Sunday, March 28, 2010

This is How You Do it.

I guess the word is out, so I can blog about this now. My father-in-law, Frank, just found out this past week he is afflicted with stage four, terminal, incurable lung cancer. He is not a smoker. He's a fit and active guy who look twenty years younger than he is. The shit of it is this: He never had symptoms to catch it early. He started getting short of breath recently, went to the hospital, and they drained his lungs, which were filling with fluid. It happened again and again.

Meantime, he had back surgery. The doctors studied some of the pre-surgical tests and found out his diagnosis. He needs CT and PET scans before his oncologist can give him information about the extent, the time he may have left, etc.

The thing is, he's in terrific spirits. I know the first stage is denial, but I don't think that's in his nature. Frank's oncologist told him to carry on with his life as long as he's feeling well, which he is.

So Frank has plans. He's going on tour. He's coming to Rochester next week to enjoy my daughter's baptism and first communion (she was 8 when she decided, to the surprise and delight of her mom, who is spiritual, and I, an atheist, to join the Catholic church). Her grandfather, Frank, who has always been involved with the churches in the towns in which he's lived, will be there, along with his wife Betty, and of course my wife and I and my parents. We'll celebrate!

Then Frank and Betty are going Philadelphia to see my nephew (their grandson) play hockey. The kid is right around 16 and the star player on his team, the one who constantly makes the last-minute, game-saving goals. He's a prodigy, more at home on skates than in sneakers.

Next, Frank and Betty are going to attend the Masters golf tournament. Frank has not only been there many times, but has actually volunteered (and been chosen) to keep the grounds clean--a high honor for golf fans.

Why did I tell you all this? Because I want you to know that Frank is going to spend his last days, however many they are, living. Cancer or no cancer, Frank is not dying in any greater sense than we all are. He is a wise and wonderful man and deserves as much time as he can get--and he'll spend every minute of it enjoying life.

In the immortal words of Jim Morrison, no one here gets out alive. And in the equally compelling words of Mark Oliver "E" Everett, maybe it's time to live.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Punch in the Gut

Received dire news about two family members.

Things are not going to be okay.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Sorry for the lack of posts...been pretty busy lately. I'm doing some stuff for publication and some behind-the-scene things I can't really talk about. Here are a couple of Computer Shopper notebook reviews that have posted recently.

More to come. No word on the fiction book yet, but I'm hoping.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

WhoStore Offers Partial Refund

I'll go ahead and declare this a victory.

Although I paid £90, WhoStore has informed me that it has processed an £80 refund.

Hey--I'll take what I can get.

Thanks to WhoStore for (finally) doing the right thing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The WhoStore Saga is Closed


Because WhoStore has offered a partial refund as a show of good faith, I'm hiding this post for the time being at its request. We had a dispute, but that dispute is in the past and the matter can be considered final and closed.

In fairness to those who took the time to comment, I'm leaving this placeholder and leaving the comments up. Let this serve as a warning to any retail establishment that may not believe the customer is always right: Sooner or later, he will be.

Case closed. Nothing more to see here. Move along.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Here's Hoping

Quick update.

In case you weren't aware, I wrote a yet-to-be-published novel called Slip Away. I have a killer agent who has been pimping the crap out of it. We've sent proposals (query letters, synopses, and the first three chapters) to many publishers.

This week, two publishers requested us to send the entire novel.

If you believe in the power of positive thought, please send me good vibes. I've dreamed of being a novelist since I was a child. I still have that dream, strongly, and this is as close as I've ever been.

It could happen. Please, keep me in your thoughts and prayers. This could be big. Let's hope, hope, hope it works out.