How to be a man and stand up for yourself and your loved ones

Are you a man or a dog?

You can either see this as a story about a dog being rescued to a better life, or a template for how to deal with daily encounters like a grown man. Stake your rightful claim. Stand for it (given it’s a fair claim) and do it proudly.

You are not responsible for other people’s erratic and unjustified feelings.


A German Shepherd / Doberman can cast fear into the best

This is my dog Ronja (female). She is a German Shepherd / Doberman cross-breed. Seven years old. She is strong, has a menacing voice that carries, not to mention spectacular teeth. The dog shelter that cared for her until I took her didn’t dare let her come close to other dogs. Just saying. Okay, there is speculation of some great dane in Ronja as well. And kangaroo.

my bitches

Ronja is a rescue dog. The police relieved her of her previous owner after finding her in a burnt apartment with 3 inches of filth and excrement covering the floor throughout the flat. Ronja was thin and weak (one of her three cat companions was close to death by starvation), but after 9 months at a dog shelter she had recovered. Physically.

Mentally, she was considered nervous, anxious, loud and possibly aggressive and dangerous to other dogs.

An unwanted problem dog

Most dogs stay just a few weeks at the shelter, but Ronja was too old, too strong, too problematic. One couple tried her during 2 months but had to give her up, after the neighbors had complained about the loud barking. Before I got there she had spent some 40 weeks at the shelter, 15-20 times as long as usual.

For me it was love at first sight.


Sure, she pulled on the leash like a trained sleigh dog. Sure she made loud wheezing and whistling noises and generally behaved like a dog sized tornado in the dog shelter waiting room. Sure, when she sighted another dog 50 meters away she tensed up and started barking and pulling, unless distracted with obscene amounts of goodies (Swedish meatballs of course). On the other hand, she was very calm and sweet from the moment she entered my apartment. Not an aggressive or nervous trait in her body.

I could make this a long and detailed story, but suffice to say that after 7 days in my care, I could safely and confidently, proudly even, release her among any other dogs and be certain she was the coolest and calmest of the pack. That was 6 weeks ago and there hasn’t been one single incident since then (among a thousand close dog encounters) where she wasn’t cool as a cucumber, bordering on boring.

It’s just one thing.

It always is isn’t it? A one thing, that stains the whole a little more than it ought to.

One thing was seriously wrong

When Ronja is on a leash on the street (not so much in parks), her guard dog instincts clash with her curiosity and desire to meet and greet other dogs. Torn between feeling trapped by the leash, wanting to protect me and a pull to say hello to the other dog, or just quickly verify the hierarchy, she pulls and barks. The barking quickly escalates from surprised to very menacing. Hardly any mentally healthy dog owner would want her to approach their little loved ones.

When she gets nose to nose, however, the barking stops immediately, without a fault.

How I know that, when nobody wants to let her come close? To be as brief as possible, let’s just say I like to experiment. I perform little incremental tests, observe, draw conclusions and then, sooner or later, in the case of Ronja, I simply just release the leash and see what happens…

Now I know I can safely let go of the leash anytime and let her run up to any dog; or hold on to the leash and follow her all the way to the dog. If the other dog is aggressive, she just backs away, uninterested. Alternatively, with friendly dogs, as soon as she touches the other dog she is fine and done with it. Quiet. Happy.

Ronja and me that is. The dog owners we encounter, on the contrary, vary from surprised, relieved, happy, talkative to scared, grumpy, angry and silent.

One actually put a knee in the side of Ronja and another hit her (more like tried). Ronja couldn’t care less. She doesn’t attack anybody, or even bite somebody that hits or kicks her. She just wants to take a quick look and sniff (2-5 seconds) on the alien dog and then return to me. Neither dogs, nor people are really that interesting to her after a couple of seconds. So who’s the dangerous and aggressive one I wonder?

You shouldn’t bother with the chaos in other people’s heads

I know that she is perfectly harmless even if abused, just as I know planes don’t fall out of the sky. The upset, the fear, the anger are all in the head of the other dog owner – and frankly I don’t care about other people’s misconceptions.

I’m sure Victor Pride at Bold and Determined or Mike C at Danger & Play would have something really manly to say about, uh…, being a man, all manly and stuff…, and claim your place in the world without making excuses… and such. They’d be eloquent about it too.

Well, I’m not like them, I’m just a humble Swedish guy, with a rescue dog that I think deserves not having to bark or be anxious. So that’s what I make sure she gets. It’s a good thing though I bench press >300 lbs, weigh 200 lbs, stand 6ft tall and have the mental stability (and IQ?) of a rock.

Battling the stock markets for 15 years at a hedge fund, being responsible for billion dollar trades and butting heads with know-it-all analysts, brokers and arrogant heads of companies, have prepared me for chance shouting matches with scared and upset dachshund owners on the street, I’d say. To understate matters.

No dog fazes her or upsets her (well, unless she is on a leash):

The grand danois (great dane) behind Ronja is a playful, 5 year old, that weighs 180 lbs. He gets the cold shoulder from Ronja. The little black pug right in front of her probably hardly registers at all, since Ronja has her beloved tennis ball between her jaws.

Fight your fight

I personally find it easier to fight for the honor of a fair lady like Ronja, than for myself, but the principle is the same. You shouldn’t apologize for living, for being a man, for taking your place (not somebody else’s, we are not talking Nietzsche here).

But there is more to the story above. Remember how I said I experiment and observe? I always do that, in all aspects of life. I always try to see underlying pattern, to understand, to learn, to improve.

I just want to find the better, the fairer, the more long term way of doing things.

You should try it. As a bonus, that type of mindful approach will make life seem longer and fuller, while you become both smarter and happier.



How to stop 1.5 billion restless legs from kicking

If you like your restless legs you can keep them.

Did you know that several of your friends silently struggle every day with the ominous-sounding Willis-Ekbom’s Disease?


(I did too. Well, I still do, there is no definitive cure,

but to a much lesser extent – virtually non-existent.

Read on to see how you can beat this creepy-crawly nightmare.)


The affliction is more commonly referred to as Restless Legs Syndrome, which unfortunately makes a quite serious problem seem…, well, less serious.


What is Willis-Ekbom’s Disease?

For starters, it feels like this when you’re trying to sleep or relax at the end of the day:

Restless Legs Syndrome Is No Joke


WED is when you feel an “irresistible urge to move your legs (most often the legs, arms or phantom limbs) to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations. Moving the affected body part provides temporary relief. These urges are most common around bed time or when relaxing, e.g., when watching a movie.


Some simply give up on the relaxing, while others lay awake for hours, kicking wildly both voluntarily and involuntarily, to get rid of the crawling, creeping and tickling, even aching, sensations in the legs.


Fantasizing about simply hacking one’s legs off, to escape the symptoms, is not uncommon.

At ANY Cost


1.5 billion spastic legs kicking in the silence of the night.

Since 1 out of 10 has this “spectrum” (scale/degree) disorder in one form or the other, you might as well have it. Perhaps you just didn’t have a name for it?

Sir Thomas Willis described the syndrome in 1672, almost half a millennium ago. Karl-Axel Ekbom made a more comprehensive study in 1945. Together they have named the syndrome: Willis-Ekbom’s Disease: WED.


2 most unwelcome bed guests and 1 cure (9 actually).

As I stated above, I had two of these 1.5 billion legs as my obnoxious companions in the TV-couch and bed. For me the following serendipitous combination worked to reduce 99% of my problems:

  • Cobra-ups (which I did to fix a bulging disc and hernia, resulting from poor couch posture – actually a lack of couch, lying on the floor with my neck up against the wall).
  • Vitamin-D (I gradually read more and more about the wide spectrum benign effects of vitamin D, in particular in the north. I now eat 4000 IU = 100ug per day in the winter. Here is a recent article on vitamin-D and WED).
  • Omega 3 (first and foremost anti-inflammatory, but also generally makes biological organisms work better at a cellular level).
  • Iron (generally better and more varied food for other reasons; iron is used for a precursor to dopamine and dopamine drugs seem to work on RLS).
  • Deadlifting (just a coincidence that I included this cure-all exercise in my program around the same time)
  • Better posture at all times (after fixing my disc and starting to deadlift).
  • Less continuous sitting time.
  • Less sugar (sugar is inflammatory).
  • Reduced stress (my work situation changed gradually to the better from 2005 and onward, but I hardly think that had any measurable effect on my condition).


Cobra-ups neutralize the vertebraes, after a day of sitting at the office, in the car and the couch.

CUs can prevent restless legs and sleep issues but most of all prevent throwing your back.

Cobra-up, I did 15 every second hour for three months, to cure my bulging disc

Cobras may seem unnatural, but so is walking on two legs. Humans’ back problems are due to us being fish and reptiles by construction. We still are as phoetuses. The quick and dirty adaption of a horizontal spine to a vertical one, with several compensatory bends, form the backbone of all hernias and related problems.

Blame the crocodiles!

Standing up further complicates the blood flow and oxygenation of various body parts – which is central to WED.


There is no known cure

I’m not saying I’ve found the cure. Curing RLS or WED would be like curing allergy; the spectrum of symptoms is too wide, as is the collection of causes.

Not even the mechanism is fully clear. A couple of things seem involved though: iron levels, oxygen levels (in the central nervous system as well as the muscle tissue), dopamine levels, blood flow, fitness level, inflammation, pinched nerves and electrolyte imbalances.

In general it seems the disease is hereditary (iron storing, oxygen transportation, blood vessels, dopamine) but its expression depends on nutrition (iron levels, inflammation, fitness, blood flow), the level of fitness (affects blood flow and oxygenation) and state of inflammation (affects blood vessels and blood flow).

As you see there is quite a lot (scientifically-based, as well as empirically tried by yours truly) you can do to get hours more of quality rest per day:

  • Keep your iron levels in the correct range (iron is used in the dopamine system, as well as for transportation of oxygen, but too much is still too much).
  • Keep your inflammation levels low (eat omega 3 and D-vitamin, avoid sugar. My guess is that the right lactobacteria would help too).
  • Stay fit (obese have poor circulation and reduced oxygenation, and often poor posture too).
  • Control your posture (to avoid bulging disks, hernias, pinched nerves: sit straight, don’t slouch, hold your cell phone at eye leveldamn it!).
  • Do mobility exercises (spine: cobra ups, chest/shoulder: morpheus, psoas: couch stretch, hip: squat).
  • Try nitrate rich food for increased blood flow (beetroot juice, spinach, chard widen blood vessels; the gene for Nitrogen oxide is a marker for WED).

You really should do all of the above.


In addition, the drug Pramipexol widens the blood vessels as well as reduces pain, both of which provides relief from restless legs. I’ve never tried it, since my symptoms all but disappeared with a natural approach anyway.

Just say no to drugs (unless they are for recreational purposes, although a spliff probably reduces RLS/WED as well).

at least good for umara composis


Other suggested “solutions” include cold showers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills. I wouldn’t go there – I mean who thinks a cold shower will help you fall asleep?

Sleep tight

You decide how much trouble you want to pass on

An educated guess, based on epigenetics research, is that highly expressed WED, due to poor nutrition and low fitness level, will be inherited, so take care of your restless ones now before you pass them on to your children to a larger extent than you have to.


It’s a warning

See your restless legs as a warning, a signal to change your lifestyle. Eat better, exercise, don’t stress and you will short circuit the entire RLS chain of problem with fitness/posture/nerves/circulation/iron/dopamine/inflammation/vessel condition/blood flow/oxygenation.


Summary – there is hope, there is relief

  1. WED is not fun at all, I know.
  2. The causes are multifaceted and so are the cures (try them all to slide as far to the bottom of the WED spectrum as possible).
  3. The lifestyle changes you need to make do not guarantee total relief, but they are all beneficial anyway.
  4. At least do it for the kids.



Okay, in practice here is what you should do:

  • Add 15 cobra-ups twice daily to your routine. It takes one minute and you shouldn’t get sweaty.
  • Take omega 3 supplements and vitamin D if you don’t already.
  • Add beetroots or spinach to your weekly food.
  • Mobilize your hip, psoas, thoracic spine and shoulders regularly.
  • Avoid sugar.
  • Minimize sitting, but sit straight when you do.


Read more about Restless Legs/WED here at

And more about possible cures here at rlcure

Post-Human books 1-4 are FREE through January 21. No strings. None.

Did you see my post about books the other day?

Perhaps you noticed my fascination for technology and science fiction (in particular if it has a libertarian streak).

My all time favorite sci-fi book series is Post-Human by David Simpson, which should have been clear from my earlier book post. The series is hard core nanotech and strong AI sci-fi, with very versatile characters and surprising (and many, many) turn of events. Read it and thank me later (like Zoloo from Mongolia did the other day, when he finally got through his book list and opened his Post-Human)

I just learned (at Facebook) that BookBub is giving away the first 4 books in the series for free (downloadable from Amazon). If you were the least bit interested in reading Post-Human, this is your chance. Download it NOW and keep it for later.

BookBub will of course try to enlist you. Do as you wish with that, but the download is completely free with no strings attached.


Follow this link (or any of the above) to download Post-Human for FREE until January 21.