Three Weeks Of Working Out; Progress?

As y’all know, two weeks ago I wrote about joining a health club. It’s actually been 3 weeks of working out, and I thought I’d share some things with y’all to this point.


Frankly, I feel a lot like this cat most of the time. I keep having people tell me “it’s only been 3 weeks” or something goofy like that, but man, I’m about as tired all the time as I was before I started working out, only the reason I’m tired is different. And I’m sore all the time as well; okay, that’s not quite accurate. I’m either sore or tight, feeling like I need to constantly stretch, and when I do stretch nothing happens. This is where my dream of being rich comes back into play because I’d have a full time massage therapist (someone told me I should stop saying ‘masseuse’ because Americans supposedly don’t like being called that) to take care of these types of things.

Not counting today, I’ve been a participant with this health club for 21 days. Out of those 21 days I’ve gone 17. Some people have said that’s too many days, but I’m looking for results. Now, out of these same 21 days I’ve worked out twice at the club on the same day twice, and another time after spending 90 minutes at the club I then went on a 90 minute walk at the lake. So, out of 21 days I’ve had 20 hard work out sessions; whew! Saturday was the first day when I really did absolutely nothing except feel some pain; okay, I’m supposed to say ‘sore’.

What am I doing? My routine always starts the same; walking around the track. My knees hate me from all those years of bowling, so I try to get them warmed up for what’s coming next. Sometimes it’s only 3 to 5 times around the track; sometimes it’s 15 to 20 minutes. Doesn’t matter to me; I walk until my knees say they’re ready for the next stage.

Here’s where deviation comes in, and this is one of those points that all my “expert” friends keep throwing at me. They say you have to shake things up because your body gets used to the same routine over and over. I think it’s kind of early for my body to be used to anything, but so be it. There are different things I could do and different things I actually do. There are two different sets of workout machines, some of which I mentioned in the first post. I know how to use one set completely; the other set, my wife and I are learning a piece here and there. I finally figured out how to use the one piece of equipment that’s supposed to help tighten my abs, and I’m up to 100 sit ups on that one, though my stomach screams at me each time I’m finished. I mix up the weights; sometimes I do very low weights but lots of reps, 30 or more, other times I do heavier weights, usually 10 reps.

Do I know what I’m doing? Heck no! Am I showing any progress? Well, it depends on what you want to look at. My wife and I didn’t take any measurements when we first started, so I have no idea if I’m smaller now compared to 3 weeks ago. However, we did have measurements from last June, and I’m smaller in some areas and not smaller in other areas. My stomach hasn’t shrunk one bit. My thighs have fallen drastically, which isn’t bad, but my shoulders have gotten larger; not quite what I want, but it’s not so problematic. My weight hasn’t gone down a single pound, and my glucose is still pretty high, although on the days where I worked out twice I’ve had a low number after the second one. And all my other measurements are pretty much the same as last year; oh well, at least I still have something to work towards, right?

I was asked if I’ve changed my eating habits. I keep saying I thought if I worked out that it was supposed to overcome my eating habits. I guess not; seems to indicate that if I changed my eating habits it would work much better than just working out. Frankly, this might be a lot of ado about nothing, but who really knows? I can’t say I feel better, but I can say that I’ve felt better than I do with the soreness. However, I’m still giving it the full 60 days to see if there are any real benefits, so don’t fuss as me for not giving it a real shot. And I expect within a couple of weeks to modify my eating habits in some fashion; hey, I’ve already given up my 1:30AM meal (y’all know I stay up late).

Oh yeah, the hot tub; that’s a tale for later in the week. So stay tuned.


Unlimited Album

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Sunday Question – Do You Have Someone Special To Think About On Memorial Day?


Tomorrow is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s the day when we honor those who have given their life for this country while serving in the military. Unfortunately, for many people it’s just another holiday to drink and be stupid and to enjoy a 3-day weekend, but it still has meaning for a lot of people.

I have to say that I’m pretty lucky. Not a single relative of mine, that I know I have to add, has ever lost his or her life in a war. That’s pretty amazing thinking of how many relatives have been in the service. My dad was in both Korea and Vietnam and came back relatively unscathed, as has most of my other relatives, and probably the worst that’s happened is that one cousin has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder for nearly 40 years because of his experience in Vietnam.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t met people in my life that have lost relatives. I remember a young lady I went on one date with back in the 80’s whose father was a fighter pilot and lost his life, and she never got to meet him because her mother was pregnant with her when he was killed. I’ve known other kids whose father didn’t end up coming back from Vietnam. I knew a lady who worked for me whose son was killed in an explosion on his ship back in the late 80’s. Strange as it may seem, I don’t know anyone who’s been killed in Iraq, or any friends who have lost someone there.

Anyway, if you have someone you’ve lost while they were in the military, I hope you take time to pause and reflect on those folks. If you’d like to mention their name here, you can.
 

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Thoughts About The Images?

Last November I wrote a post titled Do Images Increase Readership? At the time, I had 7 posts in a row with some kind of image on them as an experiment to see if it increased my visitors any, because I’d read on some blogs that talked about increasing visitors that it helped. I doubted it, but wanted to see what would happen over a 7 day period.

Of course, nothing happened, because I thought it was a pretty bogus recommendation. But the comments ranged from my not doing the test long enough to the images not being really relevant to the conversation. That had been part of my point way back, that just because you put an image on a post didn’t necessarily mean it was relevant. I even remember Dennis and myself talking about it, with him saying he could put any word into Google and come up with an image, and my saying sure, but that image might not match up to the content of the word you put in.


Mirror Image 1998

Anyway, most of this month I’ve had some kind of image in almost every post. Some have been from Imagekind, where if you clicked on it and decided to buy it, or any other pictures on the site, I’d have gotten some money out of it. Those are the pictures with the titles, just so you know. Some have had direct relations to the topic. And a couple were there because I liked how they looked; so sue me.

Has readership, aka, visitors increased? Well, to tell you the truth I don’t really know. That’s because, for some reason, starting around April 13th traffic and visitors suddenly spiked in coming to the site based on that article on cleavage I wrote near the end of January. As you saw in my last numbers report, that post is killing every other post I have, and I have no real idea why. It’s skewed my numbers so much that I hope there’s not a bot that’s locked onto it in some fashion that will end up hurting the blog later on. That page is averaging more than 60 visitors a day even now, and has actually reached 100 visitors a couple of times; outstanding for what I considered a throwaway post of sorts. I’m trying to figure out new ways of monetizing it. lol

So, in lieu of trying to decompress all the numbers, I’ll just ask you what you think. Is it breaking up some of the text at least a little bit, have you found it intriguing, or is it getting on your nerves, or you’re totally ignoring it, because you see the same sort of thing on other blogs?

adidas World Cup 2010 MLS Glider Soccer Ball

Price – $14.73








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Two Free Programs, Two Great Chess Sites

As the title says, today I’m going to introduce two free programs you might not know about, and then talk about two free chess sites that those of you who like playing chess might enjoy, and I’ll have something else for you at the end.

The first is a free PDF program called doPDF. Obviously what it lets you do is print pdf files from any program on your computer. I’d been looking for one of these for a long time, because the one I had was free as long as you wanted to look at an ad every time you created a pdf. That wouldn’t have been so bad, except it opened up IE every single time, and if I was creating a bunch of pdfs, or needed to make corrections on one, that just got tiring after awhile. Anyway, there are no frills with the program, but at least it lets you save your pdf wherever you want to.

The next program is something from a company called Brothersoft. The program is called Convert MP4 to MP3. Plain and simple, that’s also what it does. Once again this was something I’d been looking for. Through a script from Greasemonkey, which you can use with Firefox, I can actually download movies in an MP4 format from YouTube. However, many times I’m downloading the video because I really want the song, and I’d been wanting to add those songs to my music database. So I found this program, totally freeware, and you can convert multiple files at a time. Works very fast as well, and since the download from YouTube is the highest quality download, what you end up getting after the conversion is high quality as well. That is, as long as the original version was high quality to begin with.

Done with programs; now onto chess. It’s one of the few games I play online, probably because it’s not something that you have to sit down and play live with someone, although there are sites that do that. For both of these sites, you get to make your move, then go about your life until you get an email notification that there’s been a move in a game you’re playing. I love that.

The first site I’m going to mention is called Scheming Mind, and it’s a site created by a friend of mine named Austin Lockwood; I’m not quite sure where he’s from, but the site is located somewhere in Europe. Anyway, it’s a free chess site as long as you play fewer than 10 games at a time. If you want to play unlimited games, it’s only $20 a year, and trust me he’s not getting rich off the site.

Sire and I play here, and I think it works for us because not only can we talk during the games, but every message we write is saved so we can go back and read them again, or address them after a move so we can take some time to think about things. The site also offers multiple types of games and different speeds of games, so that you can have as many as 30 days for each player to make a single move or as few as 5 days. You can join tournaments, though if you’re playing for free you can only join one tournament at a time. You can also ask the site to suggest a player based on ranking criteria, then select someone who they suggest or ask for more suggestions. However, sometimes it’s a hit or miss as to whether you’ll be playing that game, since people can reject you. Overall I love the site.

The other chess site is called Net-Chess, and I like this site as well, but for a different reason. With this site you can play as many games as you want to, but you’ll also find that it can be overwhelming if you’re not paying attention to how you’re joining the games. Every game you get into is some kind of mini tournament. You can decide how many games you’re going to play against each opponent if you create the tournament, or you can join a tournament that fits your ranking; you’ll establish a real ranking after you’ve played so many games.

The overwhelming part is that you might not be paying attention and suddenly find yourself playing upwards of 40 or more games at one time. True, you get to make each individual move at your leisure, but for some folks, like myself, that’s a few too many games at once. I like to have 20 going when I can, mainly because some people won’t ever start the games every though they signed up, and some people will forget, being overwhelmed, and they’ll lose on time. As long as they’ve made 10 moves in the game, if they time out you automatically get both the win and the points, and points are given based on your rank and the rank of your opponent at the time.

There are the two free programs and the two chess sites. The final thing is a little motivational thing from a blog friend named Marelisa, whom I’ve mentioned thrice before, once within a post on great posts, once highlighting her blog on Blog Day 2009, and later on a post on creativity. Anyway she’s got another great post, short by her standards, titled 525+ Bucket List Ideas, somewhat based on the movie The Bucket List. Yeah, that’s pretty comprehensive, but that’s kind of her point, that there are limitless opportunities for all of us to find within ourselves to try if we’re predisposed to do it.

There you go; don’t ever say I don’t provide any value to anyone! lol

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My Gripe With WordPress.com Blogs

Some of you remember back in 2008 when I wrote about my gripe with Blogger blogs, which is owned by Google. Back then, I said my main gripe had to do with trying to write comments on those blogs, where you either had to register for the site so you could get notified of comments, or you could choose one of the other options and never know that someone had responded to a comment.

Now I’m going to gripe about WordPress.com blogs, and I have a minor gripe against them. Once again, it’s the commenting gripe. With WordPress.com, you can comment on the blogs and potentially get a notification. Why do I say “potentially”? Because if you click on the box that says you want to be notified of comments, like you’d do on my blog, you immediately get this email that asks you if you want to subscribe to comments. Well, if you didn’t why would you have clicked on the box?

On this blog, which is self hosted, I already have that selected, so if you get anything in the mail from me it’s because you commented, and you can decide to unsubscribe from comments at any time if you please. On WordPress.com blogs, you have to check the box, so one would assume there wouldn’t be any questions that you wanted the blog comments.

To be somewhat fair, I will say that I know why they do this. It’s a double opt-in system, verifying that the person whose name and email address that’s been used is the same person who actually wrote the post. It’s known as a double opt-in as opposed to a regular opt in because you initially had to check the box to tell the blog that you wanted to get comments. For some blogs where you don’t get a choice as to whether you want to check or uncheck a box, you might still receive a message asking you if you want to subscribe to comments, but in that case you didn’t really opt-in the first time, hence it’s not a double opt-in system. You really wanted to know that, didn’t you?

Anyway, with this system, if it gets a bounced email back, it knows to move the comment to spam. If someone else’s email address was used, certainly that person wouldn’t want to receive any more responses, but in this case the concept is somewhat flawed. At best, if someone forged a person’s email address and that person gets the response, they’d have to follow the link back to the blog, see the posting, and request that it be removed because they didn’t write it. I wonder how often that sort of thing really happens.

In my mind, one uses a double opt-in system if they have an automated email system set up for something like subscribing to a newsletter, since spam email can easily get into that, or some “friends” will do a drive-by subscription as a joke on a friend. But for a blog, I really can’t see the reasoning behind that.

Still, I have to admit that I’m more apt to comment on a WordPress.com blog than a Blogger blog because at least I can choose which of my 3 blogger personas I wish to use. But I must admit that I never subscribe to the opt-in email that shows up. Occasionally, if I’m so predisposed, I’ll pop back to a blog that I’ve commented on to see if it ever got a response, but that’s mainly only for friends of mine. For the rest… I guess it’s a one and done most of the time.

I wish WordPress.com would address that, or at least make it an option for their users. I get that it’s free, but does free mean it has to restrict what some people can do? The fix is probably in the paid version on that site; does anyone know for sure? I will say this; I’m glad it’s in the free software version for those of us who pay for our own hosting.

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