Showing posts with label Swimming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Swimming. Show all posts

July 18, 2019

When People Can't Admit They're Wrong

So he's a story from the pool today...

I'm doing my laps minding my own business.

And this guy gets to the pool, sits down, and immediately pulls out his cellphone.

Then he proceeds to literally yell into his phone for probably a good half an hour. 

I'm doing my laps and I can hear this guy yelling:

- At his end of the pool 

- ALL the way at the opposite end of the pool

- With earplugs

- AND even underwater

And he goes on and on and on. 

Doesn't stop for even a breath of air. 

Now, in all the years swimming, I've never had to approach someone about their behavior like this.

BUT this was too much as my head was pounding from his incessant yelling.

I waited until he finished his call. 

And it happened to coincide with me finishing my laps. 

I come out of the pool and grabbed my stuff. 

I have to pass him on the way out. 

And I'm still debating with myself whether this schlemiel is even worth it. 

My head is still throbbing from his yelling.

I stop in front of his chair. 

Now he's pulled out a book and is trying to read. 

I say:
Excuse me.
He knows he did something wrong, and he barely looks up, trying to ignore me. 

I say again:
Excuse me. Did you intend for everyone at the pool to hear your ENTIRE conversation?

He starts murmuring something, and then says throwing it back on me:
What's the problem?

So I say:
You were speaking so loud, I could hear you all the way on the opposite end of the pool.  I could even hear you under the water. 

He's agitating now and he says:
Well, I was speaking to someone 85-years old who doesn't hear well.  You get it?

So I say respectfully:
I am sorry that he doesn't hear well, but does everyone else here around the pool also need to hear the conversation? 

Then he says:
So what--I don't care if everyone hears.

I try one more time.
Do you see all these other people trying to read, rest, swim--do you at all care?

He still can't get himself to come around, and instead doubles down and says, 
Well. I'll do whatever I want!

Now, I've had enough, and I say:
So basically you don't give a shit for ANY of your neighbors, do you?

Finally, he must of been embarrassed enough at his terrible behavior, and he backs down and says:
Next time he calls me, I'll take the conversation inside!

At which point, he goes back to his book, and I complete my exit. 

It took all that just to get him to say he'll handle it differently next time and basically be respectful of his neighbors and not a selfish pig!

It's amazing--some people really just can't own up to when they are being a jerk.

But I was glad this guy finally came around--maybe there is still hope. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 5, 2019

Swimming In Florida

In lovely Florida.

Hit the swimming pool.

About to do my laps.

I got my gear and ready to rock and roll.

Please G-d, we'll spend the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (commemorating when we got the Torah) together here as a family.

What more can I ask.

Happy and grateful. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dossy Blumenthal)
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December 25, 2018

See You Later Florida

Love coming to Florida. 

Not a far flight.

Sun shines bright.

Water is blue. 

Birds, fish, and animals like a zoo. 

Nature is peaceful.

Shopping is plentiful. 

Activities day and night.

Swimming makes me feel right. 

Go to the beach.

Eat a peach.

Florida is the place to be.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 28, 2018

Andy The Swimmer

This was a cute cartoon that "Anastasia The Lifeguard" doodled of me swimming. 

She captured me doing my laps. 

Enjoying the sunshine.

Breathing in the fresh air. 

Appreciating the beautiful flowers.

Loving the pool and water. 

Thank you so much for this great picture!

(Source Cartoon: the Talented Anastasia)
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April 23, 2018

Jailbird Freedom

So I'm doing laps in the indoor pool.

And out of the corner of my eye, I see this bird swoop in overhead.

But it's not outside, it's inside the building enclosure. 

The bird dived in through an open door.

Now it was stuck inside. 

It perched itself on a shelf overlooking the outdoors.

But it was stuck behind the glass walls.

The lifeguard tried to swoop it out with the sticks, brushes, and nets for cleaning the pool.

But this bird wasn't going anywhere. 

I asked if it was injured or sick.

He said that the bird was scared, which made sense. 

Over and over again, the lifeguard tried to coax the bird out.

Finally, it took flight and headed straight into another glass pane--BONG--and fell down--SPLAT--onto another ledge. 

The lifeguard and I looked at each other -- asking whether the bird was still alive or not.

I suggested he call for help, and the advice he was given was just to leave it alone and that eventually, it would find its way out. 

It was time for me to go, but I am still thinking about that trapped bird.

If you love something, you have to let it free.

Everyone and everything should be free (unless they've abused that freedom).

Free to come and go, free to express themselves, free to choose, free to act.

Sometimes when you're free, you run into trouble or into a glass pane.

You need to find your way out and home again to freedom. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 8, 2017

What's With The Water

At this time of some major hurricanes hitting the USA (first Harvey, and now approaching IRMA and Jose)...

I have been remembering from the other day when I was in the pool, but I had a very different experience from usual. 

Yes, I was swimming hard and disciplined doing my laps.

But my mind decided to focus on the water.

Just the water...nothing else. 

I literally blanked out the world around me...no pool, no exercise, no other people, no current events, no random thoughts.

I just put all my senses unto the water itself. 

The cool softness of the water as it glided over my hands and body. 

The subtle resistance of the water, yet the buoyancy it provided. 

The waves and current as the water flowed around my body moving crisply through it.

The healing purity of the water physically and spiritually. 

I imagined the clearest and cleanest water, and how it quenches our thirst and washes everything in the world clean again. 

Water, earth, wind and fire...the wisdom and perfection of them and us cannot possibly be random events, but they are testament to the genius of our Creator. 

Thank you G-d especially for the water in the time, place, and amount that is for a blessing--and as a series of strong hurricanes continue to roar towards your people, let it be merciful. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 22, 2017

Water Cross

This was so fun in the pool.

The water was on and it was almost like a really high-speed jet jacuzzi. 

The cool water was rushing at me and splashing in my face and it was a nice moment of relaxation and feeling of life. 

For those who have been to the mikvah, it felt refreshing and like a renewal of spirit. 

Just in jest...when I look at this, I can't help noticing that it almost looks like Jesus on the cross. 

Except, thank G-d no nails, torture, or Roman Legion involved in this. ;-)

(Source Video: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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July 8, 2016

I'm Telling You They're Really New

So I ordered a pair of swim fins to replace a pair that recently ripped in the pool. 

I went online and ordered a brand NEW pair. 

A few days later, the fins arrive in an envelope (no box). 

Already sort of terrified at what I will find in this strange bag, I slowly open it up, and find a completely disgusting dirty, scuffed, USED pair of fins with no tags or packaging

Ew...I am so grossed out and contact the vendor right away to return these, but instead of customer service, I got a boat load of b.s. and chutzpah.

They made a million excuses, tried to make me feel bad, and basically refused to provide for a return, saying that the product is not really used, that it just got dirty in the mail and on the trucks and all, and I just have to clean them off a little!

When I question them about why there was no box or packaging, they say, "Oh that, well we take it out of the box, so we can ship it more cheaply for you

I said, "What right do you have to take it out of the packaging when I ordered it new--maybe I want the packaging or need to give the item as a gift?"

Then they go on to give me an ear-full about about the high cost of shipping and that I should thank them for removing the packaging to the keep costs down (but the problem is that they were trying to keep costs down in more ways than one here). 

They continue to berate me as well about how I should be more understanding as to the dirt and scuff marks, since it's no big deal, because when I put it in the pool, the water and the chlorine will wash it off and kill all the germs anyway!

After patiently taking this abuse for a while, I went online and saw that others had the same experience with this merchant--getting sent used goods in the mail that had been advertised and paid for as new.  

Now I had had it up to HERE, and I promptly did my duty and went online to give them an appropriate customer review to help others from getting cheated like this in the future. 

Guess what happens next? 

They email me to tell me that they took note of my feedback and not that they are sorry about what happened and want to fix it, but that "We will never ship to you again." 

My wife explodes laughing...mwahahahahaha--like who would ever want to go back and do more business with these crooks. 

People are absolutely crazy out there.

Caveat emptor (buyer beware) a million times.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 24, 2016

To Little Jonah

So swimming in the pool, I meet little 7-year old Jonah. 

He sort of made himself known to me when he decided he wanted to race me on the swim board.

I was going just a little faster--and I reminded him that I had a key competitive advantage, fins. 

He said, "Darn I should have brought mine!'

He asked how old I was, and I said a little older than you. 

Not satisfied, he pressed the question, saying "I can tell you are an adult."

So I had to cave and admit that, and pointing to my heart, added that "I am young at heart."

Jonah's in 1st grade, and wanted to know what grade I was in. 

His guess was 4th grade, and I said "That's about right."

Jonah is from New Orleans visiting his grandmother for Passover. 

She was watching him in the pool and smiling with grandmotherly nachas, ear-to-ear.

I told Jonah to make sure to treat his grandmother nicely. 

But Jonah at this point had jumped into my swim lane and was in mock superhero fighting mode, and said "I want to punch you."

I thought to myself, hmm it's not only my wife that feels that way (LOL).

Anyway, it was clear that I had made a new friend with Jonah, who was off bobbing up and down in the water well over his head. 

Bye Jonah--have a good time visiting for Passover. 

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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December 23, 2015

Popcorn Delight

So we made it to Florida, but the plane ride was horrible.

Spent an hour and a half on the tarmac waiting to take off because of "low clouds."

Is that for real?  

It was raining outside and the damp air and smell on the plane was sickening.

But we made it, and in Florida, it's always happy and nice--air was warm, the sun was out, and the people were in holiday party spirits. 

Headed straight to the pool and had a great swim--pushed myself even though still woosy from the turbulent flight.

We had a nice dinner and then stopped in this store with amazing popcorn--covered in caramel drizzle and milk chocolate. 

Only in Florida (these were no Cracker Jacks)!

The lady gave me a sample and I passed it off to my daughter and wife--oops, the one with the big chocolate gob fell on the floor.

Then we passed this tattoo place and watched this guy in the widow getting a huge tattoo on his calf of this fantastical women's face. The lady proprietor tried to convince us to come in--ah, no thanks. 

Next was a bottle of wine for the night and back to the hotel. 

Looking forward to more adventures this week. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 13, 2015

Old Pool Out, New Pool In

So the pool is getting a major makeover. 

That's what happens when it starts to get some cracks. 

It had to be drained a couple of weeks ago. 

Then they came in with drills and have been ripping up the pool and removing the floor and sides ever since. 

Next up a brand new coat of swimming pool -- concrete and tiles. 

Followed by a top-to-bottom cleaning and shining up until it's spick and span.

Right now it looks so gross, but when it's done it will be awesome again.

Can't wait--I need my laps and hydrotherapy. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 2, 2015

Golden Retriever Swims Like A Fish


Out on the kayak today with Rebecca in Maryland. 

This beautiful golden retriever named Rudder was playing on the bank and in the water. 

He was swimming and chasing a toy that the friendly owners were throwing way out into the pond. 

On this hot sunny day, this dog was having a blast, and the people seemed to enjoy talking with us about him. 

Overall this was a welcome break from the Dog Days of Summer. ;-)

(Source Video: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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July 27, 2015

Fish Mish



I took this video in the aquarium store. 

Just found it so relaxing to watch these fish--swimming this way and that with their fish pals in the nice cool water. 

In the background is the sound of a little waterfall running into the makeshift pond.

Ah, the life of a fish--if you can avoid the nets and the bigger fish--it's probably not too shabby. 

I remember when my mom used to make gefilte fish for Shabbos, especially the sweet kind in a sliced up roll, and it was delicious. 

For some reason, I remember calling it fish mish--I think because the fish is ground up--and then boiled or baked. 

A nice appetizer--pass the tartar sauce please. ;-)

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 10, 2015

Helpless And Helping

The following is all true.

So I dreamed last night a scary dream...

I was lying prone in a horizontal but bent position.

My clothes were tattered rags and my legs bare.

I could see my legs, but could not move them--at all. 

The bottom of the legs by the ankles were completely skinny, diseased and bright sore red (like burnt), and the skin was falling off them.

I knew I was in immense pain, but could not feel anything.

My legs completely useless, in hopelessness, I looked upward and called out:

"Father! Father! Father!" 

I was looking for my dad (who I know deeply loved me and vice versa), and hoping for him to come and help me somehow. 

Then, my voice turned and called:

"Father that art in heaven" and repeated this again. 

I was turning to G-d as the only one who could help me when everything else was stripped away. 

Then I awoke, and I was very afraid and yet somehow comforted--I had turned heavenward and found G-d. 

Later this morning, I went to the pool for a swim and as part of my post surgery rehabilitation. 

As I was swimming, I saw an old somewhat hunchback lady come to the pool.

I recognized her from other days when she does a little self-defined exercise routine against the side of the pool. 

But today, her lane at the sides were taken. 

Seeing that she was upset and couldn't do her exercise in the center of the pool, I stopped swimming and went over to her.

I said, "Why don't you share with me (there is plenty of room)?"

She hesitated and I could see maybe she needed help getting under the swim rope that divides the lanes, so I lifted it for her and told her reassuringly, "It's no problem."

And then she went under and did her exercise thing--and we shared.

It was such a small thing for me, but yet I could see it was a big deal for her--she was old and I could tell that she needed her routine.

Sort of funny but, when I offered to help, I could practically here the angels of heaven let out a little song of joy--seriously, I did. 

And I thought to myself...Andy, you can learn!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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December 30, 2014

Now That's A Plug!

So I see this young man with these large things in his earlobes. 

I turn to my wife and daughter and ask if they think it would be okay for me to ask him about them.

After the look at him and me a couple of times back and forth, I get the nod, okay. 

First, I had no idea those disks in his ears were called plugs.

(Now I'm a Jewish kid from the Bronx, and to me earplugs are what I use for swimming!)

I asked innocently, "How did you get your lobes that big?"

He then described this process where you start with an earring in your earlobe and over time, you stretch the hole with larger and larger insets.

He had been doing this for 8 years, but confessed that his holes could've been much larger by now.

I asked, "Do you ever take them out?"

He told me sure at night, and for showering, swimming, etc. 

Curious, I inquired what he does about the big flappy earlobes when the plugs aren't in.

The young man said, "It's no problem....it just hangs there."

At this point, I thank him for talking with me, but now am laughing at the conversation as I read it over, and happy to be a little innocent and even naive to some things. ;-)

 (Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 19, 2014

Cool Cat

So yesterday I was coming home from the fitness center/pool.

I was wearing shorts and pool shoes even though it was only in the 30's-40's temperature out. 

This large man with a Texas accent stops me to ask how I can dress like that around Winter time.

And it's particularly funny, because there is another man overhearing this conversation next to us wrapped up in no less than 2 coats/layers.

So I say in a lighthearted way "I guess that I just have warm blood, so the temperature doesn't really bother me."

He says, "Uh, in Florida, when it goes into the 60's, people start shivering and bundling up down there."

I smile, and say "Well maybe we're just different people."

Then he goes, "I like that--I like people that think different! You know why, [and he pauses and repeats again] you know why?"

I look at him sort of eyes wide open at this point waiting to hear his explanation to the build up. 

And he says, "Because it means they don't give a sh*t what other people think!"

At that point we both started nodding and laughing. 

Maybe you had to be there, but I think you can probably envision this sort of nutty scene.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 15, 2014

Motivate, BAM!

I took this photo of the wallpaper at the gym.

It has "motivate" embossed under the lady with the sparring gloves. 

They have similar hangings for swimming, weightlifting, cycling, and more around the fitness center.

I like them--they are motivational. 

Would be nice if the place also had some big windows, but this ain't bad to keep it fresh. 

BAM! Exercise. BAM! Stay healthy and fit. BAM!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 25, 2014

This Is How You Do It Baby

The health club I’ve been going to has this thingamajig machine by the locker room.

A what?

That’s right--first no idea what it is, but I hear it making a lot of noise all the time.

Then one day, I put my curiosity to use, and stop to check it out. 

It’s a little square box called a Suitmate—and wow, cool, it's a mini clothes dryer that fits exactly one bathing suit.  Cute!  

Who would’ve thought…you put your wet bathing suit in, hold down the lid, and in seconds it spins it dry.

No more going home with a gym bag with wet laundry—Yeah, I’m liking this. 

Well, there is only one problem--it doesn’t just stop spinning by itself when you lift the lid.

So you end up scrunching up your fingers, putting them in the spinning basket, and pulling out the suit—trying to make sure not to get your hand spun out of whack. 

There has got to be a better way, right?

Well last night, this guy is at the machine spinning his suit dry.

He sees me waiting off to the side—I don’t rush him or anything.

So when he’s done, he motions me over to the machine.

He leans in and goes to me like he’s about to tell me this big, big secret.

He says, “You…you know how to make this machine stop...stop spinning?

I look up at him I suppose with a look like so many before me--communicating that I had no idea there was a way to make it stop

He nods in understanding and give me this smirk--ear to ear. 

He says in this broken English, “You don’t put your hand in the spinner and pull it out (motioning this dangerous way).  No! “

Then he points to this little cylindrical object jutting out the top of the machine on either side (it looks like something that just holds the lid in place).

He looks at me intently, and I knew this guy is getting ready now to tell me something he considers very important—something he wouldn’t just tell anyone. 

Suddenly, he lunges and grabs the cylinder on the machine and pulls--and almost like magic it stops spinning, just like that!

He looks at me again and nods like he just told me the secret to life itself.

This whole scene was so surreal and really funny, but you know what—it works.

Some things it’s good just to be told--this is how you do it baby. ;-)
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October 16, 2014

"The Chief"

So swimming in Florida last week, I couldn't help but think about my years back at Eagle Day Camp.

First as a camper, then counselor, and finally lifeguard at this fairly large Orthodox Jewish children's camp in Rockland County, New York. 

As a camper, I hated swimming and the smelly, musty, and overcrowded locker rooms.

When I was only about 6-7 already, I told my parents, I would only go to camp, if I didn't have to swim--after a lot of fuss, I got them to agree.

But years later, I learned to love swimming--the gorgeous outdoors, calming water, and health and therapeutic effects. 

I worked with "The Chief" (Norman Garfield, pictured at left) for many years...he was a radio talk show host and actor, and in camp played the starring role of Chief Taka Zeis, last of the Gutta Neshamah (Yiddish for Good Soul) Tribe.

He entertained the children like no one else could--with made up chants of "Tzitsamagoo!", his silly outfits (notice the unmatched socks in addition to the feather hat), and to songs like "Let the Sun Shine In," he was always someone that could be counted on to safely watch the children swim, teach them, and make them laugh. 

One Summer, The Chief, encouraged us (the other lifeguards) to sign up for the Red Cross Swim and Stay Fit program, and I think I swam 20-30 miles in between lifeguarding over about 6-8 weeks. 

Those were some fun times with The Chief and some of my old friends like Mark Stadtmauer, Elissa Rothman (Brodsky), and many others. 

Today, just a few months post hip surgery, I once again appreciate the swimming, and try to go as often as possible for health reasons. 

I am thankful for those years and for the ones granted now. ;-)

(Source Photo: Who The Heck Remembers)
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May 5, 2014

Don't Swim Off Your Balcony


Amazing new dual 37 story residential towers in Mumbai, India called the Aquaria Grande.

And it features...glass balcony pools!

I doubt you can do laps in these things, but maybe nice just to cool off and enjoy your luxury living arrangements.

Wonder if this up to building code?

Also, if you don't swim, can you use it as an aquarium or perhaps for catching the fish of the day?  ;-)

(Thanks to Dave Zeppieri, Sr. for the post on Facebook)
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