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Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Seriousness of Falls for Seniors │ More Ventures into My Memory Lane

For once I had an almost inspirational movie to watch on a Saturday evening ─ I have been making dispiriting picks in recent weeks that have left me feeling hopeless and defeated.

Why do idiots make films like that? I want movies where the good and innocent triumph in the end ─ not movies where one's hopes are raised, only to be crushed when evil proves insurmountable despite the desperate build-up that leads to the tragic climax. A climax which only adds to the discouragement that seems to fill my life.

The movie I watched was The Host ─ and the heroine was portrayed by an actress whose first name I do my best to rehearse and try to remember, but I am doubtful I will.

Can you even pronounce Saoirse, her first name?

Apparently 'Saoir' would be pronounced like the word 'Sir.' And the trailing syllable 'se' is pronounced like 'shu' in the word 'shut.'

So...Sir-shu, with the Sir having the stress or dominance when saying it aloud.  

It's so easy when you know how, ain't it?

The movie had its weaknesses, sure. But I was sufficiently captured by the premise and the heroine that at times my eyes would burn with emotion, and I think I was snuffling at the final scene.

And all that was despite my eldest stepson Tho choosing that part of the entire day to be messing about in the kitchen right behind where I was sitting. He was cleaning up the various pots, pans, and other dirty dishes that he and his younger brother Poté had amassed over the past couple days.

He had all day to do it, for he never left the damned house as far as I know; but no, he waited until I was trying to watch a movie in the evening.

I had the volume cranked up to the maximum for part of the show, because dialogue was often very indistinct. Sometimes even when I was standing right before the T.V. with my ears cupped, I still could not quite make out what the characters were softly saying.

I hate that.

There was never a problem hearing the blasting sound effects, though. Make that all good and loud, but skimp on the vital and essential dialogue.

Nevertheless, as I said, I enjoyed the movie ─ two hours well spent. And I was able to go to bed feeling rather positive for a change on a Saturday night.

I was in bed at 11:54 p.m.

My younger brother Mark had stayed overnight at the home of his girlfriend Bev.

I remained in bed until the morning, not bothering with any bathroom breaks during any relatively brief wakeful points in my night.

I now forget what time it was when I checked and decided to start my day, but it was long before 7:00 a.m.

Poté ─ who had not been home last night when I went to bed ─ was to rise after 7:00 a.m. and soon head away to work while I was up here at my computer toiling on the edit of an old post at my hosted website My Retirement Dream. It's been a labour of about a week's duration, but I should be done with it tomorrow.

I never had any exercise yesterday, so I wanted to ensure it occurred this morning. And so around 8:45 a.m. I was out in the backyard tool shed and ready to get at it.

I felt well enough that I didn't need any extended breaks; but despite an overcast sky and a bit of a breeze, the atmosphere was muggy, making breathing somewhat difficult.

Afterward back in the house, I stripped down for a weigh-in: maybe 187 pounds, or possibly 188. I've been hanging rather tightly at that level for possibly a couple of weeks now.

I'm about five feet 10¾ inches in height.

My 'fighting weight' for most of my adult life has been around 183 or 184 pounds.  

I think it was just after 9:30 a.m. when Mark arrived home.

Incidentally, Tho seemed to be getting up when I was on my way out to the shed to exercise.

When I came back into the house, I asked him if he had wetted his bed; however, he claimed that he just couldn't sleep any further.

Mark retired to his bedroom towards 11:00 a.m. for a nap. And I returned to my bed shortly after 11:00 a.m. to also seek a nap.

I may have succeeded, but I was only down for about 44 minutes. Yet when I rose and exited my bedroom, I found that Mark had not only already risen, but he had gone for the afternoon.

The day had become quite sunny by the noon-hour. I haven't enjoyed any sunshine for a few days, so at 2:02 p.m. I commenced over 40 minutes seated in a chair on the backyard lawn, facing into the Sun. I wore just cut-offs.

And that essentially brings me to the present.

Although I have not heard from my wife Jack this weekend, I rather suspect that she will be showing up here in Surrey from Vancouver at some point today. However, it may well not be until late into the evening, in which case she would most very likely be staying the night.

I have an old photo to post that I just recently scanned ─ albeit I failed to align it perfectly. The details beneath it were printed on the reverse by Alex Dorosh before he and my mother Irene had yet married in 1973 (or whenever it was):

Xmas in L.A. 1965 
Cousin Mike & me by Olga's lemon tree
Al;ex is at the left in the dark jacket. I don't think that Alex and my mother had yet met in 1965. As for who Olga was, I have no idea.

I know that I have got to start getting out and doing regular walking, but I keep putting it off.

The next thing I know, I am going to have such unstable legs that I'll be taking a tumble while coming down the stairs.

I am 67, so reports like the following that all tell of the same study ought to be concerning to any of us getting on in years:




I don't touch the handrail when I come down the stairs ─ I stubbornly refuse to surrender my mental hold on my youth. But that is a very dangerous mindset at my age.

That last report has a rather nasty, attention-getting illustration:

I think the first and third reports may be guilty of a misstatement.

I scanned the full study, and I was unable to notice it make a claim that more than half of all visits to an emergency room by seniors aged 65 and older were the result of falling.

They seem to be confusing or misreading this statement:
More than half of fall patients had an adverse event within 6 months of presenting to the ED after a fall.
Of course, 'ED' stands for an emergency department in a hospital.

So although more than half of the fall patients who had gone to an emergency room had some kind of adverse event within six months after that initial fall, this does not mean that more than half of the visits to the emergency room were because of falling.

But moving on to something else of interest to me today, I received a rather intriguing E-mail forward from a retired woman who is prolific with these things.

She can actually be quite annoying, for I think that she downloads videos and forwards them rather than just sending the weblinks. I have received as many as four attached videos that were sent within the space of several minutes, and on one occasion the MBs (megabytes) total exceeded 80 ─ that's a lot of material to be dumping into peoples' Inboxes!

She also will forward long duplications that were obviously copies from someone's blog post or related webpage ─ numerous illustrations that can also jack up the size of the message. She does this instead of just sending the link to the webpage or post.

And it's usually of such marginal interest that I have now come to the point where I just delete these things when I realize what they are.

However, the item she forwarded to her mailing list today did have some interest. I located an exact online copy of what she sent ─ you can see it at MastersConnection2020.com: FLYING THE ATLANTIC DURING THE LATE 1930s │ What It Was Like Aboard A Pan-Am Clipper….

It ends with this claim:
On a flight from San Francisco to China, a Clipper landed on Truk Lagoon to be refueled by Japanese authorities. Later, the Clipper was assumed lost over the Pacific. Years later, it was revealed that the crew and passengers were arrested and executed, the engines were retrieved and sent to Japan and the Clipper was sunk in deep water off Truk Lagoon.
This kind of thing always makes me suspicious.

If this is something that is now known, then why isn't the identity of the Clipper included? That is seriously important information and would serve as verification of the claim.

I spent some time doing a little research, and I think I located some details related to the claim ─ this is from HistoryNet.com, an article titled Vanished!: What Happened to the Hawaii Clipper?
In his 2000 book Fix on the Rising Sun: The Clipper Hi-jacking of 1938, Charles N. Hill wrote that he believed the Hawaii Clipper had been commandeered by two Japanese naval officers who had stowed away in the baggage compartment while the aircraft was at Guam. Then, armed with a revolver, they committed the world’s first skyjacking. Hill speculated that the officers had diverted the flying boat to a Japanese-occupied island and eventually to Truk, where the passengers and crew were executed. 
Motivation for such a hijacking has varied depending on the source. Some believe the Japanese wanted to copy the M-130’s design for their own flying boat, while others think they actually wanted to get their hands on its engines. Hill’s theory is that the Japanese were determined to prevent Watson Choy from delivering $3 million in gold certificates to Chiang Kai-shek.
Watson Choy was 38-year-old Wah-Sun Choy, an American of Chinese descent, who happened to be the wealthy owner of a small New Jersey–based restaurant company ─ he was a passenger.

Anyway, to my mind these two incidents are too close not to be referring to the same event.

But it has not been proven. No bodies or definite and incontrovertible trace of the plane have ever been found, from what I can uncover in the small research I have done while working on today's post.

By the way, provided that the link remains accurate, the photos from that post telling of what it was like to fly aboard a Clipper in the 1930s are on display at iCloud.com: Pam-Am Clipper by Barry Sharp

Okay, I am done for today!

Here to close is a journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street, and about two houses up from Third Avenue.

I had been working full-time for over a month now on a three-month contract with a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

I was swamping on S.A.N.E.'s blue pick-up truck, which was generally driven by Esther St. Jean, a lovable lady in her early 40s. 

I had previous associations with S.A.N.E. as a swamper that may have stretched back into 1974, but I had only ever been part-time at best ─ i.e., a day per week.
FRIDAY, July 23, 1976

I had a deal of trouble finding sleep last night, and did not get up till c. 7:20 a.m.

I am going to mail a request to F. and S.F. Book Co. asking them to substitute Far Lands by E. Hoffman Price in the stead of Howard's Rogues in the House if, as I fear, I already ordered that title early this month. 

Once more, I'm being deprived from my toilet by the laundering knot-head upstairs; this from 9:00 a.m. on, with no BM. (But it turned I got relief by 10:00 a.m.)

I did no work till the reasonably sunny afternoon, so finished William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist.

At Safeway I bought $1.87 worth of grapes (29¢ lb) and tomatoes (19¢ lb).

After work a trip to Woodward's yielded 2 - 99¢ liter containers of yogurt, and at National Meats all I could get to complement my final $2 was $1.55 worth of minced chicken & beef, up 10¢ to 69¢ lb.

On CKNW, Arnold Schwartzenegger was Art Finlay's talk-show guest for a while between 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

I am leaving for Mark's about 8:00 p.m.

I'd hoped to tie in with Bill tonight, but shortly after midnight found my self walking home, meeting at the Cameo 2 drinking girls wondering on the way to Richmond; I said it was too difficult to explain.

Cathy was home alone, Mark working.

Seems he never received the Olympic ticket I ordered him from Montreal (but strangely, a check revealed I haven't the money order copy). She also said she may vacation to see her folks around Aug. 10 for a few weeks.

I am lately unhappy with myself, and was a poor companion tonight. I'm so unsocial. My rotten life caused me dejection as I walked home.

Bed at 1:45 a.m.
The morning issue concerning the toilet was that it was located in a cubicle along with my shower unit ─ but well outside of my room there in the house basement. So when a female tenant from upstairs was down in the basement laundering, I was too shy to make use of the toilet. 

I didn't need her privy to what I was doing ─ or about to do!

I hated that absence of full privacy.

Recent journal entries have illuminated me as to how much free time I seemed to have at S.A.N.E. ─ I was doing an enormous amount of reading there from the stock of books people had donated.

After work, I did some shopping first at Woodward's, which used to be located on Sixth Avenue where today the Royal City Centre Mall is; and then I took what scant remaining cash I had and stopped in at National Meats. 

I now have no idea if National Meats is still at the same location ─ 619 Belmont Street. Nothing about that spot rings any bells now.

My younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Catherine Jeanette Gunther were renting a home on Bentley Road in Whalley. I would have walked there ─ and home again late that night.

Mark had recently had his 24th birthday, and I had believed that I had mail-ordered an Olympic Lottery ticket for him ─ the darned things cost $10. But it had never shown up, and I never had my copy of the money order proving that I did indeed order it.

It's unfortunate that I was in such a down state of mind ─ Jeanette meant a lot to me. But perhaps part of my dejection was being broke and thus unable to buy any beers to enjoy while I was visiting ─ that would have given me the needed boost.

I was evidently hoping that my old friend William Alan Gill would come visiting, too ─ he lived maybe four blocks from my room, and I could have ridden back to town instead of walked.

The Cameo Theatre was pretty much immediately where Bentley Road came out and met with the King George Boulevard ─ research shows that the Cameo's address was 13551 King George Boulevard.  

It may well still be there; but if it is, I doubt that it has been a theatre in many, many years. 

I should go over there to that area some day soon and take some photos.
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