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Twisted Prey - John Sandford

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold - John LeCarre

UNSUB - Meg Gardiner

A Spy Named Orphan by Roland Philipps

How It Happened by Michael Koryta

The Word Is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

Star of the North - D.B. John

The Sinners - Ace Atkins

The Outsider - Stephen King

Podcast Favorites

Joe Rogan Experience #1101  Chris & Mark Bell .

WTF Marc Maron with Bill Simmons April 9 2018

Christopher Steele - New Yorker Radio Hour March 6 2018

Lance Armstrong - The Forward - Bryan Fogel (Icarus) part 1 of 2 (both essential listening)

Cold War Conversations - Ian Saunders

Spybrary - Shane Whaley -

Cycling Tips

Inside the Hive with Nick Bilton

Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill


2018 Arnold Sports Festival 30th Anniversary and Biggest Ever!

Every year the Arnold dazzles me (and tens of thousands of other attendees) with the legendary Expo. Upward of 1000 booths cover this multiple-acre fairy-tale land of supplements, strength training equipment, and every health and fitness company in the world. Some of the set-ups by the larger companies rival brick-and-mortar stores, featuring product sample give-aways, opportunities to use cutting-edge equipment and technology, and my favorite feature, meet and talk with the smartest people in the worlds of health and fitness and strength training. 


Nowhere else will you be able to walk to a booth and casually meet and discuss the latest bodybuilding supplement with the chemist who actually developed it. Or meet one of the strongest people in the world, or the fittest, or your favorite athlete. Only the Arnold Classic Expo delivers all this, for three magical days. 


Many consider the Expo to be the centerpiece of the weekend. It’s cool and amazing, but there’s so much more going on it’s tough to keep up without the program for the entire Arnold Sports Festival.


2018 is the 30th anniversary of the Arnold. I’ve watched it grow from a small, cool bodybuilding show held in a theater downtown where the “expo” was Arnold and his friends standing behind card tables hoping someone would ask them to sign an 8x10 photo. Today the professional bodybuilding show is second to none in the world. People speculate on social media for months ahead of time about who is going to come in shape, who will win. The pressure of competing in the Arnold Classic bodybuilding show is immense. This year is no exception, with one of the stronger fields of the last few years. For the Arnold, athletes will come out of retirement for a shot at this title.


The Arnold Strongman Classic remains one of the greatest shows on earth. Watching the largest and strongest athletes in the world compete in this grueling series of events onstage in the Expo is a sight never to be forgotten. The charge from the audience, the raw emotion, and the strength and courage exhibited by these strongmen needs to be seen live for full appreciation. Netflix is currently streaming an exciting documentary about the 2015 Arnold Strongman, Born Strong. The movie is great, doing a fine job displaying the behind-the-scenes real work involved in training (and eating) and the head-to-head emotion of competition (and the strong relationships between the competitors). 


The strongest strongmen in the world train and peak for the Arnold Strongman Classic.


USA Powerlifting has a big presence at the Arnold Sports Festival. This is the eleventh year for the organization’s biggest meet; they have $42,000 in prize money up for the taking at the Arnold this year. If you want to see athletes bench press, squat and deadlift like you’ve probably never seen in your home gym, if you want to see strength competitors give a single lift every bit of energy and guts possible, check in on USA Powerlifting this year. They’ve a good series of special events to accompany the traditional powerlifting meet. It’s a fantastic set-up and exciting to watch.


Suffice to say the Arnold Sports Festival is the biggest and best and most fun and exciting health and fitness and strength training extravaganza in the world. I’ve only touched upon the sports and events. Add thousands of athletes competing at the Arnold this year in something upwards of 75 sports to your imagination.  Actually, unless you go to Columbus, you have no idea how crazy and exciting this is. Get to the Arnold Sports Festival website, plan your trip, get fired up, and see you in Columbus!




Changes to Arnold Classic Bodybuilding competition

I'll be at the Arnold Classic, as always. Hopefully you will also!


Red Sparrow movie trailer ... looking forward to this!

I recently read The Kremlin's Candidate, the final entry in the Red Sparrow trilogy by Jason Matthews. The book is superb.

Red Sparrow, the kick-off book in the series, has been made into a greatly-anticipated motion picture, out soon. I'm looking forward to Jennifer Lawrence as Russian double agent Dominica Egorova.


Bodybuilding Competitors Listed for the Arnold Classic

Cedric McMillan, last year's winner, ageless five-time champion Dexter Jackson and 2014 winner Dennis Wolf, coming out of semi-retirement, are the biggest names in a field of 14 athletes who will take the stage in Columbus, Ohio for the 30th Annual Arnold Classic on March 3, 2018. Jackson won the Arnold Classic in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013 and 2015 and holds the event’s record with five titles, one more than Flex Wheeler.

It's difficult to believe this is the 30th anniversary of the Arnold. I've attended the majority of them, have seen some great contests, and feel this year's battle will rank with the best. Do not discount the presence of William Bonac and Maxx Charles; these guys can show up and win a pro contest at any time. This year's field is deeper with talent than I've seen in a while.

In the Arnold Classic 212, 2017 runner-up David Henry and 2015 champion Jose Raymond top a field of seven who will compete for the title. Henry and Raymond, third in Columbus a year ago, will be going up against the dangerous Guy Cisternino Jr., fourth here in 2017, and Hadi Choopan, who finished second to McMillan in the open division at the 2017 San Marino Pro in late November.

Here are the lineups:

Arnold Classic

Lionel Beyeke
William Bonac
Maxx Charles
Jonathan DeLaRosa
Dexter Jackson
Steve Kuclo
Cedric McMillan
Lukas Osladil
Paul Poloczek
Shawn Rhoden
Justin Rodriguez
Fred Smalls
Roelly Winklaar
Dennis Wolf
Hidetada Yamagishi

Arnold Classic 212

Hadi Choopan
Gaetano Cisternino Jr.
Charles Dixon
Kamal Elgargni
David Henry
Kyung Won Kang
Jose Raymond
Samir Troudi
Hadi Choopan
Gaetano Cisternino Jr.
Charles Dixon
Kamal Elgargni
David Henry
Kyung Won Kang
Jose Raymond
Samir Troudi


Get Ready... The Arnold Sports Festival is getting closer!