Friday, December 30, 2005
Anyway, meeting "long lost" family is always strange. This was no less. At least we went to the Motown Museum. That was fun.
No working out. I have a killer cough. I have a reserve Rx for antibiotics (in case I got worse while travelling). I'll decide today if I need them.
Since I didn't go directly to sleep yesterday because of the dog burial we went and rented a couple of movies and stuff with gift cards. I rented a movie called Make it Funky! Looks pretty good from what I saw this morning. I let the kids watch their movies last night since they were kinda bored for the week.
I'm glad people liked the "self-induced hot flash" bodybuilding version.
I finished reading a short book called How to Practice Jazz. It was short but actually pretty good. It was more like a long article. What is good about it is how it ties things together. Not just for jazz, but music practice in general. I've tried tons of things for practice. What this does is create a very inclusive model and gives you an idea of how to put it together. It has sample practice sessions ranging from 1 hour to 4 hours. It talks about guys who practice 8 to 11 hours. But most of all it gives you a method to put together different things and to continue to keep moving.
He lays out 18 things to work on, and 8 supplemental studies. Then he mentions that of course drums, keyboards, bass, and guitar have other things to add and that all instruments would likely to have something specific. It gives me reinforcement that I'm on the right track with some of the things I've tried, but just haven't structured them most efficiently.
The book also gives me an outline for teaching music. And for helping my kids develop practice habits that will likely get them to a good place much quicker than I got there. And hopefully I'll get to a much better musical place by this time next year. Let me know if you want any of that practice stuff posted and I'll put it up.
I'm considering doing an arm and leg workout for this evening. Again, I'll just see if I'm still coughing up brown stuff.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Gathering Support for 06
While 60% of the people who had accountability were able to maintain weight loss for 4 years, less than 2% of the group who did a self-motivated program was able to maintain their weight loss. I guess this shows that we all need a 'coach' of sorts.
From Weight Loss - America's Constant Battle
So, if you want to post a comment daily or weekly, or want me to post encouragement or check in with you in some way for next year let's do it. This blog makes me accountable because people that I know and see read this and check in on how I'm doing.
I'm also wondering how this works for music, maybe that's why people with music teachers do better overall than those who don't. Sure there's Hendrix and Stevie Ray, but they seem to be more of an anomaly than the norm. Jazz musicians, and it looks like Mariachi musicians have high expectations of each other and of course get together and work on stuff. So this blog is now my workout accountability physically and musically!
Self-Induced Hot Flashes
Here's my version of that, mainly because I've been so serious lately. This is my version of "Eye Candy" for fitness blog fans.
The first one shows how far gone I am!
IronMaster when this is eye candy for you, you've been at this too long!!! Oh, by the way the 20th, Tuesday was my 1 year of consistent working out!
Secrets to Glamorous Glutes. Glamorous, yup that's what I call 'em.
Improve your Confidence (yeah, if I looked like this dude...)
Butt Building. Now it's an issue of construction!
Frank Zane - just 'cause he and Reeves were beating the crap out of the Dorkinator in an online poll on what guys really wanted to look like!
First Ms. Olympia, my homeboys used to drool over Rachel, meanwhile I was more concerned with women that I could actually try to talk to. But now I understand.
Did some cardio and abs yesterday. I keep getting sick and then feeling better. Its crappy!
Anyway, I'll keep plugging along. Maybe I'll still do my leg routine today and if I feel good enough go jogging tomorrow.
* * *
Didn't do a whole bunch of music stuff last night. I did some review. My son was working on a song "Jesu, Joy of Man" on the piano. And my daughter was singing in her room. That's nice.
I'm still trying to figure out a general plan. My kids are into doing stuff at night during the school year, but on vacations want to be left alone for the most part. So I'll have to try and get in what I can for the rest of the school year and just deal with the sporadic nature of summer. But having pretty much daily time with them at music will probably move them along. I'll work with them matching pitches with their voice for January. I notice that my daughter has a good strong voice, but sometimes has a hard time staying in key. My son just isn't motivated to sing, but matching pitches with his voice is still a good skill.
OK, this has turned from a health blog to a music blog. At least for me that's still part of health.
And I plan to be pretty damn good by the time I'm 45. (Not that I'm not good now, just better.) My goals for next year are to quit beating myself up about music, and to get noticeably better as a musician and vocalist.
* * *
Had a good call from friend I don't talk to enough. It was really good. I'm not good at the ongoing friendship thing. I grew up walking to my friends' houses as a kid so the whole driving around thing to visit people is still awkward, even at my age.
I'LL BE OUT OF TOWN NEXT WEEK - will post again next Friday. Off to meet the Mother-In-Law...
Thursday, December 22, 2005
SF Bay View story
My wife was going through old pictures last night and found a couple of me at a pool party. I'm fatter now, but also more muscular. Guess its just where I'm at.
* * *
Did a little sightreading last night. Did some ear training. What I'm doing is the oldschool thing. I'm listening to parts I want to learn and going over them until I can sing the parts. This would be easier if the guys I want to play like didn't use so many grace notes and 32nd notes! This is good, because that's something I can do a little of in between things at work and not have to completely stop doing anything. I can also do it in the car.
Worked on the keyboard some with my daughter. My son was tired and I didn't bother him, he went to bed early.
Oh, yes, that's freakin' Tony Robbins - motivational dude - in the picture below. Tripped me out. I sent the company an email congratulating him for being there. He was a speaker at the services.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Quote about Arnold from Bodybuilding dot com
Its about halfway down the page.
This guy at 78!
Today is bench day. Should be fun. I did a little cardio this morning. No abs! Tomorrow is cardio and abs. Saturday I hope to run for 30 minutes.
Didn't do much music yesterday. The kids went to the movies with my sister so no lessons, but I think they just want down time after school being let out. I'll just go with the flow.
Here's a bunch of news stuff. Most on Tookie, but a couple of other issues as well.
Mexico Opposes Wall
IndyMedia Coverage of Tookie’s Services
Standing Room Only for Tookie’s Services
NYC Transit Strike
Crowds Mass for Williams Funeral
Celebreties Gather for Tookie’s Funeral
The Governator still having problems with Hometown
Yahoo Photos of Tookie’s Services
What I Would Do With the Rest of My Life – By Tookie
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Barbie Often Tortured
Tookie's Memorial Service
My work connection seems to be down. So I'll be behind and I'll be meeting my mother-in-law next week. My wife hasn't seen her since she was 5!
* * *
Got to workout Friday and yesterday. My calves were sore. Did back, biceps and forearms yesterday. No deadlifts. Still have a tingle in my shoulder. Did some cardio and abs this morning. I figure that better than waiting until I get to go running. I'll have one week with no working out and I'll do arms and legs when I get back.
* * *
Because of all the holiday activity the music has slowed with the kids. They performed on Friday and did a great job.
I'll get some stuff in this week and then we'll get back on it after new years. I think the new habit thing is a little tough on them, but I think keeping on it will be useful. A year or two of almost daily lessons should get them far.
I got to practice last night. I was feeling like I had neglected my own practice. But I was working on "pasaditas" and then transposing to different keys. Then for the heck of it I tried a song that I really like called "El Palomito" and I've never quite gotten the fills before but I got some of it with minimal effort. It was exciting. So all of the ear training, scales, chords, and chord/scale stuff seems to be helping.
Friday, December 16, 2005
* * *
Did some work with the kids yesterday and it went well. My son really doesn't want to sing. So I'll only give him enough to carry a tune and pick out parts. After our work last night, I told him good job. His response was, "thanks for the lesson dad." It was nice. He's using the blues scale, but I'm helping him move around the neck. I could tell he was getting into it. He's working on the major scale in two positions now. I showed him how he could blend the two positions.
My daughter was tired, but she did good. She's also working on the blues scale in A. I'll add E next week. She's also working on re-learning her major scales. She's working on C, G, D and A right now. I'll add E major next week too.
They'll both be working on a little ear training next week. Then after xmas break, I'll start working with them on chord changes in different keys. I'm excited. It sucks that I feel tired after work, but I'll just have to figure out how to get over it.
* * *
Open Letter To Tookie
Tookie's Ashes to be Spread over South Africa
The Governator's Home Town Upset with His Murder of Tookie
Great article on the BS that Conservatives consider Clemency and Redemption
"If we use the definition Schwarzenegger's base, we can now assume that since there has never been an apology for slavery, or segregation, that America has not been redeemed for its sins of the past, and the thousands of murders-lives lost-from conflict of this nation's race caste. Should America pay with its life, or even pay-period? The death of Stanley "Tookie" Williams just redefined the discussion on how can America ever redeem itself on the question of slave reparations. A giant leap??? I don't think so. Redemption is redemption, and we'll just use the definition that Arnold's base threw up in our face to kill (another) innocent man. Just as America made Tookie Williams pay, let's call for America to redeem itself, and pay up, right now. Let's start with an apology. Without an apology, there can be no redemption, right?? We'll see now."
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I still have this little thing on my left shoulder. Feels like a little pull, but nothing major. I'm trying to keep it from getting worse. It seems like deadlifting irritates it the most, so I may switch to Good Mornings for lower back and then see if that helps.
Friday is leg day. And possible some jogging this weekend. If not I'll have to find some indoor aerobics to do. Since I haven't had lots of time with the wife between strep, colds, travel, coughing, etc... Maybe I'll be smiling a lot. That's gotta count for some calories!!!
* * * *
Kids had a recital last night for their piano class. They all kicked butt! Especially since they were signed up for beginners class and were the only three from the beginners class at the recital. They tore it up. They all did different Minuets by Bach. It was nice. My neighbor was also performing. I offered her use of our keyboard if she ever wanted to practice.
The school choir also performed. My nephew and daughter were very impressed and thinking of joining. My son refuses. He doesn't want to try the jazz band either. So, I get to get better at the guitar to keep up with being able to teach him.
My daughter and I drove to get a present for my son. During that time she talked to me about liking to play the accordion more than the keyboard. I told her cool we'll work on that. She wants to learn how to put in pasaditas without having to have the whole song memorized. Basically how to improv Chicano style.
I let her know that I think I'll still teach her enough keyboard to be able to get jobs, but that we'd work more on the stuff she wants to do. She wondered about getting a button accordion. I guess I will before she's outta high school.
Tonight we'll be back on scales and rhythm work. Next week I'll have them matching pitches with their voice and sharpening their ears.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I'm going to put up a couple of pictures of Tookie on my garage wall, next to Bruce Lee. Here's one of them. Even though his goal at getting huge was not for inspiration, there is something inspiring about this young guy turning into a peaceful giant - he was huge till the end. At least while I'm working out I'll be reminded of Tookie and the extremes of good and bad within all of us.
A Guardian Article - Tookie Did Not Deserve to Die
LA Times - The Myth Of Super-Predator
I still have a cough and I don't know that breathing in a bunch of cold air will help. I'll try on Saturday after shopping, I'll need a stress reliever!
* * *
Worked with the kids on rythym and scales. Next week I'll add a little ear training. And we'll also be working on some songs that the kids had started working on during summer.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
12/13/05 Workout Update
From there I did preacher curls. First time I used the preacher curl extension. It was good. The weight I used ended up being a little lighter than I thought, but the sets were harder. I finished off with high rep wrist curls and reverse wrist curls.
There's minor soreness in my biceps today.
* * *
Worked with the kids on scales and doing some rhythm exercises yesterday. Also did some blues improvisation stuff with my daughter. I just need to figure out how they can see the talent that I see. Will keep going there until I irritate them.
I was going to work on my resume today. Maybe later. I'm outta sorts emotionally. I'll be fine by tomorrow I'm sure.
I thought of trying to run tonight, but the cold weather may have me indoors. I don't want to get myself in worse shape until after my gig with the kids on Friday.
12/13/05 Tookie Executed
Here's some articles.
Europeans outraged at Schwarzenegger
Poll: Did Arnold do the Right Thing?
Why Arnold Killed Tookie
Williams' Attorney John Harris challenged the governor to meet with Tookie, saying to the San Francisco Chronicle, "It's impossible to me to believe that if you had met Stanley Williams and spent time with him, that you would not believe in his personal redemption." But that would require a courage the Governor has never demonstrated.
Unlike the movie tough guy always ready to look his victims in the eye -- a quip at the ready -- before shooting, stabbing, or beheading them, Arnold made his decision at safe remove, hanging out this weekend at his son's soccer game, his face a waxy mask of carefree detachment, while Tookie's supporters organized, marched, chanted and prayed themselves hoarse.
Bay Area Indy Media Coverage
Rally At San Quentin
Eyewitness Account of the Execution
Tookie's Long Goodbye
Google Image Search for "Tookie Williams" there's a lot of Jamie Foxx pictures but some of the real Tookie.
Monday, December 12, 2005
I still haven't worked out, but will try tonight after work.
The boy got popped on Friday for possession so I'm sure that's not helping me feel better. He has school problems, luckily it wasn't city police. We'll have to go to a hearing in January.
I'm planning to spend about 15 minutes with each kid on their music stuff as often as I can - as close to daily as I can get. I'm hoping that they'll get as good as I am now by the time they leave the house. It feels like what I can best provide for them. I was in a meeting with my daughter for school on Friday also, and she stated that she'd like to be a musician or photographer. I asked her later if she says that because I'm there. She said, "no, it's because that's all I can picture myself doing." Wish I could afford private lessons for them, but I'll have to just kick it up another level. Wish me luck!
Friday, December 09, 2005
Still with a cold and the garage is insanely cold. Will start lifting again on Monday. Probably after work though, and I'll just have to fight for the time.
I was feeling very down this morning about lots of stuff. Mainly that I may not do the stay at home dad thing because the cost of maintaining my family keeps going up. Quinceañeras, car insurance, contacts, etc.
I'm struggling to remember that I'm in control of how I deal with things. I'm going to try and focus on the music as much as I can. I think that's my ticket, mental health and extra cash-wise. If I can work it and not ruin it like I did with organizing it will be great. I used to love organizing too, until I turned it into a job. But I think music is much deeper for me, its been a life-long thing. Ups and downs with it, but important to me my whole life.
Certainly not working out is also impacting my moods as well. But working out with a cold isn't the brightest thing to do.
My constantly revisited goals are, as of today,
Gain muscle and lose fat;
Play as much music as possible;
Decrease my debt;
Stay happy regardless of what I'm dealing with...
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Anyway, besides that. I read one of the most beautiful posts on Smacking. It is one of those things where bringing the pain of something to the surface is wonderful and healing. At least that's what I hope it will be.
Its been interesting in talking with youth about their stuff. Yesterday in talking with the young guys I'm working with and to hear them try to avoid the fact that watching a friend die, or be shot, or something like that as a big deal is sadly funny. What we do to young people is definately criminal. Its just too bad.
I keep thinking of Tookie Williams. A lot of it has to do with the fact that some of my family has also been in San Quentin. A few of them there while he's been there.
Anyway, have to run and do some things. I'll probably workout after work tomorrow. Its driving me nuts not to be working out.
Oh, guess check out The Tyranny of Free Trade.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Was feeling crappy yesterday and got some really nice emails. Made me feel better.
If its not freezing and I'm feeling good, I may workout tonight. Otherwise, I'll just wait until Friday and start back up again.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
While I do understand the notion of victim's rights - I have family murdered in violent crime - the notion of killing to prove killing is wrong sounds plain dumb. Tookie is scheduled to die in a week. I'm posting some info so you can decide whether or not write to the Governator on behalf of Tookie.
Tookie helps with Gang Truce
Democracy Now! Interview with Tookie
Monday, December 05, 2005
Anyway, here's the article and a link. And this morning's comments far below.
Professor Loses Weight With No-Diet Diet
When Steven Hawks is tempted by ice cream bars, M&Ms and toffee-covered almonds at the grocery store, he doesn't pass them by. He fills up his shopping cart.
It's the no-diet diet, an approach the Brigham Young University health science professor used to lose 50 pounds and to keep it off for more than five years.
Hawks calls his plan "intuitive eating" and thinks the rest of the country would be better off if people stopped counting calories, started paying attention to hunger pangs and ate whatever they wanted.
As part of intuitive eating, Hawks surrounds himself with unhealthy foods he especially craves. He says having an overabundance of what's taboo helps him lose his desire to gorge.
There is a catch to this no-diet diet, however: Intuitive eaters only eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full.
That means not eating a box of chocolates when you're feeling blue or digging into a big plate of nachos just because everyone else at the table is.
The trade-off is the opportunity to eat whatever your heart desires when you are actually hungry.
"One of the advantages of intuitive eating is you're always eating things that are most appealing to you, not out of emotional reasons, not because it's there and tastes good," he said. "Whenever you feel the physical urge to eat something, accept it and eat it. The cravings tend to subside. I don't have anywhere near the cravings I would as a 'restrained eater.'"
Hawks should know. In 1989, the Utah native had a job at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and wanted to return to his home state. But at 210 pounds, he didn't think a fat person could get a job teaching students how to be healthy, so his calorie-counting began.
He lost weight and got the job at Utah State University. But the pounds soon came back.
For several years his weight fluctuated, until he eventually gave up on being a restrained eater and the weight stayed on.
"You definitely lose weight on a diet, but resisting biological pressures is ultimately doomed," Hawks said.
Several years later and still overweight at a new job at BYU, Hawks decided it was time for a lifestyle change.
He stopped feeling guilty about eating salt-and-vinegar potato chips. He also stopped eating when he wasn't hungry.
Slowly and steadily his weight began to drop. Exercise helped.
His friends and co-workers soon took notice of the slimmer Hawks.
"It astonished me, actually," said his friend, Steven Peck. "We were both very heavy. It was hard not to be struck."
After watching Hawks lose and keep the weight off for a year and a half, Peck tried intuitive eating in January.
"I was pretty skeptical of the idea you could eat anything you wanted until you didn't feel like it. It struck me as odd," said Peck, who is an assistant professor at BYU.
But 11 months later, Peck sometimes eats mint chocolate chip ice cream for dinner, is 35 pounds lighter and a believer in intuitive eating.
"There are times when I overeat. I did at Thanksgiving," Peck said. "That's one thing about Steve's ideas, they're sort of forgiving. On other diets if you slip up, you feel you've blown it and it takes a couple weeks get back into it. ... This sort of has this built-in forgiveness factor."
The one thing all diets have in common is that they restrict food, said Michael Goran, an obesity expert at the University of Southern California. Ultimately, that's why they usually fail, he said.
"At some point you want what you can't have," Goran said. Still, he said intuitive eating makes sense as a concept "if you know what you're doing."
Intuitive eating alone won't give anyone six-pack abs, Hawks said, but it will lead to a healthier lifestyle. He still eats junk food and keeps a jar of honey in his office, but only indulges occasionally.
"My diet is actually quite healthy. ... I'm as likely to eat broccoli as eat a steak," he said. "It's a misconception that all of a sudden a diet is going to become all junk food and high fat," he said.
In a small study published in the American Journal of Health Education, Hawks and a team of researchers examined a group of BYU students and found those who were intuitive eaters typically weighed less and had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than other students.
He said the study indicates intuitive eating is a viable approach to long-term weight management and he plans to do a larger study across different cultures. Ultimately, he'd like intuitive eating to catch on as a way for people to normalize their relationship with food and fight eating disorders.
"Most of what the government is telling us is, we need to count calories, restrict fat grams, etc. I feel like that's a harmful message," he said. "I think encouraging dietary restraint creates more problems. I hope intuitive eating will be adopted at a national level."
ON THE NET
National Institute for Intuitive Eating http://www.intuitiveeating.com
It was bad enough that I was getting on a train to LA for a 10-4 meeting. I got on in Albuquerque at 4:45. We hit a truck at about 5ish. Luckily no one was in it. But it still held us up about 2-3 hours. So I figured I'd miss part of the meeting as it was in Tecate, Baja California. We get to Fullerton, last stop before Union Station at 1:45pm! Then, the crew has done their 12 hours and we have to wait another 30 minutes for the replacement crew! Needless to say I get there and don't see anyone. I call home and check in. Then I take a walk around downtown figuring if anyone is gonna come hang out with me it will take them a while to show up.
What turned out really nice was that they had called found out I was delayed and moved the meeting to San Fernando. When I couldn't make that they broke early and came to a restaurant close to the station. They were looking for me after my wife called to try and reach them. She didn't get an answer so I had assumed they were in Tecate.
So we had a nice dinner, met for a couple of hours. Then I got back on the train which was already delayed and got home a half hour late. So about 40 hours on the train in a weekend. YUCK!!! And I had, and continue to have, a cold.
Needless to say, I feel like crap and didn't workout. There's pain in my upper back that's not right, so resting is probably better anyway. I'll just play it by ear and let you know when I'm working out again.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
12/01/05 Rosa Parks Day
Did my workout last night. A good workout too! But I had to cut it into two parts. Don't know if the afterwork thing will work all of the time. A big part of that was the kids needing to go places at specific times, getting off of work late and my wife having strep throat.
Anyway after the chest part of the workout and dropping the kids off I went to talk with this woman. She was sitting at her computer and looked up and she said "wow" look at that chest! She said something like "I look up and there's these things in my face." Since she's well endowed with a chest, it was very flattering. Never thought I'd have the experience of having someone stare at my chest while I try to talk to them. Sure it would be irritating on a life-long basis, but for the short term it was very cool. Made my evening. And made the second half of my workout very good as I gave it a little extra. My triceps were wasted from the chest workout, even with the rest in between.
* * *
Things are OK overall. Everyone has a cold or strep throat or something. We finally got confirmed for playing at the Sandia Casino Resort on the 16th in the afternoon to close a youth conference. More on that as I get info.
As for how I'm feeling today, see above!