OMG Facebook is down

How will the world survive? I must have just squeaked in under the wire, posting a link to an art video just before I completely lost my connection.’s article says it all:

Facebook is down, world productivity spikes

Facebook is offline. Return to your desks people, and resume work. Your online social life is on hold while Mr. Zuckerberg and his team of developers desperately search out the issue.



A near perfect day

Harvest moon photography at Wikipedia

From my window now, about an hour and a half after true full  and about 6.5 hours after the official start of Fall (my second favourite season), the full moon is like a giant spotlight as it descends to the west. It’s easy to see why this is called the Full Harvest Moon. It’s really so bright that you wouldn’t need a flashlight or a street lamp to see outside. And it’s quite beautiful, especially with the wispy tendrils of cloud drifting in front of it. I forget to look at it like this most of the time. Sometimes good things come with insomnia.

Today, here in Ottawa, daylight is expected to last fo 12 hours and 8 minutes, darkness for 11 hours and 52 minutes. The perfect 50/50 split between day and night (also known as the autumnal and vernal equiluxes in Autumn and Spring, respectively) never really happens, at least not this year — Saturday will have 12:02 of daylight and Sunday 11:59.

I think that’s why I like Spring and Autumn so much: this sense of the planet either beginning to wake up or dropping off to sleep at those times.

Full moon, start of Autumn, and a cool 9 degrees (at least for now — we’ll forget about the 31 degree humidex forecast for Friday for now). My sinus headache seems to be gone,  the cat is eating properly (and not throwing it back up again), and some freelance work is on the horizon. Since I am heading to bed now rather than starting my day, I can say that it (the last 24 hours) has been a pretty lovely day, all things considered.

The whole world’s goin’ crazy

Crazy, crazy, crazy, cra-a-a-a-azy

OK, maybe it’s just me. I feel like I’m going absolutely bonkers lately. I’m up, I’m down, I’m all over the place. Happy, sad, confident, fearful, resolute, panicky, optimistic, pessimistic. Pick an extreme and I’ve probably been there over the past few weeks. Hell, I occasionally cycle through them all in a single day. I’d love to blame it on hormones or my mother dying but those are just individual components of a massively huge ball of issues. I know it’s shaking changes out of me that need to be made, but jeez-us it’s a rough way to do it.

My Jonathan Cainer horoscope for this weekend pretty much addresses my current state:

You have known easier times. But have you ever been in such a potentially rewarding situation before? Perhaps you think there’s nothing so satisfying about your circumstances. Maybe you doubt that they will ever lead to a development worth celebrating. But when we are in the midst of a slow, frustrating process, optimism famously fades. Venus now passes through your opposite sign. You’re not alone and, even if the company you are keeping infuriates you at least as much as it inspires you, there’s help at hand. Be graceful, patient and good-humoured and you’ll yet make the most constructive progress.

Chronic anemia

Geritol ad from the 1950s from Vintage Ad Browser.

As I wrote previously (in Koilonychia and Spoon nails redux) I’ve had trouble with my iron levels essentially since I was a child, when I was placed on a doctor-ordered regimen of Geritol. (I was about 9 years old.)

It has cropped up periodically, most recently when I had my pulmonary embolism in 2000. Then I had to take iron supplements for months just to bring my iron level up to the very low end of normal. (I can’t remember what the actual value range was but I believe 4 was considered the low end of normal and I was below 2.) I’m fairly confident it hasn’t risen a great deal since then — I’ve been avoiding my family doctor since about 2003 or so but none of the suspected causes of my anemia have really changed so it’s unlikely that the anemia has disappeared. (Note to self: Take that blood test requisition form you have and go get the tests done.)

I don’t know the precise cause of the chronic anemia. I presume it’s a combination of a lifetime of fussy eating (including general, though non-deliberate, avoidance of iron-rich foods) and heavy periods throughout my adult life. I doubt there is any kind of a familial tendency (not that there are any recognized genetic causes of iron-deficiency anemia) — my great aunt and my sister both suffer(ed) from pernicious anemia but I don’t know of anyone in my family who had iron-deficiency anemia except for me; then again I am usually the odd one out in my family.

Back when I’d first posted about anemia and koilonychia a year and a half ago, I’d half-heartedly experimented with taking my multi-vitamin supplements. It had some beneficial effect on my nails, but, unfortunately, I stopped taking the supplements shortly after that and saw the resumption of nail problems including the koilonychia. Recently I’ve become more and more aware of how terrible I feel and I think much of that is down to the continued chronic anemia: fatigue, sleepiness, palpitations or tachycardia, hair loss, dizziness, breathlessness, twitchy muscles (this has been bothering me more and more over the last few months), tingling or numbness (also a growing problem), messed up menstrual cycles, nail issues like koilonychia, and itchiness (even with massive antihistamine usage, I am itchy all the time).

So this time, instead of relying on a multi-vitamin, I’ve ordered a (fairly low 25 mg dose) iron supplement from (my favourite drug store, frequently with lower prices than you’d find in a local drug store). I’ll have two-month’s supply from the one bottle I’ve ordered so I’ll give it a try for that amount of time and see if I notice any appreciable difference in the symptoms. In the meantime, I’ll also try to find that blood test requisition slip (it’s tucked inside of a book that I can’t locate right now) and get them done. Probably long past time that I sorted out what other issues I have. (I suspect diabetes is one of them, but I haven’t been willing to find out for sure up to this point, partly because I just can’t afford regular prescription medication right now.)

Pop quiz: Name That Colour!

1. What colour is this?

(a) Black
(b) Black
(c) Black

2. What colour is this?

(a) Black
(b) Kind of black
(c) Not black at all

3. What colour is this?

(a) Black — where are you going with this?
(b) Kind of blackish, if you squint
(c) Still not black at all. Is this a trick question?

4. BONUS QUESTION: Would you buy something black from someone who couldn’t tell the difference? (Hint: The answer should be “no”.)