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Saturday, August 24, 2013

POST 1186; AUGUST 24, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON

Last night was a night to forget...and hope it never returns.

As the Sun set, so did a great weight sit on my chest...in short, I was unable to take a full proper breath until mid morning today.

The THREE days of work in North Dakota was performed in a near continuous cloud of construction dust...wood. paint, cement, and dirt tracked inside.  I requested permission to spray a water mist or sweeping compound, but was denied...resulting in my lungs filling with dust...YES, I SHOULD HAVE USED A FACE FILTER, BUT DID NOT.

The first two days working in Bellingham was spent in an enclosed room folding thousands of corrugated "fish" boxes.  Turns out corrugated boxes also create substantial "dust" also.  Naturally, face masks were not available - althouge Hair and Beard "nets" were issued to all of the 30 something folks working along side me.

Yesterday offered the opportunity to work in a different Company, performing "warehouse" work...something I have done since age 9.  Arriving at the work site, discovered the task to be joining a "production line" assembling steel cable ANCHORS ( for bridges, tunnels, buildings, etc) requiring precision and extreme high quality; steel cables inserted into plastic pipe shrouds, adding fittings, bundling 30 - 50 foot lengths of pipe-shrouded cables into groups of 4 or more cables...then feeding the cable assemblies onto a cable "coiler".

Each step of the process utilized "hay wire" fasteners applied with a "spinning" hand held hook, causing the hay wire to twist tightly around the cable bundle assemblies.

I failed in this work...primarily because I did not grasp the dexterity of the spinning hook...and the rapidity of the production line.  I was given NO instruction...told to join in...which I did at every work station...to be overwhelmed by the speed of the work...and the limited physical work spaces.

For the first time in my life, I was released early...and NOT invited to return.

Back to breathing, I slept not one minute all night...unable to take even a 1/2 breath...fearing the next breath might not come at all.

I have analyzed the progression leading to my near suffocation, thusly:

My lungs became saturated with construction and corrugated box "dust";  Sinus fluids drained down the back of my throat into my lungs (a common occurrence) mixing the dust into a pasty gruel which literally became a PLUG, cutting off my breath - both inhale and exhale.

In addition, the damage received to my KIDNEY during the recent bus ride - being squished by grossly oversize ladies into the seat arm rests, resulted in intense pain...pain released by trips to the toilet every 10 minutes ALL NIGHT LONG.

I was pleased to get my breath back around noon today...and no need to pee for the last many hours.

Today, I have slept comfortably nearly 7 hours.  Tomorrow night, I am back on the "fish" crew...from 6:00 pm 'til 4:00 am, this time, hopefully PACKING Salmon instead of handling the corrugated boxes .

My "employer" is COMMAND CENTER, INC. with temporary employment on a day-to-day basis - with $$ paid at the end of each day -.  With employment offices in over 60 cities / towns nationwide.  Phone #: 1-866-464-5844.

Left leg tendon is still swollen and tender.  No possibility to walk any distances on it for a while yet.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

POST 1185; AUGUST 21, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


Yes, the national employment firm COMMAND CENTER, with whom I worked in DICKINSON, N.D., has come through again by putting me to work within 24 hours...this time, processing FISH.

One of about 30 part time workers reporting to BORNSTEIN Company, our first night (6:00 pm to ???) spent 4 hours "setting up" corrogated boxes into which fresh caught SALMON are to be packed.

Last night, we set up many hundreds of boxes...(it is now 6:00 am August 21)...tonight, all 30 some workers have been asked to return to physically process the salmon, packing them into the boxes we prepared last night.

Having never before having processed commercial fish (have been a sport fisherman all my life), I sincerely hope the processing is somewhat better organized than box set up of last night.

Last night's experience was an ABBOTT and COSTELLO presentation...

Led into a LARGE WAREHOUSE ROOM FILLED with dozens of palletized flat boxes and dozens more cartons filled with plastic bags.

Without ANY instructions or further explanation, the lady supervisor disappeared...to be seen 4 hours later when we were all sent home...with instructions to return tomorrow to "pack the salmon" into the boxes / bags we prepared last night.

Considered giving a blow by blow dissertation of 30 blind workers following 30 blind workers.  Decided against it, as I need the job and would get little thanks for revealing the THREE STOOGES approach to set up boxes...suffice to say, with NO on the spot leadership or guidance, the next four hours were at once comical...and sad.

During the bus ride last week, the bus was packed...many over-sized passengers squished into their seats...during one "leg", my seat companion plunked half of her posterior fully on my lap.  Sometime during that 27-hour bus ride, my KIDNEY became injured from the tight quarters...today, one week later, the kidney is still very sore



Monday, August 19, 2013

POST 1184; AUGUST 19, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON


SAM is finally unloaded, all dirty clothing washed, folded, and put away.  Not much room in the apartment for SAM, but have used the past couple days checking out SAM's integrity---replacing many fasteners that had worked loose...also redesigning SAM's "kitchen"...the entire rear portion of SAM is reserved for "Bambi" bottles (BAMBI bottles = drinking water bottles frozen solid---just like BAMBI saw in the frozen lake), Bambi bottles kept frozen packed into IGLOO thermal zipper bags together with sandwiches and other items needing "REFRIGERATION"... The kitchen also has space for fresh fruit, yogurt, and other items needing to be kept cold.  The entire "cold" shelf is surrounded by a large thermal blanket bag...then wrapped in micro-fibre blanket.  Under SAM's push handles is another platform holds two thermo thermos bottles of 1 gallon each...filled to the brim with solid ice cubes.  As the ice melts, they are mixed with juices and / or used for drinking water.  Have discovered Bambi bottles stay frozen up to 36 hours - even in near 100 f. heat.

My left leg injury is coming along nicely, with NO pain.  It is, however, sensitive to pressure and needs more time to heal fully.

Today, Monday August 19, I have checked in with the COMMAND CENTER of Bellingham.  The COMMAND CENTER is the National organization - with offices in many USA town's and cities - which offer day to day employment.  I was employed in DICKINSON ND by the COMMAND CENTER, and can be instantly given daily work in ANY of those offices nation wide.  Have today been offered four potential "day" jobs here in Bellingham; I expect to report for work tomorrow evening to work the night shift processing FISH next to where a few short time ago, I sailed my yacht into the beautiful San Juan Islands...

Oh My, how things do change.

While walking recently, my U.S. Air Force Honorable Discharge Papers have arrived.  I will now enroll with the Veterans Administration Medical Services...needed because ALL my "Civilian" medical doctors AND AARP Supplemental medical services have DROPPED me from my civilian medical affiliations.  It is my conviction that this has happened because of my limited income (Social Security) does not produce enough $$ income for me to pay the "co-Payments" associated with MEDICARE...making me a poor risk to continue as a money-producing patient.

...one more consideration for those of us advancing age with little or no spendable income...

I.e., my need to find and hold employment.

It might be rightly asked..."...why did you not save for your retirement...?...many are finding themselves in similar condition...as many ways to screw it up as there are screwed up old timers.

In ANY event, I have my health; I have have my functioning mind; I have a great desire to become solvent...solvent enough to keep my "home - such as it is...and I have my objective to continue - SAM AND ME - walking and blogging.

Now 4:45 pm...time for a RUM and COKE to chase my NEAOPOLITAN Ice Cream Sundae before settling down to listen to the Seattle Mariners play Oakland Athletics...

...and,how 'bout them Seattle SEAHAWKS NFL team...40 - 10 win over Denver...

Seattle is bursting with Pro Baseball / football fever...

GO HAWKS !!!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

POST 1183; AUGUST 17, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON

SAM, after two years on the road, is back in Bellingham...sitting in fact at my elbow in the apartment living room...waiting for me to decide what to do next.

We arrived in Bellingham at midnight yesterday, August 16; as we walked thru the night, a taxi pulled up, offering us a ride...one thing we have discovered about America these past 3.5 years, is that there is a sincere desire by EVERYONE to help one another.

Hundreds upon hundreds have welcomed SAM AND ME into their lives...into their homes...and as I have so often said, ..."not a bad one in the bunch".

In WIBAUX, Montana, Patricia, who has recently embraced ISLAM, took SAM AND ME under her wing, driving us to the town of GLENDIVE, Montana, where she had already arranged our passage on the bus to Bellingham.

Bus is an uncomfortable way to travel long distances.  Drivers are a bit careless about their passengers...especially ignoring the need for passengers to find and seat safely seat themselves.  I personallywas thrown around ... and have often witnessed young Mothers holding babies and LUGGAGE also thrown off their feet as the driver turns off the inside lights and indifferently drives the bus out of the parking area, across rough roadways...not even looking that everyone is safely seated...

OK, perhaps a few might be a bit more considerate.

It is bittersweet to be back in my apartment...out of stormy weather...warm dry roof overhead...

as some are suggesting...perhaps it is time to quit the walking...give the old body a rest.  Perhaps I should, but how I would miss all those still out there to be met,...to become part of our adventure.  I know what is inside the apartment; I also now know what awaits outside.  What better way to live old age than to learn more...find new friends...

My leg will soon heal.  Injury was allowed because I became careless.

I am eager to once again be on the road.  In fact, I am considerring becoming "homeless" by intent...now that would be a true experience...blogging all the way.

We shall see ...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

POST 1182; AUGUST 14, 2013; WIBAUX, MONTANA


MAIN STREET WIBAUX, MONTANA




Please say HELLO to REBECCA...single MOM hotel and restaurant worker, who helped set up this ANDROID phone to process images and post to FACEBOOK.



The BNSF railroad overpass frames downtown WIBAUX, MT.



SHAMROCK Restaurant where I experienced an excellent dinner last evening.  The Shamrock is owned by the family of Patricia, whom we met

yesterday...and who is arranging a ride for SAM & ME to catch the bus this afternoon in the town of GLENDIVE, some 30 miles distant.





A local veggie garden about to ripen.




BEAVER CREEK MOTEL, where SAM AND ME have spent the night...and are now waiting for our ride to GLENDIVE

Upon arrival at the bus station, we must adjust SAM to fit her into the bus.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

POST 1181; AUGUST 13, 2013; WIBAUX, MONTANA

SAM AND ME have arrived in the small village of WIBAUX, MONTANA,,,the first town inside Montana on I-94.

Before starting out this morning, the sore tendon was wrapped in ACE bandage.  Brought along waterproof boots from my recent return to BELLINGHAM, which I have worn for the past week to make certain they were wll broken in...wore those high-top boots to offer additional support to the damaged tendon.

All went well for the first 8 miles...then, a blister begai on my left heel.  I immediately returned to my NIKE walking shoes...and so did the tendon pain.

We limped into Wibaux...where I have taken a room in the BEAVER CREEK MOTEL...an interesting design building in that it is a "split level"; i.e., one floor below ground level with 7 steps to get "down"...and one floor above ground level with 14 steps to get "up"...apparently, clients with walkers or wheel chairs are not of interst.

In any event, we are on the lower level, having arrived about noon time.  I have rested all day...now being 3:30 pm, with no apparent additional damage to the tendon.

Nevertheless, the strain is still with me.  Have been tentatively been offered a ride to the next town of GLENDIVE, MONTANA, from where the bus for Bellingham can be  found.

Am now considering leaving SAM in Wibaux for my return in the Spring of 2014, when Winter allows SAM AND ME to complete our 5th trek across America.

Have not yet discovered how to link images from GOOGLE - where this blog is created - to FACEBOOK...apologize to my FACEBOOK readers.  My VERIZON "mentor", SINCERELY - yes, that is his name - has coa hed me, but somewhere, I have dropped a stitch and must go back to square one...remember my childhood when learning to knit...one cannot be a good knitter if one is not a good "ripper".

For now, will try to uplodad a few new images into the GOOGLE version:

ARRIVING IN WIBAUX


Please say HELLO to ROBERTA AMSLER...Owner of AMSLER CONVENIENCE STORE in Wibaux, Montana.



WELCOME TO WIBAUX, MONTANA.



Please say HELLO to PATRICIA ANDERSON...Front Desk Clerk at the BEAVER  CREEK MOTEL,  WIBAUX, MONTANA.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

POST 1180; AUGUST 12, 2013; BEACH, NORTH DAKOTA



















Slowly, am gaining on the images of the new DROID...Above images include LINDA, who gifted us the MEDORA motel.

The rest are random - lucky to grab any - ...the tall round one in SEATTLE...the balance along I-94.

We arrived in BEACH, ND after an 8-hour struggle in high heat...and return of the tendo pain.  It is not yet intense pain, but may yet take me out of our walk.

GLENDIVE, MONTANA is 38 miles from Beach. Will try to reach Glendive, where we can catch the Bus back to BELLINGHAM.

Better to cut short our walk than incur a lasting injury.

We shall see !


Sunday, August 11, 2013

POST 1179; AUGUST 11, 2013; MEDORA, NORTH DAKOTA



Taking it easy today, SAM AND ME arrived in the vacation town of MEDORA, N.D. without difficulty.

Am having some difficulty managing the CAMERA of the new DROID, but hope to work that out soon.  Images upload to GOOGLE,but not (yet) to FACEBOOK.

We have a BLUETOOTH Keyboard, which makes typing easier for my fat fingers, but takes a bit of learning to use it properly.

MEDORA is situated in a small valley surrounded be cliffs...and is also the Southern Entrance for the THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK...a spectacular "Canyon" of "Painted Hills" to rival...if not surpass other National Parks in pure beauty.  The Park is VERY LARGE...taking many hours to drive through it.  YTherefore, I cannot begin to walk it.  Last year, I did drive SPIA (motor home) into a portion of the park, including many ophotographs in that blog (about May 01, 2012)

Arriving this afternoon, I walked into the parking lot of the first Motel.  A lady walked up to me...May I help ??...Looking for the office to find a room for ththe interim, must be very careful not to re-injure something again.ight, as I am pooped from walking many hours...

this led to a short conversation...Come with me, says She.  I follow her to the office, where Linda ....... hands the Reservations Clerk her Credit Card...as the Clerk hands a key to me...

Linda has just gifted to me a $150.00 room...me, a total stranger.  Linda says she and her hubby are traveling to GLACIER NATIONAL PARD in early September...the same time SAM AND ME should be arriving in EAST GLACIER...so likely, we will meet once again.

I photographed Linda, but cannot now find the image to upload it...one of my Camera problems yet to be worked out.

It is now 7:00 pm.  Look forward to a good night sleep as we will attempt to walk and roll tomorrow to the small village of BEACH, N.D., about 25 miles distant.

It will take at least one more week before my body is back to full strength.  In the meantime must be careful to avoid more injury.


POST 1178; AUGUST 11, 2013; BELFIELD, NORTH DAKOTA


SUNDAY...SAM AND ME are once again on the road, bound for The PEACE ARCH at the USA / CANADA border crossing, BLAINE, WASHINGTON.


Please say HELLO to SHELL and MARIE-MERCED, owners of the OASIS Motel.


 Please say HELLO to KIRSTIN and MARION...my "temp" employers at the COMMAND CENTER.


After considerable analysis and research by half dozen local folks, DICKINSON cost of living wipes out all 'temp" $$ income...I.e., a permanent position with considerable more $$ income is required to justify staying in DICKINSON.

Suggested that since I AM TOLD BY Management that MY WORK ethics produce the results of two 30-year olds, simplying me double would solve the $$ problem; THAT thought resulted in looks of increduality.

Result:  SAM & ME are back on the road...my SENIOR status still at the fore-front.

No, I do not feel well.  Yesterday, I intended we would walk and roll the 30 miles to MEDORA, N.D....actually, after a two week lay0ff, I struggled to reach BELFIELD...only 20 miles distant.  I expect having my LUNGES filled with Construction Area DUST has something to do with that.

Today SAM & ME will attempt to reach MEDORA...tomorrow, to reach the town of BEACH, N.D.; Tueesday we should cross into MONTANA.

Marion and Kirston, my Tremo employers were not pleased to see us Go.  I, too, hoped for better results.  SAM & ME did, however enjoy a full evening with SHELL and MARIE-MERCED, owners of. the excellent OASIS Motel. (thank you)...great salad...good wine...great conversation to past midnight...also perhaps contributing to my tiredness walking yesterday.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

POST 1177; AUGUST 08, 2013, DICKINSON, ND


Many new ache and pains...why..

I HAVE A JOB.

Am working day to day on a construction site ... Doing cleaning work...picking up after contractors.

First real work in many years...but have been asked back for the third day adding to reserves.

Marion and hubby JIM have invited me to overnight.

I plan to work tomorrow, Friday, and stay the weekend to work Monday...then make a short term Dr decision as to stay on in Dickinson or walk home.

For the moment, is pleasant to discover that someone finds value in this old man...was told by management that my two days of work have out performed any. two 30 year olds.

The feet are fully heald.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

POST 1176; AUGUST 07, 2013; DICKINSON, N.D.



Back in DICKERSON, N.D.

Bus arrived at midnight...luckily, at the 24/7 bus terminal restaurant, where I sit until STEFFEN BIKE opens...SAM is stored at STeffans.

Been vasselating  between walking US 2... or the freeways.  After bussing the freeways, am leaning toward US 2.

Freeway overpasses are not as frequent as I envisioned...and most importantly, many steep miles long hills are necessary to cross.  Winds on the freeway are fierce...more Dothan on US 2.

Us 2 is shorter by 50 miles...and has only one significant hill...the GLACIER NATIONAL PARK portion of US. 2.

Major concern now is possibility of winter storms catching SAM & ME .  US2 has more towns to seek shelter...the freeway overpasses do not have the same design as those in North Dakota...taking away the primary reason I was considering walking the freeways.

So, looks like back to our original route...US2.

It gets bitter COLD out on the high plains...thentoo, snakes like warmth at night...making our warm cozy tent inviting.

Will try to ffind experienced locals for advice.

Will try to add some photographs...difficult to understand this Smart phone..










Sunday, August 4, 2013

POST 1175; AUGUST 04, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WA

Spent a good part of my day with Nephew Carl...lunch and another visit to VERIZON to reset this smart phone as somehow GOOGLE changed my login ..now OK.

...also, alle-mail was blocked...not reset under a new icon...Doggie something or other.

Did research on routing from Dickinson to Blaine...discovered walking the freeways all the way to Washington State is only a few miles more than walking the narrow US 2  highway.

If Montana will allow our overnighting undeu overpasses , itwould be safer and much faster to complete our walk.  In the morning, will query Montana.

Am set to catch the bus tomorrow.


Friday, August 2, 2013

POST 1174; AUGUST 02, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WN.

Friday evening in Bellingham...with the following update:

The mini computer has been replaced with this hand held Smart phone DROID.  All systems of the laptop have been loaded and tested...for ME, a new world.

In the process, am saving $80.00 per month from VERIZON.

Received a cardboard box of old mail collected since last May...ALL bills from medical costs not covered by MEDICARR...and more cancellations of programs, such as AARP & AAA.  OH, fun fun...

Have reserved a seat on GREYHOUND to return to DICKINSON, ND on Monday.  Will resume the walk of SAM & ME Tuesday.

No, am not fully healed...but will be OK.

This time, we CAMP...setting up the tent, etc...unless kind souls help us along.

Should return to Bellingham by September15.

Amconsidering NOT to renew the lease...becoming voluntarilly HOMLESS.

We shall see.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

POST 1173; AUGUST 01, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WN

Today,we lost the Mini computer.

In April, purchased the VERIZON ANDROID...just for this event.

Spent most of today to learn thhis complex device.  Timing could not be better.

We will have some weird posts, but will give it my best effort.  Already like the on the fly Spell Checker.

Spent hours on my feet without apparent damage.

My apartment lease is up October 31, so have a big decision...close up shop and become HOMLESS by choice...or ???


POST 1172; AUGUST 01, 2013; BELLINGHAM, WN.