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+ paul e. [LJ]
+ Rain Graves
+ gnat [use Perl;]

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My other sites:
- Silicon Valley Scale Modelers
- Book page for Programming Web Services With Perl

Other journals I read:
= DJ Adams
= rebecca blood
= Tim Bray
= Margaret Cho
= Warren Ellis
= Neil Gaiman
= Rafael Garcia-Suarez
= John Gorenfeld
= Lawrence Lessig
= Michael McCracken
= Jeff Vogel
= Norm Walsh
= Wil Wheaton

My journal at use.perl.org:
· Restless
· RPC-XML-0.57.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.56.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· RPC-XML-0.55.tar.gz uploaded to PAUSE
· Forgive Me, Bretheren Monks
· Extry Extry: Winer Leaves the RSS Advisory Board
· RPC::XML 0.54 Uploaded
· The Books of Perl
· Good Intentions Don't Equal Good Results
· Errata Tracking Page for PWSWP
· Image::Size 2.992 Uploaded
· Props to Portland PM
· Lightning Talks
· OSCON, Tuesday
· OSCON Plans Now Set

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We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others. — Will Rogers

Foot Follies 2006.04.26.11:33

In a few hours, I report in for another surgery. One of the screws that was put into my foot is working its way out. It's caused some serious infection in the area around the wound from the first surgery.

What this means, among other things, is that my departure from California will be delayed by at least one more week. Right now, I'm looking at leaving on May 8th. I'm still waiting on my work permit from the UK before I can make my actual travel plans. This unexpected surgery will also probably slow me down on the packing, so the extra week will be handy to have.

Man, this bites.

# [/thoughts/health]

Break Update 3 2006.03.01.03:25

I've been busy (details in a separate post), so I haven't updated on the foot recently.

It didn't heal, and I had surgery this past Friday. Man, I thought it hurt when it was just broken. It's starting to level off, now, after a few days. But for the first couple of days, not even the Vicodin seemed to do much (though I would have hated to see what it felt like without the V). I'm back on the crutches, and will be for a while. I also have to wear a foot condom when I shower, at least for the next few days.

You really don't appreciate the little things in life, like the bones in your foot, until they quit playing nice. You don't think about simple pleasures like WALKING AROUND THE APARTMENT, until such pleasures are denied (or at the very least, cease being pleasant).

But anyway, I'm OK, and while the foot hurts I'm sure it will get better in time. I'm getting caught up on rest, while also doing some contracting (again, more in a separate post). So, no worries.

# [/thoughts/health]

Break Update (no. 2) 2006.01.24.04:51

Went for a follow-up last Wednesday. The break isn't healing like the doctor wants it to. There's a gap at one side of the break itself, which is keeping the little healing-cells from mending the two parts of bone back together. He gave me another 4 weeks of hobbling around in the Franken-foot before he looks at it again. If it isn't doing better, I get surgically screwed, I mean, I get a screw surgically implanted in the bone.

# [/thoughts/health]

Break Update 2006.01.08.11:16

I was able to get in to see a podiatrist Friday, no mean feat on such short notice. Turns out only one bone is broken, not two. He re-dressed the area and gave me an Aircast, which looks like it should be part of something bigger, like skiis, a snowboard, or a Frankenstinian monster. This will be 4-6 weeks to heal, depending on my body. I see the doctor again in a little less than two weeks.

I can walk, drive, dress myself, etc. But none of the above are especially easy for the time being.

# [/thoughts/health]

It Took Me 37 Years to Get My First Big Break 2006.01.06.11:05

I have broken two bones in my left foot. This is problematic for many reasons, not the least of which being that I live on the second floor and I drive a manual transmission.

The ER guys were very cool, we joked and chatted about things from the truly lame-ass way in which I broke it to the prospects of an upcoming Scary Movie 4 (yes, there is apparently going to be a fourth one). I have a "half-cast" right now, a high-tech bundling of carbon-fiber, wetted down with water and molding itself to my foot and heel. I have to do a lot tomorrow: I have to fill a prescription for painkillers (oh yes, I do), I have to contact a podiatrist to get the actual setting of bones and real cast taken care of, and I have to get some sweats to wear for the next 6 weeks, since I won't be cutting down any of my jeans to get them over the cast.

Oh yeah, and I have to go back and get my car. Yes, I drove myself to the ER with a broken foot working the clutch. I had to cab it home tonight, though, since they gave me some Vicodin for the pain. They said I wouldn't be able to drive my clutch with the half-cast. I think I can, but I had already taken the V's. Tomorrow, I'll get a friend (with an automatic) to drive me back, and if I can't work the clutch we can swap long-enough to get me home.

I really didn't need this.

# [/thoughts/health]

Post-Op Update 2005.09.12.00:18

For those who didn't know, I had some minor out-patient surgery this past Friday. As is my tendency, I naïvely thought I would be up and about like my usual self by the next day, if not that evening. Note that there was no arrogance in this, just a complete lack of understanding of what this was going to mean for my system. I am (today) starting to come out of the haze of the (heavy-duty prescription) painkillers, so it seemed like a quick update was in order.

The surgery was wonderfully uneventful. Everything seems to have gone as planned and on the time-table they expected. I was out of the center at the time they told my ride to be there. My friend stopped with me at Safeway to pick up the painkiller prescription (mmm... Darvocet) and a few things I would need for the recovery period. Speaking of which...

Without going into graphic detail, this work was related to my digestive tract. And because of that, I have to maintain high-fiber, high-other-things practices that promote fast and (relatively) smooth transition through the digestive system. In some cases, this is no big deal– high-fiber foods aren't awful, and Metamucil is tolerable. But this also includes drinking some amount of prune juice per day. And that shit is vile.

I've decided that the whole, "Prune juice is a warrior's drink" facet to the character of Lt. Worf was a massive practical-joke on Star Trek geeks. It was a ploy by the writers to see if they could get the same hopeless nerds who go to these conventions in full Klingon regalia to also choke down this vile-but-natural laxative. Personally, I'd love to see a con require that anyone who wants to walk around in Klingon Warrior garb drink a minimum of one "tankard" (or whatever sort of cup they're carrying with them) per day. I mean, if you want to play the part of a warrior, you gotta drink the part, too. And since there's no equivalent to "blood wine" handy... egads, what if the writers were implying that Klingon Blood Wine was similar to prune juice in taste? No wonder those guys were always quick to fight– had to get the fighting out of the way before your bowels exploded. If this is true, my regard for the Star Trek writers has at least doubled.

Anyway, I'm still taking pain meds at 4-5 hour intervals, but now I'm only taking one pill at a time, not two. Last night, I did a little coding while watching some of my TiVo backlog. My illusions of using the time off of work like a free vacation, though, are now being shone in a more realistic light. But I could be a hell of a lot worse off (indeed, there was a small chance that the doctor would have had to do additional work that could have lengthened my recovery time from 4 days to 7). I'm not driving around much, but I'm answering e-mail with reasonable reliability. In other words, I'm doin' OK.

# [/thoughts/health]

Recent Health Issues 2005.08.04.22:21

For those who know about the tests I've had recently, they all came back negative. Of course, that's a pyrric victory, since it opens the door to surgery in the near future. But at least there are no surprises...

# [/thoughts/health]

When the Fever Breaks 2005.03.07.22:39

(With apologies to Led Zepplin.)

Fever broke last night. That was what I noticed when I woke up– either the fever had broken, or my waterbed mattress had been rent length-wise. At least I could rule out having wet the bed (no odor).

I'm still under doctor's directions to minimize outside contact until I've worked my way through the prescription I was given. As I said prior, this is apparently a big problem across the county so they're being extra-paranoid about potential transmission. I wouldn't mind, normally. A few days off to write open-source stuff and work on my models, rock on! But I'm unfocused (though with the fever down, that may improve by later today) and the muscle aches make my hands shakey. So all I've been doing is watching TiVo and going to the bathroom.

I was arrogant-enough to think that the break of the fever was akin to an "all-clear" signal. I dared prepare myself something normal (though not spicy or containing dairy, just in case) for lunch. From the first bite, though, it was clear that eating is still not in my immediate future. As diet programs go, this has been brutal but effective. Can't say I recommend it, though.

# [/thoughts/health]

Way Freakin' Sick 2005.03.05.17:30

I am totally knocked on my ass. I have a flu bug, bad enough that my doctor decided on a prescription med (Tamiflu) rather than having me get something over-the-counter. I am almost certainly contagious, so the odds of my getting out are pretty slim. This includes the birthday party I was to go to this afternoon/evening. I hate to miss it, but I don't want to be spreading plague, either.

# [/thoughts/health]

Can't Sleep, Penguins Will Taunt Me 2003.08.01.18:37

I didn't sleep at all last night. Zero.

This wasn't a case of, "oops, played videogames until the sun came up". I didn't play any games last night. Nor was it a case of being entranced by the glowing Oracle– I watched only The Daily Show, then turned it off. I read some before turning off the light, but that isn't unusual for me.

Just couldn't sleep. Couldn't clear my mind, no matter how many meditative exercises I tried, or anything else. Now I'm dead on my feet.

Bet I sleep tonight. Unless, of course, I don't make it even that far.

# [/thoughts/health]

Follow-Up to Yesterday 2003.08.01.06:38

Fortunately, this bug seems to be fairly short-lived. I left work, came home and crashed. Woke up about 10:45PM, feeling restless, so I watched the Daily Show (good call, since the guest was Alyson Hannigan on her American Wedding promo junket). Went back to bed. At about 2AM, my stomache finally decided to send me in to pray at the White Altar. Then, about 4:30AM or so, I awoke drenched in sweat– the fever had finally broken.

So, I went back in to work today (albeit late), and managed to fix a few things before giving up and going home early. Now, the bedclothes are in the wash, and I'm hoping that tomorrow I get the whole day in. But really, I'll be just as happy to get through the night without another offering at the altar.

# [/thoughts/health]

I Know This Feeling 2003.07.31.01:28

Sudden chills, accompanied by the shakes. Nausea, despite having barely eaten anything (and what little I have, was bland almost to the point of being tasteless). I remember these symptoms...

I'm sick.

I didn't need the reminder, really. I was doing just fine without this, thank you very much...

# [/thoughts/health]

It's Great Being Male 2003.07.22.03:49

Frequent masturbation lowers the risk of prostate cancer.

Pizza reduces the risk of cancer, too, it would seem.

All I need now is a definitive link to the research that shows how beer lowers the risk of heart disease.

It's great, being male.

Update: A kind reader pointed me towards the American Heart Association article regarding alchohol and heart disease. Guinness, anyone?

# [/thoughts/health]

Sleeping Too Much 2003.06.09.08:28

I'm sleeping too much.

I mean, a lot. Enough to interfere in what I'm trying to actually do with my days. This weekend, I've averaged over 12 hours a day. I slept today until nearly 4 in the afternoon, and I feel tired now. I have to finish my presentation for OSCON by Tuesday. I have all my notes, and I know what order I want things to go in. But I'm too tired all the time, I feel like I'm walking around in a fugue-state.

Think maybe my depression isn't as under control as I would believe it to be. That, or it's the thyroid stuff. I haven't had any medication for that in months. Maybe I need to see my doctor and get that prescription refilled...

# [/thoughts/health]

Checking Back In 2003.04.21.23:18

I've been lax of late, both here and at my use.perl.org journal. The main reason is simple and straightforward: I've been (and still am) rather depressed. Not reaching-for-a-razor depressed, so much as why-bother-getting-out-of-bed depressed.

For a long time, I've been trying to figure out why. There are a lot of things that can (and likely do) contribute to the depression, and there are a lot of things that one would assume help to fight off the depression. I've had two projects at work get cancelled out from under me. On the other hand, I'm not being let go– they prefer to move me on to something new rather than get rid of me. I still get dragged down over being single, but I also know that I couldn't bring someone home to my apartment as it currently is. I'm trapped in a cycle where environmental factors like a wrecked apartment contribute to the sense of hopelessness, while that same feeling saps away the energy I need to address problems like the messy home. Of course there are other things at play as well.

Lately, I've come to a point where I'm not really looking for a why anymore, where the depression is concerned. I guess I'm coming to think that it is possible that I can be depressed without a specifically-identifiable external cause. In some ways this is a relief, because it lets me focus more on what I should do to deal with the effects, rather than spinning my wheels looking for causes. But I can't help feeling that I "should" be able to handle things like this for myself. That being affected by this, letting it slow me down to a practical stop, is somehow my fault.

That's the part I'm currently trying to overcome.

# [/thoughts/health]

Who Am I:
Randy J. Ray
Software Engineer


Buy my book!

Programming Web Services with Perl

I've also contributed three chapters to:

Computer Science & Perl Programming

Category quick-links:


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Reading and Re-reading
· The Annotated Thursday: G.K. Chesterton's The Man Who Would Be Thursday, G.K. Chesterton, Martin Gardner
· The Feeling Good Handbook, David D. Burns
· Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie Morgenstern
· XML Schema, Eric Van Der Vlist
· BEEP: The Definitive Guide, Marshall T. Rose

High in the queue
· Silk, Caitlin R. Kiernan
· Coldheart Canyon, Clive Barker
· Idoru, William Gibson
· Shared Source CLI Essentials, David Stutz, Ted Neward, Geoff Shilling

Recently finished
· Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century, Warren Ellis, et al

Recommended favorites
· The Cowboy Wally Show, Kyle Baker
· Lost Souls, Poppy Z. Brite
· The Alienist, Caleb Carr
· Quarantine, Greg Egan
· The Authority: Relentless, Warren Ellis et al.
· Planetary: All Over the World and Other..., Warren Ellis et al.
· American Gods, Neil Gaiman
· Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
· Neuromancer, William Gibson
· A Philosophical Investigation, Philip Kerr
· Say You Want a Revolution (The Invisibles, Book 1), Grant Morrison et al
· You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of..., Oswald T. Pratt and Scott Dickers
· Cryptonomicon, Neil Stephenson
· Rising Stars : Born In Fire (Vol. 1), J. Michael Straczynski

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