Thursday, June 25, 2015

Future project?

CK, I thought of you when I saw this.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The next phase of life

My daughter, Min, got engaged last week!  She had never met anyone she wanted to marry, and I was settled in the thought that she never would marry.  This is so wonderful!  Her fiance, Luke, got her an opal surrounded by diamonds because she didn't want the traditional diamond solitaire.  They are planning a Spring 2016 wedding, in the woods, very Bohemian style, which fits well with Min's hippy nature.  They are currently looking for a suitable wooded venue that will let them bring in food, and have music well past the 11 p.m. Noise curfew time of most State Parks.  Min has a friend who lives on 300 acres, so she's planning to see if any place on the property will work.  I'm so happy for them.  Luke is a really great guy.  He's a vegetarian like Min.  He dotes on her and is very kind and considerate of her, plus he has a good job and a good head on his shoulders.  Min is very happy and I couldn't ask for more for her.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Internet Censorship

I received the following e-mail today.  Have any of you heard about this?

In just a few days, key lawmakers will vote on a new scheme that will facilitate the spread of a restrictive ‘link tax’1 online.  This backwards censorship plan is supported by a politician named Jean-Marie Cavada. A classic Internet villain who wants to hold onto the past.

We know Cavada hopes to usher in new powers that could see links and comments on Soundcloud, Facebook, and WhatsApp to your favorite blog redirected or blocked entirely.

Have you seen those “not available in your area” geo-block-like messages? Yeah, more of that sort of thing. We hate them too. 

If Cavada gets his way we’ll see much more of that frustrating Internet censorship and it will affect users everywhere. Let’s all send him a message he can’t ignore now.

Here’s the rub: Cavada’s link censorship plan is about to be voted on in a powerful EU parliamentary committee he chairs.2

Regardless of where you live many of your favourite websites and key web infrastructure will be covered by his irresponsible censorship scheme. 

As it stands, if Cavada gets his way you could see some of your favourite websites being forced to pay a ‘link tax’ for pointing to information that’s freely available elsewhere.3

Get this: he even tried to scrub the input from Internet users from this decision-making process.4 He then tried to block a UN free expression expert from talking to key decision-makers about the problems with his restrictive plan.5 Who does that?

For Cavada to back off he needs to hear from as many of us as possible right now. The vote is in just a few days. 

Every story has a hero and a villain, and this story is no different. We know which role Cavada is playing.

We have a hero: Pro-Internet champion Julia Reda has actually set out a positive roadmap5 for how to bring more of the Web we love to more people around the world.

Cavada is trying to ruin this forward-looking plan by inserting his censorship plan into the process. Let’s not let him do that.

-Meghan, on behalf of your OpenMedia team

PS: We need to make sure that Cavada hears our message loud and clear. And the more people who share this action, the easier that will be. Can you take a moment to share on Facebook and Twitter today?



[1] 'Link tax' also known as 'ancillary copyright.' Find out more about it's effects here and here.
[2] Jean-Marie Cavada’s bio. Source: European Parliament.
[3],[4] What does Cavada want the future of copyright to look like? Source.
[5] MEP scuffle points to EU copyright controversy. Source: EU Observer.
[6] Copyright evaluation report - explained. Source: Julia Reda.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Plodding Through

 Last week I cleaned out one side of the garage, hauled three truck loads of stuff to the dump.

Today I began working on the basement.  B is finally home from Taiwan (Yay!) so he was helping me with all the heavy lifting and sorting. 

We only got a little further than what you see in this picture.  It's surprising how exhausting it is to lift case after case of legal books (easily close to 100 pounds) and make multiple runs to the dump.

We will get right back at it tomorrow.  M will be here to also help.  Yes, she came back early from England :-( but after she told me about the conditions of living and training, I can't say as I blame her, though I was hoping she would make it longer.  Oh well.  Now I'm off to visit blogs that I've neglected as of late.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Diagnosis

So I haven't updated you all on my hives situation.  It got worse, which turned out to be a good thing.  As long as the hives looked like normal hives, the doctors kept putting me on prednisone waiting for it to clear up. 

Then the hives returned even while I was on the prednisone, and turned into these beauties that were bleeding under the skin.  I can't describe how painful they were.  They were hot, they burned, they were swollen, and it hurt to have my clothes touch them.  At first I wondered if they were shingles, because I had chicken pox when I was a kid, but they weren't.  I drove over to my doctor's office while they looked like this, demanding something be done.  I was ready to check into a hospital.  I didn't know what to do and clearly, the steroids weren't working and the doctors didn't know what they were. 

They got me in with an allergist who also specialized in immunology.  This was my lucky break.  When the doctors at this new office saw my hives, they said, "those are not ordinary hives."  To which I replied, "of course they're not, I'm special."  Good thing my humor hadn't left me yet.

The doctor then began to pepper me with non-stop questions on when they started, their changing character, any medications I'd been taking, known allergens, foods I'd been eating, etc.  He clearly had seen these before, and was just trying to narrow down which illness I had.  He said he narrowed it down to four different auto-immune disorders, but wanted a biopsy of one of the hives to verify what it was.

So a hole in my leg and a week later and they had the results.  I have 
Leukocytoclastic vasculitis

They think it might have been triggered by the statins I was taking for my cholesterol, since the hives developed four days after I began taking them.  Leukocytoclastic vasculitis is a very rare side effect of the particular statin I was on.  I found an NIH study on people who developed this disorder while taking statins.  Most people improved a couple of weeks after being off the statins.  Then there was another group that took 6 months to 2 years to get completely better.  Clearly I'm not in the first group. 

Since my immune system is still going nuts, thinking it's under attack, I have to go on immuno-suppressant drugs to calm it down.  I also have to have blood tests every two weeks like clockwork to verify that the drugs they have me on aren't harming my kidneys or liver, and to also verify that the leukocytoclastic vasculitis hasn't progressed to my internal organs, because that could kill me. 

It's such a weird thing to not feel sick, yet know I have something that could be deadly.  It doesn't feel real.  I feel fine.  So far the hives haven't come back, and I'm not noticing any side effects of the new medicine, well besides getting hot and flushed on occasion. 

So, now with the diagnosis in hand, and knowing I'm moving, they had to transfer my case to another immunologist in Buffalo when I move, all while continuing the bloodwork every two weeks.  So I spent the better part of one day, faxing medical records and giving background information to the new doctor's office in Buffalo, then did the same thing with a lab up there to continue my blood tests, also scheduled tests for while I'm still in Maryland, and because I can never have anything be simple and normal, I also had to find a lab in Maine, where I'll be on vacation for ten days in July, to do blood tests.  Everything is now in order, all the labs know when to expect me and who to send the results to.  Organization is a good thing.  :-)

Monday, May 25, 2015


I have put pictures of headstones of my mother's side of the family who have served in war on my blog in the past.  This time, I will put pictures from my father's side of the family.