The Lee Shore

In which I share a fantastic passage from Moby Dick.

Things you learn as an uncle:

When your nephew, in a fit of orneriness, spits all over your corn dog, the correct response is not to say, “Fuckin’ A!”


Here is my favorite chapter (so far) from Moby Dick:

The Lee Shore

Some chapters back, one Bulkington was spoken of, a tall, newlanded mariner, encountered in New Bedford at the inn.

When on that shivering winter’s night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympathetic awe and fearfulness upon the man, who in mid-winter just landed from a four years’ dangerous voyage, could so unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term. The land seemed scorching to his feet.

Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs; this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington. Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land. The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that’s kind to our mortalities. But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship’s direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights ‘gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea’s landlessness again; for refuge’s sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe!

Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God- so better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land! Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing- straight up, leaps thy apotheosis! Good stuff!


On 02 November 2002 (03:26 PM),
Tammy said:

One time I watched the true story of Moby Dick on the history channel. It was fascinating! I probably wouldn’t have watched it but my husband wanted to see it and at that time we only had one TV so that meant I watched it too. Now I’m glad I did. After reading through your page I find the style too laborious to follow. But I do like how descriptive it is. Altho as mother of two busy kids and defender of my household I just could not find the time to read that these days. Happy reading to you tho.

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Halloween Humbug

In which I frown upon costumes. In which I share the story of The Velvet Ribbon.

I don’t like Halloween. It’s my least-favorite non-fabricated holiday. I don’t like what Halloween is about: tricks and treats. It sends an inappropriate message to children. (And I’m a humbug about dressing up in costumes.)

Kris and I won’t even be home tonight to hand out candy little ghosts and goblins tonight. We’re going to see Spirited Away (trailer), which is Halloweeny in its own sort of way.

There is at least one aspect of Halloween I do enjoy: ghost stories. Here’s one of the first I can remember hearing…

The Velvet Ribbon
by Ann McGovern

Once there was a man who fell in love with a beautiful girl. And before the next full moon rose in the sky, they were wed.

To please her husband, the young wife wore a different gown each night. Sometimes she was dressed in yellow; other nights she wore red or blue or white. And she always wore a black velvet ribbon around her slender neck.

Day and night she wore that ribbon, and it was not long before her husband’s curiosity got the better of him.

“Why do you always wear that ribbon?” he asked.

She smiled a strange smile and said not a word.

At last her husband got angry. And one night he shouted at his bride. “Take that ribbon off! I’m tired of looking at it.”

You will be sorry if I do,” she replied, “so I won’t.”

Every morning at breakfast, the husband ordered his wife to remove the black velvet ribbon from around her neck. Every night at dinner he told her the same thing.

But every morning at breakfast and every night at dinner, all his wife would say was, “You’ll be sorry if I do. So I won’t.”

A week passed. The husband no longer looked into his wife’s eyes. He could only stare at that black velvet ribbon around her neck.

One night as his wife lay sleeping, he tiptoed to her sewing basket. He took out a pair of scissors.

Quickly and quietly, careful not to awaken her, he bent over his wife’s bed and


went the scissors, and the velvet ribbon fell to the floor. And


off came her head.

It rolled over the floor in the moonlight, wailing tearfully: “I…told…you…you’d…be…s-o-r-r-y!”

My sister, Shelley, had this story on a 45 when I was in the third grade. It scared the hell out of me, but I listened to the story over and over and over again.

The Better Business Buerau just called me here at Custom Box Service. They gave me a highly polished, though gentle, sales pitch which was little different from the telemarketing calls I receive every day.

To whom does one report the Better Business Bureau if one is unhappy with their business practices?


On 31 October 2002 (01:38 PM),
Dana said:

I did not know you had a sister.

I can’t remember you EVER mentioning a sister.

On 01 November 2002 (11:04 AM),
Dana said:

Does this mean you like Halloween less than you like Christmas? I thought Christmas was at the bottom of the heap with you, holiday-wise…

On 01 November 2002 (11:07 AM),
J.D. said:

Ah. Good point. I hate Christmas so much that I had blocked it from my mind…

On 13 October 2004 (08:52 AM),
Kathy said:

I, too, had the 45 of “The Black Velvet Ribbon.” I would love to find an audio copy of it. I’ve been researching online but haven’t found one. any ideas?

On 30 October 2004 (12:31 PM),
Deb said:

I’ve got an mp3 for The Velvet Ribbon!

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Friday Grab Bag

In which I share some random thoughts.

Jeremy and Jennifer and Harrison and Emma came over last night to test a candidate dish for Friend Thanksgiving. (The test was very successful, by the way: Caprial’s fantastic smoked salmon chowder.) At the end of the evening, Harrison (nearly four) and Emma (just two), in pajamas, chased each other around and around and around the kitchen, laughing and cackling, bursting with childish vigor. Jenn says she can’t remember being that rambunctious as a child. I can.

Jeff and Tony and I used to play the same games: chasing each other and squealing and loving every minute of it — we had no cares in the world. Now our adult version of this game is sitting around Custom Box, telling stories and insulting each other.

It’s been a few weeks since I shared interesting links. You didn’t have anything else to do today anyhow, right? (As usual, many of these links were found at the in-decline-but-still-fun Metafilter.)

Mac and Pam are hosting game night tomorrow. We’re supposed to arrive in costume, but I haven’t any ideas. We’re already doing costumes for next month’s Harry Potter premier. I’m not fond of costumes in the first place, so trying to find two suitable disguises in one month is testing the limits of my resourcefulness!


On 26 October 2002 (08:29 AM),
Jeremy Gingerich said:

Hey, I think you should go as a soccer goalie. This requires no funny costume making and you already have all fo the stuff. I hope your not offended by my bad email address and website.


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In which I share a piece of writing from college: knock knock so i let you in you wet you drip dripping shiver from the rain…

November is National Novel Writing Month, and I’ve considered joining the exercise, possibly writing from a woman’s perspective. The following is the only piece I’ve ever written from a woman’s perspective, and it’s fourteen years old now:


knock knock so i let you in you wet you drip dripping shiver from the rain cold night outside face red corners hanging frowning anger frowning i close the door wind howls outside warm fire inside you pull back hood hair is anyhow wet long and black and shining like onyx shiny hair i love to stroke when i hold you nakedly your weight pinning me to the earth pressing but you are not naked you are here and wet and say give it to me laura your words like needles prickly prickly poke me hurt me lose my balance teetering but i will not fall i catch myself turn on my heel and flutter to the couch leaving you drip dripping on new rug looking like melting popsicle silly i sit skirt floats to knees dainty dainty o so pretty you tell me you love when i wear skirts i lift book note the place look at you thoughtfully do not crack be strong laura say to what are you referring dean my love voice good like rich woman high class perfectly perfect gaze stare your eyes are black as coal god i love those eyes when we make love deep i float in them floating like in peace in time in space in waves but now they burn stare fiery gaze do not drop my guard do not fall you stony faced angry drip dripping sniff nose dont play games with me so serious your voice like you are an adult a man you are only a boy dean so young so pretty your hair your eyes your arms are nets your back an anvil your thighs a vice your hips mine you are firm you are soft you glide when we make love you glide sigh laura ease air gently i look at you just the right face drop my rigid eyes disappointed cant i be trusted lightning flashes boom thunder boom crashes you are standing in my doorway dripping on my new rug puddle of wetness beneath your face is tense is full of passion red and eyes hair are black and wet and you are wet and smooth i will make love to you i stand come here dean i retrace my path stand before you stare eyes black fiery burning im falling falling no catch myself hold on will not fall my arms around your wetness calculated seconds waiting your eyes unchanging falling help me kiss him laura i kiss you biting kissing hard your lips are so beautiful but you do not kiss back dripping on my rug i look your eyes are burning black fiery my blouse my skirt im wet no drip dripping soggy like cornflakes you stand before me still face still red no longer from cold your face still red angry angry raise an arm i turn my head cheek cracks meets hand pain falling crying i fall o dean o dean o dean crying dripping on the floor i am crying tears and rain drip dripping face is burning only want to love you only want you to love me i didnt mean to take it i sputter crying dripping myself curled on the floor you tower above me tall and handsome so young you are a boy give it to me you scream your eyes glare burning give it back no need to yell i am falling nothing to grasp nothing to catch o dean i am crawling to the bureau oak drawers oak frame shiny shiny like your hair your eyes your nakedness third drawer up slowly open reach inside crying falling slowly like an instant replay i pick up your heart your heart red bloody muscle organ pump giver of life hamburger raw your heart you must love me you must love me o dean i cry you stride wetly to my side footprints black on the hardwood floor you watch i lift your bruised heart take it out im falling wont you catch me dean hold me catch me do not let me cry i am falling and you grab my wrist grab your heart snatching it stealing it o dean please dont leave me only a piece i beg you take you take you hold you swallow it stare at me once more eyes burning fiery fiery o dean please dont i can feel you bursting feel your violence and you whisper come laura lets make love you gently catch my fall

Strange, eh?


On 21 October 2002 (09:56 PM),
Tammy said:

Yikes I have a headache. I must not be fully woman because that went way over my head. I’m left with only one thought. Either JD is clueless about the dynamics of the English language or JD is so brilliant that I in my stupidity cannot understand him. Beings there is strong Roth blood flowing through you I’m left to wonder if the latter conclusion is closer to the truth. Good work JD!….I think.

On 22 October 2002 (06:21 AM),
J.D. said:

Actually, when I was in college I played with the English language a great deal, much to the dismay of certain professors. At the end of my freshman seminar I had to write a long, comprehensive paper demonstrating that I’d assimilated everything the seminar had been trying to teach us. I wrote my paper by hand using four colors of ink and a bizarre Plato-esque dialogue format. My professor refused to grade it. In one religion class, I wrote a paper on Job’s suffering using Biblical chapter-and-verse format. It was my religion professor who suffered. Later I turned in a paper to him that used no capitalization and which replaced standard punctuation characters with inventions of my own.

I went through a phase in which I thought could express my individuality by breaking free from the stifling confines of English grammar.

That was a long time ago.

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Fall Thoughts

In which I soak in the tub, buy a ham from Voget Meats, edit a video for the soccer team, and browse at Powell’s Books.

A long, hot bath on a Saturday morning is my favorite way to fight a lingering cold. If Kris decides to put U2 in the CD player, so much the better.

Ah. My inner core is warmed.

I’ve spent several hours this week editing fifty minutes of footage from last Sunday�’s soccer game. My goal was to create a single four- or five-minute montage set to music, but my editing skills aren’�t keen enough yet. The montage is ten minutes long and set to three songs (“Tubthumping” by Chumbawumba, “Crash” by the Pixies, and “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths). A lot of rough footage remains in the movie, but it’s more fun to have it there than to take it out.

After working with iMovie for eight to ten hours, I retract my earlier casual dismissal of the software. Perhaps there are better applications for video editing, but certainly none can match the price. And iMovie is full-featured enough for me to create films with which I am quite happy.

Spending so long with footage of FC Saints reinforces how much I enjoy playing soccer with this team. We may not be skilled — in fact we all have glaring weaknesses — but we play with enthusiasm and “heart”. We have a good chance to earn a win or two during the final four weeks of the season.

In the fall and winter, Kris and I occasionally buy hams and sausages from Voget Meats in Hubbard. Voget’s is an example of the type of business I try to support: it’s small, family owned, and has been in the community for seventy years. Their meats are outstanding. When I was a child, it was a treat when Dad would bring home sausage from Voget’�s and fry it for dinner.

When I bought the ham for tonight’s book group, the woman told me, “This is a great ham.” I don’t know what she meant by that. How can she tell it’s great? What makes this ham better than any other ham from Voget’s?

Kris and I just put the ham in the oven. It smells delicious: smoky and salty and, well, porky. This afternoon is going to be fantastic as the aroma of the ham fills the house.

Fall is here.

This autumn is a little unusual for Oregon: it is clear and warm during the day, cool and crisp at night. It’s typical fall weather for many parts of the country, but not so much for Oregon. By this time in October, we’ve usually had nearly an inch-and-a-half of rain, and the days have turned cool, with highs in the low sixties. This October we’ve only had about half and inch of rain, nearly all of which fell on the third. In five out of the past six days the high temperature has exceeded seventy degrees; it was eighty degrees on Wednesday, a record high!

I’m sure that rain is just around the corner.

This afternoon I walked over to the high school and practiced punting the soccer ball. When I was satisfied with my progress, I sprawled on the grass and basked in the dull October sun. It was quiet. Birds chirped in the woods. A fly buzzed. Somewhere in one of the housing developments somebody revved a chainsaw. I was alone. On the field. In the sun.

It was quiet.

I felt fine.

Two boys interrupted my reverie by jogging out of the woods and onto the field, passing an orange soccer ball between them. Their talk was filled with plans for the future. I sat up, smiled at them, picked up my gear, and walked home.

Last night at Powell’s I was transfixed by the Atlas of Oregon for twenty minutes, yet barely read ten pages. The book is fantastic, filled with facts and figures, charts and graphs, every piece of information about Oregon one could possibly desire. I must have this book.


On 19 October 2002 (03:44 PM),
ks said:

how did the ham taste?

On 20 October 2002 (09:40 PM),
Bill Conwell said:

Did a Google search for Voget’s today, and this page topped the list.

‘Came across Voget’s from smoked beef they donate to the annual Mennonite Fall Festival — a fundraiser held in Albany last weekend. We’ve enjoyed the thinly sliced beef before, but the labeled bag has always been discarded before I made a note of the source. This time I resolved to do better, so entered the Voget name in my organizer so I can make a personal visit next time I’m down Hubbard way.

Kudos to Voget’s for their support of Mennonite relief efforts.

On 21 October 2002 (01:28 PM),
jeff said:

I think Custom Box Service needs to buy a copy of the Atlas of Oregon. 🙂

On 21 October 2002 (02:16 PM),
Tammy J said:

I too love Powell books. I haven’ been there in a bout 6 years though. It’s just not the place to go with kids in tow. But thanks for reminding me of the pleasures I once knew! Lol

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Best Salsa Ever

In which Kris and I make a delicious salsa that’s also easy to prepare!

Last winter Kris and Jenn bought me and Jeremy each a copy of the Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, The Best Recipe. We haven’t tried many recipes from the book yet, but we’re beginning to believe we should.

Kris recently tried the book’s recipe for fresh salsa. It’s fantastic. Subtle, flavorful, delicious.

Here’s the recipe from the book, followed by our modifications:

Fresh Red Table Salsa

  • 3 large very ripe tomatoes (~2#), cored and diced small
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • 1 small jalapeno or other fresh chile, minced (remove seeds for mild salsa)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced small
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup juice from 4 medium limes
  • salt to taste

Blend every thing together in blender or food processor. Put the salsa in the fridge for 8+ hours (the longer the better). Enjoy!

Things we have learned with this recipe:

  • Be careful with the lime juice. Too much lime juice spoils the flavor.
  • If, like me, you’re not a fan of cilantro, be sure the leaves are chopped fine. You may want to reduce the cilantro to just 1/4 cup.
  • For optimum flavor, follow J.D.’s Rule of Garlic: “Always add five times the amount of garlic called for by the recipe.” In this case, use five cloves of garlic instead of one clove. You’ll thank me for it later.
  • To vary the heat of the salsa, alter the number of chiles (in particular, the quantity of seeds from the chiles). Kris doesn’t like hot salsa, so we don’t use any chile seeds. It tastes fantastic even without them.

Try this salsa. You’ll be glad you did.

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adhesive capsulitis

In which my shoulder pain is diagnosed as adhesive capsulitis.

i went to the doctor today to see about my sore shoulder.

after taking down a little history of the problem, he poked and prodded my shoulder, lifted and lowered my arm, and had me perform a variety of twists and turns to test my range of motion.

in the end, he decided that i was suffering from adhesive capsulitis, or “frozen shoulder”. he noted that this condition was generally found in sedentary smokers. (while i may be somewhat sedentary (alright — maybe a lot sedentary), i’m not a smoker.) it can be found in anyone, though, and nobody really knows what causes it. (more articles on it can be found here, here, here, here, here and here.)

the most troubling fact to emerge from the research i’ve done is that the condition generally lasts a year or more (average recovery time is eighteen months). this is alarming.

let me be blunt: i am in a hell of a lot of pain. i can’t imagine being in this much pain for a year.

what can be done?

to start with, the doctor gave me a cortisone injection. in theory, this should relieve the inflammation in the shoulder. (in actuality, it’s just made the shoulder sorer, at least during these first few hours after the injection.)

he also upped my hydrocodone dosage from “one or two before bed” to “once every four hours”. and he gave me a stronger anti-inflammatory.

in the long-term, once the pain has been arrested, i’m too start a course of physical therapy. (actually, the doctor seemed a tad miffed that i was unable to lift my arm twenty minutes after he gave me the cortisone injection. sorry, doc. i gave it my best.)

i know all this talk about my ailment is wearisome. believe me: it’s even more wearisome to me. i get to look forward to another night of sleeping on the recliner in front of the tv, tossing and turning, waking every hour or two because of the pain, surfing through the endless sea of informercials and three’s company reruns.


On 14 October 2002 (05:18 AM),
maureen c said:

I had Adhesive Capsulitis 12 years ago in my left shoulder. Now I have it again in my right. I’m hoping to find a group of people who might want to start a chat room or bulletin board… gotta do something besides watching those reruns…

Let me know…

On 15 March 2003 (06:50 PM),
Carol E. said:

I was recently told by my doctor that I have adhesive capsulitis. My doctor didn’t explain much about it to me so I did some research of my own and what I found was not encouraging. I cannot imagine living with this much pain for a year or longer. I have been taking the anti-inflammatory medications for weeks and have had to stop due to stomach problems. I had an MRI a couple of days ago, don’t have results yet. The worst part is not being able to sleep at night! I’m worn out already and it’s only been 7 weeks.
I don’t know anyone personally who has had this. It’s nice to know someone else out there knows what I’m going through.

On 16 March 2003 (12:37 PM),
J.D. said:

Originally I thought I had a pinched nerve from playing soccer, but my doctor diagnosed it as adhesive capsulitis. Like you, I did research, and I was *not* encouraged but what I found: people with this condition seem to suffer for months, if not years. Fortunately, the condition lasted less than a month for me. Others, such as yourself, are not so lucky.

I’m not sure what you can do if anti-inflammatories aren’t working for you. I took Alleve and/or ibuprofen, depending on the day. My doctor also gave me a prescription for hydrocodone, which is like vicodin, which is derived, distantly, from opium. This didn’t alleviate the pain — I always felt it — but it did make it less significant. By this I mean that I could tell that the shoulder still hurt, and I didn’t regain *any* range of motion with it, but my brain didn’t focus on the pain. Unfortunately, taking a hydrocodone pill every three or four hours rendered me a zombie.

I wish I could give you more encouragement. The best I can offer is: hang in there. You might get lucky like I did and have the pain just go away!

On 25 March 2003 (12:03 PM),
suzanne said:

I was just diagnosed today with adhesive capsulitis. My shoulder has been hurting for about 6 months and I am getting very depressed. UGH! The doctor prescribed ultracet for pain, something to help me sleep, and physical therapy.
I started looking on the internet for information and came across this. Are you feeling better and what has helped?

Best wishes,


On 26 March 2003 (11:55 AM),
Linda said:

Hi Everyone…….Don’t understand this chat group….with NO e-mail to write back to each other to help one another. I too need to talk to someone that is going through this horrible pain. Please e-mail me at [email protected] Linda

On 01 April 2003 (01:07 PM),
Sharron said:

My arm and shoulder had been hurting for the past few weeks and the pain would be so bad that I would have to just grasp my arm and hold my breath!!! Went to two bone crackers with no luck. Got on the web and looked up arm pain and got to and was like WOW they are talking about me. I am also distressed about the length of time this is going to last…and sleeping is getting harder all the time as I love to sleep with my right arm (bad one) under my pillow…goodbye for that.
Well,my oldest daughter is a Doctor..and she said that is sure what I do have….I have no medical insurance and from reading all I have about this it would seem to me that getting a bunch of tests is a waste of money and the injections can even make it worse. I would love to hear from anyone else that has been though this, tell me how long you have had it and how bad did it get? I can still use the computer…
just the range of motion is what is bad now.
Look foward to hearing from any of you.
I am 55 female.

On 17 October 2003 (08:31 PM),
susan said:

I had surgery for this 2 months ago and I still cannot put my arm behind my back or on my hip..physical therapy is painful and I ahve been going 3 times a week. My arm is better than it was before surgery ,as it was frozen in front and I could not lift it and the pain was enough to make me fall to my knees…sleep was the surgery was helpful as I do not have pain all day, just when I try to move it where it doesn’t want to go, but the pain is tolerable. I take one half lorcet before therapy.
The surgery shaved off a bone spur, fixed a rent in my shoulder cuff and fixed an impingement, there was also a manipulation of the shoulder to break up the adhesions. The recovery from surgery was the most pain I have ever felt, I cried for several days and the pain pills didn’t seem to help…if you have surgery take your pain pills before the nerve block wears off! The pain backs off after a few days and becomes manageable but takes a good month to lighten up.
I still wake up at night but it is getting better! I look forward to the day when I ahve my arm back to normal ,or close to normal range, and hopefully no pain! hang in there !!

On 13 November 2003 (04:19 PM),
olga said:

Just had an arthroscopy done on my frozen shoulder
the doc broke up the scar tissue, PT is a killer
my frozen shoulder was so bad that I could not use
my arm.It still hurts terribly, really no better
after surgery except some increased movement. Pain
pills are a joke even Vicodin. I have had this for
over a year. Still can’t sleep at night toss and
turn every 2-3 hours. anyone out there has any
new thoughts on the matter. I am also using
the Topical Verapamile, just started, I need to
use it 60 days x 2. By the way I am a nurse,
believe me I have thought of everything. I have
heard there is some experimental trials in NY>
will research info.

On 10 January 2004 (07:31 PM),
Mary said:

I too have had surgery for adhesive capsulitis and a manipulation as well! Very painful! I had surgery back in March of 03 and March of ’04 is coming up! Iam still in P.T. once a week, but I still have pain-bearable mor or less, but I don’t think it will ever be the same again! Iam starting to wonder if it just me, or what! I still can’t sleep on it and night is the worst time! Anyone have any suggestions?? E-mail me directly if you wish! Thanks, Mary

On 12 January 2004 (06:48 PM),
Charlotte said:

Have developed “frozen shoulder” on my right side – had it about 6 years ago on left.
I have a specific question re the 3phases..freezing, frozen and thawed. Apparently, the early, ‘freezing’ stage is most acute and I understand that practically none of the therapies: physical, drug, surgical are effective during this phase.
WEll, that is where I am and about to invest 600-700 dollars in deep tissue massage. It brought the other shoulder back years ago, but I believe I was at a different phase.

Does anyone have a good understanding of what’s possible in the various phases?

Thanks, Charlotte

On 12 January 2004 (06:48 PM),
Charlotte said:

Have developed “frozen shoulder” on my right side – had it about 6 years ago on left.
I have a specific question re the 3phases..freezing, frozen and thawed. Apparently, the early, ‘freezing’ stage is most acute and I understand that practically none of the therapies: physical, drug, surgical are effective during this phase.
WEll, that is where I am and about to invest 600-700 dollars in deep tissue massage. It brought the other shoulder back years ago, but I believe I was at a different phase.

Does anyone have a good understanding of what’s possible in the various phases?

Thanks, Charlotte

On 18 January 2004 (09:51 PM),
christie reid said:

Reading the posts don’t give much comfort. Any advise before its too late for me!!!
My dr. wants to schedule manipulation under anthesia next week for frozen shoulder. Somehow Im wondering if I really want this done. Could I possibly get thru this without the surgery. Im a sucker when it comes to pain.

On 22 January 2004 (09:05 AM),
Peeps said:


It has been really interesting to read the comments here from fellow frozen shoulder sufferers. For myself, the fact that nothing much seems to work and that it lasts for at least a year (!) has been some comfort. I began to feel I was just useless. I was sent to a chiropractor by my Personal Trainer and the arm got steadily worse!

My shoulder began to freeze in July last year and now has very little range of movement. The question I would like answered is “If you do nothing at all and wait for it to unfreeze, can you start physiotherapy at that stage?” I find exercises quite painful and really annoying! Lack of sleep is a problem too.

The worst bit for me has been a few occasions when I have put my hand out to stop from tripping over, or got an electric shock off the car and grabbed the arm back quickly. The pain was so intense I just had to squat down, hold my arm and swear (A LOT!!).

I am still looking for answers but mainly waiting to unfreeze and then I might think about exercises. I swim, if you can call it that, in a very leisurely fashion. It’s nice to have the arm float free in the water.

Good luck everyone.

Will report back if a miracle happens!

On 03 February 2004 (05:19 PM),
maureen said:

I found a GREAT forum for frozen shoulder. I’ve been a contributor for more than a year, and there are lots of people on it, with lots of great stories, support and information. Here is the site:

You have to register to contribute, but it’s fast and easy and I never get any spam from them.

See you there!

— Maureen

On 11 February 2004 (05:32 PM),
Joanne said:

Hi, I was wondering if anyone knows the difference between FS occuring after rotator cuff repair as compared to spontaneously ???? I have it after a rotator cuff repair, and I wish I never did it!!! I am going to fairly aggresive PT and have already done the manipulation +cortisone . Rotator cuff surgery was in November and manipulation was 2 weeks ago. The problem I am having is that my Dr. acts so surprised by my pain! He continuously wants me to go off or decrease my pain pills (tylenol with codeine at present) I don’t sleep well. The only thing that helps at night is ice. I leave it on until it’s warm………….. My Dr. wants to do another MRi (one after surgery showed Maybe a new tear in the cuff) I am going to get another opinion but any comments????? This guy is supposed to be the best and people think I’m crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [email protected]

On 26 February 2004 (08:16 AM),
pippa said:

Ohmigosh! It sounds very similar to what I am going through. I had bone spur/rotator cuff surgery 10 weeks ago, and have completely hit a wall. I can passively lift my arm straight up, but can only raise it by itself about 100 degrees. I can see in the mirror that there is no rotation in the joint at all – it looks like a baseball on top raising. My doctor just says, “That’s all you can do? Keep working,” but there has been little to no change for weeks. I keep beating myself up because I’m not progressing, but then started looking at what was going on. No meds have been prescribed, so I’ve started treating myself: aspirin for inflamation, heating pads and BenGay-type rubs for circulation, have started taking glucosamine and MSM – and now my insurance plan’s PT coverage is running out (20 visits per calendar year). If this is frozen shoulder and time is necessary to heal, I wonder if I should continue at $100/visit, when these treatments are not helping (doing my exercises at home, of course)? And has anyone tried the Neil-Asher treatments ( I am so ready to be normal again! and so frustrated!!

On 15 March 2004 (07:18 PM),
Cyndy said:

I share everyone’s frustrations. My doc also wants to get aggressive. I’m only 5 months into this and am wondering if I should go ahead. It sounds tempting to get some pain relief, but there’s always the chance that it will be worse afterwards. One thing I’ve tried that helps some is a salve called Unkers. Some oldtimers at my church swear by it. When you use it and then apply a heating pad, it sort of intensifies the heat and eases the muscle pain some. You can order it on the net. I hope everyone has a TENS unit. You can’t use it 24/7, but when it’s really bad or you have to be sitting in a meeting, it really helps. Also found some research that says psychological stress and the weather make the pain worse. (As if being in constant pain isn’t stressful!) All the best to fellow sufferers.

On 16 March 2004 (07:36 AM),
janet said:

8 yrs ago, i had frozen shoulder, by the time i went to doc, so much muscle had wasted. Went to pt 3x weekly for 6 wks, stopped going and did exercises at home…..cured…now, i have a problem in other shoulder….did not feel quite the same , but told it is frozen shoulder,rotator cuff tear. Going for MRI today—doc also want to manipulate possibly depending on MRi—very limited motion up, back—-hurts to lift patients on my job=

On 16 April 2004 (10:12 PM),
Juli said:

I too,have adhesive capsulitis in my left shoulder. This was quite a surprise to me as I have always been physically active and my chosen profession is massage therapy. I have been a massage therapist for 17 years and have addressed FS on many occaisions. Two years ago I began teaching massage therapy and became somewhat inactive as a practitioner. Inactivity, I have since found, is one of the major contributors to FS. One of the most important discoveries I have made is that it really helps to drink water on a regular basis. We are all human and it is easy to overlook drinking water for other more satisfying beverages. Most times, FS is medically addressed with Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Cortisone injections, or various approaches with surgery. Sometimes this works. However, alternative methods with specific massage applications can bring relief, allow for sleep, increase range of motion (ROM) and relieve FS altogether. I too, (even though an MT) have tried going to chiropractors, doctors, PT’s and OT’s for a diagnosis and relief with little or no success, til I met an OT at the VA hospital with years of success working with FS sufferers. She was the first to suspect I might have frozen shoulder. I took it for granted that I just “overused” my shoulder with years of performing massage, but this did not make sense to me, because I did not have it on the right shoulder. After my referred visit to Osteo at the VA, the diagnosis was confirmed. The doctor laid out all my options, but did not have any inkling if or how massage would or could address my pain and lack of movement. Personally, I knew better and decided right then to include massage into my rehab plan. I opted for the protocol that my past clients have utilized and that is consistant water intake, little or no caffiene (affects nerve activity within muscles and tendons), nothing that would dehydrate my tissues (diuretics, water pills, or alcoholic drinks), OT and massage therapy. I am in my second week of this routine and already I am enjoying more movement with less pain. (I can even put my arm behind my back to zip up a skirt-something I have not been able to do for 18 months!) My OT has me doing several exercises, but not to the point of pain. Four of the most beneficial exercises for me use a pully and hanging weights. The pully exercises use a portable pully that fits over any door and once the door is closed you place a chair about 1-2 feet facing away from the door. Sitting in the chair, you would grasp the handles with thumbs posistioned in the “up” position and pulling on the handles, raise the unaffected arm first and then the affected side. Once the affected side is stretched to capacity, hold it there for 5-10 seconds to maximize the stretch. Do not pull so hard that there is excruciating pain. This only aggravates the stretch response (built into muscles for protection against tears in the tissue) Eventually your time for holding the stretch will increase and your movement will improve. Another exercise with the pully is to stretch from a “side-sitting” position with the affected side closest to the door, but place the chair so that the shoulder is in line with the pully. Sitting too far back or too far forward will make the exercises ineffective. Again, have the chair sitting out from the door 1-2 feet. As you gain more movement, the chair can be moved further out from the door. Same with the previous exercise. The “hanging weight” exercises consist of a two pound wrist weight wrapped around the wrist and performing small (really small at first) circles while bending at the waist and supporting your weight on a kitchen table or countertop. Ten (10) clockwise and ten (10) counter-clockwise, three times a day. As this gets easier, you may increase number of circles and make the “circular path” wider. At this time I have increased my hanging weight to 5 pounds. This exercise has a “traction” effect on the glenohumeral joint, pulling the humerous gently and restoring neurological muscle memory to nerve proprioceptors found in tendons and muscles. (Re-educates tissues what it is like to move again). As far as my experience with getting massage, it is important to find a therapist that is educated in the area of neuromuscular therapy/re-education. Active resisted movement, trigger point therapy, post-isometric relaxation, myofascial release, along with cross-fiber friction should be used to address the rotator cuff muscles (Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis). Also, it is highly beneficial to have the massage therapist concentrate where the Subscapularis and Serratus Posterior Superior meet and glide (move) across each other. In most instances the Latissimus Dorsi and Serratus Anterior areas will need to be addressed as well. Of course, during all this pain the client has endured, his or her breathing will tend to be shallow and this severly affects the Scalenes and Sternocleidomastoids (neck muscles) which are attached to the 1st and 2nd ribs. The massage therapist will have to address any tightness existing there and help restore diaphragmatic breathing- also known as “stomach breathing”, filling the lungs with air using the diaphram first- this gives those neck muscles a vacation!! I must disclose that this may not be the routine for you and I have no scientific data to support my claims. I am basing this on my years of experience (17) as a massage therapist addressing FS and what my clients have told me helps them and on what has personally helped me. I highly recommend that you find an Occupational Therapist to help you with your rehabilitation exercise plan as they are not as aggressive as Physical Therapists and I find that the intricate movements my OT has given me have helped a great deal. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to email me using frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis in the subject matter line at [email protected] in light and health, JULI

On 03 March 2005 (10:01 AM),
Von said:

I am also part of this club. Began having pain about one year ago, but truly froze in the past few months. Have gone through Arthrogram, MRI, seven weeks of physical therapy, and acupuncture. ACUPUNCTURE is the only thing that has helped the pain. I have had five treatments of acupuncture. She thought she could cure me in ten. I may have too severe a case to actually cure in ten treatments, but I cannot believe the aid I received in the pain level. I have never taken any prescription drugs for pain, so I was 24/7 in pain. She recommended White Willow Bark as a natural form of aspirin. It helps greatly without the risk of stomach or liver damage.
My doctor still feels I have not gained motion like he had hoped. He wants to do the scope and manipulation. I am hesitant about this. I need advice from those that have had it. Did you gain enough motion to warrant it?

On 16 March 2005 (12:22 PM),
Debby said:

I feel everyone’s pain. I too have a FS. I went through several months of pain before seeing an Ortho surgeon. I’ve been in therapy for 3 months. In my opinion I have seen a 70% improvement. I think alot of that has to do with keeping up with the exercises at home. I went back to the Ortho for a follow up to see how I was doing.He said I could either live with the pain or do surgery. I requested more PT. The therapist is trying to talk me into surgery. After all the research I have done I don’t want to. I’m going to wait about a year or so and see if it gets even better. In the meantime it’s very important to keep up the exercises. Heat and Ice seems to help also.
One thing does puzzle me, with all the technoligy why can’t they cure us?

On 08 April 2005 (03:45 PM),
Estalyn said:

Hello – I also was diagnosed with FS after having rotator cuff repair in December 2004. Last week my doctor did a manipulation under anesthesia and what he called arthroscopic lysis of adhesions. He implanted a pain pump for a few days which helped the P.T. maneuver my arm in all sorts of directions. Have to say that my ROM is so much better one week post-op. Hope everyone is feeling better soon.

On 13 May 2005 (06:08 PM),
Natalie said:

Hi, everyone. I have had frozen shoulder for about 9 or 10 months, though it didn’t get extremely bad until last October when I had a benign cyst removed from the shoulder. (I had been thinking my worsening shoulder pain was from the cyst – – silly me.)
ONE THING THAT HELPED A LOT with the night pain… my physical therapist told me to sleep sitting up – – like in a recliner or propped with pillows. It really did help a lot with that horrible, horrible pain at night. I still would wake up around 3:30 or 4:00 am and sleep fitfully until time to get up, but that was MUCH better than how it had been. Apparently the pull of gravity keeping the joint slightly open keeps the nerves from being so irritated. Nights are the worst.
I had the manipulation done in March and it did help. I had a great deal of improvement in motion, pain and that horrible constant feeling you have like something is grabbing your shoulder blade and pulling it. But, though things are better, I’m far from cured. Today a nurse went to take my blood pressure and put the cuff on the upper arm and pressurized it – – I nearly jumped out of my skin, the pain was so intense. So much for my nice normally low b.p. readings.
I just can’t wait until this is over. Just to have two normal shoulders again seems like such a gift. In the meantime, I grit my teeth and keep doing my exercises.

On 28 May 2005 (08:25 AM),
Carol said:

I developed frozen shoulder out of the blue in Oct. 04 at the age of 42. In Feb. 05 I was diagnosed and started p.t. twice a week. After 2 months, I had not improved at all, and my doctor insisted that I needed a manipulation. She sent me to an orthopedist. I did not want surgery, however, so the orthopedist agreed to prescribe more p.t. After 2 more months of p.t. plus 5 sessions of osteopathic manipulation, my range of motion has improved somewhat, and the pain has diminished. I saw the orthopedist again last week, and he thinks if I continue improving as I have, in another 3 months, this won’t even be an issue for me anymore. So, this summer I’ll be having more p.t. and osteopathy. By the way, I highly recommend osteopathic manipulation! It helped me a lot.

On 06 June 2005 (10:38 PM),
Amanda said:

I’m a 33 year old female and i have adhesive capsulitis on my right shoulder. The pain is unbearable! especially at night. I decided to drink more water, lots of water! and cut down on the caffiene, and stretch every hour very slowly with pain killers (2 advils 2 extra strength tylenol)It does get frustrating but you really have to discipline yourself. Within 3 days MAJOR difference.
Pain is alot more milder. Hydrating your body and and keeping your shoulder moving really helps. i can finally get some sleep.

On 25 June 2005 (09:33 AM),
Lizzi said:

Gosh, it’s good to see I’m not the only person suffering from this and there are some people out there that can understand. I have capsulitis in the left shoulder and though I am going through physio, I don’t see much improvement yet. Nights are the worse and it really affect your daily activities and life. One of the worst things also is lack of understanding from some people who just can’t understand what the big deal is. So, it’s nice to see I’m not alone. Good luck to all and if anyone knows of a miracle, please let me know 🙂

On 06 July 2005 (11:27 AM),
Sham said:

hi, i’m in my final year studying osteopathic medicine. in my clinic so far, i have only seen this condition once and the best exercise tip is to stand in front of a wall facing it or facing parallel to it, put your hand out as much as you can so you touch the wall with your index and middle fingers. Now perform a walking action up the wall (until you feel pain). Now mark your limit on the wall and do this everyday 20 times, you should see the marking on the wall go higher and higher. See results in one month but remember, it will hurt, you’ve got to push yourself to the limit. Good luck!

On 06 July 2005 (11:31 AM),
Sham said:

hi, i’m in my final year studying osteopathic medicine. in my clinic so far, i have only seen this condition once and the best exercise tip is to stand in front of a wall facing it or facing parallel to it, put your hand out as much as you can so you touch the wall with your index and middle fingers. Now perform a walking action up the wall (until you feel pain). Now mark your limit on the wall and do this everyday 20 times. The other exercise is to lean forward and let your arm hang beside you and perform a pendulum motion as much as you can everyday ( helps the blood supply to the muscles so they are not wasted. You should see the marking on the wall go higher and higher. See results in one month but remember, it will hurt, you’ve got to push yourself to the limit. Good luck!

On 14 July 2005 (01:56 PM),
Bonnie said:

I’m not sure there is a miracle but I am slowly recovering from a FS without a manipulation. Mine started in January worsened for a few months but now is getting better since the cortisone shot 6 weeks ago. The physical therapy/exercise in the beginning only aggravated the pain and made it worse. The improvement began when I quit PT! Besides the Cortisone shot, drinking lots of water, and keeping my shoulders warm especially at night has helped. Beware of cold air conditioning! Now that most of the pain has subsided, I am doing the usual shoulder stretching exercises. In another six weeks, if my shoulder is not completely better, my doctor suggested an additional cortisone shot. I understand the sleepless nights, I understand trying to live in constant pain with a grimace on my face. My FS is slowly getting better and it feels good to smile.

On 20 July 2005 (11:27 AM),
Linda said:

After reading Natalie’s comment on Adhesive Capsulitis in May of 2005, I am now curious as to whether my condition is also the result of having had a cyst removed from my shoulder. The surgery was done over two years ago but the scar lies directly over where my pain is. I’ve been through PT, home stretching and it is still bothering me. My range of motion is better but the pain is not gone. It’s been almost ten months since my initial injury. ( I thought I had injured it by reaching into the backseat of my car from the front.) I’ve been to two doctor’s now and both believe my cyst removal is just a coincidence, I’m doubtful though. I’m now to go through another course of PT for 6 to 8 weeks and if my pain is not gone the Ortho Doc wants to operate. I have lot’s of funky sounds going on when I rotate my shoulder, crepetis I’m told. I’m not sure if the spelling is correct for that term. Anyhow, I’m sorry for everyone suffering with this, it bites! I can’t sleep unless I take something to help relax me. I miss putting my arm under my pillow at night and resting on my left side. My sympathies to all of you Adhesive Capsulitis sufferers. I’ve at least been validated by the comments, I agree, it hurts like crazy.
EMail me if you wish, [email protected]

On 24 July 2005 (02:49 PM),
Mary said:

I too have had and am dealing with Adhesive capsulitis! I’ve had two manipulations on right side! I’ve had a total of 5 surgeries on right shoulder! A year ago i came down with it on my left side!I’ve only had one surgery on left side to date! So, essentially I’ve been dealing with this condition for a couple years! The good news is, the last manipulation finally did it! I can reach to 163.! Iam happy with that! That’s reaching straight out and up! Once I get the right one squared away, we get to work on the left one! Seems like it’s never ending! As for myself,I have tried to keep some sence of humor! It’s tough though! It’s true that people who haven’t had it, have absolutely no clue! Good luck to everyone else! Just be patient! Iam trying, as i still have some pain Iam dealing with on a daily and nightly bases!

On 20 August 2005 (07:42 AM),
trevor said:

A UK Osteopath in London (Dr Simeone Niel-Asher) claims to have meade alot of progress in the treatment of Frozen Shoulder
He claims to be able to ‘cure’ it in several one hour sessions and he has trained a few USA practitioners
I am moving to London soon and I hope to see this guy personally but he also has self help CDs and books on his website

On 22 August 2005 (12:22 PM),
Janice said:

I have had frozen shoulder for about 18 months total. Went through 3 1/2 months of physical therapy and 2 cortisone injection and was better for several months but the pain has steadily gotten worse and so has the stiffening over the summer. I am to have a manipulation under anesthesia in 2 weeks with physical therapy daily for 3 weeks after this. I think he is doing a nerve block at the same time. I was hoping to take only about 3 days off of work and then go back to work, working around by physical therapy. Is this realstic? I would think the pain would be better.

On 30 August 2005 (02:12 AM),
Gail (Australia) said:

You guys are really not cheering me up at all !!
I had a yachting accident 10 weeks ago and was diagnosed with a full thickness rotator cuff tear. I had surgery six weeks ago (unbelievably painful !!) and was told the day after surgery that I didn’t have a R/C tear at all and that they actually found a fracture.
Lucky me – both my x-ray and ultra sound scan were wrong !!
To top it all off – I went back for my final post-op checkup today to be told that I have a frozen shoulder.
I have had Physio Therapy the whole time since my injury but obviously it did nothing to prevent me developing this problem.
As with all of you – the pain in unbelievable (and unrelenting) and sleep is a thing of the past.
I wish you all (and me) a speedy recovery 🙂

On 10 September 2005 (07:55 AM),
cj said:

I have an appt. with ortho next week. Was told by another doc that I have FS. Initially, pain was mostly shoulder/neck but now right arm is severely affected and last few days, there is numbing involved. MY QUESTION: I have lyme disese and really want to avoid the cortisone type treatment as I’ve been advised that this is very counter-productive for those with lyme.. terrible for immune system. What is the chance of me getting good treatment without it involving some type of cortisones??
Thanks, cj

On 13 September 2005 (07:59 AM),
suzanReither said:

I don’t know whether physical therapy is good or not. Could someone advise me before I start. I am in excruciating pain at night and have been for over 3 months.
Thank you.

On 26 September 2005 (11:49 PM),
mike said:


My frozen shoulder diagnosis came three weeks ago. I am a fiddler, and it is my right shoulder. I play fiddle right-handed, though fortunately I am a lefty at everything else.

I have to say that I’ve suffered a number of injuries along life’s road, including a compound fracture of a leg (broken in three places, ankle broken diving accident) and have never had anything nearly this painful.

I’m unable to play fiddle, of course. Physical therapy doesn’t seem to be helping yet. Have only had a couple weeks of it. It hurts virtually all the time, and the only way I can sleep is to take three or four Lortab 10/500s.

Please tell me this will get better. This condition is redefining my concept of agony. I know it will, but I need to hear from someone who’s actually been through it.

On 09 October 2005 (02:13 PM),
debbie said:

I’ve been researching FS ever since my right shoulder froze suddenly in July. The most frustrating thing is not knowing what treatment is best. I’ve had 20 physical therapy treatments with very little improvement in ROM; however, the pain is considerably better. No way to know if that is due to PT or whether it would be getting better anyway on its own. My PT is VERY aggressive – lots of pain, which my ortho told me to expect. Despite the PT, my doctor wants to do a closed manipulation b/c of so little improvement in ROM. I am 52 and ordinarily VERY physically active, so those who attributed this condition to sedentary lifestyle, I don’t think so. I was doing over an hour of aerobic exercise, usually running or biking, six days a week when this occured. Anyway, what concerns me is that the therapy causes lots of pain and not in the shoulder. It’s usually in my arm, my bicep muscle (even get bruises on arm after therapy) or back. The therapy, by its very nature, puts stress on all of the ligaments, tendons, and muscles as the PT tries to increase ROM. Also, I have had so much stiffness in my neck. I can’t even hold a book and read or sit in one position for more than a few minutes without stiffness in my neck. Does everyone have this problem? It’s much better than intense pain, but makes if virtually impossible to return to work. Has anyone had any negative effects after manipulation? Should I stick with the PT longer?

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pinched nerve

in which my shoulder hurts

as if my physical woes weren’t bad enough with my right quad/left quad/right groin perpetual soccer problems now i have excruciating pain in my left shoulder which appeared from nowhere this afternoon. i must type with my right hand only. this will be short.

so after work i was walking to the car and i thought to myself gee my left shoulder is kinda sore and i drove home and i took some ibuprofen and i told kris gee my left shoulder is kinda sore. we ate tater tots and we played more lost cities and after we were done i played some warcraft iii but i had to stop because my shoulder was kinda sore. more than kinda. really sore. now i tried to go to sleep but i couldn’t because my shoulder is very very very sore, so sore that it almost brings tears to my eyes. kris says now you know how i feel. what she means is a couple times a year she gets a pinched nerve in her neck or her back and she moans in agony for days and i’m not very sympathetic. well ha! i will be sympathetic now because this is kinda sore, no — really sore. so sore that i don’t even notice my soccer woes because all i can notice is that my shoulder is sore and i can’t get to sleep even though i got up at 4:30 this morning to go in to custom box service and now what will i do if i can’t get to sleep? i guess i’ll go watch brazilian soccer on fox sports world or trading spaces on tlc or maybe i’ll just sit here and stare dully at the screen thinking about how much pain i am in.

it seems like lately i’m just one hypochondriac mess. or that’s how i’d view myself if i wasn’t me. but i’m me, so i’m not a hypochondriac mess, i’m just a mass of sores.

i won both games of lost cities. that was good. so were the tater tots.


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In which I hate working with computers.

This post has a high geek content. If you have no interest in the rantings of a tired, overworked geek then go do something more fun.

So I’m trying to install Windows 2000 for a client, right? Or, rather, re-install Windows 2000. The client had a Windows 2000 install operational but had somehow munged it but good while attempting to remove the Network Neighborhood icon from the desktop. (How they managed to munge the install by doing this is beyond me.)

When they called me in to fix the problem, I thought it would be a simple matter of re-installing the OS while at the client’s office. Then I discovered that the person that had built the computer had password protected the BIOS and set the boot order to hard drive, CD-ROM, floppy. WTF?

This might have been workable except the BIOS recognized whenever the hard drive was connected and tried to boot from it no matter whether the hard drive contained any data or not. In order to boot to another device (CD-ROM or floppy), the hard drive could not be connected. Yet without the hard drive connected it was impossible to install the OS.

Fine. There are several ways to bypass a BIOS password. I tried a couple of cracker programs that purport to grab and display the BIOS password from a DOS prompt. No luck. Neither of them worked. I removed the BIOS battery for about an hour. No luck. (Why not? I don’t know.) I fiddled with every single jumper I could find on the motherboard in an attempt to reset the BIOS. No luck.

Meanwhile I installed Windows 2000 to my client’s hard drive from a spare machine. When I attempted to transfer the hard drive to my client’s machine, however, it could not find the master boot record. WTF?

I started to remove the ISA cards (this is a p233) in order to actually look at the entire motherboard when voila! Beneath the modem I found another jumper. The jumper. I reset the BIOS and went to work. Only three hours behind schedule.

But wait! There’s more! It turns out that after resetting the BIOS, the computer will not boot from the CD-ROM. Why? I don’t know. I’ve monkeyed with everything I know and cannot get it to boot to the Windows 2000 CD (or any other bootable CD). Great. Windows 2000 cannot be started from a DOS prompt which means I’ve got to create a set of four Windows 2000 boot floppies. Then boot from them. Things go well until the fourth floppy at which point I get an error indicating a corrupt .CAB file.

(What is it with Windows CDs and corrupt .CAB files? My client’s Windows 2000 CD is worthless it turns out. One or more blocks is unreadable. I’ve had to complete the install process with my own CD. Meanwhile, Windows 98 CD has a similar problem. I’ve had to copy a friend’s CD because mine has corrupt data. I cannot detect physical defects on these CDs (though that doesn’t mean there aren’t any), so I suspect problems in manufacturing.)

At last, two hours after getting past the BIOS password and five hours after I meant to begin, I’m able to start the install process. Five hours! I figure there are two or three hours left to go and it’s midnight. Ugh. This project is positively Jeremyesque.

(Jenn once asked me: “Don’t you find that building computers is more trouble than it’s worth?” She couldn’t believe that it only takes me about two hours to build a computer. Jeremy has had great misfortune while working inside machines; he’s like a curse on hardware. As a result, hardware projects take him a long time to complete. Hardware usually goes well for me, but not tonight. This whole project has been a nightmare.)

So now I’m eight hours into the project. I’d like to bill for all eight ours (plus the two more that I’ll work tonight), but while I feel doing so is justified, I don’t think the client would be pleased. Even if I bill for half my time, the client’s total expenditure to me over the past few months for this one computer would more than justify an upgrade to a new machine. $300 spent to maintain a five year old computer when a new computer can be had for $500? Not too difficult a decision if you ask me.

The computer continues its install process. A p233 with 64mb of RAM installing Windows 2000 is S-L-O-W.

I’m going to go see Fellowship of the Ring again on Saturday afternoon. I vow that this time I will enjoy it: I will not be sick, I will not sit next to noisy children, I will not sit in the front row. I will sit two-thirds of the way back, slightly right of center (the ideal spot). I will buy two slices of pizza, some red vines, and some draft root beer. Kris will sit by my side. We will have fun. Anyone else want to join us? Bagdad Theater, 1:30 p.m., Saturday.


On 12 July 2002 (06:33 AM),
Dana said:

It’s usually a much better idea to hunt down the jumper first than to use the BIOS blanking/reading programs. Usually the programs are BIOS specific, so you have to identify what you’ve got first, then try and locate a program that will work with it. Much easier to identify the motherboard and/or locate the jumper. I thought I’d warned you of that… Sorry.

Also, wrt not booting off the CD — where was it in the IDE chain? What were it’s jumpers set to? Did you try sticking in one of your spare CD-ROM drives to see if that worked and theirs didn’t? I’m assuming that you went into the bios and redetected the drive info after you had blanked the BIOS…

Sorry it was such a painful experience, though. Sounds nasty! But, on the bright side, it’s been a good learning experience, hasn’t it?

On 12 July 2002 (04:36 PM),
Dave said:

I’ve been lead to believe that some older machines will not boot from a CD Rom without a bios flash upgrade. Perhaps in resetting the bios you lost the prior flash (that the client probably didn’t know about in the first place) and that explains why the bios wouldn’t recognize the CD.

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Good Samaritan

In which I help stranded motorists.

While driving home from 2001: A Space Odyssey a couple of Sundays ago, I stopped to give a stranded motorist a ride to a gas station.

Though I frequently see motorists in distress I’ve never stopped to help before. I feel that I should stop, but a combination of fear and selfishness has always prevented me from doing so.

The woman I helped was grateful, and I realized that had I been in similar circumstances, I would have been grateful, too.

When my car was struck by a truck in December of 2000, only one witness stopped. Nobody else even stopped to see if I was okay despite the violent nature of the crash. During a ride with Paul in March of 1998, my bike chain broke. We were six miles from Canby. Fortunately, a fellow stopped and invited us to climb in back of his truck; he gave us a ride to the bike store.

What makes me reluctant to perform an act of kindness to those who obviously need help? Part of it is that I don’t want to let myself be bothered. Stopping to help adds an unknown element to the day, invites difficulties with time, distance, and money that cannot be foreseen. Another deterrent is the risk involved. It can be dangerous to help a stranger. What if she is carrying a knife or a gun? What if he uses the conversation as an opportunity to gather information for some sort of criminal activity? (I sound as paranoid as Dave or Dana!)

Regardless: I believe that stopping to help those in distress is a noble act as long as certain precautions are taken.

It began to rain lightly tonight. The asphalt smells wet and the air is sticky and warm. The precipitation is a welcome relief after several hot days.

As I was driving to Thriftway to get Kris some Cherry Garcia ice cream bars, I came upon a minivan stopped in the middle of the street, its lights off despite the growing darkness. The driver hailed me, so I stopped.

The woman introduced herself as Naomi, a yoga instructor at Club Fit, Canby’s health club. Naomi had long brown hair and colorful clothes. She spoke in a quiet, spacey tone and moved in slow motion, as if underwater. She seemed stoned.

She had backed the minivan out of its parking spot where it died in the street while she was shifting gears. She pulled out her jumper cables and we tried to start her vehicle. The engine wouldn’t turn over though, and, in fact, sparks were shot from beneath the engine block. I haven’t ever seen that before (though I’m certainly no mechanic). We pushed the minivan into a parking spot and I offered her a ride home.

During the twenty minute drive we engaged in small-talk, the kind that’s generally uncomfortable for both parties (though much more comfortable than silence).

Naomi graduated from Molalla high school in 1993. She attended the University of Oregon where she majored in Spanish. She has traveled a lot but now lives at home with her mother, who is severely ill. Naomi takes classes at PSU during the day, studying early childhood education. Eventually she wants to teach kindergarten during the mornings and teach yoga and massage in the afternoons. She thinks children are precious.

I told her how Kris and I met: We were taking an evening writing class during our sophomore year at Willamette University. One night I spilled her tea on her notebook. Thus our courtship began. Naomi thinks that story is sweet.

We talked about our pets. Naomi has a puppy whose first birthday is tomorrow, so she bought him a turkey sandwich. She’s a vegetarian herself, but her dog loves turkey and she’d do anything for him. He’s adorable.

When we reached her house, Naomi offered to pay me but I refused. I told her that I’m banking on karmic return, that by performing these various acts of kindness I’m hoping to stockpile sort of cosmic goodwill that will yield benefits in the future. (Though this sounds much more supernatural than I intend, it essentially captures my motivation for playing the good Samaritan over the past couple of weeks.)

Naomi was interesting, and I’m pleased to have been able to help her, but she sure seemed stoned.


On 28 June 2002 (07:23 AM),
mac said:

not to be stereotypical but–

Yoga instructor is synonomous with stoner!

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