Dumb Ass Stupid Shit

I ran cross-country in high school, and when I’d cross the finish line, I’d be in “aerobic distress,” i.e. close to barfing. The same thing with each major book. By the time it’s sent to the printers, I’m wasted. This time, when the tiny homes book was done (almost 2 months ago), and I should have been kicking back, tiredness and stress caused a couple of wild and crazy incidents. I stepped wrongly off a step ladder in the greenhouse and tore a muscle in my shoulder (rotator cuff). I still had to go to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and then to Hong Kong to oversee printing, so couldn’t do proper rehab work. Lugging luggage etc.

Then, finally home, the last night of the San Francisco Green Festival, I got on my skateboard heading back to my truck, with a loaded backpack (yes, yes) , was skating along in the darkened streets and my cell phone rang. Well, I’m rollin’, guess I’ll just answer it, and bang! I was on the ground, hit head on pavement. Happened so fast. No helmet. I know, I know. It’s not that I’m immature and stupid, it’s just that sometimes I’m immature and stupid. Well I was fortunate. I had a 2-week long black eye and week-long lump, but being hard-headed helped here. Lucky.

Now I’m embarking on a program to heal the shoulder without surgery if possible. Physical therapy, acupuncture, strengthening exercises. I want this body part back! Such a drag — can’t paddle, dig clams, do much of any upper-body stuff. So many parts have to work to lead an active life. All the joints, tendons, muscles, not to mention the organs, all necessary components of what Dr. Henry Bieler called “the magnificent human body.” All things we take for granted until the well runs dry.

I’m missin’ that water.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

12 Responses to Dumb Ass Stupid Shit

  1. I'm 66 so I can sympathize with what you're going through right now. Right before I turned 60, I fell backwards into a mountain stream and broke my wrist. It also turned out I tore my rotator cuff in the process. Fast forward 4 years, unrelated to the tear but to make a long story short, I had my serum D level tested (home testing available from http://www.grassrootshealth.net). I was deficient and started supplementing with vitamin D3 ($5 a bottle at Trader Joe's). Voila, my rotator cuff repaired itself.

    Worth a try. Apparently, there's a vitamin D deficiency epidemic. Also, we lose the ability to store vitamin D (we make from sunshine during the summer) as we grow older.

    Good luck!

  2. Lloyd: it would be a better story if you were texting about a Green Day Concert at Midnight while skateboarding down…hold on, I'm giggling uncontrollably,…Dude: You're Rockin' it just fine. Here's how I fixed my rotator cuff that nearly drove me mad. I fell off my roof garden under a Full Moon while dancing there with a new Miss and snapped my upper arm in two. The fantastic Dr. Hand (real Guy) of New Smyrna Beach built a cast that did not cover the break but rather dropped my upper arm into alignment through traction. Understand: the cast locked in my forearm and ninety degrees of elbow. He installed a lead weight at the bottom of the elbow and this created a continual strain that not only pulled a clean snap into healing alignment but also coincidentally solved the shoulder pain that had plagued my soul and body for over a year.

    I didn't hit my head that time so I can't help you there.

    To summarize: Put lead under your elbow and and continue to keep it out of your arse. Please never stop being you and remember that the pain is there to remind us that we are alive and living.

    And vitamin D.


  3. Have you looked into "Indian Clubs"? Great stuff for rehabilitating shoulders. Even have free books from the turn of the century on google books with exercises. Lots of youtube videos too, and of course you can buy a few DVDs if you are so inclined.

  4. Wobenzym I tore two mcl's and a acl.4years ago trie everthing about 4 months ago started Wobenzym.Pancreatic Enzymes are the key.Go to my healthy body type in pancreatic enzymes.They work no operation.

  5. I have no remedies to offer, only best wishes and the understanding of someone who has gained an injury or two from a lapse in concentration (bruising and a long lasting headache from being hit in the head with a quarterstaff was my last one from a couple of weeks back!).

    Rest well sir, the water will be a joy when you get back there.

  6. Been there, done that. And it took a long time to completely heal. You can use that arm to pull without pain but to push on anything is sometimes an agony. Try your best for the meantime to do neither. The one simple exercise that I found was helpful was to stand with good posture, keep the elbow close to the torso and then slowly move the forearm horizontally to the left and to the right. When you're comfortable with that simple movement you can use light weights to augment. A wounded rotator cuff is a real drag. My very best wishes to you for a quick and speedy recovery!

  7. Lloyd, other than reading your books and website, we have never met you or don't know you, but you are very special to our family. Sending you love and positive energy from all of us for you to heal quickly. You'll be fine real soon.

  8. Hey you guys, Thanks for the great feedback. I'm taking vitamin D3, checking into Wobenzym-N enzymes (there seem to be downsides, but am doing more research). Just ordered some Indian Clubs. Also, your experiences are helpful — good to know when one is not alone in situations like this.

  9. why no helmet?! you looked so cool in that one picture – The Man In Black – on your board…
    well, now you'll just have to dine on Indian food, curry & turmeric & all that good yummy stuff 🙂

    P.S. have you ever considered those new instant-inflate vests like motorcycle riders & horse-riders wear? not cheap, but cheaper than dr.'s (don't know how heavy/lightweight they are)

  10. Now, THIS is Dumb Ass Stupid Shit

    hard to imagine…
    so, guess this fellow wouldn’t have to pay any taxes, as he does not exist.

    Guess Law Stupidity goes back a ways….

    The law is an ass
    Said of the application of the law that is contrary to common sense.
    This proverbial expression is of English origin and the ass being referred to here is the English colloquial name for a donkey, not the American 'ass', which we will leave behind us at this point. Donkeys have a, somewhat unjustified, reputation for obstinance and stupidity that has given us the adjective 'asinine'. It is the stupidly rigid application of the law that this phrase calls into question

    In fact, 'the law is an ass' is from a play published by the English dramatist George Chapman in 1654 – Revenge for Honour:
    Ere he shall lose an eye for such a trifle… For doing deeds of nature! I'm ashamed. The law is such an ass.

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