This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Yes, I'm about to give kudos to the president.

Last night he made the joke, written by someone else I'm sure, "And this years polar vortex across the country set so many record lows they are renaming it MSNBC".

I've been chuckling all day at that joke.  So kudos to President Numb Nuts for making me laugh today.
That's now three laughs and about 12,000 tears in his presidency.

Do you want to know something from the past I really miss?  I mean really really miss?  Nautilus.  The original Arthur Jones Nautilus machines, the best damn workout machines ever invented, created, and most copied in history.

Back in the late 70's, I got my first taste of them.  A place opened in Tinley Park IL with all Nautilus.  Is was also the first coed gym anyone had seen.  It was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Tomczak, he a fairly famous high school football coach in Illinois, parents of Mike Tomczak, later a professional football player.  They had over two dozen machines, and you'd go in and pick a side for the workout.  Hip/Back Machine, Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Single Arm Pullovers, Duo Shoulder, Pulldowns, Double Chest, Curls, Tri's, Crunch, 4 way Neck and then the multi station to do calf raises, pullups and dips.

Man, I miss that stuff.  I know, the latest trend in exercise is functional fitness, but you could do things with those Nautilus machines that made it heavenly.  Or Hell, depending how you view it.  And in 1982, working out there kind of helped save my life, I was kind of a mess, never really talk much about it, but Mrs. Tomczak was so kind to me when I went to the club and pushed me.  I don't know if she ever realized what that meant to me.  But it helped bring me out of a real dangerous depression.

I'm 5'10" and I think that was the perfect height for Nautilus.  But hell, the Dallas Cowboys also used these in the 70's and 80's and guys like Too Tall Jones and Randy White swore by them too.  When I first moved to Dallas, I joined a club in the Oak Lawn area because it was Nautilus.  How the hell was I suppose to know it was a gay club?  Took me 5 or 6 weeks before I figured it out, but I kept going because I liked that equipment so much.

However I did stop walking around the locker room naked.

That nautilus cam was probably the most copied thing in history, everyone started making machines with a variation of the cam, but Jones spent years studying each muscle group and designed them specifically on each machine for each muscle, which meant you hit the hardest part and the strongest part of the muscle.  And the machines had something else really cool, this little swing bar you could move into the path of the weight stack, so on some exercises like the curls, tri extensions, squat machine instead of just raising and lowering the weight with one arm you raised the stack and pressed against this bar and then kept it up against the bar by fighting arm against arm.  There are curls and then there are a set of curls followed by 30 seconds of pitting arm against arm to keep 80lbs suspended in the air!

When I lived in Dallas, they had an ATA Fitness Center and I use to go in every third morning and meet with the owners wife, behave yourselves, and we'd workout together on Nautilus.  We'd pick 1/2 dozen exercises at most and each take turns for one set.  Except these sets went like this.  Let's say it's leg extensions and you start with what you can just do 10 reps with, lets say 180lbs.  So you would do the 10 reps and do a couple of forced reps, then as soon as you put the stack down the other would move the pin to 160lbs and you'd rep out as many as you could, then 140, 120, 100, 80,etc and by the last set you were struggling to do 20lbs for  three or four reps.  Then you fell off the machine to the floor, drank some water and hopefully didn't toss it up and when you recovered to the point you could stand, it was the other persons turn.  This was when I discovered I'm some what of a masochist, I would be laughing on those last few reps trying to lift 10 or 20lbs.  I  found it, funny.

Back in the 90s, I found a club that still had the equipment and kept it in top condition.  It was a 45 minute drive from where I lived but I made that trip 3x a week, big indoor soccer field with a section for the workout areas and I'd drive there and loved it, no air conditioning, no heat in the winter but I loved that stuff.

The point of all this is, it's gone, not around, a piece of history, a memory that will one day blow away as the BB generation dies off.  And it's a damn shame.  Copy cats for 1/2 the price making inferior equipment eventually put them out of business, bought out by someone else who makes home equipment and the next thing you know Nautilus makes ellipticals or some other such crap and the days of making the best most advanced exercise machines is a page in history.

Progress is not always progress.  The best is replaced by cheaper inferior equipment and no one complained.  America in the late 20th century.

I guess what brought all this on is I'm debating joining a health club.  I have kettle bells at home, I have a chin dip station, and I'm not in as good a shape as I want to be.  I miss kettlebell classes, but my schedule does not allow them.  And maybe I miss chatting with others, getting out of the apartment.  But when I check out clubs and they start showing the machines, I just sigh, they are so inferior to Nautilus, but take up less space and cost 1/2 as much.  Sure, I can do dumbell workouts, I like those too, but I just am finding myself, wanting.

There is a 24 Hour Fitness place about 6 or 7 miles from here that I could bike ride too, mostly on trails, thru a subdivision or two, and when I ride home take a longer way around Zeiglar Road and make a nearly 10 mile trip home.  That would be nice this spring, summer, and fall.  And biking over 15 miles and doing an upper bod workout 3x a week would definitely put me in better shape.

Just yearning for what has been lost I guess.  Funny the things we miss in life.

Happy and I'm smilin', walk a mile to drink your water
You know I'd love to love you and above you there's no other
We'll go walking out while others shout of war's disaster

Oh, we won't give in, let's go living in the past

Once I used to join in, every boy and girl was my friend
Now there's revolution but they don't know what they're fighting
Let us close our eyes, outside their lives go on much faster

Oh, we won't give in, we'll keep living in the past
Oh, we won't give in, let's go living in the past
Oh no, no, we won't give in, let's go living in the past