Monthly Archives: November 2007

Hospital Visit

medical_icon.gifI went to the hospital yesterday.

In retrospect, it was probably a silly thing to do … but at the time, it seemed to be the right thing to do.

The day before yesterday, while I was at work, my foot started hurting … a lot. And I mean it REALLY hurt. So much so that I had a hard time walking.

I thought that I had twisted something … but it was really just my right big toe that hurt. I couldn’t remember banging my foot against anything.   I also thought it might have had something to do with the shoes I was wearing.   The shoes are a little big for me, so I usually wear thick socks with them.   But that day the only socks I had were kind of worn in the toe area.

When I got home on Tuesday, I took a couple of Aleve (which is the best pain killer I know) … this dulled the pain a bit, but it didn’t go away. The pain was there all night … and kept me up a fair bit.

Around 5 am I woke up with my foot throbbing. I was starting to get really worried. I took another couple of Aleve, which helped the pain, and decided that I should get my foot checked out. Obviously I wasn’t going into work that day.

So around 10:30 I got in the car to go to Northwest Community Hospital … which a pretty big challenge … because the first time I had to apply the brakes I got a sharp pain in my foot. If there had been anyone in front of me, I probably would have rear-ended them.

I got to the hospital and hobbled into the emergency room. Explained the situation and they got me setup to see a doctor.

After waiting a bit of time the doctor looked at my foot … and decided x-rays were probably needed. I got the x-rays done, and waited a bit more time. The doctor came back and informed me that there was nothing structurally wrong with my foot (nothing broken) and no signs of gout or a sprain. I had probably just bruised the foot.

Anyways, the doctor sent me home with instructions to keep taking the Aleve for the pain … and if it didn’t clear within 5 days up I should contact my primary physician.

So I go home, take another Aleve, and settle down to just sit with my foot elevated.

Well the pain started to taper down close to dinner … and by this morning, it was fairly tolerable … although I was still hobbling.

By the end of the work day the pain was almost completely gone.

Yesterday I was convinced that I had broken something … now, it’s almost completely fine.

Weird, huh?

Restore Screen Saver Association

If you’re like me, you probably install & uninstall software on your system on a a fairly frequent basis.

One of the things that really annoys me when I install software is when it automatically takes over a file extension association that was previously registered with the system.

This happened a while ago when I installed some IBM software for work … the .scr extension was taken over completely. ‘.scr’ is normally associated with windows screen savers, but now it’s associated with the IBM CODE/400 editor (which I don’t use).

After digging around a bit, I found an easy way to fix this. Just execute the following command: ‘assoc .scr scrfile

This restores the association of .scr files to the system’s screen saver mechanism.

WordPress Tags to Technorati

I’ve written my first useful WordPress plugin!

In WordPress 2.3, they introduced a new tagging feature … which I think is pretty nice … but I haven’t found a plug-in that lets you turn those tags into Technorati tags.

I’ve played around with a few dinky little plug-in’s in the past … but they were all for my own personal use. This time, however, I decided to try my hand at making a plug-in that could be used by more people.

So, I’m pleased to announce “WP Tags to Technorati”.

You can see the plug-in in action below.

Detailed information can be found on the Plugin’s Page.

Global Warming

This video was found on YouTube by someone who subscribes to my CPF0000 mailing list. Quite enlightening, don’t you think?[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Here’s my contribution to spreading the word.

New Tivo

tivo_logo_thumb.gifWe got a new Tivo box a few weeks ago … Tivo was running a promotion where you could buy a new Tivo Series 3 (HD) and transfer a lifetime subscription to the new box. As an added bonus, you could keep the old box running for a year.

Needless to say, it was not a hard decision. Although we currently do not have a HD TV, I suspect it’s just a mater of time before we get one.

The new unit arrived about 2 weeks ago … and I found a small problem. The new unit lacked the ability to control an external cable box via a RS232 cable. The old one had this ability. The new unit uses Cable Card(s) to decode & tune the cable signal. So I had to call Comcast to arrange to get a cable card (or two) installed. It took about a week to get Comcast out here … but they came out and installed a multi-stream cable card. Oddly enough, they arrived early and got the job done relatively fast.

Two nice things about using a cable card …

  1. No more ‘flip bar’ that shows up every time the cable box switches channels. That was really annoying to me, because Tivo already gave us much better information about the program we were about to watch.
  2. There are two tuners in the new Tivo and the multi-stream cable card will process two feeds at the same time. So we can record two shows at the same time.

The new Tivo has a few other nice features …

  • Built in RJ-45 network connection. We don’t have to use the USB. Of course I’m still stuck using wireless for the time being … at least until I figure out a way to get a wire from the basement to the wet-bar area.
  • It’s got an eSATA port … although it appears to only work with Tivo certified storage devices, we can theoretically upgrade the storage by just hooking up a external drive. I tried hooking up an eSATA drive that I had on hand, but it didn’t recognize it.
  • Although this isn’t really new to the Tivo, I was able to get an S-Video cable hooked up to feed the TV … and the quality difference is noticeable. Much better than the composite video we were using.

My only real gripe about the new unit is that the “Standby” button is gone. We used to push this button to put the unit to sleep … although it didn’t really go to sleep. It just shut off the audio & video feed to the TV. I can still put the unit into standby, but it takes 3 to 4 menu options to do it. If we don’t put the unit into standby, eventually it will automatically switch to live TV. Since we feed the audio through our stereo, that can be annoying.

Our options on this are to a) Use the menus to put the unit into standby, or b) mute the sound and turn off the TV while leaving the Tivo on. Neither is very handy. I called Tivo support and conveyed my disappointment.

Other than that, I really like the new Tivo. Maybe for the holidays Ginny and I will get a HD TV. The only big problem is that our current TV works fine. Oh well, maybe figure out something to do with it.

Of course now I have to figure out what to do with the old Tivo. 🙂

ADT Finally

Well, ADT finally came and installed the new wireless backup unit.

Of course the upgrade wasn’t without it’s hitches …

  1. The guy who came wasn’t exactly the picture of professionalism. I assume he was a contractor and not a regular ADT field service engineer.
  2. The analog wireless unit was originally mounted in the basement … where we got a lousy signal (digital or analog) … so, after a number of false signal loss indications, ADT moved the unit to the kitchen pantry. The guy wanted to install the new digital unit back in the basement. I convinced him to install it in the same spot as the old one so we could get a good signal.
  3. He didn’t bring a staple gun … he had to use mine.
  4. He couldn’t figure out how to snake a wire behind a wall … I had to tell him to try fish a stiff wire (that I provided) up from the control panel up the wall and then attach the wire he was trying to bring down to the control panel so he could pull it down.
  5. He had a wimpy little pocket flashlight … so he couldn’t see in the closet that the wireless unit was mounted in … which caused him to wasted at least 20 minutes because he had secured two wires to the same contact point. I had to let him use my big maglight flashlight so he could see enough to get the unit wired correctly.
  6. He spent about 2 1/2 hours doing the install … I suspect that I could have had it done in 45 minutes.

All that said … the new unit is kind of interesting. It’s uses a GSM network … so it has SIM card. Not sure what the advantage of that is … probably just cheaper to manufacture.

Of course all this costs me $199 (less a $20 credit because they blew off the first appointment). I’m sure I’ll have much better service (picture sarcasm dripping off this sentence).

Barack Obama Costume

Ok, yeah, it’s Saturday Night Live … and, yup, it’s the election season … but I really enjoyed Barak Obama’s cameo on TV … [kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

And, yes, I still think that Clinton has absolutely no right to her current position in the Senate … and absolutely will not vote for her in the primary. If she happens to win the primary, I will do a write in vote for president.