Sunday, February 19, 2017

Seyed Alavi: Stoplight Utility Boxes and other public art, medical report

The pre-trip medical update: THB is feeling fine, now on a lower dose of  prednisone, has started a once-a-week course of methotrexate (immune-suppressant), able to walk a couple of miles at a decent pace, doing the 5 minute calisthenics program (not enough arm strength to do the 7 minute version yet). 

Side effects: THB is getting maybe 5+ hours of sleep a night, so napping during the day, and eating more than usual (true!). Can't drink on metho days (like not eating meat on Fridays?). 

Rheumy is going to e-mail with the latest lab results, which could mean upping the metho and possibly lowering the prednisone. Since statins are not in THB's future, possibly new meds (that are in use now with statins) or a Ornish style diet? TBD for THB...

Now for the real post:

Seyed Alavi works with local students to place vinyl decals on the 24 (or is it 25?) stoplight utility boxes in Emeryville; some of the following have been redone recently

For you E-ville history buffs, here is the original E-ville utility box posting from 2010

40th and Horton

40th and Hollis

40th and Emery

40th and Adeline

43rd and Adeline

Park and Hollis
Hollis and 53rd 

Hollis and Stanford

Hollis and Powell

Hollis and 59th

Shellmound St and Shellmound Way - this is an oldie, not yet redone? not going to be redone?

Christie and Shellmound

Christie near Shellmound (Powell St. Plaza)

Shellmound and Ohlone

Shellmound at Bay St Garage (West Elm)

Shellmound in front of Ikea

Shellmound at beginning of Bay Bridge Trail

Christie and Powell (in front of 4 Points Hotel)

Christie and Shellmound Way

65th and Shellmound

65th and Hollis

64th and Hollis

Powell and Beaudry
Powell and Access Road (Watergate)

If only they could do every yellow box!

We caught a crew working on this box at Hollis and 53rd!

Public art as part of new development, Adeline near San Pablo
De Staebler in front of Novartis (formerly Chiron and now includes Grifols and Bayer)

Crane at new E-ville Transit Center, next to Amtrak Station


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Quote of The Day may have to be retired; Timely book review; New art by Kvasbo; Medical Report

Hello all:

Thumped by what is going on in the Trump administration? THB is here to help you out a bit. 

THB has already got a fave quote of the day for 2017, maybe even for the entire Trump presidency.

First the context: The quote is from Reince Priebus (really, this could be some name from Dickens, right?) on Jan 29, 2017. Reince is the White House chief of staff, and his response was to questions on Face the Nation on CBS related to the executive order barring refugees (i.e., Muslims) from seven different countries from entering the US.

QOTD: We're not willing to be wrong on this subject. President Trump is not willing to take chances on this subject.

Okay, THB has actually been using a version of this very quote now for over 15 years. Somehow the Republicans (and, in truth, plenty of Democrats) in Congress (and Prez Bush as well) have been willing to bet the entire planet by saying that human-driven climate change is a hoax and thus blocking every possible initiative to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Now they don't want some Muslims entering the US because who would ever want to take a chance on that! Can you imagine the devastation? 

Let THB mull: the entire planet vs some Muslims from the Middle East (or anyone from Syria) that may or may not be terrorists. When damn near all of the most recent terrorists have been done by people (yes, American people) that have been living here for years and years and years. Lives are hanging in the balance here while THB mulls. 

Emissions by country

Book Review: Dark Money, The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Jane Mayer: SCARY! Charles and David Koch built up an inherited empire to be worth $40B+ (each!) and by 2016 controlled the “donations” of near a billion $$ to impact the elections at all levels of government. Supposedly, the one guy that didn’t take their money: Donald Trump. Charles and David's dad was one of the early supporters of the John Birch Society which morphed into the Libertarian Party then the Tea Party wing and finally basically the Republican Party. Why? Just maybe because they are big-time energy investors (and polluters) and denial of climate change fueled the growth of their wealth. Charles took a very long view (30-35 years) of how to influence Americans into becoming the Radical Right and it worked. Hey even used a scientific method to test what worked and didn't work. This book helps you know the players in the new administration (which makes it even scarier!).

How Big Is It? Torbjorn Kvasbo's White Stack

Well, it sure is heavy...180 pounds worth 


Partially uncrated

Close-up in the crate; the top piece isn't broken, that's a feature

Our local art movers (their work-site is about 8 blocks from the loft)

From the crate to on top of a tool box on castors

Medical Updates:

Day before b'day: Met with Dr W, cardiologist. THB is his first Necrotizing Myositis patient and maybe #3 with statin intolerance (in a world where he only sees statin users). So, he is deferring to rheumatologist for how to treat the illness.

Right now, THB's cholesterol is at very high level. For now, do nothing while Necrotizing Myositis is being treated.

There are two "new" drugs that might be effective in lieu of statins, their "outcomes" to be published mid-March. Otherwise, it's looking like hardtack, gruel and water for THB.

Whistle Pig Day: THB celebrates with Dr D, rheumatologist. THB is doing well, liver healthy and CPKs dropping. Starting today: reduce prednisone to 30mg per day; add daily folic acid; start on methotrexate (also used with cancer patients) 1 day per week (no drinking that day!). Okay to start building up exercise routine.

Seems THB is on the road to recovery!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

THB goes into maintenance mode, the Loft is fixed, and Japanese toilets have been upgraded yet again

The big news on the local front:

N. California is getting a ton of needed rain and snow and THB thinks going to the LA Philharmonic on J's b'day is the reason, it's an El Nino year for sure
THB is in maintenance mode...fortunately, no longer drinking a ton!

The labs confirm THB has Necrotizing Myositis. Dr D, the rheumatologist, believes that the statins triggered an autoimmune response and even with no longer taking statins (stopped on Nov 20 when rhabdo was the diagnosis) THB's body is creating antibodies and attacking his muscles, and giving him lovely thinner thighs. 

For foreseeable future: Prednisone to bring CPKs down to normal levels followed by Cellcept, an immunosuppressant, to keep them down. How long will this regimen go for? Yeah, right! Let's just say that THB foresees standard visits to Labcorp for regular blood draws well into 

Side effects have been really minimal: old man walking style, slow and careful; wakefulness in the middle of the night (prednisone!); and great results at bridge tournaments. Not coulda been a whole lot worse. 

Coming up: our S. America trip was rescheduled, so blog posts will start flooding your inboxes starting around February 20. And, 

The Loft is back together

The damage

the damaged sheet rock is removed

The Japanese toilet is stored in the shower...VERY JAPANESE!

Sheet rock is back in place

And the toilet is back in (some tiling in back left to be done)

You know THB has not been to Japan lately. That doesn't keep him from keeping loyal followers up on the latest toilet news. Just in case you don't want those bathroom germs infecting your smart phone (since they aren't making bathroom slippers for the phones yet), here is second best: toilet paper for your phone. And, THB doesn't think, though he's not really sure, that there aren't mini-toilets in the bathrooms just for the phones (we used to call those "sinks" when THB was a kid). 

Please note: the signage is all in English. Guess the Japanese don't need words to know what to do here.