Friday, September 30, 2005

9/30/05 Que Aguite!

OK, figured out the bank problem, we were overdrawn!!! Between not calculating the increase in gas and the fact that my wife and I were BOTH paying bills we went over. Communication should improve after this weekend. More on that below. Luckily we have overdraft protection. As far as I know this is the first time we've used it.

Walked for about 30 minutes with my wife and daughter last night. That was nice. My wife tries to give me advice when I'm venting which isn't helpful, but its clear its because she cares and knows I care. My daughter is pushing her limits a little with how she talks to me. I'll have a conversation about that with her this weekend sometime.

I did squats this morning and that's it. Just didn't have the energy. And I know we are playing like 4-5 hours today! So my day started at 5am and I'll get home tonight around 11pm.

* * *
So today is one of those days as a musician you kinda dream of. I'm sure that I'll make more playing music today than I would working. Enough of those days and you start to hope that you can give up the day job! But its only one day. And given rehearsals with two bands and the day job, I'm also kinda glad its not every weekend. Weird huh?

I'm realizing that I've improved tons on the bass. I don't know if I've improved more on the bass than on the accordion, but maybe. Still think that what I do on the bass is simpler thus easier to do well, but its great to feel confident on that instrument. I hope it doesn't rain too much today, moisture is bad for the accordion.

Got rehearsal with the kids tomorrow, so who knows if I'll get to run. I'll at least do some walking. Also have a gig tomorrow night. Sounds like a fun one and a good paying one. Then I'm playing with the other band at a rodeo on Sunday. Feel like I'm leaving one group hanging for the other. Then the drummer from one group emails, "go with the other guys, they'll be your bread and butter now that we're disbanding." I finally felt OK with that, but then got the frown when I brought it up in person. Oh well.

I'm going out of town next weekend, maybe I'll feel a little more rested after that. Had a really nice post by Becky (MyLast20Pounds blogger) about taking care of myself. Don't know if I'll get such nice responses from other activists that are seeing my taking care of myself as "bailing out." Ay Carai!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Dinner Time

From the Take Back Your Time book (link on the left column):

"The University of Michigan study mentioned earlier found that time eating as a family was a far stronger factor in young children's academic success and psychological well-being than time spent in school, doing homework, and participating in sports, arts, and religious activities."

Maybe that's why I did alright in school. 'Cause I sure missed a lot of school, didn't participate in sports much, didn't do much homework, or religious activities. My wife always tries to get us to eat together. I'll have to work harder to support that, but it's usually me leaving for rehearsals or gigs!


Panic Attacks y Mas

OK, so its been more than once so I am gonna pay attention to it. But I've had a few of what I would call "panic attacks." I'm going off of descriptions that others have given me - tight chest, anxiousness, feeling helpless, frustrated, etc.

Some of it comes from being an activist and backing off of that type of lifestyle (meetings, demonstrations, etc.) to one that's more centered around me. But having tons of gigs lately isn't helping - even though I play music for my own sake. It all adds up. The sense of needing to be "productive" and also the sense of needing to rest.

This is the downside of activism that is hard for people and hard ON people. Families break up, people become diabetics, workaholics, alcoholics, etc. Because many people can't manage it. Others become bitter and leave.

I'm trying not to become bitter, but I definately need to let go of some stuff. Just can't be a full-time worker, parent/spouse, and part-time musician while doing activism.

Its worse because my job is very similar to my activism. There ends up not being any real downtime. When I try to take downtime I end up feeling like I'm ripping off someone's time. Either my job's or my work's or my family's, etc.

Then of course people give me all kinds of lectures. THAT helps! LOL!!!*

Bueno enough of that for now. Tonight is really a night off! I'm gonna run with that and chill.

Amor y Rebeldia!

9/29/05 Bench Day

Got a good light weight bench workout. 115lbs for 5 sets of 5. Then some other supportive exercises.

Off schedule a little. Will do legs tomorrow! But also lighter weight. Then next week I'll change it up a little bit. Looks like I gained a pound or two!

* * *
Band stuff is hectic. Playing tons this weekend. Its good for money, but bad for resting and recuperating. But, that's my chosen side-profession. Would do it full-time if I could make enough money.

My homie M did put in a word with a guy who put in a word with another guy. So the other day I got contact with two other groups for stand in work. I'll have to sharpen up on a wider variety of songs, but one of them pays $50 and hour. Definitely more than what I make now.

Still reading the Take Back Your Time book. Will probably start posting quotes - unless they depress me!

Kids came home with pretty good grades. They also finally took the salsa stuff I wrote out for them. I'll ask them to play that for me in a couple of weeks. We want to do Santana's "Corazon Espinado" - actually my son is gonna sing that for his voice class and I figured we could take advantage and start on some basic salsa stuff for variety.

Bueno pues, that's all for now, except that the Mayor's campaign sucks. Hopefully the Living Wage measure will pass. That would be nice.

Keep Lifting!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I'm reading a book called TAKE BACK YOUR TIME and it defines something that seems to be happening to me.

"overemployment refers to a situation where workers are willing but unable at their current jobs to reduce the amount of time they devote to earning an income. Many people go through a spell at some point when they would prefer shorter work hours...

Thus, overemployment involves involuntary hours of work, even if no overtime per se is involved and even when symptoms of overwork are not yet present. Suffice it to say that the main cause of overemployment is the inherently inflexible nature of most jobs, workplaces, corporate cultures, and work-scheduling structures. But overemployment not only reduces the well-being of workers, but also of others whose employment and income-earning prospects are thereby diminished."

9/28/05 Cardio & Gas Prices

Did some cardio this morning. What I'm doing now is the cardio video, and when it gets too slow, or funny (some of those steps they put women through!) I run in place, or do jumping jacks to get more mileage out of it. I'm just gonna have to break down and go sprinting more often! Saturday's should be fairly easy, but during the week will take me more effort. Anyway, got some good sweat going that way.

Came in at 169.6 today. Not bad, keeping a general trend. Let's see if I can get to 168 by the end of the month.

* * *
Wrote out some Salsa stuff for the piano for the kids. They are in a basic keyboarding class. But of course they left it on the couch. I'll have to get on them.

OK, gut feeling to check the balance at the bank this morning. $0!!! We have overdraft protection and such, but wow. I had been thinking that I probably didn't take into account the $30 half tanks of gas for the mini-van, and I don't know what my wife is spending on the car.

So I go to open the email and see this article, Gas Prices Blamed for Late Credit Payments. Now I've always thought that when credit started falling apart the rest of the economy would go with it. I never thought that gas prices would be the linch pin. But it makes sense. Our economy is based on ever expanding consumerism - thus the credit cards. But that consumerism is made available by constant trading-up and cheap fuel. You can't live in the suburbs, or commute very far without cheap gas. Now that's dissapearing, and prices of things that are transported by gas should go up. And the fact that it appears to have happened suddenly will probably make the outcomes a little more chaotic.

Who knows.

Keep Lifting!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

9/27/05 Recuperation

Did my Monday workout today. Kept it light. Worked up a good sweat. Went walking for about a half hour last night with my wife. That was nice.

Will workout Thursday and Friday this week. Keeping it lighter with higher repetitions. I'll be out of town next weekend from Thursday until Monday night so will probably either take the following week off of weights or do two light full body workouts on Wednesday and Friday. Tuesday will likely be hard to get up after the plane trip.

Feeling pretty good. Can tell I was working heavy. I can still feel some of my last week workouts. Even though I can tell I was pushing it, I'm hoping to keep up the cycle of about 3 hard weeks and one lighter week in each 4 week cycle till the end of the year.


Monday, September 26, 2005

The Startling Diary of a substitute teacher

Thought this was an interesting article. It was recommended by Michelle.

It's from the Crosswinds Weekly

9/26/05 Ugh!

Woke up tired and with a sore knee. I just skipped this morning. I'll play this week by ear.

Came in at 171.2, or 169.4 without shoes! I guess my shoes are heavier than I thought.

* * *
Busy but fun weekend. Mauricio - I hope you had a great birthday! Today is my supervisor's bday also.

Had rehearsal with the kids on Friday, and then we performed on Saturday. Went to my brother's birthday part on Friday - didn't get home till after 3am. Maybe that's why I'm burned out.

The Saturday gig wasn't very highly attended, but it came off nice. There was awesome music with Mezcla Experience, 3/4 Brown and The Rudy Boy Experiment! Much fun. Hopefully there will be more shows in the future.

Found out from the kids something I was fairly certain of, but good to hear from them. When they hear awesome musicians they get inspired to practice more. It works that way for me too!

Played Sunday morning also. A long drive for a short gig. But hopefully I'll appreciate the pay. Got to play bass, that was kinda fun. Its an easier instrument in that you can get away with doing less, so in a sense I'm more proficient on that than on the accordion and guitar. But I'm still working toward being a very good accordionist.

I'm hoping that my continuing to be in the band with the kids will keep them on track and also give them something to do besides being "bored" and getting into trouble. My house definately needs a full-time manager at this time but I'm gonna bite the bullet for another year and try to pay off bills. Expenses wise I'm giving up alcohol (not for the money but it should save me a few bucks), I'll give up purchasing CDs and music books. That will be a small chunk, but in actuality that's the largest expense besides food that I have myself.

Bueno, tomorrow hopefully more on exercise!


Friday, September 23, 2005

Light Squat Day

My knee is still a little hurting, and I don't know from what. So instead of going heavy I did a lighter workout. Felt good for awhile. Is a little tender again.

Overall, I think the key for me is to keep going slow and steady. Going for a pound every week or two will keep me on track. It seems like my body is changing slowly, sometimes FEELS hella slow, but people who don't see me everyday seem to think its going in the right direction. That's always good.

Cutting the beer out may also be good. Probably the sodas too now!!

I'm off today, and should be nice and rested tomorrow to go running in the morning! Marcie is sending me regular emails on her workouts at Curves, haven't heard from Sparky or Smacking.

* * *
Man, screwed up. Forgot to give one of the bands for a fundraiser tomorrow flyers!!!!

I'll try to make up today, but I think they're pissed at me. Don't blame 'em, I'm just stretched too thin.

Went to a meeting last night and got to vent about people leaving me hanging on stuff. It was good. My nephew went and pointed out that he understands what I mean now about meetings going in circles when there's not a clear agenda.

This organizing thing is really tough. Especially to do it as a volunteer thing. People WANT the world to change. Its just that their lives or their perception of their lives make it difficult to follow-through. There's a lot of pressure to live a "normal" life. I get that, its just frustrating to be the one people try to start stuff with, and then still be there when they bail out.

Also, double-booked for playing music on the 2nd of October. Hoping people will be cool about helpful with that process. One band is breaking up at the end of October so I want to play with them. But the other band has the bad luck of getting gigs everytime I'm out of town.

Maybe ONE band would be the best answer. Quien sabe...

Bueno Pues, as always, Keep Lifting!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2005


Did some cardio this morning. Knees a little tender for some reason. Haven't been purposely working it. So who knows.

Plate's full of stuff, but I'm taking tomorrow off of work!!!

* * *

Keep Lifting!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Mediterranean Menu

Eating Mediterranean-style meals could reduce the risk of dying from heart disease.
Studies show that when people with coronary heart disease shift their diet toward more Mediterranean cuisine, it can reduce mortality rates. To live a more Mediterranean lifestyle, boost the presence of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy on the menu while limiting red meat, sweets, and saturated fat.



Bench Press day! Nice workout. Came in at 170.2 today. Not bad.

No cardio yesterday and had to eat out twice on the run between meetings an emergency errand, then getting stuck because of a "SWAT Situation."

Here's what I did last week, just for those who want samples. So it goes like this, name of exercise; weight; reps for each set.
Monday - Deadlift Day
Deadlift 110x10; 150x8; 170x5/5/5
Good Mornings 35x10/10/10
Pulldowns 60x12 65x9/7
Shrugs 35x10/10/10
Tricep Extension 20x8/6/6

Wedensday - Bench Press Day
Bench 115x12; 135x10; 155x5/5/5
Dumbbell Press 20x6/6/6/12
Rear Lateral Raise 12.5x10/10/9
Barbell Curls 60x5/4; 50x6
Cable Rows 70x10/10/10/

Friday - Squat Day
Squat 115x12; 155x10; 165x5/5/5
Leg Extension 52.5x12/12/12
Leg Curls 52.5x12/12/12
Calf Raises 60x15/15/15/27
Wrist Curls 5x25/25/30
Reverse Wrist Curls 5x25/25/30
The high numbers on the wrist curls is to get blood pumping to that part of my arms for rehabilitation purposes.

* * *
Everything else is OK. Some anxiety about getting to be a better musician and parent. Had what felt like a panic attack on Monday. Left me with a headache until Tuesday morning.

Good gig at the Fair, most who told me they'd be there didn't show, but still had a good audience.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Progress Pictures

Here's where I'll be posting the progress pictures. New Ones will be added periodically.

This progress is February, March, June, September 05.

Here's November 05.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Protein, Not Deprivation

A higher protein diet doesn't have to be carb free to help you lose weight.
Severely restricting carbohydrates is not the reason some people experience weight loss with a high-protein diet. It's the protein that sates their appetite and helps them lose weight. In a study, people who ate just a bit more protein each day, while eating less fat and an average amount of carbs, felt sated earlier, ate fewer calories, and still lost weight.


9/19/05 More Deadlifting!!!

My lower back is feeling the deadlifts of this morning! 175 freakin pounds.

The rest of my workout went well. My forearm was hurting after the close grip bench press, and trying the tricep pulldowns and curls felt wrong. So I skipped it for today. May try it tonight or just leave it until next week.

The rest of the workout went well. I'm thinking that instead of going to 180 next week. I'll do 3 sets of 6, then try 7 or 8 the following week before going to 180 lbs. Trying to solidify my increases before going too heavy. May do the same with benching and squatting. Depends on how my body feels.

Didn't do any extra cardio over the weekend. Did weigh in at 171.8 today though. Not bad.

* * *
Got to see Red Earth and Old Man Shattered at the NM State Fair. Good performances!

My daughter danced at the Villa Hispana on Saturday, turned out OK, a bunch of the other girls no showed.

We had a good rehearsal with Mezcla Experience. Learned Low Rider in about 10 minutes and will use it as an opening tune and worked out a way to make it an outtro at the end of our set. We're doing it with the accordion instead of the keyboard. NICE. Maybe that will be our "signature" sound - funk and bluesy stuff as well as Chicano music on the accordion.

After the gig on Saturday. Mezcla Experience will be working on vocals, and tightening up songs, and some new tunes as much as possible. We may play again at Cristy Records sometime before the New Year.

Play tonight at the Fair with the Wild Bunch. Had to work on my accordion last night. My repair guy is in Mexico and I'm having a hard time getting a new reed. Should be easy. I'll get this figured out.

Anyway, things are good overall.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Mental Development

An interesting article on the Periodization of Mental Training.

Maybe I'll figure out using this. This may be why many organizers, parents, workers, etc. feel "burned out." Too constant a flow of mental energy without enough recouperation time.


Mexican Independence Day 05

Now, I'm not very much into States, but I think the effort that went into pushing Spain out as rulers was a good one. Now, there's still the issue of Spanish descendants still being in charge of an overwhelmingly indigenous Mexico - but that's another story. (By the way, the CIA factbook on Mexico defines it as 80% indigenous - different than what the "mestizaje" mentality allows.)

I took new pictures today using a borrowed camera. Not bad. Also weighed in at 172.8 today! 170.8 without shoes. Maybe I am at 169.somethin' already. This is good for keeping me on my CHALLENGE. Marcie has been reporting via email, but haven't heard from Smacking nor Sparky lately. Hope they are keeping up. ARE YOU?

Did my squat workout today. Squats I got three sets of 5 at 165 lbs. After a set of 12 at 115, and a set of 10 at 155. I have a cold so I didn't try to go past 5 with the top weight. I have to do a training from 8-2 tomorrow and I need to be in some semblance of health.

Did leg extensions and curls. Then calf raises and wrist curls/reverse wrist curls.

* * *
The band is going well. Have rehearsal with the kiddos today and Sunday. Gonna go get our monitors from the store today. That will help with sound.

Went to a Dia de Los Muertos meeting last night. It went well. I realized that I post here as an activist, but I don't post much on that activity. I'll do a little bit more of that in the future.

Gonna take the kids to an all ages show tonight for awhile and then let them go to the fair.


Thanks Renee and others for the inspiration to actually post these scary pictures!!!

The progression is Febuary, March, June, and September of 2005.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Women and Muscle

Women Looking to Build Lean Muscle
You're not likely to hear the average person on the street tell you that they want to gain some weight, however amongst the gym-going crowd this is a common expression.

Don't be misled though, the majority of these people aren't just talking about weight in general, they are talking about adding pounds of lean muscle tissue. And it's not just men who make this their goal either...

More and more women are realizing the importance of packing on lean muscle to their frame to help them offset the chances of osteoporosis later on in life , help them function more easily in their day to day activities, and help to create a nice tight appearance.


Did a 2 mile walking video this morning. Didn't want to, but did. I'm working Saturday morning, so I figured I better make sure I get in some workout time. My biceps and chest are a little sore. Came in at 173.4 today, on the scale that weights me higher than the other one!

Marcie has been checking in regularly by email. I haven't heard from the other challenge participants. But life gets hectic. Hopefully they are doing their workouts to their satisfaction.

* * *
Kids seem to be OK. Son told me about a fight he got into defending the new neighborhood park. The other kid was tearing stuff up, and my kid called him on it. The other kid was getting beat down so he pulled a knife. Glad my son didn't get stabbed and happy that he was protecting stuff in the neighborhood.

One of the bands is going through an interesting process. What was good was that we picked the sets as a group last night. It was much more interesting musically and made things feel more fun. Too bad we haven't been doing this all along.

Gonna get a break with this band for awhile. It's OK. I'm gonna focus on the kids and becoming a better musician.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Funny as hell!

9/14/05 Bench Day

Wooo Hooo!!! Benched 155 for 3 sets of 5 after two warm-up sets with 115 and 135. The rest of my workout went pretty well also. Worked up a good sweat and am making progress. Part of the progress is that I didn't start with trying to lift the max possible on my lifts to start with. I figure I'll add 2.5-10lbs a week on my lifts depending on how they felt the week before and what type of lift it is.

The best thing has been my mental preperation. I get myself psyched or pissed off, whichever is easier for the day. Then I use that to help me push the weight. I think I messed up my bench. I can't get it to incline/decline. I looked at the warranty and I'm responsible for the shipping to and from for repairs. I figure it will be just as cheap to get a used bench than to ship this big ass thing to Colorado. That and it wasn't a defect on their part. I was tired and I tightened when I shoulda loosened the lock device now it's stuck! Maybe I'll be able to loosen it someday.

Back to 174.0 today. Interesting. Cardio tomorrow!

How's YOUR workout going?

* * *
Got to practice and I apologized for my mistakes at our gig on Sunday. We all talked about making mistakes. The bass player was late - he called asking whether or not we were gonna rehearse! But when he came in he went off about everyone's mistakes, to the point of pointing out specifics. This was OK, he was right for the most part. He talked about needing to practice at home and to focus, etc...

But like usual it would help if he didn't do things like give me the wrong chords and then say, "you should know that's not right." He also said I cut off the singer on a song, but then before we worked on the song, I said, "I come in when she sings 'sufrir' right?" And of course he says "right." Which is when I came in at the last gig. Anyways. When we were leaving I said, "Let's all go home and pretend we don't have jobs and practice all day long."

It's hard when you accept that someone is telling you something that is correct. And it probably hit the nerve where I already feel bad for not being able to practice everyday. I've been joking that I rehearse so much I don't have time for practicing. But at the same time, its hard to deal with it when you know this guy is being supported by his wife who is working 2 jobs and he's talking about all of the famous people he's played for. Lots to continue to work on. But for better or worse, we were REALLY tight last night. Hope we pull that off for the gig!

On another note, I decided that I need to transcribe. One to help me with reading notes, but also to sharpen up what I play. M gives me a subtle hint about nailing chords. I've always been able to get away with playing within the key. But I'd like to kick it up a notch. A.L. was right last night when he said, "once you get paid you're a professional." I'd like to really get it and pass that on to my kids.




Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Cardio Day. Did about 20 minutes. After warming up with a Minna Lessig video I realized that I wasn't gonna work up a sweat with that workout. So I started alternating between jogging in place and running in place. 2 minutes jogging and 1 minute running. Seemed to get me working out harder. I think I'm gonna have to clear more space in the garage and get a bike, and also just go run at the school more often.

It's nice that I'm not as worried about hurting my knee. It feels much stronger now. My back is still feeling the deadlift workout.

At least I'm back to 173.8 today. Kinda weird little spike.

* * *
Still trying to figure out how to support my kids better. Noticed that we have a closeness that some families don't on some level, but on another level everyone is off on their own. Don't know if that's "normal" but I'm extra observant these days.

My daughter and I both practiced acordeon last night, maybe seeing that young vato, Josh Baca, at the fair was a good boost for both of us. My son acts tired all the time, which worries me. His motivation seems low. But mine has been low for at least a year if not two (since my Jefita died).

Hard to tell. I did work on writing some stuff out on the computer. My kids (nephew included) are in a keyboard class at school so I gave my daughter some music that's written out. Maybe that will help some.

Who knows.....

Keep Lifting!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2005

9/12/05 Deadlift Day

Man, deadlifts are killer. I'm not talking about the moderate weight stiff leg deadlifts they tell you to do in bodybuilding magazines. I'm talking about HEAVY weight full on deadlifts. I'm probably still lifting "light" - just under my bodyweight, but since I'm just starting out its heavy. Like I said in a previous post every weak muscle in my body feels it. My lower back, my upper left shoulder (where I had a cyst removed a few years ago), and my hands. Holding 170 pounds gets tough after awhile.

Couldn't get my curls together. Ended up doing one set of 3 with a weight I normally do 3 sets of 8 with. I think I just need to remember to drink water. My workout is about an hour now. But that includes rest time and time to set up for different lifts. Developed a good sweat.

I did run on Saturday after all. Walked the straights and jogged the curves for two laps, then did the same except for ran at about 80% for the next two laps. After my leg workout on Friday I was feeling them muscles.

Weighed in at 176.8 today! Don't know what the hell that is. Hoping its muscle but that would be some SERIOUS muscle development. I think its just spending the weekend at the fair, watching performances, performing, and eating fair food!

* * *
Kids seem to be doing OK. We watched a group called Los TexManiacs who followed Jimmy Baca. There was a jam with them and Jimmy's 14 year old son Josh. Man, talk about chingon! My daughter who is 14 and plays accordion said she almost cried. We'll both be working on getting our stuff together.

Watched a group called DV8 at the fair as well they were cool. Nice funk groove music. But before them was a group called Drum Up - it was like meditation. Awesome mix of african drumming and hip-hop.


Friday, September 09, 2005


Squat Day! Freakin' A.... Did 165 lbs. I'm trying to keep track of my form, but its hard, its something that someone watching has to do. But I'm trying to stay aware that I keep my knees from going in front of my toes.

Also did leg extensions and curls as supersets at 50 lbs. Then finished with 3 sets of calf raises with 50 lbs. 2 sets of 15 and one set of 30. I'm experimenting now. I've read all kinds of things where people try and give you an answer, "the way." I'm giving up on that. I'm going with variety. It keeps things interesting, fun, and is a good way to challenge yourself. For the short term I'm sticking with deadlift, bench and squat as a foundation, but will be changing up my assistance exercises (exercises that work the muscles indirectly used in the mentioned lifts).

Actually felt good about starting my workout today. Hopefully I'll start getting to bed earlier. It's hard to get up at 5:30, I often end up crawling out around 6. My wife and I have showered together for the whole 15 years we've been married. But since this summer that's become irregular due to workouts and such.

Plan on going to do some jogging and sprinting tomorrow.

* * *
Talked with the kids. As moral support I'm quitting drinking.

They are performing at the State Fair today. I perform on Sunday at 2pm in the Spanish Villiage.


Thursday, September 08, 2005

Go F yourself Dick - and other fun stuff

Go F Yourself says resident to Dick Cheney.

Criminal Background Checks even for Katrina survivors.

From Alternet
Before the supplies were pitched off the bridge today, people had to break into buildings in the area to try to find food and water for their families. There was not enough. This spurred many families to break into cars to try to escape the city. There was no police response to the auto thefts until the mob reached the rich area -- Saulet Condos -- once they tried to get cars from there... well then the whole SWAT teams began showing up with rifles pointed. Snipers got on the roof and told people to get back.

What a crappy situation. At least we know if all hell breaks loose what side the "protection" forces are on...

Wow, wonder what the MinuteMensos think about this!

Mexico Army Brings Aid to Katrina Victims - Yahoo! News

Imagine, Mexican soldiers helping out US citizens!


Did a Tae Bo workout this morning about 35 minutes. I'm not getting a sweat out of these. I think its time to go running! Maybe I'm just being impatient. I did come in at 172.8 today, small improvement but still improvement.

A little sore from my workout yesterday. That's good. I can still move my arms, but I can definitely feel it.

So far there's Sparky doing weights and cardio, Marcie doing Curves, Smacking will be checking in via email also, and Rosemarie checking in and considering before and after pictures. I think those are another valid way to measure progress. The best way is always - "do I feel better?"

* * *
Kids told me about a bad habit they developed around 7th grade. I'm bumbed out about it on one level, but at least I didn't find out from someone else. Lots of mixed feelings. Makes me wish I would have stayed home from working sooner, and for a minute made me think it wasn't worth doing it now. But after some more thought, it may be more worth it.

Amor y Rebeldia!

A Survival Story

How We Survived the Flood

September 7, 2005

This is a transcription of an interview Charmaine Neville, of New
Orleans's legendary Neville family, gave to local media outlets on
September 5.

I was in my house when everything first started. When the hurricane
came, it blew all the left side of my house off, and the water was coming in my
house in torrents.

I had my neighbor, an elderly man, and myself, in the house with our
dogs and cats, and we were trying to stay out of the water. But the water
was coming in too fast. So we ended up having to leave the house.

We left the house and we went up on the roof of a school. I took a
crowbar and I burst the door on the roof of the school to help people on the

Later on we found a flatboat, and we went around the neighborhood in a
flatboat getting people out of their houses and bringing them to the

We found all the food that we could and we cooked and we fed people.
But then, things started getting really bad.

By the second day, the people that were there, that we were feeding and
everything, we had no more food and no water. We had nothing, and other
people were coming in our neighborhood. We were watching the helicopters going across the bridge and airlift other people out, but they would hover over us and tell us "Hi!" and that would be all. They wouldn't drop us any food or any water, or nothing.

Alligators were eating people. They had all kinds of stuff in the water. They had babies floating in the water.

We had to walk over hundreds of bodies of dead people. People that we tried to save from the hospices, from the hospitals and from the old-folks homes. I tried to get the police to help us, but I realized they were in the same straits we were. We rescued a lot of police officers in the flat boat from the 5th district police station. The guy who was in the boat, he rescued a lot of them and brought them to different places so they could be saved.

We understood that the police couldn't help us, but we couldn't understand why the National Guard and them couldn't help us, because we kept seeing them but they never would stop and help us.

Finally it got to be too much, I just took all of the people that I could. I had two old women in wheelchairs with no legs, that I rowed them from down there in that nightmare to the French Quarters, and I went back and got more people.

There were groups of us, there were about 24 of us, and we kept going back and forth and rescuing whoever we could get and bringing them to the French Quarter because we heard that there were phones in the French Quarter, and that there wasn't any water. And they were right, there were phones, but we couldn't get through to anyone.

I found some police officers. I told them that a lot of us women had been raped down there by guys, not from the neighborhood where we were, they were helping us to save people. But other men, and they came and they started raping women and they started killing, and I don't know who these people were. I'm not gonna tell you I know, because I don't.

But what I want people to understand is that, if we hadn't been left down there like the animals that they were treating us like, all of those things wouldn't have happened. People are trying to say that we stayed in that city because we wanted to be rioting and we wanted to do this and, we didn't have resources to get out, we had no way to leave.

When they gave the evacuation order, if we could've left, we would have left.

There are still thousands and thousands of people trapped in their homes in the downtown area. When we finally did get into the 9th ward, and not just in my neighborhood, but in other neighborhoods in the 9th ward, there were a lot of people still trapped down there... old people, young people, babies, pregnant women. I mean, nobody's helping them.

And I want people to realize that we did not stay in the city so we could steal and loot and commit crimes. A lot of those young men lost their minds because the helicopters would fly over us and they wouldn't stop. We would make SOS on the flashlights, we'd do everything, and it really did come to a point, where these young men were so frustrated that they did startshooting. They weren't trying to hit the helicopters, they figured maybe they weren't seeing. Maybe if they hear this gunfire they will stop then. But that didn't help us. Nothing like that helped us.

Finally, I got to Canal St. with all of my people I had saved from back there.

I don't want them arresting nobody else. I broke the window in an RTA bus. I never learned how to drive a bus in my life. I got in that bus. I loaded all of those people in wheelchairs and in everything else into that bus, and we drove and we drove and we drove and millions of people was trying to get me to help them to get on the bus, too.

Charmaine Neville is a member of the third generation of New Orleans's legendary Neville musical family. She fronts the Charmaine Neville Band.

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Good thing she wasn't arrested for "looting" the bus!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Got home at around midnight from a photoshoot. So 5-6 hours of sleep made it tough to get into the garage, but I did it. If I was this disciplined at work I'd be a pretty chingon employee. =)

Did an abbreviated workout. Chest and Arms only today. Felt that was better than avoiding working out all together. Will try to go to be early tonight.

Sparky has taken the challenge. For the workouts the measurement is "Are You Working Out Consistently?" Plain and simple, hopefully the blog will be a support for that goal.

If you're tracking weight, measurements, clothes size or bodyfat you can check in on those every week or so. Today on our scale I was 173.6 lbs.

I had my bodyfat measured at the University of New Mexico's Exercise Physiology Laboratory. If you are not in Albuquerque, I would try calling the colleges, universities and gyms nearby. I asked my doctor, but its not something they do.

Right now with all that goes through my mind on a regular basis, I'm going with the "any exercise is better than no exercise" approach. It's what's gonna work for me right now. Maybe later I'll be on a more regulated program. But who knows. I have a friend who talks about some people in our society have PTSD - "Perpetual Traumatic Stress Disorder." Luckily she can make that sound funny! She's going to curves and is gonna check in with me via regular email.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

BodyFat & Long-Term Challenge!

Dang it! computer crashed while I was writing about body fat.

OK, had the fat checked, it's doing great by the way, thanks for asking.

Percentage is 23.6! According to my report the "typical" is 12-19% for a guy my age, 38.

For checking in purposes I'm at 173.0 lbs after eating! The closest scale at work would have me at about 173.6 before lunch. I'm feeling good about that.

My lean body weight is 132.2 lbs.

Being that one of my goals is to have a "Six-Pack" by the time I'm 40 it is obvious that my goal needs to be to get my bodyfat to around 10% - hopefully not less. The guy who tested me said about 1% per month is a good goal. If I drop 1% every month between now and my 40th birthday then I'll get to about 10%!!!!

Since I'm lifting weights and I used the "skin-fold" method the only way I'll know for sure is if I can actually start to notice my abs sometime after new years day. My weight isn't gonna be a good measure, but I'll still track it for guessing purposes.

An estimated goal will be to get to around 137 lbs of lean body weight (given that someone can gain 5 lbs of muscle in a year - I don't know if being as short as I am will make that less). And that would mean that my total weight would be around 154 lbs.

At a pound a week that would give me 20 weeks to get close to that goal. Faster than that and I would likely be losing muscle as well. Given that I blow off cardio so much maybe its time to quit making excuses!!! (Oh, I ended up walking about an hour and a half today. =) Don't ask!)

Actually 1.73 pounds loss is what the guy told me would be a good goal (that's 1% if its all bodyfat). Two pounds a month is what I can get with an OK diet and little cardio.

I'll commit to do 3 days of cardio a week on top of the 3 days lifting and see what that does. A pound a week would be nice, but 2 pounds a month is acceptable.

I failed at the ReneeGetsFit challenge because I gained everything back. I was doing better two weeks ago. But this will be different. Instead of saying a poundage let's go by workout and for those who can get a bodyfat measurement, that also.

The challenge is two parts:

Part a) to do cardio 3 times a week for those who only do cardio OR lift 3 times a week AND do cardio 3 times for those who lift. Then report any weight, inches or clothe sizes lost as a measure of your progress and try to guess where you'll be in mid-January and follow-through.

Part b) to lose 5% bodyfat by January 20th. Since the university that does my test is closed from x-mas till after MLK day that's my challenge date. This will also give anyone who "fell off the wagon" a chance to get back on by then.

This challenge is not only slower, it means that even though the changes are small, you'll have to stay on track longer. The trick will be to have smaller goals like 1, 2, 4, or 5 lbs a month, or start with 3 lifting and 1 cardio day and build up to 3 and 3. It will be much more about building habits. IF YOU JOIN THE CHALLENGE PLEASE POST THAT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION underneath this post.

An article on the website called "How Do I Get Six-Pack Abs?" said that to see your abs you need a bodyfat of around 10% for guys and 15% for women. My long-term is 10%! By then I'll have another digital camera and will hopefully post a six pack for all to see.

9/6/05 Katrina thoughts

Reading the blog of ReneeGetsFit and I have to say that I can kind of relate to her despair and sadness around what's happening with New Orleans and the region.

Crappily ironically is a rap at the FEMA website - FEMA Rap

I know people were upset with Kanye West's comments, but I think he was expressing himself honestly and should be supported. Maybe it is true that Bush doesn't care. The LA Times disapproves of how Kanye was censored by NBC.

Meanwhile Barbara Bush says that these people are poor so the disaster relief is working well for them - since they were underprivileged anyway. I didn't know that GW said that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the

Unfortunately the death toll will be coming to light in the next couple of days as the water is drained from New Orleans.

A Freakin subsidiary Haliburton is benefiting from this tragedy!

And a cartoon.


Recuperating from the drive back from California. Weight is at 173.6!

Oh well, didn't lose much overall weight for the month.

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Hung out and bonded with the family over the weekend. My brothers have a hard time relating to everyone so I didn't see them.

Gotta return the car and get to a bus stop to get back to work. Write more tomorrow!

Friday, September 02, 2005

More On Katrina


Lt. Gen. Steven Blum of the National Guard said 7,000 National Guardsmen arriving in Louisiana on Friday would be dedicated to restoring order in New Orleans. He said half of them had just returned from assignments overseas and are "highly proficient in the use of lethal force." He pledged to "put down" the violence "in a quick and efficient manner."

I guess we see what military lethal force is a good response to national crises.

Then there's

From Margins of Society to Center of the Tragedy from the NY Times. Let me know if you can't get to it and I'll post it next week.

Here's another article
Why no mention of race or class in TV's Katrina coverage?

This is important because people are already trying to discount race and class as part of this tragedy.

9/2/05 Workout and Katrina

Was out of it this morning. So I just did the 5 sets of 5 squats. Gotta drive tonight and play this morning/afternoon! 173.2!!! Man, I'm gonna have to figure out what's going on. I think it's a combination of burning the candle at both ends, stress, and being rushed enough to eat fast food!!!!

Taking sweats and running shoes to California, maybe I'll be able to run a little bit to help me burn off the stress of the situation.

* * *
Was wondering how long before it became a big story. But I had noticed from day one that the coverage on Katrina was funny in a strange way. The stories I was hearing from some stations seemed to focus on white people. But the footage looked like lots of black people stuck. Also watching Mexican TV you get to see things that aren't always shown in US TV.

It also seemed, though I don't know for sure, that the highest points of New Orleans are the white part of town, and those most underwater were the darker parts of town. Again, since I've never been there I'm not sure, just what it looks like - either the truth or some evil "liberal bias."

Given the amount of wreckage you'd think Georgie boy would have put on his rescue suit and gone out at least for pictures. I guess the picture of him looking out of AF1 at 5,000ft was supposed to be good enough.

Keep Lifting!!!

Thursday, September 01, 2005


September 1st. My very first girlfriend's birthday. Her mom passed away last December. Her mom was a comadre to my parents.

I came in at 172.6 today. I guess 0.2 down a day is good progress. At least its consistent. It's the 1-3 pounds that come back on the weekends lately. This one should be the same. My knee is hurting a little, hope its better for tomorrow. Tomorrow is squat day! Today was Tae Bo. I think I'm gonna get the "advanced" cause I hardly work up a sweat.

Gonna start doing some sprinting. Here's what I'll do. I'll walk about 5-10 minutes to get warmed up. Then I'll sprint full speed, walk and catch my breath, then sprint again. Repeating the process from 2 to 5 times. Then walk for a cool down. This should be 20-30 minutes of workout time and is supposed to be a good way of building up aerobic endurance without doing hours of cardio. I may step up the cardio a little anyway as I'd like to get to 165 someday.

Listening to Alberto Zamora do "Ojos de Pancha" on the CD player....

Keep Lifting!!!

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