Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Shimano brake pads required adjusting with file !? and How to change hydraulic disc brake pads on bike

Shimano brake pads required adjusting with file !?
OOPS. Sorry Shimano. I put the pad sprint on the outside!
Lesson learnt: DIAGRAMS are good, even if you know have done the same procedure a few times before and think you know what you are doing!

My regular commuting bike rear brake felt a bit rough so brake pads probably worn. Need replacing.

I quite like replacing disc brake pads, it has sometimes been easy.

However the simple step of fitting the brake pads into the little brake pad holder did not work. The hole in the holder and pads could not line up. The hole for the pin in the pads was too far down OR the poinky bit of the pad too long. I guess tolerance in the brake pad manufacturing factory was exceeded.  SOLUTION: file down the top of the poinky bit of the brake pads until they fit in the holder.

I haven't had to do that before.

OOPS. DOH! Ehhhmm. The little pad spacer spring goes INSIDE the two brake pads!
Somewhat surprisingly the brake pads work fine with the spring on the outside.
Probably would wear weirdly though.

See also:

 A quick search online, . . I don't see other people with same problem.

Old school bike site . . is a little bit dated about disc brakes (cable levers, not hydraulic) and doesn't go into detail:

Good disc brake pad replacement instructions:

My comprehensive general disc brake pad replacement instructions:

The exact procedure varies a bit depending on the model of brake caliper/pads. Most disc brakes are now hydraulic. I have found that I have never had to so far let fluid out of or top up fluid in the hydraulic brakes! The procedure usually goes a bit like this:

latex gloves, cloth, old toothbrush, white spirits,
tyre remover tool, screwdriver, pliers(preferably needle nosed),
allen key/wrench as appropriate depending on wheel removal/caliper

0. Always allow a bit of time for complications. ESPECIALLY if you have not done that particular bike/part before.

1. Collect tools/parts. Gloves on. Remove wheel (OR some calipers you remove one bolt and the caliper rotates away from the rotor like a motorbike brake).

2. Clean brake caliper outside. Using toothbrush + white spirits + cloth. WARNING:  do not get dirty/oily fluid on rotor or braking surfaces!

3. OPTIONALLY: Use screwdriver to push brake pads apart as far as you can to each side (to push pistons back)

4. Pop out pin or whatever holds the brake pads in place.
   Remove pads from caliper.
   Inspect pads.
5. Clean inside of caliper.

6. Use plastic tool to push pistons back on each side.

7. Put new pads together with the pad spring in between them. Slide them into caliper. Push in pin or whatever holds them in place and lock.

8. Put wheel back on, gently . . make sure rotor goes in between the brake pads in the caliper.

9. Pull the brake a few times. The first few times it will be soft and go all the way but it should stiffen up as the piston is pushed out and starts pushing the pads against the rotor.

10. At this stage you are almost done, the rotor could have got something dripped or splashed on it so clean the rotor with a completely fresh cloth/kitchen towell. If the rotor has any contamination on it brakes might be noisy and not as effective as they should be.

11. Test cycle. Hopefully job is done brake working fine. If not . . then . . CONTINGENCY/debugging TIME . .

12. Tidy up.

12. Careful first few cycles out just in case . . .

Usually with disc brakes it is easy enough.
I think they are easier to change than rim brake pads.
But . . sometimes things get a bit tricky.
Extra notes in case of complications:

1. Yes, you do need to remove the wheel. This gives access to put in and out pads and to push the pistons back. Some types of pads could be replaced without removing the wheel, but only if you can also clean and get pistons back.

2. Yes, gloves and cleaning are good to use/do. Cleaning helps keeps you and tools/bike clean and in long term helps prevent parts getting seized and wearing.

3. Before removing the pads you can use them to push the pistons back. Insert a screwdriver or different tool between the brake pads and push them to the side. This ensures the piston is not damaged by directly pushing with screwdriver.

I did once encounter a piston which was stuck:

In this case, remove the brake pads. Clean inside and outside with white spirits. Avoid getting dirty fluid on brake rotor or other braking surfaces. Do not clean/lubricate with oil or WD40 as it could damage any rubber/plastic parts of pistons. dot4 brake fluid could be used to lubricate (check is your hydraulic fluid mineral oil or dot4). After a while (in bad cases leave overnight for cleaning to soak in) gently (with plastic tool) but firmly push piston back.

I guess if that doesn't work then there might be air or excess of fluid in hydraulic system and some needs to be drained BUT I would really try and avoid draining any fluid!

4. For shimano there is a sort of cotter-pin. Bend or unbend the end to secure in place. For other pads there are different pins and small bolts or the caliper needs to be disconnected partly and angled away from rotor.

4. Inspect pads, I find usually pads go just a little bit too far worn in one place! When brake feels rougher or noisy I know I need to replace or inspect properly. Inspecting pads . . it is very hard to see how much pad is left without removing them. My shimano pads come off and the part closer to inside of the wheel is more worn, usually one end of a pad is almost completely down to the metal behind pad.

6. plastic tool = tyre remover or perhaps your old toothbrush :)

7. This step caused me trouble this morning! Shimano brake pads did not fit into the supplied pad holder they came with! They sort of fitted but hole for pin did not line up. I actually had to file the tops of the pads down to get them to fit into holder.  Fun and interesting!? And educational.  YES, and AFTER doing all this I find the clue is in the name "pad spacer" or "pad spring" should go in between the disc pads gently pushing them apart.  However you can put them on the outside and . . it doesn't really seem to matter. :-o

12. First few cycles out, just watching out for anything funny. "bedding-in" brake pads? I dunno. Usually they just work immediately.

A different thing, more of a problem with rim brakes, in case where your old brakes were quite bad and now you have good brakes be careful as you might grab and squeeze brakes suddenly and actually stop!! Do a bit of MTB training and learn to feather brakes.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Lazy sunday diary

Slept in! 2pm
Breakfast. Cofees. Newspaper.
 Since a few weeks ago coffees == cappuchinos with frothy milk again.

Bit of testing released kudos/jenkins, pilot site jobs.

Garden bits. Fionnuala is putting on clothes washes, tidying house, tidying garden, in pre-holiday tidy things/packing/organising mode.

Skylight blind rails up, chair/tools up on table, measure, mark, cut hacksaw. Plastic end off torx t8. Screw up, tough to screw in. Blind sticking, doesn't want to open all way. Nuts :(. Fionn looks. Nope, can't see anything. 1 rail off, other off. Eventually see oh furry rail liner has gone back into blind causing it to get stuck. Pull out with Kate's help. Plastic end off again, furry liner out and trap with plastic end. Rails back up. Yay, it opens and closes(a bit too fast!).

Daire back after first early morning 5am to 4pm food catering film crew iadt cycled.

Lovely breezy day pick up clothes that fall/escape line or clothes horse in between other jobs.

Kate screws on trampoline poles. I help put up poles, find plastic bits and bolts. Then I get net, try put on myself, first time inside out .. too tight? Decide needs rotating by 22.5 degrees(it didn't! But that got door in right place), too tight again. Arg. It's inside out! Net should run on inside of poles. Off and on again . . . Still too tight. Arghh! I get Kate to help me. Rotate another 22.5 degrees. It works this time. Phew. I get spring protector from attic and put on myself.

Sandwich. Tea. Paper. TV. Chats.

Webcomics: Girl Genius, Questionable Content, xkcd,
Reading lots getting through archive of Scary go Round, Bad Machinery, very funny and proper realistic british(and a few other) characters
Less frequently updated: weregeek, Cassiopeia Quinn, Sister Claire, Gunnerkrigg Court, Scurry and Cover heh. Scrabble letters are worth 16.5% more.

Scout diary, accounts.

Back/shoulder exercises.


Saturday, 1 June 2019

Lazy Saturday diary pottering bike garden jobs

Ugh, no build in work? Urk kudos/jenkins plugins thirdparty problem. Jiri and I siort it. Monitor tests after successful build.

.Newspaper sudoku crossword. Coffees. Laundry hanging/unhanging.

Back exercises rep5 hold5 for most. Neck look to R/L, squeeze shoulder blades together, tuck chin in, thorasic rotate hold arms up in front clasped and look twist all way R/L, Cat(back arch), Cow(back/hip opposite arch), back/arm stretch, plank on toes 30s, 20 push-ups on knees, standing arms stretch up(easier than dish on belly), WEIGHTS: 2kg on side arm lifts x20 each side, 3kg x2 on back arm shoulder up/down x20, 2kg x2 standing arm shoulder up/down x20, 4kg x2 standing arms in out chest opening x20.

Loads of crackling/popping across back shoulders if I move neck arms. This last week was best neck/back/shoulder week since before Easter.

In garden replace dessicated water butt hose with regular hose. Fix up screw on lid.

Fix my bike. Mudguards held on with sisal+glue plastic + bungee in front, sisal+sticks + bungee + ?(turns out proper bolt in middle) at back. Back wheel off, clean gears, clean bike parts, remove gunge from rear gearset. Cut off mudguard sisal. Unscrew middle(very tight), clean + white lithium grease, no way of moving that further from tyre so back on, wire instead of the sisal+sticks.  Front wheel cut sisal off, mudguard metal L had very small rivet end worn through mudguard. Remove rivet. Find bolt too big. Drill hole wider. Find too big but it will do plate to go on inside of mudguard. Bolt it and L on. Bolt L back onto bike. Test ride. Lovely. How do those track stand wheel hops front and back humm?

Back of rear midguard held up with old bungee. Leaving this in place.

Rear mudguard very tight on tyre. Took off to see if possible to get more clearance. Not possible.

Rear mudguard bottom held with sisal and sticks(already removed), replaced this with wire.

Sisal held on with plastic and gorilla glue, up to bungee holding front mudguard top in place.

Eventually, with every job, almost every toolbox and tool is required.

Crashlanded! Our own version of springwatch here. Not one but two little guys (great tits/blue tits?) crashlanded beside me while I was fixing bike. One seemed to crash down from gutter not too hard, they recovered and has flown off. Other guy out cold! Or maybe dead! :-( He hit upstairs window with a thump. Doing their flying lessons I think. Second guy not so good ended up x-[  later on he was still conked, we put 4 things around so we wouldn't step on him by accident. Put badger(fluffy toy) under after a while to insulate from cold ground. A parent bird was in blackcurrant bush chirping at me. Later on spitting drizzle I moved him under the bush. x-[
Crashlanded!! :-( out cold or dead??

Not looking too good :-( x-[

Tidying up tools, little bird marked with toothbrush tape knife.

Fionnuala had chopped lots of plants, I strip bamboo sticks and stuff choppings into big pink bucket.

Cat likes all the action around the house.

Kate cooks carbonara. I help by chopping carrots and chilli and grating cheese.

Kate cooking carbonara pasta.

Maeve back from Dun Laoghaire.
We eat. Nom nom.

TV Fionnuala streams The Way, cute Camino film. Terrible voice audio picture sync. Bed.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

ZipIt scouts last week exam week in secondary schools

Up. Breakfast. Back exercises. Bike to work.

Work work.

Bike home. Grab lunch. Shower. Change.

Car to den. Collect scouts+JD. Raid kitchen/stores for water and snacks, recycle bottles, kate+scouts raid supervalu for biscuits buns fruit.

Zippiting! We all are there 3:30 except Glenn running a bit late. Scouts get harnesses on. I fill in consent forms and stuff. Safety/how to use harnesses briefing. Glenn arrives. Scouts start on intro then on ziplines. Happy days everyone in the trees :). Glenn and myself last. We do ?orange?white course chat catch up on camp plans Alaska zipwires etc then snacks set up, pay money, back out onof trees. Grab some pictures later. Finished 7:30pm.

Safety briefing, in queue for how to nursery zip line course.

Drop scouts, gear at den.


Thursday, 23 May 2019

more sore shoulder updates . . . referred by Doctor to do MRI

Visited Doctor, he went through physio notes. Went over history. Did exam.
Referred for: "MRI cervical spine"
Clinical findings: "neck pain with radiation down right arm into radial aspect of hand" "quees? were? inifugriant?" 

VHI initially said need a consultant referral for spinal MRI as opposed to neck MRI but opinions on what is covered seem to be different in different places so looking to sort it out and book appointment either with a consultant or with radiology/MRI . . .

From: James
To: radiology @ various clinics .ie


Please see attached referral for MRI cervical spine from doctor.
Please leave me know if that is ok and if I could make appointment to do MRI with you.

 I am not available:
  xxxxxx june/july  (Scout Camp!)

I have health insurance with VHI policy number xxxxxxx. xxx xx xx.

Some history . . .
I got niggly pain in my neck/back a few weeks before Easter.
Easter monday (April 22) pain changed to being quite sore, looking up or to right caused pain in back and pain down right arm.
 My right arm index and middle finger have had numbness/pins & needles since Easter.
 The numbness and aches in arm are triggered if I look to right or if back of neck or under shoulder blade are pressed.
I have been to Physiotherapist, working on exercises and improving posture in work . . desk job.
I'm quite active cycling and scouts a bit of running . . .
October 2017 I had a crash off bike, right arm hyper-extended, attended GP and St Vincents  shoulder rotator-cuff was 4/6 weeks in sling and resting.
It healed up fine, . . . I had no problems all through 2018 but it is possibly related.

Thanks and best regards,


Saturday, 11 May 2019

Darkness into Light helping out DiL Marlay park 2019 scout stuff

Good fun.
My back/shoulder/neck are quite sore though! Phoo tough going.

Darkness into Light helping out DiL


Up, quick brekkie, tidy kitchen, exercise. Cycle. Work work, multiple things including qa tests mmsc fail find it's just tailor rules have been disabled, add test code to enable, test, release. Not comfortable at desk :-7. Phisyo. Work. Cycle home.

7pm meet Fionn at home. Kate asleep prep for later. I thought Maeve same but she was visiting friend. Grab gear for later bag,water,snack,tape,torches MTB check(might be lead bike) WOAH back wheel completely flat(puncture repair tyre replace and it stood up to an MTB session but not sitting in garden hot cold I guess). Fix saddle. Fix light on back. Wheel off tyre stiff off with levers. Yep old puncture repair. Grab new old tube. In. Tyre on. Wheel back on bike. Grab bike basket, helmet, ducks in basket get little flower pot helmets. Grab food. Eat. Time to go 20:15 Fionn to bookclub me to Marlay park.

Meet some Scouts, leaders, various jobs assigned. I help up 2 little marquees with leaders and Ballinteer scouts. Then into van with Adam Jack some Ballinteer scouts. I drive blinky flashers on, one or 2 park users still around. Far corner field event shelter for choir up on bridge. We put all poles together first, then it's too tall to click in last poles, duh, we break just lowest pole, attach all and get it up guyd to bridge. Then on to playground, huh? Humm. No tent. On to next spot. Ohhh tents in van. Event shelter up our process is better but this one has a few broken poles :( hard to slot together. Up and pegged anyway. Scouts run out of time need to head back. Back to car park. Grab a few people they all pe onto a golf cart, I bring van. Awkward putting dining shelters up need to rearrange remove some guys to get Icelandic poles in front, very soft ground too pegs pull out easy it falls over a few times. We put it up in wrong place too! Move it to more magical quieter away from generator place, second ine up. . . Eventually. Whew!! Done. Beck to car park. Home. It's midnight.

Fionn's just back. I grab food, shower bed. . . Up at 10 to 2am! 

Nice one Peter :) good fun, quite educational challenging especially puting up dining shelters in the magic fairy forest at midnight. Sooo tired afterwards though, hope you get a good rest some  family time today! :)

2:20ish arrive, park up, scouts get different jobs, myself, kate maeve ava Catherine cliodhna main job walk course and put up arrow signs and distance posters. Cable ties. Should have brought knife but keys do to punch holes. Kate's a real good operator and soon the other scouts know what they are doing also. We meet various marshals/volunteers in place. 2 arrows left when finished. Event close to start 4am. Kate & I put up last 2 arrows in start field. Then take up station, event starts and we greet all 4k people and some dogs with good morning. Later back in car park direct people to get bars and badges. Meet many people. Getting quieter, 3 scouty people frive van, myself and scouts in the back, we jump out and cut cable ties retrieve posters. Take down choir shelters, dining shelters first, scouts know what they are doing taking them down! :) then on further gather in more posters and get event shelter down except for one stuck pole. Then back to car park, oops forgot one! I grab van, Kate a few scouts and we get it down. Then back to car park, tidy van and load it with tables, benches, marquee, other stuff it's full! Then bye bye we follow Shammy who takes van back to den. Equipment out, wet tents spread out filling scout hall. PHEW.

Drop scouts home. Fionn is up heading off for cycle. Daire arrives home. Breakfast. Shower. Bed. Exhausted! Back neck shoulder really sore! I guve it good rub out with ball in sock before heading to bed. Bed 8:30am ish. Until 13:00ish.

Shelter for choir at the magical fairy playground area. Second time up in the right spot, and we added one beside. "Ahh Shammy, do we really have to put up the second one? It's tricky without scouts!" :)

At last! Phew. Job done. Well, until need to put away the tents Sun night or Mon morning. :)

Thursday, 2 May 2019

sore back/shoulder/neck April 2019. note to self: don't ignore pain! ramp up yoga/stretching & watch posture in work especially sitting/sedentary positions

For a few weeks in April my back/neck seemed to be getting a bit stiff and painful. However not too bad. I continued cycling in & out from work, doing scout meetings, did day on scout cub challenge with cubs & scouts helping to run bases and venture scouts on their own camp. And a bit of mountain biking and other stuff on weekends.

Pain on the RIGHT hand side.
Emanating from under the shoulder blade . . . but maybe caused by stiff neck/knot somewhere else? Hard to know.

In retrospect I should have started doing better yoga and looked at my posture/behaviour in work/office. EARLIER. I have been here before. Duh.

I have been neck pain free for a long while now (10 years?) apart from bike crash end last year where shoulder(which one?) got hyper-extended and was a while healing. When Daire was small ?3 years old? == 2002ish in Dublin I was messing on couch and went upside-down hard on my head/neck and crrrr something tore. A good few years after that pain stiff and crik in neck quite frequently. Chiropractors and physio/electrotherapist in Stillorgan I visited for a bit, I did some yoga/pilates from Fionn, after a particularily bad crik in neck after rowing in Dun Laoghaire (Sep/Dec 2004? No later? back still sore July 2005 I think) a visit to a different Physio in Sandyford sometime(when?) diagnosed the problem properly and soon had me problem free . . . poor posture at desk, one side more active than other, weaker muscles on one side of my back, weak core muscles. Pilates/yoga exercises for building up core and spinal twists both provided relief and after not too long - a few weeks - core was stronger, I could crunch core up . . .

anyway . . .

Weekend of Sat/Sun 13,14 on Sat was the cub challenge and I remember neck being stiff Sunday. Not constant pain though. Just pretty stiff and occasional pain. A trip up mountain-biking I took it easy enough but with MTB anyway on hardtail bike you really get shook up and it actually seemed to loosen things up. Probably not advisable though :-P

Good Friday 19 April 2019
We drove to Tipperary/Limerick Kings yard and hiked up Galtybeg, across to Galtymore and back. About 14km very rough steepish ground in some sections. Good hike. We had great weather too. I carried my pack with water etc not too heavy but not very light. back/neck was just the usual bit stiff/sore (usual at this stage) Was watching out for increase in stiffness on day or after but it didn't seem to happen.

Drove on to Cork. No house work/painting this time. A tiny bit of gardening/gazebo roof creation. Chased the cows who broke out Sunday. Drove to Limerick Sunday afternoon and on to Dublin that evening.

? Sitting in car not good ?

Easter Monday bank holiday 22 April 2019
I was quite stiff/sore Easter monday. More sore than before. And a steady low-level pain always there. I did some stuff around house/garden. Read paper/sudoku/crossword. Didn't go mountain-biking! Was thinking about it though.

Again in retrospect I often do crosswords in poor light and hunched over paper. Bad posture :-7

Monday night I was really uncomfortable! Lying flat was quite painful. I sleep usually with one flatish pillow. I usually sleep absolutely no problems but I was left side/right side, face up, face down(which I never sleep like), up & down trying to get in a position without pain all night. Pheuf. 

Tue 23 April
Despite lack of sleep I feel resonably fine head-wise in morning. Back/neck quite sore. YEOw cycle to work after just a short bit pain builds up spreads across back from under shoulder blade. I jump off and stretch/move and try work it out. I carry on cycling. It's a bit better but a good steady ache all the way in.

In retrospect again: I have multiple things on my plate in work and I very easily get into something and spend a few hours at desk without getting up. Usual day in work, pretty stiff/sore but not that distracting at work. 

Yeow cycle home though same thing. Pain builds fast. I stop and stretch/shake it off. I realise if I don't look where I am going when cycling but look down that the pain is much less. The pain is caused by neck arching backwards. That helps to manage the pain. Mostly of course I keep watching where I am going defensive driving/cycling.

I get extra pillow and sleep much better although quite sore if on right side.

Wed 24 April
Cycling sore again. Stop and stretch out. Can relieve pain well though by taking pressure off neck and looking down. Scouts are doing site build at Scout Den from 12:00 until . . . undefined/later. Kate at Spanish course in town. She will call into them later. maeve has Drama leaves the Scouts about 3pm. They get thunder showered upon. I am in contact with them about 5pm and they are putting wet tents back inside. Kate just gets to them when they're more or less finished at this stage. 
Cycle home. 
Scouts are cooking test meal this evening.
Then down to den Scout meeting I drop Maeve & Kate to ALDI to meet other scouts and do shop.
At den scouts start setting up cooking stations also set up a sign painting station.
Wayheyy busy scout meeting AND I'm hungry but get fed with test meals.

Thur 25 Apr
Back neck sore sore sore. Pain under right shoulder blade. Sleep ok but stiff/sore. Cycle same. Same in work. Mostly pain in back under shoulder blade spreading out. Spreading down right arm and fore-finger has been a bit numb/tingly sometimes.

Fri 26 Apr
Sleep ok. Sore. Cycle to work.  
I visit physiotherapist. Go over history of back/neck. Assessed sitting up, lying on front and on back. Arms up and push tests sore but not weak.

Essentially the diagnosis is the Cervical spinal vertebrae C3-C6 are "irritated", by that I take it to mean stiff and pinching nerves/maybe restricting blood?

Two main things to tackle it:

1. Position and posture in work at desk. Over time my posture sitting at desk has become terrible. Often notepad in front of me. Keyboard and mouse an arm-length away. Keyboard (and mouse) should be close to front of desk. My chair/desk are sliiiightly too tall maybe, if I raise chair to best height it's arms bump under table. 

2. Exercises. 
 Lying on back. Neck stretch look left. Straight. Right.
 Back stretch. Cow and Cat. And child pose.
 Workstation sitting shoulders back. Back straight. Chin tucked in. Back of neck thrust back.
 Standing or sitting 
   * chin retraction, shoulders back, 
   * Cervical rotation (Neck stretch look left. Straight. Right.)
   * Thoracic rotation (Arms up in front grasped, move torso look left. Straight. Right.)

Quite a few moves actually cause pain so advised not to go there. The pain builds from around shoulder blade, down right arm and causes numbness/pins & needles in fingers.
Moves that initially cause pain:
 Lying flat on back
 Neck looking right.
 Cow pose (neck arch up causes pain, pelvis forward/back is fine)
 Thrusting neck back is painful, never mind looking right while doing so.
 Cervical rotation(neck) to right

Ok. That's good information.

In work I fix keyboard and move mouse close. 
Catch myself once in afternoon with notebook in front and I had pushed keyboard back again!
Chair height desk height not quite happy with. 
Monitor height move one up a little.

We go for carvery for lunchtime. O'Neill's pub.
Food is good! 
Making pretty good albeit seems always slow progress in work with various things despite the back pain. DevOps jenkins jobs and scripts event sending/downloading images/docker image load re-factor and adding features for version querying, downloads eventually gets done & released. Test server care and attention. Our jenkins in production sites self-upgrade bug found&fixed (tee versus plain redirect and nohup/background behaviour), event sending bug found/fix then apply fix/test and go hunting naughty left over duplicate event files on several systems. Fun fun! 

Weekend phew!
I think Kate is relieved weekend is here too. She had a tough week on spanish course. (Getting in and out on Luas, class of strangers who had more Spanish than her). She is very persistent dedicated work on languages, finds it difficult but keeps going. Great stuff! 

Sat Sun 27 28 Apr
It is local clean up day Saturday.
Storm Hannah has just passed over Ireland (not doing anything to Dublin!) L:ocely subby albeit windy day. Kate helps me tackle weeds in our front garden/driveway and mow lawn etc.
On Sunday I & Kate have First Aid training with Balally Scout leaders and Venture Scouts. Standard rec3 course I've done two times in past (DR-ABC, Airway->, Breathing->, CPR, CPR with AED, Heart Attacks, Stroke, Wounds, Burns, Allergies&Epi-pens, Seizures, . . .).
First aid 9:30am to 5pm. After that drive to Dun-Laoghaire and Maeve is in showcase with dance & drama. Great stuff but quite UnCoMForTAblE sitting in chair. Need to move/stretch a bit . . unobtrusively.
Over the coming few days the sore-ness seems to stay about the same. 
Right arm feels sore, seems to feel a bit colder than other arm sometimes. My fingers on right arm become more or less constantly numb or tingly. 

I do exercises morn & evening and bits in between.
Fionn gives me massage ball in sock, massaging with ball between me and wall works, gives a bit of relief. Add in yoga spinal twists and some core strengtheners and back movements.
And in work keep keyboard close and watching posture head up, shoulders back.

I still can't/shouldn't do the exercises that cause pain. I think.
I add yoga spinal twists (the river god(sitting) and ?(on back ~ the recovery position  but head looking other way from legs . . not really) and core strength exercises I did years ago from when I last had pain and they're ok, I don't notice improvement or relief at first but after a few days they seem to stretch things out and after these exercises I feel some relief, whereas with other exercises back/neck feels more stiff and sore afterwards.

Mon Apr 29
Exercises and massage ball rubs as usual . . 
Cycle ow as usual especially if looking where I am going. Work ow but fine. Cycle home.
Collect van at Den, load with 4 tables, 4 benches, posts. Home. Eat. Goto Kilmacud Den, pick up county scouters + marquee + tents etc.  At Larch hill . . . we . . magically transport gear to Kelly field. Marquee up. Derek cuts finger! Ow. Attach site numbers to posts. Staple gun struggles with wood and I struggle with staple gun. We get there anyway in end. Sites marked out with pegs and posts with numbers on (stapled + teeny mini wire ties).

Tue Apr 30 
Good exercise session in morning (not very long but good) the spinal twists and core crunch are better than the other exercises. 

At desk I remember to get up and move some times but still forgetting and doing some long non-moving sessions! :-(. Do neck/shoulder stretches, also just reaching stretching arms up or out gives relief.

Wed May 1
Oh. Interesting. First morning in ages I have been a bit comfortable in bed. Not quite as stiff in shoulder/neck. Still a steady ache in arm/back and steady numbness in fingers but seems like an improvement. Hope it stays.

Exercise a bit as usual.  

Cycling is a good bit better, still sore looking up especially but better.

I decide I'd better blog this back event as I'm forgetting the details!

After work I cycle to scout shop. Traffic jammed up as usual on Pearse street very nasty Dublin Bus driver beeping at some slow cyclists, nasty car very close pass to me very agressive. ANYWAY . .  they're stuck in traffic soon again with cars blocking them. We cycle away. @ Scout shop no sisal!! Shockingly expensive map protector/case 36 eurow. yeow. I head further over to Capel St, Lenehans have some sisal a bit more expensive 30 euros per ball. Cycle back work/home.  

Fionn is off for cycle. Grab sandwich. Girls & I head to scouts in van. BUSY BUSY meeting. Getting stuff ready, each patrol collects tents, spars, fire equipment, makes plans for food shopping . . . one patrol has less equipment and less sure of what they're doing.  TONS of stuff is piled outside practically every long and short and BIG spar we have! Yikes. Loading van is a bit stressful but we get it done reasonably neatly. Heavy tables, dining shelters, tents, benches first. Then patrol boxes, tarps. Fire barrels, small awkward bits that can be stowed(yeesh multiple camping chairs! one far too big is sent back). Gas bottles lying on side at back, tent pegs, fire buckets, fire logs, lots of stuff . . eventually we get to spars. A Dad helps getting big spars on roof, we get short spars in from back - bucket line is best. The roof gets overcrowded so I climb up and make space and we get all big and 9/10ft spars up. Others get all the short spars and last sundries in to last.  Kate puts on straps from below and I from above. All scouts head home . . . Kate & Maeve & I sort out money/consent forms/finish up check plans that remain. Eventually head for home. I'm worried van is overloaded but she drives away grand as if there's nothing too much inside. 

Cautionalrily hopeful . . back seems to be the same level of okayness after that.
I tell fionn there's been a little improvement in back. Happy days!

Thur May 2 
Wake up earlier than usual but back is still a bit improved. I get rid of the extra pillow. 
I can lie flat and do the perscribed exercises a bit better. 
Core exercises and spinal twists too.
Cycle into work.
Desk desk desk with hops up or stretches in between.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Safe knife use and learning about knives for Scouts . . .

Collecting some info on knife use for scouts.

It is good for all scouts to earn a knife permit.
See section from the scouting trail and a knife permit .pdf docs linked from here .

Also see the try stick(see attached picture) looks like a very good exercise for anyone developing knife skills.

Knives are useful tools.
They are sharp so must be treated with respect. 
How to avoid injuring yourself and others must be learned first. Blood zone.
The first aid for cuts and wounds (and shock) must be learned (RICE == Rest Ice Compression Elevate)

Information on the legal situation in Ireland:

In Ireland it is ILLGEAL to carry a knife of any size shape or form without due reason for carrying it at that time and in that location,
 this includes pen knives and Leatherman’s with a blade on it. 
You are permitted to carry a knife for work e.g. building, farming, fishing or activites like camping.
Knives are not permitted in public places like town centre or at school without a good reason.
It is a good idea to be aware of this law and make sure you put your knife safely away when not in use.

Knives like flick knives which are viewed as weapons only and not a tool are completely illegal in Ireland.


Offensive Weapons

Possession of knives and other articles.

9.—(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), where a person has with him in any public place any knife or any other article which has a blade or which is sharply pointed, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to prove that he had good reason or lawful authority for having the article with him in a public place.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), it shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1) to prove that he had the article with him for use at work or for a recreational purpose.


I have a book by canadian Mors Kochanski on bushcraft and he introduces knife use (and axe) very well.
First aid first.
Safe use, blood zone.

Some real life Scouting rules of knives/tools.

Knives are a tool.
Respect the tool (for it's usefulness and for potential to harm).
As with all tools they can be a bit dangerous, they can damage or hurt people or equipment.
We must learn to use the tool in a safe and proper way.
The more we learn and practice with the tool the safer we are.

Scouts (or anyone) should start using knives in a safe way under supervision of parents or older Scouts/kids.
A really good place to learn how to use knives is by starting at home helping with cooking.
It is never too early or too late to learn to use a new tool!
Very young kids or beginners can start by cutting up relatively soft foods e.g. bread with regular dining table knives. 

Penknives are UNFORTUNATELY easy to lose (especially on camp or in nature but also anywhere in bus/train/town(where they probably should not be!)).
So put paracord or another type of lanyard or marking on your knife.
Put your name on your knife.
Knives should never be left unattended. 
Knives should be stowed away in a safe place when not in use.

It is good to loan your knife if someone needs it.
It is part of Scouting to learn to use tools and teach others to use tools.
Your knife is still your responsibility even if someone takes a loan of it.
If you take a loan of a knife then be responsible, look after it and give it back.

Be aware if you ever give a loan of your knife someone might, through no intended fault of their own, not look after it properly, 
  even sometimes it might be lost or damaged! :-( :-( 
 Accidents happen. 
    We will do our very best to make sure accidents do not happen. 
   BUT if they do happen we will handle it fairly and with good humor.
If you loan a tool to someone you must trust them to use it reasonably safely.
Observe them, If they look inexperienced or unsure then . . . . 
   * check what they are doing with knife
   * check they are doing it in a safe manner, give them advice if they are not!
   * check they know they have to respect and look after the tool and give it back to you.
   * if they look like they are not safe then STOP them! Tell them what is not safe. Show them how to do it safely. Get them to do it safely. 
     It takes some of your time now to supervise this time but they should quickly learn to be safe.

Attitude to knives/tools and equipment
A simple useful tool is best. Knives should not be a fetish item or glorified! :-o
That sounds a bit crazy but sometimes people get obsessed about things and it's not healthy . . . 

Tools should not be used to cause damage by accident or even worse intentionally ! ! :-( :-o
But it does happen sometimes, when it happens then don't worry!
We learn best by our mistakes. 
As with any accident, if any damage is caused or if other in-appropriate behaviour with a knife or tool happens then:
  * make the situation as safe as possible, if possible
  * please PLEASE report it as soon as possible to more senior Scouts/Scout leaders/Quartermaster. 
Quartermaster/leaders needs to know so equipment can be repaired/re-acquired.
Senior scouts/leaders need to know so that the behaviour can be corrected.
Scout leaders need to know even if minor incidents happen and you deal with them
 (so that the Scout leaders can learn also what works for scouts and what doesn't work!)

Links . . . 

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Galty mountain hike plan . . .

Route card: from Attychraan/Kings yard - Black road - Galtybeg - Galtymore - (Slievecushnabinnia option) - King's yard   15k or 18k  total height gain
790m-820m vs 18km

Starting points, car parks:
There are 3 main carparks to access Galtymore from, 2 to the South:
The Black road R89306 20345 A (ht333m),
Kings yard R87526 19959 C (ht218m). 2km West of the Black road.
Kings yard has a shop and shelter, as well as a 2€ charge.
Also looks like Attychaan Loop trail car park R88074 18927 D by Galty castle is 1km to South of Kings Yard.

And one to the North:
Clydagh Bridge R87450 27780 B (ht137m)

These 4 starting points A B C D by Grid Ref:

Galtee from the South and a bit of info on legend of a Snake in the lake.
Start/end point: Galty Castle Wood beside King’s Yard (R 879 188)
Distance: 13km
High point: Galtymore – 919m
Time: 5.5hrs
Ascent/descent: At 919m, Galtymore is Ireland’s only inland Monroe so there’s plenty of climbing in this walk. You can take the descent route to go up more directly to shorten the day or extend it by taking in a worthy detour to Slievecushnabinnia.
Waypoints: Knockeenatoung (601m), Galtybeg (799m) and Galtymore (919m).

PMG == Project Mountain Goat
PMG Walk 14 - Monabrack to Seefin via Knockeenatoung - Loop Walk
Down from the ridge avoiding peaks of Slievecushnabinnia, Galtymore, Galtybeg . . ? eh!
OK two days before he did the full ridge walk and hitched back to Cahir!! And slept in car. Jeez! :)
From South. Skeheenarinky. Black Road. Galtybeg Galtymore.


Snake in Lough Muskry, Aherlow

Diarmuid had several geasa on him. Diarmuid was a great favourite among women anyway, being very beautiful, and he was also born with the Bol Sherca in the middle of his forehead. This was a magical spot that made anyone who saw it fall in love with him. He knew this was trouble so he wore his hair long and kept the Bol Sherca hidden. But one time as a boy he was playing hurling and his hair lifted up and Grainne saw the Bol Sherca and fell for him but she didn't know who he was and never found him.

Grainne had lost hope of finding the boy with the Bol Sherca and so was agreeable to marrying Fionn. The race to top of Slievenamon . .
" the fairest women raced to the top to claim the hand of the warrior, Fionn Mac Cumhail. Fionn secretly fancied Grainne so he advised her how to win the race!"
The faeries/witches of the horns of Slievenamon.

Grainne was happy to marry Fionn until soon before wedding at a feast she saw young Oisin beside Fionn who was old. And then from behind she saw Diarmuid who she had seen a long time ago as a boy and fallen for him.
Gráinne put a sleeping posset into a jug of wine and passed it around the feast.
She asked each member of the Fianna in turn to run away with her and they all refused out of loyalty to Fionn. Then Gráinne turned to Diarmuid and put him under a geasa to run away with her. She asked him the same question and he could not go against the geasa so he had to run away with her.

It is said that Diarmuid and Gráinne made love on the ancient Slievenamuck Megalithic Tomb after they fled from Fionn.

Rampaging Boar killed by Fionn MacChumhaill on Slievenamuck
Slievenamuck is mountain ridge to the north of the Galtees.

Galtee Wall built in the 1800's
Summit cairn and Iron Cross on Galtymore

Galtee Challenge and Crossing is a 31km traverse of the entire Galtee Mountain range
The Galtee Challenge and Crossing is a 31km traverse of the entire Galtee Mountain range, taking in all major peaks with a total height gain of 1700 metres approx. and a maximum altitude of 919 metres.
Organised by Galtee Walking Club
The direction alternates each year.
Galtee Challenge, Saturday, June 29th, 2019 mountain runners 32km, 1500m climb

Start in Angelsborough West to East:
Templehill (MANDATORY) Kite no.34
Lyracappul Wall Start (R846-232) Kite no.35
Wall Corner (R863-242) Kite no.36
Galtymore Cross (MANDATORY) Kite no.37
Galtybeg high point (R890-241) (MANDATORY) Kite no.38
Farbreaga, cairn at end (R934-249) Kite no.33Rocky out crop Kite no.75
Mast Point (For the walking challenge only really) (R972-254) Kite no.32
Slieve an Airde Fence 992-258 (MANDATORY) Kite No.76
Bain trig point, last high point (S007-269) Kite no.79
Hammer head (S010-269) (MANDATORY) Kite no.80
Finish at Cahir Castle.

Project-Mountain-Goat list East to West:

Slieveanard NE Top 449m – Non PMG Summit
Slieveanard 438m – Non PMG Summit
Sturrakeen 541m – (Summit #56/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin)
Laghtshanaquilla 631m – (Summit #57/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Greenane 802m – (Summit #58/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Greenane West 786m – (Summit #59/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Knockastakeen 583m – (Summit #60/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin)
Cush 641m – (Summit #61/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Galtybeg 799m – (Summit #62/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Galtymore 918m – (Summit #63/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Lough Curra Mtn 600m – (Summit 64/454 – Mtn Class: Vandeleur-Lynam)
Slievecushnabinnia 775m – (Summit #65/454 – Mtn Class: Vandeleur-Lynam)
Carrignabinnia 822m – (Summit #66/454 – Mtn Class: Vandeleur-Lynam)
Lyracappul 825m – (Summit #67/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Knockaterriff Beg 679m – (Summit #68/454 – Mtn Class: Vandeleur-Lynam)
Knockaterriff 692m – (Summit #69/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Temple Hill 783m – (Summit #70/454 – Mtn Class: Arderin & Vandeleur-Lynam)
Benard 479m – Non PMG Summit

Galtee challenge 2019 route card:

Glen of Aherlow to the North
The Glen of Aherlow hosts 2 annual Walking Festivals each year, the 2 day Winter Walking Festival over the last weekend in January and the 3 day Summer Festival over the June bank holiday weekend.
Gortavoher forest, coilte . . further up into Limerick to North West
Lisvarrinane and Slievenamuck

Scout Sionnach loop from Lough Muskry - Ferbreaga - Greenane - Galtymore - Galtybeg - Corrie Lough Diheen - back to Lough Muskry
Start start 1.5km S, W from Rossadrehid. (R927 292). ?5km hike S to camp.
Camp at Lough Muskry at the south side of the small lake at R921 242

Up to ridge north-west of Farbreaga at R 933 255
SE, S to Farbreaga spot height of 724 at R 934 250
Ridge SW to Greenane trig pillar (R 925 239).
Ridge W to Spot 786 (R 911 239) via the cairn and rock formation known as “O’Loughlin’s Castle”. W 300m
Descend SW to fork in river at R 901 232. R&R.

West towards spot height 657 hit the Black Road (track) at R 894 232.
Follow Black Road N to SE of Galtybeg (R 893 235).
NW towards the col between Galtymore and Galtybeg at R 886 240. Beware of Bogginess.
Ascend west to Galtymore summit (R878 238) at 919 metres
Glen of Aherlow to the N.

Return east to the col at R 886 240.
Ascend east to Galtybeg R 890 241
Follow the north-eastern spur down to R 891 242, at the back wall of the Corry containing Lough Diheen. Turn SE along the ridge edge to col at R 896 241.
Continue E, then follow the spur SE that ascends towards the check point 300
metres west of spot 786 at R 907 239.
From here, take a bearing to descend the slope to the north towards the western side of Lough Muskry (R 916 245), taking care to avoid the steep and rocky ground to the south and south-west of Lough Muskry. On reaching the western side of Lough Muskry, turn south-east and return to the camp site between the Lough and the cliffs.

Glen of Aherlow loop circuit of Glen of Aherlow to North - 17km
The GALTEE Mountain North Horseshoe Walk is a strenuous 13.5km (5.5 hr) (?? 17km ??) loop walk to Galtymore Mountain (919m) located on the border between Tipperary and Limerick in an area known as the Munster Vales. The loop  takes in the mountains of Slievecushnabinnia (766m), Galtymore (919m), Galtybeg (799m) and Cush (639m) in that order, beginning with a lung busting 650m climb in only 4km.
More on the legends of the area.
From the South off piste and from the North.
When St. Patrick was here in Aherlow the people told him that there was a snake on the top of the Galtees and that he was killing cattle, sheep and cows. St. Patrick asked them for a vat and he got it and he went on until he met the snake. He put the snake into the vat and carried him on to the lake and threw him in and told him to stay there until Lá an Luain, and every Easter Monday morning the snake puts his head over the water and says " is fada an luan é a Phádraig."
The lake was Lough Muskry, one of four loughs on top of the Galtee Mountains.
"Raising his crosier into the air he shouted to the snake to stay in the lake for 7 years and he would be released on " .. .. La an Luan. Meaning Monday or Easter Monday. But ALSO meaning the day of Judgement. Sneaky! "After 7 long years later the snake appeared at the edge of the lake and asked St Patrick “is it time for me be released yet?” to which St Patrick replied “no” and the snake sank back into the lake."

From wikipedia: Lake Muskry 
formerly known as Lough Beal Sead, "The Lake of the Jewel Mouth"
also identified as, Loch Beal Dragan, "The Lake of the dragon’s mouth". 
Its present name, Lough Muskry comes from the Múscraighe sept that lived in the south of Ireland.[10] The lake is said to have been formed on the spot where Cliach–the–harper stood for a year to serenade his beloved, the daughter (of) Bodhbh of Slievenamon. After failing, he played his two harps together, and the hill burst open and formed Lough Bel Sead.[10] The Galty Mountains have been known as Sliab Crocta Cliac, or "the mountains of the harps of Cliach".[26][27]

Monday, 8 April 2019

The ladder of participation and scout philosophy. YOUTH LED

Scouting Ireland recent structural changes . . . company structure, how the board works, . . . There are restrictions on youth involvement which maybe are not compatible with one of the fundamentals of Scouting in that it is YOUTH LED. How can we keep moving in the right direction and really have more scout troops and activities properly led by youth not adults.

Over the last 15 years or so its been the research by Roger Hart or similar thinking which has framed a lot of what Scouting internationally and Scouting Ireland have tried to achieve.

If you want the long read:

So in a very short way youth led programme needs to be as the Scout Method says Adults and Young People working together (link). But with the emphasis on young people voices being actively listened to from their own experiences and in their own words not via proxy. 

Adultism is "the power adults have over children".[1] More narrowly, adultism is defined as "prejudice and accompanying systematic discrimination against young people".[2] 
Adultism is defined as the "behaviors and attitudes based on the assumptions that adults are better than young people, and entitled to act upon young people without agreement".[6][7]

Is there such a thing as youthism ? Or scoutism? :) 

Catholicism Protestantism Buddhism Judaism Pastafarianism Rastafarianism Marxism Communism Socalism Republicanism Royalism? Libertarianism Fundamentalism Vegetarianism Veganism Feminism Darwinism Impressionism Cubism 
Sexism? Autism Intellectualism Criticism

-ism is a suffix in many English words, originally derived from the Ancient Greeksuffix -ισμός (-ismós), and reaching English through the Latin -ismus, and the French -isme.[1] It means "taking side with" or "imitation of", and is often used to describe philosophies, theories, religions, social movements, artistic movements and behaviors.[2] 

slavery abolitionismfeminismalcohol prohibitionismFourierismpacifism, early socialism, etc.) 
Transcendentalismspiritualism or "spirit rapping", Mormonism
For examples of the use of -ism as a suffix: