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Home Workout Recommendations for Pilates

June 25, 2013 2 comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve done this type of post, but I figured, why not. Don’t get me wrong, taking classes in the Pilates and Yoga arenas are always great and I advocate for them if you’re new to either discipline. Having an instructor is great to get your form where it needs to be to prevent injury and maximize the benefits from these workouts.

However, if you’re like me and don’t feel like braving the gym scene (they’re always so crowded around here), there are lots of home workout videos you can try.

One of my favorite DVD workout instructors is Ana Cabán. Her background is in ballet, and her Pilates workouts benefit from this as she’s well versed in Joseph Pilates’ classical techniques that were first adopted by dancers. When she demonstrates the movements, she explains in such a way that a novice can pick them up quickly. Here is an example:

Always be mindful that the strength to come up in the movements comes from the Core, not the lower back or through momentum.

For me, increasing the amount of Pilates and Yoga I practice while keeping with my regular martial arts routine of Kung Fu and Krav Maga has really helped with my balance, stability, and flexibility, and I definitely see more Core muscle strength also.

The Furminator: I’m definitely a believer

June 24, 2013 4 comments

The Furminator: (I’m definitely a believer)

We have three critters. Powa is a long-haired Tortie mix (maybe part Maine Coon), Bear is a Pekingese, and Big Kitty is a regular short haired domestic mutt. Of the three, the one with the shortest hair (Big Kitty) sheds the most. However, if I don’t keep Bear’s coat down to a puppy cut length, it gets matted easily and I have to forever be brushing him out.

As for Powa, very little hair of hers would ever come out during the brushing. Guess she doesn’t shed, right?

How wrong I was.

The experience of the Furminator on all three critters:

  1. Enough hair came off of Powa’s coat to make a whole new cat, it was unreal. And, it was all undercoat, which is where dander really concentrates. The skin on her back is very sensitive to wire brushes and combs, and she totally tolerated the Furminator.
  2. Pekingese dogs have a really rough outer coat and a coarse inner one, so if the outer coat gets long, it mats easily, which is the case with Bear. This thing went right through the mats without hurting him, and he also had enough hair from the session to make a second Peke.
  3. Big Kitty was in heaven when I started with him because he loves being brushed in general. Course, this is also the cat that likes to be paddled once in a while, so he already has a high threshold for manhandling. Sure enough, I took quite a bit of fur off of him.

So all in all, this is a product that works well for felines and canines.

Categories: Critters, Product reviews Tags:

Game of Thrones – “The Rains of Castamere” (spoilers)

June 3, 2013 Leave a comment

Ah, Robb and Cat, we knew ye well

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve read the books prior to watching the second season. However, that didn’t prepare me for this episode. Readers of the books have heard of an event called The Red Wedding, but show viewers without this prior knowledge probably didn’t know what that meant. Well friends, this episode brought it vividly to life.

So what were some of the events that foreshadowed doom… let’s count them down:

  • Roose Bolton wearing chain mail under his clothes
  • Robb and Talisa wanting to name their child Ned. NED? Do they not remember what happened to the first Ned???
  • Cat recognizing the song the minstrels were playing (The Rains of Castamere). That was probably the worst one.

So, that being said, was this a hit orchestrated by Walder Frey alone, getting revenge on Robb for not marrying his daughter, or was he in cahoots with Tywin Lannister? Joffrey’s a vengeful psychotic little urchin, could it have been him?

I knew Talisa had to go, as she was pregnant with Robb’s child. But, it was so hard to watch Cat dying as Roose stabbed Robb in the heart, even before her own throat was slit. All life as she knew it was gone, as she still didn’t know that Rickon, Bran, and Arya were still alive. She knew Sansa was, but no one really gives a damn about her at this point, do they?

I shed tears. If Michelle Fairley doesn’t get nominated for an Emmy for her performance in this episode as Cat, I don’t know who should. Damn, she got me good.

I’m not even going to bother getting into the rest of the episode, because The Red Wedding took everything I had in that one 10 minute segment. There’s some direwolf action, some Daario Naharis action, and Bran tells Hodor to stop Hodoring so much.

So, one episode left in the season. Better watch!

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