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Journal: Why I discuss my health issues on Slashdot 1

Journal by soren42
Wow, I received one of the nicest comments I've ever seen on Slashdot this week. It was:

Posts like these is why I keep reading Slashdot...

And, even though it was posted by an Anonymous Coward, it was still a nice sentiment.

I'm usually hesitant to discuss my health problems with anyone, mostly because I try to be high-functioning, and I don't want pity. In fact, in a recent post to my gallery on deviantART, I exchanged these remarks with another artist:

"You know, I've had health problems my entire life, and people (mostly friends) always ask how I put up with it, how I deal with it, and how I can maintain such a positive attitude.

There's a truth of our existence - one that can be put several ways. There's always someone who has it worse. There's always someone better than you. There's always someone in more need than you. And for each of those statements, considered empirically, they're true for everyone but one person in each case.

Now, all that said, I may have a lot of health issues to deal with, and need to endure some painful, uncomfortable, and unpleasant treatments on regular basis. But, I have good health insurance, an accommodating employer, a supportive and loving family, and a very stable psyche. My family (both my wife and daughter, as well as my brother and father) is amazingly concerned and supportive. I have good healthcare providers (after going though several undesirable doctors), and good support staff (insurance advisor, pharmacist, and a PA that coordinates all my care). My close friends go above and beyond to ensure that both my family and I have everything we need, and offer assistance all the time.

So, when I have to stick a 2.5" needle into my leg with a very painful medication, it sucks. But, I'm not deluded or self-absorbed to the point that I'm interested in pity, or think that my life is not worth living."

That was the first online post I have even done regarding my health - in fact, I try to hide my problems from all but the closest of my coworkers. But, given the fact that I've almost entirely lost 2007, I've sort of changed that policy. I sent a note to my entire team at the office, explaining both my life-long health challenges, as well as sharing the details of my current, acute problem.

As for why I post about something so personal as my health on such a public forum, well, that's a complicated question. ^_^ Seriously, though, I post on here about my health when it is 1) relevant to the article or submission, 2) adds some value to the discussion (usually a unique perspective), and 3) is a shared experience with some small group of readers. I always hope to add value with my comments, but moreso with health-related ones. Here's are the comments I've posted:

Finally, I recently decided to try and make a difference - both for myself and for others in similar situations. I've started an initiative that I'm calling the "Patient's Prescription". I posted about it (in this comment) in the same discussion as my most recent health-related post.

I'm setting up with three projects - an open source software project, Second Opinion(TM), a podcast, and a newsletter. Any help would be appreciated. Contact information is in my post referenced in the previous paragraph.

Thank you, again, to the reader for humoring me while I discuss my issues and plead for assistance. ^_^

User Journal

Journal: Ahhh.... The Height of Geekdom

Journal by soren42
Well, I feel like the pentultimate geek now. On Sunday, May 29, I posted this comment in response to someone else's comment on an article about researchers controlling the flip of electron spin.

Now, first, please let me say that I am a huge fan of Schrödinger (especially his work with dead cats) and that I do realize the implications of this discovery on the world of quantum cryptography. But, that said, I was a pedantic moron - posting the equivalent of intellectual flamebait. I submitted a comment that was "the smart man's 'You spelled that wrong!'" comment.

Please forgive this departure. I'm usually not a troll, but I was excited, and I knew the parent poster was wrong about the Schrödinger equation.

So, now that I am done with my public confession, we return you to our regularly scheduled program - already in progress.
User Journal

Journal: An Update on the Akoria Project

Journal by soren42
Just a quick update on the akoria project for you "true believers" out there...

While I've actually done a good deal of work on the project, including screenshots, mockups, architectures, and even some code, there's a hitch. My employer is currently considering whether or not to allow employees to contribute to open source projects. I'm certain that every large corporation either has already dealt with this issue or will deal with this issue in the next few years - we're no different.

Until a final decision has been made, I have decided to hold back from releasing any further work. I have no desire to violate my employment agreement, and I am very supportive of my employer - even if I don't necessarily agree with all of our policies.

Once a decision has been made, I will either release the material I have developed or turn the project over to another developer and project manager. Stay tuned!
Google

Journal: I feel like such a whore...

Journal by soren42
Well, I wandered over to GMail Swap, and posted a swap request, in order to obtain an invitation to join GMail. (For those of you who aren't familiar here's a little insight on what I'm talking about: GMail is a free webmail service from Google that offers one gigabyte of storage, a novel interface and sorting system, and cool Google-like features. Since GMail is still a beta service, it is only open to a small number of beta users invitated to participate. Getting an invitation can be difficult, and therefore having a gmail.com account imbues the owner with a level of geek status. GMail Swap is site that allows users to exchange GMail invitations for services, thoughts, products, etc. - anything unique and obscure, but still valuable.) I offered to review a resume or document in exchange for an invitation.

Apparently, I chose wisely in what I offered. There are 3500 requests on the system, and 220 invitations available. Within 10 minutes of posting my offer, I had 4 offers for an account.

So, I've joined the gmail elite. Woo hoo! I have yet another e-mail address. Sometimes "status symbols" are as much of a hassle as a help.
User Journal

Journal: My Foray into Free and Open Source Software

Journal by soren42
Well, I've finally taken the plunge, and started open development on a F/OSS project. I've been working for two months now doing the architecture, planning, and other high-level development on a new project. I finally officially kicked it off on SourceForge and opened the project yesterday.

The software will be a comprehensive document management system, with advanced features such as workflow, version control, in-place editing, and much, much more. I had the inspiration when we needed just such a tool at my day job, and I found no mature free software alternative to meet the need. While I have no intention of ever using it at the office (and I really can't work on it at the office!), it is something I have a background in, and I'm certain there's a need for.

One of the more difficult things was naming the project. Every combination of keywords I wanted to use was taken - there are a ton of projects and tools out there with names that are combinations of "free", "open", "document", "deploy", "manage", and other attractive keywords. I finally decided to go with something more esoteric, and give up my family website domain name. I've opted to name the project "Akoria".

So, if you're interested in helping out, or just want to take wander over to the SourceForge project page. And, as always, feedback and comments are welcome.
User Journal

Journal: Cyrillic Projector

Journal by soren42
There was a really cool article yesterday about the encrypted message on the Cyrillic Projector sculpture at the UNCC campus. I love seeing a local story on Slashdot.

It's inspired me to head over to the campus (about 5mi away) one night. I have a couple of friends who are professors in the communications department over there, so maybe I'll get the penny tour.
User Journal

Journal: Woo hoo! First post!

Journal by soren42
I landed a "first post" on a RedHat story today.

Hey, what can I say, the little stuff still impresses me.

You can kiss my shiny, first-posting ass.
User Journal

Journal: Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Journal by soren42
Being an absolute lover of the original Final Fantasy Tactics for the PS1, I bought Final Fantasy Tactics:Advance for the GBA this weekend.

Absolutely love it - same system of play! Great game - a must have!
User Journal

Journal: Woo hoo! I got a 4! Postive karma, here I come! 1

Journal by soren42

Well, after years of being a lurker, I've finally registered for a Slashdot account. I posted a comment today, and almost immediately had it modded up to 4!

Karma is great thing! Now if I can just get a story posted...

And you know, I registered at the January '03 LinuxWorld NYC right next to younr hero and mine, CmdrTaco! I, for one, welcome our new moderator overlords!

Man will never fly. Space travel is merely a dream. All aspirin is alike.

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