Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yet Again

and yet again i had another episode of afib, something that probably shouldn't happen with my meds. i'm pretty discouraged. I have an appointment with a specialist Wednesday, and needless-to-say i was less than satisfied having a random episode and subsequent emergency room trip only a few days before. very unsatisfying. i'm sort of at a loss and i'm only starting the process.

Following:

This can be due to:

* High blood pressure
* Coronary artery disease-a condition in which the normal blood flow to the heart is changed because of blockages in arteries
* Heart failure—a condition in which the heart’s main pumping chambers (the ventricles) don’t work well, and this can lead to problems with the atria
* Valvular heart disease—damage to a valve can cause the atria to enlarge and lead to Afib

* Lung diseases-some people with chronic lung diseases have changes in the structure of the atria that leads to Afib

* Thyroid problems—an overactive thyroid gland can lead to Afib

* Excessive alcohol intake—People who drink alcohol often, in large quantities, or who have drinking binges may get Afib.


So far in life I don't seem to have these, unless it's a new problem. I don't think it's booze or caffeine, as I'm been off full caffeine since fall and my alcohol intake isn't more than 1-2 a day (glasses that is).

Don't know. i'm not positive although i should be, right? keep the upper chin? instead, i'm tired and run down and in dread of going to the ER again. hopefully wednesday can shed some light.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Lots of Surlys



I want to be with this crew. Surlys, wool, beards, grime, gravel, nary a stitch of lycra in sight. Damn, I'm moving. Hope the wife doesn't mind. Here's the link to more.

I'm not surprised!

94%DRUNKARD


Thanks, Sconny, for the opportunity of showing what I already knew. Only 2 2nd clues. Not bad.

I hate Duke

And I'm glad they lost!! I hate UNC a little more, but I derive significant, if not fleeting, pleasure from watching those pampered, crybaby Dukies go down. I've wasted a bit of time looking at how underachieving the Dukies have been in recent times. This is a good example of how undeserved they were in getting a #2 seed. If the NCAA, and the nation, generally hate the 'Cats, they have wet panties for the Dukies and the 'Heels. Following is their performance over the last 10 years in the tournament:

08 #2 l. #7 WVU 2nd round
07 #6 l. #11 VCU 1st round
06 #1 l. #4 LSU Sweet 16
05 #1 l. #5 MSU Sweet 16
04 #1 l. #2 Conn. Final Four
03 #3 l. #2 Kansas Sweet 16
02 #1 l. #5 Indiana Sweet 16
01 #1 Nat'l Chmp
00 #1 l. #5 Florida Sweet 16
99 #1 l. Conn. Nat'l Runner-up

'96-'98 was the magnanimous run of the Pitino/Tubby 'Cats who had 2 titles and a 3rd final. As you may notice, Duke has, in the last 10 years, had a Championship, a Runner-up, and a Final Four. All these performances are better than Tubby could muster in that time, Orlando being a coach who did not get past the Elite 8 in those years. Notice, though, that if you take the remaining 7 years, the Dukies were defeated by lower-seeded teams 6 times. Does that sound like seed inflation to you? Are the vaunted Devils more hyped than deserved? The last 2 years have been particularly abysmal, but look at the run of those underperforming, dare I say "choke artists", #1 Seeds from a couple years ago. My, I don't see many Elite 8s in that list even. Don't believe the hype. The Dukies are in decline. Their team is filled with small white guys who can't handle the greater amount of parity in the modern game. Inflated.

On a very different note, let's give the Hilltoppers some love for their amazing win over #5 Drake the other night. Often times forgotten in the land of the 'Cats, 'Cards, and Hoosiers, WKU has a long tradition of basketball excellence. They sandwiched between Big Ten stalwarts Purdue and Illinois at #16 on the all time wins list (through '04, crappy NCAA). My very good friend the Luv Dug (occasional commenter here) is a prof there (and well as is his lovely wife). I personally am super happy to see such a result and it's quite possible that they can get into the Sweet 16. Go Red!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cross-Kentucky


While I find myself looking at the rain and wondering about my iffy health (I got an appt for 4/2 today.), by happenstance I found the cross-country journal of Jeff Lee. Actually, to clarify I found mention of Jeff on the blog dedicated to my wife's hometown. He has some excellent mid-summer Kentucky pics (since disappeared from this version. The Html is still there). Vicarious living is empty, but damn it makes me want to hit the road more than ever, more than tennis, more than home renovation, certainly more than work or heart arrhythmia.


This is (was) indicative of much of the terrain of central KY- rolling, fields and forests, lots of sky when it's not too sticky. (I've now inserted a pic from my Shakertown ride)- Lots of small farms and "ranchettes". Don't you think everybody thinks their terrain is the best? Maybe I'll get off my fat ass and getting my arrhythmic ticker going this summer when the dread tennis is over. What a waste of time.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

NoCal


Nothing like this in KY.
(thanks in order to cyclotourist)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

new blog

Kent has a new blog, apparently one with writing as a focus. He always does a nice job, so it should be one to visit.

One of those days

I would give Friday and Saturday low scores, but I'll keep my head up. Friday early- 6.00a.m.- became a stressful day when my Afib, something I dealt with in September, came back. I had a brief spell Thursday night and I knew exactly what it was. Friday, work time, it was there again. Instead of going to work like I did the last time, this time I headed straight to the ER. I was there from 7-1.00, when I was then moved upstairs to a room. There they gave me some meds that regulate heart rhythm. Those took a good while to work; it was assumed for a while that I was staying overnight. Eventually I "converted" and had to good fortune of going home around 7.30. Oh, I should mention that the fam and my mom all came about 5.00 after the school day. The good wife would've come earlier in the day, but I didn't want her sitting around any more bored than I already was. Funnily, ironically, around the time they got there the nurse said I was going home that night. They had prepared a nice overnight bag with lots of magazines and a couple books, plus some socks that didn't have huge holes like the ones I was wearing.

I'm now on a twice-a-day med and have to see an "electrical guy" for a follow up. Afib is pretty common in old people, but not so much in a 38 yr-old. Seems like wiring, and not plumbing, is messed up. We'll see. That's life I guess.

And today, Saturday, was a loser all 'round. It opened with our school's girls basketball team losing in the State semifinals to another Louisville team, Butler. Butler seems to have the best player in the state and she dominated today's game. I know the elation and disappointment of a good-but-not-good-enough showing in state tournaments and it's a bittersweet emotion. Congrats to the girls for a good run. A little later the 'Cats lost in Georgia in overtime. Enough said about that misery. And finally Real lost away at Depor. That's 0-3 for me today. Guess I should do something else besides care about sports.

I don't really know what to do about my riding right now. Funnily, I was half thinking of commuting this past Friday- no tennis prac- but, hey!, I was in the hospital instead. I'll probably visit the "electro" doc before doing anything ambitious...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'm Famous!


Tim Smith of Louisville, Ky. takes a ride on his mountain bike through Cherokee Park Saturday, March 8, 2008, in Louisville, Ky.

10 hours ago from AP Photo by Timothy D. Easley


One thing I neglected to mention this morning about my ride was that at one point, while I was rolling along through Cherokee, a red SUV stopped in front of me for a while. No big deal. As I got closer, I realized that the driver was taking my picture. I stopped and we chatted. He works for the AP and was documenting the wintry morning. He then stopped a little further down the road and took it again. I think the 2nd shot is this one. He commented that he wanted more snow in the background, and that he liked my red jacket "popping". I'm sort of giddy. I doubt anything will come of this, but I have professional documentation of my robust effort this morning. And you never know. Maybe I'll be famous. That's all that matters, right?



Snow Event

Date: March 7 Sat
Mileage: 11 (Monocog)
March mileage: 11
Year to date: 442

Simply amazing. The "blizzard" did come in its own pleasant way. The official measurement in my yard is 10", which came in 2 batches, 1 yesterday and the most last night and this morning. It's 11.05 and it's been steadily snowing since I got up at 7.00, no, 6.00. I didn't want to up, but nature doth call.

After seemingly weeks of sloth, I knew I had to take advantage of such an event. This is our biggest snow in at least 5 years, and it's in March to boot. In this kinds of conditions I harken back to my most "extreme" snow adventure night these many years. In 1994 Louisville experienced a 2-day 20"+ snow with temps hovering around 0F for days. For this neck of the woods that was true blizzard. On that day, being stuck home from school for the first day of a 2-week snow-in, I ventured out on my old black and pink (yes, early-90s you know) Cannondale and headed towards my friend Chris' Old Louisville apartment. If he could make it to work he would receive triple pay. The good wife managed to take the bus to work to get double pay so I need my fair share of out-of-apartment time. It was 4F and I had lots and lots and lots of layers on. Now, after another 14 years experience I could do it in half the clothing, but I'm not even sure I had lycra tights at the time. I rode in the bus tracks and made the 4-mile ride without too many problems. Once I got to his 4th-floor apartment I almost went into cardiac arrest from his radiator heat. I helped push him out and he got to work. I think he might have taken me home in the car; I don't exactly remember.

Today didn't quite measure up to that scale. It was a brisk 20F with lots of sideways blowing snow. I choose the SS Monocog b/c the tires have so much more tread than those on the C'dale. I dressed picture perfect, using the lady boots to full effect and for the first time I used foot warmers. I guess they did the job b/c I didn't have one cold toe even after a fair amount of walking in snow that came above the boot top. In thinking both of the '94 ride and today's I have a new-found respect for Doug's and Jill's exploits in those frozen lands. To think that I managed to make it through today's exploit, but that I would have to multiply it by 10, 11, or 12 to equal the same feat, and that with colder temps. What struck me almost throughout today's ride was the ever-changing snow conditions. I was constantly finding lines that went from 10" pure snow drifts to slush to icy slush to compact snow. I would have blessed runs of a quarter mile with nary a traction problem with an immediate change to never-ending slip&slide washouts no matter how I tried to stay afloat. I did have to walk some, but not too much. I did a loop through Seneca- as the pics will show- before venturing towards Cherokee. I was quite pleased to make it up the 3 Cherokee hills, snow and all. Again, the primary goal was to keep the rear wheel pegged to the ground. Some of these pics will always remind me of what a beautiful and charmed hour or so it was. Just beautiful, inspiring and cleansing.


These pics are in reverse order, but I'm too lazy to fix them. And that's alright.


Compost Pile



Looks like a near-foot of snow on backyard table.


Near Beargrass Creek on Seneca golf course. It like the lay of the land better when it's covered.



Beargrass Creek


My own version of a track stand.


Old golf cart bridge across creek.


Blowing snow. I think this pic captures the morning best. Bonitisimo!


Looking down PeeWee Reese Rd. in Seneca Park. It's a rare sight to be that empty in daytime.


Flowerbed off Winston about a mile from the house. I like this pic.


Most!

More.

Some.

Friday, March 07, 2008

"Blizzard Warning"

This is not your typical KY weather:


Weather Alerts
BLIZZARD WARNING in effect for :
Switzerland, IN Carroll, KY Owen, KY

BLIZZARD WARNING in effect for :
SWITZERLAND, IN Carroll, KY Owen, KY
FLOOD WARNING in effect for :
Breckinridge, KY Washington, IN Jackson, IN Lawrence, IN
WINTER STORM WARNING in effect for :
Jefferson, KY Oldham, KY Shelby, KY Spencer, KY Nelson, KY Bullitt, KY Hardin, KY Meade, KY Larue, KY Breckinridge, KY Orange, IN Henry, KY Trimble, KY Crawford, IN Clark, IN Floyd, IN Harrison, IN Jefferson, IN Scott, IN Washington, IN Jackson, IN Jennings, IN Anderson, KY Franklin, KY Grayson, KY Green, KY Hart, KY Marion, KY Mercer, KY Taylor, KY Washington, KY
Snow and Blowing Snow ADVISORY in effect for :
Lawrence, IN

...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM EST SATURDAY...
...WINTER STORM WARNING IS CANCELLED...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WILMINGTON HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD
WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM EST SATURDAY. THE WINTER
STORM WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

A MAJOR WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE OHIO VALLEY
OVERNIGHT INTO SATURDAY. THIS STORM WILL HIT AS A ONE TWO PUNCH.
THE INITIAL PUNCH TODAY...FOLLOWED BY A BRIEF LULL IN THE SNOW
INTENSITY THIS EVENING...BEFORE PICKING UP IN INTENSITY AGAIN
OVERNIGHT WHEN STRONG LOW PRESSURE WILL COMBINE WITH AN UPPER
LEVEL DISTURBANCE TO BRING A SECOND ROUND OF HEAVY SNOW TO THE
REGION. WINDS WILL GUST UP TO 40 MPH AT TIMES OVERNIGHT. BEFORE
THE STORM ENDS SATURDAY AFTERNOON...YOU CAN EXPECT 10 TO 15 INCHES
OF ACCUMULATION. THE STRONG WINDS COMBINED WITH SNOW AND BLOWING
SNOW WILL CAUSE EXTREME WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS. THE SNOW AND
BLOWING SNOW WILL REDUCE VISIBILITIES TO NEAR ZERO AT TIMES
CAUSING WHITEOUT...AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS.

DO NOT TRAVEL UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. CONDITIONS CAN DETERIORATE
RAPIDLY IN BLIZZARD CONDITIONS.

REMEMBER...A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS
ARE IMMINENT OR HIGHLY LIKELY.

Snow Event

I haven't been on the bike in days and days. So much the worse, it seems that I've been spending it in the car. The boys have started their spring soccer practices, so we've become taxi-driving soccer parents. Yesterday, the good wife picked the boys up from school. I went to tennis practice- yes, we finally had 1 nice, dry day in the last 3 weeks. She took Z to school practice from 3.30-5.30. She had L in the car with her, but forgot his soccer stuff, so...she returned home to get his stuff. She dropped him off at the courts and then proceeded to pick Z up at 5. At roughly 5 I took L to his practice 5.45-7.00. The afternoon was warm and sunny, but by the time L's soccer was in full gear it had dropped to 40F or colder and windy. Frankly, I froze my big fat butt off out there at the fields. L was no better. His hands were cold and his feet too. Oh, and the good wife too Z from his 5.30 end time to his last indoor prac from 6.00-7.00. After these 7.00 practices we convened to spend a gift certificate at Outback. Either my tastes have changed or these fast-food/fine-dining restaurants like Outback and Applebees have really, really degraded in quality. None-the-less the meal cost us $17, and that included a generous tip. The only thing I really like was the Smithwick's, the rest was adequate for a long-ass day.

Today we have a late-winter storm coming in, 2" today and another 4-6" tonight. It's no snow day, though. School is off for an inservice day, which is why I have time to post an inane entry that doesn't deal with bike riding b/c I haven't ridden my bike.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Bald Eagle

Wow, on a beautiful day L and I had the good fortune of a most extraordinary sighting this morning. The family spent all day Saturday at sporting contests: 2 outdoor games, 2 basketball games, and 1 indoor soccer game. Today L had the 2nd day of his tournament in E'town, which is a 45 minute drive from home. Traveling 65 South just south of Sheperdsville and just south of the exit to Bernheim forest I spied a large presence sitting on a top branch of a tree. It was a Bald Eagle with its brown body and white head. He was perched overlooking a pond/lake just off the highway. I hollered at L and he got a good sighting too. I actually had a camera with me, but we were short on time and needed to get to pre-game.

I'm quite, quite surprised. I've never personally seen one. I know they are sighted in KY, especially at Land Between the Lakes in western KY. A colleague of mine attends a somewhat annual boat/eagle-sighting tour on either KY Lake or Lake Barkley. I'm otherwise shocked to see one this far east and so near L'Ville (25m). Some of my readers may see them like I see cardinals, but it was a great site to see on a beautiful day.

Once we got home from soccer I intended to take a ride, but instead worked in the yard with Z and a friend playing soccer next door. I enjoyed the relaxation and repetition of preparing the garden for spring.
Email to mysurly69@yahoo.com