Monday, July 30, 2007

There's A Fat Man In The Bathtub With The Blues

Hola Amigos,
I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but not much has been going on...the yard work is progressing nicely, weather is improving, spring is 30 days away.

One new thing is that I have decided to go on a 30 day program of heavy exercise in order to drop 5kg. That's about 10 lbs in US & A language. The reason for this is that Kimberly and I will be taking a week's holiday to the Cook Islands for her birthday and I want to be in top physical condition so I can wear a Speedo...or at least look less embarrassing in my bathrobe.

My plan was to join a club for a month and go every day and burn fat by running on the treadmill for 30 minutes or so.

I went to the local workout place, named BJ's. There are others, but I like BJ's.

I met up with Jack, the kid behind the front desk and learned that I could join for a month or get a full year's membership at a better daily rate. Since I live for the moment and can't picture myself working out as a regular part of my life after I drop those kilos, I opted for the more expensive 30 day membership.

Jack included himself in the deal as a personal trainer for one free consultation, which I took. He showed me where the cardio equipment was and instructed me on a few machines that would help shape me into a rock hard, finely chiseled specimen of a 60 year old geezer.

Turns out I weigh about 83kg which relates to about 182 lbs.

So I have gone religiously every day and ran until my heart rate was up to 150 bpm. I have taken missteps on the damn thing and fell off about 3 times already.

I do upper body working machines and even a couple sit ups on occasion.

After five days, I now weigh 83kg but I have definitely lost five days.

All this brings us to the unfortunate story of the boysenberry cobbler which will be discussed in the next post.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Gonna Miss Your Baby, From Rolling In Your Arms

For the last 3 weeks, we have been in the US visiting friends and family and staying out of the New Zealand winter. There was a wedding in Seattle where we were reunited with about 10 dear old friends. A lot of them promised to come visit us down under. Then on to San Francisco for more family and Chloe.

There is a lot of philosophy running through my head about growing older and the span of life. As Robert Frost wrote,

"The old dog barks backward without getting up. I can remember when he was a pup."

I guess the secret is to find a way to be happy and have fun without getting in anybody's way. That's what Mom always said.

Now Chloe doesn't know any secrets as yet, but she does know about eating solid food. We started her with a small spoon and a little rice mush. Mmmm, good. The best part was that I was the first to feed her. I guess I did that silly thing where I open my mouth to get her to open hers. As they always do, airplanes went into hangers and trains into tunnels.
Kimberly and I have been sticking around babysitting and cooking and walking the dog. We are learning to be grandparents. I have been preparing 10% of the bottles and changing 5% of the diapers. But on the other hand, I am trying to provide 75% of the giggles.

Brandon and Vanessa were sorting out some infant clothes the other day and let me say that babies are quite the industry. There is some company called D&G that sell tiny pants for $125! When Kimberly saw them, she went nuts. She recognized the label and explained that even she doesn't have any of those. I suspect that will be a temporary problem.

Brandon modeled the entire outfit even though it was a little small.

Chloe also has a pair of Gucci shoes.

Good to know you got shoes to wear, when you find the floor.

And children in Darfur have flies between their toes. What a world.

Something is very wrong here.. but the outfits are so cute!

Yesterday, we took her to the zoo.
There were thousands of little kids on summer camp trips and Chloe was jumping with joy. She smiled and sang for 2 hours. When she is very excited, she kicks her feet all over. By the end of the day, I had bruises on my groin.
After an earthquake last night, we reckon it's time to got back to a one story house

It is going to be difficult to pull Kimberly away from her. But we gotta go back home so we can prepare to return in October.

For a good investment, buy stock in Air New Zealand.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Teachers Teach That Knowledge Waits

Do not try to re-adjust your screen. You have not mistakenly been transferred to a Israeli Kibbutz website. This frightening photo is here with our blessing.

We are still in Oakland, looking at Chloe for another week, so not much is going on.

However today, I was re-acquainted with a student I taught in the 7th grade around 14 years ago... Josh Shupak. He was one of the few Jewish kids living in Vista, Ca. so he was very easy not to forget. In fact, I had his brother and sister through the years. Oddly, we bumped into his sister, Jamina, while she was travelling in New Zealand a while back.
Josh was in my 7th grade honors class and he was the subject of a lot of kidding from the other students. I mocked him a bit myself if I do recall.
Well, he had this big Jewy Afro and nerdy glasses that were always broken and taped together. He was allergic to all sorts of stuff including anything dairy. I probably tried to treat him to ice cream just to see what would happen. When I asked him what he remembered from my year of teaching him, he had very little recollection. A fine endorsement for those interested in going into the education field.

He has horrible vision, still wears broken coke bottle eye wear but now has upgraded from scotch tape to rubber bands for repair work. He won't drive, prefers to ride a bike, does odd jobs and teaches Hebrew.
We all know what a high demand there is for Hebrew teachers these days.

Josh came by with his wife Andrea and we all went to lunch in Berkeley.

He wears the skullcap and had a beard. I spent the entire time fearing a Hezbollah attack just because I was sitting near him.

But we all luckily survived the meal which was very non-dairy.

Somehow, Josh has managed to find a lovely partner who is a hard worker, and teacher. She drives and everything and looks normal. I think she has normal eyesight too.

As it was Friday afternoon, the Sabbath was fast approaching and all good Jews must go into lock down before sunset. But I wanted to hustle to the Kosher bakery for some macaroons. We got there under the wire and were happy the proprietor, who looks a lot like Josh, was able to make a fast sale before darkness fell in about 6 hours.
Actually, the religiousness wore off on me, so I better stop now before G-d strikes me dead and turns Kimberley into a very rich shicksa.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Eyes Alight, With Glowing Hair, All That Fancy Paints As Fair

New Zealand is experiencing a cold winter so it makes sense for Kiwis to get out of the country for a month. What is saved in heating costs could finance a trip to the US and A. So Kimberly and I are currently in California....Oakland, to be exact... visiting Chloe and her parents

Due to some genetic accident our granddaughter is part monkey, or at least she was born with a pelt on her head as thick as any chimp.

At 5 months, it was already time for a haircut as passersby kept offering her bananas.

So today, we all went to SNIPS, the local kiddie tonsorial parlor.
She had an appointment.
Although I don't recall my first haircut, I'm positive there was no appointment. There was probably a bowl from the cupboard. My dad held me down while my mother chopped away with a tool from her sewing kit...


SNIPS charges $18 to style little apes. The place is very colorful and each customer can watch videos of Barney as they sit in the chair or on mom's lap. The barbers must be nuts by the end of the day and ready for a stiff drink.

Chloe sat like a champ during the entire 10 minute process. When it came time for the blow dry, things got tense as the noise and heat were troublesome.

In the end, there was a huge clump of hair on the floor that was collected up by Vanessa for some scrapbook.
This ritual is a bit of a mystery to me.

Since we had some time and Josh was there, I forced him into the kiddie chair for a haircut of his own. He has shoulder length locks that are beautiful. Very non-simian.
The rest of him is pure gorilla.
He tried to run out of the shop, but we dragged him in screaming. He sobbed the entire time until the haircut girl gave him a balloon.

When it was all over, I collected the cuttings off the floor for my scrapbook.