Sunday, March 30, 2008

When a blog cures your foot pain...

Way back in the summer of 2005, Phil Johnson began a blog. I thought "yes! this is going to be good stuff!!" Little did I know then, just how good.

Now, most people who read TeamPyro probably read it for all the theological/cultural issues they address over there. They've covered everything from the gift of tongues to taming the tongue, predestination to post-evangelicism, meat chubs, pteradactyls and punk/emo chicks named Chiquita (your theological/cultural mileage on those last three topics may vary). It's been a most entertaining blog - and at times a most maddening one too, for a lot of people, and for a lot of different reasons. Most folks don't even know this, but our insane beagle, Tulip, has a middle name courtesy of none other than the lead matchstick handler over there (that would be Phil). Tulip's middle name? Chiquita, of course.

Yes indeed, Phil Johnson's contribution to the Christian blogging (web 2.0) community has been just as profound and helpful as his contribution to web 1.0 was, when he put up his first website years ago. One such post that I personally found extremely useful, was this one here: "Monday Menagerie VII - PyroManiac devotes Monday space to esoteric and offbeat things, in the hope that these will supply learning experiences for us all".

In this post (you already clicked it anyway) Phil opens with his profound dedication to Tiger Balm. You think I'm exagerrating? I kid you not:

"I love the stuff. It's an herbal ointment with almost magical properties." - Phil Johnson
Well, that was enough of an endorsement for me, so not long after he posted this nearly 3 years ago, I went out and bought some. Tiger Balm Red, in fact - sports balm. I've used just about every kind of balm/rub/ointment out there (mostly for my neck, but for other stuff too) and the product just never really lives up to the hype, you know? Some of it works better than others, but none of it seemed to really DO what it's advertised as being able to do.

Scroll back up now and read that quote from Phil about 'almost magical properties'. He wasn't kidding.

All last week I spent every spare moment painting my son's room. It's going to be very cool when it's done - the ceiling is Spiderman blue, the walls are white and the shelves I'm in the process of intalling are also Spiderman blue (or, they will be when I'm done with them). Where the walls meet the ceiling, your eye is drawn to an explosion of white clouds, that perfectly blend the stark white walls into the deep blue ceiling. The only real problem has been how high those ceilings are.

I've never measured, but my ladder is a 6 foot ladder. I'm 5'8", and when I stand on the second to top (never stand on the top of the ladder, you'll fall off and it'll hurt, a lot, plus you'll feel like a giant bonehead whenever you have to tell someone you were standing on the very top where EVERYONE knows you're not supposed to stand) step, the ceiling is still a good foot or more above my head. I'm going to guess they're 14 foot ceilings. All the ceilings in the house are like this - except the dining room and upstairs hallway and bathroom. For whatever reason, those ceilings have all been lowered over the years. Painting ceilings that high, and especially painting them with any kind of minute detail work (like the cloud explosion) is rather back breaking work. I've been doing a lot of reaching, stretching, and straining to get the work done, and get it done right. The weirdest thing is, what has suffered the most are the muscles in my feet. It might seem sort of strange, but I do work like this barefoot, and in my barefeet I've been doing so much balancing and standing on my tiptoes, that my feet are more sore than they were the year I practically lived in roller skates, in the 7th grade.

I'm finally done with the hardest part - the painting - so I went looking for the Tiger Balm I bought 3 years ago at Phil Johnson's recommendation. Now, the bottom of the tin says it expired in October of '06, but truth be told, I think it just aged really well like a fine cheese. I popped off the lid - warned the family that if anyone had a stuffed nose within 20 feet of me, to get ready to be cured - and gave myself a foot rub with the Red. Well, I have to tell you that within seconds, the throbbing pain in my feet was GONE, and even after the balm wore off, they didn't hurt nearly as much as they had. In a word? It works, and it works like it's supposed to.

So there you have it - homecare tips from the barefoot painter, and everyone's favorite FireStarter, Phil Johnson.