Random Friday

A Friday Haiku

Government shut down,
Congress cannot do their job,
Vote all the bums out.

Weigh-in Friday

I’m fighting another cold or maybe the same one. I’ve been sick most of this year so far with colds and a bout of bronchitis. Because of the cold this week, I didn’t run or exercise and yet, my body was always wanting fuel, probably to battle the cold.

So I was expecting to have gained weight when I stepped on the scale, but surprise! I had lost 0.8 pounds.

Don’t ask me how.

2018 Government Shutdown #2

khangress-gov-shutdown-meme

If you blinked, you missed it, but it was there. The government shutdown for about six hours or so because several Senators delayed the vote until past the midnight deadline.

Specifically, Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), suddenly had a conscience over how this budget plan would bust the deficit wide open, completely forgetting that they had signed the #GOPTaxScam about six weeks ago without any qualms whatsoever. Not a peep.

But see, according to conservative logic, the tax bill is all right because even though it will blow up the deficit, it puts money back into the “people’s” pockets. Granted, when conservatives talk about the “people”, they don’t mean you and I, the middle class, or the working class struggling to make ends meet, they mean the wealthy, the rich, the well-to-do.

This budget plan they just passed, however, is a spending plan and conservatives don’t like that. Conservatives don’t like to spend money unless it’s for the military. Anything else, to them, is considered an entitlement and should be cut.

So you see, there are good deficits and bad deficits, according to conservatives. Good deficits happen when they are giving the rich a tax break, but if you spend money to feed and house the poor, give medical aid to the elderly,  or educate children, then that leads to bad deficits.

Oh, and see you in a few weeks, this Continuing Resolution is only good until March 23rd, when we get to go through the whole shutdown scare again.

Backwards and in high heels

This 1982 Frank and Ernest cartoon by Bob Thaves seems apropos for events this week:

ginger_frankernesttoon

Only now it should read, don’t forget that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) held the House floor for 8 hours, giving the longest speech in that chamber for at least a century, sipping only water, while in four inch heels.

That’s impressive. You go, girl.

Last Word

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

I leave you, not necessarily with a song, but a movie clip of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Enjoy.

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It’s random Friday

A Friday Haiku

Government shutdown

Trump was nowhere to be seen

Where are the adults?

It’s hard to write a haiku about a government shutdown because Continuing Resolution is eight syllables.

Weigh-In Friday

Let’s start out the week in review with some good news (to offset the angry rants toward the end).

The scale says (say that like Richard Dawson doing “Family Feud”), I lost 1.7 pounds! Yowza!

And that was all done through exercise. My diet lately is less than ideal. A homemade egg and cheese McMuffin for breakfast. Ham and cheese or PB&J sandwiches for lunch, a Siggi’s yogurt and an apple or clementine for a midday snack. And then our normal overly processed dinner, although this week was probably worse than normal, which is why that weight loss number is rather surprising.

Here’s a review of our evening meals:

Monday — chilidogs and chilifries

Tuesday — pizza from Jet’s Pizza

Wednesday — a boxed dinner similar to Chicken Helper only Velveeta’s version

Thursday — since my wife was at a work-sponsored event and it was just my teenaged son and I, we had Jeno’s Pizza Rolls (a 90 count and 40 count bag, if you’re keeping score).

Yeah, I probably just gave any nutritionists reading this nightmares.

Run, Ferret, Run

It was a good week for running. I ran last Friday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

After a sporadic November and December and then being laid low by bronchitis for two weeks, I’m taking it slow to get back into proper running shape. I don’t want to rush it and end up with a stress injury.

My runs at this point have been for 15 minutes at 5 mph. An easy pace that doesn’t leave me gasping for breathe.

The last three runs, I increased the time to 16 minutes, and the average pace was slowly increased by 0.1 mph increments to 5.3. Last night’s run, after I hit a mile, I increased the last five minutes of the run to 6 mph.

Tonight, I’ll increase the time to 17 minutes and set the pace to 5.5 mph.

I’m way off my personal bests of last year where I was running 5k in about 29 minutes. But as I said, although I’m impatient and chomping at the bit to get back to that faster pace (which is why I finished last night’s run at 6 mph), I know it’s best for my health if I keep taking it slow for now.

Government Shutdown and another C.R.

As a Federal employee, I’m really getting fed up with not knowing if I’ll have a job at the end of each of these Continuing Resolutions. I really wish Congress would agree to a real budget instead of kicking the can down the road every few weeks.

It’s ironic because I took my Federal job for several reasons. First, I believe in serving my country. I was a Boy Scout, in the U.S. Navy, worked part time in college for the local school system, and now I’m a Fed. Second, my work history was rather woeful. I worked for close to a dozen private companies that all folded underneath me, leaving me unemployed. The last one happened at the start of 2009 during the recession and I was unemployed for nearly two years. The longer I was unemployed, the less employable I became because my job skills were no longer “up to date.” So, I applied for a Federal position thinking it would provide job security.

Job security! That’s funny in retrospect since every end of the fiscal year we go through these rounds of failed budgets and Continuing Resolutions to keep the government funded for just a few weeks more. We’ve suffered through threats of shutdowns and actual shutdowns, the one in 2013 lasted 19 days. This one, three. And we’re looking forward to another threat on February 8th, when this C.R. ends.

Join the Federal workforce they said, it’ll be fun they said. Right, the pay is low, the benefits are shrinking, the GOP demonizes us, and there’s always the threat of losing our jobs.

Good times.

Winter Wonderland?

I don’t know how your winter is going, but ours is all screwed up. We live in Wisconsin, Milwaukee specifically. Our annual average snowfall is about 52.4 inches (133 cm) per winter. And our average high temperature in January is 28 °F (-2 °C) and the average low is 13 °F (-11 °C).

This winter, we’ve experienced a few weeks of subzero weather (Fahrenheit-wise) alternating with unusually above average temperatures.

Earlier this week it rained all day Monday, it turned to snow on Tuesday, and today they’re predicting temperatures near 50 °F (10 °C).

At one point, South Carolina had more snow from that one freak snowstorm several weeks ago than we had received all winter long.

I’m not complaining, mind you. I hate shoveling. And I have yet to need our snowblower.

Granted, we still have plenty of time. March of 2017 we were hit with a record setting snowfall totalling nearly a foot and a half of snow in some parts of the city.

So, I’ll shut up now before the Fates hear me.

Milwaukee’s Racing Sausages

For more than 25 years, the Milwaukee-based Klement Sausage Company has been synonymous with the Milwaukee Brewers’ world famous Racing Sausages.

But this year, that all changed. The Milwaukee Brewers abruptly, and without explanation, broke off negotiations, and then signed with another company. Furthermore, the Brewers completely denied Klement’s any chance to make a counter-offer or renegotiate.

It was a dick move on the part of the Milwaukee Brewers. That isn’t how you treat a 25 year working relationship.

Many fans began to speculate who the new company might be. There are a lot of great sausage companies in Wisconsin, including the other Milwaukee-based sausage maker, Usinger’s, which already has Bob Uecker, the Milwaukee Brewers’ radio announcer, as a spokesperson.

There’s also Cher-Make Sausage based out of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, the Sheboygan Bratwurst Company, and Old Wisconsin Sausage Company, just to name a few.

Did the Brewers select any of those?

Nooooo. They went with Johnsville.

Yes, that Johnsonville. The one that donates tens of thousands of dollars to the campaign fund of our crazed conservative governor, a puppet of the Koch Brothers, who slavishly passes their ALEC-influenced agenda that is ruining our state.

The Brewers couldn’t have made a worse choice. Combine that with how wretchedly they treated Klement’s in doing so, makes this a decision that will leave a bad taste in the mouths of Brewers fans for years.

To show our displeasure with the backstabbing treatment of Klement’s, Brewers fans should collectively turn their backs on the Sausage Races this year.

I know I will. They’ll always be the Klement’s Racing Sausages to me.

Last word

And that brings another week to an end. Hope you have a great weekend. Go support Klement’s sausages and boycott Johnsonville.

I think tonight I’ll grill some Klement’s sausages in our 50 °F weather to show solidarity.

I leave you, as always, with a song. Enjoy.

Resist.

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Q-Up

I’m mostly an indoor runner. Particularly when the temperatures are hovering near zero degrees Fahrenheit and the roads are snow and ice covered. I’d rather not risk a sprained ankle, or worse, and setting my running progress back more than I already have with bronchitis.

I run on my treadmill. It’s decent enough, though several years old now. It has a max speed of 12 mph with a 15% incline. I have yet to train to the point where I reach either one of those. I have sprinted for 15 or 30 seconds at 10 mph, but usually stick with 8 mph as my sprint speed.

My home theater is in front of the treadmill, so I can watch cable while I run, except to be honest, watching television while running gets rather boring. I much prefer music. I very much prefer my own music on vinyl, which means playing a record on my turntable.

The problem with that is, if I run for any decent time over 15 or 20 minutes, the record ends. It’s a manual turntable. In other words, I have to lift the tonearm off the record before it starts doing that “shh-shk! ssh-shk! ssh-shk!”

It’s a sound that terrifies most vinyl music aficionados under ordinary circumstances because it means the needle is grinding away in the end groove, which isn’t good for said needle. So we all have a minor adrenaline panic episode as we try to reach the tonearm before it starts doing that.

Now magnify that adrenaline panic episode with having exhausted myself running on the treadmill. I’m jumping off, trying not to break my neck as I do so. I rush over to the turntable, and attempt to lift the tonearm off the record with hands shaking from the strenuous exercise, trying to make my fingers steady enough to lift the needle without going, “zzzzzzzit!” across the record and scratching it.

I’m only successful once in a while, therefore, to protect my valuable vinyl library, I had abandoned playing them while running. Which brings us back to watching TV and getting bored.

No more.

I found a product called The Q UP. It’s a small, plastic device you set-up on your turntable which lifts your tonearm automatically when the record ends.

2018-01-17 20.58.58

It came in a small, cardboard box. I pulled it out and followed the directions (which are only online, but I had read and watched the instructions earlier).

I cleaned an area on the plinth where I planned to place The Q UP. Then, with the turntable off, I placed the tonearm on the record at the point I wanted The Q UP to lift it.

I placed The Q Up next to the tonearm with the “trigger” just touching the tonearm and then I used their little 3M cardboard rectangle to mark the spot.

2018-01-17 21.08.25

I peeled off the 3M tape on the bottom of The Q UP, and set it at the spot marked by the little rectangle.

Now, it came time to test it.

It worked exactly as designed. I’m very pleased with The Q UP and would recommend it to anyone with a manual turntable who doesn’t like experience that adrenaline panic episode every time an album ends.

And now, I can run on my treadmill, listen to my vinyl, and not have to kill myself, or my albums, trying to get to the record when the last song ends.

Life is good.

-30-

Will power needed

It’s been a ghastly holiday season from a gastrological point of view.

I stopped weighing myself in early November and that was probably my big mistake.

Probably, because I indulged excessively in holiday cookies. As well as appetizers at the family get-togethers.

I will admit that I did not overindulge when it came to meals themselves. I’ve never been one to gorge myself on Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cranberry relish. Never.

Unlike many peopme, my plate has always had plenty of white space on it. I merely take a small sampling of each dish. And I very rarely eat dessert.

I have never understood the purpose of holiday overeating. As a child, I watched relatives stuff themselves until they couldn’t any more, then they’d sit around and complain how full they are. “I can’t believe I ate so much.”

So why did you do it? No one forced you. There is no expected famine. Gluttony makes no sense.

I remember one sister-in-law, who shall remain nameless, brought a bottle of Pepto-Bismol to one Thanksgiving. My wife and I would visit one of our mom’s for a few hours, then we’d go to the other mom’s place for the evening.

This SIL did the same, going to her mother’s after finishing here.

After the Thanksgiving meal, she pulled out the bottle of Pepto and said, “I don’t know how you do it. Eating one huge meal then going to the other side of the family to eat another huge meal.”

We just stared at her. “We don’t eat a second meal when we leave here. We just have drinks and appetizers.”

I mean, seriously, it’s bad enough to gorge yourself at one meal but two in the same day?

But stuffing myself isn’t how I got myself in trouble. It was a cookie craving. We didn’t bake any this year (no spritz cookies! Sad face.), but we did pick up cookies from the suoermarket, including cookies freshly baked by some local bakeries.

And I ate those mindlessly, not counting or caring.

And I paid for it. I didn’t weigh myself — I was afraid of what the scale would say — but the visible evidence was there. My stomach was mocking me in the mirror. “You thought I was gone, didn’t you? Think again, because I’m baa-aack!”

I resolved, without making any resolutions, to get serious about exercise and eating right.

And I started the year off well. I ran the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd. Unfortunately, my streak was to end there.

I was laid low by a cold. I didn’t run on the 4th because of chest congestion. Friday the 5th was worse. And I laid around that entire weekend, consuming nothing but liquids: coffee, teas, and soups.

Monday, the 8th, I felt no better and stayed home from work. Ditto Tuesday. Wednesday, I felt so bad I went to urgent care.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The last time I took more than two consecutive sick days off was when I had shoulder surgery. Taking off sick from work just isn’t something I do.

Prognosis? Bronchitis and a left ear infection. They gave me antibiotics. Bit the thing that shocked me was stepping on the scale. Theirs read 218 pounds! That can’t be right! I’ve been on a liquid diet, for Cripe’s sake!

I weighed myself when I got home. My scale, which I’m still not sure how accurate it is, read 207.7 pounds. Better than their scale (why do they weigh younwith your shoes on?). Not as bad, but not good either.

Thursday I stayed home, but Friday the 12th I went in. My boss sent me home after half a day because I sounded so bad.

I had a three day weekend, thanks to MLK Jr Day, and when Tuesday, yesterday, rolled around, I made it to work. I went in even though I still wasn’t 100% (and still aren’t. I still have a cough, sore throat, and sniffles).

When I got home, I forced myself to run. It was a slow pace, just 5 mph, for about 1.25 miles. But it was better than nothing.

At that point, I had gone 13 days without any exercise.

I have to get back into a regular exercise routine. I have to get back into running shape and start lifting weights again.

I’ve let myself slide too far and I have to shore things up.

But dammit! It’s Girl Scout cookie time!

-30-

Typical Random Friday Stuff

A Friday Haiku

I ran this morning

First morning run since July

Damned dog wanted out

(Damned is just one syllable, right?)

Don’t let failure define you

Face it, we all have setbacks. Just when we think we have this fitness thing figured out — we understand to lose weight we must expend more calories than we take in, we’ve made our exercise routine a daily habit, we’re reaching our goals — something happens and we find ourselves finding reasons why we can’t exercise today and a day becomes a week and that ice cream looks damned tasty and suddenly we’re 7 pounds heavier. (Wasn’t that sentence cringe-worthy?)

Well, my friends, there is no point in beating yourself up over it. Acknowledge it happened and get back on that horse that threw you and pick up where you left off.

(Speaking of horses, I’ve only actually ever been on a real horse once or twice in my life, not including pony rides as a kid. Do they even still have pony rides and are today’s kids as excited as our generation was to ride one or are they too busy SnapChatting?)

Anyway, I fell off that horse, um, the metaphorical one, not a real one, and my running schedule had become erratic of late.

Once it was an every day morning ritual in June, but as the days grew shorter and the mornings became darker, I stopped the morning runs and told myself I’d run after work. That worked for a short time, but other areas of life started intruding and my runs became less frequent and the pounds I was so proud of losing found their way back.

Now I could just mope around and eat another pound and a half bag of Mrs. Fisher’s potato chips (did you hear they will have to reformulate the recipe because of the ban on partially hydrogenated oils? Nooooooo!) or I could get back on that horse (the metaphorical one, of course. After all, it’s been 40 years since I rode that real one and it’s probably long dead by now) and pick up where I left off.

Thus, I ran this morning. As the Friday haiku says, first morning run since July. Granted, I didn’t get up on my own. I had sone unwanted help from a little dog who needed to go outside, yet despite that I still did it. I could have just as easily let him out and returned to bed, but instead I carried my gear down, changed, and jumped on the treadmill.

It’s a start. And that’s all we can do — start and hope it becomes a habit again.

Accept each setback as just another challenge to be overcome. Failure is a bully and it feeds on your disappointment. Don’t let failure win; kick it’s ass and then laugh in its face.

Congratulations

I forgot to congratulate my niece, who ran her first half-marathon, the Minnesota Monster Dash Half Marathon on October 28th. I didn’t even know she was a runner!

Way to go, Erin!

Weigh-In Friday

My results here are all screwed up. I haven’t officially recorded my weight since it started rising. And I was so proud I had finally dropped below 200.

As I hinted at above, I had gained a bit, but this week I lost. I’m down 4 pounds from the peak weight a few weeks ago.

I’ll start posting real numbers once I drop below 200 again. Until then, let’s just pretend this never happened. OK?

Cold weather detailing

Now that the temperatures are dropping, I haven’t been detailing my cars every day or so like I was in the summer.

Each morning, or evening, I took some detail spray and a microfiber cloth to each car until it was clean and shiney, free of all the everyday dust and gunk that accumulates on them as they sit outside all day exposed to the elements.

My wife’s Jetta always came home with these long, thin brown nodules (around 1-1/2 centimeters in length and about 1 or 2 millimeters wide) that I’d have to loosen gently with my thumb nail before the detail spray could clean the area. She said they were from the trees around her parking lot and can’t be avoided. (Maybe in the dark of night some time I’ll go cut them all down.)

At least the cold weather has eliminated the problem of tree sap, but it brings another: How to keep the paint shining when it’s too cold to use detail spray? Or even handwash?

This is my first winter since I’ve become detailing knowledgable and I seriously don’t know.

I did put in some Klasse High Gloss Sealant Glaze to help protect the finish, but that doesn’t solve the desire to have the cars shine.

Do I bite the bullet and run the cars through a machine wash once a week? Or do I live with road salt and slush spray until it becomes warm enough to handwash again?

We ran the Jetta through a car wash last week. I didn’t realize until we were in line with no turning back that it used brushes. Oy. I still cringe thinking about it and the paint swirls it might have introduced.

How do you keep your cars shining in winter?

That’s all folks!

And that wraps up another Friday blog. For the sake of my own blood pressure, I avoided politics. Not that there isn’t anything to say, I mean, that ignorant orange turd provides plenty of fodder for commentary; as well as the House GOP passing a tax bill that lines the pockets of giant corporations and millionaires, including the orange turd himself, at the expense of the poor and middle class; not to mention that Alabama voters are going to show the entire world just how fucked up their priorities are by voting in a child molester just because they don’t want a liberal; and of course, after years of warning the public about how bad the XL Pipeline would be, fighting to prevent it from being built, the damned thing proved us right by causing a 210,000 gallon spill in South Dakota!

But all that shit would require dozens of column inches to properly castigate and instead I think I’d rather wish everyone a pleasant weekend.

We’re expecting some snow, but with luck, not enough to prevent me from putting up my outside Christmas decorations.

And so, I’ll leave you with a song to get the weekend started. Not a Christmas song, Hell no, it’s too freaking early for that. Just a fun, enjoy the weekend kind of song.

Stay warm. Eat right. Exercise. And don’t forget to punch a Nazi.

-30-

Forgot to title this

A Friday Haiku

The weather is nice
73 degrees out
Is this October?

My viewing habits

I don’t know why I have cable, except for baseball and basketball seasons. I enjoy watching the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks and unfortunately, they aren’t shown on over-the-air TV any more. Not like the good old days when Channel 18 had broadcast rights. We can only see them on Fox Sports Wisconsin on Spectrum. Which means, we have to have cable.

(I’ll refrain from a rant on how tje greed within professional sports has pushed the common man out so they can’t even watch it for free any longer.)

Outside of baseball and basketball, there isn’t much on cable that interests me. Nothing new, that is.

I pretty much enjoy mostly old classic reruns from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. And those programs all appear on all those over-the-air channels that cropped up when television went digital and more bandwidth meant say, Channel 6 could now also have a Channel 6.1 and 6.2 and so on. My cable provider hides them all up in the 980s.

Channels like Decades TV, Heroes and Icons, Laff, Comet TV, Grit, MeTV and so on, which feature some of my favorite old shows and allow me to discover new old shows I hadn’t seen before.

Favorites like Combat! which is a great WWII drama which aired from 1962 to 1967. It is a realistic portrayal of the grim reality of war as experienced by a squad of Americans in France after D-Day. Most of the cast were actual veterans.

Vic Marrow as Sgt. Saunders

Combat! is one of the best war series ever produced. Sadly, Heroes & Icons only shows it once a week.

Another WWII show H&I airs is Rat Patrol, which is silly in concept and execution. It follows the adventures of the Rat Patrol, four soldiers (three American, one British), who drive two jeeps around the Sahara Desert harassing the Germans.

Coming over a dune machine-guns ablaze

Its silly because you have these two standard jeeps armed with mounted machine guns battling entire convoys of Germans including halftracks, armoured cars, and the occasional panzer tank and winning! They often leave the convoy vehicles in smoking ruin while they come away nearly unscathed despite all bullets and artillary shells the Germans fire at them. We are to believe, no matter how implausible, the jeeps are just too fast and agile.

In fact, only one Rat Patrol member was ever killed and that was in the first episode, which brought in the Brit soldier as his replacement.

Yet, despite, or because of, the silliness, it is my guilty pleasure show.

H&I also features the entire lineup of Star Trek shows every night except Saturday. They also air Tarzan with Ron Ely, Batman with Adam West, the Adventure of Superman with the greatest Superman of all, George Reeves, and several classic westerns, such as Have Gun, Will Travel, Cheyenne, Rawhide, Wagon Train, the Cisco Kid and many others.

Without cable, H&I alone would be enough to satisfy my entertainment needa, but I need my Brewers.

Weigh-In Friday

OK. Now I’m pissed. I gained 2.1 pounds this week.

I’m going back to tracking calories. I stopped that because 1) it’s a pain in the ass, and 2) I figured I eat pretty much the same thing every day except for dinner, so what was the point. My calorie consumption doesn’t vary the significantly.

Bit I snack at night. It’s my one weakness. Salty chips. Sometimes ice cream. And I don’t paynattention, but I need to. Using a calorie tracker like MyFitnessPal (which now syncs with my Misfit–it didn’t used to), forces me to be aware of what I’m consuming.

Obviously, I can’t be trusted on my own.

Speaking of fat heads

Everyday, I get more and more outraged over another lie or other act of ignorance perpetrated by that big orange turd in the White House.

As a veteran, a lot of it has to do with his sheer stupidity involving military protocol. There’s a video, easily Googled, of TheRump being interviewed by Sean Hannity on military base and when Retreat is sounded (the solemn lowering if the flag at dusk), TheRump is heard saying, “Are they playing that for you or for me? [To the crowd] They’re playing that in honor of his ratings, did you see how good is ratings? He’s beating everybody!” Yes, they’re playing Retreat for you, dumbass.

OK, I get that he’s inside a hanger so he didn’t have to follow protocol, but I doubt he even knew what the protocol was! He certainly had no clue what the bugle was playing or what it meant. He has no respect for anything but money and himself.

He has no empathy or compassion. It took him 12 days to make any public acknowledgement of the fallen soldiers who died in the October 4, 2017 Tongo Tongo ambush in Niger. And then, only because he was oressed by a reporter. When he called the widow of Sgt. La David Jobnson, he said, “he knew what he signed up for.”

When his lack of tact was revealed by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (who was a mentor to the Sergeant and happened to be in Mrs. Johnson’s car at the time of the call), TheRump, had he any sort of compassion (or intelligence), could have simple admitted he misspoke, apologize for the error, reiterate that Johnson had served his country with pride and dignity, and moved on.

Instead, in typical TheRump fashion, he attacked the Congresswoman, attacked the “fake news,” essentially called Mrs. Johnson a liar, dragged General Kelly and his late son into the whole mess, and had another twitter meltdown.

TheRump is a dangerous, unstable little man-child, who has a complete lack of understanding about government, the military, politics, society, international affairs, and and pretty much everything a President has to deal with on a daily basis.

He needs to be removed from office as quickly as possible.

That’s all for now

Enjoy the weekend. Punch a Nazi, if you can.

Resist.

I usually leave you with a song, but today I’ll leave you with a Public Service Announcement called, “How to Punch a Nazi.”

-30-

Wrap a wrap a wrap

A Friday Haiku

Another week gone

Where do they go? I don’t know

To join dryer socks?

Exercises come and go

If you’re anything like me (and if you are, I apologize), you tend to hate certain exercises and quickly get bored with others.

Running, I’m good to go, even if I sometimes take more days off between runs than I should; I still look forward to my runs and enjoy them (well, except for those first several minutes where you question your own sanity and wonder why you torture yourself so until the endorphins hit, the sun comes out, and the birds sing).

But other exercises I’ve always hated.

Stretching has always been my ultimate nemesis. I could neven touch my toes in grade school (and still can’t). So any stretching regimen I start ends quickly in pain and frustration. I don’t need such negativity in my life. I get it, I’m a failure at flexibility.

Push-ups are another. Loathe them. I don’t know what it is about them, but I really have to force myself to do them. Bench presses, on the other hand, I don’t mind and in fact, when I can feel the burn in my chest, shoulders, and triceps, I become motivated to do extra reps. But push-ups, I just collapse on the floor and give up.

Sit-ups and crunches I hate as well, and not because they sometimes hurt my back. I always need something to hook my feet under or I just sort of thrash away like a turtle on its back. In high school gym it was very embarrassing.

And that must be the reason for my dislike of certain exercises, there is some sort of psychological association with high school gym where all the other boys were towering over me, muscles rippling (think The Crusher from Bugs Bunny), and they could pound out dozens of push-ups, sit-ups, as well as the dreaded chin-up, and throw in an iron cross for good measure, while I’d struggle with my skinny spaghetti limbs trembling and flailing around, never accomplishing anything.

Now that I think about it, high school gym class was exactly like that for me.

Anyway, I meant to talk about how I start doing some exercises, but then quickly forget to do them, but I got off on a tangent on why I skipped gym all the time.

I was noticing a pain or weakness in my hamstrings and buttock the last few weeks when I step up onto something, like curbs or stairs.

Running was causing a strength imbalance and the stretches I attempted weren’t helping.

I realized I had gotten away from doing hamstring curls on my Weider Crossbow and doing rows on my CardioFit. I call them rows, but the machine is like the Tony Little Healthrider (see below).

These machines were all the rage back in the 80s, so I picked mine up at Sears after our stairstepper died (and Sears wouldn’t do anything so I wrote the CEO, then got a whiny letter from the store manager. “Why didn’t you contact me first?” Because I wanted you to squirm). The Healthrider seems more aerobic, with little resistance. My CardioFit has an adjustable piston to increase the resistence, making it more anerobic, although I’ve rarely dialed it past 2 (it goes up to a muscle- and joint-punishing 9).

Sorry, I did it again. The point is, after a week of this cross-training, my hamstrings feel much better.

And I apologize for taking forever to make that point.

Writing and editing and sex

I’d say I’m about 80 to 85% done with my first round of edits for my urban fantasy fairy tale.

This is the first time I’ve read it through. Strangely, I’m still very excited about it. That must mean it’s horrible.

Right now I’m editing for flow and continuity. I see where I called one character Bill, when his name is Benton. That’s what happens when you grab scenes from a trunk novel and don’t do a thorough read to catch things like that.

I’m back to a concern I mentioned several weeks or months ago about the relationship between two of the characters. They’ve known each other for less than a week and they’ve already fallen in love. Yes, I know such things happen in real life, if infrequently. And yes, I’ve read some urban fantasy romances and it seems the characters are jumping in the sack almost immediately. And therefore, I shouldn’t be that worried, but I am.

I’ve never written anything romantic before. I’ve never been concerned with the love lives of my characters. But beyond this being my first attempt at romance, its also my first attempt at writing a sex scene. To be honest, I haven’t even read very many sex scenes.

And this one has two so far. Scenes that, lacking any literary experience in the matter, I don’t know if they come off as hokie, or cliched, or downright boring.

I wonder if I should pass it to some beta readers to get outside reactions?

Weigh-In Friday

Despite only running on Monday, although I did do some weight training, and eating more than my fair share of my wife’s Dairy Queen ice cream birthday cake, my weight is down below 200 pounds at 199.7. Woot!

Designated Driver

For you couples out there, when you go somewhere together, who drives? The man or the woman?

I grew up in a time when men were the drivers and women were passengers.

Lately, I’ve been noticing more women driving with men as passengers and it still looks out of place to me.

Not for any sexist reasons; I certainly don’t believe gender innately makes someone a better or worse driver. Nor do I believe men are somehow ordained to rule over or control women.

In my case, I drive because for one thing, I get carsick as a passenger. For another, I drive my wife crazy because I don’t know what to do with myself as a passenger. I can’t read or play on my phone because of the motion sickness. So, I fidget, tap my feet, or drum my fingers, play with all the dials and switches, and constantly change the radio station. Being a passenger magnifies my ADHD.

So, very early in our relationship, my wife realized it was better for everyone all around if she let me drive.

Then she could read and play on her phone and ignore the fact that I wait until the very last second before applying the brakes.

Finally nearing the end

Since I spent most of this blog going off on attention deficit fueled tangents, I’ll spare you any political rants for the week.

TheRump is still an orange turd though. Never forget. Never normalize his hatred, bigotry, or incivility. Resist.

Enjoy your weekend. Here’s a song to send you off with:

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