Wednesday, May 17, 2006

240 pounds of trouble

Today's visit to my doctor has been preying on my mind for some time. To say I'd been dreading it would be too strong, but I was certainly uncomfortable.

Ever since I was diagnosed with diabetes, it's been instilled into me that I need to lose weight – watch your diet and take thirty minutes of exercise each day. It's that simple.

"I'd like you to lose about three kilogrammes by the next time I see you," my doctor said. That's about 6½ pounds.

Had I done it?

Of course not. After all, what was at stake except my life and my health?

I could have made a case to explain it away. Told him how I'd thrown my back out and taken a month to get over it. Explained that my sister keeps me up so late I'm more likely to take a 30-minute nap than a 30-minute walk. Even played the sympathy card and said that since my mother died I have trouble motivating myself to do anything at all.

But the truth, which is (mostly) what I went for, is that like many things in my life it was just a matter of procrastination.

I had managed to lose one kilo and my sugar was down a fraction, so it wasn't a total debacle. In fact I wasn't doing so badly considering that I was running out of my tablets and had had to take a reduced dose to make it through to this appointment.

What about all this publicity about flu shots and diabetics, I asked. "I recommend diabetics get a flu shot," he replied. "They're more susceptible to bacterial infections that accompany influenza." I got the impression that I was more likely to develop pneumonia if I got the flu.

I should call my GP and ask for that flu shot.

And an adaptation of which famous novel was recently blurbed by the BBC7 website as "The world's most famous detective takes on the world's most famous dog"?
Yes, it was the Hound of the Baskevilles!

Troy Holaday (a professor from Indiana) has been gratifying C.S. Forester fans by posting Horatio Hornblower adaptations on his website.

But these are big files. Today I downloaded a zip-file of 255MB containing a 52-episode Hornblower radio serial. This took me 2½ hours to download on my 25kb/sec ADSL broadband. I'd certainly never have tried this on my dial-up connection.

But while I may appreciate the ability to do this, not everyone is so happy about the broadband situation in Australia. The Financial Review newspaper even published a scathing article that dubbed it "Fraudband."

Some very unflattering comparisons were made with Canadian users of broadband, who are able to access the internet much faster and more cheaply. Although some of the cases were clearly chosen for effect (anybody who chooses some of the Bigpond deals they gave as typical examples of Australian broadband needs his head examined), it certainly puts Australian telcos and ISPs in a poor light.

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