"I'm beginning to learn that 95% OB is not enough.......and    
           85% is much worse.........but 75% is pretty good."    
                               KwickLabs  Sept., 2006

The Brain is somewhat like a muscle - "Use It Or Loose It"

(much colder outside later this evening)

December 5...Monday...high of 41°F...a few more days and winter weather will begin to be a bother. The flap of skin "chunked" out a few days ago apparently decided to stick around and seems to be healing well. In addition, the daily knee exercises have already begun to reduce some of the pain and discomfort. I have not tossed my cane aside, but today it seemed less than necessary. The vertigo exercises have  become
fairly predictable and somewhat boring in that the only time any vertigo has surfaced is when doing the 

Brandt-Daroff exercises. After about three weeks of three times a day, nothing has changed much. Given 
these attempt, I decided to do the Epley Manuever. The Internet directions were to include working this under the directions of a doctor. Since the exercise is done on a bed, I figured that was kind of a too cautious approach so I did it solo. It was not a big deal. The steps were simple and everything went as expected.  Now, according to the directions, I could be cured. Of course. that would only be true if what was "messed up" was defined, diagnosed and treated correctly. Since the only time vertigo has been expressed was when lying down quickly on my bed maybe I should simply lay down more slowly. However, I plan on doing the Epley Manuever a second time tonight. According to the Internet information, I might not be able to cause any vertigo this evening if it is something different than misplaced calcium deposits in my inner ear structure (which the Epley Manuever is supposed to correct). The real question is if I get vertigo lying in my bed, what is the big deal? The Brandt-Daroff exercises induced vertigo practically every time and I never fell out of bed. In addition, at the time, my mind was lucid and well aware of what was going on. I had no problems with counting the correct number of seconds to complete any and all phases.....even during the infrequent intervals of whirling vertigo moments. It should be noted that the ONLY time any vertigo has been expressed is when lying down quickly with specific head positions. It a

should be noted that just previous to the appearance of vertigo, I fell after tripping over a boat trailer tongue and went to the emergency medical care for x-rays for what I thought was a broken jaw. This fits perfectly into the entire issue.
December 6-7 Tuesday/Wednesday...41°F -  I put off placing a tarp over the goose blind until the last day. Wednesday the wind was blowing (but no rain or snow). The 81'X16' was unfolded (wind did not help) and finally lashed to the blind with several ropes. Every five minutes (about), adjustments in the effort had to be made and eventually everything was in place. This was one of those sigh of relief moments.  As long as no
snow piles up, I will check it once in awhile in the next few weeks. The plan for next year is to blend the shoreline and blind using some taller bank cover (corn stalks, tall weeds & dead tree branches)  

Dec. 24-5...high of 11°F on Christmas...Pounce and igi are using the airing yard and not wasting any time. We have not used the fireplace much in the past. The house was built over twenty years ago. However, it is very cool to sit in front of a well designed, efficient fireplace. This past fall my son split a full cord of dried oak and it heats nicely. 
Dec. 26...high of 17°F...with snow on the ground...two more months to endure...Today, I decided to get rid of the experiment of using a sling for nail trimming. It seemed OK for awhile, but Pounce and Gigi remained too intense. This morning a small area on the pool deck kind of created a boxed in area in which I could control them (no collar or lead). After a bit, they became resigned to the fact (somewhat) that I was not giving up and both were trimmed. It was over soon after being pinned in the corner.  When I was much younger there was a stretch of about ten years where I was racing harness horses for a living. A blacksmith kept a few of his race horses in our barn and I observed the process many times. Then one day I decided to shoe one of mine. Ha! It was not nearly as easy as it appeared. Nine hundred pounds is way more difficult to deal with than fifty-five. Pounce was persistent. Gigi was much more intense.  What's new?

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It will not be that difficult.

Dec. 27...Tuesday..high of 17°F...The next three weeks will be easier to deal with. However, it has become fairly obvious that my knees and sense of balance are nearing the twilight light zone. The vertigo issue is no longer expressing itself (nothing for two straight weeks). What remains to be dealt with are both knees. The daily. warm swimming pool Jacuzzi may help some. If both dogs are going to run hunt tests next summer, "Daddy needs a new pair of shoes." Right now my I-Phone is becoming a real pain. It seems like every so often passwords and technology continue to demand changes. I believe this must provide jobs to keep the economy moving while providing protection from those that feed off those that work. Several pages of passwords is becoming a real pain. I may need a flip top notebook to keep track. Of course, Cloud will soon create a new protocol which will mostly be a short term process. Meanwhile my newest game is keeping one step ahead of the unrelenting, Internet "pop ups".  One last complaint involves taking my phone in for an expert to sort out its issues. Dealing with the phone doctor should prove interesting. Running the expression "I have no idea." over and over in my mind as the phone surgery progresses, I am fairly certain there is no permanent cure. "Cloud" informed me that all updates must be completed by January 2nd. About 9:30 this evening, I happened to glance at the thermostat. With no lights it was obvious that the batteries had died. Usually, that happens in the early morning with house temperatures dipping to uncomfortable and irritating levels. 

Dec. 28...Wednesday..high of 41°F...need to fill out two turkey permit applications for the 2nd and 3rd Illinois Lotteries. I did receive one for the 1st "season". It will be a bit warmer for awhile. However, after viewing a photo of a friend saddled up on a horse inside an arena, my memory was sent back many years ago when harness horses were my profession. It was a steady, 24 hour per day job. This all came about because of marrying the daughter of a county judge. Learning on the job dealing with 900 pound harness horses was quite a bit different than teaching math. There was one very good reason that I got up to speed quickly. A man who was a trainer and blacksmith (shod harness horses) had a few horses of his own in the barn. The track that we trained on was by a pro harness horse trainer that had a huge stable on the other side of the track. The race tracks that we raced at (two or three times a week) were in the Chicago area. They were Hawthorne, Maywood, Sportsman  and Balmoral Park plus we sometimes raced at the county fairs in Illinois. Race horses require a seven days work week and when we raced, it was after midnight when we finally got back to the barn. Living in a small trailer was kind of cramped because we had three children at the time. We had several decent horses that made enough to pay the bills. As with most owners, looking for that one great horse to pay off in a big way kept us going. Then we had what was a very fast and talented horse. In is first race, he came from last to finish second. After a day off, he was out for a slow jog and stumbled (for some reason) and limped  badly back to the barn. X-rays revealed that an important bone in his knee was split down the middle. Ii was inoperable and we had to put him down. A week later, I retired from training horses. The heart break soon passed and I became a physics teacher that fall. After a few years, I become infatuated with hunting and training....with a dog. That all worked out quite well and has carried into a lasting lifestyle. Pensions (from both of us teaching) have been simply wonderful.

Dec. 23....much.colder...50 mph winds tonight with blowing snow and wind chills at -30°F. Since we are in kind of a sheltered terrain area with a lot of trees, the wind does not get a full shot. The house is warm and our adjoining indoor swimming pool provides a surreal atmosphere in the winter. 

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Dec 28,29... Wednesday/Thursday - highs of 52°F then 55°F....All the snow is gone and probably none for six more days. The snow blower has not been needed yet this winter....yet. Pounce and Gigi will have a few more days off and then the indoor OB refresher practices will begin.

Dec 30,31...Friday & Saturday with the year ending going, going.....gone.

December 1...Thursday - high 36°F...Today marks the beginning of a process for promoting the Life Links of Kwicklabs (the 82 year old person). The first phase will be to begin a regular exercise program using a YouTube presentation - Silver Sneakers. Other exercises will be transitioned in gradually. The second phase will be in parallel with the first. There are five habits that may help a person live ten years longer. The good part of this group of five is that  my list will only be three because I have never smoked and drinking alcohol was not done much early on (ceased totally over fifty years ago). This means I will be working on a better diet, doing regular exercises and decreasing my body mass. That will not be difficult as I weigh 172 pounds right now. Another phase of exercise will be regular water resistance training in our indoor swimming pool. With winter's cold weather eminent, another place to exercise becomes even more significant.  A recent question and answer test revealed I have nine more years. Given the present, there is no reason better choices will improve on this projection.     

The above  link will provide training motivation for the next several months.

Dec. 8-12...Five days of not doing much directly related to retriever training. A few days with some snow may have made sure that we will have a "White Christmas". The next round of dog nail trimming is due and it is not one of my favorite jobs. The swimming pool brominator is being replaced and the filtration system was upgraded. These all appeared to be simple. Ha!

Dec. 13-20...not much to do except unload the van and clean. After getting ready for winter and giving Pounce and Gigi some time off from training, there was one other project to deal with. The computer I work with is a Dell XPS that has run Windows 8 for several years. Upgrading was eventually required. The thought of spending $1000 plus for a new system now was troubling. There was a great deal of pressure to update without much information. I almost purchased a new computer and then found out that my Dell XPS running on Windows 8 could be upgraded "online free" to Windows 10. Those that sell computers made no attempts to inform me of this free alternative. Delaying/avoiding the process of
making a purchase provided time for awareness to develop. Not everything is automatically true.

My present Dell XPS computer will now work using Windows 10 for four more years. There was no need to buy a new computer ahead of time. I will be 86 years old...then and willing to upgrade.....then. The upgrade was a computer challenge, but I was persistent. As I composed this present journal entry, it is being  done in Windows 10. Mental exercise is rewarding. A brain is somewhat like a muscle - use it or loose it. The WEB is somewhat like a free wheeling, invisible, mental exercise machine with many speed bumps and no bumper guards.

Dec. 21-22....bitter cold (low of -8°F) with snow...The dog fan battery was removed from my van to charge and protect from the bitter cold. The batteries for the van and UTV are fully charged and will be OK down to -77°F. Pounce and Gigi are now mostly inside retrievers and romp a bit in their airing yard 4-5 times a day.  Our hibernation mode will last until early spring shows up. The indoor pool deck will allow us to practice OB every day....It is usually at least 70+°F.

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Pounce and Gigi will be given the rest of this week off from any training. Today's exercises were done using the examples in the first Silver Sneakers YouTube. It was not as easy as it appeared.
December 2...Friday...high 36°F....For the next month, refer to the exercise and health button links in the December 1st journal entry. This afternoon two new, rear tires and a tire pressure sensor were to be installed on my Transit van. However, upon inspection of the sensor, a complete overhaul of the brakes was done. Four hours later, the bill (two tires and brakes) was almost $1500. 
December 3...Saturday...at noon it is 28°F...Not going anywhere (doing nothing well). The next three, long months will be a grind. A piece of paneling fell and took a chunk out of the back of my left hand.       This
will delay (for a few days) any water work and nail trimming jobs needed by Pounce and Gigi.
December 4...Sunday...high around 40°F. The goose blind will soon be "tarped" and my van cleaned out. Once a month, a search of journal entries will select a recollection from the past. The premise of KwickLabs' WEBs (there are two) was to avoid forgetting by composing daily journal entries.