Thursday, October 29, 2015

Avocado Pit 4

Havocado Growth

"If you can't see the growth then sit a bit closer" : )

Why, the wee little stem has grown half an inch during the week. It will be a giant in no time flat, I bet.

Link to Avocado Pit 3

Photo GH

Long Road Back 25

Nine in a Row

 "The walking loop that includes Ridgewood Cres. is a pretty one"

"The whole town of Massey seems to be involved on marathon day"

Apparently, I think about going for a walk just about every day now, and my desk calendar reveals I've hit nine home runs in a row, more than all the Kansas City Royals combined - so far in the World Series, that is.

All in all, during my 25 walks from Sept. 28 - October 29, I have roughly covered three times the distance I ran at the Friendly Massey Marathon during my long distance running career. My accomplishments didn't make the news then, and nor do they now.... but I'll keep at it nonetheless. Plugging away like Steady Eddie.

: )

Link to Long Road Back 23

Photos GH

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Combined Operations, WW2 - Reprint 1

Combined Operations by Clayton Marks

"The original will soon have a new life in London, Ontario"

Twenty-plus years ago Clayton Marks of London, assembled a book about the role of certain Canadians during World War 2, i.e., those who (like himself) had volunteered for service in the 'Wavy Navy' (Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve or RCNVR) and a little known organization called Combined Operations. While Clayton wrote or assembled material, his wife Jewell did the typing at their kitchen table, situated in a lovely home west of Wharncliffe Rd. between Springbank and Baseline. The book sold well at Navy reunions to other RCNVR and Combined Ops veterans and only a few copies of the first printing remain.

However, the book will soon be reprinted as a second edition and hopefully will find a home in a few local bookstores and be presented, in part, to a few local high school history classes. Once a final review of the new edition is complete, off to the printers it will go. Hurray, I say!

For a bit more information re Combined Ops link to Comox Navy Base, WW2

Also, link to the labels below, e.g., Combined Operations

Photos GH

Long Road Back 23

A Swell October

"Still going steady!"

MM23, my 23rd 'Miles and Mountains' hour-long walk since starting 'the comeback', was a good one. Don and I both commented on the brisk nature of our physical efforts and personalities. Join us sometime. You'll see what I mean : ) When making a note in my desk calendar I noticed MM23 was also my 20th walk in October. I feel that if I can complete about 20 fitness walks each month for the next twenty years, I'll really have something to brag about. Right now it's 'early days'. Tune in once again in 2035, see how I'm doing.

"When it's bad outside I can go for a good bike ride inside"

According to today's news on the radio, the weather will be messy for awhile, due to windy, rainy conditions brought on by Hurricane Patricia. I may therefore ride my exercise bike for a couple of hours  later in the day, and push it hard for 60 seconds every five minutes or so, to adequately take the place of my brisk walking routine, including the hilly bits. Neither sleet nor hail nor snow nor Patricia will keep me from my appointed rounds, I say.

As well, during one of my recent walks, I broke into a slow jog on occasion (I wanted to get to a Knights' hockey game before opening face-off), and a thought occurred to me about what to add to the next round of 50 fitness walks... the Harrison Shuffle. Faster than walking. Slower than just about anything else associated with jogging or running.

Stay tuned for more exciting details as they develop.

Link to Long Road Back, Week 4

Photos GH

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

PEI 2015 - Yippee! Road Trip 4

Future Grand Tours

"Somewhere from along the long highway"

One week ago today I was bombing home from PEI. Tuesday, October 20 - 1,000 kilometers. From Auberge du LouLou in Charny (opposite Quebec City, south side of the St. Lawrence) to London. Since that time I've been looking at my photos (90% were taken while on the highway, 40% while driving) and thinking about future trips to the East Coast.

 "Somewhere else from along the long highway"

 "Picaroons Yippee IPA, brewed in Fredericton, is worth the search"

"Auberge du LouLou, 6AM. Sweet stop. I shall return"

I believe I have the time and energy for one more grand motorcycle adventure to Halifax and back, with a pit stop on PEI. And I surely have the motivation to drive East by car or travel by rail, and spread the travel over four - five days in order to soak in the magnificent scenery and visit friends, family, and several familiar hostels along the way. 'Go slow and enjoy the view' will be my motto on each future grand tour.

See you then.

Link to Road Trip 3

Photos GH

Monday, October 26, 2015

Long Road Back, Week 4

SUPER Important Conclusions

"Good long walk yesterday toward Springbank Park"

'The Comeback' has come to the end of its fourth full week and records show I have completed 21 brisk, long walks* that have included (for the most part) a goodly number of miles (3 - 4) to increase my stamina and some hills along the way to increase my leg strength. Why, at this rate I shall likely be considered super human in just a few more years. (Hmmm. Not a bad goal! Let me write that down. SUPER HUMAN.)

I think I did pretty good to get out for five walks this week, because I was on the road on Monday and Tuesday (driving home from PEI) and had a full schedule during the rest of the week. I also had a shock on Thursday when, during a physical exam, I noticed that my weight (164 lbs. with shoes off) placed me in a somewhat risky category on a BMI chart. Why, I'd better start eating better foods, like apples for breakfast, rather than Honey Nut Cheerios.

 "Lovely spot to make the turn for home. Water fountain, SE corner"

 "Five good walks in a row, Wednesday - Sunday"

 "I miss my Cheerios already!"

"If you know where this BH is, you must be out walking too"

When I was a marathoner I didn't think or worry about calories. I guess I'd better - at the very least - start thinking about them... a few at a time.

*MM21 indicates my 21st walk, including Miles and Mountains, i.e., at least one-hour's worth of miles and a few good hills.

Link to Long Road back 21

Photos GH

Long Road Back 21

Long Walk Sunday

"MM21: I walked through Greenway Park to Springbank Gardens"

When I was a long distance runner I usually scheduled a long run on Sunday morning. Now that I am trying to have more demanding walks during the week to improve my fitness level (all part of my goal to "make a comeback"), I will aim to set aside a couple of hours each Sunday to hit the road for 90 - 120 minutes, at least.

"Brisk is right. Why, I musta hit 3.5 MPH more than once!"

Link to Long Road Back 19

Photos GH

Avocado Pit 3

Havocado Success?

"How long before I trim the tree?"

If you have successfully grown a tree from an avocado pit, let me know your secrets of success.  I think I have plenty of time before the wee stem is six inches high, which is when (so I've read) that one should pinch the growing stem in order to let it spread its wings, so to speak. What do you think?

Link to Avocado Pit 2

Photo GH

Sunday, October 25, 2015

PEI 2015 - Yippee! Road Trip 3

Driving and Walking

"Everything in the mirror is smaller than New Brunswick"

Undoubtedly, I did more driving than walking during a recent trip to PEI. The camera came in handy during long stretches on the highway (approx. 1,000 km. per day for four of the eight-day-long trip) and while wandering around Lannie (my sister) and Jim's homestead south of Montague, PEI's 2nd largest city, I believe,

 "Lannie and Jim live at the cozy Cranberry Cottage"

 "Old outhouse speaks of a forgotten time"

 "I check out the outdoor plumbing"

 "Lannie and Jane"

"Warm leggings on the llamas that live just down the road"

Link to Road Trip 2

Photos GH

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Avocado Pit 2

Havocado? Yes!

The single root is looking pretty sturdy so far. And I see signs of life - the stem is just starting to appear between the large crack in the pit.

According to one online article re "grow your own avocado", I can leave the pit in water until the stem is six inches tall. How long does that take? We shall see what we shall see.

"There is life on Mars!"

Link to Avocado 1

Photos GH

Long Road Back 19

Knights Game

Yesterday I saved my long walk for after supper because I had a ticket to a Knight's hockey game, to be played at The Gardens in downtown London. I describe the walk to the arena as 'very brisk', even though I left home in plenty of time to reach my seat by 7:30. In fact, I was ten minutes early. I guess I walked brisker than I needed. (This may be a sign I am in tremendous shape!) : )

Conclusion - I can leave home after the last segment of Coronation St. next time I have a ticket to a Friday game!

Link to Long Road Back 18

Photos GH

Friday, October 23, 2015

Avocado Pit 1


"Will we have success?"

A month or so ago my wife pinned an avocado pit above a tumbler filled with water and a week or so ago a single sturdy root appeared. Now we wait. I suppose I should google for more information because I'm not sure what to do - for successful growth - once it gets to a certain size. I don't even know what 'a certain size' means. We shall see what we shall see.

Any advice?

Photo GH

Long Road Back 18

Good Advice

"Right, left, right, left... all the way home"

Doesn't matter how young or old we are. It seems a long walk always feels better when we're with a buddy.

Link to Long Road Back 17

Photo GH

Long Road Back 17

Walk With a Buddy

"The walk seems to fly by"

What most of us know by experience was confirmed yesterday during my physical examination.

Doctor: Your heart is strong, pulse rate is low, like an endurance athlete's.

GH: I walk briskly for an hour or more about five times a week, usually with a fellow (retired) teacher. And I ride an exercise bike all winter.

Doctor: Walking with a friend helps you get out the door more regularly.

I agreed. And sometimes the hour-long walk feels like it's done in half the time because of brisk conversation. So, I say walk with a buddy and aim for the hills.

"I'm feeling good about that old heart of mine"

Link to Long Road Back 13

Photos GH

PEI 2015 - Yippee! Road Trip 2

Boats and Birdhouses on the Island

If I spot a boat I usually think the following:

I want that boat. And here's what I'd do with it. I'd park it somewhere on the water (say, Big Otter Creek in Port Burwell, not far from the town's Red and White Grocery Store) and I'd turn it into my summer retreat. I'd BBQ a steak now and again and dream about faraway places, like Long Point.

 "Perfect combo. A summer retreat and a workshop!"

If I spot a good-looking birdhouse (oh, they're everywhere), I usually snap a picture with plans to modify the design a wee bit and produce one or two myself. Over the years I've produced a thousand or more birdhouses, and I'm not done yet. I sure like that middle one!

 "Admittedly, this one needs a few repairs"

Link to Yippee! Road Trip 1

Photos GH

PEI 2015 - Yippee! Road Trip 1

Yippee! Road Trip

"This is the label on Picaroons Yippee IPA, from Fredericton"

My youngest sister Jane and I recently drove a truck to PEI (a 4,000 km.-long round trip) to visit our oldest sister and pick up a wee bit of furniture. We enjoyed morning gabs around the kitchen table, long walks through beautiful farmland, fantastic scenery beside the Trans-Canada Highway, stopping for gas  and bathroom breaks in charming small towns and rediscovering classic photos of significant family members.

 "On the road from Oct. 13 - 20. My bum is still sore"

 "A storm brews on the east coast of PEI. Snow fell the next day"

 "View of the Saint John River in New Brunswick"

 "My younger son Paul sports a distinctive hair style, early 1990s"

"We gassed up in Nackawic, N.B. Clean bathrooms!"

All in all, the mini-vacation in PEI was one fine road trip.

Photos GH