Friday, December 31, 2010

Last post of the year

My son and I are trying to stay up till midnight tonight. We did it last year but it's harder this year. We are both tired and we're not sure we'll make it. We usually go to bed at 9 pm or 9:30 pm at the latest.

What has helped in years past was a Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel. But this year, for some reason, they stopped the marathon at 8 pm until 10 pm to have a stupid professional wrestling show. It's not like they don't have that farce on every Friday as it is. Why waste a special night with that stuff? Anyway, the Twilight Zone marathon is going again and we hope it will help us make it to midnight and a little beyond.

My posts have dropped off this month. I hope to improve that with the new year. Happy New Year to everyone.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

More good news about bad news

My wife finished her radiation treatments yesterday. It was a cold, windy day but we were so happy. Of course, Cindy has had the worst of it but it has affected all of us. Cindy's mother (my mother-in-law) also finished her scheduled radiation treatments last week. She had to endure higher doses of radiation for a shorter time period. Cindy and her mom said it seemed like it was a job that they had to go to every day - except they weren't getting paid. The twenty mile drive was not made easier by construction along the way and the snow we've been getting. But that's all behind us.

Also, during the treatments, I was leaving the office to work from home in the afternoons. I enjoyed this and found I was more productive in a lot of ways because there were fewer distractions at home. Notice I didn't say "no distractions at home." But there were fewer interruptions and the distractions were quicker and easier to handle than the ones I would get at work. At work, someone was always stopping by for a "quick question" that would inevitably take a long time to answer fully. Everyone (myself included) thinks that a problem that someone else is dealing with will take no time at all. We only see the looming twists and turns of a problem when we have to deal with it ourselves. But one problem with working at home was that I often found that a book or folder I needed was still at work. I tried to bring everything I needed with me each day but something always turned up to either be at the office or at home when I needed it in the other place.

Besides being at the office only half-days since right after Thanksgiving, I've been on vacation since Monday, December 20. So, starting on Monday, January 3, I'll be working full time at the office. It will be hard getting used to being there all day. It will be hard not seeing my wife and children and my mother-in-law as often as I have for the last month. And yes, it will take some getting used to working at the computer without a cat in my lap and a dog poking me with his nose me to remind me to let him out.

We're so glad the cancer treatments are behind us. But I have a feeling that we'll never feel like this episode of our lives is completely behind us. Now the horrible specter of this disease has been raised in our lives. You hear so many bad things about it. Even with the tremendous advances in diagnosing and treating cancer, the mythology of the disease lingers in our minds like the warnings of our parents not to cross our eyes or they'd stay that way. Or the fears of terrorism that are always in the back of our minds. Cindy will be getting increased care to look for recurrences of this and every time we wait for test results, we'll be a little more wary than we were before this all started.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Trying to catch up

I am finally feeling like I have healed from my scooter spill and I'm able to sleep through the night without waking up a million times and having vivid dreams that make me feel like I've been running around all night. So, then I started a two week vacation this week and thought I'd have all sorts of time to catch up on my blog but... we got snow Sunday afternoon (December 19) and into the next day and I spent a lot of my time shoveling. We didn't get much but it just kept coming and coming. I'd just finish shoveling the three areas that I do and we'd get another wave and I'd need to start again or the town snow plows would throw another wave of salted, wet snow onto our driveway (I've complained about this before in this post).

Then, Monday morning when Cindy and her mother needed to go to the radiation treatment center (more posts about this start here), the conditions were bad enough that I needed to drive. Then, when we got home, there was a phone message from the eye doctor asking if I could come to my appointment a half hour early. Eye appointment - I forgot about that. I grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed out one more time. Boy did I sleep well Monday night.

In spite of being on vacation, things keep happening at work that need my attention. For instance, 1) the power went off over the week-end causing problems with the daily builds of our software, 2) a bug was found in some code I wrote and 3) a hardware problem was fixed and to use it our software needed to be modified and a new version released. Thanks to my being able to work from home, my part in doing these things was not hard but time consuming.

We're expecting more snow and that means more shoveling so we'll see what happens in coming days. But the snow we've had so far has been quite beautiful. The look in the trees reminds me of how it looked after Christmas early this year. So, I've decided to post one of the pictures I took early in January this year. It is a view of the Coonamessett River in Teaticket Village (part of the town of Falmouth, MA) from the Raleigh Costa Bridge. I stood in the snow and cold for about an hour getting a lot of pictures of this scene. I liked this one best. To see it full sized, just click on this small  copy.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

This is getting pretty bad

Not only was I not feeling well (as I mentioned before), my wife is undergoing radiation treatments and I need to work from home to be with our children while my wife AND my mother-in-law go for their treatments. So, I've been working at the office in the morning and then coming home and working from home in the afternoon when Cindy and her mom drive the 20 miles to the closest treatment center.

Working from home has been great. But needing to switch gears each day has not been easy. Also, things are very busy at the office and I've been working through lunch which is when I usually write in this blog. I have a lot of ideas for articles I'd like to write but little time to write them and when I do have the time, I've been too exhausted to do it. Also, I find, when I'm set up to work from home, I end up spending more time working than the regular hours I would normally work.

I hope, in the next few days, to start catching up on my posts. I have at least four or five articles I want to write down before I forget them. I'm going to see a doctor next week to see if anything is permanently damaged from my spill but I'm feeling much better now.