The 17 Hour Day

On Sunday (30/11/2009) I worked 17 hours—from 9 a.m. Sunday to 2 a.m. Monday morning. And it was a SUNDAY!!

Okay. I did not sit down and never get up for 17 hours straight. I understand that doing that can give you an abscess on the butt. In fact, I know for sure it can—having actually recently had one of those them there abscesses me own self (sic). In fact, according to my doctors (Yep! I had more than one when I had my abscess surgery) we should all get up off our butts for even the shortest of walks every 20 minutes. This helps hugely with ensuring good blood flow in the tiny capillaries in the butt and also boots up some full-flow circulation in the upper legs and thighs. Without this vital healthy flow of blood in the butt the smallest of infections can get a foothold and turn into something really nasty.

But I have to tell you, getting up every 20 minutes or so is not that easy to do. In fact it is darn hard to do. Even when you have a countdown timer on your watch and you set it to cycle every 20 minutes. When it goes off you are *always* in the middle of something you just need to get to the end of, and then you hear it going off again—which now means two sets of 20 minutes have gone by without me getting up; but once again I am in the middle of somthing I *really* just need to finish. So, in the end, I am lucky if I get my butt out of that chair once an hour.

Anyway; to get back on theme.

Following is a picture of my office desk this morning when I started work again.

I think that you have to agree, that is the desk of someone who has done some serious work the day/night before. Note the pillow on the chair for people who have had some yukky abscess surgery.

I cleared away the three Coke Zero cans the night before. The taste of Coke Zero is so much better than Diet Coke. Coke Zero is basically Coke with the sugar replaced (there's a bit more to it than that) whereas Diet Coke is a completely different formulae that Coke 'invented' that is supposed to taste like Coke—but to my taste senses they missed hitting that mark by about 100 feet.

Another thing you have to be careful of when working these long stretches—banging away at a keyboard—is that you don't develop any repetitive strain injury (RSI) symptoms. I think in Australia we don't have RSI. We have occupational over-use syndrome (OOS) instead, but it is really just the same thing. Pain that develops in the fingers, arms, shoulders, or upper-back/neck from working at a keyboard for too long without breaks and stretches.

One of the best things you can do to try and avoid developing RSI, oops, OOS, is to ensure your monitor is set up correctly. It should be a full arm's length away, and when you sit how you intend to work and look straight ahead to the horizon (or where the horizon would be if you could see it from your office) you should be looking at the horizontal middle of the monitor. Notebook/laptop users who use their PC for long periods without using an external monitor are four times as likely to develop symptoms of RSI, oops, OOS. The reasons for this are pretty obvious—what notebook/laptop monitor complies with the above setup requirements? Errr . . . None! . . . unless you have a raised notebook stand.

Well, I just thought you needed to know how long I worked on Sunday. I wasn't too sure what I was going to put into the blog, but I seem to have managed to go over the 500 word limit that is supposed to be the maximum for a 'good' blog entry.