“Wii Fit” Probably Won’t Help Me Lose Weight, but Thank God for those McDonald’s Trans-Fat-Free Fries!


I always knew the Wii had exercise potential…
Well over a year ago, when I woke up at 4:30am to be in line by 5am to try a
purchase one of a promised 12 available Wii units at my local Target, I never
thought the Wii could be anything more than the next generation, cool, video
game console. That notion quickly changed the day I brought the console home and
became out of breath after loosing 3 rounds of boxing to my 5 year old. I joked
to the wife that day that Wii Boxing was a great workout, and I should start a
regimen. Did I?  No, and I’m still a lard-butt over a year later, but all
that’s gonna change!!!

Reading the Sunday sale’s ads in bed on a Saturday
While checking out the weekend sales ads I stumbled across the newest, must
have, Wii accessory – Yup, there it was, the new Wii Fit, along with the
optional Wii Fit Yoga Mat, available exclusively at Target, and they were going
to be available on Wednesday. Perhaps now I could realize my fitness goals by
playing Wii games? Figuring that there would be a rush to get the new Wii Fit, I
planned my workweek to get me close to a retail outlet when the doors opened.

Would my Wii Fit dreams be dashed???
Wednesday came and I was running late. My Target store opened at 8am, and I
was pulling into the parking lot at 8:12am. That’s ok… In a worst case there was
a Best Buy across the parking lot, and they opened at 10am. I was feeling good
about my potential of getting a Wii Fit as I strolled past the automatically
opening doors of my Target, and I was faced by no less that 8 people checking
out with Wii Fits. As I walked the aisle to the game area I was passed by 3 more
people with Wii Fits tucked into their shopping carts. Then I saw the end cap…
There were only 4 left! I rushed to grab one and felt a sense of accomplishment
as I checked out with my new Wii Fit complete with Wii Fit Yoga Mat.

The Wii Fit family unpacking event…
After dinner I assembled the family together to unveil our new "game" to
them. At first the kids didn’t seem too excited about the whole thing until
their mom informed them that we could get a snow boarding game to play with the
Wii Fit, and suddenly they were onboard, so to speak. Setting up the Wii Fit is
simple, strait-forward, but does take a bit of time. One aspect of the set-up is
that the Wii Fit assigns you a "Wii Fit Age" based upon your height, weight,
age, and balance test. I faired better than the wife as I was assigned a "Wii
Fit Age" of 45 and she was assigned an age of 49. We’re both 40. The Wii also
took the customized Wii characters the wife and I had created, and in my case
porked "me" out while slimming up Mama Gotz.

What’s this thing gonna do???
The Wii Fit is set up to be a fitness partner in 4 training areas: Yoga,
Balance, Strength, and Aerobics. The family and I spent several hours
familiarizing ourselves with all the areas, and the first thing we have come to
find out is that we all lack balance, at least according to the Wii Fit. 
Mama Gotz was the first to advance in the Balance Games and open the first bonus
game, "Tightrope," although now she seems to be stuck there, because, like many
other Wii games, the Wii Fit is set up to train the user and reward them upon
mastery of a particular skill.

Bottom line, is this thing really gonna work???
Yes and no. The Wii Fit definitely has the potential to add an additional
element to an exercise regimen, but if you don’t have a regimen already then I
really don’t see this thing being a motivational source for someone to start
one. Actually, I take that back, you’ll start one, but see my final paragraph,
"The real bottom line…," below.  That being said, though, if the Wii Fit is
shared by people with a friendly sense of fun and competition, you might just
get motivated, but it just won’t be as much about reaching a fitness goal,
rather one of who can take 1st place in an area, or who can go on to
the next level, therefore opening a new game or exercise.

The real bottom line…
Go look in the mirror – Are you either fat or just in need of some muscle
toning? Now go look around the house – Do you have unused exercise equipment
(drying your sweater on the treadmill does not constitute use)? Now search your
mind – You can’t remember the last time you hit the gym or went for a jog,
correct? If you answered, "Yes" to 2 or more of the previous 3 questions, then I
have a feeling your new Wii Fit will be destined to collect dust bunnies under
your sofa. Prove me wrong!!!

I’m Stu Gotz!  ‘nuff said!

At First I Wondered “What Was I Thinking?” An Hourish Later My Legs Weren’t Screaming “Frack!”


The Dude on the Right

Today was one of those weird days when I had everything planned.  My normal
morning routine would easily be in place, complete with starting laundry,
reading the Sunday Chicago Tribune while eating breakfast, and, at the same
time, catching up some some TiVo viewing.  Okay, I realized I still can’t
seem to get recording the new "Battlestar Galactica" correct, muttered "What the
frack!", then tried to set up a season pass I screwed up before, hoping it
didn’t miss this week’s episode forever, or at least until the DVD season comes

my Sunday also had a lot of errand-running planned, which, I know, is kind of
lame, but the Sunday also had planned a one hour walk in my favorite
Prairie Forest Preserve
.  I was sort of curious to see how things were
looking after they

torched the place
a few weeks back, except with a slight wind blowing from
the northwest I knew heading north would make my walk back a little easier so I
wouldn’t get to see the result of the torchness.  And I’m walking, and I’m
walking, and I get to the thirty minute mark and realize that I’m feeling good,
my legs feel spry, I’ve got over half a bottle of water left, and I say to
myself, "Self, why don’t you just do the entire loop?  Why turn back now?" 
Then I said to myself, "Self, What the hell are you thinking?  Do you
realize that it will add another hour to this walk and your Sunday is already
scripted."  Then I said to myself, "Self, it’s a gorgeous day, with a
slight breeze, and it hasn’t started to heat up yet."  Then I said to
myself "Self, shut the hell up.  We’re going for the six miles."  Yes,
I’m nuts.

And so I did my first six-mile walk of the year and it felt great. 
I mean, my legs didn’t get fatigued, I planned my water drinking properly, and
it was actually more refreshing walking into the slight breeze on the backside
of the loop than letting the breeze bring me home.  I also got to see that
the crispy prairie was starting to turn green, the recent warm weather has
instantly put trees into budding mode, and sure, there might be one more cold
snap, or a crappy day or five here, but it looks like we have really, finally,
turned the corner into the Spring and Summer season.

also and, the walk was not perfect because there was one miscalculation,
especially since my original plan didn’t include a six mile, one hour and fifty
minute walk, and that was I was wearing jeans. 

I woke up this morning, didn’t get myself a gun
, didn’t figure for the six
mile walk, and haven’t put myself back into "shorts mode" yet, so I pulled on my
Levi’s, put on a t-shirt, embraced the subtle, slight chill in the air, not
thinking that less than two hours later I would be a little sweatier than I
planned, had people on the trail looking at me like "What the hell is that dude
wearing jeans for?", but you know what, at the end of it all, I got to see some
deer frolicking in the prairie, and sure, you can’t see the mallard in the upper
picture of the pond but I did (I so have to bring my better camera gear), and
the burnt prairie is starting to sprout grass.

So what if my running errands
were bumped by about an hour.  So what if I was the dork wearing jeans on a
six mile walk.  And so what if my iPhone photos aren’t up to my normal
standard.  It was a beautiful day, it was great to enjoy it, and it’s
almost time to get my white, pasty legs in some shorts.

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

But on What Occasion Would I Wear a “MILF Island” T-Shirt?


The Dude on the Right

So I’m watching the TV show
"30 Rock," as I am
wont to do because I enjoy it, and the episode dealt partly with the "finale" of
"MILF Island," with "20 super-hot moms, 50 kids, and no rules," and the first
part of me, as a fan of
knew that if there was actually a TV show called "MILF Island," I’m sure I would
be watching.  The second part of me knows, now that NBC has screwed it up
and probably copyrighted the concept somehow, FOX won’t be able to actually make
it a series, nor will CBS, who did their own exploitation of children with "Kid
Nation" and all they would have to do would be add some super-hot moms.

any case the episode of "30 Rock" made me laugh, but then quickly reminded me
that I am old.  Why?  They advertised that you could actually buy a "MILF
Island" t-shirt, I found that very funny, and I even thought of jumping online
to order one.  Then I quickly caught myself saying "Self, you’re not in
college anymore, even though you may think you are.  Where in the hell do
you think you could actually pull off wearing a ‘MILF Island’ t-shirt?" 
And in listening to myself I realized there isn’t any place in the entire
Universe where I could pull off wearing that t-shirt, although it would be sort
of funny to try, especially if I could be a fly on the wall, listening to the
comments wearing it had brought about.

I might still buy it anyway
since I need a new t-shirt to wear while I’m exercising at home, and I know that
every time I would look in the mirror while wearing it, well, it will make me laugh, but could
I wear it in public?  Maybe I should just buy one for
I’m sure he would wear it, out in public, and be able to make the
ladies laugh.  He has that way.

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

A New Chapter for the “on the Right” Family.


The Dude on the Right

Every family has a change leading to a new chapter in the book that is their
story.  Most of
the chapters progress from things like the start of the book, namely the marriage, to the birth of a
child, to the child’s first words, to the child’s first steps, to maybe the
birth of a brother or sister, and much of the cycle usually stays the same for a
while.  The chapters switch from the innocence of children, to the family
progressing through the years. 
The children in the family grow, to grade school, to junior high, to high
school, and to adulthood.  A new book is started as some of those children
create another family, an offshoot of the original story, yet still intertwined
with the original.

And as the book that is a family’s life is similar
for all, there are so many differences.  There may be an illness or
accident that takes a child away from a family;  There may be financial
hardships that all must deal with;  There may be a divorce where mom and
dad, not thinking of the children, do their best, at any chance they can, to
make their children hate the other parent; and then there are families that, for
most of the time, forget the meaning of family.

But with every family story,
probably, usually, definitely, inevitably, there will come the death of a
parent/spouse.  Sometimes that death comes as a shock and other times not,
most will agree the death comes to soon, but for some it is way too soon. 
With that death the story continues, though, with one character now only in
memory as the next chapter begins with getting back to some normalcy, "some"
because with the passing of a family member things aren’t the normal that was
created a chapter before.  The book that is the story of the family is not
complete with the death of one member, more chapters must be written, until that
day when the book can be closed when all of the members have passed on.

right now you might be saying to yourself a couple of things, things like "Dude,
what’s with the reflective beginning to this blog, and why haven’t you posted
anything new in over a week?"  Well, both the reflective nature of the
opening of this blog and the lack of postings came about because of the passing
of Dad on the Right on January 12th, starting a new chapter in the book of the
"on the Right" family.  In the realm of my being old enough to fully
comprehend and have to deal with the loss of an immediate family member, the
recent passing of my Dad is the first.  I was 11 when my last grandparent
passed away, and even though I’ve been older for the deaths of some of my aunts
and uncles, and yes, their passings were sad, for me this death thing is kind of
new and a lot different to deal with.  Sure, I could probably go see a
shrink to help me "move on" as it were, but what fun would that be and why would
I spend the money when I could just write about here it from time to time.

today’s therapy lesson was two-part.  One was to reflect that as much of a
bummer it is to have my dad die, I realized that my family’s story isn’t done
yet and there are already stories to tell of the days immediately following when
he passed, stories like "What the heck is his name, anyway?", "Who knew driving
to a cemetery could be so much fun!", "What’s the deal with the food?", "Niece
on the Right is a rocker!", "That’s not an obituary.  This is an
obituary!", and "Everyone says ‘Mom on the Right’ is a hottie."  And Mom,
if you’re reading this, don’t worry, one story will remain in the circle of our
family to laugh at from time to time.

The second part of my therapy lesson was
to get back to some normalcy, and what better way then seeing a movie, in this
case "Cloverfield," and write a review.

So the story of the "on the Right"
family continues, and at least right now Sis on the Right has her own
book of her family so that even when the book of the "on the Right" family is
closed, another book will lead people back to our story.

Stories are always to be read, but better to be written, even with a death as part of it.

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

What’s New? A Podcast of: A Chubbier Nephew, Lorain, and A Christmas Tradition.

The Dude on the Right is home from home for the holidays and worries that his nephew is trying to be a little too much like him. Such is one of the musings for this podcast. The Dude is also closer to being “street” thanks to a gift from his niece, and as a gift back he takes his 16 year old to another R-Rated movie, this time “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” The Dude’s movie review should follow soon.
Anyway, he also ponders his mother being in the hospital over Christmas, looks forward to seeing a boatload of movies over the upcoming weekend, and wonders if any college students realize the impact that Momofuku Ando had on their life’s, or even celebrated Mr. Ando’s life hearing about his death back in January of 2007. If you are a college student you should probably chug a beer, that you can now afford, thanks to the invention by Momofuku Ando.

Dear Stu Gotz, I’m Sorry. It is My Fault for your Chubbiness, and for Introducing You to “Snyder of Berlin” and their Cheese Curls.


The Dude on the Right

Sure the Chicago Tribune and other news outlets reported that your weight might
be directly related to the people you hang out with, and

in a podcast last week
I blamed my buddy, Stu Gotz, for my chubbiness. 
Now I realize that I owe Stu an apology because he isn’t the reason for my
chubbiness, and in fact, I might be the reason for his.  I realized this
after a two day battle with the best cheese curls in the world.

see, a few weeks ago I took a trip to the old country, Lorain, OH, to visit the
parents, and prior to my departure I mentioned to Stu how the best cheese curls
in the world were sold there.  They are from
"Snyder of Berlin"
(not ever to be confused with "Snyder’s of Hanover"), and they make, in my mind,
the world’s best

cheese curls
.  The cheesiness flavor is fantastic, above the flavor of
many other brands, but what makes these cheese curls almost the best, unless you
want total crispiness (in which case you could buy the "Cheese Crunch" version),
is if you chomp down on them right away you get a nice, fluffy, crunchy feeling
without seeming to tear up the inside of your mouth.  But what makes them
the world’s best cheese curls, and is the the ultimate joy in eating them, is
that if you let your mouthful of cheese curls rest on your tongue, for a couple
of seconds, they suddenly melt in your mouth, nearly disintegrating, with a
giant explosion of cheesy flavor.  You swallow, easily, with minimal
chewing, it’s on to your next handful of curls, and if you are sort of careful,
all of a sudden, you have eaten at least half the bag.  If you aren’t
paying attention, eight ounces with 1,360 calories of cheesy, airy, goodness has
made its way into your belly.

Then last Tuesday I opened up the eight ounce
bag of cheese curls I brought home with me, and by Wednesday night they were
gone, and as I was joyfully licking the orange, cheesy crumbs from my fingers I
realized Stu wasn’t the blame for my chubbiness.  That didn’t stop me from
finishing the finger licking, but I realized that maybe I’m the reason Stu is
chubby because as much as he puts me in some situations where proper dietary
functions could be done if I just picked the right things off of the menu, and
he might actually follow, I brought Stu a bag of the world’s best cheese curls
from Ohio, and he and Mama Gotz ate them, and liked them, and if I didn’t bring
home that bag of cheesy curl goodness, Stu wouldn’t have 680 calories of
goodness he has never known before.

So Stu, I am sorry for making you be
chubby, and your being chubby isn’t the reason for my being chubby because maybe
I should set a better example and not tell you that, if you ever get a hankering
for the world’s best cheese curls, you can

sort of order them online
, but sadly they want cash upfront and it might
take a week for the delivery.  But, if you want instant gratification for
your cheesy-curl goodness, they’re only about a five hour drive away, somewhere
in Ohio.

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

A Pouty Boy, and No Pictures of “Team Pink” Girl.


The Dude on the Right

was a nice day in Chicago-land, and as I like to do on weekends I went for a
walk in a local forest preserve.  It was an incident at the start of the
walk that for most of the rest of the time I wondered about something – Did I
ever do something like that when I was about five or six years old?

You see,
as I started upon the trail I saw up ahead a little boy, on a little bike,
trailing behind mom.  Then, for whatever reason, the boy, I would gauge
about five or six years old, got off his bike, threw it to the ground, and
proceeded to sit himself down in the grassy area next to the path, crossing his
arms and legs and with a look of defiance of "I am not going on a bike ride
today."  Mom quickly stopped, looked back at, I’m assuming it was her son,
seemingly perplexed by the actions of her son, and at times like these I sort of
wish I didn’t have my music playing during my walk, drowning out the ambient
noise around me, so I could fake needing to tie my shoes and see how mom planned
on diplomatically resolving the situation at hand, to get Skippy back on the
bike, or if she would just get all nuts saying something like "Get the hell back
on your bike and start riding.  You’re the one who wanted to go for a bike
ride in the first place, so dammit, get riding," and which I would just have
probably died with laughter if the kid retorted back, "But Mom, I’m Jesus

But, with music playing, I just walked on, and began to wonder if I
had ever done anything like that when I was a child.  Did I ever just sit
down and pout, and then I took out the pouting part because I’m 100% sure I have
pouted as a youngin’ (hell, I’ve probably pouted as an oldin’, too).  It
was the entire package of the little boy that was classic, from the slamming
down of the bicycle, to the sitting down with crossed arms and legs, to that
perfect face, and I almost wished I could have captured that on my iPhone. 
Instead, I took these couple of pictures of the prairie that is my weekend
walking location.

the entire walk wasn’t just about wondering how I acted as a boy, as I was
walking I was passed up by a member of "Team Pink."  She was tan, she was
thin, she had long, black hair, and I know she was a member of "Team Pink"
because she was wearing shorts with it spelled across her ass, and for an
instant I really wished I was in better shape so I could maybe run with "Team
Pink" girl, but for now walking is my speed and it was back to my recollections
of being a little kid.  I remembered a moment I had run outside naked, I
remembered the bunk beds my brother and I had in our bedroom, I remembered being
a member of "The Fonz Club," and kept seeing in my head little pouty boy, and
kept convincing myself I was never like that.

With the music playing in my
head, and me heading back to the dude-mobile, I was getting over my "how was I
when I was a little kid" thoughts, and then, passing me up again was "Team Pink"
girl and it occurred to me, "Why am I taking pictures of the prairie when I
could be taking pictures of "Team Pink" girl."  Sadly, though, she’s a
pretty fast jogger and before I could get my iPhone out of pocket, she was too
far away.  "Goodbye ‘Team Pink’ girl."

And so, on today’s walk, I
recollected that I was a perfect angel as a little boy, and would never had
slammed my bike down, mostly because I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was
like eight or ten years old, and the next time I’m going for a walk, and "Team
Pink" girl passes me up, I better have the camera ready for when she comes back

That’s it for this one! 
I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

What’s New? Stu & The Dude’s Weekend Wrap-Up! Waitresses, Pirates, Walking, Baseball, Cornholing and Summer TV.

Stu Gotz & The Dude on the Right get together after Memorial Day for this podcast where the highlights are Stu seeing a baseball game and The Dude going for a six mile walk. Sure, there were other things they talked about, like “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, “ The Dude seeing “Waitress,” and getting double-time by working on a holiday. The Dude needs Stu’s advice about the possibility of his townhouse burning down, Stu wonders about “Ocean’s 13,” and The Dude seems to have missed out on the cornholing craze.

Green Day and Prayers


The Dude on the Right

I must say that I am both excited and a little nervous to cover
Green Day at the
Allstate Arena on
August 10th. I’m excited because as much as I used to enjoy Green Day and their
style of music, I am even more of a fan after seeing their performance on
Live 8. I was watching
the AOL feed of something going on somewhere else when they nicely put a note up
that Green Day was getting ready to go on stage in Germany. I quickly switched
to the feed from Germany to catch their performance, and they just totally
kicked ass. When I started a couple of weeks ago to get back into covering
concerts, I was more than pleased to see they were coming to town, and hopeful I
would get clearance. The review should be posted Friday or Saturday. But why am
I nervous? It’s my first photo shoot with my new camera. I’m all digital, baby,
and I’ve done my preliminary testing and playing with the damn thing, but
nothing is like being in the heat of a concert photo shoot to see if things work
out. The batteries are charged, the memory cards are empty and ready, I just
hope I don’t screw it up.

On a more heavy note, my prayers to the family of
Peter Jennings
who passed away from lung cancer the other day, and also to
Dana Reeve and
her family, as she announced today, after I heard on
Howard Stern that it
was going to be in The Enquirer, that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
I’ll also send a general prayer to all of those out there going through the same
type of thing because in ways I won’t give up here, I understand. The human body
is a strange being. For some people they are able to smoke all of their lives
and never have a problem, others get riddled with lung problems, and others who
may never really have smoked, they still get afflicted with the challenge of

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

I Got a New Bike!


The Dude on the Right

I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in three or four years (that last time was on
Long Beach
in New Jersey, known for its summer resort areas and
but it was just a quick trip for some breakfast so I don’t really think
it counts).  Anyway, I went for a bike ride.  It’s not that I
haven’t wanted to go on a bike ride, it’s just there was one essential
thing missing – a bike.  But on my last trip to the homestead, my
brother, who has two bikes, let me take his old
Schwinn World
.  I hauled it back to my pad, and finally, yesterday, had
some time to load it into the dude-mobile, head to my local forest
preserve, and take it for a spin.  They say you never forget how to
ride a back, and I guess they are right, but I have to admit I was a
little shaky at first.  My first issue, dealing with toe clips, but
I finally got adjusted to them, and even though it was one of those
multi-use trails, I made it around the trail no worse for wear.

Now this may not seem like anything significant, but when
was the last time you went on a nice bike ride?  Me, I used to bike
a lot, back in Ohio down lots of country roads, and when I was in
college at I.I.T., the
Lake Shore Drive bike path was a fabulous ride.  But then my
bicycle broke and I never did anything about it.  The other thing
is that I have a bet with my sister about some weight-loss issues, and
this adds a new weapon to my arsenal, along with my coat rack, umm, I
mean exercise bike, and this other crazy contraption that I don’t want
to admit I own unless I actually get off my ass and use it.  It
supposedly worked for a couple of famous personalities, but we’ll see on
that one, in any case, it really felt good to hear the crunching of the
limestone under my tires and have the wind go through my hair under my
bike helmet.  After I caught my breath, it was good to hear the
Cubs beat the
Giants on my drive
back to the dude-pad.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!