Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moved in, professionally

Our furniture and household goods ('stuff') came yesterday morning. I think Jen and I are both disappointed with the movers. First they talked about coming Wed, then it slipped to Thur then Fri. We were the absolute last stop on their list, and the first stop. However we had a contract that stated we would receive our stuff no later than Saturday.

Lesson 1: The last day to deliver on the contract is when they will most likely deliver, because they have other contracts with other 'last day to deliver' (Or whatever).

Many things got broken. We had to pack essentially everything into small boxes, including things that we would normal stick on a truck as is. The major thing was my mother's lamp, which I had to pack at the last minute without any sort of reinforcement or protection. A real nice ceramic large bowl got broken, as did a champagne flute.

Lesson 2: Pack your stuff as if 500 lbs of boxes will be on top of it, because they were. Also pack it as if they will be tossed around, because they were.

Additionally much of our cheap furniture they disassembled completely, because a) less space and b) it won't hold 500 lb of stuff. We managed to repair (actually our good friend Travis did) almost all of it, but we now realize that particleboard furniture doesn't hold up to professional movers well. On the other hand, the few pieces of solid wood furniture I had, they didn't disassemble, and those were fine. The remainder, that we patched together again, will probably (almost def) not survive another professional move).

Lesson 3: For professional moving, throw away most of your particleboard furniture, it won't survive anyway. (And we did get rid of 3 bookshelves that were in the worst condition, and the 3 bookshelves still have didn't do all that great, so it suggests those 3 left behind would be toast).

Lastly, we're not even sure we got all of our boxes. A box containing coffee cups and plastic mugs is still AWOL. Further, we got two other items that clearly belong to someone else. This is due to the shipping labels being very easy to remove and fall right off. I'm guessing someone has our collection of coffee mugs while we have their inexplicable wood design thing and fairly nice mirror (too bad I'm a vampire).

Lesson 4: Inventory your boxes by yourself, using numbers drawn onto the box. That way there are no surprises. (Incidentally this needs to be done prior to movers arriving).

The other lessons we took to heart is to make sure fragile/expensive things are brought by hand. We took a few nice pictures by hand, if they got destroyed and had to be reframed that would be several hundred dollars. I, inexplicably, moved my fish at great effort/sacrifice (that was a tale in itself). The fish are worth maybe $8. Why did I move a 3 gal. tank full of fish 1300 mi, loading and unloading 3x? Lord knows.

Also be sure you have enough stuff to survive a week without your remaining stuff. We brought a few dishes, silverware, meds, inflatable bed, and two sleeping bags plus pillows. We would have been hard up without these items.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The plight of the little emporers

And how it's all WoW's fault.

An interesting tale of the modern chinese youth. Its so similiar to what is going on today in the U.S.; 4 million graduates from the elite chinese university, only 1.6 million jobs available. And this is when the economy is booming.

I think the world is headed towards a reality adjust, particularly the U.S. and China. We are fast running out of resources and energy. Smart policies will solve the problem, but there isn't a rallying cry, a national policy. We did so great in the second world war because the entire country was voluntarily focused on one goal: ending the war in nothing less than total victory. It was that or extinction under the combine Japanese/Nazi threat.

Nowadays I hear alot of people getting concerned about energy and how they plan to change their lives to fix their problems (ie make the gas bills cheaper by getting a more fuel efficient car, getting solar panels to decrease electricity bills).

If either presidental candidate actually came up with a Apollo type mission for energy independence he would win in a heartbeat.

Anyway these problems have nothing to do with escape/cope mechanisms such as WoW. HOpefully most people get it by now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Luci: Doing better. Went most of the day w/o hand feeding and most of the night w/o hand feeding. Her activity is better than ever, but I'm extremely concerned that she's not eating her kibble. I saw her eat a few pieces this morning, but that was it. We're down to 0.1 cc of pregnisone BID, from 0.4cc TID. I think this is a huge effect, plus the loss of tumor obviously. My guess is that her fasting glucose is pretty stable now. But we really really need to get her on solids.

My current plan is to see how long she'll go before crashing, needless to say this is extremely stressful and draining, but I can't go on hand-feeding her so long, esp since she's able to eat on her own, and is on every drug i can think of (preg, oral antibiotic, topical antibiotic, pain killer, acid blocker, pepto). The fundamentals remain true. She had good surgical outcome (seemingly), she's only 4 years old, she survived the surgery, she's got plenty of body fat (thanks to preg). My hope is a) get her off preg completely, b) get her to eat! c) get her slimmed down (she's about 20% over weight, so its like me being 30-40 lbs overweight.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008



We take it a day at a time. She can eat solids, she had alot of energy
this morning. We didn't feed her during the night (for the first time),
so she went without food for 8 hours. She was in ICU for 48 hours
post-surgery, close to death; since then we fed her every 2 hours
for 48 hours and every 3-4 hours for 48 hours.

Its a hard choice with the feeding schedule. On one hand, we can
maintain her for the forseeable future with the current feeding
schedule, but on the other hand, we want her to have an independent
life (not to mention we want to sleep again and I need to go back to

I'm hoping she will start eating her kibble at some point (real soon).
I think she still has some GI problems such that she's not tolerating
kibble. However, her edema is down, swelling is down but she's still
inflammed or has a fever (prob both). My hope is to wean her off
prednisone slowly, that will help with edema, and hopefully whatever
her GI problem is will heal naturally. Or maybe it's not the GI tract
that's not letting her eat solids...her stool is pretty normal
nowadays. We have a vet appt on Thur, which, frankly, none of us
thought she'd live to see. Wish I was a vet so I can get blood and
diagnostics every day instead of just guessing and hoping.

The fact that she hasn't had a seizure/episode since we brought her
home (esp last night, 8 hours w/o hand feeding) is a really good sign,
her body may finally be adjusting to the loss of insulin production. I
think if we can get her to eat solids by herself we'll be doing good.


Under option as of today. They'll need to inspect it sometime this week and make a final offer. Hopefully they won't lowball us too much.


Ha! I did the definative experiment and it actually works. It's too complex to go into here, but basically I have nothing publishable yet. Not sure I can ever use the data generated in the past 3 years. I still have the mouse project which will get published no matter what.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn't

Well, interesting week! Luci has been critical sick this whole week following insulinoma surgery on Monday, finally pulling out of it yesterday. She is far from being out of the woods, but has staged a huge improvement in 24 hours. 24 hours ago we were wondering if we should have put her down. 36 hours ago, she had a near fatal blood glucose drop, if she wasn't in the ICU and if they didn't intervene, she would be dead.

Wednesday we put Jen's car in the shop, the mechanic wants probably the value of the car to do serious maintenance and body work. He's giving us a good deal actually, and said that the car should run another 70k miles.

Then we picked up Luci, (against medical orders), and got some IV solutions from our very kind vet to prepare for insulinoma attacks. We expected her not to last the day. Lo and behold, no more attacks, she's walking, she's eating solids, she's taking in huge amounts of liquids. She's still very badly off - i think she's got a huge peritinitis - post-op inflammation. But I pray to God, I really do, that she'll continue her mending streak. We refuse to go quietly into the night, and I'll be damned if I let her die on my watch.

Anyway we got a letter from the mortgage company last night saying we paid off the mortgage, and now we have an offer on the condo! So...things are looking good, whereas yesterday, things were not as much.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Xenopus Menace!

Who knew that my fav. research frog was the most deadly thing out there, and apparently the only thing illegal in Nevada. I call shenanigans on this one. It may or may not have a damaging fungus on it, but to say it could destroy entire ecosystems is absurd.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Edouard approaches

Here is the latest NOAA forcast.

I remember blogging about Rita and that being the mother of all storms, ahead of even Katrina in its mightiness. Here is the Rita Wiki site. See that picture? That's Florida to the right, and Louisiana above Rita. Rita was as big as all of Louisiana and Missisippi.

Edouard, in comparison, is the poor bastard step-child's cousin's friend's friend. Low pressure is 1000 mbar (Rita was...895 mbar, nearly a record). Max winds are a wimpy 45 mph. This is a very minor storm, but we're gonna get walluped for a bit unless it changes course. I spent the morning preparing the house sorta, getting some supplies in case of power outage. I spent the afternoon preping work. We're as ready as we'll be for this wimpy storm.


Wimpy indeed. It missed Houston by about 30 mi, Beaumont got hit. Very little damage, very little flooding here. It drizzled a bit in the morning, that's it. I appreciate the day off, since Luci is not doing well at all. She's in ICU at the moment.