Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nasty old paperwork hurts us!

I had to help a friend deal with some nasty old paperwork that caused them acute distress. I went straight from having done four hours of report generation (1) into assist mode for them then had to groove on some nasty old paperwork of my own when I got back to my desk.

Neither event caused anxiety.

That's wellness and it tastes delish.


(1) I emailed out the first report then had a sudden horrified thought I'd used data from the wrong date and, yes, sure enough the first nine pages were from a different day. It took 40 minutes to repair and resend. It was a public holiday yesterday but the reports are for each day. So as far as reports go that's just work delayed, not denied.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The agony and the ... wait, just agony

IBS flare, a nasty one. Thin worm slivers of green and foul, gut-churning gas. I've munged pills and now I'm going to try and ride some of the pain out. Somewhat ironic as riding itself comes with its own pain and ache.

Thank fuck it's a public holiday 'cos I'd not have been in. I didn't want to be around it, let alone inflicting it on anyone else.

The bike is daunting, like a mountain in the distance a wounded man must climb. Storm clouds gather at the top.

Or rather they will be once I'm on the top and riding. 

(Area man sprays air freshener around shed to take care of what has been and what will come).

UPDATE: I think the ride helped. I had to pause at the two kay mark though for another piece of toilet business then dash back out in time to turn the pedal one revolution lest the bike's timer reset. I collect stats on distance, resistance and even what I was watching or thinking about. But the bike only has about a minute of time once it stops before it resets the clock and you lose whatever stats you'd gained. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

I don't have a puh puh puh puh poker face

I wear my emotions on my face and I'm bad at disguising how I truly feel. 

I'd lost myself to a bit of dark introspection and as I strode back from the bathroom a manager asked if I was okay. I was honest; "had a flashback" I said.

"Take deep breaths, mate," he said as he strode on. 

I took some deep breaths and then I strode on.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Victory by moonlight

Our garden is a splendorous thing, especially when the solar lights kick in at dusk.

I stood on the lawn by the light of the solars and the moon and savoured my victory at still being here.

I've cheated death multiple times and I've had a profound impact. I've led and lead a meaningful life replete with moments of deep spiritual bliss—and I'm a fucking atheist.

Please kindly to be sticking that in your pipe and smoking it.


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

From the perspective of an ant

It's tough being a low echelon super competent. You've got these super powers but you have to deal with the views and attitudes of less capable people. And if you work in a an org with a rigid hierarchy that challenge happens more often than not. The trick is to educate not berate and show them the way ahead—but that doesn't always succeed and the challenge back is to try to accept it when it doesn't.

I had to deal with upsetting paperwork, scanning it in for reference. I made the mistake of reading chunks of it and getting angry, sad and the jitters all in one. The lack of understanding and rigidity shown was glaring and bright—a perfect example of what not should be.

But I ford on, even as my body shudders with the pain of my burdens, because I am just that fucking awesome.

Besides, I'm a super hero—and all super heroes have super burdens.

(Mikey stands, hands on hips, cape fluttering).


UPDATE: My old ladies are flaring lightly, pain squeaking out of my right shoulder. Curse you, subconscious!

Monday, September 21, 2015

I'm like Dr Johnson from Blackadder

There's this scene in Ink and Incapability from Blackadder III where Dr Johnson of Dictionary fame gives an impassioned speech about how focused he has been on his writing task that he missed people sexin' it up around him.

Johnson: Where is my dictionary?

Edmund: And what dictionary would this be?

Johnson: The one that has taken eighteen hours of every day for the last ten years.
   My mother died; I hardly noticed. My father cut off his head and fried it
   in garlic in the hope of attracting my attention; I scarcely looked up from
   my work. My wife brought armies of lovers to the house, who worked in
   droves so that she might bring up a huge family of bastards

Today a fierce squall hit Canberra, a wall of black cloud heading east over the Capital and unleashing rainy fury. 

I missed it. Oh, I was there. There were windows behind me. I could have both seen and heard it. 

But I was so focused on my assorted tasks that I only noticed it post-event when I walked outside to see the puddled aftermath. Earlier, when outside, I had seen the black wall of cloud coming, even spoken about it with others, but forgot about it all when I become one with my PC.

Mikey—fuck the weather, I got a report going!

(1) Excerpt taken from script at this Blackadder scripts website.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The garden by night

We played Mr Wobble 'til dusk, solar lights ebbing a faerie-sheen, with tears and laughter both.


Status restored

Recently I got called into a meeting. My "mostly harmless" rating—which had been downgraded due to gardening leave—was restored. Not only that I was praised for recent efforts and asked to consider taking on additional work.

That's super wellness, right there.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Feedback accepted then acted on, my nizzles!

Earlier this year an internal reporting website was launched with minimal fanfare. Upon first using it I saw a hole—a chunk of data that should logically be collected at that interface point analysis of which could clearly identify the trouble spots.

So I pinged "this is a hole and it needs to be fixed" as feedback and heard nothing back.

The hole remained.

It was frustrating. But, I knew someone in the depths of that area and pinged it to them and asked them to ping it on.

Recently, I had to use the website.

The hole was fixed—an additional intake option for reporting was there to catch that data.

I can never be sure that was the Mikey wot won it but, fuck, I saw the hole, reported it, got blocked, siddle-reported it then there it is, the hole patched over.

That's full on WFTW right there.

I'm the Tenacious D of the bureaucracy, my nizzles.

Thanks, past-Mikey

past-Mikey is my hero. He is. This may be a be a bit of a reverse timeline MM at the Oscars and self-praisy (1) but I look back on what past Mikey has endured and the steps he took in the depths of sickness and despair and just marvel. That he got up, again and again, and tried his best to help everyone he could including his future self.

Good on you, past-Mikey, you fucking rock.

(Mikey salutes comrade past-Mikey)

(1) And, let's face it, he's also gone third person. That's never good sign of a healthy ego at play (1a).
(1a) "You've gone from no self-esteem to too much self-esteem. We need to bring you down to a medium level."—Mikey's doctor.

Every argument is experienced differently by each participant

The adage "there's two sides to every story" is a true-ish one when it comes to arguments. Every participant comes away with their own interpretation of what was said, what was addressed—even what insults were hurled.

Maybe an argument is like a cloud of snowflakes—every flake is unique but it's still in the same snow fall.

Stress pain lingers. It's not the shrieking stabs of days gone past but my shoulder is like an echo of past pain, radiating light agony as if to say "remember me?" from years before when acute lances of stress pain landed every five minutes. I likened the feeling then to that scene in Terminator Two when the female protagonist has been stabbed through the shoulder by a finger needle of steel from the terminator before her and the robot twists its finger blade around in the joint, grinding bone on bone. 

But that frequency of incidence and acuteness of pain wasn't forever—and it's not now. Sure, I am always in pain but I'm no longer in that much pain. I get better every day—even when an old argument flares and I have to cop the aggro to my bod.

I'm Mikey and wellness is my mission.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

epaperwork—beats paperwork!

I have to put in a claim to get the gardening leave back. There's at least six forms to fill out plus one for my doctor.

But mostly they're smart forms so you can at least type in the info. You only have to print at the end for the signature part. It was tough going emotionally, having to look back in time, but I got the bulk of it out the way in the one day and that was down to the fact I didn't have to print out forms and laboriously fill them in by hand.

epaperwork—beats paperwork!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Well that was an interesting night for Oz history

Adios, Tone, and hello, Mal.

Wellness walk breaks are vital to restore the spirit and lift sagging will

I had three walks today and today was glorious. A perfect Spring morn then afternoon.

I make sure to take a break from the computer every ninety minutes or so, typically going for a recharging short walk as part of it. If it's raining then I'll find somewhere under cover, even doing laps of floors if I have to. 

The breaks also help me figure my way through various work issues and the break from the PC allows reflection then consideration of actions to take. 

Although if I do work out work in my head I find myself charging back in softly repeating a mantra of like "I need to do X, then Y, then contact Z and resolve AA" over and over until I get back to my desk so I don't forget.

So it must just sound mad to the other people in the lift.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Old brown slippers rezzed like the Mountain

With thanks to season five of Game of Thrones. So there are spoilers.

My old brown slippers recently took a battering when I walked through puddled rain water. Made of cardboard and low quality textile they nearly fell apart.

But I've rezzed them. I used theWife's silver gaffer tape. My initial attempt failed—I used teeth to cut the tape and the jagged edges didn't stick down properly. So I redid it, this time with scissors and lo they are okay.

I will keep them as shed slippers, to wear where my ALDI yoga mat doesn't cover the bare concrete floor beneath where the laptop chair sits. 

Never again shall I expose the old brown slippers to the rain.

So it's not really like the Mountain getting his Frankenstein's-monster-like resurrection because "he" grew tougher whereas old brownies ... well, let's just say they're not what they used to be and leave it at that.

All hail gaffer tape.

SoTPC wheezes like a steampunk exo-suit

SoTPC, the second of the truly used exercise bikes I have used, is a couple of years old. The resistance setting slips in mid-ride and you can end up doing considerably more effort than the resistance setting implies. 

It almost always slips to "harder" resistance too. 

After I stop riding some mechanism stays active within the bike, something spinning within perhaps, and that's what the wheeze sound is.

In the future the aged and infirm will likely have exo-suits, a flexible robotic frame that supports a frail human body. 

So SoTPC sounds like one of those, but a steampunk version where it's all industrial steel, grease, rivets and spouts of steam hissing from the joints. 

Well played, alternate steampunk-version-of-Earth.

UPDATE: It's the radiator that's making the wheeze noise, not the SoTPC. And the radiator literally looks like it would put forth steam. So it's still steampunky, just more steam than punky. Or less steam. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

It's like I was hit with a Melf's Acid Arrow

In the Baldur's Gate series of PC games there's a spell called Melf's Acid Arrow. If you're struck you take acid damage for a number of rounds (six seconds) depending on the power of the caster.

In the PC game your character portrait turns red from the bottom up when you take damage. And there's a little icon of a red arrow at the base of your PC's pic. Each round, when the acid damage kicks in, the affected character yells in pain.

My old ladies have fired up. I think it's both weather and subconscious. As I rode great stabbing pains shrieked out of my right knee and right shoulder. Each time a flare landed I yelped in pain. From outside the shed It'd sound like a Baldur's Gate character taking acid damage from the spell. 

But it's not forever; it's just for now.


UPDATE: I had a womb shower. I feel a bit better. 

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Hazy shades of whimper

With thanks to S&G.

I bang on a bit about pain, mainly because it's a big feature of my life. I'm going to again now. 

Yesterday was appalling. Just appalling. Severe IBS cramps that sent me to bed in a hazy daze twixt sleep and near-sleep with a hot water bottle affixed to my churning gut. I didn't wake until midday and didn't come good until nighttime and even then was so exhausted from it all I was asleep by 9:30.

With discomfort dropping from crippling to endurable I made it into work and had yet another meaningful day. 

That's the win for me. That even though I am afflicted with assorted yuck, and in part because I am, my days are meaningful and productive.

And you can't get better than that—to do meaningful, productive work.


Sunday, September 06, 2015

Fathers Day 2015

Aw, I got a bounty of cool FDT. An awesome pop-up card, magnets for the shed wall (1), a wooden organiser, money box and a coffee mug. 

Now I'm getting a breakfast! Except the cooks had to pause to watch a goldfish eat the poo out of another goldfish's arse.

Classic Fathers Day.

(1) Which I used to affix the pop-up card to the shed wall. Symmetry!

Friday, September 04, 2015

I need a grabber for my grabber

I have trouble bending—I can do it but it requires effort, ideally some leverage and pain. So I have a grabber, a claw-like gripper on the end of a short shaft with a handle you depress to make the grabber close.

I keep it near my clothes hamper so I can transfer clothes from the floor to it. 

I also drop things a lot. It's due to medication and injury. My hands with spring open of their own accord.

Yesterday, during a clothes transfer I dropped the fucking grabber twice. Both times I had to bend, with the resultant difficulties, to retrieve it.

That's when I realised I needed a back-up grabber so I can grab the original grabber—a grabber grabber. 

But by stretching that logic to breaking point I'll create a recursive loop of activity that will result in the world economy focussed entirely on meeting my grabber needs.

Something to ponder.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Went the full tingle

Stepped out of the shower and "SHAZZAM!", my body went the full tingle. Like I had leccy dancing 'tween my fingers.

Thanks, full body tingle!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Ooh, a toughie!

I'm in the second last level of the Watcher's Keep in Baldur's Gate II. A bunch of evil turned up when a key was turned and it was a hideously difficult fight—a beholder, two level 20 something fighter types, two demons and some other horrid thing. 

But I was patient, and died several times in the process, but eventually I worked out a strategy to defeat the evil—buffing the poo out of the lead tank and sending him in with a fuck-off war hammer. 

That and magic resistance lowering spells then pumping magic missiles into the stripped-bare of protection ghastly horrors. 

Mikey gets there in the end. 


UPDATE: It's raining and I'm in the shed. What a pleasant way to end a night.

UPDATE2: Made it to the last level where there's a circular chamber with chains snaking out of the wall and where beneath the imprisoned Demogorgon lies. I poo'ed out seven spike traps—my PC is a 14th level Illusionist/Thief—over three days of busy activity then activated the freeing of the prince of demons. 

Who was then insta-killed by the spike traps. 

Two staircases snaked out of the walls of the chamber and up to portals that led outside or to the level above. There was a balcony that overlooked the room below. I imagine the party lined up there, iron rations broken out, to enjoy the arrival then sudden departure of the avatar for one of the most feared creatures of the D&D universe. 


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?