Categories
Daily Life

Bye, Bye, Apple Watch Edition

I’m returning my Apple Watch Series 5 today.

I’m a little bit sad about it, but it’s Apple’s fault.

When the Series 4 was announced with the ECG function I was like, I’m gonna get me on of them… but then Apple announced it was only available in the US. So I was like, fine, I’ll get one when they finally release that feature here.

That didn’t happen for the Series 4.

Then the Series 5 was announced, still touting the ECG function, but still not available in Australia, even though other countries around the world now had the ECG enabled, but not us, but I was like: “Well I skipped the 4, other countries have the ECG, so surely it’s coming to Australia, and damn the Ceramic is a fine looking piece of kit, so I’ll get me one and the ECG will surely come.”

Apple Watch Series 5 Showing the ECG Function
Apple Watch Series 5 Showing the ECG Function

But, I have since read that the ECG will not surely come any time soon, in fact, according to many reports Apple hasn’t even applied to the TGA (The Therapeutic Goods Association) to have the ECG function approved. It seems that Apple has put Australia in the too hard basket when it comes to the approval process. The TGA has declared that if the watch’s software had this function enabled on Australian watches the watch would then be a “medical device” and they would have governance over it’s rollout in Australia. So Apple isn’t even trying.

Without this function there really isn’t much of an upgrade from my Series 3 watch. The screen is a little larger, and the ceramic is very nice, but a $2100 price tag is too much to pay for it.

These requirements are also seeing other products miss the Australian market. Like Withings’ BPM Core and Move ECG watch. So hopefully we’ll see our requirements relax a little. I think currently an ECG in Australia requires the 10-point connection system where they stick the little pad things all over you. The main concern of the TGA is that people will think the Apple Watches’ ECG is as accurate as the full thing and won’t seek help if their watch is telling them they are OK. But surely Apple has a few case studies by now showing the people who have been saved by this feature… they had some of them in their video at the launch of the Series 5… but really, I didn’t want it to save my life, I wanted it out of curiosity. I want to see the little squiggly line of my heart… and yes, weirdly I would have been happy to pay all the money for that squiggly line… but no squiggly line means she’s going back.

I’ll revisit the Apple Watch acquisition if the feature becomes available, or if my Series 3 gives up the ghost, or if a future release has something compelling that makes me want it.

Categories
Daily Life

You never stop coming out…

We just “came out” to a client. 

They are flying us to Sydney next week for a 2-day workshop and he carefully asked if we were “together”. He said he wasn’t sure but should ask before he books us separate hotel rooms. 🤣

To be honest I didn’t even think about it… 

He’s been a client for over 10 years, so he can ask questions like that.

Certainly would have been weird to have two rooms booked for us in their fancy new hotel.

Meanwhile, I think this is the first time a client is organising an end-to-end trip for us. Flights, Dinners, Hotel… feels swanky.

Categories
Pets

Joey Update

I now understand the term harrowing experience. We had one yesterday with Joey.

When we got up she was lying on her bed with the other doggins, but she was unresponsive when we talked to her. When patted there wasn’t really much reaction, but we could tell she was still breathing. Giving her a little shake, she raised her head a bit… but largely you’d call her reactions listless.

So David rang the vet. We were worried it may already be time to say goodbye. The vet was fully booked, but David got an appointment anyway, clearly the distress about our little black dog opened the way for Sandie to see us.

Then her meds kicked in, and she was more alert. But we went to see Sandie anyway.

We were giving Joey her medication ever 12 hours. And it seemed that at the tail-end of those time periods she was becoming more heavy in her breathing, and more tired. So we were worried.

On the short 10 minute drive we talked about the “what ifs”… it’s a gut wrenching and painful thing to know you’re the ones who have to decide when “it’s time”. All the other pets I’ve ever had have had very definitive end-of-life situations. Joey’s is a degenerative affliction and we have no idea how to gauge it… well not until we finally spoke with Sandie.

We cried on that drive. But we were composed, or so I thought, when entering the vet. Upon our entrance we were greeted and immediately ushered into a consulting room, but not before people commented on how cute Joey is. In a full waiting room she held everyone’s attention, she really is that cute.

Anyway, one of the receptionists came in to tell us Sandie would be with us shortly. She got a soft mat for the stainless steel table and she returned with a form that she put on the counter away from us… and then I started to cry. It was a form giving consent to the vets to euthanise Jo. My name was on it, her name was on it… and I was in that moment living the harrowing experience. I hadn’t realised that David had basically told reception that it might be time when he called them, and that’s how he got the appointment.

Then Sandie came in… and everything changed.

We talked to her about the way Joey had been, we explained that we don’t want Joey to be in pain, we don’t want her to be here just for us, we don’t want to put her through anything that would cause her distress… but we don’t want to let go of her yet. I was cuddling her… I was not in a good way, and neither was David.

Turns out we were thankfully overreacting, Sandie said she saw before her a happy little dog that still had a long way to go before she was ready. She told us the signs to look out for, she said we’d know when it was really time. She also agreed that we could increase Joey’s medication to once every 8 hours rather than every 12, to cover that period where the medication was wearing off.

And she went through the Specialist’s notes with us. The guy we saw when Jo was checked out of the Specialist wasn’t the one who performed her procedures, Amanda, the vet was in another consult when we arrived, and upon going through the notes with Sandie it seems the one who checked us out maybe skimmed them before talking to us, he even kept calling Jo ‘he’, and when he was talking all this dire stuff, I had to correct him. You can’t be telling someone their dog is dying and continually refer to them by the wrong gender, it should maybe have been a sign that he wasn’t familiar with the situation.

The report says that while the scarring in her lungs is extensive, there is still plenty of activity going on. And while her heart is massive (I’m paraphrasing), it is still strong and otherwise healthy. The report actually said that the condition she has will progress over months, and possibly years! Which is very different from the 3-6-12 months we were told when checking Joey out.

Sandie agreed we were likely being hyper-sensitive to every little activity, or lack there of, and every noise that was coming from Jo, and she said we need to check her gums when concerned as this will be the most telltale sign that her breathing is not enough to sustain her longterm. Dulling of the colour, and a slow reaction to return to red when pressed will show that the issue has progressed.

So, great news, well as good as it can get… Joey is still dying, but with the medication she is on, hopefully it will be a long time before we need to make the decision to say goodbye. Which is freaking awesome because I am so not ready, that 40 minutes of distress yesterday wiped me out as the realisation that she might go bashed me about the head.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my sob-story, and think good thoughts for our little black dog… I want to have her around for a long time to come. I’m off to give her more cuddles, and food, the meds make her hungry, and if any knows her knows she was always hungry before the medication, so now she’s more of an eating machine. 🤦‍♂️

Categories
Lego

Sorting Lego

Spending some time on the lounge pulling apart anything that isn’t Creative Expert Lego sets and starting to sort my pieces… all while doggins are sleeping beside me and I’m watching other people’s Lego collection set ups on YouTube and realising one thing… I don’t have enough Lego!

Categories
Rants

Morrison is Deluded

Our Prime Minister… the leader of the party that leads our country (through a coalition and some tenuous favour-found friends).. says we mustn’t be instilling anxiety into our children over climate change. Taking a swipe at Greta Thunberg and the massive global school strike. 

He says he doesn’t have deep conversations about emissions reductions with his 10 and 12 year old girls.

As for anxiety in children. I don’t know about my peers, but as a kid in the 80s the threat of nuclear war scared the bejesus* out of me. Kids know when shit is going on, whether it’s hearing about it on the news, or overhearing it when parents speak about it, or just through their peer network. You don’t need to be the one telling them about something when it has the chance of wiping them out… they’ll hear about it.

Thankfully back then it was all about posturing and a couple of computer errors that almost saw us annihilated by our own actions. But those actions are easy to curtail, we just don’t push the button.

Morrison said “We have to give them that confidence that they’ll have not only a wonderful country and pristine environment to live in, but they’ll also have an economy they can live in as well.”

He wants us to lie to the children around us? Sure let’s give them hope, but let’s not outright lie to them.

Today we have climate change, which of course scientists have been harping on about since the 1980’s but we haven’t been listening. Instead, here in Australia, our seasonal drought periods of months have become decades long. Farmers are literally dying as their land dies around them.

The government can’t come to their aid without admitting the problem. Our land is far from the pristine pastures of the past.

Scott Morrison can’t control what his kids know. Kids are more connected to the world than we were in my youth. They have more power to mobilise and it’s good to see that some are paying attention.

Was the global climate action strike a heartfelt move by all those who participated, probably not, many likely did it to take the day off school. But there will be many others in their ranks that will be inspired by what they were a part of and will take pride in being part of something greater and will continue pushing for a change that needs to happen to protect their futures.

Categories
Pets

Doggin Time

I have moved the orange chair back out of the workroom so it can be beside my desk so Joey can spend all the time with me (or me with her).

It’s quite apparent though that I’m no the only one who wants to spend time with her, and she’s quite content with the company she’s keeping.

Categories
Pets

Joey

Look at this gorgeous face… I love this dog so freaking much.

My black cocker spaniel Joey

Sadly, at 8 years of age my Joey is dying. After xrays, ultrasounds, and a full-body CT it has been diagnosed that she has advanced pulmonary fibrosis. The vet said were she a human she’d need to go on the transplant list, but we don’t have that for doggins.

We will have 6-12 more months with Joey before her lungs become too scarred to function and we’ll need to say goodbye.

It’s pretty messed up that we have to go through this, but the joy our pets bring to our lives is incalculable. 

Joey will continue to be my companion as we sit on the lounge and watch TV, her across my lap. I’ll continue to sneak her food from my plate when the other dogs aren’t looking, and I’ll continue to hug her with all my might and let her know just how much I love her. And I will have the strength to say goodbye when it’s time and not hold onto her for my own selfish reasons when life is no longer good for her.

Categories
Work

AFL Brownlow Night

It’s one of my most nervous days of the year… has been for the last 5 years that I’ve been taking care of the data crunching for the AFL Brownlow. As a company (old and new) we’ve been doing this for around 9 years now. And pretty much every year the AFL says, “This will probably be the last year” but still they return.

The process hasn’t changed, but each year we refine the code as the technology gets better and more efficient.

This year we completely rebuilt the prediction data part of the system. We didn’t worry about the live night count because we were told we probably wouldn’t be doing it, well that was until about 2 weeks ago when they decided last minute they WOULD need us to do it again.

So there we are, it’s typically a night we order in pizza and I sit on a phone line for 4 hours with a bunch of others from Telstra, Champion Data, and the AFL just in case anything should go wrong. Thankfully each year it has gone fine… well except for one year when there was no raw data coming through from the supplier. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Wish me luck, the system has been tested, as we do every year… but I have no way if knowing if the AFL have copied over all the correct files to their live environment until the data starts to flow… they haven’t been keen on doing live tests for the last few years now.

It kicks off around 8:15pm AEST, we have to find a TV aerial so we can see what’s happening at Crown, you’ll see our data in the Official AFL Apps and on the AFL website. Fingers crossed it all goes to plan.