Happy HAlloween

Its been another month in my life what has happened? Actually its been like another two months and I never published this draft.

Work continues to come in ebbs and flows with stress. Since the insane peak of September where I was seriously questioning my sanity and self worth, its been a lot better. Things seemed to have leveled off since we had a massive evaluation done at our clinic and all the build up was completed. We spent a lot of time making sure our Ts were crossed and our Is were dotted. In the end I somehow managed to not be interviewed by the evaluators and it was simply a regular three days of clinic for me. SO that was good. And after evaluating everything, the clinic passed with flying colors. After so much build up it was a bit anti climatic. I thought it was going to be a massive interrogation. Since then, I still have a myriad of headaches. I seem to be running in crisis mode with patients every two weeks. Sigh. Right now I am doing the online module of the provincial health care’s suicide prevention risk assessment and management program.

Workout wise has been intersting. I have been really trying not to fall into the winter slump – I know that in the winter I gain a lot of weight from what ever reason. I think the likely culprit is not doing regular stairs with explosive style cardio, vs more endurance cardio with my trusty yet boring treadmill. So this year I have been focusing on maintaining stairs in the winter season through the stairs in my building. I have been doing a few different exercises. One of them is doing as many sets of 9 flights as possible in 30 minutes, and the other is 3 sets of 9 flights, followed by 10 minutes at 5.5 speed, and then increasing increments of .1 speed per minute for 5 minutes, and then .3 speed per minute for 5 minutes on the treadmill. I’m not sure how this is working so far, but I do know its pushing me to my limits hard. I have been able to do 10 flights just around 31 minutes, which was nice. Really mind boggingly difficult though.

Technology wise, I have managed to snag a few new things as of late. I grabbed the Sony SRS-DZ10 2.1 Computer Speakers, their premium line up from the release of Windows Vista.I bought them primarily because the subwoofer looked so freaking bizarre and Sony like in design. The satellites are fairly drab looking in appearance. However, the overall speaker is quite compact overall and remarkably well built, with a good majority being metal enclosed. In typical Sony fashion of speakers at its time, they sound best at moderate volume and aren’t spectacular in sound quality. Definitely not on the level of the LA500ED speakers for sure. I definitely was surprised by the build quality, and mostly not surprised by the sound quality. Despite being on the premium end of the Sony computer speaker line up for that year, they really didn’t hold much clout. However, I got them ridiculously cheap used, so no biggie.

I also managed to snag a Canon Powershot S70. I had this camera years ago for a few days before it crapped out on me and was replaced by the Canon S3IS by Futureshop. I was quite enamored by teh sliding door mechanism and really enjoyed its style overall. Its one of the first non Sony cameras I have bought in quite some time. So far its just been o.k. Its surprisingly annoying to use, and much more of an entry level camera in control, rather than an enthusiast level of control (which was what it was marketed for). In the meantime, I am hunting for the Canon Powershot Pro1, the Canon competitor to the Sony DSC-F828, and the only Canon camera to have the L branding on the lens.

W and I dropped H off at my folk’s house the other day and hit up Starbucks – it has been absolutely ages since I have done a dedicated study sesh and it just felt so right being back in place again, uninterrupted by providing unconditional positive regard to my developing pumpkin. I grabbed a pumpkin spiced latte with an extra expresso shot and sat down for my oral exam prep. It was really solid- I reviewed necessary acts and ethical principles for practice, and my theoretical framework in therapeutic practice, while W slammed out her doctoral thesis. With a cold fall wind outside, it was really really cozy studying with a myriad of other students who likely have midterm crises right now. I managed to also haul out my EX1000/PHA-2/ZX1 Sony portable combo and VAIO X for work. It was actually really really pleasant. The VAIO X is so limited in power that I had to really focus on my work, because going on any heavy sites murdered its single core Atom processor. I felt a bit shameful using something that looked like a Netbook in the wash of Macbooks and Macbook Pros (and one crazy dude that brought in an MSI all in one desktop) but I remembered two things- a) this VAIO X was the ultimate in design as a follow up to the X505 and ridiculous in specifications even to this day regarding weight and build material; b) nobody actually cares except me. I was a bit jealous of the Macbook user behind me (who even with the the crappy butterfly hinge keys likely had a better typing experience than my dinky keys), but that was so mainstream. I give myself a pat on the back using such rare exotics that only I can appreciate (I type this on my premium carbon fiber trim VAIO SZ). Just like the Lexus LFA was special for being an all carbon fiber hyper car for its time (and not really standing out in today’s exotics), the X was a special case that….well no I don’t think its really comparable. The X really is a turd next to the modern Macbook, while the LFA is still insane and ultra coveted. Anyways the point was that I had a ton of fun doing work in Starbucks using my special little X (again proud that its in the Sony design website).

I discovered there was a Sony coffee table book made for the exhibits in Japan – Sony Making Modern. I was quite pleased to recognize many of the models in the book and museum exhibit, and to own a few of them. One of them in particilar, the 15th anniversary CD Walkman sits beside me as I type and I am just so proud to have that sliding disc mechanism. I am currently hunting for the DNE920 CD Walkman, their last great flagship (and one that was available when A&B Sound was still around). I tried using CDs for a little bit, and it was kind of liberating to only be stuck with one album and having to listen to its entirety.

H is growing like a weed right now. She is singing songs and doing all sorts of dancing on her own. We went to Kingsway Mall to do our Trick or Treating this year because it goes a bit later than Southgate Mall. Last year when we went to Southgate Mall, all the canday was pretyt much gone an in the last hour. Kingsway Mall wasn’t really that much different than that- I’d say at least 60% of stores were out of candy with 1.5 hours left to go. What was super helpful was the mall set up kiosks to give out candy as well, and they had tons. H had her bucket filled by a wonderful lady immediately upon entering the mall- she ran back and forth dumping more candy in H’s bucket. This was the first year H was able to walk around with a bucket to do Trick or Treating and I think it was pretty exciting for her. She did get frightened by a TIE Fighter Pilot but other than that, she seemed to revel in the spooky atmosphere. All in all, pretty good for her. Except shes not allowed to eat any of the candy so that’s probably something we will have to figure out how to negotiate.

I’m up in my folks place right now, and the kiddos are downstairs playing with the grandparents. Its been really helpful having them around to support us while we chug along with work and school. Pretty exciting news too, W will be starting off as a school psychologist in early intervention, just like I am. So we will both be specializing in immensely tiny people. This also means more time with grandparents for H.

We just had another water issue in our unit AGAIN. OMFG. The emergency maintenance guy came by and determined it was the main building plumbing going through the wall in our closet, and managed to seal it off. Unfortunately it looks like the flooring is destroyed so that’s going to be a royal pain in the ass to repair. Great. It also could not have come at a better time as I am really under the weather from something nasty going around in our clinics (and idiot me didn’t get my flu shot yet). So to conclude, I am mostly angry these hours. Its 1230 am right now and the guy just left. Good news is that I have most of the week off so I can possibly have some time to do RnR, but most likely I will need to figure out next steps for this repair.

I managed to snag two beauties this week. One was the VAIO AR that finally came in the mail. It was ridiculous packaged (like a freaking bubble envelope, and a corner was broken off (clean though so I think I can repair it easy). Generally I had a nightmare updating it to a modern OS like 10 or 7. The drivers kept messing up on the keyboard and the GPU (i.e. the keyboard would not be responsive and the screen was crash and then the system would crash- frightening because the Nvidia 8400 was one of the recalled GPUS in some models so I panicked naturally when it crashed the first time). Turns out the stupid auto updating in Windows 10 kept updating the working drivers into terrible drivers. Windows 7 turns out I couldnt get AERO support and I hate the standard theme on 7 (not to mention that 7 has no support soon). So I installed 8.1 (awesomely available through a simple USB installation media creator tool on Microsoft’s website), and its running awesome so far. Really pleased with this laptop, especially with its design (I hated the product shots but in real life it looks superb). I freaking love the glowing sony logo on the screen. I also installed the OS onto the Seagate hybrid SSHD Firecuda 2TB drive (8gb nand flash and 2TB 5400 rpm drive in the 2.5 inch form factor- 80 bucks from 149 bucks on Black Friday :)). So far I don’t really notice anything amazing about this hybrid drive, although the space is nice. I debated getting an SSD and HDD dual combo (the AR has a dual drive set up internally), but thought it might be fun to try the current 5th gen hybrid drive and the price was right on Black Friday. I also upgraded the RAM to 3GB (could have done one more but stuck with 32bit OS). So far so good (although the screen is hilariously dim- its a shameful screen compared to its successor the 18.4 inch AW’s twin lamp screen).

I also managed to grab a pair of WH1000X M2 Sony headphones, their flagship wireless noise canceling Bose Quietcomfort beating cans for like 40% retail price brand new in box off a local ad. It was hilariously sketchy for no reason (got yelled at by a Mac’s convenience store worker who thought we were dealing drugs in his store when it was just a rabid Sony fan boy looking for new headphones) but it worked out. The cans are amazing. The noise canceling is unlike anything I have ever heard aside from the Bose QC25/35 line up. I also really like the convenience of wireless- I might just reconsider my portable set up with these new cans on the block. Although I wanted the truly wireless Sony buds, the WF1000X, they have been getting really poor reviews and the noise canceling in particular is not class leading like the WH1000X. Anyways, good haul this week.


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