Nearly Holiday Time

I've had carpal tunnel this week. It's fucking painful. I understand it hits different people in different ways, but in my case it's been a constant, sharp pain centred in the wrist and radiating out to the hand and elbow. As well as making it hard to do my job, it has kept me awake at nights a couple of times. The doctor has prescribed a combination of topical and ingested anti inflammatories, and a sling to remind me not to use my bloody arm.
We are going to get a third baby scan done this week. This will be the last medical intervention before the birth. C is now frantically buying baby clothes by mail order (mostly from eBay and stereotypical cottage industry makers of organic hemp nappy type products). She had so many boxes at the post office this morning, she had to make two trips to carry them home.
We are also into the final preparations for our holiday. this will be my first break longer than a long weekend since September, which may go some way towards explaining why I've been getting RSI in my wrist. We're not really making time to learn any japanese however, so I reckon we'll have some fun getting around and communicating once we're there (so far, I can say "gents' toilets", count to four, and crash my Instant Immersion japanese DVD). our friends from New Zealand, Morganne and Tity, are coming over for a touring holiday up the East coast. We're going to meet up with them in Lismore and show them around Nimbin, NNSW and Brisbane for a couple of days.
I finally have my new toy. And I'm finally in the 21st century - I have USB-2, a webcam, and a battery that lasts more than 40 minutes! In terms of hardware it's a massive step up from my old laptop, however I have had a battle getting to grips with Vista. Unsurprisingly, most of the configuration and hacking that I've had to do has been to get the system to run legacy software (don't get me started on having to download the WinHelp engine and SMTP server, or having to uncripple my admin rights by enabling the local admin account...)
I had also forgotten how customised my browsing experience has become - after installing Firefox, I spent a good couple of hours getting things set up by the way I like them: Adblock, filterset-G, Flashblock, the Metal Lion theme, Forecastfox, Foxmarks, IEView, and the tiny URL plugin was a start - but all this week I've been noticing things I need to tweak.
As part of my regimen of enforced rest for my carpal tunnel, I have also been getting to grips with Vista's voice recognition software. I went to try out Dragon's Naturallyspeaking, but it costs over $1000, and the version that works with Vista is only available from Dragon's website. I have dictated this blog entry from start to finish - it has taken me about twice as long as it would have to type it, and I can't see myself doing too much of my work this way. On the other hand, it's surprising how quickly I have improved, and the software seems to be learning my voice very quickly.
Hopefully the car will come back this week with a fully rebuilt gearbox. This will be just in time for us to thrash it again by transporting approximately seven tons of nappies, baby clothing, and furniture across the border to Northern New South Wales. I am also looking forward to trying out our brand new shower-it should be a bit more comfortable than the old 1980s model. Next update will be from Nimbin... Stand by!

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