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August 2017

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Three weeks ago I was diagnosed with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (AD-PKD). Right now I am fine; my blood pressure is high (but under control thanks to medication) and the filtration rate of my kidneys is not ideal but functioning. At this point, it is a matter of waiting and monitoring the change in function over time to determine and prepare for end-stage kidney failure. Ranging out to the future will be about finding a live donor or going on a kidney dialysis machine and waiting for a traditional donor. But I have to stress that right now I am doing well with the bits and pieces I was given at birth with the assistance of medication.

I am not sure what the future holds in terms of my career. There is a good chance that I will never head to sea in any sort of an operational capacity but also a chance that a transplant will be successful and I can carry on. In the meantime, the RCN has been very supportive and I am very grateful for that-- I can't imagine going through this with any other employer to be honest.

So yeah this started up around the time that I thought I had a hernia. Turns out it was an infection that was related to the kidneys starting to fail. Hence my absence. I will be posting updates here as this has always been my journal for more personal things.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask away. I am open just not willing to share unsolicited information.
Bathroom Book

Death of the Liberal Class - Chris Hedges


The Economist: Trumponomics What it is, and why its dangerous (May 13th - 19th, 2017)
The Economist 1843: Teaching robots right from wrong (June & July 2017)

Evening Read

Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to Globalization of Democracy - Francis Fukuyama

Death of the Liberal Class by Peter Hedges has moved from being my evening read to my bathroom read. It is a quick book that I have already picked up the theme from in the opening introduction. Sadly, I am reading it now just to finish it and make sure that I do not miss any points. The Economist is on my hit list this week for the periodical. I should mention that I hold subsciptions for four periodicals that I read on a regular basis: The Economist, Foreign Affairs, Maclean's and Lapham's Quarterly. You will see issues of particular note rotate weekly through this post. If robotics is an interest of yours, I recommend tracking down the most recent issue of The Economist 1843 magazine. Trump continues to dominate my periodicals. And lastly, I am re-reading Political Order and Political Decay by my favourite social scientist Francis Fukyama. This is just because I love reading this stuff and maybe I am feeling a little more decay these days among our political institutions.

Not Dead

Thursday, 18 May 2017 09:53 am
penlessej: (Joffre Lakes One)
...I swear I am still alive. Barely however. I pulled my back out over the weekend helping Meganne set-up the new garden plot. Something about using the right shovel for the right job in the future. At any rate, I was out of work for two days and virtually our of commission entirely until yesterday. And I've been playing catch up since then.

Apologies to everyone. I'll try and get out an I'm Reading post shortly for the week and get back to PM and messages that I have yet to (how rude!) respond to.

Status of Legislation I

Saturday, 13 May 2017 11:57 pm
penlessej: (Default)
42nd Parliament, 1st Session
29th Canadian Ministry | 3 December 2015 - Present

Click the links for LEGISinfo page for each piece of proposed legislation. 
Information is current as of 14 May 2017.

StageGovernment BillsOther Bills
Senate Pre-study
At Second Reading
Consideration in Committee
Consideration of Committee Report  
At Third Reading

House of Commons
StageGovernment BillsOther Bills
Senate Bills Awaiting First Reading 
At Second Reading
Consideration in Committee
At Report Stage
At Third Reading 
Consideration of Amendments made by the Senate

Awaiting Royal Assent
Bathroom Book

Nil (what's wrong with me, oh yeah hernia makes reading in the heads too painful to read concurrently)


Foriegn Affairs May/June 2017 - Present at the Destruction

Evening Read

Death of the Liberal Class - Chris Hedges

I finished Through the Eye of a Needle by Peter Brown while nursing a hangover on Saturday. It was okay. It would have been better had I not been exposed to the wonderful historical writings of Mary Beard, but then I also would have not understood most of what is assumed to be known by Brown in his book. I found it to be your typical historical book, dry with puncutations of interesting events that get drawn out too far for too long. Beard on the other hand was a refreshing read and that I think is what makes her popular with the masses. Also, still working on the most recent issue of FA, very interesting reads on the Trump administration and the future of the US as the leader of the liberal order on the international stage. Again, if this stuff interests/concerns you I suggest you find a copy for yourself.

Unrelated information: I did not post a Fitbit update today because I was too busy Sunday evening to download the information. Next week I will provide double information. But to be honest, I am debating dropping that particular weekly post.

Now tell me, what is the largest book you have ever read and how long did it take you to get through it?

Something Wrong

Tuesday, 9 May 2017 01:23 pm
penlessej: (Centre of Canada)
Lately, I have the feeling that I have done something terribly wrong and although that I am not sure what it is or how it came to pass, I still have the persistant feeling. Now everything I read, has this lense of "is this about me/did I offend this person." It is shitty to say the least. Well, good thing we are sea so I have work to take my mind away from wandering (because really I know that this really is the problem here). Do you ever get feelings like that?

In other news (somewhat related because it sucks too), I am pretty sure that I have developed a hernia on my left side. I would go to the base hospital but they almost always hand out unfit for sea chits for any sort of medical complication, and I can't have that right now (and neither can the ship). So I cannot sit for too long or it starts to hurt (laying down feels much better, especially with my legs elevated). I will have to get this taken care of next week once I am done sailing. I just hope it does not become more complicated because of my intentional avoidance of medical attention.

May the Fourth Be With You

Thursday, 4 May 2017 07:05 pm
penlessej: (Star Trek Facefalms)
Today is fantasy in space day: aka Star Wars day.

May the Fourth Be With You.

The Ask Me Anything and Question Club communities on LJ were very active and I enjoyed the daily back and forth on them. Is anyone familiar with communities along the same lines here on DW? If not, would you be interested in joining on if I put it together? The gist of the community was simple: you would write a post asking anything and the community would answer. These ranged from general questions like "what are you doing today" to help questions like "what is the best way to seperate egg whites" to sassy questions like "how many times a week do you and your SO get freaky?" It was fun and there was a lot of laughs as well as a lot of community learning. I would very much like to have something similar here on DW especially given the large amount of people coming from That Place.

PS - Does anyone else find DW search annoying and hard to use?


What I'm Reading Wednesday II

Wednesday, 3 May 2017 10:20 am
penlessej: (Books)
Bathroom Book

Canada's National Security in the Post-9/11 World: Strategy, Interests and Threats - David S. McDonough (editor)


Foriegn Affairs May/June 2017 - Present at the Destruction

Evening Read

Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome and the Making of Christianity in the West, 230 - 550 AD - Peter Brown

McDonough's book is good. It is a collection of essays from various subject matter experts on Canada's national security. I enjoy it as a bathroom book because I can usually get in an essay with each major visit. Still working through Brown's book, I am not advancing through this as quickly as I would like to because of work, but such is life. And if this whole Trump as President thing is still terrifying to you, I suggest you go out and purchase the current edition of Foreign Affairs because so far the articles on the topic (note the headline article, fitting if you as me) are on point and very informative.
Third update for the Fitbit (and the third week of owning the device). Things are going well. This week's data gives a good baseline for fitness and activity while I am at sea. As you can see, a little bit less activity (it is hard to cover 8 km per day on a 55 m ship) and a lot less sleep. The numbers are indeed interesting. After next week, and once I have a month's worth of data including some time ashore and some time at sea, I am going to compile the data and develop a baseline of fitness and activity. From there I can set real tangible goals for myself.
Date Cals Burned Steps Dist (km) Floors Fairly Active (m) Very Active (m) Activity Cals
2017-04-23 3,313 12,971 5.69 39 67 79 1,828
2017-04-24 3,198 12,062 5.29 39 16 4 1,821
2017-04-25 2,855 8,529 3.74 27 0 0 1,424
2017-04-26 2,928 9,499 4.17 36 7 0 1,469
2017-04-27 2,938 8,416 3.69 28 0 0 1,495
2017-04-28 3,609 12,103 5.31 27 53 21 2,259
2017-04-29 3,624 16,273 7.14 33 80 76 2,248
Wk Average 3,209 11,408 5 33 32 26 1,792
Total Average 3,162 10,875 5 28 32 17 1,714

Sleep has always been a luxury at sea. I am not standing bridge watches as the Executive Officer, so these numbers are actually much better than they would be if I was a watchkeeping. That being said, the lack of sleep and the effect on performance during the day is certainly something that needs to be looked at by a professional pan-Navy. Here is what is happening in my little corner of the world.
Date Asleep (m) Awake (m) Awakenings Time in Bed
2017-04-23 707 44 4 751
2017-04-24 362 29 1 396
2017-04-25 324 16 1 341
2017-04-26 330 25 1 355
2017-04-27 208 12 1 220
2017-04-28 303 12 0 315
2017-04-29 641 36 1 678
WK Average 411 25 1 437
Total Average 398 34 3 439

How much sleep do you get in a night? Do you get as much as you need? How much sleep do you think you need each night in order to feel refreshed the next day? Do you find that if you get too much sleep that you are just as tired during the day as if you got little or no sleep?

XO Meme Callout

Monday, 1 May 2017 09:26 am
penlessej: (Greenman)
Since taking over as Executive Officer on HMCS YELLOWKNIFE, a running theme has started on my cabin door of posting a daily XO meme. Last week, given my known inclination toward Star Trek, I had a different Riker meme for each day. It became a running joke (as these things tend do in the doldrum of sea life) for each day with people coming to see which one I had posted for the day.

However, as the XO, I have a whole list of "other things" that I should be working on other than looking and posting memes. Hence the callout to you my friends. I am looking for XO theme memes to post on my door. Anything with an XO flavour will count so Riker, Mr. Bush from Hornblower, Spock, the Dr/CO from Master and Commander, etc, etc. I am open to anything really. Simply post the meme in the thread here (photo or link to photo, your choice). If it makes the cut and ends up on my door, I will take a photo of it and post it here on the weekend. Bonus points if you make the meme yourself, I will take a photo and you will get credit (and the personal satisfaction of knowing one of your creations was posted on a Canadian warship, for whatever that is worth).

What are you waiting for? Getting searching and post that XO meme!