First Things First

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And Now for a Dose of
Innocuous Brainwashing


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Compliments are hard to receive and they are often misunderstood. For example, when folks look us in the eyes and tell us we’re stubborn, stiff, dull and single-minded airheads, we’re caught slightly off guard -- we blink, we fidget and stammer. What they’re really saying is we’re persevering, disciplined, patient, goal-seeking positive thinkers. Thank them profusely, adding how much you appreciate their tender encouragement. Friendships are gifts from above.

There is nothing is new under the sun, bombers; you’ve heard it all before. But there are some things we ought to repeat regularly despite the tedium of the process. They are like reflecting lights that illuminate our way, and our way is one step from the shadow of darkness.

I’m no more serious than a clown in a bull ring. If you find this stuff rigid, it’s cuz you’re more concerned about the snorting and stomping bull than the smiley clown in the barrel. Take the next five- or ten-minutes to read my tiresome indoctrination; call it endurance.

Seek contentment, abhor complacency and do not be anxious about anything. The most we can expect of life is a grand virtue; living it with its hardships and joys, accumulating our time without regret and doing our best and accepting the rest; be honest, true to one’s self and give no ear to our critics, who are less pleased with us than we are with ourselves. Try too hard and we fall on our backsides. Put a squeeze on time and it slips through our hands. Expect too much and our best is never enough. Steady as she goes, bombers, and she’ll go a long way, high and far.

Call it persevering, or stubborn.

Set your goals, ample and wise, and seek them with diligence and might. Be unique, be yourself, imitate no one and be kind to those who follow your ways. Work hard, eat right and be consistent, a simple practice that keeps us untethered -- alive and free. Slip not into apathy, ward off lethargy and boldly resist gluttony, the shallow characteristics typical of the masses crowding our path. Don’t compromise those standards set high by your spirit, mind and deeds. Clay feet we have, and soiling our neighbor is too easy to do and so hard to recall. Be careful. Be aware. Be grateful. Be emboldened and filled with joy.

Sounds like disciplined, or stiff.

Wait until you can wait no more, and wait again. Do what’s right once, twice and three times. If what you do continues to be right, do it ten times more. The least you’ve done is something right many times, and practiced a quality of greatness that eludes us day after day. It goes by many names, a favorite of which is persistence. Be persistent, always, when doing good is troublesome to do, when getting to a worthy place is doubtful and precarious and when giving up a wicked way is painful and slippery.

Courage accompanies this admirable weapon in our arsenal. You’ve heard of fortitude and marveled at its name. Oh, to have fortitude each morning when the sun rises and each evening when the sun goes down. Nothing wretched before us could endure.

Could be patient, or dull.

Living without constraints and wandering freely are priceless lifestyles with immediate rewards. Looking and seeing, listening and hearing, we learn, imagine, discover, wonder, invent, play and pretend. It’s fun. Yet, without aspirations toward which to direct our steps, we go nowhere, get nothing done and accomplish little. To grow we need a place to go, a purpose to achieve, a target to seek.

Aimlessness and wandering take us around and about, backwards and sideways, but they don’t move us forward. They don’t get us ahead. They don’t fulfill our longings. First objectives, bombers: keep our eyes on the fuel gauge, air speed and altimeter. Ultimate objective: reach our destinations.

This one is definitely, without a doubt goal-seeking, or single-minded.

Once we know where we are going and how to get there, decisions made with no small amount of planning and wisdom, we might consider engraving them on our foreheads or tattooing them on our chests. They are that important. Better yet, imagining our goals and the might employed in gaining them will be far more efficacious to bring them to bear than bizarre physical reminders. We must see what we want clearly, vividly, passionately in our imaginations, and our creative sub-conscious minds will set to the task of accomplishing the job placed before them.

Our brains conveniently and carefully located in our relatively small heads, are sophisticated, goal-seeking computers ready to do wonders based on the information we feed them. Feed them well -- no garbage, like doubt or fear or despair -- and they will amaze us with their integrated, highly technical capacity to achieve our goals. We’re smarter than we think.

Hmmm, let me think, this is ...er, no... it's, mmm, no, not that either. I can't think right, what's wrong with me? How about... it's iffy... positive thinking, or day dreaming???

We want something, know what we want and want it badly. Good. This will help us achieve it. Incidentally, we must be certain what we want "badly" is "good." We don’t want something we ought not to want, like the money in the local 7-11 cash register or Bobby’s girl or several pizzas and beers. We have a way of rationalizing our wants and confusing them with our needs, or possibilities. At 40 or 50, guys, don’t expect a huge and ripped body capable of squatting 505 and running the 100-yard-dash in 10 flat. Unlikely. And, girls, 36-26-36 at 46 is another unlikely. As in everything we do, be real.

Let’s, for example, strive for a strong, well-built body, which is about as good as "good" gets. Now, practice the visualizing process described above. See, feel, taste, smell and wear that mighty sight as if it were your own. I don’t mean get all goofy like a little kid, but close is not a bad idea. Determine the methods required to achieve your goals and implement them with resolve. Know that wavering in your pursuit is foolish, weak and damning to the process.

There’ll be times when we give up, no longer care, get sidetracked, misplace inspiration, lose ambition, get lazy, procrastinate, encounter the blues or fall into a slump. That’s life, either an affliction or a challenge. Afflictions attack the weak and take them down; challenges are moments of truth subject to the strong. Push on, press on; tug, pull and squeeze with all your might. The day is ours, by God, to add to our wealth. Don’t waste it, make the best of it; smooth its course with repeated treading. Dedication and devotion, they beat like drums.

Absolutely committed, or idiotic. Yup!

At birth we’re given a miracle to enjoy, cherish and care for. We call it life. Nothing compares to its splendor and supremacy. Without it nothing is, as no one would know it?

We are guided in our understanding of and regard for life by those before us, our inherent instincts and our ensuing commonsense. Somehow we miss the living picture, seeing only an occasional snap shot and a hazy one at that. Eventually our care for our lives -- our bodies, our mind, our behavior, our direction -- and the lives of those around us falls short of its basic requirements and we allow it to slip away. Physical health deteriorates as we daily miss-feed and mistreat it; the mind suffers as it is neglected or stressed and overworked; our emotions are abused by wrong thinking, and we run off in different directions looking for wealth and unrequited fulfillment and pleasure.

"Neat gift," some say, "think I’ll destroy it. In my tool box I have donuts and soda pop, drugs and alcohol and cigarettes, jealousy and envy and greed. That should get me started. How about you? There’s a guy with scams and lies and petty gossip. Swell!" And the ball keeps rolling along... bumpity bump.

Man eats like a hog; he’s lazy and apathetic; he’s rude and self-serving; he disregards and procrastinates and he looks for the easy way out. Many of our wrong-doings, should we take notice, are unintentional mistakes due to ignorance. They are accidents, not premeditated crimes. This is no excuse, reason or rationale. And it doesn’t mean a crime has not been perpetrated, and on an inexcusable daily basis.

It’s a sad and simple fact of life, that same life we should honor and protect: Respect has become lost in the jungle.

This one is irresponsible, bonehead, or very uncool.

When will we get our act together, people? Gratefully, we are bombers who are miles ahead and above the masses of whom I speak, and our ways are virtuous in comparison. We try hard to do it right, we falter and try again. We’re getting there by confidence, knowledge and encouragement... and by the corny hot-points outlined above.

Bombers, prepare for take off. We’ve got places to go, things to do and sights to see.

God’s speed... Draper

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TOUGH GRIP

The only truly revolutionary products to come our way in the past half-century, besides the Top Squat and Bomber Blend, are the Thick-bar Pulley Handles and Thick-bar Easy Curl Bar by the industrious Bomb Squad. The one-and-one-half-inch thick bars are a full half-inch thicker in diameter than normal bars and provide both comfort and mechanical advantage to lifters, large and not-so large. The improved thickness is the thickness lifters (Sandow, Louis Cyr) started with a hundred years ago, another test and builder of might. When the iron went commercial, the one-inch bar was popularized.

Live and learn, as they say. Can you imagine the brutes we’d have walking around the gyms today, if they had retained the elemental diameter? Scary!

A one-inch bar looks like and feels like a pencil in comparison.

There are six thick-handles from which to choose, satisfying a variety of musclebuilding needs:

Short straight-bar
V-bar
Easy curl bi-tri bar
Hi-lo close-grip bar
Wide-grip bar
Medium-wide parallel-grip bar

These beefy muscle makers are available in either a tough-grip knurled finish or a rugged pebbled flat-black powder coating.

The broader bar distributes the resistance over a wider area, diminishing an overload to any specific small area. More comfort. The greater thickness offers more bar-control and directionality. Groove management. The increased diameter alters the center of gravity for unique, increased muscle demand. Advanced mechanical advantage.

The truth is the thick bars just feel better, work better, and perform better. They encourage exertion, power and one more rep. Get this: they’re capped hollow 11-gauge steel tubing, accurately cut and shaped and tig- and mig-welded. They don’t weigh a ton to counter your pulley resistance or knock you silly when you bump your head into the rascals as they hang hazardously in the middle of the gym floor.

The Bomb Squad

You'll find Dave Thick Bar Handles here

The Bash 2005 reports are here

The Bash photos are here

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