Friday, March 24, 2006

Staying Focused

I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable in the cast, in fact I accidentally tried walking twice in the past two days. I'd be sitting or whatever, and I'd go reach for something, and just get up and got to take a step -- doh! Let it heal, don't break it again, remember you're in a cast...

Been working out a little bit as well. I've been doing mostly upper body stuff with light dumbbells, but have also added leg lifts, leg extensions and "bicycles." I think it's actually been very helpful, especially for the comfort situation: blood flow seems much improved during and after the workout, and the metabolism boost has helped with the constant lethargic/chilly feeling I've been having lately. I will be going to the gym tomorrow, for the first time since the crash.

Chili, Urp: Ate the last of my crockpot chili last night, just to get rid of it so I can clean the pot, and also a piece of baked stuffed tofu. Admittedly a strange combo, but it worked for me.

Terra Incognita, beyond the Linux Voyage: I started messing around with TOPS-20 again, over at This time around, I've armed myself with some documentation, and seem to be doing quite a bit better -- at least, now when things don't work, I can find out why.

I was thinking of going out tonight, some friends are going to see the Philadelphia Funk Authority in Quakertown and I planned on joining them, but now I'm starting to feel a little tired and will probably beg off. Tomorrow's another evening out...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wow, Doldrums Already

Well, that honeymoon didn't last long... the workday flew by yesterday, but today the time has gone back to dragging. I think I kind of romanticized work when I couldn't come in, and now the reality of indoor pollution, loud & annoying co-workers, and (most important) no nap time has settled in like a dark cloud.

It's what's for dinner: Earlier in the week I made a crock pot of chili, and so I've had chili every night since. I can no longer stand chili. Unfortunately, I have one more night to go in the crock pot -- and also, a friend's wife made me some when she heard I was hurt. I got some more chili to eat before I'm done, but I think tonight I'll make tuna & wilted greens just to keep my sanity.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

OK, Back To Work!

My first day back after two and a half weeks, and it feels like I never left...

Not much to say: it's lunchtime right now, had to get a friend to carry my tray but things were pretty normal otherwise, same old food anyway... Morning was spent talking to friends & explaining what happened, and talking to the people who did my work while was gone, and just getting back up to speed here. Now I'm back in the swing of things, not even a problem getting used to it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Party's Over

And not a minute too soon, I might add...

My parents came up this morning (my dad also limping, from tendonitis) and took me to the doctor, where I got the staples removed from my leg and, after satisfactory x-ray results, got my new permanent cast -- semi-permanent, that is, since it's coming off only four weeks from today, I even have the appointment already. Sweet! (You can see me get the cast in my latest flickr photos.)

That means that I now have a clean bill of health, and can go back to work starting tomorrow...

Spent the day/evening yesterday playing with the computer. Dinner last night was chili, which I ate just after Doug came by & helped me with some errands. This afternoon was spent mostly sleeping.

Linux Voyager, Smooth Sailing: I downloaded and compiled the latest Mplayer, something I'd been meaning to do for a while, since newer versions of various video formats have left me in the backwaters of planned obsolescence. Got it up and running, no problems, and it worked well with the new formats, but I still liked Xine (my old standard for MPEG/wmv viewing) better even though the interface is kind of clunky... So, on a whim I set Xine to use the new codecs that came with Mplayer, and now Xine also works perfectly with the new formats. Like I said, sweet!

Monday, March 20, 2006

It's Beginning To Smell A Lot Like Chili

All through the house... The chili has been cooking since about 10:30, should be ready by 5:00 or 6:00, and it smells pretty good despite some expedients I had to take (I had no diced tomatoes, so I used tomato soup, which was a fancy kind with parmesan cheese in it). Like I said, it should be ready in an hour or so; too bad I have like zero appetite right now.

So while that's been cooking I've been reading (see previous post), playing on the computer, and also I went and cancelled my Moab flight plans: four separate phone calls (Travelocity, Travelocity flight insurance, regular Travelocity again, and finally Continental), the final call consisting of 40 minutes on hold followed by one minute of transaction, but it's done. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to do this online, and believe me I was motivated. (I swear, these guys compartmentalize the process so much, like they run from any responsibilities, other than their most strictly routine, and no doubt legally mandated ones like actually flying the plane, as soon as they have your money. If a travel company could or would provide full service, cradle-to-grave care for your trip, I think they would own the industry in a year.)

Linux Voyager, Tossing Things Overboard: I noticed that my hard drive was 50% full the other day (rather, my main partition on the hard drive, which uses 29G of the available 40G, was 50% full). This freaked me out, I couldn't believe that there was so mch stuff on my machine... what it turned out to be, was that almost every time I upgraded some software, I kept the old version in case the new one didn't work out, and I kept the compressed files for the new version in case I had to re-do the upgrade, so each iteration (and I kept them all) would dump another 20-30 megs on my hard drive -- 20 megs here, 20 mwegs there, pretty soon that adds up to real storage... So what I did was park about 1.5 gigabytes of essentials in my 5G "dead storage" partition, then erase about 3 more gigs of old versions of Mozilla etc. I was a little worried at first -- as in, immediately after I pressed the "OK" button -- that I may have left a few library files in among the archives, like say maybe only putting links to the archived ones in my current system, so instead of having a "flash" plugin (for instance), I'd only have a broken link. (I was especially worried about Mozilla, since I'd played fast-and-loose with the initial install, and every subsequent upgrade, and I no longer remember all my clever-stupid shortcuts.) Things seem to still work OK though, so I guess that wasn't the case. Phew, and now I'm back to a more comfortable 35%-full main partition, so I'm downloading more stuff as we speak.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Hoppy, The One-Legged Bookworm

Apparently, Blogger is buggered right now (Sunday night), so I'm just typing this up for later, will post "for real" when they get their act back together...

Been doing a lot of reading lately. I just finished a re-read of Infinite Jest, which I didn't think I could bear to read again -- it's good, but does not end on an emotional high note -- and I'm glad I did: I picked up a lot more that I missed the last (two) times I read it, and I feel it was definitely worth the effort. I happen to have been reading David Foster Wallace's book of essays, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, and it's amazing the parallels I see between the essays and Infinite Jest. Kind of funny, there are also somewhat disturbing ankle/surgery parallels between my recent life and the book, let's hope they go no further...

After that I picked up Cloud Atlas for a re-read, but I'm just picking: I'm really only interested in the second section of "An Orison of Sonmi-451." I'll probably go through it all anyway, but in the meantime I've been re-reading that anthology of Outside Magazine's best articles from their first 20 years. That works out nicely; each article, essay or story is just a bite-sized chunk, already perfect for book-nibbling.

Those Outside articles got me hankering for some more outdoor reading though, and I felt like a little nonfiction, so I just started up Cadillac Desert. Again, I think I'll just graze, skipping the less interesting chapters to just hit the stuff I like, even though I've already plowed through the Introduction and the first few chapters. (If I feel like fiction I may pick up Blood Meridian again as well, but that's kind of a fast read.)

Anyway, real life: went out again last night, back to Which Brew for dinner with my friend Greg. It was not quite as bad an ordeal as the night before (understandable, what with the St Patrick's day celebrations & whatnot), and this time I got chairs for both myself and my foot. One good thing about this whole ankle debacle is that I've actually lost about 10 pounds, even with the splint on my foot, and I think it's mainly due to the sudden drop-off in beer and bar food consumption, so I have somewhat mixed feelings about getting back out there... Saw Doug Hawke's new band; they sounded pretty good.

Other than that, nothing much is going on. I spent at least part of the day researching and pricing laptops, and I just prepared a crock pot of chili, put it in the fridge for cooking tomorrow.

I see that blogger's back, so I'll just slap this post down and then it's off to bed.