Things are looking okay right now

We saw the doctor on Wednesday and she was very reassuring about the nature and prospects for Tina’s cancer. I noted before that the 5 year survival rate is very high and she reiterated that. In the vast majority of cases the hysterectomy is the cure and nothing else needs to be done. We won’t see the surgeon until October 2nd, and the surgery will be a week or two after that. Naturally we’d both prefer things happened faster, but what can you do? Tina worries a lot- she won’t stop until this is over and done with. I don’t worry as much as she does and I’ll still be in that unhappy place until then, too.

Just testing

Posting from my phone at Bertucci’s in Rockingham, NH. Dropping Facebook so this site will a lot more action.. in theory, anyhow.


My wife has been diagnosed with Uterine Cancer. The doctor called her and delivered the news as she was waiting outside the high school to pick up our son.

We don’t know… hell I don’t know what to make of this. I researched it and I know that if it is Endometrial and Stage 1 the recovery rate is better than 92%. Hell, even Stage 2 has pretty good recovery rates. But here we are with a diagnosis delivered on a Friday afternoon, and we won’t see the doctor until Wednesday… and what do we do?

We watch TV. We go get her a new iPhone on Saturday. We play like everything is normal because we don’t know enough to believe anything else. We wobble between terror and optimism and have no idea what else to do.

And in the most selfish, most ashamed part of me… I wish the damned doctor had just waited to tell her on Monday and left this weekend to us.

When Music and literature Intersect

This is simply da bomb! Ordered the book and my wife and I are going to this very concert tonight!


Clockwork Angels
Brought up To Believe

Pumped? Me? Why yes, yes I am! 🙂

Cross-posted at Dean’s World and Weekend Pundit

UPDATE: Great show! And since this was the first show of the Clockwork Angels tour it was also a little historic- Rush had guest artists on stage for the first time EVER in live performance. In this case it was an eight-piece string ensemble they used to back them up on the Clockwork Angels portion of the concert. It was well done and a good decision on their part; though it was a little strange, being so used to seeing Geddy, Alex and Niel up there all alone pounding it out for more than thirty-five years…

Windows 8, the Final, Temporary Review

I call this “Temporary” because maybe, just maybe something will come along to make Windows 8 a viable Desktop OS. Maybe.

Thinking of upgrading to Windows 8? If you are running Windows 7 on a desktop computer or a laptop without a touch screen or sophisticated touch pad then my advice to you is simply this: Don’t do it.

The new OS has lots of good things under the hood- it’s faster, more streamlined, even more stable (as compared to other RTM releases). Ditching Aero alone is enough to noticeably improve performance. The problem is, the price is too high. If you are on a desktop without a touchscreen you are going to rapidly become frustrated with the Interface-We-Are-Not-Supposed-To-Call-Metro imposing its will upon you. Knowing that most desktop machines out there don’t support the touchscreen interface, why on Earth is Microsoft jamming it down our throats?

There is a classic desktop you can get to from Metro, but no start menu, just the ability to paste shortcuts to all those non-metro-enabled applications you own. What would have been so hard about offering the user an option to use a classic Start menu? This alone will delay if not outright prevent adoption of this OS in Enterprise environments- learning curve is too steep and benefits are way, way to few.

Getting a new tablet with Windows 8? You’ll love it. Got a hot new laptop with a high-end touch pad? This may be for you. That desktop machine you built or bought last year? Stick with Windows 7 and save yourself the hassles.

Windows 8, End of Round One

The upgrade went pretty good and so long as all I was doing was browsing or playing with the included apps everything was fine. Then I tried running Netflix… Sorry, it doesn’t like my HD audio from my Radeon HD 4670. I tried something simple- Second Life. Sorry, my video drivers are either not installed or my hardware is unsupported. It went on and on like that for quite a while before I pulled the plug and reinstalled Windows 7 (no roll-back option, either).

I think my main issue is drivers (duh) and the upgrade installation. I’ll do a clean install soon and see how that unfolds. I will do a full system backup so I can restore Windows 7 when or if I want to- it never occurred to me I would not be able to roll back the upgrade. Fortunately this is my second workstation and I am used to just nuking it and reinstalling when i want to experiment.

In the mean time, some observations:

You have a Desktop Similar to Windows 7, it’s just not the default. you can cover it with shortcuts and work off it if you want… once you go through the New Interface Microsoft Does Not Want To Call Metro.

Pay attention to that tutorial video that runs when you first log on, short as it is it gives you some very important information about how to access settings and (most important to me) how to close applications opened through the New Interface Microsoft Does Not Want To Call Metro. Mostly this is to use the corners of your active screen to reveal the tools available.

I love the little search box in the Windows 7 Start menu. The search tool in Windows 8 simply blows that away. Seriously.

Speaking of the start menu… why can’t I have a start button? Please? Yes, I got used to working with the new interface once I figured out the thing about corners and the search tool, but still.. no ability to have a start button? Why?

As an IT professional I would hate to have to roll this out as an XP or Win 7 replacement. OTOH, this is the RTM (Release To Manufacturing) version and vendors still haven’t got drivers and whatnot available to the general public (Kudos to AMD- they had x64 Windows 8 drivers on their website).

More will follow once I get this installed clean, probably next weekend.

Upgrading to Windows 8

Well, seeing as Microsoft released the RTM version of Windows 8 to Technet subscribers today I’ve gone and downloaded my copy and I am running a direct upgrade of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 to Windows 8 x64. Not as courageous (or foolish, depending upon your point of view) as you might think because I happen to have two very capable workstations, one of which has limited applications installed, so that is the workstation that drew the task.

The machine in question is an AMD 9550 Quad Core, 2.6 GHz CPU on a Biostar TA780GE motherboard with 8GB of PC6400 and a Radeon HD4670 512MB Video Card. HDD is a simple 340GB WD 7200 RPM, so this is not a screaming machine, but it’s well within the specifications. All that remains is to see how it all unfolds.

Methuselah’s Daughter: A Novel

My novel Methuselah’s Daughter is on sale for the next two weeks at 99 cents in both Kindle and Nook formats. I’m celebrating my youngets son passing his driving test (and hoping to scrape up a little insurance money)

Working up to working on something… honest…

I’ve been playing mental ping-pong with Dean these past several weeks regarding the second part of the Methuselah’s Daughter series, but really the issue is me getting down to the work of writing. Excuses are multiple and quite lame because I really do have a very, very good idea how this should all unfold and where it will go. I even have specific plot points very firmly in place, but i come down to my office, sit at the computer… and stare at the screen.

I think I need to revive Zsallia’s blog for a while. It’s gotten to the point where she (the character) doesn’t talk to me anymore and that makes writing her story difficult. She used to be so damned annoying, like a voice in my head telling me to get to it because she had things she wanted to say, but back then she was a little amorphous and mysterious. There is no more mystery about her for me and I think that’s kind of pissed her off so she’s not talking to me.

Yes, I know how this sounds, but it’s just a way I had of fleshing out her part in everything. We would talk, we would argue and I’d throw things at Dean and she’d get mad at him so I’d get mad at him… it was all very crazy and lots of fun even when I hated it. I think I’m almost afraid to revisit her now, afraid of her disapproval.

Stupid, I know, but there it is. Still, I guess this is a step in the right direction.

Methuselah’s Daughter: A Novel, now available in multiple formats…

Methuselah’s Daughter: A Novel Now Available In…


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