A journal of questionable quality

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Aqua boy overkill

it's a water thing
Finally back at the local pool - one day this week. One day because I manage to blitzkrieg myself. Too keen by far.

The trouble with water is you don't really feel too much in the way of muscle weariness while you remain in the water. You get out of the water and you usually manage to figure it out. You get rubber knees, fall down, and scream in pain.

Duplicating hydrotherapy stuff was the plan; along with a few laps. Laps would be structured thus - one with a board, one full freestyle. Legs getting most of everything. Arms, shoulders, and associated gear worked mildly according to instruction.

30 laps - 1.5 klms; looking good, long time since I have been there. Sensibly stopping then - don't want to overdo anything.

Pleased with such self control I have launched into my version of the hydro stuff I have been doing; equipped with giant paddle hands, swinging about madly in the water.

Obviously there are no limits to what can be done in the way of exercise in a pool; unless of course, you happen to have giant paddles on you hands and a determined mindset.

Outcome immediate: lethargy for the rest of the day. A shame considering the day was young when I began.

Outcome longer term: extreme pain in nearly every area. Why didn't tell me this could happen? No sleep that night - I don't know what that was about. Pain, headaches and associated malaise ever since, up to and including today.

Over training symptoms - remembered from years ago when I decided to be a Weider disciple - all of the above.

Sleepless night, turning into a 38 degree day, I'm back in bed, wide awake but thankfully air conditioned, trying to make up for an entire night of lost sleep. The day a resounding failure.

Tomorrow, Friday, a return date with the real hydrotherapy lady and obviously some explanation is going to be required.

Must remember this lesson, must remember this lesson...

Bagged and tagged under:

Be stunned, amazed...in awe

you know you're getting sensible
When you haven't managed to post to a blog for nearly a week.

Means you have other things to do.

Means you have some sort of life.

I have been investigating this. There seems to be a hardcore group of internet users who exist for nothing more. They are identified by posting comments on Twitter about new posts to their blogs. One way of driving traffic I guess.

What you do is write a riveting post to your blog, perhaps more than one blog, perhaps tens of blogs, stunning everyone with your powers of perception, grasp of the human spirit, insight into the true person, then you mention the fact that you have done this on any or every public facility you can find.

Twitter does admirably for this - a high speed messaging system - thousands of disconnected thoughts crashing into one another all day, from the web, IM, and mobile phones. Let the waiting world know you have blessed them with another morsel of literary goodness for their immediate consumption.

The fact that no one gives a shit about what's happening beyond their own screen space does not enter into it. Tell you've done it, or, better still, get on there and bitch about how tired you are, but how you must 'post' before you can rest your tortured soul. Post for the little people out there hanging off your utterances.

Or, you can always ask people's opinion of your latest art directed design for your blog - should it perhaps be a little bolder in the sidebar shading, does the font look good.. Oh, and while you're here bask in my genius.

Damn it, all my blogs are the product of very little design, less imagination and involved no third party input; as anyone can tell.

I'm just here to comment.

Bagged and tagged under:

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday - some finish, some start

Almost at the start/finish
It is an entirely delicious feeling knowing that for the next two days people will be doing anything other than work, while I will have free access to anywhere work related and have no one around to put up with.

It's probably sad to loath people enough to go out of the way to avoid them but it works for me.

Saturday and Sunday are the days I work; not entirely a full work day scenario, more like a modest block of time which allows me to be home in reasonable time.

I did, several times, work like most people prefer: during the day, Monday to Friday. It became obvious that Saturday and Sunday were the only two days to do something. The blight was they are the same days all the rest of the world want to do something.

Experimentation proved that working the opposite way allows you to do things when other people aren't cluttering up the place; the beach for one, overcrowded and downright oppressive on weekends, is a place of open space and relaxation during the week. The movies are less crowded, restaurants more pleasant, and school children are at school.

It is an undeniable pleasure. Especially so when it is a weekend when the kids are here. I manage, with impunity, to remain well out of range of the trauma that is a 'kids weekend', arriving home well after plans are made, abandoned, remade, children dropped off, waited for, picked up, fettered, and generally allowed to suspend their ability to think for themselves.

So, this Friday, after a magnificent session in the hydrotherapy pool with an equally magnificent lady working me close to death in a 35 degree pool, I am home, relaxing, topping up electrolytes, ready for work tomorrow. My version of work.

I'm in love with the hydro pool. So much so that I suspend my dislike of strangers and actually share a pool with them; people I have never met before. Stunning.

The temperature and the resistance exercises serve as a late afternoon soporific, a time of easy relaxation, with a book, nothing too deep, and a serious cup of tea or two.

The eventual outcome will be a beautiful sleep this evening, time for poor muscles to heal.

What else does a man need?

Bagged and tagged under:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pulp Fiction - 15 years on

1992 - Tarantino does good
Amazing. 15 years since Reservoir Dogs made it screen.

Somethings going on here where I'm feeling old. News of movies that are still fresh in your brain turning 15 doesn't help a lot. At all. Proves I don't have Alzheimer's but that's about it.

Breaking a few things and having a few internal organs out lately has managed to make me feel just a bit jaded but I figure it's a temporary thing - stand by while your body rebuilds, normal transmission will begin soon - I think.

I wasn't expecting it to be a long lasting feeling. Kind of looking for the bounce back thing. Anytime now.

Then things come up like the Reservoir Dogs movie and I'm thinking I may have lost hold of the handrail for a few years and didn't notice.

Never mind. Whatever the age it is still a good movie.

Bagged and tagged under:

And, Monday again

Family is now in the house

Monday was a non event. Fighting with JSON and other web 2 related shit. Manged to work out enough to have Twitter updates appear on the site.

If I hear the term 'web 2.0' (note the .0 - have to have version control) again this week I may commit mass murder. Cull a few nerds. I'm halfway through a pump action barrel with a hacksaw now - just looking for more blade. Need something short. Easy to carry. Better for shooting around corners, getting in tight spaces.

A German school kid just took out 5 class mates - maybe he had heard enough web 2.0 shit too. Extenuating circumstances I say.

What the fuck is it with 'web 2.0' and people? Someone needs to sit me down and explain the importance of all this.

We're talking javascript in new clothes. Widgets - one time they we're called layers, maybe i-frames.

That was Monday. I prevailed. Even though the debugger throws a fault the site doesn't show it. I don't care. I am over the idea.

That's how we got to Tuesday. By filling Monday up with unwarranted coding experiments that serve no purpose - other than to frustrate, humiliate, anger, and overheat a blokes brain.

Monday night, having abandoned the coding dilemma in favor of sanity, Yvonne arrived home from New Zealand, thoughtfully picking up her kids on the way.

A turbulent Monday day time should not have concluded with a brain numbing, patience sapping experience, enhanced immeasurably by the house wide sound of children eating and watching television.

From relative peace, certainly silence, to full throttle childville.

I deserve it. I am being punished for something I did a long time ago in another galaxy.

Bagged and tagged under:

Friday, November 17, 2006

Free mind Friday

home alone
It's true. I'm home alone. It doesn't happen a lot.

Yvonne is in New Zealand for the weekend; the boys are at their dad's place. I'm alone. With the exception of the cat. The cat, like me, appreciates a quiet house.

I have Saturday; I work all day, but there's still the night. Sunday; I work part day, Monday; they'll all be home in the evening.

Better result than no time at all.

To take advantage of some imagined fiscal advantage Yvonne had to leave here at 5.00am this morning. The plane was delayed. Cheap airfares always seem to be the ones that suffer delays and changes. It's the airlines way of punishing you. There is no such thing as a cheap airfare.

5.00am is actually in the middle of the night for me. I don't do early mornings, she does them for me. As long as I am awake to experience it.

I staggered out of bed at a reasonable time today and till now have spent the entire day on one project, adding the Twitter timeline updates to a completely Flash site: mine.

I suspect things would have been easier if I had had a bit more snoozing time. I might have been able to comprehend some of the code. Maybe not.

16.30 and it's on the site, throwing a few debug errors, but showing up in both Firefox and Internet Explorer which is all it has to do. I believe it will fail gracefully should it decide to fall over.

Seems I had a few more items on my list. Bugger.

Now it's time to get out of here and lay back in front of a television. Noise free.

Bagged and tagged under:

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Topped up again
Six months are up. Time for some fresh implants. Testosterone implants.

The procedure; local anesthetic, cut in lower abs, 3 crystalline pellets forced into the fat layer with a cannula. (no, I didn't make that word up - no matter what Firefox's spell checker says. (How handy is that - a spell checker in your browser - why didn't I know this?))

But, I digress, we were at the bit about implants - remember? OK, then the pellets are required to stay in there until they gradually dissolve which will happen over the next six months.

The minor wound is closed with a stitch or two. I have an antibiotic blast for 24 hours, don't shower for 24 hours and that's it. No serious lifting; if it were indeed possible anyway with the shoulder drama still happening.

The effect? Contrary to the fervent wishes of every male on the planet, including me, the effect is more 'head / brain' based than anything else. Within the next few weeks I will gradually lighten up on myself, stop competing with myself, generally feel a bit more pleasant, laid back, and content.

The chances of anyone else noticing? Around here - nil. Chances of me noticing? Almost the same. Who will notice; the only one that needs to notice, will be the beloved Dr Mary-Ellen who suggested them as a trial a few years ago.

So, sit back and watch the change in me; some sources remark that I become almost bearable but I wouldn't bet on it.

and, testosterone driven pursuits
I told you on Friday to go view this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZvm5H4F-aA
and you, without doubt, probably didn't bother to. I'm telling you again - go and have a look at this guy. I'm impressed. Still. Usually these things wear off. This one isn't. I don't like the sound of it.

Bagged and tagged under:


and, testosterone driven pursuits
I told you one post ago to go and watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZvm5H4F-aA
because it seemed to catch my attention.

Since discovering it and many related videos I have been consumed with the idea. It's getting up there with one of those things that should be done once in the interests of 'been there / done that'.

In deference to my age I modified it to a simple ride on a goods train - freight hopping as I am told they call it - quite some history there let me tell you - and, in time, I will manage something; I see it as simple as grabbing a freight train somewhere, equipped with the necessities of life, food, water, and mobile phone.

Get to destination - wherever that may be, and phone Yvonne with the details so that she can come and pick me up - assuming I have not arrived on the opposite side of the country.

However, just in case I should ever run into a high speed train - which won't occur here in Queensland since they slowed the high speed train to 100kph because the thing fell off the rails while driver less at some ridiculous speed - I have spent the last three days looking for the equivalent piece of equipment that the guy uses to attach an anchor to the train.

It's a pump operated vacuum cup, primarily used for lifting glass, sheet metal, and the like. The problem is not getting one, for they exist everywhere, the problem is getting the exact same one used by the 'trainrider'; we have to remain true to the idea, after all.

Ask anyone who has spent three days trawling Google, Yahoo, and any other search engine, for the 'Veaiboa' (the name that appears on the cup) to no avail. I am obviously reading it incorrectly, backwards, upside down maybe.

Until they invent a fast train here, or I manage to travel to Denmark or Germany to attempt the ride of my life at 325 kph, I probably won't need one anyway. Time would appear to be on my side.

Meanwhile, back to the relative safety of freighthopping, and you will no doubt see a small entry in the paper reporting the arrest of a suspicious person found loitering around train yards.

Seems, somehow to fit with the previous, but not forgotten fixation on stencils and graffiti.

Bagged and tagged under:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Trainsurfer and Bloggercode

Anything to be famous
Behold - the new Bloggercode. Do you know what I'm talking about? Maybe not. No matter; this is version 2 of a thing that was around a long time ago. Well, not a real long time ago - think 2002.

The idea is that you copy the code and put it in the decode box on http://bloggercode.com and it will reward you with a synopsis of the code owner. None of it will turn out to be true, but it would be nice to think some people are reasonably honest.

B8 D- T- K-- S-- F I- O++ X-- E L- C+ Y3 R++ W+ P++ M5 N-- H

Why is this here, in the middle of a post that will disappear under the weight of next weeks ponderings? Should it not live proudly in the sidebar of the blog - there forever to scare the buggery out of people?

Yeh, probably, but I don't have time to fight my way through the Blogger template to put it there, along with the hours I will spend placing it 'just so', it will undoubtedly be too wide, too high, or clash with the other million badges and logos that exist there.

I just felt the need to whack it here - right in the middle of the page. A 15 minutes of fame thing. Something for you to stare at in awe. (?)

For Friday, because it is Friday here, I have to bring attention to a video that I stumbled across.

Go here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZvm5H4F-aA and watch this guy, dead now, but so very alive when he did this.

I'm probably getting a bit old to try it, and we lack the high speed trains that I would use, but something about it has stuck rather badly because I have watched the bloody thing over and over.

I kinda hung up on the idea of taking a train ride like that. Seems to me it can't be that far off skydiving, the same feeling when you first swing out the door into the slipstream, and believe me that is a sensation worth experienceing at least once in a life time.

I think I am supposed to take the high moral ground here and point out to the kids that it is madness, but I just can't help but wonder how that would really feel...

Anyone knowing how that clamp device he uses is made, or where to buy one would be rewarded with a great deal of gratitude.

Bagged and tagged under:

Finally, Firefox

brave stuff for an avowed browser chicken
Browsers. They always spell drama for me. I never update a Microsoft browser because I just know it will be a drama. No matter how easy it looks, updating Internet Explorer WILL cause you grief. It has to. You know that.

I've been messing with portable apps. Running various stuff off a USB, eventually putting a few: Thunderbird email, AbiWord, Gaim for chat stuff, on a CD as well. Everything I need should I decide I have to do something from someone else's machine.

I run a portable version of Thunderbird locally, because I can. I have been running a portable version of Firefox locally too - helps to check site work out in another browser, just in case.

Noticed a few days ago that there are an increasing amount of sites that IE stumbles over; slow to load, lost server errors, incomplete loads - you know the stuff because it happens to you too right?

Took to loading any sites that IE wouldn't handle in the portable Firefox. 99% of the time it loads and it's always quicker.

One site that IE refuses to deal with is a favorite of mine - Flagr. I am at Flagr a lot - adding places on maps, uploading images, doing all manner of stuff. IE has refused to render the site correctly. Load it up in Firefox, the thing is looking good, loading cleanly, doing what it does.

Wanting to log in to Odeo, the podcast place of choice today, belt out a little something for the other blog. IE had it not working. Taking forever. Dumped the temps and cookies and all the things you do with IE and still no go. As an after thought tried it in Firefox; blam straight up, no problem, signed in, recorded the business, and saved it, just like that.

Decision time. Do I really want the hassle of IE jamming up sites all the time? Am I brave enough to really install another, competing browser, on a Microsoft machine?

Took a big breath and did it. Took all of five minutes - perhaps less. Imported my considerable stack of bookmarks into it. Suspicious of the easiness of the whole transaction.

Love it. Works like a dream. If I ever chicken out I still have IE to fall back to. In the meantime I have some serious tabbed surfing to do.

Took me a long time to get around to, but I finally got it right - this thing does what it says on the box.

Bagged and tagged under:

Alas poor car..

financial pain as well? What is this?

Wednesday was down to the local pool, giant paddles in hand for a romp in the water similar to Monday. Flapping around in one place with your arms underwater; some patrons could have been forgiven for thinking I was up to a spot of 'self enjoyment' under there in hindsight.

Wednesday will go down in history as the day it actually rained. Really. It built up all day, great looking jet black clouds, best viewed from an indoor pool, and finally around 4.00pm it managed rain. A shitload of the stuff. Car accidents all over the place - people coming home from work forgetting that wet weather means take a bit more care, ramming each other.

All the better to be in when your car decides to break down 3 blocks from the last job cleaning job and 25 kilometers from home. Oh joy. Dead car. No warning. Just terminal.

Did all the manly things and made sure everything was approximately where it should be under the bonnet, and rang Road Service; the busiest night of the year so far and we have to need assistance. It arrived some 45 minutes later and confirmed what I had surmised: the car would not go. Suggestion: Tow it - and because it is the busiest night of the year please expect another 60 minute wait. Top stuff.

Far quicker than 60 minutes later as luck would have it, we have the car at the repairers and are at home scoffing wine.

The car never needs a repair that is under $500.00. This is a rule. I try and remain calm in the face of that fact.

Physio on Thursday managed to unlock all the stress muscles from the car, and the plain over training from the pool. Enough so I would not burst blood vessels in my eyeballs when I found out the true cost of the 'electrical malfunction'.

$480.00 - near enough to $500.00. Picked it up this morning. Drove it home - sternly. Let it know who's boss. Nudged it into the end of the garage to give it a subtle reminder that these things I can do - if I want. I am the boss. I pay for you, I can choose to blunt your nose a bit.

$480.00 gives me the right to do a whole lot to you, bastard car, remember that well.

Bagged and tagged under:

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


how do you pass 6 months - really?
This thing has been going on for so long I don't remember life without it.

I am sure there was someone like me who used to be active, out and about, tanned, reasonably fit...

I remember flying huge power kites, being dragged at ridiculous speeds in a buggy about an inch off the ground. I was a keen cyclist. Not a good one. Just keen.

It seems that life has stopped. Maybe not stopped, but slowed to a point where it's hard to tell if anything is happening.

Still have normal days. Get up. Eat breakfast. Proceed to go to physio some days, or go to the pool on others. Home, shower, and back here, in front of a screen.

All the time in the world to do anything.

Pages of lists of things to do. Things to do 'when I have the time'. A lot not even involving a computer or the net. Photography, mini videos, all manner of things. I am not a person who has nothing to do.

Except now.

Most days.

Days when I should be putting together the new site, a massive collection of Flash and video, something 'politically and user friendly incorrect', Days when I could be merging gigantic panoramas of the local lake, processing HDR images.

These are the days that are passing by, slowly, deliberately. With nothing achieved. Like I'm waiting. All the time. Waiting for something that is happening all by itself anyway - the healing process.

I think it has more to do with my brain than my body.

I remember the surgeon mentioning a six month process, remember Yvonne making some stipulation about the length of time allowed before the cleaning jobs she was covering in the interim would be moved along in favor of something else, remember hoping that all those times would fall into place. Remember thinking that six months was such an impossibly long time that is needed to be ignored, right then.

I think I have managed to make myself sit in one place, and wait until all is done. Do nothing. Sit. Still. My job is to get healed - right now - and nothing else.

Punishment for being bad and crashing. Punishment I deal out to myself.

I'm over it. I'm tired and I'm over it.

Days like today - early morning phone call to old mate and business partner in Canada, him howling about the injustice of my inability to go over and see him; spend some time catching up on the six years he's been gone, have a few laughs.

Days like today - perfect riding weather. Good for 50klm without doubt. No bike. No nerve either. Could be a problem.

Days like today - swamped in bills - needing to take on a few more jobs, a simple process, but fighting for time, time to get back to fitness, time to get over the shoulder, and I guess, the gallbladder thing.

There seems to be a lot of days like today.

Sometimes there seems to be way too many days like today.

Bagged and tagged under:

Water, a day later

am I suffering?
Hell yes. Suffering in a big way as the day winds on. Dusk and I'm already thinking of bed.

The perils of hydrotherapy. I suspected as much. The 'day after' blues set in; the muscles, even if they didn't play an active part in the proceedings the day before, seem to go out in sympathy. Most of me hurts.

The day after 'the day after' - hereafter called 'day two' can be worse for people of a certain age. An age I reached a few years ago. Day two can really lay a bloke low. Avoidance is as simple as going on the offensive; get back into it, hair of the dog and all that stuff, trust me, I'm a doctor.

Tomorrow will see me at the local pool, spanking new 'paddles' on hands, giving my impression of a man with plastic dinner plates stuck to his hands. Pressure, resistance, difficulty, and anything else that's required to make muscles work better is about to be provided by these new items. It seemed to work yesterday, so let's do it again, this time do more, with more vigor, and render both arms unusable for a week. Just like I do with everything else.

Thursday it's back to the dry land physio for confirmation that I have indeed done too much again.

The seemingly ever lengthening cycle that is called rehabilitation.

Bagged and tagged under:

Monday, November 06, 2006

Therapy of the hydro kind

start the week getting wet
I have a social problem. I don't like the public. I don't like to be in public. I like the anonymity of what I do - here at home, or out on the cleaning jobs, locked in, no one able to get near me, waste my time.

I can do public appearances if I concentrate. Everything must be laid out. The route, the method of entry, who will be there; the complete setup.

Already this year I have managed to get to physio in a strange building, but comforted by the fact that I saw a familiar face from the hospital as soon as I got there.

This week, at my insistence, at my whining bitching insistence, I was to appear at a totally new location - a hydrotherapy establishment within a hospital complex.

Lucy, goddess of physio, had been kind enough to explain the complete layout to me, how to get there, who to see, the works.

Halfway there I'm getting the sweats. I know the area like the back of my hand, but this is one area I have never been.

The boom gate negotiated by simply saying my name. Looking good.

Parking the car seemed OK.

Finding the place was easy enough - follow the signs.

Get in the place and find the administration and things are coming undone. There are people everywhere. Everywhere.

Get the sign in process done. Forgot my name and age for the form. Present myself back at the counter; staff are good, she's leading me through it; my vision has pinned, I'm not seeing beyond the desk. Sweating. Spinning - just a bit.

There are people in a pool - there are a lot of people in a pool. But, there's also Lucy, kind enough to be there at the right time, giving me something to focus on, something, someone familiar.

Get in the pool. Get in a pool heated to 35 degrees, 95 degrees for them that use the real temperature. Covers the fact that I am sweating, stressing.

Getting into the whole thing. Even manage to not panic everytime someone comes near me - which they do - all the time - unavoidable, many people in a small pool you're going to have to run into someone.

One hour later and I have had the most complete workout I have ever had - all easy stuff, nothing to cause a grunt, nothing to make your eyeballs pop out with the pressure. Simply using water as resistance medium.

Brilliant. Beyond brilliant - exhilarating.

Home. Starting to get tired; mid afternoon and I'm getting tired. Pleasant feeling, but I'm still getting tired, and now, sore. Muscles are registering complaints with my central nervous system at a rate that threatens to overload the exchange lines.

I have in every muscle in my body - all from what is a setup designed to get the most out of my shoulder. I'm not only fixing my shoulder, I'm even managing to get a leg workout from trying to stabilize my self in the water.

Am I going to suffer? Yes. Am I going to go to bed as soon as I've had something to eat? Yes. Am I going to do it again? Hell yes.

Bagged and tagged under:

Friday, November 03, 2006

Resolutions don't fail me now...

Behold my ability to jam a facebook logo in the title
There surely must be no one on the planet vain enough to shove that up there. I hope not. I want to go down in history as the first one.

Facebook. What can I say. Revered by many before it's spectacular fall from grace last month. A fall so large that Mr Zuckerberg saw fit to open membership to anyone. And, not just anyone, but me too. How low can an application stoop?

Previously I would have had to grovel and lie about my schooling, background, country of residence and nearly every other detail to belong to this once exclusive club; let me tell you, anything that lets me join is long from being exclusive.

But I digress, I have to go and check on my status. I may even have found a friend.

Veering off the mapped path..
What is this? What am I doing? An entire day sitting here in front of the screen. Tinkering about with the aforementioned portable applications; this time putting them on a CD which can live in the car. Instant access to my previously preferenced email, browser, IM client, HTML editor, doc editor, all the stuff a wanker net geek would expect to find on a CD.

Shame on me for the lapse; previous posts mentioned a post holiday life including far less of the screen and far more of the real world.

The week progressed at a grand pace until today. Yesterday's physio was probably the high point, escaping punishment for the outbreak of swimming using the banned method of two arms. We are still supposed to be favoring the busted shoulder side.

Escaped punishment and made next week look good already; hydrotherapy Monday with the very same lady at her hospital pool, a sign of tacit agreement to getting in water. Following that with the dry land normal consultation on Thursday. Taking two days off the 'sit in front of the screen syndrome' already. Should be able to fit a regular swim in as well somewhere.

The upside
Ahh, I am pleased to point to an advantage to today's navel gazing. It seems, unbeknownst to me, that in certain circumstances our real site was not appearing properly in a Firefox browser; sorry to the people I told to get glasses and a life and have another look.

For reasons too boring to detail the site, Flash based as it is, did not appear at 100% browser sizing - nowhere near it. It still functioned, but there was some squinting involved.

I was tempted to leave it that way - it looked quite cute sitting there in the middle of acres of white space - but discovered the reason behind it late this afternoon and corrected it. A fault of Firefox, the Flash 9 plugin, or my coding - who knows - all that made the difference was changing the DOM and off we went again.

Bagged and tagged under: