Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not that I said I told you so, but...

I told you so.

Work auto-union, lose job.

Today's news featured two stories about the Windsor Assembly van plant shutting down for the equivalent of a week. Here is one. Here is the other.

Here's what I notice. In one breathe they were told that the shut down wouldn't happen. The next day, they were told it was going to happen. First they say it's for three weeks. Then they say that after three weeks they'll re-evaluate. In one breathe, they call say it's because of an over stock of parts. In the next breathe, they're saying that orders and demand are down.

So what do you believe?

The key, to me, is this line "The only reason they're not shutting the plant down entirely is they have a contract to build VWs."

What? A foreign car is saving a North American plant? "That's unpossible," to quote Ralph Wiggum.

Look, I don't think 4500 local people being out of work is good in any way. It's bad for all local business, it's bad for morale, it's bad for our local image, it's bad for our already dead housing market. It's bad.

But I told you so.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Some one has read my mind

I'm not going to make you think I wrote any of what's below, or even that I got permission to post it here. But credit goes to the author of the following article for getting inside my head and writing exactly what I've been going through over the last 15 months. Even the picture could be my legs, but I like to think I have better muscle tone ;)

Freaky side note, I stopped running on my first stress fracture on June 4th, 2007. Two days before she posted the article. Wooooooo.

The cause or cure for stress?">Running: The cause or cure for stress?

Posted June 6th, 2007 at 2:33 PM by Jessica Galvano
Section: Running & Training, Injury & Rehab, Health & Fitness, Injury & Rehab

stress fractureWork. Errands. Overgrown lawns, full laundry baskets, and empty bank accounts. With countless concerns and unrelenting responsibilities, where is the relief? For many, exercise provides a much needed reprieve from life’s incessant demands. If your exercise of choice is running, however, you could be unintentionally creating rather than alleviating stress.

While running may seem the “safest” of athletic endeavors, its non-contact allure oftentimes conceals its high impact risks. Each meeting of foot and pavement introduces the possibility of new stresses, or more specifically, stress fractures.

No strangers to injury, distance runners are often intimately acquainted with this dreaded affliction. Inevitably, over time, constant pounding predisposes shins and feet to fracture; these tiny cracks cause point-specific pain and occasionally, mild swelling. The areas most susceptible to stress fractures include the foot’s delicate metatarsal bones, calcaneus (heel), and tibia (shin)—all essential areas in a sport that requires limber lower limbs.

If you suspect a stress fracture, it is important to consult a sports physician for a confirmed diagnosis. Because X-rays can only detect fractures weeks after the initial injury occurs, MRIs are common diagnostic tools. After an MRI verifies the fracture, there is unfortunately very little (other than rest) that you can do to accelerate healing; a recommended 6-8 weeks of no- to low-impact activity is the standard prescription for complete recovery. In more severe instances, casting or crutches may be necessary to limit weight-bearing and reduce discomfort.

The nagging pain and lengthy recovery period cause runners to regard stress fractures with intense loathing. A two-month-long hiatus from activity—understandably inconvenient for the casual runner—is all but intolerable for the dedicated marathoner.

How to avoid the weeks of inactivity, muscle atrophy, and near insanity? Quality running shoes, gradual increases in training intensity, and daily stretching have proven most effective. Shoes tailored to your individual foot type and mechanics (i.e. neutral, stability, or motion control) will provide the necessary correction for healthy, fracture-free legs. Whether natural or shoe-induced, a neutral strike better disperses the shock of impact and ensures that pliable muscle rather than rigid bone receives the physical stress of your run.

Despite our inherent need for instant gratification, experts discourage increases in training intensity that exceed 10% per week. While we all crave the immediate satisfaction of trimming a minute or two off of our route, an abrupt change in mileage or pace places additional strain on the lower legs and feet. If this sudden increase in demand repeatedly tries the body’s physical limits, the result will likely be a stress fracture.

Although we acknowledge the potential for injury, many of us remain stubbornly determined that today’s five mile run will become tomorrow’s ten mile run. A timely reminder of two to three months of recovery, however, might convince us that tomorrow can wait.

Research sources and for more information: [Men’s Health], [WebMD]

***Note: We encourage EVERYONE to see a doctor before altering their diet, taking a supplement and/or performing athletic, fitness or other strenuous physical activity. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of any information, instruction, opinion or advice contained in the content. Please also see our complete disclaimer.***

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Election Question

I don't pretend to know a lot about the election process.

If a person from a small party (ie: Green) gets elected, do they become the leader of their party?

If a leader from another party (ie: NDP) does NOT get elected in his riding, do they lose their job? How do they stay an MP, if they don't get elected to a seat?

Your help is welcome.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My favorite site

Commute by Bike is now my new favorite site on the internet.

Thank you. Carry on with your day now.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Here we go again!

Yes, I haven't posted in a long time (Hi Neesha!). I know.

Not for lack of things happening, just lack of hours in the day. If you've read Sue's blog recently, you'll know and appreciate how Wesley is keeping us on our toes.

But this post is about me, not the kids.

I've been doing an okay job of biking, still using it as my main source of commuting to and from work. I also did a good job of rebuilding my running. I used a run/walk program. Building from 6 & 2 and got up to comfortable 10 & 1 sets. Every run was 'easy', no set pace to meet or beat. Just run and enjoy it. I did not want another injury like the stress fracture last year.

That was my own fault. I wasn't running regularly, I was building too much mileage and I was wearing the wrong shoes. It forced me to take a year off and I didn't enjoy that for a minute.

My goal this year was to run a 5km race at the end of July, but scheduling made that impossible. Since I couldn't run the race, I ran my own private 5km on July 30th and was quite comfortable with everything. But then, at the beginning of August I started getting tenderness in my right shin, then same kind I had last year in my left shin. I took about ten days off, while on vacation, and the tenderness disappeared. When I started up again I took a step back, ran slower, didn't run as far, really tried to not have the leg flare up again.

I took my time again building to 10 & 1 run/walk sets and was fine in the cardio department, but the leg was starting to hurt. The pain was exactly the same as last year, in the exact same spot, only on the right leg this time. I tried to ignore it, that didn't work. I tried to cut back and take it easier, that didn't work. I tried to deny that I was injured, that didn't work.

Last week I took a run and felt pain throughout the run. Last year I knew I couldn't ignore it any longer when it started to hurt when I walked. The morning after my last run, my leg hurt while walking. I let it get FAR worse last year, this time I know what's coming.

So I've made an appointment with my doctor. Last year I feel I wasted six weeks going for two x-rays and then finally a bone scan for what I already knew was broken. When I got a see a specialist my doc hadn't sent him any of the test results and seeing him was a complete waste and total frustration. Hopefully, we can skip some of the preliminary steps and go straight to a bone scan and then a quick consult with the specialist.

The problem with a stress fracture is that there is really nothing that you can do for it. Time is the only thing that will help the bone really heal. My left leg has had no pain or tenderness whatsoever. I think I'll be patient enough to let it heal properly. Hopefully both bones are stronger after the break and I'm done with stress fractures. They suck.

Oh, and Sue, I'll be buying new shoes.