Archive for July, 2013

Daytime village

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

daytimevillage

Here’s the view across the way from our apartment here in the Village during the daytime.  As opposed to the nighttime view.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in front of our apartment here at the Village, and part of my famous Architecture and Garden series.

Fine day.  LRN4 had another good one.  We slept way in this morning, throwing both breakfast and lunch off schedule.  It was worth it.  She took the afternoon walk on her own today – I was busy with my programming – and she reports she’s building her stair climbs back up.  Before her weekend with the lumbar puncture-induced headache, we were climbing the thirty-step staircase seven or eight times every day.  After the headache, she really struggled to make it two or three times.  Today she built it back up to four.  I’m also delighted to report that she’s feeling antsy to go home.  Ergo, she’s feeling much better.  But she’s also getting really sick of having numb feet and no hair.  There’s kind of a helpless feeling sometimes for both of us.  But we’re making progress.

Made some progress on the app again today.  That’s incredibly, frustratingly slow too.  I got one important thing working right today and was making some adjustments to some things during a consultation with LRN1.  He suggested a basic change to the page layout architecture to make some things better.  I don’t want to go back to fundamental things again on this app, but he’s right – it won’t look and work right unless I fix it.  So I’ll tackle that tomorrow.  Then I’ll finish the stuff I started today.  After I get that part working, I think it will be ready to share with a couple of alpha testers.  I’ve lined up LRN31, who suggested the app in the first place, for that.  I’m excited for her – an actual teacher – to have a look and tell me what works and what doesn’t.  My new goal is to have it available for download before Labor Day, which means I really want to have it submitted to Apple by the time we leave here.  That’s coming up very quickly.  Crunch time!  I guess I actually need to get productive on this thing.  Yikes.

Watched another movie tonight – Bedtime Stories.  Cute movie.  I’d seen it before, but enjoyed it this time too.  I could go either way with Adam Sandler, though.  He can be funny at times, but he can also be just plain annoying.  Especially when he does his stupid voice.  Just shut up and act, Sandler!  But this movie was okay.  He only did the stupid, irritating, unfunny voice a few times.

Rousing recommendation there, huh?  Did any of my Loyal Readers see this movie?  Did you enjoy it?

Nothing else new today.  So I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: pickle-related assault!

See you tomorrow.

Thresher parts

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

thresherparts

Here is part of an antique steam-powered threshing machine.  Unless I miss my guess, this is the connecting rod from the piston to whatever is the drive wheel.  The high-pressure steam is injected into the cylinder over there on the left.  An external-combustion engine!  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the corn maze we walked through in Pennsylvania last October, and part of my famous Machinery series.

It’s not part of the Train series, unfortunately, since it’s not part of a train.  But it is a steam engine, which is totally cool!

Excellent day!  LRN4 is doing very well today and continues to make amazing progress.  She truly looks stronger and better every day.  Today was also amazing because we saw LRN12!  She and her other grandma were here for a few hours, along with LRN29’s always-appreciated regular visit.  We had a great time with the visit and miss our sweet little granddaughter already.  We need to meet again soon!  Hopefully in Las Vegas next time.  Or maybe at her place.  But definitely soon.

Made progress on the app again today.  Other than a couple of crashing bugs I still need to chase down, the function I’ve been working on for the past several days is good to go.  I’ve done much of the brainwork for the next feature today and hope to get it functional tomorrow.  After that, I have a couple more important features to add, the iPhone version screens to lay out and get working, the artwork to get created and attached, and the app to ship.

After I get my iOS developer account changed from an individual to a business account, that is.  Oh, and also get my account set up with a checking account.  Oh, and also get a business checking account.  But I think that’s about it.  Should be able to get it all done before we go home, don’t you think?

Oh, I also need to finally set up my bug tracking database for the app.  During development, I was just doing the work.  Even though I still have a lot of development work to do, I need to start keeping track of the things I’m finding.

Oh, I also need to write the help text.  And probably a whole bunch of other things.  But I still think I can probably get it done before we leave.  Maybe.

We watched a hilariously bizarre movie this evening – Blades of Glory.  It’s a tossup between the hilarious and bizarre, if you ask me.  It’s just . . . indescribable.  Watch it.  Highly recommended.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: nut theft!

See you tomorrow.

Ominous glow

Monday, July 29th, 2013

ominousglow

Here’s the view we had from our balcony in Pennsylvania one night last July.  That lovely orange glow is the beginnings of an apartment building burning down.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in July 2012, and part of my famous Architecture and Event series.

Or maybe that should be my famous Destroyed Architecture series.  But since I have no such series, this will have to do.

Wonders of WordPress again today.  I keep forgetting to post on Mondays.  I guess it’s just hard to get out of Weekend mode.

LRN12 and her other grandma weren’t able to make it today.  We’re expecting them Tuesday morning instead.  Did I mention they were coming?  Maybe not.  Well, they are.  Monday was the designated date, as Other Grandma was scheduled to be here in Los Angeles to help a good friend clean out her apartment prior to entering hospice care (I assume) and dying.  Very sad.  Even sadder – the friend died on Saturday, so Other Grandma’s plans were all changed.  We were more than happy to accommodate the change in schedule, of course.  Cancer.  Very sad.

Anyway, we’re really excited for their visit Tuesday morning.  We saw LRN12 a few months ago when LRN4 was still in the hospital, of course, but this visit will be under happier circumstances.

And speaking of LRN4, let’s examine her condition, shall we?  She’s doing very well, thank you.  Her condition is noticeably better than it was on Friday.  I know I keep saying that, but it’s true.  Even she noticed it a day or two ago.  Her body is really regenerating itself – her limbs are gradually but very obviously gaining back their musculature.  I’m crediting excellent caregiving, of course. Eyelashes are short but there and eyebrows have started growing too.  The hair on top of her head is still holding back a bit, but we think we see signs of growth.  She’s starting to look . . . normal!  More time and improvement are needed, of course, but she’s well down that path.

The iOS program is coming along.  I feel like I really made a breakthrough in both progress and understanding over the weekend, and there aren’t that many hard parts left to do.  It’s actually starting to look like a working program now!  I’m feeling very good about the possibility of getting it released within a couple weeks.  Which will be only a couple weeks behind schedule!  I really want to get it done and on the market and be able to turn my full attention to the medical program.  Although I also have a bunch of updates I need to do to my Morse Trainer app.  But that can be done as a very part-time job.

One work problem I’ve had in the past is that I continually let too much time pass between writing iOS programs, so my Mad Programming Skillz fade away and I have to relearn everything every time I sit down to program.  Now that I’ve retired from LockMart, the idea was to just keep cranking out the iOS hits.  However, the medical thing was too good of an opportunity to turn down, although I don’t think it’s a permanent full-time job either.  So my efforts will necessarily be diluted, leaving me a choice.  That leaves me with a choice – either become an incompetent part-time iOS/Objective C and part-time Windows/C# programmer or a skilled one.  I’m shooting for the latter, of course.  My Loyal Customers will have to be the judges on that one.

And that’ll be it for today.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this rare food law-enforcement violence news: chili robbery defense!

See you tomorrow.

Newest flowers

Friday, July 26th, 2013

deadroses

Here’s the view in the rose garden this afternoon.  Not quite as beautiful as on previous days, perhaps, but it has a beauty of its own.  I suppose.  What do you think, Loyal Readers?  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the City of Hope’s beautiful rose garden, and part of my famous Garden series.

I think I see a little bit of color in the background of that Great Art.  But not much.  It’s been a hot summer so far.

Pretty good day today.  LRN4 is doing well today.  We went for a walk this afternoon and she moved along very well indeed.  No new problems, no new flare-ups of old problems.  Just the same old problems.  But they’re all getting better, slowly.  Some more slowly than others, of course.

I made great progress on my iOS app today!  I think I finally conquered my problem reading in an XML file and saving its contents to a Core Data database.  It was much harder than it needed to be, but you know – I’m from out of town.

I continue to live in frustration with the horrible wifi service here at the City of Hope.  It seems like it’s getting worse, in fact.  The antennas work all the time, but the system kicks you off at least once an hour, and you’re typically off somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes.  Makes it really hard to work.  Sigh.  I’m seriously considered buying a cellular wifi hotspot, but I haven’t done it yet because the hospital’s system is sort of working.  Well, it’s gotten so bad that I’m about ready to buy something.  But now we’re about three weeks away from going home.  So is it really worth it?

Plus, when I go to the various websites advertising these devices, they all seem like different versions of the same highway robbery, swindle, or downright fraud.  What to do?  Any suggestions, Loyal Readers?

And that’s about it for tonight.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this ice cream cone assault!

See you on Monday.

Ship guy

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

cunard

Here’s Samuel Cunard, the guy who started the Cunard Line all those years ago.  That ship in the background . . . isn’t our ship.  We were docked behind that one.  Oh, well.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in Halifax, Nova Scotia during last year’s east coast cruise, and part of my famous Statue, Cruise, and Vacation series.

Nice bow tie, too.  Not to mention some pretty awesome sideburns.

Good day today.  We had LRN4’s Thursday doctor visit today.  She’s in pretty good shape, although her blood levels had finally gotten low enough that she needed a shot of neupogen and a unit of hemoglobin.  But that’s okay – the doctor looked it up and it had been three weeks since she was last pumped up.  Not bad at all.

And speaking of three weeks, that’s how far away we are from our departure date!  Assuming everything goes well!  Which we hope it does, of course.  We’re really getting excited to leave.

Let’s see – what are LRN4’s new, exciting symptoms these days?  Well, the numbness in her feet seems to be moving around a bit.  It started out pretty much in her toes.  Then it gradually made its way to her heels and then up past her ankles over a period of several weeks.  Now it seems to have retreated back to her toes a lot of the time, although this evening it was back to her heels.  Her feet have continued to swell up a lot and it appears that the swelling is at least correlated with the moving around of the numbness, if not the cause.  She also reports in the last few days that there’s a strange feeling in her legs that is associated with weakness and possible difficulty balancing.  But it’s kind of vague.  I don’t think the doctor quite knows what to do about that one.  He thought her low red cell count might be at least a contributing factor, which I believe was a strong motivator for today’s transfusion.  LRN4 doesn’t seem to think it did the trick, though.

Conclusion: cancer is weird.

Made some real progress on the iOS app today.  I really need to finish this thing up so I can get back to the medical forensics business, and soon!  We’re swiftly running out of time to work on that one, just as I’m swiftly running out of time to get the iOS app on the market.  Work, self, work!

Anyway, I got a key feature working, mostly.  Just have a couple of bugs to chase down and I think I’m there.  There are still several key features remaining to be added, but things are becoming easier.

There lots of buzz today on the internets about the Google Chromecast.  I must say I was pretty impressed with what I read as well (although I did just read a much less flattering review here), and Google announced an SDK is or will shortly be available for developers to pile on.  It could turn into a very attractive device for a very attractive price.  In fact, at that price point, I can imagine people buying it just to play around with it.  I can also imagine hardware/software hackers taking a very close look at the device and coming up with some interesting things.  There ought to be some fun to be had there.

How I wish Apple would release an SDK for the Apple TV!  My more astute Loyal Readers will recall their original plans for the iPhone, which pointedly did not include independent developer access to the device.  What a mistake that was and would have remained if they had left things that way.  I’m pretty positive iPhone sales would have been only a small fraction of what they ended up being, and I even have my doubts that Android would have come along.  So why can’t Apple figure that out and unleash the Apple TV on developers?  I think a large percentage of the apps would have ended up being games, but think of the gaming possibilities!  In fact, Apple seems to have finally figured out they have an opportunity there.  They’ve just begun to allow game developers to push iPhone game screens to the Apple TV, but without allowing those games to run natively on the device.  Big lost opportunity as far as I’m concerned.  Granted, I don’t think it would ever be as big as the iPhone and iPad have been, but I think it could have been much bigger than it is currently.  I think a lot of people would buy what would essentially be a $100 Apple gaming console.  And if game prices were held down to the levels we see on the iPhone, I think it would be a huge hit.

And it’s late, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: chicken wing theft!

See you tomorrow.