Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Lion Doesn't Sleep Tonight

One of the problems I have is sleeplessness.  Sometimes I don't feel sleepy until 2 or 3 AM, and on the days that I do get to sleep at a reasonable hour, I wake up early.  Waking up early, one notices things in the neighborhood, like when the garbage truck comes, and that guy (I'm assuming it's a guy) a few doors down who starts his car promptly at 5 AM and lets it warm up for exactly five minutes, no matter what the weather.  Oh yeah, and the boids choipin' and boipin' and eatin' doity oithwoims.

The other thing one does when sleepless is to find interesting tools on the internet.  I found a travel map generator to show the countries of all who have visited this blog.  It's not a live, updateable tool, so if you leave the page, your data are lost.  You also can't save the data.  I haven't figured out how to embed the image yet, but you can find a link on the right sidebar (or just click here).

I also found another hit counter with a map, that started on May 27, so it won't include past hits.

So far, the countries in Continent Bingo are:

Africa: Morocco
Asia: India, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates
Europe: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom,
North America: Canada, United States
South America: Chile
Oceania: Australia

Antarctica:  no hits yet (how about you, Dan?).  I suspect that internet access from the research stations is routed through the home countries' servers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Everybody talks about the weather...

... but no-one does anything about it. Charles Dudley Warner

Well, I'm going to change all that. This must really be the coldest Spring on record.  Just when I think it's starting to warm up, we get another cold front and I'm back to wearing gloves for soccer practice and games.  I'm tired of it.  So I'm trading in my Honda Accord for a Hummer and I'm going to remove the catalytic converter.  Screw the ozone layer and let the stupid polar bears swim.

Two Saturdays ago, the U8s played another game with only six players, but we won this one.  Well, we don't keep score in this rec league, but the kids do and mention it during the match.  I can't blame them.  There were six of them running all the time in the midday sun without respite.  Who would begrudge them some satisfaction?  Our first two were scored before the sixth player arrived.  We started with five (the quorum) so as not to forfeit.

The opposing coach was yellow carded for mouthing off at the ref.  Obviously he didn't read the e-mail, sent earlier that week, about coach and parent behavior.  He was also way, way, waaaay off base on his protests.  They were all 50-50 balls and the kids bumped into each other - expected for U8 games.  I'll bet this coach, when he plays, is a diver.

I really don't know what makes grown-ups so petulant at U8 games.  If they get that upset about the little calls in a U8 rec game, they shouldn't be coaching.  Maybe some of them are trying to impress the parents with their "knowledge of the game."   Really, what do you say to the ref during the game, other than "Man down."  My role at the game is to make sure the kids get enough playing time (which is really easy when there are no subs) and enjoy the game.  After that, I yell encouragement and minimal instructions like "Stay in your goal!" and "Move up, defense!"  Some of them (the keeper and defender) usually stay in their positions.  Others just roam the field.  Commanding them not to bunch up is futile.  We talk about it in practice and run drills where they're spaced apart and passing, but during the games, all except the keeper and the defender chase the ball.

Soccerheads: Read this article on US defender Clarence Goodson, a protege of Joe Doc (Skill Kills!).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

FOLFOX Round 7: If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Wednesday

The first six rounds of chemo all started on a Tuesday and ended on a Thursday.  I plan my week around it, e.g. so that I don't have to wear the chemo pump during soccer practice on Thursday evening).  However, this week was different.  I was teleworking Tuesday morning, expecting to go to the doctor's office at 1:00 PM, when I got a call from aforementioned doctor's office to remind me of my appointment on Wednesday at 1:00 PM. 

"Wednesday?" I asked incredulously, "I always have my appointments on Tuesday, why is it on Wednesday?"

It turns out that they scheduled me for Wednesday, but I did not catch the error.  I have the tentative times blocked off on my calendar, so when they told me the appointment, I must have just heard the time and updated only that on my smart phone.  How smart is it if it didn't catch the error?  Anyway, I talked to one of the nurses to see if they could squeeze me in on Tuesday afternoon, but she said it was impossible because my drugs arrive by overnight courier on the morning of my appointment and thus,  wouldn't be there until Wednesday morning.

"So, I'm not picky.  Could I just have someone else's chemo?"
"No," she laughed. "It doesn't work that way."

So, come Wednesday, I'm sitting in the infusion room, getting my drugs and reading Soccernomics, when the English nurse (she's from southern England, I hope, for her sake, she's not a Portsmouth fan) tells me that one of my drugs, Leucovarin the "L" in FOLFOX, arrived in a saline solution, which is different from what I usually get.  Saline, it turns out, is incompatible with oxaliplatin (the "OX), so she couldn't run it in the same iv line to my mediport.  Instead, she had to find one of my junkie veins and run a new line into my arm.  Fortunately for them, nurses and phlebotomists never have problems finding my stout veins.  The only trouble she had was seeing the veins under all that hair.  You kow what hairy arms mean, don't you - tape.  Anyway, they had to use this work around for several patients and assured us that it was only an anomaly and would not happen again.

Two chapters, a couple of comments on Soccer Insider, and a nap later I was out of there.

Our soccer team lost another game.  The U8s play 6-on-6 and exactlysix players(out of 11) showed up for the game.  So they were exhausted quickly.  Nevertheless, these six played their best game of the season.  Our meandering defender got out of position many times to chase a winger, but he followed the ball doggedly and shut down many chances.  Our goalkeepers (I did rotate at this position) stayed on their line and actually fell on the ball instead of trying to kick it away.  Our forwards and midfielders passed better than in any other game and got many shots off.  Unfortunately, fatigue set in early and many of the shots were hurried.  A 0-3 loss was not bad, considering.  One bright side is that I could toss out my substitution scheme at the start of the game.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

FOLFOX Round 6: At The Half

I'm midway through the FOLFOX treatments.  My oncologist says I'm "doing great."  Funny, I don't feel great at all.  But his perspective includes a whole lot of cancer patients and mine includes me.  The side effects are piling up more, so it's going to be an uphill climb from now through July.

I found a new side effect.  Sometimes, one of my fingers will just stick out and not relax at all.  Another time, I made a fist with my right hand and, when my brain told my fist to relax, it didn't.  Being scientifically minded, I repeated the experiment and used my left hand as a control.  The left hand relaxed, but the right didn't.  Anyway, this has only happened once so far, but I imagine it will again during round 7.  I hope the finger won't get me in trouble.

So, I spent an hour and a half at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Adminstration (the DMV in most other states).  The reason was that someone stole my rear license plate and I had to get a new set.  The thieves also stole my University of Florida license plate frame, so I have to go to webmart and buy a new set.  I wonder if I can get one with Heather Mitts' picture.