Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Bit of a Twitter Twit

I’ve been trying hard to get back into Twitter, though it’s kind of debatable if I ever was into Twitter in the first place. Still, first time for everything. The concept of Twitter does interest me greatly. Being required to say what you have to say in only 140 characters (which I’ve already exceeded in this post) is an intriguing challenge, but I’ve actually found it rather hard, though not for the reasons I expected. The issue is not trying to fit what I wanted to say into 140 characters, it was finding anything to say at all.

Allow me to elaborate.

It’s not that my life is bereft of interesting moments (my phone alone seems to account for a large proportion to them), but rather because, a) a lot of them don’t feel worth dedicating to a public space (probably should chalk that one up to self-esteem), and b) I’ve already said them.

See, although I’m hardly the most prolific of updaters, I’m already on Facebook, and recently joined Google+ as well. And as the bulk of my friends are on Facebook, that’s where my updates normally go. I generally double post to Google+ as well, but there’s only a few people there as it hasn’t really taken off yet, which is a shame because as a system I greatly prefer the way it functions. It’s got a slick and clean interface, and the ability to share specific posts with specific people quickly and easily is a major improvement over Facebook, its ticker, and its convoluted Top News algorithms. And Google’s privacy policy. That’s an improvement too. But in pure “The point of posting stuff is to have it read,” Facebook is definitely the winner currently, despite my reservations. By the time my thoughts trickle down to twitter I generally feel like I’ve already said it, which is a shame. I like twitter; it’s a really good way of sharing information. So I do need to try harder, because I want to be more involved. And if my dreams of company and business plans come to fruition, it’s an essential communication tool with customers (and, if you’re not very good at it, a hilarious one too).

I did also try MySpace, but only briefly. My experience can be summed up as follows. -Opened MySpace account. -Received 200 invites in 48 hours from bands I didn’t know. -Closed MySpace account.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo. Yes that's right, three zoos.

I haven’t been to the zoo in a very long time. Maybe I should do something about that.

I seem to remember being very fond of Melbourne Zoo as a child, we went an awful lot according to my memory. The exhibits were a little hit and miss, though this is not so much the fault of the zoo as the animal kingdom in general. Don’t get me wrong. Animals are incredible and do some pretty amazing things. Just look at, well, any David Attenborough documentary. But they also spend a very large amount of time just sitting around, eating, and the logical follow through of eating. Especially in a zoo, where – let’s be honest – they don’t really have much else to do.

Giraffe’s were pretty cool, as were elephants, but frankly they smelled and spent most of their time upwind, so I was always pretty glad when we moved on. The reptile house and nocturnal house featured some very interesting creatures but had the chief failing of being filled with creatures that a) spent a lot of time hiding, and b) were pretty damn good at it. So it was not so much “look at that lizard” as “look at that patch of dirt.” It was pretty exciting when we did see a snake or a jerboa, though (fortunately never in the same cage, that would end badly). Actually, even when it was “look at that lizard” it was engaging only in the short term. Ever a pragmatist even then, my internal response was generally “Ok, so I’ve looked at the lizard, now what?” Don’t get me wrong, I liked lizards, but I could only spend so long staring at one before I start wondering what’s in the next enclosure.

By far the most boring thing at the zoo was the monkeys though. They really weren’t doing anything interesting, and mainly just sat around looking depressed and giving off very strong vibes of “I don’t want to be here,” and generally the feeling was mutual. It probably sounds like I didn’t enjoy my zoo trips but I really did. They were great fun, I just honestly wanted to spend less time on each of the animals than my parents expected or hoped.

They say the average time a person visiting the Louvre spent looking at the Mona Lisa was 11 seconds. I feel roughly the same way about Chimpanzees.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Burn, baby, burn (do do doo doo)

It’s far too hot today. Actually that’s really not true, it’s a paltry 33 degrees, and it’s going to drop to 20 tomorrow. It’ll get much hotter in summer itself. In fact, people often remind me, many places around the world are regularly in the 40s all year around. This is nothing.

That’s perfectly valid, and an excellent point, though I did have 3 points in response.

1. What is happening elsewhere is mostly irrelevant to what is happening here. Just because boxers get punched in the fact on a daily basis, doesn’t make it any less painful if you punched me in the face right now. (Please don’t.)
2. I don’t live in those places, largely for those reasons.
3. Shut up.

While the heat does in fact bother me a great deal (my ideal weather is a clear 10 degree today), in an oddly paradoxical (or hypocritical depending on your cynicism) turn, I actually don’t notice it all that much, and regularly wear jumpers well into the high 20s. Theories have been put forward by my friends as to why. One is that I may have a lower internal body temperature than most, meaning it takes a hotter temperature to make an impact. The other theory is that I’m just weird.

No matter which theory floats your philosophical boat, the fact remains that for most of the year I am able to wear a jumper comfortably, sleep under a doona, and wear jeans or other long pants all year through. But when the heat does make an impact, it hits hard, leaving me feeling extremely uncomfortable and, (if I can speak candidly) sweating profusely. In all honesty I probably continue to wear a jumper for a little longer than I should after this point. Partly I feel a little self-conscious in only one layer, but mainly I just genuinely prefer and feel more comfortable wearing multiple layers. On an overseas holiday I had to wander dressed in jumper, scarf, gloves, overcoat and hat, and have never felt more properly dressed in my life. So when it comes to Summer’s eventual 45 degree days, when I am reduced to a t-shirt and jeans and still end up feeling way, way too warm, it’s a particularly unpleasant experience for me.

Throw in bushfires, floods (often at the same time), and dead pets, and you’ll hopefully understand why I hate summer.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Well, you could be having a heart attack… but you’re not.

I was sick last week for the first time in about three months (which is a bit of a record. Take THAT, immune system) and ended up having to take three days off to recover. I was fairly confident it was only a cold and so bed rest was all that was needed, but packed myself off to the doctor anyway, partially to compensate from the massive guilt I feel whenever I have to take time off work, and partially because as a non-medical person I couldn’t rule out the possibility that I was about to drop dead. The former was adequately dealt with, but the latter was spun out for longer than it had to be thanks to my Doctor, who I have taking to call “Worst Case Scenario Doctor.”

For the record, and to avoid the same thing happening to anyone reading this, I am entirely fine, and my doctor is, in fact, very good at what he does, which is why I keep going to him. He will inevitably correctly diagnose the problem, offer a few suggested solutions, and has been very helpful in suggesting supplements such as probiotics and fish oil capsules, which, while clinically unproven, have seen a massive improvement to my overall wellbeing and immune system. What he does first though is list every single possible and terrible thing that could be wrong with me, but isn’t.

Previously, when seeing him due to a family history of a particular gene causing higher probability of blood clots, decided it was best to test me for EVERY possible cause of blood clots. The resultant 6 vials of blood they took caused me to faint and go into shock. Incidentally, I have no increased chance of blood clots.

Last week’s particular example involved him giving me a small lecture about heart attacks, key symptoms to watch out for, and crucial steps to take if I ever thought I was having a heart attack. After a short and worrisome pause he then added that I wasn’t having a heart attack, wasn’t showing any signs of having a heart attack apart from some mild chest pain (which was in the wrong spot for it to be a heart attack) and, given my age and recent improvements to weight, was extremely unlikely to get a heart attack.

He then took my blood pressure and wondered why it was rather high…