Math Teacher, Website Hobbyist, Fitness Enthusiast, and Silly Blogger

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Tim Unkert

More Superfoods

In addition to the first five superfoods I spoke about there also appears to be some others, namely Chlorella and Spirulina.

What is Chlorella?

Chlorella is a single celled algae that has been around since ancient times, even way back in the day. It can have a detoxifying effect on humans as it clings to heavy metals and such and helps your body to get rid of other toxins that may be affecting you.



Super foods help your body from the inside out. At least according to a YouTube video I watched the other night! It was very interesting how certain foods can help your body get better. In this video, there were five superfoods that you should eat. I also include how I did finding these yesterday!


Training on the Trainer

The original plan yesterday was to do a ride outside with one of my colleagues from work. However, as the morning progressed, I realized I didn't have a bootie for one of my shoes, which I would need in the cold and my colleague felt a little under the weather near the end of the day.

The Trainer

When I got home from work it was quickly getting cold and fatigue was rising. An alternative to riding outside presented itself in the form of the trainer. I set up my bike, hopped on and it was a go.

YouTube 80s / 90s Style

I put some random music on via YouTube on the t.v. and began to ride away. Then Belinda Carlisle came on, then more late 80s stuff, I think Tiffany was in there. I pedaled forth persevering to make it through, not wanting to lose focus by switching songs.

After about an hour or so I knew it was time to hop off, fatigue creeping into my legs and mind along with my tolerance for 80s music waning with every pedal stroke. I dismounted the bike with grace, tranquility, and ease, along with an unfettered enthusiasm for finishing up my workout.

Sometimes You Can't Ride Outside

I think this is a good example of how sometimes you need to mix it up when things don't go your way and you can't ride outside. Persevere through the ups and downs of training to focus on your fitness the best you can!

Copyright © 2018

Note: You may have noticed I switched themes. I am having some issues getting speed up on my website with WordPress, scoring so so on speed tests like Pingdom and GTmetrix. As such I may be switching to an html / css blog either fully designed myself, using a template, or a partial design using bootstrap or something similar. I've noticed my html designs are blazingly fast, scoring faster than nearly 100% of other websites. Google does rank based upon website speed, but I get hardly any visitors either way, so I guess that doesn't matter, I just personally like the speed the html sites load at but perhaps that is another blog for another day (probably better than this one, I rate this one as a 4 out of 10). Anyways, thank you for stopping by and I hope you found what you are looking for.

Does Cheese Sometimes Get Too Old?

This morning as I made my breakfast omelet I noticed something very concerning … I was low on cheese. That being said I became optimistic when I looked to the back of the fridge and noticed an old bag of cheese. I quickly took it out, but then became disheartened as I noticed the cheese had some sort of blackish mold on it. I would not be putting this cheese in my omelet.

Old Cheese

Some may think that this cheese was now no longer useful and, at first, I thought this as well. But then a new thought entered my mind. Sure, I would throw out this cheese and it would eventually make it to a landfill. In the landfill it would break down into minerals. These minerals, in turn, would help to grow new plants out of the landfill. Squirrels, or some other sort of landfill creature, would eat the plants and grow, possibly bringing life to other squirrels. With time, these squirrels would die, decomposing in different spots, providing minerals for other plants. Eventually a cow would eat these plants.

New Cheese Again

Eventually this cow, after growing a while, would produce milk which would in turn be used to make cheese, I think.

Honestly I'm not really sure how they make cheese but this sounds about right.

Anyways, when this new cheese was made, the cycle would be complete and the old cheese would realize its potential. 

Life Lessons

There are some deeper lessons from this old cheese. I think the big takeaway is that you are never too old to contribute something or give back to others. If you have lived a life where you haven't helped others and perhaps you've "sat around in the back of the fridge," it's never too late to start giving back. That one act of kindness or volunteerism might just make someone's omelet some day.


Copyright © 2018

Note: While I may have been stretching for blog ideas this morning I think it is important to look at everything in life from the positive side of things. Anyways, thank you for stopping by and I hope you found what you were looking for.

The Gutenberg Plugin

So I've been testing out the Gutenberg plugin lately and I thought I'd write a review on it. As you may have heard, the Gutenberg Editor is going to be the default editor for WordPress starting in either April or May of this year. In this blog, I love to write about many different topics and I use WordPress as my platform of choice so I thought today was a good day to talk about the coming changes.

Installation of the Plugin

As of today, Gutenberg is not in WordPress core. That being said you can test it out early by installing the plugin that is in the repository. Just go to "plugins," on your dashboard, click add new, and search for "Gutenberg." It will come up. You'll notice it only has two and a half stars. That is because people seem to be split between hating it and loving it. I'm one that loves it, despite a minor issue I noticed. I'm sure it will have some others as it is relatively new. In general though, it really is great!

Gutenberg Rules!

Adding and Structuring Blocks

Now when you compose through Gutenberg, you add what they refer to as, "blocks," which can be several different things like paragraphs, headings, images, custom html, videos, etc. There are a lot of things you can use to enhance your blog. 

Structuring "blocks," on Gutenberg is amazing easy as well. I see this as a distinct advantage over the previous editor. In the previous editor if you added a photo, but needed to move it up or down you would have to do stuff like drag and drop it or delete it and then re-add it in the post in the other spot. This could be a pain.

With an image block in Gutenberg, you can simply use the up and down arrows to move the photo up and down through the other blocks in your post. This, in my opinion, is an excellent feature that makes blogging in Gutenberg surprisingly easy and straightforward. 

The Custom HTML Block

For those of you who like to edit in html, you can simply use the custom html block that allows you to place code in your blog. I like to use it for math posts (see the video below) or Google ads that I place in my blogs (see ad above – I've "made" a whopping $12.46 for all my stuff (Youtube, ads, etc) in a little over a year, lol).

There are a lot of other great uses for this as well, from simply styling a particular paragraph the way you want to adding some interesting characters not available through your typical editor.

Styling Paragraphs and Other Blocks

By clicking on the right side of Gutenberg, when you see the three dots (watch video below) you can style the paragraph, like I did with this one. You can choose a different background color, modifying the font, and do a bunch of other things.

You can even style the paragraphs in specific hex colors by entering the hex color code. You can also, for the technical people, enter a custom CSS class and then specific the CSS in the customizer in WordPress. This is a great feature I plan on fooling around with later.

A Quirk or Two

As with anything new, I have found a quirk or two with Gutenberg, but nothing to really worry about. One such quirk is the "tags" that you enter. I can only enter one before I get an error message and have to "attempt recovery," which works out fine.

I'm not sure this is a big issue as Google has changed the way it ranks pages, totally ignoring keywords now as they were abused in the past to get high ranking for topics not even related to people's blogs. I wonder if it is the same for "tags?" 

Another issue I've found is with the images. Sometimes, as when viewing on a laptop or desktop I see that they align right, whereas I would want them to align center. It also seems difficult to get some padding next to the images, which could be something with the current theme I am using. I will keep looking into this issue.

One final issue may be that when using Gutenberg is creates a lot of revisions as you are adding a post, most likely due to each paragraph being a "block," and the large number of "blocks," in general. I think this is easily countered by having a plugin like, "WP-Optimize," that will clear out old revisions in your database, and keep your database from getting overly large. This is probably an easy fix but it is worth noting nonetheless.

Gutenberg in Use

Probably the best way to check out Gutenberg and see if it is right for you besides actually installing the plugin is to watch the video below. I apologize as I am doing some Calculus for my website,

Which Reminds Me of Another Great Block!

Another great block that you can add is from the "embed" list, allowing you to embed a responsive YouTube video. This cuts the need to install the "YouTube Free" plugin or other plugins like that. 


With Gutenberg, it seems the possibilities are endless. This is a great plugin and I'm giving it a 9/10 simply because there are a few small bugs that need to be worked out before it gets the 10/10. It's definitely better than the current classic editor by leaps and bounds!


Copyright © 2018

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you found what you were looking for!

A True Competitor Thrives On Competition and The Will to Win (an Educational Post?)

Many people think winning bicycle races or other competitions in life is about genetic ability or hard work and while these are factors I would argue it is something else that separates the winners from the pack fill. I would believe it is the mentality to win. When I competed I thrived on competition, even my mind became more focused during competition, my logic wearing opponents down more so than even my legs.

Becoming More Focused as the Competition Wears On

I believe most top athletes and competitors become more focused as the athletic competition wears on whereas competitors who aren't as focused fall by the wayside and begin to get caught in their loss of focus. Chinks in their armor open up. It was at these points during the race that I capitalized on an opponents weakness, as my thought processes actually became more focused as the competition wore on.

Training Yourself to Be More Focused

It could be that my training in mathematics helped me with this focus, I'm not really sure. I rode my best while I was a physics undergrad at Uconn, taking high level courses like Multivariable Calculus and Introductory Quantum Mechanics. My Multivariable Calc teacher once said to the class, "you will never use this in real life," when referring to the mathematics of "4-dimensional volume." This is something a teacher should never say and honestly, it wasn't true. Sure, I don't really need to know how to do integration so that I can calculate fourth-dimensional volume but the reasoning and logic behind it helped me in competition.


Logic Wins the Day Every Day, Every Race, Every Competition

I would argue, logically of course, that a more logical person will win the day 999 times out of a 1,000 over someone who lacks logic thought processes. The mathematics training really helped me in bike races because even though I was under a tremendous amount of stress and my body was fighting extreme fatigue I was trained so well in logic that I could logically explore my alternatives, my options tactically to win. No amount of fatigue or stress could deter me from my course.

Meanwhile, athletes not trained in logic as well as a physics student would begin to make illogical moves and poor decisions that could open themselves up, so to speak. Once the competitor opened the door with an illogical move I would counter, and keep countering until they relented and I usually won the race. All because of my mathematical training.


Math is the Only Subject That Counts

It is with that logic that I argue that math is the only subject that counts. O.k., o.k. just kidding, but it certainly is super important. English is good, as are other humanities, in that it trains the emotional part of your brain. Empathy for others is good outside of competition.

In that way, English, and writing, has helped me as a math teacher. Through learning about the humanities, one is able to show empathy towards others with grace, tranquility, and ease, along with an unfettered enthusiasm for caring.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that education is important. To be the top athlete and competitor … and human you need to be well educated. I worry that students lacking in education will make poor choices in sport and life based on their less developed thought processes. It's one of the things that spurs me on as an educator.


Of course, no matter how logical or well read you are, you will face setbacks in life. It's part of the learning process. Being well trained in mathematics allows you to handle these setbacks. Many students I have are afraid to start a problem because they are afraid to be, "wrong."

There have been countless times when I was wrong. I remember as a physics student, in Physics For Engineering I and II, I would start a problem not even having an idea of where I was going. I would keep going with logic until, "the problem solved itself."


Of course, I had to persevere to solve the actual problem, these things don't just "solve themselves," but if you persevere long enough I truly believe you will find a solution to almost everything. Math taught me this and I used this skill to persevere through competition until I won the race or came close.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the better you are educated the better you will be in life. Focus on your education!


Copyright © 2018 Tim Unkert

Disclaimer: This post is the first new post using the "Gutenberg," plugin. "Gutenberg," is the new default editor for WordPress set to roll out in April or May of this year. It's pretty cool. I may vlog / blog about it later today or this week. Also this post was a little rambling, but I was trying to write something educational and inspiring early in the morning (5:30 a.m.). Anyways thank you for stopping by and I hope you found what you were looking for.

Don’t Get Complacent Until the Competition is Over

Last night, I went to a local restaurant in town to watch part of the Superbowl. After eating my burger I stayed until half time enjoying the game, then feeling fatigue, decided to head home. As my eyes shut, I checked the score, Patriots leading 33-32, “they’ve got it I said to myself.” When I awoke this morning at an early hour I checked, and the Philadelphia Eagles had won 41 to 33. This reminded me, you can never get complacent in a competition.

Don’t Get Complacent Until the Competition is Over

In any type of sporting event, and in many other things in life, it doesn’t behoove you to become complacent before the competition is over. The competition is going to keep going until it’s actually over. Many times in bicycle racing I would be suffering, as I gasped for air, as we got closer to the finish. People would think it was going to be a field sprint, then with a burst of speed in the closing miles I would attack and ride away from the rest to win solo.

What I soon came to realize was that, “if I was suffering,” the other competitors were usually suffering worse. Of course, everyone had their poker faces on, so you could only tell when you actually attacked and they couldn’t respond to your acceleration. I digress however, as this part of my blog was supposed to be discussing complacency.

I guess my point to all of this is that you need to keep going until the competition is over. The opposing team might become the opposite of complacent (I tried to look up some antonyms to this but they weren’t fitting to my blog). They may go “on the attack,” to win the game.

Sports to Life

Of course, this applies to life as well. I’ve noticed some of my students became complacent coming into the final. This can lead to them dropping a grade or two. I’m sure companies become complacent from time to time, it is during these periods that other companies out-compete them in their own market. There are countless other examples as well.

The teams, groups, or individuals who were not complacent and didn’t count their cards until the game was over were the ones that reaped the rewards of their persistence and hard work. Be the one who does not become complacent.


Copyright © 2018 Tim Unkert

Note: I got a little complacent near the end of this blog and stopped typing. Wait, no, not complacent … lazy and just decided to stop typing. Luckily for me, this is a silly blog that no one really reads. If you are one of the very few though, thank you for stopping by and I hope you found what you were looking for.


Bio-Feedback and Perceived Fatigue, They are in Synch!

As I stirred my salsa into my omelet this morning I contemplated many things. One of which, was the fatigue my body felt after two days on the trainer in a row. I haven’t been exercising a ton this winter and I got back into it recently trying to lose weight as part of a “biggest loser,” competition I am having with my fellow teachers at lunch. In accordance with my penchant to “step it up a notch,” I decided to step up my efforts a notch by measuring my resting heart rate.

The Resting Heart Rate

Resting heart rate is an indicator of fitness and fatigue. Your heart beats with grace, tranquility, and ease, along with an unfettered enthusiasm for keeping you alive. It’s an important organ to say the least. Everyone, however, has a different resting heart rate, with the “average” resting heart rate being 80 beats per minute.

Generally, a lower resting heart rate indicates a more efficient heart that has better cardiovascular fitness, according to the Mayo Clinic. This article goes on to say that if your resting heart rate is below 60 and you’re not a well trained athlete you should consult a physician. I’ve had many times when nurses asked me, “Do you have a heart problem?,” to which I would need to reply, “no, I’m a national level cyclist,” or something along those lines.

Back when I was well trained my resting heart rate typically ranged from 35 or 36 to 40 beats per minute with an all time lifetime low of 28 beats per minute. Yesterday mine was about 50 to 51 beats per minute and today it was 56 beats per minute. The 50 to 51 beats per minute seems reasonable for myself, given that I’m not well trained right now and I’ve got a lot of stuff going on. Just because I’m not well trained anymore doesn’t mean my resting heart rate would jack back up to 80, if ever. The adaptations from endurance athletics can last a lifetime. My dad, also has a resting heart rate of around 50 beats per minute, 65 if he is stressed out, so I may have a genetically lower resting heart rate for whatever reason.

An Increase of Five …

As I woke this morning, I knew I didn’t want to train on the trainer, despite having every opportunity to do so with a two hour delay due to inclement conditions. The bump in my resting heart rate of five beats per minute confirmed this. Now, you may think to yourself, “five beats, that’s nothing, it’s barely any different.” In my experience, however, a 10% increase in resting heart rate (like how I did some math there?) is a big warning sign saying, “back off!”

Yesterday, while on the trainer, I “turned it up a bit,” going all out for short 30 second spurts. These micro-intervals increase fitness levels and promote the natural release of fitness building hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone. In essence these workouts help you get, in technical terms, “jacked.” (Also known as cut, taut, or in some cases where lean fat mass isn’t reduced so much “buff.”). Or in my case, going from fat to slightly less fat.

While these workouts are great for fitness they also come at a price, the price is the fatigue you feel the next day. I have to say, after riding the trainer two days in a row, I felt fatigued last night. It was lights out soon after I hopped off the trainer.

My increase in resting heart rate of five beats per minute, along with the other mentioned factors, let me know, today was a day of no exercise.

Teaching can be a very demanding, yet rewarding profession. It does play a role in fatigue and I have monitored that as well when trying to win “the biggest loser,” competition. Some days are harder than others. On these days your fatigue is higher as well. I once heard about a study claiming teachers have over 1,000 interactions per day. It’s not hard to believe, with all the conversations with students, parents, and administration. It’s a lot and it can be fatiguing.

Managing the Factors

The key to winning “the biggest loser,” will be to successfully manage all of these factors to obtain the most weight loss. I have to realize when my stress in high due to the job and be very cognizant of what I eat during that time. Stress raises cortisol, which can cause you to eat things you shouldn’t and can help you put on weight with things you do eat. I realize this will be a long battle with weight, especially since my metabolism has slowed at 40, but I’ve never shied away from a challenge. I’ve got this.


Copyright © 2018 Tim Unkert

I’m Going to Win the Biggest Loser and Resting Heart Rate

I entered yesterday’s weigh-in with trepidation. Speaking to one of the other teachers prior to the weigh in, she commented, “This is going to be bad after four days off,” or something along those lines. It was true. The prior four days had been off, two on the weekend, and two sequential snow days right after; one from the fire and one from actual snow.

It was during this time that most, if not all of us teachers, sat around and perhaps became complacent. The same teacher confided in me she had actually gained a lb or so. I knew the prior day I had binged on hot dogs, a consequence of not feeling so well and having a penchant for hot dogs. I had also eaten some potato and egg salad, a whole container in fact, as I lay in food decadence as the day petered away.

The Weigh-In

As I headed into the weigh-in I had no delusions about what was going to come. Then, as I stepped on the scale, I was pleasantly surprised. The scale wavered between 0.2 and 0.4 lbs loss! For record keeping purposes I went with only 0.2 lbs loss as it would allow me more weight loss next week.

I believe I was the only teacher to actually lose weight this week. It was a rough week for weight loss and I take it as a great sign of positivity and something that will help me keep the momentum up. Four straight weeks of weight loss! Boom!

The Biggest Loser

For those who have just recently happened upon my blog, you may not know that the teachers I eat lunch with are having a “biggest loser,” competition to try to get back into shape after the holidays. There is no real prize, other than bragging rights. What the competition does accomplish, however, is to motivate all of us to lose some weight and get healthier through a little friendly competition.

Stepping It Up A Notch

For those who know me well, they know I like to step things up a notch. I love to step it up a notch when teaching mathematics and I loved to step it up a notch when the race became harder back in my bike racing days. The more notches the better. I used to ride my bike so hard that I couldn’t see straight and I felt like I was going to die. I also respect riders who step it up a notch, like Contador did in the Tour of Spain on the Angliru. He sure stepped it up a bunch of notches on that day but I digress.

The Resting Heart Rate

I realized that taking my resting heart rate while in the “biggest loser,” competition would help me to monitor my progress and might help me reach my goals a little more efficiently. By daily monitoring the stress your body is under you can better modify your fitness routine. When I was seriously training back in the day my resting heart rate was typically 36 to 40 beats per minute. 40 if I was really tired, like the day after a hard race. One year my resting heart rate got down to 31 beats per minute (I think one day it was 28), but I was actually slower that year, and that was a result of training too hard, a phenomenon called parasympathetic overtraining.

Anyways, this morning it was around 50 to 51 beats per minute which is not bad considering I’ve put on about 80 lbs since my racing days and am in no way in shape.

Getting Into Shape While Losing Weight

A conversation with BJT last evening prompted me to get on my trainer. BJT, for his part, has been training consistently on Zwift, an online training program where you can “race / ride” with people from all around the world. From what he tells me, it pushes you quite hard. Being busy recently, I didn’t partake in anything that intense last night. Just a moderately paced spin on the trainer for an hour. I have to say, moderately paced it was, but it wiped me right out.

Shortly after the ride I had dinner and then it was literally lights out as I fell asleep in front of whatever was on the t.v. It’s great to get motivated for fitness again, though, I have to say. I feel like a young kid, strategizing my weight loss and fitness plans!


Copyright © 2018 Tim Unkert

Old Cheese Doesn’t Make an Omelet Bad

It is with grace, tranquility, and ease that I awake this morning with renewed, unfettered enthusiasm for the day ahead. Recently I’ve gotten a little off track with my diet, being afflicted by a minor stomach bug. Let’s just say during the prior two snow days (1 and 2) I had eaten far too many hot dogs. Today, however, is a new day and I’m getting back on track.

Old Cheese Doesn’t Make an Omelet Bad

As I scoured the fridge this morning for things to put into my omelet, I realized I was low on a cheese. A critical error, if you will, for my shopping at Big Y this past week. I then realized that I had some old cheese. It was only a few weeks old, but some might argue it had grown stale, picked up refrigerator smells, etc. I saw it differently.

When you are young you think old things aren’t great, in fact old is something you never want to become. As I’ve aged though I realized old things aren’t bad, old things can be very good. The cheese, while old and possibly stale, was in an aged state, and had likely picked up various nutrients from the air in the refrigerator (o.k. maybe I’m stretching a bit here).

As I dug into my omelet, fork in hand, I realized it was fantastic. It was a blend of old and new, something to be embraced, an omelet of generations, so to speak. It is much in the same way that old and new generations can mix to form something new and even better.

The Mixing of Old and New Generations

Many people from a specific generation don’t necessarily find they want to mingle with others from another generation, but if you think about it we all must. As a teacher, I work with teachers anywhere from 22 years old to pushing seventy, and maybe even more in some cases.

This unique demographic represents an interesting blend of generations, old and new. Our music interests our different as are our experiences that formed our perspective of the world. We do, however, share a common interest; education.

The Common Glue Holding the Omelet Together

While my cheese may have been old and my eggs were new, the one thing these ingredients had in common was they were meant to be together. They were meant to form my omelet. Along with some moderately aged chopped onion, and some middle aged salsa, the eggs and the cheese mixed well. The omelet was delicious!

Looking at the bigger picture of life, I think it’s important to take viewpoints from different generations. While everyone’s formative years may be different I think we all have commonalities that will help us find common ground. We can all mix well together if given the chance.


Copyright © 2018 Tim Unkert

Note: You may be asking yourself, “Did he just try to make some deep connections with the ingredients of an omelet and humanity?” The answer is, “yes,” I may have been stretching a bit … Anyways, thank you for stopping by and I hope you found what you were looking for.