Archive for October, 2013

Utah autumn

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

utahfall

Here’s autumn in Utah. The colors may not be extensive, but they’re there. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken from my parked car near Duck Creek, Utah a few weeks ago during our vacation there, and part of my famous Vacation series.

Honest – the car was parked and I was standing next to it. It just kind of looks like it was taken while I was driving. If you look carefully, you’ll see the vantage point is too far above the hood to be otherwise.

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted. One or two Loyal Readers have started asking where we’ve gone, or even if something bad is happening. I’m delighted to report that the news is quite opposite – it’s all good. LRN4 is feeling pretty well and her numbers are going in a good direction. We visited our doctor this morning and he reported that her white cell count is down to 1.9 today and he expects them to drop to about zero within a day or two. Her red cells are hanging in there (no transfusion needed this weekend) and her platelets are doing okay but she’ll need a quick transfusion on those babies on Saturday.  She’s scheduled for 9:30.

This will be the third weekend in a row that LRN4 has gone to the hospital for a transfusion. They have a couple of outpatient transfusion beds available on weekend days and she’s become something of a regular. It routinely takes several hours – on the order of eight – to get done, but they’re very good to her there and it’s generally a good experience. Since she’ll only be getting platelets this time, it should go much more quickly. We’ll see, won’t we?

So why haven’t I been posting? Laziness. Plus, the universal excuse – I forgot. Sorry about that Loyal Readers. You deserve better.

Work is coming along slowly. I hadn’t touched the medical program for a few months, and I’m having all kinds of problems getting it working again. I’m once again able to compile and to generate installers. Today, however, I tried running the automated tests and discovered that they’re not working for me. I have an email in to non-Loyal-Reader John to see if he can help me figure out what’s going on. Also, what’s not going on. That’s the important part, I think. I have a bunch of testing work I’m planning on doing.

And here’s a tough decision I have to make. There’s a technology conference coming up at the beginning of November in the Clark County school district. They have vendor tickets available for $350. At that rate, I’d have to sell 175 copies of my latest iOS app just to break even. They expect 400-500 people to participate in the conference. Here’s the question for my Loyal Readers – do you think I should pay the money and attend? Your thoughts and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

LRN4 ordered herself a new bundt pan the other day. It arrived yesterday. Looks really nice and I can’t wait to eat some bundt cake. Here’s the thing, though: she told me it was one of her Christmas presents. But she plans to use it for the first time at Thanksgiving. So I told her it’s no longer a Christmas present and she can have a new pan whenever she darn well wants one without waiting until Christmas. So another question for my Loyal Readers: should I call it a Christmas present anyway? We’re getting close to the time of year when we save everything we buy ourselves for Christmas, but I think that only applies to things we don’t need to use before Christmas. What do you say, Loyal Readers?

And that’s about it for today. Lots of stuff going on. Lots of little jobs around the house happening. I’m feeling good, LRN4’s feeling about as good as can be expected right now, and LRN2’s doing pretty well too. All systems are go.

I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: double pizza assault!

See you tomorrow.

Many hoodoos

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

brycehoodoos

Here are a bunch of hoodoos at Bryce National Park. Love them hoodoos. Actually, I think I just like to say the word. Hoodoo, hoodoo. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken a couple weeks ago at Bryce Canyon National Park, and part of my famous Vacation series. Hoodoo.

Wonders of WordPress. We’ve been busy, busy, busy. LRN16 and LRN17 got here on Wednesday morning and left this evening. We had a great visit! LRN4 made a long list of things she wanted them to work on with her, and they got here and got to work. They cooked for us (lots of really great food!), they cleaned a little bit, LRN17 rearranged our spice cabinets and pantries, LRN17 did a bit of touch-up painting in the dining room and laundry room, they helped work on a new valance for the kitchen window, and they generally worked like demons. It was great!

More than two months later – I just discovered this was never published. So I’m publishing it now without further comment. Enjoy!

Bryce arch

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

brycearch

Here’s a natural arch somewhere at Bryce Canyon National Park. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at Bryce Canyon National Park a couple weeks ago, and part of my famous Vacation series.

Been a good couple of days.  We went to the doctor yesterday and were delighted to learn that LRN4’s white cell count has started going down. On Thursday, it was at about 50,000 cells/microliter. Monday, it was 32,000. Thats a huge relief and we’re feeling much more optimistic.

LRN16 and LRN17 get here tomorrow! They’ll be visiting us for two days, during which time they plan to cook us a bunch of food and do whatever other work LRN4 asks them to do. I suggested they work on my transmission, but LRN16 seemed a little too anxious to give it a try, so I withdrew the request. I’m really looking forward to their visit.

Fortunately for them, they won’t be needing to clean the house. I hired the cleaners on Saturday and they came for the first time on Monday. They’ll be here every other week for the foreseeable future. They did a beautiful job. As LRN9 said on the phone today, hiring a cleaning company may turn out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Got the slide scanner and neck pillow I mentioned on Friday. LRN4 reports the neck pillow is working great, and I’ve already scanned about 125 slides. I’m not happy with the quality of the scans quite yet – very contrasty, very fuzzy, and generally of very low quality. I need to check the settings I’ve been using and see if there’s anything I can do to bring the quality up. Even so, it’s been really fun to see some of our old pictures again. Can’t wait to get all of them scanned. There are many hundreds.

And it’s late already, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: shark-like attack otter!

See you tomorrow.

Triple peaks

Friday, October 4th, 2013

shannonpeaks

Here’s LRN4 standing in front of three little mini-mountains at Zion National Park. I believe this was the first place we stopped after we got into the super-private buses-only area. That’s the famous Morrowmobile there on the left. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at Zion National Park, and part of my famous Vacation and Hiking series.

We walked about 50 feet. Which is about as much as LRN4 is doing right now. So it’s a hike. And it was a good one.

Pretty good couple of days. LRN4 finished day 5 of 10 chemo treatments today and she’s feeling pretty good. No news on the state of her blood. We’ll find that out on Monday. I’m not enjoying the wait.

Work. I submitted an update to the Common Core Classroom app today. Added the ability to delete notes. I had tried to avoid that because I kind of wanted the app to keep an audit trail for users. However, LRN31 convinced me that there’s a real need. What if a teacher enters bad information? The only way to fix it previously was to delete the student’s entire record and re-enter everything. Not a good solution. Now it’s fixed. Or at least it will be when the update gets reviewed and approved.

LRN2 and I installed a new blind over the sliding door. The original curtain turned out to be too much of a pain. It was a great temporary solution, but its useful life was over. So we bought a blind at Lowe’s a couple day ago and we installed it today. Looks great.

LRN4’s car has been in the shop for two weeks now. I wanted them to replace the battery. They replaced a whole bunch of other things and now they can’t get the electronics to work right. I’ve run out of patience. I may have to start getting legal advice.

Ordered a slide scanner today. We have a ton of old slides and a few photographs that document our entire life before a few years ago when we got our first digital camera, and we want to be able to see and share those photos. So I ordered a scanner. It should come on Tuesday and then we can start the arduous process of scanning them all. I’m sure the end result will justify all the work.

Also, LRN4 got a neck pillow. She spends a lot of time in a chemo/transfusion chair these days and this will make that time a bit more comfortable. Totally worth it. Bonus: velvety cover!

And that’s about it for tonight. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: traffic zebra!

See you on Monday.

Zion sign

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

zionsign

Here’s LRN4 by the entrance to Zion National Park. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at Zion National Park (duh!) last week, previously published on Facebook, and part of my famous Vacation series.

Wonders of WordPress today. Fewer updates than usual lately. Sorry about that, Loyal Readers. Life is moving at a breakneck pace. Not that that’s a particularly good thing right now.

LRN4 continues to maintain, but not prosper. As I write this, we’re sitting in the doctor’s clinic getting her fourth of ten chemo treatments. The good news is that she’s still tolerating the chemo well. The bad news is that it doesn’t seem to be working. Her white cell count is up again from Monday’s number, which was way up from the previous Monday’s. That’s not good news. We know this particular chemo drug is slow-acting, but we’re not sure whether it’s capable of acting quickly enough. The first time she took it, it immediately brought the bad cells down to zero, which it doesn’t seem to be doing this time. Options remain, but this is discouraging news.

LRN4 stopped taking Nexavar a couple of days ago. She reports that it was very literally sapping her will to live. We have no idea whether that will impede her eventual recovery, but we do know she feels much better already. The doctor is encouraging her to take it when she feels well enough to take it and to take as much as she feels she can.

So we’re still not prevailing in our struggle. We have moments that feel normal, which we treasure. We have moments of incredible sadness as we contemplate the possibility of LRN4 not making it. And we have moments of worry as we try to figure out what to do.

Work is going slowly again, as my Loyal Readers might imagine.  I’ve been working for a couple days on an update to the Common Core Classroom app.  I submitted an update a few days ago to fix the broken Classroom report and I’m now working on adding the ability to delete notes. After struggling for a couple days to do it the wrong way, I had a little consultation with LRN1, who suggested what we like to call “the right way.” Took about five minutes to get it working after that. Sheesh. Thank heaven for supergenius children.

Anyway. I expect to release the latest update within a day or two and then get back to full-time on the medical app. Or as close to full-time as I get these days.

I’m not keeping the house clean enough. I really need to spend at least half an hour or so a day on that. My current average is pretty much zero. LRN4 has started working on getting a cleaning service to come. If we can afford it, I’m good with that. We’ll know soon.

And that’s about it for today.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: yobbish drunken seagull!

See you tomorrow.