Habits can be habit forming

Congratulations. If you have made it this far with your New Year’s resolution, you are well past the 21-day mark needed to establish your new habit.

That’s the common goal a number of researchers say have to be reached in order for a new habit to become ingrained.

So whether it be going to the gym, reading more or getting more sleep, if you are still at it, then you have the habit going. Of course habits can be broken, so be careful to not backslide.

I usually do not set resolutions but I discovered that I inadvertently started a new habit that my family is pleased with.

I began cooking more during my Christmas week vacation. You can read that story by clicking here.

More than a month later I am still cooking, primarily on weekends, much to my wife’s delight. She is even happily picking up ingredients for me during her grocery shopping trips.

Last weekend I made Shepherd’s Pie, scones and French Onion Soup. This weekend I am making Lemon Chicken, Pigs in a Blanket (with dough from scratch), Boston Baked Beans and a double chocolate cake. I may also make some biscuits and a lemon loaf, depending on how my time works out.

One good thing about this habit is that it keeps me around the house more, which is another thing my family is pleased with.



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Getting fit, if I can do it, so can you

The gyms this time of the year are full of people wanting to make a fresh start by getting into better shape.

I usually wait them out and look to see how many are still gym regulars in February and of those, who will still be a regular patron come the fall.

Making a change is not always easy.

I have always worked out regularly but it has only been recently that I have gotten myself into the shape that I have wanted. And it took me the better part of two years.

In 2014 I rode my bike 6,512 miles.

For perspective, I drove my car about 10,000 miles.

I ride for heart health, fitness, performance and stress release.

It has really taken me two full years to get to this point that I can do bike rides that I only dreamed of before.

The Tour of the California Alps Death Ride, 122 miles over five mountain passes. Double centuries, 200-mile rides. This year my goal is to do three 200-mile rides to get what is called a California Triple Crown.

A friend of mine since college saw a recent photo of me and commented on how fit I looked. He was surprised when I told him that I have not weighed this little since my college track days.

And he asked why I did the work of getting into shape.

As I have said before, it is because I wanted to get into better shape for riding my bike. I also wanted to get my health back.

I have high blood pressure, it’s hereditary. I have arthritis – had my right hip replaced in 2004 and need my left hip replaced. And I was carrying around some additional pounds.

I would have been happy to have lost 10 pounds. Instead, I lost 30.

More importantly, I got my health back.

You don’t have to be in the gym now, you can start a program at any time. My real weight loss work began in April 2013. You just have to have the right method and the desire to work at it.


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Nomophobia study

Nomophobia is an interesting term used to describe the anxiety of not being able to use your mobile device. Fast Company writes about a California State University, Dominguez-Hills study of the anxiety among a group of 163 student-volunteers, average age 24, who are not allowed to use their phone for an hour. That’s right, just 60 minutes. Some of those students had their phone confiscated, while others were just asked to put their phone away.

You can read the Fast Company story here.

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No change for the meter, no problem

A letter to the editor today decried the use of parking meters in downtown Stockton. Looking for change, the letter writer states, is a deterrent to coming downtown. I do not know how much revenue the city generates through the use of meters but perhaps what is needed is a system similar to Parkmobile.

This system is used in Santa Cruz and appears headed to Sacramento. Fees can be paid at the meter or by using a smartphone app. I think it takes cash too.



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Can’t make sense of these things

Sometimes things happen that are beyond words. Here our community still grapples with last week’s bank robbery that resulted in the death of a hostage and two suspects.

In suburban Philadelphia, a psychiatric patient rants about the hospital’s gun ban before firing his weapon, killing his 53-year-old caseworker and injuring a doctor before the doctor returns fire on Thursday.

The patient was eventually wrestled to the ground and was to be arraigned on murder charges today. According to the Associated Press, it is unclear why the doctor had a gun at work but without it, he and others may have been killed.

Read about it here.


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River Cats, Ports and Nuts

So some in Sacramento are atwitter that the Sacramento River Cats Triple-A baseball franchise may be interested in changing its affiliation from the Oakland Athletics to the San Francisco Giants.

One can’t really blame the River Cats for at least exploring the options. Their contract with the A’s expires after this season as does the contract for the Fresno Giants, San Francisco’s Triple-A affiliate.

The San Francisco Giants have not shown public interest in moving its Triple-A team from Fresno but who knows what would entice them to do so. Raley Field, where the River Cats play, is a nice venue and Sacramento is closer to San Francisco than Fresno. Player movement for them for quick call ups to the majors would be as easy as it has been for the A’s.

Ah, speculation.

Let’s just say affiliations change.

The Modesto Nuts were the Oakland A’s Single-A affiliate for nearly 30 years before leaving for Stockton and a brand-new ballpark after the 2004 season. Modesto has been a Colorado Rockies’ affiliate since 2005.

The Stockton Ports have been affiliated with 10 franchises dating back to 1949, including Milwaukee twice.

Maybe something will happen and then again maybe this is just much ado about nothing.



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Surprisingly simple baklava making

I thought making baklava would be a complicated, time-consuming process. And I am sure it can be. But instructor Mary Shaw broke it down into simple steps during a at Hutchins Street Square, Lodi, thanks to Mary Shaw.

First gather all the ingredients. Here we use walnuts, cinnamon and butter




After mixing ingredients, line pan with phyllo dough and butter sheets.




Place ingredients in pan and cover with more dough, buttering sheets of top layers.



After slicing, into smaller shapes, the baklava is oven ready.




Fresh out of the oven. Cover with syrup, which you made already, and it is ready to eat!


To see a glimpse of the class click here

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In bloom

The blossoms are emerging at this orchard on Davis and Peltier roads in Lodi as you can see looking northwest.



And also looking southwest. Yet the dry ground is a reminder of our area’s need for rain.

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Sweet ride

This Thunderbird is a staple at Lincoln Center in Stockton. This classic vehicle can be seen regularly many mornings in the parking lot outside of Starbucks at the shopping center.

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Child’s definition of Martin Luther King Jr.

Sometimes the simplest things are best said. I asked my eight-year-old daughter what she knew about Martin Luther King Jr.

She said: He was a brown man who wanted white people and brown people to be together.

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    Don Blount

    Don Blount has been managing editor of The Record since 2005. He has worked at newspapers in Modesto, Ca.; Sacramento, Denver and Allentown, Pa. A Philadelphia native, he is a graduate of Lehigh University with a degree in accounting and a minor in ... Read Full

    Mike Klocke

    Mike Klocke is editor of The Record. He is a native of Michigan and graduated from Michigan State University in 1978 with a degree in journalism. He has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Indiana, Florida and California. He was named editor of The ... Read Full
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