Sunday, January 29, 2012

UP UP AND AWAY! Heading to Paris

The first week in Paris we were without a car and really didn't have plans for accommodations.  The first night was way too expensive for our budget but we were so tired from the flight that we just needed to find somewhere to flop.  The next day we set out on foot with all our "stuff"....remember two kids with us as well and there stuff! Found a place but the transitions were tough. Paris was friendly to us. People a bit rude. We began setting up a plan and I started out walking and looking at architecture.....not really sure yet what to sketch.

Thankfully the metro wasn't too difficult to figure out and I was able to make my way around pretty well. I usually had to watch people to see how they got their tickets and entered the metro. Nothing better than getting lost and wandering around the city.....if I got off too soon or too late, I had a long walk to get to my destination. Oh well.
A few beginning sketches in pencil...way too long

Many times I would cut out the things I would find or get and if i could glue them in the journal I would.  Sometimes a bit of embellishment made them a more attractive design with the pages of my journal.

We really never got adjusted to Paris and were thankful when we were finally scheduled to leave.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Not that Myth Buster! But my myth that I always seemed to believe.  I thought there really wasn't any way I could run except for the first thing in the morning and also before I ate anything.  Wrong! I was lazy this week and other than running for 2.5 miles on Monday, I haven't run at all.  Actually, I had only ran one day out of 9 days....not good! Here we are on Saturday and once again lazy in the morning. Fortunately there wasn't a lot of "running around" I had to do 3:30 I finally got up and did my run on the treadmill. I didn't have my glasses and couldn't clearly see the meter so I just used the song method again.  12 songs at my pace should add up to 2.6 miles.....amazingly it did. In the afternoon, shortly after eating and with the irregular schedule! I feel like I have accomplished, to tell myself to quit slacking off and hurry up and get to 3 miles!

What other myths can we disprove?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Running Man

I really didn't want to get up this morning and run but knew I needed to because I haven't ran in four days! It was tough waking up and even more difficult getting myself motivated. I couldn't look at the gage on the treadmill for fear I would watch it too closely.  I ended following the music on the headset and letting it guide me on my know 4 songs should be about one mile.....sort of.  Anyway the goal was 2.3 miles today but I ended up listening to the last song that kept me running until 2.5...YEAH! The song was this...."Calling All Angels".......the words that kept me running?  I wont give up if you don't give up....I wont give up if you don't give up.....I wont give up if you don't give up........OKAY OKAY I did!


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Today's Quote

"When your enemy is making mistakes...don't interrupt them" Moneyball

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monkey Business

I watched the new movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes last night.....okay so it isn't so new, but I never had the chance to go see it at the theatre so I have been waiting for it on DVD. I was a huge fan of the original show and to some extent those weird sequels afterwards. Hey it is talking monkeys and I was a kid....what could be better.  I had noticed several elements in the newest movie that reflect back on the first ones. So of course I googled the comparisons and sure enough there was a list....far more than I had imagined. Some I saw, other I didn't see right off. I have shared the list.

1. Will Rodman: Franco’s character’s name, is an amalgamation of the names of the screenwriters for the 1968 film, “Twilight Zone” icon Rod Serling (whose full name was Rodman) and Michael Wilson.

2. Caesar: The name of the lead ape in “Rise,” played by Serkis, was the name of the chimp played by Roddy McDowall who leads the ape revolution in 1972′s “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.”

3. ALZ 112: The breakthrough Alzheimer’s treatment Rodman creates is a timely nod to the past — 112 minutes is the running time for the original film.
4. Icarus: A TV newscast playing in the background references the space mission “Icarus, lead by George Taylor,” and a newspaper shown in the third act reveals the vessel has been lost in space. Icarus was the name of the spaceship that crashes on the “Planet of the Apes” in the original film, and  Heston’s character name was George Taylor.

5. Dodge Landon: The cruel ape tender played by Hogwarts alumnus Tom Felton is named after Dodge, who was a crew member aboard the Icarus and played by Jeff Burton.

6. John Landon: Brian Cox plays the dark-spirited owner of a primate house and the father of Felton’s malicious character. Their last name, Landon, is the name of the Icarus crew member played by Robert Gunner in the classic film.

7. Maurice: The name of the orangutan who befriends Caesar in the new film is a nod to actor Maurice Evans,  who played the orangutan Dr. Zaius in the vintage films.

8. Saddle up: The scene where Caesar emerges from swirling fog astride a mounted policeman’s horse is a nod to the signature early moment in the first film when Heston is shocked to see an ape wearing clothes and riding on horseback.

9.  Buck: The big gorilla’s name is a nod to actor Buck Kartalian, the former pro wrestler who played Julius in the classic.

10. Nova’s CafĂ©:  The coffee shop in the lobby of the biomedical company Gen-Sys is named after Linda Harrison’s character, Nova, who becomes the mate of Heston’s character and appeared in the first two “Apes” films.

11. The Golden Gate Bridge: The scene evokes the scene in “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” when apes charge across a bridge in the climax of the 1972 film. 

12. Rocket: The mean ape who makes peace with Caesar after a cookie moment gets his name from Norman Rockett, a set decorator on the 1968 movie.

13. No means no:  Caesar’s powerfully enunciated “No!” is a major moment in the new film and ties back into “Escape from the Planet of the Apes” when Cornelius explains that the ascent and revolt by his species began when an ape first uttered the word “No” to protest the human treatment of his kind.    

14. Cornelia: The name of another ape in the new movie, Cornelia, is a nod to McDowall’s role as Cornelius in the original film.
15. Jacobs: David Oyelowo plays the mercenary bio-med executive Steven Jacobs in the new film. The character’s name (which is written on a board by one of the chimps at one point in the film) is a tribute to Arthur P. Jacobs, who produced the “Apes” films in the 1960s and 1970s. Jacobs, who had heart problems, died at age 51 in 1973 not long after the fourth sequel was released.

16.  Hosed: When Dodge blasts Caesar with a water hose, it’s a nod to Heston’s character being hosed in the ’68 film — which in turn was a reference to police attacking civil rights demonstrators in the real world.

17. Bright Eyes: In the original film, it’s the nickname given to Heston’s character by the ape scientist Zira. In the new film, it’s the nickname given to the intellect-accelerated ape who gives birth to Caesar.  

18. Statue of Liberty: Before he attacks a neighbor, Caesar is constructing a model of the Statue of Liberty in his suburban San Francisco home. It is, of course, the sight of that statue demolished on a beach that reveals the true setting of the 1968 film is actually far-future Earth.

19. Linda: The lab assistant named Linda in the new film is another nod to Harrison, who played Nova in the vintage movies.

20. Franklin: Taylor Labine plays Robert Franklin, a heartfelt lab worker who is destined to play an ominous role in human history. The character’s name acknowledges Frankin Schaffner, who directed the 1968 “Apes” movie and went on to direct “Patton,” “Papillon” and “The Boys from Brazil.”
21. Had to say it: Felton’s character, Dodge, gets the honor or delivering two of Heston’s most memorable lines from the 1968 film: “It’s a madhouse! A madhouse!” and “Take your stinkin’ paw off me you damn dirty ape!”
I know the remake with mark Wahlberg was very much a downer once it came out.  I was worried that this movie would be as well.  However not so.....but, I still love the line said by Charlton Heston as he played an old ape....."Take your stinkin' hands off of me you damn dirty human!" there is the movie quiz for you my friends.....GO APE!

The Battlefield: Right Flank

Part 3 of this series is about another struggle I face when it comes to health.  My first struggle is posted, here. The second is here,

Really, why is it so difficult to be HEALTHY. Remember when you were young you could eat whatever you wanted, sleep as little as you wanted, there never was really a time that you had to exercise....everything you did was exercise! Now we have to get a gym membership, schedule a time to work out, count calories, buy certain foods from a club, and on and on.  The industry is really making a killing on our inability to BE HEALTHY.  Or should I say our guilt and desire to be healthy.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be the poster boy for fitness and health.  Unfortunately for me I am no longer a boy...but a middle age man with no hair (on my head at least ....sorry TMI), potbelly, creaky knees and back, and yes out of shape as well as being a diabetic. So, what do we have challenges with....okay what do I, me personally have struggles with? Lots of things.  Today though the second battlefield is diet. Yes, diet! Have you seen the number of different diet plans that are out there?  I just read an article on that ranked the top 12 diet plans......REALLY? Come on now, that is way too many.

Again, remember when we were kids and nothing mattered. These days we need to watch what we eat.....or we blow up like a balloon.  Really? What is the come when we were younger a piece of cherry pie maybe added a pound or two.....Now, when we eat it...suddenly we gain 10 pounds...Not fair! And I love cherry pie! (Do not associate that statement with the song by Warrant).

Here is my problem.....I like food.  I like bread...with lots of butter....sure I like sweets but I can stay away from most of them. I like to eat, it is a simple as that. For breakfast I eat (almost everyday) a breakfast bar and a banana. And for lunch, one of the freezer meals....if anything at all because I am working all the time and forget (like yesterday).  So yes, dinner is modest and yes a few snacks.  If you eat like that all the time you would imagine that the weight would fall off.....forget about the need for exercise.  NOPE! The scales in the bathroom stay the same.....okay down a few pounds up a few pounds down a few pounds and then back up a few pounds.

Honestly, just give me the toothpaste tube full of pork chops and call it a day......
Enjoy your breakfast my friends....I am eating a granola bar!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Battlefield: Left Flank

So what is attacking us on the left side?.....or should I say what is attacking ME from the left side? Well, once I actually wake I was describing in the first piece, here. Then I have the struggle (or have in the past) with what exercise to do.  How many exercises are there? Don't ask that question.....too many! But what is right for you.

Have you seen all those crazy info mercials about the equipment they sell? Sliders, gliders, pullers, runners, weight machines, stretch machines, tension machines, tummy tighteners, thigh strengtheners, butt squeezers....(okay maybe not that one)....But come on....why so many?  Why? Because we are gullible enough to think that just because we buy it, first we will actually use it and second that it will actually work.  (like the miracle cure they are describing on television).  Have you read the fine print at the bottom? Yes, Not all results shown here are typical......Really? Come on!

Well I have been lucky enough in my earlier years to really learn alot about exercise and what works and what doesn't.  The biggest challenge really is just getting up off your butt and doing something. Do it all the time, consistently and do it often and do it with VIGOR. I used to love lifting weights.  I recently posted this picture of me back in the day when I powerlifted.  Fun, probably not right for me today.  I would more than likely leave my arms on the floor if I deadlifted that much today.  If I squatted that much, I would be a squashed piece of meat on the floor resting under all the weight...(PETA please don't protest me for saying MEAT!).  My goal these days is to have energy and get slim.

Cardio is the answer.  Create a workout that allows me to sweat a bit and get my heart rate up.  I hated running like I have mentioned but it is somewhat rewarding and provides a bit of challenge against a few others if not just against myself as I continually try to better my last time or distance. I hate the treadmill but I can run inside when it is cold (absolutely hate the cold), and I can track my time/distance with great precision. Little goals and increases are fine.

Here is another...a bit crazy.....I asked for XBOX Kinects for Christmas.  So now I can exercise and play a game or two.  I haven't mastered it all yet nor set up a routine but I am working on it.  I have played a few sports events, like football, baseball, track is good.  Even some of the FUN games are very good for creating a work out.  One of the specific exercise ones has me running through the streets of New York City and gives me history lessons of some the architecture that I run past.  Sort like running through a sketch up model!

So my recommendation? Well, not like you might care but whatever you do, just get your heart rate up and doing it regularly.  Do somethin you enjoy so you will stick to it. Heard on TV the other day about a 67 year old man that runs 4 marathons a week.......really? Okay......I have a long way to go.  My friends....stay healthy!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Battlefield: First Front

My battlefield begins every morning.  Lately I have had such a struggle getting up that it is a bit ridiculous! I have never been a big fan of early morning work outs but that is really the only time I have within my schedule due to everything else that fills up my life.  So, it has always been the best time to get my exercise accomplished.  However it is the hardest time for me to get motivated.

For a while, I was waking up at the crazy hour of 5:30 or so automatically.  Without alarm clock without the help of my wife, just plain waking up.  That gave me a perfect opportunity to begin my morning routine.  However lately, it has been simply painful.  I have tired going to bed early but nothing really helps.

It takes a bit for me to get movement going.  Does anyone else have this problem? How do you overcome it? I keep plugging away, but fight it every minute until I am wide eyed. The argument is the same early I really want to exercise? Come on, maybe tomorrow, I deserve a break today or I have a meeting pretty early so I probably don't have time now.

Frustrating......lets see who wins today's battle, my strong side or my weak side.  Until then my friends....Have another cup of coffee and WAKE UP!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Running and Exercise

Sometimes I think that these new year resolutions are just crazy.....I had a late start but have picked up my resolution of running consistently to get back in shape for a half marathon as well as loosing some weight. Today made three days in a row.  Not a lot of mileage but slowly working up a bit at a time. Actually, 1/10th of a mile a day. Today I hit 1.7m. 

It wasn't easy getting up this morning and I really felt like saying forget it....but the competition inside me pushed me to accomplish what i needed to.  Running doesn't come naturally for me at all.  I played fullback in school which means 5 YARDS FALL DOWN, 5 YARDS FALL DOWN, 5 YARDS FALL running especially long distances isn't in my vocabulary.  The little bit (okay maybe more than a little bit) of extra weight that I am carrying around makes it even more painful on the knees and back.  But, I love the challenge.

Consistency is the goal.....with that will come the rewards.  I will keep you posted from time to time on my progress.  I just keep telling myself.....JUST DO IT.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Okay, so now it is the new year and we are supposed to have all these New Year's Resolutions and stuff which typically always gets busted during the first week of the new what a positive way to start off a new blog the new year..(note to self, be more positive this new year). But come on, isn't it true?  Everyone is writing about them, everyone is talking about them.  You have to feel like, "If I don't make up a new resolutions and follow them ...well....I will be behind."

Guess what my friends?....I am behind and we are only into the first week of the new year.  I was supposed to start running again....BEHIND.  I was supposed to start working on the house....BEHIND.  I was supposed to read the bible daily with my wife...BEHIND! That is the story of my life.  My big BEHIND always gets in the way.....wait that wasn't what I was really trying to say. Never mind....if I edit this then I will behind on my new posting resolution....ahhhhh!

When it really comes down to it WHY? I did put together a plan....yea an aggressive do all this stuff I needed to accomplish this year. Dates, times, lists.....that is my middle name.  (not really but just go with me on this one).  At 46 years old, why must I accomplish all things things?  I am not trying to prove something.  Why do I HAVE to finish the renovations of the bedroom, bathroom kitchen and garage....(doesn't leave much else does it?) Can I just do a little at a time? When I feel like it? Oh yeah, I never really feel like it! My neighbor yesterday made me feel bad because they mowed the lawn again...On January 7th!!!!! And it was the wife doing it not the husband!

So that was it...I couldn't take the procrastination or humiliation by the neighborhood.  I BEGAN......I was going to paint the front door. I had already bought the paint...months ago but never continued the task....DON'T SAY IT! I also had a few other things I was going to do.  I planned on putting up the crown moulding in my daughters bedroom. Fix the towel bar in the bathroom and hang a mirror. I got ready and was all set...then I remembered...why I didn't paint the door....I forgot to buy a paint brush when I bought the paint.  So off to the Home Depot.

My wife went with me and we looked at the trim to buy for the crown moulding, we looked at the nail guns....after all I planned on doing a lot of work around the house. After all that looking, I was already tired and I hadn't even BOUGHT the stuff yet.  Okay, smaller bites.....I bought the paint brushes and some anchors for the towel bar.  We decided to buy the materials I needed on a Thursday night, on a Friday night to make sure I had everything I needed and all set up to work, so.....On Saturday morning I could get up and make some progress without loosing any steam or energy...(which are basically the same thing but it sounds good so I am going to be redundant.....hey, this is MY blog).

Okay good plan, dang it...the neighbor is mulching too!  Paint , Paint, Paint! So
I did.....Door looks pretty good..  I did two nice coats, I need to do another......A bit concerned that the lipstick color will not actually turn out CRANBERRY....(read my Ionic blog for color of the year!). Visitors BEWARE, you are not entering an Amsterdam brothel. (music playing in the background...Sting singing, "ROOOOXXXXANNE...Turn on the red light.......Rooooooxxxxxannne.)

Today, do the other coat of paint, hang the mirror and fix the towel bar......the rest of the day.......WATCH FOOTBALL.  My friends.....their are priorities.  Enjoy the day....don't forget about that!

Just so you know that the list posted at the beginning of this blog is for dramatic effect only and is not really my list.  However the list does apply with the exception of #4.  I dont smoke!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Resolution #1

Started doing a daily bible reading with my wife.