Jack LaLanne - the Godfather of Fitness

This blog was written several years ago but I wanted to remind you of Jack LaLanne...the American fitness guru who died Sunday, January 23, 2011 at his home in Morrow Bay, California of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. He was 96 years old.

Remember the handsome guy in tight tights doing handstands on a chair on early TV? He promoted fitness as a young man and brought physical fitness and healthful living to TV.

Jack LaLanne, born Francois Henri LaLanne on September 26, 1914 in San Francisco, California, the son of French immigrants is an American fitness, exercise and nutritional expert, celebrity, lecturer and motivational speaker. He admits that as a child he was addicted to sugar and junk foods. He was very troubled as a teenager and prone to rages.

However, at age 15 he heard a talk on health and nutrition which was simple but had a powerful influence on the troubled boy. He decided to focus on his diet and exercise habits, concentrating on bodybuilding and weightlifting, which in the 1930s, was uncommon.

Jack gained worldwide renown for his success as a bodybuilder as well as his prodigious feats of strength. He had planned to become a chiropractor, but in 1936 decided to open his own health spa (gym) and encouraged clients to better themselves through weight-training.

He designed the first leg extension machines, pulley machines using cables and weight selectors which are now standard in the fitness industry. He also encouraged women to lift weights (in spite of the fact that at that time, it was thought that this would make women look masculine and unattractive.)

Between 1951 and 1984, LaLanne presented fitness and exercise advice on television. “The Jack Lalanne Show” was the first ever television program devoted to exercise Critics said the show would be off the air in six weeks, but it lasted 34 years.

After his TV show ended, LaLanne remained in the public eye with a series of fitness stunts, usually performed on his birthday. In 1955, he swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco, while wearing handcuffs.

In 1991, for his 70th birthday, he swam a mile while shackled to 70 boats carrying 70 people. Now in his 90s, LaLanne is still in excellent health. He says he has not missed a day of workouts -- or had a sugary dessert -- since 1930. He still appears on television, selling his Jack LaLanne Power Juicers.

At age 93, he continued to work out every morning for two hours. He spent one and a half hours in the weight room and a half an hour in the pool. Jack and his wife, Elaine, age 80, live in Morro Bay, California. "I don't care how old I live", he says, "I just want to be living while I am living!"

In a 2004 interview, at the age of 90, he said he has "an active sex life"

Worlds Greatest Hobby - Model Railroading

Ken and I went to a model train show this week end….Ken’s hobby is 0 scale model trains and this was one of the biggest shows we’ve ever attended. Along with the detailed train layouts one of the things that really impressed me were the logo mats and especially the logo canopy over one of the exhibits.

The logo canopy pictured a beautifully detailed Lionel model train. It was so pretty that it caught everyone’s attention….”oh yeah, here’s where the Lionel trains are!” And drew people like a magnet.

I don’t usually pay attention to trade show carpet or trade show flooring, but I couldn’t help thinking that it really made the whole place look classy. Many dealers or sellers do not realize what a variety of colors, shapes and styles logo mats come in, and how a printed logo canopy can draw attention to their booth.

The “World Greatest Hobby – Model Railroading” show was full of colors….both on the floor and the booths. Of course, we bought, bought and bought. You know what they say “the difference between men and boys is usually the cost of their toys”…..men’s toys tend to cost A LOT!

Andrew, The Future Amtrac Engineer

Have a pint-sized train enthusiast in the family? Our 3 year old grandson Andrew loves his train cap, bandana and of course the wooden train whistle. He does his best to sound like a train whistle but he needs a little more ummpth when he blows! He chugs around the house pretending to be his favorite TV character Thomas the Train. Or sometimes Percy.....his 2nd most favorite.

I have two engineer train hat, bandana and whistle sets for sale....one with a red bandana and one with blue. They are new, never worn or blown.. The bandanas are triangular and are 29" x 19" x 19". They are one thickness since the square bandanas doubled over made it too bulky for a child.

The Engineer's hat is adjustable in the back to allow room for growth! The wooden whistle is 6" long.

The set costs $12.00 including postage. Contact me at jeanjb@cox.net if you would like one.

Who Doesn't Love a Train?

Who Doesn't Love a Train?

Guest post written by Mikel Trevino

Like most stay at home moms, time can sometimes feel like the enemy as I try to get everything done. My three year old son is very curious and is more than willing to follow me around the house interviewing me on life, hobbies, nature, basically anything that crosses his mind. That is, unless his friend Thomas is on the TV with programming from TVByDirect.com.

We watch many children's programs, but the animated show, “Thomas and Friends” is my grandson's favorite. It miraculously holds his attention for the entire half hour. With satellite television, we get to watch the show twice a day.

Thomas is a little blue train, who lives on an island with his friends. What I enjoy about the show is the subtle way it teaches moral lessons. Each episode tells two stories about Thomas' adventures. The stories tend to share a theme, usually helping others. Thomas, or one of his friends, will be faced with an objective as simple as moving cargo, or as complicated as being envious of another. The friends come together in the end, offering support and advice to resolve the issue.

I think helps my son to be more social. If Thomas can make friends, he can too. It also makes my job a little easier. Even if I can't recall which Thomas episode is relevant, when he's angry or acting selfish, I can remind him of what Thomas would do.