Tuesday, 30 October 2012

mourning thoughts

They say that death comes for us all, which I for one don't doubt. However its not our own death which leaves us mourning, its the death of some one else.

It would seem to me that on average something like half of us will go through the death of a wife / husband / partner / soul mate / [insert preferred title]. Simply because one will die and leave the other alone. Often (as is more natural) the death of a spouse comes later in life, when you are already old and not so far from death yourself.

I've noticed that the elderly are often sidelined by the mainstream society, most probably because the young just can't understand what the elders are saying (and so ignore it).

Thus it is only the relative few of us who have their wife/husband die in the midst of their life that have the energy and the social interactions to make a noise about it all.

Most who read this won't get it, will dismiss it. Some may feel pity. Others may pause reflect on the blessings they have in life to be alive and sharing love with their partners.

So that's what I want you to take away from this ... love the life you have and love the one you're with. Show them respect and give of your self selflessly.

Really, its all that really matters

Sunday, 28 October 2012

the "taking something from a baby" reaction

Anyone who has had a kid or dealt with one knows the reaction you get when a baby looses what it was that it was holding a moment ago.


There may be a delay, but sure as the sunrise you'll see the emotions choke up and next thing you get that crying reaction.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the crying reaction (I really don't know what else to call it) comes out as soon as the young person (you know, babies are young people right?) looses that thing which it considered important right then.

Lots of situations can be dealt with by learning about them, but babies are still learning so many things. So they are not actually ready to make decisions and understand how to react. After all emotions can be very hard things to control. Just like coordination of the arms and legs, it takes time to control them.

Even then different people get different levels of control over their bodies, pick up a violin some time and see how well you can control that with your fingers.

The very young have not as yet learned too much about life, and so don't know things like:
  • it broke, but you can get another one
  • you just dropped it, so daddy or mummy will pick it up for you
  • it was taken away from you because that was for the better
So its hardly surprising that they deal with loss in this way.

As we get older and develop we like to think of ourselves as being smarter, stronger, more powerful, able to do anything. Truth is we are often not really any smarter, just we've learned a lot more things since then.

In this modern world we learn all sorts of things, but we seldom learn much about our emotions. We focus on learning about the physical, and about interacting with each other for the purposes of getting what we want. Many people get quite good at inter-personal dealings.

Yet despite all this preparation for living we have little or no thought about preparation for death and the losses of those we love. After all the ones we love mean more to us than any other things in our lives. So I have come to see that grief is manifested in this same reaction that babies have. Depending on the person and how well 'trained' they are out of showing their emotions, they may well suppress this crying reaction to some degree or another (or even completely).


I believe that babies (just like adults) think and experience, but (unlike adults) have not yet learned about words. Words are powerful constructions for both communication and even forming and guiding our inner thoughts. Anyone who only knows one language (and looking at the stats of where this blog is read I'd say that's most of my readers so far) will have a hard time grasping the fullness of this point, but:
knowing only one language shapes how you can think and consider about an issue, by knowing more than one we can see the world differently and understand things we could not have otherwise done.
Those who are multi-lingual (especially who know European and Asian languages) will already be aware of the significance of the above point. For there are just things which can't be said or expressed well in one language but which another is adroit at.

The psychologists who attempt to study and document grief fail to grasp that by doing this with words only they attempt to force a view of the world onto something which has never really been put into words (at least in English), and so it must fail.

Framework for Analysis

Despite the pervasive use of frameworks for analysis the idea is poorly taught in Universities. Nothing much seems to be written on it (at least in my quick literature review) in a general sence, only in detail on how it can be applied to find a solution to X Y or Z.

Essentially it comes down to this:
  1. you have something that you don't understand. 
  2. you propose how something may explain that (some sort of model or description)
  3. you apply the known facts and see if they all can be explained by that description
if it fits you have something to go on with, if not then go back to step 2 and try again.

Its quite obvious to anyone who has any training in science that the Kübler-Ross model is quite a shaky model to propose. Given that it has some 5 stages which
  • may or may not be experienced in any order, 
  • that  may or may not be experienced at all
  • that the person may experience something different
we find quickly that this model is one which fails step 3 above and falls into "it doesn't fit the observations of reality".

so why cling to it?

My view is that we can learn about this process by observing the children around us.


Grief is the suffering caused by loss. Its complex and varies for each person. It can't (as far as I can see) be rationalised because we just don't have language or concepts fit to describe it.

Unlike the dropped spoon or food, daddy can't pick it up, so almost nothing can be done to make us feel better. Its just like the earliest experiences and only time dulls the pain. Unlike babies our attention span is longer, and so its up to us as adults to take what we have learned and deal with our suffering. Because if we don't deal with it, it may not go away.

I am quite certain that I will never fully loose the pain that I feel from the loss of my darling wife. Nothing can bring her back. But then nothing can return my heart to "biologically perfect" from the results of the operation which left me functioning with a bit of plastic for an Aortic valve, but I continue to function and so can make the most of what my life can be with that as it is.

I can see that over the time since I heard that Anita was dead, that I have begun to slowly feel a duller (perhaps deeper?) pain.

Let me tell you a quick story.

This is Tiger

Tiger was given to Anita by her office friends when they heard that she was going to meet me in India and then that Anita and I would go on a tour to see tigers in the wild. Anita loved tigers and we could not miss any television documentary where a Tiger was the central item.

Tiger got to see tigers in the wild (as did Anita).

and Anita was quite fond of Tiger, she (Tiger, as Tiger was a girl "obviously") came with us on many trips.

When I heard that Anita was in a coma of some sort and was rushing to pack pack things to fly to Finland to be by her side, Tiger was one of the things I took with me, for Anita had left her behind. I had hoped that holding and touching Tiger would help and then comfort Anita.

Sadly Anita did not survive (and was in all probablility already dead before I left) my trip and was pronounced dead while I was enroute to Finland. After visiting Anita at the hospital we came home and unpacked. Anita's niece Siiri quickly discovered Tiger in my luggage and latched onto her (remember Tiger is a girl). The became immediate friends.

Which was wonderful as poor Siiri was unable to understand why everyone around her (her mother included) was crying and obviously distressed.

So Tiger now has a new owner and they are moving along well in their relationship.

moving forwards

This is something of an inspiration to me, as I (of course) still feel mired in the daily sadness of Anita's passing. Every day I look around me and see the things which we either built or worked on together in our house. Every day I go to bed and she is not there, every morning I awake and she is not there. When I wake in the night she isn't there. I continue to ask why? Why did it have to happen to me, indeed to us?

For me the pain of loss is only slowly subsiding, and there are many reminders of that pain. But life goes on around me, eventually I must dip my oar into that current and keep paddling. I make daily slow movements towards it, by going to work, fixing the things which need fixing (like my bike) and attempting to process all the feelings I have.

Its hard to do all that as I have no prior experience, nothing much to guide me and it all still hurts so much. But every day I make some progress (despite the backward slides now and then), even if I do still cry like that baby.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

twaddle that shits me

I know that religious people mean well but sometimes they just don't think things through. Stuff like this gets right up my nose at the moment

OK, so right after he arranged / oversaw the death of my father and then the death of my wife just to make sure I felt like shit ... he decides to carry me cos I'm feeling like shit

or perhaps he just isn't there at all.

As I see it there are one set of footprints because right now I'm on my own with no one (least of all god) looking after me.

Unless you can think up a good reason to explain why my perfectly healthy wife just dies from an aggressive brain cancer? Oh you mean god had no power over that? Too hard for him? ... or is it "just the mysteries we can't understand?"

or perhaps he just isn't there at all and its all a mental crutch for the feeble.

If he is there then he's doing his best to make my life hard now. Wonder if the house will burn down next?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Aspects of love

A question which often seems to go around is "what is love"

I dont want to try to rewrite the book there but perhaps just add some clarity on a point.

To me at least a significant part of love is trust, trust that extends beyond lending your material things. People often talk about giving of yourself, but what does that mean? Time? Energy?

To give the other person power over yourself is what I think its about.

As soon as you hear yourself say "you can't tell me what to do" it means you have not given that power to that person. So sharing power willingly with your spouse is to me a sign that you have a mutual love of depth.  Naturally that power should be in both people, you should also have that influence in your partners life too.

That you do not abuse this power is what keeps the love alive and growing. That you don't abuse the power is perhaps what others call "respect".

This has become part of what I call conscious knowledge (as opposed to unconscious knowledge) as I have reflected on what Anita and I had in our lives.

So perhaps a part of grieving is also learning.

I am glad that I am not learning along the lines of "you don't know what you have till its gone", for I can say that I did know well "what I had" and cherished it every day. So let me quote to you an important lyric from a song most will know:

love the one your with

and remember that the love you have is the most important thing you have.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The 5 Stages of Grief

The problems I have with stuff written on grieving is that its either magic faries in the garden, inadequate religious mumbo or clinical stuff written for the academic realm to be read by people who have perhaps never had the emotion on their own.

The major accepted literature that psychologists attempt to stuff down your neck is based on the works of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Elisabeth proposes there are Five Stages of Grief:
  •  denial, 
  •  anger, 
  •  bargaining, 
  •  depression, and 
  •  acceptance
in no defined sequence.

It goes on to suggest that there is no defined sequence and that most of these stages occur when a person is faced with the reality of their impending death and applies to survivors of a loved one's death as well.


Well my problems with this are:
Problem number 1: stages which aren't stages?
we have something which includes stages, yet there is no defined sequence? Worse its not meant to be complete AND everyone experiences things uniquely? So what are you trying to say here?
Kübler-Ross noted that these stages are not meant to be complete nor chronological. Her hypothesis also holds that not everyone who experiences a life-threatening or life-altering event feels all five of the responses nor will everyone who does experience them do so in any particular order.
So its about as unclear as you can get. Only some one who is a psychology student would really get this.

Problem number 2: its not about grief, its about something else.
So its not fundamentally about grieving, because that is what people do after someone is dead (perhaps a dictionary could have been used?).
.. occur when a person is faced with the reality of their impending death ...
So this work is about how people come to grips with their own mortality, which is not what I am facing right now.

If you haven't already found it, a reasonable analysis of the theory can be found here. I won't go into it further but save to say that the clinicality of it makes it nothing that I can relate to as a person who is grieving the death of my wife. For me grieving is part of the emotional responses which come from the death of someone you love.

Importantly I notice that love doesn't even enter into the analysis above. Grief without love is nothing more than loss (which perhaps explains the resilience theory mentioned soon).  I believe that it is the depth and nature of love which defines the depth and nature of the grieving.

My personal situation was such that there could be no possiblity of denial. I saw her body, and touche her body, but even before that I had no doubt that people were fooling me or tricking me. I know she had died.

I certainly felt something akin to depression, but to label it as depression is something dangerous, because I believe it's quite different. I don't want some doctor giving me medication to 'cope' with this, its not a mental illness, its an expectable outcome. My wife meant a lot to me and so its entirely expectable that I would feel like shit. What robot wouldn't understand that?

Anger is something I've felt a little bit, but logically who to direct that at? (perhaps psychologists without a clue?) No one is to blame for this, well except God, but then does God exist? Can you get angry at something that doesn't exist? I could start on "everything happens for a reason" and the "free to choose" bullshit, but save to say if you can figure out a reason why she died please drop me a line, and if you also believe that "she was free to choose" then perhaps don't.

So for me there is there is no heart in the 5 stages, but it gets a bit worse.

One of the academic criticisms suggests that there is no grief, only resilienceOh really? I suggest to the author that he stops reviewing papers and goes and experiences something. Perhaps George Bonanno only interviewed people who were "holding it all in" but that's not healthy and ignores the aspect of feelings.

So this is to further explain what I meant in my first post on why I am writing this. I'm writing this for me to put down my thoughts and feelings as well as for anyone else who comes along later and finds it more helpful than the other stuff out there.

Stay strong if you can, and don't feel bad about the occasional collapse.

SMS scams

Its like that joke "Irish Virus" that used to go around:
"delete some of your files and forward this email to all of your friends"

how dumb do these wankers think people are?

No, wait don't answer that question...

Monday, 22 October 2012

the holes left behind

When something suddenly disappears there is a time when nothing is left behind. That sound of the sonic boom is the air snapping closed around the hole in the air left by the plane.

They say that nature abhors a vacuum and so the hole left in my spirit and in my life will gradually have something else seep in to fill it.

By this I mean that my life is normally filled with many things and thoughts as well as with Anita. For me in my life I did not go very long in the day without thinking about her. At work I would make comparisons with things we have done, or things she liked, when hiking I would either be talking with her or see something that she would like and show her. Even just be grumbling about conflicts or issues we've had.

So the sudden removal of her from this world (and it was very sudden) has left me with empty spaces, a sort of vacuum in my life.

Its hard to explain but if you take this image as a sort of representation of my life, with each colour being something that occupies my mind (Anita, my work, hobbies, home repairs ...).
  • at work I would think of things or see things I wanted to share, I still think of these but that leads me to remember she isn't here
  • driving in the car I look over and see she's not there
  • on my motorbike I can't feel her behind me
  • noone sits across from me at the dinner table
I have tried to represent Anita with the blue. If you look carefully there are smatters of blue in almost everything and sometimes joining things together (for instance when Anita was the bridge for me into an activity).

Now I have removed the blue and you can see the gaping holes left by her sudden removal as well, as the thinning out of areas where there were smatters of her influence or just me thinking of her.

This is the vacuum of which I mean. Those large empty ares of white which are now empty times in my life, but there is also now less substance in all the other areas too. But worse than empty they serve to remind me that she isn't here.

Some areas become almost invisible and unstable without her, while other areas just have points of time where I am reminded of her. When Anita first passed away I was totally consumed with her loss. I would say I almost had nothing in my life except for a great wrenching sadness of her passing and wondering things like "why" and "how".  In this later stage I find that when trying to to the normal things (even those which don't involve her) her absence still has an influence.

My life has more 'substance' than air, so I'm sure it will take a long time for those emtpy places to be displaced by life in comparison with the bang of air rushing in to fill the empty space left by the plane.

Friday, 19 October 2012

the crying

For sure one thing I've been doing a lot lately is crying. Not just having tears in my eyes either, but great body wracking sobs which go on for some time. Fortunately its been getting better. The moments after I got off the phone from my sister-in-law to say "she's had a cardiac arrest and has been transferred to intensive care" in particular was bad, but so was the funeral and many other times too.

Often its simple things that set me off, sometimes its a delayed reaction. Something like seeing a couple holding hands and recalling her hand in mine. Then its off. There seems to be no way to avoid it only to delay it.

Babies cry and certainly seem to have that whole body reaction too ... I guess that that they feel like shit as well.

I have been wondering if there is any relationship.

Lately I've been wondering if it is exactly the same thing as what babies feel. They react by crying (often inconsolably) when they feel bad. They can't express what's wrong and the only thing that they can do is cry horribly to express themselves.

It seems like its a natural reaction. Certainly its a reaction which one does not need to learn, as often from the moment they are born they are doing it.

I believe that that reaction stays with us all our lives, even if its something which we attempt to learn out way out of.

From birth we start to learn about the feelings we have, simple stuff at first:
  • I feel cold
  • I feel hungry
  • I feel uncomfortable
eventually we learn other behavior which allows us to solve our problems or express our problems more effectively.

Grief is something which we just don't know in the first years of life, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that when we encounter something as powerful an experience as the death of someone we love that (having learned nothing to help us cope) we can only cry uncontrollably as a reaction to feeling like total crap.

One thing I have learned in this process is that its like sweating, if you feel hot you have to do it. You may not even notice you're feeling hot but you body starts sweating for you and then perhaps you start to be conscious of "gee, its a bit warm".

So you just have to go with it and cry like a baby when ever you need to. Anyone who doesn't get it ... too bad, they aren't really much of a human even if they are of the same genetic species.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

glimpses of normality

I've been so used to feeling like shit lately that it came as a surprise to me today that I found my reactions to things were more or less normal.

I feel that there are two parts to my mind, the logical part and the emotional part. In my daily life I have to decide which part to listen to. I can not totally succumb to either for I believe that would be an imbalance and I somehow feel that there needs to be a harmony or a balance in life.

Certainly there are times when such imbalance is created by the rocks which get thrown upon me from above - like the death of my lovely wife Anita.

Despite my mood and the daily reminders of her absence I have sometimes found myself behaving normally, as I did before Anita's passing. Reactions to things as well as reactions to what I hear going on around me. This is somehow encouraging (but I'm not yet convinced) that I will be able to recover something of a life after her death.

I find it impossible to stop the logical side of my brain from posing questions to me:
  • what will life be like after this?
  • will I just remain alone?
  • what do I want to do?
  • can I ever love another?
Some of these questions are simply too difficult (read painful) to contemplate.

I also know that I can not really predict the future with any more certainty than I could have predicted meeting Anita in South Korea so many years ago. But what I can be more certain of is that as my age advances the type of relationships and the capacity for me to do certain things becomes different.This is likely to have a strong influence on many things.

For instance, you don't meet many late 50 year olds engaging in a cross country ski trip towing sleds, and no I'm not 50 yet.

But it remains unclear if I will be blessed with such good health as I had just as recently as 2006 when this shot was taken (before going out on exactly that sort of trip).

Grief is a complex thing. I don't believe that its only about the loss of the person (although that is certainly #1 on the scale), but also about the loss of so many thing in your life. I mean after all, I built my life around Anita, so when I lost her I also lost so much else in my life. That Anita is not with me in my daily life hurts. That she is not there to share the things that I can still do reminds me that she is not here and it goes back to hurting again.

So the nature of the loss that one grieves about is related to the depth of life changes caused by the death of your loved one. This all takes time to sink in and so for me forms an 'maturation' of the grief.

So yes, it sort of gets worse before it gets better (hoping here that it gets better).

This goes back to what I wrote earlier (on another post) that relationships with your parents can not be the same as the relationships you have with your partner because you live different lives with your parents than you do with your partner (well I hope you do).

I think it was around the time of her Funeral when I was thinking of things we did together that I realised that it would seem impossible I could ever do those things again with another person. Not just because I am worried about doing the same things with another, but because I probably can't do those things again as I age. Unlike break-ups which were part of my relationships before marriage, the death of my wife not only devastates my life short term, but essentially creates a clear severance with my life with Anita and what happens after.

While my life may go on, parts of my life are simply memories now. Memories which I alone carry. Memories which noone else shares. Memories which I can not talk with to anyone who will understand in the same way as those who were there (like my wife was).

I have no idea what I will become, but I know that I can not "start again" I can only "continue" and see what happens.

I will forever miss Anita like no other person who has ever entered my life

No matter how close one is to someone there are always parts of yourself which are independent from the relationship you have. Perhaps it is how absorbed you are in that relationship which governs how long it take for the parts which are removed by their death to be gradually replaced with new things.

But now that some months have passed and I have forced myself to go back to doing something other than sitting and crying I find myself doing things which of course didn't really have Anita in them. Simple things, like helping my in-laws to sort berries or fixing my motor bike.

But her absence leaves a vacuum in my life, empty spaces which when ever I turn to them out of habit or out of desire all I find is that she is not there. While I am doing those things which normally don't involve her and normally have very little influence of her in my thoughts or activities (and they are few) I am gradually able to feel glimpses of normality. Like life was before the pain.

I believe that it is important for those grieving to realise that the pain they feel is actually as real as the pain from anything physical. Studies have identified (ref) that the same parts of the brain which process and let you know about physical injury are involved in emotional injury. I also like this authors grasp of the problem at this link.

As one who has recovered from injury and (quite major) surgery (which is a type of controlled injury) a number of times I know logically that I will heal. Equally I know that I will always bear scars and aches and pains and reminders of the injuries I have had.

Life goes on no matter what happens to me, so its up to me to make the most of it.

So now I'll get up for the rest of the day and start trying to live as I can for today. I'll let you know about tomorrow later.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

betting this goes viral

sure is interesting viewing and an interesting story in the background too

ORDOS from Charles Lanceplaine on Vimeo.

grief - advice to the others

Intellectually I realize that people are only attempting to make you feel less alone and be identified with, perhaps even just to express nice sounds, but when people say to me "I know how you feel" it often results in me wanting to turn and walk away from them.

So to anyone reading this who may be facing with this situation *(their friend or colleague having lost their husband or wife) please I beg you do not say "I know how you feel". Especially if you have not lost your wife of husband (or partner should you be gay).

Loosing a parent, however tragic and moving is (please note: I have lost my my mother only a few years ago and my father only in July) can not be compared to the the loss of a partner. That is so much more close to the bone as to be indescribable. In fact it cuts and breaks the bone and is pain so intense and lasting that I hope you never endure it. I believe it is the reason why so many people die when their wife dies. They die from either a broken heart or the medical conditions such as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

So if you are not in the situation where:
  • you are in a sexual relationship with your parent
  • building a house with your parent (for the purposes of raising your children)
  • sleeping every night and waking every morning with your parent
  • having deep conversations of how you feel
  • growing together with your parent (in order to live better with them and learn to resolve conflicts)
 then you just don't know how it feels

So despite your good intentions, do not say such nonsence and instead just express you are really very sorry. Perhaps offer help or assistance, an ear to listen to.

But please don't say "I know how it feels" cos thankfully you don't.

At worst (depending on the person) you'll get a torrent of explaination or simply just appear to be the ignorant fool that you perhaps really are.

This is something that I have found to be a common feeling in the others I have met who are in my situation.

PS a friend who has also lost her parents and husband sent me this image today. I feel its poignant and wished to add it to this post.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Grief - my journey after loosing my wife

My wife is without doubt the most important person in my life. She was the one whom I related everything through and did everything for. She was my partner, my soul mate and my love. It seems almost incomprehensible that I was ever any other way.

Until after she died and life without her became apparent.

For those who have absolutely no notice of a death (you know, not people who suffered a terminal illness and die over weeks or months) the initial shock of the death is just horrible. Certainly the anguish of the first moments when are informed they are dead are horrible.

Then when you get to be by their side and can physically touch them all the emotions just pour out like out of a fire hose (well that's how it was for me). All I felt was great wracking tears like a baby. Nothing coherent except wanting to talk with her and touch her as if she was still alive, but knowing that she wasn't.

There was nothing written about this sort of thing which I could find, despite searching.  One of the things which came clearly to me when I was doing research in Environmental Science was that in the social sciences (which I needed to touch upon), were very often based on the many referencing the few. And so It is that I find the same thing with trying to understand my journey through grief.

I am sure that with the simplest google search you can find the 'stages of grief' as documented in the popular annals of psychology. I read it and found that I had only a passing identification with it. For starters I did not find myself in the bargaining stage after my wife had died.

So I wanted to write something about this for others who may come along looking for some sort of answers but be unhappy with / unable to relate to what is already written by others.

Firstly it would seem to me that this is a journey which you take alone. Certainly you get some support from your friends but you are essentially alone. To put a modern slant on this, its almost like being in a place where you have never been before and are in touch with your friends only by phone, email, or facebook.

Noone seems to be able to touch your heart. So while others who are not as close can go home to their families and homes, at the end of the day I (you) have to go home to be alone with just the certain knowledge that your partner is simply gone.

I now know what 'inconsolable' means.

Now each day is the grief of their absence combined with sadness of loneliness which may have troubled you before you met your loved one. All the things which you hated about life before them are back in your face and everything you loved about life with them is gone.

I am now a different person to who I was on the 18th of August. I suspect I will never be able to recover but only that I will be able to heal. Strangely its not unlike the experience of having my heart surgery. I am still alive but there are scars which hurt and constant reminders of the changed situation.

As time goes on I will put more about this on my blog and it can be found with the label "grief" in the tag navigation. Right now I'm exhausted. I've just got off the phone from the doctor discussing the results of the histology examination and I feel totally drained and unable to think clearly.

T-Max change stator details

An issue with Yamaha motors is that the alternator stators are mounted on the inside of the crank case covers and a magnet that is on the crank spins to generate the electricity. It has the benefits of being a systems with minimal moving parts, but has the disadvantage of exposing the insulation around the wires to corrosive stuff in the oils. It was pointed out to me back when I had a Yamaha XZ550 that this was the cause of the alternator stator dying on that bike too ... (in adequate oil change regime). More details about that can be found here, and much of the mechanicals of that are almost identical to what the Yamaha T-Max has
So this is what the crank case cover looks like when taken off. The stator is the bunch of coils on the left where I have a blue arrow and circle pointing to the dead winding. You can also see the path of the wire through the (note it appears upside down relative to how it sits on the bike)

then I have the coil taken out, you can more clearly see the charring of the insulation around the wire windings.

Then on the frame there is the connector to which the stator plugs into. This essentially goes directly to the regulator (which is on the other side of the bike). An important test is to also check that the three wires that come from the stator into that plug do not connect to ground. That was the give away for my situation.

You can see that heaps of body paneling has to be removed to get at all of this. You can see the magnet that spins generating the voltage in the coils. I've covered it all under gladwrap (clingwrap?) to protect it all from dust and dirt while I waited (2 weeks) for the parts. Because the cooling system has to come off as well as the crank case cover it becomes a messy exersize.

With the new stator fitted and it all cleaned up ready to go back together.

You can see also in the top right of the above image the place where the water pump protrudes into the crank case. This is driven off a gear inside the engine too. So that's all of it. From here it all goes back together and the cooling system put on and the pannels and blah blah blah.

for the benefit of anyone doing this (and to explain why I was considering issues with the oil view window and oil filling here are some pictures of the crank case cover with the stator in place.

* stator on the right
* view window just below it
and you can see that there is a cover inside the cover, with a bearing in the middle of it. This is also a support for the clutch.

This view is not seen on any of the PDF manuals I have seen.

when removing that cover (which you'll need to do to get the wires out for the stator you reveal the insides of this chamber.


You can see:
A) the oil filler cap entry to the engine
B) the gross particle filter
C) the drain from this into the rest of the crankcase cover area.


I suspected that the gross particle filter was blocked with lots of crap.

The crap came (inevitably) from cleaning off the surface before fitting the gasket again. The cover side which you see is easy to clean without hassle but the engine side is more difficult. I drained a little of the oil to discover that it was actually reasonably contaminated with bits of muck.

Note also the thin oil gallerys on the bottom part of this cover. Important to not clog them with crap when putting the gasket goo on the surfaces. So as directed, apply a thin bead ... you aren't icing a black forest cake here :-)

All seems to be good now Oh, and the forks needed seals too...


NOTE: I have had further issues with the charging system which I have gone into here.

In a nutshell, there is what I  believe to be a design flaw in the early model which leads to excessive draining of the battery in some situations (for many riders in warmer climates, most situations I suspect). I feel that this will have a direct influence on why the stator coils burn out - NB they are being used at their design limit all the time and overheat.

I have identified a solution for that in a post here. The solution is doable by a competent handy man or under direction any auto-electrician.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

To Dominic Nutt

Dear Dominic

let me start by introducing myself in terms which may make sence to you. I share something in common with you: we are both trying to come to terms with death. In your case your own, in my case the death of my wife. Last month I lost my beloved wife to a brain "tumor", specifically it was a type 4 glimoa (it is interesting how the doctors are reticent to call it cancer).

I can not begin to express the level of devastation I feel at her loss, in particular because she was taken from me so suddenly and unexpectedly barely 6 weeks ago. Seldom are two people as close or as closely matched as we were. Although she was Finnish and I Australian we met in South Korea and have been inseparable for the last seven years. We had both looked all our lives to find just the sort of partner we found in each other.

Her loss to me is the most heart wrenching experience in my life. I lost my father to cancer barely one month before my wife and had myself been through major surgery with the discovery of an aneurysm on my Aorta and surgery for that back in November. My lovely wife stood by me through all this and was my primary source of comfort, strength and inspiration to become strong and healthy again. As we were planning children it was quite important for me to get up and running fast.

Through all this she had that disease eating at her and we just didn't know it. So I feel that I can grasp the situation you are in as well as understand the emotions you are feeling.

With all this in mind I am writing to you for two reasons:
  1. to encourage you to focus on one of the most important things - that is your family and the love you have for each other now.
  2. to offer some caution about the path you are taking on the experimental treatments: primarily because it is uncertain in outcome and may cause you to take your eye off the ball for the first point above.

The love you have of your family is the most important thing you have. When you write:
Would I risk it all for the chance to see my daughters go to school and to hold my wife's hand as we celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, instead of forcing them to watch me die, tubed up and in pain? Hell, yes!
I see the very strong possiblity that you are at risk of struggling so much to get extra life as to be ignoring the life you have, putting them off during that and ignoring the strong possibility that the treatment itself could leave you exactly forcing them to watch you die.

I have thought long and hard about the circumstances of my darling Anita's death. As painful as it is to say I am sure that I would not have swapped another 3 or 4 months of her undergoing treatments, being debased and dehumanized as only long term treatments in hospitals with steady declines in health can do to you.

I know this as I have seen it.

It is admirable that you fight for your life, but please (for your families sake) don't loose sight of the really important issue here: Human Dignity and Love

Death comes for us all, and who knows when. I would have never anticipated my wife dying days after she stepped off a plane in Finland to visit her family. It was like the shock of some sort of car accident, only worse in some ways as there was no one else to blame. I won't waste your time discussing my personal search for understanding how or what I could have done differently to make things different, save to say that its a natural grieving reaction and I'm still in the midst of it. So don't let your struggle cause you to live one second less of the love and beauty of your family. For when you are gone it is that which they will have to remember.

As some one who has a background in biochemistry and has some experience with the medical system I beg you to keep in mind that miracles of science may not deliver more than more anguish.

I know that I am no one to you, but should you ever wish to contact me I am willing to share what I can and listen to your own story.

Kind Regards, from Anita and Chris