Most of Us Sit on Our Butt Too Long

I’ll be the first one to admit, I sit on my butt way too long during the day because my job requires it.  I use this fact to push myself when I exercise because my thinking is I’m not doing much of anything during the day even though I am (mentally).  I had a massage yesterday, which was beyond necessary because like most people I carry personal stress in my neck/shoulders and work stress too.  This made me realize I need to do more getting out of my chair during my work day to break things up.  We all know the bad effects of sitting too long in a chair let alone typing at a computer.  It makes it all the worse when you sit down at your desk to write or blog or surf the internet after you’re done working.

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WGB

My current massage therapist said a month ago to do wall angels (he used a different term I don’t remember) and wanted me to touch my hands together at the top while keeping my arms, back, and head glued to the wall.  It’s much harder than you think and when he recommended I do them three to four times a day while working I was thinking “yeah, right.”  I’ll be lucky if I do them once a day after work, but now I realize doing them during my work day serves me better.  I’m trying to do them as often as I can.   It’s hard.   I’m hoping over time it gets easier, and I get more flexibility through consistency by doing this as well as yoga and other stretching exercises.

Wall Angel

The second thing I’m suggesting, which I did a long time ago and getting back to incorporating it into my weekly routine are exercises to strengthen my upper back muscles, but more helps reverse the long periods of sitting in a chair.  As you see below, you can do rows with any kind of resistance band or weight.  One version of this I also learned when I went to another massage person a while back was using a light rope resistance band.  He basically said pretend I’m holding a quarter in between my shoulder blades each time I bring the band back.  I kept my arms straight with a little bit of a bend as not to overextend when I pulled the band back.  If I got stronger, I could decrease the width in between my hands but never got to that point.  I incorporated some videos below of different back rows.

Standing Back Row with Resistance Band

Seated Row with Light Resistance Band

Standing Row with Light Weights

I like reverse flies too as they strengthen your upper back, and as I said above yoga and stretching is good too.  The latter two help with body realignment especially the spine and hips.  I’m not a posture guru by any means, but I do know the older I’ve gotten it’s become more important.  The lower back is a whole other issue, but again there are many exercises to help you strengthen this too.  As I’ve heard and read many times, a weak core means a weak back.  There’s nothing but truth to this.

Standing Reverse Fly

I’ll close this with we all know slouching is not good for your body.  You will feel the effects of it over time.  You ever wonder why the vacuuming hurts your back after a while.  Because you’re putting more stress on your spine than need be and not using the proper stance of putting weight on one foot while stepping with the other.  Lift with your legs and not your back.  Bend at the hips and don’t contort your body like twisting when you don’t need to.   We all know this, but do we actually do it?  I included a picture below of the correct posture you should have when writing or sitting at a desk.  They say reclining back is okay too, but sticking your head out like a turtle is a bad thing.  If this has helped you in any way, good.  If not, oh well.  You either have great posture or you don’t really care.  Either way, I hope everyone is doing well.

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WGB

2019

Sometimes Non-Title Fights are the Best

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I’ve recently incorporated boxing or should I say punching in my goal to lose weight.  I don’t do it too long, not on the punching bag, because I found out quickly the shock absorption your wrists take after a while.  When they say to wear wraps, it’s for good reason.  When you do spinning back fists, it helps protect your hands.  The tops of my hands are still a little sore, even after a week of punching the bag.  I gained even more respect for MMA fighters’ ability to take punches to the body let alone throw them.  There’s a punching/kicking apparatus I also use and after two 2.5 minute sessions of sparring, I’m tired and my upper body is sore especially my arms and shoulders.  I can’t imagine doing five rounds with someone who can hit you back, which leads me the main reason I’m writing this.  Some find this sport barbaric and it is in many respects, but I also recognize the athleticism it takes to be and stay in the sport.  You must really love and want it.

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After reading that UFC removed Nate Diaz from their roster, it wasn’t shortly after this the Pettis vs. Diaz fight was announced.  I’m slowly getting back into watching past UFC fights.  When I saw Jessica Andrade drop Rose Namajunas on her head in UFC 237, I’m glad she didn’t break her neck.  When José Aldo lost his fight to Alexander Volkanovski the same night, you have to wonder if his MMA career is coming to an end.  Speaking of possible fights, Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes would be an edge of your seat experience or in my case edge of the futon experience.  I wouldn’t mind seeing a third fight between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz, but I doubt this will happen.  If I had the money and time, I would be driving or flying into Anaheim, CA in a heartbeat to see this upcoming fight.  It’s been a while since I’ve watched a fight on pay-per-view so it’s up to me whether I want to get a month’s worth of ESPN+ to watch UFC 241.  I have time still to decide, but it’s likely I’ll brush aside the fact I’m paying an extra $4.99 to watch Diaz and Pettis do their thing in the ring.  No doubt Diaz will trash talk the moment he steps inside.  Time will tell which way it will swing, but I’m certain the Stockton slap will be used.  I’ve read more people give the fight to Pettis.  Diaz has great endurance, but like many point out he hasn’t been in the ring for three years.  I’m hoping Diaz gets whatever he needs within him churning at a fast rate to provide viewers, his fans, and most of all himself a great fight. 

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Anthony Pettis first stepped into the ring in 2007, which is three years after Nate Diaz fought his first MMA fight.  As you can see Pettis has fought the same number of fights, but has a higher ratio of wins over losses.  They both clearly belong in the category of excellent cardio, strength, and overall endurance, but a triathlete gives you something extra.  You have to dig deep when you’re a triathlete.  I know because I have two family members who do this on a the elite amateur level.  It’s nothing I would want to do.  I give Nate Diaz the edge for endurance despite following a vegan diet and being a cannabis user.  I think you get a sense of who I want to win, but he better bring his A+ game.  Pettis is wanting to annihilate him in the ring.  His exact words were “I can’t wait to hurt this guy.  This is a personal fight for me.  This is one guy I just don’t like.  Me and Diaz got problems.  Now we can solve them.” 

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Since time started and especially since MMA/UFC fights started, men and women sometimes can only resolve things with punches and kicks.  I understand nothing is really solved through fighting.  It would be better for Pettis and Diaz to sit down on chairs, probably tied to them so they couldn’t get at each other, have a nice yelling match, and when that was done or they lost their voices, end it with a nice civil conversation.  We all know this isn’t ever going to happen and like with most any sport, people are in it for the money including the fighters.  Pettis is physically stronger than Diaz and there’s advantage in this.  Diaz is taller and has a longer reach and there’s advantages here too.  I have no clue who will win.   No one really does until the fight is finished despite the strong convictions and educated guesses.  As of right now, Pettis is the favorite to win over Diaz by BetOnline meaning Pettis is the -150 favorite over +130 Diaz.  Put another way, you will need to bet $150 on Pettis to earn $100 and bet $100 on Diaz to earn to $130.  While not the fight of the century, it’s going to be a great one.  I can’t wait.

2019

Netflix Documentary Recommendation: My Son the Jihadi (2015)

Quote from My Son the Jihadi by Michael Evans (brother of Thomas Evans): “It’s so weird, how someone who’s grown up as your own flesh and blood could do that to somebody.  It doesn’t make any sense, I don’t think it ever will make any sense. I’m glad he’s not around to hurt anyone. It’s like his soul was gone.”

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Executive Producer: Richard Kerbaj

Director: Peter Beard

Major Cast: Michael Evans, Sally Evans, and Thomas Evans

Rating: NA but would say TV-MA

Running Time: 47 minutes

*******

I thought I’d give this short documentary a try because the different Islamic extremism groups are pretty much cults, and I find the adults that join them perplexing.  The higher members prey on low self-esteem individuals although not in every case, but everyone must show complete devotion to their causes.  In this case of brainwashing, it dealt with a young British man named Michael Evans who would later be referred to as Abdul Hakim.  After converting to Islam, he decided to cross the line by joining al-Shabaab, a terrorist group in Somalia.  He had limited contact with his British family, but when he did call the news was upsetting.  Being 23 years old at the time, he married a girl who wasn’t more than 14 years of age.  Michael’s mother, Sally, worked to get him out of Somalia, but it was no longer an option when news broadcast his death in 2015.  He was killed by a Kenyan Army sniper as he was raiding a military base with other militants.  There’s a few conversations between his mother and his wife after he died.  She commented how he is burning in hell and relieved he can no longer hurt others where his wife said she is happy he died a martyr.  It raises a difficult question regarding both thinking their beliefs are the right ones in this tragic story.

I rate My Son the Jihadi at 100%.

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2019

Mishmash of End of May Quotes

2019

Book Recommendation: Rising Strong

 “A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.”
Brené Brown-

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Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Page Number: 336

I’m going to get a little personal here.  I’ve been known to read self help books during my life on Planet Earth.  Why?  Because when you’re faced with dealing with traumatic events which I plan to write about later in a fictionalized story, there’s a whole bunch of bullshit that comes with it later.  This bullshit is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy because the damage lasts forever.  I’m not one to wallow in self pity for too long, and let’s face it, we all do it at one point or another in our lives.  Some more than others, but as hard it is to get up the next morning and do it all over again, most of us make the choice to do just that.  This book was recommended to me by my massage therapist when I lived in Los Angeles.  I miss her.  Sigh.

Brené Brown’s book offers insight about what it means to be a person who falls down and gets back up or a person who fails over and over but still continues on the journey or a person who realizes you need to look at the sum of all the parts to make a decent functioning whole.  Like Brown suggests in her quote above, it’s necessary to have boundaries with others and authenticity in yourself.  I’m at a point in my life where I’m becoming more selective with what I retain concerning advice others give me and what I’m not willing to hang onto because it doesn’t benefit me.  This includes family and friend advice.  Thanks but no thanks. 

We all carry our personal shameful baggage, and we all handle it in different ways.  The biggest turnoff is seeing and knowing people managing it by instilling fear in others via aggression and other methods less noticeable.  I tend to do things alone, but Brown comments that people need other people in their lives.  I agree with this because humans are social creatures, but it took me a long time to realize this part of my life.  Being in a committed relationship is something I never thought would happen.  This isn’t to say there weren’t hard times because we had them many times over, to hell and back, but still I call him my roommate.  It’s better that way and besides I know how well we get along.  If not, we couldn’t talk about our non-existent daughter called Tatters (he provided the terrible name).  I don’t think I need to say anymore about how thankful society should be that neither of us wanted kids from the start.  So yes, read the book because Brown resonates with many people.  The dissenters out there, don’t read it because frankly, she understands she’s not for everyone.

If you want to take it to the next level, check her out on Netflix documentary titled The Call to Courage.  It is one hour and 16 minutes long.

2019

Poem: Blood Never Lies

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We knew.

You didn’t have to threaten us.

The poison ran deep in our family blood.

It left indents whenever your fingers moved up and down our arms.

Hatred led your cracked hand to that full syringe.

You can’t pretend destruction never existed within you.

There was no amount of stitches to close what you opened.

There was no amount of reversing the magnitude of your infection.

You even managed to dilute the antidote until it was cloudy.

We understood what absence of caring meant.

We knew the hidden monster behind the human face.

You were not lost or alone.

We were.

We understood.

You changed piece by piece beyond repair.

Your shadow grew disproportionate to your body.

It became stronger every passing year.

What you lost didn’t matter compared to the arrogance you gained.

There was no amount of hope to hold onto with our broken hearts.

Your blood told the truth when you couldn’t.

2019

Movie Recommendation: Small Town Crime (2017)

Quote from Small Town Crime by Steve Yendel

“Do we have to listen to this?

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Executive Producers: Mehrdad Elie and Octavia Spencer

Directors: Eshom and Ian Nelms

Writers: Eshom and Ian Nelms

Major Cast: John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Clifton Collins Jr., Jeremy Ratchford, James Lafferty, Michael Vartan, Daniel Sunjata, Don Harvey, Stefanie Scott, Caity Lotz, Dale Dickey, Michelle Lang, Stefania Barr, Robyn Lively, and Bart Johnson

MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language, and some sexual references

Running Time: one hour and 31 minutes

*******
I’ve had this sitting in my Netflix queue for quite some time.  I wasn’t sure how good it would be because it wasn’t given that many stars by users.  Word to the wise, while they hold some weight, there are times it isn’t fully accurate.  Small Town Crime is one of those movies where it should’ve gotten more stars.  The strength of this crime mystery/thriller is in the acting of John Hawkes (underrated actor in my opinion), as well as the supporting cast of Clifton Collins Jr., Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, and Robert Forster.   Ex-cop wanting to prove himself isn’t anything new and neither is an ex-cop who has a drinking problem, but this story has enough substance including Mike Kendall’s (Hawkes) immediate and extended family as he finds himself in the middle of a murder case.  As he uncovers clues via personal investigation, he gets closer to the people involved and their motives.  Hawkes has a commanding screen presence as an authority figure despite being a flawed character in many ways.  This is basically a whodunit and whydunit movie where redemption is sought through answers, some more clear cut than others by the time the movie ends.
I rate Small Town Crime Four Fingers at 90%.

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2019

First Creek Hike #2

It’s been a whirlwind since January 1st hit the calendar.  I had great hopes of getting a lot done by June 2019 rolled around.  While I’ve had some progress with my personal life goals of rewriting and exercising consistently, there’s still more to do.  Good thing, I have the rest of the year to finish these two main goals.  In one respect, 30 to 40 years seem like a long time, but not so long when you have 7 books to write (at minimum) and 14 to 15 total.  As my roommate says, your ass better get to writing, but I’m also learning you work with who you are and what you are.  My rewrite will eventually get done by the end of this year, which was my intended plan.  Then again, I’ve been trying to lose this extra weight I’ve gained in the last five years.  Better late than never.  Yeah, I’ll go with that despite me missing my first deadline.

I made the decision to take days off this month each week.  On Wednesday, it unexpectedly rained for three hours and while I was more adventurous in the past, not so much now although I love rain, thunder, and lightning.  I used to swim at my parents’ cabin when it stormed out, and not much they could do about it.  I was that type of kid.  I waited to see what the weather would be like on Thursday.  There wasn’t any rain forecast, but did sprinkle a little bit while I was out trying to keep my balance on the rocks and not get my shoes stuck under dead branches.  I need to invest in some hiking boots, but I guess I like to risk twisting my ankle in the meantime.  I much prefer going up a hill than down because you have more of a chance of slipping and looking like an idiot.  It’s a good 40 minute drive to this place, but once you’re there, it’s worth it.  I never got a chance to see the waterfall I keep hearing about, but it was nice to get outside in nature.  I really needed to get away from my normal routine.  The next time I plan on going somewhere else to hike.  Without anymore delay, here are some pictures I took of my hike.  The last one is the best (my sick sense of humor).  Enjoy.

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Here I am again… finally

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Someone lost a hat and what I assume is a guy

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In case you forget you’re outdoors and not indoors
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A whole lot of flowers, but very little wildlife
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Really want to scale these rocks, but will remain a vision in my head
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Inside the belly of the rocks
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Get ready for more flowers

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Took the time to be vain

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That’s a mighty big rock
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Another selfie moment
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Nothing around but rocks, trees, grass, and airplanes you can’t see

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Looking back where my car is parked

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Cool looking rock
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Going off the grid

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Shortly after I decided to head back to my car

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Never saw a cactus bloom until now

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A nice combination of orange and yellow flowers

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My favorite looking flower on my hike

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Ending with this nice pile because it wasn’t there when I began my hike

2019

Journal Entry Type #10: Are You Okay With Being Average on a Friday?

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The only thing that has worked for me to lose weight is watching what I’m eating, but I’ll be the first one to admit I love the food that is NOT good for you.  I love popcorn (bad for my TMD and yes, I know corn is a carb), but if I was stranded on an island for a few weeks, I would be okay with only popcorn, ice tea, water, and mints.  No one and I mean NO ONE takes my popcorn away.  Even more important is not eating so much every day and cardio exercise where your shirt, shorts, and even your undergarments are soaked in sweat.  This is the only way I know how to do it.  Telling myself to eat small portions helps to an extent, but in the long run it doesn’t.  If I’m not exercising (some days I push myself harder than others), then I know there is no way I’m going to be able to lose weight because I tend to eat poorly if I skip a whole week or two (bad, I know).  I’ve read all about the different diets out there and how it’s a multi-billion dollar business.  I’ve never tried any of them because my logic is I should be able to do that myself.  There should be a clear line between living freely and living with rules.  I know it takes 21 days for a habit to form, but I’m not a cookie cutter person.  I’m the poster adult for starting and stopping behaviors that are good for me.  I battle having to get to the gym to exercise despite growing up in an active family.  The main reason I’m wanting to lose weight is to feel better about myself and be stronger physically, but also so I can live longer to get done everything I want to achieve in life.  The other reason is I hate needles, and the main reason I had to quit donating blood.  I don’t want to be poking myself with insulin later in life.  Mortality has become more of a factor in my life since I’m a little over the halfway point in my life based on the CDC National Center for Health Statistics.  The average life expectancy in 2017 for U.S. women is 81.1 years and U.S. men is 78.6 years.  I guess what I’m saying is I’m sort of having a renewed sense of reason for living.  I’ve read stress reduces one’s life, and I’m trying to have less of it.  Let’s just say my eyes have become more open to the reality I will not be here forever and will be forgotten by the masses.  Do I want to live until 100?  Probably not and for many reasons.  I only hope in my next life time I don’t have so much struggle in some areas and realize sooner being average is okay (to an extent).

2019

 

 

Poem: What the Hell?

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There are many things that make you ask what the hell?

But, if you want to be accurate, it should be written WHAT THE HELL?

Some days you need to add behind it YOU STUPID IDIOT!

And if you’re really feeling punchy, YOU STUPID, FUCKING IDIOT!

But, this isn’t one of those times for you, is it?

Instead, it’s one where you’re grateful that you go about your business.

You aren’t the stupid idiot or any kind of version of a stupid idiot today.

When a kid is screaming about getting her diaper changed in a parking lot,

you pay no attention and keep walking to your car.

You’re thankful your stomach is strong.

You’re lucky you don’t think think about it more than necessary.

You get on with your life.

Maybe, you feel a twinge of sympathy for her parents or your own parents.

When a souped-up car zooms past you, you still roll up your window.

Why?  Because you’ll hear it even when you can’t see it.

Why?  Because you value your damn ears.

Why?  Because you’re attentive.

You realize people on the road can be crazy as you let them.

You chalk it up to a bad or good day and keep driving.

You understand things build up each week that deserves some reaction.

Will you bite, kick, yell, throw, or spit?

None of the above.  All of the above.  Something else.

Your capabilities are tested over and over again.

You know it never ends.

If you open your mouth, how far down does your determination go?

2019

 

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