Category Archives: Fitness

Feeding Frenzy

Photo Credit: RitaE

In odd news this week, Molly Schuyler, a competitive eater, has taken the Z Burger Annual Burger Eating Contest for the fifth time. This year she ate 32 burgers in 10 minutes (complete with buns), breaking her record of 27 burgers last year.

I’ve never understood competitive eating. I’m not sure why being able to stuff your gut with massive amounts of food is something to be lauded. There is a show on the Cooking Channel right now called Man vs. Food and each episode ends with the host (whose name I can’t remember) takes on an eating challenge.  I haven’t watched a whole show but have seen bits and pieces, enough to know that there is always a crowd standing around urging him on as he gorges on whatever platter is in front of him.  Why is this interesting, I just don’t know.

And competitive eating during which the contenders eat hot things like peppers baffles me even more. I think it would be a sad thing to say about my own life if I’d need to get a high from torturing my digestive system.

Have you ever won a contest?

Down the Rabbit Hole

Over lunch today I thought I’d watch John Oliver – he always makes me laugh while he’s giving me something to think about. That video led me to a SciShow piece debunking last week’s news about a study purporting that cell phone use was causing horns in young people.  That led me to a long piece on “How I Found Out” about flat earthers and the next step was to look up the big 2024 solar eclipse to see the closest spot to Minneapolis to see it in totality.  That led me to the calendar to find out what day of the week that will be in 2024.  Then I searched a bit to see if the calendar that I like for my fridge was done for 2020 yet, which led me to Amazon.  There I decided to check on an order that I placed a few days ago and was happy to see that my world map was on the truck for delivery. Then I got a text from a girlfriend about dinner tonight – how about El Jefe?  I googled them, they are closed on Mondays, so then spent time googling a few other restaurants, which  led me to recipes using corn and queso fresco.

Then suddenly my lunch hour was over and I hadn’t even finished eating my lunch!

What distracts you?  What rabbit hole have you been down recently?

A Perfect Weekend

I try not to let my anticipation get the better of me. It’s been my habit to keep my expectations down so it was a little worrisome how much I was looking forward to this past weekend.  What if it wasn’t up to snuff?

I got up early on Saturday and went to Great Harvest Bakery for three-cheese bread and monster cookies. Gym and then coffee and some reading until it was time for a stamping workshop.  Then some serious yardwork, doing clean up all along the south side of the house and the front with YA.  Chinese take-out for dinner.

More sleeping in on Sunday, Brueggers for heart-shaped bagels, gym and then once home, made peanut butter cheesecake brownies while watching James Bond. Then more yard clean up and the planting of the bales and flower baskets.  More time with YA.  Then a funny card and cookbook from YA for Mother’s Day.

In between all this, some assorted chores also got done and now I’m reading while I wait for Colombo to come on at 7.   I can’t think of what could be added to make a more perfect weekend, although it would be nice to not have all scratches on my arms from cutting back the raspberry canes or the splinter in my finger that I haven’t been able to get at yet.

What would be your favorite weekend? (Two days only however money and physics are no object!)


I have two friends who have gone Keto, one almost a year ago and one this past January. Since these are friends that I occasionally cook for, I’ve looked into the diet and worked on some recipes.  Keto doesn’t appear to be much different from its low/no carb predecessors; you eat a lot of high fat, high protein and basically no carbs (fruit, grains, sugars).  Inuits and Masai have been doing it forever.  But both of my friends swear by this diet and the friend who has been doing this for over a year has lost a lot of weight and says he has a ton more energy.

So while I have been investigating Keto, I haven’t seriously considered trying it out. I haven’t had much luck in adopting diets where whole swaths of food have been eliminated.  Most folks say that once you make it through the first couple of hard months, deprivation gets easier, but I’ve never found that to be the case.

Yesterday as I was coming out of the hardware store, the strong aroma of garlic bread wafted out of the restaurant next door. It made my eyes tear up and my mouth water;y very first thought was “I can never do Keto.”

You are stuck on a deserted island with just two foods, what are they?

I’m Melting!

For most of my life I have felt too tall. I reached 5’9″ in Grade 6.  I felt like a giantess, even though I was one of the shorter women in my extended family. My mother was 5’11 and her mother was 6 feet tall.

Husband and I remodeled our kitchen about 15 years ago, and the contractor was concerned when we replaced the soffits with cupboards extending to the ceiling that it might detract from selling the house in the future.  “Not everyone is as tall as you and your husband” he warned. “Some people could have trouble reaching those top shelves”.

Well, “some people” now includes me. I am 1.5 inches shorter than I was 15 years ago and the top shelves are a real stretch.  For the first time I regret losing some of my height.  That inch and a half has made quite a difference in my reach. My doctor isn’t too concerned. I have a good diet rich in calcium.  I get exercise. I often call on husband to get down the things I need. I make good use of tongs and grabbers. I haven’t yet resorted to a kitchen stool.  For some reason, a Joni Mitchell song keeps going through my head whenever I have to get something down from the top shelves in the kitchen:

What didn’t you know you had until it was gone? Ever done a remodel you regretted? What is your favorite Joni Mitchell song?

Up Up & Away

Found this video clip online today. Apparently this took place a few days ago, in celebration of the last super moon of 2019.  I’m pretty sure I would have thought it was a meteor or meteoroid (apparently there is a serious difference in the scientific world) if I had seen it live.  Glad to know the police had been forewarned.

But seriously, jump out of a helicopter at 4,000 feet? Obviously the jumpers could breathe at this altitude, since Mount Everest is a lot higher, but still….jump out of a helicopter at 4,000 feet?  Gives me the wilies.

I’ve done two really scary things in my life. Both of them within 3 days of each other.  When YA was just a year old, I was offered the trip of a lifetime to Kenya and Tanzania.  We started in Nairobi and traveled around for 8 days, staying at a different lodge every night.  We had early morning and late afternoon safari runs, entertainment and massive amounts of great food.

I knew prior to the trip that an option hot-air balloon ride would be offered and I convinced my boss that I should be allowed to expense it. If you had asked me before this if I would EVER get in a hot air balloon, the answer would have been an unequivocal “no”.  When faced with this option however, I couldn’t get past the idea that I would be sorry to let an opportunity like this pass me by.  I was correct – it was fabulous and nothing like I expected.  We even had a wonderful breakfast cooked for us in the bush after we came down, complete with champagne.

Two days later, the group met a pilot who was doing open-air biplane tourist flights around Mount Kenya. He came and spoke to our group at a cocktail reception and at the end of his talk, he mentioned that the group leader had said there would be time for one flight in the morning before we left; was anyone interested?  I had my hand up so fast that I almost pulled my arm out of my socket.  Again – fabulous, complete with leather jackets and silk scarves and Out of Africa music playing in our headphones. I felt like Dennis Finch Hatton.

So I’ve overcome my fear twice for experiences that were over the top. But I’m still fairly sure no one will ever convince me to bungee jump.  Or fling myself out of a helicopter at 4,000 feet.

What scary things have you done?

Attention Span

While I was standing next to my car last week, filling up the tank, I realized that the screen embedded in the fueling station didn’t just have some pop-up ads showing but an actual video stream of a basketball game. TV.

At my gym, there is a speaker OUTSIDE that plays music as you are approaching/departing the building. Equipment like bikes and treadmills all have individual tv screens and for the weight-lifting machine there are big screens hanging from the ceiling.  There is even a TV in the locker room.  In most airports you can’t find a space that doesn’t have something blaring at you. With everyone glued to their phones these days, it seems a waste of electricity.

It made me think that we have become a society with such a limited attention span that we need 24/7 entertainment. There are several folks here at my office who use earbuds all the time – even when they are away from their desks and I often see people walking along, looking like they are talking to themselves, but of course they are on their phones.

In college I had a professor who had memorized all of Paradise Lost by John Milton.  Today he’d have it downloaded to his phone so he could access it whenever he wanted!

What the largest thing you have memorized?