Saturday, February 04, 2012

An untypical Thursday

The day started without eating: I was due to have a blood test, in order to establish a base level for cholesterol in my blood. For the next few months, I'll drink a bottle of Danacol every day, and then when I next have my blood tested, we'll be able to see how effective the Danacol actually is. The health system has joined the Internet revolution, so I was able to see the results that same evening, instead of having to wait for as much as a week.
  • Cholesterol - 188 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides - 135 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol HDL - 44 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol LDL (calculated) - 117 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol/HDL ratio - 4.27
I get the feeling that the dietary changes which I've made in the past few months (ground flax seed and walnuts) have already had an effect on my blood cholesterol level as the above results are better than the last set from six months ago:
  • Cholesterol - 205 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides - 149 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol HDL - 39 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol LDL (calculated) - 137 mg/dL
  • Cholesterol/HDL ratio - 5.26
Apparently the LDL is calculated by the Freidewald method, where LDL = total cholesterol - HDL - (triglycerides / 5), when the concentrations are expressed as mg/dL. Thus LDL = 205 - 39 - (149/5) = 136. Using Thursday's example, LDL = 188 - 44 - (135/5) = 117. Right on!

During the day, I implemented a procedure for our ERP program at work which corrects for the usage of 'continuous goods'. Items within a product's bill of materials (BOM) can either be discrete or continuous; an example of the first kind of item is a cupboard handle, whereas an example of the second kind is a sheet of wood. ERP handles discrete items very well but has problems with continuous items, especially as there is normally some form of optimisation applied to the quantities needed. In theory, the BOM will say that X square metres of wood are needed whereas in practice, only X - 0.4 square metres were actually used. This optimisation changes from day to day, making reporting more complicated. I thought about this problem once again the other day and this time I came up with a practical plan for handling it. I wrote the procedure (which worked 99% correctly the first time I tried it) and used it on two test items. If the test works as I predict, then I will widen the procedure's scope to handle more items, which will improve our reporting capabilities.

When I came home, I had two packages awaiting me. The first was the book 'Sandy Denny: Reflections on her music', by Philip Ward. Most of the book's contents were not new to me as they had previously appeared on Philip's website, but since the book's publication, those contents have been removed from the site. I was chuffed to notice that my name appears amongst the people named in the book's acknowledgements: whilst I know that I had helped Philip here and there, I wasn't expecting this.

Since buying my Kindle, I've hardly bought any paper books, so it's always a pleasure to order from the Book Depository and receive a book within a few days at a cheaper price than Amazon (whilst Amazon may sell the book for slightly less, they charge an arm and a leg for postage; the Book Depository does not charge for postage which means a big saving for me).

The second package was the seven cd package from Peter Hammill, entitled 'Pno Gtr Vox Box'. To quote the man himself, "[T]his represents a version of the guitar only, piano only shows with which I began my residence in Tokyo in 2010, with performances taken from the Japanese shows and also from the UK shows in the same year. A double CD is, I think, a decent artefact to leave out there as a (semi-) permanent exemplar of Performance. But while compiling the discs from all the available material it came to me that a specific, bigger, thing could also come out of the various shows. Hence, as the first Fie! release of 2012, we have “Pno, Gtr, Vox Box”: a seven cd box set of live songs from the same sources.
This one’s going to be strictly limited in edition. Although the Boxes are not individually numbered, I’ve taken the decision that the run will be restricted to the 2,000 which have been manufactured."

My copy came with a signature in green ink on the back of the box; after asking on the PH discussion group, I have come to the conclusion that PH signed this himself. It's not unique, though, as several other have signed copies too. One has to be careful as the ink runs should it get wet!

I haven't had much of a chance to listen to it yet. I've never been a great fan of live Peter Hammill, especially when he is playing the guitar (and one of the discs is entitled "What if there were no piano?), but the little which I have heard seems reasonable. There is even one disc devoted to solo performances of Van der Graaf Generator songs - hearing Hammill play 'Scorched earth' with all its time changes is fascinating!

I wish every Thursday were as good as this one was!

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