Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Debbie Downered

I've always been the sort of person that when confronted with a "good news and bad news" situation asks for the bad news first. Maybe it's depression and anxiety—or a realistic understanding of the world—but I've always presumed the good news will be affected by the bad news and I'd rather know the limitations of the bad news than the possibilities of the good news. 

But it's a total Debbie Downer way to say hello when you get home (1).

I had a tense moment with anger and tears. But it was a moment, not forever, and sure I got a packet of stressful stuff to read, but I should have led with "I had three amazing walks—beautiful day, birds singing, parl house in the background and I felt great". 

My pond's day involved a couple of fish I didn't want to see but for most of the day it was "nice brunch" fish, "great team mates" fish or "wow, what a great day to be outside (slash) still ambulatory" fish (2).

That's a pretty sweet school of fish to have swimming inside you.  


(1) This Salon interview with Rachel Dratch from SNL—that talks about this bit—is awesome.  
(2) Though I am not sure how a non-ambluatory fish would function, if they could at all.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

I'm my own Blue Zone

On a Real Time with Bill Maher was an author who writes about Blue Zones, places on the planet where people live the longest. 

Turns out they live longer because of a host of quality of life benefits plus built-in daily exertion—communities where you walked everywhere. Faith—it didn't matter what—was also a component as well was the concept of having a meaningful life. Elderly Japanese people didn't retire. They continued on in serenity and calm knowing they had purpose.

That's me—I'm my own Blue Zone. Who'd have thunk it?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The faint tingle meant it was time to go

With our longish lifespans we humans have to say goodbye to things that die. Our first two cats, for example, who died within six months of each other. Numerous toasters, phones and computers and so forth.

Today it was the turn of the bar heater. I'd been dodgy for a while in that unless the cord was bent all the way to the left the heater wouldn't turn on, indicating a connection fault. 

Tonight, as it was on but "not on" I touched the metal and felt a tingle. 

Especially given theboy was mucking with the heater as he watched me kill a dragon in Baldur's Gate II I knew it was time to go. 

I heaved the dud heatrer into the canvas trash pak we have for bulky trash and broke out the radiator instead. Fortunately it's more spring than winter here in Canberra and so I fear not the cold. I'll probably get another bar heater at some point, a cheapie from Bunnings most like.

Where else can you get a device that would amaze any cave person, heat without work, you can get a sausage on a bit of bread?

I think cave people would vote yes for a sausage. If, that is, they could understand voting and the decision didn't go down to who had the biggest club and capacity to wield it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Back flare

My fibromyalgia from neg-grappling (1) has flared from my shoulder to across my back. I keep trying to stretch it out, as if it was a purely muscular instead of neuro-psychological and that an on-tippie-toes-fingers-to-the-sky would simply sort it all out. 

I call it back flare. I think of it as being like the burn-off of gas from a Nigerian oil-rig at night. 

That blue-black patch came on quick. 

In spite of the pain I had a meaningful day. I'm insanely lucky to do something I'm good at and that I enjoy. My body may scream, kick a tanty or shout but I stagger-crawl ever onward with purpose and pride.

That's hero shit, man.

Later, I had a walk-past from a colleague to check I was okay—and I was.


(1) My industrious new term for suffer-cope with negative emotion.

Wear it Purple Day

Wear it Purple Day

A long sleeved purple buttoned shirt—albeit partially concealed by a grey-tinged-with-white office-man sweater vest. 

A purple(ish) hat with the Ford logo on it.

A fluffy, purple, non-spiky wool scarf for my neck. 

I look fabulous. 

UPDATE: I shared a lift with a fellow purpler I told him I looked fabulous and he agreed. So that's battle-tested fabulousness, right there. Mind you, social nicety would have probably led him to agree irrespective of the purpleness or appeal of my attire (1).

No, I will not doubt myself. I rocked the snot out of Wear it Purple Day. 

(Mikey raises fist for his LGBTI comrades)

(1) It should be noted that he looked amazing—purple-hued David-Jones-manalogue amazing.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

If I was a mech my damage and heat sinks would be blaring red

BattleMech is a game from the '80s that I played a couple of times. The theme was giant humanoid-shaped weapon platforms operated by an onboard pilot. The game board was a battle map and in a game of two players you'd each have a couple of mechs as represented by a small white cardboard pic of your bot slotted in a plastic stand and then get to it.

In the game the more things you did or weapons you used the more the heat grew and a certain point you would suffer heat-induced system failure. On the standard terrain map were a couple of lakes. One trick was to go in "waist" deep and "keep firing, assholes" with the water hissing back a few of your marked-off heat boxes.

The robot's battle sheet was a piece of paper with a silhouette of your robot and boxes by each body such as arm, weapon mount, leg, torso or "head". When struck you you'd mark off the health boxes of a component until it becomes inoperable.  Such as if an opposing mech had pulled your mech's arm off then beat the other arm off it's body with pulled off one.

I feel like a battle-damaged mech. Pain flare and ache reports from across my agony-rid body parts with regular blaring alarm from my disparate Mikey bits. Left knee, thighs, right hip, right shoulder, left elbow, left cheek (face), abdomen and both other cheeks (lower). 

Pilots in BattleMech were jacked into their mechs but they weren't afflicted with sympathy pain from their wounded steel cocoons.

That would be nice. The ability to just be like the pilot and gapped from the pain. 

Get to it, Calico. It's not just life extension—it's quality of life extension. Get cracking on a medical implant for pain relief. Imagine the moolah you'll make. 

Guess what, other cheeks (lower)—time for more pain.

UPDATE: Yes, it was a painful ride. But I stepped out of the shower the pain was background and I was all aglow with tingly shower-fresh skin. 

I felt like a mech taking a battle bath to keep the heat down—it's resilience building, enjoyable and lowers pain and stress. 

I bet they rasp "ahhh" as they lower themselves in, like a flesh does when they sink into a delicious hot bath. 

Well-played, mechs who enjoy bathing. 

UPDATE2: I woke feeling much better and now it's just abdomen, right shoulder and, weirdly, right little finger. Like where Rimmer's charisma goes. 

At least my body repairs itself. If I was a mech I'd be in a horizontal basket cradle or even just chained to the roof and dangling like a resting marionette whilst work people busily swarmed me.

I hope though, in the universe where that version of Mikey is the mech and its pilot, that at one point the repair crew break into a "Greased Lighting" style flash mob of synchronised dancing singers who do a performance with a theme of repairing robotics and why don't they have robots to fix the robots yet and where's that work two hours every two weeks future from The Jetsons we were all promised?

Geez, they're bolishi in BattleMech Mikey's universe. I'm imagining a red flag flying being waved from atop a ruined building by a Griffin.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wellness for the win

When you're furtling along the flying pages of your calendar there are moments of grey, black, blue, gold or white. 

I hit a gold patch, lots of positive feedback for work well done. It was gratifying. It's a gold patch I'll hug tight like a hot water bottle when the pages go more grey, blue or black. 

Sometimes work feels like a nighttime drive along an arterial road. You're alone, vulnerable, yet making progress—and you may experience a moment that later makes you smile.


UPDATE: The next day I hit a blue patch and had to hug on tight to the gold.

Thank fuck for past Mikey. He always looks out for future me. 

Where Poppy induces Mikey to have two shots of sambuca

I was just 20 minutes home and aboard to board the bike when Poppy induced me to have two shots of sambuca.

So, what the heck. I downed the first shot, disappointing Poppy since I missed savouring it, so I got another that I sipped. It was nice. It landed on an empty stomach, though, and I'm about to exercise. 

It was the first time I'd used my pirate-themed shot glass—a s'cret Santa pressie from 2008 from a former over-the-partition colleague. It's the size of a normal shot glass—I presume 30 mils—and has a phat pirate flag that bulges out of the side about half a centimetre and is black with the traditional white skull and crossbones. 

So, after consideration, I've decided that's a fine way to christen a pirate-themed glass—using it just before boarding a sturdy vessel (1).


(1) Of course modern WHS tells us that drinking and operating heavy machinery is a recipe for a non-violence-induced accident. Just because you're a pirate doesn't mean you shouldn't be safety-conscious. Not being safe when in sailing mode is when a hand becomes a hook or a leg becomes a peg leg.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Miscellenous Items, Table J

With thanks to AD&D.

I used to draw up my own AD&D character sheets then raid Mum's scotch bottle full of five cent coins and go to the nearest photocopier so I could make up batches of characters. 

Ah, the '80s. 

I helped out a colleague in a bind. It was most enjoyable. I value added to the task and helped them meet a tight deadline. The satisfaction from an all in together job to nudge a project over the line is akin to the happy tail pat of just-dam completed beavers (1).

Thanks, beavers. 

My hip feels better. Perhaps the discomfort is muscular and not bone on bone? I'll still get it checked but I am dreading the fucking Catalina wine mixer, part deux. Probs wept, the last one nearly killed me and the recovery was brutal. 

Please let me remain less machine for longer. 

Google split itself into Alphabet Inc. with sub units named and organised by the like-grouping of things Google does. Calico is the one that is going for longer life. It got me thinking about the whole brain in a vat argument you ponder in Philosophy 101 (2) and what if I was a Calico customer far in the future re-living his most-mortal time life over as the aged remnants of my brain are supported by nano-fused cyber-brain technology and a slurry of daily-sprayed brain nutrients.

Had I been Vanilla Sky'ed

I wonder then if you rocked up to Calico and demanded to know if you were currently replaying your life in the far future and could they please confirm it and reboot to a scenario of hedonistic unbridlement. And by doing so it then turns out you won Calico because you figured it all out and now you go into a bonus level where all that unbridled pleasure seek-taking occurs. Like what that dude in The Matrix who wants back into the fake world but as a millionaire who eats steak.

Well played, people who won Calico.

As I was going for an outside walk I saw a man pop out of a tiny door. It was most unexpected. It was a regular-sized man, the door was small—metal, with slatted vents—but the smallness of the door coupled with the unexpected opening of it was a delicious oddity. It was gritty outside, sleeting gobs of small rain which added to the glorious menace of it all. The regular-sized man then drove off in a regular-sized van.

It was a man in a van who came from a tiny door, man.

Hard copies of the latest reports had come in. They lay in boxes on a trolley, undelivered. So like a reverse World War Two prison tunneller I went and got the reports and started putting them around work, monitoring take up then topping up deposit places when they went low. Over three days of reverse tunneling I'd seized all the boxes and dispatched the innards of all but one. 

I'm kind of troll-like and I like boxes.

The shed groans with the wind. It's creepy and nice. 

Well played, shed wind.

(1) Where one beaver appeared on the last day and put out just three and a bit logs but still got credit for the assist. Hooray for lazy beavers!
(2) I did the intro course to philosophy at uni. I got a pass. I wrote some somewhat non-PC papers that got rightly smacked for insensitivity. It was a learning experience. I decided against going further with the philosophy stream.

More awesome sauce

Because I stick my nose into people's affairs I get to meet people who are kewl. 

I met an Aboriginal man who paints in a contemporary Aboriginal style and I commissioned a kookaburra-themed artwork for theboy. 

I had bought theboy a burned-into-wood rendering of laughing kookaburras from an old mate selling soldering-iron-crisped artistic woodstuffs in the main artery of the Kippax shopping precinct when theboy was still in utero. It was an impulse purchase to mark theboy's impending arrival. theboy loves the artwork's origin story because it's tied in with his.

So when I met the artist and found he took commissions I asked if he could do a work for me. 

It looks fucking amazing—picture potentially to come later—and theboy loves it. 

Just after I left the artist's house up the north side of Canberra and as I furtled back home along the Parkway south I reflected on just what an awesome career I've had. 

I've had kewl adventures and have met kewl people.

That's more awesome sauce, right there.