Day 259 – My Box

I wanted the least amount of fuss. Just listed my PC on eBay as “Pickup Only”, because I was in no mood to deal with lugging 20kg of aluminium and circuitry anywhere myself.

I made the mistake of compromising to “Will allow Courier Pickup at Door”.

Which means… packing required.

Look Ma, No Hands!
Look Ma, No Hands!

It was murder in the living room. Styrofoam pellets bleeding all over the carpet an my legs. Slashing cardboard skin and scoring it for better folds. Taping it all together.

I’m a modern-day Frankenstein, I am.

It’s not a pretty box, but it is sturdy. The case was first covered in Styrofoam sheets all around and then a second layer of cardboard. It was a box to begin with, but at the wrong dimensions, so I had to adjust all the folds and edges.

I’m still amazed at how square-ish it ended up.

Do I get a gold star now?

Day 249 – NOOOOOoooooo…

I had plans for today.

To be fair, I managed to get through some of them. I decided to fit in some extra reading time at Michel’s today, which went fine. And then I was going to put together the eBay listing for my PC and then move on to doing some study for a technical post. Instead I have been uncomfortable for the better part of today.

I had taken pictures of the PC. I had taken pictures of the external DVD burner. I had taken pictures of all the original boxes I’d kept for the components and parts.

Before boxing it all up, I wanted to make sure I had all the right cables in the boxes. Unfortunately the whippet was in front of the drawer that I needed access to. He was sleeping on his bean bag. So I moved it. Or did a good impression of moving it.

It had shifted about a foot and I felt heavy twangs up my shoulder-blades and upper-back. I knew this wasn’t good immediately. It set me back to when my back first went loopy around Mon/Tue this week. The range of motion in my neck is very limited, and making doing anything more than just sitting as upright as I can very uncomfortable.

I’d never realised how much I use those muscles doing the most ordinary of things before this week. I can move my arms fine without discomfort or pain. But rolling over on the bed is anguish if I don’t keep my back completely rigid. Getting up off the lounge is a simple motion… except it apparently involves quite a bit of motion of my neck… which makes me get up like an 80-yr-old right now.

I can decisively say I’m not enjoying this.

I’m going to keep my back heat-packed as much as I can, and I’m going to see about a physio appointment for a thorough look at the problem. I wish medical science had a quick fix for this.

Day 247 – Cleaning Inside the Box

I’ve got my Thursday night fun all lined up for me here. Some people go out for dates, drinks or parties… I’m detailing my PC case. To be fair, I don’t think my back/neck/shoulder-complex (the new axis of evil) would allow me to enjoy any of those other options, and in the end this’ll make me back some of the money that has gone into the laptop I’m writing this post on.

I don’t know if there is a better way to do this that I’m not familiar with, but cleaning my PC is a bit of an ordeal. I bought the case 5-6 years ago I think. I bought sturdy and big because once you have a good roomy case you never need another one. And this has proven true for my PC needs. A good case and a good power supply can outlast many re-builds of the internals of a PC and are probably the two elements most worth not skimping on.

On the down-side, a good quality case also has proven to have many awkward nooks and crannies.

It has six 3.5″ internal drive bays arrayed 3-and-3 with a 12″ fan in between. This is great for keeping them cool with solid and quiet airflow. But this also collects tons of very fine dust on both removable drive cages.

Similarly, there is an intake vent that goes *through* my case from side-to-side which has another 12″ fan directed at the GPU slot to get it plenty of fresh outside-the-case-air to keep it working optimally. But again, this ends up with a lot of fine dust inside the case.

And the problem with all of this is… the big plexiglass window in the side of my case showing off all that wonderful dust. I originally wanted a solid case-side, but at the time I wanted it quick and only the model with the window was in stock. It’s a nice marketable detail, but it’s not good for the I-don’t-care-about-dust part of my personality. Because I do care when I can see 2mm of it over all the innards of my case.

I’m not enough of a gamer… or I’m not sufficiently OCD… to actually clean this out with any kind of routine. For the most part I clean when I happen to move the case for some reason or another and wads of dust fall off the sides.

The fateful decision I made to want a whisper-quiet PC also doesn’t help. It has 12″ fans all over the place. From memory there are 5 in total, sucking air through this 11.2kg monstrosity and keeping it so well cooled that on a hot summery day I can cool my legs by resting them against the icy 2mm of aluminium that make up its body.

Yes. It’s a very solid case.

And so well-made. All edges are machined to be rounded, and all the major parts come apart without the use of a screwdriver. It’s a pleasure to open up and work inside. But alas. I’ve come to a point where I’d rather not, and just rely on a ready-made boxed solution that I can comfortably carry around with me. LAN games are fun. Lugging 11kg of aluminium around: less so. And that’s not counting the 27″ Dell monitor that goes with that particular social activity.

No. As much as I’ll miss the beauty of the well-made case, and the promise of infinite upgrade-ability, I am happy with the choice I have made.

Other than the inevitable cleaning inside all those little well-rounded corners.
That I could very easily live without.

Day 181 – Ginger

I followed through on my massage this morning. It wasn’t as excruciating as I was fearing; not at all actually. I disclosed the state of my shoulders right up-front, and other than a little extra care with the wet towels there proved to be no need to worry.

Remarkably, with the massage oil, even very firm pressure didn’t hurt (other than where there were knots in my muscles). So that was good.

For the rest of the day I had been banished from sunshine though. I had been told in no uncertain terms that I was not to let the sun touch me. Which was easy enough in the morning (overcast) when I went out to my massage, but by the time I returned the sun was poking out from behind the clouds. It’s remarkably how much a few rays can sting (Sting-Rays?) even when exposed only for a few seconds.

I was scuttling from shade-to-shade for the rest of the day.

Most of my time was spent inside arranging pictures for the eBaying of the redundant pieces of technology. Perhaps using a DSLR for eBay pics is a bit of overkill, but I was enjoying myself, so there! 😉

I had a brief trip outside to Rouse Hill for some shopping.

And then I got lathered up with Aloe again before heading out to the gym. It’s a really odd sensation when it dries caked on. Every time I moved, it felt like my surface was cracking under the strain. It’s a very unsettling skin-pulling-sensation. 10 minutes into a Cardio class I stopped paying attention though; being out of breath has this way of making everything else in the world seem trivial.

Getting through my plans is proving slower than anticipated. But so long as there’s forward momentum I’m not going to complain. Relaxing is more important than achieving right now.

And on that note; I think some sleep is called for now.

Day 179 – Switching Over

And just like that, I’m into holiday mode. I didn’t get as much done today as I had intended, but I had a very good day relaxing.

First thing I did was half wake-up and cancel my 9:30 gym session to sleep in late, which was a very good investment, and Nikki wasn’t back from her own holiday yet, so she’ll never know I skipped out on my Cardio. I still went to a 10:30 class of Centergy (Yoga + Pilates) as a trial, and because I have a duty to support Holly’s fitness goals 😉 Also, she returned the cooler bag that the lethal Chocolate-Chilli had come in, so now she’s eligible for a re-fill of something when I make another few batches through my holidays.

And then I went home and did a bit of cleaning and washing.

I had hoped to take a bunch of pictures of some surplus-to-requirements computer gear, an amp and my last mobile phone to put them on eBay, but that got delayed to tomorrow sometime. As long as I get some of that out of the way in the first weekend, I’ll feel like I’ve done enough chores to have earned some fun.

Although, I think I’ll be taking an early dose in the form of some more Wet’n’Wild tomorrow morning. I’m really getting my value out of the season pass I bought. Been on almost all the slides so far, so I might be able to complete the set tomorrow.