Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Working in H-town after Ike

I volunteered to go down to Houston to help my company with their clean-up after Ike. I work for VZ Wireless, and while I don't like to talk about work (that just spells trouble), I have to say that I'm pretty proud of how the folks down there did their jobs. Many of them still had no power a week after the storm, but were still coming in and working 12 to 15 hour days or nights. We got a ton of stuff done and we're now providing excellent cell phone service even to the few alligators and feral dogs that are left out in Crystal Beach. Seriously, we got our network up in a very short time, doing things that you know to do and then going back and thinking up new ways to get the job done. There were a lot of folks there from all over, Philly and Massachusetts and Raliegh, North Carolina. Most all of them were staying in RV's or maybe hotel rooms. My sister lives within five miles of the network offices and had power so I slept over there. My folks were there too, waiting for power to come back on at their place. I had night shifts most of the time so I didn't get to spend enough time with them, hopefully I wasn't a burden. Lots of trees down, traffic lights out all over the place. I did not see any lines at gas stations though. I got there Thursday after the storm on Saturday and I was staying on the NW side, so folks were adjusted to it by then and I'm sure I didn't see the worst of it. Some stores were open and some were closed. I saw a Walmart with no lights on in the parking lot or on the front of the store but the inside was up and they were open thanks to a portable generator.
In the end, I was there a week. I brought my bike but never even put on the wheels, too busy working or sleeping.

Still hurting, but not as bad

Lots of blogging to catch up on, probably lots of important stuff in my life won't make it here, because I'm too busy living life to blog about it.

Back on 8/30 I fell on my bike and hit my hip. It's still giving me issues, but at least I know that my doctor sucks. I went to my doc about five days after I fell and told him my concerns about the lack of swelling or bruising, the fact that it hurt significantly when I climbed stairs, and that it felt like something was slipping in and out. He assured me that my hip wasn't slipping in and out and that I should get an x-ray to make sure nothing's broken. I got the x-ray and the gal from his office (not him) said that while I am showing early signs of arthritis (or signs of early arthritis maybe?), I did not break anything. OK, I do qualify for an MRI though. So, since it still hurts from time to time, I get the MRI. Nothing from that, but I am allowed to come in and get a shot for the pain. That's not what I want. Now that the pain is subsiding, I'm still noticing something slipping. I have a feeling it's my Ilio-tibial band. It (or whatever it is) is riding forward when I pick my knee up. It feels like a knuckle that I need to pop. I can physically push it back into place with my fingers and I can feel it pop back. Yuck. I can ride on it, but not fast, and I certainly don't feel up to sprinting yet. Now the knee on my other leg is starting to ache. I've been favoring it too much and now it's squawking about it.

It could be worse. I've had time to spend on my bike. It now sports a new chain, a fantastically clean frame, and a rear fender to keep the muck off my backside on rainy mornings.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

You can always trust the Devil or a politician...

to be the Devil or a politician.  From Derek Webb's "A Savior on Capitol Hill."

So true.   Such a poor choice this year.  Do you want Greater Evil or Slightly Less Great Evil?

Go support Derek at Noisetrade.com.  See the banner ad on the right.

Monday, September 01, 2008


This weekend I was scheduled to do 120+ miles on the bike. Not a ton for a regular rider, but a bunch for me. Saturday was the regular shop ride. They took the long way (80+) and I took the short way (50). Nice though. I got to ride with Andy a bit. He's an old salt of a rider. I think he pointed out (again) that he's been riding this one nasty hill for over 20 years. With him by my side, somehow the hill didn't register as all that bad.
The next morning, I got up at 5:45 to get me and Joseph to the start of another ride. Since it was Sunday and Kim wanted to take the kids to Sunday School, I had to leave by bike. Did I mention that the Suburban has a bad fuel pump? We're down to the blurple van. The only bad part about that is that it only seats seven and our family numbers eight. Oh well. The Suburban will be fixed by next weekend probably. So Joseph and I had to scrounge for some headlights and leave by 6:30 to get there at the start time of 7.
Then I fell. We took a shortcut through a concrete drainage ditch under the railroad tracks to a bike trail. It's the closest way. As I came down the ditch, I noticed that there was a tree branch blocking some of the first portal under the train bridge, so I took the second. Then I noticed the slick, black sheen of scum/mud that crossed the road. Actually I didn't notice it until my wheels had left the road and my right hip had joined it. Hard. Ouch.
So I get up and notice my chain fell off. Not a bad deal. I got on the bike and started spinning and turning the shift lever for the front derailleur. I got it back on and started out of the ditch. There's a sharp incline at the end, but it's really no problem, you just stand up on your pedals and you'll be fine. Of course, if you backside is barking from falling 15 seconds before, you might be tempted to get all the way up still in your seat. Bad idea. I tried that, got to the top, and fell over on my left hip. Ouch. Fortunately it was in grass, so not so much pain. Just shock. I don't fall. The last time I fell was over a year ago and it was because my cleat popped out of my pedal on a hill. So I take a deep breath. We haven't gone a half mile and I've fallen twice. There's still 40+ miles to go.
So I get back on and start across the grass for the sidewalk bike trail. As I get there, I notice that my wheels aren't perpendicular to the sidewalk, but fairly close to parallel. Actually, I didn't notice it until my rain and mud slick tires hit the sidewalk, bounced off, and dumped me over on my left hip. Fall #3. And this one really hurt. Truly an inauspicious beginning for a Sunday morning ride. Maybe Jesus doesn't want me skipping out on Sunday School any more.
The rest of the ride was fine. My hips both ached. My left palm is swollen a bit. I discovered that I can't quite climb stairs with my left leg, I have to push myself up with my right. In fact, I am a bit concerned. Near my right hip I'm getting a nice (or nasty) bruise. But on my left side, the side that hit the hardest, no bruise. The pain is actually coming out of the hip itself.
To top it all off, this morning I wake up with a stomach virus. Oh, the sheer, unadulterated joy.
I did get to see another step on my wife's path to sainthood though. Last night she juggled on nine year old with the stomach flu, today myself and the 18 month old joined her. Kim was able to get all of us settled, and make meals, and do grocery shopping. I've said it before, I won the lottery when I met her.