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Some displays can never be interesting (display watching grass grow), but they give you useful contact details. This post is about them. Cycling can be super exciting but not in a stand at the show.
Over 55 Cycle Club
I remember cycling 134 miles one day, trembling with exhaustion as I cycled up hills for the last thirty miles, wondering if I could reach the Youth Hostel before it closed. I can remember falling off fourteen times in fourteen miles as I cycled over roads covered with black ice. For many years I commuted seven thousand miles a year to my work and was knocked off my bike seven times by motorists. They claimed that they didn’t see me.
Perth drivers are supposed to be the worst in Australia, and I suspect that most of them learned to drive in the school for the blind.
I’ve enjoyed traveling slowly enough to stop and take a photo from time to time. It’s been fun carrying my bike over a stile to cross a farm fence and follow a track that cars can’t follow. It’s been fun to have the cycle repairman tell me that I’ve stretched my chain by cycling up hills where I should have walked. It has not been fun to repair punctures in the dark and pouring rain. It was relaxing to toddle along at twelve miles per hour and watch the cycle club overtake me at twenty-five miles per hour. It was fun to cycle fourteen country miles no hands as a teenager.
OK. So an over-55 cycle club membership can be exciting. But how can you make a display exciting? I suppose a good video might help, but cyclists are usually too busy cycling to pose for photos. The stall next to this one had nothing eye-catching about cycling. This one had a cycling machine. At least you can visit their website for more details.
One exciting thing you will learn is that insurance doesn’t cover you if you cycle when the weather rises above a hundred Fahrenheit (38C). That rule was probably made by a non-cyclist because you should take into account the wind chill factor. If you are cycling at ten miles per hour in an air temperature of 100F, the airflow past you will feel a lot cooler. If you are freewheeling down a hill, the breeze will get the chance to cool you even more.
Model Boat Building
If you have done any model building of any kind you know how you hold your breath with the tension as you hold a small part with tweezers when you glue it into place. You know the heartbreak when your knife slips and you destroy something and the joy of carving a replacement part from wood.
How can a stall demonstrate any of that? What does this photo tell you? It tells you that there is in interest in model boat building in Perth. The club name isn’t in the photo. If you know the club details, please leave a comment to help any elders who might be interested.
The Telstra stall on the left was probably the most busy and boring display. But at least you can see contact details for the “Seniors Recreation Council of WA Inc” – WA stands for West Australia.
You can also detect that there is some organization for “tech-savvy seniors.” I wouldn’t mind following up that contact, except that they probably want tech-savvy volunteers, and I am desperately in need of better time management techniques without taking on any other tasks.
I use the Pomodoro time management system which you can find on Google for free.
Old Tools Replaced By Power Tools
I was just thinking about old tools a few weeks ago when I read about the possibility that we could be without electricity in the world financial crash that is coming soon.
I hated using a plane because I was never good at it, but how many people would still have one? How many people could still use one? How many people could use wood for construction as opposed to fiberboard?
So I was very interested in the Hand Tool Preservation Society of WA.
There were many old friends on display. Last week I smashed an axe handle. In the shops, I discovered that a new axe cost nearly $20 but a new axe handle cost 50% more than that. I don’t think they were selling many handles.
But that means that modern handymen don’t learn how to insert a new handle. If we lose electricity, what survival techniques will we have forgotten?
Swimming For Elders
I’ve spent my life trying to find ways to do things with less work. So I hate the idea of exercise for the sake of exercise. So I won’t consider learning to swim a hundred laps of the pool. I wouldn’t mind swimming across to Rottnest, but to do that I would have to improve my swimming by… oh no! I would have to swim hundreds of laps of the pool.
I can swim two laps of the pool before being exhausted. So if I fell overboard from a canoe into the water with no waves, I could swim well enough to climb back onboard. I never expect to have to swim to get from point A to point B. So I look on swimming as a tool to avoid drowning in an emergency.
So after I discovered “drown proofing” I stopped trying to improve my swimming. A good swimmer will probably manage to swim for an hour or two. I could still be afloat next day using drown proofing techniques if my body temperature hadn’t sunk too low from lack of exercise, or a shark hadn’t found me. Sharks find you if you thrash about. You hardly move when you are drown-proofed. You just wait for rescuers to find you. Look it up on Google.
Benefits of swimming:
- Low impact exercise
- Exercise nearly all muscles
- Can still swim without legs
- Need it for surfing and helps if you travel by kayak.
Dangers of Swimming:
- Infectious diseases spreading
- Soaking in poisonous Chlorine for a long time allows dangerous levels of Chlorine to sink through your skin.
I think Geocaching would be a lot of fun and great non-repetitive exercise. I’ve done a little GPS navigating with my android tablet using Navfree software.
If you’ve never heard of it – people leave caches and publish the GPS location. Other people find the caches using the GPS reference. That’s the dry bones of the matter – Google for the fun details.
I suspect I would need to invest in more expensive GPS equipment if I started running around trying to find caches. It would be a great incentive to get out and take photographs.
I enjoyed fishing as a child in Paraguay because I always caught something. I dislike it in Australia because I never catch fish on a hook. However I caught plenty of 6Kg fish in the North of West Australia, so I enjoyed fishing and eating my catch.
Some people like fishing because they can relax and daydream – it is not about catching fish. If that is your mindset this is a good club to join.
This is camping when you don’t want to go camping. You will be under a roof – not under canvas.
Visitors to WA may think “If it’s above 100F during the day you won’t need much to camp in comfort at night. Don’t believe it!
In Kalgoorlie, it can be 108F during the day and plummet to 16F during the night. I’ve spent many sleepless shivering nights camped out under canvas. One way around it is to dig a trench and build a roaring fire in the trench. When only hot coals are left, scrape the soil back over the trench, and pitch your tent over it. You’ll be warm all night.
An easier way is to use a “space blanket.” Space blankets are strong plastic coated with reflective aluminum. Wrap one around you with the reflective side towards you, and it will reflect your body heat back to you. I’ve spent several comfortable nights camping with my space blanket wrapped around me.
Don’t let me discourage you. Camping is cheap, and if you can keep warm at night and dry through a storm, it is a wonderful way to travel the great country of Australia
Here are the details of COCOA.
That is the end of this marathon post. In the next post, I’ll get back to more interesting individual stalls with Seniors Tours.