Easily my favorite Chicago song. A song about how hard it is to write a song.

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Sometimes I feel like an old man. Besides, my issues with Crohn’s disease (which I’ve mentioned before on my blog), I have quite a few nagging injuries that aren’t very visible to those who know me. They include:

- A herniated disk from a weightlifting injury (455 pound box squat plus light bands for resistance) six years ago when I was pushing myself too hard to recover strength after a stomach surgery. Another lesson learned the hard way.

- A left knee that bothers me from time to time which I hurt in college while landing wrong in a game of basketball.

- Ulnar nerve issues on both arms that worsen based on the amount of office work I do.

- Some minor carpal tunnel issues from the same office work. This one isn’t too bad and is mostly dependent on the ulnar nerve issues above.

The back injury is by far the worst as it affects practically everything else. When it is at its worst, I’ll put my body in compromising positions to take pressure off my back which in turn injures something else.

The problem with all these injuries (back especially), is that it prevents me from doing quite a few things I used to love to do. I no longer powerlift as I once did (I do try to lift weights with some regularity and limited exercise selection though). I don’t run or play basketball as often as I would like either.

Needless to say, I’ve found it harder to stay in the shape I would like to be in.

However, I recently discovered DDP Yoga while listening to Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast. The exercise program was created by Diamond Dallas Page, former pro wrestler (I was a big fan of him back in the WCW days).

I didn’t think much of DDP YOGA the first few times it was mentioned. However, I learned that he had started doing yoga after suffering a back injury worse than mine and that the program in many ways was designed for people with a lot of my problems. After a couple weeks of debating, I bought the program.

http://ddpyoga.com/

I’ve been doing this consistently for about a month with my wife, and I have to say that I’ve been pleasantly surprised. I can see some noticeable changes in the mirror and feel stronger when lifting weights (I still do one full body day a week). Most importantly, my low back pain and my knee pain has decreased.

Yes, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid.

I actually look forward to working out again as I’m thinking more about the things I can try to do next rather than being depressed about all the things I can no longer do or the amount of weight I can no longer lift.

If you struggle with nagging health issues or just with motivation to stick to some sort of program, I suggest you give it a try.

Check out this guy’s inspiring story who couldn’t even walk before he started DDP Yoga.



And this is what DDP once looked like back in his heyday. Definitely one of my favorites and grossly underrated.



Self high five!

My three favorite tracks from the album. I love those raw sound on the earlier releases.

Rock and Roll Damnation (live)


Gimme a Bullet


Sin City (live)

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My favorite album by one of the best thrash/metal bands of all time.

Only


Black Lodge


Room for One More


Potters Field


This is Not an Exit

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There’s an odd question that people ask each other every so often . . . Would you rather be blind or deaf?

Almost every person says without hesitation that they would rather be deaf. They don’t want to miss out on seeing their kids grow up, seeing their spouse grow old, watching the world change around them, and so on.

I can understand and agree with all of these things.

If I was blind, I wouldn’t be able to play sports with my kids, read to them, help them with their schoolwork as easily, drive them around, play board games or cards, build things with them ,and so on. I wouldn’t be able to do a lot of things with my wife that we enjoy as well. And being blind would put a much greater burden on her than if I was deaf.

However, if I could be completely selfish, I think I would probably choose to be blind rather than deaf. I know that’s a pretty odd thing for a writer to say since it would make that part of my life extremely difficult to continue.

But, without my hearing I’d no longer be able to listen to music. It might not sound like a big thing to some but music has always been a huge part of my life. I have memories from when I was just a couple years old listening to records with my mom or my grandma. No matter how lonely or depressed I’ve felt, no matter how angry I’ve been, or whatever, music has always been there for me. The thought of not being able to hear one my favorite songs when I absolutely need to makes me a bit nauseous.

Besides the music thing, there is something to be said about hearing a person’s voice, their laugh, and even their cry.

Although I might be in the minority in my odd choice, I’m not alone. Helen Keller said in an interview that if she had a choice to have only one back (she lost both her sight and hearing before her 2nd birthday), she said she would rather her hearing was restored than her sight as the silence was extremely lonely.

“Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” ― Helen Keller

Any other thoughts?

I am a huge AIC fan, and yet, I just got around to buying this album. For some reason I can’t explain, it kept slipping my mind. I know, I suck.

This album is just absolutely awesome. Layne’s vocals are top notch and Mike’s guitar work is killer. Now, I’m angry I’ve lost years of listening to this. Argh!

River of Deceit (the single)


Wake Up (Live)


I’m Above (Live)

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As a child of the 80s, I grew up a big Schwarzenegger fan. I watched his movies over and over again (and still do today). As a result, I’ve developed quite a few favorites. I will freely admit that this list is not necessarily his best films, but instead the ones I enjoy the most.

One of my biggest criteria is how easy it is to quote the movie. And all Arnold movies are full of gems.

As a warning, the clips are NSFW due to language. Also, it was as struggle to find clips for some movies so that’s why they might not be from the better scenes in the film.

10. Running Man
A terribly cheesy movie, but Arnold can somehow make it entertaining.

9. Twins
Very underrated comedy. How is it possible to dislike anything with DeVito?


8. Kindergarden Cop


7. Pumping Iron
Part documentary/part movie, this is a must have for any Arnold fan and/or any bodybuilding fan.


6. True lies
The movie not only has the one liners, as did his 80’s movies, but it also benefits from better supporting star power and a higher budget than Arnold’s earlier films.


5. Conan the Destroyer
Yes, this movie pales in comparison to Conan the Barbarian. However, it came on ALL THE TIME when I was a kid, and I’ve grown to overlook its shortcomings (i.e. Wilt Chamberlin’s acting).


4. Predator
Never in the history of cinema has a movie been made with more testosterone than this one.


3. Terminator 2
One of the best action movies ever.


2. Commando
I absolutely love this movie. Practically every line of dialogue is a one-liner. So quotable.


1. Conan the Barbarian
Dark tone. Great bad guy. Great supporting characters (including a strong female lead). Memorable bits of dialogue (“What is good in life?”). Awesome fight scenes. One of my favorite movie scores of all time. Arnold making you believe he is Conan. What’s not to like?


So where did I go wrong? What are your favorites?

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