Tag Archives: HAL

Yeeouch

Over the weekend, Ariesna and I went to the CPL to check out their latest book sale. She got a bit ahead of me looking around as I was carrying out picks. I was about to move to the next room to catch up to her when it happened. Suddenly I felt a sharp, red-hot pain stabbing into my back. I managed to get over to Ariesna and set the books down, but it was something of a close call. We left the library shortly after that to go home and set me up with a heating pad. A bit of heat, some back pain meds and my back was feeling better. I took the day easy sitting down, reading a book.

I was still mighty tired the next day. Every time I had turned over in my sleep; I was half awakened by pain in my back. But awake eventually I was and into the shower I went. I’d just finished my shower and was drying off when another spasm ripped through my back. This one was much worse and nearly sent me to my knees. Ariesna came back and helped me. Then she called the doctor’s office and made an appointment to get me checked out. I spent the rest of the day lying down on a heating pad.

Monday, the doctor checked me out. He prescribed some pain killers and a muscle relaxant. He also set up an appointment for me to visit a physical therapist. That appointment was earlier today. The therapist was a really nice lady. She had me describe my problem. She then had me go through a series of stretches and movements to help her figure out exactly what is wrong. She told me she believes one of the discs in my spine (in the border area between the lumbar and thoracic) has a small tear.

She immediately moved to reassure me this is not something that will require surgery. I don’t think I was looking at her nervously, so I’m not entirely sure why she leaped to get that bit of information out. Though if I were to guess, I would say most of her patients are considerably older than I am and they do not like even the hint of possible surgery.

Anyway, she instructed me in doing a couple of light exercises designed to ease the tension in my back and which should improved the blood flow along the damaged area. She said these exercises should be enough for my back to heal itself correctly. Provided I keep in mind for my back to heal properly, I have to be extra cautious about it for a couple of months. She recommended I think about the damage like it was a broken bone. Even if I am feeling 100% in a few days or a week, I’m still to take it easy on my back.

Whee, such fun. Ah well, at least I haven’t promised to help anybody moving anytime soon. :p

Unflippin’ believeable!

So last night, the wife was asleep. The cat was on the couch. I was sitting at the computer going through my email, reading a few news websites. Since the wife had left the bedroom door open, I closed the door into the computer room to keep the lights from bothering her.

Then about 10:00, 10:30 at night when I noticed a pounding sound. I was a bit puzzled because it sounded like somebody was at our door. I peeked out the window, but didn’t see any of our friends cars. So I headed up to the door and I could hear voices like the people were talking to one of the neighbors. I looked through the peephole, but couldn’t make out what was going on. Then they knocked again. I opened the door and found two cops on my doorstep.

They said one of the downstairs tenants had called in a complaint that we were making too much noise. They said they’d been told the noise sounded like somebody was stomping or bowling down the hallway. I told them I didn’t know what the noise was because we weren’t doing anything. I also mentioned that sound bounces around in the building quite a bit1.

They replied they’d been out there knocking for a while and hadn’t heard anything, but when they get a compaint they are required to check it out.

1 I recounted the story of the time when we thought the people above us were playing their music too loud, but it turned out the music was actually coming from one of the downstairs apartments.

Review: Threads of Malice

Product Image: Threads of Malice

Threads of Malice
My rating: 4 out of 5.

I read Threads of Malice last week1 and wowsers! If you’ve read Ghosts in the Snow then you need to be warned before reading Threads that Ghosts is a much lighter book than Threads. The villian in Threads is far more evil than the one in Ghosts and this gives the book a much darker tone. Still with that being said, Threads is a great read.

This time around Mrs. Jones takes us out of the castle and up into The Reach. Young boys have been disappearing throughout the region for the past couple of years. When Dubric arrives in the area; he’s greeted by dozens of ghosts all at once. It’s quite the unexpected & draining experience for him. Additionally, we get to see Dien’s family and Lars learns what real family life is like.

I don’t really know what else about the story I could tell you without giving away either the mystery or the good non-mystery bits. This is a problem that I’m not the only one has. I say this because at ICON this past weekend, I attended a panel where Mrs. Jones read some passages from Threads; as well as a few pages from her third Dubric book2. One of the passages she read from Threads was included one of my favorite scenes in the book, though it turns out we visualized it somewhat differently. The scene takes place as Lars along with 2 of Dien’s daugthers are walking into town to buy some supplies3.

He hurried after them, their names hovering in his throat, but he halted after a few steps. Aly climbed onto the head of a massive stone rabbit, then slid down its back, laughing all the while. Jess leaned against it, her hand on its nose, regarding him with mirthful eyes.
“Lars, Hargrove, I’d like to introduce you to your geandfather’s rabbit.” She bowed with a flourish and grinned at him.

That’s just a fragment of the scene, but it’s the important part to me. When I first read this scene, my mind drew up a picture of a rabbit sitting up on its hindlegs wearing a waistcoat (like something you’d expect from Alice in Wonderland). The rabbit was made of a “mostly” white marble, with bits of grey scattered about here & there. The weather had caused a small crack to form near the top of the rabbit’s head, just above the left eye. Some moss had begun to grow in that crack, looking something like a scar and giving the rabbit a certain roguish appeal. From speaking to Mrs. Jones at ICON, I found out she had imagined the stone rabbit looking like a rabbit you’d see in nature. Ok, so maybe it’s not all that important but I found the scene very endearing.

I’m feeling a bit out of it; so I’m going to wrap this review up. The book was excellent but didn’t quite grip me like Ghosts had. On the other hand, the intense evil and darkness in this book was somewhat balanced out with Lars getting his first real taste of what family life is like. It’s a highly enjoyable read and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any adult readers4. Mrs Jones, good job and I look forward to the next book!

1 Since then I’ve read through Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad. I just didn’t feel like writing up reviews for those books.
2 Currently, the third book is titled “Valley of the Soul”.
3 Taken from pages 144-145 of Threads of Malice.
4 Given the forms that the evil takes in this book; I would not recommend this for younger readers.

Morning Commute

My drive to the office is short and rather dull, but it does take me past both the local police & fire departments. On most days, all that means is occassionally a cop car pulls out of the police parking lot. And on some days, there’s a Pepsi truck blocking half the road as they deliver soda. But on rarer occassions, life is far more interesting.

On those occassions, the fire department has car wrecks in their parking lot. The cars can be half crushed, upside down, missing doors, etc… Unfortunately, they finished up with their training and removed the cars before I got over there to take photos. *sigh*

Still, there’s also some new construction which just started up along my commute and I think it’s for an expansion on CPL. Given that they’ve only dug out a big hole in the ground so far; I think I’ll have time to get some photos before they finish up. 😀

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