Saturday, December 12, 2009

A wedding in Bangkok

First night in BKK was to attend June's colleague's wedding in BKK at the Novotel Airport Hotel's ballroom.

It was an evening of hobnobbing with the Thai personnel, many of whom June contacts by email. Now they finally meet in person.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Win already

Who knew my Windows 7 upgrade would still cost me some mo' money? I did some research, see? I didn't want all the drivers, settings and programs I'm already comfortably running on Vista to be completely wiped out by installing the new OS. It's such a pain to reload everything back the way it was. My research turned up 'PC Mover', a useful little app that saves the old configurations and re-uploads the whole thing onto the fresh install. Quite a lifesaver, that. Only cost US$19.99 to download and use.

Not that the transition was perfectly smooth though. I had to reinstall my Norton anti-virus because it didn't understand how to function in this new environment (PC Mover already warned me about this, so it wasn't a surprise). But my Belkin wireless G USB adapter proved too primitive for the new OS to handle -- even in Win XP compatibility mode. With no Win 7 drivers forthcoming from Belkin, I had to go out to buy a more contemporary Linksys replacement at $59. And now i'm back online again.

So, the benefits of having a fully functional Win 7? Um... programs load marginally faster than in Vista. But other than that, I haven't really tested it yet. Too busy getting my configs customized back to my taste before I go exploring through the new frontier.

In case anyone's interested, my back's mostly recovered. Now there's only a twinge where there was once agony, and it only hurts again when I hyperextend -- not that there's any good reason for one to hyperextend their backs. I just want to see how far I can push myself before the pain returns. Yes, I'll continue to be careful. I'm still in no condition to play hero.

Leaving for Chiang Mai in a few hours time. In-laws will have the run of our place in return for pet sitting duties. Wonder if there are any reputable Internet cafes up there? If not, this could be my last entry until I return.

Xmac is... ON VACATION!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Progressively recovering

Thankfully, my back doesn't hurt as much now. And as the pain is receding, I can flex and bend further... well, enough for me to vacuum the floor with my horrendously expensive vacuum cleaner -- no, not the Roomba, the manually operated one. I've still got a little over 24 hours to recover before I head north for a few days. Will try as far as possible not to do any heavy lifting so as not to aggravate the injury, but luggage inevitably tends to get heavy. Have to see how there.

Anyway, today I had an important decision to make. I haven't yet made use of the $400 our benefactor (who shall remain anonymous) had left for me this year. I needed to make a purchase fast, before the accounts close. Yes, it's a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. I narrowed my choices down to a) an iPhone 3GS or b) a Windows 7 upgrade package. Neither item would I purchase on my own, but since the cost was going to be credited to someone else's account, they became viable choices to drool over. Guess which I picked?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Still mobile

Thankfully, I haven't been incapacitated. I am still mobile, just inconvenienced. Am learning to rely on my knees more and am supporting my weight against sturdy objects like tables and walls if I need to go off-balance, say for changing clothes, or standing up or sitting down. The worst pain comes from standing from a lying-down position, like when I wake up from bed. That now requires some thought to minimize the strain.

The worst case scenario would be that I had slipped a disc. But in the doctor's professional opinion, my back injury is not that serious. More likely to be a sprain because the pain is not directly in the centre of my spine, and because I wasn't doing any heavy lifting when it happened. I got a prescription for a muscle relaxant, painkillers and anti-gastric pills to counter the painkiller's side effects. Need lots of home rest and fortunately (or unfortunately?) it's the December hols when I can rest up without guilt.

Speaking of injuries, it seems more kids are getting injured at play these days. How in the world can that be possible? As far as I have observed, our kids don't play. They aren't allowed to play because they have to be doing homework or 'mug' all the time. Our playgrounds are foam padded, the equipment plasticized with no sharp corners or hard edges. Toy safety regulations are paranoid, to say the least. Hmm... there may be one explanation: more parents are taking their kids for medical treatment over minor scrapes and bruises that in the past we kids just ignored and let heal on their own. These days, any abrasion would warrant an anti-tetanus jab. Parents.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sore back

I promised myself it would never happen. I was always conscious to take care of myself, always being sure to bend at the knees when lifting heavy objects. Nevertheless, somehow I've thrown my back out. And I wasn't lifting anything.

It probably happened because of some uncomfortable sleeping or sitting position, causing a strain in my lower back which I felt as of yesterday. Didn't think much of it at the time, but today when I bent over to pick up Momo (I hadn't even touched her yet), I felt something give and I had to spend some minutes flat out on the floor hoping to straighten out my spine again.

Been in pain the rest of the day. In-laws were really nice. May brought dinner over 'cos I didn't feel well enough to walk, and Ling brought over a Salonpas muscle relief patch to ease me through my sleep.

Doubt it's the kind of pain that will just go away in a few days. Will seek medical attention in the morning.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

TO alumni meet and feed

A day of catching up with friends from TO. Haven't seen Jon for ages. We missed him the last couple of times he's been back to visit, but couldn't pass up this opportunity to finally meet for lunch at least. Jon probably wasn't one of us who used to sing "Please don't send me to Africa", because that's where he worked as a missionary among the Xhosa for three years. Now that he's done with his adventures in the bush, he's returned to civilization with the lovely lady beside him and the wee bairn in arms. Shoutout to Cat and Sam too! Our schedules have been too crazy to meet properly this year(!) until today.

Dinner at Mary of the Angels. Jen invited us and Adrian to attend the Choice 29th Anniversary D&D. Quite a fun evening, opening with a dance-along to Wondergirls' "Nobody", and lots of great musical performances to keep us entertained through the evening. Plus a few table games too, the good thing being that it didn't matter if we didn't want to participate, but just focus on our food and conversation. We let the competitive ones at our table represent us, no pressure for the rest.