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Journal Journal: Creative spelling 4

Now and then you get to see signs, menus, etc. with sloppy spelling or creative use of the language (be it the local language or English), and sometimes the mistakes are outright funny. Like the one I saw a few days ago at a cafe (picture hosted by tuxette). Now, I can understand that they got the "cheese" part wrong, but what the bloody fuck is a "greasyburger"? To be honest, I'm not really sure whether I would like to be enlightened or not... :-)
User Journal

Journal Journal: Exercise! 3

Today I had my first workout on my bicycle this season. The workout was dual-purpose: 1) get some exercise (d0h!) 2) figure out if it would be feasible to get to my new workplace by bike, and if so, what the optimal route would be. The distance to my old workplace by bike was exactly 6 km (3.75 mi) uphill, but getting to my new workplace will be considerably longer, approximately 25 km (16 mi) mostly uphill. Since I got lost on my way, I had to give up after approx. 20 km (plus, I was starting to get hungry, so I had to get back home, anyway). Getting there by bike is rather tricky business, so I need to study the map more carefully before my next attempt.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Pain, Pain, Pain! 2

Five days ago I had some minor surgery done. Nothing complicated, really, but it meant spending an entire day at the hospital (8-9 hours), most of it on recovering enough to go home (with an arsenal of relatively heavy painkillers). The doctors removed the tonsils and the uvula, the purpose being to cure or reduce my condition of sleep apnea.

Now, don't be fooled by the "minor" part of minor surgery, as the recovering part is by no means in proportion. In this case, having surgery in the back of your throat means you cannot swallow at all the first day or so. This includes your own saliva, so the only way you have to get rid of the saliva filling up your mouth is using your tongue to push it out between your lips (in my case it hurt too much to spit it out, even after having some relatively heavy painkillers). However, this improved after the first day.

Now, the scar tissue forming in the back of your throat hurts, and the surrounding area gets swollen, adding to the pain. Each time you try to swallow, you can feel the back of your tongue rub against the scar tissue, which again causes pain. In addition, muscles in the affected area hurt when you ask them to perform the coordinated task of swallowing, making the task non-trivial.

Since swallowing is so painful (even difficult), I have not been able to eat anything solid. At the most, I have only been able to eat small amounts of body-temperature soup and some chocolate pudding with vanilla sauce. I prefer the latter, since the taste is neutral and, unlike some soups, does not seem to irritate the scar tissue (tomato soup, for example, is probably too acidic). However, I am only able to eat a small amount before it gets too painful. This does not mean much in terms of caloric intake, so it mostly just counts as fluid, which is more important than food anyway. As for drinking, I have found that for some weird reason, pure water just hurts too much, so I stick to other drinks. The two most successful ones so far are body-temperatured tea (with milk) and, weirdly enough, ginger ale. Yoghurt is too sweet and acidic. The lack of caloric intake means that this is a pretty effective (although strictly not recommended) diet. My weight has dropped approximately 1 kg (2.2 lbs for you metrically challenged :-) per day, which means I will soon have reversed the past 2-3 years of weight increase, which a certain someone is responsible for. Even if this means I probably can use clothes I haven't been able to wear for years, this is just the wrong way to reduce weight!

As for pain killers, I take them every 6 hours or so (which means I have to get up in the middle of the night, when the pain becomes too intense, to renew the concentration of these chemicals to my blood stream), and the total prospected period I will have to live off them is 10-12 days, according to the doctors. These buggers are a combination of paracetamol and codeine (morphine-based), i.e. of the Paralgin Forte/Major class. Although they take away most of the pain, it certainly does not remove the peaks of pain that come whenever I swallow; i.e. only the average level of pain is reduced. Now, it's not only the scar tissue that hurts. Noooooo! A lot of the surrounding muscles in the general area hurt, and too often I get this intense pain which radiates out from the back of the throat and to the ears. These seem to disappear quicker if I apply a heat pack to the general ear/lower jaw area for 5-10 minutes or so. Although the information I got beforehand mentioned pains for several days, and that it would be difficult to eat, there is no way I could have imagined this level of pain. If I had known how painful it would be, I would probably not have considered this as an acceptable solution to the problem.

(Thanks, tuxette, for supplying me with the foodstuff and liquid, and for being very patient. Now, can you fluff my pillow, please? :-)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Upgrading 4

Today, I had my last day at Work 1.0 (i.e. my first real job after graduating from university). This was a very nice job, at a very nice place (R&D department at a government institution), with very nice and professional colleagues. But it was not the field I had been studying all those years at university, so it meant I had to change fields. Oh well, no big thing - having a doctorate in physics and having computers and programming as a hobby means you can relatively easily learn the subject, and do the job well. But still, it wasn't really relevant to my education. So when I saw this job announcement at another governmental research institution, with a job description that was practically tailor-made for me, I just had to apply. Not only was the position perfect for me, but I know two of the scientists and one of the engineers from a project I did when still a PhD student. Well, I got the interview (no surprise there, really :-). Another person (who happened to be a very good friend of mine, also with a PhD on the same field) got the offer, and I was the runner-up. My friend declined the offer, since he already had accepted another job offering. Thus, I got the offer, and I accepted (I had to think it through for a couple of weeks, though, as I really didn't feel like leaving my old workplace). Some statistics: 1 vacancy, 70 applicants, 7 applicants interviewed, and at least 4 of these had a PhD in a relevant field.

In April, I upgrade to Work 2.0, and I really, really look forward to it!

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