Which disguises the fact that I reached 7k yesterday and hated it. My main problem has been my failure to be able to "see" my bookshelf in my head. I used to have effortless recall but I think it was related to teaching and I don't do much now. But then I was at Big Green Books yesterday and Tim recommended Who Next...? A Guide to Children's Authors and it was perfect in that all it does is name an author and then list six more you might like. It's sort of a book title thesaurus and I recommend it if you have kids to buy for. It tells you almost nothing about the books other than genre* but that's fine because I have read 90% of them, I just couldn't recall the names.
So suddenly, writing that was effortful, is just flowing along. I couldn't be happier. Especially as today was a meeting day and I hadn't expected to write at all.
*Neil Gaiman crops up all over the place which I think is testimony to the diversity of his outputs/.
Eldo Kim sent an e-mail bomb threat to Harvard so he could skip a final exam. (It's just a coincidence that I was on the Harvard campus that day.) Even though he used an anonymous account and Tor, the FBI identified him. Reading the criminal complaint, it seems that the FBI got itself a list of Harvard users that accessed the Tor network, and went through them one by one to find the one who sent the threat.
This is one of the problems of using a rare security tool. The very thing that gives you plausible deniability also makes you the most likely suspect. The FBI didn't have to break Tor; they just used conventional police mechanisms to get Kim to confess.
Tor didn't break; Kim did.
“Self-loathing is in the writer’s blood.” What? No. http://t.co/3W9SwUeEsG
— John Scalzi (@scalzi) December 17, 2013
I’m a writer and I really don’t have self-loathing in my blood, or in my liver or indeed in any other organ or part of my body (including the brain, which I suspect is ultimately the relevant organ under discussion here). As a result I am more than vaguely annoyed by the declaration above, which comes from a Salon article about “Literary Self Loathing.”
This is not to say that on more than one occasion I have not had doubts or concerns about my writing — the thing that writers do when they’re in the middle of writing a book and they think to themselves okay, honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing and that’s going to be obvious to anyone who reads this thing is something that happens to me, oh, a lot. I have concerns about whether my reach exceeds my grasp, whether what I’m writing compares well to what I’ve written before, and what the response to the work will be. I think this is both normal and probably healthy — the ability to criticize one’s own work is often key to having work that doesn’t entirely suck.
But none of that is about self-loathing. Self-criticism is “what I am writing right now isn’t good, and I need to find a way to make it better.” Self-loathing is “what I am writing right now isn’t good, I suck, I have always sucked and I have neither the talent nor the ability to write this, I should never have tried and why did I ever think I was any good at writing at all.” Even more simply put, it’s the difference between “this writing sucks” and “I suck.” Personally speaking I think one of these is helpful; the other one really is not. It’s also not helpful to confuse the two.
Are there writers who are self loathing? Absolutely, because there are people who are self-loathing, and writers are a subset of people. There are also doctors who are self-loathing, plumbers who are self-loathing, farmers who are self-loathing and so on. There are also writers who are not self-loathing. There are excellent writers who grapple with self-loathing; there are excellent writers who don’t (there are mediocre and terrible writers in each category as well, of course). Trying to typify all writers as self-loathing is as useful as typifying all writers as anything, save the base, practical definition of “someone who writes.”
Speaking personally, I am not a self-loathing writer primarily because I am not a self-loathing sort of person in general. I have my tics and neuroses, and as noted above I have a healthy regard for my fallibility as a writer, in terms of quality of output (I try not to inflict the bad stuff on the rest of the world). But fundamentally I am okay with myself, and I am fortunate that the construction of my brain doesn’t neurochemically incline me toward depression and/or self-loathing.
Also, and this is important, while writing is a very big part of who I am, it is not absolutely central to my idea of myself — which is to say, when I have a stretch of poor or indifferent writing, I don’t see it as an existential plebiscite on who I am as a human being. It just means I’m writing poorly at the moment. Hopefully I will snap out of it.
Finally, with regard to writing, my ability to do so and its relation to me as a worthwhile human being, the fact that I’ve been writing professionally for coming on to a quarter of a century now assures me that this is in fact something I can do pretty well. At this point in time any feelings of impostor syndrome (the neurotic underling of self-loathing) would pretty much be a luxury. All that time also reinforces to me the idea that writing is a learned skill and a trade — which is again separate from who I am as a person.
I think people who are writers and who are also the sort of self-loathe can possibly use that self-loathing as a tool in some way, but personally I suspect if you’re genuinely deep in the throes of self-loathing, as a writer or whomever, your first stop should be a doctor, to see if that’s something that’s treatable. It might be easier to deal with the writing that sucks if you’re not thinking that therefore, you suck.
A customer had the following puzzle:
We have a small bootstrapper application that consists of a dialog box and a few message boxes. The problem is that we want our application to work properly on Arabic and Hebrew systems, and we can't come up with a good way to determine text direction of the underlying system. We found this article by Michael Kaplan that tells us how not to do it, which is great, but what's the recommended way of actually doing it?
You already know whether you should be displaying your application's UI in LTR or RTL: If this is the Arabic-localized or Hebrew-localized version of your application, then display it as RTL. If this is the English-localized or French-localized version, then display it as LTR.
There's no point in trying to display your English-language strings in RTL just because the underlying operating system is Arabic. If your strings are in English, then display them in the way they should look to an English speaker. A dialog box like this helps nobody:
,(Preparing setup (50% complete
.your patience is appreciated
When your localization team translates the application into Arabic, they can insert two copies of U+200E (LEFT-TO-RIGHT MARK) at the start of the FileDescription in the version resource. That is the signal to Windows that the application should have RTL as its default layout direction.
If you want your application to choose a language dynamically (say, to use English strings if running on an English system but Arabic strings if running on an Arabic system), then you can add a flag in your resources so that the localizers can indicate whether a particular language pack expects text to run left-to-right or right-to-left.
IDS_LANGUAGE_DIRECTION "LTR" // change to RTL if localized in Arabic, etc.
Your application could then check the direction
SetProcessDefaultLayout based on the result.
First, the longest: 31 minutes of the real me, complete with, ah, language. I'm answering readers' questions about all kinds of stuff: research, writing process, knowing the ending before you begin, publicity for aspiring writers, and so on.
There's more; we got the whole evening on tape. If you like these clips I'll post the whole enormous video (intro of me, my intro to the evening, two readings, whole Q and A). It's long, absolutely, but if that kind of thing floats your boat...
All camera work by the amazing Kurt Lorenz.
On the other hand, it really was about time I emptied out all the drawers next to the sink and reorganized the contents. After drying them, of course.
In version 5 of Camera+, the exposure compensation and exposure lock controls have been split for greater control over camera shots and a more streamlined shooting experience. Several new tools have been added, like adjustable Clarity and Vibrance controls, manual straightening, color tinting, and duotone tinting.
The app has also gained adjustable Soft Focus and Film Grain filters, along with controls for sharpening blurry photos, creating blur, tinting photos, changing the temperature, fixing exposure, manipulating highlights and shadows, and altering brightness and contrast. Essentially, there are a huge number of new tools to work with in the app, which are listed below.
Clarity ProCamera+ is an iPhone-only app that can be downloaded from the App Store for $1.99. [Direct Link]
At the head of The Lab you’ll find Clarity Pro, which gives you adjustable Clarity and also adds a Vibrancy Boost adjustment which really brings out the life in your photos.
Not only can you manually straighten your photos in The Lab… we’ve also included a slick auto-straighten feature.
Easily tone your photos whatever color you please. Go just a tad to set a subtle mood, all-out to make a bold statement, or anything in-between. And if you’re having a hard time choosing a color, simply roll the dice to get a random one… will it come up lucky seven or snake eyes??
This takes the Tint adjustment and brings it to a whole other level. Try it. We’ll leave it at that.
Give your photos a beautiful, ethereal quality with Soft Focus. This one’s addictive so promise not to overuse it, ok?
For the look of analog film. Fully adjustable so you can get the exact look you want.
This can often be the answer to a photo that came out a bit blurry.
Soften harsh pics. Or go to the extreme to make the perfect iOS 7 wallpapers. More on this later… ;)
Take it down for a cool, faded look. Or crank it up to make your pics pop.
Easily enables you to make your pics look "warmer" or "cooler". It can be used for a simple compensation, or turned way up for a bold look.
Photo overexposed? Underexposed? This is the fix.
Brightness & Contrast
Two classic photo adjustments. You’d think that not much needs to be said about these two… but we went out of our way to make them look really good.
Highlights & Shadows
Boost or cut the bright and/or dark parts of your photos. Compensate for imperfect lighting conditions, or go for an intense, artistic effect.
Top-off the perfect set of adjustments with a stylish Vignette. Not only can you put on a traditional dark one, you can also go light for an airy feel.
In "Speech rhythms and brain rhythms", 12/2/2013, I showed the results of a simple experiment looking for evidence of speech rhythms in the frequency domain, which found a peak at about 2.4 Hz in the average spectrum of the waveform envelope of 6300 read sentences. I don't have anything new to say about what what this means, but I wanted to note a 65-year-old example of a somewhat similar experiment.
The Sound Spectrograph was developed at Bell Laboratories during WWII, and was revealed to the world in a series of papers in the July 1946 issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Shortly afterwards, a book-length exposition of many results and applications was published: Ralph Potter, George Kopp, and Harriet Green, Visible Speech, 1947. This work, and the machine whose applications it documented, revolutionized all areas of science and technology dealing with sound, especially phonetics and other kinds of speech science.
Some aspects of this early work have become part of the cultural DNA of speech science and technology — but the 1947 book includes many suggested directions of investigation that have not been as productive of imitation. One example is the section in Chapter 14 ("Phonetic Research Possibilities") on "Rhythm in Speech" (pp. 312-313):
By recording speech in such a way that its energy envelope only is reproduced, it is possible to learn something about the effects of recurrences such as occur in the recital of rimes or poetry. In one form of portrayal, the rectified speech envelope wave is speeded up one hundred times and translated to sound pattern form as if it were an audible note. Syllabic components of a one-cycle-per-second rate thus would become oscillations at 100 cycles a second, while those a ten cycles would be boosted to 1,000 cycles.
Oral reading of ordinary page material, when reproduced in this way, results in a randomly mottled sound spectrogram such as appears in A of Fig. 12. The evidence of regularity is in the pauses for breath that appear as faint while lines forming a vertical grid. The length of this sample is about 40 seconds, and the same time scale is used in B and C. The vertical frequency scale is from zero to about 35 cycles.
When "Hickory, dickory, dock" was recited, the result is as shown in B. Notice that a semblance of order is beginning to appear in the low-frequency parts, although the upper components are still randomly related. In C, are shown four short samples that illustrate the effect of repeating words. To produce the first sample at the left, the word "telephone" was repeated over and over. For the second, two words "telephone" and "spectrograph" were repeated alternately. In the last sample, the words "acoustic" and "spectrograph" were used. The use of the same words extends the systematic relationship to a higher frequency.
This is the first attempt — and the first of many failures — t0 find evidence of literal isochronism in English speech. As Potter, Kopp & Green found, the syllable-scale spectrum of an individual phrase is in general "randomly mottled". Subsequent research on speech rhythms has mainly relied on time-domain measurements of inter-event intervals, where evidence of isochronism has been similarly "mottled" at best. In contrast, my little experiment looked at overall average syllable-scale spectra of thousands of phrases, and presumably found only evidence of a typical time-scale of sonority variation.
As I noted in the earlier post, there's a recent literature exploring the idea that endogenous syllable- or phoneme-scale brain rhythms are involved in the production and/or perception of speech. Aside from this literature, I haven't found any other work related to the idea explored in that little section of Visible Speech.
N.B. Some readers may know other versions of the book title Visible Speech. Potter, Kopp, and Green were consciously and explicitly imitating two older works by Melville Bell, the father of Alexander Graham Bell: "Visible Speech: A New Fact Demonstrated", 1865; and Visible Speech: The Science of Universal Alphabetics; Or Self-interpreting Physiological Letters, for the Writing of All Languages in One Alphabet, Illustrated by Tables, Diagrams, and Examples, 1867. These were the first systematic attempts to create a "phonetic alphabet" that could be used to describe all varieties of all human languages. Here's the title page of the 1867 work, showing what Bell's original glyphs looked like:
More recently, John DeFrancis added to the same titular tradition in his 1989 book, Visible Speech: The Diverse Oneness of Writing Systems.
Paul Krugman, "The Facebooking of Economics", 12/17/2013:
Economics journals stopped being a way to communicate ideas at least 25 years ago, replaced by working papers; publication was more about certification for the purposes of tenure than anything else. Partly this was because of the long lags — by the time my most successful (though by no means best) academic paper was actually published, in 1991, there were around 150 derivative papers that I knew of, and the target zone literature was running into diminishing returns. Partly, also, it was because in some fields rigid ideologies blocked new ideas. Don’t take my word for it: It was Ken Rogoff, not me, who wrote about the impossibility of publishing realistic macro in the face of “new neoclassical repression.”
In most of the fields where I've worked (computational linguistics, speech technology, computer science, …) real scientific and technical communication now takes place mainly via published conference papers or arXiv preprints, usually available on authors' websites. I've joked for a couple of decades that in those disciplines, publishing in old-fashioned journals has become a sort of cultural ritual, like wearing academic regalia at graduation exercises, which has no substantive role in the actual life of the field.
This is not yet true in most areas of linguistics, because the LSA (and similar organizations) still haven't gotten on board with the decades-old practice of requiring conference presentations to be accompanied by 4-8 page papers rather than 200-word abstracts. So one-to-two-year publication delays (and some blockages of new ideas) remain, alas, the norm.
Yukon Cornelius and Bumble surveyed the carnage. Icicles of blood littered the field. Blackened pine trees still smoldered, turned to brittle black skeletons by elfin flamethrowers.
The calves had all survived, but two adult reindeer and an elf lay dead. Bumble let out a howl of dismay. Cornelius patted the abominable snowman’s fur-matted, thick-muscled arm. Bumble had grown fond of Santa’s herd over the years, and they had adopted him like a big, not-too-bright brother.
“It’s ugly all right,” said Cornelius. “Doesn’t look like the snowman had any strategy beyond smashing whatever he could find.”
Mrs. Claus’ stern voice buzzed from the speakers in Cornelius’ yellow earmuffs. “Can you track him?”
A microphone braided into his moustache carried his answer back to the Pole. “Of course I can track him. I’m Yukon Cornelius! You just make sure Jack Frost holds his breath a little longer so he doesn’t bury the trail. The last thing we want is a blizzard covering Frosty’s tracks.”
Frosty hadn’t gotten away unscathed this time. According to the reports, the flames had thinned his armor and set fire to his broom. The snowman had been forced to flee, belly-sledding away at speeds neither elf nor reindeer could match.
As Cornelius walked, he checked to make sure his silver and gold-inlaid revolver was fully loaded. He had grown up in the northern wilderness, and had faced everything from angry yeti to rabid reindeer. These days, his beard and moustache were more gray than red, and he wasn’t quite as quick to pick a fight, but he was still twice the hunter and tracker of any man within five hundred miles.
Bumble sniffed the air. His lips peeled back in what would have been a fearsome snarl, if Hermie the elf hadn’t pulled his teeth all those years ago. The flat, too-white dentures just weren’t the same.
Cornelius dropped to one knee and jabbed a finger into the ice-crusted snow. It tasted of pine, blood, and soot. Relatively fresh. They couldn’t be more than an hour behind. “Don’t you worry. We’ll find this snowman and be home in time for dinner!”
“Just find him,” Mrs. C said sternly. “Do not engage.”
“Understood.” He pulled his pick axe and shifted his belt, making sure the revolver was in easy reach. The point of that axe could punch through stone. It would crack Frosty’s frozen armor like a nutcracker through a chestnut. He might not be planning on a fight, but he’d be a fool not to prepare for one.
A second set of tracks intercepted Frosty’s trail. Cornelius jabbed his axe into a human-sized footprint, then licked the tip. The tracks were fresh, and from the residue, they weren’t local. Elf-made boots had their own sugar-sweet aftertaste. These tracks tasted like old rubber.
He touched his moustache. “Frosty’s not the only one wandering our woods.”
A less alert man would have missed the sharpening of Mrs. Claus’ words. “His master?”
“Won’t know that until I find them. Yukon Cornelius doesn’t make assumptions.”
The tracks did follow the same path as Frosty. In several places, the human prints indented the smooth slide of Frosty’s path, meaning the human had followed behind the snowman.
Bumble grabbed the top of Cornelius’ head, and turned him gently to the right. Unfortunately, the beast’s oversized fingers also prevented Cornelius from seeing what Bumble was trying to show him.
“I can’t see through your hairy mittens, you big oaf!” He pried the hand free and looked around.
The pine trees here were thin and undecorated, unlike the woods closer to the Pole. A short distance ahead was an icy crater, lightly dusted with snow. It looked like an enormous ice cream scoop had gouged the ground. In the fading sunlight, Cornelius could make out something sparkling in the center.
He readied gun and axe and moved closer, checking the trees to either side for movement. “Looks like a bomb went off here.”
The tracks continued on, passing the crater a ways to the side. It didn’t look like they had stopped. On a hunch, Cornelius approached the edge of the crater and jabbed his axe into the snow. He circled slowly, squinting and tasting. He had gone halfway around when his tongue confirmed what the snow had hidden – the human had been here. Three, maybe four days back.
“It’s some kind of ornament,” he said. “Crystal, maybe. Busted all to pieces now.”
“Don’t touch it. I’m sending Rudolph and a pair of elf researchers your way. Can you tell what the ornament used to look like?”
Something in Mrs. Claus’ tone made Cornelius’ moustache itch. Bumble’s hackles raised, and his eyes spun to and fro, searching the shadows.
“I’d say a star. Or maybe a snowflake.”
“Get back to the North Pole now.”
He spun, gun raised. “There’s nobody here, Mrs. C. Just me and Bumble. And we still don’t know where Frosty—”
The snow exploded as if the snowman’s name had summoned him up from an icy hell. He was larger than Cornelius remembered. Without missing a beat, Cornelius put two bullets through the center of Frosty’s head. “Found him!”
Frosty roared and leaped, broomstick raised like Death’s scythe, but Bumble tackled him from the side. They fell into the snow, rolling like cats. Bumble was all claws and fury and angry growls, a regular Bumble rumble.
Cornelius charged in. “Get out of the way, you overgrown hairball!”
Snow swirled to his left. So focused on trying to line up a shot that wouldn’t hurt his friend, Cornelius ignored the movement a second too long. By the time he spotted the figure stepping out of the snow as if through a curtain, it was too late.
“Clever girl,” he whispered.
“Cornelius, what is it?” shouted Mrs. Claus.
He spun, throwing his axe and raising his pistol, but his limbs had already begun to slow. Cold seeped into his bones.
He saw Bumble jump to his feet and start toward him. Frosty clubbed Bumble’s knee with his broomstick. With an angry howl, Bumble seized Frosty by the head and hurled him through the air at one of the pine trees. The pine tree broke with a crack like bone, and Frosty went down.
Bumble charged to Cornelius’ aid. Blood matted his fur, and one of his ridiculously huge eyes spun in circles, a sure sign of concussion in bumbles.
“I’m not afraid of you, beast.” The woman’s words grated like death itself. Ice flew toward Bumble’s face, sharp as shards of broken glass.
Bumble howled again, but he kept coming. However painful his physical injuries, his grief and determination were stronger. Bumbles were loyal to the end, though it was unusual for a Bumble to show such loyalty to humans and reindeer and elves. As long as Cornelius was alive, Bumble would fight to the last breath to save him.
What had an old prospector ever done to deserve that kind of friendship?
As his strength ebbed and his hands stiffened, Cornelius forced his wrist to bend, until he was peering down the barrel of his own pistol. “Get out of here, you dumb Bumble!”
With Bumble’s anguished cries echoing through the woods, Yukon Cornelius forced his frozen finger down on the trigger.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Apple today announced the all-new Mac Pro will be available to order starting Thursday, December 19. Redesigned from the inside out, the all-new Mac Pro features the latest Intel Xeon processors, dual workstation-class GPUs, PCIe-based flash storage and ultra-fast ECC memory.Pricing for the Mac Pro begins at $2999, with a second stock configuration available for $3999. Apple has yet to announce full build-to-order pricing, but earlier this week we outlined expected retail pricing based on price quotes being offered to some business customers. Based on these quotes, a fully loaded Mac Pro will cost approximately $9999.
Designed around an innovative unified thermal core, the all-new Mac Pro packs unprecedented performance into an aluminum enclosure that is just 9.9-inches tall and one-eighth the volume of the previous generation.
Update: Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted a Tweet regarding tomorrow's launch, including a photo of new Mac Pro units on the assembly line in Austin, Texas.
We have begun manufacturing the Mac Pro in Austin. It’s the most powerful Mac ever. Orders start tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Jrd1Gic3Ya— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) December 18, 2013
Recent Mac and iOS Blog Stories
• Apple Forced to Change Refund Policy Under Australian Consumer Law
• Apple to Require New App Store Submissions to be 'Optimized for iOS 7' on February 1
• Real Racing 3 Gains Real-Time Online Multiplayer and Two New Supercars
• Mailbox Adds Support for Yahoo, iCloud and More
• Google Releases New 'MyGlass' Companion App for Google Glass [Update: Removed]
• Now TV's 'Sky Sports' Channel Comes to Apple TV in UK
• Square-Enix Releases Original Tomb Raider for iOS Devices
• Photo: New Mac Pro Arriving at Apple Retail Stores [Fake]
Let me explain.
No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
While I was in therapy yesterday morning, one of my National Institutes of Health contacts called, a research nurse who’s handling study recruitment. They left me a voicemail saying the Principal Investigator on one of the studies I am interested in would accept a CT scan from from my treating hospital within the last 30 days in lieu of trying to schedule a CT at the NIH facility on my arrival. (Grudgingly so, I gather.)
I knew I had an active CT scan order in the system at my treating hospital. The original intention of this order was for me to have my two-month screen in January — we’d been proactive about getting into the system. So after thinking this through, I called my treating hospital. I found out that my oncologist is on vacation next week. If I wanted the scan done and released to me in order to get a copy to send to NIH, it had to be done right away. Otherwise it would get stuck in my oncologist’s queue during their absence, and be of no use to me in my current timeframe. I wound up talking to Radiology scheduling, who said they could take me immediately if I could get there right away. (As it happened, in the course of this conversation I was driving north on I-5 very near the facility. Yes, I was using a headset.)
I cancelled my already-rescheduled lunch date with Jersey Girl in Portland and popped by to have the CT scan on a right-then basis. Afterwards, I went upstairs to Oncology and politely asked about having a stat read request put on the scan. I was also trying to figure out how to cue my oncologist to release the scan to me as soon as possible, as they do not have clinic hours on Tuesday. The team at the Oncology unit told me to call back into the triage line an hour or two after lunch and see about getting a message to my doctor.
I then spoke to the NIH nurse, telling them I'd gotten the CT done on-demand and was hoping for the results to be released that same day so I could get a disc from my treating hospital’s Imaging Library and express it to them. A rather hilarious conversation ensued.
NIH Nurse: "My jaw is on my desk. You are the most self-directed patient I've ever dealt with."
Me: :: laughing :: "That's a polite medical term for 'pain in the ass'."
NIH Nurse: “Nooo… That's a compliment."
They also asked me if I could get a brain MRI to check for mets that might have crossed the blood-brain barrier. This is quite rare in my type of cancer, but it is possible. I told them I was dubious about getting that ordered here in Portland, and we agreed they’d schedule the brain MRI at NIH, probably for the afternoon of 12/30.
I got the appropriate NIH shipping address for delivery of the Imaging Library disc, then focused on contacting the clinic about getting my oncologist engaged to review the new CT scan and release it to me ASAP.
As it happens, my oncologist had already seen and released the scan promptly, even before I had reached out about having them read it. They emailed me and asked me why I'd had the scan early, was it for the NIH studies? I replied that it was, and mentioned the brain MRI request. Meanwhile, the Imaging Library was cooperative about releasing a disc to me immediately. They only needed a 45-minute lead time. So Lisa Costello took me back over to the hospital complex to score the disc.
About then, my oncologist went ahead and ordered the brain MRI. (All of this was happening more or less in realtime at this point, while Lisa drove us back to to the hospital to go up the hill to the Imaging Library.) I got on the phone once more with the schedulers, who actually found me an opening this coming night. It’s awfully hard to get an MRI on demand, as there’s a long waiting list for access. I have a 9:45 pm brain MRI up the hill in the main hospital, which should take about 45 minutes. There is a stat read request on that order as well.
My oncologist has agreed to watch their queue Thursday morning, and release the MRI results to me ASAP. I will then make the request to the Imaging Library and get it back out to my contact at NIH that same day for Friday delivery, if my luck holds.
This should improve the intake process at NIH as they will have everything they need to proceed, or to scrub me from the study if they don't like something in the imaging files.
By the time I got home again yesterday evening, I was so exhausted I physically hurt. I was also having at attack of the chills, which may have been exhaustion, a reaction to the CT dye, a system issue stemming from my advancing cancer, or all of the above.
I want to note, with respect to my recent comments about constant crisis and never being able to hold a schedule, that yesterday was a perfect example. I’ve now had to reschedule Jersey Girl twice due to unexpected medical requirements. I spent most of yesterday on the phone, running around town, or actually in a procedure room, on a day that had no medical activity on my calendar when I woke up other than my therapy appointment. I’d actually thought to have an easy day.
This is how my life works lately.
As for the substance of yesterday, while I feel pretty darned accomplished, I also recognize that all of these victories are fundamentally futile. The CT results were frankly quite depressing. We’re fighting rearguard actions in a war the outcome of which was confirmed last spring. This does not stop me from grabbing every chance I can, wringing what I may from each passing day. But last night when I was in bed shivering under extra blankets and feeling logy and strange, I kept wondering if all this was worth it.
So far the answer is still yes.