Work Outs: March 6 – 12, 2022 (The Chess Gargoyle, Check Owl, and Santa Cruz Trolley)

My husband and I have been playing a bit of chess lately. We’ve set up a chess set on a table and a rule is that the player whose turn it is has to make at least one move per day, though we each can make more than that. During the opening we often make several moves per day and sometimes, at night, we’ll sit down and finish out a game. Especially if we are nearing the end game. Neither one of us is particularly good at chess so we’re interesting opponents for each other.

One problem we ran into is we’d both sometimes forget whose turn it was. This led to some dubious moments of one player possibly having a double move or both of us agreeing to just restart the game.

We needed to come up with a solution.

Back when I was editing The Lost Librarian’s Grave, I collected quite a few gargoyles, hippogriffs, and the like. They are festooned about our house on various shelves and such on Guard or Ornamental Duty, etc.

So I came up with the idea of the Chess Gargoyle and picked this one because of all the gargoyles we have, this one seemed like it might be interested in board games. As for the hippogriff, it would probably try to fly off with one of the pieces and hatch it like an egg. Stupid horse-bird thingie.

The rule we decided upon was that the chess gargoyle goes to the side of the board of whoever’s turn it happens to be. An easy solution to the “Whose turn is it?” problem!

Sun, March 6th

Rest day. I stretched for about a half-hour.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 106 g.

Mon, March 7th

I attended wrestling class in the evening, and also did about 30 minutes of stretching.

Calories: 1905, Protein: 149 g.

Tues, March 8th

  • (Morning Workout) Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 8, RPMs: 80+.
  • Circuit Workout: I completed warming up for this with some light sets of the weight exercises from the circuit, some dynamic stretching and my ubiquitous 1 lbs. indian clubs. I moved from exercise to exercise and set to set with no minimal rest. Links to the most of the steps I did here are in this post.
  • (Tri Set) Standing Rows (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • CoC Grippers (Guide 60 lbs.) x 3 sets x 8 reps, (Sport 80 lbs.) x 5 reps
    • Basic Step x 4 sets x 45 seconds.
  • (Tri Set) Pulldowns (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, [70 lbs. x 8 reps + 60 lbs. x 4 reps] +
    • CoC Grippers (Sport, 80 lbs.) x 2 sets x 5 reps, (Trainer, 100 lbs.) x 2 sets x 5 reps (partials)
    • Corner to Corner Step x 4 sets x 45 seconds.
  • (Tri Set) DB Bicep Curls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps, [20 lbs. x 8 reps + 15 lbs. x 4 reps] x 3 sets +
    • Alternating Sets of Front Kick Stretch and Side Kick Stretch x 2 sets each x 12 reps (each leg)
    • Straddle Step x 4 sets x 45 seconds.
  • (Tri Set) BB Standing Wrist Curls: 65 x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Alternating Sets of Reverse Hyperextensions x 12 reps and Supine Leg Windmills x 50 revolutions each direction
    • Hamstring Curl Step x 4 sets x 45 seconds.
  • (Tri Set) DB Reverse Wrist Curls: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps, [(20 lbs. x 12 reps + 15 lbs. x 4 reps) x 2 sets], [20 lbs. x 6 reps + 15 lbs. x 4 reps + 12 lbs. x 2 reps]
    • Knee Up Step x 4 sets x 45 seconds.
  • I did some static stretches and also “Back/Shoulder Flexibility for Beginners” yoga class with Dylan Werner through The stretching and yoga component lasted for about 40 minutes.
  • We did a late afternoon walk. It took about 30 minutes.

Calories: 2003, Protein: 153 g.

Another fun innovation in our games is yon Check Owl.

The owl goes on the board whenever one of us puts the other player in check. In normal games, it is simple enough to say, “You’re in check,” if your opponent forgets, but not as simple in our games because the player in question has to remember their last move, which they might have made the day before, and take it back so they can address the check.

I bought the Check Owl some years ago when I was driving the Santa Cruz Trolley. There was this lady at one of my stops, where I usually took my mandated break, who put out a bunch of wares on a big blanket to sell to the tourists.

So one day I bought this owl from her and put it on a shelf where I have a bunch of other owl and animal stuff. As for the Trolley, local people seemed to really like it as a bit of local tradition and color. They often called it “The Beach Bus” because it ferried people during the summer from downtown Santa Cruz to near the boardwalk where there is of course a beach and a bunch of attractions such as rides and shops.* As you can see it is a bus that was kitted out to look a bit like a trolley, and the inside seats were made out of wood like an old-timey trolley car.

I liked to put together playlists of fun oldie and beach songs for the ride and also it was a bit of a thing with some drivers, which I picked up on, to ring the bell as you’d go through the main intersections. The bell sounded like an actual bell and oftentimes people would pump their arms in that universal gesture that truckers know for people wanting you to lay on your air horn.

Unfortunately, the Trolley is no more in the above incarnation. If and when the beach bus starts up again, I’m told it will be a vanilla bus without much character but probably cheaper for the company to maintain. Alas, I think my bus driving days are over in any case. We all got laid off en masse back when everything first got shut down some time ago now, and I moved on to other interests. Still, I’m glad that I got a chance to be a small part of this bit of local history back when it was an interesting ride.

Wed, March 9th

  • I stretched for 35 minutes shortly after waking up.
  • In the afternoon, I followed along with Jack Lalane, DVD 1, Episode 3. Afterward, I did “Morning Yoga for Beginners” with Patrick Beach on I wanted to take it easy today after a fairly intense workout yesterday.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 150 g.

Thur, March 10th

  • We followed along with Jack Lalane, DVD 1, Episode 3 shortly after waking up. I stretched for 30 minutes later in the day.
  • We did a short evening walk in the forest for about 30 minutes.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 117 g.

Fri, March 11th

  • (Morning Workout) Morning Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 9, RPMs: 80+.
  • Circuit Leg Workout: I warmed up by following along with Jack Lalane, DVD 2, Episode 1 and then afterward I did a little additional dynamic stretching. For the workout, I went from exercise to exercise and set to set with as little rest as possible.
  • (Giant Set) Reverse Leg Press: 45 lbs. x 12 reps, 55 lbs. x 12 reps, 65 lbs. x 12 reps, 75 lbs. x 12 reps, 85 lbs. x 12 reps +
    • Calf Raises (RLP): 45 lbs. x 12 reps, 55 lbs. x 12 reps, 65 lbs. x 12 reps, 75 lbs. x 12 reps, 85 lbs. x 12 reps (Three sets with straightened legs and two sets with legs slightly bent.)
    • Seated Leg Curls: 45 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, 50 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Lateral Walking with Band: 5 sets x 12 reps going in both directions
  • (Giant Set) Leg Extension Machine: 25 lbs. x 5 sets x 12 reps +
    • Front Kick Stretch (each leg): 5 sets x 12 reps
    • Alternating Sets of Supine Leg Revolutions (each direction): 2 sets x 50 revolutions, and Dead Bugs (2-ct): 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Alternating Sets of Reverse HyperExtensions: 2 sets x 12 reps, and Side Leg Lifts (each leg): 3 sets x 12 reps
  • I stretched for 30 minutes, incorporating some of what I’ve been doing with the yoga classes.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 166 g.

Sat, March 12th

We followed along with Jack Lalane, DVD 1, Episode 5 and did a little stretching afterward too.

Calories: 1905, Protein: 141 g.

I lost 0.875 lbs. this week. My total loss is 7 lbs. over four weeks. My calorie intake for the week was 13,808.

* The 1987 vampire movie, The Lost Boys, was filmed in Santa Cruz and features shots from the boardwalk during that time. I personally haven’t seen a vampire myself in the area, but I sure do keep looking and I know if they are out there I’ll eventually find one because I’m a real vampire expert by virtue of having read Dracula a bunch of times and pretty much everything on vampires Anne Rice ever wrote!

17 responses to “Work Outs: March 6 – 12, 2022 (The Chess Gargoyle, Check Owl, and Santa Cruz Trolley)”

  1. We better be the protaganists, if it ends up Underworld-like I’m moving to a cabin on the equator. More sun, less blood suckers.

    I’ve been dealing with a shoulder injury that is continuing to get worse. I know I need surgery, but I’m not a fan of doctors. Lately I’ve been tapping out of the mat work even though I know I need the skills. What was that Indiana Jones quote? “Its not the age, its the mileage.” I blew past my warranty years ago and really need cybernetics to become a reality.

    You have figured out the key, though. There is no need to maximize every day when you want the road to cruise off the map. I wish I had thought of that about 25 years ago. Your workout log did get me focused, though. I stepped into the gym for the first time since March of 2020. And I am sore!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Ann! You became a vampire expert the sane why I am a zombie expert. We should team up if the undead rise.

    Interested in wrestling class. What is that? I’ve never seen an adult wrestling class. Not that my wife considers me an adult.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sounds pretty good. I think we’d do well as a team, especially if the vampires figure out a way to use their powers to build a zombie army in order to force humanity into vampire-run blood bank camps where we would be kept alive and harvested.

      What I’m doing these days is going to pro wrestling classes, like what you’d commonly see on television. I did pro wrestling on mostly a small-time basis for a number of years starting in the late-90s but haven’t been in it for some time now. I’m training mostly with an eye, these days to learn the finer points of being a referee, which sounds like a fun way to stay part of things now that I’m older and more careful of my body. There are still some athletic points I have to learn though; it is one of those things that is fairly invisible to the crowd but there is more to it than people imagine.

      There are adult amateur wrestling groups/clubs, though they can be hard to find. I used to go to one for a while near Boston, Mass back in the early 2000s that was pretty fun and I learned a lot in the time I spent with them. I’d say to poke around online and see what you can find. I learned about the Boston club, all of those years ago, from a pro wrestling fan, who was one of the club members, and suggested I try it out since I mentioned to him (at the time) that was doing a lot of gi-based grappling but I didn’t like the gi very much.


      • Vampires and zombies together is a pretty terifying idea. Time to sharpen some stakes and swipe mire holy water.

        Tbh I dodnt know there was amateur “pro” wrestling. I wrestled from the age of 6 to 18 in collegiate style wrestling and never cared for “pro” wrestling. I do see why you are a bit more protective of a not-as-young body. Even choreographed, some of those moves are tough.

        We do ground defense at work with an instructor who has trained for years with one of the Graycie brothers and is also into Krav and boxing. Brutal workouts, but very effective.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, if vampires could control zombies I think it might be Game Over if we aren’t the protagonists in the story!

          Oh yes, there is a lot of amateur “pro” wrestling out there. I used to go all over the place doing that years ago. Got to see a lot of places in the US and Canada and have some fun memories, and some not-so-fun ones too of course. I always wanted to do collegiate style but when I was growing up that option was closed off to me because of gender restrictions. Like I said, got a chance to learn some about it and train at a club near Boston though I was in my 30s at the time. It was great fun and I enjoyed it a lot more than the styles of grappling utilizing joint locks, chokes, and grabbing onto your opponent’s clothing.

          I imagine those workouts would be brutal. I wish you the best in your training; it sounds like fun.

          One thing I’ve noticed about every martial art/sport I’ve been involved with is that in general the workouts can be as brutal as you want to make them and I’ve always been one to push myself hard though of course if one defaults to the class/instructor sometimes it can be easier and sometimes, like with your classes, the default can be brutal/hard. Like I said, as I’ve gotten older I’ve edged off of pushing myself too hard because these days I’m going for longevity and being able to participate in athletics into my 70s and maybe 80s rather than maximizing what I can do in the moment. So for the workouts I’m cataloging in my blog, I’m taking a page out of what my online yoga instructors (most of them anyway) say and am being “nurturing and kind to myself” even when I’m training in sports where traditionally the focus is on grinding and maximizing short-term performance.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Having a chess game like that sounds like a lot of fun to me! I am not especially good at chess but found it fun to play as a child. I may have to give it another go with my wife one of these days 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • We enjoy chess too. Neither one of us are great at it either, but we’re pretty evenly matched so it is fun and it is kind of cool to walk through the dining room past one’s week or two-long game. I find myself thinking of what I’m going to do next in our matches when I’m driving places or waiting in line at stores, and multi-tasking by working on my balance by standing on one foot, etc. I hope you did give it a try with your wife and that you both have some fun games.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Ann who would ever have thought to have chess gargoyle 😃the use of the owl was a clever move , and that Trolley would have been a lot of fun. I. Have been at the gym a little over a week now and didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I am , I certainly needed it😳🤓

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m glad you are enjoying the gym; that’s good to hear. Thank you, it seemed fun to use our little statuettes and such to solve our chess problem. Yes, I really liked the trolley. I’m sorry that it is gone and if it ever comes back it’ll just be another boring bus. Still, boring or not, it is nice to have something like that to help people get from downtown down to the beach/boardwalk.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You talking about Chess has got me thinking of giving it a go, I haven’t played for years but now one of my daughters and her boyfriend play it so I might get a set and teach the wife 😅😅😅, if that’s successful I will then think about a gargoyle and owl 🤓.A gym Addict now, 9am every second day 😉.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hope you and your wife enjoy playing some chess. It is a fun game. I do think one needs a gargoyle and an owl to play it properly and I’m surprised when I see those not in place during tournament play, so I’m glad you’re already thinking along those lines. 🙂

          I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying the gym. I think finding some form of movement is important since bodies are meant to move and if it can be something that is fun (or necessary like a job that keeps one in shape) then one is more likely to do it. I remember that my father was thin for most of his life and the two main jobs he did were security guard work where he walked a lot and janitor, where he moved a lot. Once he retired he started to get fat and nipped it in the bud by going for 10 mile walks nearly every day all over town because he liked walking and being alone with his own thoughts.


  5. Great progress on the workouts, like the gargoyle idea, but can you be sure it doesn’t move on it’s own when the lights go out ? Nice use of the owl as well. The bus looked very atmospheric, and can imagine the enjoyable times you had driving it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Dave. I’m very pleased with how my body is responding to the workouts lately. The main things I’ve been doing differently this time is I’m highly motivated to eat properly because of my wrestling referee-related goals and doing the Jack Lalane videos. I’ve noticed that I have a bit more flexibility and suppleness in my body that I wasn’t getting from lifting weights but does compliment what I’m getting from the weights. All of the extra stretching and little bit of yoga are probably helping too.

      Yeah, those gargoyles can be tricky sometimes and you really have to get to know them as individuals if you are going to trust them with important things like proctoring one’s chess games. Fortunately, I think our gargoyle in question is a pretty responsible type and it had a nice sword for warding off some our other less responsible gargoyles, which I think it enjoys doing or at least doesn’t mind.

      The bus was pretty great. Like any job every once in a while there would be problem riders but 99% of the time it pretty much was the party bus.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I’m glad you like the pictures, John. Yes, I really enjoyed that one summer of driving the trolley on the weekends. (At the time, I drove my regular paratransit van during the week.) There is a cafe in Santa Cruz where the Trolley is part of the art on the walls. I keep meaning to take a picture of it again when we go there. I did a few years ago but I can’t find the pictures now.

      Liked by 1 person

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