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Archive for February, 2010

Sheep, electric?

It’s raining and storming in SoCal… again.

I’m stuck High & Dry with a garage full of fantastic dive gear, an eager and talented buddy,  1,460 cubic feet of portable breathing gas…

….and nowhere local to go.

Can’t dive?  Book Time!

Top of the stack: The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick.

PKD was the master of normalized societal dread.  He could take the tiniest unpleasant element of society and spin it into a global angst and loss of humanity within post-apocalyptic horrors… and give us “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

A kernal of imagination so rich it could sprout with guidance into the amazing film, “Bladerunner“.  Brilliant in its ordinary horrors, Philip K. Dick’s vision was merciless and beautifully executed.

As the rain came down, the stories spun out in my land-locked mind:

  • Automated factories fighting against humans to survive,
  • Totalitarianism maintained by an installed home appliance,
  • a tough old lady sucking profit from the desperate – across time,
  • and a 10-year  corporate-controlled TV-project to build malleable citizens who would support future wars of acquisition.

Echoes of today’s worries reflected darkly through the lens of Philip Dick.

Dark stuff.

I had to shake myself.  Each day got darker.  Stories stomped around in my head all week long.

I saw a motorist stopped by police…  and thought about how easy it is to frighten people into obedience.

I heard experts discussing healthcare and wondered how many of my opinions are based on manipulative  influence from the 13 remaining corporate news agencies.

Clicking into Google, I wondered about the dossier this amazingly convenient appliance now has on my little life.

I caught a head cold.
The first one in a year.

I took a deep congested breath… and I bolted.

I put down the Philip K. Dick and picked up Terry Pratchett.
I shook myself into West Wing for smart, exciting, brilliant, optimistic dialogue.
I listened to the most fun and silly RockStar music I could find.
Time for a new sensation!
I laughed with my family and dreamed about future diving.

I’m shaking it off.
Philip K. Dick’s dark word pictures didn’t used to rattle me.
Hmmm… I was younger.

Maybe the uncomfortable used to feel less scary.
It certainly used to feel less real.

I still appreciate this mighty voice of warning and icy extrapolation.
But I like it in smaller doses now, as I’m hip deep in the daily wonder of living with love and optimism and purposeful hard work.

Philip K. Dick.
Wow.
Life is way too much fun to feel that bad.

~~~
Claudette

Categories : Uncategorized
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Plantaris muscle: Gone in 60 seconds! (Not my leg. Less hair on my leg; Plenty o' hurt.)

Of course, you might not even have one.

Between 7 and 20% of medically dissected cadavers don’t.

You’re not dead yet, so you probably only know if you have this vestigial calf muscle if you ruptured it playing hard…
….as I did, December 16, 2009.

Muscling 140 pounds of diving gear out of the sea, I pushed hard against sand and swirling water and felt a whomping !POP! on my right calf.  It felt like a tennis ball had hit it.  Then came a fascinating sensation as the now free tendon slithered downwards from my knee to my ankle, right before the next step brought a wave of pain.

Ok, this couldn’t be good.

Home to ice, compression, elevation and single malt scotch while I convinced my brain to take the night off.  I’d worry about it tomorrow.

December 17th I could barely walk, but even my hobbling was enough for a physician teammate to diagnose it between my car and the hospital door: “You trashed a vestigial calf muscle.   Common in middle-aged athletes who play hard.  The tendon just gets old and gives up. I did it myself when I was 47 playing tennis. You don’t need it. You’ll heal just fine.  See ya!

10 minutes later I had the reference from PubMed: “The plantaris muscle: anatomy, injury, imaging and treatment.”  Spina, A.A., Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association, 2007.

Treatment: Rest 1 to 3 days.  Ice, compress, elevate.  (No mention of single malt scotch. They’re missing it!) Resume activity when pain subsides and rehab as needed for specific sports.

And that’s exactly what happened.  I hobbled and Igor-walked for a couple of weeks, and dived plenty as that didn’t irritate it.  I appreciated my dearest buddy who loaded my gear on the boat for a great weekend of diving.

I knocked off the gym until I could walk without pain, 30 days later.

The first week of running and lifting reanimated some of the pain in my right calf, but it was manageable.

By the second week back in the gym, I didn’t even think about it anymore.

Healing is a wonderful thing.

And then…yesterday…. I shuffled my weight routine as I do every few weeks.
Dumbbell single-leg Romanian Deadlifts“?
Sure!  No problem.

Down…up…down…up… 3 sets of 6 reps, I was feeling good.

[Tick, tick, tick... a night passes.....]

Today?  I could barely walk.
With each step forward the right hamstring HURT!!

Seems my right hamstring muscles are missing their little friend, the plantaris muscle, 8 weeks after the little striated slacker gave up the ghost.  Ow!!

My left leg and hamstring are fine and dandy. I know where THAT plantaris is… still.
But the right hamstring, now lifting with just the remaining gastrocnemius and soleus calf muscles, is howling mad and has been telling me about it all day in excruciating detail.

It wins. It gets the night off. Back to the gym in a couple of days.

I love healing.   Isn’t it over yet?

~~~~
Claudette

Feb
03

“The longer I live…

Posted by: Claudette | Comments (2)

Out of many, one

…the more I realize, to my severe chagrin, that I’m not unique and my problems have been experienced by many”.
– my best friend, January 18, 2010

The night I got my email back on.

In a previous epiblogisode I’d fixed a bunch of computer issues, riding on encouragement and new confidence… doing stuff I’d never done before.

Pretty cool.
But I still couldn’t send email.

In a three-way stalemate, Thunderbird, Spysweeper and WindowsXP each pointed to the other guy, “He did it!  He’s to blame!  Not us!

With my best friend on IM, I took a deep breath and said, “Spread out!!!

I was going to fix this.
This problem must have been experienced by many, I just had to uncover the trail.

I opened 4 windows and filled them with forums and trouble-shooting pages and tutorials from all the guilty parties and began to hopscotch where ever the flags sent me.  27 minutes later I tripped on a little note about “ports”, and alternate nonsensical numbers to try if the default port number wouldn’t play.

And shazam.  It was fixed.

80 instead of 25.

Are you kidding me?

It’s so much fun to be me… and glorious to have the voices and experiences of the unseen millions to help me along this crazy way.

E pluribus unum.

Dig it.

~~~
Claudette

Categories : Life, oh life.
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