Josh's Blog

Month: October 2020

5 Day Water Fast

Today is the beginning of the second day of a five day three day water fasting effort. My last meal was on Monday, where I absolutely gorged myself on Moroccan beef and chicken served up with a creamy salad and fries. Afterwards, I went home and made a giant batch of pumpkin seeds roasted in salt and butter. It was delicious, but it also tipped the balance of conscientious health awareness into favor of action.

Water fasting is pretty self-explanatory. You go about a pre-determined number of days without anything but water (black coffee is supposed to be okay too, Ill get into that later). The goal is to break the cycle of poor eating choices, which has been more of an addiction for me lately. As well, I plan to capitalize on some fringe benefits that may come with this massive shift to nothingness. This includes stopping smoking, re-setting my alcohol consumption, firming up the mental fortitude, all the while detoxing the system  little bit. 

Im a bit perturbed right now actually (beyond the irritability that comes with not eating). You see, it has at this point been around 31 hours since my last meal. However, technically the fast has only in effect since my last intake of calories, which came in the form a several cups of honey and milk laden coffee, the last of which went down the hatch somewhere around noon or so I reckon. This means my calorie-free fast is only around 15 hours old. Damn what a penalty!

How I am feeling at this point.

I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night, however I did wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed at about 3:45 this morning. Last night I went to bed somewhere around 9 or so. So really,  I didn’t miss out on too much sleep. Every now and then I get a good little hunger pang but for the most part it is the breaking of the momentum of the habit of eating that has been the biggest challenge. Boredom is a bit of a problem now too. Usually I would eat (now out of the question) or grab a beer and smoke cigarettes outside, but since beer has calories (and I only smoke when I drink) I am unable to indulge. 

This is where the mental fortitude comes in. Today holds a full cupboard of hours that I must endure, all the while smelling the smells of a household hat loves to cook (my wife just walked into the dining room with a bowl of delicious looking porridge).  

The goal is to make five days. Here we go….

Day III     10/22/2020 – 09:56:37AM

I woke up this morning feeling surprisingly good. However that was quickly replaced by a light but persistent hangover like headache. My back is also a bit achy, and I can feel fatigue in my lungs when I go upstairs. My weight this morning is 194 pounds, roughly one pound dropped in 12 hours. Monday I was just under 200 pounds. Ive also noticed that my heart rate has actually increased to around 100 bpm at resting. The average rate is 61 to 77. I have read that this is normal, as the body enters into a fight or flight state, ready to pounce on nearby prey to eat, or flee from nearby predators that sense an easy target. Could be BS, but it makes sense enough to me 

The interesting this is, there is no way my weight can go any direction  but down while on this diet. 

Today is day 3, which is where my body has likely depleted its reserves of glucose and cells will begin the process of eating themselves, in a process called autophagy. Some studies indicate this is beneficial as the cells begin to discard bad proteins and other defective materials that were otherwise ignored when food intake was regular. 

This is the mid-way point. Saturday will be day 5. 

2020-11-03 03:29:37

Right…the update. 

In short, I made it approximately 72 hours, give or take an hour or two ( I dont know when on Monday I had my last bite of food before the fast, but I suspect around 7PM). It wa hard as hell, but I do think I could have made it to day five. The (definitely welcomed) reason why I cut it short at 72 is that my wife told me we are going to meet some friends of ours on Saturday for a sort of ‘send-off’ since I am leaving back to the US (more on that later). Had I continued on with the fast, it would have encroached on our time together, and impacted a nice cheers session. 

So it provided a convenient reason to break it off on Thursday after day three, so that Friday I could re-coup and get the system ready for a bit of alcohol lubricated festivities.


New take on an old theme…

A new recording I made earlier today using my guitar and microphone in a corner of the bedroom. It is a variation on the end section of a tune called “The Window” that I wrote several years ago with my band at the time, 12 Gauge Strings.

If you care to hear the original check out this video on YouTube. The end section that this new recording takes its inspiration from begins at 3:20, right where you hear the “na na’s” start. This vid is also a bit of a blast from my past.

Quarantine Books Part II

A terrific book that I bought here in London about two years ago. I let my Mother borrow it and she couldn’t put it down. Im happy to say that I couldn’t either. This book is an interesting character study of an eccentric middle aged woman  who must cope with the  struggle of day-to-day life while under the insufferable shadow of a deeply tragic childhood. We see the world through her eyes as she pushes forward, meeting a host of characters along the way, each tied to a crescendo of experiences.  4/5

A tale of a girl who loses everything in England, and must relocate to Africa to live with her grandmother on a wild game reserve, where poachers are a constant threat to the animals. Her new life begins in a big way, as she discovers a knack for the supernatural, and develops a special bond with a mythical-like giraffe. This is a very nice get-away book that is great for older children. 4/5

Kempton Steam Museum journal

Yesterday I left for the Kempton at approximately 8AM, aiming to reach the site by 10AM, which is when work ordinarily begins. 

Took the Central line from Leytonstone to Bank (instead of Tottenham) to see if this might be a more efficient route to Waterloo via the Northern line. Annoyingly, it wasn’t. Northern splits into two rails, with only one connecting to the Waterloo train station. Tottenham puts me on the correct Northern side, whereas Bank puts me on the wrong side. Time wasted penalty = 15 min.

Once I get set straight, I reached Waterloo and hopped right onto a departing train to Feltham. Normally I grab a quick Starbucks before boarding the train, but in this case I made use of a portable coffee thermos from the house. No time lost!

I reached Feltham station at about 9.15 and decided to try taking the H235 bus rather than my usual H25 bus toward the museum. Resaon: During my first visit to Kempton back in February, I took the H235 – which was a lovely drive – to a stop called Sunbury. From there, it was about a 30 minute walk along the English country side along Snakey road. I love that route, but I havent been able to find it since. Since then, Google maps has routed me to the H25 bus, which is an ugly journey through Feltham that spits me out along a roundabout next to the highway, and a fifteen minute walk to the museum from there. 

Anyways, the H235 bus I took yesterday was not the correct bus, and when I realized I needed to abort, it was a 45 minute walk to the museum. It was a nice walk, but I ended up arriving at the museum at 10.45. Ugh!

Ill get it right one of these days. One thing though, one of the fellow volunteers – John, a quick witted, white bearded, leader in the mechanical team, told me that the bus routes change in Feltham depending on local events, such as horse racing. This may be the cause of all the confusion!

I spent the majority of the day earning the evening’s two cap-off beers at Whitherspoons in Feltham by assisting in clearing out bramble bush and dirt from a storage area, building scaffolding, and hauling about 40 or 50 lengths of galvanized pipe, each about 20 feet long form the museum to the nearby under section of an overpass. 

I really got to know a few of the guys this time around. Hard work always breeds discussion to pass the time.

  • Richard helped me with the pipes. He is building a car back at home, and has a friend who is building an airplane. Wonderful man, retired from own business selling forklifts. 
  • John, one of the lead volunteers of the mechanic team. Been volunteering at the Kempton since 2004. He is a born leader, and gets in there with the rest of the boys. At one point Richard prodded John about adding cross bracing to old scaffolding saying it was basically a waste of time. “Trust me when I tell you there will be bracing on this scaffolding, Im afraid Im going to have to pull rank on you”, and that was the end of it. 
  • Another fellow named John. He came in a bit later to help us with the scaffolding. Apparently this was his field of expertise, and provided guidance and assistance in assembling the scaffolding. 
  • Dave – a fellow American from Boston. Helped out here and there where he could. Dave offered his advice in  obtaining my VISA since he has been there and done that. He also has a vacation home somewhere in Maine, and has some interesting stories. 
  • (Unknown) Damnit I hate it when I forget names. I think his name is Richard, but then that would mean I know three Richards at the Kempton. Anyways, the oldest of the lot (just about everyone I work with at the Kempton are retired seniors), wore a peddlars cap, and incredible friendly. He works for the rail road “children” as the mechanic team calls them (you see, the Kempton museum includes the steam engine side, and also a railroad side). He was happy to show me an old diesel engine they had underneath a tarp. It was apparently lost in storage under the bridges. The railroad side is planning on rebuilding it soon. He also has a beautiful old white Triumph car in immaculate condition. He showed me the engine. It was an interesting speicmen, as it had an inline 4 cylinder bolted to an inline manual transmission, that somehow routed power back to the front wheels. That is two right angles the power has to be directed through in order to reach the differential.  

In other news, I think I’ve worked out the torque generated from the steam engine.

Each engine generates about 1000 horsepower at 25 RPM. According to some websites, the calculation for torques is HP * 5252/RPM (a base point where torque and HP always intersect in graph form).

That is 5,252,000/25 = 210,080 foot pounds. 

This doesnt suprise me given how collosal these engines are. Torques is the twisting force, and when you have connecting rods that weigh hundreds of pounds each, swinging a crankshaft that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 tons, you’re going to get some serious numbers. 

Im excited to bring this up to my fellow KSMers.