Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eat A Lime

A friend from my hometown recently moved to this area. She has an adorable 4 year old daughter. I think I managed to say hello first, before blurting out "Captain Bogg & Salty! You need to go see Captain Bogg & Salty!" But then I realized, why stop at just telling her?

I will tell all of you!

Captain Bogg & Salty is a Portland, OR based Pirate Band. Having no children of our own, Martin and I were lured to a concert with the promise of hanging out with a friend's child. I expected a painful 2 hour ordeal, but it was actually quite enjoyable.

(I used to work in a Children's toy store, so I know all about horrible Children's music.)

Start here for a bit of a taste, or take a bite by buying their music here (I suggest the album: Pegleg Tango). And try to catch them live, it's quite the electric experience.

Pirate clothing is optional, but highly suggested.

Original Hat tip: CamiKaos

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hack Up Jillian Michaels

Whoa, whoa... slow down. I don't mean hack her to pieces. I mean hack her DVD workout video, 30 Day Shred. I'd heard a lot of good things about it, and I generally like her style, so I watched the DVD last night. But I have some issues:

(Goodness, what a big surprise!)

1) I think expecting someone to work out hard for 20 minutes a day for 30 days in a row is just plain foolish.
2) I think the DVD is too short. (What happens after day 30?)
3) Some of the moves are too high impact.
4) She never, ever talks about proper weight selection.
5) Weight is a horrible indication of fitness

So, I decided to hack it. (Hack=re-configuring or re-programming of a system to function in ways not facilitated by the owner.) And I thought I'd share it with you.

1) Use the proper amount of weight. Do the Level #1 workout first with your best guess of what weight to use. If it feels too easy, go up the next weight available to you. When the last 3-5 reps really burn, (but you can still hold good form) you have found your weight of choice.

2) Do the workout 2-3 times a week. Allowing time for your body to rest for 24 hours between sessions. (Extra cardio sessions are recommended.)

3) Hack it up!

For weeks 1 & 2, do Level #1.
For weeks 3 & 4, do Level #1 two times in a row. (Allow for the fact that it will take 40 minutes.)
For weeks 5 & 6, do Level #1 three times in a row. (Allow for the fact that it will take 60 minutes.)

Weeks 7 & 8, up your weights by 3-5 lbs and do Level #2 once.
Weeks 9 & 10 do Level #2 two times in a row (with the heavier weights).
Weeks 11 & 12 do Level #2 three times in a row (with the heavier weights).

Weeks 13 & 14 up your weights by 3-5 lbs and do Level #3 once (adjust high impact cardio as needed).
Weeks 15 & 16 do Level #3 two times in a row (with heavier weights)(adjust high impact cardio as needed).
Weeks 17 & 18 do Level #3 three times in a row (with heavier weights)(adjust high impact cardio as needed).

Will this hack take longer to sculpt you? Yes, probably. But pushing too hard, too fast, leads to injury and frustration and GIVING UP! I refuse to do that. And you should too. This hack is for life long fitness, so if it takes a bit longer, BUT IT STICKS that's fine with me.

It is your responsibility to be conscious of how hard you are working. If you are bored YOU ARE NOT WORKING HARD ENOUGH.

Extra credit:
You can start again (Week 19-20) with this hack. Just up your weights by 3-5 lbs. And follow the program outlined above.

For Level #1:
Do more difficult push ups, if you've been on your knees, go on your toes. If you've been on your toes, stack your feet.

Add a 3-5 lb weight to the crunches. (Hold it in your hand for regular, twist and bicycle crunches, hold it between your knees for reverse crunches.)

For Level #2:
Do more difficult walk out push ups: stack your legs before doing the push-up portion. Add 3-5 lbs weights to your crunches.

For Level #3:
You should get the idea by now, use your own creativity to make everything harder.

Extra, Extra Credit: When you've memorized the moves, turn off the DVD, blast your own tunes and do them on your own. (About 15 reps per set.)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It Doesn't Much Matter If You Match

I've been taking my own grocery bags to the grocery store for over ten years. I've been grumbled at:
"These canvas bags are hard to get the groceries in to"
I've been complained to:
"These bags say Trader Joe's, you are at Safeway!"
I've been yelled at by a dude in a car:
"Hey, this isn't Trader Joe's!" [loudly] "Hmmrpm, but I guess at least you are using reusable bags." [quietly]

Did all the grumbling and complaining stop me? Hell no. I ignored the grumblers, I told the complainers that if it was a problem, I'd be happy to just leave all my groceries on the conveyor belt and leave the store. (That always shut them up.) And I just shrugged my shoulders at the car dude and kept loading up my car.

I "shopped" around for the best bags (waterproof, good handles, sturdy) and I found the Trader Joe's ones to be the best. I even had a friend bring me some of her's from California so I'd have a set of 5. (Who says I'm A.R.??)

My point: Your reusable bag does not need to match the store you are shopping at.

Go make me proud!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Read The Fine Print

A year or two ago, I had a copy of the Portland, OR/ Vancouver, WA ReDirect Guide (if you live in the Denver, CO or Salt Lake City area you have one too!) and a bit of time on my hands. (The ReDirect Guide is a "Healthy and sustainable business directory and lifestyle guide" aka the "Green" Yellow Pages.) So I decided to read the entire guide, cover to cover. Ok, fine, my Anal Retentive personality also wanted to find the "fake ad" (which I did, thank you very much).

Either way, it was quite interesting to see all the business and services offered up for my enjoyment. Well, with Earth Day fast approaching (April 22) so is a brand spanking new ReDirect Guide. You can pick one up at many area locations. Or, just use the online search function. With over 432 categories, you are bound to find what you need! Looking to place an ad in the ReDirect Guide? You can do that too!

Now I just need to figure out if the frog on the cover has a name. I think he looks like a Thomas, but it's rude to just assume.