WorldCon report

Thursday, 25 August 2016 22:38
vik_thor: (satyr)
Well, I survived my first WorldCon!:)
Met [livejournal.com profile] ferretthimself, [livejournal.com profile] rowyn and [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar. Rowyn and Maggie were at the Furry meetup, along with several others (including at least a couple of other authors (Watts Martin and Tim Susman) who I need to look up. Dunno if they are on LJ or not.) Ferrett was signing his books at the same time as the meetup. (I got his autographs in the 3 'Mancer books, then headed to the meetup. I probably would have stuck around at the signing table and chatted a bit other than that. :)

Quite a few costumes were seen, including Rowyn @ the meetup. (I liked your dress!) I wore my horns pretty much the entire time I was at the convention center, and even a couple of nights on the bus back to where I was staying.

Got books signed by Ferrett, Robin Wayne Bailey (whom I used to live couple houses down from, and hung out with sometimes at the bar behind the houses, when I lived in KC), and George R.R. Martin [livejournal.com profile] grrm, and several other Wild Cards authors. I missed getting signature from Larry Niven by two people. The last person he signed for was 2 in front of me. (His back was giving him problems.) Jerry Pournelle was signing at the same time as Ferrett and the furry meetup, so I skipped trying to get his autograph. Kurt Busiek's signing was canceled. so I ended up with 50% of the autographs I was looking to get. (Got a couple of CDs signed by Alexander James Adams, that I wasn't planning on getting. I enjoyed his concert!)

Went to some readings, including Ferrett, Robin, and David Gerrold (who read from an in progress work with Ctein, abut a major eruption of Kilauea which causes major tsunamis.)

Went to several other panels. Unfortunately, the panel on the Legion of Super-Heroes, the moderator never showed up. :(
Attended the WSFS Business Meetings Friday, Satyrday and Sunday, and even spoke once. (though my question was ruled out of order, it was brought up by someone else when it was in order…)

Didn't get to any of the filk circles, because I was to tired and had to take the bus back to where I was staying. If I was staying in the hotels, I would have gone for a bit. (The Marriott had an interesting elevator system. Doesn't have regular UP / DOWN buttons. It has a touchpad where you select the floor you are going to, and it tells you which elevator to take. When you get in the elevator, you don't have to push another button, it automatically stops where you selected. [dunno how it works if you get in the wrong one…])

Would be interesting to go to next year's WorldCon in Finland, but I think the only way that will happen is if we win a lottery. I'm thinking seriously about attending WorldCon 76 in San Jose (2018). Might be interesting to attend next year's NASFIC in San Jean, Puerto Rico.

WorldCon Ho

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 09:56
vik_thor: (Dionysus)
♬ I'm going to WorldCon, WorldCon, KCMO ♬

Heading out on Amtrak tomorrow (Thursday) morning, getting into KC Union Station @2PM.
planning on taking Uber to the place I'm staying, rather than dealing with bus. (gonna have duffel bag of clothes and backpack of books for autographs.)

Authors I hope to get autographs from:
Robin Wayne Bailey
Ferret Steinmetz [livejournal.com profile] theferrett
Kurt Busiek @kurtbusiek (Astro City collection and Autumnlands)
Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle
George R.R. Martin [livejournal.com profile] grrm and other Wild Cards authors

Couple readings.
Attending several panels, obviously not running any. (I'll try to put up some of the ones I'm hoping to go to when I get home tonight.)
Planning on doing the WSFS Business Meetings.

Anyone want to meet up anytime?

I will be having phone and tablet with me, so should get any alerts.

WoldCon

Friday, 12 August 2016 22:43
vik_thor: (Asgard)
Well, need to start packing for WorldCon. Or at the very least planning on what I will be taking.

Books to take (for autographing):
One of my books by Robin Wayne Bailey. Probably the Brothers of the Dragon trilogy.
Flex and The Flux by [livejournal.com profile] theferrett
One or two of the Wild Cards books. to get George R.R. Martin's autograph. Probably the first one or two. (maybe I should get a ticket to this…)

I don't think I will take my kilt and pirate shirt. Not sure if I would feel confortable taking the bus in a kilt. Plus I think it looks better with my boots, and not sure if I would want to be wearing my boots all day. my feet get sore if I wear them for too long. Maybe I need to get new insoles…

Will be taking my Grand Comics Database tshirt, and my Woot! tshirt with an astronaut watching the world end.
vik_thor: (Asgard)
I am working my way through the Hugo shortlist and voting. Basically, anything put out by Castalia House and Vox Day is getting placed under the No Award Option. The only exception to that may be Jerry Pournelle as editor of There May Be War Vol. 10. I would like to know if he just lent his name, or if he actually did some editing work/selection. Everything else is getting ranked according to merit. (yes, even Chuck Tingle's work is getting rated above no award and the two items from Castalia/Vox. Especially since one of the nominees, If You Were An Award, My Love did not get included in the Hugo packet, and I can't find it on Mr. Day's website. Not that I looked very hard.)

I am going to WorldCon/MidAmeriCon 2 next month. Taking the Amtrak over to KC, since we only have one vehicle, and [livejournal.com profile] taur10 needs it to get to work while I'm gone. Since I decided to actually go so late, I wasn't able to find a room-mate in one of the hotels. (Of course, they don't seem to have any type of roomshare site set up, like several of the furry cons do. ) I'm booked at an AirBnB in easy bus distance from the KC Convention center. This will be my first time doing an AirBnB. Of course, I don't do much travelling…

[livejournal.com profile] taur10 and I will be going down to Mephit Fur Meet over Labour Day weekend. Planning on doing the caravan down to Memphis from Saint Louis. Hopefully this year, we will get with them at the start, rather than catching up to them down near Cape. :)

I have been cleared to return to work, and drive! :) Went back on Thursday. It's nice not having to rely on Seph to drive me places. Have an appointment Monday with my cardiologist, which will probably be an every 6 months ritual for the rest of my life. No real restrictions, other than weight, and to be somewhat careful to not put a lot of stress on the sternum. Need to see if the 2 medications I am still on are contraindicated with alcohol. I will be glad to start drinking beer again. And Mtn Dew. (they wanted me off caffeine also, with all the blood pressure medicines I was on. The caffeine free diet Mtn Dew just isn't the same.)
vik_thor: (Asgard)
Well, there's no real change in status. Still healing as expected. My exercise walks are up to 20-30 minutes. (No, I don't play PokémonGo, yet. I'm thinking about it. I do play Ingress, PG's predecessor on them. I have 5 portals I can get to on my walks.)

A chunk of the surgical glue has come off, so most of the sternal incision is now visible. My first followup visit with doctor was yesterday, with my primary care physician. She took one of my prescriptions down to half. (I have a total of 7 daily prescriptions right now, and a couple of pain scripts as needed.) I actually haven't been needing the pain pills much this past week.

I've been working on reorganizing my comics, breaking the long boxes down into short boxes. Seth has to get the boxes set up for me, as they are well over the 10 pound limit.

doing better

Sunday, 3 July 2016 18:28
vik_thor: (Dionysus)
I have had two visits from Home Health so far, one Tuesday, one Friday. Next visit will be Tuesday. I have been making satisfactory progress according to them.

I have 7 prescriptions that I have to take daily, plus 81mg aspirin, plus a pain killer to be taken as needed. 5 of the scripts are 1X per day, one 2X per day, and one at bedtime. As of Friday, one of the daily pills is to be cut in half. I've got a weekly pill planner, with 2 slots for each day.
Has anyone here ever had to take half a pill? Is it better to cut them all at once, and put each half in its day, or should I cut one every other day. (will be checking with pharmacist.)

Walking is up to ~12 minutes 2X per day, plus walking around the house. (walking is supposed to have started @ 5 minutes 2X per day, increasing 1 minute per day. I've been pushing that a bit.)

The new thing I gotta pay attention to is eating. I've been using MyFitnessPall to track my food for several months, trying to lose weight. for awhile, I had gotten down below 230, though the day of the surgery, I had gotten up to 235. This morning, I was at 218. 0.o
I had > 700 calories left yesterday.
Not getting all that hungry, which is a side effect of some of the drugs (or make food taste odd.)
Not needed the pain killer that much.
vik_thor: (Dionysus)
Well, last Tuesday (21 June) I went into the hospital to have my bicuspid Aortic valve replaced with a tissue tricuspid valve. I don't remember much of the day (which is a good thing!) The surgery went perfectly by the book., I think I was told it took about 2 hours out of an expected 2-4 hour time frame. The surgeon did not replace any of the aorta itself, just the valve. That was the one thing he was unsure of until the actual surgery.

Chest tubes HURT!!!!

Once the chest/drainage tubes were removed, I was in much less pain, and could move around easier.
I was downgraded from ICU to (I don't remember the actual term) CCU during the day Saturday, but they left me in the ICU room, because there wasn't a room available in the CCU. Then they transferred me at 5AM Sunday morning. after finally getting asleep about 3:30AM. (I did not sleep well during the entire time I was in the hospital.)

Walking in the ICU was more regulated, I had to be accompanied by a nurse at all times, which is understandable. Once I woke up Sunday, I did a round with the physical therapist, using the walker that had been transferred with me from ICU, and was told no longer needed to have a nurse with me, could walk around the floor whenever I wanted. That felt so freeing! I still couldn't leave the unit, so I was walking around a lot, going back in to room to watch some TV, then walking some more. at some point in the early morning, after being cleared to walk by myself, with a walker, the floor cleaning crew came through. The first time I went out after that, the walker was no loud. it was no longer sliding smoothly. And the nurses said I was steady enough, don't even bother with the walker any more, just take is easy.. Endless to say, I went walking quite a bit. And was smiling a lot, because of the freedom, (one of the nurses even took to calling me Smiley, because I was smiling most of the time as I "made my rounds". And in fact did let the nurses know a couple times when someone was verbally calling for a nurse rather than using the call buttons, so I was useful. :)

There was a death in the unit sometime late Sunday. It was the first time my nurse had ever lost anyone under his care. There was one gentleman at the opposite end of the floor from me, who was in for basically comfort care, to keep his passing as tpainfree as possible. He also died at some time while I was in this unit. Another gentleman was in for cancer, and I talked with his wife on one of my rounds (she didn't want to stay in the room when they were doing something to him.) She wondered why I was still in the hospital, since I seemed to be doing so good. (Basically, they don't release heart surgery patients on the weekend.) every other day I was in there, my surgeon or someone from his practice had come around to my room by 9AM at the latest. Monday, they didn't get there until 12:30.

Paperwork for checkout started @~1:30PM Monday. We finally rolled out of the hospital door about 5:30 PM.

and time to take the last of my scheduled medicines an head to bed. as it is getting hard to keep my eyes open.
vik_thor: (barcode)
well, we have set a date for my aortic valve replacement.2 weeks from today. 21 June 2016.

Since the issue is bicuspid aortic valve, when most people have tricuspid, I've been playing around with treating it as manufacturing defect. I'm going with a tissue replacment, rather than mechanical. I mentioned this to Seph this morning, wondering if tissue would qualify as OEM part, just from a different brand maybe. He said the mechanical would be the upgraded version, but it comes with to high of an ongoing maintenance cost, in my opinion. (having to take blood thinnners for the rest of my life.)

~ 5 days in hospital.

then maybe 2-3 weeks before I can go back to work. I'm a desk jocky, so doctor has said that pretty much as soon as I feel up to it, I'd be able to go back to work. which may be a bit problematic since I can't drive for at least a month. Seph can drive me to work when he gets home in the mornings, and Hank has said he can bring me home.

Dream

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 06:09
vik_thor: (Default)

Just had an odd dream, just before waking up.

I basically took over managing a self storage place from the owner. A 68 yo widow, josh Henson from work was there, he introduced us. Somehow. Her house was part of the property.she was close to losing the property, due to taxes, I think. She had lived in the house since marriage. Business was mostly husband's idea, I think.

Other stuff

Friday, 13 May 2016 23:30
vik_thor: (Asgard)

I recently bought an iPhone 4s, refurbished. Basically to use as an iPod. (my older one, a Nano 2d gen is starting to die. There's a black streak on the screen, and it is freezing/crashing regularly.) I am liking it quite a bit, and have started using my iPad again. First gen iPad, which can't update past iOS 5.1.1, which is a bit limiting. I am thinking with my next phone, I may be switching to iPhone.

more heart stuff

Friday, 13 May 2016 14:56
vik_thor: (Sleeth looking away)
I had a panic/anxiety attack this past Sunday (08 May 2016). First one I've ever had, and it was enough that ended up going to the ER via ambulance. (NOT looking forward to that bill… though I beleive most, if not all, will be covered by insurance.) They gave me a prescription for generic Xanax, to take as needed. Haven't used any of it yet, but if I had them with me here at work, I think I would be taking one now. Instead, you get a post. :)

Saw heart surgeon Wednesday, 11 May. Seems a good enough guy. Our dentist has had friends (or relatives) operated on by him. (Found out from [livejournal.com profile] javarod after he had some cleaning done on Monday.) They quite like him, which is a plus, someone not directly affiliated with the hospital giving him a good review.

Will be seeing another surgeon on the 31st. Or at least that is currently the plan. I am sorta thinking just going with the one we saw Wednseday. Going with him would mean the surgery happens at SSM DePaul, which is where everything has been done so far. The other surgeon would be at a different hospital, east of us. (DePaul is southwest of us, but between Seph's work and home.)

At this time, the only real voice for major delay is our chiropractor. He says that people live full lives with leaky bicuspid aortic valves. Or at least should wait until I'm having major symptoms. But according to cardiologist & surgeon, by the time I'm having major symptoms, my heart muscle will have irrevocably enlarged.

The second surgeon was originally scheduled on the 18th, but got changed to the 31st. I have an EchoCardioGram on the 20th, at the request of the surgeon.

Heart stuff

Monday, 2 May 2016 17:11
vik_thor: (sadrassi)
Well, after sorta, not quite, ignoring my aortic regurgitation, I am now moving forward on getting information regarding the heart surgery / valve replacement.

Not quite ignored, in that I put pretty much the maximum into the FSA through work, whereas most previous years, I've only put in $300 or so. So some planning ahead, which doesn't tend to be my strong suit, especially lately.

I have a CT Scan scheduled for Friday, 06 May, to see if it has gotten worse over the past year. (When I went in to talk to Dr. Chandra last Wodensday, he said the followup scans are normally done every 6 months until surgery…)

He recommended two surgeons, both are covered under my insurance. So I'm going to make appointment with both, see if I feel more comfortable with one or the other. First appointment is 11 May. Haven't heard back from the other one yet.

I know at least one person on my f-list has had heart surgery (though different type), and I think several have had it, so I am going to crowdsource questions for the surgeons. :)
Here is what I have so far:

Recovery time? Good, average, poor. How long before return to work?

Time in Hospital.

Restrictions during recovery / post recovery.

How long will the new valve last?

Gym membership? (I am currently member at a gym. I mentioned the pending heart surgery when I joined. They asked about any heart issues/restrictions and so far I do not have any restrictions. I pay fortnightly, and they said I would be able to suspend membership during the time I will not be able to come in.) Will I be able to continue? What limitations if yes.

How is the surgery done?

Sore

Monday, 21 March 2016 19:25
vik_thor: (DataMatrix)

Ijust had an appendectomy.  Staying in hospital overnight.

(no subject)

Thursday, 3 March 2016 08:26
vik_thor: (DataMatrix)
going in to have my two lower wisdom teeth removed today.

bit nervous about it.

Malling

Friday, 22 January 2016 18:59
vik_thor: (cattaur)
I actually hung out at the mall in Carbondale quite a bit when I was in high school. Primarily at the WaldenBooks store. You would think I would try to get a job there, but for some reason I never did. The mall bookstore I got a job at was when I was living in Champaign, over 15 years after I graduated HS. I wish now I had tried getting job at WaldenBooks, because of the benefits of cheap books! :) My college job was working at the Lesar Law School Library, which is where my mild interest in the law came from.

Another store I would hang out quite a bit was an import store. I always liked looking at the stuff, but I very rarely bought anything.
vik_thor: (Pen)
One of the things that annoy me somewhat, are people who are all self-righteous about eating only chemical free food. Forgetting that everything in existence is chemicals, other than energy.
"Let's ban dihydrogen monoxide from the water system! 100% of people who have ingested dihidrogen monoxide will die!"
"Mercury in vaccines is responsible for autism!"

Now, obviously, there are some chemicals that are dangerous. But just because something is touted as organic doesn't mean it is harmless. Botulinum toxin for example. Yes, it is used medically (in fact, my mom used to have it injected into her vocal cords to help with her spasmodic dysphonia.) But it is the same chemical responsible for botulism.

Moderation in all things, including moderation. :)
We are all the result of huge nuclear bombs, but I wouldn't want one to go off right next to me.

Silkworm pupae as snack food. http://kuec.libsyn.com/episode-200-at-last-larva

The overemphasis on biocides, manufactured fertilizers, and huge monocultural farms is dangerous. And a lot of the monoculture of corn and soybeans goes to feeding cattle, which we eat to much of in general.

Twos!

Thursday, 7 January 2016 21:36
vik_thor: (Tom)
It may sounds odd for someone who is involved with Where's George? to say they really wouldn't mind if the $1 bill was discontinued, but truthfully, I wouldn't. Seph and I already use uncommon denominations to a very large extent already. He tends to pull his allowance from the bank as mostly $1 and 50¢ coins, whereas I tend to do $2 bills and $1 coins, with a smattering of 50¢.

One of the main arguments for discontinuing the $1 bill is the cost savings, since a coin would last significantly longer than the current average of just under 6 years for the $1 bill. After all, the US Mint hasn't produced the quarter with the eagle back since 1999, so the youngest is 17 years at this point, and they are still easy to find in circulation. Heck, even finding Bicentennial quarters isn't all that uncommon! Whereas any $1s earlier than 2009 series are becoming somewhat rare in circulation. (You can use the tables @ the US Paper Money site to figure out when your bills were actually printed. [that is NOT a Federal Government site!])

The only way for the official cutover to $1 coins to happen is going to have to be a cold turkey approach. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is going to have to actually stop producing $1 bills and let the ones currently in circulation wear out. Other countries have switched over easily enough.
vik_thor: (Asgard)
Humans like to think we are Masters of the Universe, in control of everything, the top of the food chain. In fact, each one of us are just a thrown together hodgepodge of atoms, defined by DNA that has replicated innumerable times with occasional transcription errors. Of course that goes for every particle of life currently inhabiting Terra. From the most humble cold/herpes/HIV virii, through bacteria, cyanobacteria that blur the lines between plant and animal, fungi, plants, and animals as large as the blue whale.

Every one of us is the product of almost totally random chance. For humans, our fathers produced hundreds of millions of sperm cells in the ejaculation that produced us. Even if only 200 survived to our mother's egg cell, that is still 200 possible variations on us.

We may be one way the universe is aware of itself, but the fact is that in some ways our current bodies are basically jugaads. They work well enough to reproduce (usually) which is the main driving force of our DNA, but there are some design flaws. (Ask any woman who has given birth, or any man who has been hit in the balls…)
vik_thor: (Asgard)

I just finished reading Walking to Mercury, by Starhawk. I've had it since it was released, but I think this is the first time I have actually read it. Usually, if I've read a book before, I'll be able to remember scenes, plot, etc. But after about the first half of the book, it didn't seem familiar. It could be that I had read it, and just forgot it… because truthfully, it is a fairly forgettable book. It's the prequel to The Fifth Sacred Thing, and I'm reading it to refresh my memory of the world, because she recently Kickstarted the sequel, City of Refuge. I supported it, and should be receiving my dead tree edition soon.

I have sort of a HeadCanon, with Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach, The Fifth Sacred Thing, and Always Coming Home by Ursula K. Le Guin all taking place in the same universe. The first two take place in the near future, while ACH is further off. (It's never specifically defined, because the Kesh view time differently than we do. But if feels like at least a thousand years.) While Mercury shares characters with Fifth, it takes place in the past, even from when it was written. In some ways, it feels like Starhawk was fulfilling a contract and just… sorta wrote it to do the contract. Part of that is probably because of how it is structured: letters from one character, journal entries from a second, and Maya, the main character remembering the events in those items as she reads them, while trekking through Nepal. If just feels a bit jury-rigged.

Of course, for most of us, life itself is a bit of a jury-rigged process. I'm not sure if I know anyone who has followed a plan for their life from when they were in high school or college, to adulthood and beyond. Jobs end unexpectedly. Friends and family die unexpectedly. We just pick up the pieces, put them together as best we can, and continue. Or maybe I'm in the minority? I had a vague idea of "what I wanted to be when I grew up." But that didn't work out, so I've just been sortof drifting, going with the flow.
vik_thor: (Dionysus)
"Dance, then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,
And I'll lead you all, where ever you may be,
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he."

--Sydney Carter

I am a follower of the Lord of the Dance. Not Yeshua, who this version of the song is putatively for, but rather Shiva Nataraja, Pan, Dionysus, Kernun. I have a hard time staying still when there is music playing. It can be as small as finger or foot tapping, to full out dancing where I can take over the entire dance floor.

I don't remember anything specifically dance related in my childhood or adolescence. The earliest dancing memory I have is of 'The Beauty and the Beast' dance that was held around Halloween. I had been coming out of my shell more and more over the past year, and my girlfriend and I were participating in the costume contest, as sorcerer and sorceress. It took me awhile to gather my courage up to actually get out on the dance floor, but once I did, I stayed there the rest of the night, only stopping to get something to drink, and to rest during the slow songs. The other school dances during my senior year went similarly. I had discovered my joy in dancing.

Dancing during college happened, mostly just me and my WalkMan. The only gay bar in town wasn't dance oriented.

The first time I really felt Nataraja was during my 18 months in San Francisco, after college graduation. I was involved with the Black Leather Wings tribe of the Radical Faeries. I was in a ritual when, the closest I can describe, i was possessed or ridden by Him. At that time, i felt … connected to the entire cycle of being.

"Around its center in an open gyre
earth turns, the day:
around the earth in an open gyre
moon turns, the month:
around the sun in an open gyre
earth turns, the year:
around its center in an open gyre
sun turns, the dance:
sun and the other stars in an open gyre
turn and return, the dance."
-- Ursula K. Le Guin, Always Coming Home "The Gyres" from the Fourth Section of Poems

I … have never felt quite that connection again. But i feel echoes when dancing by myself, just moving to the music, letting the music move me.

(My style of dance [if it can be called that] is entirely self taught. I move to the music, and thus each song can feel different, and have different movements. I do borrow heavily from Hindu dance that I've seen, but… I have never seen a video of myself dancing. I don't really want to, I'm afraid that if I do, I will feel too self-conscious to ever dance again.)

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