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Owen Swart
Come geek with me!
Come geek with me!

Owen's posts

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I've been working out twice a week so far, and I'm starting to think it's holding me back. This article supports that thought.

The twice-weekly schedule is a legacy of the time, a couple of years ago, when I was doing the bare minimum as a step in the right direction: Rather too little of a good thing than none at all. At least that was my thinking at the time.

I think I was right, though, at the time. It gave me the opportunity to establish a habit of going regularly, and to tweak the distraction techniques that allow me to finish a workout without getting bored. Both of which are critical components to a workout routine, for someone who hates exercise as much as I do.

The issue now is timing. I do my gym sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays, my days off work. Assuming I want to stick to that (and it's the most practical solution), incorporating a 1-day recovery period after any workout before the next one, that leaves the weekend as the only place I can slot in a third weekly session.

Weekends are tricky though. I work a full day on Saturday, and half day on Sunday. And by the end of my Sunday shift I'm usually desperate to spend some time with my partner, eating something other than toasted sandwiches, or just having a nap.

What I can probably do is try to squeeze in a shorter, 1-hour session at some point during the weekend. Whether that means sneaking out of work during a quiet session, or pushing it for one more hour before settling in on a Sunday afternoon. It would need to be quicker than normal: No cycling, shorter weights session.

That does mean I may not always get my third weekly session. That being the case, I don't want to split up my two existing days and risk not getting through everything.

So my plan is this: stick to my existing routine of two weekly push days, with a third maintenance day that may not happen. I hope that'll allow the relatively flat gains-curve I've seen take a bit of an up-swing. 

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I try to avoid shaking hands with people, because that's how you spread disease.

Tonight I'm happy to indulge all the shake-insistors, cos they're going to catch my disease. Serves them right. 

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I haven't read the Runaways series itself, only a couple of the later series where some of the characters ended up (Avengers Arena and the other one that came after that, whatever it was called). It was okay... but it was no Teen Titans.

Based on the description of this series, I'm already cringing. The fact that the article uses the terms "diverse" and "social justice warrior" unironically tells us an awful lot about the ideological place the show creators are coming from.

Combined with the fact that it's clearly aimed at teenagers means I'm not the target audience. Which is cool, except that I can't bear to skip anything set in the MCU.

Perhaps the creators will be merciful have have this series set in its own universe, and then I can just skip it.
"Marvel's Runaways" finds its cast! Meet the six stars:

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Here's the problem with private "armed response" companies in South Africa: They're little more than a protection racket.

A protection racket is when a gang approaches citizens or business owners in an area, demanding a fee for "protection". That gang then either refrains from targeting those citizens for crimes themselves, or make it known to other criminals operating in the area to steer clear of those citizens 'or else'.

Protection rackets are a crime because they amount to either intimidation (as in "Pay us or we'll do crime on you") or extortion ("Pay us or we'll let those other guys do crime on you").

I don't think that most armed response companies in SA fit the former definition (the intimidation one). There may be some, but I'm prepared to be charitable and assume that none of those operate in my area. But explain to me how a private security company offering domestic or commercial armed response services differs from the second kind (the extortion one).

If you pay their demanded tribute, they'll give you a sign to hang on your gate which tells all the criminals in your neighbourhood to avoid your house, and to target one of the non-compliant houses instead. It also serves as a signal to their patrol vehicles that drive up and down the streets, so they know that if they see something suspicious happening on a non-compliant property, to just drive on by and not get involved.

How exactly do these guys get away with running what is, in essence, an illegal operation?

And that's assuming that they do what they claim to do, which is to intervene when a crime is underway at your home, stopping the crime, and either protecting you, or seeing to it that the criminals are brought to justice. Problem is, that's not what they do.

This one is purely anecdotal, but I can't think of a single example I've ever heard of where someone was a victim of a crime (either burglary or robbery), where the armed response people actually stopped or prevented it from taking place.

That's not to say they do nothing at all. I've heard plenty of stories of them assisting with mopping up afterwards: Ensuring emergency services are called, monitoring the scene until they arrive and even doing things like freeing hostages after the robbers have left the scene. Those are useful things to have, sure. But how do those things protect you from the crime itself? How does showing up 20 minutes after the crime is over (despite having a patrol vehicle no further than 2 minutes' drive away at all times) help stop the crime?

So I'm getting pretty impatient with people who tell me that I have to sign up with the local armed response company. I have no interest in supporting an enterprise that's ineffective at best, and outright criminal at worst.

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I have a cold this week, but I really don't want to upset my training routine. I've already taken one day off this week, and I don't want to miss another.

This article seems to sum up the consensus of the reading I've done on the matter. I'm up to giving it a go tomorrow.

I'm still nervous about my asthma. Whenever I catch a cold it triggers asthma symptoms, and this time is no exception. I'm trying this time to manage my symptoms without medication, and so far I've been able to stick to that. I do have my rescue inhaler if I need it, but I'll skip the cycling and cardio to be on the safe side. 

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