The Mobile Convergence

Over the past few years there has been a subject called Technological convergence not to be confused with Technological singularity In one aspect that event has happened to me this year. Because no one noticed, I have been pretty sporadic with posting on this site. Some of the reason is work related, more of it has been due to me being overwhelmed with events in and out of my control. And others have been due to some health issues.

During and between these events, I’ve been without my laptop (for some the sole source of internet communications). However I have not been without my mobile phone. But to call what I have, just a mobile phone, is questionable. I have a Nokia N900, more a small internet tablet than a phone and it has been a complete, in fact more than a complete replacement for my laptop. For more than 50 days and nights this year I have used it for email (4 POP, 2 Goggle, 1 Office) Web Browsing (Nokia, Firefox and Opera) and specialized apps for WordPress (2 blogs) Facebook, twitter ( 3 different clients) RSS readers, Podcasting, Music playback (several) internet Radio, Movie watching, Bookreading, IMing (Yahoo(2), AIM, Buzz, facebook) GPS, FM radio, Skype and Moble Telephony (telephone, who knew)

In fact, more things than I can do on a laptop, for 50 days this year I’ve been entirely ‘converged’ on my phone.

Absence of Posts

With the rare exceptions, where my personal kettle boiled over, and small posts were made, I have been mostly absent from posting on this blog. Right in the middle of an election, a topic I usually spout off about, there has been silence. So I owe it to the one or two people that do read what I write.

Over the last two months I have been dealing with some health issues, via twitter, some of you know, but between one surgery and another, time flies, and while I was not intending it, I have joined the ranks of the Cancer survivors worldwide. Trust me this is not a membership you should ever seek to join, and an entirely UN-FUN thing to do.

My discovery has been a series of coincidences that began with some basic investigations of mine to determine if the untreatable cancers that have taken members of my family in recent years was to be my fate also. As it turns out, I am not, but during the testing a preemptive removal of an enlarged appendix, lead to the discovery of a cancer there, and further surgery to perform due diligence to ensure all of the cancer was removed cleanly. As of now, all further testing has been completely clear, and free of further indications of cancer. And now I mend, almost the worst part, and I have a enhanced sympathy of those who have been fighting more dangerous cancers.

My gratitude to my surgeon, the staff and nurses at the Bon Secours Hospital. (with the exception of that bed that was trying to kill my back 🙂

A missing (technology) link

I may have stumbled upon a missing link in our technology. But first let me tell you a bit of myself.

I use a CPAP to help me breath at night. And while I won’t die without it, I am somewhat dependent on it for a good nights sleep. Last night I got up for a respite in the necessary and a small clasp gave way. Not completely broken, but incapable of holding my mask on. I managed to kluge a fix in the dark, and finished the night.

I had opened and closed that clasp a thousand times. I was dependent on the tiniest component to breath and sleep. And it came to me that the bits and pieces we use everyday in our high technology lives, have us somewhat by the short hairs. I thought of flash memory sticks, and SSD’s which are built with a limited life span. Just like my clasp, one snap past it’s sell by date. Mean Time to Failure.

Just like every other device we use, you have to have a backup, a plan. Mine with the clasp, was a touch of superglue and the cost of a bit of inconvenience. But what about a life’s work on a flaky flash memory.

Got your super glue handy?

More Pseudoscience in the Press

This video at the BBC U.S. Site that claims Technology ‘rewires’ our brains Is yet another Pseudoscience attempt to baffle with Bullshit, the viewer. It comes off all Super Tech and is really no better than claiming that “Technology destroys our Brains”. Just more Yellow journalism. The disappointing thing is, that it’s coming from the BBC. This is for the U.S. (read American) audience, so I suppose it has to be Dumbed down to that level of that group.

But it is a sorry thing to watch happen.

What can you say

I’ve been neglecting the blogging, Twittering, facebook world lately as personal issues have, I was going to say crept into, but it’s more like slammed into, me again. It’s not depressing enough to hear about an incompetent Irish government politicians robbing from their citizens to bail out their friends. Or to hear about the number of mindless multi-nationals stumbling along destroying communities all over Ireland. I must now travel back to the U.S. during a Swine Flu pandemic to prepare for the death of my younger brother from Pancreatic Cancer.

Great, the next time someone tells me ‘things could get worse!’ is going to get a sock in the mouth.

The Recession and Comfort food

I’m making a bold prediction that this Recession with bring on a resurgence of Comfort food in the Irish diet, and really the world. Many exotic restaurants will begin to feel the pinch long before the local carvery closes it’s doors. The question you could ask, can you still find proper Comfort food these days. I was reminded of this after the wife prepared a fine feast of Shepherd’s Pie and bread pudding.

Irish Meat Denial

  • All the pork recalled before the farms using the contaminated feed are identified.
  • Pork producers offering to refill the supplies without testing the pigs first
  • Declaring that the irish beef is safe after they discovered contaminated cows and before testing all the cattle.

    This is a prescription for Irish disaster, the lack of transparency , the denial and the coverup. Typical Fianna Fáil behavior.

The Other Shoe has fallen

As things go a pair of old shoes are not long separated and the 62 year married couple which are my parents are reunited in death 15 days apart. So now the decision has to be made if I should make the journey back again, I’ve only just gotten back into the time zone here, and the prospect of another 24 hours trip, and another 6 hour shift in time is daunting. Being diabetic, the last trip, screwed up my blood sugar levels badly, I am neither rested, nor up for the passage. Being prepared means nothing here.

Louis C. “Lou” Jordan, 84, Juanita Ione (Morrow) Jordan (84)

Monday may mean independence

I’m looking forward to monday as it may actually become my release from the hospital. The hospital stay in which I’ve posted about the A&E and the long stay through Christmas and the New Year and the Medieval rituals which have had their crescendo on Friday. This is when they attempted to revert my heart back to normal rhythm and failed, after three attempts. I was told after the event that it must have been interesting, and a bit more violent than the movies, as I am now missing one of my front teeth, all the way down to the root, which popped out in front a group of interns getting their first lesson in electro-reversion!

Eating peas has now become an issue.

In any case, with any luck (something sadly lacking of late) I will get my dosing of drugs balanced, my eye’s checked, and escape from Tallaght hospital tomorrow. Hopefully to find a dentist to repair my lasting memories of my stay.

Medicine and medieval torture

Having a Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) a Angiogram and a Transesophageal echocardiogram (TOE) in that order over the last three hospital working days, I can truly see that if you have the chance to avoid the hospital, you should make every effort. The medical procedures are more akin to medieval torture than you might believe. It’s a good thing they drug you for the last two of these, as they would be a lot less fun than they sound 😉

Happy New Year from the Hospital

As I’m still stuck in (and blogging from) the hospital this New Years Eve, I will wish that all the rest of the blogging world remains OUT of the hospital this New Years Eve and hope you can remain in that condition throughout this next year. So I’ll wish you a Very Happy (and sensibly drinking) New Year.

A night, and two weeks at the Tallaght Hospital

What started as a regular stressful holiday season has, by way of my lousy diet while I toil away in Dublin, was made more ‘thrilling’ when in the early morning hours of the Tuesday prior to Christmas I was shocked into awareness of my shortness of breath, and a racing heart rate. As I am not normally in this condition I panicked and began pacing the room.

Knowing this was a dangerous sign, I tried to step through all the conditions that would cause my symptoms, heartburn, blocked sinuses, heart attack, stroke. None of which managed to reduce my heart rate, and the only thing that made me feel better, was standing and pacing the apartment. Believing I could not self-diagnose my problem further, I googled the nearest hospital that I thought I could drive myself to, and found the Tallaght Hospital.

Having managed to get to Tallaght, and finding myself lost in the shopping mall parking lot without signage to the hospital entrance. I did manage to find the A&E entrance by about 4:00AM and into the parking garage which was conveniently located across from the entrance.

I entered, and spoke to the receptionist, and the took my information, and then I sat in the waiting room with a very few others who appeared to be awaiting on other admitted patients. It was really only moments before the duty nurse called me, and I explained my situation. And she attached me to an EKG with more wires that the average computer would need. The appearance of worry on her experienced face did not ease my own concern, but she did manage to explain with confidence what she was doing. I was admitted into a recovery area in the A&E and given several drugs to assist my heart and blood pressure, and monitored for about 6 hours before they were satisfied, and I was moved into a corridor and there I remained for another 6 hours, being fed, and monitored while they found me a room to move to.

And this constitutes the fun part of the visit, from there, the story is more boring than interesting. If you ever get sick, don’t do it during the holidays, between the vacation, and holiday days off, almost no ‘testing’ gets done, and without testing, your treatment does not progress rapidly. Mind you I’m almost certain this has little to do with the staff, as everyone has been all of professional, curious, friendly and even humorous (not in a ‘Scrubs’ way). But I place these delays on the management, as their ‘ability’ to schedule, and resource manage the hospital facilities seems to absent. Perhaps it is just the holidays, but my testing and final treatments could have freed up a bed, and a room, for more than a week of my current two week stay had they scheduled better.

In any case, as a review, I can say, honestly that the Tallaght hospital has proved a positive. I would definitely come again, even if unwillingly, should I require the need again.