The Nature Physique — Book Review

Today’s book review is called The Nature Physique, The Amazonian Warrior Workout by Braeden Baade, available on Kindle.

Wish I’d come across this 25 years ago!

Unfortunately, I’m too arthritic to do most of the exercises nowadays.

If you’re still healthy enough to squat and jump, have good shoulders, and a healthy back, this exercise regimen will probably work for you.

However, I have very little knee cartilage, torn rotator cuffs, two broken bones in my spine, and arthritis in all of these areas and more.

All that being said, it’s well laid out, has some great salad recipes, and links to videos showing the correct ways to perform the exercises.

All in all, I could physically do about a quarter of the exercises to some degree, and no modifications other than “do less” was covered. For example, if you can’t squat, it says to work your way up to it. Ok, that’s good advice, but what other ways can the same muscles be targeted if my bones are scraping together?

The good news is that the equipment needs are minimal, basically, some resistance bands and your own body weight. Meaning if your body is up to the challenge, it’s pretty to easy to do these workouts just about anywhere.

As an added bonus, the pictures are lovely, and for once, the inspirational sayings actually are inspiring instead of the usual warm fuzzy, be a good girl tripe.

In short, I recommend it for the positive, woman-power feels and food ideas even if you can’t do many of the exercises, especially at such a nice, low price point.

Enjoy!

Don’t Let the Really Big News Stories Blind You

A local school system just settled by giving a family almost $700k for a teacher locking a younger, smaller, disabled boy into the office with an older boy who routinely sexually abused him. The teacher told the courts that this younger disabled boy had “consented” to this. The judge, thank goodness, tossed that back into the teacher’s stupid face.

So I mentioned that I know a neighborhood girl (yes, I really do know several), who’s stated a teacher in the same district is acting inappropriately toward her. She hasn’t told her parents. I don’t know the teacher’s name. She was merely asking for advice.

I said that this is a big issue the adults really need to handle for her, and to let her parents know. Oh, and here’s an app that will help you prove he’s doing this, and it’ll only look like you put your hand in your pocket.

Now I got some dumbass telling me I should be ashamed of myself for not doing something about it. Really? Like what?

This neighbor tells me it’s my civic duty to go to the girl’s school, obtain her schedule, figure which are the male teachers, and accuse at least one.

Yes, sexual abuse of a minor is deplorable, at best.

Yes, the guilty must be punished, preferably in a jail with real criminals who will help him understand the true difference between consent and coercion.

But, let me make this very, very, very clear …

If you don’t know who the perpetrator is, and the victim is unwilling to tell the adults who legally have authority to look into the matter, you do not have the right to break the law or re-victimize someone just because you happen to think you know what’s best.

Maybe you’re right. But if you don’t have a single fact, chances are pretty slim. Even more so if it’s outside your locus of control.

How would this same person feel if I did this to her daughter? If I went to her daughter’s school, obtained her daughter’s schedule without the mother’s permission, and made seemingly wild accusations about any teacher who happens to be male?

At a minimum, I’m betting this mother would be outraged that someone outside the family would even try to do this. She may even sue the school for letting me do it, and press charges against me because I took the onus upon myself to “do my civic duty” without any real information. She may even rail my name in the news because I interfered into her daughter’s life and the family’s private matters.

Yes, this is a terrible situation. Yes, I wish I could fix it for her.

There are many excellent reasons why I can’t. And shouldn’t.

It is especially important to be an adult now, and act rationally, even though every fiber of me wants to rip someone to shreds.

People, if you truly want to help, figure out how to put safeguards in place so this doesn’t happen. Ensure victims have safe places and people available to tell their stories to.

But first, do no (more) harm.

This, above almost any other issue many normal adults have to deal with in their lifetimes, absolutely must be handled legally and with respect to the victim and family.

Give the victim realistic advice. Not just go tell the principal. Clearly the school system doesn’t give a shit. It went on for a year while the child and his family brought it up several times.

I know that it seems like a lot of the laws protect the guilty. They’re actually there to protect the innocent. We’re now seeing way too many instances where the person found guilty gets incarcerated, maybe even on death row, really was innocent. Years, maybe even decades later, the innocent person is exonerated and set free. Meanwhile the guilty party was out there getting away with murder, assault, and so on.

A few hundred years ago, we weren’t packed in like sardines. It was a lot easier to say it’s more important to let the guilty go free than to call the wrong man guilty. But the weapons weren’t as powerful. The number of people packed into any space (except slaves’ quarters, which was also and still is a crime against humanity) made it difficult to harm more than a few at a time, and those times were likely spread across months or years, rather than days, or even hours or minutes.

The laws haven’t kept up with the capability to do great harm.

But that doesn’t mean it’s up to me to show blatant disregard to someone who trusts me, further victimize her when she’s at her most fragile, and do so without the permission of her or those legally responsible for her wellbeing.

What is up to me is to make sure I provide a safe place for her to talk, and repeatedly encourage her to seek assistance from the people who really can help. I cannot make her do anything because I am not legally responsible for her. Not can I do anything “for” her, because I am not her guardian.

I can’t even hug or hold her because then I could be seen as the creeper. Any lawyer would pick that apart in a heartbeat … well of course you want the family to accuse the teacher, to withdraw attention from yourself.

Now I can’t even be a decent human being, all because the real assholes know how to get away with it for their own nefarious reasons, whereas I don’t because I want to do is make things better.

Too bad there are so many vigilantes who’d rather make things worse instead of solve the problem. Let’s just accuse a male teacher! Someone must pay!

Um, no. The guilty person must pay. And only the guilty person. Not the person who held out a helping hand, not the victim’s family, and most definitely not the victim.

Don’t allow yourself to get so outraged by these new stories that you become part of the problem. Use these stories to guide your actions to make things better.

And most importantly, stop being a dumbass who thinks you have all the answers, because you don’t.

Dad says 🦆 a lot when …

Macs have this very helpful feature that normally works quite well and actually is helpful. It automatically adds folks to the auto-complete options IF they EVER appeared in a mail message to or from you (such as hitting Reply All when a friend sends something funny or politically enticing, etc.).

Totes has Dad WT🦆ing like crazy.

Because he had no clue who this one person was, he’d hit space, which auto-completes and adds the person to the To list, so he starts typing again, 🦆s, hits space, starts typing again … I think he ended up with 20+ on there. Of the same person he doesn’t know. Or doesn’t know he knows. Or something like that.

It was so messed up, I selected and cut all from the body, closed and didn’t save the draft, started a new message, and pasted the stuff back in.

Of course he was totally miffed when everything got erased, and then calmed down when he saw it magically reappear.

On the one hand, this really is a very helpful feature. Most of the time.

On the other, it’d really help if the Mac was smart enough to think, golly, this address is already on there, maybe I can stop suggesting it now and pic someone else that the user might mean.

It is, after all, a Mac. People such as myself have become accustomed to someone using Design Thinking and good UX so that I never have to think about how to use stuff. It just works. Well, worked. With Jobs gone for good and Woz not really involved anymore, there’s no one to be the user-advocate. Sure Jobs could be a jerk. But he was the boss and he usually right, and Apple customers got spoiled.

Don’t Should on Me (or Yourself)

Don’t Should on Me

“You should be grateful” …

  • That I did this thing for you
  • For how easy your life is
  • Because you’re <pretty, rich, smart, talented, or any other “enviable” descriptor>

First and foremost, stop shoulding all over me. That should is all you, it’s your should … own it.

Seriously.

Merriam-Webster Defines Should

1 — used in auxiliary function to express condition, if he should leave his father, his father would die—Genesis 44:22 (Revised Standard Version)

2 —used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency

’tis commanded I should do so —William Shakespeare

this is as it should be —H. L. Savage

you should brush your teeth after each meal

3 —used in auxiliary function to express futurity from a point of view in the past

realized that she should have to do most of her farm work before sunrise —Ellen Glasgow

4 —used in auxiliary function to express what is probable or expected with an early start, they should be here by noon

5 —used in auxiliary function to express a request in a polite manner or to soften direct statement

I should suggest that a guide … is the first essential —L. D. Reddick

— past tense of shall

Did you happen to notice the level of negativity in each example? While “should” is supposed all about softening a statement (5), express adherence to norms or best practice (2, 3), set expectations (1, 3, 4), our colloquial uses often extend “should” to express judgement or manipulate emotions.

Time and again, I’ve heard foreigners use it in the intended nice manner. Many Americans, however, use it to sound nice while being mean, or even cruel.

How many times does the word should come with a punishment? How frequently is it used to blame someone for being in an undesirable state such as poor or victimized?

‘You should’ve done your homework. You’re grounded until …”, “You’re getting spanked because you should have …”, or even “She should’ve known this would happen, dressing like that all the time / walking alone.”

You Should Be Grateful…

Now let’s explore the statements at the top of this post, You should be grateful…”

“you should be grateful that I did this thing for you.”

Um … huh?

  • Did I ask you to do it? Did you save my dog’s life or stop the house from sliding into a wormhole?
  • Do you trust me to be thankful?
  • Do you trust me to get it done?
  • Are the victim of my inability to take care of the thing?

Maybe I had a plan. And maybe you just totally messed that up and now I have to go undo or fix that thing you just shoulded on me about.

Or maybe I would’ve been genuinely grateful had you simply said, “hey, I noticed the dog was still outside and asking to come in while you were downstairs doing laundry, so I let him in.”

Chances are pretty good that I’d respond with something like, “oh jeez. Thank you! Things took a lot longer down there than I thought they would and I totally forgot.”

But now that you’ve made it about measuring duck sizes because you’ve done something and felt the need to be recognized for the great job you’re doing at taking care of my life, well, I’m a lot less likely to say thank you, and may well just happen to remind you that my uterus is bigger than your manly parts will ever be by either pointing out your childish ploy or ask a question or two in the hopes that you’ll pick up on the utter lack of grace or manners you’ve chosen to display.

So, yeah, keep your shoulds to yourself. And if you happen to should all over someone, including yourself, ask yourself why you feel the need to do that.

You might be surprised by how much baggage you’re still carrying from controlling, abusive, or narcissistic family members. Or that you forgot just how small your locus of control actually is. Or one of a million other reasons I “should” know but don’t 😜.

What’s the baggage, assumption, or judgment behind your shoulds?

About That Judgment or Superiority Thing

Anytime someone tells me I “should” do something, my first reaction isn’t something like, “Wow! You’re right! I’m so glad you know how to run my life and deigned to share that with me today!”

Actually, it’s more like, “wow, you sure assume a lot and have an overdeveloped control streak,” or “judgmental much?”

Similarly, I see my telling you what you “should” do is like me saying, “hey, you suck at life and need my amazing wisdom … in fact, you ain’t sh-t if you don’t take my advice.”

What’s utterly hilarious to me is how indignant folks get when the inherent, underlying judgment is pointed out to them. Or better yet, how oblivious they are to their own assumptions about understanding all the facets of my situation well enough to know the one correct course of action.

Or another favorite is when they approve so much that I took their shouldy actions before our conversation even happened. Like I’m a puppy in training who needs their love and approval to survive.

But the absolute best is how peeved they get when the actions I’ve taken are either superior to their recommendation or show that I’ve thought through the actions more than they can even dream to do. Here again, mainly because I have knowledge of the full situation and they don’t.

Do I welcome input? Absolutely! I ask for it all the time. I also trust myself enough to know that I’ll find a way to make the best out of whatever comes out of my chosen actions.

It’s not that I’m smarter than the person shoulding all over me. In fact, chances are pretty good that I’m not.

No, the real difference is that the only person’s judgment of me that matters is my own … I have to live with the benefits and fallout of my actions. And I’ll probably ask for several opinions and do some research before making a decision.

And then I’ll do what I believe is the best course of action … not because it’s what someone said I should do. It may not even be what I want to do.

If it later turns out to not be the best course, I have sufficient self-confidence to know that I did the best I could with the tools, resources, and information available to me at that time.

Beats Solo Wireless Headphones

So I was off of work for almost a year. Meaning all my office stuff was in storage at the office.

Including an original pair of Solo 2 wireless headphones.

Draining batteries that far past the point of dead basically kills them. So, I reached out to YouTube, and came across https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_l5qKVJhvj8

Thought their instructions were so straight-forward, I ordered a new battery from them. Amazingly enough, they reached out to me first to make sure I was buying the right thing. They agreed this was probably the right solution and sent it out right away.

So we got the battery, Alex followed the video, and voila, the headphones worked great. But then …

Turns out that wireless Solo Beats headphones can be jerks. Called Joe Games and Electronics for help, and they got things straightened out quickly.

So when the Solos pull some dumb crap like not turning on, keep holding down the power button until they do some flashy flashy thing.

Then turn them on normally and they’re good. It’s kinda like a reset.

So yeah, writing it here because, well, I’m an olde nerd and will probably kind of forget about this next time they’re acting all uppity.

At this time, I’d like to thank Joe’s Games & Electronics at joege.com for all of their help through this process.

Buyers Beware … Websites Have Rules for You, too

As mentioned in an earlier post, I sell items on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy.

And, yeah, I screwed up an order. It happens. I’m a big girl … took responsibility, apologized, offered a full refund (that was how the customer asked to have this resolved), and even told the customer to keep the item.

Trouble is, though, I couldn’t give the customer a refund. See, they’d already filed a claim with the web-site.

Wait. What?

Yep. Less than two days after finding out about the mistake, after sending the customer at least one email apologizing and trying to figure out how to best fix it, they already ratted on me.

Except.

Turns out that’s a violation of the site’s terms and conditions. Ya know, the basic expectation that you know you’re dealing with someone who may have other things to do, such as a day job.

There’s also the expectation that you’ll be an adult and reach out directly to the other person if you have an issue with sale. And then if you don’t come to an agreement on how to work things out in a reasonable timeframe, you can file a claim.

None of the three sites listed consider 48 hours or less to be a reasonable timeframe. Especially if the other party already responded and began the olive branch or mea culpa process.

Thirty days, yeah. Two weeks? Maybe. Two days? Nope.

If that’s your expectation, go to Walmart. Except they might not have the antiques and such you’re looking for.

The customer is going to be absolutely thrilled to find out they have to wait until the claim process is completed before they can get a refund. Granted each site handles things a bit differently, but this is generally how things go.

The site is going to email me and ask for my side of the story. I’ll have one week to respond. Then they’ll email the customer who’ll have one week to respond. And back and forth it goes until we agree or someone misses their response deadline.

The first person to miss their timeframe loses. If it’s the seller, the refund happens. If it’s the buyer, the refund doesn’t happen.

In other words, the claim process often takes one to four weeks, and has to be completed before a refund can be issued. And some sites won’t even start the claim process until the “reasonable” time period has passed. And some sites will cancel the refund if the buyer doesn’t respond to a request for more information after the seller has responded.

Short version is that the customer will get to wait a few weeks for their refund because of filing the claim. If they hadn’t done that, they would’ve had the refund by Friday.

On top of that, these sites really don’t appreciate it when folks don’t play by their rules. Meaning the sales site is now going to send the buyer a nasty-gram reminder of how to play nice in the sandbox.

I dunno about you, but I wouldn’t want any of those sites ticked at me.

Just sayin’.

All the exercises?!

Someone asked what I do with all that PT equipment. Welp, here’s the list! As you can probably imagine, coordinating all of this is a blast. Plus all the usual healing stuff, dog stuff, Dad stuff, house stuff, money stuff, and work. Sure was a lot of fun telling work I needed overtime in order to achieve a good work-life balance 😉

Physiatrist

  • Stretch – lay on side, knees bent, arm in front, slowly open toward back, from 1.5, 3, and 4.5 o’clock
  • C – Child pose, feet & arms to right, butt left, forming a C
  • Kick – Lay on tummy, head down and resting on arms, squeeze gut, squeeze butt, lift each leg in turn … thank goodness I don’t have do this one anymore. It hurt, and the goal was already being met by some of the back exercises from PT.

PT: Back

Started at PT for the back the first full week in January 2017, and “graduated” to doing them at home back in May 2017. It kinda feels like I’ve been doing these forever, and that they oughta be a lot easier by now.

  1. Warm up — March in place on foam square; or on the recumbent bike I don’t have

Without Hips – just before or after “hip-day” at PT

While sitting

  1. ‘Walk’ my hands on the exercise ball to stretch to right, front, and left

Laying on foam round

  1. Jesus Christ pose to stretch
  2. Snow angels
  3. Scissor arms

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Twist stretches

Standing

  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows with the Thera Bands
  2. Lean against the wall and stretch sides
  3. Leg stretches – bottom, center, fronts, tops

With hips — not immediately next to a “hip-day”

At barre

  1. Calf raises + stretches
  2. Front, side, back “kicks”

Standing

  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows with the Thera Bands
  2. Squat with ball on the wall
  3. Lean against the wall and stretch sides

Walking

  1. In 1′ squares — Walk heel-to-toe, zig-zag

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Twist stretches
  3. Clam shells – with a band around my knees

Laying on sides

  1. Clam shells – right leg while laying on left, left leg while lying on right
  2. Step top leg over bottom, lift lower leg, then bend lower knee in front for balance, kick front and back, and do foot circles both ways; switch sides

PT: Shoulders

Started these in July (I think?) and was making great progress. But then I flunked out in December 2017. See, the surgeon has very different requirements than the insurance company.

Standing

  1. Press my elbow into the small ball for five seconds
  2. Roll the small ball front and side
  3. Wash the wall clockwise and counterclockwise with both arms
  4. Stand next to the wall and push my shoulder into it
  5. Stand next to the wall and push my wrist into it, both front and back
  6. While leaning over and supporting my back, hold a 2 pound weight, and do clockwise and counterclockwise circles
  7. Raise the roof using my shoulders
  8. Shoulder blade pushups

Thera bands

  1. Hold the band and walk away… Do this both holding it on the inside and the outside
  2. Hold the band and pull toward tummy, then away from waist
  3. Rows (pull back with 90 degree elbows) and plows (start from 90 and pull down beside outer hips)

Laying on back

  1. Push-ups with the stick
  2. Rest the stick on my hips, and raise it up to shoulder height or over my head, as comfort allows
  3. At waist level, sway stick side to side

PT: Feet

Started these around October 2017. Yes, that meant 4-days of PT for 1.5 hours per day for a couple months. Dropped down to 1 hour once a day around Christmas.

Maintenance

  1. Tape big toe everyday to stop the bunion and toe crowding
  2. Tape my arches a couple times a week for added support
  3. Wear custom orthotics frequently but not always, to ensure my feet keep changing up the muscles they need to use

Standing

  1. Heel-toe walking
  2. Pace for 5 minutes
  3. Stand on one leg, and balance other on the ball
  4. Wobble board front to back, then side to side
  5. Toe and heel raises while standing on the foam square

Sitting

  1. put the Thera Bands around my feet, then pull against the band out, in, up, and down
  2. Hold my right toes down and pull my big toe out

PT: Hips

Just started these in December 2017 after flunking out of shoulder class.

At barre

  1. Calf raises + stretches
  2. Front, side, back “kicks”
  3. Leg stretches – bottom, front, center, and sides
  4. Pigeon / IT Band stretches

Laying on back

  1. Pelvic tilts – brace the low tummy and breathe, hold for 10 seconds, and release
  2. Bridge – pelvic tilt, butt squeeze, then up (hold for 10 seconds when I’m advanced)
  3. Leg raises – up/front
  4. Clam shells – with a band around my knees
  5. Push out / open the front hips while squeezing butt

Laying on sides

  1. Clam shells – right leg while laying on left, left leg while lying on right
  2. Reverse clam shells – move foot instead of knee
  3. Step top leg over bottom, lift lower leg, then bend lower knee in front for balance, kick front and back, and do foot circles both ways; switch sides
  4. Push out like I do with the shoulders against the wall

Standing

  1. Straight-arm and bent arm rows
  2. Squat with ball on the wall
  3. Stand on toes on one leg, just a few inches from the wall, and pull myself in and out using the front hip muscles

From shimmy (lying down for now; will standing when stronger advanced)

  1. Circle each hip front and then back
  2. M&Ms — move hips front to back, and then up and down

Cool down

  1. Slowly rise the recumbent bike for 8 minutes