Work Outs: March 13 – 19, 2022 (San Francisco Mission District Work Trip)

On Saturday this week, I made the trip to the Mission District in San Francisco, California and helped with doing some promotional work for a wrestling show coming to the area in early April. I didn’t have time to take too many pictures since I was there working but I was able to snatch a moment here and there to take a few. Below is a picture of 24th Street, where the three-person team I was part of did most of our work.*

Sun, March 13th

Rest day. I stretched for about a half-hour. Calories: ~1990, Protein ~122 g.

Mon, March 14th

(Morning Workout) Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 9, RPMs: 80+. Stretched a little afterward.

Calories: 1919, Protein: 143 g.

Tues, March 15th

  • Stretched for 30 minutes, shortly after waking up. Meanwhile, my husband blasted about our basement gym slinging around heavy weights and rocking out to the Dead Kennedys, lol.
  • (Afternoon Workout) I warmed up with 1 lb. indian clubs and some dynamic stretching.
  • (Super Set) Military Press (strict): 47 lbs. x 5 sets x 12 reps +
    • Ironmind Hub Lift (left/right): 17.5 lbs. x (10/10 sec), (5/10 sec), (6/10 sec x 2 sets), (7/9 sec)
  • DB Incline Press: 25 lbs. x 12 reps, 30 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 35 lbs. x 8 reps
  • (Tri Set) Tricep Pushdown (straight bar): 45 lbs. x 9, 10, 10, 10 reps +
    • Light Spring Bar (Supinated/Pronated Grips): (6/6) x 4 sets
    • (Set #1) Lateral Walking with Band Around Knees: 16 steps each direction, (Set #2) Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 15 reps, (Set #3) Glute Raises x 20 reps, (Set #4) Coc Gripper (Sport, 80 lbs., left/right) x 13/20 reps
  • (Tri Set) (Sets #1-2) Dead Bugs (2-ct): 25 reps, (Set #3) Supine Leg Revolutions (each direction): 50 reps, (Set #4) Standing Side Crunches (each side): 15 reps +
    • Heavy Spring Bar (alternating sets of pronated and supinated grip): 4 sets x 8 reps
    • Lateral Raises: 12 lbs. x 12, 12, 10, 10 reps
  • I did the first seven minutes of “Back/Shoulder Flexibility for Beginners” by Dylan Werner where one works standing. I also worked a little on Chair Pose, using a demo from the same instructor, then did some of the stretches from a binder of material I’ve collected over the last couple of years from our chiropractor.
  • I went to wrestling class in the evening.

Calories: 1899, Protein: 137 g.

There is a fair amount of urban art on 24th Street and I could have spent a lot of time taking pictures if I had more time. I did have time to take a picture of this mural while we had to wait around for a few minutes.

I was able to zoom in a bit and take another picture before we moved on. Pretty impressive stuff. I was glad to see that no one has tagged or defaced it in any way as I’ve seen so often with street art of this type in other places, including other parts of San Francisco in the past.

Wed, March 16th

  • We woke up and followed along with Jack Lalane, DVD 2, Episode 1.
  • Afterward, I did a little stretching and Lateral Walking with Band Around Knees: 20 steps in each direction.
  • Finished with the following two exercises from the Athlean-X “Glute Activation” video:
    • Lying Toe Stab Hip Raises (each side): 10 reps
    • Lying Toe Up Hip Raises (each side): 10 reps
  • We went for an afternoon walk in the woods. It took about 30 minutes.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 150 g.

One thing I noticed walking down 24th Street was that there were lots of lovely places to eat either sitting down or on the go. If I wasn’t in The Zone because I’m on a quest to get into great shape again, I would have probably stuffed myself!

Thur, March 117th

  • We followed along with Jack Lalane, DVD 1, Episode 3 shortly after waking up. I stretched for 30 minutes later in the day.

(Afternoon Test) CoC Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.) Test: (Left Hand) 4mm x 4 sets x 5 reps, 4mm x 6 reps | (Right Hand) 2mm x 4 sets x 5 reps, [Close x 2 reps + 2mm x 8 reps] Then I did one set of 5 partial reps with each hand, using the Ironmind 0.5 Gripper, which is 120 lbs.

I decided to test myself to see if I could still close the Trainer gripper to 4mm for 4 sets of 5 reps with my (weaker) left hand, which was a goal I originally achieved back in late April 2021.** (The Coc Gripper Key is very useful for measuring this.) I was pleased to see that I still can and updated my goal page accordingly. I’m going to do some intentional gripper work to see if I can get to 2mm with my left hand in a couple of months, which was a goal I set back in April 2021 when I first achieved the 4mm closure.

Grippers from the 60 lb. “Guide” on the left to the 120 lb. “0.5” on the Right
  • Afternoon Circuit Workout: I warmed up for this by dancing around to music in-between sets during my gripper test.*** One of the benefits of having a home gym is that you can do crazy dance moves without an audience other than the spiders and other fauna. I also used my 1 lb. indian clubs for warming up too. I moved from exercise to exercise and set to set with minimal rest.
  • (Tri Set) Standing Rows (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 12 reps, 70 lbs. x 12, 12, 14 reps +
    • Alternating Sets of Front Kick Stretch and Side Kick Stretch (each leg): 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Basic Step x 4 sets x 45 seconds.
  • (Tri Set) Pulldowns (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 12 reps, 70 lbs. x 12 reps, [70 lbs. x 8 reps + 60 lbs. x 4 reps], [70 lbs. x 12 reps resting as needed**** +
    • Seated DB Cleans: 10 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • 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) +
    • Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Straddle Step x 4 sets x 45 seconds.
  • (Tri Set) BB Standing Wrist Curls: 75 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) Alternating Sets of DB Reverse Wrist Curls: ([15 lbs. x 6 reps + 12 lbs. x 6 reps] x 2 sets) and DB Hammer Curls: 20 lbs. x 2sets x 12 reps +
    • (Set #1)
    • Kick Step x 4 sets x 45 seconds. For the last two sets the kick was a hard TKD snap kick leading with my insole.
  • I did some stretching and yoga poses, and also did the “Restorative Hip Stretch” class with Naya Rappaport on Alomove.com, which was about 15 minutes long. I did a little more stretching in the evening as well.

Calories: 1912, Protein: 150 g.

There was one place (too bad it was closed when we walked by) that had some interesting displays in several of its windows. The team leader for the group I was in told me that the display in the center picture contains masks from some famous luchadores (wrestlers). He told me the names of a few. A couple I remember, who he mentioned, are El Santo or “The Saint” who wore the silver mask in the top right corner, and the black and gold mask on the bottom in the middle belongs to Tinieblas or “Darkness.”

Fri, March 18th

  • (Afternoon Workout) I danced non-stop for 32 minutes following along as best as I could to “80s Dance Workout” by Zumba Sulu. I found the whole thing kind of amusing and a lot of my “dancing” was in fact somewhat unique and free form, but I had fun and it was a good workout and a nice change from pedaling the bike, which is fine but can get boring if I do it too often.*****
  • I did “Morning Yoga for Beginners” by Patrick Beach on Alomoves.com. Between the class and the stretching I did afterward, that phase of things lasted about 35 minutes.

Calories: 2024, Protein: 135 g.

We went into a laundromat and I saw this rather odd piece of art on the wall. There were actually several different examples along the same lines but like I said in the beginning, we were there to work so I only had time to snap this one picture. I can see myself someday using this for inspiration for something. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind hanging something like this on my office wall. Sure doesn’t seem like the usual thing one sees in a laundromat, but to my thinking that is part of the charm I found during my little adventure on 24th Street.

“The Eyes Have It” seems like a good title. Shades of Philip K. Dick perhaps?

Sat, March 19th

I stretched for about 45 minutes in the morning. I spent several hours walking around in the Mission District in San Francisco, CA in the afternoon without taking a break. Glad I didn’t do weights for my legs yesterday and kept it to dancing because my legs are definitely feeling it as I type this about an hour after getting back home from the city.

Calories: 2115, Protein: 111 g.

I lost 2.25 lbs. this week. My total loss is 9.25 lbs. over five weeks. My calorie intake for the week was 13,748.


* Other teams covered other streets in the area. The idea was to cover the area surrounding the high school where the show will take place in April.

** I like to do these tests from time to time because I think it is important not to just achieve various workout goals but to maintain them as well. I’ve been doing gripper work but haven’t intentionally been working on the above goals for a few months.

*** All of the fun I had dancing around got me to thinking I might want to start doing some online dance classes or maybe some Zumba at some point.

**** I found it better to simply rest a second or two between reps when it got too hard to continue rather than dropping the weight because the latter took too long and 60 lbs. has become too easy for what I’m trying to do. I think I need to buy a couple of five-pound plates I can slide into my weight stack so I can have 5 instead of 10 lb. intervals for my cables.

***** Actually it got bizarre and weird at points as if I were trying to summon up Great Cthulhu but that is the advantage of the privacy gained in working out in one’s basement with the poison-resistant spiders and armored scorpions. I often find the latter in the glue traps we set out in our basement and they look an awful lot like mini-Tyranids!

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!

Work Outs: February 27 – March 5, 2022 (Dogs, including Dog Transport on Motorcycle, and Ironmind Hub)

We’re finally retiring our old Galaxy 6 phones so the other day I pulled off the great mass of photos that I’ve accumulated over the years. So I have had a chance to look at some pictures (old and newish) I’d forgotten about.

One that isn’t too old is this picture of one man’s rather inventive solution at transporting his medium-sized dog around on his Harley. The dog seems quite happy and fortunately it was a nice, pleasant day. As it turns out, my hairdresser who is very much into bikes, knows this guy and told me the dog absolutely loves traveling around all over the place like this, which I think is nice. Our piebald friend certainly looked happy.

Sun, February 27th

Rest day. Recovering from the Saturday wrestling show. My husband and I went to the mall and hung out in the Shiatsu massage chairs for an hour, which was nice.* Made a point to drink a lot of water throughout the day and periodically stretch.

Calories: 1997, Protein: 145 g.

Mon, February 28th

  • Started the day by working a little with the 1 lb. indian clubs and then stretched for 15 minutes.
  • Later Morning Workout: I followed along with The Jack Lalane Show (DVD 1, Episode 4) and kept lightly moving when he paused to talk to the audience. I ended by doing a lateral stepping exercise with a band around my knees. I did four sets of 12 reps with each leg. This exercise is one I’m going to be doing a lot going forward because my chiropractor gave me the exercise to correct a weakness, which has been irritating my knee. I didn’t notice it until I started going to wrestling school and I want to nip it in the bud while I can.
  • Late Morning/Early Afternoon Circuit Workout: As usual, there was no rest at all. I went from exercise to exercise and from set to set as quickly as I safely could. I treated this like carido in that if my heart rate got too high I back off on the intensity, and I also purposefully went for brief bouts of high intensity here and there early in the workout and at the very end.
  • (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
    • Low Toe Taps x 4 sets x 30 seconds. I got my upper body into it too, almost like dancing or just doing whatever felt good to give the movement a bit more intensity.
  • (Tri Set) Pulldowns (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, [70 lbs. x 6 reps + 60 lbs. x 6 reps] +
    • CoC Grippers (Sport, 80 lbs.) x 2 sets x 5 reps, (Trainer, 100 lbs.) x 2 sets x 5 reps (partials)
    • Low Toe Taps x 4 sets x 30 seconds with the same upper body stuff as the first set.
  • (Tri Set) DB Bicep Curls: 15 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps, 20 lbs. x 12 reps +
    • Alternating Sets of Front Kick Stretch and Side Kick Stretch x 2 sets each x 12 reps (each leg)
    • Low Toe Taps x 4 sets x 30 seconds with the same upper body stuff. I also worked in some leg curls like one does in step aerobics.
  • (Tri Set) BB Standing Wrist Curls: 44 lbs. x 12 reps, 54 lbs. x 12 reps, 64 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps +
    • Alternating Sets of Reverse Hyperextensions x 12 reps and Supine Leg Windmills x 50 fast revolutions each direction
    • My heart rate was getting a bit higher than I liked so I went to 30 second marching around the gym.
  • (Tri Set) DB Reverse Wrist Curls: 10 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, 12 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps +
    • DB Hammer Curls: 12 lbs. x 12 reps, 15 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
    • Marching around the gym for 30 seconds
  • I stretched for 20 minutes and made sure I included some Cat-Cow and Cobra’s, which are two of my favorite poses, or at least my spine’s favorites, and I always try to keep on friendly terms with my spine.
  • Late Afternoon Walk: I forgot my phone so I didn’t have a pedometer, but it was a short, brisk walk that took about 25 minutes.
  • Attended a two hour pro wrestling class.

Calories: 1915, Protein: 179 g.

Tues, March 1st

  • We woke up and followed along to Jack Lalane Season 1, Episode 1. I was really sore from wrestling class so when Jack said, “Beginners stop here or do it this way,” I put on my beginner’s mind. Also did a little stretching.
  • My husband was sore too so we skipped the afternoon walk and instead went to the mall. We sat and sat in the massage chairs for an hour, which was nice and picked up some healthy Chinese food on the way home. I went for some chicken and vegetables. The nice people, who own and run the business, make the dish lighter for me without the oils and such. Pretty nice!

Calories: 1884, Protein: 158 g.

Wed, March 2nd

  • I stretched for 20 minutes shortly after waking up.
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.26 miles.

Calories: 1995, Protein: 143 g.

Thur, March 3rd

We followed along with Jack Lalane, Season 1, Episode 5. I thought this episode was a nice morning wake-up stretch.

Afternoon Workout: I warmed up with dynamic stretching and indian clubs.

  • BB Military Press: 45 lbs. x 12 reps, 46 lbs. x 12 reps, 47 lbs. x 10, 8, 8 reps
  • DB Incline Press: 25 lbs. x 12 reps, 30 lbs. x 12, 10, 10 reps, 35 lbs. x 7 reps
  • (Tri Set) Tricep Pushdowns (straight handle): 40 lbs. x 12 reps, 45 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps + Light Spring Bar (Supinated/Pronated): (6/6) reps x 4 sets
  • Pinch Grip Lift (Ironmind Hub, each hand): 15 lbs. x 3 sets x 10 sec, 15 lbs. x 22 sec.
  • (Tri Set) Dead Bugs (2-ct) x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Face Pulls**: 17.5 lbs. x 12 reps, 15 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps +
    • (Set #1) Heavy Spring Bar (Supinated/Pronated): 6/4 reps (Set #2) Lateral Raises: 12 lbs. x 12 reps, (Set #3) Russian KB One-Handed Swings (2-ct): 12 reps, (Set #4) Lateral Walking with Band above knees (each side): 13 reps +
  • I did the “Back/Shoulder Flexibility for Beginners” yoga class with Dylan Werner through Alomoves.com.*** The class lasted for a little over 30 minutes.

Evening Walk: 3 miles.

Calories: 2043, Protein: 157 g.

The Ironmind hub is an interesting piece of equipment that allows one to train at picking up and holding a weight with the fingers tips in a way that allows for convenient weight progression.

It hits the hands differently than many other methods and also involves the thumb, which often gets left out of the mix with things like hand grippers. One interesting thing about this device, is that people are often not very good at this hold at first, even otherwise strong people who train their grip in other ways. My husband, who is generally very strong, found this device “humbling.”****

Ironmind keeps track of records with the Hub and the current women’s record is held by Anzhela Kulagina. That worthy recorded a hold under contest conditions of 62.85 lbs. (28.51 kg.). The men’s record, held by Harri Tolonen, is 98.96 lbs. (44.8 kg.).

Ironmind doesn’t mention this, but you could also train the fingers for pressing out in a static way by placing your fingers inside the hub ring and pressing out as you pick up some weight.

Fri, March 4th

  • (Morning Workout) Morning Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 7, RPMs: 80+.
  • One Round of Squats: 10 reps, Seated Leg Curls: 35 lbs. x 10 reps, Partial Walking Lunges: 10 reps, Front Kick Stretch (each leg): 10 reps, Leg Extension Exercise (each leg): 10 reps, Side Kick Stretch (2-ct): 10 reps, Lateral Walking With Band Around Knees (2-ct): 12 reps, Calf Raises: Legs Straight x 10 reps + Legs Bent x 10 reps
  • I did the “Hip Openers for Beginners” yoga class with Dylan Werner. My stretching session lasted for about 35 minutes.

Calories: 2019, Protein: 114 g.

Sat, March 5th

  • A bit of light, weekend cardio: Morning Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 7, RPMs: 70+. Afterward, I did Lateral Walking With Band Around Knees (2-ct): 20 reps and a little gluteus medius work following this video. on Athlean-X.
  • I did the “Forward Folds for Beginners” yoga class with Dylan Werner. My stretching session lasted for about 35 minutes.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 150 g.

I lost 0.875 lbs. this week. My total loss is 6.125 lbs. over three weeks. My calorie intake for the week was 13,872.


* And very affordable and easy too. As a former Certified Massage Therapist, I don’t want to advocate for massage chairs over going to a skilled CMT, but it really worked out for us! Heck, if we keep going to the mall to use theirs I suspect we’ll just end up buying one at some point.

** I decreased the weight on the Face Pulls so I would feel a better contraction in the rhomboids by bringing the shoulder blades together. This is an exercise where the goal is getting that shoulder blade movement rather than how much weight you can pull. Jeff Cavaliere is my go-to guy for face pulls, but I’m told that Mighty John of Just Needs Varnish is not slouch at pulling faces either!

*** I kept wanting to type Dylan Thomas instead for some reason. Also, I signed up for a full year with Alomoves because it has become clear that while my strength levels are more than adequate for what I want to do, my flexibility in general is not. So I decided to make Yoga and flexibility training more of a priority than in the past. I did the yearly membership and found a 25% coupon on Google, so the whole thing came out to $12.44 USD/month, after a two week free trial, which I think is well worth it considering that the classes I previewed (and as of typing this, have followed along with) were all high quality. I also like their filter where you can choose the type of class, intensity level, instruction tone, etc.

**** I wasn’t humbled at all by the hub because I expected to be weak with this movement (and I am!) since I haven’t spent much time doing things like holding up anvils by the horn and the like.

Work Outs: February 20 – 26, 2022 (Alligator Lizards and Buddha’s Hand Fruit)

We were out on one of our walks this week when we saw the cheeky, little sprite pictured below. I took this picture and poked around online a bit to try and figure out the species but without any luck. I asked around and one of my sources told me it is a Southern Alligator Lizard and is very common in the Santa Cruz area.*

Sun, February 20th

Rest day. I could have worked out but I didn’t want to risk being sore (especially my legs) for class on Monday.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 160 g.

Mon, February 21st

  • Did some static and dynamic stretching for 30 minutes.
  • Attended a two hour pro wrestling class.

Calories: 1716, Protein: 150 g.

Tues, Feb 22nd

  • I followed along to Jack Lalane Season 1, Episode 5. I worked with the indian clubs during the parts of the episode when Jack was talking to the audience, and also put in about 10 minutes further with the 1 lb. indian clubs. For all of the weight work I kept moving between sets by doing dynamic stretches or just light movement.
  • DB Incline Press: 25 lbs. x 12 reps, 30 lbs. x 4 sets x 10 reps, 35 lbs. x 7 reps
  • (Tri Set) Light Spring Bar (Pronated/Supinated): (6/6) reps x 4 sets +
    • Tricep Pushdowns (straight handle): 40 lbs. x 10 x 12 reps, 45 lbs. x 9 x 8 reps
    • Fitness Bag Cleans: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • (Super Set) Heavy Spring Bar** (Pronated/Supinated): (4/3) reps x 2 sets, Lateral Raises 10 lbs. x 12 reps, Russian KB One-Handed Swings (2-ct): 15 reps +
    • BB Military Press: 44 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps

Calories: 2000, Protein: 151 g.

Since I was in Southern Alligator Lizard mode, I poked around on my phone and found an old picture I took in the summer of 2020, again at the state park near where I live, of what looks like another very similar but slightly different lizard sunning itself on a fallen tree.

All of this talk of reptiles and such reminds me of this brown dragon I saw (again in the same park) in 2019. And of course, who can forget The Dragons of USPS?

Wed, Feb 23rd

  • Morning Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 6, RPMs: 80+
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.5 miles.

Calories: 2155, Protein: 147 g.

So I saw these things at the gas station we often go to when we want a cheap, touchless car wash. It also doubles as a small grocery store. I learned that this is a “fingered citron,” which is more commonly known in many countries as a Buddha’s Hand fruit.

My first thought was a better name might be Cthulhu’s Face.

I bought one and tried to eat it like you would any other fruit, but that didn’t go too well. I quickly learned that the thing is mostly peel and is usually used as a zest or garnish like a lemon.

I did a little reading and learned that people often put these in a room because they will give off a pleasing odor that can freshen a space for up to a couple of weeks. I think that I might buy another Cthulhu’s Face, if they turn up again, and try putting one in the dining room and seeing how it goes. Seems like it might be a pleasant and natural, occasional alternative to those plug-in air fresheners my husband likes to collect.

Thur, Feb 24th

  • I stretched for 20 minutes in the morning.
  • Afternoon Workout: I warmed up with dynamic stretching and some indian club work. With this workout there was no rest at all. I went from exercise to exercise and from set to set as quickly as I safely could.
  • (Tri Set) Standing Rows (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • CoC Grippers (Guide 60 lbs.) x 3 sets x 12 reps, (Sport 80 lbs.) x 8 reps (partials with left hand)
    • Low Toe Taps x 4 sets x 30 seconds
  • (Tri Set) Pulldowns (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • CoC Grippers (Sport, 80 lbs.) x 2 sets x 8 reps (partials with left hand), (Trainer, 100 lbs.) x 2 sets x 5 reps (partials)
    • Low Toe Taps x 4 sets x 30 seconds
  • (Tri Set) DB Bicep Curls: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Front Kick Stretch (each leg) x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Laterally Step Over Kettlebell x 4 sets x 30 seconds
  • (Tri Set) BB Seated Wrist Curls: 44 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Standing Calf Raises x 4 sets x 12 reps (two sets with straight legs, two sets with legs bent)
    • Arm Pumping for 30 seconds x 4 sets (Did it like Jack Lalane was doing in this video.)
  • (Tri Set) DB Reverse Wrist Curls: 8 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • DB Hammer Curls: 12 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Supine Leg Windmills: 4 sets x 30 revolutions
  • Evening Walk: 3 miles.

Calories: 2004, Protein: 186 g.

Fri, Feb 25th

  • Morning Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Hill Program, Level 6, RPMs: 80+. Stretched for 15 minutes afterwards.
  • In the afternoon I worked with the 1 lb. indian clubs for 15 minutes and then stretched for 15 minutes.

Calories: 2000, Protein: 163 g.

Sat, Feb 26th

I put in a lot of physical labor helping with set up and tear down at a pro wrestling show. I also worked as security for the event.

Calories: 2130, Protein: 147 g.

I lost 2.25 lbs. this week. My total loss is 5.25 lbs. over two weeks.


* I thought the animal might be some kind of skink because of the head shape but my more knowledgeable source informs me that this is incorrect.

** I remember digging out the heavy spring bar almost a year-and-a-half ago now and I couldn’t even bend it for one full rep. That big, old thing is still no joke but I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made with it, especially since I haven’t prioritized or systematized working with it in a meaningful way.

Work Outs: February 13 – 19, 2022 (Valentine’s Day and the Thagomizer Tree)

My husband and I always get a laugh when we walk by this dead tree. It has been a couple of months since we happened by this way and he remarked, “I see the damned thing hasn’t fallen over yet. Wonder when it will?”

If you look at the picture closely you’ll see what he means: the lower part of the trunk has rotted away so it is significantly thinner than the top, giving the tree a top-heavy appearance.

It is also full of holes from (presumably) woodpeckers, which are common in the area, and probably any number of bugs, which attracted said birds.

My husband, who can be somewhat prone to looking at things through the veil of omens, prophecy, coincidence, and other realms of existence always steps lively past this tree, lest it picks that very moment as if it were predestined to fall over on one of us.

I’d say my husband is letting his imagination run away with him, but I’ve been married to him long enough to where I know better. Who am I to scoff at Predestination and oracular visions, after all?

Sun, February 13th

Morning Walk: 3.26 miles. Did some balancing work afterwards.

Calories: 2091, Protein: 141 g.

Mon, February 14th

  • Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Level 5, RPMs 75 – 80, Hill Program
  • Evening Walk: 3.28 miles. Did some balancing work afterwards.

Calories: ~2200, Protein: ~125 g.

Valentine’s Day was nice. I always buy my husband some flowers every year and this year it was roses. I also saw him looking at an interesting coffee cup at a grocery store we go to a lot but he didn’t buy it. So I pretended not to notice and went back later in the week and got it for him as a gift. We made a nice meal at home together, so it was a good day.

Tues, Feb 15th

  • I did one round of the MV Steel Mace Workout with my 5 lb. mace as a (strenuous) warm-up.
  • (Giant Set x 5 Sets) I had 60 seconds to do each exercise. I could rest after each exercise if and only if there was time left. There was no rest, other than this, at the end of each set.
    • Low Bench Taps for 60 seconds, Bench Dips: 10 reps, Marching High Hip Bucks: 10 (2-ct) reps, Seated Scapular Push-ups: 10 reps
  • (Super Set) Arnold Press: 15 lbs. x 8 reps x 2 sets, 20 lbs. x 8 reps x 2 sets, 25 lbs. x 8 reps x 2 sets +
    • CoC Grippers: (Guide, 60 lbs.) x 8 reps x 4 sets, Sport (80 lbs.) x 5 reps x 2 sets
    • Rest at the end of each set by stretching for 30 seconds.
  • (Super Set): Incline Push-ups using stairs: (4th step) x 8 reps x 4 sets, (3rd step) x 8 reps x 2 sets +
    • CoC Grippers: (Sport 80 lbs.) x 5 reps x 2 sets, (Trainer 100 lbs., partial reps) x 5 reps x 3 sets (was able to close once on the second set with my right hand)
    • Rest at the end of each set by stretching for 30 seconds.
  • (Giant Set):
    • Lateral Raises: 10 lbs. x 8 reps x 3 sets
    • Tricep Pushdowns (v-handle): 35 lbs. x 8, 12 reps, 40 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Cross Body Hammer Curls alternating reps with Hammer Curls: 10 lbs. x 12 reps, 12 lbs. x 12 reps, 15 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Light Spring Bar: 8 reps x 3 sets
    • Rest at the end of each set by stretching for 30 seconds
  • (Tri Set):
    • Seated BB Wrist Curls: 44 lbs. x 8 reps x 3 sets
    • Seated BB Rev Wrist Curls: 31 lbs. x 8 reps x 3 sets
    • (Set 1) Heavy Spring Bar 8 reps; (Sets 2-3) 2 lb. Indian Club work for one minute
    • Rest at the end of each set by stretching for 30 seconds
  • Evening Walk: 3.26 miles.

Calories: 1943, Protein: 160 g.

Back to our friend the dead tree. I took a closer picture of the trunk so you can see how it has rotted away. Not a very encouraging pillar of support. Much like some early American poetry, I often look for symbolism and lessons in nature and this tree seems to provide quite a few possibilities, at least to my thinking. What those are I’ll leave to the reader’s discernment, since such things are often different for each of us.

So my husband kept going on about the tree as we stood there having some water and debating whether it would fall over on him this time or not. Never being one not to pour gasoline on a fire, I pointed up and said that the way those branches were all pointed in the same direction, conveniently toward the trail too, they looked like stegosaurus tail spikes.

Thus the name “Thagomizer Tree” was born. The reference comes from a story about how the semi-formal name of thagomizer was used for the beast’s spiked tail based on a Gary Larson cartoon, and even made it into some scientific journals. You can read more about that here if you are interested.

Wed, Feb 16th

Took a rest day today because I was pretty sore. For the past couple of months, I’ve been doing mostly dumbbell and barbell work for my chest, and going back to including push-ups tends to make my lats sore. Also, I only did one set of the barbarian squats, but I have forgotten how much those things get to my legs when I haven’t done them in a while. Ouch!

I plan on keeping the rest of the week light because my first wrestling class is on Monday and I don’t want to be sore.

Calories: ~2000, Protein: ~150 g.

Thur, Feb 17th

  • Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Level 6, RPMs 70 – 85, Hill Program. Afterwards, I did Dead Bugs (2-ct) and Crunches for 20 reps.
  • Stretched for 30 minutes. I used to do this 3-4 days a week when I was wrestling. On the days that I didn’t do the full half-hour, and often even when I did, I would stretch here and there throughout the day. I’m sorry that I ever got away from doing this (“lack of time” … laziness, really) because I was amazed how good I felt afterward. In addition to the static stretching, I also worked in some dynamic stretches such as Cat-Cow and Cobra Poses.
  • Afternoon Walk: 3.26 miles. Did a little balancing work afterward.

Calories: 1925, Protein: 156 g.

Fri, Feb 18th

I used to enjoy following along with the exercises when I’d happen to be around when The Jack Lalanne show would come on during the summer when I was a kid. The rest of the year I only got to watch the show on vacations and such because of school. (There was no easy way to record television programs back then.)

Apparently, Youtube seems to think I like exercise videos for some reason (I wonder why?) and suggested this one to me. I followed along with the episode, doing some dynamic stretching and such when Jack would talk to the audience. I’m going to add this exercise to the ones I do regularly. I like this one too.*

Sometimes things from the past end up being kind of a disappointment when one sees them years later, but not this show. It was just as much fun and as full of energy as I remembered. And I had forgotten that Lalanne could sing!

I also stretched for a little over a half-hour after following along with the video.

Calories: 1960, Protein: 163 g.

Sat, Feb 19th

  • Morning Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Level 6, RPMs 80+, Hill Program. Afterwards, I did Dead Bugs (2-ct), Standing Calf Raises, Crunches, Supine Leg Windmills (each direction) for 21 reps. Later in the day , I stretched for 30 minutes.
  • Afternoon Walk: 4.28 miles.

Calories: 1724, Protein: 120 g.

I lost 3 lb. this week. This is my first week tracking again so my total loss is 3 lbs. In general, I’m going to look for a loss of 1-2 pounds per week and adjust accordingly as needed.


* I have no idea what to call these exercises so I think I’ll call them Lalane-1 and Lalane-2 respectively for future reference.

Work Outs: February 6 – 12, 2022 (My friend’s parrot and new video on our Youtube channel)

It has been a while since I’ve posted here. I have been pretty busy doing other things, though I realized that I need to get back on here and start posting my workouts and such again. It really does help me stay focused. I’m good with the workouts but where I really need focus is the diet, which tends to slide if I don’t have some goal I’m working toward, etc.

I found this picture of a friend’s parrot, who often sits on her perch near my left shoulder when we are playing board games. (I think the bird is a “her” though I’m not sure and I realize that I’ve forgotten her name too.)

She is a fun bird in that she doesn’t try to bite me or go to the bathroom on my shoulder (I’ve had birds try that one before) and I enjoy feeding birdie raw carrots and the like in-between turns.

Sun, February 6th

Morning/Afternoon Walk: 10.46 miles.

Mon, February 7th

  • (Afternoon Workout) Warmed up with indian clubs and dynamic stretching
  • (Super Set) Lat Pulldowns (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Crunches: 30 reps
    • Set #2: Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 15 reps
    • Set #3: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 15 reps
    • Set #4: Leg Lifts: 15 reps
  • (Super Set) Standing Cable Rows (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
    • Set #1: Alternating One-Handed KB Swings (2-ct): 15 lbs. x 15 reps
    • Set #2: Fitness Bag Cleans: 12 reps
    • Set #3: DB Cross Body Hammer Curls (2-ct): 12 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Set #4: Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
  • Deadlifts (hex bar): 135 lbs. x 5 sets x 12 reps
  • Bicep Curls (ez-curl bar): 31 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Evening Walk: 3.28 miles.

Tues, February 8th

  • Afternoon Recumbent Bike Ride: 30 Minutes, Manual Program, Level 5. RPM’s: 70+
  • Evening Walk: 3.26 miles.

One of the things that has been keeping me busy is starting a Youtube channel called Unnatural Selection. My husband does the narration and about 75% of the script work, and I produce the videos. So far it has been mostly ghost stories with a sprinkling of frightening encounters, such as workplace intruders and Craigslist sales gone wrong. We’ll be doing some other stuff eventually, but that is the direction we’ve gone so far. If you like that sort of thing and have a few minutes, check it out.

Wed, February 9th

  • Afternoon Workout: Full Squats: 4 sets x 15 reps
  • (Super Set) Seated Leg Extensions: 25 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Standing Calf Raises: 15 reps
    • Set #2: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 15 reps
    • Set #3: Partial Cossack Squats (2-ct): 15 reps
    • Set #4: Standing Side Crunches (ea. side): 15 reps
  • (Super Set) Seated Leg Curls: 45 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, 50 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Front Kick Stretch (ea. leg): 15 reps
    • Set #2: Side Kick Stretch (ea. leg): 15 reps
    • Set #3: Snap Kick Exercise (ea. leg): 15 reps
    • Set #4: Walking Lunges: 15 reps
  • Evening Walk: 3.28 miles.

Thur, February 10th

Evening Walk: 3.28 miles.

Fri, February 11th

Evening Walk: 3.28 miles.

Sat, February 12th

  • Afternoon Workout: Warmed up with indian clubs and dynamic stretching
  • BB Military Press: 44, 46, 48, 50, 52 lbs. x 5 sets x 12 reps
  • (Superset) DB Incline Bench Press: 15 lbs. x 12 reps, 20 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
  • (Superset) Tricep Pushdowns (v-bar): 35 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Set #2: DB Bicep Curls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Set #3: Cross-Body Hammer Curls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
      • Alternated pronation and supination at the end of each rep.
    • Set #4: Supine Leg Windmills (each way): 60 revolutions
  • (Superset) Reverse Grip Tricep Pushdowns (d-handles): 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Leg Lifts: 20 reps
    • Set #2: Swing & Catch (10 lb. mace, each hand): 12 reps
    • Set #3: Spring Bar: (light) x 4 reps + (heavy) x 4 reps
    • Set #4: Hindu Squats: 20 reps

Work Outs: November 7 – 13, 2021 (Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Reverse Trick or Treating)

It has been quite a while since I posted here, but I thought now that things are settling down a bit with work on The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology I should make the effort to start posting my workouts again.

While I’m usually more focused on weight maintenance rather than loss, I did loosen up a bit too much with my eating over the past few months so I want to lose ten pounds to get back to where I was before I started working hard on the book, and maybe go another ten pounds beyond that since I’m feeling the itch again. So I’m going to make that one of my goals.

Speaking of weight loss…

There isn’t much in the way of Halloween celebrations where we live, at least so far as people going door to door for candy goes.

This year though, we did get a family of “Reverse Trick or Treaters” who showed up in costume handing out little cartons and treats as a way of introducing themselves to the neighborhood.

They apparently bought a house on the road behind where we live. The trio seemed awfully nice and I liked their costumes too–a knight complete with sword and shield as well as a pair of ninjas!

Sun, November 7th

Afternoon Walk: 8.9 miles. Did some light calisthenics a couple of times during the hike and at the end.

Mon, November 8th

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • (Afternoon Workout) Warmed up with dynamic stretching, indian clubs, and calisthenics
  • (Superset) BB Bent Over Rows: 65 lbs. reps x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 25 reps
    • Set #2: Crunches: 35 reps
    • Set #3: Bicep Curls (ez-curl bar): 31 lbs. x 15 reps
    • Set #4: Fitness Bag Pick Up & Drop (4-ct): 8 reps
  • Lat Pull Downs (hog bar): 60 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Cross Body Hammer Curls: 12 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Set #2: Fitness Bag Cleans: 12 reps
    • Set #3: Sumo Squats: 12 reps
    • Set #4: Face Pulls: 15 lbs. x 12 reps
  • Deadlifts (hex bar): 135 lbs. x 5 sets x 12 reps
  • Hindu Push-Up Stretch: 12 reps

Tues, November 9th

I took a rest day today and did some stretching and such off and on throughout the day.

My husband and I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium back in September, which was fun. We hadn’t been in a long time and we both independently came up with the idea of going.* I made a little four-minute video out of some of the cell phone footage I took and slapped it up on Youtube not long after the visit.

I wanted to include some octopus footage but there was no getting near the tank with those popular cephalopods! I did take some pictures but they didn’t really come out in the dark what with the prohibition of flash photography and all. Got some pretty decent jellyfish and sardine footage though … decent for an ancient cell phone.

One thing I find entertaining about going to things like aquariums is watching the reactions and curiosity of small children, which is at least as much fun to me as the exhibits themselves. I imagine we’ll probably go back again around 2030 if our pattern holds.

Wed, November 10th

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout: Worked with 1 lb. indian clubs for 30 minutes.

Thur, November 11th

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout: Full Squats: 4 sets x 15 reps
  • (Super Set) Seated Leg Extensions: 25 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Standing Calf Raises: 15 reps
    • Set #2: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 15 reps
    • Set #3: Partial Cossack Squats (2-ct): 15 reps
    • Set #4: Standing Side Crunches (ea. side): 15 reps
  • (Super Set) Seated Leg Curls: 45 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, 50 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Front Kick Stretch (ea. leg): 15 reps
    • Set #2: Side Kick Stretch (ea. leg): 15 reps
    • Set #3: Snap Kick Exercise (ea. leg): 15 reps
    • Set #4: Walking Lunges: 15 reps

Fri, November 12th

  • BB Military Press: 50 lbs. x 5 sets x 12 reps
  • DB Incline Bench Press: 20 lbs. x 5 sets x 12 reps
  • (Super Set) Tricep Pushdowns (v-handle): 35 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Sport Grippers (80 lbs.): 4 sets x 8 reps
  • (Super Set) Tricep Reverse Pushdowns (d-handles): 12.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Face Pulls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Set #2: Supine Leg Windmills (ea. way): 30 revolutions
    • Set #3: Light Spring Bar: 8 reps (supinated) and 8 reps (pronated)
    • Set #4: Fitness Bag Pick-up, Shoulder, and Drop: 8 reps

Sat, November 13th

Morning Walk: 3.66 miles. Did some inverted rows using a hitching post for horses near the trail.

* I have found this “independently coming up with the same idea” thing happens more and more with my husband and me the longer we are married, lol.

Work Outs: August 29 – September 4, 2021 (USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier)

The other day, I was looking through some uncatalogued pictures from our 2013 visit to the USS Hornet in Alameda, California. I’ve never done anything with them, so I thought it would be a good idea to show some of them here.*

The Hornet is an Essex-class carrier that was built in 1943 and saw a lot of wartime action and several modernizing refits before being decommissioned in 1970. In addition to its war service, the ship was also used to recover the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 astronauts in 1969. The ship was opened as a museum ship in 1998.

Sun, August 29th

Afternoon Walk: 7.19 miles. More uphill sprints, but no canine companions this time, unfortunately.

Mon, August 30th

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • (Morning) Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 4 mm x 5 reps, Right = Closed x 3 + 2 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 4 mm x 5 reps, Right = 2mm x 5 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 4 mm x 5 reps, Right = 2mm x 5 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 4 mm x 5 reps, Right = 2mm x 5 reps
  • Finger Extensions (band): 8 lbs. x 4 sets x 10 reps
  • (Afternoon) Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Manual Program, Level 5. RPM’s: 70+

One of my goals was to close the Trainer gripper to 4mm for 4 sets of 5 reps with my left hand, which I achieved in April. I took some time off from doing the grippers and found I couldn’t still perform that benchmark.

So I got back to using the grippers, and the deadlifting helps too with developing strength in closing the hands. This is especially true of the double overhand grip far more than the mixed grip. I was able to hit the 4mm mark again today. I’ve set a new goal of 2mm with my left hand.

Tues, August 31st

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • Afternoon Walk-Jog: 5.02 miles.

Wed, September 1st

  • Morning Walk: 3.26 miles.
  • (Afternoon Workout) Warmed up with dynamic stretching, indian clubs, and steel mace
  • (Superset) Ring Rows (~45°): 10 reps x 4 sets x 8 reps +
    • Set #1: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • Set #2: Crunches: 35 reps
    • Set #3: Bicep Curls (ez-curl bar): 31 lbs. x 15 reps
    • Set #4: BB Deadlift: 135 lbs. x 6 reps
  • (Week 5 of 12) Deadlifts: 169 lbs. x 4 sets x 3 reps

Thur, September 2nd

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout: warmed up with calisthenics and dynamic stretching
  • (Super Set) Standing Leg Curls (ea. leg): 22.5 lbs. x 4 sets x 10 reps +
    • Set #1: Squats: 20 reps
    • Set #2: Standing Calf Raises: 20 reps
    • Set #3: Sumo Squat and Kick (4-ct): 10 reps
    • Set #4: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 21 reps
  • (Super Set) Snap Kick Exercise (ea. leg): 4 sets x 10 reps +
    • Set #1: BB Squats: 45 lbs. x 8 reps
    • Set #2: Full Squats: 10 reps
    • Set #3: BB Squats: 45 lbs. x 8 reps
    • Set #4: Hindu Squats: 20 reps
  • Finished the workout with Cossack Squats (2-ct, partials): 10 reps, Seated Dorsiflexion (both feet): 30 lbs. x 15 reps, Walking Lunges: 12 reps. Did some post-workout static stretching.

There were a number of aircraft on the deck and inside the ship as well. My favorite was this TMB 3-E Avenger built by Grumman for use as a torpedo bomber.

Fri, September 3rd

  • Afternoon Workout: Warmed up with indian clubs, and dynamic stretching
  • BB Military Press: 50 lbs. x 12 reps, 52.5 lbs. x 3 sets x 8 reps
  • BB Bench Press: 65 lbs. x 8 reps, 75 lbs. x 8 reps, 85 lbs. x 8 reps, 95 lbs. x 8 reps
  • (Superset) DB Lateral Raises: 8 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps, 10 lbs. x 2 sets x 12 reps +
    • Set #1: Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 16 reps
    • Set #2: Wrist Rolling (cable): 12.5 lbs. x twice rolling all the way out and back. I used both pronated and mixed grips, then rolled half the cable with supinated grip.
    • Set #3: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 21 reps
    • Set #4: Supine Leg Windmills: 50 revolutions each way
  • (Superset) Tricep Pushdowns (v-handle): 35 lbs. x 12 reps, 40 lbs. x 10, 12 reps, 45 lbs. x 8 reps +
    • Set #1: Incline Push-ups (4th step): 8 reps
    • Set #2: Light Spring Bar: 8 reps (pronated) + 8 reps (supinated) + 4 reps (overhead, pronated and then supinated). Those last few supinated overhead reps were hard.
    • Set #3: Face Pulls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Set #4: Cat Litter Fitness Bag Pick-up and Drop (4-ct): 8 reps\
  • Finished off the workout with a set of reverse tricep pushdowns (d-handle, ea. arm): 12.5 lbs. x 8 reps
  • Captains of Crush Gripper (Trainer, 100 lbs.):
    • (Set 1): Left = 2 mm x 5 reps, Right = Closed x 3 + 2 reps
    • (Set 2): Left = 2 mm x 4 + 1 reps, Right = 2mm x 6 reps
    • (Set 3): Left = 2 mm x 2 + 3 reps, Right = 2mm x 6 reps
    • (Set 4): Left = 2 mm x 2 + 3 reps, Right = 2mm x 6 reps
  • Finger Extensions (band): 8 lbs. x 4 sets x 10 reps

The Hornet has all sorts of different services for the crew, as you’d imagine, including laundry, food service, recreation, and of course various dental and medical services. I remember, at the time, thinking that this medical room had quite a nice collection of surgery books.

Sat, September 4th

Morning Walk: 3.66 miles. Mostly on pavement but some particularly good hills. We had a nice day going to a coin store, where we spent about two hours talking about coins and many other things, and then had some nice sandwiches at a local, independent grocer in the area with a nice deli counter. We at our lunch at the beach down in Santa Cruz. All in all, a relaxing day.

The picture below seems a nice way to end this post. It is a view from the Hornet of distant San Francisco with the span of the Bay Bridge leading to Treasure Island on the right. Click on the picture to see the larger version, which I think shows the darkening bay to better advantage. Who knows what hideous and delightful secrets the eldritch waters contain?

Weekly Weigh-in: We bought a scale but it hasn’t arrived in the mail yet. I’ve continued to eat according to my maintenance plan so as far as I can tell my total loss remains at 28.6 lbs.

* If you like ships, I put up some pictures back in 2020 of our visit to the liberty ship, SS Jeremiah O’Brien in San Francisco, CA. I guess 2013 was a good year for us, nautically-speaking.

Work Outs: August 15 – 21, 2021 (Sprints with a random dog, and dragon meat at the thrift store.)

Sun, August 15th

Afternoon Walk: 6.51 miles.

I did some sprinting uphill and then walked back down the hill and rejoined my husband and walked back up the same hill. I did this a few times during our little hike.

At one point someone’s off leash Jack Russell terrier-looking dog decided to ignore his owner as I was running by and started running alongside me, which everyone found funny–even the owner who kept uselessly yelling, “Get back here, Biscuit, get back here!” over and over again.*

Mon, August 16th

Morning Walk: 3.26 miles.

I have been moving things around quite a bit down in our basement gym lately, and I had to find a new place to put my sand bag and fitness rock, because I needed their old home for the lawn mower and I kept having to step over the rock to get to the plates. Since I dead lift these days in stocking feet, I would say having to step over a big, old rock is an accident waiting to happen.

So now they both live in a much more homey, compact place over by the wheelbarrow, where I’m sure they are much happier. I think of my fitness rock as a friendly rock so I don’t imagine it is waiting with lithic patience to injure my sensitive, little, pink toes. At least I hope not.**

Tues, August 17th

  • Morning Walk: 3.26 miles.
  • (Afternoon Workout) Warmed up with indian clubs, steel mace, and dynamic stretching
  • BB Bent Over Rows: 85 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Lat Pulldowns (hog bar): 70 lbs. x 7 reps, 60 lbs. x 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Bicep Curls (ez-curl bar): 41 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Sandbag (100 lbs.) and Fitness Rock: 8 sets alternating between Sand Bag Bear Hug Hold for 30 seconds and picking up the rock and throwing it up and back over my head in an explosive manner for 8 reps, so I’m doing 4 sets of each exercise.
  • Ended the workout by tearing up a huge pile of cardboard boxes that we’ve let accumulate too long. I just used my hands (no box cutter) so my hands and forearms got some nice stimulation, especially with some of the sturdier boxes.

Wed, August 18th

Morning Walk: 3.28 miles. Did some calisthenics afterward.

Thur, August 19th

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout: Warmed up with indian clubs, steel mace, and dynamic stretching
  • BB Military Press: 50 lbs. x 8 reps, 55 lbs. x 8 reps, 60 lbs. x 8 reps, 65 lbs. x 6 reps
  • BB Bench Press: 75 lbs. x 8 reps, 85 lbs. x 8 reps, 95 lbs. x 8 reps, 105 lbs. x 7 reps
  • (Superset) BB Standing Skull Crushers: 51 lbs. x 8 reps, 56 lbs. x 8 reps, 61 lbs. x 8 reps, 66 lbs. x 8 reps +
    • Set #1: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • Set #2: Heavy Spring Bar: Pronated x 5 reps + Supinated x 5 reps
    • Set #3: Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 15 reps
    • Set #4: Face Pulls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps
  • (Superset) 4 sets x 8 reps of both exercises, each hand
    • Captains of Crush Gripper, Sport, 80 lbs.
    • Finger Extensions with 8 lb. band

I made a trip to the thrift store as I often do today. Not so much because I needed anything but because it is fun to do a quick walk-through every once in awhile to check out the treasures of the day, and because the store is conveniently located across the parking lot from the grocer.

This tin of dragon meat caught my eye and I won’t lie and say I didn’t think about it, but in the end I decided to take a pass. My husband eats plant-based and while I’m a filthy omnivore who is happy to eat anything that swims, flies, crawls (don’t knock bugs until you’ve tried them!), walks, etc., I do draw the line at eating highly intelligent, spellcasting, magical lifeforms who are bigger than me and possibly have long memories….

I suppose I could have bought the thing–at $4.99 US the price was certainly right–and resold it on ebay for about $30, but, again, I didn’t want to be involved in the trafficking of such flesh for the reasons listed above. After all, I like to think I learned a little something (including courage, thank you, X-Files) from all of those years of Dungeons & Dragons.

  • Morning Walk: 3.26 miles.
  • (Afternoon Workout) Warmed up with dynamic stretching, indian clubs and light calisthenics
  • (Week 4 of 12) Dead Lifts: 157.5 lbs. x 5 sets x 3 reps
  • Ring Rows: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • (Superset) Lat Pulldowns (d-handles): 55 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps +
    • Set #1: Crunches: 30 reps
    • Set #2: Alternating One-Handed KB Swings (2-ct): 15 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Set #3: Leg Lifts: 20 reps
    • Set #4: Fitness Bag Snatches: 15 reps

I made my deadline of finishing editing The Lost Librarian’s Grave by August 31st, thankfully. (I’m typing this on Sep 2nd.) It ended up at a princely 113,800+ words for 33 stories and 4 poems, so if nothing else it is a pretty decent-sized work.

My next upcoming goals are to finalize the table of contents–I’m actually going to do two of them–and more importantly the cover.

Fri, August 20th

  • Morning Walk: 3.26 miles. Did some calisthenics afterward.
  • (Afternoon) Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Manual Program, Level 5. RPM’s: 70+

Sat, August 21st

Afternoon Walk: 5.08 miles. Did about 10 minutes of miscellaneous calisthenics after the walk.

Weekly Weigh-in: I am the same weight as last week as I continue on my maintenance plan for now. My total loss thus far is 28.6 lbs.


* The picture is not of the dog in question. I was a little busy what with the being out of breath sprinting and all, so I grabbed a cute shot of a dog that looks much like the energetic Biscuit. 🙂

** I have gotten quite attached to my fitness rock since I dig it out of what used to the corner of our foundation in the back of our house almost a year ago now. If the idea of being attached to a rock seems odd, well, what can I say–I’m a child of the 70s!

Work Outs: August 8 – 14, 2021 (Repurposed ashtray as decoration, military press, and my last editing deadline for The Lost Librarian’s Grave.)

I was going through some old stuff when I found a white, stone (apparently hand carved) ashtray in a forgotten box of stuff. I’m not one to toss things that aren’t mine, so I asked my husband about it and apparently the ashtray has been in his family for 75 or 80 years now, and one of his aunts gave it to him back in the early 90s. Given all of that, and the fact that neither of us smoke, I came up with the idea of repurposing it as a decoration: enter the Birdbath of Stone and Brass Birds.

We rather like to sit in the dark and watch television with our salt globe light going, as in the picture below.

Sun, August 8th

Afternoon Walk: 8.67 miles.

Mon, August 9th

Morning Walk: 3.26 miles.

Tues, August 10th

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • (Afternoon) Recumbent Bike: 30 Minutes, Interval Program, Level 10. RPM’s: 70 – 100+

I purchased the little rocks, as well as the two interesting stones on the sides, from a local gem shop down in Santa Cruz. They have a big chest where you can buy the tiny rocks by the scoop. My mother made the doily probably 30 or 40 years ago–I have a bunch of them around the house and rather treasure them. She is quite a hand all all things knitting, sewing, and so on.

The two little brass birds complete the scene. I only wish I had a squirrel to make it a proper birdbath, because every time I’ve had a bath or feeder for my avian friends, I also get frequent visits from the squirrels. I don’t mind, really, so long as the birds don’t. I did have a brass hedgehog though, so that would have to do even if it wasn’t quite to scale. Maybe in the magic land of stone birdbaths where all the animals are made of brass, my quiet, spiny friend is just the size she needs to be….

Wed, August 11th

  • Morning Walk: 3.28 miles.
  • Afternoon Workout: Warmed up with indian clubs, steel mace, and dynamic stretching
  • BB Military Press: 50 lbs. x 8 reps, 55 lbs. x 8 reps, 60 lbs. x 8 reps, 65 lbs. x 6 reps
  • BB Bench Press: 75 lbs. x 8 reps, 85 lbs. x 8 reps, 95 lbs. x 8 reps, 105 lbs. x 7 reps
  • (Superset) BB Standing Skull Crushers: 51 lbs. x 8 reps, 56 lbs. x 8 reps, 61 lbs. x 8 reps, 66 lbs. x 8 reps +
    • Set #1: Dead Bugs (2-ct): 20 reps
    • Set #2: Heavy Spring Bar: Pronated x 5 reps + Supinated x 5 reps
    • Set #3: Standing Side Crunches (2-ct): 15 reps
    • Set #4: Face Pulls: 20 lbs. x 12 reps
  • (Superset) 4 sets x 8 reps of both exercises, each hand
    • Captains of Crush Gripper, Sport, 80 lbs.
    • Finger Extensions with 8 lb. band

So now that I’ve gotten my lovely barbell, I’ve decided to start doing military presses again, which I haven’t done in a very long time. I don’t know why, but I’ve always enjoyed lifting things over my head. The main difference in form between this and a shoulder press, of which the military press is a variation, is you keep your feet close together, ideally with your heels touching, or nearly so, as in the picture below on the left.*

I’ve seen some people perform the movement with the feet placed more like on the right with their toes pointed straight ahead. I’m more of a traditionalist, but I think the key take away is to keep your feet close together so you aren’t getting a mechanical advantage out of bracing your feet apart.

The idea with the military press, versus other variations, is the foot placement puts more emphasis on your core. Indeed, when I used to do these a lot back in the 80s and 90s and was far stronger than I am now, I had a solid midsection just from doing the presses, and bracing my core doing barbell squats without wearing a weight belt.

Thur, August 12th

  • Morning Walk: 3.26 miles.
  • (Afternoon Workout) Warmed up with dynamic stretching, indian clubs and light calisthenics
  • (Week 3 of 12) Dead Lifts: 147 lbs. x 6 sets x 4 reps
  • Ring Rows: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • (Superset) Lat Pulldowns (d-handles): 55 lbs. x 4 sets x 8 reps +
    • Set #1: Crunches: 30 reps
    • Set #2: Alternating One-Handed KB Swings (2-ct): 15 lbs. x 12 reps
    • Set #3: Leg Lifts: 20 reps
    • Set #4: Fitness Bag Snatches: 15 reps

Fri, August 13th

Morning Walk: 3.26 miles.

There are some other details about doing the military press, but this isn’t meant to be a full tutorial, so I’ll touch on the big one, which is related to bracing your core: stay upright during the lift and don’t lean back. Over time, this is bad for your back and shoulders and unless your focus is competing in contests I see no point in performing a lift that hurts your body in the long term.

Years ago, the military press used to be part of what people think of now as Olympic Weightlifting. These days, guys ask each other, “What do you bench?” but years ago (according to my old timey lifting mentors) the question was, “What do you press?”

A problem that came up was it was legal then to lean way back in competition when performing the military press, as this rather impressive-looking (and limber!) gentlemen on the left is doing.

If your goal is winning a contest, then anything goes within the scope of what is allowed in the rules, but I would not recommend this if the idea is just to get stronger as a hobbyist.

Sat, August 7th

Afternoon Walk: 5.08 miles. Did about 10 minutes of miscellaneous calisthenics after the walk.

Weekly Weigh-in: I continue for now with my maintenance food plan, and was down 0.2 lbs. this week. My total loss thus far is 28.6 lbs.

I can’t type out a post these days without mentioning The Lost Librarian’s Grave anthology, which has been eagerly gnawing away most of my free time since early May. Happily, I (barely) met my goal from last week of finishing my edits for 75% of the manuscript.

I say “barely” because it was right down to the wire for me at the close of business on Saturday, which is when I end my editing week. When the keystrokes and comma splices were clear, I was at a princely 76% so it all turned out well. My next goal is to completely finish editing by August 31st. After that the next step is to wrangle the 37 different stories and poems into an ebook.**

I also want to work on the cover a bit more. Maybe do a glowing effect around the gargoyle, come up with a new tagline, and maybe see about making the text a bit brighter.

I will most certainly post whatever changes I make to the cover here and over on the Redwood Press blog as well. After all, everyone steered me right, I think, when I asked about the cover design in May.


* Some people can be pretty pedantic about the “feet touching” part of this exercise, to which I say if you really want to take it to that level then take off your shoes and perform the movement with bare feet since technically your feet aren’t touching if you are wearing shoes. 🙂

*** Thirty-three stories and four poems, for a total of a bit over 113,000 words. So a respectably sized anthology.