Friday, March 30, 2007

Finding Motivation

I had an entire finding motivation post drawn up the other day, but I canned it because today I was faced with a new obstacle. I know that part of finding the motivation to do anything is overcoming various obstacles. Some times it is easier to stay in bed than it is to go work out, or be productive, or cut grass. Watching 300 was great motivation to work out. I started reading The Book of Arnold again, finding new workouts, all new ways to get sore, and I was on a role. I was getting more done at work, making headway on lots of things, and even started changing the layout of the store a little. I even started getting more motivated about my lawn. Well, I called Scotts and a local company to see if they could make it greener and actually have more grass than weeds. I was feeling pretty pumped. So I get up early because today is trash day, gather up all the trash, make a lunch, pack a protein shake, large jug of water, and a change of clothes. I arrive at the gym after tons of traffic delays still trying to stay pumped. I've even got some vintage Prodigy in the MP3 player (no, I'm not trendy enough to have an iPod). The gym is closed. Not because I'm early mind you. They are closed down. With a note that says I can still use their facility on the other side of town. Nice. Now I have a lot to overcome. A new facility, and a contract cancellation. Seriously, as if finding motivation to not be an overweight tub of shit wasn't hard enough now I probably have to fight with these assholes about why I should be allowed to cancel or something. Since everyone still reads this blog (I'm down to two hits a day I think with one of them being me) I'll keep you all updated.

I guess that's it for now. Not much happening this weekend save for hanging some drywall at the rumrunners house. I guess I really am getting old because home improvement projects are really starting to interest me. So far a fence is up and deck plans have been drawn out. Hopefully by the end of the season I'll have almost as bitchin of a lawn as my neighbor has and a killer deck to smoke lots and lots of ribs on. So if you're in the neighborhood stop by.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Your Prius sucks...

And here is why...

"Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage
By Chris Demorro
Staff Writer

The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.
Before we delve into the seedy underworld of hybrids, you must first understand how a hybrid works. For this, we will use the most popular hybrid on the market, the Toyota Prius.

The Prius is powered by not one, but two engines: a standard 76 horsepower, 1.5-liter gas engine found in most cars today and a battery- powered engine that deals out 67 horsepower and a whooping 295ft/lbs of torque, below 2000 revolutions per minute. Essentially, the Toyota Synergy Drive system, as it is so called, propels the car from a dead stop to up to 30mph. This is where the largest percent of gas is consumed. As any physics major can tell you, it takes more energy to get an object moving than to keep it moving. The battery is recharged through the braking system, as well as when the gasoline engine takes over anywhere north of 30mph. It seems like a great energy efficient and environmentally sound car, right?

You would be right if you went by the old government EPA estimates, which netted the Prius an incredible 60 miles per gallon in the city and 51 miles per gallon on the highway. Unfortunately for Toyota, the government realized how unrealistic their EPA tests were, which consisted of highway speeds limited to 55mph and acceleration of only 3.3 mph per second. The new tests which affect all 2008 models give a much more realistic rating with highway speeds of 80mph and acceleration of 8mph per second. This has dropped the Prius’s EPA down by 25 percent to an average of 45mpg. This now puts the Toyota within spitting distance of cars like the Chevy Aveo, which costs less then half what the Prius costs.

However, if that was the only issue with the Prius, I wouldn’t be writing this article. It gets much worse.

Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius. As already noted, the Prius is partly driven by a battery which contains nickel. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles.

The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. Dubbed the Superstack, the plague-factory has spread sulfur dioxide across northern Ontario, becoming every environmentalist’s nightmare.

“The acid rain around Sudbury was so bad it destroyed all the plants and the soil slid down off the hillside,” said Canadian Greenpeace energy-coordinator David Martin during an interview with Mail, a British-based newspaper.

All of this would be bad enough in and of itself; however, the journey to make a hybrid doesn’t end there. The nickel produced by this disastrous plant is shipped via massive container ship to the largest nickel refinery in Europe. From there, the nickel hops over to China to produce ‘nickel foam.’ From there, it goes to Japan. Finally, the completed batteries are shipped to the United States, finalizing the around-the-world trip required to produce a single Prius battery. Are these not sounding less and less like environmentally sound cars and more like a farce?

Wait, I haven’t even got to the best part yet.

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.

Through a study by CNW Marketing called “Dust to Dust,” the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.

The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.

So, if you are really an environmentalist - ditch the Prius. Instead, buy one of the most economical cars available - a Toyota Scion xB. The Scion only costs a paltry $0.48 per mile to put on the road. If you are not gay and don't want a Scion xB, a new Dodge Charger will only run you $1.97 per mile for 300,000 miles and it can almost satisfy that heavy foot that we all have.

One last fun fact for you: it takes five years to offset the premium price of a Prius. Meaning, you have to wait 60 months to save any money over a non-hybrid car because of lower gas expenses."

So, Fridays lesson: TOYOTA IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL AND IS TRYING TO DESTROY THE WORLD. That is all. You may now return to your regularly scheduled broadcasts.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Damn Straight I'm Scraight yo!

I've been really struggling to find motivation to work out again. The 300 review that no one read was pretty good motivation in and of itself but I don't need to tell you to go see it, because obviously everyone has seen it. Anyway. I changed the store hours late this semester so I could work out in the mornings and not have to go by at night when the gym suddenly turns in to a social club. The mornings are pretty quiet, a few regulars, none of us really speak. I've noticed this week this one black girl, maybe in her early 30's has been caught dancing on the treadmill, across the floor, in front of the free weights, wherever. It's funny, but no one says anything. That is until Papa Bear...a very very large black guy was working out yesterday. Papa Bear is the first member to speak to me since the addition of my MP3 player (bought specifically so people won't talk to me) so I pull out an ear piece and say hello. Most people just knod their heads, Papa Bear speaks. Fine. He obviously trains hard so I don't have to worry about him trying to make a lasting friendship in the middle of my workout. However, speaking in the locker room is still prohibited. So I got back to it as did Papa Bear. A few minutes later the dancing queen walks over and as usual I chuckle about it and go on. Then it gets dark around me. Because Papa Bear came over to say something. I pull out the ear phone and he's pointing at Dancing Queen laughing. "Biatch gettin down ain't she?" I laugh uncontrollably. I can't believe he just said that. She stops, looks at us, and walks over. "Supwitchall?" she asks. Her and Papa Bear must have been friends because he said "I's just aksin da man whatchu be doin gettin down like a biatch up in dis place fo." She says something as she's laughing and I say "Yeah, I guess I need whatever is in your MP3 player instead of what I have." So they ask "Whut da hell you be listenin to den?" So I let them listen. It's a mix of some 50 Cent, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Aerosmith, DMX, and a few other various artists. They flip through a minute, give each other an approving look and go "Damn nigga. You Scraight. You aiit." Then Papa Bear goes back to working out, and Dancing Queen of course dances off. So apparently, I'm not so bad. Now if I could only find the motivation to lose a few or 50 pounds I'd be in good shape.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The coolest thing ever.

I want one...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

RumRunners Vs. Flay

Yeah, you read that right. I watched Throwdown with Bobby Flay the other night again. He's starting to warm up to me actually as he does make some pretty good food. I noticed in all the episodes that I've seen, he NEVER wins. Okay, in the hell does a professional chef like Flay lose to a backwoods cook? He doesn't. This is clearly punishment from the higher ups at Food Network for being an asshole, but honestly I have to side with Flay on this one. So...


I officially dared Flay to bring his bad self down to the RumRunners lair and take us on. The FireFighter and The Human Torch vs. The Lean Mean Grilling Machine. We figured if these backwoods idiots and their meatloaf can beat Flay, we'll own him. We might even go as far as to challenge him on Iron Chef, but I have a feeling that they'd call the amount of Captain that we use in our food would be an unfair advantage. Either way, the Throwdown challenge has been issued and Flay has a decision to make. Accept the RumRunners Challenge, or accept the ridicule that will surely follow.

Who would win the RumRunners Challenge?
Bobby Flay
The RumRunners free polls

Monday, March 12, 2007

Monday Movie Reviews

Happy Monday morning friends! Actually, this particular Monday sucks because Heroes doesn't return until April 23rd. Sorry for the break, I was on Spring Break last week so I built a fence and helped all in a basement for my neighbor. I was plagued with allergies like never before, but I did manage to get a lot done. Chain link fencing, while not the most attractive fencing on the planet, is easy. It took me and my Dad with various other friends helping out about three days to get it done and we did almost 200 feet of fencing with three gates. Not bad for a couple of non-professionals right? If you're in the area and you need fencing, give me a call. I'm all over it. So, on to Mondays Movie Reviews...

The Prestige - Not bad. When it came out in theaters, my hot wife and I and the RumRunners kept trying really hard to see it. Somehow we never made it. Then we decided we'd rent it and watch it when it came out. It's been out for a month now and we finally got to watch it last night. I wasn't near as impressed as I thought I would be. It was a good movie, and I really can't tell you much about it without giving it away. I think it could have been better, but it was enjoyable to say the least. Worth a rental, but now I'm glad I didn't pay $8.50 to see it on the big screen. Christian Bale might be one of the best actors in Hollywood, if not the best. I mean, he is after all Batman. Hugh Jackman, and the smoking hot Scarlett Johansson co-star. Again, well worth a rental as it isn't bad, but not really what I was expecting.

300 -

Yes. It was everything I thought it would be and then some. Go see this one, right now. Don't even read this review, just see it. This might be the best movie ever made. As the matter of fact, I can't wait for Frank Millers special edition DVD set to be in my collection. With any luck I'll see this one three or four times in the theaters. If you don't know (I feel sorry for you) but this is loosely based on the Battle of Thermopylae. Frank Miller was inspired by the 1962 movie The 300 Spartans. Miller and Director Zack Snyder changed part of the fighting styles and apparel for the Spartans to make it look better on film and make for a better movie. So, it's not a real historical epic, but it's damn good. King Leonidas (masterfully portrayed by Gerard Butler) and Sparta's 300 best soldiers journey to the coast to fend off the Persian Empire. I won't tell you the story in case you don't know, but damn this movie is good. Full of Action and Eye Candy for everyone in a style that only Frank Miller can deliver.

Co-stars the insane hotness that is Lena Heady as Queen Gorgo, Dominic West as the bad guy that you really want to see die in a horrible way, and a plethera of other actors, all fantastic in their roles. I like this movie better than I liked the Matrix. It was that good. My hot wife was drug along for this one because I didn't think she should miss it, and even she enjoyed it as well she should have.

That's it for Mondays movie reviews. No Heroes tonight, but it's a good time to go see 300 right? Yes...go see it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Blogger Poll Ultimate Pay Per View

Well, todays blog is pretty self explanatory. My Rum Running homey and his friends were debating this so I tought I'd post a poll to help them out.

Who would win in a fight. Maximus from Gladiator or William Wallace from Braveheart?
Maximus Decimus Meridius
William Wallace free polls