Economic Cycles

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Archive for March 2011

I <3 Cancellara

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This is why I love Cancellara, and why you should too.

(For the record, Phillipe Gilbert comes in a close 2nd for his attacking prowess and heart. Basically, any cyclist who has an attacking pedigree is at the top of my list of awesome).

And then he finishes them off…

Written by jlongo12

March 30, 2011 at 8:34 am

Posted in cycling

Podcast #3 – Justin and Dave Williams on the Political Process

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My friend Dave Williams has been a figurehead in the Colorado freedom movement for quite some time. He has this uncanny ability to speak to any group on any issue (including those who completely disagree with him), find some common ground, and leave them believing just a little bit more in libertarian ideas. He is kind of like the grand ambassador for freedom in Colorado.

In this podcast, I wanted to address a few things:
1. Can direct political action help the cause of liberty?
2. Can indirect political action help the cause of liberty?
3. Can the Libertarian Party help the cause?
4. How and where does Dave draw the line for “justified” government force?
5. How can we better communicate with those who disagree with us?

We discuss all those issues, plus his work with the Gadsden Society of Colorado, the liberty lobbying firm he founded a few years back.

Check out the podcast – Justin and Dave Williams on the political process.

Written by jlongo12

March 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Posted in podcasts

Long Road to Recovery

with 4 comments

I saw the highly recommended Lee Carmen with Pain Solutions Inc yesterday morning. Originally I was going to see an MD knee specialist, but I decided against it. Like my fiance has taught me, I need to find the root cause of my knee problem and attack that. Sure, I could get a shot in my knee and solve the problem in the short-term, or just stay off of it for a couple months until the inflammation and swelling completely subsides. But that won’t prevent my knee pain from coming back later. I’d be reduced to resting, getting shots, taking Advil, icing, and all that stuff the rest of my life.

So what’s the root cause of my problem? In a word: imbalance. Our bodies are made up of different parts that are all completely interconnected. When one part is off, it affects many other parts. Our bodies are also very good at adapting to imbalances and sub-par mobility. After time, our body can compensate for inadequate parts by calling on other parts to work double duty so to speak. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve had extremely tight muscles. I was born maybe the most rigid person on the planet. I remember being a little kid and getting a physical. It was evident that I was inflexible and had a limited range of motion. My Mom asked the doctor, “Will Justin ever be able to touch his toes?” “No, probably not,” the doctor responded. School assemblies were the worst. All the kids could sit quietly, “Indian style.” I physically could not sit that way. I was forced to sit with my feet in front of me, knees tucked against my chest, while my arms wrapped them up into a tight-knit ball. It was extremely uncomfortable. I would sit there not paying attention to the assembly due to being so uncomfortable and wishing I could sit like everyone else. As a young baseball player, I couldn’t even mess around and play catcher some of the time. Why? Because I couldn’t crouch in a catcher’s stance. I was too inflexible to sit on my heels. It was truly pathetic.

Now it seems like my rigid body structure and extremely limited range of motion has come back to haunt me. Over the years my body has learned how to adapt and overcome these deficiencies by calling on some muscle groups to turn off, while working others overtime. I have a twisted pelvis due to tightened quad muscles and an overcompensating hip flexor. When sitting on the bike, my twisted hips create the illusion that my right leg is shorter than my left. Therefore, my right leg has to compensate for that by overreaching. My glute muscles have been basically shut off for quite some time, as my quads and the muscles in and around my hip are constantly firing. My tight quad muscles and IT band pull on my knee cap and throw it off track. Therefore, my knee cap doesn’t sit straight. Rather, it sits off to the right side and tracks at an angle instead of straight up and down. My knee problems are simply a symptom of this long list of imbalances and deficiencies. When my crank spindle broke and put my pedal sagging at an angle, it forced an already over stretched right leg to stretch further. Again, the broken crank and ensuing knee pain are just one manifestation of an overall, much bigger structural problem.

The good news, and I believe there is a silver lining to all these problems, is that there is no telling how good I can be on the bike once my body stops fighting me and starts working with me. It’s amazing I’ve gotten as far as I have with a body so out of whack. Now I have the ability to reach new levels of fitness when I finally straighten myself out. This part is exciting. In the short term however, I’m not exactly sure how this season will go. I’m not sure if I can race much at all. And if I can, I might be racing at half speed due to decreased training levels. I’m most worried about my participation in the Tour of the Gila. I was really looking forward to that race. I’m going to do everything in my power to get back on track and race the Gila – even if I’m just a helper for a teammate.

For now I’m going to be seeing Lee a few times a month working on straightening me out. I’ll also be attending Jon Heidemann’s functional movement class at Peak to Peak twice a week, in addition to the exercises and stretching I’ll be doing on my own. I’m going to continue to train, but only 1 hour at a time until my knee can handle longer duration. Unfortunately, my fitness is going to take a big hit. Finally, I’ll be wearing kinesio tape on my right knee from time to time to help it to track properly. So if you see me out there training, I might look like Lucas Euser here:

Written by jlongo12

March 25, 2011 at 9:28 am

Posted in cycling

Podcast #2 – Justin and Ademo on Cops

with 3 comments

My friend and fellow voluntaryist Ademo Freeman joined me the other night for a podcast on cops, with a strong focus on police accountability. Ademo is a guy that knows a lot about the cops issue and runs a fantastic police accountability website called CopBlock.org. In it, you’ll find a wealth of information from an array of contributors. They also have a couple of really cool features like podcasts and a sweet interactive map.

In our podcast, we touch on Ademo’s background with the police issue, how Ademo and his crew keep cops accountable, what regular folks like you and I can do to keep the police accountable, some of the more egregious police horror stories, reasons why we see so much police brutality today, why cameras are so important, tips and techniques for dealing with cops, what a moral protection system might look like, and finally, we touch a little bit on some of the institutions that might arise in a voluntary society.

So make sure you check out CopBlock and then listen to our podcast – Justin and Ademo on cops.

***Update: Ademo was kind enough to link back to me on CopBlock. Thanks bud!***

Written by jlongo12

March 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm

1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

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I don’t even know where to start. After thinking I was on a fast track to getting better, my knee is the worst it’s ever been. I woke up in so much pain this morning and it’s still feeling worse than ever. It’s gotten so bad that I called a knee specialist that I will be seeing on Wednesday morning. Where I’m sure he’ll tell me not to ride at all for a few weeks. And thus, lose much or most of my fitness. Then I get to start racing in April with no fitness. Cool. (but isn’t it PRO to “race yourself into shape?”)

This of course happened after a great day on the bike yesterday with the team. We climbed the 3 most steep mountains in Boulder – Magnolia, Sugarloaf, and SuperFlag. My knee was throbbing by Flagstaff. I iced the living hell out of it last night, but that didn’t seem to help much at all. Now I’ll patiently await a guy I paid to tell me not to ride to tell me not to ride…

Until then, I’m reduced to day dreaming and watching bike racing on the interwebs. This video I found on Velogogo is pretty cool, mostly because Gilbert is the most fun racer to watch in recent history. If he isn’t currently attacking, he is definitely planning an attack for the near future. He lives the word panache.

Written by jlongo12

March 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Posted in cycling

Heal Baby Heal!

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Doing my interval workout this morning was a dream! I’ve got a brand new crankset on my bike now, and boy does it feel smooth. When I initially clipped in, it felt like my right cleat was busted. My foot was so used to being clipped in at a steep angle, that being level was almost too weird to handle. I jumped off my bike and looked at my cleat to make sure it wasn’t broken. Sure enough, it was fine. I got back on and started pedaling and began to get used to pedaling level again. I only did around an hour and 20 minutes though, but it felt great!

Now I’m set to do a little longer on the bike tomorrow, maybe 2.5 hours when it’s all said and done. I’ll know for sure how far along my knee is after that ride. Since I’m no longer aggravating it with my broken crank anymore, it’s more about letting my knee repair and heal itself. Not sure how long this will take, but it’s a much better situation now than before. I’ll continue to ice it and continue my stretching.

Now my mantra is HEAL BABY HEAL!

Written by jlongo12

March 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Posted in cycling

Myth of Government Services Audio File

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In addition to my recent podcast adventures, I decided to make an audio clip of my essay, “The Myth of Government Services.

Here is the audio of The Myth of Government Services, read by me.

Written by jlongo12

March 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm