Getting back in the saddle

Last August I was dealing with a shoulder issue that was pretty painful. I went to the Doctor, had an MRI, found it was an inflamed rotator cuff, had two cortisone shots and a lot of physical therapy. In all, I racked up nearly a $4k bill for what my insurance didn’t cover and continued to have pain for quite a while. I kept wondering why I paid the doctor, I mean, if I took my car to a shop and they didn’t fix the problem, I wouldn’t pay the bill either, but I digress.

I got pretty demotivated. I don’t know how other people’s shoulder injuries are, but mine hurt with everything I did. I couldn’t hold my weight up on a bike and even running or even less, walking I felt my shoulder on every step. Answering my desk phone at work hurt. It was messed up and it pissed me off to no end. I ended up totally falling off my wagon.

I stopped exercising, I started not caring what I ate, I’ve been eating stuff I’d sworn off, such as fast food and sodas. I ended up putting back 26 of the hard lost 48 pounds I fought to lose before. I even started pulling my fat clothes back out because they fit better.

About a month ago, as if someone flipped a switch, my shoulder finally stopped hurting all the time. A couple weeks ago, I got on my weight bench to see how well I could bench press. I still had 135 lbs. on the bar, untouched since before October. I was able to push out 3 reps and it didn’t hurt. I’ve lost a lot of strength while letting my shoulder mend. I figured I’d give it another month or so before I tried any real lifting again. I’ve been giving a lot of thought and looking forward to getting active again.

I went to the Doctor last week, had my first physical in at least 8 years. I was a little worried that stuff like cholesterol would be off, (not because I eat bad, I eat pretty well actually- just too much) but the only thing that was off was my good cholesterol levels were off, literally only by 3 points. The Doc said exercise would fix that.

So I’m at home on Monday night, working on a computer. Installing an OS to be specific with lots of dead time between actions. I got the bug to do something.. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, I just felt that I had to do something. So I went out to the weight bench, took off the plates that were already there, since I didn’t want to screw up my shoulder again. I figured I’d start light, just the 45 lb weight bar. I got on the bench and started doing bench presses. I pumped out 15 straight reps and felt it was pretty easy, so I decided to do 14, then 13, then 12, etc., down to 1. Moved off to curls and did descending reps of 10. Then it was squats then reverse curls. I went back to bench presses and tried working back up to 15, but only got 12 full sets. On my 13th set, I was only able to 11 reps. By then I was pretty worn out and ready to stop. It felt good, really good in a weird-I-love-pain sort of way. My shoulder didn’t hurt, but my arms and legs felt like jelly.

I knew I’d be sore the next day, but whoa.. Someone just hit me with a tank and end it now! I let the adrenaline in me take over and kept going, not giving any thought about what would happen later. I think that I must have subconsciously been punishing myself for letting myself go again.

Now, on Thursday, my muscles are back to usable and I’m thinking I need to start following some set workout plan. My only hang up now is that the Bicep and Brachioradalis (yeah, I looked it up, I’m a computer geek, not an anatomy geek) in my right arm are still pretty damned sore. Heat pads and constant stretching are helping, but it still feels like that day after. If I sit at my computer (I’m at work right now) my arm will stiffen up and I’ll have to stretch it out again to get flexibility back. It sounds like tendinitis to me.

I think I’m going to start with the StrongLifts 5×5 program. Once I get my fitness level up again, I’ll either start P90X or crossfit.

Flash videos on Facebook using Mozilla Firefox

I’ve been having problems viewing videos on Facebook using Mozilla Firefox.  Even though I have had Flash Player installed, Facebook kept telling me that I had to install it.  I found the solution outlined on a forum, so if any of you are having this problem, here’s the steps to resolve it.

1. close Firefox
2. open internet exploder, go to http://get.adobe.com and choose “get adobe flash player”
3. on the top, click “different OS / different browser”
4. choose your OS5. select “Flash Player 10 for Windows – Other Browsers”
6. “Browser: Firefox, Safari, Opera” -> click “agree and install now”
7. click the yellow bar which says “download blocked” or something and allow the download
8. run the .exe
9. when installation is finished, open Firefox and flash will work.

DIY Cultur Lab

I’ve been putting together material and equipment to start my own home yeast culture lab.  I plan to start experimenting with yeasts, wild and commercial in brewing.

One huge advantage to this is some serious cost savings.  I can propagate and store the commercial yeasts I buy to help reduce the cost of brewing.  The other reason is because I want to experiment with the local wild yeasts to see if I can make a brewed drink that is distinct to my local area.

Here’s my equipment so:

  • DIY Alcohol burner
  • DIY Inoculation Loop
  • Agar-Agar powder for culture medium
  • Microscope
  • 2000 ml Erlenmeyer flask
  • Stir plate (from http://stirstarters.com)
  • Digital Scale
  • Vials w/ caps for yeast slants
  • Petri dishes for growing cultures.
  • additional Erlenmeyer flasks from 50 ml to 1000 ml

The equipment I still need to obtain:

  • beakers
  • Pressure Cooker/Canner for use as an Autoclave

Here’s a few pics of what I have so far