My Arms Burn!

I’ve been dealing with my psoriasis flair up now for 6 months but hopefully we’re going to be headed around the bend. I finally received my Humira after about a month of playing monkey-in-the-middle with doctors, pharmacies, and insurance. Humira, in case you aren’t aware, comes as a self-injection.

On the day the shot arrived, I was excited and anxious. The pharmacy said that I would be contacted by someone who would show me how to go about giving my shot. The only thing I got was a video that was sort of vague, and made it seem like taking the shot was very risky and should absolutely be done under doctor supervision a few times. When I tried to contact my PCP they refused to assist me in taking the shot. I then contacted my dermatologist, and they wouldn’t get me in for a week. Out of frustration I sat in my office for a little while, freaked out staring at the shot.

I watched a few videos online of people candidly taking the shot, they all seemed pretty upset about how much the shot hurt but made taking it seem extremely simple. Reassured by their confidence I went ahead, jammed the shot against my stomach and pulled the trigger while my wife was on the phone. This may sound extreme, but honestly if you would’ve watched this Humira video you’d be on edge as well.

Weight Loss

My psychologist recommended trying a “sugar detox” to me the other day. I understand that she’s not a dietitian or anything but the idea sounded simple enough and I liked the idea of going for a sort of jump-start. I told her that I would make sure to try it before our next session (which is next Tuesday). I spoke with Stephanie and she agreed to give it a shot (although she didn’t like the idea).

This Monday, we began the three day process of avoiding anything containing sugar, and I mean anything. Things like candy and soda are obvious, but we’re also avoiding fruit, bread, sweetened drinks, pasta, etc. etc. The idea here being getting our bodies used to a much lower sugar content so that in the future we’ll require less sugar.

We finished the three day process successfully, even if the third day saw us both kind of bitter and irritable towards each-other. I’ve been weighing in daily and my weight has plummeted. I understand that this isn’t healthy. I fully intend to increase my calorie intake shortly, but we both agreed to extend the “sugar detox” through the weekend. It’s genuinely difficult but I’m happy we’re doing it.

Starting next week I’ll be beginning a modified couch to 5k program. I’ve tried C25K before, however I quickly found that I was too out of shape for the normal program. A friend of mine recently expressed interest in C25K but he’s in similar shape to me (that is… not good shape at all) so I did a little research and found the modified program. I don’t mind how long it will take (I’m in no hurry, we’re in for the long haul) and I appreciate that it very slowly adds in the running. My first day is next Tuesday so I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated with that progress.

For additional details on the progress of my modified C25K adventure, check the health page. A link for it can be found in the sidebar.

Book, Game, Movies

I finished the book for this month – The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner. It was a good read. I’ve heard before about mindfulness but his approach to practice and focusing on enjoying the process rather than the result is really enticing. I’ve been trying to think about how I might apply this to exercise… is it really going to be helpful to be mindful and in the moment when I’m huffing and puffing and in pain? We’ll have to see.

I watched a move that I’m counting as one of my movies for the month “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore.” I enjoyed the movie quite a bit! I’m not much of a movie critic so I won’t go into detail but it was very unique and often funny.

I also finished my game for the month. Note: it was not Persona 5. I’m not sure when or if I’ll get back to that game. Instead, I played Shovel Knight! It was great! A very challenging game that happily took so many of the best parts of games from the SNES days and mashed them together in a fresh way. The story was fun and surprisingly touching at times. The final boss fight had a really cool twist to the gameplay that pulled the story together nicely. I strongly recommend it if you don’t mind a challenging platformer.

Hot Hot Summer

Second Place Aint Bad!

My friends and I participated in Game Jam Pittsburgh this week. We built the main structure of the game last weekend and then spent the week polishing it up. I expect you’ll be able to see the game we made on my friend’s site in the not to distant future. We managed to take second place which I’m really proud of. We really worked our butts off and I’m super-pumped to get to work on our next game. Congrats to the other teams that participated as well, you all did great!

Air Conditioner Broke

So… my air conditioner broke at my house. Fortunately we were able to borrow a few good fans from my buddy Jim, but because of it being 4th of July weekend, we will be unable to get someone to our place to install a new one until Wednesday. The house is sweltering and I can tell it’s taking a toll on my family’s mood. Here’s to hoping Wednesday is at late as it takes to get this thing fixed!

The Itching Continues

My psoriasis is still awful. My upper arms are covered, my stomach has huge patches and my legs look beat up to hell. I’m constantly bleeding and aching. I really hope this is the week I get my humera shots.

Fringe Worlds Campaign

I’ve had two sessions now of my Fringe Worlds campaign. I’m using Fate Core to run the campaign, I absolutely love how fast and story driven this system is. It’s by far my favorite ruleset out there today. If you’re interested in reading the rules check out the Fate SRD.

The Practicing Mind – Update

I’m a little over halfway through The Practicing Mind. The beginning part of the book felt pretty unrelated. The author spent a *lot* of time talking about his own experiences and where he’s coming from. While I appreciate the context I think about half as many pages could have been spent talking about his own personal history. The rest of the book has been interesting though and I look forward to trying to put some of his recommendations into practice and see how they work. I expect once I do finish it, I’ll be moving on to reading Furiously Happy – a book that my wife has recommended to me over and over again. I feel like it’d be really rude of me to pick up yet another book without at least giving it a try!

Got My Book

I received July’s book – The Practicing Mind – in the mail today, pretty excited to start reading it! It’s much more thin than I expected so I’m hoping to get a jump start on August’s book ahead of time.

Work Was Rough!

I work remotely once a week. It’s a nice benefit, and I tend to get Friday as my day which is nice because Friday is usually a pretty slow day for work. Today, however, was definitely an exception. One of our clients started sending us bad data today in our interface with them. The folks who originally designed the interface set it up in such a way that we would keep trying to download the same “Jobs” over and over again, even if they failed before. A few hundred jobs failing like this over and over and we quickly went over a billion records inserted today. I’m still working with the customer to diagnose the root cause but the worst of the stress is over because I’ve temporarily shut down this interface.

Steam Summer Sale

I often can’t help myself when the Steam Summer Sale comes around, so I picked up a few games even though I’ve already got quite a backlog to catch up on. The list started at over $100 and included more than ten games. Reviewing the list I saw a few games on there that I’m interested in playing someday but wasn’t upset by putting off. That, and I carved out a few games that were over the 20 hour mark on HowLongToBeat. This allowed me to get below $60 for some games I’m really excited to play.

The List:

  • Shadowrun Returns Deluxe
  • Hyper Light Drifter
  • Axiom Verge
  • The Talos Principle
  • Soma
  • Shadow of Mordor (GotY)
  • Furi
  • Hollow Knight

I’m considering dropping Persona 5 as my game for July. It’s great, but honestly… it’s a 90 hour game. I’m *maybe* 45 hours in. I could finish 3 of the games on this list or more in that time.

Visit with the Neurologist

Back in April I woke up with one side of my face drooping and some numbness in my right arm. Needless to say I was pretty freaked out. So I went to the hospital and after a couple of days, learned that it was either a stroke or a migraine.

Well this week I had my follow-up appointment and was pleasantly surprised when the Neurologist seemed quite confident that it was my migraines (since I have a family, and personal history of migraines and there was no other evidence of stroke). This really made my day and even makes the Psoriasis flare-up I’m dealing with seem not-so-bad.

Game Dev Jam This Weekend

My friends and I are participating in a game-jam this weekend. Check out our github! I’m really excited, but a bit disappointed I’m not going to get to spend the entire weekend helping out. Tomorrow (Saturday) I’ll be joining my family taking a train ride and it’s going to eat up a big part of the day (8 hours or so). But I’ll jump right in as best as I can as soon as it’s done.

Finally Setting Up My Blog

I setup my blog today, yay! I figured now would be a good time because I’ve begun my “1 Book, 1 Game, 2 Movies” initiative which was spurred by this reddit post. The idea is simple, set a goal to read 1 book, complete 1 game, and watch 2 movies by the end of the month.

1 Book, 1 Game, 2 Movies for July

Book: The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner
Game: Persona 5
Movie: Paterson (2016)
Movie: Little Men (2016)

Game Dev

I spent a week at my friend Jim’s house recently working on our game Praetorian. The goal was to see how much we could get done in ~7 days of focused effort. Later in the project, Denny joined our project as an artist and really helped make it look sharp. I’m proud of what we managed to get done and can’t wait to start working on the next thing.

Psoriasis

My psoriasis has gotten especially bad. I’m itching all over and my skin burns like I have a sunburn constantly. It’s really starting to affect my mood, I’m expecting to receive Humera soon, oh my god I hope it works quickly.

My Brother’s New Computer

My sister Jen and her boyfriend Paul have decided to put together some money and get my brother George a new computer. It’s a pretty powerful machine especially for the money with a last gen I7, and a GTX 970. Gaming is a big part of my brother’s life and he’s been going through some hard times lately so this should really brighten his spirits.

Family Cloud Drive

My wife and I decided to setup a cloud drive to store all of our digital belongings rather than trying to maintain an external hard drive myself. After doing some research I went with Sync mainly because of their privacy agreements but also because they’re priced reasonably.