dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

A bit of a grab-bag entry (er ... as though that's anything unusual) as I try to get ready for Pennsic.

Baitcon: I mentioned that there were lots of folks I was glad to see, and that the "folks I don't see often enough" category is too large. There were too many members of that category present for me to get to talk to everyone I wanted to. I'm glad of the chance to catch up with the ones I did manage to. I really need to plan a road trip to Boston (and several other places) once I have a car again.

On the whole I had a great time -- meteorological, culinary, musical, and social aspects were all wonderful -- and my body only "stole time" from me by forcing me to rest-more-than-healthy-people when I would rather have been making music or being social, rather than wiping out my weekend entirely. It was frustrating but I'm trying to recalibrate my expectations. (Much like the past couple years at Pennsic where I've had to pace myself in such a way that I get about a week worth of Pennsic in the two weeks spent there. Getting more folks to come hang out in my camp would help summat.)

After Baitcon: my right wrist has been excruciatingly painful since sometime on the way home from Baitcon. :-( Enough so that perhaps it's just as well that miscommunication interfered with my getting to 3LF rehearsal this week. I did find a position in which I can play bass guitar without aggravating it farther, but I'm not sure I can play double bass right now, and really vigorous strumming on guitar (like I do in HCB) would be a major problem. I've no idea what I did to it, and am feeling rather impatient about its healing, since I'm concerned about being able to play when it's time to perform.

Pennsic whoops: The somewhat Rube Goldberg shipping arrangements for a package I need from London, Ontario fell through. (The "fault", if one can be said to exist, lies more with the fragility of a plan involving so many steps, rather than the failure of any one person trying to do me a favour; also, my own lack of foresight in getting things moving early enough to compensate for glitches.) This has the potential to make my Pennsic significantly uncomfortable. I don't suppose there's anyone who could arrange to bring me two weeks worth of certain Canadian goods on such short notice? (Specifically the generic version of Reactine [Zyrtec] which I know I'm going to want in that dusty, smoky environment, and codeine+caffeine+acetaminophen tablets [unless a version with ibuprofen instead of aceteminophen exists], which I very much hope not to need, but am very likely to given that Pennsic is a bit rough on my body. The Reactine has to be the plain version, without any decongestant -- 10mg tablets preferred, though I can double up on 5mg pills or use a pill-splitter to chop 20mg ones in half.)

And not really a 'whoops', though I do wish I'd thought to ask earlier than this: is there anybody in my area (Baltimore) not going to Pennsic, who has a 12V deep-cycle battery that I could borrow for two weeks? Merely a convenience, as opposed to the rather more pressing medical needs in the preceeding paragraph, but hey, if it works out ...

And a little-whoops: I'm still looking to trade a 128MB Memory Stick Pro that I can't use (actually it's a Pro Duo in an adapter) for a 128MB or even a 64MB Memory Stick not-'Pro' that I can use. I meant to try to arrange such a trade for Baitcon but forgot.

Not related to anything in particular (1): Every so often a friend sets up, or tweaks, their custom filters to show journal entries on different topics to different people, and there's usually a round of "which filters do you want to be on?". If I'm actually getting around to reading everything and commenting that week, I usually say something like this, which I'll borrow [info] emeraldliz's words for because they're more concise than mine:

"I get tired of people deciding they suddenly need a dozen friends lists and asking people if they want to be on them. If I'm a friend- it's cuz I want to read your stuff. If you don't want me to read it, that's up to you. If I don't want to read it, it's up to me."

Note that I don't expect everyone on my friendslist who decides a month or a year or a decade from now to remember the Published Filter Policy of every person on their friendslist, so therefore I am not demanding that this statement be remembered and taken into account, but I figure I may as well at least put it out there just in case.

Actually, if there were an "add this user-plus-tag" option when friending someone or adding them to one of your own reading filters, then tags could be used to push the whole "opt-in filter" concept into the reader's sphere-of-control. (Even better would be that plus "except if this tag is present" as options, so that I could exclude certain only-occasionally-interesting and usually verbose subjects fom my "busy" reading filter, while still leaving them on my default view. It would have to be user+tag, not just tag-regardless-of-user, because different people use the same tag different ways.) As I've observed before, I'm sure there are folks who would like to be able to subscribe to my QotD entries without getting the rest of my journal.

Not related to anything in particular (2): I was thinking last week about what's nice about being in a place where lots of guys are wearing kilts, and was reminded of it at Baitcon when somebody made an appreciative comment about men in skirts (kilts and otherwise): It's been quite adequately demonstrated that a large percentage of women really like seeing men in kilts or in skirted garments in general. Not all of these women will be attracted to me, but in an environment where there are lots of kilts being worn, the odds are that for each woman present, there will be at least one guy she finds distractingly attractive wearing a kilt within visual range. So women at such events tend to be, if not exactly aroused per se, at least a little ... "revved up", "sparkly", happy, tittilated. And even when they're not looking at me, that energy is perceptible, and I find that energy, that undercurrent of awareness-of-aroused-females-of-my-species pervading the environment, to be pleasurable in itself. I like being around aroused women. It feels nice. A pleasant glow for an empath.

Really, I've never quite understood why so relatively few cisgendered American guys (outside of the Pagan community, Celtic festivals, medieval reenactment contexts, and the contradance scene) choose to wear unbifurcated garments, given how positively -- and usually quite openly so -- many women respond when they see men wearing such things. (Admittedly, I first noticed the connection as a side effect of being transgendered, but I eventually would've caught on from being at medieval events and Scottish events, and would have realized as several of my friends and acquaintances appear to have, that kilts tend to please the ladies.)

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

The good and bad: I finally felt well enough to go to the doctor. That's mostly good, but it means I'm now incredibly exhausted on a rehearsal night.Oh. Never mind. My ride to rehearsal tonight fell through -- I got the phone call while I was writing this.

The inconvenient: Lots and lots and lots of walking and a bunch of mis-guesses regarding bus routes (the system map on the MTA web site is in Flash, which the computer I've mostly been using doesn't handle well, and when I can look at it I have to zoom in so far to see street names that I lose any sense of where on the map I'm looking -- lose, lose, lose -- so I just started walking and asking folks who were sitting on their front steps where the nearest north/south bus was). And when I got to the clinic, the doctor wasn't in today, but they're transferring all their patients with diabetes and/or hypertension to a better-equipped facility anyhow (not that I'm sure I need the special docs anyhow, at least not yet -- the glucose tolerance test says I'm diabetic but every glucometer reading (and my A1C) gets a reaction of, "oh, that's nothing" from medical professionals).

The dunno-whether-good-or-bad: Being transferred to a different provider ... The clinic I'd been going to provided the best health care I've had since I was a child. Much better funded / better equipped outfits, such as Kaiser, seemed to treat patients as an unfortunately nessecary inconvenience to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible (and to collect as many copayments from as possible, so if you have two problems / questions, they want you to make two visits). The clinic, which started as a city-funded free clinic until the state's new health-care-for-poor-people program changed the whole game (they're now affiliated with one of the larger providers that has a contract with the state) seemed to be full of people interested in keeping me healthy. So it is with some trepidation that I deliver myself to a larger commercial enterprise, but hey, who knows, maybe they'll turn out to be good too, eh? (Still, there's the whole getting used to each other, getting them familiar with my chart, etc., to face.)

A silver lining: City buses, which I spent quite a lot of time on today, are air conditioned. Much cooler than my house. (I tried to post that observation from my cell phone while I was riding a bus, but it appears to have not gotten through.)

The convenient: The new place I'll be going to is closer to my house -- a long walk on a day when I'm feeling well (though I have absolutely no clue how to get there by bus on a day when I'm feeling well enough to go out but not well enough for that long a walk). And they have their own pharmacy, which means I have a walking-distance alternative to the Rite Aid that royaly botched a prescription a few months ago.

The oops-oh-well: I wish I'd thought to clip on a pedometer before I set out this morning.

The somewhat-almost-clever: Knowing I'd be spending time walking and waiting at bus stops, I took a mandolin with me so I could practice. (And I remembered, for a change, to bring a book to read on the bus and in waiting rooms -- one that [info] siderea recommended. Of course, now that I've started it and gotten sucked into the story, I'll have to finish it tonight or tomorrow.)


So ... saw a doctor (who was filling in for the absent doctor I got transferred to instead of the also-absent doctor I'd expected to see), got a month worth of prescriptions and instructions to come back within a month to see the doctor who will become my regular doctor (Pennsic interferes, so it'll be a month and three days ... a little bit of drug-stretching will be needed, but only a little), got confirmation that I did not, in fact, absolutely fuck up my toe by not going to the ER when I sliced the end nearly off or by not limping to a doctor in the weeks following (it looks a little funny now, but the doctor's reaction was that it was about as expected for that type of injury at that stage of healing) and that slathering it with Neosporin and trying not to think about it too much seems to have been about right. (Though when the nurse, having asked me why I was there, heard "foot injury" after seeing in my chart that I'm diabetic, she looked like she was bracing for much, much worse. Hey, I did look at it every couple of days, and sniff the old bandage when I changed it to be alert for Ominous Sick/Rotting Odors ... I would've asked someone for a ride if it had started scaring me. I've been down to a Band-Aid with a finger-cot to help hold it in place for the past several days; no longer making "armoured bandages" for it.) And I answered too many queries about the way I dress. I don't mind explaining things every so often, but when everybody asks on the same day -- as when breaking in a new health care provider and their staff, or riding unfamiliar mass transit routes, or walking through unfamiliar neighbourhoods (today was three for three) -- I get tired of it.

I have to go back to that pharmacy tomorrow afternoon (they were out of one of the drugs) and manage to get out to the nail salon before Saturday's gig. Let's see whether I can feel well enough to get out on the bus and on foot two days in a row, or if I spend tomorrow recovering from today.

And now there's some sheet music beckoning to me that I should attend to.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

The good and bad: I finally felt well enough to go to the doctor. That's mostly good, but it means I'm now incredibly exhausted on a rehearsal night.Oh. Never mind. My ride to rehearsal tonight fell through -- I got the phone call while I was writing this.

The inconvenient: Lots and lots and lots of walking and a bunch of mis-guesses regarding bus routes (the system map on the MTA web site is in Flash, which the computer I've mostly been using doesn't handle well, and when I can look at it I have to zoom in so far to see street names that I lose any sense of where on the map I'm looking -- lose, lose, lose -- so I just started walking and asking folks who were sitting on their front steps where the nearest north/south bus was). And when I got to the clinic, the doctor wasn't in today, but they're transferring all their patients with diabetes and/or hypertension to a better-equipped facility anyhow (not that I'm sure I need the special docs anyhow, at least not yet -- the glucose tolerance test says I'm diabetic but every glucometer reading (and my A1C) gets a reaction of, "oh, that's nothing" from medical professionals).

The dunno-whether-good-or-bad: Being transferred to a different provider ... The clinic I'd been going to provided the best health care I've had since I was a child. Much better funded / better equipped outfits, such as Kaiser, seemed to treat patients as an unfortunately nessecary inconvenience to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible (and to collect as many copayments from as possible, so if you have two problems / questions, they want you to make two visits). The clinic, which started as a city-funded free clinic until the state's new health-care-for-poor-people program changed the whole game (they're now affiliated with one of the larger providers that has a contract with the state) seemed to be full of people interested in keeping me healthy. So it is with some trepidation that I deliver myself to a larger commercial enterprise, but hey, who knows, maybe they'll turn out to be good too, eh? (Still, there's the whole getting used to each other, getting them familiar with my chart, etc., to face.)

A silver lining: City buses, which I spent quite a lot of time on today, are air conditioned. Much cooler than my house. (I tried to post that observation from my cell phone while I was riding a bus, but it appears to have not gotten through.)

The convenient: The new place I'll be going to is closer to my house -- a long walk on a day when I'm feeling well (though I have absolutely no clue how to get there by bus on a day when I'm feeling well enough to go out but not well enough for that long a walk). And they have their own pharmacy, which means I have a walking-distance alternative to the Rite Aid that royaly botched a prescription a few months ago.

The oops-oh-well: I wish I'd thought to clip on a pedometer before I set out this morning.

The somewhat-almost-clever: Knowing I'd be spending time walking and waiting at bus stops, I took a mandolin with me so I could practice. (And I remembered, for a change, to bring a book to read on the bus and in waiting rooms -- one that [info] siderea recommended. Of course, now that I've started it and gotten sucked into the story, I'll have to finish it tonight or tomorrow.)


So ... saw a doctor (who was filling in for the absent doctor I got transferred to instead of the also-absent doctor I'd expected to see), got a month worth of prescriptions and instructions to come back within a month to see the doctor who will become my regular doctor (Pennsic interferes, so it'll be a month and three days ... a little bit of drug-stretching will be needed, but only a little), got confirmation that I did not, in fact, absolutely fuck up my toe by not going to the ER when I sliced the end nearly off or by not limping to a doctor in the weeks following (it looks a little funny now, but the doctor's reaction was that it was about as expected for that type of injury at that stage of healing) and that slathering it with Neosporin and trying not to think about it too much seems to have been about right. (Though when the nurse, having asked me why I was there, heard "foot injury" after seeing in my chart that I'm diabetic, she looked like she was bracing for much, much worse. Hey, I did look at it every couple of days, and sniff the old bandage when I changed it to be alert for Ominous Sick/Rotting Odors ... I would've asked someone for a ride if it had started scaring me. I've been down to a Band-Aid with a finger-cot to help hold it in place for the past several days; no longer making "armoured bandages" for it.) And I answered too many queries about the way I dress. I don't mind explaining things every so often, but when everybody asks on the same day -- as when breaking in a new health care provider and their staff, or riding unfamiliar mass transit routes, or walking through unfamiliar neighbourhoods (today was three for three) -- I get tired of it.

I have to go back to that pharmacy tomorrow afternoon (they were out of one of the drugs) and manage to get out to the nail salon before Saturday's gig. Let's see whether I can feel well enough to get out on the bus and on foot two days in a row, or if I spend tomorrow recovering from today.

And now there's some sheet music beckoning to me that I should attend to.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

Nearly everything I've managed to accomplish since returning from Conterpoint, I've done in the last six hours. But hey, I did at least get something done -- the drums are moved away from the basement door, so I can do laundry once I catch my breath; there's finally a path to the vacuum cleaner that I'm too exhausted to use; and what's done and not done... )

My back, alas, is killing me. And I'm tired, and haven't been able to sleep well all week (the weather finally broke but then my legs started doing their almost-cramping-won't-let-me-sleep thing, state of D'Glenn, more detail if you care for it )

Earlier today, I was depressed because ... )

Fortunately one of the important differences (the most important difference?) between acute situational depression and endogenous chemical depression is that with the former you have at least a fighting chance of being able to pull yourself out of it (or even just wait it out). That doesn't work with the years-long, brain-chemistry-glitched, "no good reason for it" type of depression, which is, ironically, usually the only kind that lasts long enough for anyone else to think of giving you the terribly broken advice to "pull yourself out of it". The kind of depression that advice might (or might not, but it's worth trying) work for, doesn't seem to naturally last long enough for your friends to get impatient enough to say things like that, as far as I can tell. (As usual, I welcome corrections from my friends with actual psych training if I'm way off the mark here. Right now I'm trying to remember whether "just like depression but doesn't last very long" is technically called a brief, mild form of depression, or "technically not depression because it doesn't last long enough". Maybe if I'd had more sleep ...)

I identified the condition, ... )

, wallowed in self-pity a little while, convinced myself to give in to a pizza craving and ordered one delivered (and with the "difficulty making decisions" symptom being rather pronounced, that took a while), and picked a single task/problem -- fitting the drums into the living room -- to get stubborn at. Now I'm no longer depressed; I'm just in a kind of bad mood. If I can get a reasonable-ish amount of sleep tonight, I should be in a vastly better mood tomorrow. All the more so if I actually feel well enough to walk to the drug store and back (is the pharmacy counter open on Sundays?). managing to keep perfectionism in check, and benefits of doing so )

(As some of my friends have noticed to their annoyance, I pretty much suck at accepting help. It's a flaw I've been struggling with for a long time. Progress is slow, but I do recognize the need to improve.)

In other news, the toe I sliced up is healing, and I haven't noticed any frightening smells when changing the bandage yet; it was deeper even than I'd realized, so it's taking a while for the nearly-sliced-off part to fully grow out to the ready-to-fall-off point. It's less tender now, but still a bit sensitive the previous milestone )

. When I changed the bandage last night, I considered cutting back to just a Band-Aid, or at least leaving off the cellophane armour layer. "The what," you ask? ) ... Well, while I was fussing with stuff in the living room, I managed to whack my foot into something heavy, and yup, I hit with the pinkie-toe of my left foot (in the slipper, but still hard enough to feel through that). So I was really glad I'd gone ahead and included the armour again. As it was, the effect was merely, "Oh wow, that really would have hurt..." *whew*

Okay, time to program the VCRs, eat another slice of pizza, and see whether tonight I finally manage to sleep, so I can manage to write a bit more coherently on the morrow.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

Nearly everything I've managed to accomplish since returning from Conterpoint, I've done in the last six hours. But hey, I did at least get something done -- the drums are moved away from the basement door, so I can do laundry once I catch my breath; there's finally a path to the vacuum cleaner that I'm too exhausted to use; and what's done and not done... )

My back, alas, is killing me. And I'm tired, and haven't been able to sleep well all week (the weather finally broke but then my legs started doing their almost-cramping-won't-let-me-sleep thing, state of D'Glenn, more detail if you care for it )

Earlier today, I was depressed because ... )

Fortunately one of the important differences (the most important difference?) between acute situational depression and endogenous chemical depression is that with the former you have at least a fighting chance of being able to pull yourself out of it (or even just wait it out). That doesn't work with the years-long, brain-chemistry-glitched, "no good reason for it" type of depression, which is, ironically, usually the only kind that lasts long enough for anyone else to think of giving you the terribly broken advice to "pull yourself out of it". The kind of depression that advice might (or might not, but it's worth trying) work for, doesn't seem to naturally last long enough for your friends to get impatient enough to say things like that, as far as I can tell. (As usual, I welcome corrections from my friends with actual psych training if I'm way off the mark here. Right now I'm trying to remember whether "just like depression but doesn't last very long" is technically called a brief, mild form of depression, or "technically not depression because it doesn't last long enough". Maybe if I'd had more sleep ...)

I identified the condition, ... )

, wallowed in self-pity a little while, convinced myself to give in to a pizza craving and ordered one delivered (and with the "difficulty making decisions" symptom being rather pronounced, that took a while), and picked a single task/problem -- fitting the drums into the living room -- to get stubborn at. Now I'm no longer depressed; I'm just in a kind of bad mood. If I can get a reasonable-ish amount of sleep tonight, I should be in a vastly better mood tomorrow. All the more so if I actually feel well enough to walk to the drug store and back (is the pharmacy counter open on Sundays?). managing to keep perfectionism in check, and benefits of doing so )

(As some of my friends have noticed to their annoyance, I pretty much suck at accepting help. It's a flaw I've been struggling with for a long time. Progress is slow, but I do recognize the need to improve.)

In other news, the toe I sliced up is healing, and I haven't noticed any frightening smells when changing the bandage yet; it was deeper even than I'd realized, so it's taking a while for the nearly-sliced-off part to fully grow out to the ready-to-fall-off point. It's less tender now, but still a bit sensitive the previous milestone )

When I changed the bandage last night, I considered cutting back to just a Band-Aid, or at least leaving off the cellophane armour layer. "The what," you ask? ) ... Well, while I was fussing with stuff in the living room, I managed to whack my foot into something heavy, and yup, I hit with the pinkie-toe of my left foot (in the slipper, but still hard enough to feel through that). So I was really glad I'd gone ahead and included the armour again. As it was, the effect was merely, "Oh wow, that really would have hurt..." *whew*

Okay, time to program the VCRs, eat another slice of pizza, and see whether tonight I finally manage to sleep, so I can manage to write a bit more coherently on the morrow.

dglenn: Spaceship superimposed on a whirling vortex (departure)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 09:10am on 2007-06-22 under , ,

Dear blood-cooler,

If you're going to squirt out whatever hormone it is that keeps our muscles from moving when we dream we're moving, it doesn't really do any of us any good unless you actually fall asleep instead of a) lying there thinking thinky thoughts and not feeling rested and b) being quite annoyingly aware that our damned nose itches!

Hmph.

-- the rest of the body

P.S.: What's up with this bit where the online resources say the effect usually only lasts a few seconds and just feels like longer, but a clock within view and the number of buses I hear going by both tell me that it really was more like twenty five minutes?

dglenn: Spaceship superimposed on a whirling vortex (departure)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 09:07am on 2007-06-22 under , ,

Dear blood-cooler,

If you're going to squirt out whatever hormone it is that keeps our muscles from moving when we dream we're moving, it doesn't really do any of us any good unless you actually fall asleep instead of a) lying there thinking thinky thoughts and not feeling rested and b) being quite annoyingly aware that our damned nose itches!

Hmph.

-- the rest of the body

P.S.: What's up with this bit where the online resources say the effect usually only lasts a few seconds and just feels like longer, but a clock within view and the number of buses I hear going by both tell me that it really was more like twenty five minutes?

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

Despite slightly more comfortable weather (81°F/51%) I'm not having a very comfortable day. Listless, dizzy, achy -- and though I get hungry, I really don't feel like cooking, or even eating; all I want to do is drink, and I don't reall want to drink water. I'm craving large quantities of OJ or Gatorade, neither of which I really ought to be drinking all that much of, and I'm nearly out of Gatorade anyhow. So I'll try to settle for fizzy water (the flavoured seltzer w/o sweeteners) and see whether I can muster the energy to be productive at some point.

Well, I've been sortakinda productive-ish: I just did part of an experiment I'd been meaning to do. When I play recorder on stage, I usually just have one mic on a boom pointing at the window, but I recall having read that half the sound comes out the foot (in a rather narrow dispersion pattern, IIRC, but I imagine it usually spreads out more after bouncing off the floor), and I think I remember that having two mics on a recorder mattered in the recording studio. Since I've started playing with Audacity on my Debian box, I've been meaning to set up a pair of microphones and take a closer look.

I picked my two mics with sounds most similar to each other, pointed one at the window of my tenor recorder and the other at the foot, panned them hard-left and hard-right respectively, played a few notes, then swapped the mics and recorded a few more notes. I need to play around more with exact placement of each microphone (and a less noisy time of day), but so far the results are: where the mic is placed makes more of a difference than whch mic (of this particular pair) it is; and neither really sounds like a good recording of a recorder until they're mixed together. Though I can hear the difference well enough, I can't make out the differences clearly on the waveform plot, but this isn't a very large monitor ... (I can, however, see a slight phase difference between the two microphones).

[ETA: As noted in a comment to a later entry, listening to this recording (5MB WAV) on a different computer in a quieter neighbourhood, it sounded a bit different than it did at home. See the comment for details.]

Doing this with a pair of identical (and higher-grade) microphones would be good too. I should probably just arrange to take my recorders up to Emory's studio sometime... Or ask him if he's got WAV files from a two-mic recording of a recorder lying around to email me.

A harder question is whether this makes enough of a difference to care about on stage (it's clearly something to continue to worry about in a recording studio). Probably not ... though, having flipped past clip-on saxophone and brass mics in a catalog, I'd been toying the idea of a clip-on dual-mic recorder rig that could be moved quickly from one recorder to another. (It would look cool and sound better, but it's probably not worth the added complexity, the need for yet another channel, and the risk of throwing off the balance of the instrument and making it harder to play, given that most of the time a live PA is not exactly audiophile hi-fidelity unless you're playing the Meyerhoff or the Kennedy Center, and the subtlety-of-tone of the recorder probably gets lost behind the guitar when playing live anyhow. I could see maybe getting lead recorder [insanejournal.com profile] silmaril a second channel in the interest of tone if enough people could hear the difference, but not for my alto/tenor/bass parts.) Okay, maybe that wasn't such a hard question after all.

And other than futzing around composing this journal entry, I also goofed off with a quiz-meme and an "analyze data about your blog" toy:

How Popular [is your journal']? )

and:

Which Histotical Lunatic Are You? )

Getting Emporor Norton I for that quiz amuses me a great deal. I've always thought Norton was kinda cool.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)

Despite slightly more comfortable weather (81°F/51%) I'm not having a very comfortable day. Listless, dizzy, achy -- and though I get hungry, I really don't feel like cooking, or even eating; all I want to do is drink, and I don't reall want to drink water. I'm craving large quantities of OJ or Gatorade, neither of which I really ought to be drinking all that much of, and I'm nearly out of Gatorade anyhow. So I'll try to settle for fizzy water (the flavoured seltzer w/o sweeteners) and see whether I can muster the energy to be productive at some point.

Well, I've been sortakinda productive-ish: I just did part of an experiment I'd been meaning to do. When I play recorder on stage, I usually just have one mic on a boom pointing at the window, but I recall having read that half the sound comes out the foot (in a rather narrow dispersion pattern, IIRC, but I imagine it usually spreads out more after bouncing off the floor), and I think I remember that having two mics on a recorder mattered in the recording studio. Since I've started playing with Audacity on my Debian box, I've been meaning to set up a pair of microphones and take a closer look.

I picked my two mics with sounds most similar to each other, pointed one at the window of my tenor recorder and the other at the foot, panned them hard-left and hard-right respectively, played a few notes, then swapped the mics and recorded a few more notes. I need to play around more with exact placement of each microphone (and a less noisy time of day), but so far the results are: where the mic is placed makes more of a difference than whch mic (of this particular pair) it is; and neither really sounds like a good recording of a recorder until they're mixed together. Though I can hear the difference well enough, I can't make out the differences clearly on the waveform plot, but this isn't a very large monitor ... (I can, however, see a slight phase difference between the two microphones).

[ETA: As noted in a comment to a later entry, listening to this recording (5MB WAV) on a different computer in a quieter neighbourhood, it sounded a bit different than it did at home. See the comment for details.]

Doing this with a pair of identical (and higher-grade) microphones would be good too. I should probably just arrange to take my recorders up to Emory's studio sometime... Or ask him if he's got WAV files from a two-mic recording of a recorder lying around to email me.

A harder question is whether this makes enough of a difference to care about on stage (it's clearly something to continue to worry about in a recording studio). Probably not ... though, having flipped past clip-on saxophone and brass mics in a catalog, I'd been toying the idea of a clip-on dual-mic recorder rig that could be moved quickly from one recorder to another. (It would look cool and sound better, but it's probably not worth the added complexity, the need for yet another channel, and the risk of throwing off the balance of the instrument and making it harder to play, given that most of the time a live PA is not exactly audiophile hi-fidelity unless you're playing the Meyerhoff or the Kennedy Center, and the subtlety-of-tone of the recorder probably gets lost behind the guitar when playing live anyhow. I could see maybe getting lead recorder [livejournal.com profile] silmaril a second channel in the interest of tone if enough people could hear the difference, but not for my alto/tenor/bass parts.) Okay, maybe that wasn't such a hard question after all.

And other than futzing around composing this journal entry, I also goofed off with a quiz-meme and an "analyze data about your blog" toy:

How Popular [is your journal']? )

and:

Which Histotical Lunatic Are You? )

Getting Emporor Norton I for that quiz amuses me a great deal. I've always thought Norton was kinda cool.

dglenn: Kickdrum (bass drum) with sneakers on the side legs (kickdrum)

[livejournal.com profile] folkmew pointed out that Musician's Friend (a place I bought stuff from last century but whose catalog mailing list I fell off of a while back) is having a "moving to new warehouse" sale. So, of course, there's a whole bunch of stuff there that I've wanted to pick up for a while, at tempting sale prices, that I mostly still can't afford anyhow. (Resist, resist, resist.) But I've had "replace guitar cases" on my to-do list for several years now -- the last time I looked, hard cases worth using were too expensive, and I hadn't bothere looking lately because I haven't had any more extra money at hand than the last time I'd looked. But the case for my main 6-string is missing significant chunks of wood near the edge of the lower bout, and is reinforced with strapping tape under the spraypaint and gaffer's tape over the paint where the strapping tape had started wearing out and the wood had mysteriously vanished -- it may actually have a couple more years left in it thanks to all the gaffer's tape Allon attached to it -- and the 12-string case is, well, toast. The hinges and one or two latches have fallen off, and the plies of the plywood around the bottom curve have separated so that the wood there feels like soggy cardboard. I keep a bungee cord around it to hold it closed.

So it's obviously time for me to look at guitar cases on sale ...

The last time I looked at guitar cases, there weren't three hundred and twenty four models of cases to choose from. Eek! Okay, the number shrinks considerably when you narrow it down to folk guitar cases and cross off the ones that cost a bunch extra for fancy paint jobs. And, importantly, they've gotten a lot cheaper (well, the cheap ones have) than the last time I'd looked ... and they're on sale on top of that. I'm not sure I can really justify spending the money for two right now, but I think I can manage to afford one. Now I just have to sift through all these open browser tabs and pick one. (The two undecided questions: do I want to get a plastic one, lighter and more water resistant (water was what did the bulk of the damage -- maybe all of the non-cosmetic damage -- to the cases I've got), or stick to wood so that I know the lid and bottom will be flat for better stackability and squeezing into car trunks? And do I trust an unfamiliar brand?) This might go faster if I didn't keep going, "ooh, shiny!" at various other things (drum and cymbal mutes on sale -- for thirty bucks I can mute everything but the kick drum and the two smallest Roto-Toms and feel less self-conscious about practicing the drums when neighbours are home ... hey, a mandocello in the scratch-&-dent section -- still too expensive ... whoah, a USB microphone!).

Whatever case I get, I'll have to do something distinctive to it to make it easier to pick out of a pile of cases, at least until I get used to the change. I'm so used to just looking for "the light blue one (now with red tape) and the beat-up brown one" among the jumble of black guitar cases at various events that I'm bound to forget to look for a black one at first.


In other news, the house, which was at 88°F and 60% relative humidity at the hottest part of yesterday, finally cooled a bit overnight and a little more since the rain started: it's all the way down to 85°F and 58% relative humidity. Gee, no wonder I feel sticky. And no wonder Perrine keeps retreating to the coolest patch of floor she can find in the hallway (and glaring at me as though the weather is my fault when I pass by). I'm trying to avoid plugging in the bedroom air conditioner -- I'm still paying for the electricity consumed by space heaters over the winter, and the rates just went up significantly -- but I may have to give in and fire it up for my own sanity.

I don't think the heat is the reason I've been sleeping so poorly -- I'm only managing to stay asleep for 30 to 180 minutes at a time, with 60 to 120 minutes being the usual, and I'm gettin' awfully tired of being tired -- but it probably doesn't help.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 11:10am on 2007-05-05 under ,

This is annoying: although I can walk in a straight line this morning, and even up and down stairs (not perfectly comfortably, but a whole lot better than some days!), every time I change direction, it feels as though my knees are about to buckle. Disconcerting as all hell. Hope this doesn't last long.

dglenn: Spaceship superimposed on a whirling vortex (departure)

(or: Twenty Five Minutes Of Typing In Lieu Of A Scream)

Poor sleep all week,
Constantly feeling tired / sleepy / dizzy / achy / weak,
Out of sorts and out of synch;
Too many 'to-do's put off "until I feel well enough to cope".

Tired enough to think I had a chance
To find my way to slumber early;
Took my meds, then fought my own damn legs
With TheraCane® and Knobble®, and fingers and toes and stubbornness
And actually managed sleep by one-ish,
Early for me (especially this week) and sorely (so to speak) needed.

Oh-four-hundred;
Awake again,
No discernable reason
(Maybe a dream),
Goddammit.

Naught remains but to blog a complaint,
However whiny,
Because a shriek of frustration, or even a suitable howl
Would frighten the cat and wake the housemate.

I say again
(or rather type, silently):
Goddammit.

dglenn: My face, wearing black beret, with guitar neck in corner of frame (pw34)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 06:54am on 2007-04-06 under ,

Wednesday morning I got very little sleep, so getting less accomplished that day than I'd hoped, then feeling like I was thinking and moving in slow motion by that evening, was not terribly unsurprising, however frustrating. Yesterday I got my head stuck in the car-shopping process, searching eBay and Craigslist and putting notes in a Google spreadsheet (so I can access it equally easily from home or from [livejournal.com profile] anniemal's house), slowly realizing that sounds hurt[1] and I was still "thinking through mud". I wasn't sure whether it was fibro-associated wierdness or an incipient migraine -- I did drink basil/lavender tea, and it did seem to help a bit, which suggests that I managed to head off the worst part of a migraine that had been headed my way.

(Not that yesterday was entirely bad. Dinner with [livejournal.com profile] anniemal and [livejournal.com profile] syntonic_comma and [livejournal.com profile] vvalkyri was nice despite the sharp-sounds/slow-brain thing and accidentally putting too much pepper in the lentil-parsnip curry.)

A little over an hour ago I suddenly woke up feeling more clear-headed than I have felt in the past forty eight hours. Feeling awake and aware feels nice. Feeling ... coherent. Only problem is, gee whiz, my back hurts a lot and I was awake at 0-dark-thirty. (And my head hurts, but it feels more like sinus pain than anything else, so perhaps some seasonal Canadian drugs[2] will help with that.)

Anyhow, it still feels good to feel like I've got my brain back out of the oobleck it felt like it was buried in yesterday and the day before. Feels more like being me.

[1] The crinkling of a plastic bag five feet away on the other side of a door is not, in general, supposed to be painful, right?

[2] Currently the only antihistamines I know of that work for me are loratadine (just barely, if I double the dosage and take it twice as often) and Zyrtec (which is less effective than it was a few years ago, but still works well enough to notice). But Zyrtec a) is not covered by the state health-care-for-poor-people plan even if the doctor calls 'em up and insists that the patient needs it (it was in the "doctor has to argue" category until the new general health plan superceded the old prescription-assistance-only plan and the city-run clinic became a provider to the state thingie) ... b) is wicked expensive in the US, and c) has no generic equivalent avauilable in the US. But in Canada it is 1) OTC (under a different brand name), 2) much less expensive even in the name brand, and 3) available more cheaply still in generic form. Fortunately, I have friends in Canada, to whom I am quite grateful. Now as long as the next new antihistamine comes out before my body decides it no longer wants to react to Zyrtec ... (fortunately it seems to have slowed down that process as I've aged -- I've gotten more years out of each of the last few antihistamines than I used to).

dglenn: Cartoon of me playing electric guitar (debtoon)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 04:10pm on 2007-04-01 under , ,

I wonder what my body's rate of hair growth is in grams/day.

But no, my curiosity is not quite strong enough to impel me to perform the obvious experiment.

dglenn: Photo of clouds shaped like an eye and arched eyebrow (sky-eye)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 12:24am on 2007-03-26 under , , ,

Talking on the phone to the Sheepie, she veered into one of her recurring criticisms of my diet (Sheepies are emphatically not vegetarian). She said, "We were meant to be omnivores! These claws! These teeth!"

My first thought in reaction was, "I don't know about that; most people's claws aren't all that strong ..." But then the double-irony hit me: my nails are claw-strong. But I'm still not going to switch to hunting my food (or eating the sort of food to which the verb "hunt" applies in that sense, with the possible exception of wild mushrooms[1]) just because I'm actually equipped to do so.

(She's also informing me about differences between digestive systems of people of Mediterranean descent and folks of other ancestry. I wondered whether I'd inherited more of my mother's genes or my father's in that regard. Er ... until tonight I'd had no idea that there were any negatives to (large quantities of) olive oil other than the calories. I guess that means my digestive system is mostly inherited from my mother.)


[1] The top of the food chain[2], when they're nourished by the corpses of carnivores, as I explained to the friend who said, "I didn't sleep my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetarians."

[2] Yes, I know this sort of thing is why they call it a "web" instead of a "chain" nowadays. Shhh. You're spoiling us fogeys' jokes.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 05:29pm on 2007-03-16 under ,

Wow, two and a half days since I consumed the relevant beverage, and I still smell artificial cappuccino flavouring every time I pee.

dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 01:22pm on 2007-02-23 under , , ,

I want to get some random post-fodder out of my head, then I'll try to get back to finishing already-started topics and maybe even finally try start to catch up on comments and reading my friendspage ... So for the moment, some random snippets:


I need an OS X machine. Oh, for quite a while now I've known how pleasant they are, and have thought about how nice it would be to have one, but I could do most of what I wanted to do using a combination of Linux and Windows and once in a while Mac Classic, if somewhat less niftily.

But now there's a tool that I want to create (if it doesn't turn out to already exist), and I want to make it for a couple of Mac users, and the level of transparency I want to build into it will require my learning a lot more about the behind-the-scenes aspects of the OS X environment and access to OS X for trying out ideas.

I want to make a magic music container which will, when accessed, produce sheet music in the most apropriate format for the application of the moment, without the user having to keep track of five files per tune or worry about whether the JPG was regenned the last time the PDF was updated or the Finale file was edited. The less the user has to think about choosing the format or dealing with archive-maintenance tasks, the better, and adding tunes to the library has to be nearly as easy as getting copies out. For myself, I'd probably continue putting a Makefile in each sheet music directory under Linux, but I want to create a more end-user oriented solution, and the more magically Macish the UI, the better. Easily using the clipboard to paste tunes into a word processing or DTP document to create sets will be a very important feature. OCR'ing scanned pages of sheet music will be extremely useful as well -- I don't want to try to write that part, so I'll want to invisibly invoke some other program that already does music OCR.

This would be in a "really big, long-term project" category. It's going to take me a while to get it just right.


It was probably mere coincidence, but this startled and amused me nonetheless: A few days ago I was lying naked in bed and Perrine leapt up on me. "Jeepers, cat! Your paws are like ice," I exclaimed. Perrine jumped down straightaway and left the room. Two or three minutes later, she returned and jumped up on me again. This time her paws were not just warm, but hot. I'm not sure what she did in those few minutes.


Two errors while making yesterday's breakfast, the first being the classic mistake of picking too small a bowl to start with when improvising in a new direction, and winding up having to get a larger bowl as the list of ingredients grows ... and the second being a result of my relative inexperience with habaneros ...

A while ago I decided that since I like a lot of things that are flavoured with habaneros, I should learn to use them myself -- I mostly use jalapeños and serranos, and sometimes those skinny red Asian peppers that I'm not sure the name of. So for the past month or two I've been playing with habaneros, and have figured out how much habanero goes with how much egg and cheese to result in maximum flavour within a comfortable-to-me level of heat.

Yesterday morning I learned that "this much habanero to that much egg & cheese" does not translate to "somewhere in the ballpark of this much habanero to that much other stuff". Not even close. (Either that, or habaneros get a lot hotter after sitting in the fridge for a while.) Tasty, yes, tasty, but rather uncomfortably hot. Eat-slowly-and-drink-lots-while-my-nose-runs hot. Accent-hot or maybe snack-hot -- pleasant for a bite or two -- but too hot for "I'm hungry and want to fill my tummy" eating. Whoops.

I ate half, and threw the rest in the icebox. Last night I hit the grocery for a block of cheddar, and this morning I ate the rest of the too-hot breakfast with occasional bites of cheddar to tame the effect. That worked. I'll get the hang of the little orange firebombs yet. But I get the idea they're easier to use when making a large batch of something than in single-serving recipes. I wouldn't mind finding a milder but similar-tasting pepper to use instead. Chipotles taste a little bit like habaneros to me, but not so much that I'd call one a substitute for the other. (It's interesting that I notice any similarity in the first place, since habaneros aren't smoky and fresh red jalapeños don't taste anything like habaneros -- they taste like, well, like green jalapeños minus the green-taste -- but the interactions between flavour components are fascinating and often mysterious.) One of the reasons serranos are my favourite pepper so far is that their flavour:heat ratio is unusually high; even though serranos are hotter than jalapeños, you can (optionally) make milder recipes with them because it takes less of the pepper to get more of the pepper's flavour. (The other reason serranos are my favourite is that I happen to really like their flavour, of course. I find that they taste much more interesting than jalapeños regardless of the overall heat level of the dish they're used in.) Habaneros, alas, are t'other way 'round, having an interesting flavour but a relatively low flavour:heat ratio.


My ability to tolerate cold on my hands seems to be dropping. I suppose I should take notes to figure out whether it's correlated with my levels of fibromyalgia pain from day to day or an actual long-term trend of its own.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 06:29pm on 2007-02-09 under ,

I've been back to the pharmacy that gave me the wrong drug, and a different pharmacist was on duty. He checked the computer, and the correct drug was listed for me there, Ultram ER, and he agreed that the [generic] Ultracet was not what I had been prescribed. It only took him a minute or two to find out that Ultram ER is not covered by the state pharmacy assistance plan, as opposed to the thirty minutes it took to find out that the wrong drug was covered last night (which makes me just a wee bit suspicious of that whole thirty-minute effort, wondering whether somebody was playing a game to see what they could get reimbursed for that I wouldn't notice -- or maybe it was just a typo along the line ... am I being paranoid? I wish I could've seen the computer screen last night). But apparently they can't just hand me back the slip of paper I'd brought in, to fill sometime when I come up with the $114 it'll cost, so it'll be filled and just sit behind the counter until the day I walk in with $114 and say, "You've got a prescription waiting for me since early February ..."

This pharmacist did try (repeatedly) to tell me to just ask the doctor to write me a new prescription for regular Ultram, since "it's the same stuff, just not extended release" (exactly -- and what I've been asking for for years is just that: extended-release tramadol) so I should just get the cheaper stuff, which is covered. Well duh, I already have a prescription for ordinary tramadol to take as needed during the day; this was to solve the problem of being woken up by pain when the Ultram wears off before I've slept long enough. If the ER version were covered by my pharmacy assistance -- the very question I went in with yesterday at the start of this mess -- I'd definitely want it. I still want it, but just don't know when I'll be able to pay for it, so "is it worth it?" is a valid question, yes, but telling me to get the rheumatologist to change it to what I've already got (the rheumatologist did also write me a prescription for normal Ultram taken a little more often than I've been taking it now, as well as the Ultram ER one) isn't helpful ... and basically just pisses me off.

There's a chance that I won't find the Ultram ER useful after all, that my other sleep problems may wind up waking me about as often, or that trickling into my bloodstream gradually it might not hit useful concentrations for me, but I won't know that until I've been able to do the experiment. I'm not just being manipulated by advertising to believe that The Newest And Most Hyped Version must be the best, and ignorant of the usefulness of the cheaper version; I was asking for this drug a long time before it finally came on the market, and had investigated whether it was feasible to concoct a delayed-release coating for the normal tablets in my kitchen because the manufactured extended-release version didn't exist yet. I don't need to be told about the existence or ordinary tramadol; I need to know whether or not I can afford to fill this particular prescription. Grrrr.

So, obviously, this has all put me in a ranty mood. (And here's this convenient ranting-space on the web...) And further complicating the financial question, now that I know the price of a month worth of Ultram ER (not that I've gone comparison shpopping yet, but this gives me an idea) is that I won't know how much the pain management center I'm being referred to will cost until they call me to schedule an appointment.

Whee.

dglenn: Close-up of my eyes+nose+moustache (i-see-you)
posted by [personal profile] dglenn at 02:20pm on 2007-02-09 under ,

Yesterday I saw two rheumatologists -- not covered by the state health-care-for-poor-people plan, so I had to borrow money from Mom -- and today I go back to see my regular doctor at the clinic. Apparently not much has changed in the treatment of fibromyalgia since the last time I saw a rheumatologist, and most of the usual stuff has already been tried, so they ordered blood tests to make sure I hadn't developed anything they could treat in the meantime, wrote me a referral to a pain management center, photocopied a couple of pages from my old rheumatologist's records just in case I do wind up becoming their patient, and told me it was nice meeting me, they were sorry they couldn't do more, and there was no reason to come back unless my blood tests show something abnormal. So it kinda sounds like a poor use of that $50 on the surface, but hey, one step of the "we gotta do things in the right order" process done, the aforementioned referral (though I've no clue how much that's going to cost), and a prescription for a drug I've wanted very badly for about ten years: extended release tramadol.

I mentioned that the drug I wanted didn't seem to exist, and one of the doctors said, "oh, that exists now." Apparently it came on the market within the past two years (which would be a little while after the lat time I pestered a pharmacist asking whether it existed yet. The catch: they didn't think the state's prescription plan would cover it.

So I took the prescription to the pharmacy just in case, and asked them to check whether it would be covered or not, figuring that if it wasn't, I could just hold onto it until I came up with the money to buy it out-of-pocket. I expected this to be a quick computer query, but it turned into a half-hour telephone-and-computer-and-fax process where the person working on it kept having to call the pharmacist over to put his finger on the fingerprint scanner attached to the computer, and the final answer was that it would be covered after all. *whew*

Except that when I got it home and looked at the bottle, it said "Tramadol HCl - Acetaminophen Tab (subst. for Ultracet)", which sounded ... well, not quite what I expected. And I didn't see any of the expected warnings about "must be swallowed whole, do not crush". I went online and found Ultracet described, and there was nothing in those pages about extended release -- it's just a third as much tramadol as I usually take combined with a drug that has no effect on me. Getting to the Ultram ER information took a little longer (some pages didn't want to load), but there I found all the stuff about it being extended release and do not crush or chew and no mention of acetaminophen.

Oh boy. This doesn't look good.

Wish me luck getting this straightened out.

dglenn: Lego-ish figure in blue dress, with beard and breasts, holding sword and electric guitar (lego-blue)

This annoys. I had really wanted to get to 3LF tonight. I'd told multiple people I planned to be there. I'd made plans to talk to folks there, made plans for after, and was looking forward to getting in some double-bass time.

My body did not cooperate with this plan. *grumble* When I realized I was running behind schedule (before rehearsal had started, but when I should have already been in the car on my way there), I sent mail saying that I was running about an hour behind but hadn't given up on going yet. Problem is, my body was moving more and more slowly, not gaining momentum.

Part of this is the fibromyalgia, the fatigue associated with it, and fallout from the sleep-wackiness tangled up in it. My sleep schedule is kinda inside-out this week (two inconveniently-timed "OhMyGodIGottaLieDownNowZzzzz" crashy periods a day and difficulty falling asleep when I want to to try to shift the pattern around), which doesn't help, right there. I'm not sure whether I'd be recovered yet from the effort of the Pirate Feast (Saturday) otherwise, but I'm fighting off an illness and that's playing hob with my "get-stuff-done"-itude as well. (So far the fight is a draw, with the illness not getting enough of a toehold for me to tell whether it'll be more cold-like or more flu-like, but my not quite managing to get it to leave me alone and stop threatening to knock me down more thoroughly. I'm still producing enough snot to wake me up feeling like I'm choking, but not all the time. I'm going through my garlic supply rapidly and will need to buy more soon, and am trying to get a lot of rest and a lot of warm liquids, plus vitamin C and zinc.) Still, I'd really hoped to make it to rehearsal tonight. Especially with the number of rehearsals in a row that I've missed recently.

So ... this is me being frustrated and annoyed, grumbling and trying to pretend that there's a meaningful difference between this grumble and a whine. (They really should be different things, but hey, there's overlap.)

So I guess I'll try to build up my quotes-queue a bit and maybe get a little non-whiny writing done, if I don't fall asleep first. And try to make it out of the house tomorrow for other things. And really, really hope that I face fewer obstacles getting to rehearsal next week (and, importantly, the rehearsal and recording session scheduled for Friday and Saturday).

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