Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day From Oceanside, CA

I'm thinking of Saint Patrick's Day today, and reminiscing a bit about grammar school when we kids considered it a big deal to wear a green, plastic derby, along with an 'Erin Go Bragh' button. I've never been to Ireland but would like to visit after retirement or before death, whichever comes first. I've been too lazy this year to prepare the corned beef and cabbage-perhaps a day late-tomorrow ...(Sunday). Other things going on today in the house. I was trying to move a Laz-E-Boy recliner from the garage to the living room-without shoes-and I got my right, big toenail squished under the spring of the chair at its base. I soaked the bleeding nail for a few hours in ice and the nail is torn completely off at the base. Ouch. I'll leave it on while it heals from underneath. It's raining outside so I'm glad no swimming required today. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Friday, March 16, 2012

333 Pacific Restaurant Name Correction

I did not bring a camera today because I had no intention of swimming after my epidural yesterday.  However, the day was very nice and we are expecting rain for the weekend.  Rain means dirty water.  I drove to the beach and thought about it.  I was hurting at work but the buoyant force of the weight of the water on the body has a big effect on mitigating pain for me.
I did a funny thing.  To go easy today, I put on a wet suit, a warm head cap, and fins.  My plan was to lie on my back and do a slow, relaxed kick around the pier to check out the function of my lumbar area.
I was concerned that I was going to mess with the mental shell that I have acquired to protect me from "feeling" the cold water by wearing the wet suit.  I might not be able to readjust my mental attitude after spoiling my body for a day.  I got in on the north side. The surf zone was fairly rough, with lots of 2-3 foot pounding, white water waves.  I was going easy, feeling it out, and didn't utilize my aggressive 'get the heck in and start moving' approach.
After about 8 minutes of relaxed kicking out and thinking that I was jinxing myself by wearing the wet suit, I mellowed out and decided that I'd be able to get back in my bathing suit next time. 
The sky was blue, with wispy streaks of light, white clouds of no particular shape.  I saw one string of sixteen pelicans cruising over the sand north of the pier-just taking in the view, I suppose.  I'd like to be able to get in formation with them and enjoy that view: ride on the blowing winds and throw in some swift wing flapping as needed.
As for currents, the inside north current was a mild northerly pull.  About half-way out the current stopped.  I briefly stopped off the end of the pier and there was a very mild southerly, slow current.  Interestingly, half-way in, the current increased to a mild southerly direction.  In the surf zone the southerly pull was a bit stronger.
As for waves and chop, there was a one-foot chop out there, with incoming one-to-two foot small waves during the farther out half of the pier.  I was trying to count the wave/swell intervals.  Half-way out-6 second, small waves inward.  Before the surf zone, these lttle waves consolidated and built into a 2-4 foot swell and a rough, 2-4 foot breaking wave of occasional good shape.  This wave interval was about fifteen to twenty seconds.  I got dumped on my shoulder on the sand and bumped my head in one of the bigger waves-thank goodness it was not the neck.  The swim was very nice and my back held up well.  I feel like I got some gentle exercise and range-of-motion physical therapy for it. 

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Epidural Injections Today for this Swimmer

Maybe no swims for a couple of days.  I got these steroid/lidocaine epidural injections at the VA Hospital in La Jolla this afternoon.  So far, my pain is greatly decreased, but I hear that I'll know in a few days if they help for 2-3 months.  As for right now, I wish someone had thought to give the shots to me years ago-and also in my neck.

Well, I might as well tell you my secret, sagacious sentence of advice from my long-ago Teacher.
We all have heard of the pervert Catholic priests that have run rampant with their sexual predation over the decades-and probably centuries-with the silent blessing & approval of the hierarchy of the Catholic church.  My old Teacher was not a priest, but a member of the Christian Brothers.  The Christian Brothers are a good group of men who are not perverts and have taken vows of poverty and communal living, and they serve as teachers and missionaries.  My experiences with them was back on the East Coast.  This Teacher, the late Brother James Curran, of the Bronx, taught me Spanish in high school. He was also a source of humor, exemplary behavior, and a fine Teacher.

The advice from him to me: "Don't take the easy way out."  Simple as that.  When He told me that, I was a senior and, of course, I DID take the "easy way out."  And I regretted it and let him down.  I still regret it now.  I try not to "take the easy way out" but can't always meet his standard. 
This truism has come back to me again and again over the years and I find that it applies to one's daily life in a myriad of ways.  Example: Cheat on your homework-you're only cheating yourself. Example:  Don't finish your own tasks at work and leave them for your co-worker.  Easy way out.  The co-worker suffers.  You can go on and on with examples from your own lives.  I don't think that I'll add it as a tag line at the bottom of my blog posts, but feel free to use it.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Considering a La Jolla Shores to La Jolla Cove Swim

I'd like some commentary on this one.  A friend and I are considering doing the swim from the La Jolla Shores Beach to the Cove and possibly a round trip to the Shores.
I have a kayak and my tentative plan is for us two to take turns paddling and swimming for safety.  Once several years ago I swam from the Shores almost to the Cove-but I got hung up in all the kelp out there and turned around and went back.  Other than that it was a nice swim.  A military helicopter even dropped down low above me to check if I was okay.
Opinions , suggestions, thoughts anyone?

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Surf Report Oceanside, CA

I just checked my favorite beach web site:  to get a view of the beach conditions.  It looks the same as yesterday when I didn't have a camera with me.  I can't swim today because I have to go to a doctor and, hopefully, get some injections around some of my vertebrae where the nerves are pinched and messed up. 
Word of advice to the still-young and adventurous adrenaline junkie: avoid rodeo & avoid diving and falling onto your head as a child and chronological (but not sensible) adult.  Those injuries come back to haunt you.
But, as always:   "The first time you quit is the last time you try."

I have another line of ageless wisdom that I have been thinking about introducing here on this blog.  I cannot claim to have followed this advice throughout my life-just as I cannot claim always to have followed my daily closing line regarding "trying."  Regardless of my shortcomings in the area of "giving up" or "quitting" on something in life, my daily saying on this blog has helped to get me to drag my toasty warm butt into the cold water at times when I would rather have stayed on the Laz-E-Boy recliner.  Stay tuned for my upcoming sentence of advice passed on to me by a former high school Teacher (Teacher intentionally capitalized because He was a special man).  Maybe I'll reflect and write on this today or tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

333 Restaurant in Oceanside CA

I was talking to a co-worker a few days ago who had eaten at the new 333 Restaurant at the Oceanside Pier.  This gentleman and his wife had enjoyed a nice dinner at 333 and enjoyed the view of the Pier and the water.  I told him, "Hey, that's my spot.  Did you see a guy swimming out there?"  Well, of course he had not; the odds of that would be rather small.
I haven't been there yet; I'm more of a McDonald's guy.
This afternoon after work I went for a swim north to south around the pier.  The water was running south and it was mild to moderately rough.  Fins needed.  The water was breaking hard into a foamy, white water surge-wave after wave after wave.
Swimming out was lively; I was swimming into two foot waves continuously-just throwing my arms forward and pulling, along with kicking with the fins.  It was cold also.  I stayed cold for the 34 minute swim.  On the way in, it was more fun.  I felt like I was body surfing short, small waves every ten seconds or so.  It was fun, and the waves helped push me toward the shore.
Only a handful of surfers trying to catch a four foot wave with a decent shape-the waves were without much of a shape.
I almost lost my goggles-I was thrown around by two different waves coming in.
A neat, fun swim.  Invigorating, exciting, and bracing. No camera unfortunately.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Oceanside Downtown Revival

I drove down through Mission Avenue to the parking lot just south of the Pier at 4 PM this afternoon-the new time (Spring forward-bla-bla-bla).  My drive took me through the busy part of the downtown revival area-where one must be quite careful not to run over pedestrians with their heads in the clouds-or in a much more remote place below the waistline. 
I miss the old Oceanside beach area.  Don't care much for the new trendy shops and eateries, the theater, the street fairs, etc.
I miss ample parking near the water; I miss the quiet Oceanside beaches; I miss the past.
Boy, I miss having lots of sand on the beaches along the Oceanside shoreline.  Our beaches are so narrow now one has to get used to high-density beachgoing--exactly the opposite of what my mind needs.
I drove through the $2.00 per hour parking lot and changed my mind and left.  I parked up the block for the old $1.00/hour rate.  An act of defiance.
The water was much less ugly than yesterday but still unpleasant.  Dirty. My sinuses are acting up today from the dirty water.  The chop was 1-2 feet with the current running north-same as yesterday.  It was not as cold as yesterday-no face pain upon entering the water.
Not many surfers because the waves were lousy.  I swam out WITH the current-started at the south side and came in on the north side.  It was a moderately rough swim-38 minutes-but nothing like yesterday's misery. 
"The first time you quit is the last time you try."

Water Getting Colder

I just checked and the water temperature reading finally changed to 55-57 degrees, down from 57-59 degrees.

"The first time you quit is the last time you try."