Sunday, 11 May 2014

More Audacious Projects

So anyway, I got up early yesterday morning. Not because I had anywhere specific to be or anything specific to do. I was awake and happened to be dressed before I realised how early it was. With loads of spare time, I decided to convert a couple of cassette tapes to mp3. I had converted the 2 I'd chosen already, but the sound quality was poor. It was never going to be perfect from cassettes that are almost 20 years old but I knew I could get it better than what it was.
So I got out the tapes again and put a drop of white spirit on the sponge bit underneath the tape in the cassettes and cleaned the heads of the cassette player. It was a bit of an improvement in volume, but the clarity (or lack thereof) was still that of cassettes that had been played a lot over the early years after purchase. Still, at least they're on the usb stick and copied to the memory card in the phone.
After that I decided to try something else. There are songs on the usb stick that won't play on windows media player without a codex. They are not mp3 files. But I copied them to the phone memory card as well to see if the Walkman app would play them. It worked out fine. Now I have the songs that I used to have on the old Nokia E5 on the Xperia.
The Walkman app is handy for playing different audio files. The portable cassette player just needs to be plugged into a usb port to work. The Audacity software is available to download without the player and can export recorded media to mp3 and wav files.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Vitamin D

So this is about my coeliac condition. I had to go to Tralee today and there was a letter at the door as I was leaving the apartment. I didn't get to open it until I was on the bus. It was a prescription for vitamin D. There was also a note attached from the Doctor at the coeliac clinic in Galway. My blood test for vitamin D level showed 28. This, I'm told, is very low. It should be greater than 50. Anyway I came to Tralee and ate a fantastic dinner at The Gluten Free Kitchen Company. I had chicken goujons. I also had a vitamin juice since I thought it might be helpful considering the letter earlier. I wasn't going to have anything else but the owner (who's a gorgeous woman, but that's beside the point) suggested dessert and I remember seeing photos of what was available on their Facebook page. I didn't resist the temptation and went for an eclair. I booked into a b&b then because I have an interview for a Fás course early in the morning. Public transport would not get me there on time that morning. That's why I had to travel the day before.
At this stage the prescription had slipped my mind. I was just settling into the b&b when the phone rang. It was my doctor's surgery. The practice nurse was calling to let me know she got a letter from the coeliac clinic about my low vitamin D level. She ensured that I had the prescription. She made an appointment for the following week. Basically I have to get 2 injections, 3 months apart, of the vitamin D prescription. I suspected they'd be low because there is so little sun over the winter that the body cannot generate it. But I never thought I'd need injections. Especially since we're coming up to the summer. In the original blood tests in September, that I got the diagnosis from, my vitamin D level was perfect - as the doctor put it - a testament to how much sun we got last summer.
But ever since I was diagnosed I've always done my best to be upbeat and positive. The positive from this is the level of care, after care and support I'm getting from my gp and the coeliac clinic. It's keeping me positive in a week where I'm experiencing symptoms as a result of my previous visit to Kerry. I need to be more careful preparing food away from my own place so that I don't get "glutened".