Saturday, 30 November 2013

Today Life Is Being A Total Pain In The Neck

Before heading to bed last night I could feel it already: the soreness on the left side of my neck, radiating down into my left shoulder. Then during the night I kept waking up from the pain. I couldn't even move my head on the pillow to shift my position without using a hand or two to support my head. Today during the day there's little difference, with shifts in my body's orientation even when trying to sit perfectly still occasionally triggering the pain in my neck/shoulder as the muscle cramps up again. In some way it's annoying, but on another hand I'm glad for the pain as it's distracting from any mental pain, which is generally worse.

Last night as I went to bed I also found myself glad for one thing, namely having bought one of those fancy emergency USB chargers. As I tried to turn on my eReader it merely sadly blinked its power LED once, shortly, to indicate that its battery charge was too low. After hooking up the emergency charger its battery charge quickly zipped back up to 40+% and beyond. The difference between charging a phone's big battery (1,500 mAh) and this eReader's (maybe 200 mAh?) was quite noticeable. I should be able to recharge my eReader using this emergency charger for about a 100 times if the indicated capacity of 11,200 mAh is correct.

Incidentally I got this emergency charger from, where I found it much cheaper (46 versus 70 Euro) than in the Netherlands at any store. So far I'm gradually getting into the habit of ordering more things from Germany as it's generally so much cheaper than the same article in the Netherlands. It makes moving there a more pleasing proposition. On which note, on Monday I sent the final information to the landlady of the place in Germany I wish to start renting next month, but haven't heard back from it yet. It's quite an agonizing wait, as I have to be moving within two weeks, or have to quickly improvise some kind of solution.

It may be why my neck and shoulder muscles are so cramped up, I guess, with so much stress. Earlier I spent some time on creating a new 'books I have read' map, replacing the old one which was destroyed by the mentally unstable ex-housemate. Since leaving the apartment in Almere I have already read a grand total of twenty-six books, mostly the remainder of the Wheel of Time series and the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I had to consult my agenda for the dates on which I finished reading each respective book, which took me through each week of this year so far again. It was rather... uncomfortable. Beyond the minor joyful peak at November 1st with the media attention it's been rather grim.

From court cases, the loss of all my possessions, getting my personal injury case against the VUmc gender team thrown out, rejected as a patient by the last Dutch surgeon I tried after he led me on for weeks and having to say farewell to what little part of the Netherlands I like and will be missing, it's not been emotionally easy so far. Getting the place in Germany and moving there is the last big part. I hope and pray by everything that is holy that next week I'll get confirmation that I can rent the place and will get the required help to move the week after.

Early next week there's also something new and interesting happening, in the form of an appointment with a publisher who has indicated interest in publishing a book about my life's experiences so far. An autobiography if you want. To me such a proposition is more than just an interesting thing or possible source of income. To me it represents an acknowledgement by the Dutch people that they recognize me as a person and my experiences. Bypassing the Dutch System of politicians, physicians, psychologists and other big-wigs, if I get the chance to write this book, have it published and selling well, that'd mean more to me than anyone could imagine.

Anyway, back to the last items of the day to work on, including designing the user interface for a new mobile app in Photoshop, compiling a list of formant frequencies by digging through a small mountain of scientific articles and averaging them and designing some interesting DSP filters for this speech synthesis library to make it sound a bit more... human. It's somehow very appropriate to be working on this speech synthesis library and the artificial intelligence library for another project, as they are all about making computers in a sense more human. Much like myself, really. While Pinocchio needed a fairy to become a real boy [1] and the android Data [2] strove to remove all traces of artificialness from himself by adding 'human features', it seems somewhat ironic that the way for me to truly feel and become human is through immersing myself more and more into technology.

Then again, isn't technology humanity condensed into one of its purest forms?



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