Recently in news + events Category
While many of you may still be stuck in snow and those of us here in SoCal have been in spring conditions since January where our winter rains have delivered half of what we usually get, still we can all be happy for the equal light and equal night day that is today!
Wed 06.06.12 - Rather than comment on today's numerical date on Twitter, I will do it here, right now, plus put in a few words of update.
I am now one month, or 31 days, into my #AppRetreat and I have 24 more days to go. I have two wishes on this score:
a) I wish I could go home to SoCal for about 4 to 5 days over this weekend and early next week to visit with Scruffy McDoglet, drop off a whole lot of stuff I won't need in Finland, and pick up a few things I do need that I can't for the life of me find in London - like an aloe vera based Vitamin C serum for my rosacea that does not have any wheat in it - gah! People, stop putting gluten in stuff! Gah!
It is the 21st Century and I would like to request a teleporter...
b) I would like have another 3 weeks added onto my #AppRetreat as it would give me more time to get things done. Per usual, once I get under the hood and start working on an app a couple more things pop up to make the time to finish take longer. This week it is the wonders of the camera button access in Symbian Belle that has slowed me down...
Adding another three weeks on would not be hard, but where to stay that would be reasonable in price and have good internet connection?
Speaking of internet connections, while London has been lovely, the internets have been flaky here. Very flaky.
Happy 6 + 6 = 12 day. Enjoy!
Tues 05.29.12 - Sorry about the continued radio (mostly) intermittent silence here the last weeks, but I have been busy at my #AppRetreat and am a bit beat. And then there was last night's egg incident, of which I won't elaborate on now, but it put me off balance in more ways than one, including wobbly walking today.
I want to commit to returning to the practice of blogging daily in June. Please hold me to it.
Sat 05.05.12 - And she is off!!! #AppRetreat
Sorry about the blog silence here, but I am on the final crunch-down to leaving for my AppRetreat sabbatical.
Breaking Development was wonderful. I owe y'all my
presentation, notes, and photos. Coming very soon.
I had a birthday and so did this blog late last Tuesday the 24th and early on the 25th. The blog is 9 years old. Happy blog birthday!
I had a good time this weekend at the Family Retreat for my Grandpa Jim's 90th birthday in Ojai.
Starting tomorrow: the madness of packing my apartment and putting it into storage so that I can leave on Saturday the 5th.
Also, if you are sad that you missed Breaking Development two weeks ago in Orlando, come to Mobilism! I am going to attend @mobilismconf 2012 in Amsterdam on May 10th & 11th as a start to my AppRetreat. If you want to go here's a 10% off the registration fee: http://tinyurl.com/7kst27t
Fri 04.13.12 - I deleted my Facebook account today. I have wanted to delete it since the first 15 minutes on Facebook book back in 2007. Today I did it with no regrets only a feeling of true relief.
I will let my Tweets tell the story, click on the links for each Tweet to see the conversations that followed:
8:28 AM - 13 Apr 12 Facebook only comments does not build community, it excludes. Looking at you @nokiaconnects. Give more commenting authentication options.
8:51 AM - 13 Apr 12 @nokiaconnects @texrat @ktneely Give the reader choice, don't force them to up your boss' stats for his/her ROI discussion with his/her boss
9:12 AM - 13 Apr 12 Is re-reading the instructions on how to Really and Truly Delete my Facebook account. Deleting will be my early birthday present to myself.
9:16 AM - 13 Apr 12 Done. Goodbye Facebook. I never loved you. Not even a little. 14 days my data will be gone too, not that there was much of it. #ExtraHappy
I pulled the Trigger or in this case a few clicks and a captcha and Deleted my Facebook account! I would specifically like to thank the +Nokia Connects folks for pushing me over the edge this morning with their switch to Facebook Comments only.
+Valerie Lynn Yes, I jumped ship after threatening to do so for years.
+Abhinav Natarajan From the time I started on FB in 2007 or so, I really didn't like it but felt forced to be on it. The way I managed my dislike was to only log in once every two weeks or once a month and stay on just about 15 mins to check in with folks I otherwise would never see online. I made sure that I didn't have photos or any real content up as I don't like their TOS and copyright. So, I never really used it to start with.
As FB has gotten more invasive, I have gotten more frustrated.
Per the usual, my true social media love is Twitter [http://twitter.com/msjen]. I remain on Flickr [http://www.flickr.com/photos/msjen] and Google Plus. ;o)
+Hector Hurtado I had my account deactivated for the 1st 18 months, I only activated it when I had to for a work event in 2008. And then it just snowballed into a place where many of my friends who don't like being online but do like a nice closed sandbox (MySpace or FB) started posting. But in the 4 years since, having access to an occasional conversation with a person who is only on Facebook does not outweigh all the yuck/sh*t about FB.
For those of you who are now wondering where I will go online, I am not changing any of my ways, I am just taking out my once every month 15 min login to IrritationLand. And if you only have Facebook Comments on your blog or website, then sorry, no comment.
And a little humor.... The Oatmeal on "How to get more likes on Facebook"
Wed 04.11.12 - This morning I went over to the post office on Main Street and sent a certified letter off to my landlord giving my 30 days notice that I would be giving up my apartment and moving in early May.
After four months of battling mold in my bedroom wood flooring to some avail and then to have it come back again as soon as it rains or gets foggy, I can't go on sleeping and working in my living room and only having use of 60% of an small apartment. Living by the beach is very nice in the hot SoCal summer, but this winter has shown the downsides of cool and damp of the ocean air.
When the landlord sent a letter this week that the rent was being raised, I decided that it was time for me to go. Having mold in 40% of my home space has made it hard to live, work and sleep, as the mold triggers bad migraines for me. Living on Benadryl, migraine pills, and running a HEPA air filter is no way to have the motivation to complete anything other than a nap.
On top of the mold issues, I have been trying to get my two mobile apps done this spring, but daily life so close to friends and family when I work out of my home has been hard in the GTD arena. When I am working on a web site in HTML/CSS/JS, the daily life bits don't really interfere as I can do web design in my sleep. But when I am programming an app, I need not just quiet to focus and concentrate but a whole block of at least 4-6 hours with no calls, drop-bys, requests etc if I want to get anything done.
Rather than finding another apartment immediately, I am going to pack up the rest of my living room and kitchen, put it in storage along with my bedroom stuff that is already at the storage space and then I am going to go on a 2-3 month coding retreat.
Right now I am still researching the where I will go, as I am looking for a studio apartment with wifi/internet to rent in Europe that are about 1.5x my current monthly rent. I will start my App Retreat in London in early May and wind up in mid-late June in Helsinki & Tampere. If finances allow, I may stay for July.
If you know of any good short-term apartment rental services or of a friend who needs a house sitter or to sub-let their place from May-July, please let me know!
Tues 03.20.12 - Today is the first day of Spring 2012. Well, first day if you are in the Northern hemisphere and east of the Central time zone, but here in California we turned to Spring at 10:14pm last night. Though in typical Southern California form, spring has been blossoming since the leaves fell off the trees in mid-January.
Thurs 03.15.12 - The extra big super exciting news of the week is that Mr. TummyMuffin VI morphed, via the birthing process, into the fabulous Lukas Bertling!
Big congratulations to Erika and Thomas Bertling on the birth of Mr. Lukas on Monday, March 12th!
Yay! Welcome to the world, Mr. Lukas!
Photo of Thomas and Lukas taken by Ms. Jen with a Nikon D300s.
Close-up photo of Teddy by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.
Sorry for the intermittent blogging and silence around here, but much has been going on behind the scenes. The two weeks after my return from the UK, which were the last two weeks of January, were taken up with client work and apartment mold remediation. Basically, I moved half of my life out of my apartment so the carpet could be ripped up and mold on the hardwood floor could be smashed back to spore status.
In the week since the mold mostly went away, I have been furiously trying to catch up on everything else and get some work done. My biggest thing is trying to get various personal bits and my mobile app wrapped up before leaving in less than 2 weeks for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
In the meantime, enjoy this photo of Teddy the wonder teacup Yorkie.
Sun 01.15.12 - I am 13 days behind in blogging the photos from my holiday to London & Edinburgh. It was a vacation in every sense, including a vacation from my blog. Oops.
I took over 500 photos, but will in the next few days post the best and the brightest of the lot here along with some text for each day.
Please excuse me while I now succumb to jet lag and fall asleep at least two or three hours before my normal bedtime.
Photo of my Mom watching the surf and Scruffy watching the road taken this afternoon on the edge of Dog Beach with my Nokia N8.
Thurs 12.01.11 - A big congratulations to Min Jun Kim and Jason Hoffman on the birth of the lovely Ms. Isabelle on Monday Nov 28th. I had the opportunity to go meet Ms. I on her first night at home from the hospital along with Annie Lin, Ernie Hsiung and Jason Schupp. It was like Camp Camp had moved to San Francisco.
Tues 11.22.11 - Looking ahead, looking behind. Photo taken late this afternoon when I was driving east on Westminster Ave through the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Base as the sky was very lovely.
While I didn't find Anne McCaffrey's Pern series until late in college, it was a perennial re-read fave throughout much of the last 20 years. I have loved the Tower & Hive (Rowan/Lyon) series as well as the more recent Freedom series that was an re-write & expansion on a short story she wrote in the 1960s. I loved how her worlds were built so well, like Tolkein, that in my mind, I can still wander Pern, Altair, and Deneb.
Anne McCaffery stands with Madeleine L'Engle and Ursula Le Guin as the trio of writers who have greatly influenced my life, my imagination, and my hopes for being a smart woman in this world and for the future.
Thank you, Anne.
John Scalzi's RIP, Anne McCaffrey
And the MeFi folk
It was good fun to not only see how they have transformed the 1940s era boat canvas space into a dual custom canvas creating shop in the back and a locally sourced art / creative gift shop in the front. They are selling a wide range of California created art and artisan created objects from local band's CDs to jalapeno jelly to handmade surfboards to books and paintings. It is wonderfully eclectic and a great addition to Seal Beach.
702 Marina Dr. (corner of Marina & PCH)
Seal Beach, CA 90740
Two of my great-grandfathers who served in the Great War, both returned to father daughters in February of 1920, one to still have relative good acclaim in the family and one who returned quite twisted and the echos still reverberate.
In Fanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872-1918), Canadian Army Medical Corps
Updated Sat 09.17.11 - One week ago late on Saturday the 10th of September, I wrote the following personal essay piece about the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Within hours of publishing it, I turned it back to draft as I wasn't ready for it to go live, especially not on the day that was meant to remember the dead and thank the living rescuers and heroes.
What I was trying to communicate with this piece is my anger and frustration at the media, Bush administration, loss of freedoms (for what? more fear?) and culture clash politics that have erupted in the ten years since. My own reaction on Sun 09.11.11 was to participate in a wee bit of dada-esque absurdism with my sister and not to listen to / watch / consume any of the media's disaster porn.
As I stated in the essay, I am not angry or frustrated at those who died nor their loved ones, but at our cultural and governmental responses.
Am now republishing.
Two notable things from today:
1) Soft launch of Alex's new website. A few more iterations are needed tomorrow before I will be really happy.
2) An elderly lady, 70+, in a bronze sequined outfit tried to steal Scruffy McDoglet this evening!!!! Really. It was astounding.
I was in Walt's having a glass of wine & chatting with a friend, Scruffy was parked outside in my line of site, laying on the sidewalk, when the lady in question and her friends tried to abscond with Scruffy. When confronted by a waiter who is also a friend, she claimed I was neglecting Scruffy by having him outside.
Sorry, lady, it is against California law for a dog to be in a restaurant and he was just fine until you decided to wind him up, unhook his leash and try to take off with him.
The dog-stealer-to-be then had the chutzpah to argue with me, the waiter, and my friend. Crazy!
I had to put Scruffy in my friend's car, as the lady's two friends would not leave him be.
Is the Leisure World set so hard up for small, cute dogs that they are stealing them from Seal Beach's Central Ave when tied up to a pole in full view of the owner???
Scruff is now safely asleep on the couch.
Note to self: do not fall down stair. Yes, that one stair did more damage than a whole flight.
Regardless if you are designing or developing for native apps or the mobile web or the one web, this moment in time is very exciting as we can and could and will be pioneering whole new worlds, even if it might be small, handheld ones.
Big thanks to all the fine folk that I have talked with, met for the first time, or been able to catch up with the last 12 days.
Fri 07.29.11 - Today at 10:56am, Solomon Daniel Callis was born. Big congratulations to Tammy, Ryan, and the whole of the Callis family!
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nikon D70s, more photos to come.
Yesterday about 2pm, I was waiting on someone and decided to check my Twitter stream on my mobile, when I saw that singer Amy Winehouse had been found dead.
Russel Brand describes why best in 'For Amy':
"When you love someone who suffers from the disease of addiction you await the phone call. There will be a phone call. The sincere hope is that the call will be from the addict themselves, telling you they've had enough, that they're ready to stop, ready to try something new. Of course though, you fear the other call, the sad nocturnal chime from a friend or relative telling you it's too late, she's gone.
Frustratingly it's not a call you can ever make it must be received. It is impossible to intervene."
While I did not know Ms. Winehouse, I have had that phone call a few too many times. Over the years, more than a fair share of the highly talented artists, musicians, and writers I have know have fallen down the black hole of addiction.
Todd died. Jimmy shipwrecked his life on the siren singing razor rocks of heroin. Others woke up years later and we got the call that they were stopping. Years eaten by the locusts, not to be rewound, but now alive and trying to thrive.
I truly would have wished Ms. Winehouse had woken up one day and decided that she wanted to start on the long, hard road to recovery and sobriety rather than being found dead. But what is done is done.
Ms. Winehouse, thank you for all the heart and soul you put into your music and shared with us. I truly hope you have found peace, rather than just oblivion.
After being gone for the most part of three and a half months to Austin, Orlando, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and India, I am now home for a good stretch.
[Ms. Jen knocks on the nearest wooden object, which in this case is a chair.]
In late March, on my mom's birthday, her mother, my grandmother, passed away. In the intervening three months since, as my aunts, sister, and mom have worked to clean out grandma's apartment and get her estate settled, more and more things have entered my apartment. Things as small as tiny bird figurines and as large as a three bay couch. A much wanted couch, but it arrived the day I was departing for India. A mild panic ensued to try and rearrange furniture and the other newly arrived objects to make way for a couch nearly as long as my living room, as well as try to get to LAX on time.
I returned from India ten days ago to find there was only a small amount of room to get around in my place and now after recovering from jetlag, exhaustion, catching up with work, and an epic case of the hives, I cleaned my apartment today. By cleaning, I put things to right, determined what needed to go to my storage, what needs to be returned to its proper owner, and what needs to be put into the Closet of Doom for moderate ease of access.
I still need to rearrange the furniture in the living room, pack up one bookcase of books, notebooks, and sketchbooks, and take a whole load of things and one futon to storage. Once this in done, I will feel like my peace of my place is back. Although, after today's spree, I feel more than three-quarters of the way there.
Conquering the mess on my office desktop is next, after more blogging.
Video of Shikha Dalmia on Bollywood vs. Bin Laden from Reason.tv: Bollywood vs. Bin Laden - Why radical Islam fears pop culture
Honestly, I have stayed kind of quiet on 9/11 and Bin Laden on this blog the last eight years, not because I don't care, but because the whole thing is so fraught with many pitfalls. As a Californian, I felt very distanced from the 9/11 tragedy due to it happening on the other side of the landmass that I live on, much as if there was a great disaster in northern Canada or southern Mexico or Japan, it seemed if it happened in a far off foreign place.
Bush & co. diversion of the WMD snipe hunt in Iraq in 2003 that was conducted in the name of 9/11 was, in my opinion, a gross misuse of American power in the name of supposedly hunting down terrorists.
This past Sunday evening, on May 1, 2011, I was at my Grandpa Jim's 89th birthday party and with the exception of probably three of us liberal pinko arty types, the other 20+ of the attendees are/were died in the wool Republican patriots, to the point a few more toasts were given to patriotism & country than to Grandpa. As dinner was breaking up, a relative announced, "Fox news is reporting that Bin Laden is dead!!!"
Me: Pulls out the N8 to check the BBC as a din of confusion starts around the dinner table. The BBC confirms.
Me in a loud voice, "The BBC confirms that Osama Bin Laden has been taken out by US forces."
Relative: "Fox News says..."
Me: "The BBC..."
Roll your eyes. Yes, I don't trust Fox News, but I do trust the Beeb.
All week, I have been avoiding most of the coverage of Bin Laden's death as it is much ado about much ado. Yes, I am glad that there has been closure. But as I said to my dinner seat mate to my right, Mariano, "It is time for the countries in the Middle East to determine their own direction, the Arab Spring will have more power over the minds of the people than the Isalmists."
Mariano, "But what about the Isalmic Brotherhood?"
Me: "So what if the Egyptian people vote them in, how different is it from Americans voting in the Tea Potters? Both are overly conservative folk who want to roll back time."
The real issue here is post-modernity vs. pre-modernity. This is an issue of mindshare and in the video above Shikha Dalmia of the Reason Foundation nails it on the head with very vivid Bollywood videos on how the post-modern world is in conflict with the pre-modern world of the Isalmists. The Shelia video, below, would be just as offensive to many conservatives in the US as it would be to conservatives in India or Iraq or Iran. Or maybe not offensive but embarrassing when they can't explain their woody to their pastor/cleric.
The question is how do we move the world forward in peace with giving each community and culture set freedom to shake their groove thing or not as the case maybe without blowing each other up?
The original music videos from the Bollywood movies that Ms. Dalmia referenced in her video:
The Sheila & Munni videos reminds me of Shakira, which then makes one wonder if the next war will be between Indian Muslim Bollywood stars v. Lebanese belly dancers v. Brazilian Samba dancers. As long as that war is conducted on YouTube, I think we will all be safe.
Tues 04.19.11 - Yesterday marked the end of an era, when at approximately 12:30pm in Palm Desert, California, Great Aunt Babe passed away after a couple months of illness at the age of 97. Yes, people, 97 years old!
Great Aunt Babe was my Grandma Grace's older sister and I am not sure that anyone told her that Grace passed away three weeks ago. I prefer to remember both of them in good times, like the above photo I took at Thanksgiving 2006, they had a lovely time hanging out and my Grandma had on a badass pair of sunglasses from Oakley that my cousin Brian gave her.
Babe was one of those great flinty, tell it like it is, but very loving ladies. Last year at Thanksgiving she told me that she was still playing bridge weekly with the young men (70-something). One of my fondest memories is when she and my Grandma Grace were sitting across the table from me at my Grandma's 85th birthday party and both of them finally answered some old family questions that I had.
Goodbye Grandma and Babe, I love both of you. I hope when I am in my 80s & 90s, that I will be one fraction as fabulous and inspirational to others as you both have been the last 10-15+ years, as you helped redefine what it meant to be elderly and active. Y'all kicked serious bootay.
The last two months, from February 11th to today, April 11th, have been a crazy rollercoaster ride. The kind of rollercoaster in which you alternate between screams of joy and barfing.
To say that the last two months have been a crazy whirlwind, is to say the least:
Elopocalypse, [redacted-personal], [redacted-personal], SXSW, CTIA, Grandma in hospice, Grandma passing away, and now going to London for a working holiday. There has been little to no breathing space.
After the lights turned off on the plane today/last night, I tried to watch the movie "Made in Dageham", but ended up crying through the whole first twenty minutes while thinking of old photos of my Grandma, my Mom and all her siblings from the late 1960s and early 1970s. I stopped the movie and cried over Greenland instead. I arrived in London feeling wrecked beyond the normal jetlag and am now going to put myself to bed early.
I am looking forward to London, UX London, meeting up with folks, and working on my mobile app, but first, I need to decompress.
Hello lovely friends and readers,
Please forgive the lapse in posting on this blog, but there has been a big interruption that I eluded to last week in my CTIA posts. Last Tuesday, when I was at CTIA, I received a phone call from my Mom that my Grandma Grace had just been diagnosed with a terminal disease and was being put in hospice at her home. After many phone calls and talking to relatives, it was determined that I didn't need to rush home from CTIA but that the situation was serious.
On Friday I went to visit my Grandma, who is 91, and she was somewhat awake and was surprised that so many folks were visiting her. This Monday, her health had declined and more of the family had gathered, at one point she woke up enough to greet her newest great-grandchild, Weston (as seen above), and then ask the rest of us, "Are we having a party?" "Yes, Grandma we are."
A bit later she asked me privately, "Am I sick?" "Yes, Grandma, you are." "Oh."
Sick enough to die yesterday, Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 1:45pm, as myself, my Aunt Dana, my sister Allison, and my cousin Traci stood at her bedside.
I have much to say, but right now I am too sad, too exhausted, and too worried to write it all out. I owe work to clients, proposals to future folk, blog posts & photos to you all, but right now is not the time. I wish I were the type who could separate personal from professional and plow forward, but I am not.
What I would like to say right now, tonight, is that my Grandma Grace was my best Grandma and I miss her terribly already.
Honestly folks, I have had 3 hours of sleep last night and today was sh*t on many levels for a number of reasons of which only some of it was professional and mobile related. So, please forgive me if I don't give a breakdown of the #Elopocalypse* right now, but I need some sleep before I can even remotely write with some perspective and clarity.
* Possible coup?
To all the folks in the Arab countries: Stand tall, protest, make your voices heard, and assert your rights even if your current government doesn't honor them.
Human rights is a term that is so bandied about that it has almost lost its meaning. By human rights, do we mean no torture, yes; do we mean no slavery, yes; do we mean no human trafficking*, absolutely.
In watching the people led uprisings against oppressive regimes in Iran 18 months ago, in Tunsia last month, and Egypt this week, it has become evident that we here in the West have taken for granted the most basic of human rights as defined in the last 200 years: the right to assemble, the right to free speech, the right to protest, the right to not agree with your government, the right to free press, the right to fair elections, and the right not be attacked or beaten by government agents/police/military/thugs.
If Mr. Mubarak actually believed that his government was elected by the people, then he should feel strong enough to allow the people to protest. But the heavy handedness of this week's government response and thuggery has belied his claims to power and to his own humanity.
If we the people believe deeply in the rights that the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights grants us, then we would do well to watch and renounce our own government's behavior when it is bad as well as celebrate and support all other people's desire for the freedom of speech, the freedom to assemble, the freedom to protest, the freedom to dissent, and the freedom from unwarranted government reprisals.
For all of those who fear the loss of the dictators in the Arab countries as it might mean the rise of Islamicists, take a chill pill and in turn encourage your governments to support real human rights and not authoritarian regimes who are client states to the West. Much of the claims, and resulting power, of the Islamicists derives from poverty, hopelessness, and the West's continuing support of oppressive dictatorships.
Egyptians have the right to wake up and not fear their government. Egyptians have the right to assemble. Egyptians have the right to speak up. Egyptians have the right to self-determination. Egyptians and Tunisians are us, just 235 years later.
Many are saying that this is the Arab world's 1989, I truly hope it is. If we really believe in democracy, let's support it in word, truth, and action.
My Favorite photo from this week: The most subversive protest of all: An Egyptian protestor kisses a riot police officer.
* If you want to be a pimp, pimp yourself out, not someone else(s).
January 28, 1986 - I was passing the high school's outdoor monitor that was mounted just above a window in the secondary quad, it was the small gap time between 1st and 2nd period when one was traveling between classes. I was 17 years old and the second semester of my senior year of high school had just started.
As I walked by, I noticed that they were broadcasting the Challenger launch and a good sized crowd of students were looking up at the outdoor monitor . The countdown commenced, time lapsed, and then the space shuttle was not going up any more. There was a gasp and then silence. Silence before the news announcers quite knew what was happening.
I remember thinking, "But Christa McAuliffe is on that shuttle."
I was so proud that women were going into space.
While I do have 3 blog posts waiting on the runway for me to find non-work-non-guilt* time to finish writing & editing them and then push the publish button, it isn't happening today. Sorry.
What did happen today: Lunch with a friend, Belle goes to the Vet and gets her surgery staples out, I become the Mayor of the Vet Clinic on FourSquare as no one else has checked in recently, and then I come home to work.
Wahoo. Exciting Saturday.
* The one problem with being a freelance/consultant type human is that one frequently has to work on the weekend and then on more than a few occasions has guilt if one is not working the whole weekend, even if one doesn't need to.
Fri 01.21.11 - Nearly eight months after local magnolia tree sapling was downed and stuck under the car in a Volvo accident and then the tree was hoisted back up by the next morning, it has continued to thrive, grow, and blossom twice in the last seven months with big showy flowers.
Today's new blossom comes after a stretch of growth for the tree, who other than a two pokey branches that were broken by the Volvo, the rest of the tree is growing well.
Photo taken on Scruffy's walk this morning with Ms. Jen's Nokia N8.
Wed 01.12.11 - 5:58pm - I could have entitled this post, "Belle, post-surgery, coming down off of general anesthesia, ecstatically happy, about to tip over".
Belle is now the proud possessor of 4 staples, about 6 x 3 inches of shaved fur, and breath that smells of dancing unicorn farts. I am sure tomorrow when all the happy anesthesia has worn off she won't be quite so happy. The ride home on the 22 fwy with two accidents making traffic very stopped was made better by Belle's extra extra extra happy mood.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N8.
Sat 01.01.11 - Hello 2011, Nice to meet you. May you be a fruitful and abundant year, providing a new job and a relocation. May you be a year of laughter, love, hope, and some silliness.
Ok, so I have lived without a TV since 1986 and in the last 20 years or so, I have seen maybe one movie at the theatre once every 3 or so years.
People, I am a failed movie watcher. I try.
I have been trying with Netflix for two years now. I have 50 some odd movies in my Netflix queue, attempting to catch up on all the movies I have missed in my neglectful ways. I started with 2 movies a month and well, that was a grand fiasco. This time last year, I moved to 1 a month.
On Feb. 24, 2010, Netflix mailed me a movie that I have wanted to watch for years. I tried several times to get through it and I finally admitted defeat this week and mailed it back.
Ten months later.
I opened my mailbox today and there was another red envelope. Those bastards.
Let the new cycle of unwatched movie guilt begin.
Sat 12.25.10 - Merry Christmas. I hope you had a lovely day with you and yours.
Dave Winer at the Scripting News posted the New WikiLeaks documentary, entitled "WikiRebels" today in on his site. I watched all four YouTube videos that Dave posted tonight in less than an hour and it was time well spent, as the documentary gives the background on WikiLeaks, as well as interviewing at least 6 of the folks involved with WikiLeaks as well as various journalists and politicians.
WikiRebels was made by SVT and treads a fine line between being sympathetic to WikiLeaks and presenting the information from both sides.
The documentary spends a good ten plus minutes on the video of the Baghdad shooting of civilians and Reuter's journalists. Go watch it, as the information genie is out of the bottle and we all as a society need to be informed.
Quote of the Day:
"Wow! Assange cornered and detained, his bank account closed, Paypal refuses to accept donations from him and his lawyers are being harassed. All that mess for a broken condom?
In other news, the Bin Laden family is still wealthy."
More on the WikiLeaks' Julian Assange's arrest:
The Guardian's WikiLeaks US embassy cables: live updates : This is a great, big round up of live blogged links, excerpts, and commentary from The Guardian.
Mefi discusses Julian Assange Turns Himself In
Salon's Glenn Greenwald on The lawless Wild West attacks WikiLeaks
Patrick Nielsen Hayden of Making Light on I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of people suddenly facepalmed and then were silent: Commenter #7, Steve C, "And in related news, the TSA will celebrate the Fourth Amendment."
Update on 12.08.10:
Evan Hanson in Wired on Why WikiLeaks Is Good for America: "Instead of encouraging online service providers to blacklist sites and writing new espionage laws that would further criminalize the publication of government secrets, we should regard WikiLeaks as subject to the same first amendment rights that protect The New York Times. And as a society, we should embrace the site as an expression of the fundamental freedom that is at the core of our Bill of Rights, not react like Chinese corporations that are happy to censor information on behalf of their government to curry favor."
Sorry, we have had a daily blogging malfunction here at Black Phoebe.
Ms. Jen will return the to regular scheduled programming within the hour or two and clear out some of the backlog of photos & thoughts from the last five days.
**** Where did all the time go? ****
Wed 12.01.10 - Visit Baby Hernandez 2.0 (as well as Paige, Alex & Diego).
Thurs 12.02.10 - Very unhappy back muscles trigger bad headache. Day lost.
Fri 12.03.10 - Eoin & Sally's wedding.
Sat 12.04.10 - Quiet day spent reading, no photos taken.
Sun 12.05.10 - Walk with Mom & Scruffy at Irvine Regional Park in the Rain, Dave & Lora Mau's holiday party.
**** [/there it went] ****
This afternoon two new & lovely babies arrived on the planet:
At 3:21pm Texas time (aka 1:21 Pacific time), #MyBaby3.0 was delivered to Family Randall. Congrats to Dustin, his lady wife, and the whole family.
And at 1:59pm Pacific time, Baby Boy Hernandez 2.0 arrived in Long Beach, California to Paige and Alex Hernandez!!! Congratulations to Alex, Paige, Diego and all the Hernandez and McCormick families.
Yay! New babies only 38 minutes apart! One girl and one boy! Yay!
Alex sent me a cute MMS photo of Paige and the new baby within the hour. I am very glad that the baby has arrived safely and with a full shock of dark hair.
Happy 22nd of November, 2010!
Update on 11.23.10 - Baby Hernandez 2.0 has been named Greyson Archer Hernandez. Yay, Greyson, welcome!
Both photos I took today were test photos and not up to snuff for posting, the rest of the day was spent working on a client website.
This afternoon, I tried to make light of it on Twitter:
But by 7pm this evening, my sense of humor had departed:
Feeling ill, plus being on deadline, is a bad combo. Am going to do what I can do in the next hour and then go to bed.
And goodnight to you and yours.
At 8:09pm Pacific Time, 3:09am UTC, it will be the second 'equal' day/night of the year. In five minutes we, here in the Northern Hemisphere, pass from Summer to Fall / Autumn, which starts my favorite time of year.
Ok, not really fave time of year in SoCal due to our usual fall fires, but when I visit other places, I love autumn.
It has been two years and two days since the master of a good humorous poke at and romp with obfuscation died and his publisher will be releasing the novel he was working on at the time of his death as an unfinished work.
"Set at an IRS tax-return-processing center in Illinois in the mid-1980s, The Pale King is the story of a crew of entry-level processors and their attempts to do their job in the face of soul-crushing tedium. "The Pale King may be the first novel to make accountants and IRS agents into heroes," says Bonnie Nadell, Wallace's longtime agent and literary executor."
If one has a history of depression, why, even for reasons of sussing out the black comedic gems, would one write a novel about the IRS?
While I had a wonderful time having all the WomWorld/Nokia folk and E73 Mode party attendees in town and around to hang out from Friday through Sunday/Monday, I got quite behind in a number of things, one of which was blogging on time.
So let me get a bit caught up here:
Mon. 08.23.10 - Have a late brunch with Donna, James, and Adam of WOMWorld plus Jeb Brilliant at the Harbor House Cafe in Sunset Beach. Drop off the remaining suits to the charity drop off. Go home & work.
Tues. 08.24.10 - Work before driving up to Los Angeles for Eoin's Birthday Party. Have fun at the party. Happy Birthday, Eoin G!
Wed. 08.25.10 - Have a good time, yes, a good time, packing everything (remaining party stuff for the @womworldnokia crew) up in two boxes, then drive to the Good DHL in Irvine to have it shipped back to London. Realize that I really get the most satisfaction in life from helping others, realized once again for the 17,647th time this summer that I need to apply for a job where I work in a team and not in my living room. Make self an interesting dinner* while prepping a client's website for moving.
* An interesting dinner is the kind where you look in the fridge and pick all kinds of odds and ends, cook, eat, and later think - WHAT WAS THAT I ATE?!?!?!?
Ten years ago this week, I gave my two week notice at my well-paid but non-web related corporate job. I gave my notice so that I could go pro as a web designer rather than just doing it as a side job or hobby. I gave my notice so that I could start my own web design freelance consultancy. I gave notice so that I could teach web design and 20th Century art history at a local university. I gave notice so that I could grow into my new life as a full-time web designer.
My timing, I have joked for years, was impeccable. I gave notice to start a web design business right on the precipice of the Dot Com Bust of 2000/2001.
In the last ten years, I have built a web design and development business / freelance consultancy that has focused on small businesses, creatives, non-profits, and education related endeavors. In the last ten years, I have offered my clients not just a new web site, but also how to conduct an online marketing or promotion campaign, how to use the internet to grow a business or project, as well as helping the internet phobic get comfortable in this new space. It has at times been very satisfying and at others deeply frustrating.
Five years ago this month, I wound down my web design business and teaching at the university to go back to school myself. I packed up my whole life, gave up my lovely 1890s back of the house in Orange, and in Sept of 2005 I moved to Dublin, Ireland, to attend graduate school at Trinity College, Dublin. I went to graduate school with the intention of learning more about programming and web development, as well as to focus on a mobile project.
When I first returned from Dublin with my new minted Masters degree, I spent 6 months in a job search of which many leads were pursued, paths investigated and interviews conducted but none lead to a corporate web or mobile design job as I had hoped at the time. In 2007, I spent a great deal of the year trying almost any new professional adventure offered to me - speaking at developer conferences about design, working as a web developer contractor to an East Coast based agency, thinking & planning a mobile hack day, etc. In one way, this was good, as I got to discover what I did not want to do, but on the other side it was bad, as I felt like I was too full of post-masters degree energy and that I was scattered and did not focus.
For the last three years, I have been working more on the web development and programming side of my skill set, both on client projects and a large semi-collaborative web application, as well as mobile development projects. Something funny happened on the way to the web app forum, I discovered that what I knew to be true in early 2007 when I was interviewing, which was that I really did not want to work for myself anymore but instead work on a team doing bigger projects than one person can accomplish alone, is still very true, in fact truer now than it was in 2007.
Furthermore, I have discovered that the longer I am a freelance web designer and developer working with remote clients or on contract, the more demoralized I become. It is not enough to work on a remote team where there are weekly phone or Skype meetings, I deeply desire, be it a larger company or at an agency, to work on an in office/studio team to be a part of a larger whole than what I can accomplish on my own. I want to hear more than just my own thoughts or what little I can glean when I throw out an idea on Twitter. I want to participate in discussion and discourse, I want to be challenged, I want to learn from colleagues, I want to be able to mentor in turn, I want to collaborate, and I want to participate together on projects.
To this end, I have spent much time this summer dusting off my resume and working on how to best presentation of my portfolio. I have been watching the job listings at companies I admire and would want to work at. I have let friends and contacts know that I am starting a job search.
While most of my client work the last ten years has been mostly web based, be it web design, development or marketing, my true passion and where I have spent most of my non-client working time in the last five years is in mobile. If you have read this blog, you know that besides mobile blogging & camera phone photography, I tend to blog about mobile. Thus, I am searching for jobs in mobile and at mobile companies.
If you know of any openings in mobile for a passionate and bright designer / developer hybrid with strong talents in user experience, communication, marketing, and systems design, please let me know.
Follow Up: Anxious? No.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nikon D70s at Dog Beach on Thursday afternoon.
Sun 07.25.10 - I have a ton of things to do tonight before the workday starts tomorrow, but none of it is going to get done as I am crazy tired from the last 5 days of dog sitting Oberon and all of the family activities of the last 5 days with my sister Allison's birthday & my cousin Kristin's baby shower plus all of the other attendant family to dos. Emails are not getting sent, the blog posts in my head are staying there, the photos to be downloaded are still on the cameras. Etc. etc. etc.
The big excitement of the weekend was the fact that last evening Oberon, aged 12 weeks, go so excited that his poor bladder decided to empty itself on my bed. Yes, a huge puddle of puppy pee discovered only after I sat down to read. Most of last night was taken up with laundry of my clothes & bedding.
After I started the first load of my comforter & sheets, I was laying on my living room floor trying to compose myself with the front door open when I heard my mom tell Oberon to drink water out of a bowl and not from the algae infested garden hose area.
Oberon then escaped my Mom's grip, and bounded in my apartment only to come plant his whole wet, algae encrusted muzzle on my mouth, as I gasped in astonishment, he then put his wet paw in my mouth and then proceeded to climb on top of me to reach Scruffy. I screamed, my mom caught him, I started laughing in reflexive hysterical waves all the while I was crying from being completely exhausted and overwhelmed.
Good thing for Listerine mouthwash and the fact that I drove Oberon back up to Culver City today at noon to be returned to his family. Oberon is a beautiful and amazing dog, but I was not really mentally prepared to dog sit such a young and active labrador retriever puppy with so much family & work obligations as well as having Scruffy around.
One of Oberon's people texted me this morning when we were trying to arrange the drop off, "I hope the wee beastie has not been too naughty."
No, just a wee naughty.
Now I am off to bed a couple of hours early. 'Night y'all.
Tues 07.13.10 - I woke up this morning to a terrible stench in my apartment and Belle, my brother's dog, sitting right next to me on the bed licking her nether regions. Smelly Belly. I didn't want to open my eyes, I didn't want to get up, or to even investigate the smell. But I did.
I found that Belle had an early morning Poopy Butt Blowout that covered at least 1/4 of the living room. Horrifying.
I borrowed the Bissell ProCleaner 2x carpet steamer from my landlord after returning Poopy McPooperbutt the Carpet Defacer to my brother's house. Then I spent about 3 hours this afternoon in a zen like trance slowly, ever so slowly, running the carpet cleaner/steamer over small patches of the living room and then re-steaming. It was far better than coding and much more satisfying.
In the end, my furniture sat outside gathering sunshine* with the exception of the bookcases and my drawing table, my carpet came out cleaner than when I moved in, and I got lots of exercise.
Did I mention that the carpet is now cleaner than when I moved in?
* p.s. The Sun, it is shining. The clouds, they have been vanquished.
Sat 07.03.10 - I have broken a two and a half plus year daily blogging streak in the last four days by not posting. Mea culpa.
The first two days of my blogging sabbatical were taken up with finishing a lovely long term client website re-design and the second two days were taken up with a migraine and recovery thereof that included a lot of sleep & drinking of water.
Here are some photos from the last four days worth of dog walks around Seal Beach.
Happy Fourth of July weekend to you and yours.
Tues 06/15.10 - British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the UK Parliment in regards to Lord Saville's report on Bloody Sunday.
Ah, Ireland, you break my heart, but today I am greatly heartened on your behalf. It is truly extraordinary in the true sense of the word to have a conservative prime minister to apologize to the people of Northern Ireland.
"What happened should have never ever happened."
"On behalf of our government, indeed of our country, I am deeply sorry."
Thank you, Mr. Cameron. Thank you, Lord Saville and all the investigators and staffers of the report commission. Thank you to all of the witnesses, survivors, families, officials, army folk, and others who gave testimonies and interviews for this matter to be parsed out.
News, Video, & Commentary:
The Guardian : Bloody Sunday report: 38 years on, justice at last
Making Light : "Both unjustified and unjustifiable"
Metafilter : After 38 years, the truth
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.
Sat 04.24.10 - Driving down Ocean Blvd in front of the Santa Monica pier at dusk after a lovely early birthday dinner at Bar Pintxo with my sister Allison, Erika, Eoin & Sally.
A BIG thank you to all of you who made this Answer to the Universe & Everything birthday so fabulous, in person and online. I give a big hug to all of you.
Thurs 04.08.10 - Fare the well to Mr. Malcolm McLaren. Thank you, kind sir, for many years of hijinx, punk rocks, and making London new & sexy after the great 30 plust years of post-Empire & WWII hangover.
I first was exposed to the fruits of Malcolm's mind & labors in 1981 when I was a wee 13 year old going through some tough family times. I spent most of the end of 1981 and all of 1982 lamenting that I was 5 years too young to have experienced the punk revolution in 1976 in London or Los Angeles myself. So, I did the next best thing, I jumped into OC/LA's music scene in 1982 as a fresh, idealistic 14 year old.
As an adult, I can now appreciate the trickster, rebel, and calculated businessman that Mr. McLaren was. And I still have a fondness for red haired men in plaid...
This morning around 11am, after a day plus of drying out with the battery out and a morning of desiccating Santa Anna winds, I put the battery back into Chick-a-Poo and turned her on.
She works. The keyboard has no sticky keys - thanks to Q-tip & rubbing alcohol, and the touchpad is working just fine.
Yay! No need for expensive repairs or to buy a new computer! Yay!
Moral of the Story: When your computer gets wet, immediately unplug it from the power source and pull out the battery, then let it dry for 1-3 days depending on the humidity or lack there of in your area, use rubbing alcohol to help speed the evaporation process.
On other notes, my mini-vacation is nearly over and I will return tomorrow with 3-4 blog posts as I have a SXSW wrap up to write, more photos to post, a post about the #NokiaComp to SXSWi, and a one year later follow up on the Nokia N97.
And now for my next trick, I will go to bed.
Photo of Scruffy & Magnus taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.
Wed 03.10.10 - Today was the day I was too be running around errands, finishing up details, laundry, packing, etc etc etc, in preparation for a 6am flight Thursday morning to Austin, Texas.
The whole day today was derailed by a nasty light phobic migraine that kept me in bed until around 4pm. It is all the fault of kimchi and my innate pre-travel fridge frugality. I always feel the need to not waste any food that might go off while I am out traveling and I try to make all kinds of interesting dishes before I depart as to not have to throw anything out.
This is a bad impulse. I have now gotten sick 3x just before flying. Silly me.
There was a large quart jar of kimchi from AR supermarket that was in the final dregs for a couple of weeks now living on the top shelf of my fridge. Why I felt compelled to eat the remainders I don't know, since I already know that kimchi older than a couple of days makes me tummy sick & triggers headaches. Le Sigh.
So, today's photo was of Scruffy & Magnus wrestling while I was trying to recoup from my ill-advise kimchi consumption.
Tomorrow, super early, I am off to SXSW for Interactive. See you there!
Photo by Ms. Jen of Lulu & Myke with a Nokia N97 at Alex's Bar.
Tues 03.09.10 - This afternoon Viv Hernandez told me that Lulu and Myke got engaged on Lu's birthday last Friday night, and then a few minutes later Lulu and Myke showed up at Alex's.
I am so excited for Lulu and Myke, not only are they a very good match, but Lu and I have been friends for years through much trials and laughter and I am so damned glad that Lu has found a life love in a good, strong willed man such as Myke.
Yay. Lu knows that I have been hoping, praying, and encouraging her for over a decade. Yay ten times.
Much love and many blessings on the union of Lulu Aphessetche and Myke Elsbury!
Photo of Grandma Grace with 4 of her 8 great-grandkids: Dillon & Carson Lewis, Grandma Grace, Kristy & Katie Dohnel by Ms. Jen with a Nikon D70s
Video by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.
Thurs 01.28.10 - This weekend is Alex's Bar's 10th Anniversary weekend, in celebration Alex and I (Ms. Jen) did the above video to cover what the article in The District did not and for Alex to extend a big Thank You to all of the folks who have made 10 Years of Alex's Bar possible.
Alex's has a great line up of shows to say 'Thank you, Long Beach, for a great decade of Alex's Bar!':
Fri, Jan 29, 2010 - Alex's Bar 10 Year Anniversary Show - The Adolescents, Riverboat Gamblers, John Doe, Blockage - $15
Sat, Jan 30, 2010 - Alex's Bar 10 Year Anniversary Show - Riverboat Gamblers, Throw Rag, Mike Watt and the Secondmen, Werewolf - $15
See you at Alex's Bar's this weekend!
Photo by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N97.
Mon 01.25.10 - Thanks to everyone who has inquired about Scruffy's health. The good news is that he is on the mend. He is still coughing, but it has reduced in quantity and volume. Scruffy is still sleeping a lot and is a bit cranky (Sorry, Gracie!).
Today, he discovered that sleeping on his back made for less wheezing and coughing. And as he was sleeping on his back, I noticed his cough syrup mustache and needed to take a photo.
Sadly, Scruffy is still on quarantine from other dogs and when Magnus came over to visit today, Scruffy couldn't go out and play.
Fri 01.22.10 - The last 3 days have been very worrisome & exhausting as Scruffy has been very sick with a hacking, honking cough that has kept both of us up. Dr. Kali at North Tustin Veternary Clinic was a gem today, he was very calm with Scruffy, got the X-rays, we talked over the results, without any panic about kennel cough or pneumonia.
While Scruffy may have one or the other or another type of bacterial lung infection, I appreciated Dr. Kali's calmness and professionalism. Scruffy is on a regime of antibiotics and doggy cough syrup, as well as under strict instructions to stay away from all other dogs for 2 weeks. He is still coughing intermittently, but not anywhere as hard or with the same duration and hopefully the cough syrup will keep him sedated enough to get both of us a good night's sleep.
Project52 : Week 2
File Under: I didn't need to see the shit squeezed out of the intestines before they are turned into sausage casings...
Fire Under: How did the drafting of the specs for the new HTML5 and web standards turn into a serious detour in to the spider webs of Mirkwood?
Wow! The Twitter-verse erupted this last week on WTF is going on in HTML5 world:
"is there a good concise blog post anywhere explaining just what happened to HTML5 / WHAT WG last week? Seeing the trees, not the forest." - @mezzoblue
'Thinking of getting this framed: http://icanhaz.com/specdance" - @adactio
"Pleased that http://whatwg.org/html5 is back to being a spec called HTML5 (and more) rather than HTML (including HTML5). Thank you @hixie." - @adactio
" '#HTML5 is a beautiful mess': Sitepoint podcast with moi, @lloydi, @cssquirrel. Transcribed as well, thanks @sentience http://bit.ly/5rJmbS" - @brucel
"#html5 punch-up featuring @marcosc, @hixie, @shelleypowers, @johnfoliot http://bit.ly/4Ojp2v" - @brucel
And there are many more Tweets from Jan 8th to 15th on the subject of HTML5, the WC3, WHATWG, and the spec deliberations.
I am unabashedly a fan of strict XHTML 1.0, as I love the element tag minimalism and the strict code typing. If I code a site in XHTML 1.0, be it transitional or strict, I have few worries on what device will the site work on and I have fewer cross-broswer debugging issues than if I write in HTML 4.01 or the like. I realize that others want more features and the early specs of HTML5 appear to make better semantic sense, but the web standard spec and full browser adoption is supposedly years away.
I don't like to watch the tech sausage being made, I much prefer to let folks duke it out behind some closet doors and then when the browsers adopt the spec, then I will learn it. My passion is in mobile and the web that works for all, not to be the first to use or develop a tecnology. On top of all of that, I am a minimalist. I prefer lean, mean, and elegant over busy, full-featured, and many-optioned.
I first noticed this week's brouhaha when Dave (@mezzoblue) tweeted his call for someone to interpret and explain the forest for the trees (first tweet quote/link above). Tonight was the first time I had the opportunity to go through my feed reader and read some of the blog posts on the HTML5 rupture of the last 9 days.
I started by reading Dori Smith's post, My (current) opinions on HTML5, on Backup Brain which was a good summary of the situation and how it effects the various parts of the web design and development ecosystems. Dori is clear sighted in the matter and I noticed quite a few comments, upon clicking on the comments, I was treated to John Foliot's stident interpretation of Dori's take on HTML5 and Web Standards.
I clicked over to Mr. Foliot's web site to find that he was in full defense / offense mode all at once. ((O.o))
Mr. Foliot referred to Andy Clarke's "Keep calm and carry on (with HTML5)"
Faruk Ateş attempts to find the forest for the close examination of the trees in "The Battlefield of HTML5"
Bruce Lawson, Ian Lloyd, and Kyle Weems weigh in with a SitePoint podcast on "HTML5 is a (Beautiful) Mess"
Mark Pilgrim asserts that nothing has happened other than the HTML5 spec is in the Last Call phase. Mr. Foliot continues his offense/defense bit.
Wow! See what I miss when I am working rather than reading... Wake me up when the spec is ready and the browsers are using it. Then we can slather the HTML5 up in some garlic oil, cook it up on the grill and make some beautiful, accessible web sites and apps.
No Mirkwood spiders, please.
Thank you for your outreach to me along with Jish at SXSW Interactive 2003 when others weren't so friendly. Thank you for all the lives you touched all over the blogosphere in last last decade plus. Thank you for being so willingly to be roped into (ha! leading) all sorts of adventures and misadventures.
And may your New Year be full of laughter and blessed.
I come from a large family on my Mom's side, she is the oldest of five and each of her siblings has had between 2 and 7 children of their own plus a few grandkids scattered here and there. We haven't all gotten together since May of 2002, and partially in May of 2007, then last week Tuesday my Mom's siblings all got together, sans issue. Thus, various aunts were in town over Thanksgiving weekend.
On Saturday, my Mom's youngest sister, Dana, who lives in Oregon, and I went to lunch at Udupi Palace for a lovely lunch and then we took Scruffy McDoget to Dog Beach for a good long walk. When we got back to my house and my aunt's car, she left pretty quickly, which I thought at the time had to do with the fact we had hung out for about 4 hours at this point and the fact that she is a strong introvert.
On Sunday, I ate the leftovers from our lunch over the course of the day, including my Aunt's leftovers. Hey, its Udupi Palace, spinach dosa is always good, even the next day.
On Monday, I got a text from my Aunt Dana that she had been officially diagnosed with H1N1 and if I got sick I should immediately go to the doctor.
Yes, it happened that fast. From what I found out today from my Aunt Anne, Dana was fine at lunch and after our walk she started to feel really bad, by the time she drove back to Anne's house about 30 miles south of my place she was really sick. By Sunday, super sick, sick enough to go to the doctor.
I texted her back to let her know that if she needed any help to let me know. The first day, I was bemused. The Pig, The Pig, it is coming.
By Tuesday, while I felt fine, I did some research and found that the infectious period for H1N1 was heatedly debated and could be anytime from when the person was first infected until the last cough and the incubation period if exposed to a person with H1N1 could be anywhere from one to seven days.
How about if you shared a dosa, uttapam, and sambar with someone with H1N1 in the infectious period?
I then decided that getting The Pig would be a forced Staycation with a real good excuse for missing work. I twitter this. Yes, yes, I know, Hanen Black Humor Alert. Funny, ha ha.
All week, I have felt normal. Well, as normal as I ever feel. Ok, so I lie... Really, I have had a bit of a sore throat and swollen glands, I did cough up a big cough up yesterday on to my steering wheel while driving. Surprise!
BUT IT ISNT THE PIG, I swear. Today I have felt a little off, but not much. Really, I promise. I just stayed in all day and had the heater on. I never run my heater. It is SoCal, no need for a heater on when it is 72F, right?
This evening, my aunt Anne called to give me the report on how Aunt Dana was faring, to ask how I was feeling, and to give me instructions on how to get into my Grandma's storage tomorrow so I can get & put up her Christmas decorations.
Aunt Anne: "How are you feeling?"
Anne: "You don't sound good, your voice is weak and you have been coughing as we have been talking."
Anne: "Are you feeling sick? If so, go to the doctor..."
Conversation about immediate doctor visit and Tamilflu ensues, all the while I remain in DENIAL. I am fine. I swear.
No Pig here. The only Pig I can see is the one in the freezer. Maybe I should turn down the heater before it melts the apartment.
Sat 11.14.09 - Saturday was the big day for Lauren and Dave. It was a long day but a very good day. Lauren, Kimi, and I met Allison the Amazing Hairdresser at the Herban Feast wedding/party venue at 11am and on it went with Felicity Lao doing our makeup, photos mid-afternoon to late afternoon, and then *Magic Time* at 6:30pm, with the Reception all evening long.
Compliments of the antics of the famed and amazing Chris Snook, officiant of the Church of the Latter Day Dude, this wedding was the most fun and humorous that I have ever attended and participated it. The reception was delightful in the mix of good LA area friends in combination with so many lovely web designer friends. Great Party, truly delightful wedding, and a lovely couple.
Congratulations to Lauren and Dave, may your marriage be many times blessed with laughter and love.
Sat 11.14.09 - Today was a long, intense, and wonderful day. Tomorrow I promise to put up a photo essay of the Lauren and Dave wedding when I am on the fight home.
Right now, I am exhausted and have no more words.
Today as I got out of my sister's car at LAX to go to Lauren & Dave's wedding, my Dad texted me that my Grandpa Bill had passed away around noon. My Dad's text said he would call later.
I checked my baggage in, went down to the gate, looked out the window and cried a bit. Instead of doing the Carl Zeiss mobile application write up that I was planning on writing on the plane, I instead spent my time looking for photos of my Grandpa Hanen on my computer and researching the pilots who flew the Hump during WWII so that I can do a nice blog post on Grandpa Bill.
I will be doing a full post on Grandpa Bill and his WWII pilot experiences when I get a few photos from my Dad and a bit more information on which division he was in (I think it was Div 10 in Assam, India). In his later years, his years in India flying C-46 cargo planes were remembered as the best and most challenging years of his life.
My Grandpa Bill met and married my Grandma in the few months before departing for India in 1942, my Dad was conceived, off Grandpa went to fly the resupply China mission for the duration of the war, and Grandma lived in Iowa with her family.
My favorite photo from this era was my Grandpa, at the barracks in India, in his flight uniform holding a bottle of champagne in one hand and the telegram announcing my Dad's birth. He looked so happy.
Photo and full story coming soon.
Rest In Peace, Captain William J. Hanen: April 17, 1918 - November 12, 2009
Happy 20th Anniversary to a whole lot of gumption and hope.
1989 - DDR (East Germany)
1994 - South Africa
2009 - Iran ???? - One can only hope.
Photo by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.
Sat 10.17.09 - To all who observe and celebrate, Happy Diwali!
First off, let's start with the good news, via Facebook, of Mikey & Eliese's wedding on Sat. Sept. 26, 2009. Congratulations to M&E, may your marriage be doubly blessed:
Second off, Paige & Alex have Babified! Yes, the famed Diego Hernandez decided to grace the world with his presence on Sun Sept 27, 2009 around 4:45pm. He was a considerate grandson and decide to wait until after Joe & Vivian finished cleaning up from Mikey & Eliese's reception before making his grand entrance. Congratulations to Family Hernandez!
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95
Sun 09.20.09 - Happy almost Autumn. The official 2009 autumn equinox is on Tues. Sept. 22nd at 6:18am GMT (2:18pm PDT). To continue my almost yearly autumn, I will be departing tomorrow for a week in London.
This won't be just any week in London, as it will be London Digital Week, which means that something exciting in mobile / digital / web will be happening practically every day and evening that I will be there.
Wish me luck and good travels.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.
Thurs 09.10.09 - File under "Oh, Crap! Agh! SCRUFFY!!!!!"
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.
I have only one thing to say. The butcher f*ck'd up.
Strict instructions to give me a whole uncured pork belly with skin on does not mean skinless, sliced uncured pre-bacon. Thus, the attempt to figure out what to do culinarily with uncured, sliced pre-bacon. So much for my wanting to make my own pancetta.
Sorry folks, I have meant every day this week to write up one of the five 'to do' blog posts that I want to write, posts on mobile, development, and online trolls, as well as the future thereof. But... the mighty but, I am on deadline for a client application and have had family dinners and the like, so I have been too stretched to also spend a few hours writing something of moderate quality. I have written a few drafts, unpublished, middling to bad quality, but no. No, I want to write coherent posts...
In the meantime, I leave you with photos taken of the dogs or whilst walking the dog(s).
Sorry that I have been relatively silent here with the exception of photos, but life has been going full throttle with work related projects and then my Grandma had a small visit to the hospital yesterday.
This stressed me out. My Grandma is 89 and I know she won't live forever, but I would like it if she stuck around for a bit.
And then there is the four fricken' pesky forks of Python/GAE code that should work but don't. Tomorrow morning, I will start a very minimalist 5th fork to see if I can get the logic that lives in my head and in a paper flow chart to work.
I would like to go on a week's vacation to a relaxation spa with no internet connection.
William (Bill) West has departed for the Great Fishing Lake.
May the air be sparking, may the wind sigh lovingly through the pines and spruces, may the big trout be biting, and may there be a golf course close by.
Photo taken with Ms. Jen's Nokia N95.
Ok, so looking into the very near future, all plans this weekend may be completely disrupted - please forgive me ahead of time.
The family storm clouds are gathering and Bill may be taking off for the Great Fishing Lake. He is 93 and his bio systems appear to be on fail.
Whether Bill makes a recovery or passes on, I would like to say ahead of time, Bill West - you have been the best possible step-grandpa that anyone could dream up over the last 36 years. Our whole family has been blessed by you being in it.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.
Sat 08.01.09 - Tanya and Paul Bonaventure held a lovely Art Night at their house this evening with paintings, photography, sculpture, dance, poetry and song all performed or executed by attendees of the party.
One of the most delightful part is when Deborah Rosen (choreographer), Laine Proctor (singer/spoken word), and three dancers did a preview piece of the show that they will be performing at the end of the month. They performed the preview in Tanya and Paul's driveway after 9pm on a warm evening, which was very appropriate to the song/dance/music. It was very lovely and I am looking forward to seeing the whole of 'Say The Body is Like This Lamp' and 'S.O.S./ Sleeping on Snow' on August 21st & 22nd.
Information on the Dance:
'Say The Body is Like This Lamp' | 'S.O.S./ Sleeping on Snow'
Dances by Alyson Boell and Deborah Rosen
August 21 & 22, 2009
at the Diavolo Theatre
616 Moulton Street, Los Angeles
Tickets:Brown Paper Tickets or 800-838-3006
I am now officially home, exhausted to the point of nearly comatose. I have many thoughts but I want to sleep. Blogging tomorrow & Thursday to catch up, now that I am back on good fast, reliable wifi/internet.
I took a cool photo as we fly over Labrador, just as the plane crossed over into North America, but I can't find it on my phone to post.
Glad to be home. Bizarrely, Los Angeles is cooler in temperature than London by some.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.
Fri 05.29.09 - Yesterday, while I was sitting in a session about Android binaries at the Google I/O 2009 conference, I texted Earl, my next door neighbor, to ask if the baby had come yet.
Earl texted me right back to say, "2 min. Ago, big!"
Thus, Baby Callis (name TBA) was the first baby born to our apartment building in a birthing pool in Tammy & Ryan's living room at 3:43pm on Thursday, May 28, 2009! Baby was born 8 lbs, 22 inches long and she is a girl.
When I got home last night around 9:40pm, all was quiet. Around noon today, Bird invited Sharon (Earl's lady) and I over to meet the Baby. Grandma Terri was holding the little one when we arrived and I snapped the above photo.
Congratulations to Family Callis on the safe delivery of Baby Callis!
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95.
The NaBloPoMo theme for May 2009 is sweet. Interpret the word sweet as one will.
The month of May is quite full right now and so it makes complete sense for me to sign up for NaBloPoMo when I will be overly busy. (not). But the theme this month intrigued me and I decided to sign myself up. I may be naturally bubbly and happy, but how many sweet things can I write about in 31 one days? We shall find out, won't we?
Our lovely friends over at the Online Etymology Dictionary give the word sweet's history as follows:
O.E. swete "pleasing to the senses, mind or feelings," from P.Gmc. *swotijaz (cf. O.S. swoti, Swed. söt, Dan. sød, M.Du. soete, Du. zoet, O.H.G. swuozi, Ger. süß), from PIE base *swad- (Skt. svadus "sweet;" Gk. hedys "sweet, pleasant, agreeable," hedone "pleasure;" L. suavis "sweet," suadere "to advise," prop. "to make something pleasant to"). Sweetbread "pancreas used as food" is from 1565 (the -bread element may be from O.E. bræd "flesh"). To be sweet on someone is first recorded 1694. Sweet-talk (v.) dates from 1936 (in "Gone With the Wind"). Sweet sixteen first recorded 1826. Sweet dreams as a parting to one going to sleep is attested from 1908. Sweet and sour in cooking is from 1723, not originally of oriental food
Thus, I will spend the month attempting to blog about all things "sweet, pleasant, agreeable, and pleasing to the senses". Since I am already blogging either a photo or a text post every day this year (as with last year), for the NaBloPoMo challenge, I will write a text post everyday with a possible photo each day, too. Possibly.
As for the sweet bit about today, I had a fuzzily delightful dream last night/early this morning, just in time for May Day where I was in a forest (a west side of the Sierra Nevada giant sequoia forest) and I had a mobile, handheld map of the forest made of model sized trees. To navigate you turned the tree model upside down and let your hand feel where to go in the forest.
The May Day 2005 post from this blog.
The May Day 2008 post from this blog about a dream I had May Day morning last year.
Last but not least, I hope you had a delightfully sweet day today, whether it was enjoying spring flowers and maypoles or out marching in the name of Labor. Though celebrating Beltane seems a bit more delightful than a march...
If you are the sort of human who likes to have a really good panic every now and then and / or enjoys conspiracy theories, I would like to give you a good humorous cross section on the Aporkalypse to help trot you out of too much routing around in the slops of the swine flu hysteria :
Apokalypse 2007 - A Flickr Photoset that involves a piglet and a BBQ spit. It does not end well... for the piglet.
Making Light commenter, albatross, makes reference to the Four Hogs of the Aporkalypse.
Carry a pack of bacon at all times. If someone annoys you simply rub it in their face and watch them freak out.
Start ill-informed superstitions. For example: I heard that, if you wash your genitals in rose-oil after having full-sex with a pig, you won't catch the flu.
Last, but not least, The Ham of Darkness, which features a photo of a small blonde child french kissing a pig...
 If you think I am not taking swine flu or *gasp* Avian Flu or **GASP**ZOMG**GASP**GASP** SARS seriously enough, I would like to trot out that you are much more likely to expire from an automobile accident, heart attack, stroke, or domestic abuse this year than you are of a fairly rare "epidemic" episode that happens once every few years to less that a couple of tens/hundreds/thousand folks world wide. I would really worry about how your local bus driver drives. The Flu is not even on the list of Causes of Death, but TB is. Have you been tested for TB recently?
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N79.
Fri 04.24.09 - Happy Birthday to me.
Today I was supposed to go to Disneyland with Julie Wanda but the plan got foiled by a migraine headache that landed me in bed most of the day. I took Maxalt, my migraine meds, in the late morning and by 6pm I could look at light again and walk about a bit, if unsteady. By 8pm, Julie joined me in Seal Beach and we walked down to the Wine Cellar on Main and Electric to salvage the birthday.
It was a delightful evening. I am very happy that we have our own little fun|cool|good wine bar in Seal Beach, even if it is a big overly loud and needs a few more servers on a Friday night. But it was fun and tasty. Now I am ready for bed.
And within an hour or two, Happy 6th Birthday to Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen!
Photo by Ms. Jen with a Nokia N79.
Thurs 04.23.09 - A big Happy Birthday to Ms. Haley Callis for her big 25th birthday! And to add happiness to joy, Happy Anniversary to Haley and Jeremy for their 2nd wedding anniversary!
Tomorrow, the 24th, is my birthday. And Saturday, the 25th, is this blog's 6th Anniversary!
I wish I had a great photo for you all tonight. Or a big written post chock full of juicy tidbits or meaty ideas. But I don't have either for you all this evening because today was Tax Day.
Actually, my activity towards the eventual goal of the 11:59pm tax filing deadline this evening started yesterday. Back when I expected a refund every year, I couldn't get my taxes done fast enough in late January or early February. Now that I am not teaching, nor do I have a day job, but instead all my working efforts are those of the self-employed, it is all I can do to drag myself to Turbo Tax to get my taxes done in time.
The last two years, I knew before it all started that I had a loss or close to a draw, thus my incentive to do my taxes early was slim to none. This week I cut it very close, close in time and close in dollars.
I do not begrudge paying my taxes - as I do like paved roads and the like, nor do I begrudge giving a full accounting of my fiscal activities - it is a good discipline. But to sit down and do it, that is the hard part.
Luckily for me, TurboTax has really stepped up their game and rather than struggling a bit with the software or explanations or the user interface and then panicking that I would be audited by the IRS due to the bizarre TurboTax interface & lack of clarity, this year was easy with TurboTax 2008, unlike the evil 2005 TurboTax adventure.
TurboTax just worked this year. I had a choice of doing it online at the turbotax.com website or downloading the software on to my computer - or in my case, as a repeat customer, using the cd that came in the mail months ago. Rather than TurboTax walking me through tons of evil details that not even tax accountants understand at first glance, this year the program got smart enough to let me know when I should pay attention and when the details did not pertain to my situation. I love it when I am not drowned in details that make me panic.
Best of all the user interface allowed me to hop back and forth in between sections, finish bits, save and then hop somewhere else without complaint. And it was worth it to get the Home and Small Business edition, as it really was able to breakdown all the categories that as a small business owner / freelance / self-employed person would need to know and had expanded pop-ups to help explain each category of expenses that one is allowed to take for a business expense. There was only one time where I had to guess where to list an expense (domain name registry fees).
Big thanks to the design and development teams at Intuit for a good tax experience, rather than a panicked, evil one.
Intuit, I do have one big request: Please make a Quickbooks Simple Start for Mac OS X. Just sayin'... not all of us small business owners out there are MicroSquash junkies. I know I need to keep track of business expenses during the year, but I am not going to shell out $199 for the Mac edition of Quickbooks before I know if I like it & it will work for me. How about making Quickbooks Simple Start as an online service that is device agnostic?
Even though my exposure to Kalpen Modi's (aka Kal Penn) acting career was in the excellent but more literary movie, "The Namesake", and not any of the Harold and Kumar movies, I am still excited to see that he is leaving Hollywood behind for an even weirder town: Washington D.C.
Good luck, Mr. Modi.
Yesterday, walking into a bathroom at a Starbucks triggered the most bizarre 24+ hours of migraine I have ever experienced. Mind you, I have been getting migraines since I was 9 or so years old and I am no stranger to the experience. The usual migraine for me starts with a fluorescent light trigger (evil evil evil energy savers) and/or consumption of an allergic food substance (usually egg plus dairy) that causes a sense of unwellness that descends into light phobia, nausea, and twenty thousand evil hammer elves pounding at my skull and eye sockets for a day or so.
A couple of times in my life, I have had sound trigger a migraine. I learned early on, aka 1991, that I cannot go into a club that plays house or bass 'n' drum electronic music with a light show unless I want to exit with a migraine. Sound, repetitive loud bass sound that I can feel on my skin plus lights equals a migraine trigger, thus my love for the good old fashioned high trebled rock'n'roll.
Bizarrely enough, smoke of the mary jane is also a migraine trigger for me. I can't smoke the stuff or be around anyone smoking hash or pot at all. Neither can my brother. It triggers migraine and nausea for me, and just nausea for my brother. I am all for legalizing the weed, just do not smoke that sh*t within 50 feet of me.
Back to the sound trigger, I have read about folks who have aural / audio / optical migraines that are triggered by sound or flashing lights. When I was in my late 20s, I worked in Boston and was in an office with fluorescent lights and a CRT computer monitor. My doctor helped me work out that the flicker cycle of the fluorescent overhead lights was competing with the 60 cycle/minute flicker of the CRT monitor which was causing my brain to GACK into migraine land. She told me to turn off the fluorescent overhead lights, get a desktop incandescent light, and spend at least 1 hour outdoors every workday. This prescription worked.
I walked at lunch and home from work. I turned off the fluorescent lights and got an incandescent desktop lamp. No more migraines at that job. I now make sure that my house & work environments have lots of natural light and no fluorescent bulbs of any kind. I avoid electronic music. I avoid any combos of egg and dairy in food (thus my joke about being a gluten-free vegan carnivore). I spend most of my time now, gratefully, migraine free. Except the one off odd migraine here and there.
Yesterday was that day. I walked into the Starbucks bathroom, which had bare walls and a concrete floor with a very very noisy overhead fan. The fan was very loud and I could feel the sound and air pulse out of the fan, echo around the concrete and hit my skin. My first thought was, "Oh no! I need to get out of this bathroom now. Yikes, I have to pee!" I tried to get in and out quickly, but I didn't do it soon enough.
Within 30 minutes I found my eyes struggling to focus and the road in front of me pulsing. My hearing was starting to pulse as well. By the time, we made it to Erika & Thomas' house, I had a hard time remaining steady enough on my feet to walk up the stairs. I was having a hard time thinking and I was giggling for no reason.
Normally, by this time, the crushing headache pain and attendant nausea would have descended, but this migraine was different. My head felt off, but not achy. Erika gave me a cold pack and a black shirt to put over my eyes as I laid on the floor to try to get the world to stop pulsing. Within 20 minutes of no light and the ice pack on my eyes & forehead while lying on their living room floor, I started to feel more normal, though all the sounds I heard were still lightly pulsing.
I waited until I felt calmed enough to go home. Once home, I put myself to bed as my limbs felt weak and disoriented. I kept waking up feeling more than a bit off. Due to the fact that the headache and nausea did not arrive, I didn't take my migraine meds, but instead took a benadryl thinking that maybe the dim sum lunch that Erika and I went to contributed to the completely off kilter day.
I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to stay in bed with my eye mask on. My day was very touch and go. I walked the dogs but half way through the walk I started to feel a bit weak and the world got a bit visually wavy again. We went home and I went to sleep for the late morning and early afternoon. Since then, I have alternated between about 60% on and about 85% normal, with bouts of weakness, visual fuzziness, and feeling like my body took a half step over and left me here.
I went and read various folks' stories about optical and aural migraines online and my experience is in line with theirs. What has been so odd about the last 24+ hours is that the pre-migraine or first hour of migraine disorientation that I usually experience has now lasted for over a day.
I really hope that I wake up normal tomorrow. Well, as normal as I ever am.
I have two mostly finished but not ready to publish posts one from Saturday on the Nokia N97 and one from yesterday on the N79, but due to client deadlines and my Mom's birthday (today!) it has been too busy to finish the posts up properly. I will do it tonight.
Sorry for what appears to be a lack of activity around here, but without Lifeblog on the Nokia N79, I can't moblog my usual photos.
Thurs. 03.26.09 - This afternoon, my Mom and I walked over to Seal Beach's Main Street to try out the new Vietnamese restaurant, Phở Basil Leaf. I had been watching the arrival of a Vietnamese place with trepidation, as I am so spoiled with being less than 15 minutes away from the mecca of Vietnamese food - Westminster and Garden Grove's Little Saigon. My trepidation was further fueled by the menu that Phở Basil posted in the window of the storefront just a few buildings closer to the Seal Beach pier from O'Malley's.
The posted menu seemed to be Americanized Vietnamese. Instead of the usual Phở menu of about 10-15 different variations of beef phở, there were only four listed: beef, chicken, pork and tofu. I have never, in 25+ years, of going to authentic Vietnamese restaurants seen a tofu phở on a menu before.
Even though Phở Basil Leaf opened over 6 weeks ago, I was waiting to try it out. Waiting for my Mom to be available, so that if the restaurant was dull and Americanized, then my Mom could not force me to go again.
Luckily for us, Phở Basil Leaf was good to surprisingly fresh. The "Summertime Spring Rolls" (as seen above) were fresh and delightful. My Mom declared them the best she has had in years, I thought they were good. My pork bún was good, but not nearly fish sauce-y or basil-y enough. My Mom liked her beef phở.
Phở Basil Leaf is good, but given the immense amount of competition within 7-15 miles, I would love to see them step up their game and aim for a wider variety of authentic Vietnamese and not just dumbed down for Seal Beach's Main Street.
Phở Basil Leaf, give me some rice wrapped pork (not chicken) chả giò for my bun with a big basil & fish sauce kick. Where is the beef phở with meatballs, beef marrow, and fish balls?
Phở Basil Leaf, challenge us. Seal Beach's Main Street is not Main Street America, but a main street in the most diverse metropolitan area in the world, we can not only handle kick ass Vietnamese, but we will drive for it.
1) Since I departed last Wednesday afternoon, I have not heard from my Dad, thus no Cam update. Sorry. He has not returned calls, Skype or email, which is not surprising due to the lack of cell reception & internet at his house. While there is internet within 50 ft of my Dad's place, he is not availing himself of it at the current time, but my brother is going out to Arizona tomorrow and will check in with Cam and give me a report.
2) I have a refrigerator full of wild boar. Actually, it is California feral pigs. Farmer's domestic pigs have escaped since the 1800s and now there are feral pigs on the hillsides. Due to the fact that the feral pigs are not native and are very destructive to the environment, there is an all year open hunting season. My brother went hunting at Tejon Ranch last weekend, now I have lots of pig in the frig. Two big legs (aka ham to be), pork chops, sausages, 2 roasts, etc.
I will be making boar prosciutto. Check back with me in 18 months for some slices.
3) Due to 2.5 weeks of family excitement, I am now having epic work/to-do list fail. To the point of big stress. I have 17 work things that absolutely must get done before I get on the plane for Austin to go to SXSW on Thursday. I need at least 2 weeks to do it all rather than 4 days. Approximately half of the to do items are Bloggies related, more on that tomorrow.
Watch Jen spin around in overload...
Yesterday, Wednesday, my Dad, Cam, had his check up ultrasound at his local hospital, the La Paz Regional. After the "all good" ultrasound result from the hospital, we went to lunch at a local Mexican restaurant and then I went to do a good clean at my brother's vacation place.
With Joe's house clean, my dad's fridge stocked, his body in recovery, Scruffy & I were on the road by 3pm yesterday driving back to California. I am very glad to be home after 13 days away.
According to my Dad's doctors, he still needs to rest for another 2-3 weeks before returning to work. Over the last week he went from only being able to be upright and attentive for less than an hour a day to over 6 hours a day. By upright, I mean sitting and occasional walking.
I am glad that Cam is on the mend and on the road to full recovery. I am very grateful for my Mom coming to join me for a week and my brother for his support in the first 5 days. Most of all, I am darned glad that Cam is healing.
Thank you, one and all, for your emails, twitters, pings, texts and phone calls of support. Y'all are wonderful.
p.s. On Sunday, 3/1/09, in the parking lot of the Buckskin Mountain State Park, I had my first "lifer" sighting of a Vermillion Flycatcher, the desert dwelling red & black cousin of the Black Phoebe. I was so ecstatic, I almost hyperventilated. Yes, I am a bird geek.
Sorry about the lack of updates the last few days, but we have gotten into a bit of a routine here in Parker, Arizona, and blogging from the computer has not been apart of it.
The Backstory: A week ago Friday, I drove out to Phoenix to see my Dad, Cam, in the hospital as he had had a bad work accident 2 days previously that resulted in 3 broken ribs & a ruptured spleen & a bruised lung plus scalp lacerations. Last Sunday he was released, and my brother Joe and I drove him back to his home in Parker, AZ, which is across the street from my brother's vacation place. My Mom joined us on Monday and my brother left on Wednesday. My mom and I have been filling our days with making sure Cam is comfortable, hiking/exploring, and cooking. Lots of cooking.
The Cam Update: After his naughty escape morning on Monday to go have coffee with a crony, Cam has been mostly sleeping and resting. His ribs and spleen are quite painful and he was quite weak most of the week. Yesterday was his first follow up appointment with his primary care physician here in Parker. Basically, he is on bed and other forms of no work / no activity rest for four weeks. Due to the nature of the fall that caused him to fall, he does need to have a follow up ultrasound next week at the local hospital.
All in all, Cam is slowly on the mend but is still in a lot of pain, esp. when he moves. He spends most of his time sleeping and lying down watching TV. He is allowed to walk short distances, so he has been walking across the street for dinner with us. Mom and I have been bringing him his breakfast coffee so that he is not tempted to go out and about again.
How long will we be here? We decided after yesterday's doctor appointment and how wiped out Cam was after returning, that we would stay for at least another 4 days and reevaluate on Tuesday, March 2nd.
As I noted before, I have no phone reception at my brother's place, so please either leave me a phone message and SpinVox will email it to me or email me and then I will call you back on Skype or I will walk about 1/2 a mile away in the Keys were I do have reception.
Thanks for your kind Tweets, emails, prayers, and thoughts. Y'all rock.
Photo taken by Ms. Jen with Mom's Nokia N82
Mon 02.23.09 - The rear guard / back up troops have arrived... Mom and Scruffy pulled into my brother's place in Parker, AZ, around 5pm or thereabouts today. My mom kindly agreed to come out to Parker to help me keep Cam resting and taking care of himself.
Which is a very good thing, since when I walked out of Joe's house this morning to go across the street to my dad's place to check on him, I found my dad in one of his crony's trucks about to take off to go to have coffee. Grrrr....
While it seemed like a good idea after a night's rest, when Cam returned from the jaunt, he was much worse for the wear and more willing to go back to his bed and nap. When Mom showed up, she told him that if he didn't behave that she would get a electronic dog training collar for him and set up a perimeter. She was only half joking.
In fabulously typical American hospital fashion, my Dad is being released this morning. Campbell gets to keep his spleen, which is good news, but it is still ruptured though healing.
Right now, Joe and I are packing up the hotel room, going to run a few errands, and then go pick up Cam from the hospital and drive him home to Parker.
I am going to stay in Parker at my brother's house there for a week or so to watch over my Dad and make sure he is sleeping, resting, taking deep breaths, and generally taking care of himself. My Mom is going to join me tomorrow evening and stay with me for the week.
Please do continue to pray for his healing, as it will be a couple weeks before Cam is able to resume daily life.
Thanks to all of you for your support emails, phone calls, and DMs on Twitter! Y'all rock.
My dad is still in the hospital in Phoenix for observation. His spleen was ruptured in the fall and the hospital folk are watching to determine if the internal bleeding has stopped or if they need to remove the spleen. It is best to keep it if possible, given that the spleen is a necessary organ for blood filtering and the immune system.
The good news is that he was moved from ICU to a regular hospital room this morning. Yesterday, I had a small chat the nurse, but do to another emergency in the trauma unit, I was not able to speak to the doctor. The nurse was fairly confident that if several blood levels remained the same or lowered, that they would not need to remove the spleen and that Cam would be able to go home sooner rather than later.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
My dad, Cam, decided to accidentally test his flying squirrel impersonation yesterday from a high ladder on to some concrete. Needless to say, it did not go well.
In typical Hanen fashion, he decided to see if he could wait it out and didn't call for help until this morning.
He is currently at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, AZ, with 4 broken ribs, a bruised lung, a bleeding spleen, and a cracked head. My brother and I are driving out to Phoenix
tonight tomorrow to be with our dad.
If you are the praying type, your prayers are highly appreciated. If you are not the praying type, please do a get well dance for my dad in the location of your choice.
Update: Thur. 02.19.09 9:33pm - My dad is in Emergency ICU at Good Samaritan in Phoenix. I will be driving out early in the morning and my brother will follow later after a work obligation is over.
My dad and I have talked 2x today and he texted me once this evening, but the hospital will not put me through.
If you want updates, please watch my twitter steam.