Saturday, April 26, 2014

Clinical Trials Now Accessible to More Patients - guest blog by Heather Millar

It's 1:04 pm

Still no computer but in the meantime,I found this while surfing ,a blog written by Heather Millar about cancer patients being able to get into clinical trials much more quickly. The process is a slow one and it shouldn't be. Thanks to Dr. Stein,maybe this will start to change.

Written by Heather Millar.

For many cancer patients, maybe even the majority, clinical trials can seem completely out of reach. Unless you’re getting treatment in a big academic hospital, it can be hassle not only to find a clinical trial, but to get the “go ahead” to enroll in that trial. It can mean online research, forms, more tests, and travel to a research site. It can often take months to find a trial and get enrolled. And patients with disease that has spread—those for whom research most needs to be done—often don’t have that kind of energy or time.
But what if you could get in a clinical trial within just a couple of weeks – wherever you are in the country?
That’s the goal with a new research model being used by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis. The idea for a more patient-friendly approach came a couple years ago, when Novartis’ Steven Stein, MD, was talking with a fellow oncologist who practices in Florida. The friend was ranting about how difficult he found it to get his patients enrolled in clinical trials.
The conversation stuck with Stein, and he remembers thinking that there had to be a better way. The result, 2 years later, is the SIGNATURE trial, launched 10 months ago. Novartis is testing five potential drugs in this trial, and expects to increase that number to 10 by midsummer. About 100 patients all over the country have participated so far, and the company also expects those numbers to grow quickly.
Many companies, not just Novartis, are trying to figure out how to reach a broader range of patients. Patient recruitment has long been a bottleneck in medical research. Of the tens of thousands of trials being run in the United States each year, as many as 80 percent are delayed because scientists can’t find enough study subjects.
Many companies are experimenting with using social media to reach out to patients. For instance, the biotech giant Genentech recently announced a partnership with the patient information-sharing site Patients Like Me. Merck, and three other companies who prefer to remain anonymous, have partnered with the patient support group site Inspire.
Why? Because more data from more people is the only way their research will result in true “personalized medicine.” Expect to see more collaborations like this, and soon.
Drug companies are fairly secretive about new research models until they’re ready to announce them, so it’s impossible to know what other innovations may be in store. But Novartis may be the first company to try to bring the research “protocol” to patients directly wherever they are, and at the same time, to also target patients with specific genetic markers in their tumors.
Instead of requiring patients to travel to the study site, the Novartis trial brings the research to wherever the patients are, getting test results from approved local labs, then sending the experimental drugs to the place where the patient is being treated. Instead of focusing on cancers of a particular origin, the trial focuses on cancers of a specific set of particular genetic “signatures,” also called “mutations” or changes. These specific mutations have been found to drive the growth of many cancers, and Novartis has experimental drug agents that target them.
“We’re geography-agnostic, patients can call from anywhere,” Stein explains. “All you need is a potential genetic make-up, regardless of the kind of cancer you have.”
Interested? First you need to have your tumor genetically analyzed. (This is something that I think all cancer patients should do! That’s where the science is going, so ask your doctor about it.) You and your doctor can find more information at the SIGNATUREwebsite, where you can also find a number to call. If you qualify, Stein says, the time from first phone call to receiving the experimental drug is 2 weeks, sometimes 3.
SIGNATURE is one of dozens, even hundreds, of new research models being tried out by scientists around the world. You can find a good overview of what’s going on here. Experts say it’s likely that other companies will now follow Novartis’ lead, leading to a shift toward more patient-friendly processes in future research.
As we learn more and more about varied genetic profiles of cancer, researchers need more and more data. That data has to come from us, the patients, so get involved! You’ll probably help yourself, and who knows, you may also help the world.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Writing Challenge- Day 21- Catnip

It's 4:32 pm

    My computer is in the again,my blogging is restricted in what I can here is a small single adventure with Paladin that we did last night....
As you can see....he is a very fun cat....

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Writing Challenge - day 11 - Issues,we have issues

It's 11: 21 pm
Day 11 of my writing challenge,hope this works...


Writing Challenge - Day 10- Put-In-Bay

It's 12:40 pm

 Having trouble posting on the iPad in Blogger,so I am still reposting from my old blog on FB. When I get my new computer up and running,I shall return...until then I will be reposting older blogs and interesting articles from elsewhere. 

This was originally posted on 22 May 09.
Its 12:05 pm

I have a few minutes before I start mowing my lawn so I decided to write.

We got back from Put-In-Bay late afternoon yesterday,it was the perfect getaway. The timing couldn't have been better. No crowds,perfect weather and lots to see since we were there 2 years ago.
We stayed as always w/DJ Parker..he and his mom run 3 bed and breakfast places for couples only. The first two trips we stayed at the Toledo House which is downtown PIB. But we decided to try the Niagara House this trip. Its about a mile from downtown and more quiet. The house was quiant and a little quirky. The rooms were comfy but outdated,the little reading section featured magazines from 1990-1996. While there were no TVs in the bedrooms,the one downstairs was very old and had a VCR and 15 movies,none which was out past 1995. It was like being a small time warp.
But since we were to explore,we didn't mind and out we went in our golf cart. Most of the shops were just getting ready for the tourist seasons,they were open but stocking new items. We decided to bypass that and go see if the peacocks we had seen before were still around. We jumped on the smallest state road in Ohio,the 0-357,and went looking.
We noticed a lot of "for sale" signs on the island but we noticed a lot of construction as well. Lot of homes getting updated,roofs repaired or rooms added on. The tree trimmers were out in full force as well.
While we didn't see our peacocks,we saw a abundance of beautiful songbirds and a small air force of Canadian geese. The water at the end of 0-357 was gently lapping the shoreline,the breeze was warm and gentle. We sat there without speaking and let nature do all the talking.

We headed back thru downtown. We stopped and while we drinking a beer and a iced coffee..we watched this drunk romeo try and put the moves on his date to no avail. As we just sat down,they left,slightly walking to the left...both toasted at 12:15 pm.

We went to the hatchery but it was closed during the week. We didn't see any LEWS (Lake Erie Water Snakes) and was glad of that. While LEWS are non-poisonous,they have a very nasty and painful bite. We cracked up because we like watching "Dirty Jobs" on Discovery and the host,Mike Rowe,actually had to catch LEWS for field studies. He got bit so many times,he finally said "the hell with this shit" and refused to keep going. LEWS are pretty aggressive but are very protected by the residents of PIB.

After poking around some more,we had a fine steak dinner and since my wife loves American Idol,we had to watch that. She was laughing at me when I said Kris Allen was going to win,she thought there no way it was going to happen. We both cracked up watching Kara destroy that talentless bikini betty in singing that "duet"...and watching KISS and Queen play live was awesome. So when Kris was named winner,my wife asked me how did I know....and the answer was easy.

Adam Lambert is by FAR the better of the two singers....but when the American Idol producers (Simon Cowell) are basically pushing and manipulating Adam to win instead of letting his talent do it for him,the voters rejected him. You saw the same thing last year w/David Cook and the way AI shamelessly used his dying brother to hype Cook up over the then front runner,David Archuleta. Its pretty disgusting to see and when Katy Perry (who the hell ever signed her should be flogged) came out with Adam's name on her was over. If AI wasn't going to play fair,then the voters would feel cheated and so they reacted with thier vote.
Kris Allen will have a nice little career but Adam with be the bigger star. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 9 -A remarkable story

It's 8:41 pm

Going to play catch-up with my challenge....

Originally posted 9 June 2011

Put on the score to "Cold Case" which is a bit ironic considering how hot the past two days have been here in Michigan.
We broke a record on Tueday with a 94 degree day and while we beat that yesterday with a 96,no record because back in 1933,Detroit had a 100 degree day. And while today is cooler,it looks like it could storm at any minute.
 As far as things here go,nothing really new is poppin'...Lori is doing very well even as the last of her hair continues to fall out. But her wig is still fooling people who still have no idea she is fighting cancer. The customers at her store are glad to see her back and her spirits have been raised by that. Which is good considering her store sent her a lovely letter stating that if she had not returned to work by 10 June,she would be terminated. Good ol Charmless Shoppes,perhaps giving Walmart a serious run for thier money for being the worst place to work. *smh*
   Yesterday saw us visiting Lori's Aunt Jo. She is the one whom I wrote about who fell and broke her hip last summer and just recently fell and broke her other hip and pelvis. For the first time,we heard the whole story.
Aunt Jo is Jo Gehringer,the widow of famed Detroit Tiger Charlie Gehringer. She is 93 now and has lived alone in her home in years since Charlie passed away. She is a very independent spirit and quite a lady. And tough as nails as well,she recovered from last year's broken hip in 6 weeks and went home...
   On 14 May she was puttering around her house when she suddenly felt dizzy and light headed. She went and sat on a kitchen chair for a few minutes. When she felt better she stood up and thats when her ordeal started in ernest. As she stood up,she said she got very dizzy again and before she could back down,she fell instead. The fall broke her other hip and fractured her pelvis. She said she never blacked out but did hit her head.  She laid there for a while and tried to get her bearings. She knew there was no way she could stand up,the pain was too great. As the minutes grew into hours,she thought maybe her neighbor would come by as she often did and see what happened and call for help. But to no avail ,the sun slowly settled down and night came....Aunt Jo said she would try and sleep or sit up for while.
  The next day showed up and she knew she had to get some help...she crawled (and that was no easy task,her house is very big) over to try and get the phone. A 30 second walk took hours as she slowly made her way to the phone.
  You're probably thinking,"Why did she just use her cell phone?" Thats because she doesn't own one,she has a old fashioned rotary phone. And after her last fall,the family did urge her to get Life Alert but she didn't want to. I think she always felt if something happened at home,she would have help via her neighbor,mailman,pastor or nephew. I don't think she ever saw the perfect storm coming of when all of those contacts just wouldn't see her.
 As she reached the phone,she was able to use her cane to try and knock the phone down but she just didn't have the strength to do so. The second day grew longer and longer,she tried yelling out but being down on the ground in a huge house,her voice just didn't carry well.
   She told us she could hear her landscaper cutting her grass and talking to his helper. She decided to crawl back into the kitchen and she made the long trek back as night once again fell.
   The 3rd day came finding Jo back in the kitchen,very thirsty. She said that was the hardest thing,she said she never really felt hungry.  As she once laid there,she could hear the phone but she just couldn't begin to try and crawl back..she hoped that the fact she didn't answer would arouse someone to check in on her. Her nephew come around quite often and thats who she really expected to check in on her as he doesn't live that far away. (We live about 30 miles away).
  As the 3rd day went on,she managed to open her fridge. Using her cane,she was able to pull down a container of orange juice. But she was too weak to actually lift it high enough to drink out of. She poured capfuls and drank enough to quench her thirst. And that is the 3rd day ended.
The 4th day came and as the sun came up,she was gearing up for another run at the phone when disaster struck..she had soiled herself during the night and her clothes had both become too heavy and also pinned to the floor. This is when she said she started getting very concerned. Because when she had crawled she had broken her skin and had sores on her back and elbows. She tried her best to move out from the affected area but since it was in front of the fridge,she was in a tough spot.
  Her regular mailman had noticed her mail was stacking up. Now Aunt Jo loves to read and she gets dozens of magazines every month. And so when he noticed the zines were filling her mailbox,he made a note to see how she was doing. He was aware of the accident of last summer.  But since that happened away from the house and Jo had appeared fine,he didn't go to the house to check but made a note.
  The 4th day came and went as the first 3 days....Aunt Jo flat on her flat/leaning against the cabinet door. The orange juice helped but it being acidic,she said it was starting to burn her tongue. She drank sparingly as she says she just didn't know if anyone would find her.
  As the 4th day ended,her mailman was going to be off the next day but he left a note to his back-up about Jo and asked him to check on her if her mail was still there.
   The 5th day. Aunt Jo said that she was very tired by then and begining to lose hope a little. She could hear people outside and just couldn't believe anyone hadn't checked on her as they always had,of all times for this to happen...
The relief mailman started making his rounds and when he saw Aunt Jo's mail was still there,he whipped out his cell and call the police. A few minutes later 2 cruisers showed and the officers appoached the house and while one rang the doorbell,the other walked around and spotted Aunt Jo in the kitchen,he yelled to his partner to "call a bus" and broke in thru the back door. As he comforted Aunt Jo,the ambulance along with fire department came roaring in....her long nightmare had ended.
   Needless to say,she has agreed to get a Life Alert bracelet and we are working on her to update her phone system.
Her rehab is going pretty well actually,the doctor is pretty surpised at how fast she is healing at 93. But we are not...after all,its golf season and Aunt Jo loves her golf.
Well thats it for me....stay cool out there....and thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Writing Challenge day 8 - Wednesday

It's  8:25 am

What is it like finding out that your soulmate is this sick?


April 9, 2011 at 1:10am
 Its 12:26 am
Back home was a long day. My armor showed its first cracks....
Had a good day to the hospital and went into my wife's room...except she isn't there...she is out motoring on her own,taking a walk about around her floor. She comes back in and we catch up on her night....progress is being made at a rapid pace...her MS (morphine) drip is pulled,her last two EKG tabs are pulled and she is able to take a shower.
   That said,that is what is done....afterwards in her own PJs and feeling refreshed,her spirits are much improved. The diet is upgraded slightly to toast and popsicles w/lukewarm tea and orange juice.
   The day started out cloudy and rainy but it cleared up in time to watch the Tiger's Opening Day game against the Royals.
We enjoyed watching the pre-game ceremonies and seeing the sell-out crowd cheering away. The game itself was okay,the Tigers put a 4 spot on the board in the 1st inning to go up 4-0. At the same time the Yankees are getting drilled by Boston...makes for a long afternoon indeed.
   With the Tigers ahead,my wife dozes off for a few...her face is peaceful....
3:30 PM....the nursing staff changes over. We meet Diana,our NA for the evening...the Tigers are still winning and the Yanks are still losing,Hughes is getting bombed.
  My wife places a order for toast and a popsicle at 5 pm. We finish watching the Tigers win,5-2,a patient cheered when the final out was made.
5:30 toast
5:45 toast
6:00 pm....the doctors make rounds,see how well my wife is recovering and upgrade her meal to solid food. As we are waiting for a menu,we make another lap around the floor....
6:25 pm.....we come back to find......a single slice of toast.
6:30 PM....We meet Jaime,my wife's RN for the night,he places a fish dinner order for her...and when we asked about bladder lift,he brings up her treatment profile and tells us exactly what took place on Tuesday morning.
  As he is explaining it,he mentions something that finally cracked my armor...something Dr. Johnston didn't tell us. They found cancer very close to the colon...and it hits me....what was originally a stage 2 cancer now has been elevated...I can taste the fear for the first time and I'm not liking this at all...
The kitchen rolls in my wife's dinner...meat loaf! Since she is observing Lent,she doesn't eat meat on Fridays plus she had ordered the order is regiven and at 7:30,I head on home...I have to hurry because I can feel my tears coming,she can't see me cry,can she? We kiss and I head out...get my parking stamped and lose it in hallway. First time since this whole fucking hell has started in September and I am losing it....I ask,are we in a stage 3 arena now? The nurses don't but say Jaime might know....we walk down the hall and I want an honest answer...he can't say for sure but does admit this cancer has caught everyone by surprise with its speed. But as far as stage 3 goes,we have to wait for Wednesday to see what the pathology says. What we don't want to see is this:
As you can see,this is a very aggressive form of cancer and it can invade other parts of the body,including the bowels.
And this is what is really bothering fast it progressed from a self-contained uterine cancer with a 87% cure rate to the unknown.
I'm going to offer once again my bone marrow...there has to be a way to slow this beast down...
All eyes are on Wednesday.
keep us in your prayers.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 7 - About the mighty Derek Jeter

Its 10:13 pm

     Had a rough day today,every day is getting rougher as I approach the anniversary of Lori's passing.
I am on edge outside of work....the silence is starting to get to me again. I am not sleeping very well,its very difficult going to bed when the other side of the bed is empty..I still wake up and reach for Lori,to hold her close,smell her hair,feel her breathing,her warmth.
   The dreams,when they come,are often of us just walking somewhere fun and new....Holland,Grand Haven,Chicago,Toronto...hand in hand,heart to heart,soul to soul. Just a reminder of what was and I hope to have again much sooner then later....I miss her terribly.

  I know we are supposed to blog new unpublished content but I am reposting this from my Notes on my Facebook. I am sharing this entry which I wrote about my cat Derek Jeter. Many of you know about our bond,many even got to see it and for the new readers who see his picture on my blog,well you can learn a little about him.

This was originally written 26 Jan 11.

 Its 11:34 am

As soooooooo many of you know,I have a cat. A 16 pound black and white domestic longhair/panther named Derek Jeter.I use him pretty much as my user picture because let's face it,he is a hella of a lot better looking then yours truly.

 Derek is a rescue..after my wife's beloved Geri crossed over after 19 years,it was agreed on that I would be able to get a cat. I hadn't had a cat of my own since owning a cat named Peanut eons ago....I had sort of adopted a lot of cats by proxy in San Jose...a fellow club pal named Chris Elliman used to have to tell all about his cat Sylvester. I used to invade my friend Pam Kelly's office every other Friday and we would spend an hour talking about the antics of her cats.  I wanted a cat as well but I was never home enough to seriously keep one. I was pretty much on the go,go,go...

  But now here in Michigan,I was finally able to get a cat for myself. We looked high and low for a suitable cat. Shelters,different animal groups and then one day,my wife said she found him. She emailed me a picture and when I got home,I was able to see him for the first time. He was living at the Cat Connection,a cat rescue group based in Royal Oak. As soon as I saw him,I was smitten...he had such a sweet yet curious look about him. And that beauty mark...

So we played phone tag with the Cat Connection,we wanted to adopt this was very nerve racking because it was last October and he was living in a shed with 6 other cats. Winter was coming and while the shed was safe and somewhat warm,still we wanted to get him home safe and with us.
  After 15 days,we were able to go over and meet "Loverboy" as he was then known as. He was very charming right away. While he was friendly enough,he hadn't been held much and wasn't used to it. He would tense up as soon as you picked him up. But he was very playful and we paid the 110.00 (I know,talk about a STEAL!!!!!!) adoption fee and off we went.

   The first thing we did was change his name to Derek Jeter. The 2nd thing was to see how he would interact with my wife's other cat,OSK (for Outside Side Kitty). I had a special place in my heart for OSK because he had overcome so much in his life,he had been abandoned by a former owner and lived in the woods behind my wife's house at the time.
Her mission to rescue OSK is a story all by itself and one to really make you cry...
 When I flew to meet my wife for the first time,I knew about her cats...when I told her I was part "cat whisperer" she laughed. Its true,I have been able to pet and talk about with about 99% of the cats I have met...except Michelle's Siamese which looking back was about 100% all feral and of course the infamous Phoenix,the cat of my friend Ellen. He still remains the meanest cat I have ever met. But other then that,I have been able to bond with just about every cat.
  But my wife said OSK was very shy and not people oriented. Her friends used to call him a "Ghost Cat" because while he in the house,you never saw him...
   So imagine my wife's surprise when she came home on the 9th day of my visit to see her "ghost" curled up on my chest sleeping away. I loved the OSK and any cat we brought in HAD to like the O, just wasn't going to work.
 Shortly after we brought Derek home,we moved. The move went smoothly except OSK now became a 100% indoor cat. I know,I hear all of you screaming "Hey...aren't you the all always screaming about cats being indoors all the time???" Yes,I am and I do....but as I said,OSK is a different tale and I had no control over his life. To this day,in the over 10 years I have had Derek and the 9 years we have had Ginger,they have never stepped outside ONCE.
  Derek liked to play with OSK but the O was 18 years old and didn't have much energy for a just out of kittenhood ball of fury. And Derek was a little rough,he would shoulder block the O and run away. When I caught him doing that,I returned the favor by doing the same....Derek loved it and that would trigger playtime. After we were done I would pick him up and talk with him. Each time I was able to hold him longer and longer. As the very first sign he was getting antsy,I would put him down.
    About 3 months after we got Derek,he woke me up by licking my head.I woke up and there he was,grooming me...over and over. Soon he started licking my arms and hands as well. But he never did to my wife. It was pretty weird and when we went to introduce Derek to Dr. Foss,we asked her about the behaviour,I thought maybe he was lacking salt in his diet...but Dr. Foss,after watching him lick my hands,said he merely saw me as a fellow cat and was indeed grooming me. She said he had chosen me as "his" human.

  My wife took to calling him "Licky",the first of many nicknames he was gotten over the years.
    Then one fateful day,my wife came home to find OSK on the floor very ill. We had no warning he had been feeling bad...she called Dr. Foss and despite it being 10 minutes to closing,Dr. Foss said she would wait...she had taken care of OSK his entire life. My wife scooped up the O and when he meowed weakly,for the first and only time,Derek hissed at a human,he was very upset at what was happening. She rushed the O in but time had caught up with the O and it was his time to meet God. After my wife said her good-byes and with Dr. Foss also crying,we let him go to reunite with Geri.
   Derek was pretty shaken,he walked the small apartment meowing for OSK. He and I walked the long hallway in our apartment until Derek flopped over and I would pick him up and walk back. It was a very sad time for all of us.
  I started noticing that when Derek flopped,he never attacked my hand when I petted his tummy. Normally a cat will show its tummy as a sign of ultimate trust but not always give you permission to touch it. Many of time I have seen owners see the tummy,start to pet it and get lit up for the trouble. Derek has never done that,it helps that just because he shows his tummy,I don't always pet it. I say "thank you,buddy" and pat him on his head.
  Derek is a pretty fearless cat and loves being with his family. He can be asleep in one room but when hears us talking in another,he'll come waltzing in and be like "What are you guys up to"? before curling up and looking at us. We noticed this and after waiting 20 minutes,would go into a another room and time him. Within 5 minutes,here comes Derek....with that same look.
    And his afternoon while walking the hall way,Derek spotted a spider in a corner,he then of course went over and promptly ate it. After that,everytime he went into the hall way,he would always go to that corner first. He never forgot his tasty snack...

  Derek's rise to fame started soon after we got him....3 months after we adopted him,the Cat Connection called us and told us that a local paper was doing a story about local rescues and that the CC had recommended us to them. I had to work but my wife took Derek down for a photo shoot and interview.  Once in a while I would take a picture of Derek with me when I worked. Dozens of people who either ask about him and/or share their animal stories.  I would get asked all the time about how Derek was doing and his latest adventures.
   Shortly before we moved,our apartment complex got hit with a mouse imagine my shock when I was brushing my teeth when Derek came into the bathroom and stared at the trash can. Didn't move,didn't make a sound. I had never seen him sit like that so I said "Whats going on,buddy? Nothing in the trash can..." and as I picked it up,a mouse darted past me....he sprinted by us and made for the living room....Ginger and Derk both on its tail..Derek swatted at it and sent it cartwheeling across the room. I tossed a shoe at it and then ran towards me in the hallway...I managed to shut the bedroom door and kneeled before it,blocking it,it reversed course and headed for the kitchen,where Derek swatted it again....those swats took the air outta that mouse and a second later,it was all over. he had his first mouse kill. I took the bidy from him and buried it outside.

   Moving to our new house was really rough on both cats. Both hid in the basement for 3 days...normally I would have let them find their own way but see Derek crouched down really saddened me so I picked him up and sat with him in the den. I put him down,laid by him and talked sugar. After about an hour,we came over and rubbed noses with me. I petted him and he flopped and it was all good. Once Ginger saw Derek acting normal,she came upstairs as well.
   As you know,cats hate loud noises,our cats HATE the vacuum,you can simply touch it and they're both gone. We always give them time to escape,they both dash upstairs or if I'm upstairs,then down they go...
  But once again,Derek has surprised me. Now I always talk sugar to both cats when I get readdy to use the vaccum,to let them know to go to safety. But one day,Derek hung out on our bed. He didn't run...IF I gave him encouragement. So as I would clean,I would stop and tell him how good he was. And soon enough,he quit running when I was cleaning. Now he merely moves to another room and nevers runs. But some vacuums are louder then others so he does go upstairs if I'm using the Dyson. Hell,I can't blame him for that,that beast is loud indeed!
  Derek and I made it on the The Suze Orman Show. We watch Suze every week and our favorite segment is the "Can I Afford It ?". My wife and I wondered if we could afford to get a Scottish Fold kitten and so she emailed Suze our question. We didn't hear back,we thought with so many requests and so many different items,it just wasn't "sexy"enough. But a month went by and while I was at work,they repeated a earlier show. So I thought,what the hell,I'll try writing myself and so I did.
  3 days later I get a call from the Suze Orman Show and the producer loved my little note and asked me if I wanted to do it. What I had asked was for a infield partner for my cat,Derek Jeter. We did the paperwork and waited. After about 3 weeks...Suze called us and I asked her if I could afford a Scottish Fold 2nd baseman....she approved it and told me to hit a home run. Now you really don't get to chat with Suze before or afterwards,she is taping the show. Afterwards we waited and waited and waited some more. I had taped my call in July and we thought it would run in late August or so.
Imagine our surprise when the producer called and said we had made the Christmas show!!! So the show of Dec 2008,my call was on. It was very cute and a fun experience.
   But in the middle of 2009,the show called back...we were in the running for the best 3 calls of 2008! We were in shock because theere some seriously requests,cars,trips, we once again waited. The show called back and said we didn't make the cut but they wanted to know if we had spent the 1,000.00 needed to buy the kitten. Well,no...because we wouldn't buy a pure breed cat,we only get rescue cats and also because Derek is a one man cat. I'm his human and he is my I told show we saved the money and I was volunteering at the Humane Society.
Derek has many other celebrity friends,his favorite two are Kylie Ireland and Kelli Maroney,who often ask how he is doing and ask me to give him a pet for them.
   The Best Calls show came one....and while we didn't make the cut,we did make the most requested update segment!
It was pretty cool to say the least.
   Derek loves to play....he and I will play "spider fingers" where I'll make my hand walk like a spider and grab his back paws. He in turn will attempt to swat my hands. Its a pretty rare week where I don't have a small scratch on my hand. He is so fast! But he never,never tries to bite my hand. We play this game on the stairs,which explains why its covered with cat fur.
   He also is the master of the "flop". The flop? Oh yeah...when I follow him while he walks/runs around the house,he will roll on his right shoulder and show his tummy. But I don't grab his tummy,I go for his back paws and he'll flop back and forth while pushing with back paws and try and swat my hands. This is his 2nd favorite thing to do with me...his favorite is "talking".
  Other then in his carrier,Derek is a pretty quiet cat. He'll randomly meow once in a while...his "I'm here" meow. And when birds or rabbits cruise by,he'll make his hunting meow. But that is very rare and other then that,he is very quiet.
Until bedtime or making the bed. Then he and I will chat...he jumps on my bed and I look him in the eye,he'll go "meow" and I say "meow" back...trying to catch his tone. I do quite a bit as then we'll start meowing back and forth. Its goes anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes and always ends up with me picking him up and holding him very close. He snuggles in my arms and I hold him quietly until he starts moving. I never hold Derek anymore then he wants and often will put him down even before he is ready...but that is important because when we first got him,he was very shy about being held. But on his own terms,he loves to be held and his fur brushed. In fact,saying the word "brush" brings Derek sprinting up the stairs. I groom him 1-3 times a week.
 Changing the bed is also a great deal of fun....Derek loves it. Trying to put a clean sheet/blanket is an adventure and drives my wife crazy. He loves diving under the covers and will pounce on a hand if he senses it.
  The last thing I'll share about Derek is his love for Burger King fries. Its the ONLY people food he likes other then tuna.
He'll eat about 3-5 fries and be so happy. We don't do BK very much but when we do,we always ask for 3-5 fries and explain our cat really likes them....more often then not,instead of 3-5 fries,we get a small order because the cashier will crack up about a french fry eating cat.

So that is my cat...he really is the best cat.

Derek stayed with me until 21 Sept 13. I was honored that he picked me to share his life's journey.

shout outs

Thanks to all of you who have started reading my blog.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Writing Challenge - Day 6 -"Gojira!"

Its 3:15 pm

     Yep,back at it....pushing out another writing challenge entry. The weather outside is starting to haze over after being clear most of the day. Paladin is on the stairs,he is miffed because he got his paws wet after being told not to scratch the chairs. I hate doing that but it is working,the length of time between incidents is getting longer and longer. Soon,he will stay away from the chair other then to sleep on it.

  As some of you may know,I am a fanboy. A fanboy (or girl) is someone who loves comic books,sci-fi,fantasy,steampunk,cyberpunk and horror. We are the ones who spend our money on each new comic book,on each new DVD that may have a "lost" 30 second clip,we are the first in line to get it. While most folks know Peter Jackson directed The Hobbit,only a true fanboy can name you the craftsman who created Bard the Bowman's bow or can name the characters in Japanese.
  I like to surf YouTube for new stuff to look at,I have recently started posting some videos of Paladin online and afterwards I poke around. In doing so,I found a most awesome series.

   One of my earliest fanboy moments came when I discovered kaiju movies. Kaiju as in Godzilla movies. They used to show them on KTLA in Los Angeles and we kids always came inside to watch them. Godzilla,Mothra,Rodan and Gamera the flying turtle. Everyone had a favorite monster...Godzilla was so popular at one point here in the States,he had own Saturday morning cartoon show and Marvel Comics put out a comic book that had Godzilla having tea with Spider Man,seeing who burned hotter contests with The Human Torch and playing tag with S.H.E.I.L.D. long before Phil Coulson joined up.

  After a while the Godzilla popularity faded here and despite better film making technologies,Godzilla did a slow fade in Japan too. The 80s and early 90s were sort of quiet for the Big G,movies were made but the audience just wasn't there for them as in the past.
  Then Sony announced in 1992 that it was going to make a Hollywood version of Godzilla and a after a six year tussle and huge hype,Godzilla came out in 1998 to complete and utter rejection by not only fanboys but but EVERYONE. It was one of the worst movies of the year and the studios in Japan disowned it,saying it was NOT part of any Godzilla canon.

  This crushed any revival of Godzilla here in the States. Back he went across the Pacific....but something funny happened,anime suddenly started becoming very hot here in the states. The aforementioned Robotech, Voltron, Transformers and Power Rangers all became hot properties based on mechs becoming modern day kaijus. Kids were all over the toys,comics and action figures,the TV shows became "must see" for kids all over. Parents were fighting tooth and claw for kid toys at your local McDonald's.
  The Power Rangers movie,extremely cheap to make,came out with huge box office and suddenly the kaiju idea was being talked about again.

  Yu-Gi-Oh! hit America after hitting it huge in Japan...the story of young duelists using kaiju as weapons glowed white hot as everyone scrambled for cards,tourneys and the TV show.
 As momentum gathered steam, J.J. Abrams released "Cloverfield" about a monster attacking New York City and it became a huge hit.
  Toho Studios released "Godzilla: Final Wars" in 2004 and said it wouldn't make another film for "at least 10 years". The studio then destroyed some sets that were being used and that was it.
  While others tried to get Godzilla back on the screen,it wasn't until Legendary Studios met with Toho to secure the US rights for Godzilla. Legendary Films has become the "fanboy" studio as it has released the Batman Trilogy,Watchmen,300,both Superman movies and the kaiju/mech hit,Pacific Rim.

  Toho sat down with Legendary and outlined who Godzilla was and more importantly,what he was NOT. They did not want another disaster as the Sony produced Zilla film.
   Legendary agreed and a who slew of fanboy "who's who" writers came on board to help get the script ready,careful thought was put into casting and now,a mere month from now,the new Godzilla will premiere here.
   Now I have to admit,I had heard that Godzilla would be fighting other monsters this time around. Mothra and Rodan were being mentioned as possible foes and while I for one,would be jazzed for that,the producers have decided to go with brand new monsters for him to fight.
  How will this play out? I have no this why I can talking about the kaiju series I stumbled across on YouTube called "Godzilla and his Amazing Friends".

This series is made by a guy named Goji73 (Gojira is Godzilla in Japanese) using stop motion animation and toys from both the Godzilla line and from another famous Japanese series called "Ultra Man). He has made 15 mini-films featuring Godzilla and his pals,Rodan and Anguirus along with other allies facing off against other monsters.
  The plots are cool and even feature story arcs from episode to the next. I love the fact he always has Godzilla on the ropes and has Anguirus come in at the last second with a massive blind side attack that sends the other kaiju flying. Goji73 uses all the original monster voices for each creature and treats his cast with respect. There are no stock footage because Toho is very protective of its property and YouTube will pull down any video with footage featured.
   I thought I would end this little entry with the first two episodes of "Godzilla and his Amazing Friends".
Personally,I am hoping for a appearance from my favorite,Jet Jaguar! Time will tell....but until then,enjoy these!

Thank you again for your comments and I am taking some advice from a couple of writers who suggested I take to one subject per entry during this challenge.I don't know how I am going to promote this....but hey,at least I got it done!

If you are on Twitter,find me @Jinzo_2400


Doctor Decade- thanks for all the retweets!
Marvel - Nice job on the huge swerve on Agents of Shield
Angelica - Santa Barbara has never looked better
Dom and Rome - what do you think?
Chris Alexander - This was a blast to write,if Jet Jaguar makes a guest spot,I will let you know
Elissa and Loo - Hope you both are feeling better
Happy birthday Andy Appleton!

And a "boo"

Milk is at 3.18 a gallon now??? wow.