June 16, 2008

So My Folks Are Out of Town

This year their trip du jour is a month long trek with my aunt and uncle across the American northwest in search of birds. Normally they take a bus trip, but the bus trips aren't oriented toward birding so they've taken matters into their own hands.

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone who reads (or used to read) this site that I am not doing particularly well. If I was, you'd see a lot more posts. Everything now feels like it's moving too rapidly for me to keep up. My mind races over stupid things and I'm always fighting with morning anxiety. Presumably this is due to the med I took around this time last year, but in any case, it is really annoying and hard to deal with.

On the plus side, we decided to grab a bunch of meals at a place up the road called "Make and Take", so I think I may have a somewhat easier time managing my food supply. I have enough of these that I shouldn't have to plan much other than to get one out of the freezer and pick a vegetable to steam or pan-fry or whatever I want. I can handle this far more easily than when I have to prepare all the components.

Otherwise, I'm pretty much just playing a lot of Warcraft. I'm not feeling well enough to do much else even though I really want to be doing more. It's very frustrating. Ah well, at least the weather is nice.

If anyone wants anything from my parents' house, I put price tags on everything. Get it while it's hot!

Posted by Andy at 03:01 PM

October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

So who has exciting plans for this holiday? Mine include sitting inside my house, not handing out candy to the kids who won't be showing up. To be honest, I think I would enjoy doing the candy handout thing, but this neighborhood just isn't set up for it.

Oh, and I will be dressing up as a guy that needs a haircut, who may or may not carry around a water bottle.

Posted by Andy at 02:27 PM

July 30, 2007

What a Great Day!

I felt as lousy today as I have for the past four or so, rather unable to do much other than sit in a reclining chair and look at TV when my blood cooperated enough for my eyes to stay open. Still, I had made arrangements with my tennis pal Amy to start cooking again, and I wanted to give it a shot. The adrenaline that comes with social situations can give me some kick for a while, after all.

I had expressed interest in rehashing the first recipe we ever tried, which has already been discussed on this blog. It was great. We got the same fish from the same place, and with all the vegetables at their prime at this time of year, we really couldn't miss. Best meal ever... well, at least when combined with the fabulous ice cream cones from the Daily Scoop up the road from here. They make good ice cream to be sure, but their cones are the best I've ever had. Super fresh and with optional dark chocolate dip that doesn't reduce the crunch at all. That's some serious coneage™.

I also finished the final installment in the Harry Potter series today, which was the first novel I've been able to read in about two years. What a great book. I really feel like the last four books added so much more substance than the first three, and HP 7 added so many great lessons and inventive angles on life and death that I was not just satisfied, but touched on a meaningful level.

All in all, a great day despite my seriously poor health of late. I may pay tomorrow, but that's alright too.

Posted by Andy at 11:45 PM

July 16, 2007

I'm Moved!

Hooray! I finally got moved into the little house next door. It's still messy and I didn't get as much help as I would have liked to fully fix things up ahead of time, but hopefully it'll all come together in time. I really appreciate the help I got with cleaning up the cabinets and windows and such. It's sooo nice being over here too. I am somewhat concerned that the musty smell may be giving me fairly intense sinus headaches though... I hope I'm wrong.

I'm supposed to do a website for a small business shortly as well. I don't know if I can manage that or not what with all I've been up to lately. Final exams, medical tests, moving... it's all rather tiring on a variety of levels. All in all, I'm not sure where I'm headed next, but it's nice to be able to ponder the future in a new living space, that's for sure.

Posted by Andy at 01:41 PM | Comments (2)

March 27, 2007

First Day of Class

Today was my first day taking IFSM 201 from UMUC. This class may cover a lot of things I already know, but will hit some new things as well in the realms of computers and office-type software.

I can't shake the feeling that this is all just wrong. I don't entirely know why. Maybe some of it has to do with my previous negative experiences with trying to finish school, but regardless, I just don't feel right taking classes anymore. I'm still gonna force my way through until I better option presents itself I suppose. This is all very weird coming from me, a guy who always got straight A's and had no problem with school even when pretty exhausted. I'll just have to keep praying about it.

Posted by Andy at 01:15 AM | Comments (2)

March 08, 2007

We're Getting a Parking Lot

I participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for my church, Mt. Carmel United Methodist, this past Sunday morning. It was a neat experience, and it is always nice to see everyone there again. I don't get there often due to the time of day services are held.

I believe the only thing being built right now is a parking lot, or parking lot extension, but it's better than the nothing we've had for the past 12 years.

Posted by Andy at 12:50 AM | Comments (2)

January 20, 2007

I'm Trying to be Back!

I don't know how much I'll be posting or not. I still don't really feel like a human all that much. This year finally caught up with me. It was a good run, and I wouldn't take it back, but that is the price to be paid, particularly when it comes to force of will.

Lately I've been doing a whole lot of nothing, as I have felt sick (like mono-sick or something) for quite a while. I am hoping it is starting to fade, but I really am not sure. I got my blood tested the day before yesterday, but I have no idea what will show up there.

In "nothing" news, Sprockette and Gnoella are pushing past the level 50 barrier of late. We have some cool gear and are saving up for primo riding chickens at level 60. It is a ways off yet, but it sure is fun. Since mom is away, I have been trying to play both of our characters in a few situations to try to keep her up to speed.

That said, I would still rather do something useful, but I just don't feel like I have it in me at all. I was gonna take a class, but I decided to wait until mid-March based on my health of late combined with the lack of info from the school regarding what courses I need. Hopefully that will work out.

Posted by Andy at 01:47 AM | Comments (5)

December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

We had our annual carol sing last night, and it was a blast as usual. We even brought in some new blood this time around.

I'm about to head off to Christmas Eve church. Merry Christmas everyone! That goes double for my CFS friends around the world who I can't contact via email right now. I hope you guys are reading.

Posted by Andy at 08:10 PM | Comments (1)

November 27, 2006

I'm Still Alive, I Swear

Rumors of my death were greatly exaggerated. I am still not feeling particularly well, but I think I might be a bit better than at my last report. Obviously I'm still not active on the site, which is in part on account of my health, but also due to the class I'm taking and the physical therapy that I've been getting nearby for a few weeks. The center is only 3-4 miles from here, so I have been making the drive myself.

Oh, and mom and I got back into World of Warcraft a week or so ago, and joined a guild called The Holy Gnoman Empire. Good stuff.

Thanksgiving was nice as usual, in no small part because of Jim and Susanne's effort in organizing and cooking for the rest of us. I brought my friend Ann-Marie along this year since she didn't have another place to be, so it was doubly nice. Unfortunately, no snack turkeys were created this year due to lack of participants, but we will regroup next year, or possibly in a few weeks if someone can think of a snack craft project related to Christmas that we could use at the carol sing.

Posted by Andy at 04:19 PM | Comments (7)

November 14, 2006

Slow to Update

I have a lot to talk about right now, but am too tired to make it a reality. Here is a great political article to keep you busy. Just pretend I wrote it. I certainly could have given that I've talked about the concept this writer discusses numerous times on this site.

Posted by Andy at 12:38 AM | Comments (5)

October 28, 2006

Stuff and Things

Since croquet-day I have been pretty busy, first with doctors' appointments, then with school and a nice visit from my Uncle Tom from California. He's here quite rarely, and we had a couple nice sit-around opportunities, which do not always happen.

I finished my first week of coursework for this 1 credit research class I'm taking online via UMUC. Given that I have been feeling absolutely horribly, it works out well that this week's work was quite easy. It took me a little time to figure out a few options here and there, but I'm finished with week 1 with 3 or 4 days yet to go before I have to worry about week 2 stuff.

... and yes, I have been feeling really horribly. I've had mind fog like you wouldn't believe with joint and back pain to match. On top of that I am experiencing a scary symptom that hopefully will turn out to be a side effect from the Lyrica I've been taking. The drug seemingly stopped working just as fall hit despite increasing the dosage from the initial 50mg all the way to 200mg, which is why my reporting on it has been missing on this blog. I have been reducing my dosage this week, and hopefully my problems will disappear soon after I stop taking it altogether. It is hard to even wait it out to be honest, but I'm managing.

Posted by Andy at 12:52 AM | Comments (5)

October 21, 2006

Event Organizing

I'm hosting croquet tomorrow, and that's great. What isn't great is how people treat my invitations. I sent out an initial email on September 25th asking for people's input regarding what weekend dates they could or could not attend. I followed up on October 3rd with more information, then again on the 11th with a final date, and again on the 19th to remind everyone. Quite frankly, I knew this wouldn't be good enough, so I made some extra phone calls and sent some additional emails, and still two of the people on my list scheduled events directly in conflict with mine. One of them invited lots of other people who were on my list, and the other was supposedly attending my event right up until I called today.

I know people are busy, but that doesn't preclude people from being respectful and notifying me at the same time. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and I manage to show up places when everyone else would cancel for health reasons. I have even directly asked people to let me know if they wanted to be taken off of my event list and have gotten no takers.

Do I not deserve the same respect seemingly afforded to everyone else?

Posted by Andy at 08:34 PM | Comments (7)

October 06, 2006

Stumbled Upon This Just Now

Take a look for yourself.

Posted by Andy at 11:52 PM | Comments (2)

October 03, 2006

Eventful Birthday Weekend

As you know if you've been here in the past week, my birthday was Friday. I think it is fair to say that I've been burning the candle at both ends a little bit since then, but all for good causes. I was on the tennis court with Amy on Friday, and again on Saturday with Joe Lex. On Sunday, Kevin and Amanda stopped in for the classic chicken and biscuits birthday dinner which was, quite possibly, the best ever. Amanda couldn't take our presence and headed out after, but Kevin stuck around for some serious fantasy football analysis and game watching.

All three of us met up again yesterday for a movie. (Fearless. If you haven't seen it you're not missing much. It's not the worst thing ever, but the marketing that calls this "Jet Li's last martial arts epic" is somewhat misleading.) After refueling on tacos back here at home, we headed out in the canoe for a loooong overdue late night run. The weather was beautiful, and so was Kevi... wait, wait, that's definitely not where I was planning on going with this. The weather was beautiful. Great night.

This is definitely canoe season. Feel free to join me out there. When's a good night for you?

Posted by Andy at 06:09 PM | Comments (2)

September 29, 2006

29 on the 29th

Somehow or another I got a year older all in one day. I think I might have a touch of arthritis here. Hold on a second, I have to go outside and yell at some punk teenagers...

Posted by Andy at 09:00 PM | Comments (3)

September 23, 2006

Class Reunion

My 10 year high school reunion was tonight. Interesting night I suppose. It was about what I expected, meaning that most of the people who I knew from classes or extracurricular activities were not there. A few were, and I talked briefly with a few others, but most of my night was spent sitting and staring into space more or less. Fortunately, I can do that without feeling self conscious.

The turn out was pretty good thanks to a lot of hard work by Lisa Williar and I suspect Erik Robey as well. Their hard work will not go unappreciated on this blog. They also worked to accomodate my need for a ride home, and John Jenkins stepped up to fill that void.

I am happy I made it through the evening without incident. I went into it in a state where I would normally cancel whatever I had planned, but I knew this was a one-shot with no repeats, so I went for it anyway. There is a reasonable degree of probability that I will pay for this one for a while, but then again, maybe the increased recovery rate I have enjoyed this summer will kick in and get me back up and running in no time.

Posted by Andy at 11:44 PM

September 20, 2006

House of Death

Another mouse is now rotting between the walls of my bedroom. I knew it was coming, but I can't stop these things on my own unfortunately. That makes around 12 or more mice that have died thus far. Kinda freaks one out when it comes to feeling safe in this house. Is something in our house, like an odorless gas, killing these animals because they're small? What do I even do about it?

The weather shifted around 5 days ago and I am being hit hard. Hopefully my summer bubble will not totally burst, because I've really accomplished a lot over the past few months, and I would hate to see that fall apart. Wish me luck. I'm not going to stop pushing forward unless forced.

Posted by Andy at 05:33 PM | Comments (5)

September 15, 2006

Episode IV: The Final Stench

... or at least I hope. You wouldn't believe what went down today. I have a photograph for those who want an eyeful - just let me know via comment. Suffice it to say, we had to handle some more rodent disposal operations. Hopefully the stench problems are behind us, unless that unaccounted for bat happens to kick off.

Posted by Andy at 08:33 PM

September 14, 2006

Stench Overboard!

It turns out my bat theory was wrong. Well, I'm still pretty convinced we had/have a bat that is unaccounted for, but the stench from behind the wall took a far more disgusting form as it turned out. Facing the smell of decay on both sides of the computer area, mom snapped and "urged" dad to take out the offending section of wall.

It turns out this was a good move, because the decaying corpses of at least 6 mice lay within. I say "at least" because some of these mice were in such an advanced state of composition that it was impossible to tell what was what. We're talking tails, fur, and miscellaneous goo. The smell was unbelievable, but the corpses were removed and given a proper burial (i.e. the trashcan outside. Waaaay outside.)

The wall is being attached rather loosely in case we ever have to do this again. Hopefully the doorway won't collapse on my head when I go into my room. You never know around here.

Now only one stench remains. I am scared.

Posted by Andy at 10:31 PM | Comments (2)

Double the Stench! Aaaaugh!

I think I need to create a new "stench" category for my sidebar. If you're not briefed on the situation from the past few weeks, you can catch up here, here, and here.

That smell has still not left the premises, and now we have a new, "fresh" contender. A few days ago we had a bat down here. It seemed to be staking out a claim on the little supply closet area at the bottom of the stairs. Unfortunately it made a wrong turn and fell down inside the wall between my room and the door to that same stairwell. After struggling for a few days it died, and has now begun to provide the same pleasing aroma as the mouse that came before. Now I get to live with it about 23 hours a day, as I am assaulted by it on both sides at the computer, and will now have to contend with it when I am trying to sleep as well.

Where is that Medieval bird suit when you need it?!


Posted by Andy at 03:00 PM

September 10, 2006

Prayers Needed for a Family Member

I ask for your prayers for some cousins of mine on my mom's side of my family. Randy and Diane's son John is near death after a motorcycle accident. A truck crossed the median and hit him and 2 other friends. One was killed outright and John has no brainfunction and is not expected to live.

John is my second cousin, but I do not believe I have met him. That does not mean I will not be praying for him and his parents today and in the days to come. Please join me if you would.


Posted by Andy at 06:24 PM | Comments (1)

September 07, 2006

Tiring but Good Day

I hung out with Amanda Bange all day yesterday. Fun stuff. I was pretty tired from my treatment the day before, so we passed on planned canoeing in favor of pier sitting. I also got an invite to eat at her folks' place, and was able to help her dad with some web design info. I told him to expect world peace by this afternoon, so hopefully that's working out for him. We rounded out the day with some Warcraft III team ladder games (we stink) and wound up at 1 and 3 on the night. We had to play people ranked way higher than us, so we expect to get some decent results eventually if we are able to try again.

So, long day, but totally worth it. I'm glad you came by, Amanda. Let's do it again soon.

Posted by Andy at 03:26 PM

September 02, 2006

Where is the Stench Coming From? I Can't See!

Man, talk about a rough couple of days! I already talked about the mouse part, and I might have continued with more details had not the power gone out. First it flashed on and off for random intervals 15 or so times, and then it finally died in the late afternoon yesterday.

That makes two days without my essential routine + feeling dirty nonstop + no US Open (which is the ultimate in tennis, one time a year) + horrid, unrelenting mouse stench!

After the hurricane of '03 that took out our power for a week, dad took some steps to hook up a generator to keep us in the clear. Unfortunately the generator is of poor quality and can only handle a few power issues at a time. We went without water of any sort in exchange for lighting that would wax and wane in intervals of a few seconds and interchangeable usage of the refrigerator/freezer and stove. Much like the mouse situation, this was all sort of hilarious in a morbid sort of way. At least we had a generator, right?

Now I have to hope that this whole circumstance won't significantly set me back. I'm going to progress as if it will not, and hope that I am not in error.

Posted by Andy at 06:26 PM | Comments (1)

September 01, 2006

The Stench Report

plague suit Dad and I attempted to locate the mouse, deceased roughly 1 week ago, around the area containing the most intense smell. No luck. Have you ever had one of those experiences where you want to laugh and cry at the same time?

We found the only scented candle in the house (they bug mom and I) and deployed it in the region. I think I would be better served by one of these suits. If it worked for Medieval doctors, it's good enough for me! Maybe that should be my new motto.

Posted by Andy at 03:53 PM

The Stench of Death

A mouse died down here in the drop ceiling of the basement. We're entering week two of the decay. I think an accurate way to describe it is that if it doesn't affect you, you're not really human. It made mom sick and she had to go upstairs for the rest of the night. I'm toughing it out, but I must admit my throat is scratchy. I gotta live somewhere, right?


Posted by Andy at 12:33 AM | Comments (2)

August 26, 2006

Day o' Croquet

I ended up winning the GCHTJKCAIPCT today. The prize money was not what I expected. There were only four of us on the field of war today, but in some ways smaller numbers are actually better for such a lengthy game. We had the obligatory cookout after, which was superb - perhaps the best in years, and stuffed ourselves with burgers, corn, soup, and a top flight fruit salad hand made by my mother. If I may say, the mango right now is unbelievable. I thank you, Joe, Mei, and Dana, for coming and joining in the festivities. All in all, I think we had a pretty enjoyable time...

... but I still can't shake the feeling that I am losing another group of friends to distance, time, and other priorities. I've had this feeling before, as I was in the process of losing my first group in the first years of my illness, then the second about midway through. I made it both times with varying degrees of success, only this time I don't have college classes to find new people, office-mates to associate with, or even a church of people mostly 20 and 30 years older than me. This time I fear I may be very much on my own, saddled with essentially a more advanced version of the same health condition that was responsible for losing me the first two groups of friends. The bottom line is that people just cannot connect with someone who is sick, I guess.

I'm not one to give up of course. I've never given up before. I don't plan to start now, or ever for that matter, no matter how bad things might theoretically get in the future. I think I just need a lot of help now. Please say a prayer for me that I might be shown new ways of holding onto people I care about, and new ways of finding people in a world that most often does not extend beyond the walls of this house. I think prayer is about the best option I have, and the dual meaning is quite intentional.

Posted by Andy at 10:17 PM | Comments (6)

August 23, 2006

Another Meme Dealy

This time I was tagged by Mei. Let's see what I can do here...

  1. A friend who has blessed me:
    Well, this would have to be Mei. Hey, maybe this is why she tagged me for this thing! She's taken off work on no notice to visit me in the hospital, gotten Bryn Terfel to send me a get well letter, and even come down to visit just before moving to Delaware because she knew it would matter despite the fact that she also knew it would be hard.
  2. An unexpected gift:
    Despite all the cancer treatments I had in the winter and spring, this summer has been better on me physically than those of the past several years.
  3. A kind word shared with me recently:
    I can't remember anything specific, but I have gotten some nice comments from Nic about his website and my design site in progress. During my folks' recent trip, people from my old church kind of came out of the woodwork to offer help as well, even though I really don't see any of them anymore.
  4. Something that makes me stop and praise God:
    A beautiful night sky, reflections on the creek, music with depth... It doesn't take much honestly.
  5. Something I'm looking forward to:
    The Gwen Chiappa Hamster, Twinkie Johnson Kitty and Cancer Awareness Invitational Power Croquet Tournament this Saturday, the 26th. If you're reading this and haven't yet confirmed your tournament status, get to it already!
  6. A particular part of me I'm pleased with:
    I think I have good eyes.
  7. Something in my life that I wanted but never expected:
    This is kinda tough... I must admit I don't get a great many things that I want, expected or not. I'd say "the ability to handle adversity", but that isn't something that you really do or do not expect. It takes work like most things.
  8. A place that moved/moves me:
    My pier. Well, not the pier itself, because it's getting kind of dangerous, but the view from the pier.
  9. One thing/person that always makes me smile:
    I love seeing my little cousins Becca and Connor.
  10. Most recent "love note" from God:
    I assume this is asking for a verse, but I think a bigger truth that I have learned again recently is that the more I dedicate my life to God, the better I feel, not physically, but generally.

    Ok, I'll give you a verse too...

    Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth.
    Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.
    Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth.
    O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

    I Chronicles 16: 31-34

No doubt I am supposed to pass this along for others to complete, but I already called upon everyone I know with a blog in the last one. If you are up for another, feel free to give this a shot, but don't worry about it too much. :)

Posted by Andy at 05:57 PM

August 22, 2006

Clear Night

It's such a beautiful night. I wish I could stay outside forever. If you're still up and reading, get out there and check it out! If not, maybe tomorrow will be the same. I sure hope so.

Posted by Andy at 01:14 AM

August 19, 2006

A Nice Evening with the Dolber

Jess Dolber, a Goucher buddy, flew down to visit for the weekend, which prompted the whole Goucher crew to get together for dinner tonight at the Cheshire Crab. As expected, this was a great evening, and it was great to see Jess, Andy Cole, and the rest of the somewhat more usual gang.

Mei, Pat and I closed out the night tinkering around with youtube and enjoying a few exciting rounds of Dwarf on a Wharf, another one of the little flash games that has caught my eye of late. Feel free to give this one a go instead of doing real work.

Posted by Andy at 10:51 PM

August 18, 2006

Book Meme Thingy

This little survey has been floating around on some conservative blogs I read. Nice folks all. I got called out by Anna Venger, so I'm gonna do my best to get on the bandwagon with some answers...

  1. One book that changed your life:
    I'm with anonymous in that I don't really feel like books have that kind of drastic influence on me, but the Bible changes my life because I actively work for it to do so.
  2. One book that you've read more than once:
    Dune. The whole series actually. I'll probably read them again someday, because they are that good. The first book just gets you going, and the others get increasingly better through the final book. I just wish they came in some kind of nice collector's edition. Oh, and don't fall for the trap of buying the newer Dune expansions by Brian Herbert. No comparison.
  3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
    The Bible. Outside the realm of faith, I would probably go with The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. I don't own it, but man do I want to!
  4. One book that made you laugh:
    The Dilbert Principle is absolutely hilarious. I loaned it out and I don't know who has it anymore.
  5. One book that made you cry:
    Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. The ending really reached me in a profound way. On a sillier note, I believe I also cried reading one of the later Harry Potter books.
  6. One book that you wish had been written:
    How to Live and Find Love with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  7. One book that you wish had never been written:
    Mein Kampf
  8. One book you’re currently reading:
    I can't read much right now, but I read two pages of my King James Bible every night before bed, and more on Sundays.
  9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
    There are way too many to list here to be honest. I would have probably read an encyclopedia by now if I had been provided with the ability to do so. One thing that has been on my mind a while is to read the Qur'an. I want to cut right to the chase and see the message for myself.
  10. Tag five others.
    1. DQ, want to give this a shot?
    2. Heather, I bet you could fill this out easily enough once you have a computer again, and your responses would likely be very different than my own.
    3. Joe, here's an exciting new topic for the circle of blogging!
    4. Other Joe, I've seen you cover a lot of similar topics. Care to try this one out?
    5. Amanda, my CFS buddy from Washington state, have at it!

Heck, this survey was a drop in the bucket compared to my mother of all self-imposed surveys, the 100 Things About Me. Maybe some of you guys want to try that out! Not likely, I know, but it's more interesting to embark on that adventure that you might think.

Posted by Andy at 05:23 PM | Comments (3)

The Clock Strikes Midnight

My parents just walked in the door a few minutes ago, and the house officially has turned back into a pumpkin... or something. I am going to miss my independence, even if a lot of it was illusory. I am kinda happy to even be saying this given my less than stellar experiences during trips over the past few years.

This past week was very rough I must say, but I don't really blame the trip for that so much as a weather shift combined with a taxing x-ray and bloodwork appointment, some difficulties with interruptions during my morning routine the day following, and a few other issues. I have rough patches a-plenty when my parents are here, so I still am coming out of this feeling like I accomplished a little something.

Some assessments about the past month:

  • I had roughly a week's worth of feeling really good over the past 3.5-4. I didn't have it all lumped together. I haven't had really any days of feeling good for a while, maybe years, so this was a big win for me.
  • While I had a few logistical issues with organizing meals and ingredients for meals, on the whole I ate very well and was not stressed out about it. My problem spots mostly fit into the "things going bad before I could use them" area as opposed to the "I don't have enough supplies" area. Times when I had issues with the latter I was able to improvise rather painlessly.
  • Over the 25 or so days of this trip, I was able to complete web updates for sites I maintain in a timely manner, but only on 2 of those days was I really able to work on my own projects, and for fairly limited spans of time.
  • I decided to postpone my UMUC school enrollment largely on account of this trip combined with everything else that has happened this year. I am confident that this was the correct decision, and I hope that I can regroup for the spring semester.
  • I did better on the days when people were not here for the most part. In the long term this would not hold true by virtue of my running out of supplies and ways to eat, keep the house in order, and so on, but given the supplies I had at the outset of this trip, I was, on average, able to expend less energy on the days where nothing was scheduled. I am not really factoring in the other benefits of visitors in this point, and those are significant.
  • I need more tools to help me live alone for a long span of time. It would only take one thing to go wrong for many things to be destroyed, and there were many facets of life that I simply did not attempt to consider, like keeping up the lawn, making sure the water purification system was working, and so on. I discovered one or two helpful approaches during this trip, so that is a plus. I also need way more things to prepare food-wise in order to make the situation viable in the long-term.
  • I really did have fun during a substantial portion of this trip time. I felt good about a lot of things about which I do not often get to feel good, and I was able to carry a positive mindset through many if not all of the harder situations as well.

I thank all of you who came down to help out over the course of this trip. Between people stopping by with grocery orders after work, people hanging out and bringing carry-out, and all the rest, I was able to manage pretty darned well without feeling an exhorbitant amount of pressure to survive. I even feel like I can plan the big (and long overdue) croquet event for next week if that suits people's schedules.

Posted by Andy at 03:59 PM

August 14, 2006

In Other News

I may have seen a bear in my yard today. It may also have been a rabbit. It's hard to tell when the grass is this high, but I figure I can't take any chances.

Posted by Andy at 04:51 PM | Comments (2)

August 08, 2006

Full Day

I woke up today after a rather poor night's sleep. I think it impaired my judgment, because here's what I did today:

  • Re-edited the sample pictures from my card line for my design website.
  • Drove to Angel's and got groceries.
  • Handled meals for myself.
  • Attended a 2+ hour community meeting in place of my father.

I guess for most people that amounts to nothing, but for me, it's rather insane. Fitting, since I wrapped up the day a few minutes ago by watching Arsenic and Old Lace. I just hope I don't wake up dead tomorrow, because I have an appointment to keep. Ah well, you can't live unless you take some risks, right?


Posted by Andy at 12:01 AM

August 02, 2006

State of the House Address

It's 473 New York Avenue... Wait a minute, that's not where I was going with this.

As my legion of adoring fans* might have noticed, I haven't posted for a few days. This is because I'm in the business of surviving right now, and said surviving has taken a physical toll on me. I've had some rather bad luck at the outset of the big trip that has put me in a rather poor physical state, but for whatever reason my confidence level is still higher than it has been during other long parental trips of previous years. I'm eating well and am working hard to space out my food selection so that I have adequate days of rest. With luck, the random bad luck element will fade away in the weeks to come, and I will be able to spend time working on my websites again.

So come on by! Maybe bring some carry-out with you and watch a movie or something. We'll have the run of the place. Steal what you want, as long as I don't use it. You know the drill.

Note: My legion of adoring fans may or may not consist of 3 occasional readers and a squirrel named Herb.

Posted by Andy at 04:31 PM | Comments (3)

July 25, 2006

Let the Wild Parties Commence

My parents are officially away as of too-early o'clock this morning. If you know any wandering vagrants or drug dealers who need a place to crash, their room will be open through August 18th. Rent is cheap.

In other news, apple chips rock. So good. I had no idea.

Posted by Andy at 03:54 PM

July 08, 2006

Finally, Some Canoeing

The last two days have been pretty great, as I've been able to hang out with two people who essentially fall into the category of "new friends", which is quite the rarity in the world o' chronic fatigue. Yesterday I hung out with Joe Lex and did some sitting around and video gaming. Today, Mei and Rep stopped in. Obviously I know Mei, but I've really only talked to Rep via bulletin boards and blogs. We did some canoeing, gaming, and table tennis playing too, which allowed me to unveil the outdoor ping pong table, my birthday present from last year that had not been used until now. Round that out with some food from Listas and I had myself a top quality day.

Thanks for coming, ladies! Let us find excuses to repeat the process soon.

Posted by Andy at 11:28 PM | Comments (2)

July 04, 2006

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day everyone! I feel bad for the kiddies who may or may not get to see fireworks tonight on account of the rain. There's still time for it to clear up, right?

It is important for us to remember our national history today. A great many have died since before our nation's founding to create and preserve the freedoms we enjoy. We owe it to ourselves to remember both those who have died as well as those who have lived to further the cause of freedom in the United States and around the world. Independence Day is an important day to celebrate, but we must also strive to live each day with the understanding that our freedoms are in fact not free, and that each of us must contribute individually in order to preserve and advance them.

Posted by Andy at 06:04 PM | Comments (2)

July 02, 2006

Long but Enjoyable Day

To cap off a way-too-busy week that began with a health crash, I went with a group of friends to see another friend perform in a musical down at the Annapolis Summer Garden Theater. I was pretty worried going in, but I don't get to see people that often most of the time, and I don't expect this group will be around the area for more than another couple of years, so I figured I had to try.

I'm glad I did. Though I was totally exhausted going into (and obviously coming out of) the day, I had a good time with some good people, and even saw a good show, which I have to admit came as something of a surprise. I've been to my share of dubious shows at the Summer Garden Theater and have even left halfway through at least once. On top of that, the show in which my friend Cat performed was called Urinetown. It turned out to be quite funny in my estimation, though it was not surprisingly rather crass. The singing was ok and the acting was great with maybe one minor exception. Even the seats had arms and were fairly comfortable, which is a pretty big deal for me these days.

We actually met to eat fairly early so that Cat could get to her rehearsal before the show. That meant we had a few hours to kill in Annapolis before show time. Thanks to a handy fold-out hiking chair brought along by my friend Pat, I was able to pass the time with everyone without hurting myself nearly as much as I expected.

All told, a fun day. I haven't been as tired as I am right now for a good while, but I hope to bounce back relatively quickly with the help of a few physical therapy-ish treatment today. If I don't recover so easily, then it was still a fun day, eh?

Posted by Andy at 10:51 PM

June 28, 2006

Crabs 'n' Stuff

Yesterday I got to hang out with a couple of new friends, who came down to eat crabs at Anne Arundel Seafood. I know these folks through the internet, which is not typical for me really. Ann-Marie has similar health problems, and her brother Mike helps her out quite a bit. They run a business together in fact. Good situation.

In any event, it was a lot of fun hanging out even though I was too tired to do it. Sometimes you have to take one for the team. I'd do it again, only possibily with a little less bench-sitting and a little more Pikmin.

Posted by Andy at 04:11 PM

June 25, 2006

Dinner Party

Nic Kipke and his wife Morgan invited me over to their place along with 2 other couples for a dinner party this evening. As my earlier post today indicated, I was hurting pretty badly going into this, but the night was so fun and informative that adrenaline carried me through pretty well. I'm just going to make a point of totally or almost totally relaxing over the next few days to try to compensate.

I was hoping to learn a bit about the local political campaign process, and I sure did. Everyone attending tonight happens to be involved in the state Republican Central Committee, and all are pretty intimately familiar with Nic's campaign in some manner or another. We all talked politics virtually the entire evening.

... but the evening wasn't just about the political talk. It turns out Nic is pretty proficient with his outdoor grill. Despite the rain, he cooked up great steaks, potatoes (both regular and sweet), grilled vegetables, and ice cream ca... wait a minute. He didn't grill the ice cream cake. Nic and Morgan also served up some broccoli and a great salad to round out a very full table.

So now I'm exhausted, but it was worth it. I shall lay low over the coming days and hopefully regroup and get into my web building anew. Thank you Nic and Morgan for a great evening.

Posted by Andy at 11:06 PM | Comments (2)


I've been working really hard to try to establish myself as a web designer since my radiation treatments ended. I built myself a look for my own site and worked on some others as well in the first few weeks, but since then I have hit a wall of poor health, in this case more mentally than physically, but both are involved.

I've had to handle numerous updates for Nic's site, and yesterday I had to code the latest newsletter for my community's page. Whenever I have updates, that is all I can handle, and sometimes I have to wait a day or until 10pm to even attempt them despite the fact that they're just what you might call "grunt work", requiring no real creativity and little problem solving.

I decided to handle yesterday's newsletter update in the afternoon, because I felt like I needed to push a little bit in order to really hope to improve anything. The update ended up taking me an hour and a half, after which I felt like I had been run over by a bus. I felt slightly better after dinner and was able to make some minor modifications on one of my own projects, but not surprisingly, the bus caught up with me again today and decided to renew the tire marks. How am I supposed to create a web business of any kind when I can't even handle text updates to websites I've already built? I haven't even been able to think about writing the copy for my design website for over a month now, and my efforts to copyright my cards have stalled on account of the printshop I work with requiring micromanaging and constant reminders.

I'm not giving up by any means. I have decided that if I can try to accomplish something of any magnitude every day, maybe I can eventually carve out some form of living. It's a good thing I don't have to cook, clean, or balance finances. I had planned to head up a recreational roleplaying game that I've wanted to run for years now, but it's becoming clear that this is not going to be possible any time soon. I still want to try to take a class in the fall. We'll see. Unfortunately, no amount of resourcefulness seems to be enough to overcome my level of poor health. This latest situation has increased my confidence in my instincts regarding when I should push and when not, but has reduced it in terms of my general ability to handle life.

I have to be very careful not to think to the future too much at times like these. My rather extensive experience has shown me that I am entirely incapable of managing more than one thing at a time when I am able to manage even that one thing. When my parents are gone, well... that is why I have to be careful not to think to the future.

I'm staying mentally on top of everything by means of faith and religious study. I cannot know what my future holds whether experience makes it look bleak or not. I have food, shelter, family, friends, and most importantly, eternity on the horizon if I am able to live my life in a righteous way. Maybe God's plan for me does not include security. I have never entirely bought into the idea of believing that God necessarily provides for all of our dreams if we just pray hard enough. I believe that the proper course is to pray that God's will be realized, and to possess the necessary strength to carry it out as it pertains to each of us. Sure, I pray that I may achieve my personal dreams as well, but I only ask for those things conditionally. It is not for me to decide if the fulfillment of God's will includes my being healthy, married, or anything else.

I will always ask for the strength to endure what I must bear.

That is a prayer that will always be answered.

Posted by Andy at 03:14 PM | Comments (2)

June 20, 2006

Deer Encounter

This afternoon around 3:45 we had a couple of visitors in the yard. Click the image below to enlarge.

deer watching

I don't think I've ever seen a deer on the property during daylight hours, let alone two. I think they just couldn't resist eating all of the day lily flowers they could find.

Posted by Andy at 07:26 PM | Comments (2)

June 17, 2006


Thanks to the behind the scenes work of one Joe Chiappa, today's celebratory aquarium trip was a big success. We were able to bring together people whom I know for all different reasons and combine them into one compatible group, I would say. I always enjoy doing that.

Today marks the first time I have ever used a wheelchair during an event to mitigate the orthostatic intolerance problems I perpetually endure. The wheelchair worked well, though the aquarium on a busy day like today was not well suited to its use. Despite Joe's creative wheeling, I was not able to see a fair number of exhibits or was only able to see them in a limited manner. I did get out and walk a few times, and that helped out a lot in the areas that involved stairs. Imagine that!

Using a wheelchair to get around with friends is an entirely different prospect from walking as normal. It turns out you don't really get to talk to people much unless they happen to be pushing you, and the persective is, of course, quite unusual when you're new to it. I think everyone should try it once just to understand it a little better.

We ate at the Cheesecake Factory as I hoped we would, because Pat Lenehan got there for us early to put our party on the waiting list. Thanks Pat!. We were there quite a long time, which was tiring but great, because that let us all chat and make up for the lost "friends time" (at least for me) experienced at the aquarium. We even met up with an internet friend of mine with similar health problems who I had yet to meet, along with her brother. I did my best to stay on top of conversations at two ends of the booth. I hope I did ok with that.

Mei also got me another gratuitous but greatly appreciated get-well gift. This time it was the latest Bryn Terfel cd, which I am listening to right now. It starts beautifully. It probably ends beautifully too, but I only just now got it playing. Thanks yet again, Mei.

So thanks everybody for coming out. I hope you had as much fun as I did. This wheelchair angle might open some new doors for fun activities in the future as well, and I'll know a little more about how to maximize its usefulness. I think I'll be doing another one of these gatherings with my family soon, with the Smithsonian Natural History Museum as the target. After that, it'll be (at last) the first croquet event of the summer. You're all invited to attend the Gwen Chiappa Hamster, Twinkie Johnson Kitty and Cancer Awareness Invitational Power Croquet Tournament (the GCHTJKCAIPCT for short) in a few weeks. I'll nail down specifics once I know more about the family trip. Until then, start donating prize money and don't stop until the event.

Posted by Andy at 11:14 PM | Comments (2)

June 16, 2006

Pikmin and Passions

... don't mix! Well, that's not entirely true. Amanda Olear swung by yesterday and I introduced her to both, though fortunately not at the same time. It is amusing to see the change from amusement at cute and useful flower workers to horror at the machinations of soap opera morons I must say. Actually, that's only amusing if you're doing the watching. I know firsthand.

I experienced a hefty dose of both today after my wakeup routine as I finished out the "Hole of Heroes" in Pikmin 2. This was the longest and one of the two toughest caves in the game to my knowledge. I have just one cave to go in this final region. If it's harder I'm going to need to be committed to a mental institution.

Posted by Andy at 04:54 PM

June 11, 2006

Pikmin Plus

I just turned off the Gamecube after successfully paying off the full 10,000 poko debt owed to creditors by Hocotate Freight, Captain Olimar's employer. At first I was a little concerned, because the game ended just as I left the cave in which I collected the last of my debt even though I had more caves to explore in other areas. My worry vanished quickly, however, as co-worker Louie fell out of the ship on the way back to Hocotate, prompting a return visit by Olimar and his boss. Now I can finish those caves and explore an all-new region that promises to be extra challenging. As an added bonus, my ship is now gold-plated! It's hard to beat that.

In pikless news, I've been pounding away on websites since my last update, making some decent progress, but having to fight for it pretty hard. This week has been more difficult for me for some reason. Mentally I'm not really functional till around 8pm, and physically, I'm in this new sort of perpetual pain from my waist down. It is frustrating and always slightly scary when something new crops up, but I plan to keep workin' and hope to feel better soon. I am definitely on top of it mentally, even if I don't get decent access till 8. :)

I am looking forward to the big aquarium trip with friends this coming Saturday. Don't forget to buy your tickets in advance, and grab the version that gives you access to the dolphin show unless for some reason you would rather wander aimlessly while the rest of us check out the dolphins. I have nothing against aimless wandering, mind you. Go nuts if ya want.

If you read this and didn't get an email but want to attend, just send me a comment or email and we'll remedy the error.

Posted by Andy at 05:52 PM

June 09, 2006

The Water Calls

I have a canoe here, and it has yet to be used this year. Anyone want to come down and remedy that?

Posted by Andy at 08:37 PM | Comments (2)

May 30, 2006

Memorial Day

I was way too tired to post yesterday, but that's because I spent most of my day over at Ben and Rebecca's place hanging out with the D&D crew plus a few extras. Ben and Rebecca host a pretty nice cookout I must say, and it was nice to see everybody. I think that spending Memorial Day enjoying the company of friends is a great way to honor the memories of those who have died to protect our ability to do just that. If you have a few flags present, so much the better. (Don't forget to fly them at half-mast if you have an actual flagpole.)

What did you guys do over the weekend? Some of you are accounted for because I just saw you, and I know Pat was on a big hiking expedition because he has pictures to prove it. As for the rest of you, leave a comment and share your holiday with my loyal reader(s) and me.

Posted by Andy at 04:52 PM | Comments (4)

May 29, 2006


That's right, I finally got back out on the tennis court today with Amy after a long hiatus. Everything went smoothly except that we're terrible right now. Not much to be done about that but to play more. We hit up the Cheshire Crab afterwards, which has no new menu as promised last time, and also has no seafood specials aside from some very mundane stuff. The place appears to have been Pasadenized. I am deeply disappointed, but if we could find another seafood place, things could turn around quickly.

I also indoctrinated Amy into the world of Pikmin. Hard to argue with that.

All in all, a great day. If I can get to Ben's tomorrow somehow for the barbeque, that'll make for two in a row.

Posted by Andy at 12:08 AM

May 23, 2006

Busy Weekend

Though I have been rather complacent about updating my blog here, a lot went on this weekend in comparison with the usually quiet world-o'-Mosmiller. Collin and Amanda were nice enough to help me out with an excuse to grab food (and of course watch Passions) on Friday, Dana's graduation party was on Saturday, and my aunt and uncle from Ohio arrived with my folks on Sunday. Yesterday Kevin stopped over and stayed late. I'm paying for it now, but it was worth it for sure. Today, Joe will be stopping in for a few hours later this evening, just before heading off to Hawaii for a week or two. Ah, the high life.

In health news, a lot of people have been asking me how I'm doing after my treatments and all, and I have been a little confused regarding what to say. It has been so long since I've experienced any kind of normalcy that my scale is skewed. On the one hand, I am making steady progress on my design website, and have worked every day of late on that. On the other, I feel pressed most of the time, like something might crack. I think that means that I am doing well, but with a risk-factor.

This whole health thing brings up an interesting topic that I have considered at length over the years... How do I address people when they ask how I'm doing, and how do I make sure that I can cover all of the health bases without going overboard? My tack has been to say something like, "getting by," or, "I'm doing ok," when asked, and to try to get a chair with arms staked out and to make sure someone in charge knows why, but maybe that places me in a more negative light than is in fact accurate. I hope that my demeanor takes care of everything for me, but I don't know. What do you think? Do I come across too negatively?

It has been a long evolution to get to this point. For the first few years, I just sucked everything up as if everything was normal, and paid for it horribly. Maybe there have been points where I've gone too far in the other direction too, but it's hard to figure out. Hopefully I am close to a balanced approach now. Let me know what you think.

Posted by Andy at 04:13 PM

May 18, 2006


As I outlined a couple days ago, I am now on my own, fending for myself in the Pasadena wilds. Now that I am without supervision, do any of you want anything stolen or anyone roughed up?

Posted by Andy at 05:59 PM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2006

Away Mission

My folks are heading out of town for some birdwatching at Cape May, so if any of you would like to drop in to hang out and simultaneously give me an excuse to go eat somewhere, I would be in your debt*. They'll be gone from this Thursday until next Monday evening/Tuesday. I believe I have Monday handled, and Saturday I'll be going to Dana's graduation party, but the other days are up for grabs.

* Any implied debts are void in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Posted by Andy at 04:36 PM

May 15, 2006

Big Surprise Today

Today was chugging along and kinda blah until I opened an airmailed, handwritten letter around 4:00 from none other than Bryn Terfel, world-renowned operatic baritone, regarding my battle with illness over the past few months. Here is an excerpt:

Dear Andy,

Just a little note in the middle of my rather hectic "Wagner" year to hope and pray that you are holding up after your recent bout of illness. I hope a letter from the mountains of Wales will remind you of what music and its powers mean to so many of us whatever the complications of life.

Mr. Terfel continued with some detail about his latest engagement, tied it to the above quoted material with a well thought out comparison, and ended with a quote. He is clearly an intelligent and caring person to have taken the time to do something like this for a person he will likely never meet. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bryn and his agent, Doreen O'Neil, for making such a wonderful gesture.

... but how did he even know about me in the first place?

That would be because of the incredibly creative and persistent Mei-Ling Johnson, who has of course received mention on this site any number of times for her continued efforts on my behalf.

Thank you, Mei, for setting this once in a lifetime occurrence in motion back in February when all of this cancer news hit. I don't think it's possible that I could ever have a better friend than you.

Posted by Andy at 10:05 PM | Comments (2)

May 13, 2006

Advice from a Pro

This afternoon was rather eventful, starting off with a visit from my cousin Jim and his family, and winding down with a neat and friendly phone call from something of an unexpected source. After watching my younger cousins Matt and Chris receive from archery training from dad, Matt challenged me to some Mariokart action. We won some races, and he beat me up in "bomb blast" mode before I was interrupted by an instant message and a followup phone call.

The caller? Mani Sheriar from Sheriar Designs. I discovered her site and her work through a web design showcase site called CSS Zen Garden, added a few comments to her blog posts, and wound up sending an email with some questions for someone trying to get started in the business. It turns out Mani is of the incredibly friendly sort, and was happy to oblige. We talked for a good hour I figure, though I didn't keep track, and she imparted some really useful tips for advertising and the like that I probably wouldn't have been able to get any other way.

Thanks Mani!

Posted by Andy at 06:42 PM | Comments (1)

May 10, 2006

Need Some Input

I am trying to get things in order to establish some sort of web design/card sales company, but I need a good name. I'm in a terrible rut, and only seem to be able to think of names with "Designs" at the end, all of which are terrible. I would like the name to capture a bit of the essence of my card line, which means it should probably involve nature or maybe faith in some sort of clever way. That said, I am not limiting myself to just those categories, because let's face it, I'm getting nowhere fast.

Lay your ideas on me in comment form. Hopefully one of you is more clever than I.

Posted by Andy at 09:35 PM | Comments (10)

May 06, 2006

Doins a-Transpirin'

Let's see, since my last update, the weather has become, well... perfect. I'm still trying to walk around the circle every day, and am looking for more excuses to be outside. It's a little tough when you factor in the recouperation process. Come on down and give me an excuse!

We've had numerous unusual bird sightings recently, including scarlet tanagers, tree swallows, rose-breasted grosebeaks, and bluebirds. I also reported a pie-billed whooping sparrow, but nobody believed me. The swallows and bluebirds are actually nesting here, so we'll be seeing plenty of them barring some sort of bird disaster.

I'm trying to get back into web design as well, and am working on improving Nic Kipke's campaign website. I'm happy with the changes, but can't publish them until I hammer out an inexplicable bug in, you guessed it, Internet Explorer. I may have to settle slightly in order to account for it. I don't like settling.

In movie news, I have recently returned E.T. and Chocolat, which both receive 18 stars out of 5. I'm gearing up for Doctor Zhivago in a few minutes I think.

Watching movies in the afternoon might be ideal for me, because it's my worst time of day. That kills the rough time for me with minimal effort and allows me to use the later evening period more productively. The only problem is that it's beautiful outside, but I can't expect perfection here. At least I can use the screen door.

Posted by Andy at 03:30 PM

April 24, 2006

Not Wilderness Bound Yet

I spent much of my day today hanging out with Amanda Bange. We celebrated the end of radiation hostilities at the Cheshire Crab. Unfortunately, this favorite haunt has changed their menu for the worse by removing what I would call their signature "crab in a blanket" dish among other things. The help says it's going to expand again very soon, so I am holding out hope. We almost got jipped out of $10 in paying the bill, which happened once before... I don't know if it is bad luck or if this place is going downhill fast. Let's hope it's the former.

Anyway, Amanda had lots to relay about her goings on, and I in turn had lots to discuss on how politics can be aggravating. All in all, lots of wholesome fun. We are planning a Pizza Hut pizza and Passions day pretty soon, too. Want in?

Posted by Andy at 11:14 PM

April 22, 2006

Random Thought

It just occurred to me that all of the pictures in my wallet are from high school. It makes sense since that was the last time I was particularly in command of my own destiny, but it's still kinda weird. Do any of you people I know now have pictures I can put in there? If so, send 'em at me.

Posted by Andy at 11:52 PM | Comments (5)

April 16, 2006

Happy Easter

I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. For now is Christ risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them that sleep.

Job 19:25, I Corinthians 15:20

Posted by Andy at 03:21 PM

April 13, 2006


Happy almost-Easter everyone. I'm going to do something I should have done a long time ago on this site and provide an Easter wallpaper image for you to use if you so choose. To apply it to your desktop, first click the link above, then right click on the resulting image and select Set as background from the menu. Depending on the browser you use, this could instead read Set as wallpaper or something else with a similar connotation. If the image appears too large or small for your screen, send me a comment and I'll add more instructions.

On a related note, I have a tough decision to make this year on account of my ongoing health situation. Do I kick my butt and go to my church's Easter service in the morning, or do I get myself to the family gathering in the afternoon? I really don't see how I can manage both. My thought is to read the scripture on my own and get to the reunion, but I welcome your input on this matter. If you have other ideas, I'm happy to entertain those as well.

Posted by Andy at 11:47 PM | Comments (3)

Outside = Great

I was able to get outside more than I expected today. After some recoup time consisting of a Star Trek/Food Network/political reading combo, I took a walk around the circle. Everything is just gorgeous this time of year. Any time of year really, but right now, every day is different and that is special.

After a Battlestar break, I got out there again for some quality pier sitting and spiritual reflecting, and was called out one more time when dad told me of a bird sighting around the corner by the boat yard. On their walk, they spotted a small flock of cedar waxwings, a bird that doesn't really live in these parts.

I have probably made my final daytime trek out for the day, but what a great one it has been. Maybe I should top it off with some Coca Cola Blak.

Maybe not.

Posted by Andy at 07:07 PM

April 12, 2006


I've been signed up with MySpace for a few months now. It's a useful tool to meet people with similar interests or who live in your area, but it comes with an advertising price tag, particularly if you have kids who are interested in the service. I just sent the MySpace crew the following message:

I am emailing simply to voice my displeasure at the advertising content displayed on nearly every page of your service. While I am a 28 year old who can handle the bombardment of sexual imagery, I know many who sign up here are young teenagers who do not share my life experience. Why should they be subjected to constant soliciations to join dating services that clearly promote physical relationships.

I thank you for your time,

Andy Mosmiller
Posted by Andy at 03:48 PM

April 03, 2006

Out of the Loop

As the years pass, I find myself feeling increasingly out of the loop, regardless of what loop happens to be in play at the moment. If I'm not careful about how I approach it, I can wind up feeling stupid or small. That is partly why I try (I may not always succeed, but I do try) to fully explain most of the things I write and say so that a wider audience might understand what it is that I am saying a bit better.

Sometimes this intent cannot be achieved because too much information is required ahead of time. For instance, my tennis post from earlier today only makes sense if you passingly understand the structure of a tennis match. My post would self-destruct if I explained that while attempting to illustrate my point. Sometimes, though, it requires me to suck up the "I feel smart because I know things you don't" instinct. It is worth it, because accessibility is important for all of us, and the more each of us knows about anything and everything, the better off we all are as a result.

Posted by Andy at 11:27 PM

March 26, 2006

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 | Comments (4)

March 25, 2006

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 | Comments (4)

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 | Comments (1)

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

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 | Comments (4)

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

February 28, 2006

Weather Still Brutal, but Having Fun

I took all measures possible to avoid yesterday's difficulties, but despite it all I still was on track to crash and remain that way for the duration of the day. Fortunately, Amanda came by around 6 and I was able to ignore my health for the rest of the night. Darned helpful I tell you.

We didn't do an awful lot worth writing about I suppose, which is no surprise since I am rather limited in my options on the best of days, but it didn't matter particularly. With Amanda's help I was able to finally navigate the Forbidden Fortress or some such place in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, which is on loan from the Kenny Hopkins Institute. Kenny might be pleased to know he has an institute now.

I think the highlight of the evening came when Amanda took control of the remote and switched over to The Bachelor: Paris while I was getting water or something. I think I can say without hyperbole that the people on this show are the most insincere human beings ever to exist throughout the history of mankind. They even talk in halting voices in order to try to sell themselves on the drivel they're spewing at the camera. I was able to make many jokes at their expense over the course of the show, but I can't shake the feeling that I may have lost an important piece of my soul forever. I can only hope the jokes were worth it.

Posted by Andy at 12:18 AM

February 25, 2006

Prayer Request

My cousin Cindy on my mother's side of the family just had her first chemotherapy treatment today for breast cancer. I think a few of us in this family must have had bum grandparents! Anyway, if you'd include her in your prayers I'd appreciate it. Thanks guys.

Posted by Andy at 12:23 AM

February 20, 2006

Zzzzzzzzz... What? Where am I?

A strange lethargy seemed to be hanging in the air today. It started normally enough, as I was able to return to my wake-up routine with only a few modifications for the third day in a row and with a little less pain to show for it. After that I sat at the keyboard here and the energy just got sapped out of me. Maybe I sat here a bit too long, or maybe today was just a weird one, but I've been kinda out of it since. Kevin stopped in for some high quality doing of nothing, and I think the lethargy field got him too. After a few rounds of vintage Pac-Man for the Gamecube we were both defeated. He ultimately passed out completely while I feebly watched the end of the Ice Dancing competition. It was nice to see our young American team win silver. Go Belbin and Agoszzzzzzzzzzz...

Posted by Andy at 11:59 PM | Comments (10)

February 19, 2006

Kinda "Blah" Today

I got a nice Trager massage treatment and a nutritional IV this afternoon, which should provide a nice boost to my recovery efforts. Other than that I've just not felt great mentally. It's hard to explain exactly what it is like to go through the day-to-day when dealing with a potentially life-threatening illness combined with chronic fatigue. A lot of issues that bother me when I'm "off my guard" normally sort of have the run of things right now. I'm too tired to effectively fight back, but also too tired to adequately divert myself. I have been lucky to have visitors a fair number of days so far, but when I am just sitting here watching TV or staring at my computer screen realizing I should probably go back to watching TV, I cannot say that I know how I should be handling it all. I'm handling the immediate problems like a champion if I may toot my own horn for a moment, but it's the other stuff, the old lingering stuff, that I can't seem to stop as I normally would.

What I need is a string of good things to happen to me. That's really the trouble here. If I had something of substance to look back on favorably across any kind of recent time frame I'd be a-ok, but I just don't. Sure, I've had fun with friends, and that matters. I've had good support through this cancer issue to be sure. Unfortunately, having fun with friends doesn't really advance me anywhere past coming back home and hoping I'll have more fun with friends before they all move so far away I won't see them anymore. That's kinda how it all is right now. I'm not really depressed in the clinical sense, but I'm having to really scrap to get out of bouts of sadness, frustration and fear. Before my sonogram I was using everything I had to manufacture some luck for myself. This of course derailed it with a vengeance, and though it may be the worst time, it's not by any means the first. It's gone like this for 10 years or so now without anything remotely like a break.

Send me a break!

Posted by Andy at 11:17 PM | Comments (3)

February 15, 2006

Double Dose of Good News

Well, the past hour has been rather eventful. Firstly and most importantly, Dr. Rowe (my CFS doc at Hopkins) got back to me with a preliminary report that suggests that the cancer may have been limited just to the right testis, which would mean it would be gone now. This is just an early indication and not thorough like the blood testing and CT scans will be, but it's a nice start.

Secondly, the blog has been updated to the latest version. This means everything is more stable now and we should have access to some more convenient features. I will get to investigating the new stuff and updating the pictures on the help page to match the new look when I am able, which won't be just yet. You can post and comment all you like from this point on. Ooh, I just found one handy new feature - you can assign multiple categories from a dropdown list just below the "Primary Category" section on the blog posting screen. That is a lot simpler than the old method, which I doubt any of you knew about anyway. Score one for confusion! Actually, the story of this upgrade is a really good one but I can't get into it here. If you are curious, send me an email and I'll explain.

Talk to you all soon.

Posted by Andy at 06:27 PM | Comments (1)

February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day, I guess

I think I have a little more flexibility and a little less pain at the start of today, but it still might be the hardest one so far due to it being a holiday and all. How do you stay positive when only one person in your entire life has ever agreed to go on a date with you, and then only for one day? How do you stay positive when your only selfish dream is to hold your wife and little girl in your arms regardless of how sick you are, but you haven't been on a date for ten years? How do you stay positive when you get turned down summarily and without the need for any consideration by anyone you ask, as if it was obvious to all that something was wrong with you?

How do I keep plugging along year after year after year without my dream contaminating my friendships or getting in the way of trying to recover? How do I ward against attaching feelings to the wrong things when they seem better than nothing at all? How do I stave off the fear that maybe today is one day too late, and that now I'll be lonely forever?

Something about this almost seems laughable. I got home from surgery and the first worries to penetrate my layer of resolve were not related to the potential severity of this cancer and what it could mean for the future. No, I was worried that I would not be able to keep searching for my love while I recovered, and more importantly that I would have to face this recovery without anyone, well, without her holding my hand. It seems to me that an unfulfilled dream can be an awful lot more like poison than panacea, but I don't think I can let go just the same.

You know, I never would have considered posting something like this a year ago. Maybe this recent health situation is partially responsible for my cavalier attitude about publishing my feelings for all to see. I mean, what's really the harm? I'm certainly not the only lonely person out there, even among those who read this, right? In all honesty, today will probably not be that bad all-told, but I'll have my moments to be sure. Who knows, maybe somebody who reads this will set me up with somebody (there's a first time for everything) and I'll look back on this post as a great decision years later.

Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start circulating photos and hyping my ruggedly handsome good looks and firefighter's physique!

Posted by Andy at 12:14 PM | Comments (10)

February 02, 2006

Quote of the Day (1-2-06)

Even in this world, of course, it is the stupidest children who are the most childish and the stupidest grown-ups who are the most grown-up.

C.S. Lewis
The Silver Chair

Posted by Andy at 04:11 PM | Comments (2)

January 19, 2006

The Stature of Fantasy Literature

I encourage fantasy genre lovers and fantasty genre haters alike to read Fantasy and The Believing Reader, by Orson Scott Card. I can't say I have much else to add - just that I find this to be a fantastic take on the stature of fantasy literature within the literary world at large. It's a good read.

Posted by Andy at 10:42 PM

January 17, 2006

Cheshire Evening

Joe and Cat invited me to eat with them and a few other friends tonight at the Cheshire Crab. It was a nice evening, not surprisingly, and now I have some leftovers for tomorrow as well. I also got to blow my big birthday gift certificate finally, which helped pay for my rental tux from Joe's wedding at the same time. My only concern - the menu has been changed a bit, and one of my favorites is now missing. I'll have to rely more heavily on specials and the backup seafood platter now.

Somehow I will survive. Probably.

Posted by Andy at 11:51 PM

January 04, 2006

Darn Vocabulary

I've been reading blogs a fair amount tonight, and it makes me realize how much my vocabulary has suffered since the onset of CFS. I used to have a word for every situation, but more and more I find myself referring to dictionary.com for a quick definition. I think you can see my lack of word-options in my writing here on the site these days as well. I have to admit, it bothers me every now and again.

Posted by Andy at 11:53 PM | Comments (5)

January 01, 2006

Ho Ho Ho, Meeerrry New Year!

Ah shoot, I did it again! I'm really going to have to get these holidays straightened out in my head.

Stupid Arbor Day. Augh! New Year's!
Stupid holidays, can't figure out which one is which. They need to have a sign or something or at least a team of gnomes. I mean come on people, show a little respect.
One of these days I'll be in charge and send gnomes to everyone's houses every holiday so they'll know which one it is, and then everyone will say, "that Andy guy sure is nice. He sends gnomes to our houses to remind us of holidays and everything, and he doesn't even ask us to do anything in return." Stupid gnomes...

Posted by Andy at 01:42 AM | Comments (2)

December 31, 2005


I'm sitting here in my basement flipping through channels after watching the Terps roll over a pre-conference season team and I've just happened to stop briefly on the "Kristi Yamaguchi Friends and Family" skating special. Seems like a pleasant and harmless way to end out the holiday for a young family still off work, and it is, but just as the show started, the camera panned around and wound up resting on a big McCormick logo printed in the ice smack in the center of the arena. I hate this sort of thing, and it is absolutely everywhere as you all know.

This sort of advertising cheapens the entire concept of harmless family tv. First off, this logo takes the place of pretty artwork that otherwise could be featured, such as a snowy gingerbread house or something fitting the theme of friends and family, and more importantly it makes me feel like some sort of corporate shill just for having watched for five minutes. The same could be said for sporting events or just about anything else these days, but there is something particularly offensive about such a crass advertising display in the context of such a harmless family show.

If I happen to be in a supermarket over the next few weeks and have a choice between a McCormick product and a competitor's item of similar quality, you can bet I'm going with the competitor. Happy New Year McCormick.

Posted by Andy at 04:21 PM | Comments (4)

December 30, 2005

My Card Line is Complete

I just finished the final bookmark design to complete my line of cards, bookmarks and bag designs, and now I need a name for the whole set. The only thing I've been able to think up is "God in Nature", but surely someone can do better than that. I want to get a name soon so I can copyright everything as a set for eventual Ebaying or site sales.

So, what's a good name for my line? You can view many of the designs in this post on the overall family section of this site if you are not familiar with the theme of my work.

Posted by Andy at 12:06 AM | Comments (5)

December 28, 2005

Stock Reports

Like most if not all of you, I have money in stocks managed by a couple companies. They seem to do a reasonable job (I haven't lost any money since I've kept any kind of track), but I cannot grasp why they send so much paper to my house. They send bi-weekly reports, quarterly reports with glossy color paper, duplicate envelopes... you name it, they send it. Doesn't that kind of thing cost a lot of money? Heck, I know it does through my printing work. I have opted to receive internet reports from one, but I still get stuff from them on a lesser scale, again on top quality paper.

I have to wonder how much more my stocks could make if they spent their money investing rather than printing. Most of the information I receive is essentially over my head unless I want to do serious research into the operations of these companies, and I imagine most customers don't even open the packaging in the first place. I tend to have a little more faith in corporations than many I know, but this paper investment seems like a frivolous expense and a bad business practice as well. I plan to send some angry email about this in the near future.

Do any of you have the same experience or issues?

Posted by Andy at 12:29 AM | Comments (7)

December 26, 2005

Merry Arbor Day!

Shoot, that's not right. I keep mixing holidays up...

We all had a pretty nice day here at Rancho Mosmillero, starting with a nice breakfast here and ending with dinner next door at Aunt Mary's as usual. Thanks guys for hosting us for dinner and for the gift certificates which, with any luck, I'll be able to blow on my friends tomorrow to some degree at least.

I've been sitting here watching James Bond movies since dinner, but I'm pretty sure it's time to wrap things up and head to bed, because mom just came into the kitchen, took my water bottle and turned the light off all without noticing I was there. Moms and sleep medications just don't mix it seems.

Merry Christmas everybody.

Posted by Andy at 01:17 AM

December 17, 2005

Stocking Stuffers '05

We all just got back from the annual family "stocking stuffers" day held at Dave and Terry's place, and had a really nice time as usual. This year we switched back to a name-drawing system and each purchased a gift for one other family member. I feel this method is vastly superior to our old $1 item for everyone system, which resulted in a lengthy process that I thought got a bit monotonous.

Thank you Dave and Terry for hosting this event. See you all in a week!

Posted by Andy at 07:45 PM

December 14, 2005

Christmas Concert Aftermath

So, now that I've reviewed the concert itself, let me tell you what happened on the way home... Mom and I took the light rail to the Meyerhoff to avoid parking and all, and on the way home we were burned pretty hard by that decision. Unexpectedly, we had a wait about 10 minutes for the outgoing train from the concert hall, but to the surprise of the few of us on board, the train broke down at Camden Yards. We were thus stuck in the dark for at least a half hour while the conductor tried the various means at his disposal to fix the problem and then call for another train to pick us up. For a while he was unable to open the doors, but eventually we transferred to a train heading for BWI. As a result, we had to disembark in Linthicum and wait standing another 20+ minutes in the cold for the train that would finally take us back to Cromwell Station. We were even offered an opportunity to buy a pocket knife from an unkept fellow during our stopover, at which point mom began praying fervently for a safe conclusion to our evening.

We did finally make it home in one piece, but I am seriously worried about the rest of the week. I have an appointment in Severna Park tomorrow followed by an extremely important appointment with a new doc in Reston Virginia, easily two hours from here. As you all probably know by now, I don't handle car rides well at all, and tonight's debacle could jeopardize won't help that one bit. On Saturday I hope to attend a family Christmas gathering here in Pasadena, but who knows where I will land after today. Say a prayer for me if you read this.

Posted by Andy at 12:42 AM | Comments (2)

December 10, 2005

Carol Sing 2005

Tonight we hosted our third annual Christmas carol singalong. I think it is pretty fair to say that everybody had a good time, at least after getting through the 5 verses of "Good King Wenceslas" near the beginning of the actual singing. Unfortunately, Kevin and I were unable to properly prepare "Pablo the Reindeer" for this year, but somehow everyone managed without, probably because of the great soups and cookies readily available in the kitchen. I can't get enough of that broccoli soup.

Thanks for coming, everyone.

Posted by Andy at 11:39 PM | Comments (2)

December 05, 2005


It has been gently snowing since about 2:30 today, and everything is lightly dusted and beautiful. What better time of year to have it happen? I have always loved snow, even when I had to drive in it, and I don't expect that to ever change. You can bet I'll be taking a walk later.

Posted by Andy at 05:47 PM

November 22, 2005

Busy Day

Wow, today beat me up, but to a good end. I started things off with a voice lesson, and an old friend from church who now lives in Colorado got me there and back today. That helped mom out a lot and also gave us a great chance to catch up and just talk about random stuff. On the way back we met up with another old church friend who also happens to now live in Colorado and ate up at the Roadhouse. Good times, and hopefully we'll be able to communicate more now via email and the like. I really know these folks (and they me) in a high school context by and large, so there is a lot of ground to cover to be sure.

Posted by Andy at 12:46 AM | Comments (2)

November 12, 2005

Another Great Poem

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed,
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Posted by Andy at 09:57 PM | Comments (2)

November 04, 2005

Oh Deer!

Sorry, that was bad...

I walked outside last night on the deck before bed, looked down to the water and saw a doe and 4 deer teenagers tentatively walking across the bottom of our yard. The mother led the way, then waited for the kids to cross over in turn. The whole process lasted maybe 10 or 15 minutes until all had crossed over past our yard and presumably into my Aunt's. Neat stuff.

Posted by Andy at 03:42 PM

November 02, 2005

Quote of the Day (11-2-05)

I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.

Diogenes Laertius

Posted by Andy at 03:25 PM

My Temple

The pier at night is the place I feel closest to God. It is the place I go to face my greatest pains and utter my deepest hopes. It is the first place I go when something terrible happens to me, and is the last place I go before I sleep at night. The pier is, in essence, my church, and has been for the entirety of my adult life.

I walked out to the water tonight to find that my neighbor has installed a bright fluorescent security light on his pier, which illuminates everything, blocks out the sky and destroys the beautiful peace of that place I have cherished for so long. My church has been all but destroyed, and I am not entirely sure what to do about it. My faith is not in any jeopardy, but to lose something of such profound meaning on what amounts to a technicality just shocks me.

If you have any ideas I would love to hear them.

Posted by Andy at 01:19 AM | Comments (2)

Favorite Poem

I died as a mineral and became a plant,
I died as a plant and rose to animal.
I died as animal and I was human.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die human,
To soar with angel's blessed above.
And when I sacrifice my angel soul
I shall become what no mind ever conceived.

Kim Stanley Robinson
Red Mars

Posted by Andy at 12:40 AM

October 17, 2005

Psalm 34

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good?
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.
The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.
Evil shall slay the wicked: and they that hate the righteous shall be desolate.
The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

Posted by Andy at 06:09 PM

Wedding Over

I just got back from the wedding of two good friends of mine. I was a groomsman as well. In a nutshell, this weekend could really not have gone any worse for me unless I had been hit by a truck on the way home. This turned out to easily be within the top 10 worst things that have happened to me since I got sick, which essentially means ever. Please pray for me.

Posted by Andy at 01:22 PM

September 28, 2005

I love Dilbert

Click on the thumbnail to view the full sized image, as usual.

Dilbert comic

Posted by Andy at 05:19 PM

July 19, 2005

The Trip is Over

The folks got back at about 7pm tonight, and I'm kind of relieved. I usually enjoy having the house to myself when they take trips like this, but the last 3+ weeks have really been more sobering than enjoyable. Most days when friends weren't around to help out I really didn't have anything left after taking care of the necessities, like paying bills, getting mail and cooking. Once those were out of the way I typically just had to sit in a chair and watch tv. I really had effectively no independent thought for these weeks either. It's really scary stuff.

Regardless, I'd like to thank Aunt Mary, Uncle Clyde, both of the Russels, and Jen for helping me out or checking in on me on a regular basis. It's comforting to know that, were something major to go wrong, I would not be in a catastrophic situation. This condition really throws everything into a cloud of uncertainty and it's a great help to know backup is around the corner. My friends Amy, Kevin, Amanda, and Joe also chipped in to the "excuse for dinner cause", or the "get me to an appointment" cause, as did Ernie Johnson and Rich Connelly from Mt. Carmel. Thank you, guys.

Posted by Andy at 12:46 AM

July 04, 2005

Week 1 - Complete

One third of my bachelor time here at Rancho Mosmillero is up, and it has honestly been pretty hard. I have been doing very little when friends have not been here other than the bare minimum I need to eat and handle mail. I wish I could do more, but my health just can't support me doing normal things. It's very discouraging even while I enjoy having a place to myself for a time.

Posted by Andy at 03:47 PM

June 22, 2005

Still Reeling

I'm still feeling pretty awful from the recital. That's the way this condition is, but it isn't something I will ever really get used to. Yesterday all I did was stare at the computer screen with a file open, then watch a movie later, which wasn't all that easy to do. Today is better than that, but still not great. Hopefully things will turn around very soon. The folks head out on their trip in just a few days now so I'll have to be able to handle things here.

Posted by Andy at 04:38 PM

June 17, 2005

Recital Success

I'm exhausted from the recital, but it was definitely worth it. I got a lot of really positive comments and, after hearing myself on a recording after, was able to overcome some of the hurdles I have faced in the past. If I had the equipment or know-how to post the recording here I'd do it, but alas, I do not possess those abilities. Anybody do that sort of thing?

Posted by Andy at 06:00 PM

June 03, 2005

Summer Recital

I'll be in a voice recital held by my new teacher on Sunday, June 12th at 3:00pm. Anyone interested in attending can just send me an email or call for more information. I'll be performing a piece I have sung in the past, but I feel like this is a good way to get back into the flow of things.

Posted by Andy at 09:50 PM

April 16, 2005

Voice Lessons

I just started up again with voice lessons last week, and after two lessons I am very pleased. The only problem is that the distance is a bear and traffic is bad getting there, but the lessons themselves have been fantastic thus far.

Posted by Andy at 02:00 AM | Comments (2)

January 03, 2005

Great Holiday

The entire holiday season this year was just great here at Rancho Mosmillero. I hosted a carol sing the week before Christmas that turned out great, the usual family events at Aunt Mary and Uncle Clyde's were nice as always, my Aunt Janet and Stahl family friend Mary Alice visited for a few days, and I was invited to a New Year's Eve party at my elementary school best friend's house, who I haven't seen in years with one exception earlier this summer. All in all a great holiday.

Posted by Andy at 07:16 PM | Comments (2)

November 26, 2004

Another Great Thanksgiving

As usual, Jim and Susanne hosted a great Thanksgiving feast for all of us at their place in Belair. They not only make the turkey and all the usual trimmings - they throw in a ham as well! I think they're trying to kill us or something.

I couldn't handle the ham, but I couldn't get enough of what I understand is Susanne's mom's stuffing. I really need to get that recipe for at-home use.

Posted by Andy at 01:13 AM | Comments (1)

October 31, 2004


Happy Halloween everybody. If your day hasn't been frightening enough already, take a look at a few of my friends! (Click for a full-sized view.)

Spooky Friends

Posted by Andy at 11:43 PM

September 29, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me

My 27th BirthdayMy 27th birthday was today. Kevin came by for a dinner consisting of creamed chicken and biscuits, my traditional birthday choice, after which I donned the ceremonial birthday chicken hat and met my new friend, Pickles! That's right, I got a stuffed puppy just like Becca's Daisy, which was promptly named Pickles of course.

Pickles now has a prominant place next to Ants the aardvark on top of my monitor and frequently barks web-building advice or game commands from atop his lofty perch. I frequently offer him snacks to shut him up, but he doesn't seem to be the snacking type. He's cute though, so I don't mind so much.

Posted by Andy at 10:04 PM

September 26, 2004

Church Picnic

I was able to attend Mt. Carmel's 120th anniversary picnic today. The place was packed, and Reverend Dave Cooney from my middle school days was there with his wife Robin. It was great to see them both again after all this time. I believe the last time I saw Reverend Dave was after my chiari surgery in '99 (at least I think it was in '99 - It's kind of hard to remember now.)

I feel like he was the best pastor Mt. Carmel has had in my time there, probably in large part due to the fantastic youth group experiences I remember. I mean, we played floor hockey and everything! Come on! Hehe. I gave Dave and Robin a set of my cards and a tote bag before they headed out in appreciation for some great memories.

Posted by Andy at 05:44 PM

September 25, 2004

Becca's Birthday

Becca's 6th BDayI just got back from Becca's 6th birthday party. I tried to take some presents with me, but got caught as usual. Sigh... Actually there was no attempted gift-stealing, but I did get in some good age heckling. From now on I have to make sure to remember that Becca is either 3 or 17. Hee hee. Mom and I gave Becca a great little stuffed puppy she named Daisy in short order despite my advice to name her Pickles. I think I'll call her Pickles anyway...

Once I get Dave's pictures, I'll mix together mine with his and throw them in the pictures section of the site.

Posted by Andy at 08:45 PM

September 05, 2004

A Gwen sighting

As we speak I'm talking to Gwen from high school! I haven't seen here for a few years now. It's always good to reconnect.

Posted by Andy at 06:19 PM