Sep. 19th, 2010 12:37 am
prog: (what_you_say)
So apparently the "sunburned" feeling in my right arm was in fact the onset of shingles. They started poking their little heads up through the fertile soil of my right hand on Thursday, and are now in full bloom, all over my fingers and elbow. I've been whacking at them with enormous antiviral pills since Friday, after visiting the doctor yet again.

In the grander scheme it's only a passing nuisance, but it's the sort of nuisance that sits in the forefront of one's attention while it's around. I never knew until now how many common every-day activities involve casually hitting or scraping the skin of your fingers against various surfaces. Wow, do I ever know now. Every time it happens I need to stop and think about it, really hard, grinding my teeth.

Fun fact: Until this clears, I am now a possible contagion vector for ol' varicella zoster, the chickenpox virus! I've put myself under vague quarantine, and guests who haven't had chickenpox are advised to stay the heck away from our house. Furthermore, Zarf's suggestion as to my motivations is not entirely accurate.

As for the startling coincidence of this happening at the same time as a stress injury, in the same body part: My self-diagnosis is that the shingles is the true causus belli, and that the stress of its outbreak temporarily exacerbated the nascent RSI that I have knowingly lived with -- and haven't thought too hard about -- for years.

If it happens to serve as an alert before I let that get any worse, then so be it. It's mine to ignore.
prog: (Default)
Doc ran battery of tests, and localized the pain source to my elbow. I was a little skeptical, but I must admit that it was the only place that actively hurt while we wrung out my whole armal region, from shoulder to wrist. And it hurt rather a lot.

He pronounced it as lateral something-or-other (feel dumb for not writing it down now), took X-rays to be sure I wasn't hosting any bone-gnawing alien symbiotes (negative), and prescribed anti-inflammatory pills, ice, and taking it easy until next week. I will do this.

He had nothing to say about my "sunburned" feeling except to keep an eye out for shingles. OK.

I am also self-medicating with a wrist brace from CVS. Yes, I know not to treat it as a cure-all, but it seems a not wholly unwise adjustment, just the same.

Blessings again to all who virtually frog-marched me into the doctor's office yesterday. I wasn't expecting to hear that, and therefore needed to hear that.
prog: (Default)
(Tyiping this with left hand only.)

Bless all of you, and especially [livejournal.com profile] cnoocy for coming down hardest on forbidding me to type or mouse with my ouchy hand until I talk to a doctor. I have spent the last six hours playing xbox games, then board games, then Wii Fit. Arm still feels weird, but the pain is already mostly gone! Not gulping pain pills any more. I suspect a causal relationship.

Arm is less numb per se than sunburned-feeling. Kind of interesting.

Tomorrow, asking recepetionist at docs office where I should go for fast advice. One sick day is OK but i really cant stay off the keyboard for very long. A little antsy already. As you may have ascertained.
prog: (what_you_say)
So something went b'doink in a non-TMI region of my body. Coincidentally, I have a physical coming up in a couple of weeks. I am looking for confirmation that it's OK to wait for that, or if I should run-not-walk to the doctor's office to escalate this.

Since Saturday afternoon -- so, for three days now, without letup -- my right forearm has felt somewhat numb and rather painful, from elbow to fingertips. The pain recedes for several hours whenever I eat ibuprofen, but the numbness stays: an unpleasant tingle, especially on all the affected area's skin. It feels especially weird on the inner surfaces of my fingers.

The pain arrived in a sudden rush while I worked on Saturday, and has remained since. But I otherwise feel great, and my arm is fully functional, with no muscular weakness or anything. So: thoughts? Meh wait it out (with a doc appointment after two weeks), or holy shit, jmac, pick up the phone now?

Wii Fit

Dec. 21st, 2008 11:28 am
prog: (Wario)
[livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie and I got Wii Fit as an early Xmas prezzie. It's nice! I recommend it if you have a Wii but lack a solid exercise regimen. I'm skeptical about the game's longevity, but it is teaching me some new, worthwhile stuff. If nothing else, it's like a super-interactive exercise video, with feedback.

It's a bit too interactive at times, though. It needs a mode where it leads you through a workout of several linked exercises, rather than letting you choose exercises one-by-one until you feel like stopping. Not only do I not always want to choose, but the break of a minute or two for menu navigation and (unskippable) high-score-list admiration feels artificial.

Sometimes it does suggest a good follow-on exercise after you complete something, but instead of offering you a "Hey great let's do that" button, it leaves it to you to find where in the menu-maze that second exercise is, and start it up yourself. How could they miss this?

It'd also be nice if you could navigate the menus using only the foot device, a la DDR, rather than having to pick up and put down the Wii Remote all the time, often just to press the A button. Really, would puttting an extra A button in toe's reach on the board have been that hard? (It already sports a toe-friendly power buttton.)

And, too bad about the BMI, which everyone (even my doctor) seems to agree isn't a very useful metric, at least in terms of presenting a normal/overweight/obese range that hardly applies to all humans. But we knew about this deal ahead of time, so we're not taking it too seriously. We laugh as the Wii performs its initial judgement on new players, which is invariably HELLO YOU ARE ENORMOUS followed by ploomp ballooning up the player's on-screen Mii, who is like "WTF". whatever


Nov. 5th, 2008 03:00 pm
prog: (Default)
So, the country is set to walk a sane path again - can you believe it? - and I had my last PT session today, as well as a flu shot. My hip isn't popping (nearly as much) any more and I'm told the relevant muscles are much stronger than they were a month ago. Yay.

As for the other stuff: I'm no fanboy, and I'm already working on a healthy dose of skepticism about all of this. But. What I saw last night is that it is possible to sell a national population on Hope, even when Fear is so cheap and abundant. I suppose I'm saying that it's the voting public I'm really impressed and hopeful about, moreso than the president-elect - though all props to him and his for making it happen.

As far as I can tell, Obama's true campaign platform was less "My policies are the best" and more "This is who we can be". And a majority of Americans said: OK, I'm game. Let's try this. I'm feeling quite optimistic that a stronger, saner national self-image will, eventually, result in good policies. We all have a lot of work to do, but it really feels now like - begging your pardon - yes, we can do it now.

...and I would like to see one of his first actions in office be to start rewinding those terrible double-secret executive powers that Cheney and pals set up. And I am not sure how to best communicate this to his office. More writing congressfolk, I guess.
prog: (Default)
I enjoyed the concert, though it was very loud and the acoustics were terrible.

Twelve hours and a solid sleep later, my ears are still ringing, and I have a physical sensation of cotton lodged into both of them. Is this... should I be worried? I don't know.

A friend who goes to many concerts tells me that, doy, they sell earplugs at the bar, you know, and everyone who isn't dumb wears them. I didn't know this. I don't know anything!! I am a nerd who doesn't get out much.

Seriously though, I'm starting to get a little concerned about this.
prog: (zendo)
Those missing my liveblogging (coz I didn't watch the debate) can read Defective Yeti's take on it, or Todd Alcott's thoughts if you'd like less snark.

I played Wiz-War last night, by gar. It was the shortest Wiz-War game ever. I want to play it again.

Going to a physical therapy session in a couple of hours. What's this? Well, after we moved I detected something strange, and rather than whine in LJ about how it's surely a tumor, I broke tradition and went to the doctor first. Turns out it's some benign condition with a long name that makes me feel a pop-pop in my hip when I walk around outside. I was told that if I ignore it, it may get less benign, so I'm gonna have it stretched out of me. Bought some running shorts yesterday, just for the occasion. Woo.
prog: (khan)
A colleague from my past had a bike accident yesterday and went to hospital. He got roughed up real bad and needed surgery, so that happened today, and he's now improving rapidly. I know this through frequent updates that his wife's been making to a carepages.com page.

And I appreciate this, even though I have discovered that Carepages is to emailed or blogged health updates as Evite is to emailed invitations. Except even worse than that, times ten. First, you have to register before you can even see your friend's page, and much is the grumbling wtf-ery. Once you do this, you start to receive emailed notifications whenever the person's page gets updated, but the email contains no details about the update. When you click the link read the update you have to log in again, because there's no option to keep a session cookie with the website!

When a significant percentage of your users are worried-sick friends and family who hold their breath with dread every time there's news, what you don't do is announce this news with a content-free email and a link that makes them fumble around for their password when they're too stressed out to type straight, every goddamn time. That is fucking wrong.

It's kind of tacky to get mad about bad UI in this situation, but I'm relieved that he's gonna be OK, and so I think I have the right to vent that this shit just crosses the line. I just emailed my friend to wish him the best. Oh, RFC 821: you are much maligned, but you're there when we just need simplicity.


Apr. 20th, 2008 09:47 am
prog: (coffee)
Also, I have been making a point to eat breakfast! This is unusual for me. "Breakfast", for me, is traditionally a coffee and some sort of enormous doughy lumpus. Now I'm actually puttin away the eggs and cereal and such. (And keeping the coffee, of course.) This is great.

Should I go to the doctor for a checkup next month? I have heard disagreement about whether it's an annual or a biannual thing (at least in my age bracket). But it can't hurt, right?

Next month it'll have been a year since I was first given a proper diagnosis and treatment for those awful stomachaches. They've come back once or twice since then, but I can always make them go away by myself now. In retrospect I can't believe I lived under them in painful ignorance for as long as I did.
prog: (Default)
Posting from the Windows side of my Mac. I just confirmed that exporting XNA games to an XBox works as advertised, at least if you're running Windows natively; there seems to be no way around it if you're going through VMWare. Am presently attacking the Asteroids tutorial I posted about earlier.

On the fence about buying another damn computer. An alternate strategy is to use my G5 for the things that I had been using my MacBook for. But... enh. My MacBook is better at being a Mac than the G5 is. It'd be a downgrade. Maybe I'll feel differently once I've put a couple more checks between me and the hurty, hurty tax pay-off.

I have been sticking to my exercise and my "diet", which gets scare-quotes because it amounts to: Hey, why not pay some attention to what you're shoving into your gob, for once. I have been eating only when actually hungry, and allowing myself one (1) treat per day - like a honking big P.B. Cookie from Rossini's - since I find that I don't really desire more treats than that. The treat always tastes very good this way. It is always worth every totally worthless calorie.

This is all noteworthy because I've stuck to it long enough that my body's adjusted itself in a way I'm not used to: my appetite dropped by a discrete quantum literally overnight, two nights ago. It took me two mealtimes to work through a True Grounds breakfast burrito, and it's been like that since. Everything else seems fine, so I'm not doing my usual reaction to internal changes of jogging up the walls gnashing arrgh it's a tumor. So that's all right.

What else

Apr. 15th, 2008 10:39 pm
prog: (Default)
In other news:

I screwed up my ability to pay taxes on time. I have the money, more or less, but it's not in the right location. I'll spare you the details. So anyway, I filed extensions for the first time in my life. The thing that people seem not to know about extensions is that you're still supposed to pay what you owe on-time; the extension's just for the paperwork.

Fortunately(-ish), tax slackers are a common case, so the gov't will happily take your payment later, plus interest for however long you slacked. The rate is based on the Fed so it's cheaper than credit cards. They won't raise too much of a stink so long as they see their tardy money in a reasonable period of time.

The feds got an in-good-faith payment of $1K from me, and the commonwealth got NOTHING. I'll have to make it up to them next month. I need to be a busy beaver with Appleseed work for the next coupla weeks to make sure I can pay all that and everything else, but the work's right here in front of me.

Climbed back on the exercise horse. I guess it's better that I keep fallin off and gettin on than just stop altogether. The funnest thing about getting back into shape is objectively observing your strength come back, day-to-day. I could barely do five push-ups last week, and now I can do six smoothly. Let us forget that I could do ten easily a coupla months ago. Stupid, slippery horse.

Been playing a lot of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. The best parts of the game are wandering the countryside on a mission, as it really is quite beautiful, and getting into utterly insane encounters due to the fact that monsters and NPCs can, if they wish, locate or follow you to literally any location in the game world. Once I had an ally from the game world's main city show up three levels deep in a dungeon to ask me about a quest I had left half-finished. Also, if crazed goblins ambush you in a cave, you can let them chase you right into the middle of the nearest city, where the imperial guards'll be like "wtf?" and stick 'em for you.

Yesterday I did this by accident, except that I got into a situation where two assassins were chasing me, and a guard was chasing them, and I got them all to run into the middle of a deep lake - I have magic boots that let me walk on water, see. None of these guys had any issue with either buoyancy or oxygen, and the assassins stood around directly beneath me, puzzled, as the guard methodically relieved them of their hit points. Presently their bodies floated up like dead guppies, which was nice, coz they're easier to loot that way. Moments later, the guard burst out of the water on a shore dozens of yards away, and zoomed off over the hills, back to wherever he came from. I laughed.

XBox poop

Mar. 10th, 2008 11:36 am
prog: (coffee)
My "vacation" failed to start last week, since my main active client had a bunch of revisions for me to make, which didn't surprise me. The work I have done went live on Friday, so we are now done-done and I hope to do interesting things starting today. (The client's already started to make new sales via the software I wrote, which makes everyone feel good.)

First, though, I spent the weekend sick at home, playing video games. Saturday [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie hung out and we played XBLA stuff together, and Sunday I spent alone playing Half Life 2, which is new to me. And, erm, I just played it all morning this morning, too. That's enough of that.

This is my first exposure to the current generation of digital gaming with a high-def display, sitting at the end of an intertube ready to pump more gamage at me whenever I wanted. I can see why someone could just sit and play forever. (Microsoft happily keeps your credit card info on-file after your first online purchase, so buying more downloadable gobbidge thereafter is as easy as pressing a button. They are bastards.)

I haven't played TF2 yet. I'm a little scared to. I had fun runnin around one of the maps alone just to check out the place.

The sickness was worrisome. After a month of masterful regularity, maybe the best I've ever had, I didn't go for five days and it was starting to hurt. Sunday I turned to a coordinated regimen of many things to get it all out, and it worked, and it was pretty awful. I am going to drink through this bottle of prune juice and hope that balance has been restored to the force. I have no idea what's going on.
prog: (Muybridge)
Starting today, I am eating resveratrol supplements with my breakfast.

I feel good about this. After following anti-aging developments for years, and flirting with some ideas like calorie restriction, this is the first time I have applied a promising technology to myself. I do not mind saying that I went ahead and made a little ceremony of my first dose, eating the pills with cold water while standing under a hot shower. From tomorrow on, they'll just go down with my morning coffee.

Effects so far: some of my burps taste funny. Stay tuned for updates.

My plan, henceforth, is to continue following the news about anti-aging treatments and applying the single sanest-sounding one to myself, letting it complement a lifestyle of varied diet, frequent exercise, low stress, high friendship, and all that good stuff. I suspect, though, that there'll only be so many more candidates before one treatment really blows the lid off.

Still, I can't help but feel a little self-conscious about this. Many of my friends are apathetic about, or even resistant to, the idea of clinical anti-aging therapy. I can understand where they come from, because it's based on countless generations of the shared human condition, and that's awfully strong stuff. It doesn't help that decades of advertising have confused the definition of "anti-aging" with the promises of beauty creams or plastic surgery. This can make the desire to truly eliminate aging seem like a shallow pursuit, when really it's no shallower than wishing to eliminate any other debilitating, degenerative disease.

The meme that aging is treatable started working its way into the mainstream just as I was turning 30. I don't believe in fate, but I do believe in auspiciously timed opportunity.

Here's to the future, eh?

Edit: I'm shutting off anonymous comments on this entry because it's getting a lot of anon-spam.
prog: (Default)
My stomachaches are back. The reason is simple; I stopped paying attention to what I was guzzling.

Yesterday was just terrible, and I had to chomp down lots of Pepto. Today it's down to a dull ache, without medicine. Tomorrow it'll be gone, unless I get stupid about what I drink today. If I understand correctly, what goes on here is that one's digestive system goes from its usual acerbic roiling into a gentle simmer when one is asleep, and regenerative processes take advantage of this by repairing the stomach lining from the day's abuses.

Before I knew what was going on, back when whether I had a "good" or "bad" stomach day seemed like a crapshoot, it was basically a question of whether my tum had managed to reinforce itself sufficiently the previous night. If it had caught up, I'd have a good day. If it didn't quite make it, I'd be in pain until my next long sleep. Quite simple, really.

Now that I have a clue, I will just have to pay some attention to what I drink and it will be OK. I don't think I will have to give up anything, except for the "pleasure" of having three coffees, two beers and a coke on one day just because I want something to do with my hands or whatever. If I limit my drinking of this stuff to when I actually want it I will be fine.

Some days

Sep. 23rd, 2007 10:49 pm
prog: (Default)
Thursday was a sick day. Clobbered and miserable. At the end of the day I greeted the returned [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie and she gave me Tylenol cold & flu pills, which (after an hour of sleep) snapped me back into sensibility like a light switch. I swear by this product now.

Friday did some contract work for the first time in a while. (This coming week I'm gonna be doing a lot of it, actually.) After that, delivered an HTML snapshot of the web client's table UI (not super-easy to do since it's a slippery DHTML app) to[livejournal.com profile] radiotelescope. He insisted that this demo needs to make a much better first impression than I was preparing, and then volunteered to help make it happen himself. I have no problem with this sort of criticism!

Saturday started to set up the machine that will host jmac.org. After moving over! It's mostly Gameshelf episodes, and I discover that a few seem to exist in duplicate. Well, i can do something about that, at least. Then attended an art salon featureing [livejournal.com profile] cthulhia's paintings, marymary's poetry and C's recorder-playin. It was delightful.

Sunday, more machine setup, and reaching out to prodigal jmac.org users via email to tell em what's up and ask if they'd like to stay. Discovery, via [livejournal.com profile] daerr, of Google's domain-level management apps. I am likely to point jmac.org's MX records at it to let Google handle all my domain's incoming mail. Yeah, I know.

Afternoon meeting with [livejournal.com profile] taskboy3000 about the Gameshelf shoot we're having on Tuesday, including a script read-through. Also, we played MULE again. Trader Joe's dinner with [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie, and then we hung out at [livejournal.com profile] dictator555 and Nate's place for a while, drinking their tea while I wrote some new game news segments. It will be a good show.
prog: (Default)
DDR Supernova is nice. I was originally resistant to the notion of completing special obstacle courses in order to unlock songs, but they are clever and encourage you to explore the various song-tweaking options that have been in the games since the beginning but which I've never bothered messing with. These mostly involve ways to change how the arrows move and appear, such as reversing the flow of arrows, or making them appear only halfway up the screen, or having them move at unpredictable speeds. It's sort of a DDR scavenger hunt, and I like it.

I can do 7-footers comfortably and some 8-footers with exertion and luck. This may be my plateau.

Also, today I bought a song on iTunes because I heard it in a DDR game, which is a first for me. It is "Jerk It Out" by Caesars. Which makes me think of someone trying with violent motions to get the last bit of caesar salad dressing from the bottle, but in fact if you listen to the iTMS sample you will hear the chunkly filtered organ riff that I found highly catchy and happy and worth a dollar. Very fun to stomp arrows in time to, as well.

Have gotten into an exercise routine lately where I spend about an hour playing DDR and then doing some push-ups and other floor exercises. Though the results have been fast - I'm definitely building up strength, able to do a few more reps every day - I'm sure my form is terrible. I looked at WP's page on push-ups, which have a totally boss animated GIF of a guy doing push-ups forever, but its caption (doubtless provided by a later contributor) criticizes his bad form. Uh, and now I look at the page and the picture's gone.

This video is the number-one googley hit for "how to do push-ups". It is not how I have been doing them. I like the suggestions for making it easier, and easier again, for newbs. I remember doing the easiest kind, with bent knees, when I went to "special gym" in grade school. But today, my shoulders hurt at the bone level after doing whatever horrible thing I was doing that was apparently not push-ups, so maybe I'll try this chest-to-the-floor way tomorrow.
prog: (Default)
I am having a good day.

In the wee hours this morning I played two games of Tic Tac Toe against a bot with the Volity web client. The application is not in a state where anyone other than me can use it, but we have nonetheless acheived target depth. It's all lateral digging from here. I IMed [livejournal.com profile] radiotelescope around 1a.m. to share the moment. He said "WTF, mid-August?" and told me to go see a movie.

I've suffered discomfort from zits growing deep in my left ear over the past couple of days, and they burst while I was showering this morning. It was briefly horrible, but after spending a while mucking the ear out with Q-tips I felt my old self again. If it weren't for [livejournal.com profile] classicaljunkie I probably wouldn't have had any Q-tips on hand. Truly, this is what love is all about. (Actually now that I think back I originally bought the Q-tips to clean my keyboard. Wev.)

Walked to Kendall to squirrel the spoils of my July contracting work into the one ATM in town that accepts deposits for NetBank. Buoyant and listening to favorite podcasts, I thought upon Zarf's advice and looked at the movie theater, but they had no noon shows, so instead treated myself to lunch & beer at the CBC. I think I ticked off the server when I changed my mind about outdoor seating and asked to go inside instead; though the restaurant had few people in it he sat me next to a couple of grumpy people talking business, ignoring their cranky protests about why I had to sit there. I listened to my iPod and enjoyed my meal anyway, and said hello to [livejournal.com profile] modpixie on my way home.

Now it's pouring out even though I was walking through the sunshine. Who knows!
prog: (Default)
According to my logs, I haven't had a noteworthy day-long stomachache in nearly two months. The Prilosec treatment seems to have done its job! Very nice.

Reminded of this because I had three drinks and change last night, and this morning I'm feeling a little burned inside. I too easily forget that that stuff is not good for my tum, out of moderation. On the other hand, it's fading away already as the day goes on - I just need to take it easy.
prog: (Default)
Wii sees your DDR and raises you by knocking you to the floor and making you do pushups.

The proof's in the pudding, but this could be pretty excellent. Check out the trailer at the bottom of that page. If it doesn't suck then it's almost certainly a must-buy for me.

The reviewer asks some pertinent questions about how friendly it is with larger folk (who are not featured in said trailer) and whether BMI is really the best scorekeeping mechanism... but if the device can function fine under heavier weights, both it and the Wii Fit software might be equally friendly for all kinds of body types, which would be even awesomer.

In other news I finally made a George Bush Mii that I'm happy with. It's hard to do without the ears. I wish it were easier to post one's Mii collection as images or I'd have already done it; I finished my BSG set long ago and have started in on politics, doing both Clintons and Obama last month and also making a little Cheney. My Miis. Let me show you them. (If you're a Wii-friend and you don't have any of these and would like em let me know, and I'll send them over.)

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