SlotForum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Al Schwartz
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mindful of the fact that my "rate of posting" has been really low these past few months, I thought to offer an explanation (after putting aside the embarrassing possibility that no one had noticed)

First I must offer an apology. I have a fair stack of private messages and e-mails from friends on these boards who have every reason to expect responses. I will soon be catching up with this backlog and ask for your patience.

Some time ago, I realized that I was losing feeling in my hands. The symptoms were consistent with "carpal tunnel syndrome" and consultation with a specialist confirmed this diagnosis. This relatively common problem is amenable to correction via simple outpatient surgery. Unfortunately, this simple approach yielded only very modest and temporary improvement. Physical therapy was prescribed. No joy.

My next-door neighbor is a retired neurosurgeon. I discussed my problem with him and was soon immersed in the world of modern high-technology diagnostics. The answer was to be found in general deterioration of the spinal column in my neck with a warning that, unless it was addressed, the debilitation would progress and eventually involve my legs etc. Fortunately Baltimore is home to Johns Hopkins University which boasts the best department of neurosurgery in the country.

After a brief stay in the hospital for (apparently) successful rebuilding, I returned home encumbered only by a rigid neck brace required during the healing process. I have another 2 to 3 weeks to live with this appliance which, in essence, gives me the appearance and mobility of R2-D2 from Star Wars.

I was warned that the correction would most likely arrest the process but probably not completely reverse it. This seems to be the case and, as a consequence, using a keyboard remains a two fingered exercise in frustration.

Technology to the rescue! I have installed a program, "Dragon Naturally Speaking" on my computer. It does an astonishing job of translating voice to text. (Thus far, in writing this note, I have made only one correction). So, I can resume correspondence.

The workbench is another story related mostly to this rigid piece of neck hardware. It goes something like this:

I sit down at the bench and start to work. Because I cannot bend my neck, and bending from the waist is not an instinctive action, I look down through my bifocals (with their typical distortion of depth of field) as I'm picking up a part with my still less-than-perfect hands. There is at least a 50% chance that I will drop the piece. By some law of physics, not fully explained in texts, the dropped part will always bounce to the edge of the bench and onto the floor. I then must get up to find it. Since it is difficult to look down, there is a very good chance that I will, in standing up, step on the part! Assuming that I have not mashed it to the floor, I will be on hands and knees searching for it. When I stand up, hopefully with part in hand, the unaccustomed position of my head has made it likely that I will hit it on the edge of the bench. I may or may not drop the part again in response to this shock. Thus, my return to bench work is delayed for several more weeks until such time as I am rid of this confinement.

As I was writing this, it occurred to me that this account resembles, in some ways, a brief and humorous monologue I heard many years ago. Thanks to the efficiency of search engines, I have found it and offer for your amusement:

The Bricklayers Lament

EM
 

·
Anthony Bartlett
Joined
·
3,255 Posts
Hi Em - oh no - we noticed that you were quiet!!!

Glad to hear that you are ok and are back at the desk (more or less) and it is good to have you back on board!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,762 Posts
EM,

Get yourself an apron as long as possible and attach the bottom to the front of the bench with bulldog clips. This is what gold smiths do, then the parts won't end up on the floor. Of course you have to remeber if the phone rings!:)
Everything else will work out in the course of time.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
9,654 Posts
EM,

Glad to hear that you're (more or less) back in action and working around your problems.

Not sure if it's kosher to laugh at one's neurological problems, but I got a good laugh out of your story, and happy to see that you're taking it this way...

I like Mike's goldsmith solution.

And if it's any comfort, I can definitely confirm that law of physics - the Einstein law, Mordecai, not Albert...

A light colored floor covering helps too, that's from Morty Einstein, the rug guy...

Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
503 Posts
EM,

We noticed. Thank you for the update. I wish you all the best as you recuperate.

I seem to have the same problem with dropped parts and crunching them a few moments later. And I can't pin that malady on neurological problems. Perhaps mine are psychological.

All the best,
 

·
WRP World Champ 2015/2016
Joined
·
4,279 Posts
The very best of luck with your recuperation. I have suffered fractured vertebrae and (separately) multi-fractures to the cranium - I empathise with your predicament, but your story brought back so many memories of my rehabs that I burst out laughing at us both struggling.

Enjoying the Bricklayers Lament as I type, and rather impressed with your software. Cheers.
 

·
Slot-A-Holic
Joined
·
5,504 Posts
Hi Al,

Good to hear from you again,
hope you have a speedily and good recovery.

(i must confess i had a small laugh at how you explained your workbench experience)

All the best and Godspeed,
Jaak
 

·
Peter Seager-Thomas
Joined
·
1,214 Posts
Hi Al, sorry to hear that you have had problems.

How fortunate you investigated the problem and sought attention when you did. Had things been left for longer, the treatment might not have been so effective.

I find it remarkable that it is only since this problem that the loss of small parts from your workbench has occurred.

My computer does have a 'dictation' programme, which seemed quite effective once the system became accustomed to my voice. After a while I certainly had to make less corrections than I do when typing or writing.

Glad to have you back, what are you working on?

Best regards, Peter
 

·
re member
Joined
·
4,019 Posts
Hi again Al...heres hoping you get to pull the trigger,turn the screw driver and clean the tires much more than you have been doing.
Regards and best wishes
John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
686 Posts
Hi Al,

I can think of nothing more frustrating for a true craftsman such as yourself, it's great to hear you've arrested the problem and you're on the mend.

The dropped parts...well that's the modelers disease, we all do that, there's no cure for that. Great to see you back.

Chris
 

·
Al Schwartz
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gentlemen:

Many thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I fully intend to resume my former activities even if I have to learn to hold a soldering iron with my teeth!

Peter, per your question, here is the list of what got postponed:

Three proxy entries that I really wanted to enter are still in pieces on the bench and missed the deadlines -

BRM P 48 for the Tasman cup

BMW 3.5 CSL for the scratch built chassis proxy

Alfa 2900B for the "The Last Open Road proxy"

Beyond that, my build list includes another 2900B that I'm doing for a friend, at least one of George Turner's 300S models (it is my intention to do my own metal chassis for it), a George Turner ERA, a Maserati 250 F from a Dave Jones body shell, a Pre Add Talbot Lago, a rebuild of a Matchbox-based Auto Union - and finally rebuilding a Weslake Eagle and a Porsche 804 promised for proxy races later this year.

I think that the above program pretty well fills things in until early 2015. Upon arrival there, I will review and reconsider!

EM
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
4,887 Posts
Al

You are not going to believe this but just the other day I said to my wife that you hadn't posted on here for ages and that I must PM you, there must be some truth in telepathy.

I'm so pleased to hear that you are on the mend and in good humour despite the temporary obstacles to your hobby, I look forward to seeing the results of your latest projects in the near future.

All the very best.

David
 

·
Alexis Gaitanis
Joined
·
2,398 Posts
You initial post skipped my atention sorry.I read in some other forum that you were pulling out from Tasman Cup(?)but i didnt realise it was down to health issues.I hope to meet you again sometimes at Wolvehampton(USA?Well i was planning to do it when i retire as i have many relatives there but with the current economic situation in Greece it doesn't look possible)

Here are my wishes for speedy recovery Al,in greek.

 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top