Monthly Archives: May 2005

Finally!

I had an appointment to get the pressure in my eye taken just to make sure everything is ok from my surgery a few weeks ago. Everything’s hunkey dorey. The cool thing is that I finally got a copy of the composite image that they took of the inside of my eye just before the first surgery. Here it is!

[Eye Composite]

The pink areas to the center and left are what my eye is supposed to look like. The yellow/brown/dark red areas on the right and bottom are the deposits left behind by the fluid leaks. The center of my eye is a little left of center where there’s a knot of blood vessels. The right side of the image is the portion of my eye closest to my nose.

Movin’ on up!

This past saturday I helped Phil move into his new house. I have to thank Phil for making this move an easy one. He had everything packed and ready to go, with nothing left to be done but carry it out to the moving van. His desk was giving us some trouble, so we tossed it out the window. Literally. This desk had been around for many many years, long since forgotten by the sands of time. We convinced him that he was buying a new house, so he should buy new stuff. He reluctantly agreed. I’m happy for Phil though… I could see weeks of stress lifting off his shoulders as we started moving stuff into his house. He was quite happy. Congrats Phil!

Yesterday I went out with my family in honor of my sister’s 23rd birthday. We gorged ourselves at Outback and then lounged around the homestead here. After about an hour of continuous exposure to the four-legged energy bomb that goes by the name of ‘Ace,’ my family finally understands why my patience is so thin at times. We actually had to put him up in Greg’s room because he just wouldn’t calm down. America could power 3/4 of it’s homes for about 2 years from the energy that dog has.

I also had the pleasure of sharing some beers and ice cream with Megan. She does exist! I had a very good time. We’ll have to do it again sometime!

Ticks & Leeches

Both are bloodsucking parasites that nature could probably do without. The latter have never bothered me that much, but the former are quickly getting on my shit list. This past weekend marked my first exposure to a tick. I was petting Greg’s dog Ace and I noticed something dark in his ear. It looked like a blood blister, but after a second, I noticed that the blood blister had legs. And it was moving. Once I realized it was a tick I reverted back to a bug killing fury that hasn’t been seen since my parents house was overrun with earwigs back during the drought years of the early 90s. Those fuckers would come out at night, so I would actually make special trips around the house with implements of earwig destruction – scissors, shoes, lighters. If it killed an earwig, I tried it out. There’s just something about finding disgusting bugs in the house that sends me over the edge.

Back to the present. I yanked the POS out with a wadded up piece of toilet paper and proceeded to squeeze it. Well, it squished. Like a grape. Only then did I discover that there were two ticks. I thought it might be a good idea to identify the second one before I killed it, so I looked for a way to subdue while still keeping it visible. Greg’s hair gel worked nicely. Eight-legged creepy crawlies don’t really maneuver that well in a sticky viscous liquid. (I’ve killed earwigs in this fashion as well.) I was able to take a few pictures of the thing while it was in that state, and only then did I take the time to read up on my foe.

The first rule of war is “Know thine enemy,” so I decided to learn all I could. Judging by what I read, the fat tick I sqiushed was a female who was gorging herself to acquire materials to lay a crapload of eggs. The other one was a male waiting around to do the deed and fertilize the eggs. After a call to a veterinary help line informed me that there was no real reason to keep the tick alive as a POW, I intruduced him to the butt-end of my hair brush. They had a smashing good time together. I found another tick on Ace’s back a few hours later, but that one didn’t seem to be very well established. I removed him, and it was also introduced to the butt-end of the hairbrush.

Greg and I gave Ace a flea/tick bath when he got home, and we gave him a pretty good examination and didn’t see any other evidence of the vermin, so we figured we were in the clear. Greg had taken Ace on a camping trip the previous weekend, so we figured they hitched a ride from there.

Well, it would seem like that was a wrong assumption. I found another tick in Ace’s ear today, and I know for a fact that it wasn’t there earlier. He’s apparently picking them up outside from the bushes that he likes peeing on. Great. I quickly dispatched of that one by smashing it under a dime. I had planned on fixing the cord on the vacuum that Ace had chewed through today, so I went to survey the damage. I found that he chewed all the way up to the vacuum, and I also found that there was a freaking tick hanging out on the cord when he crawled onto my hand. He met the same fate that the other one did earlier. Crushed by the dime.

So I’ve had it. I bought a new vacuum cleaner, and Greg and I are in the process of cleaning everything we can see. That means vacuuming everything, washing bedding and clothes, everything. These things will NOT establish a foothold in my house. Not if I have a say in it. This is fucking war.

Diagnosis: STEROID

I had a follow up with Dr. Saxe today, and overall he pronounced the eye in good shape following the procedure last week. It’s too early to tell what kind of impact it will have, but so far things are looking good. He also mentioned that the white stuff floating in my eye was the steroid, which is kind of a relief. He says it’ll probably continue dissipating over the next week or so and then it shouldn’t be noticable any longer. That does rule out some other theories on the nature of the white reflective goo: 1) some sort of alien spawn implanted in my eye, 2) missing surgical gloves, 3) first human snow globe.

Manic Depressive Processor

For a while my laptop has displayed an inconsistent yet highly annoying problem in Linux with the internal timekeeping mechanisms. It's manifested itself at seemingly random points ever since I got the laptop. I'm not sure whether it's something I haven't configured correctly in the kernel or whether it's a hardware thing. I've never seen the problem before in Windows, so I can only assume it's something I've (not?) done.

The problem is that the computer's internal clock seems to go completely haywire. The problem only used to trip off when I was doing large high-speed transfers over the network to/from other machines. At that point, the computer starts freaking out, and by looking at the system clock and other various time-based readouts, it seems to be going 5-10 times faster than it should be. Time based calculations such as bandwidth or disk transfer rates are divided by that same factor of 5-10.

When the transfer stops, the computer switches over to sloth mode, where each second ticking by on the computer corresponds to about a minute or more in reality. What is really strange though is that not everything slows down. Most interactions with X are still speedy. Switching desktops in fluxbox is still quick, the mouse moves at normal speed, and launching new terminals is zippy. Typing in those new terminals though, is not zippy. It takes around a minute for any keystrokes to show up in the window, and if you trigger a console beep for whatever reason, you'd better hope the sound is low, because that beep is going to be a constant force in your life for the next 2-3 minutes. It's a very annoying problem to say the least.

In the past week or so, since upgrading to a newer 2.6.10 series kernel, the problem has become much more frequent and shows less of a pattern. It just seems to come out of the blue whenever it feels like it. Sometimes I'm doing something on the laptop, sometimes it's just sitting there with the lid closed. Every time I've searched for this problem anywhere I've come up empty. The only thing I can think of that would cause this problem is some sort of screwup with the IRQ that controls the system timer. Unfortunately for me I'm not a kernel developer, so I'm not sure where to look first. I know that SMP-enabled kernels have some extra IRQ related juggling to do, so I figured I'd disable that first. My laptop has a hyperthreaded Pentium4, so the SMP stuff is actually used, but if turning that off fixes my problem, then it's off for good, or until someone else suggests something different. I'm working on an hour and a half of my laptop not being stupid, but I'm not sure if the problem is cured since I have no idea what triggers it. I guess I'll have to see.

Presto Change-O

I got bored today and decided to add in a few pieces of functionality on the site that I’ve been meaning to add. One of the things you can see, the other you can’t. The thing you can see is that I’ve added the ability to change the sort order of the weblog pages. The only real reason I did that is so people can read certain topics in real chronological order. The only thing that’s really useful for currently is the Right Eye Saga, but if more things arise, it’ll be there.

Eye Boogers

The Unidentified Floating Objects (UFOs) that have been roaming around in my eye since my surgery on wednesday are still there. They seem to be smaller than they were wednesday night, which is good. Then again, I may just be able to see less of them in the mirror because my eye has returned to its normal non-dilated state. Who knows. I’m hoping Dr. Saxe can shed some light on what the UFOs are, and if they’ll go away, and if so, when. As it stands now, I’m seeing worse than before I went into surgery, which sucks. That was always a risk involved with the surgery, but it’s still no good. It’s making me feel a tad more weary when I do certain things like driving that require good sight. I made a quick jaunt to QD last night to pick up some things, and it happened to be raining. Well, the combination of rain, darkness, and the crap in my eye made it pretty damn difficult to see things clearly.

Other than the eye business, I’m just taking it easy. I’ve been trying to get out of the stagnated state I’ve been in on the guitar and have tasked myself with learning some Shadows Fall tunes. This requires me to be in either D or dropped C tuning, depending on the song. It’s a good thing I have two guitars! I only know about 6 songs in those tunings, so playing just in those tunings would stink, and retuning all the time would stink even more.

Alive and well

Today’s surgical procedure went pretty well. From the heresay I heard from my parents, the doctors said this procedure was much nicer than the first, and I reflect their sentiments. They didn’t have to do the cryotherapy this time, which means that my eye is in much better shape in general. There’s not nearly as much irritation and swelling, and so far, no real discomfort to speak of. Today was nothing but a steroid injection and a laser treatment. Apparently they ‘only’ had to shoot my eye with about 800 laser bursts today. Apparently there were significantly more last time. I don’t know if 800 is a lot or a little, so I’ll have to ask. I was in the operating room for around 2 hours last time, but only about an hour this time. The result from that is that I woke up a hell of a lot quicker. My parents said that they waited for around two hours for me to wake up the first time, but I was actually awake once I was wheeled into the second waiting area. I think they were pretty happy to see that since they didn’t really want to spend the entire day in the hospital. Aside from bit of dozing off on the bed they made me here, I’ve been awake the whole day. I slept the entire day last time.

So far, everything is pretty good… except that ONE thing. I thought I was imagining it when I looked in the mirror in the hospital, but when my family and I all saw it here after dinner, I knew I wasn’t still spacey from the anesthesia. I now have some extremely visible gobs of goo in my eye. It’s my theory that it’s the steroid that they injected, but who knows. It’s quite light in color and pretty reflective, so if I’m staring at a light and it’s in the right spot, you can totally see it. From my perspective it seems quite similar to the other floaty things I had in there before, only its far more opaque. I guess there’s a chance that it’s just pre-existing garbage that they stirred up, so who knows. I’ve got pictures and digi-cam videos of it up in the gallery, but I’m not going to post them front and center, because, well, it is pretty creepy looking. X-Files creepy. I’ll definitely be calling the medical folks if the stuff doesn’t subside within the next day or so.