Popping wheelies

Hallelujah! I had surgery on my right ankle to repair what turned out to be two torn tendons on October 3rd. Since that time I’ve been unable to drive, and will not drive again for three more weeks due to a boot on that ankle.

South Park from Kenosha Pass

We’ve been out and about, my wife seeing to it that I get out every other day or so, even if only to go to the store. The leaves are turning in Colorado, aspen anyway, and it is gorgeous. Within Denver proper over time people have planted maple trees, which turn red. While the countryside is a yellow-orange feast amidst the conifers, Denver is yellow, orange, and bright red. West of us on highway 285, perhaps forty miles out, is Kenosha Pass, and there, right above South Park (a huge expanse of meadows as far as can be seen) is aspens. People from the city below travel up there on weekends just to view the colors, so we who live up here (and are retired and so can use weekdays) know to avoid 285, as the traffic is like LA during commutes.

I know that New England draws tens of thousands of tourists as the colors change, and that it is spectacular. Here we are confined to yellow and orange, and even the orange has been disappearing since 2004:

The suddenness and simultaneity of Aspen decline throughout Colorado, which began precisely in 2004, has been a source of wonder and despair to all who love and miss the vivid fall colors of these striking trees. In just 3 years, from 2003 to 2006, the area of Aspen damage increased from 12,000 acres to 140,000 acres. Aspen mortality in the national forest rose from three-to seven-fold, with some stands losing 60% of these trees. There is a reason.

The State of Colorado operates a sophisticated public safety communications network, called the Digital Trunked Radio System, consisting of 203 tall radio towers whose transmissions cover every square inch of the state. They are heavily used by police, firefighters, park rangers, emergency medical service providers, schools, hospitals, and a wide variety of other municipal, state, federal, and tribal officials. Between 1998 and 2000 the pilot phase of the system, covering the Denver metropolitan area, was built and tested. In 2001 and 2002, radio towers were built throughout Northeastern and southeastern Colorado and the eastern plains. And in 2003, 2004, and 2005, system invaded the Western mountains part of the state: aspen territory. (Firstenberg, The Invisible Rainbow)

The result: Colors less intense, growth thriving less. So it goes. We did not move here until 2009,  so we missed the years when Kenosha would have been filled with vibrant orange along with the yellow and green. What we have is nice, but it used to be much nicer.


My time with a cast on my leg has gone ever so slowly, but when out people are incredibly nice to me. Yesterday, getting in our car after lunch at Ted’s Montana Grill, I struggled a bit sliding into my seat. A man from the other side of the street hurried over to help, and I kindly refused, as I do manage. He then went around to the back of the vehicle and offered to load my knee scooter into the back. When we got back in the vehicle, I said to my wife “It’s like being in Montana again!”

People smile and open doors for me, and we talk about their travails, much worse than my own. I’ve had two weeks on the knee scooter, and others offer their own stories, our waiter yesterday having spent eight months in recuperation due to a damaged knee joint, even unable to use a scooter because the joint would not bend. Another man we met at the grocery store advised us on use of knee scooters (he was on one) – his ankle was crushed when his motorcycle fell on it, and the joint had to be rebuilt. His recuperation is months. I have three more weeks in a boot, but will be upright from tomorrow forward. My problems are small compared to others.


Part of my plan was to watch a lot of football during this time when I am immobile. I do enjoy some of it. The Denver Broncos are like watching grass grow/paint dry, a team that just cannot get it together. They’ve had nothing but failure since the departure of Peyton Manning. This year they acquired Russell Wilson from Seattle, giving up a store of draft choices. I had a hunch that the cagey Seahawks management knew something the Broncos did not, that Wilson was losing his touch, unable to complete passes from the pocket, and unable to move very well left or right. I did watch a game where they played the 49ers, and lost 12-9, seven field goals the total scoring, a snooze fest.

They signed Wilson to five guaranteed years at incredible cost. Probably an expensive mistake. Little known fact about the Broncos: They have never had a successful quarterback taken from the draft. They picked up Manning as a free agent, and John Elway himself, who has been the leading executive during much of the decline, 2016 forward, was acquired by trade with Baltimore (Colts, as I recall). He made it clear that if Baltimore drafted him, he would not play, forcing a trade.

Beyond that, however, I find that football is in general, to me, boring. I do not gamble, a large part of its allure. Last night I turned on the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, two very good teams. I watched it on Peacock, a network I signed on to so I could watch Sunday Night Football. Peacock blocks ads and plays music during breaks in the action. That made me intensely aware of how much time the NFL broadcasts are devoted to advertising. I finally just turned it off and opened a book. I read about the score this morning. That’ll do.


I do a lot of complaining about health care on this blog, the fake virus scares, vaccines of little use or hidden true purpose, and fake pandemics like AIDS and Covid and the very dishonest and corrupt people behind them. It is just awful and depressing to watch such criminal behaviors.

However, the medical profession, as my fellow knee scooter friends will attest to, is very, very good at fixing injuries and repairing joints. Knee replacement is now an outpatient procedure. Hip replacement, once a long, long recovery with painful physical therapy, is now a much quicker recovery and much less painful. A year ago I had an inguinal hernia repaired. Dupuytren’s Contracture was removed from my right hand, restoring that hand to full use. And now, torn tendons repaired. In each case I dealt with smart and competent doctors, and all the people around them as well. For this procedure, the fact that I am not vaccinated did not raise an eyebrow.

So I have nothing but praise and gratitude for the doctors, nurses, technicians, and aides who are helping me in my later years with this aging body. Thursday I return to the gym. I feel like a bowl of jelly, though I have not gained weight during this time of inactivity. I cannot wait to be fit again, and doing hut-to-hut hiking with my wife in the Alps once more.


Speaking of not gaining weight, I’ve been reading Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy during my confinement, and enjoying it very much.  I bring it up because of the following passage:

On the day of the Krasnoe Selo races Vronsky came earlier than usual to the regimental mess-room to eat his beefsteak. It was not necessary for him to train very strictly as his weight was just the regulation eleven-and-a-half stone, but he had to be careful not to get fatter and therefore avoided sweets and starchy foods.

(Emphasis added.) The book was published in 1878, and even then people were aware of what causes weight gain, and how to avoid it. It would take 90 years to forget that basic science. Here’s Alex Epstein from The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, page 115:

It can literally be deadly for a scientist to spread a hypothesis as fact. take the realm of nutrition, For years, the government spread the gospel, treated as nutritionally proved, that a low-fat diet was healthy, a campaign that coincided with record obesity.

Epstein’s point is that supposed experts should act as advisors, not gurus. In our culture, the horrible fake epidemics noted above have been backed, lorded over, and pushed forward with dishonesty by “experts.”

My point is that it took the 1970s and new experts in nutritioun to undo all of the accumulated knowledge that had been known even in 1878, and before. Gary Taubes in his book Good Calories Bad Calories, decries the disappearance of sound dietary science and advice that had previously existed well into the twentieth century.

I place nutritionists high up with virologists in my wall of shame, people who do not know WTF they are doing or talking about.

One thought on “Popping wheelies

  1. I wish you a quick recovery, Mark. From my memories and experience, you can do cardio and upper body exercises, while applying no weight or movement to your injured ankle. By speeding up blood circulation, you’ll also speed up your recovery time. Plus, the endorphins you produce while exercising will reduce the feeling of pain and bring joy afterwards. The only downside of it is not being able to wash your casted foot afterwards, a scent that can be quite intense after 3 weeks of total darkness and regular workout 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s