[M.M.X.I.V. 202] Reconstructed journal – July 21, 2008

As I mentioned in a post two years ago, July 21 has been an eventful day for me in recent years.  As it turns out, in 2008 this was a Monday, and an eventful one.  So, I want to reconstruct my journal from that day.  I suppose that this is a perfect addition to my Cast Chronicles.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The day began as usual [at this time "usual" meant waking up at 06:30], from the comfort of my bedroom at my parents’ house.  Eagerly getting out of bed, I equipped checkered shorts and a T-shirt (though I do not recall which one it was).  After applying fuju juice, I went downstairs to the kitchen.

I ate toast and cereal for breakfast.  Although not exciting, it would also be boring if a person had a “special” breakfast every day.  As usual, I read the Journal-Star, watched the sun rise from the kitchen window, and observed a bright and sunny day beginning.  As it turned out, Mom and Dad had a mission for me today, which ended up being great for me to really test out the utility of my new Steed, that Dahon Cadenza.

Before Battle of the Sexes came on, Mom and Dad told me that I should drive Dr. Moo to the Toyota dealership on the far north side of Lincoln, as it needed a maintenance check.  However, they told me I didn’t have to wait for it.  Thus, I could pack my new Steed into the trunk, take it out, and ride it back toward their office afterward.

However, the appointment was scheduled for 11:45, so I had time to burn.  During the morning, I spent it in my room, working on research for the REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates).  I was partially working on the coding, partially waiting for e-mails from Susan (my teammate) or Prof. Deng.  I feel that even though I did get SOME work done, working from home did do a number on my productivity versus being somewhere on UNL’s campus.  I hope that I am not dragging down my team in this way.

Because the research on coding the signal down an axon probably does not appeal to the mass population that reads my blog, I will skip ahead to 11:00.  I folded the Dahon and put it in the trunk of the black Prius.  My route took me from our house in Lancaster County, technically south of the city limits, all the way to the far north side of Lincoln and Performance Toyota.  And it only required a few manoeuvres (I prefer the U.K. spelling of that word to the U.S. spelling “maneuvers.”).  With the temperature in the 80s, I felt perfectly comfortable rolling down the windows and letting my arms feel the breeze.

I drove the car into the Performance Toyota garage, and before they jacked it up, I withdrew the Steed and unfolded it using my Allen key.  Because Mom and Dad took another car to the office, they will be able to pick it up at the end of the day… or maybe I will do that instead.

It was a wonderful day for a bike ride.  From Toyota, I took the short curve on Telluride (what a fun street name) to Fletcher, and rode the wide sidewalk on Fletcher’s east side.  This turned into 33rd Street, and took me past North Star High School.  Obviously, nothing was happening there at this time.  Nary a pedestrian was on this side of the road, but I had not yet begun my history of Trail Debacles yet… no, wait.   Trail Trek 2007 involved a wipeout.

Moving on.  At the end of 33rd Street, the Superior Street Trail led about 25 Lincoln blocks toward the Historic Havelock district.  But shortly after reaching Havelock Avenue, I turned southbound on Touzalin Avenue, which would better be named Touzalin Boulevard.

On Touzalin, the sidewalk was not in as good of shape as the previous sidewalks I had traversed today.  Twixt Ballard Avenue and Morrill Avenue, I ran over a rock that did not cause me to lose control of my bike or wipe out.  Instead, the rock reared up and attacked my right leg!  Strangely, it did not particularly hurt, and I rode on until I had to stop in order to cross the boulevard at the Murdock Trail.

Looking down, I saw red blood on the middle of the leg, running down to the sock.  I was not far from the office, and thankfully it is a medical office!  Just as in the last few years, I was in no distress from this, as external injuries do not seem to bother me badly.

It took about 15-20 more minutes to reach Family Practice Specialists via 66th Street and Cotner Boulevard.  As I entered the building and turned to the left for Suite 101, I entered the office.  Julie, the receptionist, said, “Hi, Noah…” and then after looking at my leg, looked like she was about to faint and called, “Shelley!”  Then, Shelley saw it and excitedly claimed, “We’ve got a bleeder!”

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So, I was quickly taken to Exam Room 5 in the center of the office.  I was not crying or otherwise writhing in pain at this point, rather I was almost perfectly calm.  However, I averted my gaze from the procedure.  They applied some sort of numbing agent to the area so that I would not feel the needles coming in and out.  Obviously, this stung a little bit, but hearing what it does related to my research!  Numbing an area has the effect of blocking the sodium channels in the neuron, which was directly related to what I was doing in work!  As they sewed the stitches, I was laughing it off, because I find that laughter is better than crying or screaming.  And I didn’t even suffer a vagal reaction like I sometimes do with medical procedures!

I guess I was lucky when I was younger if it took until the age of 21 to have to get stitches!  All of my siblings got stitches at least once in their single-digit years.

One of my plans for the day definitely got thrown out the window.  From the Personal Sports Page:

WIN STREAK SNAPPED BY STITCHES

In what was supposed to be one of the easiest games remaining on the schedule, a freak injury in transit has snapped Noah’s six-game win streak.  Noah (leg) was unable to play a scheduled water basketball game against Quarter Century.  Due to the season’s schedule, that means that he will have to take a forfeit loss to fall to 6-5 on the season, but still with an excellent 4-1 record in conference play.  Quarter Century improves to 4-8 and 2-4 in conference play.  Noah is expected to be available for Saturday’s game against Three Times Five.

QUARTER CENTURY 1, NOAH 0

Noah Weiss (6-5; 4-1)          0    0    0    0 = 0

Quarter Century (4-7; 2-3)    1    0    0    0 = 1

After this ordeal, I went to the food court across the parking lot in the Westfield Gateway Mall.  I got teppanyaki chicken from Hibachi-San, which tasted good.  Obviously, being in the food court means that it didn’t measure up to full restaurants (i.e. Shogun or Tokyo).  But, good food is good food, regardless of where it is from!  After eating, I found the Radio Shack in the mall, since Dad had a quest for me to get information on one of his gadgets.  (The original journal said nothing about what this was, and all I have is that the information proved to be useless.)

Upon returning to the office, I ran some errands with Mom, which was a lot of fun, particularly because with the nice weather, we drove in the Porsche with the top down.  There’s just something about being in Mom’s presence, and the bond has strengthened over the last few years since I went to college.  The first stop was 46th and Vine, to the licensing bureau to renew the car’s license plates.  However, Mom was on a time crunch, and we decided to abdicate shortly after entering, as the line was way too long!

Heading then in the east-south-easterly direction, Mom made the daily business deposits at Union Bank, through the drive-through window.  All the while we were doing this, Mom’s music was playing, from “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (by Vanilla Fudge) to “The Groove Line” (by Heatwave).  Summer fun with hot music, and enjoying the ride!  After that, we stopped at East Park Plaza, and I got some desperately-needed new tennis shoes.  My shoes seem to last about two years at a time, and like clockwork, it was time for replacement!  So, off the idea that I can alternate them, I got a pair of asics and a pair of Saucony shoes.  They both seemed quite comfortable.

A quick trip at Dillard’s didn’t prevent me from getting to the bus stop.  With my Dahon already folded up as the bus arrived, it was Route 56 (Neighborhood South), to Edgewood.  The bus schedules went a major makeover at the beginning of this summer, and it seems that they were not always well designed.  For example, the Route 56 is poorly timed, and doesn’t go downtown.  Routes 40 and 44 are poorly routed, such as 40 having a large express stretch on Highway 2.

Once at the Edgewood Target, I safely rode on 56th Street, up a short/steep hill, before the long, non-steep hill between Pine Lake and Cavvy.  Cars respected my right to the road, and I got back home safely, with no rock attacks or car crashes.  Once home, I worked a little bit more on research, until Mom and Dad came home.

Dinner tonight was fajitas homemade, and they turned out well with Mom’s salsa, in addition to me enjoying the crispy soft shell.  Then, it was time to try taking a shower, which carefully was done, and successfully happened.  There was no pain in this action.

For the rest of the evening, I watched some TV with the family, and later had a malt that Dad spun for me as dessert.  Despite the injury, it was a nice day for biking, as I got in 10.88 miles in just 51.08 minutes.  The time approached 23:00, and it was time for me to turn in for the night.

> TO BE CONTINUED…

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Today is the two-hundred and second day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes twenty-eight weeks and six days.

Today is the seventh day of the Character Building Trial.  That makes one week.

[M.M.X.I.V. 201] Red Flag

No vehicles are approaching.  However, that will not stop me from getting to equip a Red Flag.  It is something that I am unable to do when I am riding my bike, and given that I am disabled from that for a few weeks, I might as well check something off my list.  Eight seconds is all I need to tick this off the list. Start the clock!

[M.M.X.I.V. 200] Parentheses

On September 25, 2003, Nebraska football played a rare Thursday night game in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  I was watching the game at home with Mom and Dad in the basement of our house, even though the basement was as-yet unfinished.  It was a blowout as the Huskers capitalized on five Golden Eagle turnovers, in a 38-14 win.

Well, what does this have to do with parentheses?

Continue reading

[M.M.X.I.V. 198] Grading without a pen

As I have mentioned before, wearing a cast has essentially disabled me from writing.  So, I have become much more reliant on the computer and typing these last few days.  It is okay, because every challenge has an answer somewhere!  

For homework assignments that I collected on Tuesday, I asked the other Math EXCEL instructors to help me by acting as a scribe.  However, I found this inefficient in terms of man-minutes, so I thought that I would just take it up myself and type up comments for the remainder of the class.

We will see how this works.  I am in the middle of two different grading projects, and still have to write my lecture slides for tomorrow.  Ergo, back to work!

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Today is the one-hundred and ninety-eighth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes twenty-eight weeks and two days.

Today is the third day of the Character Building Trials.