Category Archives: coronavirus update

MCM2020/Day 96: Orange

It is twenty minutes to seven on a warm evening somewhere in southern Maryland. I am enjoying a dinner of cold cuts, olives and pickles as I type this.

Tested negative for COVID-19, FTW!

Right eye cataracts surgery went smooth as glass this morning.  The only pain I really felt was when the nice nurse stuck a needle in my had for the intravenous drip. What I saw during the surgery would be great CGI/laser images for a Pink Floyd show, but it was painless.

As I type this, and not necessarily in need of reading glasses (yet), I have no swollen right eye from the surgery, nor am I suffering headaches of any magnitude.

My diabetes is mostly under control, except for today. I will fix that with my second dose of medicine.

Alive and healthy…once again, For The Win!

 

The bad news is that my marathon training schedule has been put into arrears. I just spent twenty minutes on my work laptop rearranging my schedule.

Starting tomorrow, I will alternate runs (of gradually increasing distance) with some of the more cardiovascular workouts from P90X. Not in any particular order: Cardio X, Core Synergistics, Kenpo X, Yoga X, and X Stretch.

I also made a strategic decision regarding resuming P90X. I will be resuming P90X in August, after my last eye surgery. I will be repeating P90X Lean instead of going to P90X Classic.

First reason: I FAILED TO GRADUATE.

Second reason: I need to get back on the losing weight program. My purpose is to build a stronger, leaner, more durable core and strengthen my legs for what may be an aggressive program.

I also want to get under 205 lbs.

Third reason: I need stronger muscles and ligaments, but not necessarily bigger ones. I’m not traveling to neither Ocean City, MD nor Arlington this year to display My Personal Gun Show, and I may be still struggling to much with my longer runs.

Looking back at my Marine Corps Marathon schedule since May (right after the Historic Half Marathon), I am seeing far too many missed workout days. I color code my workouts like this:

Green/done!   Gold/P90x and a run done, same day! Blue: Shortened/aborted run. Orange: F’n lazy a$$ no-show (did not do)

Not really wanting to count, but I bet I have more orange than green on the board…or maybe 52% to 48% green and blue (combined) over orange.

However, the calendar still reads July. I am still motivated to complete the virtual  Marine Marathon on October 25.

Quick aside: The MCM Organization officially cancelled the on-station MCM Weekend in the DC Triangle this year. No Runner’s Expo National Harbor, MD), no special events in the DC/VA area, no running events in the Nation’s Capitol, no Beating the Fourteenth Street Bridge or the party in Crystal City, Va. No uphill finish at the Arlington Cemetery or post-run photo by the Marine Corps’ Iwo Jima Memorial.

Okay sadness over. the thing is, I have mapped out a course that threatens to be much tougher than the traditional MCM course. Uphill/down hill, then downhill/uphill on Three Notch Road/MD-235, then downhill/uphill on Chancellor’s Run towards Great Mill Road, MD-5 south uphill/downhill towards Holy Face Church/Little Flower School. And then all the way back in reverse.

That’s the opening 18 miles.

The final four mile out and back is running all the way south down Willow Road towards MD-5 North and then out to whatever MapMyRun declares to be Mile 22. The finishing 2.2 is one last climb up the hill of Willow Road going back to Abberly Crest, with a last triumphant run past the Three Fireplugs and the finish (Mile 26 and change, for the official MCM record).

Objectives:

  1. Getting out of bed at 0430 for a 0500 workout
  2. Getting the workout started no later than 45 minutes after getting home from work
  3. Slowly but surely getting back on the road
  4. Finishing the runs, especially the Sunday (and occasional Saturday) long runs…pace be damned
  5. Working the hills…as many as possible, and looking for survival and consistency
  6. P90X: Hit play. Engage the core. Breathe.Work the hips.
  7. X Stretch every Sunday afternoon/evening. Before bed of you have to.
  8. FINISH. EVERYTHING.

 

The fun starts Wednesday morning.

 

Songs of the Day:

Bob Dylan/”Jokerman:” I have always loved how the images from the video (ancient and modern art, popular culture images/scenes) hep tell the story that Bob is trying to tell…even if he admits that he may have overthought this song and the rest of the album (Infidels). From Genius:

“ ‘Jokerman’ is the first track from Dylan’s 1983 album Infidels. This album is often seen as Dylan’s return to secular music after a conversion to Christianity and three gospel records.

However, “Jokerman” is still laden with religious imagery and biblical references. Like Christ, the Jokerman has messianic aspirations, but unlike a legitimate godly figure who will die for others, the Jokerman ultimately is unaccountable even to himself

Dylan: “That’s a song that got away from me. Lots of songs on that album [Infidels] got away from me. They just did.”

ST: “You mean in the writing?”

Dylan: “Yeah. They hung around too long. They were better before they were tampered with. Of course, it was me tampering with them. [Laughs] Yeah. That could have been a good song. It could’ve been.” If the YouTube comments section means anything, Bob Dylan’s fans would respectfully disagree.

Bruce Springsteen/”Atlantic City:” I think this song is just Bruce on acoustic guitar and some dude (maybe Little Steven?) on mandolin. It works…and my God is it so hauntingly beautiful.

” ‘Atlantic City’is perhaps one of Springsteen’s most dour songs. It depicts a young couple’s romantic escape to the New Jersey seaside resort of Atlantic City, where the man in the relationship intends to take a job in organized crime upon arriving in the city.

“The song wrestles with the inevitability of death and the hope of rebirth in various ways, especially in life and in the actual city of Atlantic City, which was going through an attempted mob takeover while the state government was trying to implement casino gambling within the city.

” ‘Atlantic City’ started as a demo recorded in early 1981 at Springsteen’s home studio at Colts Neck, NJ called “Fistfull of Dollars” (for the Clint Eastwood movie). He changed the title and the chorus to “Atlantic City” later that year, and on January 3. 1982, recorded 4 takes, along with other “Nebraska” demos that later made up the album of the same name. Take 2 was the one chosen for the album, released in fall 1982.”

 

MCM2020/T-Minus 97: Vision

Twenty-four hours from now, I hope to be walking out of MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital taking my first steps towards improved vision in my cataracts-infected eyes.

Tomorrow morning, I am scheduled for the first of two cataracts laser surgeries. My right eye will be done tomorrow, and my left one will be done two weeks from tomorrow.

Wednesday, I was tested for COVID-19, a prerequisite for my surgery. Unless I get a phone call or get the bad news upon reaching the hospital, I will presume I have tested negative. The testing required that I immediately depart the testing area and go straight home into lockdown: no trips to the store, to work, to anywhere. Also, I assumed no running.

My lockdown meant that I have not run since last Sunday, and I have not done any P90X, or any other cross-training, in two weeks. Getting back on schedule is going to be quite the long climb.

I plan on running again Wednesday morning, barring any prolonged medical problems after the eye surgery. From there it will be running every other day until next Sunday, then another two day hiatus, then back on the road the Wednesday after the second surgery. Running distance will be progressive distances, with longer runs on Saturdays and Sundays.

I will also ease back into P90X again, doing workouts on every other day. When I get back into shape (and lose my “fear” of doing P90X) I will start P90X Classic in August. P90X will be may preferred cross training routine throughout the rest of my Marine Corps Marathon training schedule.

To this point, July has been mostly shot, and hopefully I can rebound quickly, now that I am under the hundred-day mark.

Meanwhile, I do have a few “projects” I would like to complete today:

  1. Update MCM Training Schedule
  2. Work project, because I may be out of pocket until Wednesday morning
  3. Firmware/game mods load for my Atari Flashback 9 Gold

In between all that, there is the matter of getting enough food and hydration, because I am not allowed any food or beverage after midnight tonight…that includes water and any medication. I will be on a twelve hour fast until after the surgery.

And…that’s it until Tuesday. Just thought I’d post this here to let everybody know I’m still alive and relatively healthy. Alas, no Song of the Day either.

Talk to you Tuesday!

MCM 2020/T-Minus 100: Awaiting

Two years ago, I revived this blog by tracking my training for the Marine Corps Marathon from one hundred days out all the way through race day.

A lot has changed in those two years…hell, a lot has changed since I started training for the Historic Half back in February.

Today marks sixty days since I finished the Historic Half Marathon run for the 2020 Semper Fi Double (Historic Half plus MCM in the same calendar year). The last sixty days have not been kind.

Two DNFs while trying to run double-digit runs.

Failing to graduate P90X Lean.

All but scrapping the keto diet.

Plateauing in my struggle to lose weight/

But wait, there’s more…

In preparation for my cataracts surgery next Monday, I had to get tested for COVID-19 yesterday. As soon as the doctor got done swabbing by nostrils, she told me to come immediately and forthwith, putting me in isolation until I was cleared for surgery (or until I got news that I tested positive).

Lockdown means staying in the house until I get word, one way or the other. Outdoor PT wasn’t mentioned so I assumed it meant no running. So, right now, I am pretty much on a training time-out, at least until next Wednesday morning.

I was supposed to start P90X Classic next week, but with surgery on Monday and not knowing WTF on Tuesday, I’m pretty much on standby for that as well.

Oh, and I STILL haven’t ordered my new dumbbells from Amazon, either.

So, all I am doing is putting everything on hold until at least Tuesday night. Right now I am just watching the cell phone waiting for THAT CALL. If I don’t hear anything by 4:00 tomorrow, I start calling around to see what’s going on.

But at least I have a Song of the Day:

Violent Femmes/”Blister in the Sun:”This song was unplugged before MTV Unplugged was cool.

Genius:

“The lyrics are about heroin abuse and getting rejected by girls. You know, a normal teenage frustration tune from Violent Femmes.

“In 2007, Ritchie filed a lawsuit against Gano for band earnings and ownership rights stemming from Gano’s approval for their song “Blister in the Sun” to be used in a Wendy’s commercial. Once again, the band broke up.”

Ritchie: bassist Brian Ritchie. Gano: vocalist/guitarist Gordon Gano. And Victor DeLorenzo is the drummer, for completion’s sake.

“I Can Change:” Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut… FTW!!!) and covered by the Femmes for the excellent movie soundtrack.

MCM2020: Overtrain

I have been up since just before 0400. Reveille, yogurt, dressed, stretched, out the door at 0445, headed towards NAS Patuxent River. 0500 on the road.

For the second consecutive Sunday I lost my mojo around mile 9. I had an epiphany about that time: overtraining.

I usually don’t start serious running until late April/early May. I ran a half marathon for timesaver six weeks ago, the earliest I have ever run that long. In late March I was forced to swap my half hour circuit cause routine at the gym for a P90X course that runs an hour per session.

I thought the good times that I was getting on my short runs would translate into good long runs, like my virtual half-marathon back in mid-May. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case lately. My last three runs have seen me peter out around the eight mile mark.

So, it’s back to the drawing board for my running schedule. I was hoping to get to twenty-miles next month, but now I need to pull back on the mileage and start over from damn near scratch.

X Stretch got cancelled for tonight, just not in the mood after today’s second straight DNF.  I probably should be try to squeeze in the X Stretch anyway…nah.

Not sure if it has been the keto diet, or my diabetes meds, or just not that hungry after a long Sunday run. My last meal was about 9:00 last night. I got up and ate a single tub of yogurt at 0400. I didn’t eat “brunch” until just after 3:00. My first run with the $10 pancake I purchased from the base PX didn’t go so well; batter was less thicker than I expected. Maybe I should have gone back to iHOP and burned another $16 for brunch? I wonder if Cracker Barrel is back open as well?

In other news, I go back to my office space starting tomorrow, alternating between teleworking and working last the office every other week. It will be nice to see other people on a regular basis again.

Coffee at 5;30 on a Sunday evening…mmmm.

Song of the Day:

Johnny Cash/”When the Man Comes Around:” Good Lord I hope the man gets here soon. Nuff said.

Genius: 

‘The opening track – and the title track – to Johnny Cash’s 2002 album American IV: The Man Comes Around. This has been used many times on different TV shows and films including the opening and closing credits of the 2004 Dawn of the Deadremake, and the closing credits of the 2017 Wolverine film Logan.

‘This is also one of only three songs that Johnny Cash wrote himself on the album.”

 

MCM2020: Three Days/Friday

Ranieri Run 4

Forty-eight hours ago…

Reveille at 0430. Out of bed at 0445.

0450-0540: On and off the toilet for nearly and hour.

0555: Applying my Skin-So-Soft…and then abandoning the run.

Since I really can’t afford to lose any more miles, I am running all weekend: Friday and Saturday as well as the Sunday long run.

Today was a good pace for a short run, but I have to remember to throttle that pace back for Sunday. Can’t argue with a 10:55 pace; not bad for not having run in four days.

Really not that much to say. Out of bed at 0435, dressed and stretched, Skin-So0Soft and out the door at 0455. And I ran the Three Fireplugs after I crossed the 4 mile marker.

Business as usual. Where was this on Wednesday?

Aside from running three straight days I am also working P90X about 5:00 p.m. each day. Today is Core Synergistics, tomorrow is keno X, and Sunday will be X Stretch, provided I am in good health and better spirits come Sunday afternoon.

 

Interlude:

One more week with no COVID-19 symptoms. Going for my cataracts surgery pre-screen next Thursday.

This weekend I need to EAT as well as DRINK WATER.

 

P90X, Day 75: Core Synergistics

Dear Tony,

Another Friday, another buttkicker of a Core Synergistics workout.

For the second time in three sessions, I had to bail on the bonus round because i was worn out. Can’t really blame the run that much, and I did have something to eat before the workout. Also, note to self: watch the eating and the diabetic meds before the workout, so you don’t have to pause the workout to take a No. 2

Good Lord am I tired. Looks like another early Friday night.

 

Postscript:

I am running the virtual Marine Corps Marathon this year. If there is an onsite run in Arlington, Va., there will be up to 24 starting waves of 500 runners each…which may be a two-hour wait to actually start running. Not a good idea, regardless of the weather. Also, no finisher’s festival or beer garden. Probably no Runner’s Expo this year either.

Song of the Day: Fatboy Slim/”Praise You:” I loved the video directed by Spike Jonze. Flash mobbin’ before flashmobbin’ was ever a thing. I’m too tired for any more inputs, and I was fortunate to find the video.

Oh, and have you ever seen Fatboy’s original (and still used) recording/sampling set up?

Marathon Training During COVID-19/Throne

iStore 4: six and a half hours later…

After being in the throne room doing a No.2 on and off for an hour, I lost the “magic hour,” that period of time when I am prepped and motivated for a scheduled run. At 0530 I put off today’s run until 11:30 a.m.

Generally, the “heat of the day” takes place around 4:00-ish. However, the late morning was quite warm for being the last day before the First Day of Summer. Not any crushing humidity, but warm enough where I was glad to suck down a couple of bottles of water prior to stretching out at 11:10.

Speaking of stretching…those P90X stretches are money, yo!

An 11:19 pace over a sloping four miles is not bad (for me), but I’m not sure how I slowed down over the last mile. Mile three starts with the Three Fireplugs and ends coming back up to Abberly Crest, but the downhill and somewhat flat downhill toward the iStore facility should have been a little faster than a 12:06 final mile. Maybe I was anticipating hearing MapMyRun call out that last mile?

 

Interlude:

Spring has become summer. My diabetes is under control, but my blood pressure monitor is giving me scary readings. temporary “plantar” issue with my foot during the first mile of the run, but it’s fine now. Still no COVID-19 symptoms since I’ve been in shelter-in-place.

Eating chili for lunch as I write this. I anticipated the chili lasting a little bit longer than two days. Pho DeeLite for dinner tonight?

Planning on switching the scenery for the Sunday run: I am going on the base to run the ten-mile loop. However, I am going to tack on the run up Cedar Point Road up to Gate Two (all of it uphill) and then run it back down to the starting point at Drill Hall…where I ran to last Sunday.

Gear check: My Copper Fit ankle socks are holding up well. They stay on my feet, and I have never had any issues with blisters or sores. My Hanes ale socks are in the neighboorhood of over thirty years old. Most of them have holes in the big toes, but I have never had any ill effects when i run in them,

My asics Gel-Contend 5 is holding up rather well, for the mileage I have put on them so far. I overprint, so most of my shoe wear is in the outer rear edge of the heels. Lots of miles coming up this summer, though.

 

P90X, Day 68: Core Synergistics

I know I ate after the run today, so maybe five hours was not enough recovery time between the run and today’s P90X session? Whatever it was, I was doggin’ it in the last twenty minutes of the workout. I barely made it through the bonus round.

Looking at the numbers on my workout sheet, they’re comparable to two weeks ago, but yes, I was running on fumes after the towel hoppers. It didn’t help that I forgot to reach under after my first push-up on the reach-high-and-unders.

Just got done chugging my recovery drink; orange is kinda not my flavor. to for the brand I purchased from GNC.

I am just killing myself, but it looks like another night of Uber Eats…IF there are Uber drivers on the road who have the UE duty.

Kenpo X in the morning…see you next time, Tony!

 

Song of the Day: Utopia/”Cry Baby:” Because I am so, SO, SO tired of #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, #Antifa, and the rest of the Social Justice Warrior movement. Nothin’ but lyrics.

Pink Floyd:“In the Flesh/Run Like Hell/Waiting for the Worms:” This sequence from Pink Floyd: The Wall is more about “Pink’s” descent into madness, but given the current societal atmosphere, this to me is kind of a glimpse into where I think mankind is headed. PS: In my mind, Pink here is not represented by the current POTUS. Jus’ saying.

 

MCM’20: Welcome Back

Last Tuesday night I was in the warm-up phase of Chest-Shoulders-Triceps/Ab Ripper X. Just as I started running in place, my left glutei kind of gave out. I didn’t pull or tear any muscles or ligaments, but the pain was enough of a concern that I stopped the video and called off the workout. At that point, I was feeling sore in other places, to include both my shins. I had also postponed the workout from Monday and I was dreading the make-up schedule for that week. At that point I just flat-out took the week off.

So…I just got done with X Stretch, having run eight miles earlier this morning. Now, X Stretch is considered optional (“Rest or X Stretch,” safety the schedule). However Tony Horton, the creator of P90X, made a good statement at the start of the video: X Stretch is important because without stretching a person can plateau in his/her performance, get hurt, and/or get frustrated and quit. I think that kind of happened to me last week. I didn’t compensate for the added two-a-days, and it finally caught up to me Tuesday evening.

I had thought about doing Yoga X on Friday morning and then X Stretch on Saturday morning, but I never followed through. So, it was X Stretch twelve hours after today’s run.

 

Drill Hall 8:

It was not a full sunrise as I stepped out the door at 0455 this morning, but there was enough light out. No more moonlight runs until fall, I guess.

I didn’t really set a goal this morning, other than finishing the eight miles at a reasonable time and pace. Considering that I hadn’t run since Monday evening, an 11:25 pace wasn’t too bad. No idea how I lost 23 seconds from the mile 3 to mile 4 splits, especially since it was the bottom of the slope and a fairly straightforward turnaround point. When MapMyRun sounded the four mile mark, I kept going towards the entrance to the Drill Hall (NAS Patuxent River gymnasium facility) and turned around there. The second half of the run was mostly a climb from the middle of mile four through mile seven, yet I kept the pace under twelve minutes. I finished the 8.25 miles in 1:34.12 at an 11:25 pace.

 

Interlude:

I have not made an entry in my orange logbook since April 19. With MapMyRun keeping track of my runs, and the P90X Worksheets, I haven’t really had to make any entries, or even bother to make it up. Oh, well.

The Slice House makes the largest pizza in the St. Mary’s County area. The 18″ diameter pizza was dinner last night, lunch today, and will be dinner tonight. Just heat the oven to 350 degrees and stick the slices in for five minutes.

That being said, I need to go back on the keto diet. I only gained two pounds in the last two weeks, but I want to be closer to 200 for the Marine Corps Marathon.

I bit of the sneezes and sniffles, but no COVID-19 symptoms since the shelter in place back in late March. Hope the X Stretch helps me with  recovery though.

The runs are getting longer, which means more recovery time on Sundays. I still need to think about fitting X Stretch into my Sunday routine somehow.

 

X Stretch:

Dear Tony,

You made a good point at the intro to the X Stretch workout: without stretching, your performance plateaus, you get injured, then you get frustrated and then quit. I wasn’t going to completely quit, but I did have to shut down P90X and running for the week.

If nothing else, I think I’ll get a better night’s sleep out of it tonight. But I will make the effort to work in X Stretch on Sundays from now on…provided i don’t die from the longer runs on Sundays.

Back in the saddle, Tony…see you tomorrow morning!

 

Song of the Day: Daft Punk/”One More Time:” It has been this song and Avicii’s “Levels” most of the week. From Genius:

“Daft Punk’s single, “One More Time,” is that kind of song: a piece of superreligion with an invincible beat and a nailed-to-the-wall vocal by house singer Romanthony. It is stamina itself, an anthem to keep on dancing that’s already a huge hit in clubs and on the radio. All those knowing listeners who bought Homework and signed on for the pair’s rascally, nudge-wink grooves now have to figure out what part of “One More Time” is for them. Is there a subversive part of “One More Time?” If so, where does it begin

“Generally about their music, which this song represents perfectly, Thomas Bengalter said

The healthy thing is that people either loved it or hated it. The worst thing is when you make art and people are not moved.

I always thought that there were two people singing, but it was always Romanthony alternating with himself on the chorus.

Around the World:

“The track is a perfect example of Daft Punk’s sound at it’s most accessible: a post-disco boogie bassline, a minimalist sprinkling of synthetic keyboard melody and a single, naggingly insistent hook. While the vocal performs that role on “Around the World,” elsewhere the same effect is achieved using a wide variety of sounds.

“The music video is meant to be a visual representation of the whole song, with groups of characters representing each instrument.”

Marathon Training During COVID-19: UPS

MD-5 3

Oh, look…yet another late start. Didn’t get underway until 0530 this morning (and I missed the full moon as well). Didn’t even stretch, and that was risky since I strained a groin muscle running downhill on this very course a couple of years ago. That being said, the weather was good…not too hot or to cool. No breeze or gusts of any kind.

From the start at Green MeadowLane to the Bay Montessori School is the first mile, and from the school to the MD-5 intersection and back (just past the school) is mile 2. Mile 2 has the steeper climb, yet I was only 16 seconds slower on the return leg of mile 2. My finishing mile 3 was 10:21, resulting in a 10:58 pace for the day.

3.11 miles…just short of pie.

 

COVID-19 Life

Over two full months since I’ve sheltered in place: no COVID-19 symptoms at this time.

The keto diet has taken a powder this week. Today I didn’t really pig out: for breakfast I tried a couple of “eggs in a pot” with bacon and taco cheese, with an English muffin to dip in the eggs. For lunch, I had a couple of spare brioche Belgian waffles (OMFG, that scale is gonna be ugly this Sunday) with a couple of slices of capricola and baby swiss cheese, washed down with coffee in my Yeti cup.

Side note: the Yeti cup is real. I’ve had coffee in there for four hours and it’s still warm enough to drink. Even better with the plastic closure lids (sold separately for the 10-oz. tumbler which I have). I have at least seven coffee cups that I used to use on the regular. The Yeti is the only one I’ve used in the last two months.

So, so sick of all the rioting over George Floyd’s death.

 

P90X, Day 59: Shoulders and Arms/ABX

Dear Tony,

I dug out my worksheet for Shoulders and Arms…hey, I haven’t worked this in a while!

I was somewhat concerned over today’s workout…not that much water intake, and I ate somewhat light today. I didn’t have hinger pains and I didn’t bonk (crashing for lack of fuel/nutrients to sustain the workout), so I did pull off the workout, to include Ab Ripper X…for the second straight day.

For the first time, I tried out the heavier resistance band for the gulf of the workouts, and today I actually felt a difference in the routines. Some of my reps got better, and some of them dipped a bit, but I still was able to push and felt more of a burn than I ever did before. I even sweated through the bonus round (not that I don’t skip the bonus round…I still do ’em).

ABX on back to back days? That’s what happens when I skip a day and have to make up the workouts. Believe it or not, I actually did better than yesterday interns of reps! Got a great number of reps  for the wide-legs setups and the roll-up V-ups.

STILL need to print up a new sheet for ABX.

Yoga X at the crack of dawn, Cardio X after work. Kind of like a Doubles day.

See you next time, Tony!

 

Post script:

The UPS man finally stopped by my apartment today. Dropped off two expected items.

The bigger box: My replacement Start Flashback 9 Gold. More games plus 3 day shipping plus sales tax equals $28 more dollars than I paid for the original Flashback 9. Please let me not blow out the hard drive with the firmware load.

More on this later.

The smaller package: My Historic Half Medal.

Yeah, that’s why I did so much better on ABX today.

Song of the Day: Brought to you by Iggy Pop, for absolutely no reason at all.

Iggy Pop/”The Passenger:My first encounter with this song: commercial music for Morgan Spurlock’s short-lived show on Fox. From Genius:

“In a chat with Josh Homme, Iggy talked about the song’s main inspiration:

Yeah. The Passenger was partly written about the fact I’d been riding around North America and Europe in David’s car ad infinitum. I didn’t have a driver’s licence or a vehicle.

“This song was also inspired by a poem written by Jim Morrison of The Doors.”

David’s car…David Bowie?

Speaking of David…

Iggy Pop/”Lust for Life:” From the movie Trainspotting, which was a surprisingly good movie. Genius says:

“Musically, “Lust For Life” is deceptively catchy and upbeat for a song about a life ravaged by drug addiction. This has led to the song being used as the laughably incongruous soundtrack of advertisements for clients like Royal Carribean Cruises and Metrobank.

“The song was co-written in 1977 by Iggy Pop and David Bowie, with Bowie providing the music (written on a ukulele), and Pop the lyrics

“In 2013, Iggy Pop told Q Magazine,

Once a week the Armed Forces Network [in Berlin] would play Starsky & Hutch and that was our little ritual. AFN would broadcast an ID when they came on the air, a representation of a radio tower, and it made a signal sound, ‘beep beep beep beep beep ba beep.’ And we went, ‘Aha, we’ll take that!’ David [Bowie] grabbed his ukulele, worked out the chords, and away we went.

 

Marathon Training During COVID-19: Steady

Shangri-La 3:

I was a half-hour late out the door because I spent 15 minutes on the throne, getting rid of last night’s dinner, but it didn’t hurt my time any. Looking at the MapMyRun website, my mile splits were pretty consistent, within seven seconds of each other. It was a cool partly cloudy morning today, just about perfect for a short run up Shangri-La Drive and back.

My Memorial Day run and these last two three milers seem to be worlds apart. I went from an 11:58 pace on Monday to 11:09 today.

 

Interlude:

It’s payday weekend, and time to see how packed everything will be with the partial reopening of the state. One of the many things I will be spending my money will be on a haircut, now that Sport Cuts has reopened.

I wanted to try and buy a set of weights for my last month of P90X Lean. Unless I find something good at Dick’s this weekend, it will be the resistance bands for at least one more week.

Shipt has finally been delivering over the last three weeks. Very good jobs by the shoppers; they always text me when they have to make a substitution on my order, and they let me know when they are on their way to my apartment.

P90X a day keeps the coronavirus away. “Nuff said.

 

P90X Day 54: Core Synergistics:

Dear Tony,

I performed the Core Synergistics routine on my lunch break today. No logbook or worksheet entries, because I wanted to focus more on doing the routines right than worry about the numbers/reps.

Also, because I haven’t gotten around to printing up new worksheets.

I am starting to get a little bit better on the routines, though. I can actually lift my chest and raise my legs on Bow to Boat, and even though my table isn’t perfect, I can still get into position enough to crank out three rounds (five table dips right leg, five dips left) worth of dips.

End of the day, end of the workweek. Time to head to Walgreens to see how much I can spend on my prescriptions.

Yoga X in the morning, Tony…see you next time!

 

Song of the Day: two great tunes from movie composer Ennio Morricone: “The Trio”, from the climactic three way duel in The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; and the opening theme from Two Mules for Sister Sara

 

Lifestyle 2020: Mexican Eggs and SD Cards

Arepas con Huevos:

So, the recipe I used for this Mexican egg-filled cornmeal sandwich called for frying the arepa dough in a skillet with oil until golden brown, and then, “When the arepas are cool enough to handle, slice into the side of the arepa with a thin sharp knife in the same way you would split open an English muffin. Hollow out a space in the arepa without slicing all the way through.”

“Crack an egg into a small ramekin. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper lightly if desired. Pour the egg into the hollowed out arepa. Seal the opening with some of the reserved dough.”

The first time I tried making arepas, the fried dough was either too thin or fried too long to make the cut in the roll. Anyway that whole thing where you’re supposed to put an egg inside the roll? Didn’t happen, and it was a waste of two eggs and half my batter the first time through. I couldn’t make a hole big enough to fill the egg without having it poured eevryhwre but inside the roll.

So, I got the bright idea to try preparing the dough for the egg before frying it. After making the batter, I took on rolled up ball of dough and tried to flatten it out inside a small paper bowl. The egg, sat inside the well I made in the dough, so I put some salt and pepper on the egg and a few pieces of fried chorizo. I then made another ball of dough and made a “cover” for the dough and the egg. I covered the arepa just barely, but some of the egg started to drip out. having made my cornmeal “sandwich,” I put the arepa con hue in the oil-filled skillet. I did the same thing with a second egg and dough.

The verdict? I didn’t cook them long enough, and when I bit into each one I got a mouthful of very runny and uncooked egg…that is, the egg that didn’t pose out of the arepa and onto my lap. Two attempts at arepas con huevos…two wasted eggs and cornmeal batter.

Helluva breakfast, Brownie!

Since I had torpedoed the keto diet for the day with two-day old sushi, I decided to take the remaining arepa batter and make at least one more attempt. Without the use of a bowl, I fashioned the dough into a crude bowl and laid in my egg with seasoning and chorizo. Unfortunately, I made hash out of putting on the cover. On top of that, I had made the indentation too deep for the gg, and the batter thinned out at the bottom. The egg was already leaking out. I barely managed to put the arepa together and put it in the skillet.

I decided to leave the leaky mess of an arepa con huevo in the fryer for a few minutes until both sides were well past golden brown…with a hint of black. After letting the “sandwich” cool, I prepared a single cup of coffee.

Technically, the egg did cook more thoroughly this time. However, because I used so much dough the “sandwich” was more bread than filling. The makeshift arepa con huevo tasted alright and made an okay dinner/late afternoon breakfast. However, it was not the  “breakfast comfort food” I was hoping for. Not sure I’ll be doing this again anytime soon.

 

Atari Flashback 9 w/Firmware and Games Mod

When I performed this on my birthday night two months ago, I gave up in frustration when I could not figure out how to rename all the files on the Game library on the 16GB SD card to eliminate the spaces.

On Memorial Day morning, just after breakfast, I spent an hour watching the video that I have hyperlinked. Once again, I ran into the showstopper of fixing the names on the SD card.

Tonight, I decided to make another stab at fixing the file naming. I found a second video that fully explained how to use the Advanced Renamer to fix all the files. I used the AR on the both my SD cards that I loaded the GAME_mod on, and managed to finally fix all the files.

Almost there…

So, about twenty minutes ago, I loaded the SD card into the slot in my Flashback 9. Fired it up, and when the title screen came up, the SD card entry in the options area was greyed out. I realized that I the FB didn’t do the firmware update.

When I pulled out the SD card and loaded it back on my Asus laptop, I realized that the firmware update wasn’t there. I did have the update on the original SD card, however. So I went to load the SD card and booted up the Flashback 9 one more time.

“Do you want to upgrade the firmware?” Why yes.

Went straight to the title screen, No SD card highlighted.

One more time.

Yes, I want to upgrade the firmware.

This time, I got the circle indicating the firmware upgrade was in progress. The computer program jargon filled the screen…

…and then it went black.

The Flashback title screen never came back on. Oh, there was power to the console, but no title screen, no “circle of life/death/whatever.”

Bye-bye, Flashback 9. Bye-bye, $50 impulse buy just before Christmas.

So, I cleaned up the SD card on my laptop one more time. Took apart the Flashback ( and put the box/controllers/power supply back in the box.

Back to Amazon to buy a Flashback 9 Gold. I bought two replacement Atari 2600 joysticks on Amazon two nights ago, so I’m going to figure this one out…one way or another.

 

Song of the Day: Blancemange/”Living on the Ceiling:” Yet another classically underrated one hit wonder from the Golden Age of MTV. I loved the use of Indian instruments and the belly-dancing vibe I got from this song. Genius got nothing but lyrics.