Monday, November 28, 2011

Does It Still Take My Soul?

There's a new, high-tech camera that can apparently capture the entire range of focus.

The Lytro
The question for me, and one I can't seem to find in my reading, is how much can I manipulate that effect?

If it's the same amount as in the demos, no thanks. That's like an iPad app.
If it captures all that data and then lets you fine tune to get the real depth of field lens effects that Photoshop tries to fake, then yes, please.

Still, at around $400.00, not too shabby.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


A new unconfirmed stencil resembling the work of street artist Banksy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


I've got a lot to be thankful for. A lot of people I'm thankful to be friends with RL and online.

And then there's bacon.


Green beans wrapped in bacon with brown sugar


Bird with rice and shrooms and yellow peppers
yuck with yuck topping

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blatant Money Grab

I saw this image on a news site, with no credit given, and seeing as it's either a outlawed graffiti artist or somebody copying his style to the T. har. I've been told by a number of people that it is the latter. Then I read that someone was selling the image on t-shirts and for once I didn't sit on my hands and I made my own, so there.

Too many choices, really. Including dark shirts

It's not my image but it's kind of public domain, as it was left out in the public's domain. Anyone comes with credible evidence that they are the one who created it, I'll give them the proceeds. Unless it's Banksy. He can have it if he scribbles something for me.

Just sharin the love

Monday, November 21, 2011

Once again, couldn't resist

Lemme kick it up a notch for ya


So, after a month of "Yes, you have the job", "Yes, very soon you can start working", to, "Wow, awesome! You got the City of Phoenix account for us!" to finally, "Ok, we have your truck. C'mon in!", to "Sorry, there isn't enough work. See ya", and that great job my roommate had is gone as fast as it appeared.

So no, no work. No money coming in, again. Thanks again, Phoenix. You suck.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Har Har

I saw an image on Facebook that made me laugh out loud. 

I couldn't resist making my own:

Loose Ends

Back to basics.

I finally got off my procrastinating buttocks and finished a couple of paintings that have been sitting, waiting to be completed since before I got sick. One of them is the last of the popular Skelecrows©:


The other one is a moth I've been working on for the insect series:

The last piece I worked on was fresh on the canvas, from a photograph I took. I turned my canvas to see my computer monitor. I stayed about 10 feet away so the details would be a little lost:

Pools 2011
Guy Gondron

Here's the photograph I took it from:

It's not exactly a verbatim landscape. I was looking for something even more elemental, actually. I added more details than I planned to. Actually had to make myself stop. I also left out the buildings and the sidewalk to lessen the human presence in the image. Futile to a certain degree as the park itself is man-made.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Rumour of the Earth is Dim and Confused

"is that....cheering?"

Well, now I don't know what the hell to think.

I've just gotten back from my appointment with Dr. Szewczyck and I'm more confused than ever before. When I explained why I was seeing her 2 months earlier than I should be, she informed me that yes, they were still in negotiations and no, she doesn't know how it will play out, but she hopes it will be fine, but she isn't sure.

Basically what United Healthcare is doing, according to my doctor, is altering their contract to now require patients under 70 to pay 40% of the cost of their healthcare. I don't know anyone who can afford 40% of the $50,000 that a PET scan costs. Or 40% of a course of chemo or radiation. Patients over 70, you know, retirees on fixed income, will have to pay 20% of their healthcare costs. She said that what they want is to not only have Ironwood prescribe cheaper drugs, but also give less care. Of course that's not a realistic option.

So yeah, more reason to believe our healthcare system is screwed beyond repair. If insurance companies can't raise premiums they'll just cut services and prove yet again that healthcare is only for the wealthy.

The other issue for Ironwood, of course, is how can they just stop treating someone in the middle of chemotherapy or radiation treatments? So they're focus in negotiations is to keep at least these people under their care and get accommodations from UC over that. Being done with my treatments, I will not fall into this category.

Then I mentioned that I was under United Healthcare through Access and she got all optimistic and said that might change everything since it's welfare and not technically real insurance. She ran off to ask someone about it but came back without an answer. Apparently the person she talked to is swamped with calls about the very same issue.

Anyway, the gist of the meeting was that I'm "85% cured" and just need to keep following up. My bloodwork all looked good. We re-set my appt for the 3rd of Jan and hopefully we'll still be able to keep that date.

Not actual tire.
Or nail.
I was late for my appt. I walked out to a flat tire. I've had a slow leak for a few days but this is the first time it's gone flat. I used Kevin's compressor and filled it and rushed to Ironwood. On the way home I stopped at Walmart to get it patched.

Under what circumstances would it go from a simple patch to having to purchase a whole new tire? Yup, no patch. The nail or whatever is in the sidewall and therefore they can't patch it. I don't have $20 to my name, much less $80 so I told them to put the damn tire back on my car and drove home. Awesome.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Building Blocks of Life

I've seen Jurassic Park at least 50 times and I never noticed the bloodsucking lawyer is wearing shorts. A suit with shorts.

I had re-scheduled my Dr appt for before the cutoff date United Healthcare gave me. Every appt with Dr Szewczyck is to be preceded by a blood draw, so I took the order and had blood drawn today. I had Syed again. That man is the best Phlebotomist I've ever been to. That's someone who gets paid to draw blood. The first time I went to him it was like he did some sleight of hand and the needle went in like air over a marshmallow. Today was less than smooth but still cake.

The lab's office is across the street from Ironwood so I figured I'd go over there in person and change my appt with Dr Woo as well since I hadn't been able to over the phone. I explain to the guy behind the desk and he says he doesn't understand why people have gotten those notices, they're still taking United Healthcare and are still negotiating and expect to close the deal successfully. Who knows what the hell is going on...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

"Consider God's handiwork; who can straighten what He hath made crooked?" - Ecclesiastes 7:13

 It's that time again kids! Time to enumerate the things that are still screwed up following my bout with the cancer. Let's see how many we can count!

First, and probably most distressing, I no longer have the ability to sing.

I'll let that sink in for a bit. Pay no attention to that cheering, it's probably some Tea Baggers responding to Arizona's new "No Insurance, Go Die" policy.

Yeah, the voice is gone. After that, the lack of saliva glands and the accompanying inability to swallow seem a small thing, I know, but I assure you that swallowing your food is essential to actual eating. Otherwise you're just chewing and spitting. I keep thinking of Johnny Dangerously. "Gee, it'll be good to see ma spit again." I wish I could get that operation. It'd be nice not to wake up in the middle of the night with my lips stuck to my teeth.

Then there's the ball of whatever that's permanently stuck in the back of my throat. Hack and cough and I might dislodge it for a moment, but it's back in a couple of minutes, like a mucus-y little gremlin waiting for me to eat so he can horde more stuff about him. I have come to the conclusion that it won't be cancer that gets me, it'll be "complications from pneumonia" in my old age when I become unable to deal with this shit any longer. Any liquid or solid tends to get shoved upward back there, only to come back after each attempt to fully swallow it. Sometimes it doesn't go down where it's supposed to and ends up in my windpipe. I can't imagine being able to deal with that forever.

Less annoying but still problematic is the Frankenstein mess that is my neck. I've grumbled about this before, the fact that all of my neck problems come from the attempt to make me look more "normal". The skin graft in my mouth I get, since I was missing a good portion of the back of my throat, but the neck thing, no. I'd rather have a working chest muscle without the screwed up yanking of my jaw whenever I move my arm. I'd rather have a bit of a hollow chunk in my neck than this messed up junk I need physical therapy for. It has almost nothing to do with my actual cancer and it's frustrating. The scars mean almost nothing to me and the fact that I'm suffering more than necessary due to what was a cosmetic procedure just seems backwards. My poor neck tendons on the right side look like the cables holding up a suspension bridge.

On the plus side, I can now grow a nice and full mustache for the first time in my life. Too bad it looks like Matt Damon's in The Informant. Chin whiskers are another story. Kinda like my Three Stooges hairline. I had to do the Marine cut to make up for the fact that the back of my head looks like Moe's, or Forrest Gump's.

The other good news is that I feel pretty good. No more fatigue, at least not lately, and all my scars are healing well.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Unintended Consequences

 Not the usual result of rising healthcare costs. I'm now forced to stop seeing two of the three doctors who've taken care of my treatment. The people who took care of my radiation and chemo treatments are no longer accepting United Healthcare, which is what my Access insurance is, and who have raised their rates enough that Ironwood dropped them. I had two appointments scheduled for just after the final cutoff date.

So now I have to find another Radiation Oncologist to replace Dr. Woo and another Chemotherapy Oncologist to replace Dr Szewczyk. Which pretty much sucks, though if I try to look at some sort of bright side, I guess it'll be like I'm getting a second opinion... no. It sucks.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Blue Pill, Red Pill

Not to be overly dramatic, but it really does feel kinda 'Alice down the rabbit hole' lately.

I posted my thing on two other Facebook pages, Stephanie Sauter and The Faces of the 99%. From there it went to friends telling me that friends outside of our circle had sent it to them.

Then it made it to some guy named Jeremy Lytle

Someone saw it there and posted it here

 The front page. I also saw it on Reddit with a huge comment section. That's the main thing I guess, people talking, because there are a lot of dumb ideas about what Occupy Whatever is about. Unfortunately there are a lot of dumb ideas within Occupy Whatever about what it's about as well. I don't know if my story fits in what most people think the movement is about, but I think that's part of the problem. There's a lot that needs fixing.

Digression, I duz it.

I had gone to Stephanie's Facebook when I saw her...testimonial, for lack of a better word. Her story sounded similar to mine and it inspired me to make my own. Sorta. I'd had a healthy internet life at one point in my life, and I am better for it, but man, it can be tedious and trying and a bit unnerving at times, but I'd decided a while ago that I was going to have to live a public life if I was going to be an artist.

It's still a bit creepy though, seeing people writing about you, speaking about you, especially when there's no way to speak back. The other side of that is, now I'm worried I said something back there in the basement of my blog that's gonna come back and bite me. I know I couldn't have been good the whole time. My main concern though, is my kid. I don't want some jerk harassing her over something I did. She can totally take care of herself, but still. I did tell my parents about it. I'm sure they're thrilled!