Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Medical Case Study
Successful Scientific Approach
Of a Rare Nautical Congenital Lesion
The Team Method

This pediatric patient, of English birth, was only a few months old when it developed leakage problems in the area of the lower bowels. The patient's delivery was professional and without complications and there was nothing on examination (early on) to suggest any congenital problems. Records confirm that the post natal care was excellent.

Because of the chronic nature of the problem that developed, the patient was referred to a highly respected team of specialists that included JB, a highly rated POF (Professor of Kayaking) and an EMT; Sherri, a highly rated POF with a long experience in the anatomy of these patients, and yours truly. 


The patient was prepared and draped in the normal manner and its rear umbilical cord (here after referred to as the toggle) was removed without complications. Then, purposely omitting any anesthetic which might blunt the response, SADT (specially adapted duct tape) was applied in the coronal plane circumventing the dorsal/distal end of the patient (see phot below...used with patient's permission).
Next, according to the protecal demanded in the grant, the patient was taken to the diagnostic tank test and subjected to the AAR test (all sorts of rolls) after which the patient was taken back to the lab for final testing.


After excissing the circumference of the the distal cavity (here after known as the rear hatch), it was noted that no extra or intracellular fluids had entered this area. This was carefully confirmed after which the area was recovered. The sponge count (1) was noted to be correct.


Many of you, because you practice (your sport) in small and remote areas, do not have access to large diagnostic centers with sophisticated instruments and techniques as described in this  paper. Suffice to say, the patient does, in fact, have a small congential lesion; that being PTO/WR or a patent toggle opening with regurgitation (also called insufficiency in some literature).

Therapeautic Plan

The patient will be referred back to the author's garage where plastic surgery involving well tested chemicals will be used to close the offending lesion. In most of these cases, the proceedure takes less than an hour, is well established and is approved by the AMA, BCU and ACA. There is often a slight febrile/thermal reaction, but this is self limited and does not usually require medication. Best of all, with this modern technique the patient often can return to work the very next day. Some researchers are already reporting cases of patients treated early in the morning and actually working that same day.


If the author does not breath in too much of the toxic fumes there is chance of total recovery.

Paddle safe...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sometimes I Feel Like Staying in Bed
This is the time of year when winter gets long in the tooth. I'm another year older, like you, and don't like to see my days wasted by being in doors. I wax philosophical at these times and muse over the future, such as it is. The economy is not good here, and I worry what the future holds for my kids and their children. That's for another day, and you will have to buy the whiskey.
I am presently teaching 3 courses, 2 in the nursing school, and I am debating letting all that go as of spring. I love teaching, but the crap that goes with it is becoming annoying. Students are whiner who believe staring at a power point presentation will magically move knowledge into their heads. Fewer and fewer can write an complete sentence. Come the warm weather, I don't want to be writing exams (I need 3 by next week, but I digress...yes, within parenthesis Mr. Editor). Teaching on the water is a whole other thing, and I love it.
Some of my favorite people are moving from Ohio (6 hour drive) to the Washington D.C. area (12 hour drive). I will be driving out with my daughter and grand son and flying back to help in the move. Meanwhile, I've had a scare from a medication reaction that my colleague prescribed for my sleep disorder....are you seeing a down-in-the-mouth long-in-the-tooth feeling here?

I gotta' get back on the water.

Paddle safe...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Images of Arizona
Right from the moment I stepped into the airport and looked out the big windows...
I knew I wasn't in Wisconsin. The other clue was that it was 40F degrees warmer on the outside. But I digress. Walking to the baggage area, I saw my first female shoe shine boy.
While waiting for Lady Linda's nephew to  pick me up for supper, I walked the parking lot to stretch my legs and was rewarded with this car. Be sure to note on the right below the window.
Even the bark on an old tree was visually pleasing.
All that, and the course went well. Now I have to snow blow.

Paddle safe...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Headed For Greener Pastures
Kayaks all tucked in the garage. I am headed to Arizona to give a CME course on Cardiology. It is supposed to rain there on Saturday. No matter. I will be delivering 6 one-hour lectures to medical professionals. I love the interaction and energy at these courses.
Lady Linda's nephew is there, and I hope to have dinner with him and his fiance.
It will feel good to feel warm air on the old body. Meanwhile...

Paddle safe...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I Got Nothing
It's winter. I have a neurological sleep disorder the treatment for which has given me cardiac arrhythmias. Last night was my best night sleep in months, and it wasn't enough to make up for all the hours I spent tossing.
We are iced off the lake, and my Cetus still takes on water in the rear hatch (we are honing in on the source). I don't get enough exercise, and I don't have anything new and stimulating to photograph. What to do?

Go up into the attic or down into the basement or into the archives and revisit some old photos to post, repost and share.
So, that's what I did.
'nough said.

Paddle safe...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Michael must be proud.

I watched the opening of the olympics yesterday. Impressive and sadly darkened by the death of a bob sled athlete. Still, the olympics seem to be the one place where the world's nations seem at peace with one another. The games are the thing, and who you are and where you are from is not the issue. Seems there is a model there for a way of coexisting. We can only hope.

Paddle safe...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Take Another Bow
A ways back, I posted about having the bow of one's kayak appearing in pictures. At the time, I thought it was an over done cliche' and challenged folks to think of ways of getting good images without the bow of their boat appearing in the photo.

Recently, Stan McKenzie had an interesting post on the same subject. Unlike myself, he took the approach that the presence of the bow gave a sense of self and a chance to show off one's boat. After all, he pointed out, we are generally proud of our crafts and have a close bond with them. His articles (and his always excellent photos) got me to rethinking this entire idea. That's when I pulled this image back up (taken earlier this year).

I realize that I had intuitively stressed the presence of the bow of my kayak in order to give perspective to the image. The proportionally large presence in the fore ground helps make Sherri and her boat look smaller and, hence, the water bigger. It almost succeeds, although I am not 100% thrilled with the result. I am, however, grateful to Stan for stimulating my thoughts.

Paddle safe...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Predicting Winter Weather With 100% Accuracy
 Here in the states, we have a silly tradition of having a ground hog come out early in the year to look for its shadow. If he sees it, so goes the tale, we will have 6 more weeks of winter. Turns out, there are better, more scientific ways to handle this. The bench test, for one, is far more accurate.
This scientifically designed bench just happens to sit in my back yard where, as it turns out, is the only important place to consider when it comes to weather. If the bench is covered with snow (as it is in the picture taken this week) we know that there will not only be lots more winter but that the temperature is currently below freezing. This simple, yet elegant, observation can be made through the window without having to exposing one's self  to the miserable elements.

Although reliable and 89.77% accurate, when it comes to life and death decisions, we turn to The Oracle Of The Tree for uncannily accurate information. This old wood sprite has been with us for several years now, and he has never failed us. We believe that his wisdom continues to grow as evidenced by the fact that his eyes are farther apart than when we discovered him over a decade ago. But I digress. 
Rooted deeply in mythology, he sees all and almost never blinks. His gaze is fixed on the north west, from where our weather emanates and, it is said, he can see over the horizon to the other side of the world. It is told that he blinks when the end of winter is 24 hours away. Since this usually occurs in the wee early hours of the morning, no one has actually seen or been able to photograph this sacred happening. Rest assured, however, that is eyes remain wide open as I type this and that winter surely will not end in the next few days. Is that a snow blower I hear?

Paddle safe...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Silbs in Wonderland
You've seen pictures of the pond behind Rutabaga in Madison. Usually, there is the dock where folks who want to demo a boat get hang out.
And there is the usual teaching activities around paddle sport. When I went up there on Sunday (see last blog), I wasn't surprised to see snow on the pumpkins (read hulls).
What I didn't expect to see was the teepee that is usually set up for the Door County Sea Kayak Symposium. It is usually part of the kids' program and seemed like an apparition in the early morning dreary light. No one was around to explain why it was there.
The pond did have some activity, even though it was 7:30 am., but those guys weren't paddling.
I didn't see my shadow. No matter.
We're under a snow storm warning here in Milwaukee, and it doesn't expire for 24 hours. Oh, well.

Paddle safe...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Learning about Learning
Yesterday, I had a unique opportunity to be part of a team teaching a rolling class. It was unique in as much as I was a sort of third wheel there to learn how this class is usually run. The course has usually been taught by Dan
and Jeff
both excellent teachers and accomplished paddlers.

Yesterday, having little responsibility, I got to watch and listen a lot. Having my own way of teaching rolling and, thus, not starting from scratch, I was free to listen to the words, to watch how much was show and tell and how much was doing, and to see how the time was used for each stage of the learning process.

I love teaching, and I hate being an educator. I am, for instance, likely to quit teaching my college courses as I cannot stand setting up a syllabus or meeting other paper work requirements. I just want to teach. That experience, however, has led me to listen and observe differently, and I am slowly getting the Gestalt of some class methods.

Most rolling classes do not produce students with a roll. After 4 hours, it is not uncommon for no one to have a roll...and this is after a rolling class.
Most accept the fact that learining to roll is a process and that is just how it is. But, like the song says, it ain't necessarily so. I have had any number of students roll after a single half-hour lesson. In fact, the majority do. My method, like all good methods, consists of bits brazingly stolen from other innovative teachers.

So, I learned a lot by watching. I learned a lot about what works and what doesn't. I hope it makes me a better teacher.

Paddle safe...

Friday, February 05, 2010

My sense of paddlers, in general, is that they are affiable, of above average intelligence, interested in the world around them and goal oriented. They come from all walks and all sorts of job descriptions and tend to well at what ever they do. Aside from the once in a blue moon recreational paddler, the whitewater and sea kayakers are always working on their skills and trying to improve. Some of this motivation comes  from having goals.

There are more possibilities (read: goals) at the start than at any other time. It is like taking a hike. Every time you take a fork in the path you have eliminated (at least for now) all the forks in the roads of the paths not taken. The first time in a kayak, that first lesson, holds out to the imagination all sorts of possibilities. There is so much to practice and such a great urge to get up to speed.

Jump (or paddle) ahead and we all arrive at a place where we have the basics. Our forward stroke is getting decent, our braces are pretty much working and we hit our rolls the majority of the times. Unless we find something new to work on, the future may appear to only hold out repetitious outings during which we do the same old, same old over and over. This is when those of us really who are really into the paddling game look for new goals.

For some of us it is becoming an instructor and then working on becoming an even better instructor. Some will go on to be instructor trainers while others, eschewing the instructor path, will plan longer and longer trips. For some this may be conquering the shoreline while paddling to the next city 5 miles up the coast. Others eventually paddle around Australia.

So, in addition to planning and looking forward to the spring events, it is time for me to start laying out new goals. Since teaching is my passion, I want to learn more about it and about teaching teachers. At my age, I have no plans to become an instructor trainer, however, I do want to learn those skills as I believe it will make me a better teacher and a better paddler.

Then I need to work on a plan to maintain conditioning. I am going to lose some this winter in spite of getting out there on the lake and frequent visits to the gym and pool. It's just that it's harder as I get older. Finally, I need to sit and contemplate how I can best serve my sport going forward.

I have pretty much eliminated the idea of an Olympic try out, but I will continue to teach. I am on another board here in Milwaukee, and it involves paddling indirectly. I need to do more. Perhaps my next goal is to find my next goal.

Paddle safe...

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Long Days
I know, the days are actually getting longer; but they seem that way aside from their actual length. Perhaps it has to do with my age. Or, maybe, it has to do with my temperament which needs to constantly entertain both my left and right brain.

Today is a Wednesday, so my teaching day started at 8 am (waking at 5:30) and ends around 9 pm. This week only, yesterday I ended up teaching double classes for another instructor. Top this with the fact that Lady Linda is away for a few days leaving me with house, garbage and large dog. I look at the phone hoping the governor will call.

I am already looking forward to Sunday when I will be up in Madison helping with pool instruction (kayak rolling class). We constantly talk of moving to warmer places, but our magnificent cohort of family, extended family and friends are all here.

Common sun, make the days really longer...and a hell of a lot warmer.

Paddle safe...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What is This?
I get, and see on other blogs, comments composed of these symbols. Michael thought they may be another language that did not translate via Google. Do you know what they are? (symbol has been removed from original  post)

Paddle safe...

Monday, February 01, 2010

From the Upper Left Hand Corner
That's an old musician's expression to mean from the beginning. And so it is with rolling a new boat, especially if one is going from a Romany (which almost rolls like a SOF) to a Cetus (which does not).

I was in the pool yesterday rolling the afore mentioned Cetus. First I used a Greenland stick so I could work slowly and with control. I wanted to just concentrate on how the hull moved and how much in control of it I felt. Then I inserted my rectangular neoprene portable Masik to bring my thighs more in contact with the boat. After a while I switched to a Euro paddle, and things went well. 

Sherri (pictured above) watched and told me I was sweeping too fast and that the boat didn't have time to finish. I slowed things down and things improved even more. I soon found my self practicing the sweep motion while sitting upright as if starting to learn from the beginning. To be continued.

I have successfully made a rodeo re entry twice on this boat, something I haven't been able to do with the Romany. This is surprising since the Cetus is Swede form and the entry requires sliding past the wide part of the boat located behind the cockpit.

Perhaps I will take the Romany to the next pool session and just play.

Paddle safe...