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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

💀 ☠ Family Versus Other Social Relationships for Senior Longevity │ Yoga for Chronic Lower Back Pain │ Coffee-Drinking May Reduce Risk of Dementia

Well, my wife Jack did not phone me from the Vancouver International Airport last evening as she waited for the 10:00 p.m. or so flight to Thailand.  She had said that she would.

Perhaps she had too many calls she had to deal with; and it is always possible that she was unexpectedly coinciding her outbound flight with somebody she knew, and thus had someone to socialize with.

I think she said that her layover was only to be for an hour in Taipei ─ I expect that she would need to change jets.

I hope that if she did have to change aircraft, that she was not going to be responsible for her two enormous heavy pieces of luggage.

But it is just 1:45 p.m. as I type these words, and I do not believe that she would yet be that far into her flight.

Alas, instead of getting to bed sensibly last night, I immersed myself into corruption and never sought slumber until after 3:30 a.m.

I think I had a bathroom break at some point overnight, and then checked the time this morning at 7:28 a.m. and decided that I should start my day.  My conscience was not allowing me to slip back into sleep.

Nevertheless, it probably took me a half-dozen minutes to galvanize and actually get up.

My youngest step-son Pote was up.  His older brother Tho had gone to work earlier.  Tho is under a driving suspension, so Pote may well have driven Tho to the SkyTrain so he could get out to Burnaby where he works.

And since Pote had use of the car, when he headed out the door at 8:48 a.m. to betake himself to work over in Guildford, he drove Tho's car.

I put in some work on a post I began yesterday at my Thai-Iceland website, but I only did half the work I normally would have if I had behaved last night and gotten to bed in timely fashion.

In fact, at 10:18 a.m. I had resorted to bed again and spent just about an hour there.  I dreamed, so I must have napped.

The dream was uncomfortable.

I was in some bar with someone who may have been Art Smith ─ a chap in his early 40s whom I knew back in the mid-1970s when I was in my mid-20s.

At one point we were rousted by staff, and it seems to me that we were told to stand beside the table we were seated at and place our wallets on it ─ along with $100, which seemed to be the 'pass' patrons had to show in order to be allowed to be in the place.

But that requirement seemed somehow to dissipate, and we were soon seated again.  I sure never had $100 in my wallet.  I rarely do.

I next found myself just outside the bar on its far side, and I came back in and began addressing who I thought was Art standing nearby, but it was my father Hector.  I was a little unpleasantly surprised that it was him, for I didn't wish to become entangled with him.

He, too, appeared to be roughly as I remember him from the 1970s.

I also may have been my younger self.

I managed to disengage myself from my father, who was keen on retaining my company, and I headed on back over towards my table where Art was probably still seated.

It was surreal that I brushed off my father like that, for I miss the man dearly.  But my mindset in the dream was just as it was back in the 1970s, and there was nothing present within my subconscious sensing the loss that I would have expected to have felt ─ I lost him to a heart-attack in February 1983.

My regard for him in the dream was as if he still lived and had never died; and my dream self was not keen on becoming involved with him because he had been drinking, and was evincing some of his emotionally desperate clinginess towards me.

It was an unsettling dream to come out of, knowing these things.  I miss my father badly, and would love to have him alive to drink with.

But back to the reality of this day.

We have had a little rain, and the sky is grey.  However, I thought there were blue streaks this morning.  For over a week, I would say, there has not been a 24-hour period in which there has not at least been some rain, either in the night or else the day ─ if not both.

Saturday, October 16, was another grey day, and I had to hustle late in the afternoon to take a document to Surrey Place (Central City) that my wife Jack had wanted me to mail ─ I wanted to drop it off at Pearl Photo / Canada Post.

I took this photo that I now wish to present here ─ the description beneath is from the Google album where I have the photo filed:

This lovely young lady was rapidly walking just ahead of me, and I could not resist snapping this reminder.

We both had just cut through Holland Park and crossed Old Yale Road onto University Drive.

That traffic entrance just in front of the lass takes one to some parking, and passes by The Brick and also Tim Horton's.

I am extremely marginalized socially, with no friends near.  And my relationship with my wife is no longer intimate.

My younger brother Mark also lives in our home, but he is generally unable to control his drinking in the latter part of the day, and is often-as-not almost intolerable company.

I had a tough time making sense of the following report on a study involving longevity and relationships:


The report is very badly written.

I actually found that the study was far clearer in my understanding when I read about it here:


 I find myself feeling rather precariously-situated at the age of 67.


If I had the money and time, I would look deeply into stretching and flexibility.  I am most impressed with the work both Paul Zaichik and the folks behind Gold Medal Bodies have achieved.

But I haven't the time ─ I am locked into spending numerous hours a day seated here at my computer fruitlessly trying to derive a second income while it is still possible to make changes in my life.

Achieving a second income seems about as likely to me as winning a major lottery jackpot.

Yoga has only ever peripherally interested me.

Still, a study has found that yoga is at least as beneficial for the treatment of chronic low back pain as is physical therapy:

One thing I really did find interesting in that report was this:
...According to M. Catherine Bushnell, PhD, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health, long-time yoga practitioners have more gray matter than matched physically active controls.

"Gray matter goes down with age, but yoga practitioners have a flat line; you don't see this age-related decrease in gray matter that you see in other healthy people..."
And there seems to be "quite a robust" relationship between how long a person has done yoga and positive brain changes, she said. "The number of years a person has practiced yoga, the more gray matter at multiple sites in the brain."

Yoga influences areas of the brain that are important for pain modulation, said Dr Bushnell.

It is a "complex activity" that involves not only exercise but also breath control and meditation. And although analyses show that exercise is the biggest contributor to gray matter, all the other elements of yoga also play a role, she said.
In addition to that, "yoga practitioners have a higher pain tolerance than other people."

So maybe yoga may be the solution for folks with chronic lower back pain.


Speaking of healthy grey matter, a study seems to have found evidence that coffee-drinkers are benefiting their brains, and warding off cognitive decline and dementia:


Still, there are always those who enjoy 'raining on parades' such as the coffee study:

My inclination is towards coffee being of benefit.  But not if it's chock full of things like artificial flavours and other garbage that has no business being in something we are consuming.


Here is where I close off with a 41-year-old entry from my journal back when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting the tiny unit in a house located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

My plan for the morning was a hike out to my mother Irene Dorosh's Surrey home ─ it was my main mailing address.

The house is now gone, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue.

To hike directly there would take about 1½ hours of fast-paced walking.  However, I had lately vastly increased the distance by plotting a course that required me to follow the King George Highway all the way out to Newton.  

Railway tracks crossed both 72nd Avenue and the King George Highway ─ I would turn right onto those tracks and follow them until I was able to access the Surrey terminus of 90th Avenue at Holt Road, very near to Scott Road (120th Street).

My mother's home was maybe a half-dozen or so houses down 90th Avenue, on the right-hand side.

I had gotten to bed the evening before at 7:10 p.m.
SATURDAY, October 25, 1975

It has been pouring since sometime before midnight.

I did not sleep particularly deep, but did get enough, arising slightly prior to 4:00 a.m. 

I leave for mom's via Newton before 7:15 a.m.

In no time I was wet and cold to the point of despair, mentally embroiled in an easy out, yet stubbornly refusing to yield.

Across from Ruby's Drive-In, a young guy in a van stopped for me.  Asked of my destination, I said Newton; he was only going to Whalley, but took me the distance.

Warmed, from there I spurned the tracks and made Sandell my route, eventually being compelled to jog for warmth.

At mom's, Alex was temporarily out; they've still no car.

I didn't plan to eat or stay longer than it took to warm up and have my clothes dry.  But neither occurred with any celerity.  

Thus, I partook of lunch with them; Bill phoned during it, saying he'd be over at 2:00 p.m. (last night he was at Nell's).

He came.

We got some Contac-C for mom, and he collected himself a quantity of pears.

I was home about 4:00 p.m.

After taking home his mother, he is to pick me up for some TV viewing later.

He came;  he brought some A & W goodies which we ate at his place, along with a jar of roasted almonds.

Very soon after came his buzzer: Garry Porteous.

Between TV and comics time passed, till Bill drove off for a case of beer the pair of them split the price of.

I had 4½ bottles.

Too, Bill bought a tri-pak of chips.

Garry stayed quite late, as I was obliged to do, dear guy.

He phoned Cathy; still no Mark.

Anyway, I shall be abed by 12:50 a.m.
"Ruby's Drive-In" was one of those fast-food joints where I think carhops actually would come out and take patrons' orders.  I no longer remember just where it was, but it would have been on the left side of the King George Highway as I was hiking towards Whalley, and probably near the summit of the hill.

That was darned nice of the young fellow in the van to offer me a ride, and take me all the way to Newton ─ it had to have been over four miles out of his way just to get me there.

I undoubtedly did not let on that I was intentionally out there for the hike and exercise.

Once I was on my own in Newton, I chose to skip use of the tracks because they would have been a short-cut to my mother's home.  By taking to Sandell Road (128th Street), I was increasing the distance I would need to travel, and partially undoing the ride that I had been given.

I usually accepted rides like that, even though I was out for exercise, because I wanted the driver to feel good about himself for making the kind gesture.

Alex was my mother's husband.  He had a week or so before been in a car accident in New Westminster.

My old friend William Alan Gill had a bachelor suite in New Westminster, maybe three or four blocks from my room.  The previous day, I had declined to go with him to visit my younger brother Mark's girlfriend, Catherine Jeanette Gunther, in Whalley ─ I wanted to get to bed early.

Mark had been away for the week hunting, and was still not back.  

Whether Bill visited Jeanette or not, he definitely did visit my maternal Aunt Nell Halverson and her large household of partiers ─ I think they were still living on 64th Avenue in Surrey, quite near to Newton Junior High School.

The good fellow tracked me down at my mother's home, and I was spared the 1½-hour walk to get back to my room.

My mother and Alex had some fruit trees on their property, and Bill welcomely availed himself of some of the pears abundantly there,

He used to regularly have his mother Anne Gregory over to clean up his suite and do some cooking ─ she was renting a home over in Maillardville, if I remember correctly.

After he took her home and came to my room to drive me to his suite to enjoy some colour T.V. and eats with him, my brother Mark's best friend in those years came by ─ Garry Porteous was no doubt bored with Mark gone, and Garry had newly suffered a break-up with his girlfriend Angela.

Garry lived out in Surrey, so he had to go out of his way a little to visit us.  Most likely he tried my room first, and then tried Bill on the hope that I would be there.

I always liked Garry.  For some reason, he just quit associating with Mark in the mid- or late-1980s, despite the two of them having known one another since at least as early as Grade IV over at Johnston Road Elementary (now Sullivan Elementary) School.

For them, Grade IV would have been the 1961-1962 school term; but it may even have been Grade III ─ I just don't remember.
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