Archive for November, 2013

Defunct band

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013


Here’s a band that no longer exists.  Clifford informed me a couple days ago that The Brewing Company ceased to exist about three weeks ago. The world is a poorer place for it. Fortunately, The Clifford Brown Trio has stepped in to take its place. So there’s that. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam (the old version), taken right after a performance in April, 2011, and part of my famous Event series.

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! I’m looking forward to the day.

LRN4 spent the day at the hospital and the doctor’s office today – a total of about 15 hours, in fact. She started out at the hospital getting a couple units of red cells. Then she went to her doctor’s office for today’s chemo treatment. While she was there, they checked her blood and decided she needed some platelets, which had originally been scheduled for Sunday (and I suspect she’ll need more on Sunday too). Unfortunately, the transfusion people at the hospital were going home early today, so she had to go to the emergency room for the platelets. That ended up taking about eight hours. Very unfortunate.

On a positive note, LRN5 spent the day with her. So they had a nice time together. A nice, long time together. No chemo tomorrow, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Should be very pleasant.

I went over to the LBIL’s house late this afternoon to help him start setting up his little Christmas village. We barely made a dent into it, but we had a nice time. I’ll be back over there again during the next couple of days to continue the work.

LRN3 and I went to Costco and bought some new non-prescription drugs for LRN4 this morning. We were going to buy some rolls and sour cream there, but the store was so crowded and the checkout line was so long that we decided to take our business to Walmart. They were fairly crowded too, but we were able to quickly grab the couple of things we needed and check out at the self-service checkout stand. Much better situation.

I miss our old Costco’s self-checkout. It was a lot faster. I also miss the option to buy snack bar items at the checkout. I have no idea why they won’t do that here. I mentioned it to a checker once, and she got really nasty with me over it. Very strange. Also very, very bad customer service. Unbelievably bad, in fact. She was exceptionally rude and nasty about the whole thing.

LRN3 and I dropped in on the upholstery shop that’s scheduled to fix my beloved pickup’s torn seat. They had ordered the upholstery fabric several weeks ago and had never called me to tell me it was in. It turns out he was waiting for me to drop by, I guess. We’re scheduled to have it done next Wednesday. I’m looking forward to the seat looking right again.

Several of our group spent time cooking stuff for tomorrow late this evening after LRN4 and LRN5 got back. There’s still a whole lot to get done tomorrow morning. Hopefully, everything will get done on time. If not, I guess it won’t get done.

LRN23 should be in Las Vegas by now. He’ll be dropping by for dinner tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing him. Thanks for coming all the way out here, LRN23!

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

See you tomorrow.

Shovel guts

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013


Here are the insides of an old steam shovel. Well, it’s actually an old electric shovel. But who’s counting? Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken at the old mining museum in Cedar City, Utah, and part of my famous Machinery and Vacation series.

Pretty great couple of days. All the kids and their significant others are here, except LRN15, who is sorely missed. But we’re having a great time anyway, in spite of our deep sorrow at her absence. Hopefully, she’s having a restful and productive week.

We went to the Ethel M chocolate factory last night to see their cactus garden-based Christmas light display.  It was really beautiful, kind of surprisingly. We stopped in the gift shop for a cup of hot chocolate and then took their self-serve factory tour. Which was also interesting. Stayed quite a while watching the factory workers work. Dance, monkey, dance!

Today, all the male members of the family, including the Loyal Brother-in-law, went shooting. The females were invited but all declined. I guess we’re just not that much fun. But we had a great time. the LBIL took us to an outdoor range down in Boulder City. it was uncrowded and very nice. They have the range divided into several bunker-like areas, so you get your own little mini-range. It was great to have just the six of us there. LRN3 has extensive firing range experience, so he was our safety officer.

I brought my .22 and .25 pistols and my .22 rifle.  The LBIL brought his .22 and 9mm pistols and another .22 rifle. We all got in just about as much shooting as we wanted and had a great time together. Then we had lunch at Roberto’s and came home. Fun.

LRN4 is doing pretty well today. She’s getting red blood cells tomorrow and platelets on Sunday. Her stamina is very good, she’s looking great, and all’s well. We’re looking at an opportunity to go to MD Anderson hospital in Houston for a new clinical trial. Stay tuned for future developments. We really don’t want to go to Houston (too far from home), but we do want LRN4 to get well. We really want that.

The kids have been using our Wii quite a bit since they all got here. LRN3 brought a bunch of GameCube games and a couple of controllers with him and Mario Kart continues to be a big hit. Nobody seems to want to play our Wii Sports games. Those Mario Brothers really know what they’re doing.

No work today or yesterday. I guess I’m on vacation. I’m okay with that.  I did have a brief conversation with LRN23 today about the new app. I guess that counts as work, no? I might think about it again tomorrow too.

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

See you tomorrow.

Washington’s table

Friday, November 22nd, 2013


Here’s George Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge. That may be the very table where George himself worked.  Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken last winter at Valley Forge, and part of my famous Architecture and Workbench series.

Busy couple of days. LRN4 has been doing very well these last few days. We’re ready for the next round of chemo to start on Monday and to continue in this status for the next few months. We’re anxious to get back on track towards a cure, of course, but we’re assiduously pressing on with what we’ve got.

Got a text from LRN23 a couple days ago, wondering if I would make him a quick app. Worked on it yesterday and today and have it essentially done.  I need probably a few more hours tomorrow and should be ready to submit it to the App Store by the end of the day. It doesn’t do a whole lot, but I think it looks nice and it will be a nice thing for LRN23 to give to customers and colleagues. I’m pretty pleased with it.

Nothing else going on. LRN5 and her family get here tomorrow. Then LRN1 gets here on Sunday and LRN3 arrives on Monday. The Thanksgiving week is on us!  Can’t wait for everyone’s arrival.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this rare toilet news: insulting toilet freshener!

See you on Monday.

Old-school computer

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013


Here’s an old-school personal computer. And there’s an early model of a text-messaging device right next to it. Pretty impressive technology, if you ask me. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken in an old train station in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and part of my famous Machinery and Workbench series.

Missed a day or two there. We’re in Los Angeles yesterday and today. LRN4 had her regularly-scheduled doctor appointment here on Monday. The doc decided she needed a bone marrow biopsy, but her platelets were way down to 3.0 (the bare minimum he wants to see is 10 and he prefers at least 30), so she needed a transfusion before he could do the biopsy. By the time the transfusion could be done, it would be too late last night to do the biopsy, so we spent the night and my cousin Betsy’s house and came back to the hospital today. I’m feeling a bit bad because we decided not to pack an emergency bag this time (also last time, but that time it worked out), so we had no clean clothes, no supplies, no pills, no nothing. Fortunately Betsy gave us a couple of toothbrushes and the doctor gave (sold) us the pills LRN4 really needed to get by for a day.

New decision: I’m going to pack a backpack with a change of clothes, toothbrush and razor, and sample sizes of deodorant, toothpaste, and shaving cream. Will get the equivalent supplies for LRN4. Then we can throw it in the trunk when we come here and just put it back away when we get home if we don’t use it. All we’ll need to do to get ready is grab a day’s worth of pills and go.

Anyway. I can’t believe how close we’re coming to Thanksgiving. It’s next week! The kids start coming on Saturday and LRN23 just confirmed he’s coming either on Thanksgiving itself or the day before. I’m really looking forward to having everybody here.

Not too great of a visit with the doctor yesterday. There really isn’t a good treatment for LRN4 right now. He’s ruled out the previously-planned DLI transplant basically because there are so few remaining cells from Melanie running around in LRN4’s body. It’s not likely to work within a reasonable timeframe. So now he’s looking at another stem cell transplant (previously ruled out because of the low likelihood of success) or an upcoming new clinical trial, of which there are a couple of likely candidates that should be available between now and next February. In the meantime, LRN4 will just keep doing rounds of chemo for two weeks out of four.

The good news here is that they can keep the leukemia at bay with chemo for a very long time, and that LRN4 tolerates it extremely well and feels pretty good most of the time. She really only feels bad when she has no chemo for long enough that the leukemia starts taking over again. The bad news, of course, is that they don’t really have a reasonable path to a cure right now. Hard times.

The doctor prescribed Lyrica for LRN4’s chronic foot pain yesterday. It’s pretty expensive and new enough that there’s no generic alternative, but we went and got the prescription filled last night. She took her first pill yesterday evening and reported today that she had her first pain-free night in a long time. It still hurts some when she walks and it may be making her a bit drowsy, but she reports the difference is huge. Good times!

No work yesterday. Probably no work today. Too busy with higher  health-related priorities. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did spend some time thinking and talking about marketing my two products yesterday. So that counts as work, right?

And that’s about it for today. LRN4’s waiting for more platelets right now. That transfusion completes pretty quickly and then we’ll be back on the road for home. I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this exciting Morrowlife Employment Agency job opportunity: tree-sitting dog!

See you tomorrow.

Purple flowers

Thursday, November 14th, 2013


Here’s a plant in our backyard, full of tiny purple flowers. Beautiful. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken five days ago, and part of my famous Garden, Las Vegas, and Statue series.

Note the extremely attractive turtle statue there in the background, given to us by LRN5 for our garden in Lardville. We think it looks even better here in the desert. Thanks, LRN5! When we see our turtle, we think of you.

LRN4’s health is pretty much the same as it was two days ago. That’s a good thing. We visited her doctor today. He reported that her white cell count is back up to 0.7. That’s okay, though. She got a bunch of transfusions yesterday, which might have had an effect, and cell counting is apparently an inexact science anyway. So we’re not worrying about small stuff like that anymore. We have enough big things to worry about.

Got a tiny bit of work done today. Didn’t work on my user’s manual, as I did the last couple of days. Instead, I got two of my websites set up to automatically publish their blog posts on Facebook. Took a little bit of figuring out, but now I know how to do it. It works great! I’m waiting for LRN4 to decide whether she wants her blog set up to do the same thing.

Just finished reading [amazon text=Johnny Carson&asin=0544217624], by Henry Bushkin. Bushkin was Carson’s attorney for several years. Carson was a great talent but kind of a lousy person, if Bushkin is to be believed. It was kind of depressing – I loved Johnny Carson and I was so sad to find out what a troubled person he was. The saddest part was the end – Johnny Carson died alone. After alienating everyone who ever meant anything to him and who ever cared about him, he had nobody left.

Next book up: [amazon text=Snow Crash&asin=0553380958], by Neal Stephenson. LRN2 recommended it as an interesting example of the bleak cyberpunk genre. So far, he’s right. I’m only a couple chapters into it, I’m usually not much of a fiction lover, and I’m definitely not a science fiction lover (cyberpunk appears to be fairly close to science fiction, if you ask me), but I’m enjoying it.

Next one after that: [amazon text=The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy&asin=0345453743], by Douglas Adams. Yes, it’s old, but I’ve never read it.  I did enjoy [amazon text=the movie&asin=B000A283AW], though.

Next one after that: [amazon text=The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1&asin=0520267192], by … umm … Mark Twain. Volume 2 will come after that.

Got all those books as ebooks from the library. I’m also working on a few marketing books right now, but I’ll describe them in detail at a later date. At least I have a plan.

Anyway. Nothing much else new today, so I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: quiche standoff!

See you tomorrow.