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O l l i e ' s B l a h g

Jul. 26th, 2009

| - Dave’s having a baby!

Originally published at Oliver Dale .net. You can comment here or there.

Dave Tayman and I have an unusual history.

I ‘met’ Dave in (junior?) High School, by replying to a newsgroup post about a writing collaboration. I think it was for screenwriting, but we quickly started talking about fiction, and fantasy/science fiction, and, well, everything else. Eeegads, that was more than ten years ago. We spent most of our time outlining (not writing.. no no no, outlining…) a massive epic saga of fantasy novels. At last count, I think it was two linked trilogies. Don’t get me wrong, we gave writing it a shot a couple of times, but let’s face it: neither of us were good enough writers.

The story was worthwhile, I think. And I say this with considerable more experience than I had then. It just grew too big for us at the time. And that’s okay. We continued throughout our undergrad years, including a trip to Utah for EnderCon (the brave may follow this youtube link chronicling our journey), North Carolina for a book signing, a trip to Disney World, etc. But then life intervened in a big way. I went to grad school, Dave went on mission, I got moved across the country and got a job, Dave found a lovely gal (with a fortunate case of bad judgment!) he tricked into marrying him.

So we haven’t been chatting much (or at all). But! I just found out the lucky sap is going to have a baby. So, congrats to Dave and Emily. I can NOT believe you are going to be responsible for another human being. What a lucky kid.

Go say congrats to them (even if you don’t know them… that’d be funnier): Dave and Emily’s Blog (or maybe I should say Emily’s blog, that Dave sometimes guest spots on).

Jul. 25th, 2009

| - Keep on keeping on…

Originally published at Oliver Dale .net. You can comment here or there.

Know what I find strangest about blogs? That (for me at least) the amount of posting seems to be indirectly proportional to the amount of things going on in life. Hence, you generally only get posts from me when I’m sitting in my bathrobe, updating my twitter account on a beautiful Saturday afternoon — rather than when I’m actually out doing things that may (or may not!) be worth reading about.

Alas, such is your fate.

As a peace offering, want some pictures from last month’s excursion to Colorado Springs for the AAPM summer school?

From Pike's Peak and Garden of the Gods

Jun. 8th, 2009

| - Kind of a small thing, but…

Originally published at Oliver Dale .net. You can comment here or there.

So I had a minor writing breakthrough today. I should probably file this under ‘accomplishments that most people wouldn’t understand, but still made you squee like a sissy girl’ category. While writing this morning, during a particularly moving scene, I teared up. Okay, well. This is something I’ve heard other writers talk about. They say that they cry and cry while they’re writing, for their sad characters. It always makes me feel like a hack. That’s never happened to me.

Well, well. It wasn’t quite like that; there was no sobbing. But I did tear up. That’s got to mean something. (Not enough sleep?)


Jun. 6th, 2009

| - Life goal #32976.3

Originally published at Oliver Dale .net. You can comment here or there.

Obtain employment where it is both legal and expected to have a wet bar in office. In other news, 30 Rock rules my universe. That is all.


Jun. 5th, 2009

| - Webpage Fail

Originally published at Oliver Dale .net. You can comment here or there.

Everytime I click the Upload/Insert Photo button, WordPress crashes Firefox.  This makes me a sad panda.Ilustración Panda cry


Jun. 4th, 2009

| - One of the bad days.

Originally published at Oliver Dale .net. You can comment here or there.

I work in a cancer center.  I am a medical physicist (some day I’m going to write up a detailed post on what the hell that is and why you’ve never heard of me), and so my patient involvement is touch and go.  Some procedures I’m intensively involved with, others I am very behind the scenes.

The first thing people comment on is how depressing my job must be.  Okay, actually, when I tell them I’m a medical physicist their first reaction is: Whoa! You must be smart. …  What the hell is a medical physicist?  Then they comment about how my job must be depressing.  But, to be truthful, it really isn’t.  Many of our patients come in to our center as fighters.  One of my most favorite aspects of this job is doing HDR treatment for breast cancer patients.

It is a relatively complicated procedure and so physicists are very involved at every stage: simulation, planning, and treatment. In the other parts of the department, radiation therapists (who are the hardest working employees of a radiation therapy center) get to see patients daily. But HDR is where I get to.  And breast cancer patients are among our best.

Often young–due to improved screening processes–they are warriors. They come in smiling and they almost always leave that way, no matter what horrible things we do to their bodies in our attempt to heal them. 

But cancer in general is an older person’s disease.  The years add up, each moment a roll of the dice.  The longer you live, the more times you roll the dice. 

Today we have one of our older patients in for the treatment of a large tumor at the base of his skull. He is not entirely oriented. He has been incapable of walking for a few years now and is carted around in a wheelchair by his daughter. The only glimmer of his personality we see is when the therapist asks him if he is ready for treatment, and he shakes his head slightly.

His daughter coaxes him along, promising ice cream when they are done. The therapist wheels him to the treatment vault. Her voice is singsong, cheerful. They are both talking to him like he was two years old.  I suppose, that’s not far from the truth. 

There are moments when this job is depressing, and this is one of them. But usually it is not.  Usually, our days are pretty good.


Jun. 3rd, 2009

| - Parable of the Drone

Originally published at Oliver Dale .net. You can comment here or there.

I got out of the job today with sunlight to spare. I was motivated and fired up and, after the two hour drive home, I now want to do nothing but sleep. Shady Pines, here I come. If you visit, just look for the old man on the porch rocker. If you cross over to me to say hello, be sure to use the walkway lest I shake my old-man fist at you, damn kids.

Maybe I’ll do some writing tomorrow? Now I’m off to read some Butler. Yay.

May. 31st, 2009

| - This work?

Originally published at Oliver Dale .net. You can comment here or there.

New webpage. Check it out. (Or rather, don’t yet. Still tweaking.)


Apr. 5th, 2009

| - MS Word .. abandon all hope, ye who install this piece of crap

What the hell was Microsoft thinking? I mean, okay. I'm not a hater. I get it: Microsoft is a big bad corporate conglomerate. They push out small business only to replace good software with mediocre software with lots of bugs. But still... I didn't really much care.

But what is this crap? Word 2007 (for Vista, of course) is a complete redesign. And it makes no sense at all. What was wrong with the way Microsoft programs were designed before? Everyone knew how to use them, where all the features were... why screw with that? But this new layout makes no sense to me! It's ridiculous! It took me twenty minutes to figure out how to center text. It should not be this difficult.

Damn you jerks!

Apr. 4th, 2009

| - Wonder if this thing will work...

Can it be? A picture posted from my iPhone? This is the result of Dr Pepper and an unplanned three hour nap....

Restless OllieCollapse )


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