Replacing UPS Batteries

Most people who do anything serious with a home computer use a battery backup system or UPS (Uninteruptable Power Supply) to keep it running through power glitches, dropouts or brown-outs.

Simply, a UPS is a battery, battery charger, inverter and a switching system to transfer to batter power when needed.  Without a UPS, the briefest loss of power will crash your computer and you will loose whatever unsaved data you were working on.  In the worst case the computer can be permanently damaged this way.

Not many people know that, just like the battery in a car, a UPS battery has a finite lifetime.  After a few years they no longer hold their charge and therefore the UPS can no longer perform its function.

Here is a typical UPS that I use on one of my machines. ups-front

During a recent thunderstorm I saw the AC power flicker and the machine connected to that UPS died.  A quick check showed that the UPS was not working.

Catching Up Again

I’ve been rather poor about posting to the blog lately.  No real excuse except I’ve been doing other stuff.

I’ve been slowly recovering after my chemotherapy and things are going fairly well.  I still am rather weak and tire out easily but gradually I’m getting back to normal. My hair is starting to grow back – I actually have a visible beard again.  I still don’t know what I’m going to do with my hair.  So many people have commented that they like me bald, so I may continue that look.  Depends on how much of a hassle it is to maintain.

I also had cataract surgery May 15 on my left eye and my vision is already significantly better.  I’ll have the right eye done on June 4 and after that I should have better eyesight than I have for many years.

With better vision I hope I will be posting more here.   Stay tuned.

Ringing The Bell

I’m way behind on posting this.

I had my last chemo treatment on March 02 (HOORAY!) and one of the traditions at the clinic is that, after their final treatment, the patient get to ring the bell to signify the event.  Well, here I am – wish I had audio.

Ringing the Bell

All of the staff and other patients cheered or applauded.  It felt very good.

Jan also took a few pictures of the nurses who took such good care of me through all of my treatments.  Here I am with Lesta and Wendy who were the ones who usually hooked  up and monitored me while the drugs were administered.


Below is Carol, who managed the pharmacy and looked out for me in terms of drug interactions and possible side effects.  She was also one of the most cheerful and funny people on the staff.  She even dressed up in costume for special events.


While the whole process was rather difficult and long, the staff at the clinic did everything they could to make the process as easy as possibe for me.  Thanks to everyone there.

Happy Socks

The following was written by Jan concerning one of her many contributions to my lymphoma recovery.

Happy Socks

Happy Socks

The origin of these cheerful socks was Spokane, WA.  When visiting my sister, Edith, I saw these socks in one of the gift stores which specialized in “homemade” items made locally and I exclaimed how cool I thought they were.  Guess what came wrapped in my Christmas stocking that year?  Santa must of been following me around.

When it was determined Tom had lymphoma, we had a visit scheduled with the doctor to discuss how serious it was and what treatment would be the best.  Both of us were quite worried about the outcome of this meeting so I decided we needed some brightness to cheer us up so I put on what I called my “happy socks” and told Tom that, no matter what the outcome would be, he should look at my bright socks, think happy thoughts, and smile.  And they have worked throughout his treatment process, including his brief hospitalization.  Just looking at them brings a smile to our faces.  Sometimes it is the little things that matter most.

They really work!

Random Quote #11

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

John Kenneth Galbraith

Medical Update #2

Yesterday, (02/16/09), I  (and Jan) got the results of my PET scan done on Friday (the 13th).  No numerological gremlins interfered.  In short, the results were all we hoped for.  It showed my lymph nodes essentially normal without “hypermetabolic foci”  which I take to mean nothing is rapidly growing there.

Unfortunately, my normal oncologist was out of town and the doctor I saw had not been continuously  involved with my case.  Still, he was competent and thorough and said I am doing well.  The only negative was that my red cell count has dropped from what it was two weeks ago.  This accounts for my tiredness and occasional vertigo.  Still, with only one treatment to go, I am sure I can muddle through.

After getting the report, I had my 5th and (hopefully) penultimate chemo treatment.  The treatment went smoothly and without a problem – it’s really getting to be routine.  Next (and last) treatment will be March 2 and after that I hope to get back to what passes for normal.

More as it happens.

Cat On A Cold Roof


Our cat, ItBitKit, was a stray and consequently is an indoor-outdoor cat.  The cold winters are hard on her as she must stay inside more than she would like.  Recently we had a couple of days of relative warmth where some melting occurred.

The cat loved it and spent as much time outside as we would allow.  One afternoon we looked out a window on our second story that overlooks our garage.  There she was, perched on one of the few snow free parts of the garage roof,  just soaking up the rays.

I’m ready for spring too.

Medical Update

Sorry this is late but real life gets in the way.

I had my third chemo treatment on Monday.  Nothing unusual happened but since some readers may be curious, I thought I’d add a brief post.

The process  of these chemo treatments is rather interesting.  They take place in a large room with  20 or more chairs for patients.  A number of nurses scurry around attending to several  patients each.  People sit there while the medication slowly drips into their veins, or some just get a single injection.  While waiting, snacks and various drinks (no alcohol 🙁 ) are available.  I usually listen to podcasts on my iPod.

My treatments are about  two hours long, others people’s can be three or more.  I get three different chemo drugs plus an anti-nausea drug and saline drip.  All-in-all it’s a rather dull, uninteresting process but I am fascinated by the range of people who are all there for the same reason.  It is surprising that, with all these people suffering from cancer, they are, with few exceptions, all cheerful and smiling.  I think it is because we feel we are actually doing something to help in our cure.  Plus a positive attitude has been shown to increase the chances of a cure.

My next treatment will be  two weeks after this one.