29 April 2008

Geckos beware

Yesterday started off with a shock: I boiled my tea water in the electric jug (similar to an electric kettle) and then discovered the jug contained a (now boiled) gecko. Apparently the poor creature had fallen in through the spout sometime overnight. I don't know whether it had drowned before being boiled, but either way—the incident really put me off the idea of tea for the day. I think it was the same critter that had fallen into the honey container a few weeks ago. Sigh... I'm planning to get a new jug; I can't bear the though of using the old one, even if I clean it thoroughly. Meanwhile, the microwave oven boils water just fine. Eric took photos of the deceased, but I won't inflict them on you.

21 April 2008

Medical update

Eric and I drove to Mackay for my routine checkup by the orthopedic surgeon. As expected, he says all is well regarding my hips. I just have to keep practicing walking properly until I get it right. All the hints he gave me about walking are the same as the physio's instructions (though the physio added some specific exercises to the list), so my biggest problem is impatience. I’d probably improve faster if I following my exercise regimen more thoroughly, I must admit. And losing the weight I gained last year would no doubt help a lot too. As for the knee pain, we'll revisit that issue in 6 months at my next checkup. He says it's quite possible that the problem will resolve itself when my walking gait improves. I hope! Otherwise, he thinks it's more likely something that can be fixed with "keyhole surgery" instead of something more invasive, since the x-rays show no sign of bone wear. I've been reading a bit about the marvelous things they can do with artificial cartilege and/or fixing tendon/muscle attachments—whatever the actual problem might turn out to be. After my appointment, we did some shopping but I ran out of enthusiasm before we got through the whole list. We did find several small items that we've been hunting for some time, so we considered the day a success. I did most of the driving, and I'm delighted to report that nothing hurt or cramped up or went numb or any of the other annoying symptoms I sometimes get from being in the car for too long. When we got home, I immediately fell on the bed and slept for two hours—I'm definitely lacking in stamina after so much inactivity over the past year.

12 April 2008

Scanning old slides

Today I finally started on a project I've been avoiding for years (because of the volume of work involved): scanning all my old slides into digital form. Several years ago I bought a scanner than handles slides and film, and I used it a bit but then got distracted by other, more interesting, projects. I have around 4,000 slides dating back to the 1960s, covering travels in Europe, North America, New Zealand, Australia and possibly North Africa. The quality of the scans isn't great, but in many cases this is because the colour in the slides has deteriorated over the years. Perhaps I'll use The Gimp to turn them all into sepia so they look even older.