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Mark D

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About Mark D

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  • Birthday 06/15/1963

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    New Jersey
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  1. I think there are multiple issues which combined form a perfect storm. I should probably start off by saying I'll turn 55 years old next month, and I can see that the society we live in now is very different from the one I grew up in. First, the gorilla in the room (and where everyone wants to put the blame), guns. Before 1968 you could have a gun shipped directly to your home, no license, no background check, and if you were willing to pay an extra $200 federal tax it could be full-auto (aka machine gun). We didn't have school shootings then, with easy access to guns, now when it's harder we have them, so the problem seems to lie elsewhere. Besides, if guns magically disappeared things like this would still happen and they'd be worse. How can I say that? Because our own military, when they want to kill people in job-lots, doesn't use guns, it uses explosives, incendiaries, or chemical weapons. You could do a LOT of damage at a school with a case of beer bottles filled with gasoline, some old t-shirts, and a Bic lighter. A little internet research would teach you how to make even worse things. Here's my take: We have a culture among young people where likes/shares/retweets/etc are the standard, in other words attention. So if you're always craving attention you'll find ways of getting it. This is nothing new, there were plenty of kids in my school who "acted up" because punishment is a form of attention. Then there's bullying. There's always been bullying, but the adults response to it has caused problems. Used to be you were bullied, you finally had enough and punched the fucker in the face. Or if he was too big and strong, you banded together with a few other kids he was bullying, jumped him, and sent him home with black eyes and missing teeth. Bullying stopped at that point (I say this from personal experience, I punched my personal bully in the mouth in 5th grade, and my teacher shook my hand). Now kids get suspended for defending themselves against bullys, but the schools refuse to do anything to the bully before it comes to that point. So the anger builds up until you snap. Next on the list is how we handle boys. Boys are naturally aggressive, because of the chemical cocktail of hormones raging thru them, but there are fewer and fewer acceptable methods of channeling that aggression. Things like (tackle) football, boxing, martial arts, or even the occasional after-school fist-fight. Couple that with the large percentage of boys who are raised in single-parent (usually mother) households, the boys lack a male figure who's actually been through it himself and who can guide the young man into safe, respectable ways of using their aggression. Instead the kids have to repress it, pretend it doesn't exist, and it's eventually going to come out. Then there's the media. Shooting up your school is a quick way to become an instant celebrity, everyone will hear your name man! See the point above about attention. If the media would decide not to publish the names of mass murderers (like they currently do with rape victims) that aspect would disappear overnight. So we have naturally aggressive boys who have never learned how to channel that aggression, a desire for attention, a society that doesn't allow them to defend themselves against bullies, and a media that's willing to make them into instant celebrities if they just kill a bunch of people. What could possibly go wrong?
  2. I have these: Adjustable Dumbbells Very good quality, and as heavy as I could possibly need in dumbbells.
  3. About 16 years ago I went on vacation with my in-laws. I was late getting out, so I met everyone at the beach. When I arrive there I saw a beautiful young lady in a black bikini, who turned around and said "Hi Uncle Mark!" It was my wife's niece, who was 17 at the time. Not only felt old, felt like a dirty old man. I met a bartender (hence someone old enough to drink) once who didn't understand my Blazing Saddles reference. The same bartender had no idea who Dom DeLouise was. I was once asked if Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings, and if Julian Lennon's father was a musician too.
  4. I've been away from the gym since August. A cramp caused a pulled muscle, which led to numbness in my foot. Doctor says it's from inflammation from the muscle pull. It's time to overcome the inertia and get back to weight training. Its been a while since my last challenge but I thought it might help inspire me to get back to it. i don't know how badly I've detrained, but it's time to get back. I've been doing a linear progression, so I'll go back to that. main goal: get stronger. Details: Gym three times a week. Barbell lifts, squats, presses, bench press, deadlifts and lat pull downs. Eat clean, supplemented with protein shakes as appropriate.
  5. Allow me to introduce my wife. She's new to the forums and not as nerdly as her husband. Lymmmm Sweetie.
  6. I like my steak cooked such that it could survive if you got it to a vet quick enough.....
  7. A man is on a photo-safari in Africa and he encounters an elephant holding one foot up. Closer inspection shows that the elephant has a large thorn in the bottom of its foot, so the man pulls it out. The elephant gingerly puts its foot down, realizes it doesn't hurt anymore, trumpets,and runs off. Ten years later the man is once again in Africa and he encounters an elephant. The elephant trumpets at him and lifts it's food, the man goes closer, the elephant trumpet again and tramples him, killing him. Must not have been the same elephant.
  8. Why don't cannibals eat clowns? They taste funny. Two cannibals at a dinner party: Cannibal 1: Are you enjoying yourself? Cannibal 2: Having a ball!
  9. I really like that Roman Catholic fried chicken place. You know, Pope Yes.
  10. Two old Irish guys are having a pint in a bar, the first says "Sean, me wife drives me to drink!" The other says "Paddy, you're a lucky man, me wife makes me take the bus...."
  11. Sherlock Holmes and Watson go camping. One night Sherlock wakes up Watson and says "Watson, what do you see?" Watson replies "Stars, millions of stars." Holmes asks "What do you think of that?" Watson replies "Well, scientifically, each of those stars is a sun like ours, around which may be planets inhabited by people like us. Philosophically, it makes me aware of the vastness of the Universe and what a tiny part of it we occupy. Theologically, it reminds me of the greatness of God who can number all the stars we see." Holmes replies "Watson, someone has stolen our tent!"
  12. Or you could do what I do, don't make close friends at work..... I see a job as a temporary situation, if it's in my best interests to change jobs I do so with no emotional attachments to former co-workers. This goes doubly for female co-workers. I've never once in over 30 years of full-time employment dated a co-worker, dipping your pen in the company inkwell can cause issues that HR gets involved in. More to your point, I have zero tolerance from drama-llamas, which would make it even less likely for me to have any relationship with the people involved.
  13. Just found out from the Facebook group, no Camp Nerdfitness for 2017. Sigh.
  14. Steve's latest blog entry seems to indicate there won't be (he says the next camp will be in 2018). Sigh, wife and I were seriously thinking of attending this year if finances and schedule worked out.
  15. Wildross: Best of everything my friend. You were a great help to me when I started here. Best of everything to you.
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