Thursday, February 28, 2013

Confessions of a Gym Dweeb - Changing my workout routine


Since my days are busy during this time of year, I decided to switch my workout schedule from after work to during the day. For me this was easy especially since my gym has several locations in the Austin area which are open to all their clients.

But getting familiarized to a new gym's layout is a bit challenging. For example, the cardio machines at my old gym are located on the second floor. At the gym next to my work, the cardio machines are located in the center of the gym.

Also, I have noticed that the equipment, which are similar to those I use at my old gym, feel different. Perhaps they are calibrated differently. Maybe there's wear and tear on the weight machines. Regardless, the 110 lbs I chest press feel heavier. Yes, I struggle at 110 lbs, but it's way better than what I started with (20 lbs) two years ago.

I decided that since work for me tends to slow down between 10AM and 11AM, I would take that hour to visit the gym and get in a 30 to 40 minute workout.

Who works out at 10AM in the morning?

The people I've seen are usually older retired couples. There's a hippie couple that I've seen the past few times--she wears birkenstocks while on the elliptical. There's also an aerobic class for seniors on Friday mornings.

As it gets closer to 11 o'clock, the attractive ladies start showing up. These ladies are different from the ones that I see at my old gym. A lot of the girls at my gym are professional women or moms who are getting back into fitness. The ladies I see at this gym look like they come here daily because they have too.

What's the best time to workout?

According to a recent study at Appalachian State University people who workout in the morning have better night sleeps.  Other researchers from the University of California Los Angeles, who studied mice's circadian rhythms, which affects the body's internal clock, suggest exercising midday may be more beneficial. Regardless of the time of day you decide to workout, the key thing is to make it a part of your routine.

The cool thing about going to the gym mid-morning, for me, is that the gym is practically empty. I'm able to try new equipment without waiting or feeling intimidated.

When you do workout?



Thursday, February 21, 2013

An alternative to Chick-Fil-A

In the past, I've blogged about my personal attempt to avoid all things that may contain MSG, high-sodium processed food, and artificial flavors or sweeteners.

Yes, I am guilty in that I take my son to McDonald's, Burger King, or even Church's Fried Chicken for their kids meal. I do at times find myself enjoying french fries that have been seasoned with MSG taste enhancers. And there have been occasions--although, not recently--when I did visit the nearest Chick-Fil-A for their chicken sandwich.

I came across an article by Peter Holley about an Austinite who has a YouTube cooking show. Hilah Johnson has a home cook's recipe for what she calls "Chick-Fil-Gay"-- the name is in response to the company's support for anti-gay groups. The great thing about her recipe is that it has no MSG and can be cooked with organic chicken.

Source: "Food Fight," Peter Holley, L Style G Style Magazine, November 2012, Pg. 60.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grant Wood


Grant Wood is best known for his iconic painting American Gothic, which depicts a farmer and his daughter in front of a farm house with a gothic window in the American midwest.

Arbor Day, another popular painting of Wood, is featured on the back of the 2004 American quarter coin.

The Iowan studied many styles of painting techniques, during his time in Europe, and took influence from Flemish artist Jan van Eyck

Wood was associated with an American realist art movement known as Regionalism, which focused on rural life and the American heartland.

You can see more of his work HERE.

American Gothic (1930) via badarthistory

The Appraisal (1931) via dailyartfixx

Arbor Day (1932) via paintedocean

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (1931) via americanculturaltreasures

Sources:; Wikipedia


Saturday, February 9, 2013

That's the spot

I came across an article regarding "erogenous zones." What are these zones? Well, they are the areas on the human body that are sensitive to sexual stimulation. Inquisitively, I had to learn more about these zones and share with my readers.

Since Valentine's Day is a couple day away, why not learn about those erogenous zones. Right?

Considering that my mother-in-law does at times read my posts, I will keep my list clean and leave you the links below to search for more zones.

Erogenous Zones
  1. The Neck
  2. The Buttocks
  3. The Lips
  4. The Navel
  5. The Ears (the area behind the earlobe)
  6. The Inner Thigh
  7. The Wrists
  8. The Feet
  9. Behind the Knees
  10. The Abs
You can read more HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Baseball tryouts

I can almost hear the Hammond organ play Take Me Out to the Ball Game. Even Punxsutawney Phil sees an early spring, and we all know what that means? Baseball season!

As many of you know, my son enjoys playing baseball, and because of his interest, I decided to join the little league board.

This past weekend, the little league started tryouts. I volunteered and was assigned the older kids (8 through 16 year old boys). Since I was new to the board, I was assigned the easy task of checking in the boys and preparing them for their tryout.

While there were many who brought their game during tryouts and impressed the coaches, a few were a bit rough. A couple were new to the sport. One of them was clueless of the various positions, but he was honest about it.

"Sir. I've never played baseball," said the young nine year old. The blonde hair blue eyed boy wore a ragged t-shirt with black shorts. All he had with him was a baseball glove. No cap. No bat. No helmet.

"Uh, do you know the bases and positions?" I asked.

"Well, there's first, second, third, and fou...four..."

"Home plate," I interjected.

"Yes, first, second, third, and home... what did you call it."

"Home plate."

"Yes, home plate," he corrected himself.

"So, when the coaches are ready, you'll go to the batter's box or home plate. The pitcher will pitch five balls.  You'll need to swing at them. It doesn't matter if you hit the balls. The coaches want to see your swing."


"After the fifth pitch, you'll run to second base. The coaches want to see your speed."

"Okay. I run straight to second base."

" run to first then to second. Okay?"


"After that, you'll go to short stop and catch grounders.


"Between second base and third base."

"Oh. So after I run to second base, I go to... to... what's it called?"

"Short stop."

"Short stop. And I catch grounders?" he asked confused.

"Yes, the pitcher will roll the ball to you. When you see the ball coming towards you, catch it and throw it to first base," I said as I pretended to slide for the ball.


"After you do that, you'll go to the outfield and catch some pop flies."


"Yes. After you're at short stop, you'll head towards center field, which is behind second base. When you catch the ball, throw the ball to second base."

"Sir, I am sorry for all the questions. I've never played baseball before and I want to try my best."

The coaches signaled for the next player. I called out his number and name and the boy made his way to the batter's box. He stood on home plate with a bat another boy loan him.  He did his swings and made his way around the bases. As he passed first, the coached yelled for him to touch first before heading to second.

"Sorry. My first time. I didn't know," he apologized as he corrected his mistake.

At the conclusion of his tryout he rushed back to the dugout to meet his dads.

"I sucked," he said.

"All you need is practice. Watch baseball. Play baseball video games and you'll learn the game," I advised.

Wait until this kid becomes a star baseball player.


Friday, February 1, 2013

CJ and the neighbors' daughter

c. 1995
When I was about 18 years old, my mom decided to adopt a puppy from one of her friends. My dad quickly became attached to the dog and they named him CJ.

He was a vibrant little shih tzu. He loved looking at his reflection and chasing after cars.

One summer afternoon, while a friend of mine and I were playing tag-ball in the front yard, CJ decided to chase the cars that drove through our street. This was nothing new. He would run and run to the end of the street where he would stop and return.

One of our neighbors had a young attractive daughter who use to drive their Lincoln Town Car. The neighborhood boys would gather at their mailboxes to just watch her drive to and from her home. Guys dared each other to talk to her. I think one guy from the neighborhood eventually did and was turned away.

Well, that summer afternoon, CJ decided to chase her car. My friend and I noticed the Town Car he was chasing and quickly stopped our game to get a glimpse of her. I remember her turning towards me. Our eyes locked for what seemed like an eternity, but was soon broken when CJ, who was running after the car, twisted his hind leg and stumbled across the asphalt. CJ jumped up and jolted into the house crying.

The girl stopped her car and looked concerned. She didn't get out of the car but waited for my reaction. I waved at her to not worry about it and she drove slowly to her home. That intimate millisecond of time we shared together was all we had. It was never the same from that point on. We became no more but neighbors.

Enough of me.

CJ did break his hind leg. He was in a cast, but soon regained strength to continue his hobby of running after cars. Of course, he ran with a limp after his accident.

Photo taken with a 35mm camera.