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October 27, 2009

Where Did My Morning Go?

By: The Dude on the Right
For the life of me I was having a hard time figuring out why I didn't have time to exercise in the morning. There I was, waking up around 4:30 (and sure, hitting the snooze pushed things closer to 5AM), but by the time I was trying to get out the door at 7:00 to head to morning meetings, well, I was rushing.  What in the hell was I doing for nearly 2 1/2 hours, and why in the hell wasn't part of it being spent on my exercise bike? Something was going on, I couldn't quite put my finger on it, and then it occurred to me, even as I thought I was trimming things down:

Facebook, and more specifically Facebook applications, have destroyed my morning productivity.

I thought I had it licked when I was going to switch from Mafia Wars to Café World but it was yesterday, when I started trying to analyze my morning schedule, and as I sat there "training" my virtual fish in my Happy Aquarium, checking on my café, and still trying to take over the Moscow Mafia, that a bell went off over my head, sort of, and it simply rang out "What are you doing?"  So this morning, being the dorky engineer I can be, I started my morning as I normally have been, up and at 'em at 4:45, into the kitchen to empty the dishwasher, making my Count Chocula with chocolate milk, and heading to my computer bunker that isn't really a bunker anymore, to see what was happening in the world.  I fired up Firefox on the main monitor, opening a list of tabs to places like the Chicago Sun Times, The Drudge Report, The Weather Channel, Google Reader, and The Lorain Journal, just getting myself ready to rediscover the world after a night of broken sleep (broken sleep and the urge to drop-kick a dog out the window will be a topic for another blog), and on my secondary monitor, another Firefox window was opened, this time to my Facebook page.  I scanned the world, not really paying as much attention to things as I used to (something my fiance made me realize the other day), and quickly shifted my focus to my Facebook world, or should I say worlds, because after not coming up with anything witty for my status and seeing that my friends haven't done much in the past six hours, I pulled out the stopwatch on my iPhone to do a statistical analysis of part of my morning.

And so, I headed to...

  • "Café World" - I didn't do anything crazy, and by crazy I mean I didn't send any of my neighbors any gifts, visit any of their cafés, nor do any redecorating (which I could, because I have 200,000 café coins to spend), instead I'm concentrating on serving my pot roast and then cooking up some voodoo chicken salad.

That wasn't so bad, but other work needed to be done so I'm off to my:

  • "Happy Aquarium" - Here I start by sending the gift of fish food to my aquarium neighbors.  Damn, I'm a good neighbor! Of course my fish tank has gotten dirty overnight so I scrub it clean, and then my fish are hungry so it's time for their morning feeding, but as I'm also trying to make my fish smarter, what the heck, let's train a couple of them! Sadly I can't get one fish (I'm not sure which one it was, mostly because I have eleven different fish, all with different names) through the training program, but another made it safely through, so he, or maybe she, can now do some kind of special trick.  Not done yet, I'm feeling helpful and greedy so I visit my seven neighbors' tanks, do some cleaning at each of them, and click on the various treasure chests to get myself some more coin!

But my coup de gras awaits, the game that has taken what must amount to months in lost productivity - I'm off to Moscow in:

  • "Mafia Wars" - Yup, I head to New York City to bank some money from my properties, and I now have over $110,000,000,000 in fake, United States currency.  But I've built my mafia over the months, and Cuba needs me, or at least my businesses in Cuba need me, so it's time to sell off a bunch of product and bank my money there as I eclipse the C$11,000,000 Cuban peso mark!  But as my Mafia domination is growing, well, I'm off to Moscow.  I easily level up to 351 with the energy I've acquired while I slept, so I'm eager to spend my new, 2,190 units of energy doing something, although I'm not really sure what, even though there is some sort of story going on, but there I am, clicking my mouse insistently to earn more cash, finish the job, and move on, but my energy level is now too low to continue! Oh no!  Ahh, but no, I'm not done! Thankfully my sister sent me an energy pack so I recharge, it's time for another energy drain, I'm up another level, and I quickly scan that I'm going to need about R$40,000,000 rubles to get the items necessary so I can work on the next job in Episode 4.  Not being able to continue with any jobs for now, and since I got an energy pack from my sister, I decided I should return the favor so I click on my giant mafia of 34 members and send energy packs to those people that I know are still playing the game.

With the breakfast hours slipping away I'm done with my café, my fish tank is clean, I've blackmailed a secretary in Moscow, but I notice, in the upper right corner of my Facebook main page, that I've got gifts to receive. I click and there they are, lots of little goodies from my friends, so what the hell, it's a click here and new screen there, an "Accept more gifts" click here, another screen there, and REQUEST/GIFT TIME ELAPSED: 4 MINUTES.

I looked at my stopwatch realizing that this morning, in just "maintaining" and "advancing" in three Facebook games, I wasted nearly 30 minutes.

Now, mind you, I didn't do any bowling with my buddies, happily I stopped playing Pirates of the Caribbean although I haven't deleted the app yet,  in Farm Town I have set up my farm with a lovely message for my BFF, a message that as long as my farming neighbors "water" it looks great so I don't have to do anything, my Roller Coaster Kingdom is stalled, and I haven't tried to increase my word vocabulary, but just heading to one of those would have meant being late for my first appointment this morning.

I wondered where my time went in the morning, and now I found out.  The question now is what to do about it because people are hungry and my Voodoo Chicken Salad is almost ready to be served, my "fish" are hungry and I really would feel bad if I "flushed" them down the toilet, and after investing so much time, "money," and building a reputation as a mafia kingpin, well, I really hate to rat people out and go into witness protection.  Then there is the feeling that I'm going to let all of my "neighbors" down if I can't be, well, their neighbor. In the end, I guess my exercising might just have to wait, although if someone were to make an "Exercise World" for Facebook, maybe I wouldn't feel so bad.

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

Posted by Rightdude at 8:01 PM | Comments (2)

October 26, 2009

Paranormal Activity, Hair Cuts, To H1N1 or Not to H1N1, and The Bears Still Suck.

The Dude on the Right wasn’t cold nor frightened, and tells Stu Gotz why not during their “Weekend Wrap-Up!” podcast.  In other news Stu has troubles securing a cheap haircut for the Gotz clan thanks to being a little late for Pat the barber.  Both boys see lots of movies with “Paranormal Activity,” “Milk,” “I Love You, Man,” “Imagine That,” and “Caroline” being topics of discussion, Stu thinks the H1N1 vaccine manufacturers should watch “Star Trek,” The Dude unpacks, and leave it to Mama Gotz to ruin “Toy Story,” or maybe it was “Toy Story 2.” – Stu can’t remember.

Posted by Rightdude at 6:30 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2009

A Peace Prize, Couples Retreat, Where's My Sidekick Stuff, and Stupid People!

Stu Gotz doesn't really tell The Dude on the Right much about his weekend during their "Weekend Wrap-Up!" Podcast, but that's okay because there is enough stuff going on that even if Stu did have a boring weekend, the boys have lots to talk about. It seems The Dude did do something this weekend, namely seeing "Couples Retreat," so he tells Stu if it's a movie to take Mama Gotz to see, but Stu is more interested in what The Dude thinks about President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, if he knows what is wrong with people's Sidekicks, and if he ever saw Alyssa Milano naked. The both have TV woes, the dude wonders about the flu shot, and Stu sees stupid people, but what else is new?

Posted by Rightdude at 8:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2009

FitBit, Count Chocula, or Maybe Both.

By: The Dude on the Right
I'm not going to lie, and if you are a regular reader of the website you will know this is true, but I can afford to lose a few pounds. Now I'm not supremely, morbidly obese or anything, but simply put, if I could work out for about two or three weeks like the people on The Biggest Loser, I would probably be pretty close to my goal weight, or be reduced to a blubbering ball of tears as Jillian Michaels constantly yelled at me. But since I don't have three weeks to burn about 7000 calories a day by exercising and eat only 1800ish by eating, lately, mostly, I've just been trying to be a little more active with some walking and trying to eat a little more healthily with food choices. Thanks to Brad Feld, a blogger I stalk, I mean follow, I found an iPhone app that has helped a bit, this thing called DailyBurn, with some pretty, little graphs that, as long as I enter what food I eat properly, tells me if I can have a bowl of ice cream at the end of the day, and with some manual entry of the caloric burning that my Nike+ iPhone app tells me into the DailyBurn app, in the past 6 weeks I've lost about 5 1/2 pounds. However, being the tech dork that I am, and looking for something better, easier, stronger, and faster, and having seen it on CBS Sunday Morning a few weeks ago, I am now intrigued by this thing called the FitBit, and thanks to Stu Gotz during yesterday's podcast, I might also be changing my morning cereal.

Let's start with the FitBit...

It's seems too good to be true, but FitBit supposedly, and I take this directly from the website, "... accurately tracks your calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled and sleep quality. ... The Fitbit tracks your motion in three dimensions and converts this into useful information about your daily activities. You can wear the Fitbit on your waist, in your pocket or on undergarments. At night, you can wear the Fitbit clipped to the included wristband in order to track your sleep."  Now, I'm not the greatest of sleepers, so quantifying it sort of scares me, but having something that instantly tracks my daily calories burned, especially since I don't do anything cool like lift weights (it also doesn't do too well if you're a cyclist or swim I guess), but if it does an easier job than my iPhone Nike+ thing of calorie burning, I might be all for it. The website has options to manually enter some exercises and what you eat, but I'm curious how well the food database will be because the one on DailyBurn has really opened my eyes to some of the things I eat, and without the cool iPhone app that I can quickly look at as my day comes to a close, I know I will be flustered if I have to go all the way to my computer to find out if I can have that bowl of ice cream.  The website says they are filling FitBit orders as fast as they can, so how this impacts my daily workout still waits to be seen, if at all, but as I said earlier, I might have one food option that I can change immediately.

So on to my morning cereal...

As I have now found my soul mate, and she drifted me away from my standard, morning breakfast of two eggs and a piece of toast to a bowl of healthy cereal, I switched back to your basic, plain-jane, Cheerios, something I enjoyed as a young lad, only as a young lad I enhanced my Cheerios experience with a couple of teaspoons of sugar, thus negating the "low in sugar" benefits of the basic Cheerio. As an older lad I have grown accustomed to supplementing my plain Cheerios with a smaller portion of Honey Nut Cheerios to add a little sweetness (I'm close to just going all Honey Nut, though not yet), but as cereal has become part of my morning repertoire, I would sometimes dream of the days when a bowl of Count Chocula would fill my bowl, with its chocolaty goodness and weird, "spooky-fun" marshmallows, and even though I threatened my fiance with "I'm gonna buy some!", I could lately couldn't find a box at my local grocery store.  But then, low and behold, Stu Gotz tells me that he found the trifecta of Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and Boo Berry, at his local Target no less, and I got to thinking, and researching, and other than wondering what the difference is between "whole grain corn" and "whole grain oats," and I suppose some "beet juice concentrate color" in the Chocula, I'm failing to see any giant difference between the Count Chocula and the Honey-Nut Cheerios.  Hell, they both contain "mixed tocopherols," whatever those are, but for my basic nutritional facts, and because my serving would be the same of about 3/4 cup of cereal, both with skim milk, I'm ignoring the milk side. For cereal only, this is what I get:

Serving Size 3/4 cup, Cereal Only
Nutrition Fact
Count Chocula
Honey Nut Cheerios
. Calories from fat
Total Fat
. Saturated Fat
. Trans Fat
. Polyunsaturated Fat
. Monounsaturated Fat
Total Carbohydrate
. Dietary Fiber
. Sugars
. Other Carbohydrate

Sure, the basic Cheerios does better, and allows you a serving of 1 cup, but damn, if I'm going to make that switch to Honey Nut Cheerios, I might as well just go nuts, or rather not go honey nuts, and get the Count Chocula because really, how bad can "beet juice concentrate color" be for you? In the end it looks like the difference is between a little more sugar in the Count Chocula with some extra salt in the Honey Nut Cheerios, so really, the choice is about high blood pressure or diabetes, isn't it?

So I'm not sure if I'm going to be trying the FitBit right now, though, knowing me, it will be on my "to be purchased" list, especially if they come out with an iPhone app so I know if I can eat my ice cream, but I might have to pull out the $10 Target gift card that I have, buy some Chocula, and relive that chocolaty goodness, with spooky-fun marshmallows, and BHT added to preserve freshness.

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

Posted by Rightdude at 9:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2009

Maybe Reading Isn't for Losers

There was a time when I was of the philosophy that reading is for losers. Now I didn't come up with that phrase, I stole it from Steve Dahl, a radio dude in Chicago, but as far as books went, I was generally anti-reading, which is kind of weird because I can read stuff on the internet all day, and if I don't read my daily newspaper, the actual version on paper, my day doesn't seem complete. It's not that I don't like a good story in a book, or sometimes don't get good information from some self-help/exercise tome, but generally most good books are made into movies, and since I like movies more than reading, I generally felt the movie version was a better use of my time. For whatever reason, though, I've started reading, with the first book that I've finished in years being "Start Where You Are" from Christopher Gardner, yup, the same dude who wrote "The Pursuit of Happyness," of which a movie was made that, I have to admit, made me weepy. I have to say that I enjoyed "Start Where You Are," and suppose I should write him to thank him for a lovely memory I have with my BFF thanks to his book.

The thing is it isn't the printed book that got me back to reading, it is actually my iPhone, where as soon as there was a free Kindle app, I decided to see how reading a book was on my iPhone, and probably because it's technology, I convinced myself in my head that reading was now cool.

In any case, I bring up the reading thing because today Oprah made the latest selection for Oprah's Book Club, something called "Say You're One of Them," from someone named Uwem Akpan. It's a book of short stories, which will probably appeal to me more than a full-blown novel, but there is an anti-Oprah part of me that won't let me pull the trigger, hit the Kindle store, and pop it on my iPhone yet, because, well, I don't want Oprah telling me what to do. Well, there is that part, but also because as much as I am liking reading now, I usually find myself doing it at the end of the day, in bed, to help me calm my mind from a day's worth of input, so it takes me a while to actually read an entire book. Since I'm already backlogged and looking forward to getting to "The Last Lecture" from Randy Pausch, I don't know if Oprah's Book Club selection will make it anytime soon. Guess we'll have to wait and see, but for now re-remembering how to get rid of my back pain and maybe invest my money in my old age are taking priority, so I guess I'm just hoping Oprah might start her own movie production company to turn her book club choices into movies. Even though reading isn't for losers anymore, it still takes a lot of time.

Posted by Rightdude at 1:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2009

I Like My Fruits and Vegetables, but When Should I Take My Drugs?

By: The Dude on the Right
I never knew that taking medication could be so complicated, yet after my latest visit to the doctor where she prescribed me some drugs, being the inquisitive person that I am, I read the full list of possible side effects (my BFF is now on the look-out if I turn gray, yellow, blue, green, or any other color than what my skin and teeth are right now) as well as the recommendations for when to take the little capsule. Herein lies my problem because until I'm done with this stuff, I'm supposed to take it twice a day, on an empty stomach, at least one hour before eating or two hours following eating. This might seem simple, but as my current diet plan had been working, and I like my breakfast right away in the morning and sharing some ice cream with my BFF while we watch The Biggest Loser at night, somehow this pill-taking time schedule doesn't seem to work. Let's do the math...

If I wake up at my normal time to get to my morning consulting gig, I have breakfast streaming down to my belly within 30 minutes of getting out of bed. So much for taking the pill right when I get up. Sure, I should probably get up and exercise first, but for now my walks during the day are doing the job. Now, to keep me from getting overly hungry during the morning hours and stop any desire for a 1/4 pounder, I've been in the habit of having a nice piece of healthy fruit or some vegetables when I get to the office, but that little piece of health just ruins the window of pill-taking opportunity because if I take the pill two hours after breakfast, I'll be starving before lunch comes up because I won't be able to have my piece of fruit, that and the fact that I really don't want to bring my drugs to work.

So with morning shot for taking my pill, I've still got the same issue come afternoon where a tasty yogurt in the middle of the afternoon is a great way to curb that hunger for a couple of donuts on the drive home before dinner. No window of pill-popping opportunity there. And don't get me started on the evening hours because, like I wrote earlier, ice cream, my BFF, and The Biggest Loser make for a great equation, but that means I won't be able to go to sleep until at least two hours after the last drop of Moose Tracks have hit my gullet.

So when am I going to take these two pills? I don't know. I suppose I could set my alarm to wake up at around midnight to take one pill, and then if I set another alarm at 3AM I can take the second pill, thus taking both pills on the prescribed empty stomach although I doubt I should take them that close together; I could skip the piece of fruit and the yogurt, but both of those little things have helped me greatly from going into craziness for lunch and getting a couple of donuts for my ride home; or, maybe I have to quit being so neurotic and just take the damn pills, twice a day, on a sort-of empty stomach. Sometimes I just make life complicated.

Posted by Rightdude at 7:14 PM | Comments (0)

March 9, 2009

What's New? A Podcast of: Stu & The Dude's Weekend Wrap-Up! Adult Toys, Watchmen, March Madness, Jim Cantore, and More!

Good golly, Miss Molly. The Dude on the Right and Stu Gotz get together for another "Weekend Wrap-Up!" podcast and you might not be prepared to hear it, but old people are buying adult toys, from The Vermont Country Store no less, and the boys have some frank discussions about what the folks are buying, or at least what the store is selling. The podcast isn't all about massagers that aren't meant for your back, as The Dude does tell Stu if he should ditch Mama Gotz and see "Watchmen," Stu made it through the stormy, Chicago weekend, a Little Gotz is feeling better, The Dude is getting ready for March Madness, and who knew The Rock, a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson, could sing and dance? All that and a little more are discussed in this week's edition, so lock up the kids and yes, go ahead and Google "The Vermont Country Store." You know you want to.

Posted by Rightdude at 7:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 1, 2009

Hi Mom and Dad! It's 2009!

By: The Dude on the Right
Hi Mom and Dad!

New Year's Eve - Chicago 2008Just wanted to wish the both of you a Happy 2009, although I’m not really sure if you actually celebrate New Year’s Day anymore.  When I woke up this morning I couldn’t help but think a little bit about how my 2008 went, and like most people, I suppose I’m really looking forward to 2009.  There were some fireworks in Chicago last night, so with this letter are a couple of pictures showing the fireworks and Navy Pier.  I know the pictures didn’t come out that well, but my vantage point wasn’t that close, though it was cozy, and my iPhone still doesn’t have that great of a camera, but hey, it was festive and all!

It sure was a weird 2008, wasn't it?  I’m not even talking about the gas prices that went high and then low, how the stock market took a crap, or the Presidential election (How about our Governor Blagojovich scandal and his appointing Roland Burris to Barack Obama’s Senate seat?  Gotta love Chicago/Illinois politics, don’t you!). I was looking back at my MySpace page for January 1st last year, and how I set a goal to lose just one pound a week on my 500 calories a day plan, but like many a weight-loss goal, it didn’t go as planned.  52 pounds would have been great, but I did lose about 18 pounds last year, and yea, I have to admit, that one of my first goals this year is to get back on the eating healthy and exercise bandwagon.

I was kinda wondering how things were up there in heaven for the two of you (At least I’m really hoping you’re in heaven.  First off, it would really be a bummer to find out you ended up in the other place, in which case there would have been a lot of things we never knew about the two of you, and also, it would be a little bit of a bummer to find out you picked the wrong religion to raise us under and that I should be looking forward to becoming a dog or kangaroo, or something like that in the next life when I’m reincarnated).  I’m assuming you found each other, and hopefully Dad, that you were waiting for Mom with some flowers and a kiss.  I’m also hoping that all dogs do go to heaven, and that the boys found you.

Dad, for you, I know you started 2008 pretty much deciding your time on earth was done, and I hope by now you have been able to explain to Mom why that was because for a lot of the year she was having trouble wrapping her head around that.  With your going away that early, well, you missed a lot of things for me this year, although I do sometimes wonder about the ability of you (and Mom, you also), to watch over us from up there.  I mean, is it sort of like when Harry Stamper told his daughter, Gracie, in the movie “Armageddon” that he’ll check in on her from time to time right before he gets blown to bits on the asteroid?  If so, I really hope you didn’t check in on me during some private time I was having, in which case, Dad, you might have said something like “Oh no, I cursed him with a little wiener.  Oh wait, thank God, he’s a grower! (at which time I’m guessing a booming voice says “Your welcome, Dad on the Right!”)  Please tell me there are times you respect my privacy (You too, Mom), or is it like some “all-knowing” thing like in the movie “Highlander?”  In any case, you should have seen by now that I have a BFF, and she’s great.  She thinks that somehow you and a relative of hers met up there early last year hatching a plan to help us reconnect after some 23 years.  If that’s the case, can I commend all of you on doing a great job!  That does make me want to apologize, though, because I probably don’t ask for enough help from you, although the we never did talk that much about personal things.  I guess in all of those years we never were able to connect that well, though I’m trying to do a better job sending you some thoughts of things that are going on here with me now.

New Year's Eve - Chicago 2008Mom, I hope Dad has helped you get used to things up there in the past couple of months.  Is there some kind of orientation that you have to go through, or are you just kind of thrown in to the mix?  The BFF and I are still dating, and things are going great.  The both of us have some challenges coming up in 2009 (and who doesn’t), but it’s great having someone to help me through them (and I hope I’m helping her through hers), although I always know I can bend your ear a bit if I need to.  And speaking of bending your ear, thanks for that little “talk” we had before Christmas, it really helped me enjoy the holiday a lot more, what with the advice that it’s okay to miss the both of you, but the time for being sad, and letting that ruin my day, needed to go away.  I know you know it was a weird holiday season, what with the family being spread out across the country (though it was nice spending the time with the BFF’s family), but maybe at the end of this year, once things calm down, maybe we can all get together for Christmas or Turkey Day.  I’m thinking here in the Chicago area.  Nothing like Sis on the Right and her family having to deal with the snow and cold, although it won’t be that much different for Bro on the Right, but having them meet the BFF’s family - That would really be interesting!

Well, I better get going.  The Rose Bowl will be starting soon (I think I’m rooting for USC, if only because I really don’t like Penn State and some of our staff members here are big Trojan fans, but come to think of it, I suppose I’m a Trojan fan as well), and it’s time to get going with 2009.  Mom, Dad, say “Hi” to the Grandmas and Grandpas for me.  I miss them, too, but I have to admit, not as much as I miss the two of you.

Oh yea, one more thing, I’m not sure how it works, or if you could pull some strings (or even if you have that kind of pull yet), and Mom, I know you were a big fan of it and frustrated you never came close to winning, but if you’ve been checking in on me, well, you know I occasionally play the Mega Millions game down here, usually with the same set of numbers.  I mean, is there some kind of lottery you have to win up there in order to influence the numbers that get drawn down here, is it based on merit and good deeds, or is it really just a total game of chance?  Even better, you also know that when the jackpot hits $100 million, well, I’m not going to give it away, but it would actually make winning the jackpot a little bit easier at that amount, what to not create some family squabbles and all.  Anyway, if there were some way for you guys to let me know it’s your turn to pick the numbers, well, that would help a lot.

I hope things are going well for you two up there.  I miss and love you both.

Your Son,
The Dude on the Right

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

Posted by Rightdude at 3:40 PM | Comments (2)

December 24, 2008

Global Warming, Global Cooling, A Cuban, Electric Cars, Cheap Gas, and Happy Holidays

By: The Dude on the Right
Oh the weather outside is frightful, or, well, it’s at least warmer, but as we are definitely going to have a white Christmas here in Chicagoland, I had to laugh at a lot of the comments on the radio when we were having the sub-zero temperatures about “Where is this global warming?”  Some pundit-types were using the cold weather to say, “See, Al Gore is wrong.  We don’t need to worry about the environment.  Everything is cyclical.  This year we might be global warming, next year we’ll be global cooling.  See, Al Gore is a dufus!”  Then there are the environmental types spinning that the cold weather is an affect of global warming because the environment is all out of whack.  Me, I don’t really know who to believe, all I know is that on TV yesterday I saw a news story about a Chinese company that is supposed to have an electric car, similar to the Chevy Volt, that is supposed to come out a couple years earlier, cost a bunch less, only won’t be as luxurious.  Me, I’m not that worried about the carbon emissions, my carbon footprint, or if I fart too much, what I do think is cool would be a car that pretty much doesn’t need gasoline, and somehow the Chinese are ahead of us in developing that car.

And that leads me to the loan offered to the auto manufacturers and a great post from Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, the won’t be owner of the Chicago Cubs because baseball owners are a bunch of dufi, but does write a nice blog where a few days ago he mentioned how Chrysler is toast because, well, what better way to waste money than to put a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal thanking America for, well, investing in Chrysler, “America’s Car Company” that used to be sort of a Mercedes Benz car company until the Benz people couldn’t even take it anymore.  My simple analysis is that the car companies are in this mess much the same way Motorola is in their cell-phone mess.  Motorola rested all of its laurels on the Razr line, not seeing that things are changing, and now no one gives a damn about the latest Razr phone.  The car companies have become just as complacent, resting on their laurels without seeing the innovation consumers want in order to buy a new car.  A little Chinese company might just show that even with the Chevy Volt coming out, a once mighty car company gets beaten to the punch by a company that sees car buying differently.

Than again, with gas prices around $1.50 a gallon again, who cares about electric cars anymore.

In any case, I’m just waiting for my BFF before we start our holiday celebrating, so I thought I would write about something, so why not mix global warming, the loans to the auto companies, and cheap gas all in one post.

Happy Holidays.

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

Posted by Rightdude at 3:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 9, 2008

What's New? A Podcast of: Stock Market Woes, Movies I Won't See, and Jillian Michaels' Inspirations of the Week.

The Dude on the Right is just as flustered about the stock market as you might be, but he just tries to make you remember the motto - "Buy low.  Sell high."  Sure, his other tip is "Don't pet a burning dog," but if the stock market is nearing its low, you know what, ten years from now, unless the world totally falls apart, your buying now will be flying high!  Inspiration is a big topic of this podcast, granted it might not have to do with "South Park," or any of the movies opening this weekend, or if you are a subscriber to "Rolling Stone" you now have batteries to properly dispose of, but The Dude is now fascinated with Jillian Michaels from "The Biggest Loser," and introduces his new feature, "Jillian Michael's Inspirations of the Week."  Go ahead and add it to your iPod for some inspiration just when you are thinking of quitting.

Posted by Rightdude at 7:47 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2008

What's New? The Dude sees "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and Fireworks, Stu Wonders if He Can Get "Wii Fit."

The Dude on the Right saw "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" with someone who doesn't really like bugs, which, because The Dude is weird, actually made the movie experience bring a bigger smile to his face, but in the end it's all about the review, and The Dude does what he does.  Stu Gotz, though, is back doing some typographical reviewing, maybe because his kids might be a little too young to see the "Crystal Skull" movie, but that doesn't mean his family, or at least just him, can't get in shape thanks to the Nintendo "Wii Fit."  Hopefully Mama Gotz won't let Stu shove the thing under the couch to collect dust bunnies.  The Dude saw movies and fireworks, Stu is probably trying to figure out how to dry a sweater on a "Wii Fit."  Such are different weekends.

Posted by Rightdude at 6:31 PM | Comments (0)

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

By: Stu Gotz
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 night…
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!

Posted by Rightdude at 5:53 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2008

At First I Wondered "What Was I Thinking?" An Hourish Later My Legs Weren't Screaming "Frack!"

By: 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 out.

But 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 Springbrook 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.

And 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!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 8:30 PM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2008

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

By: 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 "Survivor," 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.

In 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 Stu Gotz. 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!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 6:20 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2008

A New Chapter for the "on the Right" Family.

By: 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.

Fine, 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.

So, 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!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 8:31 PM | Comments (1)

December 27, 2007

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.

Posted by Rightdude at 7:43 PM | Comments (0)

August 3, 2007

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.

By: 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.

You 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!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 8:00 PM | Comments (3)

July 15, 2007

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

By: The Dude on the Right
Today 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 Christ."

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.

Now 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 around.

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

Posted by Rightdude at 7:34 PM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2007

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.

Posted by Rightdude at 7:27 PM | Comments (0)

August 9, 2005

Green Day and Prayers

By: 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 cancer.

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

Posted by Rightdude at 7:23 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2005

I Got a New Bike!

By: 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 Island in New Jersey, known for its summer resort areas and Chowderfest, 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 Sport.  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!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 7:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

By: The Dude on the Right
Yesterday was my mom's birthday and she turned the excellent age of 79.  It's weird though, these days, because her health isn't nearly the state it used to be just five or six years ago, and for me, it has to do with three things, and she may or may not agree, but part of her decline was a result of a stress test she did a couple/five years ago, too much stress from dealing with my father, and her years of smoking.  Yup, mom was a smoker, and for the most part, other than my dad, you can attribute her health issues to that.  But when you are a woman approaching 75, with diagnosed emphysema, and sure, and you're having some heart issues, do you really give this woman a full-blown stress test and put her on a treadmill?  And that being said, as she's on that treadmill, and she is saying she can't keep going, do you force this woman to keep going, even to the point where you are holding her up?  Go figure, the stress test didn't detect anything. A little later she had an angiogram, and low and behold there was some blockage in one of her coronary arteries.  They fixed that, but a lot of her lung issues started to happen after that stress test, and my theory is simply this, and I'm no Doctor and I don't even play one on TV, but her years of smoking and emphysema left a lot of crap stuck in her lungs.  Being in her early seventies, mom wasn't one to get her heart rate nor heavy breathing up, although helping my dad, she really kept her strength, but with this running and unable to catch her breath on the treadmill, all of that crap blew out of its settled places and headed to the rest of her lungs.  Diagnosed now with what the call COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), she is tethered to an oxygenator 24 hours a day, and as days goes, some days are better, some not so much.  She will be the first to admit that smoking was a bad thing, and for the couple of stories we all hear about of people who have smoked all of their lives and live it long and healthy, for the most part, you will probably end up in your later years like my mom.  Make that choice today and quit smoking, as hard as it may be, because in seeing my mom, she would give up all of those years of smoking if she didn't have to live with this today.  And if you are a friend of a smoker, try to get them to quit.  If they give you crap, feel free to make them contact me and I'll give them a few other things they might get to look forward to as they get older.

With her health issues aside, I will always love my mom.  She probably never fully understands some of the decisions I have made in my life, but she has always been supportive.  She was a great singer, played an organ like nobody's business, but spent her years as a mom and housewife, and all she ever seems to really want for me and my brother and sister is to be happy.  She has her favorite saying now when people ask her how she is doing, and that is simply "Still breathing."  That's all I can hope for everyone dealing with the same things my mom is going through, is to be "Still breathing."

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

Posted by Rightdude at 7:03 PM | Comments (0)


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