Monthly Archives: November 2005

One Thing Before Thanksgiving

 I plan to fly home tomorrow (Thanksgiving Day) and will be there until Wednesday, November 30th. I planned to skip a week on the e-mails, but I couldn’t let this one pass (npi). This week I got an e-mail from Jon Anderson (as many of you did) with a title of “Try Colon Cleansing At Home!”. The e-mail goes on (npi) to say:

A natural method for gently eliminating harmful wastes and toxins from your body. Did you know that the average person stores between 5 to 25 POUNDS  of waste accumulated over the years in their colon? Did you know that some health experts say that 90% of all sickness and diseases are related to an unclean colon?

Jon comments:

Trilanders, I received this e-mail today and thought that this may be what many of us have been looking for! If I understand this right, we could naturally cleanse ourselves in the comfort of our own home and drop a quick 25 pounds!!!!

I consider Jon a good friend, but I have to admit that some of his ideas may not be the best for all of us. Just to point out my experiences:

Jon (Circa 1999) – “Let’s all do the Iceman. It’s a 25 mile mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City. It’s easy. You can do it!”

My result – 1999. At mile 6 I went down in a sand pit and lost the lens to my glasses costing me money to replace them and wear sunglasses the rest of the weekend, even at night. At mile 20 I had to stop for a few minutes due to severe muscle cramps in both quads and both hamstrings.

My result – 2000. At mile 20 I did an endo (mountain bike-speak for an end over end flip) resulting in a separated right shoulder earning me a trip to the ER.

Jon (Circa 2000) – “We’ve all done short triathlons. Let’s do a half ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run). It’s easy. You can do it!”

My result 2000. At mile 45 on the bike I had severe muscle cramps in both quads. On the run (it was a walk for me) I limped from mailbox to mailbox, stretching my quads so I could finish in under 8 hours.

Jon (Circa 2001) – “We’ve done a half ironman. Now let’s do a full ironman. It’s easy. You can do it!”

My result 2001 – 7 weeks before the race, on a 100 mile training ride to Saugatuck, I fell on the bike resulting in a flake fracture to my hip and a 3 day stint in the hospital to remove a large hematoma.

My result 2002 – At Ironman Florida I had muscle cramps in both quads at mile 56 on the bike. On the run (again, it was a walk) I ran 200 yards and walked 400 yards for the first 13.1 miles, and walked most of the second 13.1 miles ending in a time of 16 hours, 18 minutes and 1 second.

My result 2003 – IRONMAN WISCONSIN You know the gory details so I’ll spare you.

Admittedly the bad results are my own fault, but…I didn’t think of doing them on my own!

You may have forgotten about my bout this last summer with Ulcerative Colitis. First of all, I don’t believe there’s a “gentle way” of eliminating wastes and toxins from your body. The preparation for a colonoscopy is anything but (npi) gentle and has to rank in the top 5 bad experiences of my life. And second of all, just look at me. After all of that (and I must admit…my colon was squeaky clean) I didn’t “drop a quick 25 pounds”. And thirdly, if the procedure eliminates “…waste accumulated over the years in their colon”, I don’t want to be anywhere nearby when some of that “old stuff” sees the light of day.

I’m choosing to stay away from this one. Like the time Jon suggested taking a COLD shower after a hard workout to help the muscles recover, I’ll pretend that I’m doing it and, if asked, I’ll lie. I’d suggest many of you do the same.

Just (Not Falling For This One) Jack

Bubble Boy

Bubble Boy Frontal

Bubble Boy 

Many of you were at the annual Trilanders dinner last month. For those of you that weren’t, Jon Anderson and Martin VanDenack shared the concern of many of you that I was having a pattern of fairly serious bicycle accidents. There was the “Iceman Crash of 2000” that caused an A/C joint separation. Then there was the “Saugatuck 100 Miler Crash of 2002” that caused a flake fracture of my left hip and a large hematoma that had to be surgically removed. Then there was the infamous “Ironman Crash of 2003” and I won’t bore you with the details of that one again.

So it touched me that they cared enough and took the time to fabricate a protective suit so I would be safe when I rode my bike. I’m sure many of you thought it was a joke, but I took it seriously. The attached pictures are of me on my bike. Yes, I’m on the trainer in front of the Florida mobe, but I wear it on all my rides. I get a few stares, but I’d rather be safe than look good.

I have a suggestion or two on the design. First of all, you can see by the picture from the side that my stomach is well protected, but the hip and the head could use some padding too. Secondly, you can see by the picture from the front that the family jewels are adequately protected but, while putting all my weight on the seat, the bubbles started popping left and right. It was a great sensation (hence the smile on my face), but weakened the protection capabilities fairly quickly.

And thirdly, unlike our tri suits, the fabric doesn’t breathe well. It would be fine for the people on that weight loss show to use it to sweat off a few pounds quickly on weigh in day. But, as many of you know, I have a problem with dehydration during long hot races. Wearing the suit in a race may not be my best choice.

I still don’t remember the bike accident at Ironman Wisconsin 2003, but the attached pictures may shed some light on what might have happened. The picture from the side shows me looking at the camera. You all know that there are cameras all over the course during Ironman races taking pictures of all of the pros and some of the age groupers. It’s possible that one of the cameras came by while I was on McCoy Road. I probably looked at the camera and posed for a picture. By the time my eyes went back to the road, there were the potholes and the rest is history. Timing is everything.

Speaking of timing, I rode the Suncoast trail the other day from Anderson Snow Park to the South. About a mile before I got to Highway 52, I met a group of riders that Jean and I rode with last year a couple of times. I went on to the highway, turned around, and caught them just as they were getting to County Line Road, about a mile and a half from where I started (obviously they were riding very slow). They stopped at Anderson Snow Park for a bathroom break and we chatted for a couple of minutes (no, not in the bathroom…outside). It was the first time they had ridden that section since last year and it was the first time for me too. Timing.

On my next ride, I parked at the same spot and took the trail North. It’s hillier and crosses Spring Hill Drive, a very busy road. I waited for the lights to change and crossed in the crosswalk like we always should. I got a mile or so down the trail and a Snowy Egret flew across the trail a few feet in front of me. When he crossed the trail, he dropped a load of what was probably the last four meals he had eaten. If I had been 3 seconds faster, I would have been wearing it. Timing.

I’ll be flying back to Hastings on Thanksgiving Day (do you think they’ll serve turkey and dressing on the plane?) for a meeting Monday morning at 7AM and our normal hospital board meeting Tuesday at 11:30AM. I’ll fly back down here on Wednesday the 30th.

Ta ta ’til next time

Just (Hot And Sweaty From The Pictures) Jack

Settling In


I won’t say how old she is, but she’s 5 years younger than I am, so figure it out (for you non-family members I’ll be 59 on December 1st).

I’m getting settled in here at the mobe, but it’s taking some getting used to. The first night I was here, I was so tired I didn’t unload the car but did take the bikes off the rack, put them on the porch (to Florida people it’s a lanai), and put the rack between the mobe and the storage shed. After going out to dinner with Mom and Brother Bob (you may know him as Bobbie Butane), I turned on the TV to let my brain unwind before I went to bed.

As I was sitting there I heard something fall and it sounded like it came from the kitchen. Because I was so tired (I’ll blame it on being tired…not my normal paranoia), I immediately thought it was a mouse since the mobe had been unoccupied for 6 months. But the noise was quite loud, so I figured it must have been a rat. I looked through all the cupboards, but couldn’t see anything that had fallen. I laid in bed for an hour, unable to go to sleep, listening for “the critter”. When I got up in the morning, I opened the vertical shades that cover the slider to the porch and noticed that all 3 bikes had fallen down. So much for the rat.

(Don’t tell Jean this one…she says she’ll be coming down in December before Christmas and this may keep her away).Yesterday I decided to clean some windows and do the laundry. The people that we bought the mobe from left their washer and dryer. Jean and I talked about running a wash cycle before I put any clothes in just in case there was rust or sediment in the lines. I did that, cleaned off the outside of the washer and dryer, and cleaned an area to fold clothes. After the cycle finished I opened the washer lid and it was perfectly clean except, there in the bottom, was a lizard. I reached in to grab him and he went under the agitator and hid.

I couldn’t get him to come out so I thought I’d run another cycle. I know they can swim and I figured it would force him out. Most family members know that I love animals (except cats). When I was in one of my early grades, I went to a one room school (kindergarten through eighth grade) near Three Rivers. Mom was called to the school by my teacher and I was crying uncontrollably. Apparently I had picked up a bird while walking to school (a mile uphill each way) that had been hit by a car. I felt sorry for it, took it to school, and put it in my desk. After a few days, the odor was noticed by everyone. The teacher checked the desks at recess, found the bird, and threw it away, hence the crying jag.

Anyway, I’m sorry to tell you all that the lizard didn’t stand up well to two washings. After the cycle was over, I opened the lid, and there he was resting in peace with his feet up in the air. Even though he was very, very clean, I picked him up with a couple of sticks (just in case he came around and was vindictive) and took him out to sun himself in the yard. He must have liked it because an hour later, he was still in the same spot, still sunning the bottoms of his feet.

The dryer is a relic but either it or I can’t tell time. I set the first load on 30 minutes and went out after 25 to check on things. It still showed 10 minutes to go on the timer. I checked the clothes and they were dry, so I put the next load in for 25 minutes. I was watching the Ohio State football game and went out during a time out which was right at 25 minutes. The timer said It had 10 minutes to go, so I decided to set my own timer from now on.

I joined the YMCA and go there Monday, Wednesday and Friday to lift weights and swim. I waited until around 11AM on Friday and went out to US 19 and turned right. I noticed there wasn’t a car on the road at all, which is unusual. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw police lights behind me at Hudson Road and 19. I assumed it was an accident at that corner and traffic couldn’t get through. I went a mile North to New York Avenue and there were two police cars pointed at me with their lights on. That was where the accident was and they were rerouting traffic there too. I u-turned at a turnaround and went back. I couldn’t get through Hudson Avenue so I did another turnaround and went back into the mobe park (does this sound like a repeat of the Saturday I came into town?).

I went through the park and took the exit that goes out on Hudson Avenue. I hit the lights just right and was able to head East, but half a mile down the road the traffic was backed up a mile because of the traffic signal at Hudson Avenue and Little Road. Brother Bob tells me that he heard a cement truck was going around the corner, it’s load shifted, and it tipped over onto a car. When I came back at 1:15, they were still cleaning up and pieces of the car were on the flatbed of a wrecker.

After an hour, I finally made it to the Y. I lifted weights and decided to do the EFX (elliptical trainer). The televisions were directly above my head, so I looked out at the weight machines. Staring at me or, hopefully, someone directly behind me, was a guy in his mid-forties. I was quite uneasy, thinking back to the “nice pecker ” incident from a couple of years ago. I thought I may have to stay on the EFX all day until I was sure he wasn’t in the locker room. After a while he left and I noticed a woman wearing a t-shirt and Levi’s working out on the machines right in front of me.

She could have been anywhere from 40 to 60. Se had a set of keys fastened to one of her belt loops and looked, using my buddy Ron’s description, “…like she’d been rode hard and put away wet”. Get your minds out of the gutter…the expression refers to horses. The t-shirt had a picture of a cartoon kid that could have been one of the “South Park” kids. It said “Good News. I’ve decided not to kill you”. Maybe I’m being a prude,  but I can’t imagine a situation where a t-shirt that says “I’ve decided not to kill you” would be appropriate.

The times, they are a-changin’.

Just (Borrowed A Line From Dylan) Jack

Sunny South

 Well, as many of you already know, I’ve made it to the sunny South for another winter. My plan was to stop by Panama City Beach on the way and watch John Hopkins do Ironman Florida. Congratulations, John, on your race!! Unfortunately, things didn’t work out for me to get there.

I had a meeting at 7AM last Friday and planned to have the car loaded and in the hospital parking lot ready to go. At the last minute (Wednesday) I noticed a transmission fluid leak (those things happen when a car has 144,000 miles on it) and took it in for service on Thursday. They couldn’t finish it until Friday at 9AM. The meeting didn’t get over until 9:20 and, taking a page from Jean’s “Book of Chatting” on how to exit a meeting, I didn’t actually leave to get the car until 9:40. Of course, with no car, I had to walk to the Jeep dealership to pick it up, drive back to Green Street to pick up things Jean wanted me to take, and head for the lake.

By the time I got to the lake and got the car packed, it was 11:22 when I pulled out of the driveway and got on the road. I made it 6 miles before I called Ron Lewis, a friend, and asked him to do a couple of things at the lake that I had forgotten. I made it all the way to Battle Creek (25 miles) before I remembered that I forgot to bring the spare garbage disposal (the one down here doesn’t work) and my Rodney Yi yoga CD. The strange thing was that I remembered the garbage disposal the night before and wrote myself a reminder note so I wouldn’t forget. I took the note with me to the lake and tossed it in the trash while I was packing because I thought I didn’t need it any more. I can blame the memory problems on the bike wreck of 2003, but it’s just geezerdom I think. 

On the way down I noticed a couple of interesting signs. No, not the Club Erotica signs that I talked about in some prior e-mails. The first one, somewhere in Tennessee was a medium sized sign that had only four words on it. It said:


I had seen that sign in jokes before but couldn’t imagine anyone would pay money for a sign like that.

The other sign was near Lake City, Florida and was on a huge billboard. Saturday was the day of the Georgia-Florida game to be played in Gainesville. It said something like:

Florida boy seeks Georgia girl

I helped you get a ticket to last year’s game at gate 21  Call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX

When I read the first line my first thought was that it was the Club Erotica again. When I read the rest of it I wondered whether this guy didn’t ask for her name and number at the time and thought he had made the biggest mistake of his life or, if he was a real loser and this was his only chance for a date…maybe there were a hundred girls at gate 21 buying tickets (and every other gate for that matter) and he was taking a shot that one of them would call. So is it romance or perversion? You be the judge. By the way, I used Xs for the number so none of you would actually call him. You aren’t Georgia girls are you?

I went through Atlanta at around 10AM on Saturday only to come to a screeching halt. One of the overhead highway information signs that tells you how long it will take to get from where you are to some point ahead said “I-75 South closed 2 miles ahead..All lanes blocked”. So there I sat for 45 minutes. When traffic started moving and we got up to the spot where the highway had been closed, there was nothing there. Not a stalled car. Not an accident scene. Nothing!!

The rest of the trip went fairly well until I got 7 miles from the trailer park…Oops!!! I mean mobile home community. Traffic was stopped on US 19 and there I sat for another 30 minutes. I was able to make a left onto a “turnaround” and go back about a mile to Spring Hill Drive. I thought the streets were like Michigan where you could take some side streets past the accident, get back on US 19 and be on your way. Not so!!

I went as far as the first traffic signal and turned South. It took me into a neighborhood with curving streets and speed bumps every block. I have an OK sense of direction (unlike Pat and Diane) and finally made it to County Line Road (the next major East-West road) which I thought was past the accident that had 19 blocked. Again, not so!! The accident was another couple of miles South of there. When I got to the corner of County Line Road and 19, the police directed all the traffic North back to Spring Hill Drive.

As I was driving down Spring Hill Drive for the second time, Jean called to let me know how John had done in the race (she was giving me race reports all day) and she could sense my frustration. I called Mom to let her know I was going to be later than I thought and she got brother Bob on the line who talked me down some of the back roads and I came out past the accident. The accident had happened around 3:30 (it was 6:30 by then) and they were still in the clean up stages. I finally made it to the mobe (I spent my first 5 years as a CPA in South Bend, and mobe was the shortened term for travel trailers and mobile homes that were made by the thousands in and around the area) by 7:15 or so. That made it 14 hours on the road that day and I was whipped.

So that’s it for now. I’m here for the winter. I’ll be making a few trips back to Hastings for hospital board meetings.

Just (Finally Warm and Loving It) Jack