I guess I should wish everybody out there a happy Thanksgiving that celebrates it.
I haven't been around much lately, certainly not as much as I would like to be. Things have been difficult lately, to say the least.
Around this time of year things go completely berserk at my dayjob. For a while I was pulling 14 hour days, capped off with feverishly working three days straight on one of the biggest projects of my career, which not only wound up going off without more than the expected number of hitches but has garnered quite a few kudos from the community. I'm rather proud of how it turned out. Unfortunately, it also took its toll, namely, on my health. During the final leg of the project I noticed that I was starting to get sick, and by that Tuesday my cow-orkers were telling me to go home and sleep because I looked like death warmed over. Unsurprisingly, I've been battling a nasty cold that's kicked the legs out from under me. I still haven't kicked out of big-project mode yet, because the last few times I've started to feel better I've run myself aground again without realizing I was doing so. This is not good. It also seems that I brought this particular nasty home, and now my family is in various stages of fighting it off.
This week, it was my turn to suffer a somewhat debilitaring kitchen accident.
Last week, Lyssa nearly took the tip of her thumb off with a chef's knife while helping to make pizza for dinner, an accident which resulted in several stitches to reattach the flap of skin that ordinarily formed the end of her left thumb.
Last night, while helping to make dinner I accidentally grabbed the handle of a skillet that had spent the previous half-hour in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven. With my entire hand. There are (still closed) blisters on four of the five digits on that hand (the irregular whitish oval patches), the web of the thumb (not shown), and parts of the palm (barely visible in that image) (my hand's wet-looking appearance was due to soaking my hand in ice water for about half an hour to stop it cooking). Dinner was spent with my hand submerged in ice water, but the rest of last night was spent in the emergency room when the blistering became readily apparent.
Diagnosis: Second degree burns on... let's say 45% of my hand, lacking a scientifc metric. The pain was somewhere around a 6 on the numeric scale; I'd carefully say that it was as uncomfortable as having one or two broken ribs due to how difficult the gnawing pain made to concentrate.
I've got a pile of prescriptions that I need to get filled today, and I most certainly should probably not be typing right now because it'll aggravate the discomfort (though it'll probably keep the damaged skin from shrinking and seizing up). All I can really do is manage pain and prevent infection until the skin regenerates.
Looks like I'm on the shelf for the next couple of days.
I'm still around, just been too busy to get a lot of other stuff done really. I need to get a couple of articles written and maybe a tutorial or two. My overall health seems to be on an upswing right now, which is a really good sign. First good sign in a while, really.
It's funny, how the tools that you already have are the ones you tend to be afraid of using, because you don't know what'll happen. Confidence is one of those things that comes with knowing what the hell's going on, or at least having a better idea of same.
When you finally have some answers you can start asking better questions.
I'm still alive. No, I didn't party too much on my birthday. Just about all of last week consisted of twelve hour days of nothing but meetings with several times the number of people I'm accustomed to handling simultaneously. Additionally, I was working on a music review for Vampire Step-Dad, which required a pair of studio grade noise-cancelling headphones and listening to tracks repeatedly. I seem to have given myself a case of sensory overload, because now I feel numb all over... I also attended Pantheacon last weekend, which did a number on me. I realize that I could (and should) have holed up in my hotel room with a pair of earplugs in to recuperate, and there was no shortage of signs on Saturday morning that I should have done so. Signs, I hasten to add, that I disregarded in a perhaps inadvisable attempt to push my capabilities a bit farther than normal.
Minor repairs are required for parts of my exocortex as a result of pushing myself too far.
I have a timed post or two set to go up this week, but I'll be spending as much time as I can offline to recuperate.
I shouldn't have to write this disclaimer, but here we go anyway: I am not one of these people and never will be. I mirrored the documents in question because data has a way of disappearing from the Net when lawyers get involved, a phenomenon called HTTP Error 451 (Unavailable for legal reasons), and we're already seeing potentially damaging and damning information quietly going away. So, if you're going to say that because I have a copy of a particular document on my website I support the author when I just said I didn't, please pull your head out of your ass.
What a world in which I have to say this.
If you were fortunate yesterday you got to watch this man, Richard Spencer (Wikipedia page archived at 20170121@0955 hours PDT in case somebody sanitizes it) (local mirror) (mugshot), get punched dead in the face (local mirror in case the video disappears) by what appears to be an antifa protestor on live television. Spencer is openly and vocally a white supremacist and chairbeing of an uncannily influential white supremacist think tank called the National Policy Institute (google them, I'm not linking to their website), though in the US they're calling themselves white nationalists these days. He wrote this article (Internet Archive copy because it mysteriously vanished from his website) (local mirror) At the Inauguration yesterday, he said this: "Let's party like it's 1933." (local mirror) There is some controversy about this guy getting clocked while being interviewed. Perhaps, some say, they should have given him a chance to make the first move. Perhaps he should have been taunted into throwing the first punch to have some justification for getting nailed.
I disagree, and this is why: Have you ever gotten stomped?
Seriously - have you ever gotten the living hell beaten out of you because you were not white, or because you were queer or just because somebody wanted an excuse to take you out? Legit beaten down, wound up in the hospital, perhaps injured for an extended period of time? Maybe still feeling it years later?
These screwheads do not give you a chance. They do not taunt you into throwing the first punch. They do not let you make the first move. They come at you with everything they've got, usually as a group, and they do not let up until either you're down and out or somebody comes to your rescue (which is rare, if ever). They have only one thing in mind, and that's turning you into paste on the floor or sidewalk. They do not let up until they think they're done, for some definition of done. They care about taking you out, period, full stop.
Does that make what happend to him right? Well, yes, he's a goddamn Nazi. His followers, and groups moving along the same lines have done the same thing to people time and time again over the years, often much worse than he got. People like Spencer have the gift of making up erudite-sounding words to justify it.
I shed no tears and raise a toast to the unknown person who punched him. That was a very small taste of what some of us got for the crime of merely existing. It isn't a matter of right or wrong, it's a matter of what goes around comes around.