Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Primary Doctor, Dr. R., has referred to a skin specialist, Dr. L, a certain itchy and lumpy scalp. Yes, that irritable condition - carried from Lamar, Colorado since last Summer - is still with Me. Dr. L. advises it probably is NOT inflamed hair follicle and probably is NOT inflammation resulting from the wee metal buttons of the hat and probably NOT incubation during intense Summer heat of some vile bacteria...all suggestions from prior Doctor comments.
No, Dr. L. now suggests itch and lumps may derive from inflamed sinus resulting in "HIVES"...which, to limit it's spread say, to the throat - which might limit air flow, making a 911 call imperative - MUST be cured...and quickly.
Therefore, massive doses of antibiotic are being administered daily for 2 weeks...then Dr. L will take a look-see..Oh, the fun of getting older...
In the interim, SAM & ME are held in limbo.
Not to waste time in limbo:
Many large objects in SAM 's Place have been pawned off to deserving folks. Motorcycle is tucked away in the storage unit (Motorcycle has a hiccup... needing a tune-up).
Today, Van and Trailer are moving remaining large items into storage...then a general clean-up before handing SAM's Place back to the Landlord on Friday, New Year Eve Day.
SAM will then take up residence for remaining limbo time in the garage at home.
Today, SPIA returns to Les Schaub - which Company has been so very helpful to SAM & ME - to have the air lines to her Air Shocks replaced. When SPIA's tire blew in Denver, the tire tread shredded the underside of SPIA. All was repaired in Colorado - see prior Blog -, but the Air Shock Line - also shredded - was NOT replaced. Today, that Air Line gets replaced. SPIA will then become much more stable...why, one might ask repair the Air Shock Line at this time !!!
The recurring left knee pain is masked with pain killers - wee pills given by the Surgeon at time of the knee operation (which are hoarded for just such events) - AND the slow but certain realization that this old man is NOT getting any more spry, AND the imagination is quickly filling with dread, the daily setting up and taking down of SAM's "camp" for the next six months, or more...
SPIA has again returned to Our Walk and Roll plans.
SPIA is receiving a "tilting" ramped platform in back for SAM to ride and be safely tucked away overnight. SPIA is 22 feet long. The new platform + SAM aboard, will result in a definite tail-heavy appendage. Must therefore, move SPIA's on board camp Table, 2 Camp Chairs, and the 1,000 Watt gas-driven auxiliary power unit, forward to offset SPIA's center of balance.
One does NOT want SPIA to be down by the Stern while toting SAM the daily 10-miles jaunts from parking spot to parking spot, while SAM & ME do daily Walk and Roll.
Yes, having exercised the female option to change one's mind - not that any female gender is in any way involved - SPIA has rejoined SAM & ME. SAM will always be protected, being constantly with Me night and day. SPIA, daily driven in 5 mile increments - as Jodi and I did last Summer - allowing SAM & ME to walk the 5-miles of terrain just driven, plus another 5-miles forward...and back to SPIA.
This, of course, dictates SAM & ME to Walk and Roll 10-miles for each 5-miles of forward travel.
So be it...better walking 9,000 miles to Key West with the comfort and convenience of SPIA than camping every day.
SPIA also affords the luxury of unlimited electrical generation for SAM's batteries if Mother Nature does not allow SAM's Solar Panels to do their magic.
I know, I know...all the hoopla about JUST SAM & ME alone in the Big World...but then NO great adventure ever succeeded the first time out...remember NASA and the Moon...so, there is no feeling of need for apology...better adjust when adjusting is available...much better than Apollo 1 or Apollo 13 all over again. Probably receive NEGATIVE thoughts and comments comparing SAM & ME to Apollo; but since Me DID have a rather significant but minor role in getting Apollo to the Moon and back (subject of a future Blog???), feel somewhat entitled to ride NASA coat-tails a bit.
Just finished cup-o-hot-chocolate...Now for a shower, a bite of breakfast, then to SAM's Place to put things to right.
Big week for Washington Husky Football and Basketball Teams...go DAWGS !!!
Sunday, December 26, 2010
SAM's Place is a shambles.
Whereas one week ago SAM had a home until at least March 2012, all that changed in an instant.
The Company assuming our lease was unable to continue. The ball was back in OUR court.
Simply not financially viable to support SAM's Place longer, WE near completion of a total move.
Most things, computers, filing cabinets, furniture, supplies, and a sundry of other items supporting a now non-existent Company, have been given away or offered at bargain basement prices - see Craigs List. Should one drive by SAM's Place today, a number of "FREE" items sit out front for the taking.
By New Year Eve, SAM's Place will be an empty chamber...only memories remaining.
SAM & ME are, of course, disappointed. On the other hand, WE now begin OUR Walk and Roll devoid of tangible burdens...they are gone.
Departing the Peace Arch, SAM & ME will be truly just SAM & ME.
Daunting as it seems to be...departing in the dead of Winter...SAM is ready... ME, too.
SAM & ME will have one and only one goal: TO WALK AND ROLL.
No longer must WE return to care for this or that. WE will miss our friends, family, and supporters...that is certain...but our mission will be: to reach Key West, Florida...and return to Bellingham together.
A matter of interest...WE will have travelled over 7,000 miles together...unless WE Walk and Roll Back - then it will be 10,000 miles...that sounds good to ME.
WE have our entire future to discover new places...to meet new friends...to share discoveries on this Blog.
We will do OUR best to be deserving of the following gathered around SAM - a magical creation - & ME - an old man.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
We have fought in every way possible to keep SAM's Home.
Another Company tried to take over SAM's Spaces, leaving a small room for SAM. It is not to be.
It has come to pass that SAM's Home is now being vacated...everything is being stored away in a Storage Unit while SAM & ME complete pre-walking details...then Walk and Roll to Key West and return sometime next Summer...yes, SAM & ME may just turn around and walk back to Bellingham...then again, exploring Europe and Asia seems to be developing interest.
Have retrieved SAM's Trailer - not yet sold - to carry remnants of years of memories into storage. SPIA is also being stored, as is the Motorcycle.
In a few days SAM & ME will be on our way.
New development in the past 36 hours. Left knee is acting up. Perhaps it is associated with the recent surgery. Seems the front part of the Knee Cap is swelling and causing considerable pain. We shall see how it goes ...perhaps see the Surgeon tomorrow for a look-see.
It is raining and blowing in the Pacific Northwest. Watching the long range forecasts to find a window of settled weather which will allow SAM & ME to Walk and Roll from the Peace Arch to near Gray's Harbor, Washington - to get around / thru the Olympic Rain Forest. Need 2 weeks to make that transit.
Actually, temperatures are mild...ranging mid 30 to 45 degrees. Hope it stays that way.
Do not realize how much "stuff" one collects until it has to be moved. Awesome task to sort it all out, pack it up, label the boxes, and store it away until some future unknown date.
May be of interest...10 x 10 foot storage unit and SPIA parking space cost is $480.00 for 6 months.
Have a couple VERY heavy items to move, including a Cast Steel & Ceramic wood-burning stove...+ / - 300 pounds. As I must do it alone, will be a challenge to get it out of the office, into SAM's Trailer...then back out of the Trailer and into the storage unit.
From 1945 thru 1952, our family owned and operated Tri-City Freightlines in KENNEWICK, Washington. We moved freight and household goods all over the Pacific Northwest. So, was well indoctrinated in how to move big awkward stuff. Will find a way to get the job done...in spite of the limitations of not being so young any more...and the developing bum knee.
I am concerned about one thing...the growing difficulties of small Companies to weather the continuing Recession. Government info says recovery is underway...certainly is not the case from this perspective. Learned sources close to ME are projecting another 18 months or so before we even hit the bottom...then the long climb back up. During our Summer trek to near Oklahoma City, be assured that Recession difficulties abounded everywhere SAM & ME walked.
The long lines at the Food Bank and increasingly younger folks joining the "ANYTHING HELPS...GOD BLESS..." cadries on virtually every major intersection corner help tell the story.
And yet...most folks carry a positive attitude.
We shall see...
Thursday, December 16, 2010
(By agreement, both sides agreed NOT to attack each other's Peace Villages)...
I was an Air Force one-striper ( Airman 3rd Class) Stenographer stationed in Freedom Village. ..where, by the way, I met and chatted with Premier Nehru for a few minutes (India had a contingent fighting for NATO).
Nearing Christmas Time, We 8 enlisted soldiers of our tent decided to decorate for the Holidays. Of course, we had no decorations... no trees to be found.
We decorated. One guy had a record player. He wrote home and got some Christmas Music records (76 rpm). We all brought a couple bottles of our favorite hooch from the PX down in Yong Dong Po (on the South Side of the Han River that runs through Seoul).
(We had one Tent-mate who knew - he said - every girl in Yong Dong Po...when I rotated home, he was still in quarantine being treated for VD...guess he might still be there).
Our Tent was the center of entertainment...Officers can make merry too.
Found some Pics of that night in my Mother's photo album she left when she died from Cancer and a failed surgery a few years ago...forgot all about those pictures...now I share them with YOU.
Happy Holiday Season
SAM & ME
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
During SAM's last Roll, We did learn one thing...volts and amps are NOT the same.
RED bank was used to power SAM's Hub Motor on our last Walk and Roll.
RED started out with 38.3 volts and after two hours - and a couple goodly hills, RED ended up with 37.6 volts. Controller low power shutoff is 35.5 volts, so RED should have 2.1 volts remaining...good for about 3 more hours...Right...Well, MAYBE....
What occurred was that climbing the final hill of that Walk and Roll, I "juiced" the throttle to gain a bit more power...and lo & behold...the "yellow" low power light came on and the Controller shut down the power.
Recycled the throttle thumb screw and power was restored. SAM continued to climb the hill.
Well, now...if the Controller shuts down at 35.5 volts...why was power interrupted when the throttle "juiced" ????
Stopped in at my favorite Battery Store - will give a report on them soon, as they are VERY instrumental in SAM's success to date -. Explained what happened - see above -...and was given the following explanation:
Over time and after repeated recharging, Lead-Acid Batteries (SAM has Lead-Acid Batteries on board), the Lead Plates will "degrade"...that is, they will carry the voltage - like the gas tank being full - but tend to lose AMPERAGE.
Not too sure how to explain AMPERAGE - you see, I know so very little about electricity - but it seems to be a function of strength of the batteries...as in burning rubber. The desire (gas / volts) is there but the body (power / amps) is lacking...or something like that ...K. tried to demonstrate one day recently, but wasn't listening too good.
Bottom line...RED needs new batteries before Our next Walk and Roll.
SAM's Protective Cover has been completely modified. A full 360 degree cover has been added to give ME a place to get in out of the elements. Tomorrow, a full floor with side risers will be added - snapped into the existing Protective Cover - giving a water-tight enclosure...Walla Walla...ME has a "dry" space in which to lay down & sleep...as well as a work-space for cooking and reading and computer blogging, etc. Design is such that it can be used in three phases:
1. Simple Protective Cover for SAM and for cooking...2 minutes to erect in place.
2. Extended Roof for ME to work / rest for short stops...add another 2 minutes to erect.
3. Full enclosure and floor for 100% weather protection overnight...add another 2 minutes.
So, the whole enchilada goes up in about 6 minutes - or less.
Therefore, the "tent" and associated poles, etc, is discarded gaining "space" and saving "weight".
It is time to give thought to SeeYourImpact.org. Attended a social hour last week in Seattle where Me met the key movers of this incredible organization. Key attributes are:
100%...that means ALL...every PENNY contributed reaches the intended recipient.
NO $$ are retained by SeeYourImpact.
Donner chooses exactly to whom / which activity his/her donation is to go.
2 weeks after donation is processed by SeeYourImpact, Donner receives a photograph and written narrative from the RECIPIENT of the donation.
At this moment, over 75 activities are available - listed at SeeYourImpact.org - from which to choose where donation is to go.
Minimum donation is $10.00.
SAM & ME invite consideration to join a group donner-effort based on miles SAM & ME Walk and Roll. Contributions will be gathered by a bank, consolidated, and forwarded to SeeYourImpact as "we" as a group decide.
If you are interested to participate is this unique and very worthwhile cause, please note in the comments section of this blog (facebook - SAM & ME).
It is rare - if not unheard of - that 100% of all donated $$ goes to the end cause...most popular "causes" skim up to 60% (or more ) off the top before sending donations on to recipients. Google it...surprising !!!
Noticed Adam has begun an aggressive walking regimen...way to go Adam...
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Mechanically and electrically, SAM is ready to Roll. Have been selecting and packing supplies, clothing, tools, computer, water, tent, sleeping bag, .etc. etc. Yesterday, SAM was loaded up.
Do not have a scale large enough to weigh SAM, but estimate her to be close to 200 pounds (the original stroller was rated at 75 pounds).
GREEN and RED were both fully charged at 38.8 volts (sure wish I had an ammeter). GREEN again got the job to power SAM's Hub Motor.
It was beginning to rain rather hard when SAM & ME steped out of SAM's Place. We first Walked and Rolled over to the Bicycle Shop on Iowa Street where We purchased a third bicycle Headlight. SAM now has three Headlights, two RED Tail Lghts, and three AMBER Side Lights.
All the lights can be constant beam or flashing.
SAM is well lighted fore and aft and from the sides. The short days and long nights dictate that We have ample lighting...Oh yes, Me's helmet has a RED flashing light on the back and a WHITE forward facing light. Don't plan on travelling in the dark, but more than once WE have been caught out on the road after dark, being unable to find a place to stop for the night.
It is for this reason We built SAM's Protective Cover, which can be erected in a couple minutes.
SAM's Headlights are located inside Her cover, giving good lighting for cooking, reading, etc.
Have determined, however, that We must modify the Side Enclosure to give full 360 degree protection from wind and rain. Trying to find a 6 x 10 ft piece of lightweight tenting material, which will be "snapped" onto SAM's main Protective Cover. It all fits into a bag 5 x 7 inches weighing about 2 pounds and hangs on SAM's 90 Watt Solar Panel Frame for quick and easy access. Four lightweight telescoping poles affixed to SAM hold the Cover in place.
The 6 miles SAM & ME travelled yesterday is nearly all up hill. GREEN was therefore powering the Hub Motor most of the 90 minutes it took us in the pouring rain to walk home. Upon arriving, GREEN checked in with 36.5 volts; i.e., GREEN consumed 2.3 volts in 90 minutes. Approximately 1.0 volts remained before Controller Shutdown on GREEN.
So, climbing hills and SAM loaded to the gills, GREEN is projected to be available to drive SAM's Hub Motor for about 2 hours. On the flat, GREEN is projected to provide power for
3 - 3.5 hours...
RED, meanwhile, charged to 38.8 volts two days ago, had degraded - while at rest - to 38.3 volts. Being a larger Batter Pack (GREEN = 8 amp hours ; RED = 12 amp hours), RED should be counted on for 3 - 3.5 hours up hill and 4 - 5 hours on the flat.
Oh, yes...not to forget the WIND. Highway 101, our route around the Olympic Penninsula borders the Pacific Ocean where the "Pineapple Express" roars ashore from the Hawaiian Islands across the Pacific Ocean, slamming up against the Olympic Mountains...thus creating the Olympic Rain Forest. Pineapple Express is historically WARM and MOIST Weather Systems bringing heavy rain and when confronted by COLD Canadian Air, heavier yet snowfall to the Pacific Northwest.
SAM and ME will be walking directly INTO the Pineapple Express WINDS which can reach sustained 30 - 50 mph for days on end. Through all this, Me CANNOT push SAM. GREEN and RED must power SAM through the winds, which can consume power as though on steep hills.
All in all, SAM's power availability projection is marginal at best.
SAM must lose weight...and a lot of it.
Went through this last Summer. Decision was to add the Van...NOT THIS TIME...
Will most likely reduce clothing to a couple changes...just have to walk in the "wet" stuff.
Will most likely delete the air mattress.
Will most likely eliminate most of the "tools" (and hope for only minor breakdowns).
Will most likely delete all cans or bottles...use ONLY dry goods for meals.
Will most likely eleminate the Umbrella and remove the Umbrella Mounting stuff.
Will most likely wear Leaf Bags instead of Rain Gear.
Will most likely eliminate the GPS.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Have done so nearly all my adult life.
It is quiet, peaceful, and gives one lots of time to think.
Was asked recently..."What do you think about when you are out there walking alone?"
You know...I never thought about it before....and there was no good answer.
This morning, I followed my usual routine: awake at 4:30...sneak to the thermostat and click it onto manual so the house heats up nicely before my Significant Other awakes (in Her own room these days)...set the breakfast table...click on the coffee maker...and return to my room where one of my computers is warming up...then I read e-mail - mostly "delete" stuff - but sometimes Daniell Hebert has an update which I NEVER miss...move on to Astronomy Picture Of The Day - did you see that pic of the Super Storm Cell - WOW !...then to CNN News where most of my morning is spent.
This morning, a special Bulletin was on the net...Elizabeth Edwards has stopped any further Cancer Treatment and has been advised she has only a few weeks more to be with us. Been following Elizabeth for years as she reminds me of my own experience.
Sitting...pondering about Elizabeth and John, the question I was asked recently seeped into my thoughts..."What do you think about when you are out there walking alone?"
Looking into the drawers of my mind, I come to realize that I think about folks like Elizabeth...and about a young boy in Korea...and about so many others. Funny, I do not think so much about Me. I think about others who have come into my life and are no longer in my life...until I realize that not many have really left...I seem to carry them around filed away in one drawer or another...always there when walking alone over our Planet. And when that drawer opens, I relive the moments...and I try very diligently to recreate the moments we shared.
Often, many many years after the moment, the folks popping out of their drawer are absorbing...that is, they become more real than perhaps they actually were; I am sure some learned folks have a "category" for my thinking. Perhaps. But, that is their problem, not mine. I just walk and think and walk and...
Bruce Bothell and I were walking South on Korea's Highway from the DMZ and Munsan-ni into Soeul. As we neared the North Gate Check Point, sidewalks began to appear next to the chewed up macadam roadway. Piled high wheelbarrows were pushed or pulled - and once in a while an Ox labored in front of an apparently full Honeybucket. Folks were mostly in white soiled torn garments...a few folks were hawking something or other...bottom line: lots of folks were going one way or another with big guns booming a short 30 miles away.
As we approached the Wall and the North Gate, we came upon a young boy...oh, about 7 or 8 years old...lying half on the sidewalk. Dozens of folks were passing by without a glance at him.
The other half of the boy should have been in the gutter...but, there was no other half.
How he got there? Why is he there? Is someone looking on from a hidden doorway?
The boy was not crying...he was looking...looking to catch some one's eye.
He caught mine.
Full of pain
"Oh my God", I said to Bruce, "we ha...."
"Don't touch him !"
Bruce grabbed my sleeve and jerked me onto the road and pulled me toward the MPs at the North Gate now only 50 feet away.
"You touch him and he is yours..."
I was looking back at the boy. His eyes were still on mine. His hope. His future. His reason for living...was walking away...leaving him to... ???
Well, these are the things I think about when walking out there alone.
Elizabeth Edwards...the legless Korean boy...and then a car slows and stops next to me...
"Hey, your Bruce, arn't you...?"
"We would like to have you stop at our home for dinner and tell us about your walk..."
I thank them.
My thoughts will again return to Elizabeth and the legless Korean boy...and so many others filed-away ... moments shared along this road I walk.
Monday, December 6, 2010
In the pic above, you may note the front drive wheel is off-center as to the Solar Panels above.
The Solar Panels weigh a combined 50 pounds. Being off center - to the left - was like standing on the gunnel (side) of a sail boat...or leaning into a turn while skiing or skate boarding...introduces a natural turn to the "heavy" side...in this case, to SAM's left.
The Solar Panels came to be off center when crossing the Rocky Mountains last Summer. When arriving at Little America, SAM's right-front telescoping pole supporting the 90 Watt panel, snapped in half (probably from bouncing around in the trailer when it was too hot to take SAM out).
I pushed SAM into the Little America Auto Repair Shop; showed the mechanic on duty the problem with SAM. He poked around a bit and came up with a threaded steel rod which fit EXACTLY into the inside of SAM's broken telescoping pole. The "fix" took all of 5 minutes (and it is still incorporated as part of SAM).
Putting SAM back together, however, I failed to notice that the "splint" raised the Solar Panel and tipped it to the left about 1.5 inches. Strange as it seems, I did not notice the out of alignment of the front wheel until our recent post of SAM DETAILS.
I fought SAM's pull to the left most of the Summer.
Today, I realigned SAM's Solar Panels. It required removing all mounting points on SAM's right-hand side and "twisting" both Solar Panels BACK and TO THE RIGHT. Also lengthened SAM's left front telescoping pole a bit. All this effort - about 4 hours worth - resulted in SAM's Solar Panels being once again centered (more or less) to SAM's front wheel, and fixed all four corners of the Solar Panels at the same height off the ground.
Then, SAM & ME went for a Walk and Roll. Using GREEN Pack - recharged to 38.8 volts - SAM tracked beautifully...straight as an arrow. WOW; what a difference driving. No more did Me have to keep steering to the Right to compensate for that pull to the Left. Took a considerable strain off the right hand/arm/shoulder and back while walking.
Just learned that another Bellinghammer took off walking to California a few days ago...better get on my horse and quit goofing around...maybe I catch up with him and walk together.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
It was a bit cold...just above freezing...overcast but NOT windy. Another good day to check out SAMs systems.
Before leaving SAM's Place, checked all Her batteries. GREEN Pack was at 38.8 volts. RED pack was at 38.2 volts (RED has the one-year-old batteries). AUXILIARY BATTERY checked in at 12.80 volts.
So, GREEN was selected to drive SAM's Hub Motor today.
RED was fed power from SAM's Solar Panels...for 4 hours under cloudy skies.
Was going to head for FERNDALE - 12 miles North of Bellingham - but 12 miles = 3 hours one way and had only 5 hours of daylight remaining; so, opted to stay close to home and find some steep hills for SAM to climb.
We Walked & Rolled down to Bellingham's Harbor...mostly down hill. Then we cut South by South East to Downtown Bellingham. Rolled SAM through the middle of town...causing lots of heads to turn and stare. We kept rolling along Bellingham Bay, past row after row of million dollar condominiums lining the shoreline.
Around 1:00 pm (noon), stopped in at Haggens Fairhaven Market...had to tinkle and was hungry. Thank goodness it was not Federal Way, where transients are not welcome to tinkle.
Haggens Deli Counter had some yummie HOT Chili Con Carne (Italian = With Meat) and a Tuna Wrap which set very well with Me.
SAM & ME then continued South out of Ferndale down Chuckanut Drive South. Went a couple miles down that stunning road, turned around and hung a right onto Old Samish Way Road for a few miles. Then turned North by North West towards Western Washington University...then back to SAM's Place.
The entire outing was 4 hours...with 15 minutes out for Chili & Tuna. We climbed some prodigious hills, SAM & ME. Her GREEN battery was given a real challenge. Me, however, pushed SAM probably 70 % of the time. So Me got a real challenge too.
A couple times, RED got her Solar Panel wires switched around. RED has three batteries and only two Solar Panels to charge them...EACH BATTERY MUST BE CHARGED ONE AT A TIME FROM THE 12-volt SOLAR PANELS. So, had to switch the Solar Panel wires around from time to time to get all three batteries charged somewhat equally.
Arriving at SAM's Place, discovered:
RED Pack checked in at 38.8 volts. Therefore, it received 0.6 volts per battery in 4 hours under very overcast skies...(so, 90 Watt Solar Panel put out about 0.2 volts per hour; whereas 20 Watt Solar Panel only put out about 0.15 volts per hour). I would like to check the Amperage, but that instrument costs $500.00...a bit beyond my budget.
GREEN Pack checked in at 36.8 volts. Therefore, it used up 2.0 volts during the Walk and Roll.
The Motor Controller allows electrical flow until a battery pack reaches the low of 35.5 volts. It then interrupts power to the Hub Motor to prevent low-voltage damage.
Therefore, SAM had another 2 or so hours of service remaining within GREEN Pack.
Me must then PUSH, or switch from GREEN to RED battery packs. At that point, the Solar Panels begin to recharge GREEN Pack.
Starting to get a reasonable understanding of how SAM consumes electrical power in various conditions. Also, am starting to understand Solar Panel charging under various skies.
Today confirmed that ME is not in good shape. Feet are sore, but no blisters or muscle pulls. Upper leg muscles complained when holding SAM back going down steep hills...did NOT use SAM's brakes, although should have on a few of those hills. Very easy to suffer a shin splint going down hills.
Am certainly in no condition to resume our Walk to Key West just yet. Will need a few more weeks of walking with SAM before being ready to take off.
Returned from Oklahoma just a few short weeks ago. Shocking how quickly one gets out of shape.
No new pics today.
p.s.: SAM still has a "Pull" to the left. Today, I figured out why. Simple, and quite stupid of Me to not see it long ago...but guess that is the "learning curve" for an under-educated old man. Will tackle the "fix" and report in a few days...Yes, it can be fixed, but requires "rebuilding" a good part of SAM's Superstructure...a 2-person job...but then, there is no second person hanging around...and so it goes.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Was turning daylight when I pulled into the Moose Lodge Parking Lot, where the Mt. Vernon Arthritis Event was to start/finish. About 300 participants showed up to a gaily decorated room full of t-shirts, drinks, cake and croissants. Picked up my pack consisting of a long sleeve "t" and a set of "Jingle Bells" for the shoe laces.
Actually, was quite a festive mood...lots of baby strollers..lots of dogs...lots of costumes...and the local high school Pep Band played seasonal music...even some dancing before the "race" began.
Three or four folks spoke on the PA system giving appropriate greetings, thanks, and Arthritis Stories.
I decided to take pics...to follow along near the end of the Walkers. The Runners took off to the crack of a Pistol, followed by casually strolling Walkers. Lots of volunteer road guards (to be sure no one got lost en-route) and Police watching over us.
The course was from Down Town Mt. Vernon, through a residential area, and return. Everything was along the Skagit River...which has a history of flooding... next to the Dike Road.
Runners course was 4 miles. Walkers did 2 miles. Everyone finished pretty much together to more merriment and lots of "eats" waiting. First three Runner Finishers received awards (Men and Women were awarded separately).
All in all, it was a good event.
Drove back to Bellingham, stopping at SAM's place. Set up Her new Enclosure...made a couple refinements...and took the pics which I forgot yesterday...so here they are.
It is a beautiful Sunny Saturday. Was going to start our walk to the Peace Arch today, but the Washington Huskies are playing the Washington State Cougars for the "Apple Cup"...will watch the game - with a beer and chips - instead. Interesting neither Seattle (Huskies) no Pullman (Cougars) have much in the way of Apples. Apple country is along the Columbia River about half way between Seattle and Pullman.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Was considering walking SAM down to Mt. Vernon tomorrow, but as it is nearly 30 miles one way and day-light is short this time of year, decided to go fetch the trailer and drive SAM down and back. Trailer is on consignment but not yet sold...asking $1,000 (cost $1,800).
It will be SAMs first public introduction. Sure, she and I have walked over 1,000 miles in the past year in and around Bellingham...but no one has actually been introduced to SAM. This will be her big entrance.
The past two days, I have designed and built into SAM, a complete weatherproof enclosure. It is erected in less than two minutes. In the event of rain or high winds or just a rest period, I can unpack and erect SAMs protective system...which:
1. Has room for ME to sit or lie down...handy Fleece blanket covers legs and shoes for warmth.
Air mattress is also handy for lying down. Sleeping Bag is 6" away under the Solar Panel.
1.A. SAM also has a large tent - which we have used many times already - into which both SAM & I fit comfortable and safely...takes 10 minutes or so to set up the tent.
2. Has a table for SAMs Butane Stove...fully protected from wind and rain and plenty of room for ventilation and "pot handling". Two gallons of water are within 6" of the stove...also a fire extinguisher. Pots etc., are handled in the Butane Stove storage box lying on top of the Solar Panels (which are covered and protected by Mean Green Naugahyde when not in use).
3. Complete system snaps together using SAMs Solar Panels and a couple telescoping rods.
4. Packs into a neat waterproof bag only 8" long by 5" Diameter. Bag hangs on SAMs Solar Panel with Velcro (screwed into the Solar Panel Frames...NO MORE ADHESIVE VELCRO).
5. When erected, SAM & ME are both protected and comfy.
6. I sit on a heavy-duty plastic box containing tools and food, topped with a Sailing Cushion.
7. If desired, ME can take a nap sitting on the box, using SAMs "down" pillow which is stored under the Solar Panels.
8. SAMs "headlights" are INSIDE the protective enclosure, giving plenty of light.
9. SAM also has two 3-way LED lights permanently mounted under the Solar Panels for lighting SAMs internal storage areas. Sitting on the box, everything in SAMs storage area under the Solar Panels is easily within reach (both battery packs are also mounted in there).
All in all, it is kinda neat...compact...functional...looks good...and really works.
It has been a kick to design, develop, build, and drive SAM.
I look forward to her Saturday introduction.
Numerous detailed pics will accompany this Blog after the Arthritis Run / Walk.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Apollo Ohno recently interviewed with CNN on what Apollo said was ..."the future of philanthropy. People want to see how their money will affect families." Apollo was speaking about "SeeYourImpact.org".
I mulled over Apollo's comments for a few days and remembering my promise, I contacted SeeYourImpact.org.
I spoke with Shari Goetsch, Marketing Manager. She gave me a overview of SeeYourImpact.org and invited me to their Seattle offices. In the past few days, I have twice visited Shari in her offices in the Vance Building. Shari and her Husband, Josh, drove all the way to Bellingham a week ago, spending the better part of one day sharing SeeYourImpact.org as an organization and how SeniorsWalkingAcrossAmerica.blogspot.com might participate in their World-Wide programs.
Naturally, Shari and Josh both took SAM for a drive around Bellingham...to rave reviews.
A couple days ago, Shari created for "Seniors..", our "Fundraising Page". It is entitled:
I took the opportunity to make an initial contribution, which you can see by clicking on the link.
I am not at all certain I can fully justify what seeyourimpact.org is or does, but I will try...
The Home Page of SeeYourImpact.org gives in-depth information about the origins, Founding Board of Directors, and a complete listing of over 70 World-Wide programs receiving support.
First and foremost, as emphasized by Ohno during his CNN interview, EVERY CENT CONTRIBUTED TO SeeYourImpact.org. GOES DIRECTLY TO THE RECIPIENT/PROGRAM OF THE DONER'S CHOICE.
Not one single penny is diverted to "overhead".
I agreed that this is a program that "Seniors.." can and will support.
The details of how $$ donations should be made are still to be worked out. I envision commitments based upon the miles SAM & ME walk. Minimum donation to SeeYourImpact.org (SYI.org) is $5.00. On a time-phase basis to be decided upon, our donations would be made available to SYI.org for our choice of the many programs offered. Within two weeks we will receive a reply from the recipient(s), together with photographs and details of how our $$ donation was used.
If desired, a single individual may make a contribution in the name of "Seniors.." for his/her favorite project. Alternatively, We propose to set up a "receiver" for $$ contributions which would then be given over to SYI.org to be used as we select (from the available SYI.org projects).
This project would be incorporated as a regular Blog Page for "Seniors.."
As you all already know, I am a novice at this technical computer stuff. I welcome all the help/suggestions I can get. Be assured, my ONLY interest is to help others in the most effective way.
Needless to say, "Seniors.." will NOT receive any remuneration. Our interest, SAM & ME, is to Walk and Roll. If by so doing, we can bring help to others, we are already amply rewarded.
We trust you will consider SYI.org. It seems to be a worthy and deserving organization dedicated to helping others in need.
Further details will be shared in the very near future.
If you wish to join "Seniors.." or just get further information, please click on SeeYourImpact.org. Your few minutes invested will be appreciated.
You may also want to open my Blog WAMSUTTER - RAWLINS. Crossing the Continental Divide, I was overwhelmed by a number of such Storm Cells. I have included a photograph of one Storm Cell forming. It later developed into a VERY LARGE cell (don't know if it was a SuperCell as it was after dark when it slammed into me), but I was very uncomfortable with extreme winds, washtubs of rain, and incessant lightning - followed by the most beautiful after-dark rainbows...not to mention 18-wheelers flashing by only 18 inches from my right shoulder.
Was a Night To Remember.
With the help of Shari, I am attempting to "LINK" this Blog to Astronomy Picture of the Day.
Please bear with me...I think you will find it worth while.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Not a few passing drivers looked a bit askance as I took pics as they went by...well, perhaps they should keep their eyes on the road...