Fitness, and stuff.

So I’ve been getting back into working out a bit more often.  Before Lisa and I got together, I used to go climbing and work out a great deal, and although it’s unlikely I’ll ever achieve the same level of fitness again (although I might come close if I actually plan my workouts as opposed to just doing things randomly like I used to do) I retain the memory of being able to do silly things with hanging off pull-up bars and stuff.

Anyway, so one of the things that has always given me trouble has been joint pain.  nothing massively serious, just the odd twinge here and there.  The worst one I had recently was my right elbow which, when under tension, felt as though something inside there was going to go “ping” and send my tricep fluttering up into my armpit and the rest of me into a paroxsymal attack.

In an attempt to combat this, I have been doing lots of low-impact exercise.  Cycling instead of running, lower weights with more reps, plenty of stretching, the usual deal.  Another thing I considered was the use of a food supplement.  Normally, I take a vitamin C and an iron supplement daily anyway, as when I go to donate blood I always seem to have borderline low blood iron, so when I noticed a deal on glucosamine sulphate at the supermarket I thought to myself, why the hell not?

I really should think before I do these things.  The glucosamine/chondroitin arthritis intervention trial (GAIT) was a 4-year primary and 2-year ancillary study into whether or not the supplement in normal and combined forms was capable of reducing pain and preventing joint degradation in osteoarthritis sufferers.

The result?  It works…almost as much as placebo does (except in the moderate -to-severe pain group, who showed a significant result with the combined supplement).

Two quid spent re-learning that lesson, then.  I think in the future I’ll stick to the lower impact stuff and maybe just eat a little better.

Worst. Friday. Ever.

Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration.  I got up, had breakfast, read through some news/blogs/comics, went to the 10 am Body Pump class, staggered home, had some lunchables, then Lisa wanted to go to Costco.

Costco is alright.  It’s really intended for the trade market, so we lost out on a lot of good deals simply because of the sheer bulk of packages (48 toilet rolls, for example) would not sit well in the flat.  However, I did manage to get some MEAT for a load of Japanese curry I’m going to make Sunday and eat through the week, and enough Wilkinson sword Titanium razors to se me through doomsday.

Doomsday, now that’s a point.  Come the breakdown of society, I’ll be down there with a dumper truck.  A whole pallet of 60-packs of Chomp: essential for survival.

Needless to say, I had to man up and steadfastly ignore the chocolate aisle.  If I bought in bulk, I’d probably end up acting as if it was some sort of challenge to finish the lot.

So anyway, I had a bit of a headache in Costco.  By the time I got home, it was a lot worse and while I worked on the PC things went downhill to the point where the dialogue from the tv had me spasming in distraction everytime House said something witty or mean.  I crawled into bed and stuck my head under the duvet, only emerging later when Lisa brought me paracetamol and some water.  I got up briefly, but felt so nauseous I had to lie back down straight away.

Later on, about 7.45 pm, I woke up and felt a tiny bit better.  I thought that staying in bed longer would be a bad thing, as I’d never be able to sleep later on, so I got up and made a cup of tea.  One sip of the tea and it was a race: me to the bathroom versus the contents of my stomach to my mouth.  Thankfully, I won.  Back to bed.

Anyway, around 3 am I had to get up and sit at the PC for a few hours browsing random crap until I felt like I could sleep again.  The only thing worth linking to was this clip on io9 which uses a very good clip from Angel (season 5, episode 15, to be exact) to debate the Battlestar Galactica ending.  I did look for an embed code on the various youtube forms of the same clip but the io9 one was better quality and really deserves props for the reference.

Chapter 3 draft online

Since Chapter 5 is well underway, I thought it appropriate to slam Chapter 3 up.  Planning to burn through the plot for 6 at the weekend so it will probably be Monday before another update.

Download page

Bit of a change of pace; Tarianna mulls over her future as a piece of furniture, and we meet a new character who, in the first shitty draft style, can only blush and stutter until I can think of some way to liven it up.

I stumble onwards.

Today’s music is…

First Aid Kit, an acoustic folk duo from Stockholm.  I was listening to Huw Stevens’s show on the Norway music scene on Radio 1, and in between laughing my head off at the various artists all conforming to the stereotypically Scandinavian interview style (i.e. telling the interviewer at great length why their hometown is the best possible place on the planet – because why else would they be here now were it not for Oslo/Bergen/The Musicality of the Swedish Language/Iceland’s Mimetic Legacy of Song etc etc), I actually enjoyed listening to some of the acts.

Not all of them, though.  Some were just plain bad.  Casio Kids, on interview, sounded like really nice guys but I couldn’t really reconcile finding the lead singer to be an affable chap with the less than exciting music they offered up.  Maybe it’s just a question of taste.

Mind you, I found it funny that despite visiting a Scandinavian music festival, pretty much all of the songs they aired had English lyrics, and the smatterings of Norwegian/Swedish/Icelandic/etc were limited to wet jingles that reintroduced the host.  That said, I imagine quite a few artists write and release songs in the “international” form of English to approach as broad an audience as possible.

So yes – First Aid Kit.  There is an album up on Spotify, which is always good.

On a side note, extremely weird web stats for this morning, as I’ve had 2 visitors but 66 pageloads.  Methinks the stats counter isn’t too good at spotting spiders.

Why be a journalist when you can be a government puppet for half the effort?

Less than half, I’d imagine.

The UK government, in yet another display of their vast ignorance with regards to implementing effective policies over what will have the largest visual “splash”, have started a new campaign against terrorism.

“Don’t rely on others.  If you suspect it, report it.”

Continue reading “Why be a journalist when you can be a government puppet for half the effort?”

The wonderful thing about Tiggers.

When I’m alone in the house working at the PC, I like to keep myself motivated through the use of strong coffee.  A few years ago I treated myself to a Krups espresso machine and, having long lost the glass pot that is meant to catch my brew, I’ve resorted to other means:

A large espresso

So, anyway.  I was complaining of a headache all yesterday and Lisa opined that it was entirely due to my caffeine intake.  I discovered this morning that she was wrong: I blew my nose and a literal handful of yellow-green mucus fizzed out of my right nostril, accompanied the distinctly unusual sensation of my entire head deflating.

As unpleasant as that was – no more headache!  I think that deserves another mug of espresso, in celebration.

Scene switch.

So Chapter 4 was pretty much finished last night, after an epic struggle with 500 words of dialogue (and the surrounding description) that I had to pretty much delete and start over twice until I was even going to call it a “shitty first draft” effort.

Now, the question following on from that was – do I wrap up the chapter with a little bit of expositional description, or do I just leave it hanging?  The next chapter basically switches focus to entirely new characters, so I was a bit loathe to just leave the reader uninformed of what came next as it seemed very much like a cheap trick.  However, I had a couple of misfired starts at the finishing lines and, to be brutally honest, it smacked of an unnecessary infodump.

What I’ll do is leave the sharp cutoff in, and try to thread the information in with my new characters. I really don’t want to leave them hanging around forever in the background, and almost 10k words is enough time spent in the company of the House of Balthar without feeling the desperate need to start scrubbing myself with a stiff-bristled brush.  Creepy bunch, that lot.

In any case, when i go back and edit the whole lot, I can make a decision on how things worked out in the end.

Expect Chapter 3 sometime later this week.