Archive for September 2015

This Week

I think that it is unfair that, of late, every second of pleasure in my life costs at least two seconds of pain.

When I asked my doctor last week if it was official that my commute was killing me, she said, “No, but I think it is causing your edema and paresthesia.” However, she couldn’t say where the rheumatoid arthritis-like symptoms in my hands and feet came from. They faded on their own last week so, “it was probably something viral” is the standard answer.

Last night I got home after my wife and baby were asleep, did schoolwork til 11:45pm, got up at 6:30, and got to wipe my baby’s snotty nose just once before running out the door, late, at 7:15. Unfair to mommy, baby, and daddy.

I could write about a great many problems but this is not the place for that.

Viola Palmer Memorial Scholarship

My resolve to complete my OT Master’s degree has been reinforced. This week I received a grant from the Viola Palmer Memorial Scholarship.

Here is an edited snippet from my Thank you letter:

Grad school takes a lot of focus and I’ve got a lot of things going on in my life: a beautiful 8 month old baby, a new wife, some medical conditions that go along with aging, and a 5 hr daily commute.

The money is important for paying bills but the idea that a stranger would help me get through grad school is revitalizing. It speaks to your confidence in this path and faith in my success. There are times when I am low on confidence and faith; you restore me. Thank you.

Occupational Therapy

Hey, this is starting to look real!
Here’s a flyer for one of our community programs.

Audiobook Review: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

I got this out of the library on a whim. I put it back on the shelf far more deliberately.

I listened to the first CD of the unabridged 10 CD audiobook and I can most definitely say, “It’s a book!”
OMG, they just keep saying the same damn thing over and over! They practically replayed the same scene 5 times with no different intention than the first. It’s like they had to make filler material for the book. I had to stop. If the book gets better after the first 1/10, someone tell me because I’m done with this pulp.

Why I hated it:

They’ve got no sense of practicality. The story says someone posted plans for this “simple” electronic box online that kids all over the world were all putting together with ease. It had relays and coils and switches and a bunch of other simple electronics. Unless they are all living in a Bill Nye the Science Guy inspired universe, there is no effing way these kids could put together these “simple” electronics. OMG, a police woman finds a 1/2 finished box and finishes it on a whim. “Winding the coil was oddly enjoyable” (or something). Have YOU ever wound a coil? Stripped the varnish insulation off? soldered the ends to … anything? The vast majority of you have not.

Most of the characters are obviously throwaways. :-(

The writing doesn’t have a sense of space and time. In the scene where Joshua is stepping with all the other kids for the first time, there is a description of him trying to walk 20 yards to meet up with a girl in the dark. He’s got a flashlight and it’s working but it’s not working and he’s stumbling for way too long. And he can’t figure out how to get around this tree because… well it’s a tree and you know how that can be. And WTF is with every kid on the block building this device and turning it on within like 30 minutes of one another? I imagine this insane forshadowing rush at the local Radio Shack earlier in the day… But Joshua was like “I did it right, I varnished my box and all kinds of shit. I took my time with it.” So how did he finish his box in the same amount of time as the kids who slapped theirs together???

And the vingette on the insane devaluation of gold was touched on for like 30 seconds. What a cop out. And what could the motivation of the people hanging out at Sutters Mill 5 possibly be?? Were they seriously just hanging out to insult any passers by? It smacks of “I’ll bite your kneecaps off (Python, Monty)” wacky hilarity. All the character motivations were off!

People don’t look at one another in this book. It’s weird, I just get this sense that the characters don’t SEE one another.

Why does the book jump around in time? Just to keep us from falling asleep while we figure out where we are again?

In a scene Joshua tells someone that he doesn’t like it when people keep calling his name like they are wearing it out. And then like 30 seconds later someone asks what’s up with him and he’s like, “Hey I’m just Joshua.”

In another scene, Joshua is offered a soda and he says, “I lost my taste for soda years ago.” And no one bats an eye at that pretty weird statement coming from a 14 year old. That statement wouldn’t need explaining from a 30 year old but he’s 14.

Those are just some of the blaring issues. I could go on but I won’t. It’s not worth spending one more second on it.

How much propane is consumed at Burning Man each year

From Propaniac, September 2015

Ever wonder how much propane is consumed at Burning Man each year?
Wonder no more…
20,020.7 gallons of propane were pumped on playa by the BRC Fuels Team this year (new record). This does not include all of the propane participants purchased off playa.
17,673.4 gallons was for art (mutant vehicles, theme camps, art projects)
2,347.3 gallons was for infrastructure (commissary, Gate, etc.)
Here are some fun facts about the 17,673.4 gallons of propane that were burned for artistic purposes this year…
74,228.3 pounds of propane (37.1 tons)… that is equal to the avg. weight of 6 African adult male bush elephants.
642,958.3 cubic feet of propane vapor… that is enough vapor to fill an area the size of a US football field (including the end zones) a little over 11 ft. deep.
1,617,151,446.8 btus of heat value released… To equal this amount, the 80,000 btu furnace in my house would have to run continuously for 2.3 years
224,784 pounds of CO2 were released… this is approximately equal to 10 years worth of CO2 emissions generated by one average US citizen.

And my followup…
224,784 pounds of CO2? That’s like nuffum. Super-nuffum! divided over 66,000 attendees that’s 3.4 pounds of CO2 per person for the whole week! I use more carbon on my BART ride EVERY DAY. Damn, if we all went to Burning Man instead of school or work, we’d save the world!

SJSU AOTA Backpack Awareness Day

My backpack is juuuust right.

Classmate Nathan Nam and I weigh my backpack as part of the San Jose State University Occupational Therapy Department’s
Backpack Awareness Day!