Personal records

Did the same workout as Saturday, but I’d eaten a few hours before. Light-headed and gasping the whole time, but got done faster. The honeymoon period!

Warmup: 5:52
Work: 26:56
Assistance: 13:30

Total: 46:18


The airline industry is the only industry I know that is aggressively moving to commoditize itself.

Normally industries aggressively move to differentiate themselves.

Commoditization is the process wherein a thing/product/service becomes indistinguishable from another. It’s typically on a continuum, so there might be some brand recognition, but competition is dominated by price. The more commoditized a thing/product/service is, the less pricing power the industry has. Pricing becomes a race to the bottom. This is a bad thing for the business and a mixed bag for the customer.

Imagine you go to the store to buy milk. I think King Soopers had a gallon of whole milk for $2.39 last time I checked. KS can raise their price to $2.40/gal, and they probably wouldn’t lose many sales. A few people equidistant or almost equidistant between stores might go someplace else, but most people would pay the penny. KS would have more difficulty raising their price to $2.49/gal because milk is basically the same, and Safeway might have a better price. Milk is highly commoditized. This is one reason grocery stores operate on razor thin profit margins, often ~2%, and struggle to make money. For the store, it’s bad.

Airlines are doing this intentionally, and I have no idea why.

One cannot get seat information from an airline. One cannot search by seat limitations, nor can one choose one fare over another by such means. A passenger, i.e. customer, cannot buy a ticket that guarantees them any characteristic OTHER THAN PRICE, making price the only determining factor.

I can’t buy a seat where I know I’ll get enough knee room. I can’t buy one with guaranteed seat width. I can’t even get one with a guaranteed aircraft. The only thing I can guarantee is price.

So why wouldn’t I shop for the cheapest price?

And as such, no airline has pricing power, cost competition is taking them to the bottom, and no airline has a shred of customer loyalty. There is no difference between them, other than price. They did this intentionally, and I cannot imagine why.


Friend texts me: Matt, I told another friend of ours that you’re ready to run a game about goblins.

There had been no previous discussion about me running a game or goblins.

I replied, What? You think I’ve got goblins ready to go? Like my brain is just full of goblins, ready to burst out?

Friend: I said what I said.

Me: Of course. Schedule a date. I’m ready.

Nate Dog

He did three years in the Marines. Got out. Apparently he had something to prove and proved it.

I didn’t know that. It’s important, not because they’re life changing, but rather because it’s somewhat of an affirmation of what is, that spirit of questioning and testing.

God bless.

Aircraft fuel consumption

Aircraft fly a lot more like performance cars drive at a track than grocery-getters drive. This is partially by design.

When an aircraft takes off, the engine is going to be at full power. This is the equivalent of hammering the gas pedal all the way down in a car. The same often happens for climbing and some maneuvers. The result is that the engine is in its max power band for a lot of typical flying.

Gas mileage, or fuel consumption as it’s typically called in aviation, is primarily a function of the rpm of the engine. Suppose a 4 cylinder, 4 stroke engine, idles at 800 rpm and achieves max power at 3500 rpm (all reasonable numbers for small piston driven aircraft), it makes intuitive sense that the aircraft will burn less gas at 800 rpm, 1600 cylinder firings a minute, than at 3500rpm/7000 cylinder firings a minute. Since the pilot will typically go full power every take-off and often for climbing, this means the plane engine will be burning maximum fuel. While flying straight and level, the pilot will often back off to about 2000rpm (this number has huge variation, but that number, 2krpm, is again within the typical GA envelope).

With regards to fuel consumption as a function of power, the economical pilot will want to minimize fuel consumption at a given level of power, that power output necessary to achieve straight and level flight. Take off and maneuvers will remain at max power to get away from the airport as quickly as possible. Most aviation accidents happen at or near an airport, due to traffic, increased maneuver rate, etc., so safety issues are involved. Once away from the airport and engaged in straight and level flight, a bigger engine with a lower cruising rpm, say 1200rpm compared to the 2000 rpm above, will get better gas mileage.

In the aggregate, there is no way to determining for sure which is better for fuel consumption. Engine efficiency, power, flight conditions, and many more factors play a role. What can be said with a high degree of certainty is that there is no absolute rule. Smaller engines ARE NOT always more fuel efficient than larger ones, especially between engines close to each other in size and weight.

Proofs and Parks

There is a lie floating around that ‘If you find a job doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ This is wrong. This is nonsense. I’m going line by line, backwards, though a book proof looking for misspellings. I go backwards because that way I look at the individual words and don’t get distracted by the story. Publishing this story is doing what I love. This is it. This is the goal. It’s work. I’m going backwards through just under 300 pages looking for misspellings.

Find a job you love and be ready to work at it.

I changed up the workout a little today. I’m trying to dial it in to maximum effort. The issue is that if I make it too hard, I have to take longer breaks to breathe, and the whole workout becomes easier. If I make it too easy, it’s too easy. I also have other things to do with my life, so I can’t get wrecked to the point I lie down for the rest of the day.

Warmups: 7:40
50 Jumping Jacks
3×2 flights of stairs

Work (including rest after warmups): 28:12
2 flights of stairs
5 pronated deadlifts
5 alternating deadlifts
5 alternating deadlifts (other grip)
5 hang clean and press
5 bent over row (Pendlay)
5 front squat
5 shoulder press
5 pushups with feet on second step (I try to jackknife, so I’m pulling my hands towards my feet while I press up. The motion is a little weird, but I felt it in my back)

Assistance (including rest): 18:16
2 flights of stairs
5 windshield wipers, center, side, side, must see toes over bar
5 bench
5 side-to-sides (played with these. First were low plank position, elbows on ground, stepped through right and left for one. Second set was same start but I rolled over so the outside of my outside foot and inside of inside foot touched the ground, each side for one. Finally did full plank, arms straight, and stepped through each side for one. I’m not enamored with any of those, so I’ll keep experimenting)

Total time was 54:08.

I was lightheaded almost the whole time, and I’m still feeling it. I don’t do a whole lot of these low to no resistance circuits, so they’re unfamiliar.

Fitness in isolation

Colorado has issued stay at home orders, (20-22) and (20-24), closing a variety of businesses including gyms. My apartment does not have a gym, I don’t know if I’d go to one if it did, and the one time I did a simple workout inside, my neighbors complained. It’s an old building, so I might have been shaking the walls and floors even if I didn’t make much noise.

Reading the stay at home orders, exception is given for “walking, hiking…running, etc.” Explicitly allowed is “Outdoor fun, with people physically distanced at least 6 feet apart at all times” (id.). A sign at De Boer Park from the city of Denver says park attendance is allowed for exercise for adults, but again repeats the importance of social distancing and not congregating in groups. I interpret this to mean my workouts alone once a day are permitted provided I stay away from other people. In case I do have to talk to someone, I bring a mask.

The park is a block and a half from my house so I have to carry my equipment. There is no public equipment like bars or cages. The park does have stairs, but the track is closed.

I have a 8′ steel bar, 1.5″ in diameter, just shy of 50lbs (23kg or so) and chalk.

Supersets x3
3×2 flights of stairs
50 jumping jacks

Supersets x5
2 flights of stairs
5 pronated deadlifts
5 alternating grip deadlifts
5 other grip deadlifts
5 hang clean and press
5 bent over rows (Pendlay)
5 shoulder press
5 pushups, feet elevated 2 stairs

Then it started raining, and I couldn’t tell if thunder was coming. I don’t want to be carrying a steel bar in a thunderstorm, so I hustled home.

Clearly this doesn’t do a whole lot for my back, chest, or core. It’s not nothing, but they’re getting the short end of the stick. That needs to be corrected in the future.

Some notes: has information regarding the current state of affairs with respect to public health. I haven’t heard or read anything that says going outside to exercise is allowed but heavily discouraged. If that comes out, I’ll stop, but for now, being young, exhibiting no symptoms, and living alone to put no one else at risk, I think I’m following the spirit if the orders and not just the letter.

Resistance bands on Amazon are out of stock and delivery is like a month out.

Exercise equipment stores are sold out of EVERYTHING!

Belligerent Ignorance

You see this in a lot of places.

“Do you remember when the Panama Papers came out and revealed that the rich all across the world were dodging taxes and literally[sic] nothing happened?”

Government officials that got fired or resigned/things that happened

Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, PM of Iceland

Nawaz Sharif, PM of Pakistan

Gonzalo Delaveu, President of Transparency, Chile

There are more. Look here on Reddit or here at wikipedia more broadly.

Of note is that the way taxes work in the USA, the kind of shell company revealed wasn’t as useful to Americans as to other foreign nationals. Equally significant, the US has criminal protections such as the Fourth Amendment that limit what can be used by prosecutors. Using such evidence isn’t always impossible; it just takes a lot of time and creates a lot of legal hurdles. I think investigations related to international tax dodging should be a higher priority than it is, but the notion that nothing is happening is simply not correct.

“Remember when a bunch of senators profited about the impending coronavirus epidemic and literally[sic] nothing happened?”

Justice Department investigating possible insider trading

Richard Burr seeks ethics investigation regarding insider trading Note: Burr was one of those implicated. He’s seeking an investigation to clear his name.

Also, this happened a few months ago and was revealed due to filings about a month ago. Most law enforcement agencies don’t reveal investigations until they file charges, which is often a matter of months to years. Impatience aside, this is a developing story.

I picked these two instances because both are commonly associated with absolute terms, ‘nothing happened,’ which can be disproven objectively. Things did happen. The more relevant statement, ‘not enough happened,’ is subjective, and one person’s not-enough might be another’s plenty. In the USA, the FBI often takes lead on such matters, but like all government agencies, they have limited budget, staff, and time. I think such issues are more important than playing politics and would prefer the DOJ in general focus on such matters.

Ramos vs Louisiana


Ramos was tried and convicted of murder. LA and OR allow for nonunanimous convictions in some serious cases. The jury went 10-2 guilty, and he was sentenced to life without parole.

Today, 4/20/2020, the Supreme Court overruled a 1972 precedent that serious crimes do not require a unanimous conviction, 6-3. Gorsuch wrote for the majority, including RBG, Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh, that the Sixth Amendment requires unanimity. Dissenters were Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and John Roberts.

Opinions and observations:

First, those lines have nothing to do with the pop-law territories of conservative vs liberal.

Secondly, the case overturned established precedent.

Third, Louisiana and Oregon are the only states where guilty with a non-unanimous conviction is possible for serious crimes. For lesser crimes, it’s possible lots more places.

I’m really looking forward to reading these opinions.

I want to reemphasize how far that strayed from partisan lines. It’s not one swing vote jumping ship but rather a completely separate breakdown. The Supreme Court is made up of humans, flawed and biased, but they are doing their best. It gives me confidence.