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Day 52: A Book Review

I finished Younger Next Year.

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The gist of the book is that much of what we see is aging is merely the consequence of idleness.  Obviously we are aging, our hair is becoming gray and other things but many of the debilitating effects are due to our sedentary lifestyles.  A good example would be me.  I worked at a job where I walked ten miles a day and lifted ten thousand pounds a day to watching Netflix and playing the banjo.

The idea is to treat exercise like a job.  Something that you do every day, six days a week.  Your quality of life increases and instead of a slow decline you live well until your death very late in life.

It’s a great book.  Easy to read and very motivating.  I did make the mistake of looking up the authors on Google and found that Dr. Henry S. Lodge died at 58 of prostate cancer.  So it goes.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Day 48: Updating an absence

My brother’s cancer has been progressing.  He has a large tumor in his left ear and it is also in both lungs.  He was denied access to the clinical trial for the immunotherapy but is getting the therapy anyway.  I think it had more to do with funding than anything else.

Treatment started with radiation treatment to the tumor in his ear.  That is a daily treatment.  That means I have to drive to Elyria, pick him up and head to Seidman in University Circle.  On a good day it is a four hour day and on a bad day eleven hours.

After a few radiation treatments he started his immunotherapy.  This will be every two weeks for at least two years.  We got there at 10am for our appointment, they took us back at 10:45.  Explained the procedure and said they had to make the cocktail and it would take twenty minutes.  At 11:30 they brought the treatment to him.  It would take an hour so I got some coffee and headed to my car to practice guitar,  I didn’t hear from him after an hour and a half so I headed back to him.

He had a bad reaction to the therapy and had a very hard time breathing and pain in his back.  The whole medical team came and they pumped him full of steroids and Benedryl.  Once he stabilized they resumed the treatment but had to slow down the drip considerably.  Instead of an hour it became nearly three.

So, because of the complications they have to slow the treatment down considerable and also he has to have someone drive him there every time.  I almost had him on his own and driving himself.  This is a real setback.

I allowed much of this to weigh on my mind.  I’m still walking and doing other things to become healthy.  I’m back to writing and I’m back to working hard on my goal,

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Day 39: Birthday

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

James Taylor

I turn 61 today. Got up early and played guitar. Working on some Blind Boy Fuller songs*. I’ll be taking my brother to The Seidman Cancer Center today. He wasn’t accepted into the immunotherapy trial. That is really bad news. We go in today to find out our options.

I had the fantastic guitarist Toby Walker recommend this book to me.

Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy-Until You're 80 and Beyond by [Crowley, Chris, Lodge, Henry S.]

 

 

I just ordered it via Amazon Prime. Should be here in a couple days. I’ll do a thorough review in a week or so.

* Love Blind Boy Fuller. Working on Untrue Blues right now. He recorded over 120 sides and if I live long enough I’d love to learn them all.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Day 37: Home

Got home Tuesday morning at 1:30 am after driving fourteen hours.  I was exhausted. When I finally got to bed I felt like I had been beaten with a bag of nickels.

I love Austin, Texas.  I have to admit that the constant heat and spices did take it’s toll on me.  At one point I got a bit heat sick and had to go back to my room a while.  I’m sure I would adapt but it would take some time.

succulent

Love the large succulent.  I don’t love that large gut on me.

My wife needed to be back home to sign some real estate papers so we decided to head back Sunday, right after breakfast.  After saying goodbye to my daughter we headed out. I had a few concerns about the coming eclipse so when it got dark I decided to keep going and drive as far as I could.  By two in the morning I had made it past Memphis and to Jackson, TN.  We were beat so grabbed a motel and got back on the road at ten.  Because I had gone farther we only had nine and a half hours to go.  The plan was to get home by eight.

As we drove north from Nashville you could see hundreds of cars, campers and lawnchairs in the rest areas waiting for the eclipse.  No problem.  We weren’t going to stop, we just wanted to get home.

While driving it slowly got darker and oddly dusklike.  When the eclipse occurred it was like sunset without the long shadows.  It was very odd.  Then it was over.  No problem.

Then it got bad.  Thousands of cars left the rest areas and got on the highway.  Within an hour the highways were bumper to bumper.  Google Maps kept trying to take us around the clogged streets but it was no use.  At one point I left I65 and headed over to Elizabethtown to try and circumvent.  It was brutal.  The mapping app would say we would be home at 8:30 pm, then 9:30 pm and then 12:20 am.

We didn’t get home until 1:30 am.  That was fourteen and a half hours on the road with minimal breaks for bathrooms and food.  It was brutal.  We slept in the next morning and aside from giving my chess lessons we just watched Netflix (The Defenders) and relaxed.  No walking, nothing.  I plan to get back to it tomorrow.  No excuses.

One odd thing I want to mention.  Once we got into Kentucky and then through Tennessee,  Arkansas and Texas it was impossible to get a cup of hot tea.  Up here you go into a McDonald’s and order a hot tea it is no problem.  Down there it isn’t that they don’t  have it, it’s that they don’t understand what you want.  I’d ask for a hot tea and they would give me a sweet tea with no ice.  I’d explain hot water with a tea bag and they would just look at me like they had never heard of such a thing.  The looks on their faces was like I was asking for some strange exotic food.  I don’t even want to get started about the grits with breakfast.  That is a whole other blog post.

I’m home, I’m safe and I’m tired.  I’m getting back into my routine tomorrow.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Day 33: Swimming

“Not only in running and the contests of the Circus, but in this race course of our lives we must keep to the inner track”

– Seneca, On Tranquility 9.3

Austin is truly incredible. Every restaurant has large outdoor areas and the food is fantastic with spices and fresh lime.

The heat is brutal with the sun beating down. I mentioned that I’m still tired and my daughter’s fiancée said, “Yeah, you look it”. I pulled him aside and explained the rules. If ever I say anything like that you are to say, “Im surprised, you seem to be in such good shape!”

We went for an early lunch at Red’s Porch. It’s is a fine restaurant that sits high overlooking The Green Belt. Large fans had misters attached that made the hundred degree heat quite pleasant.

The daughter wanted us to go swimming so we went to Barton Springs. It’s a municipal swim place with cold water from a spring.

The water was wonderfully cold and we swam for a few hours. To be honest it kicked my ass. The last time I swam was 1978 and I looked like this.

I got out of the water and told my future son-in-law how all that swimming had kicked my ass. He looked at me and said, “I’m surprised, you seem to be in such good shape!” That kid is going places.

This is what the place looks like and the picture doesn’t do it justice.

Afterwards we went to an authentic taco place. The amount of spices down here is nuts. In Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas it was grits with everything. Here it is hot spices.

I’m trying to be good but have to have realistic expectations. When I get back I’m going to have to hit it hard.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Day 32: Austin, Texas

After twenty hours of driving over two days we made it to Austin. It was truly exhausting. The only thing that made it bearable was podcasts of Fresh Air and This American Life. This was interrupted by listening to the entire catalog of Roxy Music.

I was a bit surprised that everywhere we went, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and now Texas look very much like Ohio. Some were more hilly but mostly the trees and foliage are the same.

When we got to Memphis we stopped at a gas station for gas, bathroom and coffee. While there I saw a cowboy hat there that fit me perfectly. I had to buy it.

I don’t know any cowboys but I assume they all buy their hats at gas stations.

We are in Austin for at least a week and I won’t be getting on the scale until I get back. I’m going to try to be good. When I get back I plan to hit it hard.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Day 30:Monthly Summary

I’m writing this in a cheap motel on the outskirts of Memphis, TN. It’s almost midnight and I feel like death on a stick. The wife and I will be traveling to Austin, TX tomorrow to see our daughter. It’s been an adventure and only going to get better.

As the month ends I’ve lost sixteen pounds. That is a great start. I expected to lose more my first month. I’ve been as much as eighteen pounds but gain a couple pounds every weekend. I lose more each week than I gain on the weekends. My goal is to lose ten pounds a month so I’m ahead of the game. I’ve done a lot of things correctly and also made a few mistakes.

I’ve been slowly increasing my exercise and been consistent with my walking. I’ve kept a positive attitude even when I’ve stalled and haven’t seen progress.

I haven’t been drinking as much water as I’d like. I mean to and it doesn’t happen. I need to work harder. I need to plan meals when I’m out and about playing poker or some other activity.

Ten pounds a month is a bit ambitious but I will be starting a Tai Chi class soon. Plus when I get back I will start training for the Calvin’s Challenge bike race. It’s 265 days until Calvin’s. There is enough time if I start now. I’m pumped.

It’s been a good first month. I need to keep doing what I’m doing and add more exercise. The hardest part is mental. When the needle on the scale doesn’t move, or worse goes up, after a few days I want to give up. I have to work past that.

I’ll be posting a bit as my wife and I go on this road trip. When we get back I’ll be working twice as hard.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Uncategorized