Jan 31

Fitness Update – 31 January 2016 – Off To a Slow Start

Well this year has started kinda slow fitness wise since I am currently limited on the amount of exercise I can do because of my cataract surgery three weeks ago.  I have one more week to go before I will start picking up the pace with Nordic Walking and get back in the swing of things.  Not sure if I will start riding my bike to work again or not quite yet because I still fee pressure in my eye when Nordic Walking and I am pretty sure it would be more intense with bicycle riding.

Regardless of the lower amount of exercise I have been able to maintain my weight loss by monitoring my diet.  I have been hovering in the 169 – 171 pound range and was even 172 yesterday morning since I ate a pizza Friday night.  First full pizza I have had since I started my fitness regime.

Fitbit sent me my 2015 fitness statistics which quite surprised me since I only started monitoring my fitness in late September.


Bert's 2015 FitBit Stats

Bert’s 2015 FitBit Stats

I hope to kill these stats in 2015!  Who knows.  4 or 5 million steps seems doable to me!  When I think about 716 miles I think that is all the way from Lafayette Indiana to Keokuk Iowa and back and then to Indianapolis and back!  Crazy!

Well I hope you like my update and continue to follow along.  Please SUBSCRIBE to my blog by entering your email address in the “Subscribe to Blog via Email” block to the right side of this post.  This way you will never miss one of my exciting posts!

Jan 30

New Saddlebags and Sissy Bar for Sabine’s Suzi

I got a great deal on eBay on some OEM saddlebags and a tall sissy bar for Sabine’s 2003 LC1500 Suzuki.  Normally would have cost about $1000.00 but I got it all for under $300.00  These are unused OEM parts!!  So cool! I love riding this bike as much a my Harley-Davidson Road Glide. Sabine really likes the Harley Softtails and the good thing about this bike is that it looks almost exactly like, and has the same ride as a Softtail but does not have the high price tag.

Jan 19

Goal Achieved! – Fitness Update 19 January 2016

  I know I am WAY overdue with an update regarding my fitness efforts. Life has been hectic lately with holidays, illnesses, and surgery. Because of these factors my exercise schedule has been a bit messed up.  I had cataract surgery eight days ago and since then I am not supposed to workout due to the pressure it would put on my eye.  I have another three weeks before I can go back to my previous schedule.  Plus I was sick the weekend prior to my surgery and we had holidays before that!  

The great news though is I have achieved my primary weight loss goal!  I actually hit 169.8 pound about two weeks ago but was not able to maintain it and jumped back up to 173.  I actually did not even weigh myself for about three days and started back again two days ago. This morning when I weighed in the scales read 169.1 pounds! So I have exceeded my goal and lost a total of 40 pounds! Now comes the difficult part….maintaining the weight lose while trying to build muscle.  It would be a lot easier if it was not so dang cold outside right now so I could ride my bike to work.  But that would also be out of the question for now due to the eye surgery.  So I will just continue watching my caloric intake.  My plan is to hover between 165 – 170 lbs.  This still considered mildly overweight but I am now the lowest weight I have been in 20 years so I feel really good.  

When I started this effort I thought it would be much harder and take a lot longer. I have already bought three new pairs of jeans because the size 36 ones are so baggy on me now.  I went down to 34 inches jeans.  Many of my size large shirts also fit me like a tent now so I will have to try on mediums when I go shopping.  What I really like is now all my dress shirts fit comfortably at the neck. 

So I just want to say thank you to all the people who supported and encouraged me during this time.  Especially my wife Sabine that has been working out with me. I’m not stopping though.  Gonna keep on walking and using my tools like FitBit, MyFittnessPal and MapMyWalk.

Jan 04

1000 Candles


Jan 03

My 1990 Volkswagon Jetta Flair

This is the first nice car I bought in Germany.  I got it from an older American gentleman whose wife drove it.

I had this car when I retired from the Army and drove it from Meerholz to Mannheim everyday for over two years. Very fast little car.

One of the unique things you can see in these photos is the old USAREUR license plate.  This was the last US sized plate USAREUR issued.  After the World Trade Center attacks of 9/11 USAREUR changed to European style plates to help American military personnel in Europe blend in.

It ran great for quite a few years but then started having problems.   I ended up selling it pretty much for scrap to a Polish car dealer.  Parts of this car are probably still running around on different cars in Eastern Europe.

Jan 03

Forgiveness is not Easy

True words.


Jan 02


Finally found a good reason for having a cat.  Make a CATMONKEY out of it!


Dec 31

Passing of a Classmate

Laura MathewsToday on Facebook I saw an announcement that a high school classmate of mine passed away a few days ago.  Laura Mathews passed away of an unexpected illness.

I remember Laura but I did not know her very well since we were in different “cliques” in school.  I was one of the rowdy, smoking, crazy, mischievous guys. Laura was a quiet friendly girl who kept to herself and close friends. She was smart, self-confident, and pretty. She had a very pretty smile. I recall that she was really into Punk Rock and New Wave music. Both of which were a new style of music in the late 70’s, early 80’s. Her love for Punk Rock music followed her throughout adulthood and she had an online presence known as Punk Rock Gardens.  She was on Twitter and also blogged a bit, and of course on Facebook.Her Facebook page is full of flowers and plants of all kinds.

Though I did not know Laura very well and the last time I saw her was at our high school graduation in 1983 I still feel a sadness and loss. It hits me hard that another person who crossed my life path is gone and it reminds me that every day we have alive is a precious gift.

When I read the comments on the Go Fund Me page to assist with her burial expenses I can see that she was well liked and respected by the many people who know her.  I can only assume, but I believe I am correct in saying, that she enjoyed life and the beauty of nature.

When I think about her passing I also think about all the friends and family I have lost over the years. It seems that since I turned 45 a few years ago that I know more and more people who are no longer living.  My grandparents, father, multiple coworkers and friends. When I think about all these people who are gone I feel more and more lonely. I think about my still living 94-year-old step-grandmother Ann Boyer, who is still driving her own car, and wonder how a person this old can deal with all the loses of so many people in life. I am sure many people deal with it based upon their religious beliefs and the hope of seeing their loved ones again. But many people, such as I, don’t believe in an afterlife such as is spoken of in many religious. It does not pain me to think that I will never see these people again. The memories I have of them is sufficient enough to bring me happiness.

I am only 51 and Laura must have been 50. I make plans for retirement and imagine what my life will be like when I am 70 or 80 years old. Then I remember that nothing is guaranteed.  Therefore I make it my goal to live my life to the fullest I can and am always looking for new adventures.

I hope that everyone who reads this spends a little bit of time today thinking about loved ones and friends who have passed away.  And remember that you are still here but time is short. Make the best of your life no matter what your circumstances. Hug your family and friends. We need the touch of another human to confirm that we are alive. Don’t sweat the small things and don’t be quick to anger. Be careful with your tongue because you will probably forget hurtful things you say, but the recipient of the words may not. Someday each one of us will die but until then I wish for you “Long Days and Pleasant Nights.”


Dec 28

I’ll Kill You if You Don’t Come Back – Jim Steinman / Meat Loaf

The Jim Steinman songs that Meat Loaf sings are always so deep and if you don’t take the time to listen closely to them you will miss a lot.  This song is no different. When I listen to it I can hear the frustration of a young man in love. A young man who has once again been hurt by a girl that he trusted and too easily fell in love with.

It was not a very popular song but since I am always listening to complete Meat Loaf albums I hear it often. I think many men have felt the way the man in the song feels. This song was released on the Dead Ringer album which itself was not one of Meat Loaf’s best-selling albums but still had some great songs if you are a Meat Loaf fan. The album did hit #1 in the United Kingdom though. This is also an important album for Meat Loaf fans because it almost did not happen due to Meat Loaf drug usage and loss of voice. Jim Steinman wrote the entire album specifically for Meat Loaf.

From the minute I turned and laid my eyes on you, I had no eyes of my own
I was blind to the world, you were too good to be true
But you were something to see, so very young and alone
And I still don’t believe the way you turned on me
Now where’s the girl that I knew?
I gave you somewhere to live and then somebody to love
You gave me nothing but trouble, man, I’ve been such a fool
You gave me nothing at all, now let me give it to you
You taught me how to be cruel, now let me try it on you
How do you abuse me, let me count the ways
How many hours in how many days
How does it amuse you, let me count the pain
How many rules breaking how many games

How do you abuse me, let me count the ways
How many hours in how many days
How does it amuse you, let me count the pain
How many rules breaking how many games
You got your ass out of gear and your soul out of whack
Go on and take all your stuff, don’t even bother to pack
In every way I want you out of my life
But I’ll kill you if you don’t come back, I’ll kill you if you don’t come back

In the pit of the night you used to pull me so close
And then you’d hold me so tight
And in the wink of an eye you used to give me it all
And with a kiss in the darkness you’d deliver the light
And in the pit of the night I hear you laughing so loud
I know you’re laughing at me
Oh ain’t it funny and sad the way I fell for your lies
The way I fell into love and then I begged to be free
You gave me nothing at all, now let me give it to you
You taught me how to be cruel, now let me try it on you

Somebody bless all the girls in the sand on the beach
They’re dreamin’ of boys and staying just out of reach
Bless all the cheerleaders down on the track
They’re glistening like diamonds with sweat on their backs
Bless all the girls in the gangs on the street
They’re looking for danger and they’re holding their peace
Bless all the girls staying late after school
They’re playing with fire and oh they’re playing it cool
And bless all the shy girls who’re learning to dance
They stare in the mirror and they conjure romance
Bless all the girls who are always alone
They kneel down in prayer and they wait up by the phone
Bless all the homecoming queens of the night
They’re looking for magic in gymnasium lights
And bless all the girls who know what love is about
They try not to cry and then they try to put out

And bless all the homecoming queens of the night
They’re looking for magic in gymnasium lights
And bless all the girls who know what love is about
They try not to cry and then they try to put out

Somebody bless all these girls that I never have met
But damn you and curse you after all that you’ve done
You’re the one girl I’ll never forget
You’re the one girl I’ll never forget
Somebody bless all these girls and everything that they do
But damn me and curse me for still needing you

And I’ll kill you if you don’t come back

Dec 28

Shields up ready for Mars shot | Cosmos

When we finally do get a human space flight to the planet Mars the spaceship is going to look a lot different to what I have always imagined. This technology is simply amazing to me. This article shows us that the spaceships we see in the movies such as Star Trek’s Enterprise and Star War’s Millennium Falcon could never really exist. At least not with the technology we have today.

Of course this will change over the next 100 – 200 years as technology advances.  Think about it…100 years ago it would still be over 50 years before humans travelled to the moon.  So 100 – 200 years from now it could be that travel to the Moon and to Mars may be as common as flying from London to New York is today.

Superconductor deflects cosmic radiation away from interplanetary spacecraft.

Source: Shields up ready for Mars shot | Cosmos

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