Entries from January 2004

Lungs, don’t fail me now

Tomorrow, I will go to a doctor's office, where I will most probably run on a treadmill for a while, with countless electrodes attached to my body, and a large tube in my mouth. This is part of the process that I now need to go through, now that I have been diagnosed with Sarcoidosis.

"Sarcoid", as my friendly, yet brusque lung specialist has informed me, is a disease of the lungs.

When I was first told this, the first thought through my mind was, "oh, fuck." I immediately began cursing the fourteen-plus years I was a fairly heavy smoker, all of the cigars that I wantonly indulged in, and the long presence of other smokeables that I have greedily inhaled over the years.

(Note: I am now basically drug-free, except for the occasional lapse in good judgement, where I bury myself in mounds of illicit drugs, less I become so straight I bottom out. This I do like some crazed version of Tony "Scarface" Montana, as girlfriend and family look on with a combination of disgust and sadness.)


(Note Deux: just kidding)

Luckily, sarcoid is a somewhat harmless disease, in that it can end up serious, but often is nothing more than an irritant. It's basically these tiny nodules that appear out of nowhere - kind of like goosebumps for the lungs, but lasting longer, and with a bit more repercussions if serious. The strange thing is that sarcoid can affect many different areas of the body. One of these areas is the eyes.

This, of course, explains why I was diagnosed with glaucoma thirty years early, which is a relief in a way, as if my sarcoid is cured, my glaucoma should also go away. Hopefully.

This will mean that the mornings when the world seemingly refuses to come into focus, or the late afternoons after work, when my eye actually ache with fatigue and physical stress, should go away. Hallelujah, I say.

So yes; tomorrow I will run, and sweat, and breathe heavily. It's an interesting way to start the new year.



Shapeshifter + Milk = UI bliss

Made in China

Yesterday, I was seized with a strange compulsion (as I often am), and went around trying to find the country of manufacture for as many objects in my apartment as I could stand.

  1. Rarely used JVC VCR, and more frequently used Panasonic DVD player: China.
  2. Picture Frame: China.
  3. Comfy catbed: China.
  4. Wire wastebasket: China.
  5. Faux Tiffany lamp: China.
  6. Roland Electronic Piano: Japan.
  7. Bell Vista 200 phone (not the ultra-complex space console kind with the gigantic LCD screen): Canada - ah!
  8. Fender Jazz bass guitar, lefthanded: Japan.
  9. SMC Barricade Wireless router: Taiwan.
  10. Manhattan Toys fuzzy goat doll: China.
  11. Stainless Steel Scissors: China.

It was here that I realized: if it wasn't for China, Japan, and other Far East countries, we would have absolutely nothing in our apartments.

Seriously, if we really pissed off all of the countries that make all of the shit that we slowly accumulate in our lives, they could easily say, "Screw you", and stop making things for us.

And, because we have spent so long trying to divest ourselves of the responsibility for fabricating any of the things in our lives (hellbent instead on just enjoying the act of buying, and using), we would be lost. Who knows how to make a DVD player from parts, anyway?

Then we would be stuck in our empty apartments, mounds of neglected dust bunnies swirling around our feet, talking on the phone and wondering to anyone who would listen what happened to all of our stuff?

The Weather

coldIt's cold, but then again, it seems to be cold everywhere, so what the hey.

This afternoon I went out, foraging for nerd lore and vittles in the bland wasteland that is Grant Park mall. For those of you not from "these parts", Grant Park mall is one of those malls that is so overwhelmingly beige it's almost painful.

But, this post is not about Grant Park mall. No, it is instead about the weather. This is partially due to the fact that I am Canadian, and thus I, like ever other person in this vast, hinterland-dominated country of ours, am obsessed with the weather.

There are people who revel in the cold grasp of winter. These people almost always end up seeming (to me, at least) to be incredibly, almost preternaturally cheerful, with an endless supply of Gore-Tex clothing, and tuques with large, bouncy pom-poms hanging from the top.

I am not one of these people. I hate winter.

That said, I can't imagine living somewhere that did not know four distinct seasons. Winter (and fall before it) brings out the deep introspective side of me, which is probably a damn relief to anyone who has put up with my superficial "who-gives-a-shit" spring and summer demeanour. Warm seasons are for mucking about, languid lounging, and letting my cajones get the better of me; cold and blustery equals pensiveness. When it becomes cold out, the smog lifts from my brain, and I can think again.

And it's damn cold out there, which means that there's a lot of thinking going on. Walking through the parking lot of the mall this afternoon, the one thought that dominated my brain was:

It's time to get the hell out of here.

Cold Cheese, Hot Head

cold!Sorry for the prolonged radio silence around these parts. Besides the fact that I'm seriously considering lighting my feet on fire to ward off the ravages of frostbite, I'm also fighting off a rather nasty bout of work-related burnout.

That said, there's nothing like some high-octane cheese to bring a big ol' grin to even the most rundown soul. I'm talking about the strange and disturbing resurgence of hair rock. I'm talking about The Darkness, whose success completely baffles me. It's as if every new generation never learns the mistakes of the previous one.

Hell, with all of the 80's revival still going strong, I've actually started to see those fuzzy harbingers of fashion doom again. I'm talking about legwarmers... oh lord, take me now. All I know is that if acid wash or those jeans that had the zipper that went from the front all the way up the back ("Ass Jeans"? "ZipperButts"? I don't remember) come back in style, I'm outta here.

Maybe it's just me and my crabby demeanour, but whenever I hear the "music of my youth", I don't feel nostalgic; I start to feel disenfranchised, annoyed, and angry all over again.

Still, The Darkness. I don't know why, but when the singer hits that first falsetto note, and the sounds of cornball Eddie Van Halen-inspired guitar solos wafts past my ears, I start laughing.

I can't figure out if this is a good or bad thing.

Watch I Believe in a Thing Called Love (sorry, Windows Media Player only), if you dare.

Edit: By the way, for the folks who are syndicating the BeatnikPad using newsreader software, I have tweaked the RSS 2.0 feed to contain full entries. Just another way to show you that I love you.

Mac Software Business List

Brent Simmons, the mastermind behind the essential NetNewsWire, has started up a mailing list over at Yahoo Groups entitled Mac Software Business.

This group is for small, independent Macintosh developers who want to talk with other developers about the business of Mac development. Questions on pricing, packaging, advertising, e-commerce providers, and so on are on-topic.

Seeing as how one of my clients is Cocoatech, creator of Path Finder, this looks to me like a winner.

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