Archive for August, 2013

Freezing car

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013


Here’s a picture of the dashboard on our car at 4:33 this afternoon, August 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Notice anything unusual, Loyal Readers? That’s right, it’s zero degrees Fahrenheit. Kind of cold for August in Vegas, huh? This Great Art was taken at a stoplight on our way home from LRN4’s medical appointment and grocery store run. Immediately after the shot, I rebooted the car, at which time the thermometer read 101. I think we may have a bit of a warranty issue. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Machinery and Las Vegas series.

I can’t help noticing the Microsoft logo there on the dash. Is this the moral equivalent of a bluescreen?

I also can’t help noticing the song that was playing. That’s right, I’m cool.

LRN4 is doing pretty well today. She continues to feel weak and look very thin. I checked out the Nexavar website today and noticed the warning that the drug may cause fatigue and weight loss – even anorexia in some cases. Fortunately, LRN4’s appetite is still there, but we may have a smoking gun to explain her current weakened, thin state. The good news is that she’ll probably start gaining the weight back and otherwise getting back to normal after she’s finished taking the drug. And if it helps her get into remission and stay there, it’ll definitely be worth it.

Made a little bit of progress on the app today. I feel like I keep going down rabbit holes, but I’m making slow progress. I spent some time working on making the report generation much more generic but kept running into reasons why I couldn’t do it. I think maybe I need to either refocus those efforts into smaller bits of the puzzle or just abandon them entirely and recognize that report-generating code is hard to make generic. There’s still more work to do on the emails, by the way. I need to figure out how to capture the recipient’s email address so it can be saved. I can do it the easy way or the clever way. Not quite sure how to do it the clever way, so easy may end up winning out tomorrow.

I don’t think I’ll get much more done tonight. I need to sleep so I’m safe to spend eight hours (or possibly much more) driving back and forth to Los Angeles.

That’s right, we’re going for a visit to the City of Hope tomorrow. We’ll see our doctor for a regular visit and LRN4 will get another bone marrow biopsy. We won’t know whether she’s in remission for at least a couple of days after that, so we’ll be anxious.

We also need to pick up a couple of prescriptions at Walgreen’s near the hospital and check our post office box. We don’t expect to be back on the road before about 5:00 PM, which is just about the worst possible time to be on the freeway leaving Los Angeles on the Thursday before a holiday weekend. So we might be moving extremely slowly. Or maybe we’ll be surprised and just sail home. But I’m not counting on that.

LRN2 is coming home on Friday! I can’t wait to see him again. I’m sure we’ll have a really nice time together. I don’t think he’s too excited about moving back in with us, but I’m hoping for the best and feeling good about it. He’s driving his car home and his stuff is hitching a ride with LRN4’s brother, who is coming with his wife to visit us for the holiday weekend. LRN29 and her husband are also coming, so all the brothers and sisters will be together. It ought to be a nice weekend.

And that’s about it for tonight.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: violent cupcake fight!

See you tomorrow.

Yellow pink

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013


Here’s a yellow-pink rose. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken (surprise!) at the City of Hope’s rose garden, and part of my famous Garden series.

I’m out of rose pictures now. In fact, I may have used this one before (although I couldn’t find it after a quick search, so there’s at least a possibility it’s unique). Never fear, Loyal Readers, we’ll be back at the City of Hope in no time, unfortunately. In fact, we’re going back on Thursday, but just for a one-day trip. I’m a bit worried about the time of that trip, in fact.  This is a holiday weekend, and it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting out of there very early. LRN4 has another bone marrow biopsy scheduled, so if I was to guess our departure time, I’d say it’ll probably be about 4:00 PM. Possibly the worst time to leave on one of the worst days of the year. We expect a long, slow trip back home. We could always stay overnight with Betsy and Bob, I guess. I imagine the Friday morning traffic out of Los Angeles might be a bit better than the Thursday afternoon traffic. What do you think, Loyal Readers?

Plus, we have company coming on Friday afternoon, so we can’t be home too late that day. Thursday night’s probably the best for us.

Wonders of WordPress today, by the way. I didn’t get a post done on either Monday or Tuesday. I have an excuse! I’ve been working like a dog on my iOS app. Up Monday night until about 2:00 and Tuesday night until about 3:00. I seem to be the most productive after about 9:00 PM, for some reason. So when it’s crunch time, I like to just stay up late and get the work done. So I just didn’t blog.

But everything’s going pretty well for LRN4, so never fear, Loyal Readers. She’s still getting tired very easily and has been basically feeling kind of run down, but she reports this morning (Wednesday) that she’s quite a bit improved. I’m frankly a bit worried about how this next round of chemo will affect her. Maybe it’s just because she’s out of the hospital and away from the City of Hope this time, but she seems a bit weaker than after her previous chemo treatments. They say that stuff has a cumulative effect on a person and I can see what they’re talking about now. Plus, she’s still taking the Nexavar, which, according to their website, is known to cause serious weight loss and fatigue, along with the hand and foot pain she’s going through. We’re really hoping she can discontinue the Nexavar after taking it for two months. It has a pretty good chance of keeping her alive if it doesn’t make her completely evaporate first.

But she’s doing well, as I mentioned at the start of the previous paragraph. As well as can be expected, anyway. Just a little weak and extremely thin.

Made a pretty big breakthrough on the app on Tuesday. By the time I went to bed at 3:00 Wednesday morning, the app was generating a passable Student report. I wish I had a better eye for design so I could make it prettier, but the data are all there and I think the code I wrote can be reused fairly well. I probably need to move the reusable parts into a class of their own, I guess, but it’s otherwise in pretty good shape. My next task will be to make it save the report with a unique name, email it out, and then delete the report from the device to eliminate disk clutter. It’ll just regenerate reports whenever the user wants to see them; they take almost no time to produce and I don’t want to get into the overhead of searching for files when their shelf life is so short anyway.

And I need to get back to work, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: purse-snatching bear!

See you tomorrow.

Bob Hope

Friday, August 23rd, 2013


Here’s one more rose from the City of Hope rose garden – behold the Bob Hope rose!  Slightly out-of-focus Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Garden series.

Wonders of WordPress today.  I meant to post on Friday night – really I did – but I was working on my app until about 1:00 on the morning and then I just went to bed without giving a single thought to my blog.  Sorry about that, Loyal Readers.

Friday was a pretty good day.  LRN4 felt pretty good all day and that’s really all that matters.  I made some significant progress on the iOS app, which is nice too.  Still lots left to do, sadly.  I still haven’t actually generated a report, but I have a lot of the infrastructure to do that set up.  Soon.  Maybe Saturday.  I’m trying to finish the iPhone-only infrastructure and then generate a single report.  The iPad, the additional reports, and the rest will come relatively easily after that, I suspect.

Visited with my brother-in-law Ken for a few minutes today.  I was returning his jumper cables and he was home from his most recent trip.  He and Melanie are coming over for dinner Saturday, which we’re looking forward to.

And that’s about it for today.  I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: aggressive raspberries!  This time, it’s the food itself that’s violent.

See you on Monday

Last Day

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013


Here’s LRN4 turning her back on our little Village apartment for the last time on Monday of this week.  Well, for the last time this month, anyway.  We expect to be back there in October, possibly for another extended stay.  Maybe even much longer than our previous one.  Although it’s almost certain we won’t be back in good old Number 141.  For all its (numerous) flaws, it was a good temporary home to us.  We were happy there, and that’s what matters.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken Monday morning of this week at the Parsons Village on the City of Hope campus, and part of my famous Architecture and Garden series.

Yeah, I know I play kind of fast and loose with my famous series.  There’s a building and some plants in that Great Art.  That’s architecture and a garden, as far as this blog is concerned.

Pretty good day, in some respects.  Pretty trying in others.  The good – LRN4 is feeling better this evening than she was this morning.  The trying – she spent 11 hours in the emergency room getting a couple of blood transfusions.  Our doctor couldn’t get her scheduled into the outpatient clinic, so that’s where he told us to go.  It was no fun.  After a couple hours, she convinced me to go home and work on my iOS app.  I reluctantly did.  Things worked out for her and I made some real progress.  Lots more to do, but I think I have a good start on tomorrow’s work.  Might even get a report or two generated tomorrow.  As usual, the iPad version is giving me troubles – that stupid split-view controller is really hard to do right.

Anyway, LRN4’s also feeling pretty good tonight because she slept very well last night and then had time for a couple naps while she was hooked up to the blood machine.  That’s apparently the ticket – frequent naps.  I’ll have to look into that myself as well.

We had a very late dinner tonight, since we didn’t get home until after 9:00.  We were both very ready to eat.  After dinner, LRN4 suggested we have some [amazon asin=B003KYSLMW&text=ice cream] out on the deck.  It was really pleasant.  The hospital is on the far east side of town, and we noticed that a weather front had just come through when we got outside.  The front hadn’t arrived at our house yet when we got home, and it passed through while we were outside.  The temperature dropped by probably ten degrees (all the way down to 90 or so!) and there was a nice breeze.  So we enjoyed our ice cream even more.

There’s a bit of work to do on the deck, by the way.  A couple of plants are dead – although the overwhelming majority are extremely health and have grown very nicely while we were away – and most of the beautiful, dramatic [amazon asin=B001RTG8U4&text=lighting] is burned out.  Also, we’ve decided the [amazon asin=B005J0FYHU&text=lemon tree] is in a very bad place and we want to swap it with the fencepost cactus.  So I sent an email to our landscaping guy this evening and we hope to see him in the next week or so.

And it’s late already, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: polluting monkey!

See you tomorrow.

Hot pink

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013


Here’s a hot pink rose.  Great Art taken last Saturday at the City of Hope rose garden, courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, and part of my exclusive Garden series.

Is that color hot pink, Loyal Readers?  I’m guessing here.

No post yesterday.  I remember right after I went to bed, and by then it was too late.  Sorry about that, Loyal Readers.

Had a good couple of days.  I got both of the dead cars started and drove each one for about half an hour.  The Mini’s doing fine.  My beloved pickup, sadly, was unwilling to start again after I shut it down.  After jumping it a couple more times with no more restarting luck, I decided it was time for a new battery.  Went to the dreaded Walmart to get a new one this morning.  After I picked one and started walking away with it, LRN4 noticed where it says “Free Installation.”  So I put it back on the shelf, went home, jump-started the truck one more time, and drove it over there for a new battery.  There were no other cars in the shop, so they got me right in and had the new battery installed within 20 minutes.  And the engine started when I turned the key!  Amazing.

Anyway.  LRN4 continues to feel pretty good.  She’s still getting tired fairly easily, but she’s keeping busy organizing the house and just enjoying being home.  So am I.  She was delighted to report this morning that she’s starting to gain some of her lost weight back.  Hopefully, that’s a trend that will continue for a while.  We visited our Las Vegas doctor this afternoon – hadn’t seen him since late March, but he’s been following LRN4’s progress while we’ve been away.  It was great to see him again.  I think things are going to go just fine while we’re here, although it will be just a little less convenient doing things like transfusions.  They don’t do those in the office, so we’ll have to go to a hospital way across town every time.  So we’ll be busy.

And that’s about it for today.  A little bit of progress on the iOS app last night, none whatsoever today.  It’s going to be a real challenge getting it done.  But I’ll get it done.  Going to start taking my trusty laptop with me to appointments.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: attack giraffe!

See you tomorrow.