Thursday, January 10, 2008

No Time for Modesty, Riding and a Trip to Winona

I went in for a colonoscopy a couple days ago. I tuned 50 this past summer...the magic age where they recommend you begin to be regularly checked. The morning didn't start out so smoothly. We arrived on time but they didn't have me on their schedule for the day. I was scheduled for the procedure the next day but that's not what the paperwork they'd sent me stated. Their mistake. I jokingly told the woman at the front desk that I'd cleared both my schedule and my bowels and it had to be done today. She said there wouldn't be any problem getting me in.

The most difficult part of the entire experience was the day before when I had to drink a gallon of some formula which flushes every last bit of food from the digestive track. I tried to go into that part of the prep as thirsty as I could but it was still difficult consuming a full gallon. It took me two hours but I managed.

Not to fear...the procedure itself is virtually painless. I was given an intravenous sedative which allowed me to be entirely alert but feeling no pain. At times it got a bit uncomfortable but that sensation was usually short lived.

There was a monitor in front of me so I could watch...and I did. One small polyp was found and cut away. Apart from that I was given a clean bill of far as my colon is concerned.

Sure, it's a bit of a hassle and not something I was looking forward to having done. But too many people put the exam off only to find out later that they shouldn't have and whatever concerns of modesty they may have had which kept them from being checked will pale in comparison to what they'll be faced with.

Okay, the public service portion of the blog is over...on to better stuff...

I just spent an hour on my rollers. I haven't felt compelled to be outside on my bike this winter as I have the past few winters. Actually, I get a better workout on my rollers than I do out on the road this time of year. In the cold temps wearing the extra gear it makes it difficult to get a fast leg turnover necessary to get my heart rate elevated. I finished 2007 with 7500 road miles...quite a bit less than 2006 but then that was my do less miles. I'll look to do a similar amount this year.

Tammy and I spent yesterday on a bit of a journey to the town of Winona, MN, about 125 miles southeast. I met a guy (Tom) online a few weeks ago who'd found our website and emailed me about some of the stained glass work we've done. We've exchanged several emails since then. Tom has a wealth of knowledge related to stained glass and gigabytes of photos he's taken over the years. It's been interesting getting to know him.

Tom told us about several places in Winona which have some of Tiffany's work as well as other artists. So we planned a day trip down there to check it out. The only problem being that we really needed a couple days to take it all in. The town has so much character and interesting little shops and restaurants. We'd like to plan an overnight trip there sometime this summer...maybe find a bed and breakfast to stay at. I told Tammy I'd love to ride my bike there and have her meet me as the roads along the way are beautiful.

We saw some spectacular glass-work...especially the Tiffany windows at the Winona National Bank. Not only did the bank boast many windows from Tiffany Studios but the entire building is a work of art. When we walked into the main entrance a woman sitting behind a desk approached us and offered us a brochure detailing the building, its history and the art work it contains. A must see if you're ever in Winona. Here's a more detailed view of the window above.

Nearly as equally impressive is the Merchants Bank of Winona just a couple blocks away. It too has an incredible display of stained glass in addition to some great architecture. Check out my Flickr account while you're at the last link for some additional photos from the day.

We caught a bite to eat at the Junction before heading for home. We stopped near Lake Pepin to get a look at several eagles which were flying around near some open water along the Mississippi river. Tammy took the photo to the right. I think it's a beautiful shot. It appeared there were several pairs of eagles out there. They're such a majestic bird. I love it as a symbol for our country although I often wonder if we're doing such a good job of living up to what the eagle represents...courage, strength and freedom.

I put together a YouTube video of the day. Here it is.

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