Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bamboo Chimes

I have a set of bamboo chimes sent to me by a friend when she lived in Guam. I can't even remember when she sent them anymore and I love the sound of them in our northwest storms. Several of the chimes have long split or cracked down some if not most of their length.

They hang sheltered from the strongest winds from the north in cold winter storms and from the southeast in fall and spring rain storms, but now days, they're less chimes than objects bumping into each other in the night. I'd replace them but they've survived so long, they're kinda' cool to hear.

Sometimes it's not the quality of the sound that matters, but just the sound itself, weathered and unique.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Walking Update

Well, I wrote in January that every morning each of us is faced with a choice, and either or choice to get better or worse. There is no staying the same. You don't, life doesn't and certainly time won't. And with that I started walking 5-6 miles a day last October from 2-3 days a week to 4-5 days a week through January and into early February.

Well, as life teaches us, too much of one thing has a price and cost, and for this it was my body, namely the legs with shin splints which have long plagued me for periods in the past for running too often, blisters on the heal of both feet, and black toes, those problems where the toenail lifts, bleeds underneath and forms a scab which eventually comes off with the nail.

Yeah, one of the toenails is near the time it will lift off. The other two are weeks away. But the body and work reduced the walking to 1-2 days per week. I'm slowly increasing it again as the shin splints are gone for awhile, the feet get taped now to avoid blisters, and the toenails get taped to protect the toenails. Kinda' keeping the sports tape company profitable.

But I am remembering the goal to get back to running, which is doubtful until later this spring after my cardologist agrees, and get back to hiking in Mt. Rainier NP. As you know there are very few trails in the NP which are relatively flat or with little elevation gain in or out of your destination. I only know of two longer day hikes which fit in that catagory.

Those are the Westside Road from the intersection of Highway 706 to the bridge over Fish Creek and the climb to Round Pass, about 3.5 miles one way, and the Carbon River trail from the NP boundary to Ipsut campground, about 5 miles one way. All the other hikes are short, more tourist focused ones, usually a mile or so round trip.

Anyway, that's the update, and all I say now is, as the saying goes, "Feet, don't fail me now." I hope to do my first hike within a month, always my favorite opening trail to get my hiking legs back, and yes, it's the Westside Road hike. Always a joy, but then Mt. Rainier NP is always a joy to be there.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Raynaud's Syndrome II

I wrote in 2009 about my Raynaud's Syndrome which struck my hands in the winter of 1990-91 and accept an opportunity to get out of the field work, which with the USGS isn't a seasonal job in basic data. You go whatever the weather and conditions. You find a way to get there and do the work.

Well, in the fall of 2010, Raynaud's Syndrome found my toes and by the end of the winter 2010-11 I had frostnip-like (1st degree frost bite) symptom which developed into scabs through the spring and into the summer before the toes fully healed, only to suffer again the following winter, and each winter since it's gotten worse where the several toes are swollen through the winter.

Because of this I no longer can walk around barefoot without socks. Well, most of the time anyway, I love walking barefoot, even walked home from town one day, 3 miles (ok, blisters made wearing shoes worse and it was summer). Most of the time now I have to watch the temperature and adjust the type of socks and wear Gore-Tex socks for trips outdoors.

So, it's life with both the hands and toes with Raynaud's Syndrome. Such is getting old, and yes, it sucks.

What I Always Say

If I was wrong, or did or said something wrong, or I challenged anyone with the realistic possibility of making a mistake or causing problems, especially to others, besides apologizing I always said one thing, "I accept the responsibility of my words or my actions, and I will always accept the consequences of my words or my actions."

That's what good and honest people do, but more so, you should always think before they decide, speak or act. Why don't we see it in many public figures or celebrities? I'm not always perfect with my own rules of life, that's being human, but I do recognize my mistakes and apologize, and I always learn to be better.