It’s Been A Couple Of Days…

Song: “Strutter” by KISS

Mood: 7

Nightmares: 0

Ghosts: Pack

Sorry I haven’t done any posts for the last few days. I think it was a combination of being tired, thinking really hard about some stuff, and time getting away on me. Things have been fine (although today was really frustrating, more on that in a bit) and I’m doing alright. Let’s see, what’s happened over the last couple of days…

FA and DM came over on Monday afternoon around four-ish. For whatever reason, I had a panic attack shortly before they arrived, so J ran interference and took care of things until I’d calmed down and had towelled off most of the flop sweat. I don’t know why it happened, but I could feel myself winding up (which happens), and then it was almost like I could hear a tree branch break and some kind of monster fell on me. Jeebus, I hate panic attacks. If anyone reads this and has the power to do so, I will happily have five more kidney stones than one more panic attack. Seriously.

Anyway, the PRNs, breathing, and grounding did their job, and the timing worked out pretty well so I don’t think I was missing from the party for too long.

The visit was great – we talked about all kinds of stuff, ate pizza, and talked some more. I thoroughly enjoy it when the four of us get together, regardless of whether we’re inside shooting the breeze or doing some kind of manual labour outside in the sun. When DM mentioned that they should probably be heading out, I was gobsmacked that it was almost 9PM. It was a very good visit and I hope we get together again soon!

One of the things that we talked about was DM and FA’s plans to move – I think I mentioned it briefly a little while ago. It turns out things didn’t work out so they’re staying put for now. I won’t lie and say I’m not happy about that, but I don’t like it when friends or family are really hoping and planning for something and it falls through – particularly when it’s not because of a lack of effort or bad luck/timing/whatever, but because someone deliberately gets in the way. My mom always says things like, “I’m hoping for the best thing to happen,” which normally makes me roll my eyes, but I think I’m starting to understand what she means.

Yesterday I spent a lot of time playing around with my little EKG Arduino module. I’d tinkered with it a while ago and wasn’t very pleased with the results, so I did some research into what different kinds of noise in an EKG look like and how to reduce or eliminate them. I rewired everything, shortened everything, and used some aluminum duct tape to make a ground plane under the whole thing. The result was pretty good:

EKG from Arduino module

Eight out of ten doctors say that having a pulse is a useful indicator of “aliveness” (actual medical term).

On longer samples (60-120s) there’s still a downward spike every once in a while – I’m pretty sure it’s noise. I suppose it could be me but I’m not dead… so yeah, it’s probably noise.

I speed-watched through another end-of-the-world movie called The Darkest Dawn. It wasn’t bad at all (particularly with a $40k budget and only 12 days of shooting) but there were two parts that kind of bothered me, and I’m still trying to figure out what happened at the end. Apparently TDD is the second movie set in the same world and the first one does more world-building and puts some stuff in perspective. Still – for a low-budget alien invasion movie, it wasn’t too shabby.

Today was PARCELPALOOZA! For the last week or so, J and I have put in various orders for things, and four parcels arrived today. Very exciting! Everything from CPAP machine filters, to SDR parts, to parts for a new project that FA and I are working on. It was like Christmas, but warm enough to spend more than 2 minutes outside in shorts.

One of the things that arrived was a USB to serial converter. I’d been waiting for it for a while because I have a couple of cheap but interesting microcontroller/camera/wifi devices that I couldn’t program. So… I spent the afternoon playing with converter and the microcontrollers. To be more correct, I should say that I started the afternoon playing with them, then I argued with them, then I took off the gloves and fought with them. I think I was more frustrated this afternoon than I have been in quite a long time. I could not get them to connect to the wifi. It didn’t help that the documentation that’s out there is far from complete. Anyway, long story short – I wrecked both of them, did a pretty bad looking patch job, and now they’re both working.

Whoo… just thinking about that stuff is making me tense up again.

J’s got a lot of stuff going on at work nowadays. Sounds like there are more dark clouds on the horizon, and some of the people she works with are wandering around blindly, unaware that anything is going on. I don’t envy her the stuff she has to put up with right now but I’m proud of her for how well she’s doing it. Plus, she hasn’t kicked me in the face when she gets home from work (yet), and I appreciate that, too. I hope that whatever’s going to happen just happens so it’s done and over with and she can figure out what she needs to do and move on. Fingers crossed…

FA is coming by on Friday for a burrito lunch and to work on her new project. There’s one more shipment that has a couple of parts we need so I really hope it gets here in time, but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t. We have no shortage of things to talk about or tinker with. I’m really looking forward to it!

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr C. I want to drive there myself. I’d planned to go out and give the truck a once-over today, but with banging my head against the wall for four hours I lost track of time. My appointment is at noon, so it would be great if I had enough time to go over the truck in the morning and maybe drive around a bit before I headed to my appointment. It would be really, really good (for a lot of different reasons) if I could get out there and drive to my appointments. I will let you know how it goes!

Stay safe.

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