# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)
Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.
Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.
A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with an umbilical hernia. As it turns out, it is something that I've been living with for a few years now. A slight discomfort every now and then, but no pain or other complications. I knew something was up, but I rationalized it as part of the non-negligible weight gain I had suffered over the past few years.
To say that I am uncomfortable around doctors and hospitals would be an understatement, so my reluctance to look into it further was considerable. But eventually, I had the good sense to do the right thing.
In a few weeks, I'll be undergoing an operation for them to fix me up, and then taking two weeks off to recuperate fully before the new semester.
(The offhandedness of this comment masks a considerable amount of anxiety and fear, but a lot less then I felt at the time of diagnosis. I've been working on my state of mind, preparing myself, building my calm, happy place...)
"Tell us again why you decided to quit your PhD?"
Yes, health was a major factor in my decision. Since dropping my PhD, I have lost a a noticeable amount of weight. The doctor says I weight the same as I did in 2002... still too much, but a lot less then I did six months ago. Don't ask me how much, I don't know. I don't believe in using a scale: if I can't feel it or see it, it isn't enough.