Drowning in drafts

I have a lot of e-mail accounts that I use for various purposes. Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, organization-specific, work-specific, job hunting-specific, hosted domains — I like to keep the various parts of my life separated. My primary account is a Yahoo account that I’ve had since I first got online in 1998. I’ve paid for a premium account since about 2001 so that I can use that account to reply from my various addresses from the same place, and so that I can keep an archive of all of my e-mails from all of those addresses that is accessible from anywhere. Currently, the Yahoo account holds over 65,000 e-mails, including 121 drafts that have never been finished or sent.

(I know that that looks like yet another serious hoarding problem, but it’s really only a minor hoarding example. Yes, it needs a good clean-out — there are probably only about 20,000 e-mails that must be kept — but I have frequently had to refer back to e-mails I sent or received several years ago so having a long-term archive in general is not an issue. Better an electronic archive than a printed one, which is what I used to do.)

The drafts are a little worrisome. Especially when I see that I’m rapidly building up a comparable drafts pile here on this blog. I have started but then not published over 60 posts here. Some may yet see the light of day — some I could have sworn I’d already published — but most, from last year, were about news articles or events that are no longer relevant. My goal for February 2009 (as a part of my dehoarding efforts) then is to go through those draft posts, delete the ones that are now pointless, and rescue the ones that can still have life breathed into them.

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Bus service to resume February 9

Ottawa Citizen breaking news: OC Transpo back on the road Feb. 9

OC Transpo bus service will resume on Feb. 9, with the system running at about 80 per cent of full capacity, Ottawa’s transit director Alain Mercier said Friday. That includes 60 per cent of peak-hour service and 100 per cent of off-peak service, he said.

So, a little more than a week of same old, same old and then a return to (no doubt somewhat cranky) normalcy.

Deal nearly done to settle transit strike?

Breaking news from Ottawa Citizen: Deal nearly done to settle transit strike

The city and its largest transit union are making a dramatic push to reach an agreement to end the transit strike ahead of federal legislation sending 2,300 OC Transpo workers back on the job.

A number of city councillors are in Mayor Larry O’Brien’s office now, working on the effort. Mr. O’Brien is expected to make an announcement shortly.

“It looks good. It’s going to be good,” one councillor said.

This comes on the heels of news that the federal government was going to be looking into back-to-work legislation. See Day 51: Area MPs willing to legislate Transpo back to work.

According to CTV, the deal is done, but I haven’t seen anything about it in the Ottawa Citizen.

The City of Ottawa and the Amalgamated Transit Union have reached a deal that will end a public transit strike that has paralyzed the nation’s capital for 51 days.

Both sides have agreed to put the contract dispute to binding arbitration.

Although an agreement has been made, it will still take at least one week to get the first round of buses serviced and back on the roads.

Dammit, this better not be a tease.

Star Wars, the drama continues

I’ve blogged before about Corey Vidal’s viral lipsyncing video to Moosebutter‘s Star Wars song. And I’ve blogged about Moosebutter’s own version of the video, with themselves singing the various parts live on the video.

As I posted in a comment on that last post, somewhere around mid-January (January 18-ish), Warner Brothers Music had both videos yanked from Youtube and Corey’s account was suspended. Looks like Corey’s Youtube account was reinstated about 7 days ago ( judging by when the video comments resumed) and the Moosebutter version is available again. Corey’s original video, though, is gone (with it’s millions of views) but another copy of it is available elsewhere:

He  uploaded a short video yesterday on the subject of the still AWOL video, Warner Brothers, and Youtube:

Yesterday, his story was the subject of a CNET News article, YouTube users caught in Warner Music spat, which offers some interesting background information on the situation. I’m extremely disappointed that the article gives the impression that the still-missing video is all Corey’s work, further confusing the already ignorant masses who think Corey performed the song. Continue reading “Star Wars, the drama continues”

Perils of the Pill

Normally, I don’t pay attention to birth control pill commercials on TV. Tonight, my attention was attracted by a commercial for Yaz. Yaz advertises itself as a contraceptive as well as a treatment for PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) and moderate acne. And that is what caught my attention.

In 1999, I developed a number of different symptoms related to hormonal problems, including really irregular periods, horrible mood swings, and a resurgence of teenage acne. I wasn’t on my usual Pill at the time because I discovered through trial and error that it exacerbated my depression. But I needed something to try to even out the hormonal problems. When I went to my doctor in late 1999, I insisted I be prescribed a new (in Canada, anyway) drug called Diane-35, which contained a combination of estrogen and cyproterone. Cyproterone is an anti-androgen. It was a bad choice on my part. By January 3, 2000, I was in the Ottawa General emergency room with a pulmonary embolism. Because the hospital was overloaded with flu victims and there were no beds, I was sent home to inject heparin into my stomach twice a day for a week. The doctors weren’t overly concerned about the specific drug I was taking and didn’t report it to Health Canada’s Adverse Drug Reaction Database. (Added later: This database was later renamed the Canada Vigilance Adverse Reaction Online Database.)

While some dispute their validity, CBC’s Disclosure (2003) and CBC Marketplace (2005) have both aired stories about Diane-35 and all of the women who developed blood clots while taking it. The Disclosure page, which is currently 404 (I’ve left it linked in case CBC is just moving things around temporarily) included extracts from the drug reaction database and it would appear that I was actually one of the first women to develop a blood clot in Canada while taking it.

Which brings me back to Yaz. Yaz is a combination of estrogen and drospirenone, which acts something like an anti-androgen. That would concern me. I took Ortho 7/7/7 for over a decade with no hint of blood clots, but developed a PE within a month or so of starting Diane-35. I’ve had no blood clot issues since, despite being more sedentary and having at least one genetic marker for increased blood clot risk. That tells me that the cyproterone/estrogen combination was most like the culprit. That makes me suspicious of the safety of combining other anti-androgen or pseudo anti-androgens with estrogen.

Hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel

But not really expecting any.

I wasn’t able to take part in the demonstrations that took place yesterday on Parliament Hill and at City Hall. I’m sorry more people didn’t turn up but more turned up than I expected —  it’s hard to get to something like that, especially in weather this cold, without, oh, say, public transportation.

Talks are apparently continuing today, though there is still a media blackout on the details. The optimist in me would like to think something will come of that that will end the strike sooner rather than later. But the apathetic realist in me isn’t really holding out a great deal of hope.

It’s weird job hunting, knowing there are jobs I could, should be applying for but can’t because the jobs are too far away to walk (even if I could) and too expensive to cab to. Having a mild panic attack today.

Still waiting

No word yet about that job I interviewed for a couple of weeks ago. I pinged the recruiter who hasn’t heard anything either. I’m getting antsy. Last time, the company took awhile to sort things out. I hope that doesn’t happen this time.

I did hear from another recruiter about another job today, a shorter term contract that would start on Monday. (Actually heard from two agencies about that one.) Pays a little more but is only two months. And it’s downtown, which should be doable by cab, assuming I can get one.

Also pinged Superannuation — they still haven’t received the form they need from my former employer in order to release my transfer amount. So she gave me the name of the person they tried to contact and I’m going to try to light a fire under her myself. Haven’t been able to reach her yet.

I’ve been sick with that bad head cold for the last couple of days. Feeling a fair bit better today so think I will get stuck back into the decluttering tomorrow, starting with the bedroom. (I’d really like to start sleeping there again sometime soon.)

Evil, thy name is snooze button

The lobby of my building has a radio station piped through 24/7. I don’t listen to the radio at home (I’d rather listen to my iTunes) so that’s the only place that I get exposed to it. Anyway, early Friday morning, I’m waiting for the elevator after a dumpster visit during the big clean when they start talking about the perils of snooze alarm addiction.  Essentially, while sleeping a little longer may actually beneficial to your health, the excessive use of the snooze button to do that is detrimental, leading to an increase in high blood pressure and other ailments that come from a lack of quality sleep. 

I love my snooze button. I’m clearly not alone — the I Need Rehab For My Snooze Button Addiction Facebook group has almost 6,000 members. (As an aside, “clock sniping” as used in the description of that group is THE perfect term for what a snooze button addict does.) You can hit the snooze button on my alarm clock forever and it will never stop coming back on. I’ve been known to do that for several hours before finally getting up (I think my record was four hours — that’s 27 snooze button hits, which even I acknowledge is ridiculous) and I’ve actually deliberately set my alarm early to account for the snooze-buttoning I know I’ll do.

Those little nine-minute microsleeps are wonderful, almost intoxicating, which should be a dead giveaway that they aren’t good in the long run. Mind you, unless I’m dead tired, I sleep fitfully anyway: I wake up when I change position or when something starts to ache too much or when the cat decides to join me. So I guess my entire night’s sleep consists of microsleeps. No wonder I’m always tired.

Left to my own devices, with no alarms, nothing to *have* to wake up by a certain time for, and no phone calls waking me up in the middle, I awaken naturally after about nine hours sleep. But that seems like such a huge chunk out of a 24-hour day, and I guess I’m ever hopeful that I’ll actually manage to be able to function on a significantly smaller amount of sleep. It’s been a vain hope. And that’s where the snooze button becomes my enabler. Or rather lately it’s been my TV that is my enabler — since I’ve been sleeping in the living room, I’ve been setting my TV to channel 998 (which, because the building’s security channel doesn’t work properly with digital cable — does anyone’s? — is blank and black and thus non-intrusive) and using the timer settings on the digital cable box to turn to specific channels at 1/2 hour or hour intervals. So, longer snoozes but still snoozing for a couple of hours each day. All the more reason to get my bedroom decluttered so I can start sleeping there again — I deliberately have no computer or TV in there. (See, I was sensible at one point.)