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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Reversing the Shortening of Telomeres

The evening pass-outs continue for my younger brother Mark once he is home from the bar. Last evening I had tuned in an episode of Prison Break that he sat into his chair in the living room to watch, and I think he was 'gone' within a couple of minutes.

His unconsciousness continued from there and throughout the successive show I tuned in, an episode of iZombie.

When iZombie was done ─ perhaps around 10:40 p.m. ─ I had planned to watch a couple of comedies and sit up with Mark while I enjoyed a second can of strong (8% alcohol) beer, but I only intended that extended viewing for his benefit.

I had no intention of sitting up later just for my own amusement. So I switched the T.V. over to a news channel and left him to it.

For some reason, he often seems to regain his senses once the news is on. It's probably because of the duration that he has been oblivious, so he's finally starting to 'come around.'

I turn down the news station volume anytime I switch over, so it's definitely not like any of it is disturbing his 'peace.' He can stay passed out through some extremely loud happenings that are taking place in the shows I often tune in, so nothing about the news station should penetrate.

He did wake up early into the news last evening, but I had 'enjoyed' his oblivious companionship enough for the evening. I had no intention of resuming further T.V. viewing later into the night justr because he may have found his 'second wind.'

I watered some of the garden in the front yard, and then busied myself here at my computer upstairs. Mark actually gave up the T.V. and headed on upstairs to his bedroom while I was still occupied ─ we exchanged a perfunctory "Good night" as he passed by the room I keep my computer in.

My bedtime escapes me, but I am quite confident that it was well ahead of midnight. Possibly even before 11:30 p.m.

Sleep was decent through the first half of my night, but quite broken thereafter. However, I think that it was nearing 7:00 a.m. when I started my morning.

I am still busying myself these mornings with the post I am trying to construct at my hosted website Amatsu Okiya.

Some vital element was missing from me that otherwise would have seen me hie myself out to the backyard tool shed for some exercise before Mark rose, so that didn't happen.

I sat here devoted to finishing today's assigned work on the post. By then, it was well after 11:00 a.m. ─ maybe more like 11:30 a.m. However, the day hadn't grown excessively warm. The sky could easily fool a newcomer into believing that it was lightly overcast, but it was really just smoke from distant forest fires here in B.C.

By this point, Mark had returned to bed for a nap, so I went on out and had my exercise. I returned into the house just in time to coincide with him readying himself to head away for the day, and he did so at approximately 12:04 p.m.

Frankly, that's far too early to be heading away to hook up with drinking buddies or his girlfriend Bev or anything of that ilk, but it's up to him to be the judge of that, isn't it?

Provided he and Bev get along this evening, he will spend the night at her home, and I should be having the T.V. to myself this evening. My stepsons are not deemed to be company, for we shall likely not exchange a word. Apart from when they come into the kitchen to make a racket when I am watching T.V., they essentially stay in their den area where youngest stepson Poté has his bed.

With Mark gone, I fixed myself my first meal of the day; and after eating, I then went outside to sit in the backyard and benefit from just over 40 minutes of daylight, seated in a chair and wearing just cut-offs, and facing into the Sun. That session began at 2:08 p.m. ─ far later than I was happy about.

I actually got to lie on the sundeck yesterday ─ the first time in over 10 days. The sky has either been too smoky for me to feel it worthwhile; or my sunning start has been too late into the afternoon; or I have not been home alone.

I did so for over an hour yesterday, yet no part of me not exposed since I had last lay on the deck has felt in any degree sensitive for the exposure. That smoke must be doing a superb job of diluting those burning rays.

It took me awhile to compose that previous paragraph ─ i.e., the first sentence of it.

I am 67 years old, but I only now perceived that correct use of the word "lay" when referring to an action of lying down in the past.

For example (as I now understand it), my normal inclination to describe the past action of a person lying down in bed ─ or on the lawn or sundeck ─ was to say something like this: "I lied down for about an hour."

But the term "lied" has nothing at all to do with anything except telling an untruth. Thus, I can't have "lied down for an hour" ─ I can only have "lay down for an hour."

I think I'm going to have trouble remembering this! I've been writing that I've "lied down" for so darned many years that I don't see how I'm not going to lapse.

By the way, neither could I say that I had "lain down for an hour" ─ it can only be "lay." The term "lain" is only used for something that we have placed somewhere, such as a book.

However, I suppose that if I was a paralytic, and someone carried me to something like a cot and placed or "laid" me upon it, then I would have "lain" there for an hour until I was lifted up and removed from the cot.

Oh, man! This is going to slow me down from now on, trying to keep these distinctions clear in my head.

Anyway, when I am sitting or lying outside, flies can sometimes be most vexing. In particular, it's those with a bluish or greenish sheen ─ they are so much swifter than a typical housefly. They practically rocket, and even make a distinct buzzing sound.

If I ever become so irritated that I actually manage to strike and kill one of these nuisances, I know just where to deposit the corpse ─ this worthy recipient is inside and just under the bottom of the tool shed door, right where the door starts to swing open:

Why let a perfectly good dead fly go to waste?

I am no spider authority, but I am supposing that it is probably a hobo spider. My late cousin Jock (John) Halverson used to almost freak out onlookers by stooping and using his thumb and forefinger of a bare hand to pick up similar spiders that had been caught wandering about.

He always set them free. He only picked them up to remove them, or just to freak any gals who might be present at the time witnessing the act. (No, he wouldn't scare them with the spider ─ it was enough that he was picking one up with his bare hand.)

Perhaps this is a considerably more pleasant photo ─ it's a very tiny, perfectly-formed rose growing on a nearly dead bit of remaining plant:

My wife had planted a number of small rose bushes several years ago, but I think only two still have some woody stems rising a few inches from the ground that can still produce a few leaves.

This plant is maybe a couple of inches tall, as I said; but once it was over a foot tall when it was first planted. It has essentially died down to resemble just a couple or so twigs still protruding from the earth which still manage to put forth some leaves ─ and sometimes, a wee rose.

It keeps surviving.

People are growing more and more familiar with telomeres ─ those caps at the end of our cells' chromosomes. When cells divide as they must do, the telomeres ensure that the chromosome information is properly shared by the new cells that form from the old cell.

But in doing so, some of the material comprising telomeres is lost.

Ultimately, depending upon how much material remains in a telomere, a cell will no longer be able to reproduce and replace itself if not enough telomere remains, and the cell will die. 

And with enough of that happening, so will we.

A more involved explanation is provided in this article at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center website (UTsouthwestern.edu): Facts About Telomeres and Telomerase.   

So you want the healthiest telomeres possible ─ you do not want the material comprising them to prematurely be lost. In fact, if at all possible, you want to potentially even have your telomeres lengthen ─ I think that this was once thought impossible.

If you are interested, the following article gives some guidelines on how you may be able to keep the healthiest telomeres possible ─ and even enhance them and have them grow:


I have to confess that I find the sample Ayurvedic Daily Routine provided at the end of the article to be something that I think could only be followed by people who do not have to work for a living, and who live alone or else have somebody else in their household equally committed to the programme.

Otherwise, it would be just about impossible for most people to follow. 

And why even list this as one of the criteria?
─ Evacuate bowels and bladder, ideally within the first hour of waking
Who the heck has control like that of when they are going to have a bowel movement? That's ridiculous!

Stating to do that as if it is something we can just choose to do for the first time in our thoughtless lives is so nonsensical that I am going to have to quit talking about it before I get much farther carried away.

In fact, I see that my evening has begun, so I am just going to close out now with a journal entry 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 must have been well over halfway through a three-month full-time contract working for a New Westminster charitable organization called S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends) that is today known as Fraserside Community Services Society.

My position was that of swamper on S.A.N.E.'s blue pick-up truck which was generally driven by Esther St. Jean, a dear woman then in her early 40s.

In its earliest years, S.A.N.E. was housed in an old building that doesn't exist anymore, but it was situated on Carnarvon Street right about when today the New Westminster SkyTrain Station property stretches out onto Carnarvon.
THURSDAY, August 12, 1976

Up about 7:15 a.m. to what appears to be another sunny day.

I've a ruddy unnecessary pimple plaguing the right side of my nose.

I sure hope I'm not docked for my folly yesterday afternoon.

Took came in late, having spent some of the night in a park (Cheryl is down on him). He pressured me to buy him a "juice" at the Dunsmuir; I'd hoped with my last $4 to get some skim milk powder. I gave up $2, and had 1 beer myself at 35¢ each.

He asked if he could leave a suitcase at my place; I concurred.

I went back to S.A.N.E. alone and finished Talbot Baines Reed's The Fifth Form at St. Dominic's

He later appeared. I feared eventually he would ask to room with me tonight. He was acting hairy. 

Fortunately, Esther took me, Steve, and Mike off on a moving job, and we didn't finish the 5 loads till late; I got back to the store, after Esther ran a couple errands for herself, at 5:15 p.m.; Verna had locked up and was waiting outside.

For once I didn't mind leaving my stuff behind in the work room.

At Safeway I bought oranges (15¢ lb) and 1 lb chicken liver.

Note: before starting our moving job, I deposited Margarite Weibe's welfare declaration at the office; I saw Bill Anderson there, but cause I had no time, I acted unaware of him.

I managed 18 chins at home; maybe an orange drink Esther bought each of us movers helped.

I tried my kefir tonite with pleasure, and with fruit.

Bed at 10:00 p.m.        
"Took" was a middle-aged Indigenous Canadian working at S.A.N.E. I only remember him as a nice guy, but apparently he was sometimes taking advantage of me and becoming a problem in that regard.

He often missed work because he couldn't get himself out of the beer parlour ─ his favourite drinking spot was the Dunsmuir Hotel at Carnarvon Street and Eighth Avenue, and which was pretty much within sight of S.A.N.E.  

The previous day, he had pressured me into going over to the Dunsmuir at 3:00 p.m., and I never made it back to S.A.N.E. I just could not seem to say "No" to guys like him.

I think he still owed me $20 from six weeks or a month or more back. That was a considerable figure back then.

I don't recall "Cheryl," but she must have been his girlfriend or wife, or maybe even a sister. It's odd I don't remember any of this. Perhaps he never did have me keep a suitcase for him, and thus nothing came of this uncomfortable situation that seemed to be developing.

I often had time to read at S.A.N.E. ─ they would get quite a few books donated to them.

"Steve" and "Mike" were occasional co-swampers, but I no longer recall them. 

This was no doubt one time I was glad to be working late performing a moving job for someone ─ if "Took" was hanging around at S.A.N.E. ("the store") waiting to impose upon me, he would grow restless and finally leave.  

Verna (Williams?) seemed to be manager at S.A.N.E.  

I don't recall any "Margarite Weibe" ─ or  however her first and last names were spelled ─ but she must have been working at S.A.N.E., too. A monthly signed declaration had to be turned in to social services if a social assistance recipient wanted to receive assistance the following month.

When I went into the welfare offices on Sixth Street to obligingly turn in her declaration, I saw "Bill Anderson" there ─ he was probably seated and awaiting an appointment with a social worker. He was an older fellow who had previously worked at S.A.N.E. as a swamper sometimes, but I no longer remember him, either.

I had made the kefir myself that I enjoyed that evening at my room ─ I had recently acquired a yogurt-maker and some cultures via mail-order.

By the way, we're supposed to get some rain tonight and tomorrow ─ it has been weeks! 
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