So far, so good. I can't actually go 'over the top' yet pedaling the trainer, but I'm already months ahead of where I was after the original injury, and if I keep workin' it every day I'll be back on the road in a few weeks.
Thirty-one years ago, after a long weekend of sailing the bay (one night tied to a buoy in Hospital Cove off Angel Island, and another in a berth somewhere further north), I held fore and aft docking lines, one in each hand, ready to leap off the boat to tie up at Pier 39, where we would wait for the tide to change before heading on south to Pete’s Harbor in Redwood City.
We’d had strong winds that day and I was wearing bulky foul weather gear. As we turned into an open guest berth I could tell the current was moving us away from the dock; all I really had to do was leave the starboard lines I was holding and move over to the port side, jump off and hold a stanchion until Ron could rig new lines to secure the boat; but I didn’t do that. I jumped. I hit the dock and went into the water, came up, grabbed the dock, yelled, “I broke my ankle,” and waited for rescue.
The harbor master said later he could see I wouldn’t make it—I probably wasn’t the first dummy to try to jump against the current. Oddly enough, I don’t think I had much, if any pain, as long as my leg wasn’t moved. By then I’d figured out it was my knee, not my ankle that I’d injured. An ambulance was called and I was kept warm for the long time it took them to get there.
The EMTs removed the foulies and cut open my jeans to see my leg. My knee looked really, really bad. Distorted.
My hyper-extended joint had allowed the femur to slam into the tibia, fracturing all the cartilage along with the bone. Squished. An internal crush injury, only seen in motorcycle accidents.
Long story, short: my tibia was rebuilt with bone grafts from my pelvis, the cartilage and meniscus smooched together to heal as best they could. I spent most of a year getting full use back, and even longer for good range of motion.
Thirty-one years later, twenty-nine of them spent cycling all over the world, that rebuilt knee finally wore out and I will be getting a new one in a few days. I plan to be riding a bike again soon. Best thing for it, they say.
After figuring out how to make prints I then had to figure out what to do with them.
I knew they could be shown where I attend classes at the Fromm Institute on the USF campus, just for the asking. I broached the subject early last year and was given a date in 2013. Fine, I said, thinking at least then I'd have no time pressure about what to show.
But near the end of the spring session in June, I was asked if I'd like to take half the gallery in the fall because the woman scheduled for that slot said she couldn't do the whole space. Sure, I said.
(But I thought I would surprise my Fromm buddies and didn't tell them about the new date. For the new session Open House held last week I told Jane I would pick her up and we'd go early---she was so eager to meet & greet everyone, she walked right through without looking at them. That's pretty much all anyone did that day! Bit of an anti-climax. Sigh.)
Click here for a virtual tour of the 20 photographs
And it definitely kept me busy all summer: first, editing a zillion files to pick which images to print, processing them better for printing, ordering custom mats for the Ikea frames, printing and framing the work, making up announcements and getting them sent, designing the sequencing and measuring and planning the hanging and, finally, the actual hanging with helpers, Jason and Judy, etc., etc., and by Sept. 2nd, it was all done.
I sometimes watch people at school peering at them, slowly, closely, as I pass by the corridor and peek in. Not too many have said anything to me, but that's O.K., I've never said anything to those who've shown there before me, either.
When the show comes down in November, I will stick my neck out further and shop them around to local cafes, keep them out there, maybe even sell a print or two someday.
I met Jill at 20th & Vermont to walk into the Mission along 24th Street, just for something different to do together (she does it often).
We took the stairs down the crookedest-street block of Vermont and then the pedestrian bridge over Hwy 101 into the backside of S.F. General Hospital. I'd never been inside their E.R. and we popped in to take a look . . . it has a much smaller waiting room than I expected. Much smaller. And before noon, it was nearly emtpy.
Walking in a place you only know well from a bicycle seat is quite different---and wonderful. There's still a nice mix of new upscale-trendy to old & funky on that eastern end of 24th Street. Even the old rundown places are spiffier than I expected. Clean. Somehow, it looks more raggedy from the street.
We stopped for a taco in one of her favorite places (very good, will go back), and after stopping at a wonderful children's playground (24th & York), with some of the most incredible mosaic art works I've ever seen anywhere, we climbed back up the hill to her house.
The sun was shining and the day warmed up, no fog in sight (in fact, it's downright hot in my house!).
Every day seems foggier than the last and it's hard to bother getting dressed most days. I really don't remember a summer with so few sunny days on Potrero Hill. Yesterday was the exception.
I'm getting a lot of work done, but not getting enough sustained exercise and that is not good. The weight is creeping up on me. I used to average 100 miles of riding per week, then 75, and now only about 30. Last weekend I rode my Cannondale down the ridge to Menlo Park, about 45 miles total. I was pretty tired after 30 miles, so I have a lot of work to do to get my riding chops back.
Yesterday it was sunny for a change and Judy and I rode our Bike Fridays to look into the nooks & crannies along the waterfront. We saw two obscure parks on the bay, Warm Water Cove and Heron's Head, plus Mission Creek from both shores. And we pedaled 27 miles without really going anywhere!
We stopped to see the Russian tall ship, the Pallada. and then got a hotdog on Crissy Field. Really nice day, though the fog came back in too early.
On the way home we toured both shores on Mission Creek. This is the shallow south shore; I wonder if it's low tide?
I finally got out on the bike again today, but didn't get very far. I'm still learning how to use my camera with nothing but manual settings. It makes a HUGE difference. Post-processing time is nearly zero and my exposures are spot on. As long as I have a minute to think it through, that is.
I went out on my bike on Saturday to practice using the camera the old-fashioned way, where you think through what combination of ISO, shutter speed and aperture to use in every situation. Of course, with film, ISO was non-negotiable once the film went in the camera. I got pretty good exposures of uninteresting subjects. The point was to learn, learn, learn which button/dial does what and make it second-nature. Have to keep doing that.
It is time to take a break from everything I usually do, including writing about this 'n that on this blog. I toy with the idea of not writing at all, and I know no one looks at it anymore, anyway, but it does no harm to leave it sit for however long this non-writing spell lasts.
I went to see and hear Henning Mankell at City Arts Lectures on Monday. He wrote the Wallander books, among others. Since I liked the BBC series with Kenneth Branagh playing the Swedish detective, I started reading some of the books before the lecture, and even got a DVD of the television version. Good escapist stuff.
Yesterday, just riding around town to run errands, I came across this mural at St. Paul's Parish and School in Noe Valley, and then riding down Market Street, I was surprised by the St. Patrick's Day parade.
I'm up earlier than needs be because of a nightmare. I was again working in the basement X-ray department of the old Southern Pacific Hospital on Fell and Baker, back after a long absence because I needed extra money, and every time I went to the files behind me for a returning patient's file number, I was finding misfiled flash cards,* becoming more and more alarmed and upset until I was tossing and turning in bed. Techs I knew in 1965, appeared, but the relief clerk I was explaining the problem to was a young guy who actually works in the office at USF now.
The radiologists were from every era, but the rooms, and the entry hall where my desk was stuck, were from that old hospital. I went in the back to find an empty file drawer to use to reorganize the misfiled cards I'd been pulling---by this time a few hundred---and ran into Livia, the doctors' secretary at Children's Radiology Dept. (from my years there in the 70s, and who is now a fellow student at the Fromm) and that's when I started telling others about the problem of returning patients not having had their exams compared, which is of extreme importance for discovery, diagnosis and staging. And there were several other stories interwoven involving other clerks and techs, and candy and toys stashed in file drawers, but all the people popping in and out were from those 13 years in the two X-ray departments. When I finally woke myself up, one of the radiologists was sitting with me, growing more and more concerned about the terrible consequences he could foresee.
A variation of this actually happened in both departments and everywhere I ever worked. I was always uncovering embezzlements and hidden horrors like that.
*a "flash card" is the patient information and exam date, typed on a 2" x 3" card, and was used to transfer the information onto the film in the darkroom. They were the actual file card at Children's, but as I can see in this picture, the date was added to a larger file card at the railroad hospital. Digital files mostly took care of that, but typos and misspellings cause electronic "misfiles" just as easily.
Yesterday I rode my old bike to Twin Peaks for no other reason than I knew the clouds would be pretty and the tourists happy, and both were true. And then I had a taco in the Mission and rode back home. The view from my hill was just as pretty. No tourists.
I bought sample packs of lots of different papers to try and decide which I like best, and today I spent an obscene amount of time setting up a still life to color test against ICC printing profiles (as if I know what I'm doing).
I walked down the hill to the 22nd St. station this morning to catch the train to meet Kit in Menlo Park for lunch. Afterwards, we went to the Cantor Center on the Stanford Campus to see the Helen Levitt exhibit. And then we went upstairs to the permanent collection (where taking photos is allowed) and I was glad to see the Slab Man by Duane Hanson back in his usual spot, holding up the wall. Coffee and dessert and back to take a Baby Bullet train home. Lovely day.
Jill and I walked along Crissy Field all afternoon, stopping for a bite to eat at the Warming Hut, enjoying the balmy spring-like weather. There were lots and lots of people also enjoying the day. I took snapshots but they're not very interesting so I won't bother with them.
But yesterday, while riding around the waterfront on my bike, I acted like a tourist to take this of the fishing boats. Really, being a tourist in one's own town is a lot of fun. And then I had a burger & fries at In 'n Out.
If you check my blog from time to time you will have noticed I've not written in weeks. (Hey, why the heck haven't you checked to be sure I'm still breathing?) You probably guessed that I'm immersed in making images these days and know that there isn't much to write about that, and you'd be right.
On Thursday, Jane told me there would be a full moon that evening and it looked pretty special from her neighborhood and so I got to Alamo Square before dark and set up the tripod in the middle of the dog walkers' field and waited for it to rise in the east. I had no idea where it would be visible and at first thought I was seeing a bright orange dome, like the Galleria downtown, but it was the fast-rising moon. I also had no idea how to set the camera and came home thinking I'd failed completely, but this image was salvageable and a great learning tool for double-processing. (Be sure to click on this image to see details.)