Snapshots from the poison room

I took photos throughout my chemo/immunotherapy treatment, to document my reactions and the view from the poison room. Photos generates a decent slideshow (complete with Generic Copyright-takedown-avoiding Sountrack #1) 1 I spent a few weeks back in 1997 building a similar video with photos from our wedding, in Macromedia Director and then output to VHS to play at the reception in town. I tapped a button on my phone and this chemo slideshow video spit out in seconds. [Read More]

An update from chemo-land

The one where our protagonist realizes he hasn't published a blog post since November of last year and becomes paralyzed by the realization that he has nothing of note to write about, aside from a health update. Which is a great problem to have, given the circumstances. So. I've been on medical leave from work for 4 months now, as I undergo treatment for lymphoma. I've finished round 4 and am gearing up for round 5 next week - then only one more round after that before recovering a bit and returning to work in mid-august. [Read More]

1 year

It's weird. It was only last summer that the whole cancer thing happened, but it feels like so much longer. It went from a simple strange blood test to a confirmed strange blood test to every-single-blood-test-ever to a biopsy and CT scan and full diagnosis within a few weeks last year. I have trouble remembering a time before cancer. And now, it's part of everything I do and think and feel. [Read More]

on When Breath Becomes Air

I'd picked up a copy of the book When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithy after reading a reference to it in a NYTimes article about John McCain, and Grant gave me the nudge to actually start reading it. It's an amazing read, about a young neurologist/budding neuroscientist, who spends his life learning about the nature of life, and death, by experiencing it. I'm thankful that the decisions I'm faced with are happening in slow motion compared to his story, but the effects are largely the same. [Read More]

Slow motion train wreck in progress

Another in a series of really great articles in the Times, about cancer and dying. Fun topics that are kind of relevant. "The most obvious" response, wrote the neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi in "When Breath Becomes Air," his memoir of a brilliant life cut short, "might be an impulse to frantic activity: to live life to the fullest, to travel, to dine, to achieve a host of neglected ambitions." But cancer limits the energy for compacted living, and a longer view takes hold. [Read More]

What to Say When You Meet the Angel of Death at a Party - The New York Times

A tragedy is like a fault line. A life is split into a before and an after, and most of the time, the before was better. Few people will let you admit that out loud. Source: What to Say When You Meet the Angel of Death at a Party - The New York Times That bit resonated. Actually, the whole article resonated a bit more than I'm comfortable with. Small talk becomes a bit like navigating a mental minefield. [Read More]

comments on facebook

These comments were started in response to a friend, who was taking a stand against Facebook and their take-it-or-leave-it end user license agreement (EULA). They're not the most profound comments, nor the most well-crafted, but I think they need to exist (also) outside of Facebook's corporate walled garden. Ironically, after I posted the first comment, the Facebook iPad app prompted me to take a survey about how (un)comfortable I was with the state of Facebook, with specific questions asking about the algorithmic feed. [Read More]

on tony bates retiring

Dr. Bates has been seriously kicking ass for many years. He's decided to retire - and he deserves it. I can't even imagine how much energy he's dedicated to the field of teaching-and-learning, and eLearning, over the last few decades. Well earned retirement. His post announcing the decision is full of gems. I have to admire his no-BS summary of the state of eLearning. Even the processes of learning, which used to be relatively stable, given how much is biological, are also undergoing change. [Read More]

scanning the family photo archives

I picked up a scanner a couple of months ago, and have been slowly scanning in old photos when I get a chance. A few batches in, and I've already done 451 photos. I'm viewing the activity as potentially rescuing family history from fading pieces of paper. I have no idea if JPEG files will still be readable in 100 years, but it's worth a shot to try to preserve photos going back well over 100 years (the oldest photo is from before 1893). [Read More]

on 2012

what a year. this is not a sappy end-of-year recap, but I needed to take a step back to see just what an epic year it's been. in rough chronological order: a bunch of LMS-related activities, to try to kickstart discussion about what to select traveled to mexico to watch my niece get married on a beach got the all-clear after a potential cancer scare Northern Voice conference (likely my last) rode my bike a lot - Banff Gran Fondo and Highwood Pass (twice) and a bunch of other great rides. [Read More]