This Week’s Miscellany

Plantar Fasciitis

In November of last year I took the Miyata 610 for a 17-or-so-mile ride through Stepford’s light industrial area and after that my foot hurt when I walked without shoes in the house.  I thought I’d developed a stress fracture having pedaled wearing soft-soled running shoes instead of a pair of cycling shoes with stiff soles.  I tried staying off the bike for several weeks, tried icing the foot, tried acetaminophen and ibuprofen, but nothing worked.  Finally, I got back on the bike and tried to make sure I used my cycling shoes with the Miyata (less necessary with the Razesa because it’s got the MKS Lambda pedals that distribute force/weight more evenly).

Got an official diagnosis of plantar fasciitis last week from the podiatrist at Pixilie.  The doctor was training a new assistant so did a lot of talking while taking X-rays (cool digital USB stand-on device) and while taping my foot.  He described having been taught to perform a low Dye strapping of the arch by an old doctor who, when young, had been taught by Dr. Dye who was then an old man.  I found the measure really effective for the short term, but taping comes loose after bathing.  Additionally, I was given a night splint and gel heel cups for my shoes, and the doctor suggested stretching exercises.  X-ray images clearly show that I’ve developed a small bone spur at the heel.  The following morning, after having slept in the awkward splint, I found foot pain greatly reduced.  Continued use of it and heel cups after a few days seems to have effected some positive change; I should more regularly perform the exercises suggested, however.


Kirby Sentria Vacuum-Cleaner

The Panasonic upright Caution-Lady bought a few years ago finally broke for the last time – the all-plastic housing into which the roller brackets attached at either end cracked and a piece broke off causing the roller to turn lopsidedly and burn through belts within five or ten minutes.  Last time it broke, it took the local vacuum store (from which we originally purchased the unit) weeks to fix it, they said, because a part was on backorder.  Cost about half as much as the vacuum cost new, if memory serves.  For awhile, we’ve been using the 1984 model Electrolux Silverado DeLuxe canister vac we inherited from Caution-Lady’s grandparents.  The Electrolux has all the original attachments and came with a box full of new bags; it works perfectly, but the long hose, extension tubes with attachments can be difficult to manage.  Also, the plug pulls out of the wall too often when pulling the canister behind while vacuuming.  Nevertheless, it cleans pretty well.

Kirby Model Time-Wave

Because Cautious One again wanted to get an upright vacuum-cleaner and I remember the 1950’s model I bought from the guys at San Pedro Vacuum on Seventh Street below Mesa in about 1992, I started looking for one on Amazon and Craigslist.  The machine worked fabulously and I took it with me to Portland and to Louisville, but left it in Louisville when I moved to Stepford.  It had all the attachments, including grinding wheel and sander; I was a stupid-head to have left it in Louisville (see the model above dated 1956 with the distinctive red trim).  An Amazon seller in Wisconsin was offering the Kirby Ultimate Diamond edition refurbished for $298 and I came pretty close to buying it, but couldn’t find a telephone number for the company on the web to talk to the seller and ascertain what they mean by “refurbished.”  I Craigslist-searched various combinations of terms – Kirby vacuum, Kirby Sentria, Sentria, Kirby sentra (because a lot those people who use Craigslist are lazy spellers), and found several later model units with attachments.  A family over in Pixilie had a Sentria (see the model listed at 2006 on the Kirby model time-wave, above) for $400.    Below is a picture sent by the seller:


I bought the unit for $280, took it home, cleaned the roller, changed the belt (the seller included four new), changed the bag (seller included one extra), cleaned up the fan, and put it to work.  We haven’t shampooed the carpet, yet, but if that attachment/function works as well as the basic vacuum and hose attachments, the marker stains (Seventy-Six) and coffee stains (me) in the den will be history.

Edz Wingz


Friday, I worked in Fayetteville, Tennessee, and had lunch at Edz Wings where, perennially trying to lose five fricking pounds, I opted for a brisket cobb salad instead of the burger, fried green beans, and dessert I wanted.  If you’re ever in Fayetteville, Tuesday through Saturday, during working hours and fail to eat at Edz, you’re making a terrible mistake.  Ed’s the rocket-scientist of smoked meat and sauces; his knowledge regarding same is encyclopedic and his conversation about his work is educational.  Ed also has strong political opinions and his musical tastes seem to run to Blues.

Impromptu Saturday Bike Ride

I don’t like team sports, don’t think they have much value, but most kids seem to like playing them.  My son’s organized sports activities – practices and games – have taken a bite out of my free time for cycling, kayaking, yardwork, etc.  Here lately, I haven’t had time to ride like I want to, but yesterday I took off for about an hour before supper and rode to another place where the paved road ends stopping only at a relatively deep puddle.  If it’d been earlier in the day, I might have gone on even though I don’t think Continental Gatorskin tires are best for cyclocross riding.  The Razesa did fine on dirt and some mud, though, and I didn’t feel like I would have been better off on a mountain bike.


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