Wednesday, December 26, 2007

And another fine yuletide has passed

Christmas suckage continues unabated. We visited my wife's parents. Her dad is so sick he can't get from one room to another on his own, and we doubt he will last much longer. Her mom is too weak to take care of him. Both are too stubborn (that's not the word I want to use) to see that by leaving things as they are, they are:
A. putting my wife's father in even graver (is that a word?) danger than he's already in, and
B. putting an incredible strain on the remainder of the family, who are juggling resources they don't have to attempt to accommodate a situation that allows no accommodation.

My birthday, you ask? Why thanks for asking. We spent it on the road, driving our way into the morass mentioned above.

Merry blah blah blah, peace on blah blah, goodwill to...oh, sod off. I can't even fake it.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Better Man (reprise)

Tomorrow is my birthday; one I share with, among others, Eddie Vedder (the day, not the year).

How old am I? If you're into magic, tomorrow I'll be the Queen of Spades in Simon Aronson's stack. If you're not into magic, I will be the hexagram "Welling," or "The Well" in the I Ching

Sunday, December 09, 2007


I had severe stomach cramps this weekend. I ended up going to a McClinic, where the diagnosis was...undefined.

They ended up giving me medicine for the symptoms (fairly standard medical practice) and want me to get an MRI to rule out gall bladder issues. The medicine has me loopy, killing the many plans I had for the weekend - though the stomach cramps effectively did that anyway.

Heck, maybe I'll be this year's holiday casualty.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Can't find a better man

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra
Louis I, Duke of Bavaria
Thomas Smith, English diplomat and scholar (d. 1577)
King John III of Sweden (d. 1592)
Severo Bonini, Italian composer (d. 1663)
Martin Opitz von Boberfeld, German poet (d. 1639)
Carl Gustaf Wrangel, Swedish soldier (d. 1676)
Edmund Berry Godfrey, English magistrate (d. 1678)
Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham, Lord Chancellor of England (d. 1682)
Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, French composer (d. 1755)
Richard Arkwright, English industrialist and inventor (d. 1792)
Ippolit Bogdanovich, Russian poet (d. 1803)
King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony (d. 1827)
Tsar Alexander I of Russia (d. 1825)
Jean François Champollion, French Egyptologist (d. 1832)
Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, French literary critic (d. 1869)
Joseph Smith, Jr., American founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (d. 1844)
Jan Jakob Lodewijk ten Kate, Dutch poet and clergyman (d. 1889)
Wilhelm Bauer, German engineer (d. 1875)
Richard Conner, American Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient (d. 1924)
Henry B. Guppy, British botanist (d. 1926)
Zorka of Montenegro, Princess of Serbia (d. 1890)
Madam C.J. Walker, American philanthropist and tycoon(d. 1919)
Stephen Timoshenko, Ukrainian-born mechanical engineer (d. 1972)
Pierre Brissaud, French artist (d. 1964)
Alexandr Rodchenko, Russian painter and photographer (d. 1956)
Otto Soglow, American comics artist (d. 1975)
Norman Maclean, American author (d. 1990)
Avraham Stern, Polish-born Zionist leader (d. 1942)
Yousuf Karsh, Turkish-born, Canadian portrait photographer (d. 2002)
Niels Kaj Jerne, English-born immunologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1994)
James Gregory, American actor (d. 2002)
Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of Germany
José Greco, Italian-born flamenco dancer (d. 2001)
Guy Beaulne, French Canadian actor and theatre director (d. 2001)
Micheline Ostermeyer, French athlete and musician (d. 2001)
Günther Schifter, Austrian music journalist
Claudio Scimone, Italian conductor
James Stockdale, U.S. Navy admiral (d. 2005)
Onofre Marimón, Argentine racing driver (d. 1954)
Robert Bly, American poet
Chronis Aidonidis, Greek singer
Chet Baker, American jazz trumpet player (d. 1988)
Ronnie Schell, American actor
Akihito, Emperor of Japan
Paul Hornung, American football player
Esther Phillips, American singer (d. 1984)
Frederic Forrest, American actor
Barney Rosenzweig, American television producer
Bob Kahn, American Internet pioneer
Jorma Kaukonen, American musician
Robert Labine, former mayor of old city of Gatineau, Quebec
Eugene Record, American singer (The Chi-Lites) (d. 2005)
Tim Hardin, American musician (d. 1980)
John Peterman, American fashion designer
Mikhail Gromov, Russian-born mathematician
Harry Shearer, American actor
Ron Allen, baseball player
Elizabeth Hartman, American actress (d. 1987)
Silvia Sommerlath, Queen of Sweden
Wesley Clark, U.S. general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander
Ron Bushy, American drummer (Iron Butterfly)
Edita Gruberova, Slovak operatic soprano
Susan Lucci, American actress
Heikki Lahtinen, Finnish race walker
Jack Ham, American football player
Adrian Belew, American musician
Michael C. Burgess, American politician
Ilchi Lee, Korean educator and author
Anthony Phillips, British guitarist (Genesis)
William Kristol, American political commentator
Dave Murray, English guitarist (Iron Maiden)
Michele Alboreto, Italian Formula one driver (d. 2001)
Dan Bigras, Canadian singer
Trisha Goddard, English television presenter
Victoria Williams, American singer
Joan Severance, American actress
Geoff Willis, British engineer
Carol Smillie, British television personality
Keiji Muto, Japanese professional wrestler
Bertrand Gachot, Belgian racing driver
Jim Harbaugh, American football player
Donna Tartt, American author
Eddie Vedder, American musician (Pearl Jam)
Carla Bruni, Italian-French model, songwriter and singer
Martha Byrne, American actress
Catriona LeMay Doan, Canadian speed skater
Raymont Harris, American football player
Corey Haim, Canadian actor
Masayoshi Yamazaki, Japanese singer-songwriter
Michalis Klokidis, Greek footballer
Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, British socialite
Agustín Delgado, Ecuadorian footballer
Sky Lopez, American actress
Vadim Sharifijanov, Russian ice hockey player
Brad Lidge, American baseball player
Dimitris Mavrogenidis, Greek footballer
Jamie Noble, American professional wrestler
Alge Crumpler, American football player
Jari Mäenpää, Finnish guitarist and singer
Paul Shirley, American basketball player
Andra Davis, American football player
Esthero, Canadian musician and singer
Jodie Marsh, British pornographic model
Víctor Martínez, Venezuelan baseball player
Estella Warren, Canadian model and actress
Summer Altice, American model and actress
Scott Gomez, American ice hockey player
Beth, Spanish singer
Michael Chopra, English footballer
Hanley Ramírez, Dominican baseball player
Harry Judd, British drummer (McFly)
Luke O'Loughlin, Australian actor
Eri Kamei, Japanese singer
Anna Maria Perez de Tagle, American actress, model, and singer

Sunday, November 25, 2007

And what do the holidays mean to *you*?

My best friend from high school died a few days before New Years Day a few years ago.

One of my parents died in November, the other in December a year later.

Warren Zevon died in September of 2003 (close enough).

My grandmother died in early January.

What are the holidays to me? A death watch. Whose turn is it this time?

Merry freakin' Christmas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Random thoughts on a random day

  • It's hard for me to get motivated today, and I have to attend a slew of meetings. Coincidence?
  • Tools can be used for either good or evil. The internet is a really powerful tool.
  • Now that I'm not really working on magic any more I just had a routine I co-created published on an e-zine. Seems weird.
  • I also came up with some effects using a strange little pen. Maybe I should quit magic more often.
  • I'm continuing my odd obsession with autism and disability rights. (Side note: I wonder if this mention of autism will bring as many comments as the last one.)
  • After a period of relative calm, my arthritic knees are acting up again. Sucks.
  • I discovered a comedian (dead) that I really like, and it's spurred me to write more of my own. Comedy, that is.
  • If I buy any more CDs I'm going to turn my house into a Sam Goody's.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


My work requires me to set annual goals. Frequently I go through the motions, doing this because I have to. This year I'm pretty excited about a couple of my goals - what the corporate world calls "stretch goals," goals that take one out of one's comfort zone.

One of my job functions is to provide technical assistance for companies that do business with my company. I provide that support in English, and I trained the team that provides support in various other languages. Currently there is insufficient monitoring of the language support team. Therefore, one of my goals is to learn Spanish to the extent that I can monitor their support calls and emails in that language and, if necessary, provide backup support.

We have a very valuable member of our team who does web development, mainly using PHP. He is currently the only person on the team with his skill set. We've learned in the past that having only one person who can do something is a bad business model. Since I have a programming background (deeeeep background...) the powers that be have decided that I'm going to be his backup, so I'm also learning PHP and web development.

It's exciting and all, but learning two new languages simultaneously is a bitch.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Music and pictures

I recently bought a digital camera. It was a small extravagance from the second round of an inheritance I recently received. I took some pictures of my cat - I learned my lesson after my other cat died - then found out that I couldn't get all of the features of my new camera to work.

I went to the camera store today and a salesman was able to get the camera to function properly, although even he doesn't know how he did it. Once I had a fully-functioning Samsung NV3 I wanted to test it. On what, I wondered. Jessica Alba wasn't available so I had to come up with an alternate choice.

I've been feeling nostalgic, and there's an old friend I haven't visited in a while, so I decided that would be the first test of the newly working camera. And in honor of that, I'm rerunning a post from march of 2006, this time with pictures.


Music is incredibly important to me. It's as close as I come to a religion. I use music to lift me when I'm sad, or to help me experience grief, or to connect to people, even if they're no longer here.

Up until about four years ago I'd never really experienced the death of anyone close to me, which is fairly amazing considering I'm old enough to have seen the Monkees t.v. show in it's original run. (Just wait...I really am going to connect these thoughts.) Starting in 2002 I experienced a string of deaths, starting with my best friend from high school. There has been at least one a year since then, and sometimes more. It's as if karma is paying me back for all those years of not having to deal with grief.

That first one, my friend from my high school years, hit me really hard. Scott came along at an interesting time in my life, and had I been the betting type I'd have bet we would have never hit it off. He was from a rich, close-knit family; I'm from the definition of dysfunctional, and would frequently wear borrowed clothes and go without eating. But for whatever reason we clicked immediately.

Our two favorite pastimes were pinball and driving while listening to music. We expanded each other's musical horizons; he was more the John Denver/easy pop type, and I was into rock and jazz. On our drives we would meander, listen to whatever, and solve all the world's problems as only teenagers can do. My home life was a mess. I truly believe Scott saved my life.

For a while we we were inseparable. I was with him on a double date when he first met the woman who would become his wife. I was the best man at his wedding. Then life, as it has a way of doing, intervened. We kept in sporadic touch, but never really got back together. I did go to his 30th birthday party, a huge bash every bit as embarrassing as a 30th should be. Oddly enough I never lost the feeling that he was my best friend.

Five years later he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. By that time he had two kids and a third on the way. He battled long and hard, getting a bone marrow transplant from his older sister.

I heard on New Years Eve, 2002 that he had died a few days earlier. I attended a memorial service that day, and the funeral New Years Day 2003. I got up and spoke at the memorial service, recounting our drives, talking, singing, and how he had pulled me through the toughest time of my life. I barely got through that speech, choking up badly at the end, then I went over and hugged his widow (a word that still pains me).

I remember very little of the service, but the few things I do remember I remember quite vividly. I remember they opened the service with a great song, and closed with another. They opened with the Byrds singing Turn! Turn! Turn! and closed the service with George Harrison's classic Here Comes The Sun.

I used music to help me get through the grief of his death. One of my favorite artists, Warren Zevon, had just released a CD called My Ride's Here. For a couple of weeks I would play two tracks off of that CD every day on the way to work - the title track, and "I Have To Leave". Both are beautiful songs, and both helped me feel my grief rather than bottle it up. (In a twist of fate that would make me really pissed at my personal deity if I believed in such a critter, Warren Zevon notified us of his impending demise from cancer - mesothelioma - shortly after that.)

I haven't visited Scott at his grave for a while, life doing its intervening thing and all. But I've heard "Turn! Turn! Turn!" twice in the last three days, and I've been missing him. So today I paid a visit.

I didn't just want to say hi and leave, so I scrounged around, found a playing card (I'm a magician, sue me), wrote him a note, and left it in the planter with his latest spray of fresh flowers:

Hello old friend. Whenever I listen to music I hear your voice.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm a big advocate

I've recently become interested in autism, for reasons I haven't quite fathomed yet. My interest has led me to some fascinating books (Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet) and web sites.

An offshoot of my interest in autism has been a sea change in the way I view disability rights. Many of the blogs I read, for example, see the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon as really harmful to those rights. The argument is that it promotes a "look at the poor crippled people" model of disability. It came as quite a shock to me how many people with what I used to see as afflictions do not want to be "cured," and see what they have, be it autism, deafness, muscular dystrophy or whatever, as an integral part of who they are.

There is a way that this relates directly to me, and a blog I read links to a really emotional series of posts on the issue. You see, I'm overweight, and prejudice against fat people is perfectly acceptable in our society. I have several blogs, and it's one reason you'll never see my real picture on any of my blogs: it makes my words too easy to dismiss.

A gentleman who used to be a friend but who I now no longer know or understand started randomly posting unneccesary criticisms of people on a bulletin board he runs. When I called him on it he seemed to think it was OK to do this, then later on the board, in the same thread, posted this gem regarding people who wear Star Trek uniforms:
I can better understand it at a Star Trek convention...but it still gets me to see, oh, say, a 300-pound man wearing the uniform proudly, even at Thundercon. The one I saw was out of breath, overflowing a folding chair in the hallway. This is nothing against 300-pound men, mind you; it's just that it looks no more fitting than the same guy wearing a Speedo. It jars the senses, and it gets me that he doesn't see that. It's not his appearance that's at issue; it's his blind spot. I guess that being a tad wider myself than my height (or lack of it) should allow, I feel he should represent us chubbies a little better, by golly.

Now mind you we first met in the late 1970s and last saw each other a few months ago, so he's perfectly aware that I tip the scales at near his 300 pound (gross weight?) limit. So let's see what he's saying here: an overweight person attending a Star Trek convention with other conventioneers shouldn't be able to dress as his favorite character simply because of his weight. The options, I suppose, would be to pick a costume that hides one's weight (yeah, right) or to not attend the convention. I wouldn't have said this before, but I wonder if the latter might be my former friend's preference.

I've been fairly silent and ashamed up to now regarding my weight and the way others see it as a fair target. I'm trying to change that. The blogs I read have given me a little courage, and with some work perhaps I'll get a little more, and stand up to the idiots who think it's OK to denigrate fat people.

And perhaps I'll show up at a Thundercon, proudly wearing a Starfleet uniform. To hell with what any bulletin board moderators think.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side [Updated]

An old friend contacted me the other day. I hadn't seen him in a while. Things had changed since the last time we had seen each other. In fact, they had changed fairly dramatically. You see, the last time I had seen this person, he...was a he. Apparently this is no longer the case.

This friend did not immediately mention this. The email just said that we hadn't seen each other for a while and that we should remedy that, since circumstances would put us in proximity in the next month or so. However, I noticed an oddity about the email address from whence came this message, and being the curious sort, I asked about it. The reply? "A picture is worth a thousand words," along with a picture. A picture is indeed not worth a thousand words, because for a bit, I was speechless. My reply: "And I thought *I* had changed since we last saw each other. :)"

This opened a dialogue about where we had been and what we had done since our last contact (her story was more interesting than mine...).

In a previous life, when she was a he, he ran a nudist colony. The nudist colony had periodic talent contests. I used to do stand-up comedy. At one point he wanted me to come out to the nudist colony for one of their talent contests and do stand-up.

There isn't enough money on God's green earth to get me to have people laugh at me while I'm naked.

However, I did write some material for him to use. He was pretty pleased with it, and it was pretty funny if I say so myself.

The reason I bring this up is that she's (I'm still having some pronoun issues - with most people you don't have to switch them mid-stream) writing a book about her life and asked me to write some transgendered jokes. I haven't written stand-up in a while, but who can resist a challenge like that? I sent her the first batch today. We'll see how things go.


Update: I met with my formerly male friend today, and she loved the first batch of jokes. I guess my comedy writing career is back in gear.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

With Two Cats In The Yard - Coda

Pronunciation: 'kO-d&
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian, literally, tail, from Latin cauda

I lost a friend today.

Tigger found us in the parking lot a little over 15 years ago. It was a raw, bitter day and he was a scrawny, smelly little thing. That's how we managed to find all of our cats; rather, I should say, that's how all of them have found us over the years. (Don't get me wrong - we're not those cat people you see pushing shopping carts full of squirming masses. "All those cats" totals three, now down to one.)

It was obvious Tigger was a fighter. Undernourished, neglected, parasite-ridden, he had apparently survived off of scraps around the dumpster at our apartment complex. I guess we looked friendly, because when we pulled up and got out of our car that December day he latched onto us as if we had always been family. He curled around our ankles and purred, grateful for things we hadn't yet offered.

Noticing the sleet, we took him in to the apartment, much to the consternation of Punkin, the current owner of the domain. Punkin had shown up on our doorstep in much the same way a couple of years prior, although looking less bedraggled.

We fed and cleaned Tigger (the name was obvious; bright orange with stripes, and a vivacious personality despite recent hardships) as best we could, and took him to the vet as soon as possible. To do so I bundled him in a stocking cap of mine. I wish we had a picture.

Turns out young Master Tigger was a neutered male about a year old, more or less, and riddled with parasites but otherwise healthy. We left him with the vet for a couple of days to treat him and get the requisite shots, then picked him up, took him home, and let he and Punkin get acquainted.

The running joke at our house was that Punkin was never a kitten and Tigger never grew up. Even when Punkin played he would do it in an oddly wise way. Tigger, on the other hand, was always waiting for that next opportunity to explore, or that next butterfly to chase, right up to the end.

Punkin died a few years ago, and shortly after that Troubadour entered our lives. (Karma seems to think two cats is a good number for us...)

In the last couple of weeks Tigger had been acting odd: stumbling, and getting spooked by seemingly nothing. Then last night the symptoms became acute, and my wife and I compared notes and noticed he hadn't been drinking over the past couple of days.

I took him to the vet this morning, then got a call a little later. Kidney failure. The vet listed options and didn't state the obvious, but when I said I didn't want Tigger to suffer, all he said was, "It's the right decision."

I went over and signed a consent form. They asked me if I wanted to stay while they did it. Of course. I wanted mine to be the last face he saw, not just a roomful of strangers.

I didn't stay long afterwards.

We moved recently, and Tigger really liked the new house. I'm really glad he got a chance to enjoy it.

It's supposed to be in the 80s today. Interesting how it feels like another raw, bitter day.

Monday, May 21, 2007

augeries, with a small "a"

I don't particularly believe in soothsaying, which isn't to say I don't find it useful.* That doesn't mean I don't have my own little divinatory quirks. I place more import than I should on coincidental incidents in my life. (I really struggled on how to word that last sentence. I'm still not satisfied.)

Let me give an example. I've been pulling away from magic lately, debating whether to give it up. I'd sort of done so anyway, but not made a firm decision. Well, recently I accidentally left my color-changing knife in my pocket when I threw it in the laundry hamper. Oddly enough, Mogar color-changing knives are ruined if you run them through a washing machine.

What does the second paragraph have to do with the first? The color-changing knives is one of the (few) effects I do with any sort of panache. I m taking that as a sign that I really do need to give this whole mess up. I've already given away a number of my books, and now one of the few effects I do with even a modicum of skill is kaput. So, a sign. Augery by washing machine. I think I'll be finding a new hobby. Maybe I'll be good at the next one.


*Here is how soothsaying (astrology, palmistry, phrenology, even furtune cookies) can be useful: if the content of the message is sufficiently vague as to allow for interpretation, it allows you to gain insight into what and how you think. If you're not sure how you feel about a subject or a situation, consult the I-Ching. Read the results and interpret them how you will. Now you know a bit more about how you feel. Oh, and you don't have to throw coins or cast yarrow sticks or whatever. Just open your favorite version of the I-Ching to a random page, or have a random number generator (such as from give a number from 1 to 64 - although that leaves out the "changing hexagram." Oh well. Win some, lose some.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Over the hills and far away

My wife and I are going to visit her parents next weekend (21 April). Her father has lasted a lot longer than expected with his Acute Myelogeous Leukemia, but the treatments to get him this far have really taken it out of him.

Hard to know what to do.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A little less wise

I'd been feeling slightly out of sorts lately. And that's bad - I need all the sorts I can get. Until yesterday it had been sort of an indeterminate out of sorts. Yesterday it crystallized. I had teeth problems. Or, more specifically, I was pretty sure I had a tooth problem. Wisdom, that is.

I've never had a cavity. Not one. Zip. Nada. Zero. So in general dentist visits don't bother me. However, specifically I hate pain. So that was Problem One. Problem Two was that I figured out that this was a tooth issue on Friday. Late. And by then I was in fairly significant pain. My regular dentist isn't open at all on Friday, and not too many are open after 6 pm. So my wife and I did the reasonable thing: we started calling random dentists from the phone book.

Wonder of wonders, we found one who performed emergency services. They mentioned they don't take checks, only cash or credit cards. And they weren't on any insurance plans. However, we were pretty desperate at that point (did I mention the hating pain thing?) so we set up an appointment for 7:45.

When we got there they had me fill out the requisite forms, I handed them my medication list, which I had the foresight to print out (it reads like a short novel, what with the medical mess I am), then they took an x-ray. Impacted Wisdom tooth. "Surrounded by a bony mass." Hmmmm.

They used a local anesthetic, and said they could do it with or without nitrous oxide. You guess which route the coward took. (Did I mention the pain, and the hating?) Originally the doc said this would be a quick and easy procedure. However, our good friend Mr. Bony Mass proved to be quite the obstacle. 90 minutes and many implements later (I'll have nightmares about some of those...) it finally came out - in pieces. I'll admit the procedure didn't hurt at the time, even though they pried my jaws open wider than anything I've seen since a National Geographic special where a python swallowed a rabbit, and used tools that, I'm sure, were developed to extract information from enemy agents rather than teeth.

Once the anesthetic wore off things got interesting, and not in a good way (you know, the pain, and the hate?). Even the hydrocodone they prescibed didn't dent it much.

Things are much better today. They stitched most of the hole closed, so there is little chance of a dry socket. The pain is significantly diminished, and I still have my good friend hydrocodone, along with some steroidal anti-inflammatories, to help.

Now I just need to find the rest of my sorts.

Friday, March 16, 2007


My wife and I went to see the Cirque Du Soleil show Delirium last night. For want of a better word, it was magical.

The acts, the music, the costumes, it just all came together in a wonderful experience (odd, because Delirium is a pastiche of past Cirque shows).

It makes our magic (you know: the cards and coins and sponge ding-dongs and clueless schmucks who pull bras from hapless teens [and pre-teens -- I've seen it!] and "no, the clean hand") look like the tripe it is.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Another one leaves us

R.I.P. Brad Delp

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Finding my voice

I was driving home yesterday listening to a Steve Forbert CD. "Romeo's Tune" (a song I love and that he dedicated to the memory of Florence Ballard, late of The Supremes) came on. I started singing with it. I do a pretty dead-on imitation of Mr. Forbert on that particular song. A friend once commented on how eerily I capture his sound.

Similarly, I do a pretty decent imitation of Elton John on "Candle in the Wind" - the one from the Live in Australia album, not the one from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road; I find the former has more emotion than the latter.

Even if a song is not in my key or my range I can transpose and still sound at least a little like the artist. For example, I tend to sing harmony rather than lead on early Beach Boys songs.

When do I sound the worst? When I'm singing 'cold,' without a recorded reference. In other words, I can sing like other people, but I can't really sing like me.

I think this is because I learned to sing from the radio and from records. My goal was to sound like the artists I was hearing. If I were serious about learning to sing I'd hire a teacher, learn to read music, and learn to sing like me.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Happy Anniversary

My wife has put up with me for 25 years. Whoda thunk it?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

That's why I had a question mark at the end of "Hope"

An update on my father-in-law: He had gone to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to see if he was eligible for a drug trial for his acute myelogous leukemia (aml). He didn't fit the criteria for the trial he originally had gone down for, but they found another for which he did qualify.

That's the good news.

The bad news? Several weeks on the regimen shows not only no improvement in his condition, but a deterioration. He and his doctors have decided that it is pointless to leave him in the study.

He and his wife currently live alone in a house in Arkansas. They are considering moving to a house closer to one of his children, probably in Texas.

As Warren Zevon said on the title track to one of his last CDs, Life'll Kill Ya.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

With two cats in the yard pt. 2

We recently dropped about $4000 on new furniture for our new house. For the record:

  • a sofa
  • an armoire
  • a china cabinet
  • a dining table and four chairs

As the owner of two cats (or, more precisely, as the the proprietor of a cat hostelry with a current occupancy of two), I have come to appreciate the benefits of microfiber.

I really like the new place. If you know me enough to invite yourself over, please do.

Friday, January 05, 2007


You may recall that my father-in-law has acute myelogous leukemia (aml). As I mentioned before, the typical prognosis for an aml diagnosis is 6-9 months from date of diagnosis, and he was diagnosed in August of 2006.

Well, apparently MD Anderson, a cancer clinic in Houston, is in Phase II trials of a new drug for aml. My father-in-law is going down in the next couple of weeks to be interviewed to see if he qualifies.

I'm not getting my hopes up too high; he could either not qualify for the program or not respond to the drug. I had a good friend go through several trials (phases I, II and III) for non-Hodgkins lymphoma a few years ago with no apparent results. I miss him to this day.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Finally moved

We're finally moved into the new house. I pretty much killed my already bad knees in the process. I went back to wearing a knee brace I hadn't had to wear for a while. Oh well.

We don't have DSL at home yet - I'm posting this from work.

Wish my knees well.