All posts for the month December, 2014

I had a nose job.

Not the outside kind, mind you. The inside kind. The kind where they bomb the insides and try to set them straight, so air can actually flow into and out of your sinuses and nasal passages. I wanted the outside kind to go with, though the recovery would have involved not wearing my glasses for two weeks and an extra $6K. That’s track bike kind of money. So no.

The actual surgery is quite straightforward. The ENT surgeon sticks a tool that looks like a snubbed needlenose pliers up your nose and breaks and resets your septum. Then, the surrounding membranes are repaired and moved into position. Finally, a packing is inserted to hold it all in place for long enough to get healing started.

Overall, the recovery started off relatively pain-free and stayed that way. I was rather concerned about taking the Norco that was prescribed – I’ve never taken anything like it and didn’t want to get sick or otherwise stress my throat any more. The intubation was enough to recover from. Fortunately, an Advil every three hours was plenty to keep the pain at bay. I could feel it creeping in by hour 2.5, but overall it was completely manageable. This is a good thing. I took it to mean that things were healing well and the there was not too much damage done in the process of the surgery.

By far the worst aspect of the recovery was the 24 hours of mouth breathing due to the packing stuck up my nostrils. Sleep was challenging – about an hour at a time was all I could manage before I needed water.

The packing used on (in?) my nose was interesting to me – two fingers cut from what looked like an extra large nitrile glove, packed with gauze to hold shape. I’ve linked the pic, it’s gross. It appears that it is true – you really can stuff an entire finger up your nose. I expected about 2″ of finger, but no, it was all 4″ or so. Pulling it out the morning after the surgery nearly made me gag – the seal was sufficient to make swallowing challenging and nose breathing impossible.

I seem to have three stitches on the right side. The right side was the side that was closed off, that needed to most movement. These stitches are currently the bane of my existence – they are stiff and too short to be stuck down with petroleum jelly. Therefore, they tickle me. This is rather annoying because I can’t take them out or really rub my nose. It still hurts too much to displace the cartilage that way. So I settle for poking at them and sneezing. I have to deal with them until day 8, when I have my follow-up visit with the surgeon. Five days to go!

This morning, I felt a new sinus for the first time. The sinus in my right forehead must have been quite blocked before, because I think it had never felt airflow. The soreness was quite profound prior to a nice, hot, steamy shower. I’m thinking I’ll need a few Tylenol over the next couple of days to contend with that.

In about ten more days, things will have finished healing and the swelling will be down. Then I’ll know the full impact of the surgery, one which I probably should have had done years ago.

So… yeah. I tore down the top end. I re-ringed. I honed. I timed. I reassembled. I attempted to fire. No dice.

A friend who has been absorbing most of my frustration about this project told me a rather involved story about another Japanese bike with similar issues. In the end, it was the ignition controller – what I call the ECU or knock box.

In the Super Sherpa, the ECU controls ignition retard and advance. If the plug is firing at the wrong time, the engine won’t actually produce power, even if it does light off. As I’m getting mixture out of the exhaust, I now know the carb is working. But the funny whooshing noise the bike is making when I take the exhaust off is definitely weird and could be the result of faulty ignition timing. If the mixture is lighting off and blowing out the open exhaust valves…

Next up – check all of the ignition system components.

I already know the ECU is suspect – the pinout fails about 60% of the tests required.

Anyone have a spare Sherpa ECU?

Yeah, I should have posted this earlier, but Thanksgiving was a drawn out affair this year. Also, anyone who says that turkey is dry and boring has never had a properly prepared one.

Anyway, here goes, recipes included.

Brine a turkey in the following….

4c water
1/4c Kosher or other large crystal salt
1 T rosemary leaves
20 sage leaves
1 T herbs de Provence
1/4c dark brown sugar
1/2c maple syrup
1 t olive oil

Boil brine mixture until oil is absorbed by herbs. Cool. Add turkey and water to cover.
Place in fridge and let soak for 1-5 days. Longer means stronger flavor. Five days is realistically the limit.
Turn turkey over in brine daily.
Prior to roasting, remove from brine.
Strain brine and tuck strainings under turkey skin.
Roast turkey at 400F for 15 min, then reduce temp to 325F and roast until done.


Gluten-free crust – modified AHA

2c Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend
3t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 to 3/4c water
1/2c oil
Mix drys, add water and oil and blend. Add water as neede for texture.
Makes three crusts

Apple Pie
Oil crust as above
6 Ida Red apples, peeled and sliced thin
Flour as needed.

Layer apples into lower crust with flour and cinnamon. Top with upper crust.Bake at 350 until done.

Pumpkin Pies

Filling – use the Libby recipe, it rocks


Cambric GF stuffing/dressing (You’ll figure out the name if you’re over 40)
2 loaves Schär multi-grain bread, cubed and dried
2 sticks butter
1.5# mushrooms, chopped small
1 head celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 clove garlic, diced (add as many as you want, really)
2 apples, chopped small
Fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme
1 qt chicken stock
a shot of Sriracha for the stock if you are so inclined
1T mushroom base for stock

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt butter in bottom of large stock pot.
Add mushrooms and sauté until soft.
Add vegetables and sauté until clear.
Add apples and sauté until aromatic.
Add herbs and sauté until aromatic.
Add stock and additions and cook until warm.
Spray a casserole with cooking spray.
Evenly spread out bread cubes in casserole.
Pour stock/veggie mix over bread cubes and mix up well.
Add water as needed to wet out all bread.

Cover with foil and bake until the texture is where you like it. Hotter oven (400°F) for more crispies. Remove the foil to improve crispies, leave it on for squishies

The stock/veggie mix can be made up ahead of time and kept cold until needed. But be prepared to reheat it first. The butter solidifies things and you need it in the bread, not in the veggies. Otherwise the texture of the final product will be crap.

Cranberry sauce

1 bag cranberries
1 orange
Sugar to taste ~1T

Zest orange and reserve zest.
Peel orange and peel sections.
Place cranberries and orange sections into saucepan.
Barely cover with water.
Simmer until cranberries have burst.
Add orange zest and stir well.
Taste test and add sugar to taste.
Remove from heat and chill.

Sweet potatoes

Peel and slice in 1.5cm thick slices.
Boil until soft.
Fry in butter until browned.

White potatoes (as opposed to yellow)

Idaho russets
Chop and boil until soft.
Mash with sour cream and butter.
Salt to taste.

Green beans

Parboil green beans until color has just barely turned, about 5 minutes at boil.
Fry in butter left over from sweet potatoes until beginning to brown.

Serve the whole mess with a nice Malbec.