Saturday, November 29, 2014

RV Trailer Door Window Insert

When walking around the park (Far Horizons Tucson Village), I noted an unusual window in a trailer door. I had to get the whole story.

The background was the same as my experience with that factory provided RV trailer door with a single window. Can't see out and when facing the sun a lot of heat enters the trailer with that one pane of glass.

There were days when I would like to have the door open to see the outside world. However, on a cool day with just a screen, it didn't often happen. My solution to my trailer was to insert plexiglass panels in the screen door. Now I could have the door open and see the outside world and the keep the heat in or the cold out. The bad part was that there now was no screen door.

A much better -- and admittedly more expensive -- was to get a door window insert. These window inserts are designed for house doors. The trailer's owner decided that he could use an insert and put a real window in his trailer door. That is what he did.

Two views: one with the blinds open and one closed. These are dual pane glass with the blinds in between. No worry about cleaning those blinds.

The window inserts are available at: ODL

The trailer shown above has a 30 inch door with a 22 inch wide insert. Considering some trailer doors are two feet wide, the narrower 8 by 64 inch window (called a side light at ODL) might be the solution.

The gentleman has already gotten several jobs in the park to cut holes in doors and install the inserts. For $50 he will install your new insert.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Photo

A long time ago farming was done with horses. Not tractors. In the 1940s, this would have been a scene on the Wisconsin farm where I grew up. A photo in the 1940s would have been black and white. :-))

This photo was from a 2003 visit to Heritage Days at the Heritage Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks and Gratitude

Thanks to readers and friends and relatives for the prayerful wishes on a healthy recovery as I proceed through months of chemotherapy.

Thanks and gratitude also go my doctors. Further thanks go to the cancer research scientists who have been able to unlock the mystery of how to kill those lymphoma cells.

Today I was really thankful that I could go on a hike this morning with friend Paul (park resident). It had been over ten days since the last hike.

Returning from the hike, I made my Thanksgiving dinner. It was a salmon fillet accompanied with brussels sprouts and my homemade cranberry sauce. (Sorry. No photos.) That just created a few more dishes to be washed.

The stacks of dishes are from several meals. With other things going on in my life, doing dishes just did not take priority. I'm living in the moment. Since I have no slave or hired help, eventually I will be responsible for cleaning up the mess. Thankfully, I will be able to do that.

Wishing all a pleasant and tasty Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Round One

A week ago today, I had Round One of six chemotherapy infusions to occur every three weeks. That is before the radiation and I don't recall the other treatments the oncologist will perform.

Why chemotherapy. The reason is in the post Another Pot Hole.

Before chemotherapy is administered, heart and blood tests were performed to make sure this body is healthy and can withstand the onslaught of the cancer killing therapy.

Once the oncologist's staff was satisfied with the test results, the first treatment was a two day affair. The first day's infusion is dripped slowly into the blood stream to ensure there are no adverse reactions. If there was a reaction, they have another batch of chemicals to counter that side effect. I survived the first day and went home with Tylenol and Benadryl in the system to address any possible side effects.

Day two was the rest of that stuff -- for which I had no reaction. That was followed by an infusion of a whole list of chemicals. Half of that list was to counter the side effects of the other infused drugs. One of those drugs was a steroid which made me hyper for the rest of the day and a sleepless night.

From Wednesday to Saturday, I seemed to feel a bit worse every day. I needed lots of sleep. There were body and gut pains. There was little appetite and the food tasted "yuck".

Those side effects were expected. The chemo was working according to design. There is no way to know if it was killing cancer cells, but based on how I felt, it certainly was doing a good job on killing the needed healthy cells of this body.

Yesterday I was a tad better although I continued napping -- and a long night in bed. This morning I felt about the same. Perhaps I am just getting used to feeling crappy.

The more visible side effect is hair loss. I haven't noticed anything yet. I will keep you posted when I start vacuuming the bed sheets in the morning. I certainly won't miss the loss of hair growing in the ears and nose.

The analogy to a six round boxing match is appropriate. Each round is hours long. The two week rest between rounds is to recover for the next round so the body is able to slug it out with the infused chemotherapy.

End of Round One.

Note: Perhaps those leaves on the backdrop of the graphic resemble marijuana leaves. They are supposed to be bamboo leaves. However, there is a very good chance that medical marijuana may be in my future to counter side effects of this chemotherapy ordeal.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Photo

Yaquina Head Light

Near Newport Oregon

From photo archives 2007

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Unusual Service Dog

When sitting in the waiting room for another medical appointment, a lady walked in with a below the knee service dog.

Service dogs are not unusual -- until this one. It was three legged. The lady brought out a small mat. The dog laid on the mat and watched its owner's every move. Dogs always attract conversations. Another lady in a chair nearby struck up a conversation with the dog's caretaker/owner. In response to a question, the lady responded that the service dog was 14 years old. Since the dog was mostly deaf and partially blind in one eye, the lady said that she was in the process of training another. Considering the dog's deafness, it was quite apparent why the dog watched the owner so intently.

This service dog will outlive its days in comfort as another dog is trained to be the lady's service companion.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Prototype Built

After the purchase of an iPad Mini, I needed some kind of holding device so I could read it as I ate meals. I searched the internet for possible devices that might work. There were lots of choices. Prices ranged from moderate to very expensive. All I wanted was a simple easel.

Since I am a creative guy and have a little talent, I decided to make one. Six dollars of supplies from Ace hardware I made the easel. Best part is that the iPad can be placed horizontal or vertical. There was no such option with commercial devices found on the internet. They all held the iPad vertically.

The completed easel.

The easel holds the iPad.

It may have been a prototype as I built it, but it has become the finished product. No. I am not taking orders.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thanks To All

In response to the post Just Another Pot Hole there have been blog comments, emails, and phone calls. All offered kind wishes, thoughts and offers of help. Those offers were in addition to the many offers from my neighbors here at Far Horizons Tucson Village.

Son TJ will be arriving this weekend for the first round of chemotherapy beginning on Monday. For future treatments I will drive myself. That is what I am told to expect by the oncology staff. If not, I will take advantage of those ride offers.

My nomadic wandering gave me lots of stories. I expect this experience will also provide material for future blog entries. 

A Thank You rose 
to all of you for your 
kind wishes and hopeful thoughts 
as I proceed into 
this next chapter of life.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Another Pot Hole

During those 13 nomadic exploring years, I would occasionally experience some event that slowed down my travel. Most often it was a truck or trailer issue. The length of delay was usually just a few days. Nothing to complain about. Only twice did weather change my plans.

My road of life has had no serious hazards -- until now. Soon I will begin chemotherapy treatments. This is more than a just another pot hole.

It all started mid summer when I noted that the left testicle was different from the right. A visit to the urologist was followed by an ultrasound viewing. The experts determined the best thing was to perform an orchiectomy. (i.e. Removal of a testicle.) Ouch. Anesthetized, I felt no pain. When I saw the incision and the bruising in the groin, it was definitely an ouch experience and I was glad to have been unconscious.

The removed tissue was examined and studied by a pathologist. It was "testicular tissue with involvement by diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.” Dangerous stuff.

That was followed by a PET Scan which found no other hot spots in the body. The chemotherapy is preventative to go after any cells that may have migrated to another part of the body and had not multiplied to a nodule that could be detected.

I am a healthy 74 year old guy. I take no medications nor do I have any other health issues. I go hiking three times a week. According to the doctors my body will handle the chemotherapy much better than many patients.

Even with all the assurances, it took weeks for me to get comfortable with proceeding with the treatment for lymphoma.

Before I finally made that decision, I slept poorly. There were hours of internet reading/studying. I talked to doctors. I talked to family and friends.

Thanks to medical research, scientists and doctors there is a positive future ahead. No doubt there will be some unpleasant days. Fortunately my home of sticks and bricks will make this four/five month long pot hole easier to handle.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Photo

Sunset at Usery Park -- near Phoenix

From Wandrin archives 2010

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Artificial Intellegence

Those two words together seems like an oxymoron.

From first sentence at Wikipedia: "Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is an academic field of study which studies the goal of creating intelligence, whether in emulating human-like intelligence or not."

"... or not". I love that qualifier. What does that mean or how does that change the definition. 

Computers are good at crunching numbers. Give the computer lots of data and give it some rules to find some correlation between all the numbers.

Okay. After the job is done, can the machine "wonder" about some alternative number crunching. Perhaps it could if it were programmed to keep doing number crunches to achieve some predetermined result or correlation of data.

What about curiosity. What about reasoning. What about emotion. What about skepticism. That also is part of intelligence.

Searching the net, I found one of the companies doing artificial intelligence. At least that is what the hope seems to be. From the Vicarious web site: "our mission: build the next generation of A.I. algorithms".

Algorithms are rules for calculations. That is the perfect job for a programmed computer. Do the same thing for hours on end to solve a problem.

Is that intelligent? Or is that just a robot.

That bumper sticker was spotted when passing through Silver City, NM in 2011.