Miss One Day, And…

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

So this morning when I went to take my medications, I discovered that I’d run out of one of them. I called the pharmacy and they were very helpful and had it ready in the afternoon and J picked it up after work (thank you!!!).

Unfortunately, the medication is the one that I started taking recently that, along with its therapeutic use, had the pleasant and unexpected side effect of eliminating that “lung-y” feeling I was getting in the afternoons and evenings. I had thought this morning that missing one dose wouldn’t be the end of the world, but… yeah. Good times.

It’s interesting how unpleasant something feels when you haven’t experienced it for a while and it shows back up.

Aside from that, I kept pretty busy again today. Dad liked the handle I printed up so I’ve got the second one printing now. My antenna cover design turned out to not work very well because the plastic makes for a slippery surface and the clamp can’t keep things straight. I know how to fix it but I haven’t changed the design yet – I plan to work on it tomorrow. I also spent a lot of time on electronics, listened to the SDR again, and spent some time chatting with Lloyd, who seems to be in a really good mood nowadays, too.

I ordered a little SDR kit for myself, along with a small Raspberry Pi display. My plan is to make a small, portable, battery-powered SDR receiver that I can use outside or take to the park or whatever. I haven’t had much luck running the current setup with one of those USB battery packs but I think I have a solution.

Oh, and the lawn company showed up again today and sprayed the lawn with whatever magic juice that’s in the big tank in the back of their trucks. I can’t believe how well the stuff has been working – I don’t think we have any weeds in the front lawn (haven’t checked the back but it could be weed-free too) and the grass hasn’t been this thick in… 12 years?

No plans for tomorrow other than the stuff I hope to do around the house. I tidied up the kitchen today and will try to keep on top of it.

Stay safe.

Moving Right Along

Mood: 8

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

Just a quick post tonight. Things are going well, these last two days have been good and I’m really enjoying how it feels!

My Dr C appointment yesterday went well. I still took a cab but while I was there I wasn’t constantly distracted by thoughts and worries so I was able to focus a lot more than normal. Dr C mentioned that I looked happier and more relaxed and that I was making a lot more eye contact than normal.

I’m still keeping myself quite busy and it’s really nice to be busy because I’ve been enjoying it, not because I’m forcing myself to. More designing, more printing, more electronics, more radio stuff, more writing… it’s all been good.

J has embarked on a project to reupholster the dining room chairs. We got the first one done last night and it looks and feels a lot better than the old padding and fabric did. I think she picked a great fabric and foam.

I spoke with my folks yesterday and today and they’re doing well. One of my uncles is in the hospital for some surgery but he’s in good spirits and should be back home soon. Dad asked if I could make him some new handles for his shed, he sent me some pictures and measurements and it looks like it’ll be no problem at all.

We got some more rain today. Not a huge amount but enough to water the garden. I’m amazed at how big and fluffy and green everything is!

I went outside today just before it rained and noticed that there were bird calls coming from all over the place. Aside from crows, I haven’t heard many birds up until now. I like the birds and the more that are fluttering around, the better.

The rest of the day today I left the SDR on, tuned to the local airport tower. I found it very interesting and pleasant – the airport here isn’t like Heathrow or O’Hare, so there are breaks between the conversations. The voices are also always very professional and calm… considering it’s traffic between the tower and aircraft, I should hope it is.

No appointments tomorrow but I have another project to hopefully spit out of the printer and some cleaning to do around the house. I’d also like to sit outside for a while and watch the tree branches and leaves sway while listening to the birds. Hopefully it’ll be cool with a low enough humidity that I can open the windows and let some fresh air in.

I know that life has ups and downs and at some point I’m going to have a crappy day/week/whatever, but I’ve been really enjoying how things are going this last little while. I sure as hell am not taking any of it for granted!

Stay safe.

Another Really Good Day

Song: Theme From Lazy Jones (Commodore 64 Game) by David Whittaker

Mood: 8

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

I woke up this morning when the power went out and came back on – quite the storm was going on outside with a lot of lightning, thunder, and an awful lot of rain. It was only about half an hour before my alarm was set to ring so it wasn’t a huge deal and from what I can remember, I enjoyed the storm. Unfortunately, a house in town got struck by lightning, which wasn’t so good, but nobody got hurt.

J headed out into the rain to go to work and I stumbled around in a haze for a while, doing some tidying and trying to get myself together. I got a text a little while later from J saying that she was on her way home because the neighbourhood where her office is lost power during the storm and it was going to be hours before it was restored so her boss sent everyone home.

So it was a nice start to the day – a storm AND my sweetie ended up having the day off!

After J got home we hung out and talked and did some more tidying. I’m not 100% sure what order everything happened in, but I remember zoning out on the couch for too long and then rushing to de-stinkify myself before FA arrived.

Fortunately, FA ended up being just late enough for everything to work out perfectly, and when she arrived, the three of us chatted for a few minutes before she and I headed out to the hardware store.

Despite (or maybe because of) the weather earlier in the morning, the air was hot and thick with humidity, so it was a nice relief when we walked through the doors into the store and the cold, dry air hit like a big bag of frozen waffles. FA likes it when it’s disgustingly hot out but even she commented about how swampy the air was.

We did a slightly modified aisle crawl – usually we start at one end of the store and work our way through the whole thing, but today I needed to pick up some staples so we went to that part first, then meandered through the rest of the store. As always, there were a few weird/neat/fascinating things there that had us scratching our heads and trying to figure out what they were or why on earth someone would make something like that, which is one of my favourite parts of going to that store.

We left the store bags in hand and headed over to the burrito shop, picked up burritos (and one for J), and then came back to the house. The three of us talked and enjoyed lunch (man those burritos are good) and had a good time hanging out.

A while later, J headed out to do some things and FA and I started puttering around with stuff. I had hoped to show her that I got the software defined radio working with the new Raspberry Pi board that I got last week but – despite working fine the previous day – it decided to be stubborn and didn’t work very well at all, so I ended up hooking up my regular computer and we listened to some weather broadcasts, some traffic from the airport, and even some traffic from the local transit authority.

We also puzzled over the best way to make new handles for a trophy that badly needs them. You wouldn’t think that there would be a lot of figuring for something like that, but in this case there definitely was, and after J got home again the three of us stared and tilted our heads and squinted at it for a while before we figured it out. At least, I think we figured it out. FA has access to one of those new resin 3D printers so she’ll be able to print stuff at a crazy high resolution that doesn’t have the layer lines or support blemishes that the more common printers leave behind.

As usual, we also spent time talking about all kinds of things. Everything from expensive pantyhose, to dolphin-safe tuna and salad kits, to the merits and disadvantages of playing goal in soccer.

I was very surprised when I looked at the time and it was almost 6:30PM – the day had run away from me again. We chatted for a few more minutes, then FA picked up her stuff and headed home.

After she left, J and I put together some supper and talked for another stretch of time before heading downstairs. I set up another job to run on the printer and then we watched another episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Now I’m just wrapping up my day and thinking about tomorrow.

It has been a really good day. I wish I could sweat how good I feel so I could collect it in a jar and smear it all over myself when I’m having a crappy day. Kind of gross, but I bet you can’t honestly say you wouldn’t do the same thing if you could.

I have an appointment with Dr C tomorrow afternoon but other than that, there’s not a lot going on. I have several things I’d like to print, and I think I’m going to rebuild that Raspberry Pi.

Stay safe.

What A Good Week

Song: “Bright Side Of The Road” by Van Morrison

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

I’m a little sad that it’s Sunday night, because this week has been very good. It feels weird to type that but it’s true.

I got a lot of things accomplished, including some printing stuff, some radio stuff, some electronics stuff, some house stuff, some TV stuff, some phone stuff, some family stuff, some friend stuff, some reading stuff, some game stuff, some thinking stuff, some plant stuff, some quiet stuff, some music stuff… all kinds of stuff.

It was so nice to hang out with J and chat about this or that, or lean on each other while watching TV, or even just sitting in the same room doing our own things.

Speaking of TV, we finished the third season of Stranger Things. What a great cast – this season I was particularly impressed with Robin, Steve, and Nancy (holy crap, Nancy!), and the guy who plays Billy should get some kind of award for making his character so horrible and creepy. I am pretty satisfied with how it ended, but one thing that still gets me is HOW ON EARTH DID THEY COVER IT UP AGAIN? I mean – not to be gross or anything – but how did they get rid of that much meat? When a dead whale washes ashore, it makes the news because they often end up dynamiting the poor creature to help get rid of it. And, once again, the only winners in Hawkins, Indiana are… the real estate agents. But it’s a great show and I’m looking forward to season four.

We had a storm roll through here this morning, which woke me up and, from what I can remember, I enjoyed. Lots of lightning and thunder, and enough rain that I don’t think I need to water the garden even tomorrow.

I didn’t sleep all that great, mainly because I started falling asleep on the couch again, but things around home were pretty relaxed so it wasn’t a big deal if I sat down and zoned out for a couple of minutes here or there.

I’m quite excited by some of the progress I’ve made with some of the electronics stuff this week, and I am now finally finished the enclosure for my little garden project!

Despite my best efforts at organizing my stuff, the dining room has somehow… gotten worse. We’re well past tornado now and heading toward tsunami. I need to get a handle on things quick.

FA is coming over tomorrow! We have a trip to the hardware store and burrito lunch planned but beyond that I’m not sure what’s going on, other than it’s going to be fun.

I have an appointment with Dr C this coming week but otherwise I don’t think I have any appointments. If the week is half as good as this week was, I’ll be happy!

Stay safe.

The Week Is Going Well

Song: “Acapulco 1922” by Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

Yesterday and today flew by – I have no idea where the time went. I don’t think I spent it passed out on the laundry room floor, so I must’ve been busy. Regardless, this week feels pretty good so far!

I’ve made a lot of progress organizing my hobby stuff into that new case. I think it’s going to work really well for “portable” hobby stuff. The dining room table has gone from “asteroid impact” to “tornado”, so the time I’m spending on it seems to be paying off. They sell extra trays for the case, so I was even thinking that in the future I could even get some more trays, fill them with stuff for other hobbies, and swap them out as needed. A nice fancy modular hobby kit…

I also got some more designing and printing done. I got filament from a different place and it’s been working really well so far. Hopefully I don’t regret saying this, but the nozzle clog (that would be a great name for a band) seems to be fixed. I know that clogs are are a matter of when not if, but I’m happy with how well the printer is working.

We got a lot of rain yesterday and the ground was still damp today. We really needed the rain, some people are having house foundation problems because the ground got so dry it started pulling away from the walls. Plus, it greened the grass up very nicely and the garden got a really good watering. I went for a walk this morning and it was pretty decent out, but the afternoon was pretty swampy.

Heard from a motorcycle riding buddy I haven’t seen in a while, he’s got some health stuff going on but is doing pretty well. It was good to hear from him, and good to hear that he’s still collecting more and more bikes. I have no idea where he gets them – he lives in a somewhat remote area – but he enjoys getting them running again and trying them out. He’s a really good guy (his whole family is great) and I hope his health issues are worked out soon.

My sister texted me this evening and told me that my nephew finally got his birthday card – 13 days after we mailed it. I remember back in the day we used to be able to count on three business days. Yeesh.

J and I watched another episode of Stranger Things this evening. The pace has really picked up and it’s gone in a direction I wasn’t expecting but I think that’s a good thing. I am a little curious about how dumb/oblivious the citizens of Hawkins and the surrounding area are that so much stuff is happening under their noses and they don’t notice. Seriously, people… a five-storey (plus several underground levels) building’s worth of people got eaten two seasons in a row and nobody seemed to notice. The real estate agents in Hawkins would’ve made a pile of money selling and re-selling the houses the staff lived in. Heh… it’d be quite the twist if the extradimensional portals and mind-controlling monsters were a local real estate conspiracy.

I don’t have any appointments tomorrow but I’m expecting my new Raspberry Pi order to arrive. I’m looking forward to trying the new ones out. Hopefully tomorrow will be another good day!

Stay safe.

Not A Bad Start To The Week

Song: “Jimmy Jimmy” by The Undertones

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

It took me a looong time to fall asleep last night. I was up past 4AM, but when I woke up this morning I felt a lot better than I expected.

The day went by in a flash – I don’t know where most of it went. I called my folks and talked to Mom for a bit, then surprised my sister by calling her at work to say hello. My nephew’s birthday was last weekend and the card we sent him at the end of June hasn’t arrived yet. I feel bad about it and hope that he doesn’t think that we forgot about him. I think we’re going to give it until the end of the week and if it doesn’t show up we’ll send him another one.

I got a call from the clinic today and, true to her word, it looks like Dr H sent out the referrals right after my appointment on Friday. I now have an appointment with a lungologist in a couple of months. I also called a different clinic to find out how their EKG department worked, and it turned out it all I had to do was walk in with the requisition. I told J that and she offered to take me there after she got home.

The skies got pretty dark this afternoon and we got some badly needed rain with a nice bit of thunder thrown in. It only rained for a little while, though, so I hope we get some more soon.

I was waiting by the door when J got home and we went to the clinic for my EKG. Aside from the staff, the room was empty so I got in right away. The person running the test was very friendly and told me that the test wouldn’t. I told her I knew that, and she said that I looked scared, plus, I was sweating up a storm (ewww). I told her I got anxious a lot and we talked about mindfulness and some of the resources online for that kind of stuff. Aside from really not wanting to be there, it was a pleasant experience – she didn’t even rip out any chest hairs. Of course, me being me, I took the wrong set of stairs up and ended up lost inside the clinic, but I just kept walking and eventually found my way out.

I’ve been trying to organize some of the hobby stuff that I’ve got going on in the dining room, and after looking around I found something that looked perfect… a tackle box. After the test was done J and I went to the store and picked one up that should do the trick very nicely. A big space in the top to hold active projects, and four organizer drawers to sort parts and tools and stuff like that.

On another interesting note, since I started taking that new medication that I was prescribed last week, I haven’t felt lung-y once. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or if it’s actually helping my symptoms, but it’s nice to not have that feeling for a few days at least. I did a bit of digging into off-label uses of the drug and was a bit unhappy when I saw it’s used for heart failure, but I figure if I had heart failure Dr H would’ve been all over that. Although I did just get the EKG today. Hmm… okay, I am going to try not to worry about it or freak out whenever the phone rings. Now that I actually give a crap about what happens to me, I find that it’s actually a little nervous-making. I think that’s probably a good thing, though.

I won a prize in STO this evening – a snazzy new ship. It’s pretty neat and I haven’t gotten it blown up yet.

J and I watched another episode of Stranger Things. It’s pretty great, but again – all of these problems could be solved a lot faster if everyone just talked to everyone else. They’re all going to end up working together to get rid of the monsters again, anyway…

Nothing scheduled for tomorrow yet. Depending on what it’s like out I may spend some time outside watching the rabbits and the trees again. Yes, the bunnies are pests, but it’s kind of relaxing to watch them stretched out and resting on the grass or eating dandelion leaves.

Stay safe.

Yesterday, July 6th

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

So, yesterday went better than I expected. J took me to the clinic and I met with my nurse who set me up with a blood pressure meter, gave me a whole bunch of information and answered my questions, then left the room. I put on some music, closed my eyes, and concentrated on relaxing. The results of my blood pressure test? 124/82, or pretty much perfect. I told her my BP gets much higher in the evening (up into the 150s) but the important thing is my average reading throughout the day is nice and low now.

My appointment with Dr H was pretty brief. Pretty much every test but one is perfect, but the one that’s not perfect is just a little off and she told me that if they did the test right now it would probably look normal again. She was happy about the quetiapine reduction, and we talked a little more about my “lung-y” feeling. One of the things I really like about Dr H is that if she doesn’t know something, she says so. I respect that. The downside is I now have referrals to see a cardiologist and pulmonologist. I’m not keen on more appointments but it would be nice to know what’s going on.

I was pretty anxious by the end of the appointment, so when we got home I went outside and watched the rabbits play, eat, and relax by the deck. I don’t think they have a nest there, I just think it’s shaded and there isn’t any animal or kid traffic to disturb them. When I was a kid, my sister had a guinea pig. We used to put him outside on the lawn under a box or laundry basket when it was nice out. We’d check in on him an hour later and every square centimetre of lawn under the box was eaten down to the dirt, so we’d move him over, make sure he still had water, and let him do that again. I sometimes wonder if it’d be possible to catch 30 or 40 rabbits and have them all under a huge laundry basket, mowing the lawn. Now that I think about it, it’d probably be easier to just buy a goat.

My battery box finished printing overnight so I now have what I need to put the electronics outside by the garden. I won’t get useful information from it – I still need to design and print the screen that’s going to protect the electronics enclosure from the sun – but it will be good to see if the radio link is reliable. I will probably put it outside later this afternoon and then sit down and watch the rabbits again.

Stay safe.

Real Quick

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

Just on my way to bed and realized I hadn’t done a post. Yay, bullet points:

  • Woke up a few times last night, had to get up twice for the front door. Woke J up a couple of times by accident, too.
  • Took a while to get going again today.
  • It was really nice out – the sun was very warm but there was enough of a breeze to chase a sweat away.
  • My order of filament arrived today, it’s from a different place and costs less but I loaded a spool of PETG and it seems to be printing very well so far.
  • I’ve been itching to try the new Raspberry Pi 4, I finally found a place that sells it and doesn’t charge $30 to ship so I ordered two of them. I have plans…
  • My Dr C appointment felt like it went on forever and I was just spinning my wheels.
  • Not sure if it’s a coincidence or what, but since the most recent quetiapine reduction, I haven’t been craving candy all the time, which is wonderful.
  • Dr H appointment tomorrow, should be progress on my vertebra and “lung-y” stuff. Hopefully it goes well.

Stay safe.

Appointment Went Well!

Song: “Get Over You” by The Undertones

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

I don’t think I slept too badly last night. I remember waking up twice, but a quick look at my phone was enough to let me get back to sleep.

I woke up at that aggravating point before my alarm went off where I spent 20 minutes wondering whether I should try to get back to sleep or get up. I ended up getting up and shuffled around for a while. The print I started yesterday evening failed overnight, so I cleaned everything up and started it again, then had breakfast. Or I had breakfast and then did the printer thing. I can’t remember.

J got up a little while later and we both got ready for the day, then we got in the car and went to my appointment. Even though we got to the clinic ahead of time, we got taken to a room as soon as we got there, and the doctor came in a few minutes later. I gave him the notes I prepared yesterday and, when he was done reading them, he looked through some of my tests, asked me some questions about my medications, and then said that there’s nothing wrong with me – the symptoms I’m experiencing are a result of the medications I’m on. He gave me a prescription for something to try for two weeks to see if it helps, and told me to come back in three weeks. And that was it.

Seriously – that was it. No buts, no dramatic pauses, no “you have Kuru”. I could get used to that!

J dropped me off at home (THANK YOU!!!) and headed off to work. I gave my folks a call and let them know how the appointment went, then sent out my usual round of texts. After that, I plopped myself down in bed to see if I could catch a bit of a nap, but, having no luck, I got up and got to puttering.

It rained several times today so I didn’t have to water the garden. It was pleasant rain that left the air smelling fresh.

[Wait, did I start the print after I got home, or at breakfast? I can’t remember. Today was a very foggy day. That’s why J sat in with me at the doctor.]

During the afternoon, that “lung-y” feeling hit me again, quite intensely. I tried the puffer but it didn’t make any difference. It hung on for a while and then slowly went away. It’s weird because it used to only happen in the late evening – now it’s happening in the afternoons, too. The good thing is that each time it happens it’s a little more information. I still don’t think it’s anxiety but beyond that I have no idea.

J got home with a surprise – she picked me up a new set of headphones, and they are FANTASTIC. Noise-cancelling, really good sound, on-ear, fit my head… they’re perfect! My old headphones were about $25 ten years ago and they’ve been shedding bits of plastic for a year or two now. They’ve done their time and owe me nothing.

J and I hung out, talked a lot, and watched another episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr C. I’m still not 100% comfortable with moving to every second week but I feel better about it than I did. We’ll see how tomorrow goes. For now, I’m going to sit back and enjoy some music.

Stay safe.

I Almost Forgot…

Between all the noises that were bothering me, and how alarmed J was at the noises when she heard them, and the fact it was well off warranty, we decided to get a new hot water tank. It was installed on Friday evening.

So, now the tank no longer makes ticking, thumping, and booming sounds when it’s heating, and check this out:

New Hot Water TankThere’s a nice, big, deep drip tray with a hose outlet that goes right to the drain. So even if the tank starts to leak, the water will collect in the tray and run down the drain. There’s still always a chance that the tank could fail at a seam, but even then the outer shell should contain it and direct it into the pan. If the pan overflows, it’s right near the drain anyway.

I think this is a good thing, and should at the very least move the tank much lower on the list of things that bother me. Considering how much it cost to get a new tank installed (holy crap!!!), I hope so.

Stay safe.