Out of sight, out of mind (202.2)

I just commented on one of Dana's recent posts that the LiveJournal app getting yanked out of my arsenal when I upgraded to a new iPhone really interrupted my habit of checking in here, as did the end of the "Today in past years" e-mails I was getting from LJ for a while. Those were fun! I appreciated them the way I appreciate Facebook memories, as a window into the past. I do also go spelunking through old entries here once in a while, but having memories show up in e-mail every morning made me pay attention.

This just reinforces the "out of sight, out of mind" idea, or the "squeaky wheel" idea. I've known for a long time that I'm very interrupt-driven. If something pops up in front of me, I'm likely to deal with it right then. If something needs to be intentionally visited? Much less likely.

Somehow that applies less to Facebook, which a) has become such a huge habit that it's almost reflex, and b) is still very much a part of my job. Both jobs, the higher ed one that pays me and the local magazine one that helps feed my soul.

Being able to auto-share posts directly to Twitter helped maintain a little traffic and attention here, which also helped keep me at it. I'll check the little checkbox below, though I'm pretty sure it won't actually tweet. Maybe I'll do it manually...
  • Current Music
    Pups snoozing

Why Oakland? (200.9)

A dream early this morning featured another trip, or at least planning for it. A doctor told me I should go to a specialist in Oakland, and I realized there happened to also be a conference there I wanted to go to, so I started figuring out how to get there. I kept wandering around the office I was in to find somewhere I could make a phone call.

Pretty sure it was a different dream where I was moving different size stepladders and someone's kid around to illustrate equality vs. equity in accommodations.

Anyway, why Oakland? I was last in Oakland in June 2008, for a baseball game during the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference week in San Francisco.
  • Current Music
    "Star Trek: Prodigy"

Dreams (201.7)

I was just explaining closed captioning to someone by text message, then reached for the seat pocket to grab the printed itineraries to see what time our flights were tomorrow, but Penny woke me up from the dream by pushing open the bedroom door. Now I'll never know!

A subsequent dream had me on a plane, and I remember being surprised that it was big enough to have multi-user restrooms.

I think it was yet a third dream where brannanjp1 held up a plot of where I had been on Find My Friends, curious why I seemed to have been going in a loop.
  • Current Music

Remember that MRI in September? (197.3)

I wanted to confirm I was still cancer-free a year after my second tumor resection surgery in August 2022.

I was not still cancer-free.

It was a bit of a process, including some skepticism as to what the MRI and followup CT scan showed, but I did have tumors on and in my right kidney, in spots that were inconvenient enough that all of the kidney surgeons I consulted agreed meant the kidney had to go. I visited Roswell Park in Buffalo in early October and Dana-Farber in Boston on Halloween, and had followups including a ureteroscopy in November to take a look and get a sample to biopsy.

I am now living with one kidney. The right kidney was removed three weeks ago today, and the left one seems to be doing fine. My surgeon doesn't think I need to particularly worry about dietary changes, since one healthy kidney is enough, but I want to err on the side of keeping it that way! There are lots of sites with lots of advice, but the general approach I'm following is to reduce salt intake, reduce alcohol and caffeine, and reduce protein. (Not just meat, but protein.)

For the last several weeks I've been exploring NA beers, and now it's not just an intellectual exercise. I'm drinking a lot less actual beer, and I'm finding to myt surprise that some of the non-alcohol beers these days are terrific! Athletic has a good reputation for good reason, and a friend recommended I try GO Brewing's Dry January sampler pack. Great stuff! Guinness 0 is also excellent. Even Old Milwaukee NA and Stella Artois 0.0 are good. Heineken 0.0? Not so much.

First MRI (198.2)

I had my first four CT scans over the course of about a year starting almost two years ago, and this afternoon I get to have my first MRI! That’s what my kidney surgeon wants to use to look at my kidneys and make sure I’m still cancer free a year after my second surgery.

I don’t particularly have claustrophobia issues, though I gather MRIs take that to a new level. We’ll see how it goes.

When I made the appointment, I got a round of screening questions to make sure I have no metal in my body, whether piercings or medical device implants. Good idea! I’m sure they’ll ask again this afternoon.


National Dog Day (195.6)

I shouldn't let National Dog Day go by without talking about the dogs who are no longer with us. Picasso and Malcolm and Dixie and Kaiya and Mya and Einstein and Scout and Sashi and Sonny and Sofie and Melodie and Nikki, among my canine houseguests. Ella and Lucy and Thor and Indy and Max and Stanley and Ripley and Nike and Miles and Ralph and Jack and Flipflop and Sirius and Mimi and Brian and Drew and Luna and Austen and Shakespeare and too many more of your dogs to name who I've met and scritched and cuddled. Gloria, who taught me that pit bulls were awesome. Rex, who taught us that two was the correct number of dogs. And never far from my mind, the bestest piglet, Miss August Moon. 💜

Love GrassRoots, but don't need to be there all weekend (198.0)

The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance at the Trumansburg Fairground outside Ithaca is this weekend, Thursday through Sunday, and while I was really glad to get back there last July after two years of no festival (in 2020) and mini festival (in 2021), I'm taking a more restrained approach this year. I spent all of Thursday evening there until I bugged out just in time to avoid the downpour, and probably won't make it back up at all.

Thursday happened to have many of the acts I wanted to see, and while there are several others I'd love to catch over the course of the weekend, they're all spread out such that it's harder to justify the return trip. I have a press pass, so I don't have to pay to get in, but driving back and forth (and then walking between festival and off-site parking) takes a lot of time, and paying for that off-site parking is one of the hurdles. It's not TOO much. $10 for a day or $25 for the whole weekend. But it adds to the hesitation. The further-away off-site parking until about five years ago was free, and there was a shuttle bus running all the time.

There's plenty to do in town, and dogs to take care of!

Back from a five day weekend

Having a federal holiday on a Tuesday does weird things. The Fourth of July isn’t one of those holidays you can move to a nearby Monday. Do you give people Monday off as a “bonus” paid holiday? Make them come in for one day before a holiday?

Officially, people mostly had Tuesday off and were working Monday, or could use a vacation day to make it a long weekend. Not us. My boss told us a couple of weeks ago that we were to take this Monday and Wednesday off.

There are always last-minute things that need to get done, especially with Dining, so I did take care of a few things during this stretch, but my boss actually replied to one e-mail thread on Monday saying she really wanted us to relax!

One colleague had been away for a conference all last week, and really wanted to do some catching up. Can’t blame her. But otherwise, I think we did a pretty good job of chilling.

Carter had a vet appointment yesterday, and as is our habit, I brought him to the office to say hi to anyone who was there afterwards. Wasn’t surprised to find both that colleague and our boss. We also needed photos of the hot dog cart and ice cream bike for social media, so each of the pups got a little bit of hot dog.

Back to the grind!


Happy 4th! (201.1)

There are pretty much never fireworks in Ithaca on the 4th of July, but there are some not far away at the Inn at Taughannock Falls, and I've gotten to enjoy those from the lake a couple of times. The Ithaca Community Fireworks, a donation-funded rather than municipally-funded tradition dating back to at least 1948 that I know of, has long been another nearby day rather than the 4th, because fireworks companies charge a lot less for shows that aren't on the 4th. That event last happened in 2019.

No fireworks viewing planned for tonight, but I do think Rachel and I are going to get to go out on a friend's boat on the lake this afternoon to relax and enjoy the holiday.