ways in which this week has sucked:

Last weekend was great due to the brief return of my lovely girlfriend. But then:
  1. She left.

  2. The profound meltdown of computers at the club entered its second week. Mostly Jonathan is taking care of it, but I have not escaped computer-based stress.

  3. My home iMac died. I thought it had a bad drive, so I just went and bought a new one, but that didn't work either, so it was looking like the drive controller fried. I took it back to Apple, and it looked like a mobo problem to them too -- but when they gave it back, they had just replaced the drive, not the mobo. So I guess I can expect it to die again some time soon. Well, at least they didn't charge me anything. (But now I have an extra drive I don't need and can't return.)

  4. Two days of restoring from backups and tediously reinstalling and reconfiguring shit shows me that my backup strategy leaves quite a lot to be desired.

  5. After the restore, my Treo won't sync. Apple and Palm, a pox on both your houses.

  6. The Mystery Electrical Burning Smell in my apartment has also entered its second week. It's not the iMac, because the smell was here when the iMac wasn't. I can't tell where it's coming from, so I started unplugging everything electrical, then plugging things back in one at a time, three hours apart. But now I have discovered that whatever is making the smell is highly intermittent, so I have to start over. Yay.

  7. Somehow I fucked up my knee last weekend. I don't know how; "revelry". It's not bruised or swolen, but it hurts to go up or down stairs, and it clicks when I bend it. I made the mistake of googling "knee pain", from which I learned that this probably means somehow a divot got knocked out of the cartilage plate between the bones. That stuff gets no blood flow, meaning it never heals, so apparently there are only two solutions to this: "deal with it", which will fuck you later in life; or, they go in and shave the cartiage down, which will fuck you later in life. Oh, but all the web pages go on to say "make sure you see a doctor right away!" Presumably so that they can charge you for the information that you're fucked.

    Hypochondriasis in full effect!

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31 Responses:

  1. azul_ros says:

    I was diagnosed with an arthritic knee a few years ago. When I was 32. So yeah, generally, it means I will live with knee pain for the rest of my days. Dancing at club used to be one of my favorite hobbies. I haven't gone out dancing as often in part because of this. :/

    Holy cow!! Your computer situations are very strange!! And the electrical smell... Maybe it's coming from the neighbor's apartment & not yours? Just a possible rational explanation. I would keep looking into it for safety reasons, of course. You don't need a fire on top of all that other stress!

  2. cabrius says:

    One possible candidate for the Mystery Smell is the compressor on your fridge overheating. I had one start to fail on me and it wasn't immediately obvious since the smell would build up slowly over time as the fridge switched on and off. The main symptom to look for in this case is if the fridge is cycling on and off more often than normal.

  3. My knee acts similarly after running too much. (It hurts when I walk up/down stairs and pops when I extend it). It also builds up pressure when I've been sitting with it bent for a long time and so I have to extended it.

    This has been happening for a few years (I'm 20). I don't think it's a huge deal and the only advice I've gotten from doctors is to stop running. But my pain generally goes away after 3-4 days.

    • Oh. If you think it's athletic you can also sit with your legs directly together, parallel to each other and bent underneath you (so your rear almost touches your feet). Ease in and out of this position several times using your hands as supports.

    • taffer says:

      I highly recommend physiotherapy; I ganked my knee working out (see, exercise is bad for you!) and it got to the point where sitting in one position for more than a few minutes made it ache.

      Heat, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation, along with some exercises to strengthen the connective tissues made it happier, although it still gets sore when it's really damp out, etc.

      I must've been ~29 when it happened, 36 now, no surgery required or expected... depends on the nature of the injury though (doctor first, got a physio referall).

  4. fractalnavel says:

    depending on the specifics, of course, arthroscopic procedures can have excellent results and extremely short recovery times. the long term prognosis isn't always poor.

    and, um, hate to mention it, but your cheesegrater feeds stopped too. low priority, certainly.

    here's hoping the silicon gods start to smile again. or at least the fsm.

  5. vxo says:

    I have a random mystery electrical burning smell... in my entire CITY. I'm not sure where it comes from, but it is VERY disconcerting - it drifts in at random, and after searching the house for a source, it turns out the entire neighborhood smells like that.

    Just before Katrina, it covered the entire county for the better part of a week.

  6. My parents G5 iMac just did the same thing, as did a coworker's. They're defective... get the board replaced and (hopefully) it won't happen again.

  7. xomox says:

    There are a lot of different ways to bork your knees, and only very few of them are permanent. See if your doctor can refer you to a physical therapist or sports medicine doctor, since most primary physicians aren't the best at diagnosing joint injuries (in my experience, anyhow.)

    Here's hoping it's just a pull or a strain.

  8. roninspoon says:

    I suffer from the exact knee symptoms you've described. Happened while I was in the Army. They never exactly figured out what the problem was, but once offered the solution of remoming my knee cap, shaving any cartilage bits down that shouldn't be pointy, and then reattaching it.

    I made a suggestion that an Army doctor would never do that sort of thing to me. They gave me a medical discharge. I opted for the "deal with it" plan in the end. It's not for everyone, and just because the symptomology is the same by no means suggest the root problem is the same. It's been about 12 years since that though, and so far there've been no further complications.

  9. glocka says:

    She briefly returned to give you the last chance not to post any more public messages about her on the Internet.

  10. Somehow I fucked up my knee last weekend. I don't know how; "revelry".

    Ah, the classic UDI. ("Unidentified Drinking Injury.") Sorry that it's not just brusing, though...

  11. I would suggest installing a complete operating system with all your settings on a firewire drive. Make a disc image of it. Drop the image onto your firewire drive. Now if you ever need to just use the restore function in disk utility. I can set up a complete graphics workstation in about an hour. I do not even have to re-setup the printers.

    Some people like using BRU as a back-up solution. I had problems retrieving my back-up files from a firewire drive. But maybe that fixed that by now. I prefer Retrospect. But my employer shells out the cash for that.

  12. owenthomas says:

    That's so strange. You're the third person I know who's had Treo synching problems today.

  13. swaz says:

    The clicking is a classic symptom of a torn meniscus. I have needed three of those "shaving" procedures so far. I am 100% functional at this point and completely asymptomatic, except for a painless click now and then. I highly recommend Dr. Kevin Louie for the job, he has an office at 3838 California St. He has done a great job for me twice.

  14. fdaapproved says:

    I managed to do Something Bad to my knee about, oh, 10 years ago now. Does more or less the same thing yours does. It took a while, but these days it really only stiffens up if I don't move for a long time. I manage to run somewhere between 30 and 80 miles a week on it, no big deal. I figure someday I'll get the whole thing replaced cyborg style.

  15. bifrosty2k says:

    The Mystery Electrical Burning Smell in my apartment has also entered its second week.

    I love playing that game, imagine doing it in a highly airconditioned environment with someone who can't smell it.
    I used to think I was crazy and/or had a brain tumor till I actually found the burning thing. I'd reccomend checking the lights for bugs, and the outlets for shitty wiring.

    Somehow I fucked up my knee last weekend.

    Ye olde uNF injury, mustard plasters aughtta do the trick.

  16. reesesx says:

    Prior to about four weeks ago, I had been using a primitive cron-and-rsync solution to backing up my user data from several machines onto a firewire drive. Four weeks ago, that drive was full, so I bought one of the Maxtor OneTouch 2 (soon, they'll be bringing out the OneTouch 3 RAID 0/1 box, but "OTIII" makes me think of Tom Cruise and I get itchy) drives, and started using SuperDuper! on it to make a bootable copy to a partition sized about 125% of the internal drive in my PowerBook.

    Usually I don't "luck out" in this way, but about three weeks after this, my PowerBook drive started doing the Amiga-floppy-thunk, locking up, failing to boot, etc. With the bootable Firewire drive, not only was I able to boot from the external drive (hold down "option" at boot), when I replaced the PowerBook with a new one, Migration Assistant was able to find the drive and recognised it as a previous installation, moving over my settings semi-seamlessly.

    If you do have true motherboard fryage, a) you need to get that fixed (duh), and b) this will only help you if the ATA/SATA/whateveryouhave controller is the only damaged portion, as you'll be using the Firewire controller instead.

    I found Firewire 400 fast enough that, even with numerous things chained or hubbed (two drives, iSight, iPod when docked) the 7200 rpm drive in the enclosure actually made my mac run faster than the 5400 rpm internal drive. I could probably do the math on that and not be surprised, but I was surprised, because math is hard.

  17. udhay says:

    You might want to ask google about "Chondromalacia".

  18. fantasygoat says:

    Welcome to old age. It's all downhill from here!

  19. movingfinger says:

    There are noninvasive ways to help a click like yours. You should indeed go to an orthopedist just to learn exactly what you did---X-Ray, MRI, whatever. Then say No Thank You to surgery. Talk to a good (not macho) personal trainer with PT certificates. There are exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles all around the knee so that it is better supported and less stressed from any one direction. Most people have some okay muscles (e.g. quadriceps) but the less-obvious ones all up and down the leg can have an effect on the knee and ankle, so working with them in the right way can alleviate pain and mitigate damage---and allow healing---of a minor joint injury. If you can walk this is probably minor and probably fixable. If one muscle is too dominant (e.g. again, quadriceps), it can exert too much pull on the joint and make a small problem worse. It may help you to think of it in terms of mechanics.

    Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation, and anti-inflammatories (e.g. ibuprofen 600mg).

    Pardon me if I'm telling you stuff you know.

    Good luck with everything.

  20. defenestr8r says:

    ooooh! internet self diagnosis. maybe that should be an lj interest.

    sometime when we're both on IM or in person, remind me to tell you the best internet self diagnosis story.

  21. bonniegrrl says:

    i don't know what's up lately but I think iMacs all around the world are committing suicide. Mine died for no reason a month ago.

  22. scott94110 says:

    JWZ, you live in SF, so do I, I went to see Dr. Blue located at Pacbell park, he diagnosed it as runners knee. I took some physical therapy, learned some stretches, took Yoga, and it my knee is better. Tight muscles can mess up your knee.