Hello Cruel World
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Exciting Picture News

Wheeeee!! Not only am I getting an acknowledged* publication (small, down the back) of that photograph from the previous post (informally titled Dust Day Laundry) in a Quick & Dirty, but pretty, MagCloud occasional issue of pix from the Great Sydney Dust Day called Strange Light: Photos from the Great Australian Dust Storm (very entrepreneurial of Mr Powazek), but made my very first public photo sale! (Through my CafePress store) Haven't seen pic on paper yet, I do hope it prints up OK. There's $US0.50 somewhere in that system that's mine, mine!, mine!!, allllll mine!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!
(OK. <quick sigh> Actually, it's ~80% mine after tax, but the full 50c has, like, total personal gloating rights, heh.)

I'm wondering if this might be one example of The Future of Publishing — The post next to that one on Derek Powazek's blog is entitled: How to Publish a Magazine in a Day and a Half. OTOH, it's pretty much a modern version of those early broadsheets about notable events, e.g. a celebrity hanging. On the gripping hand, there are discussable differences as well as similarities.

* Me, bitter about unacknowledged use of my stuff over the years? Certainly.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009
Dust Day (23rd September, 2009) in Sydney; Stroke cont.

I raced up & took some photos from my flats' roof, trying to match some of the views I've taken on clear days, plus a few more that I thought looked good. It did have this strange effect — the feeling that "either there's so much stuff in the air it can't get into my lungs, or there's something missing from what is getting in" on my ventures out
that kept them brief.

Here's the link to my Flickr set of the Dust Day photographs.
www.flickr.com/ photos/ sketchesbymez/ sets/ 72157622437316334

One of the pictures has become quite popular, which is pleasing and terrifying in equal measure. (In this Flickr Gallery by Tom Coates, and two ABC slideshows) I've had trouble with my image editor, so didn't put a watermark on any before I uploaded, which means it doesn't always have attribution (snarl). This has spurred me to getting a dedicated little watermarking program. It's like backing up data; so many people don't really get it working until they've had that first really bad experience.

Dustday Laundry

There are a lot of other pictures and descriptions online. The Terrorgraph had a whole multipage supplement about it the next day.

Adelaide is *seething*, 'cos they've been getting days like this for years and haven't had nearly so much attention <sound of
sulking>, and Melburnians are pulling out their memories of the spectacular cloud that hit them back in February 1983, a week before the Ash Wednesday Fires — see Australian Bureau of Statistics (www.abs.gov.au) on Natural Disasters.

Health Update: Friend's Stroke
He is definitely improving, but until they put in a different tracheotomy setup, still can't talk. He can write, but poorly, and is exercising his working right side. I assume there's some physiotherapy for the leg & arm he can't move voluntarily. They've been able to put him into a sort of super-armchair on wheels (Regency Care Chair) so he can go out into the lounge near the lifts to get a change of scene, look out the windows (the ward ones face blank wall) & have 'private' talks. He still gets frustrated & depressed, understandably; as do I, & his other friends.

History Tour Links
Last weekend, a friend helped me get through an ABC-linked history walking tour. This is the photo album on the 702 ABC Sydney Facebook account (702 ABC Sydney) [open, public, you don't have to sign in or be registered on FaceBook], called Slurry Hills and Razorhurst History Walk; also a note on their blog. Good, but laid me up for 2-3 days — mostly recovering Just In Time for Dust Day, which affected my breathing rather more than I expected. Most of the time not having my full lung capacity isn't that noticeable.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009
Another Stroke

The youngest and last of my mother's brothers & sisters died suddenly this week. If my calculations are right, he would have been the same age father was when he died, but it sounds like he was spared the slow, suffering, decline in hospital. Of course his family are devastated. This leaves only one aunt on my father's side alive of my parents' generation.

Not much to add when it comes to either chemotherapy or my friend. The 3-day test for the new specialist was a bit of a trial, physically. I did use part of it to help get in training for today's big expedition — a 2-hour history tour of the crime haunts of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst, specially dealing with the notorious Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine. (Here's a link to some photos of the tour on Facebook, taken by the local ABC person along on it.) Pretty well washed out by chemotherapy and tests, so I was worried if I'd make it through, but with a bit of luck and care, and leaning on another friend, we got through without too much trauma.

Slow progress with friend's stroke. One of our big helpers, a childhood friend of his, was away for a week. I was first knocked about by Uncle's death, then the chemo and other stuff. Next week his partner will have to go back to at least part-time work. She wants to make up time now so she'll have hours up her sleeve when she's needed later during his rehabilitation. He was understandably pretty down at heart.

But I'm told they were able to take him out in the chair to the 'lounge area'. At least you can look out the windows (ward windows look out on a blank wall) and get away from 24-hour presence of the other patients.

Plodding on. More slow steps for us both.

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Friday, September 11, 2009
Rolling on in Earth's diurnal course: Chemotherapy; Friend's stroke

Health Update:
My chemotherapy continues; unpleasant but not very horrible, so far surviving. Around the peak of immune suppression was keeping kitchen and bathroom stuff and hands rather neurotically clean, away from crowds and other people. Using drugs to suppress some of nausea, diarrhoea — able to go to opera (Graeme Murphy production of Aida) — but very tired. Drinking lots of fluids (soup + water, juices, milk), as recommended to counteract effect of cytotoxin on kidneys means I have to keep back & forwarding to toilet a lot.

Friend with stroke, 4 weeks on is conscious! He has fair movement and strength on one side, very little on the other. Still tracheostomy and nasogastric feeding, because his swallowing isn't good, but breathing by himself (yay!). Is doing exercises, or at least practising movements of his limbs, head and throat. He seems frustrated at being unable to speak & tiring easily. Both understandable.
I feel helpless & inadequate. Am hoping to be
  • a) healthier later;
  • b) able to help with further rehabilitation.
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     / . Lives in Australia/New South Wales/Sydney, speaks English. Eye color is hazel. I am what my mother calls unique. My interests are photography, reading, natural history/land use, town planning, sustainability.

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    Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.