Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bedtime story

Date night for Mom and Dad.
Saturday night with Grandma and Grandpa!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Finished with my treatments!
More thanks than I can ever possibly express to all those wonderful
folks at the hospital up at the end of our street!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

T-rex and the apples.

This is one of the mechanical pieces I made a few years back (2003), as Uncle Don's Mechanicals. With the demise of making "consumer products for children under the age of 12", I'm rethinking trying some mechanical stuff again. My main goal right now is coming up with an interesting mechanism that creates interesting movement, without having it too expensive to sell any!

One basic question still eludes me - whether to expose the mechanism to public view, or leave it a mystery? Clue - in this one the main mechanical device is a pinch clothespin!
I only sold a couple of pieces back in 2003, but go look at the web page with those original pieces. I'll maintain the prices listed there - at least for a while. Below is the first video on the web of one of my pieces.... this one is not shown on that original web page --- I think I have a couple of them? Price on this one $125. This one is SOLD (4/7/2009) but I can probably make more :-)

Video of "T-Rex and the apples" below.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day

My Valentine is in Philadelphia :-(
I had Valentine's Dinner with my parents ;-)
The Valentine above was from the folks who Zap me every day in the Radiation Oncology Deptartment at Highland Hospital! I can't tell you how much I thank them for the Valentine, for the smiles and greetings I get every morning, and for the daily Zaps that hopefully are sending my cancer cells on to their great reward!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Our second Praise figure

More Praise!
More Thankfulness!
More Joy!
Just More!

There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."
Will Rogers

Monday, February 09, 2009

More stuff I've learned about my cancer treatments!

Click on the image for a bigger more readable view.

They have been telling me for a while about how precise and controlled the radiation is that bombards me each day, but the other day I figured out more about how they do it. While the computer, programming, etc. are pretty complex, the mechanics are pretty simple. The graphic above - created by me - explains the basics. The circle above is basically the view I get as I slide under the head of the machine each day.

A whole series of pretty thin lead plates are moved back and forth with little servo motors to open up just exactly the right shape "window" for the radiation to come out of. The plates are thin as you look up at them, but they are pretty thick vertically, and are neatly "notched" on the sides to make sure there are no gaps for extra radiation to leak through. As the machine head rotates to each of the 7 positions where it stops to "zap" me, those little lead plates slide around to open up a differently shaped little window at each position. That creates a very specific pattern of radiation that hits where they want to hit, and skips what they want to avoid. I think they are even able to vary the radiation strength in different areas of the window!

The other thing I learned today was that I won't know the results for at least a couple of months! The cancer cells have been rendered weak, but not dead and gone for while after the treatments stop. I was picturing a blood test next Tuesday after my last treatment, with a PSA of ZERO, but I guess not --- :-( Oh well!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Kennedy Center

A year ago, Cheryl and I had a Trunk Show at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, during the Alvin Ailey Dance show. We sold quite a few Barack Obama pins that we were making to raise money for the campaign. (along with lots of our dancers) I well remember selling one in the box next to the Presidential Box during the show we got to see. In our box with us was a family - Mother, Father, and two delightful little girls. I remember the thought going through my mind that selling that particular pin just a couple of feet from the Presidential Box, was contributing to Barack, Michelle, Malia and Sasha possibly being there next year..... well, it is next year, and they were there last night!

Cheryl was there. We're having another Trunk Show this year. Unfortunately, I'm home getting my daily Zap! When we talked around 8PM last night, all she had seen was a lot of bomb sniffing dogs, and Secret Service folks, but she was there just a little bit away from that Presidential Box!

I guess that magic pin worked!

An aside ---- I love the fact that the spell checker always highlights Barack Obama as obviously a misspelled word!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Our Better Angels

President Obama (doesn't that sound nice?) has talked about "our better angels" quite a bit..... those impulses that lead us to better thoughts, better actions, better places. We've made lots of different kinds of angel figures over the years, but thought we'd revisit some of them ...... These three are a revision of some previous figures. More to come.

I couldn't figure out why nobody had visited the blog for 4 days until I figured out that when I adjusted things for this new look, I lost the little piece of HTML code that works my counter thingy. I think I've got it fixed now.

Cheryl is off to The Kennedy Center in Washington DC for a trunk show, and then off to Philadelphia for our big wholesale show. I'm going to be staying home so I can continue to get my radiation each morning.... can't give those bad guys a chance to recover before they get the full dose. Cheryl and I are both kind of amazed at how much we are not looking forward to time apart ---- 10 days! Rich, one of my radiation guys, says it will help us appreciate each other more. His wife is off to help her sister with a new baby. One of the gals says "big deal"! Her husband is off on 90 day assignments in the military on a regular basis. All three of us agreed that we have it a lot better than the families whose loved ones get 15 month assignments - and get shot at!

May our better angels be in and with all of us!