31 January 2011


My shoulders and thumb still hurt in different positions and movements, though because the thumb is used for more activities (e.g., I hit the space bar with that thumb), it's more of a constant annoyance.

My workouts for the next few weeks are going to be lower-body only to limit the shoulder involvement. Not much I can do about it.

I'm sooo glad I went cross-country skiing. (sarcasm)

We watched some more clips from "Big Bang Theory" online. There are a few with the song "Soft Kitty" and I came across a video of someone playing the tune on a recorder, so looked it up for ocarina. Last night our daughter played the notes on oboe and I used the ocarina and it was part of her music practice. It's been weeks since I tried playing due to the earlier pain in my forearms, which is gone now, and then the thumb problem. Of course, the thumb hurt during ocarina playing because one hole is covered by the thumb, so I didn't play long.

Did I mention that I have no intention of skiing again?

I have a Dr appt today to talk about the lack of progress on the thumb healing, because he's a hand specialist, though at this point I would like a general orthopedist to talk about the shoulders too.

25 January 2011

weekend thumb jam

Over the weekend we went to the snow, which included cross-country skiing on Sat, which was the first time for me. We have gone on this annual trip a few times before, but have gone sledding. Our daughter is older now.

I fell a few times in the course of the afternoon, during and after the lesson. Late in the day, when the shadows were long and there were more shadowed areas and icy patches, we went down an "intermediate", downhill area. It was quite steep and fast and I spilled forward. My wife fell earlier on the hill than I did, so had less speed and she fell backward, which was the better thing to do. I was leaned too far forward to do that.

After that hill it was flat back to the beginning and a short walk to the rental shop, but it's not like I could stop and rest my thumb. There was a mile or so of flat to go. At the end of the day, I had a minor pull in my thigh, some kind of tear in my rotator cuff, and a painful and swollen thumb. Went to the doc yesterday and had it looked at and x-rayed. Conclusion was that it's probably just a strain and I should be careful with it, etc. Apparently I planted my thumb in the snow and jammed or bent it back.

18 January 2011

internet TV and radio

It took some work, well, calls to the tech support people, to get the internet TV and radio connection to work. Last one I talked to had me set some IP addresses for static DNS (domain name servers) in the router settings and the internet connection box on the TV has worked fine since then. Prior to that content retrieval was timing out and failing.

My wife listens to a streaming music site and that's a channel available through the box. I added station along with hers, so I can listen to music that I like too.

Since I wasn't crocheting or doing other work yesterday, I watched some streamed "Big Bang Theory" scenes (on the internet-connected TV) for a while. They have some funny stuff on that show.

Watched a Jim Wendler (multi-part) seminar too. That was not exactly information packed, but okay.


It's annoying that I have apparently "injured" myself using the FatGripz through tendon overuse. I had assumed that the tendons would adapt as I have read about, similar to muscular adaptation and growth. Impatience gets me nowhere, if there is a cycle of setbacks due to pushing too hard and then the need for rest to heal the overuse. Considering my slow strength gains, it should have no surprise that my tendons would respond slowly as well.

Rest due to muscular fatigue from workouts is a different story.

Even before I starting weight training "seriously" two years ago, I had a recurring pain in one shoulder, probably rotator cuff. I haven't mentioned that one, but it comes and goes too. It's been a problem in recent weeks too, since I tweaked something in that shoulder at weight lifting class. I haven't returned to that class since then due to that (though the holidays got in the way, so couldn't if I wanted to). It's a nagging pain, but not bad.

Back when I started, I was doing L-flys and Cuban raises with light weights because I had read that those are preventive exercises for rotator cuff problems. The jury is out whether those worked at the time, but I've started them again to what happens.

Due to forearm pain, I haven't been doing much crochet work and stopped practicing ocarina and tin whistle so the fingering work doesn't aggravate the problem.

10 January 2011

tin whistle

After some discussion with Morg and Star Trek TNG "Inner Light", I ordered an Irish tin whistle, which has arrived as well. I can't get a consistent good sound out of it yet and I don't know if I'll ever play a good jig or reel, but perhaps I'll get a decent Frere Jacques out of it soon.

I haven't been practicing ocarina or tin whistle very much with this cold, so not much progress.

internet capable

The cold that started last weekend continued through the week. While I thought I was over the fever and doing better on Mon, the fever came back and I stayed home on Fri and rested much of that day, aside from an unrelated doctor's appointment.

Previously, I had ordered an internet-capable receiver box for our TV, which also meant ordering or buying a long ethernet cable to install under the house, jacks to provide access to those ends, two short ethernet cables to attach to those jacks, and an HDMI cable to attach to box to the TV. Those parts

Because I was feeling better yesterday, my wife and I installed that stuff and had internet streaming enabled on the TV in the afternoon. All without drilling any new holes into the floor or walls... but only because I made use of the existing holes that I made when we moved in and doubled up the coaxial with a coaxial and ethernet jack. Cheating, yeah.

The box could have worked wirelessly, but I figured a wired connection would be more reliable and stable.

I tried some video and radio streamimg before moving on to others things, then we watched a "Wallace and Gromit" short ("Loaf and Death") in the evening. Before playing anything, the interface shows the content "retrieving" before play begins. I assume that's because they want the content cached on their server or locally before streaming the output to the TV. Sometimes the retrieve fails and the content fails to play. That happened a lot with the radio streaming. Annoying, but the system mostly works. Considering we are now 2-3 years behind, I would have expected better success.

02 January 2011


About twenty years ago, I bought an ocarina somewhere. I have never bothered to play it, but recently rewatched a Star Trek TNG episode that reminded me of it, so dug it out and downloaded a fingering charts for a few songs and have been practicing those and some other songs. I don't much like the high notes because they either squeak if I'm not blowing hard enough or they are too loud (high notes seem to ... penetrate more).

Since starting with that ocarina, I bought another one. It sounds a little better, but it's similar. They are pendant, 6-hole (four on the top and two on the bottom) versions.

One site that I've downloaded songs from is for an iphone application where you blow across the microphone and the "holes" one "covers" to play the notes are circles on the touch panels. I thought that was an interesting application, but I'm not going to buy an iphone for it. I'd buy another clay or wood version first.

an egg

This morning there was a small egg in the hen "house"/loft. I'm thinking it was the first egg from the new chick, who is a pullet not a chick, of course. It was unexpected because it's winter, but when our other girls started, it was also in the winter, so apparently pullets are a little confused when starting out in their egg laying. I haven't cracked it open to see if there's a yolk. There may not be.

tide pools

Solstice week we were on vacation, visiting the inlaws/grandparents and other of my wife's relatives. That was a good week away. We had bad delays at the airports, but due to two-hour layovers between the two connecting flights, we didn't miss any of the flights and were only a little late arriving there in the end.

I've been sleeping in the last two weeks. That changes tomorrow, when I go back to work again. In that sense I've been lazy, but have continued to workout as usual during this time, including the vacation time away by visiting a gym there.

Since we have been back, our daughter and I went to the tide pools. It happened to be low tide when I checked, so we went. We didn't take the camera, so I used my phone to take a few pictures.

We saw a lot more sea stars than we usually do, including a few brown, like this one, orange, and pink.

Pink one with an anemone in a pool. In this pictures, there are also some snails and the different types of algae that grow there. There is also usually a small type of fish in the water too, but we didn't look for them.

After we walked around the pools, we spent a while watching a blue heron that was fishing in a large pool. We saw him catch, and miss, several fish. They were larger than the little pool fish I mentioned, but don't know what they were. The heron moved slowly and spent a lot of time standing still, stalking whatever he saw in the water. It was an overcast afternoon with some wind and drizzle. We also brought the binoculars and bird book that grandpa had given her.