Broken

Not enough sleep. Out of bed, showered, dressed, collapsed.

Nothing new here then.

Sitting here at my desk, feeling the weight of crushing fatigue literally forcing me down on to my desk. My brain in a weird state where I can’t think properly, can’t complete half of my thoughts, can’t finish spoken sentences and yet I can type my thoughts here at only a slightly reduced pace. I am not coherent enough for proper work, yet can still sit here fiddling with WordPress. Am I achieving something? Who knows. Perhaps I should be compared to a drunken programmer on a Friday night, typing rubbish yet thinking it perfect.

I should go back to bed but in this state I won’t sleep, merely toss and turn.

So I sit here at my computer, too zoned out to engage with the world. No concentration. Too broken to work, too broken to sleep.

M.E. and CFS

Fucking up my world since 2000.

All my pain is good

Today I was grossly offended by a hymn that we sang at church. The hymn in question is titled “Happy are they, they that love God” and was written by Charles Coffin in 1736.  The line that offended me was “Then shall they know, they that love him, how all their pain is good.” I was singing this song along with the rest of the congregation, but as we started to sing that line I stopped. I couldn’t sing it. All my pain is good? How could anyone write that?

I should explain at this point, that I suffer from M.E. and from chronic migraines. As such I have near constant pain that takes a great deal of effort to control so that I can live my life. I have no pretensions here; many many people suffer far more pain than I do and may be completely crippled by it. My pain is minor compared to those people, but is still greater than that of normal healthy people.

This bold statement that all my pain is good made me angry. More than that though, it led me to some serious thinking. How is pain good? Can any possible good resulting from pain cancel out the bad, to the point that I can say it was all good?

Continue reading “All my pain is good”

There’s a hole in my ****

Readers of a sensitive disposition should not read this!

A friend of mine had a hernia recently. In the spirit of having holes in things, and so as not to be left out, an old anal fissure of mine decided to reopen. (An anal fissure is a hole in the side of the anus.) One fissure wasn’t good enough though. No, this time I had to have two, one front and one back. That wasn’t good enough either, so one of the fissures got infected and formed a perianal abscess. The abscess formed a large swelling which made it painful to sit or walk. It was under control using antibiotics at first, and in fact went down so much that I felt ok to go to Greenbelt festival.

Greenbelt was lots of fun but while I was there I started to feel more and more pain, until Sunday night where I had an immensely painful time walking back to my tent. The abscess had returned with a vengeance and was twice the size that it had been. By early Monday morning I was in so much pain that I was screaming out loud and scaring the rest of the campers.

Continue reading “There’s a hole in my ****”

Digital Rights Management

The hard disk I just bought had a film on it.  I bought the disk because it was cheap and the film itself is of no interest at all to me, but I did find two interesting things about it.

  1. The film can only be watched on a total of three PCs or media players. Ever.
  2. The activation code expires in September 2011.

If I had bought this product for the film, I would be extremely disapointed in it. The restrictions they have placed on it mean that I could watch it on my destktop PC, laptop, and portable video player, and then could never activate it again. Bought a new PC? Tough. Not only that, but I won’t be able to watch the film on any device that I buy after September 2011.

Film industry, you’re not doing a very good job of convincing us that this DRM is not evil!

I am going to make sure that I keep a copy of this film around, and my recipt. I’m going to be demanding a refund in 2011.

Hymns old and, err, older.

I often complain about the music in my church. Let me explain why.

The church I attend has an ageing congregation. It also has a choir made up of 15 or so people. It is a very serious choir. They take all their music seriously, sing it perfectly, and have robes and everything. Unfortunately most of the hymns that they sing were written in the 18th or 19th century. Very occasionally they sing something modern, by which they mean written after 1900.

Now, there are some very powerful hymns written in the last few centuries, the best of which are still sung in churches around the world today. Most of the hymns sung in our church, though, are at best obscure and at worst have no consistent tune, are completely unpredictable and are impossible to sing without being taught the tune and practicing extensively.  I get the impression that the music is selected to allow the choir to show off their technical competency. In contrast, modern church music (And I include anything written since 1970 in this group!) is normally easy to learn, easy to remember, and (to me anyway) much more meaningful during worship.

But this brings me to an important question.

What is the purpose of church music?

Continue reading “Hymns old and, err, older.”

Teetering on the edge

Starting a business seems to be a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff and not quite falling off.

I’ve stepped right out of my comfort zone, and am wobbling about on the edge of the cliff. As I get more customers, more contracts, I am building up the business around me but step too far ahead and I will go crashing down, never to be heard from again. Half of business seems to be having the guts to ask for the work. I have to learn  to price my services appropriately, allow enough time for the work, then march up to the customer and say “You need x service, y product, and it will cost you z thousand.” Amazingly, when I do that, it works! The problem is, I agonise over every detail, don’t allow enough time, charge too little, and then worry that I am trying to sell the customer something they don’t want.

Things are changing now though. We are beginning to get enquiries, requests for quotes, referals. Suddenly starting a business is like a roller coaster.  The long, slow, tedious build up. The fear as you reach the top. The rush, the adrenaline as you suddenly shoot forward in to the unknown, the big loop turning your world upside down. But then, you come to a halt at the end of the ride. And you want to go again and take everyone you know on it too.

Argh panic panic

I’m nervous. I can’t sleep.

In a few hours my dad and I will visit a customer and present the findings of our first real consultancy work. If all goes well it will lead to several thousand pounds worth of sales and an ongoing contract. You know, almost as if this is real and I’m not just playing at it.

Getting this work will mean that we go from loss to break even, that we can not only pay our bills but also take out some of our expenses. Maybe even wages! All within our first year too. More than that, it also marks the transition from having time to waste to being too busy. We actually have several ongoing jobs at the moment and this week our advert and article go in Vale magazine. If we’re lucky then this week is where the business becomes reality.

Nervous? I’m bloody terrified!

A blog post!

This is my first blog post in a very long time. I used to be on Livejournal, now I have installed WordPress on my own website. To be honest, I probably won’t post much here either. Small thoughts go on Twitter. Other stuff goes on Facebook. Still, this is my new blog, full of my old blog posts, and maybe I will even add stuff to it.

Heres something interesting to get us going again.  I’m an insomniac. I don’t often get to bed before 2am, and it’s frequently nearer 4am. I use the computer most of that time when I should be sleeping, and the bright monitor does nothing to help me get to bed. Three days ago I was shown a very useful tool, F.Lux which cleverly alters the colour temperature (not the brightness) of my display as night draws in. Colour temperature describes the relative brightness of the primary colours to each other. My monitor is normally set to a colour temperature of 6500K but with f.lux installed it is gradually changed over the course of an hour each evening to a temperature of 3400K.  It’s early days, but sleep has been much easier and earlier for the last two nights so I am hopeful that it will continue to help.

f.lux can be downloaded from http://stereopsis.com/flux/