Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm coining the phrase "Pulling a singing Frog"

I'm officially declaring that I am the one who coined the phrase "pulling a singing Frog".

Definition: to be said of a phenomenon that occurs only when a very limited number of people (normally only one) are watching, that stops or does not occur when that limited number tries to show the phenomenon to others.

Examples: my heart beats erratically when I am alone or with my girlfriend but behaves perfectly when plugged into an ECG, or in presence of any health professional ; a computer problem that happens all the time, except when you want to show it to a technician ; a faucet that leaks up until 5 minutes before a plumber arrives to fix it, and starts leaking again upon frustrated departure of said plumber.

Origin: the singing frog, as you might be aware, does originate from the 1955 Looney Tunes episode, One Froggy Evening. The Michigan J. Frog would sing ragtime tunes to the man who found him, but would would croak merrily when the poor guy would attempt to show his talents to anyone else.

First time used (by me): Approximately 2 or 3 months ago, when refering to my heart problem and the way it behaved with doctors (see first example).

Friday, February 24, 2006

Google's new beta: Google Page Creator

It was only a matter of time for Google to offer a new beta service, and here it is: Google Page Creator. This is something I had already hoped google would come up with, and my wish has been answered with this new service.

Offering 100 megs of space and an easy WYSIWYG in a very easy administration, Pages is designed for the newbie in mind, those who have no knowledge of the web at all but still want a website for themselves. From information about your family to tips you learned to take care of your cats and dogs, pictures of your latest vacation or squarely a site about yourself, you'll be able to put anything you want on this service (as long as it doesn't go against Google's policy, like hacking, cracking, warez and pornography for example).

You'll need IE6 or Firefox 1.0 to use this service, and of course a google account (see my previous posts on how to get one). Pages you create will be spidered by Google Search within hours of publication, which is cool all by itself.

I, for one, will be watching my inbox like a hawk for the invitation email, and so should you! Head to Google Page Creator to signup!

UPDATE: I now have my own Google Page Creator account, and you can visit the website at http://eslachance.googlepages.com/ . Signups for everyone should now be enabled, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My body really doesn't like me...

Some of you might already be aware of my heart problems. For over a year now I've had periods where my heart beats irregularly, skips beats, does large powerful pulsions inbetween pulses, etc.

I've been seeing a cardiologist, but for more than one reasons, he was unable as of yet to determine what's wrong with me. One reason for this is that my heart pulls a singing frog everytime I get plugged into an ECG or listened by a doctor, so they can never hear what happens when I'm at home.

Last summer I had a holter test (a 24 hour ECG), but unfortunately during that period I didn't experience any symptoms. I was unable to get results anyway, because when I saw my cardiologist again, there was a power failure at the clinic and they weren't able to access my file (since their filing system is computerized). However, twice now I ended up at the Emergency room at Sacré-Cœur getting listened to by a doctor and once being under observation for the night... Every time this damn heart working like a charm in the presence of our wonderful health system's representatives (and no that's not irony, I sincerely admire them for their work).

I decided to take a step further by myself, that is I recorded my heart using my home sound system, edited out the background noise and boosting the Bass in the recording... I then burned the whole thing on a CD, which my cardiologist will be requested to listen to next time I see him (probably next week sometime). I'll compress and attach the files soon. In the meantime I continue to experience trouble with my heart, but I have to tolerate it for now for lack of it acting up when it needs to.

Another problem I've been having is with my mouth. You may or may not have thought at one point when being close to me that I sometimes have bad breath, and I would lie if I said it wasn't a problem I would love to fix. My teeth however are beyond easy fixing, with two of them chipped at least a quarter off, the other almost gone, all three of them blackened. Yes, it's disgusting to hear, even more to see. I haven't been able to have them removed as of yet due to financial constraints, since my job does not have a dental plan.

It became clear that I need to have something done quickly last week, when one of the chipped tooth started hurting like hell. I already had a dentist appointment a week later so I tried tolerating it (using Oragel, Advils and cold water), but on tuesday night it became unbearable, my gum swelling and the pain overcoming what little ibuprofen I was able to injest without doing an overdose. For a whole night I was unable to sleep at all, cringing with pain that just wouldn't go away.

First thing in the morning I was at the General Hospital of montreal in the emergency dental clinic, getting that tooth extracted once and for all. A week later the swelling hadn't completely gone away, and as luck would have it on tuesday night the pain came back. The new 600mg ibuprofen pills I had took did nothing to help, and I decided that I would go back to the hospital to get something - to my hospital this time, Sacre-Coeur. Since I knew there was no tooth to remove I didn't need a dentist at that time.

Too bad for me I ended up in a waiting room for the whole damn night, since there was only one doctor for about 60 patients. I was lucky enough that the pain subsided slightly (maybe the ibuprofen finally kicking in), but I didn't get much sleep, and was in bad shape when I finally saw the doctor (at 8am, when they all got in I guess). He immediately said he would give me an antibiotic injection, but when after 3 tries they were not able to give me an IV (my veins were too small because of the cold in the waiting room, and my fatigue), they finally got a microbiologist in place who gave me a prescription for oral antibiotics.

So now, with one tooth less, my heart still beating like an idiot, my swelling subsiding, I can't help thinking that I will really appreciate my vacation this summer, and I sure as hell will want to get all my teeth fixed before the end of the year. As for my heart... Well eventually either they'll find what's wrong with it, or it'll fail completely and they'll have no choice but to keep me in the hospital until they find the problem, eh?

Update: Here's a recording of my abnormal heartbeat for those interested in hearing it: link.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Switching to Google Mode.

Well since blogger is only in english, might as well use this language. Besides, most people I know understand English, and those who don't aren't regular readers. And this is my blog, so I don't care much for imposing limits to myself with language.

Why the switch to blogger? Well, the main reason is that since Google is going to rule the Internet eventually, I might as well switch to everything related to them at the same time. Google now owns the Internet world with their 2.5 gig Gmail service, lightning-fast and really simple Google Talk , and in the future will come up with about every single application you can think of.

I think of Google as the future, but not one that is dark and scary like one where Microsoft would rule. Google is powerful, but seemingly peaceful and good.. They try their best to provide free services whenever they can, and get their money from targeted ads (which are much more effective than random ads you see elsewhere), so they can continue to provide top of the line services everywhere.

And as for privacy, well... In my opinion, people who are really attached to privacy are those who are either guilty of something (what robber would trust google to store their bank heist plan, huh?) or just overly paranoid. Yes, my search history, chat history and Google Desktop files are on Google's server and can be retrieved by authorities with just a subpoena, but I have nothing to hide so for me, it's no big deal.

I'll do some google-related postings here also, if only to attract more visitors for other stuff :)