Saturday, June 04, 2005

A brush with (someone else's) near death

Ok, maybe the title of this post is a little dramatic...

So I'm out on a date Friday night, eating dinner at the Indian place next to Calhoun Square. We're both enjoying our meal and conversation, when my date says "I think that guy over there is choking." I turn around and look behind me, and sure enough, a few tables over, there's a guy doubled over his plate gagging.

Another guy is moving behind him and starts trying the Heimlich maneuver. He gives a few good thrusts, then says "does anyone else know how to do this - I don't know if I'm doing it right." By this point the guy had started coughing, so thankfully he was getting at least a little air, but the food was still lodged down there somewhere.

I got up and went over, thinking I remembered the Heimlich maneuver from, ahem, high school first aid class, like um 15 years ago?! I remembered to find the bottom of the sternum, and the belly button, and put my fist between the two, and thrust sharply upward. So I gave him a few good tugs, not entirely certain I was doing it correctly, but I couldn't do any better. He was still coughing, so he wasn't going to die (at least immediately) but he was getting *really* red in the face.

By this time 911 had been called, and someone had also grabbed a couple of cops off the street (I think there was some sort of block party going on in the parking lot next door, so there were cops very nearby.) The cops noted that he was getting a little air, and didn't do anything except continue to reassure him that since he was getting air, he should just keep trying to cough and try to stay calm. A minute later, the ambulance showed up, and they walked him out. A few minutes later, he came out of the ambulance, apparently all right, his date gave him a big hug on the sidewalk, then he came back in to pay his bill. If I were him, I don't know that I would have remembered to pay the bill - and the restaurant didn't want to take his money, but he insisted.

I wonder if Ms. "Maddog" Madigan, my high school lesbian health/first aid/gym class teacher would be proud?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Volunteer night at the Depot

After taking the wheelbuilding class at the Sibley Bike Depot a few weeks back, I thought I'd show up on volunteer night (every Wed, 6-8:30pm) and see what was going on, and what I might be able to contribute.

On this particular night, it was "scrap cleanup night", meaning that they were loading up scrap steel (junk frames, rims, spokes, components) to be sold as scrap. So myself and maybe 3 other guys dislodged junk frames from the giant heap outside the building, and loaded them into two new heaps in a pickup truck and a trailer. Must have loaded up, I don't know, at least fifty? seventy? hundred? junk frames total (lots of huffys and crap like that) and I don't know how many rims and 5-gallon buckets of junk metal. Apparently we didn't get the load balanced on the trailer quite right, because it rocked backwards like a seesaw, and we had to redistribute the weight forward so it was better balanced.

Afterwards, I got talking to another guy who had also taken the wheelbuilding class. It seems Tom, who's 20 years old, did a 9000 mile bike trek on his mountain bike in late '03-early '04. Pretty freakin hard core. He rode south out of Minnesota (trying to beat the cold weather), down to Florida, through Louisiana, Texas, Nevada, up to Oregon, then across Montana and back to Minnesota. He planned his route to coincide with as much public land as possible (National Forests and whatnot) where he could camp for free. Says the whole thing cost him a little over $1000 - he traveled cheaply, camped almost all the time, ate out very little (subsisting mainly on oatmeal and other staples) and did whatever he could to keep his cost down. He was riding a Schwinn Mtn bike (with knobbies!) which he fitted with drop bars. Interesting stuff, and again, freakin hard core.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Apparently my rim is jacked up too

Recently noticed that when applying the rear brake on the Cervelo, there's a tiny jerk every revolution. It apparently wasn't very noticable at first, but now I notice it constantly (it hasn't gotten any worse, I just notice it more now - funny how you can't help but notice something once you know it's there!) I took a closer look today, and there's a tiny bulge in the brake surface on one side. This must have happened when I hit that pothole a few weeks ago. It look like it bent the lip just *slightly* on one side, causing the brake surface to bulge out just enough to cause the jerkiness. Sucks - I got a good deal on this wheelset (Mavic Krysium Elite) on Ebay last year, but I still paid no small sum. I'll have to take it in to a shop and see if it's possible to somehow "convince" the bulge to move back where it belongs. Or at least make it less noticable. Hopefully.