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filling the void

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bullshit Technicalities

As some of you know, my girlfriend is currently doing an internship for the European Commission in Brussels. As a result, I travel down there about every other weekend, and she travels back the remaining weekends. This seemed like a good deal, because the EC had promised to pay for our trips, since I'm her "significant other", and she was actually leaving "home" to do this internship.

It now turns out, however, that definitions matter a great deal to the EC. Because we were not officially living together, and that she didn't return to her registered address (that she moved out of when she left for Brussels) when the came back here (but rather to me), it doesn't count, so we don't get out money back. None of it, not a cent.

Not that I hadn't gone down to see her as often as I could even if they hadn't promised to pay, but you just feel fucked over by the government, once again, when this kind of stuff happens. When we were first told about the reimbursements, I thought to myself "hey, maybe there is at least some good in government circles", but I was wrong. The government keeps screwing you over at every chance they get. They get by on doing the bare minimum required, and often not even that. In the immortal words of Leo Getz, "They fuck you at the drive-thru!"

I feel properly and fully rogered. Thanks EU, this is just what I needed. A good ass-fucking to show me who's boss!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Lack Of Sunlight Kills

I knew it! Finally I am vindicated! Living in countries like my own (Sweden) is detrimental to your health! You heard it from the horse's mouth.

The second comment mentions this:
This is EASY, people. It's not like they don't sell UVB 2% up to 10% daylight CPF screw in light bulbs at any decent pet store that carries reptiles.

Perhaps I shall look in to it...

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Firefox 3.0

Firefox 3.0 has hideously ugly widgets, and is slow as hell.
I thought installing it in a different directory would let me keep two version around, but no...
Firefox 3.0 clobbered my settings, raped my add-ons, and dropped all my carefully collected cookies. Was a backwards compatible version that hard to do? Did you have to change to much that you couldn't possible coexist with the previous version?

I'm sticking with 2.0 until ff3 starts behaving. It's bad enough that I had to drop Netscape for this, now they're fucking their own customers over...


What the hell is wrong with me?

Why can't I run? Why can't I, after more than two months of regular running, run without leg and/or lower back pain? Two months is what it generally takes people to get fit enough to run 5km without stopping. I have to push myself to the limit to run 5km in 800m intervals in 30 minutes.
You would have thought that I would have settled in to a nice pace and stride by now, but no. It's an eternal fucking struggle against the pain and the awkwardness of running.

I can imagine that most people, after running for a couple of weeks, settle in to something akin to walking at a higher pace. You don't really have to think about the technique, you just do it. Me, on the other hand, I have to think about every fucking step. It doesn't matter what I do, I can't seem to get a good thing going.

As if that wasn't enough, the pain just keeps coming back. I recently took a week off from running to heal my legs. I started back up on Monday, and it took about 500m before the pain was back again. Same locations, shins and calves. Not to mention the lower back, but that doesn't set in until about 750m.

The worst things is that I know what causes all these problems, and I've done everything in my power to alleviate the problem, but nothing works. I've tried long stride, short strides, hig knees, straight legs, landing on my heel, landing on my full foot, landing on my toes, landing with my leg straight, with my leg bend. Nothing I do takes the pain away, NOTHING!

What the hell am I doing wrong? I've read just about everything I can get my hands on about my problem, and tried everything therein to fix it, but it has all been for nothing. I'm going to give it a couple of more months. If I can't run 5km without stopping and without pain by the time fall rolls around, I'm going to consider running a dead sport to me.

The only thing I can think of that could be causing this would be my crappy bio-mechanical conditions. My foot arches are different from each other, my feet are of different size, my legs are of different lengths, and I have suffered from a lot of back pain in the past, due in part to this. Getting a proper chair fixed almost all my back problems instantly, but apparently that doesn't extend to running.

I hate the situation I'm in, and I don't want to quit, but I'm affraid that I might have to. If I do quit I won't do it without having given it a proper try. By the time september rolls around I will have been running for five months. If my problems haven't been solved by then, I'm affraid I'm going to have to admit defeat.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Why the hell am I so fragile? Why isn't 24 hours enough to recuperate from 30 minutes of running? I've been running 2-4 times each week now for little over two months, I have proper shoes fitted by a specialist, I run on a soft surface (track), and I still end up with sore muscles after each run. I need 1-2 days of recovery in between sessions to not break down completely, and it's pissing me off!
You would have thought that my body would have adjusted by now, but noooooooooo. I'm doing everything by the book, yet I still break my body each time I lace up. I's incredibly frustrating, especially since there doesn't seem to be anything I can do to get better. While my stamina has increased (5km in 30 minutes, with some walking inter-spaced), I can't seem to get fit enough for mu muscles to handle this simple thing of a run a day. I'm not asking much. I'm not asking for hours each day, or a triathlon each weekend, just grant me 30 leisurely minutes of running each day, is that too much to ask?
Here I am with an ice pack on my shins, having to cut my run short after 20 hellish minutes before admitting defeat in the face of having to spend 1-2 weeks not running at all should I continue and completely trash my legs. Today it even got to the point where my thighs started hurting. My thighs! My thighs never hurt, normally. It's always my calves (less so lately, however), and my shins (always a fucking pain). I stretch and I do toe-raises as my desk daily, but that doesn't seem to help the fact that my shins never get with the program. I guess I could spend 2-3 weeks completely off running and physical exercise to let them heal, but then I'm back to square one again. I will have lost my stamina, my remaining muscles will have weakened, and I have to start building them up again, which inevitably will kill my shins.
It's a vicious cycle, and I don't know how to break it.
Help me Obi-wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Empirical testing and salt

I have come to the conclusion that salt poured into the water before the pasta is boiled does a lot more for the taste of the food than salt poured on top of the food when it is ready. I decided to try to cut down on my salt, and one way of doing this was to skip the pre-salting of my food. This culinary experiment resulted in a tasteless disaster. Having gone without pre-salted food for about a month, and then accidentally switching back the other day, I can proclaim that I have seen the light, and it is salt in the pot before the pasta goes in!
You would think that putting the salt on the surface of the food instead of infusing it into the food would taste more, since your taste buds would touch the surface of the food more than the inside, but apparently that is not the case. Chips and cookies, for instance, have stuff on the outside that will hit your tongue first and trick you in to believing that the entire cookie or chip tastes the way the outside tastes. Things like cookies would be even more unhealthy if they tasted as delicious all the way through.

Salt is delicious, and so is sugar. I can imagine very few things in the world I would be less likely to give up.