My Life as a Dog

Monday, December 28, 2009

Jumper's Knee

After just one day of heavy walking on Rome's cobbled streets, I knew that something was wrong with my right knee. It had hurt for some time and was probably injured from playing racquetball. (You do remember how hazardous I am playing racquetball, right?)

Anyway when I got home I made an appointment with my primary physician and explained the problems I had been experiencing: pain just below my knee cap when walking down stairs and my right knee was supporting my weight, the feeling that might right knee might just give way and I would collapse, and then at night it would ache quite a bit. After getting the data, he decided that I needed to have an MRI on my knee. I did that the next day and on the following Monday I got a call telling me that I had a torn patellar tendon and that I needed to see an orthopedic surgeon.

I began searching on the Internet and saw knees sliced open and read accounts of the healing process taking about a year. Needless to say, I immediately panicked. After a few more days I started to realize that maybe they would only immobilize it for several weeks to let it heal. That option while not as invasive still wasn't sitting well with me. How can I function without being able to drive?!

So today I actually visited the surgeon and had all my fears wiped away. I told him I had a torn patellar tendon. He looked at me and said "no I think its a torn meniscus." He said that torn tendons normally happen for "elite athletes." I said he might be right. I certainly am no elite athlete. After looking up my MRI, he did in fact find that it was my tendon. So much for it being an injury for only elite athletes.

To get my knee back in good health he just wants me to stay away from high impact sports (eg, running, racquetball, basketball, gymnastics, etc...) I'm alright with all of those except I would love to be back playing racquetball. I was pleased to find I can still use the elliptical and bike machines. After 3 months of rest I can get back into it slowly. If the tendon is still painful then we will consider a PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injection into the tendon area to help it heal.

He said that a Cortisone shot in this case would be a bad thing and make it hard for the tendon to heal. Also he said the surgery was a last resort.

Platelet Rich Plasma
Click here to watch a video on CNN talking about the platelet rich plasma procedure.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Don't Get Sassy With Me!

A few days after I got back from Europe I had stopped in to Target for a little shopping. I was in the check out line ready to get rung up when I turned and saw an "old" friend. After exchanging some pleasantries, she said, "So, when was the last time you were in London?" Her tone was a little snotty and I was a little taken back as to just where that question was coming from. She must have noticed my sweatshirt that read "LONDON ENGLAND" across the front of it. And thought I had purchased it at Target or somewhere local. Instead of getting the response she was hoping for, I simply replied "Monday." :)

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Nacho Libre

While on the cruise in Mexico, my nephew showed me that they were selling the Mexican wrestling mask like was seen in the movie Nacho Libre. I was pleased to see that they even had the specific style that Nacho wore in the movie. I knew immediately that I needed it for a costume party that I had been invited to. After getting getting back to the USA and internet access, I decided to google Nacho Libre to see what the rest of the costume looked like. I immediately realized that I was going to have to be a little creative. I finished up the costume with a red and white athletic shirt and of course "stretchy pants!" Unfortunately I only got one photo of me and I look sleepy! Nevertheless it was a good time!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Canon Rebel XSi

Prior to my cruise (which I haven't documented yet) I decided to buy myself an SLR camera. I've been seeing a lot of great photos on the Internet and I having been inspired to get some equipment and do a little learning. So before the cruise I picked up a Canon Rebel XSi from Costco with the two lens kit. So keep an eye out for amazing photos and probably a lot of mediocre ones. :)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Natural vs. Unnatural

I've been doing some more reading these days. I was just enlightened by this paragraph from Scott Peck's book, The Road Less Traveled. I loved it and wanted to share it. It's a good argument for change when people say or believe that change is not possible.

"The tendency to avoid challenge is so omnipresent in human beings that it can properly be considered a characteristic of human nature. But calling it natural does not mean it is essential or beneficial or unchangeable behavior. It is also natural to defecate in our pants and never brush our teeth. Yet we teach ourselves to do the unnatural until the unnatural becomes itself second nature. In deed, all self-discipline might be defined as teaching ourselves to do the unnatural. Another characteristic of human nature - perhaps the one that makes us most human - is our capacity to do the unnatural, to transcend and hence transform our own nature."
- Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall Colors 2009

The fall colors this year have been pretty amazing. Mom wanted to take a drive up the canyon and check out the beauty before she went in for knee replacement surgery. So last Sunday I was Mom & Dad's chauffeur up to Squaw Peak and through Hope Campground. It was truly beautiful. We are so lucky to live in such a place.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Confidence: The Need for Love

My brother was embarrassed for me when I posted on Facebook that I was reading a book called Confidence: How to Succeed at Being Yourself. So I'm sure he'll be even more embarrassed for me when I blog about it. So here I go... :)

First of all let me just say this: Who could not use more confidence? Oh sure we all know people who seem to have too much confidence. But is that confidence or is that just cockiness covering an inadequacy? I'm not entirely sure. I only know that this book was full of great skills for living to your best ability. McGinnis covers several topics related to confidence but in the end it seemed to come down to one topic, that of love. The need to be love and to loved. This section was my favorite from the book and I hope I'm okay to share it here:

The Need for Love

Human beings are made for love, and I find that many of my clients forget that. They scramble to shore up their self-images with various techniques, without giving sufficient attention to the source from which they will get help most readily -- good friendships. They make all sorts of protests -- that they're too busy, that they've learned to live without needing anyone, that they can't trust people, that they are really loners and prefer solitude. But it is all a smoke screen, and underneath lies a powerful aching to love and be loved.

Many people make the mistake of supposing that they will be happy only when they find the right man or the right woman to marry, neglecting the essential arena of friendship. Few of us are ready for a sexual relationship until we have learned to sustain a friendship. We do not have to marry to be happy, but we do have to have some love, and that can be found in the right type of friendships. The irony is that the persons who begin to relax in some solid friendships with people of the same sex -- and stop worrying so much about meeting the man or woman of their dreams -- begin to be much more attractive to the opposite sex. Friendship appears to be the best springboard to romance.

There is another reason to put more emphasis on friendship and less on romance: with the realities of divorce and death, most of us will have to spend at least some part of our adult lives unmarried, so it is a poor strategy to put all our eggs in one basket. We could find ourselves entirely bereft of love when something happens to our mate. When a man says to me, "I don't need any other friends -- my wife is my best friend," I do not applaud. He is putting too much pressure on his marriage, for there is no way any one person can meet all your emotional needs. To expect your mate to do so is to ask an impossible thing. Moreover, I fear for the man when, God forbid, he finds himself without his wife. Your mate should be your best friend, but not your only friend.

How does one go about building a circle of sustaining relationships? Most of my clients think the problem is in finding a place to meet new people. But the basic answer is not in meeting more people, it is in deepening the relationships we presently have. Many of us have acquaintances who could be promoted to friends, some friend who could be promoted to a good friend. It may seem easier to begin with someone new, but the best source of love is probably in your present circle of family and friends.

Alan Loy McGinnis
Confidence: How to Succeed at Being Yourself
Pages 155-156

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Funky Chicken

So yesterday I was in Costco doing a little shopping when I got a call from my mom. She was just checking in, wondering how I was doing and updating me on what she had been up to. She was telling me about going to physical therapy and then how she cooked a chicken. She continued with more details on the chicken, telling me that it had 3 legs, 3 breasts, and 4 thighs. My response was, "What? Where did you get a chicken like that? I'm pretty sure that you shouldn't be eating it!" :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ciao Italia

I did it! I bought my ticket and I'm going to Italy, France, and England. I just got my passport earlier this summer and I will have put it to use several times before the year is over. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Discount Tire

Just want to say how much I like being a customer of Discount Tire. They really know how to provide great customer service. After my fiasco of driving to SLC on a flat or nearly flat tire and totally ruining a tire that would have otherwise been fixable, I was sure that I would be dishing out some cash for one or two brand new tires. So you can imagine my surprise when I took my car back to Discount Tire where I always buy my tires and they informed me that they would replace the tire free of charge. I was honestly in shock. They did charge me $18 for disposal and some of the other fees but the labor and the tire were absolutely FREE! This just supports my previous beliefs about them as well. They have fixed tires that I didn't even buy from them. And I have heard all sorts of positive experiences from my friends too. Finally a company that is doing right by their customers. What a better way to win loyal advocates.

Every Trail - Windy Pass

My brother has a cool iPhone application that he likes to use on hikes. He used it on our last hike to the Windy Pass summit. It allows him to take photos along the way and record where the photos were taken and the path that we hiked. It's pretty cool. He uploads the files to a webserver and it creates a map like you see below.

Windy Pass

Widget powered by EveryTrail: Share and Plan your Trips

Monday, September 07, 2009

I Want My Man Card!

On Sunday I visited some friend in Salt Lake City. When I left and went to my card I noticed that one of my tires was flat. Suddenly I remembered my car sounding funny when I was drive up there. But I had had my headphones in because I was talking to my mom on the phone. When I hung up I just switched over to listening to my iPod. I probably drove most of the way with this flat tire. So when I got to my car I thought well I might as well just drive to a gas station and so I did. I tried pumping the tire up with the hopes that I could still drive on it. Not so much. There were bulges all over! I decided that I was going to have to put on the little donut tire.

Now I have had flat tires before but never have I had to change one on my own. I was actually looking forward to the challenge (at least a little bit.) I called my sister to let her know that I was going to be a little late. I was going to stop by and drop off her computer which I had been working on. She volunteered to come and help and before I knew it I accepted her offer. When I got off the phone I got the jack and lug wrench out and started working on replacing it. I got to thinking, "Why do I need my older sister to come rescue me?! I'm a man. I can totally handle this!" I called her back and told her not to come that I was totally fine.

So I got back to work. Got the car all jacked up. Got the lug nuts off. But then I could not get the tire to actually come off the axle. I panicked and called one of my friends that I had just seen. (I definitely couldn't call my sister back!) He was already on his way home to north SLC. I told him that I couldn't get the stupid wheel off. He said he'd turn around and come back to help. I felt bad but he insisted. In the meantime I kept bugging the nice Indian family running the Sinclair I was at. I thought there must be something that I missing about changing a tire. He came out a took a look at the tire and then gave it a good kick. Oh! That did the trick! That was the step I was unfamiliar with. After that it was smooth sailing. I got the old tire in the trunk and the new one installed and inflated. I called my friend back and tried to insist that I was fine and to go ahead and go home. But he is stubborn and I just gave up. I went in and got cleaned up in the restroom. I felt so bad about bothering the family running the store that I needed to buy a Diet Dr Pepper even though it was Sunday. (flat tire = ox in the mire) When I came out my friend was waiting for me. Once again I tried to tell him I was fine but he insisted on following me to my sister's house. It's nice to have such a good friend.

So now there are no doubts, I can change a flat tire all by myself minus the swift kick. But I'm pretty sure I can do that next time. :)

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Windy Pass Hike

On Thursday after racquetball my brother casually asked me if I would like to do a hike on Saturday with him. I thought, "Great. This would provide some quality brother-to-brother time." He explained all the details which went in one ear and out the other. All I heard was "wah wah wah wah." (Charlie Brown reference) Somehow I figured the hike should be about 4 hours. Seems like a good amount of time for a hike, right?

So Saturday came and I threw a few granola bars and some string cheese in a pack, filled my water bottles, and grabbed my inhaler. I was ready to go, right?

Ben, Dallas, and I started the hike up South Fork canyon at Big Springs. We were too far along the track until Ben spotted a beaver dam. We got off the trail and examined it, taking a few photos. On the way back I stepped in a big marshy mess of a bog and went in up to my ankle! Good way to start the hike. Fortunately not much water actually worked it's way into my shoe or that would have been hell for the rest of the hike.

The trail up to the summit was pretty step most of the way it seemed. I had a hard time realizing how steep it was until I looked back at the path we had already covered.

Now I forgot to mention that I had been sick all week. Not sick like I would stay in bed kind of sick. But I had had the sore throat, then coughing and on Saturday my nose was a running through most of the hike. So we were approaching the top and I was completely sweaty, my nose was running, and my head was pounding. The is all happening when we are about to summit "Windy Pass." So you might figure out what happens next: yep, wind. The wind was freezing. I had enjoyed the sun being behind the clouds for most of the hike but now I was starting to freeze. Just when I thought I was as miserable as I was going to get, it started to rain and thunder. Nice! So we hunkered down under pine tree just like you are supposed to when there is lightening. (sarcasm intended) Fortunately the storm passed fairly quickly and we were able to summit. The view was beautiful but I was still miserable and just wanted to find the quickest way down. Plus it had taken us 4 hours just to summit. I knew going down the way we came was going to be hell. So we opted to have my sister-in-law come and pick us up by Rock Canyon Campground. So we followed one of the man made troughs across to the other side of the canyon and picked up the trail going down. It was long. Too long but I think still a better option than going back the way we came. It took us about two hour from the summit to get to the campground and another hour or so walking on the road until we found my sister-in-law. Yay! She even brought us each a big 32 oz. Diet Coke a piece. I was in heaven! We were supposed to hike Timpanogos the next Saturday. Yeah, that's not going to happen! :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Thank You" is Not Hard

It's pet peeve time. Brace yourself.

This morning I ran to the post office to pick up a package that needed my signature to be delivered. Of course I got to spend more time in line that I really wanted to but it should have been expected. While waiting, I like to people watch. There was a guy in line behind me. When he first got in line he interrupted the teller helping the current customer to ask a few questions so that he could start filling out the right packaging. I thought that a bit rude but whatever. He was a youngish guy. I noticed that he was mailing applications or some sort of form off to various universities. As the line moved forward he left his wallet and keys back where he first entered the line. Soon another lady came in after him. She said "Excuse me, are these yours?" His reply was "Yeah, I'm going to need those." He was friendly enough about it I guess. I just thought, would it be that hard to say "Thank you." Maybe it was because he already annoyed me by interrupting the current customer. In any case, I think "thank you" is always appropriate and should even be necessary.

I love to hold the door for people at stores. Doesn't matter man or woman, old or young. But then I like to observe who says "thank you." Try it out. You might be surprised at who remembers to say thanks. I always am.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Keep Your Eye on the Racket

Keep you eye on the racket. That is what they say, right? Or was it keep your eye on the ball? Well either way, I think I was doing it wrong when this happened. While I have loved playing racquetball with my brother and nephew, it has not been without it's pains. Last Saturday I smacked myself in the eye with my own racket! Then I was smacked on the knee by my brother with his racket. But I guess that was just payback for smacking him in the neck with the ball last time. :)

Day 2

Day 3

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fun Friday with a Friend

Last week, my friend, John, was in town and the only day he was available to hang out was last Friday. So I took the day off work. Oh we had grand plans of the things we were going to squeeze into just one day. As it turned out we only accomplished 2 out of 5 activities. Who were we kidding?! It did turn out to be a fun day though.

Activity 1: I picked him up at the BYU Wilkinson Center where he was donating donating blood while on vacation. What dedication! And even though they told him no exercise, we then decided to hike Stewart Falls. :) It has been years since I did it last. I have had friends that have tried to get me to go several times over the last year and it always look as if it's about to rain so I back out. Well there was no rain this time!

Activity 2: After the hike, we went to eat at one of my favorite places to eat: Thai Drift! I had been telling John how great the massaman curry is there. Since he lives in Los Angeles, I was worried that my version of great Thai food might not match his. But I was pleased when he reported that 2 out of the 3 dishes we had, were very good. Yeah, Thai Drift!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Favorite Things

If you have not discovered Emerald's Cocoa Roast Almonds, you are missing out! My sister (who likes to remain nameless on the Internet) introduced me to them. She was introduced to them at Sam's. I have now found them at Walmart and I have heard that you can buy them at Albertsons as well. They do not have any more calories than the regular roasted almonds but they are much tastier as long as you like chocolate. Try them and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Must Be Getting Old

As of late I have a pain everywhere you can think of. At least that is the way I feel. Suddenly my empathy for my parents has greatly increased. They often like to see who can "out pain" the other. I have begun to think if this is what it feels like at 41, then I'm not sure I can make it to 60 or more.

First it was my back, which seems to now be on the mend. Then my ankles and knees were extremely stiff and sore especially in the mornings. When walking I have felt like an "old man" but once I got going the stiffness/pain seems to go away. So I thought if I am going to start feeling the pains of old age that maybe I need to start taking the supplements that my parents take. I broke down on my last Costco trip and purchased some glucosamine. I've been taking it for a week and it seems that my joints are responding much better. I hope I'm not jinxing myself here but I think I'm onto something!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Concert at Red Butte Gardens

I've been slipping in my blogging. :( So this event was actually a week ago from last Monday, July 13th.

My friend, Brad, texted me a few weeks ago and said that our friend Kimber had managed to buy a few tickets for Death Cab for Cutie at the Red Butte Gardens. The show had been sold out but apparently they found a few more available and they listed them online. Now I've seen Death Cab for Cutie twice prior to this. So I wasn't way excited about that even though I love the band. What intrigued me was attending a concert at Red Butte Gardens. So I said I was "in."

The night of the show, I met Brad at our usual park and ride spot. We then picked up Kimber in Draper. Of course we always have to get some food prior to a night of music. We stopped at the downtown Greek Souvlaki for a gyro. Yum!

We got the concert at the perfect time, just as Ra Ra Riot took the stage. I was unfamiliar with the band until a few days before the show. Normally I'm not too interested in the warm up groups but I was really digging what I had heard from them before the show and they did not disappoint in person. My only complaint was that their time on stage was too short.

Next up was Andrew Bird. I was familiar with some of his music. It's a little more eclectic. But he does some pretty amazing stuff live. He regularly would record a bit either of violin, guitar, or other sound and then loop it through out the song. He would add layer upon layer of different instruments or sounds to create the song. I'm sure my description doesn't do it justice. And man this guy can really whistle! I've never heard so much whistling from the artist on stage!

Last up was Death Cab for Cutie. Of course seeing them live once again only confirmed why I love their music. The temperature had started to cool and it was nice to be outside listening to great music in such a beautiful setting. If only my knees and feet could get past the pain of standing for four hours. I'm not as young as I used to be.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Don't Loose Your Lunch

If you have someone in your work who likes to take your food, here is one possible solution to rid yourself of the sandwich pilferers at your office.

The Anti-Theft Lunch Bag

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mexican Riviera Cruise

This fall I'm going on a cruise with my brother, niece, and 2 nephews. I'm pretty excited even though it's a ways off yet. We'll be going to the Mexican Riviera via the Carnival's cruise ship, Splendor. The reason why I'm posting this now is that I hope that people who have gone on this cruise will know of all the best excursions to take in each port city. The ports are Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Mazatlan. So if you have any suggestions, please feel free to share. :)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House

Yesterday our singles family home evening group attended the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house. It was interesting to see a second temple open house so close to viewing another one. Our FHE group also attended the Draper Temple open house a few months ago.

The Oquirrh Mountain Temple was similar in a lot of ways to the Draper Temple. They are smaller temples comparatively speaking. I also noticed how much they used darker neutral colors through out. And again the furniture was very modern just like the Draper Temple. The most noticeable difference was the use of lots of floor tile. It seems like it might make for too much noise. I know that it definitely contributed to the noise during the open house. But I am sure that it will make cleaning and maintenance so much easier.

After the open house several of us stopped by the Red Robin for smoothies and some appetizers. It was a great time.