Thursday, July 19, 2012

2012 Regional ride review, Saturday, day 2.

I woke early and stumbled to the shower.  Showers in a new environment are always a challenge for me, for a couple of reasons.  I'm unwilling to make a mess, so I take my glasses off and get right in there.  Then I can't see any instructions on the valve, so it's trial and error before I get the temp right.  I don't often get scalded, but when I do, you can bet that I curse. The shower was pretty nice, a good size, and a high shower head with decent pressure.  Ok, ok.  Enough of me being naked in front of all you nice people!  (There's your daily appetite suppressant.)

I get ready and go outside.  Greg is out there, drinking coffee and watching the clouds cover up the sun.  He snaps some pics and we chat a bit.  I wander around a little, head in to the breakfast room for some coffee, and to see what they have.  I see raw bacon, gravy and pop tarts.  I grab a pack of them for us for later, head back out to uncover the bike, etc.

I don't know why we bothered to cover the bikes...the covers are not waterproof, so I had to wipe them down as if they weren't covered.  Yes, remember....I went to bed when the rain started last night.  I put my towel over my dead sheep to dry it off, wiped the windshields, seats, etc.  Cleaned my visor and sunglasses, too.  About 8 I ride it out front so we can head to breakfast at the casino.  We left in groups, unorganized, no problem, it's only a mile and no one got lost.  I took my sheepskin off my seat...looks like it's going to rain some more.  Lynn hung her helmet by the helmet lock on her front tire, the helmet hangs upside down there.  (bad idea)

We went in, paid, commenced eating...I think maybe 10 minutes after we arrived it was raining hard.  Very hard.  Lynn's helmet is filling up.  BTW, the breakfast buffet there is $6.  Anything you want to drink....pop, coffee, juice, milk, any combination therein.  Eggs any way you want them.  Pancakes, waffles, ham, bacon, sausage, fruit, pudding, toast, etc.  It's a good value.  Pretty soon, Bubba and Bubblebug came in, pretty wet.  That'll teach them!  Show up on time!!!  Steve called to find out the plan, they got there before we left, and in time to show off Julie's new towel.

Lynn's helmet was totally soaked, of course, and she wasn't going to wear it, but then decided that she should.  Not sure how much fun that was, but it had to be better than bare headed when the rain set in on our ride.  There were several folks w/o helmets and rain suits...I think it'd be pretty uncomfortable to be wet all day, and to not be able to see.

The ride was good, lunch at Milty's was good, the secondary ride was good.  We went up on top of the mountain in Lansing, it was a very interesting ride up and down the hill...very steep.

Dinner tonight is provided by the motel, burgers and hotdogs, cole slaw and macaroni salad.  They also provided a cooler full of Old Milwaukee beer.  If that won't entice you to join us next year, I don't know what will.

Since it had rained, we started a fire, that was kind of fun.  Hey, what happens at the fire, stays at the fire.

Lemonade and bourbon, finished the bottle...mmmmmmmmm

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 SCRC 171 Regional review  Friday July 13.

Once again, our event was based in McGregor IA, at Holiday Shores motel.  The day began with a rain delay; we left about 30 minutes late.  The ride started off fairly boring, just zooming down  a major highway.  Not interstate major, just a 2 lane highway that went directly where I wanted to lead my group.  It's somewhat scenic, but not very challenging.  My plan was to ride 45 miles and then get gas; the total miles for the day would be 145, so that leaves plenty of room for error (of which there were none).  I thought I screwed up, but more about that later.

So that's what happened.  We pulled off into Harmony after riding in rain for about 20 miles.  Top off the gas tank, empty the pee tank, refill the hydration tank, head on thru Harmony and straight south into Iowa.  Right after fueling, I clean my glasses and windshield; road dirt is not nice to look thru, and with 2 pair of glasses, a visor and a windshield....there can be a lot of it.  AlGore gets an honorable mention for microfiber cloths. 139 is a nice scenic enjoyable road, if only they'd tune it up a bit by grinding off some of those high spots which only serve to hurt me.

Next stop is the world's smallest church, located on a gravel road, in the worlds smallest park.  Ok, that part is not true, there are parks that are smaller.  It was nice, though, lots of trees and a tiny cemetery.  There's a corn field next to the's obvious that there's been no rain there for a long time...the stalks are fired up to the first leaves, the other leaves are rolled up tight enough for Cheech to smoke.  Val bought a postcard, we took some pics, walked around the park, signed the guest book thingy and left.

I'm familiar with rich folks along gravel roads using some substance to stop dust....we never used it, because we weren't rich, plus we were right on a corner which required a good slowdown.  Plus we had a nice tall hedge along the edge of the yard, at least we had one until Jill decided we should cut it down.  Did I ever mention that she's a dumbass?  She could be a Murphy, believe it or not.  (If you're new to the bloggy world, read all previous episodes.....but I'll tell you now that Jill is a former step-monster, er stepmother.)  (Murphys are cousins that didn't amount to much, except for one of them.)

There were a couple places along this gravel road that had applied a dark brown substance across the entire surface of the road (so I know it wasn't a "honey wagon" spill) plus it kind of smelled good, sort of like freshly cut wood, oak or walnut.  I kept the speed down to keep the dust down, and I'm sure that the others appreciated that.

Next stop is lunch, and someone had to ask how far it was.  mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmI don't  really know.  Val had taken the route so she could have directions, she puts mileage on hers....but screwed up the math and said 17 miles. was closer to an hour.  It was in fact, further than I expected and remembered.  In fact, I was beginning to think I had screwed up....but I knew we were in the right area, and forged on confidently.

I've got to say....while these were not the most twisty of roads, they were the fun fast sweeping curvy scenically awesome roads that make the day quite enjoyable, even though it is hot and humid.

Lunch was at St Olfa's Tap, a bar that has the world's largest pork tenderloin.  No one was gluttonous enough to order the giant thing....I got the medium and it was plenty.  Duane ordered chicken gizzards, partly because he likes them and partly to get others to try them.  Kind of like chewing a peppered pencil eraser.  Val and I shared a side of sweet corn nuggets.  They were everything we hoped they could be.

I don't know why they have painted the men's restroom black.  Kind of spooky.

Speaking of spooky, next stop is the Spook cave, a 35 minute boat tour thru a cave.  A fast way to spend $10, a nice way to cool off:  47 degrees, the water was 42.  They use original boats from the mid 50's, so I suppose all the money goes to profit after paying the annoying tour guide.  It was a short ride to the cave, everyone seemed to enjoy it, esp Duane and Lynn, sitting in the back of the boat.  I, of course, bonked my head and nearly lost my hat, and there was some concern that leaning way over was going to aggravate my neck, but it was fine.

It was a very short ride from the cave to the motel, and we pulled into the gas station next door to gas up; that way we'd be ready for anything.  The apocalypse did not occur, but a big rain storm did, which prevented some folks from fueling on Saturday morning.  (they lost power!)  Luckily, no one had a really short tank, so no fun stories of running out of gas...

Check in, change out of wet socks and boots into dry socks and shoes, line up to ride to dinner about 545.  Dinner was rather unremarkable, really, so we hauled ass back to the motel to break out the bourbon.  I mixed mine with pink lemonade, which is really pretty my opinion.  Kind of a PIA, bottle of lemonade, bottle of bourbon, insulated cup.  A cooler full of beer would be easier, I guess, but then you have to deal with empties, and peeing all the time.

NE IA has been as dry as a popcorn fart for about a month, so there's a burn bonfire in the fire pit.  It's not as if we need the fire to keep it's ok.  Lots of us gathered in the grassy area to tell lies, fibs, and stories until it's bed time.  What time is bed time?  Whatever time you want to go to bed...we're all adults, after all.  Turns out bed time was when the rain least for me.  That's about 11 for those of you that were not there.

You don't need to know too many more details about my night and early morning, and that's all I'm going to say about that.  If I can find my camera and get the other camera to work, I'll post some pics.  grrrr  Greg has posted some on the FB thingy, if you're lucky enough to be connected there.....

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Shoulder/neck discussion...problem started 6/29/12

It's because I'm such a nice guy.  I feel it's the right thing to do...turn to look at and greet each person as they get on the bus.  Seems like a simple thing, right?  Painless, easy, no charge for the extra courtesy??

About half way thru my shift I noticed some pain in my right shoulder and neck, so I took some Advil and looked forward to getting busy with my theracane when I got home.

Now you know what a thera cane is.  Don't you love learning things by reading my ramblings?  About $30, by the way.  The theracane inserted much like that picture shows generally releases what's wrong, thusly allowing me to carry on as normal.  It didn't work this time.  OH well, not to worry, sometimes that happens.  Over the weekend it got worse, and I should have found a good massage person, but I didn't.  Tuesday I called a chiropractor dude I have known for a number of years and actually trust....

There's 2 types of crackropractors in this world, those that are interested in helping people feel better and those that are interested in making a lot of money.  IF you go to a crackropractor suffering from some sort of pain, and they make you fill out a bunch of papers, make you submit to a bunch of Xrays, and won't treat you the first visit, you've found the latter sort of bastard.  Other cues:  you arrive and there's LONG lines of people, there's several treatment rooms all in a row, there's a chiro asst that comes around to talk to you, the chiro always does 4-5 "adjustments", you have to go in for a "report of findings" and get fed a long line of bs which amounts to this:  "for me to save your life, you have to come in 3x/week for the rest of your life, which will cost ______ much"  the chiro won't say how much, it'll just point to the number on the page, because the person in the next "room" (which has no doors, ceiling or complete walls) may be paying more or less.

Another sign you've found a scammer chiro is that once you're in, it only spends a few seconds with you, and does a lot of huffing and puffing.  If you find one of these bastards, run, run for your life.  And for your bank account...and they will take your credit card.

The chiro you want is a one person office.  No xrays, no scam, no rof, same day treatment, and usually can get you in the same day as you call.  They'll only adjust what needs adjusting, and may not accept credit cards.

Maybe you're thinking...."but but but without an xray, how will they know what is wrong?".  I'll answer that with this:  have you ever been to the doc's office for blood tests?  Those people can feel your vein and stab that sucker with a tiny needle.  Your bones are much bigger and easier to feel than that.  I can't really think of a good reason for a chiro to have an xray.  Ultrasound, maybe, to see if there is soft tissue damage.

One more thing:  if they say they need to treat your neck because it's too straight, but don't talk about your worksite.....they're scamming you.

Jim did some testing to determine a few things, had me lie down on the table thingy, he took my head and neck in his hands, and gave it a mighty twist.  Poppoppop.  Lie there a minute, and he does it again.  That should help.  But it didn't.

I suffer thru Wednesday, I've got a cramp/spasm in the side of my neck which is triggering a nerve that goes into my shoulder, arm and hand.  When that sucker hurts like hell!  Unless I'm able to get my left hand up and give that damn neck a good squeeze.  Which what I had to do all of Friday night and Saturday morning.  Constantly reaching up to squeeze didn't allow much sleep.  Went to see a doctor Saturday morning...

Great nurse...except she used the small/regular cuff to take my blood pressure.  That is never accurate, and I'm sure it was elevated due to the amount of irritation that was going on in my neck.

BUT.  I did't see a doctor.  I saw a nurse practioner.  (spell check does not like that word)  She was great, too.  A real trip.  Young, cute, pregnant, I didn't mind seeing her at all.  She did waste some of my money by making me go for xrays, but she also Rx'd some pills to help the spasms go away and one for the pinched irritated annoyed nerve.

I don't know what the difference is between an LNP and a MD, because the LNP's seem to know as much as any doctor I've seen, plus they have a personality.  She sent in an order to get scheduled with the PT dept.  Desk is closed, they'll call me with the time.

I hope you're enjoying this, imagining me sitting in my chair, not sleeping, squeezing my neck so that my arm doesn't hurt.  How I managed to work 4 days last week I do not know.

So, PT called me, first available is Aug 6.  HA.  Val called the doctor lady, she called PT and said:  "listen, you fuckers.  my name tag says LNP, but I'm as good as any other blonde doctor person, so schedule that poor fat bastard for tomorrow, or else!"  That must be what she said, because I was to go in on Tuesday morning as an "extra", which meant I'd sit around until someone had time to see me.  Little did I know it'd be with some "physical medicine doctor".  He was ok, though, and did some testing and a little poking.  Yep, pinched nerve, you need pt, so go out to the desk and make an appt.  I'm thinking:  that was a waste of my time.

So back out I go to schedule, and wouldn't you know it? They have a PT available at 1030.  A mere hour away!  yay!

About 10:50, I went up to the desk and ask.  Oh, she's just running a little late, should be any minute now.

Friends...this is not a good sign.  BTW, her name was "Lola", which was shortened from Omolola.  Yes, friends, she had an accent, I had a rather difficult time understanding her as she lectured me for a long time about posture.  Then she left for 5 minutes to "put her next client on a machine".  She then demonstrated some stretches and talked for a while about traction, but didn't have time to put one on me.  She did have me lie down on the table so she could feel around a bit, and I have no doubt that if she'd make hands on her primary focus and forget the machines and stretches that no one does she'd be more successful.  This too was a tremendous waste of my time.

Saw something a little bit funny while she was gone for that 5 or 15 minutes...a guy that was missing some of his leg had crutched his way in and was waiting while I was waiting.  Now, while she was gone, the door was left open, so I looked out into the gym area, this big guy had on a prosthesis leg thingy, and was crutching his way back and forth while a little guy using a cane was chasing him, telling him: heel to toe, both feet...follow the line....etc.  The funny part is that this little guy with the cane always had his hand up near the bigger guy's back where there was a belt around him.  I can understand all of that...but what I don't understand is how this little guy (with a CANE) was going to catch and stop a bigger guy from falling???

BTW, as soon as I heard that my PT's name was "Lola", I couldn't get that 60's/70's song out of my head.   I think it's by the Kinks.

I then went to the twin cities, Bloomington, to be specific, to see Keith at Body Work Physical Therapy.  Anyone in or near the Minneapolis/StPaul area that needs to see a PT?  These are the people to see.  Even if you have to drive a distance...these people use myofascial release and craniosacral therapy to treat people, and it works.  Talking about posture and doing stretches doesn't work.  Hands on therapy, finding the source of the pain works.

BTW, FWIW, I do know how to practice myofascial release.

How do I know it works?  Last night after this treatment, I was able to type that bloggy post, this morning I was able to shower and then do some laundry and wash some dishes...translation?  I was able to work about an hour, using the right arm as normal w/o having to clamp my left hand to my neck to stop the spasm.

How do I know it works?  I've used MFR to treat quite a few people that tried other methods to kill pain without results.  A nurse that had a spinal tap was in serious pain, yet after my treatment was pain free.  A client had pain in her hip for quite some time before seeing me, is still pain free 4 years later.  A colleague went to a chiro, the ER for drugs suffered for days before coming to see me.  And all she had done was empty the dishwasher...she was pain free after my treatment.

Why did I wait so long before I got help?  I tried to get in with a couple of MFR therapists that I know, but they were either out of town or booked.  I didn't want to drive an hour to see another one that I know.  Driving hurts, remember?  I have an appt with one tomorrow, Thursday.  I think I'll take the motorcycle up there, just to see how it goes.

We've got a weekend trip planned with the bikes...need to be well.....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A letter to an unhappy customer:

Dear Hot Air Return Vent,

What the hell kind of name is that?  How do you expect decent well run business' like ours to treat you with dignity and respect when we can't say your name without laughing our asses off?

You should know from all the tv commercials that if you have special eyes, you can't just expect any contacts to fit.  Another thing, we have not sent your contacts because we know that you'll just wear them to surf porn web sites; we just can't have that.  Think of the kittens in Latvia!  Think of the pygmies in New Guinea.

When was the last time you washed your eyes, anyway?  We sure know that we'd like to wash your mouth out with some industrial grade soap.  We know it won't help; you're a potty mouth from way back...anyone can see that.

For the record, none of our mothers wear army boots.

And, no, dumbass, you can't use your old contacts as tooth whitening strips.  I realize that you have only one tooth and the contact fits perfectly.

You are also not to use these quality contacts as pasties.  Not even if you make them opaque with a sharpie marker, trying to make them look like eyes won't work.  However, if you must do this, be sure to use super glue, you don't your pasties to fall off at the wrong moment, you could go to jail.

I realize that going to jail will fulfill a major sexual fantasy for you, but since this is a family friendly company, that's all we're going to say about that.

Did you really think that calling us 14 times each day would endear us to you?  If so, you were wrong...very wrong.  In fact, we have caller id.  And we have post it notes, thanks to AlGore's dedication and hard see, what we did is we put your stinky phone number on a post it for each customer service person, so we could give you our very best customer service experience.

Clearly you don't understand how to make contacts.  For special eyes like yours, we go to the dollar store and buy a few shower curtains, take out our hole punch, scrape as much rust off of it as will come off and punch those bastards out.  this is why you have to pay for the exam, the follow up, the contacts, the fittings, the Rx, the shipping and the handling.  $69 for each of those items...which should fit into your fantasy land world quite well.

Oh, and did you know?  We know that you're a cheap bastard, but you can not use the same fungicide to clean your cooter as your contacts.  9 out of 10 contact customer service reps recommend:

Good luck, special eye Hot Air Return Vent.

Monday, July 09, 2012

ok, so I lied, just a little.  neck and shoulder #1

I think this pain came on while driving a shuttle bus.  Since I'm such a nice guy, I turn to greet each person as they get on.

I had pain lifting my head straight up, I had pain turning left, pain turning right.  But most troubling was the neck spasms causing my right arm to go numb, loose all strength and hurt like crazy.  Was?  Still is.  It just happened, and the only way to stop it is to reach up with my left hand and clamp my neck, sort of like a python squeezing a pig that it intends to eat.

This spasm thingy will happen, was happening any time, all the time.  Getting ice from the freezer, putting the pitcher of lemonade back into the fridge, pulling up my shorts after a trip to the loo, etc.  Pretty sure Friday night it was every minute; I don't think I slept more than 2 hours.  :(

I may get in to see Mayo's PT dept tomorrow/Tuesday.  I will get in to see my friends Keith at BWPT clinic in Bloomington, I figger....might as well go to see someone I know, someone I KNOW to be very good.

Sometimes I think that if I could just get busy with a task I'd forget about the pain and spasm and it'd go away.  It works when my neck clamps down and gives me a headache.

Typing does cause this spasm thingy to occur, so appreciate this.  uh oh, wife's shutting it down.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Since it's hotter than a $30 whore this week,

I've been spending time in my basement shop cleaning throwing out and organizing.  Yes, indeed, constant readers....a day in the basement is much like a day in the garage, except there are stairs involved.  Here's a reminder from FB:

A day in the garage is a lot like having ADD...spend some time with the motorcycle, hey, what's in that box? I wonder if those extension cords work? What the hell is that? Why is this in here? Where is that flux capacitor? Shouldn't there be a shelf there? Should put a light here. Maybe I should change the oil. Better pour those jugs of windshield wiper juice together, make room on the shelf for for the ice melt. Did I put StaBil in the snowblower? It's exhausting, but the weather man says no chance of snow today.

My basement is a mess, friends.  It's been a long long time since I've done any real work down there, and it should stay clean, right? Nope.  I'll get something out, do a project, walk away.  I'll take something down there, put it on the bench or on the floor, walk away.  Shove it aside to do a project, clean it up later.  

Jeesus Christ, it's hot outside.  It's a good thing my grill is in the shade.  

Here's why a day in the basement is like having ADD.

Get coffee, head down and turn on the lights, sit down to survey the situation.  
Is there such a thing as a $30 whore?

where is that fan?  Maybe I should clear off the table saw.  I built the bench for the saw, you know, since it has a teeny tiny table, and I wanted a longer/wider table.  I had actually built a massage table before buying my table, and so I just re-purposed it.  Who cares about that, why isn't the radio on?  Seems like Susie's 1990 boom box's digital tuner stopped tuning.  Fine, I've got a 1988 boomy box, I'll move it to the basement.  Hey, Susie's has an antennae still.  Wonder if that'll does!  My boomy box thingy has not had an antennae for 24 years.  Huh, I don't remember bringing that old iron down here, let's take it apart.  It has an interesting switch and a decent cord, put that in the box with all the others............oh, maybe it's time to get rid of this light I brought home in 1999...take it apart, may need the screws sometime somewhere...wonder if this light bulb works, better test it.....yep, it's good.

Pick up this, pick up that, what's in that box.  Oh, I've been looking for that for a while.  Better combine a few boxes of crap, I guess I could toss the toaster box, warranty has expired.  Trash can is full, better go dump that.  Sort the recycles out, go check FB.

30 minutes later, back downstairs, oh, here's some snaps, better put those in the right box.  Where the hell is the trash can?  OH.  crap.

Maybe I'll sort thru these magazines.  Wood magazine, you perverts.  As in wood working....I take a minute to ponder if there'd be any value at the used book store.  I find an old magazine with the cover price of .35........I paid 50 cents for it 10 years ago.  Hmmmmmmm.  Do I want to fool with it?  No.  To the recycle bin.  Ah, yes, the trash can.  Toss that sucker down the stairs.  Whoops, sorry cat.

Oh, look someone posted a pic on FB.  Better like that.

hey, there's the filters for the shop vac.  Better change those, that damn thing's not working right. Wash out the foam filter, crap, better let it dry before I put the paper filter on.  Gave the hose a blow, it was full of stuff.  that could be why it wasn't working.  Interesting, isn't it that all sizes use the same filter?

Good coffee, now I have to pee.

Someone poked me.  I better poke her back.

Oh, yeah, that sprayer head, let's see if it fits either of those bottles in the other room.  yep, but the tube is too short.  Out to the garage where the tubing is.  Holy hell, it's hot out there.  Now, figure out which tube is the right size, we'll measure and cut it inside.  There, that's done, but why did the fan fall over and crap, it's ground some insulation off the multimeter lead.  :(

Consolidate some containers of containers that the head packrat has saved.  Bring in the battery charger, charge up the deep cycle may be dead.  Damn.  Wash dust and dirt off my books from AAI, find the graduation roster inside.  I really don't recognize any of those names anymore.  

Still have not uncovered the tables saw, but I can get to the bandsaw.  No, they are not interchangeable.  Norm may think so, but he's got an unlimited budget...the bastard.

Round up some more cardboard for the recycle bin...we have a recycle bin larger than our trash bin and we often get it filled in 2 weeks.  This should not be an exception....Val may have to sit on it all night Sunday, so it doesn't blow over and spill.  Quit doing that rain dance!

And now on a more serious note.  This has nothing to do with anything, but I want your sympathy, and patience, since I won't be typing much.  A little over a week ago, I developed some neck pain, while driving a bus.  A couple fingers went numb, I finally went to a crackropractor, and he said "you have a pinched nerve."  I thought:  no shit.  He gave my neck a good crack, and it felt better for a while.  Terrible next day, and the day after that.  Went back on Friday, got another good crack...but it didn't really help.  Saturday, Val took me to what I consider to be Urgent Care, they gave me some muscle relaxers and nerve pills.  They have helped, but while on them, there's no driving....they make me sleepy!  Unpredictably sleepy.  Going to miss work....meaning I'm not going to be there.  I won't actually miss it.  ;-)

I'm a little worried that I've got a slipped disc or a herniated disk, or something like that.  Or maybe that muscle is so pissed off that it keeps pulling that bone out of place and there's so much inflammation that the nerve is being pinched.  

I don't know.  But what I do know is that it is not very comfortable to type, sit, stand, walk, eat, pee, crap, or lie down.  In short, if you ever wanted to see me's your chance.  I've been suffering for more than a week, but Val's been a great nurse.  I hope I did half as good when she had her hip thing.

I don't expect to post another good long bloggy thing for a while, maybe a short one, now and then on my progress.  Or regress.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

As I imagine it, a letter from Cycle Bastards to me:

Dear Mr Bastard,

If you had brought your POS bike to us for repair initially instead of that HD hack, we could have repaired it in the half hour that we estimated.  It would have only cost you a few dollars and you would not have missed your precious ride.

To properly remove a broken bolt it has to be drilled through straight..and he didn't do that.  In fact, if he hadn't broken the EZ Out thingy off but kept drilling, we're certain that the head would have been fucked....completely and totally fucked. Yes, that is the technical term.

Here at Bastard Pros, we don't believe in using the term:  shot.  As in:  the head was drilled crooked, and therefore is shot.  Or:  The bucket has a hole in it, it's shot.

Yes, you brought the "bike" as you call it to us on Tuesday.  We forgot about it.  Sue us.  A series of stupid and gullible people came in begging us to fix their better/higher class motorcycles first because they had important places to go, unlike you.

Yours is done now, get over it.

Bastard Pros