Back to work tomorrow morning after a busy and educational summer wherein I went to Israel for three weeks and Massachusetts for one week. Learned a lot on both trips. Will post some pics later

Mom’s surgery was postponed twice more and is now scheduled for Wednesday morning.

That CF box I tried back in June was not a good fit.

One pair of jeans from August 2015 (206 lbs). One pair of jeans from August 2006 (137 lbs). There’s a reason why I kept the old jeans, right? Not quite willing to let go of the idea of being strong again. I’ve expressed the difference in lbs/weight but it is so much more than that.





Had a hair color appointment at the salon this morning (cuts I get at the barbershop, color at the salon) and five minutes into it the salon owner announced the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, a.k.a gay marriage. In the time it took the color to process I read the decision; it’s only 103 pages and that includes notes. Loved it: the majority opinion is passionate and the dissents are witty and trenchant.

I’m glad that marriage equality won, but my favorite section of the ruling is actually from Justice Thomas’s dissent: “The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.” Emphasis added because I absolutely love that line. That’s from p.94 of the pdf, which is also p.17 of that dissent.

The salon is one I’ve gone to for some time for hair color, but they’ve recently moved to a new location. I liked the “We Serve Everyone Only” sign that they put on the door, but I’m puzzled as to why they still have gendered bathrooms.

I haven’t read Johnson v. United States yet, which was also issued this morning, but I plan to do so next week.

Running around trying to get several things done before my upcoming Israel trip.

Mom’s surgery was postponed again, this time to early July. As mom says: “every delay contains a blessing” (except she can say it perfectly in Libyan Judeo-Arabic and I say it in English and Hebrew.)

Got my schedule for next year and it’s packed, as usual. I’m teaching one class that I haven’t taught for several years and another that is brand new.

As a method of stress reduction, binge-watching Sons of Anarchy (one season down, six to go) is somewhat better for me than scarfing down copious amounts of ice cream.

Some politics, some good reading, some personal life stuff. Too tired to split it up into separate posts; skip whatever doesn’t work for you.

1.a. According to this article, #WeWillShootBack is still active on Twitter, and this article says it has over 25000 mentions thus far. Good. Disarmament is never an appropriate response to terror.

1.b. Other trenchant reading on this attack (not firearms related):
The House is Burning by Steven Barnes; and,
Virginia Postrel’s take on the flaws in Governor Haley’s statement.

2. Mom is scheduled for a quadruple bypass on Wednesday. This is one of those moments where I really want things to turn out a certain way (no complications, the most smooth, problem free, most successful operation the surgeon and his cardiac team have ever done) but have no influence on the outcome beyond prayer. And I’ve never subscribed to the vending machine model of the Almighty: insert prayers, get your wishes fulfilled. Sigh. At times like these there’s a Hebrew expression I go back to: “השם לא עובד אצלנו”. Lit. “God doesn’t work for us.” It means that God is not the employee of human beings; God doesn’t take orders from us on how to run the universe.

3. After getting nine years of service out of my little flip phone, I finally bought a smartphone. Excellent service from the gentleman at the Apple store. I am going to write a delighted e-mail to his managers tomorrow.

1. The hashtag #wewillshootback is trending on Twitter in response to the attack on the Church in South Carolina. If you have not read Akinyele Omowale Umoja‘s We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement, I highly recommend it, and suggest reading it in tandem with Charles E. Cobb Jr.’s This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible (which I mentioned a year ago) and Nicholas Johnson‘s Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms.

2. Shooting Tips for Beginners series on Youtube: series intro, body position/stance, pistol functions, range basics, trigger control,  aimingsight picture, gripping the handgun, dominant eyeready position, loading and unloading, shooting pairs.

3. Mr. Colion Noir‘s video from 2013 is still valid:

In the continuing search for a new gym since D’s place closed, I’m trying out a CF box. Not the same one I tried back in October 2012 – which was nice but inconvenient – but one that is closer to me and owned by a woman who competes in masters level Oly Weightlifting.

Training 6/1/2015 – 6:00am
Strength: Squats 10x10Kg, 8x15Kg, 6x18Kg, 4x20Kg ss w/ box jumps 10, 8, 6, 4. The “box” here was a weight plate about 4 inches high. Both the box height and the weights were dinky, but that’s how totally out of shape I am at the moment.
WOD: AMRAP 15 minutes: 35 double unders, 7 box jumps, 5 hanging knees to elbows, 3 db power cleans. I can’t do double unders, so that was subbed with 105 single unders. The box was the same 4 inch plate above. The power cleans were done with 2 15lb dbs. Managed to get through it twice + 24 SU.

Training 6/2/2015 – 5:00am
Strength: Standing BB press 8x10Kg, 8x15Kg, 8x18Kg, 8x20Kg, 8x20Kg ss w/ assisted pull-ups 8,8,8,8,8. The assistance came via two serious rubber bands (I had visions of them launching me into space like a human cannon ball) and the coach herself, who did a bit of pushing when I started to hang there like a dead fish.
WOD: The idea was to do wall balls and burpees, 15-12-9-6-3 and finish in 18 minutes or less. This was about as realistic as me climbing the Eiger. What I actually managed in 18 minutes and 15 seconds, gasping and grunting in exhaustion, was 15 (both), 12 (both) and 9 wall balls. It was embarrassing, especially since the ball only weighed 4 lbs. (Not a typo).

Not surprisingly, the DOMS is through the roof. Going up and down stairs is the source of much hilarity, as is sitting down and getting up. I gave up this evening and took an ibuprofen.

Not getting enough sleep. Feeling frustrated with many things. Less than three weeks of school left and I feel like I am running on empty already.

Went to the web site of The Expensive Gym a few weeks back and discovered that since my last visit there (11/2014) they have become even more expensive. The cost of their private training sessions increased by 23% and the monthly cost of membership increased by 17.5%. They were barely in my budget before and now they most definitely are not.

Midway through April I spent $39 and signed up for the WLC that started May 2. Three other people at work decided to sign up also, making a little unofficial team. I’m not finding it as helpful as I thought it would be, but it was worth a shot.

Tried out a class at the local 0rang3 Th30ry Fitness and walked out in disgust after four minutes. Crowded, loud, annoying, smarmy instructor, blech. Don’t know why I bothered. Since when do I do group classes? On my way back to my car I started crying because I was so angry at wasting my time and at being completely out of shape. And of course the logical thing to do after that was to go home, sit on the sofa and stuff my face.

My Talmud study partner is moving out of town at the end of June. We’re planning to continue studying via FaceTime once study partner settles in at their new destination and once my summer travels are done.


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