Hunchwrist Repairs and Hospital Observations

Hunchwrist of Randpark Ridge
Hunchwrist Before

Hunchwrist Repairs

While pregnant with Jethro, Angie developed a weird growth in her wrist. Officially it is known as a ganglion cyst, but I took to calling Angie “The Hunchwrist of Randpark Ridge.”

So far, we’re still married.

She was admitted to Linksfield Park Clinic on Thurday to have the cyst removed. They insisted we get to the hospital at 6am, but only wheeled Angie into surgery at 2pm. She was out of surgery at 4pm. By the time Angie had eaten something and was dressed (more difficult with only one functioning arm) it was rush-hour. Almost two hours driving to get home. Bah!

The whole day was used up waiting for a 2 hour procedure. Surely the hospital knew which operations it would be undertaking during the day, and the approximate time each procedure takes? Surely such a schedule gives an indication of when a particular patient will go under the knife? Surely it is unreasonable to tell everyone to get to the hospital by 6am, especially if you know you’ll only deal with some of them in the afternoon?

We could try complaining, but one worries that they will spitefully remove the entire hand, instead of just the hunchwrist. The medical industry really is the most peculiar service industry out there. I think it has something to do with them referring to their clients as “patients,” and assuming patients are patient and don’t mind waiting.

Hospital Observations

Although I wasn’t the patient, I still had to do a lot of waiting around at the hospital. To pass the time I watched people enter the foyer and I drank a little too much coffee. Combined, these elements inspired me to write about these people on my cellphone in real-time. The transcript of what I wrote is reproduced below, edited only for spelling and grammar.

It comes across a little scathing, I think. I blame the coffee.

We really are just glorified hairless monkeys with technology.

The guy who just walked in, with the yellow writing on his T-shirt and the tattered jeans, walks with a funny gait. He thrusts his chest out too far, making him seem over-balanced and top-heavy. Or is he overbalanced because his stomach reaches out as far as his chest? He holds his hands up at the level of his chest, and flaps them around limply, bending at the wrists. Obviously he’s strutting, but what’s with the wrists? That doesn’t seem too macho.

Then there are these Eastern European types sitting across the table from me, incessantly talking too loud in a guttural language I can’t understand. The balding man wears a striped T-shirt and shorts, but I wish he’d worn trousers. It is a hospital, so perhaps I shouldn’t be so squeamish, but somethingĀ  terrible has happened to this man’s legs recently. He’s obviously had those metal pins embedded in his tibia. You know the ones. Those things that stick out of your leg, instead of having a cast. They say the leg heals faster, but it makes you look more like a cyborg.

The wounds are obvious, and he seems to display the bloody gory bits proudly. One leg bandaged, the other not. Just round, dried-blood circles, with a red line joining the dots. A fleshy dot-2-dot puzzle. Join them up in order and you get a zombie!

He talks to his mother, but she doesn’t have any ghoulish markings on display. They quiet down when another couple sits down next to them. The old man of the couple cranes his neck around to the TV mounted on the wall. But’s it’s almost obliquely above him. Not a great angle to watch the cricket.

I wanted to go on about the cricket a little more, and how strange the behaviour of men wanting to watch it is. But my cellphone battery died. This also explains the abrupt ending.

Commitment Man — Limited Demo

The Adventures of Commitment Man now has some content.

Don’t get too excited though, it’s just a demo.

There is also a competition. I need a better logo — perhaps you can help?

50k Racewalker Competition

Beat my 150 metre 50k Racewalker record and win an exciting prize!

Do you have enough patience to defeat me?
Do you have enough patience to defeat me?

You must submit a screenshot to halfhaggis [at] gmail [dot] com or no prize for you.

****

Update: Jan 30, 2009 @ 12:20

The first entry is in! Congratulations to Kittychunk, who will shortly receive a wonderful prize. Next prize winner will need to beat his record of 180 metres!

Do you have enough patience to defeat Kittychunk?
Do you have enough patience to defeat Kittychunk?

Update: Jan 30, 2009 @ 16:20

Congratulations to Michael who has upped the stakes! 320 metres to beat to claim your prize!

Michael will be receiving his wonderful prize shortly.

Do you have the patience to defeat Michael?
Do you have the patience to defeat Michael?

Satan’s Poodle moves Home

Satan's Poodle -- Ragged ear And is now easier to read than ever before!

It is, unfortunately, not any more complete than before. I am working on The Adventures of Commitment Man, so it won’t be getting any more complete in the near future. Fortunately, lessons have been learned, and they will be applied in making The Adventures of Commitment Man a higher quality product of my warped imagination.

Read Satan’s Poodle now!

Times are tough in Zim

Following on from yesterday’s post, I thought I’d have a look at the balanced reporting of Zimbabwe’s Herald. I was a little surprised to find that they have a web-presence, considering the state of things in that country at the moment, but I suppose Mugabe makes certain that his mouth-piece is as widely heard as possible.

However, even the Herald doesn’t pretend that anyone is having any fun in Zimbabwe.

100 Word Stories

It seems that I am unlikely to finish my series of 100 word stories any time soon. The original deal I made with myself was to only publish batches of stories that I wrote once the next batch had been written. It was yet another of my long line of self-imposed project plans, but one that met with relative success.

This leaves me in a situation where the last batch I wrote and dispatched will never be published. The original intention behind the delayed publishing was to motivate me to write the next batch. It no longer is motivating me, but it seems a shame to never make the rest of the stories public.

So now they are public. Check out the full collection of 100 word stories written for friends and family on deviant art.

Putting money where my noisy mouth is

I go on a lot about media and software freedom, but what do I actually do about it?
Realising that talk without action achieves nothing, I decided to put some of my hard-earned money behind some of my principles.

In recent times I’ve become quite disheartened by the record industry’s protection racket. Their business model is failing and, since they are big bureaucratic monoliths, they are struggling to adapt. Their approach has been to stick DRM on everything, which basically restricts your ability to do what you want with something that you paid for, and should technically belong to you.
They say all these measures are to protect their artists, but they really only protect the company profits (and seem to be failing at that anyway). This draconian nonsense caused me to boycott music. I just don’t buy it any longer.

That is, until I looked around on the internet a little and found a vast resource of independent “record labels.” A few examples are:

I purchased two albums from Magnatune, and 50% of what I paid goes directly to the artist.
But Magnatune doesn’t stop there. They tell you to share the album with three friends. They figure that if people are going to be dishonest, then that’ll happen anyway — regardless of whether record companies try to do something about it or not. Might as well encourage sharing — cheap marketing.
Another bonus is that you, as the consumer, get to choose what you think the music is worth. The price isn’t set you decide — but the more you pay the more the artist gets.
The albums I bought are

Take a listen. If you like them, let me know and I’ll give you the url and password to download them (or you can just come over to my house and copy the files — geography and familiarity permitting).

The other music sites have varying business models and they all work differently. Throughout though, the music is DRM-free, and that’s what really matters to me.

I haven’t stopped at music. I’ve extended my approach to software
I’m a big advocate of open source software, but I’ve never given anything back to the community. I use the software. I tell people about it. I lord its merits.
But if everyone only did that, there wouldn’t be any software to promote.

The logical way to contribute to open source software is to write some code and submit it to a software project. I suck at writing code — so there goes that one.
I’m not too bad at writing deciphered words, so I tried contributing to the Ubuntu documentation team. That didn’t last very long. Writing documentation quickly became tedious and mundane. Perhaps I’ll look back into it sometime.
No, the easiest thing to do is contribute money to a project. It minimises your time investment and optimises the value of the contribution because that money can be used to pay an expert to do what you would have done poorly.
I sent the team that develops the Firefox add-on, DownThemAll, a donation. It was really a sort of experiment. They sent me an email thanking me for the contribution. Now I intend to send donations to other open source projects which I find to be particularly useful, and well implemented.

It’s interesting to me that I was inspired to make these donation because my brother had registered a shareware application called Total Commander. It’s not open source, and it only works on Windows. Still, he spoke about how he was so impressed with it that he figured the developer deserved the money.
That sentiment seems to have had a lasting impression on me.