Monday, June 25, 2012

Getting Over the Crud

I've been sick for so long, I'm not sure I remember what it feels like not to be. I've come down with that impossible to diagnose sore throat, hot and cold spells, and hacking cough that takes forever to heal from. I actually did go to the doctor after the first weekend and she did diagnose a sinus infection. I have never had one before and would cheerfully kill to never have another one. I was ready to cut off my own head, waiting for the day it would take the medication to kick in.

So I have entered my third week of this, and have been house suspended the last four weekends. Nuts!! Thinking that I was feeling a tad better, we went for a ride the weekend before last. But 60 miles down the road had me shaking and exhausted on energy. We turned around and went back home.

The only good thing that I can say is that the hammock has been nice. And I have gotten a lot of books read. The bad news is that what little energy I had was devoted to work (stupid!) and home has been horizontal on the sofa. That means I didn't read blogs, didn't write blogs, ignored the world in general because I've missed out on tons of fun things and great weather.

A couple of co-workers and friends of my doctor say that it takes about 4 weeks to get over this crud. I can't believe it, but seems to be true. Sheesh I hope this is the last week. But it also means that I have a ton of catching up to do! Reading about your lives, catching up with your packing plans, work on my own packing and travel plans.

I'm too late for George, but I really hope he has a wonderful time and the roads are smooth and obstacle free. Otherwise, I look forward to catching up with everyone else and maybe getting in a missing ride report or two of my own.

Hope you are all well and healthy staring down the last couple of weeks before vacation (for some of you).

P.S. Even if I am feeling better, this Saturday is supposed to be 99F (37C). I'm not sure how much riding I'm going to get in with those temps... :(

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Yeah, yeah.  It ain't the fanciest sounding title, but I get a chuckle out of it.

Just because we are on motorbikes does not mean that we have all of the space in the world to pack everything we could possibly take on a trip.  More and more of my friends are getting their motorbikes in check, sorting gear, and getting ready to strap the bikes together with all they need for a long distance ride.

George from Riding the USA will be starting from darn near the Atlantic Ocean in Pennsylvania and traveling to Deadhorse, Alaska.

RichardM of Richard's Page will be motating from Fairbanks, Alaska to Santa Cruz, California.

Bobskoot from Riding the Wet Coast and the SonjaM with her intrepid hubby from Find Me On The Road will be cruising from Vancouver, British Columbia to Baker City, Oregon.

The motorbikes are seeing services for oil, brakes, and tires.  Camping gear is being gone through for sturdiness, weatherproofing, and packability.  (Or credit cards are being exercised for 4 star hotel swiping.)

But one thing commonly being collected are "items for the road".  This could be as simple as determining the best snacks to pack in the heat.  Or as complex as the tools required to perform routine maintenance, or for some all out full duty repair jobs.  For others, it is another exercise to limber up the credit card to summon the tow truck.  (Unh Hmhh....that would be me with Roadside Assistance!)

Everyone's list is incorporating a first aid kit or two.  Yes, if there is a big accident of some kind an ace bandage probably won't do the trick.  However, if you happen to snag some delicate skin between the tent poles and have a bleeding mess on your hands, literally, the band aids will come in nicely.

So I figured that I really needed to share this when I wandered across it the other day.  This is geared towards backpacking.  However, I find that it can be useful in everyday first aid kits on bicycles, motorbikes, in the car, for the Multiple Sclerosis ride, and the list goes on.

You wouldn't think a tube of antibiotic ointment would take up that much space.  And it doesn't.  On its own.  But when you add a tube for anti-itch cream for bug bites, and poison ivy cream, that kit is taking up more and more space.  What is the likelihood of needing it on the trip?  What are the chances that the heat it will experience might turn it bad by the end of the trip?

Enter: Single Use Antibiotic Packs.  I found this on Brian's Backpacking Blog, and have actually made my own at home.  Yes, you can purchase single use packs, but they are fairly expensive when broken down, and usually have way more than a single use in them.  You wind up tossing a large amount because it can't be sealed or saved.

So Brian came up with his own single use packs.  Ingenious!

Simple tools:  Straw, lighter, needle nose pliers, scissors, healing balm (mine was anti-itch cream because I didn't want to find the antibiotic stuff.  Anti-itch cream is good for my first aid kit since mosquitos and bugs love me, and this helps.)


Inject cream into the a desired amount.  My straw isn't quite transparent, but holding it up to the light will reveal how much is present.


Then squidgy the contents into the straw a little so the end is accessible to get a good bite with the needle nose pliers and lighter.




Burn the end of the straw up to the pliers, and a good seal is made. 


Cut the other end of the tube.


Seal...  And Voila!!


Single serving, single use, compact, portable, light weight.  I could see these being super useful on a bicycle adventure.  I will be making some for my first aid kit for the Multiple Sclerosis marshaling.  I won't even have qualms about putting them in the small first aid kit on the motorbike, or to keep with the camping gear!

Some people questioned if the heat would ruin the contents.  Some replied that the needle nose pliers acted as heat sink and the contents didn't get hot.  I cut open my first one and the cream was in perfect condition.  No separation or discoloration.

If you intend on packaging multiple ointments or creams consider different colored straws or permanent marker to label.

Hope this might be useful to some of you out there.