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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SEEYOURIMPACT.COM

I have repeated many times in this Blog: when a program comes along that gives all or most $$ contributions to the RECIPIENT - instead of to "OVERHEAD", I will step up and support that "Cause".

Apollo Ohno recently interviewed with CNN on what Apollo said was ..."the future of philanthropy. People want to see how their money will affect families." Apollo was speaking about "SeeYourImpact.org".

I mulled over Apollo's comments for a few days and remembering my promise, I contacted SeeYourImpact.org.


I spoke with Shari Goetsch, Marketing Manager. She gave me a overview of SeeYourImpact.org and invited me to their Seattle offices. In the past few days, I have twice visited Shari in her offices in the Vance Building. Shari and her Husband, Josh, drove all the way to Bellingham a week ago, spending the better part of one day sharing SeeYourImpact.org as an organization and how SeniorsWalkingAcrossAmerica.blogspot.com might participate in their World-Wide programs.



Naturally, Shari and Josh both took SAM for a drive around Bellingham...to rave reviews.



A couple days ago, Shari created for "Seniors..", our "Fundraising Page". It is entitled:

http://seeyourimpact.org/support/sam-and-me/.


I took the opportunity to make an initial contribution, which you can see by clicking on the link.



I am not at all certain I can fully justify what seeyourimpact.org is or does, but I will try...



The Home Page of SeeYourImpact.org gives in-depth information about the origins, Founding Board of Directors, and a complete listing of over 70 World-Wide programs receiving support.



First and foremost, as emphasized by Ohno during his CNN interview, EVERY CENT CONTRIBUTED TO SeeYourImpact.org. GOES DIRECTLY TO THE RECIPIENT/PROGRAM OF THE DONER'S CHOICE.


Not one single penny is diverted to "overhead".


I agreed that this is a program that "Seniors.." can and will support.


The details of how $$ donations should be made are still to be worked out. I envision commitments based upon the miles SAM & ME walk. Minimum donation to SeeYourImpact.org (SYI.org) is $5.00. On a time-phase basis to be decided upon, our donations would be made available to SYI.org for our choice of the many programs offered. Within two weeks we will receive a reply from the recipient(s), together with photographs and details of how our $$ donation was used.


If desired, a single individual may make a contribution in the name of "Seniors.." for his/her favorite project. Alternatively, We propose to set up a "receiver" for $$ contributions which would then be given over to SYI.org to be used as we select (from the available SYI.org projects).


This project would be incorporated as a regular Blog Page for "Seniors.."


As you all already know, I am a novice at this technical computer stuff. I welcome all the help/suggestions I can get. Be assured, my ONLY interest is to help others in the most effective way.


Needless to say, "Seniors.." will NOT receive any remuneration. Our interest, SAM & ME, is to Walk and Roll. If by so doing, we can bring help to others, we are already amply rewarded.


We trust you will consider SYI.org. It seems to be a worthy and deserving organization dedicated to helping others in need.


Further details will be shared in the very near future.


If you wish to join "Seniors.." or just get further information, please click on SeeYourImpact.org. Your few minutes invested will be appreciated.

Astronomy photograph

Check out this awesome SuperCell photograph on the Astronomy Picture of the Day blog!



You may also want to open my Blog WAMSUTTER - RAWLINS. Crossing the Continental Divide, I was overwhelmed by a number of such Storm Cells. I have included a photograph of one Storm Cell forming. It later developed into a VERY LARGE cell (don't know if it was a SuperCell as it was after dark when it slammed into me), but I was very uncomfortable with extreme winds, washtubs of rain, and incessant lightning - followed by the most beautiful after-dark rainbows...not to mention 18-wheelers flashing by only 18 inches from my right shoulder.



Was a Night To Remember.

With the help of Shari, I am attempting to "LINK" this Blog to Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Please bear with me...I think you will find it worth while.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A GLIMPSE OF SEATTLE

SAM & ME WALKING TO GET THE VAN FOR MY DRIVE TO SEATTLE, PASSED THIS PEDESTRIAN / AUTO ACCIDENT ON LAKEWAY IN BELLINGHAM...NASTY !!!
REMINDED ME OF WALKING WITH SAM OVER MOUNT HOOD, OREGON..I-5 ALSO HAD TERRIFIC CROSS-WIND TODAY. VERY EXCITING DRIVING, TAKING PICS, AND SLURPING FINGER FULLS OF PEANUT BUTTER...NOT TO MENTION USING THE COMPUTER...FOR SHAME !

ON INTERSTATE 5 IT WAS RAINING CATS AND DOGS


THIS WAS A MOST DIFFICULT "SHOT". I WAS IN HEAVY TRAFFIC IN THE CENTER LANE DRIVING PAST THE SPACE NEEDLE AND COULD NOT RESIST RESTING MY CAMERA ON THE STEERING WHEEL POINTING ALMOST STRAIGHT UP...MONORAIL TRACK IS IN LOWER FOREGROUND. HAD WORSE SHOTS USING A TRIPOD. IN 1962 WHEN THE NEEDLE WAS BUILT FOR SEATTLE'S WORLD FAIR, I LIVED ON QUEEN ANNE HILL WITH A VIEW INTO THE WINDOWS OF THE REVOLVING RESTAURANT. THE SPACE NEEDLE IS 600 FEET HIGH...THAT IS TWO FOOTBALL FIELDS END TO END



PIKE PLACE MARKET BRICK PARKING...IN 1939 'TIL 1945, US KIDS WERE LEFT IN THE MODEL "T" PICKUP WHILE MOTHER AND DAD SHOPPED. THE LOCAL COP LOITERED AROUND US "BABY SITTING"..I REMEMBER THOSE MOMENTS QUITE CLEARLY




HATS ARE ALSO SOLD AT PIKE PLACE MARKET


ANOTHER SEAFOOD VIEW IN PIKE PLACE MARKET


PIKE PLACE SEAFOOD...TAKEN FROM THE SALISH SEA (PUGET SOUND)...THOSE ARE DUNGENESS CRABS...REALLY HUGE ONES


DISPLAY OF PIKE PLACE "FLYING SALMON"


SEATTLE'S FAMOUS PIKE PLACE MARKET...JUST OFF SKID ROAD (FIRST AVENUE)


CONTAINER CRANES LINING SEATTLE'S WATERFRONT. I HAD A HAND IN BUILDING (WAS CONTRACTS MANAGER) THE FIRST SEVEN SUCH CRANES IN SEATTLE...WAY BACK IN 1960s.


THIS IS THE "VIEW" SHARI HAS FROM HER OFFICE


RATHER IMPRESSIVE SEATTLE ARCHITECTURE


SEATTLE'S FIRST AVENUE. THIS STREET WAS THE "ORIGINAL" SKID ROAD" (SKID ROW). SEATTLE IS BUILT ON SEVEN HILLS (JUST LIKE ROME). THE TOPS OF THE HILLS WERE LOPPED OFF AND FILLED IN THE SHALLOW BAY WHERE THE MARINERS AND SEAHAWKS STADIUMS NOW STAND. FIRST AVENUE WAS INITALLY VERY STEEP. TALL TIMBER WAS CUT FROM THE HILL SIDES AND "SKIDDED" TO THE WATERS OF ELLIOTT BAY DOWN THE SLOPE WHICH IS NOW FIRST AVENUE...I.E., "SKID ROAD".


SEATTLE'S SMITH TOWER ON 2ND AVENUE NEAR PIONEER SQUARE. FOR MANY YEARS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER WORLD WAR II, THE SMITH TOWER WAS THE TALLEST BUILDING "WEST" OF THE MISSISSIPPI


Today was our appointment with Shari, Marketing Director for SeeYourImpact.org in Seattle.

Shari set up a page for us, wherein we (all of us) can select programs and make donations. Her effort will be the subject of a follow-on Blog. For now, I wish to share some pics I took while driving to Seattle, driving in Seattle, and driving home from Seattle.
I know, I know...but not half as dangerous as folks chatting or texting while driving...

Not a few passing drivers looked a bit askance as I took pics as they went by...well, perhaps they should keep their eyes on the road...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

SAM TAKES A HIKE

NORTH SHORE DRIVE HAS NO BERM...VERY DANGEROUS TO WALK & ROLL
TWO HORSES IN BLANKETS

TWO DEER WATCHING SAM & ME


WHATCOM CREEK...A FEW YEARS AGO, A GAS LINE RUPTURED FILLING THIS CREEK WITH FUEL WHICH CAUGHT FIRE...TWO TEENAGERS WERE BURNED TO DEATH JUST ABOVE THE BRIDGE AT TOP OF THIS PIC.



SAM ON AN OVERCAST DAY


Today was one of those days...a bit of everything.


SAM & ME started out without charging any of the batteries...wanted to test the Solar Panels under heavy overcast rainy skys. GREEN battery pack had 38.3 volts at the start and was used for the entire walk. RED had 35.7 Volts and was charged by both Solar Panels for 4.5 hours.


Heavy overcast started us out. Then it turned COLD and we were hit by HAIL and a bit of drizzle. Then the Sun came out the final 20 minutes of today's walk.


SAM & ME Walked and Rolled 4.5 hours, covering 16 + miles on a number of rather steep hills on country roads outside Bellingham.


At the conclusion, GREEN battery pack checked in at 35.5 Volts (throttle lights showed YELLOW caution climbing hills and the controller shut the motor down completely two times due to low voltage. By pushing to assist the battery up the final hills, GREEN pack get us home.


At the conclusion, RED battery pack checked in at 38.8 Volts. The Solar Panels charged the three RED pack batteries a total of 3 Volts in 4.5 hours under very cloudy/rainy/hail skys.

38.8 Volts will power the Hub Motor about 5 hours on the flat...about 3 hours on hills.


To ME, these readings are marginal at best. Remember, both RED and GREEN packs have powered SAM since March and travelled the better part of our walk to Oklahoma City.


It may be necessary to change out SAMs batteries (all 6) before we resume our walk.


Also, SAM's rear wheels seem to be struggling a bit. The axles have no Bearings. They are Bushed. I will check them in free-wheel. I expect that they will require lubrication. I have NOT lubricated them at all since last March...a BIG oversight on my part.


Well, I have never built such a machine before. I quickly admit I have much to learn.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

GETTING INTO SHAPE

Thanksgiving Day it snowed until mid afternoon. By yesterday morning, overnight wind and rain removed nearly all traces of snow. On-again off-again drizzles have been with us since.

Today, Saturday, was a mild - mid 40s - sunny day with scattered clouds and NO wind. The perfect day to begin again with SAM on our daily walks.

We walked this morning for 9 miles...and this afternoon another 5 miles. Had no idea how out of shape I have become...and in so short a time.

SAM had to have one battery - in her 12 amp hour RED set - changed out. Last Winter She had a massive fire which destroyed ALL her wiring and two of her three batteries. Now the third battery, which was also badly burned in the fire, does not hold a charge. So, yesterday She received a new 12 volt 12 ah battery. (SAM carries a fire extinguisher - She is rather sophisticated).

I foolishly did not fully charge the new battery before SAM & ME walked this morning. The RED battery pack drove Her Hub Motor for 2.5 hours just fine, but the low voltage light kept coming on while climbing hills. Her "controller" automatically shuts down the electrical system in Low-Voltage conditions to protect Her Hub Motor from burning out. (As I said, SAM is quite sophisticated).

SAM has an accelerator...just like a car. To climb hills, the accelerator must be "floored" or nearly so. Flooring is accomplished by turning up the thumb switch I built for Her electrical control system. Flooring the thumb switch quickly drains the battery pack...just like a car engine slurps up gas when floored.

SAM receives 7 - 8 hours of normal running time. Up hills, this is reduced by half; i.e., to about 4 hours running time.

RED battery pack will receive a full charge tomorrow...then we shall tackle some hills and see how it performs.

Today was the first real test of SAM since She received the upgrades of the past couple weeks. SAM is stronger, easier to steer, and quieter.

Our next major test will be fully loaded - as She will be when We finally once again head for Key West -. She will weigh in at about 175 pounds. Next week I plan to drive her to the Peace Arch and back to Bellingham. It is 30 miles one way, so it will also be an overnight camp-out experience.

It will be bitter cold as the Peace Arch is only a hundred yards or so from Salt Water (The Salish Sea) where Canada's Straits Of Georgia end their uninterrupted and unprotected 150 mile run from Queen Charlotte Sound near Alaska . I will ask the Port Authority for permission to set up our tent on Blaine Marina property to get a bit of protection.

It looks more and more that SAM & ME will set our departure date from the Peace Arch for Christmas Day. We could leave sooner, but two "functions" have been scheduled which I would like to attend.

I have been "mentally" beat upon the past few days for some of my recent Blog comments. I have, therefore, decided to try mightily to keep this Blog strictly business; i.e. about SAM & ME and our walk. If I slip up and sneak in a controversial comment or two, I apologize here now in advance. So, please grant this Senior Citizen a little wiggle room on that score.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SAM & ME ROUTE TO KEY WEST - November 2010

WE have selected OUR new route to Key West from the Peace Arch, Blaine, Washington. It is 4,350 miles. SAM & ME Walked and Rolled 2,400 + miles last Summer.

We will depart as soon as the weather allows. We will Walk and Roll through the Olympic Rain Forest; down the Washington-Oregon-California Pacific Coast Highway to NAPA, CALIFORNIA; South to BAKERSFIELD, CALIFORNIA; across the MOJAVE DESERT to PHOENIX, ARIZONA; then across New Mexico-Texas-Louisiana-Mississippi-Alabama-and finally, Florida.

This Route should keep us out of the severest Winter cold & snow. By the time we reach high country in Arizona / New Mexico, Spring should be upon us.

The Google Map gives OUR primary City routing.

As SAM & ME discovered on our walk to OKLAHOMA CITY last Summer, specific routing may be modified to accommodate local restrictions / obstructions.

SAM & I will go alone. No support vehicles this time.

We welcome en route visitors.

We will take our time...20 + / - miles a day will be just fine.

We will make our primary objective to report daily walks in-depth, including many more pics and perhaps video.



RATS...



Have been unable to figure how to upload the Google Map of our route...will have to wait a bit til I get it figured out.



Just received Robert's (from BRUNEAU, IDAHO) "comment"...and I don't know how to reply to it...gee, I have so much to learn - perhaps on Facebook ??? -...so will say Hi, Robert here. You bet I remember our ride...was surprised you didn't fish longer. Did some hefty long distance walking at that time and your lift was very welcome...The day the dogs attacked me...and yes, I have covered some ground since that day. Came home to Bellingham for the Winter, but cannot stop itchy feet, so SAM & ME are about to start over again...we will bypass Idaho this time tho...sorry. Hope all is well with you. Thanks for your Comment, Robert.



Today is Thanksgiving Day. Have an evening invitation for dinner at friend's home who lives atop a very steep hill...and this morning it is snowing again in Bellingham. Today is also the day Christmas Cookies are made. As a child, us kids always helped , separating yolks from whites, mixing the batter, filling the cookie sheets, and watching they didn't burn - and got to lick the bowls. No more, tho...kitchen is off-limits, so am denied the pleasure of helping make cookies. So is life these days.



There are so very many things I am not allowed to help with...wonder why that is ! It has become "poison" for me to even offer to help. Is it me, or is it a Gender thing that excludes pleasurable things like... "helping"...doing things together. I'm not complaining, mind you, but considerable togetherness is lost by such exclusions. Kinda like in the Sailing Ships of old...when a wedge is driven between the Quarterdeck and Forecastle - to psychologically divide Crew from Officers. For me, a relationship is like a ship...it takes "all" performing TOGETHER to safely reach destinations. There can be only one Captain, but NO ONE is excluded.



Later this morning, I plan to go to my offices (which I have been allowed to keep for the time being) where SAM is living. I have done many upgrades to SAM the past few weeks. I will take pics of Her changes and upload them. Wonder if I could add a baking oven to SAM's single-burner Butane Stove?...bet REI has one.



Have re-initiated the Mini-Notebook with Verizon, so should be able to send out Posts from the road.



Lived in the Pacific Northwest a long time and have NEVER seen such deep Cold and lingering snow on the ground this early in the year. As said in many places..."..if you don't like the weather, stick around a couple minutes...", but this is ridiculous for Bellingham.

Sinuses are acting up in a head-splitting way. Just gotta get back on the road...strenuous exercise is the only relief from Sinus congestion I have found since Teenage days when it first started.



Happy Thanksgiving...stay safe, all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BELLINGHAM IS COLD


Yesterday, I ventured out to drive to Seattle to meet with Shari to set up our program for handling "donations". I got as far as BURLINGTON, Washington COSTCO Gas Station (least expensive gas in the Region) when it started to snow.


All the roads - Interstate 5 included - are covered in compact ice and snow, making driving difficult. With this new snow covering and hiding the icy spots, it has become a driving nightmare. So, I decided to turn around and return home to Bellingham.


Following news reports, it was a very good thing I did NOT drive on to Seattle. I would most likely still be down there trapped in traffic and accidents.


Just for fun, I added the above pic of temperature in our protected Patio (without any Wind; i.e., no wind chill thrown in). Imagine what the wind chill is when the 65 mph winds blew thru Bellingham last night... BRRrrrrr.
Channel 4 Forecaster says temperatures will NOT rise for another 36 hours, making it nearly 100 hours of under freezing...and that is in Seattle...Bellingham is MUCH colder than Seattle.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

BELLINGHAM & ENVIRONS SNOWY DAY

NOW WHO IN THE DICKENS IS THIS ??
EAGLE RIDGE COMMUNITY - "HOME"

EAGLE RIDGE COMMUNITY - "HOME"

EAGLE RIDGE COMMUNITY - "HOME"


BELLINGHAM BAY HISTORICAL MARKET

BELLINGHAM'S LAKE WHATCOM - Silver Lake Residential District

BELLINGHAM'S LAKE WHATCOM

ALABANA HILL VIEW OF DOWNTOWN BELLINGHAM - LUMMI ISLAND Behind


BELLINGHAM'S ALABANA STREET HILL


STAIRWAY TO BELLINGHAM BAY WATERFRONT FROM BELLINGHAM/FAIRHAVEN ROAD.

UNITED STATES COAST GUARD, BELLINGHAM (Canadian Geese Standing Guard)


RESIDENT CANADIAN HONKERS


BELLINGHAM'S SQUALICUM MARINA - Gate 9


BELLINGHAM'S SQUALICUM MARINA


YACHTS ANCHORED OFF SHORE FROM BELLINGHAM / FAIRHAVEN DRIVE


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - A Scenic Drive From Bellingham South to Skagit Valley


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - Some Folks Walk Up Chuckanut Mountain


ENTERING CHUCKANUT DRIVE FROM BELLINGHAN / FAIRHAVEN


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - Whatta-View Home Nestled Into Chuckanut Mountain Slopes

CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY - LUMMI ISLAND & ORCAS ISLAND Beyond

CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY

CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY COMMUNITY - Breathtaking Views


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY

CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY (About 3 Miles South of Bellingham)

CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY - LOOKING NORTH TO CANADA

CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY (LUMMI ISLAND in background)

CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY



CHUCKANUT DRIVE - CHUCKANUT BAY - LOOKING SOUTHWEST to San Juan Islands
CHUCKANUT DRIVE


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS

CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - LOOKING NORTH TOWARDS CANADA


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS (Canada in Background)


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - SAN JUAN ISLANDS


ONE-WAY ROAD (over planked bridges) TO OYSTER FARM


STREAM UNDER CHUCKANUT DRIVE - OYSTER BAY BRIDGE


CHUCKANUT DRIVE - OYSTER BAY BRIDGE


OYSTER FARM BREAKWATER AND LIGHTHOUSE - San Juan Islands in Background


OYSTER FARM SEAGULLS...WAITING FOR A HANDOUT


OYSTERS GROWING ON A TUBE IN A TANK

OYSTER BAY FARM

ME UNDER THE HAT

ME WITH NO HAT...See JON, REALLY DOESN'T HELP


CHUCKANUT DRIVE / SKAGIT VALLEY DRIVE WATERWAY


AND SO, WE LEAVE CHUCKNUT DRIVE, ENTERING SKAGIT VALLEY


SKAGIT VALLEY - CHUCKANUT DRIVE WATERWAY


JON ( JAN) FEDUCK and ME


MEGAN LITERALLY MATERIALIZED FROM BEHIND A TREE..."My Oh My" (to steal a quote)

ME was so pleased with the early morning Bellingham snow pics, decided to take a drive around B'Ham and Chuckanut Bay Drive...for the sole purpose of capturing stunning pics.

Am particularly pleased to meet up with Jon (Jan) Feduck, a Freelance Journalist from Canada, who has twice walked across Spain., and her friend (Daughter), Megan. (Jan also walked the Base Camp of Mount Everest). One meets the most interesting and exciting folks...and just by walking here and there.

Leaving Bellingham, SAM & ME will be walking CHUCKANUT DRIVE into the Skagit Valley...then on to Whidby Island and beyond.

A word about Bellingham, Washington. I have lived in many places on this Planet. I have also visited uncounted places (just for fun, one day I will list them)...and I can honestly attest that I find Bellingham, Washington to be at or near the top of my list of desirable places to live and visit.
POST UPDATE (Monday, November 22): Having received e-mail this morning, I must apologize for erroneously identifying Jon and Megan. Jon is spelled "Jan". Megan is Jan's Daughter (and possibly her very special friend, too).