Nothing Beats a FLAT!

January 8, 2014

I promised last time that this post was going to be about food, but there’s been a change of plans. And for that I can thank… my flat tire.


The original plan was this: Read the rest of this entry »


Flat Tire #2

December 1, 2010

Went to exercise this morning in the park with Oscar and Joe (you can read about these workouts here), and when I started driving back home, I heard a very familiar, very unpleasant sound coming from the back of my car.  A ‘thump thump thump’ that made my heart sink and my blood boil.  I pulled into the next parking lot, got out of my car, and sure enough:

My second flat tire in two weeks.  Both of them passenger’s side rear tire.  Yep – that means the brand new tire I bought two weeks ago is now flat.   Whoop-de-do!  Maybe today is the day I should start buying lottery tickets!

I’m now an pro at putting on my spare (which I chronicled in my blog a few weeks ago here), but I took pictures once again, with the thought that maybe if I keep documenting my car troubles then they’ll go away.  We’ll see if that happens – it’s just a thought.  I’m not saying every thought of mine is a good one.

Anyway – I jacked up my car and took off the flat tire:

Then put on the spare and lowered my car down to the ground:

Oh, and did I mention that the parking lot I pulled into belonged to a Burger King?

So my annoyance levels were sky-high – firstly, that I basically blew $100 on a tire for two weeks of use, and secondly, that I had to change a tire within smelling range of hash browns and croissanwiches, which I love, but haven’t eaten since 2009.  I was also within earshot of the people placing their orders in the drive-thru.  Apparently, Burger King now has a Breakfast Ciabatta Club Sandwich.  I have no idea what that is, but after hearing two consecutive people order them, I really really wanted one.

My tire-changing time this go-around was cut in half – from 45 minutes last time, to about 23 minutes this time, and, after I was finished, the Burger King 25 feet away provided me someplace to wash my hands and pee and wash my hands again, so maybe it wasn’t all bad to have pulled in there.

I found a tire store in Glendale (not too far away from where I was stranded, in Highland Park) on my Blackberry and headed there, and got a new tire for $85 bucks – less than the $100 I spent last time.

When I got home, I grabbed my mail out of my mailbox, and got the credit card bill that includes the tire charge from 2 weeks ago.  Sigh.

In the plus column, the park workout was fantastic, the little funk I was in yesterday seemed to be gone, and later today I plan to get a little more cardio in, by heading to the gym and conquering my StairMaster goal of climbing 73 floors without stopping.

As always, I will keep you posted.

Keep it up, David!

Haircut & Produce & More

November 19, 2010

Where to start today?  Lots of little things to blog about…

1) Haircut. I didn’t just get a hair cut – I got them all cut!  [Rim Shot].  I’ve been going to Heather at the Glendale Salon Spa for a couple of years now, and have always walked away happy.  Here’s what I looked like before Heather and her scissors worked their magic:

And the end result:

2) Produce. Had to go grocery shopping today, and had to be thoughtful about it.  Today is Friday, and on Monday evening I’m leaving on a jet plane to Colorado to visit my sister and her family for Thanksgiving week.  I’ll be gone for 5 days (though I plan to blog from Colorado, and my sister is excited to help me), so the challenge was this:  buy enough fruits and veggies to last exactly until Monday, and if I happen to buy too many, make sure I buy kinds that will last until I get back.  I don’t like buying produce and throwing it away, like I did with that disgusting Yali pear.

So I was off to one of my favorite grocery stores, Jon’s.  I looked up their weekly ad online, and saw that they had grapes on sale (99 cents a pound), which is perfect for my situation, because I can freeze them, and whatever I don’t eat in the next few days will keep for the next few weeks (read about the benefits of freezing grapes here).  Other good produce that will keep if I need it to include apples, carrots, and celery, so all those went into my basket.  Here’s what I walked away with:

1 head of celery, 1 yam, 1 zucchini, 1 pound of carrots, 1 bag of red seedless grapes (brand name: Supergrape!), 2 bananas, 1 green pepper, 1 Rome apple, and 2 Granny Smith apples.  I haven’t had a green apple since I don’t know when, and plus the Granny Smiths were on sale for 50 cents a pound, so I bought a couple.

The grand total?  $5.34!   Some pricing highlights include the yam for 9 cents, the zucchini for 24 cents, and the bell pepper for 34 cents.  Even on sale, the grapes were nearly 1/2 of my bill, at $2.48 – but still a great price for 2 1/2 pounds of grapes!

3) Flat Tire Update. I posed a question in the title of my last postHow Many Calories Do You Burn Changing A Flat Tire? I asked the question rhetorically, but earlier today, I snooped around to see if anyone actually knew the answer.  Lo and behold, someone did!  Eric Lupher, a reporter for KKTV, the CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs, posted a blog in April (you can read it here) claiming he burned 367 calories changing his tire!  Seems like a lot to me, but who am I to argue?

4) Workout. Was up early today for my 3rd session in the park with Oscar and Joe, although Joe couldn’t make it today, so it was just me and Oscar.  Oscar had me do a workout similar to the one I did on Wednesday (read about it and see pictures here), and he added a new piece of equipment into the routine: the kettlebell.  I like Wikipedia’s description: a “weight looking somewhat like a cannonball with a handle, used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.”  Oscar’s kettlebell is a little more sophisticated than that, with plates that slide in and out so you can adjust the weight.  Oscar had me do kettlebell swings, where I start in a squat position, and simultaneously stand up, thrust my hips forward, and swing the kettlebell from between my legs to straight up in front of me.  You can watch what the movement looks like here (starting at 2 min, 30 sec into the video), except that I did them with each arm individually, instead of both. I felt ready to collapse when the workout was over – a good thing!

Keep it up, David!

How Many Calories Do You Burn Changing A Flat Tire?

November 18, 2010

One of the great things about living in Los Angeles is having the ocean so close.  I’m not a big beach lover (I can count on 2 hands the number of times I’ve been to the beach in the 8 years I’ve lived here), but it really is beautiful.

I was reminded of that today because I went with my friend Alix for a walk on the beach.  She lives in Culver City, so I swung by her house, and then we headed to Marina Del Ray, about ten minutes away.  We walked about a mile down the beach or so, and they headed over to the marina, and walked among the docks.  I love walking on the beach – walking on sand is more difficult than walking on a harder surface, and you use your whole foot and more muscles in your legs.

Here’s some photographic evidence.  Me on the beach:

Me with some boats:

I had a really nice time catching up with Alix, who I hadn’t seen the beginning of 2010 (if I recall correctly).   And I saw some clever boat names, too – my favorites were ‘Sail La Vie’ and ‘Anchor Management.’  Wordplay!

While my morning was really enjoyable, my car’s day pretty much sucked.  Let’s start with this present that was left for me:

Thank you, City of Culver City, for the parking ticket.  You are correct, I failed to notice the signs saying that parking was prohibited on the east side of the street between 10am-2pm on Thursdays due to street cleaning.  What’s the damage?

Just $55!  Suh-weet.  Can I have you earmark my money to go towards arts education in the Culver City Unified School District?  Thank you very much.

Then, on the way home from Culver City (about a 30 minute drive), guess who gets a flat tire?  Me!  Luckily, it was just a few blocks from my place.  If I had gotten it on the freeway, and had to pull over to the shoulder, I probably would have cried.  The last time I had a flat (about ten years ago, when I was in college), my friend Becky was with me, and she knew what she was doing, so I barely paid attention.  Having to change a tire with traffic whizzing by at 70mph would probably give me a heart attack.  And when the ambulance came, that would lead to a traffic jam, and my death would anger thousands of Angelenos.  It’s not the way I want to go.

Thankfully, as I said earlier, I was a few blocks from home, so I was able to slowly inch my way back into my parking garage, and I changed the tire ALL MY MYSELF.  I know it’s not rocket science, but I’m still proud.  Even though it’s not health/food/exercise related, I still documented the process and will walk you through it in this blog.

My flat tire:

My car all jacked up:

Flat tire off, spare tire on:

Car lowered, jack removed, lug nuts tightened.  All done!

My first plan was to take it to the dealership first thing in the morning to get a new tire.  But since changing it took less time than I thought (about 45 minutes), and it was 4:30pm, I decided to head out and get the new tire today.   The Goodyear tire place less than a mile down the road didn’t close until 6, so I had plenty of time, and by 5:15, I was driving home $100 poorer but with a new tire.

Total car-related expenses today?  $155.  Unless I don’t pay that parking ticket. [Insert maniacally evil laugh here]

The good thing about getting the tire today and not tomorrow is that I’ll be able to attend two workouts that I really enjoy.  Latin Jam class is tonight (you can watch a video about it in this blog post), and tomorrow I’m heading back bright and early to the park to work out with Joe and Oscar, like I did on Wednesday.  Both would be off the table if I didn’t get a new tire, because getting to both involves freeway driving, which you’re not supposed to do on a spare tire.

Keep it up, David!