Before I start I just need to apologise. The photo essay of the holiday will have to wait another 24 hours. The dead computer thing I mentioned yesterday isn’t a simple peripheral problem, it’s a burnt out motherboard. Yes actually burnt. Heat damage from living in a very warm environment and not dusting the heatsink on the processor frequently enough. Last year I cooked a processor the same way but apparently didn’t learn the $200 lesson. I got another $240 kick in the pants this afternoon which I can retrieve tomorrow from the fixing man. I’ve put a reminder in my organizer for a little dusting and vacuuming every 2 months from now unto eternity.
Now back to our regular program.
Man, what a holiday. I needed duct tape and an ice pack to successfully complete the 8 days away from home.
I mentioned the icepack briefly yesterday. The long version is this; I had a knee reconstruction in 1996 to undo the damage (complete ACL rupture) from a track racing incident in 1990 (silly story, maybe I should tell it). About every 2 years I do something really ordinary and for no particular reason my knee decides it doesn’t want to play. And right in the middle of my first real “away” holiday in 6 years the hammer fell.
Here’s how… After a flat tyre (that couldn’t be fixed with duct tape, thanks for asking) I decided to replace all 4 of those black donuts. They were all around 2 years old and when the mechanic was doing the pre-holiday checkup he said that a couple of them only had about 10,000km left. Later in the day after getting the new ones I noticed a hubcap not sitting straight on the wheel. Being a doer rather than a thinker I kicked it instead of taking it off and putting it back on straight. Then I just tapped my way around the whole thing with my right foot and the other 3 wheels as well just to be sure. A couple of hours later my knee was doing an admirable impression of a watermelon. No pain, just swollen to the point of restricting movement. That was Monday.
Mingling the therapeutic elevation and ice with tennis and cycling ensured that it was still swollen for the all day drive home this Wednesday. A visit to the chiropractor on Thursday confirmed my stupidity and I was given a “keep it iced, keep it elevated, keep it away from the bike” instruction. 7 days of armchair/DVD incarceration. Sadly it’s 25-30°C (77-86°F) and almost no wind. I could be riding 3-4 hours a day at the moment. It’s not all bad though, there’s tennis, cricket and a sizeable backlog of Christmas gifted DVD’s to work with.
As for the duct tape… The roads around where we were staying are a bit rough; all paved, but also patches on patches like a pair of orphanage trousers. Early in the holiday I was parked on the side of a hill with the driver’s door on the high side of the car. I closed the door with a little too much vigour and it really slammed home, breaking a tiny piece of plastic off the wing mirror where it mounts on the door. I lifted the mirror back into place and it seemed to click in properly but within 2 or 3 minutes of driving it had fallen off again to hang by the wires.
I would have fixed it with bailing wire in true hillbilly fashion but being in a farming area they take their bailing wire usage very seriously and the smallest amount I could get was a roll of 200 metres (220 yards). I would never have found a use for the inevitable 40kg (88 pound) surplus. Hence, thus and therefore it was duct tape to the rescue. The whole set up still looks a bit hillbilly, but it will be much tidier when I rip the tape off and run a couple of self-tapping screws through the whole thing this afternoon.