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Everything posted by realitycheck44

  1. Don't shutdown the forum!

    This is terrible news. I don't post very often anymore so I guess I'm as much to blame as anyone, but I sure will miss this place and the friends I've made over the years. I don't use Facebook or other social media sites*, so this was the one little corner of the internet where I could discuss ideas with like-minded people. *Aside from a skiing forum. Which, interestingly enough, seems to have plenty of posters and activity. It even has a political subforum that is very active (which I avoid entirely). Anyway, it's a real shame this place fell by the wayside.
  2. Bad, bad, bad writing

    ^^Funny. It'd be nice to know whether each sentence or paragraph is by a single student.
  3. The Origin of Rights

    Maybe start by reading the essay by Ayn Rand that addresses the subject? It's called, "Man's Rights" (kind of a dead giveaway.) Also try:
  4. Happy Birthday Betsy Speicher

    Happy Birthday, Betsy! Thanks so much for all that you do.
  5. My Knee Surgery Adventure

    That sounds excellent, Abaco. I'm sure your doctor will tell you that even though you feel strong at 6-8 months post-surgery, that is also the time period during which you are most likely to reinjure it. I had a buddy who felt excellent and decided that playing in our playoff soccer game would be fine. He was wrong and ended up having a second reconstruction. Also: there is quite a debate about autograft vs allograft for ACL reconstruction. Each surgeon generally has an approach they use and recommend. Personally, I have concluded that a good outcome depends more on the surgeon than which technique he/she uses. The other vital step is finding a physical therpist who really knows their craft. Surgeons sometimes give good recommendations, but (in my experience) sometimes they are a bit out of the loop on the best physical therapists (particularly for athletes). Don't hesitate to "shop around" if you think you may not be getting the care you require. A final note on this topic: the "online presence" of any doctor/surgeon is unrelated to their skill as a doctor/surgeon. I have heard of marketing firms specializing in Search Engine Optimization specifically for doctors (to improve their online presence in search engine lists, i.e., Google). Some excellent surgeons have fancy websites with tons of facts, etc; others are basically unlisted. Just a heads up because it took me a while to figure this one out. PS. Apologies for the long, semi-rambly post.
  6. Teaching my son

    Another method that I've found particularly effective* is talking to him about his grades. If he works hard and gets an "A," does he think that someone who doesn't work as hard should get an "A" also? Some people are naturally gifted, and don't have to work as hard to get an "A." But they still deserve it. This makes more sense to me than your complicated scheme. Unless you plan on giving that money to his friends who don't earn as good grades as he does. The other method that is extremely effective, particularly for intelligent children, is to ask him why he thinks something. Next time he says "Dad, there's Obama!" ask him what he thinks about Obama, and then ask him to back up his argument with specific examples. If you do this correctly, he'll be forced to confront the holes in his thinking and re-evaluate it. And he'll learn a good lesson in being challenge to provide evidence for an opinion. Just my $0.02. *I don't have kids, but I found it very effective on my classmates when I was younger.
  7. Rachmaninoff Biography

    Quoting myself and bumping this thread because the Seattle symphony is hosting a Rachmaninoff "Festival" the first week of January!!! They're playing Piano Concertos 1 and 2 on Thursday (Jan 3) and Piano Concertos 3 and 4 on Saturday (Jan 5). I've been waiting...hoping for someone to play Concerto No 2 since I first heard it. I've seen the Third played four times now (2x in Seattle and 2x in NYC -- this past time (in Seattle) was the best), but they NEVER play the 2nd. I usually make a 'series' (3 performances), so I paired them with Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D Major. I'm ecstatic!
  8. Mobility WOD blog

    I've been dealing with my fair share of injuries—four surgies in the past three years (and looking at a fifth), starting with a misdiagnosed hip injury that I played soccer, skied, and climbed on for 4 years before anyone bothered to inform me it might be more than a groin pull (boys don't cry, right?). After dealing with tons of compensation issues, I'm finally better. But I somehow expect that I can sit at a desk for 16-20 hours a day and then do things like climb at a semi-elite level and jump off 50 foot cliffs on skis. Anyway, I stumbled across this awesome website called mobility WOD (Workout Of the Day). It's an excellent resource for people like me who want to regain range of motion and avoid compensation issues in general. I used the "voodoo floss band" on my knee to astounding results. Here's the first episode. This is my favourite MOB, though. I've never found a physical therapist with whom I more agree about body mechanics or from whom I've learned as much as I have from that site. Hope this helps somebody here find a way to get their back, knee, ankle, etc in working order again.
  9. Mobility WOD blog

    Most of my injuries are as a result of pushing the boundaries of sports. Knee was an under-rotated front flip of a 30 foot cliff. Collarbone reconstruction was a misjudged jump. The current wrist injury was a binding pre-release going about 60 mph. The finger was a result of pushing my limits in the climbing gym. You may say these are stupid things to do, but I don't think they're a result of duplication. I make mistakes, but I think my lifestyle is sustainable, at least for 10-20 more years. I went through a bad few years, but I'm learning from it. I sleep more and take many more rest days than I did when I was younger. My workouts have changed from 3-4 times a week of low intensity to one time a week to 1.5 weeks of high-intensity work. I eat 300-500 calories every 3-5 hours.I'll read the book you offered. Thanks for the suggestion! Frankly, my personal experience make it difficult for me to believe the argument that the limiting factor is getting the liver to process the toxins and not getting bloodflow to the injured tendons/ligaments. Otherwise, all tendons and ligaments would heal at the same rate. But I'll definitely read the book and think about it. As always, thanks for your time.
  10. Mobility WOD blog

    This is what I mean by cold-water immersion therapy. It is a very different technique and purpose than icing (cryotherapy), which reduces inflammation. This technique doesn't work for everything, but I think it's patently false to say that there is nothing one can do to speed up recovery of tendons or ligaments.
  11. Mobility WOD blog

    Somehow, I missed this post by Ray. Also, I don't know how this turned into another thread of "RayK vs. the world." The point of this thread was to focus on the mobility WOD blog, which RayK has not commented on in the least. That blog does NOT (for the most part) advocate "stretching." It advocates mobility and positional control, which is a very different thing. Like Joss said, in my experience, the metabolic and cardio-respiratory system is NOT the limiting factor in healing an injury. Numerous examples in my own life have led me to believe this, regardless of what "research" or "experts" say, yourself included. Like you said in bold, tendons and ligaments are vascularlized, but have generally poor blood flow. My personal experience completely disagrees with your last statement, and I would love if you could back that up. In my opinion, the quickest way to heal an injury (unless it occurs as a result of a muscle imbalance) is to increase blood flow to the area. This way the toxins are carried away faster than they would otherwise be. This is what the "voodoo bands" and cold-water immersion techniques accomplish. In high school, when I was climbing alot on a bum hip, my left forearm got severe tendonitis in the wrist flexor tendons. I rested for years with no appreciable gain in pain relief. Pain was bad enough that pushups, pullups, bench press, etc all seemed to make it flare up. I started working with a CHT from Asia who understood the advantage of deep-tissue frictoin massage and ROLFing. While I understand that the research is still up for debate, I found that this was the only thing that made a difference for me. I've also head good things about eccentric loading, but have never tried it long enough to see if it truly works. Two other examples: A few months ago, I partly tore the extensor hood near the PIP joint of my 3rd phalanx. After waiting quite a while, I noticed no appreciable gains in comfort. I considered seeing a hand surgeon to fix the issue. After reading an excellent blog post by a top climber, I figured I’d give some of his “remedies” a try. After less than a week of trying the deep-friction massage and cold-water immersion techniques, the hand was feeling 75% better and I was back climbing shortly afterwards. Last time I tweaked a tendon on my knee, it was because I climbed Mt. Rainier off the couch (no training) last summer. Not surprising, descending 10,000 vertical feet in one 19 hour day was a bad idea and the knee didn't like it at all. I assumed I wasn't strong enough, and started working out again as soon as the knee could handle it (about a month). I did this with my best understanding of Ray's program. And I could barely walk around day 2-3 and was sore for a full 5-6 days afterwards, so I assume the intensity was about as high as I could get it. The knee started acting up again in April while skiing in 15" of new snow at 33* (basically, skiing in wet cement). This time, I tried deep-friction massage for the tissue and cold-water immersion. Those helped quite a bit, but doing the cold-water immersion for the knee is a pain. I was able to return to lifting and soccer, but I still get some pain hiking downhill. So I tried the “Voodoo floss bands” from the MWOD website. That seems to really help, more than anything else I’ve tried. You keep repeating yourself, but I wonder if you actually took a look at the site I linked or whether you’ll actually consider the arguments I’m making here. I don’t expect advice for free, but, then again, I’m not looking for your advice. If you feel like dialoging on these issues, I would be happy to learn from you experience. But I have learned a great deal from my experience in dealing with injuries. I do what works for me.
  12. Study Problems

    I'm starting my sophomore year at a little engineering college starting Monday. This last year went fairly well, but I would like this next year to go better. In an effort to facilitate this, I am setting goals and trying to fix some problems I have. I will attempt to explain some of my problems below, but I should state that I have ordered Edwin Locke's book Study Methods and Motivations. But while I wait for it to arrive, I thought it might be a good idea to first define my problems, and perhaps obtain advice from members of THE FORUM. I. It takes me a very long time to do my work. It can take me two or three times longer than it takes other people to do the same amount of homework. I think this can be broken up into three categories. a. Times when I get distracted. I procrastinate by going online, talking to other people, or just daydreaming. Although I have not been diagnosed, I think I may have a slight form of attention deficit disorder. (But I'm not interested in taking the medication, so let's not go there.) There are times when I really don't want to start an assignment, but there are also times when I just cannot keep myself on task. I think I can fix the first case this year by attempting to recognize when I do not want to complete a task and forcing myself to do it first. But I'm not so sure how to fix the other one. b. Times when I'm doing work that is not due for a few days. For some reason, it can take me hours and hours to do work if it is not due the next day. Psychologically, I cannot force myself to work efficiently unless I'm forced by a deadline. I can spend all weekend in the library, and only accomplish one day's worth of work. I'm not sure how to trick myself into working quicker. I know that I can work more efficiently, but I don't know how to make it happen. I spend a lot of time doing nothing – I’m neither relaxing nor getting homework done. c. It just takes me longer to do things. For instance, although I have always been good at math, I could never do my multiplication tables quickly. In elementary school, we had timed tests on fifty multiplication problems, and I always failed even though I knew how to do the math. Whenever I take a test, I run out of time. Whether it was an in-class essay (timed-write) for a high school AP English class or a college Calculus II test, I never, ever have enough time. This problem is something that I have struggled with for years and years. In high school, I dealt with it because it was just the timed tests that I struggled with. Now that I have so much work to do, it's hard to finish my homework on time, as well as my tests. This is the most difficult of the problems. I would like to solve the other problems first because I think I will see the greatest improvement with less effort, but I would LOVE to learn how to work faster. I was talking about this with my mom when I made the following analogy, and I think it fits: when you first learn how to downhill ski, you learn how to turn. Once you get proficient at turning, you start gaining speed until you eventually learn how to be in complete control with minimal turning. The same is true of thinking. First, you learn how to do (math) methodically. But at some point, it should be possible to be both methodical and fast. I can't seem to ever increase my speed. II. I am very inconsistent. I have been this way in sports, and I was this way last year at school. To illustrate this, I will use examples from sports because I think they are easier to understand. I used to play soccer games when I felt like I owned the field - times when the pace of the game, even the ball, slowed down, but I didn't. The next game, however, I could be completely out of it: no matter how hard I tried, I could not control the ball, my passes would be inaccurate, and people seemed to be running circles around me. Eventually, I went on a streak my senior season (of high school) where I was "on" every game, but I couldn't understand what I did differently. The same thing happens with rock climbing. Sometimes I feel amazing - the route is at my physical limit, but it feels easy and I feel safe. Other times, the same route can feel impossibly difficult and insecure. These days can happen back-to-back. And sometimes it's the first day that I'm out of it, and sometimes it's the second day. Obviously my problem is mental, but I can't figure out what it is or how to fix it. Last year, the same thing happened at school, but on a lengthier time frame. Sometimes (lasting from a day to multiple weeks), I would feel like I was the brightest person in the room and that I could do anything. Other times (for a month or two, even), it seemed like no matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I studied, I wouldn't get the grades I wanted (and thought I was capable of) achieving. The problem is, I truly do not understand the difference in my mental state between when I’m performing well and when I’m not. When I get into slumps, I find it hard to break out because I just get down on myself, but at the same time, it is depressing when no matter how hard you try, you end up with a B or a C, when you think you’re capable of getting an A. So those are the problems, defined for you as best I can right now. Any advice or comments are greatly appreciated. If anything was unclear, please let me know so I can clarify.

    Frankly, the alpinist Mark Twight is one of the most inspiring writers I've ever read. I know he's a fan of Rand, and I think his writing about the process of being the best you can be is superb. There's that quote from Atlas Shrugged where Hugh Akston says "[...] don't make the mistake of thinking that these three pupils of mine are some sort of superhuman creatures. They're something much greater and more astounding than that: they're normal men—a thing the world has never seen." Too often I see people lament their genetic ability rather than making it for it with hard work. I work hard. Twight makes me want to work harder (and smarter). I know they're lengthy, but they are too good to be cut down to a sentence or two: "Talk - Action = Zero." ________________________ "Those who aren't the real thing always find an excuse for their failings when confronted by the real thing. [...] This is a natural consequence of having been told from childhood, "you are a unique snowflake." Well you're not and I'm not. If you weren't given the gift, you can't get the gift so the best you can do - if your goal is important - is work as hard as you possibly can, pay attention every hour of every day and then maybe, maybe if you've done enough and been smart enough you'll emerge from the muck of mediocrity to shine a bit brighter than you shone before. Then, upon reflection you might decide your goal is a bit more important so you'll start paying attention every minute of every hour of every day. You'll find people who are better than you and you'll take an empty cup when you meet them. Their example will destroy or inspire you and if it's the latter you may stay and learn. You might imitate, doing as they do because you've already accepted that you do not know best - if you did you'd be leading the group they were trying to join. Perhaps being exposed to their superior ability will drive you to work harder than you thought possible, or necessary. Maybe you'll overcome your self-imposed (or worse, society-imposed) limitations and shine even more brightly. Wow, you're getting it: positive reinforcement for hard work and suffering. So maybe you give your goal even more significance and you begin cutting away the ideas and the expectations and the people who you believe prevent you from achieving it. Now you become a real selfish prick, and you begin paying attention every second of every minute of every hour of every day, and you sustain your awareness for weeks and months at a time. You no longer think yourself a unique snowflake, you're a steel-edged blade shaped like a snowflake and you're spinning at warp speed. You're the biggest fish in the pond. You're a badass. Now you have options. 1) If you think you haven't yet done enough, and you could do more, you might begin to understand that, the more capable you become, the higher the mountain rises ahead of you. At that moment you may recognize the existence of a legitimately serious group, ahead of you, above you, somewhere you're not. They are silent, implacable, constantly improving and evolving and because they are truly capable they are accessible to those who are genuine. Among them there's no defensiveness, no posturing or pretending, and they aren't interested in anyone else's. Selection for such a group isn't based on physical performance alone. Issues of character and commitment, and discipline and persistence balance physical talent. Because you clawed your way out of the muck, were "up all night, dedicated" and maintained interest for long enough to differentiate yourself from the short-attention-span sporting dilettantes who commonly brush up against this group they might accept you as an apprentice. If you empty your cup your chances are better. If you redouble your efforts your odds improve again." __________________ "Modern man is conditioned to expect instant gratification but any success or triumph realized quickly, with only marginal effort is necessarily shallow. Meaningful achievement takes time, hard work, persistence, patience, proper intent and constant self-awareness. The path to such success is punctuated by failure, consolidation and renewed effort. It is wet with the tears of emotional breakdown. Personal reconstruction is art. Discovering one's self, one's talent and ambition and learning how to express it is a creative process so may not be rushed. What's the hurry? Pressure to succeed according to a particular timeline comes from outside. If the goal is selfish self-improvement there is no schedule, no deadline. One's rate of progress is influenced by the intensity used to address the task. Hard, intelligent work speeds us along the path. Neurotic obsession and compulsion may steepen the trajectory but usually lead to illness and injury. In the end, the process takes as long as it takes -- you can't push the river. We are in it for the long haul."
  14. Mobility WOD blog

    Ray, two comments: 1. I am aware of what you do at Progressive Exercise at this point, and I'm in large agreement with the majority of your posts on the subject and exercise in general. That was an extremely long post above, but you never referenced the site that I linked above or gave an insight into how you personally combat compensation issues associated with injuries. The body is a "system of systems," that does an extremely effective job at covering up for an injury. I could (and did) workout 1x per week for 20 minutes focusing on two-five exercises, but this did NOTHING to help my compensation issues. Static stretching and mobilization efforts are completely different things. How can I get the most out of the leg press if my left hip is constantly on the verge of dislocating (which it was)? Doing the MOB that I linked above helps settle my hip back into the socket where it belongs. Are you suggesting this is a futile effort? Do you believe that, regardless of injuries or lack of mobility/functional positioning, one 20 minute workout is the solution? 2. I wonder what your thoughts on these two articles by Mark Twight, reknown ex-alpine climber and fitness fiend: He was committed to a similar, low-frequency, high-intensity workout regiment, but found that it left much to be desired for the endurance athlete (which is what it takes to climb mountains). Like I said, I have received exceptional benefit from the mobility site. I tweaked a tendon on the medial side of my knee that was being very stubborn to heal. While increased strength certainly helps motor control and is great preventative medicine, using this "voodoo floss band" technique has also been exceptionally helpful. Do you think this problem could have been solved just as quickly with rest and exercise alone? Why?
  15. Mobility WOD blog

    Thanks man. The thesis prize was just icing on the cake!
  16. Mobility WOD blog

    I see now that I misread a friendly suggestion as the idea that this site could only be of value if RayK said so. My apologies.
  17. Study Problems

    Wanted to bump this thread from a while ago, since I had received a significant amount of help and support from the member of this board. Decided it was time to check in, and I wanted to let you all know my progress. Not trying to brag, but I figured you'd want to know: I graduated from Webb last June (just over a year ago) with decent (...okay, good) grades. Senior year was tough. I completed a capstone ship design project (individually designed an entire ship from scratch in a 3-D modelling program) and wrote a thesis. My thesis was almost entirely outside the scope of the curriculum and required learning a few textbooks worth of new material to which I hadn't any exposure, but it's what I wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me. I worked like a slave, 20 hours a day, 7 days a week for almost a year, taking one day off a month (plus two weeks at Christmas). I was in the library when everyone else went to bed and back again before they woke up. It was difficult, but what a difference it makes when it's your idea. The thesis won a prize by the American Bureau of Shipping. I decided to work as an engineer for a bit before going back to graduate school. This winter, I'll apply to MIT, Johns Hopkins, and NTNU (Norwegian Institute of Technology), as well as UW and UMich as "safety schools." I play to study underwater robotics. Still haven't conquered my test-taking issues, but I'm working on it!
  18. Mobility WOD blog

    I appreciate your concern, John. If you derive no gain from the mobility site, then by all means don't use it. I do derive a great benefit from it, and it has taught me a great deal about how to mobilitize my joints without the aid of a physical therapist. Having the world-record holder in the squat explain to me (in a video) how his lack of hip ROM limited his ability to squat effectively and how he is dealing with it is extremely valuable to me. I am happy to discuss the effectiveness of the mobilityWOD site (have you tried the exercises? do they work for you?), but am unwilling to discuss Ray's knowledge or experience without him present.
  19. Mobility WOD blog

    He's welcome to chime in here if he wants. I know enough about my body to know that this is the best help that I've found. The guy who runs the blog is a DPT and has worked with Olympic athletes. I've seen 12 different physical therapist in 3 different states. The best one I've found is one who worked with some Olympic skiers, and I still don't think she was a knowledgeable and informed as the guy running the blog. From my discussions with Ray, he seems to have a different focus in his practice than athletes performing at the elite level (though perhaps I am misinformed). I don't claim to know more than Ray regarding exercise, I just know what works for me. And just getting stronger with one 20 minute workout per week does not address the habitual compensation issues associated with my hip injury.
  20. Recommendations

    Will do, Betsy. Thanks!! Anybody else before I make a trip to Half Price Books? PS: I made Gabriel Allon into a girl in the above post. Oops!
  21. Recommendations

    Okay, bumping this thread. I need something to read. Popular fiction is fine, as long as there's a hero and/or heroine with whom I can identify or fall in love (respectively). I've read everything by Rand, and I'm tired of Hugo and Dostoevsky (for the moment). I've picked out and read almost everything recommended by Miss Rand in Ayn Rand Answers and The Romantic Manifesto, including Quo Vadis, The Scarlet Letter, and Calumet K. I've also read the Sparrowhawk series by Ed Cline and Nobel Vision, as well as the good stuff by Jane Austen and Dumas. I haven't read any of Robert Heinlein, but sci fi isn't really my thing (I'll give it a shot though, so what should I start with?) Some other favorites/recommendations: -Gabrielle Allon series by Daniel Silva. (Starting with The Kill Artist.) If you're into spy fiction at all (even if you aren't), it's excellent. About an Israeli spy, and makes no apologies for Islamic terrorism. Heroic, well-written, and among the most realistic spy fiction I've read. Can't recommend highly enough. -Short stories by Louis L'Amour. Similar to O.Henry (in my opinion), though a little more contrived. Most of them are like Ayn Rand's short story "Good Copy." Always a hero, the girl is always pretty, and the universe is never malevolent. Comfort food. -Ender's Game. Yeah, it's a little malevolent, but it reminds me of what it takes to be at the top. Whatcha got for me?
  22. Book: Calculus Made Easy

    This.Though ewv and others on the forum are an excellent resource for math/science related information, is pretty useful for non-philosophical questions like this one.
  23. ARTIST discovered on THE FORUM

    Hey Ifat! So you decided to drop EE and start doing art full-time instead? That's really neat! It was cool to see that painting of Bouguereau in your blog—he's probably my favourite "non-Objectivist" painter, but I've never really met other people who love him as much as I do. (Though admittedly, my friends aren't super into art.)
  24. What is the allure of getting drunk?

    Maybe that's what can be taken away from Man's relationship with alcohol as well... Partly just playing devils advocate here. I'll post more thoughts on the subject later.
  25. What is the allure of getting drunk?

    ^^ Same argument could be made for believing in a god.