Other than kettlebells, if any object screamed aloud for the attention of Lean, Solid Dogs, it would have to be some kind of (a) surplus outdoor equipment (b) made to carry heavy loads over long distances, (c) especially in hot, dry climates, and (d) with a Communist parentage. What if I told you that such... Continue Reading →
The Sound of Sirens
For the looted, stripped minivan on my favorite backwoods hike, sung to the tune of "The Sound of Silence": "Hello Honda, my old friend.I've stopped to gawk at you again.Some tweakers brought you up here joyriding,Jacked you from the the Skyway Burger King,With a 308 they put you down when you ground out here,Like a... Continue Reading →
The Rachel Maddow Case for Gun Rights
This conversation would be easier if it were about sex. I would propose to my fellow liberals that we get serious about rape culture through simple, commonsense regulations: No one could take a new sex partner without a background check and a 10-day waiting period, with a limit of one new partner per month. Why does anyone need more than that? (Very progressive states might even choose to require that you show police a legitimate reason for needing a new partner.) Rape would not disappear under my plan, but surely it would plummet.
New public art installation in my favorite corner of the outer beyond. Entitled "Crossroads," it explores the intersection of American car culture with life outside the supervision of the bourgeois state. The artist used found materials, relocated them into a novel context, and modified them with a traditional blend I call "trail mix," consisting mostly... Continue Reading →
One Pull, One Press
Part 5 in our series "20 Years of Pavel Tsatsouline." See Table of Contents here. Pavel Tsatsouline likens his programs to Kalashnikov rifles, which have just a few simple moving parts. You can strip the "Kalash" one-handed in the dark: pop off the top cover, pull out a spring and bolt carrier, and you’re left with one huge, solid main assembly. A rare but... Continue Reading →
Eight Square Feet of Endorphins
A complete gym in one tidy corner: Kettlebells. One is enough, but in a happy home they multiply. Somebody to swing them. Note the bare feet--that's how you should do it too. Rucksack and boots. Insert kettlebells and start walking. Pavel Tsatouline's classic Russian Kettlebell Challenge (1999), still the best book there is on this stuff. Sledgehammer... Continue Reading →
Shoot Straight, Be Queer!
Elements of the Thursday Freedom Squad fly our freak flag at Pride to support a gun buddy (not depicted here) who is cautiously emerging from the closet. We are with you, Mysterious, Unnamed Gay Sharpshooter! Shoot straight, be queer! Until you are ready to be fully and publicly Fabulous, we will be fab for you!
Of Sapogi and Sixguns
During the Buddhist Backpack Pilgrimage, I acted as your personal bodhisattva, dear readers, and compassionately offered myself as a sacrifice for your welfare. How? By venturing out to do the whole 34 miles in jackboots (sapogi) and footwraps. In our previous field test we'd shown their value in wet conditions, but we still didn't know... Continue Reading →
The Buddhist Backpack, Beads (and Bears!) Pilgrimage
Following an idea from the Manly Monk of Vilnius, I declared this weekend the Great Buddhist Backpack & Beads Pilgrimage. The idea was, one step, one mantra, and in 27 miles that would make fifty-five thousand mantra reps. That’s got to be enough to make you a buddha in this very lifetime (即身成佛), right? But... Continue Reading →
Acts of Faith
I had my first encounter with one of the hill dwellers who, I'd been cautioned euphemistically, "isn't real social." As it turned out, we just ignored each other. I was taking a break at the side of the road, he was watering Some Kind of Plant Life 100 yards away, and neither of us acknowledged... Continue Reading →