26 June 2011


A week ago Wed, a group of us left work early in the morning for a road trip to eastern Nevada. Seven guys and some equipment in two vans and a truck towing a trailer. We returned this week Thurs.

I did what I could to continue with shoulder physical therapy using tubing, the pulley rope, and the exercise equipment in the hotel's "fitness center". They had a multi-station exercise machine that included a leg attachment for leg extensions and curls. My old weight rack and bench setup had one, but because I was relying on deadlifts, manual glute-ham raises, and squats for leg work, the new bench doesn't have a leg attachment. For this surgical recovery and the potential next one, this is a problem because I can't hold a barbell or heavy dumbbell to do leg work. The old-time strongmen used "iron boots" that were strap-on "boots" that could include a dumbbell each before the days of isolation leg work. The tubing is awkward to use for leg work, I ordered a pair of those boots. The boots should be useful for a long while. I will need to build up a lot of strength before I move beyond them, but I can see that using them for leg curls may be I'll continue with anyway.

The landscape where we were in Nevada was sage desert and hills. Dry and sandy in some parts, but where we were working had springs and different types of associated biting flies, but the air was dry.

I didn't bring a camera, but took some pictures with my phone on the way back. On the way I bought a few postcards. The following pictures are from the phone.

Once we came across the California border, we entered the Mammoth Lakes area, where we stopped for the night.

As we approached the Sierra Nevada mountains, we were in a meadow.

Once in the village of Mammoth Lakes, we found that the road to the Devils Postpile was closed, so we stopped on the road there and looked out over the valley from the embankment. While we were wandering around there, a few of us went over to a snow pile and made a snowball each and carried them back. When we arrived back with the others, we put them on the railing. Another guy had some carrots and another had a pocket knife, so I fashioned a face with a couple pebbles and carrot slivers.

On the other side of the railing, there was a rock wall with a chipmunk wandering around. "Don't feed the wildlife", but someone gave it a peanut.

I thought it was strange that the place name didn't have an apostrophe, so I looked it up. Official place names in the US aren't allowed to have apostrophes in them, so there are only a few exceptions and Devils Postpile isn't one. I don't have a picture of it, but it's like Devils Tower, a magma pile that cooled slowly and fractured vertically to make rock "posts".

The next morning we continued the drive across California, passing through Yosemite national forest. One place we stopped for picture taking was Tenaya Lake.

Another place we stopped was at an overlook toward Half Dome. Most of the rock there is granite. In the foreground are mounded granite slabs. Half Dome is a granite mountain that has a shear rise in Yosemite valley, which was to the south of the road/pass we were on. We didn't detour down there.

11 June 2011

normal activities

This week the lead PT said I should start doing normal activities again. Last time I saw the doc, he said not to, but that was several weeks ago. There goes my excuse for not doing dishes. I did them last night. Shoulder was sore reaching around, but I didn't break anything. Started tying my shoe laces again. (I had a slider to hold them, which worked with one hand, plus a little assist.)

I was out of a town for work some this week. Was of little use loading and unloading the equipment and I refused to drive the van full of cargo, but I was able to do my primary role. That was mostly just operating a laptop.

Late last week I also started typing with two hands again. I can get my arm on the desk, but it's not mobile once there. Limit of range of motion. I can also get my hand on the steering wheel of my car, but it's not of much use other than stabilizing.

Tried wearing a t-shirt. It's doable, but not fun putting on or taking off. Been doing button-front shirts since the surgery.

Oh, training related, sort of, I started lifting a 40-lb DB for 3 sets of 12 as an experiment, bad arm stabilizing, but held by the better arm, in a squat/deadlift. Doing those and crunches for the last week, three "sessions" so far. Tried leg lifts, but gave up because they put too much tightening on the shoulder

05 June 2011


I read an article online this morning about how people have a hard time keeping track of relationships with more than 150 people, Dunbar's number. They were relating it to numbers of factory workers and Facebook "friends". In the work setting, people can't keep track of whose job is whose and efficiency goes down. That's why Gore-Tex factory size is limited. I think the 150 thing also works for other other "friends" lists too.

I also watched an online exercise video. One day I'll be able to that again, but my weight is also approaching 150. In the past 2.5 years I've managed to gain something like 10 pounds, mostly muscle. In the last two months, I've lost most of that. Return to exercise is another month away, at least. By then I'll be starting Completely over. Nothing I can do about it, but it bothers me. I have some knowledge about how to train, which I didn't back then, but I still have to do all the work get to where I was. Yeah, and that's just for the first shoulder. Did I mention recently cross-country skiing was THE stupidest thing I've done?

03 June 2011

better PT session

This morning's session went much better. The place was less crowded and I received some better direction. The lead PT manipulated (stretched) my arm as I have seen him do for others.

He says I need to get more range of motion into the shoulder before we can move on. Behind schedule.

Exchanged messages with the Dr office earlier this week. I don't return there until next month, so I asked if I should have the MRI of the other shoulder before that appt. I'm anxious to find out the extent of the injury the outlook for surgery, not that I'm ready to have it done. He said no and wants this one to heal more before pursuing anything with the other, so the limbo continues.