The only reason I was wearing pants was because I had to be out of the house. I mean, we all know the curative properties of not wearing pants, right? That's why we can get men in kilts in these modern times. (that's just my theory)
So, let me begin by saying there will be photos at the end. I'm still doing those Countdown to Bristol photos, but Wednesday, I went to a track day event at Blackhawk Farms Raceway in South Beloit. As you may know, my son rides a motorcycle (called a "crotch rocket" by the masses, apparently). He took part in a track day, hosted by Motovid.com at that raceway. That morning, a very severe thunderstorm rolled through. It rained so hard that they had to delay the start of the event. I was soaked completely through and it was a tad bit chilly. So, I was already in the early stages of what would become an intense flareup. After a couple hours, I decided to go home, because I couldn't take photos in the rain. About a half hour after I returned home, I got a text telling me it had stopped raining and it was a go. So, I went back. I was only there a couple hours before the heat got to me, but I did get a good set of photos.
And then, the next day, I had a fasting lab and a checkup at the VA hospital in Madison. That two-month long flareup I've been having? Not a flareup. Apparently, that can be a signal that the treatment has stopped working (I take 30 mgs of muscle relaxers a day, 10 in the AM and 20 in the PM). The doctors decided to try me out on whatever the generic version of Effexor is called (Venlafaxine, in case you dislike the Googles). My first question was: "Isn't that an antidepressant?" The doctor said it was and I said: "I'm not depressed." She then said that in the low dosage, it has no effect on depression, but it seems to help people with fibromyalgia and other nerve issues (like neuropathy, which I have in mild forms in my feet and hands, related to the fibro).
I looked it up online and skipping all the "POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS INCLUDE:" parts, I read up on the drug and what it does and how it helps pain people. The overwhelming reviews seem to like it. A lot of people gave it a 10 of 10, saying how it was the best thing ever. A few people said it didn't kill the pain, but it helped A LOT and gave it an 8 or 9 of 10. There were a very few it didn't help and even a handful of 5 of 10 ratings who had the review like: "It helped with my pain, but it made me very constipated..."
It helped with the pain but since I have to eat a bran muffin or take extra fiber, I'm going to give it a 5 of 10. Well, alright then.
I hope I have good results. Because it'd be nice to be normal again. Or a little closer to normal. I have friends now who have never seen me without pain. It'd be a new thing for them to see. I think they'd like the new me. Which is, incidentally, the old me. Which is, oddly enough, the younger me.
That's enough of the rip in the space-time continuum.
I still hurt today, but not like yesterday. I'm wearing pants today, not because I have to, but because I can. There are two weeks till the opening weekend of Bristol and I just hope the weather can settle down. We've had the most crazy weather the last few months. I can tell. I'm a human-sized barometer. Well, I'm a larger than human-sized barometer.
Now... THE PHOTOS. All taken with my Nikon D5100 and a zoom lens.
The link to the whole album on Facebook.
Taken through my windshield and the chain link fence.
I got out of my truck for this shot.
This is Cody, Jason's friend.
Most of the panning shots (Jason's included) are straight out of the camera. The RAW files didn't need any adjustments. I resized them for Facebook and Flickr (slightly higher res for Flickr).
I think this is my favorite shot of the day. All I can think of when I see this is my high school photography teacher, Mrs. Richmond.
She had a policy in class that if you handed in an assignment late, she'd deduct points off your grade per day of lateness. I handed in my panning assignment two days late and I still got an A on it. There was a note on the back (where she wrote the letter grades) that said something like: "This was too perfect to give it anything but an A, but I didn't give you an A+." (I stood on the sidewalk on DeBarr Road, between Norman and Edward Streets and took photos of passing cars. There was an empty lot there, next to Debarr Building Supply back then).
27 years later and I still want to make her proud.
This is just some random guy. It was the last shot I took while waiting for the gate to open so I could leave.