Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Currently convalescing with crocheting

I need stuff to do while I don't have the ability to ride the bike. 
I can only read and clean the house so much and DVDs are only 1-2 hours long.
After seeing Tin Lizzie's post about reflective fabrics and yarns, my interest in rekindling my hatred for knitting was re-ignited. I re-learned the steps for crocheting and practiced a bit. I was still lousy at this. It took a few tries to gain enough confidence in my remedial skills and I ordered some of the reflective yarns. Neon yellow, neon green and safety orange.
This would be the ugliest damn scarf.

I figured out how to chain-up!

Some subdued colors for a less hideous version too.

One color on.
Almost finished!
Pudge is my scarf model

When I started chaining on the third and final color, I became concerned: it looks like a flag. Whoa, what country was this? Would I be wearing the National Colors of some despised entity? Would I find myself cycling past someone and get harassment if they didn't agree with the politics of this nation?

Thankfully, the closest these colors come to an official flag of a sovereign nation is:

Mali (green, yellow, red)

Guinea (red, yellow and green)

Ireland (green, white and orange)
I think I may rip out the orange and use that yarn in another scarf.

UPDATE: I ripped out the orange with plans for the orange in another scarf.

Here's the finished (orange-less) product:

Not bad for a noob.

 I'm delighted to have this new interest... it keeps my mind off the bad things and the worsening pain in my knee. I bought a few more non-reflective yarns and a new larger needle with plans for another project.
I have an exaggerated limp from the increasing pain and I'm glad to be sitting, and also sad to be sitting. I'd rather be on the bike.

Someone said to me today when they saw my difficulties in walking: "I bet you'll be glad to have this surgery."

Yes, yes I will.

1/28/15 Project 2 is finished and project 3 is underway:

#2 Reflective orange with non-reflective black
#3 A cowl that uses the reflective olive/green

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cygolite Hotshot SL (2 Watt)

I've owned a few rear blinkies and done a fair amount of research on them: hands down, the Hotshot wins.

  • Price: in the $30 range.
  • Convenience: USB rechargeable. No stinking alkalines to leak or replace. It's a good idea to charge it frequently, but you can forget to charge it for several uses and it's not going to die on you.
  • Battery life: 2 hours on steady mode. 200 hours on  blinking mode. WOW. I've been using and recharging the light for almost two years and it's had no issues.
  • Versatility: you can clip it to your helmet, clip it to a pannier, mount it to your frame, you choose.
  • Brightness: 30 Lumens. Yes, this is a bright light. see my video below.
  • Flash modes: Steady, single blink, double blink, random blink and pulse. You can even adjust the speed of the blink and pulse modes easily.
  • Durability: I've used the light in rain, snow, and bitter cold. I've dropped it and whacked it against doorjambs. It's still working.

Since I've made this video, the Planet Bike and Blackburn Flea blinkies have died: the Planet Bike blinkie's alkaline batteries leaked and killed the light. The Blackburn Flea's battery, which was rechargeable with a special adapter died as well, I've been back and forth with Blackburn, getting several replacements, but I've determined that the battery is very delicate and susceptible to overcharging or undercharging. You have to charge it EVERY time you use it or you kill the (non-replaceable) battery permanently if you drain it.

Other reviews:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This is your knee...

...and this is your knee on drugs. Lots of drugs. 800mg ibuprofen 3 times a day. I still cannot completely straighten my left knee. My surgeon will be digging around inside it later this month with the warning: "I might get in there and see that it's a lost cause and then we can look at replacement."

The MRI. Sadly, this view doesn't show the larger meniscus tear and the chunk that's floating around. 


I've been putting off taking Fizz out of my office. For two weeks now I've been making excuses for not placing Fizz in the storage room. I've not tried to get on the bike for fear of twisting my knee, it's had good days and bad days since the injury. It's also been insanely cold: like single digits and teens cold. I resigned myself to a non-cyclist's life, albeit temporarily. I rolled Fizz out of my office and back to the bike storage area with Ruby. I noted a thick coating of dust on Ruby and cleaned her off.

At least they aren't using the bike storage area as a workspace and throwing garbage onto the bikes.

What bothers me more than my inability to ride is that I've become accustomed to not riding. It's going to be hard to get back into my habits and routine.

A balmy 21! That's OK, I can ride when it's warmer.

Friday, January 2, 2015

First 'Post' of the year

Look what came in the 'post'! Thanks, Mary!

You might also notice those are two Netflix DVDs underneath the Coffeeneuring patch. I anticipate watching a great deal of TV over the winter and I upped my subscription. I'm taking a mental tally of all the things that will be different this winter: less biking, more TV, no Errandonnee-ing. Argh, I'm going to miss out on earning that patch!

However, I was able to get some biking in to perform some maintenance on one of my Geocaches today, it's just a mile away from work and it had gone missing again last week. It's a magnetized cache that I've hidden among the War memorials along the North Shore.

I was able to dismount the bike without laying it down on the ground, this is more progress in the knee's mobility. I still need to lay the bike down to mount it though. This means I'm not able to go on errands, group rides or anything that requires getting on the bike in front of other people; I feel silly.