Friday, June 29, 2012

Walking Log June 22-29, 2012

Friday June 22, 20124.0 miles:  AT South from Rt 311

Saturday, June 23, 20127.4 miles:  Countryside to Cove Rd Neighborhoods:  Spent the rest of the day doing extensive yard work at home.

Sunday, June 24,  2012: Rest day:  Worked at Smith Mountain Lake

Monday, June 25, 2012: 6.6 miles:  All around Countryside and Northside High School.  I saw a four point buck on the Countryside property right beside I-581.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012: 8.1 Miles:  Tinker Cliffs.  Jackie went with me and had great difficulty with her knee on the return trip.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012:  Rest Day/Lazy day

Thursday, June 28, 20128.4 miles: Roanoke River Greenway

34.5 Miles

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Walking Log June 15-22

Friday June  15, 20129.0 miles: McAfee's Knob:  Saw a huge bear right beside Rt 311 on the fire road.  Saw a turtle and a cool blue bird (perhaps a scarlet tanager or a mountain bluebird).  The Knob was populated by a troop a Rastafarian's who were trying to "catch the sun".   They were very creepy.

Saturday June 16, 20126.5 miles:  Peters Creek to Peachtree, Norwood to Montclair to Glen Cove and back through North lakes Twilight Wipeldale Caun.:  Nice walk with Jackie.

Sunday June 17, 2012: None. Colonoscopy Prep

Monday June 18, 2012: None: Colonoscopy

Tuesday June 19, 2012: 5.5 miles:  Tinker Creek Greenway.  We went on the new addition.  They've built a most amazing pedestrian bridge over the Roanoke River right where Tinker Creek and the Sewage Treatment Plant converge.

Wednesday June 20 20127.2 miles : Lick Run Greenway:  Nice walk.  Saw the same homeless man as yesterday and the same work crew.

Thursday June 21, 20127.1 miles: Rotary Park /Salem Greenway:  Started by Pizza Pasta Pit and walked past Moyer Sports Complex and then along a gravel river path to Riverside Drive.  Then back and into Salem proper.  Then we walked back.

Total Miles35.3 Miles

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grind It, Baby

So I was parked listening to Terry Gross interview Joan Rivers on a recent edition of Fresh Air. Target and my prescription pick-up would have to wait.  Joan was killing it.  She was a riot.  I had the windows of my Honda Accord down, and my laughs were quieting the recorded predatory bird sounds that play to scare away nesting grackles.

I had left a parking space between my tiny car and the massive alien SUV boat parked adjacent to me.  As I was mid-laugh, a 4-door sedan pulls into the space between us.  Inside this car were five thumping teens.  The two girls up front were rocking and gyrating to the pulsing , indecipherable rhythmic musical noise.  It was like  SNL's "Night at the Roxbury" skit.

Then from the back seat out piled a group of people two guys and a girl.  One of the guys went to the front of the sedan, right next to my car, and began gyrating as if he was making love to the grill of the car.  The girls in the front seat went crazy and began screaming.  Remember,  I'm parked right next to them.  Then the guy went around behind the car and began gyrating again as if he was ...well... performing anal sex. with the tailpipe of the car.  The other guy joined in as did the other girl.  It was an amazing scene.  Hard to explain,  but I think you get the point.  

As they all reached to light up cigarettes, I made my move.  Afraid that they would begin making love to my car,  I "pulled out" of the space and found a spot in the parking lot far away from them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yellow Jacket War

So, I'm battling a yellow jacket nest right beside my garden hose reel. Sunday, I was switching hoses and stood for about three minutes on top of the nest. Thankfully, I was blocking their exit. So now, I'm in a spraying and poking war. I spray wasp/hornet killer then I sneak up and poke a broom handle down their hole a few times before I flee. Then I spray then I poke spray...poke...spray...poke. Time for a poke. :
 It's quite thrilling!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Colonoscopy, the Main Event

I'm the proud owner of a healthy colon!
What a fantastic experience!

I'm the worrying sort. I tend to stress myself out. Luckily, I think my new Sertraline prescription is really helping me put things in perspective.

So the way a colonoscopy works, in case you don't know and are curious, is that you have a day of prep to clean your bowel out. My prep day was yesterday, Father's day-which made for a rather bland celebration. You aren't allowed to eat starting at midnight on prep day. Then at noon, you have to take two women's laxatives. These begin your bathroom journeys as they start the emptying process. Once you are emptied, you then have to drink a half gallon of lemon-lime flavored sea water in 8 oz increments over the course of an hour or so to cleanse the whole track. Next, as Dave Barry explains, the nuclear detonation begins. It's like your rear end becomes a garden hose turned to the jet spray setting. This lasts for about two hours or until the sea water is eliminated. Surprisingly, I found the nuclear detonation rather exhilarating and the seawater not so bad. I'm glad I chose lemon-lime instead of orange or cherry flavorings.

Last night, after the explosions calmed, I slept like a baby. No worries. I woke up fresh, rested, and a-rearing to go.

The procedure prep was normal. IV lines, BP check. Embarrassing gown donned. Then I was wheeled into the room. I told the male nurse to " gentle with me."

He replied, "Because this is your first time, right?"

"I guess you've heard that one before."

"Yup. I've heard just about everything in my career. One guy even wrote on his butt with a Sharpie, 'Do Not Enter!'"

Once in the room, the female nurse introduced herself to me, and I introduced myself using the name "Jim Swanson." She looked at me strangely, and I said, "Just pulling your name is really ______." She chuckled shallowly, and I noticed that she made a point to check my wrist ID tag to be sure. Then the sleep lady gave me something, and I began dreaming of bears.

An hour later I awoke. The nurse asked me to pass a lot of gas, and I unabashedly obliged. I was amazed at how loud I was. I've always been a champion gas-passer, winning many contests at Boy Scout summer camp back in my youth. I was also amazed how quickly the sleep tonic wore off. In fact, as I staggered out of the place ten minutes later, I assured my wife that I could drive. She just laughed.

The meeting with the doctor went well. Only one polyp, which he felt was benign and thus burned into polyp oblivion. The rest of my colon looked grate!

So here I sit at home, one hour removed from waking up, with my writing creative juices flowing, and food about to go in my body for the first time since 6pm Saturday. Life is good.

Remember June is Men's Health Month. If you are over 50, sign up for one of the screenings. It's fun!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Preparing for a Colonoscopy

It's not really fun.  

My last  food was at 6:30 the day before the prep.  So hunger is an issue.  No food.  Only clear liquids.  Then at noon, I swallowed two women's laxatives.  These set off a bomb in my colon.

Finally,  the trips to the bathroom subsided somewhat.

Then came the half gallon of salty "lemon-lime flavored" solution that I had to chug in 8 oz doses. 

It's really not fun.

I'm not looking forward to the anal numbing shot.  But perhaps the sedatives will be nice.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Zombie Apocalypse

My morning walks are becoming epic tales.  This morning, I started up the trail to McAfee's Knob at 6:13 am.  At 6:13:30,  I heard a rustling on the ridge above my fire road trail.  There, silhouetted like the evil in Disney's Fantasia against the morning sky, was the largest black bear I've ever seen.  Over the past few years,  I've seen quite a few black bears on my hikes.  Last year, I almost stepped on one.  But this was far different.  This bear was massive.  he was only about 50 feet away from me and very close to Rt 311.  He didn't ever hear me thanks to a truck struggling to gain the top of Catawba Mountain. and he didn't smell me thanks to a favorable wind.  So I just stood there and watched him amble along the ridge for a few minutes.  Amazing sight!  

My hike went along, and I made it to the top by 7:45.  I THOUGHT I was all alone...but as I wandered from the Catawba side of the rocks to the Roanoke side,  I heard voices.  It was a group of very wild looking people. One of the dudes stood up with his Lion King locked mane  and said, after a tremendous belch, "Hey man...beautiful day, right?"  We exchanged a few words while I noted that two or three others were just sitting on the rocks staring into the foggy oblivion.  I said that it looked like they were heading somewhere.  He said, "No doubt, man.  We came up here early this morning to catch the sunrise.  Now I think we might be heading out to Tinker Cliffs."   I bid them farewell in their quest to catch the sun.  As fate would have it,  I had to pass by them again a few minutes later as I worked back to the trail. 

 "Going down already?" 

"Yup," I said,  "That's what I do."  

So I went on down the trail a bit and took the side trail that leads immediately to the power line.  From there I hiked back up to the ridge where I found my giant white rock.  This is a strange rock that sits squarely in the power line cut and is visible from I-581 by the airport if you look up at McAfee's Knob.  So I sat there and brought out my penny whistle, playing a soulful tune for the trees.  Then, from higher up the mountain, but nearby,  I heard, "Dude,  I think it was coming from down there a trail..."  So I stopped playing and listened, my mind racing toward the Zombie Apocalypse.  I decided to slink away, leaving my mountain in possession of those monsters.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Walk Log June 8-June 14

Thursday June 14, 2012: 6.2 miles:  Roanoke River Greenway from Riverside park to Bridge Street and back

Wednesday June 13, 2012:  6.0 Miles:  Northside loop.  lewiston to Wm Fleming to Harvest lane to Angus to Lynhope to Portland to lewiston to Northside Rd.

Tuesday June 12, 2012: 3.5 miles: Northside Loop: Lewiston...transported to Tully Lane by peter's creek Church of brethren to Green Ridge to Twilight to Wipledale to Craun

Monday June 11, 2012: Rest  Garden work Dr. Appt.

Sunday June 10, 20122.0 Miles AT South at Rt 311. All day Garden work

Saturday June 9, 20123.5 Miles : Northside Loop Kingstown Woodhaven Taney North Spring North lake.  All Day garden work

Friday June 8, 2012: 3.5 Miles:  Northside Loop Kingstown Woodhaven Taney North Spring North lake

Total Mileage for the week:  24.7 miles

Friday, June 08, 2012

My Novel's First Line

"I kinda started liking you after I had a dream."  

That's what I found scribbled on a folded note on the floor of my classroom a couple of weeks ago.  I don't know exactly which of my third graders wrote it,  but I have a pretty good idea.

Upon reading the note,  I immediately decided that this would be a fantastic opening for a novel.  I really have no idea what the novel will be about or who the main characters will be nor what these characters will conflict in.  

I do know, that I will use that line to open the book.  It will be a big novel about something really cool.  It will be good.  Really good.