My body feels like it is falling apart

So I’m starting to catch a cold. This week just keeps getting better and better. It isn’t bad, and it may even be going away. It started Monday night with a scratchy throat that I noticed during my regular mid-night wake up at 3:30. Today it had progressed to just a bit of sniffles. My attack strategy is to pump myself full of vitamin pills. It’s worked in the past.
Physiotherapy was on again today. The therapist I saw last Wednesday is on a five week vacation so I’m dealing with a new girl. On Monday she looked at the leg pain and gave me some exercises to try. Today she looked at the progress on the shoulder. She thinks that the neck muscles are partly to blame, so I have to work on them too.
Because I keep waking in the middle of the night, I’m not that energetic. Lethargic would be a better description. I get home and I’m not productive. Heck, I’m even tolerating reality TV. I tried “Invasion Iowa” and it looked promising because it was one of those fake shows Spike TV puts on, but really, it’s still a reality show, and as a rule of thumb, they suck. That said, I changed the channel and started watching another reality show. Something dealing with supermodels. I don’t think I was into the “reality” of the reality show, I was just there to ogle the pretty girls.

I decided to go to New City tonight. The reason I went is that I’m not running tomorrow. With the injuries sustained, I don’t want to aggravate them. I haven’t been to the bar in quite some time.
Surprise, surprise it is Jake’s birthday.
Other than that, the night was pretty standard. Girls would avoid eye contact, the ones that didn’t did not repeat the mistake. I tried dancing, but all I accomplished was looking at the backs of girls.
I did get to see people I haven’t seen in awhile, but none of them are unattached women.
I might be in a bad mood. I blame my shoulder. The torn rotator cuff is not the issue right now. Either I slept on it wrong or the massage I got with the haircut did it. But right now it is very tight and it hurts. A lot. I find rubbing it helps, which I did frequently this evening. Better is to put a hot pack on it. That seems to loosen it up, but that really isn’t an option at the bar.
I’m hot packing it right now, and then I’m going to go to bed.

Another day, another D&D game.
It was nice to have a day off. And as a bonus, I didn’t have much to prepare for the D&D game; the players hadn’t gotten very far in the last game so I had lots left for them to do. That said, it was almost 95% combat for this game. We practically rolled initiative when we started and then stuck with it for the rest of the game. They’re on their second casting of haste.
They did nearly die at some points. I fudged a bit to keep them alive, but not badly. I am most upset about one enemy that I treated with all the brains of a space invader: Appear, get attacked, die. She had the potential for strategy, but I just had her killed easily. Oh well. After the game, we spent about an hour just talking.
The D&D game is becoming less stressful for me because I’m taking a hiatus soon. We’re getting to a point where I either reboot the game, or I deal with a very open-ended quest. Either way I need to spend time detailing the world, which I haven’t really done. So I’m going to take a break and use the sabbatical to prepare stuff. In the meantime Cameron is going to run a Star Wars game. It will be nice to be a player for awhile.
Now I have to figure out what I’m doing the rest of this weekend. The only plan I really have is to get my haircut tomorrow. Speaking of which, it is fairly early so I had better get to sleep.

So I saw a physiotherapist today. Apparently I am the victim of a torn rotator cuff. I have a number of exercises I’m supposed to do twice a day now. I’ve got another appointment on Monday to discuss the pain where my leg connects to my body. I’ve also been told a position to sleep in that should be easier on the shoulder. I’m hoping to eventually be able to sleep through the night.

The investigation of the Mac Plus continues. I have transformed all the SuperPaint files into MacPaint files, a format that has survived to the present.
I then started tackling the WriteNow files. This format is pretty unreadable now, so I’m going through and transforming them to RTF. I did a few, but there are a lot left. I’m taking those slowly, but I did poke around a bit. I found poetry and stories from a creative writing course I took in high school. Apparently I had low self-esteem back then too.
I have four poems that wrote during the same time period. He had a tendency to just scribble them on paper, but it seems I actually did the work to save four of them for posterity. If being in WriteNow format can be considered posterity. They still stand up through the ages as quirky humor. I’ll probably send them to him when I’m done all the raping and pillaging.

In other news I donated blood today. On an unrelated note :-), my shoulder has started hurting again. I’ve made an appointment with a physiotherapist to look into it tomorrow.

Someone at work pointed out to me that the Mac power cables haven’t changed in a long time. True enough, when I went home I discovered that my iMac power cord could be used to power the Mac Plus. So I turned it on for the first time since 1991 and explored. There were a lot of old memories there. A quick game of Crystal Quest and Beyond Dark Castle. Games back then didn’t have great graphics and had to survive on attitude, so they still hold up.
Research has shown that the art program I used back then, SuperPaint, is totally unknown these days. The Performa won’t run it. So on the Mac Plus I need to convert all the old drawings I did to a format that has survived the ages. It is slow going, but I got a bunch of old maps I made onto the laptop. A very circuitous route to get it here, but it can be done.

For the longest time I’ve been promising to get rid of some of the junk I’ve accumulated over the years. The great white whale of this project has been my pile of old computers. (And it literally is a pile.) I can’t just toss them, I have to go through all the data on them and get make sure I save all the important stuff. After nearly two years of avoidance, I’ve been starting the process.
My first hurdle was the Mac Plus. That computer is about twenty years old, and from the time before hard drives. So you would think I wouldn’t have any data to clean up off of that, but you would be wrong. We had eventually purchased a 40mb external hard drive for it. But I figured that I could connect it to the Performa 6200CD (which is only ten years old) and use that to clean it off. (I’m not even going to talk about the pile of floppy disks that I have to deal with too. Thank god the Performa still had a floppy drive.)
So I set up the Performa and it refused to acknowledge the hard drive. It doesn’t have the drivers it needs, or something like that. I found the old install disks for that hard drive, but the Performa is a PowerPC, so it isn’t actually compatible with the 68000 chip that the software expects. So now I’ll need to bring up the Mac Plus to use the hard drive and then use floppy disks for the important data. That would be possible if the hard drive wasn’t using the power cord from the Mac Plus. It seems in the inheriting process for the Mac Plus hard drive, the SCSI and power cables went missing. So I’ve been using others, but now I’ll need to try and scrounge up a Mac Plus power cord for the one hour I’ll need to do this.
Since I can’t do anything about that on a weekend, I worked on trying to network the Performa with my laptop. I had a lot of trouble with that. I could get the Performa to see the laptop, but the connection got dropped every time I entered the password. I figure it has something to do with firewalls. Eventually I got the laptop to connect to the Performa after I tried the bleeding obvious solution: Reboot the computer.
Now that I’ve done the proof of concept, all I have to do is go through all the floppy disks and put the good data onto the hard drive. Then I’ll suck them all onto the laptop.
But I’ll do that some other day.

What an awful play.
If you have the chance to go see the play, “The Fever” by Wallace Shawn, avoid that chance. It is a one man show that lasts an hour and forty-five minutes of pure tedium. He takes five minutes to describe opening up a package that has no consequence to the monologue.
I think the author was trying to give an opinion on communism and morality. But there was no plot so there was nothing interesting to pay attention to. The person two over fell asleep until his girlfriend poked him awake.
What irks me the most is that it got a standing ovation! Even the snoozer got up to applaud. I hate standing ovations, they feel like an inquisition. If you don’t stand an applaud you obviously aren’t one of us! You stick out, even if you choose to sit and clap.
Needless to say, I remained seated.
I like my plays to have plot, and my music to have a melody.

I spoke too soon. At about 3:00 in the morning I woke up with my shoulder screaming in agony. I took an Advil and then figured out the position that would give me the least amount of pain. An hour and a half later I got back to sleep.
That said I had two interesting dreams over the course of night. Good plot in both of them. The first one (pre-agony wakeup) is too hazy to remember now except seemed to involve me trying to get out of scamming friends and family in a tropical vacation place laid out similarly to Edmonton(?!). The second one was a very touching tale about four anthropomorphic animals fighting in both the Korean war and Vietnam. Normally I’m against talking animals in serious drama, but this was done quite well. Each seemed to have a distinctive personality trait different from the others that dictated what would happen to them in the end.
Dreams are really weird when you try and treat them seriously, but I still wish I could remember them after I wake up.

I had my first gig tonight. One of the people in my former improv class had an offer to have us perform for a charity event/party. No money involved, but it was an opportunity for some experience.
The event was trying to raise money for a school in the tsunami region. It was semi-formal, so we had to try and look respectable. Our set only lasted for about 50 minutes. The audience was standing around and didn’t seem that in to the whole experience. There wasn’t a lot of energy from the crowd. So I don’t think we did that great. Nothing sticks out in my head that I did wrong, but it didn’t feel inspired.
Actually the hour we spent warming up seemed more inspired.
Afterwards I hung out at the party. Ate some hors d’oeuvres, watched some other group do dancing. But really, I didn’t know anyone there, so it was just like the bar scene.
No regrets.

My shoulder is feeling a lot better. I haven’t had an advil in twelve hours, but there are times when it doesn’t feel in pain at all. And the rest of the time it is just a small twinge.
I’ve still decided not to go running tomorrow. I have a muscle near my groin that has been having sharp pains. I don’t want to make things worse. With my body feeling like it is falling apart, I’m not going to stress it.

Peter bought a new board game recently. Let me stress that it is a board game. The name: “Civilization: The computer game”. Not exactly truth in advertising. A lot of pieces in this puppy. About 750.
We played the fast game rules, and we were done by 11:00, and it was fun. Of course I found myself playing it like the computer game. A period of rapid expansion where I find the borders I’m comfortable with, then growth in civilization and culture. So I conquered everything in the western hemisphere south of the the US. I couldn’t leave Mexico to the north because Michael was building his own civilization there. So I concentrated on making South America have the biggest cities, and followed it up with an insane zeal for technology.
Peter: “Erik, slow down so we can enjoy an era for awhile.” It was actually a viable strategy because I destroyed Peter’s armies (after he had attacked me) by rendering them obsolete. Which means they disappeared, along with the ships that were used to transport them to my domain.
In the end I won.
I’ve been winning a lot of games at “Random Acts of Gaming”. Maybe I should try losing a few so that others can share the glory.

Arm still hurts. Advil makes the pain go away (somewhat).

What a Scottish day! Ironic?
I say that for two reasons. First, at work, we had a presentation from the head offices in the U.S. The presenter was Scottish and spoke with a distinctive accent. The word “wee” was used. It was a long event, about two hours, and although he was entertaining, by the last half hour it was tiring. But we got pizza for lunch. Score!
The second reason is that a bunch of friends and I went to “The Druid”, a vaguely Irish pub (because the very Irish pub was totally packed). The live band was a bunch of people in kilts with bagpipes. They didn’t strike me as Irish.

In other news my shoulder still hurts. Someone at work showed me an exercise that does help, but the pain doesn’t go away completely.


About ten years ago I was hanging out on the back deck of the family home in Winnipeg. We had a slingshot and were taking shots at a hanging wicker bell of my mother’s. It was a target, and we were completely surprised if we ever hit it.
The problem was that I was posing while pulling back the slingshot. With my left hand holding back the acorn, I held the slingshot in my right hand and rotated my right arm from above my head towards the target. It seemed harmless at the time.
The next day my right shoulder was in major pain. The shoulder joints and muscles are a complicated part of the body. (Think about it. It’s the only body part that can rotate 360 degrees.) The slingshot was putting a stress on them and something must have snapped. I was prescribed Ibuprofin. Eventually the pain stopped. I forget how long it took, but the camping trip we took on the Mantario trail was not pleasant for me.
I think my shoulder got permanently weakened. Five years later I went on the West Coast Trail. After that event my shoulder hurt again for awhile after. I probably stressed it again and the old injury acted up. That pain went away too.
A week ago, last Friday, my shoulder hurt. Anti-inflammatory made the pain go away, so I stopped worrying about it. Yesterday though I went grocery shopping and was carrying a heavy basket around. I woke up in the middle of the night with real pain. I couldn’t get back to sleep. I tried some aspirin, but it didn’t help that much. My shoulder has been in pain all day. I still went on the evening run, but afterwards I stopped off and picked up some Ibuprofin.
Hope I get to sleep tonight.

Got the monkey off my back. (In theory.)
I finally finished all the missions in “Majesty” so I don’t need to play it anymore. I can get back to all the chores I’ve been neglecting. For instance I went grocery shopping and finished reading the Sunday newspaper.
Unfortunately the game has the ability to make a random mission. So I must remain vigilant.

Runner’s Prerogative: After running an insane distance I get to be a complete slob for the rest of the day.
First item of business was brunch, which is getting tedious these days. All these people talk about is running. I’d like to think that I have other interests, and I’m getting sick of the same conversation topic.
After the meal, I did a quick walk to a comic store and grabbed some reading material. I excused the walk because I need to burn some lactic acid out of my legs.
Then I sat through the entire “Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars”. Man that was good. Wrapped up all of the loose ends from the series. I feel a little empty now that I have nothing to look forward to.
I found I had a craving for shrimp tempura. So another walk, this time to a Japanese restaurant where I could sate the craving. Now I’m going to take it easy before I go to bed.

I was supposed to be productive today. I was not.
Last night I took out a five year old computer game, “Majesty”. I really got sucked into that.
The game is like Warcraft, i.e. real time strategy. The big difference is that you aren’t in control of your troops. You can only give the access to resources, like better weapons and magic items. It’s up to each individual to fight, explore or run away. Their choice. It’s an interesting twist, and I enjoyed going back to it. Of course I got into the “five more minutes” trap.
In the evening there was a RAOG. We tried out “Pimp: The Backhanding!” Totally politically incorrect, but good clean fun. I won the one game we played. Even got my favorite “Ho” into my stable. Good times! Then we played a variation of Empire Builder, but set to the rail system of Britain. We didn’t finish that game (it’s still a long play time) but everyone seemed to say that I won.

I woke up this morning with no real pain.
As the day progressed, my shoulder started hurting worse and worse. I think I may have done something to it on the Wednesday run. After that run a lot of things were hurting in me, so I think this might have been one of them. What probably aggravated it was the drastic change in weather here. We had a bit a windstorm today and I think that did it in.
When I got home I slopped some anti-inflammatory all over it. A few hours later and I’m feeling a lot better.

Wow, have I been sporadic here.
I’ll try to find something to blame. I remember last Sunday I ran 29km which put me out of doing anything productive. Since then I’ve been working on a D&D game for tomorrow night. Nothing really exciting to report.
Last Sunday during brunch there was a bunch of people trying to get enough runners to participate in the Kananaskis [sic?] 100 mile relay. There are 10 legs, and it goes over mountains. I would have joined but the same day I should be doing a marathon in Winnipeg. It’s probably for the best that I’m not going. They try and get the newbies to run leg 5, which is practically straight up for 18km.
Dodged a bullet there.

This week started out so well (if you consider Sunday evening the start), but everything has gone downhill since. It really went south on Tuesday. On that day I suspect that I ate some ham that had gone bad. And with the damage I did to my stomach on the Sunday run, I was out of it by late afternoon. I felt queasy and thought I would throw up at any moment. I got home safely and went straight to bed. (It was 15% off at the grocery store and I missed that. Curses!)
On Wednesday I stayed home from work. I kept thinking I would throw up, but I never did. Not for lack of trying. I suspect I might have vomited if I had had any food in my stomach. But you actually need to eat to do that. In the evening I was able to start functioning a bit. So I started cleaning up the place in anticipation of the party.
On Thursday I was able to get back to work. My stomach wasn’t entirely pleased with me, and I could only eat a small lunch. (That and the soup I had bought from the cafe downstairs was bloody awful.) That didn’t end the problems though. Due to anecdotal evidence I had found that not many people could make an After-flood party on Friday, so I moved it to Thursday. So after work I raced around to buy stuff for the horde of people who would come. I bought beer that I will never drink. I also bought a Karaoke machine (because they are fun) with the idea that I could return it the next day. Then I got home and finished up the cleaning.
A grand total of five people showed up. I’m chalking it up as a learning experience. Announce a party further in advance.
Today my stomach continued to mock me. I think it has shrunk to half the size. I can’t eat a full meal anymore.
The final candle on the week came when someone in the improv class announced to everyone he knows via email that he has been accepted to go onto the next level of improv. Since I have not gotten any similar message I can only assume that I failed the class. And they didn’t have the decency to tell me.
So excuse me if I’m not the most buoyant today.