Always have been a big fan of Gary Larson.
Saturday, December 31, 2022
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Thursday, December 15, 2022
I want to mention I got a new Magnet. The previous one was a 500# and the new one is a 1000#. It's just the grabbing power not what you'd be able to pick up. Hercules I'm not.
I've been eyeing Middle Bar Bridge ever since I got my 500# Magnet. The last 5 months have been a bust because of the surgeries. Monday, after a weekend of heavy rain, I drove over to the Highway 49 bridge to check out the flow of the river that eventually runs under Middle Bar Bridge. It was moving pretty fast and I opted to pass.
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."
These words spoken by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
This morning while my wife and I were having our morning coffee I mentioned that I wondered how many of the younger generation know the meaning of this date.
The more and more I watch the news and see our history being removed from statues in parks and military bases being renamed etc. makes me wonder what is being taught in school as American History. I suspect I could ask my grandchildren, but they are past school age and my great-grandchildren are a few years away from school in general.
Makes me wonder if we will have a December 7, 1941 in the near future with the angst we are experiencing with Russia, China, and North Korea.
Russia seems pretty much benign since Ukraine "opened a can of woopass" on them.
China, all they want is Taiwan but the US is not keen on giving up our relationship with this INDEPENDENT country that China seem to think they own.
North Korea: They seem to think we're planning to invade them for some reason. For the most part, from what I've seen, the US is keeping an eye on them, but basically ignoring them. Seems the Supreme Leader has some sort of feather up his ass about the US. His sister is a whole nuther ball game. She seems to be nuttier than him.
OK, that said, let us not forget Pearl Harbor Day and remember those 2403 US personnel who gave their all for our freedom.
Let's also remember the hero's of that day. If you've seen the movie 'Pearl Harbor" with Ben Affleck, Josh Harnett, and Kate Beckinsale then you know that Cuba Gooding Jr. played a hero named Doris Miller who was only allowed to be a cook because he was black, but then the attack started manned a 50 cal. machine gun trying to take down Japanese planes. He got 4. For his valor he received the Navy Cross. He was on the escort carrier Liscome Bay on November 24, 1943 when it was torpedoed off Butaritari Atoll in the Gilbert Islands. He didn't survive.
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Yesterday morning I texted Yuki giving him an update on whether I'd be able to fish Camanche North Shore. Passed on to him that my stability (mentioned in the last post) wasn't as good as I'd like it to be to fish the rocks.
He suggested Middle Bar Bridge. I said that the last few times I'd been across the Highway 49 Bridge (just upstream from Middle Bar) that there wasn't much water in the river.
The Mokelumne River is fed by the Electra Power House further upstream from the 49 bridge. This is the same area as the Electra Fire last July although the area around the power house is basically bare of any burnable material and it survived.
We met at La Casa Kautz at 11:00 and he dragged me kicking and screaming out of the house (just kidding) and got his gear and part of my gear (he moves a lot faster than I) into my truck and off we went.
The nice thing about MBB is that you can drive right to where you want to fish and unload. Then a short drive to the end of the bridge where you can park.
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Sorry to say that I'm not recovering as fast as I'd like to.
I thought about going out to Camanche North Shore yesterday. I ordered a new six pack of Power Bait and got it on Wednesday. I'm itching to go, BUT.
I'm still not as stable as I was even before all these surgeries so fishing will have to wait a little longer.
Adding to that, I have four months of yard work that needs catching up on. I can do that although I can only put in a half hour or so a day.
In the last week, I've removed the dead plants in the garden (we've had a couple good freezes) and I'm in the process of giving a couple bushes "hair cuts".
This Winter we're planning on moving the garden off the "hill" down onto the flat ground you see at the bottom of the picture.
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Friday (November 11th) is Veterans Day. I received this from one of my newly found cousins and thought it worth passing along. Embarrassingly I, at 76 years, did not know this. I can't imagine many others do either. So here goes.
Saturday, October 29, 2022
I just returned home from two surgeries. The doctor who removed (yes it's gone) (surgery #1) the Gall Bladder was the head of the surgery Department at Sutter Hospitals in Sacramento. One would ask how did this lowly Trout fisherman got the Best of the Best surgeon to "getter done".
Well, I had so much infection in my body that, as you previously read, the best was needed and it's not what you know, but who you know.
And with that surgery, went all the back pain I've been experiencing for the last ???? years. Now all I have to do is recover.
The second surgery was that ever present stent in the Bile Duct. While the doctor was in there, he noticed it was blocked so I went into surgery Thursday evening and they replaced the stent (to be removed in 6 weeks).
While I'm still gimping around, but with no back pain, I will be back fishing as soon as all this is wrapped up.
I have to tell you, the nursing staff at Sutter is awesome. A lot of nurses operate on the "bull in the china shop" mode. Not these. They listened when I told them I would get myself up, but stayed close "just in case". I can't commend them highly enough.
So, I'm going to recover, get the stent removed, and find out if the infection in my spine is still there. All that is required is an MRI and hopefully be back on the lake mid-November.
Since it's November (next Tuesday) I'll be ready for Camanche and those Mt. Lassen Rainbows.
Thursday, September 29, 2022
The masks are no longer being worn (Unless you go into a hospital or doctor's office [I think they are trying to tell you something]). People are not "social distancing any more. Everybody is in a party hardy mood. Let's get together and schmooze.
And yet, the CDC is still pushing booster shots. Why if it's all but gone?
Let's take a look at the United Kingdom. I know that's all we've been looking at since the Queen died, but behind the scenes, that Covid bug has been lurking and spreading (because of the crowds?) and the numbers are climbing.
As of two days ago, the UK has had 104,436 cases and 81 people have died in the last 28 days. Seems it's far from gone there.
As we pass from Summer into Fall, the CDC keeps talking about two variants of Covid that are still out there. BA.4 & BA.5 Omicron subvariants.
Monday, September 26, 2022
I would never have thought that I would be so much involved in the medical world.
It all started at the end of March when my friends, dr. Judah Slawkowkskiy , a surgeon from Chicago, wanted to help his Ukrainian colleagues.
Dr. Judah brought not only his knowledge and skills, but he brought encouragement and hope. This was the time when the whole world realized the brutality of this war, when the crimes of Bucha and Irpin became open for the world media.
Since that dr. Judah came three more times to Ukraine to teach surgeons from Lviv, Ternopil and Kyiv to teach them blood stopping techniques and bullet/fragments removal from hard accessible areas.
Judah is very helpful and is my resource in all my medical questions. He explained with napkins and pencils the difference between Force Triad generator and Harmonica and what cables I need to look for to make these devices fully functional.
When I met Judah a couple weeks ago, I made a comment about his beard. His answer strokes me. He said: “I’m leaving for Afghanistan, Alex, Just a few weeks I will be in Kabul. God is calling me to help people there” I was astonished and petrified. This is a country which is run by the Taliban, where Americans are not welcomed. Think for a moment!
He is coming with two Italian and one Dutch doctor as a part of a medical mission, where they will spend six months training Afghan doctors and receive patients. Please pray for dr. Judah and his mission!
My new challenge was to get another type of surgical generator, Harmonica. I was requested by my Ukrainian surgeons to help them with this. It was a challenge to find the device and get the money.
Thank God I got more money than I needed and I was able to get even more stuff for my friends in Ukraine.
I think helping to equip the hospitals is very crucial. It will impact many people's lives now and in future.
Another benefit is that I made such good relations with the medical community in Zhytomyr, that I was able to help a lonely widow from Zhytomyr. Her name is Maria and she is a neighbor of my in-laws. She complained about heart problems often. She could not get any help from her physician. Unfortunately, medical service and attitude toward the elderly people leaves much to be desired.
I called dr.Vitalliy, who is a director assistant of the largest hospital in Zhitomir oblast and Maria was seen next day by the best cardiologist in the oblast!
Thank you all,
Monday, September 5, 2022
The last contact I've had from Alex in Ukraine was on August 8th as I mentioned in the last post.
I waited another couple days and still nothing.
So I took a chance and sent an email to Alex just to see if he's OK.
Here's his answer:
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
What saga is that? What is slowly beating me into the ground.
I got home last night after spending 4 days in the hospital trying to find out why my back is so sore I can barely get up off the couch. I mentioned in the past about the Osteoarthritis I have in the L3/L4 region of my lower Lumbar in my back. I also mentioned that I had Gall Bladder surgery at the end of July. They are now calling my back Osteomyelitis (inflammation of bone or bone marrow, usually due to infection).
I called the surgeon who did the surgery because of the pain and was told he absolutely refused any further pain medication and I should go to the ER and have them figure it out. That statement basically released me from his care. They have this 90 day rule of some kind that one doctor will not touch another doctors patient.
So Friday afternoon I end up in the ER of our local hospital in mortal agony. The ER doctor sent me down for a CT Scan to have a closer look. Now, when I said my back hurt, they always ask the pain level on a scale of 1 to 10. When I got up off the CT Scan table (hard as a rock by the way) I estimated the pain level at about 22. It was that bad.
Then they decided to do an MRI (same type of hard table). What they found was an infection in the L3/L4 region of my lower Lumbar. By the way, before I went to the MRI, they filled me with pain meds and it was still about a 15 on the scale. What they couldn't figure out was why, since I've been taking antibiotics for almost two months (from the first Gall bladder attempt), the infection was still there. The doctors said that between that and the Gall Bladder infection it's no wonder my back hurt so bad.
A Radiologist reviewed the MRI and the next morning I was taking an ambulance ride to the main hospital in downtown Sacramento. The plan was to do a biopsy of the infection in the Lumbar and find out what the infection was. Now, if you've been in a hospital recently, you know that you see a bunch of doctors. In talking to the "group" the thought came up that the abscess in the Gall Bladder probably sent some ugly shit through the blood stream to the lower Lumbar area but still why was it there with all the antibiotics?
Surgery scheduled and down I went. The young lady who picked me up was named Oleana. I asked her nationality, Ukrainian. Hmmmm. Got to surgery check in and the girl there was named Dasha. Again Ukrainian. Had to be some kind of good omen and you all know my grandparents were born in Ukraine.
Only thing is that they scheduled a Gall Bladder removal not the biopsy. The "group" decided first and foremost the Gall Bladder needed to go. Once again the Gall Bladder was in such a state that it couldn't be removed. Next try is in about 6 weeks. Putting a crimp on fishing and camping, but I need to be fixed. Guess the good omen didn't work so well.
So, I'm back home as of last night (that hour ride in itself damn near killed me), but we have all kinds of medical people helping one being an infusion of a high powered antibiotic every day and even though I have to go to the hospital to have it done, it's only a couple blocks down the street.
Guess I'll have to wait a while for some fishing.
By the way, I haven't heard anything from Alex in Ukraine since the 8th of this month. I do hope he's OK.
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
We come to the end (almost) of Summer 2022. This has been dismal Summer for us out here in Nor Cal.
I did a post on June 12th of our trip to Upper Lake. Found a few things with the magnet and caught the first fish of the year.
That trip and the one up Highway 4 was it for the year. We had reservations for Upper Lake the last week of this month, but had to cancel because of my son being worked to death (pretty normal for his job) and my being between 4 or possibly 5 surgeries. I've already had two and am working through infections until I can finally get the Gall Bladder out.
When I changed the name of this blog to the "Wandering Gimp" I was walking with a cane because of the arthritis in my lower lumbar region of my back.
I now use a walker and at times a wheelchair. I don't believe the back is getting worse, I think it's not being able to get around enough to keep the back muscles flexible as they should be.
Unfortunately until the Gall Bladder is gone and body healed, can't do very much because of all those little knots surrounded with gobs of tape and gauze that come with surgery.
Until this happens, I sit and read posts, watch YouTube, play Solitaire, and do crossword puzzles. And of course the more I sit, the harder it is to stand. I do what I can to help my wife (and wingman) maintain the house, but compared to before, it's a pittance.
I've gotten a couple emails from Alex in Ukraine, but since I didn't get much response about posting them, I'm just hanging on to them and if something is worth passing on, I will.
Alright, I'm off to the garage to cut up cardboard boxes for the recycle truck on Thursday.
Ya'll be safe out there. I'll post if anything exciting happens.
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Had to pass this one along.
I’m in Poland right now. This time my trip was full of adventures. But the most important thing is that I'm here.
Before I left, the downtown of Vinnitsa city was hit with cruise missiles. It was in the daytime. The news for all of us was shocking. I was on this street many times. It’s not far from the General Consultant of the Polish Republic and Vinnitsa central archives.
One of the victims was a little girl with Down syndrome. She was coming back with her mom after a visit to a speech specialist, when a russian missile took her life. Yesterday’s post of one of my FB friends describes the best of what many of us feel.
The whole truth about this war in one single picture…
All I have is more answered questions.
How can we stop Putin? How can we forgive the death of an innocent child?! Is it the end of the world?
Maybe we all live in the last days...
Saturday, July 16, 2022
I know a lot of you have followed this blog since the war in Ukraine started and a lot of you have followed forever.
Personally I'm coming back from a 4 day stay in the hospital. Got 5 Gall stones jammed in what they call the Bile Duct removed via a procedure called Endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography. Go ahead and try to pronounce it. They took out the stones and put in a Stent (just like in your heart, but a plastic one). I was told it would dissolve in about 6 weeks. That was Ok since the Gall Bladder is coming out on the 29th.
Yesterday at exactly 1:30 pst I got a call from the doctor's office downtown informing me the stent has to be manually removed. I had flames coming out my ears. Another misinformation. Now I have to have a 3rd surgery on August 19th.
Unfortunately based on many different explanations of what was to happen, at the end of the third day I said, that's it, I'm going home. Then all of a sudden they want take out my Gall Bladder. "Send me home, I have a guy locally I trust a lot more than you guys".
The first surgery took about 3 weeks to "somewhat" recover. The next two are outpatient so maybe a quicker recovery. Upper Lake is coming the end of August.
So now you know why I've been quiet lately. On the other hand, I'm getting a bit depressed with this whole Ukraine war. The Ukraine Military is doing an awesome job of keeping the Russians out of Ukraine for the most part. Alex is doing a heroic job getting supplies for the people and the military and the doctors. I posted a couple emails below that came while I was down.
The US and European Allies are doing everything they can, short of getting involved directly but from what I've read Russia is just leveling town after town. seems they are trying to kill as many Ukrainians as possible at least those that are left. Just look at the first picture below.
I don't know if you want me to keep passing along Alex's emails but if you do, let me know in the comment section.
From Alex dated 7/7/2022
In my March 1 update I made a video of the destruction of the private houses not far from the hospital, where my elder daughter Evelyn was born. It was a terrible picture of destruction. At that time I wondered who those people who lost their houses were.
Today a mother with her son came to our office to get some help. Oksana and her five year old son lived in one of those houses. Oksana is a single mother and with the help of her parents she purchased two rooms in one of those houses a couple months before the war.
She was with her parents in the village on that tragic day. It was definitely God’s grace.
When they came today to get some food packages, we gave Bogdan, her son a gift from the Netherland Foundation. His smile tells a lot.
This one from 7/2/2022
Couple weeks ago I got a call from an unknown number. The young male voice told me that he is a good friend of Edik, who runs a restaurant and I got to know Edik when I had my little restaurant Green Line Café a couple yearы ago. He told me that he was senior leant of airborne brigade 95 and he needs help. I invited him to come to the office at the nonprofit, where I volunteer.
FYI 95 brigade is one of the elite troops of the Ukrainian army. They are located in Zhitomir and they were the first ones sent to Kharkov and North of Kyiv to meet Russians on the first days of the war.
When I met Mychaylo, that is the name of the senior lieutenant, he made a huge impression on me. He is under 30 but in his eyes I could see courage and nothing else. He spoke little with his calm voice. He told me that from February till the end of April he was a commander of a platoon in a 13 Battalion of the 95 brigade. On February 24 this battalion had around 500 soldiers and only 200 left home for rotation from Izum, Khakrov oblast. Can you imagine the loss! More than 50% were killed and mainly from air bombing and artillery.
Mychaylo told me that now he got a position of company commander and after such losses the battalion needed augment and round out of units. He brought the list of things that he needed for his company:
20 spades, chainsaws, screwdrivers, generator and couple tablets.
This speaks a lot about the condition of the Ukrainian army, and again this one of the elite brigades. The more I find out about the situation in the army, the more I admire volunteers.
I presented the case to Zhanna and paid the bill.
Michayolo is to the left.
Not long ago I received a gift from Don Miller. He sent me a seed player. It’s a very simple mp3 player. Don Miller made, in my mind, a great project. He recorded the testimonies of people involved in Samaritan Ministries with some meditation, Bible verses and music. I loved this idea. I asked Don to give me the contacts of the seed player founders. I think that soldiers need a lot of encouragement. I talked to Andriy, the chaplain and two other guys who are involved in chaplain ministry about the idea of making a playlist of some Plasms, Proverbs, maybe Gospel of John and something else that can light the spirit of the soldiers and give them hope while they face evil.
Hopefully by August we will have 50 seed players, which will be distributed by Andriy and his colleagues among the soldiers in the hospitals and frontline.
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Apartment Houses, shopping malls, and medical training facilities. These are definitely military targets, NOT. What a bunch of assholes.
Do watch the videos. Hero's one and all.
Here's the latest from Alex:
Last Saturday Zhitomir oblast as well as Kyiv, Chernigov and Lviv oblasts were under mass rocket fire.
Sasha the shoemaker who lives with me woke me up and crying: “We are bombed get out of the house!” The sounds were very loud, the cars’ alert systems went on, the people from the neighboring houses were outside.
Later I found out from the Zhitomir governor's speech: “As of 4:15 am, the enemy once again launched missile strikes on Zhytomyr Oblast!
Only today was confirmed that all these missiles were aimed at the training center outside of Zhitomir. This is where dr.Judah and I were given training to the military paramedics. So I right away imagined all these people I met there and prayed for them.
Now we know about one dead soldier and two wounded.
Almost the same time Kyiv was under attack too. The missile hit the apartment house not far from Metro Station Lukjanovska, this is one of the central districts in Kyiv, not far from the central Archives in Kyiv, where I used to work with documents. Unfortunately this attack changed the life of one family forever. The father got killed right away, the mother is in critical condition in one of Kyiv's hospitals and a seven year old girl had a couple surgeries and according to the doctors has no threats to her life.
One of the analysts says that Putin wants to drag the war till winter. When Europe will need the most natural gas to heat their homes this might be pressure points for Ukraine to negotiate on not favorable positions and sacrifice some territory.
Food and energy will be number one for Ukraine to survive this coming winter.
It’s God's timing to start the farming initiative project in Vigoda. Due to generous support from friends from the US and Canada I purchased last Friday a 40HP tractor, a farming mill, a plough, discs, hay cutter and a wood chipper. The head of the village allowed us to clean 25km of the mineralization channel. In our estimation this is 1600 cubic meters of wood. This is almost a one year project. We have already received a first order of 50 cubic meters of wood from the business from Zhitomir.
It’s better to end this update on a positive note.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022
First I'd like to say one thing. I have tried my damndest to find a way to get money to Alex and each time I'm sent around in circles. I wish I could do more, but I think just telling his story is as far as I'll get.
Sometimes I feel like the news from Ukraine is too much to share. The more I talk to the people, the more it looks like this war will not end this year.
But there is something positive that I want to share with you.
Last Friday I was invited to celebrate the day of Medical Personnel in the main regional hospital. The governor of Zhitomir oblast came to congratulate the doctors and the nurses. The best doctors and the nurses were given praise and medals.
The director of the hospital in his speech mentioned that not only doctors should be given praise but all the volunteers who came alongside with them . And he called my name.
I received a charter. I would like to share it with you, because of your support your connections the hospitals in Zhitomir oblast received:
9 boxes of high quality External Fixators
Surgical Led light
Surgical generator with footswitches
25+ medical beds
10 oxygen concentrators
Fiberooptic Cholodocoscope and gastro feeding tubes
2 tons of medical supplies and drugs
On the other note. In Ukraine we are starting to celebrate Father’s day. This is something new to us.
When I think of my dad Franz and what life he had it makes me humble. He survived famine in 1932-33. His mother was arrested and sent to Belomoro-Baltiyskiy Chanel, his father was executed by Russians in 1937. He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 and sent to concentration camp Majdanek, Poland. Out of 1,200 prisoners from Zhitomir oblast, only seven came home and he was among them. In 1950 he was arrested and sent to Omsk. He lived till 92.
There is a lot to learn from his life.
Sunday, June 19, 2022
I'm a little slow posting these. I've been in the hospital for 4 days dealing with Gall Stones, but here we go.
Yesterday I visited a military cemetery in Zhytomyr. I found out that one of the guys I know was recently buried there. We were not close friends, but we both shared the passion for hiking. He was my age.
The price Ukraine pays everyday is huge. President Zelensky officially confirmed huge losses: 200 dead and 500 wounded. We lose our territory in the East and the cities in the East turn into ruins, complete ruins.
This is how a town Popasnaya with 20,000 population of 20,000 looks nowadays.
A friend of mine, who serves from the first days of war in the artillery division, came back home for one week. He is a different man now. He lost lots of his comrades. He says that Ukrainians are losing artillery duels. When I asked him when this could be over, he said that there is no end to this invasion. The advantage of Russian artillery is 20 to 1!
Last week I brought from Lviv a van full of medical supplies. This was a donation from Amigo Relief Missions from Alberta Canada. I wish I could have a bigger van. There were all the needy medical disposal supplies. The supply chains have been broken and many hospitals in Ukraine have shortage of them and sure the doctors and nurses were happy to see me again in the hospital.
This time the medical aid was divided among four hospitals: Zhitomir regional, Pulin district hospitals, Korostyshev district and Baranivka district hospitals.
Then from 6/15/2022
War in the Eastern and Southern parts of Ukraine gets worse. We have new waves of internally displaced people. Zhitomir regional administration officially registered 38 thousands of them, spread in different communities in Zhitomir oblast.
Couple days ago I met a family from Mariupol. This family ran for their lives and left everything behind. They escaped hell. The family of five, with three little kids, lost their house in Mariupol. As many of you know Mariupol is a complete ruin. When I talked to Andiry, this is the father of the family; he shared about his life before the war. He said that he had a wonderful life there. He was renting out SUP boards at the Azov Sea, his kids went to school and his wife was at their lovely house.
I wanted to do something for this family. My friend, Zhanna, who runs the biggest nonprofit in Zhitomir has lots of contacts and can make many things possible. When I shared with her about Andri’s family she told me that we can get together families from Donetsk and Kherson and have fun with them in the water. She organized dragon boats competitions for refugee families and volunteers who are involved in her nonprofit.
What a wonderful idea! Our guests from the war zone were able to relax, see the most beautiful places of Zhitomir, compete and make new friends.
Sunday, June 12, 2022
We got to Upper Lake Wednesday afternoon. We were the only RV there.