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[sticky post] Welcome to the journal of stephbg

One day this will become my Welcome post. But not this day. It's a work in progress, like me.

Looking for rock posts and pictures? Here they are.

Or buy them at http://stephbg.redbubble.com



Looking for cat posts and pictures? See Pumpkin. | Princess. | Cally.

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Low Dose Naltrexone update

I'm about six weeks into my LDN trial and well overdue for an update.

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New drug: Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

A few days ago I started a new drug trial so I'm a bit remiss in making a full report. This might not be entirely coherent but should contain enough of the basics for future reference. Disclaimer – I'm simplifying in the extreme to the level of my own basic understanding which may or may not be particularly accurate.

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Demons, puppies, and recorders

I will be very pleased when tomorrow's tradesman (due "about 10am") has completed his work.

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Earlier this afternoon I attempted to consume one square of Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate with Vegemite. You won't believe what happened next.

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What's in the news

OK, I've had a coffee, so let's clear a few things up.

(1) Happy Star Wars Day everyone who likes the idea, the rest of you can go celebrate Monday, or I Made It Out Of Bed Day, or Bloody Hell, That Was A Nice Coffee Day.

(2) I have been culturally conditioned to believe that the arrival of a baby princess is a wonderful and magical event. I am almost entirely able to override this conditioning, but not all of it, so here it is: "Naw, a baby princess." That aside it's an extra dose of surreal to be reminded that this baby is now 4th in line to have non-trivial levels of power and influence over the country of my birth. Also, I'd go for Elizabeth for a name – previous monarchs of the type have done rather well for themselves. Perhaps she shouldn't be allowed to watch Game of Thrones as she grows up, or there'll be fire-breathing winged corgies emerging from the palace labs.

(3) By all means, appreciate the art and science of boxing if that's your thing (the hitting people variety, not the packaging variety, although as a frequent purchaser of fragile items delivered by post I care rather a lot about the other kind of boxing). I shall simply sit here and wonder why on earth there's so much money involved. Like, truckloads of the stuff. It's not like there aren't other sports where athletes put their bodies on the line, never mind professionals of all sorts. It's weird, I say. Weird.

(4) I think there is a place for the death penalty in the world, but only in a vanishingly small number of very specific cases. And for whatever's sake not by firing squad. Jeez.

(5) OK, I'm tired now.

(6) Yes, I don't blog here much any more, see above.

Swancon 2015

Swancon is here again and come hell or high water I'm going again for the full event and staying at the convention hotel. I think this will be my 14th, so I've a long way to go before I collect a badge – they only hand those out to people who've been to 20 or 33. This year is the 40th, and doubles as the NatCon.

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I shopped for clothes, and I think I liked it. But I probably won't do it again. (Warning – this gets depressing.)

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Sometimes a bad day is also a good day

Today I'd hoped to go to hydrotherapy, but unfortunately I was not in sufficiently good shape to go. This was disappointing, but a useful reminder of something important.

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It's not a tooma

For the last few months I've been bothered with pain in the lower joints of my right thumb, ranging from a sensation of mild bruising to oh-no-you-didn't system failure and collapse when trying something adventurous such as drinking a glass of water. It responded to codeine and amitriptyline, but those are at the heavier end of the pain relief spectrum and I try to keep their use to night time. I can't take anti-inflammatories of any kind.

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Warning: shrinkage may occur

Today was my 6 monthly visit to Dr T my psychiatrist. Six months is the default interval so in a sense that's good news. That said I would have brought the appointment forward if it wasn't already there. Things got very very grim around the turn of the year.

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TribbleJ survival notes

I haven't been doing much at all in the way of long form blogging here, but over on Facebook the perilous adventures of TribbleJ are well documented. After he broke two (more) glasses in less than 24 hours over new year's eve I was a broken woman and conceded that maybe one day he might have to go back to the Cat Haven from whence he sprang. It's too much to recreate all of the fun and games here, but I wanted to cobble together some of my notes on where we are and where we might go.

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At the end of January 2015 I will allow my membership of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) to lapse. It's true that for the last couple of years I was only paying discount membership rates because of my employment/health status, and during that time I rarely if ever attended branch events. But before that I was an active member of the society, and I'd worked hard to be accepted as a member. At my peak I was a Certified Computer Professional (MACS CPP), a professional accreditation similar to being a Certified Practising Accountant – not a bad effort for an Arts graduate.

[Note: The standard of writing in this post is embarrassingly poor, I know. I was better when I did it for a living, honest, but now I'm just too tired.]

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Hydrotherapy

I am relieved beyond measure to have done hydrotherapy today, and was lucky enough to have the pool to myself for a really nice session.

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Hail repairs update

As I write this a Nice Man is up on the roof measuring up the patio roof area for replacement. I've had a lot of information thrown at me in the last ten forty minutes and I'll attempt to record it here.

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Hail from hell

tl;dr On Thursday 18th October 2014 at roughly 4pm Sector 7 was struck by an extreme hailstorm which destroyed our patio roof and caused some water damage to the ceiling. Also apologies for timey wimey vagueness and possible cruelty to tenses. Spoons have not been in good supply lately.

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Near enough to 21 years ago, Husband and I got married in a fairly traditional manner, and this included a two-tiered fruitcake-based wedding cake. The lower tier was consumed at or around the time of the wedding, but the top tier remained intact and on display in our homes for, let's say a long time.

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Compose yourself

I'd promised The Catmobile a run today to help chase the cobwebs out of her engine. Due to lack of spoons and thus imagination I ended up in the Sorrento Surf Life-Saving Club carpark, which is where we usually go to look at ocean sunsets and such. By pure co-incidence the club was hosting an art show, so after a period of time sitting on a wall in the sun I thought I'd give it a look. I then discovered I'm some kind of monster. So, a post in which I ramble incoherently about art...

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Vale Giardini's

One of the very few regular outings I get to enjoy is a semi-regular Sunday breakfast with Husband. Mostly we go to Leederville, and when there we habitually go to Giardini's Cafe.

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A Fairy Godmother might come in handy

As SwanCon 2015 is both the NatCon and 40th Swancon, I'd really like to get myself organised this year to turn Pretty Rocks on Frocks fabric(s) into a ball gown of some sort I can wear at the masquerade. This is an Organise My Thoughts post to get things moving along, in the traditionally disorganised format.

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More than just a visit to the hairdresser

Last Thursday I went to Identified Hair in Kensington to get some colour put through my hair. And when I say I "some" colour, I mean all the colours – I'm told the technical term is Unicorn Vomit. (None of the photos do it justice, but your chances of seeing me in person are slim.) Apologies for the length of this post. (Edited to correct spelling of Ree to Rhi - sorry Rhi!)

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Well, that was unexpected

It's just before 2am and I'm back from my first emergency vet visit.

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Just a day

Just stuff. Apologies for the Stephen Moffat style non-linear nature of the narrative.

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Repopulating Sector 7 - Welcome TribbleJ

On Friday 13th of June on the day of the full moon I went to Cat Haven and chose a kitten to become part of our family here at Sector 7. We are now a complete cat home again with the maximum number of three kitties as allowed by law. I am a crazy cat lady once more.

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RIP Cally 1993-2014

A few days after my last post about Cally, and as she came down after her latest dose of Tramal, it became clear that her time had come. The signs were many, but in essence she was going to be back in pain and discomfort for at least another couple of days before I could give her more pain relief. And the nature of that pain relief was making her treatment look more and more like the jerking of a puppet. Her eyes said no more. Her whiskers said no more. It was time.

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It's happening

Cally's final appointment made with Dr Laura tomorrow at 10:15am. Second of its type in under a month. Third in under 18 months. Fuck. Thanks everyone for your kind words over on FB.

Cally herself has made the timing of the decision relatively easy - she's had enough. I'm a wreck, even more so than for the others. She's been a huge part of my life for 20 years, and I've always been her one and only human. 20 years! I've spent more time with her than with any person, Husband included. She's drawn significantly more of my blood than Husband has too. People started telling me to prepare for her loss seven years ago when she was a mere 14. Suddenly I find I'm not prepared at all.

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My old soldier Cally

Although Princess dominated the cat medical news for a while, my attention was never off my eldest cat and old friend Cally. At 21 she is kept going by veterinary magic and a stubborn personality, but the nature of her end is starting to become clear. This is another "organise my thoughts" post. Blogging is handy for this sort of thing.

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Reflections

Unless you are very unfortunate, the death of someone you know always comes as a shock. It's not always a surprise, but it's generally a shock. In the last week I've heard of two deaths by suicide, not by people close to me personally, but close enough to have stirred many thoughts. This post is in the service of those thoughts, which are unlikely to be organised but I need to get them out of my head.

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Dinosaurs ahoy

Last Thursday Husband and I went to see the Dinosaur Discovery exhibit at the Museum of WA. We'd be attempting this for a couple of weeks and finally motive, means, and opportunity combined in a precious outing.

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RIP Princess Twinkle Toes 1997-2014

Princess Twinkle Toes is no more.

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Let's talk about Princess

I've been wanting to write this post for at least a couple of weeks, to help me put my thoughts in order and make a decision about Princess' future. A couple of days ago something changed to make that decision easier, but I'd still like to talk this through. (TW I suppose – talking about the pending death of a pet.)

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Sunday outings

Had a good day today.

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Retail chemical warfare

It is an unfortunate truth of spoon management that you often have no choice in the timing of most activities. If spoons become available you immediately perform the next item on the to-do list. Thus I found myself shopping for groceries at lunchtime on a Saturday, the busiest time of the week, albeit short of pre-holiday panic shopping for the apocalypse.

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Swancon 39 2014 Conjuration

Over the Easter break I made my annual pilgrimage to Swancon, the annual WA speculative fiction convention. I stayed at the con hotel and was able able to attend the entire event (off and on) from opening to closing ceremony. I only had my phone with me so made short posts to Facebook rather than longer con reports here. "Proper" con reports are still a bit beyond me, but I'll reproduce the FB posts here and annotate as seems necessary. Dates and time for particular entries may be a bit fuzzy, but I'm hopeful that there are unlikely to be any legal implications from sloppy record-keeping. Lawyers, fussy things.

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More physio fun

Today I went to physio Georgia to explore the significance of the knee-centred relief I experienced during my latest massage. i.e. if I could experience such relief would it be possible to replicate the effect without the subsequent crippling pain. The short answer appears to be "not really".

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Art, Pain, and Princess

I appear to be awake at an unsociable hour and have a backlog of things I'd hoped to post about. This will no doubt be more than a little disorganised and rambly, so no change then.

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Princess and the Pee

First the good news: for the last week I can definitely confirm that Princess' pee has not had any visible blood in it. And in other good news, today we caught the aforementioned substance on one of the puppy housetraining absorbent pads we put out near one of the litter tray stations.

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Cafepress woes

Oh bugger. Looks like I must have given Cafepress permission to randomly stick my designs on any old product they want, regardless of how well they fit. (I'm assuming there's a clause buried in the T&Cs somewhere).

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And in other news...

Have run out of blog spoons for now but on Sunday enjoyed a wonderful visit from ex-minion Dunja (she of the sadly missed picnic), and today (Monday) went to my favourite annual art event Sculpture by the Sea. Also had lunch for the first time at the Indiana Tea House (or whatever it's called these days.)

So. Much. To. Say... But at least the cat news is up to date.

On Thursday I'm getting my hair dyed purple and green :-)

Some time in the next two days I need to do hydrotherapy, and I've a sick sister to visit.

Have been running myself to the edge of exhaustion multiple times this last week, so yay? My candle is spherical and I'm burning it all over its surface area.

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Vet visits for young and old

Last week Boris Giles went to the vet for his first annual checkup and vaccinations. A couple of weeks ago Princess went to the vet on a semi-emergency visit and was back again today, but we at least caught her pre-emergency.

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