T + 56 Getting Ready for the Long Haul

Tomorrow I am at the transplant clinic but I couldn't get my usual appointment slot of 10:00, instead I have a later one of 10:45. Given that the time you actually get seen slips more the later you are because of how appointments overrun , I'm expecting quite a delay tomorrow.

Add to this the fact I'll need drugs from the pharmacy which is another hour and I'm going to be at the hospital for quite a while tomorrow and again on Thursday when I am having three units of blood which will take about four or five hours.

So to cope with this I'm getting prepared for things to keep me occupied. I haven't listened to any of my usual podcasts this week and will take them loaded up on my iPod. I'll have my book with me, The Algebraist by Iain M Banks and as I am getting down to the last 100 pages I'll probably take a slim volume of short stories and a magazine to give some variety and make sure I don't run out.

Item one on the agenda with the doc tomorrow will be GCSF and my funny turns.

Now for a non-medical item.


As you know I am a great one for gadgets and, with the exception of ironing, not a great one for household chores. Therefore it was great to combine these two things a couple of years ago and purchase a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner made by the company I-Robot. This is a great little device that moves around a room cleaning as it goes. It's front part is a bumper that acts a sensor and when it bumps ito an obstacle it works its way round. You can see a video of it in operation here.

I had to buy a new battery for Robbie ( not a very original name I know ) recently as the old one wouldn't hold a charge anymore. Whilst surfing the 'net to find a good price I was reminded that the company I-Robot also makes "tactical" robots used for controlloed explosions and bomb disposal by the military. No really they do, look at the range available here.

Now you wouldn't want to make a mistake in that company's despatch department, would you?

Picture the scene, a hot and dusty road in downtown Baghdad, a US patrol is advancing cautiously forward. The sargeant signals a halt as he spots an old truck ahead parked badly by the side of the road.

"Control, this is patrol Red-1. We have a suspicious vehicle in sector 7G. Query IED?"

A burst of static and then the radio crackles a reply.

"Red-1, this is Control. Roger that. Prepare to deploy the PackBot to disarm device"

The sargeant calls up the jeep from the back of the patrol and two GIs start to unpack the robot from its case.

"Sarge, this robot looks kinda small" says one of the GIs squinting in the sunlight.

"Yeah well you know the lab boys always making things smaller. Now set that baby moving so we can get on"

The robot sets off towards the truck, sweat drips off the faces of the troops as they watch nervously from behind the jeep.

"Sarge, the robot's getting kind of close to the truck. Sarge I think it's going to bump into....."


Meanwhile in Newport, Rhode Island, Dale Swanson takes delivery of a present for his wife

"Marcia? Come take a look at what I got you. Something to help with the housework"

Wiping baking flower on her apron, Marcia Swanson enters the lounge.

"Now Dale is this another one of your expensive gadgets that won't work?"

"No Marcia this is a great little robot to do the hoovering for you. Help me lift the box off it."

"Dale that does look an awfully big ugly old thing. Are you sure about this?"

"Well it does look kinda different to the one of the infomercial. They must have updated it. Anyway just watch this baby go." Geoorge triumphantly presses the start button.

"See how it's working round the room? It's reaching right under the sofa and see, oh hang on what's that it's doing? Extending some kind of arm..........."



Gareth said…
you have far to much time on your hands. go do some more ironing!!
raetsel said…
and you Gareth should go issue some drawings :oP

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