Friday, December 23, 2011


It took me more than a week to get around to my annual birthday post, which probably says all that needs to be said. This year i did my annual bike ride solo, riding around San Diego's south bay to Coronado Island and then back to home. About 90 miles total, but slow.

In most ways this was a better year than last. My hip is better, though not perfect, and i've even done a little running, wise or not. I did my first double century bike ride, and i got my "black fringe" in tai chi. My work has gone fairly well. I guess the theme would be normalcy.

I do however have this feeling of having crossed some threshold that i can't quite define yet. I find that my days are bracketed by certain pleasant moments-- the minutes i get to read in the evening before i fall asleep, the first cup of coffee in the morning. I don't have any grand plan for my life, as young people must, and it's a strange transition. The only remaining life-change for me is when both kids are out of the house. The older son will be in college by this time next year, and the younger will be there (i presume) in four years. That will make me 52 and faced with a decision about what to do next.

I don't know what the decision will be. I'm certain that i don't want a standard path. I don't want to play golf, or build my dream house, or (god forbid) relax. My inspiration at the moment is Dick Proenneke, who at about that age moved to Alaska to live alone in the wilderness for the next 30 years. That seems like a decent retirement. I just have to hope that my kids don't want to move back home.

Part of the problem is that at this age i find it ridiculously difficult to plan anything. I still need to. There's college to be paid for and a house to make salable, and various loose ends to tie. The conundrum is to figure out how to walk the fine line between utter randomness and enough structure to provide for those who depend on me.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Not Much To Say

This is my second post of 2011, and it's September. I suppose that's mainly because i've not had anything to say that i couldn't fit into a tweet or a Facebook update. Some things that i've considered writing about, but can't find enthusiasm for:
  • The disappearance of the middle class. In the 1970s/1980s my aunt and uncle worked on the assembly line at the International Harvester plant. It was probably not a fun or fulfilling job, but they managed to make enough money to pay a mortgage, buy cars, take vacations, etc. Now, the jobs are gone, the plant is gone, etc.
  • I've had a titanium/ceramic hip for over 18 months now. Still not perfect. I have done a little running recently, and i did a 23 minute 5K with my sons, which isn't bad for an old guy with a replacement hip-- even if it's the slowest i've run.
  • I've been trying to develop into an ultra-endurance cyclist. I did my first double century back in June.
  • How when you get old, you start to realize that the things you wanted out of life were either silly or pointless; and how i wonder whether this is some sort of biological defense mechanism to keep you from killing yourself.
  • How blogging is probably going to disappear.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Hip at One Year

This past Wednesday was the first anniversary of my hip replacement surgery. I can't really say it's back to normal, nor am i sure what normal is now. I don't have any pain bearing weight on it, but it's definitely weaker and i still have some difficulty lifting that leg. I'm not sure if my hip flexor needs more rehab, or if i'm dealing with an ongoing process of healing for muscles that were significantly traumatized.

I'm back to doing my martial arts training at a near full levels of effort, although i don't spar or grapple. I've done a lot of cycling, including another century ride; and i can even jog for short distances. On the other hand, i'm the heaviest i've been for years, and i've lost most of the substantial aerobic base i took years to build up.

I get asked fairly often if the surgery was worth it. I think so, but i don't think a year is long enough to say for sure. The deciding factors in the long run will be how close i can get to my previous physical condition (adjusted for age), and whether any radically better alternatives show up. I don't yet consider the lifetime of the prosthetic itself to be a factor, because i'm not convinced that in even a decade the methods of dealing with worn-out joints will be the same as they are now. There are so many younger people getting joint replacements now, that i think the demand for better, different solutions will increase dramatically.