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Sit on it

Everyone should head on over to read [profile] lithium_doll's fantastic Burn Notice pimping post. It's FABULOUS and really, truly, you should read it.

I am so behind on everything. Between class ending, getting ready for a new assignment, the craziness of trying to set up a super sekrit all-instructor meeting of all the editing instructors at my program (to plot our world domination rebellion against the Empire -- we are all really dissatisfied by how the program is being run), and the crazy jewelry thing, I still haven't gotten to the wonderful ideas of things I can do in the journals that people gave me. And also, it's the sitting thing.

I bought a semi-expensive office chair a few years ago after working at home for a while. I thought it would be the answer to my prayers, but it sure wasn't. Over the past year, it's become increasingly untenable, and after Sakura-con line waiting fucked up my back and hips so badly (long story), I can't sit for longer than a few minutes, and even then, it's agony. My sister's old laptop is wireless, so i can use it in the living room while lying on the couch, but it's Windows, and I HATE WINDOWS with every fibre of my being. So I've avoided using it that way for a long time, but now I kind of have to. I had to take off the Norton security on it a while ago due to, um, expiring, and I have no money for new antivirus (see below), so I wonder if any of you Windows users can tell me if there's such a thing as a free AV program for Win XP Pro out there that would run on a Dell Inspiron laptop from a few years ago?

The reason I have no money is the search for an office chair. I bought a vintage Eero Saarinen chair at a great price from a mid-century modern specialty store in Ballard last week, hoping that, because they didn't overdesign things back then, it would fit my bill, and I've sat in his chairs before and they are wonderful. Nice flat seat, curved back, etc. Except it doesn't raise up enough for me, and it's trading one problem (my hips and legs) for a different problem (severe shoulder and upper back pain). I'm going to take it back to the guy to see if he can fix it, but if not, I may ask him if I can return it. In the meantime, I hunted around for hours online and finally found what I think may solve a lot of my problems: the Steelcase Think chair.

One of the things I hate about Hermann Miller and Steelcase is that they have stores, but mere mortals can't go in them -- you have to be a designer or office buyer, and have an appt. -- so the only retail place I could try one out was at Crate & Barrel or some Target stores (but not many). I went and sat for about a half hour, and it was great. They didn't have the adjustable arms one, but it had what I needed for so long -- a flat seat with some padding so that my hips aren't forced into curving up at the sides, the ability to recline without losing posture, an adjustable seat pan depth, and a flexible front of the seat so that my thighs aren't being pressured and my circ cut off (a serious problem for a lot of tall people). But boy howdy are they expensive. I've spent days hunting around, found one on ebay for a good price, but the info was not helpful, and finally they updated it. I am in so much pain that I just bit the bullet and ordered one.

Because I was trying to avoid buying one -- I felt like (in that sunk cost fallacy thing) since I'd paid good money for the last one, somehow I had to make it work, and there are a bunch of other expensive items I've been needing that now I have to put off. But I had this conversation last week with Mr. Killabeez, and he has a similar situation, and he pointed out that the amount of hours we spend in our office chairs, it's not a luxury but a necessity to have a decent chair, because we're pretty much living in them. That we're spending money on our health -- and I kept thinking about that, and he's right. I'm going to acupuncture now to help with this chronic hip pain, and I could probably cut that expense out, not to mention all the Advil I buy, if I had a better chair that was right for me. So now I'm eagerly awaiting my new chair, which sadly, I won't get for days.

Also, today is... Day 09 - Best scene ever

I... do not know how to choose this one. I've tried before. And it's always something different -- Miami Vice, Pros, Buffy, Due South... there are just so many. Man. I guess, if I had to pick one because there was a gun to my head and my life depended on it, I would pick the ending of Victoria's Secret on Due South. Because wow. From the moment Fraser makes that decision to go with her, and runs down the platform toward Victoria's outstretched hand, to Ray seeing a gun in her hand and shooting, and hitting Fraser, and the music building, and the poem just barely above a whisper... well, if you've seen it, you know. And if you haven't, you've missed one of the best moments on television ever.


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Jun. 9th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
Microsoft Security Essentials for antivirus. Free, small footprint, and doesn't blow up and try to scan every input to the disk, which happened to Avast or whatever free on I was using before this.
Jun. 12th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC)
I would never have expected this answer! Especially the free part!
Jun. 13th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
I'm not normally one to recommend MS stuff, but after having ugly problems with both AVG and Avast, including one that made my computer unusable for two days while I cleaned off AVG, I got recommended MSSE, and it has lived up to that recommendation. It is particularly nice that it can run scans in the background of my XP system without slowing it down notably.
Jun. 9th, 2010 05:17 am (UTC)
Or AVG antivirus (I've been using it on my XP box for over 4 years now).

I also run AdAware, Spybot S&D, and Malwarebytes to check for ad & spyware; all three are also free.

Edited at 2010-06-09 05:20 am (UTC)
Jun. 9th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
This is the exact combo I use, and I have never had a virus problem. And they are all free! Let me know if you need any help configuring anything.
Jun. 12th, 2010 05:58 am (UTC)
I have an ad blocking program called AdStop or something, I hope that's an okay one. I honestly don't know. I DLed AVG and Spybot, but it seemed to take forever for things to install and stuff kept hanging up. I hope that when I reboot it will all be okay. If anyone can do it wrong, it's me.
Jun. 9th, 2010 05:36 am (UTC)
I agree with Mr. Killabeez...and when I have the moolah I'm getting a Humanscale chair. They're outrageously expensive and yet...the simplest one in their line was the comfiest chair I've tried. So, when the freelancing picks up I'm going to start setting aside money for either...

The liberty or the freedom...but to be honest, the liberty was so comfy yet so SIMPLE!

I feel a chair, one that we freelancers have to almost *live* in, should be as good as the best shoes we buy. Because a well-designed pair of shoes benefits the body and a good chair does the same. It's all about the long-term, baby!
Jun. 12th, 2010 06:01 am (UTC)
The liberty was actually the one I went looking for -- back when I was at Slate, I remembered copyediting a story comparing chairs, and that was voted top for people who didn't want straight backs. But I know the seat looked like it was the same problem I have with everything else. I'd tried one out at Design Within Reach a few years ago, and was looking at that or the freedom-- except yeah, those prices. I do not have enough work coming in.

But this has become so untenable I have to change it. And by the time I had looked at all the chairs again, I started seeing new names popping up, and one of them was the Think chair -- fortunately it seems to solve a lot of my issues. Except I think it's going to take weeks to get it.
Jun. 9th, 2010 05:58 am (UTC)
A friend recs Spybot which can be downloaded from cnet. He added that you be sure not to click on the "download" links in the ads that pop up on that page.
Jun. 9th, 2010 10:28 am (UTC)
FWIW I agree with mr killabeez on spending $ on a good chair, and what worked for me was getting a custom bodybilt chair -- you can get them tailored to your body type/height/issues.
Jun. 12th, 2010 06:02 am (UTC)
Oh, tell me more! I have never heard of this. I assume it's pricey, but it sounds like you feel it's worth it?
Jun. 9th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC)
I'll second glinda's rec of AVG Free. I've used it on my Windows XP desktop for 6+ years and my Windows XP laptop for 4+ years. It's unobtrusive, updates automatically, and seems to be pretty darn effective. Two professional tech dudes in two different states recommended it to me as what they use on their own computers.
Jun. 12th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
I'm kind of embarassed by how long I've gone without an AV program on the computer. But I DLed the other night and here's hoping it will all be safe. (Is it secret? Is it safe?)
Jun. 9th, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC)
I have always had trouble with office chairs due ti being "under the average height". Every chair is built for people six feet tall. So anyone under that height will not feel comfortable. The problem that compounds the issue is that desk height is also set to people sic feel tall. So even if you find a chair that rises far enough, you feet are not comfortably situated on the floor.

I know the shoulder pain. Been dealing with it for many years...
Jun. 9th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC)
i like avast and you should have no trouble with a machine using that OS. i have the long, direct link to the free version at work, but will not BE at work today; i'm sure if you're persistent you can find it on their site, though. AVG would be my 2nd choice.
Jun. 12th, 2010 06:04 am (UTC)
Re: anti-virus
Avast, ye mateys?
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