Tuesday, August 23, 2005

You're hardcore!

Well, the shin pain has improved a lot.  Tylenol helps.  Against doctors orders, against my better judgement, and with a lot of tape (and the help of a sports medicine web site with detailed taping instructions), I played half a game of hockey tonight at about half intensity.  When I mentioned the possibility at the office, I was told, "you're hardcore."  I got a slow warm-up and I was a stride behind the play most of the time, and I missed some passes that should have been easy.  The team needed the relief, though.  I just trailed the offensive play, screened the D, screened the goalie, and on the defensive end I just checked their left D.  There was a short bench.  Believe it or not, whatever was tight in my shins and ankles loosened up.  Warming up those muscles and stretching them out has done wonders.  I also discovered the source of the shin stress.  My shin pads have a seam in the middle of the shin.  The padding on either side of it is compressed and broken down.  Falling on my knees is like falling on a small stick across the shins.  It's time for new shin pads.  I have ice on my shins now, and I'm relieved to be assured that the pain isn't some neurological disorder, gout, or something terminal.  The doctor was right, but it's clear that I'm not playing hockey tomorrow or next week.  I want this to heal for good.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's better than I had previously thought.

I merged onto I-435 northbound at Eastwood and was behind a black hearse with a flag-draped casket inside. That changed my day. My problems seem pretty small.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Happy Birthday

I'm 35. I could wax philosophical, but it really feels just like 34, and 33 before that. I'm another year wiser. Rich and Lisa (and kids) took me to dinner at Carmen's. They seated us upstairs, and the power went out up there, which means the music was off and the table was lit by the candle only. By the time we finished our salads, they had the lights and Sinatra back on. The folks at the table next to us were under the emergency light and it shone directly onto one guy who used his napkin to shield his eyes for the duration. At another table they couldn't get their check, because the computer was off, and the printer, thusly. I had beef tenderloin rigatoni, which they call Rigatoni ala Carmen. It was good, but not as good as the Chicken Spedini, which I usually get. I'm just burned out on chicken at the moment. The storms rolled in as we left and the weather felt good until the rain started coming down.  Another noisy little squall just woke me up, so. . .

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Back in motion.

I went to the office today, then I went to the gym for the first time since last Friday, when my shins began feeling like fire. I think Oxaprozin, an Ace wrap, and two Extra Strength Tylenol got me through it. I also think there may be consequences later. It's chest and biceps day, though. It's nothing shin related, except a little warm-up on the treadmill. Getting the blood flowing felt good. Now, all at once, it's time to eat, time to ice my shins, and time to go pick up some keys which Lisa borrowed. I'll probably take my ice bag with me and go see if Lisa cooked extra. Otherwise, I'll end up in a "drive thru" somewhere.

On the work front, there's some sort of management shuffle going on to consolidate things and improve services. It sounds like they're forming a committee to evaluate headcount and such. Maybe we'll get some more people.  Maybe we'll get pink slips.  <shrug>

Hungry when I wrote this.

I haven't really had to leave the house for the past few days, aside from a Monday night snack at Fox & Hound with Alexis, a new found friend.  I've been "working from home" during the day.  I was prone on the couch with a heating pad on my leg and staring dizzily at my laptop screen and chilling out on antiinflammatory meds yesterday.  Lisa was sweet to bring me some needed grocery items, which amounts to milk and yogurt. Mom knows to bring some quality Ideal brand bread from down south, and she left some here after their visit this past weekend. I grew up on that stuff, and still love it. I used it to make sandwiches with some Arthur Bryant's brisket which was left over from their visit.  Dad agrees, Arthur Bryant's is good, but it's not as good as LC's.  Tonight, big gay Adam drove me over to Salvatore's for a real meal..  The Tilapia Alla Fresca there is pretty amazing.  White wine reduction and oranges?  Yes!  They tend to give you a huge side of pasta with the non-pasta dishes.  If I were 100 pounds larger, I might try it.  The to-go box is wrapped in Saran and calling my name from the fridge right now.  I worked a midnight maintenance window, and now I'm kinda wired.  Maybe some food will help.  The fact that this post is all about food, really, is a good clue.  Chow time.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Ow, my shin

Well, the shin pain turned out to be a stress fracture. I have been aggravating the shin splints inadvertently just by walking around a lot, not to mention playing ice hockey and doing hack squats. So, it was swelling up yesterday and the doctor said to take it easy.  Now I'm on an anti-inflamatory prescription, which makes me a little dizzy and Tylenol Extra Strength. I'm supposed to take it easy on the legs until the pain stops. No hockey this week.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Pain management

That slap shot to the left ankle didn't leave a very deep bruise, but I can feel it if I step or flex my ankle just right. Ibuprofin is my friend. My body also relocates constant pain. If I have a muscle with a knot in it, my wrist or knee might hurt until I work out the source of the sympathetic pain. Today, the sympathetic pain was in my right shin. I massaged the left ankle to work out any tightness, the shin pain stopped. I just hope I never get a sympathetic pain situation where I can't find the source or the source is somewhere I can't massage. . . or I can't find a friend to massage it.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Rewinding today

When tonight's work is done, I will be ready to sleep soundly in my own bed.  I'm up late babysitting some network gear during some changes to a distribution hub network in Kansas City, Kansas.  Before that I played hockey badly in the 30 and Over League.  My legs were sitff and sore.  At one point early in the first period I stopped a slap shot with my left ankle.  When the shock and numbness stopped, the pain set in.  Before the game I had some very heavy and rich food at my brother's birthday dinner.  Before that I rolled into town from Minneapolis.  It's just over 400 miles of some of the more boring stretches of I-35 that I've ever seen.  That's saying a lot!  I hate the stretch between Norman and Ardmore in Oklahoma almost as badly as Ponca City to Guthrie.  The wasteland between Kansas City and Wichita is the least exciting space one could ever view.  Well, there's a stretch of fruited plain between Des Moines and Albert Lea, which is positively mind numbing.  Do you like corn?  It's not as bad as taking I-70 across Kansas, but it's close.  Before the long ride, I was pestered by work-related phone calls from about 8:45am til I finally told them I had to stop, check out of the hotel before noon, and roll to KC.  Prior to that, we had done the second night of equipment moves from the old Minneapolis space to the new one between 12am to 4am.  I might have gotten four hours of sleep.  I don't think so.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Nutrition content over taste? A new philosophy.

I have a trainer at the gym telling me what to eat these days.  It is a far departure from eating whatever I crave and whatever tastes good and whatever is cheap and convenient and whatever my favorite restaurants are serving.  I might actually burn out on chicken breasts at this pace.  If I consistently chose those over beef, turkey, or white fish, that would mean eating 24 ounces of chicken breast meat a day. If protien powder didn't come in a variety of flavors, I might burn out on that, too.  A huge change in my lifestyle includes keeping fruits, greens, and yogurt around now.  I eat bananas for breakfast anyway, but never in the quantity which I'm eating now.  I'm cooking and washing dishes a lot more.  I can't say that I'm saving any money, though.  This is six meals a day!  My metabolism is already in overdrive.  I can't say that I feel better, because I'm always stuffed.  And sticking to the diet is moderately challenging when traveling.  Luckily, the Hilton I'm in now has a good room service menu.  If Hilton did the cooking all the time, I could totally envision making this diet a lifestyle.  Just leave the tray in the hallway?  Okay!

I'm in Minneapolis and we're getting ready to move a big chunk of internet gear from one room to another.  It's just a few OC192s.  Some servers.  Some switches.  Some routers.  Eh, we're ready.  Internet access on cable modems in Minneapolis might be a little, uh, intermittent for a short time tonight.  I tried to rest this evening, but ended up in the hot tub.  Then, I watched some trash on TV.  Anacondas is a terrible movie, but I couldn't stop staring.  Hotel cable doesn't leave many choices.  I could have watched a guy bread fish with crushed fried pork skins (chiccarones) to reduce carbs.  Anacondas was less frightening. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Comments? Gasp!

The most unique thing about today is that someone other than me or a family member actually posted comments here.  Woot woot! 

I played hockey to the hilt last night and really, really hurt when I went to bed.  It was beyond the normal soreness, which I can work out by stretching and drinking a lot of water.  I had a powerfully bad headache when I woke up.  And again when I woke up with chills and sweats.  Flu? And again when I woke up and called in sick.  Then, the telemarketers who never call me decided today was a good day.  And the random work contacts called.  And the boss called.  It's amazing how plugged into work I am on a sick day.  After that, the ibuprofin started working.  I tried to get at least a couple of consecutive hours of sleep and went downtown for some Coconut Curried Chicken & Shrimp on Egg Noodles.  That's comfort food for me.  I finally felt better, but not in time to make it to the rink for the Wednesday night 30 and Over League game.  I think I would have passed out anyway.  The mode for tonight is relaxation. . . and to work this midnight maintenance window.  I will go to the gym tomorrow, even if I have to go to the hospital after that.  :-)

Monday, August 1, 2005

Nebraska versus Oklahoma

Road trips to Lincoln, NE to conduct job interviews are atypical for me.  In fact, it's a first.  But I (not so) secretly hope the guy from Oklahoma gets the offer.  Not that I'm biased, but he came across as a really great guy with most of the right credentials and experience, which is more than I had hoped for after reading all the candidate resumes.  I'm sorta jealous of the position he may get, because it's a sweet spot.  The Nebraska network has a few challenges, but it's far simpler than Kansas and Missouri.  I knew the interview was over when he was asked if he likes corn.  I knew he was a shoe-in for the spot when he grinned and gave an answer that was almost as funny as the question.

Speaking of road trips, the trip to Tahlequah to float down the Illinois River was big fun.  Drunk and fun Jason spent more time out of the boat than in it.  There was an impedence mismatch, because I was 100% sober for that portion of the adventure.  JL jumped in the water to relieve herself, but couldn't make it go. . . for about a quarter mile.  I'm still chuckling.  The impedence mismatch continued later for another reason as I tried to derail/heckle some kind of WTMI girl talk conversation as I held the flashlight for them on the way to/from the campground restrooms. I'm still shuddering.  Sorry girls.  The camping portion was fun, but less eventful.  We had beverages and made s'mores, after we found some wood that wasn't too green to burn.  Unlike all previous camping trips to this point in my life where eggs and bacon were fried on a griddle in the morning, someone went into town for some Braum's breakfast.  I think I liked that better.  Proper!  </hammer>  It's only better because there's not a Braum's within 90 miles of KC.  When I lived in Oklahoma, I'd drive past 3 or 4 of them a day.  I miss Braum's.  Not enough to move away from KC.  By the way, my Chiefs tickets are in hand!