Category Archives: Ouch!

First Snow and Luge 2.0

First Snow!

Sam and I took the kids out to play in the snow while we cleaned up.

We found some scrap lumber that had been lining the floor of our old “plastic garage” that collapsed last winter. That got us to thinking more about our winter project this year, Luge 2.0

Last year was rather epic, with snowblowers to move the snow, many men shovelling and lots of on the fly engineering to build the greatest backyard sledding hill of all time.

This year we think we have it beat. Luge 2.0 has the following features.

  • 14′ dished ramp
  • 7′ vertical drop (from the deck railing height)
  • 3 1/2′ high table platform for loading (possibly built out of pallets with 2×4 cross supports and a chipboard “floor”
  • safety railing on one side of ramp
  • safety railing on one side of table
  • Possible tarp wrapping on ramp to protect and enhance sledding speed
  • 110% pure awesomeness
  • so far, constructed entirely of imagination

Anyone want to help?  We will need to somewhat build this in place as neither of us have the math to properly engineer it.  We’re going to use recycled wood as much as possible, both to be environmentally friendly (ok, I’m not really that green) and to save money. (Yep, this is the real reason.)

I’ve attached our plans as currently drawn.  They aren’t all that much to scale, and they’re certainly not measured.  Angles on plans mean nothing, use your imagination to envision the true awesomeness that these plans represent.

Then call us, so you can help.  With your muscles and time and brains and overall coolness.  You need to prove your coolness.  Come help with Luge 2.0!

 Rough Luge Draft 2.0 Luge 2.0

Rough engineering draft for Luge 2.0

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Ankylosing Spondylitis?

It may be.

What, you may ask, is Ankylosing Spondylitis?  A new type of bug?  A bacteria growing in my toilet?

Nope.  It’s none of these silly things you never thought it was.

AS may however be the answer to why I’ve been having recurring rectal bleeding for the last few years, and recurring back pain for the last 8.

My physician recently did some blood tests and x-rays of my back.  He found that I have sacroiliitis, an inflamation in the sacroiliac joint. This may be the result of several years of Ankylosing Spondylitis.  (See, you know I wouldn’t leave you without a link to follow)

Now – from what I can tell, AS is uncurable,  degeneritive, and causes chronic back pain and deformity of the spine.  It sounds bad.  It is an autoimmune disease, and responds well to immunosuppresants – as long as the patient doesn’t develop any infections while on them.

It can cause injury if a patient with advanced spinal rigidity falls or has an accident, as the spinal cord is more easily damaged in a rigid spine – however, that is an advanced case.

I need to see a Rheumatologist to properly diagnose me – and really, I’m going to be doing the same things I’m doing now, but with different drugs so I sleep better at night and bleed out my anus less.  Sounds good to me. (Or I won’t have it, and that’ll be even cooler – unless they invent something worse for me to have!)

It could cause problems down the road, but it seems to be a slow acting disease, so I’m unlikely to see immediate worsening of symptoms.  I guess the downside is that I’m already 8-10 years into it, as it’s visible on an x-ray.  But hey – we take what we get right?

Anyway – doubtless more to come on this topic as I find out more.