Feet and x-rays and…

January 31, 2012, 1:18 PM

First of all, this is my first WordPress Journal entry – kind of. It’s also my second mobile Journal entry (the first was done in 2005). I’m sitting in a waiting room ahead of getting an x-ray, and I’m tapping this out on my Droid Charge using WordPress for Android onto a development site of mine. Then I’m exporting it out of WordPress to put onto the production site when I get home.

So I saw the podiatrist about my foot today. The result surprised me. I also discovered that the body is a very interconnected thing. The hip bone connected to the leg bone connected to the foot bone, etc. (I realize that I am grossly oversimplifying – just smile and nod). Turns out that my high top shoes are causing me problems because they don’t allow full ankle movement, and that movement has to go somewhere. Thus because the ankle is constrained, other things are happening and causing great pain. That also explains why the pain goes away when I start wearing my Crocs (which are obviously low top). Who would have thought?

He also sent me for x-rays on my left foot, to make entirely sure that nothing is broken, and so here I am, in this waiting room that’s a few degrees too warm but not stuffy. Then I see the podiatrist on Thursday morning for a follow up on the x-rays (of which I’m getting a copy on a CD!).

So as a result of this surprising diagnosis, I am now in the market for a new pair of low top shoes. The fashionistas out there may weigh in if they would like, but I am looking for low top sneakers with good arch support. Be warned, though: I have a wide foot, and so many styles just don’t fit for that reason alone.

Categories: Personal health

Talk about a really scary dream…

January 30, 2012, 10:55 PM

Sometimes the scariest dreams that one has are the ones where one is drifting in and out of sleep in the early morning as the alarm clock blasts me out of my slumber periodically. The way I have things set, I have two alarm clocks. First, I have a conventional alarm clock next to the bed. Then across the room, I have an old cell phone with an alarm that’s set for a little while later that goes off for about a minute or so every five minutes that I have to actually get up to reset. Its repeated blasts are great for getting me up in the mornings.

So this morning, the cell phone alarm is doing its thing, and I’m drifting in and out of sleep. Between two of the alarms, I had a very short but terrifying dream. Ever heard of anesthesia awareness? This dream centered on that.

In this dream, I’m about to undergo a surgical procedure of some sort. Doesn’t matter what the procedure was, because it wasn’t made explicit in the dream. But it was enough to require general anesthesia. So in this dream, I’m there, and they administer the anesthesia. Everything goes black, and I am completely paralyzed, i.e. I can’t move anything or open my eyes. But my mind was still fully alert, and they were about to operate on me! I was terrified. I tried to shout, “I’M STILL HERE!” in an attempt to get the doctors’ attention, but because I was completely paralyzed by the anesthesia, I couldn’t do anything. I was helpless. I didn’t know what to do, because I couldn’t do anything. After what felt like a few minutes of that horrible feeling, knowing that extended, excruciating pain was imminent, I felt myself become able to move again… and woke up.

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Categories: Dreams

3-6-9, debt is on the line, G20, IMF policies ain’t fine…

January 29, 2012, 6:22 PM

A friend suggested this evening that, since I’ve lost so much weight in the last year, I try on my old radical cheerleader outfit and see how it fits. So I did.

Here are the results:


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Categories: Activism, Weight loss

My foot claims its first victim…

January 28, 2012, 7:59 AM

It’s not even 8:00 yet, and already today’s a wash. I was going to go to the Maryland polar bear plunge at Sandy Point State Park today, but health issues have conspired against me to prevent this from coming to fruition.

See, it’s once again my stupid foot that’s acting up. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I’m making an additional appointment to see the podiatrist this week, because this is the second time in two weeks that my left foot has become painful to walk on, and we need to get to the bottom of this. Two weeks ago it was minor and I could ignore it, but this time around, I can barely walk. So this makes four foot issues that I’ve had over the span of six months. Once on the right foot that resolved itself and hasn’t come back, and now three times on the left. There is something seriously wrong with one or both of my feet. I’m pretty confident that it is related to my getting in better shape, since this didn’t happen until the pounds started melting away like magic, and the amount of physical activity that I was involved in got to be a lot more.

A couple of my friends on Facebook suggested that it might be gout, but I’m pretty confident that it’s not that. Based on the Wikipedia article, gout comes with swelling, redness, and warm spots when it occurs, and I’m not getting that. Outwardly, it looks the same, but it’s hard to put on a shoe when it happens due to pain (thus why I switch to my Crocs whenever this comes up). I really wonder if this isn’t a stress fracture or something, because I looked it up, and it seems like a pretty decent match on paper, but I want to know for sure. In any case, this is no way to live, and I’m not about to go on living this way. Plus I’ve been doing the stretches that I’m supposed to do and this still came up.

So hopefully they can squeeze me in as soon as possible, because last time I saw my podiatrist it wasn’t hurting anymore, and I want it to be hurting when I go see it (though at the same time, I’m not taking a hammer to my foot to guarantee some pain).

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First it was cold, and then it was colder…

January 21, 2012, 7:49 PM

I think that about describes today. Upper forties, my foot. It was bloody cold today. And of course, today would be the day that the Chesapeake Climate Action Network would have its seventh annual “Keep Winter Cold” polar bear plunge, which, you may have heard, more than once, that I signed up to participate in over at National Harbor. I had a lot fun, though I was certainly excited about things.

Going down to the event, I decided to do a Video Journal to talk about it, since I was a little nervous and needed to distract myself:

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What to wear on Saturday? Help me decide!

January 18, 2012, 11:05 PM

So this Saturday is the Chesapeake Climate Action Network‘s “Keep Winter Cold” polar bear plunge. As you know, I’m going in this year, and hoping that I don’t freeze to death (but my doctor has given me his approval to go). I am helping raise funds for the event, and so if you want to help sponsor me, I would appreciate it.

But the thing that’s still undecided with two-and-some days to go is this: what to wear? Basically, I’ve got about four different choices for you. There’s the solid black Speedo jammer, the Speedo jammer with a yellow stripe down both sides, a Dolfin jammer with a red and white stripe on both sides, or a black Speedo “solid dive suit”. So I need some help deciding. You should know, though, that these suits are ones I wear at various times when I go swimming. The folks at Olney Swim Center and the folks who do Aqua Zumba in Olney can vouch for this. I didn’t buy anything specifically for this event.

So here are your choices…

First, the Dolfin jammer with the red stripes:

The Dolfin jammer with the red stripes  The Dolfin jammer with the red stripes

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Categories: Clothing

How many of you have secretly wanted to see this happen to me?

January 17, 2012, 10:14 PM

So a coworker got a new app for his iPhone today called Action Movie FX, and decided to use me as his test subject. So first my coworker dropped a boulder on me from above:

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Categories: Amusing, Work

Is it just me, or is having two good feet too much to ask?

January 12, 2012, 9:52 PM

Yes, this is foot incident number three within the span of six months. It’s starting to seem like where I can say, “Well, it’s Thursday, and so one of my feet is acting up.” You may remember that in August, the top of my right foot was in amazing pain and I was having trouble walking as a result. Then in December, same thing on my left foot. Now, in January, my left foot is acting up again. Gotta love this. Something is apparently wrong, but the doctors haven’t yet figured out what’s going on, because by the time I see my regular doctor or my podiatrist, the symptoms go away. Seriously, when I saw my regular doctor about the right foot, the symptoms had gone away the night before (and were back by that evening). Then the problem had gone away by the time I saw my podiatrist. Fan-bloody-tastic. Then when the left foot acted up in December, it seemed easier to just keep my existing podiatrist appointment the next week, and see an urgent care doctor to get something to tide me over until then. Now this week, my left foot started acting up (again) in the same way, though less so than previous episodes on left and right. But it’s getting more and more noticeable, though I’m not limping around (yet). However, the good thing is that I have a podiatrist appointment on Monday morning. So as strange as it sounds, I hope I’m still in enough pain on Monday that Dr. Lugo can see it in all of its glory. I’m not normally big into unwanted pain, but I want it hurting for the doctor on Monday. We’re pretty sure it’s not a fracture, but not sure what it is outside of that.

Then if this does get to be full-blown, I hope it doesn’t affect my swimming. When I had the pain in August on the right side, I could hobble up to the pool, go in via the stairs, and then be just fine swimming my full workout. In December with the left foot, however, I had major issues with swimming, as it hurt with every kick. It even hurt when I was just letting that side drag, so I had to miss a couple of workouts. This time so far, the pain has been less than in the previous two incidents, and so my swimming has been unaffected (an idiot with his child taking up a lap lane instead of being in the kiddie pool where they belonged put a bigger damper on my workout than my foot).

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Categories: Personal health

You would think that an event that happened eight years ago wouldn’t be such an issue today…

January 11, 2012, 1:58 AM

And tonight I’m losing sleep over it, and I feel that I need to unload. You may recall that, back in 2003, I deliberately did not attend my college graduation. At the time, I wrote about how I planned to not attend on the Main Page, which carried an article at that time. And since then, the whole thing has come back to haunt me time and time again. My mother and I still occasionally get into arguments about the matter, even eight years later. The arguments only last a few minutes and always end in stalemate, but it’s kind of annoying to have to rehash. I want to finally bury the issue. So if you’re thinking this is going to be a “happy” Journal entry, skip down to the next one, because this is a tale of things losing meaning and my losing control over my own destiny.

My whole thing when it comes to things done in my honor is that if I can’t control what’s going on, I don’t want to have any part of it. What’s the point of doing something in my honor if I don’t get any input into it, right? And I really got soured on awards ceremonies and things early on.

Back in spring 1996, I was a freshman in high school, and doing quite well, I suppose, having managed a 3.75 GPA (for whatever that’s worth) for my second semester classes (we were on a semester block schedule). For my grade-A performance in Spanish class, I was invited to the Stuarts Draft High School academic awards ceremony. So I got my little certificate for doing so well in Spanish class. Woo hoo. So instead of celebrating my accomplishments as a family after that, my parents decided to pick a huge fight with me before we even got home about why I wasn’t involved in more extracurricular activities. I was in Spanish club as a freshman, and that was basically it. Maybe they had a point, but I really didn’t appreciate how they basically stomped on my achievement and turned what should have been a happy occasion into one that I still get angry and upset over whenever I think of it. I don’t have the certificate anymore. I probably threw it away, and just as well – it was worthless to me.

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Categories: Family, JMU, Myself

Something funny about shooting photos in the Metro of people with no pants on…

January 8, 2012, 7:09 PM

Yes, today was the day of Capitol Improv‘s annual “No Pants Metro Ride”. It was exactly what it sounds like: people come in and ride Metro with no pants on. Basically, people have shoes on, are fully dressed from the waist up, and are wearing their underwear, but the pants are missing.

Now you may recall that I went to this event last year and covered it for Schumin Web, though the photos never got any further than a Journal entry for various reasons. This year, I went again, and I was once again out to photograph the excitement, while keeping my pants firmly on my body. Considering that I covered the event pretty well last year, I decided to make the photography more interesting for myself. Thus I shot everything in black and white. Black and white, you see, makes you look at things differently, and think differently as a result. Black and white photography makes you look at lightness and darkness and the play between them, while color photography obviously focuses more on colors. And like Big Mavica, the Canon won’t stay in black and white if you turn it off. You have to set it to black and white every time you turn it on. Trust me when I say I got really good at quickly setting the camera to black and white every time I powered it on.

So at 2:00, everyone met up at Hancock Park, which is a small open space in DC across the street from the north entrance to L’Enfant Plaza station. There, they laid out the course and gave some advice on how to do things.

Bruce (with the bullhorn) discusses the course, explaining how Dupont Circle is probably the furthest west that participants should go on the Red Line.
Bruce (with the bullhorn) discusses the course, explaining how Dupont Circle is probably the furthest west that participants should go on the Red Line.

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Categories: Events, WMATA

But does Verizon provide the dancing speaker?

January 3, 2012, 11:30 PM

So while I was out on New Year’s Eve, I saw a commercial on TV for Verizon Home Monitoring and Control, which apparently controls door locks, turns the lights on and off, monitors energy systems, allows one to adjust the thermostat, and allows one to monitor activity in the house via cameras. All of this can be done remotely online. I saw this, and I was like, “They’ve created TXL!”

Yes, that TXL:

TXL Series 4, from "Babies"

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Categories: Products, Today's Special

A new year means a new workstation…

January 2, 2012, 11:26 PM

First of all, I hope that everyone had a wonderful new year. I had a wonderful time, spending New Year’s Eve with friends. And then today, I finally put some Christmas presents into service. While Mom was up last week, we went to IKEA, where I got a new desk to replace my old desk, which was falling apart. This is a “Galant” glass top desk. Very minimalistic. We got that last Wednesday, and as soon as I got home, I put that puppy together. My rule when it comes to IKEA furniture is that when I get it, I have to put it together right away, because it will otherwise sit in the corner forever, like some picture frames that I got for Christmas in 2007 and still haven’t put them to use. Yes, it’s been four years since I got these and I haven’t done jack with them. One of these days, I promise!

So first of all, this was our haul from IKEA:

Our haul from IKEA

The desk is on the cart to the right (sans the picture frame), and then the item on the left cart is a “Besta” bookshelf that Mom got, similar to ones I have.

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Categories: Furniture, IKEA