Friday, December 31, 2010

Ultra-Creamy Mashed Potatoes

This recipe for mashed potatoes is to die for. Really, if you eat them every day you'd have heart failure from all the butter fat. But of the special meal where rich wonderful food is required this is what you want. Note that Yukon Gold potatoes are use because they have a low starch content (its part of the ultra-creamy secret.)
  • 4 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 tablespoon pieces (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • table salt
  1. Skin the potatoes. Usually I leave the skins on for both smash and mashed potatoes but this time remove the peal (its part of the ultra-creamy secret.)
  2. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch slices to facilitate quick even cooking. Place in a colander and rinse under cold running water of a minute turning with hands (removing starch is part of the ultra-creamy secret.)
  3. Place the rinsed potatoes into a dutch oven and cover with 1 inch of water. Add a tablespoon of table salt. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat but continue the boiling until done, fork tender (25 - 20 minutes.)
  4. While potatoes are cooking, melt the butter into the cream in a sauce pan over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Once melted keep it warm but don't keep cooking it. (This is the creamy part of the ultra-creamy secret.)
  5. Potatoes cooked, drain in a colander then put the potatoes back into the dutch oven on the stove. Cook on low for a couple of minutes to evaporate all the remaining water (removing water is part of the ultra-creamy secret.)
  6. Run the dried potatoes through a food mill (or potato ricer). This breaks down the potato without whipping in air or releasing starch (part of the ultra-creamy secret.)
  7. Gently fold in the cream mixture and salt with a spatula until the liquid is fully incorporated into the potatoes. (Gentle is part of the ultra-creamy secret.)
  8. Serve with a spoon (no butter, no gravy, no cheese, no leftovers.)
This recipe came from the folks at ATK.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Killing iPhone apps

In order to resolve the iPhone Audible app issues one has to completely close the app to be sure it’s still not running on the back end with an error.
  1. Double click on the home button, this will bring up the multitask screen, the audible icon should be listed.
  2. Press and hold the audible icon. This will give the option to end the task.
  3. A minus sign will appear on the screen and you need to tap that.
  4. Once this is done, restart your Audible App, and it should now operate properly.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mindless Eating, Not

The Scientific American podcasts feature the research of Dr. Brian Wansink on eating (see my Thanksgiving blog post). I've borrowed a copy of his book Mindless Eating and obtained the audio book as well. After reading the book for general knowledge I wanted to capture the tips Dr. Wansink suggests that I think I will find useful at some point. What follows is my interpretation of the ideas included in the book.
  • Don't be the first person who starts eating.
  • Wait until everyone is at the table before picking up you silverware.
  • Slow down, pace yourself with the slowest eater at the table.
  • Avoid large plates, use smaller plates.
  • Serve yourself in the kitchen and eat in another room.
  • Holiday meals require multiple serving. Take very small portions and go back (so host knows you really like the food.)
  • Don't eat out of the container the food came in. Serve what you want and put the rest away.
  • Stop eating before everyone else has stopped. I.e., don't be the last one stuffing their face.
  • Two or three types of food at a time when grazing at a party. The more variety you preceive the more you will eat.
  • Fancy names make food taste better.
  • Higher prices make food taste better.
  • Artful presentation make food seem more expensive and fancy thus it tastes better.
  • Loud noise/music dulls the taste.
  • "The best diet is the one you don't know you're on."
  • Don't eat while working. Stop to eat mindfully.
  • Play video games that occupy your hands (so you can't eat and play).
  • Get you snack before sitting down to watch TV. Avoid eating out of can in front of TV.
  • The more deprived you feel the bigger the reactive whiplash.
  • Don't eat if you don't feel hungry.
  • Stop eating when you don't feel hungry any more.
  • It is likely that you should stop eating before you actually don't feel hungry any more.
  • Decide what and how much you are going to eat before serving yourself (not during meal).
  • Serve yourself. Don't measure love by amount people serve you.
  • Serve yourself smaller amount and go back for seconds and thirds.
  • Keep the bones and empty bottles on the table so you can see how much you consumed.
  • Use clean wine glasses for the next round, see how many glasses you have had.
  • Serve 20% less food. It is OK to get up to get the remaining 10% is you like later.
  • Increase your fruit and vegetable servings to compensate for 20% reduction is meat/carbs.
  • Candy/nut bowls out of reach, must get up to grab some.
  • Serve a portion of nuts and put the can away. Then go eat the serving consciously.
  • Throw away the junk you don't want to eat. No law says you have to digest it.
  • Chopsticks may slow you down compared to the ease of shovelling with a fork.
  • If buy large/bulk goods repackage into reasonable containers.
  • Seal potato chip bags with tape to discourage mindlessly eating just one more.
  • Snack from a clean plate (not package, or standing up).
  • Junk food must be on the grocery list specifically, not a spontaneous selection.
  • Tempting foods stored outside your daily traffic pattern.
  • Ask waiter to remove beard basket after you get what you want.
  • Ask waiter not to refill drink.
  • Pile the used plates at the all-you-can-eat buffet in front of you, ask busboy to leave them on the table.
  • Large portions at restaurant, ask for take home container and fill it with the leftovers before eating.
  • Want dessert, share it with someone. The first three bites are the best.
  • Restaurant; appetizer, alcohol, drink, desert: select two and skip the others.
  • Restaurant; order two appetizers instead of a meal. Emmh, hot wings.
  • Tell guests how hard you worked preparing this special dish.
  • 15 minutes on atmosphere will significantly improve the dinner party.
  • Print menus for your dinner party. Use the fancy names with colorful adjective.
  • Program yourself for healthy(er) comfort food. E.g., pizza and ice cream instead of champagne, caviar and chocolates.
  • Refuse to deprive yourself. If you really want it, have it.
  • Snack by serving size. Serve a serving only, don't leave extra around for snacking.
  • Half-plate Rule: 1/2 plate vegetables and fruit, other 1/2 is carbs and protein.
  • You can still find junk food in a "health" restaurant. (Goodness by association.)
  • Super size for super thighs. Order the small size fries and be wise.
  • Order the small size. Ask for a refill or order another french fry is you still need it after eating the original order.
  • The more effort it takes to get food the less likely we will make the effort. (Get out of the car and walk in to order fast food from a person.)
  • Negative Mindlessness = Overeating
  • Mindfulness = Reengineering
  • Positive Mindlessness = Better Eating
  • Use 'food trade-offs' to include indulgent foods. E. g.,"I can have ice cream if I get my cardio up to 185 for five minutes.' or "I can have chips and salsa because I eat my apple today."
  • Don't commit to big changes/sacrifices, just do the new/health habits that you can easily/mindlessly do.
  • Create a 'Mindless Margin Checklist'.
  • Review your Mindless Margin Checklist daily.
  • The Power of Three. Design 3 easy/doable changes you can do mindlessly. Nike.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Music Practice Suggestions

Cleaning up the desk and found some notes from Lark Camp 2008? Thanks to Mark Bell for these thoughts about practicing. He is talking about practicing the doumbek but it applies to just about any mind/body activity that requires learning.
  • in front of a mirror
  • relax
  • when you get tense stop and do something else
  • repeat the same stroke continuously; e.g. fill a measure with the stoke and play 40 measures
  • clear sound with tone (volume is least important)
  • let gravity do the work
  • minimal effort, be lazy
Go for sound clarity, quality and tone (with out volume). People will be able to hear what you are playing. People will want to listen to you (not tell you to go away.) People will ask you to play with them.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mindful mindless eating

Thanksgiving 2010 and all the podcast are talking about food, over eating and turkeys. We cooked our turkey last weekend and finished it off last night, gooood.

The SciAm podcast turned me on to Dr. Brian Wansink's work, research into why and how we eat (watch the videos.)

His research shows that serving food at the table, family style, boosts overeating, while folks who fill their plates at the stove eat less.
He has developed a bunch of products to aid in mindful mindless eating, www.mindlessproducts.com. Smaller sizes and nicer presentation.

I've reserved a copy of his book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think from the library and will be listening to the abridge audio version as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Title Fight

Title Fight by Matt "Mad Dog" Wallace and Scott "The FDO" Sigler is one exciting ride. Mixed martial arts / gladiator / boxing / honorable warrior / Samaria audio novella.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys "guy's night out", grip you crouch in sympathy, want to look away pussy-boy fiction.

[Click to view poster.]

The book is much better than this video promo. Set in the Sigler universe timeline between the "The Rookie" and "The Starter" one does not need to have ready any other Sigler story to understand this fight genre tough guy story.

Download it from PodioBooks.com today.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Changing Education Paradigms

You will want to watch this lecture/animation in HD in full screen mode.

Many people see this and say "When is someone going fix this?" I say do it yourself, change yourself, be the change you wish the see in the world.

How? If you need to ask or want some help my friend James Bach has a great book that you can use as a catalyst. I blogged about this subject after James published The Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar (website/videos). Read excerpts on Google Books. Here's a quote from Chapter 2.

A buccaneer-scholar is anyone whose love of learning is not muzzled, yoked, or shackled by any institution or authority; whose mind is driven to wander and find its own voice and place in the world.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Test Case Design: Absence of evidence vs evidence of absence

Testing for the "absence of something" could be as simple as looking to see if that something is there. However, just because you do not see/find something doesn't mean that it is not there. Furthermore, just because it is not there does not mean that the proceedure to remove something, or prevent something from being there, is working.

Test Case Design

I just got burned by a test case that gave a false positive when it was executed. The verification step was to look for the existance of a secret string in the post-processed log files. I looked in the post-processed logs and and didn't find any evidence of the string thus the test passed.

But, there was a defect and not all log files were instrumented correctly so in a few cases the secret strings were not actually get stripped out of the post-processed logs.

A better test design would be to locate examples of each type of secret string in the raw log files. Then verify that each of these were stripped out by the post-processing. In other words, prove that there is something to be removed before believing that it was removed (and not just missing in the first place.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Important Documents 4 when UR ! Dead, yet

There are five legal documents that will make a difficult situation manageable when you are not dead yet but your loved ones might be better off if you were.
  1. Power of Attorney (POA)
  2. Health Care Proxy
  3. Living Will
  4. Last Will and Testament
  5. HIPAA Release

If you have all of these documents up to day in a safe place and copies in an accessible place then relax and smile, you are a very very good and considerate ancestor. But if you haven't gotten around to this yet shame on you.

When I told my mother I was moving out after high school she sent me to a lawyer and an insurance agent. Thus I have had a Last Will and Testament and a life insurance policy to cover my burial ever since I was 19, I love you mama. These other docs are mostly TBD. Please ask me if I have completed this task as a gentle reminder that I really do want to check that off my list of things to do before I die. (Note to self, create a list of things to do before I die. [sic])

See Money Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life podcast #195 for a 10 minute lecture on this subject.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

User Stories

“As a [type of user], I want [some goal] so that [some reason].”

As a [role], I can [feature] so that [reason].

As a [role], I want [feature] because [reason].

As a [role], I can [feature].

Advantages of this approach. Don't forget to make use of Acceptance Stories as well.

The Testing Geek has a good explanation of User Stories.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ouzo Substitutions

I needed ouzo for the Greek-Style Shrimp and Feta recipe so I used a vodka tincture substitute. (From the Cooks Illustrated magazine for September & October 2010, page 13.)

Ouzo, the popular anise-flavored spirit of Greece, lends shrimp saganaki a nuanced flavor that we like. But since ouzo is not in everyone's liquor cabinet, here are two alternative.

Pernod—Though slightly sweeter than ouzo, this French asise-flavored liqueur is the next best thing.

Vodka + Anise Seed—One tablespoon of vodka plus 1/8 teaspoon of anise seed makes a fine substitute for 1 tablespoon of ouzo.

I used the vodka method. We have star anise so I broke the seeds out and crushed them with a mortar and pestle before mixing with the vodka to form the tincture.

Note the Greek-Shrimp recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of ouzo so triple the above formula.

Greek Shrimp with Feta

This easy weeknight Greek dish defies the old saw that seafood and cheese don't work together—if, that is, you get every element just right. From the Cooks Illustrated magazine for September & October 2010.

I made this recipe when I first got this month's Cooks Illustrated magazine and we really really liked it. They wanted to simplify and improve on the classic Greek dish, shrimp saganaki. Since I didn't have ouzo I did the vodka anise substitute and it worked (remember, I do NOT like licorice so I was pleasantly surprised that it complimented the dish and didn't ruin it.) I didn't know we had fresh parsley & dill in the garden so I substituted fresh basil. ATK recommends feta made with sheep or goat milk but Safeway only had American cows milk varieties.

The next week I made it but skipped the ouzo marinade and used Paul Newman's Own pasta sauce for a quick low hassle version. It was good food but not the spectacular complex flavor of the Cooks Illustrated recipe. What follows it mostly from the magazine, page 13.

Greek-Style Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta Serves 6 with crusty bread, steamed white rice or my favorite egg noodles.

301 calories per serving of shrimp, 221 calories per cup of egg noodles.

  • 1 1/2 pounds shrimp (thawed, peeled and deveined)
  • 4 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons ouzo
  • 5 medium garlic cloves (minces or pressed, about 5 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
  • Table salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, diced medium (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced medium (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced medium (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz Hunt's diced tomatoes drained, 1/3 cup juices reserved
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  1. Toss shrimp, 1 tablespoon oil, tablespoon ouzo, 1 teaspoon garlic, lemon zest, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside while preparing sauce.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, red and green bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables release their moisture, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture cooks off and vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes longer.
  3. Add remaining 4 teaspoons garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and reserved juice, wine and remaining 2 tablespoons ouzo, increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors have melded and sauce is slightly thickened (sauce should not be completely dry), 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and add shrimp along with any accumulated liquid to pan; stir to coat and distribute evenly. [Also branch to step 8, start cooking pasta.] Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque throughout, 6 to 9 minutes for extra-large shrimp (21 to 25 count) or 7 to 11 minutes for jumbo (16 to 20 count), adjusting heat as needed to maintain bare simmer.
  7. Remove pan from heat and sprinkle evenly with feta. Drizzle remaining tablespoon oil evenly over top and sprinkle with dill.
  8. Serve immediately over extra wide egg noodles made with Durum wheat, 12 oz package. Dump the pasta into the boiling salt water about the time the shrimp are added to the dish (step 6).

Here is a video I found in researching this recipe. I learned a few things (you can light the ouzo on fire the way he does it.) But I think the Cooks Illustrated recipe looks better.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Learning PowerShell

My professional goal for 2010 is to start using PowerShell. The developers back in Chicago use it for everything and it seems to be the new scripting language of choice for the Window world. (Pash is a cross platform open source version was started but no news for a couple of years.)

Lots of resources on the net; blogs, script repositories, books, podcasts and such.

I have been reading a tutorial designed for people who don't know object oriented programming. As my scripting skills were developed a century ago. There hasn't been an opportunity to think OOP since the LISP days at IntelliGenetics. This introduction with explanation of OOP terminology/thought is very helpful. I imagine it would be a bit slow for someone versed in .NET or C++. Check it out on the Microsoft site, Sesame Script.

I am using the book Microsoft Windows PowerShell 2.0 Programming for the Absolute Beginner by Jerry Lee Ford to great effect. Reading it cover to cover and doing the example assignments. After completing chapter 3 I felt that I could re-write any script I've created in csh|sh|ksh into PowerShell. So no problem going forward building scripts at work (check off one 2010 job goal;).

Friday, August 27, 2010

Penetration Testing

I am listening to a class from East Tennessee Status University (ETSU) taught by David Frazier, Ethical Hacking CSCI 4957 (iTunes U). This wiki page defines to term Penetration Testing, an active analysis of a system's security primarily by utilizing common ways of compromising the system.

One of these days I would like to go through the class exercises and homework myself. A lot of tools and resources are discussed. I liked the concept of "competative grading", the person who has the best/biggest/most of the assignment gets the top grade and all other get a percentage of that top score.

In the mean time, I vow to improve my personal security by maturing my use of passwords. After learning more I'll investigate the tools. (Can't do it from work because Big Brother doesn't allow access to "potentially malicious" sites, good job IT.)

Read this article, Digital Wallets and Whistle Blowing. What do you think. Good problem for an ethics discussion.

Here is a launching point; Software Engineering Ethics Research Institute.

Good list of penetration test ideas on the SANS site: CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors.

Google Hacking Database

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hip, 8 months

Going contra dancing again this weekend. Two weeks ago I dance for 90 minute over a 3 hour period with NO side effects; no pain, no stress on hips, fair workout and good time.

The fact that I have had an artificial hip installed is primarily an intellectual exercise now. By that I mean that my body doesn't seem to notice any more.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pulled Pork Informaiton

I've been making pulled pork since fall of 2007. Trevor turned me on to it as a home BBQ staple. Here is some information from the July 2010 West Texas Bar-B-Que email newsletter (article re-posted below). We enjoy the West Texas food and I believe the BBQ tips are sound.


Ask Mr. BBQ

Question: I'm a beginning smoker. What would be my easiest cut of meat to start with? -John K. , Sacramento

Answer: Hey John! Pulled pork is a great way to start smoke cooking. It's one the tastiest too!

You'll want to use a Boston butt (aka: pork butt, butt, shoulder butt, shoulder roast). Even thought it's called a butt, it actually comes from the front of the hog. I read on the internet that it's called a butt because, after it's trimmed, the butt is barrel shaped, and barrels were often called butts by English wine merchants. I'm sure there are many other stories or thoughts on that.

Anyway, butts come in a lot of different sizes, but you should start with about a 5 pounder. They typically have shoulder blade bones in them although you can find "boneless butts" in some stores. Just go with the bone-in as it seems to add more flavor to the butt.

Pulled Pork Recipe

Cooking time. Allow 7 to 12 hours or 1.5 to 2 hours per pound at 225°F.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pork butt, about 5 pounds (this will get you about 3 ½ pounds of meat when done)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup Texas West BBQ Rub
  • 2 cups wood for smoke (enough to keep your temp steady)
  • 10 buns
  • Lot's of Texas West BBQ barbecue sauce (original or Secret Spicy)
  • Beer (for drinking while your smoking your pork butt)
Directions:

Trim some of the fat from the exterior of the meat but not all of it. Trim just enough to where you've got rub on meat and fat. If you're butt came tied with string to keep it together, be sure to leave it on there, you'll take it off when it's done.

Rinse and pat dry the butt then rub it with Oil. This helps the rub adhere to the meat. Cover your butt generously with Texas West BBQ rub and then let it sit in the fridge overnight.

Set up your cooker for indirect heat cooking and fire it up the cooker to about 225°F. Put the meat right on the grill grate, not in a pan, add 1/2 cup of wood chips to the coals or into your smoker box if you're using one. Get a comfortable lounge chair and relax with a good beer while you listen to the ball game. Check the cooker every hour or so to make sure you're holding at around 225°F. Keep adding wood chips, 1/4 cup at a time, every 30 minutes for the first two hours to keep the temp right. No need to mop the meat, it's not necessary for the pork butt and can cause havoc when trying to keep your temperature steady.

Allow about 1.5 to 2 hours per pound. Be patient. Use a meat thermometer and test it when you're about 7 hours in for a 5 pound butt. When the meat gets to 190°F, it's time to check it for doneness. The exterior will be quite dark brown or black, that's called the crust and it's really good! Don't worry, it's not burnt. If there is a bone, use a glove or paper towel to protect your fingers and wiggle the bone. If the bone turns easily and comes right out of the meat, you are done. If the internal temp hits 190°F but the meat is still not tender, reduce the heat in your cooker to about 180 or 190°F and check it in another 30 minutes.

After you take it off the cooker, let it rest for about 30 minutes then get to pullin'! It will go a lot faster if you get some help with this part! That's it! Pile it on a bun and top with some Texas West BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hip, 6 months

I passed the six month mark with the new right hip and still not kicking. Start kicking on Saturday with the first Karate workout since surgery. The Doctor said wait six months before getting back on the mat and I am following his advise. Honestly at 3 months I felt like I could start working out again but now that I see what 6 months of healing is like I agree that half a year is sound advise.

Really looking forward to getting on the mat again. For weeks I had been planning on starting the first Saturday after the 6 month mark. But I learned from Kyoshi Ron Joslin at the 4th of July Auburn Fairgrounds that the dojo would be closed for the annual K.I.A.I. Grand National. I start this weekend; new hip, new dojo facilities.

On the six month anniversary I execised for 3 1/2 hours, until I started limping from the OA in the left/organic hip. Right hip not an issue at all :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Back into the gym

Five months since the first hip was replaced and it went so well that I don't feel like the hip is holding me back. In fact, I am eager to get back into sweating. Two months back and work and I have gained 15 pounds; this has got to change.

To early to go back to the dojo, 6 month hiatus recommended, and the daily walks aren't getting it done any more. Then during my checkup with the surgeon last week he reminded my that his best recommendation is no martial arts at all. Got me thinking, after the other hip is removed it will be well a over a year that I am functionally off the mat; I can't wait that long to get active and fit again.

Sharon suggested something that honestly had not crossed my mind, join a gym. Boeing, the light went on. Working out at the gym is exactly what I should do. I was a regular for years when I lived in the Bay Area; I really enjoyed pushing myself and continually improving body and discipline.

I joined Anytime Fitness here in Auburn. Three days at the gym and I am feeling good about myself.

They include access to the Anytime Health website with membership. So cool. The software tester in me likes the fitness tracking tools. The athletic trainer in me likes the simple instructional videos on the machines and exercises you may include in your training. The martial artist in me likes the tool for designing and managing a set of workout routines you build for yourself (even an option to have today's planned routine sent to you via email daily.)

The article on the site Anatomy Of A (Proper) Workout triggered my memories of how to make progress. Check it out.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Testing Moving Targets

In some organizations, not anywhere I have ever worked, testers feel they are undervalued and not respected. The vibe is felt when management sends them off to test a moving target knowing that they will be throwing their work out when the new release-candidate version is produced by the hard working software engineers who fixed so many bad bugs to get the product ready. (The programmers didn't do a good job and/or the schedule was bogus so the development schedule had to slip but since the release date can't slip we will have to test harder and faster.)

Sometimes is it tough to dig in deep when you know that the "real product" will be significantly different from what you are testing today.

"If it is going to be changing significantly, then it is not ready for validation testing."—K.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hip, 3 months

Three months post-op all continues to go well.

Back to working my regular full time job in Benicia. 90 mile commute each way, five days a week. The first week was tiring but the end of the second week back to the normal work related fatigue. I realize that the 2-3 hour Friday commute home is exhausting because I have to pay close attention to the road the whole time, no day dreaming or down time.

I have not use the cane for over a month. For longer periods I forget that I have had the surgery. But the handicap parking is great and I use it whenever I can (need to open car door all the way to get in and out, not enough space in the standard parking space.)

Continue with the walks. Sharon and I have started doing weekend hikes again.

Haven't been to physical therapy since early March. Do the stretches on my own and a lot of walking (30 -60 minutes per day).

Full weight barring on the right leg without reservations. Not feeling tentative about anything any more. I'm sure I'll be able to continue Karate and Jujitsu without a problem come July. Looking forward to doing a lot of dance classes at band camp this summer as well.

The adhesions created by the incision are essentially gone. Bruising is gone and the bundle in my inguinal crease is gone. Just a nice clean scar with a cool indentation.

Putting on my right sock is my biggest obstacle. This weekend I was able to do it without assistance.

PS-Looking forward to replacing the left hip in the fall.

Shred ASAP

Thank you [Jaya] for your sage advice about shredding. I am going to use your comment in advising all my clients that if you let it pile up on top of the shredder you are just conveniently locating sensitive material for thieves to steal more efficiently!—Marcia S.

Software Tester Attributes

A watched a Microsoft webinar today about a new test tool integrated into Visual Studio, Test Professional 2010. I like that they are attempting to make a tool for the way most of us work, not asking us to work the way an expensive tool requires. (You had us spend all that money you damn well better use the tool.)

They had a slide in the introduction that listed attributes of a professional software tester that pretty much describes us.

Background & Motivations

  • Typically does not have any formal CS training or background [not me]
  • Quite often was once a user of the product being tested [not me]
  • Sense of achievement comes from making users lives easier
  • Feels like the customer advocate
  • Likes tracking down hard-to-find bugs
  • Competes with developers [don't understand this]
  • Has no desire to become a developer [been there, done that, no thanks]

Focus & Approach

  • Driven by requirements
  • Assessing quality
  • Scope is user centered and scenario driven
  • Often exploratory or ad-hoc
  • Likes to be able to spend time with users
  • Finding bugs, not running tests
  • Tests defensively [test then code]
  • Provides detailed and accurate bug reports
  • Dislikes ambiguity

Authoring Tests

  • Automation for repetitive tasks
  • Elucidate designs
  • Hand-on approach to catch unforeseen bugs
  • Doesn't believe in 100% automation [$$$ from Nigeria]
  • Wants tools that help find bugs
  • Creates flexible, reusable tests
  • May not always use formal test cases to find bugs
  • Always looks for opportunities to find bugs

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables have more complex flavor than steamed or sauteed. The charring adds depth in my opinion. The wood flavors are simply a bonus.

Heat the gas grill on high for about 15 minutes until you have a 2 Mississippi heat five inches above the grate. Clean the grill and oil it.

Coat the vegetables with the butter sauce and grill with the cover open. Anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes per side. You want a deep char marks on both sides. Since they are vegetable and may be eaten raw there is no requirement to cook them all the way through, its up to you how crunchy they are.

  1. Combine the butter and the flavoring (see below) in a small bowl.
  2. Brush the vegetables with the butter mixture.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  4. When grill is hot clean it.
  5. Oil the hot clean grill using a paper towel.
  6. Grill veges until good grill marks then turn over (2 to 5 minutes).
  7. Grill second side until just tender and caramelized.
  8. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Butter Sauces

Garlic Butter Flavoring

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 small cloves pressed garlic (about 1.5 teaspoons)

Chili-Lime Butter Flavoring

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

Orange-Thyme Butter Flavoring

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves

Friday, April 16, 2010

Password Security

We are always hearing about password security and the need to create passwords for logins all across the internet and at work. But what is a good password? blah blah blah

Password Meter was suggested to me by my insurance company. Read about it or just use it. ;)


Click the image to see the analysis of Bodhr4n +ippEr as a password.

I like it because it lists the requirements that make a strong password and it scores the passwords you enter in real time. I suggest you uncheck "Hide:" so you know that you are typing in is correctly.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

City Museum, St. Louis

My buddy Ted just sent me an email about his visit to the City Museum in St. Louis Missouri.

Looks like the kind of sculptures that fascinate me. Add this to my list of places to visit someday.

My Irish Whiskey

My favorite single malt whiskey is the Connemara 12-Year Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey. The 12-Year is superior to the standard bottling IMHO.

Distilled two times (2 column distillation) where others makers do more than two distillations.

Bourbon barrels are use to age the whiskey. These barrels are used no more than three times before they are retired. The whiskey is chill filtered.

Someday I would like to tour their distillery (Kilbeggan Distillery).

Thanks to The Scotchcast for turning me on to this grand dram.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Forest Hill Divide Loop Trail Overlook

[Click the pictures to view.]

Forest Hill Divide Loop Trail Overlook is a nice hike sutable for out of town guests that are not trekkers. Some steep grades to get you breathing but not too challenging for people who walk regularly. The hike from Foresthill Road out to the Overlook and back is less than an hour.

The Overlook is a nice picnic spot with a grand view. Today there were wild flowers everywhere.

The following is from the American River Canyon Hikes guide by Ferris, Lynch and Toner (outstanding book) pages 16-17 (PDF).

At 1 mile, a side trail to the right leads to an overlook with a magnificent panoramic view of the Middle Fork American River from Poverty Bar to the east, to Brown's Bar to the west. This side trail adds 0.8 miles and 200 ft. of elevation change. ...it meanders in and out of shaded foothill woodlands ecosystem and sunny chaparral dominated by manzanita, buck bush and chemise.
The trail is on the right heading toward Foresthill. Google maps has a picture of the "road" off Foresthill Rd. but this unpaved road with gate is not recorded on the map.
View Larger Map

Found this solar panel installed by the USGS that I assume is part of their seismic monitoring system.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Software Tester's Life

This 3:33 video illustrates what I do for a living.

Thanks to James for making it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Activation Phenomenon

As soon as I read this passage I knew my participation in groups was going to be different in the future. No longer will I sit quietly/politely at the table not knowing who EVERYONE at that table is and why they are there. No longer will I ask a group that I am leading to participate if I don't first ask them to introduce themselves; Who I Am, Why I Am Here.

You know, this sounds a lot like an Agile stand-up now that I have written it down.

Look Inside!“The researchers called it an ‘activation phenomenon.’ Giving people a chance to say something at the start seemed to activate their sense of participation and responsibility and their willingness to speak up.” Page 108 of The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande, 2009.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Books that stop bullets

Can a W. E. B. Griffin novel stop a bullet? Is it thick enough?

Dense Book And Hollow Bullets attempts to answer this and other literary questions (see video below).

I'll going to start reading W. E. B. Griffin's The Presidential Agent Series soon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dr. Horrible

Found a treasure in the Netflix Steam, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, 2008, 43 minutes.

It's a one off opera (technically a musical because there is some dialog and monologues). I really enjoyed the love story and romance. The music and lyrics are clever and easy to follow. I'll watch this story again.

Here's a quote from the movie. Dr. Horrible has a secret crush on Penny, a strong advocate for helping the homeless. She is talking with him and suspects that he in not very interested in her cause.
Penny: You're not really interested in the homeless, are you?

Dr. Horrible: No, [pause] I am, but... it's a symptom. You're treating a symptom while the disease rages on, consumes the human race. The fish rots from the head, so they say. So I'm thinking, why not cut off the head?

Penny: [pause] Of the human race?

Dr. Horrible: It's not a... perfect metaphor.

There is a website with the lyrics and such, www.drhorrible.com. There is a darling duet that Sharon and I are considering, My Eyes, here is a YouTube clip of the duet incorrectly titled On The Rise.

IE Tester

Just discovered the existence of IETester (Windows application) yesterday. Haven't tested it yet but it sounds like it will be very useful to Sharon at her work.

IETester allows you to have the rendering and javascript engines of IE8, IE7 IE 6 and IE5.5 on Windows 7, Vista and XP, as well as the installed IE in the same window/machine. Just point it at the page you're working on and try your HTML code under different versions of Internet Explorer. What fun seeing how your well formed pages are mangled.

Look under the hood of the "acid test" on the webstandards.org site. Take the Acid2 Test.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

960 Grid web design System

The 960 Grid System is a framework for web pages using CSS. On their homepage they mentioned floating system that appeals to me. So I decided to work with the Fluid 960 Grid System instead.

However, goto 960.gs for the demos and documentation, it is excellent.

I learned about this tool and others while listening to the video podcast The Art of Code by Ted Forbes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sol LeWitt, quilting ideas

We visited the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in D.C. this year. Seeing so many of the works one after the other inspired me to start quilting again. I took pictures of the pieces that interested me to save in my "Quilting Ideas" photo folder.

Pictured above: Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #356 BB Isometric figure within which are 3" wide black lines in three directions. (Cube without a cube), 2003.

Across the room from #356 is a study in color that had me fascinated, #1113 (above). Appeals to my Ikebana and quilting sensibility. See it through this videographer below.

Check out Variations Of Incomplete Open Cubes.
How many lines does it take to suggest/represent a cube?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wandering is a necessity

As I read The Buccaneer-Scholar I came to realize that the big vacation I have been thinking about most of my adult life could be describe as a buccaneer voyage.

...The beginning is a terrible time to plan. It's the moment of greatest ignorance....

In buccaneer learning, wandering is a necessity, not a luxury. —James Marcus Bach, Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar

I am collecting seed ideas for the voyage in this someday blog stream.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kuler; Color Pallet and web design

Kuler is a web app from Adobe that lets you see/save color pallets on the fly as you manipulate them.

kuler.adobe.com

Note, you need to create an Adobe account to use all the features.

I learned about this tool and TypeTester while listening to the video podcast The Art of Code by Ted Forbes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vim on Mac

Just installed Vim on my Mac. I did it so that I can learn all the stuff that it does beyond vi. Vim should be useful as I extend my CSS and XHTML skills.

I've been studying The Art of Code podcast by Ted Forbes and really like the tool he uses for editing because it uses color to denote XHTML syntax. He also introduced me to TextExpander and TypeTester.

A Byte of Vim is a book recommended for MacVim users by Swaroop C H. First thing I want to investigate is Vim scripting.

GFR-vim As A Personal Wiki article.
GFR-How to Get Started with Getting Things Done, about David Allen's work.
GFR(optional)-Why, oh WHY, do those #?@! nutheads use vi?
GFR-Vim Recipes

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Typetester for visually checking CSS setting.

www.TypeTester.org is a very useful site for experimenting with the HTML characteristics used in your web pages.

"The Typetester is an online application for comparison of the fonts for the screen. Its primary role is to make web designer’s life easier. As the new fonts are bundled into operating systems, the list of the common fonts will be updated."

Go for a test drive to find out for yourself. It will even generate the CSS code for you to paste into your pages.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New iPhone; Books and Podcasts, give a listen

So you have a new iPhone and have downloaded a bunch of free apps, now it is time to start some serious work with your phone. (See also my other iPhone blog entries.)

You need to subscribe to some podcasts to expand your working knowledge of stuff. I recommend starting with any/all of the podcasts from Grammar Girl's site, QD Now, www.quickanddirtytips.com. Subscribe from this site or search for the podcasts in iTunes.

The UC Berkeley course Physics for Future Presidents is outstanding. Every semester the course is made available via iTunes. Finding this and figuring out how to put it on your iPhone will be a learning experience well worth the effort.

Books on Tape/CD/MP3 are a natural for the iPhone. Here are a couple of sources to get you started.

  • CrimeWAV–short stories read by the authors; detective and crime fiction (adult content).
  • Jack Wakes Up–contemporary hard-boiled fiction set in San Francisco by Seth Harwood.
  • Scott Sigler–several books all read by Scott. Start with Ancestor for SciFi Horror or The Rookie for sports/action/SciFi.
  • PodioBooks–this is where I discovered Seth Harwood and Scott Sigler. Download and listen to the book then donate because you like the book and want to support the author.
  • Decoder Ring Theater–radio-style half hour shows. I love the Black Jack Justice series.
  • Audible.com–buy normal books for download listening. The first book is free, promotional code GRAMMAR.
  • Your Local Library–physically check out the books on CD and use iTunes to add them to your library. Make a "music" playlist of the imported tracks and sync the playlist to your iPhone.

Portuguese Sardine Production

Learn how sardines are caught, cooked and canned. Learn about "steam grilling". Learn that not everyone is fascinated with manufacturing films.

Check out this recipe for Sicilian Sardine and Broccoli Rabe Pasta from the good folks at Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics and let me know how it tastes. I found out about Vital Choice from the Nutrition Diva (Jaya recommends her podcast). Use the discount code DIVAPROMO and save 15% on your orders before April 2010.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hip, 5 weeks

Five weeks post-op all continues to go well.

I have been forgetting to take the cane when I go out sometimes. For brief periods I forget that I have had the surgery.

Continuing the exercises I have been doing. Add exercise bike and weight training at PT.

Continue with the walks. My normal hilly route took 30 minutes now it is shy of 25. I walked around the baseball diamond on Tuesday for a 45 minute workout, about the limit.

I still ice the wound after physical therapy, but it is no longer needed at other times.

The therapist used ultra sound and massage a few more times to the wound to reduce the swelling/hardness. The hardness is almost completely gone.

I am occasionally working on breaking down the adhesions created by the incision; gently massage the scar with Dit Dar Jau (make your own). Bruising is almost gone and the bundle in my inguinal crease is going away.

Sitting at the computer remains my biggest obstacle, 30 minutes is too long. :(

Friday, February 12, 2010

Around the World in 80 Days

Just finished listening to Jim Dale's reading of "Around the World in Eighty Days" by Jules Verne.

Originally written and published in 1873 as a French magazine serial (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours). In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager set by his friends at the Reform Club.

The image of a hot air balloon is from the 1956 film adaptation of Verne's book. The only time a lighter than air balloons is mentioned in the book is to state that it would be impractical as a means to cross the Atlantic ocean from NYC to London.

The reason I read this classic is that I somewhat enjoyed the book written my Michael Palin about his attempt to reenact Phileas Fogg's journey. Derived from the BBC 1989 series of the same name. Throughout Palin's book he referenced the Verne classic so I thought it would be informative to read the original. I must say that I enjoyed the story and reading by Jim Dale, the CD has background music and high production values which make it quite entertaining.

This would be a great CD to reserve at your local library to play in the car when you are hauling the kids around.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lose It! iPhone App

I have been using the Lose It! iPhone app for one year. It is the key to my being able to change my behavior resulting in significant weight reduction (30 pounds). Mahalo Sharon for the "track the foods you eat" suggestion. OXOX

Lose It! now has a website that provides additional resources over the initial version I started with. I have signed up and have connected it to my Facebook as well.

So if you are a Lose It! user I invite you to add me to your loserit friends list.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chester Nimitz Oriental Gardens

Upon first hearing this song years ago on KFJC I knew that some day I would sip tea across from these gardens.

The Chester Nimitz Oriental Garden in the song is now known as the Japanese Garden of Peace, Fredricksburg Texas.

Mining logs for coverage analysis

A friend on Facebook posted pointing to Logging: Exploratory Tester’s Friend on James Bach's blog. Got me thinking, arrr matey.

GFI–Analyze application's logs for keys to extract high level user events that may be used to document the "actions testers did".

This could serve as objective physical evidence that functional requirements were tested.

Consider being able to process customer logs to unearth exactly what they did "before the bug" was discovered. Will need to be human readable ;) otherwise you just have a different set of logs that nobody will read (or be able to understand).

The logs already have much of the raw data I am thinking about. However, unless you are examining a specific event/error it is way to much text to read. Need something for examining all the events over a two hour period or longer (long run, one shift, over weekend).

I think we included most of the requirements that James listed save his #11. The Instrument Log workspace does something like this but we will want an external app to do same and more.

11. The level of detail included in the log file should be configurable in terms of preset levels: 1- error and service events only, 2- Functional events, error events, service events, 3- All events including diagnostic information messages about internal states and parameters.

This will be an excellent project for me to develop.

Grounds for Further Investigation

  • SunSoft installation log analysis tool; display the unexpected
  • SQL Server Transaction logs;
  • Tool to manually inject Tester Comments into the application's normal logs
  • MAD Reporter
  • Data representation with pictures or colors or sound or measures
  • Measures; # log entries per second/minute, # errors per minute/hour, # seconds per RV, # RV per hour, etc.
  • Uptime Reporter
  • Our own log analysis requirements in Caliber RM
  • Zoom in/out of report; high level, user actions, debug, everything
  • Focus on specific types of transactions; RV processing, user actions, DB I/O, State change, Errors, task duration, etc.
  • Merge information from other logs; SQL Server, perfmon, Dr. Watson, etc.
  • User Stories

Monday, February 8, 2010

Perfect surgical results

Dr. Bergeson performed an anterior approach hip replacement on me. My body is heavily muscled so the procedure was relatively difficult and lengthy. One month post op no complications or complaints. From what I gather Dr. Bergeson seems to a have an excellent reputation with the hospital staff.

Another reviewer here had problems with an office visit. Not my experience, 3 visits and no waiting. Dr. Bergeson patiently answered all my questions and was always cordial, pleasant and professional.

I sought out Dr. Bergeson because my PT was impressed with the surgical results she had seen in his patients.


This is my review that can be found via Google Maps.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hip, 3 weeks

Three weeks post-op all continues to go well.

Staples were removed last week. "No precautions" continues to be the directive.

Started ascending and descending stairs unaided.

Started serious physical therapy yesterday. First the therapist measured the range of motion of the right hip. We need to work on flexibility :)

Continue the exercises I have been doing. Add abduction and adduction exercises against resistance.

Continue with the walks. Suggest walking before doing the exercises to warm the muscles up.

Ice the wound after exercising.

The therapist applied ultra sound and massage to the wound to reduce the spelling/hardness. The next morning the hardness was significantly reduced.

Start breaking down the adhesions created by the incision. Gently massage the scar with lotion or oil in the weeks following any surgical procedure. Adhesions can be minimized by keeping the blood and lymph fluid flowing in the area and by gently breaking them up as they are beginning to form. The objective is to stretch the scar fibers, possibly stimulating the local response to softening the fibers.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cherry Tomato Salad

American's Test Kitchen (ATK) Season 9 included a cherry tomato salad, I tried it and loved it. Here is their recipe (directions) but the herbs and cheeses are my formula (taken from the ATK website recipes).

If in-season cherry tomatoes are unavailable, substitute vine-ripened cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes from the supermarket. Cut grape tomatoes in half along the equator (rather than quartering them). If you don’t have a salad spinner, after the salted tomatoes have stood for 30 minutes, wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and gently shake to remove seeds and excess liquid. Strain the liquid and proceed with the recipe as directed. The amount of liquid given off by the tomatoes will depend on their ripeness. If you have less than 1/2 cup of juice after spinning, proceed with the recipe using the entire amount of juice and reduce it to 3 tablespoons as directed (the cooking time will be shorter).

Cheese: use one or more of the following, proportionally reduce amount when multiple cheeses are included.

  • 4 ounces feta cheese , crumbled (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese , cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
Herbs: use one or more of the following, proportionally reduce the amount when multiple herbs are included.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
Serves 4 to 6
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes , ripe, cut up (about 4 cups) (see note above)
Table salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 medium shallot , minced (about 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1 small cucumber , peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (score skin longitudinally with a fork before slicing)
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (optional)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans , toasted (optional)
1 hunk of cheese, crumbled/diced (see note above)
1 bunch chopped fresh herbs (see note above)

1. Toss tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and sugar in medium bowl; let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to salad spinner and spin until seeds and excess liquid have been removed, 45 to 60 seconds, stirring to redistribute tomatoes several times during spinning. Return tomatoes to bowl and set aside. Strain tomato liquid through fine-mesh strainer into liquid measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

2. Bring 1/2 cup tomato liquid (discard any extra), garlic, oregano, shallot, and vinegar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until reduced to 3 tablespoons, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to small bowl and cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Whisk in oil and pepper to taste until combined. Taste and season with up to 1/8 teaspoon table salt.

3. Add cucumber, olives, cheese, dressing, and herbs to bowl with tomatoes; toss gently and serve.

Step-by-Step: Avoiding Waterlogged Cherry Tomato Salad

1. Spin Spinning the quartered tomatoes in a salad spinner removes excess liquid that can make salad watery. 2. Reduce Simmering the strained tomato liquid creates a concentrated tomato base for the vinaigrette.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hip Cruiser DX

In the hospital they had a basic aluminum walker for me to use. I use to have one at the dojo just like it; four legs, place it in front of you and step forward, pick it up and more it forward again.

Fred and John loaned me a really cool rolling walker, a Nova Cruiser DX model 4202 blue.

The shuffle style is OK when you are putting a lot of weight on the device and moving slowly but by day 3 it was to cumbersome for me. The Cruiser rolls along with fingertip control so it doesn't slow you down when you start booking.

The front wheels piviot 360° while the in-line rear wheels have individual hand brakes.

The brakes work like bicycle brakes, squeeze gently to apply, squeeze hard to lock. In addtion you can push down on the handle and set the parking brake so she wont roll away.

When I first started walking this week I felt like an old lady shuffling around the hospital. Now with the rolling walker I feel like I am an athlete recovering from a good sports injury.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Settling in after surgery

Settling in after surgery went well. Sharon was great as usual. She anticipated my needs and is always looking for ways to make me comfortable.

Here are a some specifics that we did, hope others will find it helpful.

  • Joined Facebook to keep friends and family informed. Unexpected benefit of support and love from everyone.
  • Used the iPhone to listen to podcasts, Origin of Species, played Bejeweled, research the drugs they were giving me.
  • iPhone alarm set to tell us when the medications are to be administered. (Sharon's cell phone bell was way harsh in the middle of the night, switched to iPhone.)
  • Clipboard to record/log medical events.
  • Record blood pressure every morning
  • Record pain level at each medical event.
  • Weight each morning.
  • New bed with grip-able headboard facilitates moving in bed. I can push and put and lift my body quite easily. The bed is farely high so I don't have far to go from sitting on the edge of the bed to standing, not an issue lowering myself onto the bed. In the hospital it was work to stand up.
  • Moved the furniture in the dining room and music room into the middle so that I can walk a figure eight track without having to stop or turn corners.
  • Sleeping flat on my back is comfortable! What a pleasure to be able to lay in bed for hours on end without the incursion of pain and discomfort.
  • Dean has been sleeping between my leg so I will not need a big foam triangle.
  • Removed all the rugs because they want you to minimize tripping hazards. I like them up because now I can walk from room to room with my kick-ass walker without having to navigate speed bumps.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Blogging the hip surgery

I expect that the first couple of weeks after the surgery it will not be practical to sit at my computer for extended periods. However, I think I will be able to sit in the command chair just fine.

In order to keep my friends and family updated on my progress I will be blogging the experience here under the keyword/label "hip".

And this required me to buy a keyboard for the PlayStation 3. I am using the new keyboard to write this entry. So much more user friendly (doable) then using the game controller to select letters.

Need to find out the capabilities of the PS3 browser. I stumbled onto the copy text feature but haven't figured out the past text feature :(

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

THR videos

This total hip replacement (THR) video (Rated PG-13) talks about the procedure I am having done; Metal-on-Metal Hip Replacement, Anterior Approach.

If you want to watch an actual surgery I think this video by Dr. Stefan Kreuzer, MD might be for you (I don't want to watch this kind of thing myself ). Or this a live Internet web cast on November 20, 2008, Daniel Gannon, M.D., performed a direct Anterior Approach total hip arthroplasty (THA) with the Tri-Lock® Bone Preservation Hip Stem.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Muscle-Sparing Surgical Table

OSI Pro-FX Surgical Table Makes Minimally Invasive Hip Surgery Possible

Muscle-sparing hip replacement surgery designed to diminish post-operative pain and shorten recuperation time. The OSI Pro FX surgical table - an addition to the health system's surgical suite that makes possible the minimally invasive, muscle-sparing hip replacement surgery.

The Pro Fx Hip and Knee Arthoplasty Table table is the only surgical table designed exclusively for hip and knee arthoplasty. This table was designed not only for anterior hip replacement surgery but also for spine and other orthopedic surgeries as well as cardiovascular surgeries.

With a unique capability to position the leg, the table allows the surgeon to replace the hip through a single incision that is placed at the anterior – or front – of the hip. There are numerous benefits to the anterior hip surgery.

Anterior hip replacement surgery spares both nerve and muscle tissue. Patients who have the anterior hip replacement surgery suffer less pain, stay in the hospital less time and can return to normal activity much sooner.

None of the restrictions typically imposed following traditional surgery apply when the anterior approach is used. With this procedure, patients are able to begin walking immediately after surgery. They overwhelmingly experience less pain and are able to forgo narcotics following surgery.


Today's surgeons are improving hip and knee replacement recovery times with a new device called the Hana table. Looking more like a piece of exercise machinery, the Hana table allows doctors to manipulate the patent's legs to avoid extensive muscle tissue damage while better exposing the joint.

The majority of the recovery from the traditional hip replacement is not the bone, but the muscle rejoining the bone”. Ciotola said. Most operating tables, when a patient comes in for a hip replacement surgery, they're lying on their back or more commonly on their side.

That is not the best position for the patient or the doctor, he said. The Hana table, manufactured by OSI Products, features adjustable arms that grip the feet and can be positioned where doctors need them.

Many patients are walking about in just 48 hours after this surgery, he said, and within 10 days are completely free to do whatever they want. In traditional hip replacements, patients can not bend over or cross their legs in a chair for up to two to three months following surgery.


Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital (my hospital) upgraded their table last spring.

"The Hana Table will improve our treatment of hip and knee surgery patients primarily and the Jackson Spinal Table will enhance our capability for spinal surgery," said Dr. Bergeson (my surgeon).

The Hana Table will allow orthopedic surgeons to perform the newer anterior hip replacement procedure which is less invasive than the traditional method. Anterior hip replacement surgery is performed through an incision at the front of the hip, avoiding muscles and tendons to cut through.