Science!

In Vein

I have had, since I was 14, a varicose vein on the inside of my left leg (90 degrees from my kneecap). It started as a 1-2 cm annoyance and then ended up about 4cm for a good long time. Somewhere in the last 5-7 years it grew and grew, and as I’ve come to realize that I am genetically likely to become my parents, I came to the decision to do something about it.

(Side note: in my thirties I amassed attorneys — family law, traffic law, estate law, construction law — and in my forties I am amassing doctors: cardiologist, vascular surgeon, physical therapist, etc.  Happy to give recommendations to any who need.)

I went on recommendation from my cardiologist (Dr. Maidan of Evergreen Cardiology) to go see Dr. Kathleen Gibson with Lake Washington Vascular. I like her because she’s direct and patient and answers all of the questions, and since we know I am the kind of person who showed up at the cardiologist with an Excel spreadsheet of my cholesterol metrics from the last 10 years, I had a few. She basically broke it down thus: there are two “tranches” of things I could do for my varicose veins* — I could get the problem child glued (the problem child vein is usually farther up the trunk, in this case my problem child was about an inch below my groin) or I could get the problem child lasered.

A woman after my own heart, she gave me a T-table of what to expect with each treatment. With laser treatment, I would be on antibiotics for two weeks. There would be local anesthetic but also a general “happy drug” for during the procedure (so I wouldn’t be upset by the burning smell that was me). There would be a 10% chance of DVT. I would have to wear a compression stocking for 2-3 weeks. I would not be able to work out for at least a week. It wouldn’t necessarily remove the visible varicose vein, just the problem child causing it, so I’d have to get a separate treatment for that.

With glue, there would be:

  • no antibiotics
  • <1% chance of DVT
  • no compression stocking
  • I could run the same day
  • no happy drug (just local)
  • and it would likely remove the visibility of the vein in about 3 months.

Why do people pick laser with how awesome the glue is? Well, insurance. Some insurances cover the glue. Most don’t, although I understand Medtronic (maker of the magic glue) is working with insurance companies on this.

I’m at the gym at least 4 days a week. I don’t like taking medicine (of any kind) if I don’t have to. And I have a luxury of being able to afford this procedure — so I went with glue.

Today was my procedure.

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Matt, prepping my leg. Glorious orange.

At 8am I checked in at the front desk, and was taken to a room to change. Shirt stayed on, so did undies; the rest had to go and I got to wear a standard-issue hospital gown (the kind that opens in the back) and a waffle-knit robe (which had me really warm). Coffee, iPhone, and bag in hand I went to the operating room (that’s right, I took my phone. There was no side table for the coffee but that was fine). After a brief discussion of music, Alice in Chains started playing and I was introduced to the crew: Megan, who was assisting during, Matt, who did prep (including betadining my leg, so it looked gloriously tan), and Pam who was on ultrasound.  Dr. Gibson was there, and Medtronic had two folks visiting as well including Monty who was part of the original company that developed this glue (out of Spokane, WA! Shout out!) which got acquired by a 2nd company which in turn got acquired by Medtronic.

 

At 8:30 I was prepped and Dr. Gibson took a time out to discuss the procedure so everyone was on the same page (including me), and at 8:35 I was getting local anesthetic applied. The needle was supposed to feel like a bee sting, but if so it was the gentlest bee I’ve felt. If you sew, and you’ve stuck yourself with a needle through say, just the top layer of your skin– so it’s annoying but not stabby– that’s about the range of pain. It lasted half a second and was gone, and short of pressure and the occasional tickling sensation that’s the last thing I felt, although I was completely awake and we were talking about the procedure, 90’s alt rock, and how Medtronic works with physicians and patients to solicit feedback.**

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the sharp, white diagonal line about 1/3 from the top is the needle in my vein. the rest is leg meat. 🙂

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Martha Stewart’s gun isn’t this cool. On the right is Dr. Gibson, that’s Megan behind her, and you can see Pam’s left arm on the left side of the frame.

The way it worked was this: a catheter was stuck into the side of my calf, about halfway up. Then, they put a super-long, flexible needle, and snaked it up my great saphenous vein . The glue was injected by what looked like the medical answer to Martha Stewart’s glue gun, and was held in place for 3 minutes. (At this point we all did a little sing along with Stone Temple Pilots). Then every 3 centimeters down the vein (so a slight tugging feeling, then pressure as they glued, plus 30 seconds wait for the glue to set) until they got to the injection point.

 

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All done. Very orange.

At 8:55 I was done, they put a band aid on the injection site, and washed most of the betadine off my leg. An ultrasound pass over the area to make sure there weren’t any issues, then I went to change and get my discharge instructions. No pain meds (unless I felt the need, in which case, Advil), be active (don’t sit on your butt), and if it’s going to be sore it will hit about day 5 to 10. Follow up appointment is January 11th.

 

 

 

 

Then we looked at my before pics, and took some afters, which I will share here. Note: full impact in terms of visibility would hit around the 3-month mark, so this is just immediate results.

As always I’m happy to answer any questions based on my experience and/or pass them along to the professionals, and will update with my results as we go.

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before

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after

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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before

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after

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*as can be expected, your mileage may vary. This post is meant to provide an example of what can be done about varicose veins based on my own experience : talk to your doctor. Also, look both ways before crossing the street.

**an awful lot like I work with my customers at work — a combination of “what features do you want” and “what problems are you having”, because we all know that you get two different sorts of very valuable answers to those questions.

 

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In Development

I was at a holiday gathering the other day and during the usual course of “…And what do you do?” I replied that I was a developer. The inference was that I was a Real Estate Developer; I had to explain that I was a Make the Computer Do Useful Things Developer. I was talking to two ladies about my age (Hi, I’m 40), and was surprised at the reply: “Oh, that’s unusual!”

I suppose I should not have been. I know a lot of women in IT, but darned few who do development.  To be clear: most of the women I know in the Information Technology space were at one point developers, or have a passing knowledge of some development language. They merged into Project or Product Management, or Business Analyst roles. These roles require knowing what is possible of code without actually having to write any of it, and so if you get tired of the incessant progress of development technology then that is one way up and out (and it is a way I took, about five years ago).

Careers arc and opportunities knock and itches flare up and I am once again a developer.  And I find myself, when talking to people who don’t work with or know other developers, battling not only the usual misconceptions about development, but the gender-based ones as well.

Development (in IT terms) is the handle one applies to the concept of using a series of commands (code) to tell the box (tower, laptop, server, etc.) what you want it to do; if you want it to take in something or not, if you want it to spit out something or not. In order to create this blog post many people did varying forms of development (from creating the templates that instruct the browser how to make this post look all shiny, to the protocols that tell the server where to put this post, to the widgets on the front end that tell you things like I haven’t posted in a while). If I typed it in MS Word, that required a bunch of other development by a bunch of other people.

Development is not:

  1. Something you can do on five screens drinking 3 bottles of wine to create a “worm” that appears as a graphic on your screen (as in Swordfish), and usually doesn’t involve a developer logging an Easter Egg of themselves in a bad Elvis costume with sound effects (as in Jurassic Park)*. If I drank 3 bottles of wine and was looking at 5 screens they’d probably be the ones you see in a hospital room, and the only graphics I would see appearing would be the “worm” that is my heart rate monitor flat-line.  And while I have myself buried Easter Eggs and commentary in code, it isn’t that elaborate because you don’t typically have time to build elaborate things. You’re busy rewriting all of the stuff you just wrote because someone decided to change the scope of your work.
  2. Anything involving a graphic user interface (GUI). When a developer talks about manipulating objects, they are things that are typed out phrases, they are not boxes that are dragged and dropped. There are some development environments that offer up a GUI in tandem with the “scripting” – that bit about writing out words I was talking about – but they are there to illustrate what you have scripted more often than not, and not there to assist in your scripting.
  3. Finite. Development technology is constantly changing and no one developer knows all of the development methods or languages. That would be like someone knowing all of the spoken languages in the world. Rather, it’s typical you’ll find one developer who “speaks” one development language really well, or maybe a branch of languages (much like you run into a person who can speak Spanish and French and Italian, because they are rooted in the same “base” of Latin, it’s not uncommon to find someone who can code in ASP.Net and VB.Net and C#.Net, because they’re all of the Microsoftian .Net base).  No one hires “a developer”, they hire a .Net Developer or a Java Developer or a Ruby Developer or what have you. Specialization exists because the base is so broad.

Modern cinema has done an injustice to developers in terms of making what we do seem both simple and sexy; the “shiny” environments typified by the interfaces “hackers” use on-screen looks really slick and probably took some real developer hours of time to make look good… with absolutely no real purpose. That said, actual development can be simple (with clear requirements and a decent knowledge of the things you can and can’t do) and can be quite sexy (if you’re sapiosexual). It’s just not well-translated in current media. (To wit: Jeff Goldblum uploaded a Virus to an alien system on a Macbook. He didn’t have to know the alien system’s base language, machinery, indexes, program constraints, functions, etc. And it was on a Mac, in the 90’s, for which development was not one of its strengths).

Most of what development is, is trying to solve a problem (or two), and generating endless logic loops and frustrations along the way. You build a “thing”, you think it works, you go to compile it or make it run, it fails, you go dig through what you wrote, find you’re missing a “;” or a “,” or an “END” or a “GO” or a “}”, re-run, find it fails, and go dig through some more. For every hour you spend writing out what you want it to do, you spend about an hour figuring out why it won’t do it.  This process of “expected failure” is not sexy or shiny or ideal, and that’s why it doesn’t show up on-screen.

These are misconceptions every developer, regardless of gender, has had to deal with at some point. Some deign to explain, some gloss over, some simply ignore; much like I really hope we get a socially-functioning, intelligent person on-screen soon, so do I hope that we get a showcase for the simple elegance of real development.

It would be great, too, if there were more female developers on “display” as well (and not for their bodies, hence the scare quotes).  Think through every movie you’ve ever seen that shows people doing any real development, “hacking” even (a term that is abused beyond recognition); how many were female? Go back to the movie “Hackers”—did Angelina Jolie actually, ever, really type anything? You inferred that she did, but the real development, the real “hacking”, was done by the crew-of-guys. Oh, and that’s right, she was the only girl.  The Matrix? Carrie Ann Moss spent precious little time in front of a computer there. She did look damn good in skin-tight leather.

Fast-forward a decade (or two) and we’re pretty much in the same boat. You see women behind computers on-screen, but they are typing in word processing programs or moving the mouse to click it on the shiny picture of the Murderer/Prospective Boyfriend (or, you know, both). They aren’t buried under a desk trying to trace a network cable or eyeballing multicolored text trying to figure out *WHY* it won’t compile, they’re delivering the shiny printout to the Chief/Doctor/Editor from which Decisions Will Be Made.

We find it surprising in social circles, I suppose, for women to be in development, because we don’t see it exemplified or displayed in any of our mediums.  TV, Movies, even proto-development toys for children often feature eager-looking boys interacting with them, the girls are reserved for the beading kits and temporary tattoo sets (actually, there’s precious little out there for getting your child, regardless of gender, to learn code, but that is changing). We have crime-solving anthropologists, we have NCIS ass-kickers, we have cops and coroners;  maybe it’s time we had a developer.

*Jurassic Park is a good example of both great and poor development display. Right before tripping that “Dennis Nedry Elvis Graphic”, Samuel L. Jackson’s character is eyeballing Nedry’s code. That stuff that looks like sentences that don’t make sense? That’s code. That’s what it looks like, for the most part. Unfortunately, later on when the little girl is hacking the “Unix System” that “she knows”, it’s all graphical. And that’s not accurate.

Smart is Not Socially Apt, per Modern Media

NB: The Editor pointed out I had an unclosed bracket and offered up a Tropic Thunder comparison that was too good to pass up. Fourth paragraph. Enjoy.

For a few reasons, but mostly because we cannot stomach the idea of paying $80 for what would be about 3 channel’s worth of consumption, the male person and I do not have cable. This is not out of some holier-than-thou quest for a more wholesome home environment as much as an exercise in opportunity cost; we have Netflix and RedBox and so forth. As such, we are “discovering” TV shows that others have long and since discovered, and re-discovering ones we had mucked about with in earlier years.

Let’s face it, most TV is drivel.  Everyone has this opinion, for the most part, it’s just their definition of drivel varies. For example: I think any show featuring the Kardashians is not worth the effort it takes you to push the buttons on the remote control, never mind the time it would suck from your life to actually watch it. I’m sure there are others who would much rather watch the Kardashians than, say, 60 Minutes. You’d have to pay my father to watch a football game, but he happily watches The Daily Show. The presence of 500 channels worth of 24/7 programming means that our tastes are such that we like about 10% of it at best, but that 10% is different for each person. (For a truly excellent podcast on why you have to pay for ESPN, even though you don’t watch it, go here.)

Out of this drivel, though, comes definitive trends in programming. This year it appears to be a slough of “I’m dealing with my older parents” sitcoms, in previous years it has been the waves of Laws and Orders, NCIS, CSI; then there’s the ER/Chicago Hope/House/Scrubs medical vein (pun intended).  And within these aerie are typified characters and situations: the older, hardened cop who’s actually quite sensitive despite his drinking problem, the tougher, young female cop/lawyer who wants everybody to take her seriously, the angsty interpersonal relationships that form between coworkers (because no one on TV has the sense to NOT dip their pen in the company ink), the inevitable will-they-won’t-they that means they eventually do, after 4-5 seasons, but then it nearly immediately blows up because Someone Messed With The Formula And The Ratings Are Down So Please Fix It Now.

Into this context I bring you the recent epiphany I had, which is we apparently can’t have socially intelligent characters with high IQ’s. Let’s take two shows: The Big Bang Theory, first aired in 2007, and Bones, first aired in 2005; one is a nominal comedy with some small dramatic parts, the other is a drama with some small comedic parts. Both feature many intelligent characters, but the most intelligent (based on IQ’s indicated in exposition or comparison) are Dr. Sheldon Cooper (BBT) (IQ: 187) and Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Bones) (“my IQ is quantifiably higher than yours”, and the like) .

Social (and other) media have picked up on this (I am not suggesting anything new here) when each character has been individually investigated (e.g., tv reporter/blogger asking the writers/producers) for Asperger’s Syndrome. (Interestingly enough, NEITHER show confirms this for these characters even though the actors themselves admit to playing them that way; in BBT’s case Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper, has stated he believes Sheldon is an “Aspie” but Bill Prady and Chuck Lorre vehemently deny it). The message is muddled, but constructively: super-smart people are really socially awkward, possibly because of a “syndrome”, but we won’t confirm it because then we are Labeling People. Or, as my Editor points out, “You can’t go full genius“.

As though making a series of jokes around IQ (“I’d have to lose at least 60 IQ points to be considered smart,” Sheldon derisively mentions in one episode) is not a label of sorts.

These are not the only two shows to do this; the new Sherlock Holmes BBC series features an Aspergian Sherlock (again, as characterized by the actor playing him) (190 IQ). Numb3rs featured a brilliant mathematician (“genius-level IQ”) who was hindered, if not completely inept, at interpersonal relations. Criminal Minds also had a brilliant young person, IQ 187 (Dr. Spencer Reid) who is, you guessed it, socially awkward. Message received: we can have kinda-smart, socially normative people, but we cannot have super-smart, socially normative people.

There’s a couple of hypotheses for this: H1 is that we cannot have hyper-smart, socially normative people on TV because that would make them appear cocky, even if they weren’t actually, and that would make them a less liked character (both by their peers and by the viewers). Indeed, it is Sheldon’s awkwardness that allows his friends (even his fellow PhD’s) to feel like they can compete with, or even succeed against, him on some plane. Penny (the non-PhD, “normal” person across the hall) calls him sweetie a lot and tries to explain awkward situations to him (when he’s being earnestly lost) and snipes at him with double entendres when he’s being earnest and coming off as an ass. The other 3 characters (2 PhD’s, one ME) spend entertaining minutes trying to explain on Sheldon’s level (with whiteboards and references), discover  they can’t, and give up/go to the movies without him/let him go to the comic book store/play Xbox with him.

I think it’s really interesting to note that Dr. Brennan’s friends and coworkers take on a more protective role and do not deride or smugly note her awkwardness, they just “try to work around it”. Angela (her best friend) calls her “sweetie” rather a lot and spends time trying to explain how a social situation may be interpreted, most of the lab staff shrug their shoulders and get on with work; her love interest gets to be the Protective Male Person With A Gun and, again interestingly, a lot of time is spent on him not letting her have one (despite her declarations she’s an excellent shot. She’s so learned in other things, including a 3x black belt, that this is not implausible). Maybe if he gives her the gun she won’t need him, so let’s not let her have the gun.

I sit here, looking at as many recent TV characters as I can find, for one who is both very intelligent and also socially competent, and come up dry. Dr. House has a drug addiction and the bedside manner of a troll, of the only other two – people on Bones, one turned out to be a sociopathic cannibal and the other was English and they killed him off (Mr. Nigel-Murray. I liked him a lot.) in order to provide a reason for Bones to feel vulnerable, jump into bed with The Male Person With A Gun, and get pregnant, thus creating another twist in the “will they or won’t they” plot.

H2, and others have suggested this, is the reason our most intelligent characters must be socially awkward is we (the viewer) cannot handle the idea of someone so smart and seemingly without flaws — we will lose interest, we will want to compare ourselves to that character and we will come up lacking. We will close the book, if you will. I think it’s a good point but I don’t know that it is true for all: I would like to see what a good writer could do with an intelligent character that DIDN’T have some sort of crippling social deficit.

To be fair, we have the exact opposite on TV currently too: the Jersey Shores, the Kardashians, etc. — all full of presumably socially “current” or apt people with combined IQ’s equivalent to a bag of Doritos. Clearly someone is watching that. So I wonder what would happen if we could somehow have a brilliant Kardashian?

Hey — I like science fiction, too.

The Economics of (a Minor) Failure

First, let me point out I’m safe. I am sitting in Heathrow, for the 2nd time today, waiting to get on my flight. For the 2nd time today.

Twenty minutes into flight I realized we hadn’t gone above 10,000 feet. Another minute later all cabin crew were called to the cockpit — over the PA system — and this, if you pay attention at all, and you haven’t had anything to drink and/or have a deep-seated fear of flying you totally forgot about until just the moment you hear this, will make you quietly fret. Then if you pull up the travel map on-screen and discover for the last ten minutes you’ve flown in circles, well… you’re pretty not happy.

We couldn’t pressurize. They tried everything ground crew suggested, none of it worked; so they confessed (our Captain was extraordinarily calming), and flew over the water to dump fuel (fun fact: dangerous to land a fully fueled plane, because the wings are so full of fuel). We spent 20 minutes dumping fuel that vaporized as it exited from the wings, it was both spectacular and appalling (to those of you on the east side of the English channel you may have an odd taste in the air…). Imagine a fire hose strapped to the wing of a plane (on the underside) and then turn it all…the…way…on. For twenty minutes.

After that completed we went back inland and landed.

We were handed 10GBP vouchers. For information, this purchased one tomato-and-mozarella sandwich, one bottle of water, and one glass  of wine. The flight was full (no space), and so this got me thinking about the economics of this little enterprise.

We flew a 747-400, which has a fuel capacity of 57,285 gallons and a passenger load of roughly 416 people (1) (for 3-class version, which is what I was in) but British airways uses 345 for their figure. The plane consumes 5 gallons of fuel per mile (2), at 250 knots per hour and we were up for 45 minutes. The delta between maximum takeoff weight and maximum landing weight is 240,000 pounds, which for fuel means 6.8 pounds per gallon of jet fuel, and therefore 35,294 gallons of jet fuel we had to dump. Currently, jet fuel goes to about $3.30 US as of today (3).

Including flight crew time (time starts when the door closes, for 8 crew members and 2 pilots they probably ran $800, maybe $1000 fully-loaded). I’m not going to include the passenger opportunity cost (e.g., I could’ve done something else for the hour or so this ate up), and they’re going to stick me on another flight that I do not also have to pay for, so they don’t get “credit” for the income of the ticket against the first flight. The rest of this we’ll assume is a dead weight loss.

  • Cost of the meal vouchers for passengers: 10GBP x (345-154) passengers (first class passengers were invited to the lounge for private dinner)=1,910 GBP, at today’s exchange rate is 1.55 USD to GBP, so $2960.50.
  • Cost of fuel burnt (45 flight minutes, which is 3/4 of an hour, at blended speed of 250kph (would actually be a little less, let’s call it 225)is roughly 845 gallons of fuel burnt, at $3.30/gal is $2785 in lost fuel.
  • Cost of fuel expelled: assuming they planned on their burn, they still needed to dump 35,294-845 gallons, which is 35,450 gallons (roughly) at current price is $117,000 roughly.

Total cost: $122,750 (very roughly). This sounds huge to an individual (it is) but in terms of overall expense I’d think it were a rounding error in terms of the bank of overall flights leaving Heathrow for British Airways.

There are other things here that should be flagged but are hard to quantify: costs incurred by passengers beyond their 10GBP purchase (which would be a plus to Heathrow but not British Airways), and the aforementioned opportunity costs. There’s also the plus/minus on the experience in terms of word-of-mouth — interestingly most people were jovial getting off the plane. The general feeling was one of “hey, we’re alive, and they let us know what was going on”. It’s interesting to watch people purchase items they didn’t really want to take full advantage of their free 10 quid, by the way. They’d come to the register having purchased their beer and sandwich, ask for change, realize they won’t get it, and then ask what they could get for 1.5GBP or what have you. The apostrophe here in Heathrow is doing a fair trade in bananas and nuts.

This is Why Physicists Are So Chill

If you are like me, and have a BS in Zoology you don’t use but cherish because for two years you got to cram your head with facts that come up in truly inappropriate moments at cocktail parties, you’ll know about monkeys.

Specifically, about monkey studies. Psychologists and animal behavioralists LOVE to do studies on monkeys, specifically chimps but also other species, because it’s a close enough derivative to humans that we feel we can draw conclusions but not so close that it will put people in uproar. (The fact that it isn’t technically humans gives some people the license to treat these studies like their horoscope: fully acknowledging those that conform to their ideas of appropriate and discarding the rest like a Tootsie Roll out of one’s Halloween stash).

I accidentally enrolled in an animal behavior class once and had such a good time I enrolled in a few more, this is why despite a declared major in Zoology with what was supposed to be an emphasis in Marine Biology I actually took things like Cellular Mollecular Botany and Evolutionary Genetics: the last two years of college are a smorgasbord and I was an ideal candidate for Overeaters Anonymous. I digress…

One study I’m reminded of constantly was done with (surprise!) monkeys: the effect of a routine, a schedule, on their daily lives. That is to say, your Control group (the group you aren’t fucking with, as it were) gets awoke at a certain time. They get to play at a certain time. They get fed at a certain time. They go to sleep at a certain time. Day in and day out, this schedule does not vary. The Test group (that would be the group you’re fucking with) has a supremely erratic schedule: they never awake at the same time, the time and distance from one activity to another (and, indeed, the order) changes around a lot, etc. Both groups get adequate sleep time and proper diet…. the only thing different is the time at which these things are allowed to happen.

The Test Group will go insane (in a self-or-others injuring way). Every. Time.

One of my mottos is to Encourage Entropy. This is with tongue placed firmly in cheek to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that Entropy Always Increases. (The first is the Law of the Conservation of Energy: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed). But basically the second law states that disorder/chaos, or Entropy, in a system will always increase. Chaoticians love this because that is the sort of butterfly flapping its wings in China that brings the stock market down theory they love to tout (see Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park). I like it on the ‘If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them’ method: left to my own devices I will create an environment so rigid for myself that any disruption therein will send me into a fit of OCD cleaning or some other expression of discomfiture. If I remind myself that there’s a LAW that says it’s supposed to happen, well, then, I’m just obeying the law. And as the Male Person says, I’m a total goody two shoes and will obey the law. In this case, I’ll encourage it along. While cleaning.

Lately the entropy in my life has been increasing at a rate I’m a little less comfortable with. The schedule was set, was changed, was messed with, was righted, was slightly shifted, was slightly shifted back, and is now in some form of stasis for a couple of months until the next round of shift negotiations occurs. The good news is any potential upcoming shifts are likely to be suitably telegraphed, the bad news is I have no idea what they are as of yet (there are, of course, reasonable assumptions and contingency plans).

The Entropy Erratic is furthered by an upcoming change in profession, for which I am very excited, proud, and honored, and totally will talk about it once it’s final. Trust me when I say it’s a move up, and over, and I’m full of technical squee, but we’re not there yet. I think, however, we can all agree that shifting jobs within a company means for a very weird transition period, one I am in currently, where I am leaving job A (and having to download all of my stuff to someone(s) else(s)), and arriving at job B (where I am no longer hot shit, I am not even a lukewarm fart, and I need to learn everything anew). Entropy, in effect, is getting a dopamine rush.

While I do have a reasonable confidence level (about 95%, plus minus 3%) that this will all calm down around mid-December, I am in turn reminded of the Third Law of Thermodynamics: basically, you can’t freeze anything to a total stop. You can slow it down a lot (a total lot!) but the Entropy will always be there, even if you get all Kelvin on its ass. There’s a certain peace in that.

For those of you wondering: there are actually FOUR laws of Thermodynamics. The Zeroth one — yes, it goes 0,1,2,3; like I said, physicists — basically states if you have 2 systems in thermal equilibrium with a third, they are in equilibrium with one another. The practical application of this in terms of my life is that if things are cool at work and things are cool at home then things are cool with me; I continue reminding myself that this law comes *before* the one about entropy increasing.