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May 23, 2003
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Jet Li, Ergonomics, and Haircuts

10:37 pm: Jet woke up late again, at 7:30. I think he may be making a habit of it, though he's also going to sleep late to match. We got a hasty breakfast in before Jet and I headed to Joan's. She was doing garage sales so she called John to tell him that she would drop Jet off at noon, after getting Alex from school.

So I had the morning at work, and I really needed it. I would set something up on the laptop and let it go and install things. I'd get coffee, use the restroom, or do work on the removable disk desktop machine. Then I'd wander back to the laptop and do some more. I got caught up in it until Bob came by to lend me his copy of Jet Li's "Hero". It's the latest Johnny Mo movie, that was released last year. It's supposed to have a US release this coming summer, but Bob managed to find a DVD of it on www.dvdasia.com. Just for the fun of it, I looked up Fong Sai Yuk there, and only found the second movie. They called it The Legend 2, though, so, for the fun of it, I looked for The Legend.

There was one movie called Jet Li: The Legend. While there was no other Fong Sai Yuk, I thought this might be intriguing, too. So I brought up the description and blinked a few times when it said that Jet Li joins a secret society and goes to save his father. Then it said that Jet Li (Fong Sai Yuk)...

AH! This was the first movie!! It was released by Dimension movies, so I bought it. Right then and there. It's been so long that we've been looking for that movie that it seemed like the right thing to do.

Bob was the one that reminded me of the ergonomics lecture that we were getting from a professor from Cornell University. Someone had said "CU" and I thought that that was the University of Colorado, as they swap the letters here. But it turns out that the guy's from an ergonomics lab in Cornell. The lecture was really good. It made a lot of sense and gave good reasons for why I can do some things and can't do others and why sitting with my keyboard in my lap is probably one of the best ways for me to work. It also explained why the track ball actually trashed my arms and wrists, and why my laptop might be a problem source until I can plug my regular keyboard into it.

I liked the lecture a lot. It turns out that the worst problems people have usually come from hand position. If the hands are flipped up over the wrists, there are likely to be problems. The trackball, for instance, made that position very much the only way to get it to work. The next thing is having your head bend down to see things for laptops and my Visor setup. Then there's the angle of how one sits. They found a simple correlation between the angle from upright people sit and the probability of being injured. People that sit back in their chairs are far, far less likely than people who sit 20 or even 40 degrees forward. The more forward the more likelihood of getting injured. That was really interesting to know.

Mice seem to have provided a constant wrist problem. He and his lab have been working on a touch surface that doubles as a numeric keypad and as a 'gesture' setup. Laying your hand on a flat surface actually protects the carpal area and all the nerves that come from it. Wrist rests, if one puts ones wrists on them, actually make everything far, far worse. It puts pressure on the most fragile part of the structures, and it makes it much harder for the muscles and tendons to work. Palm rests, however, work just fine because the palm is shaped to protect the vulnerable bits.

So I learned a lot. I also got several slices of pizza before heading back to work. I finished a few network intensive things that would have been nearly impossible from home. And it was 1 when I was done. So I called John to say that I was coming home and I'd drop my package off at the post office.

Rocket Mouse actually survived the whole lecture. It's a mouse that doesn't make my wrist do anything. It doesn't require holding my arm away from my body, and it does work very well indeed. The problem is that my laptop really requires a usb connection, so I asked RocketMouse if I could return my PS2 mouse for a USB mouse. I made it very clear that I'd been the one that screwed up, and they were still good enough to tell me that I could exchange it if I wanted, for a $5.95 reshipping fee.

Since a PS2 to UCB connector, at it's cheapest was $6.95 plus shipping or state tax, that seemed like a great deal to me. So I mailed it back, today, to them, very carefully packed and protected. I liked it a lot, and I already miss it. When I went back to work on my machine I really missed having it.

Home again, and Jet was fast asleep. So John and I worked for a while before Jet work up. I nursed him and then tried to feed him some lunch. It kind of worked when he went and got himself a block of ramen to chew on when he really didn't want the corn dog that I'd made him.

Since it's going to be a big weekend, we had plans for the evening. John had a three o' clock meeting and while he was meeting, I packed up the van. Right at four, I strapped Jet into his car seat and right when John got out of his meeting we all piled into the Eurovan and headed up to Longmont to Linda's salon. She's moved out, moved back in when there was a new owner, and there were a lot of changes to the salon. That was very cool!

Jet didn't want to get his hair cut, so I went first, and he watched. At first in some fear, but then as I repeated that getting my hair cut wasn't owie, he finally relaxed enough to go outside and play with his cars for a while. When I was done, I asked Linda to get a sucker, and she went and got two for Jet. The first one was enough to keep him still enough in the seat that she could get started. Once she was started, Jet, himself, was fascinated enough by the whole process to watch and stay still for the whole thing. That was pretty cool.

John got his usual number 1 cut, just buzzed it all off, and Jet and I played outside while that happened. Then we all bushed ourselves off, and headed to the neighboring Albertson's for groceries. We stocked up while chasing a very grumpy and very active Jet through the whole store. He had absolutely no desire to cooperate with us, and he had his very own ideas of what we should be buying and what he should be doing to all the displays that caught his eyes. Oops.

It was exhausting, and he was thoroughly crabby by the time we held him down and strapped him into his car seat. So we took him to a nearby McDonald's when we figured out it was well past dinner time. Unfortunately, he took one look at the play area and ran into it and disappeared while we were still thinking about what food to get. Eventually, John caught him long enough to get his shoes off and I pounced on him when he got off a slide in order to get his socks off. With his socks on other kids had to help him up some of the plastic bits. With them off, he was able to get anywhere he wanted.

Jet played for an entire hour, with brief breaks to drink pop before he was off again. When the hour was done, though, we were able to get him into his car seat without any protest and he ate all four of his McNuggets with brief sips of pop. That was very impressive. He was also very much more a content little guy than when we'd gone in. So we've proven, yet again, that it's very important to tire the toddler out.

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