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Old 10-24-2012, 02:28 PM   #11201
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I came back from a clinic with my wife for her colonoscopy. No polyp, nothing. From the time they told me to go out to the waiting room until the doctor came out to give me the good news: 15 min. Of course it was instantaneous for my wife.

My wife had been delaying this procedure, while I had it a few years ago. In the end, she agreed with me that the prep was not at all a big deal. If we are afraid of this, we will not able to handle real medical procedures in the future, not just an exam like this. And as we age, things are going to happen, if not sooner then later.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:53 PM   #11202
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Went to the VA hospital yesterday to have an exam to possibly upgrade my current disability benefit due to a change in health over the years.

Signed up for MyMedicare https://www.mymedicare.gov/ since I received my Medicare approval letter in the mail yesterday.

Looks like there are a ton of tests scheduled for Jan (when my coverage starts), but I'll have to check with my PCP to see if I need to take a bunch of them, since some of them have been done in the last few years (like the "roto rooter" )...

Damn, it sucks to be old ...

(But the alternative - dead or wo*king, could be worse ).
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:28 PM   #11203
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Went for a followup visit to my orthopedic surgeon today. They removed the staples from my knee from surgery on the 10th. Total knee replacement. Three days in hospital and now the long recovery. Ninety days for back to normal and able to play golf. I know this from having the right knee done five years ago. I have already graduated from a walker to a cane and I'm starting a physical exercize program tomorrow. Been doing the basic exercizes but going into something bigger tommorrow. No real pain in the knee and have not taken any pain medication since I left the hospital. Doc said I could be a poster "child" for knee replacement. Wish me luck.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:36 PM   #11204
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Went for a followup visit to my orthopedic surgeon today. They removed the staples from my knee from surgery on the 10th. Total knee replacement. Three days in hospital and now the long recovery. Ninety days for back to normal and able to play golf. I know this from having the right knee done five years ago. I have already graduated from a walker to a cane and I'm starting a physical exercize program tomorrow. Been doing the basic exercizes but going into something bigger tommorrow. No real pain in the knee and have not taken any pain medication since I left the hospital. Doc said I could be a poster "child" for knee replacement. Wish me luck.
Best wishes Johnnie - sounds like you are doing GREAT!
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:37 PM   #11205
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I know of so many people with knee and hip replacement. What happened to people in the old days? Did they all hop around on clutches or roll on wheelchairs? Just sit in their rocking chairs? Or they learned how to not wearing out their body parts? What changed? I am very curious.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:38 PM   #11206
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Used to be that when we bought something, we could expect to just plug it in and it would work.

No, no more. It's not so easy anymore. Perhaps you need to plug your fridge to your router and allow it to access the Web to get firmware update, then reboot.

I have had some problems with my new home media server. What a piece of crap! It works, then it suddenly doesn't. Then it works again for a few days. And I am sure that the problem is in its firmware. Digital stuff is supposed to be deterministic. Just 0's and 1's, right? Modern day programmers have figured out a way to turn everything into crapshoot. What a piece of crap!
Actually - the problem might be the firmware is written expecting deterministic stuff - and stuff is happening non-deterministically, asynchronously, etc.

Especially in a home media system.
I do firmware for settops... I can tell you - the video packets don't always come in as you'd expect them to. You have to code defensively and flexibly and handle all the edge and corner cases.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:44 PM   #11207
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Actually - the problem might be the firmware is written expecting deterministic stuff - and stuff is happening non-deterministically, asynchronously, etc...

Especially in a home media system.
I do firmware for settops... I can tell you - the video packets don't always come in as you'd expect them to. You have to code defensively and flexibly and handle all the edge and corner cases.
Exactly! You surely sound like one who does real-time software that handles a lot of interrupts. Heh heh heh... I have done some of that (but not for consumer products).

Here, all I need to do is to open a shared directory holding photos, and Windoz on the client would scan all the files to create thumbnails. Sometimes, the server would make it through, but half the times the doggone thing locks up. Piece of crap!

I don't know what kind of tests they ran before releasing the product, but as I described, all I did was to surf to the photo directory. Piece of crap!


PS. No offense to software people (I do some software too, besides various hardware and firmware) but I need to cite the following.
“If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization." - Weinberg's 2nd Law
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:23 PM   #11208
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Soon it'll be getting cold and wintery on the Mainland, which means that it'll be time for people to plan their Hawaii vacations. I have a blog post going up next Monday about using a new tool for that-- and using it right on the blog.

We learned more home-improvement lessons this week. A few days ago spouse and I decided to replace the 23-year-old water valves for the washing machine. Of course the old plastic box in the wall was falling apart, so we needed to replace that too. But it turns out that our washing machine's drain pipe is on the left side of the box, and 99% of today's homes are plumbed for the drainpipe on the right or in the center. The drain pipe is thick-wall ABS and it's been firmly glued in place to the rest of the waste piping.

Yeah, I know. Buy a right-drain plastic box, cut the back off with a jigsaw, and flip it around. Luckily we finally found a left-drain box.

Spouse wanted a single-lever dual-valve control manifold, but we couldn't find a left-drain box that would support it. I also would have had to do my first PEX connection job for that configuration, and I was hoping to avoid learning that new skill. So we went with two separate 90-degree ball valves with big, easy-to-move levers.

Just to make this more challenging, our garage is fully finished: drywall, tape, mud, texture, and at least two coats of paint. (I'm starting to hate having a finished garage.) The washing machine wall backs up against a bedroom, so I can't go in through that wall either.

Sooo.... it was like arthroscopic surgery through an 8"x10" hole. It took a couple days to finish cutting the old box out of the wall (without cutting the PEX) and to cut the remains of the old box off the ABS pipe (they were glued together). Then I wrenched off the old valves and put on the new ones. All I had to do then was stuff the new plastic box in the old hole, right?

I couldn't reach all the way around the ABS pipe to cut off every last bit of the old box, so it was still a millimeter too big for the new box's left-hand drain. The ABS pipe had zero slack, too, so I couldn't cut off any pipe without having the new box sit lower on the wall (and a bigger drywall hole).

After removing half the skin from my knuckles, I finally shaved down enough of the ABS pipe (and enough of the left-hand drain) to fit them together. But we still had to insert the water valves through the holes in the box, and the PEX pipe is twisted so tightly around in that stud bay that it's hard to get the valves to stay vertical. By the time we solved that problem the plastic box was deformed by the strain of the PEX, so I had to mount wood blocks inside the drywall around the hole to brace & shim the box.

The box is finally mounted on the drain, the valves are inserted through the box, the box is braced & shimmed. All we have to do now is finish shoveling in the joint compound to get the hole small enough for the box's trim piece to hide everything.

I thought it'd be easier to work through the hole, and I was wrong. Next time I'm looking at a job like that, I'm just going to carefully cut the drywall off the studs below the box. I can fix everything right with the perfect box and the ideal valves. Then I can put back the old drywall, mud the gap and texture it and paint it, and hide it behind the washing machine.

But this box looks good enough, the job is nearly done, and spouse is happy that the valves are easy to operate. I hope I never have to do that job again!

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The photos are pretty funny. There is a separate evaporator for the refrigerator section that is iced over now. It never got below about 50 degrees on its own, and we never detected air flow from the fan. The controller is sending power to the fan. I'm betting the fan isn't connected to its wiring harness. Since the freezer and ice maker work, we are cooling food in the fridge side with ice and a couple of the biggest Blue Ice blocks from our ice chest, cycling them between the freezer and fridge.
A separate evaporator for the fridge. Well, I guess that means there's not a stuck air damper between the freezer and the fridge-- because the manufacturer decided that would be just too easy to fix...
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #11209
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I know of so many people with knee and hip replacement. What happened to people in the old days? Did they all hop around on clutches or roll on wheelchairs? Just sit in their rocking chairs? Or they learned how to not wearing out their body parts? What changed? I am very curious.
My guess is that in the "old days" they didn't have the technology to improve quality of life with replacements - so people just lived with the pain and disability. Now, we have an option to improve function and reduce pain, letting us enjoy our longer lifespans more.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:54 PM   #11210
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
Went for a followup visit to my orthopedic surgeon today. They removed the staples from my knee from surgery on the 10th. Total knee replacement. Three days in hospital and now the long recovery. Ninety days for back to normal and able to play golf. I know this from having the right knee done five years ago. I have already graduated from a walker to a cane and I'm starting a physical exercize program tomorrow. Been doing the basic exercizes but going into something bigger tommorrow. No real pain in the knee and have not taken any pain medication since I left the hospital. Doc said I could be a poster "child" for knee replacement. Wish me luck.
LUCK !!!!!
Hoping for a good recovery for your knee.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:10 PM   #11211
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My guess is that in the "old days" they didn't have the technology to improve quality of life with replacements - so people just lived with the pain and disability. Now, we have an option to improve function and reduce pain, letting us enjoy our longer lifespans more.
Yes, perhaps it is that simple. People in the past had no choices, so they just toughed it out. Man, am I glad I live in today's medicine world. Hence, I never complain about insignificant things like a colonoscopy.
"Getting old is not for sissies." - Bette Davis
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:24 PM   #11212
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Today's adventure...after much deliberation draws finger across throat , right after the mechanic told me the engine oil in my Jeep looked like capuccino, it was decided that the 2002 Jeep GC I bought used 8.5 years ago is toast. He put new oil and a filter in it so I can demo it.

It still runs, but the engine is not going to fare too well unless the head gasket is fixed. I can only run it for 10 minutes before it starts to get to the red line for the temp gauge.

So I put the beast next to the road with For Sale signs. I wrote up a nice sales pitch that I will put on craigslist. I'm asking $2500 for it as a "parts car" or a project for a savvy home mechanic. I'll probably take the first $1800 in cash that is shown to me.

I got a decade of use from the Jeep. Not too shabby.

Tonight, I'm listening to digital cable music, the Soundscapes channel. Lots of violins, piano, acoustic guitar, harps here and there, wood instruments, etc. Very relaxing... aaaaahhhhhhhhh
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:44 PM   #11213
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Originally Posted by JOHNNIE36 View Post
Went for a followup visit to my orthopedic surgeon today. They removed the staples from my knee from surgery on the 10th. Total knee replacement. Three days in hospital and now the long recovery. Ninety days for back to normal and able to play golf. I know this from having the right knee done five years ago. I have already graduated from a walker to a cane and I'm starting a physical exercize program tomorrow. Been doing the basic exercizes but going into something bigger tommorrow. No real pain in the knee and have not taken any pain medication since I left the hospital. Doc said I could be a poster "child" for knee replacement. Wish me luck.
Best wishes & make sure you do the therapy !
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:15 PM   #11214
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Went for a followup visit to my orthopedic surgeon today. They removed the staples from my knee from surgery on the 10th. Total knee replacement . . . .
Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Johnnie.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:21 PM   #11215
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Good luck Johnnie...I hope the boo boo heals quickly.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:29 PM   #11216
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Used to be that when we bought something, we could expect to just plug it in and it would work.

No, no more. It's not so easy anymore. Perhaps you need to plug your fridge to your router and allow it to access the Web to get firmware update, then reboot.
Nah. The software update was on a USB stick. Plug it into the handy USB jack, press Control-Alt-Meta-Cokebottle, and it takes care of the rest.

The store owners sent out an entirely different repair firm to fix the fridge after the factory authorized guy couldn't figure out how to take the thing apart without breaking it. Before they got here I stripped out the "user serviceable" parts and let it de-ice a bit so they wouldn't have to deal with parts all frozen together.

Once they got the cover pulled off the evaporator and fan assembly, the repair guys were amused to see a little 12 VDC computer-style pancake fan, along with a Mystery Part under the styrofoam and blue tape. The fan itself was fine. It just wasn't getting power, although power was present at the terminals of the controller board.

The problem was a badly assembled Molex connector, one of those white plastic snap-together connectors. Look at the bottom rear wire at the upper right of the connector. A little extra slack, eh? The pin wasn't fully seated, giving an intermittent connection that sort of worked when warm and wiggled just right, but failed in use. *POP* *CLICK* All better now.

The Mystery Stryofoam wasn't a bit of leftover shipping material, even though it looks like it. There is an airway from the freezer behind there, along with a damper. With the blocks in place the freezer air is directed down and left where it goes to an outlet in the removed cover that feeds the very cold air into a 'deli/meat' drawer. If the blocks were removed the cold air would go into the main refrigerator airway, so I'd bet that on models with only a freezer evaporator, there is a big foam block where the refrigerator evaporator is, and the air from the freezer section cools the refrigerator section (like in most refrigerators).

Consumer Reports had a report on refrigerators recently that indicated defect rates by manufacturer. The best rate for a manufacturer for fridges with icemakers was 13%. After seeing what's under the pretty plastic, yeah, I believe it.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:38 PM   #11217
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Been enjoying a lazy day. Watching the temp go down ten degrees in the past 30 minutes. A lovely cool front is moving through.

Checked my emails and came across another 'we have x amount of dollars for you'. However, this one is different. Just tickled me to no end.

---------------------------------------------

I am Mr Johnson Director Inspection Unit United Nations Inspection Agent in Hartsfield International Airport Atlanta Georgia.During our investigation, I discovered An abandoned shipment through a Diplomat from United Kingdom under iship forwarder which was transferred from JF Kennedy Airport to our facility here in Atlanta and when scanned it revealed an undisclosed sum of money in a Metal Trunk Box weighing approximately 55kg each.

Kindly open and read from the message attached for details.


---------------------------------------------

Yep, I look for jollies don't ya know.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:46 PM   #11218
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Have been on kitchen duty lately. Shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, sliced onions, chopped peppers. We got some Venezuelan cheese delivered yesterday, together with "nata', which is halfway between cream and soft fresh cheese. Oh boy..
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #11219
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Took the day off from w*rk to be home with my boys who don't have school today. Doing some laundry, and straightening and then we're all going out to lunch and doing some errands. My oldest has his temps so we'll get some driving practice in today. A nap might be in order later. A pretty low-impact day overall.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:53 PM   #11220
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Today's adventure...after much deliberation draws finger across throat , right after the mechanic told me the engine oil in my Jeep looked like capuccino, it was decided that the 2002 Jeep GC I bought used 8.5 years ago is toast. He put new oil and a filter in it so I can demo it.

It still runs, but the engine is not going to fare too well unless the head gasket is fixed. I can only run it for 10 minutes before it starts to get to the red line for the temp gauge.

So I put the beast next to the road with For Sale signs. I wrote up a nice sales pitch that I will put on craigslist. I'm asking $2500 for it as a "parts car" or a project for a savvy home mechanic. I'll probably take the first $1800 in cash that is shown to me.

I got a decade of use from the Jeep. Not too shabby. ....
Just an idea for you. In the last community we live in there was a technical education center adjacent to the local high school that had an automotive trades program that would fix vehicles for the cost of parts + $1 for labor. The problem was that they took forever but if you don't need the vehicle it might be an option. I recall having a new head gasket installed in one of my cars that way.
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