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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Try to keep your expectations reasonable.  You’re beginning the journey of a thousand miles with a single step.  Each step is important;  every step counts.
    —    John “The Penguin” Bingham
From his book:  “No Need For Speed
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On This Day In:
2020 Perhaps There Has Been Some Method In My Madness
2019 An Accidental Escape
2018 And I Thought It Was Just My Deodorant
2017 Hannity And Limbaugh
2016 Or He Could Just Be Lazy
Small Hero
2015 Seeking Cultured Leadership
2014 Examining Failure
2013 Driving Passion
2012 Cannibal, n.
2011 Moments Of Truth

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It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.
    —    Mark Twain
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On This Day In:
2020 Didn’t I Just Post Yesterday?
2019 A Long Slog
2018 There Is No God But God
To The Uncommitted Reader
2017 Not Yet That Well-Organized
2016 Probably Whatever Was Sought Yesterday
2015 What We Choose To Divide Us
2014 Peace With Honor
2013 Dangerous Systems
2012 Useful Science
2011 Say It, But Please Don’t Make Me Listen

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I do not know which of our afflictions God intends that we overcome and which He means for us to bear.  But this is certain:  Some I have overcome, some I continue to bear.
  —  Jean Toomer
[This is an unusual post for me.  This post is being written on 28 May, three days after the Memorial Day weekend.  Yesterday, the U.S. passed 100K in deaths due to COVID-19.  We are dying at just under 1,000 lives per day.  We are engaged in a great social experiment testing whether we can open our economy without a plan to deal with the virus.  This post is scheduled to go online roughly 15 days after the holiday weekend.  If the President’s gamble was correct, the average death rate will be at or below 1,000 per day.  If his gamble (with our lives) is incorrect, the death rate will be higher – and potentially much higher.  Only time will tell.   —   KMAB]
Follow Up to Last Year’s Post (115,000+):
The “post” above is from one year ago.  It is still too early to tell how good / bad a gamble President Trump took with the health of the nation.  Partly because it is still too soon to have had academia take a look at the data and partly because a number of states – mostly (but not exclusively) with Republican governors (Florida) – are using their office / administrations to hide the true / accurate numbers of illnesses and deaths for political reasons.  We do know that since the Inauguration, the vaccine count has gone from under 50 million to over 300 million.  Over 50% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of vaccine.  Part of this success is attributable to a competent President / Administration and part to the manufacture and distribution of the various vaccines ramping up.
As for our losses, the current “rolling” weekly death average is under 500 per day.  A few weeks ago, the CDC also updated the information on their site to “confirm” that not only are the vaccinated unlikely to get seriously ill and die (still 5 – 10% chance of illness, and less than 1% chance of death), you are also unlikely to become infected and ill at all (15 – 20% illness rate once vaccine period is completed).  Again, it’s too early to KNOW the exact numbers, but in this case it’s because (it is my understanding) “illness” is being self-reported.  Still, this is “good” news and we should see the economy and society begin to return to normal.  We’ve dodged a bullet this time folks.  I am not making light of the individual losses to family members and friends, but the virus could have been a lot more lethal and we still have a considerable way to go on getting the rest of the way to herd immunity.  Let’s hope we are better prepared for the next epidemic…
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On This Day In:
2020 115,000+
2019 One Generation’s View
2018 The One Thing
2017 Never Give Up
2016 Which Generation Are We?
Congratulations, Kyle!
2015 Centered
2014 Economic Trinity
2013 At Both Ends
2012 Holding Allowance
2011 The Power Of Good

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Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.
    —    Frank Gelett Burgess
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On This Day In:
2020 Unlike Faux News Viewers
2019 I Don’t Know Truth, Either
2018 An Approaching Disgrace
2017 Liberty, Collusion, History And The Republican Majority
2016 But I Have Too Many Questions
2015 A New Friend
2014 Do I Have To Fall In Love?
2013 More Democracy, Please
2012 Speaking Of Love
2011 Limits

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Plagues don’t come for one tribe or another;  they don’t smite a population because it’s gone astray;  they’re neither divine punishment nor a sign of the Rapture.
    —    Virginia  Heffernan
From her article:  “Words To Live By
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  May 2020
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On This Day In:
2020 Social Distancing
2019 Touched?
2018 Chillin’ With My Bro
Inconvenient Adventure
2017 Genuine Tragedies
2016 Why I’m Scared Of November
2015 I Can Tell Too
2014 In Hand
2013 No Fear
2012 Comic Books
Keeping The Peace
2011 You Still Have To Pay For It

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The low cost of generic drugs makes them essential to global public health.  But if those bargain drugs are of low quality, they do more harm than good.  For years, politicians, regulators and aid workers have focused on ensuring access to these drugs.  Going forward, they must place equal value on quality, through an exacting program of unannounced inspections, routine testing of drugs already on the market and strict legal enforcement against companies manufacturing subpar medicine.  One model is the airline industry, which through international laws and treaties, has established clear global standards for aviation safety.
Without something similar for safe and effective drugs, the twin forces of subpar medicine and growing drug resistance will be so destructive that developed countries won’t be able to ignore them.  As Elizabeth Pisani, an epidemiologist who has studied drug quality in Indonesia, put it, “The fact is, pathogens know no borders.”
    —   Katherine Eban
From her article: “The Worldwide Threat Of Generic Drugs
Appearing in Time Magazine, dtd: 3 June 2019
The article also appears online at:  https://time.com/5590602/generic-drugs-quality-risk/
[I personally subscribe to the hard copy of Time Magazine.  This quote is being offered without permission or authorization.  I make no claim of ownership or authorship.  I am receiving no compensation from the author or the magazine for posting this quote.  I found the article interesting and am simply offering the quote for your consideration.    —    KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Life’s Mysteries
2019 I Doubt I Ever Will
2018 Who Will Thank (If Not Remember) Me
2017 Reinforced Learning
2016 I Choose To Believe
2015 What They Don’t Teach You At School
2014 Still Trying To Die (5)
2013 Honest Doubt
2012 Choice
2011 Ownership Of Thought

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Every patient is a doctor after his cure.
    —    Irish Proverb
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On This Day In:
2020 A Liar As President Corrupts Us
2019 Is It Dark And Quiet For You?
2018 Undeniable Requirement
2017 Orange Corrosion
2016 Both Particle And Wave
2015 Deep In Debt
2014 The Difference
2013 My Heart Is Described
2012 Keen To Be Alone
2011 The Ideal Business…
2010 55

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Today my wife and I received our second COVID-19 vaccine doses.  We both got the Pfizer version.  Now we wait fourteen days for the full effect to kick and and then we will be able to resume fairly “normal” life.
Saying that, we anticipate wearing masks in public until summer of 2022.  Wearing masks IS NOW the new normal until scientists can advise about the various strains of COVID and the effectiveness of the current vaccines against them.
What’s different then?  We anticipate “some” travel restrictions will be lifted and we’ll be able to visit family in Liverpool and go other places (stores and restaurants) without too much worry.  We also are looking forward to more casual and comfortable visits with family members (summer BBQ’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners).
We have lost friends and loved ones and we are grateful to have gotten through this pandemic by the grace of God, the luck of fate, the hard work of all the scientists and first line care givers and other critical staff who have worked throughout this crisis, and (probably not least importantly) by wearing masks, social distancing and washing our hands.
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On This Day In:
2020 Democratic Aspiration
2019 Soul Before Will
2018 Small Things
2017 Clear And Warm To Me
2016 Ripple
2015 Amazing Or Full Of Wonder?
2014 Are You Confused?
2013 But The Odds Are Against It
2012 Far Better Off With Books
2011 Timid And Fainthearted

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This afternoon, my wife and I both got our first COVID vaccine shots!  We’re also scheduled for our 2nd shots towards the end of March.  Two weeks after that we should be “fairly” safe from COVID.  So far (after 6 hrs), the only after-effects are a little shoulder soreness at the injection site.
It is important for everyone to understand: the vaccines do NOT prevent you from getting COVID or from developing long-term  COVID related illnesses OR transmitting COVID to others.  The vaccines are only supposed to prevent you from getting “seriously” ill and dying.  We got the Pfizer version which is 95% effective at preventing “serious” illness and was 100% effective preventing deaths during trials.  We still do not know how long the vaccines remain effective and / or if we will need periodic boosters (like the annual flu shots).
The bottom line is that even after we have reached some level of local / state / national / worldwide herd immunity, we will probably need to keep wearing masks and maintaining “some” social distancing.  We just don’t know enough yet and we will have to follow the science / data when it becomes available…
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On This Day In:
2020 Decide, Support, Vote
2019 Aware Some
2018 Know Any Christians?
2017 The Only Thing I Can Give…
2016 Wiser But Less Cocksure
2015 Not Today
Wicked
2014 …Am Too
2013 Credible?
2012 Both
2011 Risking Hidden Linkage

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Is there anything more badass / sexy than a lady out walkin’ her dog in sweatpants and her Caterpillar sh*t kickers?
Tell me they don’t SCREAM attitude…  LoL!!!
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On This Day In:
2020 Skyin’
2019 I Hope He Has A Lot Of Room Down There
2018 What Time Is It?
2017 Gifts
2016 30 Seconds
2015 Success
2014 Create The Fact
2013 Overpowering Curiosity
2012 On Planning The Invasion Of Iraq…
2011 This And That
I’m Bettin’ On The Bible

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Tapestry

Favorite Line(s):
My life has been a tapestry
Of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision
Of the ever-changing view
A wond’rous woven magic
In bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see
Impossible to hold
Comment(s):
[A few days ago, I got word of an old friend’s passing (from COVID).  This makes two friends in less than a month.  This friend was a nurse who I bumped into at the ER over ten years ago when I went there for heart issues.  She didn’t recognize me as it had been almost 35 years since we’d seen each other.  I said she reminded me of someone I used to know back in the 1970’s in San Francisco and she got excited as she remembered me, too.  Anyway, I was having heart issues and she triaged me into the back area for an immediate IV and care.  The ER doctor said I was lucky as for most men my age (early 50’s back then), the first sign of heart problems is your face hitting the floor.  He said most men are “too tough” to admit they have a problem when they start to feel “a little” chest pain, and then their family is burying them.  So, in a very real way, this friend from the past helped to save my life.  This song came to mind as I was thinking about her passing.  The song is kind of sad (to me).  She was NOT like that at all.  She was enthusiasm, laughter and infectious smiles.  I guess, the song came to mind because it reminds me of the tapestry of our lives weaving in and out of other’s lives creating a vision we don’t really see until we’re well beyond the current moment.  I wish I’d been able to see her before her passing, so I could’ve thanked her for these extra years to work on my tapestry.   —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2020 Can We At Least Set The Bar Higher Than An Incompetent Liar In The Oval Office?
2019 Uncertain Times
And Government Shutdowns, Too
2018 Satisfied
2017 In The Mind
2016 Dreaming
2015 The Best Medicine Is Also Contagious
2014 Eyes Off
2013 The More Things Change…
2012 The Delicate Moment Of Giving
2011 Ready, Shoot, Aim!!

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My “Do It Yourself” (DIY) efforts on setting up a home workout station are proceeding.  Below are some images of the yesterday’s progress…
Yesterday, I assembled my “double-double”.  Basically, it’s two striking targets attached at two ends.  The bottom target is roughly the height of a body shot (waist to lower ribs).  The top target is roughly the height for head shots (chin, front and side of the head).  You may notice a few things:
1)  the top attachment is vertical while the bottom is horizontal.  The bottom target would normally be either fixed to the flooring below or (using some type of rope or bungee) attached to a weight to stabilize the target and limit random / excessive swinging movement.  In this case, I had to work within the “command structure” of:  “I don’t want any of your weights damaging my concrete!”  So, I used a horizontal bungee (with a loop to keep the rope from sliding left and right).  The practical limitation to this setup is I cannot work around the target;  I am limited to the 180° on the front side.  Still, I can live with it…
2)  less obvious until you start hitting the targets…  They are not “fixed” within the netting.  There are gaps above and below the balls where they can move when struck.  The practical effect of this is they are not staying in the same place in the netting when you try to do a double-up punch (like two jabs to the head).  I will try to correct this by tying rope / paracord around one end of each ball / net to “lock” them into a more standard position within each net.
3)  FAR less obvious, (but which I have learned from recent experience,) is that these targets hit back at you – and from unexpected angles (at least up to now unexpected).  In my initial setup (prior to my wife’s objection), I had the bottom ball / net secured by weights.  This tended to produce reaction motion for both balls in a relatively circular motion around a vertical axis (much like an up-right cylinder).  After the modification to the bottom to include the horizontal bungee, a solid right punch to the bottom target resulted in a solid left hook by the upper ball to the right side of MY head.  My wife started laughing and said:  “It hits back!!”  (Note: NotAre you okay, dear?“)  As near as I can tell, this is due to the back and forth (back to front) motion of the lower horizontal bungee and the circular (like a vertical cylinder) motion of the upper vertical bungee.  My response:  “I’m gonna need a head-guard.”  Her reply:  “You sure are!“, still giggling.  Fortunately (for me), there wasn’t sufficient mass / speed in the basketball to knock me out, because it certainly struck me full on the side of my head at roughly temple / cheek height.
My next brilliant (okay, obvious) idea was to attach the original horizontal double-end target (“bag”) and see what that felt like.  To my surprise, a “triple-double” and it is terrific!  I now had a target (the bottom ball) for body shots, a target (the middle ball) for upper-cuts and body jabs, and a top target (the top ball) for chin and head shots.  The only trick now is to find a way to attach the original double-end to the double-double which keeps them together (when used together), but which also easily separates so I can continue to use the single-double on its own.  The original horizontal “single-double” works as a “slip-rope”.  A “slip” is when you move your head side to side (like a metronome) to avoid an incoming punch.  It is frequently accompanied by a “bob” (up and down head movement).  Together, they are referred to as “bobbing and weaving”.  Basically, I stand next to one post and move to the other ducking under the rope with each step to the side.  When I get to the middle, I release an upper-cut.  I then continue to the opposite post.  When I reach the post, I turn around and start back, trying to time the steps so my next upper cut with be with the other hand.  (Always try to practice every punch with both hands.)  Anyway, there is still some tweaking to do…
The next image is what’s happening in the background.  I attached a “hook-screw” to the back post and then I just swing the weighted chain up to it and hook onto it.  The lat-pulley set up is then out of the way for the boxing.  It is adjustable for more clearance, but because of the angles, it (the chained weights) doesn’t have to be as far back as I initially expected.
And, finally, here’s an image of the “normal” lat-pulldown.  We timed the set up and take down and it takes under a minute to set up or take down!  It takes longer to put on a single boxing hand-wrap than it does to set up the station for boxing.
And so the adventure continues…
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On This Day In:
2020 Posting As A Continual Exercise
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017 [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right! — KMAB]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

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Some of you regular readers may recall I had a pull-up rack set up in a corner of my backyard.  Image below…

Pull-up Stand with Double-End Target

I was always intending to use the setup as a multi-function station for working out going forward.  My initial modification was the addition of two “eye-screws” to setup a horizontal double end punching bag.  As you see, I made it out of an old basketball, a basketball net and a couple of bungee cords.  This has worked out reasonably well…
The “main” goal of the setup was to have a pull-up station.  Unfortunately, it turns out I am FAR too out of shape to hang from the bar, let alone try to do a pull-up.  In my first (aborted) attempt, I nearly pulled my arms out of their sockets “trying” to hang.  I was able to hang for just long enough for me to remember my age before letting go (aka: “falling”).  Also, despite my interest in adding “DIY” boxing options, I will NOT EVER be boxing / sparring.  I have a heart condition and am on blood thinners which (technically) make me a “border-line” hemophiliac (a “bleeder”).  The boxing options are only for their fitness / exercise value.
To make a longer story short, I scavenged some parts from my old “Total-Gym” and have now set up a “Lat – pulldown” system which I can use to build up my strength until I can hang from the bar and try another pull-up.  Image below…

Image of Lower Bar & Lat Pulley Setup

Lower Bar & Lat Pulley Setup

A “Lat – pulldown” is an exercise which concentrates on the latissimus dorsi muscles.  These are the muscles used to pull something down from above your head or to pull your head and body up to something which is above your head / shoulders.  In this case, I am using four(4) ten pound weights.  At the moment I have completed day four(4) of a 30 day challenge to do five(5) sets of fifty(50) “reps” (repetitions).  After each set, I turn 45° and do a cross-body pull down Left to Right (50 reps) and then Right to Left (50 reps).  In all, 250 reps of the double and 250 reps per side.  As I get stronger (and less sore), I hope to get up to 10 sets per day.  Hopefully, by the end of the 30 days I will be able to suspend myself in a hanging position for a few seconds.  Then I can proceed to descending pull-ups, which will lead to actual “up” pull-ups.
I have an additional five(5) modifications under consideration:  1) adding a “slip bag”;  2)  adding a “heavy bag”;  3) adding a vertical “double-end, double bag”; 4) adding a “speed bag”; and, 5) adding a two-grip, low level pulley systems to create a “rower”.
So, that’s the progress.  And, that’s the future plans…  (Oh, yeah.  The posts and the rest of the back fence have to be painted / stained to help reduce / prevent weathering.)
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On This Day In:
2020 Still Crazy After All These Years…
2019 20 / 20 Foresight
He Knew Damned Well…
2018 Be Someone’s Kindling
2017 When The Moment Comes
2016 Changed Clothes Lately?
2015 Like Stone
2014 Resistance Is Futile
2013 Subtle Humor
To Look Behind Green Eyes
2012 The Path Is Endless
2011 Happy MLK, Jr Day!!!
A Factor Of Ten
Better Late Than Never?
Whoops!
Acceptable Beginnings
Slow Progress
Useful Confrontation
When Phenomena Are Different
Creative Avoidance
Thinking
Fast And Flexible
Surrender Certainty
Techniques
Vive La Difference
Destiny
Completeness
Art

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Cheers to you, my blog readers!  Here are my suggested resolutions for 2021:
Stay Alive.  Stay Healthy.
1)  Wash your hands frequently
2)  Practice social distancing (try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people)
3)  If you have to gather, gather outside (but still remember #2)
4)  Wear a mask anytime you are outside your home and any time you answer the door!
5)  Get your vaccination as soon as your opportunity comes up.
Please have a happy (and safe) New Year’s Eve!
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On This Day In:
2019 Best Wishes For 2020!
World Views: End Of 2019
2018 Best Wishes For 2019!
2017 Best Wishes For 2018!
2016 Best Wishes For 2017!
2015 Better Red Than Dead
Tomorrow Starts A New Year
2014 Recovering
Best Wishes For 2015!
2013 Best Wishes For 2014!
2012 My Creed
2011 It Probably Isn’t So

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When we sit at the table, there is more going on than satisfying hunger.  It is sad to think of those who eat simply to satisfy their hunger and who do not permit themselves to linger under the many spells offered by a good meal – the satisfaction of our hearts, our minds and our spirits.
   —    Dr. Leo F. Buscaglia
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On This Day In:
2019 Still Hoping To Soar
2018 Why America Stinks More Than It Did 50 Years Ago
2017 No Universal Thinking
2016 Supervise The Results
2015 Just Magic!
2014 It Lies Ahead…
2013 At Least One Difference
2012 Are We, Are We?
On Not Playing The Game
Scale
2011 Nutcracker And Nooks
Seeing Differences

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