Category: Health and happiness

That's how far in kilometres that I have driven in my car. That's more than five and a half times around the world, or more than half way to the moon. Of course, that may sound pretty impressive, but it took around 12 years travelling time to accomplish such as amazing feat. At this rate, I should finally arrive on the moon in about 11 more years. That'll be interesting.

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The car I own is an Open Astra Station Wagon, and except for a few small scratches and a couple minor dents, it has held out pretty well. Perhaps I may look like an old geezer driving slowly on the highway in the right lane: honk, honk. But as long as it gets me safely in one piece to the golf courses and back, I will keep on going.

Finally got vaccinated for Covid. I received my first injection and at the beginning of July, I will receive my second and final injection. I barely felt the shot at all, not even near as bad as a bee sting. The day went along just fine until the evening. That is when I started getting the shakes, developed a high fever and felt like I had the flu. One day in bed and I was feeling better, but still weak. Now a couple days later, I am back to full strength again. Time to go out and shoot a stellar round on the golf course.

I finally get to have my shot in only two weeks, and I am very excited and relieved at the same time. Hopefully things will turn back to normal very soon.

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My many fans have indicated that I have failed to write a blog entry in quite some time, sorry about that. Therefore, I will pen a few sentences now in order to keep them happy for the time being. In the meanwhile I can ponder some more and think up something creative and entertaining for a future blog entry, whenever that may be.

I am now thinking up something creative, hope you will like it.

Slowly but surely it has become harder for me to hear what people are saying, especially in groups when everyone is talking at the same time. The Dutch language at which I have become fairly fluent at is becoming a bit of a nightmare for me trying to discern certain subtle differences between sounds common in that language. It can be stressful struggling to understand. One can ask "what did you say?" only a certain number of times before it gets irritating. Not understanding can cause you to make embarrassing mistakes and people complain about your poor communication skills, as if it is your fault.

Initial tests indicate that at higher frequencies my hearing becomes poorer. All letters consist of a range of frequencies from high to low, the distribution of which allows the human ear to distinguish which combination of characters a person is speaking. This is known as the acoustic property of consonants and vowels. Some letters have a larger ratio of higher to lower frequencies, and those are the ones that I especially have difficulty discerning.

Some letters are harder for me to distinguish, like between 'k' and 't' or 'sh' and 'f'. In Dutch for example, 'v' sounds very similar to 'w' and 'p' is nearly the same as 'b'. Which makes it only worse since a given word might take on a completely different meaning than that intended. This throws you off of the course of conversation and prevents you from active participation. Sometimes you can just throw in the towel and give up, but that is not good.

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Hearing drops sharply at higher frequencies.

Getting a good hearing aid is a viable option for me. At first I was in complete denial and refused to believe that it was my hearing. The others were mumbling, talking too softly or too quickly, speaking in the opposite direction so I could not hear them, or so I thought.

Next week I will go to the hospital and have a professional analysis done. We will discuss what the possibilities are for correcting this impediment and I will make the appropriate decision.

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This was a good month for sporting, on my journey to get my weight down below seventy kilograms. In total, ten times working out at the gym which on average is once every three days.

The trick is quite simple, actually.

Eat smaller portions, never take seconds, do not munch between meals, skip all desserts and go to bed early even if you are hungry.

If you are too hungry that you cannot fall asleep, then you may treat yourself to one piece of fruit, preferably an apple but if you are feeling desperate, a banana every once in awhile is acceptable.

In the beginning it is the most difficult to acclimate to your new eating regimen, and good old-fashioned mental discipline is a must.

After your meals you will still feel very hungry and have an irresistible urge for some dessert, but resist. One tip is to be patient, have a cup of coffee and wait thirty minutes. That is the usual time it takes for your hunger urges to settle down and eventually disappear.

This regiment has worked quite well for me, so far so good. I've lost around five kilograms in two months with only one and a half kilograms to go.

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You are entering the next zone, so adjust your velocity accordingly and watch out for the upcoming speed bumps. There's no stopping me now.

For the third day in a row the sun is blaring and the temperature is rising. One wonders who in their right mind would be crazy enough to go to the gym and work out during such a heat wave.

That's exactly what I did. I worked out for a couple hours and must have sweat ten liters or more. As if that was not enough, I took a long hot sauna letting the extreme heat soothe my mind and body.

Looks like I won't be playing in the club championship this weekend. This event happens to be the yearly highlight of my golfing life, so you can imagine how very disappointed I will be by not being allowed to defend my title. I have won the championship two years in a row and unless some miracle occurs the chance of a magical three in a row will dissolve into thin air.

So what in the heck went wrong? I decided to run my car through the car wash after filling up my tank at the gas station. When I returned home from the car wash I was in a pretty good and energetic mood. Diligently I crawled through the interior of my car ensuring that every crook and cranny was polished and spotless. Well you can imagine that certain spots behind the seats or under the dashboard are hard to get reach. Even for a limber and athletic body like mine.

Then all of a sudden my back froze up and I was floored by an excruciating pain. Some main nerve in my lower back was chaffed and exposed, screaming bloody murder from within the depths of my right buttocks. There was no way I was ever going to be able to get out of the car alive.

Fortunately my son Maarten came to the rescue and pulled me out. Getting from the car to the front door of the house took about ten minutes in slow motion, and then after that at least as much time to make it to the couch in the sitting. My wife Thea who is a gentle and loving nurse helped me upstairs. I felt really embarrassed screaming and crying like I was some weakling. Although it was hurting pretty bad, I figured that within a day I'd be pretty much back to normal.

Two days later I'm still in this stupid bed medicated and feeling pretty bored. I could become all angry and frustrated, but I have realized at this stage of my life that acceptance, hope and staying positive is what it's all about.

That's why I decided to compose this boring and complaining blog entry, which is also kind of funny and entertaining, don't you think? Now I feel much better, thanks.

This is pretty funny. Some website about knuckle cracking gets re-launched and I get honorable mention on the front page. Internet can be scary sometimes, and the past can come back and bite you if you are not careful

The blog entry referred to is one titled Crackedty-crack which I wrote way back in 2002 and amazingly collected a record number of reactions.

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Jointcrackers.com launched

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Be very thankful for what you have and who you are.

Live one day at a time.

It's going to be a fantastic year, cannot wait.

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It's back to the healthy life for me. Don't want to turn out to be a lazy blob of cytoplasm. Instead I choose to be an all around athlete and top golfer.

Now researchers are claiming that more than half the cases of cancer are purely bad luck and have absolutely nothing to do with eating habits, lifestyle or heredity.

The majority of poor folks have absolutely no way of influencing this unfortunate outcome of nature playing with dice. You will be unlucky and just get it or you'll dodge it and follow your fate as it was intended.

To be honest, it's hard to believe one way or the other as scientific research which provided fashionable results a decade ago are replaced by more modern techniques of applied research and statistical mumbo jumbo.

Live one day at a time and you will reach your end just as quickly, or slowly for the others. The roll of nature's dice will be fairly unpredictable so just get on with life and happiness or else.

Over a period of nearly six months, consisting of several visits to the family doctor, some X-rays followed by more tests and an MRI scan, the results are finally official.

When I arrived at the doctor's office, he smiled and asked me if I was nervous. I answered no, but I was a bit afraid that after so much research they hadn't found anything. That perhaps it was all in my mind.

Don't worry he said, we definitely found something. That's when I started to get nervous. In the back of my mind, I feared that my golfing career was over. I'd have to relearn the sport from a wheelchair, and it would be frustrating.

Turns out that the diagnosis is a so-called a bone bruise. Like a normal bruise to the skin which turns black and blue, but this takes place inside of the bone tissue.

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This is exactly what it looked like in the scan picture.

He showed me the pictures of the MRI scan, and indeed I could perceive quite clearly a whitish blob. Quite large I would say, as the pain was pretty much localized to a smaller almost pinpoint area. Unlike a normal skin bruise, this type of bruising is more painful and takes much longer to heal, up to six months or even a year. Excess fluid fills up within the bone tissue, and the body has to work extra hard drying to dissolve and remove this minor blood spill.

So I guess that's positive news. Just have to be patient and let nature take its normal course of healing slowly but surely. Now that it's winter, I do not need to play that much golf, maybe just hit balls on the driving range once in awhile and putt around. Trying to swing a club from a wheelchair would not have been easy.

This morning I had my appointment at Medinova Clinic which specializes in knee injuries in addition to a whole plethora of other sport-related problems.

They took several x-rays of my left knee: front, back, lying down, standing up, bent slightly. I wasn't that nervous until the female assistant asked me if I had been operated on before. Fortunately Marlies was there at my side and gave me comfort afterwards while we sat in the waiting room.

After nearly an hour, the orthopedic surgeon asked me into his office. He seemed like a nice guy and wanted to speak English to me (he thought I came from the UK). Turns out that there's 0.0% trace (nul comma nul) of any wear and tear. He showed me the x-rays and my bones looked perfectly sharp and smoothly formed, as if they had been created by a loving and perfect God only minutes before. What a relief.

He felt around my knee and made me move it around in various directions. Does this hurt? And this? How about if I do this? He was very quick and figured it out in no time. I think he had a very strong suspicion but was careful to give me the facts before there was proof.

Next step is to get an MRI scan done since the x-rays had not shown anything visible. It is more than likely an issue with the outside of my meniscus, some slight injury there which refuses to recover fully.

So what's the prognosis? The doctor couldn't say and needed more data from the scan. Probably arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus if possible. Something loose, a minute tear, who knows what.

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This is what Diclofenac looks like

For the time being, my daily dosage of Diclofenac will keep me going. It's a miracle drug which nearly kills off all pain completely.

Next week the MRI scan and the week after that the doctor's conclusion. Fortunately it's winter and freezing cold, so if I need to take a break from golf for a couple weeks it won't be such a sacrifice.

In a previous post I complained about knee problems. Since then it has only been getting worse and worse. Now I limp around like an old man, and the pain is becoming so unbearable that I am starting to have serious concerns.

Rather than walk up the stairs I have to climb up each step by lifting myself with my arms. Going down the stairs is even more difficult, only possible one small step at a time.

Tomorrow morning I will go to the doctor and let him have a look. Curious what he has to say. Hope I don't have to go to the hospital for an examination.

There are still three golf tournaments left this year that I would really like to play in. Not to mention the few times I'm invited to play with others. Out of precaution I bailed out of a fun tournament for this weekend.

Maybe I just need some rest, but it's difficult for me being weak and giving up. I'm worried that by not practicing enough my game will go down the tube. Putting and chipping shouldn't be a problem though.

Trust lies at the heart of a well-functioning and cohesive team. The members of the team should feel confident among each other that their peers' intentions are good. There is no reason to feel protective or careful around the group. Each and every teammate must feel comfortable being vulnerable and open to conflict.

The most important action the leader should take to encourage the building of trust within his team is to demonstrate first and foremost vulnerability himself through his own actions. This means that the leader will necessarily risk losing his own face in front of the team in order that the rest of the team will feel free to take similar risks themselves.

A true leader leads by example and creates an open and honest environment that fosters creativity and will never punish vulnerability.

See: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

In order to deal with stressful moments better so that you can remain focused on behaving effectively and doing what matters to you most, just follow these four simple steps:

  • Stop
  • Take a deep breath
  • Observe with an open and gentle attitude
  • Proceed positively

That guy sawing wood in the distance is really starting to get on my nerves again. It started this morning and he's still going at it strong.

We have this neighbor whose hobby believe it or not is sawing piles and piles of firewood. Rumor has it that the poor guy has some kind of addiction where he needs to pile up more and more wood and cannot stop.

His house is surrounded by piles of neatly stacked blocks of wood, five feet high around the perimeter of his property. Instead of getting overly irritated by him, I guess I should feel sorry for him.

Could be worse, if he was my next door neighbor I would have become completely insane by now. Wonder how those folks next to him are able to deal with that continuous sawing.

At long last the shortest day (longest night) of the year has come and gone. Exactly six months ago I was so thrilled withe the longest day of the year. Seems like only yesterday. The planet is now situated on exactly the other side of the sun. The cycle continues no matter what, planetary orbits constrained by the laws of nature and mathematical formulas defined by physics. From now on it's downhill all the way. Something to look forward to again, the other side of the sun.

They say that running is good for the body and the mind, and I can attest to such a claim that at least in my case it is very true. For me it's not only about getting outside and putting in the distance as is, but pushing myself and forcing a slightly higher tempo than a causal jog. The first half kilometer is fast, and I sprint out the last couple hundred meters so that when I make it back home I am huffing and puffing and sweating profusely. Even when the weather is cold and windy, or the rain is pouring down and I have to dash through puddles and mud, I keep up the usual pace. As in work and as in play I like the challenges, achieving goals and doing my best. Not that I have to be a perfectionist and beat some personal records, though in my younger years I tended to push myself past all limits of reasonableness. My wife is worried that if I'm not more careful I might get a heart attack. Not if I can help it. She thinks I take things way too seriously, including sports. I'm rarely satisfied with my golf scores, and I finish my runs thinking it was okay rather than it was a great time. There is an element of winning in all we do, but it is not the most important goal. Achieving the finish line no matter what, if things go well or not, that's what it's all about. Even failing completely but still finishing is a noble achievement, a much more valuable experience in the lessons of life. Nine out of ten times one is unable to achieve exactly what was planned for, and it is this single time that does that makes it worthwhile.

Last week I ran my jogging route seven times in a row from Monday through Sunday. That's a total distance of 7.7 x 7 = 53.6 kilometers (32.2 miles) in one week. I am feeling pretty healthy and only slightly sore which is good for the mind.

This whole thing about the so-called higher power is really fantastic, that is as long as everything is going well. What a great idea! Why didn't I think about it earlier?

And then life takes a nasty turn. When things go sour and life becomes more frustrating, that's when the concept of the higher power suddenly becomes much less appealing. Oops.

Hey wait a minute, this wasn't part of the deal. Trusting completely in the higher power is supposed to solve all my problems, not to block my path with all kinds of new and unexpected obstacles. Must be a dream, but it is not.

Come to think of it, it could be a new challenge, yes it must be some kind of test. With a snap of the finger, I could easily forsake my faith in the higher power. Try and take control all over again. Fight things and force my way, in order to win.

Life is not about winning any more. Just remain positive and let it happen the way it was always meant to happen.

Some other time we will hopefully figure it out, but not now. Even if in the end we do not figure it out, that should not matter.

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This is my companion during those cold winter evenings. The white light soothes me and puts all kinds of creative and relaxing thoughts in my mind. It feels good being healthy, or at least thinking that I am being healthy. Normally it's the responsibility of the sun to energize me, but this miracle of modern technology is a good enough substitute for the time being. In the meantime, I anticipate the coming of Spring and hope it finally arrives soon. It's been taking long enough.

By five o'clock I was ready to call it a day and go back home. It had been a busy yet fulfilling week, and the last five days had gone by quite quickly and with minimal effort. There were only two other people left in my department, and I waved goodbye to them through the glass as I walked by on my way to the elevator.

Once downstairs I passed through the turnstiles and braced myself for the gust of cold wind that would blow across my face when the sliding glass doors slid open. The guy at the reception was busy reading the paper and didn't notice me walk by. The doors opened with a swishing sound, and indeed the outside world greeted and engulfed me with a gentle cold embrace. I closed my eyes, took in a deep breath and felt invigorated, recharged, born anew. The hidden energies of the outside world were filling me with a sense of well-being and a feeling of anticipation. That path ahead of me was there and I would be following it once again.

This time when I drove back home, I decided not to turn on the radio. I preferred to experience the next hour in complete silence, enclosed in the metal womb of the car, thinking about this and that. I let go of the recent experiences of the past and focused on what my body was doing at that moment. My heartbeat, my lungs filling and emptying, my fingers grasping the steering wheel, my elbows falling at my side. Living in the now as they call it but losing myself at the same time. Before I realized it, I was proceeding up the driveway of the house. I was a time-traveler and had passed through a wormhole, disappearing in the fabric of the universe and then reappearing again. The curtain was slightly open and I could see some human activity through the slit, our dog sleeping on the couch and my wife reading a book.

Being nowhere and everywhere at the same time is a peaceful feeling. Especially when you find yourself exactly at that intersection point where the body and mind come together for a split second, right before they fly apart again.

Since I officially work thirty-six hours a week, every two weeks I get a day off, the so-called ADV day which is short for Arbeidsduurverkorting.

This morning at nine-thirty I had my first appointment with the haptonomist. I already had my speech prepared. After I introduced myself and sat down, I told her that my mind and body had gotten out of sync resulting in a number of physical problems, namely stiffness, tenseness, a sore back and a lack of energy.

She stared back at me for almost a minute without saying anything. I thought that she was going to tell me to go see a shrink, but instead she asked me what kind of work I had and how many hours a week I am in the office. Officially thirty-six hours a week according to my contract, but actually more like fifty hours a week it turned out when we added up all the times through the week.

She asked me a number of additional questions and after thinking a bit and bobbing her head side to side, she came up with a simple exercise that I could perform while sitting in my chair.

Basically, the idea is to get more in touch with your body, which is the receptacle in which your mind resides. Starting with your right foot, you feel it touching the ground, your five toes reaching into the earth's soul with deep roots, then you feel your leg, thigh, hands and fingers, shoulders, back across to the other shoulder (skipping the head), down the left arm to the hand and fingers, thigh, left leg and foot, back down into the earth's soul with deep roots, and then back around again to the roots going up to the right foot, until the circuit is complete.

After practising this with her, it became easier as my body learned to feel the flow. I especially liked the part where all unhealthy feelings and negative thoughts get flushed down the roots way down deep into the Earth, replenished by the sunlight and fresh air around me. Kind of like a plant but backwards.

I can do this at work, while sitting behind my desk, at the table during a meeting, or in another quiet room with a nice view of Rembrandt's Park and the blue sky. I will give it a good try for the next two weeks and see if it helps.

What is Haptonomy?

Boy, was my back killing me last night. I am not quite sure what happened, but starting around one o'clock I spent several sleepless hours in excruciating pain, rolling around, getting in and out of bed, and moaning a lot.

No matter which position I tried, nothing helped to relief that pain in my lower back. Curled on my side, lying flat on my back, turning around on my belly, bending my arms and legs every which way, contorting myself.

Fortunately my wife who is a nurse went to her secret stash, pulled out one of her magical pills, and handed it to me with a glass of water in her other hand. Such a tiny pink pill couldn't possibly help, but I gulped it down anyway.

Within ten minutes I could feel it working, as the pain slowly but surely began to subside. It was like this localized cloud of negative energy was dissipating into thin air. I drifted into a deep sleep, and when I woke up again I couldn't believe how much better I felt.

I've been told that it has a lot to do with stress, but I do not think that that can be the reason. Lately, life has been treating me well, and though my work is busy it is challenging in a fun and exciting way. Hopefully within a couple days I will be back to normal, at least physically that is.

I figured out that there are three reasons why we die:

  • We have to make room for the younger generation, so that they can take over, and try and clean up the mess that we left behind.
  • We have to call it a day, atone for all our mistakes and come back later in order to keep improving ourselves.
  • We have to make haste because there is an inevitable end coming soon, meaning that we are challenged to do as much as possible before it's too late.

Actually, when I think about it more closely, there's one more good reason, namely:

  • We have to be thankful and appreciate as much as possible during the finite time that we can live in this wonderful paradise.

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Information

This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2432 entries and as many as 1877 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

My mother passed away 3-27-2018 ago.

Started Gishtech 04-25-2016 ago.