Monday, September 06, 2004


I'm a homebody. I admit it. That means I take comfort and relief from being at home. Which is not to say I don't like to travel. I had a good time in Europe, and in Russia. I've enjoyed back-packing. Driving. But I don't actually feel refreshed and inspired until I've had relaxed free time with no pressures, which is what I get at home.

The left ankle actually has less of a range of motion that I thought. Quite apart from what the muscles on that leg can do, I have a problem forcing the ankle to bend, even when I squat on it with great force or bend it with my hands. There is a strap thingy, a sort of brace device, which they showed me a few months ago that you can use to bend your ankles against their will. I've sent an email to the physical therapist. The auto-reply sayss that she's out until Sept. 20. I'll contact her then. It's not something I would wear when walking, just a therapy to increase my flexibility.

I really enjoy playing with my son when we have no agenda. No schedule or tasks. Because then there is nothing for him to fight about. This morning was like that, while my lovely wife takes the girl in the jogger stroller, for a run with a friend.

My son and I were playing cards on the back patio when I discovered that for all practical purposes, I cannot shuffle. That flex of the forefinger and thumb is something I cannot do in a coordinated way with my left hand. The right hand can do it. I did manage it with the left hand once, but the cards flopped out awkwardly. So now I shuffle just like a kid: Make a mess of the cards and push them around.

Someone once wrote that the in-progress chess games pictured on chess set covers often portray unrealistic configurations of pieces, indicating that someone who does not play chess just moved some pieces around and took a picture. The picture on my son's chess set is no exception. For example, the black queen is under threat from the white knight at the same moment that the white bishop has the undefended black bishop pinned on the king. This is highly unlikely. Since the black player would never allow the queen threat to go unanswered (and there are no checks or mate threats to justify it), the most recent move has to have been by white, to set up the treat to the queen. But this makes no sense, since the threat is weak and easily escaped, by the queen moving up to defend her knight. And speaking of that knight, any sane white player would have taken the knight with the bishop and checked the black king, rather than bringing in the weak knight threat on the queen, granting black the chance to defend.

RIGHT LEG ALERT: Ya know, for months now it's been the calf on the right leg that feels crampy. That's odd, because my left leg is the one most impaired. You might say: 'Easy, you've been relying on your right leg more and hence it is strained." Well, I think that's not really it. See, the left leg is the one I have come to think of as steady and realiable. OK, granted, I cannot balance one-legged on it reliably. But at least it doesn't have cramps. Case inm point: we 'hiked' (if you can call it that) down and later back up a very short but fairly steep dirt path less than 70 yard long. The right calf was sending signals, but I was able to plant and use the left leg as though it was my steady mule. Mysterious mystery. Who gives a crepe?

I know one thing though: Sleep is a wonderful time, because I have no responsibilities and no decisions. I know another thing: Wonderful as she is, my daughter wakes up too early. Or I go to sleep too late.
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