Sunday, September 18, 2022

1991 VW Syncro available

My 1991 Volkswagon Vanagon Syncro (the 4WD version) is available. It's the commercial model with rubber mats, jumps seats (removable), power package (electric door locks, windows, cruise control), AC. The back seat folds into a flat bed witih open space 9' long, 5' wide and 3' high. It's rated at 6,000 lbs gross weight with 1700 lbs carry capacity, but closer to 2,000 lbs.

The Syncro model shares the same body and interior as theVanagon models, but with a different frame for the 4WD drive train and suspension. The motor is same but the transmission is a 5-speed which is a normal 4-speed with a low 1st gear. The 4WD system uses a fluid drive for AWD which varies power front-rear and left-right based on traction.

My understanding is the system normally runs 20%-80% front to rear and 50%-50% left to right but based on wheen traction can vary to 80%-20% front to rear and split left to right based on traction. The US models can switch to lock rear drive to 50%-50% to each wheel. European models have additional front drive and power transfer switches to lock equal power to all wheels.

It's a one owner (bought Larson VW dealership August 21, 1991), original condition interior, original paint (no dents or scratches), original engine (2.1L 90 hp, 186,000 miles). Replaced transmissioin (125K), clutch (150K), brakes, power steering rack and tie rods, power steering pump, AC compressor, master brake and clutch cylinders. It has new stainless steel exhaust system (GoWesty) and new 15" wheels and tires.

I change the oil and filter every 2,500-3,000 miles (20w/50 Castrol) and always use premium fuel. It's need some front suspension work (ball joints and bushings) and CV joint service. The estimate is $4K, and ready for years of reliable, durable driving with normal maintenance. Here is a collection of photos.

If you're interested, asking price is $48,000.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


After I pinched my Sciatic nerve in June 2011, again in June 2012 and then severly in July, it took until September where I could walk any distance, so I started walking first along the Ruston Way parkway in Tacoma. It's a beautiful walkway park along the waterfront from Old Town to Ruston in northeast Tacoma.

From there I started walking to and from Gig Harbor where I live. It's 3+ miles direct from my place to the commercial area off highway 16 in Gig Harbor and 4+ miles to downtown Gig Harbor. I've stayed with the former destination for now but have found different routes which varys the walk from 6-7 miles to 8-10 miles round trip depending on the route.

So far the walks each month has had to fit into the schedule of work, life and trips, which is as follows for the months to date.

-- 2012 --
January      -  14 trips for 88 miles
September  -   7 trips for 28.5 miles
October      - 10 trips for 46.5 miles
November  -   4 trips for 20.0 miles
December  -   9 trips for 45.0 miles
-- Total for 2012 - 228 miles --

-- 2013 --
January      - 17 trips for 101  miles (lots of cold rain/snow walks)
February    - 10 trips for 60.4 miles (includes one 7 mile test walk)
March        - 13 trips for 76.0 miles
April          - 19 trips for 132 miles (includes two 8 mile walks)
May           - 16 trips for 122 miles (7.5-8 miles except one)
June           - 17 trips for 136 miles (8 miles with two 7.5 or 9 mile walks)
July            - 16 trips for 130 miles (8 miles with two 9 mile walks)
August       - 20 trips for 162 miles (8 miles with four 8.5 mile walks)
September  - 22 trips for 175 miles (8+ miles except one 6 mile walk)
October      - 26 trips for 201 miles (6-9 mile walks)
November  - 21 trips for 166 miles (8 miles but one 6 miles)
December   - 27 trips for 208 miles (8 miles but four 6 miles)
-- Total for 2013 - 1,669 miles --
-- Total distance - 1,957 miles --

-- 2014 --
January       - 26 trips for 205 miles (8 miles but three 6 or 9 miles)
February     - 12 trips for 90 miles (6 or 8 miles)
March         -  9 trips for 55.5 miles (6-6.5 miles)
April           -  2 walks 2 miles
May            - 10 trips for 64.5 miles (6-6.5 mile)
June            - 17 trips for 125 miles (6-8 miles)
July             - 15 trips for 120 miles (8 miles)
August        - 14 trips for 113 miles (8-8.5 miles)
September   - 14 trips for 112 miles (6.5-9 miles)
October       - 14 trips for 112 miles (8 miles)
November   - 11 trips for 64 miles (most 6 miles)
December   - 12 trips for 72 miles (all 6 miles)
-- Total for 2014 - 1,135 miles --
-- Total distance - 3,092 miles --

-- 2015 --
January         -  9 trips for 54.5 miles
Februrary      - 15 trips for 90 miles
March           - 15 trips for 90 miles
April             -  5 trips for 30 miles
May              - 12 trips for 72 miles
June              - 10 trips for 60 miles
July              -  8 trips for 50 miles (two bike trips)
August          - 4 trips for 22 miles
September    - 14 trips for 84 miles
October        - 25 trips for 150 miles
November    - 23 trips for 138 miles
December    - 26 trips for 156 miles
-- Total for 2015 - 996 miles
-- Total distance - 4,088 miles --

-- 2016 --
January         -  24 trips for 140 miles
Februrary      - 20 trips for 120 miles
March            - 20 trips for 120 miles
April              - 18 trips for 108 miles
May               - 16 trips for 96 miles
June               - 15 trips for 90 miles
July                - 22 trips for 136 miles
August           - 22 trips for 131 miles
September     - 13 trips for 78 miles
October         -  7 trips for 42 miles
November     - 11 trips for 66 miles
December      - 18 trips for 108 miles
-- Total for 2016 - 1,235 miles
-- Total distance - 5,323 miles --

-- 2017 --
January         -  22 trips for 132 miles
Februrary      -  20 trips for 120 miles
March            - 26 trip for 156 miles
April              - 21 trips for 126 miles
May               - 14 trips for 84 miles
June               - 23 trips for 148 miles (few 7-8 mile walks)
July                - 27 trips for 162 miles
August           - 30 trips for 178 miles
September     - 15 trips for 90 miles
October         - 20 trips for 120 miles
November     - 19 trips for 114 miles
December      - 28 trips for 168 miles
-- Total for 2017 - 1,598 miles
-- Total distance - 6,921 miles --

-- 2018 --
January         -  18 trips for 108 miles
Februrary      -  16 trips for 96 miles
March            -  4 trips for 24 miles
April              -  0 trips for 0 miles
May               -  0 trips for 0 miles
June               -  17 trips for 102 miles
July                -  11 trips for 66 miles
August           -  11 trips for 66 miles
September     -   7 trips for 42 miles
October         -   8 trips for 56 miles
November     -   1 trip for 6 miles
December      -  14 trips for 84 miles
-- Total for 2018 - 640 miles
-- Total distance - 7,561 miles --


Year in review. January and February was the same as 2017, getting 15 or more days a month, but then in late February I came down with the flu, even after getting a flu shot the previous fall. The CDC later reported the 2017 vacine was for the wrong strains and was the worst effective vacine in years.

After not walking in March and April for the flu and two episodes of food poisoning, I resumed walking in June, only to succomb to severe shin splints. July turned out worse than June with another bout of food poisoning and adverse food reactions. August, September and October didn't faired any better.

I kept coming down with colds, flu, or some bug that leaves me tired and my digestive system doing crazy thing from not working to working overtime. In addition to that my back has gotten worse where I have mild back and leg pain almost all the time. It's been there ever since the severly pinched Sciatic nerve in July 2012, but slowly it dimished to be pain free some days.

That changed from the two months off for various unknown reasons, and it's less related to weight, only hurting more the more I weigh, and the weight that makes me almost pain free is getting lower with a smaller margin to gain and pain resumes. This continued through fall and into winter.

November was the worst month since spring. I forgot to get my flu shot earlier and came down with the flu early in the month that lingered until early December, but after getting the flu shot then I got out for the walks in mid-month before the side effects of a drug I started for my digestive system hit my body and walks came to a halt.

I also discovered during walks on cold morning when the temperature gets below freezing, my body has problems generating heat to stay warm. It's intermittent but on the those days, for whatever reasons, the body just can't generate the heat and becomes completely cold and takes hours to warm up when I get home.

This occurs despite the layers of clothes I wear. I'm still sorting out the conditions it happens because it's intermittent and we don't get sub-freezing mornings that much in the Puget Sound. The body is fine when it's between freezing and 40 degrees.

That's it for the year. Hopefully this year will be better. The goal is to get back to walking 7-8 miles per day instead of 6 miles, and eventually get back to hiking, but that dependent on my back and my body to feel better. So it goes, but at 69 I can't complain that much (ok, I do here).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Taking a Break

Three weeks ago my walk, while the distance is the same every walk, was very hard, something I'd experienced since doing field work in winter weather 20-plus years ago. On the walk home is near weather around freezing and a 5-7 degree wind chill I couldn't get warm.

The walk to town was fine, but try as I want my body just couldn't get warm. Not just my hands as often happens during this weather, even with gloves made for Raynaud's Syndrome, but my whole body. And I felt cold the rest of the morning.

I decided to take a few days off, but then came down with the flu. Yes, the flu despite getting a flu shot last September, only to learn in January the CDC said the shot was only 50% effective at best for this year's flu.

The flu wasn't severe but lasted over 2 weeks. I walked one day during it and barely made it home feeling exhausted. That was my last walk. I didn't fully get over the flu, it merely settled in my digestive system to give me all sorts of reactions to food.

I'm slowly getting over that his week but haven't started walking again, and I'm not sure when I will. The surprise is this time I haven't gained weight, likely the result of the flu. Normally I gain weight after 5-7 days rest or being sick.

I'm one of those who gain weight being sick. Always have, until now. I don't know why the change but it's what is, and hopefully feeling better I'll be walking again soon. And don't get me started on Daylight Saving Time. I hate it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Two pounds

It's just two pounds. Many people eat that much in one meal. We all gain and lose up to or more than that during a day, and over time from our exercise, eating and activities. And it's weight easily absorbed by the body, often stored as fat, and kept in the digestive system until it processed and expelled.

It's just two pounds. But to my body it's everything. As I finally reached 135 pounds, the weight now varies between 135.0 and 137.0 pounds. I got there over a week about a month ago dropping from 140 pounds to 136 pounds. Not sure why, only that it did.

Since then I don't get to or over 137.0 pounds anymore, but it takes exercising (walking 6-8 miles 5-6 days a week) and watching my diet (what, how much, when I eat). I don't count calories except in estimates to know where I'm at for my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and adding calories from walks.

This is about 1400-1500 calories on non-walking days and 2000-2200 calories on walking days. None of that however is reflected so much in my weight, measured daily first thing in the morning before anything else. The naturopath said it's the time must before you body begins to change from sleep to awake.

I don't worry too much about the number so much, just to know the lowest weight I am for an idea of the floor my body is at when the digestive system is completely empty. The fat level is slowly decreasing, but it's not so much reflected in the weight except over weeks or months.

What I monitor is the change between days as it's indicative of what the body kept or lost from the previous day(s), which is why is varies 0 to 1+ pounds. This relates back to what, how much and when I ate the day(s) before the digestive system is still holds or lost.

What's important these days is that this small difference is in the digestive tract, which in turn enlarges the large colon, which in turn puts pressure on the lower back and Sciatic nerve, causing the lower back and legs to hurt.

I'm not sure why this happens, only it does. There's no pain when I'm 135.0, mild pain at 135.5, moderate at 136.0 and more at 136.5-137.0. And the pain makes the walks harder for every .5 pound, reflected in muscles feeling tired and sore and the pace slows, from 14 minutes per mile to 15+ minutes per mile.

This is where I'm at. Not where I thought or want do be, but am. The back specialist noted two years ago from scan of my lower spine (L3 and lower) from the 2012 and 2015 scans my compression is less but the degeneration is slightly worse. Two years later it's likely a little more worse for wear.

Anyway, this is where I'm at now. I walk 5-6 days a week, and watch my diet, namely what, how much and when I eat. From there it's helping the digestive system with supplements the naturopath recommends after all the tests, to process food through in a timely manner.

So it's the work to balance the exercise, diet and body, specifically the digestive system to work. I've learned the less I eat the better I feel, the more I eat the worse I feel, which is counter to what the body needs for energy.

And the more I stay within my short food list the better I feel, the more foods I try, as naturopath recommends to expand microbiome in digestive tract, the worse I feel as the body takes time generate the bacteria and digest the food(s), usually adding weight for 2-3 days while it processes the food.

That's conundrum between food and digestive system, digestive system and lower back, lower back and walking, walking and fat/weight. Such is life now.

Monday, May 1, 2017


On my walks some mornings, people will stop to say they see me walking a lot (20-24 days a month), and ask why. After an explanation about my Sciatic nerve I pinched in June and July 2012 which left me flat on my back, I realized I continue walks for a few reasons.

This has been a question I've asked myself since reaching my goal weight of 140, and now under 140,  for the last 3-4 months. I haven't lost all the fat yet, still 1-2 lbs left to lose which will take most of the rest of this year at the rate I lose it now. 

The first is about reaching 60 where time and age catches up with the body and it's a slow decline from now on. It's really simple, every morning I get get better or get worse. It's not really that simple because after 60 you're only slowing the decline of time and age of your body and mind.

The second is I've driven the weight and fat below my genetic predisposition, so after not walking for a few days, the body will begin to readjust to add both back. I feel it at the 3-4 day mark where it takes a few walking days to get the body back.

So walking is keeping the weight and fat off, and hopefully losing the remaining fat over the spring and summer. Walks are now for sustaining what I've gained. The third is a followup to the second, the less weight, the less pressure on the lower back and Sciatic nerve.

The last is simply it's good mental and physical exercise. I'm basically lazy, and can be a good couch potato, so forcing myself to get up and ready and then get out the door to walk 6-8 miles helps remind me who's in control.

Anyway, that's the thoughts on the walk this morning when a couple asked me why I walk so much. It makes my day.