Thursday, July 28, 2016

Composting Toilet

What? Here's how this connects to my current situation. But first a bit of history. 
For more than a decade now I have been using a composting system popularized by the book "Humanure Handbook" which is a very low tech and inexpensive way to deal with human excrement. It is simply a bucket system that gets dumped into a dedicated compost pile and is monitored closely to ensure high temperatures are achieved in order to minimize any chance of transmitting disease, etc. This system is incredibly effective and uses no water, other than rinsing out the bucket after dumping the contents. The downsides for me have been finding appropriate sawdust as the cover material (no redwood or eucalyptus allowed) and the effort involved in dumping heavy buckets when the pile gets very high. Like it is now. 

Over the past couple of years I've been looking at commercial composting toilets, aware that at some future point I might not want to be handling heavy buckets.  Most of them are large, use lots of electricity for fans and heating elements and some even use water for flushing. Nothing I would want to get into, especially since my current system uses no water or electricity. 
A while back I came across this system which was originally designed for marine environments. It's small, uses no water and only a minuscule amount of electricity, to run a small computer fan. It is a urine separator, which means the liquids and solids are kept away from each other. This greatly reduces smells and it's way easier to empty a small container of pee than a 5 gallon bucket of mixed materials and cover material.  The main chamber only gets dumped about every month. Or so I'm guessing since I haven't had to dump it yet.

After coming home from my hike I just decided to suck it up and order the above mentioned commercial composting toilet. I realized I wouldn't be able to climb up high to be able to dump those heavy buckets for quite a while at least. It was time. 
In box
Innards
Assembled

Unfortunately I need to do a small remodel in my bathroom before can set it up inside so I've installed it outside on my screened porch until I'm able to set it up inside. It's actually quite nice!

So that's the story of Shelly's Hike and the CompostToilet.  


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Physical Therapy 101

Here we go. It's been 10 days since I started hobbling and 8 days since I arrived home. I've previously listed the litany of actions I've been taking and four days ago I started taking muscle relaxers, and I am taking 600mg of vitamin I, 3x a day. If it looks like I'm throwing everything at this one, you'd be correct. The next step is physical therapy which starts this afternoon. 

I wish I understood what I did to make this happen. Of course it is also possible that this happened because of something I didn't do. Like stretching­čś▒

It's always good to have people around that remember your previous injuries better than you do. My Chiropractor Pat reminded me that I've had difficulty with this hip before. True enough. My right hip has been stiff and less flexible than my left for decades now. My attempts at addressing this have been half hearted at best, and as soon as the pain would recede, I'd forget all about it and slack off. It's almost as if I think I'm still 30 and can just barrel through a physical weakness with stubborn forward motion and without addressing the weakness in a determined manner. It seems likely this is the case here. 

Dr Pat said to me yesterday, and I am paraphrasing here, If you still want to be able to do long distance backpacking you are probably going to have to figure out how to protect and strengthen your hip. This might be the outcome of not addressing your hip inflexibility and likely muscle imbalance.  Or words to that affect. I guess she is probably correct. But will I do it? I might very well be too lazy. Or stubborn. Or in denial. Well, I hope not. 

Post appointment update

According to my Chiropractor and PT, my femur is not sitting correctly in my hip socket, which is why the muscles spasm when the leg is in some positions but not in others. It also makes sense out of something that made no sense. So I have exercises to do to gently nudge the femur back into its rightful place. No stretching or strengthening until it's back in place. 

No question I'm off the trail for a fair bit of time.