"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Friday, November 17, 2006

Random Friday bits

Happy Friday! The weekend is almost here, and by next week at this time I will be burping the remnants of my Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Of course, that means Christmas is not far behind, as this little countdown page will remind you; 37 days and counting as I write this.

Adding to my usual bout of Holiday Anxiety this year is the fact that I totally wasted a day of my life yesterday by making a 300-mile round trip to Houston and back for ... absolutely nothing. I had been supposed to see the doctor who is administering the clinical trial of the experimental meds I'm taking for my lung condition, but when I got to the clinic for my 1:30 appointment, they had no clue that I was scheduled to be there. It turned out that the trial coordinator totally dropped the ball, scheduling the date with me but forgetting to call the doctor's office. It was a moot point anyway, as the doctor was out of the office on an emergency and wouldn't have been able to see me even if I had been on his schedule. Oh well, we'll try again next month. To be honest, I wasn't all that upset about it; it's not like I had any other big plans yesterday, and it was a beautiful sunny day for a drive, with nice cool temperatures. Plus, I really credit this medication with extending my life ... so giving back one day seems more than fair. My coordinator was very sorry for the mistake, and by way of apology gave me a $50 Wal-Mart gift card, which will help with the Christmas shopping.

Speaking of shopping, are you stumped by what to give that special someone on your list this year? Well here's a suggestion: how about a pocket laser stun gun?

Finally on my list of random thoughts for today: are you one of the millions of people who will be using online search engines this year to find Christmas gift suggestions, or for that matter any other tidbit of information? Sure, Google and the others return good results, but that plain white page can be awfully boring. Are you looking for a search engine that will talk to you? Preen, pout, entertain you, and tell you jokes? Ms. Dewey (played by actress/singer Janina Gavankar) does all this while using the new Microsoft LiveSearch to display the answers to your queries.

She can be a bit annoying after a while, and the site makes extensive use of flash graphics so you better have a fast broadband connection. Infoworld's Robert X. Cringely reports: "As stealth marketing campaigns go, this one may live to haunt its creator. Ms. Dewey is sexy but she’s not fast — at least when it comes to search results — and her shtick wears thin rather quickly. Like many things on the Net, you start out hot and bothered and end up just bothered." Still, this unorthodox search tool from Microsoft is definitely worth checking out.

Have a great weekend!


  • At 11/17/2006 03:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mr. Toast - I don't know a whole lot about your condition, but I'm glad the meds help. My FIL isn't on anything and I'm not sure he plans on it, but he too is in an experimental program out at UCLA. At least I'm glad they're working on it and studying the disease! I had no idea how prevelant IPF is until I started doing my research.

    Happy Friday!


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