AFTERNOON EYE CANDY

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IF ONLY THIS GUY HAD CONTACTED ME

A 560 pound man wants to ride his bike across the country to lose weight.

He’s not gotten very far. As a matter of fact, he’s only gone 90 miles in two months.

He seems surprised his bike keeps breaking down.

He also thought he’d be able to do it in 4 months.

I did that trip in 1997. 4300 miles. Took me 85 days. The Appalachians and the Ozarks almost did me in. And I weighed 165 pounds.

If he had contacted me I’d have advised him on a better, stronger bike to take and that he should have lost weight before he started. He runs a really high risk of heart attack doing this.

I wish him well.

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A 560-pound man is riding a bicycle across the United States in an effort to drop hundreds of pounds.

The Newport Daily News reports 40-year-old Eric Hites started his journey last month in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He’s gone 90 miles so far and claims to have lost 60 pounds in the first two weeks.

“I hit 40 and I said, ‘I’ve got to change this,’” he said.

Hites is currently in Tiverton, Rhode Island, due to a bent rim on his bicycle. Rob Purdy of Newport Bicycle is supplying Hites with new mountain bike wheels to support his weight.

“It’s definitely inspiring,” Purdy told The Daily News. “It seems like a really good cause.”

Hites decided to do the cross-country trek because his marriage was failing and he wanted to get healthy again.

“I thought it would take four months, but I’m almost two months into it and I’m only in Rhode Island,” Hites said.

Despite the bike issue, Hites is hoping to encourage others to lose weight.

“By completing this ride, I hope to encourage others to get up and get moving no matter their weight,” he said.

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SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET

Today is the 70th anniversary of the USS Indianapolis’ sinking.

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Today is the 70th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, of one of the most terrible catastrophes in the history of the United States Navy. After completing a mission to deliver parts for the atomic bomb that would fall on Hiroshima, the battleship was struck by a torpedo from Japanese submarine I-58 en route to the Philippines. The Indianapolis sank, taking with it a over 300 crewman. The sinking launched a five-day ordeal in which just under 600 more sailors would be killed.

After the Indianapolis sank, crewmen endured days of exposure to the elements, dehydration—and most horrifyingly of all—shark attacks. The sheer amount of blood in the water surrounding the the ship’s debris set off a shark feeding frenzy.

CAPT Lewis L. Haynes, MC explained the feeling of dread and helplessness that the floating sailors endured while the days rolled by.

“There was nothing I could do but give advice, bury the dead, save the life jackets, and try to keep the men from drinking the salt water when we drifted out of the fuel oil,” Haynes said. “When the hot sun came out and we were in this crystal clear water, you were so thirsty you couldn’t believe it wasn’t good enough to drink. I had a hard time convincing the men that they shouldn’t drink.”

Captain Charles B. McVay, who survived the initial sinking by climbing on a potato crate and then hopping onto a lifeboat, described the experience of being hunted by sharks for days:

We have one boy who was bitten on the thigh. The group down there said that on the calm days, they knew there were sharks around because they could see them underneath. They didn’t actually seem to bother them on the surface. It was different with my group who were in rafts. We had a shark that adopted us apparently sometime in the early morning of Monday. We couldn’t get rid of him. The kids who were in rafts by themselves on this one raft were scared to death of this shark because he kept swimming underneath the raft. You could see his big dorsal fin and it was white, almost as white as a sheet of paper, apparently [the shark] spent most of his time on the surface and this fin had bleached out so he didn’t blend in with the water at all.

Another survivor, Woody E. James, said of the shark attacks, “You’d hear guys scream, especially late in the afternoon. Seemed like the sharks were the worst late in the afternoon than they were during the day. Then they fed at night too. Everything would be quiet and then you’d hear somebody scream and you knew a shark had got him.”

The survivors began to believe that they had been abandoned after days of floating in the water. Due to the secrecy of the mission, nobody had even been looking for the Indianapolis or was aware that it had disappeared. By a stroke of luck, Pilot Wilbur “Chuck” Gwinn was flying his PV-1 Ventura Bomber over what he thought was the oil slick of a disabled Japanese submarine, but it turned out to be the remaining crew members of the Indianapolis.

Survivor Dick Thelen said, according to NPR, “Chuck looked down at the exact same time they were flying over an oil slick. Now if he’d looked any other way or wouldn’t have flew that direction, he wouldn’t have seen us. None of us would have survived.”

The destroyer USS Cecil Doyle arrived to pick up most of the survivors, but only 321 of the original 1,196 crewmen remained. Though initially court-martialed, Captain McVay was cleared of charges that his decisions led to the disaster. Nevertheless, the incident became an enormous tragedy due to a number of unconnected mistakes. A distress call was sent out and received by three separate sources, but none of them acted upon the information. It has come to light that of those that received the distress signal, “one commander was drunk, another had ordered his men not to disturb him and a third thought it was a Japanese prank.”

 

The experience made it into “Jaws.”

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GOT TEENS?

Here’s a list of 50 things they should do before they’re 20 years old.

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GUY PLAYS OUT HIS FANTASY AND BUILDS A STAR TREK HOME

In Colorado.

He’s done a decent job of it, too.

Many pics at the link, here.

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‘Being a fan of Star Trek has given me a life’, claims 69-year-old Steve Doman.

The devoted trekkie has spent 14 years transforming his remote Colorado cabin into a Star Trek shrine complete with Klingon and Federation-themed rooms.

Steve has spent a staggering $30,000 on the renovation project – which started as a winter hobby – and says there is still plenty of work to do.

So far six rooms in the cabin, bought in 1986, have been turned into Starship Enterprise replicas and there are two more rooms to complete.

Steve, who is a member of Denver’s Klingon club and an honorary member of the international federation of trekkies, said: ‘I grew up with a learning disability – I excelled in sports, but socially I struggled.

‘I feel like I’m a survivor, and I’ve proved anyone with mental disabilities can become anything they want in life.

‘I have six rooms downstairs that are Star Trek themed rooms.

‘Right now my favourite room is the Federation room – and I sleep in the Klingon Ambassador quarters.

‘I still have a couple more rooms to finish off when everything downstairs is to my liking, so I figure I have enough work to last me until I’m 73 years old – if I ever get that far!

‘This is my version of playing in the future, so my house and everything I have created is used daily just like a normal house.’

Steve has made a hobby out of redecorating his house for the past 29 years prior to its Star Trek transformation, it had a South Western theme and an antique homestead theme.

He added: ‘People can’t believe I’ve changed my house three times in 29 years now this is a dream house for a person that loves Star Trek.

‘I was always interested in the future, right from the first Star Trek. I would always get home as fast as possible to watch it – I’d never seen anything like it before.

‘I never liked being in the now my life was always agonising because I struggled socially.

‘The future gave me a way to get out of that, and Star Trek became a bridge for me, like a crutch. I like to live in the future, it feels safer for me.

‘Some people think I’m crazy for destroying my house like this, but generally people are just darn surprised.

‘But I won’t stop – otherwise life gets boring, doing this makes me happy. Being a fan of Star Trek has given me a life.’

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YOUR AFTERNOON MUSIC BREAK

BLUE OYSTER CULT: “GODZILLA”
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FROM THE POLITICAL CARTOON ARCHIVES

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