Friday, October 29, 2004

The TELUSfear

Here's a scary story for Halloween. I was horrified to learn last night that Vancouver's Science World is about to be renamed to TELUSphere, as part of a sponsorship agreement between the facility and phone service provider TELUS. I find it difficult to fully express the deep loathing I feel towards this naming decision - but I'm going to try.

First of all, there's the obvious: the growing trend towards selling out our notable landmarks and slapping a corporate sponsor's name and logo all over them, thereby embedding even more advertising into our already media-saturated and consumer-driven lives. No longer will I gaze upon the twinkly lights of Science World at night, like a firework captured in mid-explosion; instead, I'll find myself resenting the imposition of the TELUSphere upon my view.

Had the learning centre merely been renamed "TELUS Science World", I would have grumbled. I would have shaken my head, and ranted a bit to friends and colleagues, and thumbed my nose at the logo as I biked past - and eventually picked up the pieces and moved on with my life. But part of what I find so abhorrent about this new name is that it eliminates any trace whatsoever of the purpose or content of Science World. There is no suggestion of science, or learning, or even fun. There is nothing in the word "TELUSphere" to indicate that the giant shiny globe is anything but a showcase for TELUS. To the uninitiated, it could be a wireless networking superstore, or a corporate research station, or an amusement park ride.

So I certainly won't be patronizing the "TELUSphere" or the Omnimax within it any more, if the name changes goes ahead. Had I children, I would not bring them there; I would not want them to grow up associating the brand of TELUS with the fundamentals of science and technology (particularily when the cell phone signal at my office is so unreliable). And I've got an online petition started, for what it's worth. Once there's enough names on it I'll send it to Science World's Board of Governors and see if they'll consider a more appropriate name. I'd also encourage anyone else who is bothered by this to send letters to Science World and the newspapers. It can't hurt to at least make our feelings known.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Standing ovation for Flickr.

First of all, I just set up a Flickr account, and I loooove it. I only have a few photos up yet, but so far I think the interface is fantastic - it's incredibly easy to use and edit. I greatly appreciate that when you view your own photos, you can change the title or description with one click - so much more natural and efficient than clicking on an edit button, making the changes, saving it, going back to your photos... it's more like editing a web page within the page itself (something I quite like about WebNote). Hey, and Flickr is by a Vancouver company, too.

Secondly: have interest rates risen on basic audience applause? It seems like it's impossible to go to any large-scale performance by anyone known to the public without at least one standing ovation required. Back when I was a little girl (*creak of rocking chair*), a standing ovation was reserved only for the most sublime performance the likes of which were rarely seen. Now it's become a general show of support, an acknowledgement of a person's fame, or a chance to stretch your legs; it doesn't mean anything any more. What are we supposed to do now when we really are impressed by someone? Throw clothing?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

What the hell happened to Olympus? [+ updates]

I've owned an Olympus C3000Z camera for, oh, five or so years. It's a good workhorse - bit bigger than I'd like it to be, but I can add lenses if I'm so inclined, the quality is great, and I've been very happy with it. Someday I'll get a nice little micro that I can port around, but not now.

With my old computer, I used Olympus's software, Camedia Master, to connect to the camera and download images. It was fine for my purposes, but I only had it for OS 9; when I bought my new computer I needed software for OS X. I went to their site to download it; of course, I couldn't just download the new software, I had to buy the new version, 4.2. And I couldn't even download THAT - they had to send it via Purolator in an old-fashioned CD case. Well, whatever, such is the way of things; I coughed up the money and hit Submit.

A few weeks later, I still hadn't received the software; Purolator had no record of the software being shipped, although I had a tracking number. I called Olympus and a sullen woman said she'd check with shipping. A few days later I got a notice of the new shipment. It arrived in due time but I had to drive out to the airport to get it.

Camedia Master 4.0's interface is astoundingly nonintuitive. It has cryptic icons that do not describe their functions with text or rollovers. I do like the fact that you can view your photos by album OR by file folder, something I wish basic iPhoto would do. But when I downloaded some images from the camera, I could not for the life of me find how to delete the images from the camera! No reference to it in the help files. This is fairly fundamental functionality that was available in Camedia 2.0. And while I was twiddling my thumbs waiting for the initial shipment of the software, I discovered that I didn't really need this software at all: iPhoto can connect to my camera and download the photos just fine.

Feeling like an idiot, I emailed Olympus to ask them how I can get the software to delete the images from my camera. It took them two days to get around to telling me that it can't be done:

> The only way to delete picutrers from the camera is on the camera.
> The software has no way of deleting picuters.

I emailed them to ask for a refund; I feel a bit ripped off paying for an upgrade of software I don't need that has less functionality than it started with. I got a response, the same day this time, that asked me to call their Emporium phone number, and added:

Also let me inform you that deleting pictures from the computer can
damage and corrupter the card.

Now, this may be true, but I can't say I ever had a problem with it in the years I've had the camera and the previous software. But I'm just one example. Maybe it goes wonky on Windows machines.

I called the Emporium around 9:30 AM PST and sat on hold for twenty minutes. The woman I spoke to did not seem to have much technical knowledge; when I told her that the software I used in OS 9 had the delete functionality but it had been removed in OS X, she asked "So you're using something called Oh.. Ess Ex?" (I informed her it is the standard Macintosh operating system.) She told me I probably couldn't get a refund since I'd opened the software package, and she would get her supervisor to call me after lunch. It is now 2:15 PST, and after closing time on the Long Island, where Olympus is located; I never received a call.

I can understand that, to prevent piracy, Olympus might not want to give me a refund. But at the very least they could put a little effort into their customer service, particularily when they know they've got a disgruntled long-term customer waiting for a response. It's not abysmal - at least they answer their emails, and they haven't sworn at me yet - but it just comes across as rather shoddy and haphazard.

I'll keep you posted if I get any kind of response from them, but I've already blacklisted them as a source for future cameras, barring a Herculean effort of customer support.

UPDATE 10/26: I just got an email back from an Olympus representative giving me instructions on how & where to return the software. Hooray! So they get a few points back for that. I'll send it back this week.
UPDATE 10/28: The representative told me to go to the Olympus store online to get the return form, and gave me the link. Currently, the link goes to a page titled "Error" on which the only text is "Not enough storage is available to complete this operation.". This is becoming a saga.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Random thought about RSS

Isn't it a bit ironic that with RSS feeds, we've actually headed backwards to something more like the text-based, hierarchical menu structure of the Gopher days? When Mosaic emerged, everyone was awfully excited about the potential of ditching menus and including images in our content. Now RSS has emerged and we're awfully excited about the potential of grabbing the content and placing it into a menu. Hey, I love RSS and I see how spiffy it is to extract an XML feed and import it into another interface and all - but when you think about it, it's good for a chuckle.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Saving the world, etc.

Yesterday the WWF released a report about how humans are using 20% more natural resources than the earth can produce, and describes the repercussions that we're already well aware of: decreasing biodiversity, increasing ecological footprint, overdependence on fossil fuels, and so on. This is so discouraging, especially when I see that Bush, the most environmentally unfriendly president in history, is likely to be re-elected, so the US (one of the worst offenders) is not going to change their ways any time soon. Even if you were to assume that the WWF is slightly biased, you know the numbers are still awfully high, and the evidence of climate change is everywhere.

We went to a talk in the evening by Jane Goodall in support of the Spirit Bear, and she had much to say on the topic of hope and making a difference. It was obviously meant to be inspiring, but didn't really help my pessimism. I have huge amounts of respect for individuals who go forth and make some noise and get things done, but I've never felt that passionate drive necessary to do it myself. I feel strongly about many issues, but not enough to really get deeply involved in an issue, and so then I feel guilty about that. And when it comes to taking on corporate powermongers whose existence depends on the continued destruction of the environment, I feel utterly useless. A donation here or there, and then I wimp out, even despite living in Vancouver, where activism is as common as rain.

But I felt much better today when I read that Russia has ratified the Kyoto treaty, thus breaking the stalemate and allowing the treaty to be implemented. That means something huge has shifted, and there will be some change. Not today, not tomorrow, I'm sure there'll be some weaselling out of some regulations, and it may be a while before we really see the effects... but it's a positive step on a large scale.

And in the meantime, while I may not be singlehandedly sallying forth to fight for an endangered species or a rare patch of bog, I try not to add to the problems too much: I avoid driving as often as I can, I shop locally, I recycle. This week I started collecting rainwater to use on my plants so that I use less tapwater. It's a drop in the bucket (so to speak!), and it's not going to save the world on its own, but I'm listening and so are a lot of other people. We'll see what happens.

People will play anything!

Just discovered BlogShares, a fantasy stock market site where the "companies" are weblogs. To my surprise, this very blog is worth $1k in fake money. It would probably help if somebody was, y'know, linking to me. Makes me think of the Hollywood Stock Exchange - my husband used to play that religiously, and accrued quite a bit of virtual wealth by investing in things like X-Men 2 many years before it was made. There's actually a HSX stock ticker along a street in Los Angeles - amused me greatly when I saw that.

Currently reading a most excellent book by Stephen Pinker called The Language Instinct. It explores mankind's natural tendency to develop language, something that's always fascinated me. He has such a wonderful way of explaining things - he doesn't dumb it down, but describes a theory and offers examples in such a way that you feel you understand it. Some aspects of it I'm already familiar with from his other books or from computer science, such as generative grammars; much of it is new to me. I'm actually finding some of it to be an exciting read because I've wanted to know about some of it for so long. What I'm really looking forward to is learning about how we developed language in the first place; how did we first agree that a particular sound means a particular action or object? Oh, the suspense.

More blog-related musings: I am starting to feel slightly limited by Blogger, knowing that MoveableType's TypePad offers features like post categories and TrackBack. Blogger, however, is free. At one point they had a pay feature, but they seem to be doing some re-evaluating and it's not available any more. I'm not sure I'd really want to pay for it, come to think of it, given that I already have a few domains that I could use... but those extra features sure would be nice.

By the way, here's my Furl archive, if you're interested.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

More about Furl

How embarrassed am I that I didn't even notice that Furl caches the pages you save until recently? I already thought it was a wonderfully useful tool, but apparently missed about half the point of it all.

Here is also an excellent article by Amy Gahran about Furl and copyright infringement - since Furl does save a local version of each page you furl, there's been some concern that publishers will consider their content to have been republished, and take issue. As far as I'm concerned it's on the same level as Google's caching system - which has, as Gahran points out, been gently bumped around in the legal system a bit as well. Perhaps, though, the difference might be that Google actively requires page caching in order for the search engine to work - whereas Furl offers it as a stand-alone feature, but the service itself does not (AFAIK) need caching.

Now that Furl and are catching on, how long before they start to be abused by spammers just like blog comments and Google searches? When will we see the top line on Furl: "Make money fast! furled by 4818 members"? You know somebody's going to try.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Time to dip into politics.

Well, one of the obvious things to do in a blog is vent about politics, especially right now. I was emailing a friend recently about the current election; the conversation started because one of his friends ran into troubles registering to vote in Florida. (FYI, did you know that Jeb Bush is using the same Florida felon list, despite it being inaccurate and illegally preventing thousands of valid residents from voting? Well, it worked last time....) I got myself worked up into a nice little rant just talking about it all, and I thought: let's take some of this bitterness and frustration and throw it up on my blog!

A friend of ours spent the summer doing research in Missouri. She said most of the people she worked with were anti-Bush - but most of THEIR friends were voting for Bush. And the one sole reason they were doing so? Bush's stance on same-sex marriage.

That disturbs me on a number of levels. I fully support gay marriage, so you'd expect that response from me. But here's my main problem - that these Bush supporters see his desire to ban gay marriage as more of an important issue than ANYTHING ELSE THAT'S GOING ON IN THE WORLD right now? That it would be the only thing that affects your vote, regardless of a corrupt government, an out-of-control illegal war, corporate scandals, $4 trillion in debt, the destruction of the environment, the growing hatred or resentment from the rest of the world - ANY of it? I absolutely cannot comprehend this. It's not as if Kerry has agreed to legalize gay marriage, he only has said he won't ban it. And yet this is more of a sticking point for people than the fact that their government is throwing truckloads of money and troops towards a war that is bankrupting the country while benefiting a very small percentage of the population - which happens to be connected to these same government members?

What is the problem here? Is it too complicated for people to understand? It's not like it's a particularily complicated situation, or a conspiracy theory without a leg to stand on. Boiled down to the very basics: Bush and Cheney and/or their friends and relatives stand to profit from a war in the Middle East. It is in their interests to be at war. It is not in your interests. They are robbing your country and feeding it back, indirectly, towards themselves. And yet some of you are not bothered by this. You are bothered much more by the idea that two men or two women in love want to spend their lives together. I do not understand.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

New tools, old tools

I've added a a blogroll of my RSS feeds to this site. I thought I'd give Bloglines a try and see if I would rather use it than my desktop-based RSS aggregator. So far, I'm underwhelmed; I like the fact that I can get at my feeds from multiple computers, but that's about it. The notifier that it uses basically only puts a teeeeny tiny little red dot on the icon when there's a new article - I suppose the dot has a number on it, but with my icon in the Dock it's too small to see, and the icon in DragThing doesn't acquire the number at all so it really doesn't do me any good there - you click on it and you just get sent to the Bloglines page, hey ho.

In another computer news, I finally sold my beautiful little tangerine clamshell Revision A iBook. *sigh* I really loved that computer when I got it - it was such a comfortable laptop, so natural to use, and it served me well when I was commuting on the Long Island Railroad (*gag*) to New York every day. But I hadn't used it as a laptop in about two years, and it's rather hard to upgrade an original iBook - you can only use the original AirPort card on it (which is more expensive than the new Airport Extreme card!) and replacing the hard drive is a monumental, tech-savvy task. It has found a new home with a student here, and hopefully it will be well cared for. *sniff*

I have a question about blog audiences. Do people browsing blogs read more than the latest few entries, usually? Is everything I type pretty much forgotten after a day or two, except by the occasional search engine? How long does it take before my posts are considered stale? I'd invite you to comment, except that I know (thanks to reinvigorate) that very few people are reading this yet, and you probably won't respond. *thumbs nose*

Saturday, October 16, 2004

A note about music.

In November of 2003, I turned 30. This happens to most people, if all goes well. Also like most people, I went through a bit of angsting over not having achieved great things by the time I turned 30. One of the things that was nagging at me was that I wasn't in any real way involved with music.

To give a little background: when I was growing up, I took lessons on piano and cello (and also violin and clarinet, but those went by the wayside fairly quickly). My parents are major classical music aficionados, and both play instruments, so it was only natural that I would play something too. They tried to get me started pretty young first, I suppose on the off chance I was a protege or something (always worth checking, eh? ;) I wasn't, and it was a few more years before I really took any instrument seriously. I can't remember exactly when I finally succeeded in begging out of taking piano lessons - maybe around age 13-14? I played cello in the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra for a good few years, and finally quit when I started university. I quite enjoyed cello, and was pretty decent, but nothing spectacular.

I didn't really listen to any rock music until I was about 13 or 14, when a friend got me into Sting, Peter Gabriel, and R.E.M. While I was living at home, though, it wouldn't really have seriously occurred to me to take up a rock instrument. Even if it did, I probably would have thought it would hurt my parents' feelings to switch to rock, and wouldn't have made the move. In the meantime, though, I went to a lot of local shows and concerts. In retrospect, I see I should've gotten more involved with musicians or sound crews - but I've always seen myself as somewhat bumbly and awkward, and rock musicians and sound crews always seemed so cool and unapproachable. (I didn't wear nearly enough black to talk to them.)

Eventually I decided I needed to try something. In late 2000, while I was living on Long Island, I bought a Roland XP-30 synthesizer and started mucking about with it (the link is to an ancient blog/journal I kept of the process). But I was working in a void - I didn't know anybody else who I could ask about keyboards and electronic music. I wrote a few songs, liked some things about them, disliked other things, didn't really play keyboards very well in the first place, knew nothing about the technology, felt very dissatisfied with the whole thing, and when we moved in 2002 I never got around to unpacking the keyboard (partly because we didn't have space for it, but...)

I felt that my biggest problem was that I didn't have any contact with other musicians, couldn't bounce ideas off anyone or learn from them. I also don't think I'm a particularily good songwriter. I can write decent lyrics, but my melodies always seem kind of insipid and uninspired to me. I suppose with time and practice they'd improve, but, again, I needed feedback.

I also wanted to sing - I have a decent voice and really enjoy singing. But people out there who have decent voices and really enjoy singing are a dime a dozen. I don't think I have an overwhelming artistic "vision" or "drive" with which to lead a band yet, either - plus with my complete inexperience in the rock world, who'd need me?

I got tired of standing on the sidelines waiting for something to happen, and made the decision to learn bass a little over a year ago. It seemed like the natural choice, having been a cellist; it's the "low end", it's not the most attention-seeking instrument, and it's a little easier to sing & play at the same time (though that's still a challenge for me a lot of the time!). Guitar wasn't right for me since I don't expect to ever be truly fantastic at my instrument, as I'm not a professional and I haven't been immersed in it since being a teenager; an average bass player is still more useful and tolerable than a mediocre guitarist. And turning 30, I realized that if I want something to happen, I've got to do something to set it in motion.

I took some lessons, got competent and confident enough after a few months to advertise online to see if there was a band who could use a rank amateur bassist. And then I broke my right wrist and was out of commission for about two months. Just before I got my cast off, I got an email from a guy at UBC - a guitarist in a band made up of UBC graduate students and ex-graduates - whose bassist was moving to Norway. Once my arm healed up, I met up with them and we've been getting together to play about once a week every since.

This has really been exactly what I need - low-pressure supportive environment with the occasional opportunity to play out somewhere, where everybody has a day job that they expect to keep. We play a nice range of covers, and everybody's around the same level. We have a lead singer, but myself and the two guitarists occasionally do some singing too. This is also perfect for me right now - I can only sing & play at the same time if the bassline is pretty simple, and I'm happy to not always be in the spotlight at the moment. *grin* On top of everything, everyone's great - easy to get along with, really super people.

Anyway, the reason I'm going on about all this today is that last night we had our first gig at a UBC party of about 100 people or so. 3 of the other 4 have played before with two other musicians, but it was our first show ever all together, and my first rock gig ever. It went, I'd say, really well - a few rough patches that we sort of knew were coming (I mangled a Smiths bassline that I just learned last week), some great moments where everything just came together beautifully ("Other Side" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers). I sang Radiohead's "Creep" and "There There" and it all worked nicely. Our second set was better than the first; also enhanced by the fact that it was more upbeat anyway and people were drunk enough to start dancing and singing along. I hadn't really given a whole lot of thought to what the audience would be like; it was nice that we were good enough to dance to, I think. :)

One of the guitarists had a friend at the party who I guess at some point was a professional guitarist, and he joined us for a third impromptu set. This was a bit of a weird experience for me - partly because the guy was pretty damn good and had a real energy that the rest of us are still somewhat lacking; I know for my part I'm not perfectly confident in my playing and so I guess I don't really throw myself into it like a professional. He also had some of that "lead guitar ego" which I'd never directly experienced - I was a bit bemused, not quite sure how to react when he took my bass from me and started playing it because I didn't know the bassline for "Jumping Jack Flash". (He did, in exchange, hand me a guitar and say "You can play, right?" - which I can't...) It was educational, in any case, both a little good and a little bad. And hell, I'm in this to learn.

So I've finally played my first gig in a rock band, about a year after setting out to do so. It's something I've wanted to do for quite a while. It's a good feeling. I like accomplishing major goals now and then. So where do I want to go with this now?

  • More gigs, obviously - it's fun and it's essential. (Though maybe starting out at age 30 wasn't the best lifestyle choice - late nights can really mess with my sleep cycle...) Someday, maybe, we can play on an actual stage.

  • Becoming a better player - practice practice practice, and a few more lessons here and there from a variety of teachers. I doubt I'll ever be truly "great", but I can always be better.

  • I want to be involved with original music - I'd be happy just writing my bassline (as long as I like the music and lyrics, of course ;)

  • I still want to learn more about electronic music and sound production. I'm taking a course through Continuing Studies on ProTools in a few months. I suspect it's overkill for what I need, but since I'm UBC staff I get a tuition waiver, and I do have access to a ProTools system so I might just be able to make use of it. I would also like to learn some things like Reason and Live. I'd like somebody who understands it to step me through some of it. I'd like to collaborate with someone.

  • I do dream of being lead singer of something someday. Not our band right now - I don't want to take Jen's job, she's doing great! I don't really have any huge expectations... but I do dream.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

An extremely cool little utility

Take a look at WebNote. It's very much like a wiki - a collaborative document-building system - but with moveable post-it notes, more like a literal bulletin board. What I love about it is that it's collaborative content but done in a WYSIWYG fashion - basically you're building a dynamic page without using any HTML or special markup (but you can use HTML if you are so inclined). It's a nice intuitive visual device. I am determined to find a real-life practical use for it instead of just poking about with it. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


One of the differences between a blog and a diary - for me, not for everybody - is that I can't bring myself to post anything negative about anybody, personal or professional, on the off chance that eventually they or somebody they know will read it. I can make vague general statements (ie. "I had a meeting recently with a person who kept interrupting and talking over me to the point where it was insultingly ludicruous"), but I can't deconstruct a disagreement or vent about an individual, even if I don't use their name. Some of this is just me, since I'm a naturally cautious person. But things you post online can be surprisingly permanent for such a nebulous and insubstantial medium - I wonder how many people have done damage to their friendships or jobs by ranting about someone in their blogs, only to have that person read it & recognize themselves?

I'm going to link this blog now from my other sites, and perhaps from (though there's not really an obvious place to link it). I thought at first it'd be an interesting experiment to see how quickly or slowly I made headway into the blogosphere without using my existing connections, but I'm a bit bored of waiting, and in the meantime my posts are getting stale, so what's the point? I'd rather see a comment once in a while. Heyo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Thanks, Getty!

Anyone care to explain why, when searching for royalty-free images using the term "Canada", this is one of the results?

Marginalizing the Mac

Interesting blog entry about how important it is to support the Mac in social computing efforts, because Mac users themselves tend to be the eclectic, innovative geeks who will help connect and propagate new and alternative technologies. It's followed by a slew of comments, one side supporting the author and the other side saying "You Mac users with your superiority complexes should get a fucking life", etc. etc.

I suppose there are good reasons why Mac use is considered a cult or a church, why we talk about "converting" or being a "Mac evangelist", and so on. Like religious people, us Mac users have discovered something that we feel has made our lives a whole lot better, we don't understand why other people don't get it, and we just know everybody else would love it too if they'd just give it a chance. Users of other systems get tired of hearing us bemoan our persecution ("why don't people write things for Mac?") and get into heated debates about "platform wars" with deep fervour and devotion to our chosen system. And while I would consider it extremely rude to attempt to change someone's religious faith, I find myself dropping gentle hints and trying to steer those wayward Windows users onto the right path. As far as religious belief goes, I'm an atheist who says "if you're not hurting or bothering anyone, believe what you want" - but switch the topic to operating systems and suddenly I'm ready to spread the "word" (and that's not Microsoft Word).

Of course, to me the Mac does have measurable, tangible benefits. I "converted" from Windows in 1997 and never looked back; although I'm plenty techie and can use a PC just fine, I just find the Mac to be more intuitive, more natural, and more stable. As a result, I'm more comfortable using it. It's more secure and less prone to viruses - though of course some of that is due to market share; what's the point of writing a worm for 2% of the population? I love OS X - it's not perfect, sure, but it just makes sense to me at some fundamental level. It just feels like the authors thought about it more.

I'll freely admit it's not for everybody, though - if you're a serious programmer or hardcore gamer, you don't really want a Mac. (Although since OS X is Unix-based, a lot of programmers are discovering it's a very comfortable platform for them...) I advocate it mainly to the graphics/music/video crowd and for the casual email/word processing users. It's powerful enough for the experienced and intuitive enough for the novices. It just depends what you need it for. YMMV, etc.

In case anyone's wondering, the first half of my root canal went fairly badly and hurt like hell, and then the second half went perfectly well and all is now right with the world. So that's the end of that little adventure in pain for the time being. I hope.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

A few words about pain.

So last week I was rendered nonfunctional for a few days because of a cold. During that last weekend I had a mild occasional toothache, which is highly unusual for me, so I made a dentist's appointment for after my cold was gone. Well, by the time the appointment rolled round (I even got it moved back a day, to Thursday) I was in quite a bit of pain, and it's only gotten worse from there. I have to have my first-ever root canal on Tuesday and I can't wait. As long as it makes the pain stop, I will be celebrating.

If it was just a constant dull ache, I could tune that out; I'd whine a bit, but I'd be able to carry on my day. Instead, the tooth will be perfectly fine for minutes or an hour or two, and then the pain will start to ramp up until I can't think or do anything else, and the preferred way of handling it is to curl up into a little ball on the bed until it subsides. Although I try to avoid antibiotics, I started a penicillin treatment on Friday night - anything that'll help! - but that's only supposed to start working sometime later today. So yesterday I took some of the leftover codeine from when I broke my arm in the spring (first & last time snowboarding) - got three or four delightful hours of relief before the pain came back, and was in happyland for all that time. The second dose didn't work as well, though, so now I'm back to (slightly milder) intermittent pain.

All the reading I've done online about root canals just tells you want to do about pain afterwards, or if you're feeling pain then make an appointment with your dentist - they don't suggest anything you can do UNTIL you get the canal! My dentist is wonderful - she let me call her on the weekend and said that if I really can't take it she can try to get me in with a specialist for an emergency canal on Monday. I'm trying to wait it out and see... I'm hoping I might be halfway functional at work, and my band has a practice today and a small (1/2 hour) gig Monday night, so if I'm not writhing in agony on the floor at that point I'd like to push through.

I keep reminding myself that Leida would be happy to take my place, which offers me a grudging amount of perspective, but oh it does hurt. I am grateful that I do seem to be sleeping incredibly soundly all this week, although last night I was dreaming about eating ice cream despite the cold sensitivity and woke up with my tooth gently throbbing. And so far this morning it hasn't really gotten bad, but then I've only been up about 15 minutes and haven't had anything to eat or drink yet, so we shall see. Maybe the penicillin is doing its job.

From this window I can watch some pretty little chickadees dancing around a tree and a hyper dog (no, not ours, who's pretty hyper) racing up and down the street. It's a beautiful sunny day out, and if I'm not in too much pain, I'm hoping to check out the Drift on Main today before band practice. Keep your fingers crossed!