Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Rolf Potts' Vagabonding

"Vagabonding" is about taking time off from your normal life — from six weeks, to four months, to two years — to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Award-winning writer (and veteran shoestring traveler) Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel.


Hillary says, "Words Are Cheap."


Welcome to | The Search for Middle America


Defamer, the L.A. Gossip Rag



Hillary Clinton- Making Our Dreams Come True


Hillary vs Obama


Barack Obama after winning Wisconsin - 2


Barack Obama after winning Wisconsin - 1


OANDA, The Currency Site: Foreign Exchange Services and Trading

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Welcome to Texas for Obama


Barak Obama - Austin Precinct Captain Training 02/16/08


One legged dancer dancing salsa


Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

With equal parts humor and heart, Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch recently delivered a one-of-a-kind university lecture that moved an overflow crowd at Carnegie Mellon - and is now moving audiences around the globe.

Follow his inspiring journey through his childhood dreams to groundbreaking achievements at Carnegie Mellon.

Co-founder of the university's Entertainment Technology Center and creator of Alice, a revolutionary software that teaches computer programming, Randy shares the lessons he's learned that helped him turn his childhood dreams into reality.


Randy Pausch's Home Page

Late in the summer of 2006, I started having some unusual symptoms, culminating with jaudice. Scans revealed it was pancreatic cancer. At this time, my wife Jai and I had a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a three month old baby.

Pancreatic cancer is the most deadly of cancers, with only a 4% 5-year survival rate. The only hope is to be one of the 20% of patients (which I was) where surgery is possible. I had a Whipple surgery on Sept 19th, 2006; Dr. Herbert Zeh removed the (4.5cm) tumor, my gallbladder, 1/3rd of my pancreas, 1/3rd of my stomach, and several feet of my small intestine. I was in the hospital 11 days. Even with a successful Whipple surgery, only 15% of pancreatic cancer patients make it to 5 years, and there is no concensus about which chemotherapy and/or radiation after surgery helps. I found the Virginia Mason protocol, where early trials were claiming to get 45% of people to 5 years. However, it was an extremely toxic combination of chemotherapy and daily radiation: a nation-wide trial was shut down because several patients died from the treatment. There were two centers still offering the treatment: Virginia Mason in Seattle, and MD Anderson in Houston, and I was able to quality for the treatment in Houston. This happened in a whirlwind: the treatment needed to start within 6-8 weeks of the surgery. And Jai & I needed to figure out how to have somebody stay with me full time, and also take care of our 3 kids.

I spent November and December at MD Anderson receiving IV Cisplatin once a week, interferon injections three times a week, continuous infusion 5-FU, and daily radiation. Fortunately, Jai's brother and sister-in-law took in our three kids (on top of their 8 and 12 year old), in Norfolk Virginia, while Jai stayed with me in Houston. Every weekend, Jai flew to Norfolk to be with our kids, and my sister Ruby or one of my friends (thank God for Jessica Hodgins, Scott Sherman, and Jack Sheriff) would come stay with me. I was also blessed with my colleague Chris Hoffmann, a CS professor at Purdue who had been through this exact ordeal two years prior: his encouragment and practical tips were invaluable in getting through the treatment. The less I say about Houston the better, but by the end I was barely able to walk, and my weight (starting at 182) dropped to 138.

The next four months of chemo (continuous infusion 5-FU) was back in Pittsburgh, through May 2007. Now, I'm 168 pounds and look normal. (To answer everybody's first question, no, my hair never fell out). One additional treatment is a vaccine done at Johns Hopkins: I don't expect it will change my odds much, but it can't hurt. I still have digestive inconveniences from the Whipple surgery: I have to eat 5 small meals a day and take pills with each meal, and I have some abdominal cramping from time to time. A small price to pay for walking around.

In August of 2007, we learned that the cancer had returned, having metastasized to my liver and spleen, which is a death sentence. At that time, the doctors gave me an estimate of having 3-6 months of healthy living left.

On Oct 1st, we learned that the first round of palliative chemotherapy was working, and that I would likely be "more like the 6 than like the 3 in that estimate."

As of December, 2007, the palliative chemo (gemcitabine+tarceva) is working, and the doctors' best estimate is that it will continue to work for another 2-4 months (that's a guess; it's obviously a bell shaped curve); then the tumors will once again start to grow. There aren't many good "plan Bs" out there after that.

My wife Jai has been an incredible source of stability and courage through all this. We both agree that "you can't control the cards you're dealt, just how you play the hand."

Randy Pausch, Dec 2007


February 15, 2008

Today is a pretty important day. It was August 15th, 2007, when I was told I likely had "three to six months of good health left."

Today is six months from that day. Just to prove I'm still alive, here I am, holding today's New York Times!

I rode my bike today; the cumulative effects of the chemotherapy are hurting my stamina some, but I bet I can still run a quarter mile faster than most Americans.

The doctors weren't wrong; they always said that if the palliative chemo worked, I'd buy more time, but that it was a long shot. And the doctors have done a brilliant job of tweaking my regimen to help my odds. How much longer this will work is hard to know, but I'm going to keep having fun every day I have left, no matter how many or how few of them I get.


Dying Professor's Last Lecture


The Tornado

  • Transfer Files between Any Windows® PCs
  • Built-in application (no software to install)
  • Backup your data at speeds up to 25Mb/Sec
  • Easiest way to migrate to a new computer

I don't know if I'm even writing to the proper place... Buttt....

I bought The TORNADO File & Data Transfer Tool - from QVC a few weeks ago...

I finally plugged it into my TWO computers - that are both "driven" from a SINGLE mouse & keyboard Thru a program called "Multiplicity" by

Anyway - It INSTANTLY DID - PRECISELY what the QVC promo SAID it WOULD!

INSTANTLY - I was pluged INTO the "EYE OF THE STORM" & THRILLED to find out that ALL MY External Hard Drives - plugged INTO the "OTHER COMPUTER... Up to ... Ahemnn... Drive-Z no less... Were THERE & all my files & folders INSTANTLY accessible between BOTH computers AND BETWEEN the Ext.HDDS too!


I'm just SCREAMING to EVERYONE I KNOW - raving about the TORNADO!!!... Especially to tons of us self-taught old Grandmas out here who belong to lots of online Graphics Groups, & are into Digital Photography & Digital Scrapbooking & stuff...

Anyway - I just thott I'd add MY Thrilled Happy Dancin Two-Cents to the RAVE reviews your TORNADO is getting!!!

If there's a way to be kept in the loop for anything ELSE you guys have in the works - PLEASE do put me on your mailing list!!!

Thank you for such a WONDERFUL GIZMO - that's TRULY a NO-BRAINER to USE!!!

Kindest Regards -


A Girl, A Bike, A Dream by Sandi Langton (Book)

Sandi embarks on a motorbike journey that takes her across Europe, the Middle East and down East Africa. This is her story, based on the blog diary she kept while she traveled. It is a story of courage and conviction; about facing fears and finding inner strength. Filled with tales of the people she met, the places she visited and the complexity of motorbike travel through tough, and at times dangerous, terrain this novella draws you in from the get-go. It is the tale of an intrepid woman who took on an adventure that many would not have the guts to dream of. The result is a frank and honest portrayal of Sandi's experience and she shares the best and the worst of her dream adventure. It is an inspiring and heartfelt conclusion to a dream that kept Sandi company for a number of years. The book includes a numerous handy tips on motorbike travel including preparations, camping and mechanical information.


Travel Blogs, Travel Journals, Travelogues, Travel Diaries - TravelPod since 1997

TravelPod's free travel blogs let you chart your trips on a map, share unlimited photos and videos, and stay in touch while you travel.

Geography quiz:

Monday, February 18, 2008 - Issues


FP Passport | blogging on global news, politics, economics, and ideas


The Lede - Breaking News - New York Times Blog

Sunday, February 17, 2008


SomaFM: Commercial-Free, Independent Internet Radio

SomaFM is independent, commercial-free internet radio, with 11 unique channels featuring underground electronica, chillout, ambient groove, downtempo, lounge, space music, indie rock and


Newsvine - politics


Taegan Goddard's Political Wire


Tailrank - Top News for Today in Politics




The Atlantic - Presidential Election 2008

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