May 11, 2015


Cranky Cat via Reb

By Crabby McSlacker

I thought it was time to bring a little Cranky back to Cranky Fitness.

Recently our pal Shelley at My Journey to Fit  posted a great grievance list, and I suspect you all may have some annoyances to report as well.

Studies have shown that griping is an exceptionally healthy behavior, boosting endorphins, lowering blood pressure, providing neuroprotective effects and clearing clogged nasal passages.

OK, so that last paragraph was a lie. But I still maintain that occasional bitching is therapeutic.

Note: some attempt has been made to keep these at least remotely related to health and fitness.

1.  The Tragic, or at least Inconvenient, War on Decaf Coffee.

Endangered Species

We all know by now that coffee has health benefits. Some of the benefits come only in the caffeinated variety, but decaf coffee has health benefits too, like, for example, helping the liver. I'm not suggesting we should cut down on caffeine if it's not causing any problems, but it's not like drinking a little decaf is some sort of bizarre lifestyle decision, right?

As it happens, I like to drink coffee all day long, by the pail if possible. This means I do best with a customized mix of regular and decaf--easy to do when I'm at home.  But on the road?

Is it just me or is getting harder and harder to find decaf coffee?  The selection is starting to suck at grocery stores and specialty retailers. Convenience stores sometimes let the decaf run out and don't bother to brew more if they're feeling too lazy.

Most inexcusable: You can't even order it at most Starbucks anymore! At least not without enduring a song and dance about how they have to brew it up specially for you and do you mind waiting an extra five minutes or so, or do you wanna just make it a decaf Americano? (No I don't, but I don't want to stand there forever either).

Seriously, Starbucks?  You Suck.

To be told by the coffee company that conquered the world that my request for decaf is too freakish to accommodate, because they need the space for 973 other over-priced, sugar-filled dessert beverages that are NOT coffee, really pisses me off.

(Plus they make their coffee way too damn strong like it's some sort of badge of sophistication or fearlessness to drink bitter mud, so I end up pouring hundreds of useless calories of half-and-half in to make it drinkable).

And  there's always a long freakin' line.  I avoid Starbucks unless there is NO other choice.

2. Texas Hates Pedestrians.

OK, maybe not all of Texas.  Austin, for example, is a country unto itself.

But let's say you're talking about the Frisco/Plano area.  If you are a spoiled coastal gal used to walkable neighborhoods, to spend a few days in Texas is like visiting an alien planet. On this planet, the inhabitants are all massive steel and glass creatures that roll around vast landscapes on wheels, occasionally rolling into parking lots to disgorge the contents of their bellies into large buildings. They rest up for a while until their meals leave the buildings and obediently return to them again, and the creatures eat them up again and roll away, happily sated.

The meals rarely try to escape the creatures that consume them, so there is no need for spaces for them to walk around in. Like sidewalks.

I mean, WTF?  There is no shortage of space or money for landscaping in Frisco; everything is laid out on a grand scale, yet few of the busy roadways or even entrances to large shopping malls have sidewalks.

Pedestrian-Friendly Entrance to Stonebriar Mall.

Also, you take your life in your hands crossing a street, even in a designated crosswalk with the light in your favor, because drivers turning do not even LOOK to see if there are pedestrians crossing. Because there never are any!  Because no one in Texas walks when they could drive.  (Note Kim at Day With KT also wrote about the weirdness of being the only walker in a non-walking town and I suspect there are a lot of places in this country where walking is a dangerous and deviant behavior).

Note the Carefully-Considered Placement of the Walk Signal Button

3.  Women's Athletic Clothing Is Still Stupid and Impractical

So when did all the major retailers decide that tank tops will no longer even pretend to cover up anything underneath them?

All of a sudden the backs are have turned into tiny strips of fabric, and the armholes extend nearly to the waist.  Which is great, I suppose, if you are cool with wearing your sports bra in public.

This is easier if you are petite and fashion-conscious and are wearing a bra that looks like a top you'd wear on purpose. 

However, my foundational garments scream: "Hey there, I'M A FUCKING BRA!!!"

And don't get me started again on how hard it is to find women's workout shorts that have functional pockets in them.  I finally found one pair I liked from Kuhl, but I wanted more variety in color choice and fabric and I figured there had to be a least one more option in the entire universe of workout wear.

So having exhausted the running racks, I got the brilliant idea to see if I could find tennis shorts, like the kind I wore as a teenager, back in the 70's. Tennis shorts have to have pockets for you to put the second ball in when you serve, right?

Obviously I haven't played tennis in several decades.  It appears they don't even make women's tennis shorts anymore, or not that I could find in any sporting good stores.  You're supposed to be a ladylike and wear a skirt.  Sigh.

However, guess what?  I finally re-discovered the secret to women's workout shorts with pockets:

Board Shorts!

Actually, the go-to pair of shorts I've been wearing for at least a decade were board shorts too, but they stopped making them.  But I shouldn't have been surprised that I needed to visit the swimwear section.  

So the new ones are from Athleta.  I imagine you're really supposed to be a cool surfer to wear them, but screw that, boring middle-aged elliptical riders who need a place to put their iPods and Kleenex and gym locker key can wear them too.  They're made from a light comfortable fabric, and have two front pockets plus zippered back pockets. Yay!!! So at least one happy ending here. (Note: I paid for 'em myself and they weren't all that cheap so no need for disclaimer this time. They're "Costa's" and run $44).

How about you guys? Anything annoying you lately?


  1. With all the tragedy I've been seeing in peoples lives lately, I'm taking a break from complaining. I'm sure though, that there are plenty of people who will fill the void for me.

  2. I am wearing a pair of Kuhl pants right now!

    My husband is equally stymied by the fact that in the afternoon he has to wait for Starbucks to brew him a cup of decaf. It does seem counter intuitive.

    There's always something petty annoying me (probably why I hang out around here) but right now I'm not particularly irked at anything specific. (give it a minute...)

    1. I think it's awesome if nothing's irking you OTF! Fingers crossed it continues...

  3. Hahahaha. Just the post I needed. In the town of North Bend WA you are slowly seeing sidewalk development and shockingly more walkers, but it is pretty brutal. You can be unseen in a crosswalk...although perhaps this is a WA problem.

    I had no idea about the decaf problem! Learn something new every day. :)

    1. I'm sure Nim prefers regular so you probably haven't run into the decaf problem yet QD... :)

  4. You know what irks me! I am working right now which also irks me, but reminded me of the larger issue. I finally gave up my beloved XP last year and only because a power surge fried it. So here I am, on a Windows 8, at least 5 years younger than my XP and it is slower. What gives? And furthermore...why have we had the big backslide in online advertising. I thought we had long since learned our lesson about pop-ups and animations that hog processing...not only a usability nightmare, but especially noticeable since newer computer is slower than my old one.

    That is all. I guess I have to go back to working...

    1. I HATE HATE HATE Windows 8! I use a shell program to get around it. Which probably makes it even slower but its the UI stuff that I hate the most. Good one QD!

  5. I need shorts that go down to my knees because my upper legs have a LOT of sagging skin and embarrass the hell out of me. I don't know if I will ever go swimming in public again because of it.

    In regards to Texas, I totally get what you are saying. There is the state of Texas and there is the island of Austin. Job wise, we'd be better off in Texas. The tradeoff was that we'd be living in Texas. We just cannot do that! hahaha

    Annoying me? Paperwork and hoops to jump through. Hoping that ends this week! :D

    1. I liked the lemon biting face better than that cat. :)

  6. I was trying to think of what is irritating me today, and couldn't think of anything (how great is that?)!


  7. I am with you on the decaf thing! I only drink decaf because it just wreaks havoc on my nervous system, and I do go to Starbucks a lot. I have just rolled over and done the Americano thing, but I have to say it does bug me. And when they try to sell me a pound of their fancy new beans, I tell them I'd love to try it - do you have it in decaf?? Hah! No. It also bugs me when I want to have the occasional soda when we go out. At home I drink Coke Zero Decaf, which I have never found in any restaurant. And I get that, but then offer one of the caffeine-free sodas in diet, like Sprite or 7Up, but that doesn't happen either. I guess it's just not as glamorous as gluten-free :-(

    1. I'm glad to hear I'm not alone on the decaf thing Emmaclaire! And yeah, when I have a soda (like you it's not a regular thing, just sometimes when I'm out to lunch and its too early for wine) I'd really like a diet sprite or ginger ale, and it's almost never an option.

  8. So my comment last night disappeared into the ether, can I gripe about that? (Also, your picture! which my comment was appreciating. Although I love the cat.)
    I am not finding decaf at all difficult to come by, but then I don't do Starbucks. I nearly always make coffee at home, but Louisville's own coffee chain, Heine Bros., shows no sign of running out of decaf.
    I have no comment on walkability, since it is my goal to get back out beyond sidewalks (despite the fact that walking is my favorite exercise) to where "town" is ten miles away.
    Exercise clothes? This is such a strange concept for a walker. Pocket Rant: if so many people weren't mindless slaves of the consumer culture, we could go on strike (as I did more than forty years ago) and refuse to buy anything pocketless, and clothes without pockets would disappear!
    That's my gripiness for the day.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

    1. Good gripes Mary Anne! And sorry the commnent eating gremlins got you.

      As to the picture, I got an email complaining it was ugly as sin, and instead of just laughing I got too self-conscious and replaced it. Which goes to show my own immaturity, but there ya go. Once I started it seeing it that way I couldn't unsee it!

    2. ...but it was MEANT to be ugly! And it was. And excellent. You and the cat have exactly the same expression.
      This is my first experience with the comment gremlins. They must not find me very tasty.

      Mary Anne in Kentucky

  9. I also loathe windows 8, and tiny pockets....I won't pay retail for any thing with stupidly small pockets..I will add big pockets to thrift store finds. And decaf...I can't even buy whole bean decaf locally. I'm trying to follow drs orders to cut out caffine, so before I get lost in amazon reviews, anyone have a good decaf french roast to reccomend?

    1. Another WIndows 8 hater, yay! And wish I had a good recommendation, I used to get mine at Costco, the Kirkland Starbucks blend wasn't too bad, but then they stopped carrying it. Now I pick randomly at the grocery store.

      And weirdly enough, when I go to my mom's to visit, she picks the cheapest grocery store generic decaf she can find, and somehow it tastes great! Yet when i bring anything home that is decaf, no matter how fancy, and even use the same type of coffeemaker, is tastes kinda crappy. What's up with THAT?

  10. Death Ride GrandmaMay 12, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    Ok, am I ever ready to complain a little (maybe a lot?). I just got a new smart phone, and boy, is it ever smart. It has a seemingly endless way of gobbling up my data allocation on stuff that I really, really don't want to get. Am I the only one? I have never, really never, turned on any video on my phone unless I am in a wifi place, and my biggest usage is...yup, video. The phone has gotten more sensitive, it seems, and if I am simply scrolling through a news article, my finger might touch a video ad, and I may realize that the tinny voice I am hearing is coming from my phone - although I have now successfully scrolled far enough down that I am not watching the video. Grrr.

    On a more fitness oriented note, sort of a variation on your Texas walker-free theme, I am frustrated that there are so few practical public places for me to carry on my struggle to acquire chin-ups now that most playgrounds require you to have an actual child with you to go in. I am small, yes, and occasionally childish (I wish I could say child-like), but the grey hair is a dead give-away. I have a feeling my grandchildren would not appreciated being pressed into service so Grammy could do even more exercise.

    Yesterday I did a big ride with my two training buddies, and when they got tired before I did - a rare occasion, that - and I tried sympathy, they said, "I've got a right to whine, haven't I?" So we're with you all the way, Crabby.

    1. Thanks DRG for the video warning, I'm probably doing the same thing! And I have a verizon phone, a brand known for loading phones with bloatware that you can't remove. I'd ditch it but its the only reliable carrier in ptown, crappy reception on all the others.

      And yay you for the chin ups goal! I say when our hair turns silver enough, we get a free pass to use playground equipment. Who's gonna tell us "old" ladies to take a hike? I say we get a free geezer pass for aberrant public behavior.

  11. I love to bitch!!!! :)

    OMG - the tops - I am short & all the we workout tops are a dress on me - how about petite tops!

    I drink coffee all day too but it does not keep me up so I don't need decaf but I get it! AND petite capris!!!

    How about some cute shoes that fit wide bunioned feet! :)

  12. I love us jews as BITCHING sounds so much better in yiddish (KVETCH :_))

  13. Yes it's healthy to kvetch sometimes.

    Yes i want decaf after my first cup of regular so i don't have a caffeine induced panic attack.

    Yes it's about impossible to walk anywhere around here either except within the neighborhood itself, among the houses. You take your life in your hands trying to get across the highway, or you'd best cross down into the creek to go under the highway and it's a pill.

    The reason they are making "fashion" that way is they can charge as much for it and use less fabric so they look like they are keeping prices the same but they aren't because they are giving you less fabric for the same amount of money. That's also why t-shirts so often don't have more than a hint of a tiny sleeve any more, either.

    Thank you, i needed that, too.

  14. Oh you have set me off now. My issue is malls and stores with big parking lots that have provided no way for walkers to get to the front door safely so the walkers have created a mud path through the grass or landscaping with their thousands of trips and after a while the retailer fixes the landscaping instead of creating a real path!

  15. Ok I've got a question...

    When did it become ok for ladies to walk around town in their pantyhose?

    Am I the only one that has a problem with those see through black leggings that show every crease and camels?

    I live in San Antonio, so I'm not too far from you, I would take the hairy girl legs of the Austinites to the San Antonio crotch show any day!

    I'm just sayin...

    FYI.. Decaf is not that good for you... they use chemicals to extract the caffeine..

  16. My list is too long - many small things irk me. But I love your list. I'm adding your irks to mine.... ;-)


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