Feeling better already

Today my copies of DDR for PS2 arrived. Also Spud mentioned that he still had some soft pads from back when my enthusiasm for the game got him into it as well and offered to lend one to me, so I picked that up from him.

Before I started playing I felt tired, depressed, and dismal.

Then I played for half an hour and already felt so much better.

The pad I’m borrowing isn’t anything special, and the button response isn’t great and it slips around a bit much, but even bad DDR is pretty good. And I think this is a habit I’ll be able to keep up, and which I’ll feel really good about.

I can’t wait for the L-Tek pad to arrive in (probably) a week or two, but in the meantime it’s really nice being able to play the game again.

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Box o' meat status

A coworker asked how far along I am in my big box of meat, and so now my brain is distracted with taking an inventory.

Completed:

  • 1 pound ground turkey (used in the meatloaf)
  • 2x lemon-pesto salmon fillets (prepared as provided)

Underway:

  • Wild boar hot dogs (2 of 7 consumed)
  • Five-pepper sausage (1 of 4 consumed)
  • Dill smoked salmon (halfway consumed)
  • Tenderloin tips and tails (thawing to make mushroom beef stew)

Not yet started:

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Chili relleno pork sausge
  • Venison hot dogs
  • 1.25 pounds of flank steak
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DDR update

I ended up just ordering one of the pads from Poland, with the intention of modding it to work with the PS2, and then I ended up installing Stepmania on my old, generally-useless Mac mini and downloading all of the songs from the PS2 games that I’d rebought, making the PS2 entirely redundant anyway. Rumor has it that the Polish pad manufacturer is working on a native PS2 control box and when that comes out I guess I could buy one but jeeze, Stepmania on the Mini looks and plays so much better than the real thing on the PS2 anyway, so why even bother?

Plus, Stepmania has a huge community of people adding more music all the time, and maybe this’ll encourage me to make some packs of my own stuff. I bet Sliced by a Mandolin would make a great DDR track.

Oh, and even after shipping, the pad from Poland still ended up cheaper than any of the domestic options I could find, DIY kits included.

Pain, music, and DDR

I’m fully off the nortriptyline and I haven’t had withdrawal side effects for several days now. On the other hand, my persistent fibro dizziness is back, and when I hit a wall with a pain flare I really feel it. I’d forgotten just how much more intense that was before nortriptyline. (Of course, while on nortriptyline it’s not like the end result was any different so I don’t feel like I’ve made a big mistake getting off of it.)

My pain doc recommended trying low-dose naltrexone, which is something my previous pain doc had scoffed at1, but anyway I’ve sent a message to my GP asking about getting on it, and if she can’t take care of that then maybe my psychiatrist can, or maybe the pain doc can (but unfortunately he’s really busy and appointments with him are booked to well over a month out at this point).

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Audio software for sale

I just upgraded to Native Instruments Komplete 13 Ultimate, which means that I now have redundant licenses for a number of NI products which I’d bought individually while trying to justify not upgrading to Ultimate (spending much more than the upgrade differential in the process, of course). Fortunately, NI makes license transfers really easy.

So, if anyone’s interested in any of the following pieces of software, let me know:

I also have a license for NI Akoustik Piano which takes some doing to get it to work in a modern environment, but is still pretty darn good. It’s basically the predecessor to the definitive piano collection. (Although honestly the Definitive Piano Collection is well worth the $100 if you’re looking for some virtual pianos, and is my go-to piano selection these days.)

Small probabilities add up

Rebecca Watson made an excellent video about how the recently-released COVID-19 risk map is not particularly helpful, due to the lack of context provided and the public’s general lack of understanding about how statistics work. It’s well worth watching (and also talks about a few other things, like issues with services like 23andme’s genetic risk factor screening kits). People are apparently using this risk map as a means of justifying going to Thanksgiving gatherings based on “only a 5% infection chance” or the like, which is incredibly short-sighted.

Let’s say that 5% of the population is carrying the disease, and assume that this statistical model is completely accurate. (It almost certainly isn’t, but that’s beside the point.) This means that any time you encounter someone there’s a 5% chance that they’re infected. That seems pretty low, right? For a single encounter, sure. But that doesn’t tell the whole story.

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meat update

Oh yeah it all fit in my freezer without a problem. Also dry ice carbonation is scary, so I’m just gonna stick to my sodastream for that.

So far the only thing I’ve cooked from the box is a salmon portion, which turns out to be something that they carry at QFC for the exact same price, so, gonna skip that on future boxes (if any).

For Thanksgiving I’m probably going to make ground turkey and kale meatloaf wrapped in prosciutto. (The prosciutto came from QFC, full disclosure. And the ground turkey was just a thing I added to the box to push it over the free shipping threshold, although it was cheaper to get it that way than at QFC, to be fair!)

Nortriptyline discontinuation complete?

The taper down to 10mg/day was a bit difficult, but the final discontinuation seems to have gone pretty smoothly. I suspect I could have actually discontinued sooner, and the withdrawal symptoms I was having ont he last few days of 10mg/day was specifically because I was toggling right around some threshold for things. But I’m glad I took it slow all the same, and in any case I feel like the worst is behind me at this point.

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I have bought entirely too much meat

Thanks to seeing one too many YouTube videos where people talk about expensive, high-end meat, I decided to order a box of meat on Crowd Cow. And, wouldn’t you know it, they managed to get me to buy around $100 worth ($80 after all the piles of discounts though). It’s ostensibly a subscription box but given my usual level of meat consumption this is going to last me… well, a few months at least. So I guess I’m going to have to be very careful about making sure that I don’t end up with another big pile of meat in a month.

I have no idea if this is going to fit in my freezer. It arrives tomorrow. I also have a contractor (hopefully) finishing up my kitchen remodel. This will be interesting.

Anyway, with this Crowd Cow link you, too, can get $25 off your first box of high-end meat.

Pain management and ADHD medication

I seem to be stuck in an annoying situation.

Short recap: I have both ADHD and fibromyalgia. These two conditions tend to have a lot of overlap (they are both thought to essentially be dopamine dysregulation issues), and both of them have a “let’s try different things out” treatment regimen.

Because of ADHD I have great difficulty in focusing on my work.

Because of fibromyalgia I have great difficulty in focusing on anything other than pain.

The medications which help me with fibromyalgia preclude me from being prescribed medications which help me with ADHD.

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Back in Seattle

This morning I decided to leave the AirBnB at around 9:30, and I got home at around noon. My new iPhone 12 mini was waiting for me (along with an extremely needy Fiona, who needed a couple hours of lap time), and after getting the iPhone set up I went for a nice long walk, and ironically got more exercise today than I did the whole time I was in Port Angeles (a city I ostensibly went to in order to get plenty of outdoor exercise). Oh well.

After dinner I realized I’d left my fancy Nalgene bottle in the fridge at the AirBnB. Dangit. Not really worth trying to get it back (shipping probably would cost more than just getting a new one, I think?), although I let the hosts know in case they want to figure out how much it would cost to ship it or if they just want to keep it for themselves. It’s mostly frustrating because it was a gift from someone around 10 years ago (when my major health issues were starting up and it seemed like better hydration would be the key), but they gave me two of them and I still have the other one. Plus a pile of other water bottles I’ve picked up over the years. Mostly I hate accidentally losing thoughtful gifts.

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Port Angeles day 4

My last full day in Port Angeles was just like… okay I guess. I went out for breakfast and got a decent eggs benedict at a café in the industrial district. The weather was pretty nice so I started looking into other hikes I could do but all of the trails that were both open and not expert-level were a two-hour drive away, and I was feeling pretty tired, so I took a nap to mull it over.

When I woke up it was raining, so I just stayed at the AirBnB and worked on some more music and just generally hung out and relaxed. Then for dinner I went to a barbecue place (the one I had planned on going to turns out to be only open for lunch) which was pretty decent. There was also a huge print of their “mascot” on the wall, which looked suspiciously furry. I posted a photo of it to my Discord and right away a friend recognized the original art. (Update: For once, it turns out it was properly licensed. Good on them!)

Anyway. Tomorrow I check out and head back to Seattle. I’m not sure I feel substantially better than when I left, but at least it was nice to get away for the first time in well over a year, and to have my first actual not-actually-an-unpaid-job-in-disguise, not-a-family-disaster vacation in a long time.

Port Angeles day 3

Today the weather cleared up so I finally went hiking for an hour or so. Only one trailhead I could find was open from the Port Angeles side of the forest (most of the roads into the forest were closed due to snow), and when I got there the parking lot was filling up. I wandered around a bit and took a bunch of photos and audio recordings, but quickly found that my camera’s battery did not like the cold (or maybe it’s just getting old and needs to be replaced). According to the trail map I made it maybe a third of the way up before my legs were telling me that I was in no way fit enough to keep going, and then after I turned back I found that the parking lot was overflowing and a whole bunch of people were now on the trail. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

Hopefully tomorrow I can go to a different trailhead but the weather report is saying it’s going to be raining again, so my last day here might be like all the others.

Also I really should have worn thicker socks, as my feet were pretty cold the whole time. If it isn’t raining I’ll definitely bring the thick pair I brought for this very reason.

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Port Angeles, day 2

Last night I couldn’t fall to sleep until 4 AM due to how much my ears were ringing (plus the bedroom got really cold), and at 7 I woke up with very cold feet due to the thermostat in the bedroom automatically going to 62°F. I found some warm fuzzy blankets and doodled some music until I fell back to sleep and didn’t get up again until like… 11. And I was still heckin' tired.

It was also raining all day, so I didn’t end up going hiking at all. Instead I just worked on music for most of the day, and had a late lunch wherein I went to the grocery store and bought some bread and cheese, which was pretty good. When the rain cleared up a bit at around 4:30 PM I decided to walk around the neighborhood, but I quickly ran out of sidewalk. Oh well, at least I got 20 minutes of exercise-ish in.

For dinner I got some rather underwhelming sushi and a pile of constant misgendering. Now I’m back at the AirBnB and will just work on some more music.

Tomorrow I’m going to check out some more local restaurants; I have rough plans to go to a steakhouse for dinner, and probably a sandwich place for lunch, and hopefully get some actual hiking in during the hours between. I mean, that is why I came here, right?

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Caution regarding file synchronization and macOS

Last night a couple of my projects got messed up by a bad interaction between Nextcloud and the macOS auto-save mechanism. In particular, I was working on a couple of projects that were stored in Nextcloud, and due to the way that they both work, macOS kept on seeing Nextcloud as having changed the files, so it would save out a backup copy, and then Nextcloud would see macOS as having changed the files, so it would issue a sync. At one point things got out of sync and led to a bunch of conflicts, which then in turn resulted in things getting into a very weird state where many of the files were just plain not syncing, and others were replaced with older versions.

I think to complicate matters, one of the projects may have also been open on my machine at home, judging by how the Logic project file had been spammed/overwritten with backup versions that reflected the project state before I left home, so while all my recordings were still present, they weren’t on my timeline at all. Nope, I just managed (after a lot of finagling) to get my VPN back home working, and Logic wasn’t open at all. This was purely a problem with sync between my laptop and the server, with no remote meddling taking place.

Fortunately they were just rough recordings that I was planning on replacing anyway, but if I’d lost some actual work I’d have been rather upset.

Presumably this would happen with any filesystem-based sync mechanism (such as Dropbox or Google Drive). So, if you’re going to work on bundle-style projects from apps which use macOS version management (such as Logic, Final Cut Pro, and probably a bunch of others), it’s best to move or copy them outside of your sync folder when you work on them, and only move/copy them back in when you want the saved version to actually synchronize to your other computers.

Port Angeles, day 1

Today I drove out to Port Angeles, which was pretty uneventful. I’d been deliberating whether to deal with the stress of driving South on I-5 through Tacoma or the stress of dealing with the ferry to Bainbridge, and decided to just go whichever route Siri put me on. She ended up doing a third option, using the Kingston ferry, which ended up being both a very pleasant drive to the terminal (aside from a couple of near misses due to construction changing the lanes in unanticipated ways) and a much faster option. I guess Apple Maps knows the ferry schedule and is able to just like… figure out what’s the best at any given time? Neat.

The Kingston ferry is also a lot shorter than the Bainbridge one, and I got lucky enough to have a very good view of the trip from my car; the whole thing got recorded on my dashcam, as well, which is perfect for a music video (and cover song) I’m going to be making over the next few days for Song Fight!.

Anyway I guess it turns out that it’s not that I’m bad with driving, I just don’t do well in downtown or South Seattle.

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Template refactoring

I’ve done a bunch of refactoring/simplification on my website templates. I think everything still works but if you see something funky, please let me know.

There’s also a lot more I need to fix, especially redoing the CSS to be cleaner and on the comics subsection (which has an entirely different set of templates that aren’t built on HTML5 semantic containers at all), but that can definitely wait.

(I also really want to redo novembeat at some point since I have a better idea of how to structure it now, but that also will wait.)

Still a ways to go

Things are definitely looking up right now, but we certainly aren’t out of the woods, and the fight is still to come.

Note: I am going to be discussing American politics here, which butts up against the comment policy. Keep in mind that this is my own personal site and not a public platform (so the first amendment doesn’t apply), and neither bigotry nor conspiracy theories will be tolerated, regardless of which “side” you’re on.

Also I’m just some random software engineer with a blog and a tendency to ramble and no real background or credentials in politics. Take this for what it’s worth.

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Ugh no I need to get off nortriptyline

Nortriptyline helps me with pain and brain stuff but it also has been making my blood pressure steadily go up. These problems I’m having are a repeat of why I tried getting off of it the last time around. Constant dizziness and headaches and tinnitus and feeling like crap.

I appreciate how much it helps me with my anxiety and my insomnia and pain, but I need something else.

Nortriptyline updates

I’ve been at 30mg of nortriptyline for 6 days now, and I’m trying to figure out if this is how I felt on it before. Going through my nortriptyline tag I see that I actually was up to 40mg on my initial tapering, and after sitting there for a while I decided it wasn’t doing enough for my pain and that’s when I tapered down to 20. In one entry I complained that it wasn’t helping my sleep at all, and how it was making me constantly dizzy and tired and headachey.

This time around it’s definitely helping my sleep, and I’m not dizzy, although I am quite tired (despite actually getting a full 8 hours of sleep every night, for once!) and today I had a headache all day. Also plenty of nausea. But at least I got a nice long walk in.

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