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Turkey Day Vacation

Clearly, I have hijacked my dad’s MacBook Pro as is evidenced by my pomelo exploration and my Jelly Baby discovery. Heading out to San Francisco for the rest of the week so I plan to record some vlogs there for travel logs and whatever else I can come up with. If I have access to interwebs, I’ll post them as soon as they get compressed. I’m also going to see about doing more video content anyway because I can talk faster than I can type and I can make funny faces that you all can see. I actually make them when I write, but it’s hard to express that in text.

Oh, and my dad is doing much better, just in case some of you thought I was being a major asshole swiping my dad’s laptop when he’s laid up in the hospital. Okay, so I kinda did swipe it when he was up in the hospital, but I asked first. Kinda. There’s some more tests that they want to run this week to figure out what the hell happened, but he’s in good spirits, joking like he used to, and even managing to get some exercise.

So that’s that. Gotta pack some more stuff and then pretend to sleep as we wake up butt ass early to catch our flight. See ya in San Francisco!

Out of the Woods

First off, thank you all so much for the wonderful support and virtual hugs you all sent this weekend. It was only a few days but it feels like we’ve been in the hospital for freaking weeks. Thank you all.

Second, update time. As amazing as it sounds, as far as we can tell, dad is out of the woods. He’s still up in what they call the MICU (Medical Intensive Care Unit) where he’s under 24 hour surveillance. They moved him there after he had a seizure early yesterday morning. But he’s no longer catatonic. He’s eating well (the food is surprisingly good at Walter Reed), watching football on TV, making jokes, and remembering details of how he got there.

Unfortunately, they still don’t have any idea how he got into that catatonic state or what caused his seizure. Not sure what the next step is, but for now, they’ve got him under observation.

Walter Reed has been getting slammed lately in the news, but I’m here to report that our experience there has been fairly decent. They’re very considerate of our needs (a nice lady grabbed me a chair after I fell asleep on the floor of dad’s room) and they’ve answered all our questions with as much information as they can give. Very happy with dad’s care.

One final note, hospitals have a funny way of reminding you that things can always be worse. The man who shared a room with my father in the regular ICU has been in a coma for the past month. Apparently, he went in for surgery (not sure what) a month ago and everything went well. His wife was driving him home when he had a coughing fit and one of his sutures split. He instantly fell into a coma and has been that way ever since. It was so heart breaking hearing his son, his son’s wife, and his grand kid pleading for him to wake up. I nearly lost it.

There’s a lesson in here somewhere. And with Thanksgiving right around the corner, it seems only right to cherish every single dirty moment we have on this mud ball. A little more preachy than I like, but I’ll take it. I’m thankful that my dad is quickly recovering. And I hope that his neighbor wakes up. His family needs him.

Award Winning ER Lobby

I swiped the headline from my Spwug post, but it’s too funny not to reuse.

I’ve been wrestling with blogging too much about my personal life on AZM because that’s not really what it was intended for. Sharing my opinions, ranting and raving, cursing at just about everything, yes, that’s clearly what AZM is all about. But as I discovered with my divorce, the less I talk to my friends, the worse it ends up being for myself. So here goes.

Last night, I spent a great deal of time in Suburban Hospital’s award winning Emergency Room lobby where I was fortunate enough to witness a doctor patch up a guy’s bleeding hand right in front of my very tired eyes. Talk about award winning service! This rare opportunity was afforded Audrey, my mom, and me because earlier in the evening, my dad was found lying down on a sidewalk right where MD Route 355 meets I-495 and was taken to the Emergency Room at Suburban Hospital.

For the past few months, my dad has been suffering through severe anxiety and depression brought on by hypertension, high blood pressure, and a host of other things that he hasn’t let his mind deal with. He was diagnosed back in early July, spent ten days in the psych ward at Bethesda Naval, spent some time at home, and has been back at work since September. He hasn’t been the same person ever since, but we were certain that he was making progress. Lately, he’s been doing really well, so well that the psychiatrist decided to change his routine.

Apparently, when you go crazy, you rely on routines to get you through the day. Recognizable patterns help bring a sense of order and serve to calm you. A change in routine can disrupt this normalcy which is what we suspect happened yesterday. Dad was on a new regiment for his medication which probably screwed with his brain meats. A little before five, he got off at the Grovesnore Metro stop and decided to walk home. Earlier in the day, my mom and he had dropped off her car in the garage so he could pick it up when he got back from work. He must have known that he didn’t have his car, but he might have forgotten where mom’s car was parked. So he started walking. He got exhausted and decided to lay down and that’s when someone found him, called the authorities, and an ambulance took him to the hospital.

Guess who didn’t call us with the news.

At about 8:30pm, Audrey and I were sitting down to eat dinner and watch a movie. We had run some errands and even snuck in a quick workout. About 9pm, mom called and asked if anything had happened on the Metro. Dad hadn’t come home yet. Audrey and I ran out to our car and drove to Grovesnore to see if mom’s car was still there. It was. So we called mom. She had already called the police and they were on their way so we headed to my mom’s place to meet up.

We got to my parent’s house and the officer was already there. Earlier, he had heard of an Asian male being picked up off a sidewalk at 355 and 495 and taken to a hospital. He made the call and it turned out to be my dad. We thanked the officer and rushed over to the hospital. They let mom go in to see my dad and asked Audrey and I to wait and experience the award winning lobby for ourselves.

It has been quite a night.

So today, we’re transferring him to Walter Reed (yes, that Walter Reed) because dad’s psychiatrist wants him to get checked out by their team. In a few hours, we’ll caravan down to Walter Reed and sit and wait and see if their lobby meets award winning standards.

I think I’ll spend some time drawing a comic about all this. I feel like it should be documented somehow.

Anyway, he’s stable, but completely uncooperative right now. He chooses not to speak to anyone or respond to anyone so who knows what the fuck is going on in his mind. He’s safe now and that’s the important thing.

And if you’ve made it this far, thank you for the indulgence. Blogging about this mess is somewhat therapeutic believe it or not.

Brightcove vs. Revver

I’m not quite ready to announce it yet (though if you’ve been following my twitter, you can probably guess what this is all about anyway), but I’m looking for a video hosting solution. The sketch casts were kind of a proof of concept for my next venture and although the workflow I established for my YouTube sketch casts seems to work out fairly well, I’m looking for better quality video. Enter Brightcove and Revver.

Revver, like YouTube, seems to be aimed at the amateur video producer. The biggest difference between them and YouTube besides the quality of video is that they have a very attractive revenue sharing program splitting 50% of the ad revenue generated by your content. Brightcove seems to be aimed at the semi-pro/professional video producer (check out their client list). Again, Brightcove’s video quality is higher than YouTubes and they offer a number of tools so that you can essentially program your own virtual television channel. Brightcove also has a revenue sharing model, but it sounds like most of that money goes to the big players.

I think either Revver or Brightcove will serve my quality needs much better than YouTube. So, true believers, I have a few questions for you. Anyone out there have any horror stories associated with either service? Anyone prefer one over the other? Is there an even better service out there that I should be looking in to (video quality is the name of the game)?

Note: Hmmmm… Now I’m thinking maybe Veoh. Damn internet with it’s choices!

San Diego

The fires that are raging through southern California are absolutely horrifying. I saw some raw video footage from space shuttle Discovery and I could clearly see the smoke from low-earth orbit. The magnitude of destruction is something my mind cannot yet comprehend. Reader Kyle asked me to post this:

Our county is burning down, we’ve had over a million people evacuated in southern California, over 500,000 in San Diego county alone. Here are the best sites I’ve seen with info:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/

http://www.signonsandiego.com/firemap/

http://www.sdcountyemergency.com/

Thank you

I honestly have no idea what else there is I can do. I’m sure there will be some sort of donation campaign soon, but can money really replace the homes that have been lost? And was there any way to prevent this?

I would like some ideas on what else we can do to help these people. Raising money, sure, that’s obvious. But there’s got to be more that we can think of.

Solid-Fuel Rocket Powered X-Wing

Andy Woerner and his friends at Polecat Aerospace are bigger Star Wars fans than you will ever be. Behold!

Real X-Wing

That, my friends, is a 21 foot long X-Wing powered by four solid-fuel rockets that will indeed fly. It’s set to launch October 6 from Plaster City, CA.

It looks like it’s 1/1 scale [My Star Wars fu is weak. It’s closer to 1/2 scale. Thanks Dave and Kevin!] I really hope Andy doesn’t plan on getting in that thing himself. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fucking cool. But I hope they at least do a test run before someone actually gets into the thing. There doesn’t seem to be much of a way to steer it once it’s airborne. The wings and the parachute used for recovery are all radio controlled so I suspect that this will be an unmanned flight. Alls I know is, someone better be taping the launch because I want to see it fly!

[Via Gizmodo via Polecat Aerospace]

Halo 3: Finish the– ZOMGZ BOOBIES!

My brother works for Bungie as a tools programmer and there were lots of fun Halo 3 festivities that the crew participated in Monday night. However, there are no photos for me to post of any of the events. So I found some boobs.

Damn Cortana. Always ruining the fun. You’ll have to sign up for membership with the Suicide Girls to catch the full nipplage.

Halo Boobs

[Via Suicide Girls]

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