Monthly Archives: January 2010

New Computers

One of the good sides of canceling our plans for Australia this summer was that it freed up some of the funds we’d been saving for a couple of years to go (obviously funds that were not enough given housing and related expenses). So, yesterday robot_grrl and I spent some of these funds on much needed replacement (for Tara’s 9-year-old tiBook) and semi-replacement (for my 5-year-old Windoze box).

In addition to the funds being available, the near death of Tara’s computer, and the fact that my Windoze box suddenly required that I move my keyboard and mouse connections from PS/2 to USB, pushed us over the edge.

Details, Names and other minutia

No Aussicon for us

Even though as recently as a couple of days ago, robot_grrl and I were still planning on going to Australia for Aussicon, some recent financial issues and other issues have made us realize that we will be unable to afford the trip this year unless we decided to not even think of getting a house this year (and possibly not even then)

I’ve notified two of the groups that we’d agreed to help with at Aussicon that we won’t make it.

I’m quite disappointed with this, and I’m sure Tara and Derrick are as well.

But, on the bright side, we’ve freed up some funds that we can use for other needed expenses (like computer replacements). This will also give me a bit more flexibility in taking time off this summer since I don’t think we’ll want to take any long replacement trips — but we may take some shorter one that weren’t planned. I’m about 99% sure that one of the shorter trips will not, however, be to Raleigh for the NASFiC.

Bread Adventures

To help with complying with my low-iodine diet, I’ve been making my own bread. Or at least trying to with a reasonable amount of success.

success and failures

Busy Week

This has been quite the week in my life.

I’ve already posted about last weekend (briefly) and my doctor’s appointment on Tuesday.


A Minor Change In Contact Methods

I’ve updated some forwarding so that e-mail sent to my (previously not widely publicized) gmail address will not be deleted after forwarding to my main account. This should let me see e-mails there on my phone a bit more quickly than to the main account (at least until I discover that the gmail client is eating battery).

So, if you need to reach me and are worried I might miss it, you can send to ronboakes at gmail dot com. However, I’d prefer it most regular correspondence be sent to ron at oakes dot net.

Thank You

Health Update

This afternoon I had an appointment with the endocrinologist to discuss my thyroid treatment. Our decision was to go forward with one course of radiation treatment. But before they can dose me with the radioactive iodine, I have to metabolize the thyroid hormone in my system. This means that for the next three or so weeks, I’ll be off my thyroid replacement until the levels of a related hormone (one which, as I understand it, is used to signal the thyroid to produce more hormone) are high enough. During this time I’ll also have to be on a low-iodine diet.

As my body runs low on thyroid hormone, I’ll probably suffer some or all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism — which can include weight gain, dry skin and mental symptoms.

I’m also a bit worried about avoiding iodine. In addition to iodized salt, I have to watch out for dairy, anything from the sea, certain additives in baked goods, one of the red dyes, and foods that have a lot of added salt including cured meats. This may limit my choice of meals — and keep me from eating most of the shelf-stable prepared foods that have been most of my lunches for the last few years. I’ll have to see what the cafeteria will have that is safe. This will also make my travel tomorrow and Thursday a bit trickier.

In other news, I’ve confirmed that I’ll be moving offices and buildings on Friday. The timing could be better. But I’m mostly packed and will get the last bit (my computer) on Thursday night as I drive past on the way home from the airport. The good news is that I get a window. Of course I’ll have to figure out how to position my desk to take advantage of it — its not that big.

I Could *Almost* See Myself Gafiating at the moment

Last night, after having been to a convention where I had a less than normal good time, and reading about the issues at Baycon which seemed a bit too close to some issues with DucKon (issues that, for what it is worth, I’m very frustrated and torn by — I’ve got good friends on both sides and suspect that there is more than enough right and wrong on both sides to go around), there was a while that I was almost seriously thinking about gafiating, at least for a while.

In the light of morning, I see that some of this is probably because I’m tired and frustrated. And very likely some of it is because of the balance of the chemicals in my brain. So I’m certainly not making any plans to either quit attending cons, nor stop helping with the cons (and related activities) that I’m committed to.

this is running longer than I expected at first

Anime LA (fairly brief)

Last weekend, robot_grrl, Derrick and I headed North to attend Anime LA. While the trip wasn’t a complete waste, neither Tara nor I are sure we got good value for our con attending currency (either money or time) — no offense to any of our friends involved in the event intended.

Last year when we went went (report here), Tara and I had a pretty good time. This year, we ended up spending much of our time hiding in the parent’s lounge (where, at one point, it was more the non-anime but still fanish zone) instead.

I think, as can easily happen, much of the problem was a mismatch between us and the programming available. I’d kind of hoped that there might be programming that Derrick would actually be interested in, and perhaps something I’d be interested in. As it turns out, we were the only family members to actually make any programming — which was an early Saturday karate workshop.

We did commit our share of commerce, both in the dealers’ room and the artist alley.

While I completely understand why the con suite was the way it was (which Derrick didn’t even after we explained it several times), I did find it a bit spare in comparison to most of the SF Con con suites I’m familiar with. The lack (as near as we could tell) of non-coffee caffeine sources (perhaps there were tea bags, but I’m becoming an anti-lipton tea snob for hot tea in most cases), forced us to contribute to the hotel’s vending services bottom line by more than we’d like (it was a better value than the food station in the ballroom area). And, while it was probably better for my waist line, the snack material was also a bit on the thin side most of the times I wondered in.

At this point, unless there is a compelling need (like some future con committee wants us there to sell memberships), I suspect that we may beg off going up there again for Anime LA. (LosCon is a different matter, and I’d like to make Galifrey One some year when we don’t have a conflict, or a time or budget shortfall)

Sorry Erik (et. al.)

This was the view outside my window yesterday afternoon:

Backyard, Oceanside CA, 2010-01-07

In Santa Clara Next Week

If plans hold, I should make my first (of who knows how many) visits to our Santa Clara office next Wednesday and Thursday (Jan 13-14, 2010).

I should arrive at San Jose mid-morning on Wednesday (although it will be a bit of a rush to get to the airport after dropping Derrick off at school — as long as the traffic south of the I-805 split on I-5 is like that north of there MOST mornings I should be able there on time). I leave Thursday evening.

I don’t know how late I’ll be working on Wednesday, but hopefully not all night.

I’ve got a room at one of the Santa Clara Residence Inns (they are just a few blocks apart and are two of the closest approved hotels, and are less expensive then the Embassy Suites by a few dollars a night) for Wednesday night. At the very least, I could use suggestions of a nice, but not too expensive or fattening place to get supper that night.