Monday, 8 September 2014

An update, casual misogyny and no more compact discs

Well, after the post last week I thought an update was in order.

First of all I would like to say thanks to all of you for your kind words. I tried to answer them, but the text just wasn't coming so I thought I'd do one big update.

Dad is still in hospital, though as of yesterday he is allowed out of his room and he is walking around. The nurses have told him that he can leave the ward now, the door is open and he is allowed to go further than just the day room!

Where he went to watch F1 yesterday and today (he is where I get my interest in the sport from), but hasn't gone further as he is still too tired.

Which isn't surprising - he has lost more than 2 stone in two weeks (24 pounds / 13KG). But, the infection has gone and he is not in pain anymore and can start to eat again. All of which is great news!

He has to stay in for a few more days as they want him to start building himself up before coming home.

About the future - that has to be discussed on Tuesday with the oncologist. She agrees with the diagnosis that there is nothing to see on the scans and that he is probably free of the disease. But... She would prefer that he goes onto a somewhat lower (though how much lower we don't know) dose for as long as he can take it / mid November to make sure. He has said he is gong to try as they have removed one part of the chemo that was causing the most problems.

We'll see on Tuesday where or not he is home, but at least it's a positive update today, and for the last few days, from my mum.

How am I doing? Exhausted, though nowhere near as much as my mum is. She looks shattered, but also a lot better than 7 days ago.

This week I am off of work, not to go anywhere, but just to stay at home and do nothing. Friday 11am I finished my time for the week and that was that! We are going to buy a book tomorrow that has arrived at the bookshop and I plan to read it whilst the little guy is sleeping, or keeping himself busy.

Friday was also a party for the company where I work, it has existed for 15 years now and it was celebrated with current and past employees with a Robin Hood theme. A hog roast, archery buts set up in the school yard and most people dressed for the period. And, yes, the witch got anoher outing! No doubt there will be pictures coming as the professional photographer that we hired seemed to like my costume!

It was a great evening catching up with people that I haven't seen for a while, and some people I haven't seen before, say, December 2011... One guy was great - he came to the table where we were eating and asked if he could join. Then he introduced himself to me. I helped him remove his stereo from his lease car when he left :) I introduced myself but pointed out that he knew me, albiet a little differently. A wonderful look of shock mixed with realisation as he apologised for not recognising me (not a problem, I can't recognise me from the wedding photo on our piano either) and then a chat about it. There was someone else who almost didn't recognise me, but she has seen me since I transitioned. She came up to me whilst I was eating and tapped me on the shoulder, 'Stacy, it is Stacy isn't it? You look amazing!" Which when you consider I'm there wearing a raggedy cheap witches costume, and green eye shadow was a stretch :) But I'll take the compliment anyway!

The only problem was that the casual misogyny was also with the archery and hog roast. I was waiting to shoot with a couple of the guys that I work with, I got the bow in my hand (after being totally blanked by the guy running it a couple of time) and then he actually took it out of my hand to give to one of the other guys who were behind us. If it wasn't for the fact that raising a scene in the middle of the party wasn't my intention I would have said something.

And when I did get the bow the guy still totally blanked me and left me to it whilst he chatted to the other guys giving them tips and helping them use the bow.

The other was the hog roast, the guys in front of me got a nice slice of hog, then I came and got two tiny slithers, and then the guys behind got a nice slice again. I know I'm not the thinest person in the world, but really!

But, that aside I had a far better evening that I was expecting - I was really nauseated when I got there, as I am for any party without Mrs Stace. Self confidence is still not my thing!

And lastly, gadget news. I was going to be a complete geek for my birthday. Get a Raspberry Pi, with a HiBerry Digi+ sound card on it and download PiMusicBox to play Spotify from the net and FLAC files from our server. I've been wanting to get rid of the CDs in the living room for a while, but not whilst I could only listen to MP3s via the TV. Both a pain to use, and not the best sound quality - great for the background music but not to great for when you actually want to listen to something.

Until I was reading news about Sonos this week, removing the need for their bridge to work over WiFi. I'm not a fan of Sonos speakers as they seem really expensive and sound just about OK for a kitchen. But, their little Connect box has a coax digital out that can go straight into the back of our stereo and use the decent DAC that it has and my nice speakers for the music.

So... Wait for the Pi, fight it and struggle with setup but have the geek factor. Or buy the more expensive Connect and have it set up in minutes with a much more user friendly app to control it.

Hmm, I'm 38 now and I have to admit that sometimes the consumer option is just so much more appealing as long as it does the job. So after an amount of deliberation the Connect it was. And, yes, it really was 5 minutes from unpacking to listening to great music from the network!

So, a table full of CDs to take to the attic, and two days ripping the 20 CDs that we didn't have as FLAC yet (whilst annoying the little guy as he loves the computers and we would not let him near them :p ) and we are now CD free in the living room - and have listened to more music in the last two days than we have in the last 6 months, I think. It really is that simple!

Oh, and of course the little guy - he is doing really well still. He wasn't sure about mum the witch - I got some strange looks, Playing, crawling and desperately wanting to play with gadgets!

And being very nice to his parents - as I said, we have a week off of work, and I have woken up twice before him so far! May it continue for the rest of the week!


  1. Glad to read your dad (and mum) are feeling so much better. Not sure about this F1 business. Doesn't that activate the help function? :-)

    Bah to being blanked. That's just rude :-\ But then, you are a woman, so this - so I've been told - goes with the rest of the package. Not that that doesn't make the archery bloke a tit, mind. :-P

    Do tell on the book front! Have you got the Gruffalo series yet? Such lovely stories.

    Good luck with the Pi, a few folk at work have been using them to get up to various types of geekery. Oh and what are these CDs of which you speak? :-)

  2. Hi Stace!

    Glad to hear your Dad is on the mend! Hope he is as good as new ASAP. :c)

    I can sympathize about the misogyny you experienced. I get it too now; then again, I was often overlooked/ignored *before* I transitioned, which is interesting, now that I think about it. Hmm... going to ponder that for a while...

    So the little guy is a gearhead, eh? Gee, wonder where he gets *that* from? :D Even if he is less than impressed with you in witch mode. ;-p

    Enjoy the music, girl! Bet the little guy is grooving to Muse by now!