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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

What's Been Going On

As you can see, I've moved Mabrick's Mumblings back to the original Blogger site I began with five years ago. I wrested my domain from the clutches of Wordpress.com and transferred it to Google Domains. Why Google Domains? Because it was quick, easy, and at $12 a year it's about the best deal you can get.

The down side to this move is there are a lot of blog posts that need reformatted to one extend or another. The good news is I've reconnected with all the old posts that never got properly reformatted on Wordpress.com. The bad news is I have no traffic history for the past two years. The good news is I won't be depressed by those numbers any longer. Actually it wasn't that bad, but looking at my site traffic back when I was an Eve Online only blogger makes the post EVE Online traffic look fairly anemic. Of course my stress levels are a lot lower now. I'm not a hunted man in the games I play today.

Anyway, I've worked on the export/import/reformat stuff all weekend through today in between the RL things that blasted me last week. To tell truth, it was mostly to keep my mind off those unpleasant things. And this is where I have to tell you what they are because I've mentioned it twice now.

Well, going into last week I already knew Saturday I had a Celebration of Life ceremony to go to for my Uncle Karel. He was 88 and died around Veterans Day of a heart attack. It was tough. He and my Uncle Tom had been invited back to Washington D.C. for a veterans ceremony, because they both fought in World War II. My Uncle Karel was a crewman on a Navy bomber. His plane crashed six times and he survived them all. They called him cat because he seemed to have so many lives. But time runs out for all of us sooner or later. The night they landed in D.C. he was not feeling well. Before long he was throwing up and then he passed out. He lived long enough for his son, young Karel, to get to his father's bedside. Then he died.

But remember that comment I made about sooner or later? Wednesday night was sooner for my sister's brother-in-law, who was only a couple years older than I am. Many times had I hunted and fished with him, and he was a good friend. He was a large and robust man, but about a month ago he began feeling run down and tired to the point of not being able to stand. After a week seeing ineffectual doctors, he was finally diagnosed with leukemia. Within six hours they had transported him to the Oregon Health Sciences University, one of the premier cancer treatment centers on the west coast. They sequenced the cancer's DNA, and determined it was treatable but required a bone marrow transplant. They started chemotherapy. Unfortunately he contracted a blood-born infection after they'd nuked his immune system, and it was antibiotic resistant. I was shocked when I learned of his death last Thursday.

But wait, there's more. His was not the death for which I was waiting. At 12:30 AM Friday morning my mother lost her 2+ year battle with primary peritoneal cancer and died. I'd like to tell you she passed peacefully in her sleep, but life isn't a fairy-tale. It was at least quick at the end - less than a week. It was a bad week though, and I'm relieved she's past it now. Thanksgiving isn't this year. I will miss the visits and the family gatherings that always seemed to center around our matriarch these past 18 years since my father died of cancer. But it has occurred to me he's getting one hell of a Christmas present.

With all the cancer deaths, you'd think I'd be worried about the solidity of my genes. I'm not. The cancer my mother had was like ovarian cancer. It only affects women. Fortunately both my sisters tested negative for the double mutation responsible. It's good that one is not enough in this case. As for my father's cancer, it was not natural. In 1951, as a soldier in the U.S. Army, he participated in two atomic bomb tests at Camp Mercury, Nevada named Operation Buster-Jangle. Though he didn't get enough gamma radiation to cause more than nuisance skin cancer, if any cancer can be considered merely a nuisance, the food was contaminated by the radioactive dust that was everywhere. A few weeks in those chow lines and the damage was done, though it took 46 years to manifest itself.

So there, now you know what's been happening and why I've not felt like playing a lot of games lately. Except that's not exactly true. At night, when there's nothing left to do otherwise, I find SWTOR to be an excellent distraction from the sadness and the cascade of heartfelt condolences pouring down on me. Actually, the condolences are the worst. I've had two years to prepare for my mother's death - ever since her first round of chemotherapy failed to gain remission. Those who were not near my mother these last two years and couldn't see where it was going, and how far it had progressed, are really the upset ones. They are more upset than I, and their grief makes me even sadder. It's a strange thing when the grief of those remaining brings more emotional upheaval than the loss which triggered said grief. That's been the hardest thing to shoulder for me.

Therefore I've turned comments off for this post. I know you all have nothing but good thoughts for me and my family. It's unnecessary to express them. We will all get past this and life for us will continue. I've got two concerts this coming weekend - Abney Park and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. How's that for juxtaposition? The misses and I are attending with dear friends and it will be good. There is a Star Wars movie looming large on the horizon. I have never been immune to Jedi mind games. So glad I'm not a Hutt. I'm not much of a Christmas person: too much commercialism. But a new year beckons beyond that, and another birthday right after, and life goes on. Stay tuned. I'll be back shortly.