Archive for September, 2013

Bryce hoodoo

Thursday, September 26th, 2013


Here’s a hoodoo at Bryce Canyon National Park. Before today I wasn’t quite sure what a hoodoo was. Well, there was this. But that’s a whole other kind of hoodoo. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken today at Bryce Canyon National Park, and part of my famous Vacation series.

This kind of hoodoo is a tall, thin rock. There are lots of them at Bryce Canyon National Park.

Had another good day today. As hinted above, we went to Bryce Canyon National Park (that’s the fourth mention in this post of Bryce Canyon National Park) (whoops, there’s the fifth). LRN4 felt pretty good all day, although she’s having a lot of trouble walking. So we didn’t walk all that much. But we did walk a little. And it was a nice day.

Spent some time in the afternoon working on graphics updates for my iPhone app. Oh, by the way, I’ve now sold 29 copies of the app. That’s as of yesterday. At $2.99 a copy, that’s $86.71. Of course, Apple keeps 30%, so I’ve made $60.70 so far. And they thought I wouldn’t be successful as an independent developer. I guess I showed them, huh? Huh?

Welcome to Loyal Reader Number 32 – Erica! Check out her name over there on the right. She commented today that she’s been reading for a while, but she didn’t know how to become a Loyal Reader. Well, Erica, the secret is that only I can authorize a new Loyal Reader. And my standards are exceptionally high. Let’s see . . . you have to be human (I’m flexible on that one) and you have to tell me you want to be a Loyal Reader. Those high standards are what’s keeping my Loyal Readership to a manageable level.

Anyway, welcome, Erica! You’re in!

LRN4 forgot her [amazon asin=B0083RNTOG&text=Coban] on this trip. What is Coban, you ask? It’s the kind of tape that sticks to itself but not anything else. She uses it to keep the plastic bag over her PICC line safely in place in the shower. It works great! The interesting thing is what it was invented for – wrapping race horses’ legs for . . . some reason or other. All I know is that race horses’ legs must be wrapped. So must PICC line owners’ arms. I’ve been keeping an eye out for livestock supply stores here in the wilds of Utah so we can buy some more, but so far I haven’t seen one. Maybe tomorrow.

Which leads me to wonder what we’re going to do tomorrow. I have no idea. Bryce canyon was fully visited in a day, so we don’t need to go back. There are a few other nearby parks and possibly other tourist attractions. I’m pretty sure LRN4 has something in mind, which is exactly what I want to do. Can’t wait!

One and a half more days of vacation. It’s going to be . . . wait for it . . . legendary!

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: elite police goose!

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Here are LRN4 and me standing on a bridge in Zion National Park. It’s been a wonderful week so far. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken yesterday on a bridge over a raging river small stream at Zion National Park, and part of my famous Vacation series. That’s LRN4 over there on the right.

As mentioned above, we’re having a great week so far. Well, it actually started out kind of poorly. We went to Los Angeles for a doctor visit on Monday. Had a good visit with our doctor, but we learned that LRN4’s leukemia is still there and still quite aggressive. Currently, about 65% of her white blood cells are leukemic. That’s not good. There are also good cells and LRN4’s hanging in there, but we definitely need to get her back into chemotherapy. She’s starting a ten-day round on Monday, and there will be another one four weeks later. Then we’ll see where she is and look into whether we can start the DLI transplants.

My first thought when we learned this news is that we’re not winning our fight. Not currently, anyway. The fight’s not lost, but we’re not winning.

Went to Zion both yesterday and today. Yesterday, we started out at the visitor’s center. We got in line at the information desk and asked the lady there what you can see from your car, since LRN4 isn’t really up for much walking right now. After she showed us the driving routes on her map, I mentioned that we couldn’t really go see the main sights there because LRN4 can’t safely ride a bus with a bunch of strangers (they’ve closed that part of the park to all traffic but shuttle buses). The nice lady offered to give us a pass to drive up there, since we have a medical reason why we couldn’t ride the bus. So we drove our car to see all the pretty stuff. We were the only private car up there – we could park anywhere as long as we wanted and see anything and everything. It was great!

After that, we drove over to our rental condo, which is in Duck Creek. We went out the southeastern park entrance, which includes a drive through a very long, very dark tunnel. It’s really cool. It was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. They have to make it one-way in order for motorhomes to get through, which can cause a bit of a delay. But it was really cool.

We went up to Kolob Canyon this afternoon. It’s part of the park too, but accessible only from the northwest corner of the park, whereas we were in the southern part of the park yesterday. Today was equally beautiful. Watch this space for pictures.

Tomorrow: Bryce Canyon. If that only takes a day to see, we’ll check out some other local places on Friday. We’re having a great vacation. I’m so glad we came.

Every day is a gift. Remember that, Loyal Readers. Enjoy every day.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: spaghetti sauce bank robbery!

See you tomorrow.

Dining reader

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


Here’s LRN3 dining at Rubio’s in Los Angeles on the First of June this year. That was some good food. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam and part of my famous Food series.

LRN3 is in the picture because he came to visit us while we were at the City of Hope. Which was very kind of him. Also it was a very nice visit. We hope for a repeat before too much longer. In fact, we hope LRN3 and LRN15 move to Las Vegas before too much longer. Keep saving that money, Loyal Readers!

Pretty good couple of days. Few days, to be exact. Not a whole lot is new with LRN4. She’s been off of Nexavar for a few days now and she’s feeling much better. Not totally well yet, of course, but much better. She’s starting it back up on Saturday, which represents a couple of extra chemo-free days given to us by our doctor this morning.

By the way, we’re still in Las Vegas. Our one-day trip back to Los Angeles was delayed from today to next Monday. Our doctor there isn’t in the office today, so he asked us to come next week instead. So we went to see our Las Vegas doctor today. He said LRN4 is doing pretty well and sent her to the emergency room for platelets. Which we expected. If we can’t get them scheduled ahead of time on a Monday or a Wednesday here, we have to go to the emergency room.

She decided to drive over there herself this time. Fortunately, she felt strong enough to do that today. I needed to stay home to supervise the drywall guys, who came to do a bit of warranty work. It appears that they did a nice job. Our home warranty expires next week, so we’ve been scurrying around getting things done. Fortunately, there has been very little that needed doing. We’re quite impressed with the quality of the materials and workmanship that went into making this house. I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do.

Any Loyal Reader who got the Joe Walsh quote earns a gold star. Any Loyal Reader who even knows who Joe Walsh is gets another gold star.

Not a lot of news on the work front. My renewed startup on the PC program is going a bit slowly. We’ll get there, but it’s a slow start. Again.

On the iOS front, I have sold five copies of the new app! That’s fifteen whole bucks. Well, not quite. Apple keeps 30%. So I’ve made twelve bucks! I also have a couple of bugs to fix already. Sigh. Need to get that done tomorrow, probably.

Also need to get the Mini fixed tomorrow. Again. It was in the shop last week, but they failed to detect a problem with the battery. I fear it may be bad. LRN2 will help me get down there and back. Also need to fix LRN2’s air conditioning – we’re pretty sure it’s a bad relay in a box under the hood. It costs a few hundred dollars to get it fixed at a Ford dealer. You can buy the box online for about $150 or used for maybe $50. Or you can order a replacement relay for under $2, open the box, and replace it yourself. That’s the route we’re going.

Oh, by the way, it cost us about $10 to get the part shipped to us, so it wasn’t quite as cheap as it seems. But it’s still a whole lot cheaper than all the alternatives. Also, the used part is likely to be just as bad as the original one. So the $50 option isn’t really viable.

And then we need to get LRN2’s car smogged and registered. Lots to do.

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

See you tomorrow.

Ensenada arrival

Monday, September 16th, 2013


Here’s our 2011 Hawaii cruise ship about to arrive back in North America. Fortunately, this wasn’t the end of the cruise – we still had one more night to go. We made a brief stop in Ensenada to stay legal with the Jones Act and then spent one more lovely night heading back to Los Angeles. That was a really good cruise. Great Art courtesy of the (then brand-new!) exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in the port of Ensenada, Mexico, and part of my famous Cruise, Machinery, and Vacation series.

That’s a really big flag. Really big.

Missed a couple of posts yet again. Sorry about that.

Pretty good day today. We visited with LRN4’s Las Vegas doctor and got a pretty clean bill of health – she’s at least clean enough to go for three more days without getting blood. Her platelets are down a bit but still just fine, her red cells are great, and her white cells are up a bit. We never know if increasing white cell counts are good or bad things these days, so we’re assuming it’s good.

We were supposed to go see our doctor in California on Thursday of this week, but he called today and let us know he won’t be in the office that day, so we rescheduled to next Monday. We’ll have to see whether we can get in to see our Las Vegas doctor on Thursday instead.

The weekend went well. LRN4’s still feeling quite weak, but she felt that she was improved enough to be able to make it through two hours of church, so we did. Otherwise, it was a relaxing weekend.

Not much news on the work front for me. I’ve started working on the medical app, but progress is slow. Maybe I’ll get something big done tomorrow. In the meantime, I did a little bit of support work on the iOS app. I made a quick “getting started” video, which I posted on the Business Casual website (have a look!). In the middle of making it, I noticed a bug in one of the reports, which I confirmed. Shortly after that, LRN8 reported another bug in that same report. Oops. I’ll get it fixed right away and resubmitted.

I finally got my Apple developer account switched from an individual account to a business one over the weekend. It took quite a while (since July!) because of Apple’s long downtime after their developer website was compromised, but it’s done! My apps now show up under my business name! I think that’ll end up being a good thing, businesswise.

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

See you tomorrow.

Fermented mudfish

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013


Here’s an . . . interesting little delicacy: fermented mudfish. In rice! Looks like somebody grabbed one of the jars already. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam taken at the very nifty Filipino grocery store very close to our house, and part of my famous Food and Las Vegas series.

Actually, I’m sure fermented mudfish is very . . . umm . . . relatively . . . umm . . . sort of good. Although the Wikipedia article on the stuff doesn’t really sound all that encouraging either. Best to leave it on the list of things not to try anytime soon.

Pretty good day. LRN4 was feeling reasonably chipper, although I think she maybe overdid things a bit. She’s pretty exhausted by tonight. I’ll try to make sure she gets plenty of rest tomorrow. Not that she really wants it, but she really needs it.

I’m feeling pretty optimistic for the future. I think we have a pretty fair chance of getting LRN4 into a remission that will last for a while. Of course, the odds aren’t really on our side right now, but they’re actually very good for a cancer patient and LRN4 has the strength and endurance to make it, and I think that’s half the battle. When you give up, you’re done.

I upgraded both my iPhone and my iPad to iOS 7 today. It still hasn’t been released, so I’ll refrain from giving a review here, but I will say that it’s a significant change. Just like everybody says. When I first got an iPad, I spent the first couple of days thinking I had just wasted $500, but I gradually started using it more and more often and it fairly quickly became a beloved constant companion. I think iOS 7 will do the same. Except for one built-in app. I hate that one and think it’s a horrible step backwards from the original. I’ll let you know later which one that is. For now, I just hate it. But I’m starting to like everything else.

Started working on the medical app today. I put together a website for it late yesterday evening. Have a look and tell me what I can improve. I humbly ask because I sincerely wish to improve. After a Google Plus chat with my partner John, we got it to compile again on my machine. I’ll start wringing it out as much as I can tomorrow. We have documentation to write, testing to do, conference participation to reserve, how to take payment to figure out, and probably a thousand other things to think about. I think it’ll be a serious full-time job from now until its release date on February.

I got a new thumb drive yesterday – the [amazon asin=B003DTLWHU&text=Tuff ‘N Tiny 16 GB] model. I love it so far. Highly recommended. The occasion was that we thought we had lost the USB drive in LRN4’s car, so I gave her one of mine and ordered a replacement. She found her old one today. Oh well, you can’t have too many thumb drives, I always say.

Today was 9/11. Like a lot of people, I thought today about what I was doing that day twelve years ago. I was at work outside the beltway in Washington, DC. We didn’t leave early that day, but when I finally went home, it was eerie. We were apparently the only company idiotic enough to stay at work that day (thanks, Phil, you idiot!) and the roads were deserted. I traveled south on the beltway from work and got on I-95 south. I was driving my Miata with the top down, so I had a pretty good 180 degree view of the sky. Shortly after getting on I-95, I saw Air Force One with an F16 on each wing flying over at just a couple thousand feet. I don’t know if President Bush wanted to view the damage to the Pentagon from above or what, because Andrews Air Force Base is nowhere near where that plane was, but there it was. The only passenger airplane in American airspace that afternoon.

I didn’t know anybody killed at the Pentagon that day, but I did know people who lost friends. That was a grim day. I hope we’ll honor the memory of the people who were killed that day by doing everything we can to make sure it never happens again, but also by remaining proudly, defiantly free. Personally, I think the pendulum has swung too far in the security direction. We need to correct that.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: french fry-related tomahawk/crossbow standoff!

See you tomorrow.