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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Is There Human Longevity Attributable to Certain Gut Flora?

When I settled in to watch T.V. last evening, I did not realize that the Olympic gold medal hockey game was soon to start featuring the Canadian versus the American women.

Back in 2010 when our gals won the gold, it gave me a lift that I sorely needed at that time, and I was moved very much to tears.

That was their third consecutive Olympic gold medal, and they were to win it again in 2014.

Could they win a fifth consecutive gold?

When Mark got home from the bar, he soon enough settled in to watch the game with me.

We never expected that the game would go into an overtime period, and then the shootout series when even the overtime period ended in a draw.

By then, Mark had long overshot his bedtime, for we had just passed the 11:00 p.m. point ─ and he still had to apply his Can-C eye-drops to try to help dissolve an early cataract development he had been diagnosed with last Fall. 

We both had heavy hearts. Certainly, we were down for having lost to the Americans. But we also felt so very bad for our girls who had tried so desperately.

I for one would have embraced and kissed every one of those golden warriors on ice, and told them how proud I was of each one of them.

I slept as per usual of late.

I even resisted checking the time during any wakeful periods until I finally did so at 3:59 a.m., if I am remembering aright. 

Mark would have been up by then readying for work, so I sought some further sleep despite having my right nasal passageway entirely blocked up ─ probably a stuffed sinus blocking all breathing through that aperture.

I did sink into some further light sleep; and when next I checked the time, it was 5:15 a.m. Mark would have already left for work.

And so I rose, soon to be at work on the post I am constructing at Lawless Spirit, one of my six hosted websites. 

Into that work, I became aware that my eldest stepson Tho was not bothering to get up for work. His younger brother Poté managed to haul his own ass out of bed and soon drive himself to work, but not Tho.

I stuck with my post work until I had amassed the content of about 1½ mornings' worth of normal effort; and then I had a light breakfast.

And at 9:15 a.m., I was back in bed for a nap.

I napped fitfully, and of course dreamed. And because it felt proper to be there in bed achieving the sleep I failed to derive overnight, I held off on checking the time.

When at last I did, I was quite surprised to see it to be 12:09 p.m. I had definitely spent enough time in bed!

I rose to find Tho gone. But whether he went in to supply a half-day's work at the job, or if he had just gone out to tool around, of course I cannot know.

Twenty-four hours ago it was frigid outside, and snowing thickly with tiny flakes of dry snow. Today, it has been completely sunny.

I heard it announced this morning on the radio that nearby Vancouver would reach a high today of 2º Celsius. I can see that some melting of the snow has been happening.

I just hope that the cold snap is done with, and the freezes are at an end here in my part of Surrey.

I was even to resort again to wearing cutoffs for my afternoon session of exercise out in the backyard tool shed, and stripped down to a tee-shirt as well once I was ready to begin.

As I reported yesterday, I not only had to exercise fully clothed, but I even wore the bomber-style jacket I had gone out there wearing.  

Even so, I weighed myself after I came back into the house, wearing exactly what I had exercised in today: I was at least 193 pounds.

The strain is certainly telling when I engaged the four sets of pull-ups I typically challenge myself with, for I am striving mightily to just achieve average totals in those sets.

I wish I had a regulation chin-up bar out there to do chin-ups with instead of these miserable pull-ups that I do while suspended from the sides of a children's playground ladder that I have stretched across some rafters. 

I would be faring so much better. The sides of that playground ladder for a children's slide are a little too thick to get a solid grip on, so gradually my hands lose their hold.

Nevertheless, I start each set from a full hang, and then each repetition finds me descending back down into that hang after I have pulled my chin up over the top of the rafters ─ even if I have to do considerable fluttering of my legs and even kicking to finish the repetitions.

I am about five feet and 10¾ inches in height, but I am also 68 years old.

So those four sets of pull-ups find me achieving 8 - 4 - 4 - 4 repetitions in all as a targeted norm ─ or 20 repetitions in total. However, sometimes I manage to get in an extra repetition or two.  

I think that if I had a true chin-up bar, I would manage to soon achieve well into the teens on that first set.

It really sucks being a pensioner with limited means.

Often in this blog I talk about how important I feel our gut biome to be. I think that sometime next month will mark a full year in which I have been fermenting my own vegetables.

I rather expect that I consume far more than I need to be doing, but that is largely because I am the only person in this household eating my product, and I am always in a race to use up what I have before it spoils.

Our fridge is generally overpopulated with clutter, thanks to five adults living here. Thus, I cannot simply be storing jars or other containers of my fermented vegetables in the fridge with any kind of regularity ─ there simply is not the space. 

Fortunately at this time of year, I can leave containers of my fermented vegetables sitting outside. But that becomes impossible in the Summer.

Yet even though I now do have a large container of fermented vegetables (red cabbage, beets, cauliflower, and turnips) sitting just outside of the house in the backyard, I still often have very large helpings simply because of the volume of product that I have out there.

And I have at least some on a daily basis.

I likely do not need to be eating my fermented vegetables daily, and certainly not as much as I often take as a daily helping.

I read quite an interesting article today about a specific type of probiotic bacteria that I want to link to here ─ the article title should cue your interest:

LifeSpa.com

I feel it most unfortunate that the article ends pretty much as a commercial ─ as I said, I am a pensioner with a limited income, and I cannot afford to be ordering these sort of products. And certainly not from the U.S. ─ my Canadian dollar takes a thrashing.

From the little research I applied after reading the article today, I have the impression that not much ─ if any ─ of this specific type of bacteria would be present in my fermented vegetables.

But maybe some are?

I wish that the article had delved into that aspect ─ that is, explore some of the natural sources where this bacteria would be available to those of us who cannot afford to be making these specific product purchases when we are already struggling to keep ourselves supplied with nutritional supplements that we feel to be core to our needs.

I want to post a link here to something else ─ something that should be of specific interest to Americans who may be very concerned about vaccines.

OCA’s position on vaccine safety: Some vaccines may be safe, some may not be safe, at least not for some people. As with any medicine, consumers have the right to know exactly what is in every vaccine, and what the latest, and best research says about the potential risk for each and every recommended vaccine, as well as the cumulative risks associated with aggressive vaccine schedules. We support the rights of parents to make informed decisions about the potential risk to their child of a vaccine or series of vaccines. We reject the false narrative, promoted by Big Pharma, that there are only two sides to the vaccine debate: pro-vaccine or "anti-vaxxer." Instead, as with any medication, we advocate that consumers seek guidance from reliable sources, and that medical practitioners and pharmaceutical manufacturers provide truthful, up-to-date information about the medicines they promote and profit from.
They refer Americans to the following brief article at ANH-USA.org that has a list of any states that have vaccine bills pending which will affect families living in those states: More Vaccine Mandates for Kids? 

Now moving on to something else, my wife Jack is presently over in Thailand on an extended vacation to visit her mother at the family home in the large village of Nong Soong, which is perhaps a 15-minute drive from the city of Udon Thani.

More often than not, she will make at least one daily Facebook post to present any photos she took.

Today happened to be her birthday, so she had a lot going on. As a result, I don't think I even downloaded a third of the photos she had posted ─ Thailand is 15 hours ahead of those of us here in the Pacific Time Zone, so she actually began posting last evening as I experience time, since it was already her birthday.

I cannot explain where she is in these photos, but she does seem to be at some elevation. 

In one of the photos, she is posed with her nephew's wife; and in perhaps three others, she is posed with her old friend Daisha. Consequently, I really have no idea how many other people were actually with their group ─ certainly the nephew, Mark.

Since I can explain nothing else about the photos, I will just post what I have ─ which are possibly not even a third of the photos in Jack's Facebook posts for today:
















Jack was also back in Thailand five years ago, and I created an album in Google Plus of the photos that she took with her digital camera.

Today Google created a collage of photos that were taken on February 22 back then. 

Here is the collage:


And now here are the original photos, beginning with the left column.

The first photo shows Jack's brother-in-law at the left, then Jack in the pink top with her sister Lumpoon who is tightly hugging Jack. You can just make out Daisha in the background at the right:


Everyone was at a nightclub in that photo above, probably in Udon Thani. 

In the second photo, undoubtedly taken earlier in the day when everyone was still back at the house ─ or someone's house ─ Jack's nephew Mark is the handsome young man; the little boy is probably Daniel, who would be Mark's young cousin; and the woman may be Lumpoon, Mark's mother (and Jack's sister):


Perhaps back at and outside of the nightclub for the third photo in that left column, from the left we have Daisha, then Jack, and then Lumpoon and her husband:


Now over at the top of the right column, Jack is with Daisha (left) and Jak (right), another old friend of hers ─ I don't know the person peering from behind Jack:


I should here explain that Daisha and Jak perceive themselves as ladyboys, while the person behind my wife Jack is probably a little more successful at the transition.

Jack has comparatively many close male Gay friends.

Anyway, the final photo was taken earlier back at that same house we saw the interior of before, and again displays Jack's nephew Mark and his young cousin Daniel ─ I don't know who the guy is in the background:


The whole day was undoubtedly a celebration of Jack's birthday.

Gosh, my evening is already well underway ─ I must bring this post to a close.

Here to do that with is an old journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 27 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

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

Incidentally, on that day over in Thailand, my eventual wife Jack had only turned six years old.
FRIDAY, February 22, 1977

I didn't sleep as well as I would have liked toward morning, and arose c. 7:20 a.m. 

Not too long after 9:00 a.m. I went to see Marie Varga about my Haul-away cheque; my wage was cash, not a cheque, but all she could give me was $40 of the full $45.

It is drizzling without.

Next I walked down to Manpower, then bought a $30.54 money order (unfortunately, Canadian) for books I plan to order from F. & S.F. Book Co. I guess I'll have to correct it to American funds at Woodward's, then mail it. 

Anyway, I toured through Army & Navy, then spent $2.22 at Safeway.  

Correcting the money order cost me nearly $1.60 more.

I bought 10 kgs of Hindu 100% whole wheat flour ($2.99).

My S.A.N.E. "Statement of Remuneration Paid" came today; I can now anytime begin work on my income tax returns.

I'm going to go to bed at 9:00 p.m., getting an early start before dawn, toting my 10 kgs flour to Mark's, then hiking to mom's ─ hopefully via Newton.

My midsection is so awfully flabby!

I worked quite a bit today on a letter to Jean.
Jean M. Martin (née Black) was an American pen-pal I had back then.

The $45 I had hoped to get from Marie Varga were my day's wages for working as a trash collector all day long on a garbage truck out in Surrey ─ perhaps with her husband Al Varga. The couple had an apartment in New Westminster.

The F. & S.F. Book Co. no longer exists, but it used to be located on Staten Island in New York. I had stupidly bought my money order in Canadian funds instead of U.S. dollars, so it would have to be amended before I could mail away my mail-order.

Manpower was the department of Manpower and Immigration, the entity responsible for things like Unemployment Insurance. It was located on Columbia Street, I believe; I would have gone there to check out the latest job postings.

The 10 kilogrammes (22 pounds) of flour that I bought at Woodward's up on Sixth Avenue were destined to give me a considerable workout. I planned to hike the load out to the duplex unit that my younger brother Mark was renting in Surrey.

I would not want to be making a public spectacle of myself, so I would want to get that hike begun well before daylight when I would have considerable inconspicuousness, for it was quite a long hike with such a load.

I had worked three or four months in 1976 at S.A.N.E. (Self Aid Never Ends), a New Westminster charitable organization, as a truck swamper. My T4 from them had arrived.

Today, S.A.N.E. is known as Fraserside Community Services Society. I had some part-time history with them prior to 1976 that stretched as far back as 1973.
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