Showing posts from October, 2013

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SQUAT / PLANK Challenge

I was sifting through Facebook last week and came across this anatomical drawing of a person doing a plank exercise with all of the muscled affected in dark red.
It was meant to show how valuable and efficient an exercise it really is.
Which I agree with. I often include planks and/or plank variations in my workouts.

Along with the graphic was written:
The 30 Day Plank Challenge will send your core strength through the roof!
Day 1 - 20 seconds
Day 2 - 20 seconds
Day 3 - 30 seconds
Day 4 - 30 seconds
Day 5 - 40 seconds
Day 6 - REST
Day 7 - 45 seconds
Day 8 - 45 seconds
Day 9 - 60 seconds
Day 10 - 60 seconds
Day 11 - 60 seconds
Day 12 - 90 seconds
Day 13 - REST
Day 14 - 90 seconds
Day 15 - 90 seconds
Day 16 - 120 seconds
Day 17 - 120 seconds
Day 18 - 150 seconds
Day 19 - REST
Day 20 - 150 seconds
Day 21 - 150 seconds
Day 22 - 180 seconds
Day 23 - 180 seconds
Day 24 - 210 seconds
Day 25 - 210 seconds
Day 26 - REST
Day 27 - 240 seconds
Day 28 - 240 seconds
Day 29 - 270 seconds
Day 30 - P…

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

“To market, to market to buy a fat pig. Home again, home again, jiggity jig.”

I remember this nursery rhyme from my childhood, but haven’t thought about it in a long while. But now that I think of it, is it saying that people used to buy whole pigs from the market? And then what? Take them home and kill them and cut them into steaks and chops? Wow. 
That same rhyme today would be more like “To market to market to buy some slabs of meat that I don’t associate as coming from a cute animal, placed on a Styrofoam tray and wrapped in plastic wrap.  Home again, home again, sitting in my SUV, grumbling about traffic.”

Anyway, yes, today was the last day of our epic journey.

We woke up in Centralia and were prepared to head to Olympia for our last gig and last night in a motel. But when I entered the address of the motel into my navigation, it told me I’d be there in 20 minutes!  Even though we slept in late and got a late start today, I wouldn’t be able to check into the motel in Olympia unt…

The Scenic Route to Centralia

Our destination today was only 90 minutes from Portland. So we didn’t rush getting out, but ended up hitting the pavement by about 11:30. We stopped for coffee at a Starbucks and it was such a nice morning, that we sat in the chair set aside across the parking lot for smoking. No one was there, so there was no smoking, but it was right in the sun. I took off my shirt and enjoyed my coffee while River sniffed around the trees and bushes that were in the area.

Once on the road, it wasn’t long before we were going over the Columbia River, on which there is a sign saying “Leaving Portland” and another saying “Entering Washington.”

I drove a few miles until I got to Vancouver and decided I wanted to take a detour. At the rate I was going, if I went directly to the motel, I’d arrive hours before the check in time. So we went east.

I didn’t have a plan, but ended up doing some pretty cool things. The first really cool thing I noticed was Mount Hood way off in the distance. Can you see it?



So the first thing I wanted to do this morning was to pay a visit to Nia HQ in downtown Portland. I had actually intended to get up and make it to the 9:30 am Nia class, but at 8:00 am, I had a better idea; more sleep.

Plus I justified it by remembering how bad the parking situation is downtown, and how much of a shlep it would be carrying the cage and blankets to the building and up the stairs. I also thought maybe it wouldn’t be cool to just drop by with a dog, unannounced. So I rolled over and slept some more. 

I did eventually get out of bed (obviously) and did eventually work my way down to HQ. I peeked in the studio and saw the White Belt training going on. I was surprised at how few people there were. I guess I was expecting to see 50 or 60 people, but I only saw about four in there today. There could have been more, as I didn’t see the entire room.

Then I went downstairs into the offices and River met the two dogs that were there.  I said Hi to Debbie Rosas. We talked a lit…

How I Ended up in Portland

We slept late again and didn’t leave Coos Bay until after our coffee and walk, so it was about noon.

The plan was to make a direct path to Lincoln City. I was motivated by coming across this story a few days ago:

Since delicate green and blue Japanese glass fishing floats first washed up on Oregon beaches in the early 20th century, beachcombers have scoured the sands for these prized finds. The number of Japanese floats has decreased over the years, but Oregon’s artists keep the tradition alive by planting a crop of handmade floats each fall.
Beginning in mid-October, local glassblowers conceal brilliantly colored, signed and numbered glass floats along the 7.5 miles of public beach in Lincoln City, stretching from the Roads End State Recreation Site area to Cutler City. This year a total of 2,014 floats will be hidden along the coastline for lucky beachcombers to find.
Glassblower Bob Meyer, owner of Ocean Beaches Glassblowing & Gallery in Seal…

West Coast Farms, Mountains, Forests and Ocean

We slept in late and were leaving Medford at about noon. It was a doleful drive through town on the way out as I passed Marco’s Pepper Grill. It was vacant, with a For Lease sign on the window.

We went south at first, because I wanted to drive through Talowa Dunes and Cape Blanco and was in no hurry to get to the motel in Coos Bay. Most of the drive was through California on winding roads through an autumnal forest.

We stopped after driving for a couple of hours and found ourselves at this rest area near a long tunnel. 

We explored a little bit and then exercised,  playing tug and push and chase and then we practiced some heeling. I was using the 50 foot leash and not giving him physical corrections, but just using my voice to make him walk at my side all the way to the trash cans and all the way back to the car. He did a great job.
Then we had lunch.

Jedediah Smith State Park was awesome. The size of some of those giant Redwood trees was staggering; not to mention all the lush ground …

I-5 to Medford

The sun woke us up today. I had planned it that way, by leaving the curtains open. River slept the whole night in his crate, and only crawled into bed in the morning when we saw the sun. Then I closed the curtains and slept for another couple of hours.

Two nights ago, in San Francisco, he also seemed to be gravitating toward sleeping in his crate. Typically, he’d always get in bed as soon as the light was out, but in SF, he was already in his crate when I turn out the lights for bed and he stayed in there for maybe half an hour in the darkness before climbing into the bed. He didn’t stay, either. After just a few minutes, he hopped down and got back into his crate. I have to admit, I felt a bit jilted, lol, even though it makes me happy that he’s feeling comfortable and confident enough to sleep in his cage in a strange room.

This morning, before leaving the room in Willows, I put all the foods I had cooked last night into tupperware, arranging them in meals with a couple of vegetabl…

Rockin Walnut Creek and Butting Heads in Willows

The word for today is “frustrating”

It started out fine, though. I woke up early and took River for a walk around the block. It was hard to find a tree in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, but we found some, which he ignored. He was much more interested in the corners of mailboxes and certain buildings. For a long time I thought maybe he was going to be too stimulated by all the activity of the city to be able to poop, but he finally did. Right at the curb in an intersection. So I guess he wasn’t shy.

I hit a little bit of traffic on the way to the studio in Walnut Creek. It is a half hour drive, so I allowed myself an hour to get there. I didn’t have my coffee before taking off, though, because that would have eaten into my one hour and it was more important to get there on time than to be caffeinated. 

Making it through the traffic, I arrived at the studio with about twenty minutes to spare. So I started looking around for some coffee. I found a deli with an espresso sign, s…

San Francisco

We woke up today in Monterey, knowing we were only two hours drive from our final destination in San Francisco, so we found a local beach. The waitress who was complimenting his behavior at the bistro yesterday mentioned that she liked taking her dog to Del Monte Beach, so I found that one and took River.
It seems this beach was also a bit of a wildlife preserve. And one of the creatures being protected was a legless lizard, which is different from a snake.  I had no idea such things existed.

Time flies when we’re at the beach, and before I knew it, we had been there for two hours and it was time for some lunch.

So, after a quick consult with my Bring Fido app, I found a dog friendly bakery/cafe with outdoor seating and had lunch there. I ordered a basil burger, which was supposed to come with pesto, but it didn’t seem to have any pesto on it.  And it had a funny flavor like meat that has been in the refrigerator for a day or two too long.  But I ate it anyway, because I flaunt death o…

Monterey and Carmel

Today as I was enjoying my coffee, I noticed a big dark cloud forming outside. I was saddened because I was hoping to enjoy the beach today, and didn’t want to deal with rain. 

At one point, I walked out to the car to grab River’s bag of food for the day. Only to discover some of the maintenance crew had pieces from another room laid out on newspapers in the parking lot in the space next to my car. “Are those in your way?” One of them asked. I told him that it wasn’t, grabbed the bag of food and went back inside. It was a nice day, so I left the door open. Soon afterward, I heard a spraying sound and noticed that they were spray painting the items. So I went and moved my car to a spot well out of the range of the over-spray.

As I moved the car I noticed that it was covered with ash. It was then that I realized that the cloud I saw wasn’t actually a rain cloud, but a huge cloud of smoke. I later learned it was a controlled burn at Fort Ord to clear space for a veterans cemetery. The …

Up Southern California

I didn’t want to leave the beach this morning, but it was time to leave L.A.

I had some friends that I was entertaining dropping in on; one in Santa Maria and one in Bakersfield. But the thought of going back to the desert after being in it for so long lost out to the feelings I have for the ocean. So, Santa Maria it is!  I headed for the highway closest to the water and drove north.

It took us through Marina Del Rey and Venice. The former is shown here in the video, and the latter is one of my favorite, quirky L.A. beach cities, and mostlyI was too busy looking at everything to get the camera out.
I stopped in between Ventura and Santa Barbara at Emma Wood state beach. We ran around for a while, then we ate lunch and then played in the water.  As we played, I heard from my friend in Santa Maria that we couldn’t use her condo for the night after all. So I decided it would be worth taking the long haul all the way up to Monterey, which is where we were going to be the next night, s…

Pacific Coast, LA Style

I woke up this morning excited to go to the beach!

We left right away for Manhattan Beach. Using an app called Bring Fido, I can find dog-friendly accommodations, parks and restaurants in any city I visit. I can also find vets and dog-related events. But since I'm not in need of a vet and don't attend 'events' and I'm loyal to my one dog friendly Motel 6, I only use the app to find restaurants and parks.

This morning I found a place called Java Man in the heart of Hermosa Beach. In fact, there was a lot of dog-friendly places listed in Hermosa Beach. It seems to be a dog-loving city. So I had a nice coffee and a breakfast burrito at the outdoor seating area. We sat near two other dogs, and during the 30 to 40 minutes I sat there, probably ten dogs walked by.

After breakfast, we were headed to Long Beach, only half an hour away. There was a place called Rosie's Dog Beach that sounded really cool and I wanted to check it out. But, it turns out there was a marath…

California Desert

I woke up an hour earlier than the alarm I had set, so I got a nice early start on the day. 

We drove for about an hour and then stopped at a rest area to smell a cactus.

At one point we had to stop for an agricultural inspection. I pulled into the inspection area and the guys inside waved me through. I guess they didn’t know or didn’t care about the two bananas I had in the back seat.
I saw a lot more of those finger cactus, but still didn’t capture a decent picture of one.

It got really beautiful once we passed into California. Here we are just passing the Welcome to California sign. Shortly after this, I was in awe.That desert is my favorite. I especially like how the long, straight highway has many hills so it’s like a roller coaster with scrub brush.

This picture didn’t come out, but it was amazing to see in person. The entire terrain is awash with scrub brush except for a single trail that runs for miles in a straight line and then juts off to the left in between two mountains.�…

Trains and Cacti

This morning, I woke up and cooked the chicken that I had left to thaw from the night before. Once the chicken was cooked and cooled, I separated all of the vegetables, cheese, eggs and meat into individual meals and put each each meal into a tupperware container.  I had six meals ready to go.

While I was working in the kitchen, I saw the woman that asked me for money. She pulled up in her car with the kids in the back. When she saw me looking at the window at her, she waved and smiled and made some circling gesture with her hand that I interpreted as meaning that she was going to drive around and park. I smiled at her and went back to my business. I was thrilled and surprised that she had come back.

After a while, I was done in the kitchen and she hadn’t come by. I took River out for a walk and walked all around the grounds, but couldn’t see her or her car. I was saddened at what her life must be like. I imagined her lying to her kids about why they couldn’t get out of …

An Afternoon in Las Cruces

I took river to a pet store today called Pet's Barn. (sic) It just so happened to be the day that their computer network went down and they had to hand write all the SKU numbers on receipt pads, which took a long time. It was like finding a needle in a haystack. They were no more familiar with the SKU system than I am. As we stood and waited, I noticed what looked like a long dog treat that had been broken up into bite sized pieces on the counter. I picked one up and examined it and I asked, "Are these for dogs?" She answered, "yeah but those aren't samples, I don't know why those are there." Taking the one in my hand she puts it with the rest and pulls a large bag of dog food over them as if to prevent me from taking them? LOL Or to hide them? LOL "If you want you can give your dog some of these and take a sample pack from the basket."

The treats were actually pretty cool. They look like they come in different flavor varieties…

From New Mexico to New Mexico, via Texas

First off, when we took our morning walk around the Motel 6 grounds, we passed the peanut man's room.  Who was, I guess, immersed in the last stage of his peanutting process. I think they were drying. It made me wonder why he was making all of these peanuts. I doubt he was going to eat them himself, so I suspected he was going to sell them somewhere. And then I wondered, how many times do we buy something and never even suspect that it was prepared in the parking lot of a Motel 6? Things that make you go, 'hmmmm'!

Today’s drive started out much more beautiful than I expected. The map made it look like I was going to be driving through flat, brown nothingness, but in fact, it was quite stunning. Again, I'm heavy-hearted because I took some nice video but they're stuck in my phone until I can access video editing software for my phone or upgrade my computer so that I can connect them. In the meantime, please enjoy the pictures.

It wasn’t long at all before I actuall…