Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hurry Up Spring

It's no secret that this winter has been very harsh on me and my RA.  In short, I have grown to dread and hate winters now.  I want to feel good 3 or 4 days a week instead of the 1 or 2 that I am having this winter.  By feeling good, I don't mean be able to do anything I want.  Oh no, I am simply talking about feeling like participating in life without too much resistance from my body.  I had a ride planned for this past Sunday, but I could barely get out of bed.  After hobbling around with my hips, knees, feet, back and right shoulder hurting, I called the guys and told them to go on without me.  Worst part is it was 68 degrees and I didn't even feel up to working on my bike in the garage.  Saturday night I slept for 12.5 hours and wound up going to bed at 8pm Sunday night.  Woohoo, thats right ... I'm a one man party machine!

I have been experiencing above normal hand pain this winter and have been using corn bags that you warm up in the microwave and then put on your hands.  They help most of the time for a couple of hours.  Any relief is good relief.

We bought a very lightly used Ford Edge for Donna and she loves it. Plush ride with the keyless entry keypad (Donna locks her keys in her vehicle a LOT), plus it is getting good mileage in town.  I told her that it would be real nice to take to New Mexico this spring/early summer when Randall and I go out there to ride. She said "go ahead and take it".  I was expecting a fight out of her. lol
I have the auxiliary lights mounted and working on my bike now.  boy, what a difference they make too.  I have a few pictures of the lights below, just waiting for some days that I feel up to riding again.  Spring cannot get here quick enough for me!
Lights mounted on forks.
Lights on with low beam on headlight.
Aluminum mount by Twin Headlight Ernie.
Dash board added for switches for aux lights and heated grips.

Bike with low beam on.
Aux lights with low beam on.  Unbelievable how much better you can see with them on.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pain/Fatigue vs Fun

I believe it was Lana ( Living Life As I See Fit ) that once described RA as a two year old who acts out at the most inopportune times.  I have missed numerous plans with the family and some big rides with best friends due to RA.  At times I feel like it is turning me into a social recluse.  And then there are the times that I push myself to go out to eat or to see a movie that I really don't feel up to it (but I go on any way for fear of being labeled a loner or worse) and cannot enjoy myself due to either excessive pain or fatigue.  Last Sunday I got off of work at 7 am, came home and slept 4 hours, then did a short 80 mile solo ride (can't waste a 68 degree day in February).  After getting cleaned up, we went to the kids house for a Super Bowl party.  It would have been easier to stay at home and watch the game but I wanted to go.  Our daughter and son in law are well grounded and I haven't met any of their friends yet that I don't like.  Plus, I always enjoy playing with Lizzy, their Alaskan Husky.  She knows that she has me wrapped around her paw and takes full advantage of this fact every time I am over.  I had a great time despite hurting and was glad I made myself go afterwards.  
Meet Miss Lizzy
She is captivated by phones, she can also open the gate by herself.
While it's not fair that we have to weigh pain/fatigue versus fun for almost everything we do, we have little choice in the matter.  Had I chosen to stay home to watch the game, I would have missed a good time with some good people and still been hurting at home anyway.  While healthy people might choose to "wait till they feel better", we do not have that option.  

I have a new project for the KLR that I have been considering for a while.  After getting caught out after dark with the roads wet recently, I decided it was time to add some auxiliary lights.  I just received the brackets yesterday so I am going to wire them up today.  I am using two halogen driving lights (may convert to H3 LED later) that should help light the road better at night plus make me more visible in the daytime.  I will post pictures later on the lights, just did a quick test with the wiring and switch and everything works just like it was put together by someone who actually knows what they are doing.  Since I am electrically challenged, I was delighted that my diagram I drew out in Photoshop worked.  I did have a flashback of the Coyote drawing out a diagram to catch the Roadrunner and considered doing an arrogant little snicker that the Wile E. used to do. Figured I had better not tempt fate.   Fortunately there was no ill fated electrocution on my part while testing ... everything worked fine.
My latest project
Drilling the hole in the auxiliary light brackets