Posts about photography, contract bridge, astrophotography, astronomy, Java development, internet systems.

Cutting the cord, life without DirecTV (or cable)

“Thank you for calling DirecTV, and thank you for being a loyal customer since 2004! How may I assist you today?”

“I’m calling to close my account.”

It took some doing. After being transfered to a specialist in such matters, who tried to tempt me with such things as a six-month discount, a new TiVo box when they […]

Pathology Report

Here’s the deal: All along, this whole “prostate cancer” thing seemed to me like a gigantic fraud. Well not fraud, but maybe “surreal.” That all changed yesterday.

I felt fine, always did. I wasn’t running to the bathroom two or three times a night. My doctor never felt anything. I have no family history of prostate cancer. It was just a blood test, an imprecise secondary indicator, that suggested a biopsy.

Okay, I believed the biopsy, but still it all seemed abstract.

So I had the surgery. Sure, take it out. I don’t really need it. But I want to know.

This is why I picked surgery over radiation. The radiation therapy is known to be effective, but it’s still all abstract, not real.

Yesterday I went in to have my staples and catheter removed. (Yay!) (Anyone who is facing this procedure and wants to know more about it, I’m happy to share in a private exchange.) Meanwhile my nurse practitioner delivered the pathology report, and I asked her for a printed copy.

I’ll post all of the relevant parts below, followed by a few word interpretations.

Continue reading Pathology Report

Prostate Cancer

With Jane’s encouragement, I thought I would write this blog entry. I want to keep my friends and family up to date, and for the most part they are the only ones reading this blog anyway.

The short version is that I was diagnosed with a small but clinically significant prostate cancer in September, and will have RP surgery (Radical Prostatectomy) using robotics on January 19. I’ll be at Kaiser’s West L.A. Medical Center for one night, then recovering at home for about three weeks. Within a few months, the expectation is that I’ll be pretty much back to normal for the duration.

For those of you who really want all the details, how this came about, and what decisions were involved, I’ll go into it all below. For lots of people this comes under the category of “too much information,” and you are certainly excused without prejudice.

Continue reading Prostate Cancer

First cruise: The Sea Princess, San Francisco to Alaska

Jane and I are in our first port of call on our first-ever vacation cruise. We’re in a coffee shop in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Photos from our first three days with Jane’s family are here.

The cruise went non-stop from San Francisco to Ketchikan, which involved two days at sea. About 36 hours of the cruise were spent in […]

Watching the Atlantis STS-125 launch

It’s been several weeks since NASA launched Atlantis to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Watching the launch, I heard several calls that made me sit up in my seat. You probably didn’t hear them. Watch it with me here:

Listen to the audio …

At 0:49 into the video, about 15 seconds into the launch, CAPCOM says “Bypass […]

What’s wrong with Caesar’s Palace?

Registration lobby at Caesar's Palace Las Vegas

This past week, my wife and I spent four nights in a deluxe room at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. I was attending TheServerSide Java Symposium, and she went along for three days of pampering and relaxing.

Caesar’s is a fine place, a grand old warhorse of the Vegas strip. […]