Josh's Blog

Category Archive : Health

Out of the woods… and in memory of…

Been a couple of days now since I was released by the NHS from self isolation. Apparently, so long as you are not running a temperature, you are less likely to transmit covid. This is my understanding of their logic anyhow. The funny thing is, I never ran a temperature during my infection. In fact, the telltale symptoms of covid were never apparent for me or anyone else in my household. In fact, when some of us went to get the test I placed a wager with them telling them there was no way they would test positive…this was a just a cold…it is after all, the season for it. Low and behold, they tested positive, and the next day so too did I.

Anyways, now there are a couple of new variants of the virus that have materialized here in the UK, one is a mutation of the original virus, and the other coming from South Africa. We are now in tier 4 shutdown. Tugh times for sure.

In other news, it is Christmas Eve! Anyone who might be reading this, I wish you nd yours a very Merry Christmas and a phenomenal New Year! Hopefully 2021 will bring with it the answers we all seek, the remedies we all need, and deep seeded happiness in our journey.

I would also like to give a shoutout to an old friend, Dale Williams, who I recently found out died earlier this year. Dale was old school. A straight up blue collar tradesman working the front lines of the carpentry trade. When he wasnt doing that he was at home making custom lamps with his wood lathe, or out on the shooting range.

Dale was like a second father to me bac in the early years. He was a great friend, an ear to listen, and voice of reason. I wish I had made the time to see him more later in life. But I will always cherish his memory. He was a great man. They just dont make em like Dale anymore.

Corona update III

Feeling even better today! Definitely pulling out of this thing. According to the NHS track and trace app – with all things remaining constant – I will be able to venture out on Tuesday, just two days away.

To pass the time I downloaded a few games yesterday off of my Steam account, one of which was a gift from my bud Jax. The games include:

  • Northgard – a real time strategy game reminiscent of Ages of Empires
  • The Legend of the Obra Dinn – stylistic first person mystery
  • StarWars Battlefront II – thanks Jax! First person shoot ’em up in Star Wars land
  • Pillars of Eternity – Role playing game in the flavor of Diablo

All this, in edition to my currently active game lists of Doom Eternal and the occasional Minecraft excursion.

Ive had the chance to briefly jump into all four of the new games and the one I am most excited about is the Legend of Obra Dinn. Within 5 minutes of playtime I was already sucked into unwrapping a mystery, all in a black and white, 2D setting. At only 1 GB disk size it really goes to show you that its all about content, in the end, graphics really only play a supporting role.

On the other end of the game size scale, there is Battlefront II, a game requiring over 89GB HDD space. I have to say, it looks, sounds, and plays great! But after a couple of rounds I couldn’t help but think this was just a skin on top of Battlefield V. Its fun and all, but even my wife’s seven year old was bored after watching me get repeatedly smudged within 3 minutes of game play. Still though, it is enjoyable and I look forward to the single player mode.

Pillars of Eternity got incredible reviews on Steam, but after spending about 30 minutes with it – so far – Im a wee bit disappointed. The intro is incredibly long, the character customization is far too complex for my tastes, and the voiceacting is a bit too wooden. How will it stack up to Ember? A small RPG game I played last year that was an incredible ride. The sound design on Ember was nothing short of magnificent, the settings were immersive, the characters fun, and the story a worthy ride. Been searching for a game like it since, and Im hoping Pillars will improve as I dig deeper.

Finally, the game that already has around 5 hours of play time (all from last night pretty much) is Northgard. Holy cannoli this game possesses the perfect storm of being extremely addictive, and needlessly tedious. It is also beautiful to look at and has a great sound design. After forcing myself to stop at around 3:30 in the morning, I couldn’t help but wonder about good ol’ Ages of Empires. It was such a beautifully designed game, with all the right checks and balances necessary to keep the game moving forward at a consistent pace. Northgard feels like it is still a work in progress. As a solid performer, a whole lot of fun, and with plenty of room for improvement, I think Northgard could become a classic after a few more updates.

So that’s it, a corona update turned mini game review! Looking forward to manana.

Corona update II

Feeling much better today! My sense of smell and taste seem to be recovering nicely, I would guess they are in the neighborhood of fifty percent now, up from twenty. I am very much ready to go outside and enjoy the weather, but still legally (and ethically) bound to stay here at the house for another three days.

Had a nice chat with my buddy Jerm yesterday, who recently recovered form the virus. His ordeal was much more serious than mine. had him laid up for about two weeks, and in proper misery. He made a full recovery though, and he’s right bac on the front lines of the fight against Covid, nursing the elderly in a care home somewhere in Dallas Tx. 

Corona update I

Today marks day 5 of duking it out with the ‘rona. I feel like I’ve rounded the bend and now heading toward the finish line. Its a great feeling, as Ive been bed ridden for the past three days, bored as hell, and dealing with a mountain of emotional turmoil. As well, my senses of taste and smell are only working at around 20 percent of normal.

I plan on making some good out of all this dread, however. One positive to build upon… I haven’t smoked for a week now. This is a ball that is long overdue to keep rolling. Weird fact: Since being sick I smell cigarettes all the time, even now. While this wouldn’t have been my first choice if given a selection , at least it isn’t the scent of burnt toast!

I’ve been meditating every day, even when my mind is so stirred it is the LAST thing I want to do. Im seeing the payoffs already, my ‘rona induced irritability is softening, and Im a bit more mindful . The great thing about meditation, is that it is always there to be done, and it is the easiest thing in the world to do once you get used to it. You just sit, smell nice incense, see the occasional flicker of a candle penetrate through your eyelids, ah… and listen to the swell of waves reach into a distant shore (through headphones of course, here in London), and sometimes… without even realizing it… you’ve forgotten who and where you are.

I have Corona

Just got the results in yesterday. My wife, her father and brother all have it too. Hoping for a speedy recovery, and that I did not spread it to anyone! More to come….

5 Day Water Fast

Today is the beginning of the second day of a five day three day water fasting effort. My last meal was on Monday, where I absolutely gorged myself on Moroccan beef and chicken served up with a creamy salad and fries. Afterwards, I went home and made a giant batch of pumpkin seeds roasted in salt and butter. It was delicious, but it also tipped the balance of conscientious health awareness into favor of action.

Water fasting is pretty self-explanatory. You go about a pre-determined number of days without anything but water (black coffee is supposed to be okay too, Ill get into that later). The goal is to break the cycle of poor eating choices, which has been more of an addiction for me lately. As well, I plan to capitalize on some fringe benefits that may come with this massive shift to nothingness. This includes stopping smoking, re-setting my alcohol consumption, firming up the mental fortitude, all the while detoxing the system  little bit. 

Im a bit perturbed right now actually (beyond the irritability that comes with not eating). You see, it has at this point been around 31 hours since my last meal. However, technically the fast has only in effect since my last intake of calories, which came in the form a several cups of honey and milk laden coffee, the last of which went down the hatch somewhere around noon or so I reckon. This means my calorie-free fast is only around 15 hours old. Damn what a penalty!

How I am feeling at this point.

I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night, however I did wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed at about 3:45 this morning. Last night I went to bed somewhere around 9 or so. So really,  I didn’t miss out on too much sleep. Every now and then I get a good little hunger pang but for the most part it is the breaking of the momentum of the habit of eating that has been the biggest challenge. Boredom is a bit of a problem now too. Usually I would eat (now out of the question) or grab a beer and smoke cigarettes outside, but since beer has calories (and I only smoke when I drink) I am unable to indulge. 

This is where the mental fortitude comes in. Today holds a full cupboard of hours that I must endure, all the while smelling the smells of a household hat loves to cook (my wife just walked into the dining room with a bowl of delicious looking porridge).  

The goal is to make five days. Here we go….

Day III     10/22/2020 – 09:56:37AM

I woke up this morning feeling surprisingly good. However that was quickly replaced by a light but persistent hangover like headache. My back is also a bit achy, and I can feel fatigue in my lungs when I go upstairs. My weight this morning is 194 pounds, roughly one pound dropped in 12 hours. Monday I was just under 200 pounds. Ive also noticed that my heart rate has actually increased to around 100 bpm at resting. The average rate is 61 to 77. I have read that this is normal, as the body enters into a fight or flight state, ready to pounce on nearby prey to eat, or flee from nearby predators that sense an easy target. Could be BS, but it makes sense enough to me 

The interesting this is, there is no way my weight can go any direction  but down while on this diet. 

Today is day 3, which is where my body has likely depleted its reserves of glucose and cells will begin the process of eating themselves, in a process called autophagy. Some studies indicate this is beneficial as the cells begin to discard bad proteins and other defective materials that were otherwise ignored when food intake was regular. 

This is the mid-way point. Saturday will be day 5. 

2020-11-03 03:29:37

Right…the update. 

In short, I made it approximately 72 hours, give or take an hour or two ( I dont know when on Monday I had my last bite of food before the fast, but I suspect around 7PM). It wa hard as hell, but I do think I could have made it to day five. The (definitely welcomed) reason why I cut it short at 72 is that my wife told me we are going to meet some friends of ours on Saturday for a sort of ‘send-off’ since I am leaving back to the US (more on that later). Had I continued on with the fast, it would have encroached on our time together, and impacted a nice cheers session. 

So it provided a convenient reason to break it off on Thursday after day three, so that Friday I could re-coup and get the system ready for a bit of alcohol lubricated festivities.