Lost Ride – Update

Well, my cardiologist had a new theory about my memory experience which I thought I should pass along.  It seems that one of my heart valves is very constricted and is having a hard time squirting enough blood through the small opening.  This, coupled with a bit of strenuous exercise, may have robbed my brain of its fair share of blood.  When that happened, part of the brain took a nap.  Luckily, it wasn’t the part needed to get home.

I’m sending this update because my last post gave the impression that my memory loss was caused by overheating and over-exertion.  While these two are still considered the precursors of transient amnesia, it seems to be a little more complicated in my case.  I don’t want to leave the impression that my velomobile had much, if anything, to do with the outcome.

Anyway, I’ll need to get something done about my heart very soon, then a long recovery after that, so I won’t be posting anything for quite some time.  I do have another blog going about building a wooden boat and will continue to work on it. If any of you are into that sort of thing, come on over for a visit.  You can start it at the beginning here and use the arrows at the bottom of the posts to go through in chronological order.

Meanwhile, I’ll be following my fellow velonauts with great interest as they blog about their adventures and be content to live vicariously through them for a bit.  Thanks in advance for sharing!

I wish you all a very full and happy summer.

The Lost Ride

Just a few short weeks ago, we were driving our car between fishing shacks on the thick ice of Lake Winnebago.

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Now the ice is gone, the birds have returned, grass is greening, and the trees are budding with leaves.

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Spring at last!

On Saturday, the temperature was pleasant, the sun was shining, and the country roads beckoned.  The YellowMobile and I answered the call with joy.  After a change of clothes and a quick check of the bike, we were off, waving to our neighbors as we glided past, expecting a long, easy ride.

And that’s about the last thing I remember.

Kathy said that I returned about two hours later and put away the bike and my shoes, same as always, then I told her that I’d had to use the gps to find my way home because I couldn’t remember.  As I became more distraught, she helped me change clothes and took me directly to the emergency room.  I don’t remember any of this either.  I do remember the shock of not being able to tell the doctor the day of the week, or the month, or even my age.

They hooked me up to machines large and small, poked and prodded and queried.  What they found was that my ticker has a valve which is quickly approaching its expiration date, and that I experienced something called “temporary amnesia.”

No, really!

I’d never heard of it either!  But it sounds suspiciously like something you’d claim after doing something really, really stupid or shameful.  They seem to get a lot of it in the political arena – “I don’t recall”.

But the hospital doctors said that they do get a couple cases each year where people come in having lost a day or two of memory without any significant indication of trauma.  They still don’t know how my heart valve fits into the picture and whether it was a factor or not.  What they did say was, that temporary amnesia usually follows some sort of overexertion coupled with overheating.  When it’s over, it usually never happens to that person again, but they may never recover their lost hours or days.  I still don’t remember mine.

The reason I’m passing this along is because, unlike a regular bike, we velonauts can create this kind of condition in our enclosed vehicles.  In my case, it was probably brought on by warmer weather than I was accustomed to while stupidly wearing my winter biking clothes.  But, of course…

I don’t recall.

For my fellow amnesia sufferers, I do have a theory…

High in the castle towers of Disneyland, Walt has hidden a monstrous, huge machine – beaming out its insidious, undeniable call.

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Oh look, there’s Walt now

Of course, many answer willingly…

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But for those few who resist, the beam’s unceasing effects can culminate in a sudden catastrophic breakdown of our defenses.

And dotted across this great land, in cities large and small, in rural communities and farms – the eyes gloss over…

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…the jaw goes slack…

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…and one by one they shuffle off to the distant beckoning.

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It is of course, the Great Amnesiac Spring Migration.

And somehow, they all eventually end up on a strange little boat, in the dark, going nowhere but round and round to the sound of…

It’s a small world after all,

it’s a small world after all,

it’s a small world after all…

it’s a small, small world…

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Gah!  Gives me the willies just thinking about it!!  Luckily, Kathy caught me just in time.

So remember to be careful out there and dress for the weather.  And to all of my velo-buddies living beyond the borders of the good ol’ U.S. of A. – you may think that you’re safe, but just remember-

it’s a small…

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Paris

small…

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Hong Kong

small…

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Tokyo

small…

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Shanghai

world.

YellowMobile Abduction

YellowMobile has, tragically, been abducted.

Stolen.  Those Bastards!

Ripped from her warm, cozy yuppie utopia in suburban Chicago and whisked away to some dark, scary, far off place.  Plucked in her yellow prime. Smuggled off.  And heartlessly hidden in some deep, dark, and terrifying place.  Of course it could only be…

deep in the frozen bovine bowels of rural Wisconsin.

Mooooo!

Moo!

Never… to be found… again.

Fortunately, I happened to be aboard at the time.

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Moooooo!!!!!

So, if you get this message, please pass it on to the appropriate authorities.  I’d offer some handsome reward for my speedy return but, as it turns out…

I kinda like it here.

First of all, there’s the people.

Yeah, they kind of sound like they may be the living counterparts to the movie Fargo, but they have proven to be the most warm, sincere, honest, wonderful people we could ever hope to meet.  I love them!  Truly!!

Not to mention the fact that I could really stand to loose this terrible Chicaaaaaago accent.  Just ask my daughter.

Then there’s the fact that it’s really different here.  Not just different.  but reeeeeeeeally different.  For instance, to blend in with the locals here, you have to wear camouflage.  Literally!

OK hun, I'm gonna go get the past and I'll meet you in the cheese isle

OK hun, I’m gonna go get the chips and I’ll meet you in the cheese isle

They even sell pink camo…

For the ladies!

For the ladies!

It’s either that or the Green Bay Packer jersey collection….

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Yeah, I couldn’t find my size either

And if you’re wearing a polo, you’re definitely from Chicaaaaaaaago!

Then there’s the fact that everybody hunts here.  Everybody.  My wife has a lady work colleague who I’m pretty sure has shot more deer in her life, with her bow, than I’ve even seen in mine.

And I’ve seen a few…

And they fish.  Our wonderful neighbor Carol has fished her whole life here.  She generously offers us tips and advice and even invites us to dine on her amazing almond coated walleye.  Whenever we catch anything, we have to run it over to her place to ask what it is – and if we can eat it!  She’s so gracious that she’ll even bring it into her own kitchen to fillet it right then and there for us.

Of course we won’t find out until later that she never really eats that kind of fish but didn’t have the heart to tell us.

And they ice fish!  In fact there’s a competition here that turns lake Winnebago (a huge lake) into a frozen, floating city of fishing huts, snowmobiles, and Ford F-150 pickup trucks.  OK, I must admit that there’s something about sitting out in freezing temperatures, over a hole, in the ice, holding a fishing pole, that sounds really… unappealing to me.

But that’s just me.

And if that wasn’t enough, they’ve got another competition where you stand over your hole in the ice holding a trident – so you can spear sturgeon.  Yeah, I said trident.

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How cool is that?!!

And there’s more…

But my callous captors are calling me to dinner (mmmmm venison!), so I’l have to go for now.  Please pass on my kind regards to the suburban yup-topia for me.

Cold Turkey

Well it’s Thanksgiving again and this year we decided to try a happy, organic, pasture-raised turkey for our table.  So this week I took a pilgrimage out into the Illinois countryside, visiting the Nadig Family Farm in Cortland to pick it up.

After nearly a two hour ride, Charlotte Nadig met me at the farm and quickly produced our turkey.  And I must admit, it wasn’t the first time I’ve been given the bird.

Her super-cute kids loved the YellowMobile!  I’m afraid it was their fault that I don’t have any pictures to show.  They were all huddled outside the front door waiting to watch my departure.  I was so worried about keeping them standing in the cold too long, that I forgot to take a single photo.  Gah!

Soon I was homeward bound under a beautiful sunset sky.

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Harvest is nearly done.  The majestic forests of corn have been swept away to reveal a sprinkling of farmstead islands, floating on a vast sea of earth.

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The sun smoldered on the horizon for a while…

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And then…

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… was gone.

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After scaring up a raccoon, two squirrels, three rabbits, and a deer…

…I was home.

No-one else was there when I arrived so I took a selfie with the guest of honor to commemorate the occasion…

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Can you spot the real turkey?

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Oh yeah, there’s a movie…

Special thanks for the music –