Pope Killed by Inferior Wine

Sleep Apnoea, Warrior Monks and Tamsin Greig

Well how about that, Finnish horror glam rock group Lordi (or as the Wogun calls them ‘The Orcs’) seem to have won Eurovision. Well done them. The best Eurovision entries are always the ones where everyone just decides to be extremely silly, and Lordi are the silliest thing I’ve seen in years. I mean the lead singer (‘Mr Lordi’ apparently) has wings! Wings!

Anyway there’s been another long gap between entries (for which I must apologise) but at least it means I have more to write about.

First up, I got the results of my sleep study. Apparently I snore for 70% of the time I’m asleep. Great. I also stop breathing an average of 11.7 times an hour, which works out to just over every five minutes. During these events my blood oxygen level drops down to about 87% meaning my brain isn’t getting enough oxygen – which pretty neatly explains why I’m so gorram tired all the time.

Most of the events are down to Obstructive Apnoea, which is where the soft tissue of the throat relaxes too much, collapses and blocks airflow. However some of them are apparently the result of Central Apnoea, which is where the brainstem decides breathing is optional and stops telling the lungs to work. This can be caused by all sorts of exciting things like brain lesions, brain tumours and degenerative neurological disorders – but sometimes just happens for no reason anyone can figure out. According to the doctors I almost certainly don’t have any of these things, but I’ve got an appointment with a specialist in a few weeks to check it out.

The specialist will also figure out some form of treatment, the most common of which is being hooked up to a breathing machine*OK, yes, technically it’s not a breathing machine, all it does is maintain pressure in the airway to keep it open – I was simplifying, satisfied? while you sleep. This is apparently quite inconvenient but most people find the improvement in sleep quality more than outweighs it. I have to admit I’m looking forwards to trying it out because frankly I don’t think I’ve had a proper night’s sleep in about twenty years.

One upshot of the diagnosis is that I’ve finally got my plan to take time off work working. For ages I’ve been planning to take one day off work a fortnight (so I’ll have time to actually DO stuff) but haven’t had the opportunity (or guts 🙂 to bring it up with Dale. But a story on Triple J’s Hack about negotiating in the workplace gave me some tips and I finally broached the subject – using apnoea induced sleep deprivation and possible brain tumours to generate sympathy. And it worked! Starting in two weeks I’ll be taking every second Monday off. Caloo calay!

This will give me more time to work on various projects. The latest one I’m all excited about is an old school computer game (development title ‘Monkstorm’) where you control a 14th century French Monk armed with warhammer, incense and holy water battling his way through hordes of zombies in a cursed monastery to rescue sacred relics that can ward off the plague (sort of like an ecclesiastical version of Resident Evil :). I’m looking at building it in Game Maker, which I’ve been fooling around with – it seems like an excellent program for this kind of thing. I’ve also been throwing together some graphics (compiled largely from the RPG Maker series), which I may post below – if I can be bothered 🙂


If Monkstorm ever does get up and running it won’t be for a while because I’m waiting on the actual Game Maker book. It’s much easier to learn a program when you’ve got a physical manual on hand. And it will of course be released as freeware – to minimise any potential problems with copyright infringements.

(Now I’ve just got to find some character sprites that don’t look like pokemons or manga midgets *sigh*)

Now, what else was I going to write about? How about Purdey? Things still seem to be going great, we spent much of last Sunday over at the folk’s place for Mother’s Day (my family didn’t freak her out too much I think :), then went out for dinner with Rebecca and Dom. We were supposed to meet them at “Wogga Mamma’s” in Subiaco, which I’d never heard of but presumed was a small Italian place – possibly with an amusingly stereotyped “Mamma” character on the menus. As it turned out the place was actually a chain Asian fusion place named “Wagamama” which really shows just how fantastic my hearing is over the phone. But it turned out OK because the food was pretty good and the prices very reasonable. We’ll probably be going back again, especially since Rebecca forced us to join their frequent diners scheme (any half hearted objections on my behalf were quashed by Rebecca’s pointing out that she forced me to join RSVP, and look how well that turned out).

She (that is to say Purdey) is coming over this afternoon and we’re heading off for high tea at the Hyatt for my brother’s birthday. I really like it that she’s willing to traipse off to these kind of ridiculous family events with me 😀

What else was there I was going to talk about. The Prime Minister staying six nights in a $10,000 a night hotel in Rome perhaps? There’s our tax dollars at work! No, that’s right! Black Books. I treated myself to the season one DVD of Black Books, a show that I saw the first episode of some years back, then consistently managed to miss right up to the start of the third season. For those unfamiliar with it it’s a rather insane British sitcom about an alcoholic misanthrope named Bernard Black who runs an eccentrically sinister bookshop in Bloomsbury, and his (quite possibly only) two friends. Manny – a balding, bearded, well meaning weirdo who works in said shop, and Fran – the semi-alcoholic, man-obsessed proprietor of the fairly crappy gift shop next door. Now, OK, that doesn’t sound terribly entertaining, but this is more down to my poor powers of description than anything else 🙂

The series veers a rather erratic path between rather dark humour and completely inane silliness. First season plots for instance include Bernard trying to get himself seriously injured to avoid having to do his tax (a feat he achieves by taunting some Millwall fans) and Manny getting locked into the store overnight and having to eat bees. It’s fantastic! 🙂

I guess the real reason I enjoy the show so much is twofold. Firstly Bernard runs his bookstore exactly the way I would. Eccentric opening hours, trying not to sell anything because then he’d just have to restock and herding customers out the door with a megaphone whenever they get two annoying. The second reason – Tamsin Greig 🙂

Anyway I’d best be off to prepare for high tea *shudder*. At least the sandwiches aren’t bad I suppose.

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