Tuesday, August 31, 2010

D&D with Iz

People were saying how hot the multiple Izzies looks in the video I put up the other day.

Just want to point out that when she was my flatmate it was rarely so exciting. Music was either the Bach Brandeburg concertos or Oscar Peterson's Night Train. Or Powderfinger (Odyssey Number 5 got her depressed) or Snow Patrol.

A few times, MercerMachine, who writes fantasy novels and stories, and Indy who is a total role-playing geek, convinced us to play Dungeons & Dragons! I swear to god, adults playing this game in MY dining room! Blogger Jessica from Canyon In the Crack Between The Braincells would join as well... I must admit I had fun for a while there, but we haven't played recently.

I just wanted to show that Izzy wasn't always dressed to seduce and outrage. At least not so much when I was home form my many travels. Here's a photo of her (bottom right, du'h) from one of our games, surrounded by geeks with nothing better to do...

She's getting a bit more excitement in Holland I guess!


Monday, August 30, 2010

More Overblown Techno Venting

I have lots of computer and phone problems, right? Lots of tech issues, and I'm not much of a geek... I bug you with them all the time. They're too numerous to catalogue here, so... I won't this time.


Except that one of the perennials has raised its blooming head (must be springtime) yet again: Phone calendar syncing. Let's try to do this chronologically, which is to say, calendrically, if not logically.

(Those looking for salacious or, for that matter, even vaguely interesting stuff need read no further.)


I initially had a conundrum about syncing the iPhone and the home iMac, as I had linked the phone to the work laptop PC. Can't link an iPhone to two computers, right? No big deal, right? Except when I was, ahem, working from home and needed to access or change my work schedule on the iMac.

To overcame this, I reset-up an old freebie Plaxo account and paid for it(!) so that program would grab my calender and contacts from Outlook at the office, and then forward them to iCal at home. The iPhone I could sync through iTunes on the laptop, either in the office or on the road. This was working fine.

At home, I'd get some work emails (only through my company's Webmail), check for new requests and do the scheduling on iCal, and from there it would upload through Plaxo to the work laptop next time I turned it on. Brilliant. Home, work, phone, all synced.


But the iPhone started dying after it hit its warranty limit. I swear, fourteen months. It started playing up when the Home Key kept missing the curfew, if you get my meaning. I'd press it, press it again, hold it down, nothing! Unless I was trying to show this to someone, in which case it worked perfectly. Sigh.

With all the hassles that went down with the iP4, I thought I'd either wait a bit for the iP5 or maybe pull out a bit from the tethered world of Apple and try something else. Maybe I could stretch it until my phone contract came due, in March next year. But that Home Key was bugging me. It was often usable, but a pain when it wasn't. How long could I put up with it?

So in frustration and in HK airport I grabbed a Sony-Elricsson Experia X10 (Android operating system). At least I thought I was frustrated by smart-phones at that time. I learned a new definition of the word after a few days with the Exaspera.

Battery life was problem one.

Syncing was problem two. (Problems 3 - 12, another time.) The phone wanted talk directly to its own Sony-Elricsson program, not directly to Outlook. This meant I had to turn the Plaxo program off if I wanted that to work. (I am still under the impression that, and according to the help file in MSO, that I can't run two syncing programs with Outlook.) No Plaxo meant that I would loose my link to the iCal at home.

It turns out that the Exaspera was happy to link to Google Calendar through the S-E program as well. Now, I hadn't needed Google Calendar for the iPhone, but what the heck.

So I downloaded the Google Calendar Sync program and linked that to Outlook. It took a bit of fiddling and I ended up doubling up calendar names and the like, so I renamed some, deleted some.

So now my appointments were going from Outlook to Google and from there to the S-E program and from there to the Exaspera.

For the iCal at at home it was going through Pla... oh, no it wasn't. I had stopped using Plaxo on the laptop. Simple, I thought, I'll just sync Plaxo with Google and it will go to the iMac!

Simple solutions are always... they always fuck up.

Plaxo isn't linking to the Google calendar - it keeps trying but it fails... (It still fails today.) Shit. Maybe when I renamed the calendars or deleted them or something, I took away some default setting that Plaxo needs to find the correct Google Calendar.

So I stopped using Plaxo. Actually, it stopped for me. (Now iCal goes to Google for its sync. Don't ask me how I set that up, it's a mystery, but it does. And as I have to use Web-mail at home to check work emails, I can still just adjust any appointments in iCal. Or I could just use Google Calendars all the time at home. Why does it have to be this difficult?)

As I said, the battery life on this exasperating Elricsson is just terrible. I'd charge it overnight but by lunchtime it would have died and I'd have missed calls and texts. So, taking a great hit, I sold it on to someone who wanted to play Paper Toss. She also bought another battery for a quick change once a day.


OK, I went back ON the dodgy iPhone,...


Then it REALLY cracked up. Swipe wasn't swiping, buttons weren't reacting... Complete lock-up. I could reset it I guess, see if that solves the acute issue, but it won't fix the dodgy Home Key. I think I might still reboot and use it as a iTouch, or try it again on a new carrier just for playing Word With Friends and Angry Birds... Did I ever tell you that I don't play phone-games as I think they're wanky? I didn't play any until someone go me hooked on Angry Birds. The whole concept of wasting what precious time we have left on earth in order to manipulate transient pixels on a glowing screen is still pretty wanky, but there you go. I was hooked. Such is the fragility of our personalities that we could so easily all become wankers, just as we could all have been Nazis, given the right social and peer pressure - and perverse and pathological love of people with funny moustaches.

(No, just rebooted it, the Home Key still drives me absolutely crazy.)

So there I was, back OFF the iPhone and onto the Nokia E71 again (which I had bought very early last year before I realized that my provider contract was up and could get an iPhone3G for free if I renewed for two years).

Now, problems are there with the Nokia too; text on the screen is too small for my failing eyesight; the touch keypad is too small for my chubby fingers; plus, GGGggrrrrr, like Sony-Elricsson, it needs Nokia specific software, viz Nokia Suite (OVI doesn't work on the E71) to sync to the laptop... Downloaded a new version of that E@L did... (One day I'll tell you the trouble I had trying to remove the previous version! No, please don't, you cry in horror.)


A colleague from India came to the office with his Samsung GalaxyS (Android). He said he loved it. My other colleague, from Chiang Mai, who had been using a bulky old E61i (three years old, four?) was convinced and negotiated a good price in Vivocity (NOT most definitely at the Samsung outlet). He was able to sync both Gmail and our work email easily together. They were both very pleased. Battery not a problem, pretty reasonable, similar to the iPhone, my Indian colleague said. Happy to hear that considering my previous experience with the Android system...

Look familiar?
Doesn't have Angry Birds, but...

And so I fell apart, psychologically: I became a wanky phone Nazi! Next day, I went to the same shop in Vivocity, told the guy I wanted the GalaxyS for the same price as my colleague (had to be cash) and I came back to the office proudly bearing my purchase (equivalent amount donated to Pakistan flood relief). All three of us now had the same phone! (We had all bought E61s all those years ago as well.)

We were all smug in the office last week with those new phones, but we allegedly were there to prepare for the training in Japan in two weeks time. Then the boss surprised us! He came in - he doesn't get us all in the same room that often - not to tell us to get back to the task at hand, but to inform us that from now on, we all had to share our work schedules (two on Outlook, one on Windows Live) using Google Calendar!

Oh no!

This didn't take anywhere near as long to setup, amazingly, as we thought it would.

And almost straight away those guys were complaining about seeing the hundreds of personal appointments that dot my Outlook schedule.

Hey, it's MY calendar. Or it was. They said they didn't need to know about my flight schedule to Phuket, nor the hotel details ("so much Baht, you must be rich!"), nor the schedules with my gastroscope-ologist, my oculist, my snore-ologist, my endocrinologist, my neurologist, my orthopaedic Torquemada, my dental ditto, my gypsy fortune-teller, my "massage" "therapist", my etc, my etc...

Shit. Nosey buggers.

So I tried setting up a second calendar on Outlook for my personal stuff but DIDN'T link this to Google, because... hey, you CANT.

Only ONE calendar can be synced between Outlook and Google. Sigh. That now meant that my personal schedule didn't get to the SamsungS. For e.g. when I checked the time of my Gastroenterologist appointment today, it wasn't on my phone! Do'h.

So now (like right now!), instead, I have set-up a Personal Calendar on GOOGLE, and as multiple Google calendars work seamlessly with the GalaxyS - finally something going my way! It's pretty fine so far tonight - the Doc's appointment is there, retrospectively.

However, as I said, that Personal Calendar doesn't get back to Outlook for off-line scheduling, but it doesn't clog up my colleagues Google Calendar pages either.

I can get it to iCal, along with the Work Calendar. However I had to make it public and searchable in order to set this up - you can now find all my massage appointments with Google Search if you want...

Why don't I just go to Google Calendar completely you ask? I would, but, strange as it may seem...

~~~~~~~ I AM NOT ALWAYS ONLINE! ~~~~~~~

In the plane, at many places in Singapore (I have forgotten my password for island-wide(ish) free wi-fi), at expensive hotels where the internet is also expensive (but not cheap hotels where the internet is free), at my mum's place in Australia - funnily enough not all 85 year-old ladies have, or even need, broad-band internet - at these times, in these places, I am not online.

But while I am traveling with my laptop, off-line, I still can adjust my schedule with Outlook! It syncs when I get back online. Can't do squat with Google offline, what?


Maybe my current situation is tenable: Let's see how long it lasts...

Work stuff is typically done on the laptop, though it can be one on Google or on the GalaxyS. Private stuff is done on Google when I am online, on the phone when I am not, or on the fly.

1: Outlook Calendar <<->> Google Work Calendar <<->> my colleagues' Google calendars, i.e no Personal Calendar in Outlook :( or on my colleagues' Google :)

2: Google Work Calendar & Google Personal Calendar <<->> GalaxyS

3: Google Work Calendar & Google Personal Calendar <<->> iCal*.

4: Plaxo Pro ($49.95) <<->> nowhere.


Let's see how long the new phone lasts!


* I am thinking, why do I need to sync to iCal at all? I'm always online at home. Then I could then change back the privacy settings for the personal stuff! I think I'll do that now - at least I proved to myself that I could link them if I wanted to!

** I could have gone to the gym instead of typing this: it would have finished two hours ago and I am not sure which would have been the more exhausting.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What Izzy's Been Doing Lately

The original (in a blogging sense) Sarong Party Girl has no longer been my platonic flat-mate for shit, what is it, 6 months? She's in Europe, living on, kicking on, rocking on: Izzy - Rock'n'Roll Muse...

Brilliant video, she fallen in with a bloody talented crowd! Great song too!

[Meh, is prolly best go one to Youtube, or whole screen la.]


A bit more amusing than sitting in my apartment over a bottle of wine or two musing quietly about politics, religion, the meaning of life and other trivialities.


Diet Secrets Of Viktor Bout

Celebrity war-lords are stroking their AK-47s in envy wondering how their old buddy, Russian big-shot Viktor Bout was able to achieve such terrific diet results after only a few short years in solitary confinement.

Here's Vik as he prepares to enter the allegedly Hilton-owned Bangkok Health Spa Resort and Prison, back in 2008. A shade over our ideal weight aren't we, Viktor?


But here's Vik on his way to arranging a Stateside trip to further discuss the implications of that Colombian business deal, the one that ended so abruptly when the police stormed his room, and he's looking GREAT!

The redoubtable Mr Bout seems to gone a few bouts with the Bangkok Hilton diet-meister! He's trim, he's fit, OK he's maybe a tad gaunt (with that old double-chin turned into something of a turkey gobbler), but he still sports his winning surly frown and his charming greasy caterpillar on that wide upper lip. And are those lines on his face? They weren't there before - bloated with fat no doubt. Good one Viktor!

It's been an inspirational effort and a wonderful triumph of will-power for him to drop those kilos, even as he holds up his chains! Who wouldn't want to be him?

People are saying that there's now an even greater resemblance to the actor(?) Nic Cage, who played a Bout-like character in "The Lord Of War" just a few summers ago on 2005. (Where DO the years go? I'm sure Viktor would be wondering that as well.)

We asked Mr Bout what has worked for him. How did he go from such a bloated evil pig, making millions as he dealt in death and destruction through Africa's many civil wars (as Nic said in his cheery movie, "Someone's gotta do it!") to the desperate man who no longer has a BMI that throws him as deeply into the realm of obesity as he threw innocent thousands into their graves?

Was it easy or tough to shed his unhealthy avoirdupois? Did it involve of change of life-style, a new way of looking at the world*? A stress-free life; up to one's chained ankles in rat-piss, sleeping with one eye open amongst his fellow spa-patrons, the deadly, the dying and the dangerous (that's Bangkok for you!) No cable TV! No drugs except the odd kilo of home-made Ya-ba (I hef runny nose, more sudafed pliss), and a bit of tainted heroin smuggled in up the arse of a (very) close friend. No alcohol except what the boys distill themselves behind the backs of their Personal Trainers and Executioners, no gorgeous hookers (at least female ones) basking in his charismatic millions, and no more of that cholesterol-rich Beluga caviar.

So it all comes to the essential question, Viktor - was it diet or exercise?

"Bose," he grumbled in his richly evocative Russian accent. "Eat fucking bowl of overspice rice-soup tvice a day, and defend ass every night... Any-vun can lose shitload of vait!"

Incontestable words of wisdom there from the NEW Viktor Bout, super-healthy and ready for anything**! And yes we agree with you dear reader, we think that his new red outfit brings out brilliantly those charismatic, pitiless, ice-blue eyes.


* through prison bars
** that involves gun-running

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Atlas De-Shrugged In The Playgroup

Since the day Johanna was born, we've worked to indoctrinate her into the truth of Objectivism. Every night we read to her from the illustrated, unabridged edition of Atlas Shrugged—glossing over all the hardcore sex parts, mind you, but dwelling pretty thoroughly on the stuff about being proud of what you've earned and not letting James Taggart-types bring you down. For a long time we were convinced that our efforts to free her mind were for naught, but recently, as we've started socializing her a little bit, we've been delighted to find that she is completely antipathetic to the concept of sharing. As parents, we couldn't have asked for a better daughter.

That's why, when Johanna then began berating your son, accusing him of trying to coerce from her a moral sanction of his theft of the fruit of her labor, in as many words, I kind of egged her on. Even when Aiden started crying.

I was not sure if it was morally correct to copy and excerpt this hilarious parody from Eric Hague (complete article at McSweeney's) but after reading "A Greek Mythological Person Did NOT Raise His Shoulders in a Questioning Way After All", I say fuck him, this is MY blog and I'll take the fruit of another's labor any time I feckin' want - it's my right (as I see it) as a born-again Subjectivist.


Coffee, Breakfast, Thailand - more of the same

E@L was in a "coffee" shop in a place slightly to the left of the middle of nowhere, the town of Phrae, in the province of Phrae. E@L has been up in this area before: Phitsanulok, Nan. Driving here is mountain, valley and river, mountains, valley and river, etc... Not that impressed with the valleys. The mountain are fantastic except that E@L has slept through most of the drives.

E@L has essentially given up on Thai coffee, on coffee in general in fact, and he is drinking a 'jasmine' green tea as he drafts this post with the morning sun over his shoulder (left, or was it right?). The slim, fawning waitress had initially poured condensed milk into the mix of tea and hot water she offered, and he sent it back perfunctorily. He was in a perfunctorial mood again. She deferentially delivered (she was now in a typically Thai deferential mood) the fresh cup which on first taste seemed to contain no jasmine. It was mostly green tea. Not completely. About 40% of the cup was sugar syrup, streaky clear stuff that spiraled through the tea, slowly diffusing. This sucrose vortex would be enough to upset his endocrinologist no end, who was on a quest to stave off E@L from metabolic syndrome - i.e diabetes, if E@L ever told him.


Coffee, tea, can they ever be right? Toast, breakfast in general, ditto.

Breakfast - the coffee was fine, breakfast coffee usually is because it's not espresso - was missing just a few things last week in the Sheraton Krabi Resort (closer to Ao Nang actually). E@L noticed the absence of a prepared fruit salad. He had to chop his fruit up on his plate at the table, clinkety clink, must annoy the people nearby. E@L is nothing if not considerate. And there were cinnamon bagels but no Philly cream cheese. WTF? Not that E@L should be eating bagels - see above re: metabolic syndrome. Wholemeal or whole grain toast with their low glycaemic indices are fair game, and they were both present, so OK.

Fecking idiots who put their bread onto the circling treads of the toaster's tray and then stand in front of the toaster, blocking other people from inserting their carbohydrates, those feckwets were ALSO milling, like litigious movie lawyers outside movie hospitals.


But, Krabi? That was LAST week, this is THIS week. Having jumped (via taxi) from Suvarbumi to Don Muaeng (the old international airport in Bangkok) E@L Nokked up to the Central/Northern provinces of Thailand. Two demos, two deals, but who is one to puff oneself up?

Uttaradit, Phrae (see above), and now Phitsanulok. E@L mused that you know you've been in some shitholes* of late when you consider Phitsanulok a respite, a haven of sophistication, a safe port in the northern storms which have flooded heavily and stirred up Dengue fever epidemics in the previous few weeks (Google it). No-one's ever heard of any of these places, have they? No-one of any importance E@L means, of course.

Breakfast in Phitsanulok is a different story to the Sheraton's minor glitches (and aren't all unhappy breakfast stories unique?) Even before E@L arrived from his room, a plate had been placed for him at his assumed chair, opposite his more punctual colleague. On the plate was the plaster imitation of a circular fried egg, two precisely aligned steamed sausages of uncertain - perhaps porcine - provenance, two slices of white bread glued together with butter substitute, and two triangles of long-simmered (now cold) "ham". E@L was fortunate and foresightful enough to bring with him two bananas, two tubs of yoghurt and an apple. E@L eschewed the chilled still life and passed his coupon to another colleague, one who had slept elsewhere. (500Bht was excessive, he felt.)


Five THOUSAND Bht a night at the Sheraton, with cable internet an extra 530Bht for 24hrs. Last night in Phitsanulok, a reasonable room (OK, the toilet door kept locking whenever it closed, but so does Izzy's old one at E@LGHQ - you learn to live with it, or she did anyway) was 500Bht, and yet the WiFi was free.

The internet seems to get cheaper the lower you go in hotel stars. Weird.

E@L will be writing a note of severe castigation to the Sheraton HQ, where heads will asymmetrically roll (as heads are wont to do - anyone remember Polanski's McB... Scottish Play?).

It is totally indefensible to charge the amount they do. There is no excuse he will accept, nothing they can say that will convince him that such a charge in necessary. He will never accept this insulting financial infringement again!

Exception: tonight. E@L is paying 600Bht to present you with this electronic missive in a 3,300Bht room at The Landmark - awesome breakfast BTW!

Life can be weird and E@L is not always consistent.


* not that E@L cannot tell these small(ish) Thai towns apart anymore; they all look desperate, distant, hungry and the same.

(Does this post make ANY sense?)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cool Movie

I think that the main's character's motivation may stem from an unhappy childhood and unresolved issues with his father. Obviously a narcissistic personality. Destructive, yet somehow (in)vulnerable.



Sunday, August 15, 2010


One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed into E@L's dinner...

These were just (just!!) some fried locusts but cockroaches, the supposed insect/vermin/bug of K's story, were also available. Yep, had a few of the above beauties. Yummy to the Max! Crunchy and salty, like a small peanut with legs and wings.

Uttaradit. Never heard of it either.

Travel: it broadens your horizons. And leaves parasites in your intestines.


Coffee Crisis

Bloody Suvarnabumhi (Suvaboomi to the locals) Airport is, I repeat, a shocker. It was 700m from the gate to the baggage carousel, the first 400m of that with no travellator. I'll correct that: no travellator going in my direction. There is one going out, but none coming back. (Something like Muldoon Manor in Tom Stoppard's hilarious "The Real Inspector Hound," where, due to a quirk in the local geographic strata, there are roads leading TO the Manor, but no roads leading FROM the Manor - misty moors, fog rolling in from Pirate's Cove, mysterious strangers, mixed identities, love unrequited, dead body under the couch, no-one shall leave the room sort of thing).

As I was saying before I was distracted, bloody Suvaboomi... The scale is just wrong. It's huge (lengthy) in the places it should be more compact, tight as a fish's arse in the places that it should be more expansive, like the reception area. AND half the time for domestic flight the planes are way out in a tarmac parking area and you have to bus out - this is a brand new(ish) modern airport and you still you have to bus out to the plane - amazingly backward. I was fortunate today as my Krabi flight came to the terminal, but still, it's the principle.


I am supposed to be headed to extremely flooded Uttraradit now, but the plane leaves from the old Don Muaeng airport on the other side of town. Even though it is three hours to my flight, I'd better head off soon. Taxi!!


Regard the above hinted at coffee issues: just quickly, I have decided to eschew the espresso paradigm and seek my caffeine solace outside its restricted, esoteric and pompous purview. I ordered a Viennese coffee here at the airport and received a cup of whipped cream. I was told that there was a smidgen of caffeine bearing liquid at the bottom, but by the time I removed 95% of the pseudo-dairy product and stirred the remaining 5% into those few drops of brownish fluid, it was cold and horrible and gone in a large sip. What happened to the days when a Viennese coffee was a cup of coffee (a CUP!) with some fresh cream floating on top? (Some say this was the precursor of the cappuccino? The coffee part of a cappuccino should be dark brown btw, the colour of the monks' robes.)

Why can I not find a coffee establishment that serves the type of coffee they give you for breakfast at a hotel? I have been knocking off the majority of a mug of brewed java every morning. Fantastic. You get a large plunger at the Excelesior in Hong Kong. Fantastic. There was drip filter machine in my hotel room in Krabi with free sachets and filter papers. Fantastic.

You can get a CUP of coffee from these devices.

That was the way it used to be. Thanks to the bloody Italians and there hegemony over the coffee zeitgeist, every coffee for sale in every coffee shop in the world is a variation on the espresso. OK espresso is nice; strong, sip sip, gone, but what about if you want a FULL CUP of strong coffee? An Americano (espresso topped with hot water) is disgusting BTW.

I want to drink plunger coffee, percolated coffee (what I brew up for our post-Christmas dinner chats - and tea-towel throwing championships -around the table), freshly brewed coffee, instant coffee, even fucking Cafe-Bar coffee! Anything that fills a freaking cup!

One day (I'm just a young kid with a crazy dream) I'm going to open an international coffee house (they are licensed to print money these places, all profit, it's unbelievable!) that serves the entire range of way to prepare coffees, delivered at your table according to your preference... Let's break this espresso paradigm!


There is a restaurant in Singapore that serves its coffee (espresso based) in cups that have an oblique finger-hold (what do you all those things? The handle? But it's not for hands, it's for fingers - the fingle?) This work fine so long as you hold the cup in your right hand; lovely, comfortable, stable. In case no-one suspected this, I am left-handed. If I try to pick up this type of cup in my left hand - WHOA!! - it tilts at an angle frighteningly close to pants-scalding.

"Please, may I have a left-handed coffee cup?

I've always wanted to ask that.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bungle In The Non-Jungle

I'm in Krabi. Where people who want to get away from other people go to get away from the *other* people who want to get away from other people.

Actually that's not true. It's just low season and it is very quiet. Just me and the lizards basically.

They used Krabi as a body-double for the Koh Sahn Rd area of Bangkok in the movie The Beach. There is no magical Isolated Beach Free of Uncool People of course, and if there was would you really want to be there? Sit down you at the back there, the correct answer is NO.

After Krabi, I will be going to a place genuinely in the jungle, a REALLY out of the way place! In fact, Google Earth says there are no roads leading to or from (because of a quirk in the local geographical strata*) Uttaradit.

WHERE??? It's not much more than an elephant trek from Phitsanaluk, where I have been before (remember the "flying vegetables?"), and while it will be another somewhere new, I am sure it will just be another cookie-cutter SWIFT**.

- btw Swine flu alert in Buriram, Isaan. Nowhere near Utradit, but still worrying... cough, cough...


*THE* worst game of golf on record today. You think Tiger is in a slump? I shot (stumbled to) 25 over my handicap! Hire clubs of course. Should have cancelled when it looked like the rain was going to settle in... It went away, got sunny and I got burned (metaphorically). Damn.


Will try to write something serious (i.e. funny) soon but I'm working on a plethora of things at the moment: presentations at a meeting here, pen-pal stuff, secret stuff, you know how it is, blah blah... Also Internet time is limited as I too stingy to pay...

So for the moment it's sawadhee krub


* from The Real Inspector Hound - Tom Stoppard

** Smiling WhIte Face Tour - E@L

Saturday, August 07, 2010

No Woman No Cry


New information from the Bob Marley archive reveals that in the early drafts of what became "No Woman No Cry", Marley's working title was "Chill Out Slut".

Or not.


image from Me Against Them.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Take A Deep Breath

Firstly: It's not that I lack respect, a sense of duty or unbounded love for my readers, it's just that I have been busy having a life of late. Even though this does NOT entail a change in my relationship status (check FB for confirmation), I have been getting out a lot, day/night in day/night out. Work has been busy, trips all around the place - Oz, Japan, Vietnam, all with entailing heavy social commitments - AND I have been put in charge of the next International training (not that I've done anything yet). OK and a holiday or too, but then again, not much done from there either.

Yes - shudder you may, reel in shock you might and be amazed you should. I've been busy(ish).

Not sure why this is, but it's true. I have just not had any spare (and/or sober) time to sit down and write anything. I suspect that the relatively heavy dose of Lamictal I have been prescribed for my IPN* has softened the bumps of my moods, mainly the grumpiness part. I still get get happy happy whenever circumstances dictate (they always "dictate", don't they? What are they, grade school teachers? "Get out your books, children, time for dictation of circumstances!"), but as lamitrogine is more commonly prescribed for epilepsy and bi-polar disorder, there certainly has been some moderation in the incidence of E@L's Irritable Ang-mo Syndrome...

And when I have nothing to complain about, I rarely blog - I become very veewwwwwwy quiet.

Should I apologize for this? Or should I rejoice?


So, moving right along to the topic of this post - an update on the snoring device.

E@L is addicted to CPAP**!

He might look stupid with it on, but at least he is getting MUCH fewer apnoeic episodes according to the results his ENT Doc has shown him. The CPAP mask (must get a leopard skin one) was difficult to acclimatize to at first, and initially he hated it. But he persisted. Now - can't get a restful sleep without the Respironics (a Philips company) chugging away. It's very quiet actually, and with the bedside radio on sleep (ironically) for 30mins, it doesn't bother him and he drops off quickly. The whistle of the air going in and sneaking out through the ventilation holes is a little loud but is zen-like in its regularity.

The air-pump machine records the return pressure up the tube and makes wild suppositions about what's happening in his naso-pharynx, which correlates (one hopes) with depth and quality of sleep. He certainly wakes up feeling a lot more clear-headed, even after a night on the grog (see above re: social life.) Without it, he feels like shit.

At the sleep test, his results were quite frightening. 50 odd apnoeic/hyponoeic episodes per hour. The longest episode of poor breathing was 56.8 seconds. That's not good. Let us explain here - and apnoeic episode is 10 second or longer and hyponoeic of a reduction of airflow by 50%.

Breathing stops or is reduced due to blockage of the naso-pharynx by either a floppy soft-palate (the bit the uvula sits on) or by the tongue falling back.

That's at least 16-17% of the time E@L was not breathing properly. Oxygen sats were dropping to as low as 83%. (That's measured by the red-light thing they clip on your finger.)

With CPAP apnoeic/hypoeic episodes have recovered to about 4 per hour. That's normal range.

Excellent results. E@L will live a bit longer! (Or at least not die of this.)


* idiopathic peripheral neuropathy

** continuous positive air-wave pressure or something.

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