Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The End of Day 31

I’m going to bed early. I have a big day tomorrow. Five hours of sitting in a Big-Boy style recliner while they drip toxins through my veins.

I drank lots of fluids today to make sure I’m well hydrated. I want to make my rather small veins as large as possible. I want to make it easy for them to find a vein.

I have my Palm set to wake me up at midnight to take my premeditations.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/31/06 8:44 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Democrats Bite the Dust

The Democrats lost another one when Alito was confirmed. This one cut them to the quick. Kennedy almost burst a blood vessel.

How sweet it was.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/31/06 8:13 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Cuba's Medical Care

One of the greatest fallacies about the so called 'Cuban Revolution' has to do with healthcare. Foreigners, who visit Cuba, are fed the official line from Castro's propaganda machine: "All Cubans are now able to receive excellent healthcare, which is also free." But the truth is very different. Castro has built excellent health facilities for the use of foreigners, who pay with hard currency for those services. Argentinean soccer star Maradona, for example, has traveled several times to Cuba to receive treatment to combat his drug addiction.

But Cubans are not even allowed to visit those facilities. Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.

In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.

Click here for some photos of Cuban healthcare.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/31/06 10:45 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Day 31 Off and Running

I managed to get myself out of bed to do my 2-mile walk/jog. My calves are still sore from Friday’s effort, but I still jogged about 60% of the whole way. I also did 10 pushups and 20 sit-ups. I can feel some soreness from the pushups. I think the chemo makes it harder to do physical work. I get the feeling it is harder to build muscle.

My weight this morning is 157 Lbs. That’s down 2 Lbs from yesterday. Since I perspired during this morning’s workout, perhaps that is partly due to water loss. Except for the fatigue from my workout, I feel good. We’ll see how the rest of the day goes.

Tomorrow it’s back into the bowl again.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/31/06 7:08 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Monday, January 30, 2006

Day 30 Bites the Dust

Right after my 7-minute barbecuing tonight I went out for my 2-miles. I must say I felt the best I have felt in quite a while. I jogged for about 70 to 100 yards and then walked for 70 to 100 yards. I had good aerobic capacity and I could have jogged harder. But I am planning to do two miles again tomorrow morning. I wanted to leave some fuel in the tank.

Except for the peripheral neuropathy (numbness) in my feet, I feel very well. The numbness in my feet feels about the same as your arm and hand feel when you hit your funny bone. They don’t hurt but they have that tingly numbness.

I did a little digging on the net and it turns out the chemo attacks the nerves. Why the feet, I don’t know. Maybe gravity lets it concentrate there, but that seems unlikely. In looking at the various potential remedies, I didn’t see any magic bullets. Some things work for some people and some don’t. It appears to be nearly a case-by-case thing.

I’m feeling too well – although I still have sensitivity in my left chest area. I’m hoping the mild pain in that area is the parasite being hammered. I’m feeling quite good right now and enjoying it. It makes me not look forward to another treatment. I’ve been through that valley five times now and I know what’s there.

But there are two mottos I have, “When the going gets tough the tough gets going” and “Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquest of it.” I’m not really fearful; I’m not looking forward to it. It’s sort of like going in for a root canal. It’s something you’d really rather not do. But, when it’s important, you do it.

I’m off to bed. I like to get lots of sleep as I think it helps me during the day. Today I seemed to have good concentration all day.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/30/06 8:42 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Day 30

The temperature outside is 37 degrees this morning. I slept in again and will go out for my exercise tonight. My weight is at 159 Lbs – fat for me. In addition, I got in 10 pushups and 20 sit-ups – double digits at last.

There’s not much else to report. I continue my slow improvement and then I get another treatment this Wednesday.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/30/06 8:07 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Day 29 Closes

We went to the office and printed W-2’s this afternoon. Now I can do my taxes.

I felt the best this afternoon since my last treatment.

My weight this morning was 159 Lbs. It keeps moving up and I think I need to ease off on the food intake. We made our cabbage, mushrooms, Italian sausage and tomato sauce again today. That is very filling, but the calorie content is rather low.

My jog/walk Friday night was pretty hard. I was determined to not back off and I didn’t. I have been paying a price for that. My claves are very tight and sore. It is rather painful coming down stairs. However, this is transitory and it will fade with time. I need to not ease off and continue to push, while I still have the energy.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/29/06 6:42 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Genius of Reporters

I found this rather telling. And these are the people bringing us the news. From Richard John Neuhaus.

As you might imagine, I spend a good deal of time talking with reporters. I usually don’t mind it. It comes with the territory. With notable exceptions, reporters are people of good will working hard to write a story that will please their editors. It is true that they are not always the sharpest knives in the drawer. These days most of them have gone to journalism school, or j-school, as it is called. In intellectual rankings at universities, journalism is just a notch above education, which is, unfortunately, at the bottom.

An eager young thing with a national paper was interviewing me about yet another instance of political corruption. “Is this something new?” she asked. “No,” I said, “it’s been around ever since that unfortunate afternoon in the garden.” There was a long pause and then she asked, “What garden was that?” It was touching.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/28/06 4:56 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Winter in Michigan II

This is another try at the Vorlon Sister’s winter photo. As you can see, I’ve taken a different tack. This time I converted it to black and white, there wasn’t much color to start with, and then cranked up the contrast and brightness. The result is stark black and white. I’m still not sure if this is the best what for this photo.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/28/06 4:42 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Winter in Michigan

The Vorlon Parents, Sister and Brother all live in Michigan. It gets rather cold out there and they do get some snow. The Vorlon Sister took this photo in her back yard a bit ago and I played with it. I’m not completely happy with the results, but it’s OK for now. I may give it another try to see what I can come up with.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/28/06 4:22 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Almost Flowers

We finished raking out the flowerbeds today. What you see here are Crocuses. They’re just not all the way up yet. This is the spot that usually has blooms first. They’re an early variety, but they’re not quite ready yet. I would guess they’re a couple of weeks away form blooming.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/28/06 4:19 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Day 28

Not much to report this morning. I slept well and I’m feeling pretty well – except for some sensitivity in my left chest area. It’s more noticeable on deep inhalations. I’ve had it since this whole adventure started. And I’m still experiencing some shortness of breath.

We’re off to a funeral this morning. One of the members of our church recently passed away. He was 93 years old and had been suffering for some time.

It seems events have proved him wrong. He always maintained that Christ would return before he died.

I still want to rake out the rest of the flower garden this afternoon.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/28/06 10:45 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Goodnight on Day 27

I felt quite well today. Tonight I went out for the two miles I didn’t get in this morning. I was feeling pretty good, especially after my afternoon coffee. I jogged about 50% of the first mile and about 90% of the second mile. It felt kind of weird at first what with the numbness in my feet and all. It also made me huff and puff quite a bit.

But afterward I had that long missing but familiar fatigue that comes with physical exertion. Few things are as relaxing as that. I need to hit the sack. The weekends are where I attempt to build a base of sleep that I can work off during the upcoming week.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/27/06 8:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Don't Close Your Blinds

I received the following in an email and liked it.

The other day, my nine-year-old son wanted to know why we were at war. My husband looked at our son and then looked at me. My husband and I were in the Army during the Gulf War and we would be honored to serve and defend our Country again today. I knew that my husband would give him a good explanation. My husband thought for a few minutes and then told my son to go stand in our front living room window.

He said "Son, stand there and tell me what you see?" "I see trees and cars and our neighbor's houses." he replied. "OK, now I want you to pretend that our house and our yard is the United States of America and you are President Bush." Our son giggled and said "OK."

"Now son, I want you to look out the window and pretend that every house and yard on this block is a different country," my husband said. "OK Dad, I'm pretending." "Now I want you to stand there and look out the window and pretend you see Saddam come out of his house with his wife, he has her by the hair and is hitting her. You see her bleeding and crying. He hits her in the face, he throws her on the ground, and then he starts to kick her to death. Their children run out and are afraid to stop him, they are screaming and crying, they are watching this but do nothing because they are kids and they are afraid of their father. You see all of this, son...what do you do?"

"Dad?" "What do you do son?" "I'd call the police, Dad."

"OK. Pretend that the police are the United Nations. They take your call. They listen to what you know and saw but they refuse to help. What do you do then son?"

"Dad, but the police are supposed to help!" My son starts to whine. "They don't want to son, because they say that it is not their place or your place to get involved and that you should stay out of it," my husband says.

"But Dad...he killed her!" my son exclaims. "I know he did...but the police tell you to stay out of it. Now I want you to look out that window and pretend you see our neighbor who you're pretending is Saddam turn around and do the same thing to his children."

"Daddy...he kills them?" "Yes son, he does. What do you do?" "Well, if the police don't want to help, I will go and ask my next door neighbor to help me stop him." our son says. "Son, our next door neighbor sees what is happening and refuses to get involved as well. He refuses to open the door and help you stop him," my husband says.

"But Dad, I NEED help! I can't stop him by myself!" "WHAT DO YOU DO SON?" Our son starts to cry. "OK, no one wants to help you, the man across the street saw you ask for help and saw that no one would help you stop him. He stands taller and puffs out his chest. Guess what he does next son?" "What Daddy?" "He walks across the street to the old ladies house and breaks down her door and drags her out, steals all her stuff and sets her house on fire and then...he kills her. He turns around and sees you standing in the window and laughs at you. WHAT DO YOU DO?" "Daddy..." "WHAT DO YOU DO?" Our son is crying and he looks down and he whispers, "I'd close the blinds, Daddy."

My husband looks at our son with tears in his eyes and asks him. "Why?" "Because Daddy the police are supposed to help people who needs them and they won't help. You always say that neighbors are supposed to HELP neighbors, but they won't help either. They won't help me stop him. I'm afraid. I can't do it by myself Daddy. I can't look out my window and just watch him do all these terrible things and...and...do nothing. So I'm just going to close the blinds. So I can't see what he's doing and I'm going to pretend that it is not happening."

I start to cry. My husband looks at our nine-year-old son standing in the window, looking pitiful and ashamed at his answers to my husband's questions and he says, "Son." "Yes, Daddy." "Open the blinds because that man, he's at your front door. WHAT DO YOU DO?"

My son looks at his father, anger and defiance in his eyes. He balls up his tiny fists and looks his father square in the eyes, without hesitation he says: "I DEFEND MY FAMILY DAD! I'M NOT GONNA LET HIM HURT MOMMY OR MY SISTER, DAD! I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM, DAD, I'M GONNA FIGHT HIM!" I see a tear roll down my husband's cheek and he grabs our son to his chest and hugs him tight, and says, "It's too late to fight him, he's too strong and he's already at YOUR front door son. You should have stopped him BEFORE he killed his wife, and his children and the old lady across the way. You have to do what's right, even if you have to do it alone, before it's too late." My husband whispers. THAT scenario I just gave you is WHY we are at war with Iraq. When good men stand by and let evil happen son THAT is the greatest atrocities in the world. "YOU MUST NEVER BE AFRAID TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT! EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO DO IT ALONE!" BE PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! BE PROUD OF OUR TROOPS! SUPPORT THEM! SUPPORT AMERICA SO THAT IN THE FUTURE OUR CHILDREN WILL NEVER HAVE TO CLOSE THEIR BLINDS."

Steven R Chandler, CMSgt
332 ELRS/Vehicle Management
Flight Balad Air Base, Iraq

Although this is pretty well done, I'm not sure it's a particularly good methphor for the war in Iraq, but it I think it comes rather close. I like Edmund Burke when he said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

Perhaps Churchill's quote is better, "If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/27/06 6:45 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Whither Iraq's WMD

I saw an interview with Georges Sada this morning on Fox News. He has written a book, “Saddam's Secrets: How an Iraqi General Defied And Survived Saddam Hussein.” In this book and on TV this morning he tells how Saddam shipped his WMD out of the country both the U.S. invaded using a Boeing 747 and Boeing 727. They removed the seats and loaded both planes with drums of WMD.

I would expect that the U.S. government already knew about this – at least I would certainly hope so.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/27/06 9:04 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Day 27

I’m feeling good this morning and hope to get a good day in. I have an appointment for an Aranesp shot this afternoon. That’s to help boost my red cell count. I opted to sleep in again this morning, but will go out tonight for my exercise. I DID do my 9 pushups and 18 sit-ups this morning.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/27/06 8:13 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Day 26 Closes

Today was a good day. I went out for a two-mile walk tonight to make up for the walk I didn’t get in this morning. That’s it for now.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/26/06 9:23 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Day 26 Begins

I slept like a log last night waking up just before the alarm went off. I opted to stay in bed and catch another 45 minutes of shuteye. I’m looking forward to the weekend when I can catch some more sleep.

I plan to do my walk tonight. This morning I got in nine pushups and 18 sit-ups.

I’m feeling pretty well although I don’t feel like doing a lot of physical activity. That’s a little frustrating.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/26/06 8:45 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Return to Base

I’m back home again and it is more relaxing to be home than in a hotel room. Traffic for the drive home was light and the trip uneventful. The Vorlon Parents called just as I was sitting in the cockpit going through my preflight countdown after eating at one of the rest areas.

It is hard to eat healthy, when you’re on the road. Vegetables, which I like a lot, are about as scarce as people driving the speed limit on the Turnpike.

I’m fading now, so I’ll say so long until tomorrow.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/25/06 9:01 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Death by PowerPoint

I’m watching CNN (sigh, it’s the only thing on) this morning and I see they are interviewing someone can Van Heerden. He said he went to the White House before Hurricane Katrina hit and gave a PowerPoint presentation to a White House official of how bad it could be. He said it took about 15 minutes and he left the CD with the official.

A PowerPoint presentation and he wonders why no one seems to have paid attention to his spiel. I’ve a question. Did he check to see if anyone was awake after his little speech?

PowerPoint is one of my pet peeves. People doing presentations love it. I suspect those doing the watching don’t. In my opinion, PowerPoint is no substitute for a good speech.

If Mr. Van Heerden had 15 minutes with the White House official, I think a PowerPoint presentation was too much. Just sit down with the official and make your case as a conversation between two people.

If you have something important to say, communicate don’t present.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/25/06 7:39 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

The Dawn of Day 25

There’s not much to report this morning. I slept in and treadmill went on without me. The extra shuteye felt good. I’m feeling good this morning – as long as I don’t move too much.

This is my last day in North Jersey. I’m heading home tonight.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/25/06 7:26 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The End of Day 24

I’m feeling rather tired, but I still had a productive debate. My biggest complaint is the peripheral neuropathy in my feet. It just makes it uncomfortable to walk, but I don’t let that stop me. I’ll be coming home tomorrow evening.

I’m going to bed now.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/24/06 8:55 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Start of Day 24

I’m feeling a little more tired than yesterday, but that’s expected. I still feel pretty well. I slept very well. I got the heater properly adjusted and I didn’t have to chase it hotter and colder all night.

I did a mile and a half on the treadmill again this morning. Yesterday there was a girl also in the exercise room. She was already in the room when I walked in and she was on the stationary bike. This morning, when I walked in, she was not there and I figured she probably only stayed one day. I chose a treadmill closer to the TV, which was also closer to the stationary bike.

After I started my walk, she came in and started pedaling the bike. Now I was right next to her. I have long said that women are more talkative than men. After trading a few pleasantries she struck up a conversation. I found out she comes from the Chicago area, is a network geek and here on a training session for the whole week. She has a 15-month old daughter and she is rather exasperated that he husband is complaining how much work it is to take care of the daughter while the she is away. They are looking for a house and the husband is ready to make an offer.

With some relief, my mile and a half came to an end and I escaped. As I was leaving the room she said the bike helps her work off the stress of the headache her husband is giving her.

Sometimes I wonder do I look like a giant ear. I could probably do well as a counselor, but after a while I would be forced to tell people, “Get a life!”

I’m looking forward to a productive day.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/24/06 7:32 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Monday, January 23, 2006

The End of Day 23

It’s been a busy productive day, a good day. I felt pretty good today, all things considered. I wish I had more to report, but when I’m on the road I eat, work and sleep. And right now I’m heading off to the sleep portion – just as soon as I check on the process I’m running on the client’s station.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/23/06 8:57 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Start of Day 23

Although I had to get up every two hours to adjust the heater in my hotel room, I still slept pretty well. When my Palm went off at 5:15 this morning I felt pretty good. I did a mile and a half on the hotel’s treadmill. To alleviate the monotony I developed a routine where I cranked the inclined as high as it would go (12%) and then back down to flat. This was a 0.15 mile routine that I could repeat over and over and it helped to make the time go faster. Also at 12% incline it made me huff and puff pretty good.

I find I’m feeling pretty good after my shower. I don’t know if it’s the normal rise as I get further from my last chemo treatment or it’s from the Aranesp.

The hotel has a pretty nice complementary breakfast. They have a make-your-own Belgian waffle – very tasty.

It looks like it snowed last night. I see about an inch of snow on the cars in the parking lot, but the streets just look wet. It’s always a little dicey getting out of the hotel parking lot, when I leave. The parking lot empties directly onto 60 mph Route 208. Today should be even a little dicier what with the wet weather.

On a political note, it looks like the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy is expanding into Canada – interesting.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/23/06 7:33 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The End of Day 22

I’m sitting here in my hotel room and I’m almost ready for bed. I want to get to bed early so I get up early enough to spend a little time on their treadmill and still make to the client site by 8:00 am.

Earlier I went to the tanning salon and got a 7 minute baking. I’m finding I don’t feel as hot in the booth as I used to. I told the Vorlon Wife that she should jump up and down before she went in. That way she could be a shake and bake.

I know - it’s really corny. I related this to the girl behind the Hollywood Tans counter and she laughed almost hilariously. I regret that she was busy in the back when we left. She would have made a great audience for some of my jokes. An opportunity missed.

Later, after some lunch I packed Dasher-1 and headed north. Traffic was light and I made good time.

I had a wheel alignment done on Dasher-1 last week. You may remember I put a set of Goodyear TripleTreads on Dasher-1 a few months ago. One of the things I noticed about these tires is how they handle. If feels like there is very little trail in the front alignment. In a turn, if I take my hands off the wheel the car doesn’t return to the straight as quickly as before. The only way I can describe it is, the steering feels more “neutral.” I had thought the wheel alignment might change the steering characteristics. But it didn’t. So it’s the tires not the front end settings.

I gave the Vorlon Brother a call on the way up to see how he’s recovering from his recent medical procedure. He sounds good. I find it convenient to stick the headset in my ear and chat on the phone while driving longish distances. It makes the time go quickly.

I’m considering relegating my cell phone to the Vorlon Wife and getting myself a new one that is Bluetooth enabled. Then I can get a Bluetooth headset.

I have a wireless headset in my office and I absolutely love it. It has a 300 Ft range and I can wander all over and still not miss calls. I highly recommend it to anyone that spends much time on the phone. I got mine through Hello Direct. I think a Bluetooth headset for the cell phone would also be very cool.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/22/06 8:33 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Start of Day 22

I’m feeling pretty well. I don’t know if it due to the Aranesp or not. I normally improve as time goes on. I HAVE noticed two side effects of the Aranesp. One is my morning temperature is higher. Normally it is between 97.5 and 97.8. Yesterday morning it was 98.5 and this morning it was 98.2. That’s about a three quarter of a degree rise.

This morning I feel like the peripheral neuropathy in my feet is better. Mind you, they’re not back to normal, but they are improved since yesterday.

The nurse encouraged me to eat high iron foods. Last night we had beef liver in a Chinese style stir-fry. It was cooked in a carbon steel wok and it was pretty tasty. I also bought some iron supplements and will be taking them too.

My weight has bumped up a bit to 157 Lbs. I rather expected that. I did 9 pushups and 18 sit-ups.

Later today, I’m leaving for North Jersey. Fortunately, the hotel where I’m staying has great WiFi.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/22/06 9:14 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The End of Day 21

I felt pretty good today. My only complaint is my low aerobic capacity and numbness in my feet.

We did some raking out in the yard today and I found it rather strenuous. It made me huff and puff. I wanted to rake out the flower beds because the spring flowers will soon be blooming. I want to be in a position to take some nice photos this spring.

Later today I finally hooked up my scanner. I bought a Canon CanoScan LiDE 500F scanner a few weeks ago and today I finally got around to hooking it up. It works pretty well. It will scan directly to a PDF file. One of the things I want to do is scan all the manuals for things I buy like VCR, etc to PDF and then store them on the computer instead of losing them around the house.

On of the TV shows I like to watch is “Clean Sweep” on TLC. I like it partly because I’m not as messy as some of the people they have on the show. But the neatness bug has started to bite me.

Today I started clearing off my bookcase. I have books that have been there for years. It’s time to clear them off and through them out. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all the empty bookcase space.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/21/06 8:35 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

The Start of Day 21

Good Morning. It’s January 21 here in Vineland, NJ.

I slept well last night and feel pretty good. I’ve had breakfast and the coffee is percolating through my body and bringing my body up to full power – well as full power as I can do.

I’ll catch you up later as Saturday’s are when we try to catch up on all the stuff that backs up during the week.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/21/06 10:32 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Friday, January 20, 2006

The End of Day 20

Today I felt better than yesterday. As I like to say, each day the lid on my bowl lifts a litter higher.

I had my blood test this afternoon and they felt my hemoglobin count was getting too low. It had not exceeded the lower boundaries, but they wanted to do something BEFORE it went down too far.

They gave me a shot of something called Aranesp. Where do drug companies come up with these names? Anywho, it is supposed to raise my hemoglobin count. I get one shot a week for four weeks and the two more two weeks apart. I am hopeful it will fill me with more energy.

Tonight I was feeling rather tired, but wondered if I REALLY felt tired or was influence by the blood test that made me THINK I felt tired. Perhaps I’m putting a little too much into this.

Sunday I head up to North Jersey for three days of on-site, bill paying work.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/20/06 9:10 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Don't Trust CNN on Iran Reporting

I see that CNN has just been allowed back into Iran after they apologized. I’m reminded of how CNN acknowledged how, before Operation Iraqi Freedom, they published what Saddam wanted published and called it news. They felt that if the didn’t do that, they would be kicked out of Iraq.

How do we know they aren't playing the same game with the Iranians? CNN now has a track record and it’s up to them to prove they are as merciless with the Iranians as they are with the U.S. administration.

I’m not holding my breath.

Hat Tip: Instapundit.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/20/06 8:50 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Day 20 Begins

How can I make this sound interesting? I slept well last night and did my 2-mile walk. I felt very tired during my walk – more so than yesterday. I think it’s just the week catching up with me.

Even with my fatigue, I hit a personal best and did 10 pushups this morning and an accompanying 20 sit-ups. I know that 10 pushups is not much and it took a very big effort to get that last one in. However, a few weeks ago I could only do four. That’s a 150% improvement. My goal is to get to 20 pushups and 40 sit-ups. I know I need to do some other things too, but I have not started down that road.

My weight is unchanged from yesterday and still stands at 156 Lbs. I'm scheduled for a CBC blood test this afternoon. This always comes in within normal operating parameters and I see so reason why today should be any different.

I expect I may pick up some more weight next week. I’m leaving Sunday night for North Jersey where I’ll be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I’ll be taking my laptop with me, so I should still be able to give updates. The hotel where I’m staying has great WiFi.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/20/06 7:24 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Some People Will Buy Anything

I found this both incredible and humorous at the same time. William Shatner (Star Trek’s Captain Kirk) has sold his kidney stone for $33,000.


Posted by The Vorlon on 01/20/06 7:22 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The End of Day 19

Today was better. There were times when I could only sit and huff and puff, but there were times when I felt better. Sometimes I felt so tired I just wanted to lie down and sleep. Throughout the day I would have good and bad sessions.

The Vorlon Family seems to be getter some brighter news.

I got a chance to talk with the Vorlon Brother. He is recovering from his heart ablation. He’s gone through some very nasty days, but it appears the worst is behind him. Now it’s just a matter of taking it easy and recovering. I think the most frustrating part is it will be six months before he knows if the operation was a success.

That’s a long time to wait for an answer.

The Vorlon Father has also had some encouraging news. It seems the surgeon was confident he could help him with his back problem. The decision has not been made for surgery, but it seems he has some options that might help.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/19/06 7:56 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Bin Laden Cries "Uncle"

I see that Bin Laden has offered the U.S. a truce.

"Based on the substance of the polls, which indicate Americans do not want to fight Muslims on Muslim land, nor do they want Muslims to fight them on their land, we do not mind offering a long-term truce based on just conditions that we will stand by."

This is great news. It means he is hurting and we are wining. When your enemy offers you a truce, it’s not done out of charity. He wants a truce because we are hurting him and his organization badly. This means we need to keep the pressure on or double it if we can.

In the same message he also threatened more attacks on the U.S. He says,

The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your houses as soon as they are complete, God willing.

Here he’s trying to imply that our efforts have not prevented his attacks. I find this a little bit of “rope-a-dope.”

He also tries to make it sound like he’s wining in Iraq.

Reality shows that the war against the U.S. and its allies is not just restricted to Iraq as he claims, but Iraq has become a gravitational point and a recruiting ground for qualified (mujahideen).

In this statement he’s taking is talking points from the anti-war crowd.

I love it when he makes statements this. I’ve long believed that actions speak louder than words. To my mind he’s saying to the American people, “Boo! I’m gonna get you!” If he could REALLY mount an attack he would, instead the best he can do try to scare us.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/19/06 1:57 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

The Start of Day 18

I went to be early last night and it was time well spent. I slept like a log. I feel pretty well at the moment. But I have learned to wait until about 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning to get a full assessment. I have found that an early morning enthusiasm gives way to a later malaise.

In my pushups I was only able to do eight this morning. That’s down one from yesterday. I’ve gained a pound and am at 156 Lbs this morning.

I am hoping for a productive day today. I could really use one.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/19/06 6:55 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The End of Day 18

Today was better than yesterday. Yesterday I improved maybe three to five percent from Monday. Today seemed about 10 percent better than yesterday. There were times when all I seemed to be able to do was sit and pant. Then there were brief periods when I felt pretty good – but there were brief.

I did my tanning salon thing again tonight. At this point I’m doing six minutes at a time and finding it not very challenging. I don’t know if I’ll increase my exposures or not. Right now, at twice a week, I think I’m probably getting enough exposure to generate a good chunk of vitamin D. Although I will admit to some vanity, my primary goal is to get giant servings of vitamin D.

I estimate I’m getting enough exposure to generate 20,000 to 30,000 units of vitamin D a week. If I took that much vitamin D through supplements no doctor in the world would think it was a good idea. Also as I tan down, my vitamin D absorption will decrease.

I know some readers will question the wisdom of my sun treatments. The main objection I get is it could cause skin cancer. Well, skin cancer is not a real big worry at this point in my life. In addition, it has a 20 to 30 year incubation time. Let’s just say I don’t consider it a real big risk.

On the plus side, I’m told I have nice color in my face and my scalp is starting to become the color of my face. I think the more uniform color to my head is a more pleasing sight – and with my looks I need all the help I can get.

I’m in for another early night to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/18/06 7:58 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Another Holly Photo

Over the weekend, I capture only a couple of photos. I published on Monday night and now this one. After these, I ran out of physical steam and the batteries went dead in the camera. I figured it was a good time to call it a day. Once again, I’m contrasting the green holly with the white snow. I’ve pumped the color in the holly to give it a more pleasing look – pleasing to me, anyway.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/18/06 10:00 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Start of Day 18

I slept pretty well last night. I feel like I have more energy this morning, but I won’t know for sure until about 9:30 or so.

I did a full 2-mile walk this morning. What with the rain last night, the snow was completely gone and the walking was much easier. I also seemed to have pretty good aerobic capacity – although I’m certainly not ready to start jogging.

I was really windy this morning! The temperature was 60 degrees and the wind gusts must have been at least 50 mph. Today is trash collection day in Vineland and there was trash all over the place.

While I heard the wind howling through the trees, I could also hear the sound of aluminum beverage cans being blown down the road.

Upon returning home, I discovered my own trash container had blown over, the plastic bag had popped open and there was trash all around. It proved to be a rather painful job to pick it all up and restore the trash containers to their original configuration. The bending caused my back to hurt on the lower left part of the rib cage. I suspect it was putting pressure on the fluid that is between my left lung and the rib cage.

The discomfort is fading now. Upon returning, I was still able to do 9 pushups (I almost got 10 in) and 18 sit-ups. My weight this morning is the same as yesterday – 155 lbs.

I will likely leave the office early today, but I think I should be able to last longer than the last two days.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/18/06 8:01 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The End of Day 17

The fatigue is still with me. I was in the office briefly this morning, then came home, and worked. It is hard work when one just sits and pants. I feel like I just ran a very long race, except I don’t have the muscle soreness or intense relaxation that comes with physical exertion. Even coffee doesn’t help a lot. It is some help, but it doesn’t get the job completely done.

I didn’t sleep too well last night and am hoping for better tonight. It might be just part of the chemo cycle in which I just don’t sleep well some nights.

I have some expectation that tomorrow will be better.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/17/06 8:06 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Is God the Author of Suffering?

Is God the Author of Suffering?

In a previous post, I quoted John 9:1

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

In this passage Jesus seems to be saying that God purposely made the man blind so that God’s works might be displayed through the blind man. This says that God made this man to suffer all those years so that he could be cured at this time and thus show God’s glory. This has some troubling ramifications and I’m not sure how to work this out.

One idea I debate within myself is the idea of predestination. I have been through some MP3’s I downloaded from R. C. Sproul’s web site. It is called, “Chosen by God.” In this 3-hour series, he makes the case for predestination. Although it is a powerful case, I’m still not certain where I come down on that issue.

However, the passage above seems to imply predestination and it also implies that God is the author of suffering.

What do you think?

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/17/06 7:39 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (6)

The Start of Day 17

I’m still here this morning. The fatigue is unabated, but I expect that. I anticipate that tomorrow will be better. I only did a one-mile walk this morning. The walking is still a little hazardous. However, I DID do 9 pushups and 18 sit-ups. That’s a new personal best. As tired as I felt, I was surprised that I could do that many. Perhaps the Neulasta is hitting my legs more than my arms.

I weighed in at 155 Lbs this morning. That’s down 3 Lbs from yesterday. This too is expected. In previous chemo cycles, I have dropped two or three pounds in 24 hours several days after my chemo treatment. I don’t quite understand it, but that seems to be the pattern.

I haven’t taken any ibuprophen since Sunday night. I just don’t feel it would help.

Although I’m going into the office today, I expect it to be a short day. I find I can do quite a bit from home. I also find that sitting on the sofa with my laptop seems to be surprisingly comfortable.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/17/06 7:50 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Monday, January 16, 2006

The End of Day 16

I’m going to bed early tonight. I have been dragging all day. It’s the best I can do. Almost all the pain is gone, but the fatigue remains. I get out of breath just walking across the room. The good news is this too will pass. I just need to tough it out.

The Vorlons are going through some challenges at the moment. The Vorlon Wife is still fighting with her shingles. She THINKS they are getting better, but at an extremely slow rate.

The Vorlon Father is suffering from a pinched nerve in his back. He is going through tests to see if surgery is a viable option. So far, they say his heart is in very good shape.

The Vorlon Brother suffers from Atrial Fibulation and he went in for something they call heart ablation. The word I get back is the procedure went well, but he’s in ICU so I have no direct word.

Ah life. It presents us all with so many challenges. I believe it is a test to see how we respond. Actually I have a bit of theology around that. It comes from John 9:1

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

From this I take the meaning that suffering occurs so that Christians can display their Christianity.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/16/06 7:12 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Holly in Winter

The Vorlon Wife has a couple of holly bushes. This year she didn’t many holly berries so they’re not very colorful. However, but judicious use of camera angle I was able to capture some that DID occur and contrast the whole holly bush with some snow left over from Saturday night’s storm.

I know this is not a great photo, but I’m rather starved for materials and this was one of the photo’s I came up with.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/16/06 4:42 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

The Start of Day 16

I’m moving a little slowly this morning. It’s not that I have much pain, most of the body pain in gone – with the exception of the occasionally pain shot. I just have very little stamina. I went out for my walk this morning and I decided to make it a one-mile walk. The sidewalk is crusted over with frozen snow that makes the walking rather strenuous. It was a slow walk and I was pretty tired at the end.

I rather think it is better exercise when the walking is that uneven. It means that I use a variety of muscles and not just a select set.

My weight this morning is 158 Lbs – same as yesterday. Although my taste buds are pretty much recovered, some foods still aren’t that tasty.

I am going into the office this morning, but I think I will leave early. I don’t know if I mentioned it previously, but I’m feeling quite tired.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/16/06 7:38 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The End of Day 15

I’m going to bed early again tonight. Tomorrow I expect to get up a little after 5:00 am to do my 2-mile walk. I didn’t do two miles this morning. What with trudging through the snow, I just ran out of steam and came home.

I’m feeling tired tonight and expect to sleep well. Much of the body pain is gone, but I tire very easily and my knees are suffering from the Neulasta. Let’s just say I’m really glad I don’t attend a Catholic church. The kneeling out be very painful.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/15/06 7:50 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Winter in Vineland

I FINALLY got a photo to post. We have had very little snow this winter so I thought I’d capture what came last night. This was taken quite late in the day so the streets had nearly melted. But the lawn as still covered.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/15/06 7:33 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

The End of Global Warming

Global Warming ended in Vineland last night. It looks like we got three maybe four inches of snow. The temperature this morning is 24 degrees and I can hear the wind howling around the house.

Since the ground was still quite warm, the streets are not deep in snow, but rather have a frozen patina on them.

I got about 10 hours of sleep last night and I think it helped. My overall body pain is not too bad. The Neulasta is settling into my joints – primarily my knees. I find it a big help to clutch the railing as I come down the stairs in the morning. Going up is slow, but not as bad. I need to get the Vorlon Wife out of bed so we can go out for our 2-mile walk. No jogging for me this morning.

I weighed in at 158 Lbs this morning – unchanged from yesterday.

The Vorlon Wife continues to fight her shingles. As long as she takes her pain medication, she does pretty well. She thinks the shingles are very slowly subsiding, but there are times when she’s not sure.

Right now I feel hungry.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/15/06 8:01 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The End of Day 14

I’ve tried to not move too much today. Although the ibuprophen has helped with the Neulasta pain, it’s not a panacea. The Neulasta is giving me its pain shots. I’m starting to get pains that last for 10 to 20 seconds in my feet, knees and other joints. I’ve been through this before and I just have to tough it out.

My feet are rather numb and walking is a little weird at first.

Although they’re not completely recovered, my taste buds are getting better. Most food seems to taste OK, if not great.

I’m planning on getting to bed early again tonight.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/14/06 8:01 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Questions to Ask Alito

Pro Life debater Scott Klusendorf comes up with five questions to ask Alito. I think they're rather interesting questions.

1) Where do basic human rights come from? Do they come only from government or are they rooted in something that transcends government?

2) What is man? Is human nature fixed or does raw political power determine who is and is not a member of the human family?

3) What is law? Is it merely the construct of jurists and lawmakers or is it based on first principles of morals and justice?

4) What is the role of the judiciary? Should it restrain itself to interpreting law or should it legislate from the bench?

5) What are the ground rules? Should the judiciary share power equally with the other two branches of government (the legislative and executive) or should its powers transcend them? That is, should the courts be free to co-opt any issue of moral importance from elected officials, thus leaving the people no voice?

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/14/06 4:40 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Start of Day 14

I’m moving rather slowly today, but I’m moving. I slept over 11 hours last night. I know that’s a lot, but it felt good.

I expect my taste buds should be returning to normal today and I expect my stomach to be in good shape. I weighed in at 158 Lbs – down two from yesterday. That’s OK. My weight is still good.

I am anticipating that some breakfast, my 2-mile walk and some coffee will put me in operational condition.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/14/06 8:34 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Friday, January 13, 2006

The End of Day 13

Although I felt I did pretty well today, even I couldn’t completely stave off the Neulasta effects. I’m fading fast and will shortly be going to bed. I’m just feeling very tired and my whole body aches – although not quite as bad as usual.

I was actually able to do a little work from home today where it is normally a lost day. I’ll take my victories where I can get them no matter how small.

I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/13/06 8:14 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

The Party's Over

I have only been watching the Alito hearings peripherally. I have neither the time nor patience to sit through the proceedings. But I have made a couple of conclusions.

Alito will be confirmed. The Democrats could not stop him.

The Democrats have become ineffectual. I don’t know if they gave their best shot in trying to stop him or not. If this was their best shot, they’re in serious trouble.

I don’t know if Alito made them look like idiots or they did it to themselves. I’m starting to be inclined to think they did it to themselves.

I find it hard to believe the Democratic senators are that stupid. The only other conclusion I can make is they knew they didn’t have a chance of stopping Alito. Given that, they simply used a strategy and tactics that would play well with their base. Since they knew they would loose this battle, they’re only hope was to show their base just how tough they were.

I’m not sure they succeeded at even this low level.

The good news for the VRWC (Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) is what was previously a 5 to 4 court is shortly to become a 6 to 3 court.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/13/06 7:18 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Day 13 Midday Update

I’m still perking along. Moving is something I’d rather avoid, but I’m not feeling too badly. My stomach isn’t doing too badly and I think my taste buds are doing a slow recovery.

I think I’ve done a bit too well in keeping my weight up. I think I could stand to loose a few pounds.

So far, I think I’m doing a little better during this cycle than prior cycles.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/13/06 1:17 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Start of Day 13

I’m feeling rather down today and that’s expected. The oncologist gave good advice on Wednesday. He said to start taking the Ibuprophen in the morning BEFORE my Neulasta shot. I followed his advice. Although I’m not as perky as I might be, I’m not experiencing nearly as much pain as I usually do at this part of my treatment.

I will stay home and do some work form home today. I have found that I can sit on the sofa with my laptop in my lap and get some work done and it’s quite comfortable position.

I slept surprisingly well last night. I expect to wake up frequently, but I woke up at 1:30, took some more ibuprophen and went back to sleep.

I did my 2-mile walk this morning, but could only get in 6 pushups and 12 sit-ups.

I’m 160 Lbs this morning, down one from yesterday. My normal weight is about 155 Lbs so I’m doing very well on the weight issue.

So far, food does not taste too good. I have found two foods that go down well: asparagus and ice cream. Fortunately, after today my taste buds should start to rebound. I have some surplus weight and I just need to tough it out.

I’m making some coffee this morning and I think that might perk me up a bit.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/13/06 7:28 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The End of Day 12

I got my Neulasta shot this afternoon and am now starting to feel the effects. I started taking ibuprophen about 10:00 am. I ate sparingly today, as food tastes terrible. Although I feel rather hungry, I just can’t stomach food.

I have had little problem with nausea. I took one Kytril this morning. It was more as a precaution as opposed to actual nausea feeling. I’ve been taking Ginger capsules. I don’t know if their helping, but nausea has not been a problem.

My only real problem is the taste of food. I went into this chemo cycle on the fat side so I’m not really worried. I expect my taste buds to be still under the weather tomorrow and I also expect to feel pretty badly. I’m going to make some coffee tomorrow and see if that helps my general well-being.

I did six minutes in the tanning booth this afternoon to get a large helping of vitamin D. I still remember reading that all types of cancer, with the exception of skin cancer, decrease the closer one lives to the equator. It is thought this is due to the increased amount of vitamin D those people got. I’m working on getting lots the natural way.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/12/06 8:39 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Day 12 Morning Update

I’m feeling pretty good this morning, in spite of the chemo yesterday. On curious piece of data. This morning I weight 161 Lbs. Yesterday I was 158 Lbs. I was thirsty yesterday after the treatment and drank quite a bit. I feel I have a lot of extra weight so I can afford not to worry about eating. I expect food to taste badly over the next two days.

I did my 2-mile walk this morning and got seven pushups in. I’m off to the office this morning. I get my Neulasta shot this afternoon. That’s when I expect things to go downhill. The oncologist yesterday suggested I start taking my ibuprophen this morning before I even get the shot. He said the danger of ibuprophen was for people that took it every day for years.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/12/06 7:12 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Day 11 Final Update

Between the chemo effects and the late night last night, I’m feeling tired and am going to bed early.

I’ll catch you up tomorrow.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/11/06 8:12 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Blog Update

I’ve just had Chad Everett upgrade my blog to version 3.2. My MT Blacklist was starting to loose it’s resistance to comment spam and I felt it was time.

As usual Chad did a great Job!

He also installed a Plugin to control my Blogroll. It will be some time before I’ve configured it to my liking.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/11/06 3:56 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Interesting Thought from the Wittenburg Door

The Vorlon Sister gave me a subscription Wittenburg Door. Since there isn’t a lot to do while I’m getting my 5-hour chemo treatment I’m reading the issue that cam the other day.

In this issue they have an interview with Steve Chalke who has written the book “Intelligent Church.” He’s an Englishman, in case you couldn’t tell from the spelling of his last name.

He makes in interesting point about Paul and Jesus and what they say in the Bible.

One of the problems is that we read Jesus through Paul but we should be reading Paul through Jesus. When we read the gospels, we read about this compassionate, sensitive, caring, inclusive individual, who warred against the Pharisees with their exclusivism, who complained that they were hypocrites, who were shutting heaven from the ordinary people. He was on the side of those that were classed as sinners and outcasts and so on. But then what we say is, "Oh, no, no, but Paul says…" and so we water down and temper what Jesus is saying because of our view of Paul, which is mad, because we know that Paul was a follower of Jesus. So instead of reading Jesus through the lens of Paul, we've got to understand Paul through the lens of Jesus.

[. . .]

Paul never sat down, for instance, and said, "I'm going to finish another book of the New Testament today or I've got to get another couple of pages done." What Paul does is he writes a disconnected set of letters to his friends in particular churches that he knows well and he's in relationship with. So, he understands the circumstances and the personalities of the characters involved. And so what we have in those Pastoral Epistles, as we call them, is some specific advice to specific people in a specific place.

I am tempted to read his book and see what he says.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/11/06 3:51 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

January 11 Update

I went to bed late last night and opted to forgo my morning walk/run. I DID do my 8 pushups and 16 sit-ups however. I plan on getting to bed earlier tonight and getting my aerobic exercise tomorrow morning.

My weight this morning was 158 Lbs. At the start of the last cycle my weight was 157 Lbs. The scale at the oncologist’s office had me at 159 Lbs prior to the start of my last treatment and they had me at 163 Lbs at the start of this treatment.

I have calibrated my bathroom scale to 90 Lbs. I think I can get the calibration over 100 Lbs and will recalibrate to a higher weight so I can make sure I’m getting an accurate weight. I step on my bathroom scale just before getting into the tub, at the oncologist’s office, I am dressed. That could cause some of the discrepancy. I figure I’m weighing my body, not my clothes.

Since the oncologist’s blood machine is broken, I went to the local hospital for my blood test this morning. It just meant I had to get out the door quickly and it prevented me from posting earlier. As luck would have it, I happened to find the right door for the service I was looking for.

During my treatment this morning I told the nurses I was going to a tanning salon. I’m getting used to their response when I mention this. They were surprised. Obviously my tanning efforts are not being very effective if they are surprised.

When I asked if this was OK, one nurse was pretty adamant against going, but when I asked why, she had no good answer. I got the feeling her response for more of a knee jerk reaction. So far, I’ve not noted any deleterious effects. I will continue to tan as well as monitor myself for any harmful effects. I am so stubborn. However, I am open to reasoned logical dialogue.

The Vorlon Wife and I stopped at Wawa for some coffer prior to going to the oncologist this morning. That seems to have helped to counteract the effects of the Benadryl. I only felt the full effects for about an hour and then I was back to almost normal. Walking is still a little challenging, however, so I walk slowly.

I met with the oncologist’s partner again today. My oncologist is still in India helping his parent celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

This fellow is starting to warm up a bit. He did a cursory exam and said I looked and sounded good. Perhaps he was taken in by the healthy glow in my face. He seemed to indicate that he could not be detect the fluid by tapping or listing to my breathing this time.

I asked why we don’t just inject the chemo directly into the parasite. He responded that read of patients that have had a pumps inserted that pump chemo directly to their tumor and the results have been encouraging.

After he realized that I meant to inject the chemo directly into the parasite IN ADDITION to my chemo treatment as opposed to replacement of, he felt that was not a good idea. He was concerned that my bone marrow would not be able to take the additional abuse. But he offered no data to back that up.

His response is what I have come top expect from the medical profession. If it’s something they have not data on, they find reasons to not try it. It reminds me of two companies that are trying to negotiate a business deal. When they bring in the lawyers, the deal usually never happens. The lawyers always find reasons against the deal.

I put another hypothesis to the oncologist. I told him I figured they were probably millions of cancer cells circulating through my body. The fact that they have taken up residence at only few other sites, indicates they don’t stick particularly well. He seemed to agree with my hypothesis except he said there are probably BILLIONS of cancer cells circulating through the body. That tends to reinforce my hypothesis. The trouble is there are SO MANY cells running around the body that one only needs one in a billion to cause problems.

I have not gone to the pulmomologist (lung guy) as I’m not sure what it will accomplish. He doesn’t have the best bed-side manner in the world, but he seems competent and that’s the most important part.

A few months ago I had a brief conversation with my family doctor and he asked, what I thought of the lung guy. I mentioned that his bedside manner needed a bit of work. He said that was charitable. He said it’s not just patients he’s short with. He said he was at a Christmas party which the lung guy also attended. His partner came up to him and told him he almost fell over when the lung guy said hi to him without being prompted.

Sounds like a First-born to me.

The oncologist wants to do another CT scan before my next treatment. I’ll just need to fight with the insurance company to go where I want to go.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/11/06 3:09 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The End of Day 10

I stopped for some food, such as it is, in a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike. That added half an hour to my travel time. I got home about 9:30. Traffic was good and I made good time otherwise.

Tomorrow is another chemo day. Upon returning home, I had a voice mail waiting for me from the oncologist. It seems their blood machine is on the fritz. I need to zip over to the hospital early tomorrow morning to get the blood test they would normally do in the office. Then I need to zip back to the oncologist's office. The local hospital is only about 15 minutes away. I'll just be a bit of zipping back and forth before I get my five-hour rest in their Lazy-Boy chair.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/10/06 10:16 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

I am Go for Lift-Off

I'm packing up and heading home. With a little luck and good traffic I should be home shortly before 9:00 pm. Dasher-1 is coming up to full power and if I don't release the hold-down clamps, it'll tear them from their mounts. This bird is ready to fly!

I'll see you soon.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/10/06 6:19 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

January 10 Morning Update

I slept very well last night. I had the heater set at the correct temperature do I didn't have to chase it all night long.

Alas, a fit of laziness has overcome me and I again left the hotel's treadmill unused.

I'm packing up Dasher-1, checking out and going to the client site. Lord willing and the creeks don't rise; I'll be home tonight - probably late.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/10/06 7:30 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Monday, January 9, 2006

The End of Day 9

It wasn't too bad of a day today. I got quite a bit done and the client was pleased.

When I spend the whole day at a client site and come back to my hotel room, there just isn't much to report. I'm holding up well and am looking forward to a good night's sleep. If I can keep the room air temperature at the right point, I just sleep great tonight.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/09/06 8:27 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Bright-Eyed on January 9

I slept very well last night. I woke up about 2:30 and felt cold so I turned on the heater. About 3:30 I woke up, felt hot and turned the heater down. About 4:30 I woke up, felt cold and turn the heater up. About 5:00 I woke up, felt warm and turned the heater down. At 5:15 my alarm went off.

I felt tired, but the temperature was about right. I really didn't feel like getting up to walk/jog on the treadmill so I played hooky and slept in.

I will say I feel uncommonly well this morning. This is good as I expect a very busy day today.

The hotel is supposed to have a continental breakfast ready at 6:30 in the morning. In actuality, they're not ready until 7:00. But it as tasty and it is included with the room.

The room is cleaned up and I'm going out the door.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/09/06 7:29 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Sunday, January 8, 2006

My Tanning Hobby

Some readers of this blog have questioned my new tanning hobby. For those readers I would refer you to this site called TanningTruth.com.

Admittedly this site is a pro tanning industry site. But here's what they say about tanning and skin cancer.

You must realize that skin cancer has a 20- to 30-year latency period; the rates of skin cancer we are seeing today are a function of the ignorant misbehavior of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Recall: Society used to view sunburns as an inconvenient rite of spring - a precursor to developing a summer tan. Society felt that sunburns would "fade" into tans, and so tanners hit the beaches and blacktops with baby oil and reflectors. Severe burns were commonplace. Today we know how reckless that approach was, and the rates of skin cancer we are seeing today reflect that ignorance.

What's more, you must realize that the photobiology research community has determined that most skin cancers are related to a strong pattern of intermittent exposure to ultraviolet light in those people who are genetically predisposed to skin cancer, and not simply to cumulative exposure. That again suggests that heredity and a pattern of repeated sun burning is what we need to prevent. And that kind of prevention is exactly what the indoor tanning industry is doing effectively.

The indoor tanning industry believes that our role in teaching sunburn prevention will help to reverse the increases that largely are a result of misbehavior that took place years ago before the professional tanning industry existed and before we were organized to teach sunburn prevention.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/08/06 7:40 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Does God Change His Mind?

I have had people tell me that God changes His mind. In fact this passage from Luke 18:1-8 implies that God DOES change His mind

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, 'Give me justice against my adversary.' For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, 'Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"

The person being quoted in this passage is Jesus Himself.

I see a problem with the idea that God could change His mind. If God does change His mind, then what assurance do we have that the promises made in the Bible will be will be kept?

Any ideas?

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/08/06 7:15 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Eagle has Landed

The drive up was uneventful and I made very good time. I encountered no traffic jams, which is always good.

During the drive I chatted with the Vorlon Parents. Since it is a Sunday I can use my weekend minutes of which I have an unlimited supply.

I plan on going to bed early tonight so I can be at the client site tomorrow morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/08/06 6:47 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Very Shortly on my Way

I'm heading up to North Jersey this afternoon - soon. The Vorlon Wife and I have already had our barbecuing. My genetics are proving to be a challenge. I just don't tan very much.

I'm in the process of packing. I'll take my laptop with me and the hotel (AmeriSuites) where I'm staying has great WiFi.

Since it's a weekend and my Verizon gives me unlimited weekend minutes, I'll see if I can make a few calls on the way up.

I'll catch you up, upon my arrival.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/08/06 1:34 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Saturday, January 7, 2006

Saddam's Link to Terrorism Established

The Weekly Standard has an article this week that documents Saddam Hussein's link to terrorism. Here's the money quote:

Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis.

Someone tell me again that Saddam had no link to terrorism. The above came from examination of 5,000 captured documents. There are only 1,995,000 (97.5%) documents left to examine. One wonders what else is left to be uncovered.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/07/06 4:30 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

A Possible MP3 Solution for my Car

Here is a possible MP3 solution for me. I would need to buy and iPod as well as the CD adapter. It looks pretty smooth. I just wonder if it would work in Dasher-1 or Blue Velvet.

They've got a little video that makes it look like a breeze to install - Ha!

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/07/06 4:19 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

The News on Day 7

I’m a little tired today, but doing well. Coffee keeps me going. The Vorlon Wife and I went back to Best Buy to return the “extra” CD player we had.

While there I tried to look at their PDA’s but they had had none left. My Palm Tungsten E is starting to give me some trouble. The on/off switch is starting to work erratically. I’m starting to worry that I won’t be able to turn it on at some point.

Palm has an updated model of the tungsten E called the Tungsten E2. From what I have read it has a brighter screen and better battery life than my current Tungsten E.

I realize I should probably upgrade to something better, but the software on my Tungsten E meets my needs to a “T”. It will be enough of a job to load all my current software on a new PDA.

Also while I was at Best Buy I asked the fellow about an MP3 player for my car. I explained my desire for a player that had a large display. The fellow said that if my car can take a CD changer it may solve my problem. He said there is an add-on for the iPod that plugs into the CD change connection of some cars. This allows you to see right on you car radio display what song is playing.

That sounds very cool and I will look into it to see if that is a possibility for Dasher-1.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/07/06 3:12 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Friday, January 6, 2006

One Way to Deal with Panhandlers

I came across this and found it interesting in the way he dealt with a panhandler.

Yesterday, I put into practice my new strategy for being an ambassador to these folks. As I exited a store, I saw a panhandler in the distance. I prepared myself to respond to his request. As I approached, he said, “Can you spare any cash?” I said, “I can’t.” (This is true. I’ve allotted my giving elsewhere.) Then I smiled at him and said, “My name is Steve. What’s your name?” I reached out to grasp his hand. “My name’s Jim.” "I'm so glad to meet you, Jim. I'm sorry I can't help with money, but it’s a policy of mine not to give cash to people on the street.” He said, “I understand.” I continued, “How long has it been since you’ve had a good meal?” He said, “Last night.” “I’d be happy to get you something to eat, if that would help.” He was grateful and I went inside the store. Jim preferred to stay outside.

When I returned, I sat down with Jim for a minute as he ate. He shared a bit about how he came to be on the street. When I saw that I needed to get going to work, I took a moment to pray for him. My meager gift didn’t meet all his needs, for sure, and many times we don’t have time even for an impromptu interaction like this (perhaps we need to build less busy lives). But the key to this interaction is something any of us can do with any panhandler. Just as I do with servers in restaurants, I asked for this panhandler’s name and communicated to him with my smile that I am happy he exists and happy to have the opportunity to meet him, a fellow bearer of God's image. Isn’t this the message Jesus would have us communicate?

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/06/06 8:34 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (6)

The End of Day 6

I had a quite productive day today. I felt pretty good all day and put in a full day.

I’m looking forward to a good long night’s sleep tonight.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/06/06 7:07 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

The Start of Day 6

Jeez, are we at Day 6 of the New Year already? How time flies when you’re having fun.

Aside from needing a few more hours of sleep, I’m doing well this morning. I did my 2-mile walk/job. The first mile I jogged about 40% of the way and the second mile I jogged about 70% of the distance. I didn’t feel too badly.

My weight is maintaining at 157 Lbs this morning and I did 8 pushups and 16 sit-ups. I know that’s pretty pitiful to those that are in good physical condition, but for me that’s pretty good. A couple of weeks ago I could only do four pushups.

I expect to be in the office all day today. I have lots to do, but my travel will be curtailed.

I’m looking forward to the weekend as I feel like I’m running out of fuel. I hope to catch up on my lost sleep. Since I’m heading to North Jersey Sunday afternoon, I’d like to leave well rested. While on site, I tend to get not all the sleep I would like and I degrade. I’ll be coming home late Tuesday night and then I’ll be showing up at the oncologist’s office Wednesday morning.

We’ve got more bananas so I’ll be having my breakfast drink this morning. No more excuses to eat pastry.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/06/06 7:34 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Thursday, January 5, 2006

The End of Day 5

With a little help from my friend (coffee), I did well at the client site today.

I had scrambled eggs and Italian sausage for breakfast instead of my normal breakfast meal. I didn’t make my breakfast drink because we ran out of bananas. I like bananas in my breakfast drink not so much for the flavor as for the texture. The bananas give the drink a nice smooth creaminess it doesn’t have without them.

On the way to the client site, I stopped at WaWa for a cup of coffee. Their smallest cup is 12 oz – which I think is pretty big. As I was going to the checkout counter I passed by their pastry display.

As I did, I thought to myself, “You know, I didn’t have that big of a breakfast this morning. I know I weighed in at 157 Lbs, but 2 Lbs of that weight was gained in one day. That means it was most likely water and not real weight. I should probably consume some extra calories”

I pulled a large cinnamon roll from the display case and put it on the counter with my coffee. Truth be told, pastry is one of my weaknesses. I have a sweet tooth for almost anything sweet, but pastry is a step up on the temptation scale. Normally I can pass it by. However, every once in a while I succumb. Today was one of those days.

And it went down very well, too.

On the way home, I called the Vorlon Parents and chatted. I have to be careful doing that. Last month I went over my cell phone minutes. I’m going to have to get a login into Verizon’s web site so I can monitor them. I tried calling the Vorlon Brother, but just got his voice mail. He’s tried calling me in the past and gotten my voice mail – ships passing in the night.

When I got home, I wolfed down some supper, changed my clothes and headed over to the tanning salon for my barbecuing. This time I did six minutes. Now that the Vorlon Wife has taken up the sport, I need to stay ahead of her. I fear her tanning talents may outstrip my own. She’s still at the four minute level.

When I stepped into the booth to disrobe, it felt very warm before I even turned it on. I thought, “This may be a very warm session. It’s warm to start with and I’m going for a new personal record.”

Well it was hot, but not beyond my ability to take it. It felt like it maxed out at four minutes and then didn’t get any hotter. I can take heat well anyway and, in case you haven’t already figured it out, I have a high tolerance for suffering. I can take more physical punishment than most.

As I’m typing this, I find that I’m not feeling overly cool. In fact, I’m feeling a little warm. With the Vorlon Wife’s assistance, however, I have examined myself and I don’t see any evidence of overexposure.

Well that’s about it for tonight. 5:10 am will be here before I want it, and this time I’m doing some jogging as well as my pushups and sit-ups.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/05/06 9:25 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Start of Day 5

I’m rather tired this morning. I feel like I could really use another couple of hours of sleep. It is interesting how easy it is to convince oneself how much better it would be to just roll over and get some more sleep instead of getting up to get some exercise. Particularly at 5:10 am.

I opted for the exercise but walked instead of walk/jog and my total distance was bout 1.5 miles instead of the full two miles. I have also foregone my pushups and sit-ups this morning.

My weight is back up to 157 Lbs. I think its water. I can barely take off my wedding ring my finger is so swollen. Perhaps it was the Chinese take-out we had for supper last night.

I’m off to Rahway this morning. It’ll be a two-hour trip each way, but I’ll get some good billable hours.

In a conversation with a client last evening, they want me for two days next week. They actually wanted me for three days, but I told them I’m only available for Monday and Tuesday as I’m scheduled for chemo on Wednesday.

Busy is good.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/05/06 6:59 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Wednesday, January 4, 2006

The End of Day 4

My physical self continues to improve as I detoxify from the chemo. I had a good day today. It helps to get out of the office at a client site as it gets me to concentrate on other things. The only drawback is that people around me don’t seem to know how to interact with me.

They know I have my medical challenges but, at this point, I seem pretty normal – well normal for me anyway. I also look fairly normal. In addition, I have this very healthy glow to my face.

I wear my hat while at a client site - vanity. Therefore, the only large difference is my eyebrows are almost non-existent.

I don’t discuss my condition unless they ask. I think I start to bore people when I get to talking about it. Perhaps I should package it as a speech and take it on the road. I wonder if anyone would pay to listen – probably not. Although my friend Dr. Dave thinks, I should have my own talk show. However, I think he may be almost as crazy as me.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/04/06 8:31 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

The Start of Day 4

It was 37 degrees at 5:30 when I went out for my two-mile walk/jog this morning. I’d like to say I feel very good, but as my physical condition improves, I push harder in my exercise routine to retain a tired feeling. I’ll have some coffee a little later this morning and that should perk me up.

On my walk/jog, I jogged about 40% of the first mile and about 60% of the second mile. I have the desire to build up as much aerobic capacity as I can until my next chemo treatment next Wednesday.

I was able to do eight pushups this morning. That last one was a supreme effort, but I got it. I don’t know if I can repeat this tomorrow morning. The eight pushups means I also did 16 sit-ups. They are much easier.

The Vorlon Father is undergoing a myelogram this morning to see how bad the pinched nerve in his back is. I wish him luck.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/04/06 7:08 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

The End of Day 3

It was a good day today. Coffee kept me going and I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/03/06 9:01 PM | Link

The Start of Day 3

I’m feeling well this morning. I slept well last night and only wish that I were still cutting some Z’s. When the alarm went off this morning, it awoke me from a deep slumber. That’s the way I like it to happen. The worst is to lay there waiting for the alarm to go off.

During my two-mile workout this morning, I did some jogging. I jogged about 30% of the first mile and about 50% of the second mile. I didn’t feel to badly jogging. The true test will be how I hold up throughout the day. If I overdid it, I will be really dragging by lunch.

My weight ticked back up a notch to 155 Lbs this morning. I suspect the recent weight drop may be to a dish I created. I filled our large crock-pot with coarsely chopped cabbage. Over this, I poured two quart jars of spaghetti sauce, two cans of tomatoes and some water. It was looking too thick. I also cooked up some locally made Italian sausage (Serra’s Sausage), chopped it into very small pieces and folded it into the whole thing.

The dish proved to be very tasty and we’ve been eating it for three days. Even with the sausage, it’s a pretty low calorie meal. My only regret and I will correct that next time I make it is I did not put any mushrooms in it. They would have been really nice. Next time.

I also did 7 pushups and 14 sit-ups this morning. I’m on to some breakfast and then to the office.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/03/06 6:29 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Monday, January 2, 2006

The End of Day 2

I’m feeling pretty good tonight although I’m ready for bed. I expect to sleep well and I hope I’ve eaten enough to pick up a little weight.

I’m attempting to get to bed earlier. I think with the chemical attack I’m undergoing, my body needs a little more sleep.

Today the Vorlon Wife decided that she didn’t want to look like a ghost next to me and she too went to the tanning salon. Her first session was short, as the lady at the tanning salon didn’t know if the medication the Vorlon Wife is taking for her shingles pain would make her more light sensitive. She did four minutes and had no adverse reaction. She gets browner than I do, but I have a head start.

Now it’s a contest to see who can turn the color of a coconut first. Have I mentioned how much I hate to loose – failure is not an option and all that. It’s taken me four weeks to get what little color I have and I’m not to be outdone by some Johnny (so to speak) come lately.

The race is on.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/02/06 8:30 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

1/2/06 - Good Morning!

I’m feeling quite good this morning. I did my seven pushups and 14 sit-ups and then went for a two-mile walk with the Vorlon Wife. I’m still a little short of breath during the walks, but I’m feeling pretty good. I think I’ll try a little jogging tomorrow morning to test myself.

My weight is down 3 Lbs from the other day. I’m not sure why. I’m going to work on eating a lot today.

I’m going for a five-minute barbecuing this morning and then I’ve got some work to do. Fortunately, with the internet, I should be able to do it from home.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/02/06 9:57 AM | Link

Sunday, January 1, 2006

Finally, Someone Notices

At church this morning, many people came up to me to ask how I was doing. I know that when people ask that, they don’t really want to know. However, fortified with a cup of coffee, I was feeling pretty well and I transmitted that sentiment.

To my pleasant surprise, one lady said I looked good. She said I had good color. At last, those sessions in the tanning booth have finally born fruit.

I tend to be a believer in the adage that if you look good, you feel good. And I want to look marvelous.

When doing my morning pushups I really didn’t feel like doing them I just felt tired. However, I persevered and I did seven – a new personal best.

I’m leaning to think that physical fitness is a help and rather wish I had started out in better shape. In addition, I let my tiredness prevent me for doing all I should have being doing physically. Now I’m playing catch up and it’s not easy, but I see no alternative. As I like to say, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/01/06 4:42 PM | Link

A Thought for the New Year?

I came across this and thought it apropos for the New Year.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesy with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'

Bob Dylan

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/01/06 4:27 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Happy New Year

The New Year came last night and I slept well. I went the whole night without any ibuprophen. I’m feeling pretty good this morning, but will likely have a few low points today.

The temperature this morning is 34 degrees without a cloud in the sky. It’s looking like a nice day. A good way to start the New Year.

Posted by The Vorlon on 01/01/06 8:04 AM | Link