October 2009 Archives

2009 World Series Game 1 Photos

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Brought the camera into Mulligan's to take a few shots of all the fans. Great crowd at the bar, with many Phillies fans and even a few Yankee fans. Happy we stole the first game, but still got to win three more versus a tough Yankee team. Lets go Phils!!

Rocco The Super Pup & Other Things

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rocco5.jpg

Rocco is doing great, and getting bigger, as you can see.

Lots of people have been asking me if I have any issues with him. I have zero. None. He's a perfect dog, so far. He has had his share of accidents, literally and figuratively. I handed him to a friend to hold the other night, and Rocco was nice enough to poop on him.

Welcome to puppies!

Otherwise, Rocco has been getting out, meeting new dogs and meeting strangers on the street. He's a happy go lucky guy, with a mild streak of stubbornness.

The stubbornness manifests itself in our walks. Rocco has a nice habit of coming to a halt, putting out his front paws and resisting me while on the leash. It was much, much worse when he was younger - to a point where it was impossible to go more than a block with him.

I did a lot of research online and found a few tips here and there, and eventually with a lot of patience, treats and affection, he walks much better now. He still has his moments, but our walks are night and day versus a month ago.

Aside from that, here's what else has been going on....

-Zeppelin Hall Beer Garden in Jersey City is outstanding. If you haven't been there, get a group of people and go. It is easy to get there via light rail or PATH or even a $12 taxi ride (if you have 4 people, split the cost).

-Phillies are unbelievable. I thought last year was magical, and figured that the Phillies would have a good year again, but wasn't expecting this. They haven't won anything, but it was a great season to watch, no matter what the outcome. Personally, i'd like to watch the Yankees vs Phillies in the World Series. Yankees are an outstanding team, and scare the hell out of me - but to be the best you have to beat the best.

-Eagles are mediocre, with flashes of greatness. The biggest issue is what we knew last year - the offensive line. Why did we lose to the Raiders? No Peters + No Andrews = No protection. Plus it doesn't help when Westbrook only touches the ball 12 times. As much as we have the offensive WRs like Maclin and Jackson - not much is going to happen if the QB doesn't have time to pass and you don't establish a run game.

-Now we skipped fall and went right to winter, I like to drink my ports and scotches. I went to a popular liquor store on Washington and checked out their prices. It's sad, really. We get raped here. Oban 14 year old was $90. I can buy it at a NYC store for $65. Ridiculous.

-Taco Truck! If you take the PATH daily, join up on their Facebook site to find out where they are. I have bought four to go dinners in two weeks. They remind me of Hoboken Eddie, when he used to have his kitchen under Sullivan's Bar on 6th Street. Eddie wasn't fancy, but he made stick to your ribs good food. Taco Truck is that kind of place. Especially that I consider most of the restaurants in Hoboken "average at best", the Taco Truck finally "GETS IT". I sincerely hope more innovative and creative restaurant owners come to our city - I think there's a huge market.

-The Madison Delivers! I hate The Madison "bar scene". Hate. Hate. Hate. The bar attracts too many pretentious regulars. I think I had dinner at The Madison once, when they first open. Don't really remember it. So, the other day i'm on the elevator with Rocco and hold the door for a delivery guy. He was from The Madison, delivering in our building. I ask if he has an extra menu, and check it out. I didn't order anything special. I tried the onion soup dumplings and a burger with fries. Impression? Holy shit. I may hate the bar scene, but I will be ordering more delivery from them in the future. Easily one of the best burgers in town - better than Five Guys (who DON'T deliver).

-Rocco tried the Hoboken Dog Wash (163 4th Street) about 3 weeks ago. 10 minutes for $15, it works like a self car wash. You have a hose with Tropiclean organic soap, and various options with rinse, conditioner, tick/flea rinse, and other options. It works great, Rocco was a good boy during the whole thing until the dryer part, and he didn't like that very much - it was too cold for him at first, until the motor heated up and warm air blew out. $15 per wash is a bit pricey.

Otherwise, not much else going on. I haven't been to the gym in 4 weeks. I feel like a sloth. I blame Rocco, but the truth is that my motivation level is very low, and spending an hour at the gym (right now) with Rocco waiting for me to get home has been disrupting everything. No excuses, but i'm hoping to get on board soon and back to Club H.

Gym Renovations

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Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Ok, a break from Rocco this week.

I moved into my condo in April 2007, and one of the many reasons I liked it was that our building (which has 100 units, and 8 floors) also had a in-house gym. The condo dates from 1985, and the gym equipment were all from that era.

It was amusing to me, because in about 22+ years our focus on health has shifted a bit from the focus of 1985 America. The gym equipment they had were decent. Here's a list of what the building originally had (the pictures aren't the exact equipment, just an idea of what they are):

1. A rack cage with a standard bar.
2. A smith press with Olympic plates.
3. A multi gym.
4. A Dual Abduction / Adduction Leg Machine
5. A broken Roman Chair.
6. An Abdominal Machine.
7. Two old treadmills from 1985.
8. One non-functional upright bike from 1985.
9. One StairMaster 4000PT from 1987.
10. One elliptical from 2003.
11. Olympic and Standard plates, along with Olympic and Standard bars.
12. A metal hex dumbbell set from 5 pounds to 40 pounds.

Also the gym had a real thin layer of carpet, over concrete flooring. It was coming up in various places, ripped from years of use. The room was stark white in appearance and the vertical blinds were cheap, and some were missing.

About a month after I moved in, I asked the board, who have done an excellent job at managing our funds at our building, if I could be in charge of a gym overhaul. I told them that I would create a presentation addressing what we have, what we should get rid of and what we should buy to modernize our gym.

I'm not a gym expert, but I know a bit about what I do, and what my friends do at the gym. My goals were simple:

1. Our condo gym won't replace a commercial gym, but will be beneficial to the majority of our residents.
2. Modernize our equipment, discard or streamline unneeded equipment.
3. Enhance our gym aesthetics, for owners to their prospective buyers or renters.

Most of the equipment we chose were considered commercial grade over light commercial. We felt that the better quality would last us longer over light commercial.

Here were my proposed changes:

1. Remove the carpet flooring and replace it with rubber flooring. It would reduce noise and be more resistant to stains and odor.
2. Replace the metal hex dumbbell set with a rubber dumbbell set from 5 to 75. Also add in proper dumbbell racks, to hold them.
3. Remove all our Standard plates and bars, replacing everything with Olympic bars and plates.
4. Remove the rack cage. It can be a liability if someone uses it for benching or squatting and they are unsupervised. Even when someone spots someone benching, accidents can happen. My goal was to increase the dumbbell weight to replace this cage and the smith press can also be used for benching or squatting (but won't be as good as "regular" benching - but that's a sacrifice we made for safety).
5. Replace the unusable Roman Chair. We chose Cybex 5411.
6. Replace both treadmills. One was old enough to be considered an antique. We chose Star Trac S-TRc.
7. Replace the existing elliptical and then add one more. We chose True CSX.
8. Replace the upright bike with a recumbent bike. Recumbent bikes actually may seem easier - but actually burn more calories over upright bikes, because gravity isn't assisting your pedaling when you are seated. We chose True CS8.0.
9. Replace the existing benches (which were in bad shape) with two Cybex adjustable benches (0 degrees to 80 degrees) and one Cybex decline bench (-10 degrees to 80 degrees). We chose Cybex.
10. Replace the StairMaster 4000PT with StairMaster SC916.
11. Add a medicine ball set, along with a Swiss ball for abdominals.
12. Add a water fountain & filter.
13. Paint the room, add more lights, change the blinds, change the signage, grout the bathroom tiles,

It sounds like a lot, but I worked with Jay from The Gym Source, and he was great. I was able to make a plan, put it together, along with proposed costs and present it to the board.

It took a long time, but our hard work was finally completed last night, with the board members and other residents who joined our "Gym Committee" to make it happen. We kept some of the old equipment, like the Smith Press, the leg machine, the abdominal machine, and the multi gym. If I had my choice, I would have liked to replace a lot of those also, but we didn't have infinite funds and had to keep our budget around $30,000-40,000.

The gym isn't 100% complete, we still have to get some pictures for the walls. I was thinking of trying to find some old, cool illustrations from the 1900's of people at the gym, boxers, weight lifters, etc. Anyhow, that's still being worked on.

I wish I had some "before" pictures to give you an idea how everything looked. I regret not taking those, but at least above are the completed work. Enjoy!

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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