Sunday, January 31, 2010

Finally Made it Out

Robbie and I finally made it out of the house this afternoon.  Our neighbor, Tom, arranged for the road to be plowed, leaving me only the challenge of getting down the driveway.  The Mini was out of the question.  I took the van.  I figured out the hard way (again) that I couldn't turn around at our usual spot, so I ended up backing it all the way down the driveway.  I was able to turn around in my neighbor's freshly plowed driveway.  Robbie refused to be anywhere near the van while this was going on--smart lad.  I finally parked in our cul de sac and hiked the 1/8 mile back to the house.

Got Robbie dressed and hiked back to the car.  The picture above was taken on the walk out.  We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant and stopped by the grocery store for essentials.  We're at home now, where Robbie is bored out of his skull.  Never thought I'd say it, but thank God for Spongebob.  And thank God tomorrow is a school day, though the hike to the car should be interesting tomorrow morning.

I have an appointment at G-town sometime this week, although I don't know when just yet.  Why would I want to know on Sunday when my appointment will be scheduled?  That would take all the fun out of things.  I'll update you when I finally get back from the appointment, whenever that might be.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dinner Update

My homage to Twitter:  Made teriyake tofu asparagus and broccoli stir-fry with red and yellow peppers for dinner. Robbie had macaroni and cheese (and one bite of broccoli).

UPDATE:  My brave little guy just ate three cubes of tofu.  Thought it was pretty good.

OBTW:  Just because I posted this doesn't mean you can't still comment on the Disney post.  It was pretty long and had lots of nice pictures, and as far as I can tell, no one has read it (not that I'm needy).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Off to a Good Start in 2010

Seems impossible that two weeks ago today we were in Disneyland, Liz had run the coldest Disney Marathon (the full marathon) in history in a shade over 5 hours (30 mins over her best marathon time), and Robbie and I had met Mickey and Minnie Mouse.  Here photographic proof of at least part of that:

Disney was really cool--though we did visit the Magic Kingdom far more often than all the other parks combined.  My favorite two rides were at Disney Hollywood--Tower of Terror and Rock and Roll Rollercoaster.  Working around engineers most of my professional life did take away some of the thrill.  While everyone else was screaming and thinking "Are we going to die?",  I was thinking "Wonder how many redundant systems Disney built into this?  I wonder how much margin went into the design?"  I also figured out that those of us who were in the "flying off of aircraft carriers" business have to have an unblinking trust in technology to start with.  On roller coasters, there's no fear that the car is going to jump the track or that our head is going to hit that sign, freeing us up to just enjoy the ride.  That said, the R&R Rollercoaster is the closest thing I've felt to tactical aviation since March 1986 in the Philippines (my last Tomcat ride).

The smartest decision we made was NOT going to the Animal Kingdom the day before the marathon, though we reached that decision after we had ridden the bus to the park and were walking toward the gate.  It was 36 degrees and spitting rain, and Liz and I both realized at the same moment we would be out in this crap all day.  Our package was such that we could only visit one park each day, so once we passed through the gate, we were stuck with frozen gazelles and shivering hyenas all day.  Liz did get what I thought was a pretty good pic of Robbie and me on the bus ride back, though.

Let me show you another way we knew we were at a Disney resort and not a Holiday Inn.  When you walk behind a Holiday Inn, you see a loading dock and dumpster.  When you walk behind a Disney resort (specifically the Grand Floridian (and please, do Google it)), you see this:

Technically, this is in front of the Grand Floridian, but I actually had seen the Cinderella coach behind the hotel being polished earlier in the morning.  Funniness:  You can see the liveried coachman driving the team of six white ponies here.  What you can't see are the other men in livery accompanying the coach.  I wondered about their jobs, until one or two of ponies unleashed a hail of what we euphemistically used to call "road apples" on the pavement in front of the hotel.  Without missing a beat, one of the coachmen grabbed an ever-so-fancy dustpan and broom from the back of the coach and began sweeping up the aforementioned  pony fruit.  I can just hear the conversation:  "So you work for Disney, huh?  What do you do?"  "Well...".

Liz heads for Seattle for two weeks starting tomorrow morning, so Robbie and I will get more quality time together.  I'm in training all week this week, learning how to be a Supervisor (where was this class back in 1984 when I was first a branch officer?).  Next week I have an appointment at Georgetown on either Tuesday or Wednesday.  I'll be lining up the emergency backup pickup team early this time.

Medically, things progress.  I have two more Revlimid tablets to take in the second cycle of my latest treatment.  So far everything is fine, but the same could be said after my first two cycles of chemo last Spring.  I'll wait until after the third (and fourth (and fifth)) before I get too cocky.  As to how it's treating the CLL, no real clue.  I still have enlarged lymph nodes, which may or may not be shrinking.  It's hard to tell when you feel them everyday.  Also, I may be fighting the first symptoms of a cold, which will make your lymph nodes swell.  I just take the pills and wait for the next marrow biopsy.

One last to leave you with:  if you need a good laugh and want to hear a cool song, click on this link (  or go to YouTube and search on "Code Monkey Dance". [Warning:  contains one bad word and one rude hand gesture; some familiarity with computer programmers will be useful] It features a young lady named Emily doing an interpretive dance to a great song called "Code Monkey" (go figure) by a guy named Jonathon Coulton.  A lady in my office turned me on to JoCo (as we insiders call him), and I found the video courtesy of my friend Stephanie.   If you like the video, buy the album on ITunes, and watch Emily's other video, the "Don't Make Me Dance" dance.  Hope you enjoy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More this evening, I promise

Sorry I've been away from the keyboard.  Here's a small but dangerous pirate for you until I get to expand the entry:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

We're on the bus!

And headed for the hotel. The trip has been great so far. I'll give more detail when I'm not on a Blackberry.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Well Baby Visit

Went to G-town yesterday--all is well.  Looks like I'm responding to the new treatment and have started the next cycle.  Actually got into the back room at 10:45 for a 10:30 appointment.  That shatters the old record by a wide margin.  Left lung still now fully up to speed, but no x-rays needed.  Left G-town by noon and got to spend the afternoon catching up with my friend Elena and her daughter (also my friend) Tayrn.

We leave for Disneyworld tomorrow.  While I'm there, I'll try to take a few minutes to tell you about Robbie's best Christmas ever.