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      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
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Why I like video games

Posted by joeabbott on January 1, 2018

I like computer games in a similar way to liking science fiction and fantasy novels: to take me away, open my imagination to new worlds, and ultimately tell me a story. While video games are different than written works … much as they’re different from movies\television, board games, or theater … they impart to me the same sense of adventure and discovery. While video games “color in” far more details than books, magazines or even comics and “illustrated novels” do, they also allow for discovery and experience in ways that books simply can’t. It doesn’t make one imageentertainment device (that is, books or video games) better than another, it makes them different.

I like gaming for the experiences I get to play out. Here are three video games I recently played and some of the adventures I enjoyed while completing them. All of these are first person action games along the RPG genre, meaning you interact with the world as if you’re seeing it through your eyes and for each notable accomplishment (quests completed, puzzles solved, etc.) you receive “experience” (XP) allowing you to improve abilities at various levels (leveling up).

An example of this “leveling up” might be if I need 1000 XP for the next level: I might get 300 XP for retrieving an item for another character in the game, get another 200 XP for defeating notable enemies, say 100 XP for discovering new locations in the world, and a final 400 XP for defeating a “boss” (which is a unique and challenging enemy) … and now I have hit that new level. For hitting the next level I can choose a “perk”, which might be an ability to make in-game puzzles easier to solve, make combat against enemies easier, or provide my character with a new ability or tool.

While the three games noted below share gameplay similarities, the worlds in which they occur are vastly different. Come along and see a few reasons why I like video games.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

The background story to this game pits two groups of people: the Templars who are trying to take over the world through the combined use of corporate power and alien technology (work with me here, will ya?) and opposing them are the Assassin’s. The Assassin’s Creed franchise has spawned many games, each situated during a different time period and the Origins game tells of the start of the Assassin’s guild way back in 45 BCE or so. You play as Bayak, a medjay (a pharaonic bodyguard) who became embroiled with the Templars when they killed his son, and as your revenge quest leads you further and further into the ranks of the Templars, you establish the Assassins to counter them.image

OK, heavy stuff. Me, I just loved running about Egypt in the same way I loved my first few trips to New York City: you couldn’t turn a corner without seeing something for yourself that you’d heard of since childhood. There were Alexandria, the Nile, Memphis, deserts and oases; the Library and Lighthouse of Alexandria were imagined, along with the Sphinx and Great Pyramids. All is rendered in as realistic detail as possible using current scientific methods to uncover this time period. You see benign details like outposts for tanning animal skins, salt works, and even mines for natron, the salt used in the mummification process. You also see temples and priests, luxury barges plying the Nile, and the opulent palace grounds of the elite.

ImageThe game is even releasing a mode allowing you to explore the areas as a learning tool (not a game) and to “tour” this time period in ancient Egypt.

Did I say I liked running around? Well, that was an option but so was riding on horseback, on camel, or commandeering a reed boat and rafting the lakes and rivers. I can recall my surprise and delight when, in game, I ran up to a papyrus boat, hopped on, and seamlessly started commanding the vessel. Also, as part of the game you’re allowed to see the territory through the eyes of an eagle, giving you a unique vantage to the wonderful surroundings.

But, it’s a game with the word “assassin” in the title so as much as I talk about exploring this wonderfully rendered world, I spent a fair amount of time sniping ferocious beasts with my bow, shivving guards and military men with my assassin’s blade, and outright whacking grave robbers apart with a number of deadly weapons. The game also allows you to sneak undetected through the shadows, but that only goes so far when you’ve infiltrated a military camp to free innocent villagers and the guards are thick as thieves throughout the grounds.

I very much enjoyed that this game was balanced such that it’s encouraged you take a stealth approach, and do all your killing and looting without being seen. Many quests give extra bonus if you can complete them without raising an alarm. That doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be killing the enemy … you just can’t be seen by someone else while you do it.

Far Cry Primal

imageAnd from “ancient” Egypt we go to really ancient Central Europe around 10,000 BCE! In Far Cry Primal you play as a cave man from the peaceful Wenja tribe name Takkar, who has a gift of being able to tame animals, with his skills growing throughout the game from taming owls and wolves to powerful saber-toothed tigers and cave bear. In the story, two other rival factions are busy enslaving the peace-loving Wenja and it’s up to Takkar to unite the people and stop the assaults on his tribe.

Like the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Far Cry has several offerings but Primal is unique in that it trades the gun-play of the modern Far Cry setting for spear-chucking, club swinging, and bow-and-arrow gameplay. Primal is also similar in that stealth and sneaking is strongly encouraged but to a lesser degree. While it’s possible to complete some objectives using stealth techniques, the main use seems to be to single out a victim so they can be killed off in a fashion at your great advantage.

In this game I didn’t revel in the time period authenticity of setting or tools and garb. It’s a purely fictional world in which I was able to tame a saber-tooth tiger and ride him to battle, I could have my pet owl drop bombs causing enemies to fight their allies, and use a rope and claw tool to scale truly prodigious cliffs … even tossing the claw to a higher point while in the middle of the climb. But the lack of realism certainly didn’t stop me from enjoying the game.

I started out in a small corner of the map, a sole survivor from a hunting expedition gone wrong, and slowly bring more and more people to my camp. I save one or two from an enemy raid as they were being taken prisoner, I lead a small group of three to a safer camp some distance away (protecting them along the way), and I add my arsenal of weapons and techniques to stop an attack on another small group of Wenja. And all of these two and three and four caveman parties join my tribe until, by end-game, my clan had over 300 members. And, by branching out to find resources to build up my camp, to find new animals to tame, or doing the little quests to help my tribesmen, I expand the map.


In the end my Takkar gains many skills, slowly takes back territory from the invading tribes, unites his clan, and ultimately faces off and vanquishes the two enemy leaders. I let fly a lot of arrows, was a big fan of the devastating spear, and became handy with a club in those close-up fights but mostly enjoyed the game for the novelty of the setting, fantastical though it was.

Fallout 4

After looking to the ancient past in the last two games, we come to Fallout 4, set in 2287, 210 years after a nuclear war has destroyed most of the world; you are the Sole Survivor from Vault 111 where you were cryogenically frozen as you waited out the nuclear holocaust and worst of the subsequent fallout. Pretty somber stuff and yet as you wander the wasteland you can still find a tasty Nuka Cola beverage, imagestroll through Diamond City (a settlement built in Fenway Park … get it? “Diamond” as in “baseball diamond”?), and buy some Fancy Lad snack cakes from both zombie and robot salesmen. The game reaches for absurdist humor while mixing in lethal doses of radiation poisoning, raider enslavement, and attack by feral packs of dogs, huge glowing radscorpions, or the human engineered mutants (imagine smaller … but only slightly smaller … versions of the Incredible Hulk).

Set in post-apocalyptic Boston, the game is absolutely massive: cited as having over 111,000 recorded lines of dialogue, more than 300 locations to visit and explore, and 42 settlements either existing or waiting on you to settle, Fallout 4 is so big it’s understandable you have multiple ways to play. There’s the main story, which involves you on a quest to find out what happened to your baby son you were frozen with; myriad smaller quests ranging from giving an NPC some resource to retaking a settlement from a raider gang and establishing your own homestead; or you can go into detail on building up a settlement, including shops, establishing power systems and clean water, recruiting a number of residents and setting up supply routes. Fallout 4 is in a large part about exploration and allowing you to do what you want, when and where you want to do it.

And yet at the core it’s a shooting game where you are set against a number of enemies and shoot, slash, club, or otherwise kill them. There’s a violence to this game that’s equal amounts shocking and commonplace; the graphics of some of the kills are just that, graphic, but the ubiquity and regularity of this sort of thing inures players to any sort of surprise. While the other two games listed here allowed differing degrees of stealth and combat avoidance, Fallout 4 takes the player straight into conflict and the bloodier, the better. One perk players can choose as they level up is Bloody Mess, a little something that says, “+5% bonus damage means enemies will sometimes explode into a gory red paste. Watch out for flying eyeballs!” So much for subtlety.


The hook for me in this game is elusive. I loved the ability to create my own settlement. I started building out a massive complex at one location and I populated that site with some 20+ other NPCs … and then they started messing with my stuff! So much so that I setup a new location with zero other inhabitants and kept it that way, allowing me to setup a Power Armor suit without some NPC hopping into it and walking around, or sleeping in the bed in my master suite. The hard part is that I never spent the time needed to get really good at setting up a settlement for it to look good, so even my best command centers looked like hovels.

Oddly, I also started caring about the settlements I established.

One of the DLCs in this game had the Sole Survivor taking over raider gangs and claiming settlement areas throughout the map. When I completed this DLC I had completed the game, getting every achievement possible and, for me, this is the main reason I play most games. So Fallout 4 was over. But here it is, days after finishing the game and I want to go back … now that I have all the achievements I can do whatever I want and I want to retake those settlements from the raiders! I usually play as the “good guy” so playing as a raider boss is unnatural and against my usual style. I’m torn … I’m done with the game but it captured my attention so much that I want to go back and “make things right” for the NPCs.

It’s a pretty good game that can do that.


imageSo that’s it, those are some of my recent experiences with video games and why I like them. They let me go places and explore worlds, both real and fantastical; they show me an imagined world that has never and likely will never exist; and they let me do things I’d never otherwise be able to do, whether that’s sliding down a pyramid in Giza, riding a mammoth as it tramples enemy hunters, or launch a handheld nuclear bomb at a giant mutant. Some of these video games are a crazy wild ride.

I suppose I could\should touch on the fact that I’ve killed so many enemies in these games to be labeled a psychopath of enormous proportions, but in real life I still pet my cats, treat our chickens with dignity, and hold doors at the supermarket for both old and young. I believe any healthy intellect playing video games will understand those boundaries and be able to move to and fro without overt behavioral changes. But this is a discussion far beyond the reach of this post.

I like video games, play a lot, and these are some of my reasons; thanks for sharing my experiences on three of my latest games.


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Edgewise by Pavel’s Puzzles

Posted by joeabbott on December 31, 2017

Earlier in my winter break, I wrote about a puzzle I received as a gift and how it’s been on my mind … and dinner table … since I opened it up. Well, the holidays, a broken elbow, and being stumped by this puzzle all have solving it on hold but I still glance at it, wonder a bit, and then move on. I’m at the point where I’m truly stumped.

After writing my post (A Grand 54th), I was tickled to receive a comment from Pavel himself, offering for me to drop him a line if I wanted a hint. I didn’t then but will take one now … I’ll either reach out to him a day or two or wait for him to reply here. I’m going to collapse this next section because IT CONTAINS POTENTIAL SPOILERS! If you’re working on Edgewise and don’t want to be polluted by my thoughts, pictures of my progress, or anything like that, don’t expand this section and just move on.

Consider that fair warning.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fun, Trivia | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Christmas card

Posted by joeabbott on December 30, 2017

My wife and I make our cards each year and, as she is a graphic artist, she does all the heavy lifting. While a portion of the effort is cooperative, she really takes on the lion’s share of the creative ideas, all the artwork, and getting them printed. And, mostly, she gets it done. Meaning, she understands the calendar, when we need to have finished artwork, get them off to printing, have them in the mail … it’s a contribution that can’t be understated. While I like to have my hand in things like this, she outclasses me.

But enough about that … here’s what our 2017 card looked like:

Inside we have a simple greeting. We used to detail our year’s highs and (where appropriate) lows, but have simplified to a much shorter collection of words. In a year in which we get far more photo-cards of our friends’ kids with no message or personalization on them, we may still be too word-heavy, but it convinces us we are trying a little to remain in touch. We happily enjoy everyone having their own style! (002)

And, on the back we include a recent photo (this one was from 2016) and some contact information. Gotta include the beastlets in the picture … our world revolves around them.

And, in a final touch of whimsy, Suzy added a little picture on the outside of the envelope that simply delights me and I share it here … a nod to our feathered friends in the backyard:

MineChicken (002)

And that’s it … what a Christmas card from Joe & Suz is like. Thanks for dropping by and here’s hoping your holiday greetings are fun and bring you joy.

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Planning a new home

Posted by joeabbott on December 29, 2017

Well, when Suzy and I had a chance to build a new home from the ground up, we started with just a few ideas: we need separate work areas (“home offices”), we need a big outdoor living area (deck, patio, porch, etc.), and we were looking for a rambler. The house size should be no bigger than what we have now (just don’t need it), we wanted a “great room” concept entertaining area, and would like a guest room with their own private bath.

Reasonably simple with enough luxury to feel like we were building a modest dream home. And then came some of the other necessities.

I had planned for a stand-alone wood shop of about 20’x30’, Suzy wanted a big kitchen with a nice pantry, we needed a largish mud\laundry room, and we wanted a fireplace indoors and one outdoors on our patio. As for our master bedroom, bath and closet … that could all be identical to our current home, and we’d even be willing to have a smaller bedroom. No his and hers suites, no vaulted ceilings … just simple. We also wanted some storage and agreed to a second level over the garage provided it was accessible via a stairway (no ladders); my recent fall cemented that idea.

After settling on a builder, we started the design discussions with a professional and things changed, but just a bit. My stand-alone shop became attached to the house in part because it solved a number of issues (heating, access to a bathroom, having a small office nearby, etc.) and because Suzy mentioned that she lives with the sound of power tools now and it’s never that bad. While we agreed to make our master suite smaller, the designer pushed back against that saying most people wouldn’t make that call and it could make resale an issue. Fine.

The biggest change, however, was that the overall size of the house increased over our current home … and what we had designed. That wasn’t our first choice but the builder agreed that a rectangular design plan would ultimately cost less than a design that flowed, largely because the rectangular plan would simplify the roof and trusses. By squaring up the house, the rooms grew and shifted a bit, causing an overall increase in size. Again, not exactly what we were after but (for now) we’re going with it.

Here’s the plan on paper:


And because I like to have things built in 3D, I started to build this in SketchUp. I’ll leave the details of which room is which to the reader to make out, but it highlighted a few things for me. First, for an “open plan”, the 3D model really gives the impression it’s a warren of rooms. Next, even though the rooms appear small, once you start to drop in other items (like commodes and sinks), it’s apparent that it’s a bigger place than where we live now.


But, I should note that we’re only just starting with the design discussions and things could change drastically as we go back and forth on the plan. For instance, we only have a ballpark number of what this might cost and we ultimately may choose a different design based on how things fall out as we tune that number. But, for now, it’s fun to dream and play with a little model and see where that takes us.

My brother gave me a book on shop design that will help me lay out my tools for the woodshop portion of the house. That will be a lot of fun to consider! In the kitchen area, we haven’t even started to plan on where things might go and are only roughly penciling-in various placements. That’s Suzy’s domain and she’ll get final say.

And that’s it. It’s probably far too early to share details like this, knowing it could all change, but we have a rough design and we’re going from there … welcome aboard as we consider one of our preliminary steps on the path to our new home. And, as always, thanks for dropping by.

Posted in Home projects, Me | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

What went wrong on that furnace?

Posted by joeabbott on December 28, 2017

In a word: woodshop. Or, maybe that was just part of it. While Ray was replacing the motor, he noted that he could tell I was a woodworker. I’m not 100% sure he didn’t surmise that from looking around our garage, as opposed to just the dust on the motor, but I’ll give his opinion weight considering he has a lot more experience than I do. While the motor looked like it was pretty full of debris, most of it looked to be of common “dirt\dust” variety and I didn’t see much wood chip or saw dust in it.

You be the judge:


Admittedly, most of the dust had been wiped\cleaned off by simply handling it, but that’s a foul bit of junk on that motor … I can see why it burned up.

But it doesn’t give a lot of hope to a simple homeowner like me for keeping something like that clean. To get to the motor, Ray removed the front panel (I could do that!), pulled out the front center heat duct (I could do that but not sure I’d want to), pulled a couple more screws and then bodily yanked the motor\fan combo from the unit … and at that point it would be in position to be cleaned up. OK … notice I stopped chiming in saying I could do things? That seemed like an extensive bit of maneuvering and I likely could but absolutely wouldn’t do that.

So the plan is to do more woodworking with the garage doors open and hope I don’t gunk it up too much before we head to new digs.

I took a few extra pics of the inside of the furnace with the front panel removed. I’ll add them here for general interest although they don’t tell a whole lot more in this story.

First pic shows the furnace with the fan in place and most of the front center heat duct intact; second is the cleared unit, and the final pic just shows a close-up of the control panel … that’s a lotta wires.


Well, that’s it for today. We’re warm and happy and hope the same for you. Thanks for dropping by for the tour of our furnace!

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Posted by joeabbott on December 27, 2017

Props to Ray from Puget Sound Energy … totally bringing (literal) warmth to our holidays!


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We had a little snow …

Posted by joeabbott on December 27, 2017

DSCF1657Seattle doesn’t do well in snow, or at least its citizens don’t. I grew up in MN and have seen my share of snow, but learned respect for Seattle Snow in my first days here back in 1989: they had a couple inches of the white stuff and the streets were fairly empty around the Boeing plant where I was reporting for work. As I confidently drove to the gate, not letting a little snow slow this Minnesota boy down, I gaped as my furious pumping of the brake did nothing to slow my vehicle down, and I slid well into the intersection from the turn lane I was in. No injuries and I don’t even recall any other observers, but it changed my thinking quickly. The underlying black ice, the curious snowpack containing wet and dry snow and the many hills all spelled potential disaster for the overconfident.

But, it’s lovely.

Here’s a snap of our backyard, a day or two after the snow came in. The chickens hate it, the cats are extremely cautious, and we just think it makes the yard a wonderland. Add some of the Christmas lights we have going dawn to dusk and it’s a nice vista to look out on anytime of the day.

But, I’m able to report my spirits are on the rise. The furnace technician was able to get by around 2PM yesterday, diagnosed our problem as a motor issue to be remedied by the replacement of a couple hundred dollar part (to be installed today), and Suzy and I were able to have a late lunch\early dinner from Pizza Addict … a place so under-appreciated that I’m stunned. It’s tasty good.

So, sometime this morning the technician should be back with the part of our furnace and we should be able to enjoy central heating once again. It’s been bearable as we seldom have the heat on over 68°; at night our house gets a chilly 60°-ish, but we’re always cozy and in bed. During the day we don’t often turn up the heat as we have plenty of down throws about (courtesy of Suzy’s time with Pacific Coast Feather) and neither of us mind putting on an extra layer. But, with my broken elbow, I find long sleeve shirts a touch less comfortable and for some odd reason I’m cold a lot. So, in our current situation I have a second shirt on, a second pair of socks, a hat, and sitting under my own down throw. Last night the house got to about 57° … chilly. With our gas fireplace going all the time, we can get our backroom to about 66°, but that doesn’t take the chill off the second level, the front room, or even the kitchen. It’s pretty inefficient for anything but heating the area by the fireplace.

I look forward to the repair being completed.

I’m also working on a three dimensional model of our new home and I’ve hit a gaming goal of 150,000 GS! I’ll post more on both of these later. For those with some post-season blues, I hope your days are improving and if all is well … well, hope it keeps going! For me things are looking up and I hope to ride this through the remainder of 2017! Thanks for dropping by.

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Grumpy day after Christmas

Posted by joeabbott on December 26, 2017

I’m usually a positive kinda guy, but I’m feeling more beaten up than upbeat today. The whole broken elbow thing, last night was a “bad night” for a lot of wrist pain and feeling generally sick, the furnace being out in our house has me preoccupied, and the fact that I’m on vacation and can do nothing but sit around … all this is weighing on me. And now I can’t even take a small walk as I’m waiting for a repair guy to call on us … they have a 15-minute call-ahead service but otherwise can’t tell me when they’ll be here other than: sometime “before midnight”.

So, in a word: grumpy.

But, as I sift through email I found this recent picture of some of my family members and without any sort of message or news, I’m just smiling again.


Two of my nieces are on the left holding their children, my mother and some very fashionable boots are between them and my oldest sister and her hubby, and then my younger sister and brother are on the right. Yeah … I have a lotta reasons to smile but being associated with this group is part of it.

So, as I write a few thank you notes for the wealth of blessings and gifting bestowed on me this Christmas, I’ll try to pull myself out of a rut of self-misery, but having a picture like this handy makes it a lot easier.

Thanks for dropping by and wishing you all a joyous last week of 2017.

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Merry Christmas!

Posted by joeabbott on December 25, 2017

A little catch up before I get back to enjoying my holiday.


On Christmas Eve eve, Suzy and I got out for a little saunter in the woods. We planned for a trip by our “up north property” just to lay our eyes on it one last time in 2017 and looked for a nearby trail to hike. The air was crisp, the sky was clear, and the Lime Kiln Trail was nigh perfect. Sometime in the late 1800s, a railroad through the Robe Canyon stopped by a spot that was the center for a lime production facility … the eponymous Lime Kiln … and all that was left now was a nice hiking trail.


I’m reasonably ignorant and as I didn’t read much of the trailhead information remain so, but I believe lime is used in the creation of concrete. Gangs would quarry limestone rock, use the kiln to coax it from stone to a more useful form, and send it on via the railroad to more industrial centers than the Robe Valley. Suzy and I walked the roughly 3.4 miles to the end of the trail and back again.



While there’s very little left to show for the historic hubbub that was the railroad, the lime kiln, or the buzzing community that once operated in the Robe Valley, it was a glorious hike and one we strongly recommend you try should you have the chance.


Christmas Eve is the day my in-laws traditionally celebrate Christmas together. They squat on this tradition so hard that you can set a calendar by it and that’s what most of the family members do: reserve Christmas Eve for this family and then spend Christmas Day with “the other side”. As I live some 2000 miles from “my side”, we enjoy Christmas alone\together, but here’s hwo Suzy and I spent this day.

While I typically don’t watch football … I really do just get too wound up about the outcomes … we sat through the Seahawk victory over the Cowboys. It was a great outcome but a lot has yet to happen for it to mean post-season play for the Seahawks … but “we” won, and that set a good mood.

Against that cheery happening was set the snow that was coming down. While normally a fine thing to see on Christmas Eve, Seattle is not a snow-loving town and most folks started planning their departure as the white stuff started accumulating. Spoiler: we got home safe and sound but left the gathering around 6:30PM. And, yes, on the way to our home we saw numerous accidents and felt happy to just get home.

While at the gathering we socialized amongst a crowd of over 20 people, enjoy both snacks and a hot ham dinner, and opened gifts.

Apologies for the poor photography but this is a sample: the hosting family will play “Santa’s elf” and pass out gifts to the circle of family and others watch or simply enjoy opening the many generous presents from one another.


This is today, Christmas, and as it’s now just after 4AM, I can tell you that being woken up by your home fire alarm blaring because that odd burning smell from your furnace has become a house full of smoke is no fun. All seems well, if a bit chilly, as our furnace is off, the house has aired a bit, but it’s hard to get back to sleep when that strange electrical odor is in the air and you’re wondering at the poor luck for having a furnace go out on Christmas … and ever so thankful it was no more than an acrid smell in the house and no open flames.

To be clear: all is well here and we’ll have a repair person out sometime in the next few days to fix things up.

In the meantime, it’s just Joe and Suzy as we enjoy the day together with our cats. We’ll let the morning wear on a bit, have a nice breakfast sometime around mid-morning, and open gifts to each other and from my family around noon. It will be a grand day.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and hoping you’ve had a chance to spend some quality time with your loved ones.

Posted in Hiking, Me | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

I guess that’s good news

Posted by joeabbott on December 22, 2017

imageThe test reports say:

Minimally impacted fracture through the neck of the radius demonstrates
interval healing in similar alignment without hardware.
There is elbow joint effusion.

And that’s a good thing, I guess. I know that when the doctor (doctor’s assistant?) brought up the x-rays on screen to review them with me, she was almost apologetic in that you couldn’t see a big, fractured crack in the bone. As a matter of fact, you couldn’t see anything abnormal. For a fleeting moment I questioned whether I really had a broken bone and then we did a few simple exercises. And by exercises, I mean I stood up, held my arms at my side, and then raised the forearms 90°; in that position, I rotated my hands palm-up to palm-down. Right arm, A-OK. Left arm, g-g-g-gahhh!

I can move palm-down OK but I feel a burning\humming in my forearm just over the radius. Going palm-up is impossible but I can get far enough that my hand starts to vibrate a bit and my face squishes up. That is uncomfortable.

As for my concerns with my wrist. Well, she poked, prodded, squeezed, and pressed around the wrist without malice or intent to cause pain … and causing none. She was good to say that it wasn’t impossible that I had a wrist problem, just improbable and wasn’t going to order new x-rays without having some sort of medical-based reasoning. And, “patient is wimpy about wrist pain” doesn’t rise to the definition of “medical-based”. And she calls herself a doctor … sheesh. (/sarcasm)

The upshot was that things are healing very well without casts or screws or what have you; we’ll stay the course. I was given a wrist brace for those times I need a little support. It’s a great thing to have but does get a little uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time. I’m also given an OK to start hiking again. Doing whatever I want so long as it doesn’t actively challenge the elbow\arm and there’s no serious risk of falling.

As for the “there is elbow joint effusion” comment in the above findings, I’m not really sure why this is important to note or what it indicates, but here’s a snippet from a web search I did on this phrase:

Finding an effusion

Recognizing an elbow joint effusion on lateral radiographs is an essential radiology skill. While the fluid itself is not discretely seen because it is the same density as the surrounding muscles, an effusion can be inferred by observing displacement of the anterior and/or posterior fat-pads surrounding the distal humerus.  

An elbow joint effusion in the setting of trauma is typically a sign of an occult fracture.  In adults, the occult fracture is most commonly of the radial head while in children a non-displaced supracondylar fracture should be suspected.

So while I get what it is and how to recognize it, I’m not sure where you’d mention it in a two sentence finding on an x-ray.

And that’s it. I’m healing, have another 10 weeks or so to be on the mend, but can (and should) continue to use my arm as normally as it’ll allow so long as I can protect it from outward harm. Given my lifestyle, that sounds like more video games and movies. <sigh>

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