health & fitness, product endorsements

My ONLINE doctor – Babylon by TELUS

Babylon by TELUS Health lets you see a doctor* or mental health counsellor from your phone, where and when it’s convenient for you.

Works well. Covered by Alberta Health Care.

TELUS Canada partnered with the UK-based company Babylon

I downloaded the IOS app. Got an appointment quickly. No hassle. Very efficient use of my time.

Video conferenced with two different doctors via my phone. Both excellent.

In my case I merely needed to renew prescriptions. But if it had been something more complicated they’d refer me to a real life specialist.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

health & fitness, humour, McCharles family, travel

CANCELLED my 1st flight since March

To Calgary.

Or was it Chernobyl? 😀

I was prepared. With a POINT 1 NANO mask. Supposedly N97.

Shield. And Shadyrays.

But Alberta is suffering badly from COVID. 1,828 new cases Friday and 15 additional deaths.

So I decided to stay on Vancouver Island at least through New Years.

anti-smoking, health & fitness

The Barkley Marathons

Hardest and dumbest race in the world.

The Barkley Marathons is an ultramarathon trail race held in Frozen Head State Park near Wartburg, Tennessee.

If runners complete 60 miles (97 km) this is known as a “fun run.”

The full course is 100+ miles (160 km) (distances are approximate). The race is limited to a 60-hour period, and takes place in late March or early April of each year. …

The full, five-loop race has been completed 18 times by 15 runners as of the 2019 event. …

Jared Campbell finished 3 times. #respect

Click PLAY or watch Gary Robbins‘ – 2016 & 2017 races on YouTube. What a man!

I’m happy for John Kelly too, a 2017 finisher.

economics, health & fitness

Post Corona optimism

Over the past year my main economics / tech guru has been Professor Scott Galloway.

He summarized his thinking in a new book:

Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity

I’ve not been so optimistic about the future since February 2020.

IF we can survive another 6 months or so — psychologically, financially — we could see another boom like the Roaring Twenties.

A new Roaring Twenties.

… a period of economic prosperity … Everything seemed possible through modern technology …

That’s how people reacted after the pandemic of 1918.

We got lucky this time. Vaccine technology has improved so quickly that I’m likely to get the Oxford before having to join the herd immunity segment of the population.

IF the majority of the population has either had the virus or taken one of the vaccines, I might be able to avoid it myself.

IF only 5% of those who were infected have lifelong problems — and most of those not too serious — …

OK. This is the most optimistic scenario.

Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.

cycling, health & fitness, hiking

I HATE Running

But days are too short in November – January in Canada to do multi-day hiking or cycling trips. I’m stuck with it.


Right now I’m alternating:

  • Runs up to an hour. Up to 10km.
  • Stairs series
  • 100m sprint intervals

For runs I head off from home towards my favourite park. Turn around at the half way point in time / distance.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Click PLAY or watch running Parksville in the Spring on YouTube. Flowers!

Click PLAY or watch running Bermuda on YouTube.

health & fitness

Running Stairs

Just back from 17 days cycling Vancouver to Calgary, more cycling wasn’t going to do much more for my fitness.

I decided to run stairs, instead.

Over time I’ll …

    • Increase the number of climbs.
    • Decrease time for the same number.
    • Switch to 2 and then 3 steps at a time.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. Stairs are UP ONLY due to COVID-19 distancing.


Click PLAY or see Glenmore Park on YouTube.

Related – Running stairs at the University of Florida stadium in Gainesville.

books, ethics, health & fitness

The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson

The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World is a surprise hit.

“Captivating . . . The Book of Eels is, in the end, not really about eels but about life itself.”  – Wall Street Journal

The European eel has a lifespan of at least 80 years.

It’s a a critically endangered species.

Like Salmon, this eel has a crazy difficult method of reproduction. They must migrate all the way to the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda.

How do you feel about eels?

For reasons that aren’t the eel’s fault — its shape, color, lateral movements, nocturnal nature — you may feel the way I do, which is: Yuck.

Svensson is the most recent thinker to contend with what scientists call, I’m not kidding, the “Eel Question.” …

First, eels are fish, not aquatic snakes. …

Also, after roughly 40 million years on Earth, eels are mysteriously dying off at a rapid rate. Probably it is our fault.

What’s the Deal With Eels?

health & fitness

Fist Bumps, not Hand Shakes

One permanent change from COVID-19 will be more physical distancing of strangers.

On the one hand, it will be more sanitary.

On the other, physical touching does connect people. Hugs. Kisses on the cheek. Even a touch on the arm.

It won’t affect me much as I was already quite frigid. But less touching will be culture shock for some societies.