Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dream: The Long Drive to Work

I begin my drive to work.  But I decide to go in a different direction, following a very roundabout route that will allow me to drive past a doctor's office that I need to visit later in the week.

I'm driving on a quiet residential side street. I encounter three stop signs that are less than fifty yards apart.  They are for even smaller roads that intersect from the right and are totally inappropriate and unnecessary.  How annoying.  I definitely won't want to take this route every day.

I come to an intersection with a main road.  I look at the choices of which way to go.  I don't have written directions - I'm navigating by feel.  If a road appears to go in the direction I need to go in, I'll take it.  I'd like to take a right turn and then another immediate right turn that would take me past a cemetery, but that second road is closed off with a wire fence.  Still, a right turn seems to be a good choice here, so I decide to go that way.

But the traffic is heavy - I'll need to wait a long time before I can enter the road.  Every so often it seems that there's a gap in the line of cars that I could pull out into, but then another car appears in that gap just before I decide to go.  At one such time I start to inch out, and then the car stops to allow me to go.  So I go.

Unfortunately, my car fails to accelerate well.  Perhaps the air cleaner or fuel filter is clogged because I can't seem to get the car to go faster than 20 mph.  I'm frustrated because I just had work done on the car yesterday.  I wonder what the mechanic did to the car aside from the work on the suspension that I requested.  And I feel especially bad for the driver who allowed me to go. 

Eventually I make it to my mechanics shop.  But the shop is closed.  There are two guys there though, but they won't be able to help me.

The scene changes so that I'm at work in a conference room.  The two guys are now customers who want us to design and implement impedance matching networks for filters that they bought from a competitor.  It's a cheeky thing for them to ask for.  But in business, the saying, "The customer is always right," keeps me from chiding them on their impudent behavior.

But I'm an engineer, not a diplomat, so I challenge them for a sample of a filter.  They respond that they can't provide one.  Then I ask for s-parameter data.  They explain that the supplier went out of business, so their website is down, and the data is no longer available.  Finally, I've reached the limit of my patience and tell them that it will take at least three months to implement, a ridiculously long time for a circuit as simple as that.  I can tell from their expressions that they correctly interpret my response as "fuck you."  (And I didn't even tell them how expensive it would be.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday Weigh-In 20141022

Last week my wife called out to me frantically from the bathroom. When I got to her, I saw her standing in a small pool of her own blood. We called 911 for an ambulance (first time ever). She was taken away to the ER.

A varicose vein had ruptured. There was so much pressure that it sprayed sideways from her leg and onto a wall that was about 18 inches away.

It has nothing to do with weight loss, but I thought you might be interested!

Waist = 40.5"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wednesday Weigh-In 20141016

My wife bought me two pairs of slacks for my birthday recently. Even though I told her that my size is 34 x 31 (meaning the waist is 34 inches around and the inseam is 31 inches) she came home with 36 x 31. Well of course the pants fit -- my stomach quickly expanded to fill in the extra room. But now I lack the important feedback that tells me my stomach is getting bigger. I'm doomed!

Waist = 40"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October is LBD Month

Lewy body dementias (LBD) affect an estimated 1.3 million individuals and their families in the United States. Though many families are affected by this disease, few individuals and medical professionals are aware of the symptoms, diagnostic criteria, or even that LBD exists. Here are 10 important facts about Lewy body dementias that you should know if you, a loved one, or a patient you are treating may have LBD: http://www.lbda.org/content/10-things-you-should-know-about-lbd


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday Weigh-In 20141008

I noticed that my face has been feeling itchy. Then I noticed a rash. At first, I thought it was due to some gluten-free fried chicken that I ate at a new restaurant. But it was too persistent and getting worse for me to be convinced that it was a single allergen. Then I realized the rash was probably caused by all the dairy I was consuming! So I've scaled back my dairy intake. Definitely no more milk in coffee. I'll still use ghee as liberally as before, though.

Waist = 40.25"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wednesday Weigh-In 20141002

I've been on a dairy binge -- mostly adding milk or cream to my coffee. I thought the bloating would encourage me to eat less. But the increase in weight and waist size indicates that this isn't a good strategy.

Waist = 40.25"
Height = 5' 9"

References:
  1. Wikipedia BMI page
  2. Tanita Scale with Body Fat monitor
  3. Javascript must be enabled to view the data.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What's Your Life Purpose?

These are my answers to Mark Manson's slightly quirky "7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose" which you can find at http://markmanson.net/life-purpose .

1. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF SHIT SANDWICH AND DOES IT COME WITH AN OLIVE?
This question made no sense to me.  First of all, the wording is stupidly designed to grab one's attention rather than to provoke thought.  Perhaps you'll find it easier to answer this, "What miserable or tedious activity are you willing to endure in pursuit of your passion?"  Even worded this way, it's difficult to answer -- "one man's meat is another man's poison."  There are activities that I would dread (such an influencing someone to invest in something or purchase something) that others would relish.  And those others might assume that everyone enjoys those activities.  I'm sure there are activities that most normal people abhor that I don't mind.  But I don't know what those activities might be.  Nevertheless, the first thing I came up with is this: I'm willing to repeatedly work and rework something until it's perfect.

2. WHAT IS TRUE ABOUT YOU TODAY THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF CRY?
My 8-year-old self had absolutely no empathy toward people.  He would've cried if his cracker broke while he was buttering it, or if he got stung by a bee, or if the fast food joint put tomato on his burger even after he told them not to.  But he wouldn't cry over his future self.  Still, I'm sure he'd be disappointed that, as an engineer, I haven't invented anything cool like a space probe, rocket ship or killo-zap ray gun.

3. WHAT MAKES YOU FORGET TO EAT AND POOP?
Art and coding, and especially Artful Coding.  Figuring stuff out, like how to perform calculus with batch files.

4. HOW CAN YOU BETTER EMBARRASS YOURSELF?
This is another nonsensical question.  What it's really asking is, "What's something you'd really like to do but you have refrained from only because you think you'd look silly doing it or people would laugh at you?"  For me, there's nothing worthwhile to be done that I consider silly.  Become a rock musician?  Sure, why not?  Go on an autumn bike tour in Vermont?  I'm there, even though my legs sometimes don't work too well.
The closest I can get is perhaps publishing a very personal, revealing, intimate autobiography (one that would include even all my erotic fantasies) prior to the deaths of all my immediate family members and myself.

5. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SAVE THE WORLD?
Yeah, right?  Like anyone's going to listen to me?  The world will have to fend for itself.  I'm done thinking about what's wrong with it.  I can't even convince Google to provide an option to turn off Autosave or implement Copy-Drag in its online editors, which is why I'm writing this in a word processing program rather than the default Blogger post editor.
Well, still, on my own small personal scale, I am doing all I can to lower my ecological footprint.  I didn't install the air conditioner in the kitchen this year - it wasn't oppressively hot enough.  I'm a hypermiler, but I'd prefer to walk or bike everywhere if I could.  I'd like to go solar and live off the grid.  I wear clothes until they're threadbare - even the thrift stores don't want my old clothes.  I'm willing to forage more, especially if I can safely identify edible invasive plants that can be eaten raw or steamed.  I fix broken appliances rather than throw them out to make room for new ones.  I've started to find uses for ordinary twigs in home repairs and crafts.

6. GUN TO YOUR HEAD, IF YOU HAD TO LEAVE THE HOUSE ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Easy.  I would go into a large forested watershed that's blazed with hiking trails, bringing my camera, a hearty snack or two and lots of water, and hike all day.  And you don't need a gun to make that happen.
What's with the gun thing, anyway?  Is this written for Millennials who stereotypically stay indoors in front of their computers all day?

7. IF YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO DIE ONE YEAR FROM TODAY, WHAT WOULD YOU DO AND HOW WOULD YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED?
Within one year, I might frame my best cat photos and exhibit them at the library, and I could also use the exhibit as a platform for a fundraiser for our favorite cat shelter.

So what does all this mean?  Is my purpose to do Artful Coding for a Cat Shelter that's located in an off-grid cabin close to a woodland stream?  If you leave out the detail about the Cat Shelter, it could make me out to be like Ted Kaczynski.


What are your answers?  I want to know.