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4 Letter Words

1. krayker16 July 2010, 13:45 GMT +02:00

You can only change ONE letter, AND/OR rearrange the letters currently available. The first word is:


8090. Ayla8713 February 2013, 10:10 GMT +01:00

Now my office and my piles of work have me back again. And I must say that your new diet motivation was obviously so strong that you even started to be very sparing with the four lettered words, too. I couldn't spot one, so I suggest a next fitting word that comes to my mind would be


Good that we have talked about this so that I can't risk to forget it, too. Now, thanks for your nice comment and Like from saturday on this photo
which is of course another winterly view of our row of houses. Our own house entrance can't be seen this time. In this direction you can see the way I have to walk to bring the waste out. The grey box in the center of the image at the end of the cobblestone path is where our waste bins are located. It's quite okay that they are not nearer, because there are also two glass bins, and it is quite loud when people throw bottles in there at funny times.

What news can you tell me from your kitchen? I can well understand that you luckily come back to having satay. It's just a great taste. What I also find interesting is that you do fry pumpkins. This is rarely done by Christa. Mostly They are turned into soup or into those pancakes (which is of course a variation of frying them), but only at one or two occasions we had something like a fried little "pumpkin-steak". Christa was feeling unwell with her stomach over the last days and had little appetite. That 'flu + migraine together is a hard combination, poor thing. But things are slowly getting better. I will tell her to avoid milk, thanks for your tip. We have gotten new "prescriptions" to change our food head-friendly in ayurvedic fashion anyway: less milk, and as a replacement we shall take almond milk which is vegan and very tasty. It also has less calories then the usual milk, might be interesting for you, too. And then I was told to avoid Cornflakes, eat oat flakes instead, and decorate any meals with ground golden linseed, sesame, hemp seed, all spiced with a knife point of powdered ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. 3 - 4 Table-Spoons of these daily per person spread over the meals or the cereals give lots of enery and minerals.

Yesterday we had a casserole Christa baked in the oven with fresh organic apples and toast bread, spiced with lots of cinnamon and gingerbread spice.

I'm sorry to hear of your dreadful cholesterol values. My impression is that it is not easy to avoid them in food, especially if you eat outwards and have no real control about what they cook for you. I don't like to sit in the sun, I would always prefer to sit in the shadow, so my vitamin D status might be very similar to yours. We may have more in common than you are possibly aware by now, LOL We have a pair of those fold-out camping chairs in our cellar which we use when guests come to visit us. We never sit on our balcony (not even in the company of our cats) because we don't like the thought that our neighbours might see us sitting around there. But there is nut much sun on offer, anyhow, only up to two hours in the morning. No wonder our little tomatoes on that balcony
never really tasted very good. Silly me, now when I look at this photo I have another easy possibility (without links which don't work) to show you the netting for the cats on our own balcony.

I had tenosynovitis some years ago, too, when I worked too intensely with my computer mouse. With lots of salve against the pain it slowly got better again, but I still have to be careful. I have gotten used to work as much as possible with the keyboard and leave the mouse untouched, this really helps. There are many keystrokes which lead to the same goal...

When you go to Brisbane on March 1 I won't miss you too much for once because on that same weekend I'm driving for some days into a cloister. It is a "house of silence" where they teach contemplation. Maybe this is a good means of reducing stress for me, I will look into it and give it a try. If I'm lucky it works fine to help me to "talk" to my body and feels good for my head. Or maybe it is all far too esoteric for me, we'll see. I think I must give it a try to be able to talk about it. Mindfulness doesn't sound like a bad idea to me, after all...

I think you should give those rheumatologists another try, too. Life is too short to waste it with so much pain. With such long-lasting illnesses worrying you it surely is a nuisance that you have to drive so far to see a doctor. They surely would like to see you more than once... Doctors can be quite clinging...

I didn't know that cats do lick each other prior to being aggressive. Strange habits... Yesterday they had a good day and were very well behaved. Chances are certainly good that things may develop heavily. The younger cat has the potential to grow larger (and heavier) than the older one one day, making it easier to require some own rights.

8091. gesinek13 February 2013, 12:22 GMT +01:00

What about taping against your tenosynovitis? A lot of Docs and Therapist are able to do this.

And against kilos and cholesterol - movement will help. Going by bicycle, jogging, work outs, using the stairs not the elevator, gymnastics.....

8092. Ayla8713 February 2013, 12:37 GMT +01:00

Hi Gesine, we talked about jogging a while ago, but it must be quite horrible with that hot wheather down under... you would get


soon in the heat or you would have to get up very very early at unfriendly hours in the morning...

8093. xymonau13 February 2013, 12:44 GMT +01:00

The licking is a way of acting like a parent and dominating, and I've seen cats do this then start to bite and intimidate. Like humans, it's the way you say something, not the words you use, that can convey a different message.

Sorry about the word - I guess I forgot! LOL That was


of me!

I am being good re the sunlight to raise my D levels, but probably not enough. I sit in the sun at work for about ten minutes. It's all I can manage in the heat, but because it's summer and I'm doing it at the worst part of the day, the light is more effective, they say. At home, I'm kind of trapped because of my air conditioner, which is portable. I have to tape up all the gaps around the exhaust hose where it sits in my back sliding door, and untaping that is tedious. The morning sun shines out back. Never mind, I'll get more into the habit as I go along. And I'm taking 2,000mg of D3 per day. Not as effective, but it will help. I think if your food isn't fortified and there is little sun, then you really should take it. Read up about it. Some info is contradictory, but it seems we have a chronic D deficiency these days. We get enough to avoid ricketts, but we need a lot more for health.

I hope your days away are good for you. Don't get into the spooky meditation stuff. I don't believe it's ever good for you to not be in control of your mind. But you can relax, hopefully.

I love roasted pumpkin. Doing it in the frypan with a lid on is similar to roasting, and you can brown it to get the caramelised flavour around the edges. I don't peel it, just wash and seed it and cut it up in big pieces. When you do the potatoes with it, it gives a nice savoury flavour to them.

I've already lost a couple of kilos from stopping the junk food. (Well, I did have some biscuits last night and tonight after a meal.) I've had to control myself a bit to remind myself that I don't eat meat or fatty things any more. But since i ate this way for a long time, it's becoming second nature again. Just another week or so and I should be okay. I cooked up the only meal that I can enjoy with beans yesterday (with enough for three more meals at least). A tin of vegetarian sausages (or vege hot dogs - but they have to hold together when mixed with other food), a tin of five bean mix, a tin of corn kernels, a tin (or two) of crushed tomatoes, 2 big splooshes of tomato paste (maybe 3 or 4 tablespoons), a vegan stock cube in beef style (that should be the only salt, as I buy salt-free cans of the others and the tomato paste), and then either sweet and sour sauce or smoky barbecue rib sauce to taste - maybe three tablespoonfuls to start with. Slice the sausages, then toss it all in together and heat through. Then toss in two cups of cooked brown rice (or any rice) and stir through. Let it simmer for a few minutes to mix the flavours. There are a lot of veriations on the theme as far as sauce, but a vinegar or tamarind flavour seems to go with the beans. I don't like beans at all, really, but they're very good for you. This meal is really quick - no real cooking - and very hearty, and freezes well. If I'm running late it takes only ten minutes to prepare, as long as the rice is pre-cooked.

I do hope you and Christa are going to be feeling completely well soon. We never value our health as much as when we are sick, do we?

The tenosynovitis is certainly aggravated by the computer, but I had it years before anyone had PCs. I think I have it in my legs and feet as well. But I'm managing, so it's not too bad. I keep expecting it to go away, and I think it will, but just not as soon as I'd like it to.

Okay, I must start settling for bed now. It has been a bit cooler here already. I think we will have an early autumn. I adore autumn. It's the best season of the year here. The heat has gone, and so has the rain - usually, the days are still long enough, and everything is still green. The trees go a bit grey in winter (they're all evergreen here, apart from imported trees), but they're still vibrant in autumn. It officially starts on March 1. I can't wait!

8094. Ayla8714 February 2013, 13:24 GMT +01:00

Oh, it is nice to hear that autumn is coming closer to you. One of my favourite seasons, too (right next to snowy winter).

Do you celebrate valentine's day today? I mainly consider it an invention by florists to raise their income... It is never too


to buy something nice for everyone dear to you (including yourself) but my philosophy is that it should not be necessary to wait for a special occasion to do so. It is always allowed to to someone a favour, not only one a year.

2,000mg of D3 per day sounds quite good, this should bring you well forward. Will you get brown by your artificial sun replacement?

I've read some more details about almond milk. It is able to lower raised cholesterol values and contains 0% lactose. Sounds really great and tastes fine, we like it. I've bought large loads of it and stored it in our cellar because it is currently on offer and can be stored until 2014... I think supplies won't last too long because we usually use about 4 litres of milk every week.

I'm amazed to hear that you were able to make fast progress on the food front by switching to healthier ideas. To me beans with corn kernels, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and some spicy sauce sound just delicious. I like the taste of beans and lentils, even though I must admit they are sort of a challenge for my digestion. tamarind sauce is my favourite sauce in the indian restaurant as a dip for their fresh bread.

Yesterday way pumpkin pancake day again with that topping of golden syrup, so we shouldn't be too surprised to get pumpkin soup with pumpkin seed oil today and tomorrow.

8095. xymonau15 February 2013, 9:59 GMT +01:00

Valentine's day was never celebrated here until I was an adult. Even then, it was more something people did in the cities - just commercial reasons, of course. Since the internet, it has taken off. Like Halloween. We never, ever celebrated it. when I went to New York in the early 1980s, it was during Halloween, and although I had seen how it was done on television, I had never been involved in the celebration. Only since the internet has it been a regular thing here as well.

I went in to work on the 14th, and there was a big red rose waiting for me! I had a wave of horror in case it had been sent by a client (these things happen), but the card made me smile. It was sent by two of my staff (a male and female). They had intended it to be delivered after I got to work, but the florist made a mistake. It was a thoughtful and lovely surprise. And totally unexpected. So this old duck DID get a rose on Valentine's day! LOL

No, the vitamin D doesn't make you brown. And I have very freckled skin, so the sunbathing is going to just make me more spotty! LOL I have very fair skin, but not the nice peaches and cream type. No sunbathing today. I had the day off work - my hands were so painful this morning, as well as the rest of me. I slept most of the day. I have had so much time off, I'm sure they will sack me eventually. But I can't help it right now.

I was bad on Thursday. I was running late in the morning and didn't have time to pack lunch, so I bought lunch. I could have had a salad sandwich, but there was an egg and lettuce sandwich already made at the place I went to, and I bought that. Eggs are devastating for cholesterol, so it was a really bad choice, but I was in a hurry. Never mind. It's back to vegan today.

I had some achachas today. http://www.achacha.com.au/

They are very expensive when you see how little edible portion you get from each fruit. But I wanted to get whatever nutrition I could from them. they are very interesting fruit. Mostly seed - one big one and a couple of tiny ones - with a thin layer of flesh around and clinging to the seed. They have a hard shell - not hard to cut - on the outside, which peels off easily after it's cut. You suck the flesh off the seed - although it's so clingy, you don't get it all. It tastes tangy, lemony, like sherbet, sweet and delicious. It has a slight "green" after taste that I didn't like at forst, but you get used to that. I wish they were big and you could get a good mouthful of the delicious flesh. Mangosteen taste a bit better, but they are way too hard to break through the skin.

Last night I made some vegan chicken strips in honey soy sauce, and a quick fried rice. I put basil, mint and parsley plus a vegan stock cube through brown rice, and it turned out nice (I wasn't sure about the mint, but I had a lot of it), and it complimented the flavour of the soy and honey. I'm all for quick foods in the evening, or I end up eating too late. On weekends I have my main meal early in the day. I prefer to eat that way. You need the fuel before you work, not after.

How are you and Christa feeling today?

8096. Ayla8715 February 2013, 13:25 GMT +01:00

My mum was one of those who profited from Valentine's day because she sold flowers on markets here in Berlin. So we obviously have to be thankful for this invention. But I'm sure your red rose was well earned. You have some nice staff which you can be proud of. And don't you think your chiefs do know, too what you are worth for them, despite some illnesses? Do you have the impression that you are so easily replaceable?

My skin isn't freckled but I have several liver spots. Three of them are under regular yearly observation by my dermatologist because there is the danger of skin cancer. Luckily one of them is beginning to get smaller and the others are just remaining static, so there is no reason to be really worried.

I can understand that eggs are a nightmare for cholesterol, but then you still have to see where to get some proteins once in a while. Next time you see an egg sandwhich you will run out of the shop instead and be hungry and in a dangerous mood all day, I'm not sure if that is really preferable.

I never heard of achachas before, but they look refreshing and very healhty. Food which you have to work so hard for to get it apart before you can eat it can't make you fat, that's for sure. I might be too impatient for this task...

What were your vegan chicken strips made of? Tofu? That is a common basis for many vegan variations, I think.

I totally agree, it is best to have the main meal early in the day. That reminds me of the tradition of Full English breakfast
which is quite a heavy meal. I don't like all of it's components. Some of them are far too heavy even for non-vegetarians (think of fat sausages early in the morning...), but fresh fried bacon from time to time is quite tasty and gives energy for the rest of the day.

You are playing hide-and-seek with me again. I couldn't spot your 4 LW once again.

Christa had a


with the doctor today because the virus affects her stomach, she can barely eat anything, poor thing. I will bring her a thai sate today so that she doesn't have to cook. Let's see if that will whet her appetite a little bit. The doctor gave her an injection and said things should get better over the next two days. Other than that he was a very nice doctor, enjoyed the acrylic painting of Kirk & Spock which hangs on a wall (a friend of ours did it and gave it to us as a wedding gift). One of the cats also tried to help with the inspection, but I think the doctor ended up to do most of the work.

We are both still coughing, it's really time for this virus to go looking for some new victims... Now, happy weekend for you. Next week my time is a bit rare because on tuesday and wednesday I will be visiting a congress on E-government the whole day long. There in this place

I'm going there once a year and listen lo lots of talks and collect lots of free ball pens, and I mean really lots. In the foyer there are about 20 booths where hard- and software companys try to get new customers. There I collect them for all my colleagues. I tend to come back with 50 or more pens each year, and we all can't have enough of them as we have to write quite a lot... We are 25 colleagues here in our department, so I have no trouble to get rid of all the pens very soon again.

8097. xymonau17 February 2013, 2:26 GMT +01:00

Sorry about the word. Just to ensure it is done:


Speaking of which, we have lots of cane toads where I live. they are native to South America, but we imported them to eat cane beetles, and they took over, eating everything but. They have decimated the native frogs and toads. They are ugly and have poisonous sacs on their backs, and are treated very cruelly because they are vermin. I know they have to be eliminated, but that doesn't stop me feeling sorry for them. They can't help what they are, and they have feelings. I was watching one near my window the other day. They usually come out at night only, but this fellow must have been hungry. the ants were wildly eating something, and the toad crept up and sat very still. Every so often its tongue would shoot out and it would have a nice, crunchy ant. What really got to me was that its tongue was a pretty little pink thing, like a kitten's tongue, not the alien ghastly thing i thought it might be. I used to be freaked out by toads, but someone told me they can't jump backwards, and that really helped. I don't like them, but they don't give me the creeps like they used to.

When I was a little girl in Townsville, the green frogs were everywhere. At night you could hardly walk outside as the ground was covered with them trying to catch mosquities and other insects near the lights of houses. Most houses had a resident frog on their sink or toilet. They are very territotial. Even if you put them outside, they would be back. I have stepped on a few in the dark (as a child), and that made me sick.

You made me laugh re the pens. Every time I go to a conference I try to grab as many pens and note pads as I can (depending on the class of conference, this can be many or none). Also, if I stay in an up-market hotel, I grab the pen from there. Not much of a prize for what you pay!

I hope the injection worked for Christa. Those usually put me to sleep.

I don't eat bacon - any pig meat, really. And as far as protein goes, if you are having enough calories it's impossible to have a protein shortage. Spinach is high in protein. Although there are recommended amounts, health can be maintained on 25 to 30 grams per day. The more protein, the lower the bone density - particularly animal protein. The body has to use calcium carbonate to process it, and the only source is bones. (The countries with the highest dairy intakes have the highest levels of osteoporosis, so all the dairy company propaganda is false.)

The "chicken " strips were packaged - Fry's brand, from South Africa. They make really nice vegan substitutes. I'm not keen on their sausages or "beef" patties, but their fake chicken is great. Not the healthiest, as it's processed, but good for a substitute. And they are soy and gluten protein.

When I was a vegetarian in my 20s, I used to make gluten steaks. Seitan, I think it's called in the US. Strange stuff, and you have to be careful to use only small pieces during the boiling stage, as it swells up like amonster and you have these things jumping out of the pot! LOL http://likeavegan.com.au/2011/10/gluten-steaks/

Full English breakfast has some great vegan substitutes. Scrambled silken soy instead of eggs, vege sausages, even fake bacon if you fancy that. I'm fairly eclectic. It depends on how much time I have. I like salad and avocado wraps to start the day - just simple, with lettuce, tomato and cucumber (Lebanese, the little one, are nicest), and maybe some barbecue sauce or similar.

Re work - I guess I feel out of step since last year and all its dramas. I'm struggling to get back into professional mode. I'm a bit sick of it all, but I know that will pass.

8098. Ayla8718 February 2013, 8:31 GMT +01:00

Christa spotted some toads here, too, once in a while. She is one of those gentle human beings who would stop to bring every animal safely over the


before it might get harmed. But she won't touch spiders with her bare hands these often make her scream, she doesn't like most of them. During the summer season our cats will have to be watchful and I could imagine that they will have their fun hunting whatever dares to crawl or fly into our premises. As far as toads are concerned we wouldn't be able to distinguish one kind of toad from another, we see them so rarely, we absolutely lack any practice. wild pigs or squirrels can be seen far more frequently than toads. But I agree that toads aren't that creepy.

Oh yes, I've heard that frogs are very territorial. If you have a garden pond and attract your own frog it may well be that you won't need your alarm anymore because of the frog's morning concerto. Lucky me is hard of hearing, so I won't be troubled by nature too much...

Christa is now getting better from day to day, her appetite is returning. The injection she got was only anticonvulsant, but she was tired all those days anyhow.

Tomorrow I'm starting my race for pens. Will let you know what I'm able to capture.

And then the next two weeks I'm on vacation, including that short trip to the "house of silence". I find it interesting that you expect to loose control over your mind when you meditate. I always thought the opposite was intended, a "higher" state of mind control and awareness for every single thing going on in and outside around you, making you more sensitive. I intend to listen to what they have to offer as unbiased as possible, but I'm definitely not looking for any religious inspirations. What I need is some value-free advice against stress. Nothing spooky, I hope. Otherwise those first three days of my contemplation course will be my last. What I have seen on TV about them sounded quite reasonable.
(change the language to English)

I rarely eat pig meat, some bacon is an example. A piece of chicken once a week is about the only non veggie food I'm eating, with few little exceptions. We have some spinach from time to time, but other veges are more common on our tables (like carrots, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, button mushroom).

So I guessed right that your "chicken" strips are made from soy protein. Sounds tasty. Christa made some Seitan steaks once in a while. But we are not too keen on it. We prefer spiced tofu, which doesn't swell up uncontrollable...

I wonder what the Brits say about vegan substitutes for their Full English breakfast. Isn't that like lèse-majesty? But I'm sure this is the healthier way to get started into the day.

Here at work I've now got something new to play with. A software which reminds me of star trek. I can now talk to my computer and he has to write down every single word I tell him. I will have to practise first to get used to it, but then it may be quite helpful. Nice, that there is someone who has to listen to me, LOL

When did you have your last vacation from work? Any trips planned?

8099. xymonau19 February 2013, 12:47 GMT +01:00

I'm having a bit of a vacation now - the doctor gave me three days off. Just all this pain I'm having. Resting does help, plus anti-inflammatories. But I can't have them for too long. He said he wasn't happy with me taking them (I've had gastric haemmorhages in the past), but I'd rather take them than use narcotics.

Anyway, I hope to feel better soon.

How did the pen heist go? LOL

I keep having time off for health or family issues so I can't remember when I had an actual holiday. And I haven't been anywhere new for a long time. It's not as much fun travelling on your own. I do like driving down the highway, though. I'm not sure why. I would like to buy a campervan and travel around the country a bit.

One of my sisters and her husband have joined the "grey army" - retired couples who tour around the continent. They've been all over the place, and then they return to the cattle property where they lived and her husband worked for years, to help out seasonally. The joke is that they're vegetarian. The floods up that way went into their house. They were stranded in New South Wales because of flooding there, and couldn't get back to clean up for more than a week. They've done so now, and more floods are threatening. I wish nature would give it a rest.

I only like silken tofu, really. I can eat it like scrambled eggs, and use it other ways. The hard tofu id like rubber - although I've had some that wasn't too bad. I was able to crumble it like bechamel sauce in a vege lasagne. (With a little lemon juice.)

No, I don't like meditation. Emptying your mind doesn't heighten awareness. It changes it. But I do hope you gain a real benefit from your time there, regardless of what I think. LOL If nothing else, it should be a mental rest for you. I think when we work full time with out minds, that can be hard to do. Physical exercise seems to balance it a bit, though. I certainly need more. If it ever stops raining (we've had a lot of rain the past few days), i intend to try walking a bit extra each day. I have little motivation, but I have to do it or I'll rust out before I wear out! I like the doctor I've seen recently. He's young and pleasant. We get the dregs in this town usually, and he's only here for six months, but he has had a practice in the city, and he seems competent. I usually prefer female doctors, but I'm glad I saw him.

Voice activation? Or just dictation? Sounds like a lot of fun. Don't sneeze or anything or you might upset the hard drive.

I'm glad Christa seems to be feeling better. You can't keep a good woman down. I hate spiders, too. She'd die here! Not that my current place has any. But older houses in Queensland are usually full of huntsmen spiders, redbacks, or great bif bird-killing ones! Seriously. http://alwaysintransit.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341bf83d53ef010535ba9182970c-500wi And not photoshopped. I've seen them get lizards, but never a bird. Ghastly looking things. Golden orb spiders. You get them all over the world, I think. Maybe only ours catch birds, but I don't really know.

Tell me, how many weeks per year do you get for vacation in Germany?


dear -

I nearly forgot the magic word!

8100. Ayla8721 February 2013, 14:34 GMT +01:00

I hope your three days off help to calm down and let the pain get better again. Are you superstitious? I mean with your name there might be a relation to pain... I must say that I don't really believe in superstition. But what I have observed is that I find it difficult to relax. I'm not really the type to enjoy rest and recreation during holidays, I'm probably a bit too nervous for that. Such a lifestyle may well have it's disadvantages. Your idea of traveling around with a campervan, not staying at one place too long sounds very sympathetic to me. I did the same when I was young traveling by train for one month across the whole country, that was great fun.

The grey army sounds like a great institution. I always wonder what my health condition will be when I'm retired. My back hurts already from time to time, so I have the impression that I won't be one of those powerfully happily jumping around persons, but we will talk about that in due time when we are 98, LOL Actually, the mother of one of my former colleagues (who is retired already) turned 98 two weeks ago. She lives in a home for old aged people, but beware, when the nurses do something wrong she can really bite them... She also grumbles quite a lot...

How did the pen heist go? I think I even topped the results of last


because this year I collected a total of 95 pens in two days. I've distributed them already amongst my poor colleagues who were very wild for them. I also got five large notepads, 10 chocolate bars with different fillings (milk coffee, marc de champagne, chilies), about 20 small bags of wine gums, a handful of chocolate sweets, two coffee mugs (one with a fitting little porcelain spoon) altogether quite rich loot. Those exhibitors shouldn't leave their booths unattended while I'm around, this is a big mistake. I consider this as an invitation... I am also very used to come by their displayed goodies while they are distracted talking to other potential customers... And I tend to do so more than once in two days, no matter if they do know me by the end of the day or not. I don't even bother to wear sunglasses or change my appearance in any other way... And next year the race starts all over again. Then the event will take place for the 20th time, so I will expect them to be even more generous to celebrate that jubilee.

I really don't know if the marinated tofu we get here is normal tofu or if it is silken tofu. The sell it refridgerated and vacuumated, but I think that doesn't tell us which version it is. I just have no comparison.

You can't think nothing, so I don't believe it really works to empty your mind. What I'm aiming for is to be a bit less nervous and probably a bit less hectic. It would be fine to learn to be better able to savour the moment and not always "run away" in your mind to other tasks lying ahead of you. For me these are no religious and no esotheric, but purely practical challenges. I suppose I lack some sort of mental discipline in a way, being too erratic. Mental rest would be a nice thing, if that were possible.

Physical exercise would be the other alternative to get things literally "out of the head". Unfortunately I'm nearly not at all able to motivate myself for sports, except for that little bit of swimming every fortnight.

It's great to hear that you have such a nice young doctor. What a shame that he will stay for six months only. You should make the most out of those six months...

The software is for dictation, but I should be able to control it by some spoken commands, too. I'll have to try that out in time after my vacation. My first dictation was painful, because I had to laugh so hard. It was so funny what that machine understood and interpreted. Some sentences had nothing at all to do with what I actually dictated...

I never heard of bird-killing spiders. I wouldn't be keen on their acquaintanceship.

Vacation depends on your age. It is also slightly different in various industrial sectors or departments. In my case I've reached the maximum of 30 days and then an additional 5 days a year off because of my disability, so it sums up to 35 days or 7 weeks. Not too bad. How many weeks do you get? And what do you do when you can't take your days off, can you get them paid out instead? We can't, but I have always managed to use the days up in time.

8101. xymonau23 February 2013, 5:00 GMT +01:00

Silken tofu has the soft floppy consistency of soft scrambled eggs. The marinated stuff is usually the firm kind. I don't mind the smaller marinated tofu, but I hate the big hard blocks of it. It tastes like rubber and to me has an unpleasant texture. The silken melts in your mouth.

You have fabulous holidays. We all have four weeks every 12 months. Shift workers get an extra week, generally. I'd kill for six weeks. We are often able to take a week here and there, and don't have to take them all at once. A lot of Americans get only two weeks off per year. I was horrified when I learned that. I don't know how people cope.

Some workplaces and industrial awards allow payouts of holidays, but generally only up to a fortnight. And ou holidays carry over if not taken. However, we are supposed to take them when they are due and not work without a break for years. We still don't lose them, but the employer can be in trouble if they don't ensure holidays are taken.

My pain hasn't really abated. I had anti-inflammatories, and that really helped, but I can't take them often, and yesterday and today my right hand in particular is extremely painful. Typing hurts - but generally a short while after I stop. The pain woke me up a couple of nights ago. I don't know what's wrong. I've had the xrays and nothing is broken. All I know is it hurts and I keep dropping things. I can't pick up even a cup with my right hand, so it's quite annoying. Never mind, I'll see the expert next week, and hopefully they might have an explanation and some treatment. I might need some physiotherapy, I think.

No, not even slightly superstitious. I do believe in God (which some deem as superstition, but that's usually based on their experiences with particular faiths), but I don't believe that walking under a ladder, for example, can affect me, unless the darn thing falls on me. "Pain" is my married name, so even though I kept it, I don't have an emotional connection to it. I didn't want to have a different surname from my son. My first name is so hideous - and, no, I'm not telling you - that the last name is nothing. I'm "Dez" for short.



You managed to grab quite a haul of stationery, by the sound of it! Good for you! If you ever visit me I'll be sure to hide the cutlery. ;0)

8102. Ayla8724 February 2013, 10:07 GMT +01:00

I'm on vacation now already for two weeks, so I'll give you a short answer at last so that you won't have to wait so long.

From what you tell we haven't tried the silken tofu yet, only the normal one, mostly marinated with smoke or some spices. Cut in small pieces I think it is quite ok.

I suppose it was quite hard work for the trade unions to negotiate those long holiday conditions. I was never a member of one of these unions and their numbers are dropping, employers are gaining more and more influence.

You will have to tell me what your expert says next week. I think physiotherapy is a good guess. As Gesine wrote above @8091 there are also other methods like taping. To immobilize your wrist with a wristband or whatever they are called might also be helpful. Maybe it is a matter of overcoming your pain memory.

It is good to hear that you are not superstitious. Those who are must have an additional burden. I can't think of any positive outcome of such dispositions. It is also fine to hear that "Pain" is your married name, so there is no chance it may have any relation to your genes. But I'm sorry to hear that you carry a first name around with you which you don't really like. I think this is a pity. My first name is quite ok. It was very wide-spread and common at that time when I was born. You have noticed already there are loty of Michaels around... My middle name (which is never used luckily) is a rather oldfashioned name, which I was named after one of my grandfathers. That is Helmut.

Now, I'm slowly starting with preparations for the cloister. So


of us will have a busy weekend ahead. I wish you a good drive and I hope your expert will be worth his money.

8103. xymonau24 February 2013, 11:32 GMT +01:00

You know, I completely missed Gesine's comment and the one you made after it. I have no idea how.

Yes, Gesine, I've been looking it up on the net and splinting (or taping) is considered part of the cure, plus complete rest for the hand. I don't know how I could do that. I know I'd have to get off the computer complately, although typing is the main activity. I don't play games or anything repetitive like that. However, the local doctor is looking at the whole boody pain thing, and i think I have a few things that happen to have occurred at the same time. I'll talk to the specialist on Friday and ask for a referral for physio, etc.

I agree that movement is really important. In the dry weather I will definitely work at it. I also need sunlight, so I might try to go for a walk at lunch time at work.

Good luck on your trip away, Michael. (I've always liked that name, by the way. If I had another son, I would have named him that. And Christa is a pretty and feminine name. As is Gesine.) Come back rested and refreshed and a new


8104. gesinek24 February 2013, 20:03 GMT +01:00

Taping is really kind of a science and very popular here. A lot of people run around with different colored tapes on their back, there arms, legs or at the neck to get rid the pain.
Here is what wikipedia says.
It is not an evidence based form of curing those symptoms. But everybody who tries it swears that it works well.
I only had tapings when I was active fighting Judo competitions to stabilisize weakend joints, like fingers, feet.... But I never had it to cure something.

Ah, I find the translation: Taping is usually made by alternative practitioners (Heilpaktiker in german) may be Michael has a better translation.

8105. xymonau24 February 2013, 22:12 GMT +01:00

I know podiatrists here will do taping for plantar fascitis, and sports doctors do a lot of taping. I don't think it's regarded as alternative here if it is effectively replacing a splint. The only reason I would prefer a removable hard splint is because it is on my hand, and I still have to use the hand sometimes. However, I guess I could cover it with a plastic bag. And Alternative practitioners is the correct translation - it encompasses naturopaths, Chinese medicine, herbalists and things like Bowen therapy.

Okay, after reading the article, I realise I'm referring to the non-stretchy sports tape. That is different, and sounds like there might be something in the theory.

I've looked it up on the net and my hands (it's in both, but disabling in one only) definitely have De Quervain's tenosynovitis, so I have a starting point. The internet is so useful, sometimes!

8106. Groningen3 March 2013, 16:35 GMT +01:00


your hands if you know a new fourletterword!

*get well wishes for xymonau*

8107. xymonau4 March 2013, 10:09 GMT +01:00

Thanks, Christine!

I had to


the floor to find THIS word...

And nice to see you in the forums, too.

8108. Groningen6 March 2013, 18:00 GMT +01:00

yes my shining appearance has made rgbstock less



8109. xymonau6 March 2013, 23:34 GMT +01:00



for joy!

8110. gesinek7 March 2013, 22:31 GMT +01:00



when you jump to high

8111. xymonau7 March 2013, 22:40 GMT +01:00

Talk of my high jumping is just


8112. Groningen8 March 2013, 17:11 GMT +01:00



people will take care when jumping high (or low).

8113. xymonau9 March 2013, 0:55 GMT +01:00

Well, I'm


to a bit of risk-taking.

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