Yesterday, October 29th 2019

Song: N/A

Mood: 8

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Yesterday was another good day. I slept not too badly and woke up slowly.

FA came by around noon, and the three of us had a delicious burrito lunch (thanks, FA!!!) and talked for a bit before J had to head out to get some work done on the car.

FA and I finished up that one project she was working on, we played around with crimping tools and testers to make network patch cords, looked at the stuff I’d printed, and talked about all kinds of stuff again. By the time we were done, the dining room table was covered in bits of wire, scrap paper, insulation, blobs of hot glue, and envelopes that stunk of brush-on electrical tape.

In other words, it was a great time. Apparently, she may have some more things to work on sometime soon and we may be getting together again next Monday!

Yesterday evening, both J and I were pretty tired so we took it easy and watched a couple of episodes of Schitt’s Creek, which were pretty good. We’re going to have to come up with a plan for what to watch soon – we don’t have many episodes left…

I’m very pleased with my new phone. Even just the battery is already a HUGE improvement over my old S7. Not a surprise, considering its age and that the new phone comes with a bigger battery, but still nice to see.

Still haven’t heard back from the lung doctor. I know they’re really busy there so I think I’ll give it until early next week before I call back again.

I’m also hoping to do some volunteering on Friday but I haven’t heard back from them yet. I’m going to wait and see what happens. If they get back to me, great… but if they don’t, I’m going to send them another message saying I want to help but they’re going to have to get their scheduling/etc in order before I go back.

There’s some snow on the ground and I’m starting to think it’s going to be here until spring. Oh well…

Stay safe.

Great Visit!

Song: “Farmer’s Almanac” by Johnny Cash

Mood: 8

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

My parents came into town yesterday for a visit. We had a great time – I can’t remember the last time we just sat around and talked like that – and I was sad to see them leave today. Mom brought a lasagna for supper last night and J made cake for dessert, the weatherstripping on the front door got fixed (my parents like to do a project when they visit), and everything went great. It was great. Yes, I know I just said that but like I said, it was great.

J has this week off, which is wonderful! She’s got some stuff that she wants to do – namely, sleep in, read some books, and not be at work – but even if we’re at opposite sides of the house, things are just better when she’s home. I guess it’s good that we don’t live in some giant mansion, because we can still talk to each other or hear each other bumping around and doing stuff, and I find that comforting.

Our new phones arrived today and we both got a shiny new Samsung A70. Not as flashy as the S-series phones we used to get but they’re more than what we need and were on sale. It’s going to take me a while to get used to it – the icons are different and the buttons are in different, too.

I haven’t heard anything from the lung doctor’s office. I was supposed to call on Friday if I hadn’t heard anything by Thursday evening, and when I called they said he’d call me back. Called them again this morning and got the same response, which makes me think that one of two things have happened – either he found nothing to worry about and calling me is a very low priority, or he figures that there’s no point in calling because it’s hopeless. Based on how Thursday went, I suspect it’s the former.

It could just be a coincidence, or maybe breathing into all those machines shook something loose (J’s hypothesis), but I felt pretty rough on Saturday… like I had a bad chest cold or something. I don’t know what was going on but I was coughing and breaking a sweat and wheezing just walking up the stairs. I’m acutely aware that I’m fat and out of shape, but I’m not THAT out of shape, so I was wondering what the heck was going on. I woke up on Sunday and felt normal again. Today I’m feeling a little lungy but not too bad. So I don’t know.

Timings worked on on Friday afternoon so I went over and did some volunteering at the church for over an hour. It went quite well, and it makes me feel good to be able to help someone out. Plus, Dr C and Dr W (and J, and my parents, and FA, and my in-laws, and my sister, and Dr H, and the mailman, and the pharmacist, and that lady on the radio) all say it’s important for me to get out of the house. Yes, the church is very close to home, and yes, it’s a quiet and calm environment, but I’m still getting out, driving my little truck there, and talking to people who I really don’t know. I’m interested to see if it’ll work out this coming Friday, too.

FA is going to come by tomorrow and we’re going to geek out/talk/play board games/eat burritos/all kinds of things. I’m really looking forward to hanging out with her, it’s going to be great! I wonder what kinds of ideas or schemes we’re going to come up with…

Stay safe.

I Was Expecting 30 Minutes…

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Swarm

So yesterday I got an email from FA about a device I didn’t know existed called a “Click to Pray eRosary” and that someone had already found a vulnerability in it. Neither of us were too sure about whether the whole thing was legitimate, so I did some digging and found that it did appear to be real. Not content with looking it up, I thought I’d call one of the contact numbers and see what happened. So I made a call last night…

… to Vatican City.

I was calling outside of business hours but an answering machine picked up with an Italian message. I waited for the beep and then left a brief but polite message. So that was the big excitement last night. I think that was only the second international call I’ve ever made in my life. Can’t wait to see what the phone bill says.

Didn’t get much sleep last night. One of the things I try to follow with the sleep hygiene thing is to not go to bed if I’m not tired. Unfortunately, I ignored the corollary that goes with it, which is something like, “Do calm relaxing things. No screens.” So I was up too late and then woke up two hours before my alarm went off and couldn’t convince myself to get back to sleep.

Today, though, was my pulmonologist appointment. J took some time off work to take me to the appointment, and after she dropped me off at home she was going to head back.

It didn’t quite work out like that.

I’ve got to give the doctor credit – he’s pretty thorough. We left the house at about 10:45AM and I was expecting to be home around noon or 12:30. Well, it was after 5PM when we stumbled back into the house. What a day. I breathed into at least three different machines, got dosed with various medications, walked laps in a hallway, and went to another hospital to get two different lung scans with two kinds of radioactive isotopes: one inhaled and one injected. So far, no superpowers and I can’t see my skin in the dark.

A good thing that happened is that – for the first time – I was actually having my symptoms while I was seeing the specialist. Unfortunately, that meant that I was feeling pretty crappy for most of the day. I don’t have the final report yet but I was the last scan of the day for one of the staff and when he spoke with another doctor who took a look at my scans, he was happy to hear that my scans were “beautiful” (the doctor’s words, apparently), instead of ending the day on a scan where someone’s lungs were on the way out. No blood clots, and air is going into and out of my lungs quite nicely. So that was good to hear.

The only downside about it is that I’m still feeling lungy and don’t know why. It’s really bothering me right now, actually, and I can feel my eyes wanting to bulge out. The pulmonologist was very friendly and took lots of notes (and, frankly, almost every tech/expert/staff that J and I met today were wonderful too), so hopefully the scans will still tell him something that will get someone closer to figuring out what’s going on. It’s a really unsettling feeling.

It had been a really long day and when we got home, I was feeling really wrung out so I went and crashed in the bedroom for a while and tried to relax. I think I caught a little bit of a nap, which was good. After that, we had supper and watched two episodes of The Good Place. And now I’m here.

I’ve said this before, but I am so very lucky to have such a supportive, caring, and helpful wife. J wasn’t expecting (again) to have to take the whole afternoon off (again) and miss lunch (again) because I had another appointment, but she drove me around and kept me calm for the whole day. Thank you, sweetie!

We didn’t hear back from the pulmonologist this evening so I’m supposed to call tomorrow morning and find out what’s going on. Aside from that, I don’t have anything else happening so I think I’m going to take it easy. I have a lot more stuff I want to think about and tomorrow seems like as good a day as any to do it.

So far it looks like I will be volunteering on Friday afternoon for a little while. I hope it works out.

Oh, and I’m also printing up lithophanes that I am hoping to light up with neopixels to use as Halloween decorations. We’ll see how that works out.

Stay safe.

Successful Drive Today

Song: “Elenor” by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Pack

I didn’t sleep well again last night. Fell asleep on the couch again. I don’t even remember how I got to the couch, nevermind why I thought it was a good idea to move there in the first place. I should set up a camera one of these nights and film what I do in the hour or two before I go to bed. Could be interesting and possibly even useful.

I drove to my Dr C appointment today, and it worked out okay – no chest tightening up or panic, just driving and paying attention to that. Unfortunately the whole place was a bit of a zoo so I could only get a parking spot about 400 miles away but a bit of a walk won’t hurt me. The appointment was alright. We talked a lot about the volunteering that I’m trying to do and some of the other things I’ve been doing lately, and Dr C said, “you like trying to help people a lot, why didn’t you have a job in that kind of field?” I found that kind of funny because back in high school I wanted to be a biomedical engineering technologist and work on things like artificial limbs, but for many reasons it didn’t work out.

When my appointment was done, I went and sat in the truck with music playing for a couple of minutes before driving home. Even when I do my little patrol around the house and take all the pictures to show that everything’s okay and locked up, it’s still a pretty big relief when I get back inside the house.

More designing and more printing yesterday and today. This time it was a picture stand that can also hold J’s glass. I kind of like the design – it reminds me of something from a 1960s-era airport.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the lung specialist. I’m not really looking forward to it. It’s downtown (which I don’t like), it’s with a doctor I’ve never met before (which I don’t like), and it’s in an office I’ve never been to (which I don’t like). It will be nice to get some answers with that weird lungy feeling I’ve been having, which, after a nice break when I started on the Tamsulosin, is now making quite the comeback. But I still wish I’d just eaten something too quickly a couple of months ago and one of these days I’ll cough up a chicken beak and feel fine from then on. Although I’m guessing they’d probably find a chicken beak with an x-ray and nobody’s mentioned that.

I also spent a lot of time today pondering things, like the volunteering thing and other things I could be doing to help people out. Printing that flexible filament the other day really opened my eyes to the things I can make. Regardless of the actual practicality of it, things like wheels and belts and tracks and braces and pumps… all kinds of stuff. I will be spending more time thinking about it tomorrow, too.

So aside from the lung appointment tomorrow, that’s all I’ve got going on. Oh, a package is supposed to arrive at some point. Hopefully not while we’re out.

Stay safe.

Feeling A Little Down

Song: N/A

Mood: 6.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Lots

This past weekend was pretty good but went by way too quickly. J and I hung out and talked a lot about all kinds of stuff and the time flew.

My trusty phone is finally giving up the ghost. I don’t mind that the battery doesn’t last very long anymore, and the random app crashes were more annoying than anything, but it has now picked up the habit of locking up and rebooting. The poor thing doesn’t owe me anything – it gets a LOT of heavy use. J’s phone doesn’t last as long as it used to either, so we did some figuring and looking and we both now have new phones on the way.

I’ve been spending a lot of time designing and printing parts, most recently with flexible filament that’s light and rubbery. It’s worked out a lot better than I expected and opens a whole new range of things I can do with the printer.

The volunteering thing has been a little problematic. I really want to do it but for some reason, scheduling has been a problem and pretty frustrating. At the last minute last Friday didn’t work out but we’re going to try again this Friday. If that doesn’t work again I may step back for a while and wait until things are sorted out there.

I’ve been feeling a little down for the last few days. I’m not sure what’s causing it – could just be another up/down thing – but it’s not fun and it makes me want to stay in bed. I’m not, but it sure is tempting. I’ll have to make sure I stay busy so I don’t find myself sitting around and dwelling on whatever it is.

The 2004 reboot of Battlestar Galactica is one of my favourite shows. The story, the characters, the ships… all great. I’ve been watching The Expanse, and it reminds me very much of BSG. It’s not the same show by any means, but the way they’ve developed the core characters and how everyone has a story or two (or fifty) feels very similar. Unfortunately, The Expanse did the same thing that most of the shows or books I enjoy do – killed off my favourite character. I won’t say who it was but I apologize to the person who plays the character for liking their character, thereby sounding the death knell for said character and ending the paycheques to said person.

There were a bunch of other things I wanted to write down but they’ve slipped my mind. Probably weren’t too exciting anyway, but I should really jot this stuff down.

I have a Dr C appointment tomorrow. It’s been quite a while since the last appointment and quite a bit has happened during that time. I hope to drive tomorrow but I’m not going to push it if I’m feeling off again – I don’t want to end up panicking in a parking lot again like last time. Wish me luck.

Stay safe.

Time Is Flying

Song: “Thanks But No Thanks” by Sparks

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Pack

I’m almost sure that I did up a post last night but it’s not here and it’s not on my computer, so I guess I didn’t.

The last two days have gone by very quickly. I did some surgery on the printer yesterday and now all the little internal fans have been replaced by two big external fans. It’s a lot quieter now and I think everything is working well. I did a test print and there wasn’t any fire or weird smells, so the printer is back in service. Plus, I made sure the smoke detector above the printer is still working. Just in case.

I’ve also been working a lot on electronics stuff. I’ve got a little mp3 player module that I’ve hooked an Arduino up to to control. It reads an SD card and can select tracks, change volume, start, pause… bahahaha, just kidding – all I can get it to do is send a -1 back to the Arduino. I’m pretty sure I’m missing something simple and I’ll figure it out when I take a run at it again tomorrow.

Almost all of the snow is gone – it got up to +9C or something like that today, with a clear blue sky.

I tweaked something in my back yesterday when I was working on the printer – I kept dropping screws and did something dumb when I went to pick them up. Yeesh.

I think I’m going to volunteer again at the church tomorrow afternoon for a little while. I like being able to help people, and I really like that it’s very close to home and I’m only going there once a week. Things might change, but for now I think I’m comfortable with how the setup is working.

I made oatmeal this morning for the first time in… five years? Seven? Anyway, I badly miscalculated how much the oatmeal would puff up, so I ended up eating a LOT of oatmeal for breakfast. I put in a spoon of brown sugar and a spoon of peanut butter and it was really quite tasty.

J and I have been watching The Good Place again now that the new season is out. They’ve really changed the formula this season but so far it’s been pretty good. I think the whole cast is good, but Ted Danson and D’Arcy Carden are pretty amazing.

So tomorrow I’m doing the volunteer stuff at the church, but beyond that I’m not sure what’s going on. Hopefully it’s nice out again.

Stay safe.

Talked To WG

Song: N/A

Mood: 7.5

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

Just a quick post – I’ve got a bunch of little things on the go and I’m hoping to get a few of them done before bed. So… bullet points!

  • Today was another good day.
  • I had a list of things I wanted to get done, including scheduling some appointments and making some calls. I actually got some things off my list.
  • Did some tidying and tried something different to get rid of mildew spots (which was quite successful).
  • Worked on some more electronics stuff.
  • Did some designing and ran the printer.
  • Got some writing done that was on my list of things to do.
  • Called J’s aunt and chatted with her for a little bit.
  • WG came by to return the chainsaw. He was in a bit of a hurry but we talked in the driveway for a few minutes. I was nervous before he came over – it’s been months since we last talked, and a couple of years since we talked face to face – but he was the same old WG and everything went very well. He’s crazy busy right now but we’re going to try and figure out a time when we can get together for dinner or to shoot the breeze or whatever. Sounds like the record store isn’t quite what it used to be, unfortunately.
  • No appointments tomorrow but I’m expecting a package, hopefully it shows up!

Stay safe.

What A Good Day!

Song: “On The Road Again” by Me First And The Gimme Gimmes

Mood: 9

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Few

Today was a great day. It feels SO NICE to be able to type that.

I had a half-decent sleep and woke up only twice that I can remember to check in on stuff. I even went back to bed after taking my morning medication so I could sleep off most of the usual morning dumbness before finally facing the day.

The only blip was that just like last time, right before FA and DM arrived, I started to sweat like crazy and could feel the panic starting to build. I finished what I was doing, grabbed two PRNs, and shuffled off to the bedroom to sit in front of the fan and do some grounding. Fortunately, this time I caught things quickly enough and was able to control the panic before it hit me like a wet blanket.

They arrived shortly after 2PM and as soon as I saw DM and FA standing there with smiles on their faces, my anxiety over the whole thing (J and I don’t usually have people over for fancy meals) pretty much disappeared. We gabbed for a couple of minutes, then moved to the living room, sat on the comfy chairs, and gabbed some more.

We talked about pretty much everything, then had a REALLY fantastic meal of ham, mashed potatoes, crock-pot dressing, veggies (yes I had some), and sauce. Dessert was an amazing cake – I’m not sure exactly what it’s called, but it had a swirly shape from the pan it was cooked in and it had cinnamon, vanilla, and cardamom in it. It’s one of the few cakes I’ve eaten slowly because I was thoroughly enjoying the flavours and was trying to figure out what they all were.

Then we went back to talking. Unfortunately, time went by way too quickly, and before we knew it, FA and DM were heading out to their car. Instead of feeling down like I usually do when guests leave, tonight I felt happy (and no, not because they were leaving). I was happy because we did something different today, yet everything went so very well… aaaaannnnd… we can do it again whenever we want! It doesn’t have to be a fancy holiday or something like that – we can get together for a big meal or a small meal or a quick meal or a chat-cook-chat-eat-chat-dessert-chat kind of event. That thought keeps popping into my mind and it makes me excited.

Granted, having a couple of friends over for lunch or supper once in a while probably isn’t much of a deal for most of you, but dammit – it is for me and I’m taking this as a good thing!

All of this wouldn’t have happened today, though, if J and I didn’t have such wonderful friends as we do in FA and DM. I think if everyone had friends like them, the world would be a much happier and friendlier place. Thanks for coming over, you guys, and thanks for always being there and being such good people! 🙂

No plans for tomorrow yet. I need to reschedule my Dr C appointment so I will probably give her a call or drop her an email. I may also do another hour or so of volunteering on Friday, and I might get together with FA somewhere in there to build a roost box or two. We shall see.

Jeebus… I hope I fell half as good tomorrow as I do right now!

Stay safe.

I Wasn’t Expecting That

Song: N/A

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Several

The last few days have been… interesting. We got walloped by an early winter storm. When I went to Dr W’s office on Wednesday, it was dark and cloudy with a cold drizzle. I still wore shorts and a t-shirt – got a few odd looks from all the people in their jackets, but I’m used to being one of the last in fall and first in spring to wear shorts.

On Thursday, the rain turned to heavy, wet snow, and it kept snowing until Friday evening. Normally a heavy, sticky snow like that isn’t a huge problem but the leaves are still on the trees so the snow load on the branches was big enough to snap branches and take entire trees down all over the area. Every once in a while, J and I could hear a snap and a thump as another tree broke and part of it fell to the ground. It was pretty eerie. The trees, in turn, hit power lines in places, taking out the power for a LOT of people. We were lucky – our power flickered quite badly during the storm but never went out entirely. I think there are still something like 20000 people without power.

I think I was wrong about that little bird I mentioned the other day. As the day went on, there were more of them sheltering near the house where there wasn’t much snow. I put out some sunflower seeds and crushed peanuts for them (still thinking that it’s better to be miserable on a full belly), and when I checked later every last crumb had been eaten. J spoke to her mom (who lives several hours away) and it sounded like they had the same little birds, so that made me feel a lot better about that one poor bird that was hopping around for a while there:

Little grey bird

Not a great picture, but anybody know what this bird is?

Today we had to go out to do a couple of things so I took a couple of pictures while we were out. I think it’s going to be a little while before everything is cleared up:

Fallen Tree

Fallen TreesThe good news is that it’s been keeping above freezing and the snow has been melting quickly and I don’t think it’ll be around much longer.

Dr C emailed me on Friday morning to let me know that due to the power problems, we’d have to reschedule our appointment. Watching vehicles trying to avoid fallen tree parts and getting stuck in the snow… I was kind of glad it worked out that way. I used to enjoy bopping around in the snow in the truck (4WD with good tires is pretty amazing), but not when I have to get somewhere, and also not when there’s stuff all over the place and other people needing to get places.

Other than that, it’s been a pretty quiet weekend. DM and FA are coming over tomorrow – J and I are really looking forward to hanging out and having a fancy meal with them. It’ll be a great time!

Stay safe.