Day 6 — It’s Groundhog Day (Again)

I was debating just copying & pasting yesterday’s post, to see if you’d get the joke.

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But I decided, nahh, that’s way too esoteric. Anyway, Day 6’s walk is done.

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And in spite of the rain, it was very nice, although about 20 minutes into it, we saw what was *almost* a nasty car-vs-bike accident on Reseda Blvd. (Hint: when it’s raining, look both ways, then look both ways AGAIN!)

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Fortunately the cyclist wasn’t hurt (other than a nasty-looking scrape to his elbow), and the driver stuck around to help him out, so we went our merry way. (Oh, forgot to mention that Mr. 50by60 joined me!)

So it was a nice walk, other than that little bit of excitement. Now we’re relaxing and watching a movie. Can you guess which one?

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See you Monday, when I’ll let you know how I did on Day 7, aka Sunday!

Friday Five: New Secret Weapon…Revealed!

OK, as promised, here ’tis – my secret weapon for combatting the creeping return of Teh Fat:

What? (listens to off-camera whispers) Um yeah, it’s a bike. That’s right. YES, that’s what I meant by “secret weapon”! What did you think I meant?

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Heh, well, no, as much as I enjoy “The Red Green Show” (hey, it’s my second-favorite Canadian show!), and although I do plan to mention a practical use for duct tape later in this very post, I actually meant THIS:

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My totally AWESOME new folding bike, hereinafter to be known in this blog as “Little Blue”! And as soon as I get “Little Blue” all tweaked & ready, it’s going to be a permanent addition to the trunk of my decrepit ol’ 2005 Toyota Corolla (aka “Decrepit Blue!”).

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That way, when I’m out driving, enjoying the scenery and ignoring the omnipresent “Check Engine” light on the dashboard (and btw, here’s where the duct tape comes in handy!)
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and I notice a park with a really tempting bike path,

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I don’t just drive by, thinking, “Nice, but I forgot to bring ‘Big Blue’ [the Electra Townie] on my hard-to-use bike rack, so I guess I’ll just have to keep driving, and maybe eat some Doritos to console myself!” NOPE! Now I’ve got a bike! So I can stop, take it out, unfold it, et voila! I’m ridin’ – and exercisin’!

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And in case you can’t tell from the photos, I’ve already taken this lovely little bike out on one of the bike paths in the Sepulveda Basin. I kinda had to, because when I unboxed it and looked at it, sitting next to “Big Blue” (my venerable and super-comfy Electra Townie Cruiser),

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I wasn’t sure it had been such a good idea after all. For one thing, Little Blue has a slightly higher “stepover” than Big Blue, which means, being both short AND clumsy, I knew that at some point I’d trip over it and get some nice blue bruises on my shin(s).

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But also, I knew that if I didn’t give it a fair chance – take it out for a real ride it in a safe place, and not just in the narrow confines of our back yard – I’d never ride it at all, and it would just sit back there, rusting away, taunting me. (It’s happened before!)

So I folded it up, lugged it out to the car, drove to the Basin, pulled it out of the trunk, and rode it — and it was WONDERFUL!! y’all! Really awesome! I was impressed by how sturdy and well-built it felt, the minute I hit the bike path. Initially, I planned to ride it for about 15 minutes – but I stayed out there for more than half an hour, just cruising along, enjoying the scenery, dodging the Canadian geese and the oblivious pedestrians.

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I don’t have a horn or a bell yet, and was tempted to do my Tim Conway, Jr. imitation,

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but I decided that might not be the greatest idea. The pedestrians might not have minded, but geese are notoriously violent when provoked.

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And in case you’re wondering – yes, I did, as predicted, trip and fall over the bike at one point. And of course, it happened at the moment I decided to stop under a shady tree, in full view of an L.A. Commuter Express bus that had, for some reason, decided to stop in the park. Since I learned a long time ago how to fall with a minimum amount of injury (hint: don’t lose *all* your butt fat – it’s there for a reason), I’m sure they appreciated the show.

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Nevertheless, like a true cowgirl, I got up, brushed myself off, and got right back on the horse – er, the bike! And I rode it back to my car, got off (WAY more carefully this time!), re-folded & packed it up, and went home, to a well-deserved afternoon of rest & “Victoria” binge-watching!

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All in all, I’m very pleased with my new Secret Weapon, and plan to incorporate it into my exercise regimen at least twice a week to start, though probably not on consecutive days, as it did kinda wear me out – but in a good way!

Oh, and for those of you thinking, “This is all well and good, but where’s the ‘Friday Five’ part?” let me see what I can do? How about this:

Part 1: Cute names for all my transportation options:

  1. Little Blue – the Euromini Zizzo Via folding bike.
  2. Big Blue – the Electra Townie cruiser bike.
  3. Decrepit Blue – my 2005 Toyota Corolla with the fading paint and the Check Engine Light.

Part 2: Two things I need to get for Little Blue:

  1. A bell or a horn.
  2. A basket and/or a rack.

There, feel better now? I sure hope so! Enjoy your weekend…oh, and if you’ve got a rusty bike in your backyard, why not take it out for a ride, and tell me about your experiences in the comments?

Friday Five: A little late and a little short!

Hmm, I keep calling these posts the “Friday Five,” even though, from time to time, I can’t come up with five things. Wonder why?

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Yeah, but as Homer Simpson once said, “Hope springs internal,” so I’ll keep giving it the ol’ college try!

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Anyway, without actually getting into the numbers game, I did a lot of walking and BIKING this week! I’m particularly proud of the latter because I’ve been letting my poor ol’ cruiser languish in the garage for months, not even taking it out to wipe off the spiders.

But last week I decided it was time, so I’ve been puttering around the Valley (or at least my part of it) and getting slightly better at dodging traffic, not to mention running errands — groceries, post office, etc.

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So it’s been a productive week all around, and I’m looking forward to more bike/walk adventures in the near future (though preferably not at the same time)!

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That’s it — I guess the Friday Five will just be five memes, loosely connected by the fact that they’re on my page! Oh well, I’ll be back Monday with a weigh-in — a good one this time, I hope! Have a great weekend (and try to get outdoors, if you can)!

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Friday Five: hey, I’m famous!

  1. I was debating whether to do a blog post this morning at all. Then I thought I’d do one entitled “No blog post today” with some funny memes to that effect. So I did a search on Google images, titled “no blog post today” memes. Guess what? almost ALL the search results were from MY blog posts of the past!
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    Probably just lazy.

    Still, check it out and see for yourself: “no blog post today” memes on Google!

  2. I did actually do something exercise-related this week, though — got back on the bike! And here’s the pic to prove it:

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    My venerable Electra Townie Cruiser, taking a break while I take a pic!

  3. More often than not, though, I stayed home and did (ugh) housework-type stuff. NOT vacuuming* or floor-scrubbing (sorry, Mr. 50by60!), but less traumatic stuff like laundry and sweeping. Doing the laundry can be good exercise if you have access to an outdoor clothesline – lots of leaning over, picking things up, then reaching up to hang them. Sweeping the floor obviously has some exercise potential as well.

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    It’s good practice, in case one of your fellow employees shows up with the pinkeye.

  4. *Because:

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    I’m with the cats…and nature!

  5. Free TJ’s plug (although I’m certainly open to bribes, they ain’t payin’ me!) — if you need a good lower-calorie substitute for that nice crunchy bag of Doritos or Lay’s, why not try these?
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    They’re freeze-dried Fuji apple slices, yummy and crunchy. A nice compromise when you’re cravin’ the crunchy stuff. (And I’ll be lookin’ for that TJ’s gift card in the mail, Corporate! Remember, I can always delete this plug!)

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Bonus blog points if you remember this funny guy!

Alright, that’s all I got! Have a great weekend, everyone! See ya Monday!

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Friday Five: Five Reasons to Quit Your Gym Membership (well … maybe!)

Happy Friday, everyone! As promised, here’s my unvarnished list of five reasons why I keep wondering if I should just quit my gym membership.

  1. Expense. Granted, I belong to one of the cheapie big-box gyms (24 Hour Fitness), so my monthly payment isn’t that much – only around $35 a month. Still, I’m on kind of a fixed income these days, what with my job being “outsourced” a few years ago. My primary source of extra spending money right now is freelance transcription, which doesn’t pay that much, but at least it keeps me home, where I’m less likely to overspend. Still, every penny counts!
  2. Clothes. Confession: I wear a skirt almost all the time, except when I’m on a bike or in the pool. The skirts I tend to favor are long, comfy, soft, and most importantly, have nice, roomy POCKETS. I guess you’d call them “cargo skirts,” although they weren’t called that when I originally started buying them or their equivalents, back in the previous century. This all goes back to when I was working full-time in downtown L.A., and had to putter around the office, carrying card keys and actual keys and change for the snack machine, which I visited a LOT, which is partly why I’m dieting today. Now I pretty much live in my comfy skirts, and having to change out of them into quote-unquote “workout clothes” is just a big fat pain in the butt.
  3. Parking. Every! single! location! of my fitness club has a big, crowded parking lot which you have to deal with before you can even get NEAR the actual exercise equipment. Now that I’ve lost a bit of weight and am a bit more mobile, I’m following the classic “passive exercise” advice about parking farther away and walking the extra distance. But ya know, sometimes I just find myself thinking, “Why not just park in the WAY less crowded parking lot at that beautiful, tree-lined PARK a couple of miles down the road, the one with the attractive dirt trails, and just WALK – in my nice, comfy skirt?” And more and more often, I find myself doing just that.

    So*, more and more, I find myself not wanting to even get into the car to make the drive to the gym. The closest location to me is at least a 20-minute drive, and has the absolute WORST parking of all their locations. It’s tempting to just stay home, which brings me to:
  4. Agoraphobia. It’s mild, but I do have kind of an aversion to large crowds. And gyms tend to have lots of people in them. Not so much right now, but give it a few weeks – all those New Year’s resolutions tend to fill up those prime treadmill spots for at least a couple of months.
  5. Non-Gym Exercise. As previously mentioned, I’ve been doing a lot more walking, at least every other day, for my regular exercise. In addition, last week I dragged my abandoned, but still quite functional, Electra Townie Cruiser bike out of the garage, where it’s been waiting patiently for the past few years, gathering cobwebs and desiccated spider corpses; took it up to our local bike shop; and had it all fixed up, spandy new and purty as a picture! After my husband helped me adjust the leopard print saddle – very picturesque and exquisitely uncomfortable – I’ve had three short but increasingly delightful rides around our neighborhood, and am really looking forward to the next one. Plus, I’ve got a whole bunch of free weights (well, they weren’t really free, but they were cheap, nyuk nyuk!) scattered around the back yard, to take care of those underarm wings we fat middle-aged ladies seem to sprout.

So – there you go. My five best arguments for quitting my gym membership.

Still, there are some good reasons for keeping it active, and next Friday, I’ll give you those.

Meanwhile, what do YOU think? Do you belong to a gym? Do you use it, or just keep it in reserve in case you can’t think of anything else to do, or there’s nothing new on Netflix? Let me know!

(*by the way, if you’re also a freelance transcriber, you’re probably shouting at me, “Hey! Never start a sentence with ‘and,’ ‘but,’ or ‘so’! That’s … that’s just so wrong!!” And you’re right. But I did it anyway. So there.)
 

Rhymin’ Weekly Weigh-in, and Dig (Out) That Bike!

Well, good morning, all! Happy Monday to you and yours. Ready? Let’s not waste one more second!

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A little better than before
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Only 0.4 pounds lost this week, but hey, I’ll take what I can get! Especially considering that I overindulged a little this weekend (what, again?), this time treating myself to some Taco Bell, as a reward for visiting my gym for the first time in over a month. And it’s so conveniently located, right next door. How could I resist?

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Which is maybe another good argument in favor of quitting my gym membership and just exercising on my own. But then again, I’ve quit twice in the past several years, only to rejoin a few months later, with my tail between my legs, whimpering, since it usually winds up costing a little bit more each time, not to mention having to redo the fingerprint scan thingie with a different digit than before. 24 Hour Fitness has both my thumbs AND my forefingers in their system already, and who’s to say they aren’t reporting my suspicious activities back to the gov’mint? It’s theoretically possible. So maybe I’d better leave well enough alone, while I’ve got three unidentifiable fingerprints left.

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Hmm, sounds like it’d be a good Friday Five kinda thing, though, don’t you think? Five reasons to quit the gym, and then five reasons not to? I’ll let it percolate in the hopper and see what comes up. (I’m sure you’ll be waiting on tenterhooks for the results.)

I may also do some stuff about my trusty, rusty ol’ Electra Townie, a bike that’s been sitting in our garage for at least five years, acquiring a nice patina of dust, cobwebs and desiccated spider corpses (eww). Last week, I dragged Ol’ Blue out of what seemed to be its final resting place, wiped off the spider corpses, and hauled it up to the local bike shop. Three hundred smackeroos later, it’s back, clean as a whistle and waiting in the driveway (behind a fence, don’t worry), waiting for me to toodle around the neighborhood looking geeky.

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I love it, although I may replace the cool-looking leopard print saddle with something less cool-looking and more comfy. (This one might be helpful, if I find myself jonesing for Taco Bell again:)

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Have a great week, everyone!