Where I’ve Been

I haven’t been writing much, for reasons which will become obvious. Last year, I tore a tendon and ligament in my right elbow, and went through a whole set of trouble trying to do something about it. Early this summer, Dr. Ibrahim gave me some unpleasant news about this: my two courses of prolotherapy and one of PRP had fixed the tendon and UCL well, but the pain was continuing, and the culprit was that I was continuing to injure the arm due to usage patterns. He warned me that if I didn’t take care of this, I would end up permanently disabled, which was a remarkably ice-water-to-the-face sort of wake-up call. Obviously, drumming (impact) and riding a bike (vibration/impact) were out, and guitar is only doable in small amounts as directed by a PT (my current allotment is 10 minutes at a time, once per day)

He wanted me to get an ergonomic assessment of my home and work environment, and improve those to avoid the repetitive strain problems, and sent me to PT to try to improve it. After fooling around with Georgetown (who have a hard time understanding what “closed chain” means – the stuff they had me do was thera-band open-chain, and could have been making me worse), I got a better referral, and happily Dr Gnip knows what he’s doing.

But the upshot of the assessments were that a whole lot needed to change, and to an extent I’ve not wanted to talk about the impact because the means making it real. But the furniture is ordered (due on Wednesday), and so it is.

I converted half of my baker’s rack of music equipment to a makeshift standing desk immediately after getting the wake-up call, but now I’ve got a real standing desk coming, and that’s going to displace the music gear for real.

I’m sad about this: the last three years of medical problems have really gotten in the way of playing music, and now it feels like that’s going to get even harder and less likely. Obviously all of the rational reasons to use this space for the desk are correct, but it still feels like closing a door. I’d rather have an option which didn’t involve having to make that decision, but I don’t.

Perhaps this will lead to some greater and better or more use of that room downstairs – as a library, playroom, or something entirely different. For now, though, I need to recognize the loss of how things have been – no matter what, it’s going to be different, and I’ll have to accept that.

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A Game of Temperate Zones

Sarah is at a week-long silent retreat (this sounds like a form of water torture to me), so Civilization was indicated! Two new players joined, and the player who was Crete was doing so for the first time – he had a heck of a time, compounded by a few (IMO, ill-advised) decisions to provoke conflicts when he was vulnerable. One of those was with me: that was a classic “don’t poke the bear” moment – save trash-talking for after the movement phase of the person in question, especially if it’s your neighbor, and you have wide-open fronts.

We had the weirdest ruling occur: civil war came up, and two players had precisely the same number in stock, where one had more cities, and one had more farmers. We (after much argument) eventually resolved that the beneficiary was the player who was further behind on the AST as the tie-breaker – although that is a weak tie-breaker, because it would be easy for that to be the same. According to this thread at boardgamegeek, we should have resolved it in AST order instead. That would have flipped who got it. Another thing we need to do is be more careful about who trades whom calamities – there were several cases of “who gave that to me?” for secondary effects, with several people claiming to have traded the card.

I don’t think I’ve seen a game where we all finished so close together before – we were on the same two points on the AST (Italy, Illyria, and Assyria were “one” ahead). We also decided after the movement phase that it was the last turn – I suspect some of the final moves would have been different (I would have been dogpiled a bit more, I expect, and I would hopefully have remembered to actually *use* architecture to make the extra city – d’oh!)

Africa: 1827 : Shoshana
Italy: 2273: Rebecca
Illyria: 2238: Michael
Crete: 1498: Jared
Assyria: 2317: David
Babylon: 2140: Cole
Egypt: 2108: Merideth