Nerd Incognito http://nerdincognito.com/blog Musings by Sean McKenzie Tue, 13 Feb 2018 15:44:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Colten Boushie – Why We Need to Be Better People http://nerdincognito.com/blog/coltenboushie/ http://nerdincognito.com/blog/coltenboushie/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 15:44:44 +0000 http://nerdincognito.com/blog/?p=568 Something terrible happened in my little corner of the world this past week. It’s not the first time that it’s happened; I know it won’t be the last. And for as hopeful as I am that we’re getting better as a society, more accepting, caring, and considerate, these kind of events always remind me of […]

The post Colten Boushie – Why We Need to Be Better People appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
Something terrible happened in my little corner of the world this past week. It’s not the first time that it’s happened; I know it won’t be the last. And for as hopeful as I am that we’re getting better as a society, more accepting, caring, and considerate, these kind of events always remind me of just how far we have to go. And while I debated internally for some time as to whether or not I would put something on my blog, and what precisely I would say, I eventually had to recognize that to be silent is to be complicit with what happened.

A young man died in August of 2016, shot in the head by a farmer, whose land he and some friends had driven onto. These events are part of the agreed upon statement of facts in the case. There was testimony, as well, some of it inconsistent and focusing on the fact that the car full of young people were all drinking, and may have driven onto the land to steal a quad, or to seek help for a flat tire. There was more testimony about whether or not the farmer intended to shoot the young man, and whether the gun had “hang fired” due to poorly-maintained ammunition. From my perspective, none of that really matters anyway. Our country’s laws dictate that lethal force is never justified to protect possessions–because lives are more important than things.

Colten Boushie died of a gunshot wound to the head. Gerald Stanley was holding the pistol that shot him. The jury found Gerald Stanley not guilty. They could have found him guilty of second degree murder. That’s where the testimony might have had some value to the case, as second degree murder requires intent, and whether Gerald Stanley truly intended for Colten Boushie to die was up for debate during the trial. Manslaughter, on the other hand, largely ignores intent. If I were to punch someone, intending only to hurt them, and they died, I would be guilty of manslaughter–even though I didn’t intend for the person to die. The only thing that must be proven is that I was responsible for the death.

Gerald Stanley was, unequivocally, responsible for the death of Colten Boushie. Again, this was part of the agreed-upon statement of facts in the case.

And yet, he was found not-guilty.

In my post on the Canada 150 controversy, I likened our country to a functional alcoholic. On the world stage, we present a likable face, synonymous with compassion, acceptance, and good will. The problem is how we act at home. At home that legacy of good humour, honesty, and courage is sullied by the way we’ve treated the other people in our family–those that should be closest to our hearts. Our country is a racist country, and we while we have begun to recognize that and acknowledge that there is work to be done, we also have to accept that the systems we have in place are racist, as well. We have to accept, as difficult as it may be, that we ourselves are almost certainly racist to one degree or another, and that we have to do better.

Don’t believe me? Try a quick mental exercise or two: if a carload of white teenagers, stars of the local high school basketball team, say, had driven onto a reserve and one had been shot in the head by a First Nations man, would the verdict had been the same? Or if the jury that heard Gerald Stanley’s trial had been all indigenous peoples, rather than white people, do you think the finding would have been the same? Me neither. Hell, maybe if a handful of the jurors had been indigenous, it would have been enough to change the verdict. We will never know.

What we do know is all contained in the statement of facts: Colten Boushie died. Gerald Stanley killed him. Gerald Stanley walked away a free man.

We need to do better, Canada. We need to BE better. #JusticeforColten

Share

The post Colten Boushie – Why We Need to Be Better People appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
http://nerdincognito.com/blog/coltenboushie/feed/ 0
A Quiet Moment #22 – Phoenix with a Broken Wing http://nerdincognito.com/blog/a-quiet-moment-22-phoenix-with-a-broken-wing/ http://nerdincognito.com/blog/a-quiet-moment-22-phoenix-with-a-broken-wing/#respond Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:36:35 +0000 http://nerdincognito.com/blog/?p=564 Sadly, the title for this post sings in my head as “owner of a lonely heart.” No, I can’t explain why. It’s like trying to explain why random Simpsons or Monty Python references find their way into my head, even when I can’t quite place which episode or skit they belong to. Some thing we […]

The post A Quiet Moment #22 – Phoenix with a Broken Wing appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
Sadly, the title for this post sings in my head as “owner of a lonely heart.” No, I can’t explain why. It’s like trying to explain why random Simpsons or Monty Python references find their way into my head, even when I can’t quite place which episode or skit they belong to. Some thing we must just accept.

In July, I posted that what I hoped would be “Phase 3” of a personal transformation would soon begin…and I did try. I went slo-carb, along with my wife (man, oh, man, it’s a lot easier to do if you’re partner is doing the same). I kept riding to work everyday. I kicked my own ass in the gym, and started a new lifting program. What I got was burnt out. Tired most of the time, and sore. Worst of all, I aggravated a shoulder issue that had been riding me ever since my return to the gym. I ended up spending almost three months going through ART therapy on the shoulder, and have recently switched to straight physiotherapy–partially because I ran out of insurance coverage for ART, and it’s expensive, and partially because ART just didn’t seem to be fixing the problem the way it normally does. I’ve also given up most of my lifts for the past month, as the list of things that I could do painlessly began to dwindle. The last straw was pain during deadlifts–which are probably my most-loved lift.

My other July hope, that I would manage to drop the second 20lbs or so that I’ve been wanting to get rid of, has become a promissory note, at best. Even on full slo-carb, I just wasn’t dropping down past 225, and the volume of work I was doing left me voracious and angry most of the time, which is neither helpful, nor kind to my family. I do plan another run at it soon. Perhaps things will actually go better during a time of year when I’m not hauling ass back and forth to work on my bike, and lifting 4 days a week. It’s tough to say. Broken wing or not, differing timeline or not, I will get there. Sometimes we just need a little more time, and a little less self-recrimination.

 

 

Share

The post A Quiet Moment #22 – Phoenix with a Broken Wing appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
http://nerdincognito.com/blog/a-quiet-moment-22-phoenix-with-a-broken-wing/feed/ 0
A Quiet Moment — #20 — Youtube http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-20-youtube/ http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-20-youtube/#respond Thu, 07 Sep 2017 21:40:16 +0000 http://nerdincognito.com/blog/?p=561 There's a Nerd Incognito Youtube account, and you should be watching it.

The post A Quiet Moment — #20 — Youtube appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
I’m more of a written words kind of person than a video person. To some extent, that comes straight out of my introversion; the rest I come by honestly through my love of language. However, for those that may not know about it, there is a Nerd Incognito Youtube account. As of yet, it’s focusing pretty heavily on the “nerd” side of things, eschewing a lot of the dad blogger or writer sides (though you should keep an eye out for new content that will combine parenting and cooking), but hopefully some of you out there might enjoy what I have there. Here’s my most recent video, a showcase of the Bushwacker P2 variant, or “Weed Wacker” as I call it, from Mechwarrior Online–one of the few games I find time to play regularly.

Share

The post A Quiet Moment — #20 — Youtube appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-20-youtube/feed/ 0
A Quiet Moment — #19 http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-19/ http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-19/#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 14:31:26 +0000 http://nerdincognito.com/blog/?p=558 There are things that I never thought I would say until I became a parent, and there are things I never could have even guessed would come out of my mouth. I reflected on this the other night, while firmly telling my four year old son “now off to sleep, and no staying up playing […]

The post A Quiet Moment — #19 appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
There are things that I never thought I would say until I became a parent, and there are things I never could have even guessed would come out of my mouth. I reflected on this the other night, while firmly telling my four year old son “now off to sleep, and no staying up playing your harmonica.” Taken in context, it made sense. No, really; it did. I had been going through a tub of random clutter that I’d kept with me, moving from place to place, for upwards of 15 years. Among the random collection of things were two harmonicas, a red one and a blue one, that I had been given by my grandmother, after they had sat in her basement since time immemorial. I wasn’t really sure to do with them–but my boys sure were.

My eldest son, who says enough crazy things of his own, is also a bit of a magpie. He loves to collect things, and particularly anything shiny. As the harmonicas were powder-coated chrome, he was SOLD. For my youngest, it was more about the music, I think–though I wonder if I should put “music” in quotation marks. The idea that this little rectangle could make more sounds than all of his other toys put together was amazing. As he might put it “it’s so soaky” (no idea; don’t ask). And so, here I stood, at the end of a very musical (and tiring) day, trying to make sure that his harmonica stayed solidly on his night table, rather than wandering into his hands for a late night jam session.

Being a parent is a funny thing, often both odd and hilarious. While it’s sometimes hard to be patient at the end of a tough day, when four years old has felt more like two, there’s some pretty good laughs to be found–if you can only put your harmonica down long enough to find them.

Share

The post A Quiet Moment — #19 appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-19/feed/ 0
A Quiet Moment – #18 – Phase 3 Begins http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-18-phase-3-begins/ http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-18-phase-3-begins/#respond Tue, 18 Jul 2017 20:08:46 +0000 http://nerdincognito.com/blog/?p=552 On Monday, I began phase 3. Now, it would be pretty fair for you to ask “what the hell is phase 3?” Well, if you’re a long-term reader of my blog, and you’ve read some of my previous posts on weight loss and exercise, you may recall that I began what I can (in hindsight) […]

The post A Quiet Moment – #18 – Phase 3 Begins appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
On Monday, I began phase 3.

Now, it would be pretty fair for you to ask “what the hell is phase 3?”

Well, if you’re a long-term reader of my blog, and you’ve read some of my previous posts on weight loss and exercise, you may recall that I began what I can (in hindsight) call phase 1 in May, 2014. Up to 255lbs, I was unhappy with pretty much everything and it was enough to kick my ass into action. I changed the way I ate breakfast and lunch, and in doing so, I lost about 30 lbs. I added in biking to and from work, and started to feel good again (except my backside, but I eventually got used to the bike seat).

In August of 2016, I began what think of as phase 2: I returned to the gym. It had been six years since I quit powerlifting, but it came back quick. My body remembered the motions it had made so many times before, and I increasingly felt like I was in the right groove. By June, 2017, I was putting up numbers near where I had left off lifting: a 405 squat, a 205 bench (sad, but bench has never been a focus for me), and a 405 deadlift–short of my all-time PR of 455, but coming along. The time was ripe for phase 3 to begin.

On Monday, my wife and I started on a slow-carb diet. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it can be chocked up to dropping any carbs that can be white (rice, bread, sugar, potatoes, etc.), and dairy. There’s more, and keeners can search slow-carb + Tim Ferriss for more info, but what intrigues me about it that it doesn’t go straight for ketosis by eliminating all carbs, but instead focuses on making the more sustainable choice of swapping over to more fibrous carbohydrates, like those from green vegetables, beans, and legumes. I’ve been meaning to incorporate more of those into my diet anyway, so it really doesn’t feel like much of a hardship–other than not putting sugar and cream in my coffee, which can burn in hell; that will definitely be the first thing I add back in.

What do I hope to accomplish with phase 3? Good question; thanks for asking it. My goal is to drop to 205lbs. I’ve found that I have natural plateaus every 25lbs or so. I’m quite comfortable around 230, and I could easily sit at 255 without much fluctuation. Does that mean that a similar plateau exists at 205? That’s certainly what I’m hoping. From there, I’ll decide how to approach more bulk, as I want to continue to powerlift and grow stronger. That may mean pushing below 200lbs (which I haven’t seen the other side of since elementary school), and then coming back up to around 205 with more lean mass. It may mean a straight gain back to around 215, with lean mass. I’m not sure. The waters are fairly uncharted, at this point. While I don’t want to shell out for proper body fat testing, some calculators have pegged my lean mass at about 174lbs. That would put me at about 15% bodyfat at 205 lbs. That’s not too shabby for a 35 year old father of two, IMO. Also, if I were inclined to think of it as a fighting weight, it works pretty well; 185 would leave me at about 6% BF, and probably cranky as hell. I think my ideal would be 10-12%, or around 195lbs, but I can’t help but think that would be a temporary stop before adding more muscle.

Then again, I guess that’s a whole lot of cart before the horse, isn’t it. For now, I’m going to focus on sticking to slow-carb as well as I can and see where it takes me. I’m thinking a minimum of 30 days to a max of 90 days for the first go, then decide what to keep and what to ease up on. We’ll see, I suppose. Like lifting, I’ve got to put the work in first.

Share

The post A Quiet Moment – #18 – Phase 3 Begins appeared first on Nerd Incognito.

]]>
http://nerdincognito.com/blog/quiet-moment-18-phase-3-begins/feed/ 0