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Monday, 02 April 2018


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Welcome back! But don't overdo it whatever you do! I (and I think all of us) would much rather you post less often, if that means you don't risk your health. I look forward to reading more.

Glad you're on the mend, but yes, please don't overdo it.

About "It Must Be Color", why not post more than just your 13? Perhaps in 2 groups of 13. If you've had more great submissions than you can whittle down, then please share the bounty with us :)

I think *MOST* of us (all? of us) have quirks and assymetries in our bodies, they're generally just not all that visible to others.

Well welcome back, glad your prognosis is good.
From what you describe I wouldn’t be surprised if typing still aggregates things for a while.
Why not use this time to train yourself to dictate?
I know , it’s not the way I work either and your writing habits are far more ingrained than mine.
But even if it was 50% successful that would be cutting your load in half.
Easier said than done I am sure. But if it mitigates a more serious or more persistent injury it is probably worth trading learning pains for real pains.
.... You might even grow to like it.....
Just Sayin’
A sincere welcome Back

It's good to see you back and on the mend. I've missed having your daily smiling face!

When you posted the "It Must Be Color" invitation I wondered how in the hell you would ever be able to choose. I thought it might make it easier if you divided the submissions into a half a dozen or so categories and then pick a bunch from each category. You would have more to post in the end but at least you would have a humanly achievable task ahead of you. Just a thought.


Mike -- Welcome back!

And thank you for scheduling your recovery and blog silence during my week-long trip out of the country!

(Also thanks to Keith Jarrett for canceling this year's Carnegie Hall solo piano performance which had been scheduled during my trip!)

It all worked out.

Good news that you are getting and feeling better, perhaps to finish "It must be color" you need some spring colors in nature to get things moving. I hope that is not too far off in your part of the world!, it has been delayed in southern NC as well.

When I had minor eye surgery a couple of years ago, the hospital sent me home with a bottle of about 30 opioid painkillers, "in case there's any discomfort." There was, but it was resolved with a couple of aspirin and a short nap. The painkillers scared the hell out of me, so I dodn't touch them and got rid of them when my pharmacy has one of those DEA-sponsored"dump your nasty meds" return events - dumping them down the toiler is a bad idea here.

When I had carpal tunnel problems about 20 years ago, I switched to one of those ergonomic keyboards (at work and home) and haven't experienced a recurrence since.

Overthinking it much? :-)
Just get back on the horse and enjoy the ride.

So glad you're back and feeling better. Don't overdo!

Welcome back Mike. I still think you should try dictation as a backup plan ;-) for the next time you have problems typing.

I've dealt with carpal tunnel syndrome by switching mouse hands from time to time. I'm left-handed but currently mousing with my right, until it's time to switch again. That doesn't work for everybody, but it may be worth a try.

Welcome back, Mike. Glad to hear you're mending.
Take it at your own pace.


Have you tried voice-activated writing? Dragon Naturally Speaking was my savior after a crippling bout of repetitive strain injury about 12 years ago.

It takes time to get used to, but even though I thought I could never write by dictating, I got used to it. Now that I'm cured, I don't use it as much, but it's still there whenever I need to write anything longish.

I always dictate into my phone because thumbing is awkward for me.

And I think we'll do the "It Must Be Color" by ones or twos...I need some kind of help, some kind of mechanism for getting over my blockage with that. I don't know why I can't get it done.

You mentioned that you had several hundred people send in excellent photos. Your difficulty in getting this done may arise from a reluctance to cut one image in favor of another just to get down to your self-imposed limit of 13 images.

Perhaps it would be less difficult if you just make an internal list of all of the images that you feel do a good job of meeting your "Must Be Color" criteria. Then select 2-3 arbitrary images a day from that list and comment on the aspects of each image that you feel illustrate your point.

Do that until you feel there is nothing new for you to add to illustrate why some images belong in color. That may take 5 images or it may take 50 images, but it removes the "better image" judgement factor and replaces it with your words on WHY the randomly-chosen image is an example of the need for color in some images. It also removes your arbitrary limit, which may be an additional part of your difficulty.

- Tom -

Welcome back. I'm glad to hear you are doing better. Thanks also for sharing about your medical condition. Its interesting as long as it is not happening to you.

As an IT guy who type since the day of Apple II to ICL and IBM terminal, I suffer quite a bit the pain. After all sorts of treatments, I finally do one simple stretching exercise and seems resolve the problem (for now).

You straight your whole hand and arm (just relax them on your side of your body is ok). Then hold your palm up 90 degree (like push up but in the air and only the palm) for 10 seconds and relax.
Repeat 5 times. It is done.

Webmd has better instruction I think about this kind of executrices. It is a saying in this region that stretching can prolong life it was said. Believe it or not it is not complicated exercise and just ensure you do not force it and do it very slowly. It helps your muscle to relax.

BTW for mouse, try to use roller ball instead of desktop mouse. (I lately use Logitech MX ERGO. Roller ball in Apple Macbook in System 6/7 days started my habit but my terminal days do not have those.)

Your readers are a pretty agreeable lot, so let me the first to disagree that this is off topic.
Also to be the gazillionth to welcome you back.

Hope you continue to recover Mike. As a temporary (or permanent?) solution to typing for long periods have you thought of using voce recognition to 'dictate' to your iPhone - you could then copy and paste and make small edits or corrections using a keyboard.

Great to hear you are on the mend. My job used to involve using a mouse all day and I found a vertical mouse useful for minimising carpal tunnel syndrome caused by this - definitely worth trying one if that issue recurs. It lets the wrist relax more than a conventional mouse. There are various ones on the market, I found I had to try a few to find which suited me best.

As a mechanism for coming over your blockage with "It Must Be Color", may I suggest that you simply come up with as many baker's dozens as you feel are worth posting? After all, why deprive us of such valuable inputs?

I too have a large port wine stain birthmark. The majority of my right leg is covered. I also found it hard to find much information on them. One thing I read about, and have noticed with mine, is that it affects the bone that is under it. Apparently it increases calcium deposits, causing 'lumpy' bones. My shin is like this now. As a child, I was told that there was a chance my right leg could grow longer than my left. I believe this has happened.

I don't come across many people with a port stain birthmarks, so it is nice to see I am not the only one out there.

["Mon semblable, mon frere!" —Baudelaire (I think). Are you aware of the VBF, Vascular Birthmarks Foundation? They seem to collect what information there is. --Mike]

So glad to wee you're back, and taking it gently. I suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome some 30 years ago (then known as RSI, or scathingly in Australia as "Kangaroo paw"!). Apart from rest and exercises, the major thing I did was switch mouse hand to my non-dominant (left) side. That seems to have balanced up activity and I've rarely had a recurrence since. Not so easy in these days of track pads, I guess.

This change turned out to be useful 10 year ago when involved in a major RTA that resulted in much reduced capability in my right hand. So I now type with 4 fingers of the left hand and one on the right!

Anyway, it's important to make the adaptations that work for you. I could never get used to dictation, no way. Just don't think ahead that far. Writing is a process, that involves... writing!

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