Bike to Work Day

I normally get annoyed with cyclists on bike to work day, but today wasn't too bad. My main peeve in the past was the SF Bicycle Coalition "energizer stations". People would crowd around them and spill out on to the street and block bicycle lanes. I only passed one of the stations this morning and while it was busy, cyclists were not blocking the bike lane.

Jiu Jitsu Revisited

Back in the summer of 2009 I first tried out Jiu Jitsu at Fight and Fitness in SF. I took maybe 10 classes over the period of a few months. Most classes left me feeling quite sore, and as a beginner my ego was often bruised. But starting anything new often presents uncomfortable challenges. I missed classes for a while until I dropped in again in January 2010, and strained my back quite badly. Fortunately the Jiu Jitsu guy I was rolling with when I hurt myself was Peter Goldman, an excellent chiropractor and zone healer who fixed my back over the coming months. But while my back recovered my desire to explore Jiu Jitsu did not.

A few weeks ago I became excited about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu all over again. I read Sam Sheridan's book The Fighter's Mind, where a chapter focused on Marcelo Garcia, a world champion in Jiu Jitsu. He is an amazing competitor that often beats much larger opponents, see the video below. I also read The Art of Learning a book where Josh Waitzkin details his life growing up as a chess champion, and further on into his life as a Tai Chi Push Hands champion. Josh eventually moved into the world of Jiu Jitsu. Both these books reinvigorated my interest in learning Jiu Jitsu.

My goal in taking Alex Ferreira's class at FnF again was to do at least 10 classes. Going back to the class was a lot easier than starting from scratch. I remembered much of what I had learned before. The classes are still tough, I have a lot to learn, but the techniques are easier to understand. Free rolling, where you essentially spar on the ground, wears me out fast. Bigger guys I especially find grueling to work with, as they can use their weight to make me work really hard.

Today was class number five, taking me half way to my 10 class goal. Suitably it was commemorated with a slightly bigger guy dropping his knee, and his body weight behind it, directly on my crotch. Fuck that hurt, even with a groin cup. I almost called it a night, but eventually shook off the pain and got back on the mat for a little while longer. It was worth it, any time spent on the mat is a chance to learn more and get better. Each submission won a little reward for a job well done, each submission lost a motive to keep on working on improving my game.


Kaiser Emergency Room

Last Friday I was sparring in my Wing Chun class with AJ, feeding him a lot of round kicks to the outside. One of those kicks connected my foot to his elbow, and hurt a little. After class it hurt a little more, somewhat uncomfortable to walk on. I rode my bike to Zeitgeist and while standing at the bar decided to stretch my foot out. At that point it hurt like hell and was quite painful to walk on. I rode to my friend Sailaja's for dinner and rested it for a while, hung out and had dinner. A couple of hours later and it still really hurt to put any weight on my left foot. So, I decided I need to get it checked out and rode to the Kaiser ER on O'Farrell near Geary. Sailaja insisted on driving me there, but I insisted on riding because I could ride without any pain and didn't want anyone going to any trouble.

The Kaiser ER entrance is on a hill on O'Farrell. Not easy to ride or walk to. I hopped inside and told them I hurt my foot. Answered some questions, sat down. Got called to answer some more questions, have my temperature and blood pressure checked, then sat down again. I was called again to go sit in a shared room with beds and given ice for my foot. Doctor Jeanne came and poked at my foot and asked me questions and sad I would get an x-ray. I was rolled down to the x-ray room on a bed and rolled back again. Doctor Jeanne showed me the x-rays and told me nothing was broken. That was a relief. She said I could hang on to the crutches they gave me, but I declined. If the foot was not broken, I probably would not need crutches for long, and didn't want to bring them back. I paid $50 at the desk on checkout, and hopped outside to my bike outside.

I spent 50 minutes to an hour in the ER in total. I arrived at about 10:45, was being shown my x-ray at 11:30 and was out the door shortly after that. A pretty good ER experience with very little waiting.

Later that night I put ice on my foot again and took some ibuprofen. The next morning I woke up and it was much easier to walk on my foot, so I met with folks in the panhandle and went for a bike ride to Ocean Beach. It must have just been a nasty bruise in a particularly painful spot. By sunday I was able to walk around quite freely.

Round up of 2010

I just took a quick look back through my journal and it seems I have been making sporadic updates. I'm glad I have not completely neglected it. While I recorded a few events of 2010, here's a quick summary of the year, more for my own sake.
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Staying Alive

I would like to keep my livejournal updated, but I don't visit LJ much. It is a matter of going where most of your friends are, and most of mine seem to use facebook or twitter, or don't blog at all. Maybe I will switch to using this as a more private journal.

One year at flickr

Today marks my one year anniversary of working at flickr. I am very glad to be here. I am enjoying learning even more about the trials and tribulations of high-traffic websites. And the people working here are really good at what they do, and care a lot about the service and the community that use it.

Traffic Violation

I got busted running a stop sign at Octavia and Market this morning. A CHP motorcycle cop pulled me over and seemed a little apologetic about having to write me a citation. He was a nice guy so I was pretty friendly in return about the whole thing. The route I took to cross the junction is definitely not legal, but I'm not sure if there is a legal way for a bicycle to cross that junction from Octavia, when trying to going south on Octavia and then east on Market Street.

I've received several traffic warnings over the years from police, but this is my first citation. Hopefully I can go another 13 years until my next one.