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 I'd given up programming years ago because I didn't like the Rapid Application Development tools that were available at the time. I know I don't have much artistic or graphic design skills, and this is where the apps were heading. This is no longer the case.  For the classes I'm currently taking, I'm running into some problems with computer math. This is not surprising. Math has never been one of my strongest academic areas, and I was always surprised by my ability to maintain a straight C average consistently in High School. However, getting the right answer -- while important to this class, isn't about what the class is about. It's about understanding how to get the right answer. Knowing how to get the right answer will always be more important for IT professionals than finding it. After all, it is finding the answer that IT professionals get paid for.

To get back to the point, I was having a hard time understanding how to convert decimal numbers into hexadecimal numbers. I thought the easiest way to do get the process down was to write a program that did this for me. I thought that since I enjoy using Pascal and I'm familiar with it that I'd download Lazarus, the open-source equivalent of Delphi, and come up with a graphical utility that does this for me.   I began writhing.

If you read either of the above paragraphs, you might be surprised that I did not actually write a program that did what I intended. The now-finished program converts a hexadecimal number into decimal, which is a far simpler task. During this time, I spent a great deal learning aspects of Pascal and Object Pascal that I had forgotten. The process of discovery excited me. Oddly enough, I don't feel this way about writing. My feelings about writing my come from simple burnout; I spent years doing content mill work to survive.  Content mill work doesn't pay well, isn't exciting, and you have to produce a lot of low-quality output to make a living.  There's also trying to please people who aren't always interested in ethically marketing their product.  

So, I think I've found a new hobby for a while. It's much more suited to my actual talents than cross-stitch, crochet, or doing silly things like building things out of PVC pipe.

Now, if I can just find a way to get the extremely spoon-draining classes that are designed to get students technical certificates out of the way. I went to bed around 8:30 last night and slept until 8:30 this morning. I'm still tired, even though my Synthroid kicked in shortl;y after I took it this morning.

sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 I have managed to pull out of another funk, but it was not an easy process. The increased frequency of the negative mood swings worries me. I can find plenty of reasons it might be happening, including the Hashimoto’s Disease process, although I’m pretty sure my hormone levels as well as my TSH are still within the normal range. I’ll find out when I get the levels tested again next month.  However, all of this has lead to another decision. I should engage in more things to take care of myself. 

These items, which may be referred to as self care by some are things I should manage to commit to every day.  Some of these will be more difficult than others. Some of them I’ve even incorporated into my routine with more success than I expected, although I have had considerably less success than I would like.

Some of this comes from chats I’ve had with others, including one person who reads this blog, others are modified suggestions from my therapist. (If she is reading this, I am not suffering from a self-confidence crisis. It’s not that I can’t do the things you were suggesting. It’s that people seem to be unwilling to give me the opportunity.)

The reader may have guessed that this would be in the form of a list. This would have been a correct assumption.  Since they have given me the time to get around to it, I might as well start.

-Exercise at least 5 days a week. For now, this may mean simple things like doing the stretch band exercises, toying with the free weights, and getting walks in as long as my legs and feet are willing to cooperate.  If I can manage to pay the back fees, I’ll start swimming, doing the exercise bike and trying some heavier weight lifting at the Y as well.

-Get more vegetables into my diet. (I’ve managed to get this with the meals I make. Now if I could just get the roommate to start making them with meals.  As much as I love potatoes, they do not count as a vegetable in this context.)

-Take five minutes out of each day to enjoy some quiet. I’ll try meditation or prayer during this time.

-Write a little something each day. It doesn’t have to be much. This item appeals to my inner bard.

-Listen to my body when my symptoms are out of their usual range. Pushing through some things is fine, but if I’m flaring, it might be a good idea to postpone grocery shopping trips, or at least get the roommate to understand a little bit better that she doesn’t need to make shopping trips longer for unimportant projects while she can see I’m in pain. (This does not apply if she has a migraine.)

-Let my playful side out a bit more, but within reason I've been told I have one, and. least I think I have one. Other people have told me my trolling attempts in online games aren’t so much mean as they are full of play.

After talking to the therapist yesterday, I have some ideas that should bring a small income in. While it wouldn’t be as much as I was making while working normally, it is far better than the income I had coming in.  It may mean volunteering as a Bell Ringer for the Salvation Army as well.  Now, I’ve got to figure out why my left toe hurts and has been for the past few days. It’s probably arthritis or something related to the bone spur surgery back in April.

sinisterporpoise: (Default)

Last week, I was having a day at work I could have done without. Crab cakes do not normally bother me, but they smelled particularly fishy and I was having a hard time dealing with them. Although the smell was an overwhelming, it was a minor issue.  The pain, as it almost always does, got worse as the day wore on.  Normally, I can push through this, but I went into a flare by the end of the day.

Towards the end of the day, a nurse, who happened to have Lyme disease. She saw my expression, and she did not buy my usual statement that I’ll be all right eventually. I eventually told her why I was feeling pain.  It might have ended there, but if it had ended there, the story would have been unremarkable.

About twenty seconds later after the first customer came to my stand at Sam’s Club, another customer came. She had worked at the store before. The new customer started to give me unwanted advice about how to do my job, including when to put things in the oven.  I had said, in her presence, more than ones, that I needed to go sit down for a while. The new concerned-for-my-job customer would not shut up however, even as I clearly packed things away, in an attempt to single that I was going off the retail floor..  

Because I was trying to be polite, I said nothing. Eventually, it was the nurse who spoke up and said, “Ma’am, she’s not feeling well, why don’t you giver her a break?”

The helpful customer replied, “If she’s not feeling sick, why doesn't she stay home?”

To which the nurse replied, “It’s not an illness, it’s a condition.”

I think the debate continued for a few seconds more, but I was able to get off the floor and sit down for a few minutes.

sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 While I have extra energy, which I assume is related to something resembling reasonable Winter weather holding sway for the past few days, I've been trying to get things done. (Washing dishes, sweeping floors, throwing out things the roommate hopefully won't notice or doesn't remember she has, and most importantly, doing some freelance writing and working on personal writing projects.) However, I have come to the more difficult parts of the project. Two of the essays "Exploring Femininity through Online Gaming" and "The Year in Shamokin" were particularly difficult to write.  Rewriting them and doing the final edits will be just as fun, I think.

These events revolve around stressful times. It took the death of my mother to pull me out of the original Everquest, a game which I spent ten to fourteen hours a day playing, and The Year in Shamokin details the events that led to my departure from the Keystone State. The latter ended with an argument from an Ultra-Christian landlord, who also suffered from PTSD.  If the events had not occurred at the anniversary of my mother's death, I might have handled them better. (I also should have asked the psychiatrist to up my Zoloft dosage at this time.  That time of year has always been difficult for me.)

But I have finished the 2nd draft of the first essay mentioned, and I'm reluctant to go on to the second.  As tempting as it is to take a nap, I'm pretty sure I've already slept for twelve hours today.  Perhaps I need cookies to restore my mana...

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