Archive for April, 2011


Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Blogger Bash Banner

I doubt I’ll be able to attend, given my broken ankle, but I’ll certainly try to show up for a while if I can arrange transportation

Spam, spam, spam, spam

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

I’ve just deleted 691 spam comments, all but three of them identical – same name, same email address, same IP address, same (long and link-filled) body. I realize that spambots aren’t as intelligent as people, but surely they can avoid putting that many comments to the same place in less than 24 hours?

Not that I’d want them to be more intelligent, really. I’m just frustrated at how long it took to delete them all. Too bad WordPress couldn’t recognize all of the duplication.

Miscellany 14

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Just a collection of assorted things.

First, I’ve heard beautiful women described as “hot,” and I’ve heard of “hot sex,” but even given that, I’m surprised to find out that someone caught fire while watching porn.

Staying with the subject of sex for a moment, this is a wonderful practical joke.

Now for a couple of recipes. Before he joined Pajamas Media, Stephen Green used to do something he called the Friday Recipe. He’s just posted the first one in a while, and it’s a good one.

He doesn’t include a dessert, though. If you’ve a sweet tooth, this may fit the bill.

Looking for somewhere to live, and not enamored with anything on the market in your area? Try looking in Italy.

How do you know when someone’s trying to guide your thoughts? Here’s some good information.

Government surplus items available here.

And, finally, regular expressions are often incredibly useful. Unfortunately, they are also sometimes incredibly hard to generate correctly. This site can help.

I do have a leg to stand on

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

… but only the one. Here’s why the other can’t be used:

Ankle X-Ray

When I talked to the surgeon (Dr. Shannon) on Monday, he said that my options were two: an operation, during which he’d put a plate and a screw into my ankle, or just having a cast put on it. The possible failure modes were very similar for both treatments, but there were a couple of extra potential problems if I had the operation (such as infection). I was concerned about the cost of the operation, because I have no medical insurance, but his charges were going to be under $600 for the surgery, so I thought it might be affordable. He made an reservation for an operating theater for Wednesday morning in case I made that decision.

Then I talked with the hospital. Their charges, even after a 40% discount because I was paying myself, would be expected to run in the $17K-$22K+ range. I didn’t even bother to find out what the anesthesiologist would charge; there’s no way I can justify that much money.

So, yesterday morning, I got my cast. I wasn’t aware at first why it couldn’t have been put on Wednesday during the time that had been set up for the operation, but they apparently wanted an extra day or two to let my ankle reach its maximum swelling. I took these photos after they took off my splint, just to have a record of the bruising and swelling:

These are the impressive bruises. The break is on the other side of the ankle, but I’ve got tendon and ligament damage on this side.

Inside bruising

This is the side with the broken bone. There’s bruising, but this is probably the best shot for highlighting the swelling.

Outside bruising

This shot shows how far up the shin the bruising extends. I was surprised, myself.

Up the leg bruising

I don’t regret going for a cast instead of the operation. As I noted earlier, the potential outcomes and drawbacks are similar. The operation has a couple of extra potential drawbacks to counterbalance the potentially-but-not-guaranteed-better outcome. Dr. Shannon also noted that one of his mentors feels that ankle surgery is recommended too aggressively these days. His evidence was that people with knee and hip surgery from 30-40 years ago were getting arthritis in those joints and needing new surgeries done, but people with ankle surgeries of similar vintage weren’t getting arthritis nor were they needing ankle fusion operations.

So far, apart from finding out just how much exertion getting around on crutches requires (particularly dealing with stairs – I’ve been sleeping on the couch to avoid them), transport is my biggest problem. Because it’s my right ankle that’s injured, I’m not going to be able to drive a car until it’s completely healed. Bugger.

This morning was the regular third-Saturday-of-the-month ukulele club meeting at Swallow Hill. I’d planned on going, but was unable to. I did go out on my back patio and play ukulele for a while this afternoon, and I also found a fun “Spot the Ukulele” game at Maggie’s Farm. I’ll probably play that several more times until I can get to meetings again.

Miscellany 13

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Some interesting-looking movies to watch here.

Writing hard SF? This may be useful.

My ex referred to our first house as “Kingdom of the Spiders.” We didn’t need this chart, because we already knew how to identify black widows. If there’d been others, though …

Boy, I think I could make good use of one of these.

Want to browse the internet anonymously?

This is a very nice music video, with some interesting percussion.

NOT another Pleasant Valley Sunday

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

So, Marion and I went cross-country skiing today up in Breckenridge. It was a nice day for it, if a little windy. Unfortunately, parts of the trails were icy – the wind had blown the loose snow away. Coming down a short, steep, section of trail, I didn’t have a lot of control. The trail took a turn to the right at the bottom, and there was a drop into a creek if you missed the turn.

I could tell that I wouldn’t make the turn, so I managed to head left into some soft snow off the trail before the turn. Unfortunately, when my skis went into the soft snow, they dropped into it. My right ankle folded over and I flipped over completely and ended up face down. I thought I’d sprained my ankle, because it hurt, but I could still put weight onto it. A passing skier named Tim was kind enough to carry my skis back to the lodge, and I used my poles as support while I hobbled back to the lodge. It was probably close to 1/2 mile to get back.

I stayed in the lodge with ice on my ankle while Marion got in a little more skiing, then we came back down the mountain. I had her drop me off at the emergency room so that I could verify that it was just a sprain.

It wasn’t. The doctor who looked at my X-rays said I’d “smashed” my fibula. He also said I must be a really tough guy to have been walking on it. I don’t know … there’s pain, but it’s really more uncomfortable than painful. Now I’m concerned that I have deficient pain receptors. In any case, I now have a splint that goes up past the knee on my right leg, and I have to keep all weight off it for two days. Tomorrow morning, I find out what my options are. The ER doctor said he believes that I’ll need a screw on the inside of my ankle, and a plate on the outside. Not what I was looking for when the day started.

Ah, well. My first broken bone. I’m sure my parents would be so proud, if they were still around to hear the story.

April Fool’s Day

Friday, April 1st, 2011

I’ve written about April Fool’s Day before. There are two posts on this site about it. Back in 2005, on my previous website, I had a link to the Museum of Hoaxes list of the 100 best April Fool’s jokes.

This year, I’ll just point to the aggregator page for web-based April Fool’s jokes.