My body has traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays blues

Nope, not those blues, these Blues!

If you have a guitar bent, pick up a copy of Merry Axemas I & II. You won't be disappointed. These always hit the CD changer when company comes for the holidays!

And ya gotta have some bass, by one of the best Stu Hamm

And of course on a holiday side note, if you've never heard his version of Garibaldi's Peanuts theme you need to check it out. This is an older version (live in person is better or on his "The Urge" album) but you get the idea.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2009: A Beer Oddessey

By far one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Gravity is not his freind.

Be sure to have the sound on for the music.

I had the actual file but blogger didn't like the format.

Friday, December 4, 2009

And so it begins

This was the view as I got home yesterday:

The prediction was 4-6" of snow by morning.
Well, they didn't get it right. Which is surprising. Usually we get way more than everyone.
This is what it looked like this morning:

Not much. Does look like Mushtaq got way more on his blog. Hearing from places north of him they got 9-12"!
Yep, I guess it's December in Michigan.
Took the older of the sleds in for a tuneup ($$ youch) and now realize I personally probably won't be able to ride it for another 2 months anyway. This is why I always looked forward to the first good snow the past few year.
Oh well, the boy will have fun.
And speaking of the boy......................

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

First Varsity match of the season and he snagged a starting spot on Varsity in only his 2nd season.
Also listed by the coach in the local paper's prep report on local HS wrestling as one of the key wrestlers on the team. Neither of us saw that coming.
So, saying good bye to free time on Weds. eves and Saturdays until March. We'll emerge then.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This is new

A friend and former co-worker of mine runs a decent size orchard nearby. Last count around 125acres of apples, pears and peaches.
Tho not just any fruit, some of the best varieties you can find. He used to bring it into work for orders though neither of us works there now. Now I catch up with him at the local farmers market on the weekend.
He grows pears, apples, nectarines and peaches (my favorite? Ambrosia. A large white fleshed variety that smells like purfume).
One more great thing about Michigan is the variety of fruit in the fall. The area we live in is one of the two largest areas in Michigan for apples and grapes and Michigan is one of the top producers of Apples and Cherries in the country.
And if you haven't had a HoneyCrisp apple, you are really missing out on a treat. Brian turned me on to these during a particualarly good year when his were bigger than softballs (it seems HoneyCrisp trees have 1/2 year harvests, One year is great, the next will automatically be lean).
The next thing he turned me on to are Asian pears, long before they or HoneyCrisps were in vogue.
And Brian grows around 8 varieties.
The great thing about Asian pears is they eat like an apple (staying crisp)and keep for twice as long, just getting better with age. I've kept some for three months in the crisper. My favorite variety has a clove smell that just gets stronger the riper it gets and the juice turns into honey.
So last week I was surprised (I shouldn't be) to see something new (and not a variety of something, if it's new, he'll have it first) from him.

Pear Cider!
Not cheap, $3 for 1/2 gallon but it's not like you can shop around.
And that's something else about Brian's stuff, it's not the cheapest but you can be certain it's always the best.
For his, I'm willing to pay.

Great cider by the way, a very unique taste.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Well, it's been about two weeks now and things seem to be going fairly well. Start PT finally on Tuesday.
I'll have one good day, do a bit too much and then have a fairly bad day the next, kind of a wicked circle. But I can tell you it is maddeningly frustrating having your dominant hand unavailable for most things. Went back to work last Monday and typing and writing were a real challenge. I suppose I could have taken several weeks off as short term disablilty at 2/3 pay but I just couldn't afford that. So i took 4 vacation days.

As for the surgery, went pretty much according to plan about 2.25 hrs. According to the surgeon this time the right side labrum was in even worse shape than the left. If you can see it in the photos below, it pretty much looks like a horse's mane, all shredded. 1st pic across and 1st in 2nd row.
But I think things will go much better this time for recovery.
As I mentioned to Cody:
1. I was mentally prepared for the outcome of this surgery, I was not last time. I asked for this
2. I no longer have a lot of the compensations that I did last time which caused complications in PT
3. I’m able to identify different pains now as being normal or not and can feel confident of how I’m convalescing
4. All the work I’ve put in to stabilizing the shoulders is paying off and I can identify what I feel and the body can now move more normally.
5. despite the pain I’m more positive and not so “why me?”
The second set shows the Labrum Trimmed up and the threads of the repair to tighten it up that were anchored to the Scapula.
Third set shows the work done to begin grinding off the bone spur(last pic).

Pretty Kewl the pics they can take these days. I have glossies from 2.5 yrs ago and the resolution on these is way better in just that short time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Out of service or Time for Side B

By the time you read this, I probably won't be blogging for a while.
If you've read my profile you know that a few years ago I "broke".
After 4 months of Physical therapy for loose shoulders, arthritis and trying to correct all the compensations my body created as a result, I elected to have surgery to correct the bone spurs and minor arthritis.
Simple procedure. 30 minutes, 3 days in the sling and a few more weeks of PT. Good to go.
2 hrs later and the doc found that the labrum was almost torn in 1/2 and scarred over. The major pain was the bone popping through the hole in the middle.
So he did what was called a SLAP tear repair,subcromial decompression and ground off the spurs. Drilled an anchor in the bone, stitched it up and did the originally planned work. It's considered major reconstruction apparently.
Now it was 6 weeks in the sling and 8 more months visiting the PT. And it was agonizing.
You're never sure if what you're doing is the right or wrong thing to help the recovery. Is that good pain or bad pain?
Now it's 2.5 yrs later. Is it better? Absolutely. Mechanically better than nature gave me(genetically loose sockets).
Am I pain free? No, but reasonably finally in the past 6 months. And they're much more in place. I still can't lift heavy over my head but I'm slowly getting stronger again. it's time to do the right side the same.
At the time I asked if I'd need to do the right and the advicse was that with good home therapy work (and I have been very diligent since surgery), often the other side will become stable enoug h to not need it.
At the 2yr mark I realized, it's not getting any better. It is much much improved but still considerable (and increasing) pain and in fact limiting my work tocontinue stabilizing the other side.
So since my emergency appendicitis this spring has blown all my medical deductables and out of pocket, what the heck. Time for side B. Actually, I had made up my mind before finding out it was fully covered.

So Tuesday morning we find out just how bad the right side is compared to the left. I'm at least now mentallly prepared going in. Just hoping the recovery will be much better, and it should. Overall most of my compensations are over and the shoulder is stable.
Only 3 months of twice weekly PT.

Since I won't be swinging ablade for a while, we planned out one last day of feasting and cutting for Sunday with Mushtaq, Chris, Cole, Janet and Roberta. Enough to last three months I guess.
Mushtaq made Navaho taco's from Buffalo with frybread and Roberta made seafood chowder.

some but not all the victems.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

San Francisco '09

Just returned on the redeye Weds morning from our bi-annual trip to SF for the Nike Women's marathon my wife runs. Not me, can't run. Had to learn to fight instead I guess.

I'll happily go aolng to carry the bags. SF is definitely one of our favorite places to visit. My 4th trip, her 6th or 7th.
Pretty busy getting caught up and prepared for my next big adventure that will slow my posting even more (more on that in the next post I suppose).

So, little writing but alot of great pics.

Sometimes, ya just gotta have Chinese takeout roadside (great Tshirt John btw).

North Beach is the great little neighborhood near Fisherman's Wharf we stayed near last trip. It's awesome in the early morning. So since we were up early still being on Michigan time, we took a quick trolly ride back for breakfast and exploring.

And of course, a walk through Fishermans Wharf. We got there very early which was a true bonus.

Early in the afternoon one of my favorite locals picked us up and played tour guide.

Cody Fielding is one of those true beacons of light in my life and I can thank him enough for being my friend. A good friend is someone who accepts you for who you are but also makes you want to be a better person by their example. That's exactly Cody. I'll just have to stop there.

Cody took us up to the highest point in the area to get a real sense of proportion and a lay of the land (although hearing that we had already purchase MUNI passes and taken multiple modes of transportation told us we were already 1/2 local).Then in true local guide fashion, took us to a small locals only dockside lunchspot for a great time.
Time with Cody was by far one of the highest points of the trip and over far too soon. Cody was very busy (a testament to his skill as a personal trainer in SF) and it meant so much that he squeezed out the time to spend with us. If you're in the Bay area and looking for a phenomenal trainer, let me know.

Then of course there was the marathon on Sunday Morning. This would be Roberta's third time and it was fairly routine but typically difficult, this is SF after all.

Those Dutch are everywhere. According to Mushtaq they used to use the windmills to irrigate the park

The race follows the bay towards the bridge and out to the coast where Golden Gate park and the weather was fantastic. Not to hot, not too cold.

In the afternoon, one of the people who purchased a puppy from us this spring drove in from just to the south and took us to Chrissy Field near the Presido for some reaqquainting time with the puppy. What fun!

He's a good looking boy now, will look just like his father.

Our hotel was not to far from the Castro District so we spent several hours walking around and gennerally having a great time. Just some fabulous shops and eateries and for a week night the area was hopping!

The Casto district, if you're not aware, is the predominantly Gay area in SF and is just a fantastic place to go. The shops all have a bit of humor in their names and the restuarants are fantastic.

On Tuesday we followed our usual plan and rented a car for the tip to Wine country.
I convinced Roberta to stop off at the Japanese Tea Gardens in GG park as it is such a beautiful place.

And the Wine

Yeah, I was soaking in the sun too.

The dreary ride back to the Airport for the redeye flight home and right to work the next morning.