DYI – Common Scale Verification Weights You Already Have

If you use a small scale, it is a good idea to occasionally verify the scale. You do not want to cheat yourself, have an angry customer, or have to resend a package because the weight was off. Here are a few simple options you can try out.

If you live in the U.S.A. you can use quarters. Each quarter weighs for all practical purposes .2 ounces. That means there are five quarters to 1 ounce. Every five quarters you add is another ounce. Keep your quarters into a snack size bag and you won’t have to count them out, or be inconvenienced by going to the bank to get quarters.

You May Use Quarters for Weight Scale Verification

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A package of meat from the store will also get you close. All cuts of meat and hamburger meat sold over the counter is weighed for proper pricing. The package of whatever meat you buy will weigh the printed weight. When you are going too use the meat, weigh the meat by itself on a piece of plastic wrap on your scale. If there is no liquid left in the packaging, your scale will be calibrated to the meat market scale. This method also keeps the butcher shop honest.

If you buy prepackaged meat or any other product, there is always a range of weight. A pound of lunch-meat is rarely 10 ounces. Usually it will be somewhere between 15.5 and 16.5 ounces. Same with canned goods, or bottled liquids. The wight they show is part of a range of acceptable weight, usually, but not always no the lighter side of the weight. Because the products are packaged at high speed, the manufacturer wants and overall correct weight, not a precise weight on each item.

If you really want to get exotic, a dry measure cup of table salt weighs about 10.6 ounces. If you use granulated sugar, a dry measure cup weighs about 4 ounces.

If you have a very light weight plastic bottle with a seal-able lid, you can use water to verify your scale. One-quarter cup of water measured correctly is 2 ounces. One cup of water is 8 ounces. Two cups of water is 16 ounces, or one pound.

One last and easiest method, where you do not have to bother with measuring and finding the weight, is after your scale is verified, pick a couple of nick-knacks, piece of unused silverware, glass, coffee mug, or any rarely used household item and weigh it. Write down the item and the weigh. Use a variety of weights depending on your scale. This way when you next go to verify your scales calibration, you will have the items handy, and the weights verified.

Of course if you need ultra precise weights for your scale calibration, you will need to purchase calibrated weights. If you are selling through a web page on the internet, adding an ounce to the shipping weight will be sufficient for almost any calibration verified scale.

Using a little creativity, you will never be surprised to find your online customer had to pay out of pocket for additional shipping because your scale was off, or have a package returned because the postage was not adequate.

Are Valuables in Your Locker Only Worth a Cheap Lock?

This is an important post if you use a locker without a padlock in a public place. I was oblivious to the difference in lock quality until I started going to the gym again. The wall poster showing recommended locks, and a notice that locker theft does happen, was a wake up call. Before that day, I was one of the people who thought any cheap lock was okay. I now know what is in my wallet is worth far more than the price of any lock I buy.

Lock choices I see in the gym locker room run the gamut from cheap children’s diary locks, TSA approved locks, three dollar padlocks to top of the line $150.00+ locks. Care to venture a guess as to what the most common locks are? Any lock under $8.00 for some reason. Though one of the gyms has a poster of locks they recommend and cheap locks are not on the approved list. I guess most gym locker users figure the poster is for other people and not them.

How much is your wallet or purse worth?

Some people, mostly Women feeling especially robbery conscious, park their car, open their trunk, and put their purse or other valuables in the trunk of their car. The idea is brilliant, except, there are probably thieves sitting in a car looking for someone doing this. A Woman recently arrested here in town is known to have broken into twelve cars in the last few months, and suspected in many more. The police cautioned of groups that specialize in robbing cars at gyms.

When conditions were right, the thief was in the car, into the trunk through the back seat and walking out of a big box store thirty minutes later with over one thousand dollars of merchandise, paid for with stolen credit cards. The big box store had videos of this happening, yet the Woman was successful several later times after she was found out. I imagine any credit cards not used were sold to another thief to use. Who knows about drivers license, medical cards, insurance cards, etc.

Back to the gym, the cheapest of lock can be opened with a shoelace. Other locks can be easily shimmed. Combination locks can be opened as quickly as forty seconds. You may take a look on youtube for lock videos if you wish. I did and I was shocked.

That was the day I put my $8.00 combo lock in the drawer and went to a lock shop and bought a serious lock. I started online, but customer ratings and review numbers are not an indication of how a secure a lock is. They are really only a price point ratio, imo. So I went to a brick and mortar store.

As the store owner told me, even the lock I bought isn’t impervious to being opened without a key. Due to the construction, I was told it can not be shimmed, and would take a professional some amount of time to pick it open. More than the minute or so, a group of thieves in a gym have. The object, I was told is making other lockers with cheap locks on them easier targets; which is the real purpose of a good lock.

How much should you pay for a lock? I am not the person to ask. I can say after shopping online, I went to a local locksmith and looked at a large selection of locks before making a purchase. I was shown about ten different locks, and eliminated five right away because I saw them shimmed on youtube videos. Of the four locks left I was told they were good locks, and it was more likely the locker would be damaged before the lock could be picked.

What does a stolen identity cost?

Of those, two locks were just too large for a gym locker. That left two locks to choose from. I asked if one had an advantage over the other, and which one would the business use. You need to decide what is the right lock for you. If you are using a cheap key or combo lock, it is only a matter of time before the contents of your locker will be stolen. How much will it cost to replace what would be taken?

Senior HIT Weight Exercise Update

If you want to… So much follows those few words. Little partial phrases like: lose weight, feel younger, get flexible, be stronger. Well, you get the idea. This is a followup to my post, “Over Fifty? Exercise is not an Option”. You really do not have to read that post to benefit from this one. But you may want to….

In the book, “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley & Henry S Lodge, M.D , the authors postulate over two-thirds of, “Old Age Disease” is avoidable, and is brought on by lack of exercise. Imagine that, over seven out of ten people in a nursing home are there because they choose to be, not because they have to be.

I do not have references for this, but information should be easy to find if you search on, ‘exercise and aging’. One study I read, took ten people out of a nursing home who were wheel chair bound. After some weeks, most of them were out of their wheel chairs and could dance and enjoy lawn games outside! One man was climbing trees again! Current estimates on aging say that after sixty, almost thirty percent of your life remains! How do you wish to spend those years, living life, or getting ready to die?

A month before my post I referenced above, I had slowed way down. Bending to the floor was a process, not a movement. My shoulders and hips hurt, I had ghost pains, and I was more tired than I should be. When I wrote the post, I had about a month at the gym doing High Intensity Training with Weight Machines. I was feeling slightly sore in places I had forgotten about, and was wondering if it was all worth it as I wasn’t noticing a lot of improvement. Then the changes started!

I kept at it, and I can say it was worth every minute I have spend in the gym. I am more solid now. I have more strength and energy, and I sleep better. The only pain or discomfort I feel lately is the night of and day after the gym when some of my muscles are complain about the workout.

I am slowly working my down to failure at 5 – 8 slow repetitions using the weight machines. On most of the weight machines I have doubled or more the weight I am able to manage at the end of my first month. I thought I was done adding weights until I received a flu shot a few weeks ago. This years flu shot had me feeling less than stellar for almost a full week. Not really sick, just not good, nor energetic.

When I went back to the gym after a week of no gym, to my surprise, I almost doubled some of the weights. I think I am going to take a week off in the future every six or so weeks to let my body really recover. I think being older, real recovery takes longer. I was resting three days between HIT Weight Training, but maybe that is too fast for me just starting out. I will know more next long break.

Weight Training Machines are your Friends!

Weight Training Machines are simple to use, usually have pictures of how to use them. Stick to the basic machines, no need to try them all. Some could get you hurt, especially those that stress knee or shoulder joints should be avoided. Search youtube for weight machines to avoid for more. Start with the minimum weight, and add ten pounds only when you go through three workouts in a row with no pain or soreness.

Move slowly. Slow motion is safe motion. Do not jerk and move rapidly like most of the people you see around you in the gym. Most of them are working their way to pain or injury, and will stop going. Don’t go there! Slow and steady movements, maybe three to eight seconds each direction, and after some months, others will be looking at the amount of weight you move!

After ensuring I am loosened up, I use two leg, and one arm weight machines. Then I use a stationary bicycle for thirty to forty minutes depending on the amount of time I have, keeping my heart rate up. Next I do an ‘Ab’ crunch machine, and three upper body and arm machines. I am done in an hour or less. If I wanted to cut the time to thirty minutes, I could do weights one day, and cardio on a second or third day.

I have gained so much! I thought HIT Walking is an excellent exercise, but it doesn’t hold a candle to HIT Weights. As I mentioned I have little pain, except minor workout soreness. I have flexibility I never saw while walking, even HIT Walking. The floor is no farther away now than it was when I was twenty. Balance and body awareness is much improved! I have also lost a few pounds while watching my muscles grow.

Sleeping as I mentioned is improved. I do wake up occasionally the night of going to the gym, but it is tired muscle from exercise, and not nerves getting irritated because there is so little muscle to hold joints in place. Whether you are a Teen, Forty or Sixty Plus, you set your life direction by the amount of exercise you do each week – exercise, not work. If life in a wheel chair in a nursing home sounds good, don’t bother exercising. If you want to enjoy life as you did before you started school as a child, get out there and and play with some weight machines!

Over Fifty? Exercise is not an Option

Okay, time to come clean and do some sharing. I don’t like being old. I especially do not like feeling old. If you have read anything in any of my Diet and Exercise posts, you know I am a big fan of walking. Exercise is so important for us all and especially the over fifty crowd.

As my Doctor saw I turned fifty he said, “The good times are over, get used to it.” I was devastated. He must be joking. I’m only fifty, I am not getting ready to go make my funeral arrangements. Once the shock of what he told me wore off, I started investigating.

It does seem around fifty is when, if we allow it we start to degrade and fall apart. It gets worse. How fast we degrade and fall apart is totally dependent on how little or much we do to keep body in good condition. It like what the caption on one of my diet and exercise cartoon posts:

“What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?” – Randy Glasbergen February 20, 1957 – August 11, 2015

I didn’t believe it then, but I am a member of the choir now. Simply put, enough can not be said about the importance of real exercise for everyone, especially for people over fifty. Think about how you feel. Everything is getting a little harder, a little more frustrating?

Standing in a static position used to be a non issue, suddenly after thirty seconds something starts to hurt? After a minute, it really gets painful! Yard work that used to be so relaxing, has taken on the proportions of a mammoth undertaking? No pun intended, but if it is strenuous yard work you are doing, you may start to feel feel you are on the way to the undertaker.

When did all this happen? Where did these pains, creaks, and cracks come from? They started the day you sat or laid down on the couch instead of going out and doing something! Little by little we tone down our activities from the mostly physical, to couch surfing.

What I have read many times in books is true. Up until the last hundred years, we had to work for our food. We had to hunt and gather. We had to walk miles and carry heavy pieces of meat back home. We had to carry all our gathered fruits and vegetables, sometimes miles back to our home. After a few days lounging around, we had to do it again.

As we grew older, we aged little – on the inside. Not like today, where it is acceptable too slowly degrade to a cane, a wheel chair, a hospital bed, and death. A few generations ago, if we did not hunt and gather, we didn’t live long enough to get old. We exercised as a life style, not for something to do.

For some people growing weak and decrepit is acceptable. That’s what their folks did, so it must be normal. In just a few generations we have forgotten, what it’s like to live a full life until almost the end and then fall apart quickly. Why anyone would want to live the life of someone in there late eighties for the last twenty years of their life is beyond me!

The More you exercise, the better life you live!

I know from repeated personal experience, if you want to feel twenty years younger in a few weeks, start walking three to four miles every day, and/or join a gym and use it. It is amazing how those painful joints, creaks, and cracks go away in a few weeks of exercise. Those heavy boxes, suddenly are twenty pounds lighter. Yard work is no longer punishment. Wow.

In short the joy in life is back! All it takes is a three week start on a life long plan of getting as much exercise as you can manage. You may feel like you have been hit by a truck when you start. If so, take two aspirin, and slow down. It took all your life to get in this bad of shape, take a few months of going slowly but steadily to get your body back a healthy state.

Find things you like to do that can be counted as real exercise. Mix weights with some walking, rowing, hiking, anything that gets your heart beating faster for more than a few seconds.

While you are doing all this, you may want to think about foods you are putting in your mouth. Just like the old computer saying, “Garbage in, Garbage out”, the food you eat effects you more now than it ever did.

I used to have pizza and beer some days for lunch and dinner, but those days are long gone. As Clint Eastwood said in one of his movies, “A Man has got to know his limits.” This applies especially with eating. I like feeling my heart beat.

Women, until menopause, it is thought (or was) have a somewhat natural immunity to bad diet and lifestyle. Men never did, it just gets worse faster over fifty. Sitting at a desk all day, typing, does need the calorie intake of a day laborer. You do not need a doughnut to start your morning. On the other hand, a day laborer over forty, should find something healthier to eat than burgers and fries.

So back to me, my come clean and share. This spring, I was walking over fifteen miles a week, and doing HIT – running and walking, feeling really good. That lasted until about the end of May. Then it started getting really hot on the walking path. Then it got hotter. A few days later, it became no fun. Baking in the sun, feeling the hot asphalt through my tennis shoes. I stopped walking because I didn’t want to be up at five to do it. – Like I couldn’t go out at eight or nine. What a sad excuse…

The end of May, June, and July came and went. By the end of July, I was starting to feel old. I hurt, the couch hurt, the bed hurt, my knees hurt. One shoulder and ankle joints were occasionally cracking as I moved. I was really feeling old. I was falling apart fast.

Three weeks ago, I had enough. I joined a gym for the whopping fee of $13.00 a month! Weight machines, stationary bicycles, treadmills, rowing machines and a shower to boot! In just a little over twenty-one days, I can’t say I feel like I am twenty. I can say I feel like I am forty again.

If I hadn’t been walking all these years, I would have thought how I was feeling was normal. Thankfully, due in part to my old doctor and his doom and gloom statement, I knew it was a small matter of exercise to knock off a few decades of how I feel.

I am working on what exactly is the best plan for the gym. Should I do cardio one trip and weights the next, or do them both on the same visit? I am not sure yet. I do know that in a month from now, I will have refined what I do and how I do it.

I want to have fun and feel young again. I want to have a low pulse rate, be as flexible as is reasonable, and be able to pick and move heavy items when I need to. In wrapping up, at any age, you define your own health and fitness. They are a package deal. The older you get the more important they become. Once you reach or drive by fifty, you have two choices.

You can choose to keep as fit and by default as healthy as you can be, or you can develop age and sedentary related problems as you slowly fall apart, living in pain while you wait to die.

While I wrote this for anyone over fifty, it applies to the younger crowd as well. Do you want to live your best live, or just survive? The choice is yours.

Change What You Eat, Get Healthy – Final

We will start off with foods you should be eating daily. Types of foods may vary by quality of what you can afford or what is available, but it is important to include as many of the high quality foods as possible.

High quality foods are powerhouse foods. They have the most benefit per ounce, benefits being nutrients your body needs, fiber, or healthy fats. Eating the correct type of fat is very important, but secondary to fat itself. You need about 30% fat by calories in your diet to be healthy. Fat also keeps you warm and feeling full.

When it comes to vegetables, color is most important. The more colors you can eat daily, the better you will feel. When the choices are available, eat orange, green and red vegetables. Here are some of the best examples:

Cooked vegetables: Yams, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Beets, Tomatoes, Greens, Carrots and Peas for example.

Raw vegetables: Tomatoes, Peas, Broccoli, Romaine Lettuce and general Greens for example.

In general vegetable are only limited by what you choose to eat. There are very few bad vegetables in general.

In the winter, you want to eat more root vegetables, and in the summer more above ground vegetables. Root vegetable examples are yams, carrots, potatoes. Any vegetable where the part we eat grows in the dirt underground.

In the summer, you want to eat more above ground vegetables. Above ground vegetable examples, are tomatoes, peas, green beans. Any vegetable where it is picked from a plant and not dug up,

Common nutrient poor foods: Iceberg Lettuce, Bread, Flour Tortillas, Most White Potatoes, Rice, Milk.

Shrimp and Lobster for some people raise Cholesterol, so do not eat them often.

Really Bad food choices: Butter (more than on bread, in oatmeal, or on vegetables), Candy bars, Soda of any type, Fruit Juice, Grapes, white potatoes. The reason these are bad, is they are all very low in nutrients (vitamins and minerals), and very high in starch and/or sugar.

Here is a short list of do’s and dont’s for eating:

1. Don’t only eat low or no fat foods

2. Eat real food, not processed foods

3. Don’t eat food you don’t like

4. Very little Grains, Potatoes, Sugars – Honey is sugar.

This may sound really confusing, but it will become easier as you get used to eating better. If you pay attention to how you feel, you will find you feel better and you won’t want to eat junk foods.

Think of a plate divided into four. You can label them 1, 2, 3, 4 and it doesn’t matter which one you call number one. When you start to cook, or put food on your plate, this is what you do:

1. This is the section for meat – beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs. The piece of meat should be about the size of your palm. Some type of meat or eggs should be eaten with every meal.

2. & 3. This is the section for your vegetables. Any vegetables are good, cooked or raw. No potatoes here.

4. This is for your good carbs: Cooked Yams (mashed or cut into pieces), oatmeal (cooked or granola, Red or Yukon Gold potatoes – NOT Plain White potatoes like Idaho potatoes for example, Squash.

4. You can substitute fruit if you want in number four. Fresh fruit, no juice. Melon of any type that is non-gmo or organic, Strawberries, Blueberries, Kiwi, Bananas, Watermelon, Apples – Gala or Honey Crisp, Peaches, Fresh Cherries, Figs & Dates (a small amount), Raspberries, etc. Little or no citrus fruits as they are high in sugar and low in nutrients. Keep the peelings on if peelings are normally eaten.
Vegetables and Fruits – You can buy fruits in two ways: 1.) If you buy fruit that is peeled, like bananas, it doesn’t matter if they are non-gmo or organic. Pesticides sprayed on is thrown away with the peel. 2.) Apples, pears and such, because you should eat the peel, should be organic or washed in cool water and dish soap before eating if not organic.

Snacks – Whole nuts, Apples, Pears, occasional Banana and oranges, Mango, Plums, Cherries (limited), etc. Notice these are not sugary fruits like pineapple. Dark semi sweet Chocolate is an excellent choice, and recommended these days. No more than two ounces per day.

Healthy Food is usually more than food in a bag, paper wrap or a to go container

Now let’s discuss what else you need:

Oil – Olive, Avocado or Olive & Avocado mixed. Nut oils are healthy, but expensive and must be refrigerated. Corn oil is generally unhealthy

Morton iodized salt – Sea salt, I found out, lacks iodine which we all need. In the early 1900’s in the U.S, people died from lack of iodine in their diet.

Whole pepper and a pepper grinder. Some spice companies sell an all in one, this is what I use.

Garlic Powder – not garlic salt

Any other spices you like.

Cooking choices – A lot of people like to fry their vegetables because this is how Chinese food is cooked. Chinese Restaurants fry vegetables because it is the easiest, fastest, and fairly cheap. The best way to cook vegetables is steam or boil them. Vegetables are healthiest when they are cooked, but not soggy.

Meats are healthiest cooked the same way. Of course steamed meat is not very tasty. Simmering/boiling meat is healthiest, followed by baked, and fried is last. BBQ’ing meat is okay, but they have found that BBQ meat can cause cancer over time if the meat is burned or crunchy. This usually happens by trying to cook BBQ meats too fast.

General: You want to eat four cups vegetables every day to be healthiest. You also may get an upset stomach or diarrhea if you suddenly start eating four or more cups of vegetables right away. Here is a plan for this:

1.) Week one goal is one cup vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

2.) Week two goal is two cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

3.) Week three goal is three cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.

4.) Week four and beyond goal is four cups vegetables, one cup root vegetables, and one cup fruit each day.
Eat more soup. Vegetable soup with beef or chicken is very filling, and quite healthy. Soup is a good way to use a lot of vegetables. If you want to make stew, use corn starch instead of flour to thicken it. Put about a tablespoon of corn starch in a shallow bowl. Add some cool water to make it runny. Stir it in when soup or stew is simmering. Keep stirring for about a minute. Repeat if needed, until you learn how much you need.

Eventually, you may get to the point where the idea of eating a certain vegetable makes you want to gag. This is normal, and a very good thing. It is your body telling you that at last, you have enough vitamins and minerals and do not need to eat a particular vegetable.

As you pay attention to your body and what it wants, you will know when you want to eat a particular vegetable again. Just don’t confuse, your body not wanting something with you not wanting to eat it. You must think of your body like a car. It needs good gas and quality oil. If you don’t put gas in your car, it stops running, if you stop adding oil, it breaks down.

Especially starting out, you may find you don’t want to eat certain foods. For example, you don’t want to eat more vegetables. This is normal too. Change is difficult. Stick with it. You are changing your eating habits, and it takes time. Usually around three weeks before it becomes the new normal.

You will notice after about a month, some foods lose their appeal. For example, you might really like Little Debbie snack cakes, and as time goes by they aren’t as good as they used to be. The reason for this is junk food companies are really sneaky.

A lot of junk food has vitamins and minerals in it that we all need! Because the average person’s diet is so poor, junk food replaces vegetables as the main source of vitamins and minerals. Our bodies are interesting. For example, if you do not eat enough salt, (about 1/2 teaspoon a day if not doing heavy labor), but you eat bacon that is cured with salt, your body will crave unhealthy amounts of bacon because salty bacon is your bodies only source of salt.

Be aware of any cravings you have now. If it is for a certain junk food(s) you find yourself eating daily, your body is lacking in nutrients that the junk food is supplying! You body will crave all kinds of fatty unhealthy foods if they contain something it needs to function.

Water is the best drink. Of course most people can not live on water alone for a drink. Green Tea, Black Tea Coffee are okay, with coffee falling in and out of the good for you drinks list. “Sobe” type drinks if low or no sugar are okay. Soda Pop and especially Diet Soda is horrible for you. Fruit drinks and juices are really flavored sugar water and should be avoided, unless they are melon juices. Diet soda is thought to destroy essential microbes in your intestines.

Speaking of Microbes and Biome. Microbes and Biome are what make your intestines work. We each have about three pounds of them and they number in the billions. You got your first Biomes from your Mom when you where born. As you change what and how you eat, your microbes and Biome will change slowly. It may seem like you have really sunny diarrhea, but Biome change out and flush is what is really going on. This may happen every couple of weeks, and is normal.

A month from now, you can check to see if you are eating correctly. Get the inner pot from a crock pot with a lid from Good Will. A normal size crock pot liner. You should fill this with vegetable scraps at least once per week, of you are eating really well. This is compost and you can start a compost pile with it, if you wish. If not a gardener will be happy to have your vegetable scraps.

Finally, we live in the real world. Some days, someone will serve you cake, a donut, cookies, etc. Unless you want to punish yourself, go ahead and eat it. Draw the line at Soda of any type. Pay attention to coffee. Black coffee tends to make people feel, ‘hungry’. Put a little cream in your coffee to cut the acid.

If you “have” to eat pizza, tortillas, Mexican food, sweets, or other unhealthy foods, put them in a food schedule. Say Saturday is your day for Mexican food. Monday you eat some candy bar you really like. Thursday is pizza day. The only thing you want do when eating these foods, is eat them as early in the day as possible, and do not over eat. Food like these are treats and not everyday foods with the exception of Mexican food. Eat them at lunch time and limit the fat content in your dinner.

Mexican food can be made at home in a healthy way. Most of Mexico is proof of this. Use healthy low fat meat and very little cheese. Make re-fried beans just mashed beans with no oil. Limit beans and rice to less than 3/4 cup each. Use corn tortilla instead of flour tortilla.