Friday, February 8, 2013

Thwarted by the Threat of "Freezing Fog"!

Could anything be more ominous than "Freezing Fog"?

It just sounds deadly doesn't it!

It doesn't look awful, but visibility was about 1/4 to 1/2 mile

I was really excited last Sunday. Looking at the weekly forecast on my iPhone App called the "Weatherbug", it looked like I could get a lot of riding in this week. No rain in the forecast and temperatures would be reasonable, at least for February. I knew I had to take the car on Monday for a doctor's appointment, but the possibility of riding 4 days in a row looked good. Real Good!

I rode on Tuesday, a little chilly in the morning, but lovely in the afternoon. A nice and uneventful ride.

You have to understand the workings of parking in my garage at home. If I'm riding the scooter the next day, then Max gets parked behind the "Famous Canadian Subaru", (the one with the heated seats), for a quick getaway the next morning. Otherwise Max gets parked in front of the cars.

So for Wednesday morning, Max was parked behind the Subaru, ready to go when called for duty. Alas, when taking the dog out first thing Wednesday morning to get the newspaper, I opened up the front door to see a pretty thick fog. It was warm out, but foggy. Also not predicted by the "Weatherbug". Now, I've ridden in fog before, but it's not my first choice, (definitely not the wife's first choice) so when it came time to leave for work, I re-arranged the vehicles and took the car.

The tallest building in Wichita from a block away, heavily obscured

Then on Thursday morning the "Weatherbug" predicted fog and rain, and the "Weatherbug" turned out to be 50% correct, there was rain, but no fog. And I've ridden in rain before also, but again, not my first choice, and particularly if it is a cold rain. I hate cold rain! Alas, the car was called into duty again that day, but as I came home Thursday evening, hope was welling up and I paused and re-arranged the garage lineup in order to take Max to work on Friday morning.

All evening long I dreamed about the potential of a glorious Friday morning ride. Well, maybe not all evening long. Okay, maybe I was just momentarily looking forward to it. But, you know what I mean.

View from the "Cage" of a "Scooter in the Fog"
Is that like the old "Far Side" cartoon "Chickens in the Mist"?

So Friday morning arrives (a really nice looking day predicted by the "Weatherbug") and I look outside just before venturing outside with the dog, and what do I see?


Not only that, but it's pretty cold outside. The weatherman on the television said that streets could be slick because, you guessed it, the Threat of Freezing Fog!

Oh My!

Not, (gulp), Freezing Fog!

Well, as you might imagine, the "Famous Canadian Subaru" (the one with the heated seats) was pressed into service again. But I was so worked up about it that I took a few pictures. Seems as if other riders braved the elements this morning even if I did not. Out of 5 days in the week, at least I got to ride on 1 day. Better than none, and it is February.

Oh Well, Time to get to work!

Ride On, and Carpe Diem, my friends!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Thankful for a Different Kind of Anniversary

There's a lot to be thankful for today. My wife's birthday was yesterday. Now for the next ten months I don't have to listen to her say that I am "older" than she is.

And I'm thankful for lots of the usual stuff we always think of, even some of the stuff we tend to take for granted.

Today I'm thankful for the bicycle ride I just finished. It wasn't monumental, not really that far or fast. But the sun was out, it wasn't really cold and I was able to spend some time with my own thoughts and get in a little exercise, too.

For here's the deal!

Two years ago today I had my first sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). It's not a heart attack which is generally caused by a blocked coronary artery. No, a SCA is an electrical problem in the heart as opposed to a plumbing problem.

Heart attacks can be severe, but a SCA is particularly unforgiving and death can occur in just a very few minutes. What happens is that the electrical system in the heart senses a problem and tries to compensate by making the heart beat faster and faster. Eventually the heart muscles cannot keep up and the heart begins to quiver. The result is that no oxygenated blood gets circulated in your body.

There is one part of your body that cannot survive very long without the oxygenated blood. It's your brain! The brain can tolerate this lack of oxygen for just a very few minutes.

Statistics indicate that only about 5% of people survive a SCA if they are not in a hospital when it occurs, which I wasn't. CPR is critical. Even though your heart stops working properly, a person can literally force oxygen through a person just by doing CPR. It's the only way the brain will survive.

Luckily I had a person there with me when my SCA occurred. She performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. She did it well enough that my brain was kept "alive" enough for me to survive. That person that performed the CPR was the same person who so cruelly teases me about being a year older than her for two months each year.

Yeah, I'm thankful for her! I'm thankful that those little paddles worked two years ago and they were able to restart my heart back to a more normal rhythm. I'm thankful for just being able to take that little bicycle ride this morning. I'm thankful that the "Niners" are in the Super Bowl! I'm thankful to have an interesting job with fun people to work with. I'm thankful for the many friends I have. I am thankful that I now better understand how easy it is to take each and every day for granted. I am thankful that I know how precious certain aspects of life are, even if you experience those same little aspects every day and don't necessarily pay any attention to them.

Yeah, there's a lot to be thankful for today.

Then again, there's a lot to be thankful for every day!

Every single friggin' day!

Ride on and Carpe Diem, my friends!

Every single friggin' Diem!