Sunday, November 30, 2008

iPhone headphone fix

The most annoying thing about the first generation iPhone that I have is the headphone jack. It's recessed, which most headphones can't be plugged into the iPhone. The Apple earbuds, of course, fit. The problem with the earbuds is that they don't fit in my ear so they're not very useful to me.

My Etymotic ER-6i's, however, fit and sound way better than Apple's but they are among the many headphones that don't fit in the iPhone. This week when my Etymotics developed a short in the cord, I decided to try transplanting the earpieces onto the Apple wire. It worked!

Now I have some comfortable headphones that I can use with my iPhone, plus it also works as a hands-free headset and remote control for the iPod functions on the phone. Sweet.


Saturday, November 29, 2008


Going with the "better late than never" theory, Christine and I celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday with a bunch of friends. Christine and I cooked a turkey and some other items, while our friends brought other tasty items. It was great having a bunch of friends over and pigging out. All-in-all a great night of food and friends.

We tried a new turkey recipe this time. The short story is that we made an herb-salt rub, rubbed it on the turkey, let it sit for a day, then rinsed it off and cooked it. The theory is that the salt causes some juices to come to the surface, then the juices are reabsorbed into the turkey pulling the herb flavoring with it. The turkey came out super tender and moist, but I don't know that was any better than brining (which was easier). The cooking of the turkey itself was pretty straightforward and easy, but we spent a fair amount of time making a turkey stock to use for basting and in the gravy. For dressing, we made a wild mushroom and spinach dressing with ciabatta bread.

We had planned to go out on the town for my birthday and drink copious amounts of alcohol, but we ended up staying home. My shoulder was feeling pretty rough and I was happy to hang out and fall asleep while Christine watched a movie with a friend. I'm not generally content sitting still, and I think I tried to do too much with a bum limb. On the plus side, it's feeling better and I even managed to tie my own shoes today.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Aches and pains

Yeah, the collarbone hurts. In addition to that, I'm now feeling all the other bruises from my crash. The worst one is on my hip, right where my pants sit. I came a way with relatively little road rash though.

I'm a stomach sleeper, and I keep waking up at night desperately wanting to roll over to my stomach. I can sort of sleep on my side for a bit.

Christine was able to postpone her work trip to London so she can stay and help me out for another week. That's huge. I'm getting more mobile, but it's still hard to do a lot of things. I drove today for the first time. I even got dressed completely by myself. (I'm such a big boy now.) Last night I even split some turkey wings one handed.

Being one armed at Thanksgiving is a bummer because I actually like to cook. I can still do some things, but I don't think I'll be able to do much chopping. Maybe I'll just be the stirring slave in the kitchen. Last night we started making a turkey stock so our house was smelling like roasted turkey. Pretty awesome, since we'll also have a great Thanksgiving smelling house on Friday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Broken bone update

I went to an orthopedist yesterday and had him check out my break. Pretty much, I just need to limit my motion and wear a sling. In a few weeks I can probably lose the sling and start doing some physical therapy. If I was in a hurry or worried about having a lump on my bone, I could have it repaired surgically. I'm not a fan of of surgery, so I think I'll just deal with the cosmetic blemish. There goes my bikini modeling career. I go back in 2.5 weeks so he can make sure things still look good.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Is it broken?

My blog has been pretty stagnant lately, so we not enliven it with a doozy...

Yesterday I rode down to Colorado Springs with a couple teammates for cyclocross race. My first in over a month. In fact, I've only ridden my CX bike once since my last race. I've been feeling unmotivated to ride, so I thought this would at least force me to put in a good effort.

The course was decent for me. It started out with a big hilly loop, which meant that I didn't really need to fight for a position at the front. I just sat in the top 20 and picked people off as they got tired. I was around the top ten by the time we got on the actual course.

I rode pretty well and also made some mistakes. I was caught up behind a group of three that was using a smooth dirt section to recover so I decided to pass them. It made me take a really sketchy inside line through a steep downhill corner, but it worked out. Until later that lap. I went to get on my brakes in a bumpy 180 and slipped off of them. I ended up in the weeds and the people I had passed went right by me.

I stayed in the top 10 the rest of the race, and on the last lap I was in 7th. Coming out of the final barrier section, it was clear the I wasn't going to catch the guy on front of me so I just needed to take it easy into the finish. Only 3 more corners to go, and disaster struck.

On my remount, I didn't get clipped into my pedals. My right foot slipped off the pedal and got grabbed by my front tire and sucked up to the frame. My front wheel, of course, immediately stopped and the bike flipped hard. In an instant I was on the ground.

Helmets save lives. My helmet hit the ground hard and did its job by breaking. No concussion for me. The medical guy on staff came over and recommended I go to the hospital for an x-ray. While my friends were getting my stuff together I called and told Christine. Then I nearly passed out as I finally calmed down from the race. I was 40 minutes into a race working hard, and then came to a sudden and complete stop.

Mike D took me to the emergency room (which was freezing) and I didn't have to wait all that long for an xray. I'm no expert. Do you think it's broken?

They gave me a sling, and I'll go to a doc up in Fort Collins for a follow up. They offered me a Percocet, but I'm just not that into pain meds. I guess I like to be constantly reminded that I'm hurt. I took the prescription so I could take some to sleep if I had to.

The value of this team goes beyond the race course, and they really showed it today. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have friends close by to help me out. Ron was first on the scene. He happened to be driving by and saw my spectacular new method of dismounting. Mike D was close by and ran up to help. Both of them hung with me while I recovered my senses and then helped me get my stuff together before going to the e-room. Ron stuck around and let Isaac and Kevin know the scoop because they were lining up to race as I crashed. Conveniently, Isaac and Kevin finished up their race and got to the emergency room just as I was getting out. Bob and Susan were there to take videos of me *not* crashing and offer me well wishes before the hospital. Thanks Isaac for buying me a Whopper, but in retrospect I should have gotten a kids meal so I could wear the crown.

So here I am, in some sort of sling for the next 6-8 weeks probably. I guess this is a decent time of year for this type of thing to happen. It's early enough into ski season that I should heal up in time for the really good snow. I've got lots of time for cycling season, although my training will probably have to be pushed back a bit. Christine leaves for London next weekend, so it ought to be interesting gimping around for a few weeks by myself. Hello fast food and TV dinners.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Christmas in Belgium

The stars have properly aligned, and Christine and I will be spending Christmas in Belgium this year.

Christine is working in London from Thanksgiving until December 19th. I'm going to fly to Brussels on the 19th where I will be met by my lovely wife for 10 days of exploring Belgium, Luxembourg, and a bit of Germany. There will surely be lots of beer, chocolate, frites, and waffles. I can't wait. A side bonus is that Christine is going to indulge me by going to the World Cup cyclocross race the day after Christmas.

Note to family: This is my a smooth way of opting out of the Christmas festivities. Sweet, eh?

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