Previously, in Trip's Life...

31 January 2011 - Monday

Work: Bleah, Monday.

I don't seem to be able to connect to idiom from work, which makes it hard to write up my previous day first thing in the morning. Bah. I complain to AerioConnect.

Silly Computer Games: I played Zmorcia for another couple of hours, and got the stampede-around-the-island-on-elekk-back quest right on the second try, but didn't manage to gain even one level, and died what seemed like a dozen times (but was probably only eight or ten). Now that I don't have Ayse to prop me up, it is obvious that I am the worst WoW player ever.

Cats: Twelve adorable paws who really wanted to share my steak wrap!

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30 January 2011 - Sunday

Work: Argh, there is the on-calling. Major customer X exploded in the early morning, so I got called to help deal. This involved a lot of being on the phone with cow orker M off and on all morning, but I did manage to escape eventually.

Gaming: I had the old monsters metamorphose and added some new monsters to the fight we stopped in the middle of, so it was almost like not the same as the previous fight. One of the new monsters tried to bribe the PCs with vast magical power, but although most of the PCs accepted the power, only two didn't end up repudiating it and none of them really switched to its side. (I must figure out how to either make those two suffer more, or make the others suffer less.) Then, while they were in the midst of negotiations over getting rid of the soul-sucking rock, someone showed up with a squad of angels and the avowed intention of throwing the rock into the soul-sucking lake, which will certainly work out and not destroy the city.

Sequential Entertainments: Dorohedoro is so freaky. It reminds me of something, but I'm not sure what. China Miéville, maybe?

Silly Computer Games: No Ayse, so I did not play Daphona, but I got Zmorcia up to level 10. Her magic powers are not as cool as Daphona's, but she's a lot cuter.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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29 January 2011 - Saturday

Work: I am backup oncall again, because I kind of sucked last weekend, but so far there is no oncalling.

Silly Computer Games: Daphona and R— are triumphing together! Warrior charge and rogue shadow step combine pretty well.

Cats: Not quite as helpfully opaque today!

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28 January 2011 - Friday

Work: Check.

Silly Computer Games: WoW betrayed me by trying to download gigabytes of patch to get to the version I'm already on, but Ken made my computer behave.

Despite the short session, Daphona is now level 11 and caught up to the same quest as Ayse's werewolf R—! Also she has the magic power to teleport behind someone and shank them, which I will eventually figure out how to use effectively. Really.

Cats: Opaque!

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27 January 2011 - Thursday

Modern Medicine: The headgear for CPAP does not really go with coughing, alas. But this is the first night since I started that I haven't been able to do four hours, and I think the official level for Not Doin It Rong is 21/30 nights at 4+ hours each, so although I am sleepy, I am probably not actually relapsing into sleepiness and death.

Work: Check. Despite people trying to blow things up at 16:15, I managed to escape on time. At least it woke me up.

Textual Entertainments: Kit Whitfield's first book (Benighted) was about a world in which it was normal to be a werewolf and only a few unfortunates (like the protagonist) couldn't change. Her second book In Great Waters is about a world in which the royal families of Europe have interbred with merpeople, because "Merpeople Allies" gives +1000 to all naval battles. It is pretty cool, although as full of doom as

Food: Ken hunted fiercely among the frozen-food aisles of Trader Joe's and returned to us with a great bounty! (Not like the Overwhelming Sushi of last week, but much cheaper and probably significantly more nutritious.)

Visual Entertainments: Marith has returned to us from the Land of Germs, so we were able to watch Slayers Try 61-62 (the warring cities incident). Are you sure you wouldn't do it with a dragon like that, Xellos?

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

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26 January 2011 - Wednesday

Work: Martin Luther King Day, observed.

Modern Medicine: I visited my current endocrinologist and she did not scold me excessively. She was even understanding about the difficulty of doing things at work that will make people want to talk to you about them. (Also, she is kinda cute.)

Gaming: Oh, hey, I bet that would work.

Textual Educations: Life Ascending (Nick Lane) is one of the better non-technical science books I've read lately. I learned a few things I didn't know[*], and I remembered why finding things out is exciting. (These two things are probably not unrelated.)

[*] The RNA codon-amino acid mapping isn't random!

The author gives a chapter to each of ten cool things that evolution has produced (life itself, DNA, photosynthesis, the eukaryotic cell, sex, movement, vision, consciousness, and death), and explores them in enough detail to make the lay reader feel like he understands what's going on, which is pretty much what I look for. Highlights: cellular-scale labyrinths of catalytic iron/sulfur minerals bubbling with warm water, hydrogen, and organics; the three bases that correspond to an amino acid tell you what that amino acid is made from and how hydrophilic it is; the nucleus as a method to keep parasitic genes from getting transcribed too quickly to be eliminated; the least sexy chapter on the evolution of sex ever[*]; shrimp with naked retinas on their backs; crocodiles with piston diaphragms!

[*] Lane feels that the idea of sex being an anti-parasite measure is not well-supported, but I'm not sure I agree with him.

Cats: Twelve paws!

crocodiles by kit (Sat Jan 29 14:08:51 2011)

apparently the way to survive a crocodile attack is to shove your arm down its throat and grab the esophogal flap! the croc will fear it might drown and let you go!

...somehow this sounds like it should be some really bizarre kind of spam message...

Re: crocodiles by Trip (Sat Jan 29 14:24:54 2011)

I was going to say it's a good thing crocodiles aren't smart enough to realize they could solve the problem by biting your arm off and spitting it out, but really not many creatures are that calm when they think they're suffocating, so I shouldn't put down crocodiles.

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25 January 2011 - Tuesday

Work: Check.

Visual Entertainments: It was just me and Dave again, sniff.

  • Ef - A Tale of Melodies 4-5: Aww!
  • Bakemonogatari 13: Back to the neko arc! We get to see more of Hanekawa! Also, an explanation for Koyomi's harem.
  • Darker Than Black II 5-6: Halfway through the season (sniff!) and we're starting to get direct clashes between the protagonists and antagonists. Also, scuttly doom, filial doom, crane doom, and reincorporation doom.
  • Haruhi II 3: Ah hah, there is the prominent feature of this season about which I had been warned! And it is as described, at least so far. (Where do these two data points go?)

No anime next week or the week after, sniff!

Cats: Twelve paws!

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24 January 2011 - Monday

Modern Medicine: According to the numbers reported by the device, I did horribly at breathing while sleeping, but I'm pretty sure that was just the COUGHING. Blargh.

Work: I was an hour late getting in, and had even less brain than usual, but I did accomplish a few things.

Food: Check, I guess.

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

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23 January 2011 - Sunday

Accomplishment: EPIC FAIL. I meant to get up, but instead sat around looking through Transhuman Space supplements until mumble o'clock in the afternoon without realizing it.

Gaming: No gaming on Sunday?!?!

Textual Entertainments: Salute the Dark, the fourth in Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Shadow of the Apt" series and probably the last one. Major characters met their fates, clever plans came to their climaxes, empires wobbled, the whole nine bug-themed yards.

Visual Entertainments: Finished the third disc of Shuffle!.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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22 January 2011 - Saturday

Modern Medicine: If I had gotten up and gone to the lab when it opened, I would not have been caught in the spurious fire alarm excitement. Nevertheless, I was eventually phlebotomized.

Now my throat hurts when I swallow. I don't think this is related, but it's sure annoying.

Work: I was not very useful as a backup oncall person today. :(

Silly Computer Games: Now I have a level 9 draenai paladin. Some of those quests are really hard, though! Maybe Zmorcia should do the quest that involves flying away on a hippogriff and come back for these ones later.

Food: We all agreed that Ken's beef stew would be even better with twice the tasty tasty vegetables.

Gaming: This month, we got a second hour of Thrace! (Not that I can point fingers, since I'm the one who got the time wrong.) The people who didn't go into the Secret Heart of the Creepy Village of Creepy Children managed to rescue those that did go, although the religious types had to do some penance. Then, we got XP!

Cats: Twelve paws of cuteness!

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21 January 2011 - Friday

Work: I ended up spending hours at the office of Customer X (Support makes housecalls? I thought we had Professional Services guys for that!) to get occasional pieces of system info for an engineer. It was a nice enough office, but far away from civilization, and not much like going home to play WoW.

Food: I wanted to go get phlebotomized in the morning, so by the time I got home, it was too late to eat anything. Bah.

Silly Computer Games: FAIL. See above.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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20 January 2011 - Thursday

Work: Check.

Textual Educations: Crude World (Peter Maass) is one of those books that makes me want to take everyone in the world worth more than a hundred million dollars and mulch them[*]. It also makes me feel better about not having a car.

[*] I find a lot more of those books as I get older, but I think that says more about me than about writers.

Maass visited a lot of oily places (Venezuela, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Texas, Russia) and pretty much all of them have been hosed over by having oil reserves. Oil companies slaughtering the locals, governments domestic and foreign slaughtering the locals, oil companies engaging in rampant corruption with governments domestic and foreign, pollution that makes the spills you see on the US news look like dirt smudges, all the usual horrors. And even if a country manages to survive all that, producing oil is essentially pumping money out of the ground, and you can't base an economy on that, even if the price didn't fluctuate wildly. Without a functioning economy, you can't have a functioning government -- see above about corruption.

About the only country Maas could find with substantial oil reserves that hasn't suffered for them is Norway, probably because it was already a stable, functional state before it started drilling in a big way.

Oil: bad for civilization, bad for the ecosystem, far too finite, and generally a bad idea.

Visual Entertainments: Marith was too sick to come to Slayers night, so we didn't watch any.

Food: Instead of Slayers, we had Overwhelming Sushi. (So, like a Slayers LARP, then.)

Cats: Twelve paws!

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19 January 2011 - Wednesday

Modern Medicine: I lost the replacement cushions for my mask, so I tried to order some replacements (not paid for by insurance, ow), but there was enough confusion as to which kind I needed that the ordering was delayed until I found the very safe place in which I had hidden them.

Possibly I need more storage objects to organize my stored objects.

Work: Boss G is off imparting knowledge to Partner X this week, and Cow Orker G is working from home today, so I had to fend off the rampaging hordes of Engineering singlehandedly. Fortunately our territory is not all that desirable.

Silly Computer Games: I made a draenai paladin with all the cutest character-design options, which I think is why she carries such a large hammer. Then I was too lazy to do more than the first quest ("See that guy at the bottom of the hill? Go talk to him.").

Cats: Twelve paws!

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18 January 2011 - Tuesday

Work: Check.

Textual Entertainments: Jade Man's Skin (Daniel Fox) is the second in a N-ology of fantasy set in old China/Taiwan with the serial numbers filed off. I'm not sure if it counts as high-magic fantasy or low-magic fantasy: there are few instances of magic, but they're extremely powerful. But it has emperors, concubines, strange herbal medicines, eunuchs, pirates, DOOM, and everything else you could want from such a story.

Visual Entertainments: Everyone who didn't show up missed out!

  • Ef - A Tale of Melodies 3: Oh the tragically romantic doom.
  • The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi II 1-2: Oh the wackiness. (Now with oddly different art and approximately 98% less Asahina fanservice.)
  • Bakemonogatari 11-12: Finally we get some backstory on what happened last Golden Week! But then the producers found out they weren't getting any more TV episodes and had to wrap up the Senjougahara plotline. Awww! (Next week, web episodes and the rest of the Hanekawa arc!)
  • Darker Than Black II 4: Oh the self-destructive doom. Oh the belly-dancing doom. Oh the loli-con doom. Oh the additional self-destructive doom.

Food: Marith was couldn't make it, so I had pizza with mushrooms and olives on it. (Dave had some too, which is not actually unprecedented.)

Cats: Miau miau miau!

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17 January 2011 - Monday

Work: I could probably have worked from home today, but I don't like working from home so I went into the office. It's only a low-ranking holiday, so the trains were running as usual, or at least they would have been if some bozo hadn't flung himself onto the track in Burlingame. But it is a holiday, so things were very light.

(If I were going to work from home much, I would probably convert one of the libraries into an office that was distinct from non-work space, but I don't work from home much, so it's not worth the effort, so it's not comfortable to work from home, so...)

Textual Educations:As you can probably guess from the title, The Fires of Vesuvius (Mary Beard) is about Pompeii. It's definitely for the random bozo lay audience, but since that's me, I was fine with it.

Beard summarizes what we know about Pompeii, including what we surmise from knowledge of other Roman towns, but also makes sure to point out what we don't know, which is a lot. Pompeii wasn't preserved perfectly, and it wasn't buried in ash until a lot of people had left town with their stuff, or at least tried to, so there's a lot of uncertainty in what was who and which was where. (And don't forget that the first people to excavate in modern times were only kind of modern, with more pickaxes than toothbrushes, and that the place was bombed in WWII.) As a result, a good chunk of the labels on a tourist map are completely spurious, and many more are highly debatable.

However, some of what we know does seem to be solid. For example, even the largest buildings were cramped by our standards, the town would have been both soggy (drainage problems) and stinky (okay, not a surprise, it was the past), there was a big earthquake a couple of decades before the Doom, practically everything was painted, etc. Also, we know Pompeii must have had a Jewish population, because one establishment advertised kosher garum.

Kosher garum. What more needs to be said about the Roman empire?

Visual Entertainments: Finished the second disc of Shuffle!, which still has little redeeming value except that it requires almost no brain to watch.

Food: I probably ate food today.

Cats: Paw count holding steady at 12.0!

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16 January 2011 - Sunday

Work: Nothing requiring my action.

Gaming: My preparation was a little bit useful, but I had to reuse monsters, which was no good. We paused the second battle partway through, though, so I can bring in some more interesting reinforcements next session.

Cats: Twelve paws!

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15 January 2011 - Saturday

Modern Medicine: Check.

Work: Extra bonus annoyance, plus I don't get Monday off after all. (But I get some other day off, which I might even get a chance to take.)

Gaming: I prepared some of the nigh-unlimited things that I could prepare for. Probably none of it will be useful.

Silly Computer Games: Ayse never logged on, but I got Daphona up to level 9 on my own. Being a worgen seems to involve a lot of dying. (But then, being a Gilean at all is hardly risk-free.)

Cats: Twelve paws!

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14 January 2011 - Friday

Modern Medicine: Check.

Work: Check, plus bonus extra time in the office..

Silly Computer Games: I got back to late to play WoW with Ayse and Marith,b ut then stayed up until 982356 o'clock getting a worgen up to level 7. That's a lot of doom.

Cats: Marmalade, you are so opaque!

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13 January 2011 - Thursday

Modern Medicine: That worked better, although I don't know if it was getting the straps adjusted or just going to bed on time (for once) that helped.

Work: Check.

Textual Entertainments: Bangkok Tattoo (John Burdett), sequel to Bangkok 8. The narrator seems much more embittered in this one, possibly because it's yet another gruesome crime related to psychotic farangs.

Food: Ken prevented us from wasting our money on the restaurant industry by the timely application of pasta with Italian sausage sauce.

Visual Entertainments: Slayers Try 7-8: I think they should rebuild the whole temple in that style.

Cats: Miau!

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12 January 2011 - Wednesday

Modern Medicine: 5am, not enough air. Also, straps still not right. Bah.

Work: Check. Blargh.

Visual Entertainments: Netflix has sent me Shuffle!, which is silly and appears to have almost no substance. On the other hand, it has pants. (Well, skirts — most of the female characters are pretty girly.)

(Please admire how I blame Netflix for what it sends me, in a feeble attempt to disguise my lack of taste.)

Silly Computer Games: Finished downloading, but didn't play any. But I could!

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

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11 January 2011 - Tuesday

Modern Medicine: Blargh. But I think most of that was because I didn't get the straps on the tentacle attachment apparatus adjusted properly.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Ef - A Tale of Melodies 1-2: Now they are taunting us with explanations, but I don't think they will ever actually deliver.
  • Higurashi When They Cry Special: Both silly and creepy.
  • Bakemonogatari 9-10: Another underaged girl for Koyomi's harem!
  • Darker Than Black II 3: That's not going to raise her SAN any.

Next week: The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, season 2!

Silly Computer Games: Downloadingu, downloadingu, la la la. (0.7GB left.)

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10 January 2011 - Monday

Modern Medicine: My nose didn't feel clogged, but I definitely felt like I wasn't getting enough air again this morning. Bah!

Work: Check.

Textual Educations: Cold (Bill Streever) is about, well, cold: What lives in cold places, how it survives, humans travelling to cold places, what happens to earth and water in the cold, what happens to humans in the cold, how they can avoid it, the race to liquify helium, global climate change, civil engineering on permafrost, a brief discussion of cryonics, etc.

Reading the personal anecdotes makes me not think much of Streever as a person (quite possibly unfairly), but the material is interesting, and his bibliography not only lists what he read but tells why it's interesting.

Silly Computer Games: Downloadingu, downloadingu, la la la. (The real game seems to be coming in at about twice the speed that the trial version did, though.)

Cats: Twelve paws!

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9 January 2011 - Sunday

Modern Medicine: I tried cleaning some components of my face-tentacle device with a vinegar solution, as recommended by the people at SleepQuest. This was strongly-scented and not entirely successful, but I'm pretty sure the pieces are cleaner than they were.

Work: The issue from yesterday did not return like a shambling undead horror. I think this means there wasn't actually any problem.

Gaming: In our one hour of Thrace this month, the PCs successfully hacked the miracle by falsifying baptismal records and got Mother Erianthe, Carlino, and Lycoris into the alternate reality of the parents of the creepy children of Creepy Child Town. After some discussion, the priest there agreed to use the new improved liturgy to bring the down back into reality (which is both its own reward and its own punishment). Victory! (But no levelling.)

An historical tidbit that will doubtless become horrifyingly relevant later: in the war against the gnolls that destroyed the province and resulted in Creepy Child Town, the emperor of Thrace was leading his armies personally. (This was about five generations before the lack of emperor had to be officially admitted.)

There is a plan afoot to hold gaming on Saturday instead of Sunday, which might result in slightly fewer cancelled sessions. However, the baby has the same schedule every day, so the sessions can't get much longer.

Food: Ken made burritos. We ate them. They were tasty.

Cats: Twelve fuzzy paws!

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8 January 2011 - Saturday

Modern Medicine: Check.

Work: Someone opened a sev0 case because he thought something might be wrong with one part of the workflow. Argh. He must be re-educated.

Textual Entertainments: Bangkok 8 (John Burdett) is a murder mystery set in modern Bangkok. I have no idea how good a representation of Thailand it is, but the author has at least been there, and is originally from Hong Kong, so has a little bit of cred. Anyway, it was interesting to see a different underworld, even if some of the aspects of the plot were a little sensationalized.

Silly Computer Games: Ayse was on WoW for a little while during baby nap, so we ran around the Razor Hill area beating up humans and elementals and stuff. Level 9 trolls, yay!

[ . . . ]

Apparently the human-beating is a lot harder solo, so I logged in and helped Marith for a while. Now Tainzkal is level 10, so I have get to give the red dinosaur separate orders in combat. Fortunately there's no way that could go horribly wrong.

Cats: Marmalade and Ghirardelli shared the chair next to the computer desk without fighting! They still tussle, but I think they are okay.

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7 January 2011 - Friday

Modern Medicine: Check.

Work: Check.

Silly Computer Games: Oh, there are the sidestep keys! And I can see my monitor better if I adjust the angle, although it some ways it's not better. Anyway, Tainzkal is now level 7 and has made it all the way to Razor Hill. And I finally remembered to actually equip the gear she's been getting from quests, so perhaps she will be even more mighty now.

Cats: Marmalade wants to help me play WoW, but he is so very opaque! Like something which cannot be seen through!

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6 January 2011 - Thursday

Modern Medicine: I'm definitely getting used to this tentacle device. I think I slept straight through without waking up even once before the alarm.

Perhaps eventually it will start inflating my brain.

Work: Check.

Visual Entertainments: Slayers Try 5-6: Even when she stomps around like Godzilla, Filia isn't that intimidating. I think it's the pink bow.

Food: We got burritos from the BBQ Kalbi food truck. I had the standard beef one, which was pretty good and not at all spicy. Ken was all about the kimchi. Ayse had the bibimbap burrito, which contained mysterious stuff but was apparently tasty.

Silly Computer Games: Ayse tells me that there are sidestep functions in WoW, they just have to be mapped to keys.

Cats: Aspen was so brave! She stood on top of something even though a horrible cat-eating monster was in the same room!

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5 January 2011 - Wednesday

Modern Medicine: I might be getting the hang of this breathing-while-sleeping thing.

Waking up, not so much.

Work: Remembering to use keyboard shortcuts is hard, especially since I have to use the mouse for some things anyway. (Selecting a link from a web page and selecting text can both technically be done with only the keyboard, but it's hugely more annoying than doing it with a two-dimensional pointer.)

Textual Entertainments: Lord of the Changing Winds is the first of Rachel Neumeier's "Griffin Mage" trilogy (series?). It doesn't strain the boundaries of quasi-medieval secondary-world fantasy, but it gets points for having griffins instead of dragons, because the griffins are cool and mythic.

Textual Educations: Someone at work mentioned it in passing and linked to a PDF, so I read Mining of Massive Datasets (Anand Rajaraman, Jeffrey D. Ullman). I don't usually read CS textbooks, and I have no math fu to speak of, so I'm not sure I can say I more than skimmed it, nor that I derived any useful information from it, but it's good to know there are clever people out there coming up with algorithms to handle the sorts of data volumes we see these days. I wonder what CS people from even a couple of decades ago would think about making such heavy use algorithms that only make estimates and guesses even for business purposes, though.

Silly Computer Games: It turns out the WoW trial version is only WoW Classic, so no worgen, draenai, blood elves, or goblins. Also, time spent downloading does count against the 10-day trial period. Bah!

Anyway, I made a troll hunter on Blackwater Raiders and started the n00b quests. Basic gameplay doesn't seem to have changed since a million years ago. The turning keys are inconsistent (possibly because my keyboard is pretty mediocre), and there's still no sidestep key so I keep getting stuck on things. Dungeons still suck to navigate, and the minimap is a fairly useless smudge of dark brown on black.

On the other hand, I have a red dinosaur to devour my foes.

Cats: I got Marmasnuggles while sleeping, even though I had the noisy tentacle on my face. Apparently Marmalade has figured out that it won't eat him.

warcraft by marith (Fri Jan 7 12:41:27 2011)

Huh! I'd be curious to see what your minimap looks like, as I don't have that problem. Maybe there is some brightness setting that can be tweaked.

The cave full of naga was a little confusing, but not really that bad. We could always have hearthed out if we really wanted to.

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4 January 2011 - Tuesday

Modern Medicine: I woke up a couple of times during the night, but I think that was due to cat activity. I was able to go back to sleep without suffocating, anyway, and the numbers logged by the device are going in the correct direction (it only gives 7-day and 30-day averages, so I have to infer what happened the previous night).

Still not wanting to get up in the morning.

Work: My mousing tentacle has been twinging, so I'm trying to learn to use the keyboard shortcuts. Of course my work machines have different OSes, and my home machine yet a third, but I think the work desktop wins in terms of hours I use it.

Textual Educations: Bright-Sided, Barbara Ehrenreich's investigation of the ways in which the mania for positive thinking (the Secret, the Prosperity Gospel, Christian Science, and their less overtly magical fellows) has relentlessly undermined the US over the past century or so. It turns out that sticking your fingers in your ears and going, "La la la I'm so happy la la I can't hear you negative people" doesn't work as well as engaging with the world that actually exists. Positive thinking doesn't actually make you healthy, it certainly doesn't make your business successful, and it doesn't even make you happy.

Like so many books pointing out how a bunch of people are being idiots, this one will probably only be read by people who already have the clue.

Visual Entertainments:

  • Bakemonogatari 8: Ow. This arc is definitely the roughest on the hero so far (of the anime; we don't know how much the original light novel story sucked for him).
  • Ef - A Tale of Memories 11-12: Awwww!
  • Higurashi When They Cry Rei 5: That wasn't as much fan service as the first OAV, but it was darn silly.
  • Darker Than Black II 1-2: Oh the doom. But Suou is awesome.

Silly Computer Games: The free trial version of Wow I started downloading last weekend has finally finished.

Cats: Miau miau miau!

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3 January 2011 - Monday

Modern Medicine: I don't know if lowering the machine made a difference, or if I'm just getting used to it, but I successfully breathed all the way until the alarm went off this morning.

(The output pressure is 4-8 centimeters of water (a silly unit that roughly equals a millibar). Moving the machine half a meter vertically changes the intake pressure by about 0.05 millibars/cmH2O, which is negligable. The output nozzle is on top of the machine, but there's a couple meters of hose that flops around every which way so the direction of the output from the machine doesn't matter. I'm not sure what other variables would change.)

I still don't feel a whole lot better, but I have heard that the first few weeks of getting sleep after being sleep-deprived for an extended period are like that because the body is withdrawing all the cortisol and whatnot it used to keep from keeling over. I haven't looked this up yet, so I don't know if it's correct, but it seems plausible.

Work: Check. Customers mostly seem to still be somnolent, except one who's already opened like six tickets this year. He's a perfectly nice guy, but I think he's a little unclear on the concept of "weekend".

Textual Entertainments: A Hard Day's Knight, latest in Simon R Green's "Nightside" series. As usual, if you like Simon R Green, you'll like this. I can't believe [SPOILER] agreed to that, though.

Visual Entertainments: Another filler episode in Princess Resurrection, but somewhat entertaining.

Silly Computer Games: Check.

Cats: Twelve adorable paws!

Writing: I almost thought about writing.

REM Rebound by Carl (Mon Jan 3 16:20:55 2011)

I've heard that recovery from sleep deprivation involves a lot of REM rebound and intense dreaming.

Also, the mask keeps cats from sucking the life-breath from you and selling it at the goblin market, but this is the Internet, so I might be wrong about that part.

Re: REM Rebound by Trip (Mon Jan 3 16:29:09 2011)

That makes sense, although dreaming intensely isn't necessarily the same as remembering any of the dreams.

I sure hope my cats haven't been sucking out my life-breath and selling it on gBay, because if they have, the small number of mysterious extra gooshy-food cans I find suggests they're getting ripped off.

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2 January 2011 - Sunday

Modern Medicine: I tried putting more heat where I was breathing, but the results were not significantly different. Perhaps I need to get a full-face mask, although apparently those need a pressure-relief valve to keep the user's lungs from exploding, which is kind of alarming.

Reading the manual to find out what needs cleaning after a week turned up the requirement that the machine be placed lower than the user, so I'll try putting it on the floor instead of on the table, even though I can't imagine what difference that half-meter of elevation could make.

Food:Marith and I went to Saint Michael's Alley for brunch with Monkeycats. The food was good, but even thought we got there early enough ot have our names on the list when they opened, it took an hour to produce our food. Bah.

Gaming: Adam joined the Palo Alto D&D4 campaign with a dwarf fighter. Now they have two defenders, so the non-defenders don't have to stay on the front line and get crushed like insects. Time for more artillery monsters!

Naled's hunted finally showed up, but didn't manage to do him in. In fact, "Delan" didn't even manage to do any damage to him before his hapless dupes loyal allies took her down and chopped her head off. (Fortunately, there's no way that killing someone next to the soul-sucking rock could be a bad idea.) Her goliath goons took longer to go down, and in fact almost escaped on the giant war pig before the crazy dwarf ham-strung it.

Three words to strike fear into the hearts of all: "dwarven war yodel".

Cats: Twelve paws!

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1 January 2011 - Saturday

Future: Calendar Roll-Over: check. Robot Maids: FAIL. Spaceships: FAIL. Flying Cars: FAIL. On the other hand, Lack of Flying SUVs: check, but I still think this future is somewhat substandard.

(Yes, I know there are irrefutable economic and physical reasons why we will never have any of those things.)

Modern Medicine: Even though I went to bed much later than usual last night, it was still about the same time that the lack of nose woke me up. Ayse hypothesizes that my nose is seizing up because that's about the coldest part of the night. (She also suggested I use Afrin to make my nose more useful, but the Afrin box says, "Do not use without doctor's okay if you are defective in any of the following ways:" and then listed some of my defects. Bah!)

Sponteneous Encounters: Marith and I went over to Monkeycatland to admire the baby. Did you know that she is cute?

Silly Computer Games: Troll monk for the win slightly more drawn-out lose!

Cats: Aspen has been spending less time under the futon in the front library lately. I don't know if this means that she's braver, or that there's something terrible under the futon. I should probably go look...

it's probably not your nose as such by Graydon (Mon Jan 3 09:38:10 2011)

The CPAP machine has an external air feed somewhere, right? (It has to, or you'd expire from your own CO2; not familiar with the machines as such.)

If so, what prevents you from putting small heater -- the plug in, electric coil kind -- in front of the intake, so you get warm air? It's a balance; moving air will dry things out, warm moving air more so, so maybe you need to put the heater behind the humidifier in the chain, or get the heater its own source of water, but if it's cold, and not dryness, that is causing the seizing, you want to add heat, rather than anti-mucous drugs.

Re: it's probably not your nose as such by Trip (Mon Jan 3 11:50:12 2011)

Well, it sure feels like my nose is clogged up, but dry rather than wet.

I tried putting a heater near the CPAP device (there wasn't a good place to set it up to blow right on the device), but it didn't seem to change anything.

Re: it's probably not your nose as such by Rachel (Mon Jan 3 15:17:05 2011)

You might also try Flonase if this keeps up -- my sleep clinic doctor gave me a prescription pretty casually, and it seems to help. They say to use it in the evenings before you go to bed, but that just clogged up my nose until I switched to mornings instead. Maybe worth experimenting with.

The Future by Carl (Mon Jan 3 16:26:43 2011)

I think Robot Maids will be along in due course, although perhaps not with the planetary siege engine levels of armament anime may have led us to believe. And some guy did a Kickstarter project to make a DeLorean hovercar, although that may not count.

The robot maids and hovercars will eventually combine to give us Bladerunner, or else team up to fight crime.

Re: The Future by Trip (Mon Jan 3 16:39:01 2011)

There must be a series with a robot maid who transforms into a flying car, but I can't think of one.

Re: it's probably not your nose as such by Jeremy (Mon Jan 3 23:24:01 2011)

Definitely use the in-line humidifier (if you don't have one, get one from SleepQuest). This will heat the air as well as moistening it ("moist" - possibly the most disgusting word in English!).

I am allergic to my house, even without cats, and am a big proponent of locally-applied chemical solutions to seize and hold sinus territory (systemic drugs can work but I'm unhappy about prolonged use, without any actual reasoning involved). You can use 1/2x Afrin (dilute with nasal saline spray) indefinitely in combination with Flonase or Nasonex. Those require a prescription, getting which would provide an excellent opportunity to consult your doctor about Afrin. I've defeated the dust mite army for several years in this fashion with no ill effects.

Re: it's probably not your nose as such by Trip (Tue Jan 4 08:21:43 2011)

The in-line humidifier is on-line, and has been for several nights. I didn't notice any difference, but that doesn't mean anything.

Things seem to be okay the past couple of nights, so I'm putting off doing anything about Afrin for the moment. I see my doctor in a couple of weeks anyway, so I can ask then (if it still seems necessary).

Tentacles crossed!

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