Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dermatological Update

I went back to the dermatologist last Thursday. This was to finish up withe my mole that had Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Before they did that I had the rest of my spots looked at. He didn’t find anything that was bad. I had him freeze off a couple of things on the side of my face. There was nothing wrong with them but I had the unfortunate habit of picking at them. I thought the smart thing was to just get rid of them.

Then it was on to the mole. They numbed up the area around where the mole was. This is the procedure he then followed:

Curettage and electrodesiccation

This treatment removes the cancer by scraping it with a curette (a long, thin instrument with a sharp looped edge on one end). The area is then treated with an electric needle (electrode) to destroy any remaining cancer cells. This process is often repeated once or twice during the same office visit. Curettage and electrodesiccation is a good treatment for superficial (confined to the top layer of skin) basal cell and squamous cell cancers. It will leave a small scar.

He said before the procedure that the electrodesiccation burns the area around the spot of the tumor. And that it produces a smell that I might not be use to. Because it is burning skin and some hair. It was a strong smell.

I almost laughed of what it reminded me of. When I was growing up you could burn your paper trash. I’d take it out to the back yard and put it in a wire trash can. I'd then light a match, start the paper on fire and watch burn it. We’d burn the hair from our dog when he was brushed. That’s exactly what the smell reminded me of. I called my dad after I was finished and told him what happened. When I told my dad about what the smell reminded me of he burst out laughing.

After they were done, they put a big bandage over the area they worked on. The whole thing took about half an hour. I got my instructions on wound care and off I went. I need to go back every six months to check to see if anything else develops. I'll probably have to do that for several years. Hopefully after that only once a year. Hopefully, with a few precautions, I won't have to worry about this again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

2Political Episode 96


2Political Podcast Episode 96 is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

Yes, we're back again—we told you so! Today we start out talking about the Alabama circus and the larger issues involved in the tired rightwing talking points about marriage equality, defiance of Supreme Court rulings, and so on. Arthur mashed two different religious references together—did you catch it? Trust us, he knows his mountains—including the one the radical right needs to get over.

Everyone's welcome to leave a comment (agree or disagree!).

Jason’s Blog
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Boomer List at the Newseum

A great series of portraits at the Newseum in an exhibit called The Boomer List.

Here's a little more about it:

“The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders,” the exhibit you will only see at the Newseum, features 19 large-format portraits of influential baby boomers — one born each year of the baby boom, from 1946 to 1964. Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (“The Black List,” “The Latino List” and “The Out List”) chose as his subjects boomers who reflect the depth, diversity and talent of their generation. The exhibit, created in partnership with AARP, will be on display at the Newseum through July 5, 2015.
A little more about it from an article in the Washington Post:

If it sounds like a dream collection of cover shots for a year and a half of the AARP Magazine, you are close. “The Boomer List” was commissioned by AARP after an executive saw Greenfield-Sanders’s 2012 HBO film, “About Face: Supermodels Then and Now.”

AARP’s Myrna Blyth, looking to the 50-year landmark for the youngest in the group, asked him, “Do you have thoughts on boomers?”
Portraits of people born each year of the generation would make a nifty “Boomer List.”
His challenge then was represent each year with a balance of races, gender, culture, commerce, sports and activism, celebrities and non­celebrities.

Filling all that criteria in 19 slots, representing 76 million people, was like “working on a Rubik’s cube in the dark,” Greenfield-Sanders says.

“There were certain categories we wanted someone from, and Vietnam is a good example,” he says.

“There are only a certain amount of veterans left, and those are the early years.”

A pretty impressive display of people and very interesting pieces on each. Here are a few pictures of the exhibit.

Lincoln Exhibit at the Newseum

This is such an amazing exhibit at the Newsuem. It shows the coverage by the New York Herald of the Lincoln assassination:

To mark the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the Newseum will display an unparalleled collection of New York Herald special editions from April 15, 1865.
The exhibit brings together all seven editions for the first time since 1865, beginning with the 2 a.m. edition, which contained the first Associated Press report that Lincoln had been shot. The display also includes a recently discovered 8:45 a.m. “extra” that was one of the first newspapers to report the president’s death.

With this exclusive exhibit, visitors will be able to view the newspaper’s complete coverage of the tragic event as it unfolded.

There's also a great video that talks about the events of that evening.

This is a must see if you visit.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ann Hornaday at the Newseum talking Oscar

This is the fourth time that I've been down to see Ann Hornaday's talk about the Oscars.

From the Newseum site:
Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday previews the 87th annual Academy Awards and discusses some of the biggest hits — and misses — of the year.

The program will feature clips from some of the Oscar-nominated films.

Hornaday, a critic with The Post since 2002, will also talk about the art of film criticism and other issues involving the movie industry.

Before joining The Post, Hornaday was the movie critic for The Baltimore Sun and the Austin American-Statesman. She has also worked at The New York Times and Ms. Magazine. In 2008, Hornaday was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism.

 It's always fun to hear her insights as to what should win and what her personal favorites are. I got to ask a question which was about how the year seems to be divided up into season. Now we get the drecks, summer is the block busters and October along comes the adult movies. I asked if she thought this was ever going to change.

She said it has a little. With the success of movies like Brand Budapest Hotel, which came out in March last year, has shown that there is an audience for serious movies earlier in the year. I talked a little more about this after the program. That's another nice thing she stays around and talks with people from the audience.

She liked Boyhood for best pictures. Although she would be fine if Birdman won. She thought it would be really nice if Michael Keaton won but suspects that Eddie Redmayne will win for The Theory of Everything. She also talked about some of the other categories as well.

Also mentioned was an article that she has in today's Post about how modern film goers seem to be disecting the film for it's flaws then enjoying the experience:

Whether a former political official is bemoaning the distortion of Lyndon B. Johnson in the civil rights drama “Selma” (while distorting the movie’s depiction of him in the process) or a former foreign correspondent sees “American Sniper,” about Iraq war veteran Chris Kyle, as an endorsement of an illegal and immoral war, both are reducing each movie to its most rudimentary elements, rather than appreciating the formal strategies and subtleties that make it far more complex as art, entertainment and interpretive history. One writer takes the fictional “Boyhood” to task, either for being too much like Michael Apted’s documentary “Up” series or not enough like it. Another insists on plumbing the ways Michael Keaton’s character in “Birdman” reflects the actor’s own life story and career (a reading Keaton himself has dismissed as “superficial”). In neither case does the journalist seem willing to engage the film on its own terms as a material representation of its maker’s methods and intent.

Again a wonderful program. Can't wait to go next year.

Cat Adoption Event

Just a reminder to everyone that today is the Washington Humane Society's Cat Adoption Event.

So if you're looking for a forever furry feline friend stop by and take a look at all the wonderful cats looking for a home.

I got Charlie and Linus from the Humane Society. And I'm thankful for them every day!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Snowy Day in DC

Another snowy day in Washington, DC.

Here's how it was described by the Capital Weather Gang this morning:
Snow is quickly pushing into the area, and it appears it will keep running east fairly fast. Snow should be into D.C. between 9 and 10 a.m. at this rate, probably covering the whole region by noon or so. Thanks to very cold temperatures, the first flakes stick.

I went off to the Newseum to see Ann Hornaday talk about the Oscars. I'll have more on that in later post.

Here are a few pictures from the Newseum and my walk around after the Oscar talk.

The view from the deck at the Newseum

Looking down Pennsylvania Ave toward the Capitol

Another view of the Capitol.

The Capitol grounds.

Dogs in the snow.

The Supreme Court

Friday, February 20, 2015

Odds and Ends of the Polar Express Kind and Other Things too

Oh yes it is cold. Here’s a shot of my weather app right around 12:30 today. That’s 12:30 in the afternoon not 12:30 in the morning.

Earlier in the day it was even colder. As I was walking from the subway to my office, I saw a guy walking toward me with a suit on and gloves. No coat, no hat, no sweater, no scarf. Nothing except the gloves. I wonder what this guy’s mother would say about this.

Metro has been a mess of course because of this. In the cold weather more people are riding it. There are also more problems. Cracked rails. Problems with doors closing. It means longer ride times. It means trains bursting at the seams. Usually on my ride to work after Farragut North the train empties out. Or at least a significant number of people get off. But that hasn’t happened the past couple of days. I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to find a seat for the ride to Bethesda.

And it seems DC is in for a fun Saturday:

A potent, moist low pressure system is developing over Texas on Friday, forecast to track northeast and bring a large swath of snow and wintry mix along with it. Forecast models are in agreement that the storm will bring accumulating snow to the D.C. area Saturday before changing to a wintry mix and then finally to rain late Saturday night.

Timing: Precipitation will start as snow, beginning mid-morning in the far northwest suburbs and working its way southeast across the area. The Beltway should expect precipitation to begin somewhere between the late morning and the early afternoon. While snow is expected through at least the mid-afternoon, sleet – and even brief periods of freezing rain – could begin to mix in somewhere between the mid- to late afternoon hours in the southeast, working its way to the northwest. Precipitation eventually turns to all rain overnight for the entire area and will last into Sunday morning.

I'm going to the Newseum on Saturday to see a program on the Oscars. I hope I won't be sliding all the way back to the Metro when I leave.

This goes down as a strange thing indeed. I'm on the way to Metro to get to work and on the sidewalk is this Christmas tree. Yes an actual tree. At first I thought it might have been some clippings from a bush or something but it turns out it is an actual tree. I really have to wonder where it came from.

That's it from a very very cold Washington, DC. I'll keep you posted on how things progress this weekend.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Looking for a Forever Furry Feline Friend — This Adoption Event is for You!

My friend, Yolanda, is a volunteer with the Washington Humane Society. She's part of a cat adoption fair this Sunday.

The fair will be at Annie’s Ace Hardware, 1240 Upshur St NW, Sunday, February 22, 12pm – 3pm.

So if you are looking for a furry friend and companion, stop by the fair this Sunday and see all the wonderful cats ready to be adopted.

More about the Humane Society:

The WHS Mission
The Washington Humane Society inspires and creates a community where all animals have secure homes and where people and animals live together with joy and compassion.

About WHS
The Washington Humane Society (WHS), the only Congressionally-chartered animal welfare agency in the United States, has been the area’s leading voice for animals since 1870. As the open-access shelter in the Nation’s Capital, the Washington Humane Society provides comfort and care to over 43,000 animals each year through its broad range of programs and services including sheltering for homeless animals, a comprehensive adoption program and off-site adoption events to find new families for the animals in our care, low-cost spay and neuter for pet owners and other local organizations, an aggressive TNR (trap-neuter-return) program for feral cats (CatNiPP), investigations of each allegation of animal cruelty or neglect through the Humane Law Enforcement, lost and found services to help reunite lost pets with their families, pet behavioral advice to help resolve issues that lead to animals being relinquished to shelters, working with breed rescue groups to find more homes for more animals, volunteer and foster programs to allow other members of the community to help us help more animals and an award winning Humane Education program that teaches kindness to animals to the next generation of animal lovers.

I just love the picture she found for this month's event!

You can also follow the Petworth Monthly Cat Adoption Event on Facebook.

2Political Episode 95


2Political Podcast Episode 95 is now available. You can listen to it or download it from the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode (you can access the five most recent episodes from the list on the right side of my blog).

We’re back!! Today we start out with a quick episode to—let’s be honest here—remember how to do this. Clearly Arthur needs a refresher, and that’s up first. Then it’s a little talk about what we’ll be doing, before we chat about a few other things. We even do a little skit. That’s it—we’re just getting warmed up!

A new, full episode is coming later this week.

Everyone’s welcome to leave a comment (agree or disagree!).

Links for this episode:
Arthur's blog posts on the 2014 New Zealand elections
AmeriNZ 305 – Third and AmeriNZ 306 – Solstice – The podcast episodes where Arthur talked about the NZ elections (in part)
Jason’s Blog
Arthur’s blog, podcasts and videos can be accessed here.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

4-6 Inches of Snow = Mass Hysteria

Wow the reaction was over the top.

From the Post:

Forecasters lifted the winter storm warning for the Washington area Tuesday morning after four to six inches of snow fell overnight, prompting the closure of the federal government, schools and businesses.

It was the area’s first major snowfall of the season, and crews worked throughout the morning to clear roads and sidewalks.

The federal government, along with major school systems in the District, Prince George’s, Montgomery and Fairfax counties, were closed. Forecasters called for continued low temperatures throughout the day.

I can understand all the closing. The timeframe of the snow dictated that because it wasn’t supposed to end until early morning. You wanted people off the roads so the plows and trucks could get out and do what they needed to do.

But the coverage on the morning news was ridiculous. And it was on all the stations. Digging out from a major winter storm. Really 4-6 inches is a major winter storm. No a major winter storm is like 8 inches and above. It’s not like we were getting the snow total from New England.

And there was the usual reaction from people:

Some stores sold out of supplies. At a Home Depot in Falls Church, almost all snow shovels sold out Monday — before the first flake had even fallen.

“We sold everything we had,” said Dean Belcher, assistant store manager.

At the Giant grocery store in Fairfax County near Graham Rd. and Route 50, the store’s supplies started to dwindle by Monday evening.

“Yesterday it was the whole ‘end of the world,’ ” said the store’s manager, Dane Pototsky, 22. And it wasn’t just the usual scrambling for eggs and milk.

Pototsky said customers bombarded the registers with overflowing carts of cans of chicken noodle soup, packs of Ramen noodles and super-sized packages of bottled water. Plus, he said, the store had a significant uptick in sales of beer and wine.

From this reaction you’d have thought we were getting four feet of snow. I stopped by the store Monday afternoon. There were many people there and they were buying the same things from the Post story. But at the very most there is going to be one day of disruption if that.

The sun will be out this afternoon. The only problem is the temperature won’t stay above freezing so things will re-freeze over night which could cause problems on Wednesday.

A little later this week more chance of snow. Then really cold temperatures. And plenty of time for more hysteria. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Odds and Ends of the Pictorial Kind

A sampling of some pictures I meant to post but never got around to.

The Gelato counter at the National Gallery of Art.

A great treat I found at the airport.

This is from the end of December. On the left old Christmas candy on the right Valentine's Day candy

Another of the amazing Orchids

From National Gallery Sculpture ice skating rink.

From the Botanical Gardens.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Freezing Sunday — The Reason to Stay In

Wow was it cold this morning. I thought I might go to the gym but then I checked the weather app on my phone. It showed it was 6 out. With the wind chill even colder.

I wanted to go to the Cupid's Undie Run but it was too cold for that too.

Here's what the run is all about:
This Valentine’s Day weekend, come put the hilarity in charity with hundreds of half-naked runners taking to the streets in celebration of their fundraising for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

Be a part of something great. Last year Cupid’s raised over $2.8 Million to #EndNF and we’re relying on YOU to join and make this year’s fundraising (and party) the biggest and best yet.
Like I said way way way too cold.

Then I thought I would go see a movie. But the mercury wasn't going up very fast and the wind was just blowing crazy. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night because of all the noise it made. I'd thought things would calm down a little when the sun came. No such luck with that.

If I did go see the movie, I had to decide how to get there. Metro was an option but waiting at the Rhode Island Avenue Metro stop which is 30 plus feet in the air did not have much appeal. The other option was of course to drive. I decided to stay home. I just did not want to get all bundled up and to out it is just cold out there.

So I decided to stay in. I put my iPod and shuffle. I got out my book to read. Linus and Charlie joined me on the couch to make it a family event. Staying warm on a really really cold day.

The Three Pointer Does in the Colonials

The tip off

Went to the GW game yesterday against the VCU Rams with Stu. GW ended up loosing the game 79-66. GW was done in by the three point shot. VCU shot 12-30 while GW could manage only 7-20 from the three point arc. In the second half two of GW three point attempts did everything but go in.

VCU was not perfect either. They came on very strong in the first part of the first half but then hit a wall. GW was able to go into half time tied 38-38. But they really did not take advantage when went. VCU's cold.

This from the Post:

George Washington men’s basketball Coach Mike Lonergan told his players this week that they needed to stop wondering about their NCAA tournament chances and focus on cleaning up deficiencies heading into Saturday’s game against 20th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth.

The Colonials instead permitted unobstructed looks from three-point range and were careless protecting the basketball in a 79-66 loss at Smith Center. Their fourth defeat in five games further diminished NCAA aspirations that already were in dire straits.

And this sums up the second half of the game:

The game began slipping away early in the second half, first when Jonathan Williams made a driving layup for a 44-43 lead with 16 minutes 7 seconds left. The Rams did not trail again, and moments later Colonials starting center Kevin Larsen collided with VCU guard Doug Brooks and remained down on the court.
Even though the Colonials lost it was a great game to go to. It was "sold out" but there were a smattering of empty seats. There were also a few very enthusiastic fans on both sides. But this guy stood out.

Here are some more pictures from the game. The free throw shots I really like. I used the burst function on my iPhone for a great results.