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Messages - Rockhorst

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Build Reports / Re: Build Report Bonanza
« on: September 01, 2019, 03:09:06 PM »
Great looking builds outside and inside!

p.s. I'll hook you up with some more stuff to build, hopefully soon! As promised!

Open Discussion / Re: A member is in distress
« on: August 09, 2019, 12:01:37 PM »
That sounds like a real roller coaster what he went through. Get well soon and back to strengths Rej!

Open Discussion / Re: Boss Waza Craft Buffer
« on: July 26, 2019, 03:14:04 PM »
Forgot to steal that waza pedal for a few days. Will try again soon.

Open Discussion / Re: Just Saying -- the soapbox thread
« on: July 20, 2019, 02:33:12 PM »
I just want to mention that I went to see X-Men: Dark Phoenix today and I thought it was EXCELLENT for the most part, as far as I'm concerned. It gets shit reviews but I only got a little bit distracted in the middle of the train scene at the end. I see some possible improvements (like the aliens being actually quite redundant) but it felt REAL and convincing to me. Something most MCU movies, especially the Avengers ones, fail me on. It think, together with Logan and Days of Future Past it makes my top 3 of X-men movies. Sadly, most X movies aren't that much to write home about. This one was, I believe, well executed at least.

On a related note, I'm always a little amazed at the insanely high ratings, by critics and audience, the Avengers movies receive. Other example: Pacific Rim. I'm going to rewatch that to see what I think about it now...I just remember it did NOT live up to the rave reviews as far as I'm concerned.

Related note #2, tying in to the LOTR 'plot hole' discussion: the way Midwayfair explained that one actually makes sense in that universe. All powerful beings in other films, like a Captain Marvel in Avengers, are much less satisfying. My girlfriend said that Jean in Dark Phoenix is a little like Captain Marvel in that regard, which sold the story short for her...and I can see that in hind sight, but it didn't bug me in the theater (Captain Marvel DID though).

Open Discussion / Re: Boss Waza Craft Buffer
« on: July 20, 2019, 02:18:05 PM »
I'll borrow a Waza from the guitar store I do repair jobs for and check the insides after the weekend, see what I can spot.

Open Discussion / Re: (the impact of) dermatitis and eczema
« on: May 28, 2019, 12:39:59 AM »
Wishing you the best mate, that sounds like a hard slog.  Its easy to underestimate the effect long term health problems have on your mental state.  How slowly it takes effect, so slow sometimes you dont even realise the dark tunnel you have been travelling down. But even if your condition is a lifelong journey, there must be ways to improve your situation.  There is always hope of improvement. Hoping things turn around buddy.

Thanks Paul, it's much improved right now, don't have to spend a whole lot of time on it. The dark tunnel thing is a good description, glad I'm out of it. Let's hope it's going to be a nice long stretch.

Open Discussion / Anybody playing Star Wars Battlefront 2?
« on: May 27, 2019, 02:58:06 AM »
So I decided I'd like to play a game again and being a Star Wars nerd I decided to jump into Battlefront 2, two years after release. It's a bit of a grind to get the abilities up to par with players that have been there for a long time but I find it greatly enjoyable (and way to much of a distraction). The game is still regularly updated. I was wondering if there's anybody here that plays it, so I can be on the lookout for you :)

Open Discussion / Re: (the impact of) dermatitis and eczema
« on: May 27, 2019, 02:51:09 AM »
Better yet, those glasses should be connected to my scalp with electrodes that read my brain waves so I can control the lenses with my mind.

A multifocal lens implant was an option at additional cost, but supposedly the experience with those is that there's never a truly sharp image and a lot of halos around lights in the dark. So I opted not to go for that.

Open Discussion / Re: (the impact of) dermatitis and eczema
« on: May 27, 2019, 01:24:53 AM »
Thanks for the tip Dave. The right eye has very blurred and washed out vision but funnily enough it provides enough feedback to still see depth. Yesterday though, I looked at a PCB with my +3.0 reading glasses and was again amazed at all the details I could see but hadn't seen in months. I also looked at the previous soldering attempt before the oh my that was pretty bad. The thing to now get used to is having to switch out glasses a lot. Because the left eye has only one fixed focus point (about 2.5 meters away), looking at a computer screen requires +1.25 glasses, grading tests is +2.0 glasses and fine detailed work needs +3.0. So when the other eye has had surgery, I'm probably going to get +1.25 glasses with a hint of 2.25 in there and then it should be workable in most every situation. As you may know, I teach physics at the high school level, so I'm constantly doing eye experiments, determining and checking the focal length of the left eye lens. It still shifts around a bit, but is getting close to settling.

Open Discussion / Re: (the impact of) dermatitis and eczema
« on: May 24, 2019, 01:26:52 AM »
Update: had cataract surgery on my left eye last week. The left eye was almost blind. It was an amazing experience to have the veil lifted. I see details that I haven't seen in months. I was amazed of what my son actually looks like, that there are separate leafs on trees, tiny wrinkles in skin...that sort of stuff. I haven't tried soldering yet but hope to get to it this weekend. Next eye in 2 months.

Open Discussion / Re: (the impact of) dermatitis and eczema
« on: April 12, 2019, 09:46:02 AM »
I'm luckily on the way back to relatively normal. The eczema is quiet, hope to get the eyes fixed soon. That should help a lot.
Thanks to everyone for commenting, also some people sent me PMs, very much appreciated. If one thing is showing from this thread is how big of a problem this is, not just for me but for a significant portion of other people here. I'm thankful for all the positive support and hope that it has an effect both ways, that me writing about it may help some others.

Open Discussion / Re: (the impact of) dermatitis and eczema
« on: April 11, 2019, 01:01:25 AM »
@EBK: if there's anything to take from my story, be careful with the meds but do battle the eczema before it takes over.

@Gordy: I'm in the Netherlands. Compared to people in the US, we have 'free' health care...I'm reponsible for the first $800 of my total health care cost in a year, after that the community pays for it. Socialism, it works. So no need for a go fund me.

@DLW: very interesting meeting an expert on this here. The biological I've heard of is called Dupilumab and supposedly it's a bit of a miracle. One injection and you're clean for about 3 weeks or so. Estimated cost a year is $15k to $30k. As long as the creme works, I'm on creme. After that there's normally pills like ciclosporine which wrecks the kidneys. My dermatologist wants to argue the case to the health insurer to skip that in favor of the biological when it becomes necessary.

Right now, the skin is relatively quiet and my mind is pretty clear. Lots of stuff that I didn't get to over the past few months, hopefully I can make a dent in that pile soon.

A few weeks ago there was an article in the news paper of a woman who has a really, really, really severe case. When the wind graces her skin, it already starts to crack. Compared to that my stuff is peanuts (yet already unbearable at times).

Open Discussion / (the impact of) dermatitis and eczema
« on: April 10, 2019, 04:07:08 PM »
I've been putting this write up off for a while. On the other hand I've seen others share very personal stuff here and I think it might be therapeutic...IRL I notice how much talking about it improves at least my mental state of being. So here it goes.

I was born with eczema. Lots of people have it in some form or the other. Standard treatment is steroid cremes. Some people out grow the disease. With me it's been getting steadily worse over time. The cause (at least for me) is very clearly auto-immune. My body basically attacks itself, specifically the skin. It becomes itchy, I sratch, bacteria get in and infect the place, regularly resulting in quite enormous inflamed bumps in random places. This ranges from a few centimeters to half of my face. When it's in the neck, it becomes hard to turn my head. Once it was actually pressing on my wind pipe. Stuff like that. The skin is very dry at times, red and raised, warm and itchy.

Last summer was very hot in The Netherlands. Basically I spent 4 weeks in bed, because anything else was unbearable. When I returned to work (teaching) in September I was not well rested and had not had my mental 'reset'. I had also lost my faith in dermatologists. So as the symptoms kept getting worse and worse, I did not go see the dermatologist. They'll just give me another creme, it'll work for a bit and then everything is back to being F'ed up, so why bother. I tried to ignore the urge to scratch but as soon as I got home from work I'd lose control. I'd regularly scratch my face raw in a towel for instance. The mechanism is this: for a brief moment you feel release and the pain from the scratch drowns out the itch. 10 seceonds after you stop you start to feel very sorry though, because of the damage done to the skin that will keep the cycle going. A few times a day I feel myself heating up from the inside and I go off, unless there's somebody else pressure helps.

Something else...for some years I've rationalized the state of my skin: yes it feels nasty, there's some redness but in all it's not that bad. That myth shattered a bit over the year. In one incident some students sent anonymous e-mails to teachers with weird remarks. I got some about the skin. In another incident, where I crossed the street, some random dude in a car yelled at me and basically mocked my skin. Stuff like that has been happening, also adding to the psychological stress.

My physician suggested I use prednison when things get really rough. About half a week on a medium dose usually was enough to get back to a doable situation. I've done that about 7 times in two years. Starting december 2018 I started noticing weird stuff with my eyes. Over the past 3 months I've become very sensitive to light and I can barely read. Turns out I've developed cataracts in both eyes...I'm 36. Visus in the left eye is down to 20%, right is 60%. It's a known side effect of the prednison, but this is extremely fast and progressive. So two operations are coming. It's a pretty standard procedure but the fact that my skin disease has indirectly damaged my previously better than 20/20 vision is a real psychological hurdle.

Two weeks ago I finally got a appointment with the dermatologist again. Basically, there was not a healthy inch of skin left, something had to be done. I'm now on an even more aggressive type of steroid creme (dermovate). Within 12 hours of first applying it the lights went back on in my head. The creme suppresses the immune system, blocking the reaction and thus stopping all the signals that it produces from clogging up my brain. For the first time I really realized how much brain power was being occupied by coping with the dermatitis. I've been very lucid for two weeks now, but was numb for over 6 months. No other way to describe it.

I hope I can start being creative again real soon. Because of the cataracts I basically see jack shit during the day without wearing two sunglasses at the same time. Night time is much better. Road cycling and fine soldering will have to wait until after the surgery. I've started UV-B therapy for the skin, to see what the effects are and I'm going to discuss long term plans with the dermatologist soon. Three years ago, she mentioned that research was expected to find the cause of chronic eczema in 10 to 30 years. Two weeks ago, the said 1 to 3 years. There's new treatments but they are quite expensive so access to them is restriced.

Sorry for the long post, hope it's not a bother. Long story short: the eczema sucks, but I've come to realize that it also comes with a psychological component that, for me at the moment, is equally alarming.

Open Discussion / Re: NAD: Mesa Boogie Mark IIC+
« on: March 27, 2019, 02:37:37 AM »
I've always found it funny that, certainly by today's standards, these amps look very classy, vintage and modest yet they produce some of the best metal tones ever recorded.

Open Discussion / Re: A few questions about 'gold caps'
« on: March 25, 2019, 05:04:33 AM »
It's to prevent leakage over a reasonably long time and to enable kids to measure the (dis)charge curves with simple means like a stopwatch. The series resistor is only a 100 Ohms. I could bump that up to maybe a 1000 Ohms but beyond that I lose too much resolution as the series resistor doubles as a current measurements device. The point of the experiment is to determine Planck's constant by discharging a capacitor over an LED until it no longer conducts. The capacitor will remain charged at (more or less) the forward voltage of the LED. There's some caveats here, because not all electrons actually produce a photon, but I'm not going to bother the high school students too much with that.

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