Sunday, April 30, 2006

April 30 Final Update

I’m safely ensconced in the Residence Inn here in Wayne, NJ. This is a different hotel than I usually stay in while visiting this client. It’s a new hotel and only about five minutes from the client site.

Dasher-1 performed all the way up, but the traffic wasn’t up to it. What would normally have been a 2½ to a 2¼ hour drive took almost three hours. I’m tired.

I think I’ll go to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/30/06 9:01 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

April 30 Morning Update

I’m feeling quite good this morning.

I am running a duplicate customer merge on my client’s computer this weekend. He had about 4,000 customers that were in his database more than once. I started the merge yesterday about 11:00 am. It was still running this morning.

I was starting to get uneasy as I needed to have that process done so he can use the system first thing Monday morning.

In an effort to speed things up, I changed the Recovery Method in SQL from full to simple. Then I created a Crystal report to see if a customer was in the database. Since I had the list of customers to merge I went down the list to see if a customer had been merged. It looked like the process was very close to being finished.

Then just to be sure I hadn’t messed anything up, I checked the merge process and it was done! Whew! I called the client at home and told him it was done. I’ll be seeing him tomorrow morning.

Now I’m off to church with the Vorlon Wife.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/30/06 10:21 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

April 29 Final Update

I did pretty well today, but now I’m running out of gas. At least I feel like I’m getting stronger. A real good night’s sleep seems to be a big help and that’s where I’m headed now.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/29/06 9:18 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Star Spangled Banner

There seems some question about the true lyrics of the Star Spangled Banner these days. Here is the poem written by Francis Scott Key in 1814.

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured after the burning of Washington, DC. The release was secured, but Key was detained on ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry, one of the forts defending Baltimore. In the morning, he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion. First published under the title “Defense of Fort M'Henry,” the poem soon attained wide popularity as sung to the tune “To Anacreon in Heaven.” The origin of this tune is obscure, but it may have been written by John Stafford Smith, a British composer born in 1750. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was officially made the national anthem by Congress in 1931, although it already had been adopted as such by the army and the navy.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/29/06 8:12 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)


I went shopping with the Vorlon Wife today. I felt like I had been let out of jail. I’m still feeling pretty well.

I know this is not particularly enlightening but I had a small epiphany while shopping with the Vorlon Wife.

Shopping for men is a mission. They are on a mission to find and retrieve merchandise for their needs. While they may observe other items as they look for the items on their list, they concentrate their energies on accomplishing the mission. They are also trying to minimize their time during the mission.

Shopping for women is a sightseeing tour. While they too are looking for items on their list, it is of equal importance to see what other items might prove just as, if not more, interesting than the original objective. For them, time of the whole tour is not particularly important.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/29/06 3:52 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

April 29 Morning Update

I’m feeling quite well this morning. I think it is in part that I got nearly 10 hours of sleep last night. A good night’s sleep always seems to help.

I’ve got a full schedule of things to do. This morning I’m starting a process for a client to merge all his duplicate customers to there are no duplicates. I’ve got about two hours of prep work for that and then I just start the process running. It may run24 to 36 hours.

Then there are all the usual errands.

On May 5, I’m getting another CT scan. I will likely get the results back May 8 or May 9. You can see my previous CT scan reports by clicking here.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/29/06 8:13 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Friday, April 28, 2006

April 28 Update

I’m feeling pretty well tonight. I even went out for a one-mile walk and didn’t do too badly. Although I can’t say I felt better today than yesterday, I’m feeling a little stronger tonight.

I had my CBC blood test today and my red cell and hemoglobin counts were on the low side. You can view my blood tests by clicking here. They gave me an Aranesp shot. I had the nurse show me the box to ensure that’s what they were really giving me. I told her I was the final quality control inspector. Then I had to explain to her what a quality control inspector is. Sigh.

I received an email from a reader about this site and asked if I was interested in getting involved.

They say their goal is to eradicate lung cancer. I guess that sounds laudable, but to me it is also unrealistic. Find a cure for it would seem a more realistic goal.

The also mention they want to reduce the stigma of it. Stigma? I have NEVER felt stigmatized. My response is sort like the knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail movie when he gets hacked up by the black knight, “A mere flesh wound.”

I don’t know why, but I’m just not interested in it. I think it’s because I’m not leading it. I know, I know, too much ego.

Sunday afternoon I’m driving to North Jersey where I will spend between two and four days at a client site. Good billable hours.

I’m staying in a new hotel – Residence Inn. It’s a lot closer to the client than the AmeriSuites I previous stayed at. I’m just going to have to get familiar with the area around this spot. Both chains are owned by the Hilton Corporation.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/28/06 8:15 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

April 27 Update

Today was substantially better than yesterday. Although going up stairs put me out of breath, I didn’t feel like I needed to sit at the top of the stairs and rest.

Actually did pretty well up to about 7:00 tonight when I just sort of ran out of gas. I was getting ready to go out for a walk, and suddenly decided the time could better be used – sleeping!

My weight is unchanged from yesterday. It’s hard to eat big meals when I seem to get filled up quickly.

I finally mixed up some ear solution. I used the formula the doctor used to flush out my ear: three parts water and one part peroxide. I thought could improve this a bit. I mixed in a very tiny amount of amount of Dawn dishwashing detergent. While the peroxide will kill of bacteria, I felt the Dawn would knock down the surface tension of the water and help to clean the inside of my ear canal. So far, I’ve not noticed any negative effects.

I think I’m off to bed for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow afternoon I get my CBC blood test and possibly another Aranesp shot. Fortunately, the Aranesp seems to have no noticeable side effects. It just burns a bit when they’re injecting it.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/27/06 8:39 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

April 26 Update

Today was a little better than yesterday – although I have good moments and not so good ones.

There are times when I get so tired of being tired, I could scream – if I wasn’t so tired. I feel like Jesus from the Bible, right before his crucifixion where he says, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will”

I feel envious of those that can run and jump like I used to at one time. But eventually my little pity party comes to an end and I move on. There are many people with problems larger than mine.

I gained to two Lbs from yesterday and will probably notch another gain tomorrow, as I’m feeling thirsty tonight. I’m drinking lots of seltzer, as it is one of my favorite drinks.

But I’m tired now, so I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/26/06 9:06 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Hot and Spicy

I scanned the article about hot peppers being good antidote to cancer into Microsoft Word. I reporduce it here.

Capsaicin, the compound that gives hot chili peppers their zip, kills cancer cells in a test tube and slows the growth of pancreatic and prostate cancers in mice, two studies show.

A University of Pittsburgh Medical School team led by biochemist Sanjay K. Srivastava implanted pancreatic tumor cells from people into mice. The same day, some of the mice began receiving oral doses of capsaicin while the others got saline solution.

After 38 days, tumors in the capsaicin group were half the size of the tumors in the mice getting saline.

Although spicy, the capsaicin didn't cause any gastrointestinal problems, says Srivastava.

In a similar study, re-searchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California, Los Angeles implanted human prostate-tumor tissue in mice. Some of the animals subsequently received capsaicin orally while researchers collected cells lining the wind-others didn't. After 4 weeks, the tumors in mice getting the capsaicin were only one-fourth the size of tumors in the other after several months of follow-up and, in mice, the scientists report in the March 15 Cancer Research.

The findings are provocative because this particular prostate cancer came from "quite an aggressive cell line," says study coauthor James O'Kelly, a pathologist.”But we're not advocating that people start eating a lot of hot peppers to treat their prostate cancer," he says.

Both teams of researchers became interested in capsaicin after Japanese researchers reported, 5 years ago that the compound killed leukemia cells in test tubes. Similar lab tests by Srivastava's group indicate that capsaicin induces suicide by tumor cells, while: O'Kelly and his colleagues found signs that the compound stifled cell proliferation in some tests and induced cell suicide in others.

I went out and bought some hot pepper tablets tonight.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/26/06 8:34 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Hot Air

I’ve added a new link to my Blogroll: “Hot Air”. It’s a new web site by Michelle Malkin. I invite you to take a look at her new site. Not so much from the political perspective, but the technologic one. She emailed to Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit about how she does it.

The newscast is filmed in my basement with a Sony HVR-A1U Digital HDV Handycam and edited with Avid Xpress DV and Adobe After Effects. There's a green screen behind me. Bryan does all the wizardry. We're having fun and it is truly amazing how all this fairly inexpensive software and hardware is revolutionizing broadcast media. We're living the Army of Davids dream. (Can't count how many times someone has written and said "when are you going to have your own TV show?" Now, I don't need to wait!)

I’m rather weirded out about how easy the technology is getting for this sort of thing. Take a look at one of her videos and see what you think. I think it's pretty slick.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/26/06 6:45 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

April 25 Update

Today seemed a wee bit better than yesterday. It just takes a while to recover from the chemo.

I dropped another pound from yesterday. I’ve dropped about five Lbs in the last three or four days. I should start gaining it back very soon.

I picked up a back pain last night. It’s on my left side about half way between my rib cage and my hip. It bothered me intermittently today. Hopefully I will sleep well enough it won’t bother tonight. For the most part, I have been sleeping well.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/25/06 8:14 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Cancer Research Update

My Science News has had a couple of interesting articles recently.

The first from an issue a couple of weeks ago found that when mice with tumors were given water laced with alcohol their tumors grew more quickly than those mice that drank plain water.

The second article came today. In this article if found that mice that had tumors that ate hot peppers, their tumors grew much more slowly than those that didn’t eat the hot peppers.

Hmmmm. I don’t drink any alcohol. I also don’t eat hot peppers. Perhaps I should find some supplements that contain the active ingredient of hot peppers – capsaicin.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/25/06 6:32 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Monday, April 24, 2006

April 24 Update

I did pretty well most of today. Although when I left the office at 17:00, I felt pretty badly.

I dropped three Lbs from yesterday. I have found that to be “normal”. It seems I drop three to five Lbs a few days after my chemo treatment. I usually gain the weight back again in a few days.

Right now, I’m feeling very tired and weak.

The Vorlon Wife cut the grass tonight – and she didn’t damage any equipment in the process. It looks nice.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/24/06 9:00 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

April 23 Update

I’m feeling pretty well wiped out tonight. Although I’m tired and weak, at least my whole body pain is pretty much gone. I no longer need the ibuprofen. I still get some body pain in the form of what I call a pain spike. It usually hits me in an ankle, knee or wrist. It is pretty painful, but lasts only about 10 seconds or so.

Out yard is really starting to sprout. To my surprise, the Vorlon Wife took it upon herself to cut the hedge – no small task. I was starting to worry about it, but I just don’t have the strength to hold the hedge trimmers.

To my surprise, she did a pretty good job. Just to finalize the job she also cut the cord as well as the hedge at the end.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/23/06 8:12 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

April 22 Update

I’m seeing some improvement tonight over last night. Mind you, I’m still pretty tired and weak, but much of the body pain seems to be dissipating. My taste buds are starting to recover although some foods still don’t go down very well. For some reason, plain water is pretty rank right now.

I’m hoping that will continue to improve. For now, I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/22/06 8:13 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Friday, April 21, 2006

April 21 Update

This has been a down day. I’m rather hurting pretty much all over at the moment and I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/21/06 8:29 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

April 20 Update

I’m afraid the chemo is hitting me pretty hard tonight. I’m feeling very tired and wiped out.

My ear infection seems to be well on the mend. My hearing seems to be coming back to where it was before. That means the Vorlon Wife will still tell me I should get my hearing checked.

I would say more, but I’m really just want to hit the sack.


Posted by The Vorlon on 04/20/06 8:16 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

April 19 Final Update

I’m feeling a little weak and tired tonight. My taste buds are starting to go, but I got a nice steak dinner down. I just wish it had tasted better.

I went out for a one-mile walk tonight, but pooped out pretty quickly. I think I wound up with about a three-quarter mile walk.

Just before I left the oncologist’s office today, I negotiated the schedule for my upcoming appointments. I’m being a little more assertive to make their schedule to be more convenient for ME. I get the feeling they’re not super pleased, but I consider myself the customer here. I’m discovering that when it comes to these types of things, it is negotiable.

When the nurse inserted the IV into my arm, I negotiated that with her. The last time she put in the back of my hand. That turns out to be somewhat painful. I think it is the room temperature fluids dripping through my vein that causes the discomfort. I’ve learned to take my scarf with me and I wrap it around the IV and seemed to help.

When she looked for a vein, I asked her to try to stay out of my hand and put the IV as high on my arm as she could. She found a vein about an inch above my watch that she was able to tap. That proved to be no too bad.

I expect the next few days to be a dark valley I will be passing through.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/19/06 8:23 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

April 19 Chemo Update

I’m home from my chemo treatment. I’m feeling a little woozy and my stomach is a little uneasy. But I’m not doing too badly. I’m going to check my company Email and my voice mail.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/19/06 3:51 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Phil Town's Book Rule #1 - Finished

I finished Phil Town’s book, “Rule #1”. It’s a good read and I think he has some good ideas about investing. The only thing he leaves out is position sizing. He talks briefly about diversification, but not position sizing. I think I’ll email him something about Van Tharp’s book on position sizing. He might find it useful.

I still would recommend anyone reading his book. He does a pretty good job of setting up a trading system that should help many investors make some money.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/19/06 2:21 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Phil Town's Book "Rule #1"

Since I’m sitting here while they drip toxic chemicals through my veins, I’m been reading some more of Phil Town’s book, “Rule #1”. It’s about investing.

I just finished the chapter of how to figure out how much a company is worth and what you should pay for. He also tells about when to sell you stock. I’m pleased with that. Most stock books tell you when to buy, but rarely tell you went to sell.

So far his technique for determining the true value of a company seems to be pretty good. I can’t find anything that I disagree on.

He also says that he may sell a stock and then buy it back again later. That too I take as a good sign. So far I’ve not found too much to disagree with. It’s still on my recommended reading list.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/19/06 12:52 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Thoughts on Predicting the Future

In an email discussion with the Vorlon Brother, he asked what my crystal ball indicated. I responded with my pat answer, I if I could predict the future I would be worth millions of dollars.

But as I think about his question and my glib answer, I think I may have inadequately responded to his question.

While one cannot predict the future and I say, only God knows the future. On can however may judgments of potential outcomes. I believe we live in, what appears to us mere mortals, a random event universe.

If I hold a rock, I can estimate with an extremely high probability of what will happen if I just drop the rock. However if I throw that rock, the probability of events changes and becomes less certain. Will it hit a window, hit a person or only hit the ground?

Also the further into the future on looks, the less we can accurately estimate the probabilities. Even if we know the probabilities, we cannot predict with certainty the exact outcome. Every day when get out of bed, we are rolling the dice.

If I buy a stock, I’m gambling the price will go up. But I always have my stop loss order, in case I guess wrong.

Let me talk about the war in Iraq as I think this was a bit of the underlying discussion with the Vorlon Brother. He teaches at a major university so I would expect his viewpoint to be to the left of mine. I don’t have a problem with that. I have long believed that Patton was right when he said, “If everyone is thinking alike, someone’s not thinking.”

Will we ultimately be successful in Iraq? I don’t know. As I say, only God knows the future. That said I can still estimate probabilities of events. If we just say, “We won, we’re leaving” and then we leave. I would expect I very high probability (greater than 75%) the terrorists would also claim victory and they would say, “The US has proven what we already knew all along. The Americans don’t have the stomach for a long fight. We have won and the cowardly retreat of American forces shows it.”

What do I see as the probability of our ultimate success in Iraq? Right now I’m putting that at 50%. Part of the reason for the low percentage is the current political climate in the US. With the three-rule in play, Americans are growing weary of the war and Bush’s opponents are taking every opportunity to denigrate our efforts there and paint them as negatively as possible. When it comes to ultimate success in Iraq, in my mind I see a coin suspended in midair very slowly flipping end-over-end.

What do I see as the probability of success in my personal condition? Right know that is just a bit too close to do any probability estimates. At the moment I prefer not to consider the possibility of failure. I am focusing all my energy into the positive. I remember a quote I saw that sort of sums up my current thought pattern, “If the goal is wanted badly enough, the facts don’t matter.”

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/19/06 10:21 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

April 18 Update

I’m feeling pretty well tonight. I felt pretty well all day today. The Vorlon Wife and I went for a two-mile walk and kept a pretty good pace the whole way.

My ear infection seems to be getting a bit better. I’m hoping to put that behind me a few more days. I saw the doctor for it today and he flushed out my right ear with peroxide and water. Exactly what I had thought about doing from the start. At least I now know the right mix. Three parts water to one part peroxide.

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

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/18/06 9:05 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Thoughts on the Padre Pio Shrine

I think about the Padre Pio shrine from time to time. One thing that bothers me about it is I don’t see how an object made by man can have any supernatural power. That would seem to argue against anything to be gained by visiting the shrine.

But here’s the other hand. If God wants to endow an object with supernatural power, it is completely within his power to do so. Remember the story from the bible:

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I will be made well." And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my garments?"

She touched his garment, not him.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/18/06 8:45 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Meeting with my Oncologist

I met with my oncologist today and it was an interesting experience. They took my temperature, blood pressure and weighed me. Then she told me they wanted to take some blood. I asked her why as they always take the blood sample after the insert the IV in my arm. She said that’s what the nurses told her.

So now, I’m sitting there waiting for the nurse to come in and take my blood. The more I thought about it, the less I liked the idea. I mean, why get stuck twice when I can get stuck once?

She came by again and I told I didn’t want to have my blood taken today; they can do it tomorrow when I come in for my chemo. She said, “Let me check with the nurses.” She came back and said it’s OK, they can check it tomorrow.

Later I met with the oncologist. He observed that I had said I wanted to have my blood taken tomorrow not today. He commented that I should be OK with that.

He did an exam of me and said I seemed fine.

Then he asked how I was doing psychologically. Was I depressed? I answered no. He asked me what I thought about the future. I responded, “I expect you to cure me.”

He asked if I thought about if that didn’t happen. I didn’t really have an answer for that.

When I left is office was feeling a little scared and a little disappointed in my oncologist.

After work tonight, I revisited the Padre Pio shrine. I know it may be hocus pocus, but I figure what do I have to lose? There was no one there when I got there. I walked up, touched the statue and prayed. I looked around and there was still no one around. I got back into the cockpit of Dasher-1 and drove home.

As I was driving home, I went through a bit of a psychological change. For the last few days, I had been rather dreading my chemo treatment. I was just not looking forward to going through the pain and tiredness another time. But after the brief discussion with my oncologist, my determination was renewed. This morning I was of the mind of what Christ said just before his crucifixion, “If it be possible, let his cup pass from me,”

But now I’m ready to take whatever they throw at me. I’m still not wild about going through this again, but now I am determined. If this is what I need do. Well, so be it. I’m ready. Bring it on.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/18/06 8:26 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Monday, April 17, 2006

April 17 Update

I guess I would say that today was about the same as yesterday. I seem to have pretty good days and so-so days.

I went back to the tanning booth tonight for the first time in several weeks. Instead of my usual seven minutes, I opted for only five. I figured it’s best not to overdue it. They gave me some sun blocker and I smeared in my newly grown skin around my head. I’ll see if I over did it when I go to sleep. If I feel a little hot, then I may have overdone it. But if not, then I was good to go.

Got to soak up all those vitamin D’s.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/17/06 8:58 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Army Enlistments are Up

StrategyPage has a post on how the enlistments and re-enlistments are up.

In the last six months, the U.S. Army is seeing 15 percent more soldiers re-enlist than expected. This continues a trend that began in 2001. Every year since then, the rate at which existing soldiers have re-enlisted has increased. This despite the fact that 69 percent of the troops killed in Iraq have been from the army. New recruits continue to exceed join up at higher rates as well.

I recommend you read the whole post.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/17/06 8:45 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

April 16 Update

Today was a pretty good day. I felt a little better, but more. I guess the only way to describe it is, I felt alert. Normally I feel like I’m working through some kind of fog. But today, the fog lifted. I still walk funny and my knees bother me a bit. Kneeling is not fun.

On the advice of a reader I have started taking some vitamin B12. I just started so it would not seem that the B12 would have made any effect this quickly.

It seems my head has stopped molting. Perhaps now my skin can get back to normal. It may be time to start my tanning salon visits again.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/16/06 9:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Easter Sunday

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

Click here to liten to it. I may take a few minutes to download.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/16/06 8:37 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

April 15 Update

148_4829.jpgI’m tired again tonight. I know it’s the same old story.

I went to the Padre Pio shrine today. You can see what it looks like. I felt a little weird going to it and I was a little hesitant during the short drive. It’s about 8 miles from my house.

I touched the statue. It was rather anticlimactic. I’m not sure what I expected to happen, but nothing seemed to happen. I just felt like I was touching what it appears to be, a bronze statue.

A lady there spotted us very quickly. She came up very quickly and prayed with us. She seemed to be on the lookout for anyone that showed up. She would zip over to them, greet them, and pray with them. She seemed to be a nice lady.

Overall, it the experience was little weird. I know, I said that before, but I just don’t have any other words to describe it. I don’t really have any expectation that it will make any difference.

But I had to give it a try.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/15/06 9:28 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Friday, April 14, 2006

April 14 Update

I am REALLY looking forward to bed tonight.

I have an anecdote for you tonight. It concerns someone called Padre Pio.

I was at a client site this morning working with their network guy. He related how his sister seems to have been fighting cancer for many years. First she had melanoma and was pronounced “cured”. Several years later she developed two tumors. One in each lung. They removed the tumors and the cancer again seems to have been vanquished. Then they found a tumor in her chest that was threatening her heart. She went on chemotherapy.

Apparently, she reacted harder than I do with her chemo. My contact said that she said when she had the chemo she didn’t know day from night. Although she lives in Greenville, SC, she frequently comes to South Jersey with her family to visit her parent and siblings.

On one of those trips, my contact took her to the local Padre Pio shrine. I guess it took some coxing. He had her touch the statue and pray.

Later, when she returned to SC, she was home, when she heard a knock on the door. It was the priest that had come to visit her. She invited him in and made some tea or coffee. After a while, he left.

When her husband came home, he could tell that someone had been there as there were used cups still on the table. His wife, still suffering from the chemo had gone back to bed. Somewhat later, I don’t know whether it was hours or days later, she saw something about Padre Pio. When she saw the picture, she told her husband that was the priest that visited me.

Weird, I know.

On her last CT Scan, they could not find a trace of the tumor that was clearly visible in the previous scan.

My friend told me, “I don’t know if you’re religious or not. But just go to the shrine and touch the statue.”

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/14/06 8:49 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

April 13 Update

I’m back in South Jersey again. Dasher-1 performed well throughout the whole mission. Traffic on the Parkway was very heavy, but once I hit the Turnpike, it cleared up and I made good time the REST of the way.

I’m tire and ready for bed.


Posted by The Vorlon on 04/13/06 10:36 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Train Your Brain?

I saw an ad for this and thought, “Now this is something I really need.” Between the chemo and the head radiation, I’ve felt like I’ve lost about 30 IQ points.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/12/06 9:57 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (3)

April 12 Update

It’s well past my bedtime – AGAIN! But I wanted to catch you up on developments. I’ve got my eardrops, but it’s hard to do the 4X a day when you’re on site at the client.

I’m feeling tired, but my biggest complaint is my feet. The numbness is a real irritant. It makes walking uncomfortable and a little shaky.

The project is going well and I will be coming home tomorrow night.

I was having a problem with one station. If a user could successfully log into Dynamics on that station, then they could not log into Dynamics on any other station, unless I reset their password on anther station. I didn’t change the password, I only reset it. Once I did that they could log in on the other stations, but now I could not log them into the original station – until I reset the user password on that station.

Microsoft tech support came to my rescue. They had me check out how the SQL ODBC driver was set up on the one station. I immediately found the problem. On all stations the ODBC driver referenced the SQL Server as the server name. On my one station, the ODBC driver referenced the IP address of the server. I change the one station to use the sever name and my problem went away.

I am curious that everything worked fine using Dynamics 8.0, 9.0 seems much pickier about security issues.

The client is still using SQL Server 2000. The hardware tech that works with me on this client said that SQL 2005 is not for the faint of heart.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/12/06 9:55 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sometimes the French are hard to figure out

From Strategypage:

France is sending its nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, to the coast of Pakistan. There, the carrier will sent its twenty warplanes to bases in Afghanistan, to support NATO peacekeeping efforts. The de Gaulle will arrive off Pakistan in May, 2006.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/11/06 10:09 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

April 11 Update

I’m feeling tired tonight. I called the doctor’s office to see if they have called the prescription in. The receptionist confirmed they had called. Then I called the pharmacy to be sure they did indeed get the call.

After leaving the client site, I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up the eardrops. When I showed up, the pharmacist said he was having trouble with the insurance company.

I responded, “Why do I bother?” Then I asked, “How much are we talking here?”

They said, “$39.95.” I said, “Bill me.” There comes a time when you just gotta make a decision and cut to the chase. That was then.

The pharmacist said to come back tomorrow and if he can work it out with the insurance company, he’ll refund the difference on my credit card.

That works for me.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/11/06 9:50 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Monday, April 10, 2006

April 10 Final Update

I’m feeling surprisingly well tonight. I’m tired, but I don’t feel as wiped as last night.

I called a pharmacy and told them what happened. The pharmacist said that the other pharmacy could just call the refill to him. Then he put me on hold. I finally gave up waiting and sent back to work.

I got a break about 5:30 and called them again. The girl I spoke said that my doctor will have to call the prescription in to them. I call the doctor’s office and they were still open. I told them what happened and asked if they would call in the prescription. She said they would and promised to call my cell phone, once done.

I left the client site about 7:45. It was 8:00 pm by time I got to the pharmacy. The doctor’s office had not called.

I’ll contact the doctor’s office again tomorrow. I wondered why I could just put some peroxide in my ears. I would think it would be as effective as antibiotics.

The project at the client site has made good progress. I have some loose ends to tie up tomorrow, but we’re definitely out of the woods on this. The client’s network guru showed up today and he was quite a bit of help.

Part of my problem is that in the new version of Microsoft Dynamics now treats the username in logins as case sensitive. That took a while to figure out as in the past, the user long name was NOT case sensitive. Once we put that behind us, we moved along well.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/10/06 9:52 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

April 10 Update

I’m feeling better this morning. Last night I was feeling really wiped. But I AM a morning person and that’s almost always when I feel my best.

I had a small accident last night. When I was doing my ear drops, I accidentally tipped the bottle onto the floor and all my ear drops quickly adsorbed into the carpet. Argh!

Now I’ve need to figure out how to get a replacement and I don’t’ really have the time for that.

One thing I worry about is my job. Although my job is not physical like running a jackhammer, it is physical to a degree. That physical ness is the ability to work long hours, when the situation requires it. I don’t have that endurance right now and the puts me somewhat behind the 8-Ball.

We’ll see how today goes.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/10/06 7:22 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Sunday, April 9, 2006

April 9 Final Update

I’m heading off to bed. As it frequently the case on projects not everything went as I had expected. That means I’m a little behind the 8-ball on this, but will figure out a way to get back on track tomorrow.

Now I’m just tired.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/09/06 8:38 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Do You Have Pain?

I was watching TV this morning and saw an infomercial for something called LightRelief. They claim it reduces pain. I have no idea if it really works or not. I checked epinions, but could find no data there. Their web site only allows you to order the device, but says nothing about its efficacy.

Caveat emptor.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/09/06 8:18 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

The Judas Gospel

I have heard the ads about the Judas Gospel. Apparently is says the Judas betrayed Jesus as Jesus’ request. David Kopel takes the Judas Gospel apart piece by piece.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/09/06 8:13 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

April 9 Update

I’m feeling about the same as yesterday. Not too badly but tired and weak. I slept like a log last night, which is always nice. This morning I need to clean up my hotel room and then head to the client site. Although I need to do my ear drops first.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/09/06 8:09 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Saturday, April 8, 2006

April 8 Final Update

I’m sitting here in a hotel room in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. The trip up was pretty uneventful. Although traffic was a bit slow do to a light drizzle, my elapsed time wasn’t too bad. I called the Vorlon Parents and we chatted on the way up until my cell phone battery beeped in my ear and died.

I went to the doctor this morning and he prescribed some drops for my ears. I need to put four drops four times a day in both ears. My hearing is not too good, particularly in my right ear. I am hoping the drops will clean that up.

I’m feeling a little tired tonight, but it IS past my bedtime.

Tomorrow should be a busy day as I will be going to the client site to upgrade all this stations. That’s about 22 stations. It’s actually somewhat boring in that I need to do the same thing 22 times. I ran database upgrade last night and it ran without a hitch. I am pretty confident things will go smoothly, but there is always the chance for the unexpected.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/08/06 9:23 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)


Here is another photo I took last weekend. It's of a Forsythia bush. One of the main routes in South Jersey is Route 55. On one stretch, they have planted mile after mile of Forsythia. If left unchecked the Forsythia with turn into a huge tangled bush. I suspect it would make a pretty good traffic barrier between the lanes of traffic.

I remember a lawn and garden guy on the radio many years ago say that one should put down their crabicide with two weeks of the Forsythia’s losing their flowers. It looks like I need to get my crabicide down soon.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/08/06 8:00 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Friday, April 7, 2006

April 7 Final Update

I’m a little tired tonight. Aside from the fatigue, my ears are not being nice to me. There’s hissing sound in the background and my hearing is degraded. I’ll set my GP tomorrow and he will hopefully prescribe something for it.

I had my blood test today and the results are posted here. They were unhappy with my hemoglobin count so they gave me a shot of Aranesp. I checked the box the syringe came from to make sure they were giving me what I expected. I now consider myself the final inspector in the QC process.

I was chatting with the nurse the sucked my blood about the machine they use to get their counts. I asked her how much it costs. She said about $100,000. She also volunteered that they lease it with a maintenance contract over five years. Then they get a new machine and start the lease over again.

That got me to thinking. A $100,000 machine over five years is $20,000 a year. Since it’s a lease with a maintenance contract, I’m going to presume the machine costs them $30,000 a year. Now you need a nurse to draw blood and feed and care for the machine. I have no idea what a nurse makes, but let’s presume it cost $150,000 a year to keep a full time nurse on staff.

That means it cost them $180,000 a year to do blood tests.

I asked her how many blood tests they average a day, she said 30 to 50 tests a day. If I take the midpoint of 40 a day, that comes out to a little over 10,000 blood tests a year. That means their out of pocket expense are $18 per blood test.

I have no idea what they charge the insurance company, but my co-pay is $20. That puts them at a $2.00 profit BEFORE the insurance company pays. If they charge the insurance company, $50 for the test multiplied by 10,000 tests a year, that’s a very nice $500,000 profit clean and clear.

That’s very nice little cash cow.

I’m not complaining. Any business has a right to make a profit.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/07/06 9:27 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Finally, More Flower Photos

I took some photos last Sunday, but have felt just too wiped to post them. Tonight I’m doing a bit better. I posted a photo of what the Vorlon Wife tells me is a purple leaf flowering plum.

I could have cropped it more tightly, but I rather like the effect of the blurred background so left the photo pretty much as it came out if the camera.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/07/06 8:00 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

April 7 Update

I doing pretty well this morning – all things considered. My hearing is still degraded. My seeing my general practitioner tomorrow and will hopefully get some resolution to the problem

I’m starting to really molt. Unfortunately, whereas a sunburn will peel in large sections, the skin recovering from the radiation is slowing off in small dandruff like flakes. I’m going to look pretty ugly for a few days.

My weight this morning was 158 Lbs. When I lose weight quickly, it usually comes back pretty quickly.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/07/06 7:15 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Thursday, April 6, 2006

April 6 Final Update

It’s a little late for me tonight, but the Vorlon Brother called and we haven’t spoken for a while so I wanted to trade thoughts with him.

He seems to be recovering nicely from his heart ablation. That’s good.

He is still riding his bicycle. I chided him a bit for riding his bike while he is still on blood thinners. He indicated his doctors were not happy either. I made the best case I could for giving up the bike until the take him off the blood thinners. But my sales skills are not that good so I doubt I made much of an impact.

I’m feeling quite pretty well tonight, better than last night. I am occasionally getting some spasms in my back, but they are not coming on a regular basis so I am looking for a good nights sleep.

I seem to have acquired an ear infection and it’s affecting my hearing. I feel deaf as a post. I have an appointment to see my GP Saturday morning so he can look and see how it looks. I have no dizziness or earache.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/06/06 10:01 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Undocumented Congressmen

Here's a blogger with a unique idea.

a bunch of citizens showed up at the Capitol Building in Washington to report for work as "undocumented Congressmen"

[. . .]

The marchers could demand that Congress take down the security wall that surrounds Capitol Hill and allow us in because we "want to do work that Congressmen aren't willing to do".

I love to see that in TV.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/06/06 3:24 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

April 6 Update

I woke up about 1:00 am with some very severe back pain. I’m not a spine person, but it was about the L2 or L3 area. I finally got up, took 600 mg of ibuprofen. After about half an hour, the pain subsided enough that I slept out the rest of the night. I’ll see if it re-occurs today.

I feel rather like have for the last two days. That means I’ll probably run out of gas about noon today.

My weight was about the same as yesterday. Today I feel like have a couple of slices of pizza for lunch.

This morning I’m heading off to a client site. Normally I would have worked on their stuff remotely, but my remote connection is giving me a hard time.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/06/06 7:19 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

April 5 Final Update

I’m off to bed. I fade pretty fast in the afternoon. My forehead is still quite red and the skin is flaking off it. It is also a bit sensitive. I’ll be glad when it finally sheds the skin and then heals up.

This weekend is going to be busy as I’m heading to North Jersey to upgrade my client to Dynamics GP 9.0. I’ll be leaving Saturday and come back around Thursday of next week. It’ll be big time coffee time.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/05/06 8:41 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Does Prayer Help

You may have heard about the recent study that indicated that prayer does not help, at least for improving physical ailments. I was streaming an archive from the Reasons to Believe site and they discussed the study and prayer in general. I think what they had to say was thought provoking. I downloaded the whole thing, then edited out the parts not about the prayer study and posted on my site. You can listen to the broadcast by clicking here. It runs about 14 minutes in length.

If you want to listen to their whole broadcast, just click here.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/05/06 8:02 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Weather Update

Now the clouds are clearing, the sun is out and the snow is quickly melting.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/05/06 9:52 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

April 5 Update

I’m feeling tired today and moving slowly. I expect this to continue for the rest of the week. Improvement is likely to be slow. I gained two Lbs yesterday and am looking forward to more food today.

The temperature outside is about 45 degrees and it is snowing like a blizzard. Already the ground is white and the trees are collecting a snow covering. That said, this is South Jersey and I don’t expect the snow to last. But it IS a surprise.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/05/06 9:20 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

April 4 Final Update

Although I feel quite a bit better this morning, but it seems those feelings are transient. I’m rather dragging tonight and ready for bed.

I went to a client site this morning and although slow, I got quite a bit done. But that meant I didn’t get lunch until about 2:00 pm. That meant I was really hungry and my two bologna sandwiches went down very well.

I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/04/06 9:05 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

April 4 Update

I feel quite a bit better today. My weight seems to have bottomed out at 154 Lbs. Although I am still weak and moving slowly, I just FEEL better.

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

Monday, April 3, 2006

April 3 Final Update

Today was a little better than yesterday. Any movement gets me to huffing and puffing, but I continue. Going up and down stairs is a bit of a challenge, but I just take my time. Going up, makes me huff and puff. Going down is a challenge of leg coordination.

I dropped another three Lbs from yesterday. I weighed in at 154 Lbs this morning. The good news is I don’t feel guilty about almost anything I eat.

I did make myself TWO bologna sandwiches and had them for lunch. I did not have any lettuce on it, but it was been years since I had one. I will say, it went down very and I particularly liked the bread and butter pickles I put on them.

My forehead is recovering from the radiation. It's sort of like a sunburn. The outer layer of skin is flaking off. I smear some Vaseline Intensive Care lotion on it and that seems to help a bit. Eventually the skin will recover – I hope.

My sleeping is a little strange. I go to bed so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open. I zonk out immediately. Then I wake up a few hours later, drain the plumbing and go back to bed. The rest of the night, I tend to sleep a little fitfully.

The good news is I can sleep on either my right side or my left side with about the same amount of comfort. There is still some sensitivity in my left rib cage, but it is not enough to keep me awake. I have discontinued my ibuprofen, as I don’t feel I need it.

Occasionally throughout the day, I will get a stabbing pain in my feet, legs or toes. It usually only last about 10 seconds, but it can make me wince a bit when it hits. I’ve been down this road before and as time goes on, it should gradually recede.

In the category of be careful what you wish for, I noticed that in my last treatment, I notice they had upped my chemo dosage. My Taxol went from 370 mg to 390 mg. My Carboplatin went from 565 mg to 575 mg. When I mentioned this to the nurse, she said we told you last time we were increasing your dosage. I have absolutely no recollection they said anything. However, what am I going to do, call them a liar? I consider it my own fault, as I should have been monitoring my treatment more thoroughly.

Although that seems a very small difference, feel like it is a bigger hit than I would have expected by looking at the numbers. I noticed it particularly in the numbness of my feet and fingers. I had been asking the oncologist if we should increase the dosage.

I have decided, perhaps a bit late, to double check everything they do. When I got my Neulasta shot, I looked at the box she took it out of; to be sure, it really was Neulasta. In my previous treatment, I didn’t feel the pain from the Neulasta as intensely as I had anticipated. I worried that they had given me something else instead. However, when they did their blood test, my white cell count was very high, which meant they had indeed shot me with the Neulasta.

It’s late for me, I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/03/06 8:34 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Sunday, April 2, 2006

April 2 Final Update

The body pain is pretty much gone. All that’s left now is the weakness and tiredness. I went with a one-mile walk with the Vorlon wife this afternoon. Perhaps a better description would be a one-mile hobble. It was VERY slow, but I did a full mile. Now comes the test of how much exercise is too much. Too much really tires me out and I’m uncertain if it is better to rest during this period or still to hammer, or rather tap, as hard as I can.

At least I am sleeping well and that’s a benefit.

Good night.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/02/06 8:14 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

April 2 Morning Update

I’m doing better this morning. I’m still rather weak, tired and moving slowly. However, the body pain is pretty much gone. I’m going to start going on my walks again. I was just feeling too wiped to go before.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/02/06 8:04 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

Saturday, April 1, 2006

April 1 Final Update

Although I am still desperately tired and have quite a bit of pain, I think the worst is over. At least I can sleep well and I’m off to bed.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/01/06 8:34 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (0)

April 1 Condition Update

I know I sound repetitious, but I am still hurting. I’m just trying not to move any more than I have to. I am really getting tired of feeling like this, but I’m just going to have to tough it out.

Posted by The Vorlon on 04/01/06 11:26 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)