Monday, April 25, 2005

No Hurries and Kevin Barbour

I was hoping that when I came into work today I'd have my medical back but that's not the case. Actually, I'm expecting a call at any minute telling me I'm good to work traffic again. I can always hope. I met with my doctor last Wednesday and he gave me the green light to get my medical back as it appears my cluster headache cycle is over. I'm waiting on the regional flight surgeon from the faa to act on it and get back to me. In the meantime, they've got me doing some menial stuff in the control room which I don't need a medical for and which needs to be done anyway. It's not all that bad but I'm anxious to work traffic again as this is the longest I've ever been away from the boards.

Coming off the Prednisone hasn't been fun. The injuries I received in my crash 10 days ago hurt more now than they did then. I'm not sure if that's because the Prednisone was helping to reduce the swelling and overall pain. Anyway, last Friday I decided I was coming off the drug to give myself a couple days over my weekend to allow my body some time to adjust. I felt lousy yesterday but I'm much better today.

My sister sent me a link to an old neighbor of ours when we were growing up. I think Kevin was maybe a year and a half younger than me but we used to play a lot together when we were 9-10 years old. Their family was our family's first exposure to black America. This was during the late '60s and I can remember the talk amongst the neighbors was not one of embracing this new family. As it turned out, the Barbours' were probably some of the best neighbors we ever had. Our mothers were best friends and even though they moved apart decades ago they still stayed in touch until Kevin's mom died a few years ago.

I think Kevin's relationship with his parents has not been a good one. The last I heard, his father was trying to reach him but Kevin would send back his father's letters and packages unopened. Kevin's been working as a musician and has released a couple CDs. I ordered his last years release.

I gotta go—my medical just came through!

Okay, so it's good to be working traffic again but I felt like a fish out of water in my first stint back at the sector. Five weeks away from the boards is quite a while, heck, sometimes just coming back after a weekend can be difficult. Anyway, I'll keep plugging away and hopefully, my feel for working traffic will come back and my comfort level will rise.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


I crashed my bike today in the rain on our group ride. I have an idea what happened but I can't be sure. There were about 15 of us die-hard types in a steady rain. I was talking with Rob next to me as we rode side by side (much the same as this photo from last week's ride) in a paceline with plenty of room between riders. I saw up the road that a couple guys had broken off the front and were maybe 20 seconds ahead of the main group. The next thing I noticed was that one of them was turning back in the direction of the group and at the same time I could see that the riders in front were beginning to slow. Out of nowhere, I began to go down. It all happened so quickly but in very slow motion. From what I can tell, the rider behind me was a bit too close and was unable to slow in time to avoid me. I talked with Rob later and he said that Leonard made contact with me from behind. He said it looked like I was going to be able to keep from crashing but with the wet roads and all I wasn't able to keep my bike up. I hit the deck pretty hard but got up right away to assess damage to my body and bike. I don't know if Leonard was embarrassed or what because he sat on the ground for over 5 minutes and still hadn't gotten up by the time I headed for home. It turned out he had no injuries whatsoever so what's up with that? I had some areas of road rash which bled nicely on my ride home. I banged my knee pretty hard but all in all, I came out of it okay. My jersey got torn up pretty badly which sucks but it ought to look pretty tough. I didn't break anything except for a twisted spoke on my front wheel. I got it to Hollywood's shop and he had me fixed up later in the day. (great new shop in the Minneapolis area btw)

When I went to Hollywood's later to pick up my bike he said that Leonard had been in and that he was fine. His rim was messed up but he wasn't hurt. I didn't think he looked bad as I saw him sitting up after the crash. I think he was a bit dazed and that was all—maybe a bit embarrassed, too. Anyway, Leonard was saying that he thought he was behind me so that would make sense that he touched wheels with me from behind and washed my rear wheel out. Hey, it happens.

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Cycling, Prednisone and Cluster Headaches

Where does the time go? It's not like I haven't been at my computer...too much so lately. I'm redoing our website so it renders itself in browsers other than IE. I've got it all done now except for the family photo pages and I hope to have those done over the next couple weeks.

I rode with Silver Cyclists again today and had a good ride with them. We had 30 of us at the start and finished with half that. The winds were southeast at 20 gusting to 30 so there were many people who were blown off the back in the early miles. We attempted to wait for them a few times but we finally realized there was no way to keep a group like that together. Too much variation in abilities to expect that to happen. It was tough to keep a paceline with the quartering crosswind and at times we simply had to form mini echelons and find cover from the wind where we could. Sometimes though with more of a direct headwind, we were able to form a nice pace-line and work together. The final 25 miles home were a blast with speeds steady at 30 to 35 mph for miles. This is a fun group of guys with some very strong riders. They were pushing me to my limits but I could tell that they were all frying out there. I've got over 1800 miles in my legs on the roads this year and I'm glad for that. Jeff was telling me I've got May form in April. I just hope June form isn't too far off because I have a feeling next Saturday's ride is going to be a 'take no prisoners' ride. I finished the day with 64 miles.

I haven't written much lately. I've been in a Cluster headache phase for the past 3 weeks. I've been aggressive with the Prednisone and so far it's been working headaches. They pulled my medical at work so I've been doing assistant duties. It's been nice to not worry about getting a headache in the sector and wondering how I'm going to get through it. I hope to have the prednisone down to 20mg a day later in the week and that should allow me to get my medical back providing I don't have any headaches. Hopefully, the regional Flight Surgeon won't drag his feet in reinstating my medical.

I've been listening to some great new music lately. Tammy got me several disks for Easter of some Christian bands. A favorite track of mine, Beautiful Love is by a group called, The Afters. These guys are excellent. They started playing in a Starbucks coffee shop where they all worked together. When things got slow they'd start playing for the customers and it grew from there. I'm not sure how the coffee got poured but I have a feeling the customers didn't care.