The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

2012.10.10 The home gymnasium

Written by David Green.


I've written before about my home workouts on the stairs. I don't get to the track to walk a mile or two often enough, so I take to the stairs now and then for 10 minutes of running up and down.

It's been a safe venture so far. I always have a hand on the railing on the downstairs trip—so I don't trip.

Safety is more of a concern after a strange bicycle incident last week. Besides, with winter coming on, I get pushed inside more and more.

My son, Ben, and his wife used to go to a gym to work out. It's so hot in Miami that the thought of taking a brisk walk isn't too appealing except maybe early in the morning when the temperature is still in the 80s.

I didn't know that they dropped their gym membership several months ago, but I figured it might come to an end with the arrival of their baby. When I saw a review of an iPad/iPhone app called "You are your own gym," I sent the link to Ben. The description asks: "Can't find the time to go to the crowded gym? Tired of spending money on gym membership and overpriced equipment? Use the body you have to build the body you want."

There's a photo of a guy lying on the floor with his head under his living room coffee table. His hands are raised and gripping the edge of the table, ready to pull himself up. It's almost a joke, but it's actually very practical. So I downloaded the app and I'm ready to explore my transformation from weakling to a living room muscleman. 

As I look around the room, I'm disappointed to discover that I don't have a table the right height to perform any of the 11 variations offered. The first two are rated "moderate" in difficulty, then it proceeds on to semi-hard, hard, harder and very hard.

In the final one, a chair is brought up near the table. One foot is placed on the chair and the other foot is held in place above the chair. In this case, your head is protruding from the other side of the table where your arms are pulling you up to the table. Now I feel fortunate that I don't have the right equipment.

I love the simplicity of this. There's a routine that involves only a belt and a door. You wrap a belt around a pair of doorknobs, straddle the edge of the door slightly, bend your knees and start pulling yourself toward the door with the belt. 

When I say that I love the simplicity, I'm referring to the equipment, not the exercise. Something as simple as this doorknob thing kills my knees. I've got to stop bending down to take photos at football games. The app lists several muscles that will be aided by this exercise, but no mention is made of the involvement of the knees.

Here's one I can handle—at least a little bit of it. With the Towel Curl, you hold on to your wife's bath towel to form a loop. Place a foot onto the loop and pull up your leg which is offering resistance. Simple and effective.

For pull-ups, you place a towel over the top of a door for padding, then pull up along the side of the door. For curls, put something heavy in a backpack. You can jump from the floor to the table top—if you're home alone, that is. Stairways, walls, door frames—it's just brilliant.

My chief concern would be equipment failure. For example, those doorknobs have been around a long time. That brings to mind my bike incident. I watched a quarter or so of the JV football game and then pedaled home rapidly. I enjoy fast rides.

I pulled into my driveway and just as I was ready to dismount—when weight is put on the handlebars—the right side of the bars snapped off. My hand dropped, the front wheel jacked to the left and I was sprawling on the concrete.

My neighbor, Randy Gilson, was in his driveway across the hedge, heard the noise in the dark and asked if I was all right. I was surprised that I was OK. My hip is still sore, but I survived my worst biking mishap since I was caught by the railroad tracks on Mill Street when I was about nine years old.

With the old 1972 bicycle out of service, I'm going to need some exercise in the home gym, but, remember, these routines start at "moderate." At least I'll exercise my eyes.

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