Sunday, April 12, 2009

Miscellaneous Musings

• We have several ducks living in the pond that fronts our condo unit, and on Friday one of them hatched four ducklings. Here's a photo I took a few hours ago showing Mama Duck and one of her kids. The maintenance people at our complex have fenced off her nest, and there is water and food for her and her ducklings. I suspect I'll be posting a lot of cute ducky photos in the weeks ahead!

• Today marks the 48th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight by Yuri Gagarin. By any measure, this was one of the great accomplishments in human history, yet this anniversary has been, as far as I can tell, almost entirely ignored by the mainstream American press. Why is this? Are we living in such an ahistorical, cynical, heroism-denying age that such monumental acomplishments are now considered of less importance than, say, Lindsay Lohan's new hairstyle? I note the Chinese are enthusiastic about space exploration, embrace heroic enterprises, and I suppose that's why China will be the dominant world power in less than a quarter century. Do your kids a favor; teach them to say "Sure thing, boss!" in Mandarin. They will thank you for it.

In the past week I have received several unexpected but very welcome e-mails, and I want to acknowledge them. My old high school buddy Donald Mack located me and sent me an update on him and his family; he's doing well and I'm happy for him. Cindy Ballard-Guminski was the first employee of Hightext/LLH back when she was Cindy Ballard; she left us to join the Peace Corps and work in Botswana (my going away present to her was a Grundig shortwave radio!). She had some very warm words for me which I really, really appreciated. I also received an e-mail from someone who had found this blog by accident, Shirley Bovshow. I appreciate her kind remarks about my cancer entries. Shirley has a very interesting gardening blog that is worth checking out. Finally, I also received phone calls from Jason Gardner and Jon Erickson, two buddies from the publishing industry. I can't describe how much such e-mails and calls mean to me, especially from people I have been out of touch with for a while. From the very bottom of my heart, thank you!!

• Today is the third anniversary of my cancer diagnosis and also marks the end of blogging about my cancer. Why? For one thing, I feel as if I have said just about everything I can about the subject; I'm bored with having cancer and how it now dominates my life. I no longer decide when I will go to bed, when I will wake up, what (or if) I will eat today, or what, if anything, I will do on a given day------cancer decides all that for me. And there's very little I can say new or insightful about having cancer. Cancer sucks. That's the summation of everything I have learned over the past three years, and I doubt I'm going to learn anything new in the time I have left. So no more cancer posts; instead, I'll write about ghost towns, mountain climbs, the Big Island, Death Valley, etc. Those are positive memories and cheer me up, while writing about cancer is depressing. I don't want to spend my remaining time in mopey self-pity, so the "My Cancer" label is now officially retired.