Bourdain Takes the Gold in Jiu-Jitsu

April 18, 2016

By Karen

I seldom write about Anthony Bourdain anymore, but I still keep up, and just saw something amazing I have to share in case any of my former fellow Bourdainiacs are still reading.

If you haven’t noticed, Tony has become a household word. Last week on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah and a guest threw the name “Bourdain” around as if the entire planet knows who that is. I also just saw him referenced in an article in Conde Nast Traveler as some standard for travel.

Tony took up jiu-jitsu a year or two ago, inspired by his wife Ottavia and daughter Ariane, who both practice the art. BTW, Happy Birthdays, ladies! (They both celebrate one in April.)

Upon earning his blue belt, Tony just competed in his first competition, in the Blue Belt Masters 5 Middleweight Division at the IBJJF New York Spring International Open Championship.

He won and took home the gold.

Here’s a video on Fight Sports of the whole match-up. It’s not exactly action-packed, but more a test of brute strength, with Bourdain mostly keeping his opponent pinned to the mat for about 5 minutes…

Flograppling.com filmed from another vantage point and included much more of Ottavia and Tony’s trainer cheering him on. At the end of the match, it also clearly shows the phenomenal shape Tony’s trained himself into. He’s approaching 60 on June 25 with six-pack abs and not an ounce of fat.

For old times’ sake, Cats Working extends 12 paws up and a hearty “Congratulations!” to Anthony Bourdain on his milestone victory, and wishes him many, many more.


Kitten’s Double Life Revealed

April 5, 2016

By Roc

Ever since I came to live here in November 2015, I’ve been stepping out with Karen nearly every Saturday to visit my “home away from home.” Adele and Max think I’m bonkers when I climb into the carrier without a fuss. For them, that crate means only one thing — the VET.

My secret escape is a sweet little set-up at a big house belonging to my Granny and Grumpy. There, I’m a superstar. Those two are absolutely CRAZY about me.

They have a great fireplace, which they turn on just for me so I can catnap in front of it. At first, all I had was a blankie on the floor…

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But it wasn’t long before a bed showed up. Now my Teddy and Squeaky Hamburger guard it full-time…

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Speaking of Teddy, I got him for Christmas when I was real little… (on blue carpet), but you can see how I’m growing into him. Karen took the next picture of us in February…

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I have other toys, too. We have so many at home, Max and Adele haven’t even missed these…

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And they don’t know about my latest acquisition, a new scratchy pad with feathers…

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I like hanging out on the big couch while everybody drinks wine and watches some tube, with no fears that Adele will come along and sit on me…

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I also like playing on the kitchen table, now that it’s an easy leap. Here I am on Granny’s chair…

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And here’s Granny giving me a workout with my Martha Stewart stick toy…

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She also encourages me to explore my artistic side. Here I am playing “Kitten on the Keys” on her piano…

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Grumpy plays with me, too, but mostly by letting me chew his feet. I know it looks like he’s trying to strangle me here, but that’s how he does “friendly”…

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I returned the favor by visiting his office for a desk inspection (BTW, he failed, it was a mess)…

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Then I scared the pants shorts off him by trying a new trick. That black thing on the bannister at the top of the stairs is me…

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Bannister-walking has become my new hobby, but that’s for another post.

When I need a little alone time, I hang out in the guestroom and watch for geese on the little lake behind the house…

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I also have my own stash of food, bowls, and a litterbox. But don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not a mooch. I earn my keep. One Saturday I helped Granny with housework by fishing some popcorn, a Goldfish, and a couple of peanuts from under the coffee table for her (OK, I ate a peanut). She was so horrified by all the stale snacks I was finding, they moved the coffee table and vacuumed the whole rug…

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I’m not sure what Adele and Max do while I’m gone, but I enjoy my weekly breaks from them. And they don’t seem to mind because I don’t come home reeking of the vet.


Atkins Meal Makes Fasting a Better Option

March 28, 2016

By Karen

Since being on Weight Watchers®, I default to Lean Cuisine® or Smart Ones® frozen meals when I don’t feel like cooking. Anybody who eats these things knows they never quite look like the picture on the box. But my recent Atkins frozen meal took false advertising to a whole new level.

I tried Atkins because 1) I have a friend on a high-protein diet who says she’s flirting with size 6 and eats pork chops for lunch, and 2) the Atkins meals were on sale.

The Chicken Margherita pulled me in with this photo. By Weight Watchers standards, all that melted cheese qualifies as soft-core food porn…

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But here’s what came out of the microwave…

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As porn goes, it was the culinary equivalent of two hairy, sweaty people with dirty feet doing it doggy-style on stained sheets with rats running around the bed.

I’m embarrassed to admit I ate it anyway because I hate to waste food — even greasy red and green globs laced with chewy chunks — and that it cost me 11 WW Points Plus (out of my 26-point daily allotment).

Dr. Atkins’ stomach should be turning in his grave.

The cats got the last laugh when my dinner looked, smelled, and tasted (according to them) a lot worse than any canned food I’ve ever served them — including the many flavors of Fancy Feast® they hate.

And an hour later, I needed a sandwich.


Jiu-Jitsu, Kamakazi Kitten-Style

March 2, 2016

By Roc

OK, now you’ve seen my cute little splashy side. Let’s take a look at my inner beast.

Anyone would expect a kitten named Roc (as opposed to Dust Bunny or Fluffer Nutter) to be scrappy. I wasn’t here at Cats Working more than a few days before I decided to find out how far I could push Max, even though he was about 4 times my weight. What’s one life to a kitten with 8 more in his future?

Our first good bout when I was 3 months old ended in a draw…

But Max-wrestling instantly became my addiction (even more than jumping into the refrigerator every time Karen opens it). To practice my moves, I jump Max every chance I get. He doesn’t always appreciate it.

Our latest match-up was just a few weeks ago when I was 5 months old. We amped up the thrill factor by adding the possibility of the loser taking a 9-foot plunge off the balcony into the living room…

PS: Rest assured that nobody went over the edge. There may have been some slight ego-bruising, but no kitties were hurt during either filming.


Kitten Makes a Big Discovery

March 1, 2016

By Roc

Max and Adele disagreed on this because they hate getting wet, but I found the kitty fountain to be almost as fun as playing in the bathroom sink.

For the record, I was 4 months old and everything still seemed new when Karen shot this video. Today I’m 6 months old and my current project is to find out what makes Karen’s shower tick.

 


Apple’s Win Would be Terrorists’ Gain

February 23, 2016

By Karen

Apple’s refusal to help the FBI access San Bernadino mass-murderer Syed Farook’s iPhone is a joke. The world leader in creating innovative devices and software devised this super-tricky password feature that wipes an iPhone clean after 10 failed attempts to get in, and they want us to believe they don’t have the code to bypass it.

Well, I think they do — they just don’t want their customers to know it.

It’s like KFC claiming Colonel Sanders deleted ingredients from his secret formula for delicious fried chicken when he retired from the company, and they’re OK with that.

Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter to customers to justify Apple’s disingenuous stance. The implication is that Apple employs no one trustworthy enough not to steal the code and use it with evil intent, or sell it to the highest-bidding hacker. It’s just human nature.

It also implies that Apple itself can’t be trusted. Cook writes: “And while the government may argue that its (the code’s) use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

Apple’s been given permission to write their code in a closet, slip the results to the FBI through a crack under the door, and then immediately destroy the code.

But Apple thinks it will somehow become a “master key” out in the public domain that anyone may use to hack into any iPhone at any time.

Who could possibly be responsible for that happening except Apple?

It’s the old slippery slope tactic. You know, “If we let gays marry, people will be marrying their dogs next.”

Cook also claims: “The government could extend this breach of privacy and demand that Apple build surveillance software to intercept your messages, access your health records or financial data, track your location, or even access your phone’s microphone or camera without your knowledge.”

Does he really think none of this happens now? My iPad Mini tries to track my location every day.

There’s a supreme irony in Apple fighting to maintain the purity of the very devices its customers use to splash the illustrated minutiae of their lives all over the Internet.

And the government already has access to whatever crumbs are left. Let’s not kid ourselves. The TSA can even fondle your boobs and stick its hands down your pants.

If Tim Cook is allowed to obstruct justice and spit in the faces of the San Bernadino victims’ families, he’ll certainly gain a lock on the terrorist smartphone market. ISIS can rely on Apple’s protection, no matter how many slaughters are coordinated on iPhones.

But if one more dead terrorist turns up with another inviolable iPhone after another domestic massacre, I don’t think it would be remiss for the feds to charge Mr. Cook with aiding terrorists and being an accessory to murder before and after the fact.

 


Could Oprah Eventually Doom Weight Watchers?

February 16, 2016

By Karen

In 2012, I followed Weight Watchers® PointsPlus® system and lost about 50 lbs. Four years later, my scale fluctuates 6-8 lb., but I remain slim enough to wear all my skinny-sized clothes. To this day, I still count points and weigh weekly. Maintaining isn’t easy.

Last year, at Weight Watchers’ invitation, Oprah Winfrey agreed to lose poundage — again — in a grand way. For a $43 million investment, she got a seat on the board and became WW’s spokeswoman.

Now WW stock jumps every time Oprah opens her mouth, whether to insert food or not, and she offsets her weight losses with bank account gains.

In her latest ad, Oprah claims to eat bread “every day.” She’s lost 26 lbs. since August 2015, or about  1-2 lb. a week, eating bread. What bothers me is that she’s shown only from the neck up.

Check out this photo of her on CNBC. Unfortunately, it’s undated, so we don’t know which diet deserves credit, but Oprah certainly looks like she’s lost more than 26 lbs.

Oprah is following a new WW plan called Beyond the Scale, which “focuses on you, not just a number on the scale.”

It’s all about SmartPoints™ and FitPoints™. PointsPlus folks are screwed because our overpriced WW calculators and P+ cookbooks are now obsolete.

WW’s website offers nothing but empty tag lines unless you join, but independent bloggers with access explain the difference in plans. Instead of counting fat, carbs, fiber, and protein on PointsPlus, it’s all about calories, saturated fat, sugars, and protein on SmartPoints.

Bottom line, PointsPlus are rough on fat and carbs. SmartPoints slam you on sugar and saturated fat.

P+ works for me so I won’t switch, and I wish Oprah well. But we all know her dieting history.

Weight Watchers is throwing some big dice and obviously hedging their bets by saying SmartPoints isn’t “all about the scale.”

After Oprah loses the weight, makes the talk show rounds to show off her svelteness and sends the stock on one last big spike, will she become another yo-yo case, like most former members?

I’ve been there myself, joining WW twice before, only to regain all the weight and more. They welcome yo-yos back to their meetings like old friends.

Oprah has never before made the lifelong commitment that’s required for WW. Can she do it now? Or in a year or so, will we see her rebloated on an Enquirer front page, trying to elude the paparazzi (you know, like Kirstie Alley)? If we do, that flushing sound you hear will be the Weight Watchers brand going down the toilet, no matter how they try to spin the points next time.


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