Open Water Swimming Was Open – Part 2 – The Temptation

As I teased in my last post, I was tempted after my swim last Saturday. Being America’s Friend, I was speaking to a total stranger despite the stranger wearing very tight shorts and sporting a somewhat satanic beard.

I was also wearing very tight swim shorts, and they were quite wet. We were both standing just outside the women’s locker room. And then the stranger tempted me to do something I haven’t done in years. He slipped me his card with his contact info. If I gave in to the temptation, I would meet the stranger again on the 1st of August for a dalliance into what I can only describe for me as … forbidden fruit.

The stranger had tempted me with this irresistible offer.

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Open Water Swimming Was Open – Part 1

At my age, with a pandemic still raging all around, when there is something I want to do, I know I best do it quickly or maybe never have the chance. I mentioned in a recent post that I want to take my swim across Lake Michigan out of pools and into open water. I wasted no time and did just that this past Saturday.

I found a great lake to do an open water swim, but not a Great Lake. It wasn’t a good weekend to head to Lake Michigan (one of the 5 Great Lakes) to swim, because we are fostering 2 puppies. Who wants to see puppy pictures and video? Well, maybe if you’re nice and like this post, or better still, beg me, I’ll post some puppy stuff. Anyway, I found a great lake just about 40 minutes up the river from us that was hosting a morning open water swim in beautiful, crystal clear waters. Take a look …

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Bored in the Middle of Lake Michigan

Take a look at your calendar, and you’ll see that summer is half over. Unless you live in Canada. Summer’s already over up there. I wonder if it’s already over in Chicago. We’ve had some cool, rainy weather recently, which makes my pool quite chilly and my motivation low to swim in a frigid pool. Today is just such a day. My toes are turning blue at the thought of a pool swim today. Regardless, here we are, halfway through calendric summer, and I’m halfway across Lake Michigan at just over 11 miles into the swim.

I can’t get too bored and stop swimming. I’m figuratively in the middle of the lake. If I stop, I’ll figuratively drown! So, on I swim. But I have to spice things up. I think I need to take this swimapalooza on the road. Sure, I swam in hotel pools the past two weekends in Nebraska and Minnesota. Pardon me while I yawn. I yearn for open water. I feel the need to get some mileage in Lake Michigan itself. I will let you know if I muster the motivation to head to the greatest of the Great Lakes and actually swim in it.


If you have to deal with cool, rainy weather, what better way is there than to curl up with a good book? If you don’t have one, I suggest you settle for my well-reviewed, crappy book.

Click here to order from Amazon for under a buck!

I Made a Friend at the Hotel Pool

As we traveled last weekend, I made sure I got my laps in at the hotel pool, because as readers know, I am swimming across Lake Michigan. One added benefit is that I made a new friend at the pool. I do consider myself America’s friend and sweetheart. He was an older gentlemen, and we were alone in the pool area, ostensibly to swim laps. But he confronted me with, “Can I ask about your weight?” Uh-oh. I looked for the closest exit in case his next question was an invitation to join him in the hot tub. But it wasn’t. He just had a question about my weight. Then my mind flashed to this tweet I had seen and wondered if his question might go this way.

But our conversation didn’t go that route. I told him that he could ask away, and he asked me this legitimate question.

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Weight Loss Through FATSing

No, I didn’t misspell “fasting.” That’s FATSing, my trademarked and patent-pending weight loss scheme scam system. It’s not a diet. It’s a weight loss system. You see, after giving up a month ago on any significant weight loss this summer, I lost 3 pounds in June using my FATSing system. That puts me within 3 pounds of my original goal of losing 20 pounds set over a year ago.

FATSing stands for Fitness Awareness Testing System. And then I stuck an “ing” on the end for no apparent reason. The way the system works is this …

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I’m in the Middle of Lake Michigan

I announced earlier this month that I’m swimming 22 miles across Lake Michigan this summer in the safety of my pool and hotel pools, despite their confusing pool rules. So, where am I at the end of June? Just over 7 miles in as shown by the red line.

I’m on schedule considering I missed a couple days at the beginning of June as I tried every gasket and washer in my cache of plumbing supplies to eventually successfully stop a leak in one of the pool connections. 22 miles is still possible if I average a quarter mile each day for July and August.

I know what you’re asking. Am I scared being in the middle of Lake Michigan? Sure, I’m terrified, but that’s normal for me every day after I wake up. And if you look at the map, you can see there’s land close by as I’m near that big peninsula jutting into the lake. That peninsula has a piece of Jim Flanigan history linked to it which I will explain.

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Pool Rules Confuse

Although I was on a short business trip this week, I continued my swim across Lake Michigan by using the hotel pools, despite their confusing rules. For example, there was disinfectant spray all over the place in the workout areas. I get it. I support it. Until everyone gets vaccinated (get vaccinated!), we need to continue to take precautions. But what was I going to do with this spray in the pool area?

There really wasn’t anything for me to wipe down by the pool, but after some thought, I knew just what to do. I dumped the bottle into the pool. It seemed like the only logical thing to do.

The second pool had me confused as soon as I walked in and went to take a towel.

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New Music For Old Rockers – Taking a Walk in the Murder Capital of the USA Edition

While on my recent business trip, I decided to take a walk on a treadmill in the fitness room of my hotel. Here’s the problem … I couldn’t figure out how to get there. It appeared that the elevator would take me to the 7th, 5th, 3rd, or 7th floors.

I took the stairs. Nobody takes the stairs in hotels with elevators. I don’t blame them. Elevators are fun. I like jumping in the elevator while it is moving. Yes, I got one stuck once. Oops.

Anyway, the stairs led me straight to the laundry room on the first floor. Oops, again. I saw a door and headed toward it, hoping it would take me to the hotel lobby. Nope. It was an exit. There I was, standing outside in St. Louis … the murder capital of the USA. Oops, thrice.

So, I made the bold decision to take this sage advice printed on my hotel room key packet.

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I’m Swimming Across Lake Michigan

Well, not literally, but also not figuratively or metaphorically since I will actually be swimming. Maybe cumulatively is a better term. I should explain first about Lake Michigan for non-Midwestern United Staters.

Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes.

What makes them so great? Well, they contain 21% of the world’s fresh water, duh! You can swim, surf, boat, fish, and not worry about jellyfish or shark attacks.

Except land sharks. They’re all over. Big nuisance.

I have personally enjoyed 4 of the 5 Great Lakes, so here’s my Great Lakes Ranking with reasons.

  • #5 Lake Erie – Too close to Cleveland and it has snakes in it.
  • #4 Lake Ontario – Too close to New York.
  • #3 Lake Superior – Gorgeous but very chilly.
  • #2 Lake Huron – Gorgeous and slightly less chilly than Lake Superior.
  • #1 Lake Michigan – The only Great Lake that the US doesn’t have to share with Canada. Also, some gorgeous beaches, especially on the Michigan side. And the way that Lake Michigan is situated north-south makes for great sunrises seen from the western shore and great sunsets seen from the eastern shore. It’s also the warmest Great Lake, especially around Chicago.

And so, I have decided to swim across Lake Michigan this summer. Here’s how I’m going to do it.

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Vary Your Workouts

It’s important to vary your workouts to keep them interesting. I have some wonderful walking routes that take me down paths to creeks, through the woods, and over hill & dale. However, Dale always complains when I walk over her.

But this morning, the thought of trodding the same paths bored me. I decided to take a couple normal paths through prairie and woods, but then come home via the local business park. Wow, doesn’t that sound exciting? Well, it didn’t disappoint as the first interesting thing I saw was the miracle of life taking place. I took this picture …

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Weight News Not Worth The Wait

There are those who experience some weight loss, can’t seem to lose any more, and accept that they may have to be comfortable at that weight. But who has 2 thumbs and won’t accept that?

That’s right. For the second month in a row, I have maintained weight but not lost any.

I know, and I agree. My dreams of losing 10 more pounds by the end of summer are gone. That is just unrealistic now. Maybe if I can try for a pound a month June through September, I can get to a slightly lower weight than at the end of last summer. Would that be cause to celebrate?

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Hats Off

At the height of the pandemic, I ordered some PPE items directly from China for resale through my medical equipment sales company. It was a modest success and good experience ordering direct from China suppliers. At about the same time, my electric shaver died, as had my income because of the pandemic. I ordered a new shaver from China at about half the price of a Norelco. It works! That’s about all I’m willing to say about it. It functions as it should. Nothing special.

When I wanted to purchase a 10 gallon Stetson hat during the pandemic, I found them to be very expensive.

So, I looked once again to China to see if I could find a deal on a similar “Stetsen” or “Stetzon” hat at a fraction of that price. I was successful and eagerly placed my order, Unfortunately, I was ultimately disappointed when it arrived. Due to China’s use of the metric system, the hat I received is a 38 liter hat rather than 10 gallon.

Wow, that was a long way to travel for a bad dad joke. That’s for coming along for the ride.

Weight, Hair, & Election Losses

I normally like to wait a day or two after the end of the month to announce my weight loss for the month. I check my weight for several days in a row before and after the last day of the month to verify that I actually did lose weight that month. But here we are a week into May, and I’m still not sure. My weight bounced around like a ping pong ball at a college fraternity beer pong tournament. Up several pounds one day and down a pound the next. A week into May, and about the only statement I am comfortable making is that I didn’t lose any weight. I’m still staring at losing 10 pounds by the end of warm weather in the fall.

My weight loss plan was at a serious disadvantage in April with Easter coming early in the month. My plan to deal with all the chocolate in the house at Easter was to eat it all as quickly as possible. Success!

Easter was quickly followed two days later by the local election that I lost but still won. Yes, third runner-up was enough to be elected. I felt like a kid at a rec league soccer tournament where everyone gets a trophy. But I think it’s official now that this came in the mail …

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Vaccinated & Feeling Woozy

I am now fully vaccinated as of this morning. With this card and its slightly altered birth year, I now expect to be able get into any exclusive nightclub or swanky restaurant without reservations or waiting in line.

I do feel some pressure though. Two dear friends were fully vaccinated before me, and had no reaction to the second dose. I feel like they are exercising a power block, and I can’t react. But I’m feeling woozy already just a few hours after the shot. Of course, I was feeling woozy before the shot. And in fairness, I’ve spent much of my life woozy.

I want to feel some reaction to reassure myself that the vaccine is working, although I understand that some people don’t react at all. I know my card shows I got the Pfizer vaccine, but what if they gave me the Placebo vaccine by mistake? I did stump the nurse administering my shot with this question …

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Not Weighting for Summer

When I posted my last weight loss goal a month ago, I really had hoped to ramp up my steps outside in March to drop some of the weight I gained over winter. That did not happen to the magnitude I had hoped. Take a look at this modest increase in steposity.

Yawn. Big deal, right? This local election I’m in kept me behind my computer screen a bit too much, and my exercise activity became very sporadic and erractic. But take a look at this new high water mark in stepitude for me.

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Good & Bad Food News

As you know, rather than trying to gain weight to lose weight, I’m back to trying to lose weight to lose weight. I know, it’s complicated. Read the links. I was both encouraged and discouraged with the following food news.

FREE Donuts for Everyone?

This is really a shot to my weight loss bow. I love donuts as well as doughnuts. No matter how you spell them, I will eat them. Krispy Kreme is offering free donuts for the rest of 2021 to all those that are COVID-19 vaccinated. Take a look …

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Hit Me with Your Best Shot!

Today’s blog title is a fun song along with my theme song from yesterday. I definitely got my best shot in a long time. I got my Fauci ouchie, Trump tonic, Biden booster, or whatever you want to call it based on your political leanings. I got the COVID vaccine, or at least shot #1 of 2. They gave me the brand that begins with a P. Now, what was that name again? Something like Placebo, I think. That’s why I’m smiling so much in this pic …

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I Was Wary of my Winter Weightloss Wish Working

And it didn’t, but I still succeeded … sort of. As I have explained in prior posts, I was pretty sure I would gain weight over the winter. The key for me was to try and limit that weight gain. By late summer of 2020, I had lost 17 pounds through spring and summer. As soon as cooler weather in early fall arrived and I took our pool down, I almost immediately added back 2 pounds. I went into the winter months of December through February hoping to minimize my weight gain. I wanted to show some progress from 2020 to 2021. It didn’t help that I could not bring myself to go to the health club all winter while a pandemic raged out of control in the US.

I was limited to walking outside, our treadmill, and our elliptical machine. I never got around to setting up a bike on a stationary trainer like I wanted. Mild winter weather allowed me to still walk outside in December and most of January, but then winter hit here with a vengance in February. We had about 3 weeks straight of incessant snow and frigid temps. I was relegated to shoveling/snowblowing outdoors when necessary (which seemed to be daily) and walking/ellipsing indoors. Take a look at how my steps in February shrank for the third month in a row …

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