Back in Black

It's a brand new semester out there, so go out and get yourselves a handful of it. It's a clean slate and nothing should stop you from realising every lst dream and abition.
Not yet, anyway.
As for me, well, at least now I know what's been giving me hell inthe form of back pain and sciatica. That's right, readers dearest (ooh, almost a play on words with popular publication's title Reader's Digest! How funny!), it's official now: I've got a hernia. And yes, sitting down is still torture and torment, standing is still tiresome, but at least my medication is quite adjusted. If only all of my reverend teachers agree to let me stand during their classes (oh, please, dear sirs, it's nothing much really, is it? I ask for nothing more) I'm sure everything will be just peachy until such time as I get my surgery, should I need it, or whatever treatment my neurosurgeon deems necessary. Alas, this is hardly why I started blogging in the first place. Onwards to nicer thoughts.

TV in this unnofficially third world country I'm forced to call home (for the time being... just you wait...) only recentely (yet not quite as recentely as it my sound here. Should we say a couple of months?) discovered "Tru Calling", featuring Eliza Dushku, Shawn Reaves and Zach Galifianakis, among others. On the review side, and I promise to make it brief, the young renegade Goth slayer gone evil from "Buffy" (what the hell was that, anyway? Vampires being beaten left and right by a cheerleader-ish bombshell? Lame! and the spin-off "Angel" -- the weakest, meekest vampire in creation, it would seem. Oh, Lestat and the likes of you, where art thou?) turnes out not to be just some tough chick made to wear three layers of make up and an attitude - she's an actress alright, if you give her a decent part. The premise of the whole show is pretty good, featuring a young medical school applicant, Tru Davies (Dushku) who works the night shift at the local morgue. As per her special gift, every once in a while a corpse will turn to her and cry out for help, after which she wakes up as though from a dream back at the start of the same day, and it's her job to prevent the death of whoever called to her post mortem. And, for my whole point, and although I do understand that haste would be of the essence in such a situation, must there be so many shots of Eliza Dushku running? Of course I understand the immense aesthetical boon of displaying her finely sculpted figure, and I too appreciate the beauty of the imagery and I really tire of finding a better euphemism for "ok, sure, it's hot", but must the show capitalise on it so much? I wonder how good the makers think it really is, if they have to embelish it that much. Nonetheless, I recommend it. if nothing else... well... you know.

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark regrets that his spinal cord, unlike other sharks', isn't cartilaginous. The disc between L4 and L5 is really giving him hell, but hell get over it.

Keyboard Trauma

Hello, my loyal readers. Today, I'll be caring about your health and your well being, to make up for my late self centered raving. Today I'm going to give a tip to all the keyboard potatoes (I just coined that combining the familiar object, keyboard, with the term, couch potato, to indicate someone who spends much of their time at their keyboard. Isn't it clever?). As you probably know (at least you should), one of the major health hazards of your typing intensive lifestyle is upper limbs distrophy, along with carpal tunnel syndrome and reduced sex life. I'm afraid I can do very little about the two latter, but for the former, I have a little piece of advice for you.
Mind you, I make no claims about how good it is.
First off, let's know a little something extra about the foe at hand. Upper limbs distrophya, in plain English, means the muscles on your arms become weak, so much so in fact that one may become unable to raise his arms above his head. It makes sense, because, unless you keep your keyboard above your head, which, I assume, isn't very comfortable, one usually rests his arms at about waist level as he types.

And now for the prevention. Yes, prevention, not cure. Sorry. Some, quite a few, in fact, will advise you to raise your arms above your head every now and then or wave them around periodically, but imagine how silly that looks. Furthermore, it draws attention from nearby co-workers, no to mention you have to remember to do it, and since it's not much fun, you'll most likely end up thinking of it as a chore. Nevertheless, I suppose you could stick to that. Meanwhile, I have my own ways.

First and foremost, you need silly putty. Clay or plasticine won't do, not as well, at least, but it's counterpart, Thinking Putty, will do superbly, and it might look more sensible. Now that you have your Weapon of Mass Distraction, shape it into a rod about as long as from the base of your piky to the tip of your thumb. Then held one end with your pinky and your ring fingers against your palm and the other with your index and thumb of the other hand. Now stretch it to about three times it's length, but don't tug too hard or it'll tear. SHould that happen, don't panic!!! Calm down, pinch the ends together, take a deep breath (or yawn, that might relax you further) and continue. Once it's three times as long as the initial rod, fold it in three, give it a little twist so the strands stick together and stetch again. After a few dozen stretches, switch hands. Because silly putty is only a litle tough, iy will give your upper arms a mild workout, and becuse it's silly, it's fun! (Thinking can be fun too, if you give it a try)

Why so much methodology? Everything has some reason behind it. The initial length of the putty rod isn't too important, it just feels more comfortable this way, to me, that is. Feel free to go another way. The reason you should hold it by the ends is to ensure no length of the rod goes unstretched, which could make the stretched part too thin, so thin it could break, and nobody wants that! Also I find that it stretches more evenly when you hold it by the ends. Finally, you should stretch to three times as long and fold in three is so that you don't get a thich end and a thin end, which usually happens if you fold it in two, since it tends to grow thin at the middle every time you stretch.

While this silly putty thing might not be much more sensible than holding up your arms like your computer has a gun at you or flapping your arms about as though swatting a swarm of flies, it's not quite as flashy.

So remember, if you stretch your putty while the kernell compiles and whatnot installs, your arms won't let you down too soon. And there may be hope for your sex life after all.

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark got two tins of this wonderful Thinking Putty. Unfortunately, whatever thoughts this very entertaining putty has, it keeps them for itself... but it sure is fun to stretch.

The pain...

It sears all the way down my leg nearly all the time. It really drives me to tears. I hate being dependant on pain killers and still not getting anything done. You see, I can't sit for very long, half an hour at the most, and I tire from standing a lot (and I mean a LOT. As in a "helluva" LOT) faster than I would without my back pain. The back support belt helps a (very) little, and if I wear it for too long I get all sorts of pain from the constriction on my gut, and the darn thing isn't even that tight - quite the contrary, really, sometimes I wish it would tighten a little.

Which brings me to my next point - for nearly a year I dieted - to great effect, really - and now I feeal as all has been for naught. The heavy workload last December left me with little time, let alone little will, to diet and I put on a little weight. Then come Christmas and New Year, and I don't suppose one's expected to diet at those times. Now, when I'd really get my act, not to mention my regime together, I can't walk the 2 Km for a diet meal every night. I can't even walk off the extra weight - it kills me to walk - limp, really - for longer than precious few minutes at a time, sometimes even less.

And guess what else - this year, for the first time since I got into college, i had felt that things really were going well, I was putting out good work, i was getting the grades I wanted and I had always known i could get, even if I hadn't really been getting them, and now, when all was going under way with only the small matter of exams to endy a great semester in glory, i find myself drowsy all the time from muscle relaxants and in pain from sitting at a desk, be it to study or to write the damned exam. Long story short, the whole semester, it feels, has been for naught as well. Even if I make the grades, it will be nothing like the grades I could make, the grades I've been working for for the last three months. And this year I can't even get the grades from the work done throughout the semester carry over to next year, when I would do a lot better, because with this, Bologne Process deal - as good a deal though it may be - next year the courses I've been working my bottom off for won't even exist any more.

It sucks

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark is really going belly up with the pain. He even almost forgot to slip in a secret message.


Whew, seems like over a month since I last posted... Oh, wait!

Yep, over a month... December, my favourite month of the year (and not just because of Christmas), really had me all tied up - leet me rephrase that - really had me swamped. Between System Analysis and Artificial Intleigence, as well as some nonsence generally refered to as Corporate Management, I had my work cut out for me, and blogging was sadly left on hold for a while. Then comes Christmas, and you know it's plain rude to blog during Christmas Dinner and then the week I spend 51 weeks a year waiting for - London - and it's all worth it. So, here's the skinny: As if I cinically believe you would ever expect something skinny here...
The good:

London... What else is there to say? It's good! It's the place where I'd expect to find God vacationing if I weren't an atheist. It's the place - mark my words - where I can see myself living and thriving in five years or less.
Christmas... Well, it's usually fairly good, isn't it? Oh, sure, the religious meaning of the whole thing is way past lost, and I don't find myself waking every morning from December 1st to December 24th just itching to know what's under the wraps, but 'tis still the season to be merry and so on and so forth... live with it!

The bad:
That would be Michael Jackson, or so he claims.
Would you Adam and Eve it, I got a sciatic pain problem at my age? This is going to be a real bitch, since I can't stand for very long, I can't sit for more than half an hour without excruciating pain, I can only lie down in certain positions, I limp when I walk and I can't carry heavy weights. This is going to do wonders for the exam season, as my Network Architectures exam can state - it went like utter smeg. Mind you, the teacher - a great big kudos to him - was kind enough to let me retake it in about two weeks, provided that I get a medical certificate for my condition, but alas, I have a conflicting exam... thank you anyway!

The ugly:

Someone has been spreading around a rumor that I have 30 GB worth of pornography in my computer. Now, having been the "kid kids love to hate" in junior high, being the subject of nasty rumors is nothing new to me. Being the subject of nasty and plausible rumors is nothing new either. Having said rumors carried to my parents and having to dismiss them is still not new. Having them carried by someone I used to hold in great esteem is just plain hurtful. Not being told where said rumors come from, while still not new, is a clear message now, isn't it? So, to the Spreader of Such Rumors, hereafter refered to as "scum", may death not find you for another thousand millenia, but may grievance without end befall every single one of your living hours. Oh, and "fuck you", if you'll excuse my french.

The Spam:

Lots of it! Now, before you do something rash, I don't mean unsolicitd and potentially harmful e-mal - that would have been spam, not Spam. Nor do I mean processed and spiced canned pork. I mean, quite simply, Spamalot, a musical lovingly ripped from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". I had the chance to watch it during my stay in London and I must say it is certainly amon all the other "best things since sliced bread", which, by the way, you can use to make a Spam sandwich - ripper! A must-see for all Monty Python lovers and non-Monty Python lovers (well, now, it's not they're fault they're that way...) alike.

Pax vobiscum atque vale.

ArabianShark missed blogging. But break out the two-notes theme, 'Shark's back with a vengeance. Actually, make that a Vendetta.
Go figure...