Monday, August 31, 2009

Month-End Review, August

I exercised by the following methods this month:

  • 10 Minute Solution: Fitness Ball, Upper Body Workout, 5 x's

  • 10 Minute Solution: Tone Trouble Zones!, Butt & Thigh Blaster, 1 x

  • Arc Trainer, 1 x
  • ,
  • AMT, 1 x

  • Bicycling, 8 x's

  • EFX, 1 x

  • Mowing Lawn, 2 x's

  • Rock Climbing, 2 x's

  • Stairmaster, 5 x's

  • Swimming, 9 x's

  • Treadmill, 1 x

  • Walking, 2 x's

  • I also drank over 100 cups of water. Yay!

    Sunday, August 30, 2009

    Beats Per Minute

    There's nothing quite as disappointing as getting ready to exercise and your MP3 player won't turn on even though the battery symbol is indicating that there should be enough juice for many songs to play.

    There have been several articles published lately to verify that music does help you through your workout and, as long as it's music that you enjoy, the tempo doesn't matter.

    Personally, I like up-tempo music when fatigue sets in and I'm trying to get over the workout hump.

    Here are the beats per minute for some of my favorite "gut it out" songs.

  • 125 BPM: Billie Jean, Michael Jackson

  • 134 BPM: Easy Lover, Philip Bailey & Phil Collins

  • 130 BPM: Flashlight, Parliament Funkadelic

  • 119 BPM: I'm Every Woman, Chaka Khan

  • 120 BPM: It's A New Day,

  • 124 BPM: Miss Me Blind, Culture Club

  • 120 BPM: Now That We Found Love, Heavy D & The Boys

  • 123 BPM: Please Don't Stop The Music, Rihanna

  • 115 BPM: Say, Say, Say, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney

  • 145 BPM: Sweet Dreams, Eurythmics

  • Of course, if the music does stop playing, I exercise unplugged...

    Saturday, August 29, 2009


    Not since I was in boot camp i.e. swimming class with my most excellent teacher, Jim, have I been able to swim the front crawl for 25 meters without stopping; It took me about seven months but I was finally able to do it again.

    I consciously relaxed, slowed down and concentrated on rotating cleanly.

    I struggled as I got near the shallow end and I was practically gurgling but I did not stop. I made it. Twice.

    On another note, my g'ma is breathing better. Not as rapidly. Oxygen saturation is good.

    It's amazing the things that you take for granted.

    There used to be an art therapist at my job and she had a Breathe sign in her office and I was drawn to its uncomplicated directive.

    Lately, all I do is think about breathing for one reason or another.

    Friday, August 28, 2009

    Quote of the Day

    Seen while reading the May 2009 edition of Fitness magazine again:

    Humans are basically built to be moving. The mechanisms that drive metabolism switch on when a person stands and they switch off as soon as she sits.
    Dr. Levine, M.D., Ph.D, obesity expert at the Mayo Clinic and author of Move a Little, Lose a Lot

    Thursday, August 27, 2009

    If I Were Still Addicted To Cupcakes

    Cupcake fans can find lots to love in New York City provided quite the chuckle.

    I used to be such a cupcake fan and I enjoyed a good McArthur's Bakery cupcake because they reminded me of a Hostess cupcake with cream in the middle.

    Once upon a time when I was in high school, I used to put Colby cheese on top of a Hostess cupcake which is somewhere in the neighborhood of battering a Mars bar and frying it. I believe that I was mimicking my grandmother with having the cheese on top of the little brown delight.

    The cupcake article, in and of itself, was not particularly funny but I had to laugh, yes, out loud when I read about the CupcakeStop -- a truck that sells cupcakes and has no fixed location. You can find the location of the truck by following the company on Twitter. For some reason, I find the idea of a cupcake truck hilarious and I know that, if I were still addicted to cupcakes and in New York, I would be looking for the CupcakeStop which has 7,100 followers on Twitter. Here's a sample tweet:

    Parked on 5th between 22nd and 23rd. The new Cream Cheese Brownie cupcake is unreal!
    about 12 hours ago from TwitterBerry

    While I'm avoiding cupcakes, remind me to avoid the Eurochocolate Perugia festival too. I would definitely find myself in trouble.

    Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    Comic Strip Relief

    The sign of a true jones -- when you'll actually jump through hoops for the object of your affection.

    Maybe Lola has the right idea about doing a little inspired cardio before decadence. Some folks also advise to just go for a walk etc. before indulging in something you may not need or really want.

    Courtesy of the July/August Fitness magazine, here are some ice cream statistics:

  • 1896

  • Year the first ice-cream cone was produced

  • 23

  • Billions of dollars in annual ice cream and frozen dessert sales in the U.S.

  • 273

  • Calories in one cup vanilla ice cream

  • 380

  • Calories in one cup cookie-dough ice cream

  • 45

  • Minutes you'd have to bike to burn off that cookie-dough ice cream

  • 21

  • Quarts of ice cream the average person eats per year

  • 301

  • Number of runners at last year's Walnut Beach Festival Ice Cream Run 5K in Milford, Connecticut (free cones for all!)

    Tuesday, August 25, 2009

    Quote Of The Day Brought To You With Limited Commercial Interruption

    Some of my folks and I were sitting in the waiting room and I was looking at the newly moved in vending machine. There was a blueberry Special K bar for $.75 cents. See, that's why I take my snacks with me, I said. You can get a 12 pack of Special K bars at Big Lots for $3.00 dollars.

    My aunt's reply as she unwrapped her Milky Way bar?

    It doesn't matter where you get them from -- Wal-mart included. This bar was $.60 cents; it costs a lot to be fat.

    My aunts and uncles have been like guardian angels; they move me and make me laugh a lot too -- even when they ignore my suggestions.

    Eating Well

    Some article pulled me into requesting EatingWell: Introducing The University-Tested VTrim Weight Loss Program Diet with its long and lofty title.

    I think that I initially read about the book over at Prior Fat Girl's blog.

    Diet books start to sound the same after awhile. Still, I found a lot of good reminders and advice to takeaway. In fact, I was literally taking away pages because the book was not put together well. I barely touched the book and the first 30 pages came undone. I'm going to have to explain this to my friendly neighborhood librarian.

    Dr. Harvey-Berino talks about how we got to have such a problem with weight in this country:

    A lot has to do with our highly industrialized society. In the past 50 years there has been an unprecedented transformation to new technologies designed to save us time and energy. We have garage door openers, electric clothes dryers, power toothbrushes, even gizmos that warm up our cars in winter so we don't have to go outside and scrape off the ice. If there are ways to save steps, avoid lifting, stretching, bending or moving, inventors have been there, done that or are fixing things as we speak. There are remote controls for everything, and computers do almost all the legwork for us. I don't even have to flip the light switch in my office when I enter or leave; it's done automatically with a sensing device.
    She does concede that an industrialized society, of course, is not the sole reason for the obesity epidemic.

    Other takeaways include self-tracking -- essentially keeping track of one's eating and exercise practices.

    I liked her advice to trade up by eating brown rice instead of white rice etc.

    The Measuring With Your Eyes segment was particularly helpful.

    Measuring With Your Eyes

  • 1 teaspoon:

    About the size of your fingertips (tip to middle joint); fits into the screwcap of a water bottle

  • 3 ounces meat:

    About the size of a deck of cards or a cassette audiotape

  • There are other measurement examples but I won't list them all.

    The author covers a lot in a small space including an explanation of the glycemic index, how to shop in the grocery store (it's all about the periphery)and the importance of exercise.

    Some of the information is far from new but the delivery is good.

    Another truism that Dr. Harvey-Berino touches on is the importance of exercise:

    I don't believe in "magic bullets," but when it comes to making a weight-loss program more effective, regular physical activity comes pretty close.
    I liked the servings quiz as well as the recipes with pictures that were apart of The EatingWell Diet book. I'm still not sure if I correctly identified grains, starchy vegetables and the protein group etc. Guess I'll go take the quiz again...

    Monday, August 24, 2009


    Although I'm not going back to school, I liked a couple of suggestions from this lunch makeover that appeared on The Early Show.

    Watch CBS Videos Online

    When I get to the store again, I'm going to get some sun-dried tomato paste and lively up my turkey sandwich.

    There's also a nice suggestion for making your own less sweet soda.

    Speaking of makeovers, PETA recently pulled some controversial ads:

    You can find out more about PETA's gentler campaign at Calorie Lab.

    PETA would love these statistics from the Economist:

    How many minutes to earn the price of a Big Mac?

    Sunday, August 23, 2009

    When You Are The Motor

    You need something with a motor a man commented as I loaded my bike. I told him that my legs are the motor and when you are the motor, you certainly think about mileage differently. I bicycled for about 16.5 miles. I wanted to go for longer but the to-do list awaits.

    I had more stamina than last week. Brandi, a former trainer at the YMCA, said as much one day when the weights that I was trying to lift seemed so much heavier than the last time I was in class. She said that your body is capable of different things on different days. Of course, that makes perfect sense but...

    I maintained a steady pace although I got passed up by the serious bikers with their padded biking shorts and jerseys but slow and steady works for me.

    It does irk me when I have to get off the bike to walk up hills or if I lose my grip when I rock climb or come up short while doing the front crawl. In due time... I was actually able to make it up one hill that I had to walk the bike up before.

    Here are a few of my favorite things from today's stint on the STL Riverfront Trail.

    On a side note, I took some Propel in addition to water. Propel is made by Gatorade and doesn't have high fructose corn syrup. What it does have is sucrose syrup and sucralose which made for a super sweet drink. I only drank about a fourth of it and couldn't stomach the rest.

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    Move To Mongolia?

    I was feeling completely lethargic today and wondered whether or not I should exercise. I've become quite the pushing specialist and decided I wanted to give swimming a try despite my lack of energy. Even if I couldn't manage a single lap, I thought it would be beneficial to float.

    I watched this woman march down the pool doing the front crawl. She was doing bilateral breathing every three strokes like clockwork.

    For the most part, I practiced the front crawl; I am, hallelujah, able to make it further down the lane. I watched this Natalie Coughlin video for more tips.

    Since I was able to get in 17 laps, I'm going to assume that my lethargy is more connected to my emotional state right now -- seeing that I want to drop everything and move to Mongolia and be a reindeer herder and all.

    The Threat To Reindeer Herders

    On another note, I had no idea that people actually drink reindeer milk. Then again, my grandmother and her siblings used to capture blackbirds and eat them. I forgot to ask g'ma if the birds tasted like chicken.

    Tuesday, August 18, 2009

    Agua Eau Voda Water

    I post reminders to drink up:

    Drink water: H20 is the ultimate detoxer. It's required for every bodily function.
    As I shun Vitamin Water, wean myself from bottled water, strategize about how to drink it by adding mint, lemon juice, cucumbers or freezing it before bike rides or as I switch to Perrier and Gerolsteiner to shake the water experience up a bit, I was reminded to be grateful by this story on CBS Evening News.

    Watch CBS Videos Online

    Monday, August 17, 2009

    14 Wrappers

    Finally, I got something in return for one of my habits.

    I saw that Attune was giving out rebates and all you had to do was send them 14 wrappers from, of course, Attune bars.

    My favorite Attune bar used to be the Lemon Crème then I had to wean myself because of the calories. The Strawberry Bliss wasn't bad either. I stepped down to smaller bars, the blueberry vanilla and mint chocolate. At any rate, I hope those probiotics are doing their job.

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    The Return

    I left everything that I had and more on the St. Louis Riverfront Trail. I was so excited when I started off. I love to see the starting line. I know that once I take a right turn, I'm off and the trail will span out before me for miles and miles.

    After I went past mile marker eight, I could see The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and I continued to head in that direction until I came up on the side of it.

    On the way back, two people asked me if I was okay. Thanks to you both -- the woman in the pink shirt and the older woman with the bicycles on her socks. When the woman with bicycle socks inquired, I was thinking it's easy for you because of the tandem ride. I guess sarcasm kicks in when you're struggling and, possibly, dehydrated. I prepared two bottles of water but left one in the car. I was so happy to see this descent along with the one at the four and a half mile point.

    The view was awesome and I was grateful that I didn't have to pedal. I had to do a lot of talking to myself on the way back. The St. Louis Riverfront Trail almost became a Trail of Tears because I was seriously bonking. I started off singing but I was silent on the return trip. When I got back to the car, I saw that it had taken me two and a half hours to complete my trip.

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    22,000 Subways

    So what does this economy taste like? caught my attention and I found myself watching Nightline on Thursday.

    I've heard that McDonald's (Recession Diet) is doing banner business during this economy and it looks like Subway, with some 22,000 strong franchises, is not far behind.

    The journalist believes that the advertising campaign and the store's ability to use small storefronts is significant to their success. Subway's C.E.O. also credits Jared Fogle's phenomenal weight loss story as a Subway success factor.

    On the advertisement front, Subway does have some clever ads as does McDonald's.

    I've seen this ad in Shape magazine several times and it always moves me. McDonald's got rid of its supersize fries after Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me hit theatres but the supersize concept is a hard one to shake.

    Jared showed off his fat pants in the interview. I have my own version -- some black Ralph Lauren pants that I plan to keep. Those pants were a sweet find at $20 dollars but I want to keep them as reminder of how I arrived at plus-size in the first place. As I've been advised, I will get rid of the remainder of my ill-fitting clothing because I don't want to it to be convenient for me to wear my larger clothes again.

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    The Fine Art of Packing Lunch

    I was packing as if I was going out of town this morning (crackers, hummus, turkey sandwich, watermelon and yogurt). I had to attend a training session and knew that there would be Papa John's for lunch. I was packing my snacks and lunch when I had a small dilemma. What was I to do with my delicate Wasa crackers?

    I didn't want to put them in with the food that required refrigeration and I knew that they would get crushed in my satchel.

    Bubble wrap popped into my mind. I went looking for the clear stuff and found the perfect Wasa carrier.


    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    The Lists

    I was chuckling at my list of lists that I have on my door. I created the lists so I don't forget any crucial workout paraphernalia. I even double-check it once I have my bag packed. I need to put my extra pair of tennis shoes in the car as well. On Tuesday, I went to open swim at Mehlville which didn't start until 7:30 p.m. I knew the marching band was not a good sign and, sure enough, when I went to the pool house, there was a sign saying that the pool was closed for a week even though I hadn't seen any previous announcements of the kind.

    I could have gone to a branch of my gym about two miles from the pool. I didn't have on ideal workout clothes but I could have made it work except for my shoes because I only had flip-flops. I was so disappointed that night and ended up forgoing exercise. My newest list is the bicycling one and it will be longer soon.

    Bicycling List

  • Bike (duh)

  • Emergency Poncho

  • Fruit

  • Gatorade

  • Helmet

  • MP3 Player

  • Pepper Spray

  • Sunglasses

  • Water

  • Swimming List

  • Contact Case

  • Contact Solution

  • Counter

  • Flip Flops

  • Glasses

  • Goggles

  • $ -- If Necessary

  • Pre-Workout Snack

  • Plastic Bag

  • Soap

  • Sunblock Lotion

  • Swimming Earrings

  • Swimming Suit

  • Towel

  • Undergarments

  • Water

  • Workout List

  • Lock

  • Lotion

  • Magnetic Gym Card

  • $ -- If Necessary

  • MP3 Player

  • Nikes or New Balance

  • Pre-Workout Snack

  • Socks

  • Water

  • Workout Bottom, Top & Towel
  • Sunblock is a new addition to my list. I didn't wear it before because I was a little cavalier about the pigment quotient. I thought I had enough pigment to protect me until I read Health magazine. This woman held the same belief that I did and ended up with skin cancer and that's the reason that sunblock is now on the list.

    I went to the pool today. Whenever I see post-swimming droplets, it makes me think of the St. Louis Blues' advertisement: Do you bleed blue?

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    Moving Through Forest Park

    As Paul D says of Sethe in Morrison's Beloved, Forest Park is a friend of my mind; it moves me. It is where I initially shed pounds. I also resolved many dilemmas while walking the 6.2 trail there. I returned to Forest Park as a cyclist and not a walker today.

    Mile two was challenging. I don't know if it was a subtle hill, my bike or what but I struggled and felt as if I was going in slow motion.

    By Skinker and Clayton, there is a major descent. I don't think that I touched the pedals for an entire mile or, at least, until I got by the zoo -- close to where the zebras reside. I must say that it was quite exhilarating whipping along that section. Yes, I know; it's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. I did the 6.2 miles in about forty minutes. So, I decided to bike from Union to Forsyth again. I do like to go for an hour.

    I saw this woman, Fabiola, that I know. She's batty too. Her exercise of choice was inline skating and all I could see was skin and no wrist or knee pads but she looked liked she was holding her own.

    Here, I paused to eat my Raisin Almond Soyjoy and take a sip of water.

    On the way back home, I saw the Harris Stowe State University band practicing. I wanted to stop and listen to the free concert for awhile. It was a beautiful day for a band to play and it was a beautiful day for bicycling too.

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Ciao Spider Woman

    Farewell to Jessica.

    Although we did not work in the same department, we worked at the same facility. And what, in the words of Prince, a strange relationship we tend to have with people that we work/live with for huge chunks of time. Okay, not Prince-strange but strange; if you're lucky, an enjoyable camaraderie is sometimes forged.

    Jessica was my rock climbing liaison. That's her getting ready to belay for me yesterday as I pondered how to best approach the wall.

    Jessica also kept me in check. I was preparing to belay for her and taking up slack in the rope but I took my hand off the brake line. When she admonished me for the brake line snafu, I told her that I wasn't officially belaying but she said something about best practices etc. etc. She also reminded me, ever so gently, about the feed line for the climber on the ATC guide, safety checks and accurate commands, including the lower me one. There's nothing like being stuck 30 feet up because you forgot to say lower me and please doesn't really move your belayer.

    In addition to rock climbing, I also went swimming with Jessica and was in danger of turning into a spectator because she is such an excellent swimmer and I enjoyed watching her rock the butterfly and front crawl. I thought that I had been swimming up until that point but felt like I was just playing in the water once I saw Jessica.

    Last year at this time, I signed up for my first swimming class. So, I'm going to cut myself some slack and give myself credit for showing up for those swimming classes. I'll go ahead and throw out extra credit for my attendance at class one.

    In addition to being a good workout, swimming has been a phenomenal way for me to attend to other parts of my well-being.

    A few months ago, I had a dream that I had fallen into some water with a folder containing, I assume, work-related documents. As I was in the water, I realized that I could swim and that I was going to be all right.

    In addition to rock climbing and swimming, I also bowled with Jessica and played dominoes.

    I'm going to miss several things about her but I'm definitely going to miss the sportsmanship.

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    All Over The Wall

    It was an eventful weekend on the fitness front. On Saturday, I went rock climbing and I swam. On Sunday, I went bicycling for about 17 miles then I went and tried out lake swimming. It's safe to say that I prefer being in the pool with lanes, black lines, clear water and the depth clearly marked.

    Today, I went rock climbing again. I'm getting better. I don't try to maintain a death grip on the wall. I reach for holds that I might not have tried to reach for before and, overall, I feel more confident when climbing.

    I still have my awkward moments. My climbing commands are backwards. I'm not a smooth belayer. I was pulling someone up the wall as opposed to letting them climb. And when I climb? My goal is to get up the wall and I don't necessarily follow the green or blue route. I take the rainbow route which is a nice way of saying I'm all over the wall but at least I head in the right direction.

    Saturday, August 8, 2009

    Upper Limits

    I don't know why I get a case of nerves before rock climbing. When I was getting ready this morning, I questioned my sanity decision.

    Could it be the waiver? It reads in part:

    I acknowledge the inherent extreme risk in rock climbing activities, including those that take place indoors. I realize that those risks include falls, equipment failure, bad decision-making, inattentive belayers, and holds that become loose or damaged by other climbers. I understand that there are unforeseeable, freakish accidents, and I assume all risks associated with such accidents, even though I cannot foresee them. I agree to pay attention to the state of the ropes in the gym and that of the anchors, and to advise gym staff if I do any damage or notice any damage, I agree to abide by all gym rules, and if gym staff make a specific request of or instruction to me, I agree to comply.
    So, yeah, there are other parts to the waiver but you get the idea.

    I was probably extra nervous because I decided to take my belay test. I'm certified (One For The Books) for the Center of Clayton but not for Upper Limits which I'm more likely to frequent.

    You'll be happy to know that, even though I had a few awkward attempts, I was able to tie my double figure eight knot and my safety knot (fisherman's knot) and that I'm now able to belay at UL. During the belay test, you have to demonstrate proper technique (like never taking your hand off the brake line) plus the ability to provide a take for the climber if he or she needs rest. In addition, there's an announced and unannounced fall during the test. Thanks to Jessica for trusting me enough to belay for her.

    I almost took a nap (not during belaying) on one of those black mattresses that are present for bouldering folks because with the climbing and the test, I was a bit tuckered out.

    I went home and took a pause for the cause, had lunch and decided that I wanted to give the city pool a try again; I hadn't been since opening week. I hung out for awhile, swam a little and enjoyed the sun. I felt so relaxed afterwards or maybe the sun had sapped my energy. It really hasn't been hot this summer but the sun was flexing its solar muscles today.

    Friday, August 7, 2009

    Retro Exertion

    The reason I retro walk and retro pedal on the elliptical and adaptive motion trainers -- to use different muscles.

    I saw some women in the park kicking tennis balls and I think that I'll try that at some point, just to do something different.

    Just read a solid article,Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin, in Time.

    The author says that people tend to overeat after exercise and indulge in stuff like Gatorade which made me think about my bicycle ride on Sunday. I was actually thinking how nice and sweet my fruit punch Gatorade tasted and that I need to cease and desist and just drink plain old water. Was I bicycling enough, at 18 miles, to justify my consumption of Gatorade? I had water as well but did I really need to switch back and forth between the two?

    The Time author infers that we all need to move more. I agree wholeheartedly and I always appreciate a good reminder.

    Thursday, August 6, 2009

    Latest Strategy

    One of my colleagues peeped into my office and asked if I had changed anything about my diet. Not really I told her. I recently dropped veggie chips but that was about it.

    This colleague is the one who gave me Skinny Bitch to read and, although she looks quite petite to me, she still wants to drop more weight. Later, when I saw her by the shredder, I told her that I was trying to stay on top of the water and that I exercise like a maniac. In turn, she told me that she hardly drinks water or exercises.

    Forty ounces of water is a good day for me. I know that most experts recommend more but I'm satisfied if I can get down that much. My latest strategy is to eat oatmeal with a banana before I leave for work. Once at work, I drink at least 16 ounces of water before I touch my morning snacks which usually consist of Dannon All Natural yogurt and fruit (watermelon or apple or kiwi et al.). It used to be a labor to get down two cups of water but, now, it's become easier.

    My cousin just hooked up with a personal trainer and he recommends that she drink 96 ounces of water a day. I told her that I'm sure that she'll lose weight that way because there won't be room for anything else in her stomach drinking that much water.

    I think that I should have also told my colleague that I'm still not eating fried foods, I seldom eat out and I keep track of what I eat. In addition, if I have Annie Chun's Peanut Sesame Chow Mein Noodles And Sauce for dinner, I don't go near the peanut or almond butter in the same day.

    And, by maniacal, I mean that I exercise six out of seven days and usually for an hour and I don't use my exercise session as a reason to overindulge -- even if I participate in a half-marathon.

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009

    People Unplugged

    There have been some peculiar incidents in the fitness world.

    A Rolla, Mo professor was killed while biking.

    Bike Crash Kills Rolla Professor

    One commenter on the story, SpyderWeb, had mixed emotions:

    Clearly, biking and exercise are hazardous to your health...? Stay home, avoid exercise, eat nuts and forever?
    A woman from St. Louis was struck by lightning while bicycling.

    STL Cyclist Recovers From Lightning Strike

    I love that the article reports that she'll be able to compete in the Ironman triathlon later this month.

    And, of course, the really sad news is about the man that opened fire in an LA Fitness club.

    Police: Gym Shooter 'had a lot of hatred' For Women, Society

    You just never know...

    I went bicycling today and it was so cool to see people unplugged -- reading a book while laying on a blanket, throwing a Frisbee to a dog and just sitting on the park bench watching swans and whatnot.

    Tuesday, August 4, 2009

    Rx For Anger

    All day long I thought about what exercise to do. Bicycling? Swimming? I seldom do back-to-back swim sessions though. The gym was one of my last options and I started to think about how I'm becoming a gym cliché -- someone who pays for a membership and doesn't go. I was thinking that I need to find a solution - a gym with a swimming pool maybe and stop nickel and diming my resources. My cousin told me not to worry -- that I would probably head indoors once it got too cold to bicycle.

    My cardio got decided for me when this bi heifer made me angry, nay, furious.

    Dena and Her Rats II by Rhonda Manning

    I went out of my way to go to a gym with a StairMaster. I signed up for 30 minutes, turned on the MP3 and didn't stop until I had climbed 100 floors. Next, I got on the treadmill and, just to get the anger completely out of my system, I did a few kickbacks, lateral raises and shoulder presses.

    I'm all better now.

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    Tip, #2

    I've wanted to go outdoor swimming for quite awhile now. While the Pacific Northwest has been having unseasonably warm weather, it's been the opposite in the Midwest.

    Accuweather was promising 91 degrees for today but it was still rather cool around 1:30 p.m. When I left work, though, it was nice and warm. The times they are a-changin' because I never thought I'd hope for heat.

    Now, here's the tip.

    Do not assume that an entire pool has warmed up just because it's over 90 degrees.

    I went to the Kennedy Recreation Center. Actually, I flew out to the Kennedy Rec Center to get in an hour of swimming. Just call me 'Drea Andretti.

    Are you here for lap swimming?, the lad at the desk wanted to know. She quickly informed me that lap swimming was no more and that the pool will be closing mid-August. Unbelievable. It seems like the pools just opened.

    I changed quickly and headed out to the pool area. When I stepped in the water, it was so cold. I just sucked it up and immersed myself in the water because I have been waiting for this day. As Anita Baker would say: Been So Long.

    Sunday, August 2, 2009

    The Road 'Drea Traveled

    I'm completely enjoying The St. Louis Riverfront Trail. Okay, when I was in the industrial area, it did smell like Grant's Farm but, as I moved further along the trail, it wasn't an issue.

    My goal was to make it to the nine mile marker today before I turned around. I never saw the marker but it certainly felt like nine plus miles. I caught a glimpse of the Chain of Rocks Bridge but I didn't have enough in the tank to push to that point but I'll make it there soon.

    My MP3 player is doing something very quirky. It would only play three songs. I'm glad that I left it at home last time. So, riding unplugged was not a huge deal today. However, listening to up-tempo music does help me gut it out and I need to find out what is wrong with my little device.

    Saturday, August 1, 2009

    In Light Of Swiss National Day -- Old Jones, #3

    My mind makes interesting connections. Here's part of an e-mail that I recently received.
    All Swiss Products on Sale in August
    In honor of Swiss National Day, August 1, all of our Swiss products will be on sale, all month-long. Take 20% off all Lindt bars, all Toblerone bars, all Hero preserves, all Hero potato products and all Swiss-made cheeses. In addition, ALL OTHER CHEESES will be 10% off, throughout the month of August.
    As soon as I saw Lindt, it reminded me of cookies that I used to make.

    So, in light of Swiss National Day, I present the ingredients required for Not Neiman Marcus's Chocolate Chip Cookies, an old jones:

    2 cs old-fashioned rolled oats
    2 cs all-purpose white flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 c (2 sticks)unsalted butter, slightly softened
    3/4 c packed light brown sugar
    1/2 c sugar
    2 Tblspns light corn syrup
    2 large eggs
    2 tsps vanilla extract
    2 cs semisweet cho. morsels
    1 3 1/2 to 4 oz bar top quality milk chocolate coarsely grated or finely chopped
    1 c (4 ozs) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
    For the rest of the recipe, check out Nancy Baggett's The All-American Cookie Book.

    And to round out our featured day, check out Urs playing the spoons.