The Bicycle Accident

So the last few months I’ve really gotten into Mountain Biking. Every summer for the last 3 or so summers I’ve been really wanting to get into cycling, but other priorities always kept me from buying a new bike.
This summer I finally figured a way to get new mountain bikes for my girlfriend and me.  The past several weeks I’ve been having a blast exploring trails here in central Pennsylvania, where there is no shortage of places to ride.
Last weekend down at Raystown Lake was Dirt Rag Dirt Fest a mountain biking festival. Originally I planned to just go down for the day but on a whim the night before I checked and a campsite had opened up. I was so excited Friday morning to pack up for a weekend of camping and riding with some friends who would be in from out of town.
Friday afternoon I get down there, set up my tent and took my bike on the shuttle to the trailhead to get to the festival. My buddy’s parents were actually volunteering at the trailhead and they gave me a map and some directions, then off I went.
The riding was great, the singletrack was flowing and a lot of fun.  Then it came to a fork in the road and I went left onto a trail called osprey rather than taking a right to a nice paved road. That ended up being a mistake because immediately I got a little too much speed, hit a bump and flew my front wheel into a second bump, flipping me up over the bike.
I hit hard but tried to stand up. I realized I had messed up my arm because I couldn’t lift it, but I tried to stay calm. My head was fuzzy, I was dizzy and my vision was messed up, so clearly I had hit my head (luckily with a helmet on). I got down on a knee and shortly after 2 guys came from behind me on the trail and asked if I was alright.
I told them what happened and they helped pull me off the trail.  These guys were a huge help.  They looked over my bike and said it looked OK, and they called down to one of their friends down at the festival to try to find my friend. In the meantime I called my friend’s dad who was volunteering and asked if I could get a ride to the hospital.  They picked me and my bike up and got me to the Emergency Room.
At the ER they gave me a CAT scan and took some X-rays and determined my head was OK, but my shoulder was pretty much “shattered”.  They gave me a piece of junk sling and some painkiller shots, then sent me on my way.
This was on a Friday, and my girlfriend came down and drove me home. Unfortunately I couldn’t get in with a specialist till Monday. This was a very difficult weekend full of horrible pain.
On Monday the specialist told me the news.  It probably will never heal up fully, but they are going to try to repair my shattered bones. If that doesn’t seem like it will heal I’ll need a shoulder replacement.  At least the specialist gave me a high quality sling, which does a lot better job of preventing my arm from moving.
At this point all I can do is wait for Friday when I will have surgery. Hopefully it will go well and I can start healing.

Penn State’s Osama bin Laden “Riot”

Last night my girlfriend and I were watching some foreign horror and afterwards I quickly hopped on while she went to get a drink or something.  Of course, the news that Osama bin Laden had recently been killed was all over.  A quick look at facebook had a number of mentions that Penn State was “rioting” over it.

I’ve been to a couple Penn State riots.  Usually they involve a lot of drunk people being destructive until cops on horseback come and force people to leave, sometimes macing everybody until they disperse.

We decided to go check this out though.  I drove down to College Ave which was relatively peaceful and found a parking spot.  But once we started walking towards Beaver Ave you could hear the roar and buzz of a huge crowd.

Thousands and thousands of Penn State students and State College residents were crowding the street.  The police had given up on trying to stop it and had road blocks to reroute traffic around the street.  In general the people were in a happy, celebratory mood.  There was no fighting or anything, although there were people climbing on things.  The street lights and the occasional tree were filled with kids.  And people were being crowd surfed down the length of the enormous crowd.  This included a guy dressed as Captain America and a guy wearing an all blue vinyl suit (ala Green Man).

The best parts were when the entire crowd would spontaneously start singing the Star Spangled Banner. This happened more than once, including one time when a guy on one of the balconies pulled out an alto sax and began blasting out the song while everybody joined in and sang. Pretty cool.

Overall, the mood was happy. I didn’t see anybody that was obviously drunk (finals DO start this week after all) and people weren’t being rowdy or destructive. I mean apart from the rolls of toilet paper that were constantly being flung around the crowd.

There were some fireworks being shot off, and I saw a kid walking around with a lit Lady Liberty torch. And a cheerleader did a backflip over a fire in the street…

I’m glad I checked it out for myself.


Day two of unseasonably warm weather (aka chucks-wearing weather) and my feet are already sore. I really don’t know how they used to play basketball in these.

Halloween Pumpkins!

Halloween is by far my favorite time of year… I’ve been checking off the seasonal stuff I’ve done so far. Basically, if something is made of pumpkins, I will buy it. Pumpkin coffee creamer. Pumpkin K-cups. I’ve made a bunch of pumpkin pies. I made this amazing pumpkin pie cheesecake. I tried to get the Pumpkin Milkshake at McDonald’s but the machine was broken.

We carved jack-o-lanterns two nights ago. I made a scary face, my girlfriend made a castle.

Basically I love this time of year. And pumpkins.

Homeless on Christmas

My apartment burned down. Well let me be more specific. The third
floor of my apartment burned, my floor got the remnants of the 3rd
floor crashing down along with thousands of gallons of bellefonte
spring water. What was left was a cold mushy stinking heap of
wreckage; my life and everything I own mingled in among the debris.

I had just gone to bed. It was maybe 1am but I was still up. I was
watching something on the laptop near my bed, like I usually do to
fall asleep. I couldn’t quite fall completely asleep though. As I
tossed and turned the fire alarm in the hallway went off. I groaned
and covered my head with a pillow.

From so many years of living in dorms with constant false alarms, I
acquired the bad habit of often ignoring them. I guess they’ve cried
wolf a few times too many.

Then knocking on my door. “gahh I’m tired let me sleep!”

I crawl out of bed and go to the door and peer out. A few people
walking around, but the alarm suddenly shuts off. “thank god” and I
close the door and climb back in bed.

More knocking. “fuuuck” I walk over and this time a cop is there.
“there’s a fire upstairs. Everyone needs to get out.”.

Wow its not a drill. I put shoes on, grab a coat and hat, my wallet
and keys, and my camera off the table. I figure ill take some
pictures of the fire and then wait this out in the heat in my car.

For some reason I thought to go back and grab my fire safe. I don’t
know why. At this point I believed this would be some small kitchen
fire that would be out in 10 minutes. But I grabbed it. The one
fireproof thing in my apt and I took it with me.

But I knew it had important papers in it. A couple backup dvds. Some
notes and photos from girls I’ve loved. So I grabbed it. Nothing

My most important things in my possesion were in a fireproof safe that
I moved into my car as I started snapping photos of a blown out window
which was spewing a bright stream of fire into the cold winter night.

I’m really tired so ill continue this later.