Archive for April, 2013

Reader’s hospital

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013


Here’s LRN4’s current hospital building.  Looks pretty nice, huh?  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Machinery series.

Yeah, I know a building may not qualify as machinery, but there is a lot of machinery inside this one, so I’m counting it.

I think I need some new famous series, though.  Maybe one for gardens and one for architecture.  Wait a second, I think I’ll add them right now.

Okay, I’m back.  This post is now part of my famous Architecture and Machinery series.

Busy day today.  LRN4 finished her third and fourth radiation treatments, out of ten planned.  She’s 40% done!  And by the time I see her tomorrow morning, she’ll be halfway home.  Good thing.  The radiation doesn’t seem to be giving her negative side effects, but that stupid astronaut bed they made for her is extremely painful.  It appears to be pinching a nerve or something – her back and legs are extremely tender right now.  She’s going through some tough times.  Heavy sigh.  Stay tough, LRN4!

We moved up to the sixth floor in the hospital today.  That’s where the transplants from a different donor are done (as opposed to people on the fifth floor, who receive their own stem cells that were previously harvested).  We were just squatters on the fifth floor, although they treated us as one of their own.  Lots of nice people down there, both patients and nurses.  But we’re now where we need to be for LRN4’s transplant and recovery.

Today was day T-9!  We’re getting really close to the transplant.  Lots of things need to happen first, but the clock is counting down.  Getting excited!

We found out today we have a bunch of copays we need to make, so I’m bringing all the bills I can find to the hospital tomorrow to get them done.  We’re way beyond our maximum annual copay already, but we need to send out checks to all the doctors who need to be copaid.  Is that a word, by the way?  Now it is, at any rate.

Otherwise, not much going on here.  So I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: blogging duck!

See you tomorrow.

Ruined hotel

Monday, April 29th, 2013


Here’s the lobby at the Coco Palms resort on Kauai.  Well, the former lobby, anyway.  At the former Coco Palms resort.  How I wish I had been able to stay there before it was destroyed.  It was a pretty cool place.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during our cruise to Hawaii, and part of my famous Cruise and Vacation series.

Pleasant enough weekend.  LRN4 was in good health and good spirits and we spent our time relaxing and enjoying being together.  We played a couple games of War on Sunday evening.  LRN4 slaughtered me.  She claims it was just random, but I’m not so sure.

I’ve been struggling to figure out where to focus my money-making efforts.  For now, I’ve decided to spend Monday and Tuesday working on flight simulation stuff, Wednesday and Thursday working on medical software stuff, Friday and Saturday working on iOS software, and Sunday reading.  That schedule will be adjusted as necessary and is subject to being liberally interspersed with hanging around, going places with LRN4 when she’s feeling better, and generally having a fine time.  Now that’s the kind of job I’ve always wanted!

Spent some time on the phone with LRN23, speaking of flight simulation stuff.  He has some definite ideas for some stuff I can work on.  I’ve asked him to jot down a few notes, since his ideas came too fast during our chat for me to take any kind of decent notes.  For now, I’m concentrating on completing and expanding my TIFF tag reader.  Hopefully, somebody will find it useful at some point.

And that’s it for tonight.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: pineapple assault!

See you tomorrow.

Conservatory entrance

Friday, April 26th, 2013

conservatoryentranceHere’s LRN4 with LRN1 and LRN3 at the entrance to the conservatory at Longwood Gardens.  What a great place that is!  We miss going there already.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Uncategorized series.

I’ll have to think of a new series, huh?

Lots going on.  LRN4 is now 13 days away from her stem cell transplant!  She’s feeling great right now.  Her last chemo pill was taken on the 15th, so there’s no poison in her body to speak of.  There are also very few white blood cells, of which probably not too many are non-cancerous.  Hence the transplant.

Melanie has been here for her physical already.  We believe she passed all the tests.  LRN4’s doctor did mention this morning that there’s about a 1% chance of LRN4 contracting Hepatitis C from the transplant, since Melanie has antibodies for that disease in her blood.  We think that’s a small enough risk to continue per plan.  LRN4 completed her final test on Wednesday, so all systems are go

Today is the first day in the official transplant countdown.  She starts on three days of pre-radiation medication that’s supposed to protect vulnerable tissues, such as her stomach lining and the inside of her mouth.  The medication might make her uncomfortable, but it’ll be worth it.  She gets five days’ worth of radiation, starting on Monday.  After that, it’s a day of high-dose chemo, a rest day, another day of high-dose chemo with a different drug, two rest days while she starts taking anti-rejection medication, and the transplant, which is scheduled for May 9.  Then she starts getting better!

In the meantime, life is pretty good here at the hospital.  We wish we were home, of course, but that day will come.  But we’re enjoying being together and relaxing.

Played bingo yesterday afternoon.  Unlike the previous time, we won a few games!  LRN4 got a much-needed t-shirt (looks great on her) and a hat, and I got a couple decks of cards to help while away the hours.  We had a nice time, and it was fun to win.

All the kids appear to be doing very well.  LRN1 is getting ready to move from Provo to the Bay Area.  He hasn’t been really happy in Utah this time, so I expect this move will be a good one for him.  LRN2, on the other hand, seems to be enjoying Provo/Orem just fine.  He’s started taking technical support calls at his new job and reports that it’s fun.

LRN3 and LRN15 just bought a new car yesterday!  It’s pretty much just an update of their old car, but it’s better in many ways, it’s brand new, and it’s cheaper than the old one.  So that’s all good.

LRN5 and non-Loyal-Reader Cliff are celebrating the release of Cliff’s band’s new album!  They put it on a Kickstarter-like service called Pledge Music and got enough pledges to produce it.  It’s a fascinating idea – the band is called Concourse in Atmosphere, and it consists of several musicians who recorded in their home locations across the world (including LRN3!) without ever getting together.  I’ve listened to some of the music and plan to get my download today.  Buy it, Loyal Readers!  It’s good music.

And I’m moving along just fine.  Haven’t really started doing much that will earn my keep, but I’m making a few noises in that direction.  I have a few irons in the fire and am trying to decide which of them deserves my attention and in what quantity.  I’d really like to be making money again a year from now, so I need to decide how to distribute my efforts between now and then to make that most likely to happen.  And also to make it most likely for me to enjoy what I’m doing.

I’ve started a project with my nephew John to complete the testing and do everything else necessary to market and sell a very useful medical program he has written.  Medical software isn’t exactly my main strength, but I think I can learn what I need to know in that area.  Software testing is definitely a strength for me, so I feel very confident that I can make a contribution there.  Software marketing and sales is another kind of new thing for me, but I think I can pick that up fairly well also.  Besides, John is doing a great deal of the marketing for me – he’s writing and presenting papers on the software and talking to colleagues about.  He has a fairly large group of people just waiting to buy the thing when it comes out.  He’s planning the official rollout at a conference next February, so I guess I’ll plan to attend and staff a booth there, if booths exist.  Need to talk to him about that and start making plans.

So far, that’s the project most likely to earn me a substantial amount of money in the near term.  In addition, I’m starting to lay the groundwork for some work with my brother LRN23.  He’s very active in the field of military flight simulation and thinks there might be some opportunity for us to collaborate in that area.  I’ve found time to make a first draft of a tool that reads the tags in TIFF files.  I’m not sure if he’ll find it useful, but it was a good intro to C# and .net programming for Windows, which is something I’ve not done any of.  I have several planned enhancements to the tool and we’ll see if anything interesting comes up in the future.

I’m also still hoping to get some iOS programming done, which is what I intended to do when I retired from LockMart.  It’s funny how quickly my efforts have turned in a different direction, but I certainly want to follow the money and opportunity.

And then there’s writing.  That’s something I can do here in the hospital, along with the programming.  Don’t have much writing on my plate, other than the blog and my daily family letters on LRN4’s status.  I’m planning an editorial calendar for my two company websites, though – and  One way to generate interest in your work is to provide interesting, useful content on your website.  So I want to do that.

Speaking of websites, I’m trying to decide whether to register another LLC and domain for the medical software business.  Tough decision.  I don’t want to dilute my efforts too much with two companies and three websites.  On the other hand, it might be better to have a business name that sounds more like a medical forensics company.  Still trying to figure that one out.  Any advice, Loyal Readers?

And that’s it for today.  My commitment is to write something daily, so I’m hoping to increase the frequency of these posts again.  Wish me luck!  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: long-jumping guinea pig!

See you on Monday.

A vagrant

Friday, April 12th, 2013


Here’s some interesting graffiti on a wall somewhere in Canada.  Very nicely done!  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken during our 2012 East Coast cruise, and part of my famous Cruise and Vacation series.

We made sure to keep moving along after we saw that picture, incidentally.  No sense tempting fate.

Pretty good day today.  LRN4 hasn’t felt very well today, but she’s doing okay.  I’m hoping she’s back in great shape again tomorrow.  But we’ve had some great news: LRN4’s sister Melanie has been confirmed as a good match for LRN4’s stem cell transplant!  That’s the best possible case for us, so we’re absolutely delighted.  We still need to see if she’s in remission next week before we know the timing of the transplant.  We’ve had great forward progress, but there’s still a lot of waiting to be done.  I don’t want to wait!

Let’s see – what else is going on other than stuff around the hospital?

Not much.  I’m enjoying staying with Betsy and Bob.  They’re going out of their way to make me comfortable and I’ve always really liked them both.  They’re away for the night tonight for Bob’s birthday, so I’ll have the house to myself for the night.  I wonder what I’ll do – probably something crazy like going to bed earlier than usual!  Maybe I’ll even get up early tomorrow morning.

Time to write my daily letter to the family and get home.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: non-sausage frenzy!

See you on Monday.

Sword fighter

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013


Here’s a pretty hostile-looking statue.  I think it’s supposed to be Joan of Arc or somebody like that.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone cam, taken at Bryn Athyn in Pennsylvania last year, and part of my famous Statue series.

They had some really amazing medieval pieces at that place.

Wow.  Lots of things have happened.  Greetings from Duarte, California!  We got here on March 23rd.  LRN4 is comfortably ensconced in a room at the City of Hope.  I spend my days at the hospital and my nights at my cousin Betsy and my cousin-in-law Bob’s house.  Thanks, B&B!  I don’t know what we’d do without you.

LRN4 has had one more round of chemotherapy so far.  It completed a little more than a week ago.  We’ll get the results in about six days.  In the meantime, she’s taking another chemo pill every day that attacks her specific gene mutation.  The best case date for her stem cell transplant is about the first of May.

They checked all three of LRN4’s siblings to see if any of them is a good match to be the donor.  They’ve ruled out her brother Robin and her sister Candy.  So far, Melanie looks to be a match, but we have to wait for the final results to know for sure.

That’s the sum total of my life right now.  So I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: chimp cops!

See you tomorrow.