2 terminally ill Montana residents sue state in right-to-die case

That’s my grandfather in the aforementioned article. This arose mostly because it appears that Montana state law interferes with the ability to obtain a reasonable death with little suffering. I can understand the desire to prevent assisted suicide, but when the laws restrict the ability of an individual to die peacefully instead of suffering through the painful stages of a terminal disease, I can see where this would be a problem.

Now mind you, I’m not intimately familiar with the law(s) in Montana regarding assisted suicide, but it must be fairly concerning if my grandfather’s choosing to address it now. He’s doing okay right now with his illness, but it’ll eventually go downhill and just won’t really be treatable/deal-able. I personally wouldn’t want to hear that he’s being forced to suffer with his disease simply because they cannot let him die. I suppose cases like this really would just need to go under more scrutiny prior to a decision. Would it be too much to put a decision about assisted-death in the case of a terminal disease into the hands of a committee at the hospital comprising both in- and out-of-hospital members? That might be too much of a bureaucracy, but it could at least allow these things to happen the laws don’t get repealed.

I’d comment more, but I’m a little distracted and unable to concentrate on a solid thought process at the moment. Woo…*sarcastically* I’m sure this issue has been discussed to death prior to this anyhow.

I’m not sure how many of you use Macs, but since I’ve purchased my MacBook Pro I have become a pretty adamant fan of the Mac operating system. One of my few gripes is the choice of web browsers. Safari is the default for Mac OS X. It looks nice, goes well with the OS, but it has a tendency to stall or not tell you when it’s actually done loading a page. Overall, didn’t like it. I went back to FireFox, since I was pretty comfortable with it on the PC. I toyed with a few others while I was familiarizing myself with FireFox again.

Shiira was slick and smooth looking, but I couldn’t figure the damn thing out. Eventually I gave it up, as their support isn’t nearly as forward as some other browsers. I haven’t tried out their latest build, so I can’t vouch for that.

Opera was a pull-over from my older days on the PC when I first enjoyed tabbed browsing. Opera on the Mac really didn’t impress me.

OmniWeb was attempted a couple of times, and none of those times I really enjoyed it that well. It integrates nicely into Mac OS X, shares much of the same looks, but I can’t stand the blah look to it, and it seems to have similar stalling issues like Safari did.

To the present day, I kept Camino around as it was designed to be a Mac-specific rebuilt Mozilla based off of FireFox. I really didn’t care for the limited looks of it, but man it was a speedy loader of pages. I could live without the plugins and the simple look, but the buttons and fonts didn’t look very good.

I read that Camino is going to use a new renderer for fonts called Cairo, designed to make better use of the Mac’s OS features. Regardless, the latest nightly build of Camino appears to incorporate this. My webpage fonts look awesome now. I can’t believe how crisp the text looks now!

I’d encourage any Mac users to give it a try if they’re a fan of FireFox and want to give something a little more Mac-like a try.

Facebook gets bids from Google, Microsoft, people say

So it appears that Facebook is slowly going the way of MySpace, in a matter. I really did enjoy Facebook in its older days, where entry into the site was restricted to those of workplaces or universities.

When they went public and opened their registration to anyone and everyone, I was reluctant at first. They opened it up, I met a bunch of old friends who were now using, “not a big deal” I thought. Then the applications began to appear. Oh my lord, there were a lot of applications. Thankfully, they’re not as horrible as they could have been. I can just ignore most of the invitations, although it’s a bit annoying to constantly receive invitations. However, this was when advertisements started to show up. Sponsored messages began to show up in my news feed. Typically, only one was to be found in the feed. I thought this was doable. Far more than that in MySpace, with ads and glitter and explosions coming at you from everywhere.

Now, Facebook runs the gamut of the decision to go with more ads or not. The fact that Google or Microsoft may have dibs in that now, makes me worry for the vested future of Facebook. As long as the winning bidder doesn’t impose a need to thrust more of their own ads at everyone, I could care less if they want a market share of the fifteen billion dollar company. If they decide to shove even more of them over the pages that people view daily, I’ll be quite ready to give things up.

I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of an elitist, as some people know. Probably goes with being a perfectionist…I like things how I like them. XuQa seemed like an awfully nice university-based social network back in the day of its inception. Since then, they’ve turned into a cesspool in my eyes. MySpace was the new fad of the day and I was interested, but ultimately I didn’t really feel comfortable with it. Friendster and Hi5 both had attempts as well, but they failed promptly. I had marvelous hopes for Facebook once I gave it a try. I loved the simplicity and the exclusivity of it; clean, sharp, and selective! Alas, it is slowly going the way of the remaining sites.

I’m just waiting for the day that spammers and bots begin to solicit on Facebook. I’ve ran into a few accounts that were awfully close. I know I don’t use Facebook as much as I did back in the day, but I’m more and more leery that it’s going to go down that drain that everything else does.

Why must these all evolve in the wrong fashion?

I’m slowly getting better with going to the gym in the morning. I just need to be more pro-active about getting to sleep prior to 11pm. It seems I really feel like crashing when I get less than six hours of sleep. I’m aiming for at least four mornings in the gym this week, hopefully five. I’m not a fan of them switching out some of their equipment. They’ve been remodeling, so they’ve been adding new equipment and removing older items. Unfortunately, one of them was the lateral row machine I was using. All of the others don’t hit my trapezius as solidly, and I’ve been having a sore neck/shoulders as a result. I might give up doing it until my next check-up with my trainer.

Milla’s ringworm infection has gotten significantly better. Her fur is starting to grow back in the regions where the infection was, and the blackened skin is down to just spotty black in coloration. She’s still not enjoying the twice-daily pills, and she has really been crying when we bathe her. Thankfully, that should be over soon at the rate her improvement is progressing at.

I am way more than ready for the fall season to kick in. It has been far too warm lately. I just want the snow here already!

My cat trusts in me pretty unconditionally. She’s been with us long enough to realize that despite the fact we try to get her to swallow pills, and we bathe her weekly just to follow with a sulfonated lime dip, that we still feed her, love her, and pamper her far more than she probably needs to be. That trust is simple and easy to understand. Probably a bit blind in devotion, but it’s there nonetheless.

Trust with other people has never been that easy. I know Holly and I trust each other deeply, but there are times when my mind worries that I’ll break the trust, despite what she may think. I’ve come to notice that I don’t have many female friends here in Buffalo; this is something that was quite the opposite back in Fargo. The majority of my friends in Fargo were female, with a minority of males that I also spent time with.

Things are a little different in Buffalo. I’ve got a good handful of male friends (more casual than I’m used to for most friends), and very few (if any) female friends that I spend time with. I was pondering this slightly last night when I caught up with an old friend of seven years now. I noticed that I really had no female friends here…I just happen to keep up with a lot of them from the Midwest. I pondered this today at some point while I was at work, and I realized that I was concerned that Holly could/would be jealous of something like that. I don’t mind her spending time with her male friends here, so I really had to wonder why I was so concerned she’d be upset with me spending time with female friends.

We broached this subject, and obviously she mentioned she’s not concerned in the least. She admitted she might be slightly jealous that I’d choose to spend some time with them instead of her, but sometimes you just need a little change in your social life and so one would have friends for just such an occasion. I thought about this train of thought (yay for redundancy!) a little more, and I think I’m scared I might actually really like the female if I spend a fair bit of time with them. I worry that despite my love for Holly, my desire (be it altruistic or more wanton) in such a case would lead me to feeling unfaithful. Yet again, this made me realize that I probably worry too damn much!

So I plan to worry about this a little less. Sure, this seems like a trivial thing to be blogging about, but this has been a recurring issue in my past: my over-thought concern with regards to other people’s feelings about me. I don’t worry enough about myself, and lo and behold that may be a substantial contributor to my stress levels! Again, it’s time for me to worry a little less and not chastise myself over the consequences unless it’s something that’s really warranted.

That, and just tell Holly if I’m worried about something. I like a girl? Big whoop! I’ll let Holly know and just leave it as is! Remind Holly that I love her, and let her know I’ve found a new good friend, guy or girl alike!

10. October 2007 · Write a comment · Categories: Work · Tags: ,

I used to think that the workplace drama would be mitigated once the fall semester started. The eldest undergraduate was going to be done working in the lab since she graduated in May, and the other undergraduate would be sparse in the lab due to classes and applying for graduate school. The first graduating student is also gone in Maryland to start his next job while his committee members read his thesis. The lab was all-around a bit cramped with eight active members in a single lab room. We were down to five people in the lab, with typically only three running around doing work in the same room at once.

I’ve taken on an undergrad student to mentor and train, so that brings our running total to six people on the busy days; she will only be around two to three days a week at most. I knew we were taking on a rotation student interested in Lil’s (next graduate student due for graduation, this coming spring as she’s already gotten permission to write), so that puts us to a steady six, as she will try to work most days of the week. Little to my knowledge, there was another rotation student lurking that I was not aware of. She’s simply pending her approval to work with radiation. Once she receives that, we’ll be up to a steady seven. Bear in mind, that theres really only desk space for six in the lab at present. To top that off, the undergraduate that was taking a break returned today. She’s mostly done with her applications for graduate schools (as most are due in January), she’ll be returning to work in the lab.

We are back to a slightly crowded lab! In addition, next week the graduating student will be back to meet with his committee members regarding his thesis. I have no idea how much he’ll plan to be in the lab, but we’ll be far more space-strapped with his presence, if so. Take into account that there are still at least two more 1st year graduate students interested in rotating in the lab. Thankfully, we’re not obligated to accept all of them if they’re interested. However, last I checked in discussions with the 1st students, two of these four were strongly interested in the lab, such that they would consider staying with the lab unless circumstances provided otherwise.

Right now, we’re limited to how many students we can accept by financial reasons. My PI’s primary grant runs out this spring, so the money he has funding the three students before me will essentially end. His renewal for that grant entered the study section today. Hopefully within a week or so, he’ll get his review/rating for the renewal, giving him some real perspective on whether or not the grant will get renewed. All three of the graduate students before me are expected to graduate this spring (or sooner), in order to deal with this adjustment in the funding. Realistically, we also cannot take on any more graduate students unless he brings in more funding, i.e. the renewal. Myself and the other PhD student are on other squandered money sources (I’m stashed away money, the other is supplemented-by-the-department-money if the renewal doesn’t come through), so we’re okay for now.

I’m anxious to hear the review of my PI’s renewal application, but at the same time, it’s hard to think that by the summer I will likely be the senior graduate student with another two new students in the lab. The lab is already mostly women, which is an odd change with the one student graduating (as he and I got along pretty well). My previous lab experiences tended to err on the side of more men in the lab, so it’s slightly different to deal with socially. Additionally, the two female graduate students that are in the process of finishing up seem more much headstrong than the younger (newer) students. This makes me wonder how the younger students will fit into the lab compared to the present two.

09. October 2007 · 2 comments · Categories: General

I have put a link to the right for my Flickr pictures. I figured that the work involved in setting up my own photo pages just wasn’t worth my time. I may put up a few select ones when I get the website going (or within the blog site), but in the meantime it’s simply easier to let Flickr do most of the work while I throw tags and categories on the photos.

09. October 2007 · 2 comments · Categories: Techie · Tags:

I have opened up registration in case anyone is interested in actually making themselves an account to login with on my blog. I’m not sure if there are any perks to it…it basically will retain certain settings for you. There’s various additional permissions I can assign, but it’s not exactly like there are people who want to post entries on this blog (yet).

Holly and I picked up a “deep cleaner” yesterday, as I guess they are called these days. I always called them shampooers back in the day, but regardless of the name we needed one because our carpets were starting to look a bit nasty in areas. We have a couple spots of high traffic that looked pretty worn and darkened, and we were getting spotting areas showing up since we got Milla. Admittedly, I have no idea what those spots were, but I do see her dribbling a little after getting herself a drink. I’m not sure how exactly that can stain a carpet. Anyhoo…

Cleaning most of the living room carpet took about an hour, but it was amazing to see the difference. We’ve been in this apartment for just over two years now, and it was amazing how dark the water came out from the cleaning. The stretch just coming out of the kitchen was still a bit darkened compared to the rest of the carpet right after cleaning. However, once everything has dried, it’s amazing to see how much cleaner the carpet looks. It kind of brought something to mind, though. How many people stay in their rental property for years and don’t go to the trouble of doing this?

We vacuum on a relatively regular basis, but how many people actually go to the trouble to deep clean their carpets? Now that we’ve got the machine, we’ll probably do it three to four times a year. Without it, I probably never would’ve considered it. Does anyone actually pay to have their carpets professionally cleaned without a deep cleaner?