Saturday, May 28, 2011

Still Here After All This Time

It's been a really long time since my last post on this blog.  That was caused by a number of things: recovery from surgery was slower than I expected, at least in terms of getting back the energy to do things during the day.  For awhile there it was all I could do to go to the park and sit for an hour while the dogs walked around.  It took almost six months to get up the energy to walk any distance myself, but once I started doing that, my energy started coming back at a faster pace.  Now I can do 3 or 4 hours of (mostly non-physical) work a day after walking the dogs.

But once I had the energy, more things intervened.  Our Lhasa Apso, Jemma,  suddenly (over the course of 2 or 3 weeks) went blind.  We spent some time going to vets and not getting a definitive diagnosis until we saw a veterinary opthalmologist.  He diagnosed SORD (Sudden Onset Retinal Disorder), a disorder whose etiology and mechanism are pretty much unknown, but whose prognosis is 100% blindness in almost all cases, and which has no treatment.  Jemma has been blind now for several months, and has mostly acclimated herself to it.  Dogs aren't as strongly affected by blindness as humans, because smell and hearing are so much more acute for them.  Jemma's only serious problem (aside from a non-related eye infection that lasted several weeks) is that when she gets excited or upset she gets disoriented and gets stuck in loops between obstacles, going back and forth until she accidentally goes off at an angle and misses one of them.  We''re working with her on that, but she is a very stubborn dog (a breed quality) and is having trouble taking direction when she gets that way.  Spencer, our Rat Terrier, has been very solicitous of her, following her and trying to help her (though not very consistently). He has come to get us a couple of times when she got into trouble in the back yard.

The other thing that's been keeping me from the blog is a project I've started.  Now that I'm able to do useful work at least part of the day, I've decided to come partially out of retirement and create software that, with a little luck, I can sell to bring in a little extra money; at least enough, I hope, to pay for the additional hardware and software I've had to buy for the development work (that's not really a lot, but retirement hasn't been quite what it was supposed to be, thanks to the Current Financial Unpleasantness).  I've got a project that I think I can do myself, one that I've been thinking about off and on for a year or so.  It will start out as a Macintosh application, sold through Apple's Mac App Store, and if that's successful, I plan to port it to the iPad. Details in a near future blog post.

I'll continue to post here, but probably not as often as I was doing last fall.  I'll be spending about 20 hours a week on the software project, and that will include some postings on a new blog I'm setting up now along with a website for the company that will sell the software.  I'll post the details for the new site and blog here soon.