Category Archives: Just Life

Little Sick, But that’s Okay

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I have feeling like I’m sick for a couple days now.  I’m not sure if it is from flying or from hanging out at doctor’s offices.  Or from something else.  Bill is sick too, so maybe that is the deal.  It is February and it isn’t unexpected.

It has been nice in Kansas weatherwise.  Not today though.  Or yesterday, really.  It was supposed to be 63, but it was only 40 by the time I got out and it dropped from there.  Today the high is 30, windy and a winter mix of precipitation.  Ouch.

I went to a doctor yesterday that specializes in dizziness.  He was good.  His name is Dr. McKnight.  He was a doctor like doctors of old.  Took lots of time to talk to me.  Asked me the right questions, I think, then explained the results of the battery of tests I took.

It gave me hope.  Not really hope, but made me feel more confident in coming out of this TBI (traumatic brain injury) less scathed that could be the case.

I did a lot of balance tests.  Some wearing goggles that recorded my eye movements, and some with complete darkness.  I was pretty stellar when my eyes were open.  In the 98% range, which he said you can’t score any higher because the earth is spinning.   I don’t know about that statement, but I felt pretty stable.

I wasn’t as stable doing the same balancing with no sight.  Only in the 80% range.  Still not bad, but I know I have less balance here than before cracking my skull.

So need to do some vestibulo-ocular reflex exercises to help my brain compensate with the balance issues.  I’m going back on Friday, my birthday, to see his guy that will give me some exercises to do at home to help.

He also said that I have loose crystals in my ear canals still, BPPV, which causes dizziness too. Loose crystals in liquid that throws off equilibrium.  That is a supposed easy fix, but I haven’t had that great of luck with it so far.  He did it again and I guess I’ll see if that worked.

So, that is good.  I haven’t had any dizziness issues recently riding.  Actually, only twice since I have been riding outside, have I even felt anything.  Both times it was just for a second or two and not bad.  That was awhile ago.

I’m going to KU Medical on Monday so see my neurology rehab doctor.  She is great and I am looking forward to seeing her.  I haven’t been there in 6 weeks now.

I am really lucky that I’ve had really good doctors that take time and seem truly interested in my health.  I don’t think that is the norm so much nowadays in medicine.

Anyway, I have a head cold now and feel pretty crummy, but it is sort of funny, because before this head injury, I would have been pretty depressed about being sick.  It is just a flesh wound, not even that, now, compared to what I went through the past 3+ months.  I guess that is one upside to being really bad off for abit.

Tucker has no balance issues. He’ll stay like this forever, or at least until I tell him it is alright to go run.

Release the hounds.

He loves swimming. Even if it is freezing out, if he can find water, he is in it.

He’s an exhibitionist at night, usually.

 

 

A Few Photos from the Past few Days

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I flew into LA and met up with Seth Davidson and his wife.

On a ride with Adam Mills and Robin Carpenter. This is in Solana Beach at Lofty Coffee.

A church on a ride North of San Diego by Couser Canyon. I’m not sure what Revelation 22 12 is, but it must be “moving”.

Sue climbing Couser. I was riding up it with Corky. On Strava, Ned holds the KOM. He was only a bit over 10 minutes faster than us. I bet he was using carbon tubulars.  It’s only 5 mph faster than I climbed it.

These border cops were rifling through a woman’s car. I talked to her after and she said the reason was because she lives in LA and was driving to Chula Vista.  This was in a parking lot at a fruit market in Rainbow.

After the ride Couser ride with Corky and Patty.

Corky and Patty have two horses that wander their compound.

I liked this guy. He is 27 years old.

Mobile tire repair by Mission Bay.

Keith and Tucker returning a lost dog after the ride yesterday.

Lady Gaga warming up before the Super Bowl.

 

Life Memories

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I have written heard a lot about chasing life memories.  I think that is what most people are doing.  They might not realize that is their desire or destiny, but that is what I think is going on. And each person has their own memories that is only theirs.

You don’t necessary have control of these memories or then you get them.  They can be monumental things, huge accomplishments, or can be a simple as laying on your back, watching a flock of geese fly over.  They are very personal.

I thought of this yesterday, when my friend Jacob Dickinson, was speaking at his mother’s funeral.  He told a very eloquent story about a memory of being young, on a beach at Puget Sound, in Seattle, with his mother, collecting ocean worn glass.   His story explained the experience of his mother explaining to him how the glass transformed from a sharp, dangerous object to something of beauty.  He said that experience changed his views of object, thus people, throughout his life.  It was a very truthful and touching prose.

I have tons of life memories, as each of us do.  Like I said, many of my life memories I didn’t dictate.  They just came.  At many different times, many unexpected.  I have life memories from the last 3 months, after fracturing my skull.  None that would mean much to someone else, but many that are important to me.

After the funeral yesterday, at Grace Cathedral, I went down to the basement, to a small chapel, where the is a columbarium. My dad’s ashes are there.  I’m not exactly sure why that is.  It isn’t one of my life memories.  But, he is there, at least part of him is.

I haven’t been there for a couple years.  I felt a little sad about that for some reason.  I’m really not of the belief that my dad is there.

I was thinking that if there is the slightest chance, like even 1 out of 1,000,000 chance that someone’s soul stays near where their bodies, or ashes, are, then I need to jailbreak him.  I wouldn’t want to be left there and think it is a very lonely place.  Not where you want to spend “eternity”.

I didn’t break him out, but I did reminisce a bit of my life memories with my father.  It was good and a nice way to transition from a funeral back to something closer to normal life.  I think I just had another life unexpected life memory.  That is how they come.

My dad’s plack.

Inside Grace Cathedral.

My father used to play the organ some.

Going to a Funeral Service

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I’m heading to the Grace Cathedral church in a couple hours for a funeral service for the mother of one of a good friend.  I’ve known her mother since I was in junior high and have stayed with her throughout my life, travelling to race my bike.

I have to say I’m not big going to funerals.  I guess I should say I’m not big on going to funerals in the US.  I’ve only been to one service out of the country.

A couple of the guys that were on my original cycling team have been hit by automobiles and killed while riding their bikes.  First Jim May, then just a couple years ago, Cal Melick.  I went to both of their services.  I didn’t like it.  I don’t like seeing my other friends sad.  Who would?

When I was riding for Specialized, I was hanging over in Europe, mainly racing on the road, when I got a call from Kris Burchard, who was in charge of the marketing department of Specialized.  She said that my team mate, Jason McRoy, had been killed while riding his motorcycle.

She asked if I could fly over to England and go to the funeral service with her.  I wasn’t big on it, knowing my dislike of funerals, but I felt an obligation, so I flew there.  It turned out to be a great life experience.

Jason’s dad planned a super service.  Rock music in the church.  Lot of drinking and Jason stories after, at a pub.  It was more what I think a wake would be like.  I haven’t been to a wake. But even though the people were very sad about Jason’s loss, they bonded deeper and celebrated Jason’s life.  It was a very surprising experience for me.

This is different.  I’ve known this family since I was really young.  My friend was my girlfriend in junior high, then high school and into college.  I’ve had a ton of great experiences with her brother and sister.  Really a whole family. There are lots of sad people here.  Including myself.

Anyway, I guess funerals are for a purpose.  Bonding of the living I think is as important as saying goodbye to the dead.  At least that is what I’m going with now.

Jason.

 

Mt. Oread Cycling Team. Jim is knelling, 2nd from the left. Cal if directly behind him.

 

 

Heading back South

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We are sort of packed up and are heading back south to Kansas today.  I didn’t realize I had a doctor’s appointment, plus a super good friend’s mom died and she and her family are flying in tonight.  So it is time to go.

It’s not all bad.  The weather up here in Cable is too warm.  So warm that the skiing sucks.  Like your skis stop when you hit a sunny patch of the Birkie trail.  That probably doesn’t bother guys that can ski really good, but that isn’t me and I don’t like it at all.   And it is supposed to rain all day tomorrow and Saturday. That isn’t so good for the snow.

Plus it is pretty warm in Kansas now.  At least for January.  Looks like the highs are gonna be in the upper 50’s through the weekend.  That is pretty good bikin’ weather.

Okay, Tucker needs to do his last lap in the woods.  He loves it up here.  He’s already been out romping for an hour this morning, but is always up for more.  Then 10 + hours of driving.  It is a tad too long to be comfortable.  I would like it way better if it was closer to 7.  But that ain’t so.

I’m looking forward to riding some.  I haven’t been feeling all that great the last few days and seem to feel better when I get on a riding routine.

Tucker resting up before the romp.

And doing some yoga stretching before the fun today.

And after, he usually ends up on the couch with Hawkeye and Dennis.

Bald Eagles

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When I was skiing yesterday,  I saw a bald eagle flying over me.  That struck me as weird because I thought eagles migrated with birds or whatever their food supply is.  It is obviously winter, and winter in Northern Wisconsin is really winter.

So I came back and looked up the migration patterns of bald eagles and it showed this area and it said that eagle can be here year round.  Just like in Kansas.  That is nice to know.

I love watching eagles fly.  They are very majestic.  I went to YouTube to see if there is a video of eagles flying and I found the video below.

I have no desire to be a fisherman, but I would like to experience this a few times.  I’m not big on eagles acting like seagulls, but they are scavengers and need to get food somewhere, so I forgive them for acting “out of character”, at least according to what I think they should act like.

The World is Changing

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The last 100 years or so have been pretty impressive if you’re a human.  So much has changed.  The whole world is mobile now as long as you have the money to pay for it.  And many, many more people  have the money now.

I saw this article about how researchers have come up with a way to help your teeth repair themselves. They put a small amount of Alzheimer’s drug, Tideglusib,, on a special biodegradable sponge and within six weeks your tooth has fixed the cavity.  So, in theory, pretty soon, no one will have cavities.  That would make a huge difference in less fortunate countries.  Even here in the US.

On the drive up here I was listening to Fresh Air on the way up to Cable and the show was on Crispr,  a gene editing mechanism.  The technique permits scientists to quickly and precisely alter, delete and rearrange the DNA of nearly any living organism. I’d read a bunch about it and know it is going to be revolutionary in many regards.  But I started thinking about it and realize that so many of the “problems” that humanity has currently are going to disappear because of this.  Many illnesses, diseases and problems that we have no ability to fix are going to be gone within the next decade I’d guess.  Man, this is a big step.

I also read about revolutionary battery improvement the guys at MIT came up with. They have a solid type battery that can be recharged forever.  Much stabler and safer, plus it never wears out  It is a lithium-oxygen battery with has a ton of advantage over a lithium-ion battery.   Lots of advantages.  They are going to have this technology on the market within the next year or so. Pretty big advancement in battery technology.

So, lots of our health problems are being addressed quickly.  And some of the energy problems that maybe not us, but really the rest of the world has.  Our lives are going to change dramatically the next decade from these technologies.

Pretty exciting stuff.  Great for the humans on the planet.  That is if we don’t screw it up and do something stupid to cause the world to implode.  Seems like some of the stuff going on recently is putting us on that path.  Hopefully we don’t let that happen.

 

We’re not doing such a good job in this respect. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t like it if someone was bombing us.