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Thompson with a ‘P’ as in pneumonia

I’ve been sick the past few weeks, just a slow build of The Crud. I had been reluctant to schedule a doctor’s appointment since I kept thinking that it would go away on its own after a week, like the cold I came down with at the end of January, and didn’t want to schedule an appointment and magically feel better. After two weeks I thought I could make do with Mucinex but all it did was clear up my symptoms and once the dosage wore off after four hours I went back to feeling miserable.

That was until last Monday when I woke up at 4 AM coughing and sneezing and unable to get back to sleep so I threw in the towel and scheduled an appointment for a telemedicine video call with a nurse practitioner at my doctor’s office. Had the video call Tuesday morning and the nurse thought it sounded like pneumonia and wanted me to come in for a chest X-Ray to confirm, and prescribed me a course of antibiotics and codeine. The next day I heard that the X-ray came back normal (I haven’t seen a copy of the X-ray to see for myself), but if it’s not pneumonia then it’s something pretty close as when I got the possible diagnosis I looked up the symptoms and mentally checked off most of them – cough, chills, confusion: yes, yes, yes. Apparently pneumonia associated with Legionella includes abdominal pain? I had that as well and figured it to be a side effect of the Mucinex (which was another reason why I scheduled the appointment – I wasn’t sure if the pain was from acetominaphin, never mind that my liver was on the opposite side of my abdomen – and didn’t want to take it indefinitely with no improvement in health), but I had also been running my humidifier a lot recently to counteract the dry winter air and my humidifier was overdue for a cleaning. Hmm…

My sister Kelly and niece Teagan were coming to visit later that week to celebrate Kelly’s birthday (a week late) with the family, so I was already planning on spending time with my family to absorb the atmosphere and ended up teleworking from my parents’ house this whole past week. Even with the medication I’ve been feeling wiped out and wouldn’t have been able to go into the office (and I wouldn’t have wanted to subject my coworkers to my horkin’ and snortin’ all day, but have no qualms about subjecting my own family members to those sights and sounds!).

The nurse wanted me to schedule an in-office appointment if I wasn’t showing an improvement by early this next week. The thing is, I’m having trouble telling how “better” I am – between the twice-daily antibiotics and the three-to-four-times-daily Mucinex and the as-needed codeine I feel okay once the medication really kicks in, but I know that’s the medicine talking. I also still feel wiped out by the illness; yesterday after wrapping up my work I just had to lay down and try to take a nap. I’ll have to see how I’m feeling on Monday as to whether I make it into the office or need a followup doctor’s appointment but I feel guilty for teleworking all this past week, even if I wouldn’t have been able to make it in. Compared to previous jobs where telework wasn’t an option I feel like I’m getting away with something when I get the opportunity to telework. There were times this week that I would have preferred to rest the entire day but thanks to the government shutdown I have very little PTO time available (and am currently trying to recoup my lost PTO), so if given the opportunity to work while I recuperate I’ll take it.

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18

I wrote my first blog post on LiveJournal. Even though I may have migrated from LJ to my own self-hosted site, I’m proud to announce that as of today I’ve been blogging now for 18 years. Half my life! 5,510 posts! Almost enough for a post a day, every day, for that entire span. Well, 306 posts per year. Still more than a post for every weekday for every year for 18 years!. That’s amazing, and kind of scary: my blog can now vote, buy smokes (in some jurisdictions), and register for the draft. It’s all grown up!

And to think that the World Wide Web celebrated its 30th birthday a few days ago. It was only 12 years old when I started blogging. And look at the Web now!

I used to worry that with the rise of various social networks that I’d abandon more long-form blogging in favor of brief status updates. While I certainly have a lot of writing on Twitter (40,100+ tweets as of now), I feel like there’s been a general surge of interest lately in people having their writing on a site that’s under their own control. At some point I’d like to incorporate my Twitter posts into my blog, but for now I’m happy keeping that as its own separate entity; brief observations go on Twitter, while longer thoughts and ideas go here. If it takes more than a tweet or two to articulate, might as well make it a blog post.

I hope I can keep going independently indefinitely.

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I’m not sure I understand the point of Amazon Day

…Isn’t the point of Amazon Prime to get your items sooner without having to pay for shipping? So what’s the point of Amazon Day? Now, if it were an option to let me choose which delivery service to use (I’d much prefer having my packages come via USPS rather than UPS, as the postal service carriers can get into my building while UPS cannot), I would be all over this.

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Uselessnet

The other day I was thinking about a pretty cool terminal app I downloaded years ago called Cathode, wondering if it had been updated for the new iPad Pro screen size. Apparently it hasn’t been updated in the past year. Shame, as it does a pretty cool job of replicating old CRT terminal displays. It also doesn’t appear to support some of the security configuration setup I have for my server, so it not being updated was a moot point as I can’t even really use it.

Once I got to thinking about what I might do over an terminal connection – why have an iPad with a cellular connection and a terminal app (Panic’s Prompt) if you can’t use it as a dumb terminal wherever you are? – my curiosity got the best of me and I fell down a rabbit hole of setting up the alpine mail client on my server so I could SSH in and triage my email. 1 I usually speed through Gmail using keyboard shortcuts to triage my inbox, but I wanted something that I could use more easily on my iPad. I’m surprised to say that it wasn’t as bad and more usable than I had expected it to be – it’s no good for image-heavy mail, but for text-only or mail with very few images it seems to work great.

I had to do some tinkering to get it to save my mail password; apparently it requires a certificate and key to encrypt the password file, but it might also be able to just use a password to encrypt? I’m not quite sure because I only really got it working once I had imported my webserver’s TLS certificate (which it couldn’t use for encryption, but was enough to let me in to the certificate management settings menu and set a password, then remove the key and certificate from the installation) as an experiment. I should really create an appropriate certificate and key and so on just for alpine and see if by having that it doesn’t need me to enter a password each time I open the application, but I haven’t reached that stage of tinkering yet.

I realized that alpine also has support for connecting to NNTP servers. I hadn’t used an application for newsgroups since Unison, another Panic application, but I figured that if alpine has newsgroup support I might as well try it. Even though forums on the web had probably taken the place of much of Usenet some time ago I wondered if there was any reason now to still use Usenet newsgroups.

Nope. There’s no reason. Of the few newsgroups I poked my head in to see if they were still active, only one (alt.fan.frank-zappa) that I used to lurk in or might be interested in now was (relatively) spam-free and/or active.

That said, I wouldn’t mind being able to use Reddit via an NNTP protocol if such a thing were possible…

  1. I had used pine back when I started college, so it wasn’t as if I was unfamiliar with terminal-based mail applications. 
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About face(book)

I haven’t logged into Facebook since last year. 2019 has been Facebook-free! Funny enough I don’t miss it as much as I thought I might – using it just made me feel uncomfortable.

I’ve thought about logging back in and starting the deletion process, but I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to delete my account. Perhaps, if Facebook could go a month without doing anything embarassing, then maybe I’d feel better about going back to using it. But considering they seem to screw something up or are in the news for shady practices at least once every week my account would probably stay dormant for quite a long time.

Plus, it’s like I have this streak I need to maintain. 58 days and counting of not logging into Facebook! Logging in to start the process to delete my account feels like sabotaging my streak.