor, with a Flash object in the center running video content. The paper is meant to be browsed by clicking in-page links, which auto-scroll the page to the relevant column. Individual areas of each column would be designated to update or change the video playing in the column internally.

Obviously, the page is half empty. I only illustrated what I needed to with content, and intended to leave it to the client to let them fill in the full page. But I think the concept plays well with the content I have in there. Click around and see what you think.

Stuffs used: Prototype.js, Script.aculo.us, Flash

Demo: http://thisisnotartproductions.com/clients/SCG/ILOHQ.com/index.html



I hate being here

Doctors office computer. I'm totally going to hack it and get r00t and change my grades.

Moment of Zen, Indeed

God DAMN, it's so much fun watching this:

I CANNOT STOP WATCHING IT. I've seen it 30 times now, and I just keep hitting "repeat." The stupid, slimy right-wing pundits are so tired of chewing tin foil over Obama's win, they're turning on each other and devouring each other's souls (what little of one they have)! It's FANTASTIC to watch O'Reilly and Coulter double-fist-fuck each other on national television, trying to see which one's penis is larger.

So, I made my own remix. And even though I made it as an early birthday present for myself, I'm going to give it to you. Enjoy:


The long, slow descent into insanity

Reading Fark today, I came across this thread which linked to this Joystik article on Bob's Game, a single-person initiative to design and build an RPG for the Nintendo DS.

I have absolutely no opinion on the game itself. My fascination is with the guy, Bob. It's very clear that he is a passionate man who believes in his product, and wants nothing more than to let it breathe its first breath and have a chance at life. I don't know that I'd agree with staging a sit-in of any sort to get his point across... Protests are the last refuge of oppressed people, and aren't generally going to convince anyone you're attempting to do business with that you would be a good person to do business with.

But I do feel for him. I know what it's like to pour your life into a project, only to have seemingly external forces keep you from allowing it to live. And when you read through the front page of your site, you get a reverse-chronology of a man slowly being driven insane by his own passions and love for his work. Although, I do think trashing your own home and faking your death and having the police show up is a bit... Much. But I guess that's what it means to be driven insane... You're insane, right? So you do insane things.

I think the most insane thing Bob did occurred long before he staged his sit-in and trashed his place and threatened to burn down Nintendo and proclaimed himself the greatest game designer in the world (greater than Miyamoto, Itoi, Kojima, Carmack, and Wright COMBINED...). I think the most insane thing he did was to choose to develop on a platform he couldn't be assured would allow the release of his game. He painted himself into a corner - and not just any corner, but a corner wholly owned and walled-in by someone else.

Now, this isn't some open-source rant... I use closed-source stuff all the time, and I actually like it, because usually closed-source software is created on an actual budget which affords actually talented developers with actual payoff for their work (there's a really, really, really good reason why funny photo manipulations found on the web are called "Photoshops" and not "Gimps"). But even closed-source software (for the most part) isn't developed in an arena where you must have a gate key and permission to release the code. I download tons of Mac software that isn't licensed by Apple. I play Microsoft XNA games on my Xbox 360 which are created by the community and released into the wild without the direct permission of Microsoft.

I don't think I would ever choose, on my own, to just start an iTunes Store app or Nintendo game (wii or ds or any other) without at least knowing I'd have the opportunity to release the thing. I wrote my first book on the net with no one's permission and no eyes toward getting it. I just did it.

I guess my point here is that it's very easy to stare up at the ivory towers of the big guys and think "You know, all I have to do is impress them, and I'm IN!" It's so much easier (and healthy for your sanity) to just make your project where you know it'll be allowed to breathe, and let that project push you somewhere new. Don't shoot your movie with the hopes Paramount will buy it, shoot it with the hopes that you'll be able to finish the shoot and let people check it out on YouTube (or your own personal site). Don't write manuscripts for Penguin or Random House, write them for your intended audience and let them see the light of day. If they're any good, the big guys will pay attention...

...But only after the audience has paid attention. And how can the audience pay attention if you never get to finish it?

Never, ever give anyone the ability to control your future. Make THEM notice YOU.


A very curious exchange

From a conversation on Facebook today:

Hello Joe,

Something I am just curious about. Back in 1994 1995 era, you and I hung out with the same people. Well in that time I moved to Florida and late in 95 I moved back up to Georgia.

We all hung out at [someone's] house and I never felt welcome after I moved back up here. I got the message and stoped coming around. After I started a facebook account I tried to reconnect with [someone] and [someone else] and they both said no to my request.

Just out of curiosity, what did I do to everybody to make them hate me?
The only reason I am asking you is that you were always willing to speak your mind. I have a feeling that has not changed over the years.

Just curious, [Person]

My response:

Hey [Person],

I'm thinking you might have the wrong Joe Peacock. I don't recall a [someone] or anyone named [someone else] that I hung out with for much time at all, and I only knew one [Person who wrote me] I went to school with, and we definitely weren't part of the same crowd.

It seems you went to [a different high school], graduated 1993. I was Mount Zion HS, class of 95. I know I wrestled kids from your school, but if I hung out with any from around that way, it was purely cursory.

Although, I will admit, there is a LOT about high school and that time in general I don't remember, so if I'm mistaken, forgive me.

One thing you definitely did get right, I do speak my mind. No one's ever been able to get me to shut up... If I were the Joe Peacock you were looking for, I'd definitely let you know what happened, and I think it's pretty weak that the guys you contacted were too cowardly to at least give you the score.

You didn't ask for it, but my advice - screw those guys. There's a lot of folks from my past who acted much the same way you were treated, and the one thing I figured out is that everyone has their own justifications for acting however they act, and at least in their own heads, they're justified. Which means they'll act as if they owe you nothing.

Hope things work out alright there.

His response:

Thanks for the reply. Have a great day.

Quite interesting. I feel bad for this guy... I know what it's like to be dropped for no reason. I haven't carried it with me as long as he seems to have, but hey, that kind of thing hurts. I just hope he figures out what happened (hopefully by finding the right Joe Peacock).


The History Of The Internet [video]

This absolutely fantastic animation of the history of the internet brilliantly summarizes 4 years of Computing History courses in a very interesting and fun-to-watch way. Probably my favorite video on the net at this moment. Enjoy:

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.


If you haven't played "World of Goo" - you should.

This goes for EVERYONE: World of Goo is one of the best puzzle games I've ever played.

It's appropriate for all ages, is hilariously funny and best of all, it's one of the smartest games I've played since Tetris - and that's saying a lot, as I play Tetris every single day, and have since I was 9. It's available on Mac, Windows and WiiWare, so there's a greater than 90% chance that - if you're reading this - you can actually play it. It's only 20 bucks and is completely DRM-free (and like all games, I know a certain subset will pirate, but in this case, it's an independent developer and I'd love to see you guys reward their hard work with a little dough).


The Favor - I need you to talk on camera purdy pleeez

Okay, so here's the deal:

So far, there've been some sales meetings at Penguin where they've discussed my book and read my stories to the sales guys, and so far, it's met with some great response. There's good buzz inside the publisher about what I'm doing and how it's being done.

Penguin is having their next big great sales meeting in a few weeks (I'm not sure of the date yet, just that it's in "the next few weeks"), where they'll be discussing my book and how to market it and why the sales people should even bother getting book sellers to sell my silly book. All that goo.

One of the things they're doing is showing video of the various authors who will be in the Fall 2009 catalog, explaining who they are, what they do, how their books came together, etc. And I have some footage from some of my book signings and readings, but I thought it'd be kinda cool to have little video vignettes with actual readers talking about the book, why they liked it (if they liked it), how they found MI, why they joined up, etcetera. My book is, above all else, a book that you the reader made. And I think that it'd be ten times more valuable to the Penguin sales folks to hear what YOU think instead of what I think you think.

So, basically, the favor is this: If you have a webcam, camcorder, video camera, digital camera, or any device that will record video, record yourself talking about one, several, or all of the following things:

a) what do you like most about my book? (any aspect - how it was made and edited, how it came from the internet, the stories, the font... anything)
b) what brought you to MI?
c) why did you stick around?
d) what about my stories appealed to you?
e) what's your favorite story?
f) why did you buy a book when it was free on the internet?
g) why are you excited about the new book coming out through Penguin?
h) anything else that comes to mind when you think of me, my books or my stories

NOTE: if you're not a member of the site, that's ok - skip the community and site parts, and talk about the book. If you never bought a book but read all the stories on the site or Google Books, great - that's excellent to illustrate how the internet made the book happen. Any and all of these points need discussion, and you don't have to have something to say about all of them to help me out. Even if all you talk about is the Wal-mart story, that's fine by me.

The settings for your shot can be anywhere - your room, your office, in front of Wal-mart, whatever. You can talk as little or as long as you want. You can do multiple takes if you stumble, or if you want to say something several ways just to see how it sounds. You can have your copy of your book in the shot, or wear your MI shirt (or don't have either, just be natural). All of this is fair game. There is no right, wrong or stupid response - ANYTHING YOU SAY IS USEFUL!!!! And unless you object after-the-fact, I guarantee you that if you send me footage, it WILL be used in some way or form.

The most important part of this whole thing is that you're letting this big major publisher with big major authors know why this guy you've chosen to read is worth reading. No matter what you say, I won't let you look silly or dumb. You don't need to worry about editing any footage, or saying anything in a certain amount of time. I'm going to edit this thing up to make (hopefully) three minutes of footage - and the more you say, the more choices I have to pull from when I make the final cut.

As far as delivery of the footage - don't worry about that right now. We'll figure it out. If you need to upload it, I'll help you figure that out, and if you need to mail it to me on physical cassette, i'll reimburse for the cassette and the postage. I'll help anyway I can.

So if you can help me out with a few seconds of blabbing about my book, my stories or me in general, email me and let me know. No hard committments, no expectations. Just let me know if you'd like to help me out. And if you happen to have footage from a reading or book signing that I wasn't aware of, make me aware of it and I'll gladly accept it :)

DEADLINE: Because I only know that this is happening "in a few weeks" I'd like to get these submissions ASAP, but I'd say within the next 7 - 10 days would be good (Thanks for asking, Jathm).

And thank you very, very much, both for your help and for all your support all these years.


Reddit.com's founder, Kn0thing (Alexis), reviews Mentally Incontinent

While I was at ROFLCon last April, I gave internet maven and all-around nice guy Alexis Ohanian (kn0thing on Reddit, the social-media voting site which he co-founded) a copy of my first book, Mentally Incontinent. Dude was really gracious and thanked me, and even remembered that I was the author of the "How to Win A Fist Fight" article that overtook Reddit's #1 spot for more than 2 days.

He's finished reading it and just sent over a really nice review of the book. I thought that was really cool of him. It's an honor when people like him or Drew Curtis of Fark.com actually take the time to not only read my book, but go out of their way to let me know what they thought of it, good or bad (although it just so happens that they both liked it. For the "Joe's Life" completionists out there, Drew's the one who passed my book over to Penguin, and while he certainly couldn't make them like it, it's because of him the meeting even took place. I'm forever indebted to him for that).

So yeah, there's that.


Facebook is The Mall

I've figured it out. Facebook in 2009 is roughly the equivalent of hanging out at the mall in 1989 (or anytime through the 80's and 90's).

Basically, you go there and hang out and get nothing worthwhile done, being seen by other people who are there to hang out and get nothing done and be seen. You poke at people as a "hey, what's up" - just enough conversation to be polite, but without all the deep connotations and actual thought:

Above image from the Facebook Autopoke Greasemonkey script.
Invaluable if you're into pokewars like I've somehow become.

There are people who are there who probably shouldn't be there (your parents, aunts, uncles, teachers) who you do everything in your power to avoid publicly interacting with without outright offending. Just like when you were at the mall and you'd pretend to not see them when they wave at you in Macy's, you pretend you never got their wall post (usually by deleting it without response and blaming it on "the damn redesign") or ignoring their pokes or removing your name in tags on photos they post. And then, every so often, you hop into the arcade and play some games.

There are stupid people asking other stupid people to sign up for stupid raffles where they can win stupid prizes:

There's even the same stores as the mall: Cinnabon, Panda Express, The Gap, Pac-Sun, Hot Topic, Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret (which you browse by but never actually go into or join)... There's even those stupid annoying retarded no-one-ever-visits-it-but-somehow-they-still-afford-being-there cellphone kiosks dotted around the Facebook Mall:

It's funny how, no matter how much technology changes and advances, we as a species just don't. Not in any fundamental way, anyway.


Some observations: Baconnaise and Bobby's World

From Nick (SexCPotatoes on MI):

"I dunno if you remember the cartoon Bobby's World, that Howie Mandell did the voices for after his comedy and before his asinine reality show career, but check out this episode, and realize that Sarah Palin talks exactly like Martha, Bobby's mom!"

Well, let's compare. Here's Sarah:

Holy shit, he's right.

And from Ian Spector (author of The Truth About Chuck Norris):

"So I guess just like TV, Facebook shows really weird ads at 3am, because at 3am today, I saw an ad for the most outrageous thing ever. Some of the reviews were "This is one of those inventions, like the wheel or the incandescent light bulb, that will forever change the landscape of our culture." and "So far, I have put it on a burger, a hot hog and, this morning, a Jalapeno bagel. It's God's gift to deliciousness!”

What could it be, besides BACONNAISE! Bacon + mayonnaise, from the makers of BACON SALT!"


Your free 2009 workout - Phase 1

For those of you whose goal for 2009 is to lose weight and get fit, I salute you.

The sad truth is, however, that the vast majority of people who make that resolution fail to keep it. The reasons why are varied, but in my experience (both personal and hearing other peoples'), the biggest reason people stop with this goal is discouragement from not having a plan, not knowing what to do, or not seeing results soon enough.

So, along with my Absoulte Beginner's Guide to the Gym, I've created a workout plan for you to follow this year. This plan is meant to start your year right, and serves as the first of four phases for getting stronger, fitter and healthier. The phases are:

1) The charge-up
2) The launch
3) The burn
4) The shift

I will be posting workouts for these phases as it becomes time to do so. There is a reason why I don't share with you the later phases right now - because, like Daniel-san in The Karate Kid, most everyone wants to get the big splash without learning the fundamentals and building their base. If you choose to use my workout plans, it's IMPERATIVE that you do the things I tell you in the order I tell you to do them.

This workout (this phase of it anyway) is not meant to turn everyone into huge hulking power lifters. It is designed to begin working your body into shape and getting it used to movements, positions, and technique. It will also begin the process of burning fat - but not how you think it will.

Overall body fat will be reduced with this phase, but the major goal is to burn out the fat from within your muscles. Think about when you go to the market to buy a steak. usually, you're looking for marbeling - the layering of fat within the fibers of the meat. That's precisely what goes on in unused muscles. Fat doesn't just collect around the waist, neck, and legs. It also layers into the muscles. And in order to get your body ready to go, you'll need to get rid of it.

So, the focus of Phase 1 is to do a higher repetition count across a high number of exercises, with a weight that is around 40% to 50% of your maxium strength on each exercise. It is a combination of endurance and strength training, but with a greater emphasis on endurance.

A few notes:

1) Get a calendar. Mark each day you work out with an X (or a check, or a smiley face, or whatever). Build up chains of x's. DON'T BREAK THE CHAIN.

2) It sounds like a long time, but 90 minutes a day is actually very little time to work out each day when you think about it. You work 8-9 hours a day. You spend up to 5 hours a day watching television or driving. You owe it to yourself to put aside 90 minutes each day for you AND ONLY YOU.

3) This is about YOU. It doesn't matter how much you're lifting, or what the other people are lifting, or anything else. All that matters is that you show up and work on yourself. It's the best gift you can give yourself.

4) Please, please, PLEASE take a multivitamin. I recommend highly that you take the ones in indivdual packets for each day, with multiple pills (usually available from high-end nutrition stores). DO NOT use Centrum or some other cheapo brand. This is essentially your entire day's nutrition in a small packet. Spend a bit of money on it.

So, here it is, your workout:

Phase 1: The Charge (9 weeks)

Workout time:

Weeks 1 and 2: 90 minutes
Weeks 3 - 9: 60 - 75 minutes

Important notes:

After EVERY workout, every single day, 30 minutes on the elliptical machine or treadmill. If you are walking, walk at 3.5mph for 2 mins, then 4.0 for one minute, alternating. Keep your heart rate up.

After EVERY workout, ingest at least 5 grams of protein per 20 lbs of body weight (example: 200 lbs of body weight = 50 grams of protein). No more than 15 calories per 10 lbs of body weight (example - 200 lbs = 300 calories MAXIMUM). That means PURE casein / isolate whey protiens. NO Muscle Milk, NO EAS unless it's the extremely low fat / low carb varieties.

DRINK WATER. Lots and lots and lots of water. You need AT LEAST a quart during your workout and another quart after your workout. Just buy a half-gallon of milk, drink it (or pour it out), and use the bottle during your workout. Hydration isn't just a good theory, it's manditory for your health.

You will be eating 5 - 6 meals a day. None of this "big meal 3x a day, with snacks" and no "skipping breakfast and eating huge dinners." FIVE TO SIX MEALS A DAY, with NO LESS THAN 450 calories per meal and NO GREATER THAN 600 calories per meal (if you want to go higher in the mornings and cut lower in the evenings, fine, just stay below 500 calories on any meal within 4 hours of bedtime).

You need to stay below 3000 calories a day, preferably around 2500 calories a day. But you MUST eat AT LEAST 2000 calories a day. Do NOT screw around with this. It is far far far better during this phase to eat more than less. Your body WILL burn it. But if you starve yourself (any less than 2000 calories a day), you're going to stall. You will not build muscle. You will not burn fat. You WILL get cranky and irratable and hate everyone around you and want to quit and play xbox all day.

We don't want that.

We are going to assume you're starting on Monday and ending on Saturday. You can start any day of the week you want, what's important is that you go six straight days in a row, and rest for one.

If you miss a day, DO NOT skip the body part. Do it the next day, and shift your workout plan accordingly (move every grouping out a day). Count this as your rest day, and try to go 6 days straight after that.

Every two weeks, try to go up about five pounds per exercise (in the case of dumbbells, five pounds PER HAND).

Monday: Chest and Triceps

WARMUP: 15 repitions of bench press with very light weight (25% of your maximum weight), 15 repititions of tricep pushdown with very light weight, and 20 pushups.

Stretch - 5 minutes, focusing on pectorals and triceps.

Bench Press: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
Tricep Pushdown: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

Incline Bench Press: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
Tricep Overhead Extension: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

Decline Bench Press: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
One-Hand Tricep Curl (cable): 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

Pec Deck / Cable crossovers: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
Dips: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

30 minutes on Eliptical / Treadmill at target heart rate. Walking is fine.

Tuesday: Back and Biceps

Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
One-Hand Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

Row (machine, cable, bent-over): 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
two-hand preacher curl: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

Low Row (dumbbell, machine): 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
One -Hand Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps EACH HAND, at 50% of maximum weight.

Reverse Fly (Rhomboid fly): 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
Chin-ups (with spotter, or place feet on bench / block below and self-spot)

Wednesday: Legs and Shoulders

Leg Press - three positions (inside, outside, calf press): 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
Military Press (machine or slide rack): 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
Shoulder Raises - front: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

Leg Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
Shoudler Raises - sides: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

No-weight squats: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.
Lateral Raises - machine OR front shoulder pull raises: 3 sets of 15 reps, at 50% of maximum weight.

Thursday: Chest and Biceps

CHEST: Same exercises as Monday, except with dumbbells (dumbbell bench, dumbbell incline, dumbbell decline) OR machines (machine bench, machine incline, machine decline), with a bit higher weight (60% of maximum weight) and lower reps (10 - 12 reps, as you feel necessary)

BICEPS: Same curl exercises as Tuesday, slightly higher weight, lower reps

Friday: Back and Triceps

BACK: Same back exercises as Tuesday, except use a different method (if you used cables, use a machine or free weights, vice versa), higher weight, lower reps

TRICEPS: Same tricep exercises as Monday, higher weight, lower reps

Saturday: Legs and Shoulders

Same workout as Wednesday, higher weight (60% of max weight on all exercises), lower reps (10-12, three sets)

Sunday: Rest

(NOTE: For weeks 1 and 2, do 40% of maximum weight for monday through wednesday, and 50% of maximum weight on thrusday - saturday).

Exercise descriptions and illustrations


The 2009 Achievement List


Here's my list of achievements for 2009, associated dates and point values. This list may update throughout the year, but only to add goals - never to adjust dates out. If I miss a date, I lose the points, period.

Note: in the case of MI stories, if I post a story early, I'm giving myself credit for the LAST SCHEDULED STORY in the chain. That way, I'm still on the hook for the following monday, but the total number of MI story points still get awarded.


Monthly goals:

Write in journal 25/26 out of 30/31 days (even february) (50 points)\


visit gym 24 out of 30 / 31 days (50 points)


Individual goals:

ACHIEVED: Post workout guide / schedule to Journal for users January 3 (25 points)

ACHIEVED: New MI story by January 5 (20 points)

New MI story by January 12 (20 points) (lost)
New MI story by January 19 (20 points)(lost)
New MI story by January 26 (20 points) (lost)

BONUS POINTS: Produced and posted Penguin Sales Video thing in a week (60 points)

Finish synopsis + summary + Character guide for graphic novel by February 1 (50 points)

Finish [character sketch] for graphic novel to blog by Feb. 15 (40 points) (lost)

Opencomic.com design finished by Feb 15 (50 points)

ACHIEVED (on January 9): New MI story by February 2 (20 points)

ACHIEVED (on January 8): New MI story by February 9 (20 points)

ACHIEVED (on January 7) New MI story by February 16 (20 points)

ACHIEVED (on January 6) New MI story by February 23 (20 points)

Post [character sketch] for graphic novel to blog Feb. 28 (40 points)
Finish Mentally Incontinent 2 manuscript by March 1 (100 points)
Finish script for first 50 pages of graphic novel by March 1 (50 points)
Finish entire submission package for graphic novel by April 1 (100 points)
Opencomic beta launch by May 1 (100 points)
Publish Mentally Incontinent 2 by December 31 (100 points)
Sell my graphic novel to a publisher by December 31 (100 points)

Achievement: First blog post of the year (20 points)

Yesterday was January 1, the first day of 2009.

Last year, I posted a long list of goals and resolutions and whatnot. The very short recap of this list:

Goals achieved:

2) I am going to the gym minimum 5 times a week.

Goals failed:

1) I will be online when work or necessity dictate that I need to be online.

3) I will write at least one new story for Mentally Incontinent every week, and regardless of my perception of quality, it will be posted on Monday of each week.

5) I'm going to quit caring about anything and anyone that isn't directly related to me, my family or my friends.

6) I'm going to update my journal every. single. day.

Sure, I did alright on some of them for a while, and for #6, I came VERY close, posting 302 out of 365 days. That's not bad. But #1 and #5 were utter, dismal failures. I live online, and I can't stop reading crap. So yeah, unrealistic goals that are stupid. And #3... Well, least said, the better.

So this year, I've attacked things from a slightly different angle. No, I'm not doing away with goals altogether... Rather, I'm attempting goals that aren't "Do x every day" or "Stop caring about whatever". Instead, these are real, honest to God achievements that can be quantifiably measured and, once achieved, aren't reliant on a change in behavior to continue doing. For instance, instead of saying "I'm going to post a new story to MI once a week for a year," I've actually outlined a calendar for posting, and when I post according to that calendar, I've achieved the goal.

And given my comparison to an Xbox 360, I've decided to award myself points for each and every goal I achieve on my list. And the rules are thus:

There are daily goals, weekly goals monthly goals (see update below) and individual goals. Most of the daily and weekly goals funnel into an associated individual goal (example: "Visit the gym today" is a point, "visit the gym 6 out of 7 days" is 5 points, and "lose 30 lbs in 3 months" is 100 points). Just see the update.

Every goal has a date associated with it. If I miss that date, I LOSE THE POINTS FOREVER.

I'm in the process of creating a small widget that will keep track of my daily point totals vs. how many total points could be achieved. Every time I achieve an individual goal (not a daily or weekly goal), I will update you on my journal with a ton of fanfare and whatnot, and you can get all congratulatory in the comments.

I'll also be posting the goal list in full following this post. It will have categories with daily goals, weekly goals, and individual goals, and show the point values for each one.

I've already earned 23 points (Spend the entire day of January 1 off the internet, go to the gym, and post in my blog). (again, I point to the update.)

We'll see how it goes. What do you think about this idea?

***Update 8:50pm***

After talking to Jeremy and a few others, I've come to realize that points for daily activities is cheating (and ultimately self-defeating). Here's why:

a) Let's say I post to my journal only 4 days a week, when my goal is 6. I still get 4 points that week, so I can easily write off the other 2 points, with no real penalty.

b) You guys are going to get BORED seeing daily achievements

c) I'm going to get bored posting daily achievements to the achievement list

d) it's stupid

So, instead, I'm going to combine all the dailies into a monthly. 25 out of 30 days posting in the journal is worth 25 points, and if i'm 24 days, I get zero points. I will stick with the big achievements as planned... Just no weekly or daily achievements. These things need to be worth something, and getting points throughout the week / month underminds that.

Also, erase the 23 points I claimed to have earned. Doing nothing on New Years Day was a personal choice, designed to eliminate the "burnout" factor of rushing to accomplish stupid resolutions. There's no points for that.

Additionally, Jeremy pointed me to the achievement generator which we will both be using to post our achievements. It's a pretty nifty little thing.

I think I like this new take on the idea better. It means more to see "Achievement Unlocked" in the journal post if it's not something stupid like "Oh boy, joe went to the gym which he should have done anyway today."