Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Beach Update

Amy and I took a walk along the beach in Destin as our food coma wore off. Here is a map that RunKeeper on my iPhone made of the walk. If you click the "view details" link in the black box you'll get a map you can zoom and pan. It was really a round trip, ending where we started, but, RunKeeper shows us not getting all the way back - not sure why.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Calf Part 6

It has been a long time since I posted an update regarding my calf. Here is an abbreviated update:

Tuesday, September 23 - I played in the first night of our Tuesday coed league. Felt fine.
Tuesday, September 25 - I played in the third night of our Thursday coed league. Felt fine.
Over the weekend things got worse.
Tuesday, September 30 - By Tuesday it was a lot worse, but I hadn't lined up a sub, so I played Tuesday coed... trying not to jump much. It didn't work too well... it still hurt quite a bit.

... lotsa PT ...

Week of October 19 - We were in Vegas. Lot of walking. Quite a bit of swelling.

... lotsa PT ...

Sunday, November 2 - I played in an open gym. 1 day of swelling, no pain.
Tuesday, November 4 - I played in Tuesday coed league again. 1 day of swelling, no pain.
Thursday, November 6 - I played in Tuesday coed league again. 1 day of swelling, no pain.

Its pretty much been like that ever since. I didn't have PT last week, due to scheduling conflicts... but I do have PT this week. Looking forward to hearing how they receive my status.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Las Vegas Pictures

Amy and I spent a week in Vegas, most of the time with Sam and Pat. Here are my 30 Best Pictures and All 263 Pictures.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calf Part 5

I had a good week. On Thursday I did an 8 mile bike ride. I had no pain after that. Friday I had a good PT appointment - 90% strengthening.

On Saturday I biked to 4 Lakes where Amy was playing in a charity blind draw. I played a pickup game. After an hour I had no pain, so I played another one. After another 45 minutes I still had no pain, so I played 3 more pickup games. I wasn't going all out, probably somewhere between 50% and 75%. I didn't jump a lot, maybe a total of 8 or 9 times. I also wasn't very fast to dive/adjust forward. At the end of the day I biked the 4 miles home.

Sunday the whole leg was a bit stiff - mostly in the upper leg, which I attribute to a lack of use the last few weeks. The lower leg feels good.

I have 3 more weeks of twice a week PT. I think it is helpful, but, I'm not sure I'll need to go to all of the remaining appointment. We'll see.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Calf Part 4

Things keep getting better with my calf. I haven't used my crutches since September 5th. Each day I am walking better, I am now able to walk heal to toe, instead of shortening the step or putting the foot out sideways.

On the 5th at PT I did a recumbent stepper. When I started I was going at a pace of about 12 steps / minute. After 10 minutes I was up to 24 steps / minute. At the next PT on the 9th I started at 24 steps / minute and finished at about 50 steps / minute. And then on the 12th I started at about 50 steps / minute and finished at about 100 steps / minute. That is about the limit - the machine also moves my arms, and, that is about as fast as I can go without rocking the machine violently.

The last week we've been focusing on enabling me to straighten my leg without pain. That is no longer a problem. Now we are focusing on strengthening the leg and stretching it.

I have two more PT appointments this week, and a doctor's appointment too. I'll see what the doc says - I'm optimistic that I'm on schedule to return to volleyball by October.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Calf Part 3

On Friday I went to my second PT appointment. It went very well again. I went in being unable to bear any weight on my right leg, and came out able to walk (very badly) without crutches.

I have continued to limp around since then without crutches around the house & office. Longer distances I still use my crutches. Each day the pain and swelling have improved. Now the only issue is that it is difficult/painful to straighten the leg fully.

On Friday I received an ultrasound treatment, in addition to the "normal" heat, massage, stretching and ice. I didn't notice any immediate result of the ultrasound, but, I guess I can't argue with the results.

My next appointment is today, Tuesday. I'm expecting more improvement.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Calf Part 2

I saw my PT (Physical Therapist) today, Kelly. I was somewhat skeptical going into the appointment, but, I think it helped and future sessions will continue to help. Today the focus was on two things: 1) trying to get me to straighten my leg, and 2) reduce the swelling (the calf, ankle and foot are all very swollen). I got a few exercises to do, and she encouraged me to elevate the leg whenever possible. I am going to try to figure out how to elevate it while at work.

As far as treatment today, it started with moist heat and some massage. Then we worked on some of my exercises. At the end she wrapped it in a large ace bandage for 5-10 minutes, to squeeze out some of the swelling. That was also the point of most of the massage.

Monday, September 1, 2008

My Torn Calf Muscle Story

This is the long version of my calf muscle injury story. I honestly don't know why I'm documenting it here... maybe because my memory is so bad I'm worried about forgetting the details myself.

Saturday, August 16: I woke up with pain in my right calf. At the time I described it as being similar to the pain in my calf muscle after I've had a bad cramp in the calf. In hindsight I think that this had nothing to do with a cramp, and that was the only kind of muscle pain I had experience with. Anyway, I woke up with minor pain in the calf. It hurt a little bit while standing in line, but it wasn't too bad. I went ahead and played a full day at the blind draw - won the ugly - 13 games played including pickup. No pain once I started playing.

Sunday, August 17: Again I woke up with minor pain in the calf. I went ahead and played pickup at 4 Lakes, about 3 hours, probably about 7 games. Again, no pain once I started playing.

Monday, August 18: Again, I woke up with minor pain. I went to work. I don't recall really noticing the pain for too long. I played pickup Monday night (our regular league was postponed). No pain while playing.

Tuesday, August 19: I don't recall if there was morning pain. Let's assume there was. I did not play Tuesday night.

Wednesday, August 20: I woke up with slightly worse pain, odd because I didn't play the night before. Wednesday afternoon at work the pain got worse, I remember a moment or two where it was really bad - again just miscellaneous muscle pain. No volleyball again.

Thursday, August 21: The pain was much worse this morning. I stayed home from work. I got an afternoon appointment at my PCP. She was concerned about a blood clot, so I went to get an ultrasound. At first they weren't going to give me a Thursday appointment, but, I told them I'd wait around and see if they could squeeze me in, and they did. The ultrasound results were negative for a blood clot, and my PCP didn't really give me much more advice. Take advil, don't use it, it is probably a tear - but I didn't have any confidence in this diagnosis.

Friday, August 22: The pain was bad, but, I didn't want to sit around at home all day, so I went to work.

Saturday, August 23: Again, bad pain, Amy and I went to the EVP tourney at 4 Lakes. I walked around a little, and got some comfort from others who'd been through similar injuries. That night the pain started to move to my high ankle, and it got much worse. At this point I had to start using crutches as I could no longer put weight on the leg.

Sunday, August 24: The pain was horrible in the morning. I considered going to the ER, but ultimately decided against - in part because I know how much they charge, and in part because if I didn't move at all the pain was manageable. When the pain peaks I notice that my right foot is very swollen. It can get very large and red, but, even at its best I can't fit it into my pair of everyday sneakers... even my socks hurt - they squeeze too much.

Monday, August 25: The pain again was really bad. I stayed home from work again and went to my Ortho. He suspected a tear (after hearing about the ultrasound - he too thought it might be a clot). He scheduled me for an MRI the next day.

Tuesday, August 26: Average pain day. By the time of the MRI it was feeling pretty good. I had to do a double session because they couldn't scan my whole lower leg in one shot. I read a bit about MRI's the night before, so I was curious about the apparatus. The tech told me it was a 0.35 Tesla machine - superconducting magnet, liquid helium cooled. Neat.

Thursday, August 28: I had an evening appointment with my Ortho to get the MRI results. The report said severe strain, when I questioned him on that he said it translated to a muscle tear. Ok. I really wanted to get a pic or two of the MRI results, but I didn't. He told me I could take up to 3200 mg of Advil / day. I had only been taking up to 800 mg. He told I should expect to be out for 6-8 weeks. Assuming that starts with the first sign of pain, the 6 weeks would be up on September 27. He also said I should start PT (Physical Therapy) 2-3 times per week. He sent me upstairs at their office to set that up. BTW, my doctor is Dr Marquardt, one of the Ms at M & M Ortho. I just noticed, they have a volleyball net on their home page. He also said that I should start walking on it when I can.

Saturday, August 30: Finally some signs of improvement... after a week of constant crutches and a whole lot of pain, in the evening I started hobbiling around without my crutches. I am also able put a sneaker on my right foot again.

Monday, September 1: I continue to hobble around without using my crutches! My Advil use is also down somewhat - 400 - 600 mg. I now have pain in the back of the right leg, above the knee, but on the back. This is probably due, in part, to the way I've been carrying the leg while on the crutches.

Tuesday, September 2: Today

Wednesday, September 3: My first day of PT... 3 weeks of twice a week scheduled. I'll have to see a) how much they charge, and b) how much my insurance will cover. I'd like to go to all of the sessions, but, if it is going to cost too much I might not.

Click the calf label below to see if there are any updates... for those not familiar, bloggers can add labels (better known as tags) that describe the post, I'll use that one in any future posts about this.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Upchuck Blinddraw

Friday, August 1, 2008

iPhone Post

I'm posting this from my new iPhone! Yesterday I went to a Google App
Engine Hack-a-thon and I took this picture from the water taxi.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chris Hancock - devout Scientologist

I am not the Chris Hancock mentioned in this article. You probably knew that already - but, I wanted to make sure that was clear. I'm also not this substitute school bus driver.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Toph goes for a Glider Ride

My parents gave me a ride on a glider plane for Christmas, and I finally took the ride this weekend (having a broken thumb has freed up some of my time).

Here is a link to the club, Windy City Soaring. This is a Google Map link to the runway (zoomed in). And this is a Google Map link to the route from our home to Hinckley.

I have 14 pics and 5 movies on my Pictures page.

It was a really good experience. I did the Eagle Ride which starts the glide a mile above the ground. My glide time was about 24 minutes, which would normally be longer, but there wasn't an opportunity to ride up any thermals. However, since it was my first glider ride I didn't realize what I was missing. I was able to take control of the stick and rudder for about 20 of the 24 minutes. It was a great experience.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

USAV Nationals and AVP in Chicago

In May Amy and I went to USAV Nationals in Atlanta. My team did much better than we've done in the past - reaching the finals of B bronze. Here are my 20 best pictures.

And then in mid July the AVP came to Chicago. Here are my 33 best pictures.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Technorati Profile

I created an account for myself, and this blog, on Technorati.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Broadband Speed Test

I tested my Comcast cable modem speed via Speakeasy tonight. Via the Chicago server I got much faster speeds then I was expecting: 17,612 kbps down and 1,557 kbps up. I tested again with Seattle and got 12,768 kbps down and 2,162 kbps up.


Update: I tested with my Verizon Broadband (Rev A) card (which they claim is like home broadband, and I got 797 kbps up and 250 kbps down.

Friday, April 25, 2008

City vs City Temperatures

Amy and I were wondering how the average temperature differed between Fairport (where I grew up) and Downers Grove (where we live now). I found graphs showing this on, Fairport & Downers Grove.

Then I became curious if I could make an animated gif to alternate the two images. I found GIFfun from Stone Design to do that.

On the graph below red is the record high, orange the average high, light blue the average low, and deep blue the record low. Downers Grove is the one with warmer summers, including a July record high of 105 - click on the image to see the bigger version.

Here is the same comparison for Peoria and Benton, KY - Benton is warmer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I just found this typing game, TypeRacer. It is oddly addicting. I am typing about 70 wpm. How fast do you type?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

High Praise

Closing Bracket says "ive been enjoying yor blog", when pressed for more details he clarifies, "mostly that it is there". No wonder over 2 people have subscribed to this blog.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

MacBookPro Faster Sleep

When I close the lid on my MacBookPro the white light stays on for 20-30 seconds... and then starts pulsing. It is taking this time to write the RAM contents to the HD in case the battery runs down or is removed this allows the computer to wake up and resume where I left off. There are a couple of command line options that one can enter to turn this on and off. Per this hint you can also save a shell script to make this process easier. I've included the script text here:



if [ "$SETTING" == "off" ]; then
echo "Turning off safe sleep"
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0
sudo nvram "use-nvramrc?"=false
echo "Don't forget to reboot!"
echo You are now free to remove your sleepimage file at /private/var/vm/sleepimage
elif [ "$SETTING" == "on" ]; then
echo "Turning on safe sleep"
sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 3
sudo nvram "use-nvramrc?"=true
echo "Don't forget to reboot!"
echo "Usage: safesleep on | off"

I put this in a file named safesleep in this directory: ~/Scripts/shell/. ~ is a shortcut for the current user's home directory. Then I made the file executable by running chmod on it:

sudo chmod ug+x ~/Scripts/shell/safesleep

I also had to add the ~/Scripts/shell directory to my path, so I created a new file at ~/.profile, into which I put:

export PATH="/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:~/Scripts/shell"

Restart the shell (quit Terminal) and the script is ready to rock. Syntax is either "safesleep on" or "safesleep off". The script will remind you to reboot the computer for it to take effect.

I also installed the Dashboard widget Deep Sleep. This fellow causes the laptop to directly enter deep sleep. Deep sleep is a state that uses no power, the white light does not pulse, it is completely off. You do have to wait the 20-30 seconds for the ram to be written to the hard drive.

The combination of a safesleep off for fast normal sleeping, and Deep Sleep for no battery long term sleeping works well for me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Waving Goodbye to Hegemony

This is a interesting New York Times article about the "New World Order" - titled Waving Goodbye to Hegemony. My brother Josh sent this to me.

GMail This Bookmarklet e-mail is hosted at Google Apps. When that was upgraded to the new GMail codebase (version 2) my GMail This and Compose bookmarklets stopped working. The solution, add ui=1 to the parameters list. Here is my complete GMail This bookmarklet. And here is my Compose bookmarklet. I have made both windows a bit larger than other bookmarklets. Also, you'll need to change the domain after /a/ to your Google Apps domain. Don't know what I'm talking about? Start here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Using Leopard Time Machine with Network Share

I just upgraded to Leopard. I want to use Time Machine to back up my laptop, but the only hard drive I have with extra space is an external hard drive currently plugged into my Mac Mini.

My first problem is that I don't have an open partition of the right size. To solve this I have created a 50 GB disk image. I setup that disk image with no encryption and a format of "read/write disk image." It took a few hours to create this image.

Then I mounted this image on the Mini and shared it through AFP (Personal File Sharing). Then I mounted this shared drive on the laptop. I could not tell Time Machine to use this network share... it did not appear. The solution was to change a system preference via the command line:

defaults write TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

I heard about this technique here.

Then I told Time Machine to start backing up now. It failed with the error message: Time Machine Error The backup disk image could not be created. Eventually I found this thread. It advised me to:

1. Start Time Machine backup. Wait a little.
2. On the server, make a copy (cp -r) of the in-progress disk image.
3. Let Time Machine fail and delete the image.
4. Rename (mv) the copy created earlier to the same name of the deleted Time Machine sparsebundle image.

This worked!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ixtapa Volleyball Vacation

37 Best Pictures or All 209 Pictures

Friday, January 4, 2008


Geni is a cool website that let's you build your family tree and collaborate with family members. Here is a small view of what Amy and I have entered there. Click and drag within the window to see more.

Click here to see more of our tree.

Favorites from my Blogroll