How High Can I Jump?

Check out my hops.

hops and beer

No, not the hops above. Those are for beer and stuff. I am talking about playground hops, like “How high can I jump?’ hops.

I was watching an NBA playoff game and wondered if I can touch a 10ft high basketball rim. The NBA players make it look so easy, but many of them are 6 ft 5 inches tall and even more. I am 5’11’. I put myself up to the challenge and even recorded it. Let’s see how I did.

Eat your heart out LeBron. Lol.

photo

Check out my jumping shoes. Vans. You can take the boy out of California, but I guess you can’t take California out of the boy/man. I wonder if expensive basketball shoes would help me jump higher. Sounds like a “Healthy Homeboy Challenge”. Stay tuned…

Guns Are Real, And They Are EVERYWHERE

usmc symbol

Because I served in the U.S. Marines for 4 years, people have asked my opinion on guns, and more specifically, gun control. Here is my approach to the issue.

Before we take massive action on gun control or have educated debates, we should educate our citizens on weapons. Educated debates are only possible when the debaters are educated…duh.

I believe that American citizens who truly want to understand the power of weapons should fire a few. Think of it as a test drive of different cars. We will call it “Weapons 101”. They should be fired in the following order:

First, they should fire a slingshot, yes a slingshot. It is a weapon you know. The really high-end slingshots can kill birds and small rodents. I speak from experience. They can break windows (experience) and even blind a human (no experience), so obviously they are not toys.

bart_slingshot_by_maria_dlq-d34cn7u

Then our young Americans, but over the age of 18, should shoot air rifles, from the Red Rider B. B. gun “Christmas Story” edition, to the high-powered ones.

christmas-story-bb-gun

Then they should fire/shoot with a bow and arrow.

bow and arrow

After that, a crossbow.

cross bow

Please hang in there with me. I am trying to show you a progression of weapons that are dangerous and fairly easy to obtain in this country. If we want our citizens to have educated debates and discussions on gun control, I believe our citizens should have experience shooting weapons and understand their progression in power and danger. One thing is knowing about weapons, and all the statistics that can be learned about their dangers, and it’s another to have experience handling them. It makes for a better debate.

Next, I would have our citizens fire hand guns of different calibers.

hand guns

If you have never fired a gun, the picture above may look a little scary, but the fact remains that we have enough guns to arm every adult in this country, and most of our children. Estimates say there are about 250 million guns in America, if not more. Safe to say, guns are everywhere. Yes, they are in your neighborhood too.

The next weapon they should fire is a .22 caliber rifle. In the world of rifles, a .22 caliber rifle is one of the weaker ones, but it can still take a life, animal and human alike.

22 caliber rifle

The next weapon people should fire in my Weapons 101 educational plan, is some type of high-powered rifle. Because of their longer barrels, rifles are generally more accurate than hand guns.

high powered rifle

 

My weapons firing education would stop at the AR-15.

Right now, the most popular rifle being sold in the United States is the AR-15. They are so popular that no less than 30 gun manufacturers currently make them. The AR-15 is the civilian version of the M-16 that our military uses. According to an NBC report, there are about 4 million of these weapons in the hands of American gun owners right now. Below is a picture of an AR-15 with all the bells and whistles. It is available for purchase starting at a cool G. That’s a thousand dollars for those of you with limited street vernacular.

ar with everything

Remember the famous Tony Montana line “Say hello to my little friend”? His friend he was introducing you to was an M-16 with a grenade launcher attached to it. In the military it is known as an M203. I fired this weapon in the Marines too. It basically blows shit up. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see the grenade launching barrel below the rifle barrel. This weapon is not for sport, it is to fuck your enemy up by blowing him to smithereens. I apologize for the curse words, especially to my young followers. But doesn’t “blow shit up” and “fuck shit up” sound so much more powerful than “destroy something”? It does to me.

Al-Pacino-in-Scarface-198-001

Before I go any further, let me tell you what I learned to do in the Marines with an M-16. It is not meant to frighten anyone, it is the reality of what I learned, and the power of an M-16 and an AR-15. Every Marine is a basic rifleman. The M-16 Marines learn to shoot with in boot-camp is the basic model, like the one below. It has no bells and whistles. Sorry, I forgot. It does have one feature that the civilian AR-15’s does not have. It has a switch that can put it in BURST mode. It allows a soldier to pull the trigger and a burst of 3 bullets is fired instead of one.

m-16

While in the Marines, from a distance of 300 meters, not feet, I could hit a target called an “Able” target with impressive precision and consistency. The target is only 12 inches across. Go ahead and take out a ruler and see how big, I mean small, 12 inches is. From 300 yards away, it’s a speck. May I remind you that this is with no scope on the rifle. It is just the rifle, its metal sights, my vision, slow pull of the trigger, and pow!, from 3 football fields away I can hit a watermelon, consistently.

able target

You see the target above, that is the Able Target I told you about. I could hit the black part from 300 meters away, easily. It gets better, and more impressive. My point is to show you what an AR-15 is capable of, because M-16s and AR-15s are basically the same weapon.

b modified target

The silhouette of a man above is called a Modified B Target. It is about 40 inches tall and 20 inches wide. I could hit that target, with precision, from 500 meters away. That is about 5 football fields, or a quarter-mile away! From that distance, you can barely see the target. Remember, this is with just raw vision, no eye correction, no scope, or support, other than my elbows in the prone position.

prone position

Let’s talk about other weapons. This is Weapons 101, remember?

The most awesome weapon I personally fired in the Marines was the M2 .50 caliber machine gun. It fires about 500 rounds per minute. That’s about 8 rounds per second! It can “reach out and touch someone” from over a mile away! Seriously? Yes, seriously. This is the M2 being fired…I am not in the picture.

50 cal being fired

Below are the.50 caliber bullets compared to an M-16’s or AR-15’s 5.56 mm bullets. The M-16 is the rifle I fired in the Marines that I just talked about. The M2 above does two things. First, you go deaf when you fire it. It is loud as hell, even while wearing ear plugs. And then, it just tears shit up. Sorry kids, but it is true.

bullet comparison

Oh, before I forget, another cool weapon, cool as in powerful and dangerous, that I fired in the Marines was the M249 S.A.W. (Squad Automatic Weapon). It can fire 775 rounds per minute. That’s about 13 rounds per second! Go ahead and stop what you’re doing and count to 10.  The M249 just fired 130 rounds, wow!

m 249 saw

Now that the Rambo journalist is out of me, let’s get back to my original point. The point being that hand guns, rifles, and assault weapons are available for purchase in this country, and they are dangerous. In order for us as a society to have mature and educated debates about gun types, their ownership, and rules governing both, we should have some idea, for the empowerment of both sides of the argument, about how powerful weapons are. Adam Lanza used an AR-15 to kill 20 children and 6 adults in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. The AR-15’s bullets, like an M-16’s, are meant to whistle through the air with incredible accuracy, pierce the skin, and tumble once inside a human or animal. Basically, they rip organs apart and shatter bones once in the body. Sorry AR-15 advocates, this is true, and you know it.

I am not against gun ownership. I know that many of them, most of them, are responsible. My question is, where does the type of weapon that gun enthusiasts want to own end? Do they also want to own the “Tony Montana M203”? Do they want to own .50 cal machine guns? What are the limits?

I personally do not own any guns. It is not my thing. Besides, after firing the weapons I fired in the Marines, firing a hand gun and even an AR-15, is like driving a Smart Car after driving a Lamborghini, no thanks. Buzz kill. I do own a slingshot though.

lambo veneno

I don’t have to tell you which one is the Smart Car, right?

smart car

Stay safe America.

Protein Shakes and Weight Loss

Weight loss, weight loss, weight loss. If you are reading this, chances are you have tried to lose weight, are trying to lose weight, or are planning to lose weight. Either way, weight loss has been a part of your life at some point, or will be.

In my previous posts I have talked about consuming healthy food and in the right quantities.

good food

I have talked about movement.

dezeen_travolta_4

I have talked about lifting weights.

heavy guy lifting weights

But today, I was asked “Where do protein shakes, and other meal replacement shakes fit in the weight loss formula, and do they work?” I realized I have not addressed that, so Let’s talk about shakes baby. (The previous sentence should be said to the rhythm of Salt-n-Pepa’s 1991 hit song “Let’s Talk About Sex”. I know I just dated myself, so what. Time waits for no one.  And for you youngstas who don’t know what song I’m talking about, YouTube it.)

Do Meal Replacement shakes work? If used correctly, yes they do work.

They work under 3 conditions.

#1. If it is a pre-made shake, it cannot contain over 300 calories.

muscle milk

#2. If it is a shake that you make yourself, it cannot contain more than 300 hundred calories either. When I say shake you make yourself, I am talking about the “magic weight loss powder” from “pick any company selling you weight loss products” that you mix with fruit, ice, and water in a blender. They all work the same.

herbal life

#3. The shake, or shakes, must be used as MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKES. This is where most people who use these shakes for weight loss, and don’t lose weight, go wrong.

sad face

Most people end up using weight loss shakes as diet supplements. They are basically supplementing, or adding to what they already eat, diet shakes. It goes like this.

You’re trying to lose weight for a wedding, vacation, family reunion, or more importantly and best of all, you. You go to the gym and do cardio and some weights, and work up a serious sweat. Or if you are really lucky, you get Personal Training by me (VIA-Wellness). As you are leaving the gym, you begin to get hungry, and you notice those pre-made protein shakes that gyms sell, sitting nice and chilly behind a glass enclosed cooler/mini-fridge by the front desk. You ask the gym receptionist “Excuse me, how much are those weight loss protein shakes?”. Receptionist responds “Three dollars and fifty cents each”. For a second you think “That’s pretty expensive, but what the hell, it must work. The shake even says ‘Lite’ on it.” So you buy it. So far so good.

happy face

Here is the mistake. Most people buy the shake, consume it in the car, or some don’t even get that far, and consume it in the parking lot before they get to the car. Then they get home, and what do they do? They eat, again. The protein shake they just had was supposed to be a meal replacement, remember. After they had the shake at the gym, in the parking lot, or in the car, they should have waited at least 3 hours to eat again, just like they would with a regular meal. Protein shakes only work for weight loss if they REPLACE meals, and not add to them.

If a shake is meant to replace dinner, then that is what it should do. You can’t have a shake, and dinner, and expect to lose weight. Calories added to calories is not the weight loss formula. How do I know? Einstein told me so. His formula looks like this: C+C=WG. Calories plus calories equals weight gain. Thanks Albert, you are brilliant.

alber einstein

I was watching a movie once. It was a mobster comedy like “Analyze This” or something. In one of the scenes, one of the characters gets up and says “Hey, I’m getting hungry. I’m going to get a sandwich. You want anything?” The other guy responds “I’m trying to lose some weight. What’s not that fattening?” The first guy responds “I don’t know, half a sandwich?”. Exactly.

Weight loss works when you eat less and move more. The theory behind Meal Replacement Shakes was that people would replace a meal with a shake. That does not always happen, but when it does, weight loss shows its happy face.

You can test it yourself. For the next 100 days, weekends included, if all you have for dinner is a protein shake, and you go to bed hungry, don’t worry, you won’t die, you will lose weight.

How to KILL Your Food Cravings

One of the questions I get quite often about dieting is how to deal with food cravings.  You know what I am talking about, it’s late at night, your are watching tv, and BAM … you get hungry.  What do you do?  Here’s my solution.  It works for food cravings and other things in life.

Moment of Silence

a-MARTINRICHARD-386x217

This picture is of 8 year old Martin Richard. He passed away yesterday in Boston. The explosions went off as he was waiting for his father to finish the marathon. His sister and mother were also hurt during the explosions. I read that he loved riding his bike and playing baseball. I wrote him a short poem.

Just Play

May you do in heaven

All that you like

Forever,

Run the bases

Ride your bike

 

How to Track Your Weight Loss

Keeping track of your weight-loss progress is very important. Many people who are trying to lose weight fear weigh-ins, measurements, etc., and it is understandable, but it must be done.

If you do the 3 “VIA-Wellness” facets of a weight loss, you will lose weight, guaranteed. Before going over the weight loss tracking methods, let’s go over the 3 facets of weight loss.

First, and most important, is proper food consumption and in the correct quantities.

good food

The next part of the 3 pronged attack for weight loss is movement. You must move a few hours per week. Please refer to my M.Y.A. post for more information. Any movement is good movement, even yard work.

yard work

The final part of my VIA weight loss attack is resistance training. Try to lift weights a few times per week. It boosts metabolism and helps burn fat off even while you’re not working out.

weights

Now that you’re doing everything the right way to lose weight, the following is the best way to track your progress.

First, you must weigh yourself. Don’t weigh yourself everyday, you will drive yourself crazy with your normal weight fluctuations.

weight scale

I recommend you weigh yourself at the same time of day, and in the exact same clothes every time. First thing in the morning, in your birthday suit, is probably best. First thing in the morning you are in a fasted state, unless you sleep walk and eat. And in most cases, the morning is when you weigh the least during the day. I recommend you weigh yourself no more than once per week.

The second way to track your progress is measurements. The most important measurement is the stomach area, followed by the hips. When measuring the stomach area try to measure at the widest point. Relax, and do not hold your breath or make your tummy stick out. Just be in your normal stance.  For most of my clients, the belly button is a good reference point. It will allow for consistent measurements.

tape measure around waist

Weight can fluctuate, but if you’re losing inches, you’re losing fat, and the tape measure will not lie. It is a great tool. For most people, the waist is the first place the weight starts to leave when on a weight loss plan.

Next site to measure is the hips/buttocks area. Buttocks is a weird word. The first time I heard the word buttocks was when Forrest Gump was telling President Johnson that he got shot in the “buttocks” in Vietnam.

buttocks

Measure at the widest part of your hips. I know, you don’t want to measure your waist and hips because it just reminds you of the weight you need to lose, right? Well, again, it’s the best way to track your progress and I’m just trying to help.

waist_to_hip_measure

The hips and waist are 2 great areas of the body to track inches lost. I also measure arms, thigh area, calves, neck, and shoulder area on my clients, but the 2 areas I talked about are enough.

The next and final way to track your weight loss progress requires you to know someone who is proficient with body-fat caliper use. That would be me.

body fat calipers

Body-fat calipers come in different shapes and sizes, like humans, but they all do the same thing, unlike humans. The main thing they do is pinch, ouch, your fat to get a measurement. My wife calls them “flabber grabbers”.  Once you get over the mental and physical discomfort of having someone pinch your fat, you will be fine. The calipers tell you in millimeters, how much fat you have in certain areas of your body. If the person who measures you is proficient with this technique, he or she can actually tell you your body fat percentage.

With the 3 tools I gave you, weighing yourself, measurements in inches, and body fat calipers, you will be able to get a much better idea on how your weight-loss is progressing.

Happy Birthday

rettafeliz cumpleanos

I want to wish a big Feliz Cumpleanos to my Home-Girl Retta (Marietta Sirleaf). Some of you may know her as Donna Meagle on “Parks and Recreation”, but I know her as Retts. She knows me so well that she is one of the few people who know what the “okey doke” is at the horse races. Yo Retts, I still laugh when they ask me if I want “nuts” on my Sunday at McDonalds. I always answer “no”.

IMG_6387

That’s my Boo with Retta. They hang out and stuff. You know, girl-time.

Retts is a comedian, so I have some jokes for her that I want to share with everyone, including children.

What do you call a bee who drops the ball?

bee with football

A “fumble bee”.

What do you call a bee when you can’t quite tell what he is saying?

bee mumble

A “mumble bee”.

What do you call a bee caught in a dryer?

dryer

A “tumble bee”.

What do you call a bee who’s always getting into fights?

fighting bee

A “rumble bee”.

What do you call a bee who swore a Black man would never win the Presidency, twice?

sad bee

A “humble bee”.

Happy Birthday Retta.