This article on making pot brownies showed up in my feed today. Coincidence? I think not. Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland but there have been delays in licensing and certifying growing operations.

Date posted: October 16, 2017 | Filed under cancer, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

This morning’s radiation went smoothly and quickly, and they played Fleetwood Mac. I was on the train platform by 8:35 and at work by 9:30. Appetite is normal, functions are all normal—I’m peeing more these days and it takes some coaxing to empty the whole jug, but it’s working—but today at 2:00 I felt the gauges all dropping to zero at once. I had to get up and walk around to keep from passing out at my desk. Luckily there was a lot to do in different places, so I kept busy as much as I could.

Wednesday they put the port in, so I’ll be at the hospital all morning and working from home that afternoon. There’s nothing about the procedure that sounds good to me other than the fact that they won’t keep sticking me in the arm to give me the chemo drugs. I still feel (mostly) healthy; I can’t believe they’re going to do their best to almost kill me twice before cutting me open. None of this seems real.

Date posted: October 16, 2017 | Filed under cancer | Leave a Comment »

DSCF9317

Date posted: October 15, 2017 | Filed under friends, photo | Leave a Comment »

Belong.io is a link aggregator that mines a subset of Twitter feeds to surface interesting stories and topics. Created by the brilliant Andy Baio, it’s a great way to find new stuff without having to wade into the larger cesspool of that service.

Date posted: October 15, 2017 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I don’t have much to write about. Peer Pressure is running really well. I had her out on errands last weekend in the sunshine and three different people stopped to talk to me about her. I had her out today at the Farmer’s Market and left the lights on by mistake; when I got back to start her up the battery was too low to crank. I got a jump from a friend who has a booth there and she fired right up. When I got back to the house I set up the trickle charger, which will run until next spring.

I did remake a new tiedown strap for the driver’s side corner of the soft top. It was missing when I bought her, so a few years ago I made one and sewed it on. Apparently I didn’t do it correctly, because it ripped off one day last spring and I haven’t seen it since. This time I bought stronger polyester UV-resistant canvas thread, so hopefully it’ll last longer when I get it sewed into place.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: October 15, 2017 | Filed under Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on October Update

I don’t have a selfie of me in a gown today; that’s probably getting old. Radiation is pretty much the same; I avoided mooning anyone, which is good. No bowel exodus to speak of, appetite is normal (Shake Shack for lunch!) and no soreness or swelling.

Fun Fact: I now weigh more than I ever have in my life, give or take a few pounds.

* * *

I got the proofs of all my film back this afternoon, and I’m THRILLED. I sent five rolls off, one from the Rolleicord, two from the Yashica, and two from the Minolta 35mm.

The Rolleicord roll turned out to be ancient, and did not hold up well in the camera. Which is a shame because there are some beautiful shots of Finn in there, including this one:

That dates back to September 2011, when we were down in North Carolina with Mr. Scout.

The two Yashica rolls turned out better than I hoped, including these two shots:

These were metered by using my digital cameras to approximate the aperture and ISO settings. I could not be happier with these pictures, and I’m going to have them both blown up and printed.
We also got these shots from the family portrait session:

Looking carefully at the edges, there’s some circular distortion around the edges at wide aperture, which makes for an interesting bokeh effect in the leaves behind our heads. I don’t see it in the portraits at the top but it’s visible in these two. These bottom two were taken with the now-operational light meter, which means I’m on the right track.

Finally, the Minolta had some interesting shots, from years ago and the new:


The first one dates back to probably 2010 or so. The B/W shot is from our vacation this year.

Is shooting with film expensive, tricky, and slow? Yes. Is it rewarding? Hell yes.

Date posted: October 13, 2017 | Filed under cancer, photo, photography | Leave a Comment »

There’s about eight different techs who handle radiology at Hopkins, and in three visits I think I’ve met them all. Because they have to align the dots on my stomach, they have to hike up my gown after they’ve covered my bits with a sheet. This choreography has gone well, and everything that needs to be covered has remained covered. However, I’ve mooned at least three of them getting up off the table, including the nice student who has been quizzing me on brewing beer. I’m slowly coming to terms with the lack of dignity a hospital stay affords the average patient; I just have to accept the fact that they’ve seen butts before and mine is no different.

Day 2 was no more uncomfortable than Day 1, but the music was better: Motown instead of classical. We celebrated by going to Miss Shirley’s for breakfast, because we had to stay in the city for a 3PM appointment with the Chemo guy. I did notice, on our way out of the restaurant, that the side effects have begun. We were about to cross the street to the parking garage when I did a 180 and made a beeline for the bathroom; it was time for everybody to GET OFF THE BUS. This afternoon I’ve noticed fatigue beginning to hit as we sit waiting for the chemo appointment.

As we sat in the waiting room for the chemo appointment, we ran into neighbors from several streets over, who were in for their appointment–the same folks who got us the referral to Hopkins in the first place. We sat and traded stories until they called us both in. What a shitty place to meet up with friends.

Our doctor is a very nice man who took an hour and a half to go over my background, do an exam, explain what’s going on, and then outline his plan for treatment. It’s a lot more involved than we were originally led to believe. I’m going to be doing two rounds of chemo during radiation to supercharge the process, and then I do the surgery. After I’ve healed up from that, I go back to do two more rounds of chemo to make sure we got everything. This puts the treatment plan out into the beginning of next year, if I’m not mistaken.

Fun Fact: only about 15,000 people in the United States get this kind of cancer, and the one I’ve got is a rare version of that type.

He described the two drugs he’ll be giving me, the procedure for doing so (adding a port in my neck, eeeeww) and the side effects we should expect. I was hoping for a pill but these will be intravenous, and I will lose my hair, along with a bunch of other less pleasant possibilities.

Date posted: October 13, 2017 | Filed under cancer | Leave a Comment »

This week’s reading: Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day. It tells the story of how a bunch of hippies and hustlers convinced the Stones to hire the Hell’s Angels to provide security for a free concert in the middle of nowhere.

For further consideration: Albert and David Maysles’ documentary Gimme Shelter, which begins with their Madison Square Garden show and ends with footage shot from the stage and in the crowd.

Date posted: October 12, 2017 | Filed under books, music | Leave a Comment »

Your humble correspondent reported to the Radiology Department at Johns Hopkins this morning at 7:20AM for the first of 25 radiation treatments. This involves nuding up from the waist down, putting on a gown, and laying on a table surrounded by big white boxes suspended on a round gimbal. I try to keep from flashing my junk while two helpful techs come along and align the lasers with three marks permanently tattooed on my waist (yes, I made it all the way to 46 without a tattoo and what do I get? three tiny dots–thanks, cancer) and then I hold my arms up above my head and they all scurry out of the room to avoid the radiation while the gimbal slowly spins the boxes around my stomach. This process lasts about 20 minutes. Then I get up, get dressed, and go to work.

I didn’t feel anything while they were doing it; I was half-expecting heat, but felt nothing. My stomach is slightly burbly this afternoon but I don’t know if that’s due to nerves, food, or nuclear medicine. We have an appointment with the chemo guy tomorrow at 2 to find out what to expect there; I’m hoping it doesn’t involve losing all my hair and projectile vomiting.

Date posted: October 11, 2017 | Filed under cancer | Leave a Comment »

Me likey: a T-shirt store for photographers. $28 is steep for a shirt but it looks like they have some stuff go on clearance for half price. I’ll take one of these and one of these, to begin.

Date posted: October 10, 2017 | Filed under photography, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »