June 20, 2017

Worth 1000 Words?

By Crabby McSlacker

So if a picture is worth a thousand words, and a short video is made up of hundreds of pictures, is a short video worth hundreds of thousands of words? And what if you don't make the video yourself but steal it straight off YouTube?




So yeah, this video, which all of you have probably already seen by now but I hadn't, cracked me up. And it offers a little metaphorical motivational encouragement. (Note: you can turn off the sound if you're at work, you don't really need it).

Are there "stairs" in life that others seem to ascend and descend with no problem, but somehow you just can't seem to get the hang of 'em?  If so, what do you do: find your own awkward way, or avoid them entirely and keep your world just a little smaller? (Personally, I've tried both ways.)

And yeah, it's summer, so as is customary, my blogging activity is getting even more sporadic and superficial than in other seasons. But I'm okay with that. You too may find that summertime offers many more absorbing options besides the interwebs. Beaches, bike trails, festivals, parties, parades, pools, forest paths, foreign lands, ferries, roller coasters, kites to fly, sprinklers to run under, campfires to light, gardens to tend to, hobbies to obsess over, watermelons to eat, and naps to take.

¡Hasta luego!

What kind of fun are you guys planning on having this summer when you're not at work or on the web?

June 13, 2017

The Bilingual Brain: Benefits and Befuddlement

Photo: wikimedia


By Crabby McSlacker

My latest folly: I'm trying to learn a new language. Spanish! Which among other uses, might come in handy for a pair of snowbirds always on the lookout for warmer climates to flee to during winters.

But I did not study Spanish in school, or in any other setting ever. I'm starting from absolute scratch. And yeah, I did spend many years in California, where Spanish is widely spoken. But my brain was completely impervious! None of it ever registered. Even the annoying ad campaign for Taco Bell didn't manage to teach me the meaning of "Yo Quiero Taco Bell." How could "Yo" mean "I" anyway? It should mean you for heaven's sake.

So I'm only a couple of months into it, and I'm well aware that the whole "maybe I could learn Spanish" thing is, in many ways, a stupid idea. It could so easily turn into just another temporary diversion I've taken up and then later abandoned when something else new and shiny comes along.

Plus: I'm 57. I'm already starting to struggle to find words in my first language. Every new Spanish word I try to memorize is just a brand new chance for my brain to say WTF? Where the hell do you think I'm going to put this?

And yet...

June 08, 2017

Let's Hear it for Rationalization!


By Crabby McSlacker

So yeah, I didn't get around to writing a blog post this week, unless you want to try to count this one. Does it make sense that my turning 57 today somehow prevented me from posting something earlier in the week? No, it does not!

It also doesn't make sense that the passing of another year should grant me immunity from the effects of eating gratuitous Evil Things, or consuming potent beverages, or generally doing whatever the hell I want.

Don't f*ck with me on my birthday.
upload from x-ray delta one

I get spoiled on my birthday, by my most awesome wife, who always makes it special. So special the holiday has been officially expanded to two days, and includes both a delicious home cooked meal as well as a dinner out at the restaurant of my choice.  Plus fun things to open.

Yet that doesn't stop me from spoiling myself, too. A massage. A stroll through town with perhaps a stop for coffee or lunch. Some window shopping... or perhaps I'll even make a purchase or two.

upload from x-ray delta one

I do spend a little time reflecting on how lucky I am, and all the things I have to be grateful for, because I'm not a total idiot. But it's mostly about: the hell with responsibilities, what fun thing comes next?

Do I exercise on my birthday? Well, yeah, I'm weird enough that I wouldn't enjoy the day if I didn't do something, but I pick a favorite thing. Right now my favorite thing is to go for a run on a beautiful nearby trail, caffeinated up to the gills, blasting glorious energizing tunes at unsafe volume through my headphones.

(To each her own, you may be thinking.)

Some people would rather have a party.

Can you spot the Party Prankster? (Asshole.)
upload from x-ray delta one

Some might prefer an outdoor cookout.

upload from x-ray delta one 

But what about you guys, what do you like to do on your birthday?  And do you use the occasion as an excuse for some creative rationalization?

May 30, 2017

Lifetrak Zoom HRV Review


By Crabby McSlacker

As a greedy, gadget-obsessed health blogger, I was pretty psyched to get the opportunity to review the Lifetrak Zoom HRV Zoom HRV activity tracker. (And, full disclosure: I got to keep it).

The Zoom measures a wide variety of activity metrics from your wrist (or ankle, or forearm). What you do not need to use the Zoom: a chest strap!

So I've been testing the Zoom out for a couple of weeks in true Crabby McSlacker style: misunderstanding instructions, forgetting to hit "record" to begin or end my workouts, failing to appreciate the nuances, and finding myself too lazy for a comprehensive data comparison with my other activity tracker, the Polar M400.

Yet my lack of reviewing diligence does not, of course, keep me from having opinions.

So what's good and bad about the the Lifetrak Zoom? And who should buy one and who should not?

May 22, 2017

Time to HIIT it?


By Crabby McSlacker

In the last few years, you've probably heard the same unwelcome advice quite a few times: for optimal health, you should be adding some High Intensity Interval Training to your weekly routine.

But all too often, nutrition and exercise research gets overhyped and exaggerated. Just let enough time pass, and other studies can come along to soften or even reverse recommendations that all the excited "experts" were so adamant about.

In the case of something as odious as High Intensity Interval Training? It makes a lot of sense if you've been waiting to be absolutely sure it has merit before jumping on the bandwagon. Especially since you're supposed to be jumping on that bandwagon with such speed and vigor that you may faint, vomit, or burst into tears before you're done.

And what if you're middle aged or older? You may be thinking: don't I get a pass? Hell, I should be getting extra credit for doing any sort of exercise at all, given how sedentary everyone else my age is. Surely I'm not expected to be sprinting up hills, busting out burpees, or pedaling all out on a spin bike until I'm struggling for breath so mightily I can't even toss out a few choice obscentities?

Well, a new study has a little more information to add to the discussion. And of course I have some thoughts to contribute too, since I always have thoughts about everything whether I know what I'm talking about or not.