Adventures in brain tumors: part one of many

 Photo on 2009-11-13 at 14.13

You know it's going be bad news when the ER doc slides a chair over to sit on. Good news is quick, a simple "You're gonna be fine! You can go home!" Seeing that chair slide over with her let me know I was in for some long explanations of bad news.

Of course the worst part is that I went to the hospital with a bad flu and two hours later this ER doctor is explaining that during the routine CT scan on my head, a lump was found. She couldn't tell if it was blood, a mass, or a collection of both. She couldn't tell if it was benign or cancerous either. I was immediately rushed to the area major hospital OSHU for MRI scans that could provide higher resolution data.

I finally got to experience the horribleness that a 45min long MRI I've been hearing so much about. That really is a ghastly creation, sliding me into a jet engine whirring to life for 45 minutes with about one inch of clearance above my face and an entire field of white to stare at until it's over? Figure out a way to project a few Simpsons episodes or at least some music to overcome the loud, claustrophobic noise machine that is a MRI.

I forgot to mention that before I got my MRI, I was waiting in their area and a technician asked me to move from my flat hospital bed that I was sleeping on to a waiting wheelchair before I got transferred to the MRI sliding test bed. I remember saying "Ok, I guess…" and as soon as my ass hit the wheelchair seat I said "I'm going to pass out" to the tech. I blinked my eyes and when I opened them six people were above me on a bed with an alarm sound in the distance. The head person in charge asked me if I do recreational drugs "It's cool here man, no judgments, it just helps us help you" and I said no, I've never done any recreation drugs (which is true). When I said I'd just taken a few doses of Codeine cough syrup the night before he rattled off a bunch of what I guess are street names for codeine based highs that were each more hilarious sounding than the next. I was exhausted and just coming back into consciousness so forgive me for not remembering the real names but it sounded something like this:

"Oh you took Codeine huh? You doing Night Rammers? Doing Robot Jammers? Doing some Springboard slammers?"

I had to confess that without a copy of, I wouldn't even know what he just asked me but that no, I didn't take any more than the recommended doctor's dose.

I'm getting ahead of myself, let me go back to the beginning for the sake of friends wondering what was up with my initial tweet (this is long and exhausting and I don't mind if it's tl;dr for you).

Continue reading “Adventures in brain tumors: part one of many”

Bizjam Seattle

I’m going to be speaking at Bizjam Seattle this Wednesday afternoon about my high road approach to blogging (eschewing SEO snake oil and not being an annoying person on every social network). Judging by the titles, I suspect half the talks will be preaching the opposite of what I’m planning to say, so it’ll either be a breath of fresh air in a sea of insanity for attendees, or it’ll go over like a lead balloon. Either way, it should be fun.

Here are my slides:

update: I gave the talk and it went over well. I added my notes for every slide to Slideshare. Click the “view” link above, then click on the “Comments on Slide 1” tab below the slides to see my notes. It should look like this when you click on it. Then, use the arrows to go from slide to slide and you can read my notes for what I talked about on each slide (since the slides themselves have very little info on them).

June cycling/diet update

Cycling is going really well since the weather is nice. I rode 398 miles (just shy of my target 400-500 per month this summer) in June and I did quite a bit of hill climbing work, with over 20,000 feet climbed for the month (the month previous was about half that).

Diet-wise, I sort of hit a wall, recording the same weight at the previous two or three months. I exercised my ass off in June but I also ate like a horse so I’m spending the first week of July really watching what I eat and cutting out a few more things that are probably keeping my weight steady.

May Cycling/diet update

May was a good month for biking. The weather improved to the point where I could ride pretty much any day I wanted to, taking my monthly mileage up to 333 miles (last month was a paltry 185). I surpassed the first of my goals for the year, which was to ride 1,000 miles in a year. For the last few years I’ve ridden just 600-800 miles over each summer, but never consistently rode enough to pass a thousand. It looks like I’ll be in the 2,000-3,000 mile range for the year if I continue riding as much as I have.

I also did my first big ride of the year, a leisurely 54 mile ride from a nearby town to the ocean. I’m feeling a lot stronger on my training rides and will be upping my mileage to at least 400-500 miles per month for the rest of the summer as I get ready for the 500 mile week at the start of September for Cycle Oregon. I’m planning on racing a bit as well, with some PIR races and Short Track later this month.

On the diet front, I’m still at the same weight that I was last month, but I did gain and lose several pounds in the middle there, so my weight loss of 10lbs at the beginning of the year is fairly stable (though I’d still like to keep going and lose 25 more). As I up my mileage this summer and eat more fresh foods, I suspect I’ll come down another 10lbs by mid-summer.

My Etsy picks

Last month I was lucky enough to meet Bre from Etsy at ROFLcon and I told him how much I’ve enjoyed Etsy since it launched. We got to talking and he asked me to drop him an email with a bunch of my favorite items, stores, and sellers on the site.

I whittled down my favorites to a list they just posted, though I could have picked many more. Also, I gotta thank Mighty Goods and DaddyTypes for both consistently pointing out awesome stuff there that lead to many purchases.

Adventures in $40 eyeglasses

I posted about my experiences buying glasses online over at 43 folders. It may not be a major thing for most people, but when I consider the many thousands of dollars I’ve paid for glasses all my life and the mystique surrounding the production (optometrists make it sound like a highly trained set of monks hand-carve every lens somewhere in the Himalaya), finding out I could buy half a dozen pairs for a couple hundred bucks was huge. I keep reading about opticians freaking out about these cheap glasses sites and whenever I see someone digging in deep to defend a business model that’s worked for the past 40 years, I feel a tinge of joy knowing that wall is crumbling down.


Anyone that follows this blog probably knows me and my projects pretty well, but you’ll probably learn something new and/or get a kick out of something I’ve said in recent interviews. I was on the BoingBoing podcast a couple weeks ago, with the last 20 minutes or so devoted to talking about how I run MetaFilter. Bren from Slackermanager caught up with me for his new project, a video interview site/podcast devoted to residents of the small county in Oregon where I live.