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Friday, January 28, 2011

Life is a short warm moment...

Blogging tunes: Howard Stern - 2/10/2010

Ever listen to the Pink Floyd song Free Four (from Obscured by clouds)?  Musically, it's happy and bouncy.  Lyrically, it's pretty dark.  Popped into my head recently.  Not sure why I opened this post with that tidbit, but there ya go.

Lots of interesting hospital stuff over the last few days.  Here's the update.

Overall.  I only got 5 hours of sleep last night, so I'm tired but also extremely wired.  I think it's the steroids they are giving me.  I'm hoping to finish this blog and then get a nap.

Chemo. I'm halfway done this phase of (consolidation) chemo.  It's administered in intense doses, instead of a slow drip, as follows.  Each dose is two hours long, 12 hours apart, with a day off in between.  3 double doses total.  So my first dose was Tue 10p and Wed 10a; my second dose was last night at 10pm and will continue at 10am this morning (it's 9:40a now), and my third dose will be Sat nite into Sunday morning.  That will likely be followed by a week of feeling anywhere between "kinda crappy" and "like total shit" -- I'm intending on the former.

Impromptu Sinus/Tear Duct biopsy/surgery.  On the heels of the sinus-infection-related follow-up appointment I had last week, I was referred to an ophthalmologist because of a little cyst-like ball between my nose and tear-duct.  It had been getting smaller on its own in January, but last week really started to grow again so we were a little concerned: was it fungal?  Cancerous?  Nobody knew.  Strangely, it shrunk to about half size after the first intense chemo dose this week -- maybe some kind of leukemic deposit?

So yesterday, I went across the street to see the ophthalmologist dude.  After checking my vision (I'm 20/15 in my left eye and 20/35 in my right -- getting better in my old age I guess) and making sure my left tear duct wasn't badly blocked (it was partially blocked but nothing too serious) they decided to just go in there and grab some of it for a biopsy.  They actually got about half of it, which is great I guess.  Here's what I looked like on the way over to the appointment (click for bigger)...



here I am, a little fuzzy, after the procedure...


all cleaned up...


and finally, here's a close-up of the stitch job.  It shouldn't leave much of a scar.



Lastly, here's about 1/5 of the panoramic view from window from the 7th floor.  Absolutely gorgeous.


PICC Line. On Wednesday afternoon, the PICC team came in to give me my new line.  The experience was much better this time -- maybe because it was my third one in as many months -- or maybe because the team learned a few lessons from my last PICC. I got the team to take a few pics before they started.  Here's me under my tent...


And the whole scene:


They gave me some Ativan and I put on some mellow live Tangerine Dream (Pergamon).  Easy peesy like George and Ousie.

Food and appetite.  My appetite is still pretty kickin.  Yesterday I had a special veggie burrito for lunch and Uncle Dave brought Thai food in for dinner.  On Wednesday morning I watched the Tues night Flyers game via Slingbox/iPad while I ate breakfast...


and Dave brought a yummy burger and fries from Burgermeister for dinner.  Tonight, Gaurav is coming to visit with Indian food!  Prawn Saag... Chicken Makhani.... OWLGM!  As long as my taste buds are rockin, I'm going to pack away as much as I can.  As of this morning, my weight was still up... 155.  That's really only 8-10 pounds below my normal weight.  I'm a camel.

My own room.  Last night, around 9pm I moved from a shared room on 11 Long to my own room on 14 Long.  This new room is on the south side, so there are no views, but at least this floor as big flat screens.  No HD signal, but at least my Super Bowl watching experience will be vastly improved over those little hangy 13" screens on 11


What else?  Oh, Heather's mom arrives today and will be staying with her and the boys in San Rafael for a little more than a week.  Good timing too, as H wasn't feeling great yesterday.  Rest up, honey!  Oh, and Gramma, check your email -- I gifted you an iPad app for Floyd.  Yes, Gramma fell in love with my iPad so Grampa bought her one last week.  I'm sure Floyd will be ecstatic as he hasn't gotten any iPad time since Monday night.

Not much else to report for now.  Part two of my second dose of chemo is flowing, and I still have some energy, so I'm going to see if I get a little more work done.  As of now, I'm still feeling up for visitors -- we'll see how long that lasts.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Gold It's in The...

Blogging tunes: Grateful Dead - Giants Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ - 6/17/91

So here I am back at  UCSF.  My doctor said I'll probably be here for three weeks: another round of chemo and the requisite recovery period.  The strange thing about the start of this stay is that I feel great.  The first two rounds saw me feeling pretty much like crap at the start.  Hopefully that means this round will be a lot easier on me.  But I don't want to jinx it, so forget I said anything.

This is going to be a long one, so if you don't have the time, close the tab, and come back some other time.  If you do, put on some tunes, and settle in.  I recommend the Grateful Dead show from 6/17/91 at Giants stadium -- that's what I'm listening to.  Jackson, did you bust it out, yet?  To all readers, if you want a lovely soundboard version of this epic show, let me know and I'll get it to you -- it sounds incredible.  Otherwise, you can stream a decent audience version from archive.org.  I'm not going to get into why this show is so special -- you can read the reviews at the aforementioned link.  I will say, once again that the Bose QC-15 noise canceling headphones are the absolute bomb.  My roommate (yes, I'm in a shared room -- for now) currently has 4 visitors and they are really gabbing it up.  But I don't hear a word of it.  Thanks again, Sam/Lucy/Adam/Mary.  If all goes well, I'll get transferred to a private room tomorrow or Thursday.

I arrived at the hospital right around 2pm PST.  By the time I got admitted and got up to my room, it was too late to get a PICC, so I got stuck (pun intended) with the normal two-or-three-day peripheral IV. No fun. They are going to start my chemo tonight through the PIV and then I'll probably get the PICC tomorrow.  For one week of chemo, you might think the PICC is overkill, but if I don't get it, they'll have to stick me every morning when they draw my labs (usually at 5am!).  I'd rather have the PICC, then I can practically sleep through the daily blood draws.

Floyd was sad to see me go, but he actually has a clue what's going on now -- Daddy has "loo keeee mee uh" -- and he knows I won't be in the hospital all that long.  Heather, the kids, and I had a fun day, nonetheless.  In the morning, she took the boys to the playground, while I wrapped up some work stuff and packed up all my gear.  Then we drove to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco -- a little hole in the wall mom and pop shop called Evergreen Garden.  We used to eat there just about every Thursday when I worked at Doppelganger.  While some of the menu is hit or miss, the Pho is as good as it gets, IMO.  We always get Pho Tai, Vermicelli with beef or pork, and fresh Spring Rolls.  Soooo good.  Here's a picture of Cindy (one of the owners) with Orion:


Before hitting UCSF we stopped off to see Autie Laura (and use the potty).  Floyd has been jumping around like a monkey lately, and he found a great place to jump at Laura's: from the ottoman to the chair:


Heather and I have been IM'ing (bbm'ing actually) while I type this.  She just uploaded the cutest video of Floyd.  It's a message to Donna.  Sorry, Keith.  I still have one connection at GDP, I wonder if he has Donna's contact info...



To my delight, he's really getting into the Dead.  Early on, he latched on to Fire on the Mountain, and he'd always ask for that song.  Now he usually just asks for "77 with Donna" -- he's got no clue that those numbers represent a year, of course.  So you (deadhead types) can imagine how the conversation goes when he says, "I wanna hear Standing on the Moon from '77, daddy!"

Before I go on, I want to give a shout out to the First Connection program from the LLS.  Through it, I got to talk to a few really cool people (you know who you are) who have already undergone what I'm going to be going through this Spring.  It was extremely comforting, not to mention informative, to talk to people who have been through it and come out unscathed.  So thanks FC folks.

A little more on my health: in the last 3.5 weeks, I've put back on 15 of the 25 pounds I lost over November/December.  I have been eating everything in sight, and it's working.  I eat whatever I want, whenever I want.  In the morning, I chow two huge bowls of cereal, and by 10am I'm ready for another meal -- not a snack, I'm talkin' a full plate.  Taste buds are 100% (for now) so anything goes.  Butter?  Slather it on.  Fatty Chinese duck?  I'll eat a whole order and then have a bunch of moo-shu to boot.  We'll see what happens with my taste buds this time around -- I'm hoping it won't be as bad.  Speaking of which, the nurse just came in to start my first dose of chemo.  Here we go again.

Closer to home, I've been getting a lot of piano time in lately and Floyd's really getting into it too.  Now, when I play, Heather and I will sing, and he'll grab his drum or his little xylophone and bang away, trying to play along.  Or sometimes he'll just sit quietly on the bench to my right and play notes in the upper registers.  Sometimes he even plays on his own too.


The iPad is also proving to be immensely useful with the piano.  It's certainly easier to manipulate than a heavy songbook.  Sometimes if I want to play something I don't know, I'll just search  for it online then I can zoom and scroll as needed.  No more printing!


Of course, half the time, the charts on the internet are wrong, but sometimes there's enough to go on.  All I'm looking for is chords anyway -- I don't need the sheet music.  Guitar tabs are overkill, but as long as the chord symbols are there...


In addition to the piano, the office is finally reasonably usable.  I have two machines driving the same two monitors, so regardless of which one I'm using, I have the screen real estate I need.  I can also do one of each, since they are configured to use different primary monitors.


But all this stuff is really second fiddle to all the outside time I've gotten with Heather, the kids, and friends over the last week.  The weather in San Rafael (and SF of course) has been amazing for the last week or so.  Sunny and low 60s every day, mid 40s at night.  I know, just what the Philly and Boston folks want to hear, right?  Well, we've taken full advantage, hanging in the backyard, going to playgrounds, walking the neighborhood, and even doing a little hiking.


This is the trail head just above the Dominican campus.  It's very mellow climb up to this clearing with a gorgeous view of the surrounding area.  On Sunday morning, we went on a nice little hike.  Click the pic for a bigger version.



The trail goes much higher, but we haven't gone up too far.  I had absolutely no problems hiking and Floyd had a ball.  It's amazing that we found a house where we can walk to town and walk to a trail head.  Marin kinda rules.  Here's one more pic.  Whodathunk Floyd would be so happy hiking with mom and dad?


Heather and I discovered the trail on Friday afternoon when we were exploring Dominican campus.  On the way we saw something that some of the Massachusetts blog readers will appreciate... Camp Doodles!


Friday was just an awesome day all around.  It was our final "date day" before I had to come back to UCSF.  Before our stroll through Dominican we walked into town to check out the local Vietnamese place.  We had to see how their pho and vermicelli stacked up.  The service was weird and they were playing Christmas tunes of all things, but the food was pretty good.  It wasn't Evergreen but I think we'll go there again.

After our walk, we picked up the kiddos and continued our date day with an early happy hour dinner at the Broken Drum -- a brew pub and grill in downtown San Rafael.  We had seen the "Happy Hour" and "Kids Eat Free!" signs earlier in the day and got sucked in.  Warning: the food at this place was horrible.  The beer was quite good -- I had the IPA and Heather had the Pale ale -- but the calamari was disgusting, the wings were more like toes, and the nachos were just so-so.  Their idea of happy hour was to give you half portions of apps, and just charge you half.  Huh?  How's that supposed to make me happy.  To their credit, the service overall was pretty good and they didn't charge us for the calamari when I told the waitress how bad it was, but man... how can you have a brew pub with good beer and have such crappy food?  Oh, and you only get a free kid's meal when you get a grown-up meal.  Of course, we just ordered apps (no "meals") so we had to pay $4 for Floyd's corn dog and fries.  Ironically, I think the corn dog was probably the best thing we were served.  Some local yokel at the bar told us that they heard that management was going to fire the kitchen staff and re-invent the menu.  I hope they go through with it.  I've been meaning to call them and tell them about my experience, but haven't gotten around to it.  Maybe tomorrow.

Other outside adventures included numerous trips to the playground.  There's one literally around the corner from our place, so it's easy to walk over there and play ball...


... or just hang out with Mommy.


At the other playground, you can go down a slide...


jump like a monkey...


or go on a swing.


On Saturday morning Floyd's swam with Heather:


while Orion and I watched:


then we headed home for a little BBQ.  Uncle Dave, Auntie Laura, and Auntie Na-Na came over and even ScottieD trekked up from the peninsula.  Yes, he wore a Steelers shirt.  Also, my good friend, college buddy, and yeP! bandmate, Jackson was in town.  Brown and I went to Whole Foods and got some sausages, peppers, 'kraut, and roles, and we had a mellow afternoon just chillin' in the backyard.  Of course, I forgot to take pictures -- duh.  Anyway, here are a couple pictures of the yard for those who haven't been to our place:



In the evening, Jackson and I did a bunch of work in the garage and then Heather, Jack, and I watched The Social Network.  It was pretty good, but not quite as good as I thought it'd be based on what I'd heard about it.  It would also be nice to know how accurate the different parts were.  Anyone got insights?

OK, it's getting late.  I gotta get some sleep.  Before I go though, a few closing items.

"jg will kick its ass" caps and buttons are now available from cafepress (Thanks, Benji, Carolyn, and Sophie)  So if you're interested in getting any jgwkia loot, click here.  To be clear, there are no proceeds going anywhere, this is just loot for the sake of loot.  Prices are cost.  I kinda like the caps.  ima have to get me one of those black ones.


Shirts may or may not be coming in the future.

Next, I'm working on a secret project during this hospital visit!  This outcome of this project will be a present for a very special blog reader.  Heather is the only one who knows what I've got in mind.  I'll keep y'all (somewhat vaguely) updated on the status and then we'll all get to see the results when it's done.

Lastly, if you are easily offended, stop reading now, but if you're a fan of The Onion, and you don't mind a little classic, old-school, tasteless, philly-style baseball humor, check out this video about this little girl who's battling cancer and gets her wish.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Back in the U.C.S.F.


Waiting room in the admitting office. One bag, one suitcase; a plant and a fan (not mine) and two Flyers hats. It's been a great week. I'll post a much longer update once I get settled in a room.

iwkia,

-jg

Sent from my mobile device

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Take me out to...

Blogging Tunes: somafm - Space Station

... the doctor.

This morning I have a follow-up appointment with the ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor.  If you recall, back in December, I had minor surgery for a nasty sinus infection.  It turned out to be fungal (which can be very serious in and of itself, let alone post-chemo) but everything seems to be OK now.  Still, we need to follow-up, so we're heading to the city bright and early for an 8:30a appt.  I do have this little bubble (feels like a tiny cyst?) above my left nostril, just below my eye -- so we'll get that checked out.

... the restaurant.

Whenever we go to the city, we always make sure to get something good to eat.  After all, I'm supposed to be eating everything in sight.  So far so good with that. As of 12/31/10, I weighed 138.  I'm now up to 150.  Twelve pounds in 3 weeks -- not too bad.  The question is, where to go for food?  My appointment will probably be done by 9:30a, so that pretty much focuses us on breakfast.  Hmmmm.... Zazie?  Ella's?  Kate's Kitchen?  Got any other ideas?  Comment within the next couple hours and maybe we'll go with your recommendation. :)

... the ballgame.

Floyd is starting to get really into baseball (well, wiffleball).

For some reason, he refuses to hit the ball off the tee now, so I started to pitch to him.  He loved hitting off the tee at the old apartment, but now he'll have nothing to do it with it. Kids are weird.

We obviously still have a bunch of fundamentals to work on.  His left hand leaves the bat before the ball even gets there -- and I thought Pat Burrell's follow through was bad; he doesn't hold the bat quite right; and he takes two or three steps toward the ball before he swings.  All that said, he makes contact about 30% of the time, and can really connect sometimes.  Here's a sequence of 4 pics taken from a video -- I'm having movie-conversion issues at the moment -- Windows Movie Maker doesn't read .mov files, and when I convert to .avi, it complains that no codec is installed (of course, the codec *is* installed) -- any ideas?  When I get it figured out I'll post a video.  We still owe your loyal readers some piano video, we'll get that too.  Anyway, here are the pics.  Click each for a bigger version.


Ready!

*Crack!*

*Base Hit!*

*Hi Five*

... the hospital.

On Tuesday 1/25/11, I'll be going back to UCSF (for about 3 weeks) for another round of chemo.  Even though I'm in remission, they want to make sure the Luekemia stays away before we start the bone marrow transplant (BMT) which is slated for early-mid March.  If folks want to plan a UCSF visit, I'll be very healthy and energetic that first week.  The following week, probably not so much.  Drop me an email and we'll set something up.  Totally bummed that I'm gonna miss Tripp's annual Super Bowl party, but what can you do.  Benji, got a line on a 4G card?  Network speed is pretty atrocious on 11 Long.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's been One Week since you looked a me...

Blogging Tunes: PHI@BOS (NHL)

As I sit here composing my first blog entry in nearly a week, the kids are finally asleep, Heather and her mom are sitting on the couch playing with my iPad, and I'm sitting here pecking away on my lappie, watching the Flyers in HD on delay.  Obviously, a hockey game isn't "Tunes" - but, in case you hadn't noticed, I start all my entries with "Blogging Tunes".  Heather just busted out the chocolate covered strawberries that Yu Tian sent us (Thanks, Yu!) and the Flyers just scored!  Life is good.  Very very good.

Today I had my bone marrow biopsy at USCF.  We don't have the full results, but based on my labs (the normal blood draw they do every time) it's pretty clear that (as expected) I'm in remission.  My doctor was happy with my counts, my energy level, everything.  So we're on track for the next steps.  Here's what it looks like over the next couple months:

  • Next week - another week at home - working part time, enjoying the family, eating, building strength, etc.
  • Week of 1/24/11: begin three weeks back at UCSF for a consolidation round of chemo
    • Should be able to work most of the first week
    • Will likely start feeling like sh*t by the end of the week
    • Will hopefully start feeling better by the third week
  • Week of 2/14/11 (if all goes well): three weeks at home
  • Beginning of March: begin the transplant (we don't have the exactly donor yet, but it's just a matter of time)
Heather will likely need some help during my chemo round, and we will definitely need some help during the transplant process (both in-patient phase and greater out-patient recovery phases).  We'll be reaching out to friends and family on this. For now, don't worry about it.

Now, let's talk about this incredible week.  Last Friday was Heather's and my first "date day" in I-don't-know-how-long.  Floyd was in day-care and Heather's mom had Orion all day, so we went into the city for a noon matinĂ©e of TRON in 3D on the IMAX.  Thin story but amazing effects -- I'm glad we went. Afterwards, we went out for a steak.  Not a cheesesteak, a real, honest-to-goodness New York strip, medium rare, with creamed spinach.  My first steak in over two months.  Oh yeah, the taste buds are back.



After the steak, I surprised the hell out of my team by attending our 4pm team meeting in person.  I wish I'd gotten a picture of this. I also got to see a bunch of co-workers after our meeting -- people were pretty freaked out to see skinny jg in person.  I loved seeing all the surprised/happy faces and receiving all the hugs :)   Afterwards, Heather and I drove back to San Rafael with Rob "don't call me Bobby" Woollen, who got me up to speed on some of the recent goings-on in the technical world of Salesforce.

The weekend was all about football of course, and even though the Eagles laid a big fat (how fat? As fat as Andy Reid) egg against the Packers, I had a great time.  A bunch of my good friends came up to San Rafael to see the new pad and watch with me.  Again, no pictures.  Talk about living in the moment.

Back in the day, the Eagles' getting bounced from the playoffs used to put me in a funk for several days.  No longer.  This illness, not to mention having two young kids, has really put things into perspective.  I'm finally getting to the point where I'm able to do what Heather always wanted me to do: be really happy when they win, but not all that bummed when they lose.  I was over it by Monday morning -- a first for me.  Besides, the Saturday games were absolutely incredible.  Congrats to the 8-9 Seahawks and Jets.  AFC matchups this coming weekend are amazing.  More football more football.  Wheeeee.

[Hockey update: Zherdev just scored. 2-2]

Most of this week was kinda "normal".  I worked from home for most of the day on Mon, Tue, and Wed.  I've gotten through about 500 emails and re-plugged in to a bunch of stuff. My WFH setup is pretty solid, though I need to do one final tweak to my monitor situation so that I can drive both monitors with both my computers.  Sorry, I'll stop with the geek stuff.

[Hockey update: Carter just scored. 3-2 Flyers]

In case anyone didn't see, I may have the best Carter jersey ever -- courtesy of Doug Simon:


The days may be normal, but the nights are anything but.  Floyd and Orion have been sleeping in the same room for a little over a week.  The getting to sleep routine is crazy.  Just when you think everything is good, Orion cries, and Floyd yells, "Oh-why-an not kwhy!!" which only makes Orion cry more.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

The nights are a toss up.  Floyd sleeps soundly through anything (which is great) but Orion gets up once, twice, three times, or not at all.  We prefer the not at all but it's only happened twice.

On Tuesday, Heather got Floyd a present -- his very own fish, which he promptly named, "Phillies" -- that's my boy:


[Wow, just like that the Bruins scored two quick goals.  Back and forth they go.  4-3 bad guys. Never out of it against Boston though.  Remember the playoffs last year?  C'mon, Flyers.]


Phillies is a male beta.  It's unclear how he's adjusting to life at our house.  It usually takes fish a couple days to adjust, but he's not too spunky yet -- we'll see how he's doing tomorrow.  Speaking of adjusting, Elvis (our stupid yet lovable, fat, orange cat) has not adjusted well at all.  He stays in the garage all the time and won't come in the house. Not sure what we're going to do with him.  Sorona, our semi-feral ball of fire is still in San Francisco.  Our neighbors have been trying to catch her to no avail.  Let's face it, we're bad cat parents.

[Woo!  Briere!  4-4.  Crazy game]

Fast forward to this afternoon.  After the UCSF appointment, we went to the Kezar Pub pub for lunch.  For those of you who have never been, allow me to give 'em a plug.  The Kezar Pub is not only the best place to watch your favorite team, they also have a ton of beers on draft, and great food, including the best wings in the city.


I cannot tell you how good they tasted today.  Whooooo doggie.  Do we look happy or what?  Great to see you Mo and Cyril!


[Flyers just killed off a dumb Briere penalty but the Bruins just tied it 5-5 on a BS goal.  Ugh!]

Gonna sign off and watch the last 7 minutes of this game.  We better get a point out of this.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Friday, January 7, 2011

Strike another MATCH and start anew...

Blogging Tunes: soma.fm - Groove Salad

This has been an incredible week.  Not only am I feeling better than I've felt in months (in my body and mind, I know that we've achieved a remission -- we'll know for sure next week), but some pretty phenomenal things have happened.

First of all, between the San Mateo and San Francisco offices, the salesforce.com Be The Match donor drive signed up almost 400 people in the last two days!  You can see the official blog posting here.  We're hoping the story gets picked up by AP, etc.  If it does, I'll post more links.  Want to get into the registry so you can help someone in need, just go to marrow.org -- it's simple!

Next, I've been able to lead a reasonably normal life for the past week or so.  I'm eating like crazy, and my taste buds are almost back to normal.  Maybe I'll even like pizza again (eh, Tripper?)  Still, I've only gained about 3 pounds.  Heather bought me this weight-gain protein shake powder, but all I can think of is Cartman.  "MOM!  CAN YOU GET ME SOME WEIGHT GAIN 4000?"


I've been spending lots of time with the kids -- we even had a little sing-along last night, working from home a few hours a day (which feels great!) and am even getting a chance to walk around the neighborhood everyday.  Here's a pic from my walk on Wednesday.  Sorry it's a little washed out.


But that's all small stuff compared to the big news that I got from UCSF this week.  Don't hate me, but I actually knew this on Tuesday afternoon -- I just didn't want to draw any attention away from the Bone Marrow Drive.  Drum roll please....

In addition to my counts still being way up (which means I can do fun stuff like go out to restaurants) the donor database search returned a TON of results!  There are literally SCORES of matches for me, including several 10-out-of-10 high-resolution scan matches.  This means that UCSF can dig into the absolute best matches and find the absolute best for me.  

Obviously, this is the best news possible, and believe me, it was hard to keep under the proverbial hat for two days.  What this means, based on my understanding, is that we could potentially start the BMT as early as 3 weeks from now; more likely six.  If it's six week, it's likely I'll need a little more chemo before we start.  That kinda sucks, but hey, if that's what we need to do to ensure the highest success rate of the BMT, so be it.

A quick aside, before I sign off.  As my good friend Rob from Philly will continually remind me from now until the cows come home, when the iPad first came out, I thought it was cool, but far from a necessity.  I stand (sit) corrected.  I can't live without the friggin thing now.  Not for the games like Osmos, but for the utilities!  With the Hi-res Slingbox app, you basically now have a portable TV!  With the Mocha VNC app, you now have a way to control a headless PC driving an HDTV.  Streaming movies, anyone?  With the Kindle app, now Heather and I can both read in bed with a single Kindle account.  And Floyd absolutely loves the thing.  It's amazing what we can get him to do so that he gets "15 minutes of iPad time" after dinner.  :)

OK, so that's the news!  Rejoice all!  Now onto more important matters... big game this weekend.  Let's go Birds.  Tripper, B, Free, Raff, et al.... psyched to see you Sunday!!


I will kick its ass,

-jg

Thursday, January 6, 2011

jg on TV - News coverage of Bone Marrow Drive

Woah!  Looks like my brother and I were on the news this morning during coverage of the Bone Marrow Drive at salesforce.com.


Click here to go directly to the video clip.

Or if that doesn't work, click here for the news wire, and then click the play media link on the left margin.

They must have just grabbed that pic from my blog.  It's not the one I would have chosen (no offense, Spudster) but it ain't bad.

I love that this drive is getting coverage in the news.  So cool.  Longer update later tonight or tomorrow with more info on the drive and an update from UCSF.

I will kick its ass,

-jg

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"Be The Match" Marrow Donor Drive in downtown SF on Thu 1/6/11

This majority of this blog posting is courtesy of Kirsten Wolberg - CIO of salesforce.com

It's absolutely unbelievably awesome that salesforce.com has set this up, and I encourage anyone reading this blog who works in San Francisco to go down to this marrow drive.  It's a wonderfully selfless thing to do, and  the life you save, could be mine!

I will post another entry tomorrow with an update from my recent UCSF visit.

I will kick its ass,

-jg



Start the New Year off right – save a life!  That's right, you can save a life and possibly be a match for a salesforce.com employee who needs your help.
In early November an employee was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) and now needs a bone marrow transplant to survive.  In an effort to help find a donor, we're hosting a Be The Match Marrow Registry (BTM) drive this week and we NEED you (and any family, friend, neighbor willing to participate) to come out and join the registry.  You could be the one to save the life of a patient in desperate need, so PLEASE consider joining!
And remember, this drive is for everyone – you do not need to be a SFDC employee to join the registry – encourage everyone you know to come too!
The more people we get registered the greater the chance of finding a match.  It's quick – a little paperwork – a cotton swab swipe of your cheek and BAM, you're done.  No blood draw, no needles.  You CAN do this.  We NEED you to do this.  Just imagine how awesome it would be to save a life.

SFDC Employees: Thursday, 1/6/11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. @ One California, 5th floor, Manoa 2 Conference Room
Unbadged Friends/Family/Public:  Thursday, 1/6/11 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. @ One Market Landmark Atrium

To make your experience as quick and easy as possible, please:
1.     Review the requirements below to confirm that you are eligible to join.
2.     Bring your driver’s license to the drive.
3.     Bring the names, phone numbers, mailing addresses and e-mail address of two family members or friends who do not live with you. The BTM registry will contact these people only if you are identified as a potential match for a patient and they cannot reach you.
4.     Financial donations will be accepted. If you are unable to join the registry, please consider making a donation of any amount. All donations are tax deductable. Donations are completely voluntary. Checks can be made to: BE THE MATCH FOUNDATION or online at http://www.bethematchfoundation.org/goto/teambayarea Give checks or cash to the Be The match Representative on the day of the marrow drive or to Chuck Gutro.
 To join the Registry, all you need is to:

Learn more on the Be The Match You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1GMa9BhEpQ&feature=player_profilepage


Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!
KOW

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011: So far, so good

Blogging Tunes: Phish Oddities Vol. 1 (Thanks, Lou!)

When they sprung me from UCSF on Friday afternoon (12/31/2010) it was somewhat of a surprise -- even to me.  I got a sense that it was possible on Thursday, and I knew Friday morning, that it was actually happening, but it was a rather sudden decision by the staff.  My counts just skyrocketed (a good thing) and I wasn't having any fevers or other adverse side effects, so they discharged me. I didn't want to post here on Friday morning, primarily because I didn't want to jinx it.  I also thought it would be a fun surprise for y'all to see the "I'm out" post, which, judging from the comments, it was.

Now before Heather knew I was getting discharged, the plan was for her to bring Orion to Dave and Laura's for a NYE sleepover.  Heather and I decided that I'd just show up and we'd surprise them.  Boy, did that ever work!  I wish I had a picture of Laura's face when she opened the door and saw me instead of H.  Priceless Moment #1.  When we arrived, Dave was out walking Buster, so I started scheming :)  When he got home, I was somewhat strategically out of sight.  I waited until everyone had said all their hellos and then I ran up to Dave and kinda grabbed him around the waist and made a startling sound.  Another blown photo up as he practically jumped out of his socks and then gave me a big hug.  Priceless Moment #2.

At least we captured Priceless Moment #3 -- two proud pappis with our little bundles of joy (as seen on Dave's Facebook page):




Note: first time ever that Dave's beard has been fuller than mine.

We hung out for a bit, had a wonderful dinner (thanks, Laura) and then I started getting sleepy, so Heather, Orion, and I headed home.  Remember, Floyd is still with his Gramma in Massachusetts.  In fact, they are on a plane to San Francisco as I type this.  Can't wait to see that little bug!


Anyway, the past few days at home have been absolute paradise.  Just being with Heather and O, sleeping in my own bed, getting to know our new house, playing piano, watching football in HD, and eating real food -- I know, it all sounds like normal stuff -- has been absolutely wonderful.  There's no such thing as normal now.

One strangeness we had to deal with was that our Phone/Internet/Cable had been out for a few days (since the storm that brought down that tree (see previous post.))  We had an appointment for yesterday (Sunday) between 10a and noon (just in time to watch the afternoon football games, right?)  Well, Saturday night, just before bed, I happened to look at my email on my Blackberry, and saw this message from Comcast:

We regret that you wish to cancel your recent order for Comcast Service.

This e-mail serves as confirmation of your order cancellation made on 01/02/2011. Your installation appointment has also been cancelled.


Huh?  Canceled?  Whatchu talkin' bout, Willis?  So from 11:15p to 11:30p, I'm on the phone with them trying to get to the bottom of it.  Long story short: We got it worked out and the Comcast dude was there at 9:50a Sunday and did an awesome job.  The cable coming to our house was shredded, and even melted in places, from the storm.  He ran a new cable from the street or wherever and we were good to go by around 11:30a.  Thanks, Cable Guy!

So the Packers are in, and the G-men are out.  Fine with me.  Didn't wanna deal with any possible NYG payback.  Bring on the Pack.  Go Birds.  Here's a picture of me and baby-O while I was chillin watching football.  Happy daddy, happy O:


Would you believe I took this one myself?  Left arm outstretched, pointing the Blackberry back at us.

So, if you haven't figured it out, I'm feeling great.  I have a ton of energy, my appetite is back with a vengeance, and my taste buds are slowly returning to normal.  I have a crapload of weight to gain so I'm eating like there's no tomorrow.

I have an appointment at the UCSF clinic tomorrow where they'll check my counts and other things, but in my heart (and mind) I know the news will be good.  I definitely feel like we've achieved a remission.  I'm intending for this remission to last forever.  That would be a "medical miracle" but who says miracles don't happen, right, ma?

Lots of other excitement on deck this week.  Not only are Floyd and Gramma coming home today, but my good buddies Mike (don't call me "Siro-shit") Sirowitz and Lou (don't call me "Little Louis Bruckner" Brucker are coming to visit this weekend.  If all goes well, they, and a bunch of the core crew will be up to watch the Eagles beat up on the Packers next Sunday.


Here's to an incredible 2011 to all of us.  As Sol Rosenberg would say, "God bless us all!"

I will kick its ass,

-jg