Surgical Options…

Right now I am debating having surgery on my hand. It would be arthroscopic and minimally invasive, but still surgery and for me the possibility of returning to a cast looms. Since most people reading this don’t really know me so I will provide a brief background…

Last March (almost 10 months ago!) I broke my wrist while on vacation in The Bahamas. I was playing tennis at the time and slipped while serving on the clay courts. I went straight down at top speed and fractured my scaphoid. The scaphoid is literally the worst bone you can break since it does not get enough blood flow to heal properly or in a timely manner. My treatment consisted of 10 weeks in a cast, followed by 6 weeks in a brace and then freedom, but immediately into Occupational Therapy and then Physical Therapy which is where I still am today – twice a week. The length of my immobilization caused MAJOR atrophy and allowed for a vast amount of scare tissue to develop. (You can expect the healing process to be 3 times the length of time immobilized. For me it’s 16 weeks x 3 – 48 weeks!!)

In December I learned that in addition to the fracture, which is finally healing, I also have damaged cartilage and ligaments in my hand which has been causingmy general loss of flexibility, cracking and popping, general stiffness and of course some pain.

Since this is my right hand and I am right handed I am faced with the very real possibility that my hand will never be the same. At the moment, my left hand is actually stronger than my right which is a weird thing since I have never been ambidextrous. Anyway, the surgery would allow for the cartilage to be potentially fixed and the ligament damage to be explored. According to my doctor, there is about a 95% chance that the cartilage can be fixed which should offer some relief. There is a 5% chance that when he scopes my hand we will learn that the damage is more severe than expected and to fix it will require that I return to a cast for 4-6 weeks.

At this point he is not recommending working on the ligaments as they can not be repaired through this type of surgery and would require a significant healing process and a return to a cast as well.

I am leaning towards the surgery since I want my hand to be back as much as it can, but am worried that the damage will be bad. I have not had much luck with my hand since the injury so far… A new cast means additional immobilization which means that I take a step back in my recovery in order to hopefully be able to go further than I have gotten today. Well – something to sleep on anyway.

Back in the office…

I am back in the office today after a nice long break. Seems to be off to a quiet start, let’s see how the day plays out.

I noticed as I was walking out the door that my Palm did not pick up the event I had scheduled in iCal. I might have to start my process within Meeting Maker for the whole thing to happen. Also, two banners I created within Meeting Maker have not come over either. I guess only timed events work which is not ideal.

What a week…

Things started out strong but turned quickly on Tuesday and have been tumultuous and emotionally challenging for my wife and me through today. We are both completely exhausted, though she more than I am as she also endured the physical stress of surgery today. I am totally spent and very glad to have the weekend to decompress through. We have been working out some serious emotions due to the loss of what had started weeks ago as a fantastic new beginning in our lives.

Soon enough I suppose, but certainly not the way anyone could have planned. There has been an amazing amount of support to have come through from family and friends for whom we are extremely grateful.

This week will certainly be remembered and not forgotten.

Home again, home again

spaced, unshaven and physically worked over, I am back at home. Good trip overall, but comepletely exhausting… Nothing like flying to the other coast and back as part of the same day. Sleeping on the plane in both directions does not equal a nights rest…

Fortunately, today and tomorrow are slower days thanks to the holiday and I can take it easy to recover.

Plan B

Not sure why I thought the whole Stuffit plan would work, but there does not seem to be a way for me to unstuff the damn thing without error. I guess it’s new drive time. That sucks.

more time to wait…

Waking up this morning I found the archive had been created is only reading about 4GB which can’t possibly be right. When I explore the archive through Stuffit Deluxe, I find only a few items, which again does not make sense so, I am now moving that arhive to the home machine in order to further investigate, and at the same time I used the stuffit command line to try again on the external drive. aigh.

I guess if I went out and bought another drive I could move everything over at once without compression and save myself some time. I did see a 120GB drive at the apple store online for $269. Seems like the cost is good and the pain is very low. May have to just swallow that later today and chalk this mission up to a loss.

About 41 hours…

… Is what our home computer is saying I must wait for my MP3 collection to stuff across the network. Thanks to the Stuffit 7.0 and the newer StuffitX compression I am hoping to safely store my collection off the damaged drive. The reason for the time on this is pretty simple… I am trying to move and compress my collection (30+GB) across my home network, because the firewire drive will only work (sort of) when connected to my powerbook. I have already moved close to 400 files but I still have over 5400 left to go. Some are fairly sizeable streamed broadcasts so I expect this to go for most of the day. I am guessing that at some point, the time will not match reality and this will finish sooner. I could easily be wrong… I just hope it works. I really need to try and repair that drive, but can’t until I can safely move my data.

UPDATE – New plan. Cancelled the previous over the network deal at 39 hours remaining. I am now working with the command line interface for stuffit which is a nice new addition. I had tried a tar previously but that failed as I ran out of drive space on the hard drive. It will be interesting to see if Stuffit can do it differently.

Chinese Water Torture

For at least a year now the shower in our master bedroom has been dripping. We have gone through a few shower heads based on the brilliant recommendations of both the super and the landlord but since that was not the problem, the drip continued.

You can’t possibly be intense on something like a leaky shower every day – life is busy etc… but every so often (like once a month) I would call and complain to the landlord’s answering machine. He rarely called back.

This fall there was a renewed interest in getting things finally resolved. The landlord and some contractor guy came by once and figured it was a part within the shower fixture that needed to be replaced. This actually confirmed what the super had told me just before. (Just so you know, my super is not allowed to fix anything since he is really here to deal with the COOP apartments and my wife and I are renters)

About a week later the contractor returned with an assistant, a day we thought would never come… He showed up though without any tools or parts. Apparently he wanted to look at the shower again. Guess what, we had the same problem as last time. After that visit a few weeks passed, mainly with me calling everyday and yelling messages of increasing intensity into my landlord’s answering machine. Eventually he called me back to say that he had no faith in his guy to come and fix it and that I should hire a plumber. Why that was not the initial solution, I don’t know.

Today was the day for the plumber to stop by and as you’ll notice from the time of this post that it is way past the time window I picked 9am-12pm. No call to me, but 2 calls to the plumber to find out that they won’t be able to make it and I will have to reschedule. This is just unfuckingreal. If I lived in a place where I had a car, I would probably just drive to Home Depot and get the part and try to fix it myself. Since I don’t live in such a place, another day will come, One that I’m sure will bring predictable disappointment.

Wireless AP at SFO?

Does anyone know if there is an available network at the SF airport? Seems I will have a serious amount of time to kill next Monday after my meetings and before the red-eye back East. I did a quick check and only found an AP in the Admiral’s Club which is for AA and I am flying United. Does Starbucks have anything there? I am willing to pay for access if necessary…


Thanks to some much needed assistance over the weekend I was able to import the full history of my Radio blog into the MT system.

As I previously noted this was no easy task. I tried to get the scripts from Jonathon Delacour to run but had too many issues with the config. I am not sure that the code is 10.2.2 friendly yet. I had also found a script from Aaron Swartz which did the trick. Thanks to everyone for their help – I am live (as you can see) here in MT-land.

Next steps are to tweak my templates, get the blogroll working, turn on categories and tweak some of the imported posts. For now though, I am VERY pleased with MT and how it all works. It is quite amazing to me how I allowed my experience to suffer using Radio. Oh well – lesson learned. I just wished I had waited longer to pay for it. I won’t make that mistake again.

Test via Archipelago

Archipelago is rocking and rolling now.

After some searching for support in the MT Support board I was able to figure out the correct settings.

Here’s the correct info for anyone else…

  1. First, set the type to Metaweblog so you can send titles for your posts.
  2. Site URL – the base URL. For me it was even though my blog is located at /mt
  3. Site Identifier – just the number
  4. Path to Service – mt/mt-xmlrpc.cgi

Categories and hopefully some other goodies are coming. Thanks Daniel for this great free app!

For the past few weeks

For the past few weeks I have been having unbelieveable issues with Radio. It seems that Radio, which runs locally as a web server does not like to stay on all the time. In fact it prefers to be offline most of the time, but not officially so. What this means is that most of the time I try to post, or modify something, the server does not respond. I am forced to either restart the app, or stop and start the server. While this does not take that much time to do, it is incredibly annoying.

I have posted many times to the discussion group, but it seems that while others are also having this problem, there is no fix in sight. More and more this is becoming a deal breaker for me and I am looking to alternatives.

Right now I am considering a move to Moveable Type which would allow a great deal of new features to be added and a great deal of control to be had as well. It does mean though that I need to find an inexpensive host for the site. Another option could be This host is based on Manila, a close relative to Radio, which logic tells me should make it easier to migrate my past posts… If only they would return my email so I could know for sure. It would be great if they had a phone number posted, which is currently weighing heavily against them in the running.

Support is a key issue for me. Radio has NO manual. The support is minimal and only through the user community. This is not ok for an application you pay for.

BTW – Radio was not able to stay running long enough for me to finish typing this post and then publish it. I had to restart the server in order to complete the task.

Customer Service Issues

I rented a car from Hertz on Tuesday though I actually reserved it on Monday via their web site. Fortunately I had printed my confirmation notice since I did not receive the usual email confirmation. That came on Tuesday evening after I had returned the car. I have received two additional confirmations of my reservation, one Wednesday and one just now on Thursday – two days after the reservation.

I was only thoughtful enough to print out my reservation because I had rented another car over the weekend. When I went to pick it up, Hertz had no indication of me in the computer. SInce I could not give them my reservation number (my bad) they could not easily locate the car. After a call to HQ, they found a reservation for me in 2003! That is one year later – who would be that anal to reserve a car one year in advance…. Anyway, they had a car for me which saved the day, but since I was at the counter I could not get the same low rate I had reserved. The whole time I was thinking it was my fault thought weird to have selected 2003 on the site, it could have happened in my haste to get it done. When I got home however, I found my email confirmation (this one arrived minutes after I clicked) which listed my car for the correct day and year. Hertz refunded me the difference, but could not explain the error since the confirmation number was afterall in the computer.

Someone better get their shit together at Hertz IT. They are not a small company and can’t afford to mess it up this badly. I could always start renting from Avis…

Watching Saturday Night Live tonight

Watching Saturday Night Live tonight, Ashley and I noticed that it’s like amateur night at the controls. The first four commercial breaks all came back and needed to be extended beyond the length of time either music or actual commerical time was scheduled. Seems silly to even notice or point it out, but if NBC is supposed to be the #1 Network, perhaps they need to hire a few more people to help out.

Today I finally decided

Today I finally decided to have my external hard drive evaluated since it has not been working properly for some time. It’s an 80 GB firewire drive and for some reason it won’t show itself in the finder, but it does seem to allow data access through apps. Basically I can play the music on the drive from iTunes, but I can’t un-mount the drive when I am done, since I can’t see it. One other interesting oddity is that I can see the drive across my home network, from a second machine, but it will only mount on the desktop about 10% of the time. Disk Utility has been unable to remedy this and so I finally gave in…

I purchased the drive from TekServe a local NYC store that deals only in Macs. It was their design and I was hoping that they would in turn be able to fix it without causing the data (30GB MP3 Collection) to be lost. It turns out that they can’t do this without having to charge me a minimum of $1100 for data recovery! I looked on the board they have there and noticed I could buy a 120 GB drive for under $300… This service charge seemed absolutely absurd to me and so I left in a huff. It seemed that my choices were to try and save what I could and wipe the drive, or pay the unreal fee and and have them do the same. If it turned out to be a hardware issue, perhaps they will offer to replace or fix it at no cost since there is still some warranty left on it seeing as it is less than a year old. Argh.

On my way home I was pretty pissed off and decided that perhaps I should consider replacing the drive. Across the street was a Best Buy, but they only had one Maxtor drive and though it was FireWire capable, it was also USB 2.0 which seemed to make it more expensive that I thought it should be. Around the corner was as a Staples and I thought why not try one more place…

When I walked in I was greeted by a friendly representative from Palm. It seems that today is Tunsten T day. They had a demo unit out which I was able to play with and let me just say now that it is an amazing piece. Much smaller than I expected – great for a front pocket in jeans or shirt pocket with no problem. The screen was really very bright and resolution was excellent. Everything I had hoped for… suddenly my focus was shifting…

While I was checking the Palm out, a few customers were coming in and speaking with the rep… I was amazed at how little knowledge she had both about the product, and about the handheld space in general. The first thing I noticed was how she was patently anti-Sony, stating how they only used proprietary technology (like the Palm OS I presume…) and how Palm was much better anyway. Let’s just forget for a second that Sony makes a competing device (and yes I realize that Palm and PalmSource are not the same anymore) because how can you possibly put down any Palm device when there are so many PocketPC choices in the same store?

A guy then started asking about the differences between the new units and his old Palm Vx. The woman from Palm had never heard of the Vx, thought it had an antenna like the 705 and was just plain confused. She then used Bluetooth as the main point of difference, though she was really not sure to explain how short range wireless unit would get online. She also only knew of one phone that had this functionality. I gladly corrected her and helped the guy on his way. (yes I am great)

I’ve noticed

I’ve noticed that my level of interest and participation in groups tends to quickly descend after a switch to digest mode. While it is certainly nice to recieve fewer emails, the format of digest news, tends to make it more difficult to participate – especially on high volume lists…. Thoughts?

So I went to see…

So I went to see the Jackass movie last night and I have to say that it is a very funny movie. While far from award winning cinema, it kept the theater laughing for the entire movie, literally until the screen went black after the credits.

Johnnie Knoxville and his crew seriously push the limits of sanity and safety. There were a few times we all felt concerned for his well-being, but that was quickly lifted by some sort of sick stunt performed by another member of his gang. From what I understand, this was the grand finale, and they officially went out with a bang! Unless you are easily offended, grossed out or just don’t like to laugh, you should check it out.