I was going to write today about my medical benefits agent, as there's a lot of comedy in that, and I did. It's sitting in a text file on my laptop. I'll send it out tommorow. Today I want to talk about, hopefully for the last time, my wrists. They hurt. Still. I know of at least one person on this mailing list that is having wrist pain...I dunno if his is carpal tunnel syndrome or not. The fact is that like 70% and higher of the wrist pain cases in the computer industry just simply are not carpal tunnel syndrome. That's not denial on my part, btw. Frequently it's tendonitis or something else. I started typing this email on a Kinesis brand keyboard. It was a brilliant design that is completely useless to me. There's a picture of it at http://www.kinesis-ergo.com/contspec.html ...this thing costs more than 250 dollars. Unbelievable. Again, this keyboard can help a lot of people, I'm fairly certain. A lot of people also learned at some point to touch-type. I never did. After spending about 15 minutes trying to write a small paragraph to Kara, I gave up on this thing. Which is a shame, because not only does it rest your hands in a really good "natural" position, but it really alleviates the need almost entirely for any kind of hand movement (the space key is hit by your right thumb and the backspace is your left...it's wild.)...largely I've discovered that my modified hunt-and-peck typing style (which is completely undistinguishable from real typing after all these years) fails miserably on this thing. First, my hands come to rest at an offset of one from the "home row"...that is, my left hand hits capslock (or whatever), A, S, and D instead of A,S,D, and F, whereas my right lands on K, L, ";", and "'" instead of J, K, L, ";" ...it's completely subconscious. Furthermore, I hit the T key with my right hand half the time, and the "Y" key with my left more often than not...since these keys are in the wrong "bowl" for those hands to hit them, I find myself trying really hard not to reach across the keyboard for them. This makes this keyboard instinctually impossible for me to use. Ironically, I find my posture getting worse as I lean forward to try and see into the curves and see where the key I want to hit is located. At any rate, I really wanted that keyboard to solve all my problems, but alas, it will not. But a word about my posture; it is absolute horrible. Any one that's seen me in person already knows me to be completely slouched over anyhow, but that only worsens at the computer. I hunch over the keys, rest my wrists on the table (which bends them at a decidedly awkward and unhealthy angle), and type by twisting my wrists from a bad angle to a distinctly worse one, depending on what I'm trying to do. My quick fix (which I had never thought of before I just typed that last paragraph) is to move the keyboard to the edge of the table. This prevents me from resting my wrists down, which in itself makes me adopt the more ergonomic stance of typing above the keyboard, much like a piano player...uh, plays. It also forces me to lean back a little more, improving my posture. Knowing me, the chair will just slide back subconsciously and I'll slump forward to type like the Hunchback of Notre Dame again. Also, prime suspect #1 (er...besides the last 7 months of 12-hour development days) is my laptop. Sony VAIO N505VE...it's a tiny little grasshopper, for those that haven't seen it, but it is MURDER on my wrists, usually because of where I use it as much as the miniscule keyboard and mousepad positioning. Oops, there goes Xwrits. More in a second. Anyhow, other stuff. Today I checked my balance with 1-800-WACHOVIA, and I'm down to 98 bucks in checking. This means they received my check. Good. So I verify who cashed what, and find that one of the bills was paid. That means the checks have also hit town. Good. Of course, if the 40 dollar bill is the only one paid out of 386 bucks worth of paycheck, where's the rest? Apparently Wachovia changed my account (since I'm no longer a student) to no longer have overdraft protection. Which is fine, if you ask me. The assumption is that if I don't have the money in my account, my Visa check card should then just decline to process a purchase. Cool. Before, it would process it, the overdraft protection would dump 200 bucks in the account, and I'd have X days to pay that 200 off and I'd be fine. But my assumption is incorrect. Here is what ACTUALLY happens: I make a 5 dollar purchase on my card (for example), and my checking account can't cover it. Wachovia pays that five bucks, and charges me 28 bucks in fees. Seeing as all my gas and hotel rooms were on this card to get here, I have at least 5 (and maybe more) overdrafts on my account. So, unbeknowest to me, I spent about 140 or so bucks of my first paycheck here at Loki on overdraft fees. Thanks a million, Wachovia. By the way, no one directly told me they had changed my account...some telephone operator at one point several months ago, said she was "updating my record," which I assumed meant updating the telephone number and address, since I had moved. Can I sue for this? :) So the short of it is that either the phone bill or the cable bill will clear, but not both. Unless the overdraft thing "works" and I just pay an extra 28 bucks at my leisure to keep the power running. This is also assuming that the mail got in before the due date. Ugh. I'm done bitching, now. Tommorow's update will actually be funny, I promise. :) --ryan.