6mm-Minis

6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

HUMOUR: History & Humour At the Gym!

Hi Everyone,

I got a shock about two weeks ago... I went to donate blood, a long-time habit, and one of my favorite good deeds (mitzvah or mitzvot in Hebrew) when I was deferred for high blood pressure. And I've known that my blood pressure was high for sometime, but the doctor always tells me that it's nothing to worry about and to just make sure that I take care of the big three of blood pressure:

1. Diet
2. Exercise
3. Stress / hereditary conditions

Well, you can do something about diet and exercise, but you can only manage, not control, your hereditary health conditions and stress so I resolved to do what I could. I've donated over seven gallons of my blood over the years and I don't want to stop. I made a New Year's resolution last year that I didn't keep... to go to the gym at least three times a week. Last year was a stressful one and I ended up pushing that one to the side.

If that's too depressing, check out this uplifting video from AISH.COM:

http://www.aish.com/movies/highh.asp

And for my non-Jewish friends, the advice that isn't specifically Jewish is good for everyone, but I felt like some Jewish jokes today.

Well, I no longer have a choice anymore so I polished off the gym membership card and resolved to head there every day and I have. I think that I'm going to let myself have Wednesday nights off to game. Other than that, no break unless I substitute another healthy activity like hiking.

And the below picture is how I usually feel at the gym. I'm the person being "worked."

So, I've been finding myself at the gym every night.

And the below photo is of the gym I probably ought to be heading to:

And normally that's not such a good thing as my last gym was a meat market... all beautiful in-shape people ogling one another. And that's OK... I mean who doesn't want to be surrounded by beautiful people, but it can be annoying when you just come to work out and were hoping to see a few like-minded folks about... no bonfire of the vanities.

Here's a couple of folks (below photo) that look like they worked out at my last gym:

Well, my new gym is a lot different. For one, normal people go there... and by normal people, I mean out-of-shape folks, middle-aged folks, retirees, people of vastly different health levels and ages. I've been a heck of a lot more comfortable now that I'm in such a varied environment.

The people at the new gym look normal and wear T-shirts and sweatpants instead of spandex and tank tops. They look more like this (below photo):

Well, one of the affectations I picked up studying Russian culture and having spent my time there was a love for saunas, the steam room, the dry heat and all that that entails. So I find myself there at the end of every evening after my work out. And if there is one place that is the "social central" of any gym, the dry spa would be it. I've met Korean grandmothers, hippie meditators, total stud muffins, a young lady bodybuilder, men with canes, two older Ukrainian ladies who gave me tips on facial skin care, a kindly African-American body builder, and yesterday was the day of days...

I met Mike, Charlie and the "Chief."

I met Mike after he ended up on the exercise bike next to mine. He forgot his glasses or left them in the car and couldn't read the machine so I helped him (by reading those tiny red electronic numbers and letters) and we ended up chatting. He's an automobile insurance claims man with All State Insurance and a happily married man for twenty-five years. He also has two happy children. I always enjoy hearing a happy story and I ended up tagging along with him. We finished on the bikes and I followed his abdomen and upper body routines.

Check out this video to get an idea how Mike must have felt on that exercise bike without his glasses:

http://grouper.com/GlobalMedia/MediaDetails.aspx?id=559558

Then we were done and headed for the steam room.

And the gist of this story is that Mike and I met not one, but two veterans yesterday... both veterans of both the Korean and the Vietnam Wars. And both Air Force.

The "Chief" was already in there spinning stories while tolerating the heat.

And Charlie, an older Asian-American gentleman, came in and joined the conversation.

We talked about children, the service, the neighborhood and a variety of other things. And it was great.

Just when things seem hopeless, I get this uplifting conversation and a reminder from the past to keep on going and to remember to keep building my own legacy for the future generations. I really enjoyed hearing the stories from these venerated elders and enjoyed joining their conversations.

And I really enjoyed hearing from a group of folks that loved the USA. I hear a lot from folks who complain about what a terrible country the USA is and wish that they'd never immigrated here, but they stay... and forget why they came. This group of gentlemen was different... they remember why they live in the USA and have made the best of their lives here to date.

To learn more about the Korean War, please check out these links:

http://www.korean-war.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War

So, now I'm feeling more like the (below photo):

And, yes, I do really like Chuck Norris!

Have a great Wednesday!

Shalom,
Maksim-Smelchak.

P.S. In honor of Passover, well... having passed, I give you the ILL Matzahbrise!

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