So, that happened.

<engage ramble-mode>

On Saturday the 14th of May E and I went to see Dr Zhivago at The Maj. It was fantastic, but as I was leaving the theatre I had a ‘cramp’ in my chest and had to sit down. It passed, and I gave it no further thought.

That night, we had some deeply awesome dumplings for dinner. I ate more of them than was in any way called for.

Around 11:30pm that night, my chest began to hurt. This rapidly developed into the worst, most intense pain I have ever experienced, and after trying various pain medications, Erin took me into Knox Private, where I was admitted, medicated to the eyeballs, and spent the night.

In the morning, the pain was gone, and I was sent home with an appointment for ultrasound to explore the possibility of gallstones on Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday morning, on my way to work, I stopped in for my ultrasound. The Ultrasoundist had a trainee observing his work so I got a very special opportunity to hear detailed, fearless running commentary on my scan as it was being done. Apparently I don’t have cancer (!!!) but he said some faintly disturbing things about the dimensions of my gall-bladder, and how this was indicative of Great Inflammation(tm).

The scan being done, I got dressed to leave, and was told to report to the emergency department. (WTF?!)

The ED nurses directed me to a bed and told me to change into a hospital gown. (WTF!!!?!?)

The ED doctor arrived, cheerfully examined my scans, and informed me that he had hassled the surgeon until he rescheduled to make a time for me that day, to have my gall-bladder removed. (AAARGH! WTF?!?!?!?!!!)

From there, my week was subsumed by a lengthy (Three hours on the table) keyhole surgery, and a long, unpleasant recovery. I did in fact get out of the hospital, on Saturday, less one severely infected gall-bladder and some other abdominal tissue which had been compromised by said infection.

As I tweeted at the time, there were proverbial Little Glass Vials.

As of today, I am more or less recovered, and back at work. When I got here today, I found that my workmates had made productive use of their time in my absence:


And even:

If this all just seems weird to you, you may need to watch Dexter.

So, yeah, that happened.



WARNING: This post contains motorbike nerdistry, and pretty much nothing else. Non-bike people should feel free to skip it.

This week, while our beautiful tourer was getting a service, the nice folks at Jeffrey Honda loaned me an ugly, ugly little bike:

Honda CB1000R, Green

It made me very nervous at first. Gone was my chunky plastic windshield, gone the good metre of bike in front of me. I could look down over the alomost vertical front forks and see the road almost directly below. Spooky.

I have long held the opinion that I am a conservative rider. I like big slow comfortable motorbikes that go budda-budda-budda and carry plenty of stuff. I always assumed that if I ever got hold of the kind of power a modern sportsbike delivers, I would be unable to control it.

I have changed my mind.

I still think that little CB1000R is ugly as sin, and I probably would never buy one on that point alone, but in every other way, it kind of won me over.

It turns out I can control that much power. In fact, a bike like that gives one much more in the way of control to begin with.

But, at the risk of sounding like Jeremy Clarkson, the POWER! Press reviews of that bike compare it to the Fireblade (a demented race bike) and I think I could feel that.

I’m rambling. Time for bullet points:

  • The complete absence of a windshield reminds me how warm and sheltered I am on the ST, but my helmet ventilation worked properly for the first time ever, and it feels so much safer to be looking straight at what’s in front of me without an intervening layer of plastic.
  • Light steering is a good thing. The CB1000R weighs almost the same as the ST, but it feels lighter and more nimble than our old 250 (probably due to Honda’s Mass Centralization program) and it made me realise just how hard I have to work to filter through traffic on the wider, heavier ST.
  • Modern instruments are soooo nice. The all-digital display on the CB1000R was a joy to read, even in the dark, in torrential rain. In a space the size of a banana, it provided all the same information as the ST’s generous dashboard. Things like optimal rev-ranges for peak power were very obvious.
  • Commuting with a satchel bag is no great hardship, contrary to my expectations, even if ones wet-weather gear is stuffed into the side-pocket of said bag.
  • Modern race-bred brakes are FANTASTIC. The ST is a big bike, and the one accident I’ve had on it can be squarely attributed to its mass versus my imperfect braking technique. I have become a lot better at braking because of that bike, so it came as a real shock when the loan-bike just stopped in half a length at a gentle pressure on the front brakes.

I can see the appeal.

The Quiet After The Storm

It strikes me that I’ve edited a lot on this blog, and striven for some kind of high-ground in terms of keeping it interesting and impersonal. I have hit and missed, but mostly I just haven’t posted, and that it about as boring as it could possibly be.

Sure, nobody reads a blog that’s pure bitchiness, or a one-sided conversation with an unseen interlocutor, Very few people would read a blog about ultra-small-footprint cloudy Linux VPS administration either. However absolutely nobody reads a blog which never has any new content.

So, time to break down this barrier and get blogging again. Quality over quantity is only a good idea as long as the quantity stays above zero.

For starters the new banner is a hat-tip to the wedding I never did get around to blogging about properly.

There should definitely be a post here about the late Graham Hatherell one day soon too.

Mmmmm, meta post!