Thursday, March 12, 2009 – National DVT Awareness Month

Been there, done that. Scary as hell.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition that occurs when a thrombus (blood clot) forms in one of the large veins, usually in the lower limbs, leading to either partially or completely blocked circulation. It may be caused by a variety of risk factors and triggering events, including cancer, obesity or restricted mobility due to acute medical illness, stroke, major surgery, previous DVT or respiratory failure. DVT symptoms may include tenderness, pain in the leg, swelling and discoloration or redness. The condition may result in health complications, such as pulmonary embolism (PE) and even death if not diagnosed and treated effectively.

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Talking about DVT (Deep-Vein Thrombosis) Awareness Month: ClotCare
March, 2009 marks the sixth annual Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month sponsored by the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis. March is officially recognized as Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month by United States Senate Resolution 56.

Thursday, March 12, 2009 – National DVT Awareness Month

Been there, done that. Scary as hell.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition that occurs when a thrombus (blood clot) forms in one of the large veins, usually in the lower limbs, leading to either partially or completely blocked circulation. It may be caused by a variety of risk factors and triggering events, including cancer, obesity or restricted mobility due to acute medical illness, stroke, major surgery, previous DVT or respiratory failure. DVT symptoms may include tenderness, pain in the leg, swelling and discoloration or redness. The condition may result in health complications, such as pulmonary embolism (PE) and even death if not diagnosed and treated effectively.

Quote

Talking about DVT (Deep-Vein Thrombosis) Awareness Month: ClotCare
March, 2009 marks the sixth annual Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month sponsored by the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis. March is officially recognized as Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month by United States Senate Resolution 56.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009 – Setting up a Bluetooth PAN (Personal Area Network) in Windows 7

I love Windows 7. I don’t think I could ever go back to Vista – and especially not back to Windows XP. Here’s a note so I can remember how to use my BlackJack II phone as a network device thru Bluetooth. (It’s a whole lot more fun that having to get out a USB cable and tether the two.)

1) From the BlackJack II, press the Start button, then locate the Internet Sharing icon. Select it, then in the PC Connection list box, choose Bluetooth PAN, then click Connect. (Note to self: Make sure Bluetooth is turned on on the computer, too.) You’ll need to have set up your computer to recognize your BlackJack II prior to this – so it knows the phone is an OK device to talk to.

2) On your computer, get to the Network and Sharing Center.

Either click on the network connections icon in the system tray

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then click on Open Network and Sharing Center.

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Or, open the Control Panel, click All Control Panel Items, Network and Sharing Center.

2) Click on the Set up a new connection or network

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4) Scroll to the bottom of the list and you’ll se Connect to a Bluetooth personal area network (PAN). Click on that, then click the Next button.

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5) Right click on your device, Join Personal Area Network > Access Point.

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You should be good to go.

(Another way to get to the phone icon where you can take step #5 above, is go to Control Panel > View Devices and Printers. Your phone should be one of the devices listed. Right click on it and join the personal area network.)

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Saturday, March 7, 2009 – Hobie time

For years I’ve been itching to own a sailboat.

When we lived in Seattle I was a member of a sailboat club, took bunches of sailing lessons, could single-hand a 42 footer, etc. I chartered one of the club’s sailboats at least twice a month. One spring break I took the kids to Blake Island, about 10 miles south of the marina, out in the middle of Puget Sound.

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To keep from going broke (even renting a sailboat gets expensive if you do it enough – and I did it plenty), while we were in Seattle I bought a little Sunfish (and the trailer, and the dolly to move it around – almost going broke) and would take it to Lake Washington after work in the long summer evenings. Loads of fun – never looked back on the bigger boats.

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I finally sold it on eBay after we moved to Vancouver, Washington, where the only place to sail it was on the Columbia River. Pretty fast water – definitely cold water.

Fast forward to Florida. Warm water most of the year. Warm temperatures most of the year.

A couple of years ago I put a deposit down on a Catalina 27. Luckily I made the offer contingent on the results of a professional survey: the diesel motor was a wreck. Deposit returned.

Without a sailboat I would read books about sailing adventures and dream of the day.

Fast forward to last month.

I found a nice looking Pearson 26 located in Melbourne, FL, for a really excellent price. There’s gotta be something wrong with it. No way it can be in that good a shape, and have such a good price.

It was in great shape and the price was excellent. The seller was a really nice guy. But I just couldn’t buy it. After talking it over with Pam over a weekend it was still just not the right time to make that commitment.

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Last weekend we went to the causeway off Dunedin. Mike, a fun guy and one of Pam’s coworkers, has a old, but nice looking 12 foot Hobie. The wind was really whipping about 20 with gusts to 35 knots and we didn’t get to launch it. We had the sails up, ready to go, but are smarts took over. (Actually we were both scared to death, but we’ll never admin it. The next day we heard the news reports about the missing NFL players and their friends who had launched from a couple of miles from where we were. Tragic!)

But while we were there last Saturday a couple of small sailboats did go out. One was a guy with a Sunfish. He looked like he was having a great time – and I remember how much fun my old Sunfish was. And a couple of the other boats were Hobie 16 – they looked like they were having a blast. And I remembered how on Lake Washington one afternoon a Hobie raced by making me look like I was standing still – and I was doing 8 knots.

This morning I hopped on CraigsList. A 1986 Hobie 14 was posted on Thursday. Described as being in good condition with a decent trailer, at a good price. Not too far away from my house.

After puppy training for Healy I grabbed Zach and we went to take a look at the boat. Very nice. Sail in surprisingly good condition. I was able to get him to come off the price some (having cash in hand goes a long way), and it was mine.

We got home and Zach had to go to work.

Hmmm. 80 degrees. Light (but strong enough) breeze. I grabbed Alix and her boyfriend Jeffrey, and we headed off to the beach with the sailboat.

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It took us a few minutes to figure out how to raise the mast and get all the pieces in the right place. (After doing it a couple of times I should be able to do it single handed.)

Launching was a cinch.  We all hopped aboard, and in no time we were well away from shore, even in the light air. FUN!

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The cure for the big sailboat blues? A small, inexpensive sailboat. Something to call my own.

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Test drive

I bought a Hobie 14 off CraigsList this morning. Had to take it out to the ICW this afternoon to see what it could do. There were light winds, so no worries about capsizing. It was a blast.

This is gonna be fun!

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Publish date & time

Odd. Windows Live Writer used to let me set the publish date & time, and Live Spaces would respect the setting. It doesn’t anymore. One if them isn’t working the way it used to.

Too bad.

Sunday, February 1, 2009 – the lights

I found out the other day that my trailer running lights aren’t working. Can’t have that, can we?

My options?

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Could it be the trailer plug? It looks ok.

Or maybe
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the plug on my truck?

Or perhaps it’s the wiring – either on the boat trailer or in the truck – or perhaps a fuse…?
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The well-hidden fuse box in my truck.

I don’t know, but I have a sneaky feeling that it’s a fuse. So I run down to the hardware store and buy a multi-tester to start narrowing the options.
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I go online to look at the wiring diagram for a 4-pin trailer plug. The running lights are the third one down. I run back outside, turn on the truck’s lights, and connect one wire to that pin, and the other to the frame of the truck. No juice. I turn on the left turn signal, connect the wire to that plug – juice. OK. It’s not the trailer’s fault.

I take the dash panel of my truck apart, looking for the fuse box. According to the owner manual it’s on the right side of the instrument console. Can’t find the darn thing. Stumped, I go back online to see if the location is described better there. Lots of others have the same question – and the answer? It’s by the passenger’s right foot, down by the floor. Ugh. OK.

So back out in the truck, I immediately locate it. I pull the cover – and a boatload of fuses and ICs stare back at me. It takes a while, but I locate the fuse for the trailer running lights. And it’s blown. Cool!

One more trip, this time to the auto parts store, buy a pack of fuses, and I’m good to go. Mission accomplished.

Pandora

Yesterday afternoon Dave Scruggs told me about the Pandora Gadget – an interface into pandora.com. I’d never heard of either before.

If you haven’t heard of it, you ought to check it out. You can create various “stations” where you identify an artist or song, and Pandora will automatically grab music that’s similar and create a station that plays that type of music. It’s sweet. And the service is free!

You have the ability to vote thumbs up (play more like this) or thumbs down (don’t ever play this song again).

Here’s the expanded view:
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And the smaller view:
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I could sit at my computer all day long now. (As long as I keep the blinds closed & don’t see the nice warm sun shining down. 🙂 )

One issue I had when first getting started with the Pandora gadget: after I’d listened to a few songs and got hooked, it asked me to register. That wasn’t an issue. But the gadget UI wouldn’t allow me to scroll, and I couldn’t see all the entry fields, even in expanded view. I went to Pandora.com and registered there. That took care of things.

Try it out. You’ll be hooked.

Geek Outlet

I was thinking about (and did) creating another Live Space that I could use as a technical outlet – something pertaining just to geek stuff; not much personal stuff to it. But after reconsidering, that would just be too boring. (As if this site is interesting.) So, I’ll just use the categories to allow folks to stick to the geek items if they want to. (Might be a short list of items. 🙂 ) So if you want technical stuff over here, just look for the Geek category.

Whew, glad to have that settled.