Hello Again

Huh. It’s a blog post! Considering my last one was in December, I thought I’d write another one and try to be better at it. I said try, folks.

In said post I had mentioned that COVID cases continued to surge. That’s no longer the case as more and more people get vaccinated and numbers are actually dropping. As a result, the state has entered a lower tier and restaurants are starting to open for indoor dining, stores are allowing more customers in their doors, and gyms are welcoming back the resolutioners that haven’t thrown in the towel yet.


I have acquaintances posting family pics at Mongolian BBQs. Ann has friends who couldn’t wait to get smashed at local bars and posting selfies of their exuberant debauchery.


Perhaps I speak for myself when I say that we’re still in the midst of a motherfucking pandemic and it’s still way too soon to be getting shitfaced at Moe’s Tavern or be slurping udon with your family in a restaurant.


Anyway…

(Update 3/25/21: I learned yesterday that a family on our street — known to have had plenty of social gatherings during this pandemic — all came down with COVID after one of their drunken soirées because one of the members was unknowingly exposed and spread the virus. It cost one of the eldest members his life. Worth it?)


I haven’t been shot yet because I do not meet the state’s criteria of being a fat…uh, morbidly obese nor do I fall within the age range of being 60+, work in field that puts me at risk, or have any underlying conditions that put me at a higher risk of dying from COVID. Damn you, you healthy stinking body!

Ha ha. Sucks to be you, I guess. Go eat some oranges you healthy sucky-suck.


Frankly I have a greater chance of getting hit by cars while out for my morning walk/ride – and it’s already happened more times than I’d like to mention.

The family hasn’t been vaccinated yet either for the same reasons I’ve stated although they do have asthma and one is a cancer survivor. (Ann is now two-and-a-half years of being what the doctors call “unremarkable” and still exceeding all the -ologists expectations!) My mom has gotten both shots and in-laws have had their first dose. My brother got his today although I suspect he, as he always does, stretched the truth to get it. I mean…there’s a history of that and all…

And when we finally do, don’t count on any post-vaccination selfies. Because.


In a post last May I had mentioned that I was going to write a three-part blog series called The Days of Wine and COVID with Part 3 being called The Return to the Office (ala the J.R.R. Tolkien books which I did read, thankyouverymuch). While I got through Parts 1 and 2, Part 3 isn’t happening any time soon. My employer continues to monitor the state’s situation and will follow those guidelines when the time comes although we are at no obligation to ever return to the office. While I do miss being around some coworkers, being home has proven to be a viable alternative to the typical workday. We’ve gotten just as much done at home as we would have at the office and I have much more freedom to do what I need for the family. I miss the location of the office and my coworkers but this is just too easy.

So aside from all that, what’s new?

I’m down 20 pounds. I started to track my weight when I got my Wyze scale last April and weighed in at 237 lbs. Holy, holy fuck. I’m currently at 217 and working on reaching 25 pounds lost by this April. So far this year I’ve logged 500 miles between daily walking and cycling with the occasional rest days. Change is always possible even in the most adverse of situations so don’t give me the “But we were in lockdown!” or “The gym was closed!” excuses for weight gain because I did this during lockdown and never set foot into a gym. You want it? Find a way and work for it.


I’ve joined some virtual challenges. With running events being on hold indefinitely, virtual runs/walks have become more popular. I’ve completed several Conqueror Challenges and have set a goal reaching of 2,021 miles this year so with 500 miles in the books thus far, it’s gonna happen by October. As of now I’ve earned 5 medals and they are soooo cool.


L-R: Mt. Fuji (46 mi.), Mt. Everest (40 mi.), Giza Pyramids (46 mi.), Grand Canyon (280 mi.), St. Francis Way (312 mi.).

New iPad Air. Stimulus money be damned! I got a 2017 Nissan LEAF EV last July and Ann realized on the last day of 2020 that I qualified for a $1,000 rebate, so I hastily submitted my application with the appropriate paperwork and got approved a few months later. Once I got the check, I used a portion of it along with some cash I had saved up for this specific purchase and some Amazon gift cards to get the iPad and an Apple Pencil 2 (required for newer iPads). That said…


Y’all wanna buy some stickers? Part of the reason I got my new iPad was to be creative and draw more regularly. I had one of my drawings of Milhouse Van Houten made into stickers and my first batch is up for sale on Etsy. I’ve sold a total of one but will have more on the way.


NOBODY LIKES MILHOUSE!


We’re growing stuff! No, not that stuff. After a year of being home, we decided that having a garden would be fun so we used our existing planters and any empty areas in the backyard to plant a bunch of stuff: onions, pumpkins, peppers, cilantro, tomatoes, etc. It’s been a lot of work but so worth it. This is just a small part of it.

Green goodness!


Fresh eggs are comin’! I eat two eggs every day for breakfast, so I thought hey, why not have fresh ones? I have a chicken coop coming and once it’s built, I’m getting a hen. It seems we’ve turned into city farmers – maybe even hippies with my EV – and it feels kinda nice picking what we need from our backyard. And no, my hen isn’t going to be on our plate one day. She’s going to provide the eggs and be our pet, and we’re looking forward to having her.


And that’s pretty much been life since December!

The Suite Life

200x200_LAD_DDS_logoAs my readers know, I started my weight loss blog when I was about 250 lbs. to chronicle my progress on my way to my goal of 200 lbs. By then, I had already lost 50 lbs. but wasn’t blogging yet. I did this not only for my own motivation but also as a way to inspire others to do the same thing.

And I have to admit that making such a commitment put a bit of pressure on me. I set my goal and so as not to look the fool, had to ensure myself that I would make it. Of course you know the results of my hard work and hopefully my readers have achieved their own success.

Most of you also know I’m also a Dodger fan and up until the All-Star break, was so happy to see them doing so well. As of today, well, things are sort of not going their way but that’s fine. There’s lots of baseball left.

While watching a game a few weeks ago, I saw a promo for their Dodger Digital Series which is touted as a “one-of-a-kind social media experience built to create a Dodger experience tailored to fans’ hobbies, interests, and / or passions.” I decided to give it a better look by visiting the website and that’s when I saw there was a category for Fitness Influencers.

So I thought I’d take a shot in the dark and see what it got me. I filled out the form, submitted it, and pretty much forgot about it.

That is until I got an email today from the Dodgers.

In the email, it stated that I was chosen to be part of a select group of 20 other fitness influencers to attend the Dodgers’ July 31st game which is also Kirk Gibson Bobblehead Night. As if that wasn’t enough, we get to watch the game from the Dodger Digital Suite, get free VIP parking, and watch the Dodgers take batting practice – a rarity indeed since they do it well before game time.

So not only has my weight loss scored me some free samples and an iPod nano (which I have since sold), I now get to see my Dodgers from a suite at baseball’s most beautiful stadium and watch them take batting practice on the field.

The suite life indeed!

Naturally, I will take lots of photos and post them when I get home or, as is the case these days, post them as they happen. Should you wish to see the events unfold as they happen, follow me on Twitter @aeromat since that is the one connected to my Instagram account (my username there is also aeromat). I’d like to keep the images on one account rather than spread them all over the place.

It’s going to be a good time!

Bilbo Was Right

It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.

– Bilbo Baggins

I had been debating whether or not to go for a run tonight and when you reach that point—the point of doubt—you really should pack it in and save whatever you can’t decide on for some other time or simply walk away from it.

That’s exactly what I should have done. But instead, I took a chance and at about 9:20pm I discovered what a bad decision it was.

Continue reading

Wet&Wild 5k is Done!

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This was taken before the run and will post a few more taken with an actual camera (not phone) later.

Summary: finished in about 42:00 or so but I’ll post my official time when I get home. Right now I’m relaxing with the family at Wild Rivers where we had to run through a wading pool of sorts.

Had a great time and looking forward to doing it again!

UPDATE 8/28/11: Alright, since I’ve got some time to do it, here are some highlights/memorable events from the run.

The day started at 5am since I had planned on leaving by 6am to get there in plenty of time for the start at 8am. Irvine isn’t exactly a long drive but when you go to events like this, you just never know what the traffic will be like so it’s always best to plan for any unexpected delays.

We did get there in plenty of time so we checked out the few exhibitor booths that were there. I tried a sample of a drink called Body Armour and it wasn’t too bad so I need to look for that the next time I’m shopping. We sat around for about 30 minutes before I had to get in line according to my anticipated finishing time, do some pre-race stretching, listen to some of the rules, etc.

This is a shot of the field from where I was standing, in the “29:00 – ???” group:

After the National Anthem and a prayer (more people seemed attentive to the former than the latter), the horn sounded and we were off. We trudged along through the parking lot of Wild Rivers and out onto the sidewalk the made a u-turn, where the first water station was. It was poorly manned and most of us had to wait for our water to be poured which is not good.

Despite that, I have to admit that I felt pretty good as I started on my way and at about the first mile, I was in my zone as I usually am. The run came back into the parking lot and started to wind through Wild Rivers itself for the first of two laps. During the second lap, we had to run/walk/wade through this (photo was taken after the run):

This was a most welcomed break from the rest of the course which at times was rather narrow and definitely blocked with walkers and people with strollers, who should have been kept at the rear of the field. Not only that, the wait to get into this Lazy River was just ridiculous as some people removed their shoes before entering.

Up until this point, according to my Endomondo app, I was averaging 11:30 per mile but my lap time for the last mile dropped dramatically as I “ran” through the river: 16:40. If not for that, I could have finished in about 34 minutes or so but considering the wait time and the conditions (but especially the wait time), this was not unexpected.

I crossed the finish line at 42:29 with an average pace of 13:14 according to my chip results. And in case you’re wondering what 5k looks like, here’s the course as recorded by Endomondo:

That seems like a good distance but once you’re up and running, it’s really not. Here’s the portion of the course known as the Lazy River, as noted by the dark blue line:

And although I didn’t finish anywhere near the Top 3 in my age group, that didn’t stop me from pretending I did:

So despite the event’s flaws, I had a good time participating as well as hanging out at Wild Rivers afterward. Next event: the Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour on October 9, 2011. I started my preparation by buying new tires today so I’m ready for that one.

Oh, and those Asics running shoes I’m wearing? I bought them at Savers a few months back for a mere $3.50. They were practically new and half price on the day we were shopping, so that saved me some money for sure 🙂

By the way, part of the run is a challenge to “Beat the Cow” or someone running in a cow costume since the Chick-Fil-A is a huge sponsor. And if you do beat the cow, you get a free meal.

Did I beat the cow?

No, I didn’t. I got beat by a dude in a cow costume. But at least I wasn’t a sore loser about it:

I told the bovine I was disappointed for not beating them but there’s no shame in that. The cow consoled me with a friendly pat on the back. We’re cool.

I’m done for the night. My legs are starting to feel the effects of the run and I need to relax!

P90X Photoshop Fail

First, if you happened to find this post after searching for anything related to P90X, know that this is a personal blog and not one of those awful sites made to look like an honest review of the product that was actually made by someone pushing the product they are criticizing. That said, I’m free to say whatever the Hell I want or need to say about it because nobody is giving me one red cent to say it.

This leads up to last night when I was scouring the Web for information on said workout program. I decided to give it a look since I felt slightly emasculated while doing my nightly routine of sit-ups on a balance ball and other low-impact exercises that involve the use of 5-pound, pink neoprene dumbbells. All I needed was a headband with the word “Physical” silk-screened across it to make the outfit complete. Well, that and a leotard and tights.

You still with me? I know that’s not a visual you needed.

Anyway, I came across the official site of the program and began clicking on links. And yes, the site is literally filled with testimonials from users who went from wimp to pimp in no time flat. There are plenty of pictures and videos to prove the point.

And as I continued to educate myself on the product, it occurred to me that there was not one fat person in the bunch which lead me to believe that the product is by no means meant for any of you corpulent cowboys out there but rather, people who appear to be in shape and want to more of a bodybuilding thing rather than a weight loss program.

So those of you that have a lot of weight to lose and plan on making that your New Year’s resolution might want to reconsider this program because, as is indicated on the site, results will vary from individual to individual. The people you see on the site are freaks since there’s a good chance that they are the few that have achieved success with the program. (Remember, too, that P90X is part of Beachbody LLC, a company that specializes in selling nutritional supplements so one hand washes the other here.)

Okay, with all of that out of the way, I continued to view the video testimonials. I came across one by Jill W. and watched it just to see if she was like all of the others: a real woman with some real curves.

But after about 35 seconds into the clip, I had to rewind it and watch it again.

Why, you ask? Here’s what you will see at 0:20 of the clip:

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Hey, look! It’s Jill W.’s before and after pictures! She looks pretty good, doesn’t she? And check out the amazing craftsmanship on those doors behind her. I bet they were made by the Amish or something because man, they look fuckin’ sweet. And don’t you love how no shadows are cast on either shot and how, even though taken from the same vantage point, the lighting appears to be way different on both?

Also, do all of the “before” shots need to be straight-on and unflattering while the “after” shots require standing at an angle?

Okay, maybe I’m looking too much into the image and overlooking the obviously sexy results that one Jill W. achieved while on the program. Probably so, huh?

Or am I? Check out her before picture at 0:28 of the clip:

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Here’s Jill W. again only this time looking pretty down about things. Maybe it’s because she had to pose with that tacky picture of ducks in flight just to the right of her (or on the left of the image for you smarties out there), or maybe it was before she had those awesomely Amish doors installed in her home. Maybe she just wasn’t happy that the photographer chose to get all artsy-fartsy and use C-41 process black-and-white film this time around.

Either way, there she was then and here she is at 0:31 of the clip:

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Shapely Jill W.? Check (and rawrrrr!). Tacky ducks-in-flight picture? Check.

Amish door? Che…wait, what? Holy Hell! What the fuck is going on here? Why is only half of the Amish door floating behind Jill W.? It’s because it’s a MOTHERFUGGING GHOST DOOR THAT LEADS TO ANOTHER DIMENSION like that episode of The Twilight Zone!

Okay, now I’m not knocking Jill W. for any results she may or may not have achieved by using (or not using) the P90X program. Everybody is free to come to their own conclusion about the product. Personally, I’m always a bit wary of any program such as this and would opt for something recommended by my doctor but hey, what the Hell do I know, right?

The point I’m trying to make here is that if a company is going to go through such lengths to get you to buy their product by having their (hopefully now unemployed) graphic artists do such a half-assed Photoshop job on the “before” and “after” pictures, it might be saying something about the product’s credibility.

Definitely a caveat emptor situation if I’ve ever seen one.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with my tacky ‘80s workout attire.

And you think I’m kidding…