How are you today?

Results get! The improvements continue, as does the bafflement of medical professionals!

Next step is a CT scan in April, then next appointment with the doc on 7 June!


On the plus side, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers mean I didn’t burn my house down today. On the negative, my own stupidity means I did burn my kitchen and now have fire extinguisher fumes all over my downstairs.


oh my god, what happened?
But better fire extinguisher fumes and a bit of singed kitchen…
Which reminds me we need to check ours or rather my dad‘s.


I set a box on the stove, unpacked it, and went upstairs to put the stuff away. Smoke alarm started going off while I was upstairs. Came down and box was on fire and stove burning. Best guess is I hit the burner on with my stomach while I was unpacking.


Glad you’re ok


Nobody got hurt, that’s the important thing. The rest is just stuff.


And on top of the good news already received, one of my favourite bands, Blind Guardian, is coming to Montreal on 10 May touring behind their latest album, The God Machine, which topped my 2022 album of the year list and is the best thing they’ve done in at least 20 years (IMHO, of course). And I got a ticket! So hyped!


Goodness. There’s been a lot to put here but just no gumption to sit down and do it.

Let’s work backwards.

Friday I was let go. I’ll likely write more in a different thread. I’ve survived maybe half a dozen re-orgs and they always had somewhere for me to land. I had allies, they knew I had value. This time it was more of “you’re welcome to find a new seat for yourself if you can.” This company is not my future but it was a comfortable present, given the demands I face outside of work. I planned to start looking this summer. So not an outright disaster but it’s never fun to be on the receiving end of this.

December I finished my book. 12 years. A lot has happened, not 12 years of working time but 12 years of calendar time. Maybe 5 years of work? I love it. Doing the formatting and proofreading now, blurb, marketing materials, etc. Soon. Paired with the above one can’t help but daydream. 300,000 readers is less than 0.1% of the US population. Is it possible? You can’t help but tolerate these thoughts at a time like this. Still better to put my nose down on the job search.

November, my father in law fell in the laundry room. Low pulse led to lightheadedness. Now we’re three brain surgeries and two stints in the ICU later. My wife and baby have been going up to New Jersey to support, I’ve been home with the two older kids. Is he ok? We don’t know. It goes from yes to no and back again. What an exhausting season. Especially while trying to care for a 7 month old who won’t take a bottle.

Taking an off day today. I need to reset, though that is hard as I have responsibilities with no pause button. I finally looked through the war of the ring, the card game cards while having a beer before lunch (Irish privilege). Wow. This is going on my list with Sidereal Confluence for most wanted to play. I think it would take a group 10-20 plays to really explore the space, just as an introduction. Whispers of it came through in the cards.

I went back to San Diego for Christmas. First time since before COVID. My dad threw our stroller at me. After he’d calmed down, told me it was no big deal and he didn’t want to talk about it. There’s a moment for my therapist. Hey, I think we see where some of me comes from. Didn’t bother or scare me like it once would have, so that’s a good sign of healing and maturing in myself.

And yeah, our baby won’t take a bottle or drink from a sippy. But my wife is 43 and the milk supply isn’t on dairy cow mode. It’s been hard. She started losing weight. We got it back up with solids but she still needs to eat multiple times per night and, if illness or teething strikes, she can get really hungry for a few days. It’s hard having a hungry baby.

Oh yeah, the game purchasing moratorium. Pierced. So I got Bear Raid and Hands in the Sea. These are old games I’d researched exhaustively and decided I didn’t need, but found someone selling cheap used copies with all upgrades included. Also Palaces of Carrara, also used and cheap, and after a play on BGA. Not what I’d planned, but getting older, known games at clearance prices at least feels different from chasing hawtness. Still, not what I’d planned. We start again.

Also Caverna, the day I was laid off, because sometimes when these things happen these things happen. We all gotta deal how we can.


We’re back from our skiing vacation.
The weather was not optimal, the apartment has not been renovated since my parents first went there in the late 90s (it’s a rental, we do not own an apartment in Switzerland–I wish). The bed was destroying my back… we didn’t get to ski as much as I hoped but way more than my anticipated worst case scenario–also without doing any preparatory training… I could still do everything I wanted :slight_smile:

It’s Sunday afternoon, the laundry is done. I have read my colleague’s report from Friday on our shared ticket and it’s fine–it really helped that he complimented my code from the week before in there :slight_smile: I made plans with my sister for my dad’s 80st in September and now I am sorting pictures and I feel actually relaxed… this is a nice feeling. I haven’t had this enough lately. When I am done with the photos I will finish up my 2nd time doing the Sidereal Confluence cover jigsaw… we’ll order in tonight and will hopefully watch one of the last episodes of The Orville.

Of all those boardgame cover jigsaws (it is a series of 5 that came out 2 years ago) this one is the best. And when I started it I remembered so many of the pieces from last time… it is really weird what stuff our brain thinks worth storing. On purpose I approached it in a different order this time doing some of the hardest parts first … though once again that tentacle tree on the right is missing key pieces.


You also seem to have a ton of “left-over” pieces?? Did this get mixed up with one of the other 4?

Edit: Never mind, I see now that there’s a large unfinished section in the middle! :). (The other picture underneath the jigsaw confused me a lot.)


No it all fit perfectly. No piece missing, none left over.
I’ll probably set up the next one tonight :slight_smile: I need more square 1000 piece ones that fit the board I made… I have a felted puzzle mat as well, but have never used it…


Of course for a special challenge I could just throw all 5 puzzles in one box and hope I get them all done in parallel somehow…?


Have you seen the mega-puzzles in the galleria at Essen? Something like ten puzzles in a row, all linked together, and people gradually do them during the day. I think they start with the pieces in more or less separate piles…


I am not good.

Since last Monday my dad has been in the hospital. He was having severe stomach pain and vomiting, tried going to his doctor, but they were busy and told him to go to the ER instead. At first they thought it might be an intestinal blockage, but they decided against that the next day. I think it was day 3 when they determined it was C. Diff, a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of the colon. Good news, two week treatment of antibiotics and it should clear right up.

Meanwhile, my dad was getting very little sleep, was not getting enough food or liquids, and he gets very confused when dehydrated, like unable to recognize where he is or the year type of confused. Once, he was back talking to his commanding officer in Vietnam discussing an operation. Thankfully they put him on an IV and nutrients, but he seems to go back and forth between confused and lucid.

However this past weekend he was laboring to breathe and it took them a day to realize his lung had collapsed. So they put in a chest tube and drained a bunch of fluid.

They did a swallow test and found things we’re getting stopped at the esophagus, so talked about putting in a feeding tube, but his doctor nixed that idea for now, waiting to see if he gains strength after days of IV and nutrients and some actual sleep and can swallow then.

Last night his arm was swollen and today they found a small blood clot, so he is on blood thinners trying to take care of that. He is doing speech and physical therapy. There has already been talk that he will need to go into a nursing home for the rest of his recovery once he is done at the hospital, though they expect to keep him for another week or so.

On top of all this, we have educational stuff for our older child, which renews his approval for special education and also is supposed to come up with attainable goals for him to meet in school. Meeting for that was yesterday and we only got about halfway over two hours, so we get to have another meeting within the next month. Yay. It’s just really stressful, on top of our already stressful days, and now there’s worry over my dad. And mom, too, as she is there with him at the hospital every day and it’s too far away for us to do anything to help.

Just hate this.


So sorry to hear that.

Having to worry over kids and parents both is draining.

I wish your dad all the best and hope he‘ll be better soon.

A short-term stay at a nursing home may be the best if no „Reha“ facilities are available. (Reha is shortened for „rehabilitation“ which is the word used over here for the long term recovery after serious health issues.) It sounds really bad though but it is quite common over here to spend a few weeks at a place where there are really always people around to help.

It‘s week-end now, maybe you can just take a couple days to wind down a little. Do your parents have messaging or do you need to be on the phone with them to find out how they are doing?


Sounds like a real emotional toll. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway look after yourself and your family.


Geez, Maestro that’s rough. At least it sounds like your dad’s being taken care of and be’s gonna pull through, but I totally get the worry and the fear that come with being too far away to help.

You all are in our thoughts, buddy!


Hate to pile on but I have to say it if no one else does. C Diff is for life. You can get it under control with a few weeks of antibiotics but it stays in there and you have to be super careful about taking antibiotics ever again, as it can cause another flare up (by removing the healthy bacteria, same as pulling up healthy grass causes weeds to spread. C Diff also spreads by spores which are resistant to most cleaning methods so be crazy careful when you go to visit him and shut the door before anyone flushes those damn lidless hospital toilets. Best bet is soap, which removes the spores rather than trying to kill them with rubbing alcohol or bleach. Change when you come home. Blast him with probiotics while and after taking any antibiotics.

My wife caught C Diff at the hospital while being treated for something else.

Yep. Our IEP meetings tend to go over three sessions. We try to do most of it over email, negotiating changes to the document, so there is less time actually meeting. I feel this. Sorry it’s happening now. I hope the time is mostly spent on clarity rather than arguing over what your kid needs :frowning:


I have a learning to share from this week-end.

When I was much younger, there used to be parties I had hoped to be invited to but wasn’t. It was a disappointment every time and it hurt. It’s a very specific sad feeling and one I really don’t care to revisit.

These days this never happens anymore–it might be a function of being an adult or maybe I am just lucky with my friends. I think it is both. I know my people quite well and when to expect invitations and when not (yes this also)–ergo no disappointments. Instead sometimes I get a surprising invite. Which is quite lovely.

This week-end I get a text from a friend, if we were coming to so and so’s party and if I could bring along some of my sourdough starter as her’s died. And I am like “there’s a party?” This other person was a friend whom I would have expected to include us for a birthday get together. Being wrong about this hurt (I really feel that it is the discrepancy between expecation and reality that hurts). I briefly considered asking either the friend I was talking to, to ask the other friend why we weren’t included. Or checking in with the birthday friend directly. I did neither. I was already not having a great day and was too tired to risk that conversation. Instead we binged Blue Eye Samurai (which was awesome) with a bottle of wine on the side.

About 3 hours later there’s a phone call from the party person. My partner picked up. “Hey I only just heard you did not get my invitation email… I had been wondering why you didn’t rsvp…”

Turns out he’d used an old email list that included very ancient accounts both for me and my partner. Mine doesn’t exist anymore (and I had expected everyone to have updated their address books on my request years ago) and my partner’s was on forward mode and that broke 2 years ago–silently it turns out. When we checked the next day there were 3 emails in there. One was the missed invitation. Of the others one was also not unimportant but I was able to fix the consequences on Sunday.

I should have had the guts to call him straight away. Had I been wrong it would also have been good to know. Had I been the one who sent out the faulty email, I would have wanted to know. And I had suspected something might have been off with that because it is not the first time… I had asked my partner to check his emails if we might have missed an invitation. We just did not think to check on the account he thought was forwarding mails to his current one -.-

It’s all good now. Sure it is sad I missed an opportunity to spend an evening with good friends. But it’s not a thing I will lose a second of sleep over.

PS: don’t ever change your private email address (I did it because I am old enough to have been on the internet when spam email wasn’t so much of an issue and I used my 1 email for everything, when the spam problem became unbearable I changed it… I thought that at least close friends would be able to delete the old address from their books–nope does not work that way)


I have a water bottle. It has been my water bottle for many years. It was with me on my wedding cruise in 2020 and was already beat up and old at that point (see image). It has been to Canada and the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Alaska, and basically every US state between Virginia and Texas plus a few more. It once fell in a fire and my husband reached in and pulled it out for me. It has had the burn marks ever since.

I dropped my water bottle on the front porch on my way out the door for work this morning and it broke. I’m sad over a stupid water bottle.