Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day weekend

"Freedoms just another word for nothin left to lose,
And nothin aint worth nothin but its free,
Feelin good was easy, lord, when bobby sang the blues,
And buddy, that was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my bobby c."
By Kris Kristofferson
performed by Janis Joplin
Wanted to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day Weekend. Also wanted to give a special shout-out across the pond to my most loyal blog reader and because he lives in London he gets no Memorial Day cookout. Happy Man U is champions day to Bobby Carnathan.
Memorial Day in Madison means only one thing.... Bratfest weekend. Leave it to the pasty, white, chubby Wisconsinites to come up with a festival that honors a sausage. I spent about 4 hours there yesterday because there is a ton of live free music playing all day and night on two stages. The calorie content on a brat is only 240 calories the buns add 130. I kept it under a grand. :) The brats are $1.50 and they hope to set a new record by selling over 200,000 brats this weekend. The beers were $5 and I went for none of those.

Here's a couple photos from today's circuit training at Swimwest. And a special congrats to my workout partner for dropping a size. Way to go. Again I can not stress enough that having the accountability of a workout partner makes you so much more likely to stick to the program. Today marked six straight mornings in the gym for both of us. Weight Watchers weigh in this week was -4.8 lbs bringing the summer total to minus 21 lbs.

Today's music.... well, of course, some Sara.

A little treadmill time. I have been trying to mix the circuit with the treading by sprinting as much of the interval as possible

Hard to see in this picture but the little red peg directly behind me has every plate above it. In high school we called this doing the stack.

Obviously one confused soul. Let's see UCLA shorts, Syracuse shirt, Maryland hat.

Peace and have a fun, safe, wonderful weekend, Jim

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunshine Daydream

"Sunshine, daydream, walking in the tall trees, going where the wind goes

Blooming like a red rose, breathing more freely,

Ride our singin, Ill walk you in the morning sunshine

Sunshine, daydream. sunshine, daydream. walking in the sunshine."

The Grateful Dead

In an effort to keep this somewhat entertaining I thought I would give you a couple of pictures of our store in Madison. It's graduation weekend here in the capitol city and that means lots of parents in town pulling out their credit cards to buy the happy grads some hippie reminders of their time in Madison.

Here is your happy clerk ready to answer all those questions about tie-dye, phish, and and the best scent of patchouli.

Here's my pictures on the wall of fame gold star to anyone that can name all 3 of the celebs sidling up next to me.

Let's wrap up the last week. I spent 5 days in the DC area. Here is a picture of my wonderful mother who is finally retiring down to Venice, Florida and hopefully getting a house with a pool for her eldest son to splash around in when he visits.

I got to spend one day at the Cracked Claw OTB in Urbana, Maryland which was my old stomping grounds 15 years or so ago. It was like old times with my running mates Danny, Dave, Fran, Dan, and Rusty all stopping in for some laughs and to lose some money.

Friday and Saturday were spent with my family celebrating the life of my grandmother. Friday night was marked with much, much alcohol that led to lots of funny stories, some great teenage confessions, and one member of the family barfing into a bowl of potpourri. Saturday morning we had a very small graveside ceremony that was just family and we all got to say our goodbyes. Saturday afternoon was of course more food, more booze and more laughter. It was really good to spend time with so much family, living in Madison has limited my time with these people and truly they always make me smile. Special thanks to my Uncle John and Aunt Betsy for their loyal readership of my blog and to many others who chimed in on my recent weight loss.

My flight home left National Airport at 6:25 am Monday morning and that is one early trip to the airport. The flight touched down in Milwaukee at 7:45 am and I was back in Madison by 10 am. Long enough to see my wife for 24 hours before she left for 2 days in St Louis on a buying trip for the store. We had 3 volleyball matches last week and went 3-0 winning 8 of 9 games. I saw NO live music but I did pass out some Sara Bareilles cd's to my family so they could experience what I had been writing about. I felt really good on the sand at Volleyball, but it was a tough trip for dieting Jimmy. Two things I have learned about myself, drinking does not lead to smart food decisions, and travelling makes dieting and exercise hard. It wasn't a disaster but I had some work to do when I got home to shake off a couple pounds I picked up on the road. I am back on track and feel good and look forward to being home the next six weeks and increasing the pace. Hope all's well with you guys and as always Peace and Love, Jim

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Greetings from Maryland

"Walk home to an empty house,
sit around all by yourself
I know it might sound strange, but I believe
You'll be coming back before too long
Don't go back to Rockville"

Got to have lunch with my mom who said my belly looked smaller
and get to see a whole bunch of my friends tomorrow at the Cracked Claw OTB.
Also get to my favorite dentist of all time Timmy Dunn on friday morning for
some tooth work or lack of tooth work I guess would be more appropriate. The
first step in a bridge.
I snuck into a weight watchers meeting tuesday before I left and
had lost another 1.6 lbs pushing me up to 16 lbs since I got home. I am trying
to do 10 a month so I am ahead of pace but slowing down. Travel is not good for
diet or exercise but you learn to make better decisions and it helps. Hold the
cheese, no onion rings I said to the slightly stunned waiter today at lunch.
Plus I am trying to limit diet sodas and opted for some iced tea. I still reach
for the sweet n lo which I am sure has killed many a lab rat in its day.
Speaking of today's quote by REM I am very excited to see the
boys from Athens June 5th in Chicago at the United Center. More excited 'cause
my very good friend Tom Scott is their accountant and he and his family are
flying in for the show. And of course that means backstage for the concert. I
doubt I'll see weird groupies and guitar players snorting lines off an amp like
my last trip backstage at the 1981 REO Speedwagon show.
Services are saturday for my grandmother and 4/5 ths of my
family will be in attendance. Sadly I can not remember the last time 5/5ths of
my family was together but maybe this year at Thanksgiving. It was awfully nice
of Maryland to schedule a basketball tournament in Orlando that weekend.
Everything else is well. I miss Maryland but I sure don't miss the traffic. All
my best Peace, Jim

Monday, May 5, 2008

Highs and Lows

"I dont know what happens when people die
Cant seem to grasp it as hard as I try
Its like a song I can hear playing right in my ear
That I cant sing
I cant help listening
And I cant help feeling stupid standing round
Crying as they ease you down
cause I know that you'd rather we were dancing
Dancing our sorrow away"
Jackson Browne
I'll be heading to the Washington DC area this week. My 94 year old grandmother who was given a week to live last June, finally decided that it was time for her to leave this world and passed away sunday evening. I know the last thing she would want is for someone to make a fuss or feel bad about this. She had an incredible life and spent the bulk of her last two years in the presence of her two loving daughters. She was a loving mother to my mom, and I owe much of who I am to these two wonderful ladies. She will be missed but she will also be remembered.
The Derby this weekend again showed all that is wonderful about horse racing and all that is sad. Big Brown certainly delivered, it was as overwhelming a Derby win as I have seen, very similar to Barbaro's victory in its ease and race style. It will take something freaky to get this horse beat at Pimlico and an injury or something unforseen to get him beat at Belmont.
I have seen thousands of races, I have seen lots of horses sadly breakdown, I have seen a few horses breakdown after the wire, I have seen a few horses collapse after the wire mostly from heat exhaustion, once or twice from a heart attack, but never in my life have I seen or heard of a horse collapsing after the wire from multiple compound fractures in both legs. It's beyond unbelievable to me that something like that could even happen. When I saw her lying down I never once thought she had broken an ankle much less both ankles.
That being said she ran an incredible race, and chased a freak of a horse. I'm always sad when a horse is euthanized, I have a print of Go For Wand on my wall, but I take solace that this breed of horse is bred to race. They love to run, love to compete, and if not for the sport of horse racing would never have had a chance to live. She's not a doped up cheap claimer, and trainer Larry Jones is a damn good trainer, who cares about his horses. He is a true cowboy, gets on their back himself to train. He would never do anything to put this horse at risk. What happened was an incredible freaky injury and she will be forever remembered for what she did before the finish line.
I spent two nights last week in the Hilton Garden Inn in the suburbs of Chicago. I walked past a number of things some good, some bad. Each morning the Hilton was kind enough to serve a full breakfast buffet. Sausage, Bacon, Eggs the works that I walked by. They also had a fairly nice workout room and pool, I walked by them as well. I didn't bring any shorts not that it would have mattered because I was horsing it from 9am until 11pm both days. They also put out the nicest smelling chocolate chip cookies each night. I walked by those as well, but then turned around and grabbed one:)
My wednesday weigh in was -2.6 lbs for a 3 week total of 14.6 lbs. I didn't get a 5 lb sticker this week from weight watchers. My volleyball team got run over on wednesday night, swept away by the team we played. I felt young last week and old as dirt this week. No live music this week but I did feel obliged to atleast pass some new tunes on to some new friends.
I get to see my family for the first time since fitness ridge this week. One thing's for sure they won't be commenting on my tan thanks to the Wisconsin spring. That skin tone is long gone. Peace, Jim