the accident

 bicycle accident

On Friday, August 3, I had my first serious bicycle crash. I was riding east in a bike lane and the sun was in my eyes. I had on sunglasses but still kept my head low. I could see about 20 feet in front of me. I caught a flash of orange out the corner of my eye. I looked up to see a white van parked in the bike lane. I was too close to brake, I swerved left. 

The next thing I recall is looking up and seeing Whitlock Village and thinking I didn’t recall this village in Seven Oaks. Things started to get a little clearer and I realized I was still in Meadow Pointe and on Beardsley Avenue. My shoulder was sore but I got up and sat on the bumper of the van. Someone called 911. Florida Highway Patrol arrived and asked me questions. I declined a ride to the hospital. I didn’t have my ID nor insurance and needed to go home. I didn’t feel that bad. 

I called D and she picked me, took me home. I changed my clothes from my cycling shorts and sweat soaked top. I put on a wool shirt that would keep me warm in the ER which is usually cold. D dropped me off as she had to go back to work. I was sore but didn’t really think I was hurt. If anything, I expected a concussion because I had no memory of the impact. I am not sure if I lost consciousness. 

FHWC ER is a new concept from what I am used to. I got put into a private room and only the basic information was taken before a PA came in to see me. A technician came in and took X-rays of my left knee and right shoulder. My left knee was scraped but didn’t hurt. I was wheeled to another room for a CT scan of my head and neck. While I waiting for the results, I got a tetanus shot. I opted to get the shot in my sore arm. No reason to have two sore arms. Finally, someone came to get my insurance information. 

It was quite a surprise to hear I had a broken clavicle. The pain was only a 3 or 4! And especially weird to hear I had no concussion. Then again, my head didn’t feel like I had a concussion. The pain was really just in my shoulder. They gave me ibuprofen 800. I was told to called an orthopedic surgeon in case I needed surgery. They gave me a sling with a waist strap to keep me from moving my shoulder. 

My dad picked me up and took me home. I thought about having him take me to fill my prescription but his driving out of the hospital parking lot left me with little patience. We went home. 

D picked me up and took me to Target. At this point, the whiplash kicked in. I had an awful pain in my right shoulder blade. The pain was only bearable while I was sitting and putting pressure on it. Walking or standing for more that a few minutes made me nauseous. 

The hardest part was trying to do everything with one hand. Although I am right handed, I do use my left hand for many tasks. Just not everything. Brushing my teeth with my left hand was so awkward. 

I was a little worried about sleeping that first night. I prefer to sleep on my side and was worried I might try to move while I was sleeping. Sleeping was fine and I slept most of the night. I didn’t need any pain reliever. 

Saturday and Sunday were spent at home sitting in my chair most of the day. I only got up to fill my stand ring on my Apple Watch. The pain in my back was awful. 

On Monday, I went to the chiropractor. He told me that it was the whiplash that was causing the pain. He did some adjustments. I was really sore and the cracking was intense. I thought this would help, it didn’t. 

I had to keep calling every day to say I wouldn’t be at work. I worried every day that I would have to talk to K. She wanted to know how long I would be out. I just didn’t know how long the pain would continue. If it wasn’t for the whiplash and back pain, I wouldn’t have missed any work. 

On Tuesday, it was school registration for Andy. I was fortunate that they started a virtual registration that was online. I only needed to logon and get his schedule and bus information. I would not have been able to stand in line like I had to for the past 16 years. Later, Andy and I drove to Chick-fil-A for lunch. Driving is OK. My back hurt but it was tolerable. 

I spent most of my time, reading, surfing the web, listening to podcasts and looking for jobs. 

On Friday, I went to the orthopedic surgeon. This was the earliest appointment I could get and I had to drive to Brandon. The hospital didn’t upload the X-rays so I needed more. The technician told me that Dr C likes more views as well. The PA explained the complications of surgery versus no surgery. I opted for no surgery. They agreed especially since I have little pain when I move my arm. I was told to start moving my arm with pendulums but not to move my arm above my shoulder. They told me I only needed to hold my arm at a 45° angle instead of 90°. We took off the waist strap from the sling. I go back in 2 weeks.

I went to the chiropractor to get another adjustment. This one went a little better. Dr B said I should come back every week. 

I started to feel improvement on Sunday. I could walk and stand for about 10-15 minutes before the pain was too much. Monday brought even more improvement. I don’t know if it is because I switched to naproxen or if I am finally healing. I went back to the chiropractor. I even stopped at Publix for a few groceries. I am not sure if I will be able to work the full day but I am going to try.

i like fun socks

 Lego minifigures

It started some time in grade school. We first wore navy blue cable knit knee socks with our ugly plaid uniforms. When I got older, I started to chose patterned socks over plain blue. Although we had to wear white blouses, our socks and sweaters could be any color. I liked to to match my sweater and socks but completely ignore the plaid skirt or jumper. One of my favorite combinations were a striped sweater and argyle socks. 

My socks were not this nice.

My socks were not this nice.

There was a period after college when I wore colorful cotton crew socks slouched with penny loafers. I admit that it was not a good look but it was more comfortable than nylons.

I would own loads of fun socks except my feet are big. Women's socks typically fit shoes sizes 7-9. My feet are more like 10.5 or 11. I got tired of trying to stretch the socks over my long toes. After I moved to Florida, I only wore white athletic socks when working out or wearing sneakers. I eventually got rid of the few pairs of socks I had kept. 

Stance socks

Stance socks

Thanks to Fab, I found that they make fun socks for men. I gladly bought a few pairs from Stance. The socks fit well over my feet but not so much over my fat calves. I only wore these with jeans which I would wear a handful of days. It just doesn't get that cold in Florida. Stance makes some low cut socks but they slip off my heels. I gave them away. 

I tried Happy Socks. They are thinner than Stance but tighter on my calves. I only got a couple of pairs.

When I was preparing to go to North Carolina for a few days of photography, I got some hiking socks. I found were Wigwam wool socks. They are wool and I expected some itching. There was no itch and I loved the way they felt. I tried some Wigwam wicking socks but I really liked the wool. I tried wearing them in summer and found that my feet did get wet but never felt clammy. I would have a drawer full if not for the cost. Wool socks are not cheap. They cost between $12 and $20 a pair. 

I got a half dozen pairs of Wigwam socks. They are all the same size and color. It is easy when I wash them. Pairing them up is no problem. I learned that drying socks in the dryer will wear them out quicker. The heat degrades the elastic. I lay the socks on top of the dryer and they are dry the next day. Stance and Happy Socks take much longer to dry. I have to hang them up. 

Keen Presidio MJ with Happy Socks

Keen Presidio MJ with Happy Socks

I started working at Macy's. Our uniform is a black shirt, black slacks and black shoes. It is hot and I sweat. I tried some cropped pants and found they helped though my quarter-crew socks looked a bit odd. When I got some MaryJane style shoes and the Wigwam socks looked really bad. I got out some of my fun socks I hadn't worn in months. Because of my weight loss, I can wear them pulled up my calves. The red socks with polka dots from Happy Socks were a big hit. Maybe bright socks could be my thing? I got three pairs of Alfani socks from Macy's. They are thin and my feet slide too much when wearing them. I tried wearing two pairs but that was too tight on my calves. I can wear them with my sneakers. The Alfani socks are large so I dried them in the dryer to help them shrink a bit. I purchased some Alfani socks for women and they fit perfectly before I washed them. 

I like the feel of Stance Socks, They are a bit thicker. Both the Stance and Happy Socks are snug on my calves and by the end of the day, I am eager to remove them.

Keen coronado sneakers with Happy Socks

Keen coronado sneakers with Happy Socks

By now, people are used to seeing my silly socks and expect to see them. And I keep looking for fun socks that aren't too expensive. 

back to work

I have to wear all black. Am I a ninja?

I have to wear all black. Am I a ninja?

I finished my first week of work in 15 years. It was better than I expected and a lot tougher, too.

I got a seasonal job at Macy's working on the recovery team. We put clothes back from the fitting rooms, we straighten up the racks and refold the clothes. I never realized what slobs people can be until last week.

I signed up to work 5 days. Then I found they increased my hours. My first day was 7 hours. My back and feet hurt after 2 hours. I made it through and was glad to have Monday off. It took until Tuesday for my legs to stop hurting. I worked Tuesday and Wednesday and was sore all over again. The work is not difficult but I am not used to being active and on my feet. It is good for me and hopefully the pain will stop soon. 

I worked in juniors and men's and women's. I felt most comfortable in men's clothing. Finding where clothes belong is not too difficult and it is quieter. The male employees work in the men's so I moved back to juniors. I do not know nor understand fashion. I do not recognized the brands. 

The people I work with seem pretty nice. Most are younger, in their early twenties. One older woman has another job and one is returning after a long time at home like me. It is difficult to really talk to anyone when we are meant to keep moving. 

My step count has really jumped. I walk over 5 miles on the days I work. I am grateful that I can wear sneakers. I didn't know that the first day and wore some new Børn shoes that weren't as comfortable. 

I had signed up to work Saturday but then decided to advertise the shift. This means anyone else can pick it up. Someone did and I was glad not to have to work three days in a row. I did end up with just under 30 hours for the week. We are supposed to work twenty hours or more. 

I pack my own meals and snacks. For the 7 hours shifts, we get two fifteen minute paid breaks and one 45 minute (unpaid) meal. We have to clock out for the meal. It is weird to eat at odd hours. (I like my routine.) I try to eat some at each break. I find that I adjusted well enough and am not as hungry at certain times like I was before. 

I had hoped to ride my bike to work but when they extended my hours, I decided not to ride home in the dark. I am still riding in the morning before work. I don't go in until 11 which leaves time. I find I am more productive on the morning before work. Even when I am achy, I find riding makes me feel better. It gets the blood pumping to heal the tired legs, feet and back. I have lost 4 pounds this week.

I cannot keep up with Twitter. I tried the first couple of days. It is just too much work. I stopped trying to visit Bike Forums on the day I work as well. It is a good thing to step back from social networks but I miss it. I really miss being home for the boys. Andy came home on Friday and was upset. Andy told me about it. I asked dad about but he didn't know much. He isn't as perceptive about their moods as I am.

august cycling recap

I started the month trying to burn more fat. I used my new Wahoo Tickr with the Wahoo Fitness app on my iPhone. I tried to stay in zone 2 which is supposed to burn more fat. It was relatively easy and I rode a bit longer to make up for the lower speed and less effort. 

The scale didn't move. 

I started riding longer on Saturdays and did not eat back the exercise calories. Still, the scale didn't move.

I felt good about the mileage I was doing but getting frustrated at the lack of weight loss. When the boys started school, I started riding an hour a day. Still the scale didn't move.

Andy & I only did one evening ride. It rains a lot in the summer especially in the evenings. ANd if it doesn't rain, it is usually too hut and humid.

I began to think it was stress keeping the weight on. I am worried about replacing the income that is going to be reduced in September when Ryan turns 16. As much as cycling helps me relax, I still worry the other 23 hours.

With the longer rides, I need to address some problems. My hands tingle all the time. My feet start to tingle at about 50 minutes. I thought about going clip less again. I even tried on my old pair of shimano SPD shoes but they are tight. (My feet spread out when I got pregnant.) I wasn't sure I wanted to back to clip less pedals. I read some things online and asked in Bike Forums. Many cyclists are fans of clip less pedals. Some believe that platform pedals are just as good. I decided to try the Ergon pedals and ordered then from rei. While I waited, I tried riding with my Keen sandals and found them better than my sneakers.

When the Ergon pedals arrived, I was eager to try them out, I went to install them and found them incompatible with my cranks. The Ergon pedals are secured through the back and my cranks are solid. My road bike has holes as do the boys' bikes. I didn't want to go back to the cage pedals because my shoes slip too much. I took off the MTB pedals from Andy's old bike. They have pins which hold the shoe securely to the pedal. I noticed the difference right away. My foot did not slip. I just needed to find the right position because adjusting while pedaling is near impossible. I still get some foot pain if I ride longer than an hour and will look for stiffer soled shoes later.

I got a couple of new bottle cages. I found some nice cages from King Cage that will accommodate the Klean Kanteen insulated bottles.

t need some work done on my bike. I would like to do something about the handlebars. I think the narrower bars would help with the tingling and perhaps some new grips. I also need the chain and cassette replaced. I don't want to be without a bike so I kept thinking about getting my road bike ready. I took it into Oliver's expecting it to need new tires and a tuneup. I was hoping for less than $200. The tech put it on the rack and took a look. The gears are not working and need to be replaced. And if they replace the gears, they have to remove the bar tape which means it needs to replaced. Along with the new tires and a tuneup, the estimate was just under $400! I was not expecting that. I really don't have the extra money to spend on this. I have reduced to lunch time outings to once a week.

The scale seemed to be stuck all month. Then on the last day, I lost 4 pounds. Huh? I think the scale is wonky.

I finished the month riding 296 miles.

a new bike

Andy needed a new bike. He had been riding his current bike for 4 years. Back then, all I could find with a single speed were expensive cruisers. I didn't understand why they were more expensive than geared bikes. I didn't want to spend $600 or more on a simple bike. A salesman convinced me that the BMX style bike would be fine. And it was fine for a few years. But Andy is tall and the smaller bike takes more effort. He cannot compete with those rising larger bikes. 

Andy is not competitive but he needs to have good times in order to qualify for the state games at Disney. He really surprised me by riding  the 5k and even earning a blue ribbon. I started looking at new bike. 

I started my search online. I found that the Trek single speed bikes are still over $500. I kept looking and found a bike called Pure Fixe. These single speed bikes are fun looking and about $360. But the reviews are mixed. I kept looking but didn't find anything else.
I decided to check out the Pure Fixe at a bike shop. There is a shop downtown that carries both the Pure Fixe and Trek. I went down there after a photography meet-up. 

I walked in and saw this beautiful matte olive green cruiser for $259! The salesman greeted me and I asked him about the Pure Fixe. He said they are sold out but have these Electra Cruisers. I had not heard about Electra. He told me that Trek bought them this year. He said that they specialize in cruiser bikes which is why the price is so good. The model they had was a men's tall. It would be good for Andy. Electra also makes fun accessories like bells and baskets and such. I asked if they would take a deposit but they would not. They would hold the bike for 24 hour. 

I came home and told dad. He lent me the money and I called the bike shop. They do not accept payment over the phone. They would not hold the bike after 24 hours and, by the way, they were having a sale starting Thursday so don't plan on the bike being there by Monday. 

I really didn't want to drive back the next day. I had a meeting in the morning so my day was already busy. I called a local shop and asked about the Electra. They had them but not the one I wanted. However, they get a new shipment every week. If they didn't get the bike this week, they would make sure they get it next week. OK. Can I pay over the phone? Yep. Done deal. 

About an hour later, the first bike shop called back. They said they can accept payments online and I can order the bike on the website. I told them I made other plans. I did check their website and found  that they didn't even have that specific bike listed. They only had the Pure Fixe listed which were sold out in the store. I am glad I didn't try that. 

About a week later, we got a call that Andy's bike was ready and we went to pick it up. I had Andy try it out. He was shaky because the seat was too high. He rode more confidently once it was adjusted correctly. Once we got home, he wanted to ride around the neighborhood. 

I kept looking at my bike hanging on the wall and wondered if I could ride. It has been years and I am much heavier. 

pruning the palms

queen palms, 2010

queen palms, 2010

I had my palms pruned yesterday.

There is a guy who drives around the neighborhood about once a month and knocks on my door and asks about my palms. I step out and look and tell him they don't need it yet. He knocked yesterday and I was going to tell him to come back but he said that I told him this month. Sigh. OK, how much? He looks at my queen palms and tells me he can do them for $30 each though he should be charging $40 each. They really don't need the trimming. He explains that the seed pods should not be popping out like that but I know better. I ask him about the washingtonian palm which does need pruning. "You tell me what you will pay." Right. That tree is already 20 feet tall and needs a tall ladder whereas the queen palms need only a 6 foot ladder. He goes on to tell me more bullshit about the palms and how he does the neighbors' trees. I am surprised because I did not hear any chainsaws before he knocked. I ask if he will do it all for $100 and he says yes though he looks like he is doing me a favor. (I paid $80 in 2012 and 2013.) The men get to work.

queen palm flowers, 2012

queen palm flowers, 2012

I come out a bit later to move my dad's car. It is in the driveway and under the palms. It is not really in the way but I am being cautious because he had asked me to move it in the past. I see the men are using handsaws which explains why I hadn't heard them. I ask if they want some water. He says yes, "or gatorade or pepsi". We don't have soda in the house and I am not generous with dad's gatorade. He doesn't keep more than one in the fridge. I make up three jugs of water with ice in some rubbermaid plastic water bottles I have had for years. I carry them out. He says he will put them in the cooler and asks if I want the bottles back. Yes, though there is no rush. I know I will see him again. I am not so sure about the bottles.

washingtonian palm, 2010

washingtonian palm, 2010

He knocks on the door asking if they have taken enough off. Once again, they have trimmed more than enough. Palms get their nutrients from the green in the palms. Green fronds should not be pruned. Our old neighbors would have their palms sheared. They were told it is better for hurricane protection. That is not true but I never told them otherwise. I have learned to leave the green fronds on the palm. But the washingtonian palm is too tall for me to climb and prune so I am at the mercy of these guys who knock on my door.

queen palms, 2009

queen palms, 2009

After they clean up the yard and get paid, I decide to check online about palm pruning. Yes, they did prune too much and it may hurt the tree. I am angry at myself for not insisting they do what I ask and not watching them. I will have to diligent if I ever let them trim again.


astonishing 1.PNG

I installed nvAlt and am working through my documents to save them in text format. Doing this has gotten me interested in writing more. Then I listened to Giant Size with Moises Chiullan and Merlin Mann. Merlin was speechless that John Gholson had not read Astonishing X-Men. I haven't read that series either. I went to Marvel and added Astonishing X-men to my queue. The series starts in 2004 and though it kills me to go back that far, I know it better to read from the beginning.

In less than a week, I was caught up to my current 2011 timeline. It helps that Astonishing X-men is not issued every month but about every three months. It doesn't tie into many of the major cross-over events but does allow for them.

Marvel Unlimited allows me to read all the Marvel comics I want for $9.99 a month. It is a great way to catch up with what is happening now.

With comics, many characters come and go, die and are revived again. It is worse than soap operas but much more colorful and fun.


captain america first 13a.PNG

I was reading Captain America and The First Thirteen and Cap said "alley-oop" as he hopped out of his window. It got me thinking of where this phrase came from. Cap was in France during World War II so I thought maybe the phrase should actually be "allez-oop?" Aller is the French word for to go. The tenth Doctor Who is famous for saying "Allons y!" meaning "let's go!"

I checked online and found a couple different definitions. According to 

interjection: Used as an exhortation or to signal the start of an activity. For example, when coordinating efforts to lift something heavy.
noun: A basketball move in which a player throws the ball to a teammate near the basket who leaps to catch it in mid-air and then puts it in the basket before returning to the floor.

The Oxford English Dictionary adds that alley-oop is a maneuver used in skateboarding or snowboarding spin usually involving an 180 degree or more turn.

rss. a work still in progress

My rss client, FeedWrangler, stopped working on a Saturday morning. Interruptions have happened before. I assumed it would be corrected in a couple of hours. Towards evening, I went looking for some news of FeedWrangler. A few mentions on Twitter but nothing from @FeedWrangler nor its developer @_DavidSmith. I started to get concerned but hoped David Smith was at an all day event and could access his website.
By Sunday morning, I was frustrated. I subscribe to a lot of feeds. Too many feeds. I wasn't too worried about missing important news, but I didn't want my unread items piling up. I went to my feed reader apps and added my FeedBin credentials. I haven't used FeedBin in weeks. My unread count was near 10,000. Also, the feed list was different as I have deleted some and added others.
When GoogleReader was shutting down, I looked for a replacement. I first chose FeedBin. I signed up for FeedBin. It seemed OK but then one of favorite apps added FeedWrangler before FeedBin. I signed up for FeedWrangler. After going back and forth, I settled for FeedWrangler. FeedBin raised their prices, the went open source and I was glad for my choice for FeedWrangler. I knew I would get rid of FeedBin account when it came time for renewal. 
However, this weekend showed me that rss is still not stable and I should keep my options open. I should also keep a list of my feeds in a space I can access if the system goes down again.
FeedWrangler is back up. The developer was at a cabin without reception. It is good that it was fixed easily enough. Though I am now a bit doubtful that one person can handle this much responsibility. Where are the backup contingencies? What is something happened to the developer? None of us are invulnerable. 
It took a few days but I created a backup list of my feeds. I know I have an OPML file but that needs something to read it. I just wanted something for those temporary outages. As of Tuesday, I am halfway through the list. I am paring down the list as well. There are many feeds I only look at the headlines, some I keep because they followed me at some point. I have also found quite a few that have stopped posting.