entertainment technology and the dialysis patient experience and that Windows 8.1 upgrade such a long time

I love technology but now and then the romance gets a little difficult

I was surprised at how long it took to up from Win 8.0 on a laptop and a desktop. By far the longest version upgrade of PC software I have ever experienced and I have been doing this awhile.  I did personal computing before Windows 3.0.


Zahnkranzpakete (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Certainly Windows 8 is an interesting and enjoyable interface.  The upgrades went fine.  So far, so good, knock wood.

For convenience, especially at Dialysis, I carry an iPad2, was reading my Sony Ereader books on it this week. I just wish the tablets had 250gb of storage, not 16. Hard to carry a decent load of digital TV shows or movies with just 16gb for copies from my iTunes selections.

With four hours in the dialysis chair with very modest sized desklet wings on the chair, I find a laptop can be too heavy in the lap for that amount of time.  Those little desk flaps can be locked up or released and dropped down. The chairs are old and sometimes the wings drop on their own.  A poor bet with a laptop and its weight. There are numerous power plugs near to the dialysis chair and so I can plug in easily and not have to rely on the battery power.

GE electric fan from early 20th century.

GE electric fan from early 20th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then there is the cooling issue with the vents on the bottom surface of the laptop.  I drag with me a very light lap desk with raised grooves on one side to allow the laptop vents to breathe.  Works okay.

Sometimes the nurses growl mildly at all the crap I bring with me to dialysis including the computerish stuff and paper on a clipboard, pens and a couple of “paper” books for reading.  They have learned to give me a moment or two extra to “nest.” I guess I am terrified of being bored out of my mind for four hours.  Many days a moment arrives in dialysis where I have to talk myself out of screaming, tearing myself free and running out of the place Patience has never been a strong suit in my life.  Perhaps I never had it early on because I somehow knew I was going to need boatloads of it to get through dialysis and all the ancillary moments of extreme unction it bring with it.

By and large dialysis patients seem to handle it surprisingly well but then if you ask the right innocent question, that facade dissolves instantly and a snarling, bitter reply stings out when they let loose how they really feel. I guess we hide a lot of that from nurses and doctors.

The dialysis unit provides a television for each patient on a huge telescoping, spring mounted arm.  I used to watch TCM and its brilliant vintage movie programming.  Then the hospital administration figured out how to save some dollars by skinnying down the cable contract and we lost some 15 channels. The patients are expecting some day soon to be asked to pay a charge per day for TV service but it has not happened yet.

The TVs are 12 inch screen CRT old picture tube sets.  The major trouble with them is the earphone input.  On a few of them you need to monkey with your audio jack to get sound of them.  Sometimes we need to ask the nurse for a small piece of tape to get it to stay in the perfect position to keep getting sound of the TV.  The hospital clinic provides free headphones, bought at the Dollar Store. I prefer my own ear buds.

Looking Back ~ Philco Predicta Television, 1958

Looking Back ~ Philco Predicta Television, 1958 (Photo credit: e r j k p r u n c z y k)

I don’t know where they get replacements.  I doubt they still make these. I know these picture tubes are environmentally nasty with a ton of lead in their glass.  The hospital is probably sourcing refurbished units of this kind of TV.  We all look forward to new flat screen midget TVs some day.  I find that TV programming in the mornings has little on offer to interest me.

Although lately the reality TV aspects of the Senate of Canada scandals and the Rob Ford slow pirouette of self-destruction are quite interesting in a can’t turn away from the car crash kind of way.

Tonight at home on the sun porch with the pitch black scene of Georgian Bay outside I am watching 1986 movie Quicksilver with Kevin Bacon, Lawrennce Fishburne, Paul Rodriguez.  A bike messenger movie with no cell phones in NYC. My God how things have changed.

A slightly trimmer Louis Anderson is in it as well as the heftier model bike messenger.  Jamie Gertz plays the love interest.  They all look like babies.

timing, my old photos of Hogg Bay CPR Trestle Bridge 1975

my photos of the CPR trestle bridge at Hogg Bay taken in 1975.  You alwys tend to think that things will stay the same and that old things will be around forever…..built in 1907-08, dismantled in 1978. Near Port McNicoll and Victoria Harbour Ontario about 100 miles north of Toronto.

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from the Tay Township website:

The Hogg’s Bay trestle, completed in 1908, was an incredible engineering feat.  Stretched across the swampy bay 2,141 feet, it was the longest wooden trestle of its kind in Canada.  The trestle was built to service the CPR line when it moved its Georgian Bay terminal to Port McNicoll.  At the time, the Grand Trunk Railway already had a rail line running into Midland, and would not allow the CPR to cross their line, so the CPR had to find another way.  They figured the best solution was to run the line across Hogg’s Bay, and in 1907, they hired Mike McPeake, a local builder without an engineering degree, to build the trestle.

McPeake knew little more about the project than where the trestle was to begin and end.  While the trestle was being built, he lived in a shack beside the “hole in the wall”, the overpass where the rails crossed the road.  Every morning, he would get up and mark the timber for the morning’s work with his square and his marking pencil, then head to the Queen’s Hotel in Midland for refreshment, returning at noon to see how the work was progressing.  The result was an architectural marvel, a perfect curve between the two points.

The trestle was anchored by 65-foot fir timbers, which were driven into the ice of the bay.  In a search for solid ground, the workers drove in two piles, one on top of the other, without reaching the bottom.  Local children would skate out onto the bay to watch the pile-drivers work.  Later, they would catch rides to school on the cowcatchers of the slow-moving grain trains.

The trestle remained operational until 1971, at which time railway officials decided that a land route would be safer and cheaper to maintain.  The trestle was dismantled in 1978, despite local requests for the preservation of this unique structure, and its wood was salvaged for use in log homes and telephone poles.