the meanderings and word-play of a left-of-centre armchair activist - living and frequently struggling with moderate M.E. - where (bad) health, faith, politics and the joys and troubles of daily life collide.
For the past couple
of days I’ve been attempting to reactivate iolo System Mechanic 16.5 premium. I
first installed it on two old machines in February then, more recently, on a
newer machine where it seemed to be working fine.
Then came update
patch 220.127.116.11; since that time I’ve been unable to activate my key. Let me
re-phrase that: it has regularly informed me that it has successfully activated
and will fix any problems. Immediately when I press the FIX NOW button I’m
asked to submit & confirm my e-mail address or enter activation key. The
circle keeps on rolling round and paid for System Mechanic remins inactive.
@iolo_technologies suggested that my problems would be resolved by installing
patch 18.104.22.168 which contained a “bug fix” for people who had a problem with
activation keys on version 16.5.2. 212! Apparently some lucky buggers who were
having similar problems, to my current ones, have been blessed with a fix which
makes mine inoperable.
I’ve even downloaded
and installed a fresh copy of version 22.214.171.124, rather than from my IOLO CD,
and guess what. I’m still unable to activate this supposedly useful product. I’m
currently regretting having paid for a premium version.
I wrote, quite recently, about the
difficulty of defining / distinguishing an ache from a pain. This morning,
sundry expressions of the former were, rather rapidly, transformed into
examples of the latter.
Sudden onset nauseating aches in
fingers, wrists, elbows, knees and armpits soon had me curling up on the sofa,
upper arms clamped firmly to my side, fingers tightly intertwined and the heels
of my hands clasped firmly together.
At the same time, the heels of my
feet were drawn up close to the buttocks and, my forehead pressed onto my
clasped hands; the initial ache was temporarily subdued by my adopting this
unusual posture but, within a further ten minutes, the aches transmogrified
into acute sharp searing pain which manipulated lacrimal, salivary and mucous
glands into overdrive.
A sore grating feel to the throat,
such as may signify the onset of a cold, provided a counterpoint to those other
aches which by now had become a real pain!
It’s one of those times when
language seems to be somewhat limited, lacking in pertinent words to describe a
particular mode of being. What I have been experiencing, earlier today, is an
intense discomfort that not only induces nausea but, also brings me down into a
tearful state. This sensation, however, feels to me totally distinct from
anything that I would normally describe as pain; more like a dis-ease with the
way my flesh and bones fit into their enveloping skin.
Quite out of the blue, whilst doing a
bit of catching up (on e-mails, twitter feed etc.) on the laptop, my elbows
suddenly began to throbbingly ache in response to simple tapping on the
touch-pad, a sensation of tenderness in the axillary lymph nodes followed with
only a minimal delay; the nausea induced by these events meant I had to
immediately desist from any laptop activity. In response to this sensation I
swiftly donned my elasticated elbow supports to help alleviate the discomfort.
As I attempted to relax / recline on
the sofa, I suddenly became aware of a discomforting ache in both knees. Next
step was to don my elasticated knee supports. At this stage, I would still
describe what I was experiencing / undergoing as an intense discomfort rather
than pain; perhaps what I would describe as pain is more the experience of a sustained
sharply stabbing irritation rather than the initial chronic dull throbbing ache
of discomfort and dis-ease.
There are times that the simple
donning of supports eases the nauseating discomfort but, on other occasions
they prove less efficacious. As the discomfort moved more towards my pain zone,
time seemed appropriate to resort to pain-killers (100mg of tramadol); within
half-an-hour the discomfort and impending pain began to dissipate.
I’ve got to admit that the moment
when discomfort (chronic discomfort) and pain (acute pain) merge or transpose
is extremely hard to define, or even recognize. Sometimes, words quite simply
fail me and, the cussin’ swiftly takes over.
This post originally appeared on another blog of mine in 2005, based on some earlier scribblings of mine in an (unfriendly/hostile) online Christian Forum A Susceptibility to Faith?
After undergoing an evangelical conversion
experience at the age of 19, there followed a spell of fervent evangelising
(perhaps alienating rather than helping the victims of my outreach!). On
experiencing the more conservative social values of my evangelical peers, I was
forced, by the more "mature" Christians, to choose between Christ or
At this point I tried hard to reject my Christian faith, even to the point of
asking God to reveal the unforgivable sin to me! An involvement in political
activism, an investigation of Eastern religions, and a later dabbling with
drugs, somehow never managed to fill a God-shaped void in my life.
Eighteen months of born-again Christianity was followed by many years in the
wilderness. Various apparent coincidences led me back to a Christian faith,
sensing the prodigality of the Father's love as he came out to welcome me
despite my aversion to many of his ardent followers.
My journey this time was via existential & linguistic philosophy,
literature and biblical criticism, subsequently by degree and post-grad studies
The secular homophobic attitude of many evangelicals saddens me, a reminder of
the social conservatism that forced me to seek de-conversion nearly forty years
ago. Although evangelicals now recognize the need for committed social action,
their intolerance and fear of peoples sexuality can blind them to many real
injustices in society at large.
Isn't it strange that issues of militarism, party politics, usury etc. do not
bring the threat of schism to the Anglican communion! Arms dealing and
legalised extortion are obviously insignificant when compared to the issue of
My theology is now more liberal /radical than formerly yet, I still read and
study (contextually) the same scriptures, follow the same Lord and am prompted
by what seems to to be the same Holy Spirit as my evangelical brothers &
Is it a psychological weakness on my part, that I need FAITH, or is Faith my
necessary means to overcome the apparent impossibility of deriving an ought
from an is?
FAITH is that set of values, and ultimate
questions, by which we lead our lives. Questions and doubts are an integral
component of faith, if we are not to become stuck in a rut of blind belief. I
have been grasped by certain concepts and values of community and compassion,
and much of the reported teachings of Jesus (acclaimed by many as the Christ),
throughout my life, both those in which I have been unwittingly indoctrinated
and, those which I have arrived at or returned to through a prolonged period of
It has always seemed a major mystery that some
people seem to "need a faith", some "seek a faith" by which
to measure their life’s course whilst others are quite simply
"grasped" by an ultimate concern which they have neither sought nor
been aware of a need for.
In my personal journey, I have at times
embraced (or been embraced) by each of these modes yet, a deep rooted
scepticism has proffered me a deep rooted intellectual and emotional resistance
to making room for such a faith. That same stubborn resistance also occurs when
anyone attempts to fob me off with multifarious scientific hypotheses
disguising them as facts. I suppose I’m slightly averse to ‘fundamentalisms’ be
they secular or religious.
Perhaps, with my low level reserves of
physical and emotional stamina, I do not pro-actively fight for my beliefs as
much as I should, but the mystery of LOVE (almost) always compels me to accept
a transcendent reality.
I am "grasped" by the person and
work of Jesus the Christ yet, am unable to accept much of the dogmatic
doctrinal baggage with which he has been encumbered. Some emphasize his
humanity, others his divinity, fully God and fully man proves a bit of a
conundrum yet, in this myth of the Christ many, including myself, have
found the strength to challenge the social and economic injustices of our day.
In spite of my deeply rooted sceptical nature,
it is far easier to accept the existence of God (all the flawed ontological/
teleological arguments for His/Her/Its existence notwithstanding) than it is to
understand how it is possible that so much bigotry, intolerance and, upholding
of the status quo can possibly be carried out in the name of Jesus Christ. It’s
as if the ideological baggage of state blessed Christendom has blinded us to
the truly radical nature of the Christ.
Piper gently whines missing his
mistress, and (the now back home) recuperating Beth; no matter how he laments
these absences, regardless of duration, they never seem to affect his appetite.
The prospect of a treat brings out his sunnier disposition, and his heart
melting gaze of adoration; a non-stop supply of food would be his idea of
I can frequently be a miserable
bugger, feeling totally emasculated as physical and emotional stamina rarely
seems up to (e.g. furniture shifting / re-arranging) tasks that once would have
been a doddle.
No matter how much I appreciate
those activities that I can (and do) manage, an aggressive and anxiety laden
self-pity, far too often, takes over. Our wonderful hound quite frequently
alleviates these more morose moments, just by his close proximity and his
readiness to please.
started with a generalized non-specific ache, nothing major this time, aching
rather than painfully discomforted. Part and parcel of these aches is a
sensation as if an arterial infusion has embalmed one into a state of physical,
spiritual and emotional shatteredness, a temporary shutting down of any
apparent future light. I manage to upset my beloved OH as a result of my wimp
inspired tetchiness, a fear of being alone, a fear of physical collapse.
day went on, utilizing a 7" tablet pc seemed to put too much stress on my
arms; an ache in the elbows transmogrified into a sensation of bruised
tenderness in the armpits and down the inside of both upper arms. The
application of tubular bandage and elasticated support to the elbows seemed to
alleviate the most nausea-inducing element of the discomfort although, by this
time I was already donning knee-supports in preparation for the dog's evening
touch of IBS and a throbbing headache to the equation, and what do we have?
Just a(nother) perfect day.