THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 513 April 7 - 13, 2008
Highlights this week:
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This is a Day Book. Pages are in chronological, not blogological order.
April 7, 2008
1445: Home from Bakersfield and catching up. All is well. Ruth Ophelia is beautiful and I suppose I'll have to subject you all to baby pictures. Pointless being a grandfather without doing that.
For those who didn't see yesterday's View, Richard and Herrin had our second grandchild, and on very short notice we drove north to Bakersfield to stand by if needed. We weren't, really, and all is well, the baby is beautiful and healthy, the mother is tired but in excellent shape, and after a brief visit bearing breakfast and supplies this morning we packed it up and came home.
The drive home was tiring but uneventful. Roberta did all the driving. My kaleidoscope of symptoms keeps interfering with my vision, my energy levels, and while so far not my judgment you can't be sure; better not to be driving at freeway speeds.
I have numerous observations, most not very favorable, about Bakersfield, which has the most complex traffic management system I have seen in California for a small town that has almost no traffic. It's insanity. Apparently the City Council and Traffic Commissions want to prove to all that they are Doing Something even if it is wrong.
I'm moving all the Outlook files from Orlando the T-42p ThinkPad which was almost out of juice due to my taking the power brick but not the cord that attaches the brick to the wall, but there were not disastrous consequences of this. Now to be sure that cord is in the Targus Bag with the power supply. I also need to plug Targus again: really the right bag for a ThinkPad. I don't know if they have or plan one for the MacBook Air, and I use a different one for it; that too for the column.
I am late for both column and mailbag this week, and so it goes. I'll try to catch up but it was a fairly tiring trip this time.
I also did notes for an essay on education; I intend to fold into it my observations on Bill Cosby's view on what must happen among black men. This will be a complicated essay and has to take into account that most professors of education tend to be intellectual manqué, and this makes doing anything about education in America between difficult and impossible. Fold into that the fact the this is not Lake Wobegon; and the expectations of "equality" in intellectual achievements among the races are objectively false. That is not to say that there is no dignified and important work for those on the left side of the Bell Curve; it is to say that the intellectuals manqué who control education in these United States are either unaware of the problem or uncaring, and something drastic must be done to wrest control of the process from those sophomoric dolts.
And when it is all done, the Bell Curve will make it look as if racists were at work; and there is little to be done about that except to understand what is going on, and the difference between learning skills and intellectual education. Providing a world class university prep education to every child in these United States is not only impossible, but trying to do so is disastrous.
It is not easy to cover all that ground in one essay. I am working on it. It is, I think, a matter of importance. Someone needs to be clear on the subject, and I have seen few who have been.
There is a comment on this in mail.
2110: Sort of caught up. Kaleidoscope of symptoms, and continued lack of energy. I am trying to get the column and mailbag done, while not only exhausted, but with ears ringing like crazy, head full of mush, and generally not getting much done tonight. But after a good night's sleep I ought to be reset...
In any event, I have journalism and essays to do, and I believe I'll be able to get at them tomorrow. And thanks again to all the new subscribers, and all those who have renewed or upgraded their subscriptions.
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|This week:||Tuesday, April
0658: a fairly good night's sleep. Now to try to catch up today.
0905: after breakfast. Time for our walk. Kaleidoscope symptoms continue. Woke up without much tinnitus but after breakfast it's back with a vengeance. Head filling with mush. I suspect I have too few white corpuscles, but I don't know what to do about that. Weight is up alarmingly, almost 4 pounds; time to do portion control again. Pulse pounding in right ear, but not as severe as when it scared me.
I have a Belkin N wireless router. The Belkin Pre-N wireless has served me well for years; it ain't broke, and normally I would not "fix" it, but I have to use it before I can recommend it (which I expect to do). The Pre-N increased wireless coverage at Chaos Manor to include the breakfast room and patio, and this without changing anything on the computers that connected to it: the ThinkPad t42p works all over the compound as does LisaBetta the ancient HP Compaq TabletPC, each with its own built-in wireless. So does the MacBook Air wireless. I suppose the right way to go is to set up the Belkin N as a separate wireless, see that it works, and then retire the Pre-N. I confess I am in no hurry.
The urgent matter today is to get the column and mailbag done; I am a couple of days late. After that, I must get the taxes done. We had hoped to have the taxes far enough along to allow us to spend the weekend in San Diego where I can recuperate a bit while vegetating on our balcony watching cormorants and terns; but we may not make that.
And I continue to work on the education and the Bell Curve essay, which is a matter of some importance; at least I hope it may be. The subject is important. I think my understanding is important and I don't see many people saying what must be said. This country is doomed if we cannot manage to bring the left side of the Bell Curve into full and valued citizenship; and that effort is doomed if we continue to insist, as Bill Gates does, that it is the "right" of every child to have a "world class university preparatory education." Attempting that is disastrous to BOTH sides of the Bell Curve, and will entrench a small minority into control of the nation; we can see it happening now.
Gates may have good intention, but he has no understanding of what is going on. The intellectuals manqué who control colleges of education probably do understand, but do not care; but it is possible they just don't know what is going on. Intellectuals don't care a lot for skill training to begin with, and once in control of teacher credentials soon forget there is any such thing; such is the appeal of Dewey and "progressive education." And Johnny still can't read, write, or cipher....
The Internet is screwy or my ISP servers are acting up. I can't connect half the time with FTP or get mail.
It's likely to be a bad day.
1510: Despite a nap it is very difficult to get up the gumption to work on anything, and the slightest interruption costs a quarter hour and more. This is clearly the most difficult period of recovey from radiation therapy. I sure hope it goes past in a couple of days.
I am back at the stage where I don't want to do anything at all, not even get up and go turn on the electric tea pot to make some hot tea. The prospect of writing is appalling. I woke up determined to assemble Roxillanna, the Dual Quad 6600 machine: all the parts and software sit there ready. But when it comes to doing it, I just can't get started. I can't even imagine getting started. I suppose it's good for me to learn just what battle fatigue must be like; as a novelist I should know, and youth is a great cure for any such thing; at least I have never experienced anything like this before.
I think I will be able to work on the column and then the mailbag for the week, and I darned well had better be able to get to work on the taxes...
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0743: A decent night's sleep, awakening every couple of hours but no real problems getting back to sleep.
I got the International edition of the column off to Tokyo and Istanbul last night about midnight. The second installment will go up sometime today. Chaos Manor Reviews mailbag today, after which I catch up here, and I am sort of caught up except there's all that hardware to work on. And dental appointments this afternoon. Well, it's a full life!
Symptoms: mid-strength tinnitus. Otherwise in pretty good shape.
1120: Back from our walk. Tinnitus bad. Voice gone. Feel good anyway. Before we left I killed all traces of Office 2007 from Roxanne the Vista system. Interestingly that also removed Office 2003; at least I can no longer find it there. I will now copy all important files to various places, run Vista Ultimate in repair mode, and then install Office 2007 Ultimate and see what happens.
That should hold until I get Roxillanna the Quad 6600 assembled and set up. If Roxanne behaves as a Vista system, then I'll put XP on Roxillanna; the goal is to have a reliable communications machine, and Alexis, the current communications system, is an AMD system. I hesitate to say what I think of AMD now.
A few years ago I said a couple of negative things about AMD. Instantly on Usenet and possibly other places I was misquoted. Then I got mail from someone who had read the misquote, sent me a copy, and said "Uh OH! Someone is going to get spam!" After which I was put on every sucker list in the country as a potential customer. Those were days before I had my rather effective rules and Bayesian spam filters like InBoxer. Of course all those rules and filters slows my system down.
When I built Alexis there was still some competition between AMD and Intel, but alas, I see no real advantages to AMD any longer and all my new systems will be Intel. I am sorry to have to say that because competition is good for all of us, but AMD needed a real breakthrough and didn't have the engineering talent to get one. Perhaps another time, but for now I recommend Intel only. And I suppose someone on Usenet will now trumpet this and I will get more spam. Does anyone wonder why I never bother to look at Usenet and Boing-Boing and all those strange places, nor allow free posting on this web site?
1145: Well I forgot that imbecile Vista no longer recognizes DVD drives of any kind. Nor CD. Nor anything else. Maybe if I try to boot from one?
Nope. I am going to have to tear things apart in hopes of installing new hardware because this Intel system is broke, broke, broke. It sees the drives. It just never sees any disks in either one. Silly system.
Subject: AMD vs Intel
While you are right about Intel over AMD at the moment, this may not be the case for desktop machines by the end of the year. AMD has had significant problems moving downward in trace width and the currently available Phenoms pay the price in slower than desirable clock speeds. If AMD is making progress with their fabs, and I have no reason to believe that they are not, we may see major clock speed increases in the near future.
AMD still has an edge with on processor memory controller. Intel is working on new designs that incorporate this.
I have always wondered how the Intel Core 2 Duo would compare with AMD X2 chips on an OS other than Windows. The fact that Windows XP and most likely Vista do not keep track of threads by processor and can schedule the next execution of a thread on a processor different from the previous execution means that processors that do not share the L2 cache, i.e. AMD X2, versus those that do, i.e. Intel Core 2 Duo, will have to reload L2 cache and have a significant decrease in performance.
When we ask ourselves why Microsoft is so lax in important OS design areas, the only answer would seem to be that if Microsoft didn't invent it or buy it, it can't be any good. Of course, eliminating the accumulated knowledge of more than 50 years of OS development does not yield a robust OS with good performance!
I pretty well agree with this, and if AMD can continue to hold on, we may have competition again. Meanwhile, Microsoft has lost its focus and doesn't know if it's an OS house that sells code, or is in competition with Google for advertising revenue; indeed they'd go into coal mining if they thought that was profitable. The bean counters seem to have taken control, just as such people took control in publishing. The results are seldom pretty.
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April 10, 2008
0040: Macs drive me mad. Now when I bring up a finder, it no longer shows the other computers I can connect to. It used to. There's some kind of setting that allows it. And I can't find it.
I think I am not smart enough to use Macs. I thought I was, but they seem determined to make my life difficult. Perhaps it will be better in the morning, but why do they change things? Why do they think they are smarter than I am and know better what I want? I am sure there is a setting, but I can't remember what it is or how to find it. Blast.
I have a working CD/DVD on Roxanne. I bought a new Sony drive out at Fry's today, and installed it, and it works. I suppose it's possible that the drives themselves just died, and only the ones in that computer. I suppose I ought to test one of the drives in another machine. Anyway it now works.
0550: Finder, Preferences. And lo! that puts the networked computers back in the Finder. Thanks to Ian Cottam of the University of Manchester. How those preferences got changed I do not know. I love Macs when they work right but why did mine want to fix itself at my expense? Ah. well.
11:30 After our walk. Symptoms: This morning I realized just how sick I was. I understand that I am not able to multi-task, and I expect that; but now I am unsure even of simple tasks. It's clear my brain is not working. Simple interruptions bring on irrational rage and utter depression. And I still have work to do.
I am not worth knowing just now; certainly not fit company for other human beings, so I am retreating into reclusion. I'll see what I can clear up given my limited abilities. And with luck, this too, will pass.
Tapering off the steroids, which is bringing back the arthritis symptoms. Stretching more in hopes of delaying those, but I'll probably have to phase in Aleve (prescription variety) to keep going. I will also have to use the nose pump more; as I taper off steroids I find I am doing more mouth breathing, which triggers sore throat.
But the worst of it is the mental drag.
I have to structure my work patterns so that I do one thing at a time, and finish before I even think about anything else. I don't know if I'll get much done this week. Apologies to those who subscribed recently. I still have hopes of being able to get back in stride. I have not despaired. But I sure came close to it earlier this morning.
1640: Short nap after lunch. Got a bunch of routine administrative tasks done, but nothing of any consequence. I don't think I am capable of creative work today. I am not even sure I can think. I am fairly sure this is temporary; I've been better during this recovery phase. Apparently they sucking goo out of some bad places just now. Pity there is no way to know what's going on in there, but scans would be useless until more debris has been cleared away -- and of course no one actually knows what that tumor was, or is, since it is not only inoperable but in a place where even a biopsy would be dangerous.
So what I have to so is find things I can get done and clear them from the list. And I guess it is time to tackle the Chaos Manor Reviews mailbag. The mail is interesting in itself and I may be able to make intelligent comments. I can try.
I'm not fishing for compliments here. I know what I'm good at when I'm in form, but just now I am decidedly not in my right mind, and this is getting clearer to me all the time. The moral of this story is avoid overconfidence. Recovery from Hard X-Rays and a brain tumor is tougher than I had thought it would be -- and the worst happens later than I thought. So be it.
1740: Counting my blessings. The orioles are here. Gorgeous.
2330: Goodness gracious, what a pile of encouraging mail! Thanks to all.
I am not really as discouraged as perhaps some of the above makes it appear. If I were I probably wouldn't bother keeping this log. It is a log, a daybook, and that should not be forgotten: one doesn't fool oneself in the daybook. At the moment nothing hurts, tinnitus isn't all that severe and the only real problem is a total lack of energy, and a decided disinclination to start anything lest I muck it up. That turns out to be a worse punishment than joint pains would be, at least for me. I don't like being scared of starting new projects.
April 11, 2008
0740: A good night's sleep. Awakened at 0230, 0330, 0600. Feeling pretty good. Today I go to one steroid. Some of the arthritis pains are back already so I suppose there will be more, meaning that I had better be aggressive in stretching and exercise. It has been left up to me to shift to NSAID's for that. And next Friday I am off steroids. And the week after that we start evaluating what the radiation did.
It looks as if I am not going to do the Chaos Manor Reviews mailbag for the week; next week's will have to make do. And of course the column is due, there is Roxillanna to assemble, and a huge pile of other stuff that has to be done. If I let it, I'd be whelmed.
Niven wants to come over and hike today, and that should be a good thing. And lunch afterwards. I don't know if I can talk. Niven is not -- tactful -- so I will find out if my head works. Which is also a Good Thing.
Tell your friends!
Subject: What have you done with the real JerryP?
I visited the CMP/BYTE site only a few days ago, and noted that your columns were no later than a couple of years ago. I was delighted to stumble over the reference to your current site this morning.
But MacBook Air, MacBookPro, iPhones???
Welcome to the club!!
There are still potential readers of the old BYTE column who Don't Know! Get the word out! Please. Well, in your copious free time...
Thurow is always interesting; I don't usually agree with his political positions, but his economic analyses make sense; which makes me wonder if the disconnect between intellectual analysis and political support is in his head or mine? In any event I found this interesting, and worth my attention.
I put this originally in mail, but perhaps it belongs in the log:
Here's a question to distract you.
If you think about the way the zapper works its obvious that the way to minimize its collateral damage would be to have it constantly moving while keeping the tumor tightly in focus. That would minimize dosage to the surrounding area. So my question is: was the beamer on your zapper *constantly* moving? Mine wasn't. It only used 3-4 positions a session. When I asked the technicians, I got the impression that they didn't have the software to drive it (the hardware is clearly capable). This state of affairs would be consistent with my low opinion of radiation oncology... but perhaps you had a different experience?
No, there was no motion. But I have not lost confidence in radiation therapy; just the opposite. My symptoms -- swallowing problems, Bell's palsy, general loss of control -- that stemmed from the tumor are improved, and considerably. It may be that the hardware is capable of what you describe, but I am not aware of that. Kaiser recently invested in state of the art equipment and retrained their technicians -- this at the Sunset facility -- and I have confidence in the physicians there.
1032: After 1.8 mile walk on flats in Studio City with Sable and Roberta
Niven is coming over shortly and we will attempt the full 4 miles with 800 foot climb to the top of my local park hill. (Up (south) Viewcrest to Shady Oak where trails begin, then up to the top of that hill on fire roads; it can be seen on Google Earth if you know how to look. There is fifty square miles of park up there,)
I let Roberta take Sable just in case, but I was not staggering or lurching. Better still: I was able to compose in my head the first points of my education essay and they all make sense, so I may be a bit tired but my brain appears to be working again. Mild sinus headache but it's pollen season.
On the down side it is now a week since I was on 2 steroids a day (as opposed to 3) and my joints notice that. I did extra stretching on the walk but I am aware that I have hips for the first time since the steroids began. I will seek advice on NSAID dosages to phase in, but I suspect my only real alleviation will be lots more stretching while I can still do that. I will not miss the indigestion from the steroids, but I will miss the freedom from arthritis pains.
The best news, though, is that I have the ambition at least to attempt the climb to the top, and Niven and I will have lunch and discuss our projects; and I'll see if I make sense, because he will certainly tell me if I begin to babble nonsense. And having a friend who will do that definitely counts as a blessing.
fish oil and joint pain
Since no one else seems to have suggested this...
When I started taking fish oil an unexpected benefit was a noticeable reduction in joint pain (in my case, mild tendinitis from over-exercising). I attribute this to its anti-inflammatory effects, which are well documented. There are also some recent studies suggesting that fish oil with higher amounts of DHA can help with depression, but this is less well established. If you're not already aware of this I definitely suggest looking into it. Two possible concerns: it's a blood thinner, so you need to consider interactions with anything else you're taking, and the cheaper brands may contain mercury. I take Nordic Naturals with I buy at Wild Oats, but there are lots of good choices. Or you can just eat sardines, which are naturally high in omega-3 oils.
Regards and best wishes
-- Jim Janney
Actually I used to take a good bit of fish oil (from Trader Joe's) until the steroids, when I was persuaded to cut back on the massive doses of vitamins and supplements I have been taking for years. I think I should add the fish oil back to the daily sustaining dosages, along with the CoQ10 and SAMe that I have more or less resumed. As the steroids taper out, I certainly need something to get past the arthritis pains. Being aware that you have hips is not very attractive.
1610: After lunch, and after a walk with Niven. We went to the top of the hill, 4 miles plus round trip, 800 foot climb. I came back exhausted, but in a good way. Nap after lunch, then Bob Gleason called. Tor likes INFERNO II a lot and will promote it, and there will be a large print run. January 2009 book. Now to start drumming up enthusiasm for it... I will probably get on talk shows to discuss the place of Hell in religion. Most religions have one.
Symptoms: masked by exhaustion. Rehydrated in the restaurant for lunch. Good lunch, sushi, lots of food but virtuous.
Have not yet had my first (and only) steroid for the day. Planned it for lunch but now I guess I will wait until dinner.
PANIC TIME: it is 12 April and the TAXES must be done, which means that both the mail and column may be delayed. So it goes. Getting the taxes done is top priority. Fortunately much of that is routine and requires no real intelligence.
So. I had better get started.
April 12, 2008
0500 Sort of sleepless in Studio City
Actually I'll try to get back to sleep. Took my one steroid at dinner. Not in bad shape, actually.
0730: Nero is trying to drive me crazy, I have an ISO DVD image from MSDN. Nero wants to burn it as a CD and since it is too large for that, simply aborts. Nothing I can do will make it burn a DVD ISO image. Do I have to go find Roxio?
I was a big supporter of NERO at one time but this abomination that came with my Sony DVD/CD burner is just horrible. The want me to spend $60 to buy the "update". Perhaps that will actually do what is promised on the box? This is the Sony CD-RW/DVD-ROM CRX320AE and have I lost my mind? Is it not supposed to make ISO images on DVD as well as on CD?
Please do not speculate; but if you know something about this, I would appreciate information. Do I need to buy a different DVD burner?
[All is well. The Sony drive doesn't burn DVD's. It doesn't tell you that when you try to do it, but you can infer it from what it does tell, if you have any brains left, which apparently I don't. Thanks to all those who answered. I should have figured it out.]
Subject: Inferno re-issue on Amazon
The re-issue of Inferno is available for pre-order on Amazon. Nice cover!
-- Richard Hohm
I suspect this is not the final cover.
OK I need a different DVD burner drive. Damn all. I misread the box I guess. So it's out to Fry's and disassemble this doggone machine yet one more time.
It's pretty clear my brain is not working right, so please do not bother to send me notes to that effect. I am quite aware of it.
Query: how does one make Internet Explorer ignore caches and go directly to an address? Must I get the actual numerical address? On one of my machines, www.readingtlc.com gets a 410 error. It says the site does not exist. Nothing I can do seems to get it to go to the site, which I can get to with all my other machines. Naturally this is Roberta's site, and it is her machine that cannot see it. This seems to be a law of nature. And it happens when I am too stupefied to figure out what to do about it.
SO: the DVD burner mystery is solved. The silly Sony drive don't burn no DVD's which is why it insists on a CD.
I will get another drive. Needs to be DVD and well as CD. Query: is there any preference between DVD + R and DVD - R? What the heck is the difference? Wny? I have paid no attention to such matters for far too long, I guess.
So I have two failures here: not being able to flush cache to get to www.readingtlc.com and needing a new CD/DVD burner, internal, Atapi.
And now to take a walk and try to clear this sorry excuse for a brain...
A good walk prolonged by having to chase my neighbor's dogs back to her yard a good two blocks. They're safe now.
My thanks to all who pointed out that my Sony is a DVD read only; I guess it says that on the box, but it wasn't easy to see. There was a rebate offer that made it nearly free, so I will just eat the cost. At least it works.
I'll have to find another drive, which shouldn't be too hard to do, and I'll get that Monday I guess. It's time to slaughter those taxes. Provided that I can get Roberta's computer to see her web site. If I don't get that done I won't get anything done. I am just sure of it.
1330: after lunch. OK, the systems freeze. Until the taxes are done, no more experimentation. It's time to close the books on my accounting system. Fortunately most of this is routine work so I shouldn't have to use too much judgment. Not that I have much. If I only had a brain...
Some things work. I have A Plextor 716A and Nero over on Satine, a Windows XP computer that used to be the main system here before I stupidly tried Vista. Satine is busily burning san ISO DVD -r of Windows Ultimate as I write this. Whether that will be an actually bootable disk I don't know but it ought to be. Assuming I can match the Product Key with the particular version, but at worst I will just download from MSDN again.
Now to go do the taxes. Roberta's site is still in somewhat in thrall to the evil EarthLink, and if you order from her site you get a certificate error; we don't understand that, but if you ignore it you will be safe enough. Of course it was EarthLink's inability to solve the certificate problem that caused us to move her hosting site to GoDaddy; now GoDaddy doesn't seem to be able to deliver the goods either.
But all that will have to wait until I get the taxes done. Today's task is to complete the 2007 Journals, post all those to ledger pages, and be sure that the ledger pages are valid; some won't be due to entry errors. But this is pretty well routine work.
I may or may not get a burner for Roxanne. At the moment she's where the taxes must be done, so she ain't broke, and I ain't going to fix her. When the taxes are done I'll do a repair installation of Windows Vista Ultimate and see what that accomplishes; for the moment what we have will have to do.
I'm sure that many folks have sent you this, but just in case...
To clean out the DNS cache, open up a command window (Start/Run/CMD), then type in, exactly:
If you do IPCONFIG /? the help text says that the command "Purges the DNS Resolver cache."
I've used this many times to cure problems with all browsers - IE, FireFox, Maxthon, Opera, and others. Evidently the DNS cache is easily corrupted - fortunately the fix is pretty easy, if you know it's there.
Regards... Ward Gerlach
Did that. No joy.
Open up your hosts file; a simple search for files
will find it, somewhere in or under your WinNT folder. Add a line for her
site and the IP address, save and try again. It should Just Work. No need to
restart or anything. (I had that problem once with nanaowrimo.org when the
DNS servers weren't cooperating, and that fixed it.) There are several
samples in there, just match them.
May just do the trick. I'll have to go try it.
2100: Symptoms and Taxes
Doing the taxes. It is a very strange feeling: I don't trust my own judgment, and that's very unusual for me. What I am doing is a series of corrections built into my book keeping system; they identify data entry errors, and allow me to fix them. This is working, although there was some kind of glitch with Vista that required a reset. But I feel as if I am walking on eggs. I have to check everything twice, and then I make backups when I finish a stage.
But it is working. I make slow but steady progress.
April 13, 2008
0450: Sleepless in Studio City
At least I got to sleep about midnight, so it's not so bad. I may or may not be able to grab another hour or so; probably not. Had my daily steroid at dinner time. Indigestion not bad.
Better progress on taxes than I thought. I have finished corrections of data entry errors, and posted all the journals to ledgers. It all went smoothly, Deo gratia. Now to start entering numbers into Turbo-Tax. Long time readers may recall that Turbo-Tax originated at MacInTax, which combined spread sheets with tax forms, and ran only on a Mac. I said then -- and very much meant it -- that it was worth keeping a Mac just to use MacInTax. Eventually TurboTax bought MacInTax and ported it to Windows, and Quicken bought them both. I presume but don't know that there is a Mac version, and I probably ought to be using it, but all my past taxes are in Windows, and this is sure no time for experiments....
I have the first part of Joel Rosenberg's commentary on my notes on the future of Israel. I have asked him to expand on a couple of points; I see his reply arrived as I was writing this. I'll post that plus my commentary sometime early next week. I feel much more confidant about getting the taxes done and catching up with everything now. Four hours' sleep does wonders... In any event the matter is important because the US has no real strategy for the Middle East, and whether we intend competent Empire or a return to something like a Republic, we need to develop one; the US relationship with Israel, and Israel's importance in domestic politics -- imperial or republican -- makes that certain.
I continue to work on my essay on education, the bell curve, and the need for integration of the left side of the bell curve into civic life. I would like to integrate into that Bill Cosby's points about black male responsibility, but that's difficult to do, and if one is not careful one sounds arrogant in discussing the subject. We'll see.
So the taxes have delayed things but we continue here. Thanks to those who have subscribed and renewed for making all this possible.
0730: Sable came up to get me; I am not sure why. It's a bit early. But here I am.
I suspected as much. Thanks. As you say, it's a bit late to try anything new this year.
The Mask On The Wall
Working title of a book on getting through radiation therapy.
Several of you have mentioned this when you sent in subscriptions or renewals. As it happens, Bob Gleason, my long time editor (from as far back as Mote in God's Eye!) is enthusiastic about this, and we will discuss it in about 6 weeks when he comes out here for two weeks or so. It looks as if it will be a book, if I can come up with some organization and structure. It will include many of your letters, but none identifying you unless you ask to be identified.
That does not mean I intend to neglect fiction. The Platinum Patron Club grows and that allows me to allocate my resources as I think best. It isn't as if I am slacking off!
For those interested, it is pollen season. The Health Solutions nose pump remains the best remedy I know of. Click here, then on their banner, and you can order one. They pay me something to have this link, but in fact I was recommending it well before they set that up, and the income amounts to a decent dinner each quarter. I continue to recommend the pump.
1700: Recording symptoms: as I wean off the steroids, I get clicks and crunches in my neck and hip joints, proof that the steroids were taking care of all that. Now they are going away, and it's time to phase in NSAIDS only I don't quite know the dosages and mixtures that are safe. This may be an interesting experiment.
Taxes flow on, nothing seems difficult, but I am not the sharpest pencil in the box. Stuff that was simple and easy last year seems complicated and difficult to comprehend this year. I'll stumble through. I suspect I will end up overpaying, but that's better than not getting it done. So far, TurboTax seems to be on top of the situation. Now to enter a whole bunch of deductions and stuff. Also all the interest income. They fine you for saving money. I guess they don't want you to save. Indeed, that's clear. They want you to spend yourself broke.
2125: After dinner. I get my one steroid a day at dinner time. The relief from join pain is almost instant. I am going to miss those steroids.
At 1710 Bud Webster called. We have been doing a series of dialogues for the SFWA Bulletin. I am not quite sure how I got involved in this, since it's a fairly low paying market. On the other hand, it comes under the heading of "paying forward." Old SFWA hands like Gordon Dixon befriended me in the early days, and articles by Damon Knight in the SFWA publications taught me a lot about contracts and making a living in this racket, so I can't complain if I am asked to make my contributions.
In any event, I managed about 800 words and sent that along to him, and about dinner time he called to say it was my turn again. I worked on it a bit ago and sent him 4,00o words, so we will have met the deadline by dawn. It also shows I can still churn out words by the yard; whether they are any good is another story. Fortunately they have to make sense to Webster before they go to the editor, and so there will be two brains filtering my babbles. Me, I hope they make sense, but I am past thinking my judgment is unimpaired. On the gripping hand, I am feeling better, the old symptoms that certainly came from the tumor are abating, and I can hope that most of the symptoms I have now are generated from radiation and from having dead stuff inside my skull. With luck my four or five white corpuscles will work overtime and clear out a lot of that junk...
And in the morning I am sure my ledgers, and the tax forms, will make sense. Now it's time to roll over View and Mail for tomorrow.
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