Mr. Universe Dave Draper
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Dave Draper, Zeller back shot

Early last night as we sat down to dinner, Laree reminded me that we're having company next year. My first reaction was, Company? So soon? You should've warned me. We had steaks, stir-fried vegetables (hate the term 'veggies'), potatoes and salad. I drank milk and we both had water. Good Bombers are we. As the conversation continued I discovered the company to which Laree referred was the cast of IOL characters, a jolly good group ranging from medical doctors to medicine-men, lawyers to tattoo artists, fire chiefs to fiery chefs. "That's a coincidence," I eventually responded, "we'll be in the Canary Islands." The lead character who suggested the union of bombers next summer is a big child-hearted visionary named "Og of the Canaries." He and his sweetheart, Fay, want to visit Santa Cruz for a holiday in 2001. He also invited 350 of his friends. They're purchasing their tickets and reserving their rooms early to beat the rush and get good prices. The snowball is rolling and it is not melting. Great Gugamuga...

So hows by you, dear rippers? Are we getting somewhere? Is it a good fight? Bad fight? Any fight at all? The most important and most difficult battle undertaken by any of us in my estimation is the one to give up smoking. Though I've never smoked I am not without understanding of the tight and hateful grip of addiction; it does come in all forms. I'm not a generous soul. I see a person smoking and I say, "I'm glad I don't have that one," and I feel smug, a condition far worse than the condition I condemn. I promise to the parties concerned that I shall this day forth, as a 'getting ripped' aspiration, discipline myself to - without piousness or superiority or self-virtue, derelict creature that I am - favor the hounded person with a prayer to God.

I come to you this 10th day of May, celebrated month of toughness, bearing excuses and rationales. I'm weak and I can't go on. That's not funny, sonny... you shouldn't even joke like that or you nose will grow or your pants will catch on fire. The really 'real' truth is Brett, my prowling night commander, has been in Mexico and Josue, our Green Card maintenance man who just got back from visiting his wife and four kids in Chihuahua, quit suddenly like a candle in the rain. Ryan, my barn sized chief-of-steel and I have been cleaning and polishing and mopping and lubing and every time I get on the spin-bike that sits by the rails of the balcony and look down on the gym floor, all I can see are the things I need to do instead of stupid aerobics; and, besides, the skinny little seat hurts my tail feathers. So I take my Ripped Force along with effervescent creatine and ribose and commence my modified super-sets and extended quad-sets. Of course, this is after mid-section... 25 minutes of a non-stop concoction of incline weighted crunches, hanging leg raises, rope tucks and incline leg raises. Absolutely no one in the gym works his or her gut harder than me; I'd have to drop 30 pounds to see those famous abs everyone talks about. No thanks. I'll stick with the shoulders, back and arms in place and the power in the thighs.

Here we go: Smith front press super-setted with wide grip pulldowns to the front, the All-American Bomber Favorite. The reps range from 4 to 10 with provoking half reps here and there for flavor, some mid-rep dynamic tension upon urge for grit. I manage 7 sets with one minute of local floor mopping to maintain the heart rate, body heat, work-focus and momentum. Rhythmic mopping with flair burns calories and is very therapeutic. This is swell for cleaning the black rubber gym floor as well.

It's sunny, warm and I'm rollin'. The water is cool and tastes good as I slug it down. Perfect environment for a four-part giant set of eights: flat DB press / stiff-arm bent bar pullover / DB shrugs / seated lat row. This jam is deliberate, hardheaded and roiling. I grab an extra rep where I can and give up a rep if I must. Nobody can hear me except me and that's enough. I take two minutes between quad-sets to vigorously polish the 5x10 mirrors known for their sparkling reflections. Five big sets and the place is lookin' spiff. Hang on. I'm missing something: the glass doors to the parking lot and my rear delts. No problema. Five sets of heavy bent over DB laterals, some more crumpled newspaper and Windex. Who needs a spin bike?

Tomorrow is leg day. I solemnly swear to mount the aimless and mindless beast and give it a revolution or two, a fine preparation for squats and other delightful hammerings.

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