Down with exercise.

 Posted by at 11:01  Down with
Feb 232015
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Old age isn’t for wimps!

I’m OK with the cantankerous old coot moniker. Cantankerous is fine. I sure don’t want to be just one of the herd. Even Coot has a raffish charm. It’s the ‘old’ that’s begging to bother me. Calling yourself old is fine so long as you can continue to exercise plausible deniability about the reality. So long as you can continue to deny that the old prune looking back at you in the mirror each morning is you. Even the best deniers eventually have to face the truth. And the truth comes in a way that you can’t avoid- pain. I stay away from mirrors these days but you can’t do much to deny that your joints hurt and moving hurts.

CouchI’ve long been an enthusiastic advocate of exercise as a tool in the fight against getting old. It won’t stop the process but it can mitigate and delay. Unfortunately I’m an advocate but not always a practitioner. I’ve been slacking off. It seems easy enough in your head to take a few minutes several times a week to exercise. Actually exercising, however is harder. I’ve been doing more thinking about exercising in the recent months than actually doing it. Last week, however, I got back in the game with walking, sit ups and push-ups. Now I’m paying the price.

The relentless aging of my body has brought aching knees, loss of balance and an awkward clumsiness that I haven’t experienced since my growth spurt at 15. With my youthful optomism and energy long gone, none of these recent developments feels good. I can’t expect to ‘grow’ out of my awkwardness and pain has become my invisible friend. Still I believe that more exercise can help. I need to use my muscles, work my joints and be more active if I want to get back some of my grace and mobility. It’s not an option. So for the past week or so I’ve exercised and what do I get as a reward? Continue reading »

Feb 102015
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Originally posted 2010-11-07 13:39:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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The top news stories of the day. Don’t know what to think? Let the Coots help.

According to USA Today, these are the top stories for Sunday November 6, 2010, Yeah, We never read most of them either but, for what it’s worth, here’s the Coot’s perspective on those stories.

Looking Ahead: The Weekend and Monday.

President Obama in India while the Presidential Oil Spill Commission opens two days of hearing.

Not only did the President have nothing much to say after the Mid-Term Elections turned the House of Representatives over to Republican control. He got out of town before his commission on the gulf oil spill opened their hearings. Nothing says “I’m on top of my game.” like a 10 day Asian tour. That oil spill? It’s old news and besides, we’re not drilling for oil anymore. That’s so 20th century just like fiscal responsibility.

Peruvian judge orders Lori Berenson freed

Lori Berenson, if it escapes your memory like it did ours was convicted of terrorism in Peru when she assisting the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. They convicted the Marxist mother and sentenced her to 15 years in prison. Then they let her out and later sent her back. Well., she is back out again, free to work her Marxist magic back in the USA. Coots were under the impression that 15 years in a Peruvian prison was equivalent to a death sentence which would be a fine outcome for enemies of freedom. Unfortunately, she appears quite healthy in the picture and Peruvian prisons get a thumbs up for motherhood.  Apparently Peruvian prisons are good places to be pregnant since she has a 15 month old child. It is unclear what this says about the Peruvian justice system but Coots predict that  Joran Vandersloot may be released shortly.

Michigan bans alcoholic energy drinks

The automobile industry may be on life support and Michigan’s economy may be a shambles but the nanny state is going strong. Coots were unaware of alcoholic energy drinks but The Michigan Liquor Control Commission is on top of the situation. The FDA is merely looking at the drinks but Michigan channels Nancy Reagan and just says no. According to MLCC the public is concerned about the effects of the drinks and that’s enough for them. It probably means that this unique niche of alcoholic energy drinks doesn’t produce enough tax revenue.

Al-Qaeda cell in Yemen says it sent U.S.-bound bomb


Young Asian boards flight to Canada in eerily lifelike disguise as elderly male

Coots can’t comment on this story without more details. It is certainly understandable that people might prefer Canada to many Asian countries and there are many Asian counties Coot’s would be happy to flee. Canada probably benefits from resourceful immigrants to complement the easy going Canadian temperament so they are going to have to sort this out on their own. At least he didn’t have explosives in his undies.

Consumers increased debt in September for first time since January

Coots say it’s about time. For two years the government has been all alone  borrowing money to stimulate the economy with no help from the public. Consumers just haven’t been pulling their weight. Finally consumers have decided to do their part. Coots predict that the recession is over.

MSNBC suspends Keith Olbermann for donating to 3 Democratic candidates

Coots say that it is a dark day for the news media. We are shocked to learn that news anchors actually have an opinion. Who would have guessed?

Nancy Pelosi says she will run for House minority leader

Coots say more power to you Nancy. We applaud your spunk and grit even as we will miss the excitement and suspense of your reign as majority leader. We were dying with eager anticipation while the Obamacare Bill was getting approved. We couldn’t wait until it passed so we could find out what was in it. It’s the end of an era.

Back to you.

We at Coots hope that you enjoyed this summary of the important stories of the day from USA Today.  We welcome your comments on these stories and any suggestions you might have for stories not important enough for USA Today to notice.  Michiganders- are you missing those energy drinks?  NBC watchers- pining away for Olbermann? Let the Coots know.

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Up with Fishing- Sort of

 Posted by at 11:44  Up With
Feb 102015
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Originally posted 2011-03-23 05:43:50. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Sunday Afternoon Pond Fishing

Image by Old Shoe Woman via Flickr

I don’t fish!

You have probably figured out that this Coot is no fisherman. My Dad tried to develop my love for fishing.  He got fishing rods and spinning reels and he would take my brothers and me down to the pond from time to time. It didn’t take. I don’t know it if was not catching many fish that kept me from developing fishing fever or maybe it was that my father never seemed very committed  himself. Somehow, fishing just never caught my fancy. If I planned to spend a day staring at the water, I would much rather not be distracted by casting a line and reeling it back in.

Justin fishes!

Whenever the pressures of his responsibilities weigh too heavily, he finds a way to shove them aside and go fishing. Even during his day to day stay at home Dad duties, it seems that Justin can squeeze in a little fishing diversion and he is always eager to share his love of fishing with his kids. It seems to be working because his four year old is now eager to teach the baby how to fish. It seems that those apples just don’t fall very far from the tree in the Matthews household.

Successful fishing has consequences.

I just never saw the pleasure in fishing. I remember that on one of my infrequent successful experiences that the joy of actually  catching a fish quickly dimmed when I discovered that I was expcted to skin and clean the darn thing – and then eat it. This was a big overload for an over-sensitive youngster. My killer instict was undeveloped in those days and the idea of killing and eating a harmless fish made me anxious and inclined to vegetarianism.

My apples rolled away.

My sons through no influence on my part, love to fish. I took them fishing on occasion both at lakes near our house and at the pond where I fished as a child. I didn’t do it for love of fishing, it was because I was trying to be a good dad. Despite my influence (or maybe because of it) my older son now goes deep sea fishing often and my younger son wants to emulate him when he has the funds. I may give it a try myself because it seems a big improvement over the land based fishing I know. As I understand, you just get on the boat and then they take you where the fish are and give you the equipment. You fish and drink beer with the other fishermen (male bonding),  When you catch something, the crew cleans and packages it for you to take home and it looks just like you bought it at the store.  Perfect!

Maybe it’s time for a change-up.

Maybe I need to work a deep sea fishing trip into my schedule this spring, I could bond with my younger son, look good to my older one and score some points on the hunter-gatherer scorecard from my wife. Or I could just think about it while I stand on the shore like an idiot.


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Feb 102015
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Originally posted 2012-09-19 05:47:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

If ye be bold enough, click the picture above and this page will become: Pirate!

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well me Hearties it finally be time for Talk Like A Pirate Day! Today we have those scabarous bung weevils Captain Jack Sparrowand Captain Hector Barbossa aboard the Blackheart’s Shadow for the podcast. We be Ready for some fun, so hit play fer the podcast and beware….

The Audio:

Continue reading »

Caught Speeding

 Posted by at 11:44  rants
Feb 102015
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Originally posted 2011-08-17 10:33:09. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

An image of two contradictory speed limit signs.

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The Open Road

I left the toll booth ready for the long drive back home. Vallejo was a bit congested but the traffic  lightened as I crossed the hills before Fairfield. I stayed with the traffic flow coming down the hill and I saw him sitting on the side of the freeway. He wasn’t even hidding like they usually do. This Officer was confident that he would catch speeders when they came over the hill before they had a chance to react to seeing him. As I moved past he pulled out and I knew just how the impala feels seeing a cheetah bounding towards him on the savana. I was a gonner.

By this time I was in the middle lane hoping to be inconspicuous as he pulled his cruiser behind me and turned on the lights. He had me. I pulled over to the shoulder and waited.

So what is speeding? 

There was no question that I was speeding. Everybody speeds in California because the speed limit is inexplicably low.  The question in my mind was why me. Out of all the cars speeding along I-80, how does the officer decide to target me and why is there a speed limit on a freeway anyway?

It’s been a few years since my last speeding ticket so maybe it is just my turn. Still, I have to wonder just what social benefit comes from enforcing speed limits on the Interstate Highway System. We are supposed to be grateful because the 55 mile per hour maximum was lifted a few years ago. When they established that 55 mph limit way back in the 70’s the politicians showed their hand. The 55 mph limit had nothing to do with safety. It was imposed to save gas during the oil embargo and also just to show us citizens who was in charge. We were beginning the age of the nanny state. From that time forward, it was impossible to believe that highway speed limits had any connection to safety. It was only social engineering keeping us from getting too uppity.  It had the additional benefit of bumping up the government revenue. It took speed trap enforcement out of backwoods, redneck America and made it a part of mainstream life for all Americans. It was the beginning of Cash Cow Cops.

Confuse and Obfuscate 

California raised the speed limit to 70 mph recently but unless you read the fine print, you might assume that the limit is 70 on all freeways. You would be wrong because only selected freeways have the higher speed limit. Which are they and how do you know? You have to read the signs. Just another way for the government to confuse and obfuscate and pick our pockets at the same time.

Still, California’s program to confuse and mislead drivers won’t get me off the hook. I know that I was going more than 70. But I did not know that I-80 still had a speed limit of 65. Would I have cared? Probably not but if the speed limit was 70 would the officer have chased me down? It might not have been worth his while. I can’t say.


What I do know is that I can’t stop being cynical about speed limits and the good intentions of the politicians who we elect to pass speed limit laws. I know that the government’s lowest prioritiy is my safety because the interstate system and my car are built to handle speeds much higher than 65 or even 70. I think that it’s all about control- making sure that I and my fellow drivers appreciate that all good things in life are because of the government and expecially making sure that the Cash Cow Cops, aka Highway Patrol keep the old cash drawer full during these hard time.


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