News for February 2007


Radiation tri-blade 28.february.2007 - Last day of February. (Hooray! my least favorite month). Tomorrow begins March, which brings first day of spring (vernal equinox, 21st). And none too soon.

Speaking of tomorrow .. that's the First Thursday Art Walk (here in Laguna) .. for those of you who live locally. Perhaps we'll see you out on the town tomorrow night.

In other news, I definitely have a sense (after injuring my back) that I need a recovery. No longer in debilitating pain, just not feeling very robust.

Whenever I feel the need to recuperate (like now), I always make a crock of my nuclear grade stew (which makes me feel grounded) and exercise out in nature (which I find emotionally rejuvenating).

The remainder of today's entry is continued in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here > On the Rad Road to Recovery

Radiation tri-blade 27.february.2007 - Before I forget .. tonight on PBS (commercial-free) Frontline airs a new feature titled: News War. The intro begins > The battle between the White House and the national media is the battle over who controls the national agenda.

Not sure about where you live, but here in SoCal, Frontline airs Tuesday nights (on KCET) at 9PM (.. right after Nova, another great PBS show).

News War is a 4-part special. I saw Part I last week, finding it both interesting and enlightening. Part II airs tonight.

The good thing is that you can always watch it online (using Windows Media Player in full-screen mode for best results). Part I is > HERE; Part II > HERE. (Parts 3 & 4 aren't posted yet.)

Frontline is my favorite TV show. Their features aren't broadcast every week, nor do they always have brand new material to view (like they do now).

You can view many other (~50) Frontline specials online (at any time) > HERE. (Some of my favorites include The Torture Question and The Meth Epidemic.)

Radiation tri-blade 26.february.2007 - Scorsese finally won his Oscar for Best Director (for the Departed). I like how it was presented by three other directors:> Spielberg, Lucas & (my favorite) Coppola. Very dramatic.

But .. how do you actually evaluate a director's performance? I mean, no one who votes for Best Director is present there (on the set) while the director is doing his job. All we have to go by is the final product (the film).

Can you tell from (viewing) the film how well of a job the director did? Really? How?

And look at the cast Scorsese had to work with > Jack, Leonardo, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen. I mean, who *couldn't* direct such a cast of actors? (at the top of their game)

The remainder of today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> Martin Scorsese (finally) wins Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Director

Radiation tri-blade 25.february.2007 - Magoo posted his (long awaited) Linux guide today. Lucky you. No easy task. Nine pages. Nicely done. Great info, as you'll see.

He hit all the key topics. Everything you need to get started. The site's cool factor just jumped a notch. See here > INTRO TO LINUX

Magoo (from Arizona) has plenty of experience with Linux. First-hand experience is something we at Radified prize.

The remainder of today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> Magoo Publishes Guide to Linux

Radiation tri-blade 24.february.2007 - Like a rider who climbs back on the horse that threw him, I returned yesterday to the same park (in Laguna) where I hurt my back (two weeks ago).

Yesterday was the first day my back actually felt good .. tho, in the days following the injury, it felt like it might never recover.

In reflecting, trying to understand the injury, how it happened, and (more importantly) how I might ensure it never happens again .. I feel, intuitively, the injury was due, not to a weak back, but rather to being tired.

The remainder of today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here > Reflecting on Source of Painful Injured Back

Radiation tri-blade 23.february.2007 - Every few weeks, I take the bug back to Laguna, to the place he was born. We begin by visiting the old neighborhood, where we were living at the time.

"There's your old house," I say as we drive up. "Do you remember?" "Dada's house," he usually replies, pointing.

Not sure he remembers living there, since he was only 5 months when he left. It must feel something like a déjà vu for him. I can almost hear the gears in his head turning, as his eyes scan the scene.

The new occupants don't seem to mind our nostalgic snooping, and the old neighbors enjoy seeing how much he has grown. Just this week, several people observed, "he's no longer a baby" .. that he has finally become "a little man".

The remainder of today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here > No Longer a Baby, The Bug is Now a Little Man

Radiation tri-blade 18.february.2007 - The back is 90% recovered. Definitely one of life's sukier experiences. You can't imagine how glad I am to have that behind.

Pain has a way sapping your energy. Had to go back a ways to recall something so debilitating. Worst part is the morning, when I wake. Still stiff then. Bending makes me wince.

The good thing is .. I didn't miss any time with the bug. I mean, there's so little of it to begin with.

The only time (by the way) I ever missed was ~ a year ago, when I had that Medieval-looking rash (ugh, most unpleasant) .. when the doctor (at Urgent care walk-in clinic in Laguna) advised against visitation, as a precaution.

The strange thing is > before the injury, my back had been strong .. strong as its ever been. Heck, I was dead-lifting 200 lbs (90 kilos, a record for me) .. as a way to protect against such injuries.

I had slacked off the work-outs a few weeks before the injury (due to pain in left shoulder), but it takes more than weeks to lose strength gains.

Anyway, I was certainly surprised when I felt that twing in my lower back last week (but knew immediately it was not good, and would not be pretty).

Radiation tri-blade 17.february.2007 - Regarding the Rad-dad thing, the prominent pathos I'm feeling (in my co-parenting half of this thing) .. is a weird sense of all/nothing. One day you have him (all to yourself). The next > nothing. Very unnatural .. tho admittedly better than the (even uglier) alternative.

Kinda messes with you head. You get used to having him around. (Pretty cool kid.) Then, all of a sudden (snap fingers), he's gone .. until the next time .. which can be long as 5 days.

Sometimes it seems as if I need to spend time getting re-acquainted, especially when it's obvious he has grown since last visit. At age 2, they're still growing fairly fast.

Yet, when I pick him up, and notice he's grown, it's hard not to feel a twinge of regret .. that I missed him grow up a bit. To him I must appear essentially the same, from week-to-week, so maybe that's why he seems largely unaffected.

In closing today, here are a few comments from passers-by, which've stuck with me:

  • "Blink and he'll be asking for the car keys." [said by guy with teenagers]
  • "He'll keep you young." [from elderly Confucius-looking gent, who was sitting on park bench]
  • "Best moments of your life, right there." [from guy walking on Main beach, Laguna, early one morning]
  • "Then your son is very fortunate: he has *two* parents who love him. I know many children who are unfortunately loved by *neither*." [elderly lady with strong accent from Czech Republic]

The last comment (the one from the Czech lady), brings me the most comfort (for some reason) when things seem to get their worst.

One thing I'm thankful for is .. he seems to be healthy. There was a while, ~6 months ago, when it seemed as if he was sick every other week. (I felt bad for him.) But he has stayed mostly healthy recently. I think his immune system is developing. (Those 18-month shots were worst.)

Radiation tri-blade 14.february.2007 - My back is definitely improving, tho not as quickly as I'd like. Still stiff. (Have a heating pad on it now.)

Thanks for all your letters. The in-box was filled with sage advice from readers the world over. Apparently, the problem is more common than I realized.

I never cease to be impressed by the intelligence of those writing in. That's one of the perks of having a site such as this > I get to hear from (& dialogue with) interesting, articulate people from all over the the planet.

Must admit, I loved hearing your tales of woe (back trouble). Cuz (as you know) misery loves company.

The remainder of today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here > Update on the Back Injury

Radiation tri-blade 13.february.2007 - The site has logged a noticeable increase in traffic the last few days .. each day climbing higher. Primary source for this increase seems to be the Partitioning Strategies .. not surprising, since hard drives have now reached 1-TeraByte.

Also seeing an increase in the earnings-per-click from the Google AdSense ads (hosted here). Hopefully this increase is due to changes I've made (still making) regarding Google's new Custom Placement Packs.

There are basically three ways a site can generate more revenue from Google's AdSense program:

1. Increase traffic. (Radified already sees decent traffic.)

2. Increase the click-thru-rate (CTR), since Google only pays for *clicks*, not mere 'page impressions'. All things being equal, more clicks = more revenue. This was accomplished last year by 'blending' the ads.

3. Increase revenue per-click. (Say, for example, the average click pays a dime. If you can increase that to a quarter, you more than double your income.) This is the number which has been increasing most recently, and is determined by how much advertisers are willing to bid.

Radiation tri-blade 11.february.2007 - Not sure if my back feels better today. I think it does, but maybe that's mere wishful thinking. At best, it's very stiff.

Trying to rest today. Lying flat on the bed is not comfortable, especially with legs straight. Bent knees are better. Lying on my side feels best. Yet rolling to the other side is easier if I first climb to my knees, which seems like much more effort.

The most comfortable place, oddly enough, is sitting on the throne, in the Thinker pose. My back feels great in that position.

I used to do dead-lifts weekly, to avoid this type of injury. But a few weeks ago, my shoulder started hurting, so I stopped doing exercises which made it sore...

... which was pretty much everything upper-body. The shoulder is starting to feel better, but now .. ugh. I hate being incapacitated. What I wouldn't give to be able to go back. (See yesterday's entry.)

Hard to get comfortable. Even harder to move. Sleeping sux. I feel like an invalid. Thinking of taking drugs. Shameless whining.

Radiation tri-blade 10.february.2007 - Few days ago, I bit into a granola bar and busted a tooth. Ouch. Might've been a shell in there. Felt like I bit into a rock. Knew it wasn't good from the explosive, crunching sound.

A corner of my bottom-molar broke off, size of a grain of rice. Small, but feels like a cavern to my tongue, which continually probes the sharp edges.

My left shoulder has also been sore the last few weeks (especially when I try to raise my arm), from carrying the bug, I speculate.

Not sure, but he's starting to get heavy, and that's the arm I use, to keep my right hand free for things requiring manual dexterity.

Then yesterday, while at Crescent Bay Point Park (in Laguna), I picked him up at an awkward angle (using bad mechanics, lifting him with my arms extended, while twisted at the waist) and tweaked my lower back. Felt it go *zing*.

The remainder of today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> Falling Apart at the Seams

Radiation tri-blade 06.february.2007 (early edition) - Can't sleep. Things on my mind. Might be a good time to share my views on the war in Iraq.

In the spirit is civil disobedience, espoused by the likes of Thoreau, King & Gandhi, I offer this protest with a sense of duty.

When I think of the war in Iraq, the first thing that comes to mind is incompetence, followed closely by deception, political myopia and the waste of both lives and treasure.

Makes me ashamed to be an American. Most Americans now regard the war in Iraq as the single worst foreign-policy blunder since Viet Nam, and maybe in our nation's history (we don't yet know how bad it will turn out).

Heck, even the Dixie Chicks could see, back in 2003, that invading Iraq was a bad idea. (As did Bush-41 following the first Gulf war.) And now it looks like we're planning to repeat those same mistakes in Iran. It's déjà vu all over again.

The remainder of today's protest is continued in the blog. See here> The War in Iraq: A Voter's Perspective

Radiation tri-blade 04.february.2007 - Spent the day playing Rad dad. I donated the balance of my allotted time this weekend to his mom .. long as she agreed to let me take him to church today.

It's nice to be able to sing a few songs with him. (Today, for example, they played Amazing Grace.) The whole Christian theology (as you know) is predicated upon a father/son relationship.

I befriended the worship leader (soon to be a dad himself), who let the bug run around on stage after the service, exploring the various musical instruments there.

My objective, in donating my time this weekend, was an attempt to help foster co-parenting harmony.

The bug will soon be at the age where he starts questioning things like, "Why doesn't mommy & daddy live together? .. like other moms & dads do?"

The remainder of today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog. See here> More Adventures in Co-Parenting