Thursday, August 06, 2009

First Tired Day in A While

Life has been a little too intense lately. I'm zonked today and, sadly, didn't make it to the gym. The past two weekends have been very social. My life tends to work best when I’m not social at all on the weekends. But that gets to me after a while. But, sadly, fatigue also gets to me after a while. The trip is coming up and I’m not really looking forward to it, as much as it is a sign of progress in my life. I need to work on getting centered.

Here’s what’s going on:

Discovering the World of Low-Weight, High-Rep Shoulder Exercises

I used my free trainer session with Richard, my gym’s trainer to discuss my utterly unresponsive shoulders. Richard is the most magnificent older man I’ve ever met. He’s either in his late fifties or early sixties. He’s totally ripped. I think I have a new role model. Richard is fairly unemotional in his demeanor. He listens and diagnoses very quickly. He said that he once had a similar problem getting his shoulders to grow. His present shoulders show no evidence of this problem. He suggested that two things were likely at fault. The first was that the blood vessels running into shoulders were relatively small and until the shoulder started getting more exercise, they would remain small, and hence the muscle would have trouble. The other is that my triceps were more developed than my deltoids (this is a sad commentary on my pathetic shoulder muscles, as opposed to any notable development of my triceps or any other muscle at all in my body) and were probably doing a share of the work. His solution—low-weight, high-rep lateral raises, depicted below:

The goal is to get to three sets of fifty using five-pound dumbbells. I did two sets of fifty with him day before yesterday, broken up by some shoulder presses using ten pound dumbbells in sets of ten. It’s truly humbling to know that five pound dumbbells can totally kick my ass if I do enough reps. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am a genuine geek, in case you were wondering. No one will ever mistake me for an athlete. I was the kid who got beat up every day in the seventh grade. Kirk and Briggs can confirm this. They were there. I had to break my first set of fifty into two sets of twenty-five. The second had to be broken up into fives and tens. He patiently waited while I worked my way through. He said I’d feel it the next day. I felt it a little yesterday morning, but by night again, I was quite decently aware. I’ve been sorer, but I can tell the strategy had a new and different impact. I’m definitely going to work on this for a while.

I Need to Grade Again

'Tis the season! Fa-la-la-la-la!

I Started Work on Rewriting My Proposal

It took two days, but this is the revision chart. The only thing left to figure out is what the lit review should look like. I'll spend some time there tonight.

I’m Getting to Know My Camera

I discovered that in addition to having a receptor for an external flash, my camera has a built-in flip-up flash. If I get a telephoto lens, it will be very viable for everyday uses. I've also been learning that minature photography actually has many problems of focus. Look at this photo of this grill ornament Craig gave be a few days ago.

It never really dawned on me that focus could be complex in photographing a small object, but here, the focus is clearest on the dials and on the little hook on the lid. I'm realizing that in macro photography, you have to put a great deal of attention to how you focus in composing your picture.

I need to work on packing the equipment and figuring out how I'm going to tote it all around Tel Aviv.

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