Friday, February 27, 2009

LAB RESULTS: Healthy as the Proverbial Bear!

I am scheduled next Monday at the Wadsworth Family Medical Center for my final physical check up before my cross country trike ride. I was to make an appointment for blood work before going in.

I called a week ago to make an appointment. The only opening they had was today, Friday, at 9:45AM. One day before the appointment for the check up. When she made the appointment the lady asked if I could fast until that late in the morning. Of course I said yes. I needed that test.

The fact is that I nearly starved to death. Breakfast is my absolutely necessary meal of the day. I like dinner. I can take or leave lunch. Looking at my waist line I obviously take more than leave. UMMM

I was up at 5:30AM and made ham and eggs with fried potatoes and onions for Julie. Yes, I baked her biscuits which she enjoyed with honey. I drooled. My stomach growled. But I hung in there.

I did go to the doctor's office a bit early just in case. It worked. I got in a bit earlier than usual. The young lady who did the blood work up was up front pregnant--seven weeks to go but b i g ! She was very friendly and efficient. I managed to handle the urine in the cup through the pass through on my own. Then on to Cracker Barrel for a sunrise sampler. Yummy Yum!
I fretted that I'd have to wait until after my physical for the results. No Sweat! I have the world's greatest family physician, Matthew Finneran, MD. I've been with him since he started up his practice. He is the age of my oldest son and at times he acts like a son to Julie and I. Gives warm hugs to Julie and pats my shoulder. I got a call at the end of the day from the soon to be Mother. She had the results. WOW!

Total cholestreol - 100/199, I was 119. Lower is better. Perfect!

Triglyserides - 40/149, I was 135. Higher is better. Perfect again!

LDL (bad) - 40/129, I was 43. A bit too good? Cut my meds in half, to 5ml of Corlestral.

HDL (good) - 40/59, I was 49. Right in the ball park.


Didn't get my sugar work up yet. This morning it tested 121 with the ideal range being 90/120. That is pretty good. I'll be in the safe range when I see the doctor Monday.

Irish Proverb:

"A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book".

God Bless!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

USS SAN PABLO: The Sand Pebble

As I pedaled my trike on the trainer today I watched half of part one of the movie The Sand Pebble. This movie is listed on my blog profile as a favorite.

I so liked the main character, Jake Holman, that I named my last airdale after him. Walt's Courageous Jake. The character was an independent but honest and fearless Motor Machinest Mate First Class.

The "Sand Pebble" was the nickname of the USS San Pablo PR, number unknown. There was a real ship USS San Pablo, AVP30. She was in service in the Pacific during World War II, long after the fictional ship.

United States interests in China were protected by U.S. Navy gun boats for 200 years of uninterupted naval service, longer than in any other area. The boats that patrolled the Yangtze River were know as YangPat for Yangtze Patrol. Many of the men on the river patrol craft served their entire 20 to 30 years there, retired and stayed in China. They loved the duty in real life as much as in the fictional movie.

There were eight River Patrol Gunboats on the the Yangtze:
USS Palos PR1
USS Monocacy PR2
USS Wake PR3
USS Tufuila PR4
USS Panay PR5
USS Oahu PR6
USS Luzon PR7
USS Mindanao PR8

Four years before their cowardly attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese planes attacked and sunk the USS Panay PR5, pictured to the right. On November 21, 1937, with the ship clearly flying her neutral colors plus having them painted on her awnings, Japanese pilots claimed to have mistaken the ship for their enemy.

The attack took place at midday as the crew were at dinner with their guns covered. They were removing civilians from a threatened American Embassy. Two bluejackets were killed along with one civilian. Eleven officers and men were wounded. Although the Japanese claim to be people of honor, their history is in conflict with that claim. I have not and will not own a Japanese car.

LESS WE FORGET, I wanted to write about these small ships because they had the most hazardous of duties in the most foreign of lands. Their crews may have had "ding how" shore leave but the duty and the pay was as bad as it could be. They served their country well.

I sailed the East and the South China Seas during the Korean War. We were fighting the Chinese. None of that good Chinese Shore Leave. Boo! (I made up for it, however, in Japan.) I was the Radioman on the USS Yuma ATF94, pictured left. She was home and a feeder.

Adlai Stevenson:

"Patriotism is not short, frensied outbursts, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime".

God Bless!

PRACTICE BLOG: Pedaling in place = Boring

Another practice in preparation for blogging on my cross country trike trip. Today I'll share the boring part of the trip, physical preparation. I'm riding two or three hours several times a week. It is very boring and I am coming to dread each repetition.

The wait is rapidly coming to an end and I'll be so glad. I won't have to practice beyond a week from Thursday. That is the day I ship my trike to Bernies Bike Shop in San Diego. Three weeks from yesterday I fly there. Three weeks from tomorrow I commence my trip. WooHoo!

It is important that we enjoy each day as it is the only time we are assured. Yesterday is a memory and tomorrow is a hope. Today must always be "the" day in our lives. It is difficult to enjoy boredom!

This is a picture of my trike in the office. The reflectors on the seat sure are bright, aren't they? A real safety factor in being seen. All my clothing is bright colored with reflecting stripes and my panniers each have multiple reflectors. Then there is the flag on the tall pole which really stands out.

What do I see when I ride in the office? I see my own feet. That's an impressive sight, huh? Well impressive in size anyway. Size 12 no less. A very firm foundation. What can I say. My shoes have a stiff, teflon sole with a built in clip attachment which locks on to the pedal which allows me to both push and pull on the pedals.

I see my status board. It has all my plans on it, my airline tickets and motel reservations. It also has my equipment and clothing list. It was exciting putting the board together but that excitement is now behind me. Its as near ready as it can be.

The board includes a bike map of San Diego showing the first 20 miles of the first day. Although the map shows elevation changes, the first 20 miles is basically flat riding right through the city starting at the ocean. It is tradition to dip the rear wheel in the Pacific at the start and the front wheels in the Atlantic at the end.

Speaking of elevation, check out the elevation which must be climbed the first two days. After the first 20 miles of day one it is necessary to climb 17 miles up one third of the mountain to the little town of Alpine. On the second day I have to climb the other 2/3rds of the mountain, then down a short run on the interstate highway to Jacumba. Thankfully, the climb isn't as difficult as shown on the elevation map. It is a long, steady climb but the grade doesn't look to difficult.

This is a picture of my "throne" for the next two months. Uh, scratch that throne, make it a lawn chair. Actually , it will be my only chair on the trip. Notice the forward looking reflectors. Notice also the pillow lumbar support, which will be my sleeping pillow at night.

To keep from being bored out of my gourd I watch movies. Yesterday I completed the second part of "Gone with the Wind". Today it is "The Sand Pebbles". (I served in a small ship, USS Yuma ATF94, like the USS San Pablo in both the East and the South China Seas).

I will take the trike out of the office next weekend to display it in church in the appeal for support on my charity ride. The trike will then reside in the living room until shipping day. I have to reinforce the shipping crate today. Busy, Busy!

John Quincy Adams:

"Patience and perservance have a magical effect before which difficulities disappear and obstacles vanish".

God Bless!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


On my upcoming cross country trike trip I want to share the experience as it happens with the folks at home. The plan is to use my new Blackberry Curve cell phone to take the pictures, send it on email and transfer it to my blog. I did this last night for the first time. It was a shaky operation, but I did it.

This blog is a practice session using my trip to Kimberly's today to have her wash my sleeping bag in her large, front loading laundry machines. I took several pictures of her home, selected a few to send to my email and upload on this blog.

Right away I discovered something I didn't know how to do. I get emails with several pictures on the email. I don't know how to do that. Due to this ignorance I had to send the pictures one email at a time, a real nuisance.


Living in a small community of what may be a dozen homes, it is necessary to go through a gate to get to the houses.

It is difficult getting the entire house in one picture.
There is a massive driveway to the house. There is a circle in front, a turn around, and an inner court to the three car garage and to the single garage over which is Kimberly's office. That's my '92 Chevy Lumina Minivan in the driveway.

The entry way has a curving stairway. Beyond the entry way is the living room. and to the left as you enter is the dining room. Pictured here to the right is the breakfast nook.

Although not complete yet, the rear of the house will eventually have a high, covered deck, a first floor deck with double curving stairs to a ground level patio.

The home is a delight to visit and I look forward to the day when I get "old and grey" and go to make my home with the kids so I can enjoy each of their homes. When I get old and grey, that is. No, the truth is my dream home is a shanty boat on the river.

If you think the girls who live in this house are snooty, well they aren't. What they are are what I call "Good Time Charlies". Here is a picture of the two of them party'n it up!



"Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure"

God Bless!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NADA BLOGGING: Bizzzz zz zz zy!

It has been awhile since my last blog. I have been buzy, and a bit frustrated. I tried to do a blog on my charity bike ride using pictures from an email. Just never was able to transfer them from the email to the blog. Oh, well! Back to the drawing board (Mark) I guess.

Mark did take the time to teach me how the cell phone camera worked. I can and have taken some pictures. He also showed me how to send them email. Duh, how was that son? Need a refresher course I guess. Simple things are so easy when you know how, huh? And, I'm not sure the gps is all that simple. Haven't got into that yet. Soon.

What have I been busy doing? Well, I've cooked four meals for others in the last week. I agreed to do sauage gravy and biscuits for an outreach program at the church on Saturday morning. Julie pitched in with a potato, egg & sausage casserol and fantastic blue berry french toast with home made blue berry syrup.

The table setting was stunning in a valentine theme and the breakfast went well with about three times the usual planning meeting attendance. A real success. Hey, those folks will turn out for the loaves and fishes without fail.

That same night I had a dinner for my support group using the same table dressing that I used for breakfast, minus some tables. One of the support folk arranged with his sister to make lasanga with homemade noodles. She also made raised rolls. Fabulous. That meeting to get the charity ride off the ground came off well also. There is a lot of work for a lot of people in a major fund raising.

Kimberly needed some relief from my two delightful grandchildren. I can't imagine that! They are so precious! Yes, she said they had been out of school for a few days due to power outages etc. but my grand kids just get sweeter and sweeter day by day don't they? I think she was just feeling the stress from her semi annual outing for her medical people and layed the stress at the kids feet. I know ALL my grandchildren are perfect! How about that Jenny?

Julie and I separated them for the day. Julie took Rosebud one way and I took Riley another. We didn't have any problem with those dear children. Riley and I ended up at Cracker Barrel for dinner and went to see Pink Panther II. We did a man-to-man thing and enjoyed it emensely. I explained girls! We made plans for next summer at the lakeside retreat.

For breakfast I made them waffels, with Julie's homemade blueberry syrup, alongwith sausage. They put that food away like they were starved. Hard to believe how much little Rosebud ate.

Julie and I had breakfast at six that morning but the kids weren't awake so we let them sleep in. Eventually Julie and I went back to bed. At 10AM they knocked on our door insisting they had been awake since a little after 8AM and were hungry. You have to have a game plan with kids. HA

We had a "walk in" for dinner that night. I won't count that.

When I went to Mark and Mary Kay's for my tutoring I took along several pounds of walleye fillets and my big, iron skillet. Made some cole slaw, did some french fries and had a real fish fry. Well, actually, we had a feeesh fry. I am from WV you know. I also made a cherry pie for Mark. That was my fourth meal prepared for people in less than a week. (Picture taken in my dining room).

Today I talked to Bernie's Bike Shop in San Diego about shipping my trike to them. Nice people. I went to FedEx to make preparation for shipping the trike. The box for the trike is 4x4x7 and will weigh about 135 pounds. The cost? Can't believe it was only $113.

Did a trial hand washing of my bike clothing using travel size packages of Tide. Made arrangements to wash my sleeping bag at Kimberly's tomorrow using her front loading washing machine. Time is growing short.


Walt's question:

"If Julie is not along on my bike trip to tell me, will I still be wrong?"

God Bless!

Saturday, February 7, 2009


It seems as though my charity cross country trike ride has dominated my life forever. It has been about nine months since I placed the order for my new Terra Trike. I ship my trike in four weeks and five weeks from tomorrow I start pedaling 20 miles across the desert from San Diego and 17 miles up the mountain to Alpine, CA.

Today is a landmark day! I rode my trike for THREE HOURS on the trainer. Three hours! Wow! I have never rode a bike that long before. I rode for an hour and took a bit longer to recover than what I'll do on the trail. I rode, rested for about an hour, did my stretches, took in a bit of energy food and rode for my second, and eventually my third hour.

I had no visible ill effects. I have concern for the left knee that stopped my running at age 72 but so far I'm not having a problem. Thanks to my days as a football down lineman for the Point Pleasant Big Blacks, I have massive legs. When they get in shape I'll be alright. Meanwhile, I'll get a bit tired.

I'll ride at the three hour a day rate for a week and, if all goes well, increase it to four hours. I need to ride four hours, with shorter rest periods, for at least a week before the trip begins.

While I am not riding up hills on the trainer, neither am I coasting down hills. On the trainer it is level and I need to pedal all the time. The gearing will assist on the up hills but the down hills, for the most part, will just be braking to control excessive speed.

Kimberly helped me get a good deal on my one way ticket from Akron-Canton to San Diego. I've been keeping a close watch on airfares. My best total price so far was $168. On Thursday afternoon I got a email with a new bargain price, $99 plus tax and fees.

I figured that this same email was sent to a lot of potentially interested people. I was concerned that if I waited until Julie got home in the evening that the tickets might not be available. I called Kimberly who travels a lot. I had an email confirmation of the ticket in less than ten minutes, if you can believe that! When I read the email I discovered the base price was less that $99, it was only $92. Taxes and fees took it up to $127.19.

Kimberly, seen here sitting on her Daddy's lap, is such a sweetheart! When I took the money to her this evening she didn't want to take it. Said it was her contribution to my trip. I had to explain who was the father and who was the child before she would take the money. Even then she tried to give it back to me as I left.

Adding to the anticipation of the trip, Kimberly has a business trip to Tucson at the same time I will be going through Phoenix. She is taking her family there on vacation at the resort pictured at left for a week before the business meeting starts.

If I can ride from San Diego to Phoenix in nine days she and the family will drive to Phoenix from Tucson and spend an evening with the Wilsons, my friend Juanita and I. What fun!

Samuel Smiles:

"An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility
into reality; Our desires being often but the precursors
of the things which we are capable of performing"

God Bless!