26 February 2011

training course

Wed-Fri this week at work was taken up by a software training course. Not sure if I'll actually use the software because it's not part of what I do, that is, not required for the tasks for the projects, but one of my "supervisors" thought it was a good class to take. One of the tools to help with this software is Blender, which I have been learning, so that crossover would be good if it ends up that I use both.

Blender is not something I've had to use before either, but some visualization work ended up on my plate, so I did some of the online tutorials.

Upper-body weight training has been okay this week, but using very light weights compared to Dec, before the cross-country skiing spills and its shoulder injuries. Shoulders have hardly improved. Thumb is a bit better. Very slow. I've mentioned that the shoulders hurt in different ways. I did pushups as part of circuit training again. They cause pain in my left shoulder. Someone suggested I try dips because they have a different movement pattern. Dips cause pain in my right shoulder.

When I went to the doc about these things a few weeks ago, he said to call back if they didn't improve by now. "Improve" is a relative term. There has been a little, but not much. If I take pain relievers then that knocks it out, but the label says to only take up to ten days. It's been more than that, so I haven't taken any in a while.

20 February 2011

book shopping

On the way home from Stitches, we stopped at our local Borders bookstore. It's a national chain, but going bankrupt, so everything in the book is reduced. Most books were 20% off, romance books were 30% but I don't know why they were an exception, magazines were 40%. The line for the registers went halfway around the store. When we arrived, my wife went to the end of the line and we started looking around. When I was finished, I took my turn in the line while they went looking. People were buying large stacks of books, which I thought was odd considering they were only 20% off. I suppose the time wasted in line is more worthwhile then.

There is a Barnes and Noble a few blocks away from the Borders store. They will have less competition now, but I wonder how well they will fair as more books go digital.

Of course this means a little more unemployment as our society shifts to more technology. One thing I don't understand is why people continue to have so many children when there's no reason for all these people. Prior to the industrial revolution, people were needed as labor. With the ongoing information revolution and most manufacturing jobs outsourced to other countries (primarily China) or done by robots, jobs are shifting to the technology creators and those that service them. The service sector is shrinking because more of those tasks are shifting. Retailers, like the staff at Borders, are not needed due to online shopping (e.g., Amazon). Other tasks are going to computer analysis, for example, paralegals. They search legal documents for information on current cases. Because that information is becoming computerized, it can be searched by computer. Other fields are being computerized or replaced by machine too.

While I've been trying to find a new job, I may be stuck where I am until the funding runs out. We live where we are surrounded by technology creators (Silicon Valley), so it's expensive and crowded to live here, but have no way out and I might soon be unemployed.


We all went to Stitches West yesterday. It was primarily a shopping trip because I hadn't registered for any classes. The event is primarily for knitters, so most of the classes and vendors cater to "them". I bought an ergonomic hook set and a wooden hook to experiment. My wife bought some sewing notions and stuff. Our daughter bought some beads for jewelry making.

The Ravelry crew was there for a "meet and greet" and I spent some time talking with Casey. He and his wife founded the web site / company and he's been doing the web programming ever since. It was good to meet and talk with him. I shooed myself away because there were other people milling around who wanted to meet and take pictures with him. I didn't, but did get a Ravelry button.

When we arrived home, I took out a crochet project I started at the end of Dec but haven't touched much. The shoulder problem I have written about and forearm pain before that has keep me from crocheting for a while now. It went fine yesterday. I hope the forearm tendinosis (from overuse, not tendinitis) was due to too much forearm exercise. If I have identified the cause correctly, the overuse issue should be resolved because I've changed my exercise program.

shoulder progress

Well, I haven't had much of the title. My shoulders, and the thumb, continue to be painful, though the thumb not much, just an annoyance. While the thumb was the most painful in the beginning, that has improved but the shoulders prevent me from doing upper-body exercises. At the last Dr visit, I was told that with this type of injury, I should be moving them, so should do rotator-cuff warm-up exercises and other work as I can tolerate it. Since then I have experimented with some bench and overhead pressing to test my shoulders. While I was due to do bench reps with my body weight the week after the injury, and then had to shelve those plans, now I am only able to do some painful reps with 40% of that. The slow road forward.