Home > General Ramblings, Linux > First, Some Linux News…Then, My Colonoscopy Countdown

First, Some Linux News…Then, My Colonoscopy Countdown

I have two completely different topics on my mind today. First up: this has been an exciting week so far in the world of GNU/Linux. Ubuntu 10.10, or ‘Maverick Meerkat’ was released this past Sunday on 10/10/10. Right now I’m using Pinguy OS on our main desktop computer, which is based on Ubuntu 10.04, and I’m very happy with it.  The new version of Pinguy OS (based on Ubuntu 10.10) should be out soon. But I was curious so I downloaded Maverick Meerkat a couple of days ago just to try it out. And it looks and runs very nicely. I’ve read that there are some changes in Ubuntu 10.10 that should help with optimizing system performance in general. And of course there’s all the talk about better integration with ‘the cloud’ which I don’t care as much about. But Ubuntu certainly has come a long way since I first installed version 8.04 a couple of years ago (my first foray into Linux) in terms of ease of use and the look and feel of the operating system.

Then just yesterday Linux Mint 10 ‘Julia’ was released, one of my favorites, also based on Ubuntu 10.10 but which has become a fabulous and very innovative distro in its own right (and the fourth most used computer operating system in the world!) I burned it to CD and booted our old Dell laptop with it, and in about five minutes decided to install Mint 10 over Mint 8 which has been running on it for quite a while.

I’ve got to say, Linux Mint 10 is great! And it actually feels like the old laptop hardware runs a little quicker with Mint 10. It really feels spunkier, looks beautiful and graphic effects seem to work even better than before, right out of the box, as they say. It’s a joy to use. I think Linux Mint, Pinguy OS or Ubuntu are perfect choices for someone new to Linux. Installation is incredibly quick and easy. And though most applications the average user would want (OpenOffice, Firefox, GIMP, VLC Media Player, Brasero Disc Burner, Rythymbox Music Player, etc.) are preinstalled, installing other software is incredibly easy. I just love these distros more and more, and the GNU/Linux community in general. It just amazes me how quickly operating systems can develope and improve in an open source environment!

My new Mint 10 installation

Here are links to more thorough info and reviews for those interested:

Ubuntu – The Flagship Linux Desktop Distro

Linux Mint 10 “Julia” RC First Impressions and Feature Walk Through

A Linux that works

So, that’s my Linux rant for a while. Now we move on to an even more… intimate?… topic.

The last time I visited my doctor for a checkup he suggested it was time for a colonoscopy. It’s recommended when one reaches 50 years of age, and since I’m now 54 it was high time. So even though my blood test came back good, I somehow found myself agreeing to have it done.

The dreaded day is this Friday, October 22nd. Now the idea of having a plumbing snake with a camera inserted up my rectum is certainly unpleasant enough. But the entire day before the ‘procedure’ I can’t eat anything, only clear liquid. Luckily the appointment is at 8am Friday morning, but still, the thought of not being able to eat for over 24 hours is what’s really scaring the hell out of me! Because of my unique (or uniquely strange) metabolism, it’s difficult for me to go more that four or five hours without solid food, preferably protein, without my blood sugar level getting flaky. And if I go for longer than that I can get really irritable. So the thought of subsisting on chicken broth for a day and a night is becoming seriously scary as the day approaches.

I’ve talked with other guys who have had this done, and they say it’s not that bad. Or at least because of the drugs they give you, you don’t remember much afterward. But it’s the day before that I’m dreading now. By Thursday night things may get really ugly around here! So I’m really, really trying to think of this as an opportunity for growth, for a deeper awareness of  my own body and of why and how much food I actually consume just because I love to eat. And God, do I love to eat! This morning I looked at the sheet the doctor sent me, and it said today I have to stop eating anything with raw fruits, raw vegetables, or wheat. Man, that last one is especially tough! You wouldn’t believe how much I kept thinking about donuts!

This morning Arthur and I went over to Genesee Valley Park in Rochester after dropping Fiona off for her reading class. Usually we stop at a Dunkin Donuts for a breakfast sandwich and perhaps (probably) a donut. But I valiently fought the urge! It was a cool but glorious day. The sun came out and we strolled among blazing gigantic oaks under a bright blue sky. We wandered over endless acres of golf course, and what did I find on the leaf-strew grass, but a golf ball with a Dunkin Donuts logo on it! I’d never seen a golf ball with a product name on it; this was weird! Then as we walked along an old trail near East River Road, amidst the aroma of fallen leaves I swear I caught the scent of baked goods drifting on the chill air. And it smelled like donuts! Arthur noticed it too!

Then on the way back toward the car on the old park road we had passed earlier, we found a blue plastic donut. The baby toy kind of donut of different sizes that stack on a plastic post. And I swear we had not noticed it earlier. Right in the middle of the road. The universe was taunting me!

Anyway, I hate to bore you, gentle readers, with my gastrointestinal angst. But I started thinking it might be interesting, perhaps to no one but myself, to chronicle the next few days until this ordeal is over. So here goes. Maybe this will prove to be a valuable lesson in transcending my thraldom to food. Perhaps, beyond my donut attachment there lies Nirvana. (But then again, maybe true Nirvana can be found at Donuts Delite!)

Time will tell…

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