ShadowTwin Home

Site Links:
Arthur Witles
Who I am - Site info
Music Lost to History Archive
Horoscope Archive
Original Poetry
Pre-Blogger Archives
Stuff I Made
Vacation Photos
My coming of age story.
Programs I use for the site
Email me

Latest Humorous T-shirt Slogan:
"You Wish!"
This one has to be taken in context to be appreciated. The girl wearing this belly shirt was maybe 5'0" tall, with a muffin top going on, despite the fact that she was clearly in her third trimester of pregnancy. In addition she was wearing a thong that came up past her low-rise jeans and pushed her muffin top down over the edge to really emphasize the roll. I'm not in perfect shape so I don't expect that others should be, but when you are wearing that shirt, along with the rest of the outfit, you open yourself to scrutiny (and perhaps random looks of horror).

It's fun to hate:
The Soccer Moms who insist that they drive gas-guzzling SUV's for the safety of their children despite the fact that they are 6 times more likely to be in a rollover accident than any other vehicle. It's like beating your child unconscious with the butt of your gun so that he will remain on the floor, thus making him less likely to be hit by a random bullet coming through the front window.

When Shadowtwin reigns supreme:
There will be mandatory, passive birth control required to participate in any form of government assistance. If you can't afford to raise your child on your own we are here to help you, but we must first make sure that your reproductive organs are adequately contained. If you don't like that policy all you have to do is support your kids your damn self!
Vote Shadowtwin!

Wildly inaccurate, yet shockingly precise, predictions based completely on happenstance and arbitrary universal fluctuations.
Your Horoscope:

Sagitarius: 11/22-12/21
A typographical error in your Church's newsletter will lead to you performing sex acts on dozens of anonymous strangers in your pursuit of "oral highground."

Capricorn: 12/22-1/19
The stars did recently tell your wife to "listen to her heart" regarding whether or not she should leave you. The stars did not intend for you to listen to her heart. But once you used that bonesaw on her sternum (not trusting the stethoscope which just responded with a cryptic thumping sound), we're pretty sure she made up her mind anyway.

Aquarius: 1/20-2/18
The stars would like to apologize for stating in their last prophecy, "Be wary of the stranger you meet at beach this weekend. The stars aren't sure why, but they don't trust him." Through a cosmic hiccup, that information was supposed to be released this month. The August prophecy should have read, "A dark and handsome stranger will approach you on the beach, profess his love for you, and sweep you away for a jetset marriage. After which you will lead a long, happy, prosperous, healthy life as the Queen of a small island nation." We apologize for any inconvenience this error may have caused.

Pisces: 2/19-3/20
Your new stopwatch will allow you to time how long you can hold your breath underwater down to the thousandth of a second. Unfortunately, poor planning will mean that you are not able to actually share the information with anyone.

Aries: 3/21-4/19
Your innovative new device for beauticians to use while giving pedicures can be wildly successful and make you quite wealthy IF you change the name. Trust us, no one is going to buy a "Ped-O-File".

Taurus: 4/20-5/20
Your Mother always told you to wear clean underwear just in case there was an accident and paramadics had to see them. But as you board that plane today, the stars want you to know that you needn't worry about it. The debris field will be more than 8 square miles, making it impossible to find most human remains. Not to mention that the ensuing fire burned so hot that it disintegrated not only all fabric, but most of the thin metals aboard as well.

Gemini: 5/21-6/21
You just had to get that genital piercing, didn't you? The stars tried to warn you not to, but you went ahead and did it anyway... Now all your worst fears will come to bear when, at a campground this weekend, you run afoul of this guy:

Cancer: 6/22-7/22
The less traveled by areas of the Grand Canyon's north rim offer some of the most breathtaking views of this natural wonder. You will soon find out they also include some of the worst footings and none of the handrails. They do, however, provide equally awe-inspiring, terminal velocity impacts.

Leo: 7/23-8/22
The stars heard your pleas, begging for someone who you could share your love with and embrace for the rest of your life. If you are still single, throw your arms around the closest person to you at 3:44pm GMT on Dcember 9th -That'll be the one. Trust us, you won't have time to be picky...

Virgo: 8/23-9/22
The stars have piled up most of your things on the front porch. You can stay at a friend's house, but you aren't coming back home until you admit what you did and apologize. The stars' Mother was right about you... (you must have really pissed them off; the stars were in tears while they told me this)

Libra: 9/23-10/22
The stars have been doing a little thinking and a lot of math. The population of planet earth is roughly 6,796,590,704. That means that roughly 566,382,558 people share each astrological sign. About 18,620,796 have the same birthday. Based on average life expectancy as many as 248,277 people were born on the same day, in the same year, for every zodiac sign. How can one statement possibly predict the future of all of them? Ehh, fuck it. "A full moon while Venus is rising is an omen of good things to come."

Scorpio: 10/23-11/21
They say you never know how you are going to react to a crisis. After a home invasion this weekend you will: You will scream, "Do whatever you want to my wife, but leave me alone!" You will then create a distraction by throwing your newborn at the assailant as you dive through the window to safety. Now you know.

Music lost to history:

Aerosmith - Dream On When I started doing these, I could never have imagined that I would be putting an Aerosmith song here. Since I was born in 1974, this song is well before my generation. It was recorded in 1972 and released in 1983 on Aerosmith's Self-Titled Album, but to read the information on it at Wikipedia most of us would become familiar with it from a re-release in 1976.

Like most of the music being released in the late 60's/early 70's that was pushing the rock-n-roll envelope, Dream On relies heavily on solid composition and and melody. Before the era of the modern effects processor, these bands had no distortion to hide behind (or very little), and synthesized instruments hadn't yet made their way into music. In that way the music always sounds more raw to us today because, quite simply, it was. While it seems laughable to think about today, music like this was so far removed from the bubble-gum pop of the 50's that it still wasn't accepted into the mainstream. As the baby-boomers became the target demographic, the rock-n-roll movement really started to pick up speed, with bands like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith clearing the path for the much darker and heavier bands like Black Sabbath.

While I (and most of my generation) are probably far more familiar with the Aerosmith of the late 80's and early 90's, the reason this song makes it onto my MLtH page comes down to one thing: Age. Not necessarily the age of the song; In fact, as I sat down to do the research for this today, I had no idea when it was released, but would have guessed (closely) the mid 70's. Tyler was born March 26, 1948, meaning that this song was written when he was only 24 years old. I'm not sure why, but I have always thought this song was pretty amazing given his age at composition. I suppose it is human nature to wax poetic about the days of yore and the imminent passage of time, but the melody sets a mood that makes you feel it right along with him. As the song nears the end and his lyrics become more more frenzied, you can almost feel the pain (longing?) in his voice. Listen to it with headphones and no distraction sometime, you'll see what I mean.

I wrote a short bit some time ago about Kelly Sweet's cover of this song (see the video on Youtube). While I have since gotten over the initial hatred I felt towards the cover of the song, I still just can't like it. The words are there; she hits the notes; but I just can't hear it in her voice. As if there is somthing very personal about the song and Tyler's deliverance of the lyrics that just can't be duplicated. At least to me.

That said, I have heard Aerosmith doing the song with an orchestra, and it also seems to lack the passion of the original. So perhaps the thing that I like so much about it is the under-produced, raw sound of it, or it may be that I am still hearing it through the ears of that impressionable youth that heard if for the first time in a dusty old Van with my Uncle Art. Either way, it seems it is Lost to History.

Music Lost to History Archive

I Can't Believe it's Not Porn!
WhorePresents.comYep, it's not porn. It's not a site with gifts for sale either, which is probably a good thing since I can't imagine that any woman would be at all flattered to get a gift -no matter how nice- in a box that says "Whore" on it.

Daily Reading:
Magazine Man
Shane Nickerson
Wil Wheaton
Hoyazo's Poker Blog

My reading list changes from time to time, and there are many sites that I visit that are not on the list. They are listed in the order that I visit them, enjoy!

Locations of visitors to this page

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? January 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The shoplifter that made me exercise. Bastard!

It was just before midnight on a Tuesday night when I saw the kids come into the store. While I have over fifteen years in retail that makes me keenly sensitive to the signs put out by potential shoplifters, these kids were throwing out signs that anyone would have picked up on: The were both so nervous as to almost be shaking, they were looking back and forth more than I have ever seen anyone not on crystal meth do, when they saw the cashiers, their eyes went straight to the floor. Long story short, this would be a beer run, and one that was telegraphed so clearly that everyone in the store new it.

Nearly all retail stores have a fairly strict policy of not pursuing shoplifters. In the past several years several store clerks have been killed while trying to stop shoplifters, and in turn, several shoplifters have been killed by store owners who fear for their lives -a situation that only comes to bear when they have made the foolish decision to pursue the shoplifter in the first place. When it comes right down to it, there is nothing in a retail store that is worth a human life, neither the store clerk's nor the shoplifter's, and with security cameras able to catch every angle from inside a store nowadays, it really isn't necessary anyway.

All of this I know. But as I stood watching two kids, probably both between the ages of 15 and 17, so clumsily making preparations, it started to piss me off more than a bit. Being a salaried manager, my bonus comes directly from controlling profit and loss -which they were about to take a chunk out of- and maintaining a corporate set profit margin -which the loss directly effects-. I took up a post about 30 feet from the door and stared at them as they walked through the store, hoping that they would get the message. They didn't. But as they made their way to the door, someone opened it to come inside, and not having to stop to open the door gave them an extra second that I hadn't planned for when I took up my post. They were both in a dead sprint by the time they got to the door, and I had a corner to make it around plus the 30 feet to cover.

When I reached the door they were 20-25 yards ahead of me, running with, and quite possibly the funniest part of this, exactly: two 18 packs of budweiser, one 12 pack of budweiser, three 32oz bottles of gatorade, two 20oz Nestea Iced teas, and 2 bags of Cheetos Puffs. Frankly, if it had been just the beer I would have stopped at the door and let them go, but something about the random nature of the snack food just seemed so insulting that I got so angry I just couldn't. Also, they were running towards a gold Jeep Cherokee that was inexplicably parked at our fuel drop station, nearly a hundred yards from the front door. I wasn't going to let those little fuckers get away with it.

As anyone who played in sports knows, you can run much faster than your body thinks it can. While it is difficult to explain, you can overcome the limitations your body places on you more or less by willing it to be. I first discovered this back in High School while doing some distance running. Near the finish, when my legs could hardly carry me and my ribs were painfully cramped, I could call on this unforeseen reserve of energy to finish the last eighth of the lap as fast as if I was on fresh legs. I soon found that this energy could be called upon at will, and it made me a terror on the kickoff squad in football (affectionately called the meat squad), able to close the fifty yards in far less time than anyone my size had a right to. And while my body isn't conditioned like it was back then, the discipline to control it is still there.

I had to make up 20-25 yards before they made it the 70 or so yards to the safety of their vehicle. Game on. I caught up to them about 2/3 of the way to their car, and that was when I realized that I didn't really have a plan for what to do once I did. I was pretty sure they were both underage, and I wasn't (and still am not) sure what would happen to me, or the store, if I was to injure them. I smacked the beer from the hands of the larger boy, who then looked over his shoulder to see who was behind him. He yelled something I couldn't make out and the other boy threw down all he was carrying as well. Not sure what to do at this point, knowing that they would be leaving with nothing, I knew I had to let it go. Before I dropped the pursuit, in a final act of anger, I gave the big guy a firm push in the back which sent him tumbling to the ground. He was back up in a second and kept on running. The jeep that they had been running towards had long since taken off, having surely seen the pursuit, and no doubt knowing that if I was able to get their plate number it would be pretty easy to I.D. all involved, so both kids ran off the lot, through the desert landscaping, on the way to the freeway overpass. The Jeep was actually parked on that overpass waiting for them, but I had no intention of following them off the property; pursuing them into the lot was questionable at best, off the property was definitely going to get me fired.

As I began picking up the goods, which were now strewn about the parking lot, one of the clerks brought a couple of bags out to help me (the beer packages had split open when I knocked them from his hands, there were broken cans all over, but we could get credit on them, so it's all good). As we were picking the items up, he said to me, "You have amazing speed for your size." Obviously it is the last part of that line that did it. He didn't mean it like I took it, of course, but he said it all the same for my size. As we entered the store with the stuff, the other cashier said, "You're a lot faster than you look". Which is really just a variation on the same theme. I know they both meant it as a compliment, but when it hit my ears it came across as "Holy shit! Lard ass can move!"

I should take a moment here before I get into the self-deprecation to point out that at 5'10" and about 190 pounds, I am in better shape than most Americans. In this deep-fried, super-sized world though, that isn't saying a whole lot. As my weight would indicate, I am not into the range of morbidly obese. In fact I only show the weight in the form of love handles and a gut - a gut which, I am proud to say, doesn't flop over the top of my belt when I do up my pants (you know you have seen these guys who wear a 36 inch pant, even though it cuts through the flab, and the flab hides their belt buckle). And the weight fluctuates so that in the winter I usually go about 190 while in the summer it is more like 180. I know I am not in great shape, but I didn't realize the signs of it were so outward. But what really, really, got me to thinking about it was that I was winded, and couldn't even speak when I got back inside. A sprint of sixty or seventy yards had never done that to me before...

If my being out of shape were purely aesthetic, I would probably let it go. At least until 200 pounds. That is a deal that I made to myself long ago: If I ever hit 200 there must be a regiment of diet and exercise put into place to get me back below that mark. The 1000 pound man, I reasoned, must have crossed that 200 mark at some point, and if he had taken action then it wouldn't have come to a bed-ridden existence. It was the breathing and heart-rate that really had me concerned. At 34 years old, I shouldn't be winded with chest pounding after such a small exertion. I'm not sure what role adrenaline may have played in all this, but regardless, for my health something must be done.

I don't have the time or inclination to go to a gym, so I needed to find some sort of cardio training for the home. The first thing that came to mind was an elliptical machine. I spent a couple hours online reading reviews and found a couple that seemed to be pretty good value for the price at Wal-Mart. I looked at a few of them in store, and while they seemed sturdy enough, they were just so loud and clunky. I looked at some that cost a bit more money at Sears, including a Nordic Track, but it was just as loud and clunky as the others. I am at my most active between 2 and 4am, while my wife is asleep and I am winding down from work, and every machine that I looked at was loud enough that I feared it would wake her up if I used it. So I decided to just go with a simple treadmill.

I went for a low-end treadmill for several reasons. First, I'm not as young as I used to be, and one of my knees has been pretty screwed up since high school. I can certainly work through the pain now, but if the impact should become a problem in the future, I don't want to have a huge investment in the thing. Second, I'm not sure just how much use I am going to get out of it. Hopefully I will continue to use this thing as preventive maintenance for my body, but I am enough of a realist to admit that I may not. Third, it is just a motor and a piece of tread, all the rest is just frills. Why does one cost 300 and one cost 1000? Can the motor or tread really be 3x better? I guess I'll find that out in the future, and I will hope the answer is no.

And now to the whole point of this post. I had no idea just how bad of shape I was in until I got on the damn thing. Thinking I was in better shape than most (I think a lot of us walk around with that delusion) I set the incline to max, which is only 9% and started the first workout plan. 6 minutes into it I felt like I had a dagger under my ribs on the left side (a cramp) and my legs couldn't take it anymore. I adjusted the incline to the middle setting 6% and slowed it down to 4mph (a slow jog, or a really fast walk) and still only made it a total of 9 minutes before I had to give up. I had to give up from the pain in my shins though, and if you ever played sports on a hard surface you know that the shin splints hurt like hell. If you stop when you first start feeling them you won't be in debilitating pain the next day. So for the immediate future the plan is to use shortly every day until my shins can take a full thirty minute workout. Then I will probably get into an every other day, 30minute type thing.

So, 189 pounds and winded after 10 minutes to start. I'll check back later.


June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   July 2007   October 2007   December 2007   February 2008   August 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   July 2009   August 2009   October 2009   November 2009  

All site content is © Donnie Burgess 2006-2009
Site design was stolen directly from Blackchampagne.