Screaming Into The Abyss

Why Tai Chi is a Devistating Art
By Ben Zvan
On October 15, 2008 at 22:53
Sports

Somebody I knew in high school was posting some aikido stuff on their facebook page. It made me want to find some good videos of Tai Chi push-hands.

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Exercise Does Not Mean Taking Shortcuts
By Ben Zvan
On September 22, 2008 at 12:13
Sports

The ShortcutThere's a car ad, I think it's for Acura, where a guy is running down a trail through the woods when he sees a divergent path going straight up the hill, he takes it. Initially, I thought they were trying to show the runner as a risk-taking maverick character, a hardcore runner going for the challenge. That would have made a great ad for outdoor gear. The end of the commercial shows the runner reaching his car and talks about how buying a "pre-owned" vehicle is a great shortcut to getting what you "deserve."

Okay, fine, I get the buy-used line, but the guy is skimping on his morning run so he can get back to his car faster? He's probably just going to work now in order to pay off his car loan anyway. I'd rather stay outside for a while longer.

Earlier this summer, I saw a guy taking a shortcut to get to the running trail. You read that right. He was coming out of what I assume was his back yard, hopping a fence, crossing active railroad tracks, then hopping another fence to get to his run. To add silliness to potential injury, there's a road not 100 meters from his fence-jumping spot that crosses said tracks and trail.

Every time I see something like this, it really confuses me. The point of exercise is to get out and expend energy. You want to do more work in order to burn calories and fat and cause new calories and fat to be stored as muscle rather than fat reserves. Taking a shortcut can only short-circuit the whole concept of exercise.

Each day I ride, my goal is to come back a little sooner than I did last time. I don't do it by taking shortcuts, I do it by going a little faster. A few seconds less per mile each time, a minute or two less exercise each time. As I have extra time I add a few miles to my ride and start the cycle over again. A few seconds less...

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Thank You
By Ben Zvan
On September 02, 2008 at 15:00
Sports

Cycle-Ops MagnetoI'd like to thank all the people I see running, skating and cycling on my morning bike rides. You are the folks who keep me getting out there and exercising.

To the women in low-cut and bare-midriff shirts, shorts, bikinis and sports-bras, I thank you for providing your scenic vistas of skin and muscles. I look forward to seeing you at every opportunity. It may seem like I am just speeding past you, concentrating on the next mile, but I am so checking you out.

To the men with chiseled abs and brand new, 5 pound, carbon-fiber bikes, I thank you for giving me a goals. I look forward to passing you at every opportunity on my 40-year-old, 30 pound steel-frame Schwinn. And when I am passed I feel the thrill of competition carry me forward until you are out of sight.

To the people listening to their ear buds rather than the traffic around them, walking three abreast in the bike lane, or blindly zooming into traffic at the trail crossings, please stop. You're making it hard for the rest of us, and that last one embarrasses me every time.

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I Can't Believe I Just Added a Sports Category
By Ben Zvan
On August 23, 2007 at 15:11
Sports

Two sporting items of interest:

I went to a Twins game with my mom on Tuesday. They lost. Not a big surprise, but as my wife pointed out the next morning, It's amazing how many people go to games to see the Twins win. Most of the crowd had cleared out by the end of the seventh inning. What fickle fans we are...

I actually enjoyed the game. They actually had decent beer; Summit was the same price as Budwiser. The Mariners played some pretty good ball, I thought. I still prefer Midway park because you can get much closer to the action. A bad seat there is still better than most of the seats at the Dome.

The second item is that I've re-taken-up cycling. In the last few weeks, I've put on over 100 miles and quite enjoyed most of them. The 90°+ days sucked, but that was also at the beginning of my "season". I think I've gotten better since then. Since the power was out for part of the morning here at the office, I had some time to work up a Google Map on the subject while I was waiting to connect to all of our servers.

I've been taking most of my rides in the early morning since the "hot days". So far I've found very few things that will get me up that early. Hunting and road trips are a couple others. This morning, I might as well have been biking in the mountains for all I could see of the landscape around me. There was a bike path, then a walking path, then nothing. It was quite pretty when I could see it, which wasn't often due to the dew on my glasses.

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Arts

New Pictures 8: Sarah Jones
Minneapolis Institue of Arts
04/18/2013—02/02/2014 - Free

31 Years: Gifts from Martin Weinstein
Minneapolis Institue of Arts
11/02/2013—08/31/2014 - Free

New Pictures 9: Rinko Kawauchi
Minneapolis Institue of Arts
02/20/2014—08/10/2014 - Free

Finland: Designed Environments
Minneapolis Institue of Arts
05/10/2014—08/17/2014 - Free

Music

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
at State Theatre
06/21/2014 \ Doors 8:00pm

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