Nothing like a bit of pain

*groan*.... medical tests are not good. Lots of people trying to stick things into you, sometimes missing and hitting other things that hurt a lot. I think I had a test every day last week bar one last week. And most of them hurt. Well, that's my moan for the day. No more poking until Friday for me - my last tests today.

New geek toys are good though. My godfather dropped around an iRiver H340, which was somewhat bewildering. I always feel a bit squeemish when i'm given expensive gifts, especially when they're not from my parents. You can imagine how I felt when I realised what was in the box. Came across and interesting problem when trying to get it to work - it won't be recognised to a computer unless it's plugged in through a USB hub. I don't know if this is normal, but I experienced this both under Windows and Linux.

Speaking of which, thought i'd do a bit of comparison on which distro/OS worked best out of the box with it. Windows worked quite well when I first plugged it in - showed up as another drive and it Just Worked - I didn't think I could parallel that under any Linux distro. However Ubuntu supprised me quite nicely. It basically worked the same as Windows - the drive showed up and all was good - which I think is a good start. I'm not saying that Windows is something that you should benchmark Linux against when it comes to usability, but when it comes to shear simplicity of plugging something simple like an external drive in, it Redmond have got that all down pat. It's good to see we're making some strides into their territory.

Did some maintenance work on my lappy today, too. Probably voided the warranty, but I don't trust the people that usually service it (misc. hardware being swapped during repairs, hard drives being erased when returned, etc). Took some interesting pictures of the internals while I was servicing it. Now I know why the audio quality is so shocking: the lead from the mobo to the audio out jack passes every single bit of componentry in the laptop before reaching the other side of the mobo. I'll have to post some pictures soon, because the other photos of the internals are a bit lacking. Maybe when I feel a bit less tired.

Don’t Panic

Well, the results came in over a week ago, but i've been so washed out that I haven't been able to blog about it. It's confirmed that I have Hodgkin's disease, but all is not lost. It has the best recovery rate of all cancers, and the particular subtype of it that I have has the best recovery rate of Hodgkin's subtypes too. However, this means that the next 4 months are a bit iffy. School has been really understanding, and I don't have to do exams for the next 2 weeks and i'm cleared for my preliminary course. Work has also offered to pay me for any work that I do during treatment. At least it'll give me an excuse to do some coding that i've been neglecting for a long time.

I had a bone marrow biopsy today. That's where they insert a massive needle into your pelvis and get bone marrow and bone samples. Yum. It hurt like a son of a bitch. I never want to do that again. Warning to all: do not get cancer because the tests are painful.

I'm not going to bother bitching about the election. PEOPLE ARE STUPID. I had fun handing out Labor how-to-votes on the day. I actually ran out about half way through, and I ended up handing out for the Greens until reinforcements arrive. Speaking of which, I got invited to a Greens branch meeting tonight so i'm going to rock up and see what all the fuss is about. Interestingly enough the Greens bloke I was with was saying that a group of Young Libs physically intimidated a Greens supporter handing out information in the Hornsby mall last week. On hearing that a group of Young Libs were handing out propaganda at a particular booth, he got the poor woman to go over to the booth and take a couple of pictures so she could identify them to the police. She'll be pressing charges. Good on her. The Hitler Youth must be supressed.

Ruddock still managed to get back in, but we managed quite a large swing against him: 4%. We actually won more than the usual single polling booth, too. We picked up an extra two this election, plus almost another 7 around the Hornsby, Brooklyn, Berowra, and Epping Heights booths. Rocking work our candidate has done to pull off such an excellent result. We're all predicting that Ruddock will retire just before next election, cheating us out of a by-election, but at least giving us a new cryptofascist candidate to run over...I mean against.

Falling

Do you hear the jet plane yawning miles across the sky?
Do you hear the garbage truck back down the boulevard
Setting off the car alarms as it passes by?
Do you hear the static of one thousand detuned radios?
Shut the window love
Keep the world outside
I don't want to think about any one
But the footsteps are getting louder
Drowning out the sound of the rain
As it knocks on the windowsill
I'm not answering the phone - let it ring
Lately i've been feeling like a falling bomb
The ground is getting closer
And the sky is falling down
This song has been brought to you by
This song has been brought to you by a falling bomb
A falling bomb

Thursday - This song has been brought to you by a falling bomb.

Foggiest

Busy, busy, busy. Waaaaay too many things on. Fortunately Year 11 has wrapped up. First and second week back we have preliminary exams - which really sucks. Means that I have to spend most of the holidays doing study. Ugh.

My health hasn't cleared up much either. I've had some tests done, and have a few more later this week. The most annoying thing is that the doctors don't know what it is, so they keep on wanting to go to the next level of tests. I've been on two courses of meds, and neither of them have worked at all. The other concerning thing in my last test results is the mention of the somewhat remote chances of having Lymphoma, which was meant to be ruled out a while ago. Besides that though, whatever I have has been knocking me around a bit these last few days. Had to take some time off from school when some assessments were due, meaning that I now have to go through the "special consideration for assesments" process for 5 different subjects. It's rather annoying/hideously inconvenient that they all fell in the same week.

Fortunately i've been able to catch up on my music recently. I have an exam in only 2 weeks, and I really need to put in some more work for it. But I think i'll get there ok. (Fingers crossed)

And I finally got paid for the work I did last holidays. Meaning that i'm now debt free.

A really neat feature i've come across in screen is its ability to split a screen session into multiple regions. Really helpful when you're trying to compare two things at once or if you want to see more of the things running in your screen session.

Finito

A bit of uncertainty about my health recently, and hence I haven't blogged. There was a somewhat remote possiblity that I could have Lymphoma, but fortunately bloodwork ruled that out. Instead I have some sort of nasty bacterial infection that I have to take copious amounts of meds for.

The date of my music exam has been finalised - 9th October, the day of the election. This buggers up my plans somewhat as I volunteered to do some handing out of propaganda on election day just before I found out when the exam was. Speaking of which, you might start to see some of these around.

Kudos to ctd for his great work on getting an Australian Archlinux mirror up. Makes my work that bit easier.

Circles

How predictable.

Went to see the Lion King live stage performance yesterday. Absolutely incredible. The costuming was excellent, the adaptation of the cartoon into a stage show even better. I'd also forgotten how good the music is. Dug up a copy of the soundtrack as well as Paul Kelly's Graceland (as strange as that may sound) and been listening to it since I got up this morning.

Damn the flu! Meant to be doing a music exam at school this week and I feel dead.

Also watched a documentary last night on ABC about child evangelists. Rather disturbing. It was a follow up on another doco the producer had done four years earlier on a particular child and how they had changed over that time. I pity the kid. The first thing that came to mind when I saw him was that he was autistic, and lo and behold about half-way through the doco it was revealed that he'd been diagnosed with autism. Yet his father had done absolutely nothing about searching for treatment for the condition, instead deciding to leave it up to divine intervention.

It got quite sad from that point - it turns out that father had little education and didn't actually understand what autism was. The kid had been poorly homeschooled, was extremely insecure, and to top it off, had no friends. Truely depressing. At least they thought they were doing good. It occured to me that if there really was a God he would not let that happen to people who were merely trying to serve him. Oh, and i've read Job.

Alarmist…

...is the word that I couldn't think of last night at Sluglets. I was giving a quick redux of a talk I did at the EducationaLinux miniconf at LCA earlier this year. I was trying to describe Nessus in a single word, but was unable to think of the right one at the time.

It sort of ties into tomorrow (Sunday) - the day that our honorable *snigger* Prime Minister John Howard will be announcing the date of the upcoming federal election. As mentioned before, he'll be trying ride in on another wave of patriotism and popular thought, similar to what he did with the Children Overboard affair.

Spend the day at the Slug codefest today. Fixed a number of issues that i've been having with the arch-i586 backport i've been working on, and i've finally managed to get two of my own Arch Linux repositories up.

Swing

I'm in a jazzy mood tonight. Had a performance with WYO on Sunday that went most excellently, and i've been in a rather upbeat mood since. Cranked out some Glenn Miller and a "Nova Bossa: Red Hot on Verve" compilation on Sunday evening and i've been listening to nothing else. Someone also suggested that I try out for SYO last week, and said he'd give me a bell when they come around. Also going to try and get a tuba soft case this week so I can lug my instrument around whereever I need to go.

Arrived at school on Monday to find that i've been made a prefect for 2005 at my school. Going for an interview for school captain tomorrow. Have my doubts about whether I want a position of such responsibility, but I figure that I may as well give it a shot.

My Linksys WRT54G arrived yesterday (thanks Terry!). Having a bit of fun with the alternate firmwares and other such hackery. While searching for information on the Sveasoft firmware situation, I came across this picture that's been floating around on P2P networks in the place of the Sveasoft alternate firmware.

Well… moving on

I keep on seeing things on my desk moving out of the corner of my eye. Very disturbing, considering I know nothing is moving at all...

Day off school tomorrow. Yay! And what am I going to spend it doing? Schoolwork, of course. Been reprioritising recently, and have decided that computing will have to take a back seat for the next 12 months or so until I get my HSC out of the way. This means that i'll be putting in the hard yards when it comes to doing _all_ of my schoolwork on time. I've slacked off tremendously this year which is a rather stupid thing to do, considering i'm coming into the final stretch of my high school education. I caught up on a lot of work this afternoon which i've been putting off for a number of months, and it's good to have at least a bit of the weight lifted. I think powering through this is the only way that i'm going to survive. Starting to kick into high gear for my music exam in 2 months. Seems like a long time away, but it's always closer than you think.

But, it doen't mean that i'll be entirely dropping computer related stuff. :-)
I'm currently organising another two roadtrips for Slug which should absolutely go off if I can get into gear soon enough. Expect more news on that front in the immediate future.

After next holidays i'll have a bit of cash after working full time and i'm hoping to start working on a little pet project of mine - a PPC port of Arch Linux. Been working a fair bit on the i586 backport of Arch, and i'm hoping to bring the experience I get from that to this thing.

October should be a very interesting time. I'll have my yearly exams, my music exam, the next phase of rolling out our Linux framework for my employer, and the next roadtrip to Lismore. Busy. Busy. Busy.

It sinks in

I've been thinking a bit about politics recently, both local(in a sense) and federal. On the federal side of things, i've been discussing/thinking about when Howard plans to call our federal election. He only has another 2 weeks to call it in September, but that would destroy his advertising chances during the olympics. I'm thinking that he's going to do what he's done in the past, and that is ride on a wave popularity and call the election directly after the olympics so he can bask in the glory of our athletes hoards of gold medals. It's the sort of political opportunism that Howard is renowned for.

On an FTA note, although the Labor party hasn't been sticking up for itself in the last few weeks, i'm rather pleased that Latham has decided to speak up and put forward the ammendments on the PBS. I think that the feeling within the Labor caucus is that they have enough momentum at the moment to force the Libs into an early election and win with the FTA being the main point of contention. The Libs will portray Latham as un-Australian, anti-American and out of touch with the community (as they have been doing for the last few months). In turn Latham will portray Howard as serving the interests of America and big business. What'll make this whole contest rather interesting is how Labor decides to use the issue of the PBS to its advantage. One thing that grabs the Australian public's attention (other than tax cuts) is the pricing of medicine. In a country where a significant portion of the population is medicated, and an even larger number of people are going to have to be medicated in the fairly short-term future (the baby boomers), pricing of medicines will be an issue that will attract votes and possibly decide the election.

On a more personal note, i'm debating whether to go for a position as a student leader at my school. Year 12 is going to be a very hectic time, and i'm not sure whether I want the added pressure of leadership thrown in. But on the other hand, i've been involved in student leadership in a sense most of my high school life. Realistically I know that i'm not going to be able to affect massive change within the school community, but I think i'd have a better chance at changing stuff that I don't like if I was in a more elevated position. The idealist in me wants to go, but the pragmatist tells me it's essentially a waste of time.

What to do, what to do.....

meta-creation_timestamp: 1091632074 meta-creation_date: Thu Aug 5 01:07:54 2004