Mountain biking is a dangerous sport

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I thought I’d post a photo of the CT scan showing Aldo’s latest fracture. Actually, he’s recovering from this one much more easily than the broken ankle. No surgery was required and the fracture didn’t destabilize his spine. Keeping him off the bike has been the major challenge.

The interesting thing is that the CT scan led to Aldo finding out that he has “Scheuermann’s Kyphosis”. I read a little about it and it doesn’t seem to mean much other than the fact that he has abnormal curvature of his spine (plus a bit of scoliosis) and some funny shaped disks. I believe the orthopod thinks that this may be a contributing factor to the chronic back pain. The most interesting thing about Aldo’s spine is the ‘sacralization’ of his lower lumbar vetebrae. Looks really strange in the x-ray.

Oh… and Congratulations to ‘da man’ he was promoted to the Penn Cycle A team (apparently he was on the ‘B’ team at the beginning of the season). This means he gets an even better discount on his purchases at Penn Cycle so he can spend even more money of cycling gear. Maybe next year he’ll get through the entire racing season without a fracture.

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Diversity and neighborhood cohesiveness

I was talking with a friend the other day and she brought up an interesting study that she had read. Apparently the author of this sociological report had found that neighborhoods which are less diverse are more ‘cohesive’ than more diverse neighborhoods. At first this surprised me. I think our neighborhood is slightly more diverse than average and it seems very cohesive to me. But when I thought about it, it occurred to me that most of the people I spend time with are a lot like me. I think people have a natural tendency to bond with others who have similar interests and backgrounds. So I suppose it’s not too surprising that things like ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, children, age, income etc. might bring similar people together or push dissimilar people apart. I realize this is pathetic in some ways and I suppose I should make an effort to meet people with different interests and backgrounds. But, on the other hand, if I don’t have interests in common with someone it may be difficult to find a reason to get together, or even meet the person in the first place.

We’ve only attended our ‘national night out’ neighborhood get-together once in 5 years. But the turn-out is consistently excellent. The one we attended was fun and we met a few people that we intended to get together with periodically, but it just never happened. Why does being sociable seem like an effort sometimes (probably because it requires putting together a side dish)? The good news is that the same author found that diversity improves a workplace environment because people with different backgrounds and interests tend to have different perspectives with regard to problem solving and accomplishing goals.

Bored

Just thought I’d write a note to let ‘those of you who might be checking in or me’  know that I’m still around and that I’d love to hear from you.  My original idea of keeping in touch with folks in other cities via this blog is apparently a miserable failure so my enthusiasm for blogging is waning once again.  Many of my friends/family members tell me that they’d rather just send a personal e-mail when they feel like communicating rather than keep me updated on this website.  Whereas, I think having a circle of friends on a blog would be fun.  My friends/family members lead interesting lives and have interesting and diverse opinions, but I suppose they are too shy to ‘share’.

Maybe I’ll have another inspiration for a post sometime soon. In the meantime, I’m still here and still reading other peoples’ blogs. Just bored and boring for a while.  Maybe Haus Frau will send a note when she returns from New Zealand.

I’m having a great summer so far just not very blog worthy.

Entertaining in the “Courtyard”

We’ve taken to calling the new patio a “courtyard” even though it’s just the two walls (between the garage and the house) and a wall of pine trees. “Courtyard” just sounds so much more impressive than patio.

We were sorry to see mom and dad return to Albuquerque this morning but we had a great time visiting with them this past weekend. Mostly we just sat out on the patio courtyard eating, drinking and talking. There was a rumor circulating amongst family members that they are ‘stick in the mud’ visitors, but really it’s nice to have visitors that just want to relax and stay in. The best kind of visitors are the ones who know exactly what they want to do—that way you don’t have to worry about disappointing them!! Normally we take visitors downtown to the Nicollet Mall area for dinner or drinks and the Uptown Art Festival was this weekend so it could have been fun to see all the paintings, sculptures, jewelry, garden art and other miscellaneous artwork out on the street, but the weather cooperated (mostly) so staying home was just as nice. Instead, I impressed my mom with my artwork: paintings (they’re actually really awful) and jewelry (some of the earrings are nice). Dad tried out the inversion table (Aldo and I like it for the nice stretch you can get in aching back muscles). But, mom completely freaked out seeing her husband upside down with the blood rushing to his head. I guess she thought his tiny little (?) feet would slip out of the ankle braces? We did a few puzzles (thanks mom) and had some entertaining conversations (we even discussed politics). We also had kamakazi squirrels and an albino squirrel providing additional entertainment. I’m not sure why the squirrels suddenly decided to terrorize us by darting out on the courtyard screaming wildly on this particular weekend. My theory is that they aren’t happy with the new patio courtyard. Haus Frau y familia will be able to enjoy the courtyard when they visit in October for the TC marathon and Al is coming out this Fall for a few Viking games. Paws, Opaltanz, Zorie, Kitty, Colorado and our other friends/family members are officially invited to come visit and lounge in the courtyard.

Mechanical Resonance

I found the word that I was looking for (my jackhammer theory), but I haven’t done any research yet. Eventually, I’m sure an expert will have an opinion. This photo is from the Star Tribune website. They have lots of photos.

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So what can we do?

I thought I had published this a few days ago, but I found it in my unpublished ‘drafts’.  I guess it’s irrelevant now since Bubbler already published his list of what we can do (check it out, it’s interesting) and Getting Better already pointed out that we are mostly agreeing, but looking at the situation from different angles.  But I hate to have an unpublished draft sitting around so here it is….

Wow! Great comments. I may actually agree as much as I disagree with Bubbler after all. I know it is probably un-American and blasphemy to say that gas prices should be higher, but I tend to think that is the only way we will look for better options. The problem with a gas tax to motivate us to conserve and to motivate big business to find better alternatives is that it will also disproportionately affect the poor. I guess the bottom line is that although I agree with most of what Bubbler is saying, I don’t see how this ‘intelligent design’ is going to happen. I sometimes feel like we are on a runaway train destined for the decline of our civilization (ok maybe that’s a tad melodramatic, but there are historians who would predict a decline based on what has happened to previous societies).

I thought the whole Earth Day (or whatever they called that Al Gore promoted event) was an interesting example of the idealism vs. practicality issue that I believe Bubbler and I are arguing. I think many of us paid attention to the idea of being more environmentally conscious and I didn’t see the movie –so maybe there are practical ideas floating about that I have missed. But, the only thing that I can think of that I can do for the environment is to use my hemp grocery bag more often and get better windows to better insulate my house. The hemp bag just seems like such a pathetic attempt that I rarely use it and I plan to get better windows asap for my own (selfish) sake anyway.

So here is my question. Lets assume for a moment that I buy Bubbler’s premise and that we can do things as individuals that will change our society as a whole. What specifically can I do as an individual that would really make a difference? And PLEASE don’t tell me that politics is the answer–If you do…. I will definitely believe you are a naive idealist.

Traffic light this am

Maybe it’s because I live South of the fallen bridge or maybe it’s because people stayed home or are coming in late, but traffic was unusually light this morning rather than worse than usual. I did see detours for the 35W on Cedar Ave. but even this segment of Cedar was not busier than usual.

My theory for the bridge failure is that the unusual design (no concrete supports into the river) and the jackhammering associated with the construction led to one of those vibrational situations that can collapse large structures. I don’t remember the name for the theory, I’ll have to do some reading, but I saw a myth busters on it once.