Captain Rick: I now ride a new 29” Mongoose bicycle. It replaces my previous 26” NEXT, which served me well for 5052 miles along my 25,000 mile “Round-the-World Trek” to battle high blood pressure. It all began as a New Years resolution way back on 1/1/2000, at age 52, to exercise for heart health and help lower the high blood pressure that I was diagnosed with. I started walking several miles a day…every day. In 2005, I purchased a bicycle to compliment my walking. Somewhere in the process I raised my goal to achieve the equivalent of walking/bicycling once around the world (25,000 miles). I continue to enjoy a daily 2 mile walk and 3 mile bicycle ride almost every day. I am in the final leg of my journey and hope to reach the finish line sometime in the early 2020s when I am in my mid 70s. My greatest desire is that this blog post will inspire others to make a commitment to exercise for heart health.

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Click above image to view it in HDTV format via Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

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Click above image to view it in HDTV format via Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

Features of the Mongoose 29” Ledge 3.1 Mountain Bike

  • Light weight aluminum frame and alloy rims
  • Front and rear suspension
  • Front disk brake, rear shoe brake
  • 21 speed Shimano derailleur
  • SRAM front/rear twist shifters 
  • Front quick-disconnect tire

Riding a 29” is an entirely new bicycling experience

I am amazed at the difference 3” in wheel diameter makes. Every time its wheels go around , the bike travels nearly a foot farther than a 26”. There is something about the ride that makes it feel like I am riding a big ‘machine’…rather than just a bicycle. Mongoose has done an excellent job producing this great ‘riding machine’.

Mongoose

Made by Pacific Cycle, which is owned by Dorel Industries, Mongoose has been around since 1974 and is one of the world’s top bicycle manufacturers. Its line of bikes includes BMX, comfort, hybrid, mountain, and road bikes. Available in specialty bike shops, sporting goods stores, and mass-market stores, the bikes range in price from $300 to $350 for comfort bikes, $280 to $800 for mountain bikes, and $2,700 for its road-bike model.

Update on Captain Rick’s 25,000 Mile Round-the-World Walking/Biking Trek to combat HBP

Each New Years, the anniversary of my bold 2000 resolution to walk/bicycle the equivalent of once around the world, I update my accomplishment stats on this special page on the Atridim News Journal menu:
Captain Ricks HBP World Trek

On January 1, 2014, I achieved the 57.4% of my goal (14,282 miles). I am please to report continued good progress during 2014. I will report the new totals on the above page shortly after 1/1/2015. Until then, I will be walking on…and riding a new 29” Mongoose.

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About Captain Rick … Atridim

Captain Rick’s HPB World Trek

Walking

Bicycling

Captain Rick’s Photography

Captain Rick: Cartoonists help us smile with ‘Obama-toon’ political humor…

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Thanks Ken of California for contributing these cartoons from the world’s finest cartoonists.

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Humor

Pet Talk

Captain Rick: This grassy park in Chandler Arizona was submerged by several feet of water during the heaviest rainfall since records began in 1895. Nearly 4 inches of rain fell in an 8 hour period on September 8, about half of what is normally received in an entire year, causing the worst flooding in the Phoenix area in 44 years.

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Click above image to view it in HDTV format on Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

Most parks in the Phoenix area double as a flood basin. Their floor is several feet below that of the lowest neighboring street and are sized large enough in area to collect all of the rain from neighboring streets. Most of the basins are designed to hold rain runoff from a 50 year flood. This record flood exceeded the capacity of many of the basins. Many overflowed onto neighboring streets, converting the parks into lakes. In the days following the flood, the Phoenix area became the ‘Land of a Thousand Lakes’.

The rain that produced the flood, totally submerged my back yard pool for the first time ever. It required several inches of water to be pumped out, followed by a major cleanup.

To add insult to injury, Gilbert was hit by ‘Round 2′ a few day ago…collecting another almost 2″ of rain. September has brought the Valley of the Sun nearly the total average rainfall for an entire year.

I now have permanent drainage depressions landscaped into my side yards to allow rain to flow from the back yard to the street.  I have gained total respect for the wrath that heavy rain can bestow in the desert.

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Captain Rick’s HBP World Trek

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Captain Rick: Massive Mesquite trees were blown over by a 100 mph macroburst in Ashley Park, Chandler Arizona on July 13, 2014. These beautiful 17-year old Mesquite trees and the shade they provided during my daily morning walks are now history. I find it amazing…what ‘mother nature’ can destroy in a moment.

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Click above image to view it in HDTV format on Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

This was the first macroburst I have ever witnessed. It is the opposite of a tornado. The wind rushes down a tunnel, rather than up. When the air aloft hits the ground, it rushes out in all directions at speeds that can reach over 100 miles per hour near the eye, as was apparent in this macroburst.

During the days after, I walked and bicycled many miles thru the neighborhood. For several days I heard the continual sound of chain saws and tree grinders. I have never seen so many trees downed, roofs and other structures damaged during my nearly two decades living in Arizona. From all of the damage I saw, I believe the above photo was taken extremely close to the eye of the macroburst.

Report from my Facebook page just after the storm:

Its been early March since we had a drop of rain in Gilbert…one of the longest dry spells I can remember.
We had our first monsoon storm blow in from the mountains to the east…with magnitude I have never experienced at my Arizona Oasis.
It brought some much needed rain…and lots of it. Part of my rear patio went under water as well as other areas of my oasis….
I measured 2.25” of rain in a pail and also in my pool, which is almost to the lower edge of the deck. That is a first during my 17 years at my Arizona Oasis.
It hailed for several minutes. I picked up one that measured almost 1/2”. That is a first during my 17 years at my Arizona Oasis.
The wind blew like I have never seen it blow…even during Hurricane Hugo which I experienced in North Carolina. I do not have a wind gage but I estimate that for a few minutes the wind blew at well over 50 mph…possibly over 100 mph. That is a first during my 17 years at my Arizona Oasis.
All is calm now and I am thankful for the much needed rain…but wow…did it all have to come at once with such vigor?

During my morning 5 mile walk and bicycle ride I toured most of the area within a half mile of my Oasis in all directions. I saw scores of trees blow over, some into houses creating roof damage. Some of the trees were huge…perhaps 50 feet tall or more. Some had their roots ripped right out of the ground. I could hear chain saws and tree grinders everywhere. From what I saw, the worst destruction happened within about a quarter mile in each direction…meaning my Oasis was the epicenter of what obviously was a microburst…first I ever experienced…and definitely the most violent weather I have ever experienced in my life, not only here in Arizona…but anywhere.
A microburst is the opposite of a tornado. The cold winds from above descend thru a tunnel and then spread rapidly outward along the ground creating tornado like winds…but in reverse. Microbursts have been measured at speeds of 175 mph+…rivaling tornadoes and dwarfing most hurricanes.
For about 2 minutes yesterday I saw the wind blow with massive rain and 1/2" hail coming down almost horizontal. There is no doubt in my mind that the wind was well over 100 mph. I have experienced 80 mph winds during Hurricane Hugo in North Carolina. Hugo was a ‘walk in the park’ compared to the microburst that hit my neighborhood yesterday. It took a couple hours to clean all of the leaves from my pool and yard. My skyline view from my patio has improved. A large tree that previously blocked the view of the International Space Station flying overhead, is mostly gone…thankfully not in my yard.

Today I extended my daily walk to 3 miles with Canon camera in hand. I got some awesome photos of massive trees that fell with roots pulled right out of the ground. I then hopped on my bicycle for an extra long 5 mile ride to tour all of the area to the east of me…also with camera. Scores of big trees down, some onto houses. Lots of tile roof damage. I captured a lot of photos. As I get time, the best of them will make it to my Flickr photostream in the full glory of Atridim WIDESCREEN…viewable full screen in 1080p on an HDTV.

All reports I have read and from the damage I have seen in the neighborhood…the recent Microburst was actually one of Arizona’s first Macrobursts…which rivals the destructive force of a tornado…except in reverse. The winds rush down the core tunnel and then outward across the surface at speeds up to 200 mph. Most of the downed trees have been cut up and removed. From what I could tell from my multi-mile walks and bike rides, the center of the macroburst occurred about 1/4 mile west of my house. There are still several gigantic roots structures ripped out of the ground remaining of large trees that all fell to the west. Several of the root structures on their side stand taller than me. It is an awesome sight. Looks like a massive hurricane went thru, but localized like a tornado. I captured some great photos that I will process to Atridim Widescreen for display on Flickr…when I get a chance.

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About Captain Rick

Photography by Captain Rick

Captain Rick’s Flickr Photostream

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Captain Rick’s HBP World Trek

For lots of great topics … check the ‘Categories’ list and cloud in the left hand column.

Captain Rick: ‘We The People’ headlines ‘Freedom and Liberty Celebration’, my newest playlist on YouTube. It is an outstanding video with over 10 million views.

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CLICK the image above or this link to view: Captain Rick’s ‘Freedom and Liberty Celebration’

As a YouTube member of many years, I have been building a great set of Captain Rick’s Celebrations … playlists of the most outstanding videos of excellence on YouTube to celebrate various topics and occasions … or just enjoy great entertainment. Most videos can be viewed in 1080 on your HDTV or widescreen monitor and have great sound. Most playlists contain several videos that will play in succession for a great show. Because my playlists are highly viewed, you will experience some skipable ads (YouTube has to pay its bills).

Below I have presented a list of my best playlists. Click your favorite and then sit back and enjoy a great performance of several videos. You might want to send one of the links to a friend on a special occasion…like the Happy Birthday Celebration.

Captain Rick’s introduces his YouTube Playlists:

Captain Rick’s 4th of July Celebration

Captain Rick’s New Year Celebration

Captain Rick’s Happy Birthday Celebration

Captain Rick’s Thanksgiving Celebration

Captain Rick’s Christmas Celebration

Captain Rick’s Christmas Light Spectacular

Captain Rick’s Dance Celebration

Captain Rick’s Famous Performers

Captain Rick’s Great Sound Tracks & Interesting Video

Captain Rick’s Video Virtual Journey in HD

Captain Rick’s Discovery of New Talent

Captain Rick’s Amazing Advertisements

Captain Rick’s Freedom and Liberty Celebration

The above list of celebrations is growing as are the videos on each. If you discover a great video that you think should be added to one of the playlists, please share the link in a comment on this post.  If you find one of the links above to be enjoyable, I welcome your comment. I receive no compensation for my work…except for the ‘words of kindness’ that I receive from your enjoyment.

I welcome your comments, likes, shares and following of my blog! (If not visible, click the red title at top)

Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Links:

About Captain Rick

Photography by Captain Rick

Captain Rick’s HBP World Trek

For lots of great topics … check the ‘Categories’ list and cloud in the left hand column.

Captain Rick: U.S. Job Growth has crawled upward to pass the break-even rate with with population growth. The trend is in the right direction. The jobs being added are mostly low wage. There is little hope of regaining the 8.7 million medium to high wage jobs lost during the Great Recession any time soon.

The chart below shows the new jobs added during each month of the the past year. 

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GREEN LINE: an average of 214,000 new jobs have been created each month during the past year

BLUE LINE: an average of 185,000 new jobs need to be created each month to keep up with U.S. Population growth of 0.7%

REAL JOB GROWTH: is represented by the difference between the Green and Blue lines … 29,000 new jobs each month that exceed population growth.

How long will it take to recover the 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession: At the ‘Real Job Growth Rate’ of 29,000 new jobs per month, it will require 300 months … or 25 years. That is a long time, during which many other significant concerns will come into play … like the U.S. Debt crisis … on track to explode during the next decade.

Wages remain stagnated: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has said she wants to see wages rise faster than inflation so American households will have more buying power. That has yet to happen. I personally think Janet and the entire Fed are living in a ‘dream cloud’.

New poll show majority rating the U.S. economy as ‘Poor’: Many Americans still think the economy is not fully recovered. According to the results of a CNN/ORC International poll released Friday, 41% of people surveyed rate the economy as "good", while 58% rate the economy as "poor."

Perceptions about the U.S. economy will be a key factor in November’s midterm elections: More than a third of the Senate and the entire House are up for grabs. Both sides of the aisle are blaming each other for holding back the recovery. I blame almost all of them. I hope the American voters will exercise their thoughts and register their voices in the upcoming elections and vote out of office the majority of those now in office.

Captain Rick’s Prognosis: America is traveling into uncharted territory, which if not handled properly by the U.S. Congress (which is very unlikely, based on performance in the past decade), has the potential to drive America over the pending ‘real fiscal cliff’ and reduce America to a ‘third world nation’.

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Jobs

U.S. Debt Crisis

GDP

Economy

Captain Rick’s Fiscal Cliff Course 101

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Captain Rick: What should we do with people who rely on government handouts, but are too lazy to work? This cartoon sums it up perfectly. Kick them out of Congress.

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It is no secret that the majority in the U.S. Congress are very lazy and accomplish basically nothing of any benefit for the people in exchange for a very wealthy salary and benefits. I read today that the current US Congress is even more ‘do nothing’ than the record ‘do nothing Congress’ during the President Truman days in the 1940s. Perhaps Obama will go on record with Truman as being the two most ‘do nothing’ presidents (both Democrats) in the past 100 years. I should clarify that…Truman did achieve great destruction overseas. He gave the approval to drop the nuclear bombs on Japan. I have to agree with the cartoon…’Kick them out of Congress’. But then…we are still left with a ‘do nothing’ president…except for his countless ‘executive actions’ which serve his personal agenda at the expense of escalating the US National Debt.

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Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Links:

Humor

For lots of great topics … check the ‘Categories’ list and cloud in the left hand column.