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28 September 2012

Bringing Things Together

Edgewood Park and Pleasure Drive
A friend reminded me of some basic things that need constant, well, nagging: Practice, balance, responsibility and caring. I am notorious for being scattered, impulsive, often absent-minded, and usually procrastinating chores. However,...well, my accomplishments will have to wait for later.

There are times when a rather ephemeral idea keeps showing up in my head, and it's a good one, making me excited about it. The problem is the connections that led to that idea are fragile at best, so keeping that idea in mind isn't easy. What made it easier is a mild setback with my left knee.

As many of you know already, I've been fighting sciatica in my left leg, caused by a bulging disk in my lower spine and osteoarthritis in both knees. My recent weight loss has taken a lot of stress off of my joints, but the damage is done for my knees. Last October, my left knee "loosened" (my word, but it accurately describes the action) in the middle of a fencing bout and caused me to seek Urgent Care and physical therapy. The good news is that my knee should heal at least as good as it was last summer. The bad news is that I am more dependent on a cane for walking until the knee heals. I also have a lovely 20-30 minute twice-a-day (not counting swim work) exercise routine to rebuild the muscles around my knees and tighten up the joint. I also can't sit/stand/walk for more than a half hour before requiring a change in state. At least that gives me an excuse to refill my coffee or water while at the computer.

That was ten months ago.

The real joy is that the culprits are the cartilage pads (meniscus, menisci?) in my knees. They are best described as tattered. Beyond healing on their own. Come November, my left knee will be changed over to metal parts. The right knee, which was the bad one, should cruise on for years with a better leg to stand on the other side. With diligent physical therapy, I should be mostly restored to a pretty much normal life by early in the new year.

Meanwhile, I'm exploring more with my photography aided by new toy: the Pentax K-01. It's the less expensive mirror-less version of the K-5 I've been lusting after the last couple years. I'm having a lot of fun learning its quirks and how to manage my old (and the new two) lenses with it.

My lovely bride
Mattias and Seonag
The new tool is part of an experiment in portraiture. On the go: a 10x10 portable shelter, LOTS of blankets, even more spring clamps, a couple sheepskins, a couple stools, a bench and a handful of CFL and LED spot lights and a knowledge of stage lighting and away I went to two camping events photographing and printing portraits on site. I've yet to make back my investment, but this has proved interesting and fun!

Now that I'm taking portraiture at Edgewood College, I've already started to refine my techniques and strategies. I just need to keep developing my stable of models....

More next month. I promise!