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Blog Archive 2012 Feb

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Wed 2/1 - Not enough wind to kite today, at least for the biggest (12m) one I brought. This morning I walked to De Mall to exchange a defective beer mug at Craft, buy some more frozen vegetables, some first aid supplies and to get Pp10,000 (about $235). I returned to Surfers Home via a short cut, just to the south of the lake that is opposite De Mall. Much of the shortcut was so narrow I had to take care not to hit my arms on the fence or wall on either side.
- I had dinner at
- This evening I had an interesting visit with Matt and Mike from Slovenia. Mike showed off my website to others and at one point my website was up on three smart phones and an iPad!

Thu 2/2 - This morning Annabel, a Slovenian engineer and economist, helped me transfer photos from my Galaxy S-2 Smart cell phone memory to my computer. (I had already figured out how to have the phone's camera save the new photos to its micro SD card, which I can plug into my computer for the transfer). We had my phone send the files to her computer via Bluetooth; transfer them to her USB key FOB and then to my computer. Later, while documenting how we did it, I discovered how I could have transfered the pictures directly my phone's SD card without her help.
- This afternoon I kiteboarded down the beach and back - almost - numerous times with a on-shore wind with a slight left component - strong enough to ride, but not enough to stay upwind. Finally I found myself at the south end of Bulabog Beach, walking back up home.
- Dinner this evening was delicious Tuna/Vegetable Curry and a fruit/yogurt/cereal at the Isla Kitesurfing restaurant/bar. There I had a good visit with Gregorio, from Slovenia, who works for IBM.

Fri 2/3 - Got up at
11:30am Thursday morning, Phoenix time
this morning to telephone
Dr Hurm
my urologist
, in Phoenix, Arizona, about getting his email address so I can communicate with him about my
0.4mg - generic for Flomax, to help voiding, due to my BPH
, prescription, because I get extremely drowsy throughout the day when I am sitting still. I at least hope it is the Tamsulosin!
- A group of us were going to do a kite downwinder to
Union Beach
the first beach you come to on Panay Island, the big Island south of Boracay
. Others were going to go by tricycle/boat/bus down to the beach to kite from there and to meet us there. I had set out for the excursion a: It turns out, due to various reasons, they decided to all go down by tricycle/boat/bus instead of some kiting from here. Having good wind here, I decided to ride locally.
- Had a good time in a morning session about 9:30 with my 8m Best Nemesis, staying out about an hour, although it was a little uncomfortable kiting on a still-full stomach after my big breakfast. With winds averaging about 19 and gusting to 25, I was well powered. Did a variety of kite loop maneuvers, came in when I started to get a little tired in the gusty, choppy conditions and took a nap when I started falling asleep while trying to write this blog. After the nap I was able to stay awake working on the blog until my next session. Around 3pm I wandered down to Isla Kiteboarding.
IKO Instructor
was already out on the water riding, so I joined him for a jump lesson. The main thing is I need to work on is my pop. Also I generally need to send the kite earlier and edge later but harder. I understood less than half of his instructions, as he was following me around on his kite, demonstrating and shouting instructions - not the best educational environment. For both the the launch and the wrap up, the beach is a real mess, cluttered with all sorts of debris - mostly from palm and coconut trees. Some places the debris are so thick you can't even see the sand. Also with the high tide, there is no beach in many places - just palm trees waiting to grab kites.
- I was going to walk to town for dinner and to buy bottled water (I'm off tap water for now due to loose bowels). Stumbling in the dark over debris in the water, due to high tide, to get to the nearest road did not sound particularly appealing to me, so Gistony, the security guard here at Surfers Home fixed me a big banana pancake and then I had mixed vegetables in my room. Not a real good diet, but it will at least tide me over until the morning. The Internet is down again, so I cannot upload this blog update.

Sat 2/4 - Up this morning to go by tricycle/boat/tricycle to
Union Beach
the first beach you come to on Panay Island, the big Island south of Boracay
on Panay Island with a group, mostly from Slovenia. What a fine group, except I couldn't understand most of what they were saying since they talked Slovenian among themselves. Thanks to them, we did the whole thing for Pp180 each, rather than Pp1000 if we had taken the official Union Beach Excursion through Surfers House. Our happy group included: I was on my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4, which was a good call, although everyone wondered how I could ride with such a large kite, considering the winds were averaging 16 and gusting to 22 mph. From about 10:30 to noon I practiced my jumps, using what Frankie taught me yesterday. I didn't think they were great, but the others said I jumped higher than any of them did. I covered 16.7 miles and showed 25.0 mph on a speed run. After lunch (I'm back to three meals a day so I don't have to ride on such a full stomach in the mornings) and a short hammock nap, which was interrupted by a rooster pecking at my foot, I got a acquainted with Paul, Paul and Fu. Then out for a 45-minute, 5.75-mile session to add kite loops to my transitions. We returned to Surfers Home on Boracay about 4:30 via tricycle/boat/tricycle.
- I spent the rest of the evening walking to De Mall for dinner to refill my international Smart Card (Pp2.5/minute) and to buy 11 L of water and to try to get Tamsulosin (generic for Flomax) because I miscalculated when I packed back in Phoenix.
- Getting back to Surfers Home along the beach in the dark at high tide was a challenge with nothing but water, waves and beach debris up to the stone wall. Thanks to my little LED flashlight I was able to pick my way around a boat that was dry-docked on mostly dry sand.

Sun 2/5 - I could have kited some this morning, but I decided getting my
generic for Flomax, to keep me from going into uriniary retention with my BPH
medication to prevent a possible trip to an emergency room was a higher priority. The closest availability was at Mercury Drug in Cataclan on the island of Panay. While on Pianai, I took a tricycle to
Union Beach
the first beach you come to on Panay Island, the big Island south of Boracay
where there was was not enough wind for my 12. Next time I'll also bring my 15m Epic Infinity. Then I can ride while others are sitting around.
- Dinner was at the little Restaurant/Bar at Union Beach before returning to Surfers Home on Boracay via tricycle/boat/tricycle.

Mon 2/6 - We have had atypical weather here for the dry season with frequent fairly heavy rain (small raindrops) in the early morning hours. - Dinner tonight was at the Pinoy Delight Restaurant, run by Dolly & Benz.

Tue 2/7 - I had to take care of the business of lodging first thing this morning.
my niece in the Peace Corps here in the Philippines
will be visiting me Saturday through Monday. Because the conditions are better there for my giving her kitboarding instruction (super cool, Stacie!), we are going to stay at
Union Beach
the first beach you come to on Panay Island, the big Island south of Boracay
on Panay. For convenience sake, I'll plan to move down there until I leave for Bacolod to spend a few days with Stacie.
- Not quite enough wind for a 12m kite - either mine or to try one out. However, with my hopes up, I walked down to Freestyle Academy where they got a 12m Cabrinha in from their other shop, but the kite needed some repair; then on to Habagat Kiteboarding where no one from the shop seemed to be around to help me; so on down to Pinas Kiteboarding where the honchos were away. All this was not important without much wind. I had a good chicken-spaghetti lunch at the Pinas Restaurant/Bar, then walked back up the beach to chill out for the rest of the afternoon here at Surfers Home, finishing up the Philippine section of my SHOPS & LINKS web page and working on this blog.
- My new friends from Slovenia headed back to their home country about 2 this afternoon.
- This evening's trip included walking to De Mal, then for about a half mile to the south along White Beach, checking out lots of shops, eating dinner at a beach buffet and buying my last water and last mixed vegetables before moving to Union Beach. Because it was late and because of all the weight of the water, I took a tricycle back to Surfers Home.

Wed 2/8 - I'm through demoing kites (with which to replace my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade-4 when It breakers) after trying out the North Rebel at the Hangin Kite Center. I was not impressed with the kite's slow turning speed, lack of power and lack of controllability when it is depowered.
- Took the tricycle/boat/tricycle to Union Beach this afternoon with Scandinavians, Andreas and Kjartan. My first session was a good 1:45 hour one, practicing my jump techniques and adding a few kite loops until a guy crashed his kite into me. All of a sudden I saw these kite lines coming my direction and hit the water to avoid them. His kite flew between my lines and the tangled combination of kites partially powered up, dragging me with my feet on the shallow bottom of the bay with its scattered coral. We untangled our kites by his stepping between my lines. During the fray, I had my first injury - some pesky foot abrasions. Except for that type of rare incident, my feet never touch the bottom, so I do not wear booties.
- Dinner this evening was a delicious Tuna/Vegetable Curry back on Boracay at the Isla Kitesurfing restaurant/bar, after which I spent about an hour cleaning, soaking etc. my poor feet.

Thu 2/9 - Mostly underpowered with my 8m Best Nemesis, I worked exclusively on my pops for 40 minutes in hopes of improving my jumps, after a good briefing by Lennie, instructor at Ocean Republic.
- Dinner at the Timog kite shop restaurant/bar

Fri 2/10 - Took a 1-hour jump lesson from Eric of Ocean Republic using my radio helmet. He had his transmitter on a lanyard around his neck. I could hear his every word and the system worked beautifully. He was able to follow me on his kite, give me tips and demonstrations, never having to stop to talk to me.
- I got my big kite bag packed for moving to Union Beach tomorrow and walked to De Mall for cash to pay my Surfers Home Bill. Due to a daily cash limit I could not get enough money. Unfortunately tomorrow morning will still be the same day in Phoenix, so I will have to work out other payment arrangements.
- Dinner tonight at Ole's: good food & generous portions. I have never been disappointed there.

Sat 2/11 - No riding today, although it was windy. I was busy packing everything up for moving from Surfers Home on Bulabog Beach on Boracay Island to Blue Orange Ville at Union Beach on Panay Island. My big golf bag is heavy at 30 kg. I paid most of my Surfers Home bill with PayPal, and the balance with cash, since I was not able to get enough cash yesterday.
- I took a tricycle/boat to Cataclan where I met up with
my niece in the Peace Corps here in the Philippines
. We went to Union Beach where I gave her her first kite lesson, which went well until the wind sporadically dropped to almost nothing.
- This evening we had a delicious and plentiful bacon cabonera (spaghetti).

Sun 2/12 - The day started out with rain and little or no water all the way out to the reef here at Union Beach, due to low tide, but it was windy. By late morning the water was up but the winds were too gusty to finish Stacie's first kiteboard lesson, which we started yesterday, so I rode for about 20 minutes while she observed and took pictures. Mid afternoon the winds were even more gusty when I went out with my 8m Best Nemesis and practiced mostly pops and jumps for 10.3 miles in 1:05 (top speed 19.8 mph).
- Dinner tonight was at the Blue Orange Ville bar. Their evening offering was pork menudo (pig stomaches with vegetables). Yummy! Off and on during our time together Stacie and I have had a chance to visit and get to each other as never before. Cool!

Mon 2/13 - Little did Stacie and I know that we should have finished her first kiteboarding lesson first thing when we arrived from Union Beach on Boracay in the morning in perfect conditions, rather my going to immigration to extend my visa while she went to De Mall, which was near by and having lunch at Surfers Home. Immigration was a waste of time, as the official who had to sign the documents was away at a conference for the week and could not sign anything until Monday. Of course, by then I will be on my way back to Arizona.
- By the time we got out in the water it was high tide. We did accomplish launching my 8m Best Nemesis kite from an almost non-existent beach, going out and trying and finding we were almost up against the palm trees in water shallow enough to stand up in - not instructional conditions. Stacie DID get some cool little things for her friends at the mall. We went back to on a Banca Boat to Cataclan where I saw Stacie off. We had had an excellent visit.

Tue 2/14 - Packing up day: I would have kited but the wind was marginal, so I inflated my 8m Best Nemesis to let it dry from yesterdays foray.
- This evening Irene out did herself by serving potatoes (expensive here), BBQ chicken, BBQ pork and a too-hot-for-me vegetable salad. We had wine and celebrated the good life, all being kiteboarders from the US, Canada, Portugal, Russia and maybe some other places. The group seemed to enjoy my traditional after-dinner-with-friends story. Grant and Liz,from Canada would like to meet me at OBX next summer. How fun!

Wed 2/15 - Traveling day: Davis took me to the Cataclan Terminal where I got a 6-hour van trip across the eastern part of Panay to SuperCat at the port of Iloilo. I measured the SuperCat cruising at 25 mph (22 knots).
my niece in the Peace Corps here in the Philippines
met me at the Bacolod Port, showed me to K'Mas, a very economical hotel, the street market where you can buy produce and some good places to eat or shop. We had dinner at the Japanese Inaka Restaurant and Sushi Bar. We had squid sushi and squid, cooked right in front of us on a special area of our stainless steel table. I was delighted to get acquainted with Peace Corps volunteers there, from various islands around the Philippines.

Thu 2/16 - This morning after updating my blog with the hotel's wifi and breakfast in my hotel, I sprea my damp kites and clothing out as best I could to dry in my little air conditioned hotel room. Then I jogged up to the street of shops a couple blocks north of here and bought a small bunch of bananas, exploring shops along the way back along Lacson Avenue, the main drag of Bacolod. After delivering the bananas to my room I jogged down to the Robison Mall - a three-level, full-fledged modern mall. I walked up and down all the levels, had lunch at KFC (bypassing McDonalds etc.) and headed back for my hotel bearing 8 L of distilled drinking water, a cereal bowl, oatmeal, raisins and frozen vegetables. With some eating out, that ought to get me by until my departure.

Sat 2/18 - Stacie has not been feeling well lately; stomach cramps, fever and other symptoms of Dingue Fever - not good stuff, so, with the advice of her medical consultant, we went to the emergency room to have her checked out, stopping by Starbucks on the way to catch up on our respective emails etc. Stacie's blood and other tests showed that she does not have Dingue, but possibly an amoeba infection. She did not feel real well the rest of the day, but well enough for us to see The Ruins of Talisay City: awesomely beautiful and ugly at the same time.
- Ten days after the incident, I still have a small piece of coral in my right foot, so I got out my medical stuff dug around with a needle and tweezers in an attempt to get the piece out, soaked the foot in fresh water for half an hour and then put an occlusive bandage on the small wound.
- Dinner tonight was Philippine-style for P25 at a little street restaurant.

Sun 2/19 - Stacie and I took a Jeepney/bus trip to the multiple falls at the Mambukal Resort where we hiked an awesome trail up four waterfalls where I cooled off with a little swimming above and below the fourth waterfall, had special flavored chicken for lunch and saw hot springs. I estimated the temperature to be about 118 degrees F - too hot to hold your hand in.
- We topped off the evening by going to church and having Shawarma at LeyLam in the Bacolod Robinsons Mall. Then it was back to the K'Mas Hotel to pack my big golf bag for the flights back home to Arizona.

Mon 2/20 - It was a l-o-n-g day, getting up this morning at 7:30am (Monday 2/20/2012 Philippine time) and getting home in Phoenix 33 hours later (1:30 am on Tuesday 2/21/2012 Phoenix time). I packed my fancy Pierre Cardin carry-on suit case and my high-tech pack pack, which is my personal item, took a shower and headed via a 5-minute Jeepney ride to the Welcome Home Foundation, where I did an hour of free consultation regarding their website. I figured that would be my contribution to their worthy cause, considering their website had not been updated for about five years. They seemed to appreciate my time. Hopefully they will implement some of my ideas, which should show them on Google searches and make their website more informative and easily navigated.
- At the fancy 21 Restaurant, Stacie treated me to our final lunch (salads) in appreciation of my visiting her, after which we went back to my hotel where I checked out. From there we took a taxi to the Bacolod Airport. At lunch and on the way to the airport we had our usual pleasant, but this time, final visit, which included some observations, philosophy and religion. Stacie is a good egg!
- My Philippine Airline (PAL) flight to Manila from Bacolod was going to be late and they had no idea when the plane would show up or when the flight would leave. That was a concern. Big George, a security guard at the Bacolod Airport personally walked me through the steps of changing my flight to AirPhil Express (APE, a different airline), getting a new boarding pass, taking me out on the ramp to retrieve my big golf bag from the PAL luggage trailer and rechecking it with APE, getting a refund from PAL for my excess weight fee.
- When we finally arrived at Manila Terminal One, I had a little less than two hours, until my Hawaiian Airlines (HAL) flight departed, to retrieve my checked golf bag, find a van from terminal one to terminal three (about a 20-minutes) and then go through immigration, get a visa extension, find an ATM machine in the lobby for the P3,000 ($143) cash fine, go through security three times etc. The plane was boarding when I was still going through immigration. The HAL staff was extremely helpful in ushering me through all that needed to be done.

Tue 2/21 - I arrived home at 1:30 MST this morning, about 33 hours after getting up yesterday morning and tried to speed my jet lag recovery by getting as much sleep as possible. Due to the time switch my normal sleep time from the Philippines is from 7am until 4pm Phoenix time.
- Grocery shopping was on my list this afternoon (because my kitchen was pretty much bare) and spilled over into the evening so I did not make it to Gangplank. Mildred did not go shopping with me because someone else had unexpectedly taken her shopping earlier today.

Wed 2/22 - This morning I went to my PCP (Dr Dwivedi) about a possible piece of coral embedded under the skin of my right foot since Feb 8th. X-rays showed nothing so she recommended checking back in two weeks if it was still a problem. In the parking lot a lady opened her door into my van as I was pulling in, springing her door and scratching paint off the right of my front bumper. HER insurance company's preliminary investigation later indicated I was the cause of the accident, with which I disagree.
- This afternoon I sprayed and pulled a few weeds that had grown up the month while I was gone.

Thu 2/23 - I phoned the nationally syndicated Clark Howard Show and had a little fun with Clark, suggesting he consider the $100,000 Zafirro safety razor, since he is into making razors last a long time. I sunned a little around noon.
- This afternoon I had foot surgery by my dermatologist, Dr. Richard Averitte, to remove the possible piece of coral and associated lump embedded under the skin on the bottom of my right foot. I had gone to him for my semi-annual skin check. By doing the surgery now, it should be healed before I take off for
South Padre Island, Texas
in a few weeks. It probably was not too smart, but since my foot had little feeling, on the way home I went to the LA Fitness gym for a light full-body workout, to Hostess Outlet for bread, Walmart for stuff and Home Depot to buy mini blinds for the brow window in my master bedroom. I want to be able to darken the bedroom after my
Photoselective Vaporization of the Prostate
surgery Tuesday morning. I spent the rest of the evening relaxing and elevating my foot.

Fri 2/24 - I tried to take it easy and let my foot start healing. I did pay my property taxes online and shortened the mini blinds I bought from about 72 to 20 inches. Also I wired the DIP socket for my van's ammeter.

Sat 2/25 - Three things today in addition to taking it easy on my foot: Sewing, Martin Auto Museum and installing mini blinds.

Sun 2/26 - To
George and Cindy
younger brother who lives in Mesa and his wife
's for lunch. Had a nice visit with them and Kimmie's (daughter) family. George and I picked and juiced some grapefruit from his trees. My reward was a half gallon of grapefruit juice and a plastic bag of pulp. On the way home, stopped by a Jo-Ann Fabrics for three kinds of elastic.
- It appears to me that Citibank VISA is incompetent. They sent me a bill showing I still owed $6.88 that I had already paid and for which I had a receipt, plus about $1.50 late fee. When I phoned their representative, she explained that, although I had paid on time it did not post until late due to the weekend and a Monday holiday - and that they had already reversed the late fee and that I now owe nothing.

Mon 2/27 - I spent today mostly preparing for tomorrow's
Photo-selective Vaporization of the Prostate
surgery. It started at
John C Lincoln Hospital in Sunny Slope
at 7:00 am for the pre-op blood test, EKG and x-rays; then straightening things around my house and ended with a 4pm appointment with Dr Hurm, my urologist, for the day-before QA session. I told him Sunday evening I had experienced a slight sore throat. He looked at it and said I had mild pharyngitis and tomorrow's scheduled surgery was off due to possible complications with the anesthesiologist. I agreed, as I do not want to go into surgery without being as near as possible to 100%. I want my body to be able to recover without having to fight off an infection at the same time. We rescheduled the surgery for Thursday.

Tue 2/28 - It was nice to not have to get up at 4:30 this morning to go down to
John C Lincoln Hospital in Sunny Slope
for surgery this morning. I spent the day resting up, gargling with salt water and re-arranging my oral surgeon and dental appointments around the 10am Thursday
Photo-selective Vaporization of the Prostate
surgery date.
- I transfered the Dahlia rent and Witmann land payments from their respective savings accounts to my checking account.
- Sparks and Smoke: While hooking up the newly concoted ammeter for my van's
battery, the positive allegator clip of my 24" lead wire evidently hit the ground block of the shunt. I realized that when the wire's insulation burned off as the coper wire inside melted. The smoke was so dense that I could not see the battery or what had caused it. You know, I think I'll add a fuse to the circuit! I was not getting readings on the ammeter. After checking things, I found that my 7805 power regulator was bad. Fortunately I had another one to install, but it was a hassle. Now the ammeter gives me a reading, although it is erroneous. At least it is a step in the right direction.

Wed 2/29 - I phoned Dr Hurm, my urologist, that my pharyngitis was still bothering. He reset the surgery for Tuesday morning at 7:30. That means getting up at 4:30 to be at
John C Lincoln Hospital in Sunny Slope
by 5:30. Of course I had to, again, reschedule my oral surgeon and dental appointments around the new
Photo-selective Vaporization of the Prostate with a potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) laser
surgery time.
- This evening I drove down to Gangplank in Chandler, stopping by 24-Hour Fitness for a light full-body workout on the way and Bashas' for grapes on sale on the way home.

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