Saturday, December 31, 2011


happy new year motherfuckers!!! THIS IS IT. 2012. shit is gonna hit. get your gold. get your guns. GET YOUR ASS UNDERGROUND. shit is going DOWN. straight k from the u-daddy. open them brains and RECOGNIZE.

alex jones drops the new year k-bomb on ya:


doctor freemason has more scoop for you. watch and learn:

part 1

part 2

more k from alex jones. don't overload them BRAINS:

find out the truth about SPY BUGS:

part 1

part 2

roaches are watching YOU.

implants for welfare junkies. get a chip with yo check:

new world order! SLAVERY. freedom bought with a welfare check.

barbarian rebellion with a new year message:

randy gage sprinkles the parm on the sghetti. watch and BELIEVE:

the u-man has busted that new year NUT. ready to cut. go clean your BUTT. and SHIT ON THE HATERS. peace to the posse in 2012. you know who you are. the u-man is OUT.

alex jones bonus:

The Best of Charlie's Blog--2011

I'm going to let this be the last post of the year. I'm on fumes right now which is why my posting has been sporadic. I'm happy with my year in blogging, and I hope to really knock it out of the park in 2012. Looking back, here are the 10 best posts of 2011 as decided by yours truly:

Triathlon is a Stupid Sport

This post was a surprise for me since I didn't think it would be that big of a deal. But a lot of triathletes went after it when somebody posted it on Twitter, and it continues to rake in the hate and the debate almost a year later. My opinions on the subject haven't changed a bit.

Why Running is the Perfect Sport (Almost)

This post was sort of the antithesis to the triathlon post. Where triathlon appeals to elitist pricks with disposable income, running is an egalitarian sport than anyone can do because it is virtually free. This post was not as popular as the tri-post since I managed to piss off virtually no one with it.

Anarchy and Minarchy

This post was written as an answer to all my anarchist friends on Facebook on why I am a minarchist. I link to it often in various discussions, and no one has bothered to rebut the argument.

The Myth of Superman

This post had to do with the unrealistic expectations we place on ourselves because of a myth of isolated superior achievement. The reality is that most child prodigies turn into nothing, and guys like Edison were not as unique as we imagine them to be. Consequently, we need to cut ourselves some slack because we haven't invented cold fusion yet.

How to Change the World

This post was inspired by Leonard Read's lesson about Nock's One Improved Unit. Basically, you change the world by changing yourself. Nothing inspires people more than a shining example of the way they ought to be and ought to think. You can check out that vid below:

How to Become a Minimalist--The Maximal Guide to A Simpler Life

A lot of people ask me about minimalism from Facebook or the blog, and I usually send them to a Leo Babauta site. But I thought it would be neat to write an exhaustive post about the subject in a maximalist style. It isn't really a complicated subject, and I find that it is a very appealing subject to a large group of people.

Minimalism and Choice

This was another post on the subject of minimalism. These two posts are sort of a preview of what is in the book I am writing called The M List. I am still working on that volume as I want it to be something more than just repackaged stuff from my blog. I'm very proud of what I have written so far, and I am going to put a lot of polish on that baby. The cornerstone of minimalism is the necessity of choice.

Leo Babauta and Others on Living Without Goals

This was my perspective on Babauta's "living without goals" meme and the debate it created. I followed it up with another post called Living Without Ambition that gave a more complete answer to the conundrum that Leo created with his exhortation to live without goals. Another post called Leo Babauta on the Self-Improvement Urge is also about the same subject.

How to Get Rid of a Moocher

A lot of people told me they appreciated this one because it helped them to get rid of some moochers in their own lives. I'm glad I could help.

Why Your Family is Fucked Up

I received a lot of good feedback on this one, and people found it helpful as well. Writing it helped clarify to me why I have always had issues with my own family, and also why I shouldn't feel bad or guilty for getting them out of my life.

That's it for 2011. I really had a good time with the C-blog this year, and I have enjoyed all of the feedback I have received this year in the comments and from people who send me email. I also want to give thanks to my two contributors--the artist Malnic and our resident conspiracy theorist, the Unknown Blogger. You have added variety to the C-blog. For anyone else wishing to contribute something to this space, feel free to shoot me an email.

As for 2012, I will continue blogging as always unless disaster strikes me down. I have more ambitious plans for 2012 than I did for 2011, so I think I will top myself in the new year. As always, thanks for reading. It is a real pleasure to have you as readers.

Things Change and Stay the Same

image from the tentacles of the magnificent octopus

With 2012 upon us, I would like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, safe, exciting and all around fulfilling New Year, full of cycling and all the other things you enjoy. 

I've been trying to think of "resolutions" for next year pertaining to this blog, and in the process I am realising that I don't have any. This may not sound very exciting, but more than anything I would like for things to remain as they are: to ride bikes, learn more about bicycle design, overthink everything as usual, make mistakes in the process, and write about it all without getting overly self-conscious about how silly I might sound. This year I was upset and surprised when two of my favourite bicycle blogs were discontinued. But I also understand why it happened, and I can easily see how the same could happen here. For that reason I feel that it is especially important to keep things low key and not overextend myself. This is something I will try to bear in mind throughout 2012. 

Other than this, I am quite happy to keep it open-ended. I have been cycling for transportation more or less daily since the start of this blog, and over time I've become increasingly interested in roadcycling. Within these two realms there are so many possibilities for exploration, that I feel as if I've barely scratched the surface. My interest in bicycle design continues, and it's been fascinating to learn about materials and methods of construction other than the lugged steel I love. There's just... so much to it all! As new people get swept up into this obsession every day, there are also those who've been at it for decades - no less enthusiastic now than they were in the beginning. I hope that will be me in future.

I've had some requests for a New Year's cocktail like last year, and so I offer you the following:

The Slideways:
. real pomegranate juice
. dry champagne or white sparkling wine
. gin (of course)
. small lime
. sprig of mint 
. ice

In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, 1 shot of pomegranate juice, 1 shot of gin, 2 shots of champagne, and a generous squeeze of lime. Keep a tall champagne glass in the freezer to give it that frosted look. Strap the cocktail shaker to a rear rack of a fixed gear bicycle, then pedal forward and backward, rapidly changing direction. Unstrap the shaker. Remove champagne glass from freezer and pour in the contents immediately. Garnish with mint. Recline on your bicycle, side-saddle, while drinking and listening to this. Repeat as necessary.

A hat tip to Andy Arthur for his adorable illustration of my clumsy bike handling skills, and my sincere thanks to everyone I've crossed paths with via this blog in 2011 - be it virtually or in person. A Happy New Year to all!

Happy New Year 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Sports Predictions for 2012

My sports Prediction for 2012.

1: New Zealand will have it's best Olympics yet, with
some surprises, The Tall Blacks will not only qualify, but
win a Medal, other medal winners will of course be our
rowers, our shot putters, our field hockey players, our
female footballers, and a big upset by young  swimmer,
Sophia Batchelor

2: The Warriors win the NRL, it will be well deserved,
    and will see them treated as heroes, they will beat Manly
    in the final.

3: The Breakers will go back to back in the NBL.

4: Phoenix to make the playoffs , but get soundly beaten.

5: All Whites to have a good year as they build towards the
Confederation cup and the World Cup.

6: South Africa to bring the Blackcaps down to Earth,
but the youngsters to become International stars, Bracewell,
Williams and Boult.

7: NZ Cricket to cause outrage with their contracts by offering
Oram and Mills one, but not Bracewell and Boult.

8: The New Zealand media at the Olympics to embarrass
every Kiwi sports person there and every Kiwi watching, by
asking the International stars and our own New Zealand stars
not questions about their sport, but questions about the All
Blacks and they will also suggest that the All Blacks could
clean up every medal there is.

9: Craig Stanaway, Joesph Romanos, Andrew Saville and
Brendan Telfer to do the above, plus they will add in a
rugby reference to most  non rugby stories and they will criticize any
sport story that comes out of America.

10: The Green Bay Packers to win the Superbowl. The
Celtics to win the NBA, The Bruins to win the NHL and
the Braves to win the world series.

Long cycle, low volume: Last session of 2011

LC 2x20kg: 5
LC 2x24kg: 5, 5
LC 2x28kg: 6x 5reps

SCCJ 2x30kg: 5, 5 (Short Cycle Clean and Jerk = "jerks")

Push-ups +5kg on back: 3x 10reps

Stretch and trigger points and mobility, balls, bands, and rollers

Of Cycling and Cheeseburgers

Before I started cycling I was a vegetarian/ pescetarian for many years. It began by accident: I was on a research trip in Moscow in 1999 and got food poisoning after eating a meat dish at a restaurant. It was pretty bad, though to be fair I can't even be sure it was due to the meat. Could have been the salad or an unwashed fork, who knows. Still, for a while afterward I felt sick whenever I looked at or smelled meat, so I stopped eating it. Eventually the effect wore off, but the vegetarian habit remained. I did not crave meat products, and I felt healthier not eating them. Attempts to coax me back into carnivorism were unsuccessful. I could watch others eat meat and even cook meat for guests without being tempted in the least. I was pretty sure this was a permanent lifestyle change.

It was a couple of years ago that for the first time I found myself "tasting" little morsels of the Co-Habitant's food (invariably meat dishes) when we ate together. I did not want any, mind you, I just felt like a little taste. I also began to notice that these cravings coincided with bike rides. Interesting. No doubt what I was really craving was salt and protein - not necessarily meat. So I ate more salt and protein as I struggled with this unfamiliar new attraction to meatballs and burgers and barbecued ribs. And steak. And paper thin slices of prosciutto. And spicy chicken wings. And hot dogs... One day, after an especially strenuous bike ride we went out to dinner and I just couldn't take it anymore. The smell of meat that had once made me respond with disgust, then indifference, now filled me with longing. I ordered lamb instead of my usual falafel. I still remember how those fragrant, lightly charred bits looked upon my plate. And so ended over a decade of vegetarianism.

I am bewildered by my current love affair with meat. Content for so long to live off lentils, walnuts, vegetable omelets and occasional salmon, I now fantasise about full Irish breakfast, black pudding included. The more I cycle, the worse it gets. The Co-Habitant thinks it's hilarious, but I am rather ashamed. I think vegetarianism is ultimately the healthier diet, and I feel sorry for the little animals. The tasty little animals.... See?! This is terrible. I know there are many vegetarian and even vegan cyclists out there. And they are probably very disappointed to be reading this. But I have to tell it like it is. After riding my bike, I dream of cheeseburgers.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The North Face Sucks!

Actually, I don't know if North Face apparel sucks or not. I am not a wear tester, and I have never tried out any of their gear. In fact, I have never owned a single item from the North Face. I couldn't tell you a damn thing about any of their shit. This is more about the brand and the social impact of that brand than the actual products.

My first experience with North Face Hatred or NFH began with the daughter of one of the women I dated. She was in elementary school at the time and making comments about a clique at her school. This clique was known simply as "the North Face." I had no clue what she was talking about. I had seen the brand before, but I never considered it from any social standpoint. To me, it was just another brand like Patagonia or Lands' End or L.L. Bean. But this clique of snobby girls wore a sort of uniform to distinguish themselves from the others, and this was the North Face jacket--a piece of trendy apparel. My girlfriend's daughter then proceeded to show me pictures from her school annual of these snobby girls all wearing the same branded jacket. I had a good laugh over that.

In my day, it was all about sneakers. You wanted to be wearing Nike sneakers and the most coveted sneakers of all were the Air Jordans. That trend continues to this day with those shoes still being top sellers. I feel like I am in a time warp when I step into a Foot Locker at the mall as the sneakers seem to have changed little over the years. The same sort of hype surrounds products from Apple as their products have a certain coolness factor to them. The ridiculousness of it all comes from the fact that these products are all mass produced, and the only significant difference between them is the brand. You aren't buying greater quality so much as a greater signifier.

I am as brand conscious as the next consumer, but this is because I don't want to waste my dough on junk. I find that the brands I like have a certain utilitarian quality to them. For instance, I am a very loyal consumer of Timex watches. They aren't flashy or fancy. They are basic. But they are cheap, and they work. I'm sold. I see ads for much better watches that look way cooler than my Timex. But I never buy them. The same thing goes with computers. I'm going to get some Japanese made Windows machine forever. This is because the Macbook Pro costs way too much especially when you consider all I do is write blog posts, make crappy art, and surf the internet.

I did some comparison shopping, and your standard issue North Face fleece jacket costs $165. So, I went over to the Patagonia website to see what their prices were for a similar fleece jacket. It was $179. Then, I went to Lands' End. I couldn't find a fleece jacket that was identical, so I just went with the most expensive one they offered. It was $79.50. LL Bean's jacket was $55.20. Columbia's jacket was $180. Walmart offers a camo fleece jacket for $75. Or you can shell out $20 for some no brand jacket that accomplishes the same job. This is because fleece is dirt cheap. The same material that is in the cheapie Walmart jacket is virtually identical to the same shit in a name brand jacket.

The reason you see such price differences for the same product is because of branding and targeted demographics. With the North Face, you could see where some climber taking on Denali might care about having quality gear. But why does a schoolkid care about having a North Face jacket? It is for the same reason that peacocks grow those outrageous tails that would make them chicken dinner in the wild. They can afford to blow it.

I'd like to say adults are immune to this, but they aren't. I routinely see snooty housewives wearing those North Face jackets while driving big ass SUVs with a Mercedes emblem on them. I know they aren't mountain climbing or hitting the 4WD switch in the SUV. These are the new status symbols while in a different time it would be a Mercedes sedan and a fur coat. The most nauseating thing I saw was the mother-daughter combo wearing their respective North Face jackets.

The hip hop gang gets in on the act as well. North Face is joining other luxury brands as something for rappers to exploit. It is for this reason that I no longer care to wear anything made by Nike or Timberland. North Face will join the same pile of clown wear.

The NFH is palpable especially among hipsters. The backlash against the brand inspired a parody brand called the "South Butt" that enraged the North Face prompting them to file a lawsuit against the South Butt. The two companies made a settlement, and the South Butt is now off the market. I'm not sure what the North Face was afraid of, but they clearly didn't want their coolness factor threatened with the parody. I also see no difference in the products. That whole episode shows the absurdity of the whole branding phenomenon.

Many companies today are nothing but a brand. The manufacturing is outsourced overseas while the product design and marketing happens back here in the states. The irony of it all is that most of it is identical, overpriced, and worn by people who are only outdoors during the walk between their cars and the front doors of their homes, workplaces, or whatever shop they are going into.

When I see brands, I ask myself what the story is behind that brand. I picked this wisdom up from Seth Godin, the high priest of marketing. Basically, a brand tells a story which is why people buy that brand. They want the brand that best reflects who they are. Hipsters are no different than North Face yuppie scum in this regard as the hipsters opt for Dickies workpants, trucker's hats, and Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. The hipsters want to tell a different story about themselves. The irony is that others latch on to this hipster trendsetting which gives birth to brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, and others where people buy jeans that are already fucked up.

I find myself in the middle of these two groups. I have a certain hipster fondness for Carhartt and Dickies, but I also like New Balance and Under Armour. I have two fleece jackets. One is made by Izod and cost $100. The other is a generic item from Walmart that cost less than $20. Both were gifts, and I wear the cheap one more than the expensive one. I find the cheap one feels better because it isn't as heavy which is great for the walk from the car to the front door of wherever. I don't really like either one of them, but I am too cheap to replace them. The bottom line is that I'm not out to tell a story with what I wear. I just want value for the dollar which is what a good brand should be about.

As far as the actual North Face gear goes, it seems to get high marks from the outdoor crowd who actually use the stuff for climbing, hiking, camping, and trail running. I'm not into those activities, so I don't need to buy that gear. But when those people wear North Face apparel, they tell a different story than the SUV driving snobby mom at the mall drinking her Starbucks. You will notice that similar brands like Patagonia, Columbia, and Mountain Hard Wear don't engage in that same storytelling. One day, the North Face will lose that story, and people will shun that brand. Even the diehards will drop it because wearing that gear will be seen as embarrassing. The brand may be resurrected by some future hipsters in much the same way that Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers stay in production. Or it may just disappear. Not all stories have happy endings. The way the North Face story is going, it won't have a happy ending either.



Wilderness chic

The South Butt


Bye Bye 2011

Bye Bye 2011.

A year that had earthquakes, had me out scoured, and
having to move, a year that has seen a family member
being in hospital, a year where all sorts of people
called me all sorts of names, just for having an opinion,
a year that I would rather forget except for a nice wee
time in the middle of it.

Here's hoping that 2012 will be a lot better for all
of us.

Time well tell.

Funny Intro Video From Miami Heat

This is really funny because of poor acting. I wonder why Miami Heat do this yearly, if you can remember last year the big three was presented on the stage with all the smoke and promises of multiple championship.

Yesterday's LC-pyramid

LC 2x20kg: 7,14,39,31,21,14,14 (sum 140 reps, 7rpm)

Having some aches and pains I decided to use the 20kg bells.
The pyramid is calculated from a 70rep max.

I also combined this one with "time pyramide" or what Kuzmin calls "The Timed Load Methods" (Kettlebell Sport: Iron Sport for Iron Men, pp 16-7).  I.e. the first set is 10 % of max, and 10% of a 10min set (=1minute). Next set is 2min at 7rpm, the third and fourth sets are 5, and 4 minutes respectively but I speeded up the rpm a bit. Set 5,6, and 7 were back to 7rpm. Kuzmin, notably, does not use the aforementioned numbers; his percentages result in a higher total volume than I can handle.

Emotional Landscapes

Pamela and Patria, Ride Studio Cafe Women's Ride
Two days after struggling through a hill training ride last week, I found myself on the bike again - doing what ended up being a 52 mile ride counting my trip there and back. 50 miles seems to be the magic number at the moment: shorter than that and I am left feeling regretful; longer than that and I become more aware of the difference between myself and the stronger riders I am with. Interestingly, I have not gone on a proper ride on my own for over a month: I've met so many cyclists to ride with lately, that I am always with someone. Among the benefits of this is discovering local roads that I've never ridden before - and noticing what an enormous role landscape plays in how subjectively easy or difficult a ride feels. 

Riding with the Ride Studio Cafe women last week, we did a loop that on the map appeared near-identical to a route I usually do alone, only along the back roads. The landscape, bathed in the ethereal late-December light, was so stunning that I did not notice the miles or the hills. Where were we? These hardly looked like the tired suburbs I had become so familiar with. Here moss-covered trees grew out of green bogs under cerulean skies. Sleepy farms peaked out coyly from the mist. The remains of frost on dried grass turned meadows into expanses of delicate lace. The sun shone through black, leafless branches, casting high-contrast shadows upon the road. We rode under canopies of fragrant pine trees, which then opened up to reveal enchanted vistas. Climbing one particular hill, I felt such a surge of emotion from the surrounding beauty, that I could not help but go faster. The desire to reach the top and see what more awaited there, made the bike feel weightless.

Roadcycling for me is not about suffering. It is about this emotional connection. Somehow the feel of being on the bike, the sensation of speed, and even the pain in my legs become associated with the reward of seeing an affecting landscape. Once it forms, the association is difficult to break, and it makes cycling addictive - apparently not just for me. Some of my riding partners are experienced racers and randonneurs, and when I listen to them describe rides I notice that they rarely speak of difficulty or pain. Words such as "epic" and "sufferfest" are simply not in their vocabulary. It's not because they don't feel pain and exhaustion, but because they do not consider these sensations to be the point. It's about fulfillment through a visceral connection with one's surroundings. The rest is not important.

Mark Lowe on Living the Minimalist Lifestyle

I get caught up in the consumer hype of spending and buying. I feel somewhat obligated to buy things for others to show them that I appreciate them. A bit ridiculous for sure.

The other thing I struggle with in a big way in my form of minimalist living is trying to not feel like a failure for what I have accomplished thus far in my life and for how much money I make.

I make enough to pay my bills and contribute nicely for my retirement. But when around my girlfriend’s circle of friends I feel very inadequate. They all make very, very good money and are successful. They have successful businesses and some have won awards. They like to go out and eat at nice restaurants and travel and that is fine . It is just a bit hard to not feel inadequate. Don’t get me wrong. They are very nice people.

Last night the men were talking about looking at 200.00$ dress shirts. Ha. All my shirts together might not equal 200.00$. So I don’t have a lot to contribute to the conversation.

And I hate that inevitable question of, “So what do you do?”. Well I work in a factory and really am a replaceable drone. I make a lot less than a new college graduate. About 35000.00$ a year. Most people would wonder how someone can live on that much money. Minimalist living is how. And it is something I believe in.

Is Minimalist Living Hard?

Mark Lowe speaks from the heart on this. I have to wonder what sort of profession requires a $200 shirt. I don't know what the Canadian exchange rate is to the US dollar, but it sounds like a lot of dough to me. I might spend $200 on a Carharrt jacket, but I never spend more than 20 bucks for a shirt.

For me, the hardest part of being a minimalist is the discipline that it takes. With so much abundance and a cushion of savings, you get a bit liberal with the pocketbook. It is easy to be minimalist when you are broke but a bit harder when you are flush.

For Mark, it becomes an issue of status. I don't have the same issue as status was something I rejected long ago back in high school. This is more of a blue collar thing than a minimalist thing. I would learn later that my working parents had more money than they showed while all my "rich" friends had parents swimming in debt. I learned that not all wealth is authentic, and appearances can be deceiving. I've met some real millionaires in my life, and I have always been impressed by how little they regarded the opinions of others or how inconspicuous their consumption was. One millionaire had cows in his backyard and drove a Ford pickup.

Authentic wealth comes from hard work and deferred consumption. Guys buying $200 shirts are not deferring consumption. So, who lives like this? The only people I know who live like this work in white collar jobs usually involving financial services. It reminds me of banker Raymond Peepgass from Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full who rakes Charlie Croker over the coals for his inability to pay off his half a billion in debts to the bank. Meanwhile, Peepgass struggles to live on his $130K a year salary as he has maxed out numerous credit cards. Peepgass is a loathsome creature exulting in degrading Croker while he himself cannot manage his own more modest finances.

People familiar with Tom Wolfe will know that he bases his characters on real people. I have known and met people like Peepgass. They make a good deal of money, but they spend a good deal of money as well. Millionaire celebrity athletes are the same except they carry the excess to the next power. The result is the same. They end in financial ruin.

Why do people do this? They do this because they are enslaved to the opinions of other people. It isn't enough to be successful. You must show that you are successful. This is the crux of the issue between minimalists and maximalists. Maximalism is all about the appearance. Minimalism is all about the reality. Even Steve Jobs who was a billionaire was bewildered by the conspicuous consumption of his subordinates at Apple. The irony is that they probably lived in bigger houses and drove flashier cars than the boss.

Right now, I have money. I am able to pay my bills, and my disposable income is way larger than my appetite. I have no debt. This is all because of minimalism. I am always running out of time, but I don't worry about money. This is because I only spend for myself not for the sake of impressing other people. I don't have status. I revel in my anti-status.

I could change all this if I wanted to. I merely need to get a job in financial services and fuck people over for a living. I even had a girlfriend who begged me to do this. Even she did not have the moral vacuum necessary to do this, but she wanted me to have it in order to cash in. No thanks. Being happy is more important than making dishonest money. If I don't create value, a big paycheck is no substitute. I dumped that bitch.

If I could give some advice to Mark, it would be to select a better group of friends. All my friends are blue collar like me. They are real and authentic. Even the ones who make a lot of money relative to me still keep it real and humble. And this also explains those millionaires who drive pickup trucks. My friends have authenticity. They are real. What you see is what you get. Anyone who wears a $200 shirt is an inferior in my book.

Panel on The Impact of Sports Collective Bargaining on Labor Relations in Society

While perusing the program for the upcoming American Economic Association annual meeting (Jan. 6-8) in Chicago, I noticed an interesting panel devoted to sports collective bargaining. Details are below:

The Impact of Sports Collective Bargaining on Labor Relations in Society (Workshop)
(J1) (Panel Discussion)

Panel Moderator: Gabriel Gershenfeld, Cleveland Indians, and Michael Wasser (American Rights at Work)
DeMaurice Smith (NFL Players Association) Sports Collective Bargaining: Sports Labor Perspective
Rob Manfred (Major League Baseball) Sports Collective Bargaining: Sports Management Perspective
Arlene Holt-Baker (AFL-CIO) Impact of Sports Collective Bargaining on Labor in America
Martin Mulloy (Ford Motor Company) Impact of Sports Collective Bargaining on Management in America

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bachelorhood in the Post-Love Era

I hate to blow your whole new story, but I was married, so I gave it a shot.


Long time readers of the C-blog know about my opinions about love being bullshit and my admiration for perma-bachelor George Clooney. I don't know the full extent of Clooney's thinking on these things, but I see a logic behind his lifestyle. The conventional wisdom is that Clooney is some sort of man-boy who can't quite grow up and commit to marriage. This is simply horseshit. The reason I know it is horseshit is because I get the same criticism.

If you watch Clooney's move Up in the Air, you get a clue about the guy. He didn't write the movie, but he clearly picked the movie and the role that mirrors his own life. Now, here's your warning. Spoilers are ahead. Stop reading if you want to go watch the movie unspoiled. Clooney plays this unattached bachelor living a swinging lifestyle until he meets a lady much like himself. Clooney resists any sort of deep relationships for obvious reasons, but he thinks he might be making a mistake with letting this one go. So, he decides to surprise her by going to her home and doing one of those Romeo moves women gush about in romantic movies. When he goes there, he is shocked and stunned to discover that this woman is actually married with kids. She had lied to him. She wanted a fling probably to alleviate the boredom of her current marriage. Clooney is crushed by the revelation.

That scene from that movie spoke more to me than just about anything I've seen Clooney do. I think this is why Clooney chose this movie. The character mirrors Clooney, and the choices are the same. Should you choose to be the swinging unattached bachelor? Should you choose to be the cuckolded husband who has no clue that he is married to a wanton slut? Or should you choose to be a cheater who tries to have the best of both worlds?

Clooney was married once to Talia Balsam, and I don't know the reason for the breakup. They divorced for "irreconcilable differences." There may have been adultery. I don't know. But that one marriage was enough for Clooney to swear off doing it ever again. What followed was a string of relationships that continue until the present day with mostly airheaded forgettable bimbos. The only honorable mention goes to Renee Zellweger who seems to have had something more going for her other than being attached to Clooney.

Clooney's latest role is as a cuckolded husband in The Descendants which shows Clooney exploring what an alternative life of non-bachelorhood would have been like. I haven't seen it yet, but you can see Clooney going back to that same territory again. But there is one thing you have to dispel from your mind. It is the idea that Clooney is a man-boy. I just don't see it.

My personal opinion of Clooney is that he is just like me on these subjects. He is a deep guy, but he is simply bewildered by the shitty options in front of him. He knows that love is bullshit, so he does not get married. He chooses forgettable bimbos that he can dispose of when they get antsy and want that deeper but ultimately meaningless commitment. He plays the role of the debauched bachelor, but his acting work shows that this is merely a front.

Clooney has lots of friends, and people say he is a great guy. He has made choices that have cost him purely for the sake of integrity, so he isn't shallow. Plus, he is friends with Sandra Bullock. That friendship is the oddest thing in Clooney's life because they seem like such a natural couple and both have been single at the same time. Yet, nothing ever happens. They appear to have a deep but platonic relationship. The fact that Bullock would marry the likes of Jesse James shows that she isn't the one refusing to take things to the next level with Clooney. Clooney clearly is the one who keeps things this way.

I have relationships like this. There are women in my life who I consider to be awesome friends. My relationships with them have even caused them grief with their current men. But I don't sleep with them. The only physical contact I have with them is a hug. That's it. That's all I want it to be. And why is this? Because I know that friends shouldn't have sex with friends. It doesn't work. In this wisdom is an epiphany. Sex and friendship are exclusive things. They cannot be mingled.

I think this is why people are so devastated by love. The problem comes from unrealistic expectations. We want to be friends with the ones we are sleeping with. This isn't possible. Trust me, I have tried. I've tried being friends with the women I have dated, and it never happened. I have tried to turn female friends into girlfriends. This was also a disaster. I once had a female friend who came out of nowhere and put me in a liplock. I was surprised and intrigued, but I shot her down shortly after that. I had related to her for so long as a friend that I couldn't shift gears like this. Her response was to drop me as a friend, find some other guy, and promptly get married. It is 20 years later, and she is still married to that guy as far as I know. I think this is great.

I have no problem with meaningless one night stands or platonic relationships. Neither cause me emotional distress. It is those relationships that attempt to straddle this divide that have left me embittered and jaded. The answer to this dilemma is to stop trying to mix the two. Sex and friendship don't mix.

I have talked to many people about their arrangements in this area, and it all comes down to this sex/friendship thing. You have the "fuck buddy" phenomenon where you have a man and a woman say they are "just friends." But they aren't friends at all. They are merely an extended one night stand. Then, there are sexless marriages, open marriages, and the rest. What makes all this work? The divorce between sex and friendship.

My last relationship ended on this stunning realization. I realized that the woman I had been with for three years was not my friend. I have to admit that I felt a bit devastated over this. But it was my own fault for thinking such an arrangement could ever work. It never works.

Plato said that the truest love was friendship, and this is where we derive the "platonic" in the platonic relationship. Where sex is the love between two bodies, friendship is the love between two minds. Once those two things are established and separated, you experience some real peace for the first time. This is where I am at now.

I separate women into two categories now. There are the platonic relationships, and there are simply the physical relationships. I will never ever attempt to mix those two ever again. Love is that lie that you can sleep with your friend. The successful bachelor will try and keep his female friends as just friends while satisfying his urges with women who are preferably dumb and blonde.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sporting Moment of 2011

If the New Zealand Sporting Journalistic community
had any integrity at all, the team pictured would win
the Halberg for sporting team of the year. I doubt if
they will even be nominated though.

The New Zealand men's Basketball team, (aka
the Tall Blacks) did the impossible and they won
The Stankovic Cup, by defeating powerhouse,
Russia. Along the way they beat the powerhouse
of Asian Basketball, China and the top African
team, Angola.

How a little tiny Island Nation did this, is beyond belief,
and is truly historical, this was up their with the Tall
Blacks finishing fourth at the world champs in 2002
and beating Serbia at the Olympics in 2004.

Alas though, the award will go to a team who plays
a minority sport, this because of the power of the
incestuous New Zealand sports media, that sport will win hands

But the Tall Blacks have bigger things on their mind,
a spot at the 2012 Olympics and a further place
in Basketball History.

Here's hoping the New Zealand media will join them
in their quest, but I anit holding my breath.

Lawson, Nuggets cruise by defenseless Mavs 115-93

Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets opened their season with a performance that sent a clear message to the rest of the NBA.

The reigning champions have quickly become a team everyone wants to play. There’s no telling which is worse right now, their offense or defense, their conditioning or chemistry, as they were drubbed for a second straight game, losing 115-93 to the Nuggets on Monday night.

Jason Kidd scored 12 points, Carter scored 11 and Rodrigue Beaubois scored 10. Aside from Nowitzki and Kidd, the other three starters (Marion, Brendan Haywood and West) scored a combined 11 points.

Kings open season with 100-91 win over Lakers; Lakers 0-2

Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and the Kings beat the Lakers at home for the first time in more than three years, 100-91 on Monday night.

The Kings took a 49-40 halftime lead, holding the Lakers to 36.4 percent shooting including an uncharacteristic 4-for-13 performance from Bryant.

Sacramento even had success matching 5-foot-9 rookie Isaiah Thomas on Bryant on a few possessions in the second quarter despite a 9-inch height disadvantage. After missing a turnaround jumper over the shorter Thomas, Bryant could only manage to chuckle on his way back down the court.

Battle Hill XC Fun!

Today I hitched a lift with Rachael and Louisa to Battle Hill to go to the practice day. I was able to catch up with Kim and Reilly while I was there which was awesome! You would never know that Reilly had scared us all half to death only a couple of weeks ago with a nasty fall in the paddock which resulted in a very sore boy with a stake hole in his chest - the hole is completely healed (I had to hunt hard to actually find where it even was!) and he was absolutely loving his day out on the XC. Louisa also had Danny and Syd (Syd playing Schoolmaster for the day as Danny is only very freshly under saddle and it was his very first outing in public) and both horses equipped themselves wonderfully. It was a great day out and even the small overheating incident on the way home could not dampen everyone's enthusiasm.

When is the next outing folks?, I am keen! Will have to get on a horse myself one of these days too I s'pose!

Here are some of my favourite pix from today:

Reilly goes BOING!
Reilly and the Rolltop
Reilly - Out of the water
 Getting Syd ready
 Syd and Danny strolling
 Syd over the rolltop
 Danny's first jump
 Syd and the log

 Be careful now Syd
 Danny being so brave
 Yehar Danny!
 Danny - Now we're talkin'

 Syd and Rachael flying

 Water babies
 Reilly working on his XC canter

 Reilly over the raised log
 Reilly through the water
 Banks are no trouble for Reilly
 Reilly - Through the stockyards


Reilly and Kim on the bank complex:

Sorry Rachael ...