Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ahh, Youth

Well, well, well, I'll be damned. I really am going to have surgery on my knee. I had kinda convinced myself that doctor would tell me to man up, get back on my bike and ride. I was hoping that he would decide that the ACL wasn't too bad, and that the menisci would be alright without surgery, or at the very least, he would just clean them up a little and I would be back on the bike, and training for the Portland Marathon, in just a few weeks. Nope. ACL reconstruction, menisci repair, and then 2 months before I can resume anything that resembles activity. Bummer!!!

On the bright side, he did tell me that, since I was a young athlete, he would do a double bundle allograft. Now, dear reader, I would like for you to read that again. Slowly. No, not the part about double bundle allograft, you can look that up on the web, this ain't an A&P class. I meant the part where he said young athlete. I mean, I know that some of you that know me are thinking, the guy just had the wrong chart (if that were true, I would let him cut the wrong damn leg off, just to be called young athlete), but he was looking right at me. Now, if you don't know me, let me just say, I wear my age. In fact, sometimes I tell people that I am 60 so that they will say, "man, you look pretty good for 60." When people find out that I am only 50, I usually get something like, "dude, what the hell happened to you!" Oh well.

Back to the surgery. An allograft is a graft taken from a donor. Now, since none of my so called friends are lining up to donate body parts to me, then it will have to come from a cadaver. I sit beside the County Coroner in my church choir, so tonight at choir practice, I put in my order. I asked him to keep an eye out for a young person that was not overweight, didn't smoke, and did not ski. He just shook his head and said that he would get back to me. I hope he hurries.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wine and Cheese

Sometimes, it's a good thing to hole-up for a while; to just cut yourself off from the world (as much as possible and still keep your job) and regroup. There are unlimited methods. You can go on a long solo back-country trip, or , if you can't get away, a bicycle ride or a long run can allow you to get lost from the world. Sometimes, depending upon the method, it can be not so positive, as when you hole-up with drugs and/or alcohol (been there, done that), which are effective, albeit self-destructive methods.

For the one or two people that actually read this dribble, you may have noticed that I have been holed-up. I have basically only left the house to go to work, the pool, or a few things at the church. It has not been a bad thing. I live with an amazing woman, who puts up with a lot from me, and 2 dogs and a cat, that also put up with a lot, as long as I feed them. Actually, come to think of it, that is also true of the woman. Since I've been holed-up, I've not been keeping up with this blog. I started this to write about commuting by bicycle, back-country skiing, and other outdoor pursuits. Right now, all I am doing is swimming laps at the pool. Not real exciting. Let's see, I swam yesterday, didn't drown. Yawn.

The point is, I've been kinda down about my knee, and I really don't want to whine on line. But The Judge, who just learned how to send an e-mail about a week ago, has been bugging me to write something. So, I did.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Saturday, 1300, a rainy day in the Great Inland Empire. Sitting on the bed with The Heeler, listening to Shawn Mullins, journeying through a blog called The MinusCar Project. Great stuff, especially his mini Bible study on Jonah, the people of Ninevah, and its relationship to saving our planet. What a great way of looking at this story. What would the general condition of Christianity be if the mainstream modern American church had embraced the story of Jonah, instead of trying to interpret Revelation to fit their needs. Oh well, just a thought.

I have driven my car to work every day since I got hurt, but MinusCar has started me thinking of alternatives. We do have a bus system in the Coeur d'Alene area, and I think that might be a viable option. Unfortunately, it is a walk of several blocks from both home and work, which is not really that great for my knee. Maybe I could ride the cruiser those few blocks, but I'm not sure. It is so easy just to hobble downstairs, get in the car and drive, but I started riding my bike to work in order to lessen my personal impact on the planet; a small, probably silly and futile effort, but Paul tells us that we should be seen as silly by the prevailing culture. The story of our Faith, has rarely been the story of great leaders performing great deeds, but of insignificant people performing seemingly insignificant acts.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One Sunny Day

Springtime in northern Idaho is a fickle mistress. She gives you a glimpse of sunshine and warmth, and then hides it again under the cover of clouds, rain, cold dreary days, and sometimes, just to keep you off guard, snow. But, unlike those in more temperate climates, we who have just gone through 5 months of winter, tend to bask in her glory, when she is sly enough to show it to us. Where else, when it hits 70 degrees for half on hour on a Tuesday, do you see so many people driving around with their windows wide open, people with t-shirts and shorts on bicycles, and the city park full of sunbathers. How many will show up for work today with sunburned faces and other sundry body parts?

I love sunshine on snow. I love spring skiing, but even just a drive through the valley, surrounded by snow covered mountains is a beautiful thing.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Good Truck

Man, I miss driving my truck. I bought it in 1992 brand new from my friend, Doug, who was general manager for a Chevy dealer, and got me a great price. I put the canopy and the Yakima on it in 97, and it has been G's and my main road tripping vehicle since we've known each other. It has a raised dog bed in the back that Ed loves (The Healer rides under the back seat. She seems to have issues). It helped us move to Idaho from Georgia; we spent a week camping in the rain in it on the Oregon coast, it has been to Moab a couple of times, and we drove it on a mountain biking, spiritual healing trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon shortly after my mom passed. It has been part of my life for longer than I have been married (I'm kinda hoping that G doesn't read this). I know that it is an inanimate object, but if a vehicle can have soul, then this truck definitely does

The only problem is that it has a clutch, and with my knee in the shape it is in right now, I can't drive a clutch. So I am driving G's Subaru, and she is stuck driving my truck. I say stuck, because, for as much as I love driving my truck, G hates it. According to her, it is too long, has too many blind spots, and it is just too damn big. Her biggest issue, though, is trying to park it. I will admit that it does have a fairly sizable turning radius, and can be a challenge in a small area. Evidently, it took her several attempts to get it into a parking spot at church last week, and by the time she did, she had a few people watching, and evidently enjoying the entertainment.

I am a bit concerned that it may be several months before I can drive my truck. In the mean time, I am afraid that G is going to start pushing me to sell it (she has already dropped a few subtle hints, like "why don't you sell that f***ing thing"). Of course, with 265,000 miles on it, who the hell would buy it?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Core Work

G says that I should add more pictures to my blog, so I thought I would share a photo of my current work-out regime. As you can tell, things are going swimmingly. I am really getting into this new program, and I think it's beginning to pay off. My legs may be starting to atrophy, but I am really starting to show some great development in my "core." You also will notice that I have some new work-out partners. The Healer is a bit down about the lack of running, but, all in all, these guys are a lot less maintenance then my previous adventure partners. None of these guys steal my powder lines, or offer constant critiques of my very unique ski style (an artist is never appreciated in his own time).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It is beautiful here in northern Idaho. The temps are in the upper 60's, lower 70's and the sun is shining. I'm thinking about going out and tilling the garden, maybe go for a bike ride, or just a long slow run. I love these gorgeous Spring days when you just don't know what to do!

Hah: April friggin fools. It's 34 degrees and snowing. I got my MRI results back, and I won't be riding, running, gardening or skiing for quite awhile. It's a partial tear of the ACL, and tears in both lateral and medial menisci. Hopefully I will get away with arthroscopic surgery, but I can't get in to see the ortho until April 28th.

Now for the reality check. G is at the doc right now getting the results of her MRI. Her neuropathy is getting worse, and they want to see if her back is breaking down even more. She is in a lot of pain, and is pretty discouraged. My friend K is facing the prospect of starting chemo this week. I talked to her on Friday, and she was pretty scared.

The point is, it's just a friggin knee. I will miss at least half a season on the bike, and I don't know that I will ever run that marathon. But in the great scheme of things, it could be a lot worse. Now it's time for me to buck up and take care of the little woman.