Headaches abound

Thump! Thump! My head just keeps pounding away at the moment. I honestly can not recall ever having had so many headaches as I am currently experiencing. Each day now, without fail, I am getting strong, lasting headaches at least once, and sometimes several times per day.

This started in late November, or early December, though their regularity was less frequent back then. The headaches were directly associated with crunching I started experiencing in my neck, each time it’d crunch I’d get a strong headache within ten to twenty minutes. I had meant to make an appointment with my physio when it kept happening but stupidly forgot.

Finally in January I made the call and started getting treatment. Despite a member of dry needling sessions, sleep tissue massage and exercises to do the headaches have persisted in strength and frequency. Yesterday the physio decided tape my back up, to see whether posture was a contributing factor.

Taped up to today it has been so uncomfortable, constantly trying to adjust myself. Despite the tape the headache came again along with muscle ache. I am now beginning to question whether tumble down the hill in Amboise last June where I rolled several times over may have caused this at all?

Here’s hoping this taping works, so wanting a fix.

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Review: Targus VersaVu Classic Case for iPad Pro 10.5 inch w/pencil holder

I bought my iPad Pro 10.5 inch late 2017 with a view to taking up art once more, it was also a spur of the moment purchase so not much research had gone into finding myself a good case in which to house my new iPad.

The range of cases on offer as I was purchasing my iPad Pro at JB Hi-Fi was underwhelming to say the least, I didn’t like any on offer, I just bought something to ensure I had protection for my device and Apple Pencil would be stored. The eventual purchase was the Targus VersaVu Classic Case, utterly dull as dogshit to look at as you’ll see below.

This case does serve its intended purpose, but as time goes on the Apple Pencil holder is failing to hold and it keeps sliding on out with minimal effort. I wish case designers would have a thought that this pencil is smooth and needs tight, snap lock grip, or better still a pouch to prevent my current situation.

I do not recommend thus case if you have an iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, do as I am now doing and order something from Etsy, it looks umpteen times better and my Apple Pencil will now stay in-place.

Can’t wait for my new leather iPad Pro case to arrive.

A few days in, and already benefits

I’m just a few days into the Michelle Bridges 12WBT and I won’t kid you, my t-shirt has been soaked in sweat. When walking previously for an hour within my suburb I’d sweat, but not to the same level for less time.

Day one and I was up at 5am for my first workout, I was truly peeling myself out of bed, my eyelids remained on the pillow for a good 5 minutes more I’m sure. Workout gear on, we kicked off with warm up exercises one-by-one. I’ve never done this before, it was always bang, go walking, come home hit bed and surf the web for a bit with the fan on.

It was  little difficult doing the exercises, not because of the exercise, but because I kept having to authenticate into my iPhone X and look at what I was to do for the next exercise. My workout Monday ended up being around 11 minutes longer than they suggested it should take, but I got there in the end.

Tuesday’s workout was one with Michelle Bridges and following what she was doing in the video. I’ve never participated in any class-based exercises before, even at school I’d wag sport so don’t know if they ever did it there. I am perhaps the must unco person south of the equator, I struggled with following Michelle’s constant changes to routine so just did the best I could to keep up; I was just grateful for the fact I was at home and not in a class situation. Again shirt was dripping with sweat, even more so than the day before.

Today was weigh-in day. After work, and stupidly after I’d eaten for crying out loud, I got on the scales, and was already down 1.1kg. Holy Shit Batman! Of course the difference is not the same scales, its Doctors scales on Saturday and my scales on Wednesday, and mine tend to report lower than do hers, so I’m not actually sure the real difference tbh. But at least I know from today the weight on my own scales to go from.

Today was a break day for some reason in the program, but we’re back into it for the next three days. Another benefit from the past few days has been my sleep, whilst not sleeping any longer the quality of the sleep has been far better making the $199 fee well worth it already.

Signed up for a new me

I started my morning with a monthly visit to my GP, the joys of being a diabetic. I’d just had my HBa1c test to check my blood sugars over the past 3 months, and thankfully after a result that went strangely awry last time all is back on track again.

Carrying more than a few pounds discussion eventually shifts to how to shed them; finally I agreed to consider the 5:2 diet where you fast 2 days (non-consecutive) each week. That lasted about 3 hours before I committed myself to something entirely different.

One thing that had always concerned me about the 5:2 diet was how I might commit to it as peeps in my office regularly chew on the chockies, coffees and other goodies. Temptation and reminders would be everywhere. But what also concerned me was that it only examined half of the equation, the diet ignored exercise and it never teaches you anything. Further, dieting like that I’ve seen reports people often end up regaining the lost weight.

I’d seen some time ago a program developed by Michelle Bridges called the 12 week body transformation (12WBT), this focusses upon exercise, meal plans, lessons, learning & participation in forums with those in your 12 week block. There are multiple programs structured to meet various people’s needs and abilities. I paid up front for a 2 week saving at $199.

I’m excited to give this a go, though also a little nervous as I know it’s no walk in the park, it does get more intense as weeks progress. Week 1 begins Monday!

Botenizing

Around quarter one 2017 at work are were told automation would be explored at work, not from a position of saving on FTE (wages) but rather freeing up resources of staff to commit to other tasks. Naturally those who were at the presentation heard what they wanted to hear and gossip ensued that jobs might go.

Within our team we could see the benefits of automation as one of our systems is particularly distilled by staff, so if they didn’t need to interact with it (so much) we might get some wins on the board.

We began “botenizing” (I steal their team leader’s term here) the Expression of Interest process in October, and after some stakeholder testing in late November it launched in mid-December. The ‘bot’ hooks into our system by looking at emails sent for newly created EOIs, it then grabs all the necessary data from the system and a spreadsheet that tells it where to get approvals from. As all now gets done via email the School executive can more quickly approve or reject, saving them time, speeding things up and our coffee gets major wins on the board.

Of course this is just step one in our automation, and early days in our University’s ‘botenizing’. We are also looking at ways we can use this technology to standardise filenaming, something that is grossly inconsistent across all projects.

I look forward to seeing where this technology takes us in the future.

The fight for broadband

Last March overnight our internet connection went from 6Mbps to pretty much non-existent. Initially I’d thought the modem was experiencing issues as it was older than the dinosaurs, but then after borrowing a friend’s modem I soon discovered our Triassic modem was not the cause.

I cause the iiNet support line and waited, and waited, and waited some more. In fact it took so long for them to actually talk to me I think the may have discovered how to reincarnate those dinosaurs as per Jurassic Park. After finally getting through to someone and managing to maintain my cool I got agreement to get our line checked.

Two weeks later it was ascertained the line needed a more detailed check and a technician visited filing a report. I was so annoyed by the report I blew up and they knew I was not going to accept being blown off. Two weeks later another visit and they checked via a different test and found where a fault was likely located, around 650m away. After six weeks no internet we were eventually restored, however the service technician did suggest it may occur again.

I don’t know if development of vacant land nearby is to blame, or it is just as a result of time, but as the service technician suggested we are again in the shit hole with our internet connection. The past three days the speed has been dropping off but can be restored by restarting the modem. Given it took six weeks last time I am wondering if it is worth the effort as we are roughly that length of time from being migrated to the National Broadband Network (NBN), I am just hoping in migrating our woeful connection will finally be solved.

Thank the heavens for my 4G mobile and a 30GB quota.

Mapping processes

Last year I was given access to the central repository at work for diagramming processes. Unfortunately at the time I also got slightly busy and it was just before we went on leave for the year, several months later, that I would get time to again look at things. External consultants had prepared our original diagrams in 2015, prior to adopting a formal standard for process diagramming, thus all the original diagrams are now needing updating – just 140 diagrams that is.

Today I took a diagram that had been prepared by a member of our own team to reflect whether a category of output would be accepted, sent for review, or rejected. His process was simple and effective when not in the EPC standard as it was able to use decision shapes. When I went to re-diagram this process to the EPC standard it became more than twice its previous size as I was forced to rely upon XOR or AND logic and events. Whilst I am very much the EPC virgin, and am yet to see if my efforts on this one are correct, I think the resulting diagram is actually quite easy to read and follow (excluding knowledge of XOR for non-techies!).

I was particularly stoked with the updates applied today to Visio and Orbus iServer, previously when diagramming and trying to used connectors I don’t know what the heck they’d done but they just refused to play ball, but following today’s upgrade all is FINALLY going smoothly.