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 Alomoves.com. 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 Alomoves.com. 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!