The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Busy Woman's Workout

At the website "" there is a DVD called "Kettlebell Interval Training for Women" which has 78 KB exercises randomly shuffled into an infinite series of workout possibilities. It allows you to program level (beginning intermediate advanced) and whether or not you get a warm-up or cool down, and the length--4, 8, and 12 minutes. And the creator Maureen Martone, is one lean, muscular, coordinated lady. Some of the techniques include her husband Jeff Martone's ( "H2H" kettlebell "juggling" techniques. These not only increase general fitness but balance, hand-eye coordination, hand and foot speed, and more. For those who get easily bored, this is kinda unique. Very interesting stuff designed for stubborn fat loss. And yes, they're not kidding about a 4-minute workout. When you spike the intensity you enter "Tabata Protocol" sprint efficiency. And you jack up your metabolism much more efficiently than with steady state movement.

Jeff Martone is a Department of Energy counter-terrorism guy and boxing coach. His approach to fitness seems to have a VERY low BS quotient. His wife strikes me as a top-notch coach. Worth looking into .


The New Yorker cover with Barack and Michelle Obama in terrorist garb I found rather funny. I also understand why lotsa people were upset. If people didn't keep making the kinds of "Obama/Osama" comments, I'd tell them to just get over it. As it is I'm not sure if the cover is a very good thing or a very bad thing. I am completely convinced that the artist might have created the exact same cover if he was an Obama supporter (I have no idea if he is). Nah. I think it was just a rather sophisticated joke perhaps gone awry. Too bad.


I hear rumors that "Dark Knight" is as close to a perfect Batman or Superhero movie as you're gonna get. Gives me hope for "The Watchmen", based on the greatest comic book of all time. Good year for fans!


I've watched the entire first season of "I, Spy" and am delighted. It actually holds up to my memories. The writing is often exceptional, the action terrific (for television of the time), the acting equally so. Cosby has often suggested that his Emmy wins were due to liberal guilt. I'm not so sure at all. While it is unfortunate that his co-star (and acting coach) Robert Culp (who also wrote and directed one of the season's best episodes) did not get the same glory, it is also clear that Culp's subsequent career trajectory was perfectly fine for a good television actor, while Cos went on to become arguably the biggest star in the history of the medium. He was a natural, and while the first five episodes displayed some poor timing, by the last ten episodes, he was motoring.

So far, the second season (all three seasons are now available at around 15 bucks a season. Fifty cents an episode to reclaim my childhood) isn't as good, but still interesting television. I give Culp MAJOR props for developing the concept, guiding the writing quality, re-tooling the concept for Cosby's personae, and fighting with the affiliates to accept a black co-star. And yep, it was the Southern affiliates that gave them trouble. My guess is that the quality went downhill for numerous reasons, but maybe I'll be surprised. And whatever I ultimately think, "I, Spy" was a landmark series, and all concerned should be very proud.


Craig B. said...


I took the CrossFit Kettlebell Certification from Jeff Martone, and it was the best, most clear, focused presentation of it's kind I've ever seen. Perhaps of ANY kind. He's a great guy, very self effacing but just rock solid on all levels. Information, application, drill...with a great sense of when people were losing focus (when to have 'storytime' as he calls it) and how to bring it back. His H2H work is really inspiring- my left hand skills are curently holding me back, but getting there.

Dan Gambiera said...

The New Yorker cover was pretty funny and completely in line with the magazine's traditions. The forced outrage is a sign of how scared and cringing the Democrats have become in thirty years of Right wing ascendancy.

If Dark Knight and Watchmen are good they will exceed my expectations. If they capture the spirit of the originals it will be a miracle. I'd say "Better than LXG" but that would be setting the bar so low the audience couldn't see it.

Anonymous said...

I thought the New Yorker cover was funny, too.

There's a lot of people on the right who are trying to paint Barrack and Michelle in exactly that way.

I wish the Obama campaign had taken this opportunity to point out just how stupid, bigoted, and ignorant some of this stuff is.

(I mean come on...a "terrorist" fist bump? LOL)

Marty S said...

I find the reaction to the New Yorker cover really amazing. If it had been a conservative magazine with the same cover everybody would have been all over it, like FOX news's "Baby Mama" subtitle. How many, like myself, who don't read the New Yorker, and don't know its traditions are going to interpret the cover negatively.

David Roel said...

Hey, you know your RSS feed isn't updating?

Steve Perry said...

Not been watching the news, Marty? Everybody and his kid brother is frothing over the cover, left, right, and center. Only people I've noticed who aren't are comedians, them having a sense of humor and all.

Jon Stewart had a field day, as did Colbert, and rightly so. It's a cartoon. Taking it out of context is right up the news media's alley.

Political cartoons in the U.S. go back as far as newspapers, and if I were Obama, my reaction would have been, "What, don't people have enough to worry about without getting riled up about a political cartoon on the front of a magazine?"

Didn't see people imploding when they showed Obama and Clinton in bed together reaching for the red phone at 3 a.m.

Satire. Irony. Stuff like that.

Nancy Lebovitz said...

For what it's worth, I don't take the New Yorker cover seriously. I think it was very carefully drawn to make the Obamas not look frightening. They're extremely thin, not focused out at the viewer, and look practically immobile.

My only concern (I heard about the cover before I saw it) was that racists might use it in their propaganda, but I think they'll need to make their own drawings.