Tons of new stuff:
Alli's award of excellence:
Kim & Alli Sedlacek's Heart Smile award:
From the week June 6 - 13, 1997:We have our own domain now! It feels way-cool! It's also been a lot of work, so this week won't have the second installment of When Wes went over a cliff... or the new awards and stuff we've gotten. And, if you came here via an old pointer from one of the search engines or our e-Pals, don't worry about notifying them. We're already starting the long process of updating the URL (address) with the search engines, and our link buds will be next.
But what else is new this week? We already have the results from Wes' May 27 bloodwork. This is month four since Wes changed drug combinations February 4. See the results for yourself on our T-count and viral load charts. (For those of you just tuning in, Wes was on a protease inhibitor [plus AZT, d4T and 3TC] for six months and it whacked his viral load to undetectible. But the 8-hour dosing schedule for Crixivan, the protease inhibitor, was taxing. So, in an unproven strategy, he decided to change to a "lighter" [just twice daily] combination of Viramune [nevaripine] plus d4T and 3TC. We are watching his bloodwork monthly to make sure that the virus remains undetectible on this combination. And it has worked.)
In other Wes news, he had noticed on Tuesday, May 20th (we really keep track of stuff, huh?!) that he was only able to do half of his normal gym exercises. He went on antibiotics, figuring it was a sinus infection. But June 5, the Ear/Nose/Throat doctor said his sinuses were the healthiest he's seen them. That eliminated, on June 6 Wes realized -- due to an emerging pain behind his left lung -- that he has pleurisy. This is likely what's been making him so tired, but is just now manifesting in a way that it could be diagnosed. Tom -- a former respiratory therapist -- confirmed Wes' suspicion with his stethescope. It's okay, Wes had a doctor's appointment already scheduled for Monday, June 9...
In Tom news, he's been a busy little bear with his summer school class "Finite Mathematics" at the University of Houston.
Lastly, The Center for AIDS where Wes volunteers, is presenting "a community forum on HIV/AIDS and sex, co-sponsored by the Montrose Clinic:
Panel for forum:
From the week May 31 - June 6, 1997:
We've got tons of new links (and a couple of awards!) to put up. But that all needs to wait. Yes, dear readers this week we're delving into Wes' Family History archives again. (If you'll remember, our last "Family History archives" entry brought you the story about Wes' sister Susan -- Wes and Tom's great defender in The Letter Wars -- when she was the Dallas Champion Female Mud Wrestler!)
This time, in honor of its 18th anniversary on May 28, we tell about when Wes went over a cliff... (This is the first part. It turned out to be a lot longer of a write than expected. Second part will appear with next week's update, despite what the note at the bottom says.)
In other news:
As we mentioned last week, our migration to a new ISP did not work out. This past week we were really over it. So, we ordered our own domain name. Hopefully things will be set up by next week and you can just check here to see where we've moved. Once it's stabilized, I'll send out a note to let our e-Pals know.
Wes had his monthly blood draw Tuesday May 27th, so in about two weeks we'll have the results. (Remember, we're keeping a close eye on his viral load since he went off his protease inhibitor...) This time he'll get the results a new way: The testing company has a number-coded call-for-results phone system. (How high-tech.)
And lastly, last week's news tidbit about "Cambridge Police Department names first liaison to gay community" was just so refreshing that we're enshrining it on our Gay Links section. (For those who missed it, there are also two gratuitous handsome shots of the cop on his motorcycle.)
From the week May 24 - 31, 1997:
Wow! After dealing with irrational homophobia with Priscilla, Queen of the Northwest, it sure is nice to see gay people treated as humans. Read this story about "Cambridge Police Department names first liaison to gay community".
Tom registered for summer school at the University of Houston on May 22nd. Poor baby: The class he needed was only available from 8:00-10:00 a.m. So, we're trying to get accustomed to getting up early.
Wes got good bloodwork results a week ago, but we weren't able to post the charts because Excel 97 was being quirky with pasting a chart. (The chart image wouldn't fully paste into MSPaint or Paint Shop Pro.) But, our Lotus SmartSuite 1997 arrived Thursday May 22 so now we've got the charts online. Check out our latest bloodwork on our viral load and T-count pages.
Last week we featured Bancroft Tower in Worcester, Massachusetts -- America's Homo Monument (102kb) from Wes' recent travels. It's too special to just mention once, so we've added it at the top of our Gay Links page.
Wes' refreshing experience in Toronto with the Dantes (73kb) -- also noted last week -- is similarly preserved now on Wes' Thoughts page.
The archive of "What's new for the week" was growing so large that we split 1997 into January - March and April - present. (All archives, including 1996, are accessible from Wes' Thoughts page.)
We mentioned last week that we were honored with PlanetOut's Netqueery Person of the Day designation for Tuesday, May 13, 1997. This week we're moving it to our Awards page.
Lastly, our Netropolis ISP situation has continued to be a pain, so we may be moving the Cool Site again. (Luckily, for exactly this reason, we had not yet sent out a mass-notice of the move.)
From the week May 16 - 23, 1997:
The last weeks have been very busy around here.
Our migration to a new Internet Service Provider has been a pain in the butt -- lots of work. For some reason, the line likes to drop. A lot. Wes is almost ready to shift the site again if things don't shape up. But it's hard for us to determine the true source of the problems that seem to be ISP related:
The ISP migration also required many HTML code changes, as AOL couldn't handle relative URLs when the Cool Site was built. So, about 1,000 links needed to be changed from absolute (...) to relative. (Get this: FrontPage 97 doesn't do a mass-search-and-replace of links! Isn't that absurd?! We downloaded HotDog Professional V3 again. It was a lifesaver. Well, at least a major timesaver!) The link changes wouldn't have been so difficult by themselves -- it was getting the updated files uploaded over a shaky connection that took forever.
In other news, both of us have had more energy than we'd grown accustomed to. Wes' April 28th bloodwork showed his T4s ("T-cells") went from 350 -> 529 (that's good) while his viral load remained undetectible (also good). That's at month four of having gone off of his protease inhibitor (Crixivan) after it knocked his viral load below detectibility. (He was just toooooo tired on Crixivan.) In other medication news, we recently figured out that Viramune (nevirapine) is causing nausea in Tom, but not in Wes. We'd post the updated graphs of our T-cells, but Excel 97 is being pretty quirky with the data/chart imported from Lotus 1-2-3. C'est la vie. We'll get there.
In addition to the good bloodwork and the increased energy, our bodies have been reflecting this externally. Wes is shedding a little chub and Tom is gaining bigger chest muscles!
Tom has been doing things to get ready for school, which starts Tuesday May 27. In particular, we bought a marble-like countertop and Tom made a it into a huge new desk in the office. It's big enough for our computing stuff plus his schoolwork. Installing it was quite a chore, as it required taking out all of the equipment in the office -- two computers, two big monitors, two sets of speakers, a scanner, two modems, two phones, an HP LaserJet, an HP DeskJet, a fax machine, plus several surge protectors and UPSes -- putting in the new desk, then re-connecting all the equipment. Tom did all of this while Wes was out of town.
Wes went on vacation to Provincetown and Worcester Massachusetts, then on to Toronto. As promised, we tell all here. (Well, most of it anyway:)
This memorial was built by his
friend and admirer
Stephen Salisbury III
(Stephen Salisbury and George Bancroft lived together for 30+ years.)
Before we opened up to the 30 people who came, we went around setting the stage. Boudoir Noir banners went up. Flyers went on tables. Candles were lit on tables for when the lights were put out. Tables were moved to create proper play spaces. Restraint equipment was set up. Then the Security guy said "Showtime." The lights went out and he opened the door.
The primary actual play turned out to be Mary doing a Dominatrix scene, though there was a HOT young man in rubber who was quite the eye candy...
First we went into an Indian shop of many spices where we bought coffee beans.
Next was this spectacular meat market with sawdust on the floors. You take a number when you first come in, but it doesn't seem to matter much. There's a crowd bustling around the long counter, with around 10+ people working the meat counter behind. You snag someone, and tell them what you want. And they have EVERYTHING. "Blood tongue" was one I remember. Lots of sausages. I hadn't seen six foot rolls of sausage before. People ooching in beside you to look in the counter window. Your person moving to another area to get your next request. There were FOUR meat slicing machines behind the counter. Our order was nicely sliced into deli meats.
Then it was on to the cheese shop. They had cheeses there I had never heard of: Vanilla and chocolate CHEESES. And then there was the saleslady. Oh I can't adequately describe the Cheese Lady. She was great. As we stood there pondering quite what to get, she would take various cheeses and slice off a sample for Mary. "This one is camember." "This one is gouda." And on and on. What a great way to find out just what you really want. We ended up deciding on four different ones. They were at a discount because we got "ends".
Were we done yet? Nope. Now it was on to the veggie place. They had purple Japanese eggplant that I'd never seen. It was cool. We got relatively simple grapes to go with the cheeses.
But wait, there was one more stop: A Japanese market. Mary stopped in because she had spent two years in Japan as a kid. Seeing different packages brought her back. She picked up a couple things to bring home.
From the three weeks April 25 - May 16, 1997:
Wes will be going on vacation in a week, so there will be no update next Friday (the night before he leaves). Nor the following Friday (because he'll still be gone). Nope, the next update will be in three long weeks. But he should have some very interesting stories to share, particularly from his visit to Toronto where he'll be staying with some kinky friends.
What happened this past week? More systems caca. Yes, we discovered that AOL 3.0 for Windows 95 will not install under Windows NT. Instead of hassling with a workaround, we decided to move Wes & Tom's Cool Site to a local ISP. Netropolis offered more Web storage (5 mb versus AOL's 2 mb/screen name) and two e-mail accounts. Now we have room to grow (the Cool Site had passed the 2mb limit, and we were having to parcel out some additions to two other locations -- a major administrative hassle), plus Tom also finally has interactive e-mail delivery! Cool stuff. But it took a lot of work to get things configured. (Most of the configuration hassle was due to a device we use called "WebShare" that enables our two computers to both be logged into the Internet at the same time using one phone line and modem. It's picky.)
But enough about this computer stuff. What was most moving about the week (other than Tom's dad having successful cataract surgery, for which we're both very happy) was so unexpected it just plain hurt. Wes decided to attend a Houston Area League of PC users (HAL-PC) networking meeting to try and learn more about Windows NT. He was following the little map he'd printed from the Internet when he turned a corner and Boom! There it was: HAL-PC was located just down the block from where Wes' best friend Burt had worked until he died. The mental vision was instantaneous: Wes going in that building to pick up disability forms for Burt -- forms that Wes filled out for Burt, but that were never needed because Burt died only about a week later. Wes was running late for the networking meeting, so he just stuffed it at the moment. But when he came out later, there was that building again. He felt very alone and sad. Found an empty parking lot to have a cry in, but then it all just stopped. The cry wasn't going to happen. (This has happened before.) Nope, instead Wes' head hurt. And he couldn't think clearly the rest of the night.
From the week April 17-24, 1997:
There will be no usual update of the Cool Site this week: Wes and Tom have been doing major systems migration. It all started when Wes started volunteering at the The Center for AIDS: Hope & Remembrance Project. CFA is getting some computers which will be running Office 97 over a Windows NT LAN. Wes wanted to get up to speed on Windows NT and Office 97 at home so that he could help them. Other than getting books to read up on, we also got Windows NT Workstation for Wes' computer and Office 97. And another 32mb of RAM (for 64mb total).
First the good news: Windows NT doesn't seem to crash like Wes' Windows 95 did. That's very good news. And, the application "Outlook 97" in Office is simply stupendous. It integrates Wes' favorite features of Lotus Organizer (calendar and to-do) with a strong e-mail client and people database -- all with mail delivered right to you no matter what module you're in.
The "bad" news is that it has taken us both a lot of work, with that spooky "I can't access my e-mail" syndrome taunting us during down times. But we're running (head)strong now. See you next week.
From the week April 2 - 9, 1997:
Combining d4T with AZT: For several years, researchers have noted a theoretical risk in combining d4T (Zerit) with AZT. While they have different side effects and no known harmful interactions, the two drugs compete chemically for the same elements when they are metabolized. This suggested that when the two drugs are used together, they might diminish each other's effects. Until now, there have been no clinical data to prove or disprove this concern. In late October, researchers participating in ACTG (AIDS Clinical Trials Group) study 290 were notified of the first evidence that this problem may be real. Preliminary analysis of data from 129 people in the trial showed that people receiving the d4T + AZT combination fared worse than those receiving ddI + AZT, or ddI or d4T alone. The main difference was a pronounced decline in CD4+ cells over 36 weeks for those on the d4T + AZT combination. Viral load and clinical outcome data are not yet available.
& Tom's Cool Site
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