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

Monday, October 03, 2022

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume 16

On average, it takes my wife about two years to adopt one of my ideas. I'm patient, I'm in it for the long run. 

Recently, I mentioned to her that my right knee pain had disappeared, and for some reason she was all ears when I told her about my new running shoe inserts. You see, for the greater part of six months she has also been having right knee pain and suddenly the typical "yeah, yeah yeah" response was replaced by... "Really!"

Maybe she has a history and good reason not to listen to me. For example, I was the one who talked her into spending $400 on orthotics that really didn't work out for either of us. 

In fact, I came to the conclusion that my orthotics were actually working like a permanent foot cast, perpetually preventing my feet from naturally healing. I eventually had surgery for plantar fasciitis on my left foot, then later, started developing plantar fasciitis in my right foot.

After reading the book, Born To Run by Christopher McDougall I began to change my patterns with regard to exercise and my feet. 

My stupid grin meeting Christopher McDougall 
at an author talk/book signing 10/19/18

I started walking barefoot in and around the house letting my feet feel the earth again. It was a start. I ditched the orthotics. I ditched all my running shoes designed with the curved back heel which force you to strike your foot on your heel when running. Thanks Chris McDougall, that was a big tip along with wearing flat running shoes (see Zero Drop Altra)!

I lost 40 pounds.. no that didn't happen... eventually down 20 then up 10, constant f***ing battle. Born to Eat.

Eventually, my right foot plantar fasciitis pain started to go away and now its gone, for now. As you know, "it's always something" and that pain may one day again say, "not so fast buster."

No magic here, but lots of problem solving in the quest to keep moving forward.

"What about the inserts McIntosh?"

Oh yeah. After great research on Amazon... and now another attempt to be a social media influencer.

I found a pair of Dr. Scholl's insoles for $15. These insoles come in size 14 and you just cut them around the cheap ass inserts that came with your shoes and insert The Dr. Scholl's in their place. Doesn't matter if your shoes were $150, they all come with cheap ass inserts. Tip- Use a good pair of scissors to get a clean cut with the new insoles. 

What makes these insoles a keeper? They come with three bottom foot pads: one gel pad for the landing foot pad area, a flexible arch support, and a gel heel pad. Simple and durable. My insoles are currently about 8 months old and still feel new.

And most importantly, the little missus loves them! Her knee pain is now down several pegs on the 10 point pain scale, and my status is up!


Here's the men's Dr. Scholl's Insole on Amazon- 

Dr. Scholl’s Running Insoles // Reduce Shock and Prevent Common Running Injuries: Runner's Knee, Plantar Fasciitis and Shin Splints for Men's 10.5-14

Price: $15.19



Here's the women's Dr. Scholl's Insole on Amazon- 

Dr. Scholl’s Running Insoles // Reduce Shock and Prevent Common Running Injuries: Runner's Knee, Plantar Fasciitis and Shin Splints for Women's 5.5-9

Price: $13.56



I will say 90% of the songs on this playlist came while running in these insoles, and that's Rubber Soul on the go! 

Lotta mid-60's and jingle-jangle this week. 
Thank you for being a friend.

Monday, August 08, 2022

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume 14

A 1965 Santa Maria postcard I found on the Internet, and my longstading MMM Facebook & Twitter header.

Your musical taste came from somewhere, born at a time in a city or town that shaped you. 

The popular music that came into your life as a child and teenager is like a date stamp for your generation. For boomers like me, that is most emblematic in one date, Sunday 9pm February 9th, 1964, The Ed Sullivan Show. I think you can guess the band that were the musical guests on that night, The Beatles.

I remember being with our family friends, the Reyburn's that night and being with Steve Reyburn who was my age at 8 years old (both just shy of our 9th birthdays).

Now jump ahead to the summer of 1972. I'm in Steve's car somewhere along Highway 1 heading back to a beach camp location where both of our parents were camping together. Steve has an 8-track tape deck in the dash and of all things on this earth, he puts in a Jackson's Five tape! I nearly fell out of my seat in disbelief (A B C, It's easy as 1 2 3, as simple as Do re mi).

How could two teenagers from basically the same community environment be worlds apart in our musical tastes? Well by 1972, we both had a different set of friends, and obviously one was still married to AM radio, and the other had an album collection.

The older I get, I like to think that my taste spans many genres of music. But as I reflect back to that summer 50 years ago, when it gets down to it, it's really those very specific bands and artists from folk to rock, shared with my friends, that endures today with that beautiful date stamp.

So what brings you here to read this blog? And if I'm so fortunate, why are you taking the time to listen to some or all of the songs in my playlist?

Well, no matter where you came from, one thing's for certain, we have a connection. Maybe the first three songs in this week's playlist are good examples of some of the factors that bond us a little more together from the herd, and bring us a little closer to understanding what's this world's about. At the very least, we have similar tastes in music to help us along our way.

Enjoy my friends,

Monday, July 04, 2022

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume 13

The Scream by Edvard Munch
A little more than two months ago, I tripped (yet again) while running as I was transitioning from concrete to grass. This is becoming a recurring nightmare as I clipped the edge of the grass with my left shoe, stumbled badly and not wanting to fall on the concrete somehow tore my left hamstring in some awkward fashion trying to right myself. 

I instantly knew I was toast. In my swirling head a six-week recovery awaited with 'waiting' being the operative word. The walk back home was depressing... Edvard Munch in Adidas. 

You may be screaming to yourself upon reading that the old man is writing yet again about another running injury. But it beats listening to Michael Flynn plead the 5th when asked if he believes in a peaceful transfer of power in the United States of America. My God it's fascists pleading the 5th on parade- Roger Stone, Jeffery Clark, John Eastman... Hey I even found a perfect song to describe these guys this week in the playlist. Do not even get me started on the five Supreme Kangaroo Court Justices driving their Keystone Cop car over the cliff over and over and over.   

Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett

Anyway, it's happy trails again as I'm back running with a new group of songs collected while picking them up and putting them back down, at 4.3 mph. Let's hope I can stay upright for awhile. My close friends probably have a running bet on the matter.  

Happy July 4th! Enjoy the tunes my friends! 

Monday, March 07, 2022

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume 10

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • Team Tortoise Blogs •
Volume 10 • 

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.




Ya Got Trouble. I think this post takes me over the line, the line into being officially old. First off, I think I'm being all hip on social media, being a real "influencer" here, that is until... I actually recommend a product. 

As I role into town here, I'm going to channel my inner Harold Hill and blast forward with a product that I've had some personal experience, as I'm here to tell you, right here in River City, that psyllium husk fiber really beats the band! 

There's nothing like having a personal rotor-rooter cleaning out the pipes for a consistent daily constitution guaranteed to deliver every morning. Now I personally recommend the capsules shown here found in a two-pack at Costco - typically located in the vitamin section just above the Metamucil® powdered drink mix. Now if you have tried the powdered Metamucil® before, you may have been turned off by the thought of drinking this grandpa cocktail every morning. I tried it and couldn't take it after a week.

Metamucil® also makes their psyllium husk fiber in capsule form too in a 300 count bottle, but you can get a 720 count for a better price with the two-pack at Costco ($19.99). If you don't have a Costco card, no worries as you can score natural psyllium husk capsules most anywhere, maybe even at the pool hall. Here's a link at Amazon.

You may ask (or have stopped reading at this point), how many capsules do I take a day? I will say, as in all my health related blogs, "that every body is different," including the standard line, "your mileage may vary." Both the Metamucil and Costco brands suggest 2-5 capsules four times a day. I personally take 6 capsules with breakfast and 6 more capsules at dinner and that works great for me. What you want to do is start small and work up to the total number of capsules that work best for your digestion system. Also the morning capsules go down most easily with a bloody Mary, (just kidding), water or whatever your drink is will easily chase them down. Anyway, my breakfast table now looks I own stock in a variety of pill companies. Hey who's being sold here?

I don't mind the ribbing from y'all on this one, but this is the best solution I've found for a light and easy source of natural fiber without having to eat bread and cereal carbohydrates everyday. So, if you're watching your weight and the carb intake, this may not be such an exclusive older person thang!

••••••••••

There, I'm not such an old fart after all. However, I did trip and fall the other day on my run making the transition from concrete to grass while looking at a young woman. Okay, let me rephrase that. I was running around a bus stop on a sidewalk and moving back over to the grass which I prefer to run on. The young woman heading towards me was also simultaneously moving from the sidewalk to the other side of the parkway grass. We were both practicing the courteous behavior of giving each other space that most of now do as second nature without a thought in the time of the pandemic. Anyway, I'm looking at her (nice shoes) and my leading left foot catches the edge of the grass and sidewalk.

I go down hard on the grass that is actually more dirt than grass. I land on my left shoulder and ribs faster than Muhammed Ali hit Sonny Liston in their 1965 second fight. It literally was like I got hit with the infamous "phantom punch" from Ali. I rolled over on my back to catch my breath and make sure I haven't broken anything beyond my dignity. I then slowly roll over, get to my knees, then stand as the young woman is now just a few feet away. I say to her, "Well this is sure embarrassing." 

She immediately says, "Are you okay? Can I help you? You poor dear."

Actually... she says none of this. She's talking on her phone to someone, sort of looks up from her phone, gives me a half smile, and walks on not even breaking a word from her conversational stride.

I start to walk, making sure the body and mind are still functioning... feeling like Rodney Dangerfield in jogging shorts. Later on in the run, What Goes On comes on my Amazon Music shuffle and I say to self, "There's the lead song for the playlist this week."

Enjoy the playlist this week my friends, and be careful out there.



Monday, December 13, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume IX

 Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • Team Tortoise Blogs •
Volume 10 • 

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.


This is part of a text thread I recently had with an old friend of mine. Personally, I think
RollingStone 
magazine lost its way in the 1990's trying to be all things to all music listeners.

First issue cover, 11/9/67
Rolling Stone started in 1967 when rock 'n' roll songs dominated the Billboard 100 popular music charts. It quickly became the gold standard for rock journalism and nurtured a dedicated following of readers. You knew you were in a rock fan's house if you saw Rolling Stone mags on the coffee table, if not in the bathroom.

Today, Rolling Stone still covers popular music it's just that now rock 'n' roll is not center stage. The magazine's name sake, the Muddy Water's Blues song Rollin' Stone is now a distant memory from the current magazine's musical focus. 

Is rock 'n' roll dead? NO, it's very much alive and even kicking along with– Folk/Americana, Blues and R&B new music releases coming out every month. The difference now is that you actually have to look, even dig a little deeper on the Internet to find it.

Rolling Stone still covers all the genres that sprang from the Blues to keep that older reader, but current pop music is a completely different animal in the 21st century, and thus my friend's text comment to me. 

February, 2021 issue cover
So with that in mind, I thought it would be fun to see if Rolling Stone's The 50 Best Songs of 2021 is anywhere close to YOUR personal tastes in music. I've often said, "Best" is a strong opinion when talking music and you'll see that I use the word, "Favorite" in making my lists. I would encourage you, younger or older, to click on their link above and check it out. Personally, I found only three songs that I have featured this year on my new release playlists - #29 Bleachers, Stop Making This Hurt; #23 Kacey Musgraves, Breadwinner; and #5 Lucy Darcus, VBS (Vacation Bible School). 

Next week, I'm going to present my Favorite Songs of 1971 to wrap up a year's worth of my Fifty Years of Music series.

In two weeks, I'm going to present my Favorite Songs of 2021 to wrap up a year's worth of my #NewMusicMonday series.

Now Rolling Stone as a brand is a powerhouse, but I think you'll find my Monday Monday Music™ 'the little rock 'n' roll engine' alternative if you're feeling neglected as a rock 'n' roller or folkie. 

For this week, I'm going to wrap up my #BestSongIHeardToday series for 2021 with a variety of songs that grabbed my listening ears recently that are indicative of my taste in music and hopefully yours too! Thanks for your support this year, and hey I'm only two weeks away from writing a blog with a playlist for every single Monday of 2021! 

Enjoy my friends & Happy Festivus...
for the rest of us!

Monday, October 11, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume VIII

  Volume I • II • III • IV  • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • Team Tortoise Blogs • 
Volume 10 • 

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 • IX • Team Tortoise Blogs •
Volume 10 • 

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 • IX • Team Tortoise Blogs •
Volume 10 • 

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 • IX • Team Tortoise Blogs •
Volume 10 • 

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 • IX • Team Tortoise Blogs • 
Volume 10 • 

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!