Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Memorial Day

Well....another Memorial Day has come and mostly gone...I'm still sitting here in a hotel in El Segundo (just south of LAX)...been here almost 2 weeks now. Our work here is almost done...we've finally got the spacecraft loaded into the all that's left is to convoy the container to the aircraft and fly it home. THEN we transport it from the aircraft to the payload processing center and unload it. After THAT it's no longer our worry. Until then we have a VERY VERY VERY VERY expensive vehicle in our care. Of course I make it sound like no big thing to load it into the container, transport it, load it, unload it, transport it again and unload it again. It takes a HUGE crew of people working tons of hours for this all to happen...I'm just a small cog in a big machine.

Meanwhile, Jeannie left the babies in a friends care and flew out to Minnesota last Weds to help care for my Mom, who is undergoing chemo for stage 4 ovarian cancer (which was discovered back in early March). My brother Greg already was there for the first 3 weeks, Jeannie is doing the 2nd 3 weeks, and I'll be flying out on the 13th (I think) of June for 3 weeks. We are doing our best to help our Mom thru this ordeal. The fact that it's spread throughout her body is not a good thing, but other than a cough (from the cancer in her lungs) she was fine all was the persistent cough that brought her in for testing. If anybody can beat this thing it is my 83 years old she would tire out the Energizer bunny (seriously). The chemo is having an effect tho....(duh) right now she's not the dynamo she normally is...but that's certainly to be expected. Her chemo started a bit over a month ago...the first Friday she does a double dose (2 diff types) then the next 2 Fridays she does a single dose...then taken a week off and start the cycle over. This will go on for 6 months unless her oncologist sees a reason not to.

I've totally missed the cycling so far this year...I was HERE in the hotel for the Tour of California, that went right thru my back yard again (the Tepesquet climb last week). the day before that the finish was on Main Street Arroyo Grande...(15 miles away). And now the Giro is over...pretty much totally missed that...wasn't even reading much about it. Sounds like it was a real doozy tho. I do hope to catch le Tour...I should be flying home from my trip to MN on 4 July, just in time to up our satellite package and at least watch THAT.

The babies are all doing good...Abbey has an ear infection, but other than that is doing quite well. She has consistently gained just a hair over a lb a week. As of Saturday she was 4 months old and weighs right at 15lbs. I'm hoping she tops out a bit over 30lbs fully grown...but we will see soon enough. She is a real terror and just a joy to have around. And Sophie has TOTALLY taken her in as her sister/daughter...they play nearly all the time...and she is SO gentle with her, we couldn't be happier for that!

Anyway...that's the scoop from here. Just trying to keep my lips above water. I should be home by Thursday morning. I start working night shift tonight (working 12 hours...ugh) and will continue working nights all thru the 10th of June when hopefully we are all done with this mission. 



  1. Hi Matt - I printed out this post last week but took home & didn't have the chance to read till last night. I'm so sorry for what your Mother is having to endure. And your whole family. Please know I send my thoughts, prayers & good wishes to all, especially your Mom.

    Keep us updated & take care of yourself. I also haven't watched too much cycling this year. I'd THOUGHT the Giro was going to be on TV but it wasn't. I do think the Tour de Susie ( :) ) is supposed to be on either NBCSN or Univ-HD.

    Hug the doggies for me.

  2. Hi Matt and SusieB, Sorry for my long absence (I haven't really been absent, but haven't been able to post a comment in forever for some reason. I am trying a different browser today)

    So sorry to hear about your mother. We lost my step mother about a year ago, 5 years after her dx with stage 4 ovarian. She had been going to her family doctor complaining of gastric distress and bloating, and he kept telling her it was just stress! I kept telling her to insist that he do a CT scan, or go to a different MD, but she loved her doctor and trusted him. So it was spread throughout her abdomen when he finally sent her to a GI specialist who suspected the cancer immediately. She was involved in a clinical trial with a drug called Avastin, seemed to help for a while; she later had to have standard chemo --except for some minor side effects from that, she felt well (except for loss of energy) for most of the 5 years. I hope that your mother has equally good results from her treatment -- there are different kinds of ovarian ca, so what works on one won't necessarily work on another. You all will be in my prayers.

    That is a shame that you had to be away for the TofCA stages that were so close to your home! I didn't see much of the spring classics, although those are my favorite, nor the Giro -- just had too much else going on. Had to shed a few tears at the retirement of Tom Boonen, I so wanted to see him win in his final races but it was not to be.

    But, was I ever able to tell you what I did about viewing? I got completely fed up with the ever increasing price of cable (and I only had basic cable, no DVR!) so I dropped cable completely. I kept my internet connection, bought a Roku (used my daughters playstation2 at first, but it was fried by a lightening strike), and subscribed to Playstation VUE and the NBCSports Gold app. Gold was only $20 for the year of cycling on NBCSports, and now I can watch the race at any time, live, full replay, or highlights, either on my laptop or on the TV. So far the picture quality has been great. I think it has been well worth it and I am saving close to $100/month!
    For races that NBCSports does not carry, I am still using the streams from CyclingFans -- nearly always is one available from Eurosport in English and it is interesting to hear a different style of commentary-- of course the problem there is that one can only watch live, unless it shows up on youtube (many do). There is another streaming service that has many of the races that NBC doesn't, but it offers less variety of channels than PSVue and costs more.

    I keep hoping that Talansky or VanGarderen -- or someone-- will find their legs for the USA but so far it doesn't look too promising. Sure do enjoy Sagan though, and happy to see the success of riders like Dumoulin and Pinot.

    I'm watching the replay of the Tour de Suisse (susie!) right now!

    I'm enjoying your updates about Sophie and Abbey -- what a nice surprise by Jeannie to bring Abbey home!

    Ugh, night shift, SO SO SO glad I don't have to rotate shifts anymore! Hope it went quickly for you.


  3. Hey Rae & Susie, thanks for the thoughts and kind words. I fly's going to be very interesting for sure...though I've got some butterflies going on right now over this trip...surely won't be like any trip to visit that I've ever done...though I will have my laptop and my mom has internet access (my brother Greg made sure of that when he was there, as he was doing some work during his stay).

    I've talked to Jeannie about maybe getting rid of our expensive DTV service and going with Sling...they have packages for like $25 a month that include NBCSports...though we'd have to change our internet, we only have DSL right now which is rather slow, and doesn't really support video-streaming (or barely supports it, with lots of screen-freezes for 'buffering'). But we watch a lot of TV...movies, shows, it would be quite a change for us. I did ask her to up our DTV package before the start of le Tour for me and record the opening stages (if I stay the entire 3 weeks I don't fly home till the 2nd of July).

    Gotta run, thanks for checking in!