22 August, 2006

First day of work tomorrow

Wish me luck, I suppose. Not really necessary. Getting up at 0640 to be there at 0800. Not sure how the setup will work. Bringing iBook in case I need a computer, but I suppose they will be giving me something. Probably a PC, maybe a sunblade or similar. I love metro commuting.

Had lung CT today, will get results on friday regarding the fluid in my lungs. As of present, I still have pneumonia and I am alternating fever and chills. And, yes, probably contagious. But I need the dough.

Saw a brochure about the Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT "Spec. B". Hadn't heard there was a "spec b" Legacy. Maybe I should look into a black wagon legacy with an EJ25 and STIize it. I wonder if the STI inverted coilovers bolt in to the wagon. It'd be fun as hell to do the things to that car that I want to do to Sandy's car (make it an oversteering, drifting beast). But it seems silly to have a second car note. And if I lease a car, I can't really make it into any kind of beast, let alone the kind that eats copious amounts of rubber.

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19 August, 2006

sicker, but in a good way

I am definitely feeling sicker than I did yesterday. Dizzy, tired. Not coughing (thank the jebus for tussionex), but generally feeling like shit. I think it's the antibiotics. Hope that means that I will be feeling better soon.

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18 August, 2006

Walking what?

There is much to cover today, so we will go in Reverse Neurotic Poltation. That's Ugly, followed by Bad, followed by Good. Didn't you learn this in school?

So. Ugly. I spent yesterday at GWU Hospital's MFA ("medical faculty associates"), where I met with a doctor who was well intentioned, but without much in the way of clue. And he was a nice guy. Even cute. Sigh. So Dr. Good Intentions meets me and asks me what the problem is. Well, naturally, I am coughing up blood, coughing in general, congested, and feel like shit. The usual, right? Sorry everyone, no gory tongue photo of this one. I tell Dr. GI about the "mass in my lung" and he looks at me and nods like, "okay, tell me something interesting." I explain that I am tweaked between the lung thing and the blood thing. He looks concerned. Well, it was more of a "feigned concern", but who's counting? So he listens to my chest, looks at my tonsils ("Whoa, those look irritated"), and asks me to say "e" a bunch of times while he watches my tonsils. Okay, whatever. He comes back with another doctor who says "well, we've re-reviewed your x-rays, and you have what's called an incursion into your lung. But it's not tuberculosis." I make the "duh" face. He says "so, you got pneumonia. we're gonna give you something called [spell it out with me kids] aye-zith-ro-max." To which I naturally respond "uh, a z-pack. okay." He looks at me, thunder stolen. I coulda told them I had pneumonia. There's fluid in my lungs. It's yellow. I cough it up. I cough it up so much I've ruptured something, and so I get blood. THAT IS WHAT PNEUMONIA IS. Why did I need to go to the damn hospital for this? I even have an extra "azithromax" in my closet from the last tool who prescribed it to me.

Sandy and I both agree this is inadequate health care (Sandy has more experience with coughing up foul shit than anyone else on the planet, trust me on this, I saw it all come up, and I even got to see the inside of her lungs!), and she says she'll try to get me an appointment with a doctor we affectionately call "Dr. Spanky" (he's like 12) at Arlington Pulmonary Associates. I am doubtful that she can get me an appointment for that day, but she calls them, explains the blood, and they suggest the ER. Sandy says "we've been to the ER, and they suck." So they give us an appointment. I go in for my appointment. I didn't get to see Spanky. He's a nice guy. I got a nice Indian guy instead. I explain the whole thing and he does basically the same things that Dr. GI did the day before, only Dr. Indian pays attention instead of fucking with the computer (there was no computer at Dr. Indian's exam room). He asks me good questions like, do you cough more at night? When you lean back? Forward? Etc. He's trying to figure out where the fluid is. He says my tonsils are fucked up (yeah, "duh" face again). He says that since he can't get the x-rays from GWU, he's gonna order some more. He orders them, and the news, dear reader, is not terrific. He says I have a lot of shit in my lungs. Like lots of shit. The good news is it looks like lots of fluid and grossness, not TB, not lung cancer (!), and so on. He explains that there has been a lot of "pertussis" coming back for some reason. This is one of the things you're vaccinated for as a child, but apparently it wears off. They said I could also have what's called "walking pneumonia" which is a particular kind of bug, which they also tested for (yes, more needles, more blood drawn, but at least no arterial gas test, ugh). He said they also did some "blunt tests" to make sure that I wasn't, you know, dying. They suggested an HIV test, since it sounds like I had a depressed immune system, but yay, I already got an HIV test at GW. I'm clean, ladies. So since there's so much foulness and grossness in my lungs, I get a lung CT on monday, and see Dr. Indian again on Friday. However, I start a new job next week, so that's going to be interesting to explain. We'll see what the CT says. So the ugly is, pneumonia. Probably contagious, and not quite sick enough to be in bed. Just sick enough to be walking around coughing it up. Everything ebola's not. Such a stupid bug. Anyways. Let's get on to the bad.

The bad. So the bad is the fact that I had to go get drug tested today. In fact, I got to sit in a room full of people on parole, people who were unquestionably jonesing from drug withdrawal, and other miscreants. And the room stank of them. [interlude: 45 minutes] After this, I got to walk into another room where a woman, where a woman, as nice as she can under the circumstances, instructs me I have to wash my hands. Sink over there. Don't use soap (I guess this is a contaminant). Hands me a cup. Pee above this line. Don't flush. I'm like, uh?? She says just pee above the line, the rest goes in the bowl, you don't flush, you come back out. I've peed in cups before, but I guess I had to pee a little more than normal, and I manage to, you betcha, get pee all over my cleansed -- but not soaped -- hands. I try my best to locate something to wash my hands with, to clean the cup with, but no dice. Because, remember, all the people in the waiting room are criminals who are trying to fuck up the test. I sheepishly emerge from the bathroom saying, uh, I hope you have gloves on. She smiles, as she does have gloves on, wipes the cup for me, and says I can flush. I desperately ask her "may I wash my hands now? with soap?" Yes. Sign, date, observe that she seals it, add social and other data, and she says it will be up in boston or wherever whenever they're done inspecting it.

You know I was going to say it, so here goes. This really pisses me the fuck off. You know, I came in and I intereviewed not once, but two times. I've exchanged over fifty emails with these people. My CV is as long as my arm (my arms are long). And you know what, I can talk more solaris than most people can actually fucking do. I've used solaris that wasn't even fucking called solaris. And I've done it on drugs, off drugs, near drugs, while coworkers were selling drugs, and more different drug associations than I care to fucking count. Yet these bedwetting fucknuggets who are afraid of somebody in their midst being on drugs are requiring me to get tested. Well, guess what, people? One of the cures for pertussis and walking motherfucking pneumonia is a cough SUPPRESSANT. And you know what? We apes haven't got many besides the opiates.

So you can bet your ass I passed that piss test. But I am going to the fucking pharmacy, and I am going to go pick up some fucking opiates, and they are going to be coursing through my motherfucking veins as I am relocating some national critical infrastructure for one of the nations foremost defense contractors. As I sat in that room, I remembered the days of my youth, when I had a much more relaxed approach to drugs than I do today, when I said "I'd never take a job I got tested for. Just on principle." Well, today, I got fucked by the system, took it like a three year old who ask to was their hands, and I accepted it. And all I can do is sit here like an impotent fuck and whine.

Maybe one day the world will realize that I could handle running an E25k ad infinitum on 15mg of morphine prn, but if you were to give me four hundred miligrams of quetiapine, I'd fall asleep drooling in your lap and would BREEZE THE FUCK THROUGH any whiz quiz you got.

Fuck. And Tommy Chong was on NPR today. I hate this planet sometimes.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the good. The BMW 550i. It comes with a 360hp 4.6L V8, it starts right around $50k, and is available with a six speed. Now, by the time I get all the goodies on it, the price hits around $63k, but the lease is still pretty okay (36 mos). Faster than the STI? No. Fast? Yeah. 5.3 seconds to 60 or so. That's pretty good for a bloated pig of a car. But it is also tres comfy. Way more tres comfy than the CTS-V (which would eat the 550 for lunch, by the by). So I feel inclined to add it to yesterday's list. But I don't feel comfortable getting into anything like this kind of relationship without saving up six months of car payment (in case I wind up unemployed for six months again), as well as the down payment. And for that kind of money, I can do what I want with the Z. Choices. Man, I hate this planet sometimes.

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15 August, 2006

Let's talk some about cars.

Carrera 4S: $93,000
Audi RS4: $75,000
Corvette C6 Z06: $75,000 (but you pay $2,000 - $15,000 in "fucking dealer" markup)
Audi S4: $55,000
Audi A3 3.2: $40,000
Subaru STI: $35,000
Mitsubishi Evo IX: $36,000

Let's start with the fact that the wife's car is a Subaru STI. And I won't let her beat me to the grocery store. There's a road I won't mention here because some asshat who lives in north arlington will mention it to the ever-vigilant APD, and they'll put a speed trap up there, and I'll go to jail. Let's just say there's a road or two where we reach triple digit speeds between home and Whole Foods. The STI of course can do this. Note that all the cars above (except the STI, Evo, and A3) are faster than the STI.

The A3 makes the list because it's a sports-hatch, which is cool. It's got a 3.2 and a tiptronic transmission (which means no 4-2 shifts, but I think I might be able to live with it) 255hp. It's anemic as hell. But maybe, just maybe, there's a supercharger kit for it. Because god knows plumbing a turbo onto a V6 is a pain in the goddamn ass.

The Corvette is a fun car. I might even be happy with a C6, or a Cadillac CTS-V. But both of these cars are V8's, and are JUST AS DAMN FAST as the STI (or the Evo, or ...). But it's also rear wheel drive, which means if it's going to do Arlington's Mt. Akina, it's going to be drifting around turns, not going straight down them like a throttle crazed baboon (think 28 days later: those monkeys, the violent, blood spewing monkeys, imagine them, with an STI, and hell bent on killing anything else on the road with sheer speed). Besides, the Takahashi brothers lost to Takumi's AE86 because they had TOO MUCH power going through those turns.

So let's turn to the C4S. Okay, so this is a car with 350 some horsepower and it weighs 3200lbs, give or take. Which means it's gonna put some whupass on the STI and it happens to be all wheel drive. Mt. Akina, watch out. The C4S has your number. But let's just spell this out so I can refresh my own memory ninety-three-motherfucking-thousand dollars. Oh, I had my game face on at the dealer, so he was totally happy to go through numbers with me. Let's assume I put $10,000 down on a 48-month lease. That would make a monthly payment of $1,325. Or, I could buy the car outright, give him the same $10,000, and I'd have a monthly payment of $1,500. Give or take a left nut. Who the fuck buys these cars? I mean, we're not quite at the RS4 yet, but let me give Porsche a little bit of a hint: 450hp, 4200lbs, all wheel drive, eight fucking pad calipers, and $75,000. I'm not going to do the math in my head because I'm thinking about porsche salesmen impaled on stakes instead of math. But $75,000 is a lot less than $93,000, and the RS4 would fucking OWN the C4S. So, me likey the C4S. But, it goes in that bin where I say "fuck that noise."

R4S. Nice car. Four doors. Has a button to open up the exhaust (or, alternatively, close it if your neighbors complain or you set off car alarms ... like our STI does). Makes 450 or whatever horsepower. It's a heavy car, but any car that does 100hp per litre, and manages to get better than a 10:1 lb:hp ratio is good in my book (the Viper was one of the first to do that, only it had so much goddamn torque nobody could drive the thing). So, cool, but still, $75,000. I could buy a 2006 STI, and spend $15,000 putting God's Own Turbo on the car, and have boost from 3500rpm all the way up to 5500rpm, and be doing four wheel donut burnouts in the Audi parking lot. I figure these payments would be on the order of $900, give or take (since I've estimated the Z06 payments).

And then there's the S4. So Audi has what we call an achilles heel. The quattro stuff is great. Dad had an Audi 90 that was anemic as a wet noodle (he'll probably take offense to that), but you could throw that fucker into a turn and stand on the gas and it would just grip, grip, grip. However, the quattro goodies added 800lbs to the already portly luxury car. So an S4 has 355 horsepower. Or so I am told. I have a hard time believing that the S4 would run down the STI on Mt. Akina's downhill.

Subaru STI. We could buy another STI, and I could do all the shit that I think about doing to Sandy's car to my own car. The problem is the STI is tuned to within an inch of its life. Here's the deal. Subaru folks will know this. The turbo, if you pump it up to 18lbs of boost, is way out of its efficiency range, and you won't be getting as much air as you think you are, and it will be hotter. Not so cool. Furthermore, your injectors will hit 100% duty cycle, which sucks. So you gotta upgrade your turbo, your fuel pump, your fuel injectors, your ECU, and possibly your intercooler, to get more than 17psi of boost. And let's not even talk about the suspension. There is a SPT suspension for the STI ("inverted struts") that is adjustable. There are also the "pinks" springs which are JDM and better damped for the USDM struts. Either way, the suspension on the STI needs a little help in a few places. And apparently there's no horsepower to be gained in the intake. Although Subaru has told me there is. So get this. You buy a new STI for $35,000, and the first think you do is you go to the dealer and say "please to take off the turbo, put this turbo on, get rid of that ECU, we want this other one, add the perrin top mount intercooler, the pink injectors, and this MSD fuel pump. Oh, and we'd like boost at 20psi." So that's gonna set you back something like 10 grand, and you're gonna be making 400hp. All those little honda fuckers do it on credit cards. I'm a cash kind of person. I don't think that's a road I want to go down. Because when I blow a tranny, it's MY dime, not Fuji Heavy Industries. So, fuck that.

What we need for Arlington's Mr. Akina is a panda Trueno. If only all of them hadn't been rodded to shit already. If I could find one that was a liftback, original paint, original motor, and "needed a little work," I'd be all over that fucker. With cash. But nooooooo. I must conquer Mt. Akina in something that's going to cost me anywhere from $35,000 to $95,000. And include a car note.

Notice I didn't mention the Evo? That's because I don't have a face full of pimples, and I'm not 17.

I've said it before, I'll say it again.

Fuck. You. World.

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11 August, 2006

The good news, and some catch-up

I have two tentative offers (that is to say, not final). One of them is working with cooler hardware (US Census), and the other is working right off the metro (NOAA). The good news about NOAA is I get to put on the ol' resume that I have worked with satellite communications devices, which is super important right now. The rates are close. However, if you figure that for the Census position, I'd have to pay another $400 a month for a car, vs $100 a month for the metro (and no insurance), the choice is clear. NOAA is also the higher rate. Anyways. So I probably start work on the 21st, as soon as we can get a formal offer to me. Fedex is the usual method.

I haven't really been writing too much, except that in the last couple days I've started a short story and the "darker" book. I fully intend with Limits to kill thousands of people. No question. But they will seem to have died for a reason. I don't have a name for the darker book, but I am leaning towards Sharks. People will die, again, and again, and again, and again, in Sharks, and people will lose their sanity, piece by piece. Almost like, hmm, Resident Evil. Once the infection starts, the carnage begins, and just. doesn't. end. Add in a healthy dose of paranoia, and you have a book that is wholly unpleasant to read. And yet, I think it is a book that many will not be able to put down.

So I find myself with a short story, which will probably get published first, as it is benign (if suspenseful), an ethical question on defense contracting (and the defense industry) which is probably publishable, and then a second book that may or may not get published because of the "ew" factor.

I haven't been doing much writing because I've been doing so much interviewing. I also haven't been too involved in the wikipedia. Some guy asked me about the [[Leet]] article, and I was particularly nasty. On the other hand, I think it was justified.

I've been talking to Rick Robinson about Rick's First Law of Space Combat: any mass travelling around 3km/s will impact with energy equivalent to its weight in TNT (4.5 megajoules). Since I think I've accurately calculated escape velocity to 8km/s, even with slowdown on re-entry, we can probably hit the ground doing 3km/s. That means we can put beans in orbit of arbitrary weight, and tell them to orbit until they're over their target, and then just deorbit. Said beans would probably retain 3km/s, and they'd be TNT beans by the time they hit the ground. Multiply this by your firing rate, and you have a disaster on the receiving end.

I've also been reading _The Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction_. I picked this up on a whim because it contained Alastair Reynolds and some other authors I'm familiar with. I expected it to be a lot better, but parts of it have been absolutely riveting. Ian McDonald's _The Days of Solomon Gursky_ was absolutely riveting. Like, wow. Most of the rest of the 600pp book is basura but that story is worth the purchase price.

The next book to start with is (drumroll please) Baxter's Xeelee Cycle starting with _Coalescent_. Since I now have a 33-minute metro ride in each direction, I look forward to getting pretty far into it before (ho hum) finding a goddamn new job.

Hopefully since the job at NOAA is on contract to CSC, I can find me what I really want: a job in the green zone in Iraq. I got the damn skills, people. Send me over there. I dug burning man, I love me the desert, and artillery doesn't scare me. Send me over.

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04 August, 2006

interview, interview, interview...

I have a bunch of interviews scheduled. My biggest concern with them, so far, is not my performance at them (I've never really had a problem with interviews), but rather that all the firms (yeah, recruiters, although I did get a bite from Microsoft for my old boss's position, which I did apply for but was naturally ineligible for. sigh) are kind of small. I wonder to myself, gee, if I'm gonna make $60 an hour, and they're going to skim a further $40 to $60 on top of that, why the hell don't I own one of these companies? I remember the first time I heard the difference between my wage and my "cost" -- $35/hr vs billed $60. That's insane. I pretty soon thereafter renegotiated and got myself $55 without the middleman.

Also, all the positions locally are for companies I don't really want to work for. I really want to go work on the Zumwalt armaments, but that's in BFE. Sigh.

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02 August, 2006

For those of you wondering...

Fridley, MN is 11 miles from Falcon Heights, MN

Oh, the irony.

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Life, only tilted 90°

So, because I dutifully fill out my Virginia unemployment forms every week, I am more or less aware of how many times I am in contact with people about my resume or work. Virginia, bless their heart, has thus far contributed $290 to the "alex is writing a book" fund. This is not very much. But I digress. The important point here is that I have been sending between 2 and 5 resumes to people a week, who have contacted me. I have found that sending out blast resumes from monster (or dice or ...) does not work. So I let the people find me.

Until today. Er, I still let them find me, but five people found me today. On a wednesday. And they seem like good leads. One of them is a civilian organization with peculiar, but useful benefits (Mr. Hardison will recognize some of them). Another is with a company I worked for in 2003, Judge Technical. They're a good group of people and I liked working for them. The kicker? It's in MSP. This after I've been laughing at my sister for moving there. It's defense, and the contract is to another company (I won't name the principal here) I have worked for. Weird, right? But it's right up my alley. Slingin' Solaris in a defense environment. Amphibious Assault Vehicles and (probably, but not certainly) Ticonderoga-class warships. Cool shit.

Since MSP has Eagan, and this place is not in Eagan (it's north of MSP), I find myself wondering if there is some new technical hub forming in the midwest. John (darling sister's husband) is working for LMCO there. And of course, there's the USPS with a gargantuan datacenter. And there's at least two airlines (their operations centers, not just the hub), and there's an HP datacenter up there. And that's just the shit I know about. So maybe, if I stay at my current rate, and I move up there, where the cost of living is way lower than DC's, I'll make out like a bandit and the last post will seem silly. Maybe.

I'd probably have to buy another STI. Oh god, no, not another STI!!!

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31 July, 2006

Good news, Bad news.

Good news, tuberculosis test negative. Bad news, still fucked. Film at eleven.

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29 July, 2006

's good fo' tubaculosis

Peter Tosh ("legalize it") tells us that ganja is good for tuberculosis. I probably don't have it, tuberculosis that is, because the little skin-pop they did looks fine. Like a mosquito bite instead of a boil. However, they have found a mass in my chest, in my right lung. Today when I went back for more x-rays they didn't give me any of the dilaudid/phenergan party favors, and didn't even let me see them. Although because it looks like my tuberculosis test is looking negative, they're leaning towards pneumonia. Great.

The whole TB thing had me really tweaked. The "cure" for TB is six months of medication. Furthermore, I have no idea where I would have gotten TB. The hospital asked me the usual questions, "have you been out of the country lately?" And I answered "well, San Diego" -- which is close.

But in the end, it appears that the ulcers in my throat (the peroxyl/lidocaine approach works very well for the mouth) and the fluid in my lungs are benign. Or at least as benign as bloody mucous coming out of your mouth every couple minutes can be.

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Cake's Patriotic Jumpsuits

Sometimes I hate living in DC. Washington is a pretty nice town to live in. There are myriad ethnic groups and associated cuisines, there are both high and low brow entertainment, and a thriving culture that seems to stretch back forever.

And then, every summer, I am reminded of why much of the world hates Americans and wants to attack us in our homes, to bring the fight to us. Because we're a really detestable group of people. We consume and consume, and what we consume, we waste. We treat the market as if there is a scarcity when there is rank abundance but for our consumption. Because they sully Arlington National Cemetery with their out of control children, dripping foulness off their persons and the meals they are so eagerly consuming.

People cannot teach their children to have manners any better than an unruly dog. They cannot fit through doorways or into chairs. They're a largely unattractive group of people who are here in the "capital of the free world" as some sort of sojurn to Mecca, and what do they want? T-shirts to prove they've been there. They are just like the rest of the world says we are: rude, inconsiderate, morbidly obese, ignorant, arrogant, and a terrible waste of resources.

What percentage of the population even begins to understand what is great about this country? What percentage give more than a token thought to the fact that somebody will die today, tomorrow, the next day, with more to come, so that they could purchase that t-shirt? What percentage understand the government well enough to be qualified to vote on its construction? If you're opposed to George W. Bush because of his cocaine problem, or drinking problem, or even because you didn't like his father, okay, vote against him. But I bet you don't even know your senator's your elected congressmen's names. So you just mark down the "party line", and we get a country that is governed by the ignorant idiocy of the people living in this country.

They come here in the summer. And for a short time every year, I am ashamed that I am a part of those masses. Most of the rest of the year, especially during business hours, you will meet what we -- Washingtonians -- think the rest of the world sees us as. We don't even know that the world hates us because of the people that come here in the summer.

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27 July, 2006

D20_2061.jpg

D20_2061.jpg
D20_2061.jpg,
originally uploaded by avriette.
I took the 'Ru in to the dealer today to have it coated with some sort of sealant. They're also going to buff out some shopping cart mark (we find these marks on our bumper, with finger marks on them, so the guy that did it, knew it, estimated the damage, and decided "eh, why bother leaving a note"). Mike Mentes, the services advisor there is an ASE master mechanic (this is very hard thing to accomplish), and knew everything he needed to know about the STI.

We have a loaner Forester, and, uh, it's 100% gutless. Lots of headroom, but gutless. And don't go telling me that the 2.5XT Forester is fast. It's slower than a WRX, but faster than a Dodge Caravan. Now that's an accomplishment.

Anyways, so I am headed to the pharmacy with a script for mouthwash, percocet, and phenergan. The mouthwash is supposed to numb the mouth, and I have Peroxyl (hydrogen peroxide mouthwash) to help clean up the ulcers. This is such a gross disease.

So, since the drugs are happy drugs (percocet), and the 'Ru is getting detailed and sealed today, we are in a happy place. I figured these pretty flowers would offset the disgusting tongue photo.

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DSC00251.JPG

DSC00251.JPG
DSC00251.JPG,
originally uploaded by avriette.
I got sick the morning of my flight out to San Diego. I wasn't hungry, I wasn't thirsty, and I was feeling top-dizzy (I think tall people will relate to this terminology). By the time we got on the plane, I was having cold sweats and chills while I slept on Sandy's shoulder.

As we got to San Diego, it got worse. I couldn't eat -- I threw up anything that went down the gullet. I couldn't drink for the same reason. I'd literally throw up plain water. This has happened to me before, and we generally agreed then (it's actually happened twice before) that it was psychosomatic. So I just figured I didn't want to be there in San Diego, that I certainly didn't want to be involved in any wedding, and it was just hot as fuckall.

This lasted and lasted, including my throwing up the catered food at the wedding reception (discreetly, so as not to offend anyone).

Mother was very understanding, and suggested I go home to the hotel, force fluids, and "get at least twelve hours of sleep." Well, that I did. Except the fluids part. Between last wednesday and today I've had less than half a gallon of water (or any liquid).

Today when I woke up, I felt more like shit than I had in the past few days. I opened my mouth to brush my teeth and found these disgusting ulcers and pocks on it. It appears that whatever was pissing off my joints (knees and wrists mainly) and giving me searing stomach cramps had either weakened me to the point that I got a bacterial infection, or it was expressing itself in my throat.

Whatever the case, we called UHC's 24/7 nurse, who said it constituted an emergency, so off to the ER we went. They gave me three litres of saline which I was ever so grateful for (not being able to drink, but being incredibly thirsty). They gave me ice chips, which I can "drink" without moving my tongue, which means it doesn't hurt. They also gave me dilaudid and phenergan for the pain (twice!), which is always pleasant. The pain went away and I have actually managed to eat a small sandwich. However, I'm sticking to the water (Vitamin Water "Revive" from Glacieau) and non solid food. In particular I find the Dannon "la Creme" to be both tasty and easy to eat.

There were a few people at the wedding reception who implied that I was leaving because I didn't like my sister, or because I didn't want to be there. I hope those people catch this very illness and it rots out their tongues so they cannot speak such vileness anymore.

Picture is of the pocks/ulcers on my tongue in the ER. They went all the way down my throat.

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25 July, 2006

D20_1866.jpg

D20_1866.jpg
D20_1866.jpg,
originally uploaded by avriette.
So I started fooling around with night photography. I so much prefer inanimate subjects (except in a very few cases) to people. Take twenty people out to a football game or something and I'll be the one looking intently at the cracks in the asphalt with the macro lens, or trying to take pictures of trees.

So the shot is somewhat cliche, but it turns out (this is why it is a cliche, it's a cool technique). The location is Torrey Pines beach looking north on US 1, with Del Mar sort of off on thr right.

I'm definitely going to be experimenting with night photography more in the future. Sandy and I have discussed a camping trip to shenandoah for a weekend. Talk about ample subject matter (stars, trees, and critters!!)

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D20_1854.JPG

D20_1854.JPG
D20_1854.JPG,
originally uploaded by avriette.
My first real night time photo. This mushroom is the same as the one previously posted, only shot after the sun had set. I set the ISO to 100, got the tripod out on its shortest setting and set the 60 to f/7.1. The exposure was about twenty seconds, and the orange hue is from the low pressure sodium lights they use in california. This photo is one of my all time favorites.

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D20_1890.jpg

D20_1890.jpg
D20_1890.jpg,
originally uploaded by avriette.
You can see in exquisite detail the gills under the mushroom (which I had photographed the night before). This lens (60mm/f2.8) is wicked, wicked, wicked, for macro. Sandy loves the 60 and will go find things with it I didn't even know was there.

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23 July, 2006

Stress again

About six years ago, I had a period in my life which was so stressful, I could not bring myself to eat. If I forced food, I would throw up. Most people haven't starved before, so I'll explain a little detail. Your body starts to consume your muscles. It seems to me this happens especially at night. I wake up with an excessively sore body. Everything from the little muscles in my hands to (most especially) my pectorals as well as deltoids, quads, and biceps.

I haven't been doing any heavy lifting, so we can't blame that so easily. Stress just makes it really hard to eat.

My body is apparently telling me things are much, much worse than I thought.

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D20_1513.jpg

D20_1513.jpg
D20_1513.jpg,
originally uploaded by avriette.
Drinking with Dad... We met at the Poseidon in Del Mar after our flight came in. The shot turned out well, although it was completely off the cuff -- I wanted to show dad the LCD on the D200. A commentor on flickr says it has great composition. If that's true, great! Otherwise, just enjoy the beautiful wood grain, the contrast of the orange and the blues, and the fade to infinity.

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