Everything stated on this site is, of course, MY opinion / statement / thought, unless specifically stated otherwise. You knew that.


PLEASE NOTE: I'm *slowly* combining my blogs into this single site. If you are looking for Lotus Notes content from my old site, please EMAIL me at: jrlitton at gmail dot com and tell me the link or the content you were seeking. I will try to email you the content within a day.

- Joe

Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.

Pinellas Trail and Dunedin Brewery

Now that Shirley and I each have a folding bike, we tossed them in the back of my Yaris this morning and met up with our walking (and other activities) group and hit the Pinellas Trail. Although some have biked with us in the past, this morning most were walking, so Shirley and I rode ahead, then popped back and different folks would try her bike, with Shirley walking with the group and me riding with whomever was testing Shirley's Columba 26" (mine's a Columba 20")

When we reached the point where the group was going to turn around and return to the cars, Shirley and I rode back together so that we could stop in for a pint at Dunedin Brewery (Florida's oldest craft brewery :) ...and then joined the others for lunch at Kelly's restaurant.

The pics and short videos below show a shot of the group and part of the trail, several shots of Dunedin Brewery, and a quick view of part of Dunedin - a very cool and quaint little town a little north of Clearwater on Florida's Gulf coast.

A good time was had by all.


Gateway to India - nice little restaurant in Brandon

Last night we finally stopped in at a fairly new Indian restaurant in nearby Brandon: Gateway to India. We've loved Indian food for decades, and have driven past this place several times during these last few months. It's not much to look at on the outside, but the decor inside is fine - not fancy, but quite pleasant, the staff are wonderful, and we loved the food. Being vegan, we always wonder how much explaining we'll have to do to make it clear that we eat only plant-based foods, meaning no butter, no milk, no cheese, no eggs ..."just" the vast wealth of foods that come from plants.

As it turns out, our server knew quite well what vegan means, and made several helpful suggestions. Admittedly, we ordered and ate too much, but hey, we had to give them a fair testing, right? We'll definitely return :)


Going to try something rare (for me): reading fiction...

It's vacation time, so I shall try to allow myself to read a little fiction. Not a tech book / manual, not a periodical focused on current events or fitness, not the newspaper... fiction. I've done this a little bit from time to time, but usually only when on a plane. It's odd that I seem to only allow myself to do recreational reading when in the air traveling; I guess something inside of me feels that this is wasted time and can therefore be spent doing something that part of me views as frivolous.

But I'm not going to take too big of a risk and just grab some random novel. No, instead I've purchased the Kindle version of The Hobbit for US$7 (how can one go wrong for that price?). I read this in the early/mid 70's, and enjoyed it quite a bit. After 30+ years, I have most likely forgotten enough that this easy read will be mostly new and I have full confidence that it will be a most enjoyable read yet again :)


Summer 2012 fitness update...going well! ...

Wow, haven't posted since MARCH!?! Well, I do post regularly on Facebook and at least weekly on Twitter. Anyway...

It's been over 3 years now since I switched to a vegan diet, and I now can't really imagine consuming meat and milk again. Exercise is a definite habit, and I regularly lift weights or do cardio, and hit these workouts hard. I've become hooked on workouts from BeachBody. I've done about 5 "rounds" of P90X (each round is 3 months), a round of P90X2, 2-3 rounds of Insanity (a 2-month program), a round or two of Asylum (one-month program), and I'm now on week 6 of the 3-month Body Beast program.

At my fattest, I weighed 172 pounds, which for my 5' 4" frame was too much. Shirley and I started WeightWatchers online (tracking "points" instead of counting calories), and along with some nutrition suggestions from the Beach Body programs, from The 4-Hour Body, and working out once or twice a day, I dumped the fat, got down to the 30-inch size waist pants that I was 30 years ago, saw better numbers at the annual physicals re heart stuff (lipid panel, heart rate, etc), and at my lightest was 130 pounds.

This morning I weighed 144 pounds. There's a little more fat on the midsection, but I'm not worried. I'm taking 5 grams of creatine morning and night, and that is known to cause a little water retention. But more importantly, our Omron electric bodyfat monitor shows me hanging in there around 13% fat, pants still fit just fine, and the tape measure shows that the biceps are about 3/4" bigger and the quads are an inch larger. I've definitely put on solid mass during the past month and a half of Body Beast. The final 4 weeks of the program is intended to get one a bit leaner. And I can always do a round of Insanity or Asylum if I want to hit the cardio hard.

It feels good to be lifting again!


P90X2 phase 3: Whew! ...

I started P90X2 on 10-Dec-2011. Yesterday I started the 3rd phase of the program. It's a 3 month program - approximately. Each phase can be 3-6 weeks, depending on how one feels. I think I did the first phase for 3 weeks, then we had a vacation out of town and I did other workouts (crazy insane hike, some Insanity workout stuff, etc). There was also a conference I was at for a week in January, so during that week I did 200 pushups a day and a whole bunch of walking between hotels going from session to session.

I spent 5 weeks on phase 2, in order to get up to what I wanted to see in terms of form and reps on some of the exercises, and then took a few days "off", just doing a treadmill 5k and some other stuff before starting up on the final phase 3.

So...Yesterday was day 1 of phase 3: "P.A.P Lower" was the workout (P.A.P., by the way, stands for Post Activation Potentiation). OMG, I'm sore today. I think the main contributor to the soreness was 4 sets of "Step Up Convict", which was holding a 12lb dumbbell in each hand, stepping up with one foot onto a 24" plyo box I'd made, raising the opposing knee as high as possible, then stepping down off the box and backward into a lunge. 8 reps each side. There were 7 other exercises, but that one nailed it! I'm feeling it today from the butt down through the calves :)

Today was "P.A.P. Upper". It was another great workout. One thing that does bug me is that BeachBody (the company that sells some great workout DVDs, including P90X, Insanity, Asylum - I've done all of those - along with others that I've not done and now P90X2) ...BeachBody provides workout sheets for most of the workouts. But not for the P.A.P. ones. That bothers me. Tony Horton (the guy on the videos) states at various times in these workouts to write down how many reps one does or what weight was used.

So I've done what I feel BeachBody should have done, and have made a workout sheet for P.A.P. Upper. I'll make one for P.A.P. Lower as well, but I have yardwork and studying to do, so that other worksheet will come later.

My unofficial worksheet: P90X2 X2_PAPUpper.pdf (353.6K)