Speaker for the Diodes

Jul. 11th, 2007

08:08 pm - A Long Day, Sliced Up Into Pieces

The good and bad: I finally felt well enough to go to the doctor. That's mostly good, but it means I'm now incredibly exhausted on a rehearsal night.Oh. Never mind. My ride to rehearsal tonight fell through -- I got the phone call while I was writing this.

The inconvenient: Lots and lots and lots of walking and a bunch of mis-guesses regarding bus routes (the system map on the MTA web site is in Flash, which the computer I've mostly been using doesn't handle well, and when I can look at it I have to zoom in so far to see street names that I lose any sense of where on the map I'm looking -- lose, lose, lose -- so I just started walking and asking folks who were sitting on their front steps where the nearest north/south bus was). And when I got to the clinic, the doctor wasn't in today, but they're transferring all their patients with diabetes and/or hypertension to a better-equipped facility anyhow (not that I'm sure I need the special docs anyhow, at least not yet -- the glucose tolerance test says I'm diabetic but every glucometer reading (and my A1C) gets a reaction of, "oh, that's nothing" from medical professionals).

The dunno-whether-good-or-bad: Being transferred to a different provider ... The clinic I'd been going to provided the best health care I've had since I was a child. Much better funded / better equipped outfits, such as Kaiser, seemed to treat patients as an unfortunately nessecary inconvenience to be gotten rid of as quickly as possible (and to collect as many copayments from as possible, so if you have two problems / questions, they want you to make two visits). The clinic, which started as a city-funded free clinic until the state's new health-care-for-poor-people program changed the whole game (they're now affiliated with one of the larger providers that has a contract with the state) seemed to be full of people interested in keeping me healthy. So it is with some trepidation that I deliver myself to a larger commercial enterprise, but hey, who knows, maybe they'll turn out to be good too, eh? (Still, there's the whole getting used to each other, getting them familiar with my chart, etc., to face.)

A silver lining: City buses, which I spent quite a lot of time on today, are air conditioned. Much cooler than my house. (I tried to post that observation from my cell phone while I was riding a bus, but it appears to have not gotten through.)

The convenient: The new place I'll be going to is closer to my house -- a long walk on a day when I'm feeling well (though I have absolutely no clue how to get there by bus on a day when I'm feeling well enough to go out but not well enough for that long a walk). And they have their own pharmacy, which means I have a walking-distance alternative to the Rite Aid that royaly botched a prescription a few months ago.

The oops-oh-well: I wish I'd thought to clip on a pedometer before I set out this morning.

The somewhat-almost-clever: Knowing I'd be spending time walking and waiting at bus stops, I took a mandolin with me so I could practice. (And I remembered, for a change, to bring a book to read on the bus and in waiting rooms -- one that [info] siderea recommended. Of course, now that I've started it and gotten sucked into the story, I'll have to finish it tonight or tomorrow.)


So ... saw a doctor (who was filling in for the absent doctor I got transferred to instead of the also-absent doctor I'd expected to see), got a month worth of prescriptions and instructions to come back within a month to see the doctor who will become my regular doctor (Pennsic interferes, so it'll be a month and three days ... a little bit of drug-stretching will be needed, but only a little), got confirmation that I did not, in fact, absolutely fuck up my toe by not going to the ER when I sliced the end nearly off or by not limping to a doctor in the weeks following (it looks a little funny now, but the doctor's reaction was that it was about as expected for that type of injury at that stage of healing) and that slathering it with Neosporin and trying not to think about it too much seems to have been about right. (Though when the nurse, having asked me why I was there, heard "foot injury" after seeing in my chart that I'm diabetic, she looked like she was bracing for much, much worse. Hey, I did look at it every couple of days, and sniff the old bandage when I changed it to be alert for Ominous Sick/Rotting Odors ... I would've asked someone for a ride if it had started scaring me. I've been down to a Band-Aid with a finger-cot to help hold it in place for the past several days; no longer making "armoured bandages" for it.) And I answered too many queries about the way I dress. I don't mind explaining things every so often, but when everybody asks on the same day -- as when breaking in a new health care provider and their staff, or riding unfamiliar mass transit routes, or walking through unfamiliar neighbourhoods (today was three for three) -- I get tired of it.

I have to go back to that pharmacy tomorrow afternoon (they were out of one of the drugs) and manage to get out to the nail salon before Saturday's gig. Let's see whether I can feel well enough to get out on the bus and on foot two days in a row, or if I spend tomorrow recovering from today.

And now there's some sheet music beckoning to me that I should attend to.

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Jun. 30th, 2007

11:51 pm - A Day^H^H^HWeek, With Navel Gazing

Nearly everything I've managed to accomplish since returning from Conterpoint, I've done in the last six hours. But hey, I did at least get something done -- the drums are moved away from the basement door, so I can do laundry once I catch my breath; there's finally a path to the vacuum cleaner that I'm too exhausted to use; and what's done and not done... )

My back, alas, is killing me. And I'm tired, and haven't been able to sleep well all week (the weather finally broke but then my legs started doing their almost-cramping-won't-let-me-sleep thing, state of D'Glenn, more detail if you care for it )

Earlier today, I was depressed because ... ) Fortunately one of the important differences (the most important difference?) between acute situational depression and endogenous chemical depression is that with the former you have at least a fighting chance of being able to pull yourself out of it (or even just wait it out). That doesn't work with the years-long, brain-chemistry-glitched, "no good reason for it" type of depression, which is, ironically, usually the only kind that lasts long enough for anyone else to think of giving you the terribly broken advice to "pull yourself out of it". The kind of depression that advice might (or might not, but it's worth trying) work for, doesn't seem to naturally last long enough for your friends to get impatient enough to say things like that, as far as I can tell. (As usual, I welcome corrections from my friends with actual psych training if I'm way off the mark here. Right now I'm trying to remember whether "just like depression but doesn't last very long" is technically called a brief, mild form of depression, or "technically not depression because it doesn't last long enough". Maybe if I'd had more sleep ...)

I identified the condition, ... ), wallowed in self-pity a little while, convinced myself to give in to a pizza craving and ordered one delivered (and with the "difficulty making decisions" symptom being rather pronounced, that took a while), and picked a single task/problem -- fitting the drums into the living room -- to get stubborn at. Now I'm no longer depressed; I'm just in a kind of bad mood. If I can get a reasonable-ish amount of sleep tonight, I should be in a vastly better mood tomorrow. All the more so if I actually feel well enough to walk to the drug store and back (is the pharmacy counter open on Sundays?). managing to keep perfectionism in check, and benefits of doing so )

(As some of my friends have noticed to their annoyance, I pretty much suck at accepting help. It's a flaw I've been struggling with for a long time. Progress is slow, but I do recognize the need to improve.)

In other news, the toe I sliced up is healing, and I haven't noticed any frightening smells when changing the bandage yet; it was deeper even than I'd realized, so it's taking a while for the nearly-sliced-off part to fully grow out to the ready-to-fall-off point. It's less tender now, but still a bit sensitive the previous milestone ). When I changed the bandage last night, I considered cutting back to just a Band-Aid, or at least leaving off the cellophane armour layer. "The what," you ask? ) ... Well, while I was fussing with stuff in the living room, I managed to whack my foot into something heavy, and yup, I hit with the pinkie-toe of my left foot (in the slipper, but still hard enough to feel through that). So I was really glad I'd gone ahead and included the armour again. As it was, the effect was merely, "Oh wow, that really would have hurt..." *whew*

Okay, time to program the VCRs, eat another slice of pizza, and see whether tonight I finally manage to sleep, so I can manage to write a bit more coherently on the morrow.

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Jun. 22nd, 2007

09:10 am - Annoying Wrinkly Grey Organ

Dear blood-cooler,

If you're going to squirt out whatever hormone it is that keeps our muscles from moving when we dream we're moving, it doesn't really do any of us any good unless you actually fall asleep instead of a) lying there thinking thinky thoughts and not feeling rested and b) being quite annoyingly aware that our damned nose itches!

Hmph.

-- the rest of the body

P.S.: What's up with this bit where the online resources say the effect usually only lasts a few seconds and just feels like longer, but a clock within view and the number of buses I hear going by both tell me that it really was more like twenty five minutes?

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Jun. 12th, 2007

03:08 pm - Drowsy Day, Recorder Recording, And Memes

Despite slightly more comfortable weather (81°F/51%) I'm not having a very comfortable day. Listless, dizzy, achy -- and though I get hungry, I really don't feel like cooking, or even eating; all I want to do is drink, and I don't reall want to drink water. I'm craving large quantities of OJ or Gatorade, neither of which I really ought to be drinking all that much of, and I'm nearly out of Gatorade anyhow. So I'll try to settle for fizzy water (the flavoured seltzer w/o sweeteners) and see whether I can muster the energy to be productive at some point.

Well, I've been sortakinda productive-ish: I just did part of an experiment I'd been meaning to do. When I play recorder on stage, I usually just have one mic on a boom pointing at the window, but I recall having read that half the sound comes out the foot (in a rather narrow dispersion pattern, IIRC, but I imagine it usually spreads out more after bouncing off the floor), and I think I remember that having two mics on a recorder mattered in the recording studio. Since I've started playing with Audacity on my Debian box, I've been meaning to set up a pair of microphones and take a closer look.

I picked my two mics with sounds most similar to each other, pointed one at the window of my tenor recorder and the other at the foot, panned them hard-left and hard-right respectively, played a few notes, then swapped the mics and recorded a few more notes. I need to play around more with exact placement of each microphone (and a less noisy time of day), but so far the results are: where the mic is placed makes more of a difference than whch mic (of this particular pair) it is; and neither really sounds like a good recording of a recorder until they're mixed together. Though I can hear the difference well enough, I can't make out the differences clearly on the waveform plot, but this isn't a very large monitor ... (I can, however, see a slight phase difference between the two microphones).

[ETA: As noted in a comment to a later entry, listening to this recording (5MB WAV) on a different computer in a quieter neighbourhood, it sounded a bit different than it did at home. See the comment for details.]

Doing this with a pair of identical (and higher-grade) microphones would be good too. I should probably just arrange to take my recorders up to Emory's studio sometime... Or ask him if he's got WAV files from a two-mic recording of a recorder lying around to email me.

A harder question is whether this makes enough of a difference to care about on stage (it's clearly something to continue to worry about in a recording studio). Probably not ... though, having flipped past clip-on saxophone and brass mics in a catalog, I'd been toying the idea of a clip-on dual-mic recorder rig that could be moved quickly from one recorder to another. (It would look cool and sound better, but it's probably not worth the added complexity, the need for yet another channel, and the risk of throwing off the balance of the instrument and making it harder to play, given that most of the time a live PA is not exactly audiophile hi-fidelity unless you're playing the Meyerhoff or the Kennedy Center, and the subtlety-of-tone of the recorder probably gets lost behind the guitar when playing live anyhow. I could see maybe getting lead recorder [info]silmaril a second channel in the interest of tone if enough people could hear the difference, but not for my alto/tenor/bass parts.) Okay, maybe that wasn't such a hard question after all.

And other than futzing around composing this journal entry, I also goofed off with a quiz-meme and an "analyze data about your blog" toy:

How Popular [is your journal']? )

and:

Which Histotical Lunatic Are You? )

Getting Emporor Norton I for that quiz amuses me a great deal. I've always thought Norton was kinda cool.

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