Gods of Egypt Betrayed

This is Set. Does this look like Gerard Butler to you?  Is Gerard Butler the first name that pops into your head when you think about the right actor for the job?

Here we go again.  As usual, Hollywood thinks that actual mythology — despite the fact that it’s thousands of years old and still influencing culture the world over — isn’t good enough.  It has to be improved upon, punched up, super-sized and apparently bleached.  And so, rather than exploring the actual myths, in the upcoming film Gods of Egypt, we will instead follow the exploits of a human boy trying to put Horus back on his pedestal.  Or something.


And, what’s more, this human boy and all of the “gods” he will be interacting with (save one token magical negro) will be portrayed by white actors.


I’m so disappointed with director Alex Proyas, who stunned me with The Crow (’94) and Dark City (’98).  Sure, he really mucked up I, Robot (’04) and but bit off more than he could chew with Knowing (’09).  But he was born in Alexandria for Pete’s sake, and I’ve seen what he can do when he’s on point.

Well, at least I’m not alone in my distaste — here’s a taste of the backlash.  And here’s the trailer.  Prepare to be so revolted that you actually have to press a hankie to your nose and swallow.

If I was casting this movie, these would be my picks:

Edi Gathegi as Set (he’s superb as Solomon on “Blacklist”)

Amr Waked as Horus (loved this guy in “Lucy”)

Emmanuelle Béart as Hathor

Mystic Nutrition Facts (and your WOD)


This is my lunch for today. Grilled chicken breast, soy sauce, radishes, carrots, raisins, and a sesame bar.  What’s it packed in?  I bought one of those bistro boxes from Starbucks and I’ve been re-using the container for months.

A while back I posted a little mindfulness exercise that, for reasons unfathomable, hasn’t been all that popular.  Maybe if I rapped it, people would grasp it?  Momma didn’t raise to quitter, so here it is again, finger on the transmitter…

Mindfulness Lunch Exercise

Devote a full ten minutes to making your lunch.  Take your time.  Relax and focus.  Make your lunch as beautiful, nutritious and delicious as you can.  Really put some thought and effort into it.  If you work outside the home, do your prep the night before or in the morning before you leave, and take your meal to work with you.

When it comes time to eat, give your lunch your undivided attention. Do not eat while reading, surfing the web, or anything like that.  Just sit and eat the food. Think only about the food — about how pretty it is, how nice it tastes, how good for you it is, how wonderfully it is going to fuel your activities, what a blessing it is, and so forth.  Fully chew and taste every bite.

It just may be the best meal you’ve had in six months.

Listen guys!

Food is more than nutrients, and nutrition is a holistic and mystical experience that is still not fully understood. As Michael Pollan famously noted, we have identified 15 carotenes in the carrot, but carotene pills do not replicate the health benefits of munching on actual carrots.  “We still don’t know what is going on in the soul of a carrot,” he said.  “It’s a wilderness in that carrot!”

Choose healthy foods, then experience them fully when you eat them.

Lunch Ideas

  • Sesame bars — These little devils are the business.  Just under 60 calories per tiny bar, and with tons of fiber, these are a great addition to your lunch in the off-season.*  I got mine at the Asian market — 16 little thumb-sized bars for $2.49.  Sure, they have a tiny bit of sugar.  But they are minimally processed and make a perfect little healthy, mini-dessert to your lunch.
  • Buy single-serving bags of nuts and dried fruit.  I know, they cost more by volume and packaging hurts the environment.  But wasted food is also bad for my budget and for the environment, and over-eating is bad for my waistline.
  • Save those sauce packets.  I rarely eat fast food, but when I do I save the extra stuff that isn’t objectionable — taco sauce, soy sauce, salad dressing, mayo, etc. as long as it’s low in sugar.  Watch out for stuff like honey mustard that’s straight sugar and soybean oil.  Save extra fortune cookies and use them to zip up lunches on workout days when you can easily burn off the extra sugar.
  • Cook once, eat five times.  Make a main dish and pick off it for the rest of the week.  Make a few chicken breasts or cook a big steak.  Slice it on a diagonal and you’re good to go.
  • Veggie trays.  They’re not just for parties you know.  Get one from the grocery store, put it in the fridge, and you won’t have any excuse for not eating your daily vegetables.
  • Check out my recipes.  I’ve posted a fair number of them on this blog.

And now for your Cabal Fang WOD.

  • Calisthenics.  As many sets as you can in 10 mins of 10 each Diamond Push-ups, Steam Engines, Hop/Clap Push-ups, Split Squats.
  • Kicks.  5 x 2:00/1:00.  Kick combos for 2:00.  For the 1:00, full power kicks vs. heavy bag.  Count number of full power shots during the first round and try to exceed that count in your final round.


* I generally eat a paleolithic diet.  During Fall and Winter I’m a little more relaxed and I let myself have a daily serving of whole grains and relax a little about trace sugars and such.  During Spring and Summer, when I’m trying to get cut, I get super strict.  I remove all grains and all fruit along with as many carbs as possible.

A Real Ball-breaker of a Boxing WOD

Box_glovesWhy do I do this stuff to myself?  Why do you follow this blog?  These are the unanswerable questions…

A Real Ball-Breaker of a Boxing WOD

Set timer for 10 x 2:00/1:00.  Work your double-end ball ( Shadowbox if you don’t have one) for 2:00, going fast but with good form — full extension, plenty of pops, rolls, bobs, and weaves, etc.  For the 1:00, complete as many Sandbag Squat Presses as you can using a bag at least 25% of your body weight (I used #44 which is about 30% of mine).  Repeat 9 more times for a total of 10 rounds/30 minutes.  Take as few 12 second breaks as possible to finish standing up.

If you try this, please share your thoughts in the comments below!

Did You Know…? (And a WOD)

First your Cabal Fang Workout of the Day, and then a little bout of “Did you know?”

The theme of today’s WOD is is grappling, a.k.a. the clinch, a.k.a. stand-up wrestling, and the workout itself is a puke-inducing two-parter as follows:

  1. Choose a sandbag of appropriate weight (I used at #20)  and set timer for 10 mins.  Complete as may sets as possible of 8 each: Hop Push-ups (alternating hands on sandbag, on knees if you must), Flutter Kicks (while holding sandbag up with elbows locked), and Split Squats (sandbag on shoulder).  Take as few 12-second breaks as you need to finish.
  2. Grappling Conditioner #2.  Set timer for 3 x 3:00/1:00 and square up against your heavy bag.  For the 3:00, splay, punch x2, splay, punch x4, splay, punch x6, etc. up to splay, punch x10.  Start over and repeat as many sets as you can until 3:00 is up.  For the 1:00 so-called “break,” grab heavy bag with a palm-to-palm grip and squeeze with all your might, making sure you are applying sword-bone forearm pressure (if you are a visual learner, video below).  Repeat twice more for a total of 3 rounds, 12 mins total. Take as few 12-second breaks as you need to avoid throwing up.

Now for a  little “Did you know?”  Did you know…

  • That I’ve been maintaining a Productivity Log since January of 2012 that contains all my workouts and various other personal activities, and that it’s a treasure trove of workout ideas and inspiration?
  • That I have six books to my credit — two non-fiction martial arts books, one non-fiction fitness book, and three supernatural romance novels (which are currently on pre-order as a bundle)?
  • That I designed some one-of-a-kind fitness dice and wrote a whole heap of personal improvement pamphlets that are available over at PTDICE.com — and that I include a free t-shirt with every order?
  • That in 2009 I founded a really cool martial art called Cabal Fang?
  • That there’s a Temple of Cabal Fang that contains, among other things, a library of over 100 esoteric books, most of which are cataloged here?



B&N, Crapazon, and Paper Books

What does it mean when Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain on the planet, becomes the underdog?  I guess it means that instead of bemoaning the death of the locally-owned corner bookstore, as I have been for years, soon I’ll be bemoaning the death of the Big Box Bookstore.

Barnes & Noble is airing this advertisement starting today.  Produced by Barnes & Noble founder and current chairman Leornard Riggio, the plan is to try and get some customers in the door this holiday season.

I hope it works.  According to a recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, B&N’s retail revenue declined 1.7% in the first quarter, digital sales fell 28%, and traffic at the Barnes & Noble website was smaller in September than in it was in September of 2013.


A little inside joke for the Firefly fans out there.

Meanwhile, Amazon (hereinafter referred to as ‘Crapazon’) continues its quest to become the real life version of Blue Sun Corporation.  Here’s a tidbit for you: Crapazon spent 774 million dollars on advertising in 2014.  On advertising.

If you don’t think Amazon is evil — and I don’t use that word lightly — you should read this article.  According to the article, one employee said that “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”  A former human resources director said that employees who suffered from cancer, miscarriages, and other personal physical and emotional traumas were treated unfairly and edged out.  And, in July of this year, these sons-o’-bitches surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the country, with a market valuation of $250 billion, and Forbes deemed CEO Jeff Bezos the fifth-wealthiest person on earth.

Screw Bezos and the juggernaut he rode in on.

I like paper books.  Sure, I have a Nook eReader.  I like it and I use it a fair amount, and my books sell pretty well on the that platform.  But I love paper books.  Real, live, actual paper.

I used to spend lunch breaks browsing at the Books-a-Million near my job, or run in and pick up a book on the way home from work.  When it closed I switched to Borders.  They had a nice cafe where you could buy a book, have a muffin and sip some coffee.  They closed too.

Nowadays I prefer going to Book People, but it’s kind of a drive, it’s too far to go there on lunch break, and there’s nothing else in the area.  So I sometimes go the the B&N by the mall.

I like walking the aisles of a bookstore.  But what the hell do I know.  I also like video stores and drive-in movies.

Temple Plaque Carving

As part of my renewed and continuing effort to beautify the Cabal Fang Temple, yesterday I completed a wooden plaque for the door.

I started by gluing some wood scraps together.  I purposely used different types and thicknesses of wood to give the work more dimension and a sense of age.  Then I did a freehand sketch of the Cabal Fang Emblem and carved it out.

I then painted the entire board gray, let it dry,  sanded it down, painted it black, sanded it down again, and gave it a coat of wood stain and polyurethane.  I’m really pleased with the final effect.

I am so High Right Now


It’s a clear and cool morning with a wonderful sunrise dawning.  I have sounded the temple bell three times and performed the simple rites — the greeting of the Sun, the burning of the incense, the candle offering, the clearing of the space and the contemplation.

There is baggage behind me and there are problems before me, obstacles to overcome in the hours and days ahead,  things to do, endure, and achieve.  But this morning I have allowed my body to feel every breath of the breeze, allowed my spirit to hum a tune in synch with the universal rhythm, allowed myself to merely be.

I go forward now to face my day with a heart, mind, and body filled with easy bliss.