Friday – patience rewarded

I have decided to share some of my favorite photos. I am fortunate to have a camera that takes better pictures than I am a photographer. It makes me look good. This particular photo was taken in the parking lot of a restaurant in Phoenix, AZ several years ago. The restaurant is no longer there, a victim of the recession.

Subject change – I went to the gym today. It was Friday, the coach knows I have two days to recover so it was pretty intense. That’s good though, if you don’t push yourself beyond what’s comfortable you never get any better. That is true for far more than working out. Anyway, lots of aerobics, lots of practicing combinations,bands, squats, stretching, etc., and it had recently rained and the unusual humidity was kicking my butt. Anyway, I survived, got home took a shower and took my blood pressure – 99/68, which explains how I was able to do a masterful imitation of an overgrown sloth. Felt much better after some food. I was merely exhausted. Hope I sleep well.

Subject change #2 – I have been thinking a lot about the difference between religion and philosophy lately. I am expert at neither religion or philosophy . Having said that I do observe and what I’ve seen in my sixty years leaves me to believe the following. Religion is based on following the tenets of the particular religion in question, questions are allowed but the answers have been decided by someone or some body that determines the ideology inherent to that particular religion. If one is unable to accept the answer given the options are to keep your doubts to yourself or find a new religion. Philosophy is all about questions, the questions and the answers change as one’s age and circumstances change. The question may be universal but the answer is probably unique to the individual posing the question. If the answer received either from self study or from a mentor is not what one wishes perhaps the question should be rephrased or perhaps the answer is correct and the person asking the question is not yet ready to ask that question.

This is very basic I realize and religion and philosophy are both subjects worthy of words far more eloquent than mine. The point I am trying to make however is still, I believe, valid. Religion generally attracts people who expect others to give them the answers to life’s mysteries. Philosophy generally attracts people who seek their own answers. The philosopher is not attracted to a one size fits all answer to their very personal questions. And yes, there are exceptions, there always are, hence the word generally.

Weekend only eight work hours away. Is that cheering I hear? Yes it is. It is me cheering. Saturday is unscheduled, that probably means at least some household chores. Sunday is breakfast with friends, then trying to become a hermit and write. It has been too long since I have written anything. If I don’t find the time to write soon, my brain to going to either wither or explode, neither is acceptable. All these characters rattling around my head clamoring for me to tell their stories and life keep getting in the way.

Scale said 251.0, keep plugging away, that’s eight pounds gone.

Nothing more to say. Have a great Friday and a better weekend.

Till next time, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, Philosophy, WeightLoss, Writing | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Strive to live the ordinary life in a non ordinary way.


I came across the above words while researching rune stones. What extraordinary wisdom is encompassed in these few words. Few will live a life that leave their name emblazoned upon history. The vast majority of us will be remembered by few, other than family and friends, once we are gone. Our time is brief, and the wisdom necessary to use this time wisely is, quite often, learned by trial and error. In effect, we learn from our mistakes. Some learn more quickly than others and, if we are fortunate, we never stop learning.

I am fortunate in that I am acquainted with a few extraordinary “ordinary” people. They are each unique and special in their own way. I see in them qualities that I admire and deem worthy of emulation. These individuals treat others with respect and dignity, they exhibit patience, they share their knowledge freely and do not denigrate others to feed their ego. Are they perfect, no, each is striving to improve, to be better, to be more. They are “aware.” This awareness of self allows them to learn, to improve, to grow. This awareness of self allows them to live an ordinary life in a non ordinary way. I will enjoy watching the process unfold.

New subject, I had hoped to re-prioritize my day to day routine these last few days. The weekend was busier than anticipated, as a result, I still have no over-arching plan. Work, sleep, writing, proper diet, exercise, household chores and sleep, each takes time. To spend time on one takes time from another. Lately sleep has been given short shrift but that cannot continue. Without proper sleep nothing is done as well as possible and anything worth doing is worth doing well. My desire to do many things well is forcing me to do that which I really dislike, live a structured life. The inherent rebel in me chafes at restrictions, even when they are logical, serve a worthy purpose and are self induced. I guess this will be a test whether I want to accomplish these goals as much as I think I do. I will keep you posted.

Another new subject, occasionally, life visits upon us an occurrence that is, strange, totally unexpected, too cool and extremely motivating all at the same time. Today I was at my favorite coffee shop, seated at the counter having coffee after breakfast. A fellow, a few years older than me sat down two chairs away. He ordered coffee and struck up a conversation. The conversation turned to fitness, diet and exercise. He made a comment about exercise and out of the blue said, “You box, you know what I mean.” Now I don’t know this guy, never saw him before today, so curious, I ask him, ‘How do you know I box?” His response floored me. He said, “I trained for pro years ago, I can tell.”

As of September 17, I will have been taking boxing lessons for a year. I have dropped twenty plus pounds and kept it off. Yet when I look in the mirror I still see a 60 year old guy that needs to lose considerable weight. I am in good shape for my age and weight and the coach tells me I look thirty pounds less than my actual weight but I still have a gut. I am unsure exactly what this stranger saw but I find the experience extremely motivating, from a weight loss perspective as well as added motivation to increase the intensity levels at the gym. This is the most telling proof to date that all those hours at the gym, the sweat, the sore muscles, the gasping-for-breath aerobics, are paying off. Too cool, dear reader, way too cool.

I still need to regiment my day so as to get the most done with what limited free time I have. This should be interesting, the adult responsible me trying to reign in the inner child, I-want-to-play, me. Historically, the inner child eventually gets his way. I will have to factor in some play time, maybe I can keep appease the spoiled brat side of my nature. Query, if I give the inner child a time out how can the adult get anything done? Anyway, must go, things to do, things to do.

Scale said 257.5, see above about inner child getting his way.

Till tomorrow, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, Philosophy, Poetry, WeightLoss | 4 Comments



Before anyone gets offended the first “F.” in the title stands for finally. However, feel free to substitute another word if you feel so inclined.

Major workout today, the client after me canceled. The coach asked if I needed to be anywhere. I said no and he said he would rather beat somebody up than sit around for thirty minutes doing nothing. My thirty minute workout turned into a fifty two minute workout. At my age, 60, and my job, sedentary, I need all the exercise I can get. No boxing today, weight training: bench press, rows, hammer curls, flys, and triceps and core training: planks, reverse crunches, side taps and crunches. A few squats and we have ourselves a killer workout.

Got home and after showering promptly stubbed one of my little toes. It hurt so bad I forgot to cuss. It isn’t broke but it is going to hurt all weekend.

Busy weekend coming up. Taking my eighty year old Mom out for lunch tomorrow. She is the Scrabble queen of the apartment complex where she lives. I hope I am as sharp and spry at eighty as she is. Saturday night my wife, a friend from work and I are going to a dinner theater where “The Expendables” is showing. Sunday evening a friend is coming over to watch Dr. Who. I left Monday open so I can spend some major time trying to finish my current writing project.

Have started corresponding with my sister’s youngest daughter. She lives not too far distant but is young and has a life. She is, however, a fan of my writing and she was surprised I started a blog. Well, as far as the blog goes, so was I. It is a joy to communicate with people a generation or more younger than myself. The young people I associate with have, for the most part, not become jaded by life’s trial’s and tribulations.

One can hear story after story of lazy, spoiled, unskilled, disassociated young people who feel entitled to a paycheck and a good life without putting forth the work necessary to make it happen. That is because the media can’t make a story out of young people doing well. The great majority of the young people I associate with are extremely bright, some bordering on genius. They tend to look at the world with a healthy cynicism yet maintain a sense of humor and the hope that a better future lies ahead. This encompasses young workers in fields as diverse as waiter/waitressing, bank employee, technical writer, supervisor, typesetter/proofreader, the coach at my gym and cashier. That is a few, you get the idea. I wish them all well.

I do not wish to discuss politics on this blog, I will however say that whoever wins, at least we will have a respite from the incessant BS associated with presidential elections.

Been buying music lately. I try to keep up with at least some of today’s current artists. Brought in albums by Bruno Mars, Fun, Jason Mraz and Anna Nalick. My taste is music is quite eclectic. Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Classical, some New Age and some of the older Country. More about the artist than about the genre. Recently been listening to a lot of Lenka, Anna Nalick, Birdy, Eliza Doolittle, Lissie and Katie Herzig. Hence bringing in some new male voices. The last ablum I purchased with a male lead was Vampire Weekend.

I’ve rambled for quite long enough. I am going to chill with some tunes and then go to bed. I might even have a night cap. What the hell, it’s Friday.

The scale said 254.0. See I told you it was water weight.

Till next time, be safe, be happy, be creative. And of course, enjoy your three day weekend.

Categories: Exercise, Music, WeightLoss, Writing | 2 Comments

Thursday, the day before Friday


Hump day has come and gone, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah. Now we begin that part of the week which I call “the countdown.” When I get to work tonight, 3rd shift, in case I neglected to mention it, I will say to myself, “only 16 hours till the weekend.” It is not that I dislike my job, as far as jobs go I’ve had far, far worse, it is just that I like my non-work life so much more.

I was going to post a poem today. Sorry, but I still don’t seem to have the insert/upload thing down pat. It works great, gives me a link and an anchor and when I test it it goes to a download file. I will try to master this talent as quickly as possible. I have mentioned in an earlier post that I am a luddite and working with computers is like swimming against the current. Well, here’s proof.

I finished a scene on my current project. It is a short story titled “The Curious Item That Fell Out Of The Sky.” It is taking longer than I wanted it to basically because I have overbooked my waking hours and am having difficulty finding some writing time. I have other projects that need attention and loose deadlines for each project. Deadline in the sense that when I meet with my writing group, Gypsy Muse, I would like to have it ready for them to critique.

Other stuff, we are losing another experienced employee in my department. This lady has eighteen years experience and will be sorely missed. We are having a pot luck to send her off. I wish her well in her new endeavor.

Gym tomorrow, I may have mentioned the coach likes really intense workouts on Friday. The theory being, I have two days to recover. The coach is 24 years old and already has three years experience in physical therapy. This is, I believe, his last year in college. He is working on a degree in kinesiology. I am 60 years old and tell him from time to time that if I didn’t pay him, I would have him arrested for elder abuse.

Nothing more to say except that I am thinking about writing a short steam punk story. It will entail a bit of research but steam punk is pretty cool and would lend itself well to a story populated with unique, curious and eccentric characters. That just happens to be the kind of crowd I like to hang with.

Must finish other projects before starting new one. Must finish other projects before starting new one. Must finish other projects before starting new one. If I make that sentence a mantra maybe I’ll actually wait to start another project. Probably not and here’s why. I tend to write about whichever character is telling me their story, in other words, yelling the loudest. Sounds weird I know but that’s the way I write.

Oh yeah, the scale said 256.0, up two pounds. It’s water weight, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Till tomorrow, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: Exercise, Writing | 3 Comments

Mind, Body, Spirit, Your Personal Trinity

It’s Wednesday, for the first time in a while I got to sit and chill, after working my butt off at the gym of course.

I joined  a couple of blogs, placed an order on Amazon and listened to some music on iTunes.

This whole blog thing is interesting, I lead, basically a pretty average, pretty boring life. However, it’s a good life, I laugh a lot and at my age I’m pretty cool with boring. But trying to find something interesting to say daily is a bit of a challenge, but in a good way.

My job, I am proofreader for a major printing company, can be extremely high stress. The documents we work on are very stylized and each customer’s document has a different style. We often have a high volume of work due in a short period of time and very few people to do the work. Basically, I need a way to relieve the stress. Writing and boxing are my two major outlets.

The writing is an interesting hobby, at least in my small circle of friends, who by some strange coincidence write, used to write or wish they had time to write. I hope to make my writing an avocation when I retire, which seems like a long time emotionally but a short time in actuality, six, no more than seven years if you’re curious. Writing allows me to leave, temporarily, all the stresses behind and visit a place where I am in total control. I make the decision what my fictional world is like, who populates it and what trials, tribulations, successes, failures, joys and tragedies befall them, In essence, in my little creation, I am God, too cool. If a reader finds my creation interesting and/or entertaining, beyond cool.

The other thing I do to relieve stress is take boxing lessons. I do it for the exercise and the off chance I may need to defend myself someday. I try to avoid places and situations where that might prove necessary but you never know. Beating the hell out of a defenseless punching bag is a great way to relieve stress. The half hour on any given day may consist of weight training, aerobics, practicing combinations for speed or power or a mixture of the two, left jab, speed, right cross, power, or left uppercut speed, right uppercut power. Different days focus on different things, footwork, defense, attack, stamina or combinations. For strength training there are kettle bells, barbells, bands, huge ropes, sledge hammers and tractor tires, etc., etc., etc, you get the idea. I nearly forgot stretching and balance exercises. I can’t do this all in thirty minutes of course but with all these options the coach is able to make each session different.  I have no clue what to expect when I walk in the gym and I find that interesting.

Of the two main ways I relieve stress, one I have total control, the other I just do as I’m told. Surprisingly, for me, these two extremes keep me pretty mellow. I find that interesting as well. I still have days when i’m a grouch but they are few and far between.

I stayed up too late again but I have enjoyed writing today’s post. Articulating these hobbies of mine have given me a new awareness of just how important they are to me. Writing is exercise for the brain and boxing is exercise for the body. Together they help make me a happy, contented person. Mind, body, spirit, the personal trinity, I hope your trinity is as healthy as mine.

Tomorrow is poetry Thursday. I may post a short story instead of a poem, depends on my mood.

The scale was kind today: 254.0, down 5.5 pounds so far. However, it is getting late and I am hungry so if the scale tomorrow stays the same I will be happy.

Till tomorrow, be safe, be happy, be creative.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, WeightLoss, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Is It Only Monday?


Getting cable tomorrow, what do you want to bet it is more involved than I think it is.

Worked on one of my stories today. It is titled “The Curious Item That Fell From The Sky.” More about that later.

The scale said 255.5 last time I looked. Note to Self: patience, Self, patience, it will come off, just keep plugging away.

Went to the gym today. Nearly all aerobics, worked out for thirty minutes, thought I was gonna cough up a lung, not really but I was sucking air, had a major sweat going, average heart rate for the workout was 124.

Enjoyed the weekend. Can’t wait for the next one. Barring mandatory overtime the next one is a three-day. Gotta love paid holidays.

I got involved in my writing and stayed up too late again. If I go to bed now I can maybe get five hours sleep.

Gotta try, it’s embarrassing when you bang your head into your desk at work.

Till next time, be good or have fun, if you can do both at once, in either case, be creative.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, WeightLoss, Writing | 2 Comments

Wednesday’s Ramblings

Went to the gym today, Irongloves Boxing, and no, I’m not a boxer, I take boxing lessons, huge difference. It is a fun way to stay in shape. Lots of aerobics, weights, lunges, squats etc. and of course throwing combinations while wearing 16 ounce gloves. After 30 minutes you definitely get a sweat on. One exercise on the heavy bag is called the pyramid, basically you throw two punches low, two punches high, then four low, four high. You increase the number by two till you get to twelve then decrease by two till you return to two. The completed pyramid is 72 punches. Today this exercise was against the stop watch. My time to complete the pyramid was 27 seconds. My best is 24 seconds. This exercise is all about speed, not power. It is hard to be fast and powerful at the same time. It is something to which I aspire.

Speaking of something to aspire to, for me it is looking in the mirror and seeing less of me looking back. In that vein, I am posting a number, 259.5. If you guessed that is my weight you are correct. I will be posting it daily for the next three months. The goal is to be in the 220s at the end of November. That is not the final goal but a short term one. The ultimate goal is somewhere in the mid 180s. I’ve dieted before with varying degrees of success but never with the the results, good or bad, published daily. So wish me luck.

Enjoyed the rain last night. It was raining very hard when I left for work. The freeway traffic slowed to 45 mph.

I would post another poem but am waiting to see if there is any feedback for Summer Storm. I found it serendipitous that the same day I posted a poem called Summer Storm we had one. We’ll see if posting my weight goals work the same way. If only it were that easy.

Enough ramblings for one day. I want to write a little before bed and time is marching on. Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings. Come again, I don’t know what I am going to talk about till it appears on the page. It might even be something interesting ever now and then.

In the mean time, go write something.

Categories: Boxing, Exercise, WeightLoss | 2 Comments

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