for Peeps of all Persuasions

Real Estate, Boatbuilding, Business, and Politics ....
Interspersed with Truth, Justice, and Insight into the Meaning of Life .....
for Nanepashemet Peeps of all Persuasions.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Victory So Far.

Peeps....  I've neglected you, as I'm sure you've realized.

But WTF, I had a new Grandson, so back the EFF off.   What the Hell do you want from me???

Anyway... With 186 days to go, I've lost 15 lbs.... simply by working out hard for at least 45 minutes everyday on the Cybex.   In the last 26 days, I took 4 days off.... 2 because I felt crappy, 1 because I had to manage Kate's real estate closing, and 1 because of Connor's birth.

Christos and Jim Lundgren had urged me to consider free weights a while ago.... and I took their advice.   Bought an Adidas Bench, Squat Rack and a 300 lb Olympic weight set, complete with a 7' 45 lb. bar from Amazon. The Bench came today, but the Blizzard of 2015 is delaying delivery of the weights and squat rack.

My plan is to start in February using the 5x5 method illustrated by

This regime is designed to make you gain strength in a 12 week period by lifting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and increasing the exercised by 5lbs. each session.  A Belgian guy named "Mendi", who likes to say "Bullshit" a lot with a French accent has put the website and an iPhone app together that takes all of the guess work out of it.  It is actually very well done, and I urge you to check out this website if you are so inclined.

So I hope to integrate the weight lifting program in with the cybex aerobic sessions for the next three months or so, after which the May weather should open up a lot of outdoor cycling and rowing activity.

At this point, I am on schedule to get to Mike's wedding on August 1, under 200 lbs.   A lot can happen between now and then, but I'll take it day by day, and declare victory in various stages along the way  as appropriate.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Connor Joseph Boyle

It was a nice week as Connor Joseph Boyle was born to Katelyn and Brady.

Birth is a joyous event, and always seems miraculous, even though it should seem commonplace.   Modern medical practices have decreased the chances for tragedy to mother or baby, but it still was risky as Brady drove Kate into Massachusetts General Hospital, and she felt like the birth would occur in the car on the way.

Looking at my little grandson, I couldn't help but wonder what life had in store for him.... what will he achieve as he navigates the changes of the 21st century?

I wish him the best and hope to journey part of the way with him.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mapping Some Alternatives

The daily sweat routines on the Cybex do create a bit of boredom and monotony.

It helps to watch the Science Channel with episodes of "How It's Made" or Comedy Central's "Key and Peele" who I think are talented and hilarious comedians.

It works for this initial push in the cold weather, but I've been mapping out some alternatives when the weather turns a little better in  March or so.

I'm definitely going to get a good road bike as recommended by Wayne Webster and Christos Laganos.   Wayne stresses getting a frame that fits properly and Chris points out that I should be ready to drop $2k or more.

I agree with both of them.   Want to find a good bike shop to buy from and I want the bike to be high enough quality to guarantee the best experience and performance possible.

I've mapped out some routes on the site up through Cape Ann from my house, and the good parts of this plan is that they would take me past Mike and Pam's house in Beverly Farms... just in case I needed a pick up.  

More than once in the middle of a ride in the past, my bike has broken down, and you have to be prepared for this contingency.

The other activity that I have been actively planning is rowing in Marblehead Harbor using the Herreshoff Columbia Tender.  The distance from the put in at the end of the Harbor on Riverhead Beach to the mouth of the Harbor is 1 1/2 miles.... a three mile out and back.    Add another half mile out to Children's Island, where I would drop a few lobster traps close into the rocks, and you have a row of about four miles.   Rowing at a speed of four knots would be a good workout and would take about an hour and a half.    Plus, stopping for a couple of minutes to tend the traps and maybe harvest some tasty crustaceans would be a great addition to an aerobic workout.

And it wouldn't be any bother to troll a line and maybe hook some mackeral, bunker or maybe a stripper once in a while for dinner fare and lobster bait.

Lastly, I want to get back into running and hiking.... but only after I have built a strong base of fitness from the lower impact exercises of cycling and rowing.

Peeps.... This isn't is a commitment to my business partners, customers, family, employees, friends and even you.... to attack the last third of my life in a manner to remain as productive and contributive as possible.

And I am convinced that exercise is the only way.   I urge you to buy and read "Younger Next Year"  by Crowley and Lodge for your own health and well being.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

16 Days In - Progress Report

Out of the last 16 days, I have succeeded in getting in a 45 minute session fourteen days on the Cybex stationary cycle, after which my tee shirt quite literally could not be more soaked than if I wore it in Tommy O's swimming pool at the 4th of July.

Which translates into a serious  series of MOAM workouts.

This Saturday morning, in keeping with my pathetic commitment to report  my progress to you, I am happy to disclose the following.

  • I feel freaking great... from a general standpoint.... just much more comfortable as I sit and move during the day.
  • I've lost 11 lbs. and my clothes fit much better.
  • I can feel tone in my ass and legs.
  • I can do push ups again.  When I started on New Year's Day, I most embarrassingly could not do one. Yesterday I did 13 in a row.
  • I feel more alert and attentive at work... and stress out much less often.
  • I don't get sluggish in the afternoon, whereas before by three in the afternoon, I frequently had to fight off fatigue to attend to work issues.
Don't get me wrong.... I'm still a loud, somewhat obnoxiously opinionated, cranky, bastard,

But my secret fear.....that embarking on this lifestyle change would turn me into a mushy headed Liberal.... has not materialized.  Thank the Creator for that!!!!!

It hasn't been all Goose Down and Rose Petals though.

I still have this nagging voice when it is time to workout  in the late afternoon that urges me to blow it off for any particular reason, and I have to fight through that urge.   And the workouts are hard and painful.   Halfway through, I think about quitting and worry that the session will never end.

But it does end, and I am rewarded with a sense of satisfaction and achievement when it is over.... along with the soaked tee shirt.   Then I shower, weigh myself and record the whole thing on an Excel spreadsheet which projects the progress that my present condition has on meeting the August 1 goal.

And it gets worse Peeps.....
Yesterday I went down to Marblehead cycle and priced out a nice Trek Road Bike that I plan to purchase in the Spring.  Man,,, those bikes have changed since I bought my CCM ten speed back in 1971.

Friday, January 16, 2015

What It is Like to be Black

It often comes up when you talk about race relations with Black people, that White people don't know what it is like to be Black.

OK.... I find that to be indisputable.

But I get the distinct feeling that Black people think that if you are White, then you have got it made.  Everything opens up to you because you are White.  Which of course, is BullShit.

It is an unfortunate misconception, and I think that it leads some Black people to think that the challenges they face are solely because they are Black..... when often the same challenges of life affect their White counterparts.

I truly and perhaps naively believe that we have reached a place in our society where class and race only limit you if you use your status as a crutch, and fail to confront head on the challenges that you face.  This wasn't the case when I was a young man, but I believe it to be true now.

So I said it.... let the Political Correctness Police condemn me to Hell.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

This is Becoming Apparent

"Men don't fail to climb the mountain because they are old.
They are old because they fail to climb the mountain."
- Christos Laganos

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

198 - Planning a Fashion Statement

198 Days to go.

I am right on target with my weight loss program after 15 days, but I'm actually more excited about some other benefits.

I've regularly been downing 12oz Mason Jars of tap water during the day and doing pushups after every daily 45 minute sweat session on the Cybex stationary cycle.

The Cybex sessions are getting easier and I add a pushup a day to my PR total since staring this regime.  This is bound to level off in the next 15 days or so.

But the immediate benefit that I've noticed is the disappearance of a host of aches and pains that I had previously accepted as signs of ageing.  There was a time, not so long ago, when a wrench or screwdriver lying on the floor mean't some pain bending down and picking it up.  And walking up stairs just had an automatic dosage of knee pain.

I noticed today that these little aches and pains were gone.

I also prefer water with my meals rather than fruit juice or whatever other beverage was in the refrigerator.   And I don't just automatically reach for a beer or glass of wine at the end of the day.

My schedule calls for me losing a little less than 2 lbs. per week, and the current routine obviously supports this.   I suspect that after having lost 25 lbs or so, that it will be tougher to maintain this rate. Christos gave me a heads up with this, and I believe it.

But this is a lifestyle change, not just a weight loss program.   I intend to create a habit of vigorous daily exercise that will last long after the lbs are gone.

And my Fat Boy clothes are really starting to loosen up.   Most of the clothes in my closet used to fit when I was 15 lbs lighter, so sometime in March I hope to tap into a large collection of  khakis, which, as Joanne likes to remind me, have all gone out of style.

But maybe they'll be coming back into fashion this spring.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Real Deal

Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston just gave his State of the City speech and hit a home run.

He stated his positions without giving blame or making someone the fall guy.   It was an all inclusive speech that laid out his values and vision in a sincere and inspiring fashion.  No pretension, no preaching, no finger pointing.

This guy just may be the real deal..... something that I have rarely seen in a politician

Sunday, January 11, 2015

202 - the Right Thing To Do

With 202 days to go and 11 days on this regime to change my exercise habits and make working out my top priority, I think it is working.   Not because of the weight loss, but because of the thought process.

Now when I wake up in the morning, I don't think about how I can fit in my workout around everything I have to do....Instead I think of how to get things done around my workout.

As the "Younger Next Year" book asserts, exercise and your health are your job.   And if you take into account that your career and business cannot progress adequately unless you are in top physical condition, it makes sense.

A key facet to assimilating this premise is the realization that good health is not automatic.   As you get older, you don't stay strong and control your weight without attending to the aerobic exercise requirement that your ancestors programmed into you.

And as you get older and your economic picture matures, you frequently have the means to afford bad habits.

If you want to have a pizza and a six pack of beer for dinner, or a supersized Big Mac Meal for lunch, the cash is there and you have no impediment to satisfying your cravings.   I remember  when I was young and lean, I never had the financial means to buy anything that I felt like immediately eating.

Basically, if you have disposable income, there is a tendency to finance takeout and beverages as the desire arises.   If you have also left your schoolboy athletic career behind, the result is a gain in weight.     Plus your metabolism changes when you get older, but your appetite doesn't,   So more pounds eating the same stuff.

Once I realized that this was happening, I started resolving to exercise more.... but I never made it a top priority.  There was always business or job needs to attend to, and youth hockey games to attend, and almost anything else that came along that would push exercise off of the agenda.

But a health alert or a mirror image was not the factor that set off the alarm bell with me.   I had seen a number of my people my age and older stay in great shape, and while I admired them, I had no need to emulate their lifestyle.

Bob Towne, my UMass college roommate, is a nationally recognized ultra distance runner, and has competed in 100 mile runs.   Harvey Rowe, my former business partner, is an accomplished tri-athlete and never misses a day of working out despite his business and charity work.   Christos Laganos, my old classmate and new found Facebook friend, who turned me on to the "Younger Next Year"book, through-hiked the Appalachian Trail when he turned 60 and takes 100 mile bike rides with impunity.

Even though these guys are my age and older, my basic attitude has been "Cool" for them.  What rang the bell for me was my closet.

I have multiple pairs of size 36 and 38 waist pants that I can no longer wear, and a ton of XL sweaters that are now uncomfortable.  But when size 40 trousers started to be tight and hard to button, and I actually started to look for a 42 to wear, but couldn't find that size in entire stores up in North Conway, I decided that this trend had to be reversed.   Time to find a way back into clothes that I already own, rather than buy all new Fat Boy sizes.

Plus Kate keeps giving me momentos of her wedding, with pictures of her as the beautiful bride and me as the Jolly Fat Dad.   Up till now, I was happy to look at her visage and tried to ignore the Fat Guy standing next to her in the photos.   But Mike's wedding is gearing up to be held in the White Mountains in August and I want his and Pam's album to show a different MOAM.

Then Laganos turned me on to the "Younger Next Year" book by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry S. Lodge, which seemed to me to be a handbook on how to manage tthe last third of your life.  It points out that you can live into your 80's and 90's with vigorous health rather than debilitating pains and illnesses.  It makes perfect logical sense, and seems foolish not to follow this advice.

So that's the background to why this Sunday morning..... the day after the Patriots beat the Ravens in a great playoff game.... my first priority is to pedal one hour on the Cybex until my tee shirt is dripping wet with sweat, then doing as many pushups as I can before my arms turn all girlyman.  And that is the right thing to do.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

202 - Saturday Agenda

With 202 days to go, this Saturday will be important and your MOAM has prepared a meticulous agenda.
  • Make a trash  run to the Marblehead Dump.
  • Finish up some Invoices at Nanepashemet Telecom and mail.
  • Complete the Crown Moulding in the Master Bathroom.
  • Put in a 45 minute Sweat Show on the Cybex.
  • Follow with Push Ups for a new Fat Boy PR.
  • Hang upside down for awhile on the Teeter Inversion Rack.
  • Shower and get ready for Football.
  • Watch the Patriots annihilate the Baltimore Ravens in their march to the Super Bowl.
  • Celebrate a Good day with one or two glasses of Lagavulin 16 year old Single Malt.
It's already 8:00 AM and I'm behind schedule.

Friday, January 09, 2015

203 - Eight Push Ups.

Many times I've reminded you about how the Mountain of a Man is Rough, Tough,  Hard to Bluff, and Damn Good Looking.
Which is an inexorable and undisputed Law of the Universe as I'm sure you can readily apparent.
But my confession to you is that when I started this journey at the beginning of the year, I could barely muster one push up.

Today... the MOAM did Eight.

How bad is it that I'm pumped that I only did eight pushups after my 45 minute Cybex sweat session?
I Know... pretty freaking bad.
But as Lao Tzu has said in the timeless Tao Te Ching..."A Journey of 10,000 mile begins with a Single Step."

So don't be giving me a lot of crap.... I've got Lao Tzu on my side!   Who the Hell do you Know????

Thursday, January 08, 2015

204... No Regrets

Today started out good.  I knew that I had to attend to Katelyn and Brady's real estate closing at some point, so I put on my gym shorts in zero degree weather to get on the Cybex sometime in the morning.

Had at least 48 oz. of tap water before 9:30AM so it seemed that I was on the program big time.

Then the call came to take care of the closing issues by 2:00PM in my old stomping grounds, Highland Ave. in Needham, and I had to get the funds to Katelyn in Manchester.  No big deal, but I decided to take Katelyn to Beverly and back to make the bank deposit which added an additional 45 minutes.

All would have been a go to get on the Cybex by 4:00 or so.... then Joanne called and said that the Mach V had broken down in Marblehead at Ryan and Kim's house..... which called for another hour delay waiting for a mechanic.

By the time I got back to the West Shore Drive house, I only had enough time to grab dinner then head to Lynn for Frank Calnan's wake at the Cuffe McGinn Funeral Home on Maple Street next to St. Pius Church.

Calnan was the Building Commissioner in Lynn for years, and he used to take great amusement in busting my balls when I would ask him a zoning question as a wet behind the ears junior planner in the Lynn Planning Department back in the 70's.

He was tough, but a savvy straight shooter, and I learned a lot from him in those formative years when I had my first job fresh out of college.  The thought came to mind to blow off his wake, and I felt really guilty just thinking about it, so I blew off the workout instead.

Glad I did go, as I connected with some of the extended Calnan family who I have not seen for years and were really important in my life for twenty five years or so.  His younger brother, Ed, was my boss and first mentor when I worked for him as Deputy Director of the Lynn Community Department, and his older brother, Bill was my Deputy Director when I was the Executive Director of the Lynn Housing Authority.    Bill's son, Kevin Calnan, a former State Trooper and now a Lawyer on the North Shore, used to meet me for five years in a row at the Nahant Causeway every Saturday morning at 7:30 for a five mile run.  We never phoned or scheduled it... we just would show up and run. It was good to see Ed and Kevin, and I only wish I could have seen Bill, who passed a few years ago.

Frank had a large Irish family that I had only known as kids swarming around his Chatham Street house.  They were all grown up and striking in appearance... a fitting legacy for a good, hard working man who seemed to live a good life.

RIP Frank Calnan.
Say Hello to your Brother Bill Calnan and my Dad, John Nestor.

To make a long story short, I skipped my workout today.... with no regrets.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

205 to go.

With 205 days to go, I have lost 8 lbs, since this healthy eating and exercise regime began two days before New Year's Day.  It's not praiseworthy, because those pounds were way over the top for me.... to the point where my already fat boy pants were really uncomfortable.  I'm technically ahead of schedule to meet the goal weight, although this rate of loss will surely decline drastically,

But now the pants feel fine....  and I have brought the belt in a notch...even though I freely realize that my pants are indeed fat boy pants that I have to discard in short order.
I basically have only missed one day of getting a good 45 minute burn on Cybex daily.

That happened yesterday when I really felt like crap.... although most of it was undoubtedly rat race work related.

Changes that I have made to date include drinking a 12 oz glass of water as soon as I awake in the morning, and making sure that I down a Mason Jar 12 oz glass at least four times during the work day.

I have also taken conscious note of everything that I put in my mouth, and question if I really need to eat.  Granted..... sometimes when the answers are that the couple crackers, or piece of cheese are not necessary .....I eat them anyway.   But I think that the process keeps me from eating the volume that I formerly would eat without a thought.

And the vigorous 45 minute sweat sessions on the Cybex have the added effect of curbing my appetite.  Plus you feel so good after you're done.

Monday, January 05, 2015

207 to Go.

After four days of 45 minute sessions on the Cybex, I feel discernibly good.  Plus every day, I was able to add an additional pushup to my routine at the end of the ride.  It would be cool if by goal date I could do 207 pushups at one time, but I don't think things work that way.

We'll see though.

Katelyn and Brady's condo passing is right in the middle of my scheduled workout time today, so I will have to alter the pattern.   I assume that this will be the rule rather than the exception, but I would really like to keep to the 2:30 afternoon routine as much as possible.

And yes.... I lost about one pound.   In the future, I will develop a metric for reporting this, but I have to ease into it.

Chicken Little

The ICE Age has passed but is sure to return.   Please Liberals.... DO SOMETHING!!!!!

Sunday, January 04, 2015


Yesterday, we had dinner with our old Beverly Ave. Neighbors, Tommy and Linda O'Shea, and Jim and Kathy Peabody.

Jim is a charcoal grilling aficionado and he had rotisseried a roast beef.   Tommy O brought his brother Jimmy's award winning clam chowder and Kathy served some incredible stuffed quahogs.

Meanwhile, Linda finished knitted a hat for Katelyn's baby soon to emerge.  The workmanship in her beautiful sweater, blanket and hat for my coming Grandson is unexcelled.

It was a nice evening, and I absolutely overate and drank too many Angry Orchard Hard Ciders.

A big part of my losing weight resolution revolves around eating purposefully rather than indulgently,   And I have to say that in the past, I would have chowed down on the pepperoni and potato chips that Kathy had set out while we waited for the roast to cook.  But eating with good friends and enjoying the food that they are excited to serve to you is something that I can't curb.
It doesn't happen that often and is a part of my life that I would never change.

This morning, my friend and healthy life mentor, Christos Laganos, posted on Facebook that he thought my 60 lb. loss goal might be unrealistic and possibly unhealthy in the next nine months. I heard his words.

I am going to integrate the daily aerobic priority, add some strength training and eat purposefully rather than indulgently. Wherever this path leads, I will accept, but I have to believe that substantial lbs. will drop if I can make this habitual choice over the course of this year. I have pledged to drop 60 by August, but If not 60, it will be what it is. Eventually, I hope to live the rest of my life lugging less than 200 lbs around.

 I like the idea, expounded in the book "Younger Next Year", that getting your daily workout in is a job... an obligation to you and those who depend upon you.... rather than an accessory daily activity. That mindset changes a lot because I never miss a day of work

Christos posted on Facebook, " you will struggle to lose weight at first, then you will see good results followed by a plateau. This stage is where most people pack it in and fold. Just soldier on. Eventually your metabolism will begin the slow, permanent change that your new lifestyle will shape. Then you will resume a slow but steady weight loss, in the order of 2 pounds a month until you reach your ideal weight. For you that will probably be around 175-180 pounds. Do the math. That might take 2-3 years. By then you will be locked into your lifestyle."

Like I said before, Christos knows his shit.   I would like to transform as soon as possible, but his logic compounded by personal experience cannot be denied.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

209 to go

Two Hundred Nine days to go.

It's been three days since I threw down the gauntlet and told you Peeps that I was sick of being called "Big Guy".... which is always a euphemism for "Fat Shit".

Since that time, I have hit the Cybex Stationary Cycle for two 45 min. sessions and started a routine of push ups and wheel ab stretches..... as in .... it is nearly impossible for me to do a couple at this time.... but that will change.  The next Cybex workout will be in an hour or so.

More importantly, I have resolved to get an aerobic workout in six times a weeks, and a weight workout in two times a week.... and stop eating crap.

This prescription comes from a book that I read this morning,  "Younger Next Year" by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry S. Lodge, published by Workman Publishing in 2007.  Christos Laganos told me that this was one of the books that changed his life and I can easily recognize how Chris has benefited by comparing points made in the book with the way he and his wife, Yolanda, live their life.

The book gives a scientific basis for why exercise is crucial in modern lifestyles and mandates in non-negotiable terms that daily vigorous aerobic exercise is essential to a a healthy life.... and that you have to treat working out in the same manner as if it were your job.

In analyzing how to meet this resolution, it became clear that it will not happen by simply saying to myself to get up and exercise every morning.   I had to go back to a time when vigorous exercise was a way of life.... when I was in school and on the track team.  Back then, every workout started between two-thirty and three o'clock in the afternoon.   So I marked off two hours everyday on my Google calendar between two-thirty and four-thirty.

Since my job gives me a lot of flexibility, I have carefully calculated how this routine can be accomplished while still meeting all of the obligations of Nanepashemet Telecom.  Basically, most business happens in the morning, processing mid-morning to early afternoon.  Not much happens after lunch, but a lot of people like to tie things up late in the afternoon before the business day is over.  

So the 2:30 time slot is probably the best chance for exercise success.

My hope and belief is that I can keep up this routine for the next 209 days.... and that about sixty seven lbs. of me will have disappeared by that time