More Data

More Data

Oh I do love fiddling with data.  I’m not an academic, but I find a certain level of satisfaction in problem solving. After my previous post I was feeling peeved that to get what I really wanted (total control over the data) I would have to buy a premium plugin.

No longer!

The charts below are generated using a lightweight (and free!) plugin, Inline Google Spreadsheet Viewer.  Everything is controlled in one shortcode, edited manually using  a slew of attributes available from the Google API. And the best part? All the data is being pulled on the fly from the spreadsheets on Google Docs, so if I want to edit them I just go into the spreadsheet in question and change the values. Job done.

The food pie chart is a little misleading as it reads as if I’ve been stuffing carbs all day. The actual carb content overall came to 182g which is clearly not a days worth of food. I’m not sure how to best represent this, as there isn’t a ‘total grams consumed’ option in MyFitness Pal, and their exports require a premium subscription. No thanks. Also there are no calories in there, as they aren’t the same unit of measurement, so have to be mutually exclusive.

In truth, I would rather have used Chart.js as it’s charts are absolutely gorgeous. But this gives me the tools I want, with the added bonus of on-the-fly editing and data fed from a dynamic, external source. And no forking out for a one-off or recurring fee.

Archives

Soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside – Dermatillo!

I keep starting this post and deleting it. This time I’ll try and get to the end…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an issue with damaging my own fingers deliberately. I really don’t like the phrase “skin picking” but it’s pretty accurate. It used to be just my index fingers on both hands, but I’ve noticed as my levels of anxiety increase, the amount of damage I’m doing goes up as well.  So middle fingers are no longer safe. If I’m honest, I’ll have a go at any part of me that has a scab to the point where it’s permanently scarred, but most of the time it’s my fingers. Lewis would tell me off in bed at night; apparently the soft ‘thud thud thud’ of me removing skin from my digits isn’t particularly conducive to getting a good night’s sleep.

Scared fingers

I had no idea there was a name for it until I did some idle googling one day. So now I have a name for my pain, and that is Batman Dermatillomania . I found Xojane’s article particularly helpful for pinpointing what’s wrong (with me). I’m not sure I can accurately describe why I do it. Often, it’s not even a conscious effort. Lewis and I were meeting with a client about a year ago, and when we walked out I realised that my fingers were bloody. I’d been peeling skin off under the table without even giving it any real thought.

The NHS article on dermatillomania notes the following:

It’s typical to experience an intense urge to pick the skin, with increasing tension until they do. After picking, there is a sense of relief.

I don’t find it a relief. Quite honestly it’s right bastard painful sometimes. Yet I still do it. Even better, having arthritis in my hands seems to be giving me incredibly dry knuckles, which seem to be able to defy any and all creams I’ve bought over the years. Even my favourite – Neutrogena Deep Moisture Comfort Balm, (which saw me through years of working in restaurants)  can’t breathe life back into my knuckles. It gives me another area I can badger and peel until it bleeds. I used to wear plasters on my fingers, but then it became something of a challenge for me to see if I could lift them and pick away at my fingers without dislodging  the plaster. I don’t bother anymore.

Robot Hugs has an excellent web comic, which touches on this. The part that particularly chimes with me is about the fingerpad rubbing against the other finger. That’s a typical jumping point for me also… I rub, rub, rub and as my fingertip picks up the imperfections of the already torn other finger the compulsion takes over and I start to strip those annoying (healing) bumps away. Common sense tells me if I leave it alone, it will heal. But common sense took the first bus out of town.

 

Skin

 

The following (not very pleasant) photos were taken over the course of a few months, I thought if I took photos of how sore they were it might help prevent me doing it again. That didn’t really work…I wouldn’t say these are the worst they’ve ever been but they’re pretty close to what they look like on any given day.  If I haven’t bitten, chewed or picked them for a few weeks they just look scarred and red at the ends.  I suspect my fingerprints would look pretty odd.

 

Time Flies….

Sleepy whippet

It almost seems impossible but little Miah is 17 months old next week. She wasn’t the easiest puppy in the beginning, but she’s grown into a gorgeous girl and we don’t regret having her for a single minute.

She free runs with other dogs, can be trusted around adults and children alike. She travels in the car without a grumble and even stays in hotel rooms without incident.

Love her to bits. heart

Whippet reclining

Miah

Character Commissions

Character Commissions

This post has been ported over from the original Ninja Beaver website

Some time back, I realised that I couldn’t play Guild Wars as much as I used to due to work commitments, so I decided to offer to do portraits of other people’s characters in exchange for ingame goodies such as ecto, plat or Z-keys. If that is meaningless to you, you’re probably on the wrong page.

However, as time went on I found a few things.

Not everyone is as honest as me, and some people who I uploaded completed works for, downloaded them and I never heard from them again. In one case the players name didn’t even exist when I tried to get in touch ingame. Yes, I am probably a fool for taking people at face value, but it’s a game, not real life. Chasing clients is not something I plan to expend any energy on in a game.

Time, or lack of it. I got married, had a honeymoon and came back to a pile of work that was so backed up I had to disappear for a while, but I made it back and did a couple more.

Life gets in the way. In recent years we have had to cope with many things: redundancy, a new business and family illness. Obviously not in order of importance..

I don’t really play Guild Wars anymore.

Again… time. I just don’t have the time to do work that doesn’t pull in income or expand the business.

So right now, I am not doing commissions. If that changes I will post in the blog and/or change this page. In the meantime, if you have followed this link from the contact page to see what it’s about and still want a commission.. please don’t email me, as the answer will still be “no” I’m afraid.

Sarah

For Dad.

Mum, Dad and the pups

We lost dad a year ago, today. The truth is though, we lost him before then. Alzheimer’s has been in the news lately due to Terry Pratchett, but there are other types of dementia such as DLB and Vascular Dementia. Dad had the latter. Physically he was gone less than a year after he was diagnosed, but the man he was faded so fast it’s still hard to comprehend what happened.

I have so many regrets, I wish we had asked more questions, pushed harder with the doctor who told him he had “depression”, I wish we hadn’t let him go into hospital. I wish he had been able to understand me when I told him I was going to be having the grand-daughter of his & mum’s cherished racing whippet, WCRCh Tinkers Moonshadow.

I wish it was easier to remember him the way he used to be before all this happened… but most of all, I wish he was still here.

We miss you dad xxx

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