zeborah: I found this humerus (humorous)
The neat thing about healing from a significant injury is that pretty much every day you gain awesome new superpowers. You just wake up in the morning and bam! you're Steps Into Underwear Without Leaning On Dresser Woman!

Other recently acquired superpowers:
  • walking downstairs with only one foot per step

  • walking without a walking stick (thank goodness: I was turning into Quasimodo with the strain it put on my shoulder)

  • standing on one foot for, like, six seconds almost

  • bending my foot when walking so some of the weight goes on the toes (but not too much because there's still more bruise-matter than muscle around there) thus reducing my limp

  • running for several metres to catch the bus

  • and as of today, getting into and out of my sturdy ankle-boot without completely unlacing it, using a shoehorn, and/or feeling any discomfort at all


There's this lovely moment in a recent Once Upon a Time episode where Gold has been stuck outside Storybrooke without magic and (I don't think this is really a spoiler, it was always narratively inevitable) he finagles a way back. And as, limping with his cane, he crosses the border, he just straightens into an easy stride and flings his cane off into the bushes by the road. So much empathy with the black-hearted villain in that moment: it's a wonderful feeling.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
Zeborah: comes home with takeaways after a long day

Boots: Hi, human, what's for dinner?

Zeborah: It's not six o'clock yet. You don't get dinner until six o'clock.

Boots: But I'm hungry. Can't you just put out some kibble for me?

Zeborah: It's not six o'clock yet and I need Voltaren and a lavender bag and some sleep.

Boots: Please?

Interlude for a chipper dudebro at the door trying to get a look at my powerbill so he can give me a better deal. I offered to take pamphlets but they really want to see the existing powerbill and sit down with you and do the hardsell. So I told him I'd just had a cast off and needed to sleep and yes, that sleep really was more important to me than his theoretical savings kthxbye.

Zeborah: Where was I? Right. takes Voltaren and a big glass of water and goes to find lavender bag for an aching shoulder

The lavender bag has a juvenile mouse nestled in it looking quite cozy and calm, like this is its lavender bag so where else should it be?

Zeborah: Boots, would you please explain why there is a mouse in my lavender bag?

Boots: comes over, looks at mouse, pounces and noms it

Zeborah: takes lavender bag to microwave

Boots: ...So can I have some kibble now?
zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
I couldn't quite pull it off this time (well, I was still hopeful but the nurse got dubious so I deferred to her judgement) so she got out the AC-powered rotary cutter thing. I was all "I totally trust that you're not going to slip and cut my foot off but how about I don't actually watch" but she did in fact not slip and cut my foot off. Also she then brought me some flannels to wash the poor neglected thing with, though really it needs a good scrub.

Then another round of x-rays, and then a chat with the doctor (waiting room in between each of these, and for long enough that I got through an old issue of Future Fire - the first two stories of which I particularly enjoyed - on my pretty Kobo Mini in its pretty new case) and the bones were healed enough that I got to put my other shoe on (with some difficulty due to stiffness) and go home.

This was actually the first time I'd seen the x-rays myself. Basically there'd been a chip off the knobbly bit at the end of each of two bones in the big toe. You can still see the line between chip and bone now, but it's fuzzier as things mend. There was a chart on the wall in the waiting room which made the bone-healing process clearer but I was too far away to read the terms for the different parts of the bone.

Anyway my toes remain undesirous of bearing any weight so I'm still using crutches for any distance and one, or at least my cane, around the house. But despite this I'm feeling instantly much more mobile. This is because within a room I can just move around, so dishes and cooking is frictionless, and between rooms I have at least one hand free, so I actually got to carry my dinner to the couch on a plate tonight instead of in an old and increasingly fragile takeaway container in a bag hung around my neck.

I did spend the rest of the day on my couch as per usual, getting through only a modicum of work-from-home due to a fit of feeling grotty. This was not unexpected. I don't understand the mechanism by which removing a cast releases grottiness into one's system, but it is clearly a thing so I was prepared for it.

Back to work tomorrow. My requirement for sleep has reduced from 11 to 9 hours/night but today may be an exception, see above, so probably about time now to head off for that.
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
11 hours sleep a day seems a good average at the moment.

Last Tues pushed myself a bit much and stared getting rsi symptoms. Woe ensued, and ordering geoceries online which was nice, then a colleague brought in foam to pad my crutch handles and instant relief.

I then spent time investigating ereaders. My old brand is no longer made so settled on Kobo Mini. But then it emerged after emails to customer service that's out of stock too. Luckily another colleague found one on TradeMe and I even won the auction.

Oh also I went to the doctor and got ears syringed so can hear again properly. You are spared more detail by my ereader having a browser like a singing pig and this being my experimental first post from it.
zeborah: Zebra standing in the middle of the road (urban)
In the end I did completely rest yesterday, and went to bed at 8:30 to allow for plenty of sleep. I don't think I needed all of it in the end but decided to enjoy the dreams.

(As opposed to the dream that ended yesterday afternoon's nap on the couch, a flash in which a cyclist ran over my foot and I woke with another (painless) muscle spasm. A little adrenaline, not too bad but still, just the once is just fine by me. It reminded me of a dream I had right after the February quake, again a flash of slipping in liquifaction and waking with a jolt.)

I got picked up at my gate by a friend/colleague, who likewise returned me to it this evening. My ambition is to at least bus to her place and back, but discovered (getting from carpark to office) that my arms aren't quite as strong as I'd thought. The supermarket trip on Thursday fooled me, probably because while it took a long time, that time involved lots of stopping and standing. So, darn. The bus home might be within my capabilities though: the busstop that way is particularly close to my house.

At work I put a dalek under my desk and a cushion on top for my foot. This was about as perfect as one could get without a custom-made desk so not perfectly comfortable but pretty good. At one point for a tea break I tried sitting on the bed in the sickbay (next to my office!) with my laptop, but the wireless in there is hopeless so I won't be remoting in from there any time soon.

So, as probably anyone with any kind of mobility issue already knows, fire doors are an accessibility nightmare, specifically the spring-loaded ones. I bet there's ways to make them not be, because there's ways to do anything you're willing to spend money on, but my workplace hasn't implemented them. (Honestly I consider it one of my major achievements last year to have got momentum going to get a glass pane put in that particular fire door. It's a major thoroughfare coming from the tea room and the number of near-head injuries and near-scaldings was terrifying.) Slightly counterintuitively, it's a lot easier to pull the door (because you can pull it all the way open and then just go through) than it is to push it (because you aren't forward enough to push it all the way open so have to try and do it in stages which does. not. work).

I got stared at by All The Students as I crutched my way through the quiet study zone to the lift to take my ACC forms down to my boss.

Also everyone I work with wanted to hear the story. For some reason "I ran in front of a car" just inspired more questions, though I once got away with "I ran in front of a car. Don't do that." I should have made little cards with the URL of my blog post printed on it.

By the end of the day my foot was holding up pretty well. A bit of swelling, I'd guess, but not as bad as even Saturday after just a few hours at the 90th birthday party. Will duly rest for the remainder of the evening of course. Also my colleague doesn't work Wednesdays so I'll take those as work-from-home days for the next few weeks.

The scab on my knee has reached the point where any member of homo sapiens sapiens (and a lot of other species of mammals, come to think of it) would want to pick at it. I am womanfully refraining, not only for the usual reasons which, to be honest, probably wouldn't suffice, but also/really because there's a numb patch of skin about there so I wouldn't be able to tell if I was picking to the point of would-be-pain. --I didn't notice the numb patch until today because that area's always been Bruise-Don't-Touch!!! but nerve damage seems unsurprising all in all and neither my intuition nor Dr DuckDuckGo find much reason to worry about it at this stage.

My hearing seems to be coming right! <knocks on wood> Not normal yet, but a definite improvement. I'm testing by rubbing my fingers by my ear: before I started the olive oil treatment the doctor suggested, I couldn't hear a thing by my right ear, now I can hear the lower tones, just still missing the higher ones.

State of the Scaredy-Cat: hiding from the crutches behind the couch, which seems an improvement on fleeing the house.

<ponders icon choice> Oh oh I can't believe I didn't think of this one for my first 'got into a road accident' post. Better late than never! --LiveJournal users will have to either click through or live without my frankly awesome array of thematically deployed zebra (with occasional Helen Clark) icons, sorry about that.

(Need more thematic zebra icons. Never too many.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Despite my trepidation I've managed to sleep pretty much through the last three nights. Usually about halfway through the night, my foot even stops feeling like it's being twisted into some unnatural shape and starts feeling like a foot again, almost as if the cast didn't exist. It's a lovely feeling while it lasts.

Also on Friday I achieved the desperately needed washing of my hair. Clean hair feels so good.

Oh and Friday's other achievement was that after a good night's sleep I remembered that I have a slow cooker. So that's how I cooked my tomato soup. Then I brought it to the couch in a thermos cup I have: the lid doesn't seal watertight, but as long as I have other things in the bag around my neck to keep it upright it restrains any sloshes. And so I had tomato soup and it was good.

On Saturday I had a minor milestone in the shower. Until now I've been taking my crutches in with me, because otherwise I can't so much as turn around. They don't look prone to rust but it's still seemed suboptimal. Yesterday I managed to leave one out and keep the other in the corner that gets splashed the least. But today I discovered that, bracing myself on the various walls and corners in the shower, I could manage not only to stand (the heel is okay for standing still) but even turn around as needed. So the crutches got to wait outside where it's dry.

Another achievement was that it was sunny outside so I thought I'd go for a hike down to my mailbox. (I got a letter from the district health board about my crutches, and a letter from ACC accepting my claim based on the hospital notifying them of my injury. The bureaucracy of communist death panels cannot be halted!!!) And there were all these weeds in the garden and I weeded some of them! And then dumped the weeds on a nearby concrete step to shrivel by themselves because taking them to the green bin required more logistics than I'd planned for.

After lunch I got picked up to go to a church friend's 90th birthday party. This was as rambunctious an affair as it sounds, me being the youngest person in the room by two or three decades, but sitting up with a foot elevated on another chair while straining (with one's good ear) to distinguish conversation near you from the general hum of a large room is still hard work, so when I was dropped home again I lay straight down for a nap.

I've yet to decide whether I'll try for any major achievements today. On the one hand, I could trek to the local library (usually about a 6-minute walk) to get some DVDs. On the other hand I could rest up in preparation for going back to work tomorrow.

The cat meanwhile is being slightly more tolerant of my crutches. Mostly for those moments when I'm pouring out her kibble, but progress is progress. She's also currently sitting warmly next to me on the thin ledge of couch I'm not occupying. Alas it's a cooler day today so pretty soon I'm going to have to get up, turn the gasfire on, and close the doors, and before I've even started all that she'll have fled again...
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
Mum drove me to the hospital this morning and I got my plaster cast taken off (it's called a "chop" but all they did was snip the bandage holding it onto my ankle and then I got to pull it off myself) and got a new fibreglass one put on. It's purple and I'll take a photo when I've got the energy to get the camera from the other side of the room.

The doctor's letting me go back to work next week. (I've since made a carpooling deal with a colleague; the doctor also suggested ACC might pay taxifare on the grounds it's cheaper than my salary.) Also they gave me a shoe-thing to wear for walking on the cast. Except this is a cruel joke because I'm only allowed to put weight on my heel. Try walking with your weight only on your heel. Now try it with a cast wrapped around the rest of your foot bulking it up and adding to the weight your ankle muscles have to bear in holding it off the ground. Now try it when your bruised knee can't really flex at a speed anywhere approaching that required for walking. I managed an awkward shuffle and then I gave up and went back to hopping. Maybe when my knee's better it might be manageable.

Despite the fact that he was a bone doctor I managed to bully some advice for my blocked ear out of him. (He suggests olive oil. Or alternatively going to my GP. The olive oil seems to be helping a little, at least sneezing is a bit less painful, but I probably will end up asking at the GP too, even if only when I go to renew my asthma meds and ask after the flu vaccine.)

On the way home I got Mum to take me to a supermarket and we stocked up on food. I experimented with the trolley but no, so Mum pushed it while I hopped, and going up/down four aisles was about enough of a stretch for my current stamina. But I now have fresh fruit including bananas (I keep waking with muscle spasms, so far not painful just "I don't get to move during the day so doggammit I'm going to move at night!" but I see the potential) and lots of flour (for pancakes and potentially bread if it ends up easier to make than to shop) and milk and eggs and muesli and pizzas.

Then I sat on my couch for the rest of the day and got tiny bits of work done.

There was a little discomfort and I figured that's justified considering the amount of exercise so took some ibuprofen. Then for the first time ever my toe decided to hurt a bit. And just general having-a-cast-sucks-itude: my foot gets this kind of sensory deprivation so I'm not sure if it's feeling tingly or I'm holding it at the wrong angle and straining muscles or something's chafing or pressing where it shouldn't. Generally something feels funny but if I so much as wriggle my toes then it all feels normal again for about a minute and then something else feels funny and it does my head in.

I took an afternoon nap which helped except it left my bruised knee stiff again. And the cat was scritching at the living room door (shut to keep gasfire heat in) and of course by the time I get over there on the crutches to open it she's fled the house. And I'm sick of sitting down and my foot feels funny.

And I have heaps of milk in the house and it's a cold day so brilliant idea let's make tomato soup, comfort food. Except as dinner time approaches reality sets in: that requires waiting in the kitchen to stir the pot and make sure it doesn't boil over, and then it requires somehow transporting this hot liquid back to my couch and I just can't even.

So I got a supermarket pizza out. Trufax: this is on doctor's orders. (He warned me going back to work would be tiring and get used to ordering in pizza.) And then I burst into tears because I only wanted to heat half the pizza and the chopping board and knife were a whole step away.

A jellytip icecream solved the immediate crisis(*) and gave me sufficient energy to work out how to bring the resulting hot pizza back to my couch. (I think I need a new tag for my couch.)

(*) I understand other countries don't all have these and can only presume it's because there's a limited supply and we're keeping them to ourselves as we clearly deserve to.

But my foot still feels funny in places it's not possible for anything to be wrong with - seriously I saw them put the cast on and it's a work of art - and the cat has fled the crutches for the umptieth time and I'm super grumpy and tired and I clearly need to get more sleep.

Which I'm going to do. I'm just not really looking forward to its recuperative powers because (random muscle spasms aside) I'm not sleeping that well because foot and if not foot then bruises and the cat curls up right where I want to try shifting to. So I tend to wake up after a long night's exhausting sleep thinking "Oh thank goodness it's time to get up now" and then I check the time and discover it's only 3am and I have to keep sleeping.

But-so-anyway I don't think I can really cope with nice/reassuring/helpful comments at the moment, but what would be really lovely would be links to amusing things on the internet I can distract myself with tomorrow.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
So Boots hid under the bed while I was getting ready for bed last night.

The downside of sleeping in the spare room is that the bed is just a single, but she did manage to find sufficient space to join me on it. So passed the night.

In the morning, I like to exercise my left knee in a possibly vain attempt to get the circulation going before moving my encasted foot to the floor, because by then it's been a while since the last anti-inflammatories and there will be mild pins and needles. Boots interprets this movement as "getting up now" and when I don't follow through immediately starts with the head-butts to encourage me. Of course when I give in and do get up, picking up my crutches causes her to flee the house.

Ten hours go by, during which I do a full day's work from my couch, launder the stinky cat blanket, pick a courgette, and nuke a pie for lunch. Finally Boots comes home demanding food, I reach for my crutches to prepare it for her, and she flees again.

Cats.
zeborah: Zebra and lion hugging (cat)
I'm continuing to take it super-easy (the cast and crutches rather enforce this actually) but it is nice to come home to my cat.

I prepared by taking a proper shower this morning, so that if I fell over there'd be someone to help and if I didn't I'd know that I was capable of doing it. Following which success I took a wee rest and then I succeeded in making breakfast and bringing it out to my chair in the dining room (by moving it from one horizontal surface to another, taking a step, repeating all the way).

Then I rested basically for the rest of the day, just eating lunch at the big people's table and spending a few minutes chopping salad for dinner before my (non-injured) leg got tired because it's not used to standing with those muscles. And after dinner I packed and got dropped off home.

So far I've customised my environment by opening all the doors and by dragging a chair into the bathroom, because it seems like this could come in handy for all sorts of reasons. And I'll sleep in the spare bedroom because it's an easier bed to get into and out of.

Boots fled when she heard the scary crutches again, but shortly afterwards came back in the house. As I'm on the couch, not going clunk clunk, I got greeted vociferously and she's now happily exploring the open doors and nomming her food. So now I need to get her to come here so I can show her what this terrifying clunk clunk-maker is and get her used to it before I get ready for bed.
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
Actually they seem to finally be getting rid of the (I presume) lactic acid, which is lovely: it makes it easier to eat and easier to find a comfortable position to sit or lie in to avoid pins and needles. It's really amazing how many muscles you use to lie down from a sitting position.

My knee which is bruised on the left (ie outside)? So I finally last night found a comfortable way to lie on my right side, the only problem being that I thereby discovered a sore spot on the inside of my knee. This morning I found there a brand new giant bruise. Presumably extra blood descending right through everything else in the knee to the lowest point, or something. Bodies are weird.

Got driven home for a visit for more clothes and to feed the cat. We arrived at the time of day Boots would expect me home anyway so she came running and miaowing in delight/demand. Then she caught sight of the crutches and shrank back. I continued haltingly inside while my sister placated the cat, and even lured her into the house, but when she saw me using the crutches again it was all too much and she fled.

Have felt a little bit of the blahs descending, which is unsurprising but something to stave off if I can. When mild, they're most easily banished for me by some kind of achievement and as I was sick of sitting around as well I decided I would help make dinner. So I chopped two zucchinis and put them on the stove to boil (and then my sister pulled the rest of dinner together and brought it all out to me on a tray). And afterwards I went and got myself a glass of milk and rinsed out the empty milk bottle. So now I feel like a super-achiever and am resting on the couch again.

But tomorrow, if All The Muscles behave, I might actually be able to go home and look after myself: I'll just have to chunk everything into short bursts and carry things in a bag around my neck or something. And Boots will have to get used to the crutches.
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
I have mentioned before that Riccarton Road is my nemesis; this time for different reasons.

So there I was, crossing the road to transfer buses to go and try on some awesome shoes my sister had pointed me to. Half way across, and the traffic was moving slowly enough (though clearly about to speed up) that I thought I could dash in front of this red car to get the rest of the way.

In my defense, I was right. I got past the red car, and it was the black car coming up beyond it, moving somewhat faster, that hit me. I'd forgotten that (semi-official?) other lane there.

It seems likely that it was my elbow that hit the windshield (my elbow is barely hurt but the windshield got a great big spiderweb). I definitely remember tumbling through the air, and my head impacting something. My memory doesn't speak much to chronological order, but a witness says that was the road. I also remember the expectation that I was about to be hit by more cars, and the fleeting but profound sense, not easily put into words, that I had just made a very very poor life choice. I was I think about 80% expecting to be killed and was quite unwilling and chagrined at the idea.

Then there were people helping me up to support me getting off the road. My leg hurt a lot but I was most careful of my head because I have sufficient second-hand experience (naming no names) of concussion and post-concussion syndrome to be super paranoid of such. I didn't think I'd lost consciousness and more importantly witnesses didn't think so either, but I knew right away that it was a good bang. In retrospect I can understand why people say they 'saw stars' but it wasn't really like that. It was primarily like wearing a bicycle helmet made up of a buzzing which muffled everything, and secondarily the buzzing was kind of like the 'snow' static on an old tv screen except yellow.

So sitting on the footpath it became clear that I had a giant bruise on the left of my knee - this is what hurt the most, in that "How can I position this so that it will stop hurting?" agony that has no satisfactory answer. Also I spotted a bruise on my foot under my sandal and there was of course the huge bump on my head. The buzzing subsided but any movement of my head made me dizzy. I was shaking in shock and expected to get cold so put my coat on at one point, but wasn't actually cold. People were asking if I was normally this pale and you know I'm awfully pale but I bet I was even paler than normal.

Someone was calling for an ambulance and someone else got some ice from the nearby McDonalds. Due to instructions from the phone I wasn't allowed to eat any of the ice which disappointed me because my mouth was super dry. But mostly I was anxious to assure people that a) it wasn't the driver's fault and b) I wasn't going to up and walk away before the ambulance got there (I've seen someone do that though less injured after all).

The ambos (after their initial check) got me into the ambulance in this cool orange wheelchair. It folded out like a campstool, but then it had a belt and they could wheel me on it. Various questions - I told the story many times over the next hours - from the ambo and a cop though just identity stuff there, she met me at the hospital later to get the statement. (I spotted two police cars. Not sure what rated the second one; hopefully it was just a slow evening and not some pile-up I didn't notice, though that's possible since I wasn't noticing anything outside my immediate vicinity.)

Once the ambulance was off, I was allowed a bit of water from a pottle, which they then held for me because I was shaking amazingly and uncontrollably. My teeth were chattering so hard I was consciously keeping my tongue out of the way. They also gave me a bunch of ibuprofen and paracetamol nom nom.

Also they tried to take Blenheim Road in order to avoid traffic on Riccarton Road. Lol. As much as Riccarton Road traffic is my nemesis, even I'm forced to admit that Blenheim Road is never the solution. It took something like half an hour to get to the hospital. At least I was feeling much better by then.

ED was a bit more boring. Short version: I had an instinctive aversion to putting any weight at all on my left foot; dizziness all gone but some weird pressure in my ear, like after you've gone swimming. They couldn't see anything so probably just dislodged wax or something. I got x-rays on the foot - the bruise spread across the top of the foot just before all the toes start, that is all the toes except for the big toe. It turns out that the big toe, almost completely unbruised and sans pain, was the one that was broken.

Once they'd checked I wasn't showing signs of concussion or of internal injury I was left alone quite a bit so I thought I'd get out my e-reader. My e-reader was not in my bag no matter how hard I looked. I eventually resigned myself to the fact that it must have been in my hand, got thrown across Riccarton Road, and suffered some fate less fortunate than my own. (RIP, Pocketbook 360: you will be missed. Shall have to start investigating a replacement.)

When I finally got sent for a cast therefore I eagerly read the osteoporosis poster on the wall. A nurse noticed me doing this and pointed out I'm a bit young for that but it's not like they'd given me anything else to read.

Now, at some point while still on the footpath someone asked me how I'd get home from hospital and I somehow still figured it for 50/50 calling my family vs catching a bus home by myself. Haha. I lost this illusion fairly quickly (especially remembering I'd need to be observed for concussion), but it still took the nurses who put the cast on to convince me that I was not in fact going to go to work next day as usual. Seriously at that point I felt fine: I'd have been careful and kept taking the pills and allowed extra time to move places with crutches and kept my foot up on a chair all day but why not?

They explained it to me and today at my parents' house I felt it: that thing where I was in shock and shaking all over? that was adrenaline firing up All The Muscles. And today All The Muscles are aching. Especially the ones I never knew existed, like the muscles that chew and the muscles that move things around in your mouth so you can chew more effectively; as well as the muscles that hold your neck up and the muscles that help you sit up or even just shift to a more comfortable position.

I did today do some work from home because Bored, but not as much as I'd originally planned because sitting in one spot is distractingly annoying and also the few other things I had to do (eat; bathroom; get driven home for laptop and change of clothes and to feed the cat, and back to parents' via pharmacy for drugs) take extra long.

Anyway though I'm basically incredibly well off considering. Just on orders to be off work with my leg up for a week; then they switch this temporary cast (space left on the side to allow for swelling) for a more long-term fibreglass one, which I can apparently pick the colour for. I'm thinking purple.

Then I'm really hoping I will be able to go back to work, though there may be a lot of working from home in my near future: my work is very flexible about that sort of thing, but I hate it because my laptop is very awkward with the kinds of tasks I have, and yet putting my leg up on a 75-minute bus commute is even more awkward. So we'll see.

Oh also another cultural thing, which is they've given me ACC forms, which is public insurance for accidental injury, in a similar way to how we have EQC for earthquake property damage. I gather the idea was so that we wouldn't have to resort to suing people in order to be able to pay medical bills etc. You know, the usual commie death panel stuff. So I was reading these forms before being discharged, which is how when asked by a hospital aide for the umpteenth time what happened I could much more succinctly answer, "Ped vs car".
zeborah: Zebra against a barcode background, walking on the word READ (books)
So one of the many awesome post-earthquake projects going on is QuakeStudies which includes a bunch of collections of stuff written/told/photographed/etc about the quakes. This includes some blogs and the plan is to add my DW/LJ 'earthquake'-tagged posts.

This will include all your comments on those posts: the thinking on the QuakeStudies side is that they're not flocked, and comment conversations are often as useful to the historical record as the original posts; the thinking on my side is I don't recall anything likely to be problematic but I do really want to let you all know first to check that assumption. Basically everything on a given post will be pulled into a single pdf file - see this example of a record and file of post-with-comments.

So if there's anything you don't want kept in this way, you could go through now and delete it. (Let me know if you need some time to do that and the archiving can hold off.) Or if you want/need to later, they've apparently got a take-down policy so could remove the page or black out the comment. Or if you think "Eek, not good in principle!" let me know and I'll investigate options more.
zeborah: Zebra with stripes shaking (earthquake)
I got up early this morning and cut a lily and went out to find a road cone to put it in. I didn't have to go very far. I guess I'll stop putting lilies in road cones when there stop being road cones to put them in. (See many flowers in many road cones.)

(I have some white lilies that always bloom around earthquake anniversary day. Also I always know the earthquake anniversary is coming up because a) I have a calendar and b) my peaches ripen: in 2011 spending a day with my mother bottling All The Peaches was one of the 10 productive things I did the weekend before the quake. I ate my first peach of the year this Wednesday.)

In other personal earthquake recovery news... Okay, so a bit over three years ago EQC were repairing my house when another aftershock hit. The workers there at the time pointed out some things I ought to get someone to look at so I put in another claim. Also they removed my gasfire to take down my fireplace because it was made of brick, and couldn't put a new gasfire in because the person (seriously. The. Person. In the whole city) who approved new gasfire installations was on holiday, but after several months, winter encroaching, and me playing the asthma card, I finally got a new one put in - just the installers didn't also do the fireplace surround.

Thereafter, every six months I'd get a phone call saying in bewilderment "So it looks like you haven't signed off on the work?" and I'd explain, "That's because you haven't finished the work," and they'd say, "Oh! Oh, we'd better get right on that!" and I'd be all, "Yeah. Sure. Talk to you again in six months, huh?"

So when, in September last year, I got a phone call from EQC, and had done blurting out "Oh my god!" in my surprise thereat, I didn't actually have terribly high hopes of anything coming from it. And they said they were the Remediation Team and they said they probably wouldn't get to me until February/March/April, but they'd call again in December, and I shrugged because all I wanted to know (or was capable of crediting) was that I was still in the system.

But then they called in December. And they called back in January. And then they called to make an appointment for a site visit. And then they came to the site visit. And they called for a followup to the site visit, and I've gone so far in my trust of them as to pick out some possible tiles for the gasfire surround.

They have said they're unlikely to do anything about the damage from my other claim, because reasons (the salient reason, though they didn't say it, ultimately being that they've been fixing the whole city for four and a half years and money is finite and they're not as generous as they were when they first started fixing my house). I hadn't expected much because it is pretty minor, so as long as they fix up my fireplace I'll be happy.

(Because then I'll be able to put my books back up - long packed in boxes out of the way of plaster-dust - and get started in my plan to replace my threadbare 70s carpet with nice thick carpet plus the luxury of underlay. And while I'm at it maybe splurge and replace the sofa suite I got second-hand for $100 with a suite less battered and begrimed. The only downside of either of these things is the immense difficulty one has these days to buy anything in a colour other than some shade of beige or grey.)
zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
So there I am, hanging up the washing, and this happens:

rotating washing line, laden with clothes, fallen on its side due to the centre pole breaking

Apparently this has been happening:

closeup of broken pole and all its broken rusty edges

So since my washing still needs drying I've now done this:

clothes rearranged on the parts of the washing line that aren't touching the ground and that I can reach

But I feel further action needs to be taken for the longterm and I don't know where to even start looking in the Yellow Pages....
zeborah: Fezzes are cool.  Amy and River blow it up. (cool)
Not really. That doesn't happen in real life. (In real life it's a glorious Saturday morning, you've done all your chores and it's only 8:30am, the whole weekend ahead of you, and then you wake up and it's Tuesday and it's raining.) But wouldn't it be cool if it did?

Spoilers for season 8 ep 11, the '3W' episode )
zeborah: Helen Clark telling an MP: Diddums. (diddums)
In response to Metiria Turei's blog post on the Feed the Kids bill, I've emailed the following to our prime minister:

Tēnā koe,

There's no more obvious moral position that children deserve to be fed. It's so obvious that nothing more can be said about it.

It's almost as obvious that when children are well-fed, it's not only good for their future — better health, better socialisation, and better education — but also, by extension, for the future of New Zealand: lower healthcare costs, less crime, a more skilled workforce and stronger economy.

At the moment, many children aren't getting the food they need. We can argue about who ought to be feeding them, but pointing a finger won't feed the children. We can argue about why they're not being fed, but trying to follow the complex chains of cause and effect back to their origins will open a can of worms that will make better food for birds and fish than children. And we can argue about exactly how a bill should be phrased and targeted and implemented to be most efficient, but the most efficient bill in the world is no use until it's passed into law.

Children are hungry right now, and to solve that we need to do one thing: feed them. Right now.

The Tribal Huks gang in the Waikato have recognised this and stepped up to feed hungry schoolchildren in their region, to an outpouring of public support. Can National, the government, and New Zealand, show ourselves any less ready to give our children the food they need and deserve?

Please support the Feed the Kids Bill.

Nāku noa, nā
[wallet name, city]
zeborah: Zebra against a barcode background, walking on the word READ (books)
I've got a lovely two-week holiday so today, instead of leaving for work after my regular Sunday sleep-over with friends, I went with them when they took their three-year-old to his first (half-)day of kindergarten. It was the first time they'd left him alone with strangers so they were a little twitchy though also looking forward to having a bit of time without a preschooler around to catch up on things that preschoolers like to help with, like climbing ladders and painting and varnishing things.

In due course, we also went to pick him up again. He was looking at a picture book and asked me to read it, and about three seconds into it another boy appeared and handed me another book to read, and that's how I ended up reading "Maui's Fish" and "Princess Lulu and the Sleep Stealer" to four kindy kids.

(And then it being a gorgeous day we went to the beach and played frisbee and excavated a water channel while building a castle wall beside it and didn't get sunburned because they made me put sunscreen on even though I hate how greasy it is. I'm glad I'm not staying the night tonight because that's going to be one tired kid.)
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
Last week New Zealand's centre-right party won the election as thoroughly as you can or need to in order to govern unimpeded for the next three years, and the left-leaning among us are doing the usual post-mortem.

Do we blame the non-voters? The misinformed voters? The greedy voters? The unappealing centre-left party? The corrupt centre-right party? The naive internet party who thought that people would change their votes when corruption was alleged?

No, I think we need to accept the fact that 48% of voters honestly believe that the centre-right's economic policies are standing us in good stead as a country. Partly they believe this because said party has lied to them about how we're in fact doing. But mostly they believe it because it makes sense. It fits the Story, the story that's wound its way about the globe and is shaping society and economics worldwide by convincing us to fear and distrust our fellow human beings and vote for the government that will protect us from them.

I call the Story "Bludgers vs Bootstraps". It's a story of the lazy beneficiary who's bludging off the state. You know they're a lazy bludger because they're a beneficiary. If they weren't lazy, they'd pull themselves up by their bootstraps, get a job, and become a productive member of society. But they don't have a job so they're not productive so they're a bad person -- or at the very least they've made bad choices and now they need to take responsibility for that. (At worst, they're actively milking the benefit for all it's worth, or even defrauding it.) And if they won't do it themselves, then they need to have their benefit taken away from them in order to motivate them to go and do the thing with the bootstraps.

Like all victim-blaming, this story is tremendously comforting. Because if every poor person made a Bad Choice, then all you need to do to avoid poverty is to make all the Right Choices.

And because people need the Story to allay their fears, the harder you work to point out a case that doesn't fit the narrative, the harder they'll work to identify the Bad Choice that proves it does fit it. (To see this happen, I refer to every newspaper comment section ever.) It's still worth telling these counter-narratives, I think, as innoculation if nothing else, but it's not sufficient.

What we really need is a New Story, and this is what it is:

People are inherently good.

People want a job that's meaningful: a job that doesn't just support themselves, doesn't just support their families, but actually improves the world in some other way too. People will settle for a meaningless job if they have to, but they won't be happy about it, because people want to be useful to their fellow human beings.

And whether luck grants them a job or not, people help their fellow humans in a thousand other ways. They look after children. They edit Wikipedia. They garden, making the environment more beautiful and sharing vegetables and fruit with neighbours and colleagues. They volunteer time in churches and clubs and charities. They write cheques and donate old clothes. They smile at people in the street. They pick up a wallet and hand it in. They give spare change to someone asking for 'busfare'. They yarnbomb construction fences and set up bookcrossing zones. They see a house on fire and go in to rescue the inhabitants and then they carry on to their dayjob.

Running into a burning building isn't a smart thing to do, but it's the human thing to do. Because people are just this incredibly hardworking, generous, caring species.

And when we all believe this story, we won't have to fear poverty because we'll know that people will support us. Just the way we support other people. Because this is what people do.

And we'll want to spread this story, and there are two ways of doing that:
  • Telling the story: Tell your friends and neighbours and colleagues and busdrivers and checkout operators about one of those many times that someone did something nice for you. Obviously you want to try and have this bear some relevance to your conversation, but you know what I mean.
  • Creating the story: Be that person doing something nice for your friend or neighbour or colleague or busdriver or checkout operator, so that they have a story to tell too.
I'm not going to promise that spreading this story will get the centre-left party straight back into power. Actually, I think its real success will be judged by how it changes the policies of the centre-right party. This will take time, just as the old story took time to spread in the first place. But it will spread, because it's true and because it's awesome -- and because each act of spreading it makes someone's life better, and that's what we all want to be a part of.

[Links are welcome, as are stories of you or others doing nice things for someone else.]
zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
I just by accident went to my LJ homepage and saw my most recent post was from ages ago. Apparently when I changed all my passwords around Heartbleed time I forgot that Dreamwidth requires my password in order to crosspost. Whoops!

So if you follow me on LJ you may (or may well not) want to catch up with my posts on Dreamwidth. Despite it being ages ago there's only been about ten since; to wit, in reverse chronological order:

In which she watches the second episode (Doctor Who 08.02)
In which she practices her spongebath skills
Fanfic: Really Slowly. In the Right Order. (part 12/12)
In which another Doctor
Fanfic: Really Slowly. In the Right Order. (part 5/12) [NB links to all other parts on Archive of Our Own]
In which she learns a new theory of the elements
In which she baits the phone scammers
In which she produces a unified theory of yellow
In which she submits her hatred of Riccarton Road
In which Easter is all about autumn
zeborah: The Eleventh Doctor holds a mop. Text: Clean all the things? (Doctor Who)
I'm determined to go into this one trying/expecting to like it, in the hopes that my recent dislike of All the Doctor Who is at least partly due to justified bias against the Moffat.

This lasts literally four seconds. )

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