Monday, December 31, 2012

Recalled to Life was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  Well, maybe not such extremes for myself during the year but it did have its ups and downs.  I suppose all years are like that; some good, some bad, but mostly evening out in the long run.  I've lost some people this year but I gained a granddaughter.  I've received a promotion at work but had to use that position to fire four people that I personally liked.  I've weighed in at under 200 lbs for the first time in many, many years and have stayed under that benchmark.  I've continued the attempt to stop smoking and, though I keep relapsing, I keep trying and will end this year and begin the new one a non-smoker.  Good times.  Bad times.  Mostly good.  The world didn't come to an end and that can be counted as a positive.  I have a job, a loving wife, a home, and no serious health or financial problems.  There are a great many people not as fortunate.

I've become keenly aware of age...of my body that comes with increasing little aches and pains with each new year.  This saps the joy out of living and is the primary reason why I'm attempting to do something about my physique.  So this next year will be a focus on a recall to working out in order to develop my body.  Not something that I'm particularly eager because...really....I'm lazy and exercise hurts; but I'm hoping it's a small hurt to prevent the continued bigger hurt.  2013 is the year I raise the bar for my personal goals that I've yammered about in this blog for so long.  This is my year.  The time is now.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Best Christmas Gift Ever

Many folks bloviating what Christmas is all about today.  Some say it's all about religion, some that it's about family and loved ones, and most yammering about giving to others.  That's all well and good, and certainly a big part of the reason of the season...but....c'mon....Christmas is about kids...specifically kids getting great toys for no other reason than being a kid.  How sweet is that?  I think back on those days with fond memories about all the great stuff I found under the tree on this magical day.  The best, by far, was Creepy Crawlers.

Whoever invented this thing was a freaking genius.  The ability to make bugs?  Worms and spiders to scare your little sister with?  My's a boy's dream come true!  I think that they have some super-safety version now days but the one I got had no such features, though it did have a disclaimer that it should only be used under the supervision of an that would ever happen; parents gave toys to their kids to get them out of their hair, not so they could supervise playtime.  Creepy Crawlers was a toy that would make a present day soccer-mom faint and lawyers slobber all over themselves.  It basically came with a hot plate.  Not warm....HOT.  This was for some serious cooking.  You squirted some liquid stuff they called plastigoop into metal molds that went on the hot plate.  You never really could tell when it had fried long enough other than by sticking your finger into the bubbling goo.  If your finger came out coated with searing hot needed to cook it a bit longer.  If you just left your fingerprint in the mold and gave yourself a small blister, then it was done.  You took the whole plate mold out with a pair of flimsy metal tongs and set it aside to cool off for a few minutes.  It was pretty much impossible to play with this thing without burning the snot out of yourself.

But oh, what jewels you could have afterwards.  Spiders, bugs, worms, frogs, mice, lizards....and the best....a bat.

Best Christmas present ever.  Thanks Mom and Dad, er, I mean, Santa.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Not Snowshoes

I like wearing sandals.  They are comfortable and I'm fortunate to work in a place that has a rather loose dress code.  But....I have to bow to the inevitability of winter.

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Best Part of Waking Up

I love coffee.  I mean...I really love the stuff....ever since I was a kid.  I can remember the first time I was allowed to have a small cup and there was some little part of my brain that lit up and sent out the message "this is good, more, more".  I was hooked!

Coffee has been my friend through most of my life.  Settled the symptoms of ADHD when I was very young (or what we use to call being a normal kid).  It kept me awake for classes when I was older.  Alert standing watch on the freezing deck of a ship when older still.  Gets me going and keeps me going at work during the week.  I drink a lot of coffee...all through the day.  I am not a very pleasant person before I've downed at least two cups in the morning.  I have an understanding wife that gives me wide berth until I'm sufficiently caffeinated.

But all that coffee is screwing up my digestion.  I walk around a good part of the day with a faint gut-ache.  I'm also thinking that it may cause some headaches as well as a bit of ringing in my ears.  Of course, this is part of old age as well, but I think that my intake of at least 3 pots of coffee every day (there, I said it, that's about 30 cups, jeeze) probably aggravates these symptoms.

What to do, though?  I can't quit cold turkey.  In the first place, I actually like the taste of coffee.  I even have a tub of coffee flavored ice cream in the fridge right now.  In the second place, that little part of my brain which originally lit up so many years ago is still there.  Stop the supply of caffeine and it gets really nasty.  It's not fooled by decaf either; it just gets even meaner, as if my brain resents having tricks played.

So....I'm tapering off a bit.  Limiting my consumption in the morning at at work.  Substituting tea so that I don't get quite as high a dose of caffeine.  Not giving it up, though.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

I Think I Can

I mentioned previously that there are several folks who have informed me that this goal of achieving health and fitness is unrealistic at my age.  I believe that most of them have good intentions.  Not like they are telling me that I personally can never do this, just that it's physically impossible to do certain things at a certain play pro football, become a champion skateboarder, or go dancing and drinking all night.  And I agree...those are physical limits that, no matter how much I may WANT to do, I am not able.  I couldn't even do them when I was young.

I don't see limits when it comes to fitness though.  I can control what and how much I eat.  I can control how much or little activity I do every day.  Muscle can be gained and defined as long as my body is still functioning.  Health is not exclusive to the young.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that we are largely in control of how we feel both mentally and physically.  Even though we may not have a lot of control with what happens to us, we have a great deal of control of how we react.  I choose how I want to feel.  I can be happy, satisfied, sad, or unfulfilled.  I choose what I eat.  I can eat healthy and nutritious foods or stuff my face with crap.  I choose whether to exercise or not.  Nobody is forcing me to go to the gym anymore than I am being forced to sit on the couch.

Some people think that I cannot be fit and healthy.  I think that I can.  Since it's my body, I get to decide who is right.

Monday, December 03, 2012


Indeed.  What am I trying to do?

November is generally a bad month for me, at least bad emotionally.  I get depressed during November.  I'm not really sure why.  I've had several crummy life events occur in November...but I've had some good ones as well, so I don't think that there is any PTSD stuff going on.  Maybe it's the season; it is past the initial autumn changes and everything is just dead, still not cold enough for the tranquil beauty of snow, and a long way from any warmth of spring.  There's Thanksgiving, but that is centered around eating and nothing cheers me up like chowing down.  Work is busy...but that's every month.

I just get depressed in November.  Don't know why.  I just accept it and plow through the month as quickly as I can.  I don't write much though and, when I don't write, I tend to lose focus.  I've drifted away from what I intend to do with this blog and It's high time I got back on the ball here.

It's December!  I'm in my forth month of my 55th year.  My intent was to chronicle a middle-aged (okay, slightly past the middle) man's attempt to reverse decades of bad health habits and emerge, after one year, in the best physical shape...ever.  That's a pretty tall order.  Several (ahem) friends have told me it is impossible.  So far, they seem to be right.

So here are my goals for the remainder of the year.  Nothing ground shaking.  Nothing radical.  Just that, for the rest of the month, I will concentrate on two things:  stop smoking finally forever  and get adapted to exercising on a daily basis.  These are two things that will build a good foundation for what I am trying to do. Without either of them...I'm really just wasting my time and I may as well go out and buy a whole bunch of life insurance because I'm probably not going to get far past 60 the way I am going now.  Smoking is a bugger.  I stop, then start, stop, start, stop for a good while, relapse and go back to smoking even more.  I sincerely wish that my Dad, when he caught me as a kid puffing away in the back yard, had given me a whupping rather than a lecture.  He should have knocked some sense into me...but I guess him nor anyone else could back then.  I also want to get into the exercise habit BEFORE the annual rush of folks hit the gym with their new year's resolutions.  I don't like being part of the herd.  I want to be a fixture at the gym before then.  That means blowing the dust off of my Y membership card and dragging my but down there every morning.

I could use some support.  Most times it seems that nobody reads this blog.  I often get the feeling that nobody is interested or, worse, nobody really cares.   Would it kill ya to comment?  Does that sound like begging?

What the hell....I'm begging.