Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I had hoped for less pain

Last you heard I had X-Rays in hand, waiting to see Dr. M again. The news wasn't all bad, but it wasn't all good either. At least there is no nerve impingement so we can work on the muscles. ART on one of the specific quads cranky from water running of all things, and that muscle in my butt. There wasn't even much crickle-crackle after, which is a relief. What I did learn is that I've got some arthritis in my very low back. That's a bit unnerving for a young guy like me.

The water run was just over 30 minutes, not thinking I was going too hard. Then walking out to the parking lot I could feel it getting cranky, and it got progressively worse all day. Even today it isn't much happier, so I bailed on an evening run. Its not a stabbing or pulling pain, but I have to think about walking. My whole leg feels very unstable, and there's a few times my knee sort of flopped on me. It's not a scream in agony kind of pain, more a suck in the breath kind of pain. Not fun.

Walking into the City Hall parkade yesterday I noticed these huge day lilies blooming away, and was wondering about ours. When I checked on them this morning, they aren't as tall, but there's a few really beautiful blooms.

Instead of the run I went out and put another layer of stain on one side of the lodge this evening. Can you tell when one? That was 2 hours of bending and stretching. Oddly enough, my quad feels better after this. Maybe a good night's sleep will help.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

So, how'd I do?

On Friday, I posted my to do list. Here it is, with a thing or two crossed off. Did I exceed your expectations?

In no particular order:

  • Fix a few stain dribbles on the lodge floor where I got sloppy.
  • Finish the first exterior coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Start and finish the second coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Start and finish the clear coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Test some of the clear coat on the fence to see how it looks.
  • Tidy my desk. I emptied my work pack, and it's all on the desk, and none of it goes back to work.
  • Start on my year end paperwork for my company. Completion will be nice, but starting is acceptable.
  • Clean and store a bunch of wine bottles. Some need bleaching.
  • Bottle the one wine kit that looks ready to go.
  • Run with a buddy. Gently.
The exterior staining took a lot longer than I thought to do around the windows, and there was quite a bit more interior staining I decided to do. By the end of Saturday I was where I was hoping to be on Friday. Sunday looked like rain, and it did rain several times. Now I need to brush sand off the bottom bit before I stain again. Good thing I didn't try to push ahead.

The desk, before and after, with a surprise in the middle.

The surprise in the middle is the remnants of my social insurance card. Good thing I've got the number memorized. The plastic is only 40 years old or so, and has been in various wallets. I recently swapped wallets and dragged a bunch of stuff out, and that was in the middle of it, but I didn't realize at the time. I also found a receipt from our trip to Vancouver in 2012. I really should tidy more often.

As for work paperwork, the bar was pretty low, I admit. I count organizing the paper neatly, as "started." You can send your commentary to keith@bitemybutt.com.

I washed and bleached bottles, and bottled the Pinot Grigio. We are drinking it with dinner and it's really nice just out of the carboy. There's just the slightest bit of sharpness. I think with some refrigeration, and a spicy patio snack, I could serve it to guests and there would be no complaints. A few months in the bottle and it should be wonderful. Pity summer will be over. I'll have to see about the label though. It could peel off really easy, or be horrible.

I had lots of encouragement from my run buddy today, but my legs were not with it at all. Plus it rained and was cool and I was feeling like a weenie, and sort of wanting to see the x-ray results tonight before running further. Many of you read just the "weenie" comment there. That's ok. I read how far they ran and was impressed. They are champs.

The un-weenie activity has been giving Curtis 4 squirts of medication every day. It's getting harder and harder. The teeth and claws haven't come out yet, but that's only because he's a very good natured cat. I'm seriously thinking about invoking the country vet rule, that is, if you can't catch your patient, it doesn't need you. Here I am, getting the furry eye because the rival object is in my lap.

Another weekend has zoomed by. Even with a nap this afternoon, I'm still going to be tired heading into work tomorrow. I figure the odds are 50-50 I'll be told my contributions are no longer needed, so I'm not in a rush.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Pink and white

Pink and white sounds so fru-fru, but there was none of that here. This was rugged and manly pink and white.

Pink Martini
Pink Floyd

That was my soundtrack for working on the lodge today. More white stain. This was the delicate (but not fur-fru) touch around the windows that I didn't do the other day. It took much longer than I thought it would. The windows aren't too badly smeared. I made another pass around the places that have end grain showing, and added more stain.

I grooved to the sound track and thought peaceful thoughts. This was a very soothing activity. I'm trying not to think about work today, but I found out today that work had made some decisions about the various projects. One that I'm working on is moving forward, but I don't know if I still have a role on it. Two others are in a "must consult with the business" phase. Which means they didn't read the documentation we supplied them where those business owners explicitly said they needed and wanted the projects to move forward. I'm very cynical about this, and let's just say after more than 20 years in Calgary's roller coaster oil and gas industry, I know where my bread is buttered, and what I should be doing now. And I am. Nuff said.

Then the interior. I decided once the windows had the white stain on the outside, they really needed some clear interior stain on the inside. Plus the dinner trays. I had lightly sanded them down, now I added another layer of stain. Plus the floor touchups. Plus the inside of the doors. It was another very full day.

So far of my list of things to do this weekend, I've done two of them. Not a high completion percentage, I admit. I am being strongly encouraged to do one of the remaining things and let's see if I sleep in or not. I'm thinking about clearing a few of the smaller things off the list, then getting back to the lodge. Like my desk. I really must excavate it. Before and after pics there, I promise.

Waffles with strawberries and maple syrup, with coffee, opened the day. We closed it with rack of lamb, wine, and veggies. It was a perfect night for sitting out and relaxing. So much for cat supervision.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The long weekend to-do list

Friday is a vacation day for me, even if it does start with a dental appointment. But I love my hygienist and her magic fingers.

Much as I would like to sit and veg all weekend, there are THINGS THAT MUST BE DONE. Herewith a list for your amusement. At the end of the weekend I will tot up the score. That ought to be even more amusing.

In no particular order:

  • Fix a few stain dribbles on the lodge floor where I got sloppy.
  • Finish the first exterior coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Start and finish the second coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Start and finish the clear coat. (Weather dependent.)
  • Test some of the clear coat on the fence to see how it looks.
  • Tidy my desk. I emptied my work pack, and it's all on the desk, and none of it goes back to work.
  • Start on my year end paperwork for my company. Completion will be nice, but starting is acceptable.
  • Clean and store a bunch of wine bottles. Some need bleaching.
  • Bottle the one wine kit that looks ready to go.
  • Run with a buddy. Gently.

I think that's enough, don't you? Plus this is all in addition to important things like making and drinking coffee, paying attention to cats, giving medicine to a cat which is getting to be more of a struggle every time, getting ready for work next week since they haven't told me to not come back. Plus I'm sure that the chicken in the marinade in the fridge will be on the BBQ sooner or later.

How many of you want in progress photos of the above activities? You must leave a comment to get photos. Or contact me on twitter.

Which reminds me, the Facebook withdrawal is going well. I'm on for a hasty scroll, (semi) witty comments where I deem necessary, then on to other things.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I was afraid, but overcame it

During my last (pathetic attempt at a) bike ride I realized I simply couldn't go on the way I have been, struggling with my leg. Waiting for it to get better, giving it a rest, then starting gradually, with lots of stretching and some core work. It's mildly better, in that I can usually walk without grimacing, but it's not right, and showing no signs of getting any better.

Back when I had the slight tear in my medial meniscus, I went to Dr. Macdonald and it was wonderful. Well, except for the low back wrestling contests. I found it extremely difficult to relax enough to let him deal with my low back. My mid back isn't much better. There were a few times I thought I was going to pass out afterwards. This is me, not him.

So during the visit we did a brief review of what's been happening. I need to get an X-Ray of my low to mid back. There may be some impingement on the nerves, which could affect anything in my entire lower body. My right knee is in pretty good shape for a guy my age and activity, which is a relief.

This session was a bit of a warmup, really. Lots of mobility work for my right leg to see what's what. Some deep work in the hip flexor, and something in the top side of my butt. The muscle you walk with, whatever that's called. Then there was a bit of crickle-crackle. Not much, in the great scheme of things, and it didn't hurt. Yay! I can feel a bit of a difference in my legs, but I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep. He didn't say it, but I could hear him thinking it, wondering why I'd stopped coming, and why I'd taken so long to come back.

Curtis is still trying to tell me, politely but firmly, that he doesn't need the medication being squirted into his mouth. I am beginning to wonder how much is actually getting in, and how much is being spat out or ending up on fur. I have to admit, he seems totally back to normal. He was snoozing and I got a bunch of photos of him, mouth open. You can see the one missing bottom tooth. We were told to not go looking in his mouth, but from what we can see things are looking very good.

Swam and water ran on Monday. Gack. Let's not even talk about it.

Staining is happening to the outside of the lodge. I'll blame a bunch of hours of that for why the swim sucked. There is much more staining to happen.

I was over to Sunterra to get a coffee this morning, and it was so darned nice out I almost didn't come back. Several of my colleagues took an extended break out on a patio somewhere. I'm not quite sure what I'm actually doing there. If my leg had been feeling better, I might have headed it home to go for a run.

I got my best laugh of the week from Twitter the other day. There was a notice to yyc that casual two-week was over, and to please show up at the office on time, wearing grown up clothing. I loved it. This year it seemed the guys were dressed sloppier than ever, and the women, well, let's just say there's no better time to be a guy, or a lesbian than during Calgary Stampede.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Now it's our turn to be stressed

Some of you may know that Curtis had to go in for some dental work on Friday. There was a huge chunk of tartar on several of his teeth, well beyond brushing or dental crunchies. They were worried about what else was under all that, besides teeth. There were several icky medical words used I don't even like to think about.

Here are the before and after shots. He spent the ride over trying to convince us, rationally and politely, that it was all a big misunderstanding, and that he was fine.

Here he is home after, looking his normal distinguished self. In fact, the teeth covered in tartar were fine, but they discovered one of his little teeth up front was cracked, so they had that out sooner than talking about it, easy as pie. Everything else was good.

The vet staff all loved him, and were drawing straws to see who could take him home if we were a few minutes late picking him up. As if. Then they tried to offer him a job working there, saying he would be a valued addition to the office staff, able to talk to the incoming cats and calming them down. He told them he already had a job, keeping two humans and another cat in line.

Now we, and by we I mean me, get to squirt one medication into him every 24 hours for a few days, plus another 2 medications every 12 hours for the next 10 days. It's a good thing he's a good natured cat. I'd rather do pills. I'm also glad they gave him a kitty pawdicure while he was under. Just in case, you know.

Other than that, Friday was eminently forgettable. Today was wonderful, starting with OEB with buddies. No selfies, though, can't imagine how we missed that, considering how many other selfies we've done. Nor did we take any photos of the food. You guys will just have to go to OEB and find out for yourselves. No, we just had a great chat, ate great food, and loved the oldies soundtrack. The music, guys, not us talking. Sheesh. Then down to Millarville Market via Road to Nepal, looking wistfully at all the people on their bikes. Then a lovely  peaceful afternoon. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Whirr, not Grrr, for real this time

Still no workouts, unless you count riding .41 Km as a workout. That was after working on Estela. This time I remembered the secret for cleaning gucky chain lube. The secret is not to get it on your hands in the first place. I found the rubber gloves and wore them. Much better.

You may remember this post, where I used a brutal tool on poor Estela to get the chain off. Now I've got the right tool. It looks like this and works perfectly.

I was more thorough this time. I started playing with the little gear wheels in the rear shifter, and found the problem. The middle gear wheel didn't want to turn hardly at all. I found the right allan key and took it all apart. Somewhere along the way I managed to get a rock up in there, and there was a huge gouge in the bearing cover. Plus it was all gucked up, which wouldn't help. Once it was all apart I cleaned it and smoothed out the scrapes and gouges. When I put it back together it spun freely. Nice!

Then I did the other one, since I thought it had been spinning ok, but now I could see it needed work too. It was gucked up as well. I took a toothbrush to the chain and scrubbed hard. Once it was all back together and lightly lubed I went around the block. I couldn't believe the difference! So much nicer.

Even that little ride I could still feel the twinges in my leg, so it's not as if this will make the difference in me being able to charge down and back the Road to Nepal in record time. Only a few days till the appointment.


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