Vacation from online

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I changed the template, then vanished for three days. Sound logical? Well, I think it does at any rate. I’m favoring this template right now over the one that has been here simply because it uses Matt’s “asides” technique, which I’d love to use on the previous template but it wasn’t in there, and I was too timid to add it.

I figure that if a piece of code works, don’t mess with it. I learned this long ago, in a time far away. Or was that “planet far away?” I forget. But you get the idea. I’ll live with this a few days, and see which is the lesser evil: new template, or hacking the old.

Farewell: Leroy Sievers

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Journalist, ‘My Cancer’ Blogger Leroy Sievers Dies : NPR
Journalist Leroy Sievers, who covered wars, genocides and natural disasters in more than a dozen countries — and who chronicled life after his cancer diagnosis for NPR on-air and online — died Friday. He was 53.

I just went to check on Leroy Sievers’ blog for the weekday-daily update, to find out that he passed away over the weekend. I never knew the man, but the blog had become a familiar place to me, and I made sure that I kept updated with it always. And now he’s gone.

Cancer is definitely another country.

What sort of a citizen am I? One with a daily reprieve? I suppose so, though medical practice and habits of not getting checked up on several times a day makes it so that I get chunks of days’ worth of reprieve. But I’ll take it. I guess you learn as you go on.

A Monday morning of waiting

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Other Patti and I sit here, each waiting for different things and people. I am waiting for the Zoomtown repairman to arrive, whose duty it will be to fix my ADSL connection which has not been connecting for over a month. Good thing I have a cell card for the laptop, I say.

Other Patti waits for our window repairman. We have leaded glass windows on the ground floor. The repairman said he had to special order some screws, and that that would be the reason for his delay. You can special order screws? Who knew? This opens a whole new vista for me, where uncertainty lurks in regions where I didn’t even know there were regions.

Good thing I have a cup of tea to contemplate this all with. Peter got me a great heap of green tea for Christmas, so this morning, I am nourished by my own child.

Old stuff

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I just found a slightly older journal of mine, stuck, literally, to the bottom shelf of my nightstand here. It was leather — still is — just a bit scarred at the moment.

I seem to go through lots of journals; it’s not that I write fast, but more that I switch journal books mid-stream. I also write a lot on the laptop, currently in a program called VooDoo Pad. It looks like a simple text editor, but is actually a personal wiki, and can create a link to an astonishing number of things.

So, do I write so much because I have something to say, or because I like the feel of the words being created underneath my fingertips? I’m going to contemplate that one for the rest of the day.

As pink as this place gets

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There are several “pink for October” WordPress themes out there just about now, and I did look at them. Honest I did. Most are of good quality — a few overwhelmed me with pinky blogness.

The best solution, I figured, was simply to change my template’s header photo. To that end, I headed on over to iStockPhoto and chose the above (as of this writing) lovely roses.

While it’s true that my cancer is not breast cancer, I’m all for increased visibility for the need to fund research for all cancers.

Now playing on iTunes: Well May the World Go from the album “Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie – Together In Concert” by Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger

Answering a letter

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I just received a letter from a former professor of mine at Vanderbilt. We’ve kept in touch over the years, but our last exchange of letters was about 5 years ago. He asks how I am.

How in the world do I write back and say, “Hi, glad you’re all okay, I have cancer”? That’s just too big of a narrative punch for an opening line. You’ve got to lead up gently to something like this.

I’m now cancer-free, as far as the doctors can tell. They’re afraid, of course, to say for certain that the cancer is completely gone, but they’ve come as close as they dare. All I’ve got to do now is gain my stamina back, and it’s coming back slowly. I’ve got enough hair back now that I look like a fashionable advertising vice-president.

I’ve done/experienced other newsy types of things in the past five years, enough for several letters probably. But the big “cancer” subject sits squarely in the middle of things and has to be talked about first. You can ask your friends not to worry all you want to, but they do anyway, and I don’t know how to stop that.

I am going to watch Jaws now and contemplate my letter. Advice is welcome.

the last of 49, and the very last of 40

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‘Tis the night before I turn 50. I contemplate. So of course, my brain turns to mush.

Much of the serious contemplation turns to the last post, which is a poem by e e cummings, recited at the opening of a conference I was just at by Brother David Steindl-Rast. He and I have become buddies now, united in our love for that particular poet. Years ago, I read Bro David’s stuff in Parabola magazine in college; now, I know him. I wish I could say I deserve to know him. I do not. Knowing him now is a birthday gift I do not deserve.

Reminiscences: My party for my 40th was so memorable, that I can’t believe it was a decade ago. I last saw Mel, the husband of a dear friend, at that party; he died of a massive heart attack about three weeks later.

So I sit in drowsy blogginess in a hotel room this evening, listening to the Saturday night carousing at the bar by the pool, several stories below. And since I am currently sojourning in Los Angeles (Sunset Strip), I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for choosing to host the Oscars® this year on my fiftieth birthday.

You love me! You really love me!

Okay, I’m done now. Nighty-night.

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football

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As I write, it’s the bottom of the fourth quarter, with Denver’s quarterback having allowed 4 turnovers, and Pittsburgh having a happy, soon to be victorious, romp. Peter thinks this is a significant event. Buck and I don’t understand that, but we accept it, as any parent must.

Here in Boulder, the bars which do not have several televisions set up are closed — or at least the ones I just passed. I will sit here quietly on my couch and contemplate the organized sports of the Roman Empire. I suppose that a good part of football is that nobody is expected to be killed during a game.