Saturday, February 28, 2009

Survivor Video????

My buddy Ann (co-worker) and I are huge survivor fans,
so it did not surprise me much when she sent me this video. Great video, so I thought I would share it with my readers. Enjoy!!!
Thanks Ann.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Back injury

Sometimes you should just know better, that is exactly what I was thinking when I hurt myself. Ok here is my story, just a short recap. I ran a fitness center for 18 years where I preached almost daily the importantace of complete body workouts. Guys would come into the gym and only want to work their upper bodies…

(Don’t laugh ladies) you ladies were just as bad,

you would only want to work your lower bodies. Well this seem like a good idea at first, just work on my problem areas or beach muscles and everything will be alright…WRONG!!!

This is where my story comes in; as I mention a few blogs back I let myself get out of shape and am now making my comeback. I started back at the gym a few months ago on my lunch hour with two of my buddies (co-workers).

The problem with this is I only have around 40 minutes to workout. So I decided to work arms, chest, abs, mostly upper body. I did this mainly due to time, back and legs just take too long to work and I have to admit I just hate to work shoulders. This worked great at first as I was weak as a kitten.

(a very small kitten)

but as the months went on I began to get my strength back. (Hamster power)

It happen on last Wednesday “chest day”

I only work chest one day a week, once was enough this week…Ha-ha. I had a little extra time this day so I decided to go a little heaver than normal, so I started on the free weight incline machine and went up to 405 lb on my last set…no problem. Then I moved on to flat bench dumbbell press, I worked my way up to the 110 lb dumbbells on my last set, I sat on the end of the bench with both dumbbells balanced on my thighs, and then I just lay back with them and start pressing them. For some reason this time when I laid on the bench I landed kind of crocked and had to wiggle a little to get straight on the bench before I started pressing the dumbbells. That’s all it took my back was hurt and I did not know it yet, I finished my set and racked the dumbbells , then I felt a slight strain in my back but not enough to not to finish my workout…and I did.

Well when I got home that night I whined a little to the wife that I hurt my back and kind of flipped flopped around in bed that night but woke up Thursday with only the slightest pain. By the time I got to work the pain was gone. Well until I heard my ex-boss calling my name “tiny…tiny” yea he calls me tiny, it was Mr. Duckworth needing me to help him move his office future around.
So I grab the end of this small desk and he grabbed the other side,

I was thinking it was around thirty pounds…WRONG!! More like 300 hundred as I picked up I felt it my back popped, ouch!!!! But I manned up and moved the table, then was asked to move a big desk…so I did then I limped back to my desk, hurt…very hurt. I survived the rest of the day at work before getting home and taking some pain pills I had left over from my last trip to the doctor. Hmmmm pain pills….goooood.

Well I’ve babied my back all weekend long and it feels much better now.

All this said to get to the point of this story that you must work your entire body to grow up and be strong and healthy. What happens is as you get stronger, the one thing the weights (dumbbells) look for in the body is the weak link. In my case, it was my back that was the weak link. It is a lot like that old saying “a team is only as good as its weak link”. From now on start thinking of your body as a team, and train everything just the same so there will be no more weak links.

In the morning I am starting back at the gym at 5:30am so I can get a hour and half workout in before work and plan on still going three days a week at lunch with my buddies just to work abs and calves. I guess I need to go cook now and get everything packed, 5:30am comes early. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bench Press Madness

One of my brothers of iron,

hit a life time best at the gym today.

Eric “The Beast” Taylor benched 300 lbs today at the Hattiesburg YMCA. We need to get this man a T-Shirt, what a lift. He has been creeping around the 300 mark for some time now, I personally saw him do an unassisted 290 lb bench about a week ago. I hate to tell him I told you so, but I do remember telling him he should have done 300 then…ok I can’t resist…I TOLD YOU SO!!! Now that I think of it, he should have benched 305 lb so he could say he can bench over 300 lbs. Ha-ha. It never ends.

Maybe next time he will try 315 lbs.

With one hand tied behind his back (inside joke) three cheers for Eric!!! Light Weight Baby…yep…yep.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Near run-in with the law

I just had to mention this, it happen on my way to work this morning. The morning started out the same as always, me packing my lunch for work then running out the door to drive to work. Well if you read my note “25 things you did not know about me” on FaceBook a few weeks ago, you would have learned I have kind of an obsession with driving through the wrong parts of town at night. Truth is I do it day and night anytime I get the chance this drives my wife and mom crazy. Ha-ha. Away as I was driving down Mobile Street this morning (parts of this street is know for it hooker’s, drug dealing, and gang activity) I get to the intersection with the Bar/whiskey store;

the light is green and I start pulling into the intersection…What do I see!!!

But one of Hattiesburg finest (cop car)

with it's lights on

heading right at me. The cop see’s me about the time I see him, he clicks on his siren and cuts to the left hard as I gun the mighty v8 (ford truck power) to get across the road, a very near miss, very, very near miss. It’s just to early in the morning for this. Ha-ha. Well I made it to the office (on time incase the boss is reading this) I guess my parting thought would be, had we wrecked who’s fault would it have been…hmmm let me guess.

Ha-ha. To all my law enforcement buddies out there keep up the good work…truth is they have cleaned up Mobile Street so well now that I may have to start looking for a new route to work…you know me and my OBSESSION.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines Day in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

I wanted to say we got an early jump on our road trip to Baton Rouge Saturday but it would be a lie,

we did not get out of the house till 11:00a.m. We stopped off at a little store near the house to top off the gas tank on the truck

and got a bag of popcorn, two bags of sunflower seeds and two bottles of water for the road. Then we were off up Interstate 59 till we reached I-12 where I snapped a photo

for Facebook as we were passing through Mandeville. About 45 minutes later we reached Nancy and Jimmy Gosserand's house

(Nancy is my wife's sister). We were greeted with hugs and kisses from their dog Gibby, once inside Jimmy and I watched TV

while catching up and the girls and Ryan made a quick trip to the mall to pick up a last minute valentines gift for Ryan’s little woman…shame…shame on you Ryan. Ha-ha.

Once the girls and Ryan got back we decided to go out to eat…we did the old folks trick

and went to dinner at 5:00p.m. to beat the crowd. Well it worked well we got right in and got a seat, no waiting. The girls order a bottle of wine and a couple of appetizers, crab cakes and some kind of stuffed pasta. Then it was time for the main course, I order the 12oz rib eye with grilled vegetables and steamed broccoli as my two sides.

Jimmy had the same except he had potatoes with his and the girls got pasta; Nancy’s with chicken and my bride Signe’s with shrimp. Delicious meal, not a bad price either, a little over 60 dollars before tip for the two of us splitting the wine and appetizers down the middle, not bad, not bad at all.

Once out of the restaurant, Jimmy our now chauffeur,

drove us to, (I can’t remember the name) a place that is kind of like an outdoor mall and community all in one, townhouses on the roofs of the stores are going for 650,000.00 to 700,000.00 dollars. We walked around and went into a few stores; I took a few photos of water fountains I liked, I know the tall one was 1,196.00 dollars

and the shorter ones were around 600.00 dollars.

I took the photos incase I decide to build them later at home for about a 10th of the price. I once did the same thing with the headboard for our bed; I found it in a store for around 1,200.00 dollars took a photo and ended up building it for 127.00 dollars,

not counting the matching night stand,

I think I had 50.00 dollars in it. Ha-ha. We ended up walking to Barns and Nobles to get a cup of coffee, and do a little people watching, we had a great time making fun of everyone, it’s a shame everyone is not perfect like us…ha-ha.

It was starting to rain now so off to the Gosserands house we went, talked for a while then went to bed. My wife and I slept in someone’s room…if only I had a clue…

hmmm that's right- it was Ragen’s room, Jimmy & Nancy’s 13 year old daughter. She was out of town to Houston Texas (I think) staying with some friend while watching a cheerleader competition.

Got up the next morning, drank some coffee and worked on planning Signe’s and Nancy’s mom & dad’s fiftieth Wedding Anniversary party, then before we knew it, it as 11:00a.m., time to head home. We took the long route home from I-12 to Hwy. 55 to Hwy. 98; a little more scenery and a lot less traffic. Great weekend trip; hope to get to do it again soon.

Saturday, February 7, 2009 Okatibbee Lake in Mississippi???

Ok here is how this adventure got started. As usual, I was talking to Matt Thursday at work (I’m sure it was during a scheduled work break) and he was telling me how great the weather was going to be this weekend. That’s all it took, my little pea brain

started working...hmmm what about a motorcycle camping trip? I asked around the office and my buddy Ann came up with the idea of me going to Orange Beach, Alabama

for an overnight trip; so it was set Orange Beach, Alabama it is. (I took off Friday) Well it was the plan until I woke up Friday morning and started looking at Google maps, then my plans changed as they almost always do. Ha-ha. I saw a lake just north of Meridian. It is called Okatibbee Lake.

There are several campgrounds located around it, so I ended up picking Twiltiey Branch Campground as my destination which is right on the lake. So around 11:00a.m., I was packed up and ready to ride.

Mom and dad came over to wish me well on my adventure and snapped a few photos of me and my beloved bike.

Just down the road I stopped and topped off my gas tank. I kept up with all of my fill ups and trip expenses on my IPHONE (the world greatest phone).

I decided to take Hwy 11 all the way to Meridian where I would get on Hwy. 19 NORTH until I turned off at the lake. Once in Meridian, I decided to go to Chunky River Harley-Davidson

and checkout some bikes. When I pulled into the parking lot, there was another Japanese bike parked also loaded with gear,

so I parked mine beside it an went inside to look around. They have a HUGE selection of bikes; new and used...I have got to get me one of them! Maybe next year...sniff...Sniff. I guess it is a little soon to be trading mine in, it is a 2008 model. Ha-ha. So I left there filled up again and headed down Hwy. 19 south... that’s right I said SOUTH, wrong way,

it only took me about 15 miles to figure it out. Then once again I used my IPHONE’S GPS to get me back on the right track. Just a few miles later I made my first turn off Hwy. 19 and just followed the signs to the campground

(around 5 are 6 miles once you turn off the hwy).
It is a gated campground so you have to pass by a guard shack;

this is where you pay to camp or use the boat launch. I pulled my bike up to the drive-in window...this is where I first met Don; here is how the conversation went. ME: Hello, is there tent camping here? DON: yep. ME: Are there any spots available? DON: yep. ME: do I need to backup and park and come inside and fill out paper work? DON: yep. So I push my bike back a few feet to park in a parking space. While this is happening, a dog starts barking next door at a house. So I get off the bike and walk in the door passing Don walking out towards my bike as I walk to the front desk that has a little lady sitting behind it motioning me over. When I get to the door the lady asked me “how did you get that dog to stay on the bike?”

ME: WHAT??? As I look back I see Don walking around my bike looking for a dog stashed away somewhere in my gear. He comes walking back in saying there is no dog on that bike. So I tell them the dog was next door, they laugh, I fill out the paper work and pay 12 dollars for the night. Don picked spot 54 for me, due to it was close to the restroom; but told me I could take my pick since I was the only one in the primitive side of the park. Once I drove down this long, long road

I came to the camp sites, this place was huge...and yep Don was right, I was alone all alone...well so I,dm,dmmmm. I got unpacked and my tent set up,

then decided to go to Wal-Mart I had passed along the way in, but wanted to get back to camp before dark...I had to hurry, it was a little after 4:00pm now.

I got to Wal-Mart

bought a couple of bottles of water a can of Pringles chips.

Ok I got to mention this; as I walked down the longggg row of freezers (you know the kind with glass doors so you can see all the frozen foods)

well I noticed they were all dark (no lights on) as I walked down the aisle the light behind each door began to light up, they had some kind motion sensors that turned them on. I have to admit it became a game to me as I ran up and down the aisle watching the lights turn on and off, this reminded me of the famous scene from the movie Big as Tom Hanks played on the giant piano keys.

THANK GOD I WAS FROM OUT OF TOWN AND NO ONE KNEW ME THERE. I got to get out more. Ha-ha. Next stop was Quiznos sub shop

for a sub for the road, then back to camp I went, made it back just before dark. Dinner time

ate then took a long walk around the park snapping photos.


Just me trying to be a photographer. HA-HA (below)

Restrooms and the bath house

I almost walked to far and barely made it back to camp before dark.

Scary-EEEE. Time for bed or should I say time for sleeping bag, I checked my Facebook account and my email on my IPHONE before drifting off to sleep. This is where BIGFOOT...

Yeti, Sasquatch, Skunk Ape 0r whatever you want to call a giant ape man hiding in the woods waiting, terrorizing campers as they sleep. Well here is my story; I was sound a sleep and was awakened around 2:30a.m. to the sound of something slamming what sounded like two big sticks together over and over again. It sounded like it was coming from the edge of the woods about a hundred yards from my tent.

Hmmmm, this went on for about thirty minutes (I heard from watching the TV show Monster Quest

this was one of the first sign's before Bigfoot’s attacks followed by a strong smell of what has been described as a skunk smell.

Then followed by large rocks being thrown at the tents or cabins by the monster). Then the noise stopped and I drifted back to sleep only to be awakened again to a different kind of call of nature. One problem the bathroom was about 50 yards away in the to the WOODS!!!

So I manned up

and made what now seemed like a two mile journey. IN THE DARK!!! As soon as I stepped out of the tent, I got hit with this smell, I’m not kidding it smelled just like was almost over powering, this made the walk (almost a run now) even longer. So I did my business and then trotted back to the I not getting out again till morning. Back to sleep again only to awaken AGAIN at 3:30a.m. to the sounds of the two sticks hitting together again this time a little closer... I have to admit the words “OH SHIT!!” Came to mind. Then just like that the clicking stopped...I thought this was a good thing...WRONG!!! Then the clicking did stop but it turned into a very loud Howl

a howl like I have never heard before, the only good thing about it was the howl was moving away from my tent at a rapid rate. Then the sound faded into the distance and once again I went to sleep only to awaken on my own this time around 8:00 a.m. I got up munched on a few chips and went to the edge of the woods to investigate the’s a lot easier to be brave when you know at least you can see what is going to jump out and bite your head off. After looking around in the woods

a while I gave up my investigation, no foot prints or hair that I could find. Its one of those things I just have to wonder about the rest of my life. Or maybe just maybe, I’ve watched too much Monster Quest...

the world and I will never know.

Time to pack.

As I was rolling up my sleeping bag and sleeping pad, Don drove up as he was making his morning rounds. I walked over to tell him I was leaving and we began to talk. Come to find out we had a lot in common. He rides motorcycles too and had just bought a new Harley. Don is a small man and getting on in years so I was surprised to find out he drove to Sturgis last year for the big motorcycle rally. This is around 4,000 miles roundtrip; and he was at the same rally I went to last year in Panama City Beach.

He told me he was retired military and his wife and himself traveled from park to park working as rangers...their next stop was YellowStone National Park

around the beginning of the summer. Well we said goodbye and Don jumped back into his truck...just then I thought about taking a photo so I ran back to my tent grabbed my camera and took this shot as he was driving away.

I hope I make it back to the campground in time to talk to Don again before he is gone, he is a good man.

Well I got packed up and

headed out of camp down the long road again

and back to Interstate 59 this time, filled up for the third time and was on my way home. I got behind a car on Interstate 59 and started doing a little drafting around 80 mph all the way home. What a great adventure, and a pleasure to meet a man named Don.

States I’ve traveled to over the years

big als music