Sunday, July 29, 2018

Rocker Bottom Shoes

I developed osteoarthritis in both knees at the age of 16 when I started running cross country. Many years ago, I read (in print!) that the leading cause of osteoarthritis in juveniles was dehydration, and I know I didn't increase my fluid intake when I started running (unfortunately; this is your cue to get more to drink so you stay hydrated). Thanks to my physical therapist, I am not (often) bothered by that knee pain. Yes, you can beat osteoarthritis! One of the suggestions from my physical therapist was always to wear athletic shoes for the cushioning and support. This has been the simplest fix so far! After a flare-up, I do need to treat the pain and perform my PT exercises regularly, but after that my "maintenance" state is just to wear good sneakers at all times.

Based on my experience running cross country, I want my shoes to provide motion control as well as lots of cushioning. Motion control shoes ease the stress on my wobbly ankles, and hold my arch in a better position. I tend to pronate when I walk, and supinate when I run, so when my shoes provide proper cues for both conditions, I experience less pain. This is why I choose motion control over stability. However, I also have a very heavy stride, wearing through the soles of my shoes very quickly, so the more cushioning, the less pain I feel.

Until bilateral ankle pain visited me, I was a huge fan of rocker bottom shoes, specifically Skechers Shape Ups. Some Skechers are so cushioned that I call them "marshmallow shoes" for all that squishiness! Shape Ups are very cushioned! The rocker bottom forced me to roll into each step instead of stomping with my heel, thereby reducing heel and knee pain. Instead of needing a new pair of shoes every 3 months, I could generally wear one pair almost a year before I noticed the characteristic ache in my knees of needing new shoes. However, the arch support was negligible. I took a pair of 3/4-length shoe inserts, and cut out just the arch following the shape of some other inserts I had that built up the arch in layers that made it easy to see the shaping. I put that "just the arch" cut-out underneath the liner in my Skechers Shape Ups, and my feet were finally comfortable!

However, the rocker bottom is not stable on your front-back axis (it's fine side-to-side, which is why it didn't originally bother my ankles). You should not wear these hiking, mowing, or on uneven surfaces.

After 5 cushioned years in my Skechers Shape Ups, I hit 2 years of near-continuous ankle pain that is somewhat soothed with normal flat-bottom shoes. sigh However, if you have a heavy stride, you want a cushioning shoe, and you don't mind the lack of arch support or you don't mind adding your own arch support, these shoes were great! I'm looking for my next favorite shoes.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Raspberry Pi Zero W, back from noboot

I had a brief power outage recently, and my Raspberry Pi Zero W did not survive - but the original Raspberry Pi Zero right next to it came through the power bounce without problems! (Power and cable modem internet have been bouncy this month.)

I tried to power it up on two known-good power sources. I tried another micro USB power cable. I didn't see any lights any time I tried, so I thought this Zero W was completely dead.

Then I ran across this suggestion to try a different SD card. Since that's so simple to try, I did, and now my Raspberry Pi Zero W works again! The old SD card spewed errors all over dmesg when I tried to mount it on my computer, so that was definitely the problem.

So now I'll add trying a new SD card to the list with power and cable to get a Raspberry Pi to boot.