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The Inquisitive in search of the Inconceivable

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Sunday, October 21st, 2007
15:31, 21.10.2007
Even though I am feeling on the positive side of neutral to all right, I think it is a sign of something that I am unwilling to look myself in the eyes in the mirror.

And I just noticed that I'm unwilling to look even the plushie seal calf in the eyes.

(24 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Thursday, October 18th, 2007
17:50, 18.10.2007 - Mens Sana?


A week ago my psych put me on a regime of mitrazepine, 15 milligrams daily, in addition to the escitalopram, also 15 milligrams daily. The adjustment of medication has not had the desired effect so far; only the side-effects have manifested.

The noted symptoms include

  • drying of mouth
  • slight apathy
  • elevated appetite -- I have to be eating something almost continuously
  • restlessness
  • elevated pulse or blood pressure or something
  • dreams turning oppressive (the first few nights they were just more lively; now they're turning sour)
  • some 16 to 20 hours after taking the pill, significantly elevated anxiety, bordering on panic
Today the range and severity of symptoms brings the whole on the borderlands to serotonine syndrome. I'm calling the psych tomorrow to let her know of the situation. Most probably we'll be discontinuing the mitrazepine, given that it has not had the effect we wanted on giving a more peaceful night's sleep.

(9 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007
19:03, 17.10.2007

The hydraulic log splitter makes the job of cutting firewood much more efforless and convenient. But it feels blasphemous. The solid thunk of the axe on the wood, the xcrack of the log as it splits, those are highly rewarding. No such immediate feedback from using the machine.

I cite as an excuse to use modern machinery that my back (both upper and lower) is somewhat sore from yesterday when I felled and brought in three trailer-loads of wood from the back edge of the property. Yesterdays work seems to have been a bit more than my musculature (ha!) had expected.

(4 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007
17:48, 16.10.2007 - Legitur

Ayn Rand, Anthem

Given her background, perhaps some of the extremism can be excused. And there are gems in the book, no matter what.

(4 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Monday, October 15th, 2007
18:16, 15.10.2007
*pant* *pant*

Yes, I'm screaming and hyperventilating.


The Swedish Royal Academy and The Swedish National Board of Antiquities are having a huge sale of their publications. HUGE. SALE. OF NERDY AND GEEKY BOOKS.

Insider rumour is that much of the stock will be going at a rate of SEK50 -- per SACK OF LOOT! (In other monetary units, http://www.google.com/search?q=50+SEK+in+EUR )


(19 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007
20:57, 09.10.2007 - Mens sana?

Better living through chemistry.

I have for a long time vigorously resisted that sentiment. I staunchly believe that at least partially due to not using medicaments too much and too often, I respond pretty well and pretty strongly to the absolutely necessary shortish chemical interventions.

It was only after a long and detailed discussion on the mechanism and effects of the SSRIs that I consented to start using that. I need to see it more as a replacement therapy, or medication for a chronic condition. Anyhow, the SSRI regime has given me the possibility to get out of the rut and work towards more complete self-healing.

I have used tranquilisers (oxazepam, mostly) as symptomatic treatment, and the consumption has been mostly low; the 30 pills of 15 milligrams will last several months.

The last week and a half in work was rather more stressful than I realized at the time; by the pill count I must have been taking one or two every workday, perhaps three on some.

Although using the tranqs will enable me to walk among humans undetected, and even do some productive work, I am rather certain that they do depress my creativity and may flatten my emotional experientia. Thus, while I will not refuse to take the pill when the anxiety is overwhelming, I will monitor the consumption more closely and include that metric in my self-assessment.

(2 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Sunday, October 7th, 2007
14:46, 07.10.2007 - Legitur

Bruce Chatwin, Posliiniparoni [Utz]

When I came to the finish, I was wanting an ending, a closure. Thinking more about it, I'm not so sure of anything.

(Actualize your reaction!)

Saturday, October 6th, 2007
17:14, 06.10.2007 - Naturalia

For the last few days it has been somewhat warm considering we are well into October already. This makes for wonderful foggy days.

An October fog when the leaves have turned all shades of red and yellow is amazingly comforting a sight. Combined with the (relative) warmth, the outdoor air feels like the fuzziest of soft blankets imaginable. The smell of newly turned soil, the fragrance of decaying leaves are intensified and the mingle into a perfume full of promise; this is not an end, it is simply preparation for new births in months to come.

The hare has moved from under the lilac to the willow bushes. When I go down the fields, he will spring away, a dozen or two dozen yards. When I'm far enough, then he will return to his favourite daynap spot.

I will light a fire and take a nap in the sofa, or at least a minor rest.

(8 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Friday, October 5th, 2007
17:36, 05.10.2007 - Cultiva

The previous owners grew strawberry commercially here. Like almost all commercial strawberriers, they used permanent mulch -- that is, black plastic ground cover. That plastic was still remaining on what I used as my strawberry patch and one other strip, perhaps some 1000 sq.m. in total. Quarter of an acre? Who cares.

Today I finally had a neighbour in with the plough and two kinds of tillers to yank the majority of the non-biodegrade material off the loam. The strawberry patch was easy, it only took a a few runs with the deep-tined cultivator and the deed was done, except of course for raking the debris and bagging the plastics.

The other fieldlet offered serious resistance. Having been fallow for well over five years, there was all kind of root and thing. Ploughing was an absolute necessity. Then several runs were made with a disc harrow to break up the worst rhizomatous clumps and pieces of turf. Only then the tined cultivator was able to bite in to the soil and drag up the plastics. The procedure, of course, left a lot more small scraps scattered in the field, but at least it is no longer suffocating the soil. I hope to get most of it raked out during the fall.

Then to start planning the plantings. Some vegetative art that will show up in satellite imagery?

(6 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Thursday, October 4th, 2007
16:22, 04.10.2007 - Mens sana?

What are some of the signals that told me that this would be a good time to take a break?

During the summer vacation (four weeks, and still days left over so that I can have paid time off for the full 12 days of Christmas) I never managed to get to the restful and relaxed state. This should have been enough to tell me that I need to take it a leetle bit easier when I get back to the office.

I lost interest in reading. Even during the deepest parts of my current depressive episode I kept reading and liked to read. Not necessarily heavy or highbrow stuff, but reading. Now for more than a months I have had little inclination to read. I might read one page, and then I put the book down. A couple of days later I might read that same page again, and put the book down again. Not captivating. And for me, not a good sign.

My concentration span has been all over the place. From flitting every few minutes from one thing to the next, to immersing myself so thoroughly in to the business at hand that I forget to go to lunch. And in the last couple of weeks the balance has been in the flittery side. Not good.

Interacting with humans has become taxing. I can do it, convincingly and painlessly, but it takes time to recover from the effort. On Monday and Tuesday, the last working days I had this week, I noticed that I hesitate slightly before I open my office door and enter the public spaces of the department. Aversion to humanity is not a good thing even for the introvert.

My libido has been rather low. And although I know what a refreshing feeling a good indulgence in depravity can bring, I haven't been able to muster the interest and go hunting for suitable victims.

Also, there has been a clear feeling of emptiness and non-presence. If I am not paying attention, my movements and actions are decidedly mechanical.

Well. Those do look like sufficient cause for re-assessment of the current situation.

(21 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007
07:28, 03.10.2007 - Mens sana?

Rather exactly two years ago I left on a sick leave for 11 months due to depression, burnout, generalised anxiety, and stuff. About 13 months ago I returned to work full-time.

This summer vacation I never managed to get to the point where the vacation begins to give benefits. This autumn the normal worklife stresses have slowly been accumulating, and I haven't managed to dispose of them.

Now I am taking a few days off; am returning to the office on Monday. My therapist, the company nurse, and Sam all are saying that I really must take a bit longer break for rest and recuperation.

Two years ago it did not feel like giving up. So it should not feel like that now, either.

(7 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Saturday, September 8th, 2007
07:47, 08.09.2007 - Medica

A WHO survey published in the British medical journal The Lancet calls depression "a non-fatal disease".

I'm afraid not. Untreated depression leads unfortuntately often to death.

Luckily depression responds pretty well to treatment. If you suspect clinical depression, seek a medical professional. Mind is an organ, and it is as susceptible to repetitive strain injury as is the wrist or the elbow. You'd seek help for RSI in those and many other organs -- do the same for the problems that the organ called "mind" may develop.

(9 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Thursday, August 16th, 2007
12:33, 16.08.2007
The manager of our office lunch restaurant is a pretty good chef. But there are times when I doubt his language skills. Or perhaps his sense of humour is more subtle than I give him credit for.

Today in the menu we had "Chili con soup".

Reasonably tasty. And it had even the carne, not only the soup.

(2 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007
19:07, 22.07.2007
A one-eyed black cat with a white bib just knocked on the door.

Knocked. On the door.

I did not let him in, neither did I ask what he was offering me. I just looked from the window and waited till he walked off.

He walked to the back entrance and tried to pull it open.

(21 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Sunday, July 15th, 2007
09:01, 15.07.2007

Some people take role-playing too damn... I don't know, deeply?

Sam is preparing a smallish campaign. One of the clues is the laboratory notebook of a mad scientist who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Last night Sam had a nosebleed. He decided to put it into good use, and splattered the distressing (and distressed) notebook liberally with authentic human blood.

I love a man who doesn't have too many unnecessary inhibitions.

(7 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Friday, July 13th, 2007
22:02, 13.07.2007
Sam just recommended that I should get a Boong-Ga arcade game as part of my decor. (Certain Canadian lady and other persons of delicate sensibilities perhaps should not seek additional information on the subject.)

I wonder if he is trying to tell me something.

(8 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Thursday, July 12th, 2007
14:18, 12.07.2007
Now I have an authentic reproduction Cycladic Priapos statuette on my mantelpiece.

Perhaps it would feel more comfortable in a nice secluded corner out of sight.

(14 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
11:37, 10.07.2007 - Chemica

The chemistry of polyester rosin is interesting.

Sam and his friends are preparing to cosplay at a con in August, and I was helping Sam to manufacture some of the weapon mock-ups. We chose to do some bits in fiberglas, which has polyester rosin filling.

As I mixed the hardener in the rosin base, the rosin changed colour from light green to darker gray-green. But the mixture stayed fluid, if viscid, and easy to ladle on the form. Then, perhaps 40 minutes into the work, when we were almost finished, Sam mentioned "It's beginning to gel." And only a minute later it was pretty tough; yielding to stronger pressure, but behaving more like a solid than a fluid.

The chemistry which remains stable for a given time, then switches over to rapid polymerization was odd to witness. I need to read a bit about this; it looked fun.

(5 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Thursday, July 5th, 2007
15:08, 05.07.2007 - Societas

xiphias continues the reporting of the recent European visit he did with his spouse.

[As] American liberals from perhaps the most liberal state in the United States, it does mean that we're more conservative than most of the people we were talking to[.]

I was profoundly satisfied in seeing this remark. It has bothered me considerably that whenever I see U.S. media talking about left-wing this and socialist that in their domestic politics, I feel a rather complete disconnect. Much of what I can see across the Atlantic about the Democratian party at work more resembles what I think of as moderate/centrist conservatives. That the situation looks similar also when seen with native U.S.Atian eyes would appear to validate my judgement.

I am old enough to remember what real social democratic rhetoric used to be like, and I don't see much of that in the States. Not that I see very much of that here, either, these days. At times our socialists seem more socioeconomically "conservative" than the centrist parties.

(5 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
20:06, 04.07.2007
John Morton, Pennsylvania. Often described as being of Swedish descent, which is technically correct. Finland at that time was a province of Sweden. Martti Marttinen, John's grandfather, was born deep in central Finland.

(2 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007
12:06, 03.07.2007

Using a weed-whacker is a bit neater if one uses long-legged pants and perhaps rubber boots as well. It is not the scratches from the flying wires that I mind when I garden bare-legged, but if I don't remember to brush off or preferably take a shower, I find that I'm bringing clorophyll debris all over the indoors.

Not that the pants help very much. There are greenish bits all over my physical body from top to toe. I need to wash the glasses, too.

(5 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

07:48, 03.07.2007 - 42
Well, yes, as it happens. I am.
Still, I don't feel any closer to understanding life, universe, or anything.

(39 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Monday, July 2nd, 2007
11:41, 02.07.2007
I only got to reading weekend's news. It must be a summer trainee that is writing the newswires at the Finnish News Agency STT.

Headline: "A flaming car crashes into airport terminal"

In the body text: "[...] The car burst into flames in the crash. [...]"

If the car only ignites in the crash, it is not a flaming car when it crashes into the terminal. The story was written in very good grammar and had good flow. Except for the timing discrepancy between the headline and the body text.

In my opinion, logic and reason are as important in writing as grammar and ortography. Except some sorts of artsy poetry and postmodern prose.

(13 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Sunday, July 1st, 2007
17:48, 01.07.2007
Yes, I would gladly quote Dr Who as exhorted by numerous entries in various journals. But it is 30 years or more since I last read any of those books, and I don't have any of those on my shelves, either. Dredging brought nothing from the memory, I'm afraid.

(2 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Friday, June 29th, 2007
19:49, 29.06.2007
I had the misfortune to see my rather bare body in almost full-size mirrors.

I look like a Snorlax. Exept that my face is prettier.

That's it. Diet coming up.

(4 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007
20:17, 19.06.2007
Early this spring I patched the driveway with gravel to help it drain and dry more quickly.

Turns out it would have been better not to do that.

Now one time out of three when I mow the lawns, I also get a chip in some window that faces the driveway. I don't mind most of them; I have spare sheets of normal glass aplenty. But the porch glazing is 19th century. Not too much of that in my stores.

(2 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Monday, June 18th, 2007
22:17, 18.06.2007
If you are against small kittens being skinned and used for hats, post this sentence in your livejournal.

(10 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

Sunday, June 17th, 2007
09:17, 17.06.2007
Some things seek the shortest path.
Electricity. Water. Stink.

And little old persons in their little old cars tacking a left turn into a roundabout.

Thank heavens the traffic was so quiet.

- o -

(For the appropriate definition of "shortest", in each case. For some the metric is the energy, for others the logic is different.)

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
17:46, 13.06.2007
[the_Sam] Will it give me enough straight credibility if I make soup from dehydrated stuff and eat it straight from the pot?
[mr_Jusu] You'll be more credible if you just pour hot water into the sachet of dehydrated stuff, slosh it around a bit, and eat the soup straight from there.

(10 reactions | Actualize your reaction!)

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