Showing posts with label #BestSongiHeardToday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #BestSongiHeardToday. Show all posts

Monday, October 11, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume VIII

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.


...little aches and pains
I got 'em always now, sunshine or rain
Oh, these little aches and pains
I don't count my losses now, just my gains
–from Little Aches and Pains, song by Paul Kelly

This week I play the wannabe influencer, again trying to promote exercise related products that have worked for me even without an endorsement deal, much less any business acumen. 

Really I'm just sharing several solutions where I've gone through the trial and error process of buying and using several similar items in a product category before finding a winner.

First up, after buying a couple larger 'Uzi' style cordless massage guns for my chronically tight calves and thighs, I found this lightweight gem (or gym) that also conveniently fits in my day pack or suitcase. It charges easily with a USB port. I use the ball attachment for deep tissue pressure and the smaller size fits so much better in the palm of my hand. What's the line from John Mellencamp, "hurts so good."


 

Next up is my ongoing search for the ultimate joint pain relief supplement. In the past, I have posted a product that I described as the "kitchen sink" of joint support containing the four main ingredients found in the joint ache market today: Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, and hyaluronic acid.  

My brother-in-law Roger turned me on to hyaluronic acid several years ago and I started to incorporate it combined with Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM almost like a multiple vitamin. About six months ago, I decided to just go with hyaluronic acid alone but take more of a maximum dose. For me, I think it's been more effective than the kitchen sink approach as I feel it has eliminated most joint aches and has minimized my knee pain. By no means is hyaluronic acid a miracle cure but I feel it does a good job in hydrating one's skin and joints. Here's an article that looks at 11 benefits of hyaluronic acid for the face and body  

Here's my current recommendation - 
NatureBell Hyaluronic Acid Supplements, 250mg Hyaluronic Acid with 25mg Vitamin C Per Serving, 200 Capsules, Supports Skin Hydration, Joints Lubrication, Antioxidant and Immune System, Non-GMO (Amazon). I take the recommended 2 capsules a day (500 mg).

If you're a walker, jogger, cyclist, baller or dancer you've probably experienced knee pain at some point. In the past couple of years, I have developed knee pain (w/no swelling) in my lower right knee below the patella. 

I then found this patella knee strap on Amazon and wear it for running and if I'm doing any work around the house that involves bending or working on my knees. 


This strap in conjunction with the hyaluronic acid (and icing) have significantly reduced my knee pain to more of an ache, again no miracles here but a big improvement to keep me moving forward and in the long run of life.

Best Songs I heard this past month while mostly on the move with my phone.
  1. Little Aches And Pains, Paul Kelly
  2. Don't Owe You A Thing, Gary Clark Jr.
  3. I Can't Let Go, Evie Sands
  4. Broken Spoke, Creedence Clearwater Revival
  5. Outtasite (Outta Mind), Wilco
  6. You Tickle Me, Jesse Winchester
  7. Just Because, John Lennon
  8. Hello Stranger, Emmylou Harris with Nicolette Larson
  9. Anna Lee (Sweetheart of the Sun), The Bangles
  10. Beautiful Way, Beck
  11. Just Can't Go To Sleep, The Kinks
  12. Sabra Girl, Nickel Creek
  13. About You, Teenage Fanclub
  14. Dreamboat Annie, Heart
  15. Hurts So Good, John Mellencamp
  16. Four Seasons In A Day, Crowded House
  17. No Milk Today, Herman's Hermits
  18. House of Pride, J.D. Souther
  19. So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad), The Everly Brothers
  20. Tug Of War, Paul McCartney
  21. Half A Human, Real Estate
  22. King Midas In Reverse, The Hollies
  23. I'll Remember, The Kinks
  24. Digging For Gold, Val McCallum
  25. Our Lady Of The Well, Jackson Browne with Val McCallum
  26. One World, Dire Straits
  27. Shades of Scarlett Conquering, Joni Mitchell
  28. B.S.U.R., James Taylor
  29. Dance, James Taylor
  30. Amazing Journey/Sparks (Live at Leeds), The Who

Monday, September 06, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume VII

Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.

Graphic by - Kyran BerlinGolden Gate Xpress


West Seattle Junction
Easy Street Records & Cafe
It had been on my mind for about a month to buy Keith Richards' autobiography, Life. So I dropped into a book store in San Diego and found a copy that I thought would be a fun read for my upcoming flight and vacation in Seattle. The book in fact had remained in my backpack until the sad news of Charlie Watts death on August 24th. With that event as my kickstart, I began reading it the next day and it's been hard to put down. I don't remember the flight back home as I was completely absorbed into it until touch down.

Here's a passage from Keith Richard's Life (2011).

Amazon Books
If it hadn’t been for Charlie, I would never have been able to expand and develop. Number one with Charlie is that he’s got great feel. He had it then, from the start. There’s tremendous personality and subtlety in his playing. If you look at the size of his kit, it’s ludicrous compared  to what most drummers use these days. They’ve got a fort with them. An incredible barrage of drums. Charlie, with just that one classico setup, can pull it all off. Nothing pretentious, and then you hear him and it don’t half go bang. He plays with humor too. I love to watch his foot through the Perspex. Even if I can’t hear him, I can play to him just by watching. The other thing is Charlie’s trick that he got, I think, from Jim Keltner or Al Jackson. On the hi-hat, most guys would play on all four beats, but on the two and the four, which is the backbeat, which is a very important thing in rock and roll, Charlie doesn’t play, he lifts up. He goes to play and pulls back. It gives the snare drum all of the sound, instead of having some interference behind it. It’ll give you a heart arrhythmia if you look at it. He does some extra motion that’s totally unnecessary. It pulls the time back because he has to make a little extra effort. And so part of the languid feel of Charlie’s drumming comes from this unnecessary motion every two beats. It’s very hard to do — to stop the beat going just for one beat and then come back in. And it also has something to do with the way Charlie’s limbs are constructed, where he feels the beat. Each drummer’s got a signature as to whether the hi-hat’s a little bit ahead of the snare. Charlie’s very far back with the snare and up with the hi-hat. And the way he stretches out the beat and what we do on top of that is a secret of the Stones sound. Charlie’s quintessentially a jazz drummer, which means the rest of the band is a jazz band in a way. He’s up there with the best, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones. He’s got the feel, the looseness of it, and he’s very economical. Charlie used to work weddings and bar mitzvahs, so he knows the schmaltz too. It comes from starting early, playing the clubs when he was really young. A little bit of showmanship, without himself being the showman. Bah-BAM. And I’ve got used to playing with a guy like this. Forty years on, Charlie and I are tighter than we could express or even probably know. I mean, we even get daring enough to try and screw each other up sometimes on the stage.
Richards, Keith. Life (pp. 121-122). Little, Brown and Company.

Charlie & Ringo
This got me thinking about the two greatest bands of all-time, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. As young bands, both had all the players except they lacked a really good professional drummer. I find it very interesting that both picked guys who were very similar in their simple straight ahead style of playing the drums. Ringo Starr and Charlie Watts were not showboats, but they were the anchors.

•••

As kismet would have it, I started program surfing in Netflix last week and stumbled upon, Count Me In. This is a 1 hour and 21 minute documentary on the history of some of rock's greatest drummers. Both Charlie and Ringo are featured and I recommend it. 

The best quote from Count Me In is from Joe Strummer of The Clash, "The rule of rock 'n' roll says, 'You're only as good as your drummer.'"

•••

Bill & Charlie (far right)
And kismet². Last Friday, I'm watching the second season of Modern Love on Amazon Prime. After I finish an episode, Amazon's AI suggests I watch the 2019 documentary on The Rolling Stone's original bass player Bill Wyman (from 1962-1993), The Quiet One. It was perfect timing watching this documentary for the second time as it filled in several key holes missing so far from Keith Richards' Life. I'm a little more than half way through Life as I write this, and it seems Bill Wyman has been mentioned like only three times so far! "Keef" does mention in his book, and also in The Quiet One how solid the rhythm section of the Stone's became once Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts started playing together. Up until that point, Richard's wanted Wyman only for his amp! What a complete group of characters, and as it turned out, the enduring band for the ages! 

The Stones' will be starting up their 13 date U.S. 2021 No Filter Tour beginning September 26th in St. Louis with drummer (and long-time collaborator with Keith Richards) Steve Jordan sitting in for Charlie. 

•••

All Down The Line • Lincoln Park



When in West Seattle, I try to get to Lincoln Park. I usually can get (con) the family to go for a walk or play on the playground equipment (they have two great kid friendly zip lines), while I take off for a run on the trail that leads down to the water, and then loops back up to the trail again.


As luck would have it, a couple of Stones' songs came on during the run and seemed appropriate to complete this mix of songs.


Stay well my friends, and mask-up at public indoor locations, again. The folks in Seattle know how to do that very well!

Artists featured this week.
  1. The Rolling Stones
  2. Neil Young
  3. Peter, Paul & Mary
  4. Tom Petty
  5. The Jayhawks
  6. Danny O' Keefe
  7. The Youngbloods
  8. The Byrds
  9. The Smother Brothers
  10. Jackson Browne
  11. Ray Wylie Hubbard & Ringo Starr
  12. Mollie Tuttle
  13. The Kinks
  14. J.D. Souther
  15. Ricky Nelson
  16. Stevie Wonder
  17. Traffic
  18. The Cactus Blossoms
  19. Seals and Crofts
  20. Rosanne Cash
  21. REM
  22. Bob Dylan
  23. Gillian Welch
  24. Timothy B. Schmit
  25. Pete Townsend, Ronnie Lane & Charlie Watts
  26. John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd with Brian Wilson
  27. Todd Rundgren
  28. John Prine

Monday, July 05, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume VI

Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.

Inevitably
, a Beatles song will come on during my run because I know I checked every demo, song and/or album in Amazon Music regarding 'The Beatles.' Let's say, Baby You're A Rich Man comes on. Do I skip a Beatles song just because it's probably going to be the #BestSongIHeardToday? I have to give some other artists a fighting chance to make my playlist. 

On the trail, I've had so many people tell me, "Love your hat!" 

I have started to think of my Beatles hat as sort of a 'friendly ambassador.'

People out for a walk with their dog or young children have that built-in ambassador of friendship right next to them as folks who wouldn't normally give them the time of day, will stop someone dead in their tracks to talk to their dog or toddler.

Now ever since my wife Mary Kit sewed on The Beatles logo to my running hat a couple of years ago, I've noticed a change in how people see me on the trail. Before, they may be thinking, "Whose this old fart coming my way?" Now I get more smiles and "Howdys" when I have my Beatles hat on. 

So my Beatles hat can put a smile on somebody's face, and it puts a smile on my face to think those four guys brought so much joy to people around the world, and in fact have made the world a better place.

I strive to be the good ambassador under the hat, even as an unleashed dog is lunging for my crotch, or mountain biker suddenly passes me from behind at break-neck speed on the four foot wide trail, going for his world record. Hey, we Beatles fans got to represent.

How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people
Tuned to a natural E
Happy to be that way
Now that you've found another key
What are you going to play

Baby you're a rich man
Baby you're a rich man
Baby you're a rich man, too

Monday, June 07, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume V

Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.

Painting by Gene Ritchhart

Losing weight is the hardest thing. During the pandemic I gained what a lot people call, "The COVID Fifteen." For me, it was actually twelve pounds of mostly home cooking and comfort carbs getting out of control. 

In February of this year, I started my patented Moderate-Keto Routine (notice I didn't call it the four-letter word, DIET). This process involves simply stepping up my game from my Regular Low Carb Routine. 

My Moderate-Keto Routine evolved from a couple earlier attempts in dieting using the Weight Watchers® counting calories/points method. I do give Weight Watchers credit for raising my awareness to the amount of carbohydrates I was putting into my body daily, and those carbs compared to proteins and fats. As we have all learned over the years with carb counting, carbohydrates turn to sugar, sugar turns to fat. It's one of the facts of life that doesn't get easier to face as I get older. 

I'm a real foodie live-to-eat kind of guy and can easily fall off the low carb wagon, it's just that now my ability to get back on that wagon seems to fit more of good routine than a dire diet situation. Ultimately, it's about living a low carb lifestyle so that when I fall, I can easily get back up rather than follow some diet marketing scheme.

  • Lesson Learned #1 - The faster I lost weight on a diet, the faster I gained it right back.

I come from a family that has the food gene. Most of us are built 4x4 stocky. From a DNA perspective, I didn't choose to be stocky, but I can choose NOT to be wider and stockier. 

Once I hit my late 30's, my metabolism began slowing way down while our food culture was packing more carbs into almost every packaged food. Around 2010, I started reading the nutritional labels on the back of packaged foods, and formulated a plan.

  • Lesson Learned #2 - Target and Eliminate specific high carb foods on a daily basis.
    Reward yourself with those same foods on an occasional basis. 
Eliminating specific foods on a daily basis is an individual decision. For me, the first thing I eliminated back in 2010 was my daily morning glass of orange juice. 

Now I'm not going to bore you with my current list of daily banned foods, but I will give you one example here that I added to my list in February of this year. If I had to pick one food category that is my caloric heroin, it would be bread. Within bread comes my favorite bread, toast and with toast comes the cherished butter and apricot jam. So now, my deadly toast habit is parked in a frozen loaf stored in my freezer, only to appear every now and then. No bread begets no butter and no jam. 

Oh, and another thing that shot my weight up this past year during the pandemic, I got into making frozen blended fruit smoothies with vodka or tequila. Yeah, "F*** You COVID-19!" 

Now with that being said, I needed to get back on the low carb wagon and lose some weight. Here is the most important lesson I've learned about losing weight.

  • Lesson Learned #3 - LOSE ONE POUND A WEEK. 
    (I use a digital scale and calendar to track my progress.)
If I lose one pound or more on my Sunday morning weigh-in, I just move one pound down to my next Sunday weigh-in. 

If I don't lose or even gain weight, my same calendar weight for that Sunday just gets moved to the next Sunday. For example as I write this, I've been currently stuck at the same weight for three weeks. I actually gained a couple pounds after eating pasta, pizza, and some tasty Mexican take out several days in a row one week. Yes, its okay to fall off the keto wagon now and then, just be disciplined to hop right back on and lose that pound a week for whatever your goal is, so you don't have to go into Moderate to Full-Blown Ketosis.

Now let's talk about Ketosis for a moment. Ketosis is a process that happens when your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes things called ketones, which it can use for fuel. 

Keto-type diets often start with a two-week carb abstinence program to get you into full-blown ketosis. These diets work on the scheme of dropping pounds instantly and giving their paying customers instant gratification. Now just like any addiction, going "cold turkey" is not recommended, and a slow gradual approach is the long game for success in the body weight game. I do not believe in punishing myself living in Full-Blown Ketosis, it's actually not mentally or physically healthy over extended periods of time.

By simply being a little more disciplined in my low carb daily eating routine, I'll typically lose a pound a week without the torture. I follow a more natural process of Moderate Ketosis over a period of weeks or months until I get down to my goal weight number. I then go back to my less regimented Regular Low Carb Routine as a lifestyle for my maintaining my weight. 

I'll tell you though, moving from my low carb routine to moderate ketosis is still hard work, in fact the older I get, the harder it gets to lose weight. It can really get me down, do I just give up? 

Second to what I eat, is my aerobic exercise routine. I've said this many times over the years, taking a daily walk is one of the keys to one's physical and mental health and ultimately living a long life.

  •  Lesson Learned #4 - Take A Walk At Least Once A Day,
                                                   and/or Run (Jog) Every Other Day

Some form of aerobic exercise is the second most important thing to do in maintaining or losing weight. The two together form my Health is a Lifestyle Routine (thank you Mark Hunter).

I'm not going to tell you how long or how far you need to walk and/or run. Like everything else presented here, it's based on my Team Tortoise life philosophy, Slow and Steady. 

  • And, Lesson Learned #5 - Take Your Tunes With You
    I always have some tunes on my phone to listen to on that walk or run. 
Now remember my current three-week stall of not losing but actually gaining a couple of pounds. This past week, I'm out on the trail and Peter Gabriel's live concert version of Don't Give Up comes on with Paula Cole. The song just filled my heart with purpose and motivation and became the spark to write this post. 

Enjoy the new playlist my friends!


Monday, May 03, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume IV

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.




A beach walk with good friends Ron & Paul
last week on the California Central Coast.
In this and future rounds
of #BestSongIHeardToday, I've dropped the Running on the Trial part. I'm now taking songs from wherever I hear that gem song for the day to add to the current volume. I also see so many great live tracks on YouTube that you'll be seeing more performance videos in this series of playlists from now on. 

With that said, I still get most of my songs for this segment while running and hope you'll still stomach my slogger (slow jogger) advise here. 

In my last installment (Volume III), I talked about slowing my pace down even further to prevent injury and boy that sure seems to be the ticket for me. I'm not so tired after a run and have been even running a couple of days in a row now in the past several weeks. 

My running app has also taken notice, as Siri has said to me several times, "Runner Paused" when I walk to cross a rocky part on the trail. Geez Siri, "I'm not dead yet, I'm still moving." I can see her saying to me at some point, "Runner are you still there? Runner, should I send out a search party?"

For all of you walkers out there, I've found a great pair of Altra shoes that I highly recommend for walking, or for road running. These shoes have soooo much cushion like a HOKA shoe, but I especially love the Altra toe box that has the same toe box shape as Birkenstocks. I have a wide foot, which for me is usually 10EEEE. Altra does not have width sizing, so I just go up a 1/2 size and get a 10 1/2 and they fit great! Altra also has a great return policy and if you're buying directly online, they send you the free shipping return label in the box if they don't fit to your liking. Here's the Altra website links for their Paradigm 5.


Enjoy the Playlist this week on your phone while out doing that walk or run!

Monday, March 22, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume III

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.

Man's Got To Know His Limitations. –Dirty Harry



2nd Edition @ Amazon Books
Pain is a signal that something is wrong. If it is mild and disappears quickly it's probably nothing to worry about. However, if the pain is severe, or persists for over a week, your body is trying to tell you something. Take it seriously! Catching an injury early always makes it easier to take care of. There are many people who fail to listen to their body's early warning signals, and as a result they have compounded their injuries, crippling themselves with unnecessary pain for months and even years. –Dr. Ben E. Benjamin, Ph.D 

My good friend Mark Hunter turned me on to the book, Listen to Your Pain many years ago during its first edition back in the 80's. It's a great reference book for every household. 

Mark has in fact given me two life-long mantra's to work with. First, as roommates in college with his enduring, "Health is a lifestyle." Living with Mark in the mid-1970's, I felt that I had earned a minor in Health Science in our countless conversations in the dorm and then living together in a couple of different apartments. The second, is right here in the book title and is my runner's manta, "Listen to Your Pain." Now I haven't always been a good listener, but I think I'm finally getting this running thing down since I started a 'running the streets' PE class in what used to be called, "Junior College" back in the fall of 1973 (with friend Paul Hobbs).

That PE class in fact provided a blueprint for maintaining a healthy life-long habit as Paul and I have both been consistently running now for 48 years. We've both had our share of injuries over the years, but nothing to stop us permanently, yet. 

Now for me, I've always set some personal goal in relation to distance and speed, that upon recent reflection, has me uttering Dirty Harry's line. You see, the mortal process of degeneration has taken me from a runner to now a slogger (slow jogger)

So many parts, so much gravity. Source - Web MD

My goal for the past three years or so, was to run 5 miles and average 5.0 miles per hour for one hour (a 12 minute mile). Starting last year, this goal has in fact resulted in typically a calf or knee injury for me every three to four months. Man's got to know...

Recently, I felt a slight pain in my right knee, that wasn't going away. I listened to my body, stopped running and only walked. It took FIVE weeks for the total discomfort to go away. After the first three weeks, I finally woke up to my slow brain saying, "Why aren't you icing your knee dumb ass!" So, I began icing twice a day, and like Trump off Twitter, that nagging pain simply disappeared after a couple of weeks. 

I then started slogging again, but this time at 4.0 mph for 4 miles. This past couple of weeks I'm averaging between 4.2 - 4.5 mph for 5 miles. I've found that my sixty-five year old body is now humming at a natural rhythm at 4.33 mph and I'm feeling great with no mental stress to push my body beyond the reach of my reality. In fact my new goal is NOT to run faster than 4.5 mph for 5 miles. The hare is dead, long live Team Tortoise!

A lot of people don't understand why runners run. I don't have a pat answer. For me, I do some of my best thinking while running alone on the trail. I hear terrific new and old songs. It helps me battle the weekly fight against weight gain since my late 30's. Probably the best answer is Mark in my head, "Health is a lifestyle, dumb ass!"

Here's several suggestions for walking or running with your life's pair of wheels.

Cloth Ice Pack Wrap with Velcro Strap

I ice my knees at least once a day for a half hour in my recliner.
There is no silver bullet, but there is ice.
Meanwhile, enjoying the Bob Dylan doc, No Direction Home

Glucosamine Chondroitin Msm + Hyaluronic Acid

This is the kitchen sink of the four main joint support supplements on the market, all in one capsule. I take two of these twice a day with a meal, everyday. It takes about two-three weeks to start working in you system and quietly works in the background. If I stop taking my joint support supplement for a week or two, my knees mysteriously start to bark at me!

Enjoy my friends, stay well,
ice if you need to, and mask-up out there!

Oh and speaking of masks, if you wear glasses of any kind, I have ditched the anti-fog spray as my daughter Shawna has turned me on to reusable dry anti-fog cloth. Here is my current suggestion.


Now on to the music
Here's a selection of 25 #BestSongsiHeardToday that took longer to assemble this go around, but now I'm back bouncing to these beats and have started a Volume IV.

Monday, January 04, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume II

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.

(Original Photo Source: Parade.com)

First thing, let the tide of your mind just wash 2020 out to sea. 

This being my first post of 2021, I thought I'd tap into a common but often broken New Year's Resolution- 

To walk or run MORE during the year.

Here's some tips and tricks I have learned through my personal experience for getting out there and moving the ol' body forward.

Walk Everyday for Exercise
There is no fountain of youth, but there is walking. A Walk is one of the essential keys to a life worth living if you are still breathing in your 80's and beyond. No matter your age, don't wait another day to keep your brain and body working together as a team. I mean it, if you're not walking for exercise everyday, you've got to seriously change your behavior now. If you are a busy person with a full-time job and family, 'schedule' a daily walk into your daily planner. 

Walk Outdoors
This pandemic has a host of downsides involved with spending too many hours of the day inside. I know it's easy for me to say this from San Diego, but try to get outside where you can go for a walk at least once a day. Walking outdoors is the best anti-depressant.

Listen to Music While Walking or Running Solo
Music can get in the way when walking or running with someone, let the gift of conversation be the catalyst to put a spring in your step. But, if you are walking or running solo, music can be extremely motivating and calming at the same time to take you faster and farther. Your Smartphone is you #1 mobile music listening device, not to mention it is always there in an emergency. 

If you're new to the blog, I create a new playlist for every post. You may have the two or three minutes it takes to read my typical post, but may not have the time to listen to all the songs in my playlist (for example, this weeks playlist has 25 songs). Several friends of the blog have shared with me that they listen to my Monday playlist when they go out on their walks or runs during the week. I of course think that's a great idea and would suggest you simply bookmark the link here in your phone web browser to- 
Doug Mcintosh's YouTube Playlists 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVsfXIjkQLUL1jAmgJPrjpw/playlists?view=1

Use a Smartphone Armband
Now especially for running, I would suggest an armband holder for having quick access to your phone. I've been through several armbands before I found the Bone Run Tie Running Armband (pictured to the right). It comes in black or white and simply is attached to the armband by four very stretchable and sturdy rubber bands that securely hold the four corners of the phone. Here it is on Amazon for $24.95. The advantages are: You can directly touch the screen (e.g skipping a song) rather than using the plastic sleeve type armbands where you have to touch the screen through thick and often foggy plastic; or you can quickly take off your phone to use in an emergency, or just stopping to smell and photograph the roses. 

A smartphone GPS Running App is great for tracking your walking or running progress. I have also been through a couple of free GPS apps and found Runkeeper to have a great interface with easy to use features, plus its very consistent with its GPS tracking system. One more tip, turn off your phone, and then turn it back on before you leave the house for your walk or run. The GPS seems to like a fresh start and I found it to be more consistent when I do this as there is nothing more frustrating on a known distance run when your GPS is off like an 1/4 of a mile.
Here is the download for iPhone
Here is the download for Android Phones

Walking Shoes
Walking and running are two different colors in relation to contact with the ground. It is much easier for the average person to naturally walk striking the ground at the mid-sole where one's whole foot absorbs contact with the ground at typical walking speeds of three miles (or less) per hour.

If you often experience 'common' sore feet or foot pain on walks, I would suggest the HOKA brand, known for their thick cushion soles. These shoes feel like you're walking on air, and are great to get you doing longer walks or hikes. 

Note- From personal experience, I would not recommend HOKA shoes for running because they are designed like most current high tech running shoes that cause your heel to strike the ground first and all that wonderful cushion goes out the window when your heel absorbs all the force of hitting the ground at 4+ miles per hour.

Running Shoes
For running shoes and just stated above, I would suggest a shoe that does not force a blunt heel strike with the ground. I have a long history of running injuries that I won't get into here, but since I switched to the Altra brand of running shoes my injury rate during the last two years has been eliminated by 95%. Altra shoes are designed for the foot to strike the ground at the mid-sole like when you walk barefoot. These shoes reminded me of running shoes I had in the 70's when I started running at eighteen. 


Face Masks
People ask me how do you run with a face mask during the pandemic? My answer is simple, it beats the alternative of getting COVID! I run on the streets where I encounter people walking, running or biking as well as run on a narrow trail where I closely pass people. I started with a tube-gaiter mask and that kept slipping, plus I found out most gaiters offer only one layer of protection. I then switched to cloth masks, then to paper masks and just couldn't find a brand that was both breathable and wouldn't fall down. Then I found the ICU - Basic Single Use Face Mask with 3 Layer Construction (50 pieces/box) at Target in a 10 pack, and then at Amazon for $12.99 for a 50 pack. This brand is a little wider than most paper masks designed for adults and is my current favorite.

Anti-Fog Spray for Glasses
If you're walking or running with a mask on and are wearing either eyeglasses or sunglasses, you've probably experienced glass fog. After trying one brand that I wasn't happy with, my daughter Shawna turned me on to the Zeiss Anti-Fog Defender System. The best price I found was at WalMart for $6.98 and $9.99 at Amazon. You just need to spray your glasses and wipe with the provided cloth each time before you go out with your mask on. I don't think there is a perfect product to completely wipe out foggy glasses on a high humidity day, but the Zeiss brand works well for me.

Note - I'm not getting paid for endorsing any of the above products, although that sounds like a good idea. Maybe this is my audition blog post to become a social media influencer for boomers?

Back to Music 
My playlist this week is the second in a series I started last year and plan to continue this year. It's called #BestSongiHeardToday where I collect 25 songs into a playlist from the best song I heard while out on a solo run. I like it because it turns out to be such a random list of songs, mostly 'deep cuts' from albums from my Amazon Music in 'song shuffle mode' that is now up to 29,776 songs. 

Now the first two songs in the playlist have a little special meaning. Both came on during Joe Biden's victory in November. Both gave me a big smile on the trail, and sometimes a smile is all it takes to make the #BestSongiHeardToday.

Stay well and mask-up my friends.
Happy New Year 
and can't wait until the celebration on January 20th!!!

Monday, November 23, 2020

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume I

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • Team Tortoise Blogs

The #BestSongIHeardToday series is often centered around hearing great songs while exercising. These posts will tend to drift into health related topics but will always come back to the music that brought you here. This particular series is probably more about a self journal to help me stay on the path of healthy living that includes, listening to old and new tunes. If you're looking for a great mix playlist of 25-30 songs, just click on one of my Volumes above.

"No regrets, coyote"
On my weekly trail run,
I always listen to my Amazon 'My Music' on shuffle with the sound on speaker mode on my armband. Originally, I did this to alert the coyotes that I'm on the trail and maybe they should just move into the brush. I also now do this to alert walkers or joggers to mask up as I can tell they usually hear me coming before seeing me. Unfortunately, as now is often the case, they have NO mask to mask-up.

In the photo on the left, I've seen this juvenile coyote before usually on this stretch of the trail. The coyote is all ears as it hears my music (a Poco song I believe) and has quickly spun around and we are having a little staring contest while I snap this shot. I actually enjoy running into this ol' soul whereas the humans, not so much these days. My once good old Transcendental "Good Morning,"  greeting has been displaced 'in the time of coronavirus' with me now muttering inside my brain, "Mask-up motherf......"

But then, it's back to the wonderful canyon rustic trail cutting through my suburb, my rhythmic pace and often the surprise of the next song. On my typical hour run, I hear about 14 - 18 songs and play a game as I say to myself, "Oh this one is the best so far." Then usually several songs later, another song has knocked that one off the mantle of what potentially could be, the #BestSongiHeardToday running on this trail. 

My plan is to collect twenty-five songs as a stand-alone playlist. Here's Volume I of my random best while on the run. 

Note- This week I introduce my 'new and improved' blog look that I hope you will enjoy. I think it's easier to navigate to all my blog posts and works well with smartphones. 

I have also reintroduced the 'Comments' section below. Feel free to leave a comment, but please DO NOT piggyback a free advertisement with a LINK to a business site. Thank you.

Have a great Thanksgiving week, be safe and mask-up my friend!