March 31, 2006

Taco Revitalization

I was able to refuel my energy reserves a little bit with a taco dinner, one of our family favorites. Fortunately I am still seemingly eating the same amounts of food despite my upset stomach. I am still happy that today is almost over, because I'm positively beat.

I get two days off and resume radiation on Monday. I don't know how people keep going to work while doing this. I guess it's because they have so much more energy to start with, but I'm handling about all I can at the moment. Whoever happens to be reading, feel free to stop in and lounge around with me. I have some fun multiplayer game options available now for both PC and Gamecube, and have some DVDs coming in as well. We could hit up a nearby food joint too.

Posted by Andy at 11:55 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

Zap Zap Zap Zap

I just got back from a supposed 4:45 radiation appointment. I felt I needed to avoid my mid-day snack till after the treatment, and then there was a really long delay before I even went back to the room. It took the crew there longer than the past two days because they couldn't initially find my marks. I feel terrible.

Posted by Andy at 06:25 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

Sweet Find

Ha ha ha! I just searched for and found The Three Caballeros, an old Disney film that I must have checked out of the library 10 times when I was a kid. I only remember a piece of one scene, but something about this film kept me coming back for more. I added it to my Netflix queue to see what all of my fuss was about. I never expected to find this movie again.

Posted by Andy at 03:59 PM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (1)

Pride and Prejudice

Welcome to the second official installment of Mosmiller Radiation Fun-House and Movie Review™. On the not-so-big screen tonight — Pride and Prejudice, a retelling of the classic Jane Austen novel of the same name.

I must admit that I felt a certain amount of self-imposed pressure going into this film on account of my written promise earlier today to review all of the movies that will be arriving via Netflix. Additionally, my experience with the 6-hour miniseries version a few years ago was not particularly thrilling. To be fair, my health was likely the culprit, as I was watching while at college only because I was too tired to do any of my school work.

With that in mind, I set down to watch, concerned a good deal of the way through the movie that I might have to bring down the axe, if not as heavily as with Star Wars, then at least forcefully enough to still decapitate. Though the acting was spot-on, I still found the plot to be, well... dry, and somewhat bogged down in language despite the necessity of that language. Much to my relief, this concern turned out to be unfounded, and the farther along the film progressed, the more I connected with it on a variety of levels.

For one, the music in the film is exceptional. Perhaps most of this is due to my bias toward the music of the period, in particular, piano music rendered in the late Classical to early Romantic style. Preliminary investigation suggests that in fact none of the score is legitimately music of hte period, and that it is written entirely by Dario Marianelli expressly for this film. Bravo, Dario. Take note — I want this soundtrack even though I own exactly zero soundtracks from conventional films outside the musical genre. It's that good.

As I suggested earlier, the acting is superb throughout, with the best performance going to Donald Sutherland in the role of Mr. Bennet. Judi Dench powerfully portrays Lady Catherine de Bourg, and in truth, all of the actors in the film acquit themselves well. As a result, the Bennet family feels very much out of touch with high society while ever striving to climb the social ladder.

Costuming and setting in the film match the era nicely, and despite my lack of knowledge on the subject of early 19th century fashion, I was able to notice that the Bennet family did not dress as sharply as their compatriots without that distinction seeming overly obvious. This is more a credit to the costumers than the lavish or avant-garde clothing found in many other films. Everything felt right. The same goes for lighting and scenery as a whole.

On account of the slow setup described at the beginning of this review, Pride and Prejudice finishes strongly and profoundly, addressing romance on a very different level than other films. This movie affirms that the expression and portrayal of love need not automatically involve physicality. In fact, the lack of physical intimacy enhances the impact of the film. I find that immensely refreshing.

Go rent this movie. I should add that I imagine that most men would prefer to be drowned in burning gasoline than see a film like this, but if you do not fall into that category, check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Posted by Andy at 12:31 AM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (1)

March 30, 2006


I have been reading and hearing about the impact of a few Danish cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed over the past few weeks, as have the rest of you in all likelihood. Without question, we must rally to the defense of a free press and freedom of thought. Radical Islamic leaders must be condemned for inciting violence in their followers on account of these images. Artists, authors, magazines, and newspapers must retain the ability to create or publish such works without fear of savage retribution, but the question remains — should they?

Should an institution or individual publish works offensive to a group of people just because it can? Do such works carry with them a purpose great enough to trump this consideration? In the case of cartoons printed on T-shirts and the like, I would argue against the presence of such a purpose. (One could easily argue that the original printing of these cartoons did in fact have a worthy purpose.)

In an increasingly ambiguously defined modern era, we must temper free speech with responsibility. We owe it to our enemies, our allies, and ourselves to treat every subject with respect, even if a subject does not deserve that respect. Only then can we stake any reasonable claim to righteous purpose and moral high ground. At the same time, we should not use respect as a tool to gain such high ground, but rather employ it as a matter of course, without motive.

When you talk about the state of the world today, the politics of your office, or indeed about any subject, be mindful of the language you chooose, the surrounding context that defines the purpose of that language, and the implications of its interpretation, or worse, misinterpretation, outside your intended audience. In so doing, you will promote a culture of respect and self-confidence well worth the initial investment. Freedom of speech is a right worthy of the sacrifices we have historically made to maintain it. Use it wisely.

Posted by Andy at 09:02 PM to the Politics category | Comments (3)

Zap Zap Zap

Session 3 is in the books. I had to wait today with a few other folks because they were running behind, but oddly it didn't seem to cause me any harm. Once I was taken into the room, I asked the staff to mix it up a little, so they put me in a bowl and put me in a giant microwave on high for 2 minutes. Next time I'm requesting one of those splash guards...

Ok, not really.

As was the case yesterday, the treatment itself took around 5 minutes to complete. Using yesterday and today as a measure, I seem to not suffer any noticeable short-term effects just after treatment. Instead, I have a perpetually upset stomach and increased tiredness regardless of the time.

I just added a TV and Movies category to my page in preparation for the slew of movie reviews that will likely be forthcoming. Tonight, a will be sampling Pride and Prejudice, which hopefully will not contain any flashy CGI work. Hehe.

Posted by Andy at 06:38 PM to the Health category | Comments (2)

Star Wars: Episode III

As I type, I am listening to the closing credits music from Star Wars: Episode III, Revenge of the Sith. I selected this as my second Netflix film to see what all the fuss was about. As far as I can tell, it's about pretty graphics.

Some good things - As I just suggested, the graphical work in this movie is incredible. Scenery, droids, ships, you name it, it is well animated and life-like. Similarly, the fight sequences are well choreographed and, with possibly a few exceptions, exciting and not too lengthy so as to become tiresome. I do take issue with the choreographers' decision to wield light sabers with muscle instead of precision at times. It just makes no sense for a weightless weapon to be handled like a Scottish claymore when it is evident that no force at all is required to shatter glass, slice off the wing of a ship, or slay an opponent. That said, this does not diminish the excitement or artistry of combat scenes all that much.

The use of black and white in the film, while not surprising given the theme, does have the intended effect later in the movie. I feel that perhaps black was used a bit too early, but again, I am nitpicking. Lighting and color are, on the whole, first rate.

Unfortunately, all this movie has going for it is the huge budget and well orchestrated fight choreography. As was the case with the last film in the series, Episode III suffers from a case of too much poorly written dialogue delivered by actors seemingly reading off of a teleprompter, perhaps displaying their lines in Spanish. Alternatively, the "writers" may have written the script during filming. One way or another, every line in this film feels contrived and freshly read off of a paper copy. The few lines that should pack a punch fall flat on account of bad timing and emotionless acting. One wonders if any direction or character motivation was given to any of the actors, some of whom have well deserved good reputations.

Had this film been designed as a pure action film, I would have little complaint. After all, acting is secondary in such a film, and dialogue exists only to set up further action sequences and suspend disbelief just enough for the viewer to forget about it when the shooting and hand-to-hand combat begins. Star Wars, however, seemingly tries to bridge an artistic gap without putting in any of the work required to make it successful. As a result, everything appears unbelievable and contrived despite an intentionally simplistic plot, which takes much of the starch out of the action sequences and good vs. evil showdowns.

If you are a big Star Wars fan, it was nice knowing you. :) Clearly I cannot recommend the film to anyone without that loyalty. I am happy to entertain rebuttals from the faithful, but you'll have to work some magic to convert me to the fold.

Posted by Andy at 01:27 AM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (3)

March 29, 2006

A Warning

Modern society faces no greater threat than moral relativism.

Posted by Andy at 08:43 PM to the Politics category | Comments (7)

Movie Extras Are Fun

As I mentioned previously, I watched Serenity last night. I wound up watching a few of the outtakes and such after writing my post, and decided not to return the disc today on account of having not tried all of those options. Well, today I finished with all of the bonus content, and movie extras are fun! I watched the director's commentary a few hours ago and learned some interesting things about the film industry and creation process that I had never really considered. The only thing I forgot to do was to check online for hidden "easter eggs" as they are called. Now it's too late because I sealed the disc back up in the return package. Boo me!

Posted by Andy at 08:24 PM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (4)

Zap Zap

The Tate Center called today and I was able to get my radiation completed a few hours ahead of schedule. I feel good about that more for their sake than mine (they stay late too much), but it's also good to have it over with for the day. This treatment took much less time to complete as expected (about 5 or 10 minutes.)

I am discovering that the nausea element remains persistent regardless of the time of day or night. That is unpleasant, but if I am lucky I will adapt to it within a couple of weeks.

Posted by Andy at 04:42 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 28, 2006


I got my first radiation treatment of 25 today. It took longer than they apparently will most of the time, because x-rays had to be completed to confirm the positioning of the marks they placed on me a week and a half ago. Speaking of marks, I look slightly like a whiteboard marked with a play designed to win a basketball game. If you want to know your role, just ask and I'll tell you which 'X' you are.

I came out of the treatment tired, and after about 15 minutes the nausea hit. I've had worse from medications designed to help me, so I didn't feel this was too big a problem, at least not big enough to stop me from eating regularly, including a sundae from the Daily Scoop up the road a few miles. I was also able to get through my osteopathy treatment, which helps to relieve some of the problems I get day to day, particularly during times like this. Hard lab tables have a high price tag for folks like me.

I timed my Netflix signup just right, so I was able to pop in Serenity a few minutes after I walked in the door, which brings me to now. Coulda been better, but coulda been a lot worse I figure. Five weeks of this is a lot, but I'll do it, and hopefully watch some fun movies and hang out with some friends and family along the way.

Posted by Andy at 11:15 PM to the Health category | Comments (6)

I'm Going In

My radiation appointment is for 2:45 today. If I do well I'm going to follow through with my previously scheduled osteopathy appointment in Annapolis and will be home a bit late. I don't have to make that call until after the treatment though, which is a plus.

Posted by Andy at 01:52 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 27, 2006

Who Am I?

I finished watching The Bourne Identity about 5 minutes ago. I am discovering many eerie parallels with my own situation. For me, it was a Ravens bag instead of a red one, and I left the gun in the hospital room at Hopkins. I think someone stole my money and passports while I was still drugged up. Feel free to return those any time, whoever you are.

Seriously though, good movie. 7 thumbs up.

Posted by Andy at 07:38 PM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (3)

I Take It All Back

Yesterday I talked about how things were improving and how my mind was fairly clear... well today the weather shifted 10 degrees and I'm taking it like a rag doll on the freeway. I didn't sleep well (probably directly because of the weather shift) and am having a hard time focusing my eyes on things without side effects now. What a way to spend my last day of non-zapped recovery, eh?

Hopefully I will improve as the day progresses.

Posted by Andy at 03:49 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 26, 2006

Netflix is Fun

... even before you get any movies. I killed an entire night just looking around and rating things. It's so lame. I was saying to myself, "Ooh, if I rate a ton of these then I'll get a more accurate list to choose from," even though I'm likely only going to be on it for a month (+2 free weeks.) Sometimes I get like that. :)

Posted by Andy at 11:52 PM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (0)

What Do *You* Think I Should Do?

All of this down time has me thinking a lot about what I could / should do career-wise if my health straightens out, or even if it doesn't. It's weird... I was forced out of the loop before I was able to get a reasonable understanding of what different jobs entail and how much I would enjoy doing them. I was going to school with a plan for how to discover some of that, but as I say, I didn't get far enough to actually find it out.

I've been told I should do a lot of different things by people over the years. Singer, lawyer, programmer, writer, artist, minister, all sorts of stuff. It has me wondering, what do you think I should do ideally, or even not ideally if things don't change? I'm hoping a lot of people read this one and comment just for curiosity's sake if nothing else. So, read this and comment!

Posted by Andy at 07:18 PM to the General category | Comments (4)

Web Design Quirks

As I have suggested over the past month or so, I have been computing almost exclusively from my Reclining Command Center™. I must increase the font size by several increments, both in Windows apps (when possible) and on the web, in order to be able to read in any kind of reasonable way. In so doing, I have discovered that many professionally built business websites are really not equipped for a changing font size.

That's a big no-no as far as I am concerned. Heck, all of my pages allow for reasonable text enlargement. There is such a thing as a reasonable limit, of course, so don't go increasing your font and then saying how my sites break eventually. Every site breaks eventually.

Right now I am signing up for a month of Netflix to keep me busy during radiation (I'm gonna get the full 3-out plan since it's for a short time), and my options run onto the red border of the page. This company lives and dies by the internet, and their site breaks with a reasonably enlarged text size. They're not the only ones, either. My Movable Type back-end breaks earlier than I would have guessed, too. I wonder if this is an oversight or if they have done market research showing that so few people visit requiring enlarged text that it isn't worth the time.

Posted by Andy at 07:04 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

Treated but Hurtin'

Mom and I got Trager massage and nutritional IV treatments again today (we're doing it every week to help counteract everything going on.) The treatment was fine, but I'm having big problems with one of my toes. The nail bed is inflamed and it's kinda hard to walk today. On the plus side, the problem is years old, but nobody had ever diagnosed (it seems to be paronychia) it till today. Now I might be able to actually fix it if I can get the right medicine.

In terms of my surgery and non-stop appointment recovery, I'm doing a little bit better now. I am still feeling the need to recline for a good while early in the day, but I seem to be able to sit up fine later at night without paying for it. I did so last night and played a little bit of Morrowind after a long hiatus from the game. (I'm a lizard-man named Sssteve.)

My mind has also been pretty clear. It's going to take some time to experiment, but I may actually benefit long-term from reclining earlier and sitting up later. Maybe it will allow me to do something more constructive with my time in a more consistent way. It's just a theory, but I'm going to keep it in mind.

Posted by Andy at 04:34 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 25, 2006

Wow, Meissner Wins

Kimmie Meissner just won the skating world championship. I didn't even know they would have an event like this so shortly after the Olympics, but I certainly didn't expect this kid to win it all. How great is that?

Posted by Andy at 08:25 PM to the Sports category | Comments (4)

Mildly Worried

I've been feeling a similar lack of energy today as I described yesterday. It's not quite like my usual CFSish fatigue. Mom was particularly tired as much as a week before coming down with this nasty and persistent flu-like illness. This would be pretty horrible timing were this to turn south. I'm doing my part to prevent it though with zinc tablets and by upping the frequency of my nasal irrigation routine.

In other news, the LSU / Texas game was every bit as good as nearly all of the others have been this weekend. What a tournament!

Posted by Andy at 07:01 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

Now I Weep

I watched the final episode of Firefly a little bit ago. It was great, and to my surprise, written in a different style than the other episodes. All the better I say. It's great when show can incorporate diversity while sticking to its core theme. Star Trek: The Next Generation did that after two pedestrian seasons. Firefly didn't need the warm-up time and managed it all in one sadly curtailed season.

Now comes the time where I try to fend off despair by reminding myself that I can still watch the DVD extras, and that I can get the movie. I'm barely holding on I tell you... Maybe I can open Mei's copy and see if that one has all different episodes. Yeah, that's it!

On a similar note, I plan to get a month of Netflix to keep me busier during radiation. I figure I should at least get the 2-out plan, but maybe it's best to just get the full deal since it's for a short time. For those of you who use the service, your advice is appreciated.

Posted by Andy at 06:49 PM to the General category | Comments (4)


I just watched me the root-toot-shoot'nest episode of Firefly whatever done been produced!

This episode, titled Heart of Gold (yep, it means what it sounds like), never actually aired during the series' short television life. I don't know if they could have aired this one or not to be honest. It was good, don't get me wrong, but it might not have been TV friendly. I don't know what the timeslot was for the series, though.

I am now down to my last episode, which I may watch while huddled in the corner, crying and rocking back and forth. I am officially a browncoat.

Posted by Andy at 12:00 AM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (0)

March 24, 2006

No Time for Pretty

I've been checking a variety of political blogs and related sites lately, and have noticed one weird trend common to many - they're really ugly! It seems poor design skills bridge the gap between liberals and conservatives alike. A fair amount of the blogs I've seen don't even incorporate an original design at all, instead using the prepackaged skins included with their blog software installation or sign-up.

I wonder why high profile sites skip this step of the process. Are they trying to save a couple bucks? Would a high quality web design somehow diminish the content in their eyes? Must political sites follow a sort of bare-bones fashion trend in order to be taken seriously?

It all seems rather silly to me, but then, so does a lot of the dialogue at times.

Posted by Andy at 09:09 PM to the Politics category | Comments (2)

Actual Work

I finally completed my community's online newsletter after a month of, well... not. I think I had a pretty good excuse though. Now my eyes are bleeding and the Firefly theme song is running through my head over and over and over again. I'm also really exhausted today, which is hopefully not related to mom's flu-like illness.

I think I need to be put down. Well, no, give me a few hours to change my mind at least. Hehe.

Posted by Andy at 06:16 PM to the Health category | Comments (2)

Wow, Great Tournament!

I debated watching another episode of Firefly before bed instead of watching NCAA tournament basketball, but I'm glad I picked basketball this time. Both Duke and Gonzaga losing on the same night despite having the nation's top two scorers... crazy! The Texas / West Virginia game had it all too, with victory decided as the clock expired. What's more, I now have a little bit more Firefly to watch before I run out of episodes, so I won on that level too! Ha ha!

Posted by Andy at 12:34 AM to the Sports category | Comments (2)

March 23, 2006

Remember Tom Fox

I invite you all to visit this link on a friend's site which discusses the death of peace activist Tom Fox. The thread is worth your time, and it in turn contains links to a few other sources.

Posted by Andy at 07:09 PM to the Politics category | Comments (0)

Testing Complete

I'm home from my last fertility testing appointment. The preliminary report (2 samples tested out of 3) suggests that everything is still normal, which I must say comes as something of a pleasant surprise. I don't know at this point if I'll be retested after radiation or what. That seems logical.

Posted by Andy at 03:14 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 22, 2006

Bored but Restful

Today was another one of those searching for something to do while in a reclining chair that won't take too much energy days. I got my mom playing Diablo 2 a bit, but she has the flu right now and is mostly sleeping. I did successfully resist the urge to check friends' sites 3 or 4 times despite the near-certainty that no new content is posted. (Yes, I do that sometimes. Email too.) Other than that, I just watched TV and the like.

It's not quite what I'm wanting, I know that much. I used to manage to be fairly content with my activities given the nature of my health, but that isn't really true anymore, even when I'm in the middle of cancer treatment. I suppose I feel like 10 years is long enough to be in a holding pattern. I hope I can use this discontent somehow to rise out of it, but there are a lot of barriers in the way. I may have said all of this before. I can't remember.

In the grand scheme, today wasn't a bad day or anything. Just kinda pointless. Looking toward the next month and a half, I did get more rest before starting in on radiation. That won't hurt I imagine. I wish this TV served better as a monitor so I could at least get some bigger web updates completed for my community, or maybe play around with a design for a business site of my own. Not yet, not yet.

I think I'll watch another episode of Firefly before an early bedtime. My last fertility appointment is tomorrow. I'll be happy when that is out of the way.

Posted by Andy at 10:41 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 21, 2006

Invalid Fun

My CFS friend Heather came over today while on spring break. Obviously Rancho Mosmillero is a primo spot to spend such a break, but I digress. We watched a couple episodes of the intense and visceral cop show, The Shield and otherwise talked about all sorts of issues, ranging from gay marriage to wealth distribution to religion. Even though Heather was wrong about everything, it was a good, thought provoking day. Hehe, just kidding. It wasn't really that good of a day. Ha, kidding again! I am a veritable laugh riot tonight.

I did pretty well today from my Reclining Command Center™, partly because we kept it pretty low-key, and partly because having someone over goes a long way toward helping me ignore how I feel at any given moment. That's bigger than you might imagine.

Anyway, it was great to see you Heather. I hope you can come by again before long. When my rent-a-pult™ is complete it'll get a whole lot simpler.

Posted by Andy at 11:16 AM to the Health category | Comments (2)

March 20, 2006

2 of 3 Knocked Out

I have just one more of these fertility testing appointments to go before I'll have everything out of the way for radiation. Not much else to say at the moment. I'm beat, but laying here for a while will hopefully help. Bring on the NCAA games! (Do they even play today?)

Posted by Andy at 04:30 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 19, 2006

Day O' Massage

A Trager massage therapist/nurse who is now also a friend of ours came by again today and treated mom and I. You just can't beat in-house treatment like that when you have a chronic illness. I got a nutritional IV and the massage treatment, which should help me bounce back just a bit from all of these appointments I've had lately.

On another note, did any of you watch any NCAA basketball today? This tournament is full of great games, and surprising upsets too. When George Mason beats North Carolina you know you're in for a ride. I've said it before and I'll say it again. If I had to be laid up for a while, this was definitely the best time for it to happen. Olympics, tournament basketball, Star Trek overload, it's all here!

Posted by Andy at 09:15 PM to the Health category | Comments (3)

March 18, 2006

Slightly Better

I didn't really do much of anything today. I needed that honestly after a solid week of appointments. I engaged in a wrongly-hilarious conversation with Spud, an old church and school friend, discovered picture in picture mode on this TV while trying to fix the image quality (no luck on that part), watched some basketball and an episode of Firefly. I think I might watch another one now.

I think I faired a tiny amount better today. I still have to walk a fine line for the first half of the day in order to avoid day-long repurcussions, but I seem to be able to get away with a little more physicality now. I moved around around the Reclining Command Center™ more, and moved the wireless keyboard around quite a lot. I think that would have messed me up a week ago.

Posted by Andy at 10:40 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

New Ideas in Adventure Layout

The folks over at Wizards of the Coast just put up an article showcasing a new adventure page layout. I love it. This system is so much more intuitive than the old flip-page methods employed to date. If I can figure out how to easily create text boxes with built-in multiple pointers, I will be using this for my own games. All you DMs out there, take a look, and be sure to download at least one of the zipped pdf examples. You won't be disappointed.

Posted by Andy at 05:38 PM to the Roleplaying category | Comments (0)

TV Help

As you know, I am rather laid up at the moment, but using my Reclining Command Center™ to maximum advantage. I even got the picture in picture working so I can watch the NCAA tournament while writing this post! I am, however, not satisfied with the picture quality of the tv when using it as a monitor. There are faint vertical lines, issues with text readability, and darker spots where the screen would be black on both sides in normal 4:3 ratio TV mode. In addition, I need to set up the sound to come through the tv, not my speakers, which means I need audio cabling.

Is there anybody who could help me solve these problems? It takes a lot out of me to do anything like this right now, but I'm using it constantly. I would of course pay for whatever cables were required if it turned out mine were not working properly. I just don't know enough about this.

Posted by Andy at 04:18 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

Ignominious Defeat

After doing some moderate complaining about not getting into the NCAA tournament this year, the Terps backed up their claims of worthiness by losing to bottom-seeded Manhattan in the first round of the NIT tournament. I hate to say it, but this really does provide a fitting end to a season dominated by poor on-court decision making and at times, bad luck. Hopefully next year's recruiting class will restore Terp pride.

Posted by Andy at 01:34 PM to the Sports category | Comments (2)

March 17, 2006

More Appointments

I went in for fertility testing and banking today. I have to go back two more times, probably Monday and Wednesday or something like that. It's easy to schedule, so I can change the times at any point, which is convenient. I am hoping to get this all out of the way as early as possible so I have a few days to rest up before starting in with radiation.

I am in a lot of pain today and unfortunately don't have a method to get rid of it for possibly 2 months. We'll see. On another note, this is my 222nd post. Kind of a fun number.

Posted by Andy at 05:11 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 16, 2006


I battled past a rather nasty headache today and recovered Captain Olimar's 30th and final spaceship part. I had to repeat this stage a fair number of times, but finally found success by allowing my bomb-carrying yellow pikmin to be eaten by the big snail/lady bug hybrid boss. This reduced its health low enough to have a shot at defeating it with good old fashioned flower power. If I were to repeat, I would probably reverse the process, attacking first and bombing second so as to avoid this critter's nasty jump attack. My final tally - 30 parts in 22 days. I might play it again to see if I can beat this mark, but I'm not sure yet.

Posted by Andy at 10:01 PM to the Games category | Comments (6)

Setup Complete

I am home from my setup appointment. The whole thing took a bit over an hour, in part because they had to scan me twice. The first scan didn't go low enough to be complete, so they reset and started over. The CT table was rock hard, and by about 10 minutes in my limbs were all going numb or were numb, as I was not supposed to move at all. It is hard to relax into nerve pain, but it's all over now and the actual treatments will be much shorter and later in the day. At the end of the scan, I was marked up with magic marker in three spots around my midsection, then injected just beneath the skin in each spot with a little bit of dye.

I go in for radiation treatment #1 on Tuesday, March 28th at 2:45. From that point on I guess I will be there every day for a month and a week.

Posted by Andy at 11:50 AM to the Health category | Comments (2)

March 15, 2006

Criminal Penalties

I have listened to a great deal of discussion on news programs lately about "activist judges" allowing offenders, particularly child molesters and rapists, to go free after serving extremely short sentences, using the argument that rehabilitation, not prison time, is the answer. The news programs I watch have condemned these judges, and I wholeheartedly support this position. At the same time, it occurs to me that we seem to be unable to entertain the notion that we can enforce appropriate prison sentences and work to rehabilitate those serving terms for a whole host of crimes.

Why is this concept so hard to embrace? If our prison systems are equipped with methods to rehabilitate criminals in prison for even lengthy periods of time, do we not all benefit from the result? I am aware that the methods for rehabilitation may be in dispute, but beyond that point, those in favor of harsh prison terms never seem to mention rehabilitation, and those supporting rehabilitation seem not to believe in harsh prison terms. On this of all issues, can we not reach a consensus and help everyone in the process? Both are possible without compromising either position!

Posted by Andy at 11:07 PM to the Politics category | Comments (0)

DVD Issue

Can any of you guys help me find a player or free codec to play dvds in Windows XP? I have Windows Media Player 10, and it came with very few codecs so that they could sell them online instead. I am game to download another, maybe better player, or to get an appropriate WMP player codec, whatever is best. Shoot me some help if you can.


Posted by Andy at 08:11 PM to the Computers category | Comments (2)

I Met the Second Radiation Oncologist

Today I had my appointment with Dr. Oh up at the Tate Center in Glen Burnie. After what appeared to be a sketchy beginning (the first nurse was not familiar with the names of any of my prior surgeries), everything straightened out nicely, and I plan to undergo my radiation treatments at this facility instead of at Hopkins. The difference between 15 minutes and an hour one-way in a car is pretty huge for me.

Dr. Oh also reinforced the radiation option over chemotherapy or observation, and declared a little hard area under the skin at the base of my abdomen to be nothing problematic. This doc has me slated for 25 sessions, so that means 5 weeks instead of 4. I still think tne shorter distance will help me more despite an extra week of treatment.

I go in tomorrow at 8:30 AM (ouch) to get my preliminary scans done so they will then know precisely where to radiate me. I expect to start actual radiation after another week and a half or so have passed, because I need to get fertility testing and banking handled prior to the start of the radiation process. Dr. Oh says that I should expect poor results on that test, which I must admit is a blow. I am experienced with having dreams put in serious jeopardy, but at the same time, I don't think it will ever get any easier to handle it.

Right. So, setup happens tomorrow followed by about a week and a half off, followed by 5 weeks of radiation therapy. I shall keep you posted as always.

Posted by Andy at 07:36 PM to the Health category | Comments (2)


Ok, I was in fact able to finish a level within my time limit... two in fact. I was able to grab three, count 'em, three spaceship parts on the second of the two days, and got in some handy scouting as well. It seems that I got much of the difficult part out of the way early on this section of the planet. The next piece I'm eying looks pretty tricky, but if my preliminary plan goes well, I may come out with two again tomorrow. Woo!

Posted by Andy at 12:53 AM to the Games category | Comments (0)

Cousin Cindy's Site

After a recent email exchange, my cousin Cindy has decided to post all of her cancer-related information on the internet. For any wishing to see what she's going through, visit Cindy's Cancer Adventure.

I still haven't Pikked any Min yet. I shall try to complete a day in the game now before bed. I will need much luck if I am to successfully acquire a spaceship part and also make my bedtime.

Posted by Andy at 12:04 AM to the Health category | Comments (0)

March 14, 2006

More Osteopathy

I woke up today feeling rather like grim death, but my Osteopathy appointment turned things around pretty well. I was concerned about eating out, but it was no problem at all, and now I have some great leftovers too. I shall attempt to cap off my day with some successful Pikmation. Perhaps I shall report on that later.

I got another bit of a scare today at my appointment, actually. I brought up this little hard bump at the bottom of my stomach (turns out it's kind of a line) and the doc suggested I show the oncologist. He thinks it's something routine (he gave me a name I forget of something common) but of course can't be sure. I'm starting to feel like I need a full body scan in order to ever be comfortable with body again. Yeesh.

Posted by Andy at 09:45 PM to the Health category | Comments (2)

March 13, 2006

I Set It Up

I am writing this post from my Reclining Command Center™, using my new wireless combo with the hi-def tv as a monitor. The mouse and keyboard both work great. The TV is causing me headaches though, literally. There is significant ghosting that makes it hard to read text easily. If this doesn't get resolved somehow, my much-anticipated system here will be useful only for short periods of time. Let us hope there is a fix out there, and that one of you knows what it is or where to find it.

Posted by Andy at 10:50 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)

The Wireless Combo has Arrived

All three components needed to compute from my Reclining Command Center™ arrived today. I can't set them up on my own right now, but once it's all up and running I should have a lot more options in what I do all day. Can't wait.

Posted by Andy at 05:30 PM to the Computers category | Comments (0)


I managed to blow all of today playing this game (right now that's a good thing), and I now have 15 spaceship parts in 11 days. Not bad for a beginner if I do say so myself. I still have demon-hedgehog birds to contend with, but I am making steady progress otherwise and have plenty of lands to explore free of said demon-hedgehog birds.

I avoided some of the nastiest health backlash today by camping in my Reclining Command Center™ for all but a few minutes here and there. My eyes didn't like it and I developed a nasty headache, but I still felt a lot better than yesterday as a result of this decision. I will have to continue experimenting I guess.

My post tonight reminds me of a law I created over the past two weeks or so:

When faced with serious adversity that places you in a position of helplessness, you are allowed to toot your own horn a total number of times not to exceed five over a two-month period.

I think I might have used mine up. :)

Posted by Andy at 12:46 AM to the Games category & Health category | Comments (3)

March 12, 2006

If you want your cousin's dog to get scurvy, then I can help

... so says my friend Amy while we were discussing how cancer is all the family's fault, and how she could help me by hexing them. She's not crazy or brain damaged, I promise! For that matter, neither am I! Actually, Amy is my first official religious thrall. I had her create a golden idol of me funded by random acts of violence, and she delivered pretty quickly. See below...

Andys idol

If any of you want to join my flock, all you have to do is fashion your own idol and get out there murdering! Good luck.

Posted by Andy at 09:11 PM to the General category | Comments (1)

Pikmin is Tough

I got my third spaceship part tonight in Pikmin after going through the process about five times. This game is positively adorable, but it is also pretty tough. I guess you're supposed to reload a lot. Without doing that you'd have to have some remarkable accuracy and guesswork abilities in order to finish under the time limit in an area you haven't seen prior. I think I know what I'm supposed to do to get my fourth part, but I wonder if I will be able to pull it off without help.

See, there is this box blocking land-bridge across a stretch of water. It appears I need to move it by pushing it back toward me, and I got a tip-off from Mei that this would happen at some point. Well, I tried chucking my little yellow guys over the gap, but they never got close to far enough. I want to blame communism but I think this one is on me. Hopefully I'll have better luck tomorrow, because if I can't handle that part the whole thing will have to go on temporary hold due to a lack of other places to explore. I can't let Olimar down like that! Maybe I can have him work out in the ship between days three and four. Yeah, that'd do the trick.

Posted by Andy at 01:03 AM to the Games category | Comments (3)

March 11, 2006


This surgery recovery is really getting old. I'm used to being tired, but now I can't sit up for 15 minutes without paying for it the rest of the day. If I sit in my reclining chair and keep my eyes open the entire time, I even pay for that. It's really hard to cope in meaningful ways when you have to make an intentional effort to do absolutely nothing all the time. Today I decided to just give up on trying to feel decent and am sitting here playing Civ with mom. That means I get to feel like I have been injected with harmful chemicals after staying up all night for several days running. So, is it better to do absolutely nothing and feel decent, or do something, anything, and feel miserable? I don't think I know anymore.

Having the choice makes it worse in a sense, too. I have felt this way before in situations where sleep meds backfired on me, but the lack of choice in those situations forced my hand in a way that made it somehow more tolerable. It's a choice that maybe you have to experience to understand. I couldn't say about that part.

What I wish I could do is somehow artificially create the adrenaline assistance I get when people are over or I have some kind of obligation. I doubt that's possible, and if it is, it would probably hurt me more in the long run, but I could sure use some tools to fix this situation. I'm all about doing things to help myself, but I'm kinda tapped here.

Posted by Andy at 07:19 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

Terps Lose

The Terps lost big tonight to Boston College in round two of the ACC tournament, taking with it their NCAA hopes as well. I am disappointed of course, but they really didn't deserve it this year. I can't think of a single element of the game that this year's team truly mastered, including attitude in my estimation. I will join my fellow Maryland fans in hoping for a better recruiting class next year.

Posted by Andy at 12:48 AM to the Sports category | Comments (0)

March 10, 2006

Favorite Star Trek: TNG Episodes

As some of you have read, I have recently been watching more Star Trek episodes than anyone ever should. What better time to compile and reveal, in order, my top 10 list of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes?

  1. The Inner Light
    Picard lives another life on a planet destroyed by a supernova long ago.
  2. Darmok
    Picard deals with an alien who speaks in metaphors.
  3. Masks
    Data is taken over by personalities from an extinct civilization.
  4. Unification, Part I
    Picard and Data investigate an unauthorized mission.
    Unification, Part II
    Spock plans to reunify Romulans and Vulcans.
  5. Genesis
    The crew de-evolves into prehistoric beings.
  6. The Best of Both Worlds, Part I
    The Enterprise has a deadly encounter with the Borg.
    The Best of Both Worlds, Part II
    Riker must use Picard/Locutus to foil the Borg.
  7. Redemption, Part I
    With the Klingon Empire on the brink of civil war, Worf is torn between the Federation and his people.
    Redemption, Part II
    A civil war threatens the Klingon empire.
  8. The Defector
    A Romulan defector leads the crew into a deadly face-off.
  9. Disaster
    Troi acts as captain after the Enterprise is damaged.
  10. Timescape
    The Enterprise is frozen in time on the brink of annihilation.

I counted 2-part episodes as a single entity as you can see. So, what are yours? I welcome you to link your favorites in a comment below. (HMTL is allowed in comments, but you can also just list a URL and it should get linked for you.)

Posted by Andy at 03:42 PM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (2)


I feel absolutely miserable physically today. The weather shifted another 20 degrees overnight, as has been the theme of this winter. At the same time, I am in good spirits. Barring some sort of external factor, my mood is usually linked very closely with my physical state. Well, whatever. I'll take what I can get. Maybe I can take a walk around the yard today or something like that.

Posted by Andy at 03:20 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

I am Ashamed

Due to the knee-jerk reaction that has taken place in this country over the port takeover deal, the Dubai Company at the center of it all has given up its claim. Don't think that didn't cost us some behind the scenes political capital. Though I personally valued the tactical relationship with the UAE above the suggested risks to our port security, I welcomed the debate that supposedly was to occur as a result of this scrutiny. Now that debate will never occur, because our media threw poll numbers at us indicating that 65% of us were against an Arab company owning our ports, and because power players in Congress want to win political victories by ramming that statistic home. Nevermind that the American public never had a chance to be informed on the issue and that the news jumped on it before trying to disseminate that information. Nevermind that most of our security comes from intelligence gathering that relies on relationships with Arab nations. Did that ever make the news or enter the Congressional arena? Of course not.

What does it say for us as a nation when we favor isolationism in order to create the illusion of security? What does it do to our efforts to spread democracy in the Middle East when, at the same time, we recoil from business dealings with a company because the term "Arab" is attached to it? What no one wanted to consider here is that Americans were still going to be running the security operations in all of these ports, and that every company operating on our soil must adhere to our laws regarding our national safety.

I'm just a little bit embarrassed to be an American today. When we cannot even abide a 45 day waiting period in order to confirm or dismiss our port security concerns, that calls into question our commitment to the ideals we claim to value above all others. Let us hope the UAE has a short memory.

Posted by Andy at 12:33 AM to the Politics category | Comments (6)

March 09, 2006

Not Again!

Kevin stopped over again today. That jerk! Wait, I mean, it was fun. We killed lots of monsters mindlessly, and my archer character gained a secondary attack from a pet butterfly. Seriously. I didn't feel great today but I got outside to enjoy the 60 degree weather for 10 minutes or so, and the Kevin stop-in meant lots of Reclining Command Center™ quality time without having to engage any of the issues of the day. Nothing wrong with that.

Posted by Andy at 12:22 AM to the General category & Health category | Comments (0)

March 08, 2006

Appointment Scheduled

I have an appointment to see a doc in the new Tate Center (a branch of what was called North Arundel) next Wednesday at 3. That gives me a few days of break, which I won't argue against, and also a second opinion.

I also got some more behind the scenes help today from a web guru who I can't credit for what you might call legal reasons, for lack of a better term. If you're reading, thanks yet again for the help!

Posted by Andy at 10:18 PM to the Health category | Comments (1)

March 07, 2006

Day of the Vegetable

In probably one of my more intelligent moves of the month, I did absolutely nothing today but play video games from my Reclining Command Center™. I started out with a little gem called Pikmin, then moved on to Gauntlet: Dark Legacy when Kevin arrived on the scene, fresh from jury duty (he didn't get picked.) Sometimes it's good to have a brainless day in the midst of chaos, especially when you're tired from a big appointment the day before.

Thanks for stopping in again today, Kev. I shall have to master this Gauntlet business so you don't dominate me utterly the next time. Hehe.

Posted by Andy at 11:25 PM to the Health category | Comments (2)

March 06, 2006

This One is Good, Folks

As most if not all of you are aware, I sell note cards for charitable causes as I am able, though I lack a proper marketing engine to do it very much. Mom has sold them from time to time at both church and at her school, George T. Cromwell Elementary. A couple weeks ago, right in the heart of my cancer ordeal, I got something that made it seem all worthwhile.

Apparently one of the third grade classes is currently learning about small businesses. Below you can view the product of one kid's "business." You can enlarge these images by clicking on them as usual.

kiddie card front kiddie card inside kiddie card back

Apparently Ronnie or Ronnie's partner's mother purchased some cards from my mom late last year. Ronnie remembered the card and remembered the idea of my card sales being a small business, even if only in the loosest sense, and created his own card company in class. He brought mom the card above (the 3 images are front/inside/back) to give to me when he learned I was going in for surgery. Is that not the neatest story? I think so.

Posted by Andy at 11:59 PM to the General category & Health category | Comments (4)

24 x 2

I was tipped off to a two-hour session of 24 at just the right time today. While I have not loved this season, these two hours were great! I had missed the last two or three episodes in the midst of the cancer treatments and all, but with the help of a short synopsis as well as the pre-episode recap I was right back in the mix. The second hour did start with some soap opera-esque drama, but ended with a bang. I hope the rest of them are like that. If so, I'm back on the bandwagon.

Posted by Andy at 10:03 PM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (0)

I Met the Radiology Oncologist

Today was my meeting with radiology oncologist Dr. Song. We reached Hopkins at 2:30 and left at about 5:30. Once I got back to the room we talked at length with and I was examined by a resident with a couple of years left in his training. While I appear to be clean of the seminoma as far as blood testing and CT scanning can determine, my case is atypical due to the beta HCG level in my first blood test. This guy led us to believe that I would in fact not be getting radiation and would instead undergo chemotherapy, but he was overridden by Dr. Song 45 minutes later. I will be getting radiation, 4 weeks worth, 5 days a week, starting probably in 2 and a half or 3 weeks.

We discussed the possibility of having it done closer to home, perhaps at the Tate Center up in the North Arundel Hospital complex, but the Hopkins folks weren't really able to help us much in that regard in terms of a recommendation or with the transfer of information. I may have to go through this all over again up there if I want to avoid the 45 minute or hour travel time to Hopkins every day for a month. We were given a folder full of information though and I can at least check and see if they have the same type of equipment, which seems to me the most crucial element in something like this.

Doctors at every step have also highly recommended that I go to a fertility doc for testing and also to have sperm banked in case the radiation treatments render me sterile. I was not given any kind of numbers regarding the chances of this occurring, but obviously this isn't something to be overlooked regardless of the odds. I plan to get this done as well, but until we know if we're shifting to a new facility or not, I won't know just where I'll be going. The annoying thing is that if I wind up at another instituation, the Hopkins people won't really be involved anymore. That seems sort of unecessary to me, but that's the way it is.

I also learned that I'm now considered at high risk for getting this again on the other side, with maybe a 1 in 20 chance of that happening. I got this info from the resident though, and he may have been a little alarmist about the numbers. I was told to perform a monthly self-exam so as to catch anything like these as early as possible. I'm pretty sure the surgical procedure would be drastically different were this to occur, so I'm just hoping I will never have to worry about that. I had to make a point of asking how to do the self-exam or I'd have no more ability to do that now than I ever did. This makes me wonder what else I'm supposed to be checking that never gets mentioned, despite my significantly higher rate of doctor's appointments than your average citizen. Do yourselves a favor and ask your doctors about what you should be checking. You may never know otherwise.

Dr. Song's nurse was especially helpful and friendly. The folks in the oncology center were slightly more disposed to take seriously my CFS and NMH problems as well, though they really had no idea how to help me with regards to that information. I asked the nurse to convey to the appropriate people my concerns over the exam room chairs, and I feel confident she will do so. She understood what I was saying, and hopefully she and I can help other patients down the road with this little bit of "proactivity", if that is in fact a word.

The side effects brought to my attention were the possibilities for nausea (diarrhea, etc. included), a probability of fatigue, and an increased risk for other cancers down the road ranging from a 30% to 100% increase compared to a non-radiated individual. I think this might sound worse than it is considering the risks of things that aren't commonly statistically labeled in this way, like driving recklessly or eating an imbalanced diet. On the plus side, I will be checked frequently for all sorts of things from here on out, so that might actually improve my odds over the guy standing next to me in some ways. The con of course is that all of this is very tiring for me.

One thing I should note is how much my parents are helping me do all of this. They're making all the phone calls, keeping all of the paperwork, filling out forms, taking notes, driving me all over, and representing me as needed on the phone and in person when necessary. Without them I would be hard pressed to have even had the surgery by now, let alone try to move my radiation treatment to another institution.

So, there you go. 4 weeks of treatment for 5 days a week barring an about-face if I have to get a second assessment done in a different location. If any of you have info that can help me out I am happy to talk with you. Actually, I'm happy to talk to you if you don't have any info as well, so feel free to give me a ring, add a comment, or send an email. My email address is available at the bottom of every page on this site.

Posted by Andy at 08:05 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

Academy Awards?

It is unfortunate that my current health situation has prevented me from hosting my usual high profile Oscar party. HA HA HA HA HA!! Yeah, right. I'll admit I did watch most of the first few minutes to see if Jon Stewart was as funny as he is on the Daily Show (he kinda wasn't), but that was about it. I did watch most of Mulan though as well as a bit of Scary Movie 3. Mulan is better, for the record.

From a health perspective, today was about the same as every other day from the past week. I lasted a little longer early but paid for it late. Oh well.

So, did I win any Oscars?

Posted by Andy at 12:21 AM to the TV and Movies category | Comments (1)

March 05, 2006

Tired but Happy

I started today much as I have for the past week, tired but resolute, with the noticeable difference being that the burden of "the wait" had been lifted, of course. It is amazing just how much that impacted the last few weeks in a kind of "behind the scenes" sort of way. I did not feel panic, intensive worry or anything along those lines really before yesterday, but everything had a kind of heavier, maybe dark quality and an insidious sense of urgency to it on account of that wait.

Friends Pat and Mei stopped in around 4:30 or so and stuck around until just a few minutes ago. As was the case with Kevin and I a week or so ago, we all were soundly defeated on many levels by a video game, in this case the head-to-head mode of Ratchet and Clank, Up Your Arsenal. I see potential in this game along the lines of that found in Mario Kart Double Dash's battle mode, but wow is it hard! I was able to stave off injury by complaining frequently, but I think Pat is going to need surgery. Fortunately I know a guy.

We eventually headed out to eat at Lista's, where both Mei and I tried mole sauce for the first time. I have to say that I expected a bolder taste, but I really enjoyed the dish when I rolled the chicken into a tortilla with the other usual Mexican "fixins", like pico de gallo and guacamole. Each of the components really played off each other to create a great dish. The fried ice cream dessert didn't hurt things one bit either, and that place makes a killer cherry coke. I think I gained 20 lbs easy.

Upon returning to Rancho Mosmillero, we puttered around in a low-key sort of way, which is just what I'm needing about now. Mei showed me a bunch of interesting sites and set me up with a Google homepage that shows the latest content from many of my frequent web stops. I'm going to use this for a few days and then possibly comment on it further in my Links and Tips category along with a few other handy programs I've picked up over the past year.

All in all, a fantastic day. Thanks for stopping in guys! As soon as I complete this teleporter pad I've been designing, we can do this more often. I'm going to need some guinea pigs to test it out, but once it's done I'll be able to ship people across the State using my patented rent-a-pult™ technology. Any takers?

Posted by Andy at 12:31 AM to the Food category & Games category & Health category | Comments (1)

March 03, 2006

Good Report

I just got home from my appointments at Hopkins. There was again some waiting involved, but it was not as bad as before. So, to the meat of it... My CT scan was normal, and my bloodwork was also normal, so though I cannot officially be declared "cancer free" until after radiation therapy, I'm close if not there now. Radiation will take place in order to fry any microscoping remnants that may or may not have spread into the lymph nodes in my back.

I see Dr. Song, a radiologist, on Monday and am going to investigate the possibility of having it done closer to home. There is a healthy difference between a 20 minute drive and an hour drive, so I am hoping it will not be a problem for that to occur. I may also find out at this appointment how often I need to be checked over the next five or so years. The urologist wants to see me back in a year, which is substantially later than I had imagined from my reading. It would certainly be nice if I didn't have to add bimonthly appointments to my doctor appointment lineup, so I am hoping that'll be enough. It's hard to complain about a once a year appointment.

So, things are looking good. Radiation isn't going to be a walk in the park with my existing health problems, but I have a definite light at the end of the tunnel to keep me moving along. Thank you all for your continuing support. I'd like you all to think about an idea I had over the past couple of weeks that I will describe below.

When all of this is over, I would really like to get a big group of family and friends to go to the aquarium, natural history museum, or both over a few weeks, and I would further like to not have to be the organizer of it all. I have not been to either place since I was a little kid and I think this would be a great way to move out of a rough situation. I would need a wheelchair to last through the day, but I would be able to handle that concept I believe. I think it would be a lot of fun to get whole families in on it, kids and all, and if people drove separately some could leave earlier than others if they needed to do so. This could happen as a big family and friends arrangement, or we could set up a family day in one place and a friends day in the other. I am confident everyone would get along great regardless of which way we chose to do it. So, send me your comments with your thoughts on this idea. It's too early to figure in any dates because I don't know how long radiation goes or how whipped I will be on account of it, but that can happen once a few weeks have passed.

Posted by Andy at 06:54 PM to the Health category | Comments (3)

March 02, 2006

Slight Rebound

I have exercised extreme caution today and wound up a tad better off to this point. I cut out some of my stretching and stuck close to my Reclining Command Center™ watching Star Trek episodes. It hasn't been particularly interesting, but I am avoiding some portion of my recent problems, so it's worth it. I'd like to include something more positive here... Let's see... I have continued receiving cards, a few emails, and phone calls from people checking in on me. A former music teacher of mine even got us a copy of Lance Armstrong's book and called up to make sure we didn't have it already. Plus, only one more day till I find out what is going on. That's not so bad eh?

Posted by Andy at 06:54 PM to the Health category | Comments (2)

March 01, 2006


I feel it is my obligation to inform you all that I now must be referred to as "THE HAMMER", courtesy of Olympic curling. In case you are skeptical, I present to you my official signature, which of course makes my claims on this name legally binding.


Posted by Andy at 11:36 PM to the General category | Comments (0)

Positively Miserable

I've racked up another woeful health day today. Last Thursday's assessment to the effect that I should rest again after my morning routine seems to have been in error, because nothing is working at all. I got really frustrated earlier this evening for this and other reasons, and I'm really hoping that this situation will shift favorably in the near future.

Posted by Andy at 10:17 PM to the Health category | Comments (0)

CNN Disappoints Me

I just finished watching a substantial piece of an interview of Howard Dean by Wolf Blitzer on a show called The Situation Room that airs on CNN in the afternoon. The topic, not surprisingly, was port security, and rarely have I seen a reporter give someone with such a clearly and publicly defined bias a free pass like this one. Dean rolled out the usual pseudo-fact that only 5% of shipping gets inspected, and Blitzer made no effort to clarify anything whatsoever.

Want to know how shipping inspection actually works? Roughly 98% of shipping gets scanned. Suspicious items undergo further and more detailed scanning in order to detect specific isotopes found within materials usable for terrorist aims. If those isotopes are present, the suspicious article or articles are searched by hand. Our ever popular 5% label applies to the number of containers that actually get hand searched, which would include inspections of suspicious items as described above as well as random searches.

Someone needs to tell me how the use of this statistic in the manner of Dean and many others can be called anything but a carefully worded lie. Moreover, is it not the responsibility of the news media to demand clarification and more extensive information? I am not surprised so few Americans vote. It requires an obsession to obtain anything resembling truth from politicians and the news media alike, and most people simply do not have the time to devote to such an endeavor.

Posted by Andy at 05:15 PM to the Politics category | Comments (3)