Friday, November 21, 2008

I bring the noise, but I kinda phone in the funk

Here's the combo of neoprene & velcro that facilitates my rocking of the drums.

It was originally designed to alleviate tennis elbow pain. Turns out it also alleviates non-drumstick-hold-ification. I can usually make it through a song or two before I need to adjust it.

I hear both my drumming, and whatever song I'm playing along with via iPod, in my headphones. Everyone else just hears muffled tapping. The first time my father in law heard me drumming, he asked my wife if one of the cats was barfing. Seriously. My drumming sounds like a cat puking. That's how hard I rock. Apparently.

After playing Rock Band, I looked for info on the game being used for physical rehab. Surprisingly, I couldn't find any. The Wii seems to have the video game PT (Physical Therapy) market cornered.

I also couldn't find any articles about drumming being used for PT (though it's been done for music therapy). I guess no one else with a degenerative motor neuron disease ever though, "Well, I can't play guitar or mandolin anymore. I better learn to drum." I love the way my screwy mind works. That bass-ackwards pile of grey matter never does me wrong.

I do know that no matter how good I get, I'll never be the best disabled drummer of all time. Most people think of Rick Allen from Def Leppard when you say 'disabled drummer'. He lost his left arm in a car accident, but continued with the band by playing an electric kit.

However, Rick Allen wasn't the first. A guy named Stevie beat him to it.

Holy. Shit.

Did you see that?

Hummingbirds don't move that fast.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

with one hand...

You know the expression, "I can do that with one hand behind my back"? That has lost all meaning for me. Pretty much everything I do, I could do with one hand behind my back. That's the beauty in having a useless left hand.

Now that presents a dilemma; do I stop using that expression, or do I run it in to the ground?

"Build a website in a day? I could do that with one hand tied behind my back".

"Cook dinner for a dozen people? I could do that with one hand tied behind my back"

"Blog about a rare motor neuron disease? I could do that with one hand tied behind my back."

Yeah, I'll stop using that expression. I'm already sick of it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a comedy of errors / a tragedy of gravity

I kicked my week off with a bang. Actually it was more of a thud, followed by a short slide.

Sunday night I set my Cross Check up in winter mode - changed the 46 tooth chainring to a 43, swapped the 16 tooth freewheel for a 15 fixed gear, tightened all the bolts on my fenders & rack, swapped clipless for flat pedals and greased the hell out of everything.

My Monday morning commute was cold but uneventful. No bonehead drivers cut me off, there weren't any slick spots to avoid. Everything went fine until I was literally 70 feet from the office, when all hell broke loose.

I cross a good size bump as I leave the street & enter the drive that leads to the parking garage. It's a 2 inch lip where the concrete meets the pavement. 99 times out of 100, I ride right over it. One out of 100 times, my pannier gets ejected from the rack & lands in the sidewalk.

Yesterday, my pannier ejected. Since I'm riding fixed now, I can't coast. My left foot came around & knocked the pannier in to the rear wheel. It buckled a support for the fender, which caused the support to snag a spoke, which caused the fender to roll up inside itself & lock the rear wheel.

Right about this time, I found myself momentarily free from the confines of gravity. I was adjusting my glasses when my fender revolted, so I only had my bad hand on the bars. With flat pedals instead of clipless there was nothing holding me to the bike. Thus, I achieved a low orbit for about a half a second...

...followed by a rather harsh landing on my right shoulder. Ouch.

I walked away mostly unscathed. Unfortunately, my rear fender was torn to shreds. The back tire won't spin because of it, so tonight I'll have to take it off & pop a new one on before our next bout of precipitation.

Not to self - keep both hands on handlebars at all times.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

the greatest music video ever, EVER!

Rock, revenge, swords and copious amounts of beer. Perfect.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

snow time is go time

We had a bit of wet snow overnight here in Minneapolis. That means I was able to make some practice snowballs this morning before heading to work.

If you're new to this blog, some neighbor kids challenged me to a snowball fight last summer. Just for fun, I'm taking it seriously.

Making practice snowballs in the basement is good prep, but it can't compare to the real thing. I didn't take in to account how slippery a snowy surface will be. I'll have to start practicing in wool socks on waxed linoleum.

As for the little punks across the street, they don't appear to be practicing at all. I should be able to take them down quickly. Man, I can't wait to pelt their adorable little heads with several pounds of packed snow.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Googling MMA

There's a problem with Monomelic Amyotrophy's abbreviation, MMA. It just dawned on me the other day that, in the parlance of our time, MMA is the standard abbreviation for Mixed Martial Arts fighting. That's the thing where dudes in a chain-link octagon beat the hell out of each other for no apparent reason. From what I can tell, there aren't any rules. Good family fun.

This abbreviation clash sucks, because if you Google "MMA" all you get is dudes doling out beatings. Monomelic Amyotrophy was first identified in the 1960s. Mixed Martial Arts is relatively new. Seems fair that the disease should keep the MMA abbreviation & the blood sport should get a new one.

Here are some suggestions for re-naming Mixed Martial Arts.

HEAT - Homo Erotic Action Throwdown
SLAM - Super Lame Arrogant Machismo
RUDE - Really Unnecessary Dangerous Exercise
PUNCH - Punch Up Nuts, Chin, Head

I could go on...