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January 20, 2014

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Jan 23

Link of the day -- Workouts change your body even your DNA

Yes, I do warsh my work out stuff

I am washing my gym clothes, I do this far more often than any other type of washing. If my sons, Erik and Alex, read this they will ask did you warsh your clothes? Really warrr - sh your clothes? OK, sometimes my hillbilly upbringing slips through, I try, but it is just the way it was pronounced in the Shire. There was a lot of warshing to do on the farm. Some people stuck to a strict schedule of washing on Monday. Modernization was coming in but the old habits, developed when it was heat the water, scrub the clothes (on a scrub board), hang to dry, dump your dirty water, lingered though not with everyone. I grew up in an era straddling the old and the modern. We had an automatic washer, my grandmothers had wringer washers (Maytag, of course) I used to like helping carry the dirty water out of their basements in buckets. No one had dryers. On a cold day like today, if you lived in a house with a good basement you could have clothes lines to hang clothes on the inside which they both did. If you did not have such a luxury as a basement then there was the freeze dry method, or my mother's preferred method spreading your clothes over the oil burning stoves. Trying not to forget about them or they could scorch. Freeze dried was more a psychological method, clothes did not really dry. When returned to room temperature they may have been less damp than when you took them outside, but they were still wet. Our neighbors didn't have an automatic washer because it wasted water, in the Shire saving water was no more sound a concept than freeze drying the clothes. Water was usually too abundant. The traditional schedule for the other days of the week, were to iron on Tuesday, mend on Wednesday, churn on Thursday, clean on Friday, bake on Saturday, and church on Sunday. Church on Sunday was only day rigorously observed in our home. Actually cooking three meals and cleaning up everyday were part of normal life. Also gardening, followed by canning seasons, chicken processing days, and whole host of things required to survive back in the days beyond most people's memories. Every extra task done in and around all the other work. I do find gyms, trainers, and special sweat wicking clothes all too yuppie, but here I am, no longer a hillbilly in a culture where we all warshed up for supper.

Anyway, so now I am waiting for the dryer to buzz, and then I must decide what I will do for today. It is freeze your toes off weather today; highs will be around 0 F. I could go to Gold's or to our community center. Community or rec centers in small towns are always abandoned school buildings being re purposed. Gold's has far more options, as well as fit and buff people to model. I have to drive thirty minutes to get to Gold's. I have four possible things to attend tonight. The Elmwood Development Association annual meeting, Pastor Parrish Relations committee, the Daring to Dream study, and my church band has practice. I sing, I have no instrumental talent. All events start at 6 or 6:30 PM. I can try to split time between them, life is busy in a small town. Saving the hour and staying safe in town may be the best option. I will decide when the dryer buzzes. The clothes will be dry and warm, which they never were with the freeze dried method.

Just going to go ahead and place tomorrow's link -- Three Myths that Block Progress for the Poor - Gates Foundation Annual Letter

Jan 24-25

Trudging on: I had a meeting at the Peoria Courthouse then buzzed over to my mother's house. Smithshire is about 70 miles from downtown Peoria, it was beyond a blustery day, more a gale force day. Always good to get back to the Shire even for only a few hours. Mom's Christmas gift from our family a modern HD television had been delivered, also her Internet was not working. The TV was installed without my being there and she is really enjoying the upgrade in picture quality. My biggest concern was I had measured the opening so it was the widest that would fit in her television cabinet/hutch. All done through web research, Alex ordering at the store, and my own surreptitious tape measuring, I was glad it fit. I couldn't determine the cause of her Internet connection not working, still it is good to visit home. Friday was a good day, but not a work out day. The howling winds discouraged even my in home Jillian from insisting on a gym session. I celebrated with an hour and a half nap. So the 24th was a wash and no weight loss.

We had a leadership event at our church on the 25th. Saturday is the time I assemble slides, videos, and lyrics for the presentations at Sunday's services. This afternoon in spite of continued winds and my not being done with slide prep, we made it to Gold's. I did some leg lifts on an inclined bench, immediately I realized my lower abdominal muscles are still very sore. OK soreness is part of the bargain, I finished three ab exercise sets and went back to the elliptical. I work up really impressive sweats. I am trying to eat more modestly, and hope I can get the weight trend headed in the right direction. Still it is a struggle, my body likes its weight and doesn't easily surrender its well earned pounds.

Our minister is doing a series based on Mike Slaughter's Day to Dream study. This week's title Your Burning Bush. Currently I think it is my calling to succeed in making my goals, I have been given an amazing body. I must get back tofitness. I am filled with gratitude that I can do this. Nancy points out to me I am in oldest category for the gym challenge, so the fact that I can walk into the gym is amazing. Her expertise in leadership and management is always exhibiting itself. Actually I can think of more positive reinforcements she could attach to the goals of the 12 week challenge. She does tell me she is proud of what I have accomplished and in my drive to continue. A spouse of thirty years being proud of you, OK that is very positive.

Best thing I found on Internet my wife shared photo of Alex at the SLU Barrister Ball, in new lawyering type suit, wearing SLU tie, and accompanied by fellow Knox College alum. Facebook has betrayed you Alex.


Jan 26

The weather has been backtracking faster than a politician after reading the latest polls. A 40 degree nice afternoon now has 30 mph winds driving us to below zero. While it was still nice Nancy woke me up from a good nap in the recliner to head to a gym appointment, even though at the time I would have preferred she let me stay. It was well worth the trip now that we are looking back on it. It takes a partner. like Nancy has been to me, or something that keeps you accountable. Maybe a fitness app for iPhone with more personality like in the movie Her We were doing weights in combination with agility exercises. Nancy and I were doing the same sets, or I was trying to learn these new routines. We were working with Nancy's trainer. It is surprising that I can not really do much more weight in these sets than my wife. Maybe she is keeping my ego in check. I slowly trudge on, I went up and spent a half hour on the elliptical after we finished with the trainer. We saw a family from church at the gym. I know it seems odd for them to start, but it will be a great family accomplishment if they can keep making improvements. Today on the exercise front I am into keep on, keeping on.

On the spiritual front I am contemplating the Burning Bush Moments. I do get the opportunity to hear the message at both services, plus I have found slides based on the outline, themes, and notes. At the gym my reflection was turned to awkwardness. I did think the walking planks were somewhat reminiscent of bear crawls in football drills. It did make me think more of how ridiculous I look,. rather than finding a spiritual call in meditation. I need the weights and agility I miss the chance to fold into my thoughts and experience being ness as the elliptical allows. Schools are being called off even colleges because of the wind and cold temperatures for tomorrow. Lately my sons often use the phrase about future plans, it will be a game time decision. Far too much time watching sports channels and playing football on game systems. Monday's activities will be a game time decision.

Internet link today I have added Ray Benson's new album to my gym listening.

Here is the NPR Interview

Jan 27

It is -1 F, headed to -15 F as a low tonight. It was enough of a cold weather threat; we went to the Community Center and not over to Gold's. It would have been easier to say oh it is cold, I do not want to leave my warm house. Actually I might have said this, but Nancy did not have the look of a woman who would be accepting any excuses today. I am slightly sore from the weights yesterday, so the elliptical was good to loosen me up. It is not like I have all that many demands during this cold blast. I am not required to be out working in the weather. I used to be when I farmed, when I demonstrated my farm program at farm shows, or when I worked on antennas and towers during my ownership of Elmnet. I am reminded of the story of a current Congressman who was in Korea during the Chinese counter invasion of 1950. He was awarded medals for his actions during this disastrous reversal for US forces. He wrote a book entitled "And I haven't had a bad day since" which he said was how he felt after surviving Korea. It is how I feel about the weather, I know what it means when weather dramatically affects your life. Not having to worry about what I can't control means I have no reason to complain, so I don't.

Community chorus practice in Galesburg was cancelled, I am able to relax at home. I have thrown a fake log in the fireplace. Makes me feel warm, didn't require chain saw, splitter, truck, trailer, four wheeler, or shotgun. If you have all the others you have a shot gun; kindling can never be completely trusted. I appreciate the opportunity my life is offering me to achieve fitness. It is easy to forget that others are not surrounded by healthy food, mostly in control of their schedules with plenty of time to dedicate to better fitness. I am waiting for the fitness I have achieved to help get rid of that waist fat. I really regret gaining back ten pounds of the 45 I lost in one year. Maybe that was too strong, I have regrets but not so many. The food on vacation was fun. Unfortunately, I gain weight on triscuits and carrot sticks; along with the cottage cheese and peanut butter. Plodding along is the course, I will not look for instant weight loss and eternal youth in bottles or pills. I didn't gain the weight in an instant. I could come closer to instant weight gain than instant weight loss. Today is a day I know how blessed I am and I am grateful, only slightly sore. Yes I am in a far better place than just a few years ago. I have come closer to unifying my aspects of being. I have gotten to a point equilibrium over the past year, I must say, "I haven't a bad day since."

Today on the Internet -- Farmer selfies with livestock

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Alex Davis Steve

Alex puts good form and big arms on the floor, Steve just tries to slip in and out and not ruin anyone's day. The 2014 comparison as I continue to model my son I have improved from 2013 so where will Jan. 2015 put me.


Forgottonia is a place where you can endlessly wander the lonely roads, and never once miss the fast lane. The name Forgottonia captures an image of a region, off the beaten path, which is very true of Western Illinois.

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