swestrup: (Default)
Despite getting a bunch of stuff done yesterday and feeling pretty good about life in general (despite the huge list of stuff that I still need to get to doing, real soon now), I still had a lot of trouble falling asleep last night. I think I probably nodded off around 6:00 am.

I was woken by the sound of wind and snow at a time when my clock was claiming it was 8:00 (it doesn't say AM/PM in a way that I can see without getting out of bed), which confused me greatly, as I felt like I had had enough sleep that I could wake up now.

What went through my head was an enumeration of all the possibilities I could think of:
  1. The clock was lying. This isn't so unusual as the buttons to set the alarm time is right next to the buttons to set the time time and I have accidentally hit one when trying for the other, more often than I can count. Especially when sleepy and trying to set the alarm before conking out.
  2. I had actually managed to sleep until 8:00 pm, which would be somewhere around 14 hours sleep. This would jive with the feeling of having had enough sleep, and wouldn't be unprecedented. On the other hand, the room didn't seem nearly dark enough as the sun is currently going down around 4:30 pm.
  3. I had somehow managed to sleep for 26 hours and it was 8:00 am the next day. This didn't seem likely as I've never slept more than 16 hours in my life, even when very ill. It was kinda dark for 8:00 am, but maybe the sound of wind meant it was heavily overcast.
  4. My treacherous body was lying to me and I had actually only had 2-ish hours of sleep, it was now 8:00 am and some kind of storm was happening. My body often lies to me about my state of being when I first wake up, so this was at least plausible.
I decided that the simplest test was to roll over and see if I fell asleep again. As this never happens when I've had enough sleep, it would separate cases 1-3 from case 4 depending on if I slept some more. Cases 1-3 could only be reliably distinguished by getting up and checking the time and date on my computer in my office, so that was the backup plan.

I promptly fell asleep and woke up at what my clock claimed was 1:00, but now it seemed too dark. When I got up and checked my computer, I found that it was actually 4:45 pm today. Checking my clock I found that 1:00 pm is the current alarm setting, and the the clock's current time is wrong by about 15 minutes.

So, my best guess as to what happened:
  1. I woke up at 7:45 am after less than 2 hours sleep, and my clock was lying to me slightly, while my body was lying to me massively.
  2. I don't remember this, but I imagine that in attempting to find out if it was really 8:00 am, or if my clock was showing the alarm time, I toggled the clock display to show the alarm time.
  3. I slept for another 6 hours.
Good thing I have training in deductive thinking, or sleeping would be too much of a burden for me to deal with...
swestrup: (Default)
Just letting folks know that Linda and I plan to be at the Old Dublin around 7:00pm tonight to raise a pint in honor of me having survived another year. Anyone who wants to, is welcome to join in.
swestrup: (Default)
We have an old HP 967c Deskjet color inkjet printer that we never use any more, and we're thinking of giving it away. It still works as good as it ever did but we far prefer the two laser printers we now use, so its just been gathering dust.

Does anyone on our friends list want the thing, or should I just offer it up on freecycle?


Oct. 2nd, 2010 02:33 pm
swestrup: (Default)
Yesterday was one of those rare days that started rotten and then just got better. It started with being woken up in the middle of the night with nightmares which I have managed to forget. Once I fell asleep again I was woken up a few hours later by yet more nightmares which involved watching a close friend die in a car accident. At that point I decided to get up.

I then soon found out that our plans for the day were shot. Now, they hadn't been important plans, but I'm getting cabin fever since all of my social events seem to keep getting themselves either postponed or canceled. This was the third one this week, and I'm starting to feel like a hermit in consequence.

However, from that point on, things started looking up. Nothing dramatic, just a bunch of small good pieces of news managed to lighten the day. My mom called (which is always a high point) and asked how are basement had fared in the torrential rains, and that's when I noticed that our backflow arrester had done its job, and we had not gotten any water in the basement. That's a relief.

Then we heard that something had gone right in a complicated financial arrangement we've been struggling with. Fingers are still crossed there, but that's something that has simply not gone right from day one, and any positive news on that front is most welcome.

Since I wasn't going to go anywhere, I decided to spend the day working on Role-Playing stuff as a proxy to actually interacting with people. As is typical for me, that involved working out some complicated statistical math which had been stumping me for the last week. Frankly, statistics is the only math course I've ever failed, although I mostly blame the lousy way its typically taught. Anyway, the intent is to come up with some tables to allow for quick calculations of barrage attacks. In other words, if 50 wizards are firing lightning at a target, how do I figure out how many hit without making 50 attack rolls? Its easy enough to figure out the average case, but I wanted to be able to generate a random selection in the distribution of possible outcomes, and do so in such a way that it can be summarized in a table for easy reference.

It did not take me long to work out that I would need to calculate an inverse binomial distribution to do this calculation. And that's were I'd been stuck for most of a week. I couldn't find a formula for it anywhere. Luckily I got help from an actual statistician, and that has put me on the right track. (It turns out there is no formula, it has to be found by numerical methods, but the C++ Boost library already contains the appropriate methods, under the name of a 'quantile(binomial(...))' ). Then, not long after, I stumbled upon a solution to a different part of that same problem, so now it seems likely that I have all I need to do the work.

So, having a bunch of things all go right sort of balanced out a day that started out really rotten.


Sep. 29th, 2010 12:50 pm
swestrup: (Default)
Knowledge is a tiny illuminated bubble in a vast sea of darkness. Its edge is the things that you know you don't know. Beyond is the vast sea of unknown unknowns. As your knowledge grows, the perimeter of the bubble expands and your questions multiply. Thus the most knowledgeable are also the most ignorant.
swestrup: (Default)
Facebook seems to be down. All attempts to reach it seem to generate an internal DNS failure from their web servers.
swestrup: (Default)
Someone at KDE had a really bad idea to emulate one of the most hateful things that Microsoft Windows does, a feature that is nigh-universally despised, and everyone else there decided it was worth doing. **headdesk**

What I refer to is the latest installment of the notification widget in the main panel. Bad enough that the folks who put together this widget (which I had wanted for many years) didn't bother to think through any use cases or think about what their implementation would do to the work flow of its victims, now it keeps popping up reminders to tell me to reboot, and there is no way to make them go away, or stop them. Indeed, there are no controls for setting preferences for these notifications at all.

Its telling me to reboot, no doubt, since I compiled and installed a new kernel. I actually DO plan to reboot, but not until I've finished compiling, configuring and installing the programs that need this new kernel and its features. So, while I use my computer to read email and stuff is compiling in the background, the notice keeps telling me to reboot. It doesn't tell me WHY it thinks I should reboot. It doesn't have any way to dismiss the damn thing permanently, it just tells me to reboot.

In a similarly annoying manner, every time I update my system so that its completely up to date, it pops up a notice saying that there are two uninstalled updates and I REALLY REALLY should install them. I have no idea which two updates. It doesn't say and, again, there are absolutely no controls to try and make it behave better.

What's more, if there ARE any programs that aren't automatically updating, then they are probably ones that I've forbidden to be modified, because I have stuff that depends on them. Now, I don't think I have any such programs or libraries left, but I did have quite a few at some time, so its conceivable I still have two somewhere. I suppose I could find out how to ask aptitude about them, but I don't see a need for it right now. I've got many higher priorities, and I'll be damned if I start taking advice from a popup widget that was obviously written by a moron.
swestrup: (Default)
I just banned a user (and immediately unbanned them -- sorry [livejournal.com profile] eveglass) because I was trying to click on a link to see what the comments were on a post of theirs, and as I passed the cursor over their name, LJ popped a menu under the cursor, so that my click on 'comments' was intercepted as a click on 'ban this user'.  GRRRR!
swestrup: (Default)
Plinthohol: n. A crude liquor distilled from the remains of ancient statues and columns. See: Marble-Faced.
swestrup: (Default)
Next Inventor's Day, take a moment to remember the great creative folks who were martyred while trying to make the world a better place. Take, for instance, Aldo Cambell (1811-1845), an acoustical engineer of unparalleled talent who was killed by an angry mob for having the temerity to attempt to bridge the divide between his Swiss and Scots ancestries by producing a yodeling bagpipe.

No examples of his crowning achievement are known to exist, although there are persistent rumors that the Vatican's Office of the Holy Inquisition has one locked away in case they ever need a true terror weapon.
swestrup: (Default)
Well, not much to talk about other than the boring, so here I go.

I'm still working on that light therapy thing. The last few days I seem to have fallen into a pattern of falling asleep between 11:00 pm and midnight, and waking up around 8:00 am. I'm now sleeping with the blinds up so that the bedroom slowly fills with light come morning. Since the bedroom faces "North" (Actually North-East. Directions in Montreal are never what they appear) the room only gets direct sun in the late afternoon, but the light still helps to wake me.

Then, provided its sunny (unlike this morning) I take my first coffee out on the back patio and get a good dose of wake-up sunlight. I've started noticing the effect on my body when I do vs when I don't get some morning sun. Right now I'm only staying out long enough to have my first coffee as I don't have much of a tan. If we get enough sunny days in a row I should have enough of a tan that I'm willing to stay out longer in direct sun, and maybe read a chapter of my book.

In other news Linda and I continue to work on cleaning up and organizing the basement. Its a huge task and so its going slowly. Its made slower yet by the fact that we often have to move things to give us enough space to move things around and then we have to put the first set of things back. Yesterday we finally cleared a space where we can put up some of our shelves, so that's today's plan and then maybe we can get some stuff out of the way.

And that's about all that really exciting in my life right now. Aren't you glad I keep you informed?
swestrup: (Default)
Still trying the light therapy thing, but with very mixed results. The plan is to wake between 8:00 am and 9:00 am and then spend 10 to 30 minutes outside basking in the sun while I have my morning coffee. So far it seems that mostly when I manage, like today, to wake that early then there is no sun. When I wake later, there is. :-/ There is also the issue of migraines and sunburn. Both of these have interfered with my getting my dose of sun over the last three weeks, but I'm hoping those were just flukes.

I've also set up my monitors to start filtering out the blue channel around 8:00pm so that I have a visual clue that I should be getting tired. That part seems to be working although I can't say that I've been finding it any easier to actually fall asleep once I go to bed. In fact, last night is the first time since I started this regime that I've felt tired, gone to bed, and actually fallen asleep at the right time.

One can chalk that up to the light therapy finally doing its thing, or one can be more inclined to say that its the result of three weeks worth of five and six hour nights that has finally convinced my treacherous body that it needs to fall asleep earlier. Who knows. We'll have to wait and see what tonight brings.


Jul. 12th, 2010 09:05 pm
swestrup: (Default)
Today was spent on the twin jobs of shopping for groceries (which we had been avoiding doing during the heat wave) and cleaning the basement.

Success was had in both endeavors. We now have more food in the house, and the basement is just that much more organized than it was before.

And me, I feel very tired. With any luck that means I'll sleep well tonight.
swestrup: (Default)
I like to think of myself as rational. Don't we all? But I know on some level that I have a merely human mind with all the cognitive biases and other frailties that that entails. Still, its very, very, VERY hard to see an unbiased picture of the world. In fact, I don't know that I ever have. But, lately two separate and independent instances have given me brief glimpses of the world without my usual filters and I was very much surprised in both cases.

I'm not going to go into details here as they could embarrass someone. The fact is, for one brief moment a few weeks ago, I got to look at myself the way I'd look at a stranger, and I saw someone that I judged far more favorably than I usually judge myself. Then, a few days ago, I saw a friend in a similar way, and I saw someone whom I'd judge far less favorably than I usually judge them.

This has given me a great deal to think about. Clearly my own emotions color my perceptions. I'm not sure how much I'd change that if I could. By the same token, I would like to think of myself of being capable of objective thought, but its obvious I'm not. A good friend once told me, years ago, that its hard to overstate how much we lie to ourselves on a daily basis, and that if I ever have the veils pulled from my eyes, I'd be shocked. He was right.

So now, I have some things to think about. That I have a friend that has flaws that I've been ignoring because I care for them, is hardly a revelation. The fact that I think far less of myself than I should, given the objective fact, is also not too much of a surprise, I have to admit. I've always judge myself harshly, perhaps much moreso than is justified. The thing that really bothers me though, is that the veils are back. I have only my memories of thinking poorly of my friend. I can't see them that way today. Moreover, I can't see myself as the person I briefly admired a few weeks ago, and that seems the far bigger loss.
swestrup: (Default)
Tomorrow is Linda and my 14th 13th wedding anniversary, but we've decided to celebrate it on Wednesday. We're not going to do anything too terribly special. We're just going to go to Hurley's and have a few pints and act like an old married couple. I was just wondering how many of the usual suspects think they'll be at Hurley's this Wednesday?
swestrup: (Default)
I've decided to give away my bicycle to anyone who's interested. I haven't ridden it in over a decade and its just taking up space. I only kept it because I had this hope that at some point I'd start riding it. Well, the truth is that this bike is the wrong size for me (despite having gotten one at a professional bike shop precisely because I wanted one the right size for once) and so I find it very uncomfortable to ride.

At some point I hope to have enough money again to go out and buy a replacement that I'd actually enjoy riding, but in the meantime I don't see any point in holding on to something that I hate to ride.


Jun. 29th, 2010 06:09 pm
swestrup: (Default)
Man, I am beat. My brother did eventually come over, do a few minutes work in the downstairs power room and then declared that particular project complete (yay!). Then since he had at least an hour before he had to be driven to the bus (the car will be in the shop until Friday, most likely), he came downstairs and helped me stack the washer and dryer.

As is usual in such things the stuff I assumed would be difficult was easy, and vice versa. The dryer was surprisingly light when two people were lifting it, which was a good thing because the instructions that came with the machines made no mention at all of how to stack them, and we ended up lifting and lowering the dryer a good half dozen times while we tried to work out what went where, which of the various pieces we had were actually needed for the kind of installation we were doing, and the like.

In the end we got it done though, and we now have a stacked washer/dryer combination and the basement looks bigger already. But man, am I tired after all that.
swestrup: (Default)
So, since I awoke this morning fully refreshed, and at a reasonable hour, I figured I would manage to get a lot done today. This appears to be the case, although not how I planned.

Just after I got out of the shower, I learned that my brother was coming over to do the last 30 minutes of work on the bathroom, after which he'd help me mount the stacking kit on the washer / dryer and stack them. This will free up some much-needed space in the basement.

Now the only problem with this plan was that I didn't know where the stacking kit was. For ages it sat on top of the dryer as I tried to figure out how to stack the machines myself. Obviously it never happened. I vaguely remembered putting the stacking kit on one of the basement shelves but a cursory look there revealed nothing.

Now, the shelves were pure chaos. Things stuffed everywhere, with no rhyme or reason. It only got worse after our basement flood, which brought up another good question: had the thing been packed away into a box so we could fix the basement?

Anyway, I headed downstairs to search for the kit, and had pulled most of the stuff off of one shelf when the phone rang. My brother's car had died shortly after he'd gotten off the highway. Linda is with him now, helping him sort things out and get his car to the garage.

Meanwhile I got back to work and by the time I'd spent two hours pulling everything off the shelves, sorting it, and putting it back, I was able to conclude that the stacking kit just wasn't there. I was contemplating some of the many sealed boxes in the basement with dismay at the thought of hunting through them, when I thought to clear off the washer and dryer. After all, they'd need to be cleared to use the kit.

Sure enough, under a pile of clothes, there was the kit. I guess I never had gotten around to putting it on the shelves. Anyway, if my brother gets his car problems sorted out while there's still time, we'll be stacking the washer and dryer today. If not, at least I know where the stacking kit is for next time.
swestrup: (Default)
While I was sleeping, Linda checked out the toilet upstairs and discovered that it was the source of our leak. Water was dripping off the intake valve hose. Now that I'm not dead tired, I've had a look too and I can see its leaking from the same intake valve that I had a plumber come and fix last year. I am very not happy about that. We are currently looking for the receipt for the work as there's no way it should be leaking again after only 7 months.
swestrup: (Default)
Well, I slept like a log last night and woke naturally at 7:59 am this morning, one minute before my alarm was set for, so that worked about as well as I could have liked. I had my first coffee sitting outside in the 'sun' although the weather wasn't really conducive to it. It wasn't actually raining, but it was cold and damp and the sun only occasionally peeked out from behind the clouds. Still it was a lot brighter out there than in my office here.

Actually, at this time of day sunlight is supposed to be streaming into my office through the curtains, which I have pulled all the way back. Instead, the sun has hidden itself behind heavy clouds and is only visible as a slightly brighter patch of grey in the sky.

I have no idea if it had an impact or not, but I tried out those breathe-right strips last night. They sent us a sampler pack so I thought I'd try them. Its often been mentioned that I have a small nose for my body size, so anything that helps me get air in the night sounds like a good thing. They aren't as easy to position as one might hope, but they also aren't as uncomfortable as I had imagined. It seemed to help a bit with breathing and didn't disturb my sleep at all. I'll have try try the other strip tonight (sample pack only held two -- kinda cheap for a trial).

January 2017



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:24 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios