tl:dr: Just a 50-year-old cisgender white male mansplaining his own self-importance. But good.
Full Summary: The musings of Chris Abraham as he aspires to know the world and himself while getting healthy, losing weight, becoming fit, and running his small business while living in South Arlington, Virginia. Walk with him a while and see what's up.
I was a member of Saint Louis' Army JROTC and a proud member of the Ranger Club. It was extremely hardcore (er, hardcorp, if you will). I had done some writine about it and I will share it here:
Charlie was older. He was one of the coolest kids in the school. He was respected both in JROTC as well as in the school. He was pretty bad ass. He was a junior the year I met him. The first Thursday I saw him come into the class was dressed differently than everyone else. He wore the same class As that the rest of us wore but there were several important distinctions. He wore jump boots and a black beret. The boots were old and looked cracked but there was a rich shine on the toe. The pants were bloused into the boots, showing off the tall sides, the endless zigzagging laces. The boots were old but well cared for and lustrous. There glinted like opals. His hair was short off his brown head. His face was set in a permanent grin. A shit-eating grin. But not that of a fool as his eyes were cruel. He was never cruel with me but he was stern. He cheeks were broad and set high. On this head he wore a felt beret rakishly. A military crest in our school colors was stitched into the peak. It was formed to his head and when he was indoors, he doffed beret and rolled it, stored it under the epaulet of his shirt. The shirt that showed he was a Ranger. He was a Saint Louis Ranger. He was member of the Ranger club and this club earned the right to wear jump boots and a black beret.
The Rangers turned out to be much more than a simple club. The Rangers was a secret society with a code of honor that was effectively a code of silence. Every Ranger was told of the awful things that could and would befall the Ranger who broke the code. This defilement was the thing of legend. These defilement were legendary and strictly adhered to because each of us held a secret that could not only get us kicked out of school but could also have the Ranger program disbanded and have our Sergeant Major – the man who held all of this together – fired and have the JROTC program disbanded and probably even ruin the reputation of the entire school. Were this secret to ever come out in the school paper or – heaven forbid – in the Advertiser or Star Bulletin, the jig was up.
We didn’t talk about the fact that every other weekend, we Rotsee Rangers were for hire. We were hired out by the US National Guard and the US Army Reserves. We were sometimes taken by Force Recon Reserves of the US Marines. Mostly we were hired as OPFOR soldiers for war games, rife with M-16s and M-60s, rife with Alice Packs and field jackets, rife with web gear and L flashlights, rife with cammie paint and canvas pouches designed for 30-round clips. We would bring home a standard form for a field trip to our parents. A form that when signed allowed their fourteen year old son to be issued a 100-percept operational NATO weapon. A weapon that could (and was) fed real armor-piercing rounds. A weapon that was rendered a training aid simply (and only) by affixing a screw-in fuck me red blank adaptor to the tip of the barrel, right onto the flash suppressor. And the 30-round banana clips that we bought at the surplus store didn’t require any adaptation before loading in the shiny brass blanks. We would stuff our cargo pockets full of blanks and bring them home with us. We would get home and we would buy 30-round clips from the surplus store and we taped two of them together so that the clip protruded low from the gun, so that there was always fresh ammo on the gun. So that all you needed to do to reload was to grab the clip, turn the clip upside-down, and load a fresh clip of ammo into the chamber.
Season 2, Episode 28, of ChrisCast: I am Chris Abraham. When student body president of Saint Louis School was opened up for candidates, my buddy David Saiki and I threw my hat it. I was a white dude (a haole), I was 6 foot 3 inches tall, and had gaudy, fake, bleach blond hair. I was a bullshitter, a dufus, and didn't take anything that seriously. I was a bit of a prat and while a strong B+ student, I wasn't a National Merit Scholar. I had never been in any student body and only dabbled in Wrestling, JROTC, the Newspaper, and Speech and Debate club (I was the founder and president of that, though). And I was also no the genius behind me run, either. That was David Saiki. I was even set up and then impeached for it. There was much controversy and my mum defended me and it all turned out in the end. This is that story. Enjoy, Matt Searles (my only podcast listener and subscriber).
According to Wikipedia, the Shy Tory Factor is:
"... a name given by British opinion polling companies to a phenomenon first observed by psephologists in the early 1990s. They observed that the share of the electoral vote won by the Conservative Party (known colloquially as the "Tories") was significantly higher than the equivalent share in opinion polls. The accepted explanation was that so-called "shy Tories" were voting Conservative after telling pollsters they would not. The general elections held in 1992 and 2015 are examples where it has dramatically affected the overall result but has also been discussed in other elections where the Conservatives did unexpectedly well. It has also been applied to the success of the Republican Party in the United States."
This is what's going on in the USA right now, except it's the Shy Trump Factor.
There's nothing to say except:
Trump's administration has a history of filling courts with conservative judge appointments.
The Right loves nothing more than undoing DACA, Obamacare, abortion so stacking the Supreme Court is key in doing that.
The Right only cares about Guns and God and so stacking the Supreme Court is key in that, too.
The Right would prefer the Supreme Court appointment even if it means a Trump loss as Trump is not a true believer.
So many more. Listen to the show!
I repost my own personal experiences of the morning and day of September 11, 2001, as a resident of Washington, DC. I did not personally experience any loss or any personal danger on that day. It's simply my experience.
Being able to speak proper American English isn't selling out to the White man, it's selling out in order to be accepted by the Highfalutin. My dad, Bob Abraham, actually bought Eliza Doolittle books full of elocution lessons to make him sound less like a poor, working-class, bum from New Jersey. He was his own Professor Henry Higgins. And it worked! He got a job a BBDO as an illustrator and then worked in the Ad World of NYC like Don Draper, who also worked so hard to come across as an NYC fancy boy. Proper English isn't White it's Highfalutin!
I don't know if BLM wants either an American melting pot or a salad bowl if it, in any way, capitulates to American culture, defined as white culture, which actually means American white supremacy. The episode is my attempt to try to get my head around it and sort it out, awkwardly, out loud. I don't know if I even really understand it. And, I don't really feel like it's my place to contribute, either, as I am a chameleon.
"The USA is traditionally called a melting pot because, with time, generations of immigrants have melted together: they have abandoned their cultures to become totally assimilated into American society. But in the UK, where cultural diversity is considered a positive thing, immigrants have always been encouraged to maintain their traditions and their native language. This model of racial integration can be described as a salad bowl, with people of different cultures living in harmony, like the lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots in a salad."
Record audio precisely with excellent sound quality and three recording modes. Normal, Focus, and Wide-stereo recording modes give you the ability to record the audio that you need to capture, no matter the setting. An even more compact design allows for storage in tight spaces, and the simplified UI makes file retrieval easier than ever.
I used Plone back in 1999-2002 and loved it then and want to try using it again for my personal site again circa 2015. ChrisAbraham.com uses the Open Source Content Management System Plone and has been designed to be completely accessible and usable, working in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG v1.0).
I started writing my spy novel Hill Mole casually on May 13, 2005, and sort of petered out on July 20, 2017. I aspire to continue. I blame Facebook and Twitter because I really stopped contributing to the novel, still alive at HillMole.com. But I had so much fun writing it. And I truly aspire to get her done, or make her a life's work. Ironically, it's still running a 2006 version of Six Apart's MovableType running Perl. I try my hardest to keep the code alive!
I never knew that! You learn something new every day! $6.90 was a a fair convenience fee for me to be able to have my package picked up from the cafe I work from, Idido's Social House and Cafe—and it's not even my place of business or home!
Who would have thought that the kit bag I have been wearing on my chest since 2014 would become the basis for a super trend in the hip hop community.
Hip hop calls them chest rigs and they're the coolest. But they were the opposite of cool when I started using them. But now, am I cool? Naw!
Over the last couple-few years I haven't gone for a run without wearing my Hill People Gear Snubby Kit Bag on my chest. For me, it's how I like to carry my personal stuff when I am on a run, race, or jog.
Over the last couple-few years I haven't gone for a run without wearing my Hill People Gear Snubby Kit Bag on my chest. For me, it's how I like to carry my personal stuff when I am on a run, race, or jog.
It's kind of a unique bit of kit. It's a harness that securely holds a small, two-pocket, 500D Cordura, bag to my chest. It's always accessible and it never jostles or jounces.
The only thing I have against it is that nobody else wears anything like this when they run so the little pack stands out. It's different enough that people ask about it.
I never know where to put my wallet, keys, and phone when I run. I tried SPIbelts and still love them but I was looking for something that kept my stuff both immediately available and also close enough that Bluetooth can clearly transmit from my phone to my wireless Bluetooth headsets.
I have a Keiser M3 I got used from a spinning club that was either upgrading or going out of business. It looks pretty cool. I also ride Schwinn AC Blue Carbon Carbon Blue or something spin bikes at CYCLEBAR. I have a lovely Surly Steamroller city bike that I love. Why don't I just use that? Well, here's why.
I have been listening to the No Agenda Show, a podcast that has been dropping since 2010, since 2010. And I am in deep. I am in a cult, my friends tell me. You be the judge. Saint Adam Curry and Saint John C. Dvorak.
Your instructor is there to help you. If you're having a hard time with your clipless pedals or how to set up your bike or any other questions you have... this is an interactive fitness class and your instructor wants to be as helpful to you as a yoga instructor is or a personal instructor is. Be sure to get to class early because it's easier to get the help you need before and after class than during.
Your ride is your own and you're never obligated to race, to compete, to follow all the commands of standing, sitting, pressing, and the upper body or weights workouts.
If you workout is so hard that you leave your spin class hating it and never wanting to come back, you're doing it wrong. Rule number one is to have fun!
Always aim to arrive 15-minutes early even if you've already booked a bike
When it comes to attending class, 15 minutes early is on time; on time is late; and more than 5-minutes late forfeits your class.
People are gross so it's OK to discretely blow your nose or spit into the towels that are provided at your bike as they're laundered immediately after class.
Spin class might feel like crew practice (many Spin instructors are little and loud like coxswains) or Basic Training (other trainers can look and act like Drill Instructors) but you don't actually have to comply with any of their orders.
Each ride is scientifically designed to exhaust you, at your level, and to motivate you to put as much energy and force into only 45-60 minutes as possible using something called HIIT (high-intensity interval training) which is why each workout is a series of intense sprints or climbs or heavy pedaling separated with lower-intensity rest periods and even some stead state pedaling and recovery time.
While it feels like a night at the disco club, with all the music and lights, these classes are designed to challenge the limits of your fitness, endurance, and conditioning. The pop and disco music and the lights and challenges are fun distractions to keep you motivated and distracted from how hard you're working.
I wore over-shorts and over-pants over my bike shorts for weeks until I realized that I should be focusing on my ride more than hiking up sweats that were either falling down or getting caught on the saddle. I drop trou right before I get on the bike and just ride with my stretchy Pearl iZUMi bib shorts with awesome chamois padding. I mean, I am still shy about it and put the sweats back on right after stretching, but life's too short to not get the most of the class. Besides, nobody has shunned me for showing my bottom in stretchy pants to my face, so I assume everyone in the class is in this together.
I try to wear sound-reducing earplugs every time I ride for two reasons: one, the music can be very loud; and two, I find that the foam earplugs I use make it easier for me to understand what the instructor is saying over their mic. For whatever reason, the earplugs take out the biggest noise and make the instructor's instructions a lot more comprehensible to me as I ride as opposed to distorted and mixed up with the bass-heavy music.
Finally, every spin class I have ever been to has been supportive and fun and friendly and as hard or as easy as I made it.
I committed an unlimited month and aim to continue into the future. I just checked on the Cyclebar app and I haven't been a rider at Cyclebar Columbia Pike since Wed, May 1st, 2019—more than a year! Since I have been away for so long, I was offered a month of unlimited for only $119 so I jumped on board. I will continue to ride there after this discount month for retail because I really want to support Martina and the Cyclebar Columbia Pike family during these times of the Coronavirus Pandemic. I want to make sure I pay for my seat because there are so many fewer seats per-class, per-session, because of social distancing. So, starting tomorrow, I will be riding every day; however, I am going to try to follow the maffetone method while I am there and make sure I give myself the entire month to really train my aerobic and anaerobic system to become used to spin and indoor cycling, so I will aspire not to kill myself through mad, mad, mad, competitive, sprinty, Chris. Instead, I will just make sure I use the motivation of buying a seat in a class where I must not take a water break but must spend at least 45-minutes on the saddle in-a-row once-a-day.
It looks like my ADHD and my Aphantasia might indicate that I am, in fact, a Neanderthal or a Cro-Magnon. Isn't that interesting. I know I wasn't strictly Homo Sapien Sapien. Maybe just one Sapien in me, not two.
Calling conservative Americans—including people off all faiths, not just Evangelical Christians—ignorant deplorables for ten years behind their backs on front of their faces has so many ramifications, including losing in the fall, with a second term for the Trump Whitehouse. Sorry.
I've always loved bopping around in a slow jog. My best one was all around Paris by myself. But it's an entire thing and I'm happy to say that I started the Reddit sub back in 2017. Now it lives. This isn't very well thought out but it's my first foray into the topic. Enjoy!
Watch me indulge in all the controversy in all the world. Will a Biden presidency do way more long term harm than the short-term harm that Trump will have done? One thing that I never mentioned is important: conservative judges. We'll talk about that more later.
I just decided to see what my new Sony ICD-UX570 Digital Voice Recorder can handle: can it handle the jostling of wearing it around my neck while recording? Can it handle a windy day? Can it handle passing traffics and so many diesel work trucks? Can it handle my droning on and on about nothing? You'll see. None of this goes through my Audacity at all (who needs the extra step?) If this is unlistenable, I will kill it.
If I had known how much of a game-changer and how much my life would be improved by integrating a CPAP/BiPAP into my life, and if I had known that all my fat, middle-aged buddies were already using them—both men and women (but mostly old fat men)—then I would have done this ten years ago to address my snoring, my interrupted sleep, and the extreme sleep apnea that was trying to kill me over 40-times every hour I slept.
(Are you a cop? You need to tell me if you're a cop if I ask, right?) I have carried my office on my back as I walk all about the surrounding exurbs since the pandemic started. No longer the denizen of cafe life, I subsist on hotspots, tethered phones, and park benches. Ain't nowhere to GO. So, I've taken up the manly art of public urination without getting arrested or permanently marked as a sex offender said for public urination. All the park toilets are shuttered and so are the restaurants and the Malls and the stores and Macy's, etc, etc. So, I have just become really good at it. And here's my story. I mean, marathoners do it all the time, am I right?
It's nothing much. An afterthought probably required by the Residence at Penrose Square. Even though there are no longer the Paris-inspired powder green cafe tables and chairs, I still love it! This is my love note, my love letter, my lovesong!
I didn't know that anything was different about me. OK, I have a formal diagnosis of ADHD but aside from that, at 50, I discovered that I am an Aphant and that I have a condition called Aphantasia, something I discovered by watching Season 1, Episode 7, of Space Force.
Definition: the inability to form mental images of objects that are not present, "if counting sheep is an abstract concept, or you are unable to visualize the faces of loved ones, you could have aphantasia"
"Aphantasia is a mental condition characterized by an inability to voluntarily visualize mental imagery. Many people with aphantasia also report an inability to recall sounds, smells, or sensations of touch. Some also report prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces."
I have decided to return to podcasting but only as an audio blog or an audio diary or just as a way of putting down my thoughts outside of the adversarial world. So, this really is just for me and not really to build it into anything. Just a creative outlet. This is just the shakeout episode in which I try out the new Sony ICD-UX570 Digital Voice Recorder I grabbed from Amazon and I plan to use anywhere and everywhere. Like that poet in Lower Manhattan who is constantly recording every single thing that comes through his mind, "the sky is blue, the night is dark, the water is wet." Deep stuff like that. I am him how. Living my best life. Enjoy.
I needed to have a Mindfulness practice and chose the daily prayers that the Anglo-Catholic Episcopal Church likes to follow based on the Book of Common Prayer and at least 4 times a day prayers based somewhat on how the Benedictine Monks and Monasteries prayed, including Matins, Lauds, Vespers, and Compline.
All anyone is talking about these days is how armies of Russian trolls got До́нальд Джон Трамп (Donald John Trump) elected President of the United States. They did this through a unique witchcraft and voodoo that normal mortals cannot resist. How did Влади́мир Влади́мирович Пу́тин (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin) and his malintent Веб-бригады (web brigades) so easily, cheaply, effortlessly, quickly, and effectively puppet-master our innocent, vulnerable, and naïve online American yokel brains into becoming mindless hordes of racist, sexist, nationalist Nazi deplorables.
Russia isn’t the only country that’s leveraging highly-trained covert operatives with bomb-proof non-disclosure agreements to sneak around online in deep cover, pretending to be other people, genders, ages and emulating the interests, hungers, passions, fears, dreams, and goals of communities that could really benefit the agendas of their clients.
Okay, I wasn’t actually either a teenager or Russian when I was an OG Russian Troll and part of the Russian Troll Army.
Americans love astrology, the paranormal, the spiritual world, Angels, demons, aliens, monsters, spirits, the afterlife, and believe that the eschaton will happen within their own lifetime. A world where astrology and numerology and the spirit world is prescient and present and real and active in our lives. America is actually a nation full of surprisingly superstitious spiritualists
Just an update on why and how I am doing a one meal a day intermittent fasting diet, my yesterday failing, some discovered benefits, and lots and lots of ASMR girl-esque ramblings, shaggy dog stories, and story tellings—all adding up to about a half hour of your precious fluids and lifespan.
In this episode I talk about my one meal a day that consists of a fifteen-hundred calorie one burrito a day with everything diet followed with 23 hours and 45-minutes if intermittent fasting every day. In short, my OBAD OMAD IF MOFO diet!
I tried a bunch of editing stuff and splitting stuff. I don't even know if the storytelling is linear or if it's even listenable with all the clips and so forth in between and I am pretty sure the files got shuffled and are out of order so maybe the end of the story is at the beginning. So, I put in a warning. Otherwise, enjoy!
Sort of a ramble, sort of a rant. Trying out background music and more of the editing tools that the Anchor.fm Android app tools and so forth. What do you think? My voice is very hot, very loud, but at least I'm highly audit and very easy to comprehend. Pretty much just a My Dinner With André sort of thing, the sort engaged in by the madman who lives under the bridge. Enjoy and let me know what's up with you and what you think!
This is the episode where I almost cop to an eating disorder and then complain a lot about how heavy I am.
Food is a constant struggle
Weight is a constant struggle
I am currently 350 lbs (158.75733 kilos, 25 stone)
I love to run (I call it my zombie shuffle)
I love to bike (please help me name my 2010 Surly Steamroller)
I love to row (100 lbs too heavy, I'll sink the boats—even the fat one)
I love to swing kettlebells (call me Girevik)
I really love Spin class but haven't gone recently.
I hope this podcast is more fun than depressing.
Let me know!