A few days ago Emalyse posted a helpful article about dealing with Tinnitus, reminding me that my impending travel is going to need to take my Tinnitus into account. I rarely spend time away from home, but whenever I do, I inevitably forget to bring a fan or something to create a Tinnitus-masking bed of white noise to help me fall asleep. The phrase "silence is deafening" is one which Tinnitus sufferers are all too familiar. Bringing a fan halfway around the world seems
In any case, after failing to get the Linux white noise generator software to which she linked in her article functioning, I decided to see what I could do on my own. I fired up Audacity and quickly found that it can generate white noise and pink noise. Not really knowing which one would be better for sleeping, I went about generating 8 solid hours of each, and loading the resultant ogg files onto my iPod. (Lame was estimating that it'd take over 2 hours to encode this mono audio file to MP3, so I opted for ogg since oggenc only took 40 minutes to encode the same file.) Now I'll be able to pop on my light-and-comfy overly expensive Bose headphones while on the plane, drowning out all the screaming children, all the whining children, all the arguing children and all the cries of "oh my God, if you don't shut those children up I'm opening the emergency door and letting them get sucked out."
If we actually arrive in Australia -- and survive the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb that D's new employers have scheduled for us shortly after our arrival -- to find that our hotel is too quiet, I can simply plug my iPod into my OLPC XO and let it play my soothing white/pink noise aloud whilst we sleep the sleep of someone who has traveled halfway around the world in a tiny box to find that it is now two days later than when they left. I really wish I had thought to do this years ago. Thanks, Em, for planting the idea in my head. My sanity thanks you as well.
If you find yourself in need of large continuous stretches of white/pink noise, I've handily provided the generated files below for your listening pleasure. If you don't suffer from Tinnitus, however, I recommend that you don't try sleeping with white noise; it very quickly becomes addicting. D does not suffer from Tinnitus, but she is now unable to sleep without my white noise's comforting silence either. Use at your own risk.
(Apologies for not making these available in non-hacked iPod-compatible formats. When I get back I'll rectify the situation. Also, you might think it's a bit nutty to generate 8 hours of noise rather than just looping a shorter length. Yes. You are right. I just worry that my brain will detect the looping and listen for it, thus keeping me awake. I used to have an "ocean sounds" cd that I couldn't listen to after a while because my brain knew when particular waves would come in, and would actively listen for them. Stupid brain.)
"I was the biggest skeptic in the world," Dr. Rubin said."“And I sit here and say, 'This can’t possibly be happening.' I feel like the credibility of my scientific career is sitting on a razor's edge between 'Wow, this is really cool,' and 'These people are nuts.'"
Other scientists are understandably hesitant to buy into this, citing that "correlation does not equal causation." Just because the fat levels are decreasing while the bones get denser doesn't necessarily mean that the fat is turning INTO bone. I think further study will probably bear out that there is some other cause for the fat decrease -- like maybe the fact that the mice are forced to stand rather than lie down, thus expending more energy, or maybe that the vibrations excite them sexually and thus increase the metabolism -- but the bone density findings are pretty cool. Imagine osteoporosis sufferers simply standing on a vibrating plate to strengthen their bones a few times a week, no longer worrying about going ballroom dancing or tying eachother up in the backroom of the bingo parlor.
If the findings are proven conclusive, however, it will be finally possible to say with utmost truthfulness that you're not fat -- just big-boned.
Despite being pretty much against personal injury lawsuits and whatnot, the other insurance company wants to convince me to sign away my right to sue the (really nice) girl who accidentally hit me. He was successful in outlying some reasonable things that I shouldn't feel bad about being compensated for, and did a fair deal towards convincing me of some things that I still might feel bad for.
I'm meeting with him on Friday to discus things and come up with a dollar amount, so my question for y'all is:
What is a REASONABLE dollar amount to compensate me for sitting at the hospital from 7pm til Midnight on a weeknight, where I had to suffer through copius amounts of offensive television -- such as American Inventor and that American Idol-type show where people compete with really awful celebrity impersonations -- and unbearably stinky and sick people?
Keep in mind that I just want the compensation they're insisting I deserve, not to participate in the unreasonable exploitation of insurance that ensures we all have to pay too much for our premiums.
1) talking to a video camera is an unbelievable awkward-awareness amplifier. I don't think I'll ever be comfortable doing it, but I'm going to make an effort to try to get more so. An Adam Savage I'll never be, but maybe with some practice I can at least be a Jamie Hyneman.
2) yesterday I spent a half hour playing tetris for the first time since that business with my arms a while back. This brought two (more) things to my attention:
a) I'm really out of practice. It took quite some time to get back up to my (still a bit slower) post-bidirectional-rotation speed. I am somewhat comforted that bidirectional rotation was not something I had to give specific thought to; it just sort of happened.
b) I may have to forego any tetris action in the future. It may just be coincidental, but the inflammation level of both wrists was a bit higher than "normal" -- or, what passes as normal since that trouble a while back, anyway. I'll have to do a little experimentation to see if there is a causatory relationship here, but I'm worried that button-oriented gaming may be outside the feeble grasp of my age-addled body.
war of the worlds - terrible. tom cruise was really good though; i really believed he was a scumball. what a testament to acting abiliyt.
daisy dukes of hazzard - fantastic. i'ts almost as if those boots were /made/ for walkin'. the rest of the movie really sucked, though.
16 blocks - this was actually a really good movie. i didnt laugh, but i did cry. and not just cuz my arm hurts. mos def is 'mos def'inately good in it. winky face.
dead men walking - zombies in prisn seems really good on paper. on the scifi channel, howeverm, not so good. please stop naming characters in zombie movies 'raimi.'
the chumscrubber - fantastic. fidfteen stars. kind of like donnie darko and jawbreaker and thumbsucker all mixed into one. bonus; the kid from thumbsucker is in this, making his imdb page just that much more interesting in the strangelt titled moive department. kinda depressing and uplifting ast the same time, plus mind-bendy.
earthstorm - space mission to the moon to keep it from splitting in half. midway though the voyage, stewphen baldwin unhooks his seatbelt and runs to the cargo bay, completely oblivious to the fact that therer shoulnd't be any gravity. also he gets over thje loss of his 3years dead wife.
i know i watched a few more, i just cant remember what they wree.
i have refrained from saying 'one thumb up' or 'one thumb down' for your benefit, as you know that's all i can do. thyumb number 2 is off-limits.
mmy doctor hasw forbade me moving it for a fortnight.
typing with one handf is hard.
so if you're wondering what;s becime of me, thisd ought to splain it.
no accidents, just genetics.., and what a nice nurse referred to as "magician hands."
The truly sad thing is thast extracuriicular hand activities such as juggling, card manipulation, sculpting, typing, opening shampoo bottles, fingernail clipping, etc are now right out. hopefully these things will one day be part of my life again, but i'm not holdfing my breath. frowny face.
Yesterday was quite possibly the worst day of my life.
It started like any other, with me rolling out of bed at 5:15 and jumping in the shower. About midway through the shower I suddenly felt like I was going to throw up, which actually happens fairly frequently. I have a weak stomach and mornings suck. Some days the simple act of brushing my teeth causes the dry heaves. In any case, this time was different... not only did I feel like vomiting while showering, I actually vomited too. Multiple times.
I decided I better call in sick, at least for a couple hours to see if it would pass or get worse. It got worse.
I spent the whole day alternating between feeling like I was going to throw up and actually throwing up. (I was just about to type "I'm not sure which was worse," but then I remembered that the throwing up was far, far worse. How anyone can do it on purpose is completely beyond me. Those people have a much, much greater committment to Sparkle Motion than I.)
Late in the evening I took one of the anti-nausea suppositories that D had left over from her knee surgery (boy THOSE things are hard to swallow...) and that seemed to temper the pukey feeling enough to let me choke down 5 saltines and some ginger ale so that the aspirin I wanted to take to knock down my severe fever wouldnt burn a hole in my stomach.
So that was my day. Total food intake: 5 saltines and some ginger ale. Total food output: the previous night's dinner from Hawaiian Charbroil and all liquids I tried to consume before the anti-nausea medication.
I would have taken it sooner, but it had the classic warning of "may cause ", and I couldn't face the idea that it might get worse.
I spend a lot of time sitting on stools. Whether it be reading the ingredients on the Cheerios box in my breakfast nook, suckin' down cold ones at the bar or kissin' Flo's grits at the diner, nearly every free minute I have is spent sitting on stools.
That said, lately I've been finding that my posterior is, more often than not, rather tender. I'm not sure whether it has something to do with the extra elevation afforded by my choice of seating or what, but it is clear these stools aren't agreeing with me.
A few minutes ago I was at the pharmacy looking for something to relieve the tenderness in my buttocks when I spied the perfect thing: Maximum Strength Stool Softener. Here I was trying to find a remedy to treat the symptom of a problem, when those great public servants in the pharmaceutical industry have gone and solved the problem altogether.
I have no idea how taking a little pill could actually affect the physical attributes of furniture, but I'm pleased as punch that this is now an option. What a lifesaver. The recommended dose is 1 pill, but due to the severity of my problem, I just went ahead and took 5.